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700,000 tax thieves to be clawed this fiscal year: Dr Sheikh
Students recount horrors of ‘madrassa’ imprisonment
A shared aim: all children reading
PROFIT | PAGE 01
Rs15.00 Vol ii no 167 22 pages Lahore edition
Envoys suggest renegotiation of deals with US g
KARACHI: Young students cry after being rescued following a police raid on Madrassa Zakarya late on Monday. Police rescued 60 students found chained in the basement during a raid. afP | Story on PaGe 24
He two-day ‘envoys’ Conference’ concluded here on Tuesday with a strong recommendation to the government to renegotiate two vital agreements with the United States and NATO, one for supplies to the US-led foreign troops in Afghanistan and the other for ‘logistic support’ extended to Washington back in 2002. Both of these vital agreements were made by the government of former president Pervez Musharraf with the Bush administration in 2002, a few months after the United States ousted the Taliban government for sheltering al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, who was blamed by the US for the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The agreement with International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) agreed upon in June 2002 was about NATO supplies for troops in Afghanistan, which was suspended by Islamabad last month in the wake of the Mohmand Agency air strike by NATO in which 24 Pakistani soldiers were killed. “The second agreement reached back in February 2002 was about extending logistic support to the US, including the use of Pakistani air bases and airspace, etc,” said a senior Pakistani official who wished to re-
main unnamed. He said the conference recommended that future security cooperation with any nation, including the US, should be approved by parliament. CIA IMPRINT: The conference, which was attended by 15 Pakistani envoys from important world capitals including Washington also recommended the government seek a clear ‘CIA imprint’ in Pakistan from the United States and also that there must not be any drone strikes on Pakistani soil unless and until it is asked for by Islamabad and intelligence on the intended targets is given. The conference asked the government to seek a firm assurance from the US about no more unilateral strikes in Pakistan or border attacks on the pattern of the Mohmand air strike. The envoys also recommended the government pursue with vigour the ongoing reconciliation process in Afghanistan with the Taliban regardless of whether other countries did that or not. RESUMPTION OF NATO SUPPLIES: The draft of recommendations prepared by the envoys’ committee, headed by Pakistan’s Ambassador-designate to the US Sherry Rehman, sought linking of the restoration of NATO supplies to satisfactory results of the US enquiry into the Mohmand Agency attack. Continued on page 04
Panetta asks Kayani to help resume NATO supplies ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT
US Secretary of Defence Leon Panetta made a phone call to Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani on Tuesday and sought his ‘good offices’ for the resumption of NATO supplies to Afghanistan through Pakistan, as the top NATO commander in Afghanistan Marine General John Allen revealed for the first time that he spoke to General Kayani on the phone on Monday their first conversation since the November 26 NATO air strikes - and said he was seeing some signs of a possible lifting of Pakistan’s communications blackout imposed on the US-led coalition after the NATO attack. Panetta, who was on an unannounced visit to Afghanistan to discuss the latest situation there with Afghan authorities, telephoned the army chief a day after General Allen. Panetta, who said in Kabul that it was important to reach out to Pakistan if the United States wanted to dismantle Afghan militant havens, told General Kayani that his country wanted normalisation of ties with Islamabad as it was vital to win the ongoing war on terror.
Gilani tells envoys Pakistan will not accept flagrant transgression of its frontiers SHAIQ HUSSAIN
Wednesday, 14 december, 2011 Muharram-ul-Haram 18, 1433
Continued on page 04
US reins in drone strikes for fear of getting shot down ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT
As the United States holds back on its drone strikes in the tribal areas in the wake of the deadly NATO strike on Pakistani checkposts in Mohmand Agency that killed 24 soldiers, officials here said the US feared that the drones could be shot down after clear indications given
by Pakistani authorities in this regard. There has not been a single drone attack since the NATO strike on Salala checkpost in Mohmand last month and the US has put the campaign “on hold”, according to American news website The Long War Journal. Several US intelligence officials involved in the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) programme, which uses unmanned Predator and
Reaper strike aircraft, more commonly called drones, told Journal that US officials feared that an attack at this point in time would further damage the already fragile relationship between the US and Pakistan. However, a diplomatic source here said that clear indications had been passed to the US side during the Continued on page 04
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SC calls record of Sharifs’ deal to leave country
Militant mortar fire kills six in Khyber Agency KHYBER AGENCY STAFF REPORT
Mortar shells fired from an unidentified source hit two houses in Khyber Agency on Tuesday, leaving six people dead, including four children and a woman. The incident occurred in Bara sub division of the agency. Official sources said several mortar shells were fired from an unidentified area that hit two houses in Shalobar area. Local sources told to Pakistan Today that several shells landed in other areas as well, but casualties were so far not reported. The political administration has started investigating the matter.
ISLAMABAD MASOOD REHMAN
eARING a plea of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) against the release of Sharif brothers’ assets by the Lahore High Court, the Supreme Court on Tuesday sought copies of their accords with then chief executive of the country Gen Pervez Musharraf for leaving the country and the record of accountability references pending against them. NAB’s Prosecutor General KK Agha told a two-member bench of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain that the Sharif brothers had left the country through a deal and had voluntarily surrendered their properties to NAB. He said after their return, they filed an appeal before the Lahore High Court, contending that the accountability cases against them had disposed of, thus their properties be released and consequently the court ordered release of their properties. Agha requested the court to allow NAB to file case against them with an accountability court. The court inquired why NAB had not produced a copy of the deal before either the high court or the Supreme Court, to which
ANP, PTI, JI leaders give input to Abbottabad commission ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT
The inquiry commission on Abbottabad incident on Tuesday held a detailed session with Awami National Party (ANP) President Asfandyar Wali Khan, ANP member Afrasiab Khattak, Senator Jamaat-e-Islami member Prof. Khurshid Ahmed and Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) member Hamid Ali Khan to gauge their perspective on the operation. Justice Javed Iqbal, former Senior Judge of the Supreme Court presided over the session while Ashraf Jehangir Qazi, Lt. Gen. (retd) Nadeem Ahmed and IGP (r) Abbas Khan, attended the meeting.
Gilani, Naek discuss ways to get out of memogate
MULTAN: A lady health worker takes part in an awareness walk on Tuesday. online
Put election, land reforms back on agenda g
Six progressive political parties, trade unions and women’s groups submit petitions in Supreme Court
Acting President Farooq H Naik and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on Tuesday held a brainstorming session to reach a win-win situation over the memogate scandal haunting the government. According to a statement issued by the PM House, Gilani said the government’s opponents would not get political mileage out of the controversy, as democracy and its dynamics were strong enough to withstand pressure by those who did not believe in democratic ways, rather preferred backdoor-channels. He said the memo scandal was launched by a man who was a foreign national and whose track record was well known, as he had been engaged in maligning Pakistani state institutions in the past through media statements.
Stressing the need for making election less expensive and empowering citizens to contest polls and become members of parliament, Senator Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo on Tuesday said election and land reforms were vital to bring certain structural changes and abolish feudalism from the country and implement fundamental rights in true spirit. Addressing a press conference on behalf of six progressive political parties, trade unions and women’s groups which earlier in the day submitted two petitions in the Supreme Court of Pakistan regarding election and land reforms, Bizenjo said, “Today no individual from the middle or lower class can contest election in the presence of feudal culture and the
Defection from ANP criminal: Ilyas Bilour ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT
Senator Ilyas Ahmed Bilour on Tuesday denied the possibility to defect from the Awami National Party (ANP), deeming defection criminal for himself and his brother Ghulam Ahmed Bilour. Talking to reporters outside the Parliament House, he dispelled the rumours that the Bilour brothers might join the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N), saying, “Our family is not of the kind which opts for defection and switches loyalties for political gains … We will swim and sink with the party, bearing the torch of Bacha Khan’s ideology.” He denied engaging in talks with the PML-N leadership over changing party. “We were and will remain associated with the ANP under the dynamic leadership of Asfandyar Wali,” he added.
Agha said NAB wanted to hold the property of Sharif brothers until reaching the bottom of the matter. The chief justice observed that NAB had no authority to hold the property until a reference could be filed against the Sharif brothers. To a court query on why a reference was not filed against the Sharifs earlier, Agha said it was due to the unavailability of the NAB chairman. The chief justice asked Agha to produce the record of references filed against the Sharifs, however, he Agha could not do that, telling the court that Nawaz was awarded sentence in the plane conspiracy case, but he left the country under a deal. He said his property was attached with the deal agreement. To a court query, Agha said three references, including the reference on Hudabia Paper Mills, were pending against the Sharif family and their associates with the accountability court. The chief justice again asked him to produce record of the deal so that the court may decide under which law it could hear the case. Agha, however, said no such record was available with NAB, but might be available with the federation. The court then directed him to get copies of the deal from the federation and produce it in cout it. The proceedings were adjourned until the third week of January.
six parties had, therefore, submitted two petitions for land and election reforms in the country.” The six parties that submitted the petitions included Workers Party Pakistan, National Party, Democratic Women’s Association, Pakistan Workers Federation, Pakistan Trade Unions Federation and Pakistan Kissan Committee. Prominent lawyer Abid Hassan Manto filed the petitions. Bizenjo said the problems faced by the country could not be resolved unless the common man was empowered and enabled to contest election. He said land and election reforms were essential for empowering the middle class and ensuring implementation of fundamental rights. He said though the constitution did not bar anyone from contesting elections, a person from the middle class or any common man could not
contest polls for want of millions of rupees. He said the political freedom and fundamental human rights could not be implemented in their true spirit unless feudalism was abolished and the petitions aimed at attaining those two goals. He said the success of democracy in India was due to land reforms and many other countries, like Sri Lanka, Iran and Bangladesh, also followed suit and benefited from reforms. The senator said land reforms which had been announced by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto were not radical in nature, but they too were not implemented due to decisions by the Supreme Court and Shariat Appellate bench that said land reforms were un-Islamic. He said the petitioners asked the Supreme Court to review the decision, as it was outside the mandate of the court and Shariat Appellate bench.
SC directs all provinces to cancel route permits of vehicles unfit for travel ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT
The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed all the provinces to cancel the route permits of the old passenger vehicles, which were not fit for travel and submit a report in this regard within one month. The court, expressing sorrow over the incident in which 37 schoolchildren were killed in September, earlier this year, when an over-loaded bus overturned on the Lahore-Islamabad Motorway, observed that the incident resulted from the negligence of the Motorway Police. A two-member bench, comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain, questioned why the Motorway Police had allowed the bus to enter the motorway without a route permit. Attorney General for Pakistan Maulvi Anwarul Haq and the Punjab prosecutor
general were also directed to cooperate in giving more compensation to the heirs of the 37 deceased persons. During the hearing, the court was informed that Rs 3.3 million was paid to the family of each child in compensation. earlier, the court had ordered the registration of criminal cases against all those responsible for the bus accident, including the Faisalabad Tehsil Municipal Administration (TMA), the school administration and the owner of the bus and sought a compliance report. The court was informed that a case against the officers, who cleared the bus by giving it a fitness certificate, was sent to the Anti-corruption Department. Motorway Police Senior Superintendent Police (SSP) Abbas told the court that three officers, who had committed the negligence, were dismissed, whereas a deputy superintendent police (DSP) was given a show cause notice.
Akhtar Hussain of the Workers Party Pakistan and Osama Saddique, a professor at LUMS, also spoke on the occasion and stressed the need for election and land reforms.
Six nGo workers abducted in Pishin QUETTA SHAHZADA ZULFIQAR
Six employees of a local non-government organisation called the Balochistan Rural Support Programme were reportedly abducted by Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militants from Pishin district, some 50 kilometres north of here on Tuesday. Confirming the abduction, the head of the organisation Nadir Gul Bareach told reporters that three staff members were in a project area in Pishin district when they were abducted by armed militants while another three were kidnapped from a nearby office. He said he was unaware of the abductors’ identity.
Pishin Deputy Commissioner Abdul Munsoor Kakar told Pakistan Today that in three such incidents in the past, TTP militants were involved and statements of the eyewitnesses also pointed to the involvement of militants from the tribal areas. However, he said, according to the information gathered from local tribesmen, the abductors drove their victims towards Qilla Saifullah and probably wanted to take them to the tribal areas. He said that the border security force were informed, which started strict checking. The abducted employees were identified as Abdul Qayum, Zahoor, Abdul Bashir, Mujeeb-ur-Rehman, Aftab Ahmed and Maqboul.
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‘Pakistan not responsible for afghan refugee attacking rabbani’ ISLAMABAD
AKISTAN on Tuesday said it could not be held responsible if an Afghan refugee had crossed over to Afghanistan and after staying in some rest house had attacked chief of high peace council Prof Burhanuddin Rabbani. Responding to various queries during the Question Hour of the Senate proceedings, Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said peace was a shared responsibility of both, Kabul and Islamabad and the onus should be on both countries. “The main reason for the de-
teriorating law and order in Pakistan is Afghanistan. Following attack on Prof Rabbani, our embassy in Kabul received threats due to which we had to take additional security measures. We want good relations with Afghanistan which is in our own interest,” said the foreign minister, sending a clear message to Kabul that Pakistan wanted peace and it should not be accused of violence on Afghan soil. The minister said the security of both the neighbouring countries was interlinked but Islamabad should not be blamed for every ill in Kabul. “Pakistan has baselessly been charged for the recent attacks in Kabul. If they had any problems, Pakistan should not be made
scapegoat by the Afghan government and other countries. We are part of solution and not problem,” she asserted. The statement reflected that the PPP-led coalition government had taken serious note of hard hitting statement of Afghan President Hamid Karzai after Ashura blasts in Kabul, Mazar Sharif. To the question, the minister said Pakistan would raise the issue of multiple visas with the Afghan government soon. She said Pakistan was already providing facility of multiple visas to Afghans but Afghanistan should also reciprocate. Briefing the senators on the envoy’s conference, Khar said Pakistan was also reviewing its policy toward Afghanistan in the envoys’ conference.
Girl dies after falling into manhole, CM orders enquiry LAHORE STAFF REPORT
An 11-year-old girl, who had received serious head injuries after falling into a manhole, succumbed to the injuries in the Jinnah Hospital late on Tuesday night. The victim was identified as Rachel Baig, resident of Rasulpura in Johar Town. Her father Jameel Baig, a cameraman for a local television channel, told reporters that the incident took place at 2pm when Rachel was returning from her school. He said according to witnesses, Rachel slipped and fell in the manhole, adding that some locals after witnessing the mishap immediately informed rescue officials who failed to reach the site on time and a local boy with the help of other locals had to rescue the girl. Meanwhile, a Rescue 1122 am-
bulance also reached the spot and its officials took Rachel to Jinnah Hospital where she died on Tuesday night. Jameel refused to file a complaint against anyone, saying that he could not wait for justice until his death. He said he was at his job when he received a call directing him to reach hospital. The CM noted the incident and ordered authorities concerned to conduct a detailed inquiry into the matter. Members of the provincial assembly, Saiful Malok Khokhar of the PML-N and Seemal Kamran of the PML-Q, and WASA Managing Director Javed Iqbal reached the hospital to condole with the victim’s family. The WASA MD suspended three senior officials including Johar Town XeN Rana Abdul Manan, SDO Salman Nisar and Sub-engineer Nosher Khan for their alleged negligence.
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PIA cancels over 30 flights in 3 days LAHORE IMRAN ADNAN
KARACHI: Students and people from different walks of life taking part in a rally held to celebrate Pak-China friendship near Sea View on Tuesday. onLIne
Panetta asks Kayani Continued fRoM page 1 “He made a request for the resumption of NATO supplies suspended by Pakistan in the wake of last month’s NATO air strike and asked General Kayani to use his ‘good offices’ for the purpose,” said an official here, requesting anonymity. Meanwhile, General Allen said that in his conversation with General Kayani, they both expressed a commitment to work through the incident and try to restore coordination between their forces along the border. “I do have a sense of progress,” Allen said, describing the phone call as businesslike and cordial. “The conversation was clearly about attempting to resolve the issue... around the border incident, in the sense that, let’s restore border coordination so that we can move on,” he added. He said he believed Pakistan would soon send its liaison officers, who were pulled after the November 26 incident, back to the border coordination centres and/or NATO headquarters in Kabul, the private TV channel reported. Allen said the two did not discuss when Pakistan would reopen its border crossings to NATO convoys transporting supplies for troops in Afghanistan.
Brahamdagh Bugti kidnapped US citizen, says Malik ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT
Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Tuesday held Brahamdagh Bugti responsible for kidnapping US citizen John Solecki, who was abducted from Quetta in 2009 and released later. Solecki, who was the chief of the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in Quetta, was kidnapped in 2009 and later released after successful negotiations between the Pak-
istani government and the abductors. Malik alleged that the grandson of former Balochistan chief minister Akbar Bugti was directly involved in Solecki’s kidnapping. “The phone calls record of Barhamdagh and his accomplices showed that after kidnapping Solecki, they used his name as Lal Bakra (Red Goat) to dodge the security forces probing the matter,” he said. He was addressing a twoday conference titled “Media
and Professionalism- Keeping Journalists and Journalism Safe in Hostile environments”, which was organised by Intermedia Pakistan. The conference was attended by office bearers of the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) and Pakistan Institute of Peace Studies (PIPS). Talking about the rise in killings of working journalists in Pakistan, Malik said the government was ready to form a commission to probe into the murders of 76 journalists.
US reins in drone strikes Continued fRoM page 1
communications through diplomatic channels after the NATO air strike that no more drone attacks would be tolerated and in case of breach or violation on the part of the US, the spy planes could be shot down. “It was only after those communications that the US decided to halt the drone campaign and carry out no more strikes on Pakistani soil until the relations improve and tension is reduced,” the source
said. Interior Minister Rehman Malik reportedly said recently that the US had vacated the Shamsi air base, a strip used for drone strikes, but he could not say whether the attacks by the CIA spy planes would stop as the US would take a decision on its own in this regard. However, a Pakistani official requesting anonymity said that there had been clear instructions by the military leadership
to the ranks and cadres of the army that any intrusion of Pakistani air space and country’s borders must not be tolerated in future and they must be matched by a befitting response. “The instructions are clear and the US officials have decided it is better not to resort to drone strikes fearing that the Pakistani army could shoot the planes down and also the ties between Islamabad and Washington would worsen further,” he said.
He national flag carrier cannot provide any relief to its passengers as most of domestic and international flights are still being delayed even after three days of postHaj operations. Pakistan International Airline has cancelled as many as over 30 flights during the last three days, while almost all flights delayed for three to 15 hours, Pakistan Today learnt on Tuesday. Source in the national flag carrier revealed that after completing the post-Haj operation on December 10, PIA had decided to return the leased aircraft to Hellenic Airways, but it could not become its grounded aircraft operational. They claimed that 12 aircraft, including two Boeing 747, one Boeing 777, three Boeing 737, three Airbus A310 and three ATRs, were still grounded at Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad airports, due to the absence of the much-needed spare parts. They revealed that the
Continued fRoM page 1
work for their honorable return to Afghanistan. The recommendations have been forwarded to the Prime Minister’s Office, which will hand them over to parliament. A statement issued here by the Foreign Office at the end of the conference said Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar welcomed the prime minister and apprised him of the deliberations at the conference on the evaluation of the regional situation and implications for Pakistan, identification of core foreign policy objectives and review of the terms of cooperation between Pakistan and US/NATO/ISAF. NO TRANSGRESSION: Prime Minister Gilani also spoke to the conference on Tuesday, saying Pakistan’s cooperation with the US and NATO was based on respect for Pakistan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and under no circumstances
could it accept flagrant transgression of its frontiers. “This remains our base line and there can be no compromise on sovereignty, dignity and national honour,” said the prime minister. He said Pakistan expected the US/NATO enquiry into the Mohmand Agency attack to come out clearly with the facts and provide answers to the “disturbing questions that our own investigations have raised”. “Pakistan’s foreign policy is based on immutable principles. The Charter of the United Nations, norms of inter-state conduct and international law provide the framework for our endeavors to ensure peace and security – both in our own region and the world,” said Gilani. “We believe that stability and peace at home and in our region is critical for en-
abling our people to realise their aspirations for progress and social and economic development. With this in view, we have taken several initiatives,” he said. He said further that Pakistan had always lived by the high principles of civility and humanity. “Our hosting of millions of Afghan refugees for over three decades and our enormous sacrifices in the war against terror amply illustrate our commitment to the noble values that are intrinsic to our belief and national ethos,” he said. “It is imperative that all efforts should be directed to promoting durable stability and peace in Afghanistan. All principal stakeholders must be on the same page. We have continued to seek clarity and advocated the need for coherence, coordination and cooperation,” he added. However, said Gilani,
Dacca-Karachi, PK729 Karachi-Riyadh, PK894 Peshawar-Kuala Lumpur, PK237 Karachi-Abu Dhabi and PK264 Abu Dhabi-Lahore were delayed for three to 15 hours. Similarly, on domestic routes, most flight, including PK300 Karachi-Islamabad, PK653/4 Islamabad-LahoreIslamabad, PK369 Islamabad-Karachi, PK303 Lahore-Karachi, PK511 Karachi-Turbat, Quetta, PK538 Karachi-Mohenjo Daro-Sukkur, PK582 Karachi-Rahim Yar KhanLahore and PK540 KarachiSukkur were delayed. Speaking to Pakistan Today, a PIA spokesman tried to dispel the impression that flights were being delayed due to shortage of aircraft. He said only two or three aircraft were on routine maintenance, which was a normal thing in any airline. “In the aviation industry, you cannot say that aircraft have been grounded. It is a wrong impression as aircraft are on routine maintenance which is mandatory for safety and compliance with international aviation rules,” he said.
Zardari may new Pakistani head to US regime possible by for more tests next year’s end: fP DUBAI TM TAHIR
President Asif Zardari’s health condition is improving and it is expected that he will proceed to the US for further tests after some days, sources said. According to sources here, it is also being said that President Zardari might travel to the UK after getting discharged from the hospital.
envoys suggest renegotiation of deals with US “The conference recommended that in case of restoration of supplies, the NATO trucks and containers should be taxed, which could bring millions of dollars to the national exchequer,” the official said. NO EXTENSION BEYOND 2012: He said another important issue that was made part of recommendations was repatriation of Afghan refugees. “It was recommended that there should not be any extension in the deadline set for the return of Afghan refugees to Afghanistan beyond 2012, as some indications suggested that the UNHCR was about to seek that extension,” the official said. He said further that it was observed during the conference that almost 90 percent of terrorist strikes in Pakistan were traced back to Afghan refugees, so the Pakistani government would
national flag carrier had divorced hundreds of vendors to ink an agreement with a Dubai-based vendor, Transworld Aviation, for the supply of parts. They said the PIA management claimed that the company was offered $700 million credit line to the national flag carrier, which would not only help in averting the liquidity problem, but would also reduce pilferage of expensive parts. However, the deal could not materialise yet, but by abandoning agreements with existing suppliers resulted in that around 12 aircrafts had been grounded due to unavailability of parts, they said. Flight operations statistics show that on Sunday alone, the national flag carrier had canceled 27 domestic and international flights due to the shortage of aircraft and mismanagement. Operations data shows that PK874/5 KarachiColombo-Karachi, PK731/2 Karachi-Jeddah-Karachi, PK237 Karachi-Abu Dhabi, PK264 Abu Dhabi-Lahore, PK874 Karachi-Colombo, PK731/2 Karachi-JeddahKarachi, PK266/7 Karachi-
the aerial attacks on the border posts in Mohmand on November 26 constituted a huge set-back to the prospects of much-needed cooperation between all important stakeholders. He said given the seriousness of the issue, the government had already taken several important decisions. “The NATO/ISAF logistic supply lines have been closed. Shamsi air base has been vacated. Pakistan did not participate in the Bonn Conference. A broad-ranging review of our cooperation with US/NATO/ISAF was ordered,” he said. “The National Security Committee of the parliament has been mandated to undertake a detailed study of the 26/11 attacks and to make recommendations on the terms of our cooperation with US/NATO/ISAF. These will be considered by the joint sitting of parliament,” Gilani added.
MONITORING DESK A writer for the Foreign Policy magazine has claimed in an article published on December 12 that it was a “good bet” that Pakistan could have a new leadership at the helm of the affairs by the end of next year. In his article “Next year, in Review”, noted writer David Rothkopf said predicting the situation in Pakistan for the next year would be almost impossible. Citing President Asif Ali Zardari’s health emergency as a potential game changer, he said the Pakistan Army, just like the egyptian military, considered democracy a “political equivalent of offering a big fake smile for the cameras”. “The ISI don’t even bother to smile (regardless of the reaction their initials may
bring when strategically tattooed on the right actress,” he said, hinting at the controversy involving Veena Malik’s recent photo shoot. “Whether these puppet masters push to have a shill take over the country (an excricketer, for example) or simply go old school and march back into the government offices, it’s a good bet that by the end of next year we have new leadership in Islamabad,” he wrote. Rothkopf began the article wondering about the five top foreign-policy stories of 2011 “It probably wouldn’t take too long. You’d have to put the Arab Spring on top of the list. Next would come the eurocrisis. Getting Osama bin Laden probably also rates. Then what? Fukushima? Turmoil in Pakistan? Year of the Drone?”
Saleem Shehzad body to submit report in 2-3 weeks ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT
The commission probing the murder of journalist Saleem Shahzad on Tuesday completed its investigations and is now compiling a final report which would be presented to the government in two to three weeks. The commission was formed to investigate the mysterious murder of Shahzad, who was kidnapped and killed in May soon after writing a controversial article for Asia Times
Online regarding the influence of Al Qaeda in Pakistan’s armed forces. According to a statement by the commission’s secretary, some inevitable factors such as non-availability of important witnesses delayed the commission’s proceedings. “Moreover, Brigadier Zahid Mehmood Khan, who represented the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) on the matter, took some time to prepare and produce the agency’s written response before the commission,” said the handout.
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Exchange programme can promote harmony: PCC head PAGe 08
Pro-VC’s successful cataract operation on an Islamabad big gun and the CM’s problems with the university status could be the possible clues g
LAHORE UMAIR AZIZ
ING Edward Medical University (KEMU) has become an ‘orphan’ institution due to sheer neglect on the part of the government, which has failed to appoint even a single ‘regular’ vice chancellor since KEMU was granted the university status, Pakistan Today has learnt. Faculty members and stakeholders while sharing their views said no other university throughout Punjab had been without a regular VC except the KEMU, even though it was a prestigious and historic seat of learning in
Pro and anti-LCWU VC protests held LAHORE: Students and faculty of the LCWU on Tuesday protested against protestors who they claimed were trying to disturb the peace of the varsity. Meanwhile the employees, along with some students, also held a protest and vowed to not to stop till their demands were not met. STAFF REPORT
‘Rid us of Khosa’ LAHORE: A petition was filed in the LHC on Tuesday seeking removal of Punjab Governor Sardar Latif Khosa on the grounds that he had allegedly been using funds from national exchequer secretly for the establishment of Siraiki province. Petitioner Afaq Ahmed sought the disqualification of the governor for misusing the provincial exchequer. STAFF REPORT
South Asia. They cited the example of the Punjab University where the incumbent VC is about to retire and the post of the VC has been advertised in “anticipation” of his retirement. Same were the cases for the University of Health Sciences (UHS), the GCU, the LCWU and others, they said. Those in the administration, seeking anonymity revealed that the KEMC was granted the university status during the previous regime, a fact that is ‘not liked’ by the incumbent government and Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and his team had ‘seriously’ considered the idea of reverting the status of KEMU to a college. “The CM also chaired a meeting on the same issue last year, when
the faculty members convinced him not to revert the university status since it was tantamount to taking one step backwards and bringing a bad name to him…to this the CM had agreed but on the condition of good performance,” a senior faculty member said, adding, “however a junior professor, who was rejected twice by the Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC) for the post of assistant professor and was never selected for an academic career was appointed the pro-VC under dubious circumstances to head the prestigious institution. Never has this institution been without a proper head in its long history of 150 years…where are these hollow slogans of merit and
UHS makes a booboo! LAHORE STAFF REPORT
University of Health Sciences (UHS), due to reasons unknown, gave exactly the same pharmacology paper to MBBS Part III students that it gave last year, Pakistan Today has learnt. Per details, the second Professional Annual exam of pharmacology of MBBS Part III was held on Saturday and to the students’ and professors’ amazement the paper was exactly the same as last year’s. “Initially some of the students thought that the actual paper had been leaked and hence the last year’s paper has been given at the eleventh hour but then when everyone came to know of it, it was clear that it was a blunder,” a student
who sat for the exam said. Professor of Pharmacology Shabbir Bhatti, former controller examination at the KeMU, said, “I’ve never heard of such a thing in my entire career…I do not know about the intention of the examination authorities or whether it was a mistake or not, but sometimes there is a fear of leakage of the paper if this is repeated. It is easy to tell someone to do the last year’s paper to pass, otherwise a student can be evaluated even from this paper.” A UHS spokesperson said the matter will be enquired properly and those responsible be punished. He further said the incident “neither favoured nor harmed anyone” because the exam was new for the students taking it.
War of words in Pa LAHORE NASIR bUTT
Uproar and exchange of sharp words dominated Punjab Assembly’s session on Tuesday when treasury and opposition lawmakers clashed over the ongoing political rifts in the country. President Asif Ali Zardari’s medical trip to Dubai remained the top controversy as members of the provincial assembly (MPAs) belonging to the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) resorted to mudslinging against the leaderships of each other’s parties. Acting Speaker Rana Mashhood Ahmed Khan, despite his repeated requests to bring order in the House, failed to calm the situation. However, the speaker was finally heard and the atmosphere improved. He said that no one should politicise
the president’s health, and led the prayer for his early recovery. Following the question-answer hour, Opposition leader Raja Riaz while speaking on a point of order criticised the performance of the Punjab government. He lashed out at Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and his cabinet members for not attending the assembly session. “The chief minister considers it his insult to attend an assembly session,” the PPP leader said, calling all ministers in the provincial cabinet “incompetent”. Punjab Food Minister Malik Nadeem Kamran objected to Riaz’s comments, saying the opposition leader’s views were malicious. Riaz reciprocated by intensifying his charge against the Punjab government. He said the government was using the provincial bureaucracy to snub the opposition, alleging that a Faisalabad po-
lice officer had been tasked to remove the banners and posters of the PPP. The opposition leader’s remarks enraged the treasury members and PML-N MPA Ali Asghar Munda raised the issue of Zardari’s visit to Dubai to get medical treatment. Munda said the Punjab Assembly should have been officially updated on the president’s departure. He alleged that Zardari had fled the country due to the memo scandal. In response, Deputy Speaker Rana Mashhood reprimanded Munda, saying that there should be no politics on someone’s illness. However, he ordered switching off Munda’s microphone when he continued with his speech. Meanwhile, the House passed a unanimous resolution to include the education of Quran and Sunnah in the curriculum up to matriculation in the province.
good governance when the government is deteriorating its own institutions…the impression among the faculty is that the CM has not accepted the university and hence this special treatment.” Sources further told Pakistan Today that the post of a regular vice chancellor for KEMU was advertised in December 2008 and June 2010 and several people applied for the most coveted post in the medical profession, however, the government had failed to make any progress in this regard so far. They further revealed that a Supreme Court verdict was also available which said that a deputy or second-in-command can only take upon himself the respon-
sibility of the institutional head when the latter was in office but proceeds on leave or was unable to attend for some reason. Reliable sources further revealed that the incumbent Pro-VC Professor Asad Aslam performed a cataract surgery upon a very high profile figure from Islamabad and has been able to retain the coveted post in “reward” of that operation. “It is for the same reason that the Punjab government is also keeping mum on the issue and not appointing someone senior to him (Aslam) despite having advertised the post for so many times,” they added. Health Secretary Jehanzaib Khan was not available for his comments on the issue.
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Wednesday, 14 December, 2011
Arguments sought in Haqqani lie detection case LAHORE
HC Justice Umar Ata Bandial, while hearing a case against former Pakistan ambassador for US Hussain Haqani on Tuesday directed petitioner counsel to give his arguments in details on December 19 regarding ‘reliability’ of poly-graphic lie detection test to get a “true” statement from the accused person. The court was hearing a petition filed by Barrister Javed Iqbal Jaffery for poly-graphic lie detection test of Hussain Haqani in the Memogate scandal. The petitioner also requested the court to place Haqqani’s name on the exit Control List (eCL) so that he would not be able to flee the country like Raymond Davis. He said under Section 164 of evidence Act, lie detection tests are the lawful method to collect evidence in cases where proof of offence is insufficient. STAY AGAINST WAPDA’S FUEL ADJUSTMENT CHARGES EXTENDED: Lahore High Court (LHC) Justice Muhammad Khalid Mehmood Khan on Tuesday directed counsels for all parties to the case to appear in court on December 19 for final arguments on the matter of fuel adjustment charges on electricity bills. The court also extended stay against recovery of fuel adjustment charges in electricity bills till December 19. The court was hearing over 700 identical petitions challenging recovery of fuel adjustment charges levied on electricity bills of industrial and domestic consumers.
The petitions were filed by Gulshan Spinning Mills and others industrial units, naming as respondents WAPDA, NePRA and others against recovery of fuel adjustment charges for the past months by retrospective billing. REPLY SOUGHT FROM JOHAR TOWN SHO IN SAPNA KHAN CASE: Additional District and Session Judge Aziz Ulah Khan on Tuesday sought reply from Johar Town Police Station (P/S) station house officer (SHO) on a petition filed by Ameen Khan, brother of actress Sapna Khan, seeking registration of a criminal case against former Punjab chief minister Dost Muhammad Khosa and his henchmen. Petitioner prayed the court to pass an order for the registration of a criminal case against said un-known persons. The court sought reply from Johar Town P/S SHO on the petition for December 16. LHC ASKS FOR NOTIFICATION IN CNG LOAD SHEDDING CASE: LHC on Tuesday directed the counsels for Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) and SuiNorthern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) to submit in court the notification for the three-days a week CNG load shedding, and the complete schedule for gas-cuts today (Wednesday).
Justice Mansoor Ali Shah passed the order on a writ petition filed by the association of CNG filling stations on Monday, challenging threeday weekly load shedding of CNG (Compressed Natural Gas). The judge adjourned the hearing and directed that the two counsels of OGRA and SNGPL produce the notification and the record of load shedding details on Wednesday. The association prayed to court to set aside the three-day weekly load shedding of CNG by declaring it unconstitutional and a violation of the fundamental rights of citizens. MEDICAL COLLEGE EXAM TO BE STAYED, PETITION FILED: An application was moved in LHC on Tuesday for a stay order against professional part-1 MBBS examinations of four newly-established, as yet “unrecognised”, government medical colleges being held by health sciences (UHS) unlawfully on December 19. The application was filed by Noshab Khan, whose main petition id pending in the court of LHC Chief Justice Azmat Saeed against the four medial collages.
The petitioner submitted in his petition that the Punjab government inaugurated four medical colleges without recognition of the PMDC for validation of medical qualifications. JUDICIAL REMAND IN M/S KANAL MOTORS CASE EXTENDED: An accountability court on Tuesday extended the judicial remand of Hafiz Usman Yousaf, Rana Qaisar Nazeer, Muhammad Anwar Khan, Mohsin Abbasi and Ahsan Abbasi directors of M/s: Kanal Motors till December 27. Accused being the executives of M/s: Kanal Motors offered attractive packages of profit on investment in sale and purchase of cars. In this way they colleted 1.2 million rupees from public at large and transferred the looted money into accounts of Benamidars. The court while extending the remand directed NAB authorities to file the reference against accused by the next date of hearing. REPLY SOUGHT ON VIP LOUNGE AT LAHORE AIRPORT: LHC on Tuesday sought reply from civil aviation authority (CAA) within two weeks on a petition challenging the construction of a VIP lounge/shed at the Allama Iqbal International Airport Lahore. Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan passed the order on a petition filed by Ahmed Ali Ranja through his counsel Khwaja Saeed-al-Zafar. The petitioner contended that the airport of Lahore, due to its classic architecture had become part of Pakistan’s heritage, which was now being distorted by the airport authorities by construction of a VIP shed. The court sought reply from the CAA and adjourned the matter for two weeks.
DHa officials thrash, injure ‘illegal’ residents LAHORE STAFF REPORT
At least 11 people, including a lady, received serious injuries in a plot dispute scuffle in North Cantt Police jurisdiction on Tuesday. Around 45 armed officials of Defence Housing Authority (DHA) went to the residence of Razia Bibi and tried to demolish her house. Razia Bibi and her sons offered resistance, at which DHA officials started beating them. As a result, Razia Bibi, her sons Tariq, Zulfiqar, Khadim, Nawaz, Saleem, Abdul Latif, Asif and others received serious injuries. Police have registered a case against 57 persons on the complaint of Razia Bibi. DHA officials alleged that the plot was owned by DHA Society and that Razia was an encroacher, while Razia Bibi said the house was legally hers adding that she had the documents to prove it. Police have also registered cross version on complaint of opponent party. BODIES FOUND: Two bodies were recovered from two various areas of the provincial capital on Tues-
National Book Foundation holds book fair LAHORE STAFF REPORT
Discounted books at a book fair arranged by National Book Foundation attracted many avid readers to the fair on Tuesday. Books by various publishers, including those of NBF, were displayed in the exhibition and were available at 10 percent to 50 percent discounted rates. “Such concessions have brought the prices of books in our range, otherwise high rate of inflation had made book-reading the rich man’s hobby,” said a buyer at the fair, Amir Shafique. The book fair is being held at Lahore expo Centre, Johar Town, and would continue till the last day of the year.
day. In the first incidence, a 35-year-old man was recovered dead from the Naulakha Police jurisdiction on Tuesday. The deceased, yet to be identified, was lying dead in Gol Park near Zimidar Hotel. Locals of the area spotted the body and informed the police. Police removed the body to the city morgue for autopsy. Police said the deceased was a drug addict who died from the cold weather. Meanwhile, a 40-year-old man was recovered dead in Gawalmandi Police limits. Police said the deceased had died of substance abuse. CASE AGAINST FAKE FOOD INSPECTOR REGISTERED: Anti-corruption officials registered a case against a fake food inspector on complaint of a hotel owner on Tuesday. Wajid Ali, owner of a hotel submitted an application alleging that a fake food inspector, Fawad, was demanding money from him for the past three months and had also made dangerous threats.
DHA PH: 35747531 CINe STAR PH: 35157462
CINe GOLD PH: 35340000 SOZO GOLD PH: 36674271
PAF CINeMA PH: 36688880
TWILIGHT SAGA BReAKING DAWN DeSI BOyZ LADIeS VS RICKy BAHL DIRTy PICUTRe LADIeS VS RICKy BAHL LADIeS VS RICKy BAHL LADIeS VS RICKy BAHL DIRTy PICUTRe LADIeS VS RICKy BAHL LADIeS VS RICKy BAHL DIRTy PICUTRe DeSI BOyZ DeSI BOyZ DIRTy PICUTRe DIRTy PICUTRe DIRTy PICUTRe LADIeS VS RICKy BAHL LADIeS VS RICKy BAHL DeSI BOyZ LADIeS VS RICKy BAHL DIRTy PICUTRe DIRTy PICUTRe
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FMH College holds orientation session LAHORE STAFF REPORT
Fatima Memorial Hospital (FMH) has been committed to educate, train and inspire local and international students in medicine and the health sciences since 1977. In Tuesday’s FMH orientation session, students from within and around Lahore, Multan, Faisalabad, Bahawalpur, Dera Ismail Khan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and as far as Canada were present to take their oath as future healthcare professionals, said a press statement issued here. Fatima Memorial System and President NUR Foundation Chairperson Shahima Rehman also spoke to newly-registered students at the orientation ceremony. The introductory note was delivered by Vice Principal (AA, SA & IAHS) Prof Jamshed Nasir.
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Wednesday, 14 December, 2011
Lawyers’ Profession Group to support Aslam Buttar LAHORE STAFF REPORT
Professional Group of city lawyers has unanimously decided to support Muhammad Aslam Khan Buttar for the presidential slot in the forthcoming election of Lahore High Court Bar Association. Head of the Professional Group Hamid Khan will make an announcement on December 16 in a press conference in this regard. Buttar had commenced his election campaign as an independent candidate however owing to his acceptance among all the leading groups of lawyers, the PG has also decided to support him in the bar elections. Buttar is already being supported by Ch Riasat Ali, Ch Nasrullah Warriach, Muhammad Ashraf Wahla, Dr Khalid Ranjha, Maqsood Buttar, Muslim league Wukla Mahaz groups and more than 25 standing and former members of Punjab Bar Council.
HeC, Pink Ribbon join hands to combat breast cancer
No more shortage of liquor! Murree Brewery backs off on excise duty dispute with provincial govt, increases prices to cope g Sindh suffered most with Rs 300 million loss in revenue while Punjab stood second
HOSe getting ready to celebrate the New Year have finally cheered up as supply of liquor, which dropped by 80 percent since July, is set to be restored to full capacity within a week after a row on the issue of excise duty on raw alcohol settled down between the Punjab excise and Taxation Department and Murree Brewery, country’s largest liquor production company. The dispute resulted in a loss of Rs 100 million in revenue for the Punjab government. But the Murree Brewery has now agreed to pay the excise duty on raw alcohol under the mechanism designed by the excise and Taxation Department. The dispute began when the department demanded the brewery to pay excise duty of Rs75 per gallon on spirit purchased from sugar mills for use in producing alcoholic beverages. The distillery was also directed to pay tax on
450,000 gallons (Rs 32.4 million) before it could purchase any more from the sugar mills. But initially, the brewery rejected the demand and insisted to pay excise only on finished products. The Murree Brewery, which was established in 1860, had earlier suspended most of its production and threatened to start a legal fight. The news proved to be refreshing for the liquor-lovers, who had started purchasing their favourite brands at an exorbitant price. Revellers of New Year have taken a sigh of relief and termed the reconciliation as welcoming and timely when both the mega events are round the corners. However, the bliss is attached with surge of price in all liquor products manufactured by the Murree Brewery. It has been decided that the brewery will pay excise duty on raw alcohol as well. With the latest development, the prices of various brands have increased. Meanwhile, the black marketers have rolled up their sleeves to cash in the situation. “Among others, the most pop-
ular beverages – London Dry Gin, Vat 1 and matured whiskeys up to 21 years old, that constitutes 85 per cent of total supply, will be sold at higher prices,” a hotel staffer working for the black-marketing told Pakistan Today on the condition of not to be named. He said prices would further increase on the eve of Christmas. A senior official in the excise and Taxation Department said as per rules and regulations prescribed in liquor licence, there was an excise duty in bond, which was paid by licence-holders in advance. excise Duty was applied on both used and wastage material included in raw alcohol called rectified spirit, he added. “Brewery kept dodging the department smartly to evade the duty but now it has to pay all arrears and other dues in terms of excise duty on raw alcohol in line with the rules,” he further said. eleven factories in the Punjab produce some 182 million litres of raw alcohol per year under the supervision of the excise and Taxation Department. This is then sold to distilleries in-
cluding Murree Brewery with valid licences and homoeopathy or medical laboratories. A CM Secretariat official said the Murree Brewery was learnt to be largest supplier of liquor products to Sindh and other parts of the country. “It makes up 70 per cent market share in Sindh. With the brawl between company and the Punjab government, Sindh was most affected province. The Sindh government had lost Rs 300 million in revenue. The Sindh government wrote to the Punjab government asking that the issue be settled,” he said.
LAHORE STAFF REPORT
Higher education Commission (HeC) and Pink Ribbon signed on Tuesday a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for Breast Cancer Awareness Campaigns in the higher education institutions (HeIs) of the country. HeC executive Director Sohail Naqvi and Pakistan Pink Ribbon National Coordinator Omar Aftab signed the agreement. The MoU was the follow-up of a meeting held in August this year between Laghari and Thomson, when it was decided that the HeC would make a task force for the Pink Ribbon Campaign and Fatima Jinnah Women University Rawalpindi Vice Chancellor Samina Amin Qadir was nominated as the Focal Person for the campaign. It was also decided that two Focal Persons would be nominated from HeIs of each province, who would work and coordinate with all the vice chancellors and the Pink Ribbon Awareness Campaign Steering Committee. Laghari underlined the seriousness of the disease and said that over 1.5 million higher education students across the country could play an important role in spreading awareness about it. Forthcoming plans include a road-show to be organised all over Pakistan for the awareness of masses on precautions against breast cancer. HeC and Pink Ribbon would form a working group for assessment and formulation of a five-year action plan.
No progress without modern education: CM LAHORE STAFF REPORT
STREET? No. This is the Lahore College for Women University with its fashion show posters. MUrtaza aLI
PPP to run special train to Larkana for Benazir’s death anniversary LAHORE STAFF REPORT
Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Lahore chapter has decided to run a reserved train from Lahore to Larkana city in lieu of a special ceremony being conducted on the eve of the party’s assas-
sinated chairperson Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto’s fourth death anniversary on December 27. This was decided in a special meeting of the PPP Lahore chapter, chaired by party President and Federal Minister Samina Khalid Ghurki, at a local hotel on Tuesday. All office bearers, in-
cluding General Secretary Akbar Khan, Information Secretary Abid Sadiqi, Afnan Butt, Khurram Farooq and others participated in the meeting. Party leaders decided that they would participate in the main event scheduled at Garhi Khuda Baksh and for that purpose, a special train would be reserved for the party workers who wanted to go Larkana. Party sources revealed that some of the party leaders said they should observe the death anniversary in Lahore, but most opted to go Larkana to show the party’s strength with the mainstream. PPP Lahore President Samina Ghurki said her party had a long history of sacrifices and it would also ready to give more sacrifices in the future for the betterment of the nation and for strengthening the democratic system of the country.
Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said that the dream of national progress and prosperity can only be realised by equipping the young generation with modern education. In view of this fact, the Punjab government is attaching top priority to this sector.He said rapid progress was being made for achieving the targets of Punjab Schools Reforms Roadmap, adding that the education officials showing better performance at the district level in implementation and achievement of the targets of the roadmap would be encouraged while action will be taken against inefficient officers. He was addressing a meeting by British educationist Sir Michael Barbar regarding implementation of the Punjab Schools Reforms Roadmap on Tuesday.
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Exchange programme can promote harmony: PCC head
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CITy DIReCTORy eMeRGeNCy HeLP ReSCUe eDHI CONTROL MOTORWAy POLICe POLICe GOVeRNOR’S HOUSe CHIeF MINISTeR’S HOUSe FIRe BRIGADe BOMB DISPOSAL MCL COMPLAINTS LAHORe WASTe DISPOSAL
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Canon Yaqub Masih says 3 lawyers, 3 policemen, 3 imams and 3 priests to visit UK in a bid to promote mutual respect and understanding LAHORE
AKISTAN Christian Concern headed by Canon Yaqub Masih has completed its homework to launch a cultural exchange programme between UK and Pakistan in an effort to promote interfaith peace and harmony between the two countries, Masih told Pakistan Today in an exclusive interview. “The whole idea behind the move is to increase awareness and to remove misconception on both sides through a cultural exchange programme,” he added. Masih said the PCC intended to initiate an exchange programme in which a selected group of Pakistani and UK citizens shall be made to visit the other country. He said first a group of Pakistanis shall be taken to the UK in February next year and then a group of people from the UK shall be brought to Pakistan. Masih further explained that a group consisting of 12 people has been selected for the tour. “The group consists of 3 lawyers, 3 policemen, 3 imams and 3 priests,” he said, adding that these people would also meet their counterparts in the UK. Masih, who was appointed first Lay Canon by Church of england for the Diocese of Wakefield last year, has now also been appointed on the Board of Trustees for the West Yorkshire Police Community Trust. Masih is the first and only Asian who has been given the title of canon. Canon is the highest honour award give to a layman by Church of england. Canon Yaqub previously had been involved
inter-country charity works. He had travelled to Pakistan in October with aid worth £17,500 collected from the Christians in Wakefield Diocese for the flood victims in Pakistan. He was able to go and give the money in person to the Christian and Muslim community. He also donated 550 chairs to flood-hit schools.
Yaqub believes that the people of both countries need to adopt a positive attitude for each other. He said the people of both countries were helpful and they could work together to achieve prosperity. He said he was very hopeful when it came to the youth of Pakistan since they had the power to change the country.
nGos demand implementation of pro-women laws g
Call for end to norms and cultures deemed as anti-women LAHORE STAFF REPORT
A number of non-governmental organisations working to combat violence against women have demanded that the government should ensure the implementation of relevant laws. They say the gender discrimination still prevails in the institutions that are required to implement such laws and without ending it, the anti-violence movement cannot achieve its target. This demand was made during a culmination seminar called “16 Days of Activism on Violence Against Women”. The event was organised by Strengthening Participatory Organization (SPO). Addressing the seminar, PML-Q lawmaker Amina Ulfat said that role of political parties against gender abuse was of great importance in a society dominated by men. She claimed the PML-Q had been successfully working against gender discrimination in all walks of life and as an opposition party in the Punjab Assembly it always played its role. “Female shelter homes and ‘darul amans’ should be opened around-the-clock and we are working for legislation in this regard,” she added. The United Nation consultant in Pakistan, Shamshad Qureshi, called for more strong legislation to
curb violence against women in Pakistan. He said since a relevant bill would be passed soon by the parliament, its implementation was of very crucial. Working Women Organization Director Aima Mehmood said she was very happy about the successful passage of the women’s rights bill from the national assembly. She said women should get equal rights in the society and in hence the society could be purged of violence against women. Salman Abid, the regional SPO director, said women were living a relatively better life presently when compared to the past. He said civil society and media should play their roles against violence towards women. He criticised the media for projecting women only as a commercial façade. He urged all political parties to begin a joint movement against the norms and cultures that were ‘anti-women’. ‘AN ACRE FOR EVERY WOMAN’: Meanwhile, in the HRCP auditorium, Shirkat Gah, an NGO, also gave a presentation. The theme of the programme was ‘An acre for every woman: why land is a gender, human rights and survival issue’. ‘An Acre for every Woman’ is a land-redistribution campaign run by Shirkat Gah who states that if women were given adequate resources and land of their own to grow food, they can feed their families and themselves without the need to depend
upon anyone for that. The presenters said that if the environment and agriculture were to survive and sustain people, tomorrow’s cities could not get more overcrowded than they were at present. While rural areas were developed to include more urban comforts, people must have to make their cities green and make them more productive, in which women, the original farmers, will once again be in the fore. They illustrated this in a film and photos where Najma Saddique, the head of the Green economics Initiative, presented the films and gave presentations on how women could, and were, making a difference presently.
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Wednesday, 14 December, 2011
Senate clears another pro-women bill ISLAMABAD
H e Senate on Tuesday passed another pro-women bill to provide financial and legal assistance to distressed women languishing in various jails of the country. Leader of the House Syed Nayyer Hussain Bokhari, on behalf of Adviser to the Prime Minister on Human Rights Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar moved the bill, Women in Distress and Detention Fund (Amendment) Bill 2011, to amend Women in Distress and Detention Fund Act 1996. According to the statement of objects and reasons of the bill, the Human Rights Wing of the Ministry of Law, Justice and Human Rights was administering the fund under an act of parliament. Now, the Ministry of Human Rights has been established as a separate entity with effect from November 3, 2008, and the subject fund was transferred to the Ministry of Human Rights. It is pointed out that Ministry of Human Rights was not in a position to operate the fund without necessary amendments in Women Distress and Detention Fund Act 1996, and the bill is aimed at the making functional the fund, as it is beneficial for all classes of women throughout the country. The Senate also passed The Islamabad High Court (Amendment) Bill, 2011. The bill was meant
ccp urges president to approve pro-woman bills LAHORE: Praising the smooth passage of two pro-women bills by the Senate, the Concerned Citizens of Pakistan (CCP) on Tuesday urged the president to approve the bills and make the laws part of a statute book before the new year. According to a statement issued by the CCP, the bills passed by the Senate are now just short of presidential approval. Protecting women from forced marriages, enabling them to receive their share in inheritance and preventing pain, injury, and disfigurement of women by acid attacks are essential safeguards of female members of a civilised, tolerant society,. It said the media should play its role by raising awareness about women’s rights protected by these laws, by reporting illegal customary practices, persuading law enforcement agencies to take notice of such crimes, and motivate police to arrest and prosecute perpetrators. Members of the CCP urged the parliamentarians to set examples in their own constituencies by vigilantly monitoring the conduct of their constituents in this regard. This will ensure implementation of these laws and earn them the votes of the women, the CCP release said. CCP Chairperson Nasira Iqbal said, “The real guarantees of the protection of women are demonstration of respect for their rights by the political leaders who can then deserve to be elected as role models”. STAFF REPORT for increasing pecuniary (monetary) jurisdiction of the original site of the Islamabad High Court from Rs 10 million to Rs 100 million. Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Moula Baksh Chandio moved the bill. Meanwhile, three reports were also laid in the House. Functional Committee on Problems of Less Developed Areas Chairman Senator Dr Abdul
Hindu trader killed in quetta for not paying ransom QUETTA: A Hindu trader of Quetta was killed by his captors on Tuesday for not receiving a ransom of Rs 20 million. Ravi Kumar had been abducted by armed men in broad daylight around three months ago from Satellite Town. Later his captors demanded Rs 20 million from the family and had then reduced the demand to Rs 10 million. However, when the family could not meet the demand, the captors killed Ravi and threw his body an area close to Western Bypass. The body was found last night and was handed over to the family after identification. SHAHZADA ZULFIQAR
a shared aim: all children reading
DR MARILYN WYATT Today, more than 70 percent of children in primary schools of Pakistan cannot read at the appropriate grade level. During the last decade, Pakistan has made great progress in improving children’s, and especially girls’, access to schools. But during this time there has been more limited emphasis on the need to improve the quality of education in classrooms. Pakistani children, like children everywhere, deserve an education that will provide a solid foundation for their future success. A quality education gives students the cognitive skills they need to earn a living and contribute to their country’s prosperity. Chief among these necessary basic skills is reading, the essential building block of lifelong learning. Good reading skills greatly help children improve their language skills, which in turn underlie their ability to understand mathematics, sciences, history, and culture. Research shows that reading competency in the early grades is critical for continued success in higher-level classes. Globally, studies show that student achievement has a direct correlation to a country’s economic growth. A 10 percent increase in the number of students achieving basic literacy translates into a 0.3 percent increase in a country’s annual growth rate. So Pakistan’s future is truly being determined today in its classrooms. As more children learn to read, Pakistan’s economy achieves a solid foundation that can result in a better standard of living for all. The US Agency for International Development, or USAID, recently embarked on a historic journey to help 100 million children around the world read better by 2015. As part of this strategy, USAID is working in partnership with World Vision and AusAid on an exciting initiative known as “Grand Challenge in Development: All Children Reading.” The pur-
pose of the initiative is to support better reading skills among children. “All Children Reading” will bring together the world’s brightest minds to generate meaningful approaches to improving primary grade reading as rapidly - and on as wide a scale - as possible. Designed to focus on innovations in teaching, classroom evaluation, and education materials, the Grand Challenge will encourage proposals that harness the power of mobile technology to deliver results. Here in Pakistan, the US government is already working closely with civil society groups and the Pakistan government on various innovate approaches to children’s reading. For example, through a partnership with Rafi Peer Theatre Workshop, we are supporting Sim Sim Hamara, a new television show on PTV that will be launched in December. Through colorful puppets and culturally sensitive programming, Sim Sim Hamara will reach young children all over Pakistan to help them develop basic reading and number skills. In addition, we have recently announced a new programme to promote reading skills among more than 700,000 children in Sindh province. We have supported the development of nearly 50 community libraries throughout Kashmir, so children of all ages and all income levels have access to books. We are also supporting the Children’s Literature Festival, which is taking place in Lahore this week under the auspices of Oxford University Press and Foundation Open Society Institute. This is the first literature festival for the children of Pakistan and, by showcasing many talented writers and fun activities, will encourage development of the life-long habit of reading. Alongside many Pakistani partners, my colleagues and I at the US embassy are proud to be part of these many initiatives that are helping Pakistani children learn to read. We look forward to a continued increase in the numbers of children who are learning to read and who, eventually, will be applying that skill to lifting the country’s prosperity. So to all of you who are reading this article: I encourage you to pledge to read to a child in the next 24 hours! Learning by example is the best way to learn, and there is no better way to encourage a love of reading in children than by sharing time together over a good book. Dr Marilyn Wyatt is the wife of the Ambassador of the United States, HE Cameron Munter
Malik presented a report of the committee for the period from November 2009 to July 2011, Standing Committee on Communications Chairman Mir Wali Muhammad Badini presented a report of the committee for the period August 2010 to August 2011 and the standing committee on commerce chairman presented a report for the period October 2009 to June 2011.
News 09 education key to future: KP governor PESHAWAR STAFF REPORT
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Governor Barrister Masood Kausar on Tuesday said education is the tool to both make a nation and develop the country. During his addressing as chief guest at the CeCOS University of IT & emerging Sciences Convocation 2011. Kausar said, “education includes a well-rounded insight into national challenges and universities are the ground where solutions are sought to these challenges. education is also incomplete without combining it with co-curricular activities.” The ceremony was also addressed by Provincial Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs Syed Aqil Shah and University President engr. Tanvir Javed. Around 200 students graduated with 24 receiving gold medals for achieving distinctive positions. Minister for Sports & Youth Affairs Syed Aqil Shah highlighted the various steps taken to promote sports facilities and encourage youth to contribute to the nation building process. He said a large programme to promote technical education was in the pipeline and ten youth hostels will be created in different parts of the province. earlier, CeCOS President engr. Tanvir Javed welcomed the governor and the guests and explained the evolution of the CeCOS education system. He said the initiative began in 1984 and as it stands 17,000 graduates had passed out. He said the current enrollment was 3,000 with 350 faculty members, with 12 PhDs in the field of engineering.
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Rabbani, Kulsoom expose govt’s claims on devolution ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT
The federal government faced embarrassment during the Senate proceedings on Tuesday as two treasury members, Raza Rabbani and Kulsoom Perveen, accused the federal government of violating the devolution process by not handing over Shaikh Zayed Hospital to the Punjab government while Senator Muhammad Ali Durrani accused Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani of fanning lingual hatred in South Punjab. “If Shaikh Zayed in Quetta is handed over to the Balochistan government under devolution, why the same hospital in Lahore is not being devolved to the Punjab government? The federal government should give both provinces equal treatment,” said BNP-Awami Senator Kulsoom Perveen. On a point of order, Senator Zahid Khan and Abdul Haseeb Khan sought the chairman’s ruling on continuous absence of ministers from the House. Haseeb said Cabinet Secretary Nargis Sethi was humiliating the special committee on drug regulatory authority (DRA) and despite his repeated calls and a letter, Sethi had not responded. He said the secretary was reluctant to provide the committee with a list of federal government hospitals devolved to provinces. Senator Rabbani offered to assist the committee, saying that there was a dispute between the federal and the Punjab governments on Shaikh Zayed Hospital which in his view must be handed down to Punjab after devolution. He said the commission had also drafted a law for DRA and he had successfully taken on board all four provinces but the issue could not be resolved once the commission had been dissolved. Senator Ishaq Dar accused the federal government of adopting an “egoistic approach” over the issue. He alleged that Punjab was being given step-motherly treatment and the Punjab government would move court if the matter was not resolved. He also offered to mediate between federal and Punjab governments to resolve DRA and other disputes about devolution process. Senate Deputy Chairman Jan Mohammed Jamali directed Nayyar Hussain Bokhari to hold a meeting with Dar and Rabbani to resolve the issue today (Wednesday). Meanwhile, former information minister Senator Durrani accused Prime Minister Gilani of fanning lingual hatred among the people of South Punjab in clear violation of the articles 3 and 33 of the constitution by making hollow claims of creating a Saraiki Province. Speaking on a point of order in the Senate, Senator Durrani demanded the government hold a referendum in Bahawalpur division on the issue of revival of Bahawalpur province. “Though the referendum has been misused in the past for perpetuating the martial law rule by successive dictators, hence, it is a responsibility of the government to use this instrument to get to know the public pulse and the will of the masses,” he asserted.
PESHAWAR: A Sikh community leader from Khyber Agency on Tuesday announced to join the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) after quitting the Awami National Party (ANP). Addressing a press conference, Sahib Singh expressed his confidence in the leadership of Imran Khan, saying the ANP-led provincial government had completely ignored the problems of the minorities, particularly the Sikh community. PTI Central Political Adviser Shaukat Yousafzai, provincial leaders Mian Mukarram Shah, Yaseen Khalil, Iftikhar Mohammad Jhagra, party workers and a large number of Sikhs were present on the occasion. Singh, a twice elected member of the district assembly, said that he along with other Sikhs were joining the PTI after quitting the ANP because of its government’s failure to resolve their issues. He pointed out that the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Legislative Assembly had not passed any specific bill for minorities in the province. Shaukat Yousafzai and Iftikhar Jhagrha welcomed the Sikhs into their party, saying the PTI would resolve the problems of the Sikh community after coming into power. STAff reporT
Students recount horrors of ‘madrassa’ imprisonment KARACHI
A R A C H I Police said on Tuesday they had rescued 53 students, including children as young as seven, who had been chained in the basement of a madrassa raided by security forces in the Sohrab Goth area. Former students including an eight-year-old told AFP they were regularly beaten at the school, which was equipped with chains, hooks and a warren of basement rooms. The head of an education federation called it a “torture cell”. Police said 21 teenagers were among those found during the raid on the self-styled madrassas. Two children aged seven and another aged about eight were among those rescued, Karachi Police Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Naeem Akram told AFP. Police said the students were chained up because they were drug addicts whom the madrassa “wanted to rehabilitate”, but many details remain unclear.
The three-storey building is in northern Karachi, isolated from the city’s congested and densely populated areas, meaning there were no neighbours who could corroborate details of the police raid or the conditions inside. The basement was a maze of rooms, according to an AFP photographer, while an AFP reporter saw chains and hooks. Accounts given to AFP by students and relatives indicated that impoverished families believed the madrassa could offer treatment to drug addicts and a religious education to the youngest boys. Azmatullah, a 17-year-old student, said his father sent him there because he suffered fits and could be violent. “My father took me to several spiritual healers who said I was a victim of black magic,” Azmat said. “Three months ago I was admitted here,” he told AFP. “My father pays Rs 3,000 per month to the madrassa as a fee to make me a normal person, but I still suffer from fits and despite that they kept me chained and beat me with sticks ruthlessly,” Azmat added. Mohammad Ashraf said he had
sent his eight-year-old son Mushtaq Ahmed to the madrassa believing he would receive a religious education. “I didn’t know the madrassa management would beat him so mercilessly. I will no longer keep my son in this madrassa,” he said. His son, Mushraq, said the teachers beat the students daily. “I don’t know why they kept young children with adults here,” he added. Police official Akram Khan told AFP it was a “complex situation” and there would be “no clear picture until police collect all the evidence”. “Relatives of the elder boys and men say they had sent them for drug addiction rehabilitation, while younger children’s relatives say they were sent for religious studies,” he told AFP. Hanif Jullandhri, head of a federation of Pakistani madrassas, told a private TV channel that the premises was not registered. “We strongly condemn this and urge the government to take the harshest possible action against its owners. The government should investigate how such torture cells are established and operated,” he said.
Govt has clear stance against Mohmand attack, says Gilani ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT
Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on Tuesday said the NATO attack on Pakistani posts was an unacceptable infringement on the territorial integrity of Pakistan and the government had taken a clear stance on the issue. He expressed these views in a meeting with Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Chairman General Khalid Shamim Wyne, who called on Gilani at the Prime Minister’s House. The two discussed the overall security in the country in the aftermath of the Mohmand incident. ”Pakistan wants peace and friendly relations with other countries based on mutual respect and national interests stemming from the best practices of diplomacy,” the prime minister said, adding that the nation stood by the armed forces and was ready to offer any sacrifice for the defence of national frontiers. He added that the resolutions of the joint session of parliament and All-Parties Conference clearly manifested the national resolve to protect the security of the country. General Wyne said security forces of the country were fully alert to defend the country, adding that any amount of sacrifice would be rendered to preserve and uphold the sanctity of the motherland.
rApe in lAWyerS’ chAmberS
no lawyer in Sialkot ready to take case g
Police claim victim changing statements g Lawyers claim alleged victim trying to blackmail ‘entire Sialkot lawyers community’ SIALKOT ARIF MEHMOOD SHEIKH
The case of the alleged forced rape of a female client by a local lawyer at his chamber remains in the limbo with police claiming the case was weakening due to the victims’ change of statements while the victim was running door to door to seek justice against police. ‘PRESENCE OF ACCUSED NOT PROVED’:Speaking to media, SP (Investigation) Sialkot Nasir Muneef Qureshi said, “The one and half month long police investigation by senior police
officials had been unable to prove the presence of the accused lawyer on the scene of the crime.” Qureshi said the victim had been changing her statement regularly. Subsequently, he claimed the forced rape of a female client was not possible but could only be possible via the consent of the alleged victim. He said the Sialkot police had kept their doors open for the victim and the accused lawyer’s DNA had been sent for testing at a chemical laboratory at Lahore. He said the accused lawyer was on bail before arrest granted by a local session court at Sialkot.
‘SIALKOT POLICE SUPPORTING THE ACCUSED’: However, struggling to get justice, the alleged rape victim Sumera Bibi alleged Sialkot police were supporting the accused lawyer. She said no lawyer was ready to fight her case despite her knocking at every door. Speaking to media, the accused lawyer Malik Amjad Ali Mongar Advocate refuted the allegations leveled by victim Sumera and said he was not in office when the alleged rape is said to occur. He said Sumera had been unable to prove his guilt before either police or the special probe team of the Sialkot District
Bar Association (DBA). He said Sumera was demanding Rs 0.5 million to “patch up” and withdraw the case. He said after a special probe, a special committee of the Sialkot DBA comprised of senior lawyers Mian Muhammad Azhar, Syed Liaqat Binyameen and Chaudhry Muhammad Ilyas had termed her statements ‘dubious’ after recording statements from both parties. CHARACTER ASSASSINATION: Mongar condemned the alleged character assassination by Sumera Bibi and announced he would file a Rs 50 million defamation suit against her in a local
court. During the press conference, other Sialkot lawyers condemned Sumera and claimed she was blackmailing both Mongar and the entire community of lawyers in Sialkot and therefore no lawyer was ready to take her case. According to the FIR by married woman Sumera Bibi on October 26, 2011 (one and half months ago), she was forcibly raped by a local lawyer Malik Amjad Ali Mongar at the upper portion of his chamber in front of the office of the District Police Officer (DPO) at District Courts, when she had gone there to get discussed a case.
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Editor’s mail 11
Foul means in examinations everybody knows, from parents to teachers, to boards and university officials that the political pressure groups have infused the Kalashnikov culture, indiscipline, lack of interest in studies, torturing and killing the students belonging to opponent political parties. Such students have become jailbirds, killers, dacoits, car lifters and kidnappers of businessmen for ransom and whatnot. In fact, these shameless unpatriotic political parties have really spoiled the future or our future generation just for their selfish interests. They
Neglected women police
encourage students and provide facilities to adopt foul means in examinations. Armed political parties and religious organisations are not patriotic and they have rendered the life of law abiding citizens miserable. All these armed youths are mostly students of universities, colleges and religious schools and usually do not attend their classes of study. At the time of examinations, they use foul means, like cheating, copying and bribes. When they are caught red-handed, they openly re-
sort to violence and give threats to invigilators and in some cases the invigilators were badly beaten after the examination hours but the government miserably failed in providing the victims any protection. Under these circumstances, the invigilators have started to accept money, allowing students to copy using their sweet will and pleasure. In fact, our examination system is defective and needs to be changed. Students normally study solved papers as questions in examination papers
are mostly from these past papers. examinations have lost their importance and the students who get through in the examination really have no progress in their general standard of knowledge. even our graduates cannot properly write job applications. It is really a pitiable condition and our government has to take proper action to raise the standard of education and save the future of the students and our country’s from being doomed. SANA ASLAM Karachi
We, the (educated) youth Using abusive and foul language on public forums of media and social media, death threats, character assassination, intimidating remarks, are now some of the noted traits of our so-called parah likha agent of change, the youth. We call ourselves literate yet we disrespect elders, we quote our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) everywhere yet we disrespect women publicly, we claim to bring revolution yet we don’t give freedom of speech and expression. Is this is called a nation building? Are we the educated youth? Are we the future of Pakistan? If yes, then we must admit that are future is very dark. Unfortunately, our youth is moving in the wrong direction as they have become intolerant and aggressive yet they call themselves educated. And whom should we hold responsible for this alarming situation of our youth, of our future? Why our “educated youth” has become hostile and antagonistic? It is surprising to see that this “educated youth” that has become fanatical has studied from reputed colleges and universities. Is it the educational institutes that have collectively failed to deliver what they were supposed to deliver or is it the ongoing political battle in the name of change, making them or encouraging them to be more violent, for their own political motives? I am sorry to say but Imran is also responsible for making our youth intolerant, only for his political mileage. In his public gatherings he does not hesitate to use abusive language and from name calling. Just by saying words like change, revolution, he will never be able to bring any change.We must be human first, only then can we be an agent of change. MARYAM KHAN Lahore
Should this happen? Will someone explain whether Bilawal should get daily brief from PM in the PM House daily? Does our constitution allow this? His party would not hesitate in installing him as a leader since no one is protesting against this. IMRAN RAFI Rawalpindi
Women police officers are the most neglected part of the police department in the present situation. They have very few authorities and cannot even lodge an FIR. First of all, the presence of women in the police force is at a minimum, which is probably estimated at less than five percent. The limitations of female police officers not only is a problem for the citizens, but has also hindered the institution in performing its responsibilities efficiently. Women constitute more than half of the population; they feel comfortable to approach female police officers for reporting complaints and asking for assistance. It is imperative that reforms be carried out in the police structure to address these issues. YASIR HAMEED Islamabad
ethics for survival
At last... With the passage of two bills in the Senate regarding women rights, almost of 50 percent of Pakistan’s population can now heave a sigh of relief. Historic this legislation may be, what really matters is its enforcement. Shouldn’t these laws be
Is all hope lost? It’s needless to say that our country is plagued by countless issues today, one of them being corruption. Discussing corruption and how to eliminate it one day in my Political Science class at university, I came across a very pessimistic view held by my instructor who, bringing Imran Khan into the discussion (since one of his primary goals include eliminating corruption in Pakistan) said that it is a totally idealistic aim and will not bear fruit since corruption is so strongly embedded in the country that it is impossible to tackle it. end of the story. I thoroughly disagree with this. While I do not deny the fact that the issue of corruption mars the organisation and working of every institution of Pakistan
applied retrospectively to provide relief to the women who have already been made victims of barbarism in one way or another. SAMINA A Lahore
and it will obviously be quite impossible to root it out completely in a period of five years (If Khan comes to power that is), I do not believe that it is a totally idealistic thing to aim for. even if the process is not completed during the fiveyear period, I think one thing that we can surely achieve in the meanwhile as a nation is that we can become more aware of ways with which we can hold our rulers accountable for whatever they own and spend on. A classic example is the act of declaration of one’s assets which has empowered the common man to practically question his governors about their possessions and voice his reservations if he thinks them to be doubtful, something that had never been done before. Also, if the policy comes out to be functionally
successful but faces the problem of being given a limited time to achieve its goal, the succeeding government can continue it so that there is no disruption in the process and we can achieve what we had aimed for in the beginning. ZAINAB SHUMAIL Lahore
elephant and the needle “Former Ivory Coast president faces International Criminal Court over violence that left some 3,000 people killed.” One of the oldest stories in Ivory Coast goes like this: Once an elephant went through the eye of a needle except that its tail got stuck up in the eye. Z A KAZMI Karachi
We live in a country where political infighting is on, where might makes the right, where rules are for fools, where huge amount is being spent on personal projection and publicity, where nothing is being done to improve the living conditions of the people, where nothing is spent on the construction of basic infrastructure and institutions regarding health, education and communications, where everyday scores of innocent people are being killed either due to nonavailability of medicines in the hospitals or in road mishaps, where nothing is being done to improve the law and order in the country. In order to survive with dignity and honour in today’s world, we need strong ethics – to save and invest, not simply to consume; not simply to depend on loans, not simply waste time in television talk shows and in harangue and pandemonium in the parliament, we need to develop sophisticated skills, with an educated and a highly motivated workforce. As noted intellectual and writer John Stuart Mill has said: "What a country wants to make it richer is never consumption, but production. Where there is the latter, we may be sure that there is no want of the former." Indeed, a democratic political system with genuine representatives of the people in the parliament seems best suited to achieve this in this country of ours. Our egocentric politicians must pay attention to it and make this country stronger and democratic. HASHIM ABRO Islamabad Send your letters to: Letters to Editor, Pakistan Today, 4-Shaarey Fatima Jinnah, Lahore, Pakistan Fax: +92-42-36298302 E-mail: email@example.com Letters may be edited for length and clarity. It would be appreciated if letters were addressed to Pakistan Today exclusively.
I was not privy to the US’ oBL operation
By Wajid Shamsul Hasan
ver since the Memo scandal our media mongers whose previous almost daily predictions over the past four years about the demise of the democratic government had fallen flat, seem to have got yet another dose of oxygen in their life-support system. They are now hallucinating and misusing some of my first reactions following OBL operation on May 2, 2011 to launch a charge sheet against me. A section of the media has even ignored all professional ethics by twisting my clarifications to the media. They have been resorting to cherry-picking from my
comments to various channels subsequent to Osama’s killing. The media has ignored the mysterious circumstances in which Osama was killed. I would like to remind them that initially everything was overly shrouded in ambiguity following the OBL operation. Pakistan’s security institutions were subjected to most humiliating comments by some of the leading columnists and TV anchors for having miserably failed to defend the territorial sovereignty of the country. These renowned columnists and anchors had gone overboard in their criticism of the Pakistan army, the ISI and the government. Their comments were extremely unkind to Pakistan’s security apparatus. I distinctly remember that one of the most vocal editors in Pakistan then editing The Friday Times wrote on 6 May asking “was the national security establishment doodling” when the American helicopters were operating in Abbottabad. It was even accused of caught “pants down”. It was, indeed, painful for me
to see the unpatriotic dominant narrative. Whatever happens, we must stand together as a nation in unison and not blame each other in a moment of distress. And in the days right after May the 2nd, the Pakistani media was doing exactly the opposite and thereby trying to create fissures within the government institutions. It was distressing for me to see aspersions on Pakistan’s government, its civil and military leadership; that they had known about it prior to the operation. Since little was known of the 2 May operation, my immediate personal view was that as we had been sharing intelligence and co-operating with the US in operations against Al-Qaeda since 2002 onwards, we must have been kept in the loop by the US as we were frontline state in the war on terror. But unfortunately, we were not. And when we came to know of it I described it as being stabbed in the back by our friends. There could not be a stronger condemnation of the unilateral action of 2 May than this. That Pakistan was not taken
on board by the United States was later confirmed by the American administration when they said that except President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and a few others, no one else was taken on board from even within the US government itself. In my immediate reaction and comments to the media I had claimed that Pakistan had been helping the United States in tracking down Osama and without our help it would not have been possible for the Americans to find him. My assertion was confirmed by the government of Pakistan on 3 May in a press statement that states: “The government of Pakistan recognises that the death of Osama Bin Laden was an important milestone in fight against terrorism and that the government of Pakistan and its state institutions have been making serious efforts to bring him to justice.” It was in this background that President Obama in his statement thanked for all the assistance and support extended by Pakistan. It may be mentioned here that
the government of Pakistan had categorically denied the media reports suggesting that its leadership, civil as well as military, had any prior knowledge of the US operation against OBL on 2 May 2011. The above press statement further adds: “Abbottabad and the surrounding areas have been under sharp focus of intelligence agencies since 2003 resulting in highly technical operation by ISI which led to the arrest of high value Al-Qaeda target in 2004. As far as the target compound is concerned, ISI had been sharing information with the CIA and other friendly intelligence agencies since 2009. The intelligence flow indicating some foreigners in the surroundings of Abbottabad continued till mid April 2011. It is important to highlight that taking advantage of much superior technological assets, CIA exploited the intelligence leads given by us to identify and reach Osama bin Laden, a fact also acknowledged by the US President and Secretary of State in their statements. It is also
important to mention that the CIA and some other friendly intelligence agencies have benefitted a great deal from the intelligence provided by the ISI. ISI’s own achievements against Al-Qaeda and in War on Terror are more than any other intelligence agency in the world.” It was on the basis of our cooperation that the CIA was able to track down OBL and the courier who had been frequenting OBL compound. Had we had sophisticated technical know-how to detect Osama’s presence in that compound, we would have nabbed him first. However, the CIA did it because of its superiority in technology. What hurt us and amounted to stabbing us in the back was that we were not taken on board. This was stated by me time and again. The above is the factual and truthful position. At no stage neither I, nor the military, nor civil leadership knew about the operation. The writer is Pakistan’s High Commissioner to the UK
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12 Comment Political rat race Never too early for campaigning
hile the elections are scheduled for the beginning of 2013, what one sees happening around gives the impression of the major contestants preparing for the final weigh-in. Finding that the PPP leadership is lost in its labyrinth, PML(N) chief Nawaz Sharif visited Larkana for the first time in more than a decade. He managed to collect a number of waderas who carted their haris and servants to the public meeting much the same way as they used to transport them to Musharraf’s gatherings. Back in Lahore, he held a meeting with erstwhile PML(Q) secretary information Tariq Azeem who wished Nawaz had embraced Shujaat and Pervez elahi also. Later, Nawaz accompanied by Shahbaz and party bigwigs had a photo-op with the former Musharraf loyalist, which was a signal to other Q-Leaguers that Nawaz is willing to welcome them. The PPP and PML(Q) leaderships have meanwhile decided to take the issue of the Seraiki province to the Punjab assembly to strengthen their position in South Punjab. Both parties had for quite sometime discouraged their respective lawmakers from making the demand. Most interesting is the way the PTI led by Mr Clean who promised a break with the conventional politics is preparing for the elections. To silence the critics who called Imran a captain without a team, the PTI has opened its gates for all and sundry, irrespective of whether anyone has declared his assets or not. Scions of feudal lords, supporters of military rulers and turncoats who have jumped out of several sinking ships are all queuing up to join the PTI. The PPP, PML(N), PML(Q) are all providing a supply of ‘electable’ leaders to the PTI. This might help Imran win seats but what is stake is the projected image of the PTI as a party fighting for change. The PTI stands in danger of being dubbed as old wine in a new bottle. The PTI has been denied permission to hold its rally in Karachi on flimsy bureaucratic excuses. The Sindh government has to realise that attempts of the sort have failed to work even in countries like Tunisia, egypt, Yemen. Besides the fact that mobile phones, internet and access to Facebook and Twitter foil attempts to muzzle the opposition, Pakistan also has a tradition of political protest that no government has succeeded in suppressing.
Protecting our own On the pro-women legislation
aw and society, they have a mutually affective relation. While the former reflects and/or codifies the changing attitudes of the latter (for what is an elected legislature if not the representation of the will of the people), it can also be an instrument to bring about a change in these very societal attitudes. Hence, its both top-down and bottom-up. The anti-women practices bills passed by the senate can be characterised as more of the former: an affirmative effort by the government of the day to take up deviant practices that refuse to die out. While these laws should have come out a long time ago, it’s better late than never. The roots of some of the practices outlawed in the bills run deep. Nothing can signify this more than that not only are these practices prevalent here at home but also in the Pakistani diaspora (as the recent conviction of a Pakistani man and his son in Belgium for honour killing shows). The fact that they are widespread and have embedded themselves over time has given them de facto religio-cultural sanction – even though these practices are what would be considered wayward both culturally and religiously speaking. Thus, the best way to tackle them would be to institutionally criminalise them as has been done. Once such things are put in the books, it is inevitable that the effects trickle down and all but the most resilient attitudes give way. But the passage of this legislation is just one step. What good is a law if it is not implemented? The role of not just the judiciary but that of the law enforcement machinery is critical in this regard. Pakistan has often suffered from the fact that it has appropriate laws in the statute book but they are not implemented due to want of evidence or irregularities in the enforcement process. The Mukhtar Mai case also suffered on this count (amongst others) which led to the perpetrators walking free. The passage of this legislation is laudable. Our hapless republic has its share of oppressed minorities and the second sex is the largest one of them. One hopes that this legislation can mitigate the hard ground realities of violence against women.
Dedicated to the legacy of the late Hameed Nizami
Arif Nizami Editor
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Wednesday, 14 December, 2011
the rumour stock buy on the fly, sell on the news…
he news about President Asif Ali Zardari’s departure for Dubai on December 6 for medical treatment generated a string of rumours about his political future. Some rumours were about his incapacitating illness. Others suggested that he had gone abroad to save himself from the memo scandal that was being looked into by the Supreme Court. Others talked of the president being forced out of office by the military and that he would not return either for medical or political reasons. No morning newspaper was published on December 7 because of Ashura holiday. The private sector TV news-show anchor persons and participants filled the gap by strengthening the rumours directly or indirectly; some discussed the methods of his impeachment on health grounds while others talked about the implications of his long or indefinite stay abroad. Still others linked his illness with his earlier health problems, suggesting he might not be able to function as president or the party leader. There were a few By Dr Hasan Askari Rizvi who played cool and advised caution. This is not for the first time that Pakistani politics has been in the grip of rumours. In the earlier phase of civilian rule (1988-1999), rumours used to surface from time to time about the removal of the elected government. Only in four instances of dismissal of the elected governments by the president with the support of the army chief in August 1990, April 1993, November 1996 and October 1999 did these rumours turn into reality. An interesting situation developed in Islamabad on September 24, 2006. The countrywide electricity breakdown generated the rumours that the military had removed President General Pervez Musharraf who was also army chief at that time. This unusual news of the army staging a coup against its own chief lasted for a few hours. Rumours have become part of Pakistani politics.
Many people, especially some from the overcompetitive private sector media, push these rumours for drawing greater attention to their programmes or comments. Such rumours cause unnecessary mental strain to a large number of people and have negative impact on business and economic activity. Before the speculations about the president’s departure to Dubai, the politically active circles and the media were focused on the memo controversy as the most critical issue, pushing aside the problems of internal insecurity, terrorism, troubled economy and energy crisis. The politically active circles in Pakistan and the media were dancing around the statements of one person, Mansoor Ijaz, based in New York. As he realised that Pakistani media was wrapped around his little finger, he issued several statements that not only reflected his changing position but also dragged more issues and personalities in the controversy. His word was taken as the whole truth because he was targeting the people that were not liked by the opposition and many people in the media. This enabled the main opposition party, the PML(N), to stepup its campaign to remove President Zardari from office. On top of all this came the sudden departure of President Zardari to Dubai. The presidency and the official media people were unable to calm down the rumour-infested political environment. The abundance of rumours manifests the fragility of Pakistani politics, especially civilian political institutions and processes. These institutions are so weak and unsustainable that any speculation about their collapse or removal is viewed by the politically active circles as plausible until a new speculation overrides the old one. Another reason for the popularity of rumours is the non-aggregative nature of Pakistani politics. The political competitors have not cultivated the habit of agreeing on goals and strategies of political conduct. The political parties and leaders are mostly unable to aggregate diverse individual and group political claims into broad policy demands, thereby not moving in the direction of consensus-building on what is to be pursued as the key political issues. Non-aggregative politics intensifies conflict and weakens political institutions and processes. It hardens the cleavages based on ethnicity, language, region, religion, political agenda which in turn fragments the political process. Still another reason for the on-going political uncertainty and the overall absence of confidence in the future is the inability of the political players to rise above their partisan
interests. If the democratic institutions and processes do not help the achievement of partisan interests of a group it tends to question the legitimacy of the political process and institutions. In Pakistan, this trend is quite common when civilian governments are functioning. The PML(N) in its bid to oust President Zardari and the federal government feels that the parliament is not helpful. It does not have enough votes in the parliament to impeach the president or move a vote-of-no-confidence against the prime minister in the National Assembly. Therefore, it argues that the parliament has become irrelevant and it is endeavouring to launch street agitation. It would like a conflict to erupt between the federal government/presidency and the Supreme Court or the military, which would result in the collapse or removal of the federal government. The past experience suggests that whenever there is civilian rule, the opposition parties individually or collectively declare the federal government (irrespective of its party affiliation) as a security threat or launch movement for saving Pakistan from “anti-nation and anti-state” federal government. Nowadays, these strategies are again being initiated by various opposition groups Political parties and leaders are the guardians of elected civilian institutions and processes. If they decide to bypass or reject these institutions and processes in pursuit of their partisan interests, these cannot endure. Similarly, if a section of the political elite look towards non-elected state institutions like the military and the judiciary for displacing a civilian government, the future of democracy and civilian order can never be secure. The major threat to democracy and civilian political arrangements in Pakistan comes primarily from political leaders themselves who think that settling scores with their political adversaries is the top most priority. Perhaps one group may subdue the other but in this free-for-all struggle for power, all political players –in power or out of power – will lose to non-elected state institutions like the military, the bureaucracy and the judiciary. Pakistan’s civilian democratic order is more threatened today than ever before. The rumour-mongering is a symptom of a major political ailment that can take down all political forces which would have negative implications for Pakistan as a functioning federal democratic state.
The writer is an independent political and defence analyst.
on our national symbols Keeping some; replacing others
By Ali Aftab Saeed
've often wondered why hockey is our national sport. Cricket is more popular and it also has the additional advantage of the players' thighs being appropriately covered while the sport is played. I am sure popularity couldn’t have been the deciding criterion; it must have had something to do with the fact that we won a few hockey trophies pretty early and few things succeed like success. To be honest, I have never understood the utility of these national symbols, and will be perfectly happy if we were to dispense with most of them. However, if we absolutely must have them, don't you think it's time we subjected them to careful re-examination and suggested more appropriate and relevant ones? That is precisely what I intend to do. It has been a while since we set the world alight in any sport, so we
might as well dispense with the success thing and go for the sport that summarises us as a nation. I would recommend the Pakistani version of WWF-style scripted wrestling (noora kushti) as our national sport. We won’t find a better microcosm of the Pakistani political arena – the authorities including the referee and the security personnel often not only pretending to be looking elsewhere but unabashedly aiding a contestant at the detriment of the other if needed. Of course all this is done in good faith and for the longevity and success of the institution – noora kushti in this instance – for the audiences absolutely love the foul play. I am afraid the choice of Markhor as our national animal is again completely wrong. One, most Pakistanis don't have any idea what a Markhor is (the whole population knows what Sheermaar is). Two, it is on the verge of extinction and can't possibly symbolise a Godgiven nation-state that is here to stay. I propose the ubiquitous Gallus gallus, known more widely – in fact by 100% of the population – as chicken. There is no danger of either its getting extinct (thanks to the untiring efforts of Hamza Shahbaz) or the whole nation's love affair with it coming to an end any time soon. I must admit I have nothing against Chukar Partridge (Baanwari Chakori fame) as our national
bird. It's a symbol for intense, unrequited love - appropriately painting our love-hate relationship (love from us, hatred from them) with the US, Saudi Arabia, the UAe and other brotherly states. Chukar is also known to be enamoured by the moon and said to constantly gaze at it – an apt description for the propensity on the part of our masses of enjoying doing absolutely nothing. True, the more I look at our armed forces the strongly I am led to believe that a falcon symbolises us most accurately, but because PAF has already (rightfully) secured it for itself (Falcon Housing Complex, etc), I am happy with the Chukar. That said, the Chukar's reputation of displaying pugnacious behaviour during the breeding season disturbs me somewhat. I love our sabz hilaali parcham. I would love it even more if it was more sabz and more hilaali. I mean I have only two problems with it. One, the crescent as shown on our flag is a waning and not a waxing crescent. This is conflicting with our status as an emerging world player. Two, the white strip on the left is far too broad and gives the (wrong) impression that we have a considerable non-Muslim minority. This might easily put ideas in their heads and they might start taking themselves a bit too seriously. As for our national anthem, it should either be in Urdu
or in Arabic - Urdu is our national language and Arabic, our spiritual language (not to mention the important fact that it also happens to be the language of Paradise). Persian is unacceptable any which way you look at it. Faisal mosque is the biggest mosque in Pakistan and is therefore rightly celebrated as our national mosque (size does matter!). Besides, for good measure, it also houses – fittingly, in a symbolic way – arguably our greatest national treasure: our national CMLA, our only true Ameer-ul-momineen. I'd say the Faisal Mosque is, therefore, at least a national symbol and a half. Let's keep it that way. The more perceptive of my readers might already be wondering how to be sure our decision to replace a particular national symbol is justified. My proposed solution for this very valid question: Whether or not Nawaz Sharif moves the Supreme Court challenging a certain replacement should be considered the litmus test that settles the issue once and for all. I would even argue that we should extend this litmus test to the resolution of any and all moral issues faced by this nation at present or in future. The writer is a member of the band Beygairat Brigade that has recently released the single Aaloo Anday.
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Wednesday, 14 December, 2011
nato attacks One incident; many perspectives
By Shaukat Umer
ver the past two weeks, the sizeable community of analysts in this country has been grappling with the question as to what was the real cause behind the NATO attacks on the two Pakistani border posts in the Mohmand agency. Before proceeding further, it needs to be mentioned that in this context NATO is being depicted synonymously with the United States. While in the interest of technical accuracy, the attacks are being attributed to NATO but in commentaries, written or verbal, the protagonists leave no doubt that by NATO they mean the Americans. Just to refresh our memories, there are two distinct military commands in Afghanistan: the US’ and NATO’s. Whilst the two coordinate their military activities closely, it is not clear whether these can be treated as the same entity. For someone who lived in France during the era of General Charles de Gaulle, the synonymy does not come too easily yet since the conventional wisdom in this country believes otherwise we will shape this piece on that premise. The Pakistani military has been clear and consistent in its rendition of the events i.e. that there was no Taliban activity in the neighbourhood and, despite instant contact with NATO command after the first round of firing, a second and more lethal attack was launched causing twenty four deaths. The whole incident was, therefore, deliberate and pre-planned. Within Pakistan, this version enjoys broad acceptance. Consensus, however, is missing on the real reason behind this disaster.
Three strands of thought are detectable. A relatively small group believes that judgment should be withheld till the completion of the promised American inquiry of the incident and the announcement of its findings. This view apparently puts its trust in the fairness of the investigation and by that token would be prepared to accept the outcome at its face value. This viewpoint has just a handful of takers. Another view, with much larger subscription, is convinced that the attacks are a manifestation of a devious plan to transfer Afghanistan’s instability into Pakistan as part of America’s long term objective of neutralising its military and removing its nuclear assets. The logic in support of this version takes an interesting path. Such attacks, the argument goes, will unleash popular outrage forcing the government and the establishment to take stringent countermeasures which would be unsustainable either because these would lead to direct conflict with the Americans or invite debilitating multiple sanctions. In either case, the Pakistani military would be the major victim and the main loser. At an appropriate moment, the Indian threat would be activated putting the army in a nut cracker. The radicalisation and destabilisation of the state which this sequence of events would trigger would then enable the United States, if possible with Security Council backing, to take out our nuclear assets rendering Pakistan perfectly amenable to American dictates in the region. The Memogate saga is cited as supplementary evidence in support of this claim in that it is seen as an insidious attempt to create an unbridgeable chasm between the civilian and military leadership in Pakistan forcing the latter to openly take charge of the country. The stage would then be set to take the cleverly organised campaign of maligning the Pakistan army to its logical conclusion. The third group advocates a slightly more modest and prac-
tical motive for the attacks. According to this view, these were a test-run to gauge Pakistani reaction to a future onslaught against the Taliban sanctuaries in Waziristan consistent with the thinking of American generals that a military solution is both desirable and feasible: AfPak at its telling best, the relevance of Pakistan being defined in Washington’s calculus purely in terms of its utility in furthering American objectives in Afghanistan. Had our response been anaemic, the argument continues, a full scale attack on the sanctuaries would have followed. Pakistan’s robust reaction has pre-empted this eventuality. It would require stunning powers of clairvoyance to accurately depict the real cause of the attacks on our border posts. A diplomatic analyst can draw conclusions from hard evidence alone with the rest falling in the realm of speculation and conjecture The hard evidence so far available has two components; the unprovoked aerial attacks on our posts and an uncharacteristically strong reaction from Pakistan. The intensity of the response, unknown in the annals of Pak-US relationship which has had its share of past disruptions, lends credence to the prognosis that it was dictated by severe apprehension on our part in regard to US intentions. To what extent this apprehension was justified would depend on whether the United States chooses diplomacy or continued war in pursuit of its interests in this part of the world. For Pakistan, dialogue offers the only rational option with the view to convincing the Americans of the futility of further conflict. This would likely be facilitated by Pakistan shedding some of the delusional concepts that have, for long, characterised our approach to Afghanistan. The writer is Pakistan’s former Ambassador to the United Nations and European Union. He can be contacted at email@example.com
a taliban manifesto Policy guidelines for a new Pakistan
HeReAS Pakistan’s esteemed leadership has called for a review of the foreign policy and stated that we shall end duplicity and truly, openly, and sincerely support our key ally in the war on terror i.e. the Taliban; IN ORDeR TO align Pakistan’s domestic and external political strategy with the above-mentioned goal; It is hereby recommended that the following policy guidelines may be enacted as laws, namely: 1) Pakistan shall declare a war on terror against the United States of America: However, due to a shortage of resources and for reasons pertaining to military strategy, this war shall not be fought on American soil but instead on Pakistani territory. It is estimated that the Americans have a high degree of logistical capability in their home country. Further, it is also feared that our men may feel inclined to disappear in the battleground due to reasons including jobs, higher education and inappropriate influence by the local female population. It is, therefore, recommended that the war shall be fought at home, against religious minorities, resistant security officers, as well as passersby. Whereas revenge must be sought for any civilian or military martyrdom resulting from an attack made by the enemy, any casualties resulting from incidents of firing and explosions deemed part of the war against the United States shall hereafter be considered as collateral damage. By Harris Bin Munawar Domestic destruction of the enemy country shall be left to any Republican candidate that wins the next presidential election. 2) Pakistan’s territorial sovereignty must be protected at all times and at all costs: This clause shall not be applicable to violations of sovereignty by Taliban, AlQaeda and other allied groups. The following amendment shall be made to the visa laws: Military and customs officials shall examine and scrutinise all persons entering and leaving Pakistani territory by any means other than infiltration to and from Afghanistan. All visitors from europe and the US, particularly tourists and journalists, shall be considered enemy combatants. Visitors from Afghanistan, Central Asian states, China’s Xinjiang province and assorted Arab countries shall be allowed entry upon presenting a valid
Man bites Dog
assault weapon. 3) Pakistan’s economy shall be made in accordance with religious aspirations of the people: Primarily, it must be ensured hereafter that there be a complete ban on all economic activity based on interest. All citizens must show a clear lack of interest in the economic and official activity that they henceforth perform. Usury shall however continue in the banking sector under various fancy terms coined in the Arabic language. It shall be made illegal to be rich. The crime may be punishable by abduction for ransom. The government shall be declared the sole job creator. In accordance with cultural aspirations of the people, there shall be no work in any holy moth, as well as three months of summer and one month of winter. There shall be five one-hour prayer breaks during the work day. 4) The state shall crack down on moral turpitude in all its forms and manifestations: Whereas a sustainable resolution to a problem is not possible until and unless its root cause is addressed, women shall be removed from public life in all their forms and manifestations. At a suitable time in future whence the conditions are suitable, it shall be made a crime to belong to the female gender. This shall initially not be applicable to TV news anchors who work within their local gender role definition by speaking loud and initiating fights. Meanwhile, all such women who have been accused of moral discrepancies shall instantly be punished with flogging. All such women shall be considered equal before the eyes of law and no unfair discrimination shall be made on the basis of guilt or innocence. Allegations of moral turpitude against militant leaders and other influential people shall only be heard upon the presentation of four eyewitnesses and a judge willing to risk his life. Women who refuse to marry local or national militant leaders shall be dealt with sternly. Acid shall be available with the police department for this purpose. 5) There shall be an immediate ban on freedom of expression: The privilege of freedom of expression shall only be available in cases where the expression is in accordance with government policy and social norms. Blasphemy against religious figures and Imran Khan shall be punishable by death by lynching. All such suspects who have been accused of blasphemy shall have access to justice, except those belonging to religious minorities or speaking in favour of their perceived rights. Whereas most traditional media are already pursuing this policy, there shall be a strict oversight on the new media. Miscreants shall be followed closely on twitter, and shall not be allowed to run away and hide in secluded places like Google Plus. The writer is a media and culture critic and works at The Friday Times. He tweets @paagalinsaan and gets email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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14 Foreign News Suspicions cast on tycoon’s Kremlin candidacy
Wednesday, 14 December, 2011
Palestinian flag raised at UNESCO
MOSCOW: Russian tycoon Mikhail Prokhorov’s decision to stand against Vladimir Putin in presidential elections could be part of a Kremlin plan rather than a genuine challenge to the authorities, the press said Tuesday. Prokhorov announced on Monday he would be a candidate in the March presidential elections, adding new drama to the Russian political scene after mass opposition protests shook the authorities at the weekend. But several newspapers cast suspicion on his announcement, noting that Prokhorov maintains good ties with the elite and saying the Kremlin could want his candidacy to harmlessly soak up any protest votes against Putin. The Vedomosti daily quoted a Kremlin source as saying that Prokhorov’s candidacy was not unexpected for Putin as the tycoon had kept contact with the Russian strongman and his inner circle. The source described Prokhorov’s move as a “tactical decision” aimed at reducing tensions in society after the protests of the last week accusing the authorities of rigging this month’s parliamentary elections. “The authorities are trying to weaken the protest mood in society, experts believe,” the newspaper added. afP
Suu Kyi’s party wins legal status YANGON: Myanmar authorities on Tuesday gave the green light to Aung San Suu Kyi’s opposition to rejoin mainstream politics, setting the scene for the Nobel laureate to run for a seat in the new parliament. The announcement in state media follows a series of reformist moves by a new military-backed government dominated by former generals, who are now reaching out to political opponents and the West. Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) was stripped of its status as a legal political party by the junta last year after it chose to boycott a rare election, saying the rules were unfair. A brief announcement in the official New Light of Myanmar newspaper on Tuesday said that the country’s election commission had approved the NLD’s application to re-register as a political party. afP
Failed suicide attack targets Afghan airport HERAT: A suicide attacker blew himself up in western Afghanistan on Tuesday after police stopped him from gaining access to an airport, a provincial governor said. The suicide bomber was killed but there were no other casualties from the failed attack at the airport in Qala-i-Naw, the provincial capital of Badghis, Dilbar Jan Arman said. “At around 11am (0630 GMT) a suicide bomber on foot tried to enter Qala-i-Naw airport, but was stopped by police,” he said. “He detonated his explosives. Nobody was killed or wounded in the incident.” Qala-i-Naw was one of the areas that Afghan President Hamid Karzai announced last month would be handed from NATO to Afghan security control as part of a phased exit of Western combat troops from the country by late 2014. afP
UNeSCO admission is ‘first recognition of Palestine’, says Abbas
PARIS: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas attends the flag-raising ceremony for the Palestinian flag at the UNESCO Headquarters on Tuesday. UNESCO became the first UN agency to welcome Palestine as a full member. reUterS
He Palestinian flag was raised for the first time Tuesday above a UN agency, the UNeSCO headquarters in Paris, in a diplomatic victory won despite stiff resistance from the US and Israel. President Mahmud Abbas attended the event, just weeks after Palestine won admission to the UN cultural, education and science agency in a move that sparked fury and reprisals from Washington and Israel. UNeSCO says the flag-hoisting is a symbolic ceremony “to mark Palestine’s admission to the organisation” that takes place each time a new member joins. The Palestinians were admitted to the body in late October, when the UNeSCO general assembly voted 107-14 to make Palestine its 195th member. The result angered the United States, Israel’s staunch ally, which says the Palestinians must first reach a peace agreement with Israel before they can become full members of an international organization. US President Barack Obama said he had frank and firm words with his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy, voicing Washington’s disappointment because Paris had supported the Palestinian UNeSCO bid. UNeSCO membership has had no impact on the Palestinians’ bid for full UN membership. They would need nine votes out of 15 in the Security Council, but the United States has made clear that it would veto the bid. Meanwhile, Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas said Tuesday UNeSCO’s admission of Palestine was a key first recognition that he hoped others will follow, as the Palestinian flag was raised at the agency’s offices. “This admission is a first recognition of Palestine,” Abbas said at the flag-raising ceremony. “It is moving to see our flag raised today at a UN agency. I hope that this will be a good omen for Palestine’s admission to other international organisations,” he said. “Our admission is a source of pride. Palestine, the land where civilisations met... is having a new rebirth,” Abbas said.“Today we are members of UNeSCO and we hope we can have an independent state, living side-by-side with Israel in a spirit of peace,” he said. At the ceremony, UNeSCO chief Irina Bokova welcomed Palestine to the agency and said she hoped its admission would be a step toward peace with Israel. “A solution with two states living in peace and security has been long-awaited,” she said. “I want to believe that this admission to UNeSCO is a chance to show that peace is also built through education and culture.”
US protesters picket West Coast port OAKLAND AFP
US “occupy” protesters formed picket lines here early Tuesday after a day-long blockade of ports along the West Coast shut down a major trade cargo hub and threatened further disruption. Activists, opening a new front on the anti-capitalist campaign, had claimed victory Monday after one port was fully closed down, while freight traffic was disrupted at several others including in Oakland. Thousands of demonstrators had rallied after a day of action from Califor-
nia to Alaska. A group of around 150 activists in Oakland stayed up through the night and formed picket lines, aiming to disrupt workers arriving for Tuesday’s 3.00am (1100 GMT) shift. Seventy-five percent of longshoresmen in Oakland were sent home Monday due to companies shutting docks due to safety concerns in the area, said a International Longshore and Warehouse Union spokesman. The Port of Oakland had said in an end-of-day update that there had been disruptions and delays at “several” of the port’s seven terminals during the day, and a few chose to close
early to avoid further disruption. Further north all operations were shut down at Portland, Oregon, authorities there said as darkness fell. “The terminal gates are closed with no truck traffic. An estimated 325 local longshore labor jobs were impacted today,” it said, adding that police “continue to be on hand to assist Port security officers with crowd control.” But by the afternoon the Port of Long Beach said there had been “minimal impact to port operations” during the rain-soaked demonstration by several hundred protesters at one of the world’s largest shipping ports. “Most
freeways, bridges and port access routes remained open, and all shipping terminals were operational during the protest,” a port statement said. The protests were most high-profile in Oakland, where authorities wrote an open letter to protesters urging them not to shut down a port which handles around $39 billion in imports and exports each year. “The port is connected to over 73,000 jobs in the region and more than 800,000 across the country. These are not just numbers. These are good jobs held by real working people and working families,” it said.
obama should apologise for downed drone: Iran g
Defence minister says US drone now Iran’s ‘property’ g Cheney says obama should’ve ordered strike to destroy drone TEHRAN/ WASHINGTON REUTERS
US President Barack Obama should apologise for sending an unmanned spy plane into Iranian territory rather than asking for it back after it was seized, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Tuesday. Iran announced on December 4 it had downed the spy plane in the eastern part of the country, near Afghanistan. It has since shown the plane on television and said it is close to cracking its technological secrets. On Monday, Obama told a news conference: “We have asked for it back. We’ll see how the Iranians respond.” Iranian officials had already said they would not return the drone. “It seems that (Obama) has forgotten that
our air space was violated, a spying operation conducted and international law trampled,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told a news conference. “Instead of an official apology for the offence they have committed, he is raising such a demand. America must know that the violation of Iran’s air space can endanger world peace and security.” Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi told the official IRNA news agency: “The US spy drone is the property of Islamic Republic of Iran. Tehran will decide what it wants to do in this regard.” Parliament issued a resolution calling the drone incursion “evidence of international terrorism and a blatant violation of international law by the aggressor America,” and said Iran might seek reparations
from Washington. Iran has already complained to the UN Security Council about the incursion, calling for action to “put an end to these dangerous and unlawful acts. NATO’s International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan initially said the plane may have been an unarmed US reconnaissance drone that went missing during a mission over western Afghanistan. But a person familiar with the situation has since told Reuters in Washington that the drone was on a surveillance mission over Iran. Iran’s judiciary announced on Tuesday it had issued indictments against 15 unidentified people held on suspicion of spying for the United States and Israel, the official IRNA news agency reported. Republican presidential candidates in the United States
have upped rhetoric on a possible military strike against Iran, something Israel says it may carry out as a last resort to stop the Islamic Republic getting the bomb. Meanwhile, former vice president Dick Cheney criticised Obama, saying the president should have ordered an air strike to quickly destroy the drone to prevent Iran from examining the high-tech aircraft. “The right response to that would have been to go in immediately after it had gone down and destroy it,” Cheney said an interview with CNN. “You can do that from the air. You can do that with a quick air strike. And, in effect, make it impossible for them to benefit from having captured that drone,” Cheney told CNN’s “erin Burnett OutFront” program. US HOUSE-SENATE PANEL AGREES
ON NEW IRAN SANCTIONS: Leaders of a US House and Senate negotiating panel said they had agreed to compromise legislation imposing new sanctions that target Iran’s central bank, despite the Obama administration’s misgivings over the measure. They said they hoped to pass it this week. The lawmakers, the leaders of armed services committees from both political parties, said they had made some changes sought by the administration. Still, Levin said, “we have written this language so it’s tough. We want it to be tough” in an attempt to pressure Iran to give up its nuclear program. He said he hoped President Barack Obama would sign it into law once it clears the House and Senate, which it is expected to do later this week.
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Wednesday, 14 December, 2011
Foreign News 15
Canada first nation to pull out of Kyoto protocol g
Canadian government says targets were never attainable g france, China, Japan term Canada’s decision ‘regrettable’ OTTAWA
ANADA on Monday became the first country to announce it would withdraw from the Kyoto protocol on climate change, dealing a symbolic blow to the already troubled global treaty. environment Minister Peter Kent broke the news on his return from talks in Durban, where countries agreed to extend Kyoto for five years and hammer out a new deal forcing all big polluters for the first time to limit greenhouse gas emissions. Canada, a major energy producer which critics complain is becoming a climate renegade, has long complained Kyoto
is unworkable precisely because it excludes so many significant emitters. “As we’ve said, Kyoto for Canada is in the past ... We are invoking our legal right to formally withdraw from Kyoto,” Kent told reporters. The right-of-center Conservative government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, which has close ties to the energy sector, says Canada would be subject to penalties equivalent to C$14 billion ($13.6 billion) under the terms of the treaty for not cutting emissions by the required amount by 2012. “To meet the targets under Kyoto for 2012 would be the equivalent of either removing every car truck, all-terrain vehicle, tractor, ambulance, police car and vehicle off every kind of Canadian road,” said Kent. environmentalists
quickly blasted Kent for his comments. “It’s a national disgrace. Prime Minister Harper just spat in the faces of people around the world for whom climate change is increasingly a life and death issue,” said Graham Saul of Climate Action Network Canada. Kent did not give details on when Ottawa would pull out of a treaty he said could not work. Canada kept quiet during the Durban talks so as not to be a distraction, he added. Kent said Canada would work toward a new global deal obliging all major nations to cut output of greenhouse gases China and India are not bound by Kyoto’s current targets. The announcement will do little to help Canada’s international reputation. Green groups awarded the country their Fossil of the
Year award for its performance in Durban. Canada is the largest supplier of oil and natural gas to the United States and is keen to boost output of crude from Alberta’s oil sands, which requires large amounts of energy to extract. Meanwhile, China and Japan said Tuesday Canada’s decision to quit the Kyoto treaty on greenhouse gas emissions was “regrettable” and called on it to continue abiding by its commitments on climate change. “It is regrettable and flies in the face of the efforts of the international community for Canada to leave the Kyoto Protocol at a time when the Durban meeting, as everyone knows, made important progress by securing a second phase of commitment to the Protocol,” China’s Foreign Ministry
spokesman Liu Weimin said at a news briefing. While also describing the decision as regrettable, Japan’s environment minister Goshi Hosono urged Canada to stay with the pact, saying the Kyoto framework included “important elements” that could help fight climate change. Canada’s decision to withdraw from the Kyoto protocol is “bad news” for global efforts against climate change, the French foreign ministry said on Tuesday. “Canada’s announcement that it is withdrawing from the Kyoto protocol is bad news for the fight against climate change,” ministry spokesman Bernard Valero told journalists. “It is out of the question to relax our efforts or to break the dynamic of the Durban agreement,” he said.
Syria death toll hits 5,000 as insurgency spreads Blast hits gas pipeline in Homs Authorities kill ‘terrorist’ infiltrators from Turkey, 11 civilians g
AMMAN /TEHRAN AgENCIES
More than 5,000 people have been killed in nine months of unrest in Syria, the UN human rights chief said, as an insurgency began to overshadow what had initially been street protests against President Bashar al-Assad’s 11-year rule. Navi Pillay reported the death toll to the UN Security Council as 1,000 higher than the previous toll just 10 days ago. It includes civilians, army defectors and those executed for refusing to shoot civilians, but not soldiers or security personnel killed by opposition forces, she said. The Syrian government has said more than 1,100 members of the army, police and security services have been killed. Syria’s actions could constitute crimes against humanity, said Pillay, issuing a fresh call for the council to refer the situation to the International Criminal Court. “It was the most horrifying briefing that we’ve had in the Security Council over the last two years,” British Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant said after the session, which was arranged despite opposition from Russia, China and Brazil. The sharp rise in the death toll is bound to lend weight to those arguing for increased international intervention to stop the bloodshed in Syria. In the latest violence around dawn on Tuesday, security forces shot dead 11 people and wounded 26 others in Idlib, a northern protest hotbed, the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. At the flashpoint central province of Homs, an explosion set a gas pipeline on fire on Monday, the second reported pipeline blast in the area in a week. “The fire lit the night sky,” said a resident who gave his name as Abu Khalaf. State news agency SANA said the pipeline, near the town of Rastan, supplied gas to an electricity power plant. SANA also said border guards foiled an attempt by “an armed terrorist group” to cross into Syria from Turkey on Monday, the second such reported incident in a week. It said they shot dead two of the 15-strong group. IRAN LAWMAKERS PASS SYRIA FREE TRADE BILL: Iran’s parliament on Tuesday passed a bill for a free trade agreement with Syria in a show of support for President Bashar al-Assad’s regime beset by protests and international pressure. The bill provides for free trade between Iran and Syria within the next five years, according to Iranian state television. Both countries are subject to international sanctions on their economies. The bill was introduced into parliament as an emergency procedure by Iran’s government. Allaedin Boroujerdi said the proposed pact was “a firm response” to the United States and its allies “investing billions of dollars to change the political structure of the Syrian government.” Syria is Iran’s main ally in the Middle east. Iranian officials, however, have recently criticised repression by Syrian security forces.
DHAKA: Hundreds of bangladeshis gathered at the University of Dhaka campus on Tuesday in a rally to commemorate the bangladesh Liberation War and to pay tribute to the intellectuals and professionals killed during the independence war in 1971, on the eve of the 40th anniversary of bangladesh’s independence. reUterS
China halves executions to about 4,000 a year BEIJING AFP
Tunisia’s opposition veteran Moncef Marzouki on Tuesday was sworn in as the country’s first elected president since the north African nation’s revolution sparked the Arab Spring. “I will be the guarantor of national interests, the state of laws and institutions,” Marzouki said with his hand on the Quranas he took his oath before the constituent assembly that elected him president on Monday. “I will be faithful to the martyrs and to the objectives of the revolution,” he said, almost a year after the start of the mass protests that ousted strongman Zine el Abidine Ben Ali and sparked popular revolts that also toppled dictators in egypt and Libya. “Other nations are watching us as a laboratory of democracy,” he said, clad in a traditional camelcoloured tunic on top of a white shirt and blue jacket. “The main challenge is to attain the revolution’s goals.” Visibly moved with tears in his eyes the 66-year-old who a year ago was living in exile solemnly promised to be the “president of all Tunisians.” “Our mission is to promote our Arab-Muslim identity and be open to the world. To protect the veiled (women) and girls in niqab as well as those who aren’t veiled,” he said, adding that he would safeguard health, education and women’s rights. Calling for national reconciliation, he also challenged the opposition “to participate in the nation’s political life and not confine itself to a role of observer.” Marzouki was elected with 153 votes in the 217-member constituent assembly, with three of the 202 deputies present voting against, two abstaining and 44 opposition members casting blank ballots. The north African country’s new president was Ben Ali’s bete noire throughout his political career and was forced to live in exile in France for a decade. Marzouki’s first order of business will be to name a prime minister, with Hamadi Jebali, the number two of the moderate Islamist ennahda party, expected to get the nod.
China has halved its executions since 2007, when its high court began reviewing death row cases, but still puts around 4,000 people to death every year, a US campaign group said Tuesday. The exact number of people executed in China every year is a state secret, but according to Amnesty International, the country puts more people to death than the rest of the world put together. The rare data, compiled by San Francisco-based campaign group Dui Hua, is partly based on a claim by a Chinese legal scholar at the quasigovernmental think tank, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, that executions have been halved. Dui Hua executive Director John Kamm said the figure, which is nearly eight times the 527 Amnesty International says were executed outside China in 2010 was still far too high. Beijing has taken measures in recent years to rein in the use of capital punishment, including requiring the country’s supreme court to review all such sentences before they are carried out. Most executions are imposed for violent crimes such as murder and robbery, state media have said, but drug trafficking and some corruption cases are also punishable by death. earlier this year, China eliminated capital punishment for some economic crimes, including tax fraud. The amendment also exempted from capital punishment anyone over the age of 75 at the time of trial, unless they had committed murder “with exceptional cruelty”.
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Wednesday, 14 December, 2011
Veena slams death
DILIP KUMAR’S 89TH BIRTHDAY MUMBAI: Bollywood celebrities attend legendary actor Dilip Kumar (Muhammad yusuf Khan’s) 89th birthday celebrations. afP
from ‘stone age’ Pakistan MUMBAI
eeNA Malik has hit out at the ‘stone age’ attitudes in her home country Pakistan over the death threats she received after she allegedly posed nude for the cover of FHM magazine. She claims the magazine airbrushed out the thong she was wearing. But her ap-
pearance has led to accusations of betraying her country; her father has disowned her, and she has received death threats. A text message sent to local journalists by ISI’s public relations machinery complained that the affair was “the height of humiliation for Pakistan, on Indian soil”. Veena has all along accused FHM of morphing her photos. The actor and the magazine have been suing each other for three million pounds in a bitter exchange of lawsuits. She has also hit out at the “stone age” attitudes in her country and argued that no one is willing to hear her side of the story. “If some mullah on the TV today says shoot the girl, they will shoot me. But the guy who removed my clothes using some technology, at least say something against him,” the Guardian quoted her as saying. “This attitude, I’m sorry, is in the society. When they say they have become modern, grown up, that’s wrong. They still live in the stone age,” she said. The actress said that she was wearing the bottom half of a bikini during the photo shoot and denied that she was even topless, as her hands were hiding her assets. “My choice was a bikini shoot. And I did a bikini shoot. They removed my bikini, later on. It was not a topless, and not a nude, shoot. It was a completely covered shoot,” she said. “When the upper portion of the model is completely covered, by the hands, you can’t call it topless,” she added.
Chelsea Clinton makes debut as TV reporter NEW YORK AgENCIES
After a lifetime of guarding her privacy, Chelsea Clinton made her debut as a reporter on national television Monday with a feature about a non-profit organization dedicated to poor children in Arkansas. Clinton, 31, appeared poised as she reported the feel-good segment on Annette Dove, a volunteer who takes troubled youngsters in the poverty-struck city of Pine Bluff under her
wing. “Hi Chelsea, we’re so glad to have you!” Dove exclaims on camera in the pre-recorded report, which
aired on NBC’s ‘Rock Center with Brian Williams’ show. At one point, Clinton and Dove discuss hearing gunshots in the rundown neighbourhood. After, Clinton appears in the NBC studio and tells the presenter: “I’m really grateful to be here with you.” Saying that she “did deliberately lead a private life” until now, she explains she was “cajoled” by her recently deceased grandmother to become more public and said “I hope I will make her proud.”
Dilip with Ranbir, Rishi and Subhash Ghai
Saira, Shah Rukh, Dilip and Priyanka
Salman, Dilip and Govinda
Roshans find hot villainess for
Winslet’s ex claims he was
‘not treated well’
MUMBAI: The Roshan camp has been working really hard to get the cast and crew for the new ‘Krrish’ sequel together. Apparently, Rakesh Roshan had been on a hunt for a sexy bombshell to play the negative role in the film. After a lot of chase, he has finally found the ideal sexy villainess aboard and it is none other than the TV host and actress Shaurya Chauhan. The hot siren is supposedly going to play a negative role in the film. Her character will be glamorous and gray at the same time. Before ‘Krrish’ sequel, Shaurya will be seen in her debut venture, ‘Sadda Adda’. An insider said, “The ‘Krrish’ team was looking for a sexy actress to join the cast. Shaurya is already known as the feisty stunt girl in the industry due to her stint as a host of a reality television show.” Interestingly, Shaurya has already shot for the first schedule of Roshan's film. “The ‘Krrish’ makers have asked her to get into an extreme workout regime. They have also enrolled her for three months of gymnastic training,” added the source. ZEENEWS
LONDON: Kate Winslet's former lover, Louis Dowler, is yet to come to terms with the break up and the way he was so brutally discarded. Nearly three months after he was unceremoniously dumped by the Oscar winning actress when she took up with Richard Branson's party-loving nephew, Dowler admitted that it was "still very raw" for him. "I don't think Kate behaved well and it is still very raw for me," the Daily Mail quoted him as saying. "I was in love with her and you can't switch that off overnight," Dowler said. "I'm not sure Kate treated me well," he said. "Kate came home with me to Cornwall and we just hung out together. She met my parents and family. I thought we were inseparable. I certainly haven't found anyone else since," he said. The Burberry model
says that at first he was blissfully happy with Kate when they met after her split from film director husband Sam Mendes. "I don't want to go into details but it wasn't a straight forward break-up.” AgENCIES
Ritesh, Genelia to enter
matrimony on Feb 5
MUMbAI: The wedding date of Ritesh Deshmukh and Genelia D’Souza is out. The couple is all set for a fairytale wedding on February 5, 2012, sources confirmed. Ritesh and Genelia have been dating for almost a decade and ever since they made their Bollywood debut with the film ‘Tujhe Meri Kasam’, their bonding only grew. Buzz has it that the wedding is going to be a 4-day gala affair. A friend of the couple said, “The wedding celebration will last for four days. February 3 is the Mehndi celebration; on 4th, they’ll host the sangeet ceremony; 5th will be the wedding and 6th is the reception. In fact, they have already booked two suburban five-star hotels for the functions.” Although both the families wanted to keep the marriage a low key affair, the guest list is expected to be very big, considering the fact that Ritesh’s father Vilasrao Deshmukh was the former CM of Maharashtra. “Ritesh and Genelia are in a very happy space right now. They are keeping plans of their honeymoon very hush-hush. However, both have taken two months off from their respective shooting schedules for the wedding and the honeymoon,” added the friend. ZEENEWS
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17 ‘Overload Live at the Apartment’
Dilip with wife Saira Banu and Bachchans
Waheeda and Dharmendra
Dilip with Priyanka
He ‘band-wagon’ of Overload’s Farhad and Shiraz, along with Shahzad Hameed, Farhan Ali, Haroon Shahid and Hassaan, was on its way to Lahore on the Motorway in March this year. The guys were all in a mutually upset state of mind. They had been jamming for days and even nights, preparing one set that they were supposed to perform live before a tightly packed audience, and another for more to follow during the same show, who were waiting in desperate queues right outside ‘Kuch Khaas’ in Islamabad. They were low on sleep, angry and disappointed because of the unexpected rain-pour at the Open Air Auditorium there, and that too just a little after the plug-ins and sound check were complete, and they were ready to rock the place! This time around, apart from living up to their reputation as the ‘loudest rock band of Pakistan’, their track line-up also included three softer songs, being U2’s ‘One’, and a couple of Stereophonics’ pop-rock numbers, ‘Maybe Tomorrow’ and ‘Dakota’. Being the ‘Do or Die’ enthusiast that the founder, drummer and now vocalist too that Farhad Humayun is, he came up with an idea. Upon returning to Lahore, the jam room at the guy’s apartment was the venue, Hassaan had his camera rolling, and the rest of the boys had their instruments tuned and plugged in, all set to play. The three covers scheduled for the mellow rock performances were done, and recorded. Smiling, Farhad says, “‘Overload Live at the Apartment’ was never a preconceived project. Its emergence was more of a coincidence in fact.” Considering the undeniably unpredictable circumstances of Pakistan, due to which either live concerts do not happen in the
first place, or they get cancelled, the band decided to upload the videos on YouTube. The first of their weekly episodes, with the ‘Maybe Tomorrow’ cover got 2000 hits: not bad at all! Now this was NOT an original Overload song, neither was performed only by the regular members, with Farhad (on vocals and drums), Shiraz Siddiq (on keyboards and backing vocals), Shahzad Hameed and Haroon Shahid (lead and acoustic guitars/backing vocals, respectively) and Farhan Ali (bass). Both these factors resulted in yet another reinvention of the band, and created hype among fans and the otherwise audience too. Also, the home production element and inclusion of the public in ‘Behind the Scene’ scenes of the making of some great music was something people could relate to more. Overload as a band own the credit of having introduced a new genre, namely ‘Instrumental’. According to Shiraz and Farhad, the two permanent members, “Not that this is our band, but the sound we make is unique to the distinctive identity of Overload.” Since it was founded by Farhad in 2004, they have had 3800 live performances across the globe, and the band has gone through a radical evolutionary process of its
signature music style since. From an intense diversity of drum beats to promoting artists including international exposure to Pappu Saaein, the best acclaimed dhol player in the world, to the introduction of the ‘rock star persona’ of Meesha Shafi (formerly a fashion model), to Farhad’s work on some of Atif Aslam’s important productions (musical arrangements and band synchronization), to the release of ‘Neray Aa’, it has been a crazy, mad journey! Apart from these factors, Farhad is of the view, “Overload has always been a platform for different musicians. I think the Apartment project serves as a step towards building up the (demolishing) music industry, since things started changing drastically here, particularly after the Musharraf regime.” So far, the first season of Overload’s ‘Live at the Apartment’ has uploaded ten videos on YouTube. Following the first three are ‘Babe I’m Gonna Leave You’ (Led Zepplin cover), ‘Here I Go Again’ (White Snake cover), ‘Dream On’ (Aerosmith cover) and ‘Vichar Gae’ (original) by the band. Other bands, one in each of two episodes of the season have been Alterego performing ‘The Kill’ (30 Seconds to Mars cover) and Symt with their original ‘Zamana’. A collabora-
which was awesome. I believe it is a good platform for providing creative freedom to musicians generally, and also underground bands like in our case.” Overload has not only been working already with raw talent before, but plans to encourage those that ‘have it in them’ to come out in the open, and be heard. Farhad speaks of a brilliant 16-year-old guitar player, whom also they shall do music with in the future. The latest song at the Apartment sessions that came out recently and has made big waves is ‘Neray Aa’. It is basically a rock version of the original Punjabi song from the hit Syed Noor film ‘Choorian’, and gave a whole new outfit to the image of the song, and a brand new outlook to that of the band itself. The video shot for this is also a value addition to the audio, featuring celebrity friends and including a versatile visual treatment of the glam look implied with styling by Khawar Riaz and creative body paints plus costumes by Ali Zishan. Khawar Riaz comments, “This was a firsttime experience for me to do this kind of a project, but it was so much fun and I’m glad to see the way it turned out and caught the public’s attention.” The characters in the video for ‘Neray Aa’ comprise a sort of a human jungle, with celebrities such as Aminah Haq, husband Ammar Belal, model Sabina Pasha, and also amateur, rising artists like actress Zainab. Sabina is of the view that this is a wonderful way of paying tribute to our rich Punjabi culture, and also to the Pakistani film industry, that is so much in doldrums for a while now. Currently, Overload does 3 days of jam and recording, and then uploads their weekly YouTube video towards the weekend. “There are definitely new ideas both in the making, and in the pipeline for the Apartment project,” Farhad Humayun confesses only this statement on that for now. And from the look of the band’s track record and mad musical journey, there seem to be good developments up the founder’s sleeve! The writer is an inquisitive soul and seeks to study life at its purest, for which she explores different forms, the primary being poetry, music, visual arts and sociology.
Dad thinks I’m
Bipasha has taken
fitness to a different level: Neil MUMbAI: Actor Neil Nitin Mukesh says all his co-stars in ‘Players’ had to be highly fit during the filming of the action thriller, but Bipasha Basu gave fitness a different meaning. “If I talk about ‘Players’, I think all of us had to stay fit specially for the film because it is an action film. everyone had to concentrate on their fitness level,” said the 29-year-old actor. “As far as Bipasha and Sonam Kapoor are concerned, both of them are looking very beautiful in the film and Bipasha has taken fitness
tion done with Club Caramel, ‘Rolling in the Deep’ (Adelaide cover) with Kiran Chaudry on the vocals, got 10,000 hits in its first week in episode 9. ‘Vichar Gae’s melody was arranged so as to add a flavour of the classical sound of the clarinet by Ustaad Jaffer Hussain. This blended so perfectly with the traditional Punjabi lyrics, alongside the rock-and-roll impact of the guitars and drums, that it even inspired an Indian online channel to “borrow some musical tips”. For ‘Vichar Gae’, Kenny was on drums and Umair Nadeem on the guitars. “Just because we are the ‘Loudest Band of Pakistan’ does not mean we do not ever listen to, for example, Tony Bennet,” Farhad remarks. ‘Overload Live at the Apartment’ follows the founder’s agenda of being true to your passion for musical expression. It was not meant to be, and hopefully would not turn into a commercial tactic to entice music lovers or aspiring musicians for the sake of money-making. In fact, it is an Indie scene with a cult following already gathering up gradually. Sharing his experience of the seventh episode, Asim Khan, the lead guitarist in the band Alterego mentions, “I got to play with people with more exposure than us in the music industry,
to a different level,” added the actor. Directed by Abbas-Mustan, ‘Players’, an official remake of Hollywood hit ‘The Italian Job’, will release Jan 6. It also stars Abhishek Bachchan, Bobby Deol and Sikander Kher. AgENCIES
headstrong, says Sonam
MUMbAI: Sonam Kapoor and Abhay Deol are all set to work together yet again. And while, many think that this is a big step for the young actors since their fallout after the release of ‘Aisha’, Sonam herself reveals that it wasn’t her but her father who was upset with Abhay’s unsavoury remarks about him. Sonam said that she always thought Abhay was “the most talented actor” and that they had stayed in touch even when he was in Spain shooting for ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’. “He said something weird about my dad. I didn’t like it. But to be honest, it’s between my dad and Abhay,” said the same actress who had earlier expressed her shock over Abhay’s comments about Anil Kapoor. The actress who clearly stays separate from her father’s affairs also stated that being a star kid has not really helped her in her career. “My dad is crazy. He thinks I am headstrong. But I always have this thing...I have to do everything on my own,” she added. But when it comes to dressing, Sonam is totally dependent on her sister Rhea. “I am all covered up in the film and yet I look sexy. The entire credit goes to Rhea,” said Sonam. AgENCIES
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Wednesday, 14 December, 2011
Kvitova, Djokovic named ITF World Champions Page 22
Razzaq insists he still has fire in him LAHORE STAFF REPORT
Renowned cricket all-rounder Abdul Razzaq said the performance of the Pakistan cricket team is improving day by day and he can represent the national team for further three years. Abdul Razzaq was talking to the media here at the Allama Iqbal International Airport on the occasion of leaving for Australia where he will participate in their domestic cricket. He said that the performance of the national team has improved and its series of victories will help Pakistan a lot in the forthcoming Malaysia Cup and the Twenty20 World Cup. The all-rounder further said that he can play T20 and one-day cricket for two to three years more for Pakistan and during this period he will try his best to transform his experience to newcomers.
Bangladesh team’s visit likely soon LAHORE STAFF REPORT
Bangladesh could become the first international cricket team to tour Pakistan since the Lahore terror attacks in March 2009. Bangladesh look set to be the first team to venture back to Pakistan, with highranking officials confirming talks are underway for a tour in March. BCB chief Mustafa Kamal was reported to have said: "We are seeking the ICC clearance to play the series in Pakistan." The two sides are currently playing each other in Bangladesh, with Pakistan having won the sole Twenty20, three onedayers and the first of two Tests.
Inter-Academy Hockey dates changed
Younus vaults into fifth position LAHORE STAFF REPORT
AKISTAN batting’s mainstay Younus Khan has climbed to fifth in the ICC Player Rankings for Test batsmen after his double-century set-up an innings and 184-run victory for Pakistan in the first Test against Bangladesh. The 34-year-old, whose triple-century against Sri Lanka at Karachi in February 2009 had put him in number-one position, has moved up 11 places to claim fifth position behind Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara, South Africa’s Jacques Kallis and england duo, Alastair Cook and Ian Bell. Mohammad Hafeez and Asad Shafiq, who also scored centuries in the Chittagong Test, have also made upward movements. Hafeez has gained 12 places and is now in 47th position, while Asad has moved up 20 places to claim 63rd spot. Spinners Abdur Rehman and elias Sunny improved their rankings after good performances in the Chittagong Test. Abdur Rehman, who had figures of 3-9 and 4-88, has jumped 13 places to 22nd position while Sunny, who took 3-123 in Pakistan’s only innings, has jumped 14 places to 53rd spot. New Zealand’s fast bowler Doug Bracewell’s stellar performance in the Blackcaps’ sensational seven-run victory in the Hobart Test has lifted him 50 places to 39th position. The 21-year-old Bracewell had figures of 3-20 and 6-40 which turned out to be the cornerstone of New Zealand’s first Test victory in Australia in 26 years. Bracewell is now New Zealand’s third highest-ranked bowler after Daniel Vettori (seventh) and Chris Martin (up by one place to 16th). The other notable bowlers from the Hobart Test to improve their rankings are Australia’s new ball pair of James Pattinson and Peter Siddle.
The second edition of the PHF Inter Academy Hockey Championship, which was scheduled to be held from December 17 to 31, has been rescheduled due to four-match series between Pakistan and Chinese hockey team from December 19 to 26. Now, the second PHF Inter Academy Hockey Championship will be held at Sialkot Hockey Stadium, Sialkot from December 27 to January 10.
SYDNEY Australian batsman Shaun Marsh has been withdrawn from the team to play India in a tour match next week and is unlikely to be fit for the opening test on Dec. 26, Cricket Australia said on Tuesday. The 28-year-old’s ongoing injury problem is a blow as he had been expected to compete for a place in the Australian top order, which is under intense scrutiny after Monday’s first test defeat to New Zealand since 1993. Marsh, who scored a century on his test debut in Sri Lanka in September, has not played since injuring his back in the first test against South Africa last month, which Australia lost after being skittled for 47 in the second innings. He had been selected to play for a Chairman’s XI in Canberra in India’s second tour match, which starts next Monday, but has now been ruled doubtful for the Boxing Day test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).
The strongest candidate to take over as head coach of the Pakistan cricket team, Dav Whatmore, has made it clear to the PCB that he wants full authority and powers in selection matters if he accepts the job. According to a PCB official Whatmore had made his demands very clear to them. The member said in discussions with the committee head, Whatmore had said if he was to coach the team he wanted final authority in selection. The member said the committee had conveyed Whatmore's demand to the PCB which is now considering the matter. "Apparently, Whatmore is aware that former foreign coaches, Richard Pybus, Bob Woolmer and in particular, Geoff Lawson faced many issues with the national selectors in selection of teams and playing eleven," the report said. It said that Lawson had clashed with former chief selector, Salahuddin in 2008 after which both were not on talking terms until the Australian was sacked. Whatmore, who has coached the Sri Lankan and Bangladesh teams, is apparently aware of the culture in the PCB. The PCB is already facing a catch-22 situation whether to bring in the new coaching staff before the england series or to continue with the winning combination of captain Misbah-ul-Haq and interim coach Mohsin Khan. Pakistan's former captain, Aamir Sohail has also weighed in with his advice to the board to retain Mohsin and not change the winning combination of the Pakistan team. "I think we have experimented with foreign coaches in the past and we should now utilise the coaches we have in the national academy. Mohsin has done a good job and I see no reason for changing him before the england series," Sohail said.
no decision on Kaneria’s future till february
LAHORE STAFF REPORT
Mushtaq predicts England v Pakistan spin battle
Marsh unlikely to be fit for first India Test
Siddle, who won the ICC emerging Cricketer of the Year award at the LG ICC Awards in Johannesburg in 2009, has gained three places and is now in 13thposition while Pattinson, a 21-year-old from Melbourne, has jumped 31 places to 41st position following his match figures 34.5-10-105-8. The bowlers’ list is headed by South Africa’s Dale Steyn with england’s James Anderson second and Morne Morkel of South Africa third. Australian opener David Warner is the biggest mover in the ICC Player Rankings for Test batsmen as his unbeaten century in Hobart lifted him 131 places to 70th position. Warner, adjudged man of the match, carried his bat while scoring 123 runs that came off 170 balls and included14 fours. The other batsmen to head in the right direction from the Hobart Test are all New Zealanders and include captain Ross Taylor, Dean Brownlie and Kane Williamson. Taylor, who was New Zealand’s top scorer in the second innings with 56, has gained two places and is now ranked 21st while Brownlie has moved up 12 places to 55th position after scores of 56 and 21. Williamson contributions of 19 and 34 have helped him move up six places to 68th spot. Meanwhile, South Africa and Sri Lanka go head to head in the three-Test series at Centurion from Thursday with both the sides eyeing upward movements. South Africa currently sits in third position on 116 ratings points, one behind India, while Sri Lanka is in fifth spot, 17 ratings points behind. If South Africa wins the series by 2-0 or better, it could leapfrog India into second position, while Sri Lanka’s victory by 1-0 or better might put it ahead of Australia in fourth position. The teams ranking on the Championship table will largely depend on how the AustraliaIndia series pans out. To find out exactly how South Africa-Sri Lanka series will affect the Championship table, please click here.
Whatmore won’t join without full authority
The Pakistan Cricket Board remains tight-lipped about the future of leg-spinner Danish Kaneria after learning that his ties with an Indian bookmaker remain the subject of scrutiny by the ICC's anti-corruption and security unit and the essex police. No one in the board is willing to say anything on Kaneria beyond the fact that his case could be decided by late January. It is learnt that the ICC ACSU and essex police have looked into Kaneria's alleged friendship with an Indian Arun Bhatia, who is also said to be on the list of people suspected of shady dealings. Kaneria is accused of introducing his essex teammate Mervyn Westfield to Bhatia. The PCB has not cleared Kaneria for Pakistan selection since last year after he was questioned by the essex police with Westfield over a spot-fixing probe into a Pro-40 match involving essex and Durham in late 2009. The bowler also filed a petition in the Sindh High Court earlier this year
against the PCB's refusal to clear him as he claimed the ICC and essex police had found him not guilty in the spot-fixing probe. The court, however, dismissed the petition on technical grounds saying it didn't have the jurisdiction to rule on the petition and Kaneria should approach the Lahore High Court where the PCB head office was located or the Supreme Court. A source said a clear picture on whether Kaneria was clear in the spot-fixing probe would emerge in January when Westfield went on final trial for his role in the whole affair. "The PCB has been informed by the essex police and authorities that the trial of Westfield will be completed within two to three weeks in January during which it will become clear whether Kaneria is required for further questioning for his friendship with Bhatia," the source said. Kaneria also met new Chairman of the board Zaka Ashraf to plead his case
ness today. “It will depend on what sort of pitches are prepared for the series but I sense they will give assistance to the slow bowlers. “But Swann and Ajmal are bowlers of a quality who can trouble anyone, even on even tracks. Swann has been brilliant for england in the last two years.” Ahmed, who played 52 tests and 144 one-day internationals, said he enjoyed working with the english cricket set-up as
they had a very disciplined system. “For me, coaching is a profession and my first job is to see in this series that the english spinners do well. emotions become secondary when you are working as a professional,” he said. The two sides play three tests and a one-day and Twenty20 series, which is taking place outside of Pakistan due to security concerns.
Former Pakistan leg spinner Mushtaq Ahmed, who is now employed in a coaching role with england, has predicted a battle of spin between the two countries when they meet in an upcoming series. Mushtaq has been working as a spin bowling consultant with england for last three years and was recently given a fresh two-year contract by the england and Wales Cricket Board. He will join the england team in the United Arab emirates on January 4 as they prepare for a test and one-day series against Pakistan in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. “england has been preparing hard for this series and I have tried to convince them that they must learn to depend on spin if they want to win in the Asian region,” Ahmed told Reuters. “I see this series as a big challenge for the english and Pakistani spinners and there is going to be tough competition between Swann (Graeme) and (Saeed) Ajmal, who are the best off-spinners in the busi-
but was told to be patient and wait until January. The PCB has quietly also sidelined Kamran Akmal and Wahab Riaz after they were also mentioned in the spot-fixing trial held in London involving banned and jailed Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer.
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LHC disposes of plea against PTV LAHORE
He Lahore High Court on Tuesday disposed of the petition challenging a deal of Pakistan Television Corporation (PTV) with Ten Sports TV for sub-licensing of broadcasting rights of ICC cricket matches for 2012-2015. The petition was filed by Independent Music Group SMC (Pvt) Limited (Geo Super) against the deal. While disposing of the petition, Justice Umar Ata Bandial observed that PTV should decide the deal of rights licensing on merit
giving broadcast rights to highest bidder in an auction. The judge directed the petitioner company Geo Super to approach PTV in one week with its bid for the deal and if the petitioner fails to do so, PTV will be free to decide the matter in favaour of any company on merit. The counsel for Geo Super told the court that it has security deposit of US$ 2 million in hand for the bid. On previous hearing the court had stopped PTV from concluding the deal with Ten Sports. The petitioner said the International Cricket Council (ICC) had granted rights to broadcast cricket events to
eSPN, a sports channel, which further granted rights to different entities belonging to different countries on a fouryear basis. He submitted the petitioner had earlier acquired broadcasting rights for Pakistan on cable and satellite from eSPN (Mauritius). The counsel submitted that after expiry of the rights, eSPN invited bids to broadcast ICC cricket events in Pakistan for four years including the ICC World Cup 2015 wherein the petitioner also approached. However, PTV also approached eSPN with the highest bid offer of US$
30 million for both cable and satellite broadcasting rights, the counsel said. He said that PTV had entered into a back to back arrangement with Ten Sports, a channel owned and controlled by a foreign media group, Zee Network, to exclusively acquire broadcasting rights and PTV would sub-licence the rights to its joint venture partner. He said that the petitioner, on October 27, 2011, wrote a letter to PTV and offered a joint venture on terms which were being offered to the Indian channel. However, PTV rejected the offer on commercial basis without giving any cogent reason, he added.
PCB seeks ICC’s clearance for Wahab LAHORE STAFF REPORT
The Pakistan Cricket Board is seeking clearance for fast bowler Wahab Riaz from the International Cricket Council. It has been learnt that the PCB has contacted the ICC to consider Wahab’s case. “If cleared by the ICC, he is likely to be selected for england series,” a source said. Wahab Riaz was sidelined from Pakistan selection since his name popped out in spot-fixing trial in London which resulted in jailpunishment of the Pakistan trio – Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Asif and Salman Butt.
He said that PTV had signed a memorandum of understanding with Ten Sports without observing cordial formalities, inviting public offers, which were mandatory for a public organisation. The counsel contended that PTV, being a public organisation, was duty bound to act in accordance with the constitution and law. He said that PTV could not enter into any arrangement for the sale of any public rights/property without observing the process of law. He prayed the court to issue directions to PTV to sublicence rights after observing legal formalities.
Mobilink Foundation supports Mini Special Olympics LAHORE: The Mini Special Olympics for special students is to be held in Faisalabad and Mobilink Foundation supported the Universal Day of Special Persons. The event was organised in collaboration with Tanzeem-al-Lissan, a voluntary organisation working for the uplift of special children in Faisalabad, with over 500 special student athletes participating in a variety of competitive games. Mobilink Foundation Torchbearers helped organise the event, distributed prizes amongst the winners and spent the day with the participants, encouraging them to never give up and to always hold onto their dreams. Omar Manzur, Director PR and CSR, Mobilink stated, “Mobilink remains at the forefront of supporting the deserving through the Mobilink Foundation; and the dedication of our Torchbearers highlights the spirit of volunteerism amongst Mobilink employees. STAFF REPORT
amar Cables victorious in SPM League LAHORE STAFF REPORT
Amar Cables beat Siddique Motors by 93 runs in the third SPM Lahore Veteran Cricket League at the Ali Garh Ground. Amar Cables scored 264/4 in 30 overs. Dastgeer Butt 123 not out, Aziz-ur-Rehman 53, Zahid Umar 22 & Muhammad Arif 14. Naveed Sufi 2/64, Ali Rafi 1/22 and Azmat Tanveer 1/31 wickets. In reply, Siddique Motors were 171 all out. Afzal Butt 42, Ali Rafi 46 and Rashid Butt 29 runs. Amar Cables bowlers Shafqat Butt got 3/36, Tariq Rasheed 2/27, Shokat Ali 2/23, Muhammad Hafeez 1/35 & Muhammad Arif 1/1. Khurram Siddique, Jameel Shah, Masood Ahmad and Qasim Shafique was the scorer. In the end chief guest Faheem Malik gave away the man LAHORe: Chief guest Faheem Malik gives away the man of the match award to Dastgeer of the match award to Dastgeer Butt. Amer Butt as Amer Ilyas Butt looks on. Staff PHoto Ilyas Butt was also present on the occasion.
Rijas/PeSSI, Adisseo advance in MM Polo Cup LAHORE: Rijas/PeSSI and Adisseo won their matches of the MMA Polo Cup here at the Lahore Polo Club ground on Tuesday. Rijas/PeSSI beat Guard Group 6-5½ while Adisseo defeated Hira Valves 9-3 ½ For Rijas/PeSSI, Ahmed Ali Tiwana and Atif Yar Tiwana did their best to earn the win with four and two goals respectively. However, they received tough response from Taimur Ali Malik (four goals) and Hamza Mawaz Khan who scored one goal from the losing side that also enjoyed half a goal advantage. Hira Valves despite having one-and-a-half goal advantage lost the initiative when they were beaten by Adisseo by nine goals. Bilal Haye with five goals was the highest scorer of the day and he was supported by Adnan Jalil Azam and Abdul Haye Mehta who shared two goals each. STAFF REPORT
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Kvitova, Djokovic named ITF World Champions
Novak Djokovic of Serbia and Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic have been named ITF World Champions for 2011. Djokovic won the Australian Open, Wimbledon and US Open in a stellar year in which took over as the topranked men’s player, finishing with a 70-6 overall record. Djokovic, the first man other than Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal to be given the award since 2003, says “starting with victory in last year’s Davis Cup final, this has been an almost perfect 12 months for me.” The 21-year-old Kvitova won Wimbledon and led the Czech Republic to victory in Fed Cup, ending a breakthrough year as the secondranked player in the world.
PCF to hold 30km race on 18th LAHORE
LONDON: Chelsea's Ivorian striker Didier Drogba (L) vies with Manchester City's Italian striker Mario Balotelli (R) during their english Premier League match. afP
A tragedy for Islamabad sports lovers
Tennis star Samir seeks govt’s help
The Punjab Cycling Association in collaboration with Shaheen Cycling Club is holding a 30km Ordinary Cycle Race. The race will be held on December 18 at 6.30 am from Pabara Stop, Ferozepur Road to Kaanakacha and back. According to an official, this is an open race and anyone can participate.
KRL down NBP in PPL LAHORE STAFF REPORT
KRL gained full points with win over NBP in the 8th Pakistan Premier Football League on Tuesday. KRL beat NBP 3-1 at Jinnah Football Stadium, Islamabad with the wining goals coming from Muhammad Adil 21st minute, Kaleem Ullah 62nd minute and Kamran Ahmed 90th minute while the losing side got its share of goal from Abdul Aziz in 44th minute. In the other match of the league, WAPDA and KeSC played a one-all draw at the Railways Football Stadium. KeSC played a draw after WAPDA took lead in the 28th minute of the match when their mid-fielder Zulfiqar Ali Shah got an open house but KeSC responded through striker Muhammad Rasool in the 44th minute. Meanwhile, in the 8th Pakistan Football Federation League (2nd Division, Faisalabad University FC beat Baloch Quetta FC 2-1 at the Punjab Football Stadium. Faisalabad University FC got its share of goals from Usman Manzoor and Muhammad Burhan in the 29th and 65th minutes of the match while Baloch Quetta FC came on level terms in the 49th minute through Rafique. Wohaib FC beat Young Blood Sahiwal 3-0 at the Punjab Football Stadium later in the day. Wohaib FC scorers were Nauman, who got two goals in the 66th and 81st minutes while Faheem (MF) brought the third goals in the 73rd minute.
SLAMABAD residents are outraged at the goings on at the city’s celebrated Multi Purpose Sports Center. The center was inaugurated four years ago and was managed by an internationally known sports management company. Very quickly, the “Multi” as it came to be known, became the sporting heart of Islamabad. every month football leagues were organised in which up to 48 teams participated on its astro turf field. Islamabad Open tennis tournaments were held annually as were basketball events. Sports activity continued until the early hours of the morning on the weekends. To top it off, the management company earned for CDA, over Rs four million in profits. None of the other 18 sports facilities has ever paid a penny
to the CDA. After three years, as the Multi was beginning to earn a profit, the CDA sports authorities stepped in. They insisted that the Supreme Court had ordered that the facility be run by the CDA itself albeit they conveniently ignored that the other 18 grounds continued to be run by citizen committees or teams. About a year ago, the CDA took over the facility. They told the management company that since they were to be given the facility back in due course, the CDA would use its offices, generators and even some staff, because the CDA found themselves incapable of running the facility. In no time, the facility deteriorated to the extent that none of the grounds and courts were playable. Players were getting injured and the CDA was lucky to avoid lawsuit by people injured because of the lack of maintenance of the grounds. To make things worse, the CDA officials neglected
paying the electricity bills for the past year and eventually the electricity was disconnected. The center has now lost all its activities. No tournaments or leagues have been held in the past year. In fact, all sports activity has ground to a halt. Instead of earning money, the CDA Sports now owes several lakhs of money to WAPDA, as well as a large amount to the previous management in the shape of deposits and for the use of their equipment and staff. What started out as an exemplary sports facility renowned all over the country as a well organised, clean place where people could come for an evening of sporting relaxation, has been turned into a disaster by the greedy and rapacious CDA employees. The new Chairman CDA should take immediate notice of this state of affairs before the club members come out on to the streets.
Amateur boxing chiefs cleared of bribe claims LONDON AFP
A special investigation committee appointed by the International Boxing Association (AIBA) has dismissed allegations Azerbaijan were promised two boxing gold medals at next year’s London Olympics in exchange for a $10 million loan to amateur boxing’s world governing body. The allegations, broadcast by the BBC’s Newsnight current affairs programme on September 23, were found to be “groundless and unsupported by any credible evidence”. However, the BBC stood by their story and said they’d co-operate with an independent investigation by the
International Olympic Committee’s ethics Commission. The special investigation committee’s statement Monday added: “We have conducted an exhaustive investigation over the past two months and we have concluded that the allegations...were completely without merit.” The committee accepted an investment was made by Hamid Hamidov, an Azeri businessman, but said it was purely for “commercial purposes” and “the subject of medals had never come up in any discussions or agreements”. It also exonerated AIBA’s World Series of Boxing’s chief operating officer, Ivan Khodabakhsh -- anotheri
Azeri challenged by the BBC -- of wrongdoing. But a BBC statement said: “Newsnight is aware of AIBA’s position and we stand by our investigation. “While we anticipate AIBA making all the evidence they reviewed public, we are continuing to co-operate with the ongoing independent investigation by the International Olympic Committee ethics Commission.” Olympic boxing has long battled allegations of corruption and questions over its scoring system. During the 2008 Beijing Games, several fighters complained of being cheated by judges.
LAHORE STAFF REPORT
Pakistan former Davis cupper Tayyab Iftikhar has sought financial help from Chief Minister Punjab Mian Shahbaz for his son Samir Iftikhar to avail the 80 percent four-year athletic and educational scholarship’ offered by Prestigious University of New Mexico in USA. Tayyab said: “Samir’s tuition, books, tennis training is all paid for by the University and he had appealed to the CM for financial help/reward to help him with balance of 20 per cent scholarship amounting to approx $10,000 for the first year.” "I hope that the Chief Minister, who is Patronising Sports and education in the Youth will help him avail the opportunity provided by the US University,” he added. The highly talented youngster ended the supremacy of 10 times national champion Aqeel Khan, Jalil Khan and Yasir Khan to win the National Hard Court title recently.
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Lampard penalty ends City’s unbeaten run
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HeLSeA inflicted a first league defeat of the season on Premier League leaders Manchester City after substitute Frank Lampard secured a 2-1 victory from the penalty spot at Stamford Bridge here on Monday. Lampard’s 83rd minute effort completed a comeback that began when Raul Meireles cancelled out Mario Balotelli’s second minute opener and revived the Londoners’ title hopes. Victory moved Chelsea up to third, seven points adrift of City, who were reduced to 10 men following the 58th minute dismissal of Gael Clichy. The win was Chelsea’s third in succession during a nine-day period in which Andre Villas-Boas’s side have also secured a place in the knock-out stages of the Champions League to ease the growing pressure on their young manager. But for City, knocked out of the Champions League, they passed up the chance to move five points clear of second placed reigning champions Manchester United. Lampard, who’d missed his two previous penalties, said: “Some of the football they (City) played showed we needed to win to stay in the title race. “Ten points is a big gap and luckily we’ve closed that. “You’ve got to be big enough to stand up and take them (penalties) and
BOA appeal to CAS over lifetime bans for drugs cheats LONDON REUTERS
The British Olympic Association (BOA) on Tuesday filed a formal appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in their dispute with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) over controversial lifetime Olympic bans for drugs cheats. The BOA bans any British athlete guilty of a doping offence from future Olympics. WADA ruled last month that the hardline stance broke the world body’s own rules, which specify a maximum two-year ban for a first offence. CAS had ruled in October that an International Olympic Committee rule similar to the BOA’s, excluding athletes banned for six months or more from the next Olympics, amounted to a second sanction and contravened WADA’s anti-doping code. The IOC accepted the CAS ruling and nullified its law. “The BOA selection policy is a direct expression of the commitment British athletes have made to uphold the values of fair play, integrity and clean competition values that are at the heart of Olympic sport,” BOA chairman Colin Moynihan said in a statement. “It is a policy that reflects the culture and character of Team GB. The BOA and British Olympic athletes do not consider that those who have deliberately cheated should represent Britain at the Olympic Games.” The BOA said it had appealed to CAS to “obtain clarity on the status of its selection policy well in advance of the London 2012 Olympic Games.” The Games open on July 27. The statement added that “the BOA and WADA have agreed that CAS is the appropriate forum for resolution of this matter, and both parties are seeking to arrange matters so that a decision can be made by CAS before the end of April 2012. “We appreciate the opportunity to appear before CAS and explain why our selection policy is entirely consistent with the Olympic Charter, and why it is essential for National Olympic Committees to have the autonomy and independence to determine their own selection policies.”
I was very relieved when it hit the back of the net.” Portuguese boss Villas-Boas added: “Our objective was to shorten our distance to the leaders and we did exactly that. We take no extra flavour for being the first team to beat Man City. But now the title race is very much alive.” Meanwhile City manager Roberto Mancini was left to reflect on two decisions by referee Mark Clattenburg which he felt altered the course of the match. “The game changed with the sending off and in the first half,” said the Italian. “The referee was very sure in the second half when (Daniel Sturridge) shoots and Joleon Lescott is five metres away (for the penalty). “But in the first half he was also three metres away when David Silva was brought down,” the Italian added. “I hope we can do another 14 games without losing.” The match started brightly enough for the visitors with Balotelli shrugging off his latest controversy -- he was photographed in a restaurant 48 hours previously in breach of a club curfew - to fire them into an early lead. Sergio Aguero turned John Terry and sent Balotelli free on goal, with the Italian striker rounded Petr Cech and then calmly rolling the ball into the net. However, the Italian still had plenty to do after being allowed to advance between Branislav Ivanovic and Jose Bosingwa but he kept his composure to round keeper Petr Cech and roll
the ball into the net. City might have been in complete command had Clattenburg awarded a penalty when Bosingwa appeared to trip Silva in the 14th minute. But Chelsea, on a wet and windy night, worked their way back into the match and were rewarded in the 34th minute when Meireles levelled after good work by former City prospect Daniel Sturridge. Blues captain Terry found Sturridge, Chelsea’s man-of-the-match, with a fine crossfield ball and the forward turned Clichy inside out before picking out Meireles, who volleyed past Joe Hart from 12 yards. City suddenly appeared much less composed and Vincent Kompany’s clumsy bodycheck on Didier Drogba brought a yellow card. And the shift in the balance of the game grew even more pronounced in the 58th minute when Clichy -- booked 10 minutes earlier for a foul on Sturridge -- upended Ramires to earn a second yellow card that saw him sent off. Mancini declared his intention to settle for a point by withdrawing Aguero and Silva. But the plan to shore up his midfield and defence backfired when Sturridge again worked an opening on the right hand side of the box, cutting inside and firing a left foot shot that was blocked by Lescott’s arm. And Lampard, 10 minutes after coming off the bench, fired past Hart to complete the turnaround.
fitness key to olympics: Sania MUMBAI AgENCIES
Indian tennis star Sania Mirza, who is recovering from a knee injury sustained during the US Open, on Tuesday said that staying fit and injury-free would be key to her London Olympics dreams. “At the moment, I’m in the top-100 in singles and the fact is I’m still very much there. Of course I’m 11th in the world in doubles. At this point, it would be very easy for me to say that I’ll play only doubles. It would be physically very much easier,” the 25year-old Hyderabadi told reporters on the sidelines of a promotional event for Nokia. “But yes this (2012) is an Olympic year which comes at the end of the season for us. So yes, you have to see that you stay healthy (to play in Olympics). But it all depends on how my knee reacts after two-three months. I can plan better only after two-three months,” she added. She was replying to a query on whether she would think of concentrating only on one format considering her injuries. Top 60 players in singles and top 10 in doubles make automatic qualification in Olympics. On whether she was thinking about cutting down on tournaments to prolong
her career, Sania replied in negative. “As a professional, it’s very difficult to cut down on tournaments as you have to defend points. If you have to play full time...injury is a part of sport and you have to learn to manage it and try to avoid it. everyone gets injured. Some sustain smaller injuries and some bigger. “What happened to my knee was an accident that can happen to anyone whether you play for one week or 50. If you have to compete at the highest level, you have to give it all. It’s just a matter of time and spacing it out and luck,” she said. Sania said she was recovering well and would return to action later this month in New Zealand. “With God’s grace I’m recovering well. A 2-3 week camp is on at Bombay Gymkhana where I’m training with Mahesh Bhupathi. I do practice for about five hours every day. My first tournament is in New Zealand from December 31,” she said. “I have decided
about my schedule only until February. I will play in Australia and New Zealand and then we have the Federation Cup in China,” she added.
Becker sees German tennis ‘renaissance’ BERLIN AFP
Former German star Boris Becker said Tuesday he believes his country’s tennis could be on the cusp of a renaissance seeing signs of promise particularly among the women. “I will not be surprised if Andrea (Petkovic) or Sabine (Lisicki) show themselves capable of reaching not just the semi-finals or finals but actually winning a Grand Slam,” triple Wimbledon champion Becker told sports news agency and AFP subsidiary SID. Becker, 44, who earlier this month said he was “too young” to be a candidate for president of the German Tennis Federation (DTB), has nonetheless been advising the body and is “determined to see how I can help German tennis.” He said he now believes players such as Petkovic, who reached three Slam quarter-finals last season, and Wimbledon semi-finalist Lisicki could spark a “renaissance” after relative under-achievement following the 1999 retirement of Steffi Graf and Becker himself.
Olympian Hoy latest ‘wrong’ target for ref rage LONDON AFP
Olympic cycling champion Sir Chris Hoy said Monday he had been on the receiving end of some unwanted Twitter messages from Tottenham fans who confused him with referee Chris Foy. It was Foy who had angered many Spurs supporters during their high-flying side’s 2-1 Premier League defeat by Stoke on Sunday when the visitors had an emmanuel Adebayor goal wrongly disallowed for offside, two penalty appeals for handball turned down and Younes Kaboul harshly red-carded. àJohnnyJ-Smyth tweeted: “Robbed ! Chris hoy calls himself a premier league referee ! £mug.” But Scottish cyclist Hoy, who won three gold medals in Beijing in 2008, responded: “Just for the record 1) I don’t need glasses and 2) I do not lead a double life as an english premiere league ref. That’s Chris Foy.” He added: “Still getting some rather amusing grief from Spurs fans!” Hoy is not alone in being wrongly singled out by angry supporters.
Wie to star in Dubai Ladies Masters DUBAI AFP
Two young American stars will be in the spotlight when the season-ending championship of the Ladies european Tour, the Dubai Ladies Masters, starts at the Majlis course of emirates Golf Club on Wednesday. The 500,000 euro tournament features the cream of european Ladies golf, but it is the head-tohead battle between Michelle Wie and history-making teenage star Alexis Thompson which is the big topic here before the tournament. The 21-year-old Wie has been making headlines ever since winning the US Women's Amateur Public Links Championship at the age of 13, while earlier this year, 16-year-old Thompson became the youngest ever winner on the LPGA Tour when she triumphed by five shots at the
Navistar LPGA Classic in Alabama. Not only did the Coral Springs, Floridabased player break the existing record by almost two years, she also forced the LPGA Tour to give special consideration to her case and make her a full member ahead of the 18-year age rule. Wie, who is making her third trip to the emirates, said she is looking forward to ending what has been a disappointing season on a high by recording her first win of the year. "It was an interesting season. I started off pretty good and then
struggled a bit in the middle. It was a work in progress kind of year. I worked a lot on trying to improve, and I am sure it will pay off next year. I didn't play as well as I wanted to, but hopefully, I can end the year with a bang. "I didn't have a win this year, so a win this week would mean a lot to me," said Wie, the highest ranked player in the field at world No17. Thompson, who
finished tied 22nd last year, said: "Winning definitely gave me a lot more confidence, so I now go into every event knowing I can win. "I know it's not going to happen every time, so you just need to take it shot by shot and hope it goes well. But I had an amazing time last year, and I have been looking forward to this tournament for a while." With Japan's Ai Miyazato already securing the Order of Merit crown, the other interesting battle for second place is between red-hot Swedish rookie Caroline Hedwall, who moved up to third place in the Money List after her impressive win last week in the Women's Indian Open, and secondranked Melissa Reid of england. Hedwall, who also won in Slovakia, Finland and Austria in her first full season on the Tour, will need to make up a gap of 12,183 euros. Reid has earned 280,578 euros in 18 starts in 2011.
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accused says students’ families acquiesced to brutal treatment KARACHI TARIQ HAbIb
ISLAMAbAD: Prime Minister Yousaf Raza gilani chairs the concluding session of the envoys’ conference on Tuesday. afP
US lawmakers target Pakistan aid WASHINGTON: US House and Senate negotiators unveiled a compromise military spending bill on Monday that ties strings to aid to Pakistan, targets Iran’s central bank and sets high hurdles for closing Guantanamo Bay. The measure would also freeze roughly $700 million in aid to Pakistan pending assurances that Islamabad has taken steps to thwart militants who use improvised explosive devices (IeDs) against US-led forces in Afghanistan. “We’ve had some shaky relations lately with Pakistan. We need them, they need us,” said House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon, a Republican. “But one of the things that has bothered me the most in this war in Afghanistan is the loss of life and limb to IeDs.” Pakistan expressed disappointment over the plans to freeze the aid, but said it could cope without the cash. “It is most unfortunate and untimely,” the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Salim Saifullah Khan told AFP. afP
SC questions wisdom in choosing RPPs over IPPs ISLAMABAD
He Supreme Court on Tuesday questioned why the government had failed to optimally utilise 27 Independent Power Producers (IPPs) available in the country with a capacity of generating 6,876 megawatts of electricity and instead signed contracts of rental power projects (RPPs) despite having knowledge of potential gas shortage in the country. A two-member bench of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain was hearing a suo motu case with two identical peti-
tions filed by Federal Minister for Housing and Works Faisal Saleh Hayat and PML-N MNA Khawaja Asif alleging huge corruption in the award of RPP contracts. Resuming his arguments, Khawaja Tariq Rahim, the counsel for Pakistan electric Power Company Limited (PePCO), contended before the court that RPP accords were signed due to the growing demand of electricity in the country, adding that water shortage and rising electricity demand was a major reason for load shedding. He presented a report before the court relating to RPPs’ approval, saying all project contracts were granted according to rules and regulations. The chief justice noted that the report was based on assumptions, adding
that it was said in the report that load shedding would be over when 14 RPPs and IPPs would be generating power jointly, whereas, power shortage still existed. He said the report on RPPs was not sent to the cabinet for approval. He said electricity prices had skyrocketed on the pretext of fuel adjustment. He said except the Gulf Power Plant, no RPP was generating electricity or paying taxes, adding that the Asian Development Bank (ADB) report on RPPs was a charge sheet against the government. The lawyer rejected the petitioners’ point of view that RPPs were not required to address load shedding, saying it was wrong impression that RPPs would not fulfil the power shortfall.
Qari Muhammad Usman, the sole arrestee of Monday’s madrassa raid that freed more than 60 students imprisoned in the basement of a Karachi seminary, confessed to Pakistan Today on Tuesday that the administration bound the students with chains but said the parents of the students acquiesced to the brutal treatment of their children in order to rid them of drug addiction. “The families will corroborate my statement,” said Usman. The madrassa’s administration was “delivering religious education” to the students and charging only those who were able to pay and several students were “getting education” for free, he added. He said only the mufti knew why the students were kept in captivity, adding that the parents voluntarily left their children and relatives there to “rid them of evil spirits”. He said only drug addicts and mentally challenged students were tied because they caused disturbance and created problems in the madrassas. “We were charging Rs 6,000 in fees from the parents of such students,” he added. More than 35 families have contacted police for news of their children recovered from the madrassa, while the rest of the students are waiting for their relatives in police custody. “My brother was addicted to glue-sniffing and we failed to control him, so we contacted the administration of the madrassa and they admitted my brother,” said Hijrat Khan, the brother of one of the recovered students. “We also permitted the administration to use any tactics to keep my brother from using,” he added. “There were more than 60 students being kept in the basement who were tortured by the administration,” Superintendent of Police (SP) Rao Anwar told Pakistan Today. He said those recovered included very young children and some adults, mainly of Pakhtun ethnicity. A few drug addicts and mentally challenged people were also among those who were recovered, he added. Police registered a first information report (FIR) (No 273/2011) under Sections 342, 344, 506-B and 337-1/34 of the Pakistan Penal Code against four accused, namely Qari Dawood, Qari Abdullah, Qari Qudratullah and Qari Fakhruddin in the Gulshan-e-Mayman Police Station. All the administrators included in the FIR are absconders, and police have so far arrested only Qari Usman.
Cabinet decisions on PSes still not implemented ISLAMABAD IRFAN bUKHARI
even after the lapse of 21 months, the Finance Ministry still finds itself handicapped to implement in letter and spirit the federal cabinet’s roadmap for the reorganisation of boards of directors of public sector enterprises (PSes) and the appointment of professional managements, approved on March 10, 2010. The federal cabinet in its meeting on Wednesday (today) in Peshawar will be getting a detailed briefing on the implementation status of its decisions pertaining to the Finance Division. A summary prepared by the Cabinet Division says the federal cabinet met 98 times since March 2008, in which 114 decisions pertaining to the Finance Division were made out of which 100 decisions were implemented,
while 14 were still under implementation. The Finance Division has failed to restructure the managements of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), Pakistan Railways, National Highways Authority, PASSCO and Utility Stores Corporation, among others. According to the summary prepared for the cabinet meeting scheduled for today, a copy of which is available with Pakistan Today, the cabinet on March 10, 2010 approved the proposed roadmap for reorganisation of the boards of directors of the identified PSes as independent forums, which shall recommend the appointment of professional chief executive officers (CeOs). On the status of implementation, the Finance Ministry has told the cabinet that it has recommended that the Railways Order 1962 will be amended for reconstitution of Railways Board by the federal
government and the board shall be represented by all four provinces beside professionals from the private sector and railways experts. The document says the proposal to finalise the power sector reforms plan and the appointment of CeOs for CPPA and GeNCOs is under process. The proposal for reconstitution of board of directors of PIA, in the light of guidelines of Cabinet Committee on Reconstruction (CCOR), is still awaited from the Defence Ministry, the document says. It adds that the National Highways Authority has limitation under the Act 1991 (as amended in 2001) for changing its board of directors. “The required amendments in the Act are being processed. CCOR in its meeting held on May 27, 2011 authorised Chairmen of USC and PASSCO to finalise proposals for reconstruction of BODs,” the summary says.
On the status of implementation of another one of the cabinet’s decisions taken on December 30, 2009 regarding forming a cabinet committee comprising the ministers of finance, interior, overseas Pakistanis and the Sindh chief minister to look into loss of traders in the Ashura tragedy in Karachi, the cabinet has been informed in the summary that the Sindh chief secretary has been asked to detail the latest situation. On April 21, 2010, the cabinet approved in principle legislation of the Credit Bureau Act 2010 subject to vetting and inputs from the Law Ministry. The cabinet has been told by the Finance Ministry higher-ups that consultations are underway with the Law Ministry and State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and the proposed bill has not been finalised yet. On May 26, 2010, the cabinet approved in principle the draft Pak-
istan Savings Bill 2010 subject to improvement and input by the ministers for law and finance. The cabinet has been told by the Finance Ministry that the draft bill is awaiting Finance Minister Hafeez Shaikh’s nod. On the cabinet’s decision taken on November 2, 2011 regarding its advice to the finance minister and Planning Commission deputy chairman to review the pace of construction of small dams in Balochistan, the cabinet has been informed that so far funds have not been released for Winder Dam, Naulong Dam, Hingol Dam and Pelar Storage Dam. On the cabinet’s decision dated June 15, 2011 to release funds to Pakistan Railways, the cabinet has been informed by the Finance Ministry that Rs 9.977 billion have been released to Pakistan Railways out of a total allocated sum of Rs 25 billion.
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