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Obama expresses ‘deep regret’ over Quran burning
Fed the most, did the least
Gul, Malik guide Pakistan to victory in T20 opener PAGE 19
rs15.00 Vol ii no 238 22 pages lahore edition
friday, 24 february, 2012 rabi-ul-sani 1, 1433
US ready to get back to business with pakistan, Clinton tells Khar
Amnesty to BAloch reBels
Govt ready to forgive and forget
Interior minister says Harbiyar Marri, Brahamdagh Bugti to be forgiven if they return to Pakistan
N a major reconciliatory move, the government on Thursday announced to grant amnesty to Baloch rebels, including Brahamdagh Bugti, in view of the prevalent situation in Balochistan province. Interior Minister Rehman Malik made the announcement as part of the government’s efforts to reconcile with them. “We will withdraw all cases against Baloch leaders, including Harbiyar Marri and Brahamdagh Bugti, but all of the leaders should return to Pakistan,” Malik said while talking to reporters after a meeting on Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan Package. He told reporters that he had also met Harbiyar in London as some reconciliatory actions were needed to save the coun-
try, adding that he would himself welcome Baloch leaders on their return to Pakistan. “There has to be a political solution to the Balochistan issue and immediate steps have now become obligatory for the sake of the country,” said Malik. The interior minister said the government could also not get due response from the provincial president of Jamhoori Watan Party (JWP), Shahzain Bugti and Bilal Bugti, regarding its offer made to them to nominate their leaders for talks with the government. He called upon the Baloch and national leadership to attend the government’s All-Parties Conference (APC) on Balochistan. However, Malik expressed dissatisfaction over some political parties’ Continued on page 04
baloCh leaders rejeCt amnesty offer | page 02
The United States is “ready to get back to business” with Pakistan after a diplomatic row following a cross-border NATO attack on Pakistani troops, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said. According to Economic Times, Clinton told this to Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, who is on an official visit to the UK, on the sidelines of the London Conference on Somalia to iron out differences between the two countries. According to reports, Pakistan Ambassador to US Sherry Rehman was also present during the meeting. “We respect parliament’s right to ... take time to do this in a sensible way, but we had to get ready to get back into business with Pakistan” on bilateral counterterrorism issues including Afghanistan, a senior State Department official said Clinton told Khar. He said the US would respect the parliamentary review but wanted to prepare for a return to “structured conversations”. The official said Clinton also told Khar that the administration wanted to resume high-level visits to Pakistan by aid officials and Marc Grossman, the top diplomatic envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan. Both the leaders discussed issues related to mutual interest. Clinton’s luncheon with Khar was among the few high-level contacts between the two countries since the November deaths of 24 Pakistani soldiers
LONDON: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton poses for a picture with Hina Rabbani Khar during the Conference on Somalia at Lancaster House on Thursday. Afp in a cross-border US air raid from Afghanistan. While Khar told Clinton that Pakistan would welcome a return to working with the United States, the official did not sugar-coat the difficulties of rebuilding the relationship after what is expected to be tough recommendations from parliament. Before her meeting with Clinton, Khar told reporters parliament was currently looking at “terms of re-engagement” with the United States. “We hope that, for the goals that we share that of peace and stability within
the region, Pakistan and the United States will be able to foster their ties. However, there are certain pre-conditions for that,” Khar said. She said the United States should work to establish a “predictable, transparent and sustainable” relationship with Pakistan based on both countries’ mutual interest. In the past, “a different type of relationship has been pursued in the dark of night and a different type in daylight,” Khar said. “We hope to be able to combine the two and bring this relationship credibility (in the eyes of) the people of Pakistan.”
The ‘boss’ wanted to pre-empt ‘bad boys’: Ijaz Mansoor Ijaz concludes his testimony with detailed timeline of his communication with General James Jones and Hussain Haqqani
ISLAMABAD TAHiR NiAz
PESHAWAR: A man mourns the death of a relative after a car bombing killed at least 12 people, including two children, at a bus terminal on Thursday. TARIQ AZIZ
12 killed in peshawar car bombing PESHAWAR STAff REPORT
At least 12 people, including two children, were killed and more than 50 injured as a result of a high intensity car bomb explosion at a bus stand on Peshawar’s Kohat Road on Thursday. The explosion led to the destruction of more than a dozen passenger coaches and other vehicles. Condition of several of the injured was said to be in danger and officials and doctors feared an increased number of casu-
alties. Per details, the explosion occurred in a car parked close to passenger coaches at the bus stand. The part of the bus terminal where the explosion occurred was reserved for buses running between Peshawar and Miranshah, headquarters of North Waziristan Agency. Officials confirmed that it was a car bombing. According to Shafqat Malik, the assistant inspector general of the Bomb Disposal Squad, around 45 kilogrammes of explosives were used in the bomb, which was detonated with a remote control. However, it remains to be
ascertained whether the target was the passengers at the terminal. Police said 34 injured people had been admitted to Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar and 31 to City Hospital on Kohat Road. Soon after the explosion, senior civil and police officials rushed to the area to supervise rescue activities. No group or individual has claimed responsibility for the explosion so far. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has announced to pay compensation to the heirs of those killed and injured in the attack.
The memo scandal’s lead witness Mansoor Ijaz continued recording his testimony on Thursday, with startling claims about how Hussain Haqqani, the former Pakistani ambassador to the US, okayed the memo’s final draft after securing approval from the “boss” (President Asif Ali Zardari) to seek American pressure for restricting “bad boys” – the chiefs of Pakistan Army and the ISI – from launching a feared coup. “After repeated confirmations that ambassador Haqqani has obtained approval from the ‘boss’, and it was after his go-ahead signal that I forwarded the final draft of the memorandum to General James Jones at 1:28am on May 10, 2011, who forwarded the same to Mike Mullen on the very next day followed by a phone call either from the US president or Mike Mullen himself to ‘Pindi’,” Ijaz told the memo commission via video link from the Pakistani High Commission in London. The Pakistani-American businessman continued from where he had left on Wednesday, the first day of recording his statement, and presented more documents to the judicial commission in support of his claim that he drafted and delivered the memo to the top US officials on the advice of former ambassador to the US Hussain Haqqani.
“On May 10, 2011, around 9am, I called Haqqani at the Inter-Continental Hotel in London, and told that the message had been sent to the US interlocutor and also discussed the contents of the memo. I enquired from him whether he had obtained the approval (from the “boss”) and he responded: he has boss’s approval and gave me a go-ahead, by which he meant the delivery of the memo to James Jones. At that time, it might be the assumption of Haqqani that Jones would be the interlocutor. It is possible that Haqqani assumed that I would choose James Jones as interlocutor,” he told the enquiry tribunal from London. “On May 11, I received a message from Jones that Mansoor message delivered,” Ijaz claimed. He further said that Haqqani wanted the memo delivered to Mullen ahead of a scheduled meeting between the former US military chief and some Pakistani officials. Ijaz said he had sent the first draft of the memorandum to Haqqani on May 9. “I made a four minutes call to Haqqani to inform him that the memo had been drafted. After sending a copy of the draft memo to Haqqani, I called James Jones. I informed him that I have conveyed Haqqani that the message has to be in writing and has the requisite authority of the highest authority in Pakistan,” he said, adding that he had sent a message to Haqqani Continued on page 04
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02 News Today’s
Friday, 24 February 2012
fed the most, did the least
UK, Pakistan share a special bond, says Hina Khar
Story on Page 07
Story on Page 05
15 militants killed, 4 hideouts destroyed in Orakzai Agency kALAYA iNP
At least 15 militants were killed and several injured when fighter jets bombed their suspected hideouts in Upper Orakzai Agency on Thursday. Official sources said the jets bombed the hideouts of militants in various areas of the agency, including Bermela, Khadizai, Mamozai, Samabazar and adjoining areas, destroying four hideouts of the militants. They said the jets were sent to bomb the hideouts after intelligence reports said militants from the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), led by TTP chief Hakimullah Mehsud, were hiding in the mountainous region bordering Afghanistan. They added that the death toll might rise further as several militants had been reportedly trapped under the rubble of the destroyed hideouts. The political administration and officials have confirmed the airstrikes and causalities. Most of Upper Orakzai is in Taliban’s hands and the area witnesses frequent clashes between security forces and militants, however, government troops are in control of the lower part of the agency.
Youth burnt in Faisalabad acid attack FAISALABAD iNP
In yet another incident of acid attack, a youth was burnt on a petty dispute here on Thursday. According to police, Aqil Butt and Jajji Butt after a petty dispute splashed acid on their companion Luqman while they were on the Sargodha Road, Faisalabad, and fled from the scene. As a result, Luqman, a resident of Chak No 7, sustained burn bounds. He was rushed to Allied Hospital, Faisalabad, where, according to hospital sources, his condition is serious. The citizens of Faisalabad have expressed concerns over the rapid increase in acid throwing incidents and demanded the authorities concerned to take strict action against acid dealers and put a complete ban on its sale. The police have registered a case against the nominated accused and started searching for them.
Rahim expected to join PPP ISLAMABAD
iSLAmAbAD: People hold pictures of their missing relatives at a hunger-strike camp in front of Parliament House on Thursday. ONLINE
Majority of Baloch leaders reject govt’s amnesty offer
Several PPP leaders have started efforts to persuade former Sindh CM Arbab Ghulam Rahim to join the party. Rahim was living in Dubai for the last two years after allegedly receiving life threats from President Asif Ali Zardari. According to sources, a number of PPP leaders met the former CM and assured him that no action will be taken against him on his return. Sources said that Rahim was invited to join the PPP, as he had a good political standing in Mirpur Khas, Tharparkar and other areas. According to reports, the PPP was facing a tough position in Sindh for its failure to arrest Benazir Bhutto’s killers and provide timely relief to flood affectees. According to sources, Rahim had agreed to join the PPP but would make the final decision after consulting friends. Sindh Assembly Speaker Nisar Khuro had resisted Rahim’s appointment as Sindh opposition leader.
majority of Baloch leaders rejected the announcement made by Interior Minister Rehman Malik of giving amnesty to Baloch rebels, calling him unreliable and his announcement “impossible to implement”. They said that there was no use of withdrawing cases against Barahamdgah Bugti and Harbiyar Marri who neither accepted the state nor the government. They said had the minister announced to recover all missing persons, bring the responsible of the kill-and-dump policy to justice and the stoppage of ongoing military operation, it would have been much more productive and helpful. Balochistan National Party President Sardar Akhtar Mengal said like other Baloch nationalists, his party would also not to participate in the allparties conference convened by the government that was responsible for abduction of Baloch youth and their killing. He said Islamabad cheated the Baloch nation in the name of Holy Quran when
Nawab Naurooz Khan was brought from mountains under the oath of the holy book and later thrown into prison and his sons and companions were sent to the gallows. He said that in such circumstances, “why should Baloch people rely on the interior minister who even did not know how to recite Surah Akhlaas?” He said the government did not demonstrate its seriousness towards Balochistan during the last four years and had the rulers did so, a workable solution would have been devised. Mengal said those who were now making announcement for withdrawal of cases against the Baloch leaders should tell the Baloch population what action they would take against those responsible for killing the Baloch youth and throwing their bodies for the animals to eat. Federal Minister Senator Mir Israrullah Zehri, President of PPP’s allied party BNP-A, also called the announcement by Malik a pack of lies, adding that the interior minister was unable to remove a single checkpost of Frontier Corps Balochistan. He said despite being an ally of the PPP-led coalition, his party would not participate in the
APC on Balochistan unless the culprits involved in the targeted killing of the wife and daughter of MPA Nawabzada Bakhtiar Domki were not exposed. He said Malik was in a habit of making such false claims and should not waste the nation’s time. National Party Senior Vice President Senator Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo said he failed to understand the announcement, as cases against those Baloch leaders were being withdrawn who did not accept the state or the PPP government in the first place. He said it would have been better that confidence-building measures were taken for talks between Baloch leaders and the government. Bizenjo said these measures should include the recovery of all missing persons and determination of identity of those responsible for killing hundreds of Baloch missing persons. Balochistan National Party acting president Dr Jahanzaib Jamadini said the rulers had started talking about Baloch issues after being stunned by the introduction of a resolution in the US congress. He said the government was trying to resolve things when they had come to a point of no return.
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Friday, 24 February 2012
ARtS & enteRtAInMent
Afghan soldier kills NATO troops amid violent protests
Jennifer Aniston puts name in star on Walk of fame
Tendulkar’s one-day future hangs in balance
News 03 cOMMent Another blast: We don’t need one-dimensional analysis oﬀ excel sheets.
Ending the stalemate: The US needs to apologise for the attack on Pakistani checkposts.
fahd Husain says: The Baloch grievance: Balochistan appears to be on the verge of going its way.
qudssia Akhlaque says: Ride on, Raisani!: Balochistan has once again become the focus of attention.
Ali Rizvi says: US: the ally from hell: They decided it was time to play their trump, Baloch card.
Story on Page 15
Story on Page 18
Story on Page 18
Articles on Page 12-13
MPs playing due role in improving bilateral ties: Lok Sabha speaker ISLAMABAD
ARLIAMENTARIANS from Pakistan and India agree to enhance bilateral relations and to resolve all the disputes through negotiations and dialogue, the Lok Sabha speaker and head of Indian parliamentary delegation, Meira Kumar said on Thursday. Addressing a dinner reception hosted by Indian High Commissioner Sharat Sabharwal here, she said, “We want to resolve all disputes through negotiations and dialogue.” Meira is leading a parliamentary delegation to Pakistan on the invitation of National Assembly Speaker Dr Fehmida Mirza. She said parliamentarians from both countries were playing a vital role in promoting bilateral relations and enhancing people-to-people contacts. She said the dialogue process resumed between Pakistan and India had been making progress and expressed hope that it would be useful for further strengthening the ties between the two countries. She said she had brought a message of good wishes for the people of Pakistan from the people and parliament of India, adding that people of India wanted a strong friendship with the people of Pakistan. The Lok Sabha speaker said the parliamentary groups of the two countries
iSLAmAbAD: indian Lok Sabha Speaker meira Kumar meets with Jamiat Ulema-e-islam-fazl chief fazlur Rehman during a reception hosted by indian High Commissioner Sharat Sabharwal on Thursday. ONLINE should meet frequently so that parliamentarians could learn from each other, share ideas and exchange experiences. Meira said the new visa regime currently being examined by the interior ministries of the two countries would
Musharraf is not involved in Benazir’s murder: APMl lAhOre: All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) Chief Coordinator Zahid Sarfaraz has said APML head and former president Pervez Musharraf has no hand in the assassination of late PPP chairwoman Benazir Bhutto. “As matter of fact, Benazir’s killers are those who changed her route and made her sit in a vehicle that had a sunroof. Baitullah Mehsood and the Haqqani network are being repeatedly blamed to distract the attention and hide the facts,” he said while addressing a press conference at the APML provincial secretariat on Thursday. Sarfaraz said nobody but he himself had advised Musharraf to not to return to Pakistan, saying since the day Musharraf had announced his homecoming, unrest had sparked in the government circles. “Musharraf stayed in Pakistan for eight months after stepping down but nobody filed any case against him,” he said. However, he assured that days were not far when the APML chief would be here among his people. Reacting to Interior Minister Rehman Malik’s statement, he said Interpol did not have spare time to arrest Musharraf on Malik’s request. He said everyone knew that Musharraf was not involved in the deaths of Benazir and Akbar Bugti. STAff REPORT
also be helpful in promoting people-topeople relations as it would ease restrictions for travelers between the two countries. Referring to her visit to historical places in Taxila, she said it showed that the two countries had very close and
strong bonds of cultural heritage. She emphasised the need to promote interaction at all levels between the two countries, adding that India wanted that its progress could be helpful to its neighbours.
Imran says can negotiate with Taliban if asked DUBAI ONLiNE
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf Chairman Imran Khan has said he can negotiate with the Taliban to end the “so-called war on terrorism” if he is given the mandate to do so. “I can talk to them if the government and parties concerned sanction this and ask me to get involved. I am ready to talk to them in the best interest of the country because this war is burying Pakistan,” Khan told to Gulf News. Reacting to a question about the Taliban’s move to open an office in Qatar, Khan said there was no harm in it as it was the first positive step towards
holding talks with them. “I told the world some eight years ago that there was no military solution to this problem as the only way out is to hold talks and settle it politically but at that time they called me ‘Taliban Khan’ but now they all agree with me as they
could not win this so-called war on terrorism,” he said. The PTI chief said it was important for Pakistan to get out of the US war on terrorism because the country had already suffered losses to the tune of $50 billion during the last 10 years leading to economic crisis, poverty and instability. “The sooner we get out of this war, the quicker Pakistan will get back on its feet,” he added. He said he could find a solution by talking to them because he knew the area and the people. Khan strongly condemned the tabling of a bill earlier this month in the US House of Representatives calling upon Pakistan to recognise the right to self-determination for Balochistan.
Hec releases university rankings LAHoRE STAff REPORT
HEC on Thursday announced the ranking of universities and some big names like PU, NCA and LUMS top their respective categories. According to the HEC ranking QAU is at the top of the pile, while PU is the only versity of the city in the top five. Overall Top 10 Universities 1. Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad (2) Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Islamabad (3). The Agha Khan University, Karachi (4) University of Agriculture, Faisalabad (5) University of the Punjab, Lahore(6) National University of Sciences and Technology, Islamabad (7) Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi (8) University of Health Sciences, Lahore (9) COMSATS Institute of Information Technology (10) Lahore University of Management Science Category wise the top five universities were; AgricUlTUre/VeTerinAry: University of Agriculture, Faisalabad; Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi; University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore; KPK Agriculture University, Peshawar and Sindh Agriculture University, Tandojam. ArT & Design: National College of Arts, Lahore and Indus Valley School of Arts and Architecture, Karachi; cOmpUTer sciences & iT: COMSAT Institute of Information Tech Islamabad; National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences , Islamabad; Qurtaba University DI Khan; Balochistan University of Information Technology and Management Sciences, Quetta and City University, Peshawar. engineering & TechnOlOgy: Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Science, Islamabad;National University of Sciences and Technology, Islamabad; Ghulam Institute of Engineering and Technology , Swabi; University of Engineering and Technology , Taxila and Institute of Space Technology, Islamabad. generAl UniVersiTies (lArge): University of the Punjab, Lahore; University of Karachi, Karachi; Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan;University of Peshawar, Peshawar; and International Islamic University, Islamabad generAl UniVersiTies (OTher): Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad; Government College University, Lahore; Gomal University, DI Khan; Kohat University of Science and Technology and The University of Azad Jammu & Kashmir BUsiness eDUcATiOn: Lahore University of Management Sciences, Lahore; Institute of Business Administration, Karachi; Iqra University, Karachi; Sukkur Institute of Business Administration and National College of Business Administration & Economics, Lahore meDicAl: Agha Khan University, Karachi;University of Health Sciences, Lahore; Dow University of Health Sciences, Karachi; Isra University, Hyderabad and Khyber Medical University, Peshawar.
‘Secret agencies cause of Baloch separatism’ g
Bugti, Jamia naeemia call for inquiry into missing persons, ‘kill-and-dump’ LAHoRE STAff REPORT
Expressing concern over the role secret agencies have played in Balochistan, Jamhoori Watan Party (JWP) and Jamia Naeemia leaders blamed them for being the root cause of separatist tendencies in the province and demanded an independent high level enquiry into missing persons and dead bodies, the halting of the military op-
eration and handing over the province’s charge to the civil government. JWP president and son of slain Baloch elder Nawab Akbar Bugti, Shah Zain Bugti, and Jamia Naeemia principal Allama Raghib Naeemi were united on the stance while discussing the political situation, especially Balochistan, at Jamia Naeemia on Thursday. Sources said Shahzain Bugti made clear no talks could be held with the
government unless Islamabad made serious confidence building measures to create trust among Baloch leaders and people. He said that the federal government had only paid lip service to the Baloch and less that one per cent of the much talked about Balochistan Package had been delivered. He said the government’s claims that military had been recalled from Balochistan and work on three proposed cantonments had been halted
were false. Before the APC proposed by Prime Minister Gillani, Shahzain endorsed the pre conditions set by PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif that the first government must arrest the killers of Akbar Bugti and recover all 13,000 missing Baloch people. Shahzain, however, condemned the murders of Punjabis in Balochistan but said reports suggested some of the killed were allegedly working for the army.
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Friday, 24 February, 2012
West vows to up pressure Lpp activist arrested for on Assad at meeting blocking road…one year ago tUnIS AfP
ESTERN powers vowed on Thursday to boost pressure on the Syrian regime and push it to allow in vital humanitarian aid at a global conference on Friday to tackle the country’s increasingly bloody crisis. As the flashpoint city of Homs came under renewed shelling, officials said Friday’s “Friends of Syria” meeting of over 60 nations in Tunisia will also seek to support the Syrian opposition in its efforts to build a unified front. France said the meeting will cement Syria’s “growing isolation,” while Britain said it will push for a tightening of the “stranglehold” on the regime and a US official said it will demand
that Damascus allow in humanitarian aid. But the Arab League-organised conference of senior Arab and Western diplomats, including US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, will be marked by a Russian boycott and the absence of China. Both countries have frustrated Western and Arab efforts to rein in President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, including by vetoing UN Security Council resolutions on the crisis. Russia said Thursday that Beijing and Moscow remained opposed to foreign intervention in Syria, while China’s influential People’s Daily warned this week that Western support for Syrian rebels could risk “large-scale civil war”. Activists say more than 7,600 people, mostly civilians, have died since Assad’s hardline regime launched a crackdown to snuff
out a revolt that began with peaceful protests in March 2011. Syrian forces launched another massive bombardment of rebel districts in Homs on Thursday, pounding the city for the 20th straight day, activists said. French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said Friday’s talks will aim to “increase pressure on the regime” and send a clear signal not just to Assad but also to the countries that have backed him. The meeting “will be a very strong symbol of the growing isolation of the regime and the isolation of those countries that continue to block all solutions at the Security Council,” he told London-based pan-Arab newspaper Al-Hayat. A US official said Clinton discussed a “unified humanitarian proposal” with counterparts on the sidelines of an international conference on Somalia in London on Thursday.
LAHoRE Nearly 28 principals of all medical colleges affiliated with the UHS gathered in the varsity after MBBS students from various colleges gathered outside the UHS to protest against the results, Pakistan Today has learnt. Scores of students gathered outside the varsity on the second day on Thursday to protest against the results announced by the university. Earlier, they had issued a list
of reservations and demands regarding the results and on the day chanted slogans against the administration, blocked the traffic and had negotiations with police officials as well. A large number of female students also turned up. However, taking account of the situation, a pre-scheduled meeting of principals also involved the topic on the agenda because of the protesting students. The committee decided that those who call the results
Labour Party Pakistan (LPP) Lahore general secretary and Beaconhouse National University (BNU) teacher Ammar Ali Jaan was arrested by CIA personnel from Ghora Chowk around noon and placed in the Kot Lakhpat police lockup for being an absconder in a road blocking case from 2010.
3 polio cases detected despite vaccination
Continued from page 1
tice. Earlier during the meeting on Aghaz-e-Haqooq-eBalochistan Package, deliberations were made on several recommendations for the welfare of Balochistan and its people. According to the press release issued by the Interior Ministry, 15,000 young graduates and post graduates from Balochistan should be given Rs 15,000/per month internship stipend in the Prime Minister’s Internship for Balochistan programmed for working as school teachers in the province. The handout stated that the federal government shall release Rs 4 billion to WAPDA on account of its share of subsidy for farmers of Balochistan, adding that 2,400 federal government
US delegation Continued from page 22 that the US Congress and Pakistan’s parliamentarians could play an important role in this regard. A Pakistani official, who sought anonymity, said that Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani had also conveyed to the congressmen Pakistan’s deep annoyance over the resolution on Balochistan in the US Congress, while observing that such acts would not help the ongoing efforts by both sides to repair the damaged ties. The congressmen assured the prime minister that they would convey Pakistan’s concerns over the resolution
to their fellow lawmakers after returning to Washington, the official said. “They also told the prime minister that they don’t support the independence of Balochistan,” he said. According to the statement, the congressmen expressed support for the government’s policy aimed at economic development, addressing the needs of education, health and providing employment to the people of the country. They also agreed that trade, not aid, was the way forward to economic development, and promotion of education and poverty alleviation
told that he had been arrested for an outstanding FIR against him at the Kot Lakhpat police station. He was later taken to the Kot Lakhpat police station where he was put in lockup. Speaking to Pakistan Today, Kot Lakhpat police Naib Muharar Abid said Ammar Ali was an absconder in FIR 555/10 registered on August 10 2010 under sections 147, 149,
353, 186, 290, 291 of the Pakistan Penal Code, for blocking a road. He said that Ammar was arrested by the investigations wing. However, asked to clarify why CIA police were involved, Abid said, “Anyone can arrest an absconder.” Investigating Officer Zulfiqar Ahmed could not be reached. LPP has called for protest outside the police station in the morning.
before the commission. He also produced a copy of the email sent to Jones. He said that point six, which related to the US access to the widows of Osama bin Laden, was taken out from what turned out to be the final draft of the memorandum. On May 10, I sent a copy of the memo to James Jones. “In this email, I denoted Haqqani as ‘Baba’,” he further told the commission. Ijaz said the identity of James Jones was kept hidden in the email sent to Haqqani which contained the memo. “I did not want Haqqani to know who was helping me,” Ijaz added. “I wanted to protect the identity of James Jones, and in my email, in which I forwarded the memo to Haqqani, I removed the address of Jones and instead inserted something else as secrecy. In addition, I made certain other modifications to the body text of the email to ensure that nothing could be traced back to Jones,” he added. Continuing with his testimony, Ijaz said that James Jones was sceptical and surprised if anyone in Pakistan government could talk the matters mentioned in the memo. He said that on May 12, Haqqani informed him about the meeting between Mullen and Pakistani officials, and that a phone call could go out from the US president or Mike Mullen to “Pindi”. On communication with the Blackberry manufacturer, Research in Motion, for obtaining the record of the communication between him and Haqqani during a specific time period, Ijaz told the commission that he was unable to obtain the data. He said that he had already sent 12 emails to the commission which contained all the requests by him or his lawyer to the RIM for obtaining the data. Haqqani’s lawyer Zahid Bukhari continued irritating the commission as well as Ijaz with his “unnecessary objections” to the proceedings. At
one point, Ijaz got provoked when Bukhari objected to the proposal of Akram Sheikh that Ijaz should make a final request to the RIM to release the data. “I waived my privacy rights but Haqqani did not. Let the commission know on which grounds RIM declined the request. We tried in search of truth and he (Haqqani) has no interest in finding the truth,” Ijaz shouted, saying that after RIM’s refusal to release the data, the entire truth was in his Blackberry sets. Ijaz told the commission that many messages were exchanged between him and Haqqani which he could send to the commission through email. He explained that the term “bad boys” in the messages referred to the chiefs of Pakistan Army and the InterServices Intelligence (ISI). He said that Haqqani had messaged that the US could get access to Osama bin Laden’s widows. To Bukhari’s questions raised a day earlier about Ijaz’s faith, the PakistaniAmerican businessman categorically stated: “I am a Muslim.” He also recited the initial part of the first “Kalima” testifying Allah’s oneness to make Haqqani’s lawyer believe that he was a Muslim. However, Justice Isa asked him to keep his cool, as the opponent might provoke him to break his chain of thoughts. Upon an objection raised by the attorney general, the commission observed that the Blackberry record would not be exhibited at that particular juncture. The AG was of the view that the electronic evidence was subject to security certification under Article 78A of Qanoon-e-Shahadat. The commission directed the commission’s secretary to take prints of the electronic communication directly from Ijaz’s laptop computer. Mansoor Ijaz has almost finished his testimony, and the commission would continue its proceedings today.
the said resolution by a SubCommittee chairman does not represent the view of the US government and Congress. “I want to convey to the people of Pakistan and the government of Pakistan that the US is committed to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Pakistan. We do not support independent Balochistan and only support united Pakistan. We support strong, vibrant civilian government and in favour of continuity of democratic process in Pakistan,” he said. The US delegation included Congressmen James Moran, Joe Wilson, Adrian Smith, Kenny Merchant, and Father Patrick Conroy among other senior officials.
‘All options’ on table on Iran: Israel president
Continued from page 1
jobs would be filled on merit with the assistance of MNAs and senators of Balochistan. To encourage representation of the government officials at the federal level, any officer coming to Islamabad on deputation would be awarded a higher post than his previous one. It was also decided to double the number of Benazir Income Support Programme beneficiaries from 375,000 to 750,000 and the federal Levis force shall be increased by 3,000 through fresh recruitment. A proposal was also floated during the meeting that free education to current 150 brilliant students from Balochistan shall be increased to 500 in the next academic year and endowment fund of Rs 5 billion shall be created for its sus-
tainability. It was also said that the Capital Development Authority (CDA) shall give one suitable plot to the Balochistan government for construction of a students’ hostel and officers’ hostel in Islamabad. It was also decided that the Frontier Corp (FC) Balochistan would not move to any district without the permission of the Deputy Commissioner and no checkpost would be established by FC without permission of the Balochistan CM. It was also decided that the FC and Coast Guards would exercise powers under Customs Act and strictly in accordance with the law and keep their deployment restricted to within 10 Kms of the international border.
would help in combating the root causes of extremism and terrorism. The prime minister said that Pakistan wanted to have excellent relations with the US, and that it was important to follow a partnership based on mutual interest and mutual respect. Gilani reminded that Pakistan had made numerous sacrifices in the US-led war against terror. “The whole nation is united and the democratic government has given political ownership to the anti-terrorism campaign,” he said. The prime minister emphasised that the use of military in Afghanistan does not provide a permanent solution. “Pakistan, therefore,
supported the political process leading to political settlement in Afghanistan,” he said, adding that it was important that Afghanistan, Pakistan and the US were on the same page and worked together to promote national reconciliation, peace and stability in Afghanistan. The prime minister drew the attention of the congressmen to unilateral actions such as drone strikes, and called them “unacceptable and counter-productive”. Earlier, the US delegation also called on Senate Chairman Farooq H Naek, who called for restoring friendly bilateral relations. “We desire to maintain good relations with the US based on mutual trust and shared interests.
Though our relation is passing through challenging times, but we should work together in unison to see that irritants hampering our relations should be removed as early as possible.” Naek said that because of last year’s incidents like the Raymond Davis case, NATO attacks on Pakistani border posts, the resolution on Balochistan as well as the negative narratives published by the US media, the people of Pakistan had become extremely concerned about the nature of their country’s relations with the US. Talking about the resolution on Balochistan, Congressman David clarified that wide ranging views exist in the US on various issues, and
foul should be checked by these committees. The University of Health Sciences (UHS) has announced to set up independent committees of subject specialists to review the question papers of second professional MBBS examination held in December last year. The UHS spokesman further said that on the recommendation of the principals, these committees have been set up and they will submit their reports within four to five days.
Three cases of polio were detected on Thursday in Naushehro Feroze and Kashmore. More than three cases of polio were detected; with one in Naushehro Feroze district and two in Kashmore. The diagnosed included Sadaf, 3, and Bilal, 4, both children of Nadir Ali Wasti. In Larkana division, a number of cases were identified last year, including Aziza, 3, Samia, 1, Yaseen, 2, and Deedar, 5. In Kamber-Shahdadkot, Mohammad Ali S/o Abdul Waheed Chandio, 4, resident of Gareebabad Muhalla Kamber city and Kalsoom D/o Imam Bux, 5, resident of village Katohar, have been diagnosed with polio virus, the Sindh Health department said.
Govt ready to forgive and forget opposition to the APC, saying that it had become a tradition for some political forces to always criticise the government. To discuss the law and order in the country, particularly in Balochistan, Interior Minister Rehman Malik also called on Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani. The interior minister briefed the prime minister about a bomb blast in Peshawar and reiterated the resolve of the democratic government to not get intimidated by cowardly acts of terrorism. The prime minister expressed his sympathies with the aggrieved families and directed law enforcement agencies to make relentless efforts to apprehend the culprits and bring them to jus-
According to sources, Ammar left home around 12pm and stopped at the Ghora Chowk petrol pump where four-five police officers asked him for ID, and began to check his vehicle. The police officers reportedly claimed that his chasis number was incorrect and he would have to come to the police station. Once taken to the CIA office Liberty Police Station, he was
stating that the message would be delivered to Mullen. “Three minutes later, Haqqani confirmed receiving the draft of the memo. However, he informed that he was tweaking it. He told me that once one objective (delivery of the message) was achieved, then Haqqani would get explicit approval on the specifications of the operation to get the army down”, he added. Ijaz claimed that until that time President Zardari was not aware of how Haqqani would get the army down, and had general instructions to get the military chief back. He said that on May 10, he called Haqqani and informed him that three possible persons could deliver the message to Mullen. “Two have already backed out, as they wanted the letter on a letterhead and signed by President Zardari, and these two options have been excluded,” he recalled as having told Haqqani. “The third one has agreed provided that it (the memo) had the authority of the president of Pakistan, to which Haqqani stated that he had sorted it out with the boss,” Ijaz claimed as having told Haqqani. “Immediately after I called James Jones I informed him that the message would be in writing and he (Haqqani) would get approval during the night. Haqqani again told me that he had sorted out with the boss, however, I spoke to James Jones and told him that authority would be solidified and made explicit during the night. The conversation with James Jones concluded that I would be sending the memo within the next hour, but he would not forward the email to Mike Mullen as Haqqani is tweaking the memo. At 1:28am on May 10, I sent the final draft to James Jones from my email address in two files – one Word file and the other PDF file,” Ijaz submitted
We demand a recheck! STAff REPORT
LAHoRE STAff REPORT
JerUsAlem: Israeli President Shimon Peres warned on Thursday that the Jewish state is keeping “all options” on the table on the issue of Iran’s nuclear activities. “The state of Israel is a sovereign state; it has the right and capacity to defend (itself) against any threat,” the Israeli leader said in remarks broadcast on military radio. “When we say that all options are on the table, we really mean it,” he added. AfP
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Friday, 24 February, 2012
News 05 24 Indian troops feared dead in two IHK avalanches SRInAgAR ONLiNE
At least 24 Indian troops were feared dead in two avalanche tragedies in Bandipore and Ganderbal districts of Indian-held Kashmir. Sources said the first of the two avalanches hit the Brigade Headquarters of the Indian Army at Dawar in Gurez. The troops deployed there were unaware, giving them no chance to escape. Eight bodies had so far been recovered from Dawar, while 10 soldiers were still trapped at Davar, Indian army officials told reporters. At least 14 were being feared dead in Sonmarg in Ganderbal in the second avalanche. Bodies of three other troops, including one junior commissioned officer, had been recovered. The third avalanche destroyed over a dozen hutments in Ramwari area of Ganerbal during the night, but no loss of life occurred. The Indian Army has launched rescue operations in both the hit places. Due to heavy snow in Dawar, no helicopter movement was possible, the official said, adding that they expected a “large number” of fatalities.
SRiNAgAR: Kashmiri villagers lament over the destruction after their huts were buried under snow due to an avalanche at Ramwari, some 70kms from Srinagar on Thursday. Afp
UK not to play any role on Balochistan, says thomson
UK, Pakistan share a special bond, says Hina Khar Foreign minister said Pakistan making efforts to minimise spillover of Afghan instability g Says country currently facing two main challenges: energy crisis and the image abroad g
HE UK and Pakistan have special bonds and the bilateral relations are consistent and based on mutual respect, Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said on Thursday. “There are institutional linkages between the two countries which have greatly facilitated in understanding each others’ point of view on various matters,” she said. The foreign minister was talking to Baroness Syeda Warsi and selected members of the Conservative Party at the Parliament House in London. She specifically quoted the statement given by British Prime Minister David Cameron during his visit to Pakistan which she said gave a great boost to the bilateral ties. Prime Minister Cameroon had described the Pakistan-UK relations as an unbreakable friendship. She described her visit to the UK and in-
teraction with the British officials as very constructive and fruitful. She said the talks on trade and investment prospects were quite encouraging. Deliberating upon the regional security situation, Khar said Pakistan wanted peace and stability in Afghanistan and was making efforts to minimise the spillover of instability in that country. In the context of conflict resolution, she emphasised that the international principles as prescribed in the UN Charter should be respected at all times while dealing with crisis. She also stressed upon positive messaging to create better understanding among coalition partners and stakeholders of any problem to ensure peace and stability. The foreign minister also briefed the delegation about the internal political and socio-economic conditions in Pakistan. “The positive aspect of the developments in Pakistan is that democracy has taken roots.” However, she said currently Pakistan was confronted with two main challenges, energy crisis and the image abroad.
“These challenges are also impacting the Pakistani diaspora in various parts of the world.” Baroness Warsi and the delegation
thanked the minister for explaining the perspective of Pakistan on various national, regional and international issues. They proposed that the positives about Pakistan should be highlighted like the contribution of Pakistanis in various fields in different parts of the world. They also asked for promotion of Pakistani culture and handicrafts. Talking to the All Parties Parliamentarian Group (APPG) on Pakistan in the British Parliament, Khar described Pakistan-UK relations as unique, distinct and strong. “These relations are based on mutual respect and mutual interests. The UK has always demonstrated a constructive and realistic approach towards Pakistan and the challenges it has been facing from time to time.” Underlining the objectives of her visit to the UK, she said it was precisely to review the progress and see further possibilities in various sectors of cooperation between the two countries under the enhanced strategic dialogue forum established during the visit of the British prime minister to Pakistan last year.
British High Commissioner to Pakistan Adam Thomson on Thursday ruled out the UK’s role in the Balochistan issue. Talking to journalists, the high commissioner said that it would not be suitable for the UK to play any role on the Balochistan issue. He said that Defence of Pakistan Council rallies was Pakistan’s internal issue. Thomson said that Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani would visit the UK in May while British Foreign Secretary William Hague would visit Pakistan next month. He said that Taliban chief Mullah Omar could get a role in Afghan politics if he respected the Afghan constitution, adding that his whereabouts were still unknown. Thomson said that Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar’s recent UK visit was successful.
secP chAirmAn APPointment chAllenged
Give the defence a chance: SC g
Finance secretary directed to submit detailed report within fortnight g Petitioner asks courts to declare stock market members ineligible ISLAMABAD mASOOD REHmAN
A three-member bench of the Supreme Court on Thursday directed Secretary Finance to submit a detailed report within a fortnight to a petition challenging the appointment of Muhammad Ali Ghulam Muhammad as Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) chairman. The bench comprising Justice Mian Shakirullah Jan, Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali and Justice Tariq Parvez re-issued no-
tices to all respondents- the federal government through finance secretary, SECP chairman, policy board secretary, finance division, commissioner (company law division) and SECP’s human resource department director to file replies in the matter as petitioner’s counsel Afnan Karim Kundi had filed an amended petition with a plea to the court to stop the incumbent SECP chairman from working. The court, however, observed that the defence must be given a chance to present his point of view before the court. Appearing on notice, Finance Secretary Abdul Wajid
Rana requested the court to grant him some time to file reply, as he assumed charge of his office a week ago. He assured the court that its orders will completely be complied with and implemented. The petition challenging the appointment of SECP chairman was moved by former chief of the SECP’s legal department Muhammad Ashraf Tiwana, requesting the court to ask the government to immediately appoint a new chairman and commissioners to complete the constitution of the commission with persons of integrity, competence
and professionalism who have no direct or remote conflict of interest and are not nominees and cronies of lobbies and interest groups in regulated sectors. According to petitioner, Muhammad Ali, who was appointed as SECP chairman on Dec 24, 2010 is the largest shareholder and director of a private brokerage firm — Fortune Securities Limited. The petition highlighted some regulatory failures of the SECP, including the stock market crashes of 2005 and 2008 and debacle of the National Insurance Company Limited. “Despite efforts by parliamentary committees,
culprits in the 2005 market crash have not yet been identified, lest being punished. Similarly, the causes of the 2008 market crisis have not been investigated,” the petitioner said. The petitioner requested the court to declare the appointment of individuals who are either members of stock and commodity exchanges or brokers, directors or shareholders of brokerage companies as commissioners or chairman of the SECP as against the law, equity, justice, fairness, public policy and ultra vires of the law, constitution and principles of natural justice.
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Friday, 24 February, 2012
Four yeArs on
Swat operation affectees still awaiting promised compensation Allege govt officials misappropriated compensation funds to buy themselves posh properties g
SWAt HAROON SiRAJ
With their houses destroyed during the Swat operation and the promised monitory compensation denied, disappointed owners staged a protest with a sit-in outside the DCO office on Thursday. Residents of various localities of Tehsil Kabal gathered at Nishat Chowk and marched to the DCO office in form of a procession observing a sitin protest. “It has been four years since our houses were destroyed during the military operation in Swat. Despite the government’s promises, no compensation is yet to come,” speakers said. “The PARSA and District Administration are using delaying tactics to ward us off,” they complained. They blamed elected members for embezzling millions out of compensatory funds that were allocated for the benefit of Swat operation affectees. “Leaving us help-
less and in the vortex of maelstrom, elected members used the embezzled money to buy themselves property in posh areas of the country,” speakers added. Protestors warned that if their demands were no met on priority basis, they will be left with no option but to resort to severer protest and will block the Swat-Peshawar GT road. sKi gAlA: A 7-day ski gala is set to commence on March 3 in tourist resort Malam Jabba. Malam Jabba is located about 9,000 feet above sea level. Like previous years, a large number of skiers from all over the country are expected to participate in the event. The gala will continue till March 10. One day each has been allocated to women and children. Special security arrangements have also been made. Ski Federation Provincial President Matiullah Khan said that thousands of ski enthusiasts streamed to Malam Jabba last year and hundreds of thousands are expected to participate this year too.
Tribesmen protest against US drone strikes MIRAnSHAH
U N D R E D S of armed tribesmen on Thursday rallied against US drone attacks in Pakistan’s tribal belt, demanding compensation for damage and losses, witnesses said. Markets remained closed during the rally in Miranshah, the main town of North Waziristan, the tribal district most frequently targeted by drone strikes against Taliban and al Qaeda militants. Up to 2,000 tribesmen gathered in Miranshah bazaar shouting “Death to America” and “Stop drone attacks in Pakistan” at the rally organised by Pakistan’s largest Islamic party, Jamiat-e-Ulema Islam (JUI), witnesses said. “The United Nations should take notice of American drone strikes,”
cleric Maulana Abul Rehman told the gathering. The crowd demanded an immediate end to drone attacks and compensation for those who lost relatives or property, as well as condemning this week’s burning of Korans at a US-run base in neighbouring Afghanistan. President Barack Obama last month confirmed for the first time that US drones target militants on Pakistani soil, but American officials do not discuss details of the covert programme. The US strikes are deeply unpopular among the Pakistani public, who see the attacks as a violation of sovereignty and who blame the government’s US alliance for much of the violence plaguing the country. According to an AFP tally, 45 US missile strikes were reported in Pakistan’s tribal belt in 2009, the year Obama took office, 101 in 2010 and 64 in 2011. The programme has dramati-
cally increased as the Obama administration looks to withdraw all foreign combat troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2014. prOTesT helD AgAinsT hOly QUrAn’s DesecrATiOn: The Jamiat-e-Talba Arbia (JTA) held a protest outside the Peshawar Press Club on Thursday against desecration of the Holy Quran by NATO troops in Afghanistan. The protest was led by JTA Peshawar Secretary Hanifur Rehman and Baadshah Zada. The protesters were holding banners and placards inscribed with anti-US slogans and chanted slogans against NATO forces and demanded the UN to take notice of the issue. They said that it was tragic that NATO troops had desecrated the Holy Quran and all 57 Islamic countries were silent in this regard. The protesters urged the world to boycott NATO.
fAiSALAbAD: Activists of NADRA Employees Union protest during a demonstration for regularisation of their services on Thursday. INp
peshawar corps commander appreciates tribal people’s role PESHAWAR
Peshawar Corps Commander Lieutenant General Khalid Rabbani on Thursday appreciated the tribal people for assisting the armed forces against terrorists. He was addressing participants of the De-radicalisation Emancipation Programme (DREP) at Tank. Anti-state elements carried out terrorist activities and killed many innocent people, particularly tribal people, for money, he said. Rabbani said that the armed forces were performing their duties with commitment and honesty and under the programme the armed
forces had initiated a number of development projects, including communication networks, setting up of health and educational institutions and social welfare schemes in the Tribal Areas. Rabbani hoped that successful participants of the programme will promote tolerance and brotherhood in their respective areas and would be an example for others. On directives of Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, the DREP was initiated as part of a welfare movement in Tank in October 2011. The Peshawar corps commander also distributed certificates among successful participants of the programme.
‘punishment is important to discipline children’ PESHAWAR STAff REPORT
Over 76 percent parents in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa believe that moderate punishment is important to discipline children while child rights activists urge elimination of corporal punishment at schools. This was revealed in a survey conducted by the Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (SPARC), which revealed that 76 percent parents from Peshawar, Swabi, Charsadda, Mar-
dan and Nowshera were in favour of moderate punishment to discipline their children. In a statement, SPARC Program Manager Imran Takkar said that any state’s legislation could shape the attitude and practices of that society and an explicit ban on corporal punishment at schools was of great importance. He said that the process must be supported by raising awareness on the harms of corporal punishment. “If corporal punishment is eliminated from educational institutions, it will support its elimination from all settings,” he said.
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Friday, 24 February, 2012
Tales and riddles of the fort PAGe 07
Plane takes a nosedive to destruction g
trainer, trainee both killed LAHoRE
trainer, two-seat aircraft of a private flying club crashed into the porch of a house located in H Block, Model Town, killing both the trainee and the trainer on
Thursday. The aircraft, a Cessna 150, belonged to Hybrid Flying Club located near PAF Colony, Centre Point. According to aviation officials, the plane had taken off from the club at 2pm and had crashed in a house numbered 143-H in Model Town. The aircraft was a training aircraft which was being flown by two people, Anita and Waqar. Anita Quraishi, 28, was training Waqar, 23. Fortunately the plane did not crash into the house and came down nose first into the porch. Witnesses said the same plane flew over the area every day. Abdul Karim, who lives right across the house, saw the entire episode unfold. “It was 2:15pm and this plane was flying by as usual,” he said, adding “the engine of the plane suddenly went quiet and it started spinning and came down, nose first, in the house’s garage.” “The crash was not that loud,” he said, adding “the petrol started leaking and it flowed out onto the street.” “There was no fire. Rescue 1122 was called immediately,” said Aslam, a gardener of the same lane said. “Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and the Model Town security chief reached the scene immediately,” the gardener said. According to experts, the Cessnas have a training route and a specific point from where the pilots report to the flying club. “The pilot, Anita, had reported their location when they were crossing over the Model Town Park, after that no message was received from them,” an official of the club asking not be named said. While answering a question, the official said the conversations between the pilot and the control tower were not recorded. According to Rescue 1122 officials, the pilots were killed at the moment of impact. “Their bodies were sawed out of the debris. Both of the passengers belonged to Karachi and were the member of Hybird Flying Club,” he said. The police said the crime scene had been sealed and all evidences had been collected. “We are waiting for the aviation expert team to arrive from Karachi and investigate the crash, anything said before the investigation would be immature”, said Model SP Maroof Wala.
Let’s all blame the dead LAHoRE imRAN ADNAN
The aircraft that had crashed inside a house in Model Town on Thursday was out of fuel, an aviation industry expert asking not be named told Pakistan Today. The expert said the aircraft had taken a nosedive because its fuel tank was empty due to unknown reasons. He further stated, “It is very strange that the aircraft did not even catch fire.” Residents of 143-H, Model Town, Mubasher Hussain and Umar Hussain, also confirmed that the aircraft had not caught fire and no fuel had leaked. Another witness, Raza, also expressed similar observations. He also mentioned that aircraft engines were off and it was moving like a spiral when it hit the ground. However, speaking to Pakistan Today, Hybrid Aviation Managing Director Mohsin Syed claimed that the aircraft was 100 percent fit for flying, but the unfortunate incident was the result of the mistake of the trainee pilot. He said the aircraft strolled and went into a nosedive, which clearly indicated that something seriously went wrong with the plane. “The aircraft was capable to glide and land safely in any emergency situation,” he maintained. “Though it is really unfortunate that two precious lives were lost, but it is part of flying training. Similar incidents have happened many times before, even various aircraft of Pakistan Air Force have crashed during training,” he underscored. Responding to a question, Syed said it was Cessna 150 aircraft (registration AP-BCS) that was manufactured in 1969 or 1971. It was upgraded and well maintained in all respects, he added. Meanwhile, a six-member Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) team headed by Security and Safety Department Head Abdul Majid reached the scene and inspected the debris. The members left the scene immediately and did not talk to the reporters. They said the plane’s debris would be removed today (Friday). A CAA official said it would be premature to give a reason without proper investigation and the report would be made public.Answering a question, he said all aviation companies and flying clubs in the country were strictly regulated. CAA officials conducted through inspecion of all aircraft operating in the country and issued fitness certificates in routine, he underscored. On the other hand, Special Branch of the Lahore Police sealed the office of the private flying company, Hybrid Aviation. Police sources said even though it was the job of the CAA, but for the protection of records, the police had taken this action. They said police had sealed all office records and had parked
Fed the most, did the least g
Uet, GcU and lcwU fail to make a mark, despite getting most funds LAHoRE ADNAN LODHi
Three large and reputed universities of Lahore, Government College University (GCU), University of Engineering and Technology (UET) and Lahore College for Women University (LCWU), which receive the most amount of funds by the Higher Education Commission (HEC), have failed to get a place among the top overall university of the country in the new HEC ranking, Pakistan Today learnt on Monday. HEC officials also warned the Punjab government to take interest in these universities which were becoming the hub of teachers’ and students’ politics. “These rankings were released after six years and it is a shame that these universities could not make their mark,” HEC officials said. On the other hand Punjab University, Lahore University of Manage-
u W lc
ment Sciences and University of Health Sciences are the only three universities of the city that were able to grab places in the top ten positions. Ranking criteria for the universities include student intake as well as the number of graduates produced at BS, MS and PhD levels, number of qualified faculty members, student-teacher ratio, quality of research produced and published in journals of international repute, physical and technological infrastructure, international collaborations, resource generation and sports facilities. “These universities are in the grip of teachers’ politics and even though they are getting the maximum amount of funds, they are underperforming,” a professor asking not to be named told Pakistan Today. “UET is being run by a retired soldier, what would he know about research?” a UET professor said. Other professors said the LCWU was one of the main universities of the women and due to politics that also involve the VC, the university has underperformed, adding that the same was the case for GCU. “After the 18 Amendment, the CM should realise his role and should appoint good administrators,” an HEC official said.
flying company says crashes are normal, points finger at dead pilots Experts say it was strange that the aircraf ran out of fuel mid-flight, did not catch fire
all aircraft that belonged to the flying company in hangers in their presence. However, Hybrid Aviation MD Mohsin Syed claimed that his office had not been sealed. According to the Hybrid Aviation website, “Hybrid’s Cessna 150 (AP-BCS) has been recently refurbished by Hybrid Aviation engineers and added into the fleet. The Cessna 150 isn’t very fast or big, but it’s not expensive to fly and it’s fun. Much of flying is about fun and the C150 gives the most value for money for any student pilot. It is a wonderful training aircraft and many students learn a lot from its flying. That is the reason why Hybrid uses it solely for training purposes at Hybrid Flying School.” The website indicates that the two-seater aircraft had single engine and was equipped with a VOR and ILS systems.
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Tales and riddles of the Fort
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BlOOD BAnK FAtMID ISlAMIc AllIAnce
Friday, 24 February, 2012
TORIES are told and retold. They can enmesh a place in a net so fine that it becomes difficult to distinguish between what had transpired and what was conjured. One such fabled place is Lahore Fort in Pakistan. The pavilions and chambers of this Mughal edifice have been the sites of so many encounters that every column seems to hold up a pediment of memories. Every tile is set in a pavement of recollections. There is even a famous Wall of Pictures with scenes of angels in flight and men clashing with swords, an unending mural of narratives. One person who knows the stories well is my friend Rustam Khan. He had worked with the Fort’s administration for years. So, when he offered to tour me around the vast complex, I happily agreed. During our wanderings, I bit my tongue when I felt the impulse to tell my sagely guide that, back home, his name was widely associated with a more flamboyant character! Rustam began by explaining to me that Lahore Fort wasn’t a fortress in the regular sense of the word. It was a sumptuous residence that, just like Windsor castle, was surrounded by huge walls which encapsulated kings and courtiers. It had been expanded through the centuries, resulting in an amalgam of different historical styles. Ino Manalo of the Philippine Daily Inquirer takes the readers through a journey of exploring the Fort like it has. VAriOUs sAgAs My first lesson was an introduction to the intricacies of brick. We were beginning with the elements that formed the basis for the structures of the Fort’s various sagas. Rustam pointed out the oldest bricks from the time of the Emperor Akbhar. These were robust, somewhat rotund, but full of the strength of earth. Then there were the bricks from the time of Shahjahan. These were finer and more slender, reflective of a ruler whose preferences were for marble embellished with the floral motifs of Persia. Finally, there were those from the kiln put up by the British. These were flat and efficient, no-nonsense tools of Empire. Every curve and crack had something to contribute. Rustam directed me to shapes in the midst of the shimmering mosaics of the celebrated Sheesh Mahal or Hall of Mirrors which my dazzled eyes would not have discerned. He even shared with me his pet theory that the real Sheesh Mahal was actually located in another part of the palace. My guide noted how the suns which formed the medallions of the ceiling panels of a particular pavilion were all different, indicating the symbolism of a variety of faiths. This conveyed a conscious effort to project pluralism and tolerance, hallmarks of cosmopolitan rulers. I was shown stone loops set into the walls for torches to light the palace at night. I also noticed smaller hooks on the perimeters of windows or doorways. These, it was explained, were for curtains. I recalled what another
scholar had told me: Indian buildings like the Fort had two layers. The first was made up of stone and mortar. These formed the permanent structures which were immediately observable. But there was also another layer of colorful draperies and canopies, gossamer, ephemeral, subject to the whims of satraps and seasons. hUge cAmpsiTe Fragments coalesced into buildings, allowing the epic to proceed. We walked through a large enclosure of lawns and orderly pathways. Rustam clarified that this was originally a huge campsite, a waiting area for the retinues of emissaries. The pavilion where the king would have sat occupied one side of the enclosure. He would have revealed himself to his subjects from a balcony. One of the pleasures of being with my special guide was that we were allowed to enter areas which were usually off-limits, such as the hall behind the throne. This overlooked still another large space—the great quadrangle of the Emperor Jahangir. I stood there mesmerized by my imaginings. For a moment I could hear the faint strains of music, but of course it must have come from the amusement park outside. As we descended into the quadrangle, Rustam kept on harrying me with questions about details, about the bricks. From what epoch was this wall? He seemed pleased that I was quite game about answering. We soon found ourselves in another courtyard. Rustam asked me what this space reminded me of and then shrugged his shoulders. I suppose this was because the answer was both obvious and somewhat cliché. For the elegance and purity of this marbled expanse pointed to only one thing: The Taj Mahal, built by the grieving Shahjahan as the tomb of his wife, Mumtaz. I must admit though, that the monumentality of such devotion still made me pause. mnemOnic DeVice Even while we progressed from section to section, I was beginning to feel a little anxious. Would I ever get the sequence of this procession of Mughal monarchs straight in my mind? Fortunately, a little mnemonic device that my Asian Civilizations teacher had taught us, came to my rescue: BHAJSA. This meant, “Bread, honey, and jam suit all.” Magically, the dynastic past fell neatly into place. For “B” or Bread stood for Babur, revered founder of the line. His progeny then filed by effortlessly—and
in correct order: Humayun, Akbar, Jahangir, Shahjahan, and Aurangzeb. Much later, Rustam brought me to examine what seemed nothing more than a hole in the ground, albeit one that was lined with an elegant paving. Again, he became inscrutable as he quizzed me about the significance of this area at the boundary between the king’s courtyard and the harem’s quarters. Still unyielding, he nodded in the direction of an imprint on the wall which betrayed the presence of pipes long lost to corrosion. Finally he relented: We were in the former baths and the hole was actually a tub, a favorite royal locus for amorous pursuits. Suddenly, the great Mughals were not just fierce warriors anymore. It was heartening to know that after a grim battle of conquest, they too needed a wash and a softer touch. It was, admittedly, a lot to ponder in one afternoon. But I was unperturbed. It was a great honor to have been guided by someone whose focus on detail arose from what was clearly a deep well of insight and devotion. As we walked back to our vehicle, I saw large crowds entering, cheerfully invading what had once been forbidden ground. Rustam again volunteered that it was a holiday and people came to sit on the grass and play. I wondered: What stories did these people tell each other about this place? ABsTrAcT shApes That night, shortly before I retired, something more about my tour made me smile. I recalled how, before we began our walk, Rustam had stood beneath a ceiling bracket carved in the form of an animal. He then demanded to know why similar brackets over the most important section of the courtyard had abstract shapes corresponding to no known beast or plant. After a long time, I gingerly ventured a guess. I suggested that this abstraction may have to do with the point that the Fort was the product of a civilization which produced immense temples with ornate gates, but with innermost chambers void of decoration. My guide smiled and then allowed me to move on. I never got around to checking with Rustam what he thought about my response. But I was happy that he bothered to continuously test me as we went about our explorations. After all, guides must always ask questions. How else would their followers figure out the way?
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DAte AnD tIMe: JUne 1, 2012, 4PM tO 6PM VenUe: HASt-O-neeSt centeR cAllIGRAPHY clASSeS are on-going, interested students can enroll throughout the year. the duration of one module is three months. there are four modules of learning calligraphyt: primary, secondary, advanced and higher. the course includes traditional pen and traditional paper making.
DAte: JAn 23 – FeB 23, 2012 VenUe: tHe DRAwInG ROOM ARt GAlleRY Rashid Rana, naazish Ataullah, Ayesha Jatoi, Mudassar Manzoor, RM naeem, Sadaf naeem, Irfan Hasan, Adeel Us Zafar and others display their art in an effort to capture past.
DAte: FeBRUARY 10 — MARcH 10, 2012 VenUe: UnSPecIFIeD, lAHORe Feeling the need for wInGS? After an overwhelming response to Red Bull Paper wings held in Pakistan in 2009, the best and most creative Pakistani folders & throwers will have the chance to represent their country at the world Finals at Hangar-7, Salzburg, Austria this year also!
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Friday, 24 February, 2012
Voodoo strikes 16 years after magician’s murder LAHoRE iNP
The police arrested an alleged murderer of a black magic expert here late Wednesday night. According to details, the accused, Muhammad Ali Tarkhan, had killed Baba Fazal Karim, a magician with expertise in black magic, in Iqbal Town area of Lahore in 1996. The accused went underground in the aftermath of the murder but was captured by police during a raid late Wednesday night. In the preliminary interrogation the arrested culprit confessed the killing of Baba Fazal Karim. The detainee claimed that Baba Fazal Karim was making him paralysed with his black magic power to get possession of his shop. After finding no other way to save my health and shop, he opted for the extreme step of killing him to get rid of his black magic, Muhammad Ali Tarkhan claimed.
Passport office accused of bribery LAHoRE APP
Obtaining a passport has become a daunting task for citizens, largely because of the strong presence of an unchecked agents’ network that mints money from false promises of effective facilitation. A number of distressed people protesting outside the passport office on Abbott Road said agents would take Rs 100 to Rs 1, 000 from simple people to provide help in getting the fees deposited in banks or even getting any ‘objections’ cleared. They alleged that some of the officials working in the passport office associated with the large network of agents who extracted hundreds of rupees in bribes to expedite the process of obtaining a passport. They appealed to the authorities concerned to monitor the activities of these elements who exploited visitors. They also demanded basic amenities for visitors outside the office such as water and seating.
‘False alarm, there’s no dengue!’ LAHoRE STAff REPORT
Special Assistant to chief minister for health Khawaja Salman Rafiq has said the seven-year-old girl Maryam admitted in a private hospital the previous day was not a dengue patient. He said he reached the hospital immediately on the CM’s instruction and after consultations with the doctor he found out that the patient was not a dengue victim. He said the patient was shifted to Jinnah Hospital after the tests. He asked the private hospitals to immediately inform the Dengue Cell or the Dengue Experts Advisory Group of the Health Department if a dengue patient comes to them.
Another day on the road: NADRA officials continued protesting on the third day as the authorities continue to remain oblivious to their demands. NADEEM IJAZ
Get off your lazy backsides! LAHoRE
division bench of the Supreme Court headed by Pakistan Iftikhar Chief Justice Muhammad Chaudhry Thursday directed Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif to take strict action against lazy police officers, to put the legal system back track. CJ believed that Punjab police’s performance is next to nothing as things stood.
The CJP also sought a report within next seven days from the Punjab Chief Minister about the plans, if any, that the government was working on for the purpose of enhancing jail capacity or construction of new jails as prisoners were over crammed in the prisons and treated like sardines in a dirty truck, he believed. He also ordered them to conduct medical examination of all prisoners. Reproaching the Punjab Home Secretary Shahid Khan and Punjab IG Police Haji Habibur Rahman on delay in sub-
Speed up public-welfare projects, cM tells officials LAHoRE STAff REPORT
Punjab Chief Minister (CM) Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif held a meeting to review the pace of implementation of the Annual Development Programme on Thursday. He directed officials to complete public-welfare projects efficiently so people could benefit from them as early as possible and improve their living standards. The Planning and Development chairman gave a detailed briefing regarding development projects of various departments and utilisation of funds. The CM said solid steps should be taken in future for making cities environment-friendly. He further directed the officials concerned to develop greenbelts along roads and asked for special attention to be paid to waste management. He said that projects of health and education, road construction and social welfare should be prioritised as they directly concerned the masses. He stated that honest and hardworking officers were precious assets of the government and they should be fully encouraged for the benefit of the citizens. The chief minister also announced the formation of a special committee for the supervision and timely completion of development schemes, and said that the committee would review the pace of work on development projects on a weekly basis.
Promoting PePcO LAHoRE STAff REPORT
A meeting of senior selection board for promotion of Pakistan Electric Power Company (PEPCO) was held in WAPDA House, on 22 and 23 Feb 2012. The selection board promoted 41 Chief Engineers of GENCOs, DISCOs and NTDCL as General Managers. The selection board comprises of Ministry of Water and Power Additional Secretary Mr Hamid Ali Khan, PEPCO/NTDCL Managing Director Rasul Khan Mahsud, Senior General Manager Arshad Raza, Human Resource General Manager Shiekh Nazir and Chief Financial Officer Majid Alvi.
CTO takes part in a walk to raise awareness on traffic laws. pR
mitting case challan of accused holed in jails without trial or bail relief, CJP Iftikhar Chaudhry remarked “You, home secretary Punjab and the Punjab IG Police, just roam about wearing neckties and suits heroically and have no idea what damaging the police is causing to the legal and judicial system in the biggest province of Paksitan!” lhc cJ cOnDOles JOUrnAlisT’s DeATh: Chief justice Lahore High Court Sh Azmat Saeed on Thursday expressed heart felt grief and condolence
on death of senior journalist Muhammad Araf, father of daily Dawn’s court reporter Wajih Ahmed Sheikh. The deceased, Muhammad Araf, who had died late on Wednesday was laid to rest at a local graveyard on Thursday. He was 75. In his journalistic career the deceased served at various newspapers including daily Masawat, daily Hurriat, and the English daily Dawn. A large number of senior journalists, reporters, friends and relatives participated in his funeral prayers offered at Janaz Gaah, Lyyton road Lahore.
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10 Lahore Punjab IG’s no nonsense approach LAHoRE STAff REPORT
No delaying tactics, negligence and all kind of hindrances would be acceptable in providing justice to the innocent people of the province. This was stated by Punjab Police Inspector General Mohammad Habib-urRahman while presiding over a high level meeting held at Police Headquarters to review the pending challans lying in various police stations of the province. While expressing his dissatisfaction the provincial police chief directed the concerned police officers to take all possible steps to ensure the timely completion and submission of these challans. Habib-ur-Rahman issued explanation letters to 32 police officers on account of nonsubmission of challans across the province.
Beaconhouse 78 A/1 awards high achievers
Friday, 24 February, 2012
LHC restrains SZMC from taking fee from student LAHoRE
HE Lahore High Court on Thursday restrained the payment of Rs 0.5 million in annual fees required to be paid by a medial student to the Shaikh Zayed Medical College (SZMC). The court also sought a reply from the federal secretary cabinet division, director general of health, and the chairman of Shaikh Zayed Hospital (SZH). Justice Muhammad Khalid Mehmood Khan passed the order on a petition filed by Pakistan Medical Association Joint Secretary Dr Salman Kazmi against the unjustified fee structure of the college. The court also restrained the SZMC chairman from harassing the student. Earlier, the petitioner’s counsel Noshab Khan submitted before the court that the SZMC was under the administrative control of the federal government, but was charging Rs 480,000 from students as tuition fees for each academic year, whereas other public sector medical and dental institutions in Punjab were only charging Rs 12000-14000. The counsel termed the fee structure of the SZMC unfair as it was receiving grants from the public exchequer. The counsel pleaded the court to declare the SZMC fee structure as il-
legal and for the respondents to bring their institutions’ fee structure at par with other medical and dental institutions in Punjab. The court adjourned the matter till February 27. lhc cOmmissiOn QUesTiOns pic phArmAcisT: The Lahore High Court judicial commission, which was set up to probe into the deaths of more than120 patients in the Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC) case, on Thursday cross-questioned Muhammad Yousaf, a PIC pharmacist as a witness to the fiasco resulting from the supply of defective drugs to the hospital. He recorded his statement on oath and produced certain documents in support of his statements. The tribunal questioned him about various aspects of the matter. Zulfiqar Ali, the store keeper of PIC, also appeared before the tribunal and was directed to bring the record on Friday. Notices have already been issued to Muhammad Tariq Rehman, the proprietor, and Musharraf, the partner of Omar Trading Company. Omar Trading Company, the distributor of Efroze Chemicals, allegedly supplied Isotab Tablets to the PIC, which were subsequently found to contain large quantities of antimalarial pyremethamine. The commission comprising LHC judge Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan is probing the matter to ascertain the causes of the deaths, to determine if the causes are related to the use of the drugs, the
source of the drugs and to make recommendations for the prevention of such incidents in the future. Since the matter is of great public importance, the tribunal is conducting the proceedings on a day to day basis. lhc seeKs reply FrOm gOVernmenT On ccpO’s AppOinTmenT: The Lahore High Court on Thursday issued a notice and sought a reply from the federal and provincial governments within two weeks on a petition that challenged the appointment of Haji Habibur Rehman as the Inspector General of Police (IGP) in Punjab. Justice Najam ul Hasan passed the orders on a petition filed by the petitioner’s counsel Muhammad Fakhir. Earlier, the petitioner’s counsel submitted before the court that Haji Habibur Rehman was the Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) of Lahore when the attack on the Sri Lankan team took place. He submitted that not only the LHC judicial enquiry commission had declared Rehman guilty to some extent, but the departmental enquiry had also termed him an irresponsible and negligent police officer after the incident. He alleged that his appointment had been politically motivated and directions should be issued to remove him from the post. The court sought a reply from the federal and provincial governments within two weeks.
Govt oblivious to its promises at thokar
LAHoRE PRESS RELEASE
A graduation ceremony was held at Beaconhouse 78 A/1 Girls campus Lahore. The chief guest was Professor Zubaira Hassan , the Head of Department of Economics at Kinnaird College for women. The ceremony started with a splendid procession of the graduating classes, accompanied by the Principal Firdous Al Makky, chief guest the school coordinator Noshin Shahid. High achievers of the school were presented by Noshin Shahid. Gold, silver and bronze medals were awarded to the outstanding students.
The government has failed to pay the due amount for the properties and hasn’t built the promised forensic laboratory at Thokar Niaz Baig as well. Malik Nazir Hussain, Faqir Hussain and Sajaad Haider said this during a press conference. They said that they were owners of 17 canals of property at Thokar Niaz Baig. They added that the government was paying them Rs 0.1 million per marla for their land, even though the real value of land was 0.9 million per marla. And they claimed that all this was due to their refusal to bribe the collector. Even the property papers have incorrect owner names, despite the fact that they had owned the property for the previous five years, they claimed.
Support from Down Under LAHoRE STAff REPORT
Australian Federal Police, Counsellor Marzio Da Re called on Punjab Addl IG Ch Tanvir Ahmed, Training Addl IG Sarmed Saeed, Special Branch Addl IG Nasir Khan Durani, DIG CTD, Javed Islam and Investigation DIG Mirza Shakeel at Police Headquarters, Punjab on Thursday. Iftikhar Ahmad, former, IGP, was also present on this occasion. During the meeting matters of mutual interests were discussed in detail. Marzio Da Re also told the Senior Police Officers that Australian police department would extend its full cooperation to the Punjab Police in capacity building assistance and training programmes. He also told that Australian Police Department would assist Punjab Police and law enforcement agencies in countering terrorism by using the latest technology and forensic capabilities of Police Agencies. The Punjab Police officers thanked the visiting guests and appreciated their cooperation.
bATHiNg iN THE bALOCH LimELigHT: insaf Students’ federation members hold a protest in the favour of the balochs. NADEMM IJAZ
perilous pursuit of murder cases LAHoRE STAff REPORT
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A security guard Akhtar Khan, 35, resident of Mansehra, was shot dead by his rivals over an old enmity in the Defence A Police Area on Thursday. The police said that he had been in the city since 16 years working at the house of mills owner Muhammad Asghar in Punjab Housing Society. The police said that Akhtar had an old enmity with Tasleem Khan whose family had shot dead Akhtar’s father in law and uncle over a minor dispute some 16 years ago. The police said that Akhtar was pursuing the murder cases owing to which Tasleem and his family nursed a grudge against Akhtar Khan. On the day of incident Akhtar was standing outside the house of Asghar where Tasleem and his accomplices reached and opened fire on Akhtar. Resultantly Akhtar sustained serious bullet wounds and died instantly. The police after being informed reached the scene and removed the body to the morgue for autopsy and started investigations. DeATh By sTrAngUlATiOn: A 16-year old unidentified boy was found murdered from Mozang Police Area on Thursday. The police said that some locals found the body of aforesaid boy lying in an empty plot and informed the local police, whose officials after
reaching the scene removed the body to the morgue for autopsy and started investigations. Investigators said that the victim was strangulated to death. They suspected the boy could also have had been the victim of sexual assault. Further investigations are underway. nO neeD FOr speeD: An over-speeding car ran over Muhammad Raffique, resident of Wandala Road Area, 42-year old man in the Shahdara Police Area on Thursday. The police said that the victim was trying to cross Wandala Road when the car knocked him down. He was taken to a nearby hospital where he died and police handed over his body to his heirs after completing legal formalities. Three BODies FOUnD: Three persons including a woman were found dead from three different areas of the city on Thursday. Azmat, Jaranwala resident, was found unconscious near Sagiyan Bridge in Shahdara Police area. She was taken to a nearby hospital where doctors confirmed her death. Her heirs reached Lahore and shifted her body to their native place. Meanwhile, a 60-years-old unidentified man was found dead inside a warehouse located in Misri Shah Police Area while a body of a 35-year old unidentified addict was found from Harbanspura area. Police after being informed reached the scene and removed the bodies to the morgue for autopsies.
Kashmir issue on the table LAHoRE STAff REPORT
Indian Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar called on PML-N senior leader Muhammad Mehdi on Thursday during her tour in Pakistan. Indian Parliamentarians were present on the occasion. Both dignitaries discussed Kashmir dispute, chances of economic cooperation and water issue. They also reflected on mutual issues and stressed upon peace in the region.
Directing dengue demolition LAHoRE: STAff REPORT
Advisor to the Chief Minister ManshaUllah Butt has said that the Environment Protection Department (EPD) will leave no stone unturned to dispel dengue virus in the province, however the real measure to prevent dengue proliferation is through the people and their domestic practices. Addressing a press conference at the Directorate of Public Relations Punjab (DGPR), he said that the EPD played its role as regulatory, enforcement and awareness body during the dengue upsurge. He mentioned that despite limited resources and manpower, the department identified and eliminated 2066 larvae hatching spots in the provincial metropolis.
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Friday, 24 February, 2012
Editor’s mail 11
welfare state – a wake-up call ‘Welfare state is a necessity for Pakistan’, pointed out aptly by Dr Faisal Bari in his article ‘The struggling employed’ published in Pakistan Today on 21 February). While illustrating the story of Amir and the other low-income and lowskilled service industry workers, he brought our attention to one of the biggest predicaments that Pakistan is facing nowadays. These people are entrapped in an incessant mesh of the struggle to make
their survival possible. Given the huge proportion of income inequality prevalent in Pakistan, this is not just the case with a few people but more than half of the current population of Pakistan is suffering from this tragedy. Considering the income bracket of these people, they are hardly meeting their basic necessities of life, in such a scenario how could they manage to send their children to schools and bear their incremental expenses? They don’t even
Revival of KcR have the money to afford health facilities required. This is indeed a dilemma of our country. The suggestions put forward by Dr Faisal Bari in his article are quite appropriate for that matter. Implementing the model of providing free health and education facilities to these under-privileged people will help them to overcome the sufferings of life. This is where the role of the state comes in. Offering a decent medical services and taking care of education expen-
ditures would cost money to the state but, be that as it may, there is an urgent need for this facility. If this initiative is taken properly, it will not only alleviate financial and psychological burden of those poor and lower-middle class families but also provide them an optimistic version of life. Hence, it would be a progressive step towards development and a better future for Pakistan. GUL-I-HINA SHAHZAD LUMS, Lahore
Mobile towers The apartment building where I reside with my family is surrounded by high-rise mobile towers from all the four sides, three of them at the distance of not more than 100 metres. The other day a family friend who came from London pointed out that on his visit to Karachi after three years, he had seen many more and much higher mobile phone towers and that these were prohibited under rules in London, of any height, as they use advance technology to compensate the coverage. I request the concerned ministry to bring the advance technology in Pakistan for our fast-growing industry: this would help avoid the most probable long-term health complications for the people in time to come. Z A KAZMI Karachi
A calrification I need to clarify information about the domestic violence bill that has been passed yesterday by the Senate. It seems that the information being dispersed is not fully correct. Firstly, this is not the bill that was passed by the NA in 2009. That one is still in the pipeline for the joint session. And for the last two years never came on the agenda in a joint session. We were expecting it to come in the upcoming joint session which might not happen again. This is a similar (but not the same) bill, moved as a fresh bill by Senator Nelofer Bakhtiar in the Senate. It is a private member bill and was tabled only a few days ago. It was passed after discussion unanimously and now it will go to the NA session for their approval. Secondly, it is important to note that this bill does not criminalises domestic violence. This is only about getting an order for protection or restraining order to ensure that the abuser can be made to stay away from the aggrieved person and also deals with some temporary maintenance and custody issues. Thirdly, it is only for ICT as the National Assembly can only legislate for ICT. It is not for the whole of the country. For criminalisation of the act of domestic violence we have prepared amendments to PPC and given to the HR Ministry a few months ago. That will be moved as a government bill, I hope soon. That is for the whole country and will declare domestic violence a crime. We do need to move fast on that front as both together can make the crime accountable. Media has been a superb partner of the women's legislative reform. I hope to have continued support from you all. FOUZIA SAEED Member, National Commission on the Status of Women
Human Rights violation The way United State forces are making human rights violation against the Taliban in Afghanistan is a sheer violation of the Geneva Convention. The US Marines have been seen involved in urination on the dead bodies of Taliban. The viewers feel humiliated. It’s a slap on the face of humanity. No religion of the world allows anyone to disrespect human dead bodies like that. America must understand that it is an oppressor force in Afghanistan so the resistance is obvious. When two forces are fighting, killings on both sides is sure. America must realise that such steps are going to inflame the hatred which already prevails in the masses of the region. DR HASNAT NABI Islamabad
finally! The Memogate seems not to be dying out anytime soon now that Mansoor Ijaz has started his testimony in the UK. When the country is facing problems in almost every sector, such problems will only cause trouble and destabilise the democratic government. This is one thing that no stakeholder should forget. On one hand, we are facing problems of secession in
Facets of theatre “I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms. Most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being.” (Oscar Wilde) Unfortunately, people in Pakistan are unaware of this fine art because they have a misconceived perception about it. Theatre is not just a stage where actors “ACT,” it’s a platform where an individual reincarnates and experiences the feeling of being in someone else’s shoes. It is a platform where one can realise their potential and go beyond the boundaries that restricts their actions in everyday life. A major reason for decline of commercial theatre in Pakistan is that financers want immediate returns upon investment. However, ticket sales are low and they are forced to find sponsors and the cycle goes in reverse. Simultaneously, utter indifference from government institutions causes the situation to worsen.
Balochistan, while on the other, we are constantly under pressure from the US on Nato supply routes. It would be in the benefit of all if we choose not to fall victim of such plots and strengthen the civilian government. ADEEL LIAQAT Lahore
The government should help set up an auditorium with adequate facilities, provided to artists free of cost. Cultural stigmas also threaten the theatre from flourishing. Consequently many talented individuals are forced to restore to more conventional professions to earn a respectable living. Consistent efforts and commitments are needed from government as well as theatre groups, for promotion and sustenance of progress in this field. This will ultimately enhance the culture and image of Pakistan worldwide. TALAL ALI JAN Pakistan
False promises When the present government took office, the first thing they had promised was that power loadshedding would be abolished soon through a top priority strategy. A little later, they said if a total riddance could not be achieved, it would at least be reduced to tolerable levels. But
seeing the present state of power supply (18 hours of loadshedding a day in Muzaffargarh), it is obvious that the electric supply situation has degenerated to an extremely intolerable level and the government has reneged on one of its vital promises. This they have done without even batting an eyelid showing no sign of remorse. This means they really don’t care if they win or lose the next general elections indicating that they have plundered the public exchequer to their heart’s content by now which is enough to last them a lifetime. Another painful burden they have inflicted on the people is that in the international market the maximum price of a unit of electricity in rupee terms is Rs 9 per unit which WAPDA is selling us now for Rs 16 per unit. This price can be afforded by not more then 15 percent of our population. Thus our people stand deprived of an essential utility. MUHAMMAD AMJAD Muzaffargarh
Karachi had a rail-tram combination system since 1860s, which served the entire inner city’s known destinations, for the city commuters and for the suburban traffic, coming by NWR from Hyderabad and other towns too. This was destroyed in 1975, under bus operator’s lobby, leading to acute saturation of most city roads. KCR revival will cost $1.558bn, adding to Pakistan’s already hefty debts, whose debt servicing takes away 90 percent of resources, as alleged by some leaders. KCR cannot serve Karachi’s mass transit needs. MOC led RTC study of 1974-77, while refining the 1974 UNDP Master Plan’s Metro spine, for financial viability. It offers the first phase of 7km basement level metro from Tower to illegally occupied Jahangir Government quarters, could be easily completed in a fraction of the cost of KCR revival project, relieving the acute saturation of the worst traffic corridor along Mohammad Ali Jinnah Road, as also its heavy diversion on Shahrah-eFaisal. Needless to mention, as envisaged earlier, this could easily be implemented with local resources, even utilising the existing old KCR rolling stock to start with till our industries could acquire capability to fabricate these locally. This will revive the vital PR-metro interface at Tower, besides creating a central bus terminal, with metro interface in the basement, high-rise commercial complex and a central park. The disturbed people could be rehabilitated in four-storied economical housing, in a small area in this locality or at some other suitable site. In view of this analysis, as the author of the 1975-77 RTC Plan, I would strongly recommend the authorities to have the RTC plan reviewed, as ordered by the then federal government, headed by Shaheed Z A Bhutto himself, in Dec 1975, through local consultants with minimum foreign input. S M H RIZVI Karachi
ZAB’s image Reference to a recent telecast TV talk of Roedad Khan, a former top bureaucrat, in which he has once again tried to distort the image of Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (ZAB) unnecessarily. I have gone through some of his articles, interviews and TV talks from time to time and noted that the former bureaucrat, perhaps, had some personal enmity with ZAB and he wanted to take revenge from him by distorting his image even after his death. Mr Roedad Khan was a close relative of another bureaucrat Ishaq Khan (also former president) who was a strong supporter of former army dictators and was also known for removing democrat governments when he was president. I suggest Roedad Khan to write on efforts of Ishaq Khan and himself that both had made to weaken and remove the democratic governments in Pakistan in the past in order to support military dictators from time to time. MOHAMMAD KHAN SIAL Karachi
A little about Difa-e-Pakistan council Difa-e-Pakistan Council setup a stage at a new venue in capital city of Islamabad and once again warned government against restoring NATO supply route sand granting the MFN status to India. Difa-e-Pakistan Council - an amalgamation of some groups and individual figures, former military generals, politicians and also members of right-wing parties have gathered under the umbrella of a banned organisation with a new name tag. The council is propagating the following slogan in masses “against US aggression, NATO supplies, drones, Indian terrorism and MFN. We will unite and protect Pakistan from all threats would love to die for its defence.” Despite criticism by supportive parties administration of capital territory did not allow three leaders of banned organisations, Jamaatud Dawa’s chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, chief of Ahle Sunnat wal Jamat Maulana Ahmed Ludhianwi and Malik Ishaq, the founders of the banned militant outfit Lashkar-eJhangvi to enter Islamabad, but silence
of government at their participation and speeches in previous rallies cannot be ignored. What steps the government of Balochistan would initiate in the next rally of DPC is also an important question? The union of 40 religious, political parties and banned organisations actively came on scene after NATO attack inside Pakistan during November, last year. Within short a span of time the council organised successful rallies in five major cities including Islamabad while its next destination will be Quetta. The leaders of council pledged that they would offer every sacrifice to preserve and uphold the sovereignty, territorial integrity and ideological boundaries of the country, but at the very first level there is need to check individuals, groups and parties sitting in this union who they are, what is their back ground and who has given them this mandate? If we review profiles and agenda of these leaders and these organisations or parties it becomes clear that many of them have been
involved in activities that create serious internal and external threats to this country or having ideologies and intentions against state declared policy for defence of country. The head-chairman of this council and leader of his own faction Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-S) Maulana Samiul-Haq himself is closely linked to the Taliban movement in Afghanistan. He played a leading role in the Nizam-eMustafa Movement in 1977. The other main party in this alliance is Sipah-e-Sahaba (SSP), banned inside Pakistan and also internationally but working with new official name that is Ahle-SunnatWal-Jamaat. The official name has changed but not the agenda as its stated goal is to primarily deter major Shia influence in Pakistan in the wake of the Iranian revolution. The other big name Malik Ishaq, head of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, the organisation which has been blamed for a string of attacks inside Pakistan and has often been linked to Al-Qaeda. In the list of forty, the most active
party is Jamaat-ud-Dawa, headed by Hafiz Saeed, who has been exonerated by the courts of all charges. The other well famed name in late 80s, the ex-spymaster Gen Hammid Gul is also one of the leading personalities who are out to defend Pakistan and he is the one who bluntly opposes the current policy of state to counter terrorism and defence strategy. Not only the banned outfits and generals holding old narrative and policy are fully supported by the religious parties of the country, but also an emerging party claiming itself to be liberal, the PTI of Imran Khan, is also hand in hand with Sipah-e-Sahaba and Jamaat-ud-Dawa. Though PML(N) has not joined this council but the ideology of this party is ambiguous as its leaders have often shown soft corner for banned organisations to take their vote bank in hands as Punjab government ignored flourishing of these organisations and their arms. HUMAIRA KANWAL Islamabad
Send your letters to: Letters to Editor, Pakistan Today, 4-Shaarey Fatima Jinnah, Lahore, Pakistan. Fax: +92-42-36298302. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Letters should be addressed to Pakistan Today exclusively.
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12 Comment Another blast terror lives on
esterday’s bomb blast in Peshawar is a ghastly reminder, yet again, of how unresolved the terror crisis actually is in the country. By citing a gradually reducing number of terror instances, the advocates of complacency and status quo argue that the war of terror need not be prioritised above everything else for the state to combat. A naive argument. Granted, things aren’t 2009 anymore, but the decrease in instances of terror could be attributed to a host of factors other than a sustainable routing out of the forces of orthodoxy. First of all, they have received a good drubbing. Not as good as they could have gotten, but a number, if not all, of the groups did find it hard to go about their business the way they used to. That is a state of affairs that ends as soon as the clampdown ends. Secondly, the groups, it has been reported, considered a bit of brand management. This consideration has been going on right since the days the TTP was commanded by Baitullah Mehsud. The plan seemed to have been jettisoned by Hakeemullah Mehsud, his mercurial successor but is reportedly being considered again. The Swat Taliban, whose actions could not have been defended by the most rabid conservatives press sections of the country, made things worse for the aforementioned PR exercise; there could be some compensation for that. Moreover, with (seemingly) centrist political parties taking centre stage in trying to explain how not to fight the Taliban, the latter feels it must do its part for now; since the fascist control that these bodies have over the tribal areas doesn’t really bother the mainstream media, they really don’t have much to lose and everything to gain by staying off the radar. Hence, the lowered activity, barring the periodic attacks on ANP activists, their most consistent nemesis on the political spectrum; civil armed forces; occasional girls’ school and general targets, like yesterday’s transport station. We don’t need one-dimensional analysis off excel sheets. We need an accurate picture of the holistic whole and act upon it.
ending the stalemate why the procrastination?
fter advising Marc Grossman last month to put off his visit, Islamabad has now asked Centcom Chief Gen James Mattis also to delay his arrival till the parliament redefines the parameters of relations with the US. The need for the move was felt by Pakistan’s establishment after Pakistani troops guarding two checkposts along the PakAfghan border were killed in an attack by the Nato forces two and half months back. Earlier it was given out that the exercise might take between a week and ten days. Now we are being told that the matter would be settled after the Senate elections have been held and it is possible to convene a joint session of the parliament. Presumably, the delay is being caused by some of the outstanding issues still remaining unsettled. As a parliamentary committee has already formulated its recommendations, a joint session could have been called any time this month. If constitutional amendments can be enacted by the parliament without waiting for the Senate elections, the new policy towards the US could also have been brought before it for debate and approval. The prolongation of the standoff is likely to create more complications for the region. The ill-conceived resolution on Balochistan presented by three Congressmen has led to a campaign against the US despite the Obama administration distancing itself from the move. The standoff during the crucial endgame in the neighbouring country can only prolong the miseries of the Afghan people while it will also provide encouragement to militants operating inside Pakistan. There is a need on the part of the US and Pakistan to urgently resolve outstanding issues to fight the common enemy together. The US needs to apologise for the attack on Pakistani checkposts. Furthermore, it has to give a shared responsibility to the Pakistan army in the ordering of the drone attacks. Among other things, this would hopefully minimise civilian casualties. The proposed meeting in London between Secretary Clinton and Foreign Minister Khar should prove to be a game-changer.
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Arif Nizami Editor
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Friday, 24 February, 2012
The Baloch grievance Wounds that keep bleeding
By Fahd Husain
nterior Minister Rehman Malik says cases against Baloch separatist leaders are being withdrawn. About time he said something sensible. The government has been groping in the dark on Balochistan. In fact, it wasn’t even groping, because you only grope when you are looking for something, or trying to go somewhere. The Gilani government was obviously doing neither of the two. It was sitting pretty watching the khakis do whatever they have always done in Balochistan. Look where it got us. Trust an obscure backbencher American congressman by the name of Dana Rohrabacher to jolt the government out of its lethargy and indifference. It was almost as if the government had no idea how bad the Balochistan situation had become until the congressman came and opened up a can of worms, so to speak. Suddenly, Balochistan started trending as the hottest topic under the sun, forcing the government to do something, anything. So what does it do? Call an All Parties Conference (APC). The disgruntled Baloch were clearly not impressed. And neither was anyone else, for that matter. APC is a do-nothing tactic used by governments when they want to show they're doing something. In the name of building consensus, a whole lot of nothing happens. Remember the APC in the Prime Minister's house last year, called to debate the May 2 incident? Everyone who thinks he's anyone was there. Net result? Zero. Here then is the real deal: the government does not control what happens in Balochistan. And yes, I'm talking about the federal government, and not the Balochistan government because that's not even worth talking about. The government can announce packages, promise jobs, offer development, etc but at this stage, all this doesn’t cut it. What does then? A stop to killings, for a start. This is easier said than done. Let's face it: Balochistan right now is a complicated mess. If you are looking to heap blame on one side, and one side alone, you've got another thing coming. If the FC and the security agencies are spilling blood – and lots of it – they are not the only one. The tit-for-tat has got so bad, and so ugly, and so gruesome, that it is
very easy to lose sight of the bigger picture. Someone, somehow, somewhere has to put a stop to this vortex of violence before things actually spin out of control. Haven't they already, you ask? Perhaps not yet. If you hear the likes of Brahmdagh Bugti and Herbayar Marri, Balochistan appears to be on the verge of going its way. Hopefully, that's not the case. But whatever is left of the case is being systematically destroyed by the government and the establishment. Here's how: the government is not in a position to give the angry Baloch what they want. The establishment is. But so far it does not appear inclined to do so. There is a narrative that has been peddled for some time and it goes something like this: a handful of Baloch sardars and their offspring are creating trouble while the majority is ready to work within the constitutional structure. This clique of sardars has been milking the state for all its worth, and flirting with the enemy at the same time. The enemy gives them guns and money. Hence they are traitors. And traitors deserve to be … well you get the point. This may be partially true. But things changed after the killing of Akbar Bugti. The Baloch narrative of persecution, which had always existed but never really gained enough traction to become a serious concern for Islamabad, suddenly began to acquire a new life. The reaction to Bugti's killing elicited a counter-reaction which sparked off a series of events that ended up with mutilated bodies being found on deserted roads. But this somehow never registered on the national radar. The parliament was too busy playing partisan politics, the provincial government was too busy stuffing its pockets while suspended in its natural position of inertia, the media was too busy focusing on ratings-driven content, and the establishment, well, was among other things dealing with America, India, Afghanistan, Swat, FATA and the rest. So people kept getting dead in Balochistan
but no one took note. No wonder when Baloch are asked what the problem is, they reach for the gun. What now then? The Prime Minister has staked much on his APC. It will be a flop. Nawaz Sharif has already as good as opted out. Baloch leaders who matter have reacted to the meeting with a contempt that was not unexpected. And the establishment has given no indication yet that it is reviewing its way of doing things in Balochistan. In a belated reaction, Rehman Malik has now announced a series of steps which he hopes will cool the temperature and bring the Baloch to the table. He says not only are cases against Brahmdagh, Herbiyar and other Baloch leaders being withdrawn, he will personally receive them at the airport if they decide to return to Pakistan. Now we at least know Rehman Malik has a heart. Sadly, it's in the wrong place. Yet again he's skirting the real issue: killings. Till some headway is made on this issue – and I mean practical headway, not just Mr Malik's rhetorical flourishes – all other steps being announced with the government will remain what they actually are: sops. And sops are not what the Baloch need right now. Sadly sops are all that the government has to offer through the APC. It is a waste of time. Regardless of who is right and who is wrong, the initiative to stop this slide into the abyss has to be taken by the establishment. There will be plenty of time later to determine the heroes and villains. For once, let's make some new mistakes instead of repeating old ones. The writer hosts a primetime talk show on ARY News. He has worked as Director News of Express News and Dunya News and Editor The News, Islamabad. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @fahdhusain
Using Baloch shoulders Pashtun Post
n US Congressman Dana Rohrabacher has put a resolution in the US Lower House to the effect that Balochistan should be an independent territory as Baloch people want to get rid of both Punjabis and Pashtun (large ethnic groups in Pakistan) that have usurped all resources at the expense of people in Balochistan. It is least expected that other members of the House in American Congress will support the resolution on Balochistan. However, Dana has presented the resolution at a time when the heads of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran were holding a meeting and decided that the three neighboring Islamic countries would not allow their respective soils to be used against each other for any foreign power’s vested interests. Dana was all silent and did not raise voice for the Baloch people when Nawab Akbar Bugti was killed during Musharraf’s era and similarly he was a mum spectator only to the situation when Musharraf was handing over air terminals to
America in Balochistan. In fact, the US Congress member wants to carve a way out for Dr Shakeel Afridi, the person alleged for spying on Osama in Abbottabad. He also seems to have an aim to sabotage any unity that might develop between Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan. Dana has nothing serious to offer to the Baloch people, but he wants to fulfill his designs at the cost of the others. Pakistani masses are now vigilant enough to the ground realities as to which country has good designs and who harbours ill will for them, and would not tolerate any interference in their internal affairs without any reason. The resolution on Balochistan is tantamount to the conspiracies hatched against Libya by Americans. However, America must know that it is not an easy walk either to resort to firing by using Baloch shoulders for their hidden designs. – Translated from the original Pashto by Abdur Rauf Khattak
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Friday, 24 February, 2012
Ride on, Raisani! While balochistan bleeds, the Cm races a three-wheeler in islamabad
Cross Currents By Qudssia Akhlaque
n this photograph the biker merits attention. Try guessing who rides this fancy open-air vehicle. Neither Islamabad’s head security honcho Rehman Malik nor a pampered teenager. Cruising in the capital city of Islamabad on this rare and jazzy blue three-wheeler is a VVIP, a political leader on a power ride and sans security. Believe it or not but it is the Chief Minister of our country’s largest and most troubled province of Balochistan. The 56-year-old Mr Aslam Khan Raisani, the one very often missing in action from Quetta. This spectacle left my driver Lajbar Khan impressed who praised him endlessly for going around without any security trappings. “Yeh tu manna parhey ga k yeh bohot dalair adami hai,” Khan exclaimed. One wondered if it was Mr Raisani’s spirit of adventurism, valiance, rebellious mind-set or his survival instinct that made him venture into this free-spirited ride. Or maybe the tragic deaths of many VVIPs and non-VVIPs in this country, with or without security cover, that have made the man from Balochistan indifferent to security trappings. Mr Raisani, who spends most of his days in Islamabad, was photographed when he left the Gun & Country Club after his day’s fitness regime on this head-turner of a scooter and halted at the traffic signal. But upon realising that he was photographed, the CM zoomed off like a bullet, disappearing within seconds. He could also do this on his Harley Davidson, the dream vehicle of all bike-riders. Mr Raisani can correct me, but from the looks of it, it seems that perhaps pressured by the fast deteriorating security conditions of the people in his province, the CM has sort of opted out. To soothe his own frazzled nerves, the tormented Mr
Raisani has opted for the serene environs of the city away from the bleeding Balochistan. Tension-free in Islamabad, he can indulge in his five-star bikes and three-wheelers. In Balochistan, the CM and most others in the Assembly insist, it is not they who control the affairs of Balochistan on the security front. It’s the army-controlled FC, they say. In fact, the PPP President of Balochistan, Lashkari Raisani, resigned from his party post pleading 'no authority.' Politicians often argue that matters in Balochistan are 'too complicated.' Even the more determined Senator Raza Rabbani, asked by the PM to head
which every member carries a ministerial portfolio of some sort, passed a resolution condemning the move by the American lawmaker. This speaks volume of how alienated the people of Balochistan feel and more importantly of the tacit endorsement of the resolution by the Baloch nationalists, some of whom have also openly spoken up in its favour. In the face of strong protests by the government at various diplomatic levels here and in Washington, the Obama Administration was quick to distance itself from the resolution, saying that it did not in any way reflect the government’s policy. But then no one more senior than the US embassy
the Aghaaz-i-Haqqooq-i- Balochistan Committee, concedes in private that there wasn’t much that the civilians controlled on missing persons and security front etc. Meanwhile, Mr Raisani, who spends most of his time with friends and new family, nestled in the comfortable capital, may be engaged in some soul-searching, some freewheeling brain-storming sessions plus some lateral thinking, to help him devise innovative solutions for Pakistan's most suffering citizens of Balochistan. Unfortunately, the CM, of a province fast descending into chaos, hit largely by state repression, by militant terrorism and also nationalist violence, has not often shown signs of soberly engaging with the unfolding tragedies in his province. Significantly, at this point Balochistan has once again become the focus of attention after the controversial resolution introduced by a US Republican Congressman seeking self-determination for the Baloch. The resolution that evoked a prompt and negative reaction throughout the country, has been widely welcomed in Balochistan. All the provincial assemblies, except the Balochistan Assembly, in
spokesperson stepped forward to say that Obama Administration considers Balochistan an integral part of Pakistan. While the resolution moved by the US Congressman cannot be condoned in any way, it did serve as a wake-up call for the government and military establishment which is largely in control of the province. To give the devil his due the resolution by the US Congressman has again woken up our leaders from their recurring criminal slumber on the deeply wronged Balochistan. The media too has been re-invigorated. Yet again the government is calling an APC on Balochistan. How will this be more productive than the previous one? We will all wait and see how deep the government's concern is for the people of Balochistan. Meanwhile, you ride on, Mr Raisani! The writer is a senior journalist and has been a diplomatic correspondent for leading dailies. She was an Alfred Friendly Press Fellow at The Chicago Tribune in the US and a Press Fellow at Wolfson College, Cambridge, UK. She can be reached via email at email@example.com
US: the ally from hell The curious timing of the balochistan resolution
By Ali Rizvi
he marriage of convenience between Pakistan and the US has long soured into a marriage of distrust, inconvenience and duplicity. While Washington has been clamouring about Pakistan not doing enough for the War on Terror, Islamabad has repeatedly felt betrayed by the US for not living up to their promises and continued drone strikes in Pakistani territory. The incident of Salala check post seemed to be the final nail in the coffin, and surely in the aftermath of the Salala attack, the relationship catapulted for the worse. “Absolute nonsense!” was the reply of a senior foreign office official, after I inquired about the reports that were emerging about the incident from NATO. “Following their failure in Afghanistan, the NATO forces are merely trying to shift the blame to Pakistan. I have read the NATO report and it is nothing more than recycling information, to try to divert attention from their evident failure in Afghanistan. There is nothing new in the report. They need to get their house in order before pointing fingers at us.” And surely the tone of the foreign office official, speaking on condition of anonymity, sets the general mood prevalent in certain quarters of Islamabad. Pakistan is not happy, China is well aware of US’ duplicity, Russia isn’t too keen on US misadventures in the region either. And what about the most important ally of the US in the region, India? Well, according to The Times, India is not only continuing to purchase oil from Iran but has also become the largest customer of Iranian oil and has no plans of cutting down these purchases. Indians, in a very matter of fact tone, said that their purchasing of Iranian oil is a matter of economic necessity given their dependence on oil. If we recall, this isn’t the first time that India decided to stick it up to the Americans. India after flirting with the US, betrayed the country by finalising a 12 billion dollar defence deal with France for buying the Rafale fighter jets over American F16IN/F-18 Super Hornet, Russian Mig-35, Swedish Gripen and the last final contender the Eurofighter Typhoon. Therefore, the Americans huddled up in their cozy ‘we are better than you’ cocoons decided that oil embargoes on Iran would be the best way to bring the country to its knees. Simply adding up the numbers, they felt that since the country’s econ-
omy derives much of its income from oil sales, sanctions will cripple the state, all the Iranian oil customers would be lost, Iran would not be able to tap into the alien races on Mars for oil exports, and thus with stocked inventories the people would run to the streets begging for food, and Ahmedinejad would cry out to Uncle Obama. Clearly, you can note the sarcasm in my tone, because till now no one has abandoned Iran and they do not seem in a mood to do so. And in such a setting, the tripartite summit, between the leaders of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran has sent strong tremors to Washington. The regional leaders realise that following the withdrawal of the US forces from Afghanistan, the fallout of a volatile situation in Kabul would have devastating implications for Islamabad and Tehran. While the outcome of the summit and the success of it remain to be seen, one thing is for certain; the regional players have realised that they can no longer afford to rely on the false promises of the US. Islamabad’s commitment to the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline is also an indication of the changing priorities of those sitting in the echelons of power in the country. With all things US, they decided it was time to play their trump, Baloch card. The leadership in Pakistan clearly has ignored the region for far too long. However, at the same time, the Baloch community has also been betrayed by the tribal leaders. What stands out though is the curious timing of the resolution, calling for the right of the Baloch people to self-determination, which was tabled during the visit of Karzai and Ahmedinejad to Islamabad. For the discerning eye, this is a desperate attempt of the US to exacerbate the imbroglio being brewed in Balochistan. And while one can forgive the Americans for tabling the resolution, one fails to understand the role of the army in the region that has allowed insurgents to freely operate in the province. Pakistan can no longer afford to ignore matters as it did in Swat or the tribal areas. It will have to take action, it will have to give the Baloch people a stake in the matters and it will have to free the Baloch from the fetters of the regressive tribal leaders. As for the US, it finds itself badly cornered. An interventionist approach has not worked and will not work in South Asia and the Middle East anymore. With their debts exceeding 15 trillion dollars, it needs to focus on the American people and let others decide what is best for them. The writer is City Editor, Pakistan Today. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Friday, 24 February, 2012
Simon Cowell learns to keep his
mouth shut LoS AngELES
ELEVISION entrepreneur Simon Cowell says he's learned one lesson from the US launch of his TV show ‘The X Factor’. To keep his big mouth shut. That means he is not commenting on speculation that music stars such as Britney Spears, Janet Jackson and Black Eyed Peas singer Fergie might become judges when the revamped TV singing show returns. Nor is Cowell falling into his own trap again and planning on forecasting the size of the TV au-
dience for the second season-except to say it will be bigger than last year's 13 million average viewers, which was far below his pre-season boasts. “I shot my big mouth off as usual,” the acid-tongued Briton told reporters in conference call, referring to his forecast that ‘X Factor’ would draw 20 million viewers, and topple ‘American Idol’ as the most-watched show on US TV. It didn't come close, and last month Cowell fired judges Paula Abdul, Nicole Scherzinger and host Steve Jones in a major shake-up. “I was coming off a massive year in the UK, where (the British version of ‘X Factor’) had gone over 20 million and then quickly realised I should have kept my mouth shut,” he said. “I absolutely expect the second season to do better than the first. I learned a lot from last year. I genuinely learned a lot, and I think we have learned how we can make the show better.” Cowell said he could not comment on any of the names that have surfaced in recent weeks as possible new judges. “There is a load of speculation, some true, some not true. We will meet a number of people over the next few weeks. I have learned a big lesson-keep your mouth shut,” he said. Cowell did say that he wants to have two hosts next season-a man and a woman-saying that running a live TV show was too much for one person to handle alone and that two hosts would be more fun. Nationwide auditions for the second season of ‘X Factor’ and a $5 million recording contract start in March. Auditions before the new panel of judges however are not expected to start for another two months.
Saira-Shakira sell out
lOS AnGeleS: Bella thorne, Frankie Muniz, Helen Mirren and Kevin McKidd arrive at the world premiere of Disney’s ‘John carter’. Afp
lAHORe: Saira-Shakira launch latest collection. STAff phOTOS
collection at launch exhibition nEWS DESk The label Saira Shakira, a duo by Saira and Shakira, is a leading clothing brand that offers bridal, formal and casual clothing line. Saira Faisal and Shakira Usman, both graduates and distinction holders from Pakistan School of Fashion Design, are the principal designers for this brand. Both are well known in the industry- Saira, as a fashion diva and Shakira for her intricate sketches and fashion drawing. Working together since 2005, they officially launched their brand Saira Shakira in 2011 with the opening of their studio at 140-C, Model Town, Lahore. The brand offers sleek cuts and contemporary designs along with a tinge of traditional motifs. The label designs
clothes for women who are looking for elegance and a mix of modernity and tradition in their clothes. The brand is available in USA, UK and Canada. The three-day launch, held at their outlet, saw a massive turnout. The red carpet was hosted by Sumaira Malik of FM 91 along with the model Sophiya Khan, beautifully dressed in Saira Shakira creations. Natasha Hussein, Amna Baber, Alizeh Gabol, Saim, Fia and Rana Noman were among the celebrities present. The duo announced that they are going to present their bridal as well as formal collection by this summer. The event’s PR was arranged by Aamir Mazhar of SavvyPR and Events whereas the media launch and press coordination was handled by Ammara Hikmat of Encyclomedia PR.
Is Nargis Shahid’s new
mUmbAi: After Anushka Sharma and Bipasha Basu, nargis Fakhri is the new name which has been linked to Shahid Kapoor. the actor, who will be turning a year older on February 25, is all set to celebrate his day with a bash in Goa. while most of the guests were scheduled to fly down on thursday night, a tabloid spotted Shahid leaving for Goa on wednesday accompanied by ‘Rockstar’ actress nargis Fakhri. the tabloid also claimed that Priyanka chopra, former girlfriend of Shahid is not part of the guest list. last year too Shahid had thrown a big bash, and Priyanka was missing from the scene. Meanwhile, the party in Goa is supposed to be a huge bash with almost all of Bollywood’s A-listers being invited. Rani Mukherjee, tabu, Genelia-Riteish and Kunal Kohli are some of the celebrities who will be present at the party. A source said, “Shahid had planned his birthday in a big way. He flew down to Goa two days before the party to arrange things. the party will be held at his friend’s bungalow in Morjim beach.” Priyanka out, nargis in? Does it also mean that a new romance is round the corner? we will just have to wait and watch. AgENCiES
mUmbAi: Akshay has done many action films at the beginning of his career but has never played a gangster. All set to do so for the first time, the actor is preparing himself by watching gangster movies. Akshay is excited about playing a gangster in his forthcoming film, the sequel of milan Luthria's super hit film ‘Once Upon A Time in mumbai’. The actor has started his preparations too, for this. it can be recalled that Ajay who played a gangster in ‘OUATim’ received a lot of praise for his performance. Akshay doesn't want to leave any stone unturned to prepare for his character, and has lately been watching a lot of bollywood and Hollywood gangster movies. The actor is keen on getting his body language right for his role. He is also going out of his way to read books on the same lines lent to him by milan. The film is in its pre-production stage. it is interesting to note that the actor is taking so much effort to get into the skin of his character. Let's hope this delivery by him is powerpacked. AgENCiES
mUmbAi: Vidya Balan, whose film count includes mostly femaleoriented themes, says the Bollywood film industry changed over the years and co-incidentally she has become the face of this change. “I believe that change doesn't happen overnight, it takes time. I am lucky that today when we are feeling the change, it's a co-incidence that I have become a face of this change,” she said in an interview. Vidya gave strong performances in ‘Ishqiya’, ‘Paa’, ‘no One Killed Jessica’ and ‘the Dirty Picture’. the 33-year-old, who will be seen next in Sujoy Ghosh's ‘Kahaani’, feels lucky to be present at a time when such stories are being written. “I am lucky to be a part of Indian cinema at a time when such stories and roles are being written and I am getting a chance to be a part of such good films. I try to do my work honestly. It feels great to get so much love from the people,” said Vidya who had stormed the industry with her very first film ‘Parineeta’ in 2005. Releasing March 9, her next film ‘Kahaani’ is a thriller and shows a pregnant woman's struggle to find her missing husband in Kolkata. AgENCiES
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Jennifer Aniston puts name in star on Walk of Fame LoS AngELES
Karachi premiere for Ali Zafar’s next
CTRESS Jennifer Aniston was honoured with a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame on Wednesday, the first of the ‘Friends’ actors to receive the emblem of celebrity that she described as “surreal.” “I was born in Sherman Oaks, California. I am a California girl through and through, and I'm sure this is always just sort of been in the back of my mind,” said Aniston at the ceremony. “It probably wasn't even a dream, it was one of my wildest dreams. I don't think that I ever even thought that this would be here, this day. So I am utterly humbled and grateful,” the ‘Friends’ actress told her fans and friends. Aniston was joined by her father John Aniston and ‘Wanderlust’ co-stars including boyfriend Justin Theroux as she received her star. Aniston, 43, rose to fame in the role of Rachel Green in the hit 1990s sitcom ‘Friends,’ for which she won a Golden Globe and Emmy award. Her ‘Friends’ co-stars were not present at
the ceremony. After ‘Friends’ ended in 2004, Aniston made a successful transition into films, with the critically-acclaimed ‘The Good Girl,’ ‘Derailed’ and numerous comedies including ‘The Break-Up,’ ‘The Switch’ and ‘Horrible Bosses.’ The actress will next be seen in comedy ‘Wanderlust’ with Paul Rudd, Malin Akerman and Theroux.
WO years ago, Ali Zafar’s Bollywood debut, ‘Tere Bin Laden’ (2010) that the Pakistani singer-actor was co-distributing in Pakistan, was banned three days before its release in the country for fear that Islamist extremists could use it as a pretext for terror attacks. The ban followed even after the producers had decided to drop the word Laden from the title, and release it as ‘Tere Bin’ (Without You) in Pakistan. Despite widespread protests and an appeal for a review, the film didn’t get an official release in the country. Ali is confident it won’t happen this time with his forthcoming release, ‘London Paris New York’. “There’s a huge buzz, people are looking forward to it,” he asserts. “In fact, we’re planning a big, red carpet premiere in Karachi on March 8 if we can get the requisite permission.” Ali has been promoting the film extensively in Pakistan. Rationalis-
ing that so far no Pakistani actor has made it big in Bollywood commercially, Ali insists that his success is being seen as an encouraging sign back home, that the barriers are breaking and the markets on both sides are finally opening up. ‘London Paris New York’ is his first love story, and there’s been plenty of talk about intimate scenes and even a kiss. Won’t this create problems back home? Ali insists it won’t: “The scenes have been tastefully done, there’s nothing shocking. Besides, times are changing with more exposure to the West. Anyway, I exercise self-censorship and would never cross the line.”
Sharmeen Obaid on the road to Oscar glory nEWS DESk
miLAN: splays di el A mod part as n tio ea cr a a as max mar fallwinter 2012-2013 collection during the Women's P fashion week. AF
Vidya: I've become the
face of change
Pakistani director Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy has been nominated for an Academy Award for her documentary ‘Saving Face’, co-directed with Daniel Junge, and will be attending the 84th Annual Academy Awards in Los Angeles scheduled to take place on 26th February. 22nd February: Chinoy will be attending the Academy Awards of Motion Pictures and Sciences Third Annual DOCS’ celebration hosted by Micheal Moore who is an American filmmaker, author, social critic and activist. Nominated filmmakers will participate in a panel discussion, and clips from each of the Oscar nominated documentary features and short subjects for the 84th Academy Awards will be shown. 23rd February: Chinoy along with co-producer Daniel Junge will be interviewed by Chris Miller (comedic writer) for the Shorts Entertainment Network for their documentary ‘Saving Face’. 24th February: The filmmaker will be attending The Fifth Annual Women in Film Pre-Oscar Soiree hosted by the Academy Award winner and President of
Women In Film, Cathy Schulman, Academy Award winner Gwyneth Paltrow, and the Board of Women In Film, Los Angeles. 24th February: Sharmeen will be attending a dinner hosted by the Consul General of Pakistan in Los Angeles. 24th February: She will be attending the 2nd Annual Shorts Awards scheduled to take place the Soho House West Hollywood. The awards will honour the filmmakers of the Oscar nominated shorts- live action, animated and documentaries and will be presenting a Lifetime Achievement Award in Short Film and the Visionary Awards. 25th February: The filmmaker will be
attending the International Documentary Associations’ (IDA) at the Writers Guild of America Theater. The general public will view the Oscar nominated documentaries and meet the filmmakers. ‘Saving Face’ will be screened along with other documentaries which have been nominated for an Oscar. Chinoy and Junge will also be present during the question and answer session following the screenings. 26th February: Chinoy will be attending The 84th Academy Awards ceremony. Sharmeen will walk the red carpet with husband Fahad Chinoy wearing a custom made outfit by renowned couturier Bunto Kazmi and will be wearing jewellery exclusively designed for Sharmeen for the occasion by Kiran Aman of Kiran Fine Jewellery. Sharmeen will be attending after Oscar events in an ensemble by Sana Safinaz with exclusive jewellery by Sherezad Rahimtoola. 1st march: The director is a senior TED fellow and will be speaking at the TED U (Ted University) conference in Miami Florida, about the Hundreds of women in Pakistan who are victims of acid violence every year.
forays into the small screen
with ‘Raising Hope’ LoS AngELES CbS
It helps to have good friends on popular TV shows. Pop star Katy Perry has landed a guest spot on an episode of ‘Raising Hope’. Perry will play Rikki, a prison attendant who claims to be a friend from Sabrina's (actress Shannon Woodward) past. It turns out the newly-single Perry is close with Woodward in real life. “Shannon Woodward is my best friend,” Perry said in a statement. “A couple weeks ago, I was home when she called me up and asked if I wanted to do something 'fun' for a change and try out a guest role on her TV show. I thought, 'Sure, I have nothing else to do, and I like chillin' with my best friend.” The ‘California Gurl’ is not a complete stranger to acting. In 2011, she guest starred on the sitcom, ‘How I Met Your Mother.’ She's taken part in ‘Saturday Night Live’ sketches and voiced the Smurfette character in the 2011 bigscreen adaptation of ‘The Smurfs’.
mTV to air Demi Lovato treatment special LoS AngELES AgENCiES
After a highly publicised breakdown, rehab and then a triumphant return to the spotlight, Demi Lovato is ready to let cameras follow her personal struggles and recovery from various issues such as her admitted eating and cutting disorders. MTV's ‘Demi Lovato: Stay Strong’ will show Demi giving her first-hand account of the breakdown that led her to rehab, how the singer is dealing with confronting her issues so publicly, and her heading back on tour to face her fears after her 2010 show was cut short. The special will see Demi going back for the first time to the facility she entered in October 2010 to talk to other teens candidly about her experiences. “I wanted to share my story but I knew it had to be honest, it had to be real,” says Demi.
Saif Ali Khan apologises, says
brawl was self-defence
mUmbAi: At last he gets his freedom. Amitabh bachchan had tweeted last night that he was eagerly waiting for his “freedom from hospital”. And his wish has finally been granted. After two abdominal surgeries and 12 long days at the Seven Hills Hospital, the superstar returned home Thursday evening. The hospital authorities issued an official statement stating that the actor would be discharged by 7pm. On february 11, big b had undergone surgery for bilateral inguinal hernia, a condition caused by protrusion of tissues through the abdominal wall. The actor, who is avid blogger, had kept his fans updated about his medical condition all throughout his stay at the hospital via his blog and micro blogging site Twitter. The actor tweeted last night that his condition was improving and wrote, “The body is now free from all ‘kites’ and wires and soon shall be free from this hospital as well(sic).” AgENCiES
mUmbAi: Bollywood star Saif Ali Khan denied starting a fight in which he is accused of breaking a man's nose at a luxury hotel in Mumbai, saying he was acting in self-defence. Khan said the brawl began when his girlfriend, actress Kareena Kapoor, and other companions were verbally abused by fellow diners at the wasabi Japanese restaurant in the taj Mahal Palace hotel. “there was an ugly incident where my friends and the ladies with us were abused and I was assaulted,” Khan said in his first reaction to the incident. “I was hit and I defended myself,” he added. Saif Ali Khan also publicly said sorry for the incident. He also clarified that the incident has nothing to do with the promotion of his forthcoming film ‘Agent Vinod’. “whatever I had to say, I had cleared yesterday. It shouldn’t have happened. It was an unfortunate incident. In a way I would like to say sorry for whatever happened.” Khan, who was released on bail wednesday after being charged with voluntarily causing severe hurt, is accused by South African businessman Iqbal Meer Sharma of pushing him and breaking his nose. Police said Sharma claimed he was punched in the face after a “heated argument” with the actor over allegedly “rowdy and raucous” behaviour by Khan and his friends. “I have been to the police to answer the requirements of law as I am a law-abiding citizen,” Khan said. “I have seen Sharma's interviews on tV. they look like decent people. I cannot believe how aggressive they were on that night and the lies they are telling about me with such straight faces,” he added. Khan has filed a return complaint alleging Sharma started the incident. AgENCiES
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16 Foreign News
Friday, 24 February, 2012
thousands besiege US base over quran burning kABUL AfP
KAbUL : Afghan policemen walk past a wounded demonstrator during a protest against quran desecration in Kabul on Thursday. Afp
Afghan soldier kills NATO troops amid violent protests kABUL
N Afghan soldier shot dead two NATO troops on Thursday as violent antiUS protests over the burning of copies of the Quran swept the country for a third day. French, Norwegian and US bases were also attacked by protesters at rallies killing three people, taking the twoday toll to 12, officials said. The attacks came after the Taliban urged Afghans to kill foreign troops to avenge the burning of Qurans at a USrun base, although the militia stopped short of cutting off contacts with American officials in Qatar over the crisis. Afghanistan is a deeply religious country where slights against Islam have frequently provoked violent protests, and many Afghans are incensed at the discovery of charred Qurans at the US-run Bagram airbase north of Kabul. NATO’s US-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said two of its service members were killed in eastern
obama expresses ‘deep regret’ over Quran burning KABUl: US President Barack Obama sent Afghan President Hamid Karzai a letter of apology over the burning of copies of the Quran overseen by a US officer at a US military base, Karzai’s office said Thursday. Obama said the incident was unintentional and pledged a full investigation, the president’s office said, as fierce anti-US protests swept the nation in which at least 14 people have died, including two American soldiers. “I wish to express my deep regret for the reported incident,” Obama wrote in the letter presented to Karzai by US ambassador Ryan Crocker. “I extend to you and the Afghan people my sincere apologies.” “The error was inadvertent; I assure you that we will take the appropriate steps to avoid any recurrence, to include holding accountable those responsible,” the letter said. Karzai told members of parliament that a US officer was responsible for the burning that was done “out of ignorance”, his office said. AfP Afghanistan by “an individual wearing an Afghan National Army uniform” who turned his weapon against the troops. ISAF did not identify the nationalities of the victims and gave no further details. Asked whether the shooting was connected to anti-American protests, an ISAF spokesman said only: “There was a
demonstration in the province.” Afghan troops defending a foreign base in eastern Nangarhar province “joined demonstrators and opened fire on foreign troops”, the Afghan Islamic Press news agency quoted one protester as saying. In Mihtarlam, the capital of Laghman province east of Kabul, thousands
besieged the base of a US-led militarycivilian provincial reconstruction team (PRT), throwing rocks and climbing up the outer walls, police said. “People had come from all over Laghman. They attacked the PRT, they climbed up the walls, they set fire to something there, I think a container,” police official Khalilul Rahman Niazi told AFP. Niazi said he believed two people were wounded by gunfire from the base as they stormed the walls and hurled rocks under a pall of thick black smoke. About 2,000 protesters also tried to march on the French base in Kapisa, east of Kabul, but were pushed back by Afghan security forces, regional police chief General Abdul Hameed Erken told AFP. “Two protestors were slightly wounded after security forces opened fire on them,” he said. And in northern Faryab province, there was an attempt to march on a Norwegian military base, said police chief Abdul Kahleq Aqsayee. “A group of some 100 teenagers marched toward the base of Norwegian forces on the outskirts of the city, throwing rocks and setting fire to vehicles.
Thousands of furious Afghans besieged a US base on Thursday, throwing rocks and climbing up the outer walls on the third day of violent protests against Koran burnings that have killed at least 12 people. Just hours earlier, the Taliban exhorted Afghans to attack and kill foreign troops to avenge the burning of Korans at a US-run base, but stopped short of cutting off contacts with American officials in Qatar over the crisis. Afghanistan is a deeply religious country where slights against Islam have frequently provoked violent protests, and many Afghans are incensed at the discovery of charred Korans at the US-run Bagram airbase north of Kabul. Thousands of demonstrators besieged the base of a US-led military-civilian provincial reconstruction team (PRT) in Mihtarlam, the capital of Laghman province east of Kabul, senior police official Khalilul Rahman Niazi told AFP. “People had come from all over Laghman. They attacked the PRT, they climbed up the walls, they set fire to something there, I think a container,” he said. Niazi said he believed two people were wounded by gunfire from the base as they stormed the walls and hurled rocks under a pall of thick black smoke. Officials said at least three people were killed by gunfire at demonstrations in the south and east of the country Thursday, bringing the total death toll to 12 since Wednesday. Pouncing on the opportunity to fan antiUS fires, the Taliban militia urged Afghans to “not stop” at merely protesting. The Islamist movement has been leading a 10-year insurgency against being toppled in the 2001 US-led invasion. “You should bring the invading forces’ military bases under your brave attack, their military convoys, kill them, capture them, beat them and teach them a lesson that they will never again dare to insult the Holy Koran,” it said. Yet the militia’s main spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahid, told AFP late Wednesday that the Koran burning would not affect contacts with US officials in Qatar, designed to build confidence and pave the way for a prisoner exchange. “We condemn the desecration of the Holy Koran in the strongest terms, but this issue will not affect this process in Qatar,” he said. Afghan President Hamid Karzai called for calm as the Koran incident is investigated by the US-led NATO force, and ordered his own security forces to avoid violence and protect people’s lives and property. But demonstrations flared Thursday in the capital Kabul, Jalalabad and Kunar in the east, the northern provinces of Takhar and Baghlan, Faryab in the northeast and Uruzgan in the south. “These foreigners are always repeating their desecrating acts, and only apologise over the incident,” said Mohammad Islam, a 25-yearold demonstrator in the southeastern Kabul suburb of Bagrami. “They should prosecute those who were involved over the incident, to be a lesson for others not to commit such crimes in the future.”
Argentina reels after 50 killed in train crash BUEnoS AIRES AfP
Desperate families were searching for loved ones Thursday after a massive train crash in Buenos Aires killed 50 people, injured nearly 700 and left dozens trapped for hours in the wreckage. Rescuers spent much of the day prying people from the wreckage after the packed train slammed into a wall at a major railway terminus Wednesday morning, sending cars crashing into each other and crushing the passengers inside. “The train was full and the impact was tremendous,” a passenger identified only as Ezequiel told local television, adding that medics at the scene appeared overwhelmed by the scale of the disaster. Officials late Wednesday raised the
death toll to 50, including one child. Civil defense officials earlier said that at least 675 people had been hurt in the crash, 200 of them seriously. Families of missing passengers desperately searched hospitals, the morgue and a public cemetery where dozens of bodies were taken. Authorities handed out lists of hundreds of the injured, but the identities of many of the deceased and wounded remained unknown. “I was in five hospitals and I couldn’t find my wife,” said a man who gave his name as Jose and said his pregnant wife had been in one of the first cars. “They told us there are people being operated on and they don’t know who they are. There’s no way to know until they come out of surgery,” said Luisa, looking for her 24-year-old son. TV channels broadcast photographs of missing people as social net-
works filled with messages from people searching for information. Witnesses said the train’s brakes failed as it was arriving at the Once station on the western outskirts of Argentina’s capital. Survivors described a scene of panic, with Medevac helicopters and ambulances racing in and out of the station to ferry the wounded to hospitals. “There were people who were crushed and shouting desperately. I saw bodies and blood all over the place,” said passenger Alejandro Velazquez. Firefighters and rescue workers had to break through skylights in the train’s roofs to reach dozens of people who were trapped in the twisted wreckage of the first and second carriages. The government called for two days of mourning and suspended Carnival celebrations, including a massive parade planned in Buenos Aires on Friday.
bUENOS AiRES: Police and rescue workers surround a train that crashed at Once train station on Wednesday, killing at least 50 people. Afp
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Friday, 24 February, 2012
Foreign News 17
Syria forces launch ‘terrifying’ bombardment of Homs DAMASCUS
YRIAN forces launched a massive bombardment of rebel districts of Homs on Thursday, defying a world outcry over the killing of two Western journalists and a citizen reporter who were among the few to bear witness of the civilian toll. Activists spoke of “terrifying explosions” as encircling regime troops pounded the central city for a 20th straight day. The UN Human Rights Council said it had a list of Syrian officials suspected of crimes against humanity after an inquiry found that that the government had “manifestly failed” in its duty to
protect its own people. But a defiant foreign ministry rejected all responsibility for the deaths of veteran American reporter Marie Colvin and French photojournalist Remi Ochlik, insisting that they had entered the country illegally and at their own risk. The dawn bombardment of Homs — Syria’s third-largest city — centred on the Baba Amr neighbourhood, where the two journalists were killed, a human rights watchdog said. “Baba Amr, as well as parts of Inshaat, have been shelled since 7:00 am (0500 GMT), while mortar rounds slammed into the Khaldiyeh neighbourhood,” the head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Rami Abdel Rahman, told AFP.
Activist Hadi Abdullah told AFP from inside the city: “We hear terrifying explosions.” He said the world outcry over the deaths of the journalists and 24 Syrian civilians in Homs on Wednesday appeared only to have strengthened the regime’s determination to eliminate all opposition in the city. “The more the condemnations pile on, the heavier the bombing becomes,” he said. Abdullah said there was evidence that the makeshift media centre where the journalists were killed and two others wounded was deliberately targeted by regime forces. “We are sure that the centre was targeted, because 11 rockets struck in and around it,” he said.
“The regime forces intercepted a transmission signal.” The Syrian government made no denial that its forces had fired the lethal rounds but said that the journalists had been in the country at their own risk. “We reject statements holding Syria responsible for the deaths of journalists who sneaked into its territory at their own risk,” said a foreign ministry statement read out on state television. The ministry urged journalists to “respect laws of journalistic work in Syria and avoid breaking the law by entering the country illegally to reach trouble-hit areas that are unsafe.” French newspaper Le Figaro said one of its reporters, Edith Bouvier, was wounded in the legs in the shelling of the press centre.
myANmAR: A fire engulfs huts in the Um-Piam refugee camp for refugees in Thailand's Tak Province which houses more than 15,000 burmese refugees who fled the fighting between ethnic minority groups and the myanmar government. REUTERS
clinton says Somalia is at a ‘critical’ point LonDon AfP
Somalia is at a critical point and must seize this moment to establish a stable government, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told a major conference on the Horn of Africa nation on Thursday. She said the United States would push for sanctions, including travel bans and asset freezes, for those “standing in the way” of progress, and would also seek to keep up the pressure on the Shebab Islamist group. But Clinton also promised support, pledging an extra $64 million in humanitarian assistance to the region to help improve the lives of ordinary Somalis, blighted by famine and civil war for the past 21 years. “For decades, the world has focused on what we could prevent from happening in Somalia — be it conflict, famine, or other disasters. Now we are focused on what we can build. The opportunity is real,” she said. Speaking at the start of the London conference gathering Somali leaders plus representatives from around 50 countries and organisations, Clinton said: “We have come together at a critical halfway point.” She said the international community would not extend the mandate of the transitional government (TFG) beyond August, saying: “It is past time for that transition to occur, and for Somalia to have a stable government.” She acknowledged that the work required before that date, including convening an assembly to approve a constitution, form a new parliament and elect a president and speaker, were “ambitious”. “But the people of Somalia have waited for many years. They have heard many promises, and have seen many deadlines come and go,” she said. “It’s time to buckle down and do the work that will bring stability to Somalia for the first time in many of its people’s lives.” She said anyone trying to obstruct progress “will not be tolerated”. “We will encourage the international community to impose further sanctions — including travel bans and asset freezes — on people inside and outside the TFG who seek to undermine Somalia’s peace and security,” she said. “If you are standing in the way, you should be held accountable.” Clinton said the Shebab movement was “weakening” but said the international community “must keep up the pressure”, welcoming the United Nations’ decision on Wednesday to boost peacekeeping forces as “a good step”. She also addressed the problem of pirates who attacked international ships off the coast of Somalia, urging more countries to offer to prosecute and jail those arrested in the absence of a judicial system in Somalia itself.
Putin issues ‘victory’ battle cry ahead of Russia polls MoSCoW AfP
Russian strongman Vladimir Putin on Thursday issued a battle-cry to tens of thousands of supporters packing Moscow’s largest sports stadium as he predicted victory in next month’s presidential election. Putin declared in a fiery and nationalist-tinged speech to 130,000 people in the Luzhniki stadium that Russians had victory written into their “genetic code” and would not allow foreigners to meddle in their country’s affairs. Playing on themes of patriotism on a national holiday to mark the Defenders of the Fatherland public holiday, Putin invoked historical events like the 1812 Battle of Borodino that Russia fought against Napoleon. “The battle for Russia continues, the victory will be ours,” Putin said, speaking from a giant blue stage in a stadium that usually hosts the biggest football matches and rock concerts. “We will not allow anyone to impose their will on us. We have our own will and this has always helped us be victorious,” said Putin. “We are a victorious nation. This is in our genes. This is in our genetic
code.” The event is a riposte to the mass rallies staged by the opposition since December 4 parliamentary elections which have turned into a protest movement against his bid for a third Kremlin term in March 4 presidential polls. “We will be victorious,” said Putin. He then turned to the crowd and asked: “And I want to ask you. Will we be victorious?” The tens of thousands in the crowd roared back: “Yes!” The rally coincided with Russia’s annual Defenders of the Fatherland public holiday, a militaristic celebration that in Soviet times commemorated the achievements of the Red Army. “We call on everyone to unite around our country, those who see Russia as their own motherland, who are ready to protect her, cherish her and believe in her,” said Putin. Just before the strongman prime minister’s arrival a festive atmosphere filled the giant venue, with some participants dancing and others holding red heart-shaped balloons reading “For Putin.” Pancakes were served for those wishing to bid farewell to Russia’s long gloomy winter as part of ongoing Pancake Week traditionally celebrated in the country.
“We came because it is a holiday and also because we support the candidate,” said 29-year old Svetlana Filakova, as she stood in line for a serving of porridge. Claims have multiplied ahead of the rally that employees of state companies were ordered to attend the pro-Putin meeting, with blue-collar workers being brought to Moscow by train or bus from across Russia. Some participants admitted they had no choice but to show up. “It’s my birthday and they dragged me here,” said Vladimir puffing on a cigarette. “The people came here not voluntarily but were forced,” he said declining to give his last name for fear of reprisals. “At work they said ‘Go along. You just try not going’. Tomorrow we are given a holiday.” Putin’s campaign chief Stanislav Govorukhin denied that anyone was being forced to take part in the event. “We are not rounding up anyone, we are inviting everyone,” he told Russian reporters. The opposition says that Putin’s once impregnable popularity is plummeting amid the protests, although his minders insist the Russian strongman still enjoys the majority’s support.
mOSCOW: Supporters of the Russian Communist Party carry red flags and banners as they attend a rally on Thursday. Afp
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Friday, 24 February, 2012
Jankovic upsets Stosur, into Dubai last four Page 21
PcB looks for qualified persons at different positions? LAHoRE STAff REPORT
The Pakistan Cricket Board has started looking for qualified persons to fill in a number of positions after the team’s bashing in the one-day series at the hands of England in the UAE. The PCB, which was already in hunt for a bowling coach after Aaqib Javed resigned to join the UAE, will opt for a number o changes in the selection committee and team management and the likely chances are that some more heads would roll in the PCB set-up too. PCB tried its utmost to keep Aaqib in the support staff of Dave Whatmore but the former fast bowler had informed the PCB regarding his new contract with UAE cricket. Certain reports suggested former test cricketer Saleem Jaffer is trying his best to fill the void created by Aaqib but things would get clear shape one Whatmore join the team next month. On the other hand, there might be new faces to replace the whole of the selection committee following the team’s poor showing in the ODI series against England. England blanked Pakistan 4-0 in the one-day series, following a historic whitewash of Andrew Struss men in the test rubber. Reports suggested that Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman Zaka Ashraf wants a new selection committee to select the squad for the upcoming Asia Cup, which would be held in March 2012 in Bangladesh. For the job former chief selector Salahuddin Sallu is using his sources to become the head of the selection committee while Mohsin Khan, who has been named as an interim coach might be considered provided he was not given the assignment as head of the Karachi Cricket Academy. The PCB chief had already hinted at change in the setup of the board after the England series. The PCB has already brought in former ID Police Tariq Pervaiz as director security and vigilance and Sajid Hameed as director coordination. Reports further said that an evaluation committee of the PCB is already assessing the performance of the officials working in the board and on bad day in the office might bring in new face in the PCB.
Stirling stars with bat and ball for Ireland MoMBASA AfP
Paul Stirling starred with both the bat and ball as Ireland beat Kenya by eight wickets in the second Twenty20 international match at the Mombasa Sports Club grounds on Thursday. The 21-year-old Middlesex player took two wickets in the Kenyan top order and pretty much single-handedly won the game for his team with his unbeaten 65 to give the hosts their second crushing defeat in the three-match series. Spinner George Dockrell and pacemen Trent Johnston, John Mooney and Kevin O'Brien had each grabbed one wicket apiece as Kenya reached 131 for seven after being put in to bat. The Irish victory served as a morale boost in their preparations for next month's Twenty20 World Cup qualifying tournament in the United Arab Emirates. The third and final match in the series will be played on Friday. Scores: Kenya 131-7 (D Obuya 28, R Patel 27, P Stirling 2-21); Ireland 132-2 (17.3 overs) (P Stirling 65 not out, W Porterfield 23, G Wilson 22, Aga 1-10, H Varaiya 1-27).
Tendulkar’s one-day future hangs in balance nEW DELHI
NDIA'S cricket greats have begun talking about a topic that was considered unthinkable a year ago -- Sachin Tendulkar's retirement from the sport. Or, at least, the need for the record-breaking batsman to quit one-day international cricket to prolong his Test career. The debate has intensified after Tendulkar's contemporary Ricky Ponting was forced by Australia's selectors to bow out of ODIs this week. Ponting retired from the shorter format after being dumped from the ongoing tri-series, but vowed to fight on in the Test side. Some want the Indian selectors to be just as ruthless and end Tendulkar's one-day career. The Hindustan Times, discussing Ponting's axeing, hoped that Indian cricket chiefs would learn from the "no-nonsense approach" shown by the Australian management. "Indian cricket set-up needs to take a cue from its Australian counterparts when it comes to pushing the seniors out," the paper wrote. "If they have to take a tough call looking at the future of the team, the time is now." Former World Cup-winning captain Kapil Dev agrees that it is time to ponder hard choices for Tendulkar, despite the adulation the "Little Master" still commands across India. "Maybe his time has come," Kapil said on the Headlines Today news channel. "Every player has his time. Age is not on his side as it was earlier." Tendulkar, who turns 39 in April, is not only the world's leading batsman in
both the Test and one-day formats, but also the longest-serving international cricketer, having made his debut in 1989. Fans have been left on tenterhooks as Tendulkar, who has scored a record 51 Test and 48 one-day centuries, struggles to reach the unprecedented milestone of 100 international hundreds. His form has turned indifferent in the tri-series in Australia, where he has managed just 90 runs in five games at an average of 18. Former
captain Sourav Ganguly, who played alongside Tendulkar from 1992 to 2008, said his old teammate's decision to pick and choose one-day matches was costing India dear. "Sachin has to ask himself whether it's helping him as a one-day player or if it's helping the Indian team," Ganguly told Headlines Today. "If Sachin can't get an answer to these questions, he has to go." Tendulkar, who has played a record 458 one-day internationals, has turned out in
Mahmood keen to see pakistani players in IpL LAHoRE STAff REPORT
A British passport helped Azhar Mahmood get into the Indian Premier League this year and now the former Pakistani all-rounder is keen to see that the players from his native land are not denied the chance to play in the Twenty20 league for long. Pakistani cricketers have not played in the league since featuring in the inaugural edition in 2008 due to strained diplomatic relations between the two countries in the wake of Mumbai terror attack. IPL Franchisees have avoided picking Pakistani players since then and Mahmood was selected this year since he
is now a UK citizen. Mahmood urged the BCCI and PCB to sort out all the issues to pave the way for the participation Pakistani cricketers in the highly popular league. Mahmood will feature in the fifth edition of the league for Kings XI Punjab. Mahmood, who last played for Pakistan in 2007 cricket World Cup, believes that his participation in the IPL may contribute in normalising the strained relations between the two nations. "I would like to see Pakistani players participating in the IPL. The BCCI and the PCB should sit together and sort out the issue. There is no problem in picking the Pakistani players as they would like to participate in a tournament like IPL," PTI quoted
Mahmood as saying. "I believe that my playing for the Kings XI Punjab team would lead to IPL franchises situp and take notice of Pakistani cricketers as that would help in normalisation and resumption of bilateral ties. Don`t deny them the chance to play in the IPL," he added. Rejected last year from being put on sale by the IPL Governing Council, Mahmood said, "I don`t know why it took me so long to qualify for the IPL auction. I have no idea what happened last year. This year, I got listed as a British player and picked by Kings XI team. May be there were some doubts in the minds of franchises," he said. Mahmood, who joined English county team Kent in 2010, has been consistently doing well in the English conditions and believe that his experience of playing there would hold him in good stead in the IPL-V. "My county experience will definitely help me in the IPL. I have been playing county cricket for past seven years and now I am also part of the Bangladesh Premier League, so I will bring all my experience and talent into play while turning up for Kings XI Punjab.” "I am very excited about it. It feels really great to be associated with a tournament like IPL as it is the biggest tournament after international cricket. I always wanted to feature in the League," he said. Mahmood, who has more than 2000 runs in the T20 format, also plays for Auckland Aces in New Zealand and considers his matchwinnng knock of 44 in his team`s 44run victory over Canterburry in the HRV cup final as one of the special knocks of his career. "I had a great Twenty20 season both in England and New Zealand. We won the HRV cup finals where I performed very well. I am confident of doing well in IPL too," he said. Mahmood played for Surrey before joining Kent in 2007.
just 18 ODI matches in the past two years, including nine in India's triumphant World Cup campaign in February-April 2011. He still managed to record the first double-century in ODIs -- 200 not out against South Africa in February 2010 -- and was the star in India's World Cup win with 482 runs, second only to Sri Lankan Tillakaratne Dilshan's 500. Ganguly dismissed batting legend Sunil Gavaskar's suggestion that the selectors should talk to Tendulkar about his one-day future. "I don't see any of the selectors stepping in," Ganguly said. "They are not going to stand in front of Sachin Tendulkar and say 'Listen little champ, you need to go'. That is never going to happen." But the Hindu newspaper urged former players to lay off Tendulkar, saying the decision to quit or not should be left to him. "A lot has been said -- especially by former sportspersons who themselves stayed on well beyond their use-by date -- about Tendulkar's ODI career," it said. "Whatever the intentions, these gems of seemingly timely advice are clearly uncalled for. Sachin has served the country with exceptional pride and genius for far too long and he deserves the right to choose his own time of departure." A poll published by the Times of India on Thursday said that 57 percent of 47,000 respondents wanted Tendulkar to quit one-day cricket and 41 percent urged him to continue. In the immediate future, Tendulkar has two opportunities to silence his critics -- against Australia on Sunday and Sri Lanka next Tuesday -- plus a possible bestof-three-finals, should India qualify.
collingwood flops as cobras go top
Former England one-day international skipper Paul Collingwood flopped with the bat again as newcomers The New Age Impi suffered a 40-run loss to leaders Western Cape Cobras Wednesday in the South African T20 Challenge. Dismissed for four on his debut last Friday, Collingwood hit just one run from three balls before being caught by South Africa wicketkeeper Mark Boucher off the bowling of Dane Piedt at Boland Park in Paarl. Fellow Englishman Luke Wright (15) fared best among the Impi 'imports' with Ryan ten Doeschate from the Netherlands sharing a similar fate to Collingwood -- out for one after being trapped leg before by Alistair Gray. Collingwood (0-14), Wright (0-31) and Australian Ben Edmondson (0-40) had no joy with the ball either and the Impi star was opener Khayelihle Zondo with an unbeaten 100 off 63 deliveries. But his ton was in vain as the Impi never looked like overtaking the Cobras, who posted a formidable 211-4 with Dane Vilas (57), Stiaan van Zyl (55) and undefeated Vernon Philander (45) leading the run charge. Impi, bankrolled by Johannesburg newspaper The New Age, coached by former South Africa assistant Vincent Barnes and captained by Collingwood, made 171-6 in reply as they suffered a third straight loss within six days.
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Friday, 24 February, 2012
Stanford grabs first-round lead in Singapore SIngAPoRE AfP
American Angela Stanford posted a sixunder 66 to grab the first-round lead Thursday at the $1.4-million HSBC Women's Champions tournament in Singapore. Japan's Momoko Ueda was two shots adrift at four-under 68 and tied for second place alongside four South Koreans including Choi Na Yeon who topped the LPGA Tour money list in 2010. Tournament favorite and world number one Yani Tseng, who is bidding for a first Singapore win, was tied 20th with a one-under 71 after a string of missed birdie opportunities and costly bogeys at the fourth and tenth holes. Stanford's bogey-free round was just one shot shy of
Amar cables beat Golden eagles
equalling a tournament record of 65, set in the second round by former great Lorena Ochoa in 2008 who went on to win the title that year. The Texan made the most of her chances and even managed a birdie putt at the ninth hole despite having topped the ball on her second shot using a three-wood. "Well, the second shot was not a desirable outcome. Nobody likes a three-wood," Stanford said with a laugh. "I can honestly tell you, I've never topped a shot and made birdie on the same hole," she said. Former champion Ai Miyazato of Japan, who is bidding for her second Singapore title to add to her 2010 triumph, was three shots behind the clubhouse leader after carding a three-under 69. "I had a good comeback," Miyazato
LAHoRE STAff REPORT
said of her performance in the back nine where she birdied the last four holes to partly make up for two bogeys. "The golf course is always in good shape. It's
lAHORe: Guest former test cricketer Saleem elahi gave away the man of the match award to Muhammad Hafeez while Amer Ilyas Butt and Salman Khan were also present on the occasion. LAHoRE STAff REPORT
Amar Cables beat Golden Eagles by 19 runs in the First Lahore Veteran Cricket Champion Trophy while SPM Bucks beat Gulberg Gymkhana by one run at the Ali Garh and Model Greens Cricket Grounds. SCORES: Amar cables batting first 207/7 after 30 overs. Amer Ilyas Butt played well and hammered 60, Dastgeer Butt 30, Muhammad Hafeez 60 and Muhammad Arif 19 runs not out. Rana Bilal 3/39, naveed Sufi 1/46, Akram Raza 1/42 & Basharat Ali 1/24 wickets. In reply Golden eagles 188/7 after 30 overs. Muhammad Zahid 74, Asif Mehmood 34 & tariq qureshi 17 runs. Amar cables bowling tariq Rasheed 3/43, Muhammad Hafeez 2/34 & Shokat Ali 1/34 wickets. nadeem Ghori, Muhammad Asif umpire and Masood Ahmad was the scorer. later chief Guest Former test cricketer Saleem elahi gave away the man of the match award to Muhammad Hafeez. Amer Ilyas Butt, Salman Khan was also present on the occasion. In the second match, SPM batting first 222/8 after 30 overs. Ashfaq Aslam 61, toseef Mughal 43, nadeem Aslam 41 and Sohail Imran 20 runs not out. Manzoor elahi 3/34, Faisal Mehmood, Azhar Hussain, Shahzad Bhatti, nazar Hussain and Afzal Munir one wicket each. In reply Gulberg Gymkhana 221/6 after 30 overs. Rana Shahid played well 104, Afzal Munir 31 and Manzoor Ilahi 27 runs. Muhammad Shahbaz 4/34 & Ashfaq Aslam 2/30 wickets. Muhammad Haneef, Sagheer Ahmad umpire & Zahoor Alam was the scorer. Ashfaq Aslam declared man of the match.
pretty difficult but it's kind of challenging me, so really nice." Tseng said her one-under finish was "not bad" despite missing several birdie chances.
Gul, Malik guide Pakistan home in T20 opener
ACEMAN Umar Gul took 318 to inspire Pakistan to a thrilling eight-run win in the first of three Twenty20 internationals against England at Dubai Stadium on Thursday. England, the reigning Twenty20 world champions, were cruising at 120-4 after 17 overs, chasing 145 to win, but Gul took two wickets in the 18th over for just three runs to change the complexion of the game, eventually restricting England to 136-6. Graeme Swann rocked the middleorder with a burst of three wickets off eight balls to restrict Pakistan, put into bat, to 144-6 with Shoaib Malik making 39. Ravi Bopara (39) and Jonny Bairstow (22 not out) had added 33 for the fourth
wicket but Gul dismissed Bopara with the fifth ball of the 16th over and then had Jos Butler (three) and Samit Patel (nought) in the next to bring Pakistan closer to victory. With 18 needed off the final over bowled by Junaid Khan, England managed just nine. England were set on the chase by Kevin Pietersen (33) as they reached 48 by the sixth over but Pakistan came back when Shahid Afridi dismissed the in-form Pietersen. Pietersen, who made back-to-back hundreds in England's 4-0 win in the preceding one-day series, holed out to Shafiq. Off-spinner Mohammad Hafeez, who finished with 2-18, chipped in with the wickets of Craig Kieswetter (14) and dangerous looking Eoin Morgan (14) to leave England at 80-3, a position from where they should have won but Gul's spirited bowling made the difference. Pakistan too
made a flying start with debutant Awais Zia hitting a four and six during his 12-ball 18 but Pakistan lost four wickets in the space of eight runs as Asad Shafiq (19) fell run out, Mohammad Hafeez (23), Shahid Afridi (seven) and Umar Akmal (nought) followed each other, with Swann taking the last three. It was left to captain Misbah-ul Haq (26 not out) and Malik (39) to put on 71 for the sixth wicket to take Pakistan to a respectable total. Malik hit four boundaries and six off 33 balls before he fell to a superb catch by Bairstow off Jade Dernbach off the last ball of the innings. Misbah gave Malik good support during his run-a-ball innings, hitting one four and a six. Swann finished with 3-13. Pakistan brought in Zia and allrounder Hammad Azam while Bopara and Swann returned for England after missing the fourth one-dayer due to fitness problems.
Prince club beat tauseef club by 20 runs LAHoRE STAff REPORT
Prince club won the LCCA cricket league match against Tauseef club by 20 runs played at Ittefaq hospital ground on Wednesday. SCORES: Prince club 254/6 in 40 overs. Fahad ul Haq 118, Mubashar Yaqoob 57, Sadam-ul-Haq 22. Sheraz Baig 2/34, M Ali Rana 1/32, waqas Khan 1/46, Sher Baz Khan 1/49. tauseef club 234 all out in 39.5 overs. M Arif 56, M Ahmed 47, Sher Baz Khan 23, Junaid Mudassar 21, Shehzad Muhayudin 12, Israr Baig 18, M Ali Rana 11, Mudasar Ismael 17(no). Sameer Akram 5/38, Amir Gulzar 3/41, Fahad-ul-Haq 1/46.
ludhiyana Gym march to quarters LAHoRE STAff REPORT
Ludhiyana Gym has marched into the quarterfinal of the 27th Mohammad Yaseen Akhter Memorial Event after beating Mughalpura Whites by 50 runs played at Wahdat Colony ground on Tuesday. SCORES: ludhiyana Gym 171/6 in 20 overs. Adnan Raza 53, Arslan 32, Abbas Ali 30, waseem Zahoor 14, Ali Aslam 30. Sabtain Serwar 2/20, Zain-ul-Husnan 1/15, HAssan nAsir 1/35, IShtiaq 1/15. Mughalpura whites 121/8 in 20 overs. Zain-ul-Husnain 25, Afaq Shahid 17, Sabtain Serwar 12, Ishtiaq 20, Kamran Yousuf 12. Faisal 2/12, Arslan 2/16, Zeeshan 2/10, KAshif Siddiq 1/2, Rizwan 1/15.
Royal Palm Floodlit cricket in semis stage
DUBAI: Awais Zia and (r) Shoaib Malik play shots during the first twenty20 match against england at the Dubai International Stadium. Afp
PAKiSTAN 23 mohammad Hafeez c bairstow b Swann Awais zia c broad b finn 18 Asad Shafiq run out 19 7 Shahid Afridi c morgan b Swann misbah-ul Haq not out 26 Umar Akmal c Dernbach b Swann 0 39 Shoaib malik c bairstow b Dernbach EXTRAS: (lb11, w1) 12 TOTAL: (for six wickets) 144 fall of wickets: 1-32 (zia), 2-65 (Shafiq), 3-65 (Hafeez), 473 (Afridi), 5-73 (Umar). bOWLiNg: finn 4-0-39-1 (w1), Dernbach 4-0-31-1, broad 40-19-0, Swann 4-1-13-3, bopara 1-0-8-0, Patel 3-0-23-0 ENgLAND K. Pietersen c Shafiq b Afridi 33 C. Kieswetter b Hafeez 14 39 R. bopara b gul E. morgan b Hafeez 14 22 J. bairstow not out 3 J. butler c Ajmal b gul S. Patel lbw b gul 0 g. Swann not out 2 EXTRAS: (b1, lb4, w4) 9 TOTAL: (for six wickets) 136 fall of wickets: 1-48 (Pietersen), 2-51 (Kieswetter), 3-80 (morgan), 4-113 (bopara), 5-121 (butler), 6-121 (Patel). bOWLiNg: Khan 4-0-42-0, gul 4-1-18-3, Ajmal 4-0-26-0 (w2), Afridi 4-0-27-1, Hafeez 4-0-18-2 (w2), Overs: 20 Result: Pakistan won by eight runs Toss: England Umpires: Ahsan Raza (PAK) and Shozab Raza (PAK) Tv umpire: zameer Haider (PAK) match referee: Jeff Crowe (NzL).
The semi-final stage has approached in the Floodlit Cricket Tournament in progress at the Royal Palm Golf Club, duly supported by Wing Chair, FR Cables and Coke, after three days of intense competitive activity which included all the ingredients that are normally associated with this wonderful game. Ample were the close finishes, the fielding admirable with no missed catches, remarkable was the bowling and more than plentiful was some huge hitting that won instant applause from the large number of families present, in particular the ladies who seemed to be well aware of the finer points of the game. The most exciting quarter-final was between Royal Vikings and Wing Chair Kings, a match that Royal Vikings won although the losing teams Mansoor Hamza earned accolades for his excellent bowling by doing a double hat trick. Mansoor is a medium pacer who can bowl the rising ball with a lot of venom and the fearsome effect prevented a contact between the bat and the ball although the batsmen were skilled enough. However the disturbing aspect from his point of view was that he was called in to bowl the last over and prior to that the opponent team had scored enough runs to see them through to the next round. In the other quarterfinals, Indus Warriors beat Indus Chargers by 39 runs, thanks to some stunning hitting by Muhammed Asad who hit six sixes delighting the packed gallery. Lahore Lions, a strong outfit crushed Lahore Bashers, winning by 5 wickets and Punjab Stunners beat Royal Titans by 12 runs. The semi-finals will be a contest of seasoned ones between Indus Warriors and Punjab Stunners and Royal Vikings versus Lahore Lions. The winning team of the championship will win a lucratve cash prize of Rs 150,000.
DUBAI: A cheerleader performs during the first twenty20 match between Pakistan and england at the Dubai International Stadium. Afp
Els ousts Donald, Tiger fights on at WGC Match-Play MARAnA AfP
Top-ranked defending champion Luke Donald was hammered by Ernie Els on Wednesday while Tiger Woods had a narrow first-round escape at the World Golf Championships Match Play Championship. South Africa's Els dumped the Englishman 5-and-4, only the third time in event history the top seed has been ousted in the opening round. Els won five of seven holes from the eighth to close out the match on the 14th hole. "I was trying to just take it as a first round match," Els said. "There's always hype when the No. 1 player is playing with the No. 64 seed but I think Luke and I took it for what it was. "Obviously I can play a little bit of golf so I'm sure he didn't really want to face me. But that's the way it worked out. I played well. Luke had a bit of
an off day and I'm obviously very pleased to go through." Former World No. 1 Woods survived a scare before progressing through to the second day at the $8.5 million event. Despite losing the opening two holes, Woods clawed his way back against unheralded Spanish World No. 48 Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano to win 1-up and set up a second-round match with fellow American Nick Watney. Donald was left to lament one of his poorer days out on the golf course. His four bogeys left him hung out to dry. The result also means he could lose his status as World No. 1 should No. 2 Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland or No. 3 Lee Westwood of England go deep into the event. Both had reasonably comfortable first round victories. "It's disappointing," Donald said. "To lose control of the golf ball like I did today is really frustrating. "I don't think it would have mattered who I played
today. I gave away too many holes and made too many mistakes. You can't do that in match play against anyone, let alone Ernie." McIlroy didn't hold back when asked about the chance to arrest the top spot in the world after his 2-up win over South African George Coetzee. "To be honest, I came in here yesterday and talked about if I play well and just win matches that will take care of itself," he said. "But obviously it's another incentive waking up each morning and knowing that if you win your match at the end of the week you could be World No. 1. "We'll see what happens. I have to get through a lot of matches before that, but it definitely gives me an added incentive this week." Facing a potential first-round elimination at the event for just the third time in his career, Woods won two of the last four holes and made a clutch up and down from a bunker on the 18th to seal the vic-
tory. "I don't think either one of us had our best stuff today," Woods said. "We both made our share of mistakes. There's no doubt about that. But somehow I was able to move on." Fernando-Castano was left to rue a great chance at victory. "If there was one day to beat Tiger Woods, this was it," he lamented. "I didn't take the opportunity." Top seeds in the other brackets moved on without much hassle. Westwood had no trouble dismissing Belgium's Nicolas Colsaerts 3-and-1 and Germany's Martin Kaymer had an easier day out against Australian Greg Chalmers, triumphing 4-and-2. Japanese superstar Ryo Ishikawa pulled off a miraculous comeback to upset last week's US PGA winner, Bill Haas. Ishikawa, seeded 54th, was three down with five holes to play but won four of the final five holes, three with birdies, to take out the 11th seeded Haas 1-up.
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Friday, 24 February, 2012
Mancini ends Tevez feud as City march on in Europa MAnCHEStER AfP
Roberto Mancini, the Manchester City manager, has drawn a line under his longrunning dispute with Carlos Tevez and insisted the Argentina striker is now available for selection. But Mancini, talking after his team reached the last 16 of the Europa League with an emphatic 4-0 victory over holders Porto, warned Tevez he faces a major obstacle in attempting to regain a regular place in his side. This week, Tevez formerly apologised for his behaviour during his refusal to play for the team over a dispute with Mancini which dates back to September, when he disobeyed his manager's instruction to warm-up during a Champions League defeat away to Bayern Munich. The Italian boss will meet his player before training on Thursday and expects him to be available for selection in the middle of next month. "He has apologised," said Mancini. "I don’t have any problem. Tomorrow, I will meet him before training, after that, he can start to work with us. "I think he maybe needs two or three weeks
AccA take RSS Soccer crown
to find form; after this he will be okay. He can play, like the other players," he added with City two points clear of Manchester United at the top of the Premier League. "Carlo (Carlos) knows the team very well but the team, in the last six or seven months, has played very well. They are top of the Premier League. "We know Carlo well, he's a top striker so it would be good to have him back, I think he can help us and do a good job in the next two months. "I think it is important if we have Carlo, Mario (Balotelli), Edin (Dzeko) and Sergio (Aguero) so it would be good for the team." With Tevez still absent from the City line-up, his compatriot Aguero was the pick of the hosts' stars at Eastlands here on Wednesday, scoring the opening goal in just 19 seconds then laying on a second for Dzeko before David Silva and David Pizarro
completed the rout and a 6-1 aggregate win for City. Mancini had spoken at the start of the season about wanting to have four front-line strikers at his disposal for the campaign and now, with Tevez’s return, he appears to be in that position. "Carlo cannot play in the Europa League," said Mancini. "But having four strikers for the Premier League would be good. Mancini refused to get into an argument with Argentina great Diego Maradona, Aguero's father-in-law, who had said City were too defensive. "Diego was a fantastic player, one of the best in the world," said Mancini before refusing to elaborate. However, Maradona's son-in-law certainly looks like one of Europe's leading footballers on current form and Mancini added: "Sergio is another top striker but he is young and still needs to im-
prove. "He's a top striker, he's scored a lot of goals and helped us in this game and during the season. Now, over the last two months, it's important to have all the players, all the strikers, available." City's comfortable victory over last season’s Europa League winners has left them as one of the favourites to claim the trophy in 2012 and, with Mancini’s team still occupying first place in the Premier League, a league and cup double is possible. "We hope so," said Mancini. "We want to try to get to the final if possible. But it will be difficult because the Europa League has top squads -- Manchester United, Valencia, Schalke -- it is like the Champions League. "For this reason, it will be difficult but we will try. In the Premier League, we are top and if we win our last 13 games we win the league!" Vitor Pereira, the Porto coach, saw defender Rolando sent off as City scored three goals in the last 14 minutes and declined to answer when asked if he thought his team's conquerors could go on to win the trophy. "The result didn't show what happened on the pitch," Pereira said. "If people see the result and think City dominated the game, they're wrong."
Italian-style win delights Deschamps MARSEILLE AfP
Marseille coach Didier Deschamps was left to revel in an Italian-style victory after Andre Ayew's injury-time header
gave his side a last-gasp 1-0 win over Inter Milan here on Wednesday. The first leg of the Champions League last 16 tie had been drifting towards a goalless draw when Ayew pounced to convert Mathieu Valbuena's 93rd-minute corner
ISlAMABAD: AccA and BSc Students before the final of the Roots college International G-8 campus Soccer tournament. ISLAMABAD STAff REPORT
Roots College International G-8 campus organized a two-day football tournament at multipurpose ground of F-6 Islamabad and was won by ACCA against BSc students. Earlier, ACCA defeated A-levels students and BSc defeated LLB students in semi-final. Walid Mushtaq, ED RSS, presented the trophy and congratulated the winning team. He said that sports can be a powerful agent for change that should be leveraged by students to drive significant positive development and progress in a social and economic context. The rules of the game transcend differences and inequality and help redefine success and performance, he added.
and put OM in the driving seat ahead of the second leg on March 13. Deschamps spent six years in Italy with Juventus -- five as a player and one as a coach -- and he admitted it was refreshing to finish on the right end of a scoreline in which Italian teams traditionally specialise. "When we scored, there was no chance for them to come back," he said. "It's true that it feels good when you're on the right side of it. Often it's the Italian sides who do that, but tonight it was us." It is almost a year since OM fell to Manchester United at the same stage of last season's tournament, after a 0-0 draw in the home leg, and Deschamps was pleased his side had avoided the same traps they fell into 12 months ago. "Compared to last season, we've progressed," said the Frenchman, whose side are fifth in Ligue 1 and still competing in both domestic cup competitions. "We had a 0-0 then (against United), now it's 1-0. It's a source of pride for me and my players, because they believed right until the end." With Marseille unbeaten since November 23 and Inter without a win in six games prior to kickoff, the 2010 champions appeared ripe for the taking but the hosts struggled to break them down until the closing stages. Having returned recently from Africa Cup of Nations duty with Ghana, Ayew sounded the rallying cry by forcing Inter goalkeeper Julio Cesar into a pair of saves before finally breaking the deadlock in the final minute of added time. "He has that desire, that determination -- it's inside him and he'll always have it," said Deschamps of his match-winner.
Aqeel grabs Ic trophy national Ranking title kARACHI STAff REPORT
Pakistan number one Aqeel Khan has won singles title of the 1st I.C Trophy National Ranking Championship 2012 beating younger brother Yasir Khan in the final here at the Karachi Gymkhana Synthetic courts on Thursday. Mohd Ali Shah was the chief guest and distributed the prizes among the winner and cah awards of Rs 200,000. I the ladies singles final Saba Aziz prevailed over much experienced player Sara Mansoor to take the title. She won in straight sets. FinAl resUlTs: Men’s singles: Aqeel Khan beat Yasir Khan 6-1, 6-4. Ladies singles: Saba Aziz (Lahore) beat Sara Mansoor 6-2, 6-2. Juniors Under-18 singles: Adil Kohari beat Ahmed Baber (Lahore ) 6-1, 3-6, 6-1. Boys Under-14 Singles: Syed Nofil Kaleem (Islamabad) beat Dawar Rehan 6-3, 6-0.
Tough contests witnessed in Inter-district Sports Festival LAHoRE STAff REPORT
On the second day of the Inter-district Sports Festival 2012, the hard-fought competitions were in progress at all the districts of Punjab. In Lahore, athletics college boys final, Mohsin Ali (Lahore) won the 100 m race. The 200 m gold went to Tariq Mehmood (Lahore) and the 400 m was won by Mehmood Affan (Lahore). In 800 and 1500 m, Mohsin Ali (Nankana Sb) achieved gold medals. In javelin throw, Qasim Ali (Lahore), in shot put Danish Mehmood (Lahore) while in the long jump, Adnan Jahangir (Lahore) were the winner. In the school boys final athletics events of 100 m and long jump, Shenakht Ali (Kasur) achieved limelight. In 200 m, M.Azam Ali (Nankana), in 400 m, Nasrullah (Nankana), 800 m Abid (Kasur), 1500 m M.Irfan (Kasur) and in shot put Rana Waheed (Lahore) got to the titles
while M.Yasir (Lahore) attained first position in javelin throw. In school girls badminton, Government Higher Secondary School Samanabad beat Government Khadijatul Kubra School Sheikhupura 2-0. Samanabad School Lahore defeated Government Girls Higher School Kasur 2-0. In girls college badminton final, Lahore College beat Government Degree College Kasur 2-0. In volleyball boys college final, Government Gulberg College Lahore defeated Government Degree College Sheikhupura 2-0 with a score of 2516, 25-13. In the girls volleyball final, Government College Township beat Government College Sanglahill 2-0. In school boys hockey final, Model Town High School Lahore beat Government High School Shekhupura 3-0. In the general public matches, Lahore beat Nankana 4-1. In boys university hockey matches, University of Central Punjab thrashed Punjab University 3-0. In hockey college boys, Government
College Kasur beat Government College Nankana 2-1. In boys college football matches, Punjab College of Commerce Lahore beat Government Degree College Kasur 4-0. Government College Nankana defeated Government College Shekhupura 7-2. In kabaddi college boys, Punjab College Lahore beat Shahkot College Nankana 58-25 while Government College Shekhupura beat Government Degree College Kasur 56-40. In karate school girls, 45 kgs: Samra Ikram of Queen Marry School won the title. In 50 kgs, Mehak Ikram of Queen Marry whereas in 55 kgs, Bakhtawar of Queen Marry were the winners. In karate college girls, 45 kgs: Afia Azam of Queen Marry College won the first position, 50 kgs: Memoona of Queen Marry while in 55 kgs: Quratul Ain of Queen Marry got the titles. Meanwhile, a meeting of the organizing committee of the Punjab Sports Festival 2012 was held at National Hockey Stadium to review the arrangements.
MPA Saba Sadiq, DG Sports Punjab Usman Anwar and other officials attended the meeting. DG Sports briefed the meeting about the foolproof security arrangements, rescuers and first aid fa-
cilities for maximum protection of the players. He also ensured the principals of all the schools and colleges for highest participation of the players and students to witness the grand event.
lAHORe: Govt Gulberg college vies against Govt Degree college Shekhupura during the Inter-district Sports Festival Volleyball. STAff phOTO
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Friday, 24 February, 2012
Dubai: Caroline Wozniacki serves the ball to ana ivanovic during the Dubai Open quarter-final. AFP
WATCh IT LIvE ESPN Premier League: Chelsea V Bolton Wanderers 08:25PM
GEOSPUER BD League: Chittagong Kings V Dhaka Gladiators 01:00PM
nurpur quartet down colony Sugar in Punjab Polo LAHoRE STAff REPORT
Malisse ousts Roddick at Memphis MEMPHIS AfP
Belgian veteran Xavier Malisse upset US second seed Andy Roddick 7-6 (10/8), 7-5 on Wednesday to reach the second round of the $1.375 million ATP and WTA Memphis Open. Malisse fired 12 aces, twice as many as Roddick, to advance into a second-round matchup on Thursday against Germany's Benjamin Becker, who eliminated Israel's Dudi Sela 6-4, 6-1. South African seventh seed Kevin Anderson fired 19 aces in advancing 7-5, 6-3 over US qualifier Robby Ginepri in 75 minutes. Anderson, who next faces US wildcard Sam Querrey, could face US top seed John Isner in the semi-finals. On the women's side, three seeded players were eliminated in second-round matches, leaving New Zealand's fourthseeded Marina Erakovic as the only seed in the quarter-finals. Italy's Alberta Brianti ousted Kazak second seed Ksenia Pervak 7-6 (7/3), 6-2 while Ukranian Lesia Tsurenko outlasted Czech third seed Lucie Hradecka 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7/3). Swede Sofia Arvidsson downed French fifth seed Pauline Parmentier 7-6 (7/5), 0-6, 6-3.
Jankovic upsets Stosur, into Dubai last four DUBAI
ORMER world number one Jelena Jankovic returned to somewhere nearer her best form on Thursday to upset Samantha Stosur and reach the semi-finals of the Dubai Open in her adopted home city. It is the eighthseeded Serb's first semi-final of the year and also her best win for 12 months as she beat the fourth-seeded US Open champion from Australia 6-4, 6-2. Jankovic achieved it despite a slowly healing muscle tear in her left thigh which, she says, was originally "five point five centimetres long." She mostly adopted a more assertive style than she once had, controlling more of the rallies, and reducing the amount of court she needed to cover. Stosur, by contrast, appeared subdued, looked travel-weary, and sounded as if she might be suffering from a cold. Having a base locally may have aided the livelier Jankovic significantly. "I tried to make as many returns as possible, because her serve is one of the best, if not the best in the game, and it is not a typical serve," Jankovic said. "I was trying to read it and lean to
The combined effort of Nurpur quartet got them past Colony Sugar in the Enterprise Punjab Polo Cup 2012 match here at the Lahore Polo Club ground on Thursday. Nurpur relying on the team work of Shah Qubilai Alam, Hamza Mawaz Khan, Saqib Khan Khakwani Raja Samiullah downed Colony Sugar 7-6. Former Pakistan captain Shah Qubilai Alam converted three goals while Hamza Mawaz Khan got two and Saqib Khan Khakwani and Raja Samiullah shared one goal each for Nurpur. On the other hand Colony Sugar entirely depended on two foreign players Santiago Mendivil and Raul Laplacette, who hit in three goals each but their struggle ended up in a losing cause. Umpires for the match were Simon Mclaren Tosh and Ignacio Del Tour and Referee was Manuel Crespo. Meanwhile in the standing BBJ Pipes is leading the table with two points and a better goal average while Nestle and Colony Sugar are placed second and third in the tabl.
STANDiNgS TEAmS BBJ Pipes nestle colony Sugar
W 1 1 -
L 1 1
gf 6 12 1/2 6
gA 5 1/2 12 7
PTS 2 2 -
AVE + 1/2 + 1/2 -1
condolence LAHoRE STAff REPORT
one side a little earlier. I think I did that pretty well and was in control much of the time. It's a long time since I have been in the final here, and that's what I'm looking to try to do." It is seven years since she faced Lindsay Davenport in the final, and if she wins Friday's semi against Agnieszka Radwanska, the fifth seeded Pole,
it will give Jankovic a chance of going one better than she did against the former Wimbledon and US Open champion in 2005. Jankovic survived a mini-crisis on her serve game in the seventh game when she came through three deuces, going on to make an important breakthrough for 5-3 in the next game.
Chairman PCB Muhammad Zaka Ashraf, Chairperson PCB Women Wing Mrs. Bushra Aitazaz, and PCB COO Subhan Ahmed have condoled the sad demise of PCB CFO Badar M Khan’s father. Manzoor Hussain Khan was critically ill for over a week and died last night in a local hospital. The PCB Management has expressed their deep sense of sorrow on the passing away of Badar’s father. The PCB shares in the grief of the family and prayed that the soul of Badar’s father rest in peace. May Allah Almighty give him and his family strength to bear this huge loss.
Radwanska ‘angry’ with Azarenka DUBAI AfP
DUBAI: Germany's Sabine lisicki returns the ball to Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska during their wtA Dubai Open quarter-final. Afp
P 1 2 1
World number six Agnieszka Radwanska launched a verbal attack on Victoria Azarenka, the world's leading female player, after reaching the semi-finals of the Dubai Open on Thursday. The 22-year-old Pole said she was "angry" and had lost respect for the superbly in-form Belarussian, alleging that Azarenka's behaviour in Doha last week had not been good for the image of the game. Radwanska appeared to be referring to Azarenka's hobbling and wincing between rallies during parts of their semifinal match, whilst still moving well enough during the rallies to secure a solid straight sets win. It follows Radwanska's criticisms of grunting in the women's game last month after losing to Azarenka in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open. Radwanska's
latest comments came when she was asked in a press conference here whether she had been annoyed at the end of last week's loss in Doha. She replied: "Well, to be honest, I don't think this is worth a comment. But I think after this match....just lost a lot of respect. That's it. "If you do this in the match, if anyone didn't see the match, I think it's just a quick look on YouTube and you'll know what was going on," she continued. The questioner responded by saying that he had not been seeking for Radwanska to criticize another player, but she continued anyway. "Yeah, I was angry because I don't think this is the great image for the women's tennis, what was going on there," she added. "So, yeah, unfortunately." Youtube clips show Radwanska offering a peremptory handshake to Azarenka with no eye contact at the end of the match, and include a TV commentator saying that Azarenka's behavior had affected her opponent's focus.
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US delegation denies support for Congress Balochistan resolution ISLAMABAD
US Congressional delegation, which reached Islamabad on Thursday amidst fresh tensions between Islamabad and Washington over recently introduced resolution in American Congress seeking sovereignty for Baloch people, declared that the two major US political parties – the Republicans and the Democrats – as well as the Obama administration were against the resolution and did not support Balochistan’s independence. The delegation, led by Congressman David Dreier, has visited Pakistan after months of strained bilateral relations, which started with the US raid in Abbottabad on May 2 last year, and reached the lowest ebb in November when NATO aircraft bombed two Pakistani border posts that killed 24 soldiers. The delegation’s visit was planned ahead of the introduction of a non-binding resolution last week in the House of Representatives by US lawmaker Dana Rohrabacher, stating that the Baloch people living in Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan, have the right to self-determination and to their own sovereign country. The resolution, nonetheless, complicated the work for the visiting congressmen, who arrived on a damage control exercise. “On Balochistan, the congressmen
iSLAmAbAD: Prime minister yousaf Raza gilani poses for a group photo with members of a US Congressional delegation who called on him at Prime minister’s House on Thursday. categorically stated that both the Republicans and the Democrats as well as the US government were against the resolution tabled by an individual at the subcommittee level. US supported Pakistan’s security and territorial integrity, the congressmen said,” according to an official
42 killed in Iraq attacks BAghDAD: A wave of attacks blamed on al Qaeda killed at least 39 people on Thursday, in what Iraq’s parliament speaker said was an attempt to derail an Arab League summit planned for the end of March. Security officials and medical sources said more than 250 people were wounded in the attacks, which hit six different provinces, and came just days after a suicide blast near a Baghdad police academy. “The terrorist al Qaeda organisation is trying to send messages to its supporters that it is still operating on Iraqi soil, and that it has the capability to strike in the capital and the cities and both big and small regions,” said a statement on the interior ministry’s website. Attacks occurred in religiously mixed Baghdad in central Iraq and Babil to its south, Sunni-majority Diyala, Salaheddin, and Nineveh province north of the capital. Violence also hit Kirkuk, an oil-rich province that the autonomous Kurdistan region wants to incorporate against Baghdad’s wishes. At least 16 car bombs and eight roadside bombs were set off on Thursday, and there were several shootings and a mortar attack. It was the deadliest day in Iraq since January 14, when 53 people were killed in a suicide bombing just outside the southern port city of Basra. AfP
statement released on Thursday. The prime minister plainly told the congressmen that the United States must respect Pakistan’s independence, the statement said. “The people of Pakistan expect the US to be mindful and respectful of Pakistan’s national interests and in
particular Pakistan’s security and territorial integrity,” the statement quoted the prime minister as saying. The congressmen agreed with the prime minister that the trust deficit should be removed and Continued on page 04
propose Balochistan steps within a week, Gilani directs committee ISLAMABAD APP
The situation in Balochistan was discussed in detail during a meeting held at the PM House on Thursday with Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani in chair. The meeting was attended by Governor Balochistan Nawab Zulfiqar Magsi, Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani and members of the committee on Balochistan, which was constituted by the Prime Minister to contact political leaders for holding of an All Parties Conference (APC). The 14-member committee comprises Leader of the House in Senate, Syed Nayyar Hussain Bokhari, Minister for Kashmir Affairs, Mian Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo, Minister for Textile Industry, Makhdoom Shahabuddin, Minister for Religious Affairs, Syed Khursheed Shah, Minister for Science and Technology, Changez Jamali, Minister of Communication, Dr
Arbab Alamgir, Minister of State for Industries, Ayatullah Durrani, Senators Mian Raza Rabbani, Jahangir Badar, Dr Babar Awan and MNAs Raja Pervez Ashraf, Qamar Zaman Kaira, Nazar Muhammad Gondal and Sumsam Ali Bokhari. The PM directed members of committee to propose practical steps within one week, in consultation with all stakeholders. The meeting also discussed the holding of APC on Balochistan. The PM< directed that a detailed report with regard to the development work in Balochistan, including under the Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan should be presented in the next meeting, so that its fast track implementation is ensured. During the meeting it was also decided to take all out measures on the issue of missing persons. The meeting reiterated that the federal government will fully cooperate with the provincial government to address the situation in Balochistan. The next meeting will be held after one week.
US pushed ahead with drone strikes despite Pakistani resistance WASHIngton REUTERS
Shortly before the US ended a two-month pause in missile strikes on militants in Pakistan last month, senior US officials telephoned their Pakistani counterparts and told them Washington would be resuming its covert drone programme despite mounting objections in Islamabad. US Vice President Joe Biden and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were among those who spoke with Pakistani officials shortly before the eight-week pause in the drone programme ended, sources familiar with the issue said. General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, spoke to his Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Kayani around the same time, the sources said, but a US defence official said the two men did not discuss drone strikes. The strike that followed on January 10, when US aircraft fired missiles at a home in the North Waziristan, was the first such attack since US aircraft, in a mishap that plunged bilateral ties into a tailspin, killed 24 Pakistani soldiers along remote border with Afghanistan. The November 26 border incident infuriated a vulnerable government in Islamabad and prompted Pakistani officials to signal, in more emphatic terms than they had previously, that they would no longer accept US drone strikes. That set the Obama administration up for yet another potential collision with Pakistan as it continues a controversial drone programme that has become a centerpiece of US efforts to quash militancy there. The Pakistani border deaths, which NATO deemed an accident and a tragedy, prompted Pakistan to shut down an overland supply route that is key for NATO troops in Afghanistan and to force US personnel off an air base in southwest Pakistan that had been used to launch drone strikes in Pakistan’s tribal areas. In public, the US missile strikes are a frequent target of criticism for Pakistani politicians, who decry them as a violation of the country’s sovereignty. But in private, Pakistani leaders have long supported and even encouraged the strikes provided they steer clear of certain areas and targets. Yet even as both governments try to put the relationship back together, current and former US officials speaking on condition of anonymity said the Obama administration will not hesitate to continue the aerial strikes when targets and intelligence are sufficiently compelling. But the US officials also said they are unlikely to give Pakistan advance notice about drone strikes for the time being, given the lack of trust on both sides and what American officials describe as a track record in Pakistan of intelligence leaks allowing militants to get away before planned attacks are launched.
plea deal for pakistani at Guantanamo WASHIngton AfP
A Pakistani held at Guantanamo Bay has reached a plea agreement with US prosecutors that could see him testifying at the trials of accused 9/11 plotters in return for a reduced sentence, The Washington Post reported on Wednesday, citing US officials. The plea deal with Majid Shoukat Khan, 31, would mark the first with a “highvalue” detainee who had been detained by the CIA at a secret prison abroad before being transferred to the USrun detention center in Cuba. Khan, who had been a legal resident in the United States, was charged with conspiring with al Qaeda to attack the US and Indonesia as well as plotting to assassinate former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf. He has been held at Guantanamo
Bay since 2006. Under the deal with military prosecutors, Khan – who had previously faced a possible life sentence if convicted – could eventually be released from the Guantanamo prison, the Post reported, quoting unnamed officials. A Pentagon spokesman would not confirm the plea agreement, only saying that an arraignment hearing was set for next week on February 29. “Mr Khan has the right to enter into any legal arrangement he chooses,” said Lieutenant Colonel Todd Breasseale. Khan’s lawyer, Jonathan Dixon, told AFP, “I cannot confirm or deny it, I have no comment on this case.” Khan agreed to testify at military commission trials over the next four years, and could then be transferred to Pakistan after that, according to the Post.
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Editor: Arif Nizami, Executive Editor: Sarmad Bashir