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NAB chief scrambles to mitigate damage
Senators furious over media allegations of tax evasion by MPs
Ali Zafar the second sexiest Asian man in the world Page |14
Friday, 14 december, 2012 Muharram 29, 1434
Rs 15.00 Vol iii no 167 19 pages Lahore edition
Towards end of term, govt, SC stare at another standoﬀ ISLAMABAD ANwer AbbAS Another standoff between the government and judiciary is set to take ground as the Supreme Court on Thursday barred its registrar from appearing before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of parliament, despite the body issuing multiple notices to the SC registrar for the purpose. The PAC is now likely to review the option of sending a reference to parliament against the Supreme Court in its meeting today (Friday). The SC office on Thursday answered questions arising over the appearance of the SC
SC says registrar won’t appear before PAC
registrar before the PAC body by issuing an official statement that the registrar would do no such thing. The SC statement said the issue of appearance of registrar before PAC had been discussed in many full court meetings wherein it was decided that under the constitution as well as the law, the PAC was not competent to scrutinise the accounts of the apex court, hence the registrar was not required to appear before it. “Reference in this regard be made to the mandatory requirement of the Constitution. In its very Preamble, the Constitution states, ‘… it is the will of the people of Pakistan to establish an order; wherein the independence of the judiciary shall be fully secured’,” it said. The SC statement said although the apex court saw the parliamentary body with respect, it was not
authorised to scrutinise the judiciary’s accounts. It added that Article 175-3 of the constitution separated the judiciary from the executive and PAC was only authorised to scrutinise national accounts, whereas in accordance with the Article 68 of the constitution, conduct of the judges could not be debated in parliament. “Indeed, under the financial procedure of the Supreme Court, apart from the Registrar, the Chief Justice and senior judges of the Supreme Court do accord sanction of money for procurement and payments e.g. purchase of books, equipment, transport, stationary and payment of medical bills in keeping with functions assigned to them. Continued on page 04
PAC to review sending reference against SC to parliament
Pakistan releases Taliban justice minister Turabi
ISLAMABAD SHAIQ HUSSAIN
In a significant development, Pakistan has released senior Taliban leader Mullah Nooruddin Turabi, a move aimed at impressing upon the top Taliban leadership to join the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan. Mullah Turabi, who is ill and of old age, was the justice minister in the Taliban government, and had been in Pakistani custody for the last 10 years. Turabi, a close aide of Taliban supreme commander Mullah Omar, enjoys respect in the ranks of the Taliban. He had lost his leg while fighting Soviet forces in Afghanistan in the 1980s. “Mullah Turabi has been freed as a positive gesture towards the peace Continued on page 04
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02 News NEwS
India holds back rehman Malik’s request to meet Sonia
INFOtAINMENt evidence of world’s ‘oldest’ cheese-making found
Story on Page 09
HEC employees stop Naqvi from rejoining as ED ISLAMABAD: Higher Education Commission (HEC) employees did not let Dr Sohail Naqvi enter the office of Executive Director (ED) on Thursday. All the regular staff of HEC including people from grade 1 to 21 protested against the chairman’s reversal of his own orders, in which he had allowed Qamar Zaman Chaudhry to perform his functions as ED. “HEC employees will always support the rule of law and not allow anyone to violate the HEC Ordinance 2002, which clearly mentions that HEC Executive Director cannot hold his post for more than two 4-year terms”, they said The employees reiterated this resolve when Naqvi tried to occupy the office of ED yesterday and did not allow him to sit in the office. Witnessing the strong protest, Naqvi had no option but to leave the HEC building in a private car. The employees demanded HEC Chairman Dr Javaid Laghari to stop ridiculing the law and let the new ED work till the post is filled according to the prescribed procedure. Later, a delegation of HEC employees met Laghari who assured them that Dr Naqvi will not come back and that proper procedure will be adopted for recruitment of the new ED. oNlINe
Doctors end strike as Balochistan govt decides to withdraw cases QUETTA: Balochistan doctors announced ending their strike on Thursday after the provincial government agreed to withdraw cases against them. Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) Balochistan President Dr Sultan Tareen, flanked by Balochistan Health Secretary Asmatullah Kakar and Quetta Commissioner Qambar Dashti made the announcement. “The deadlock between the striking doctors and the government has ended after conclusive sessions and we are ready to return to duty now,” he said, adding the OPDs of government hospitals would be opened on Friday (today). The doctors had gone on the strike on October 16, on a call given by the PMA, in protest against the kidnapping of Dr Saeed Khan. Subsequently, the government had suspended the striking doctors besides lodging FIRs against them after they did not join duty despite the recovery of Dr Khan who walked free on November 28 after remaining in the abductors’ custody for 42 days. App
Fear instigated students to protest naming their college after Malala: Iftikhar PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Minister for Information Mian Iftikhar Hussain on Thursday said it was fear of a militant attack that had forced students of Government Girls Degree College Saidu Sharif to protest against renaming of the institution after Malala. Hussain said the protest was not against the teenage activist Malala Yousufzai but was an expression of fear of an attack on their college if it was named after Malala. The minister said he had talked to Malala’s father Ziauddin, on telephone, and he had no objection to his daughter’s name being removed from the college if it posed a threat to lives of the students. Zia did not want to see any other acts of aggression against students of Swat seeking education, said Hussain. App
Progress in negotiations between OGRA, CNG Association
Story on Page 14
QUeTTA: Children look at snow covered mountains after rain and snowfall on Thursday. INP
The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) and All Pakistan CNG Association (APCNGA) have held partially successful negotiations in which OGRA has prepared an initial working paper on CNG prices. According to the working paper, in Region 1 the price of CNG will be increased by Rs.12.50 per kg and in Region 2 the price will be increased by Rs 11.80 per kg. The compression cost for CNG will be Rs7.20, while the operating cost will be Rs7.90. The CNG owners profit will be Rs3.42 per kg. At the same time, APCNGA chairman Ghayas Paracha has said that there have been positive developments during talks with OGRA. He said that in accordance with OGRA demand, the audit reports of 1000 stations have been submitted. Paracha also said that electricity bills have also been submitted as per OGRA’s requirements. He also said that OGRA and the APCNGA have disagreements on the monthly sales of CNG.
ECP to begin delimiting Karachi’s constituencies, voters’ verification g
Commission decides to deploy army inside, outside polling stations in Karachi ISLAMABAD
N the light of the Supreme Court’s orders, the Election Commission of Pakistan on Thursday announced delimiting constituencies and starting door-to-door verification of voters’ lists in Karachi, with the help of the army. The ECP also decided to deploy the army personnel inside and outside polling stations in Karachi. Addressing a press conference after a meeting of the commission, ECP Secretary Ishtiaq Ahmed Khan said, “The army will be deployed inside and outside polling stations during the next general elections. The ECP has made
a decision to deploy the army at all polling stations in Karachi and FATA, while it will also be deployed at polling stations in sensitive areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.” “The ECP has already written letters to the defence secretary and Corps Headquarters (Karachi) for security at 80,000 polling stations in the city on the election day and the provincial election commission will remain in constant contact with them on the subject,” Khan said. He said door-to-door verification of voters in Karachi would start from December 17 which will take about a month. Then NADRA would verify the lists and the entire process would be completed within 65 days, he added. He said there were 8.6 million
voters in Karachi. Talking about complaints of rigging during by-elections in Punjab and Sindh, the ECP secretary said the commission received general complaints but none under Section 103AA of the Peoples Representatives Act. He said the impression that the ECP had done nothing to bring to book persons involved in display of arms and firing in the by-elections was wrong. “We have written to the provincial governments and FIRs have been registered against the culprits and most of them have been arrested”, he added. Khan said the prime minister visited the ECP’s head office to consult matters related to possible time of next elections but no specific date
was discussed. “The present assemblies will get dissolved on March 16, 2013 but if the government dissolves the National Assembly before that time, ECP will have 90 days for the next general elections,” he said. Earlier, in the ECP meeting, chaired by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Fakhruddin G Ebrahim, and attended by ECP members and all four provincial election commissioners, the commission directed Sindh Election Commissioner Sono Khan Baloch to submit a proposal of delimitation of Karachi’s constituencies. He was given 15 days to carry out the job. A source in the ECP said after receiving the Sindh CEC’s proposal, the commission would hold detail deliberations on it.
PTI seeks army dePloymenT aT sensITIve PollIng sTaTIons ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan on Thursday met Chief Election Commisioner (CEC) Justice (r) Fakhruddin G Ebrahim and said that his party supports deployment of army at sensitive polling stations across the country. Speaking to reporters after holding a meeting with the CEC, Khan said he discussed with him various administrative issues pertaining to the much awaited general elections. “The CEC has assured me that Army would be deployed at sensitive polling stations,” the PTI chief said. “We have full confidence in the CEC. I have given suggestions to him for free and fair polls in the country and handed over to him proofs about attempts of pre-poll rigging,” Khan said.
Friday, 14 December, 2012
He alleged that excessive money was being spent by PPP and PML-N, adding that the two parties had kicked off development projects as elections drew nearer to garner support. Khan claimed that cases were being registered against PTI leaders in Punjab to victimise them. He suggested that voters’ list be posted on the election commission’s website after final corrections. Earlier, the CEC presided over a meeting of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to discuss the recent by-elections in Punjab and Sindh, the issue of dual nationality for lawmakers, electoral rolls and delimitation of Karachi in light of the judgment of Supreme Court, besides other important administrative matters. STAff reporT
PPP wants Punjab’s polling stations manned by troops ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) asked the election commission to deploy army at polling stations in Punjab to avoid rigging ahead of the forthcoming general elections. The issue was discussed during a meeting between PPP Punjab President Mian Manzoor Watoo and Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Fakhruddin G Ebrahim. PPP informed the CEC regarding their insecurities and complaints of rigging during the recent by-election in Punjab. The party demanded the commission to deploy army to ensure fair polls and to avoid any untoward incident. The CEC said the forthcoming general elections are of vital importance for the future of the country and must be conducted with impartiality. STAff reporT
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News 03 ARtS & ENtERtAINMENt
priyanka ‘rocks the world’ for GQ
US satisfied with pakistan’s economic reforms
Inzi to be batting consultant before India tour
EDItORIAl NAb and our Mps: The lady doth protest too much.
COMMENt Aziz-ud-Din Ahmad says; Navigating a minefield: How the EC can make the elections rally credible.
Kunwar Khuldune Shahid says; Another turning point: Will Pakistan hockey forget to turn… again?
Story on Page 14
Story on Page 19
Story on Page 15
Articles on Page 10
Senators furious over media allegations of tax evasion by MPs g
treasury, Opp unite to castigate media g Demand trial of journalists, FBR officials for leaking tax returns ISLAMABAD
Four, including Hindu spiritual leader, killed in Balochistan QUETTA/MASTUNG STAff reporT
Four persons were killed and six others injured in Quetta and other parts of the province in acts of target killings on Thursday. In Mastung, miscreants shot dead a Hindu spiritual leader Dr Lakhvi Chand in the main market of the city and fled the scene. Dr Chand was kidnapped a few months ago after which Hindus had started migrating from the area. Later he was released by the kidnappers and now became target of unknown gunmen. Balochistan governor and chief minister have expressed deep grief over the murder of Dr Chand and directed the law enforcement agencies to arrest the culprits. According to reports, at least two persons were killed and another two injured in three different incidents of firing in the city. Police said unknown armed men riding a motorcycle opened indiscriminate fire at two persons in Qandhari bazaar, injuring them severely. The injured men were identified as Ali Khan and Mohammad Taj. The assailants managed to escape from the scene. Another firing incident took place near Salim Complex on Jinnah Road where one person was killed. The victim was identified as Shabbir Hussain, a naib qasid in the secretariat. A third similar incident took place at Sarki Road where unidentified miscreants gunned down a tailor, identified as Gul Sherin. Rescue teams rushed to the site and shifted the dead and injured to a hospital. Another person on a motorcycle was killed when a speedy vehicle collided with his bike. Levies forces arrested the driver, Abdul Samad. In addition, four persons including two women were injured at Goth Ghulam Mohammad Jamali in a road accident. They were shifted to nearby hospital for medical assistance.
ENATORS from both sides of the political divide went up in arms against the media on Thursday for allegations of tax evasion by members of the parliament, saying the journalists concerned, Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR) chairman and other relevant staff should either be summoned by the Senate Committee on Finance or they should be taken to court to fix responsibility for defaming the “honourable politicians”. Amid strong worded speeches by Opposition Leader Senator Ishaq Dar, Kamil Ali Agha, Barrister Aitzaz Ahsen and others, Senate Deputy Chairman Sabir Ali Baloch ruled that the Senate Committee on Finance take suo motu notice of media allegations against honourable MPs, summon the concerned individuals and take the matter to its conclusion. Speaking on a point of order, President’s spokesman Farhatullah Babar said the media had levelled false allegations against the president without proper verification of facts. He said he had consulted with the tax adviser to President Asif Ali Zardari who had confirmed that the president’s tax returns had been submitted accordingly. On a point of order, PML-Q President Chaudhry Shujaat Husssain presented copies of tax returns of his family and said he himself, Deputy Prime Minister Pervez Elahi and Chaudhry Wajahat Hussain had also submitted their respective tax returns. He said he was ready to share the relevant documents with the media. Sabir Baloch said it was
Committee formed to probe Rs 7b-a-day corruption ISLAMABAD The National Assembly was informed on Thursday that the government had constituted a committee to probe into the alleged corruption of Rs 7 billion a day in the country, as claimed in a report of the Transparency International. Responding to a point of order raised by Khawaja Asif of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chief Whip Syed Khurshid Shah said the issue had been discussed threadbare in the cabinet meeting on
Wednesday and a committee headed by Law Minister Farooq H Naik had been formed to examine the matter. He said the committee would invite all stakeholders to know the sources of corruption and its methods, adding that the volume of corruption reported even surpassed the country’s annual budget. Shah also invited the opposition member to be part of the meeting, adding that the report was based on perceptions as it lacked exact sources of corruption. He said the committee would on Monday invite all stakeholders, including anti-corruption departments, Supreme
Court registrar, Competition Commission of Pakistan and National Accountability Bureau chairman to ascertain the sources of corruption and devise a strategy in this regard. Rana Tanveer, another opposition member, said such steps should have been taken in 2009 as the government was now short of time to accomplish this gigantic task in the last four months of its tenure. He said corruption was also done between two officials or organisations for providing jobs or even awarding contracts. Shah said the committee would examine the issue from all aspects.
unfortunate that irresponsible statements had been made regarding the honourable president without any evidence. He asked the media to persuade their colleagues to avoid such irresponsible journalism. Senator Kamil Ali Agha also expressed shock over the media’s allegations and said journalists should have verified their information with the relevant politicians. He said the journalists should also be asked to share their tax returns. He said it was unfortunate that irresponsible actions had been carried out. Saeed Ghani demanded an apology, while Ishaq Dar said using words like “tax evaders” was harsh and unfortunate. He said the senators had paid their taxes and the media did not adhere to taxation laws. Dar said if anyone wanted
to do investigative journalism, he should investigate the entire matter in totality. He said no one could malign politicians and it looked like a well-conceived plan. He said he had paid over Rs 200,000 in tax and stating that he was paying Rs 32,000 in tax was false. Dar said maligning politicians was unacceptable and such journalists were on the payroll of someone. “Tax return is secret information. How dare the FBR chairman share my secret information? It is my private matter. Under what authority this journalist sought information from politicians. He is nobody,” he asserted. He said the PML-N would overhaul the tax-to-GDP ratio if it came to power. Kalsoom Perveen said the FBR chairman should be summoned and questioned why such private informa-
tion had been shared with the media. She said honourable members had been termed tax evaders for no reason. Barrister Aitzaz Ahsen said media owners and journalists should be questioned how much money they had to pay to the government in terms of taxation. Afrasiab Khattak said the matter should be taken to court and those responsible should be brought to book. He said working journalists were also targeted by the media owners and were not paid their wages. He said the matter should be taken to the Senate committee. Humayun Mandokhel said the media should not be allowed to play with the respect of political leaders and the matter should be dealt in accordance with the law. Leader of the House Jahangir Badar demanded the chair give a ruling in this regard.
Swedish Christian aid worker dies from Lahore shooting LAHORE rANA HAIDer
Swedish Christian aid worker Bargeeta Almby, who was critically wounded in a targeted attack in Lahore on December 3, passed away at a Stockholm hospital on Wednesday night. Almby, a 70-year-old missionary who spent 38 years of her life in Pakistan serving the Christian community, was associated with the Full Gospel Assemblies as director of their Technical Training Institute and also taught at the FGA Bible School. She was also in-charge of the ministry’s orphanages in Lahore. Almby was shot in the chest by two armed men outside her house in Model Town when she was returning from her office. The bullet severely damaged her left lung and she was moved to Jinnah Hospital in critical condition. Doctors had then said that she was in acute danger because of excessive bleeding. She was put on life support and doctors tried their best to save her but she had to be airlifted to Sweden on an air ambulance for specialist treatment four days ago as her condition was deteriorating. Her colleagues at FGA Technical Training and Bible School told Pakistan Today that Almby passed away at
Karolinska hospital in Stockholm at 10pm (PST). FGA Bible School Principal Liaqat Qaiser, who remained associated with Almby for the last several years, said the police were still trying to uncover the facts related to the incident. “We believe that the attack was carried out by Islamist militants as they frequently target minorities and foreigners. But Almby had never shared any threat to her life with us,” he said. There is no immediate confirmation of involvement of Taliban or any other extremist group in the incident as no outfit has come forward to claim
responsibility for the attack. “Sister Almby was loved and respected in Lahore. She was a Godly woman who had dedicated her life to serve Christians here,” he said. Model Town Superintendent of Police (Investigation) Ijaz Shafi Dogar told Pakistan Today the police were looking into various aspects of the case. “There are no witnesses other than the victim herself so we haven’t been able to make a breakthrough as yet,” he said. Shafi said there was no credible information to pin the blame on Taliban but the police hasn’t ruled out their involvement completely.
talks with Haqqani network possible: US MONITORING DESK US Ambassador to Pakistan Richard Olson has said that it is possible to initiate talks with al Qaeda-linked terror outfit Haqqani network. Olson, during an interview with the BBC, also expressed the strong possibility that the US’ latest reconciliation policy could be applied to all extremist groups, and as such the Haqqani network also stood a chance to benefit. However, regarding the Pakistani chapter of the Haqqani network, he said that taking any further action against the ‘’most bothersome’’ Haqqani network was the responsibility of Pakistan’s government. Olson also acknowledged the sacrifices rendered by Pakistan in its 10-year war against terrorism. He expressed deep gratitude and appreciation of Pakistan’s sacrifices, which had also suffered quite a blow to country’s internal infrastructure and developmental progress. “We understand that Pakistan faces challenges similar to America in fight against terrorism, besides the challenge of terrorism. Tackling it was the foremost duty of government and masses of Pakistan,” he said.
Friday, 14 December, 2012
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04 Moderate Hurriyat faction aims to bring Kashmir back on Pakistan’s agenda
Govt criticised in NA over transporters strike g
SNGPL comes under fire over projects delays g MNAs allege 300 illegal appointments made in PTDC ISLAMABAD
fairs Khursheed Shah replied that the prime minister had taken due notice of the strike and it had been called off. Speaking on a point of order, PML-N Chief Whip Sheikh Aftab apprised the House that in several areas, the SNGPL had left gas supply projects incomplete and if they were further delayed, a large amount of money spent on the completed portion would go waste. He said a sub-committee had been formed on the subject that had raised the issue with the SNGPL authorities time and again in the last eight months but they were somehow prolonging it due to unknown reasons. Responding to the point of
SRINAGAR: The main aim of the Hurriyat (M) delegation’s visit to Pakistan is to bring Kashmir back on the agenda of Islamabad, Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said on Thursday. Mirwaiz said their visit would initiate a “process-oriented effort” to bring Kashmir issue on forefront. The delegation (executive body of the conglomerate) would leave for Delhi on Thursday before arriving in Pakistan on Saturday. It is after a gap of five years that a delegation of Hurriyat (M) is visiting Pakistan. “An impression is being given in Pakistan and through the ongoing peace process between the two countries that Kashmir does not hold significance as it used to have and that it is not in the picture,” Mirwaiz said.“So the purpose of the visit would be to bring Kashmir to the fore. We would stress on Islamabad to bring Kashmir back on its agenda.” He said the Kashmir issue seemed to have faded amid the range of CBMs and increased bonhomie between India and Pakistan. “We want to clear the impression that the CBMs on small issues like trade are not going to help Kashmir. You have to address Kashmir issue to bring permanent stability in South Asia.” Mirwaiz said it was high time the Kashmiri leadership gave impetus to the core issue “since the Kashmiri discourse is losing it relevance in Pakistan”. He said Kashmir seemed to be slipping from the Pakistani media agenda as well.“There are some people in Pakistan who want to give an impression that Kashmir should be kept on the backburner. But their constituency is very small,” Mirwaiz said, claiming that majority of the Pakistanis were with the Kashmir cause. The Hurriyat (M) chairman said people should not pin high hopes on the visit. “We are visiting Pakistan to bring Kashmir back on the agenda. We want to stir a debate in Pakistani civil society. We want to tell them that less killings does not mean end of Kashmir movement.” NNI
Grossman confirms Pakistan-Afghanistan working on peace roadmap
WASHINGTON: As the United States strives for smooth 2014 drawdown from Afghanistan, Washington’s outgoing special representative Marc Grossman has confirmed that both Islamabad and Kabul are working on a roadmap for Afghan-led peace, after a decade of internal strife and war in that country. “Over time as Pakistan and Afghanistan have talked about how Pakistan can best support an Afghan-led peace process that they have been moving toward working on some type of roadmap together, and all I understand from my friends in Pakistan and my friends in Afghanistan is when (Afghan) Foreign Minister Rassoul visited Pakistan some weeks ago they did start to talk about some specific roadmap and the Afghans had one,” Grossman said. The U.S. diplomat, however, said he has not personally seen any roadmap document. “But I’m sure that this roadmap and this conversation about how we can all support an Afghan-led peace process is extremely important,” he told VOA Urdu Service. SpeCIAl CorreSpoNDeNT
Friday, 14 December, 2012
HE opposition severely criticised the government in the National Assembly on Thursday over a countrywide 12-day strike by transporters, saying that it had caused a loss of billions of rupees to the economy. On a point of order, Abdul Rashid Godal said the government had failed to take notice of the transporters’ strike for almost two weeks. He said the country had been made hostage by the trawlers mafia. Minister for Religious Af-
Dual oﬃce case: Court to be approached for presidential immunity LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Thursday adjourned the hearing of the contempt of court petition over President Asif Ali Zardari’s dual office until December 14 while instructing the petitioner to complete his argument. According to a private TV channel, a five-member bench led by LHC Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial resumed the hearing into the case pertaining to the dual offices held by President Zardari. Petitioner Advocate AK Dogar, while giving his arguments, said he had approached the court for the implementation of the constitution and not to get anyone rewarded with punishment. Barrister Dogar said the president was powerless and had no immunity over contempt of court proceedings under the parliamentary system of the government. Justice Nasir Saeed Sheikh said approaching the court over the issue of presidential immunity was mandatory. Government lawyers earlier requested the court to postpone the hearing due to the strike observed by lawyers. NNI
order, Shah said 70,000 new gas connections had been given in the tenure of the current government. He said Punjab had been given priority in this regard, keeping in view its growing requirements. The minister said Rs 5 billion had been given to the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) for procurement of gas metres, adding that 400,000 metres had already been purchased. Jamshed Dasti said gas supply was prioritised in accordance with political influence and criticised the ministry concerned for not taking any action against corrupt officers in the departments. To a calling
attention notice by Khawaja Asif, Shah said a committee headed by Law Minister Farooq Naik had been formed to probe into the revelations made by the National Accountability Bureau about the daily corruption of Rs 6 to 8 billion. He said the committee would hold its first meeting on Monday and all stakeholders, including the NAB chairman and anti-corruption officers had been invited to attend this meeting. He called upon political parties to wage jihad against corruption. The opposition members also alleged that around 300 illegal appointments had been made in
Lawyers go on countrywide strike against JPMC decision ISLAMABAD/LAHORE/KARACHI/QUETTA oNlINe
Lawyers across the country went on a strike against the Judicial Policy Making Committee’s (JPMC) decision regarding the clearing of the backlog until December 31. The strike call was given by the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC). The council said the committee had directed all subordinate courts across the country to dispose of pending cases until December 31, adding that the deadline was not acceptable to them as millions of cases could not cleared within a month. It said all the judges of subordinate courts were clearing the backlog in haste which ran contrary to norms of justice. The PBC appealed to chief justice of Pakistan to take notice of the JMPC’s decision as haste could lead to flawed decisions. The Sindh High Court Bar Association and the Malir Bar Association announced going on a strike with lawyers boycotting court proceedings in Faisalabad as well. Clients hailing from remote areas had to face a lot of trouble in terms of loss of time and money with the courts being shut. The lawyers through their boycott of the courts gave the judges a message that the JMPC’s decision was not acceptable to them. However, Lahore High Court Chief Justice Omar Atta Bandial and other judges kept
LHC CJ to distribute laptops among best performing judges Lahore High Court (LHC) Chief Justice Umar Atta Bandial will distribute laptops among 20 judges of the subordinate judiciary for their good performance in disposing of old cases, a private TV channel reported on Thursday. According to the LHC registrar, the judges disposed of 88,993 cases till July this year while 52,218 and 83,305 cases were disposed of in the months of August and September, respectively. The subordinate judiciary disposed off 79,963 and 91,194 cases in October and November, respectively. MoNITorING DeSK performing their duties despite a request by the deputy attorney generals asking them to stop working. At the inception of the hearing of dual office case, the deputy attorney generals requested the court to not perform its function as lawyers were on strike. The chief justice said this was the lawyers’ strike and not that of the judges.
Towards end of term, govt, SC stare at another standoﬀ Continued FRoM page 01
And since the Constitution places a complete ban on any discussion in parliament as regards ‘the conduct of any judge… in the discharge of duties’, therefore, the PAC, being a committee of parliament, is not authorised to do so,” the statement added. “It has also been clarified to the PAC that accounts of the apex court of the country have been continuously audited by the Federal Audit. The Supreme Court administration has never declined the auditing of its accounts. The last annual external audit of accounts of this court for the financial year 2009-10
was conducted in September 2010, whereas, the external audit for the years 2010-11 and 2011-12 is awaited. In this regard, the Supreme Court administration has already received letter No Coord/AuditIntimation/2012-13/F690/260 dated 29.6.2012 from the Director General Audit, Islamabad that their audit parties will be visiting the Supreme Court for conducting the audit,” the apex court said while excusing to allow the registrar to appear before PAC. A source privy to developments in the PAC informed Pakistan Today that the committee would review the situa-
tion set off by the SC statement. He said PAC would review the option of sending a detailed reference against the Supreme Court, to parliament for not presenting the details of their accounts before the PAC. Legal experts are of the view that PAC enjoyed the option of filing a petition in the apex court over the issue and that option might be considered by members of the body in their sitting today. During the PAC meeting on Thursday, audit officials pointed out that the office of Auditor General of Pakistan did not enjoy any legal cover in form of proper legislation like act of constitution and was being
maintained through ordinances. Audit officials said a draft to provide a legislative cover to the Auditor General of Pakistan was being floated in various ministries from the last one year and interlinking the Ministry of Finance with AGP was like giving the SC under the supervision of Ministry for Law and Justice. To this, PAC Chairman Nadeem Afzal Gondal said the office of Auditor General of Pakistan was recognised everywhere other than with those who claimed corruption of Rs 7 billion a day. The finance secretary clarified that the AGP office was a sovereign entity and no one interfered in its affairs.
the Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation, demanding action against the management for violating the rules. Speaking on a point of order, PML-N MNA Javed Murtaza Abbasi said the PTDC authorities had sacked the representatives of the elected union when they raised voice against the recruitments. Abbasi said around 70 people have been appointed in the two-room PTDC Information Centres in Thatha and Mohenjodaro. He alleged that all such recruitments had been made at the time when the ministry was being devolved to provinces under 18th amendment.
NAB chief scrambles to mitigate damage Continued FRoM page 19
Bokhari said the Transparency International’s CPI index had been rating Pakistan between 23-27 percent for the last 10-15 years. “Decrease in rating must be seen in the perspective of increasing number of countries in the index.” The NAB chief pointed out that international corruption evaluation structures were based on direct leakage parameters, not indirect losses. He said indirect losses that had not been quantified by the bureau included agriculture sector GDP untaxed‚ revenue department‚ land grabbing and encroachments‚ loans defaults‚ over staffing‚ ghost schools, ghost employments‚ wealth tax losses, custom duties and duty drawbacks. He said only in the energy sector, losses due to load shedding were approximately Rs 960 billion a year, or two percent of the country’s GDP. The NAB chairman said corruption needed to be addressed jointly, we have to jointly fight this problem with dedication. He said Rs 80 billion had been recovered by NAB in the current year alone. Bokhari advocated that accountability of corruption since 1980s was treated with “benign neglect”. “Erstwhile, anti-corruption institutions were based on political victimisation and post corruption prosecution, neglecting proactive approach of prevention and awareness regime.” “NAB is committed to an anti-corruption strategy that is achieving success on pillars of awareness, prevention and prosecution in the same order of priority. The bureau is determined to eradicate corruption from the society and will not spare anyone who is doing this heinous crime,” he concluded.
Pakistan releases Taliban justice minister Turabi Continued FRoM page 01
and stability in Afghanistan and it is to facilitate the peace dialogue between the Afghan authorities and the Taliban,” said a diplomatic source, requesting anonymity. Before Mullah Turabi, Pakistan had freed three former Taliban governors including Mullah Abdul Salam, Mir Ahmad Gul and Daud Jalali. Besides, another important Taliban commander Anwarul Haq
Mujahid, the eldest son of the late mujahideen leader Maulvi Yunis Khalis, was released by the Pakistani authorities along with the former Taliban governors. These releases were made during the visit of Afghan High Peace Council to Islamabad, a move that was welcomed by the Afghan authorities. However, Peace Council’s Chairman Salahuddin Rabbani also demanded the release of senior Taliban leaders like Mullah
Abdul Ghani Baradar in his talks with the Pakistani officials. A senior security official expressed ignorance about the release of Mullah Turabi, saying according to his information no such development had taken place. Nonetheless, he said Pakistan was all for peace and stability in Afghanistan and it would do whatever it could for that purpose. The diplomatic source, meanwhile, said nothing could be said about the fate of other Taliban leaders like Mullah Baradar, who
were still in Pakistani custody. He said Pakistani authorities wanted to see the impact of release of Taliban leaders and any decision about the other Taliban prisoners would be taken after that. Another diplomatic source told Pakistan Today that President Hamid Karzai, who held talks with his Pakistani counterpart Asif Ali Zardari and Turkish President Abdullah Gul on Wednesday in Turkey, also demanded the release of more Taliban leaders from the custody
of Pakistani authorities. “Karzai was told that Pakistan was willing to facilitate the Afghan peace dialogue and it would take all possible steps for its success,” the source said. He said the Afghan president also raised the issue of failed suicide bombing on his intelligence chief Asadullah Khalid in his talks with Zardari and was told that Pakistani authorities were ready to extend cooperation to the Afghan government for probing into the terrorist attack.
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Friday, 14 December, 2012
Calling on Turks to maintain law and order n
Punjab govt hires Turkish company for maintaining parking spaces LAHORE
HE Punjab government has enlisted the services of a Turkish company in a move against trade unions operating illegal parking sites in commercial areas of the city, Pakistan Today has learnt. According to details, there are many illegal parking lots in the different areas of the provincial capital, for example Gulberg, Samnabad and Data Ganj Bakhsh. In Gulberg such illegal parking spaces are maintained along Ijaz Centre, Center Point, Gulberg Centre, Al-Hafeez Shopping Mall, Lahore Centre, Hafeez Centre, Auriga Centre, City Tower, Latif Centre, Century Tower, Empire Centre, Liberty Heights, Pace Shopping Centre, Jeff Heights, New Auriga Centre, Siddique Trade Centre, Askari Bank, Faisal Bank, Standard Charted Bank, Al Falah Bank, Tri Con Plaza, Silk Bank, In Design Plaza and Kingston IPL Plaza. Officials of Le Park-
ing Company told Pakistan Today that 15 to 20 percent parking spaces being operated in the city are illegal. Officials also revealed that City District Government Lahore (CDGL) had failed to curb activities of unions maintaining such sites and had now enlisted the help of a Turkish company to help legalise these sites. Per official records, CDGL had been collecting Rs 15,000-20,000 weekly and Rs 25,000-30,000 on weekends from Liberty Market Parking site. However, once a private company took over, it generated revenue around Rs 50,000-60,000 on weekdays and over Rs 100,000 over the weekends.
Sources revealed that it was difficult to maintain legal parking sites across the city because of a strong trade union system that was operating several major sites illegally. Le Park is now hiring a Turkish company UCS which also participated in constructing the Liberty parking space. The company would be responsible for maintaining safe sites for parking and sustaining a smooth flow of traffic during peak hours. However, trade unions from Barkat Market insisted that their business was legal as their stands were on the premises of private plazas. They added that CDGL had no right to take over privately-owned parking spaces. Legally, commercial properties are required to ensure proper parking spaces for free parking. The owners of such properties auction contracts for parking stands in violation of rules and regulations.
OGRA summoned for altering LPG prices LAHORE STAff reporT
The Lahore High Court on Thursday issued notice to Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) for December 18 on an application against change in the prices of LPG. The single bench comprising Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan passed the orders on a civil miscellaneous application filed by Petroleum Gas Company and three others in a pending matter against LPG Policy 2012.
Earlier, the petitioner’s counsel submitted that the respondent’s council had told the court on November 26 during the hearing of the case against LPG Policy 2012 that OGRA did not intend to make any changes in the prices of LPG However, OGRA had violated its commitment and had issued a notification on December 8 for reduction of LPG prices, the counsel added. He said the step was taken without consulting the marketing companies and it amounted to civil contempt, also praying to the court to set the said notification aside. The court then issued a notice to OGRA for December 18.
Prosecutor General Oﬃce employees go on strike
LAHORE STAff reporT
The employees of the Prosecutor
General Office on Thursday announced a strike demanding better salaries which is fair to the “tough” work that is demanded of them.
The office-bearers of the Employees’ Union in a meeting decided to go on a strike over the alleged indifference shown by the department’s senior officials to fulfill their demands. The workers stopped work, left their offices and held a sit-in in front of the Prosecution Department. They were carrying banners and placards and raised slogans against their department seniors. Addressing the crowd, the officebearers said the seniors have been informed about the longstanding demands but in vain. They said the workers observe strict and long office hours but were not being compensated like their colleagues in other departments. “The employees are living a handto-mouth life and will continue the strike until their demands are met,” APCA president Malik Sadaqat said.
man milks friends by adding drugs to milk! LAHORE: A man on Friday was accused of giving spurious milk to 11 co-workers. According to details, the man, identified as Riaz, robbed mobile phones and cash after his co-workers fell unconscious upon consuming the milk. The victims were shifted to the nearest hospital for first aid. In another report, the police arrested four suspected members of robbery gang named Akram, Naeem, Imran and Majid from the area of Misri-Shah. According to police sources, the accused were involved in stealing batteries installed in the mobile companies’ towers. The police seized dozens of batteries worth millions from their possession. In another raid, police arrested 5 suspected criminals from the area of Sabzazar, and recovered cars, motorbikes and weapons from their possession. STAff reporT
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Sahrir-e-Kharma enters second phase LAHORE: An international conference on calligraphy titled Sarir-e-Khama: the Art of the Pen organised by the College of Art and Design of the University of the Punjab entered its second phase on Thursday. At least 50 students, teachers and calligraphers of this genre attended a workshop themed Qalam styles where Pakistani calligrapher Irfan Qureshi presented his paper. Later, the Iraqi calligrapher Salahuddin Shezad demonstrated his skills in Arabic styles of writing. A number of professional calligraphers from Pakistan also attended this workshop for their international experience regarding this genre. Many research scholars and students of the college and from other institutions were also present at the workshop, which will continue till December 15. STAff reporT
lesCo conducts crackdown against electricity theft LAHORE: Lahore Electricity Supply Company (LESCO) Chief Executive Officer Muhammad Saleem on Thursday ordered a crackdown on electricity theft. The operation was conducted under the supervision of Superintendent Engineer Mehboob Alaam Bhatti. Dozens of people were caught stealing electricity across the city. LESCO officials said they seized meters and recovered Rs 2,700,000. S TA f f r e p o rT
‘Punjab govt has broken all records of bad governance’ LAHORE: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Arshad Ali Bhatti on Thursday said that the Punjab government had broken all records of poor governance in the province, adding that he was sure Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) would face defeat in the upcoming general elections. Addressing a party meeting at Shahdara, he said that there were no hurdles facing PPP for the general elections and that it would soon create a government in Punjab as well as the federation. The PPP leader added that people would reject the PML-N in the elections due to its anti-people policies in the province. He said the PPP was the only party that had deep roots in the people of the country, adding that the people trusted PPP and would show faith in PPP’s governance in the next election as well. STAff reporT
restaurant catches fire on mm alam road LAHORE: A worker was injured while valuables worth thousands of rupees were reduced to ashes when a fire broke out in a kitchen of a local restaurant on MM Alam Road on Thursday. Rescue 1122 fire service reached the spot and controlled the fire. A worker, Waris Ali (25), received serious burns and was shifted to the Mayo Hospital. The cause of the fire could not be ascertained, Rescue 1122 spokesman said. STAff reporT
Friday, 14 December, 2012
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Lahore 07 wEAtHER UPDAtES
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CItY DIRECtORY EMERGENCY HElP RESCUE EDHI CONtROl MOtORwAY POlICE POlICE GOvERNOR’S HOUSE CHIEF MINIStER’S HOUSE FIRE BRIGADE BOMB DISPOSAl MCl COMPlAINtS lAHORE wAStE DISPOSAl
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HOSPItAlS MID CItY 37573382-3 SERvICES 99203402-11 MAYO 99211100-9 GENERAl 35810892-8 SHEIKH zAID 35865731 SIR GANGA RAM 99200572 UCH 35763573-5 IttEFAq 35881981-85 CMH 366996168-72 SHOUKAt KHANUM 35945100 JINNAH 111-809-809 ADIl (DEFENCE) 36667275 CHIlDREN’S 99230901-3 DEFENCE NAtIONAl HOSPItAl 111-17-18-19
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HERE are more than 1.6 million Afghan refugees registered in Pakistan and a recent United Nations survey found that roughly 80 percent have no intention of returning to Afghanistan, according to a report According to the survey, most Afghan families living in Pakistan feel Afghanistan is just not safe enough to go back home. Others cited the inability to earn a living and the lack of anywhere to live in their native country. Pakistani Minister for States and Frontier Regions Shaukat Ullah acknowledges the challenges involved in convincing refugees to return to their country after decades of living in Pakistan. “After 32 years if a person is returning from a country where he has been born and he is going to a country like Afghanistan they will think 100 times,” Ullah says. Since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in the 1990s, Pakistan has hosted one of the largest refugee populations in the world. Some 3.8 million refugees have crossed back over the border into Afghanistan. The UNHCR has offered plastic buck-
ets, soap, blankets, cash, and a one-way ticket for those still living in Pakistan, and succeeded in encouraging another 72,000 people to return to Afghanistan this year. But there are still 1.6 million official Afghan refugees in Pakistan. UNHCR representative Neill Wright says that organization is waiting to hear what Pakistan has planned for these refugees after the December 31 deadline. “I know that the government is very actively engaged in considering what its policy will be in terms of the management of Afghan refugees in 2013, and in terms of supporting this continued partnership that we have with Afghanistan over voluntary repatriation, and I look forward to hearing what that strategy will be,” Wright says. Responding to concerns that there will be another wave of refugees from Afghanistan after international combat forces leave the country in 2014, Wright says contingency plans are under consideration. “This is clearly an issue that I am involved in discussions with many people, senior politicians, people in Afghanistan, members of the international community,” Wright says. “Of course, when you do contingency planning, you look at a worst case scenario and you look at a
best case scenario, and if you are sensible you will probably look at something in the middle.” He declines to give any further details. Many Afghan refugees live in very poor conditions in Pakistan. According to the UNHCR, less than one-quarter of them work, and almost three-quarters of Afghan children are not going to school. “Some people think that the security situation has improved in Afghanistan, but they’re wrong,” said Malak Nader, who represents 500 families in the Jalala refugee camp on the outskirts of Mardan, a farming town in northwestern Pakistan. “If we support the government, the Taliban will come the next day and slit our throats and if we support the Taliban, the coalition forces will come and bomb us,” the truck driver said. More than five million Afghans fled their homeland for Pakistan in the early 1980s, soon after Soviet troops invaded Afghanistan.Since the 2001 US-led invasion brought down the Taliban regime, 3.8 million have returned, leaving 1.6 million behind, most born and brought up in Pakistan.But as the 2014 deadline nears for NATO combat troops to leave Afghanistan, they are under increasing pressure from Pakistan to leave.
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DAtE: MARCH 31 tO DECEMBER 29, 2012 vENUE: HASt-O-NEESt CENtRE, lAHORE Hast-o-Neest Centre for traditional Art & Culture Invites you to its Monthly Saturday Sitting with Janab Ahmed Javed Sahib (Director, Iqbal Academy Pakistan) on 100 Ghazals of Maulana Rumi 3:30 to 5:00 pm, last Saturday of every month
DAtE: APRIl 01 tO DECEMBER 30, 2012 vENUE: FAIz GHAR, lAHORE A unique blend of Yoga, Meditation, Neuro-linguistic Programming, Sufism & more. Achieve self-insight, mind-body harmony & better health. Yoga Master Shamshad Haider
DAtE: NOv 22 - DEC 10, 2012 vENUE: lAHORE MUSEUM An Exhibition honouring the College of Art and Design, University of the Punjab, and covering landscapes, cityscapes and other related conceptual paintings.
Friday, 14 December, 2012
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08 News Kate royal hoax: Australian watchdog launches enquiry SyDnEy: The Australian media watchdog has launched a formal enquiry into the hoax call to the London hospital where the Duchess of Cambridge was being treated. Nurse Jacintha Saldanha was found dead on Friday, three days after taking the call from an Australian radio station. The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) will focus on the 2DayFM licence holder and not directly on the presenters who made the call. It will be examining if “broadcasting obligations” were breached. On Wednesday, speaking in the Commons, UK Prime Minister David Cameron called Mrs Saldanha’s death a “complete tragedy” and said lessons needed to be learnt. She had taken a call from two presenters, who were pretending to be the Queen and Prince Charles, at the King Edward VII’s Hospital, where the duchess was being treated for severe morning sickness. ACMA said its investigation would look at the compliance of 2DayFM’s licensee, Today FM Sydney Pty Ltd, with its licence conditions and the Commercial Radio Codes of Practice. ACMA chairman Chris Chapman said: “The ACMA’s formal regulatory relationship is always with the relevant licensee, and not the presenters of any broadcast in question. The ACMA will be examining whether the licensee has complied with its broadcasting obligations.” AGeNCIeS
China aircraft ‘intrudes into Japanese airspace’ BEIjIng: A Chinese state-owned aircraft has flown over islands at the centre of a dispute between Japan and China, the Japanese defence ministry says. A spokesperson for the ministry confirmed media reports that a fixed wing plane from the Chinese Maritime Surveillance agency was the first that the Japanese military had ever recorded as intruding into its airspace without prior permission. China’s foreign ministry termed Wednesday’s surveillance flight “completely normal”. The Japanese airforce scrambled eight F-15 fighter jets and an E-2C early warning aircraft to respond to the perceived threat, the defence ministry said. The Chinese plane intruded into Japanese airspace at 11:06am local time (02:06 GMT) over the Japanese administered Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura said. Tokyo immediately lodged a protest with Beijing over the matter, Fujimura said. The Chinese plane had left the area before the F-15s arrived, he added. The islands are also claimed by China and Taiwan, where they are known as the Diaoyutai and Tiaoyutai, respectively. Earlier in the day, four Chinese surveillance ships also entered what Japan called its territorial waters around the islands, the Japan Coast Guard said.Japan’s purchase of four of the islands in September from a private owner set off antiJapan protests in dozens of Chinese cities and prompted a boycott of Japanese products. AGeNCIeS
UN inspectors in Iran for N-talks TEHRAn: Inspectors from the UN’s nuclear agency have arrived in Tehran in an attempt to seal a deal to ease international concerns regarding the country’s disputed nuclear programme, state media reports. Thursday’s talks in Tehran are the first between the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Iran since August this year. The ISNA news agency said the seven-member IAEA delegation, headed by Deputy Director General Herman Nackaerts, would meet Iranian nuclear officials behind closed doors during the one-day stop in the capital. The IAEA says it is seeking to reach agreement with Iran on a “structured approach” to resolve outstanding concerns, and to obtain its inspectors broader access to Iran’s nuclear sites and people working in the programme. The inspectors also want to inspect Parchin, a restricted military complex near Tehran, where the IAEA suspects experiments with explosives capable of triggering a nuclear weapon may have been carried out. “We also hope that Iran will allow us to go the site of Parchin, and if Iran would grant us access we would welcome that chance and we are ready to go,” Nackaerts told reporters at Vienna airport on Wednesday. ISNA, however, reported that “no inspection or visit” would take place “for now”. It did not source the information. One Vienna diplomat said that the team in Tehran is larger than in past visits in February and in May, and now included two “technical experts” who could conduct verification work at Parchin - if invited to do so. AGeNCIeS
belfAST, NorTHerN IrelAND: protesters hold the union flag as they block Donegall road amid renewed tensions after city councillors voted to stop flying the british flag all year. AGeNCIeS
Several killed in Syria bomb attack DAMASCUS
T least 16 people have been killed and more than 25 wounded, including women and children, after a car bomb exploded in Qatana, a town 25km southwest of Damascus, Syrian state media reports. The SANA news agency reported that seven children were among the dead after Thursday’s explosion. The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an anti-government rights group, earlier reported that a large explosion had occurred outside an army housing complex in the town. It confirmed that the dead were civilians, and said that at least seven children and two women were among those killed. Fighting was also taking place in various suburbs of Damascus between government troops and rebels seeking the overthrow of President Bashar al-Assad, anti-government activists said. Fighting was also taking place in various suburbs of Damascus between government troops and rebels seeking the overthrow of President Bashar al-Assad, anti-government activists said.
Clashes in Hebron over palestinian killing TEL AvIv AGeNCIeS
Five people have been injured in clashes between Palestinian youths and Israeli soldiers in the West Bank city of Hebron, after a Palestinian teenager was shot by Israeli soldiers on Wednesday. Dozens of Palestinian youths were reported to have thrown stones and bottles at the soldiers early on Thursday morning, while Associated Press news agency reported that the Israeli soldiers had responded by firing tear gas on the youths. Five Palestinians were hospitalised after the clashes, reported Ma’an News Agency. Thursday’s clashes came ahead of the funeral
Russia says opposition may win MOScOW: Russia’s deputy foreign minister, meanwhile, said on Thursday that the Syrian president’s hold on power was loosening, and that the opposition may succeed in its aim of toppling his government. The remarks by Mikhail Bogdanov to the ITAR-TASS news agency are the first acknowledgement by a Russian official that the Syrian president could lose what has turned into a civil war. “As for preparing for victory by the opposition, this, of course, cannot be excluded,” Bogdanov said. “You need to look the facts in the eyes - the government regime is losing more and more control over a large part of the country’s territory.” Russia has strongly opposed any foreign intervention in the Syrian crisis, saying that the conflict is an internal issue. Bogdanov repeated Russia’s call for a compromise, saying it would take the opposition a long time to defeat the regime and the country would suffer heavy casualties. “The fighting will become even more intense, and you will lose tens of thousands and, perhaps, hundreds of thousands of people,” he said. “If such a price for the ouster of the president seems acceptable to you, what can we do? We, of course, consider it absolutely unacceptable.” AGeNCIeS “The battles are raging in the suburban areas of Daraya, Arbeen, Harasta,” said Haytham alAbdullah, a Syrian activist based in Damascus. “Jets are using TNT barrel bombs to strike the opposition rebel bases in these areas,” he told the DPA news agency. US officials said on Wednesday that alAssad’s government had begun using Scud mis-
siles and barrel bombs against rebels. An upsurge in attacks by rebels on state institutions in Damascus has prompted authorities to tighten security around vital facilities, say activists. The measure comes a day after three blasts targeted the interior ministry, killing at least nine people, activists said.
for 17-year-old Palestinian, Muhammad Ziad Awad Salaymah, who was shot dead by an Israeli policewoman at a checkpoint in the city on Wednesday, for allegedly carrying a gun which later turned out to be “fake”. Some news agencies reported that Salaymah had been shot up to six times. Micky Rosenfeld, a spokesman for Israeli police, said on Wednesday that an initial investigation indicated “[Salaymah] pulled a fake pistol. They [troops at the scene] thought it was real.” Palestinians, however, said Salaymah was unarmed, and had failed to heed orders to halt at a military checkpoint because he was hard of hearing. Protests against the shooting broke out in the Old City on Wednesday night, with Israeli forces using tear gas and live ammunition to quell the demonstrations. “They have orders to shoot with live bullets now,” a resident of Hebron told Al Jazeera on Wednesday. Tensions were still high on Thursday in the southern West Bank city.
Bangladesh opposition protests turn violent DHAKA AGeNCIeS
Explosions and clashes have marked an opposition protest in the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka, where demonstrators are calling for an election-time caretaker administration to be restored. Schools and businesses were closed in Dhaka and other major cities on Thursday, during an eight-hour general strike. Nationwide transportation was largely disrupted during the second opposition strike this week.
Friday, 14 December, 2012
Witnesses and local media reported that riot police had fought pitched battles with opposition activists in parts of Dhaka. It was not immediately clear if there were any injuries in the violence. Those enforcing the strike torched or smashed several vehicles belonging to those who were not observing the shutdown, police said. Local media also reported that dozens had been detained in major cities. A coalition of 18 opposition parties was enforcing the strike to demand that the caretaker government be restored before the next national elec-
tions due in 2014. The government of Sheikh Hasina, the prime minister, last year scrapped the 15-year-old caretaker government system during elections following a Supreme Court ruling that the constitution allows only popularly elected governments. Opposition parties fear the election will be rigged if the current party remains in power. The protest is led by the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party of former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia. Jamaat-e-Islami, the country’s largest Islamic party and the main part-
ner of Zia’s party, has been demanding the release of nine of its leaders facing charges of crimes against humanity. Two other leaders from Zia’s party face similar charges and are now jailed. Zia has criticised the trial, calling it politically motivated. Her party has also demanded the release of a senior leader who was arrested on charges of instigating violence earlier this week. Jamaat-eIslami leaders are accused of abetting the Pakistani army in killing and raping during the war. The party says the charges are aimed at weakening it.
Former thai PM charged with murder BANGKOK AGeNCIeS
Abhisit Vejjajiva, the former prime minister of Thailand, has been charged with murder over the death of a civilian during a crackdown on anti-government rallies two years ago, his party says. Abhisit, along with then-deputy Suthep Thaugsuban, was formally charged at Bangkok’s Department of Special Investigation (DSI) on Thursday. They are the first officials to face a court over Thailand’s worst political violence in decades. “The DSI has charged Abhisit and Suthep on section 288, which is murder. They both denied the charge,” Thavorn Senniem, a senior Democrat Party lawmaker, told AFP. Hundreds of riot police were deployed to guard the building, as about 20 supporters carrying roses and dozens of protesters holding pictures of those killed during the crisis watched the former leader arrive. At least 90 people were killed and nearly 1,900 wounded in a series of street clashes between “Red Shirt” protesters and security forces. The crisis culminated in a deadly army operation in 2010 to break up the demonstrations. The charge against Abhisit, who was prime minister at the time, relates to the fatal shooting of taxi driver Phan Kamkong. Tarit Pengdith, the chief of the DSI, announced the move last Thursday, saying that it was prompted by a court ruling in September that Phan was shot by troops.
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News 09 India holds back Rehman Malik’s request to meet Sonia
peSHAwAr: people buy rain coats and umbrellas from a vendor during the first winter in the provincial capital on Thursday. INP
Political rallies becoming dance of death for KP parties g
Almost all major political parties have been victims of terror attacks g taliban upon the heels of campaigning political leaders PESHAWAR SAJJAD AlI
ITH the general election only months away, holding political campaigns has become difficult for almost all political forces in the militancy-hit Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The leaderships and workers of almost every political party, including the Awami National Party (ANP), Jamaat-eIslami (JI), Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazal (JUI-F), Aftab Sherpao’s Qaumi Watan Party and Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid have been targeted by suicide bombers. The ANP has remained on top of the militants’ target list, as it was the only party that not only adopted a clear stance on militancy, but took military action in Malakand Division, FR Peshawar and adjacent areas of the Peshawar district. The ANP always demanded military action against militants in the Tribal Areas, resulting in frequent terrorist attacks on its members.
ANP lost two MPAs, Alamzeb from Peshawar and Dr Shamsher from Swat in 2009. In October 2008, party chief Asfandayr Wali Khan escaped a suicide attack on eid. Similarly, Chief Minister Amir Haider Khan Hoti, Senior Minister Bashir Ahmad Bilour, Afzal Khan Lala, Minister for Information Main Ifitkhar Hussain, Afrasiab Khattak, Sardar Hussain Babak, Deputy Speaker Khushdil Khan, MPA Aurangzaib Khan and Alamgir Khalil have been caught in militant attacks. Besides, the party has lost dozens of its local leaders, including nazims, and more than five hundred workers. Other parties have also been on the hit list of militants, especially QWP’s Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao. He and his son escaped a suicide attack on March 3 this year in Kangra village in his native Charsadda district. Sherpao was twice targeted earlier as well. Although leaders and workers of other parties have been also targeted by militants, political and security experts believe it will be more difficult for the ANP to go to the public as long as the TTP existed and ANP stood alone
against the militants. Only on Tuesday, militants targeted an ANP public meeting in Charsadda, injuring two police personnel and eight activists. But despite the attack, ANP chief Asfandyar Wali Khan and Chief Minister Hoti attend the gathering and addressed workers. A day after the blast, TTP spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan said the attack was just the beginning and they would carry out more attacks on secular political parties like the ANP and MQM. He warned the people not to attend rallies and public gathering organised by these parties, as attacks would be intensified on political gatherings of the two parties. In Karachi, the MQM has a clear stance on the presence of Taliban in Karachi and wants their elimination. But still, militants have also attacked religious-political forces in the province. Maulana Fazlur Rehman was attacked twice, once in Swabi and then in Mardan in March 2011. Similarly in February, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf also fell victim when its public rally was attacked in Swabi.
A police van on duty was targeted at Shewa after PTI chief Imran Khan left the venue of the public meeting. Amir Muqam, then the provincial president of PML-Q, also escaped suicide attacks twice. Former JI chief Qazi Hussain Ahmed also escaped an attempt on his life on November 19, when a female suicide bomber blew herself near his convoy in Haleemzai tehsil of Mohmand Agency. But despite continued attacks on its leaders, the ANP has been among the public and organising various meetings. Its leadership is committed to hold public rallies and carry out public political campaigning for next election. Responding to TTP warnings, Mian Iftiakhar Hussain said the attacks were an attempt to demoralise the party, but they terrorists could not stop them from campaigning to mobilise people for the general election. “Everyone knows well that the ANP has always raised voice against the militants and its leaders and workers never bow their heads to them, nor will be bow down in the future,” said Bashir Ahamd Bilour, ANP’s Senior Minister in KP.
nEW DELHI: India has set aside Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik’s request for an appointment with Congress President Sonia Gandhi, with the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) officials viewing it as “out of line” with protocol, Indian media reported on Thursday. However, a confirmation is still awaited on his requests for a meeting with Indian PM Manmohan Singh and Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj. Officials in the Indian government said the MEA decided against even forwarding Malik’s request to the Congress president’s office. Though a meeting with the PM was yet to be scheduled, sources indicated that it may be a mere courtesy call. Incidentally, Malik has not sought a visit to either Ajmer Sharief or Agra during his visit from December 14 to 16. Malik had, during his talks with Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde in Rome, expressed his desire to visit the Ajmer shrine and Taj Mahal. Sources indicated that the Pakistani side may be wary of negative publicity over Malik’s trip to tourist destinations in India, when no credible action had been taken against 26/11 perpetrators based in Pakistan. Sources, however, said, a visit to Agra, if sought later, could be arranged at a short notice. Per Malik’s itinerary, he will arrive at around 2pm on December 14 with a 15-member delegation. Bilateral talks with Shinde are tentatively scheduled for 5pm, after which they are likely to release a joint statement, possibly at a joint press conference around 7pm. The presser will be followed by an official dinner in Malik’s honour. An MHA official, however, indicated that there was a possibility of bilateral talks spilling over to December 15 as well. The new IndoPakistan visa regime will be operationalised during Malik’s visit. The bilateral talks will cover a host of issues like action in the 26/11 case by Islamabad, proposal for an MHA visit to Pakistan and pending red-corner notices. Malik may meet the PM and Swaraj on December 15. oNlINe
Friday, 14 December, 2012
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10 Comment Dedicated to the legacy of the late Hameed Nizami
Navigating a minefield How the eC can make the elections rally credible
Editor Lahore – Ph: 042-36375963-5 Fax: 042-32535230 Karachi – Ph: 021-35381208-9 Fax: 021-35381208 Islamabad – Ph: 051-2287414-6 Fax: 051-2287417 Web: www.pakistantoday.com.pk Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
NAB and our MPs The lady doth protest too much
ssues of governance continue to haunt Pakistan. The PIA planes fail to take off. The railways are no more functional. The steel mills continue to financially bleed the country. Law and order remains beyond control in Karachi. Terrorists can enter the GHQ and Mehran base. The construction plans of the Lahore rapid transport system continue to change with the resulting delay becoming a source of harassment to the commuters in the city. Last month, the PAC was told that billions of rupees of funds of the ministry of defence production were kept in private accounts instead of state accounts. There is endemic corruption in government departments, be they civil or military, federal or provincial. It surprised few, therefore, when a NAB spokesman claimed that corruption and embezzlement of the public exchequer was resulting in theft of Rs 6 billion to Rs 7 billion on a daily basis. He also revealed that since March this year, 173 projects at federal and provincial levels, with a financial impact of Rs 1.475 trillion, were put to scrutiny by NAB. He has promised that NAB would share details with the media today. The over-reaction to the statement on the part of some of the ministers was thus uncalled for. They should have waited for the details to come. On the other hand, the cabinet members should have done well to ponder over a report by the Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives and the Centre for Investigative Reporting in Pakistan, which was made public on Wednesday. The well-researched report maintains that only 126 of the country’s 446 members of the National Assembly filed annual income tax returns in 2011. The ratio in the case of the members of the Senate was no better. There are quite a few parliamentarians who are still not registered as taxpayers. Those who didn’t pay taxes include important federal ministers, while out of 20 cabinet ministers who did pay, most made only negligible contributions. The fact that contesting NA elections requires Rs 20-30 million has led the NA to be dubbed as a millionaires’ club. The luxurious lifestyle maintained by most parliamentarians is not at all in consonance with the finding of the report. The report raises questions about the dedication of top lawmakers to enforcing the tax laws they are supposed to oversee. Pakistan’s 10.2 tax-to-GDP ratio is one of the world’s lowest. After the 2010 NFC Award which has raised the share of the provinces in the divisible pool, it would not remain possible to run the federation unless all taxable incomes are brought under the tax net. Unless the parliamentarians pay taxes in full, it would be difficult to persuade the business community, big landlords and civil and military bureaucrats to respect the tax laws. As Chaucer put it, if gold rusts, what can poor iron do?
By Aziz-ud-Din Ahmad
he EC faces challenges from three important stakeholders in the system who have power to manipulate the elections to get the results of their choice. The first is the military which has ruled for nearly half of the country’s history directly, and the rest of the time as an offstage actor. The SC has this time banned all election cells and has declared that the agencies have no role in politics. One hopes the order is carried out in letter and spirit. Whether it will be will become clear in days to come. To rule from behind, those who matter have ceased to put all eggs in one basket. This after they found that the parties created, nourished and launched by them invariably started raising dissenting voices getting the people’s mandate. Now they rely more on split mandates, hung parliaments and week governments. The association of the army with election related activity has been necessitated because of the weakness of the civilian institutions, which is, in turn, the outcome of long military rule. The EC relies that while the association may be necessary, it could turn out to be a double-edged sword and has to be kept under watch. The second powerful stakeholders are parties in power. Every ruling party or coalition wants to have a second tenure. Even military rulers who had been in power for ten years or more invariably considered it too short a period. The PPP thinks it had taken bitter decisions at the expense of its political reputation. Why should the opponents reap the benefits that it thinks are about to follow? The PML-N too has the same mindset. It would not like to leave before the people see the wonders of the new rapid transport system, Danish Schools and while the laptops are still functional.
Another turning point will pakistan hockey forget to turn… again?
By Kunwar Khuldune Shahid
akistan’s third-place finish at the Champions Trophy (CT) in Australia isn’t exactly something that would inspire the screenplay of a big budget sports film. It isn’t likely to feature in the year ending top 10 sporting achievements either or any magazine’s top moments list for 2012. And for a team that has such an inflated trophy cabinet – featuring a record four World Cups and three Olympic gold medals – a seventh bronze medal in a tournament that has seen the side vanquish three gold and six silver medals, is hardly the most glittering of accolades. However, if one puts the national hockey team’s podium finish in Melbourne into context, this is quite possibly Pakistan hockey’s brightest moment for nearly a decade and a half. The team has won three other CT bronze medals since 1998’s silver in La-
Friday, 14 December, 2012
hore, in 2002, 2003 and 2004; all three after beating India in the bronze medal match by a single goal, just like on Sunday. And then there was that Asian Games gold medal in Guangzhou in 2010 as well. However, none of those triumphs were as significant as this one in Melbourne can turn out to be. Following 1994, the last time Pakistan won a gold medal at a global event – the World Cup in Sydney and the CT in Lahore –, Pakistan hockey has been traversing constant decline. And every time the freefall seems like decelerating, you sense there’s a turning point around the corner. Reaching the semifinals in Sydney Olympics 2000 was touted as a turning point; each of the three CT bronze medals between 2002 and 2004 were peddled as a turning point; the gold medal in Guangzhou was supposed to be a turning point and beating Australia for the first time in seven years last year was also flaunted as a turning point. Pakistan hockey hasn’t been devoid of turning points ever since their graph took a nosedive, but every time they tend to locate one, they simply forget to turn. There are a number of reasons why the podium finish in Melbourne looks more promising than the aforementioned crossroads. For starters, the team of 2002-04 had a backbone of players at their peak. The likes of Sohail Abbas, Waseem Ahmed, Rehan Butt, Zeeshan Ashraf, Dilawar Hussain and Muhammad Saqlain were at their
prime – there or thereabouts – and this is quite possibly the best that they could’ve accomplished. While the gold medal Guangzhou was a bit of a false dawn as well, owing to the fall of Asian hockey and the resulting lack of competition. The current squad has a youthful spine who can build on their success in Melbourne and finally turn the protracted corner. One can only imagine the impact of winning the bronze medal on the likes of Mohammed Rizwan Sr – who pulled Pakistan’s strings in the attacking third and was recognised as one of the best young players of the tournament – and of beating the world’s top ranked side and Olympic champions Germany in the quarterfinals. Granted, the German side rested a lot of their key players for the Champions Trophy but such has been the dearth of notable scalps for Pakistan hockey over the past decade or so, that their quarterfinal victory arguably is the biggest triumph since their 2-0 must-win triumph over Netherlands in their Olympic pool match in 2000, which helped them qualify for the semis – the last time the national side made the final four in either the Olympics or the World Cup. Another positive has been Shakeel Abbasi’s resurgence towards being one of the best players in the world today. His efforts were duly recognised as the talismanic forward who turned the game on its head with his brace in the quarterfinals and ran the show against India, and
The PPP faces challenge in Sindh, its traditional stronghold from a motley of forces that include a group of influential landlords and nationalist parties. There were already complaints of the use of force by the party in power during the latest by-elections. The PML-N has to contend in Punjab which it considers its fief against the PPP-PML-Q alliance on one hand and Imran Khan’s PTI on the other. The parties in power have the means to influence the elections. The can use the civil bureaucracy, particularly the police. Important government departments from where the manpower needed to conduct the elections is recruited are manned by their blue eyed boys, be it Punjab, Sindh, KP or Balochistan. Even if the top officials are shifted for the election period, the staff below is likely to act as directed by the officers who have finally to write their reports. The ruling parties have enough money at their disposal. Enough spending is already taking place with an eye on the elections. One cannot object to development projects which benefit the people. What gives these parties an undue advantage is also the diversion of funds to the parliamentarians loyal to them. The money given as development grants is likely to be used by their candidates for setting up offices, hiring polling agents, whole time workers and providing transport to voters. The third force to be dealt with are the rural elite and urban money bags. Irrespective of whether they are with the ruling party or the opposition, they have enough money and muscle power at their command. They have developed over the decades an effective machinery to win the elections. They can also influence the lower sections of bureaucracy helping in the conduct of elections control. Unless the EC devises ways to keep those trying to influence the outcome of the elections under control, the election may not be considered altogether free and fair. People have high expectations from the EC, the first ever independent and powerful commission in the country’s history. Also from the CEC who is widely seen to be a man of integrity. The elections in Balochistan have not only to be fair and free but also seen by all and sundry as such. If this fails to happen, the nationalist parties may abandon parliamentary politics for good. Any attempt to subvert the elections under a ‘grand scheme’ would exacerbate the secessionist
movement. By joining hands with the powerful sardars, the establishment could easily bring back the docile but incompetent and corrupt government to power. But for the country this would be catastrophic. Whatever little hope people in the province still have from democracy would evaporate. And what about Karachi, the economic and trade hub and the city with the sole functioning port of the country? The EC had claimed that it had prepared foolproof voters’ lists. It appears now that a sizeable number of voters from Karachi were allocated polling stations not in the city where they had been living for 10-15 years but in the interior of Sindh or KP and Punjab, against their wishes. The issue had first been raised by Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) when the door-to-door verification was in progress. It complained that the process had been hijacked by MQM which had taken all forms from the enumerators to fill them as it wanted. But the objection was ignored. This has brought the credibility of the Election Commissioner Sindh to question. A number of political parties have called for his removal. This is by no means an auspicious start. The Supreme Court had ordered the EC on December 5 to conduct verification of voters’ lists with the help and assistance of Pakistan Army and the FC. As things stand, the army has yet to agree to take part in the exercise while 10,000 enumerators needed to conduct the exercise are yet to be recruited. Sindh provincial election commissioner has also yet to present a plan for the verification of voters in 13,000 census blocks in the city. The outcome of the elections in Karachi will remain suspect till the issue of the gerrymandering of the constituencies under Musharraf with an aim to benefit the MQM is resolved. This can only be done through a fresh delimitation of the constituencies. While the EC has promised to look into the demand for delimitation, the MQM is deadly set against any attempt of the sort for obvious reasons. Among other things, the MQM argues that unless a new census has taken place, it would be a violation of the constitution to redesign the constituencies. There are signs that delimitation may not be undertaken before the elections. It remains to be seen how the EC resolves the issue to make the elections rally credible.
was named the Player of the Tournament in Melbourne– the first time a Pakistani has won the award at a major hockey tournament since Shahbaz Ahmed Sr won it in 1994, following the World Cup triumph in Sydney. Owing to Sohail Abbas’ absence, another notable difference in Pakistan’s play in Melbourne has been shunning their nearly decade-and-a-half old strategy of opting to win a penalty corner in the opposition D every time they penetrate the attacking third, and actually looking to create goal scoring opportunities. One could argue that in terms of creation of chances Pakistan was right up there with the likes of Australia and Netherlands, but their rather lacklustre finishing – possibly the biggest chink in the armour – let them down in crucial moments. Notable examples of missing gilt-edged opportunities were found in their resilient, but profligate, performance in the second half against Australia, and more crucially in their 5-2 defeat at the hands of Netherlands in the semifinal where the only difference between the sides – at least in the attacking play – was the finishing, despite the convincing margin of defeat. And so there is a lot of promise in the current lot that can be groomed to hopefully being world-beaters in the future. The shadow of the glorious past and the ensuing inflated expectations haunted the previous generation of players, as Pakistan hockey regularly became the victim of its own successes. It’ll take an Olympic or World Cup gold for that shadow to be cleared, but the pressure and scrutiny seems to be gradually easing as the current crop look like being given a chance to steadily climb up the pecking order in world hockey – a luxury, the pre-
vious generation did not have. Being a more global sport than cricket, hockey needs a lot more coverage in Pakistan, something that cricket being a more commercialised sport seems to hog somewhat unfairly – more people followed the domestic T20 event in Lahore than the Champions Trophy. And if one were to factor in international sports, Manchester United’s 3-2 win over Manchester City on Sunday had more viewers in Pakistan than the hockey side’s 3-2 win over India the same day. More sports fans in the country know about Lionel Messi’s record-breaking brace against Real Betis than Shakeel Abbasi’s historic brace against Germany, and I’m pretty sure more sports lovers in Pakistan could name the four tennis major winners from 2012 or the F1 world champion than those who’d be able to tell who the captain of Pakistan hockey side is. The significance of the Champions Trophy bronze medal can be gauged by Pakistan’s jump in FIH rankings from ninth to fifth. What this young side now needs is the attention and approbation that it deserves, and the patience of the supporters, who tend to open up history books to juxtapose the current performances with those that were conjured in the distant past. Pakistan hockey needs our support and acclaim, if we want it to finally turn the extended corner. Maybe then for every ten kids who want to be the next Shahid Afridi or the next Lionel Messi, you’d have one who’d want to be the next Shakeel Abbasi.
The writer is a former academic and a political analyst.
The writer is Editor, Business/City (Karachi), Pakistan Today. Email: email@example.com, Twitter: @khuldune
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Targeting Pakistan Is Transparency Int’l transparent? By S Rahman
oes the use of suffix ‘international’ confer the right on an organisation of Pakistani origin, like The Transparency International (TI), to launch a self-destruction campaign which, even if not proved right, possesses considerable potential of damaging the country’s image in an interdependent world? Obviously, every conscientious Pakistani will condemn TI’s self-ignominy campaign that is even otherwise based on perceptions and not on actual acts of corruption. Certainly, this doesn’t divest TI of its right to expose the wrongdoing in different sectors but it does make the people think and rethink about the excitement with which the TI projects the false image of Pakistan, as if taking pride in telling the world to rejoice Pakistan’s ‘rise’ to rank 33, from the previous 42 in the list of corrupt countries. This is what has been stated in the TI’s annual report over corruption in the year 2012 although this report in itself lacks authenticity. TI’s excitement is really disgusting and more embarrassing is the TI’s mechanised churning out of figures that just can’t be adjudged on existing, reasonable benchmarks. Some analysts rather believe that TI has developed the skill of creating imaginary figures since it knows well that precise, mathematical rebuttal of such figures is more difficult a task than even grudgingly swallowing such horrible allegations. This is tragic indeed. The entire country is eclipsed by such props and pretexts that are being used with a juggler’s finesse to tarnish the image of the targeted people, whether they are the government of the day or the political party in power or any other specific institution. TI reports are good examples of use of such props and pretexts. They know that by publicising huge figures of corruption, the people will believe the TI and the government will be technically unable to rebut it with exactly the same ‘confidence’ with which the TI fields or unleashes its data. And that makes the TI another legend of the century for this hero-hungry nation that has now developed the craze for creating he-
roes, ‘if there is none’, courtesy the persistent efforts of TI and some misled – and also misleading – segments of media. As a matter of fact, the TI report is in essence a perception index. It prepares reports, not on corruption but on perception of corruption whereas the PPP-led government is taking concrete steps to combat corruption. One example is that of Public Accounts Committee that comprises of vocal members of leading parties of the parliament and that does not spare anyone involved in corruption whatever his stature or privileges. If TI was seriously desirous of reforming the society or our officialdom, it would have collected concrete figures instead of generating junk studies and then handed them over to PAC since this Committee is not the government but a broad-based parliamentary body. Now coming to TI report, at one point it says that the rampant corruption in Pakistan has intensified as the country has entered into the election year, with both federal and provincial governments doling out tens of billions of rupees to their members of parliament (MPs) in the name of development projects to attract a large number of voters in the next elections. This allegation, though vague, is not far from reality but it can’t be described corruption. It may be called favouritism to some extent but the ultimate beneficiaries of such funding are the people of Pakistan who, in turn, get new roads, better infrastructure and other amenities and utilities like gas, electricity, water supply etc. Let us now ponder over the TI methodology vis-à-vis the so-called report on corruption. It was based on a survey by Gallup Pakistan (not related to Gallup Inc, headquartered in Washington DC, USA) that surveyed 2,500 Pakistani men and women adults. The questions asked were: “In the recent 12 months, did you or your family get a chance to contact any of the following institutions or not?” and second, “Did you feel compelled to pay a bribe?” The institutions’ number was 10 and included police, revenue, military, excise and taxation and education. But nobody asked why the sur-
veyed people felt compelled to pay a bribe and whether the bribe was actually accepted. And nobody seems to have considered that those people who had contact with institutions like the military might not want to tell a complete stranger who phoned them that they ‘felt compelled to pay a bribe’ and thought an institution like military was corrupt. With regard to the education department, does ‘tuition’ count as a bribe? How was this explained to the survey participants? It appears from this methodology that TI didn’t find 2,500 people who had contact with each institution among the ten institutions marked for the purpose. Furthermore, you can’t rank these institutions because the samples are completely different and the answers are ambiguous. You would be comparing apples to oranges. The government has rejected the Transparency International’s annual report in which facts have been twisted. According to the government officials concerned, millions of rupees have been recovered from the plunderers and state institutions are working hard to recover the money from the fraudulent people. Moreover, the PPP-led democratic government has volunteered to present itself for accountability by starting audits from its own tenure. As for TI’ stress on Auditor General’s report revealing corruption cases of about Rs 350 billion, the people who have carried indepth study of the audit department know well that the audit system has gradually degenerated into tracking of compliance of accounting and administrative procedures, some of which date back to the British period. In fact, there is no guarantee that the audit will unearth corruption because as a routine it targets procedural lapses like who approved the expenditure and who should have. Last but not the least, surveys conducted by other entities (other than TI) can be biased or based on misperceptions. TI has itself mentioned on its website that surveys are not conducted by TI and that it (TI) bases its reports on other sources. This ‘disclaimer’ is more than sufficient to expose the inherent flaws in the TI’s system and in its own transparency.
Editor’s mail 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.
the end of Arab Spring What’s happening in Egypt is not unexpected; going beyond mandate always results in such turmoil and polarisation of society. Someone has very rightly commented on this crisis that Muslim Brotherhood came to power due to Arab Spring, not Islamic Spring; therefore, they have to take all the segments of society along just those who serve the interests of religious parties. Apparently, Morsi has learned a lot from Pakistan’s hardliner army dictator Zia-ul-Haq who amended the constitution to fool the general public that after Islamisation of constitution, all of their day-to-day issues and problems would be solved. Zia also used the referendum technique to perpetuate his stay in power. It shall be noted that the Brotherhood won the election due to better discipline and a loyal political workforce; they got an upper edge in election due to indiscipline and divisions among liberal forcers. But that shall not mean that Brotherhood shall force their views on the whole population in the form of a controversial constitution. Has the draft constitution been debated by civil society and legislators in detail and a general agreement/consensus reached on this fundamental document? Answer to this question is a big No. Now Morsi wants to take a shortcut and push Brotherhood’s agenda through streets. It’s no good that people are chanting ‘erhal’ (leave) in Tahrir Square for a democratically elected president but at the same time he also needs to realise that he is not a dictator to enforce his will at gunpoint. It will be very unfortunate if this crisis gives an opportunity to army to make a comeback. One can only presume that better sense will prevail and the Brotherhood will not provide the golden chance to in-waiting generals to assert their authority – that would be the end of Arab Spring. MASOOD KHAN Jubail, Saudi Arabia
Malala Yousufzai? I am at a loss to understand the worldwide recognition and treatment given to Malala. And now her name has been nominated for Nobel Peace Prize and she will get that too. The President of Pakistan takes a special trip to Birmingham and then to Paris for Malala Seminar. She gets now ‘Daughter of Pakistan’ title. George Brown, apparently has no occupation after his retirement, is leaving no avenue to Malala-ise it. But somehow, I do not comprehend the achievements of Malala. She has been allegedly hit by a bullet by some un-
known characters. Those characters have not been apprehended and it remains a mystery whether she did get the bullet or not? This episode is so quick and so fast that a common man in the street asks what good Malala has done for him to also follow her path to fame and recognition by the government. Is Malala related to someone we do not know of? Did Malala write a piece of superb literature? Is Malala a hoax created for some other ulterior motive? I am sure she has not done anything extra-ordinary. Or at least, the architect of Malala saga has failed to highlight those marvelous things that Malala seemed to have done? Elections are near. This shaheed theory worked very effectively in 2008. Now in 2012, we do not have anyone to shaheed. Aseffa and Bakhtawar are too naïve and Bilawal is the only one left over half-Bhutto. Is Malala, a ‘nearly shaheed’, theory concocted to earn the a few more votes? AMJAD H MIRZA Lahore
Our breed of politicians The present lot of politicians is incorrigible to learn any lesson from their past mistakes and continue to tread the path of confrontation instead of reconciliation. Probably, this is due to the fact that with a few exceptions, most of them are products of martial law, as was boldly confessed by a former MNA in the previous National Assembly. He boldly declared on the floor of the House that they all were protégés of dictators. They supported one or the other martial law and as such no one was better than the other. He appealed to the lawmakers to forget each other’s mistakes and move forward to make Pakistan a truly democratic and progressive state. Recently, an MNA and a federal minister repeated the words of his predecessor. Alas, their words fell on deaf ears and politicians continue the practice of mudslinging and hate-mongering against each other. The truth is that after judicial execution of an elected prime minister, the dictator needed legitimacy and public moral support to continue his rule. He induced different political leaders in his regime. A new generation of politicians, mostly from the PML, was inducted into the mainstream politics by the generals. They were nurtured and groomed by the military and ruled the country from 1980 to 1988 in different capacities and guises. However, they could not introduce any structured political, economic, social, or legal reform except for sowing seeds of hatred, animosity, ethnic and religious divide in the country. Surprisingly, now they give sermons of democracy with authoritarian mindset and utterly autocratic behaviours. They take unilateral decisions without consulting their own party or their opponents. The culture of favouritism, entitlements, perks and privileges to friends and cronies is thriving. However, there is one noticeable change: they sing Jalib and while vehemently opposing army’s role in politics, they tend to seek similar help from the judiciary by filing frivolous petitions in the apex court. RAJA SHAFAATULLAH Islamabad
Friday, 14 December, 2012
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12 NEWS DESK
fter a relatively laid-back 2012, Deepika Padukone is heading towards a packed year, as her films release in 2013, starting with race 2 in January and then Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, Chennai express and Kochadaiyaan (in which she is opposite rajinikanth) lined up. Now, the actor is all set to make a record with her next, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s tentatively titled ram Leela, opposite ranvir Singh. a source said, “Deepika has spared about 140 days (that’s over four months) for the shoot of ram Leela. that’s the highest number of dates any female actor has ever given for a film. She’s putting in a lot of eﬀort for this project, and has been working round the clock (the shoot started in November).” Usually, actors work on a film for 60 to 90 days, wrapping up 4-5 films a year. asked why she has slotted so many days and the source said, “She hasn’t spared 140 days at a stretch. She will shoot it in parts, because she’s shooting for rohit Shetty’s Chennai express as well. She is doing that since it’s a massive production.”the source also added, “from workshops and preparations to dance rehearsals and the final shoot, it will require Deepika to put in a lot of eﬀort. and Sanjay always pays attention to the minutest of details, which is why Deepika also wants to give it her best. It’s a big film for her, and the role she’s playing will be an image makeover for her.” Meanwhile, Deepika is juggling dates between her shoots with Shah rukh Khan and ranvir. the source said, “She has been shooting backto-back. She has around five releases coming up.”
Sarah Palin’s son divorcing wife Britta after 18 months of marriage
T’S splitsville for Sarah Palin’s son Track and his wife Britta Hanson. Tying the knot in May 2011, commercial fisherman Track, 23, and his high school sweetheart filed joint divorce documents in an Alaska court, TMZ reports. In accordance with state law, their joint filing confirms they agree to property and custody terms as well as child support for their 1-year-old daughter, Kyla. The Palin family’s oldest son married nursing student Hanson in Hatcher Pass, Alaska, with both sets of parents present at their ceremony. “Our families couldn’t be happier!” the Palin and Hanson families said in a joint statement at the time. “These are two hard working, humble, active, studious young adults who grew up together. We’re tickled that after two decades of friendship we proudly witnessed their marriage, knowing their new life together will be blessed.” NewS DeSK
Jamie Foxx, from left, Samuel Jackson, Christoph waltz and Don Johnson attend the premiere of quentin tarantino’s “Django Unchained” this week in New York.
Golden Globes 2013 nominations: film & TV hounored by Hollywood foreign press No January 2013 shaadi for Rani and Aditya Chopra
CTReSS Rani Mukerji is not getting married to Aditya Chopra in January 2013. Her spokesperson maintained, “There is absolutely no truth to any of these wedding date stories at all. Rani has repeatedly stated that when she does get married, it will be a time for much happiness for herself and her family. Till then, she would like all conjecture to be put to rest.’’ Rani and Aditya came out in the open about their relationship at the chautha of Yash Chopra. But, the marriage reports lack credence. CoUrTeSy ToI
HE Golden Globes 2013 nominations are here. The Golden Globes ceremony, the 70th in the history of the awards show, will be held on Sunday January. 13, 2013. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler will co-host the Golden Globes awards. The Golden Globes are voted on by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Per the Globes website, the group was found during World War II. Last year, “The Artist” and “The Descendants” won Best Picture in, respectively, the Musical or Comedy and Drama categories. “Modern Family” and “Homeland” won those awards on the television side. This year, “Les Miserables,” “Argo,” “Lincoln,” “Silver Linings Playbook” and “Zero Dark Thirty” are expected to compete for big awards. “Mad Men,” “Homeland,” “Game of Thrones,” “Breaking Bad” and “Modern Family” are among the potential television nominees. NewS DeSK
Justin Bieber’s manager speaks out on alleged murder, castration plot
NVESTIGATORS have thwarted a convicted murderer’s plot to kill and castrate teen idol Justin Bieber, Albuquerque’s KRQE news reports. According to the site, Dana Martin- currently serving two life sentences in New Mexico for raping and killing a 15year-old girl in Vermont 12 years ago- recruited a fellow inmate at the state prison near Las Cruces to help him carry out a series of murders, one of which was planned for the “Beauty and the Beat” singer. Law enforcement officials say recently released inmate Mark Staake and his nephew Tanner Ruane were supposed to take down the pop sensation at his sold-out Madison Square Garden concert in New York City in November. The plan was to strangle the young star and his bodyguard with paisley ties, Martin’s calling card, and then castrate both victims. Ruane
was subsequently apprehended by New York police, who found murder tools and pruning shears on him at the time of his arrest. Bieber’s manager, Scooter Braun, said that the singer’s well-being was his team’s top priority. “We take every precaution to protect and insure the safety of Justin and his fans,” Braun told said. NewS DeSK
Paul McCartney to front Nirvana at Hurricane Sandy relief concert NEWS DESK
Seth Rogen to star in ‘Ghostbusters’
HeRe’S no replacing Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and Harold Ramis as the original Ghostbusters, but if you were staging a onenight-only live version of the classic comedy, well, who might one contact? Seth Rogen, Jack Black, and Rainn Wilson are going to cross the streams. The event is one of the monthly live-reads of a famous movie script organized by Juno and Up in the Air filmmaker Jason Reitman, who, of course, has a family connection to this story. His father, Ivan Reitman, directed Ghostbusters and he remembers hanging around on the set as a little kid. NewS DeSK
Friday, 14 December, 2012
EARLY 20 years after Nirvana ended with the suicide of singer Kurt Cobain, the band will be back together for one night … but not with the help of a hologram. None other than Sir Paul McCartney will reportedly fill in for the late grunge god and be backed up by Dave Grohl on drums, Krist Novoselic on bass, and unofficial member Pat Smear on guitar for a performance at the Hurricane Sandy
benefit in New York City on Wednesday night. Although the news began as speculation, McCartney’s publicist would neither “confirm nor deny.” But before fans start complaining that a 70-year-old grandfather shouldn’t be singing songs like “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” the song the new quartet is set to perform will be an original that was created during a recent studio session. McCartney told The Sun that during a phone conversation with Grohl, the Foo Fighters frontman asked him to join him and “jam with some mates.” And when he arrived, those pals ended up being his former Nirvana co-members. “I didn’t really know who they were,” McCartney said of
Smear and Novoselic. “They are saying how good it is to be back together. I said ‘Whoa? You guys haven’t played together for all that time?’ And somebody whispered to me ‘That’s Nirvana. You’re Kurt.’ I couldn’t believe it.” Neither can a lot of Nirvana fans. But although it may seem crazy to have someone like McCartney fill the Converse sneakers of Cobain, who shot himself in April 1994 at the age of 27, it’s likely not something that would make him roll over in his grave. According to Nirvana biography Come as You Are: The Story of Nirvana, Cobain wrote the 1989 song “About a Girl” after spending an afternoon listening to ‘Meet the Beatles!’ on repeat.
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13 Ali Zaf ar t he
HE singer-turnedactor, Ali Zafar, clinched the second spot while for the second year in a row, Bollywood star Hrithik Roshan has emerged as the “sexiest Asian man in the world” in an online survey conducted by a London-based weekly. The 38-year-old actor beat the likes of Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar, John Abraham and Ranbir Kapoor to clinch the top spot. “The star of 2012 hit ‘Agneepath’ beat off tough competition from around the world and won by an even bigger margin than last year as he received votes from all over the world from continents that included Asia, Europe, Africa and South America from fans of all ages and different cultures,” the Eastern Eye Newspaper said in a release. Even though he was the hot favourite and led right from the beginning, the win came as a major surprise to Indian cinema’s hottest pin up. “I am extremely humbled at the decision of the public, also a little embarrassed as I just can’t imagine myself as sexy! I’m actually someone who’s just trying to get by with his battered, bruised and broken tools. So a big thanks to all for this dose of encouragement! Thank you Eastern Eye readers for this very sweet recognition,” said Hrithik. He beat Pakistani singer-turned-actor Ali Zafar who was the surprise runner up. ‘Dabangg’ hero Salman Khan finished third and last year’s runner up Shahid Kapoor came fourth. Bollywood
Priyanka ‘rocks the world’ for GQ F there’s one person who has no complaints with the year 2012, it has to be the gorgeous Priyanka Chopra. While on one hand, her film Barfi! has been selected as the Indian entry at the Oscars, on the other, the actor has been nominated for the World Music Awards (WMA) 2013 for her smash hit single In My City (she has been nominated under three categories - Best Debut, Best Song and Best
Video). It is this Priyanka Chopra who is also on the cover of the latest edition of GQ. If you are one of those who have got their ears treated to her soothing vocals, then, you will second us when we say that her voice truly has got an international feel and appeal. And it is this international feel that comes across even on the cover of the mag. There could not be a better way for Priyanka to end the year. NewS DeSK
s e Asia con nm d an i sex n th ie e w st orld newcomer Sidharth Malhotra was the highest new entry at fifth place and narrowly beat off popular TV star Kushal Tandon who was sixth. Shah Rukh joined the list at seventh place and was followed by John Abraham at eight and Ranbir at nine. Eastern Eye showbiz editor Asjad Nazir, who puts together the very popular list and is chairman of the judging panel, said despite having the best physique, those voting for Hrithik were impressed by a lot of his other qualities.
espite years of brushes with the law, troubled starlet Lindsay Lohan has managed to avoid any real jail time. Finally, it seems, her luck may have run out and she might actually be sentenced to some time in the slammer. On Wednesday morning, a Los Angeles judge revoked the 26-year-old’s probation and scheduled a hearing for next month, when the actress could be sentenced to up to 245 days in jail, according to TMZ. Lohan wasn’t present at the Wednesday hearing, where she was arraigned on charges that she was driving recklessly when she crashed a rented Porsche in Santa Monica, California, in June and lied to police, claiming that her assistant had been driving. The potential eight months in prison would only come into play if the judge decides the “Liz and Dick” star violated her probation, which stems from a misdemeanor grand theft charge after she allegedly stole a necklace from a high-end jewelry store in Venice, California, last year. Her most recent legal entanglement, however, occurred just last month when she was arrested in New York City and charged with assault for allegedly punching a woman in the face at a nightclub. In the last few months she’s also been involved in a hit and run (charges were later dropped), a fight with a man in her hotel room (charges against him were later dropped), and a domestic dispute with her mother, Dina Lohan, in which Lindsay alleged that the 50-year-old was high on cocaine (no charges were filed). Lindsay later said she lied about her mother’s drug use. There’s still a good chance the actress will get off next month without having to go behind bars. A source familiar with the judge on Lohan’s case, Commissioner Jane Godfrey, told TMZ that “Godfrey is not a big jail person.” NewS DeSK
Barbara Walters names ‘Most Fascinating’ of 2012 WHO TOPPED THE LIST THIS yEAR? Tonight, Barbara Walters crowned General David Petraeus as her Most Fascinating person of 2012. “David Petraeus was not chosen this year for his war record or his exemplary service to his country,” said Walters. “This is about military honor, colliding with sex and lies in the digital age.” The former head of the CIA stepped down in November after an extramarital affair was discovered with his biographer Paula Broadwell. Petraeus, 60, was also given the number one spot in 2010.
Additionally, the legendary journalist sat down with Argo actor/director Ben Affleck, British-Irish boy band One Direction, Olympic gymnast Gabrielle Douglas, Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane, 50 Shades of Grey author E.L. James, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Prince Harry and Honey Boo Boo were also featured on the list, but were not interviewed. This is Walters’ 20th season highlighting some of the year’s biggest names in entertainment, sports and popular culture. NewS DeSK
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Infotainment 14 Evidence of world’s ‘oldest’ cheesemaking found
CIENTISTS may be one step closer to uncovering the origins of cheese-making, as evidence thousands of years old has been uncovered. What would a Neolithic cheese have tasted like? Truly an ancient art, no-one really knows exactly when humans began making cheese. But now milk extracts have been identified on 34 perforated pottery vessels or “cheese-strainers”, which date back 7,500 years that have been excavated in Poland. It is unambiguous evidence for cheesemaking in northern Europe during Neolithic times, scientists believe, and the findings have been published in the scientific journal Nature. “We analysed some fragments of pottery from the region of Kuyavia [Poland] pierced with small holes that looked like modern cheese-strainers,” says Melanie Salque, a postgraduate student at the University of Bristol’s Department of Chemistry. “They had been thought to be cheesestrainers because of the peculiar presence of holes on the surface. “However, they could well have been flame covers, chafing dishes, honey strainers or used for beer-making, to strain out chaff. Ms Salque and her team then analysed lipid residues on the vessels and detected milk residues, which they say provides a link to cheese-making. “The evidence was stunning,” explains Professor Richard Evershed, of Bristol University. “If you then put together the fact that there are milk fats in with the holes in the vessels, along with the size of the vessels and knowing what we know about how milk products are processed, what other milk product could it be?” Although scientists have not identified a compound of cheese they have put together a convincing case. Is it possible that prehistoric people were making cheese much earlier than 7,500 years ago? “The most important ingredient for
cheese-making is milk and only domesticates can be milked. Thus, it is unlikely that the origins of cheese-making predates the Neolithic,” says Ms Salque. Earlier examples of milk residues have been detected on pottery vessels from the Near East, dating back 8,000 years, although the evidence did not suggest that they were used for milk processing activities, explains Ms Salque. The only other written evidence for cheese-making activity occurs much later in the archaeological record, around 5,000 years ago. “The question is how long did it take for people to figure out the technology of transforming that milk into fermented products and eventually into cheese, and that’s really hard to say,” says Dr Peter Bogucki of Princeton University. “I think we can say that it’s a key Neolithic innovation to be able to produce a storable product from something perishable and hard to handle like milk, and to do it routinely and repetitively, with continual refinement and that within a few millennia after the domestication of cattle, sheep, and goats we can talk about cheese production.” What would have prompted Neolithic people to start making cheese? Neolithic farming communities were lactose intolerant, so transforming raw milk into cheese made the milk easier to digest, and also easier to preserve and transport, scientists believe. “Processing milk into cheese allows the lactose content of milk to be reduced. And genetic and computer simulations have shown that at that time, people were largely lactose intolerant,” explains Ms Salque. “So making cheese allowed them to consume dairy products without the undesirable health effects.” “It also shows that humans were not only killing animals for their meat, but also using what animals could produce and go on producing,” says Andrew Dalby, author of “Cheese: A Global History.” Creating cheese from milk was also
thought to be a much more economical way of farming in Neolithic times, following the domestication of cattle in the Near East. “You can get milk but you can’t store milk, so the really important invention is how to store the food value of milk and that really means making cheese,” says Mr Dalby. The discovery of cheese could also have been accidental, as humans began storing milk in animal stomachs for transportation. “The introduction of salt into cheese might have started right from the beginning... perhaps without any conscious thought because you need rennet [a complex of enzymes] to curdle your cheese,” says Mr Dalby. “If you’re in the Near East and you’ve milked your cow and you put it in a pottery vessel, leave it at 40C in the hot summer heat of Turkey, after two or three hours you’ve got yoghurt. You can imagine serendipity playing a huge role in this,” says Prof Evershed. So what might a prehistoric cheese have tasted like? “The study of animal bones... shows that cattle were the most common domesticates at the sites. So - cow’s milk cheese,” says Ms Salque. “I guess it would have been like the traditional cheese you can get, maybe made simply by curdling milk with rennet. “In France we have the Picodon, traditionally made in farms with cow or goats milk, that you curdle and then strain in a cheese strainer... I would imagine that the Prehistoric cheese would have been like this. “It’s likely to have been a softer cheese.” Andrew Dalby says the taste of the cheese may have changed according to the season. “Similar to those they make in the region of France where I live, the result can be quite different depending on the season. “Sometimes they harden and would in fact keep and still give good value months later. “It would have been a very long series hundreds, thousands of years of experiment and that’s what resulted in the vast range of cheeses that we have now.” NewS DeSK
Man dies ‘Gangnam style’
There are certain things that middle-aged men should probably steer clear of: buying a flashy sports car, dating a barely-legal hottie, succumbing to the allure of hair-in-a-can. However, this week, after the death of a British dad, experts now warn that dancing “Gangnam Style” may be yet another middle age no-no. As the Sun notes, 46-year-old Eamonn Kilbride was performing the energetic dance — made
wildly famous by Korean pop star Psy — at his office Christmas party over the weekend when he suddenly collapsed and died. It is believed that the father of three suffered from a heart attack. “We were having a fantastic time at the Christmas party and Eamonn had just finished dancing to Gangnam Style. He was up on stage and entertaining everybody. He said he had a bit of a pain and just collapsed,” his
wife, Julie, said, according to the Telegraph. In the wake of Kilbride’s death, Professor Bernard Keavney, a consultant cardiologist at Newcastle University, has warned men to be “measured at Christmas parties and...[to not] stray outside your comfort zone.” “The chance that you’ll come to grief is very small. But as with any form of untypical exercise… be somewhat measured. Let the lady dance around you,” he told the Telegraph. “I certainly wouldn’t say that people need to avoid Gangnam Style over the holidays. [But] if you’re unused to taking vigorous physical exercise, you shouldn’t throw yourself into violent exertion without due preparation.” This isn’t the first time that a man has died from dancing. According to a 2007 Associated Press report, 48-year-old Robert Stitt died during a dance-off in a parking lot. Over the last few months, a great number of public figures, includingU.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, boxer Manny Pacquiao and Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, have all jumped on the “Gangnam Style” bandwagon. The viral pop sensation, which has racked up more than 900 million views on YouTube, took the world by storm after its release earlier this year. While the trigger of Kilbride’s death may be considered bizarre by some, cardiovascular disease is not a light-hearted matter. According to 2009 statistics on the website of the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Moreover, in 2010, more than 27 million “uninstitutionalized adults” had reportedly been diagnosed with heart disease. NewS DeSK
Leaked BlackBerry images show iPhone influence
EAKED images purporting to show the next BlackBerry handset show a full touchscreen device more in line with flagship handsets from RIM’s competitors Apple and Google. The images, published on Vietnamese technology news site Tinhte.vn, appear to show the handset codenamed BlackBerry London, which is due for release early next year. The handset will be the first to run BlackBerry 10, the next version of the BlackBerry operating system. From the pictures, the BlackBerry London looks to have a minimalist industrial design similar to that of Apple’s iPhone 5. The back is textured and it appears to have miniHDMI and microUSB ports, as well as a microSD slot and removable battery. The BlackBerry London is expected to be unveiled along with another BlackBerry model at a launch event on January 30, 2013. The new images are consistent with earlier leaked pictures showing both devices, which were originally scheduled for launch this year. This isn’t the first time RIM has ditched the famous BlackBerry keyboard. The first touchscreen BlackBerry with no physical keyboard was the Storm, released in November 2008. NewS DeSK
Two charged after toddler dies from heroin overdose
ANIEL Jones, aged 23 months, died at a house in Penn, Wolverhampton in May. Daniel’s death was initially treated as unexplained but following an investigation, forensic tests showed he died from a heroin overdose. A 29-year-old man and 33-year-old woman are due to appear at Wolverhampton Magistrates’ Court this morning charged with manslaughter and causing or allowing the death of a child. Both were detained by police yesterday and charged today after the death of Daniel, who was pronounced dead by paramedics who responded to a call to a house in Penn at 6.15am on May 29. NewS DeSK
Giant asteroid flies close by Earth
OME people may interpret it as another sign of the approaching end of the world, but really it’s just an astronomical event. NASA reports a giant asteroid did pass by close to Earth Tuesday. The space rock — named 4-1-7-9 Toutatis — came within a few million miles of our planet, or 18 times the distance to the moon. Astronomers said Toutatis comes close to Earth every several years, but there is no risk of a collision anytime soon. According to the Wired.com, the asteroid is almost half the size of the one that caused the extinction of dinosaurs 65 million years ago. But Wired added the chances of the object smashing into the planet are effectively zero for the next 600 years. A separate and much smaller asteroid discovered just a few days ago also came close to Earth Tuesday. NewS DeSK
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friday, 14 December, 2012
Roddick enjoying life after retirement Page 18
Inzi to be batting consultant before India tour Psychologist to help India-bound Pakistan cricket team LAHORE STAff reporT
AKISTAN starts a week-long training camp Friday for its landmark limited overs series against India with former captain Inzamam-ul Haq and a psychologist drafted in, an official said. India and Pakistan play two Twenty20s and three one-day internationals in their first series for five years, which starts later this month and comes
Iran to host Asian Kabaddi Championship CHANDIGARH AGeNCIeS
Iran will host the Asian Kabaddi Championship at Tehran next year. An announcement to this effect was made by Mohammad Abassi, Sports and Youth Affairs Minister of Iran, at Bathinda during the semifinal between India and Iran, an official release said here today. Abassi praised the conduct of the 2nd World Kabaddi Championship by the Punjab Government and urged Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal to lead the Asian Kabaddi Federation for the betterment of this game. He expressed hope that in the years to come the Circle Style Kabaddi would be part of Asian Games. "The ties between India and Iran are getting stronger with the organisation of such sports events. We have accepted the offer of Punjab Government to participate in the three- nation Indigenous Wrestling Competition going to be organised next year," he said. Meanwhile the Punjab Government announced to set up a wrestling academy in collaboration with the Iranian government to promote the traditional sport as Iran is known for its expertise, infrastructure and agile wrestlers across the world. A decision to this was effect was taken by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal during a meeting with Abbasi who called on him here today.
Jayawardene to step down as Sl skipper HOBART AGeNCIeS
Mahela Jayawardene will step down as captain of the Sri Lanka test and one-day teams after the current tour of Australia and has backed Angelo Mathews to replace him. The 35-year-old Jayawardene told a new conference on the eve of the first test against Australia that he thought next year would be a good year to make the transition to a younger leader as there were few high-profile series scheduled. Jayawardene, who led Sri Lanka to the 50-overs World Cup final in 2007, agreed to take over the captaincy for a second spell in place of opener Tillakaratne Dilshan earlier this year. "I don't want to continue to captain after this tour so this will be my last. I hope I don't get any more SOS calls from them," Jayawardene told reporters in Hobart. "It's been great, I've enjoyed the last year and what I've achieved but we need to move on to a younger leader. It's best that we get a new player in while the senior guys are still around so we can help him out in building a team."
after India resumed ties stalled in the wake of the 2008 attacks on Mumbai. The training camp begins in Lahore and the team fly to India on December 22 and open the tour with a Twenty20 in Bangalore three days later. The second Twenty20 will be played in Ahmedabad on December 27 followed by three one-day matches in Chennai on December 30, Kolkata on January 3 and New Delhi on January 6. Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Zaka Ashraf said Inzamam had
agreed to help as a batting consultant before the tour. "Inzamam will help the batsmen in the camp but since he is busy he will not go on the tour," Ashraf told reporters. Pakistan has been on the lookout for a coach to overcome batting weaknesses that have proved troublesome at an international level. Inzamam, who played 120 Tests and 378 one-day internationals for Pakistan, was regarded as one of the finest batsmen of his time. Ashraf said sports psychologist Maqbool Babri has also been selected
to help motivate the players for the challenging tour. "We hope that the team will perform well on the tour and for this balanced squads have been selected," said Ashraf, hoping star allrounder Shahid Afridi will win back his place on the one-day squad. "For me every player is equal and we have a strict policy of merit. Afridi has been going through a bad patch and I hope he removes his flaws," said Ashraf of Afridi being dropped from the one-dayers but selected for the T20s.
washes India lifts World T20 for blind Rain Deaf matches BANGALORE AGeNCIeS
Hosts India on Thursday triumphed in the inaugural Blind Cricket Twenty20 World Cup after defeating Pakistan by 29 runs in the title clash in Bangalore. After Ketan Bhai Patel guided India to 258 with a hurricane knock of 98, the hosts restricted the visitors to 229 for nine in the allotted 20 overs. Batting first, Prakash Jayaramaiah made useful 42 while vicecaptain Ajay Kumar Reddy contributed 25, helping India to post a competitive total. For Pakistan, Mohammed Jameel scored a quickfire 47, Ali Murthaza struck 38 while Mohammed Akram helped himself to 32 runs. Having won eight matches on the trot in the group stage, Pakistan could not maintain the winning streak when it mattered most. India had only lost to Pakistan in the
LAHORE STAff reporT
group stage and thrashed Sri Lanka in the semifinal. Pakistan had spanked England by nine wickets in the semifi-
nals. The victory is India’s first in a World Cup final after they lost to Pakistan in 2006.
All the four teams of the Thursday’s two matches of the Asia Deaf Cricket Cup were awarded one point each after rain which started at the passage of around an hour’s session, played for the entire day. At the gymkhana cricket ground, Pakistan won the toss and chose to bowl first. Sri Lanka started its batting and scored 70 runs in 22 overs and lost their four wicket. But due to rain the match was abounded and both the teams got 1 point each. Similarly, at the LCCA ground, Afghanistan won the toss and chose to bowl first. India scored 166 in 15.2 over and lost their 4 wickets and they too were awarded one point each for rain interruption. Today Pakistan will take on Nepal at Lahore gymkhana cricket ground and Sri Lanka face Afghanistan at the LCCA ground.
Warner’s X-factor makes up for ugly dismissals: Clarke HOBART AGeNCIeS
Opener David Warner is a rare talent and the X-factor he brings to the Australian team more than makes up for the odd ugly dismissal, captain Michael Clarke said on Thursday. Warner's last test innings ended with a wild slash at the ball in the defeat to South Africa in Perth which sent him back to the dressing room with 29 runs to his name and Australia another wicket down as they chased a huge victory target. The 26-year-old, a brilliant limited overs player who graduated to the test team last year, will play his 13th test against Sri Lanka in Hobart this week. "The one thing we have to understand about Davey, is that the same ball that got him out in Perth, we were all applauding in Adelaide when it went over slips for four," said Clarke. "That's the way he plays." Warner had scored a superb 119 against South Africa in the second test in Adelaide, an echo of his magnificent 180 against India in Perth last year which he kicked off with a 69-ball century. "The only thing I continue to say to Davey is to make sure his intent is there," Clarke added. "When the intent is there, his defence is better, his shot selection is better. He plays his best when he's looking to score runs, there's no doubt about that. "Like all of us, we would like to be more consistent and score runs every time we walk out to bat. "Sometimes it's not going to look great when he gets out, but on the other hand he has the X-factor. He can take the game away from the opposition in the first session of a test match. "There's not many players in the
world that have that talent. I'm really happy with the way he's going." Warner scored his maiden test century (123) at the Bellerive Oval last year and although it was in a shock defeat to New Zealand, Clarke said it was a great illustration of his skill. "I think one of Davey's greatest innings was the hundred he scored here against New Zealand in really tough batting conditions," said Clarke. "He still had that intent, even though the wicket was doing a lot. His shot selection was perfect. "In a perfect world, you'd love to bottle that, but you have to have a bit of give and take with Davey."
Australia drop Johnson for Sri Lanka test HOBART: Australia have dropped Mitchell Johnson for the first test against Sri Lanka and selected just three seamers for the match on what is expected to be a lively wicket at the Bellerive Oval this week. Spinner Nathan Lyon was retained in the side announced by skipper Michael Clarke on Thursday, with Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc and Ben Hilfenhaus making up the pace bowling unit for the match. Left-armer Johnson, the 2009 ICC Cricketer of the Year, played his first test in a year in the 309-run defeat to South Africa in Perth last week but was named 12th man for the Hobart test, which begins on Friday. "Obviously a tough selection getting 12 down to 11, especially with the way that Mitchell bowled in Perth, but this is the team we've selected for this test match," Clarke to a news conference. "At the end of the day you've got to do what's best for the Australian team, you have to pick the best 11 players to help you win the test match. "It's a nice problem to have when you've got 12 players that really want to play and have performed well, but unfortunately someone has to miss. "Mitchell will be fine, he'll have to work hard and wait for another opportunity and try to grab it with both hands." Tasmanian Hilfenhaus and Siddle were recalled after being rested for the third test against the Proteas, while Starc gets his reward for his performance in Perth, where he took 6-154. Clarke said the inclusion of 22-year-old Starc was based on the requirements of the Hobart test alone, not an attempt to give him a good run before back-to-back Ashes series against England next year. "For me, I'm not looking at the Ashes at all. The reason that Starc is there is because he's been next in line in the queue for a while," Clarke said. "He's performed really well in the shorter form of the game for Australia. He got one test in Perth and got six-for and 70-odd with the bat so that's not a bad start as well." Clarke also confirmed that Australia had re-jigged their batting order after the retirement of Ricky Ponting following the Perth test against South Africa. AGeNCIeS
Sri Lanka make do without Malinga threat HOBART: Sri Lanka are resigned to life without paceman Lasith Malinga in test matches and do not expect him to make a dramatic return in the series against Australia, captain Mahela Jayawardene said on Thursday. Malinga, who retired from test cricket earlier this year, gave a reminder of what a devastating bowler he can be by taking six wickets for seven runs in Australia's domestic Twenty20 tournament on Wednesday. Jayawardene on Thursday named a largely unheralded trio of seamers in his team for the first test and said it was unrealistic to ask the 29-yearold to return to the test arena. "I think Lasith has made up his mind," he said. "With the injuries he has had over the last couple of years, I think it's unfair to ask him to come and play test cricket. "He's in our one-day team and Twenty20 team and he's contributing a lot. Do we risk all that? Test cricket is about bowling 20-25 overs, (Australia's) Peter Siddle the other day bowled 60. "Can Malinga do that? I don't think so. I don't think we can make that decision and risk his career." In Malinga's absence, Nuwan Kulasekara, Chanaka Welegedera and Shaminda Eranga were the trio named to try to make the most of what is expected to be a lively Hobart track. Jayawardene defended his bowlers against the charge that they were the worst pace attack ever to tour Australia. AGeNCIeS
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Pietersen, Trott do the recovery act JAMTHA
UN-MAKING was a laborious exercise; but watching that exercise was no less irksome for those who turned up at the Vidarbha Cricket Association (VCA) stadium in Jamtha here on Thursday. England won the toss, started shakily, recovered, lost the plot again and finished at 199 for five in 97 overs on the opening day of the final Test. Cricket was not at all an enjoyable theme in an insipid creation by the curator here as England achieved the lowest first day score of the series with 486 dot balls. When a Test is heralded by a spinner it only underlines the priorities. A sillypoint and a silly mid-off to the seventh ball of the match, the batsmen craving for runs, yawns in the galleries. Oh, this was a painful introduction to Test cricket for the new-born fans of the Indian team. Kevin Pietersen produced a classy show, absolutely dedicated to the team’s interest, eschewing his natural flair, studying the opponent and instinctively taking the easy recourse to smother the spin. He was troubled by medium-fast Ishant Sharma, who bagged the first two wickets, one to a dubious decision, but Pietersen demonstrated awesome skills to excel on this poor pitch for Test cricket. It was a strange start to the Test. There were actually spectators at the Jamtha. And the Indians in attacking positions. But it was a weird initial phase too with M.S. Dhoni collecting the ball at his ankle, some deliveries reaching him in one bounce or two. The bounce was disappointingly low for an international match and the batsmen accepted the challenge. Their stance had a pronounced stoop and the approach caution. And then one ball hit the seam and rose past the bat only to die at the wicketkeeper’s feet. This was poor advertisement for Test cricket. India, expectedly, opted for a spin-dominated attack. Just one fast bowler suited the script that Dhoni had in mind. He wanted the batsmen to work for
wenger promises to stick to Arsenal transfer policy LONDON
eNGlAND 1ST INNINGS 1 AN Cook lbw b Sharma 3 NrD Compton c Dhoni b Sharma 44 IJl Trott b Jadeja Kp pietersen c ojha b Jadeja 73 Ir bell c Kohli b Chawla 1 Je root not out 31 MJ prior not out 34 extras (b 5, lb 7) 12 Total (5 wickets; 97 overs) 199 To bat TT bresnan, Gp Swann, JM Anderson, MS panesar fall of wickets 1-3 (Compton, 4.2 ov), 2-16 (Cook, 10.3 ov), 3102 (Trott, 49.4 ov), 4-119 (bell, 60.5 ov), 5-139 (pietersen, 67.3 ov) bowling: I Sharma 19-7-32-2, pp ojha 27-9-50-0, rA Jadeja 25-13-34-2, pp Chawla 13-1-39-1, r Ashwin 13-2-32-0 India team: G Gambhir, V Sehwag, CA pujara, Sr Tendulkar, V Kohli, rA Jadeja, MS Dhoni, r Ashwin, pp Chawla, I Sharma, pp ojha Toss england, who chose to bat Umpires HDpK Dharmasena (Sri lanka) and rJ Tucker (Australia) TV umpire S ravi Match referee JJ Crowe (New Zealand) reserve umpire CK Nandan.
their runs and the slow and low pitch presented the Englishmen with a tough task. They had to adapt and innovate. This was going to be difficult, indeed. The dismissal of Nick Compton invited unrestrained reaction from the fielders. He was surprised by the extra height the ball gained as it took a faint edge. But Dhoni took the catch at his
feet. Ishant had a wicket to inspire him. He is a different bowler when he tastes early success. It was evident soon when Alastair Cook, the scourge of the Indian attack the past three Tests, lunged and missed the ball. The ball had nipped in a bit and may have kissed the off-stump. The riotous celebrations showed the esteem in which
Du Plessis named S Africa T20 captain against NZ CAPE TOWN
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has pledged to stick to his policy of developing players within the Premier League club rather than splashing out large sums of money on transfer fees. Wenger, whose team were dumped out of the League Cup on Tuesday by fourth tier Bradford City, faces the possibility of losing England winger Theo Walcott after Cesc Fabregas, Robin van Persie and Samir Nasri left to earn more money elsewhere. In an interview with FourFourTwo magazine, the Frenchman agreed it was difficult when top players walked away, especially when they were reaching their prime but said he would not make drastic changes to the transfer policy. "I think we'll stop that happening (players walking away) because we have a good young generation of English players coming through and we'll try to build the team around them," he said. "I'm confident they will stay and commit to the club. My regret is that we already had great teams in place that could compete at the top. You could feel that the potential was there, but now it feels like we're starting again and it's frustrating.
Faf du Plessis will lead South Africa in the three-match Twenty20 series against New Zealand later this month to free regular limited overs skipper AB de Villiers from the burden of captaincy, the cricket board said on Thursday. De Villiers remained part of the 15-member squad, which includes four uncapped players, for the Twenty20 matches in Durban (Dec. 21), East London (Dec. 23) and Port Elizabeth (Dec. 26). "AB de Villiers remains our firstchoice captain in this format," selection convener Andrew Hudson said in a statement. "But AB is one of the players we
Chelsea power into Club world Cup final YOKOHAMA AGeNCIeS
Fernando Torres continued his recent resurgence as Chelsea confidently brushed aside Mexico's Monterrey 3-1 to reach the final of the Club World Cup in Japan on Thursday. The English side and their interim manager Rafael Benitez will be under pressure to beat Brazil's Corinthians in Sunday's final after becoming the first holders to exit the Champions League at the group stage last week.
Cook is held by the Indian team. Cook was falling to Ishant for the seventh time in his career. Pietersen arrived at the crease in his inimitable style, his brisk gait symbolising his confidence. Not that he prospered flawlessly but there was a distinct degree of resistance that marked his batting today. He was willing to use his reach, step out to meet the threat but importantly he was quick to read the Indian spinners. They were hardly extracting any turn though. The stylish Pietersen played some exquisite cricket, the drives so fluent and the flicks so precise that the youngsters in the galleries would have picked up lessons in clinical strokeplay. Jonathan Trott and Pietersen gave the England innings the thrust and the recovery was marshalled through some premeditated aggression. Their third-wicket stand of 86 runs ended to an innocuous ball from debutant Ravindra Jadeja, who was presented his Test cap by Sachin Tendulkar. It was motivating enough for the Saurashtra cricketer, who bowled a straight ball and Trott offered no shot. The ball never turned and hit the offstump. It was a tame end to a fine innings and Jadeja had a debut Test wicket.
need to rotate in the interest of his workload across all three formats and we want to have one captain for the entire series," he added. For the two-test series against the Kiwis starting on Jan. 2, South Africa stuck with the same squad which beat Australia earlier this month to retain the number one ranking. Opener Henry Davids of the Titans and the Lions duo of stumperbatsman Quinton de Kock and left-arm spinner Aaron Phangiso were among the new faces in the Twenty20 side. Lions all-rounder Chris Morris played for the Proteas in a Twenty20 series in Zimbabwe in July but the games were unofficial so he too would fancy winning his first official cap. "We could not consider JP Du-
miny, Colin Ingram and Albie Morkel because of injury while we decided to rest Jacques Kallis and Hashim Amla," Hudson said. Johan Botha was not considered due to his commitments in Australia. Twenty20 squad: Faf du Plessis (capt), Farhaan Berhadien, Henry Davids, Quinton de Kock, AB de Villiers, Rory Kleinveldt, Richard Levi, David Miller, Morne Morkel, Chris Morris, Wayne Parnell, Robin Peterson, Aaron Phangiso, Dale Steyn, Lonwabo Tsotsobe. Test squad: Graeme Smith (capt), Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis, Dean Elgar, Jacques Kallis, Rory Kleinveldt, Morne Morkel, Alviro Peterson, Robin Peterson, Vernon Philander, Jacques Rudolph, Dale Steyn.
Kerry urges ‘new direction’ for GB women’s team LONODN AGeNCIeS
Danny Kerry believes the Great Britain women's team needs a "new direction" after winning bronze at London 2012. He has stepped down after eight years as head coach to become the new performance director of England Hockey. "I had probably the dream job and it's been a tough decision to leave that. "But the team needs a new direction. There was a real opportunity to become the performance director and I have strong views about where the sport can go," the 42-year-old said. Kerry told BBC Radio Norfolk he had planned to continue coaching for the foreseeable future and had not previously considered a move into an administrative role. "I thought long and hard about whether I should apply or not and then decided 'nothing ventured, nothing gained'," he explained. "Through the process I made it clear what my views were about where we could go as a sport and they [England Hockey] seemed to like what I said. "It wasn't ever my ambition or aspiration, but I'm excited now by the new challenge." Great Britain's women defeated New Zealand 3-1 to clinch third place at the Olympics, just two days after the disappointment of their gold-medal dreams being ended by Argentina. And Kerry, who believes it was the right move to "appoint from within" and ensure a continuity of approach, said his London 2012 experience would be invaluable in his new role. "Obviously, I do come with two Olympic cycles under my belt, and also having achieved medal success," he said. "So I have some idea of what's involved with the senior teams, where the opposition are going, and what we need to do to ensure we stay one step ahead.
Sick Norman pulls out of Australian PGA Championship MELBOURNE AGeNCIeS
Greg Norman withdrew from his home Australian PGA Championship after only two holes on Thursday due to a bout of food poisoning. The 57-year-old former world number one bogeyed the first two of his opening round at the Palmer Coolum resort in southern Queensland state before deciding he could not continue. "He's had a bad night," Australian PGA chief Brian Thorburn told reporters. "He tried to soldier on through the tournament but after a couple of holes it just wasn't possible for him. "He's under medical attention at the moment."
Tired Schwartzel makes special effort JOHANNESBERG AGeNCIeS
After an amazing 11-shot win in Thailand on Sunday, South African Charl Schwartzel has returned to one of his favourite courses in search of more success this week. The Alfred Dunhill Championship takes place at Leopard Creek again on the border of the Kruger National Park in his home country. "If it was any other tournament I would have pulled out," Schwartzel told the European Tour website following his first victory since the US Masters in April last year. "You don't get much better than the setting at Leopard Creek and I figured I could get myself going on that. "I'm not hitting it that well, but that's just my body being tired. I love being out in the bush and you don't get much more in the bush than this. "It's such a relaxing
atmosphere and of top of that the course is in such great shape." The 28-year-old had his first European Tour win at the venue eight years ago and has been a runner-up no fewer than four times since then, to Ernie Els and Alvaro Quiros the following two seasons and then behind Pablo Martin in both 2009 and 2010. Last weekend's win had certainly been coming. Schwartzel was fifth in the South African Open, third behind Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai and then second to Martin Kaymer in the Nedbank Challenge at Sun City. Having overcome a rib injury during the summer he added: "It's a great feeling winning again. "It has been a tough year and very frustrating at times, but the last six weeks things have started feeling a lot better. "I was able to start getting my swing back to where it should be and the results
started showing." World number five Louis Oosthuizen is also in this week's field and it would be no surprise to see him win either. The 2010 Open champion's last six finishes have been fourth, sixth, sixth (all in China), second to Matteo Manassero at the Singapore Open, fifth in Dubai and fourth at the Nedbank. Also to be settled this week is the endof-year world top 50, which brings with it an invitation to the US Masters next spring. Dane Thorbjorn Olesen is currently in 50th spot, but is not playing in South Africa, Asia or Australia and therefore under threat. So is South Africa's 49th-ranked George Coetzee, who will drop below Olesen if he does not collect any points at Leopard Creek. Among those who could overtake him is Spaniard Pablo Larrazabal and the pair go head-to-head in the opening two rounds alongside Schwartzel.
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17 Sports Mercedes chief prepares to step down BRAWN AGeNCIeS
Norbert Haug's 22-year reign as head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport is to draw to a close at the end of this year. During his time in charge Haug oversaw Mercedes' return to Formula One in 1994, primarily as an engine supplier. In 2010 Mercedes made a comeback as a manufacturer in their own right after buying out 2009 world champions Brawn GP, playing a part in tempting Michael Schumacher out of retirement. Haug was also a key figure in tying up a deal for Lewis Hamilton as the 27-yearold will replace Schumacher at Mercedes from next season on a three-year contract after a 14-year association with McLaren. Aside from F1, Haug oversaw projects in DTM (German touring cars), Champ Car, GT, Group C and Formula Three, with Mercedes winning 439 of the 986 races in which they competed with Haug at the helm. With Haug's contract coming to an end, the decision for his departure has been made by mutual agreement with Mercedes' board of management. Dieter Zetsche, head of Mercedes-Benz Cars and CEO of Daimler AG, in paying tribute to Haug said: "Norbert was the face of the Mercedes-Benz Motorsport programme for more than 20 years. "For me, he put his stamp on a whole era and, as a highlight, he was responsible for the successful comeback of the Silver Arrows to Formula One. "In the name of the board of management and the whole motorsport family, I would like to thank him for his extraordinary commitment to the three-pointed star." Under Haug, Mercedes-Benz won six F1 world titles and 87 grands prix, whilst in DTM they claimed 32 championships. However, it is perhaps due to Mercedes' lack of success in F1 as a fully-fledged team - with just one victory in three years - that has played a part in his departure. Haug said: "Since 1991 we had tremendous achievements and wins, for which I want to thank all of my colleagues. "Unfortunately, with one victory in 2012 since founding our own F1 works team in 2010, we couldn't fulfil our own expectations. "However, we have taken the right steps to be successful in the future. "Our team and our drivers will do everything to achieve these goals."
Amir admits Molina fight is a ‘make or break’ bout LOS ANGELES AGeNCIeS
MIR Khan says his bout with Carlos Molina is a "make or break fight". The light-welterweight lost his last two fights and will struggle to maintain his status as one of boxing's big draws if he loses in California on Saturday. It will be the first time he has fought since he started working with trainer Virgil Hunter. He said: "I know it is a make or break fight for me, that's why I'm taking it so seriously." Khan's career is at a critical point as he prepares for the bout at the Los Angeles Sports Arena. He was knocked down three times in defeat by Danny Garcia in July and now has a 26-3 record. The Boltonborn boxer, 26, said: "We will be more than ready for this fight and we will be in the best condition ever. "Hopefully everything will come together on Saturday and we are going to win this fight and finish the year off strong. That will put us in a good position come next year." Khan is determined
lOS ANGElES: Amir Khan and Carlos Molina show their fists before announcing their fight.
to beat the California-based Molina by a convincing margin having controversially lost a points decision to Lamont Peterson in Washington a year ago one of two successive defeats. The British fighter did have his WBA title handed back to him after the loss to Peterson, however, after the American failed a drugs test. Khan, a 2004 Olympic lightweight silver medallist, intends to change to a more defensive style after being caught by punches when attacking opponents in his last two fights. He added: "It is always tough to fight someone in their back yard and maybe that is why we are training even harder. "It has been a tough road. We have fought some big names. "It is going to be another tough fight. We are going to go in there and do what we do best. "A win is a win and I will be sticking to the plan and sticking to the instructions from the corner instead of getting too wild. "People will still see an exciting Amir Khan, but now I'm a more mature fighter." Orthodox fighter Molina, 27, is unbeaten in 18 fights but has boxed mainly in his home state of California.
Watson named US Ryder Cup captain for 2014 NEW YORK AGeNCIeS
Tom Watson was named on Thursday as the United States captain for the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles in Scotland, a move the Americans hope will end their run of losses in the biennial match against Europe. Watson succeeded Davis Love III as the American captain for the next edition of the biennial golf match between the U.S. and Europe and received an instant stamp of approval from Tiger Woods. A winner of eight majors, including five British Opens, the 63-year-old Watson joined a select group to lead the U.S. team more than once and will become the oldest American captain in the event's history. "I was waiting 20 years to get the call again. I loved it the first time," said Watson, who led the U.S. to victory in 1993, the last time the Americans won the Ryder Cup away from home. "I've been a great fan of the Ryder
Cup, always been watching, I get the same gut feeling just watching it at home on TV. It's a great honour to do it again and this time it is going to be 14 and a half points." In a break from tradition, the PGA of America made Thursday's announcement on national breakfast television, the NBC's Today show. Watson appeared live on the show and was scheduled to hold a
news conference near the top of the Empire State Building later on Thursday. WATSOn TO BE OLDEST cAPTAIn In cUP HISTORy: Golfing great Tom Watson - at 63 old enough to be Rory McIlroy's grandfather - was named as the oldest Ryder Cup captain in history on Thursday. In the boldest of moves possible, the PGA of America confirmed Watson had been given back the job he did at The Belfry in 1993 - the last time Europe lost at home - and entrusted with the task of ending a run of five American defeats in the last six matches. By the time he leads the United States out at Gleneagles in September 2014, the five-time Open champion - so close to winning the Claret Jug again just three years ago - will be 65. That will make him eight years older than America's previous record-holder Sam Snead and three years older than JH Taylor was when he led Britain, as it was then, back in 1933.
Spot fixing threatens integrity of modern game LONDON JoHN MeHAffey
Any comfortable assumptions that world cricket has largely eradicated corruption after the shock of the Hansie Cronje match-fixing scandal are challenged in a disturbing new book investigating India's illegal bookmaking underworld. In "Bookie Gambler Fixer Spy; A Journey to the Heart of Cricket's Underworld", English author and cricket betting tipster Ed Hawkins says his confidence in the sport has been eroded "on the long trip to cricket's corrupt core". Early in the book, Hawkins describes a bookmaker's message sent to him during last year's World Cup semi-final between India and Pakistan, accurately predicting the course of the match. He watches, with a friend, "in a daze" as the match won by India, unfolds as outlined in the script. Hawkins says during the course of his investigations he was given the names of 45 former and current internationals and domestic cricketers alleged to have been involved in corrupt activities. None of them are named for legal reasons. Finally, he says, English county oneday matches, broadcast live on television in India, are now being targeted by bookmakers and fixers. Hawkins's three-year journey started at the site of a London shop owned by the bookmaker recorded by Delhi police fixing matches with former South Africa captain Cronje in 1999.
Friday, 14 December, 2012
It continued in India where he met bookmakers, punters and fixers and included lengthy interviews with Paul Condon, the first director of the International Cricket Council's Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU), and Lalit Modi, the man behind the Indian Premier League who said his life had been threatened three times by mobsters. Cronje, who died in a plane crash 10 years ago, and two other international captains Mohammad Azharuddin (India) and Salim Malik (Pakistan) were banned for life for fixing the results of matches. Spot-fixing, the manipulation of individual incidents within a match which may not affect the result, is a more insidious crime and one which can be impossible to detect. It hit the international headlines when Pakistan players Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir were jailed after arranging for deliberate noballs to be delivered in the 2010 Lord's test against England. Hawkins learned that Indian bookmakers had four markets in all forms of cricket: the innings' scores, the match outcome, the favourites at an interval and the bracket scores - for example the number of runs scored in a 10-over segment in a 50-overs match or a six-over segment in a Twenty20 match. Brackets are alarmingly easy to manipulate by the illegal syndicates who set the odds, if they can bribe a corrupt player. "Spot-fixing is not what people think it is. So, for example, a corrupter
might say to a captain 'move your gully fielder five yards to the left or the right and instruct your bowler to bowl just outside off-stump'," Hawkins told Reuters in an interview. "So the batsman cuts and up goes the run tally. And people think wrongly the market is for there to be no gully fielder, or for a fielder to be positioned in a particular place. But what is actually happening is that they are manipulating the session's runs or the bracket because they want runs to be scored. "If you a corrupter and you know that you've got your captain on side and he is going to make sure runs are scored then they are able to manipulate the odds in their favour. So the syndicate can send out fake odds tempting gamblers, and as you know there are thousands in India, to bet a certain way, to bet on not many runs being scored when they know lots of runs are going to be scored because the captain is in their pocket. "It is just like insider trading and the alarming thing about it is that it is such a subtle art so you have the potential for almost every game to be manipulated. Just for one ball you've got fixing." Whereas match-fixing requires the connivance of at least one of the captains, spot-fixing needs only one corrupt player who agrees to under-perform with either bat or ball at a certain stage of the match to influence the number of runs scored. For that reason, Hawkins said, the emphasis had shifted from match-fixing to spot-fixing.
Hawkins said the 45 players whose names he had been given came from each of the test-playing nations apart from Bangladesh. "Included in that are players who have retired and players who have not played international cricket," he said. He said there was "huge potential" for corruption in county cricket. "County cricket is so vulnerable because it's a little bit of a treadmill, there are a lot of games and players don't get paid a lot of money," he said. "For someone earning 40 grand (pounds) a year, if he could earn a fair chunk of that by just batting out a maiden over...he's not affecting the result, he's not really getting found out, why wouldn't that player do it? "It's an enticing option for a cricketer. So county cricket has to face up to it, there are going to be lots of approaches to players, lots of attempts to corrupt them, to try out spot-fixing, maybe less so matchfixing because obviously that's a lot harder." Hawkins, who has shared his information with the cricketing authorities, said he not included a lot of the information he had received in the book for legal reasons. "I didn't expect to find all this stuff and I certainly didn't seek it out. I didn't expect to get all the information like I did for the semi-final," he said. "I can't watch a game again in the same way, when you've got as close to the illegal market as I have, heard all the things that I have."
wiggins wants to defend his tour de France title PARIS AGeNCIeS
Bradley Wiggins wants to defend his Tour de France title despite Team Sky's initial plans to make Chris Froome their team leader in the 2013 race. But Olympic time-trial winner Wiggins, 32, also said he would support whatever team strategy was ultimately agreed. In July, Wiggins, supported by Froome, became the race's first British winner. "I'm probably going to try and win a second Tour de France, so I don't know, maybe we'll have two leaders," Wiggins told BBC Radio 5 live. Team Sky boss Dave Brailsford said in November that "the Tour of Italy would be a very good target for Bradley and leave Froomy then to focus on the Tour de France". However he admitted that the plans were not "completely signed off" at that point. "My goal is to win the Tour next year. Whether that is realised or not, I don't know really," Wiggins added. "How that's going to work with the team I don't know - it's more Dave's problem, really, to worry about. Just when you thought Team Sky's plans for 2013 were sorted - Wiggins for the Giro, Froome for France - the main man chooses an interview on national radio to say 'erm… hold on a mo, are we sure?' This must mean Wiggins is training well, his competitive juices are flowing, and doubts linger over Froome's ability to captain a Tour challenge. The "co-leaders" approach calls to mind Hinault v LeMond in 1986, and Armstrong v Contador in 2009 - it will not be boring. "It's just how we service both mouths - that's more the problem to figure out." The 2013 Tour de France course would appear to favour Froome because the time trials in which Wiggins thrives have been reduced from 100km to 65km, with several tough ascents. General classification standings at 2012 Tour de France 1. Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) 87 hours, 34 minutes, 41 seconds 2. Chris Froome (Team Sky) +3 mins 41 secs 3. Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas) +6:19 4. Jurgen van den Broeck (Lotto) +10:15 5. Tejay van Garderen (BMC) +11:04 The Manxman has since decided to leave Team Sky, and Brailsford may have to juggle competing demands once again. If Wiggins's unorthodox suggestion of having two team leaders was not adopted by Team Sky however, he is adamant that he would work to support Froome. "Whatever the team strategy is, I'll support that, otherwise you don't take the start line because there will be someone else who is willing to fulfil that job," he added "It's a case of doing what's asked of you on the day, whatever that decision is."
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Clijsters bows out on a winning note ANTWERP AGeNCIeS
Corps Commander Polo Cup begins LAHORE STAff reporT
Corps Commander Polo Cup 2012 which is the Pakistan Polo Association first tournament of this polo season is being played at Lahoreâ€™s Garrison Saddle and Polo Club, Fortress Stadium Polo Ground and Sarwar Road Polo Ground Lahore Cantt. This tournament consists of nine Polo Teams having 4 to 8 goals handicap. In the first match played yesterday, Lahore Garrison beat Guard Group/Colony Sugar by Nine and Half to one while in the second match Master Paints faced a slender margin defeat at the hands of Newage four and a half goals to five.
IM Clijsters waved goodbye to her Belgian fans on a winning note on Wednesday night. The fourtime Grand Slam singles champion beat Venus Williams 6-3 6-3 in an exhibition match in Antwerp. The action - labelled 'Kim's Thank You Games' - was watched by a capacity crowd of more than 13,000. The former world number one retired from competitive tennis during the US Open back in the summer but wanted to play one more time on home soil. However, speaking after the match, Clijsters said enough was enough. "I had no regrets at stopping my career on August 29 at the US Open, and I still don't have any." Clijsters, now 29, won the US Open three times, in 2005, 2009 and 2010, while her final Grand Slam success came at the 2011 Australian Open. One of the most popular WTA players, she initially retired back in 2007 but, after giving birth to a daughter, was lured back to the tour in 2009, winning the US Open within weeks of her return to the court.
England V India 09:00AM
Baltacha targets two more years after injury return LONDON AGeNCIeS
Roddick enjoying life after retirement
Pioneer Club beat Model town Eaglets LAHORE STAff reporT
Pioneer Cricket Club beat Model Town Eaglets by 32 runs at R Block Model Town Ground in friendly fixture. Pioneer club 202 for 6 wkts in 25 overs. Mohammad Ajmal 80,Nadeem Javed Butt 40,Kh Abid 30. Shahbaz Ahmed 2-30, Ameen Ahmed 3-40. Model Town Eaglets 170 all out. Shahbaz Ahmed 30, Kashif Ali 32. Hasan Azam 3-30, Kh Abdullah 3-30, Ashfaq Ahmed 3-40. Mohammad Ajmal man of the match.
watch it Live STAR SPORTS
NEW YORK AGeNCIeS
Andy Roddick has no regrets about his retirement from tennis but admits that could change when the 2013 season begins. Roddick said farewell to the sport after the US Open, amid emotional scenes at Flushing Meadows and has since
been spending time working on his golf handicap. The popular American has not taken himself away from tennis completely, though, beating Andy Murray in an exhibition match in Miami earlier this month and spending time helping out James Blake in practice. "To be honest, I don't know that it will really affect me until January comes around," Roddick told ESPN. "The last 13 Januarys I've been in Australia. I haven't experienced the eighth of January in the United States for 15 years. "You start to identify certain months with certain places, that's where you are. I wasn't jealous of the guys going on a 15-hour flight to Shanghai or wherever else. Once I see the guys over (in Australia), obviously I'll miss it a little bit. "I've played 50-60 rounds since the US Open. My game's okay, but I look at things in the grand scheme of sports. Someone who's okay at golf. "I imagine the guy playing next to me in some tennis centre that I was judging and I think I'm that guy in golf now. I can hit the ball a little bit, but I definitely don't want to say I'm any good at it at all." "Tennis is still fun. That's the thing. Some people leave because they resent the game or they just can't play anymore. "I don't know that was the case for me in either scenario. I always said I wanted to go out on my terms when I could still play a little bit. I still enjoy hitting balls. "Tennis is a full-time job and not just the two hours that people see when we're on the court. The recovery became hard. "I'm not graceful like Roger Federer. I have to use a lot more effort and a lot more of my physical tools. And what you see when I play is what I did in every practice. My body kept asking for more and I'm not sure I had more to give."
Elena Baltacha hopes to return from injury in March and believes she can play for at least two more years. The Scot, 29, under went foot surgery in October and, having not played since the Olympic Games in July, admitted she had doubts over coming back. She has slipped to 173 in the world but has a protected ranking of 103, so will qualify for Grand Slams on her return. "My motivation to come back is that I think I've still got two or three more years," Baltacha told BBC Sport. "I don't think having that last match at the Olympics against Ana [Ivanovic] was the right time to pack it in. To be honest, I really needed that break. I didn't realise how exhausted I was, mentally and emotionally, and I hit a wall. "Having the six months off, doing a bit of coaching with the EBAT (Elena Baltacha Academy of Tennis) girls, really made me realise where I fell short as a player. Not seeing it as a player but as a coach, it made me realise where I struggled as a player and what I needed to do." Asked if she believed she could overhaul the likes of Laura Robson and Heather Watson to regain the British number one spot, Baltacha said: "I think anything is possible." Watson and Robson have excelled in her absence, with the former becoming the first British woman to win a WTA title since 1988 and ending the year ranked 49, and the latter rising to 53 in the world and being named WTA newcomer of the year. "I'm not ruling anything out but I'm not going into it thinking, 'I have to be number one,'" Baltacha added. "If I come back and I'm not, I'm still going to be very happy with what I've achieved - being top 50 two years on the trot, all my top-10 wins - I will always be very, very proud of what I achieved. "If it doesn't happen then that's just the way it is, but if I do, absolutely fantastic." GB players' WTA rankings 49 - Heather Watson 53 - Laura Robson 143 - Anne Keothavong 156 - Johanna Konta 173 - Elena Baltacha Baltacha's last match was a secondround loss to Ana Ivanovic at the Olympics, and the Briton admitted that at the time she had not expected to return, saying: "I went in knowing that was going to be my last tournament. I was so tired, mentally and emotionally." However, Baltacha is now eight weeks into her rehabilitation and several weeks ahead of schedule, with hopes of returning to the practice court in the new year, The plan is to compete again in Indian Wells, which would prove a tough test after an eight-month lay-off as one of the most prestigious events on the circuit. "I know it's probably going to be quite a few levels above what I'll be capable of, but the reason I picked it is it's one of my favourite tournaments," she said.
Lipsky soars ahead at Iskandar Open JOHOR BAHRU AGeNCIeS
Asian Tour rookie David Lipsky set the scorching pace at the US$2 million Iskandar Johor Open. Heavy thunderstorms and lightning threats forced play to be suspended at 1.34pm and with heavy rains showing no sign of letting up throughout the afternoon, 84 players will have to return at 7.15am on Friday to resume their round. Australia's Unho Park posted a flawless 65 to take second place while Korean-American Kevin Na signed for a 66 to take third place at the Horizon Hills Golf and Country Club. South Africa's Peter Karmis kept his hopes of securing his Tour card for next season alive when he returned with a 67 to take
a share of fourth place with India's S.S.P. Chowrasia, Philippines' Angelo Que and Australia's Darren Beck who is at five-under through 17 holes at the Asian Tour seasonending event. Lipsky, who won his maiden Asian Tour title in Cambodia earlier this year, stood on the brink of extending his advantage to two when his tee shot on the par-three eight landed within two-feet of the pin. The 24-year-old did not have the opportunity to tap in his birdie putt as the air horns began to blow, signalling the start of a play suspension which eventually led to it being abandoned. "I had a two-footer for birdie and I was looking to make that and finish the round strong. I just made like three pars in a row before the delay so it didn't stop any momentum. I would have preferred to sleep in
but you can't do anything about these weather conditions," said Lipsky. Despite putting himself into a good position on the leaderboard after the opening round, Park insisted he is solely focused on securing his Tour card for next season. "I'm still trying to keep my card, that's the focus. If I'm up there on the last day then it will be fantastic but right now, it will be a bonus if I can be inside the top-60," said Park, who is currently lying in 66th place on the rankings. Having finished tied-36th in Thailand last week, Na is now hoping to shake off the effects of his long-distance travel from the United States and end his year on a winning note. A graduate of the Asian Tour, the 29year-old enjoyed his career breakthrough in Malaysia in 2002 before going on to achieve
more success on the US PGA Tour where he won once last year. "I was very pleased with how I played. I played very solid with seven birdies and only one bogey. I putted great and hit the ball good," said Na. "I got a good practice in Thailand. It was a long commute for me and got a little sick. I've got over that and I'm feeling better and better. Hopefully I can get it low and see where I am," added Na. Asian Tour Order of Merit contenders Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand and Australia's Marcus Fraser are at one-under after 17 holes. The Iskandar Johor Open is presented by Iskandar Waterfront Holdings Sdn Bhd, which is a government-linked company specifically incorporated to take on the role of master developer of prime waterfront
properties in Johor Bahru. Completed scores after round 1 of the Iskandar Johor Open Presented by Iskandar waterfro being played at the par 72, 6941 Yards Horizon Hills GCC course (a- denotes amateur): 65 - Unho PARK (AUS). 66 - Kevin NA (USA). 67 - Peter KARMIS (RSA), Angelo qUE (PHI), S.S.P. CHOwRASIA (IND). 68 - Daniel CHOPRA (SwE). 70 - Michael tRAN (vNM), Sukree OtHMAN (MAS), zHANG lian-wei (CHN), Sam CYR (USA), Arnond vONGvANIJ (tHA), Ron HARvEY JR. (CAN). 71 - wade ORMSBY (AUS), Peter GUStAFSSON (SwE), Michael CAMPBEll (Nzl). Selected scores David lIPSKY (USA) -8 through 16 holes Marcus FRASER (AUS) -1 through 17 holes thaworn wIRAtCHANt (tHA) -1 through 17 holes Jbe KRUGER (RSA) Even-par through 17 holes
Friday, 14 December, 2012
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Friday, 14 December, 2012
President has no authority on judges’ appointment: SC Court says JC, PC decision final in judges’ appointment g Wasim Sajjad says president’s role not symbolic g AG says president’s decision on seniority is final g
ISLAMABAD STAff reporT
USTICE Gulzar Ahmed of the Supreme Court on Thursday said the decision of the Judicial Commission (JC) and Parliamentary Committee (PC) on judges’ appointment was final and the president could not use his discretionary powers in this regard. A five-member special bench of the apex court headed by Justice Khilji Arif
Hussain heard the president’s reference regarding appointment of judges to higher judiciary. In his arguments, Attorney General Irfan Qadir said the president could stop appointment of any judge having a fake degree, adding that the court could not give order on the president’s decision. He said the constitution granted permission to the president to use discretionary powers that were explained under Article 48-1. Earlier, Wasim Sajjad, counsel for the president, continued with his ar-
guments and said the Judicial Commission had no authority to ascertain seniority of judges. He said the role of president was not merely symbolic and he had authority to nominate judges. Appearing before the bench on the part of the federal government, Sajjad said the criterion for the appointment of judges should be same as had been enshrined in the code of conduct, adding that the parliamentary committee rejected names of some judges, but the court brushed aside the committee’s decision. The federal government’s counsel asserted, “How can the president act if he believes the decision by the Judicial Commission (JC) and the Parliamentary Committee was wrong, as he was the final authority to appoint judges.” Sajjad said it was misquoted in the Munir Bhatti case
that the president was just to sign the notification, instead the president appointed the chief justice of Pakistan (CJP). While giving his remarks, Justice Tariq Pervaiz said parliament could authorise the president to nominate the judges. Justice Khilji Arif Hussain wondered how could the court grant powers to the president that were not given to him by the constitution. He observed the judiciary could not amend any letter in the constitution, so how could it amend Article-175. Meanwhile, Justice Ijaz Afzal said the Parliamentary Committee reserved the right to return recommendations to the Judicial Commission for review. He said the decision by the JC or the Parliamentary Committee could not be considered an advice from the cabinet or the prime minister, adding the prime min-
ister was not authorised to even give his opinion on the matter. Justice Tariq Pervez said if parliament had deemed it imperative, it would have entitled the president with the role in the appointment of judges. However, AG Irfan Qadir said the president could hold back the appointment on the charges of corruption or dishonesty or if the constitution was being violated and no court was empowered to give ruling on any initiative by the president. “The president’s decision on seniority of the judges is final,” the AG said, adding that the meeting dated October 22, 2012 was not of Judicial Commission. Justice Tariq said, “You personally attended that meeting.” On this the AGP remarked, “I attended a session which was anything but not a JC meeting.”
NAB chief scrambles to mitigate damage
KArACHI: police personnel look at a briefcase bomb which was found under a bridge in baloch Colony on Thursday. ONLINe
Bokhari calls press conference to clear his position on corruption report g Says actual quantum of leakage of resources around Rs 10-12 billion a day g
ISLAMABAD TAyyAb HUSSAIN
AI finds Pakistani military guilty of HR abuses g
Pakistan Army rejects report as pack of lies ISLAMABAD STAff reporT
Amnesty International (AI) has claimed it found Pakistan military guilty of rights abuses along the Afghan border, using new security laws and a colonial-era penal system to act with impunity. The Pakistan military authorities have rejected the allegations. In a report issued on Thursday, AI claimed that lack of justice was fuelling a rights crisis in the northwestern, semi-autonomous region where Taliban and al Qaeda-linked violence was concentrated. The AI blames Pakistan’s armed forces for arbitrarily detaining thousands for long periods with little or no access to due process. The report has been prepared on the basis of interviews with victims, witnesses, relatives, lawyers, officials and militants. The UK-based human rights group said cases of
death and torture had been documented where detainees were not brought before court and relatives had no idea of their fate, sometimes for extended periods of time. “Almost every week the bodies of those arrested by the armed forces are being returned to their families or reportedly found dumped across the Tribal Areas,” said Polly Truscott, Amnesty’s deputy Asia-Pacific director. “The government must immediately reform the deeply flawed legal system in the Tribal Areas that perpetuates the cycle of violence,” she added. Although judges have sought to investigate the fate of people who go missing, Amnesty said no military personnel had been prosecuted for alleged torture, enforced disappearance or deaths in custody. It demanded the repeal of sweeping powers of arrest and detention given to the armed forces in 2011, and called on the ju-
risdiction of the courts and parliament to be extended to the Tribal Areas. Amnesty also singled out the Taliban and other militant groups for targeting human rights activists, aid workers, journalists and alleged spies. The report stated that the Taliban brutally killed personnel of security forces after capturing them and hence violating the law of international human rights. According to the Amnesty, people were killed in the areas where Taliban and militants had strongholds, posing great threats to the Pakistani community. ARMy REjEcTS ALLEgATIOn: However, the Pakistan Army rejected the allegations, calling the report baseless. While refuting the allegations, a spokesman of the ISPR termed the AI report a “pack of lies and part of sinister propaganda campaign against Pakistan and its armed forces”. It is a biased report based on fabricated stories twisted to serve an agenda, the spokesman added.
In wake of the federal cabinet’s strict notice of the statement by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) regarding rampant corruption in the country, NAB Chairman Admiral (r) Fasih Bokhari hurriedly called a pre-emptive press conference on Thursday to clear his position on corruption data. The cabinet had rejected the NAB report on Wednesday. In a sombre tone, Bokhari made an effort to clear the air between him and the government, but stood his ground and defended his statement. He said NAB was a part of the government and wanted to assist it in plugging the leakages. “Corruption is no longer a partycentric‚ incident-centric phenomenon, but is now an attitude across the board. Daily corruption of about Rs 5-7 billion mentioned by NAB is a terrible figure for Pakistan, but it is an international perception based on various factors of negligence. The figure is based on annual direct losses as evident from various indicators. For example internationally average acceptable tax to GDP ratio is 17-20 percent while the figure in Pakistan is nine percent, making a total loss of Rs 2,5003,000 billion,” he added. He said the actual quantum of leakage of resources was around Rs 10-12 billion a day, which included tax evasion of Rs 7 billion and around Rs 5-6 billion leakages being committed in state institutions across the country, including the Centre and the provinces. “The history of corruption in Pakistan is long. Even Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah had talked of its elimination... Moreover, the phenomenon of corruption is not limited to Pakistan only, rather it is a global phenomenon,” he added. Bokhari reiterated his claim that corruption was taking place at a large scale in the country. The NAB chairman said it was imperative to amend the system in order to stamp out corruption. Bokhari praised the role played by media in eradicating corruption and declared the Pakistani media NAB’s partner. He also said 59 laws were passed to tackle corruption since Pakistan came into being. Moreover, he said only two of the
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Editor: Arif Nizami
three pillars of the state remained standing, as corruption had weakened Pakistan’s roots. “There are two state institutions left in the country. One is legislator and executive and the other is judiciary”. Bokhari clarified that he was not the only one who had raised the issue of the high amount of corruption, as the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) had also identified corruption of Rs 300-350 billion. The level of corruption in the country had also been identified by the FBR and other local and foreign organisations, he added. The NAB chairman added that taxes contributed 17-20 percent to the economy globally, while in Pakistan that number was nine percent. He said the legislature wanted to appoint regulators of its choice without keeping in view merit. He said records of mismanagement in matters such as forests and tree-cutting had been collected, adding that it was duty of the Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR) to stop tax evasion. To a question, Bokhari said it would be wrong to talk of revolutions or military intervention, as times had changed. To another question, Bokhari said it was wrong to perceive that the purpose of presenting statistical data on corruption meant setting an agenda for the caretaker government. He said the NAB and government were on the same page to eradicate corruption from the country. “The fact that I’m conducting my fourth press conference in two months shows that the NAB is serious in rooting out corruption.” He said NAB’s assessment of direct losses in mega projects (mis-procurements) stood at Rs 350 billion. Continued on page 04