Page 1

LHR 19-02-2012_Layout 1 2/19/2012 3:38 AM Page 1

pakistantoday.com.pk

rs22.00 Vol ii no 233 22 Pages lahore edition

sunday, 19 February, 2012 rabi-ul-awal 26, 1433

Pakistan calls US Balochistan bill ‘unfriendly, irresponsible’

Peace in Balochistan

Nationalists say impossible for ‘real Baloch leaders’ to attend PM’s proposed APC on Balochistan

g

ISLAMABAD StaFF RepoRt

Talal Bugti says ‘PM living in a fool’s paradise ... stop Baloch abductions, targeted killings first’

g

ISLAMABAD iRFan BukhaRi

He All Parties Conference (APC) on Balochistan proposed by Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani is likely to be a nonstarter, as Baloch nationalist leaders are not willing to sit on the negotiating table with the federal government to resolve tensions in the restive province. Gilani on February 15, announced to convene an APC on Balochistan in the near future. The proposal came in response to severe criticism by the opposition parties and media against the government’s “indifference” towards the growing unrest in the province despite a recent US congressional hearing on Balochistan. Talking to journalists last Wednesday, Gilani said the proposed APC on Balochistan would be held “as soon as possible”. Although the prime minister has not yet started formal contacts with various po-

File photo litical parties to finalise the APC’s date and agenda, Baloch nationalist parties, which remain important stakeholders, bear sceptical views about the government’s overture and are likely to turn down the invitation. Talking to Pakistan Today, Talal Bugti, president of the Jamhuri Watan Party and son of slain Baloch leader Nawab Akbar Bugti, said it was impossible for “real Baloch leaders” to attend the APC convened by the government. “The prime minister is living in fool’s paradise ... no Baloch leader either living in Pakistan or abroad can attend such a moot until our people’s abductions and targeted killings come to an end,” he added. Bugti said that troops must be withdrawn from the province and the role of spy agencies should be curtailed to make the environment conducive for

talks in order to find a permanent solution for the Balochistan imbroglio. Senator Muhammad Humayon Khan Mandokhel, an independent senator from Balochistan, said the proposed APC would prove a nonstarter, as the government had lost credibility among the Baloch people. “Due to huge trust deficit with the government, Baloch nationalist parties will not participate in the proposed APC,” Mandokhel said, adding that the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP)-led coalition government had not taken any concrete steps in the last four years to win the confidence of disgruntled Baloch leaders. He said the government could not even implement more than 30 percent of the Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan package. “No mega development projects were

launched in the province and promised negotiations with angry Baloch leaders were also not held by the government,” he said. He said the federal government wanted to restore peace in the province through the use of force, which was counterproductive. “People are being abducted everyday and the government has also failed to curb the incidents of targeted killing,” he said, adding that the absence of Baloch nationalist parties from the APC would mar its scope and fruitfulness. Senator Abdul Rahim Khan Mandokhel of the Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) said he had not been contacted by the government or the prime minister over the proposed APC, adding that he would decide his participation after being contacted in this regard.

Pakistan on Saturday said the draft resolution on Balochistan tabled in the US House of Representatives was an “unfriendly and irresponsible” attempt against the United Nations Charter and international law. In a statement, Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar took a strong exception to the draft bill on Balochistan submitted in the US House of Representatives on Friday. She said although the bill was an isolated move by a few individuals, it was contrary to the principles of UN Charter and international law. She said the bill was also against the very fundamentals of the long-standing US-Pakistan relations. She said the National Assembly had unanimously adopted a resolution condemning a recent open hearing on Balochistan by the Foreign Affairs Sub-Committee on Oversight and Investigations. “The National Assembly resolution had clearly represented the legitimate reaction of the people of Pakistan,” she said. Continued on Page 04

related stories | Pages o3 and 28


LHR 19-02-2012_Layout 1 2/19/2012 3:38 AM Page 2

02 News Today’s

Sunday, 19 February 2012

lAhOre

newS

‘Spineless beggars!’

Sherry seeks uS investment in pakistan

Story on Page 07

Story on Page 05

CArtOOn

Quick Look

Page 13

Abducted JUI-F leader returns home safe QUETTA: Jamiat-Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl Quetta deputy chief Haji Sadiq Nurzai, who was abducted three days ago, returned home safe and sound late on Saturday night. The party has been protesting over the abduction of its leader who was kidnapped by unidentified men in the night between Wednesday and Thursday. Police had found his vehicle with open doors and head lights on in Satellite town area. The JUI-F also went on a shutter-down strike in the provincial capital on Friday. Sources in the party confirmed the return of Nurzai. However, party leaders are tightlipped over his ordeal. StaFF RepoRt

Security forces kill 29 militants in Khyber, Orakzai PESHAWAR: At least 29 militants were killed and 18 were injured in various clashes between militants and security forces in Orakzai and Khyber agencies on Saturday. Three of the volunteers were also martyred during the encounter. Security forces also demolished four militant hideouts through helicopter shelling. Meanwhile, one man died and three were injured in a hand grenade attack in Kurram Agency. nni

Dera Bugti blast kills two FC men QUETTA: Militants ambushed a Frontier Constabulary (FC) convoy in Dera Bugti area in Balochistan killing two soldiers and injuring another nine, security officials said on Saturday. The convoy was on its routine patrol in the Sangsela area when the vehicle hit an explosive device planted on the roadside. The Balochistan Republican Army has claimed responsibility for the attack. The FC personnel cordoned off the area and initiated an investigation into the incident. Meanwhile, police personnel in the Dera Murad Jamali area escaped a terror bid when a bomb planted by unidentified men went off damaging their vehicle. “The unidentified men had planted a bomb along the roadside and exploded it with remote control when the van of police patrolling party passed by the area,” police sources said. StaFF RepoRt

Sialkot: Federal information Minister Firdous ashiq awan addresses a public gathering at kot koura village.

Bannu: armed men from the Mohmand khel tribe chant slogans during a jirga on Saturday. ONLINE

Four Hindu terrorists planted 4 bombs on Samjhota Express NEW DELhI inp

Startling revelations by Kamal Chouhan are helping Indian investigators understand how bombs used in blowing up Samjhota express were brought to the capital, and the sequence of events leading to the tragedy that killed 68 passengers, most of them Pakistani nationals. Today marks the fifth anniversary of the attack. Samjhota express, a train service launched as a peace initiative between Pakistan and India, was blown up at Diwana station near the Indian city of Panipat, Haryana in the early hours of February 19, 2007. Chouhan, arrested last Sunday and produced in court earlier this week, has reportedly said that he has no “regrets” over the Samjhota bombing. He is said to have told interrogators that there were four “planters” who came in two separate groups to Old Delhi Railway Station with four suitcases, each carrying a bomb. Chouhan said that he was among 11 people who were given arms training at Bagli in early 2006 and also part of the “firing

lessons” organised by Sunil Joshi (now dead) given to eight people in Faridabad in April 2006. Chouhan said that in the group that received the initial arms training, there were Joshi, Ramji (Ramachandra Kalsangra (who is on the run), Sandeep Dange (absconding) and Lokesh Sharma (in jail). Chouhan said that on February 15, 2007, three days before the bombing, he received a phone call from Sharma in Indore who told him that “the time for work has come”, and asked him to come to the Indore railway station to “accompany him on a journey”. Chouhan claims he did not ask for details but knew that “they were going to plant a bomb somewhere”. At the railway station, Chouhan told investigators that he met Lokesh who had two suitcases. “I pulled one and found it was heavier, heavier than a suitcase with clothes. He (Lokesh) had arranged the train reservation already. We had confirmed tickets,”‘ he said. Investigators are not sure what names were used. Chouhan and Lokesh boarded Intercity express to Hazrat Nizamuddin. Chouhan

said Lokesh used a chain to lock the suitcases. He said they avoided all talk of their “mission” because there were people around. Both reached Nizamuddin the next morning from where they went to the Old Delhi Railway Station where they checked into a dormitory. They kept the suitcases in the room and went for a stroll, had lunch near Red Fort and it was then that they discussed the bombing plan, Chouhan told investigators. That evening, Chouhan told investigators, they waited for Samjhota express to pull in. “Lokesh took the briefcase that he was carrying and boarded the train and left it there. He had asked me to wait. Then he came back and took the briefcase that I was carrying and went to another compartment,” Chouhan reportedly said. “After this, we left the station immediately.”‘ Regarding the source of the bombs, Chouhan has told investigators that these were given to Lokesh by Ramji. Four improvised explosive devices (IeDs) were planted in unreserved compartments of the Samjhota express, of which the IeDs in the 12th and 13th compartments exploded.

Curb street crime, PM tells Sindh CM KArAchI StaFF RepoRt

Prime Minister (PM) Yousuf Raza Gilani on Saturday directed Sindh Chief Minister (CM) Qaim Ali Shah to take effective measures to curb law and order situation in the province, particularly in Karachi. Saturday saw the PM trying to counter-balance a visibly-welcome political summersault by MQM’s Babar Ghauri, who had earlier refused to deliver a speech from a bulletproof rostrum set by Karachi Port Trust during a groundbreaking ceremony at the Karachi port. The PM asked Shah and Sindh Governor Isratul ebad Khan, “The law and order issue is the responsibility of the CM. Street crimes should be overcome.” Gilani’s directives came in response to Federal Minister for Ports and Shipping Babar Khan Ghauri’s request to the increasing ratio of street crimes in Sindh as well as Karachi. In his address Ghauri said the rising number of street crimes in the province must be brought to the PM’s notice. “efforts made earlier have not proven effective,” the MQM leader said. Further, Ghauri received a visible applause from the well-attended gathering by not speaking from the bulletproof rostrum. “I will speak from a place that is closer to you,” Ghauri told media when given the microphone.


LHR 19-02-2012_Layout 1 2/19/2012 3:38 AM Page 3

Sunday, 19 February 2012

FOreIgn newS

ArtS & entertAInMent

SPOrtS

Strauss-kahn to be quizzed on prostitution ring

Shoaib akhtar is stalking me: Meera

kaneria vows to clear his name in spot-fixing scandal

News 03 COMMent action, not hype Obama administration dissociated itself from the move.

another attack

The issues of militancy and terrorism are not going to go away.

humayun gauhar says: The world according to the US: Whose fault is it that we are underlings?

M J akbar says: Forward march!: The definition of success is a variable, not a constant.

hashim bin Rashid says: The price of Baloch blood: Balochistan has been under siege since 1947.

Story on Page 15

Story on Page 17

Politicians slam US draft bill on Balochistan Say US move blatant violation of international laws, meddling in internal affairs g

ISLAMABAD/PEShAWAr

P

StaFF RepoRt/agencieS

OLITICAL leaders from all major political parties of the country on Saturday strongly condemned the tabling of a draft bill in the US House of Representatives on Balochistan, which called upon Pakistan to recognise the right to self-determination for the people of Balochistan, calling it a tactic to interfere in the country’s internal affairs. Rep Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) had introduced a House Concurrent Resolution that the Baloch nation had a historic right to self-determination. Jamaat-e-Islami chief Syed Munawar Hasan called the resolution a blatant interference in Pakistan’s internal affairs. In a statement issued on Saturday, he said the US had come out openly against the country and it might use the UN platform to separate Balochistan from Pakistan in the manner it had done in the case of east Timor and South Sudan. He called upon the government to review its ties with the US, end its support in the war against terrorism and devise an independent foreign policy. Hasan said the US had turned a blind eye to India that had been carrying out state terrorism in the disputed state of Kashmir and committing gross human rights violations. Besides, he said, the US had been openly supporting Israel and was fully involved in the massacre of innocent Palestinians. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Secretary Information Senator Mushahidullah said the move on part of the US was a direct attack on the sovereignty of the country and it was also a violation of international laws. He

demanded the government seek explanation from US ambassador to Pakistan over the matter. Mushahidullah linked the government’s failure with the move, saying giving a guard of honour to former president Musharraf created feelings of depravation among the Baloch people, while the government also failed to fulfill its promise of Balochistan reforms package. Senator Ismail Buledi of the JUI-F said had the government stopped the US from carrying out drone attacks, the US would not have tried to make attempts at the country’s sovereignty. Senator Tahir Hussain Mashhadi of the MQM criticised the US move, saying it was against the diplomatic norms and violation of United Nations charter. “The US showed its power in Afghanistan, Korea, Iraq and several other countries and is now trying to aggravate the feelings of Baloch people as part of its conspiracy against the Islamic countries,” he said. Balochistan Chief Minister Aslam Raisani also criticised the US Congress resolution on Balochistan, saying it was a sheer violation of international laws and meddling in Pakistan’s internal matters. The chief minister called the resolution “condemnable” and urged the US to bar its lawmakers and activists from passing such resolutions and activities against Pakistan. “Are the so-called champions of self-determination bothered about the people of Palestine and Kashmir?” the chief minister added. PML-N Khyber Pakhtunkhwa lawmaker Javed Abbassi said the US bill was a blatant interference in the internal affairs of Pakistan and moved an adjournment motion against the American resolution in the provincial assembly.

65 camps providing training to 2,000 Baloch rebels: Balochistan FC chief

KArAchI inp

Inspector General Frontier Corps (IGFC) Major General Ubaidullah Khattak has said that 60 to 65 camps of the rebels are providing training to 1,500 to 2,000 insurgents in Balochistan while training camps of Baloch

separatists were also operating in Afghanistan. During an interview with a private TV channel, the IGFC said that torturing of the people was not a solution to any problem rather it fans prejudices, adding that with torture no one can find solution to any problem of the world. Ubaidullah said the Balochistan issue must be resolved according to the wishes of the people of the province, saying the FC was a national institution which “seeks solutions by avoiding extreme ends like torture”. Condemning the murder of Balochistan minister Mir Bakhtiar Domki’s wife and daughter in Karachi, Ubaidullah said that such incidents were against the tribal traditions and also provoke anti-state sentiments among the masses. He said the killings were a conspiracy to harm the solidarity of the state. He said the heads of Baloch rebel groups, Barhamdagh Bugti and Harbyar Marri, were given political asylum in Switzerland, while Dr Allah Nazar is living in the Mushk mountain range between Turbat and Panjgoor.

Story on Page 18

Articles on Page 12-13

hr committee condemns selective attitude of western powers ISLAMABAD tahiR niaz

Condemning the selective attitude of Western powers towards application of human rights, the Senate Functional Committee on Human Rights has observed that there was a need to get rid of status quo and suitably check the abuse of power to stop violations of human rights in the country. In its report, the committee headed by Senator Afrasiab Khattak recommended the government adopt a suitable legislation to prosecute government officials involved in missing and abduction cases. It said the Anti-Terrorism Act may be overhauled in true letter and spirit and be implemented as soon as possible.

“Suitable amendments in the laws may be made in the laws for making the law enforcing officials accountable before the elected representative as well as courts. The country is in high stage of insurgency, therefore government should construct high security prisons for terrorists and separate prisons for common prisoners,” it proposed. The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) should provide assistance/NOC for installation of jammers in prisons to control the activities of prisoners. “WAPDA should exempt the prisons from night load shedding,” it added. The committee expressed concern over the violation of human rights in Swat and FATA, drone attacks as well as news items about stationing of US marines in Islamabad under the guise of embassy staff and stressed the need for safeguarding territorial and national sovereignty of the country at all costs.


LHR 19-02-2012_Layout 1 2/19/2012 3:38 AM Page 4

04 News

Sunday, 19 February, 2012

Asfandyar prevails over

Iran training female ninjas as potential assassins

Continued From Page 28 “You see, the son of one of the leaders has been appointed as state minister, while another leader has been appointed as a special assistant to the prime minister. What else they would need now,” he argued. When contacted, the newly-appointed special assistant to the prime minister said the PML-Q had not budged even an inch from its demand. “Yes, we have been given ministries but it is wrong to call these portfolios as a sell out. Actually the PPP leadership is being pressurised by the ANP leadership to ignore the popular demand for Hazara province,” he added. However, he admitted that the PML-Q leadership was not pushing the PPP leadership further to introduce legislation in this regard.

MoNItorINg DESK

Quetta: a girl waits to fill up water gallons on Saturday as there is a severe shortage of potable water in the ghousabad area. ONLINE

No DPC leaders allowed in Islamabad Orders issued to arrest hafiz Saeed, Maulana Ahmed ludhianvi, Abdul razzaq Dhillon if seen in capital g

MoNItorINg DESK The Islamabad administration on Saturday imposed a seven-day entry ban on certain Difa-e-Pakistan Council leaders, including Jamaatud Dawa’s (JuD) Hafiz Saeed, Maulana Ahmed Ludhianvi and Abdul Razzaq Dhallu entering the capital. According to an express News report, the ban has

Scores of black-clad female “ninja” fighters whose ages range from 5 to 56 are just a handful of 3,000 women in Iran who are being trained as lethal warriors at a school in Tehran, daily The Telegraph said in a report on Saturday. “We train women to have strength and ability. We have to do everything in our power to protect our homeland,” Akbar Faraji, who runs the school, told the paper. One of the fighters who has been training for over 13 years said, “Our aim is for Iranian women to be strengthened and if a problem arises, we will definitely declare our readiness to defend our Islamic homeland.” Iran has proclaimed advances in nuclear technology, including new centrifuges able to enrich uranium, a move that has heightened its confrontation with the West over suspicions it is planning to make nuclear weapons. On Friday, British Home Secretary William Hague told The Telegraph that Iran’s pursuit of weapons of mass destruction could trigger a “new Cold War”.

been imposed to stop the leaders from attending the DPC’s February 20 gathering. Sources said the barred leaders will be arrested if they entered the capital. Meanwhile the Aabpara Market traders’ community asked the DPC to refrain from staging a rally in Aabpara market. Interior Minister Rehman Malik had had ear-

lier suspended the Station House Officer (SHO) Margalla after police failed to stop the three from appearing at a Milad-un-Nabi gathering. A day earlier, the US State Department issued a press release raising concern over Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed’s public appearances, including at the Difa-e-Pakistan Council (DPC) rally in Karachi.

Pakistan and Qatar nominates clinch deal to import DrUS Afridi for highest award 500mcfeet LPG daily WAShINgtoN inp

g

achieving self-sufficiency is a key factor to keep the engine of economy running as well as meeting the future demands of the economic growth.” According to the PM, Pakistan was meeting 53 percent of its total energy requirements through indigenous oil and gas production, whereas other indigenous resources further meet 19 percent of the country’s energy needs. The remaining 27 percent of the energy needs were currently being met through imports, he said. “The energy imports are likely to increase as domestic gas production and supply presently fails to meet the demand of the domestic users, the industrial sector and power generation,” he said, adding that due to their all-pervasive use by these sectors, the country’s gas reserves may be insufficient to meet the rising demand. “Such a situation will force the country to resort to importing large volumes of gas at international prices to feed the domestic market if local production is not enhanced in relation to demand,” the PM said.

The United States had nominated Dr Shakeel Afridi, the Pakistani medic who helped the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in hunting down al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, for a Congressional Gold Medal, the country’s highest civilian honour. Dana Rohrabacher, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, has introduced a bill in the House of Representatives to recognise Dr Afridi’s services with the Congressional Gold Medal, and declare him a US citizen. Dr Afridi had set up a fake hepatitis immunisation campaign in an attempt to obtain DNA from bin Laden’s children and confirm the al Qaeda chief’s presence in the area. On the other hand, the masses and political leaders across Pakistan have criticised the US decision to reward the person who put the sovereignty of his country at stake. The Pakistani politicians were of the view that the US policy to award all those who work against Pakistan’s interests and favour US agenda would send negative signals and not help in improving bilateral relations.

According to the resolution, the people of Balochistan that are “currently divided between Pakistan, Iran, and Afghanistan, have the right to self-determination and to their own sovereign country, and they should be afforded the opportunity to choose their own status among the community of nations, living in peace and harmony, without external coercion”. Foreign Office Spokesman Abdul Basit said, “We are confident that this ill-advised and irresponsible

move will not be allowed to sail through.” He said the bill was a self-serving attempt on part of those who were driven by arrogance and ignorance. “The bill shows utter disrespect for international norms and practices,” he added. Meanwhile, State Department Spokesperson Victoria Nuland said the US had no intention to interfere in Pakistan’s affairs. In a briefing to newsmen in Washington, she said the US had concerns over the PakistanIran-Afghanistan gas pipeline project.

PM opens rs 2.55bn SSgC-lPg terminal at Port Qasim KArAchI iSMail DilawaR

P

AKISTAN has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the government of Qatar for the import of 500 million cubic feet of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) per day. This was said by Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani while inaugurating the Rs 2.55 billion LPG terminal at Port Qasim on Saturday. “I am happy to inform you that during my recent visit to Qatar, Pakistan concluded a memorandum of understanding with the government of Qatar for the import of 500 million cubic feet of LNG per day,” the prime minister said at the inaugural ceremony. To be imported through SSGC-LPG Terminal, the imported LNG would be provided to power houses to generate 2,500 megawatts of power, Gilani said. Criticising the previous successive government for their failure to give due focus to the energy sector, the prime

minister said key mega projects undertaken by his government to meet the energy demands included DiamerBasha Dam, Thar Coal Power Project, TAPI project and CASA-1000 in addition to dozens of small and mediumsized dams across the country. Pakistan was also committed to Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project, which would help the country overcome its energy problem to a large extent. “The implementation of these mega projects will not only enhance overall energy supplies, provide energy diversity but also lead to a greater energy security,” he said. Despite economic constraints imposed by natural disasters, energy deficits, global recession and the war on terrorism, the fundamentals of Pakistan’s economy were showing positive signs, he said. The prime minister said given the size and diversity of Pakistan’s economy, the country’s total energy requirements were expected to grow substantially during the next decade. “It is in this context that

Pakistan calls US Continued From Page 1

paRiS: Franco-pakistani girl amena tarar arrives with her mother ingrid at Roissy charles de gaulle airport on Saturday. allegdly kidnapped seven years ago by her pakistani father, amena tarar was found in lahore last week after police arrested her father following a French and pakistani court ruling. AFP

She said such an unfriendly and irresponsible attempt by a few individuals in Washington was aimed to create distrust between the peoples of the two countries. She expressed the hope that the tendentious move would not be allowed to sail through the House by a vast majority of US congressmen who continued to support friendly relations between the two countries. Soon after the bill was tabled on Friday, Pakistan strongly reacted to the move

dubbing it “ill-advised and irresponsible”, saying the resolution showed utter disrespect for international norms and practices. Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher had introduced a House Concurrent Resolution, which says that the Baloch nation has a right to self-determination. The bill stated that the Baloch people “have the right to self-determination and to their own sovereign country; and they should be afforded the opportunity to choose their own status”.


LHR 19-02-2012_Layout 1 2/19/2012 3:38 AM Page 5

Sunday, 19 February, 2012

News 05

Sherry seeks US investment in Pakistan g

Pakistan’s envoy to US says Islamabad committed to providing enabling environment to international investors WAShINgtoN

P

o n li ne

A K I S T A N ’ S Ambassador to the United States Sherry Rehman has urged American investors to benefit from enhanced business opportunities that Pakistan offers in several potential areas. Speaking to members of US-Pakistan Business Council, the envoy cited the example of fast-growing telecommunication sector, saying telecom companies were aggressively bidding for a market of 100 million mobile users and others should follow the suit. She highlighted the fact that a number of American companies were already successfully doing business in the country and contributing to better economic relations. “The council can greatly help in dispelling adverse perceptions in the US by relating to their business success stories in Pakistan to their fellow investors, political leaders and opinion makers,” she said at the US Chamber of Commerce.

Zardari leaving for Dubai to get medical checkup

She said Islamabad was committed to providing enabling environment and a level-playing field to international investors and has been rated at the top in South Asia for ease in doing business is concerned. The ambassador said one of the key priorities during her assignment in Washington would remain promoting stronger linkages between the private sectors of the two countries. “The government gives priority to investments in social sectors, programmes that promote justice, development and strengthening of infrastructure, industrialisation, economic reforms and trade facilitation.” Despite the continuing global financial crisis and regional situation, Pakistan last year achieved a 28 percent increase in exports, which were worth $25 billion. “The positive trends have continued in the last seven months, and other macro economic indicators are showing hopeful signs.” “We recognise that we have work to do on infrastructure and we seek

your assistance on energy investment,” she added. Sherry also reiterated Pakistan’s interest in concluding a bilateral investment treaty with the US. “A free trade agreement with the US is an important priority for Pakistan. I am sure many people present here are fervent advocates of open market and realize the benefits to be achieved from an FTA between the two countries.” Pakistan and the US had a robust trading relationship and the current volume of bilateral trade has doubled to $ 5.50 billion. “While this may be a source of some satisfaction on both sides, we firmly believe that the potential for enhancing trade relations between the two countries is far greater than that was has been achieved so far.” Welcoming the Pakistani ambassador on behalf of the members of the US-Pakistan Business Council, Chairman Miles Young said despite international financial difficulties, the American companies had made substantial profits and continued to prosper.

Divorce 12-year-old girl, court orders 48-year-old gUJrANWALA

ISLAMABAD nni

StaFF RepoRt

President Asif Ali Zardari leaving for Dubai from Karachi on Sunday (today) on a personal visit. Zardari is visiting Dubai for a medical checkup and is expected to return on Sunday evening. Sources said President Zardari scheduled a meeting with the Sindh political leadership to discuss flood victim rehabilitation and progress in development schemes after receiving medical treatment. Zardari will also meet representatives of PPP allies during his brief stay in Dubai. Zardari, 56, stayed in Dubai in December for medical treatment.

District and Sessions Judge Gujranwala on Saturday ordered that an FIR be registered against the husband and nikah khawan after the marriage of a 12-year-old girl’s marriage to 48-year-old man. Kiran Shahzad, 12, was married to Muhammad Saleem, 48, with the consent of her parents (Arshad and Naseem bibi) three months ago on a cash deal and a two-marla plot in Yousaf pura in Aroop precincts. Muhammad Saleem gave Rs 30,000 in cash and promised to arrange proper

Mardan road accident kills 5 of a family MArDAN inp

Five persons from a family died in a collision between a car and pick up due to over speeding on Saturday. Police sources said a car was travelling to Takht Bhai from Mardan when it hit a over speeding pickup coming from the opposite direction on Malakand road, killing five persons including two women and children on the spot. Police and rescue teams reached the accident site and shifted the deceased to District Headquarters Hospital. The pickup driver managed to flee the accident site.

accommodation for the family if they married their minor child with him. The parents agreed to the condition and promised to let Kiran go to his home two years after the marriage but 20 days ago Muhammad Saleem took Kiran home forcefully. Kiran’s father Arshad reported the matter in Aroop police station and demanded the recovery of his child. On Saturday, police recovered the child through bailiff on the orders of session court judge Rasheed Qamar. The court ordered police to arrest all those in the crime, including the Nikah khawan, Nikah Registrar, the eye witnesses along with the parents and Muhammad Saleem. The girl accompa-

Attorneys try to save 9/11 Pakistani detainee from death penalty WAShINgtoN aFp

The nephew of the alleged mastermind of the September 11 attacks does not deserve the death penalty, his attorneys argue in court documents filed on Friday. Pakistani Ali Abdul Aziz Ali, 34, is accused of helping to plot the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks against the United States. He is imprisoned at the US military prison at Guantanamo, Cuba, where he is approaching a trial before a military court. However, James Connell, one of his attorneys, told AFP that Aziz Ali played a “relatively minor role in the conspiracy” that “would not justify the death penalty under the US standards.” Aziz Ali, also known as Amar Al-Baluchi, is the nephew of alleged September 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and a cousin of Ramzi Yousef, who set a bomb that detonated in the basement of the World Trade Center in 1993. “There are strict rules in the US to whom the death penalty can apply,” Connell said. “It only can apply to

people who were either masterminds of plots or actually carried out a killing, and our argument is Mr Al-Baluchi doesn’t fall in either of those categories so he’s not eligible for the death penalty, even under military law.” Aziz Ali is accused of following his uncle’s orders to repeatedly send funds to the September 11 terrorists to help them pay for their flying lessons in the United States. He allegedly tried to join them but his application for an entry visa into the United States was rejected in August 2001. Five other accused September 11 conspirators await military trials. Guantanamo detainees who face possible death penalties include Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, his nephew and three other prisoners. Lawyers for Aziz Ali urged in a document they filed on Friday that the military court follow the example in the case of Guantanamo detainee Majid Khan Shoukat. He avoided the death penalty when the Defense Department filed “non-capital charges” against him, which bring a maximum sentence of life in prison.

nied her parents to court, where the Sessions Judge ordered Saleem to divorce Kiran immediately. Speaking to Pakistan Today, Kiran’s father Arshad said we married our child on the condition that she will go to her inlaws once she reaches maturity but Saleem took her forcefully. He said that Saleem began to torture Kiran and they had no option but to file a police ase. He said, “We married Kiran to seek a better future for both ourselves and her.. He said, “I am a mason and cannot afford to arrange for dowry so we considered this option better for all of us but we were wrong and have paid the price for it.”

Mumbai commission to visit India on March 12: Malik

ISLAMABAD online

A Pakistani judicial commission will visit India on March 12 as part of the probe into the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said on Saturday. Malik made the remarks during a meeting with Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India Shahid Malik. Malik was briefed by the envoy on the judicial commission’s planned visit to India, officials said. He said the judicial commission would visit India on March 12 and directed the high commissioner to inform Indian authorities about the visit. The Indian government had earlier asked Pakistan to send the commission between February 1 and 10. However, the panel could not go ahead with the visit due to various reasons, including questions raised about the panel’s notification by lawyers defending the seven Pakistani suspects accused of involvement in the Mumbai incident. At a hearing on Tuesday, the anti-terrorism court conducting the trial of the seven suspects asked the prosecution lawyers to present a fresh notification about the commission’s visit to India to interview key officials. On the other hand, official sources in New Delhi said the Pakistanis had sought new dates for the commission’s visit but a decision in this regard was yet to be made.


LHR 19-02-2012_Layout 1 2/19/2012 3:38 AM Page 6

06 News

Sunday, 19 February, 2012

Kurram jirga holds forces responsible for deaths of volunteers PEShAWAr

T

StaFF RepoRt

H e traditional jirga of Turi tribe held the administration responsible for security forces’ firing on innocent volunteers who were engaged in rescue activities following Friday’s suicide attack in Kurram Agency. The jirga held at Parachinar on Saturday demanded the government take stern action against the responsible personnel of security forces as well as officials occupying important offices in the administration. Similarly, the jirga declared Taliban commander Fazal Saeed an enemy of all those who had lost their near and dear ones in the tragic bomb explosion. Reports from Parachinar said the death toll in Friday’s suicide explosion and security forces’ firing had risen to 36. Sabir Hussain, an elder of the Turi tribe told Pakistan Today that four people were killed and 12 others injured

when personnel of security forces opened firing on civilians engaged in rescue activities. So far, 28 injured were still in hospitals, while a number of injured had been discharged after first aid. The funerals of deceased were in Parachinar and its surrounding areas, as the town observed a complete shutterdown strike to mourn the incident “The suicide explosion and security forces’ firing against volunteers would not affect the recent peace agreement with the Sunni community,” remarked Sabir Hussain, adding that “we pray for peace every time”. “We are determined to take revenge of this tragic terrorist act from Fazal Saeed and his relatives,” the jirga elders said. Meanwhile, the security forces claimed apprehending two Afghan suicide bombers during a raid in Thall town of Hangu district, adjacent to Kurram Agency. The officials said a large quantity of arms and suicide jackets were recovered from the possession of the terrorists.

Afghan defence minister warns about US plan WAShINgtoN aFp

The Afghan defence minister warned late on Friday that a US proposal to cut the size of Afghan security forces by more than onethird after 2014 could lead to a catastrophe. The minister, General Abdul Rahim Wardak, expressed his concerns in an interview with The Wall Street Journal after the United States circulated a new proposal to cut troops from 352,000 to 230,000 after 2014. “Nobody at this moment, based on any type of analysis, can predict what will be the security situation in 2014. That’s unpredictable,” General Wardak is quoted by the paper as saying.

“Going lower has to be based on realities on the ground,” he warned. “Otherwise it will be a disaster, it will be a catastrophe, putting at risk all that we have accomplished together with so much sacrifice in blood and treasure.” The proposed troop reduction, discussed at a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ministerial meeting in Brussels, was confirmed to The Journal by US Army Lieutenant General Daniel Bolger, commander of the NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan that developed it. The smaller Afghan force, estimated to cost some $4.1 billion a year, reflects “our assessment of what the international community will provide and what the Afghans can provide for themselves”, Bolger said.

chitRal: trucks pass through the lowari tunnel road on Saturday after it was opened for all kinds of traffic. ONLINE

Afghanistan tells troops to move families from Pakistan KABUL aFp

Afghanistan’s Defence Ministry has begun ordering soldiers who have families in Pakistan to move them to Afghanistan in a bid to rid the army of Taliban infiltrators, officials said on Saturday. The new policy was crafted in response to a recent spate of incidents in which Afghan soldiers reportedly with links to militants carried out attacks against NATO troops. “We have been told to ask our soldiers who have relatives in Pakistan to move them to Afghanistan,” Abdul Hamid Hamid, the army corps commander in Kandahar, told AFP, adding that the policy was not yet finalised. “Sometimes their families are used

two afghan nationals arrested in Kohat, suicide vests seized KOHAT: Two Afghan nationals were arrested along with suicide jackets in Kohat on Saturday. Police said they raid a house in the vicinity of Kohat city on a tip off and arrested two Afghan nationals. Police said they also seized suicide jackets in the house search. The detainees were shifted to undisclosed locations for interrogation. inp as hostages by some intelligence agencies to put pressure on them to do what they don’t want to,” he said. Most of the soldiers who are recruited in Kandahar have families in Pakistan, he added. “We have put up more strict rules in enlisting the new recruits. Those who have families in Pakistan are checked more seriously,” Ministry of

Defence spokesman Daulat Waziri said. A renegade Afghan soldier who shot dead four French troops in January had visited Peshawar before rejoining the army, according to officials. Six percent of overall NATO deaths in Afghanistan have been attributed to attacks by Afghan security forces, according to a confidential alliance report leaked to the media.


LHR 19-02-2012_Layout 1 2/19/2012 3:38 AM Page 7

Sunday, 19 February, 2012

Reliving the prophet’s (pBuh) time PAge 07

‘Spineless beggars!’ g

g

the cM initiated the distribution of laptops to 7,000 students in Bahawalpur

Shahbaz condemns rulers for silence over drone attacks in waziristan Says if govt had adopted the policy of merit, it would not have to beg to survive LAhorE/BAhAWALPUr agencieS/StaFF RepoRt

P

UNJAB Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif condemning drone attacks in North Waziristan, said those who had died in the attacks were as much the sons of the soil as those living in Lahore or Karachi and their blood was as precious as that of the people of any city of Pakistan. Shahbaz further said drone attacks had undermined national sovereignty of Pakistan as well as its geographical integrity and if this nefarious process continued no area of Pakistan would be safe from the intrusion of foreign powers. He said he believed that after Abbotabad and Salala check post tragedies, there should not be any misconception in this regard, adding that unfortunately, things had become this

worse because those in power were least concerned about the life of the people, national sovereignty or the self-esteem of the nation. He further said under the circumstances, people have nothing but hatred and resentment for their rulers, adding that if the rulers had any self-respect, the drone strikes could be stopped within a day. The CM further said it was also unfortunate that the self-styled leaders who are politicking over 20th Amendment and threatening of civil war over irregularities in the electoral rolls were maintaining a criminal silence over drone attacks and were oblivious to the missiles attacks in northern areas and the blood-soaked dead bodies of their Pakistani brethren and sisters. Shahbaz further said Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz would continue to register the protest against the drone attacks. He said if the policy of merit had been followed, no foreign power would

have threatened the country’s sovereignty. He said laptops were being given to talent students without recommendation of any MNA and asked the medical students to serve the ailing humanity. He said the PML-N would turn Pakistan into an Islamic Welfare state. He said the provincial government had constructed 400 bed hospital, flyovers, craft bazaar and roads in Bahawalpur without any foreign assistance. LAPTOPS: The CM said the Punjab govt had refused assistance and had bought and

LAhorE StaFF RepoRt

LWMC all set to launch new sanitation pilot project that includes door-to-door waste collection and daily cleaning of major roads LAhorE Lahore Waste Management Company (LWMC) is bracing for launch of new sanitation pilot project designed for door-to-door waste collection and daily cleaning of major roads and streets in designated areas of two towns of provincial capital. The project, expected to be inaugurated by the mayor of Istanbul on March 5, would be implemented in 16 union councils of Data Gunj Bakhsh and Gulberg Towns. LWMC plans to replicate the project in the other parts of the city in coming six months. With all new imported machinery, LWMC has dubbed it a “one of its kind” sanitation plan that was being implemented in the country for the first time. For this purpose, LWMC has imported 600 new machines including mechanical waste collectors, waste dumpers and mechanical waste sweepers. The services under this project include provision of free waste collection bags to all residential and commercial consumers of designated union councils, door-to-door daily collection of waste bags, putting 5000 new waste containers, mechanical cleaning and washing of roads,

streets, underpasses, squares and green belts. For first four months of the project, LWMC would provide these services for free. Later, these services would be charged at a cost determined after surveying the affordability of consumers and expenditure. The company has outsourced the project to two Turk companies Ozkar Tallar and Al-Bayrak. earlier in December last year, LWMC had started this project in six model areas of city including Township, Gulshan Ravi, Mohni Road, Tajpura and Qila Lakshaman Singh. A similar project was also started in Barkat Market Garden Town in January. However instead of new machines, customised rickshaws were employed for waste collection in both of these earlier projects. Before the launch of the new project, the LWMC has started a publicity and awareness blitz in the designated towns. According to LWMC Communication Manager Memona Arsalan, the highlight of the awareness campaign was to familiarize the public with the new Solid Waste Management Project. The initial awareness activities include graffiti on 32 different walls of the 16 Union Councils (Gulberg Town and Data Gunj Bakhsh Town that are

teachers, parents and thousands of students attended the function. Shahbaz said Pakistan was a nuclear state and there was no reason for the government to go around begging. He said laptops were being distributed amongst 7,000 students in Bahawalpur only and expressed the hope that the students would use in a befitting manner. He said the distribution of laptops was a great step and it would assist the students in acquiring knowledge for the betterment of the country.

Kosar’s rapists left her disabled, and yet they roam free!

A newer, cleaner Lahore in the making SalahuDin SaFDaR

distributed laptops worth Rs 4 billion from its own resources, adding that other projects were also underway. He was addressing a function of distribution of laptops among talented male and female students at Dring Stadium Bahawalpur on Saturday. Provincial Minister Iqbal Channar, Special Assistant Zaeem Qadri, MPAs Saud Majeed, Baligh-ur-Rehman, Jehanzeb Waran, Kazim Pirzada, Haji Zulfiqar Ali, Parveen Masaud Bhatti, Islamia University VC, Taskforce Chairman Samiullah Chaudhry,

planned to be drawn in the first month of the launch. The campaign initially started off with distribution of leaflets in different chowks, main roads and mosques of the 16 Union Councils and Regal Chowk, Lakshmi Chowk, Station Road, Jain Mandir Chowk, Governor House, Beadon Road, Mall Road, Shadman, China Chowk, Bhatti Chowk, Shimla Pahari Chowk, Bilal Gunj Chowk and prominent mosques. LWMC’s social mobilisers and Zonal officers of the concerned areas actively participated in the activity. The awareness campaign through graffiti started off from Government College of Technology for Women and Vocational Institute, Lytton Road where Begum Shaista Pervaiz Malik (President Socio economic Rehabilitation and Vocational education) graced the occasion with her presence as the chief guest and appreciated the efforts of the young artists who had participated in the activity. Artists from Punjab University (Dept of Art and Design) painted a wall with the theme of a butterfly symbolising PakTurk friendship and the cleanliness drive being introduced in the city by LWMC. Leaflets were also distributed on the occasion.

Brutally raped and disabled for the rest of her life, Kosar Bibi has filed a petition seeking the cancellation of bail of her four rapists and a woman, their accomplice, which was marked to the Additional District and Sessions Judge Muhammad Ramzan by D&S Judge Mujahid Mustaqeem Ahmed. Kosar’s counsel, Advocate Mirza Shoukat, asked for the cancellation of bails of accused woman Shehbaz Bibi, Abdul Shakoor, Haider, Jamshaid and Javed contending that they had hired her as a maid in Makkah Colony area of Lahore and had then held her hostage, subjected her to gang rape and had broken her legs at her refusal to run a prostitution business for them. Kosar was brought to the court on a wheel chair. According to an FIR that was registered by the Naseerabad Police against the four alleged rapists and their accomplice under sections 496/A and 376 of Pakistan Penal Code, Kosar had contended that Shehnaz had promised to provide her with a job. She had taken her to a house in Makkah Colony where she was held hostage and raped repeatedly for two years. “They forcefully took my thumb impression on a ‘nikah nama’ and I was raped brutally and they smashed my kneecaps so I was unable to move,” Kosar contended, adding that they refused to let her go and wanted her to run a prostitution business for them. “People gathered around after they heard me screaming,” she said, adding “even though an FIR was registered against them, they kidnapped me again with the connivance of the police and forced me to record a statement so that they could be released on bail.” She prayed to the court to cancel the bails and to bring the accused to book.


LHR 19-02-2012_Layout 1 2/19/2012 3:38 AM Page 8

08 Lahore weAther UPDAteS

18high°C 0C 09 low

ClOUDY

MOnDAY

tUeSDAY

weDneSDAY

18°C I 10°C

22°C I 10°C

22°C I 07°C

PrAYer tIMIngS Fajr Sunrise 05:20 06:41

Zuhr 12:17

Asr 15:28

Maghrib 17:53

Isha 19:14

CItY DIreCtOrY eMergenCY helP reSCUe eDhI COntrOl MOtOrwAY POlICe POlICe gOVernOr’S hOUSe ChIeF MInISter’S hOUSe FIre BrIgADe BOMB DISPOSAl MCl COMPlAIntS lAhOre wASte DISPOSAl

1122 115 130 15 99200081-7 99203226 16 99212111 99211022-29 1139

Sunday, 19 February, 2012

Reliving the Prophet’s (PBUH) time LAhorE

R

StaFF RepoRt

enowned publishing house, Daraulsalam, organised a book and an Islamic history exhibition by the name of ‘Faham-e-Seerat’ (Understanding the Prophet’s life) in which models of Madina, Masid-eNabvi and the battle area of Badr were displayed and briefings were given to the participants on Saturday. The exhibition, inaugurated on February 13, was originally planned for three days but was extended by two more days on public demand. It was organised by Daraulsalam at their premises on Lower Mall near the Punjab Secretariat. Many people, especially students, attended the exhibition and displayed avid interest in the models that were flown in from Saudi Arabia. Books, explaining the biography and way of life of Holy Prophet (PBUH), were also launched. The staff members of Darulsalam helped the visitors in visiting different

hOSPItAlS MID CItY 37573382-3 SerVICeS 99203402-11 MAYO 99211100-9 generAl 35810892-8 SheIKh ZAID 35865731 SIr gAngA rAM 99200572 UCh 35763573-5 ItteFAQ 35881981-85 CMh 366996168-72 ShOUKAt KhAnUM 35945100 JInnAh 111-809-809 ADIl (DeFenCe) 36667275 ChIlDren’S 99230901-3 DeFenCe nAtIOnAl hOSPItAl 111-17-18-19

BlOOD BAnK FAtMID ISlAMIC AllIAnCe

35210834-8 37588649/37535435

COMPlAInt wAPDA SUI gAS

111-000-118 1199

rAIlwAYS CItY StAtIOn (enQUIrY) reSerVAtIOn rAIlwAY POlICe

117 99201772 1333

AIrPOrt FlIght enQUIrY PIA reSerVAtIOn

114 111-786-786

parts of the exhibition. T h r e e scholars were attached with the historic models which explained the geographical details of Madina, Masjid-e-Nabvi and the battle ground of Badr. The scholars’ with a laser light in hand explained the demographical details of that time and also described incidents like the first three battles. People arriving at the exhibition especially students showed great interest in the model. “Gaining information about Islam and major incidents in the Islamic history with the original model in front of you is a completely different experience,” said Sibtain, a student, adding “it is like

watching things happen right in front of you.” “This is the best way to explain the history to the children,” a teacher who was also visiting the exhibition said, adding “the children are very interested and if we can replicate these models in schools our lessons will become more interesting.” “This is the second time I have brought my son here. He remembers everything he heard from the narrator and he likes the models very much,” another man, Asmat, said. The models were made by a Syrian professor who works at the Medina University. The models are made by mud and wood which gave a reflective view of history. The models were brought from SA to Pakistan by the collaboration of Darulsalam and the Madina University. The models turned the history into a real life for the visitors.

Participants feel the heat on SiMun’s second day LAhorE oSaMa huSSain anD SaRang aaMiR

A variety of students from in and out of Lahore are gathered at SICAS on their quest to reach a compromised conclusion for the betterment of the human race. The second day of the SICAS Model United Nations competition, or SiMUN as it is more commonly known, commenced at 9AM on February 17. After the fun and excitement of the opening ceremony and Talent Night on Friday, it was time for the delegates to get to more serious matters. As the committee session began, the delegates rushed off into their respective committee rooms where they were given a chance to put forth their individual perspectives as well as their team arguments. The young students proved to be able diplomats, forming partnerships with each other and using them as provisions on the path to their goals. The committee session is set to continue tomorrow and the results of the competition will be announced on the closing ceremony that will be held today (Sunday). Besides intellectually musing about the world affairs, the delegates also busied themselves in active contributions to the society. The Social Responsibility Department of SiMUN had arranged for the children from the Rising Sun Foundation to be invited to the school for an afternoon of fun and enjoyment. The children, their hands held by the delegates, grooved on to different melodies. They made use of the paints available, indulging in the colourful experience of face painting and

wall graffiti. It was a heartfelt experience to witness the delegates and host team shedding their somber faces just to see the shy smiles and content eyes of the children. SICAS Principal Shehryar Salamat personally came to meet the children and presented all of them with goody bags. The day closed with much felicity in the air after an awe-inspiring concert by the famous artist Quratulain Balouch (QB), and the band en-

araBic calligraPhy

tity Pardigm (eP). The crowd, which was composed of not merely the delegates and host team but an eclectic group of people of all ages, danced to the beat as the musicians “set fire” to the stage. Today is the final day of SiMUN, and will include a formal dinner, especially arranged for the delegates. It is expected that the 2nd annual SiMUN would turn out to be as informative and as relishing as the host team is endeavoring it to be.

letter to taseer ii

red Bull PaPer Wings 2012 P ...

COllegeS / UnIVerSItIeS PUnJAB UnIVerSItY KInnAIrD COllege QUeen MArY COllege gOVt. COllege UnIVerSItY UMt lUMS Uet lCwU SUPerIOr COllege

99231257 99203781-4 36362942 111-000-010 35212801-10 35608000 36288666 99203072 111-000-078

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

DAte: JAn 23 – FeB 23, 2012 VenUe: the DrAwIng rOOM Art gAllerY rashid rana, naazish Ataullah, Ayesha Jatoi, Mudassar Manzoor, rM naeem, Sadaf naeem, Irfan hasan, Adeel Us Zafar and others display their art in an effort to capture past.

DAte: FeBrUArY 10 — MArCh 10, 2012 VenUe: UnSPeCIFIeD, lAhOre Feeling the need for wIngS? After an overwhelming response to red Bull Paper wings held in Pakistan in 2009, the best and most creative Pakistani folders & throwers will have the chance to represent their country at the world Finals at hangar-7, Salzburg, Austria this year also!


LHR 19-02-2012_Layout 1 2/19/2012 3:38 AM Page 9

Sunday, 19 February, 2012

Corrupt judges under LHC hammer LAhorE

T

StaFF RepoRt

He Lahore High Court’s Administrative Committee (AC) headed by Chief Justice Azmat Saeed, transacting its administrative business on Saturday, dismissed Civil Judge Muhammad Riaz Khurran on charges of corruption and imposed penalties on many others. AC comprising of seven LHC judges dropped disciplinary proceedings against four judges of the district judiciary. As per details, Civil Judge Riaz Khurran has been dismissed from service and a minor penalty of censure has been imposed upon Senior Civil Judge Rana Muhammad Khan while another

minor penalty for withholding of promotion for one year was imposed upon Civil Judge Muhammad Mazhar Mahar. De novo proceedings have been

Power outages haunt CSS aspirants LAhorE StaFF RepoRt

With the CSS exams a matter of days away, the aspirants’ dreams of joining the civil service seems to be on the verge of diminishing even before they appear for the exam, courtesy PePCO’s unrelenting power outages. Anwar Sheikh, a resident of Wapda Town, is one such student who is rethinking his plan of taking the exams this year. “CSS is the most competitive exam in the country, and one that requires at least 12 to 15 hours of study daily. With the protracted power shortages in the city, it is impossible to study for two consecutive hours, and therefore, since I am clearly under prepared I don’t think I’ll be appearing in the exam this year,” he said. Anwar further went on to say that his fellow aspirants shared the same sentiment and were troubled by the continuous load shedding that they had had to bear. Lahore faced at least 12-16 hours of load shedding on Saturday leaving the consumers in shock. This time round, consumers are given shocks of continuous unscheduled outages and there have been also protests against prolonged load shedding in the city. Interestingly, no announcement was

Lahore 09

initiated against Civil Judge Mujahid Abbas and fresh disciplinary proceedings have been started against Additional District and Session Judge (AS&SJ) Zubair Shahzad. The proceedings against AS&SJ Shafiq Chaudhry, AD&SJ Mehboob Ahmed Khan, Civil Judge Saleem Sheikh and Civil Judge Hassan Abbas were dropped by the committee. The AC issued notice to Civil Judge Hayat Gondal for enhancement of his minor penalty, while a show cause notice was issued to three judicial officers including AD&SJ, Ali Raza Awan, AD&SJ Sadaqat ullah Khan and Civil Judge Dawood Sahi. The committee, however, reinstated ex Civil Judge Saira Naureen in service after clearing her from all allegations.

DCO unleashes teams on Sunday bazaars

made by the authority and hence, it came as a shock for the people. Unlike in the past when the power was curtailed for one hour spells, this time people have been forced to stay without electricity for two and even three hour spells. The power was stopped early in the morning for two hours causing problems for the school going children and people got late from the offices as well. This was not all, as electricity was closed for more than two hours in the noon. Later on, during the evening, once again the consumers were tortured by two hours of power closure. In many areas, the situation was further aggravated when the outage for more than two hours. every part of the city including Gulshan Ravi, Samanabad, Township, Wapda Town, Wahdat Road, Iqbal Town, Model Town, Garden Town, Muslim Town, Awan Town, Baghbanpura, Shalimar and Mustafabad witnessed load shedding. According to Lahore electric Supply Company (LeSCO) officials these outages were made to bridge the gap between the demand and supply, as at present the disparity was around 800MW. The people blocked the road at Lakshmi Chowk and burnt tyres and chanted slogans against long load shedding.

LAHORE: The DCO has established special teams to keep a close eye on prices and the quality of products in Sunday bazaars. According to a handout, the DCO Ahad Cheema said special teams would visit these markets to ensure price control and product quality. He also instructed the concerned authorities to provide every facility to the consumers in the market. StaFF RepoRt

Fuel FoR ManY, a tRee FoR none: a woman and her children tear off branches from a tree to use as fuel as gas outages worsen. NNI

there’s no escaping the tax hounds! PetB locates, taxes an ‘international’ 12-hour rave that was also attended by the PM’s son LAhorE ali tahiR

Punjab excise and Taxation Department ‘went as far as they could to perform their duties’ and were able to locate and tax an international dance party organised in district Kasur. After a delay of about two hours, the party which was organised by Full Circle Corporate Marketing (FCCM) continued with breaks but was let loose after Rs 500,000 were paid as security, sources told Pakistan Today. “We have taken security from them for now, but the real calculation of the party would be done after the party ends,” said the source present at the venue. While talking to Pakistan Today Regional entertainment Taxation Officer Muhammad Asif said he had no personal grudges against the FCCM but the least the party organisers could do was pay the tax.

“Had the FCCM fulfilled their legal obligations and had paid all the dues of the entertainment tax they would have not been made to go through such an embarrassment,” said Asif. According to sources in the PeTD the organisers, FCCM, had turned up at the PeTD Model Town office on early Saturday morning as the PeTD had found their hideout in Kasur. The members of FCCM started quarrelling with the PeTD officers. The source said Lahore excise and Taxation Department, with the coordination of Kasur excise Department, had located the party farmhouse near Head Balloki. “We had dispatched our men in the morning for kasur, at that time only the guards were present at the party venue,” said the source. The source further said it was not as big as they thought and that there were only about 250300 people present at the party place as the

venue was in the suburban area of Kasur. FCCM in collaboration with an international band Ministry of Sound was conducting a rave-cum-dance party by the name of ‘This is Lahore’. This mega event included an international DJ Sander Kleinenberg who had been invited in a 12-hourmarathon dance procession in the suburbs of Kasur at a farmhouse told sources. Other than main performance local DJs were performing in this event too. All the advertising of this event has been mostly done over the internet, mainly Facebook. Sources in the PeTD earlier told Pakistan Today that the organisers were having the event in the district of Kasur instead of Lahore to somehow avoid entertainment Tax which is set at 65 percent of the entry ticket which was being sold at Rs 6500–Rs 8000. The event was also attended by Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani’s son, Haider Gillani.

US Chargé d’Affaires honours Lahore’s rich cultural history LAhorE pReSS ReleaSe

US Chargé d’Affaires Ambassador Richard Hoagland and U.S. Consul General in Lahore Nina Maria Fite visited the Lahore Fort (Shahi Qila) and Badshahi Mosque Saturday to pay their respect to Lahore’s rich cultural history. During his visit to the UNeSCO World Heritage Site, the Chargé viewed the Alamgiri Gate which was restored in 2009 with a grant from the U.S. Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation. Speaking to the media on the steps of the Badshahi mosque, the Chargé remarked over U.S. government’s pride in helping to restore cultural sites like the Alamgiri gate and Wazir Khan Mosque. He hoped that the US support to repair the sites would both preserve Pakistan’s national heritage and help these sites remain a vital part of the community in Lahore for future generations to come. The US Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation has provided more than $1.8 million towards 17 different cultural and archeological projects in Pakistan over the past decade. Ten of these 17 sites were in the province of Punjab.


LHR 19-02-2012_Layout 1 2/19/2012 3:38 AM Page 10

10 Lahore

Sunday, 19 February, 2012

Students to get laptops worth rs 12b, free internet LAhorE StaFF RepoRt

Advisor to Punjab Chief Minister Begum Zakia Shahnawaz, while taking to a student delegation on Saturday, said the Punjab government had started a project of distributing laptops worth Rs 12 billion among students of the province. Zakia Shahnawaz added that the laptops would be distributed among 300,000 students and another project of provision of free Wi-Fi internet facility would also start soon.

lDA to allocate 20% quota LAhorE StaFF RepoRt

Lahore Development Authority has decided to allocate 20 percent quota for its employees of BS 01 to 04 for promotion as Junior Clerk in BS-7 in LDA. This decision was taken in the governing body of LDA, here, Saturday. Chaired by District Co-ordination Officer and LDA Chairman Ahad Khan Cheema, the meeting was attended by LDA Vice Chairman Aamir Asgher Dar, LDA Director General Abdul Jabbar Shaheen, WASA Managing Director Dr. Javed Iqbal, TePA Chief engineer Saif Ur Rahman, Chief engineer LDA Israr Saeed and representatives of the provincial local government, housing, P&D and finance departments besides administrators of the nine constituent towns of the City District, Lahore.

lUMS launches training course LAhorE StaFF RepoRt

LUMS (Lahore University of Management Sciences) is launching its first training course under the USAIDfunded Assessment and Strengthening programme today. The first course on Monitoring and evaluation for Senior Management will be attended by the top management (Tier 1, Grade 19, 20) of Government of Pakistan and Civil Society Organisations. Assessment and Strengthening Program (ASP) is designed to train the officials at three levels in the areas of financial management, procurement management, monitoring and evaluation and HR and administration. The basic purpose of ASP is to bring the integral management of Pakistani CSOs and the GOP organisations towards a higher level of management excellence, accountability, and transparency.

MinDMaze: police chowkis have been outlawed in a recent decision by the lahore high court to ensure smooth flow of traffic. this one is located near Qila gujar Singh. INP

Robberies galore! Victims robbed of valuables worth nearly Rs 2 million, in three separate incidents LAhorE StaFF RepoRt

T

He safety of citizens continues to be under question, with three cases of robberies reported to the Lahore police yesterday. HOUSE ROBBERY Some unidentified men looted Rs 35,000 from house of Tajamul Hussain in DHA phase IV. According to victim, he had left his house with the family at 2.30pm and after they returned around 5 pm, they found their drawing room’s door broken and all things

scattered. After checking the rooms, it appeared that the robbers had taken away the cash, which was kept at different places, for the household purposes, the victim said. Police has started investigation in the matter after registering a case upon Tajamul Hussain’s complaint. JEWEL THIEVES: In another incident, snatchers shot a lady after she showed resistance and took away her gold ornaments in BBlock Model Town. According to Afraz, a relative of the in-

jured lady, she had returned house with a male member of family when two armed persons on a motorcycle reached their doorstep and asked her to give all the jewellery that she had been wearing. She gave away her bangles and rings and requested them to leave the rest as she has had borrowed those. However, the robbers shot at her leg on the argument, snatched all the jewellery and fled away. Later the injured was shifted to Ittefaq Hospital and then to Jinnah Hospital, where her condition is said to be out of danger. Faysal Town police has registered a case in this regard and has started investigations. GOLD MUGS: Robbers looted gold ornaments worth Rs 1.2 million from a jewelry shop in Chohng police precincts on Saturday. As per details, three armed

persons entered the jewellery shop in the main market of Nawab Sahb area of Chohng and broke the showcases and windows with fire shots. The robbers, then, picked up all the gold in the showcases and escaped from scene while hurling bullets in the air. According to shop owners, the looted ornaments weighed around 1 kilogram. Local Police arrived at the spot after getting news of the incident but the looters, had safely fled away. According to police, the jeweller had twice claimed that his shop had been robbed; however, no case was registered due to lack of evidence. Chuhng Investigation police said the jeweller was instructed to install CCTV in his shop therefore a case in this regard would be registered after investigating the victim’s claim of robbery.

Intellectuals wary of ‘int’l bankers’ hegemony CIneMA

FIlM

CIne StAr Ph: 35157462

BeAUtY AnD the BeAtS BeAUtY AnD the BeAtS the wOMAn In BlACK UnDerwOrlD AwAKenIng thIS MeAnS wAr the wOMAn In BlACK eKK DeewAnA thA eK MAIn eKK tU eK MAIn AUr eKe tU eK MAIn AUr eKe tU eK MAIn AUr eKe tU eK MAIn AUr eKe tU eK MAIn AUr eKe tU eK DeewAnA thA eK DeewAnA thA eK MAIn AUr eKe tU eK DeewAnA thA UnDerwOrlD gAlI gAlI ChOr heI eK MAIn AUr eKe tU AgneePAth AgneePAth gAlI gAlI ChOr heI

CIne gOlD Ph: 35340000

SOZO wOrlD Ph: 36674271

SOZO gOlD Ph: 36674271

tIMe 12:30 PM 02:00 PM 03:30 PM 05:15 PM 07:00 AM 08:30 PM 10:15 PM 01:15 AM 12:00 PM 3:00 PM 6:00 PM 9:00 AM 12:00 AM 12:00 PM 2:30 PM 5:00 PM 8:00 PM 10:30 PM 12:30 PM 03:00 PM 05: 30 PM 08: 30 PM 11: 30 PM

LAhorE StaFF RepoRt

A meeting of intellectuals including renowned thinkers, defence analysts and journalists was held at Punjab University to discuss Pak-US relations and the increasing foreign intervention in Baluchistan. Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran, Chairperson Political Science Department Prof Dr Umbreen Javed, Mawahid Hussain Syed, Brig (r) Syed Ghazanfar Ali, Brig (r) Farooq Hameed. Brig (r) Inam-ul-Haq, Prof Dr Mujahid Ali Mansoori, Mian Saif-ur-Rehman, Salman Abid, Naeem-ul-Haq and Chaudhry Akram were present in the meeting. Sharing his views, Dr Mujahid said that Americans were not our enemies but a cabal of families called “international bankers” was the real enemy of the world. He said the cabal wanted to establish ‘One World Government’ and had achieved global hegemony via a banking system based on usury, fostering and manipulating perpetual conflict among nations which brought them under the bondage of debt. He said the cabal had funded the Bolshevik Revolution and owned all the leading banks including Federal Reserve Bank and all major corporations. He believed that these bankers had foreclosed 8.5 million American homes rendering millions homeless and added that now even the Americans were standing up against the imperialistic powers and had launched the Occupy Wall Street movement.

pM condoles Maneka’s death LAHORE: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani Saturday condoled over the death of late Ghulam Mohammad Maneka with his son Khawar Farid Maneka. The PM visited the residence of Ghulam Mohammad Maneka, veteran politician and parliamentarian to condole over his death with his family members. Mian Atta Mohammad Maneka was also present on the occasion. app


LHR 19-02-2012_Layout 1 2/19/2012 3:38 AM Page 11

Sunday, 19 February, 2012

Editor’s mail 11

Miscarriage of justice I am writing this letter in response to the news item: “Shahbaz Bhatti Murder Case Resolved?” I totally agree with this statement of the report that “the case remains to be shrouded in mystery over conflicting reports claiming that there are no eye-witness accounts.” In March 2011, a Christian Minister for Minority Affairs, Shahbaz Bhatti was assassinated by unknown gunmen near his house. It was shocking that he was killed because he dared to speak against the misuse of the blasphemy law in Pakistan. It's sad that it has been almost a year but there has been no progress on the case of Shahbaz Bhatti by the law enforcement agencies. This case has clearly been ignored by the agencies and forgotten by the people. When I started reading this news item, I was hopeful that I might find something

rejoinder positive to read about the case but, unfortunately, I can say that our law agencies have failed to take any proper action. It was mentioned in the report that police “could not find any sufficient proof against the accused Hafiz Nazar”. I believe that the police would not be able to find any proof against the two newly accused people as well. I want to highlight that the issue of the cases regarding blasphemy law has become a central problem for the state as it exposes the ideological and the legal inadequacies in the system. It is unfortunate that the Islamic extremists and the clerics not only put pressure on the lawyers to take immediate action against the accused and not to take the cases of the accused one but also take the law in their own hands in the name of safeguarding Islam.

Due to these threats or physical attacks, lawyers and judges feel reluctant to take any proper action against the cases of the blasphemy. In fact, in many cases, lawyers and policemen overwhelmed by their religious biases and zeal either punished the accused of blasphemy themselves or helped others to punish the accused. Hence, it is evident in Pakistan that the misuse of the law has promoted the feelings of mistrust and fear, hatred against each other and religion-driven violence. It is also sad to point out that contemporary Pakistan has been divided into a battlefield between the two opposing forces. One strong force is the religious parties who are willing to go to any extent to protect the position of Islam in society. The other weak force is the small group of liberals who want reforms but

mostly remains silent threatened by the consequences that might follow that reform. To bring reform in the blasphemy law requires a lot of courage which is absent in both our government and the legislators. All those who have dared to act in opposition to this law had to pay for their lives. Hence, the extremists have infiltrated the law enforcement institutions to such a large extent that the government has been unable or unwilling to root out such elements from the agencies. Unfortunately, this also results in Pakistan having weak democratic institutions especially the judiciary and the police who are crippled by rampant corruption, ineffectiveness, and a general lack of accountability. ZAHRA SHAKIL MIRZA LUMS, Lahore

laying down the law I think the US State Department’s concerns regarding Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed’s public appearances, are quite fair and justified. These are serious concerns and similar concerns were raised by the US State Department at the beginning of the year 2001 over the presence and activities of Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan. But the then government of Afghanistan turned a deaf ear to US concerns like the current government of Pakistan. According to the list established and maintained by the UN Security Council Committee pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999) and 1989 (2011) with respect to individuals, groups, undertakings and other entities associated with Al-Qaeda, Lashkar-e-Tayyaba (LeT) on 2 May 2005 for participating in the financing, planning, facilitating, preparing or perpetrating of acts or activities by, in conjunction with, under the name of, on behalf or in support of”, “supplying, selling or transferring arms and related materiel to” or “otherwise supporting acts or activities of” Al-Qaeda was outlawed. It has been financing terrorist activities and providing training, logistical and infrastructural support to further such activity through its front organisation, Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JUD). In the backdrop of Mumbai attacks 2008, Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, was also listed on 10 December 2008 by the UN Security Council committee. The current democratic government has given equal opportunity to all political and religious forces to work without any hindrance. In fact, it has facilitated all these groups to foster political process in the country. Whether Hafiz Muhammad Saeed is also enjoying the same protocol or is this another state-within-a-state like situation? The government needs to clarify its stance. DR SAIFUR REHMAN Islamabad

Missing The heart-wrenching scenes observed during the meeting of missing persons with their families made every sensible person of the country feel ashamed. The disgusting, inhuman attitude towards the so-called suspects is terrifying. even animals are not treated so roughly around the world as these people were treated by their captives. There is a dire need of curtailing extra-judicial powers being vehemently exercised by some stubborn heads. While going for constitutional amendments for the sake of their own benefits, the parliamentarians should least ponder about the rights of common people. Violation of human rights in our country has become a norm for the powers that be. Ordinary people face the wrath of different institutions for their untold crimes. These people in the words of the worthy Chief Justice of Supreme Court are picked up like sitting ducks and terrorists strike at their will. What a pity. The mother of three missing person died after meeting her two sons with the shock of grief. Who is responsible for her death? A question that will remain unanswered. IFTIKHAR MIRZA Islamabad

economy in doldrums The economy of the country is in pretty bad shape and there seems to be no road to recovery. The ruling governments, both at the centre and the provinces, seem to have abdicated any governance responsibilities that they have. The problem is that economic management team is constantly changing and there is neither consistency in policy nor any long-term planning. everything is done on an ad-hoc basis.

whither innocence? Children are our country's intellectual capital. They should enjoy their childhood and not work in any cramped jobs. A significant portion of Pakistan’s children are living in crude conditions and their chances for education are next to negligible. Young children are forced to do tough and hardworking jobs at low salaries. This ultimately interferes with their education and endangers their health. Throughout the ages and in all cultures, children joined with their parents to work in the fields, in the market places and around the home as soon as they were old enough to perform simple tasks.

We are afflicted by stagflation – rampant inflation and unemployment. Our energy crisis is crippling growth. Is the economy really beyond repair or is the will and sincerity to do something missing? The going gets tough but the tough are yet to get going. KAINAT FATIMA Lahore

Child labour was not regarded a social problem until the industrial revolution and the introduction of the factory system. Children who are victims of such exploitation often die struggling with health issues such as malnutrition, skin diseases etc or survive leading an abnormal life. Due to the lack of literacy and increasing poverty, parents are forced to send their children to work and earn money which brings along the terrors of lifelong physical and psychological damage. Child labour is against the law yet we still see children doing jobs that are completely inappropriate for their ages. Child labour should be banned so that children cannot be exploited by traders and industrialists. For this, the

government should ensure that free education is provided to all children. ZOHRA TAIYEB, Karachi

no coalitions, please Hopefully the president would have learned after managing this coalition government that power sharing in our country is not workable. With flaky allies, at any stage the favours bestowed could be turned against them by means of blackmailing and other unethical tactics etc. I wish and pray that one single party is in a position to form the government after the next elections. SAMI ULLAH KHAN Lahore

This is in reference to the letter ‘The media manipulation’ by Ms Hina Ashfaq printed in Pakistan Today on February 15, 2012. The United States is proud of the exchange and training program opportunities we make available to Pakistanis from all walks of life. Thanks to US-funded programmes, nearly 1,000 under-privileged children in Punjab alone graduated from two-year afterschool english language courses just last year, giving them access to broader education and career opportunities. Pakistan is also the recipient of the largest US-funded Fulbright scholarship programme in the world, and the United States is likewise providing scholarship and infrastructure funding to 21 universities in Pakistan. We also provide opportunities for up-andcoming Pakistanis to embark on short study tours in the US, on topics ranging from cultural preservation to preventing corruption in local government. As you can imagine, with all these programs running, there are thousands of US programme alumni in Pakistan, but in not one of these cases has there ever been any expectation of a quid pro quo relationship with any programme participant. In fact, we stress to our exchange participants that they should see America themselves and then form their own opinions, and we in no way filter their experiences while in the United States. This includes journalists who have participated in our programmes, many of whom have returned to write honest – and often critical – pieces on America. The US government believes strongly in freedom of the press and does not fund journalists for the purpose of favourable reporting. The rationale behind our exchange and training programmes is the same as that behind our US assistance programs: we believe a stronger, more-informed Pakistan is better for both Pakistan and the United States. Despite the conspiracy theories, our intent is simple – to foster more understanding and constructive dialogue between the United States and Pakistan. Many of our alumni, including journalists, can and do speak out against the United States regularly. Our only request for Pakistani journalists is the same request we make of all journalists around the world: that their reporting be fair, factual, and accurate. LeSLIe GOODMAN, Public Affairs Section, US Consulate, Lahore

Civilian deaths ‘Russian Islamist chief orders halt to civilian attacks saying mass opposition protests show the public no longer supports the Russian rulers’ (News item, July 04). Would our Taliban also take ‘yes’ for an answer? Z A KAZMI Karachi Send your letters to: Letters to Editor, Pakistan Today, 4-Shaarey Fatima Jinnah, Lahore, Pakistan Fax: +92-42-36298302 E-mail: letters@pakistantoday.com.pk Letters may be edited for length and clarity. It would be appreciated if letters were addressed to Pakistan Today exclusively.

Dirty droning Framing case for a war against a phantom enemy much against the true will of the US public in particular and the world community in general is what President Barack Obama is unsuccessfully struggling hard at. The so-called well intentioned “change we can believe in” now stand for the status quo. The Guantanamo Bay Concentration Camp is still there while the International Court of Justice is pursuing war crimes against many non-US offenders and war criminals. The contention of precision drone attacks by Barack Obama is thus not compatible with accepted legal norms. While Osama Bin Laden may have been guilty of 9/11 attacks, he was never formally charged. Very few Al-Qaeda members could be finally charged so far. Pakistan unfortunately has a very responsible position to hold - whenever something goes wrong somewhere in the world, it is held responsible for. For the past 7 to 8 years, the CIA has been car-

rying out drone attacks against alleged Al-Qaeda/Taliban militants who sneak or are sneaked into Pakistan’s FATA from Afghanistan under the watchful eyes and highly technical surveillance of ISAF. The drone-attacks accrue minor positive results but colossal and long term negative results as far as Pakistan is concerned. The heavy collateral damage in the shape of deaths of innocent women and small children are boiling up cauldron of animosity against Pakistan and the United States. A brother (even of terrorists) who has lost his two brothers in a drone-attack is a fit case to become a terrorist rather than a peaceactivist or well wisher of Pakistan or the US. The US is repeating the same mistakes it made when it humbled Soviets back in 1988. The spectre of battle-hardened Al-Qaeda members /Talibans is likely to haunt the US and unlucky Pakistan again. The government, concerned

international organisations and the media must remind the US (now talking to the Taliban) that it opposed Pakistan’s talks with militants in Swat/SWA. Redeeming failure is perfect recipe for disaster. It is on record that the US and other players did not listen to Pakistan then back in 1988 and paid a heavy price as did Pakistan. The US is doing that again. The most prudent solution will be to engage all stakeholders: Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, China, CARs bordering Afghanistan. Taliban and other Afghan factions be made confident through a 2 to 3 years crash reconciliation and reconstruction program after complete withdrawal of all foreign troops with a firm commitment to financially support the Afghan government for the next decade. The US must understand by now that it can affect the things up to a certain limit only. The US and ISAF must follow the logical conclusion of completely refer-

ring and handing over Afghan case to the UN. A sizeable UN peacekeeping or reconstruction force should be raised to train Afghan bureaucracy, Afghan Army and Police which ISAF has not been able to do during all these ten years. Pump in real construction and rehabilitation resources to exploit the potential of disillusioned Afghan youth. Much awaited and promised Relief economic Zones (ReZ) in FATA should now be implemented to positively reorient the youth of the area. The US and Pakistan should both work seriously on this aspect as procrastination will cost the US dearly. Afghanistan will only gain from a stable Pakistan and stable FATA; any other situation will be damaging for Afghanistan. The so-called “war on terror” has run its course. It is now at the point where diminishing returns have kicked in, that too exponentially. MASOOD AHMAD Lahore


LHR 19-02-2012_Layout 1 2/19/2012 3:38 AM Page 12

12 Comment Action, not hype Doing something would be the best response

T

he resolution moved in the US House of Representatives underlining the atrocities in Balochistan and seeking the right of self determination for the people of the province has evoked a strong response from the FO which has described it as irresponsible and in violation of the international laws. There was little need for the hype after the Obama administration dissociated itself from the move which implies that there is little likelihood of the resolution being passed. Various interest groups have joined hands in planning the move. Republican Dana Rohrabacher, one of the three Congressmen who presented the resolution, had earlier held the first-public hearing on human rights violations in Balochistan. Rights groups too are associated with the move. Some had been already reporting on forced disappearances, target killing of Baloch leaders, and the appearance of dead bodies of political activists taken away by the agencies. While submitting its remarks, Human Rights Watch however maintained a cautious attitude. While endorsing that Pakistan’s security forces and intelligence agencies were involved in the forced disappearance, HRW took no position on the issue of the independence of Balochistan. The rights body criticised both the US and UK for making forced disappearances possible by allowing them during the war on terror which, according to HRW, had led to the military doing the same. Baloch militants abroad and elements supporting bigger Balochistan have also been lobbying hard in Washington. No FO resolution can put an end to their activities. What is needed on the part of Islamabad is to stop the gross violation of human rights in the province. In fact, both the government and the opposition have miserably failed to carry out their responsibilities. After more than four years in power, PM Gilani is now mulling about an APC on the issue while Mian Nawaz Sharif talks about taking up the matter to the parliament. The government has to realise that problems do not disappear by putting them on the back burner. The political administration needs to display firmness to stop the cruelties that are weakening the federation and tarnishing the country’s image abroad.

Another attack Despite our delusions

D

elusions are a dime-a-dozen in Pakistan but one particularly widely held one in Pakistan (by our establishment and many segments of the society) is that things are looking up on the terrorism front. The facts, those deluded say, speak for themselves as there are fewer instances of terrorism (in major metropolises, at least). But is that fact enough to judge whether we are any close to dealing with the menace that has dug its claws deep into the fabric of our society? Making statistical comparisons between the deadly year 2009 and the current one is no yardstick for success. But the 31 casualties in the Parachinar suicide bombing one can reasonably say is an adequate yardstick for failure. While many are safely ensconced in the delusion that the agencies’ engagement with the Taliban is keeping them at bay, these reprehensible attacks continue and fly in the face of this logic. A faction of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan has claimed responsibility for this condemnable attack. That the state’s writ is conspicuous by its absence in these war-ravaged areas is clear and troubling. But what is more clear and troubling is that the state might not be any close to re-establishing it either. Our establishment still holds on to notions of engaging with these terrorist without stamping on them its might and making it clear that it is the state that has a monopoly on violence. But what to talk of the state’s writ in war-ravaged ‘backwaters’ of the country when in this state, banned organisations can easily show street muscle in the very capital. The issues of militancy and terrorism are not going to go away because they have become entrenched in many ways and we will be no more equipped to eradicate this affliction if we do not have a realistic appraisal of what the problem actually is. If we keep thinking that the problem will also up and leave when the US up and leaves, we are wrong. If we think just talking to miscreant elements is enough while they refuse to lay down arms, we are again wrong. Many of our own faulty policies in using these elements as proxies are to blame and we still continue to do that despite the obvious evidence. Moreover, the civil-military divide that plagues our state has not done us any favours in the fight against terrorism and militancy. Neither has our botched, unequal and transactional equation with the US. But right now it seems, these attacks will continue as will our delusions.

Dedicated to the legacy of the late Hameed Nizami

Arif Nizami Editor

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

Sunday, 19 February, 2012

The world according to the US a superpower is as a superpower does

By humayun gauhar

I

t was not just semantics last week when I said America ‘rules’ rather than ‘runs’ Pakistan. The pun was intended: when America frowns we get the runs; when it smiles our evacuations become normal. America has a very big say in what it considers important, including job appointments from top to lowly ambassadors, intelligence chiefs and restoration of sacked judges. It determines our foreign, defence and economic policies and their managers. We even take directions from US envoys and ambassadors. Disregard America’s will and suffer sanctions to trashing of governments. Don’t believe me? See how Hussain Haqqani was flown out of the coop? Didn’t he meet a US embassy official before leaving? Weren’t it Holbrooke and Clinton who pressured the army chief into getting the judges restored? Did you read Matthew Green’s article in the Financial Times last Thursday entitled: ‘US Monitors Pakistan’s Choice of Spymaster’? If you are as appalled as I am it’s a healthy sign, for to duck the truth means your conscience and self-esteem have died. Tu jhuka jo ghair kay agay, na mun taira na tun. Our servile position arises primarily from our financial dependence on America. Our attraction to America is in direct correlation to the size of its wallet – like Kunta Kinte just enough to keep us going – just as a person’s eligibility is in direct correlation to the size of their wallets and the marriage’s continuing health to its shrinking or expansion. Happiness lies in perpetually getting America’s handouts, taking more to make usury payments, perpetually increasing our indebtedness and dependence. God remains stranded in rhetoric, the devil breaks out in a dance and the people take the hindmost. Can America change our government? Of course, it can if it stops serving its purpose. ‘Rogue’ leaders are thrown out after a ‘popular’ uprising or killed. Look what happened to Chile’s Salvador Allende. How many times have they tried to kill Fidel Castro? Look what’s happened in Tunisia, egypt, Libya and Yemen and before that to Iraq and Saddam. Sure, their rulers were odious tyrants, but that’s none of America’s business. Should we

have thrown George W Bush and his company of mass murderers out to stop their killings and stupidity-driven global economic destruction? America puts most tyrants in place anyhow and throws them out when they become liabilities, whenever possible making it look as they are supporting popular sentiment. When necessary, America also teaches current and future satraps a lesson – Bhutto hanged; Zia killed in a plane crash; Saddam hanged; Gaddafi horribly killed; Mobarak displayed in a cage lying on a stretcher. Doesn’t that cage look incongruous without Bush & Company in it too for crimes against humanity? If NATO warplanes had not bombed and stalled Gaddafi’s convoy, he would never have been captured and brutally assassinated by America’s crazed mob. It was no mistake. Wishful thinking aside, don’t be fooled into believing that America has ‘lost’ because ‘Islamic’ governments are taking power in Arab countries. They are America’s ‘Islamic’ governments, products of its new doctrine: “If you can’t lick ’em, join ‘em” by putting friendly mullahs in place before unfriendly ones get in. This is not unlike America’s earlier doctrine regarding dictators: “We know he’s a son-of-a-bitch but he’s our son-of-abitch”. Now it has changed to: “We know he’s a wretched mullah but he’s our wretched mullah.” Lump it. Were that life were still so simple. The somnambulant masses are awakening; the workers of the world are uniting and breaking their chains; the ‘wretched of the earth’ are realising that their wretchedness is not a fate ordained but stolen by man. If I’m being simplistic it is to help explain the contours of reality. Isn’t America being overly simplistic too, imagining that if it can endlessly go on recasting the world in the image that it thinks will work for it regardless if it doesn’t work for others, all will be well with ‘The World According to America’? This thinking has defaced America’s original ideology rooted in the motto, “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” that initially defined it as a great country. It is a motto at once secular and spiritual. Today, that ideology is rooted in hypocrisy and duality: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for America but not necessarily for others. If in their pursuit these ideals are denied to the rest of the world, so be it. The world’s purpose of existence is to enable America to achieve life, liberty and happiness. To America, it means that happiness (which implies life and liberty, without which there can be no happiness) can only be achieved by the pursuit and maximisation of profit. This has led to the worst kind of capitalism, neither moral nor immoral but amoral. America that started out with great promise as an icon of freedom began worshiping wealth and the power that

is derived from it. Money and wealthcreation, once a powerful driving force and something to celebrate, became America’s Golden Calf. That initial morality of shiny eyed, bushy tailed early immigrants was replaced with wealth creation not just at the expense of the world but also at the expense of its own country and people. Ah! ‘Liberty’. The word gives one goose pimples. It was used in an earlier ideology of freedom from which America’s founding fathers probably took it. That ideology was encapsulated in the motto, Liberté, égalité, fraternité – ‘Liberty, Equality, Fraternity’. Though it finds its origins in the French Revolution, it became the national motto of France after the establishment of the Third Republic at the end of the 19th century. Its authorship is disputed, but Antoine-Francois Momoro, a Parisian printer and herbalist is usually credited with it. While fraternity means ‘brotherhood’, ‘egalite’ has been translated as ‘equality’, but it is more than that. More accurately, it is ‘egalitarianism’, meaning everyone is equal before the law no matter who they are or what office they hold. egalitarianism is – or was – one of America’s ideological cornerstones but it lost it at home with first the passing of the Patriot Act and now the National Defence Authorization Act that gives the US military the right to arrest any US citizen indefinitely without charge or trial. It’s become a police state. There never was any egalitarianism between states in the pursuit of self-interest, because “there is no morality in relations between states”. The word ‘liberal’ comes from the word ‘liberty’ or ‘liberation’ – one who is liberated physically, nationally, and most vital, mentally. Give people the space to say and do what they want to so long as they don’t harm others. Many of our liberals lose their liberalism the moment another expresses a contrary point of view – “Humayun Gauhar and people of his ilk should be lined up against a wall and the Stalinist option used” was what one of our more celebrated liberals wrote more than 20 years ago when I first suggested that the presidential system would suit us better. Today, more and more people are talking about it. Had we all been shot, no one would have dared utter a word about it again. Whose fault is it that we are underlings? Not our stars, surely, for our destiny lies not in them but within us. We are to blame. The buck stops with us. We have to get out of mental colonisation ourselves. No one will do it for us. Going by the summit between the presidents of Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan, perhaps our consciences are still not completely dead. I just hope it was not mere posturing. You never know given that two of the three leaders are US satraps. The writer is a political analyst. He can be contacted at humayun.gauhar786@gmail.com

Regional press

A sovereign nation? Daily Pashtun Post

T

alking to media persons at Jacobabad, General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani reiterated that the Pakistan army has the capability to respond to the strikes carried out by NATO by manned or unmanned planes. He further said that the Pakistan army had rendered valuable sacrifices in the war on terror and refuted the contention that the air force of the country does not have the ability to counter NATO strikes and maintained that the army is meant to safeguard the country boundaries whenever it comes under threat from foreign allies and is ready to sacrifice in any way required in this regard. Pakistan is a sovereign country, said the army chief said, adding that a country’s independence could not be surrendered under any circumstances. Regarding the issues be-

tween Pakistan and America, the army chief said that the parliament of the country has to take a decision and whatsoever is decided would be acted upon. The army chief’s statements are appreciable and could act as a morale booster for the nation. The situation would not have been as bad today in Pakistan if Musharraf had not capitulated to American demands in every which way possible and the imperialist superpower was not allowed a free hand. The incumbent democratically government has the mandate to review any terms of engagement with America made during the Musharraf regime and, by taking such steps, the country could be redeemed from this unwanted situation it has been entangled in. – Translated from the original Pashto by Abdur Rauf Khattak


LHR 19-02-2012_Layout 1 2/19/2012 3:38 AM Page 13

Sunday, 19 February, 2012

Comment 13

Forward march!

The price of Baloch blood

elections in india

the ‘clink, clink’ reverberates

third eye By M J Akbar

A

t noon on March 6, or perhaps an hour earlier, a great impasse will begin in parliament. This is not an astrologer’s prediction. The source is rather less celestial, the election Commission. Since counting is now quick, we shall know the results of the UP Assembly polls by noon, and the stars of Delhi will begin their whirligig. If, as its foes so anxiously desire, Congress does poorly after such massive investment of political and financial capital, its ability to govern will be impaired beyond immediate repair. If, conversely, Congress succeeds, it will set a fresh agenda without worrying about consequences. Its lifted spirits will give Congress the energy and confidence to break with disruptive allies and risk a general election which it can fight on terms different from the corrosive themes of corruption and administrative impotence that have turned UPA 2 into such a limp also-ran. In democratic politics the definition of success is a variable, not a constant. The Congress is not seeking a victory for the party in Uttar Pradesh. That is impossible. What it wants is a victory for Rahul Gandhi, which is possible. You can’t change the goalposts for the first, but you can for the second. Success can be recalibrated as a comparative fact. It will be measured, therefore, not against the 90-plus Assembly segments which Congress won in the 2009 parliament polls, but against the 22 seats it got in 2007. The

drums are scheduled to roll for Rahul Gandhi if he delivers around 70 seats; anything more, and the escalation of applause will rise in geometrical progression. This has been his campaign, even to the extent of caging his effective sister Priyanka Gandhi to just the family constituencies of Rae Bareli and Amethi. Mrs Sonia Gandhi has made high-profile but limited interventions. PM Manmohan Singh will make his first election speech only after half of UP has voted. UP is designed to give Rahul Gandhi’s family inheritance electoral credibility, enabling him to take over party and government whenever he wants. The trigger could be this summer’s presidential elections, when Dr Manmohan Singh could top off his extraordinary career in politics with a bid for Rashtrapati Bhavan. In any case, the decision will lie with Rahul Gandhi, not circumstance; and he will choose the moment after March 6. We know he is here to stay, but cannot be sure in which capacity. If Rahul Gandhi cannot find his way into Dr Singh’s chair, the duopoly, which now runs Congress and Government, will become a triumvirate. But two is about as many simultaneous prime ministers as Delhi can sustain; three is a crowd. Someone will have to move. Who wins Lucknow becomes, in that sense, less important than the permutations and combinations that open up in Delhi. The challenge to UPA’s majority in parliament will not come from BJP. Congress does not treat the BJP as worthy opposition, but rather as a saffron dinosaur which should have become extinct but still manages to trundle around, making a nuisance of itself on the margins. The principal Congress worry is allies who occupy the space that Congress needs to achieve single-party majority status in the Lok Sabha. Under a very thin and transparent surface, Congress is in a constant struggle to defeat its

friends. Mamata Banerjee knows that. Sharad Pawar knows that. Mulayam Singh Yadav will find out, if he doesn’t know that already. The Budget on March 16 will be evidence of the new mood. A triumphant Congress could include measures which invite the wrath of allies, like FDI in retail, or permission to sell Indian airline shares to foreign investors. A confident Congress would dare Mamata Banerjee to break the UPA alliance. A subdued Congress, on the other hand, will shuffle along, anxious to maintain the status quo, and it would be Mamata Banerjee who would raise the ante with a barrage of public statements, and join the opposition on select issues, threatening the government’s majority in any sudden vote. There would also be trouble over the Congress nominee for president, whoever he or she might be. The government might not fall, unless it mismanaged the presidential election so badly that it lost. But it would reel from round to round like a battered boxer hoping for a quick end. Such a scenario would leave one unintended beneficiary: Dr Manmohan Singh. His stature would assure at least shortterm safety for the government. A veteran diplomat described the oil-and-nuclear confrontation between Iran, Israel and the US as a game of “choker”, a mix of chess and poker. The gamble in UP is less subtle: flush, in which whoever has the better threecard combination wins, and every bluff is called because all cards will be opened. There is a reason why the only certainty is uncertainty. Players do not hold the cards. Voters do. And they will let Big Brother know by noon on 6 March. The columnist is editor of The Sunday Guardian, published from Delhi, India on Sunday, published from London and Editorial Director, India Today and Headlines Today.

Who are these benevolent youth The gold coins of their blood Clink clink, clink clink –Faiz Ahmed Faiz alima Hashmi, Faiz sahib’s daughter, dug out this gem of a poem and dedicated it to the Baloch martyrs at the Faiz Aman Mela in Lahore last Sunday. The very next day, Monday, three bodies of Baloch missing persons, including former BSOAzad Chairman Sangat Sana Baloch were found. The day after, Tuesday, Baloch-dominated areas in Balochistan observed a shutter down strike. ‘Chhan chhan, chhan chhan,’ Faiz’s words reverberated across the province. The body of Sangat Sana was found only two weeks after the Domki murders, murders that had sent the entire Balochistan Assembly, generally the most complicit of the Baloch, up in a furore. Three Baloch ministers stood up to narrate a gruesome incident in which two Baloch youth were bound up and shot by FC troops on the Quetta-Turbat road. The trouble was that the consequences of the murder of Brahamdagh Bugti’s sister were not fully contemplated by the most likely murderers, although they should have. The lesson of Balochistan always was: blood spilt is thicker than blood flowing. This was indeed why Nawab Akbar Bugti’s killing in an army operation bestowed the legacy of a martyr on him and spurred insurgency. Balochistan has been under By hashim bin rashid siege since 1947, with the current insurgency that started in 2005 being the fifth: the last four were brutally suppressed through similar military action. It is only this one which is spiralling out of control. The almost abandon with which intelligence agencies operate in the Baloch province is matchless. Barely anyone is left in doubt as to who picked up whom for allegedly ‘anti-nationalistic’ sentiment and the message is delivered forcefully with every punctured, dumped body of a Baloch missing person. While the same matters went unnoticed in the last four operations, what changed on the ground was that the Baloch intellectuals and leadership, fearing for their lives, began to take up outposts in exile and developed lobbies to relay the situation in Balochistan to international organisations. In Balochistan, the BLA, the BLF and the BRA continued to fight from the mountains while Baloch political parties and the various factions of the BSO continue to develop the space on the ground to unite the Baloch community and speak to the few in the Pakistani media that

S

still want to hear a Baloch speak about Balochistan. Coverage has been selective. When the BLA killed 15 FC troops in the army-operated Chamalang coal mines area in response the Domki killings, media splashed the event. But when a counter-military operation was launched in Chamalang, there was complete silence by the media on it. The reason: journalists based in Balochistan were instructed not to – at the risk of their lives. 20 journalists had been killed in the last decade. However, Baloch resistance websites, forced to operate from outside Pakistan, and still banned in Pakistani cyberspace, began to carry gruesome accounts of unchecked brutalities. However, Pakistani airwaves and cyberspace remained clear of any such ‘anti-state’ accounts. Baloch blood was being spilled with no one brave enough to speak of it. Amidst this re-launched operation, exiled Baloch leaders were able to play the card they had wished to play much earlier: the US Congress took up a debate on Balochistan and tabled a bill to acknowledge the Baloch ‘right to self-determination’. The same ‘right to self determination’ was, of course, something Pakistan itself had been campaigning foreign powers for in the similarly gruesome 64-year old Indian-occupation of Kashmir. The US is telling Pakistan: what about the suppression in Balochistan? Balochistan is the thaw no one in Pakistan wishes to admit as much as discuss – or solve. The late politics over it by Nawaz Sharif and Imran Khan has come to naught, so clear is Baloch nationalist sentiment. Imran Khan’s pseudo-rally in Quetta, announced for 23 March, seemed to be an attempt to engineer and announce a new Pakistan resolution from the Baloch capital amidst a flailing nationalist project. Nawaz Sharif’s All-Parties Conference on Balochistan fell apart because Baloch parties refused to join in, making the attempt look silly. No Baloch takes the more than 270 ‘killed-anddumped’ bodies as a joke. No Baloch believes the army high command when it says, “No military operations are being carried out in Balochistan and no security forces have been involved in human rights abuses.” And this is the worst part: all political actors and intellectuals in Pakistan, including this writer, are speaking about the Baloch but not to the Baloch. Journalists from Balochistan are able to relay how the army views the mere act of putting up a Pakistani flag as a victory. To the Baloch, the rising flag means being conquered. And it is being conquered that the Baloch resist when they are whisked away and they return as tortured, bullet-ridden bodies. The price of Baloch blood is not that Pakistan might split again – it is that we will fool ourselves again, as we do now, when the Foreign Office issues condemnations of the US Congress debate on Balochistan, on why we split. To condemn the military operation, to condemn the killing-and-dumping and to return the missing Baloch, that is what should have been the government’s response. In its absence, it will be sure to learn the price of Baloch blood the hard way. The writer is a member of staff, a researcher at LUMS and a member of the Workers’ Party Pakistan. He blogs at voiceamidstsilence.blogspot.com and can be reached at hashim.rashid@pakistantoday.com.pk


LHR 19-02-2012_Layout 1 2/19/2012 3:39 AM Page 14

14

Sunday, 19 February, 2012

IN LIMELIGHT BeRlin: holliday grainger, Robert pattinson and christina Ricci at the premiere for the film ‘Bel ami’ at the Berlinale. aFP

CrOAtIA: Angelina Jolie poses for a photograph before the premiere of her film ‘In the land of Blood and honey’. AFP

LoS ANgELES cBS/ap

He HeLP’ continued its awards season run by taking three prizes at the NAACP Image Awards, including the best picture award, best actress for Viola Davis and supporting actress for Octavia Spencer. Davis and Spencer have collected armloads of accolades for their work in the film about black maids who speak out against their white employers during the civil rights movement. Both are up for Academy Awards next week. Davis said the film has “just been the joy of my life. I found my voice,” she said. “I just emerged through ‘The Help’.” The ceremony Friday at the Shrine Auditorium, which honoured diversity in the arts, was punctuated by moving tributes to Whitney Houston, the Black Stuntmen's Association and George Lucas. Yolanda Adams sang the spiritual song ‘I Love the Lord, He Heard My Cry’ as part of a moving tribute to Houston, who died last week at the age of 48. “We

‘T

love you, Nip,” she said as she finished the song, referring to Houston's nickname. Footage of Houston accepting the award for outstanding female artist in 1994 was shown, as was Denzel Washington’s presentation of that award, in which he called the singer an “artist of unparalleled stature.” In television, Tyler Perry's ‘House of Payne’ won best comedy series and ‘Law & Order: Special Victims Unit’ took home the best drama series prize. Regina King won best TV actress for the police drama ‘Southland’, and rapper LL Cool J won best TV actor for his role in ‘NCIS: Los Angeles’. Grammy and Oscarwinner Jennifer Hudson took home the album of the year for ‘I Remember Me’, Cee Lo Green was voted best male artist and jazz singer Jill Scott best female artist. ‘Star Wars’ creator George Lucas, whose latest movie chronicles the story of African-American Tuskegee airmen in World War Two, received a special award. The NAACP Image Awards celebrate the accomplishments of people of colour in the fields of film, television, music and literature, and also honour individuals or groups who promote social justice.

Sania Maskatiya’s flagship store turns one NEWS DESK Sania Maskatiya and her team celebrated their stores’ first anniversary on 17 February in Karachi, where they introduced their limited editions anniversary designs, special reductions on certain styles while giving shoppers the opportunity to win discount coupons and Sania Maskatiya ensembles. The Limited edition capsule collection retained the signature Sania Maskatiya cuts and draping and included block printed, screen printed and digitally printed designes as well as computer embroidered work with metal embellishments in pure chiffons, silk, crepe and cottons. The

store’s birthday was attended by Zahir Rahimtoola and Sherazade Rahimtoola of Labels, Shehrnaz Husain and Shezray Husain of ensemble, designers Maheen Karim and Adnan Pardesy, event Manager Frieha Atlaf and Madiha Sultan of Lals, among other social and industry personalities. The window display and the event was organised by Maha Burney. In addition to her flagship outlet, Sania Maskatiya, who recently debuted her collection at the Fashion Week, currently stocks at multi brand boutiques, ensemble and Labels. Her designs are also available in Dubai at multi brand boutique Soirée and in Singapore at multi brand boutique Zardoze.

new DelhI: A model presents a creation during a special show against human trafficking at the wills lifestyle India Fashion week 2012. AFP

lAhOre: Sania Maskatiya’s Flagship store celebrated its 1st anniversary. PrESS rELEASE

Shernaz, Sania with Shezray

Sohail, Sania, Maheen Karim with Umair

Sania Maskatiya, Zahir & Sherazade Rahimtoola with Umair Tabani

I'm too young

No more surgery,

to be typecast: Imran Khan

fine

MuMBai: has Imran cracked a secret formula for success? “there is no formula,” says Imran, admitting that he has received more praise for eMAet than Delhi Belly. “I go by my gut feeling. the majority of my work is with first time directors. So I meet the director to see if he is excited, chilled out or someone who would work extra hard,” he explains. But talk to Imran about how only his rom coms have worked for him, he refuses to accept that he is being typecast. he takes a deep breath and chooses his words carefully. “I am far too young and new in the industry to be typecast. And when people talk about typecast, say romantic comedy, what are the rom coms I have done? there is eMAet and I hate. when you get success in a particular space, people tend to see you in that space. So you get lots of offers. It is not because I actively want to do a particular kind of film. People don't think outside the box. So it takes a good director with a little more vision to think outside the box.” tell him that he is one of the few 'solo' actors around who is doing well, he politely gives credit to his mamu. And sounds very much like him, when he talks about how he wants his films to do well, not just for himself, but for every one who is involved with the project. he adds, “I would rather have a super-hit film than an extra five crore. I can always make the money from endorsements.” Speaking of the moolah, he is asked about what exactly has he planned to treat himself to after his recent success. Imran takes this 'pleasure' question rather seriously. “I think it is very important to remember why you are doing this work. For me, it has always been of supreme importance that I enjoy my life. thirty years from now I don't want to look back and wonder, what did I do?” agencieS

Amitabh Bachchan

MuMBai: amitabh Bachchan has shown signs of improvement, and doctors at the Seven hills hospital decided against another surgery on the megastar. “the surgery was supposed to happen but after the check up, doctors decided there is no need of any surgery. he is doing fine,” a source said. Following two abdominal surgeries Saturday, the 69-year-old veteran complained of pain, due to which his stay in the hospital was extended. on thursday night, Big B blogged that more doctors had been called for consultation over his condition and that an incision on the neck was made -- indicating serious health

concerns. But all seems under control now. amitabh has chosen to keep his medical condition private, and his family members as well as the hospital authorities have been asked to remain tight-lipped about it. “i refrain from giving greater details of my condition. in the west patient has the right to not disclose - even to family. i realise anxious members of eF need to know. whenever there is some important procedure, will inform,” Big B had tweeted thursday. So far there is no new update from the actor, whose recurring abdominal condition is a result of an injury on the sets of ‘coolie’ 30 years ago. agencieS

MuMBai: the beautiful actress went through a makeover of sorts for her new film, Sajid Khan’s ‘housefull 2’ and has been getting oodles of compliments for her new look. And guess, the revamp has helped her bag two very prestigious films. Speaking to a daily, the actress confirmed the news and said, “I am doing SrK’s next. Currently I am focusing on ‘Bol Bachchan’ and ‘housefull 2’. I am also working with ranbir in ‘two States’.” ever since the news of Chetan Bhagat’s bestseller getting a celluloid version broke in the industry, speculations have been rife that who would be playing the female lead. the excited Asin said she is happy that she got the part. “I loved the book and agreed to do the film. the film’s final script isn’t yet ready. I have been planning my look for it in detail, which I will reveal soon,” Asin said. She was also spotted posing for numerous photos with SrK and riteish genelia’s wedding recently which sparked off another rumour that the two stars may be planning to do a film together. “Shah rukh was meant to do ‘two States’, but things took a different turn but he has cast me in his next,” added Asin. agencieS


LHR 19-02-2012_Layout 1 2/19/2012 3:39 AM Page 15

15 Shoaib Akhtar is stalking me: Meera

M

NEWS DESK

eeRA has lashed out against former cricketer Shoaib Akhtar, accusing him of stalking and harassing her. Revealing that she was in a year-long relationship with Akhtar that ended in 2010, the actor says that he has been making her life hell with repeated phone calls. “Shoaib nihayati badtameez hai. Jabse unko pata chala hai ki mere nikaah ki baat ho rahi hai, wo mujhe phone kar ke pareshan kar rahe hain. Unko sharam aani chaiye (Shoaib is extremely illmannered. ever since he came to know that talks were on for my wedding, he’s been calling and disturbing me. He should be ashamed of himself),” Meera told an Indian daily over phone from Lahore. The alleged affair came into limelight last week when Pakistani media quoted Meera as saying: “Shoaib and I had an intimate affair and he proposed to me. Sadly, he also proposed to my cousin at the same time, which reflected that he wasn’t a balanced person.” In response, Akhtar has said, “I never had

islamabad

Fashion week autumn/winter 2012

to be launched soon NEWS DESK Sania Maskatiya, Adnan Pardesy with Umair Tabani

Girls wearing Sania Maskatiya at the Flagship store's birthday

The 2nd edition of Islamabad Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2012 is going to start from March 1-4, 2012 at the Marriott Hotel, Islamabad. Islamabad Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2012 will be organised by excellent event and entertainment (Triple-e) in association with the International Pakistan Fashion Council; World Fashion Organization (WFO) and europa Regina. The Creative Consultant is Tariq Amin whereas the choreographer for the event will be Imran Kureishi. Islamabad Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2012 will host 35 visiting buyers from europe, Australia, Ireland and United States and representatives from the international press, including CNN, BBC, Voice of America, Xinua, Reuters, AFP, and APP. There will be a greater participation of fashion designers, brands, models and fashion schools from Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad and internationally as well.

any affair with Meera. The problem is that if a well-known cricketer even smiles at a girl, she thinks he is in love with her.” A shocked Meera reacts by saying, “He is lying, seeking publicity through my name. He insults everyone around him. Unke isi attitude ki wajah se unka career khatam ho chuka hai. He is nowhere. He calls me daily and asks me to come back into his life but I will not repeat the mistake.” She further says, “Shoaib doesn’t respect women, wo sirf unhe physically use karna jaante hain. He abused me on phone last night when I refuse to give him a second chance.” Confirming reports that both she and Akhtar were offered Rs 5 crore to take part in reality show, Bigg Boss, she said, “I refused. I can’t be in a house with B-grade people. I’m a big celebrity in Pakistan.” Déjà vu? In 2010 Veena Malik, accused Pakistani cricketer Mohammad Asif of physically abusing her after a failed relationship. She even filed a complaint against Asif for threatening her. Later, when Asif got embroiled in a match-fixing scandal, Veena even deposed before the International Cricket Council.

Is Janet Jackson heading to

‘The X Factor’? LoS ANgELES agencieS

Janet Jackson is the latest pop music star rumoured to be in talks to join ‘The X Factor’. Jackson has expressed interest in joining the show, but the talks are in the preliminary stages. In an interview, when

Asin going places!

whitney's funeral NEW YorK ReuteRS

A starstudded lineup will sing and speak at pop star Whitney Houston's funeral, from Alicia Keys and Kevin Costner to the soul and gospel music royalty from which she hails, including her cousin Dionne Warwick and Aretha Franklin. Houston will be laid to rest on Saturday after an invitation-only memorial service at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey, where Houston groomed her voice singing in the church choir with her mother Cissy Houston, a soul and gospel singer who once backed up Franklin. Other top names taking part in the service include Houston's mentor and record producer Clive Davis, singer Stevie Wonder and Hollywood actor and producer Tyler Perry, who donated his plane to fly her body from Los Angeles to Newark earlier this week. elton John, Beyonce and rapper Jay-Z, Oprah Winfrey and Bill Cosby are also expected to attend, according to reports. The singer rose to fame with a soaring voice and hits in the mid-1980s such as ‘Saving All My Love For You’. It is not yet known if singer Bobby Brown will be there.

tyra Banks: a harvard grad LoS ANgELES agencieS

Tyra Banks has always been fierce, but soon the model-TV personalityproducer-author-entrepreneur can add another line to her résumé: Harvard Business School graduate. The media mogul explained why she enrolled in the school's Owner/President Management Programme in an interview: “There's a difference between a career and a business,” she explained. “I'm not looking to build a company based on fans.” Rather, she hopes to run a strategic operation that promotes her beliefs and simultaneously turns out a profit. She admitted that in her working life, she's not as tough as she appears to be on ‘America's Next Top Model’. And as the 38-year-old nears completion of her HBS education, she's learned that success is "not about being the biggest, but being the best.”

After friendship and an alleged affair, Shah Rukh and Priyanka

To star opposite

Ranbir, SRK

asked about joining the judging panel, Jackson sidesteped the question, saying, “No, I am not. But that’s all I really think I should say.” After a so-so rated first season, the Fox singing competition dropped Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger as judges. The shake-up didn't end there, as Steve Jones was axed as host. L.A. Reid and Simon Cowell will return as judges as the search to fill out the rest of the panel continues. According to reports, Whitney Houston was approached to be a judge/mentor just days before her sudden death. ‘The X Factor’ started off a tumultuous first season with Abdul signing on the dotted line at the last minute. Then, early in the audition rounds, UK pop singer Cheryl Cole was fired from the panel. Scherzinger, who was serving as co-host, filled her seat. “Well, all I know is that I gave 110 percent to that show,” Scherzinger said of her time on ‘The X Factor’. “I know everybody's talking about it. They're saying good, bad, they love me or hate me, but the one thing you can't say is that I didn't give it my all.” Producer Simon Cowell is reportedly taking meetings with potential judges in late February as the show ramps up for its Season 2 production.

Stars come out for

MuMBai: the collaboration of Shah rukh Khan and rohit Shetty made Chennai express one of the 'hottest' films to watch out for. After a short period of indecision regarding the casting of either Katrina Kaif or Kareena Kapoor as the leading lady in the film, SrK's ‘rA.One’ heroine and rohit's favourite, Kareena had emerged victorious. In fact, the actress had even said in an interview, “rohit and I are finalising the script and other details. rohit is like family, and I am seriously looking forward to working with him again.” however, her enthusiasm regarding the project has been rather short-lived. Kareena who was once happy to be a part of the project, has excused herself from it. reason: the generic 'date problems'. Meanwhile, Deepika Padukone, who has recently been in the news for leaving ‘race 2’ producer ramesh taurani in a mess by walking out of the project midway, has been asked to come on board ‘Chennai express’. A friend of Kareena, confirmed that the actress is no longer a part of the film and added, “Kareena has already informed rohit Shetty that she wouldn't be able to work in Chennai express. SrK is aware of it as well.” As for Deepika's inclusion in the rohit Shetty film, a source close to the project said, “Deepika has given her nod of consent. the official signing should happen soon.” agencieS

turn strangers! MuMBai: A whirlwind of emotions, cold shoulders being meted out to her, and she turned out to be the bone of contention in her best buddy’s family. For actor Priyanka Chopra, the last few months couldn’t have been worse. the allegations of an affair with Shah rukh Khan left Priyanka grappling her way through what was perhaps the darkest phase of her life. After being treated with a royal ignore at the success party of ‘Don 2’ that was thrown by gauri, Priyanka has hardly been seen in close circles of her once ‘best buddy’ Shah rukh. So much so, that PC wasn’t even invited to the celebrations at the roshan mansion post the success of ‘Agneepath’ though she was the leading lady of the film. And now the grapevine is abuzz with something even juicier. the stars, who were once very good friends and were hardly inseparable, seem to have called their friendship off. going by what is being heard only too very often, Shah rukh and Priyanka are no longer seen next to each other at events. the recent film festivals have borne a bitter witness to the way Priyanka has supposedly been neglected by Shah rukh. the loyal husband is now seen more by his wife’s side. Meanwhile, the million dollar question is still fresh in everyone’s minds: ‘Did they or didn’t they?’. And if what we have been interpreting turns out to be true, then, well, let’s not dig too deep into their closets. who knows what skeletons will greet us there! agencieS


LHR 19-02-2012_Layout 1 2/19/2012 3:39 AM Page 16

16 Foreign News

Sunday, 19 February, 2012

tens of thousands back Putin in russia rally battle

saudi renews call for taliban to renounce Qaeda rIYADh aFp

Saint peteRSBuRg: women attend a pro-putin rally on Saturday, as tens of thousands of Vladimir putin’s supporters backed his bid for the presidency in rallies across Russia. AFP SAINt PEtErSBUrg aFp

Tens of thousands of Vladimir Putin’s supporters backed his bid for the presidency in rallies across Russia on Saturday, trying to outdo mass nationwide protests staged by his opponents. At least 50,000 people attended rallies in european Russia, Siberia and the Far east supporting Putin’s candidacy for a historic third Kremlin term in March 4 polls, AFP correspondents and police reports said. Russians are taking to the streets with increasing regularity ahead of the election as the opposition and pro-Putin camp seek

to outdo each other with competing rallies. Brandishing slogans like “Yes to Changes! No to Revolution!” and “Putin — We are with You for a Strong Russia!”, at least 10,000 people attended a rally in the former imperial capital of Saint Petersburg “For me, Putin is stability. In these years I have personally lived better. I am given my pay on time. I have started to be proud of the country,” Putin supporter Anatoly Stepanov, 42, told an AFP correspondent. Participants were warmed in temperatures of minus eight degrees Celsius by hot tea and Russian pies sold for nominal prices. “Look at those who are against Putin, they are not the people,” grumbled pen-

sioner Anna Patrusheva, 58. The opposition has accused authorities of using the state’s resources or even employing financial incentives to encourage people to show up for the Putin rallies. Buses were visible on the fringes of the rally that had brought people in from outlying Saint Petersburg regions. Opposition activitists call attention to the fact they do not bus militants to their rallies. Pro-Putin rallies took place in almost all of Russia’s biggest cities, the main exceptions being Moscow and the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk where the Russian premier was busy attending an economic forum. According to a police count quoted by Russian news agencies, 12,000

people turned out for the biggest rally in the Far eastern city of Khabarovsk seven time zones away under the slogan “We Have Something to Protect!”. Rallies mustering at least 10,000 people also took place in cities including Volgograd, Nizhny Novgorod, and Novosibirsk in Siberia, while several thousand came for events in the Pacific port of Vladivostok and the Siberian city of Irkutsk. The RIA Novosti news agency said police arrested the over-zealous organiser of the proPutin rally in the industrial town of Ivanovo outside Moscow after its turnout of 6,000 was double the figure announced to the authorities.

A senior Saudi official on Saturday called on the Taliban to lay down their arms and renounce Al-Qaeda as preconditions for Saudi-mediated peace talks with the Afghan government. “Saudi Arabia’s conditions for mediation ... are that the Taliban lay down their weapons, engage in the political process and renounce AlQaeda,” the official told AFP on condition of anonymity. “These are our three demands, and they have not changed in three years,” he added. The Taliban, leading a 10-year insurgency against Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s government, have denied reports of planned peace talks in Saudi Arabia, despite claims by Afghan officials that the two sides would hold talks in the kingdom separate from those planned in Qatar. Taliban negotiators have begun preliminary discussions with the United States in Qatar on plans for peace talks aimed at ending the decade-long war. They have also announced plans to set up an office in Doha. In late January, Afghan government spokesman Akim Hasher said Kabul has “always preferred Saudi to Qatar.” A member of the Taliban’s leadership council has told AFP “the idea” that the Taliban should have a point of contact in Saudi Arabia was being pushed by the Pakistan and Afghan governments.

Trial opens in $2.6 billion Iran banking fraud case tEhrAN aFp

British press swoon as PM and sarkozy ‘kiss and make up’ LoNDoN

Iran deploys warships to the Mediterranean

aFp

Prime Minister David Cameron received a gentle ribbing from the British press on Saturday after a cordial summit at which he backed his “friend” French President Nicolas Sarkozy to be re-elected. “David and Nicolas — the best of amis,” said The Independent, carrying, like many others, a montage of photographs of the grinning pair. There was “so much shaking and slapping that if Mr Sarkozy and Mr Cameron had got any closer, their wives could have taken offence”, The Times’ Adam Sage observed. The summit, where the two leaders unveiled a nuclear power deal and took a strong position on the Syrian violence, was a far cry from recent encounters at european summits in Brussels, where they clashed bitterly. “What a difference two months makes,” said The Times, while the Daily Mail described the meeting as “a kiss-andmake-up summit”. “Le Snub forgiven and forgotten as Cameron cosies up to Sarko,” said the tabloid. But the paper warned that Cameron was taking a gamble by backing Sarkozy ten weeks before France’s presidential elections. “Sarkozy is trailing his Socialist rival Francois Hollande by a wide margin in the polls,” the Mail said. “It means the PM’s vocal backing could be risky — alienating the likely winner.” The Times agreed that Cameron’s “fulsome tribute” to Sarkozy, which included congratulating the Frenchman on his leadership during the Libyan conflict, was “surprisingly forthright”. “The Prime Minister seems to have decided that their relationship is worth prolonging,” wrote Sage. “Or perhaps he thinks the alternative — Francois Hollande, the Socialist candidate — would be worse.” Cameron is understood not to be planning to meet Hollande before the election, the paper said.

tEhrAN

I

aFp

RANIAN warships entered the Mediterranean after crossing the Suez Canal on Saturday to show Tehran’s “might” to regional states, the navy commander said, at a time of simmering tensions with Israel. In Jerusalem, the foreign ministry said Israel will be watching the ship’s movements closely to ensure they do not approach its coast. “The strategic navy of the Islamic Republic of Iran has passed through the Suez Canal for the second time since the (1979) Islamic Revolution,” Admiral Habibollah Sayari said in remarks quoted by the official IRNA news agency. He did not say how many vessels had crossed the canal, or what

missions they were planning to carry out in the Mediterranean, but said the flotilla had previously docked in the Saudi port city of Jeddah. Two Iranian ships, the destroyer Shahid Qandi and supply vessel Kharg, had docked in the Red Sea port on February 4, according to Iranian media. Sayari said the naval deployment to the Mediterranean would show “the might” of the Islamic republic to regional countries, and also convey Tehran’s “message of peace and friendship.” The first Iranian presence in the Mediterranean in February 2011 provoked strong reactions from Israel and the United States, with the Jewish state putting its navy on alert. During the 2011 deployment, two Iranian vessels, a destroyer and a supply ship, sailed past the coast of Israel and docked at the port of Latakia in allied Syria before

returning to Iran via the Red Sea. The latest announcement comes amid heightened tensions between Iran and Israel, fuelled by a longstanding dispute over Tehran’s nuclear programme and rising speculation that Israel might launch pre-emptive strikes against Iranian facilities. Israeli officials are also accusing Tehran of orchestrating anti-Israeli bombings in India and Georgia as well as blasts in Thailand. Iran denies the allegations. Israeli leaders has denounced the naval deployment as a “provocation” and a “powerplay.” And on Saturday, an official of the Israeli foreign ministry said without elaborating that “we will closely follow the movement of the two ships to confirm that they do not approach the Israeli coast.”

The trial in a $2.6 billion dollar banking fraud case that the Iranian media describe as the country’s biggest ever opened on Saturday with some of the 32 accused facing possible death sentences. The accused were charged with involvement in taking bribes and financial corruption, Iranian media reported. The lead defendant, who was identified only by the initials MA, is accused of being “corrupt on earth,” a charge which carries the death penalty under Iran’s penal code, the reports said. The fraud, as it surfaced last September, allegedly saw a private consortium amass trillions of rials through forged letters of credit approved by half a dozen Iranian banks. At the centre of the fraud is a company called the Aria group, which was founded in 2005 with a mere $50,000. In 2011, estimates put its value at more than $3.5 billion. The scandal took a political turn after media opposed to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad published a letter attributed to his chief of staff and principal advisor, esfandiar Rahim Mashaie, reportedly asking economy Minister Shamseddin Hosseini to facilitate the Aria group’s operations. On September 14, Ahmadinejad spoke in spirited defence of Mashaie and urged the judiciary to launch an “honest” probe into the case. The fraud almost forced Hosseini from office but in November he survived an impeachment vote in parliament after being accused of lax oversight of the banking sector in relation to the fraud.

Ex-Maldives president pushes for polls date MALE aFp

Former Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed on Saturday demanded the government fulfil its promise to set an early election date to ease the political impasse gripping the troubled islands. “The people of the country want an early election. They want to know the date and how it will be organised,” Nasheed told thousands of party supporters during a rally in the capital Male early Saturday. New Maldivian President Mohamed Waheed agreed on Thursday to bring forward elections originally scheduled for October 2013, in an apparent concession to

Nasheed who claims he was toppled in a coup d’etat. Nasheed welcomed Waheed’s decision, but the new authorities have yet to set a date for the poll. The archipelago has been rocked by political turmoil and violence since February 7 when Nasheed, the Maldives’ first democratically elected leader, quit following street protests and a mutiny by police officers. The former president went ahead with a planned mass rally of party supporters in the crowded capital on Friday, despite international pressure to call it off to avoid further unrest. “We will not stop this protest tonight (Friday) or tomorrow (Saturday)... I am confident that the early election that we want will be held very soon.

We will be informed of the date very soon,” Nasheed said. Police maintained low profile during the event, which drew thousands of Nasheed’s Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) supporters from outlying islands. They wore the party’s trademark yellow shirt emblazoned with Nasheed’s picture and carried placards saying “V love Anni” (Nasheed’s nickname), and “Fair elections now, no excuses”. MDP spokesman Hamid Abdul Ghafoor told AFP that the rally continued for a second day on Saturday, with supporters being provided with food, water and mats to rest. “It’s a carnival atmosphere, people are singing Maldivian songs alongside political speeches. We will stay till elec-

tion dates are announced,” said Ghafoor, who is also an MDP lawmaker. The former president on Saturday met with a nine-member Commonwealth ministerial mission, who are on a fact finding mission to study the events surrounding Nasheed’s resignation and the transfer of power. The government has called all political parties to a meeting Sunday on election preparations, including a possible amendment to the constitution to allow early polls, the new attorney general Azima Shakoor said Friday. The tourism-dependent island nation has estimated it could lose more than $100 million in revenue due to visitors cancelling bookings after the unrest.


LHR 19-02-2012_Layout 1 2/19/2012 3:39 AM Page 17

Sunday, 19 February, 2012

Foreign News 17

Syria forces fire on funeral, China urges bloodshed end DAMAScUS

S

aFp

eCURITY forces shot dead a mourner at a huge funeral on Saturday for demonstrators killed in rare protests in the Syrian capital after a senior Chinese envoy issued a plea for the bloodshed to end. The Damascus funerals were for four people, two of them teenagers, killed when security forces opened fire on demonstrators in the capital’s west-central Mazzeh district, which houses many government offices and embassies, a human rights group and activists said. “The funerals in Mazzeh turned into protests — it was the closest major gathering to Omayyad Square” in the city centre, the head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Rami Abdul Rahman, told AFP. An activist spokesman in Damascus province, Mohammed Shami, echoed the comments. “It’s the first time

there have been demonstrations of such a scale so close to the centre of Damascus,” he said, adding that some 15,000 people had turned out despite snowfall. He said the shootings were followed by a “wave of searches and arrests” across the district. “People hid wherever they could,” he said. “State television didn’t cover what happened even through it was only a short distance from the Radio and Television Organisation,” he added. Activists described Friday’s demonstrations in Damascus as “unprecedented,” saying there were 49 in all, and called for a “day of defiance” in the capital on Sunday to galvanise support. “It’s the first time that the protests have spread to well-to-do neighbourhoods,” said Moaz Shami of the Local Coordination Committees, which organises demonstrations on the ground. In a message to Damascus residents on their “Syrian Revolution 2011” Facebook page, activists said: “The blood of the martyrs exhorts you to disobedience.” Security forces also kept up their pounding

of the flashpoint central city of Homs as the Chinese envoy visited. Rockets crashed into strongholds of resistance at the rate of four a minute on Friday, according to one activist, who warned that the city — Syria’s third largest — faced a humanitarian crisis. Thirteen of the 30 people killed on Friday were in the Homs district of Baba Amr, the Syrian Observatory said. After morning talks with President Bashar al-Assad, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhai Jun called on all sides in Syria to stop the violence and for planned elections, which have been denounced by the opposition, to go ahead peacefully, state media said. Zhai, whose government has twice joined Moscow in blocking UN Security Council condemnation of the Damascus regime’s deadly crackdown, said it was vital that “calm be restored as quickly as possible,” state television reported. “The position of China is to call on the government, the opposition and the rebels to halt acts of violence immediately,” the Chinese envoy said. “We hope that the referendum on a new constitu-

us drones monitoring events in syria WASHINGTON: A “good number” of unmanned US military and intelligence drones are operating in the skies over Syria, monitoring the Syrian military’s attacks against opposition forces and civilians, NBC News reported. Citing unnamed US defense officials, the TV network said this surveillance was not in preparation for US military intervention. However, the administration President Barack Obama hopes to use the overhead visual evidence and intercepts of Syrian

government and military communications in an effort to make the case for a widespread international response, the report said. NBC News said there has been some discussion among White House, State Deptartment and Pentagon officials about possible humanitarian missions in Syria. But US officials fear those missions could not be carried out without endangering the people involved and would almost certainly draw the United States into a military role in Syria, the report noted. AFP

tion as well as the forthcoming parliamentary elections pass off calmly,” he added.“China supports the reforms under way in Syria and the significant measures taken by the country in this field.” Assad for his part said the events in Syria were “aimed at dividing the

country and delivering a blow to its geopolitical position and historical role in the region,” the official SANA news agency reported. He said he was determined to “advance the political reform process according to a precise plan and timetable.”

Swede rescued after months in snow-covered car

N. Korea rejects S. Korea call for talks on reunions

StocKhoLM

SEoUL

aFp

aFp

A man was pulled alive from a snowed-in car on a deserted forest road in northern Sweden where he had been stranded and without food for at least two months in freezing temperatures, police said Saturday. “We received word yesterday (Friday) that a person had been found in a snow-covered car deep in the woods, more than 1.5 kilometres (nearly a mile) from the main road,” ebbe Nyberg, a duty officer in the northern Vaesterbotten county, told AFP. A man on a snowscooter had noticed the top of the car on the deserted and snowfilled forest road, not far from the northern town of Umeaa, just south of the Arctic Circle, and after clearing off some of the snow had peered inside. “He saw movement and realised there was probably a person in there and called the police,” Nyberg said, adding that rescue services and an ambulance that had been belted to drive on the snow had rushed to the scene. They were amazed at what they found: A man in his mid-40s huddled inside in a sleeping bag “in really bad shape,” starving and barely able to move or speak Nyberg said it was unclear exactly how long the man, who is from the central Swedish town of Oerebro, had been stuck, but pointed out that the car must have been driven to the deserted spot “before it began snowing in the autumn.” “He says himself he has been without food since December, so we think he must have got there around then, or perhaps earlier, in November,” he said, pointing out that temperatures in the area have recently plunged as low as minus 30 degrees Celsius (-22 degrees Fahrenheit).

North Korea Saturday rejected the South’s call for talks aimed at restarting reunions for families separated since the Korean War, saying Seoul should first respond to its conditions for dialogue. South Korea’s Red Cross Tuesday proposed the talks to discuss a resumption of the temporary reunions for family members separated since the 1950-1953 war. Pyongyang’s Minju Joson newspaper accused Seoul of talking about reunions and other exchanges while secretly seeking sanctions. If the South was genuinely interested in family reunions and other exchanges, the paper said, it should reply to a “questionnaire” addressed to Seoul’s leaders this month. The questionnaire told the South’s leaders to “repent of their crimes” following the December 17 death of the North’s leader Kim Jong-Il and to honour past summit agreements. It accused them of showing disrespect during the mourning period for Kim and told them to halt major exercises with US troops and halt “vicious” smear campaigns. The South has dismissed the demands as unreasonable. Hundreds of thousands of family members were separated during the war, which sealed the division of the peninsula. There are no civilian mail or phone connections across the border, and many do not even know whether their relatives are alive or dead. The last temporary reunions, arranged by the two Koreas’ Red Cross authorities but authorised by governments on both sides, began in October 2010. Plans for further events were scrapped after the North shelled a frontline island in the South in November that year, killing four people. Since 2000 sporadic events have briefly reunited more than 17,000 people face-toface and an estimated 3,700 — usually those too frail to travel — via video link.

Militants’ rocket hits Gaza home gAZA cItY aFp

A rocket fired at Israel on Saturday by Palestinian militants instead hit a house in the Gaza Strip, but there were no casualties, witnesses said. It apparently exploded prematurely, damaging the house, the witnesses said, without being able to provide further details. Separately, police said three rockets were fired from Gaza at southern Israel but hit fields near eshkol without causing any casualties or property damage. That brought to five the number fired since Friday. In another incident, the military said an anti-tank rocket was fired at Israeli soldiers but damaged the security fence separating Gaza from Israel, Troops, who responded with tank fire, also neutralised an explosive device at the scene. Since the beginning of the year, Palestinian militants in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip have fired some 30 rockets at southern Israel, army statistics show.

SiDon: lebanese men run for cover as waves crash into a seaside promenade in the southern city of Sidon on Saturday. AFP

strauss-Kahn to be quizzed on prostitution ring LILLE aFp

Former IMF chief Dominique StraussKahn is to be quizzed as a suspect about involvement in an alleged illegal prostitution ring, a source familiar with the case said Saturday. He has been summoned for questioning on Tuesday in connection with a police probe into the organisation of sex parties in restaurants and swingers’ clubs in Paris, Washington, Madrid, Vienna and Ghent, Belgium. Strauss-Kahn could face charges if magistrates deem he was aware the women who took part were prostitutes and the funds to pay them were fraudulently obtained, as is being alleged against other suspects, the source said. While theoretically he could be held for up to 96 hours the interrogation is not expected to last more than 48 and he can be accompanied by a

lawyer. A police source said it was not ruled out that Strauss-Kahn would be charged then taken before a judge to decide whether he should be remanded in custody. Strauss-Kahn, 62, resigned as director of the International Monetary Fund in May after he was accused of raping a chambermaid in a New York hotel. He returned to France in August after the US case collapsed, only to face new allegations. First, a 32-year-old writer accused him of attempting to rape her in 2003 but, while prosecutors said there was prima facie evidence of sexual assault, the case was too old to pursue. Then he was implicated in an entirely separate investigation into the alleged prostitution ring said to have operated out of luxury hotels in the northern French city of Lille. Magistrates have already charged several leading local figures with organising the ring and there are suspicions that a

construction company executive used his firm’s money to entertain guests at sex parties. Strauss-Kahn is also expected to be asked if he gave anything in return for the parties organised and funded by businessmen Fabrice Paszkowski and David Roquet, who have already been charged. Lawyers for Paskowski, head of a medical equipment firm, and Roquet, former director of a subsidiary of public works group eiffage, have denied any quid pro quo. Others charged in the case include three hotel bosses, a lawyer and a local police chief. Strauss-Kahn had demanded to be questioned by judges leading the inquiry, hoping to halt what his lawyers brand a “media lynching.” A book published in December quoted him as admitting to having an uninhibited sex life, including attending swingers’ parties, but he denied knowing that any of the participants were prostitutes.


LHR 19-02-2012_Layout 1 2/19/2012 3:40 AM Page 18

Sunday, 19 February, 2012

Azarenka set for emotional Dubai return Page 21

PCB to go any length to eradicate corruption from the game LAhorE

T

StaFF RepoRt

He Pakistan Cricket Board will go to any length to eradicate the menace of matchfixing from the sport and will fully cooperate in any kind of inquiry in this regard. An official of the PCB said that they are ready to work with the english and Wales Cricket Board in the case of Danish Kaneria. The PCB has already asked the British authorities for the full judgment and evidence in a spot-fixing case that implicated leg-spinner Danish Kaneria, officials said Saturday. "It is a serious matter for us and we will now be examining the judgment and evidence placed before the court during the trial." Kaneria was selected for the last of his 61 tests by the PCB in August 2010 before being sidelined from the national team over the spot-fixing scandal. Since than he has appeared before the board's integrity committee several times pleading his innocence. Kaneria also took the PCB to the Sindh high court for not clearing him for selection even though he had been cleared by essex police during the investigation into the spot-fixing scandal. The court

Kaneria vows to clear his name in spot-fixing scandal KArAchI agencieS

Pakistan spinner Danish Kaneria has vowed to do everything in his control to get his name cleared in the scandal, which has led to the jail sentence of county bowler Mervyn Westfield. Former essex fast bowler Westfield was handed over a jail sentence of four months by a London court yesterday, after he admitted receiving £6,000 (USD 9,200) to bowl badly so that 12 runs could be scored in the first over of a 40-over match between Durham and essex in September 2009. Westfield's lawyer told the court that his essex teammate Kaneria told him that a friend would pay him to cheat. “I don't want to say much now on this issue. But it is a incorrect terminology that I have been implicated by the court. In fact, the essex police cleared me in this case after proper investigations,” said Kaneria. “I have told my lawyer in London to get the full judgment of the trial and pursue this matter. I will not rest until I am cleared to play for Pakistan again,” he added. “All these allegations are false,” Kaneria said. “I have not only been cleared by the British police, but also by the england and Wales Cricket Board and the International Cricket Council.” “I have been trying my best to clear my name, but so far I don’t know why the PCB suspended me from playing international cricket for Pakistan,” Kaneria said.

rejected his petition on technical grounds. Kaneria's essex teammate in england, Mervyn Westfield, was sentenced to four months in prison on Friday after he pleaded guilty to taking money to bowl badly in a 2009 match between essex and Durham. At the Old Bailey Westfield admitted receiving £6,000 ($9,200) to bowl so that 12 runs would be scored in the first over of the contest, although in the event only 10 were conceded. PCB legal adviser Taffazul Rizvi wad quoted by a foreign news agency that the organisation had to seek evidence or material before it could act against the leg-spinner. "Since Kaneria is a Pakistan player we are obviously looking into the matter with a lot of concern," Rizvi said. "Since the match was an england domestic match, it's in the england board's jurisdiction and we will seek evidence from the concerned authorities. "Kaneria's case is already with

the integrity committee as there were question marks over his integrity. But now there are even more questions and we want to get to the bottom of the truth," Rizvi said. Kaneria's brother, Vicky, said they had already instructed their lawyer in London to act to clear the player's name. "Danish is innocent according to the essex police after complete investigations. Now that this trial is over we will submit all documents and evidence asked for by the PCB to get his name cleared," Vicky reported to have said. Vicky said that his brother had been named in an attempt by Westfield to try to reduce his own jail sentence. "Westfield's testimony about Danish is not creditable as he has changed his statements several times," he said. Last year a London court sentenced three Pakistani players, Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir, to jail terms for their involvement in a separate

spot-fixing scandal. Prosecutors said the player had been lured into the fix after an approach by Kaneria, who was arrested in connection with the case in 2010 but later released without charge. On Saturday Kaneria was captaining Sindh province against Punjab in the Pakistani domestic Pentangular Cup final in Lahore. Kaneria was selected for Pakistan's series against South Africa in October 2010 but was withdrawn at the last moment when the Integrity Committee did not clear him. He challenged the decision in court but his case was dismissed in November last year. "The stance of the PCB is one of zero tolerance towards any player with questionable integrity. The judgment of Westfield raised a lot of questions but in law everybody is innocent until proven guilty," said Rizvi. The case implicating Kaneria is the latest blow to Pakistani cricket after a spot-fixing scandal on the team's tour of england in 2010 ended in lengthy bans and jail terms for Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer. That prompted International Cricket Council to force Pakistan to form an Integrity Committee to check players' assets and suspicions against them.

Latif feels sorry for Kaneria LAhorE StaFF RepoRt

At the time when aftershocks of the massive jolt resulted by the infamous 2010 spot-fixing scandal were still being felt, a whole new episode unfolded to scratch the unhealed wound of the Pakistan cricket fans. In the latest development Test leg-spinner Danish Kaneria has been dubbed as the corrupter by the court in London where his former essex County mate Mervyn Westfield was handed over a four-month jail sentence after his admission to accept payment to under perform in 2009 on the behest of Kaneria. However the former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif, while expressing his dis-

pleasure over the development, feared a life ban for the leg-spinner. He also urged Kaneria to put up a fight to clear his name. “It is disappointing to say the least but even after Westfield’s claim nothing can be said about Kaneria with certainty however, in view of the strict ICC parameters, the rest of his career is in serious doubt now”, Latif said in a television interview. “In case of a fresh inquiry, Kaneria should get to the bottom of this matter”, added Latif, who was the original whistle-blower on the match-fixing menace in the 90s. Meanwhile, another known voice against corruption in the game, Sarfaraz Nawaz had an entirely different reading to the situation. According to the former fast bowler the last-day twists in the case were ambiguous. “Westfield could have gone to jail for 5

to 10 years, therefore Kaneria was dragged in the case probably deliberately”, maintained Sarfaraz Nawaz. “After getting clearance from both the essex police and the ICC, the resurfacing of Danish Kaneria’s name in the case is fishy”, concludes Sarfaraz Nawaz. Westfield and Kaneria were questioned by the police after the Pro40 match against Durham in September 2009. Danish Kaneria was however cleared by the police in the following year.

Players ask PCB to revise itinerary to play in england LAhorE StaFF RepoRt

Keen to play lucrative Twenty20 leagues abroad, some Pakistani cricketers have asked the PCB to re-jig the dates for the tour to Sri Lanka in June-July. Reports quoting PCB sources said some players had committed to playing in the T20 league in england in June and some dates were clashing with the Pakistan team`s tour to Sri Lanka. "These players now want the Board to make minor changes to the tour itinerary for which the PCB has agreed to speak to the Sri Lankan board," one source said. Pakistani players have remained in high demand to play in different foreign T20 leagues including those held in Australia, england, South Africa and now Bangladesh. A total of 18 Pakistani players are presently taking part in the Bangladesh Premier League at a time when the domestic cricket season is also being held in the country. The Pentangular Cup final is scheduled to be held between February 18 and 22 between Sindh and Punjab provinces but most of the top players belonging to these provinces are playing in the BPL. Some former Test players have raised questions over the Board`s policy to allow players to play in foreign T20 leagues at the cost of domestic cricket. "The PCB doesn`t appear to have a clear policy on giving NOCs to players to play in foreign leagues because it is only devaluing the Pentangular Cup by allowing so many players to go and play in the Bangladesh league at the same time," former Test player Basit Ali said. He pointed out that while board had given NOCs to many players at same time it had stopped some players from going to Bangladesh. "It makes no sense at all to me. The PCB has no issues with players earning extra money as long as they don`t clash with national commitments. The changes in dates asked for by the players are minor in nature and the Sri Lankan board is yet to confirm the itinerary for the tour," a board official said. Sources said the Sri Lankan board had sent a tentative itinerary to the board for approval after which the players raised issues with the dates. Interestingly, the Indian Premier League continues to ignore the Pakistani players after signing some of them for the first season in 2008.

Life bans are needed to root out corruption expeRt coMMent

MIChAel VAUghAn The excuse that they thought it was a joke when Danish Kaneria talked about fixing and that nobody reported him to the authorities is very surprising. I played the game from 1991 and was always well aware of the responsibilities to report corruption. every year a representative from the Professional Cricketers’ Association would deliver a 40-minute presentation and one big issue was corruption. You had a video to tell you what to look for and how to report anything. Why they took so long to tell the authorities is amazing and they should have been on the phone

straightaway. They probably thought it was all a joke but I never once heard a player using fixing as a subject for banter. It just doesn’t happen. Kaneria was a match winner for essex. Did they ignore it because he was best player? The man who could win them a title or a Pro 40 and take them to finals. He was clearly a jovial character and well liked. I am sure the likes of Paul Grayson and David east are now asking why didn’t we sort this out earlier? Mervyn Westfield should never have said yes but to think a senior player, one he would have looked up to and watched when he was going through the essex Academy, has offered him £6,000 to fix is a disgrace. For Kaneria to have gone to a young, vulnerable player at the start of his career and persuaded him to do this makes him the worst culprit in this mess. If investigations find him guilty he should never play again. I am not going to change my tune. You have to send a message and no matter how old or young you are, if you get caught you should be out the game for ever. The thought

of someone who has been involved in corruption could one day be back playing again is wrong. It is harsh to ban someone for life but a system has to be in place to send a message to future generations about what will happen if they take part in corruption. If you see someone back playing a few years down the line then others may not be so wary. When approached they could weight up the risks and take the money because they know it might not be the end of their career. The problem with county cricket is that the players are on low wages, particularly the young guys. They don’t earn massive money so £6,000 to bowl one over is a lot of cash. They are vulnerable to being tempted. As soon as the england & Wales Cricket Board sold television rights to our domestic game in India betting has taken place on county matches. How many of those games have been fixed? We will never know. This only came about because a young lad was naïve enough to boast about having a bunch of £50 notes. It is hard to find any sympathy for

Westfield and he deserved to go to jail. I know he was a young lad and probably didn’t have any money in the bank but as a sportsman you are in a privileged position. You have the chance to go and live your dream. But he blew it at the first opportunity. All those years working hard from the age of nine or ten have been thrown away for a measly few quid. I just don’t understand it. You work so hard to earn your first professional contract but then think you can get away with something like this. Stupid. With Westfield behind bars Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Asif and Salman Butt all found guilty in a court of law, it surely sends a massive message. This is not just a cricket issue. It is the law and you will go to prison. I bet there are a few people sweating in their beds, knowing they have done something and hoping they have got away with it. Well maybe they will be caught one day. I hope others will be brave enough to come forward. I am sure there are a few out there with secrets and we need people to be exposed.


LHR 19-02-2012_Layout 1 2/19/2012 3:40 AM Page 19

Sunday, 19 February, 2012

Sports 19

Ponting needs a break, says Arthur SYDNEY aFp

Ricky Ponting needs a rest but he cannot afford to leave the senior batsman out of the Australia team with regular skipper Michael Clarke injured, coach Mickey Arthur said Saturday. Ponting, 37, has played in all six of Australia's Tests this season as well as four one-day internationals but he has yet to pass 10 in the tri ODI series. Ponting failed again with just two runs in Friday's thumping eight-wicket loss to Sri Lanka in Sydney. Arthur said in an ideal world Ponting would be taking a break rather than preparing to lead Australia against India in Sunday's tri series match at Brisbane's Gabba ground. "If I

Blater gives go ahead to five goal Projects in Pakistan

have to be totally honest, Ricky is a little bit jaded, like a couple of our Test players who have played all summer," Arthur told reporters in Brisbane. "But that is the treadmill of international cricket and they have to find a way to make their performances count and have an impact on the team." Ponting conceded after Friday's loss that his own form was not satisfactory but said he had no intention of calling time on his 374 one-day international career. Arthur said there was no doubt Ponting's experience and knowledge were vital to Australia but that wouldn't ensure a future at ODI level unless his performances start to improve. "every cricketer's currency is performance, that's what gets you into the Australian team," he said.

"A character like Ricky Ponting is someone you want around the team all the time because he's so inspirational, he's still our fittest player and hardest trainer and he trains with the most intensity, he's a fantastic example to every guy who comes into this team. "Ricky is a class act, there is no way you can write off a champion like Ricky Ponting. "He faced those same issues around the first couple of Test matches and he came through the Test series, had a great series against India and I hope he turns it around tomorrow." Ponting admits his form is unacceptable, but said he hadn't considered avoiding the captaincy in Clarke's absence even though that leadership role is set to ex-

Pietersen, Cook script Pakistan’s disgrace g

england take unassailable 3-0 lead in ODI series DUBAI aFp

K LAhorE StaFF RepoRt

The Pakistan Football Federation has received a go ahead for the construction of five Goal Projects in the country in March. The green signal came from none other than FIFA President Jospeh S. Blatter during a meeting with Makhdoom Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat, President PFF. Faisal met Blatter recentlt and the FIFA President directed the concern department of the parent body to expedite and start the process for the construction of FIFA’s Five Goal Project in Pakistan in March 2012. Faisal expressed his gratitude to Blatter for his commitment to expedite the process for the construction of five sanctioned FIFA Goal Projects for the flood-affected people of Pakistan which has alleviated their sufferings and brought back cheers on their faces. Faisal also expressed his appreciation for the commitment being shown by FIFA President for sanctioning the projects for the flood-affected areas of Pakistan. The President PFF said that these projects would greatly help and enhance the standard of football in these areas which have gone through this calamity. Blatter assured the President PFF of his complete support in expediting the construction work on five projects and appreciated whole-hearted efforts of Faisal for the promotion of football in Pakistan. Blatter further said that in line with its emphasis on PFF Youth Development Program he hoped that Pakistan football team will soon become one of the best Asian teams.

tend a game further with Clarke ruled out of Sunday's ODI. "This week is nothing different for me, just got a little bit of added responsibility that I've had 170 times before," he said. "It's nothing new to me but being able to make the team bounce back strongly for Sunday is something that we've all got to take on board. "I'm going to have a leading role in that and I'm going to make sure I do everything I can to get the boys up on Sunday." George Bailey joined the international squad in Brisbane on Saturday as cover in the absence of Clarke. Spinner Jon Holland was also with the squad in a covering role following Xavier Doherty's back spasms in the leadup to Friday's match.

eVIN Pietersen hit his eighth one-day hundred while Alastair Cook missed a third consecutive century as england crushed Pakistan by nine wickets in the third day-night match on Saturday. The 31-year-old Pietersen notched an unbeaten 98-ball 111 while opening partner Cook hit 80 to help their team overhaul a modest 223-run target set by Pakistan with 12.4 overs to spare at Dubai Stadium. The victory gave england an unassailable 3-0 win in the series, with the fourth and final match to come here on

Tuesday. Pietersen, whose last hundred came against India at Cuttack in November 2008, hit his 10th boundary to bring up the win. Pietersen, who also hit two sixes, crossed the 4,000 one-day run mark when he reached 57, becoming the seventh england batsman to reach the milestone. He pushed paceman Aizaz Cheema towards square-leg for two to reach his hundred off 93 balls, his first in 36 innings. Cook, who hit a career-best 137 and then 102 in the first two matches, was shaping well for his third century but fell when he was caught behind off spinner Saeed Ajmal after a fluent 98ball knock, hitting six boundaries and a six. Pakistan's bowlers looked help-

less against some impressive batting by Cook and Pietersen who improved on the previous best opening stand of 147 against Pakistan, set by Michael Atherton and Robin Smith in Karachi in the 1996 World Cup. Cook fell with 53 still needed before eoin Morgan (24 not out) helped Pietersen see off the target. Cook said keeping Pakistan to 222 was fantastic. "It's great to win the series," said Cook, who took over in May last year. "Keeping Pakistan to 222 on this pitch was fantastic and our bowlers were outstanding. That total was below par." Pakistan captain Misbah-ul Haq was disappointed with his team's efforts.

ScoReBoaRD pakiStan 29 Mohammad hafeez lbw b Finn imran Farhat c kieswetter b Finn 9 azhar ali c kieswetter b Broad 5 18 asad Shafiq run out Misbah-ul haq c Swann b Broad 1 umar akmal c patel b Broad 50 Shahid afridi b anderson 51 9 adnan akmal b Finn umar gul not out 27 Saeed ajmal b anderson 4 5 aizaz cheema run out extRaS: (lb11, nb1, w2) 14 total: (all out, 50 overs) 222 Fall of wickets: 1-22 (Farhat), 2-49 (ali), 3-49 (hafeez), 451 (Misbah), 5-97 (Shafiq), 6-176 (umar), 7-180 (afridi), 8-204 (adnan), 9-209 (ajmal), 10-222 (cheema) Bowling: anderson 10-0-52-2, Finn 10-1-24-3 (w2), Broad 10-2-42-3 (nb1), Swann 10-0-44-0, patel 8-1-37-0, Bopara 2-0-12-0 englanD a. cook c adnan b ajmal 80 k. pietersen not out 111 e. Morgan not out 24 extRaS: (b3, nb4, w4) 11 total: (for one wicket) 226 Fall of wickets: 1-170 (cook) Bowling: gul 7-0-59-0 (nb4, w1), cheema 6.2-0-40-0, ajmal 10-0-40-1 (w3), hafeez 6-0-32-0, afridi 8-0-52-0 overs: 37.2 Result: england won by nine wickets toss: pakistan umpires: Simon taufel (auS) and aleem Dar (pak) tV umpire: kumara Dharmasena (SRi) Match referee: Jeff crowe (nzl)

DUBAI: england's Kevin Pietersen raises his bat to the crowd after scoring a century during the third ODI against Pakistan at the Dubai International Stadium. AFP

lucky 13 for Federer against nieminen

rottErDAM aFp

Top seed Roger Federer reached the Rotterdam Open semi-finals on Friday with a 7-5, 7-6 (7/2) win over Jarkko Nieminen, his 13th win in 13 matches against the Finn. The Swiss star will next face unseeded Russian Nikolay Davydenko, who shocked fifth seed Richard Gasquet of France 7-5, 6-3, for a place in his first final of the season. Gasquet had his chances through a 5-2 lead in the second set but double-faulted to 5-all allowing Davydenko win through in 97 minutes with five breaks of serve. Nieminen, who won the Sydney title in January but was hampered at the Australian Open by an abdominal muscle injury, pushed 16time Grand Slam winner Federer hard.

Sq ld Moin wins CAS Veterans golf LAhorE StaFF RepoRt

Sq Ld Moin clinched the coveted trophy in the Veterans’ Gross Category of the CAS Veterans Golf Championship-2012 held here at Lahore Garrison Golf and Country Club (LGG & C Club). Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman, Chief of the Air Staff, Pakistan Air Force, was the chief guest and awarded trophies and prizes to the winners. In the seniors’ category, Air Marshal Asim Suleman, Air Marshal Farhat Hussain and Air Vice Marshal Muhammad Arif took away the first, second and third net prizes respectively, while in gross, Air Vice Marshal Arshad Quddus, Air Marshal Athar Bokhari and Air Vice Marshal Ashfaq Arain were the winners of first three positions. Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman won the longest drive prize and the nearest to pin award went to by Air Vice Marshal Hafizullah. In the amateur category, Wg Com Zafar Khan, Sq Ld Saqib and Wg Com Zahid Qureshi got the top positions in net while in gross, Wg Com Ikram Noor, Wg Com Umar Bin Zahid and Sq Ld Atif H Khan were the winners respectively. The longest drive prize went to Gp Cap Tariq Zaheer and nearest to pin by Wg Com Ronald Afzal. In the veterans’ category, Gp Cap Arshad Mehmood, Gp Cap Majeed Shafqat and Air Com Zulfiqar Haider claimed top spots in net, while the prizes for gross went to Sq Ld Moin, Wg Com Nafey Barki and Wg Com IN Khokhar respectively. The longest drive was hit by Wg Com Pervez Saeed Mir and closest to pin by Gp Cap Khalid Mehmood. In the guest category, Lt Col Amir Hassan and Lt Col Namdar Naseer won in net category whereas Nosherwan Aslam and Col Zaheer took gross positions.

Punjab Deputy Speaker reviews mega sports event arrangements LAhorE StaFF RepoRt

The organizing committee of the Punjab Sport Festival reviewed the arrangements of the final phase of the mega sports event which is scheduled to be held later this month. Deputy Speaker Rana Mashood Ahmed, on the directive Chief Minister Punjab Mian Shahbaz Shareef, chaired a meeting at the National Hockey Stadium, Lahore in which Secretary Sports Dr Allah Baksh, DG Sports Usman Anwar, MPA Saba Sadiq, Farrah Deeba and Aisha Javed participants. Usman Anwar briefed Mashood about the preparations regarding the mega sports event which is to be held on February 28. The cycling and marathon routes had been discussed and the distances for both were finalised.

They decided to start the dress rehearsal for the 28th mega event from February 25. Meanwhile, on the third day of the Punjab Sports Festival 2012 Inter-tehsil events, the volleyball college boys competitions were held in which Government Gulberg College got walkover against Punjab College of Commerce. Government University Lahore beat Government Islamia College Railway Road 3-0 (25-16, 25-14 and 25-18) while Government College Lahore defeated FC College 3-0 (25-12, 25-8 and 25-18). In hockey boys college, Superior College beat Government College Gulberg 4-0 while in the final, Punjab College beat Superior 5-0. In boys college football, Model Town College beat Government College Iqbal Town 2-0. FC College beat Government Science College 2-0.

In cricket college boys, Government College Shahdra, Shalimar, Punjab, FC and Islamia Colleges were the winners. In volleyball boys, Government College Lahore beat Islamia College Railway Road 3-0, Government College Lahore defeated FC 3-0 while Gulberg College got walkover. In the volleyball college girls, Government College Samanabad beat APWA Degree College 2-0 (25-6, 25-2). Township College for Women beat Government Degree College Mozzang 2-0 (25-7, 25-12). Government Technology College defeated Aisha Degree College 2-0 (255, 25-5). In the girls basketball, Kinnaird College got first position, Home economics College was second. In karate girls college, Queen Marry was first, Superior College second and Islamia College third. In karate school

girls, Lahore City secured first position with 45 points, Shalamar Cantt was second with 30 points and Model Town managed third place with 15 points. In hockey girls colleges, Kinnaird College beat Technical College 3-0, Lahore College beat APWA College 3-0, Township College defeated Kuliatul Binat 2-0, Government College Baghbanpura beat Jinnah Degree College 40, Government College Wahdat Road defeated Shadbagh College 3-0 and Apwa College thrashed Model Town College 2-0. In athletics boys, Mohsin from Punjab College of Commerce won the 100 m race, Samson won 200 m, Rao Adil won 800 m, Faisal Abbas won shot put, Mohammad Usman won javelin throw while Sajid Masih won the 1500 m races while Affan from Government College University won the 400 m and Adnan won the long jump events.

lAhOre: home economics and Kinnaid Colleges’ players vie for top honour in the Punjab Sports Festival basketball final. NADEEM IJAz


LHR 19-02-2012_Layout 1 2/19/2012 3:41 AM Page 20

20 Sports

Sunday, 19 February, 2012

Fluctuating fortunes ALL BASES COVERED KUNWAr KhULDUNE ShAhID

A

FTeR being whitewashed in the tests, england have come back strongly in the ODIs as the pendulum of cricketing fortunes oscillates between the long and short formats of the game in the Middle east. Meanwhile Phil Mickelson owned Tiger Woods in Pebble Beach last weekend and Barcelona’s La Liga bid is evaporating.

cooking a new cuiSine What england have done and Pakistan have failed to do is change gears – and personnel – after the tour shifted from the tests to the limited overs format. There is a stark contrast between the test and ODI lineups of england, with a new captain, new approach and new ingredients, which all came together to form the recipe of success in the first two ODIs. Meanwhile, Pakistan have hardly changed anything in terms of a p -

proach, and with a tweak of two in personnel, it is virtually the same side that played the test matches; and is parading an aura of discomfort dealing with the fact that Ajmal can’t bowl 25 overs on the trot now and Younus Khan can’t take gazillion balls to get settled only to throw his wicket away. At the time of writing the third ODI hasn’t as yet culminated, and whatever the result might be, the lack of adaptability – and possibly underestimating england – is what cost us the first two ODIs. In this day and age, you can’t have Younus, Azhar Ali and Misbah-ul-Haq in the same ODI team, that’s an overkill of ‘solidity’ in the middle order and the former two clearly look out of sorts when the need to up the ante in the run rate is required. How Younus Khan has managed to play 237 ODIs defies belief, and while the man is a truly world class test batsman, this column has given stats in the past showcasing that of the nearly 50 scores of 50 or more in his career, more than 20% have been against the teams outside the conventional top 8. Plus, he has never really cut it in a pressure cooker scenario, and always looks out of place when the required run rate is mounting. Azhar Ali again, is a dexterous test batsman, but is hardly the modern archetypal ODI player. evidently, it is Pakistan’s batting that is letting them down, and another façade that we’re lacking is the presence of a finisher, a la Abdul Razzaq. Umar Akmal is the one touted to fill those particular boots, but even though the talent has never been in doubt, the ability to display the mettle and show nerves of steel like Razzaq in clutch time, has been sadly missing. We need to sort out our batting, and locate the accelerator, if we want to make inroads into the limited-over series.

to fade out when the spotlight is the most luminous. All the same, Phil Mickelson’s performance in last Sunday’s triumph at Pebble Beach was one of his very best in the recent past, and it would be an understatement, but the same could not be said of Tiger Wood’s – whose short putting was abysmal – showing, unfortunately. Mickelson’s conquest had blown the lid off expectations and he was already being considered as one of the top picks for Augusta – his recent performance in LA has recalled some sense of perspective, even though he finds himself in the lead as of Saturday. Mickelson holed out for eagle from the eighth fairway and chipped in a picturesque birdie on the 16th to cling on to the lead on Friday, in a day that could at best be described as a ‘mixed bag’ for the left handed American. This pair of shots, coupled with three par saves with more than 10-feet putts, set him up for a lucrative day – at least on the scoreboard. Nevertheless, it was his breathtaking display last weekend that has had the golfing world stand up and take notice, as expectations soar for Mickelson in 2012; and this exactly when the wheels tend to come off. Phil Mickelson’s best, more often than not, resurfaces when no one is exactly expecting that to happen, and the only way that is going to happen is if Tiger Woods retraces one of his swaggering runs from his halcyon days, from

now till the Augusta Masters.

BaRca’S hegeMonY unDeR thReat Barcelona have slipped 10 points behind archenemy Real Madrid, as the latter threaten to end Barca’s hegemony over Spain and run away with the league title; and all this despite having been on the wrong end of hammerings against the Catalonians in a plethora of el-Classicos in different competitions. Barcelona’s relative struggles this year have been courtesy poor form away from home, even though Camp Nou still is a fortress for the Spanish champions, with 10 wins and a draw – scoring 45 and conceding merely three – from their 11 matches. Nevertheless, today’s visit of Valencia would further test Barcelona’s capacity of challenging Real for the title this year, after dropping points in two of their last three league games. Valencia are third on the table, but were struggling for form after the turn of the year, before their 4-0 win over struggling Sporting Gijon last Sunday. Valencia have regularly proven to

be a thorn for Barcelona at the Madrigal, but they haven’t come any way near matching that at Nou Camp – Barcelona haven’t dropped points at home against Valencia since 2006. ever Banega, Victor Ruiz, Miguel and Robert Soldad were all rested against Stoke in the europa League on Thursday and all of them should be recalled today. The Blaugranas, meanwhile, have Gerard Pique and Xavi as injury doubts, but Pep Guardiola would be etching to have the duo in the lineup after Thiago Alcantara and Javier Mascherano put in below par performance in their loss against Osasuna. Guardiola’s team need to convincingly ward off the challenge of Valencia if they are to keep their diminishing hopes of retaining the league title alive.

England retort strongly against Pakistan, Mickelson comes under the spotlight again and Barcelona’s title defence is diminishing

MickelSon iS Back In the truly fascinating world of one Phil Mickelson, you just never know what you’re going to get. He is traversing a downward spiral and then he conjures up a staggering triumph, being a fan’s favourite that gets the hopes up left, right and center and after entering the spotlight, he manages

Torres & the mystery of League era COmmEnt J.K WALI Fernando Torres’ misery has reached that point now where the bets are on regarding whether or not the Spaniard will ever score a goal again. Those who have tried to defend his barren spells bring scores of arguments on the table; including a stagnant midfield, unsuitable formations and lack of chemistry with Didier Drogba. There is a damning fact if there ever was one that neither of Drogba and Torres scored while the other was on the pitch, and hence the pundits and even Andre VillasBoas reached the consensus that it was either going to be the Ivorian or the Spaniard, leading the line for Chelsea. And while Drogba was bagging his share of goals, el-Nino was struggling with or without the Ivor i a n . Therefore, when Drogba was away at international duty with Ivory

Having failed to score even in Drogba’s absence, Torres continues to make a mockery of his £50 million price tag Coast for the African Cup of Nations, the month was going to be possibly Torres’ last chance of convincing Villas-Boas that he shouldn’t be put on sale for a discounted price come the summer transfer window. And Torres has duly wasted that chance, much like all other opportunities in his spell at Stamford Bridge, by failing to score even a single goal in Drogba’s absence. Hence, when Drogba finally returns to contention, with the ‘either Drogba or Torres’ question still valid, Chelsea’s manager would undoubtedly go for the former. It is possibly the biggest mystery of the BPL era that a proved goal scorer like Fernando Torres, who was banging them in for fun at Anfield, is failing to score so miserably with Chelsea. And of course the 50 million pound price tag doesn’t help lower down the pressure at all.

The argument of a stagnant Chelsea midfield was a valid during the early phase of Torres arrival at the Bridge, but after J u a n Mata’s arrival, the camaraderie and the interplay between the two Spaniards has been there for all to see. But it is ironical that it seems to be the midfielder who is benefitting from the striker’s assists and not the other way round – not the way VillasBoas thought of it when he was chasing Mata’s signature. The biggest factor in Torres’ protracted goal drought is the escalating shortage of confidence on the part of the Spaniard. He is quite often seen prowling on the wings, when he should be making runs inside the box, and getting into positions where one of his teammates can pick a pass and offer him a goal scoring opportunity. All the same, what a goal scoring opportunity also con-

notes is a goal missing opportunity, and it is clear from Chelsea’s number 9’s reluctance to receive balls in decisive areas, that the fear of missing another gilt-edged opportunity is considerably more in the mind of the Spaniard, than the desire of scoring a goal. He wants the goals to come to him, and aid him end his drought, rather than him taking the initiative for it. That’s unfortunately not how it works, and more often than not the longer the barren spell the lesser is the chance of a lucky break – the sooner Torres understands this and picks up the gauntlet that has been lying in the wait for ages, the better it will be for his stuttering career.

The appointment of Dav Whatmore as the coach of the national cricket team will be a step in the right direction, but contributions of Mohsin Khan should also not go unnoticed. Coaching is wASIM AKrAM not just about skill and experience. It is about man-management as well, which Dav is very good at. He will instill discipline and extract the best out of our players. From my experience of working with him at Kolkata Knight Riders, I can definitely vouch for him. Given the circumstances in which Mohsin took over, he has done a remarkable job. It is not easy to handle a side, knowing well that you may not be around for too long. I think handing him the role of selector is a wise move. Whatmore was instrumental in guiding Sri Lanka to their maiden World Cup title in 1996, before he took over as Bangladesh coach in 2003, and the Aussie's vast experience in the sub-continent would come in handy. Dav Whatmore's experience of working in the sub-continent will definitely help him adjust to Pakistan and how the system work here. Apart from his vast experience as coach, the fact that his association with Sri Lanka and Bangladesh has been fruitful, will add value to his credentials and stature. Whatmore had transformed Bangladesh from a side that could hardly win, to a team which could test the very best on their day.

expeRt coMMent


LHR 19-02-2012_Layout 1 2/19/2012 3:41 AM Page 21

Sunday, 19 February, 2012

Sports 21

Azarenka

set for emotional

Dubai return DUBAI aFp

ON ENGLAND’S BOUNCE BACK, AFRIDI’S ENIGMA AND THE DRS SpORtS thiS WEEk ALI AKBAr

T

He england Pakistan Test series recently concluded in the UAe, will be remembered for Pakistan’s “greenwash” of the number one Test team. england have bounced back in the ODI series on the back of Captain Cook’s back to back hundreds in the first two games. Pakistan were pinned back by Steven Finn’s pace and bounce in the first outing but were more competitive in the second game. They were well on their way to evening the series score, but a cross batted swipe by Shahid Afridi proved to be the decisive blow. Afridi continues to be an enigma with his batting, even though his bowling continues to be as incisive as ever. Afridi has so much ability as a batsman and when he is in the right frame of mind, can score consistently. But the rush of blood that invariably ends in him trying to win the match with one swing of his bat, has been his undoing much too often. He would be well advised to take his cue from captain Misbah, who is coolness personified. Perhaps the biggest talking point in this series has been the use of the Decision Review System and its effect on the sport itself. There were an inordinate number of LBWs in the three Tests, the reasons for which are being analysed by cricket experts. Firstly, umpires are encouraged to give LBWs even when the batsmen are well forward. They know that if they do not give the decision and

if it is successfully reviewed, they will be found at fault. Since the wickets in the UAe seemed to be low bounce, LBWs were being given left right and center. The prevailing trend of batsmanship in which the pads are used as a second line of defence seems to be a casualty of all this. In the end, it was the Younus Khan Azhar Ali partnership in the third Test in which both batsman played with the bat well in front of the pads, that, through necessity, took cricket back to the times when the bat was the sole means of defence. This style of play is evident from watching old videos of the greats of the 30s and 40s. The increasing influence of the DRS on how the game is played can only be good for the sport. Batsmen will do what they are supposed to, that is, use the bat for attack and defence. Both sides will have recourse to appeals in case they feel the umpire’s decision is incorrect. More wickets will fall and the good batsmen will make runs. That is what cricket used to be all about and it is now moving inexorably, back to the past. But then, with the advent of all the technology like Hawkeye, Hot Spot and Snicko, to see umpires giving decisions and the technology to continue to prove the decisions wrong would have bordered on the ridiculous. Once these technologies were available, their use in the decision making process was but a natural progression. The only country to resist the onset of technology is India, which vetoed its use in the recently concluded series in Australia. In order to further consolidate Hawkeyes claims to accuracy and perhaps to assuage the Indians’ qualms, the ICC are conducting further tests to ascertain the accuracy of

the Hawkeye/ virtual eye systems. Their in house tests had already proved to them that these systems were indeed accurate. This time they are employing outside sources. But the crux of the matter is that most cricketers want umpiring to be consistent and no umpire can be as consistent as technology. Resisting its onset is like swimming against the tide.

pakiStan’S tenniS woeS Pakistan won its Davis Cup Asia Oceania Group 2 tie against Lebanon by a 3-2 margin. The Lebanese had one good player who proved far too strong for our veterans, Aqeel and Aisam. Aqeel and Aisam won the doubles and took the other two singles for the win. The Aisam Aqeel duo have been carrying Pakistan’s Davis cup load since the late 1990s. Because of the disastrous Dilawar Abbas years, no player was allowed to develop. Since the people running tennis were non tennis players, their priorities were to cement their own positions in the federation. The results have been calamitous. Players with potential were hounded out of the sport and forced to leave the country. Favourites were patronized. And the sport fell into ruin. Unfortunately, the very same people who were behind the scenes during the Abbas years, are now pulling the strings as before. Favourites are being patronized. Knowledgeable people, who have a lot to offer, are being sidelined. These people are like a slow acting malignancy and it is not known whether the current PTF setup has made any efforts to contain it. The problem here is that the nerve center of the federation, the secretary, is a non tennis player and is also not available for his duties as he is posted in Quetta. This gives these people the space to worm in and ingratiate themselves with the PTF high ups. With the PTF President posted out of the country, these people are ruling the roost. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Tennis development is not rocket science. You give children good courts, an ample supply of balls and a positive atmosphere to play in and the results will come in spite of the best efforts of some of our mercenary coaches. The heart of tennis in Spain is in Barcelona. All the players gravitate towards the city. They play amongst each other and push each other to improve. The same can be done at the PTF Complex. It should be the home of tennis where any player from Pakistan can come and play and stay at no cost. PTF should hold three day camps starting on Friday afternoons and ending Sunday night. Provide the balls, courts, strings and, yes, even shoes. Watch the sport develop! But the clerks running the show have no motivation to that end. For them staying in power is all that matters. Such is the tragedy of Pakistan tennis

Victoria Azarenka admits that her bid to win two Middle east tournaments in as many weeks is an emotional one as the young Belarussian returns to Dubai where she nearly quit the game a year ago. This time last year the 22-year-old from Minsk thought she would quit the women's tour after early defeats in Doha and Dubai. But after achieving one the most astonishing turn-arounds in the modern game she returns to the region as a stunning new world number one. Azarenka is top seed both at this week's Qatar Classic, where last year she lost in the first round to Daniel Hantuchova, and at next week's Dubai Open, where she lost second round to Flavia Pennetta, and which starts on Monday. Those defeats plunged Azarenka into such despair that a spell of support and advice from her mother and grandmother was required to convince her not to quit. "My mum told me to come home and rest, and not be crazy about it," she admitted. "And my gran pointed out there are things so much harder in life than tennis matches." Now a more confident Azarenka will follow her good run in Doha with an attempt to win the title in Dubai, the $2 million tournament which has often been voted the players' favourite. "Last year I was in a bit of a mess. I couldn't control any of my emotions. I had to change my mentality," the Australian Open champion said. "So now I don't try to, you know, think 'why is this happening to me?' Instead I just try to accept and deal with it." Azarenka may find herself renewing a rivalry with Petra Kvitova, the Wimbledon champion who has beaten her four times in a row, most recently in the final of the WTA Championships in Istanbul in November. A repeat encounter between two such contrasting styles is an enticing prospect, but may depend on whether or not the flat-hitting Czech left-hander has recovered from the "unspecified" injury with which she withdrew from Doha this week. What is certain is that Azarenka, with heavy topspin drives struck from further up the court than before, is now a more formidable opponent - physically and tactically, as well as psychologically. "It's a great feeling to have, but also a lot of responsibility and pressure comes with it," she says of her rise to number one.

Jahangir sets new record in GCU annual sports LAhorE StaFF RepoRt

Government College University Lahore intermediate student Adnan Jahangir has set a new record in triple jump on the second day of the GCU 112th Annual Sports that ended with the participation of 600 students and teachers in 22 various track and field events. Adnan jumped to 13.75 metres to pass his previous best of 13.64 metres that was set last year. earlier, the record was kept by Farooq Hamid since 1963. “The beauty of the GCU Annual Sports lies in collective participation of students, teachers and Old Ravians, said GCU Political Science Department Chairperson while addressing the prize distribution ceremony at the second day of annual sports. He said that students draw inspiration from teachers who instil the

real essence of healthy competition among the sportsmen. Later, Muhammad Saddique Akbar of Urdu Department won the 5000 metres race; finishing the race in 17:18:88 seconds. Sadiq Akbar also won the 1500 meters race by covering the distance in 4:31:00 seconds. However, in 100 metres final, Muhammad Qasim reached the finishing line in 11:16 seconds to win gold medal. This year too, Adnan Aslam hailing from Urdu Department won the pole vault. Intermediate students won the 4x100 meters relay while Urdu Department stood second. History repeats itself, the saying proved true when Aleemur Rehman of Geography Department was declared winner of discus throw whereas; Khursheed Ahmed from Political Science Department won the 400 meters hurdles race. In hammer throw, intermediate student Irfanullah bagged the first position.

His throw covered the distance of 44.75 metres. earlier, team Bio-Technology

(girls) secured the first position in 4x100 metres relay race. The GCU Physics De-

partment faculty members won the 4x100 metres staff relay race.

lAhOre: the english Department athletes pose for photograph while (r) Dr Khalid Manzoor Butt gives away medals to the winners of gCU athletics meet at the Old Campus University ground. STAFF PHOTOS


LHR 19-02-2012_Layout 1 2/19/2012 3:41 AM Page 22

Sunday, 19 February, 2012

22

Gilani deplores US resolution on Balochistan g

PM says US move a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty g Says ‘political martyrdom’ being attributed to him is people’s personal opinion KArAchI iSMail DilawaR

RIMe Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on Saturday condemned the US House of Representatives’ resolution on Balochistan, saying the move was against the sovereignty of Pakistan. “The US resolution on Balochistan (calling for right to self-determination for Baloch people) is against our sovereignty and we condemn it,” the prime minister told a groundbreaking ceremony at Karachi Port Trust. The project envisages reconstruction of berths 15 to 17, including ship repair berths, at a cost of Rs 8.3 billion and is financed by the World Bank. Asked about the fate of Dr Shakil Afridi, who some US Congressmen propose to be granted American citizenship

for his assistance in the killing of Osama Bin Laden in Abbottabad raid of May 2, 2011, the prime minister said law of the land would take its course in deciding the fate of the Pakistani doctor who is being presently detained for treason. Asked if he saw himself becoming a “political martyr” due to the ongoing NRO implementation case against him, Gilani said the impression was a personal opinion only. “I leave it to the Supreme Court to take a decision. I cannot comment on a matter that is sub-judice,” he added. Leaving a query related to contradictory statements by the defence and information ministers regarding the restoration of NATO supplies through air routes, Gilani said the government’s post-Salala measures, blockade of NATO supplies, boycott of the Bonn moot on Afghanistan etc, were taken keeping in view broader

national interest of the country. Asked to comment on the recent PakAfghan-Iran trilateral summit, the prime minister said Islamabad wished to have good relations with all its neighbours, be it China, India, Afghanistan or Iran. “It is extremely important for regional stability,” he added. To a question on a possible reversal of the recent oil price hike, Gilani said the National Assembly speaker had constituted a committee that would discuss the issue with the federal finance minister and decide upon the future course of action. “This is because of the global recession, which is affecting our country also,” he stated. Apparently of an economic nature, Saturday’s event appeared more of a show of political unity, as representatives of almost all of PPP’s Sindh coalition partners were present on the occasion. Those who attended included Sindh

Governor Ishratul ebad Khan, Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah, Petroleum Minister Dr Asim Hussain, Federal Ports and Shipping Minister Babar Ghauri, MNA Abdul Qadir Patel, Senator Abdul Haseeb Khan of the MQM, Shahi Syed of the ANP, Masroor Jatoi of NPP, Dr Muhammad Rafique Banbhan of the PML-F and all major PPP Sindh leaders. An insider confided to Pakistan Today that the Prime Minister’s Secretariat had issued special instructions to coalition partners to ensure the attendance of their representatives in the ceremony, which was well-attended by the print and electronic media. Later, Babar Ghauri told the attendants that setting their petty differences aside, all coalition partners were sitting together and would also stand united in the general election, which he said would be held in March next year.

Balochistan Pakistan’s internal matter: US ISLAMABAD: The United States has admitted that Balochistan is Pakistan’s internal issue and that Washington respects the latter’s sovereignty. A statement issued by the US embassy in Pakistan stated that Washington respected Pakistan’s sovereignty and that Balochistan was its internal issue and the resolution introduced in the Congress had nothing to do with American policy. It pointed out that the policy was made by the executive branch and any member of the Congress could raise any issue in the US House. The statement added that the US supported human rights across the world. ONLINE

Asfandyar prevails over zardari on Hazara demand ISLAMABAD Mian aBRaR

heRat: taliban fighters stand with their weapons as they hold the holy Quran after they joined afghan government forces during a ceremony on Saturday. AFP

Pak-iran gas pipeline is a bad idea: us WASHINGTON: The United States, while once again making its concerns on the proposed Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project known, seems circumspect about the long term viability and success of the project itself, considering the fact that it has had several false starts already. Asked about the US perspective on the proposed pipeline, discussed during the trilateral summit (involving Afghanistan) in Islamabad, the US State Department spokesperson Nuland said, “We have concerns and have voiced them with the Pakistan government.” “The pipeline project has had numerous false starts. We’ve spoken to this many times before,” she said. Asked about President Zardari s statement that Pakistan will continue the project against all, she said, “I’m not going to speculate where this is going to go We think it’s a bad idea; we’ve made that clear.” However, she said the US was pro cooperation between Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran, to support the Afghan peace process. Asked about countries still trading with Iran despite US efforts to impose sanctions, she said the US administration was engaged in conversations with all such governments on the importance of implementing existing international sanctions. NNI

Karzai, political leadership agree to promote jirgas ISLAMABAD StaFF RepoRt

The political leadership of Pakistan and Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Saturday agreed to enhancing people-to-people contacts at all levels to remove the mistrust and differences, as day-long parleys concluded on a joint proposal that grand jirgas of tribal elders living on both sides of the Durand Line be held to evolve a mechanism to end cross-border terrorism and infiltrations on both sides of the Pak-Afghan border. Delegations of various political parties including the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid, Awami National Party, Pakistan People’s Party-Sherpao and Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) called on Afghan President Hamid Karzai, separately during the day. PML-Q President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and Secretary General Mushahid Hussain Syed, ANP leaders Haji Adeel, Afrasiyab Khatak and Zahid Khan, PkMAP chief Mahmood Khan Achakzai and PPP-Sherpao President Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao were among the delegates. In his meetings with various political leaders, Karzai called trilateral talks in Pakistan having been successful. Talking to Pakistan Today, Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao said

Hamid Karzai was happy about the outcome of the trilateral talks and rejected news reports regarding the failure of tripartite talks. “Karzai told me that he would also invite political leadership of Pakistan to Kabul to enhance mutual contacts and for consultations on how differences between two countries could be resolved,” Sherpao said. Maulana Samiul Haq said after his meeting with Karzai that the Afghan president had asked him to urge the Taliban to pursue peace negotiations. “Karzai is well aware of our contacts with the Taliban,” he told Reuters. A source in the PML-Q said in his meeting with party leadership, Karzai voiced concern over the hurdles created in the Pak-Afghan transit trade after the blockade of NATO supplies by Pakistan. Talking to reporters after meeting Karzai, Shujaat said Pakistan and Afghanistan would have to resolve their issues and should take decisions without foreign interference. Mushahid Hussain said a PML-Q delegation would visit Afghanistan in April or May this year. Senators Afrasayab Khatak and Zahid Khan of ANP said the meeting between the top leaders of the two countries had helped remove uncertainty and mistrust between the two sides.

Awami National Party (ANP) chief Asfandyar Wali Khan has reportedly used the influence of President Asif Ali Zardari to counter demands by the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) for a separate Hazara province, warning his allies of quitting the ruling coalition if pressed for creating a new province. A source in the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) told Pakistan Today that no headway had been made for the new province and the PPP leadership had informed the PML-Q chief not to insist on a demand that is “politically not viable”. The source said the PML-Q leadership had been conveyed that continued demands for Hazara province might jeopardise the ruling coalition, and none of the allied parties were in a position to pay the price. Abbottabad, the headquarters of Hazara division turned into a battlefield on April 11, 2010, when police used batons and teargas shells to disperse protesters who fought back with sticks and stones in the streets. Around a dozen people were killed and over 100 sustained injuries when police shot indiscriminately at the participants of a protest rally taken out against the renaming of NWFP as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). The protesters, led by local PML-Q leaders, were demanding the creation of Haraza province. The angry mob blocked roads with burning tyres, set two police vehicles on fire and attacked a couple of police stations. “President Zardari has informed PML-Q President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain that the demand for the creation of Hazara province

Published by Arif Nizami for Nawa Media Corporation (Pvt) Ltd at Qandeel Printing Press, 4 Queens Road, Lahore.

was not viable in the current circumstances as some of the ruling allies were against the idea. He has advised Shujaat to keep the issue burning and contest the next polls on the same slogan,” the PPP insider said. On the contrary, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani has shown readiness to consider the demands for Hazara province in his meeting with a PML-Q delegation led by Shujaat on December 19, 2011, assuring them of referring the matter to the party’s Manifesto Committee to evolve consensus within the party after discussing the idea with the president. However, despite a lapse of three months, not a single meeting of the PPP’s Manifesto Committee has been held to discuss the Hazara province, the source said, added that the PML-Q leadership was aware of the ruling party’s limitations. In a recent cabinet reshuffle, the PML-Q chief accommodated two leaders from Hazara as a reward for popularising the party in the region. Sardar Shahjehan Yousaf, the elder son of Hazara movement chief Sardar Muhammad Yousaf, was appointed as state minister for professional and technical training, while another leader from Hazara, Qasim Shah, who has lost all elections since 1990s, was accommodated as a special assistant to the prime minister with the status of a state minister. However, a prominent office bearer of the PML-Q KP chapter said the party’s local leadership from Hazara had used the demand for a new province as a bargaining chip to win personal benefits.

Editor: Arif Nizami, Executive Editor: Sarmad Bashir

Continued on Page 04

e-paper pakistantoday 19th february, 2012  

e-paper pakistantoday 19th february, 2012