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Bilawal Bhutto urges Obama to apologise over Salala attack
At chicago, Pakistan retrieves some lost negotiating space
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rs 15.00 Vol ii no 326 22 pages
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Ryan crocker to quit kabul post early PAGE |04
Wednesday, 23 May, 2012 rajb 1, 1433
11 killEd iN ATTAck ON PAc, AT RAlly AT chiEf vOwS TO AvENGE killiNG Of iNNOcENT PEOPlE
T least 11 people, including two women and a minor girl, were killed and over two dozen people sustained serious bullet wounds in an attack on a joint rally organised on Tuesday by the banned People’s Aman Committee (PAC) and the Awami Tehreek (AT) against the rising demands for a separate “Muhajir Sooba”. Calls for a separate province for immigrants had been making rounds in
Karachi since the past few weeks after similar demands in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Several dozen unidentified women had recently held a demonstration at Arts Council Chowrangi in Karachi in support of a “Muhajir Sooba”. On the other hand, nationalist parties had vowed not to allow the bifurcation of Sindh and Tuesday’s attack appears to be the beginning of violence over the thorny issue. Per reports, hundreds of protesters, including women and children, from Lyari took out a rally
US tames Pakistan with aid cut A US Senate panel has approved a foreign aid budget for next year that cuts US assistance to Pakistan and Egypt, the Washington Post reported on Tuesday. By voice vote Tuesday, a Senate Appropriations subcommittee approved the overall bill totaling $52.1 billion. That is $2.6 billion less than what President Barack Obama requested and $1.2 billion below current spending. Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont cited the strained US relations with Pakistan for reducing aid and imposing restrictions on $1 billion in assistance. Pakistan has closed supply routes for NATO forces in Afghanistan, angering the United States and lawmakers. NEWS DESK
Stable Pak in US interest: Obama CHICAGO Special correSpondent Recognising the need to address challenges in US-Pakistan relationship, President Barack Obama has underlined that a democratic and stable Pakistan would be in America’s interests. Obama, who had a brief meeting with President Asif Ali Zardari on the sidelines of the NATO summit, told a news conference that “diligent” progress was being made on the issue of ending Pakistani blockade of NATO supply routes into Afghanistan. Islamabad shut down the supply route soon after November 26, 2011 war plane attacks on Pakistani border posts that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers. Continued on page 04
against the demands for a “Mohajir Province” from Ath Chowk in Lyari. The rally was led by PAC leader Uzair Jan Baloch and Awami Tehreek leader Ayaz Latif Palejo. The rally was heading towards the Karachi Press Club (KPC) where the protesters planned a sit-in, but as they reached MA Jinnah Road near Denso Hall, some unidentified armed men opened fire at the people from atop buildings in the area. The firing resulted in a stampede and people ran amok in panic, looking for shelter. As the protesters started heading
Turkey backs Pakistan’s NATO stance: Erdogan ISLAMABAD Staff report
Pakistan on Tuesday got rare support from a NATO member country on the blockade of NATO supplies through the country and seeking an apology from the US government over the Salala attack, as Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan endorsed Islamabad’s stance and told a news conference that Turkey respected Pakistan’s decision. The Turkish prime minister also endorsed Pakistan’s demand for an apology from the US over the killing of its troops at Salala checkpost. Addressing a joint press conference with Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani after inking nine agreements for cooperation in diverse fields, Edrogan said the open-
ing of NATO supply route was the discretion of Pakistan. “However, as a member of NATO, Turkey believes that such issues should be resolved through mutual dialogue,” he said. Gilani said the final decision to open, what Pakistan now called Ground Lines of Communication, and its timing, would be made in line with the recommendations of the parliamentary committee. However, Gilani made it clear that “Pakistan wishes to move along with the world”. “We wish to make it clear that Pakistan is part of the solution, not the problem for Afghanistan.” The PM reiterated Pakistan’s stance for a “stable, sovereign, prosperous and independent Afghanistan”, and added that it desired a political solution that was Afghan-led and Afghan owned. He also praised the
back towards their houses in Lyari after the attack, some unidentified men again fired on them from within the residential flats between Garden and Dhobi Ghat area and killed a number of people. Besides, 10 shops in Chemical Market along the MA Jinnah Road, 10 vehicles and nine motorcycles were set on fire in violence following the attack on the rally. Awami Tehreek President Ayaz Latif Palejo announced a wheel-jam strike across Sindh to protest the attack. “We will avenge the killings, but I make it clear that we will not target innocent people as our enemies did
support extended by Turkey’s President Abdullah Gul to Pakistan at the May 20 NATO summit in Chicago. “The world must have recognition of the services rendered by Pakistan in its fight against terrorism,” Gilani told reporters. He said a decision based on the recommendations of the parliamentary committee would not only be long lasting, but also have the endorsement of the people of Pakistan. Asked whether his country would stay in Afghanistan until the NATO’S deadline of 2014, the Turkish prime minister said his country was committed to return of peace and stability to Afghanistan and would be the last one to withdraw its troops from the war ravaged country. Turkey has over 1,300 troops in Afghanistan and is one of the largest contributors among the 50 countries that comprise the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). He said there were different views about the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan and while France wanted an immediate pullout, Germany called for a joint gradual pullout. Continued on page 04
related stories & piCtures| pages 05, 28
today,” Palejo said, adding that those earlier held responsible for deadly incidents of April 9, May 12 and Ashura blast in the metropolis were behind the firing on the rally. He alleged that the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) had sold Karachi in the name reconciliation. “Those who want Karachi as a separate province must keep one thing in mind that Karachi is linked with up-country from Sindh and Karachi receives its water share from Kotri, which is located in interior Sindh,” he said. Continued on page 04
Govt set to shock with Rs 2.38 per unit hike in power tariﬀ ISLAMABAD Staff report
The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) has permitted the distribution companies to raise the power tariff as much as Rs 2.38 per unit to recuperate the increased fuel price for February-March 2012. NEPRA officials said the authority had approved Rs 0.59 per unit raise for February 2012, and Rs 1.79 per unit for March 2012 – increasing overall Rs 2.38 per unit against the two months under fuel adjustment. Officials said that these charges would be received in the electricity bills of September and October after final approval from the Ministry of Water and Power. Officials said that consumers of Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) and those using less than 50 units would be exempted from the fuel adjustment charges. Continued on page 04
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02 News Today’s
Wednesday, 23 May, 2012
ppp will soon launch ‘Go Shahbaz Go’ campaign: raja riaz
nawaz thanks erdogan for turkey’s generous support
Story on Page 07
Story on Page 05
Aitzaz to contest ZAB reference in Supreme Court Islamabad: Acting President Nayyar Hussain Bokhari on Tuesday appointed Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan counsel to the court in the reference made by the president under Article 186 of the constitution to revisit the trial of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. The summary received from the Ministry of Law and Justice, through the Prime Minister’s Office, said the president, on the advice of the prime minister, had earlier authorised the-then federal minister for law, justice & parliamentary affairs to appear, argue and assist the Supreme Court in the said reference. It said the Supreme Court, in Reference No 1 of 2011 had asked the attorney general for Pakistan, vide para 6 of the Order dated 17-01-2012, “to inform the president of Pakistan that in view of January 5, and Tuesday’s order, the licence of Babar Awan has temporarily been suspended, therefore it would be appropriate if another counsel is appointed to address arguments in the Reference which is one of the most important cases in the history of this court.” online
7 jailed Mumbai attackers refuse to provide voice samples NEW dElHI: Pakistani authorities have told Indian officials that the seven 26/11 terrorist attack accused jailed in the country have refused to provide their voice samples. A senior Indian government official was quoted by The Asian Age as saying that Pakistani authorities said Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, Zarar Shah and Abu Al Qama among others, had refused to provide their voice samples, invoking their rights under selfincrimination clause of the law. Expecting the government to seek an update on the Samjhauta Express blast investigation during the bilateral talks beginning in Islamabad on Thursday, the Indian authorities have firmed up their response. online
Woman attacked with acid by husband in Khanpur KHaNPUR: A man threw acid on his wife causing severe burn injuries to her in a village some 35 kilometres from Khanpur late on Monday. According to Khan Bela police, Sajjad Ahmed suspected that his wife, Zohra had illicit relations with a man. Late in the night, he threw acid on her which burnt her face and body severely. The victim was rushed to Rural Health Centre by her family. A police team reached the spot and started investigation. However, the culprit managed to flee. app
2 killed, 3 injured in Quetta firing QUETTa: At least two people were killed and another three injured in an incident of firing that took place in Eastern Bypass area of Quetta on Tuesday. Police told APP that two armed groups had a dispute over a petty issue and opened fire at each other in Bhosa Mandi area of Eastern Bypass. “Two people were killed and another three were injured,” police said. Police rushed to the site and shifted the dead and the injured to Bolan Medical College hospital. The dead were identified as Akbar and Fazlur Rehman. The identity of three injured could not be ascertained so far. Police have registered a case and started investigation into the incident. Staff report
Lahore: a man dries rose petals, which will be used to make incense sticks, in a compound on Tuesday. REUTERS
It’s not over for the PM yet! SituAtioner rana qaiSar
HILE the legal course does not seemingly appear to conclude in the foreseeable future with Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan preparing to file an appeal most probably within this week on behalf of Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani against the decision of the seven-member bench of the Supreme Court, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) is not ready to budge from its position and accept him as the chief executive of the country after his conviction despite the fact that his fate still remains to be finally sealed – a decision on his appeal, the National Assembly speaker’s judgment whether a question to disqualify him has arisen or not and then the Election Commission’s verdict are yet to come. Though the up-in-arms PML-N had been creating ruckus with all its might on the floor of the National Assembly throughout its last session, it was being speculated that the major opposition party would boycott the joint session of parliament that was convened for the address of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. But not only
the PML-N attended the joint session in respect of the visiting dignitary, it also used the opportunity to unambiguously tell Gilani, and that too in the presence of his Turkish counterpart and his delegation, that it was a temporary relief that he had availed – the forthcoming budget session will be perhaps more thundery than what we ever witnessed in lower house of parliament since 2008. Without mincing his words, Leader of Opposition Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, when the speaker invited him for vote of thanks, explicitly referred to the “deep political divisions” in Pakistan which, he said, was already in the eye of the storm, internationally. Though it was not the occasion to wash our dirty linen in the presence of the prime minister of a friendly country, the Opposition Leader, who spoke extempore and rather well, removed the doubts, if there were any, that his party would compromise to facilitate a smooth functioning of the National Assembly. The strategy of the government is to buy maximum time and Aitzaz Ahsan, who has also been appointed a counsel to address the court in the Zulfikar Ali Bhutto reference filed by President Asif Ali Zardari in place of Babar Awan, would make every effort to drag the prime minister’s case by the end of June. And if he succeeds, the government will pass the budget, which itself would bear
an unmistakable stamp of confidence of the house in its leader even if the PML-N continues its protest inside parliament with the speaker and all treasury members putting on head-phones to complete the parliamentary procedure of passing the budget. Interestingly, the PML-N, which otherwise has refused to acknowledge Yousaf Raza Gilani as chief executive of the country after his conviction, did accept his invitation to attend the dinner he had hosted in honour of the Turkish prime minister at a neutral venue – the Serena Hotel, which was probably selected with a view to facilitate the participation of the largest opposition party. Senator Ishaq Dar represented the PML-N. Accepting the prime minister’s invitation implies that the PML-N does understand that the legal and constitutional process had yet to conclude to finally disqualify and consequently unseat him. The PML-N’s protest and campaign against him are undoubtedly part of its political strategy as we are already in the election year and no opposition party can afford to take a backseat when the situation is too volatile to leave the field open for political opponents particularly the government. Though the battle-lines are drawn and the PML-N has launched its forces against the prime minister, he can’t be politically checkmated as his fate has to be decided legally and constitutionally.
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Wednesday, 23 May, 2012
ArtS & entertAinMent
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News 03 CoMMent peace in afghanistan
Pakistan’s role is crucial
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ali aftab Saeed says: 2013: Elections are coming: Let’s put on our pundit hats...for national interest, of course
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Bilawal urges Obama to apologise over Salala attack NEW YORK
Obama ‘briefly’ met Zardari twice in Chicago CHICAGO nni
US President Barack Obama met “briefly” with his Pakistani counterpart twice on the sidelines of NATO summit in Chicago, the White House said. According to a White House readout, Obama “spoke briefly with President Zardari twice” – first in a “brief one-on-one conversation as they made their way into the ISAF meeting”, and later in the afternoon in the presence of Afghan President Hamid Karzai. They underscored their “shared commitment to an Afghan-led reconciliation process to bring the war to a responsible end”. At a press briefing after the summit concluded, Obama told reporters that he emphasised to Zardari that Pakistan “has to be part of the solu-
tion in Afghanistan,” and the two countries “share a common enemy of extremists,” and need to work through some of the tensions created during the ten years of US military presence in the region. The two sides failed to reach an agreement to reopen the supply route from Pakistan to Afghanistan at the summit, casting a pall over the alliance’s way forward in the country. Obama and Zardari did not have a formal bilateral meeting at the summit. Obama said Zardari shared his belief that issues between Pakistan and NATO, as well as the United States would be resolved, and the supply route would be reopened soon. The supply lines, through which about 40 percent of NATO’s non-lethal supplies had passed, were closed in late November after 24 Pakistani soldiers were killed in US air strikes at a Pakistani border check post at Salala.
A K I S T A N People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Tuesday said he was visiting America to defuse tension between the United States and Pakistan, but US President Barack Obama should apologise to Pakistan for the attack on the Salala checkpost in November. Speaking at a gathering in New York, Bilawal said drone attacks were a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty. Bilawal said Obama should apologise to the people of Pakistan over the attack on the checkpost. The US has still not apologised to the government and citizens of Pakistan over the Salala checkpost attack. The PPP chairman moreover said that Pakistan-US relations were at a critical juncture. He said that questions were being raised on Pak-US friendship following the operation in Abbottabad and over the release of US citizen Raymond Davis who killed two Pakistani citizens in Lahore Bilawal said Pakistan was determined to eliminate terrorism. He further said that the PPP’s democratic government had successfully restored the 1973 constitution. Moreover, he said that his mother sacrificed her life for democracy and for women’s rights and that she struggled to eliminate terrorism from Pakistan. HINa also sEEKs Us aPology: Foreign Minister Hina Ranbbani Khar, meanwhile, said that Pakistan was still seeking an apology from Washington over the killing of 26 Pakistani soldiers, while announcing that the Pakistani government does not wish a permanent blockade of NATO supplies. In an exclusive interview to a private news channel here, the foreign minister said that Pakistan’s sovereignty should be respected. “The public reaction comes when sovereignty of the country is violated,” Khar said. She said that Pakistan’s parliament had urged better relations with the world community, and that it had reviewed relations with the United States and ISAF. She added that Pakistan was still under pressure on the restoration of NATO supplies. “We want to
tell the world that Pakistan is also a coalition partner to ensure peace in Afghanistan which is also in the better interest of the region,” she said. Rejecting the criticism over President Zardari’s participation in Chicago summit, Khar said that those criticising the president wanted “to drag the country into backwardness”. She further said that the restoration of NATO supplies was not only an issue between Pakistan and the US, but it was a matter of relations with 60 countries. Pakistan’s stance cannot be well understood if it is kept at distance from the world community, she added. In another interview with Time Now, Khar rejected the impression that there was a stand off with the US regarding reopening of NATO supplies, saying the Pakistani government was hoping to resolve the issue on mutually acceptable terms. “Pakistan has been an enabler and facilitator for durable peace and stability in Afghanistan. We have played this role for 10 years effectively,” she said. She also downplayed Zardari’s absence from the photo session at the NATO summit.
Pakistani parents in UK ‘killed daughter for dating boys’ NEWS DESK
Shafilea Ahmed, 17, was killed for bringing “shame” on her Pakistani-born parents by leading a Western way of life and trying to go on dates with boys, the Telegraph reported on Tuesday. The case came before Chester Crown Court yesterday after her sister broke her eight-year silence and told police she saw her parents kill Miss Ahmed. The court was told that Iftikhar Ahmed, 52, and his wife Farzana, 49, had spent a year trying to force their daughter to adopt a stricter way of life. They allegedly murdered her at the family home in Warrington, Cheshire, on Sept 11, 2003, after deciding they would never succeed. Andrew Edis, QC, prosecuting, told the jury: “They finally killed her because she had dishonoured the family and brought shame on them. They had despaired of her ever becoming a daughter they could ever be proud of.” Mr and Mrs Ahmed both deny mur-
Miss Ahmed’s badly decomposed body was found in early 2004 beside a river in the Lake District. Mr Edis said police carried out a lengthy investigation but failed to solve the mystery of her death. However, in August 2010, Miss Ahmed’s younger sister, Rukish, claimed she had been a witness to the killing. It was, said Mr Edis, the final piece in the puzzle. Rukish Ahmed, who has since changed her name to Alesha, originally made the allegation to friends shortly after her sister’s disappearance. But she later retracted the claim and would not repeat it for another seven years. She did so after being arrested for her part in a robbery at her parents’ home. Miss Ahmed, now 23, had been prosecuted over the crime and pleaded guilty. Mr Edis told the jury: “You will have to decide whether you can really believe what she said or not. If she is telling the truth, she has lived for the last nine years under
the most extraordinary circumstances. If she is telling the truth this whole family, since September 2003, has been living in extraordinary circumstances. What an extraordinary thing to say of your parents, if it is true, that you were there and watching them murder your sister.” Mr Edis described Shafilea Ahmed as “a thoroughly Westernised young British girl” who was reluctant to follow standards set by her parents. “In particular she wanted to have boyfriends like most 16 and 17-year-old girls do, and that caused an intense pressure in the family. “The prosecution say that her parents embarked upon a campaign of domestic violence and abuse designed to force her to conform so that she would behave in the way they expected.” Miss Ahmed had twice run away from home in the year before her disappearance, after which she was taken to rural Pakistan, where her parents apparently intended she would get married and remain. She told friends it was a forced mar-
riage and, while at her grandparents’ home in Pakistan, she swallowed a quantity of bleach, either as an act of self-harm or in a suicide attempt. Upon her return from Pakistan she began complaining that her parents were being violent towards her.
Mr Edis read extracts from two poems that Miss Ahmed wrote in the months before her disappearance. One included the line: “All they think about is honour. I was just like a normal kid. I just wanted to fit in. But my culture was different. But my family ignored.”
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Wednesday, 23 May, 2012
nAto summit Continued froM page 22 The president claimed that he never anticipated the Pakistan supply line issue being resolved at the summit and, taking a more optimistic view of the stand-off, he said they were making “diligent progress”. “We think that Pakistan has to be part of the solution in Afghanistan. Neither country is going to have the kind of security, stability and prosperity that it needs unless they can resolve some of these outstanding issues,” Obama said. British Prime Minister David Cameron, at a press conference in Chicago, reflected the irritation with Pakistan, describing the blocked routes as “frustrating”. Cameron said he expected a deal eventually but not at the summit. In its final communiqué, NATO formally committed to its withdrawal of the
govt set to shock Continued froM page 1 They said the authority would collect Rs 26 billion from the fuel adjustment charges for February and March 2012. They said that a notification would soon be issued in this regard by the ministry, and the fuel adjustment charges would be added into the electricity bills. On Wednesday (today), a special meeting of the federal cabinet would be held under Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani. Sources said the issue of power outages would top the ten-point agenda of the meeting.
130,000-strong force from Afghanistan based on a timetable agreed earlier by Obama and Karzai. All international combat troops would be withdrawn by the end of 2014. But the communiqué said a smaller force would remain to help “train, advise and assist” the Afghan army. The communiqué does not say how many troops will be left but US commanders in Kabul are looking at a NATO force of around 15,000-20,000. Reflecting the public mood in NATO countries tired of the war, the communiqué said the withdrawal timetable is “irreversible”. Obama, at the opening of the second day of the NATO summit on Monday morning, showed his displeasure with the Pakistani government by singling out the country while thanking the
‘Muhajir Sooba’ Central Asian countries and Russia that stepped in to replace the Pakistani supply route, and made no mention of Pakistan. Zardari was in the room at the time. To ram home the point, US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta also held a meeting at the NATO summit with senior ministers from Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. Panetta expressed his “deep appreciation” for their support. Zardari has demanded an apology from the US for the killing of the 24 Pakistani troops in November in return for reopening supply lines. He is also proposing that the tariff for each vehicle be raised from $250 to $5,000. The US is bitter about this, noting the amount of American military and other aid that goes to Pakistan annually.
Continued froM page 1 He also appealed to army chief General Ashfaq Kayani to look into the matter. The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Coordination Committee condemned the killing of innocent people in the rally. Talking to Pakistan Today, the South Zone DIG said 11 people, including two women and a minor girl, were killed and 28 others injured in the attacks. To a question about the security of the rally, he said the organisers of the rally did not approach law enforcement agencies for securing the procession, but police had itself deployed adequate number of personnel to protect the participants. Fear engulfed the city after the attack and ensuing violence. Board of Intermediate Education Karachi (BIEK) postponed all exams scheduled for May 23 (today) due to tense situation in the city.
Continued froM page 1
enemy in the extremists that are found not only in Afghanistan, but also within Pakistan and that we need to work through some of the tensions that have inevitably arisen after 10 years of our military presence in that region,” the US president remarked. Obama noted, “ultimately everybody in the alliance, all of ISAF, and most importantly the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan understand that neither country is going to have the kind of security, stability, and prosperity that it needs unless they can resolve some of these outstanding issues and join in common purpose with the international community in making sure that these regions are not harboring extremists.”
H E US ambassador to Afghanistan, Ryan Crocker, is to leave his post early, the embassy confirmed Tuesday, a day after NATO leaders charted a path out of the Afghan war at a summit in Chicago. The veteran diplomat, who was appointed to Kabul 10 months ago for a twoyear term, previously served as the US envoy to Iraq, Pak-
“So I don’t want to paper over real challenges there. There is no doubt that there have been tensions between ISAF and Pakistan, the United States and Pakistan over the last several months. I think they are being worked through both military and diplomatic channels,” he said. “But ultimately, it is in our interest to see a successful, stable Pakistan and it is in Pakistan’s interest to work with us and the world community to ensure that they themselves are not consumed by extremism that is in their midst. And so we’re going to keep on going at this. And I think every NATO member, every ISAF member is committed to that,” he added.
istan and Syria. “Amb Crocker has confirmed with regret that he will be leaving Kabul this summer,” the embassy said on its Twitter feed. No reason was given for Crocker’s departure and an embassy official told AFP: “We have nothing further on that at this time.” CBS news, which earlier reported on Crocker’s plans, quoted a senior State Department official as saying only that Kabul is “a tough place to serve”. Now aged 62, Crocker was appointed
out of retirement in July 2011. His early departure coincides with that of US ambassador to Pakistan, Cameron Munter, and reports that US General John Allen is about to become the fourth NATO commander in Afghanistan to leave early, tipped for a job in Europe. The United States has nearly 100,000 troops in Afghanistan — out of a NATO total of 130,000 — fighting an insurgency by hardline Taliban Islamists against the government of President Hamid Karzai.
Turkey backs Pakistan’s film on Benazir’s Continued froM page 1
Obama realises “President Zardari shared with me his belief that these issues can get worked through. We didn’t anticipate that the supply line issue was going to be resolved by this summit. We knew that before we arrived in Chicago. But we’re actually making diligent progress on it,” Obama said. The two-day NATO - ISAF partners summit in Obama’s hometown deliberated on international support for conflict-hit Afghanistan after the international forces complete a drawdown by 2014. “We think that Pakistan has to be part of the solution in Afghanistan, that it is in our national interest to see a Pakistan that is democratic, that is prosperous and that is stable, that we share a common
Crocker to quit Kabul post early
He, however, was of the view that the withdrawal could be delayed. Erdogan vowed to work along with the Afghan brothers in rebuilding their nation and said it was also supportive of the new US initiative of $2 billion assistance to help Afghanistan stand on its own feet. Terming Pakistan and Turkey as “best friends” having a “time-tested” relationship, Prime Minister Gilani said he shared with his Turkish counterpart all matters related to the NATO supply route and the state of relations with the neighbouring countries, the geo-political and regional situation. When Erdogan was asked whether he would be willing to play a mediatory
role between the Pakistani government and the opposition, he said he believed the government and opposition needed to stand united to serve the country. He said the people of Pakistan would suffer if the opposition and the government squabbled and expressed hope that they would stand united, shoulder to shoulder, to make Pakistan strong. Erdogan said the two countries had moved forward on the Preferential Trade Agreement and hoped to sign it at the earliest. He said the bilateral trade between the two countries was 175 million nine years ago and had now risen to $1 billion. “It is our goal to raise it to $2 billion at the earliest.”
life wins prestigious uS award
NEW YORK inp
An inspiring documentary on the life and mission of former prime minister and PPP leader Benazir Bhutto received the coveted George Foster Peabody Awards at a glittering ceremony here on Tuesday. “Bhutto”, the 111minute documentary about the two-time Pakistani prime minister who was assassinated in Rawalpindi while campaigning in 2007, gives a strong sense of her endearing personality and courage, mixed with singlemindedness devotion to promote democracy and human rights.
At Chicago, Pakistan retrieves some lost negotiating space SPeCiAl to PAKiStAn toDAY naSim zeHra
First the facts on PakistanUS relations and the Chicago summit. Clearly the summit fell in the middle of hard negotiations between two troubled allies and both struggled with how Pakistan’s participation question at the summit can be used to their own negotiating advantage. In Pakistan the government, independent foreign policy analysts and others including the former Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, all believed that while Pakistan’s participation in the Chicago summit was not going to provide any instant solutions, it was important for Pakistan to remain engaged one, at international forums on the question of Afghanistan’s transition process, two with the 58member NATO alliance and three with the US which has finally recognized the need to engage the Taliban for any viable transition process. From Washington and Brussels the message was clear, that Pakistan would only be invited to Chicago if it opened the NATO supply routes. In both capitals the calculation was that the Chicago card could be used to force Pakistan’s hand to
produce an immediate opening of the supply routes. The final decision on the timing has until now rested with Pakistan’s Finance ministryled multi-agency negotiating team which has, for over the last three weeks has been engaged with a multi-agency US team. While the terms of settlement have been the major issue, the Pakistani government has also continuously called for a US apology for the death of 24 Pakistani soldiers at the Salala check-post. After several meetings that were held in the Presidency, in which the Prime Minister, Foreign Minister, Finance Minister, Interior Minister and the Army Chief participated, it was decided to send a positive signal regarding Pakistan’s intent on the NATO supply routes. First the Foreign Minister’s statement came that it was now almost time to re-open the supply routes after having closed them for six months. Then came the statement after the Defense Committee of the Cabinet that Pakistan’s negotiating team is being instructed to conclude the negotiations on re-opening of the supply routes. Obviously the negotiating team was given parameters within which the re-opening could take place, and those required that Washington’s agree to the
terms Pakistan was proposing. Hence settling matters still required time. Pakistan had however expressed its intent to re-open the supply routes. Taking the cue from the statements from Pakistan, NATO issued the invitation. Washington’s calculation was, as reported in May 22nd Wall Street Journal “US officials hoped Mr Zardari’s attendance would clear the way for the crossings to open as early as Sunday or Monday.” And it is this unmet expectation that produced the tensions and the reports related to day 1 of the Chicago summit. The word went around that from this “unconditional invitation” the US had expected Pakistan’s goodwill gesture of at least releasing the few hundred held up NATO trucks and since that has not happened no meeting for the Pakistani President with the US President! If the expectation was that setting up such a quid pro quo would mean instant opening of the routes that was naïve. Similarly part of the pressure, that some in the US administration believed would work, negative stories were circulated in the NATO media center by “sources” immediately after President Zardari’s meeting with the Secretary Clinton. That the Secretary essentially pre-
sented Washington’s demand list ranging from opening of the NATO supply routes to ending support for the militants and that US had taken the issue of apology off its check list of issues that needed to be addressed. The bottom-line was that that there was no meeting ground between the two as Pakistan presented its demands. But the facts were different. At the Zardari-Clinton meeting there was agreement between the two to take specific steps on the two of the four issues on which the negotiations have yet to result in a settlement. One, on the NATO supply routes a decision was taken that a very senior Pakistani and US official will step in to resolve the outstanding issue of the container fee. Two, the issue of apology could be addressed within a package agreement that could simultaneously address all the four issues. On the two other issues, including no repeat of Salala and no unilateral drone attacks, the two militaries and intelligence agencies have been engaged in dialogue. While border control mechanisms to avoid another Salala like attack are almost in place, discussions between ISI and CIA to agree on specific parameters within which drone attacks would
take place, are almost near finalization. Clearly the parliament’s no drones recommendation has been translated into no unilateral drone attacks. This will continue to weigh heavy on the government politically, while the army concedes, the best possible way out is to ensure that these attacks take place with prior notice to Pakistan based on shared intel and also within certain geographical areas. There was also discussion on sanctuaries and the Haqqani network. As a consequence of the Zardari-Clinton meeting by contrast day two at the Chicago summit began with a brief conversation between the US President and the Pakistani President. Acknowledgement of this brief “meeting” came from the White House. And a US paper subsequently reported “Mr Obama’s surprise talks with Mr Zardari on the sidelines of the summit, however brief represented a departure from the White house plans to keep him at arm’s length until the crossing reopen.” The Wall Street quoted officials that “ decision was made to ratchet back tensions after Mr Zardari had a “productive” meeting with Secretary of State Clinton. Clinton, always the wisest voice in the Obama Administration, led her President away from an
inappropriate and counterproductive tactic of boycotting the Pakistani President. Meanwhile later at the Afghanistan meeting Pakistan clearly presenting its position on Afghanistan ranging from Pakistan’s commitment to regional peace, stability and trade, to the setback from the Salala attack to the sacrifices made by Pakistan and the parameters set by Pakistan’s parliament for negotiating the reopening of NATO supply routes. He emphasized that the DCC decision on the NATO supply routes were now being implemented by a negotiating team mandated to do so. President Zardari also announced a 20 million dollar contribution towards the Afghan National Forces. Significantly soon after the President’s address, the NATO Secretary General said NATO invited Pakistan to the summit because it sought “positive engagement with Pakistan,” appreciated Pakistan’s commitment to Afghan peace and was hopeful about Pakistan reopening the NATO supply lines. At his concluding press conference Obama spoke of the need for Pakistan to “play its very important role in Afghanistan” and work with the US to fight extremism. Pakistan’s participation in the Chicago summit has
helped the troubled Pakistan-US relations move a step forward towards some resolution. Pakistan, while remaining committed to facilitating NATO’s role of ensuring security and stability in Afghanistan, Pakistan made its case of having the right to pursue its own national interest too. This includes a demand for US apology, no unilateral drone strikes and no repeat of Salala. By indicating before the summit that Pakistan was willing to open the NATO supply routes and then by subsequently attending the Chicago summit, Pakistan has retrieved some of the negotiating space that it lost by unnecessarily prolonging the parliamentary process and unwisely asking for a US delay in publicly apologizing over Salala. However while all attention remains focused on the four issues, that are on the bilateral check-list of problems, a significant policy question regarding the Haqqani network and the “sanctuary issue” in Pakistan also needs more vigorous and honest dialogue. That is a fundamental point of divergence between the two countries, overshadowing the more significant convergence on the need to end terrorism and militancy in Afghanistan and the region.
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Wednesday, 23 May, 2012
heat wave grips most parts of country ISLAMABAD inp
As a heat wave gripped most parts of the country on Tuesday, mainly hot and dry weather is expected in the next few days. However light rain/dust-thunderstorm is likely at isolated places of Rawalpindi division and a dust storm is also likely to occur over southern parts of Punjab during the next 24 hours. According to the Met Office, wind pressure in the plains remained steady as usual due to which temperature is increasing while most parts remain in the grip of dusty winds. The heat wave continues to grip southern parts of the country and is likely to increase during the next two to three days. Turbat and Dadu remained the hottest cities with temperatures around 45˚C. The Met Office said seasonal low lies over Balochistan and adjoining areas with its trough extending south eastwards. A shallow westerly wave is affecting Kashmir and its adjoining hilly areas and likely to persist for next 24-36 hours. Temperatures recorded in Nawabshah, Mithi, and Pud Eidan was 44˚C, Mohenjodaro and Sibi 43˚C, Islamabad 35˚C, Lahore and Multan 41˚C, Karachi 36˚C and Peshawar 35˚C.
lt gen (r) Ali Kuli Khan joins Pti
iSlamaBad: turkish prime minister recep tayyep erdogan reviews the guard of honour upon arrival at prime minister’s House on tuesday. ONLINE
Pakistan, Turkey pledge to strengthen cooperation g
gilani, erdogan agree on more cooperation to counter terrorism, drug trafficking ISLAMABAD
Lieutenant (r) Gen Ali Kuli Khan Khattak has joined the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), it was reported on Tuesday. Reports said Ali Kuli Khan would make the announcement during a press conference along PTI Chairman Imran Khan. Ali Kuli Khan resigned from the army 1998 when then prime minister Nawaz Sharif promoted his junior officer Lt Gen Pervez Musharraf to the rank of chief of the army staff.
RIME Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan co-chaired the second meeting of High-Level Cooperation Council (HLCC) and agreed to boost bilateral relations in all sectors, particularly security, energy, communication, trade and culture. The meeting at the Prime Minister’s House, scheduled for 45 minutes, went on for 90 minutes as the two leaders discussed expansion of the cooperation in multiple fields. The high-level delegations from both countries assisted their prime ministers in working out the details.
The joint declaration issued at the conclusion of the meeting said Pakistan and Turkey recognised “a common vision and desire for peace and prosperity of their people and their region”. It was agreed that cooperation between the security agencies of Pakistan and Turkey would be broadened in the fields of counter-terrorism and drug trafficking, especially in the areas of capacity building and exchange of experience. It was also agreed that the two countries would intensify their ongoing cooperation while defence-related industries would focus on joint defence production and related research and development activities. On energy cooperation, it was decided that power generation would be
Nawaz thanks Erdogan for Turkey’s generous support ISLAMABAD nni
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday paid a courtesy call on the visiting Prime Minister of Turkey, Recep Tayyap Erdogan, at the latter’s invitation. During the course of their meeting, the two leaders recalled their earlier meetings both in Pakistan and in Turkey, which had enabled them to develop deep ties of friendship and mutual affection. In this context, Nawaz recalled his visit to Turkey in October 2011 at Prime Minister Erdogan’s invitation. The visit had enabled him to gain an invaluable understanding of the remarkable transformation that had taken place in Turkey under the wise and sagacious leadership of Erdogan, said a press statement issued by the PML-N after the meeting. The PML-N chief complimented the Turk-
ish prime minister on introducing far-reaching reforms that strengthened the country’s economy, as well as the institutions of democracy. Nawaz also thanked Prime Minister Erdogan for Turkey’s strong and generous support and assistance to Pakistan over the years and in particular after the 2005 earthquake and 2010 floods that had devastated large areas of Pakistan. He added that Turkey’s swift and generous assistance had left a deep imprint on the people of Pakistan and fortified the indissoluble bonds of friendship between them. The Turkish prime minister thanked Nawaz for his strong and abiding friendship for his country, which he greatly valued. He reaffirmed Turkey’s unflinching support to Pakistan. Nawaz was accompanied by the Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and Leader of the Opposition in the Senate Ishaq Dar.
developed through strengthening of information sharing on energy projects and facilitation of private sector involvement. A meeting will be held in Turkey before the end of 2012 to enhance cooperation in the field of renewable energy. The two sides agreed to increase cooperation in the fields of geothermal sources, geo-information systems and remote sensing through exchange of scientific and technical information, exchange of expertise, study visits and training. Pakistan and Turkey decided to devise a plan of action in energy sector agreed during the meeting of their presidents on April 2, 2010. The Joint Working Group on Energy would work on the plan of action and would present its rec-
ommendations to the next HLCC. The two sides agreed to encourage private Pakistani and Turkish companies to set up hydro-electric power stations and sub-stations on turn-key basis. In the field of education, Turkey will supply teachers, curriculum and training materials for Turkish language courses provided that the Turkish language be introduced in the curriculum in Pakistan. The two sides decided to form a Joint Working Group on Technical and Vocational Training, introduce new exchange programmes for civil experts in the fields of energy, transport, agriculture, security services and public administration, scholarship schemes and proposals to set up techno parks.
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Afghans need you, Ban tells Zardari CHICAGO
N Secretary General Ban Ki-moon met President Asif Ali Zardari on the sidelines of the ongoing NATO summit here on
Tuesday. Ban’s spokesman told reporters that the “discussions focused on Afghanistan”. He said the secretary general emphasised the importance of regional cooperation and Pakistan’s role in that. “He encouraged the president to help as much as possible with Afghanistan’s reconciliation process,” said a readout. They also discussed next month’s Rio+20 sustainable development conference, which is to be held in Brazil, said the readout. Meanwhile, the secretary general thanked the president for Pakistan’s significant contribution to peacekeeping, it said.
PaKIsTaN‚ Us PlEdgE To maINTaIN TIEs basEd oN joINT goals: sHERRy: President Asif Ali Zardari and US President Obama have pledged to maintain ties based on joint goals as well as broader contours of the relationship, Pakistan Ambassador to the US Sherry Rehman said on Tuesday. She said President Zardari told Obama that Pakistan had a constructive role to play for peace and stability in Afghanistan. Sherry quoted Zardari as saying Pakistan would be happy to play a facilitating role in NATO and ISAF drawdown as the international community moved to transition in Afghanistan. She said NATO supply was suspended for many months and dialogues were in progress for its restoration. “Pakistan is firm over demand for an apology on the Salala incident,” she asserted. The ambassador noted that later President Obama‚ in his remarks to the media‚ reiterated his support for democracy in Pakistan and joint security goals.
MONITORING DESK Reiterating that terrorist safe havens continue to exit across the border, Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai said his government is talking to Pakistan on a range of issues, including terrorism, in a more open and friendlier manner than ever before. “There is no doubt that Haqqani network is in Miranshah. The Pakistani government would not deny that there are other sanctuaries as well across the border. But the difference today is that we are talking about these issues more openly and in a friendlier environment than ever before,” Karzai told CNN in an interview. He said in keeping with this new environment that we hope we can find solutions. “Pakistan is a neighbour of ours and we have begun a dialogue with them. And the dialogue is quite ahead now in seeking solutions to the problems that we have. “It is keeping with this dialogue that we are moving forward, and we hope that the end result of all this activity, of all this effort, the endeavour on the part of both of us, and the US, will be the removal of the terrorists from the region,” Karzai said. Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, he said, would visit Kabul in about a week’s time. “We are supposed to be discussing all the issues that are of importance to both the countries. Among those issues, on the top of is, of course, the issue of terrorism and the damage that it does to both the countries and need for us to work together to find ways out,” he said. “We are in a dialogue with Pakistan. We hope that this dialogue will move forward to result in the removal of the terrorists from Pakistan and the consequences that these terrorists have for both Afghanistan and Pakistan. So, we are working toward a constructive relationship with Pakistan in all these areas,” he said. Karzai termed his brief encounters with Presidents Barack Obama and Asif Ali Zardari on the sidelines of the NATO Summit in Chicago as “just a photo-opportunity and not a meeting”.“No, we didn’t have a three-way meeting. We had a three-way photograph taking,” Karzai told CNN, referring to the photo released by the White House in which the three presidents were talking to each other.“Just a photo opportunity.” When asked why a three way meeting was not held to discuss the most important issues Afghanistan, Pakistan and the US, he said, “it wasn’t for us to decide on the three-way meeting. The US was the host and perhaps they saw it fit for some other time.”
raWalpindi: a dengue patient is being treated in the isolation ward of Holy family Hospital on tuesday. ONLINE
india to press for convicted bomber’s release during talks NEW DELHI online
In the wake of Dr Khaleel Chishti’s return to Pakistan after 20 years, India will take up the matter of Sarabjit Singh, an Indian prisoner convicted for serial bombings in Pakistan, during the Home secretary-level bilateral talks later this week. Earlier on May 10, the Supreme Court granted permission to Chishti to visit his hometown, Karachi. Sarabjit was convicted for carrying out serial bomb blasts in Lahore and Multan in 1990, and has spent 22 years in jail. Sarabjit’s sister Dalbir Kaur had met Home Minister P Chidambaram, and requested him to ask Home Secretary RK Singh to raise the issue during the talks, Press Trust of India reported. “The Home minister has assured me that the Home secretary will raise the issue of early release of Sarabjit during the talks with Pakistan. I am hopeful about a positive outcome in the meeting. I appeal to the Pakistani government to release Sarabjit on humanitarian grounds like India did in case of Pakistani virologist Khaleel Chishti,” she said.
Karzai ‘talking with Pakistan more openly’
Afghans back Chicago deal, warn West to keep promises KABUL reuterS
People in Afghanistan were surprisingly optimistic on Tuesday about NATO’s plan to pull combat troops out of their war-ravaged nation by the end of 2014, but warned Western leaders to stick to aid and security promises. A Chicago summit meeting of the 28member bloc, attended also by Afghan President Hamid Karzai and other world leaders, endorsed an exit strategy on Monday that calls for handing control of Afghanistan to its own security forces by the middle of next year. But it left unanswered questions about how to prevent a slide into chaos and a Taliban resurgence after the pullout. Despite the sense of combat fatigue in Chicago and frustration that nearly 11 years of military engagement had failed to defeat Taliban Islamists, Afghans were surprisingly upbeat. They said the agreement showed Western nations would not abandon their nation after a decade-long war and a massive aid and reconstruction effort. “I don’t think foreign nations will leave us as easily as they say. The international community has spent billions of dollars here now,” said university student Tawab, speaking to Reuters at a park near a mosque in central Kabul.
“The conference has decided that some foreign forces will stay in Afghanistan, so it’s like back-up support.” Housing prices in Kabul have jumped 15 percent since US President Barack Obama, who declared on Monday that the 10-year war was “effectively over”, visited Kabul to sign a long-term security deal with Karzai on May 2. Donor nations have been negotiating agreements with Karzai’s government committing to ongoing aid and reconstruction support, as well as government and agricultural advisers, for at least a decade beyond the two-year NATO drawdown ending in 2014. Since a U.S-led coalition helped Afghan forces topple the Taliban government in late 2001, Afghanistan has been one of the world’s largest aid recipients, with more than US$57 billion spent on development to help counter support for insurgents. In volatile southern Helmand province, one of the most violent parts of the country and the scene of several major clashes between the Taliban and Western troops, villagers said their lives had improved. aNd NoW WE HaVE a HEalTH ClINIC: Ezatullah, a shopkeeper in the town of Marjah where NATO troops fought one of the bloodiest battles of the war, said a 35-km (22-mile) paved road connecting to the provincial capital Lashkar Gah had
nearly been completed, cutting costs and travel time to prevent vital food supplies spoiling in the area’s searing summer heat. “And now we have a health clinic built three years ago which provides most services to people. But still people are facing problems, as it’s not enough. There should be at least a clinic in every big village,” he said. Security had also improved since 15,000 US and British surge troops ousted around 2,000 insurgents from the area, said Marjah resident Nisar Ahmad, draining support from the Taliban. “Now this district is fully protected by Afghan Local Police. Almost all of our schools are open and boys and girls attend schools. But we still face a lack of electricity despite the billions of dollars spent,” Ahmad said. In the Arghandab district of neighboring Kandahar province - where US troops suffered heavy casualties in 2010 - local resident Hajji Shah Mohammad Ahmadi said economic progress had been spurred by roads, schools and new health clinics. And even in restive eastern provinces, where Western troops are still fighting to choke off insurgent supply routes across the mountainous Pakistan border in one of the last major offensives of the war, local people counted improvements. Abdul Naser, from Chapa Dara district in Kunar, said where once there had been no roads, water canals, electricity, schools,
clinics or security, now there was vehicle traffic, power generators, doctors and education. “We got two clinics during the past months with female doctors. We have paved roads. But some projects were not well built and people still face some security threats,” he said. However, an April poll by the privately-run Tolo TV channel found just over 50 percent of Afghans though civil war would break out again after foreign troops withdrew, while 26 percent saw no change and 23 percent thought security would improve. Still, property dealers in the capital Kabul - once convulsed by civil war but where cars have now replaced bicycles and some high-rise apartment buildings have sprung up - say business is thriving despite worries. “People’s morale and economic morale have gone up,” said Mohammad Nader Faizyaar, the owner of the high-end Faisal Business Centre mall that retails everything from women’s fashion accessories to furniture. “People feel that the future of this country is stable and everyone can hopefully invest.” Sarwar Akbari, 38, a Kabul resident in the Wazir diplomatic district, said international backers had to now honor their promises not to abandon the country amid pressure on aid budgets, particularly in cash-strapped Europe. He also said they had to reach some kind of agreement with the Taliban.
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Teachers’ boycott at PU damaging image of Pak varsities g
FOREIgN STUDENTS, ThEIR FamILIES WORRIED OvER CLOSURE OF hISTORIC vaRSITy LAHORE
EPUTE of Pakistanis universities is damaging at international level due to the current academic boycott of teachers at the historic Punjab University (PU) as educationists and stakeholders are seeking reports from the foreign students about the closure of the oldest university of the country, Pakistan Today learnt on Tuesday. The foreign students said that Paksiani government is earning a bad name at international level due to the closure of its oldest university and demanded the government provide a peaceful environment to them (foreign students) enrolled in the country’ universities. They said that universities of Pakistan are already notorious due to the issue of plagiarism, academic corruption and hooliganism and now the closure of the varsity by teachers’ elements has damaged its repute again. On the other hand, foreigners at the Punjab University (PU) are tense due to the academic boycott of the classes by some elements of teachers and Aca-
demic Staff Association (ASA) and majority of them are planning to return to their hometowns as, according to them, they are disappointed due to the closure of the varsity. The foreign students said that their friends, families and educationists are contacting them about the closure of the university as, according to them, boycott of teaches is an act against the state and added that it is the view of the foreigners that teachers never observed academic boycott in their countries for their vested interests. Foreign students said that the Pakistani government has failed to give a peaceful environment to the students at the varsities. Especially at the PU, it seems that there is no government that can force the PU administration to open the university. A debate at international level is in progress about the closure of the historic Punjab University as foreign students of the varsity are getting emails and calls to know the reason of the closure of the varsity. A group of foreign students, while discussing the issue, told Pakistan Today that they are tense while answering their families, friends and other relatives about
the situation existing in the varsity. It was observed that all foreign students were disappointed and they were also condemning the Punjab government on its failure to convince the administration to reopen the PU as an academic boycott of classes is in progress for the last week by the current ASA and a specific group of teachers who have the support the current VC. These teachers are just boycotting the classes as they alleged that some elements of IJT misbehaved with them, but they have no proof in this regard though an FIR was registered against the teachers that they tortured the students, but a specific groups is not willing to continue classes at the varsity. Similarly, most PU teaches are also opposing the academic boycott of the classes. Even former PUASA and FAPUASA chairmen are also asking the teachers to stop their boycott as it is not a civilised way to record protest but these teachers are not willing to end boycott; even the Punjab government is helpless before them. Due to the boycott of classes, local students are also condemning the CM Punjab, but now foreign students have also started criticising our education sys-
tem and most of them are planning to return to their countries. It is percent to mention here that a large number of foreign students from various countries are getting education at the historic PU due to its old values. Students from African countries, Somalia, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Maldives, Nepal and other countries are enrolled in various disciplines of the PU, especially, a good number of foreign students are studying pharmacy, engineering and other sciences and social sciences disciplines and their majority is residing in the PU hostel No 2, where they all are worried about the academic boycott of the classes by the teachers. Similarly, female foreign students are equally tense due to the closure of the varsity and situation is the worst for them. A foreign student, seeking anonymity, said that police contingent was called by the administration here and this news worried their families. He said the administration is increasing the tension of their parents and families. Another foreign student said that actually culprits are those teachers’ elements who are closing varsity and most responsible
is the government who has failed to open varsity. FaPUasa PREsIdENT: Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association former President Dr Mumtaz Salik said the tension among foreign students is genuine as there is no concept of closure of universities and libraries in the western countries as libraries and classes remain open there even at night times. He said it is tragic that the varsity administration is seeking police help to control the affairs, which shows the administration is not able to control the affairs. CM should quit the government: A female professor said that the current strike of the teachers has damaged the image of the countries’ universities. She said it is tragic that such boycott is not happening in Wazirstan or Afghansitan, but in the province of the Punjab that was most peaceful province, but the current government has spoiled the affairs and now the university is close and students have gone to their hometowns. It is totally wastage of time, she said, asking the Punjab CM why he was constructing Danish schools and distributing laptops if he could not keep peace at the PU.
PPP will soon launch ‘go Shahbaz go’ campaign: raja riaz LAHORE online
Opposition Leader in the Punjab Assembly Raja Riaz Ahmad on Tuesday said that corruption in Danish School System and laptops distribution would be soon exposed and vowed that Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) would soon launch ‘Go Shahbaz Go’ campaign in Punjab province. Speaking to media persons here, Raja Riaz said that one-man show in Punjab would soon meet its fate, adding that days of the Punjab government are now numbered. He said that the PPP would soon launch ‘Go Shahbaz Go’ campaign in the province. Raja said that N-League should first see its attitude with the people of Sindh during its government. He said that southern Punjab province would be created at all cost and claimed that people of Sindh had trust in President Asif Ali Zardari. The leader of opposition in Punjab Assembly said that PPP would hand over power and rights of the southern Punjab people to them by creating a new province. He said lawlessness is prevailing in Punjab under the supervision of the Punjab law minister, adding that 100 percent surge in the criminal activities was noticed recently. He said that the Punjab CM had no confidence in the people of Punjab that’s why he goes to inspect nullahs and manholes in the city.
laHore: apca sets up a protest camp on the mall. STaFF PhOTO
Turkey playing vital role in lawyers again thrash policeman Punjab’s uplift: Shahbaz LAHORE online
LAHORE Staff report
Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said that the Punjab government is happy over the visit of Turkish parliamentarians to the country. He said that Turkey has been playing an important role in the development of the Punjab and there are longstanding relations between Pakistan and Turkey, adding the latter has always extended invaluable cooperation towards the former. He said Istanbul and Lahore are twin cities. He added Lahorites had extended a rousing welcome to the mayor of Istanbul during his visit to Lahore. He was talking to a five-member delegation of Turkish parliamentarians, led by Burhan Kayaturk in Government
House, Murree, on Tuesday. Advisor to Chief Minister Raja Ashfaq Sarwar was also present on this occasion. The chief minister invited the Turkish delegation to Lahore and said that he and his government are anxiously waiting for their visit. He said that Turkey has extended commendable cooperation for the development of various sectors in the Punjab. The leader of the Turkish delegation, Burhan Kayaturk, accepted the chief minister’s invitation to visit Lahore and said that a delegation of Turkish parliamentarians will visit the city in November this year. He welcomed the sentiments of goodwill of the chief minister and said that the Turkish parliamentarians will be happy to visit Lahore as it will also provide them an opportunity to learn more about the city. He said that Turkey is also desirous of investment in trade and industrial sector in the Punjab.
A group of lawyers Wednesday thrashed a police ASI who had come for a hearing at the Lahore High Court (LHC) from Gujranwala. As ASI Khalid of a Gujranwala police came out of the court after hearing of an illegal detention case, Advocate Rafique and Shahid along with 15 fellow lawyers tortured him. The lawyers thrashed the ASI and tore his uniform. The security officials appointed in the Lahore High court came to his rescue. After receiving information of the incident, Justice Anwar-ul-Haq of Lahore High Court summoned a top Punjab Bar Council office bearer and directed him to take action against the lawyers allegedly involved in the incident. The ASI and lawyers submitted applications for registration of cases against each other in Old Anarkali police station.
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laHoe: relatives of azeem protest against mughalpura police for not arresting his killers.. STaFF PhOTO
PPP WorKErs rAlly for PrEsidENT, PM LAHORE
HE Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) took out a rally on Tuesday, led by Punjab President and State Interior Minister Imtiaz Safdar Warraich, to express solidarity with President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gillani. The participants of the rally which later left for Sahiwal were raising slogans ‘Jeay Bhutto’. Speaking on the occasion, Imtiaz Safdar Warraich said that people of the Punjab had reposed confidence
in the PPP by taking part in the rally in a large number. He said President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gillani were democratically elected and those who were criticising them were trying to derail democracy in the country. Replying to a question about the Turkish prime minister’s address to the joint session of the parliament, Warraich said that Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Ch Nisar Ahmed Khan in his speech had tried to say the nation was divided into two sections. The state minister said Ch
CitY StAtion (enQuirY) reSerVAtion rAilWAY PoliCe
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54 wanted terrorists whose collective head bounty has been fixed at Rs 75 million. The first portion of the red book contains the names of terrorists involved in suicide attacks on important government and political personalities and sensitive locations. The second and third portion of the red book of Punjab police contains names of proclaimed offenders belonging to different sects. The red book also contains head bounties of various important figures of banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).
massive traffic jam at Ravi Bridge LAHORE
Nisar, being the opposition leader had the right to criticise the government but at that time he should have welcomed the guest instead of painting a negative image of the country. PUNjab PolICE sENds REd booK oF HEad-moNEy TERRoRIsTs To KP: Punjab police sent red book of most wanted terrorists to Khyber Pakhtunkhawa government and FATA Secretariat on Tuesday for their arrest. According to details, the new red book sent by Punjab police through provincial home department to FATA Secretariat and home department of KP contains a list of
People had to face a massive traffic jam from Kala Shah Kaku to the Ravi Bridge and other link roads on Tuesday due to the railway construction work. People and transport owners had to face immense problems as both sides of the GT Road remained blocked for more than two hours and queues of vehicles were seen up
to Bhati Chowk. Transport owners and passengers said besides construction, security checking at the entry to Lahore by police was a big reason for traffic jams on the Ravi Bridge. They said vehicles should be checked but along the roadside, adding all barriers should be removed for smooth traffic. lHC admITs PlEa agaINsT NaTo sUPPlIEs REsUmPTIoN: The
Rawalpindi Bench of the Lahore High Court on Tuesday admitted a petition against the resumption of NATO supplies for regular hearing. Justice Khwaja Ahmed headed the hearing of the plea filed by Advocate Sardar Zaheer Ahmed and sought replies from the foreign affairs, defence and interior secretaries within two weeks. The hearing will begin after replies are submitted by all respondents.
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Wednesday, 23 May, 2012
laHore: pti Youth wing activists demonstrate against restoration of nato supplies and power load shedding. STaFF PhOTO
WAPDA-GIK engineering course concludes LAHORE
HE first Post Graduate Certificate Course in Engineering and Financial Management jointly organised by the Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) and Ghulam Ishaq Khan (GIK) Institute of Engineering Sciences and Technology concluded at WAPDA Administrative Staff College on Monday. The 8-week course, first of its kind in Pakistan, was aimed at improving managerial skills
of technical, administrative and financial professionals of all disciplines. Farhan Ahmad, Assistant Manager (Design), NTDC and Zeeshan Fawad, Ministry of Defence secured first and second positions respectively, while Ammar Nazir, Deputy Director (Floods) Water Wing, WAPDA and Abdul Majid Jatoi, Assistant Manager (Project Management Unit) HESCO, jointly bagged third position in the course. WAPDA Chairman Shakil Durrani, the chief guest at the graduation ceremony, gave away medals and certificates to the participants. On this occasion, Durrani said that infra-
govt fails to represent country in Chicago: Aleem Khan laHoRE: Central leader of Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaaf Abdul Aleem Khan Tuesday said that the present regime has failed to represent the case of Pakistan in the international forum, especially at Chicago Summit, as nothing has been achieved. Talking to a delegation in the PTI Gulbarg office, he said that an opportunity has been lost due to incapability of the leadership and no one paid heed to the genuine national security issues of the country. He claimed only Imran Khan and his able team could lead the nation to bring it out of the present crisis. Aleem said that instead of correcting themselves, rulers were busy in political settings and trying to remain in power for maximum time. He said that decisions of the Supreme Court were not being implemented in letter spirit and situation is being worsened day by day. He said that holding of new general elections was the only solution to meet the present challenges. online
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structure development was imperative for sustained progress, while engineering management and financial administration played a key role in implementing infrastructure-related projects. Congratulating the graduates, he hoped that they would effectively capitalise on their skills acquired through the course in discharging their professional duties. GIK Institute Rector Engineer Jehangir Bashar said that initiation of the course by WAPDA and GIK Institute was a great idea, suggesting that the postgraduate course could be upgraded to a degree course.
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10 Lahore govt keen to upgrade health facilities: minister LAHORE app
Punjab Labour Minister Haji Ehsanud-Din Qureshi has said the government is promoting public health facilities and has started several programmes to achieve health targets. While talking to delegations of doctors and paramedics of social security hospitals and labourers Tuesday, Haji Ehsan-ud-Din Qureshi said that specific objectives of mother and child health programmes were to reduce the under-five mortality rate. He said lady health workers have rendered tremendous services to promote health and create awareness by visiting communities from door to door to brief them on preventable diseases.
Wednesday, 23 May, 2012
PPA stages demo outside Jinnah Hospital LAHORE
HE office bearers of Punjab Paramedical Alliance continued their protest on the 15th consecutive day to press the government for their service structure and other allowances for paramedical staff of BPS 1-4. The protesters on Monday staged a protest demonstration outside the Jinnah Hospital and observed threehour strike at the OPDs of the hospital and raised slogans in support of their demands. After the protest, Special Assistant to Chief Minister for Health Kh. Salman Rafiq met the PPA Chair-
man Malik Munir Ahmed and other office bearers of the alliance and assured them of solving their problems soon. However, the PPA leaders, after the meeting, said that no breakthrough could be made and the strike would continue until the acceptance of their demands. They demanded the Punjab government to implement the notification of the service structure and professional healthcare allowance for the paramedics who were also the part of the healthcare providing institutions. They said that other provinces had announced service structure for the paramedics but in Punjab they were being deprived of it.
health Deptt allocates Rs 10m for PBC bill LAHORE app
A spokesman for the Punjab Health Department said that lawyers’ community had free treatment facility in government hospitals, which had not been withdrawn. The spokesman said that rumours in this
Dengue awareness event LAHORE app
The Social Welfare Department in collaboration with the Patient Welfare Society arranged a dengue awareness event at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital on Tuesday. Speaking on the occasion, Social Welfare Punjab Director General Malik Muhammad Aslam, said, “All-out efforts are being made to create awareness among the general public about dengue and cleanliness.” District Social Welfare Officer Tanvir Ahmed, Muhammad Ashraf Janjua, Muhammad Galib, Saima Iqbal and Madiha Naseem conducted the event. sEmINaR oN EFFECTs oF dENgUE TomoRRoW: The Gynecology Department of Postgraduate Medical Institute (PGMI) is organising a seminar titled ‘How Dengue Affects Mother and Child Health during Pregnancy; at Lahore General Hospital tomorrow (Thursday). The seminar will be attended by doctors and officials concerned from all the government hospitals of the city. Prof. Tariq Salahud Din, Principal PGMI and LGH, will preside over the seminar while Allama Iqbal Medical College Principal Prof. Javed Akram and other senior doctors will deliver special lectures.
Survey of industrial units in progress LAHORE app
The Environment Production Department of the City District Government Lahore continued a survey of industrial units in residential areas. The EPD sources said nine teams were visiting different parts of the city to find out industrial units and detected 60 more units, raising the number to 1210.
Cng closure continues LAHORE app
All the CNG filling stations of Lahore, Gujranwala, Sahiwal and Sheikhupura regions remained closed on Tuesday, the second day of 72-hour weekly closure. Comparatively thin traffic was witnessed in the province metropolis due to unavailability of CNG. Public transport was also thin on the roads, causing problems to commuters. Inter-city routes travelling was also affected and commuters had to pay extra amount to transporters to reach their destinations.
regard were baseless. Besides free treatment facility to the lawyers in government hospitals, he said the health department had also allocated funds of Rs 10 million to Punjab Bar Council (PBC) for reimbursement of their medical bills. The spokesman further said that no orders had been issued to withdraw free treatment facility from the lawyers.
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Wednesday, 23 May, 2012
Editor’s mail 11
Storming the Supreme Court A much-awaited case of storming of Supreme Court by Sharif Brothers has been re-opened, which was frozen in cold storage due to a secret deal between a military dictator and Sharif Brothers in early 2000s. I appreciate Interior Minister Rehman Malik for reopening this case and primarily it was the duty of Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry to hang culprits till death who had violated Article 6, of the Constitution of Pakistan. But now interior minister has taken the responsibility on his shoulders. BBC footages are also available of storming of Supreme Court. This is a good development that an incomplete inquiry report is going to be completed and it will become a valid document. Evidences including the CCTV footages, FIR registered with the Secretariat police and investigation reports prepared by then SSP headquar-
ters Taimour Ali Khan have been collected. Mr Khan’s incomplete inquiry is called so because the statements of main culprits – PML(N) leaders – could not be recorded as they were in detention and later they made a secret deal with dictator and fled the country. How long will they ditch laws of the land? The capital police have issued notices to PML(N) chief Nawaz Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, asking them to appear before the senior superintendent of police within 10 days for interrogation in connection with the 1997 attack on the Supreme Court. Nawaz Sharif did all this out of ego, abused his powers and stormed the Supreme Court. Supreme Court had appointed five new judges. Nawaz Sharif harshly criticised the Supreme Court. A contempt of court notice was issued to Nawaz Sharif. The court was about to
Post-2014 Pakistan hear the contempt of court case when Nawaz Sharif attacked the court. This case could have resulted in a disqualification of Nawaz Sharif. Most of the analysts believed that Mr Sharif's conflict with the Chief Justice, Mr Sajjad Ali Shah – in which the prime minister was accused of contempt of court – had reached the point of no return. The dispute between Mr Sharif and the Chief Justice had become personal, and that it was then impossible for them to reconcile their differences. Supporters of this theory were of the view that the incessant arguments between the two men had undermined their authority. Chief Justice Iftikhtar Chaudary should have taken a suo motu of this case too for the sake of sanctity of the SC, but it is so sad that he did not. Police officers need to be sincere with their
profession and they should help the interior minister for fixing the culprits of storming the Supreme Court. Prime Minister Gilani appeared thrice in the court, he respected the courts, he did not order his jiyalas to storm SC and as a result no untoward incident happened. How is it possible that MNAs of a ruling party and political secretary of the prime minister organise such unruly mob attack on Supreme Court without an approval of their boss? At least in Pakistan it is not possible because we have a fragile democratic setup and because of a lack of democratic institutions, personalities always shine and workers and legislators of political parties act according to the wishes of their leaders, especially when it is a ruling party. DR SAIFUR REHMAN Islamabad
hopes from Pak-uS ties With the sure hope of being helped by the Americans, Pakistan had gladly become its ally in the war on terror. With dreams of development and fixing the energy shortages in the country had looked like a reality with the US claims of helping Pakistan advance towards a more modernised country. Such images however were dispelled when nothing positive emerged out of the agreement between both the countries or allies, so to say. The agreements that no foreign presence upon the Pakistani territory would be tolerated and that any military operation within the Pakistani border would be carried out exclusively by Pakistani troops were grossly violated by the Americans. The killing of Pakistani people by an American Raymond Davis, the OBL raid and the Salala checkpost are clear indicators that show a disconnect between agreements and reality. Despite the fact that Pakistan has been actively involved in the war on terror by launching several military operations against Al-Qaeda organisations and has allowed the US to execute its military operations from its land, sea and air bases, the unilateral US action in Abbottabad can never be completely justified. The expenditure on war on terror has far exceeded the amount received in aid by the US in lieu of the war on terror. The Coalition Support Fund till last year had been only $15bn, a figure from which only $2bn had been given to the already overstretched security forces. Further, the Pakistan government has been denied any delivery of latest high tech weapons for fighting militants who are equipped with an unlimited supply of advanced and modern devices which puts our troops under great risk as they have only to rely on a limited supply of local made weapons. On the other handm, India enjoys a very excellent relation with the US aim to establish a ‘true strategic partnership’ with India by increasing their military cooperation and trade with the country, which can be seen as India is rapidly militarising itself with while critically increasing its defence budget and importing war equipment from many countries including Israel. The Chicago Summit brings only bad news for Pakistan that again Pakistan is being pressed and cajoled into re-opening the supply lines for Nato and to play its due role in helping the US troops exit honourably. PROFESSOR KABIL KHAN Peshawar
Division of Sindh Many killed and injured as violence erupted in several parts of the old city following firing on Awami Tehreek's 'Mohabbat Sindh' rally which was against the division of Sindh. Recently, Muhajir province movement has got momentum but its leadership is still unknown. Sindh Assembly has passed a resolution against the division of Sindh and the three major parties supported the resolution. There is constitutional procedure for the making of a province and those who want a separate province should follow it. I request authorities to take action against those who want to get their goal through unfair means. TAHIR KHAN VELWAAL Karachi
if you are born poor They say if you are born poor it’s not your fault but if you die poor it’s your fault. I think Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani has got inspired by this statement and he wants to say that if you are born a Pakistani it’s not your fault but if you die a
greed for money Most of the people are motivated by the greed for money and fame. They would do anything to satisfy their lust for these worldly assets. The combination of both these elements makes a lethal recipe. Veena Malik (the actress) is one such person. With her nude expose, she has earned money and notoriety. People may be good at heart, but they can make wrong choices in their lives. India is a perfect breeding ground for such freedom. She has found her ultimate freedom. She has been able to generate controversy. In a statement, she said her photo shoot was in fact topless but not so ‘topless’. She has not only stirred the pot, but also anger of the public. She has taken a great risk. Now she is going to appear in a reality show to find a husband in India. This move would further her career. She is a courageous and daring person, and ready to bear the brunt of the storm over such tactics. She is extremely generous in her own way. She feeds on controversies. Media should leave her to her own will, and focus on other important issues. We are passionate people and care for false notions of honour and respect. As a nation, we need to change our attitude towards such fickle and absurd outrages. JAVAID BASHIR Lahore
education is important Education plays a pivotal role in the development of a nation, as it contributes to the development of human capital. Majority of economists believes that a substantial proportion of robust economic growth seen in western hemisphere is explained by their sophisticated education system. However in Pakistan, the existing education delivery system has failed to
Pakistani it’s your fault. Hope our politicians will change their mind for the sake of this country. M MOHSIN SHAHBAZ Karachi
meet the needs and aspirations of the society. Although private sector is playing its role effectively but because of deteriorating socio economic condition, its penetration is very limited in the grass root level. The public, government-run schools, which educate the vast majority of children, are where significant reforms and an increase in resources are most needed. Ours is a fractured society with people believing in different school of thoughts, holding diametrically different or conflicting opinions to commonsensical issues and this social schism is mainly explained by the widening gap between various schooling systems, ranging from the ultra modern grammar schools, to the highly conservative religious madrassahs. The few initiatives that could be taken to improve the plight of education system in Pakistan are implementation of comprehensive literacy program, expansion of primary and elementary education, improving the quality of education through teacher training, higher education sector reforms, and fostering the public-private partnership. These initiatives if taken properly and in good faith, could revamp our education system. SEHRISH KHAN Karachi
importance of english The falling standard of English, like any other subject, has its root in the depreciating trend found in education at a national level. We tend to worry more over the pathetic state of the English language, but how other important subjects are being treated is something that is revealed only when students are questioned about them. The extensive borrowing of Hindi lexical items into the Urdu language is something that needs to be highlighted nationally, for it may per-
manently alter the beliefs of our society. The students nowadays are surely lacking in primary language skills which disables them to understand much of what the teachers teach. The primary reason for such a pitiable state to evolve is the policy of the state to institutionalize incompetence that allows individuals with no academic background to take charge of the education sector and thus play havoc with the future of the nation. Instead of focusing upon the teachinglearning process, politics of survival and culture of nepotism dominate almost all academic institutions. Secondly, the increase in student population goes in opposition to the decrease in the budgetary allocations, another by-product of incompetence that allows the government to see it fit to reduce funds for the education sector to meet its budget deficits. The paltry amount, as the writer points out, given to the faculty in the name of salaries is so embarrassingly low that it hardly does anything for the motivation level of the faculty considering the current state where the price hike poses existential threat to many. How then do we expect the faculty to generate any enthusiasm into the students, a most essential ingredient for enhancing the learning process? The Pakistani society, at large is keen of highlighting others mistakes rather than rewarding an individual for his/her talents and capabilities, thus producing battalions of demotivated and bored students who find no interest in classrooms. This degenerate trend in our education system is something that ought to become the first preference of the government. It is our only hope of a better future, but if things continue in the same manner, we might lose the only hope that we are clinging to for a long time now. LUBNA UMAR Islamabad
Ground realities remain the same despite the high profile discussions and meetings. As the US troop withdrawal edges closer, the success of the US/Nato security forces too sees a considerable reversal as the Taliban have maintained their major strongholds especially the Kunar and Nuristan regions where they operate without any fear at all. This US failure has had and continues to have serious repercussions for Pakistan as the TTP draws its strength from the Afghan Taliban enjoying great operational space across the border. Already suffering from economic degradation, Pakistan has approached international isolation that may further add to its list of worries. This weakens Pakistan’s position to a considerable degree which surely has a negative impact upon the war outcome. Instead, a strong Pakistan being supported by its allies and regional neighbours would have enhanced the security situation in the entire South Asian region. Episodes such the OBL raid if viewed within the larger framework of the war against terrorism while keeping in mind the primary objectives of the war, have had almost no change in the state and potency of the insurgency whatsoever. It has a more symbolic effect that serves as a feather in the US cap while providing a valid excuse to the American for Pakistan bashing. The negative fallout of the unilateralism exhibited by the US is evident from the fact that the relations between Pakistan and the US has reached rock bottom. Despite all this, both the US and Afghanistan realize, however, that Pakistan has always had to play a critical role in Afghanistan whether it’s in eliminating terrorism from the region; or launching military offensives against the militants; or aiding in the reconciliation process; or to help the US withdraw its troop from Afghanistan. The US is also well aware of the fact that Afghanistan could very easily drift into anarchy and civil war after the US/Nato troops pull out and the Afghan army takes the security in its juvenile hands, thus requiring assurance from regional neighbours to commit themselves in maintaining peace in Afghanistan. Which just shows that we may be passing through a difficult time, but the ultimate test is yet to come after the 2014 troop drawdown. Is Pakistan ready for it? What has the government done to safeguard itself against such an eventuality? Isn’t it time to think a little further than the present? DR NIDA SHAMI Ontario, Canada
Strange enigma Pakistan is caught in a whirlpool. We are isolated and the entire blame is on novice foreign minister we have. For all I know the only characteristic she has is that she is a Khar of Muzaffargarh. Of course she is smart, even pretty looking, immaculately dressed up and has a double edge. Her voice is like a half grown man. Pakistan has been cornered. In our internal legal and exhibitionist’s policies we have made ourselves so vulnerable that even our diehard enemies do not want to intervene in our affairs. Economically we have gone so weak that even ministers have started speaking some truths. We are in vicious circle and we have no one who can break through this circle. People of Pakistan are faced with the basic question of survival and sustenance and we are busy in creating new provinces and demarcating their sizes. The Prime Minister does not tire himself in advocating that he is the premier even on an academic function. The police is gone so frustrated that they fight like school boys and use abusive language. The crime rate and style of crime is gone so berserk that security force has run out of papers and pencils to register FIRs. Will the so-called elected representatives of the so-called democratic country wake up and do something to save the country from total annihilation? I refer and admire some honest journalists, who have started saying this, except some of those who have received their price tag demands. AMJAD H MIRZA Lahore
Send your letters to: Letters to Editor, Pakistan Today, 4-Shaarey Fatima Jinnah, Lahore, Pakistan. Fax: +92-42-36298302. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Letters should be addressed to Pakistan Today exclusively.
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12 Comment Peace in Afghanistan pakistan’s role is crucial
s the time for US and Nato forces’ withdrawal from Afghanistan is drawing near, tensions of another sort are becoming apparent. With the rift between Pakistan and the US widening gradually in the past year, and no side seriously listening to the other to overcome their differences, the proposed end to this decade-long war is not going to happen smoothly. Allies from Nato have also raised their concerns about the revised deadline for withdrawal of 2013, gradually to be completed by the end of 2014. Pakistan’s insistence on an apology by the US for the Salala incident is not helping matters either. Frustrated, the US president decided not to meet with his Pakistani counterpart during the Chicago Summit on Afghanistan. President Zardari stressed that Pakistan wanted to see peace and stability in the region, provided the US, Nato and world community establishes relations with Pakistan based on mutual respect and trust. President Obama, on his part, does not want to appear as a weak president by tendering an apology only months before his second term elections, though he did emphasise the resolution of all issues. The Chicago Summit calls for an enhanced role of Pakistan in ending this war, but there are questions that remain unanswered. Except for the decision on the deadline for troops’ withdrawal, nothing else has been finalised. How is it going to happen? Who will take over responsibility of keeping peace? Who will decide whether the objectives of this decade-long war have been achieved? Who is going to make sure that a repeat of the late ’80s withdrawal does not happen? Are Afghanistan’s security forces capable of safeguarding their boundaries, populace and government? How will the government in Kabul run its affairs economically? How can it wrest back the control of its territories presently held by Taliban? Will it negotiate with them and invite them to share the government or will it keep fighting them? These questions still loom large with no clear answer in sight and this uncertainty is the driving force behind Pakistan’s continued insistence on finding the solutions to these questions. As soon as some progress is made on this front, along with an apology from Washington, Pakistan will be in a better position to make this transition peaceful and successful, while justifying its actions to its own people in this regard.
erdogan in islamabad turkish delight
urkish premier Erdogan’s visit was like a breath of fresh air. What remains to be seen is whether the event succeeds in removing some of the miasma in Pakistan’s political environment created by threats to block the Nato supplies by force and calls for the government’s removal through agitation. Being a responsible member of Nato, Turkey is naturally worried about the blocking of the Nato supply routes – vital, among other things, for the timely pullout of foreign troops from Afghanistan. Turkey’s worries are all the more understandable as Ankara is actively engaged, through tripartite summits, in the resolution of Pak-Afghan differences. While diplomatic restraint obliged Erdogan not take up the issue in his address before the joint sitting of parliament, he must have taken up the matter during his talks with the government leaders. It was a welcome gesture on the part of the opposition to maintain decorum during Erdogan’s address. This was in a happy contrast to the noisy filibustering that was carried on during the last sitting of the National Assembly from April 25 to May 4. The Speaker too needs to be congratulated for giving floor to the leader of the opposition which was not a part of the schedule. While Nawaz Sharif’s absence from the banquet was widely noticed, his party was represented by a central leader. The Turkish premier’s observation that the opposition’s task is to guide the government and not to attempt to overthrow it needs to be heeded by the parties issuing calls for long marches on Islamabad though. The remarks by Erdogan whom Ch Nisar calls “a true leader of the Islamic world” seem to have had little impact on the leader of the opposition. In his welcome speech, he reminded the Turkish premier that that the smooth sailing of the joint sitting of Parliament was entirely because of the visiting prime minister’s presence. Turkey was also an army dominated polity for a protracted period of time. What made it possible was that unlike any Pakistani general, Mustafa Kemal was the leading figure in the creation of modern Turkey. It goes to the credit of Erdogan and his party to bring Turkey out of the shadow of the army and make it a truly democratic country. The opposition and the extremist outfits in Pakistan need to take his advice.
Dedicated to the legacy of the late Hameed Nizami
Arif Nizami Editor
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Wednesday, 23 May, 2012
Internal disorder and politicians Why add fuel to fire in a burning country?
akistan is passing through the most dangerous phase of its life as a nation-state. It faces enormous internal challenges and external pressures which need to be addressed effectively if Pakistan is to continue functioning as a state that can perform its basic obligations towards its citizenry and stay positively engaged with the international community. Pakistan is fast losing its primacy in the territories that constitute Pakistan to non-state entities and powerful interests that want to enforce their hardline religio-political doctrines or use force to pursue their narrow Islamic-sectarian agendas or create a domain of authority for themselves at the expense of Pakistani state or engage in criminal and illicit business activities. The Pakistani state is increasingly unable or unwilling to protect ordinary citizens against these power wielders. Pakistan’s security and intelligence establishment have not been able to come to the conclusion if the Islamic hardline and militant groups are a challenge to the sovereignty and primacy of the state. They maintain a tolerant, if not sympathetic, disposition towards selected militant Islamic groups that gives them space to function and penetrate the society. Some of the extremist religious groups are now so enBy Dr Hasan Askari Rizvi trenched in the society that the state will find it difficult to effectively control them if they ever decide to do that. The current state policy is a combination of ignoring their activities, appeasement and, a selective use of force against some groups. The preferred strategy is to seek some working arrangements with these groups whereby they stay engaged in low-key activities but do not directly challenge the state authority. The power dynamics of Islamic militancy and other groups that have ideological-political agenda make it imperative for these groups to defy the state authority from time to time. They need to demonstrate that they are independent of the state authority in order to win over support in the society. Pakistan’s security establishment should understand that these groups cannot be reliable partners for foreign policy or internal agenda.
Pakistan’s internal weaknesses have compromised its role at the international level and reduced its bargaining power in global politics. The current impasse in the US-Pakistan relations is a good example of the limited scope of diplomatic action for Pakistan. The Pakistani civilian and military authorities adopted two punitive measures to register protest against the US/NATO attack on a Pakistani border post in Salala. However, as the stalemate was allowed to fester, Pakistan’s position weakened because of internal economic pressures and troubled socio-political conditions. There is an external dimension to Pakistan’s current predicament. However, the major causes are internal and there is an urgent need to put the internal economic and political house in order. These internal problems cannot be addressed by pursuing confrontation towards the US and other Western countries. The primary responsibility for improving internal political and economic conditions and sustaining the effectiveness of the state system is on the political leaders and activists (government and opposition) and societal elite. They need to practice and preach respect for law and constitution in letter and spirit, fulfil civic obligations and view Pakistan as the focal point of political attachment rather than treating it as an instrument for pursuing their partisan and ideological agendas. There is little attention to these issues at the operational level. The popular culture projects a powerful person as the one on whom ordinary laws do not apply; who can defy laws at his convenience. The most unfortunate development in Pakistan is the neglect of civic obligations. Schools hardly teach the rights and duties of citizenship to children. The school courses are focused more on making people Muslim rather than teaching them the concept of citizenship. Consequently, the young people are not focused on Pakistan as a nation state or the obligations of a citizen. This makes them less concerned about the consequences of their actions on others. For a minor reason, the students and others people come out on the main road, block the traffic and set old vehicle tyres on fire. They may also damage public and private property. Invariably the state authorities do not take any action. As a result, urban disorder is on the rise and there is hardly any cost for those disrupting traffic or damaging public or
private property. The opposition political leaders, unable to dislodge the federal government in the National Assembly, have been attempting to dislodge the government through street agitation. In the Punjab, the chief minister and his close associates openly preach violence in order to embarrass the federal government. They do not realise that law and order is a provincial subject. It is the duty of the provincial government to maintain law and order. But the PML(N) leadership (chief minister, cabinet members and senior members of the party) not only encourage violent agitation but they also participate in street agitation on power shortages. The PPP is no less unrestrained in its criticism of the PML(N), especially the Sharif brothers. Both parties are now holding their separate public meetings in different cities which invariably become exercises in criticism and condemnation of each other. The harsh polemics between the parties can be described as futile politics and it diverts attention from the problems that threaten the state and society. Violence has become endemic in Karachi; four-five killings a day is a routine affair for last couple of months. Various parts of Balochistan, especially the Baloch majority districts, experience violence on a regular basis. Powerful non-state groups motivated by ethnic, Islamicsectarian, separatist, criminal and money-making considerations engage in such activities, exposing the inability of the state to check these trends. If the present trends continue, defiance of state authority and violence will become an integral part of Pakistan’s political culture. This will undermine the prospects of civilian democratic politics. The political and societal leaders should observe restraint in their mutual interaction and they need to make joint effort to salvage Pakistan’s economy and contain the drift towards disorder. If the political parties an leaders continue with their restrained war of words and work to undermine each other, Pakistan may start resembling Somalia in a couple of years. This will jeopardise the future of all political and societal leaders irrespective of their political affiliations. The more Pakistan becomes disorderly, the fewer are the chances of the political and civilian leaders staying on the top of the power-pyramid. The writer is an independent political and defence analyst.
the challenge in Chicago The Khaleej Times
he NATO summit in Chicago seems to be in a fix. Though the leaders had converged with a sense of understanding to scale down their responsibilities and walk out of Afghanistan in grace, and that too at the earliest, the change of heart from Washington has acted as a spanner in works. The United States plea that the West and NATO should maintain their presence despite their scheduled withdrawal in 2014 is merely jumping over the gun. This has come to obstruct an earlier understanding through which Germany, Britain and the US had agreed to an international fund to help Afghan forces after the NATO pullout. The estimated $4 billion fund is indispensable for security and stability in the war-torn country, and shouldn’t come under debate on the premise of prolonging Coalition forces presence in Afghanistan. The second thoughts that Pentagon is nursing these days of staying put in southwest Asia for a longer period of time will not come to solve any of the problems. Exiting Afghanistan is sine qua non for peace, and only then can the forces of inertia come into play to evolve an in-
built political serenity. The faux pas in Chicago has turned out to be how to deal with Pakistan. The invitation to Islamabad was widely considered to be a gesture that would work in reopening the supply lines. But what Pakistan has asked for in Chicago is nothing new – with the only exception of putting up a higher price tag for resuming supplies. The enigma of drones and seeking an unconditional apology for the attack on its soldiers has for long been debated. It is a fact that drone strikes have come to derail the goodwill that the war on terrorism had once bred in the region, and now it has landed both Pakistan and the US in a tight corner where their sincerity is highly doubted. Secondly, the aspect of interpreting geostrategic needs in commercial terms is what that is surprising Washington and the NATO allies! The answer as far as Pakistan is concerned could be in making its ends meet, as it faces a severe economic backlash. The Chicago summit shouldn’t waste this opportunity of building more bridges and chartering out a roadmap through which not only the mess in Afghanistan is addressed but also peace restored in southwest Asia. NATO’s future role should be one of a catalyst for stability and not one of an occupation force.
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Wednesday, 23 May, 2012
2013: Elections are coming let’s put on our pundit hats...for national interest, of course
By Ali Aftab Saeed
here was a time not too long ago when a lot of people, including even the most diehard haters of Zia and his spiritual heirs, couldn’t figure out the good cop-bad cop game played by Nawaz and Shahbaz. This is despite the fact that this game was pioneered and played to great effect by Zardari and Gilani. For a time, Sharif brothers too pulled it off beautifully. To the extent that the tweeples (almost all of whom are liberals) – of all people – started praising N league for Nawaz’s anti-establishment stance. This anti-establishment facade suffered its first major blow after Memogate, when Nawaz rushed to the Supreme Court like a toddler does towards candy. The second blow followed soon after, with the N-league’s “isteefa do” campaign immediately after Gilani was convicted (when even Imran Khan was willing to concede Gilani’s right of appeal). I too plead guilty to believing – for a short time – that he had evolved into a great statesman after his views about India in his address to SAFMA officials, but he thoroughly disappointed me thereafter. I believe he foresees the hurdles he would face after (and before) coming to power from the Ghairat Brigade if he takes decisions that every democrat considers best for the country. Let’s examine what chances there are of that eventuality (Nawaz coming to power) after the coming general elections: Keeping Pakistani history in perspective, the situation at the moment is very interesting. The party ruling the Punjab is in opposition while all the other relevant parties in the “smaller” provinces constitute the government in Islamabad; and for this reason, for the first time they are in command too. See for yourself the hours of loadshedding each province has to bear. Punjab
suffers from it the most. The reason given by the other provinces is that Punjab produces far too little electricity as compared to what it consumes. Which is absolutely right but in this country, who cares what is right! The point is that for the first time smaller provinces are not really letting Punjab have the best of everything. This is something we have never witnessed before. PPP spent years mourning the loss of Punjab, and Benazir expended great time and energy to win it back because the Punjab has always been perceived to lead to power in Islamabad. N-League also became a “national” party mainly due to its power in Punjab. Zardari has been the first person who actually came up with the idea of isolating Punjab. While IK looks determined in putting a dent in N in Punjab (and perhaps to some extent to PPP too), this again causes
patch up with the US despite the fear of going against public demand (read sloganeering) in the election year; because the military is desperate to get onboard with US as soon as possible. All the political parties and Difa-e-Pakistan jokers are playing politics on it, except Imran Khan, who went away to England. It is very important in this country to be on good terms with the army in the election year. The election commission most probably will sanitise the voters list before elections but if they fail to do so, the fake votes might not be cast against the PPP for a change. Also, for obvious reasons, the establishment will love to have a coalition government like the one we have now. While this coalition between parties from all provinces was not the establishment’s idea and was a result of Zardari’s all-inclusive-andforgiving politics, this kind of for-
the ppp won fewer seats than it was expected to last time. With Benazir income Support programme and other initiatives like these they have secured their areas of support. result of by-elections is another indicator. no worry to Zardari since he knows he can form a government without Punjab, letting different parties divide the booty so to speak. All this is with due regard to the seats Q will take, mainly due to seat adjustment. There are predictions of IK putting a major dent in ANP’s votebank in KP. I would be surprised if that happened, because ANP have seen power after a long time and they have promoted the Bacha Khan romance massively. Secondly, the most likely scenario is that it will be the anti-ANP votes that will split between JI and PTI, keeping JUI’s share untouched. Even if some young followers of ANP do vote for IK, the small number is most likely to make no difference as far as the national assembly is concerned. Ironically, the ongoing NATO supply line fiasco might also go in favour of PPP since it is trying to
mula suits the establishment just fine. After all, happiness and contentment on the part of the smaller provinces cannot be a bad thing for national interest, can it now? The PPP won fewer seats than it was expected to last time. With Benazir Income Support Programme and other initiatives like these they have secured their areas of support. Result of by-elections is another indicator. Still, considering the incumbency factor, and with all the bad governance and corruption charges; even if they lose 20 to 25 seats in the next elections, they can successfully form the next government. We might see a stronger federal cabinet next time around; don’t be shocked if you see Nawaz or even Imran sitting in the coalition government, all in the national interest of course. The writer is a member of the band Beygairat Brigade.
Fashionably late? if you’re Sachin or rekha, you can take your time
third eye By M J Akbar
ome very shortsighted cynics with cotton in their brain and dyspepsia in their disposition have been carping that Sachin Tendulkar and Rekha took their time before appearing in the Rajya Sabha to be sworn in as nominated MPs. Delhi’s caste of pundits is so used to drooling aspirants who rush into democracy’s gilded hall even before All India Radio has finished pronouncing their names that it tends to affix some mysterious theory to perfectly comprehensible reasons. Look at the situation from Sachin’s point of view. I am not suggesting we write a condolence letter, but sympathy is certainly due to Sachin. Nomination to the Rajya Sabha is a pretty desultory substitute for someone who has been promised the Bharat Ratna. There are consolation prizes which console, and some which char the soul. Sachin did not ask for this honour. Delhi’s politicians, ever eager to climb a bandwagon, led the clamour for Sachin’s elevation to jewel of India after he got his 99th international hundred. Perhaps Lady Macbeth’s insightful law for crisis management, that if it were done ’twas best ’twere done quickly, works as much for assassination of Scottish kings as for the coronation of Indian icons. If Sachin had got his 100th century in a Test innings against England at Lord’s or against Australia at Sydney, with style, and without dropped catches, the momentum for Bharat Ratna
would have become irreversible. It is not quite as glamorous when you plod along till you finally reach Bangladesh, and then dither so much during the century match that India loses. The hero did not arrive on a flashing steed, laden with battle honours; he trotted in on a mule, the faint outline of a hidden crutch visible from the baggage. By the time Sachin conquered his Everest, all that was left was grey above and fog below. You could hear a nationwide snigger scrape against the applause. Sachin could also see what the rest of us did. The powers that be squirmed away from Bharat Ratna, leaving some sort of a thank you note behind. Membership of Parliament is a handsome freebie. But joy or depression is often relative; it depends on the starting point. Sachin also had to consider the practical side. The daily allowance of an MP is “Rs 2,000 per day during any period of residence on duty”, with an exotic entitlement of “Rs 16 per kilometre” as road mileage bonus. Don’t bother to ask what Sachin’s daily allowance from IPL is, and what happens to his bank account when he burns a few miles on the road. I wouldn’t know how to calculate IPL remuneration, with or without the extras you get for being in the company of lollipops. If parliament had any sense, it would not hold its sessions during an IPL season, at least not if it wants Sachin Tendulkar to take an oath. You will not, most regrettably, get paid for either pleasure, but where would you have rather been on Sunday the 13th of May, the 60th anniversary of India’s parliament? In the company of Lalu Prasad Yadav as he barrelled through increasingly tired and tiring jokes; or in the stands as David Hussey smashed the ball with a pirate’s swagger? There was live and free coverage of both
events. Which did you choose? If MPs want to find out the answer, they should sell advertising on Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha tv. A spot on Sachin’s bat would cost more than sail’s exclusive sponsorship of the Prime Minister’s speech. Why blame Sachin if he prefers being in Bangalore to check out if Kingfisher can still fly rather than in Delhi among birds in borrowed feathers. Parliamentary fundamentalists are upset that Sachin has not rushed to eat sugared toast and drink semi-sipid coffee in Central Hall. But no one has answered a basic question: What’s the hurry? His nomination did not come with a sell-by date. Nor is Sachin in any haste to shake the nation and wake the government with fiery oratory on the impending collapse of telecom infrastructure. Svelte, buxom Rekha does not play cricket. That much is known. She took three weeks to appear before the decorous Hamid Ansari, chairman of the Rajya Sabha, to recite the few simple words that made her a distinguished member of India’s most august House. I discount totally nasty suggestions that this delay was prompted by discomfort about the company she would have to keep. Nor did she have any worries about the script for the occasion; an adaab before Hamid Ansari is an easy glide for anyone who has opened the scene in Umrao Jaan. Rekha is a big girl now. But do you have any idea how long it takes for a big girl to decide what to wear on her big day? Have a heart. And if you cannot have a heart for a heartthrob like Rekha, then you are utterly heartless. The columnist is editor of The Sunday Guardian, published from Delhi, India on Sunday, published from London and Editorial Director, India Today and Headlines Today.
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Wednesday, 23 May, 2012
Jackie Chan retires
as action hero after 100th film NEWS DESK MARTIAL arts superstar Jackie Chan has announced his retirement as an action star, saying he is too old for stunts and the world it too full of violence. The 58year-old actor, who has done 100 action films so far and will be seen
in the new production “Chinese Zodiac”, said increasing violence in the wider world had put him off from action, reported Daily Mail. “This is my last action film. I am not young any more. I am really, really tired. The world is too violent right now. It’s a dilemma - I love fighting. I like action. but I don’t like violence,” he said. The screen legend said he wanted to take on more serious roles and emulate the success of Robert De Niro. “I don’t just want to be an action star, I want to be a true actor. I want to get rid of my image. I want the audience to know also I’m not only a comedian. I can act. Day by day, year by year, I’m going to show you the real Jackie Chan,” he added. Chan began his career as a stuntman working with Bruce Lee in the films “Fist of Fury” and “Enter the Dragon” in the early 1970s but big break was in 1978 film “Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow”.
CAnneS: uS actress Michelle rodriguez, uS singer Sean J Combs aka P. Diddy and french actress Alexandra lamy attend the Soiree Chopard 'Mystery Party' on the sidelines of the 65th Cannes film festival. aFP
Raveena Tandon plans a sabbatical MUMBAI toi
At a time when other actresses are making comebacks, Raveena Tandon is planning her sabbatical. “I want to help my daughter Rasha, with her homework and accompany my son Ranbir Vardhan, to his swimming classes,” she smiles and says. So is her tryst with tinsel town over? “Not really. I have completed two films, but will now be choosy about my roles,” she says. The actress admits that things are different in the industry now. “Bollywood is engrossed in the world of social networking sites. It was not the same when I joined. People go back to their vanity vans immediately after a shot is over. Earlier, the unit used to be like a family. There
calls her boy Baby k
were no vanity vans where we could shut ourselves. The moment it is pack-up time, people just switch off from work these days,” she says. But the “self absorbed Bollywood”, as she terms it, cannot be the only reason for her time-off. “I want to spend time with my children. According to the teachers, my kids are among the best in class,” she gushes. Though she admits little Rasha is the naughtier one, she adds, “They are at their best behaviour when they’re out.” We wonder if the cheez badi hai mast girl will want her daughter to step into her mum’s shoes once she’s older. “I cannot predict the future of my kids. If they wish to venture into films, who am I to stop them? But I will surely keep a check on them when it comes to differentiating between right and wrong. They should never lose their dignity in life,” she shares.
mumBai: Bollywood actor Shilpa Shetty, who gave birth to a baby boy today, is ecstatic on becoming a mother for the first time. “Can’t believe am a mother now! ecstatic is an understatement. thank you so much for all the good wishes and love all of you have bestowed us and Baby K,” Shilpa, 36, tweeted in the evening. She gave birth to the son, her first child with businessman husband raj Kundra, in suburban Khar this morning. raj broke the news on twitter: “god has blessed us with a beautiful baby boy. Both mother and baby are fine. i am thrilled to bits.” “A big thank you to my wife @theShilpaShetty for the bestest gift ever, Dr Kiran Cohelo and all the staff at hinduja hospital,” he added. A number of Bollywood stars, including Bipasha Basu and ritiesh Deshmukh, congratulated the new parents on the microblogging site and raj thanked them. “thank you all for your love and wishes for our new born. Both mum and Baby K are resting. our Parents now turn grand parents. Meanwhile, Akshay Kumar, who once reportedly had an affair with the actress, expressed happiness over the birth of her son. “it is a very good news. i hope everyone is healthy and happy and they remain so ever,” Akshay told Pti. toi
Revealed: New look of Amitabh Bachchan
in The Great Gatsby the trailer for Baz luhrmann’s adaptation of f Scott fitzgerald’s the great gatsby will be released online later today. the film has generated much buzz in india as it features Amitabh Bachchan in a ‘friendly appearance’ alongside stars like leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan and tobey Maguire. toi brings you an exclusive first look at Big B’s character, Meyer Wolfsheim ahead of the release of the first trailer, which lasts 2 minutes 22 seconds. this is Bachchan’s maiden hollywood outing and what we know is this: while he makes a ‘friendly’ appearance in the film, he is prominently visible throughout this early trailer. Bachchan had earlier, on his blog, played down his participation in the film, citing it a “mere one scene appearance as a friendly gesture.” As Big B narrates it, the Australian director during a private visit to india in 2010 had dropped by
his office to meet him. then in August 2011, “called and wondered if i would do this small role in his film and i agreed. it is a gesture.” interestingly, Big B has refused “any remuneration on this” role. “As to why Baz chose to ask me, is something that perhaps he would be better placed to answer,” Bachchan Sr further wrote. in the book, while at lunch in one scene, Jay gatsby (DiCaprio) introduces the young nick Carraway (Maguire) to Meyer Wolfsheim (Bachchan), a disreputable character who proudly calls their attention to his cufflinks, made from human molars. Wolfsheim, an infamous gambler, claims responsibility for fixing the 1919 baseball World Series. luhrmann’s film, with a reported budget of $126m, is currently being shot in Sydney. earlier reports suggest that luhrmann is considering shooting sections in 3D. neWS deSK
iSrAeli supermodel Bar refaeli has been crowned the world’s hottest women by men’s magazine Maxim in their 2012 hot 100 list. the 26-year-old, who ranked 19th in 2010, was closely followed by ‘Magic Mike’ star olivia Munn, who came in second place for the second year in a row. the top five was completed by ‘friends With Benefits’ actress Mila Kunis in third position, singer Katy Perry in fourth position and olivia Wilde in fifth position. While Kate Middleton’s little sister Pippa Middleton debuted at eighty first position. “So happy and honoured to be #1 on Maximhot100! thank you @maximmag! this is very exciting” Bar rafaeli announced via twitter. “i am shocked that among all these beautiful ladies, i am no. 1. thank you so much for voting for me! i’m truly honoured. this is a title i will never forget,” Contactmusic quoted her as telling the magazine, which hits American newsstands on May 29. this is the first time that the magazine has allowed the readers to help decide who is on the rundown. neWS deSK
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wins Pakistan’s first
SAARc film Award NEWS DESK AKISTAN won its first SAARC Film Award for the documentary “Saving Face” that chronicles the work of a British plastic surgeon who rebuilds the faces of women disfigured by acid attacks. Another Pakistani film nominated for the awards was Mehreen Jabbar’s directed “Raam Chand Pakistani”, which bagged Sil-
hollYWooD: Actors Jena Malone, Matt Barr and lindsay Pulsipher, Actress Alix Berg and Actor Jon Bloch arrive at the hollywood reporter & the history Channel Screening of ‘hatfields & McCoys’ at Milk Studios. aFP
US woman sues ex bosses Travolta handling groping who fired her for being too hot NEW YORK ani
CAnneS: (from l) actor gary Maitland, British actress Jasmin riggins, British actor William ruane, actor Paul Brannigan and British actress Siobhan reilly pose during the photocall of "the Angel's Share" presented in completion at the 65th Cannes film festival. aFP
ver Medal in the Best Feature Film category. According to a press release issued here on Tuesday, the award for the Best Documentary of the year and Silver Medal for Best Feature Film in SAARC region was received on behalf of Pakistan by Seema Ilahi Balloch, Pakistan’s High Commissioner to Sri Lanka. Another honour for Pakistan was the award for Best Actor which went to Manzar Sehbai, and Rashid Farooqi for their roles in Bol and Ram Chand Pak-
istani, respectively. Pakistan had nominated two feature films and one documentary for the awards. The films in feature category included Shoaib Mansoor’s Bol and Mehreen Jabbar’s Raam Chand Pakistani and Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy’s Saving Face in documentary category. The Best Feature Film Trophy was given to Sri Lanka’s Akasa Kusum, directed by Prasanna Vithanage, for its poetic evocation of a golden age of cinema, seen through the memories of love and loss of an ageing actress. Mr Asoka Serasinghe, Chairman, National Film Corporation, accepted the award on behalf of the Director. The SAARC Film Festival concluded yesterday with some of the best films in the region being acknowledged and awarded. The SAARC Film Festival was held for the second year this time, at the National Film Corporation Cinema Hall, organized by the SAARC Cultural Centre in Sri Lanka. This year brought in nominations from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Maldives and Sri Lanka for the Best Feature Films produced during past four years and best documentaries produced in last year. Documentary and feature films were screened daily from the 16th – 20th to the general public, and well known film directors from Singapore, Iran and Russia who were adjudicators at the Regional Film Awards. This year competition was held for two categories, namely, Feature and Documentary films.
A woman has filed a lawsuit against her former bosses, who she claims sacked her for being ‘too hot’ at work. Lauren Odes who worked at a business in midtown Manhattan has alleged that her bosses meted out discriminatory, profoundly humiliating and unlawful treatment to her. “When my supervisor asked me to tape down my breasts I asked my supervisor, are you kidding?” 7online.com quoted her as saying. The 29-year-old was appalled by the suggestion and what happened at the 5th Avenue headquarters of Native Intimate’s, a wholesale lingerie business. According to Odes’ attorney, Gloria Allred, “The treatment was discriminatory, profoundly humiliating and unlawful.” The allegations of gender and religious discrimination were spelled out in the complaint currently filed with the
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The voluptuous blond was hired on April 24th to coordinate shipments of sample to customers and maintained that her supervisors repeatedly complained about her physical appearance and attire, even though she insists there was no dress code, as coworkers wore tank tops, and were casually dressed. When she wore a short sleeve purple dress on day two of her job she was allegedly told that the company’s Orthodox Jewish Owners felt the piece was drawing too much attention and should not be worn for her “own safety.” The following Monday, she tried a hooded top, but the outfit still drew criticism from the bosses. On the fifth day, she wore a knee-length black dress with a shawl over it hoping to please her bosses, instead she was asked to wear a red bathrobe, which she took a picture of her wearing it in the ladies room.
allegations ‘properly’ NEWS DESK John Travolta, who has been hit with many sexual assault charges since the past one week, has handled the allegations very well, according to two prominent crisis management gurus. Two gurus say that the recent flurry of scandalous headlines shouldn’t dampen his box-office bank ability. “John and his team handled this situation quickly, wisely and unified. There will be no career repercussions,” the New York Daily News quoted veteran celebrity publicist Howard Bragman, now an executive at Reputation.com, as saying. The 58-year-old got hit by a series of allegations earlier this month when two masseurs claimed in a joint federal lawsuit that the “Grease” and “Pulp Fiction” star fondled their private parts and masturbated in their presence during separate massages on opposite coasts in January. The first anonymous
Mud house and The Golden doll
tops seeks revival of cinema Maxim’s 2012
hot 100 list
the wait is finally over for those who were waiting impatiently for the release of ‘Mudhouse and the golden Doll’. first time film maker hamza Ali Abbasi, who has credibility of a brilliant theater person on his resume, is the leading character of the movie. the movie is based on a realistic character that lived in Multan and was known as ‘Malang’ by the local residents. the 100-minute film explores the unexceptional bonding between a mad man and a young girl, the entire story revolves around their ‘innocent friendship’ that has been
taken at a wrong angle by society’s hawk eyes. this film is a learning experience for Abbasi who has given a hope to the revival of Pakistani cinema. the movie screening will be taken place at Pakistan national Council of Arts on May 25, and after few days it will be distributed in cinemas of different cities. hamza believes that this filmcould also encourage young film makers to make films on some strong social issues that can bring change not only in society but also in our cinema industry. neWS deSK
masseur said in his May 4 filing that Travolta groped him repeatedly during a private massage at the Beverly Hills Hotel on Jan. 16. Dubbed as John Doe No. 1, he withdrew his claim last Tuesday after flight records, photos and an eyewitness placed the actor almost 3,000 miles away in New York at the time of the alleged assault. The second masseur joined the lawsuit on May 8 but dismissed his claim without comment on Thursday.
MAlliKA Sherawat always manages to make news at Cannes especially for her ensembles. in fact, many people were disappointed when the sassy actor opted for a subdued look sporting a Victoria Beckham outfit at a recent event there, but not much later she did a Mallika Sherawat as always. At the Cannes premiere of Madagascar 3, the actor went a step further with her red carpet style she wore a nude plunging backless dress that was held together by a thin blingy belt at the waist. As for her makeup and hair, she went 70s, choosing winged eyeliner and a bouffant a la Saira Banu. While the look was simple, Mallika’s outfit was definitely a better and more daring choice than some of dresses she wore the previous two years at Cannes. But whether her regular red carpet appearances here will fetch her more roles in hollywood is the big question. So those who thought that Mallika had gone understated this year at Cannes now stand corrected. the lady always makes sure that at least her outfits, if not her roles, make an oomphy statement! neWS deSK
Reporter kisses will,
gets smacked NEWS DESK At the recent Russian premiere of his latest film, Will Smith slapped a Ukranian reporter for ‘getting fresh’ with him. Kissing the Fresh Prince on the lips without his say-so comes with consequences. The reporter, known for being overly affectionate and kissing celebrities on the red carpet, got a backhanded slap. Will later said, “He tried to kiss me on my mouth. He’s lucky I didn’t sucker punch him.” Smith, considered one of Hollywood’s most mediafriendly superstars, brushed the guy away. The actor soon regained his composure and began happily signing autographs for fans and talking to reporters.
offers 1m euros to bed kelly Brook NEWS DESK Kelly Brook received an indecent proposal at 65th Cannes Films Festival, when a French millionaire offered her one million euros to sleep with her. Security had to wade in when the businessman, known only as Frederic, stormed a photocall session and threw himself at the model-turned-actress, proffering the cheque in return for “one night with Kelly”. The 32-year-old initially thought that it was a stunt organised by comedian Keith Lemon, whose film she was helping to promote. However, when the thirty something stranger started trying to grab her, shrieking “Just one night! Please, one night! I have money...! she realised there was a big problem and frantically sought help. A bodyguard sprinted to the star, hauled Frederic away from Brook and ejected him from the plush Majestic Barriere hotel. Shaken but determined to continue, Brook gamely posed pool-side beside a leopard print pant-wearing Lemon, the Mirror reported. In the cult 1993 movie ‘Indecent Proposal’, Demi’s married character agrees to have sex with businessman Robert Redford, in return for 1 million dollars.
Mallika Sherawat goes
backless at cannes
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16 Foreign News Putin gives old ministers new Kremlin jobs MOSCOW afp
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday moved seven former cabinet ministers to his Kremlin administration in defiance of pressure for new faces from street protesters against his rule. The swift reassignment of officials to the Kremlin one day after they formally left the cabinet further cements Putin’s command of Russia and limits the sway of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. But analysts said it also underscored both Putin’s continued refusal to look outside his team of most trusted advisors and amplified suspicions that his old guard were not prepared to fully embrace much-needed economic reforms. “It is obvious that the presidential administration intends to run everything,” former Kremlin advisor Gleb Pavlovsky told AFP. “Any talk of modernisation now is laughable,” added Higher School of Economics professor Yuly Nisnevich. Putin’s election in March was preceded by months of protests on the streets of Moscow over the prospect of the ex-KGB spy extending his 12-year domination of Russia until at least 2018 with the same clique of top officials.
At least 59 people, including 31 troops, killed on Monday
YRIAN security forces carried out a spate of raids in Damascus Tuesday after a deadly bombing hit the capital and UN chief Ban KiMoon warned the search for peace was at a “pivotal moment.” State television said the late Monday blast hit a restaurant in the Qaboon neighbourhood of the capital. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said five people were killed. In all, at least 59 people were killed nationwide on Monday, including 31 loyalist troops who died in clashes with rebel fighters, the Observatory said. The bloodshed raged despite the deployment of a UN military observer mission to oversee a promised ceasefire that has been breached daily since it
Wednesday, 23 May, 2012
Bomb hits Damascus as Ban warns of ‘pivotal moment’ went into force on April 12. Gunfire erupted as a team of UN observers visited the town of Busayra in Deir Ezzor province in the northeast, activists reached by Skype told AFP. “Unconfirmed reports indicate there are two dead and several wounded,” one activist said. The Observatory said dozens of people were arrested in the pre-dawn raids in several suburbs of the capital, including Douma, Harasta and Barzen. It said powerful blasts were heard overnight in a number of provincial cities, including central Hama, northern Aleppo and the coastal cities of Banias and Latakia. The watchdog said there were also fierce clashes between regime
forces and rebels in the town of Kfar Roma in Idlib province in the northwest. Demonstrations broke out at dawn in several neighbourhoods of Aleppo, the country’s second city and commercial hub which until recently had been largely spared the unrest shaking the country since March last year. One person was killed by gunfire in Nouaymeh, a town in the southern province of Daraa, the Observatory said. The UN chief issued a new warning of the dangers of all-out civil war as the 14-month uprising against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime has turned into an armed rebellion. “The secretary general said we were at a piv-
otal moment in the search for a peaceful settlement to the crisis and that he remained extremely troubled about the risk of an all-out civil war,” a spokesman for Ban said at a NATO summit in Chicago on Monday. NATO, which undertook a major air war in Libya to back rebels who fought Moamer Kadhafi’s forces last year, has said it has “no intention” of taking military action against Assad’s regime. NATO states have come under criticism for backing the air war in Libya but ruling out military intervention in Syria, where opposition demonstrators and badly outgunned rebels have been hammered by heavily-armed regime forces.
yemen, US vow to crush Qaeda after troops massacred SANAA afp
Yemen’s army chief vowed Tuesday no let-up in an offensive against Al-Qaeda after a suicide bomber killed 96 soldiers in a massive attack in the heart of Sanaa and two other would-be attackers were arrested. The attack on Monday, which also injured some 300 soldiers, drew sharp condemnation from Western powers and a pledge by US President Barack Obama to work with Sanaa to crush Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), blamed for several attempts to blow up US airliners and cargo planes. The suicide bomber, dressed as a soldier, detonated his explosives as an army battalion was rehearsing a parade at the capital’s Sabeen Square scheduled for Tuesday to mark the 22nd anniversary of Yemen’s reunification. The parade was replaced on Tuesday by a low-key, sombre ceremony attended by President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi, who watched from behind a bullet-proof shield and left as soon as the event ended without making a speech. Army chief of staff Ali alAshwal used the occasion to warn Al-Qaeda and its local affiliates that the “war” against them would continue unabated.
malaysia’s anwar charged, alleges new persecution KUALA LUMPUR afp
Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim was hit with criminal charges Tuesday for his part in an election reform rally, a case he denounced as another government attempt to remove him from politics. Anwar and two party colleagues were charged with violating a controversial new law governing public gatherings and a court order that banned the April 28 rally from the centre of the capital Kuala Lumpur. The charge comes just four months after Anwar was acquitted of sodomy in a long-running trial that the charismatic leader has said was engineered by the government of Prime Minister Najib Razak to remove him as a political threat. “We will fight. This is political intimidation,” the 64year-old Anwar told reporters as he left the court in Kuala Lumpur after pleading not guilty. “Najib is afraid to face me in elections. I want to tell Najib not to use the courts and the flawed (assembly) law passed in parliament to intimidate political opponents.”
Barcelona: Students hold a placard reading in Spanish ‘they are peeing on us and telling us that it’s raining!’ as they protest in Barcelona’s centre during a students and teachers’ strike against cuts on tuesday. aFP
‘Like a bad horror film’: survivors recall Norway massacre OSLO afp
Young Norwegians injured in Anders Behring Breivik’s Utoeya island massacre last year described to an Oslo court Tuesday their initial disbelief before they grasped the extent of the bloodbath. “You would think it was a bad horror film,” Eirin Kristin Kjaer testified on the 22nd day of Breivik’s trial for the killing of 77 people on July 22, 2011. Today aged 20, the young woman explained how she had fled when she heard the first shots and how a bullet had gone through her jumper but missed her. But as she hid with others among the big boulders on the shore, she agreed to change places with a friend who felt too exposed — something she said she was still glad she had done — and she was shot in the stomach, the arm, the knee and in the ribs. “I felt like my stomach was exploding. It hurt like hell,” she said. Then she had started running again, shouting: “Please, don’t shoot me! I don’t want to die!”
before in the end sitting down, resigned to her fate, not even bothering to try to stop her bleeding. She was finally evacuated by boat, and has so far had to undergo 11 operations with yet more expected. “Others will follow,” she said, as Breivik looked on without showing any sign of emotion. But 69 others who were taking part in the summer camp hosted by the ruling Labour Party’s youth wing on that fateful day in July did not leave Utoeya alive. Espen Myklebust, a strapping lad of 18, meanwhile told the Oslo district court that he had first thought the shots were part of “a crazy exercise.” But when he had seen people frantically running in every direction and desperately calling their families, he like many others had thrown himself into the icy water surrounding the small, heart-shaped island. He was shot in the back but the wound turned out to be fairly superficial. Not strong enough to cross the lake, he swam alongside the shore
and then out to a boat not far from the island. But the boat was already full with panicked youths, and Myklebust, who was exhausted, was given a life vest and a friend held on to him until police finally turned up and fished them out of the water. Breivik, today 33, was “cold” and “his face was expressionless,” Myklebust recalled. “He was as calm as a person can be. He moved around as if nothing was happening,” he said, but added that he had also seen the confessed killer smile. “A big smile,” he said, adding that he had thought Breivik was a neo-Nazi because of his short, blond hair and the fact that he was targeting the Labour Party. The right-wing extremist, who earlier on July 22 had also bombed a government building in Oslo, killing eight people, has confessed to the twin attacks but has refused to plead guilty, insisting they were “cruel but necessary” to stop the Labour Party’s “multicultural experiment” and the “Muslim invasion” of Norway and Europe.
Doubts on iraniAeA ‘deal’ ahead of Baghdad talks BAGHDAD afp
A mooted deal between the IAEA and Iran got a cool reception Tuesday on the eve of talks with world powers aimed at defusing the dangerously escalating crisis over Tehran’s nuclear programme. Israel, which has refused to rule out bombing Iran, warned the P5+1 — Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States, plus Germany — against “weakness” in Wednesday’s meeting in Baghdad. Yukiya Amano, International Atomic Energy Agency head, said on returning from Tehran that he and Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator made a “decision” to reach an agreement on the UN watchdog probing suspected weapons activities. But contrary to the hopes of some diplomats before he left on Sunday, Amano failed to actually sign a deal, saying at Vienna airport that this would happen “quite soon” because of remaining, unspecified “differences.” Addressing accusations in a major IAEA report from November that until 2003, and possibly since, Iran did work “relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device” is a key — but not the only — demand of the P5+1.
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Wednesday, 23 May, 2012
24 Indian pilgrims die in bus crash DEHRADUN afp
At least 24 Hindu pilgrims were killed when a packed bus plunged into a fastflowing river in northern India on Tuesday after colliding with a truck, officials said. The bus, which was on its way back from the holy shrine of Badrinath, rammed into the truck near the town of Byasi, 150 kilometres (95 miles) from Uttarakhand state capital Dehradun. “The bus plunged into the Alaknanda river following the collision and 24 people died,” Kunal Sharma, the local civil administrator, told AFP. Another 24 people who were injured in the crash were treated in nearby hospitals. The driver of the bus survived the accident as he jumped out of the vehicle before it plunged down the steep, rocky terrain, Sharma said. India has the highest annual road death toll in the world, according to the World Health Organization, with accidents caused by speeding, careless driving and poor roads. Nearly 135,000 people or 366 a day died on India’s roads in 2010, according to the National Crime Records Bureau.
Foreign News 17
25 killed, 45 injured in Indian train collision A BANGALORE afp
T least 25 people were killed and 45 injured early on Tuesday when a passenger train slammed into a stationary goods train in southern India, rail officials said. The sleeper train crashed into the parked goods train at Penneconda station in Andhra Pradesh state as it was travelling overnight to Bangalore, the information-technology hub and capital city of Karnataka state. “The number of deaths now is 25 and 45 are injured out of which some
have minor injuries but 10 are grievously hurt,” railway ministry spokeswoman Chandralekha Mukherjee told AFP in New Delhi. The Andhra Pradesh state police said the bodies of 16 of the victims travelling in a carriage behind the engine were badly burnt as it caught fire following the collision. “The coach was meant only for women but it is not possible to say if the bodies are women or men as they are charred,” Charu Sinha, deputy inspector general of Andhra Pradesh police, told AFP from the crash site. “There are no more bodies in the wreckage as (rescue and salvage) oper-
ations are now over,” she said by telephone. A police statement said bodies were taken out after rescuers sliced through the crushed carriages with mechanical cutters and used cranes brought from Bangalore. “It appears that the driver of the passenger train overshot a signal and hit the goods train, but we are awaiting the results of an inquiry,” Mukherjee said. Television footage from the scene showed mangled, upturned coaches with rescue workers carrying injured passengers out on stretchers by torchlight before dawn. “When the train stopped with a
loud bang, I got down to see burning passengers crying for help,” Munijayendra, 25, who uses only one name, told the Press Trust of India (PTI) news agency. “I will not be able to sleep for many days to come as their cries will be ringing in my ears,” he said. “The worst part is we were helpless as the heat was just unbearable”. Rescuers and medical officials worked through the day, hacking through the twisted metal to get to those trapped inside the overturned carriages. PTI said that the driver of the train had survived the impact but was unconscious.
N Korea vows to bolster nuclear deterrent SEOUL afp
North Korea vowed Tuesday to bolster its nuclear deterrent and take “self-defence” measures unless the United States halts criticism and pressure over its rocket launches and atomic programme. A foreign ministry spokesman was hitting back at a statement Saturday from Washington and other Group of Eight nations, which condemned Pyongyang’s April 13 longrange rocket launch. The G8 said it would press for United Nations action — an apparent reference to tougher sanctions — in response to any further launches or to a nuclear test. The North, in the spokesman’s statement on official media, said its nuclear deterrent was developed as a response to US hostility and “we will expand and bolster it non-stop as long as this hostile policy goes on”. It said that “from the beginning” it had not envisaged “such a military measure as a nuclear test”, since the aim of its launch was to put a scientific satellite into orbit for peaceful purposes. The UN Nations Security Council strongly condemned the failed launch as breaching a ban on testing ballistic missile technology, and tightened existing sanctions. Washington was now talking about a possible nuclear test by Pyongyang in an attempt to incite confrontation, the North’s statement said.
South Korea ‘to spend $2 billion’ on hundreds of missiles SEOUL afp
South Korea plans to spend more than $2.0 billion dollars over the next five years on buying hundreds of new missiles to cope with threats from North Korea, reports said Tuesday. President Lee Myung-Bak at a ministerial meeting on April 28 approved a 2.5 trillion won ($2.14 billion) defence ministry project to buy 500-600 new missiles, Chosun Ilbo newspaper said. Yonhap news agency carried a similar report. The defence ministry declined to confirm the reports, saying only that South Korea “agrees on the necessity of bolstering its missile capability”. The meeting followed North Korea’s long-range rocket launch on April 13 and its repeated threats against the South’s conservative government. The defence ministry made its request “given the mounting threat of provocations from the North since (new leader) Kim JongUn took power”, Chosun Ilbo quoted a government source as saying.
andHra pradeSH: railway officials oversee the clear up operation of the mangled remains of the Bangalore-bound Hampi express after it collided with a stationary goods train near penneconda town in ananthpur district on tuesday. aFP
New Zealand smashes global child pornography ring WELLINGTON afp
A global network that used social networking sites such as Facebook to distribute child pornography has been smashed after a tip-off from New Zealand authorities, officials said Tuesday. Investigators caught 55 people in 20 countries who were distributing child sexual abuse pictures and rescued 12 abused children, some of them babies, officials said. New Zealand’s internal affairs department said some of the suspects apprehended in the investigation, codenamed Operation Laminar, were involved in abusing the children depicted in the images. It said the operation began in October 2010 when the department found significant amounts of images of child sexual abuse were being exchanged on sites including Facebook, Socialgo and gru.ps.
The New Zealanders alerted Interpol and US child protection authorities, including the child exploitation unit of the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), sparking a major investigation. “This enabled those countries’ law enforcement agencies to take action against 55 people who are regarded as the top offenders in this shocking trade,” internal affairs investigator Maarten Quivooy said in a statement. “Our investigators and ICE identified a large number of groups on Facebook engaging in the display or distribution of objectionable child sexual material.” He said Facebook assisted the operation and some of the suspects had already been referred to authorities by officials at the social networking site as part of its efforts to stamp out online child sexual abuse. The head of Interpol’s crimes
against children unit Mick Moran said the operation demonstrated the need for international cooperation to prevent the Internet being used as a tool to exploit children. “There is no safe environment or anonymous area for individuals who think that they can trade and publish child abuse images online, as proved once again by this operation which should serve as a warning to others,” he said. “You will be caught. “While disrupting these networks is a significant part of the investigation, what is more important is that innocent children, and in some cases babies, have been rescued from physical abuse.” The internal affairs department said one of the 12 rescued children was from New Zealand but did not provide the nationality of the others. Details about when and how authorities swooped to break up the network were not available.
excitement sweeps egypt ahead of landmark elections CAIRO afp
A buzz of excitement swept through Cairo on Tuesday, a day before its first presidential election since an uprising overthrew Hosni Mubarak, ushering in a tumultuous militaryled transition. “This is the first time I’ll be going to vote in any election, and it’s definitely a big deal. My family has been talking about it for weeks,” said Ibrahim Farrag Hassan, 64, who sells toys in a small market in central Cairo. Around 50 million eligible voters are being called to choose Mubarak’s successor on Wednesday and Thursday with a run-off scheduled for next month should there be no outright winner. “This election will change things, whoever is coming will be scared of the people and will have to listen to them,” said Hind Ahmed, 25, a shop assistant at a lingerie store. “All my friends and family are talking about the elections all the time. It’s the first time in their lives that any of them are voting in a presidential election because this time the result isn’t known in advance.” Campaigning for the landmark poll ended on Sunday night, with candidates banned from giving any media interviews or making public appearances for 48 hours before the election.
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Wednesday, 23 may, 2012
Clijsters to retire after uS open Page 20 AZLAN SHAH CUP HOCKEY KICKS OFF ON 24TH
Teams seek Olympic tune-up in Malaysia LAHORE
HE 21st first Azlan Shah Hockey tournament would start on May 24 in Malaysia with Seven teams from across the world, including Pakistan, India, South Korea, England, New Zealand, Argentina and the host Malaysia would participate in the tournament. Meanwhile, three hockey matches would be played on the first day of the event while the opening match would be played between Pakistan and Argentina. According to schedule, the Pakistan hockey team would play its second match with New Zealand on May 27 while Third and fourth match would be played on May 28 and 30 with South Korea and Malaysia respectively. The national team would play its fifth match with Indian Hockey team on May 31 while it would play its sixth match with England on June 02. Earlier, in 2003 the Pakistan hockey team had won Azlan Shah Hockey tournament by defeating Germany, national team had won this title three times so far. AFP adds: Favourites Great Britain will be looking for a successful tune-up for the London Olympics when play begins Wednesday in hockey's seven-nation Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia. The tournament, staged annually in the northern city of Ipoh, serves as the final warm-up before the Olympic competition
begins in July, and world number four Great Britain are the highest-ranked squad in the field. Britain, who came in third in last year's tournament, will have to contend with an India side that are hitting their stride, as well as Pakistan, South Korea, Argentina, New Zealand and hosts Malaysia. Malaysia are the only squad in the tournament that failed to qualify for London 2012. Reigning champions Australia have not made the trip t o
Ipoh this year. Under coach Jason Lee, Britain have been ramping up their Games preparations in hopes of winning gold on home soil. They last topped the podium at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. Britain played an Olympic test event in London last month that also involved top-ranked Australia, world number two Germany and India.
They are expected to make a strong run in Ipoh with the likes of Ashley Jackson, Robert Moore and Richard Mantel driving the team, but former cup winners such as India loom as potential spoilers. India have won the cup five times since 1985, most recently in 2010. Under Australian coach Michael Nobbs, the Indians have shown signs of a resurgence and their wins in the Asian Champions Trophy last year and Olympic qualifiers in February have boosted expectations. Nobbs said he was looking forward to the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup as the squad needed further topclass contests to prepare for London. "We are lacking in top matches to practise and this tournament offers the best opportunity to test the players at the highest level," he said on arrival with the team in Kuala Lumpur on Monday. India's penalty corner specialist Sandeep Singh said he hoped the pitch would not be slippery, so that the team could work on penalty corner execution. "It will be a great opportunity to test our penalty corner batteries against top opposition. I will get the goals if the condition of the pitch is OK," he said. Meanwhile Pakistan, the Asian Games champions and last year's runner-up in Malaysia, are in turmoil with star players Shakeel Abbasi and Rehan Butt ruled out for Ipoh. The pair were not selected as they are currently the subject of a disciplinary inquiry by the Pakistan Hockey Federation after playing in the World Series in India earlier this year.
Pakistan placed in tough Pool A LAHORE
skipper Sohail Abbas wants to have an Indo-Pak encounter in the Olympics. In Olympics, every match is equally important to us and we would treat each one as a final but a match with India is what everybody wants to see, he said. Sohail Abbas further said that the national team has a very good chance of winning Gold in the Olympics this year. "I am confident that we (our team) will put in their maximum effort in training and that will be visible through our performance. While having complete faith in God, and working hard we are hopeful of having a good chance," Sohail said. Responding to a question, Sohail said players should be passionate towards the game of hockey and the entire team should play as one unit. "If you play as a team, all these things don't matter. Once you stop playing as a team, that's when these factors about them being physically bigger and stronger come into play," he said.
The London Olympics Organizing Committee, together with the International Hockey Federation (FIH), on Tuesday unveiled the London Olympic Hockey 2012 competition schedule be held in London from July 30 to August 11. A total of 12 teams are participating in the mega event and are divided into two pools, says a press release issued here. Pool-A includes Pakistan, Australia, Great Britain, Spain, Argentina and South Africa while Pool-B comprises Germany, Netherlands, Korea, New Zealand, India and Belgium. Pakistan will play its first match against Spain on July 30 followed by second match against Argentina on August 1, third match against Great Britain on August 3, fourth match against South Africa on August 5 and the fifth match against Australia on August 7. However Pakistan national hockey team
ramazan sets Muslim Strauss hopes century athletes extra test proves run â€˜catalystâ€™ LONDON reuterS
When Malaysian cyclist Azizulhasni Awang opted to postpone his Ramadan fast until after the London Games, the decision was all about going for Olympic gold. Anything that might jeopardize the chance of a medal for the 24-year-old at his second Olympics had to be dealt with sensibly, he says. And going without food and drink between sunrise and sunset every day for four weeks is just too risky. "We need to train, we need food, fluids, water," he told Reuters during a training session at a velodrome in Melbourne with team mate Fatehah Mustapa, who will become the first Malaysian woman cyclist to ride at an Olympics. "We've trained really, really hard ... to strive for the gold medal, so we're not going to waste it. This Olympics is really important for me and Fatehah. You think we're going to sacrifice that?" The coincidence of Ramadan this year with the London Olympics, which starts on July 27, a week into the month-long Muslim fast, has thrown up a dilemma for the estimated 3,000 Muslim athletes expected to compete. The Ramadan fast is a time when Muslims are required to abstain from food and drink during daylight hours. Athletes are allowed to defer their fasts until a later date, but many Muslim sportsmen and women from cultures or countries where not fasting is frowned upon may well honor the holy month. Medical experts say that, theoretically at least, a reduction of food intake during Ramadan could deplete an athlete's liver and muscle glycogen stores. This is likely to lead to a drop in performance, particularly in sports requiring muscle strength. Foreseeing potential problems and working far ahead of time, the International
Olympic Committee's (IOC) nutrition working group convened a meeting in 2009 to review the evidence. They came to the conclusion that Ramadan fasting could be problematic for some athletes in some sports, but the likely overall impact of Ramadan on London 2012 is far from clear. Ronald Maughan, a sports scientist from Britain's Loughborough University who chaired the IOC working group, agrees some physical changes are likely. However, he also noted that observing the Muslim holy month involves mental and spiritual discipline, the effects of which should not be underestimated. "Some individual Muslim athletes say they perform better during Ramadan even if they are fasting because they're more intensely focused and because it's a very spiritual time for them," he told Reuters. "Their faith gives them strength and Ramadan is an integral part of that faith." Maughan led a team of scientists who reviewed more than 400 research articles on Ramadan and selected those relevant to sporting performance. They found that "actual responses vary quite widely, depending on culture and the individual's level and type of athletic involvement". "There are often small decreases of performance, particularly in activities requiring vigorous and/or repetitive muscular contraction," the team wrote in the review, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine (BJSM) this month. But they concluded that in most situations "Ramadan observance has had only limited adverse consequences for either training or competitive performance". Still, experts say Azizul and Fatehah's concerns, that fasting could dim their chances of standing on the podium at the end of their competition, are well-founded.
England captain Andrew Strauss hopes his long-awaited 20th Test century will provide the spark for a successful season with the bat. Strauss had gone 18 months without a Test hundred heading into the series opener against the West Indies at his Lord's home ground. However, the left-handed opener reached the coveted three figures with a score of 122 in England's first innings 398 that took him to within two of the England Test record of 22 hundreds shared by Walter Hammond, Colin Cowdrey and Geoffrey Boycott. "You don't want to have to justify your place in the side as a captain," said Strauss after leading England to a fivewicket win on Monday that put them 10 up in this three-match series heading into Friday's second Test at Trent Bridge. "Thankfully that takes the monkey off my back, but I'm really conscious of the need to use that as a catalyst to have a really good summer. "I hope this is a bit of a breakthrough mentally and allows me to stay fresher and go on and score some more hundreds in the rest of the games." England endured a torrid winter tour, losing four out of five Tests against Pakistan and Sri Lanka before finishing with victory in Colombo. But there was plenty of home comfort on offer at Lord's where Tim Bresnan extended his perfect Test record with a 12th win in the 12th Test of his career. However, it was fellow England seamer Stuart Broad, the man-of-thematch, who took the bowling honours with a return of 11 for 165 that featured a Test best seven for 72 in West Indies' modest first innings 243. Meanwhile Ian Bell weighed in with
Best called in to replace Gabriel LONDON afp
West Indies paceman Shannon Gabriel has been ruled out of the remainder of the Test series against England because of a back injury, with Tino Best recalled to the squad in his place. "Shannon made the complaint late in the first Test against England and scans conducted following the match showed a stress reaction in the lower spine," West Indies team physiotherapist C.J. Clark said. "He was subsequently ruled out of the second Test and, after further consultation, we feel that to prevent this injury developing any further it is in Shannon's best interest for him to return to T&T for rest and rehabilitation to ensure he is fully fit when selected for West Indies in the future." Gabriel was a surprise call-up for the tour but impressed on his debut at Lord's, returning three for 60 in the first innings and adding the prize scalp of Kevin Pietersen as England chased victory on the final day. But he managed just five overs in that second innings before leaving the field with back spasms. Having been assessed by the tourists' medical team ahead of Friday's second Test at Trent Bridge, Gabriel has now been told to fly home. Best, 30, has 14 Test caps and 12 one-day international appearances to his name, but last represented the Windies in 2009. fifties in both innings, including a valuable 63 not out in England's pursuit of a victory target of 191 that was in danger of being derailed at 57 for four. However, opener Alastair Cook (79) and Bell's stand or 132 got England back on track. "Whenever you're chasing there's a bit of pressure, so it was an outstanding effort from Cook and Bell," said Strauss. "They played in a very classy manner. "It was getting a bit harder, but we had faith the wicket would stay flat and slow. Our plan was just to negotiate the new ball, and things would become more simple," he added. "That's one of our real strengths as
a side -- a number of players play in different ways. "It is reassuring -- with Cook and (Jonathan) Trott at the crease, and shot-players further down the innings. We all know Cook's qualities, and I'm sure he's pleased to see the boys home. "It wouldn't have been a good thing to fall short in this circumstance," Strauss admitted. But on a typically good Lord's pitch, it was the way in which England restricted the West Indies early on after Strauss had sent the tourists into bat that particularly pleased their captain. "The bowlers did outstandingly in very tough conditions, and it wasn't a formality," Strauss said.
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Wednesday, 23 May, 2012
India may offer to host Pakistan-Australia series LAHORE
AKISTAN’S home series against Australia may be organized in India provided the Board of Control in India offers to host the series otherwise there are around three options and the board is working of them, said PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf. Talking to journalists here at the Gaddafi Stadium, Zaka said that India could host his team's upcoming series against Australia. Australia will play five one-day internationals and three Twenty20s with Pakistan before the World Twenty20 in September. Pakistan have shortlisted the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, Zimbabwe and South Africa as venues, and India may be considered, Mr Ashraf said. "We are seeing where the cost will be less," he said. "If the cost is less (in India) there's no harm in organising Pakistan's home series at some good venue." Ashraf also said he will use his invite
Condolence LAHORE Staff report
Director General Sports Punjab Usman Anwar has condoled the sad demise of elder brother of Shafique Chohan, Sports Reporter. The whole staff of Sports Board Punjab expressed their deepest sympathies to Shafiq Chohan on this sad occasion. May the soul of the departed rest in peace and may Allah his family the strength to bear this huge loss. Similar sentiments were expressed by Chairman PCB Muhammad Zaka Ashraf, Chairperson PCB Women Wing Mrs. Bushra Aitazaz, and PCB COO Mr. Subhan Ahmed have condoled the sad demise. Sport Journalists Association of Lahore also condoled with Shafique Chohan on his brothers death.
to the Indian Premier League final as a chance to talk about resuming bilateral series with India. “The ice has started to melt slowly and the relations are improving. President Zardari had a detailed talk with Indian Premier Manmohan Singh and it was due to that conversation that the BCCI has invited T20 champions Sialkot Stallions to play in the Champions League. Last week, the BCCI said it will invite the Pakistan Twenty20 champion Sialkot Stallions to this year's Champions League. Ashraf has accepted the invitation from the Board of Control for Cricket in India to the final in Chennai on Sunday and during the meeting several things would come under discussion and the BCCI might offer to host Pakistan’s Australia series. The bilateral series has been suspended since 2008 after the terror attacks in Mumbai that killed 166 people. Ashraf said yesterday he will be talking with his Indian counterparts on resuming cricketing ties.
rana Naved still hopes to play for Pakistan LAHORE Staff report
Discarded Pakistani all-rounder, Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, has not given up on his international career and feels that he can still serve the country at the highest stage of the game for another two years. The 34-year-old right-arm medium-fast bowler made his way to international cricket in 2003 and has played nine Tests, 74 One Day Internationals (ODIs) and four T20s for Pakistan. The cricketer from Sheikhupura has taken 110 wickets in ODI cricket at an average of 29.28 runs per scalp, which is quite reasonable. The veteran cricketer has been a prolific performer in the domestic cricket of Pakistan as well as in Eng-
lish County cricket. However, Naved has been inconsistent at the international level. He is a ‘hot or cold’ kind of a bowler who can be a true matchwinner one day and can be very ordinary on another occasion. The all-rounder has been out of international cricket since the tour of Australia in 2009-10. The national selectors announced three different squads for the upcoming tour of Sri Lanka earlier this month and Naved was ignored once again. The medium-fast bowler was expecting a national call-up and is disappointed with the continuous snubbing by the management in Pakistan. The all-rounder said, “I was expecting to be in the mix on the tour but was distraught to find out that it wasn’t the case. But despite the re-
the Amar Cables cricket team, which recently won the national Senior Veterans Cup, during a reception arranged by Ceo Amer ilyas Butt.
peated overlooking, I’m in no mood of throwing in the towel because I can still play at the top level for at least two years and will work hard to play for Pakistan again.” Naved was always considered a cricketer more suitable for the shorter version of the sport and he himself realizes now that he has no future in Test cricket. However, Naved still sees himself as a utility player in limited-overs cricket. The all-rounder is eyeing the ICC World T20 2012 and hopes that the selectors will keep him in mind for the mega event. “As far as Test cricket goes, my career is finished and I don’t see myself playing Tests for Pakistan again. But I still have the required fitness to excel in Twenty20s and One-Day Internationals,” he added.
Sports Board honour touch ball teams LAHORE Staff report
The Sports Board Punjab on late Monday night organised a receptioncum-dinner in honour of the participating teams of the Touch Ball Tournament that concluded here at the Punjab Stadium. Apart from hosts Pakistan, teams from neighbouring India and Afghanistan participated in this four-day activity which was won by the Pakistan team with flying colours. Deputy Speaker Punjab Rana Mashood, who was the chief guest of the final prize distribution ceremony, was also the guest of honor of the reception. The teams and guests were also entertained by a musical evening. Speaking on the occasion, Rana Mashood praised the spirit of the participating teams and the efforts of the organizers for holding such an event involving foreign teams at a time when a wrong perception about Pakistan security is being spread. He also thanked the visiting teams and officials of the world touch ball federation for giving the Punjab government an opportunity to host them. Apart from Deputy Speaker Punjab Assembly, Rana Mashood Ahmad, Director General, Sports Board Punjab, Usman Anwar, Secretary, international touch ball federation Dennis Coffey and head of Indian and Afghanistan teams and Senior Vice President, Pakistan Touch Ball Federation, Rai Altaf Hussain and Secretary PTBF Zahoor Ahmad were also present on the occasion. Director General Sports Usman Anwar also appreciated the winning team’s enthusiasm and highlighted the Punjab government's commitment towards sports and the development of youth and also announced the government's plan of holding the Youth Festival in the coming months. Usman said that he will leave no stone un-turned in the development of the sports facilities in the province and do what ever possible for the grooming of talented players of Punjab.
lAhore: Mega gate touch Ball triangular trophy - 2012 winner, Pakistan team with rana Mashood, Deputy Speaker, Punjab Assembly during a reception organized by Sports Board Punjab.
IPL has been a big hit WASIM AKRAM The whimsies of T20 cricket have come to the fore as the chaff separated from the rice in the Indian Premier League season 5. The team with the best resources is not always an automatic winner and Royal Challengers Bangalore are a case in point. Sad but true that a team with super-hero batsmen like Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers has failed to make the play-off cut. It has been an extensive tournament and in a long race, teams with consistency prevail. Bangalore played good cricket but they made mistakes like they did against the Deccan Chargers on Sunday. In a short game, one or two mistakes can be decisive. Personally, and from a KKR point of view, I
am happy that we will not bump into Gayle this year any more. He is a killer batsman! Having said that, I am sure Chennai will now be a dangerous side. Having won a lucky ticket, CSK will understand the value of a win more than anyone else now. So, table-toppers Delhi Daredevils and Kolkata Knight Riders should beware of Mumbai Indians and the Super Kings. Several factors have contributed to KKR doing well this season. Apart from being consistent, Gautam Gambhir has been the main reason for our success. He has been an inspirational leader and handled the side well. His attitude has rubbed on to the players and his bowling changes have been brilliant. Gambhir has been a classic example of how a captain should be. He leads by exam-
ple and swears by his teammates. West Indian spinner Sunil Narine has been KKR's trump card for the season. Narine continues to be a mystery to many a batsman. Even the experienced Sachin Tendulkar failed to pick his deliveries. The presence of the experienced Jacques Kallis and Brendon McCullum has been invaluable. The variety in the bowling department also makes Kolkata a cut above the rest. From the young Iqbal Abdullah to the experienced Shakib Al Hasan, Yusuf Pathan and Brett Lee, the Kolkata XI looks formidable. I have heard a lot of criticism about Yusuf, but I feel that it is unwarranted. Yusuf and Manoj Tiwary are a different breed. They are game changers but they
will also have their off days. Playing them is a gamble, but a gamble worth taking. It is difficult to expect consistency from a No.6 or No. 7 batsman in a T20 game. The important factor is that they have all worked hard. The results are showing. Cricket is team game and Kolkata are working like a well-oiled machine. We will be playing Delhi on a “neutral” ground on Tuesday. The Pune wicket is not ideal for free-flowing batting. The track looks a bit dodgy. It has been low, slow and a turning track, but I believe they will play better and favour the batsmen. Whatever the conditions, it will be a level-playing field. I am hoping for a great contest and a packed house that will back good cricket. Success makes many enemies and IPL
is a glaring example. Only successful people have critics. In our culture, there is a tendency to run down a prosperous venture. Make no mistake, IPL is all about success. Every year it is making a positive statement and attracting the best in the world. We have had packed stadiums in almost every game. That’s just great. Any big event always brings along its share of concerns. Controversies may have surfaced but they haven’t damped the spirit of cricket. Close matches have underlined the beauty of T20 cricket. IPL has been a great advertisement for pure entertainment. It is sad to see people protesting against IPL. These are jealous people and should be ignored. Let’s focus on the business end of the championship.
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Wednesday, 23 May, 2012
fifA appoint first woman to executive committee PARIS afp
Brussels: Serbian Bojana Jovanovski pictured during the first round match between Belgian tamaryn hendler (WtA 182) and Serbian Bojana Jovanovski (WtA 111), on the second day of the WtA Brussels open tennis. aFP
Kanepi wins first round in Brussels bRUssEls: Tennis player Kaia Kanepi beat Irina Falcon from the US with a score of 6-3, 6-2 on Tuesday in the first round of the Brussels Open. Kanepi is currently ranked 25th and Falcon 114th in the Women's Tennis Association standings, reported sport.err. Kanepi had a success rate of 42 percent for first serves, compared to Falcon's 69 percent. But for second serves, the respective percentages were 55 and 29. Kanepi made three double faults, while the US player got away with only one. The Estonian claimed two aces. In the second round, Kanepi will go up against Bojana Jovanovski (WTA 11), who started the tournament with a 7-5, 7-5 victory over Belgian Tamaryn Hendler (WTA 182). aGencieS
Seles, Wilander to give french trophies PaRIs: Former French Open champions Monica Seles and Sweden's Mats Wilander will present the trophies to the women's and men's singles champions at this year's renewal the organisers announced on Monday. Yugoslavia-born naturalised American Seles, 38, won the women's singles title three times (1990-92) and will present the ladies trophy on June 9 and fellow triple French Open champion (1982, 85, 88) Wilander, 47, the men's the following day. afp
Clijsters to retire after US Open BRUSSELS
ORMER world number one Kim Clijsters announced on Tuesday she is to retire after the US Open in September. The 28-year-old Belgian told a news conference that she wanted to sign out in New York where she enjoyed the biggest success of her career winning the the women's singles title at Flushing Meadow three times in 2005, 2009 and 2010. "As it stands I will end my career at the US Open, That is where I enjoyed my greatest triumphs and it is a very special place for me," she said. "The stadium is only about 45 minutes away from our house in the United States and my parents-in-law will be able to be present." Clijsters is married to former US basketball player Brian Lynch and the couple have a daughter Jada. She retired for a first time in May, 2007 and gave birth to her daughter before staging a remarkable comeback in 2009 which ended in her triumph at the US Open which she successfully defended the following year.
Nishikori out of French Open PARIS afp
Japan's Kei Nishikori pulled out of the French Open on Tuesday having failed to recover from a stomach injury, the world number 18 revealed on his Facebook page. The 22-year-old made history earlier this year when he became the first Japanese man to reach the Australian Open quarter-finals, but his preparations for Paris were hit by the stomach injury he suffered in Barcelona in April. He was subsequently forced to skip the Madrid and Rome Masters. "I am very disappointed that I won't be able to play in Paris this year," said Nishikori. "Following the last Grand Slam, I was looking forward to playing in the second Grand Slam of the year. I will continue my rehab and plan to be back on the Tour as early as I can." Nishikori is the second top 20 player to pull out of the French Open after American number 10 Mardy Fish opted not to play because of fatigue. Two-time runner-up Robin Soderling is another absentee as the Swede battles mononucleosis which has kept him off tour since July last year. The French Open gets underway at Roland Garros on Sunday. Clijsters also won the Australian Open in 2011, the same year she topped the world rankings for the first time in five years. But she has increasingly been
dogged by injuries which caused her to draw down the curtain on the claycourt season and concentrate instead on the London Olympics and the US Open.
FIFA has appointed the first woman to its executive committee on Tuesday, as world football's governing body bids to restore its image after a series of corruption scandals. Lydia Nsekera, president of the Burundi Football Association, has been co-opted onto the executive committee and will be formally installed at the FIFA Congress in Budapest on Friday, FIFA said in a statement. Nsekera is already a member of FIFA committees for women's football, the women's World Cup and the organising committee for the Olympic football tournaments. As part of the effort to tackle corruption in football, Domenico Scala has also been appointed as the independent chairman of the Audit and Compliance Committee. The appointment of Scala, who is a Swiss and Italian citizen, will be also submitted to the Congress for ratification. Meanwhile, six cities were also approved to host the 2013 Confederations Cup in Brazil -- Brasilia, Belo Horizonte, Fortaleza, Rio de Janeiro, Recife and Salvador -- although concerns remain about building work to revamp stadium venues. FIFA indicated that they had a contingency plan should host cities not be ready in time. "Several match schedules including four, five and six cities have been worked out in order to adapt smoothly to the actual situation in due time at the latest in mid-November," the statement read.
Women hockey camp from 26th LAHORE Staff report
The training camp of national junior women’s probables preparing for participation in the 6th Women’s Junior Asia Cup to be held in Bangkok/ Thailand from June 29 to July 8 will be established at Hockey Club of Pakistan Stadium Karachi on May 26, afternoon. The PHF Women’s Wing has invited following probable players to report Ms. Parveen Sikandar Gill, Camp Commandant & Rana Zaheer Ahmed Babar (Coach) on 26th May 2012/afternoon at HCP Stadium Karachi:PAKISTAN RAILWAYS: Syeda Sadia, Uzma Naz, Marina Anwar, Zakia Nawaz, Mayira Sabir, Aqsa Mumtaz, Kalsoom Shahzad, Shukria Rashid and Saira Khanum. BALOCHISTAN: Sajida Shakoor, Rozina Tooti and Fatima Nazar. WAPDA: Sehrish, Fakhra, Irum, Ambreen and Muqadas Khalid. PUNJAB COLOURS & WHITES: Fakhra Tabassum, Ayesha Yousaf, Nageem Babar, Kalsoom Munir, Sana Muzaffar, Sadia Akram, Mobeen Ilyas, Iqra Javaid, Sameea Anwar and Adeeba Afzal. SINDH: Qurat-ul-ain, Osheen Kanwal, Summiya and Fazeelat Rashid.
Drones, missiles & gunships: Welcome to the Olympics! DAvE ZIRIN As many as 48,000 security forces. 13,500 troops. Surface-to-air missiles stationed on top of residential apartment buildings. A sonic weapon that disperses crowds by creating “head-splitting pain.” Unmanned drones peering down from the skies. A safe zone, cordoned off by an 18-kilometre electrified fence, ringed with trained agents and 55 teams of attack dogs. One would be forgiven for thinking that these were the counter-insurgency tactics used by U.S. army bases in Iraq and Afghanistan. But instead of being used in a war zone, they in fact make up the very visible security apparatus in London for the
2012 Summer Olympics. London, which has the most street cameras per capita of any city on Earth, has since the terror attacks of 7/7/05 been a city whose political leaders spare no expense to monitor its own citizens. But the Olympic operation goes above and beyond anything we’ve ever seen when a western democracy hosts the Games. Not even China in 2008 used drone planes or ringed the proceedings with a massive, high-voltage fence. But here is London, preparing a counter-insurgency, and parking an aircraft carrier right in the Thames. Here is London adding “scanners, biometric ID cards, number-plate and facialrecognition CCTV systems, disease tracking systems, new police control centres and
checkpoints.” The number of troops will exceed the forces the U.K. has had in Afghanistan. It’s not just the costs or the incredible invasion into people’s privacy. It’s the powers being given to police under the 2006 “London Olympic Games Act” which empowers not only the army and police, but also private security forces to deal with “security issues” using physical force. These “security issues” have been broadly defined to include everything from “terrorism” to peaceful protesters, to labour unions, to people selling bootleg Olympic products on the streets, to taking down any corporate presence that doesn’t have the Olympic seal of approval. To help them with the last part, there will be “brand protection teams” set
loose around the city. These “teams” will also operate inside Olympic venues to make sure no one “wears clothes or accessories with commercial messages other than the manufacturers who are official sponsors. And, as the Guardian reported: “Officers have powers to move on anyone considered to be engaged in anti-social behaviour, whether they are hanging around the train station, begging, soliciting, loitering in hoodies or deemed in any way to be causing a nuisance.” Not to shock anyone, but there are no signs that any of the security apparatus will be dismantled once the Olympics are over. Local police forces have just been given an inordinate number of new toys and the boxes have been opened, the receipts tossed
away. London will be left with a high-tech police force, terrible debt, higher taxes, with a camera around every corner. The only people who will leave this party enriched will be the private security industry who will tout “the peace” as their personal accomplishment, encouraging more of the global 1 per cent to get more guards, more walls, and more separation from the great unwashed. There is no reason that the Olympics have to be this way. There is no reason that an international celebration of sports can’t take place without drones and aircraft carriers. There is no reason athletes from across the globe can’t join together and showcase their physical potential.
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A new Woods, Tigerâ€™s niece Cheyenne, tees off NEW YORK
Bethesda: tiger Woods participates in a news conference at Congressional Country Club ahead of the Woods' At&t national golf tournament to be held on June 25 to July 1. REUTERS
Afghan woman's olympic dream in doubt BEIJING afp
The female Afghan boxer who has drawn wide attention for her bid to reach the London Olympics could be denied because of fears over her safety inside the ring. Flyweight Sadaf Rahimi, 18, suffered a setback at last week's women's world championships in China, where her bout against Poland's world number six Sandra Drabik was stopped after just 1min 26sec. Rahimi is relying on a wildcard from organisers to reach London, but officials said safety was paramount as they decide which fighters will take part when women's boxing becomes an Olympic event for the first time. "Safety is the number one concern in women's boxing and we will make this clear to the IOC (International Olympic Committee) Tripartite Commission when we meet in early July to decide who shall benefit from the wildcards," said International Boxing Association (AIBA) president Wu Chingkuo. Rahimi has been seen as an automatic choice for a wildcard after media seized upon her quest to represent Afghanistan, where women's sport was banned under the Taliban regime which was toppled in late 2001. But she now faces an anxious wait after the gulf in standards between her war-torn nation and the boxing heartlands of the Americas, Europe and Asia was exposed at China's Qinhuangdao. "My bout here was hard and my opponent very good. Of course it is my dream to go to the Olympics and fight for my country but I will wait and see what the organizers decide," Rahimi told AFP.
"I will be sad if I don't go but just coming here has been a great experience." Sadaf, who has been on a training stint in Britain, was cheered by a small crowd of hijab-wearing women in Qinhuangdao. Her compatriots Sumaiya Azizi, 18, and Shamila Husainzada, 17, also had their fights stopped in the first round. "Of course there is a big difference between us and the other boxers. But to come and see the WWBC (Women's World Boxing Championships) has motivated us even more to do well," said Sadaf. "Just being here flying the Afghan flag for other Afghan women is also positive." The Afghan women fight with small veils under their headgear and wear tights and long sleeves to cover their limbs, in accordance with Muslim tradition. Sadaf's coach Hedayatullah Mohmand, secretary general of the Afghanistan Boxing Federation, said just appearing at the world championships was a milestone for the boxers. "It is the first time Sumaiya Azizi and Samila Husainzada have seen and fought in a professionally rigged ring. It's been an important experience for them. Now we know what the technical level is," he said. AIBA president Wu said the Afghans and other women boxers from emerging regions, such as Africa, will be offered more intensive training sessions in the future to bring them up to the international standard. Top women boxers such as Ireland's Katie Taylor have criticised the wildcard system, intended to favour fighters from developing countries, and said the best athletes should be chosen for the Olympics.
lAhore: Mohammad naeem Mustafa, nBP regional head, lahore region, inaugurates the nBP interschool hockey tournament at the national hockey Stadium. STaFF PhOTO
HEYENNE Woods, the 21-year-old niece of 14-time major winner Tiger Woods, has signed with her uncle's agent, Mark Steinberg, and is set to start playing in LPGA Tour events this year. In a Monday statement posted on the Excel agency website, Cheyenne Woods said she plans to play in LPGA events this year on sponsor exemptions and seek a full-time spot on the women's golf tour through the qualifying tournament. "I am really looking forward to pursuing my goals and dreams to compete on the highest level," Woods said. "As I begin my pro-
fessional career, I am confident and excited about working with Excel as they help shape my future." Woods posted the lowest scoring average at Wake Forest University and has graduated with a communications degree. The daughter of Tiger Woods' half-brother Earl Woods Jnr missed the cut at the 2009 Wegmans LPGA while playing on a sponsor's exemption. Steinberg has represented Tiger Woods since 1998 and departed IMG to work at Excel a year ago. "We are excited about the opportunity to represent Cheyenne," Steinberg said. "She had an outstanding career at Wake Forest and has the chance to be a major star on the women's golf scene."
watch it Live GEO SUPER Chennai Super Kings v Mumbai Indians 07:30PM
Pakistan rugby team camp concludes LAHORE Staff report
The camp training of the Pakistan rugby team concluded after one and a half monthâ€™s session with Irish Coach Justin Fitzpatrick and will now leave for Malaysia on May 24 to take part in the Asia Five-nation Tournament. Pakistan will play its opening match against India while Goam and Malaysia are the other participating teams. Justin Fitzpatrick believes that his team is ready to surprise the Asian rugby scene and hoped that they would come up with their best results. Pakistan rugby president Fawzi Khawaja said that the final team will be announced on May 23. he further stated that the teams of other province sent their players Lahore to take advantage of the camp training under the supervision of Justin Fitzpatrick.
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Islamabad, Washington mull NATO taxation ISLAMABAD
O break the stalemate over the reopening of NATO supply routes, Pakistani and US officials are trying hard to reach a mutually acceptable amount for the future taxation by Islamabad on supply trucks, somewhere between the Pakistani demand of $5000 for each truck and the lower sum of $250, which Washington had to pay earlier. It is expected that both sides would reach a deal anywhere between $2500 and $3000 per vehicle. However, it is feared that in case the two sides are unable to resolve the thorny issue in the next few days, it would further
complicate the matter and hence, there would be a continuation of the deadlock that would not only harm the US-Pakistan ties but also lead to Islamabad’s isolation at the global level. And that is why NATO leaders on Monday called on Pakistan to reopen the NATO supply routes into Afghanistan “as soon as possible” in their declaration at the end of summit meeting in President Obama’s home town, Chicago. In principle, Pakistan has agreed to reopen the NATO supplies after the closure of around six months in the aftermath of NATO airstrikes on Pakistani border posts in Mohmand Agency in November, which killed 24 Pakistani soldiers. One sticking point that has hindered any movement forward as for the resumption of NATO sup-
plies has been Pakistan’s demand for a public apology by US over the air strikes on Pakistani border posts and another has been the differences between the two states on price tag on NATO trucks, containers and oil tankers that will cross the two border crossings at Torkham in Khyber agency and Chaman in Balochistan into Afghanistan in case the supplies are restored. Nonetheless, off late, Islamabad has softened its stance on the issue of apology after it received clear indications from Washington that no such thing was in the offing now, as Pakistan missed the opportunity in February this year when US was willing to offer it but was stopped from doing so by the Pakistani government on grounds that it should come after the completion of parliamentary review of rela-
tions with Washington. “Now the main stumbling block is the disagreement on tax to be imposed by Islamabad on NATO trucks and Pakistani and US officials have been trying their best to reach an agreement on this important issue to pave the way for reopening NATO supplies,” a diplomatic source said on Tuesday, seeking anonymity. He said talks were moving forward on a positive note and it was expected that both sides would reach consensus on some figure that was mutually acceptable. “With Islamabad asking for $5000 and US unwilling to pay that, we think both sides could agree on an amount around to $2500 to $3000 at the end of their ongoing talks,” he said. A Pakistani official, who also sought anonymity, said Pakistan had also sought an indemnity waiver in case of
any damage to the US/NATO cargo along with a demand for money in terms of damages to roads and highways by heavy NATO trucks and oil tankers. Analysts like Dr Hasan Askari Rizvi cautioned Islamabad against further delay in the resolution of contentious issue of NATO supplies and saying the sooner the problem was settled the better. “I think the government has seven to 10 days to settle this issue over NATO supplies with the US as in case of further delay there would be more pressure coming on Islamabad from Washington and its allies to reopen the supply routes that would result in the domestic pressure as well by the quarters, which are opposed to the resumption of supplies such as Defence of Pakistan Council (DPC),” Dr Askari said.
MISSING PERSONS’ CASE
SC laments govt’s inaction as deputy AG resigns ISLAMABAD Staff report
iSlamaBad: prime minister Yousaf raza Gilani talks to his turkish counterpart recep tayyip erdogan during a press conference on tuesday. aFP
Na speaker directs Pm to file response over conviction ISLAMABAD aGencieS
National Assembly Speaker Dr Fehmida Mirza has directed Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani to file a response regarding his conviction by the Supreme Court in the contempt of court case. According to a private TV channel, the speaker is likely to announce her decision on Gilani’s disqualification in about three days, and has asked the prime minister for his response in this regard. According to Article 63(2) of the constitution, the speaker is duty bound to decide on the prime minister’s disqualification within a period of 30 days. If she fails to do so, the reference would automatically be forwarded to the Election Commission. The article reads: “If any question arises whether a member of Majlis-e-Shoora (parliament) has become disqualified from being a member, the speaker or, as the case may be, the chairman shall, unless he decides that no such question has arisen, refer the question to the Election Commission within 30 days and should he fail to do so within the aforesaid period, it shall be deemed to have been referred to the Election Commission.” “After receiving such a reference, there is a deadline of 30 days,” a National Assembly staff member was quoted by the channel as saying. Gilani’s fate as prime minister lies in the speaker’s hands, as she has about three days to decide on his disqualification. The government also has to file its appeal against the Supreme Court’s verdict before the deadline expires.
NaTO summit ends without deal on supply routes
The Supreme Court on Tuesday expressed grave concerns over the federal government’s lack of attention and expressed serious concerns and anger over the absence of federal defence secretary and federal interior secretary in the case pertaining to the law and order in Balochistan and the missing persons issue in the province. A three-member Supreme Court (SC) bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry heard the proceedings of missing persons of Balochistan case at Supreme Court Quetta Registry. The Balochistan chief secretary and inspector general of (IG) police appeared before the court. During case proceedings Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry expressed strong resentment over absence of defence, interior and principal secretaries to the prime minister, despite court orders to appear in the missing
persons cases. The CJ remarked that agencies were facing serious allegations but the government seemed least interested about the issue. The chief justice remarked that serious allegations were being slapped at the spy agencies, including 80 percent against Frontier Corps (FC), adding that he had told Deputy Attorney General Malik Sikandar to recover the missing persons at any cost. “We are hearing the case and visiting Quetta for the last four months but you have no control in this regard,” the CJ reprimanded the deputy attorney general. The CJ told the DAG to do whatever was needed to recover the missing persons. In response, Deputy Attorney General Malik Sikandar put his resignation before the court, saying that court was not listening to him and he was appointed the DAG due to certain “circumstances”. The CJ replied, “It is not your ‘circumstances’ rather it is the circumstances of the families of missing persons who are sitting outside and you are coming here after meeting your family.”
Parliamentary committee appoints Justice Bandial as lhC CJ The Parliamentary Committee on Judges Appointment on Tuesday approved the appointment of Justice Umer Atta Bandial as the chief justice of the Lahore High Court (LHC), Geo News reported. The meeting of the parliamentary committee was presided over by Aftab Shaban Mirani at the Parliament House. Talking to reporters after the meeting, Mirani said the committee had
NEWS DESK The rift between the United States and Pakistan deepened on Monday as the NATO summit in Chicago ended without a deal on Afghanistan supply routes. US President Barack Obama, at a press conference to wind up the summit, made no attempt to conceal his exasperation, issuing a pointed warning to Pakistan that it was in its wider interest to work with the US to avoid being “consumed” by extremists. Seldom in recent years have the tensions between Washington and Islamabad been on public show to the extent as at Chicago, overshadowing the two-day NATO summit, said a report by the Guardian on Tuesday. The main point of friction is Pakistan’s closure of NATO supply routes to Afghanistan in protest over drone attacks and a US air strike in November that killed two dozen Pakistani troops. Obama refused to make time during the two-day summit to see President Asif Ali Zardari for a faceto-face bilateral meeting. In a press conference, Obama made a point of stressing that the only exchange he had with his Pakistani counterpart was short. “Very brief, as we were walking into the summit,” Obama said. The US president said he “did not want to paper over the cracks” and that there has been tension between the US-led international force in Afghanistan and Pakistan over the last few months. But ultimately, it was in the US interest to have a stable, democratic and prosperous Pakistan, Obama said, adding that it was in the interest of Pakistan to work with the US to ensure it is not consumed by extremists. There are fears in the US that the Pakistani government is unstable and that the government could fall, to be replaced by hardliners. The risk for Obama in displaying his annoyance with Pakistan at the Chicago summit is that Zardari could leave the summit feeling humiliated and even less willing to play a positive role over Afghanistan, the newspaper commented. Obama declined to meet Zadari one-to-one because Pakistan is refusing to re-open its Afghanistan border to NATO, which means the US and others are having to re-supply their military forces through the slower and more expensive routes from the north and Russia. Continued on page 04 Published by Arif Nizami for Nawa Media Corporation (Pvt) Ltd at Qandeel Printing Press, 4 Queens Road, Lahore.
Editor: Arif Nizami
approved the appointment of the incumbent LHC Chief Justice Azmat Saeed as a Supreme Court judge, while Justice Bandial would replace him at the LHC. The committee also approved the appointment of three additional judges, Justice Abdul Rasool Memon, Justice Saqib Hussain and Justice Naimatullah at the Sindh High Court (SHC), Mirani added. mONITORINg DESK