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Bilawal Bhutto envisions parliament with 50 percent women
TAPI countries sign gas pipeline deal
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Rs 15.00 Vol II No 327 22 Pages
US senators reject Pakistan’s $5,000 per NATO truck ‘extortion’
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Thursday, 24 May, 2012 Rajb 2, 1433
‘Balochistan situation warrants emergency’ CJP says govt’s inaction over unrest, continuing abductions and target killings in Balochistan is forcing courts to take action
The Karachi additional IG would head the probe team, which would consist of officials from the Inter-Services Intelligence, Intelligence Bureau, Federal Investigation Agency and Police Special Branch. The Sindh government also decided to appoint a Sindh High Court judge to investigate the attack on the rally. Life in Karachi came to standstill following the shutter-down strike call by AT leader Ayaz Latif Palejo, as shops and markets across the city remained closed on Wednesday. The government-run educational institutions remained open after an announcement by the Sindh chief minister, however, many private schools observed an unannounced holiday. During protests, angry people set tyres on fire on the city’s main roads and blocked them for every type of traffic. Residents remained inside their houses and incidents of intermittent aerial firing were reported from almost all areas of the city. A bus was torched on Napier Road near Lea Market and two motorcycles were set on fire by an unidentified mob in Mujahid Colony, Orangi Town, after clashes between Pashtuns and Urduspeaking population. Life in rest of Sindh also came to a halt, as all
At least five people were killed and over three dozen injured in Karachi as a shutter-down strike was observed across Sindh on a call given by the Awami Tehreek (AT) to protest Tuesday’s killings in a pro-Sindh rally and a similar call by Jeay Sindh Muttahida Mahaz (JSMM) against the murder of its leader. At least 11 people were killed and over two dozen injured when gunmen opened fire on an otherwise peaceful protest rally against the rising demands for a separate “Muhajir Sooba”. The JSMM called the strike after the tortured and bullet-riddled body of party Secretary General Muzaffar Bhutto, who went missing on February 24, 2011, was found dumped in bushes in the limits of Chalgari police station on Tuesday. On Wednesday, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani formed a committee under Makhdoom Amin Faheem and comprising Maula Bux Chandio¸ Syed Naveed Qamar and Syed Khursheed Shah to look into Tuesday’s killings. Minister for Interior Rehman Malik also directed authorities to constitute a joint investigation team to probe into the attack.
major markets, shopping plazas and petrol stations in Hyderabad, Nawabshah, Sukkur, Shikarpur, Khairpur, Pir Jo Goth, Gambat, Sobhodero, Thari Mirwah, Faiz Gunj, Kotdiji, Naro and other major cities remained closed and transport remained thin. Hundreds of workers and leaders of the Awami Tehreek, including women and children, protested in various districts of Sindh and observed a sit-in against the attack on peaceful rally of the AT in Karachi. In reaction to JSMM leader’s murder, aerial firing was reported in parts of Sindh and several vehicles were set on fire. The JSMM announced 10 days of mourning and a strike across the province. Enraged activists of JSQM and JSSF held protests, burnt tyres and blocked roads besides chanting slogans against the government. Meanwhile, the government of Sindh extended for another three months the additional authorities for Pakistan Rangers Sindh given the law and order situation in Karachi. A notification has been issued in this regard. The powers enable the paramilitary troops to search any premises without warrants. In addition, Rangers can open fire at miscreants in their defence and besiege any area in case of presence of culprits there.
‘Traitor’ gets 33 years g
US says Dr Shakil Afridi did not betray Pakistan PESHAWAR ShAmim ShAhid
Dr Shakil Afridi, the former Khyber Agency surgeon who colluded with the CIA in tracking down al Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden, has been handed down a 33-year rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs 320,000 on charges of treason against the country and its people. In case of default, he will undergo further rigorous imprisonment for three years. The punishment was announced by Mohammad Nasir Khan, assistant political agent of Bara, Khyber Agency, on Wednesday. The official said that Afridi’s trial had been in progress over the last three months at a secret place in Peshawar, and a court announced the verdict after taking the traditional tribal jirga into confidence. Dr Afridi, who belongs to Bara tehsil of Khyber Agency, had served under the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA Health Directorate in various capacities. He ran a fake polio vaccination campaign in Abbottabad in collusion with the CIA to collect DNA
samples from Bin Laden’s family members. Around 11 nurses of the Health Department have already been removed by the government. Reacting to Afridi’s sentence, the US Defence Department said that Afridi had helped provide intelligence that was very helpful with regards to operation against the al Qaeda chief, and that he had not committed treason towards Pakistan in any way. A spokesperson of the department said that Pakistan and the United States shared a common cause against terrorism and al Qaeda. The spokesperson said that the secretary had already stated that “it is a real mistake on Pakistan’s part”. After the verdict was announced, Dr Afridi was shifted to Peshawar Central Jail. He has the right of appeal before the Khyber Agency political agent under the Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR). The official said that Afridi had been tried under 121-Pakistan Penal Code (PPC)/11 FCR, 123 PPC/11 FCR, 123-A 1/PPC 11 FCR and 124-PPC/11 FCR. He said that all these sections pertained to: (1) involvement in treason against the country and its people; (2) help in treason; (3) misuse of official status; and (4) extending help to foreigners and contacts with the foreigners. Two months ago, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government fired Dr Afridi and his wife, who was serving as a professor at Education Department.
HE Supreme Court on Wednesday said governments came and went, but “we have to save the country and if the prime minister does not perform his duties, the constitution will work and emergency can be enforced in the case pertaining to law and order in Balochistan and the missing persons’ issue across the province”. A three-member Supreme Court (SC) bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry was hearing the proceedings of the Baloch missing persons’ case at Supreme Court’s Quetta Registry. Defence Secretary Nargis Sethi, Principal Secretary to the PM Khushnood Lashari and other high ranking officials appeared before the court on Wednesday. During the proceedings, the CJP told Lashari that the Balochistan situation was very serious but nothing was being done according to the constitution and people were pointing fingers at law enforcement agencies like the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Military Intelligence (MI) and Frontier Corps (FC) for abduction of people and extra judicial killings. He added that the province was experiencing the menace of targeted killing due to religious ethnicity, scholars were being killed, development was equal to zero while a provincial minister had claimed that provincial ministers were involved in Balochistan unrest. The CJ expressed annoyance over the lack of interest of rulers regarding Balochistan and said if the government did not work, the courts would still continue performing their duties. He added that the rulers were resting in Islamabad, while various areas of the province had become no go areas. Besides, the “deputy attorney general is not ready to write a single line to the federal government over the situation”. The chief justice questioned why the provincial interior minister had not come to court despite being summoned. The provincial interior secretary replied that he had tried to contact the minister throughout the night, but could not get through to him. The CJ then said there were serious allegations against the provincial interior minister regarding missing persons’ case. The interior secretary told the SC that the provincial interior minister had been informed about the allegations, to which the CJ ordered the provincial interior minister be brought to Islamabad after registering a case against him. The principal secretary to the PM told the SC that the government had started “Aghaz-e-Haqooq-eBalochistan” package, to which the chief justice said “go and witness the situation of the province”. He said a torched house was repaired once the fire had been put out. “The Deputy Attorney General is showing unserious behavior on part of the federal government by resigning and on the other hand, national anthem is not allowed to be played in various areas of Balochistan,” he added. Justice Khilji Arif Hussain told the advocate general, “How can we resolve the issue of Balochistan as it is a burning issue of the country, people are pointing their fingers towards the institutions which are sacrificing on the other fronts.” He said they were contributing their due share to put out the fire that was burning Balochistan.
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02 News Today’s
thursday, 24 May, 2012
Punjab invites iranian investment in energy sector
US lawmaker says he won’t apologise to Karzai
Story on Page 07
Story on Page 06
Chinese FM arrives on 29th to discuss Pak-US deadlock
KArAChi: Boys collect scrap from a vehicle on Wednesday which was set ablaze during violence the other day. ONLINE
Yang Jiechi will also discuss Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit to be held on June 6-7 in Beijing with Pakistani authorities g
ISLAMABAD ShAiQ hUSSAiN
S the Pakistan-US standoff over the reopening of NATO supplies persists, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi will arrive here on a two-day visit on May 29 to discuss the deadlock in ties between Islamabad and Washington as well as other regional and global matters with the Pakistani leadership. Contrary to expectations about the settlement and reconciliatory statements by the leaders from Islamabad and Washington over the possible reopening of NATO supplies, the stalemate in the relations between two major nations in antiterrorism campaign is going nowhere and the two sides are still engaged in hectic efforts to iron out their differences.
Islamabad and Washington are unable to do away with their differences on future taxation on NATO containers crossing into Afghanistan once the NATO supplies are restored and after a week of silence, Pakistan has once again started making the demand of public apology from US over the air strikes on its border posts. Two leading American senators, John McCain and Carl Levin were quoted by the US media on Tuesday as telling the Obama administration not to give exorbitant trucking fees to Pakistan while terming it ‘extortion’. Pakistan is asking US to pay a tax worth $5,000 to it for each supply truck that will cross its border into Afghanistan and also give it money in terms of damages to the roads and highways caused by heavy NATO traffic before the closure of these supplies.
The diplomatic circles in Islamabad are attaching great importance to the visit of the Chinese foreign minister to Islamabad against this backdrop and they say Chinese leader will discuss in detail his country’s position on the Pakistan-US row with the Pakistani leadership. “As a true well wisher and close friendly state and neighbour, China fully supports Pakistan’s sovereignty and it has many a time expressed it clearly that it would stand firmly with Pakistan during any testing time but at the same time it is also urging Islamabad to settle its row with US as soon as possible and not to prolong it,” said a diplomatic source seeking anonymity. “The Chinese foreign minister is once again expected to demonstrate full solidarity with Islamabad at this critical juncture and
he would listen to Pakistan’s point of view on tension in ties with the United States,” the source said. The Chinese foreign minister would also discuss with Pakistani authorities the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit to be held on June 6-7 in Beijing. China is hosting the summit for the third time since its inception. A Pakistani official said apart from the leaders of member states of SCO, presidents of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran will also attend the summit. “President Asif Ali Zardari will represent Pakistan at the SCO summit,” he said. Founded in 2001, the SCO include China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, while Mongolia, Pakistan, Iran and India are observer states in this regional grouping. Belarus and Sri Lanka became the SCO dialogue partners in 2010.
Aitzaz likely to appeal against PM’s contempt verdict today
Pakistan-India interior secy-level talks start today
The government is set to file an appeal against the Supreme Court’s (SC) judgment on Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani’s contempt of court case, and his counsel Aitzaz Ahsan will raise some 150 objections over the apex court verdict, sources said on Wednesday. Sources said the objections would be raised on the short judgment of the SC and the poetic note by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa. The PM’s lawyer will also request that Gilani’s 32 seconds sentence be declared “illegal”, sources said, adding that the appeal would also insist that the PM had not committed contempt. Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has already hinted at the formation of a bench to hear the appeal, and it is expected that an eight-member bench
headed by the CJP would hear the proceedings to review the verdict issued earlier by a seven-member bench. Meanwhile, Aitzaz met Gilani and discussed matters relating to the appeal against the SC verdict.
In the case on National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO), the SC had ordered the prime minister to write letter to Swiss authorities against President Asif Ali Zardari and others for reopening corruption cases against
them. After the PM’s refusal to comply with repeated court orders, contempt proceedings were initiated against him. Gilani insists that Zardari enjoys absolute immunity until he occupies the office of the president.
The two-day talks between the Interior secretaries of Pakistan and India will start in the capital city on Thursday (today). The talks will focus on visa relaxation, multiple visas for traders, on arrival visas for the elderly and children at Wagah border, cooperation against terrorism, progress on Mumbai attacks, and confidence building measures (CBMs) on the Line of Control. The Pakistani side will be led by Interior Secretary Khawaja Siddiq Akbar, while the Indian side will be represented by Home Secretary RK Singh. Interior Minister Rehman Malik chaired a meeting in this regard on Wednesday. He reviewed the progress of the previous round of secretary-talks between Pakistan and India, and gave instructions to move forward. Sources said that during the talks Pakistan would review the progress made by India regarding the probe into Samjhota Express bombing, in which a number of Pakistanis lost their lives, and would apprise the Indian side on the progress on Mumbai attacks.
Nawaz denies role in making Zardari president ATTOCK ONliNe
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday said that he had played no role in making Asif Ali Zardari the president of Pakistan, rather the people had voted for him with their free will. Addressing a public gathering, Nawaz said that Pakistan in its history had never seen such a “shameful game” being played in the name of so-called democracy. He said the cruel people who had exploited the innocent citizens were now longing to return to the country. Lashing out against former president General (r) Pervez Musharraf, Nawaz said the man who used to
call himself a “commando” had surrendered on just a single call by then US administration. He said the rulers had followed “Machiavellian tactics” against the nation for their vested interests, adding that one day they would be held accountable for their poor performance and breach of nation’s trust. He said the rulers were begging the world community for aid by putting their conscience on auction. He said the rulers should implement the Supreme Court orders without hesitation, calling it the sole solution to the sufferings and agonies of the people who have been bearing unbearable burden of unscrupulous rulers for four years.
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thursday, 24 May, 2012
artS & entertaInMent
Atomic weapons against islam, Nejad insists
Veena malik to star in second Bollywood flick
ramdin urges Windies to keep up progress
News 03 COMMent Killing fields of Karachi:
leverage: Why are we miﬀed when others use theirs?
dr james j Zogby says: On Egypt’s election: A first in many ways…
imran husain says: On the other side: Visiting our friendly neighbourhood country.
Amjad Agha says: Burning black gold: Why do we do it when we have so much coal?
Story on Page 15
Story on Page 18
Story on Page 18
articles on Page 12-13
PM House will be converted into a state-ofthe-art institution: Gilani ISLAMABAD AGeNCieS
Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on Wednesday said under a specific program, the Prime Minister’s House will be converted into a state-of-the-art institution and work in this regard was underway for the last six months. Speaking at a function to mark the ground-breaking and inauguration of six developmental projects in Islamabad, Gilani said it was his desire to see a smooth transition of power from the present government to the next elected government in a democratic manner. The prime minister said continuation of the present government was necessary to ensure continuation of developmental activities for the welfare of the people. He said it would be for the first time that a democratic government would present its fifth budget. He said the PPP government believed in democracy and would go to the masses on the basis of its performance and it would be for them to re-elect or reject it. PM Gilani has said that now only people will change the governments. He said gone were the days when governments were changed through conspiracies
White House ‘has given inside access for bin Laden film’ WASHIngTOn reUterS
The Obama administration arranged for two Hollywood filmmakers to get special access to government officials involved in the commando operation that killed Osama bin Laden, according to a conservative legal group that posted internal government documents on its website Tuesday. Judicial Watch posted what it said were 153 pages of Pentagon documents and 113 pages of CIA documents about the film project. Among the disclosures were that the filmmakers had access to top White House officials, were given
the identity of a SEAL team member involved in the raid and taken to the top-secret “vault” where the raid was planned. The group said the documents lay out contacts between White House, CIA and Pentagon officials and Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal, the director and screenwriter of “The Hurt Locker”. The film project, titled “Zero Dark Thirty” about the May 2011 raid on bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan, became a focus of controversy last year when a New York Times columnist reported that its producers planned to release it weeks before the November 6 election in which President Barack Obama is seeking re-election. That has been pushed back to December.
and the present government enjoyed popular mandate. The prime minister said they welcomed healthy criticism and took it as a means to reform. “Great people always have a large number of enemies,” he quoted a saying. He, however, said some people who were pushed out of the PM House had not learnt any lesson. He asked them to respect the sanctity of people’s power. Gilani said he believed in politics of decency and it was for the first time that there was not a single political prisoner in the country. He said the government took a number of steps for the uplift of the masses and initiated various development projects in health, education, transportation and science and information technology sectors. He said under a program, work will be started for C-15 and C15 sectors in the capital. The prime minister directed CDA to initiate a power plant project for generation of electricity for the capital and assured full cooperation in this regard. He announced establishment of a girls’ college and hospital in the rural areas of the federal capital.
Bilawal envisions parliament with 50 percent women MOnITORIng DESK PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari says that he dreams of a Pakistani parliament that will have 50 percent women. According to zeenews, Bilawal said, “It is my dream that in my lifetime, the Pakistani parliament will be composed of 50 percent women and the cabinet will have 50 percent women.” Bilawal attended a discussion hosted by the United States Institute of Peace in Washington where he highlighted the role of women in Pakistan. He quoted his mother Benazir Bhutto as always
saying people resented her because “I am young, I am a Bhutto and I am a woman”. Bilawal said, “The same people resent me because I am young, I am a Bhutto and I am proud to say I am a feminist.” “I am proud of the PPP government for passing the most legislations in favour of women than all the governments in the past. I am proud we made history with first female prime minister of Islamic world, first female foreign minister of Pakistan (Hina Rabbani Khar) and first female National Assembly speaker of Pakistan (Fehmida Mirza),” he added.
Federal govt holds Supreme Court in high esteem: PM ISLAMABAD NNi
Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on Wednesday said the federal government held the apex court in high esteem and he had directed his principal secretary and the cabinet Secretary to appear before the court in Quetta. He was presiding over the meeting of the cabinet at the Prime Minister’s Secretariat. The cabinet congratulated the president on his successful participation in the NATO Summit held in Chicago and acknowledged the role played by the president in presenting Pakistan’s principled stand on various issues related to NATO. The cabinet also expressed satisfaction over the outcome of the visit of Turkish prime minister to Pakistan. The cabinet appreciated the address of the Turkish prime minister to the Joint Session and for expressing his understanding with the stance taken by Pak-
istan over the NATO issue. The Cabinet Committee on Energy chairman gave a presentation to the cabinet on the energy situation in the country. The prime minister directed that the Law Ministry should draft necessary legislation to deal severely with the issues of power theft, defaulters and recovery. The cabinet reviewed the implementation status of cabinet decisions pertaining to State and Frontier Regions Division and Board of Investment. The cabinet was informed that 67% of its decisions pertaining to States & Frontier Regions had been implemented so far and the remaining were being implemented. The cabinet was further informed that 84% of its decisions pertaining to the Board of Investment had already been implemented and the remaining were under the process of implementation. The cabinet considered and gave its approval for confirmation of the decisions taken by the Economic Coordination Committee
(ECC) in its meeting held on May 15, 2012. The cabinet reviewed its decision dated April 25, 2012 regarding amendment in the CDA Ordinance, 1960. The cabinet also considered the proposal in its meeting held on April 25, 2012 and approved the proposed amendments in CDA Ordinance, 1960 with the directions that these amendments be made through an act of parliament instead of an ordinance. The CDA was of the view that due to the influx of people to Islamabad, the residential problems needed to be resolved on an urgent basis, therefore, the aforementioned cabinet decision was required to be reviewed for onward submission to the president for promulgation of an ordinance instead of an act of parliament. The Finance Division gave a presentation to the cabinet on consumer price index to oversee/discuss the trend of prices of essential commodities. The cabinet considered and accorded its approval to the signing of draft Memoran-
dum of Understanding (MoU) for Military Technical Cooperation between the General Interim Committee for Defence in the Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya and the Ministry of Defence. The signing would pave the way for broad-based military cooperation between the two countries. The cabinet considered and accorded its approval for amendment in the Federal Employees Benevolent Fund and Group Insurance Act, 1969 (Act-II of 1969). The proposal to amend Section 4(1 )(c) of Federal Employees Benevolent Fund & Group Insurance Act, 1969 to be introduced by Law & Justice Division through official Bill was placed before the cabinet for its consideration/approval in terms of Rule 27(5)(a)(i) of the Rules of Business, 1973. The cabinet considered and gave its approval for membership of the Inter-Governmental Organization for international Carriage by Rail (OTIF) and Accession (signing) of the Convention Concerning Interna-
tional Carriage by Rail (COTIF). The cabinet also considered and gave its approval regarding signing of draft, convention between the government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the government of the Republic of Seychelles for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income. The convention for avoidance of double taxation between the two countries would not only provide safeguards against double taxation on the incomes of the residents of the two countries, but will also promote economic cooperation and strengthen bilateral economic relations. The prime minister also formed a four member committee headed by Makhdoom Muhammad Amin Faheem to look into the issue of law and order in Karachi and Sindh. The prime minister formed another committee headed by Farooq A Naik to look after the issue of missing persons in Balochistan.
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US-Pakistan thaw swiftly becomes debacle WASHIngTOn
summit meant to symbolize a thaw between the United States and Pakistan has only worsened the bad blood, with the troubled relationship casting a pall over NATO plans on Afghanistan. The Western alliance at the last minute invited President Asif Ali Zardari to a summit in Chicago on the future of Afghanistan, with officials predicting a deal with Pakistan on reopening supply routes vital for US and allied troops. But no deal materialized, in an apparent dispute over how much to pay Pakistan. Zardari left Chicago jilted after President Barack Obama only agreed to see him in passing, while US officials increasingly voiced exasperation on finding a way forward with Pakistan. Obama, speaking Monday at the end of the conference, admitted frustration, saying: “There’s no doubt that there have been tensions between (NATO forces) and Pakistan, the United States and Pakistan over the last several months.” But Obama said that US priorities remained the same — that “Pakistan has to be part of the solution in Afghanistan, that it is in our national interest to see a Pakistan that is democratic, that is prosperous and that is stable.” Obama, soon after his election, determined to put a new focus on Pakistan amid US concerns that part of the country’s powerful military and intelligence still supports Islamic extremists after a decade of war in Afghanistan. Obama has stepped up drone attacks deep into Pakistani territory but has also hoped to empower civilian institutions. Zardari took office in 2008 after a decade of mili-
tary-backed rule and, despite deep unpopularity, is on course to be the first democratic Pakistani leader to complete a full term. Bruce Riedel, who led the administration’s initial strategy review on Afghanistan and Pakistan after Obama took office in 2009, criticized the US decision not to hold a fullfledged meeting with Zardari in Chicago. “Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but that’s bad form,” said Riedel, a former US policymaker who is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. “Zardari is an extremely proud person and to be snubbed in the way that he was, I think is going to come home to haunt us,” Riedel said. While not uncritical of Zardari, Riedel said that the president was the Pakistani power-broker most in tune with the US vision for the region. Zardari — whose wife, former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, was assassinated in 2007 — has called on Pakistan to do more to battle Islamic extremists and worked to ease tensions with India, last month paying a rare trip to the historic rival. “I hope that what happened in Chicago won’t discourage him, but I have a bad feeling that this is a very significant setback for us,” Riedel said. For Pakistanis, the Chicago snub could reinforce their long-held suspicions — that the United States will abandon their country once it completes its withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan in 2014. Some Pakistani analysts have cited the specter of a US departure to justify maintaining contact with hardliners in Afghanistan. The United States has accused Pakistani
intelligence of close coordination with the Haqqani network, which is blamed for attacks on US troops. Pakistan, which helped create Afghanistan’s Taliban regime, threw its support behind the United States after the September 11, 2001 attacks. But it shut down its supply routes on the border after US air strikes killed 26 Pakistani troops in November on the border. Obama has voiced regret, calling the deaths an accident, but has refused demands for an apology. US officials said that plans to reopen the supply routes broke down after Pakistan dramatically raised its demands on payment for each truck going through the border. The United States has provided Pakistan more than $18 billion in assistance since 2001 and the aid is highly sensitive. A number of lawmakers have sought to end assistance after US forces killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan last year, raising allegations that intelligence services may have abetted the world’s most wanted man. Some US officials suspected privately that Zardari was being undercut in Chicago by the military, which wanted full control of the war effort and to deprive the civilian leader of a success. Lisa Curtis, a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, said there was no “personal snub” to Zardari. “It was simply making a statement that Pakistan is not helping with the Afghanistan effort. If Pakistan wants to help, it will be welcome at the table, but so long as it remains outside that effort and is in fact undermining that effort, then Pakistan should be snubbed,” she said.
Yet another electricity bomb in the making ISLAMABAD: The Central Power Purchasing Agency (CPPA) on Wednesday requested National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) to further raise the power tariff by Rs 2 per unit. According to NEPRA, the purchasing agency submitted a petition to NEPRA to hike power tariffs by Rs 2 per unit under fuel adjustment for the month of April. According to NEPRA officials, electricity totaling 6.57 billion units was sold to distributing companies during April and of this, 41 percent of power was produced from costly furnace oil. The reference fuel cost of the electricity for April was Rs 7.69 per unit. The fuel cost on the power generation was Rs 9.69. It was only on Tuesday when NEPRA hiked power tariffs by Rs 2.38 per unit for the month of February and March. iNP
QUettA: Children hold picture of a family member outside the Balochistan high Court on Wednesday. INP
Five aid workers kidnapped in afghanistan KUNDUZ: Five aid workers, including two Western women doctors, have been kidnapped by unidentified gunmen in northeastern Afghanistan, police and the provincial governor’s office said on Wednesday. The aid workers working for a foreign-based aid group were making their way from central Faizabad city and were abducted on Tuesday in Yaftal-e Bala district, said Abdul Marouf Rasikh, a spokesman for the governor of Badakhshan province. reUterS
US drone strike kills four in NWA PESHAWAR StAff rePOrt
At least four suspected militants were killed and several others were injured when a US drone missile hit a compound inside Miranshah city, headquarter of North Waziristan, on Wednesday morning. The official said that the suspects had established a
compound in an abandoned house at Miranshah. Two missiles hit the compound and damaged its several portions. Soon after the missile attack, other militants shifted the dead bodies and the injured to an undisclosed place. The identity of the drone attack victims could not be ascertained. However, local tribesmen said that they included foreigners.
Pakistan’s parliament recently adopted a resolution against drone strikes, but Wednesday’s incident marks the third such attack in North Waziristan. The parliament demands an end to drone attacks, while the US considers such strikes an effective strategy in the ongoing war. Pakistan calls such attacks detrimental to its sovereignty.
NAtO summit’s forgotten people: Afghan civilians KABUL AfP
Far from the bright lights of Chicago where world leaders met to shape NATO’s exit from Afghanistan, one of the war’s victims, 12-year-old Aleema, sums up her life in three words: “It’s the worst.” Aleema, who has lived in a mud hovel in a refugee camp on the outskirts of Kabul for four years since her family fled fighting in southern Afghanistan, is one of the forgotten people of the NATO summit, which ended on Monday. There the focus was on
the soldiers who fight the war: getting 130,000 NATO combat troops out by a fixed deadline of 2014 and finding funds to pay Afghan forces to continue the decade-long battle against Taliban insurgents. But civilians have borne the brunt of the war. More died in 2011 alone than the total number of NATO troops killed in 10 years. Last year’s 3,021 civilian deaths marked the fifth straight year that the toll has risen, UN figures show, while 3,007 NATO soldiers have died since the 2001 USled invasion, according to icasualties.org.
Meanwhile the number of internal refugees last year hit nearly half a million, the highest for about a decade, part of what Amnesty International has called “a largely hidden but horrific humanitarian and human rights crisis”. And more than 30,000 Afghans sought asylum abroad last year — another 10-year high. Thousands of others make their way abroad illegally. Aleema, a sad-eyed girl in ragged clothes, is one of the 447,547 “internally displaced persons” who have fled their homes, mainly in the war-torn south. Explaining why her life
is “the worst”, she says simply: “We don’t have proper food and we don’t have a proper house.” She wants to go home to Helmand province, but knows that won’t happen while the fighting continues. The Taliban are far from defeated on the battleground, a tentative peace process is in tatters and the fighting is expected to persist, if not intensify, once the foreign troops leave. Ask Aleema’s neighbours in the Charahi Qambar refugee camp, a maze of narrow dirt alleys and open drains on the western outskirts of Kabul,
whom they blame for driving them from their homes and they tend to spread the net wide. “All of them, they are all killing innocent people — the Taliban, the foreign forces and the government forces,” said Said Gul, 35, also from Helmand. He has lived with his extended family of 18 in Charahi Qambar for four years and has lost hope of returning home, putting his future “in the hands of God”. As children play in the dirt and garbage, he sits stoically beside bowls of potatoes and onions for sale, trying to supplement what he calls “a little bit” of aid from
charities. Nigel Jenkins, country director for the US-based International Rescue Committee, said many in the aid community in Afghanistan felt the NATO withdrawal was being “rushed”. “NATO is portraying a situation in Afghanistan that is suitable for transition,” he told AFP. “That does not really stand up to scrutiny with the facts on the ground. The figures — on internally displaced persons, asylum seekers, the civilian casualties — speak for themselves.” Acknowledging that NATO is determined to stick to
its deadline, Jenkins added: “We can’t change it now. The train has left the station. But what we can do is better provide for Afghans in the most need.” Funding for aid projects is already drying up, he said, looking to a development conference on Afghanistan in Tokyo in July to help fund education and other services for Afghans when NATO troops have gone. “There have been gains over the past 10 years and we would love to see those gains continue, but I think there is a danger they could be lost if there is a big drop in funding.”
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thursday, 24 May, 2012
Irregularities worth Rs 28.722b detected in CAA accounts Audit report reflects non-recovery of rent and space charges worth Rs 3,497.586 million g Observes CAA approved, paid bonus to employees during 2010-11 without prior approval of administrative ministry g
ROSS irregularities, misappropriation of funds and fraud worth Rs 28.722 billion have been detected in the accounts of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), said the audit report for the year 2011-12 compiled by auditor-general of Pakistan. These irregularities reflect misconduct on the part of the senior officials of the regulator and indicate that there is a dire need for the CAA bosses to keep their house in order. The report, a copy of which is available with Pakistan Today, reflects non-recovery of rent and space charges from licencees worth Rs 3,497.586 million. The audit noted an amount of Rs 3,497.586 million outstanding against various licencees and lessees of the CAA working at various locations. Those included outstanding dues on account of licence fee Rs 2,996.282 million, non-recovery of financial charges of Rs 263.176 million, nonutilisation charges on account 8.18 acres of land at Jinnah International Airport,
Karachi of Rs 238.128 million. The audit observed that the dues were accumulated due to negligence of airport managers in performing obligatory responsibilities to implement agreement clauses and realisation of the authority’s revenue. The audit noted that the CAA made payment to a contractor for construction of terminal building and allied electrical and mechanical works at Multan International Airport. Audit observed that payments were made to the contractor without recording detailed measurements of work done in the measurement book. The audit noted that tenders were invited for commercial utilisation of MT Building on April 21, 2009 with reserved price of Rs 0.760 million per month (based on specified charges for airports in Category-A). The licence was awarded to a licencee against the bid of Rs 0.775 million per month, under agreement dated July 1, 2009. The audit observed during the review that the CAA also licenced an additional area of 99,869 sq ft to the licencee. The additional area comprised 78,200 sq ft covered space and 21,069 sq ft open space. Audit observed that the CAA ap-
proved and paid bonus to employees during 2010-11 without prior approval of the administrative ministry and concurrence of the Ministry of Finance. Audit holds that non-adherence to government policy resulted in irregular payment of Rs 316.401 million. Audit maintained that this violation occurred due to an inadequate oversight mechanism for effective implementation of internal controls. Audit noted that the CAA awarded two contracts valuing $3.168 million to foreign firms for procurement of Instrument Landing System (ILS)/Distance Measuring Equipments (DMEs) and Doppler VHF Ominy Directional Radio Range (DVOR) JDMEs. It observed the contracts were awarded without preparation of PC-II and PC-I and processing the self-financed project through DWP for approval. Audit noted that the authority hired services of M/s IBM as consultants on June 15, 2007 through a request for proposal (RFP) for implementation of enterprise resource planning (ERP) system for a period of two years at a cost of Rs 12.900 million. The consultants through due process selected M/s Jaffer Brothers Limited (JBL) as ven-
dor for implementation of the ERP system on June 11, 2008 at a cost of Rs 101 million having completion period of 15 months. Audit noted that the CAA pre-qualified and awarded the contract for construction of passenger terminal building superstructure including all associated utilities and E/M works (Package-Hi) at new Benazir Bhutto International Airport Islamabad to a joint venture (JV) contractor on April 20, 2011 at a cost of Rs 20,286.000 million. Audit observed that one of the constituting firms of the JV was blacklisted by the World Bank on the charges of fraud and corruption. Therefore, the company was disqualified to work all over the world on World Bank funded projects. Hence the award of subject work was against foe mandatory criteria as spelled out by the PPRA. Audit noted that the CAA, invited bids from five pre-qualified firms for upgrading Multan International Airport (Phase-II) Packaged Construction of Terminal Building & Allied Electrical & Mechanical Works on May 27, 2010. The bid of one joint venture (JV) was disqualified during preliminary evaluation due to submission of a photocopy of bid security document in-
stead of original and non submission of evidence of registration with Pakistan Engineering Council for the specific project. Universal Safety Oversight Audit Program (USOAP) by International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) recommends deployment of Pakistan International Airline Corporation’s employees in CAA will create a perception of conflict of interest. Audit noted that the CAA had borrowed services of aircraft pilots on deputation basis as flight inspectors from M/s Pakistan International Airline Corporation. Audit observed that the deployment of PIAC employees in regulatory authority was against the cited recommendation of ICAO. Audit further observed that ICAO had also expressed its concern on the inclusion of managing director PIAC, an operator, as a member of the CAA board, as this involved conflict of interest. As member of the board, the operator was in a position to influence the decisions of the regulatory board. The audit holds that CAA’s ability to collect its receivables involving Rs. 8877 million from PIAC might have been compromised due to the presence of MD PIAC as member of CAA board.
Pakistan will soon reopen supply routes: White House WASHIngTOn iNP
Pakistan will soon reopen the ground lines of communication to Afghanistan, which were shut down last November following the death of 24 soldiers in a NATO cross border fire, the White House has said. “We continue to work with Pakistan on this issue. We did not anticipate that the supply line issue was going to be resolved prior to the summit. And our teams continue to meet and we are making diligent progress,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters on Tuesday. He said the US expected this issue to be resolved. “We have said that the government of Pakistan has said that and we expect it to happen,” Carney said when asked if non-opening of the supply routes during the just concluded NATO Summit in Chicago was a failure of US President Barack Obama. “The fact is Pakistan says it wants to resolve this… we obviously are interested in resolving it. It will be resolved, we are confident. We didn’t anticipate it would be resolved prior to the summit. We are continuing to work towards its resolution,” Carney said, adding there was no question of President Obama being disappointed on this. “He (Obama) met briefly with President Zardari. There was no expectation for it to be resolved during the summit. This is being worked on diligently by representatives of both governments and we expect them to be resolved,” Carney said. In a briefing, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said negotiating teams of the US and Pakistan on the land routes did meet again on Tuesday and were continuing to work through the issues. To another question about tackling down the terrorism, Nuland said during the secretary of states’ meeting with President Asif Zardari there was an extensive discussion about the importance of US-Pakistan working together on all of these counterterrorism issues, including the Haqqani Network issues. She said the commitment remained the same and they needed to really get the work done now.
QUettA: People arrested for attempting to enter iran without legal documents seen at the federal investigation Agency police station on Wednesday. ONLINE
NAB approves enquiry into multi-billion PSM scam ISLAMABAD StAff rePOrt
A meeting of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) executive board on Wednesday authorised inquiry into the multi-billion mega scam of Pakistan Steel Mills. The case was transferred to the bureau on the direction of the Supreme Court. In its judgement, the Supreme Court had directed NAB to appoint a team to probe the multi-billion mega scam and to file a reference within three months, to determine the allegations against the individuals responsible for losses, and to take immediate steps to recover looted money. The NAB executive board meeting, presided by NAB Chairman Admiral (r) Fasih Bokhari, authorised inquiry into the case and the inquiry team would collect the relevant material/inquiry report from the FIA.
The meeting also approved the filing of a reference in a case against Mubarak Hussain Bokhari, former C&W Department Bannu assistant director and others. Four officials of the C&W Department and five contractors were investigated and found involved in corruption and corrupt practices causing a loss of Rs 104 million to the national exchequer. Of the nine accused, one official of the C&W Department and three contractors opted for plea bargain u/s 25(b) of NAO 1999. The board had decided to file a reference against another five accused namely Mubarak Hussain Bokhari, Ijaz Rasool, Shah Tehmas Khan, Bakhta Zeb Khan and Akbar Ali Khan. The board also authorised inquires into three willful loan default cases under Section 31-D of NAO 1999 against the directors and guarantors of M/S Tanveer Spinning and Weaving Mills Pvt Ltd Lahore (Rs158.465
million); M/S High Street Developers Pvt Ltd Lahore (Rs 71.102 million) and M/S Delta Construction Pvt Ltd Lahore (Rs142.977 million). The board approved voluntary return (VR) against Syed Haseeb Azhar, a beneficiary in Qasr-e-Zauq case. In another case the board approved VR in terms of supply of paper to Sindh Text Book Board instead of cash. The board decided to close inquiry against the management of Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in case of illegal appointment of commercial manager due to lack of incriminating evidence and also that no loss has been caused to the government exchequer. In another case relating to the allotment of a plot measuring 6000 square yards to M/s Siza Foods Pvt Ltd against Kamran Lashari, former CDA chairman, the board directed to inquire the case further by associating a land expert.
Several injured in Parachinar passenger van ambush PARACHINAR: Unidentified miscreants ambushed a Parachinar-bound passenger van near the Ahmad Sheikh area of Lower Kurram, injuring several travellers, including women and children. Sources said the van was coming from Peshawar, and came under heavy fire in the lawless tribal belt. The injured were taken to hospital for treatment, while the miscreants escaped from the area. Three of the passengers were said to be in critical condition. The passengers belonged to the Tori Bangash tribe. Later, the tribesmen complained that the tragedy took place despite the presence of security forces in the area. They said that the security forces had not responded to the attack, and acted like spectators. The tribesmen alleged that the Taliban and the security forces deployed in the area were in collision, and were jointly involved in the killing of Tori Bangash tribesmen. It is pertinent to be mentioned here that since the opening of the Tall-Parachinar Road after Murree Agreement, it was the 20th incident of terror attack but the government has not yet imposed any fine on any tribe for failure to follow the rules of the agreement. No group has claimed responsibility of the attack. AGENCIES
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PeShAWAr: Policemen search a vehicle in front of the Peshawar Central jail where Shakeel Afridi, who worked for US intelligence, was moved after his conviction under treason laws on Wednesday. AfP
Pakistan half way on 4th nuclear reactor at Khushab: US think tank WASHIngTOn
AKISTAN is half way through the construction of its fourth nuclear reactor at Khushab, which will give it the capability to speed up plutonium manufacturing, US media claimed on Wednesday, citing “latest satellite imagery”. Upon completion, the reactor would enable Islamabad to build a large number of smaller nuclear warheads, according to Washingtonbased think tank Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS). Pakistan’s nuclear weapons programme is considered to be among
the fastest growing in the world by the Stockholm-based International Peace Research Institute, with the estimates of 90-110 nuclear warheads. Releasing the latest satellite imageries, ISIS said the construction of the fourth Khushab reactor and supporting buildings was progressing with the reactor building about halfway to completion. Based on the available imagery, ISIS estimates that the construction of the fourth reactor is proceeding about 30 per cent faster than construction on reactor three, and that major external work could be complete within 15 months. The reactor, located 200 kilometres south of Islamabad, is the latest
US lawmaker says he won’t apologise to Karzai nEWS DESK Virtually entering into a verbal clash with President Hamid Karzai, Congressman Dana Rohrabacher said on Wednesday that he would not apologies to him. “I will not apologise to Karzai or any other corrupt leader. Afghanistan is failing because Karzai and his corrupt clique are incompetent leaders, not because the US hasn’t pumped enough money or blood to help the brave people of Afghanistan,” he said. Rohrabacher, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, told the CNN in an interview: “Karzai says that he resents a foreigner being involved in the issue of reforming the constitution. “Let me remind President Karzai that the constitution was written by foreigners. He likes the current one so much because it was drafted by a Pashtun-American, Zalmay Khalilzad, who believes, like Karzai, that their ethnic groups should rule over the others…” he added. A day earlier, Karzai said he would not allow Rohrabacher to enter the country, alleging that he was trying to divide the country. Rohrabacher took a strong objection to the presidential remarks during an interview with the American TV network. “It is Karzai who is ruling in a manner that does not fit Afghan society or culture. Afghanistan’s ethnic leaders do not want all the power held centrally by one man. I’ve never advocated splitting the country, however a federated structure suggested by the Northern Alliance will bring the ethnically diverse people together as opposed to having one entity try to rule from Kabul by fiat, which is a recipe for continued violence,” Rohrabacher observed. The structure of the current constitution had allowed Karzai and his family to enrich themselves off American aid money, he continued. Karzai had banned him from Afghanistan because he was leading an investigation into his stealing US funds meant to defeat terrorism, the legislator claimed. “Karzai wants to muzzle any discussion about good governance in Afghanistan and the State Department has been quietly going along because they, like Karzai, hold the myopic view that only one ethnic group can rule Afghanistan,” he said. According to him, the irony is after 9/11 America forced Karzai on the people of Afghanistan. The State Department threatened to withhold all aid to rebuild Afghanistan unless Karzai was put in, the congressman said, adding it was done to placate the Pakistanis. “I have deep respect for the Afghan people and proven it time and again whether it was organising a coalition against the Taliban or in the battlefield with the mujahedeen fighting against the Russians. I don’t remember seeing or hearing Karzai’s name during that time period. Where was he?” the Congressman asked.
addition to the Khushab nuclear site and is dedicated to the production of plutonium for nuclear weapons. In addition to the fourth reactor, the Khushab site includes two reactors similar in shape to the fourth one, a heavy water production plant, and an original, nominal 50 megawatt-thermal heavy water reactor completed in 1998. “This increase in plutonium production represents a growing nuclear arms race between India and Pakistan,” it said, adding in order to avoid a dangerous escalation, the US and the world community should increase efforts to convince Pakistan to stop blocking negotiations of the Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty at the Geneva Conference on Disarmament.
12 killed as helicopter gunships pound militant hideouts in Orakzai PESHAWAR: At least 12 militants were killed when helicopter gunships pounded militant hideouts in areas close the to PakAfghan border in Orakzai Agency on Wednesday. Official sources in the political administration of the agency said a number of militants were also wounded in the attack in which four hideouts in Mamozai, Sama bazaar and Manzar Taap areas were completely destroyed. Security sources said over 92 percent of Orakzai Agency had been cleared of militants in the ongoing military operation in the region. They estimated that 507 militants had been killed in the ongoing operation so far. APP
NA budget session summoned on June 1 ISLAMABAD: Acting President Senator Nayyar Hussain Bukhari has summoned the budget session of the National Assembly on June 1. The upcoming budget 2012-13 will be the fifth and last budget of the PPP and its allies. It will be presented by Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Sheikh. A spokesman of the NA’s Secretariat said the session had been summoned in accordance with Article 54 Clause 1 of the constitution. Sources said the finance minister will deliver the budget speech on June 1, and then the session will be suspended for two days. On June 4, a formal debate on the budget session will be started. They said budget 2012-13 is expected to be approved on June 22. ONLINE
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Punjab invites Iranian investment in energy sector g
CM says Pak-Iran ties can benefit from barter trade LAHORE
UNJAB Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said Pakistan and Iran are two important countries of the Islamic world and have close fraternal relations. He was talking to Iranian Ambassador Ali Raza Haghighian on Wednesday. Sharif stated that due to the longstanding ties spanning over centuries, the people of the two countries are bound together in bonds which are strengthening with the passage of time. He said that in the changing economic scenario of
the 21st century, Pakistan and Iran can benefit from each other’s industrial and agriculture development through the barter trade system. The prospects of promoting bilateral cooperation between Iran and the Punjab province in different sectors were discussed in detail during the meeting. The chief minister said Pakistan and Iran have a similar stance over regional and international issues and that the relations between the two countries are a shining example of mutual respect and friendship. The CM added that being the members of the Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO), the Organisation of Developing Eight Countries
(D-8) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), Pakistan and Iran should benefit from each others’ experience and skills in economic and trade sectors for the development of the two countries. He said there are vast opportunities for investment in energy and other sectors in Punjab and that Iranian investors should benefit from them. He expressed his satisfaction over the fact that Iran has had a remarkable performance graph for the tourism, automobile, livestock, agriculture, transport, information technology and heavy engineering sectors. CM Sharif said Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia and other oil-rich gulf countries, should evolve a joint strategy for peace and prosperity in the region.
Shahbaz added that the Punjab government is transforming its infrastructure of public welfare to meet international standards with foreign cooperation. He said a high level joint committee had been set up under the chairmanship of Advisor Sardar Zulfiqar Ali Khan Khosa for promoting economic cooperation with Iran so that Punjab could also make progress by benefiting from Iranian expertise and experience. Iranian Ambassador Ali Raza Haghighian appreciated the potential of Punjab and said the Iranian government is ready to import wheat and rice from Pakistan under the barter trade system. He said that governor of Iranian province Persia will soon visit Punjab. An Iran Fair will also be
arranged in Lahore while an exhibition will be organised regarding the Punjab province in the Iranian city of Mashhad. He stated that a delegation of the Tehran Chamber of Commerce and Industry, representing business and trade companies will soon visit Lahore for the purpose of further improving economic cooperation between Punjab and Iranian business organisations. Agriculture secretary and Punjab Investment Board ViceChairman informed the meeting about the prospects of bilateral cooperation between Iran and Punjab. Iranian Consul General in Lahore Muhammad Hussain Bani Asadi, CM’s Senior Advisor Sardar Zulfiqar Ali Khan Khosa, Special Assistant Zaeem Hussain Qadri and senior officers were also present.
Dengue under control, says Salman Rafiq health assistant says dengue awareness campaigns have taken root among masses g
LAHORE StAff rePOrt
Punjab Chief Minister’s Special Assistant on Health Khwaja Salman Rafiq has said as a result of the effective strategy evolved by Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and the untiring efforts of the government departments concerned, the dengue situation is fully under control. Due to the increased public awareness, community is also participating in dengue control measures, he said. He expressed these views while presiding over a Cabinet Committee meeting to review the pace of implementation on the steps taken by different departments for dengue prevention and control, on Wednesday. Besides the elected representatives of Lahore, the city’s commissioner and DCO, secretaries, additional secretaries and other senior officers of various departments, including the Health, Education, Local Government, Information and Culture, Auqaf and Labour, attended the meeting. Lahore Commissioner Jawad Rafiq Malik informed about indoor and outdoor Vector Surveillance, de-silting of sewer lines and drains, lifting solid waste from different areas of the city by LWMC and the overall cleanliness of Lahore. He also briefed the meeting about the conversation with the railway authorities in Lahore for removing heaps of garbage and solid waste along with the railway tracks and draining ponds of stagnant water in Shahdara. Additional Secretary Health Technical Dr Anwar Janjua, while briefing the meeting, said so far the highest number of dengue cases has been reported from the Data Ganj Bakhsh and Ravi towns. The senior officers of higher and school education told about the dengue awareness and surveillance activities initiated in schools and colleges in different districts of Punjab. The meeting was also informed that the Auqaf department is also arranging special lectures by Ulema on dengue awareness during the Friday prayers and other occasions where the religious scholars talk about the preventive measures and importance of cleanliness. Local Government Special Secretary informed that the inspection of tyre shops, water filtration plants, junkyards and graveyards is also being conducted. The senior officers form the Environment and Labour departments, the Institute of Public Health, Punjab Information Technology Board and DIG Special Branch also briefed about the activities of their departments regarding the prevention and control of dengue. The chair directed the administration of the LGH, the Children’s Hospital, the Jinnah Hospital, the Services Hospital and the Railways Carein Hospital to improve the status of cleanliness and the removal of stagnant water from the premises of their hospitals.
lAhOre: A group photo of Punjab Chief minister Shahbaz Sharif after a meeting with turkish businessmen mustafa Albayrak, muhibi Kartal, Binyamin Albayark, Noori and Kaj Ahamad Ahussan.
CNG closure to continue g
lhC dismisses 37 pleas by Cng stations against gas closure LAHORE APP
The Lahore High Court on Wednesday dismissed 37 identical petitions filed by various CNG stations challenging the temination of natural gas supply to them under the gas load management policy. The single bench comprising Justice Umar Ata Bandial was hearing the identical petitions filed by 37 CNG stations. Earlier, the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority’s (OGRA) counsel Advocate Shoukat Umer Pirzada appeared before the court and submitted that the notification, which had a nine-month contract to discontinue the gas supply to the CNG stations, had been withdrawn. The court, after hearing the arguments, dismissed the petitions. The owners of the CNG stations had approached the court, submitting that at the time of obtaining connections for their CNG stations, they had signed an agreement with the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL), that gas
supplies will be disconnected in December, January and February. However, the SNGPL wanted to disconnect supplies from March to May on the basis of its load management policy, they added. They submitted that the action was being taken on the basis of a notification issued by the SNGPL on March 2, which orders to disconnect the gas supply to the CNG stations March 3 till further orders. They stated that according to the load management policy, gas was being supplied to fertilizer companies. They said it was a discriminatory act under the law as one connection could not be severed to facilitate others. They argued that the agreement said the seasonal period was defined from December to February and not from March to May, but the SNGPL had changed it on its own whim. They requested that the load management policy be set aside and that the court restrain the SNGPL from disconnecting gas supply to their CNG stations.
govt will upgrade public health facilities: minister LAHORE: Minister Labour Punjab Haji Ehsaan-ud-Din Qureshi on Tuesday said the government was promoting public health facilities and had started several preventive programmes to achieve health targets. Talking to delegations of doctors and paramedics of social security hospitals and labourers, Qureshi said that specific objectives of mother and child health programmes were to reduce the mortality rate. He appreciated that lady health workers had rendered tremendous services to promote health and create awareness by visiting families, door to door, to brief them on preventable diseases. APP
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lAhOre: A protester falls unconscious during a demonstration by teVtA workers. STAff PHOTO
‘New buses will revolutionise transport system’ New transport facility will add 1,200 buses to city roads LAHORE
S tA f f r e PO rt
UNJAB Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said the provincial government is spending billions of rupees under a comprehensive policy, on the provision of modern public transport facilities to the masses. He was addressing a high level meeting regarding the launch of the new public transport system. The meeting considered in detail matters regarding the introduction of the new transport system, like the issuance of concession cards to students. Addressing the meeting, Sharif said a new system of air conditioned public transport is being introduced in the big cities for the benefit of the people. A modern system of public transport has been launched in Lahore and Faisalabad, while a new bus service will soon be available to the people of other cities as well, he stated. The CM said under the public transport scheme, 1200 buses manufactured by
the Chinese company Ankai are being acquired which will revolutionise the transport system. He added that the scheme will rid the people of the obsolete and uncomfortable public transport buses plying on the city’s roads. Shahbaz Sharif said the public transport system is the identity of a developed and civilised society and that result-oriented measures have been taken for the improvement of the public transport system during the last four years which have especially benefited the common man. He stated that private investment in public transport system is being encouraged and that the government has also decided to issue concessionary tickets to the students at a flat rate of Rs 10 rupees. He said the student cards will be of modern design and it will not be possible to copy them. Similarly, he said the electronic ticketing system will also be initiated for the passengers. The CM informed the meeting that trackers will also be installed in the public transport buses for ensuring that the buses
complete their routes. Sharif said workshops will be established for operators in Lahore and other cities for the repair and provision of spare parts for the buses operating under the new public transport system. He directed that a practicable method of insurance of these buses should also be evolved. The CM stated that besides education and health, a modern public transport system is also a basic right of the masses. In this connection, the measures taken by the government have especially benefited the masses. Lahore Transport Company Chairman Khwaja Ahmad Hasaan informed the meeting about the measures taken for modernising the public transport system. Provincial Transport Minister Mian Mujtaba Shuja-ur-Rehman, LTC ViceChairman Mehr Ishtiaq, Planning and Development chairman, Divisional commissioners, Lahore District Coordination Officer and other officers were also present during the meeting.
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US Consulate trains journalists on media ethics LAHORE
HE US Consulate General Lahore’s Public Affairs Section hosted two days of journalism training in from May 22 to 23 for media professionals and journalism students from across the Punjab. Indiana University Professor Dr Sherry Ricchiardi, an expert media trainer, journalist, and author, led more than 60 participants during the two days of workshops. The first day of training was for print and broadcast journalists and focused on media ethics and investigative journalism. The second day of training was for journalism students from a wide range of universities in the Punjab and focused on the fundamentals of journalism. The US Consulate hosted the training as part of its regular support for strengthening media freedom and journalism capacity building in the Pakistan. The participants were very enthusiastic about the Dr Ricchiardi’s course and said the training was “informative” and a “great initiative.” One participant commented, “It has been a really great experience for me. I have learned about investigative journalism and media ethics. Both topics are of great importance and practically lack much attention in the Pakistani media.” Another stated that the workshop will go a long way in improving his
Private school teachers to get paid vacations LAHORE APP
Punjab Ombudsman Khalid Mehmood has ordered that salaries be paid to the teachers serving in private education institutions, for the duration of vacations. The teachers will also be paid salaries above the minimum level of wages, fixed by the government for labourers and workers. Um-ul-Baneen, a resident of Wahdat Road, submitted an application to the office of the ombudsman stating that she wanted to adopt teaching as a career. She approached several private schools but was frustrated to find that those private schools were following a policy based on the exploitation of teachers. She said against the minimum wages of Rs 7,000 per month, private schools were paying only Rs 3,500 to teachers. The ombudsman observed that the owners of some of the private institutions have turned too powerful over the years and that the Education Department appears to have lost the will and the capacity to impose and check or to enforce any discipline through legislation.
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skills in journalism. The training highlighted a broad variety of topics, including ethics, interviewing skills, evaluating sources, accuracy and balance in reporting, and
investigation methods. The workshops involved case studies, practical exercises, and active participation. This was Dr Ricchiardi’s second visit to Pakistan and to Lahore. During the
visit she also met with university faculty from various media and mass communication departments. Prior to coming to Lahore, Dr Ricchiardi conducted similar workshops in Islamabad.
Laptop scheme: LHC adjourns PPA protest petition against Punjab govt enters 15th day LAHORE APP
The Lahore High Court on Wednesday adjourned a petition filed against the Punjab government for ignoring the students of private institutions in the laptop scheme. The court directed the petitioner’s counsel to file further documents specifically about the criteria set for granting the laptops. The single bench comprising Justice Umar Ata Bandial was hearing the petition filed by Ghulam Abass, a student of Beaconhouse University. Earlier, the petitioner’s counsel submitted that the petitioner was a student of a private university and eligible to be a beneficiary of the lap-
top scheme initiated under the Youth Development Programme by the Punjab government. He submitted that the students of the public sector institutions were given laptops under the said scheme but private sector institutions were completely ignored. The counsel termed the act discriminatory and against the fundamental rights enshrined in the constitution. He pleaded the court to issue directions for granting laptops to students of public sector institutions as discriminatory. He also requested the issuance of directions for the Punjab government to accommodate all eligible students studying in public or private institutions.
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Punjab Paramedical Alliance (PPA) on Tuesday continued its protest for the 15th consecutive day to press the government for the service structure and other allowances for paramedical staff of BPS 1-4. The protesters staged a demonstration outside the Jinnah Hospital and observed three-hour strike at the hospital’s OPDs and raised slogans in support of their demands. After the protest ended, Special Assistant to CM for Health Khawaja Salman Rafiq met PPA Chairman Malik Munir Ahmed and other office bearers and assured them of solving their problems soon. “The meeting ended without making any breakthrough,” a PPA spokesperson said. They demanded the Punjab government to implement the notification of the service structure and professional healthcare allowance for the paramedics who were also a part of the institutions providing healthcare. They said other provinces had announced service structure for the paramedics but they were deprived of it in Punjab. They also announced the next protest demonstration to be held in the Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC) on May 23, Wednesday.
LAHORE: Furniture and other household items were burnt to ashes when a fire erupted in a residential building early Wednesday morning. According to rescue sources, the fire began due to an electric short circuit and engulfed the second floor of a three-storey residential building located in the Mazang Adda area of Lahore. The residents and neighbours started evacuations on a self-assistance basis and were later joined by rescue personnel and fire brigades. The fire was brought under control after half an hour of effort. Meanwhile, furniture and other items were burnt causing losses of more than Rs 4 lakh. No casualties or injuries were reported in the incident. StAff rePOrt
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thursday, 24 May, 2012
Police arrests 8,034 POs, 6,477 absconders LAHORE: The district police arrested 8034 proclaimed offenders (POs) and 6477 court absconders (CAs) during the current calendar year, official claimed on Wednesday. The arrested 8034 POs were wanted in 325 cases of murder, 135 cases of attempt of murder, 223 cases of dacoity, 573 cases of theft, 577 cases of robbery and 6201 other cases. Whereas the 6477 CAs were wanted in 3 cases of murder, 36 cases of attempt of murder, 7 cases of dacoity, 149 cases of theft, 28 cases of robbery and 6254 other cases. Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Muhammad Aslam Tareen said that the investigation and operations wings of Lahore Police had been directed to work as a team in order to meet the expectations of the citizens. He directed the police to take strict measures against drug peddling on priority basis and elimination of other heinous crimes in the city. APP
5 bookies, including two cops arrested LAHORE: The police arrested five bookmakers, including two cops and recovered gambling material from their possession during a raid late Tuesday night. According to details, the police acted on a tip-off and raided a gambling den located at Litton Road. During the raid, five bookies, including two policemen gambling on the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket matches were arrested. The police took into custody the gambling material, including a telephone exchange, mobile sets and other instruments. However, the situation turned interesting while the culprits were being taken to the police station as the cops had to push their police van over hundreds of yards to get the engine started. The detainees reportedly enjoyed the situation from inside the van and passed comments on the plight of the cops. StAff rePOrt
ePD issues notices to 22 factories polluting ravi LAHORE: The Environment Protection Department’s (EPD) monitoring team on Wednesday issued notices to another 22 industrial units of Sunder Industrial Estate for throwing untreated waste into the river Ravi. “As many as 57 notices had been issued to Ravi polluters since May 14”, claimed an official. EPD teams, under instructions of the secretary EPD, started survey of the industrial units discharging untreated waste in Ravi. Industrial waste effluents contained toxic chemicals and most of the units were set up without proper waste treatment plans. A PP
lAhOre: A man uses an umbrella to beat the heat on Wednesday. ONLINE
BNU’s Rux-e-Bismil to bring together poetry buffs LAHORE
HE Maya Tree Council at the Beaconhouse National University Department of Liberal Arts in collaboration with the Char Gram and the BNU Music Societies will host Lahore’s literati, poetry buffs and performing arts fans at the Rux-e-Bismil on Saturday. Rux-e-Bismil will showcase some of the most talented performers within BNU’s own student body at the Alhamra Cultural Complex. The event will open with an extraordinary dance performance choreographed and performed by Char Gram, which will set the mood for performance poetry set to music. Once the poets have had their
say, prose will naturally take the audience through the night but with the insertion of some theatrical twists that are sure to be in a league of their own. Not only this, in honour of Manto’s centenary, Rux-e-Bismil will offer Lahore a chance to view Manto’s ‘Intezaar’ in a style that has never been witnessed before, while remaining true to the essence of the original. The BNU Music Society will conclude with a concert, covering some of the most renowned songs along with some of their original pieces. Rux-e-Bismil is an event that hopes to bring together the masses by putting together an event which celebrates basic human emotions, desires, hopes and fears; things which everybody can relate to and thus, empathise with.
‘America’s Jazz Ambassadors Embrace the World’ g
Positive image pre-requisite for foreign investment LAHORE StAff rePOrt
A group of business owners from the American Business Forum (ABF) on Wednesday visited office of the Punjab Board of Investment and Trade (PBIT) and held meetings with its senior officials. Talking to the Vice Chairman PBIT Dr Miftah Ismail, President ABF Saleem Ghauri discussed various avenues of business in Punjab for the American firms, and said that currently there existed over USD 1 billion of investment made by the American based firms in Pakistan. He said further that the existing businesses would expand and new businesses would be initiated in Pakistan if only the country’s negative image was somehow combated at the national and international level. VC PBIT Dr Miftah Ismail at this occasion assured assistance of PBIT to ABF and their member companies and encouraged expansion of their existing investment in Punjab.
People to get relief in next budget: Chan LAHORE APP
Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Punjab General Secretary Haji Aziz-ur-Rahman Chan has said the masses will be given relief in the next budget and that no conspiracy against the democracy will be allowed to succeed. Talking to the media on Wednesday, he said the democratic government was following the vision of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto for creating a peaceful society and that the PPP’s democratic government must be credited for restoring the constitution in its real form. Chan stated that the government would complete its constitutional tenure and the election would be held on time. “All the poor women are being provided equal opportunities for economical development through the Benazir Income Support Programme and many steps are being taken by the government for the welfare of labourers,” he added.
Kalabagh Dam vital for Pakistan’s survival, says Fazal Karim LAHORE iNP
Sunni Ittehad Council Chairman Sahibzada Fazal Karim on Wednesday said that Kalabagh Dam was synonymous with Pakistan’s survival and that it cost the country Rs132 billion per annum due to not making any headway on the dam. Addressing the oathtaking ceremony of Sunni Youth Council, Sahibzada urged the government to allocate Rs5 billion for the Thar coal project in the new budget as the energy crisis had endangered the very vitality of the country. “The energy sector should be given priority like that of defence for resolving the crisis,” he said.
uS Consulate general hosts jazz photo exhibition LAHORE StAff rePOrt
US Consul General Nina Fite launched a groundbreaking exhibition, ‘Jam Session: America’s Jazz Ambassadors Embrace the World,’ at the Nairang Art Gallery on Wednesday. The exceptional collection of photographs and documents, drawn from important archives from around the United States, chronicles the tours of American jazz legends as they traveled the globe on behalf of the US Department of State. From the mid-1950s through the 1970s, Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, Dave Brubeck, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, and others served as
cultural diplomats, transcending national boundaries, and sharing American jazz to many countries including Pakistan. The exhibition will be on display until May 29, 2012. “Although its origins are in the United States, jazz has become an international art form, performed and enjoyed across cultures, languages, and musical traditions,” remarked Consul General Fite. “Jazz holds the continuing promise of bridging gaps between peoples, elevating our shared aspirations, and providing a common platform for our many and varied cultural traditions,” she continued. The first Jazz Ambassadors programme was initiated in Pakistan and included jazz icons, Quincy Jones,
Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington and Dave Brubeck. The Jam Session exhibition includes 55 frames containing images and documents of musicians visiting 30 countries in four continents-each of which provides a unique insight into this successful diplomatic initiative. Millions of people experienced these concerts and thrilled to the many styles and variations of the remarkable American art form called jazz music. Also on hand at the exhibition launch were Public Affairs Officer Brinille Ellis, Nairang Gallery Owner Nayyar Ali Dada and FM 89 Jazz programme host Masood Hasan who gave remarks about the influence of jazz in music and its influence in Pakistan.
lAhOre: Guests look at iqbal jaffry’s work. STAff PHOTO
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thursday, 24 May, 2012
Editor’s mail 11
On azad’s supposed ‘prophecy’ The prophecy I want to discuss in this post is the one allegedly made by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, the famous Congress Leader and Ideologue. That prophecy was recently highlighted in the show Khabar Naak and in The Kamran Khan show. The long prophecy is based on an alleged interview of Abul Kalam Azad when he visited Lahore in March 1946, conducted by Shorash Kashmiri. In that interview, Abul Kalam Azad said, “I feel that right from its inception, Pakistan will face some very serious problems: 1. The incompetent political leadership will pave the way for military dictatorship as it has happened in many Muslim countries. 2. The heavy burden of foreign debt. 3. Absence of friendly relationship with neighbors and the possibility of
armed conflict. 4. Internal unrest and regional conflicts. 5. The loot of national wealth by the neo-rich and industrialists of Pakistan. 6. The dissatisfaction and alienation of the youth from religion and the collapse of the theory of Pakistan.” (The complete interview can be read here). Previously, this interview was published in an Indian magazine named “Covert” with the headline, “Maulana Abul Kalam Azad: The Man Who Knew The Future Of Pakistan Before Its Creation” catapulting Mr Azad’s status from a senior politician to that of a modern day Nostradamus. Based on some analytical evidence, I shall try to prove that the interview never actually happened and the whole “prophecy” is a work of fiction created
advice to Obama by Mr Shorish himself. 1. The interview is supposed to have taken place in March 1946 when Abul Kalam Azad was visiting Lahore for negotiations about a possible Congress-Unionist Party coalition which ultimately led to All India Muslim League being left out of power despite being the majority party. 2. Shorash Kashmiri was a committed member of Majlis e Ahrar, founded by Ataullah Shah Bokhari, a firebrand speaker and religious scholar. Majlis e Ahrar was famously against the formation of Pakistan. It should be kept in mind that Shorash was a famous for his oratory skills and as a political worker, not as a serious journalist. This interview was not published by Shorash Kashmiri until 1969, when he joined Awami League, which was at that time quite anti-Pakistan in its outlook.
3. On the topic of Pakistan and creation of Pakistan/division of India, Abul Kalam Azad wrote a whole book, titled India wins Freedom which was published in 1958 while Azad was alive. This particular “prophecy” is not mentioned or even hinted about in the book devoted to this topic. Some people assume that the re-print of the book which occurred in 1989 and included additional pages, contain anything related to this, which is completely wrong. 4. The publication of this interview in the Indian magazine “Covert” was a blatant attempt at glorification of Azad and historical revisionism. The aim was to degrade Mr. Jinnah by painting him as short-sighted while simultaneously increasing the stature of Abdul Kalam Azad at his expense. ABDUL MAJEED ABID Lahore
Power for the powerful? This is with reference to the report that the PML(N) govt has taken upon itself to save the SC judges from power cuts. (April 27) Indeed, this is a clear violation of the constitution. The Punjab government has been talking about the constitution. And now it is breaking the rules. Why provide a huge amount of Rs 7.835 million for the installation of electricity generators at the residences of five Supreme Court Judges posted at Lahore? The news is extremely shocking for the common folks who are hard hit by loadshedding across the country. Isn’t it unfair that while the poor masses are facing protracted power interruptions, the honourable judges (who are provided with many perks including free electricity) are being provided with generators at the cost of the exchequer to ensure uninterrupted power supply for their comfort? This would be taken as pampering of the higher judiciary that is deciding the cases against the political party sitting in the federal government. The Punjab government instead of installing generators at the residences of judges should better place the same in the offices, hospitals, academic institutions, which are frequently attended by the masses, who because of power outages suffer unduly. The law department offices particularly the lower courts throughout the province, however, may be allowed uninterrupted power supply. And the staff should be given the tasks of preparing list of cases on daily basis that are handled/settled by the magistrates. The related details may be announced through press briefing or internet. When this practice gets successful, the figures of cases in other provinces, handled by the magistrates may also be announced to create healthy competition between the judiciary in all provinces. The people must get quick resolution of their grievances pending in the courts. AHMED JAMAL Karachi
encroachment Recently, the Chief Minister Punjab inaugurated the Mian Mir Sports Complex. The facility was constructed at a cost of millions of rupees. It provides playing ground and basket ball court. The facility is open to the residents and citizens of Lahore. A few days ago, I have noticed that one of the residents of this area has erected a brick wall and encroached upon the pavement. This has created hazards for the public using the facility. The menace of encroachment has crept over the entire city and causes many problems for law-abiding citizens. The LDA authorities are requested to take action against this resident and fine him heavily. JAVAID BASHIR Lahore
Barack Obama, at a press conference to wind up the summit, made no attempt to conceal his exasperation, issuing a pointed warning to Pakistan that it was in its wider interest to work with the US to avoid being "consumed" by extremists. I want to say to Barack Obama that it would be better if you mind your own business, as your policies have already consumed the United States of America. As for Pakistan, you can't scare us of extremists. Firstly, America is the biggest extremist on planet has ever witnessed and secondly, Pakistan has successfully survived through all intrigues of sectarianism, suicide waves, drone attacks, civil and military sanctions and other conspiracies, perpetuated by our enemies, to destabilise us. Pakistan has even progressed, on its own, to the extent that it's a nuclear power today. So keep your advice for your own country and see if you can manage to take it out from bankruptcy. SYED NAYYAR UDDIN AHMAD Lahore
Cause of traffic jams Traffic has become one of the biggest problems in Karachi. The main reason behind this problem is that, many people have more than one vehicle in their houses. As a research shows, in past few years there were many cars sold in Karachi. We can take an example of Singapore who has banned sale of new vehicles and have stopped issuing new number plates. If a car has been damaged in Singapore, and even if it becomes necessary for the owner to change the car, even in that case government don’t issue new number plates. Cars are sold in Karachi like a cell phone sold in any country. Government of Pakistan should take some necessary actions to control the flow of traffic in Karachi. MUHAMMAD SOHAIL Karachi
On larkano hospital
Kolachi nightmares The city of Karachi is once again bleeding. This city that was once called the city of lights and was the industrial and commercial hub of the country has long been plagued by many fissures. It has been held hostage by vested interests and it has been sacrificed at the altar of partisan interests. But why has this problem not been solved? It is because no one has the courage to call a spade a spade and no government has had the political will to conduct operations against those elements wreaking havoc in the city.
the ill-fated PMS exam The competitive exam for Provincial Management Services (PMS) conducted by the PPSC has become so uncertain, unreliable and nontransparent that the student community has become frustrated and disillusioned. There is no certainty about when the exam will be conducted or whether it will be conducted at all. The last PMS exam was held in 2009, after an interval of three years. It was again scheduled to be held in June 2011 but the Lahore High Court ordered its postponement due to the issue of age relaxation only a week before the exam. Could the Honourable Court not have decided the simple issue of age relaxation in a couple of hearings instead of prolonging it for six months? Had the Honourable judges been unemployed like me, they could understand my point. Now the PPSC has announced the exam to be held in the coming June. However, I have come to know that another writ for age relaxation has been filed in the LHC. Will the court again order postponement of the exam for another year? It is also being rumoured that PPSC will be unable to arrange examination centres in the next two
Thanks to the fact that all the parties that are involved in criminal activities are part of the ruling coalition, political expediency has ensured that no meaningful action was taken in the incumbent’s tenure. One would have thought that the mantra of reconciliation would have brought some peace to Karachi but it seems that the city is destined to remain in the shadow of the reaper for some time to come. SANA QASIM Karachi
months. Hence, the exam is likely to be delayed till August. As an aspirant of the civil service, I came to Lahore in 2009. I have not appeared in a single PMS exam, because none has been conducted since then. My father is now calling me back to my village because he is now unable to finance my studies. Whom should I blame? The PPSC? The court? Or machinations of the powerful District Management Group against the provincial service to preserve their own turf? Or my fate? There are also allegations of corruption in the conducting of competitive exams by PPSC. A writ against alleged leaking of question paper before the exam for the post of Assistant Director Land Records is already pending in the LHC. I request the PPSC to clear the dust by announcing a definite date. In case of further postponement, I and hundred others like me would suffer. The credibility of PPSC can only be restored by transparently conducting the exam on the scheduled time. MUKHTAR AHMAD Lahore
I am the Prime Minister Mr Yousaf Raza Gilani has an additional responsibility these days (As
such his bag was full of problems). The responsibility is that he has to begin his speech with a statement that I am the ‘genuine’ Prime Minister of Pakistan. He has very wrong reasoning behind this statement. ‘my attorney says the contempt law do not exist in Pakistan; hence I am not convicted’… at Virtual University Convocation in Lahore he says: ‘since I have been invited officially; hence I am the Prime Minister’– on Turkish Premier’s visit he goes: ‘since the opposition is attending the Assembly session on my invitation they accept me as the Prime Minister’. Can I suggest Mr Gillani an easier way out of at least this problem. He should get a chest card with bold letters printed, ‘ The Prime Minister’. Fozia Wahab, Sharmila Farooqi, Mehreen Raja and Shazia Marri girls have nothing to do now; they can do nice needle work on this batch. I am sure girls can do this nice and romantic Job. For the remaining 8/9 months, poor man Gillani can save himself from this painful task of proving. By the way, I do not see much of Aitzaz these days. I guess he is gone to USA to consult American experts on jurisprudence on how to lie and defend? I have genuine sympathies with Mr Yousaf Raza Sahib. AMJAD H MIRZA Lahore
There has been much reporting in the media about the pathetic plight of the once-famous, but now in-the-doldrums, Larkano Civil Hospital, Larkano, which is facing numerous serious problems. There is a shortage of doctors and essential medicines, skilled manpower including male and female paramedical staff, requisite infrastructure, proper security system, health, hygiene etc. It is also suffering from a paucity of funds. But, unfortunately, nothing has been done to improve and upgrade the conditions of this hospital. It is a known fact that the patients are served substandard meals/food because the fresh food items are either consumed by the administration or parcelled off to the residences of senior officers. More or less all ambulances are in a decrepit condition and those which are in road-worthy conditions are being misused by an influential lot. The sanitation conditions are pitiable. Grubby and dusty buildings are haunting the patients and their attendants. The Sindh government’s approach to public spending on health needs a radical change. It has a pathetic record of devoting a petty amount to such a vital sector. A sensible health policy is the need of the hour. All government hospitals in the province must be improved by the provision of sophisticated equipment, desired medicines, conscientious doctors, paramedical staff, a dutiful administration and dutiful sanitary staff. I appea to concern authorities to take notice of the pathetic condition of the Larkano Civil Hospital (where mad dogs and cats are seen walking and sometimes sleeping in the corridors and lawns of the hospital) and direct the authorities concerned to improve and upgrade this hospital which is serving this city of four million population and a number of adjacent towns and villages. HASHIM ABRO Islamabad
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12 Comment Killing fields of Karachi the city that never stops burning
he target this time was a completely peaceful procession led by the Awami Tehrik and PAC called “Love Sindh’ rally. The procession was not against any political party or ethnic group. It was reportedly joined by representatives of the PML(N) and Balochistan National Party. A section of the Urdu speaking population was also a part of the march. This was meant to send the message that none in this country supported the distortion of the historical identity of Sindh. As Section 144 had not been imposed on the city, the marchers were perfectly within their right to take out the rally. To target them was a terrorist act, pure and simple. There is a widespread perception that it was targeted by some of the violent supporters of Mohajir province. A handful of women agitated for a separate Urdu speaking province in Karachi recently. Pamphlets were distributed and graffiti appeared in certain areas in favour of the demand. But no known political party has been willing to own these activities. When Mohajir Qaumi Movement renamed itself as Muttahida Qaumi Movement, some thought that it had undergone a change of heart and was willing to act as a mainstream party. Its proactive support for the Seraiki Province and Hazara province led to accusations that the party had undergone a relapse and was in fact paving the way for a separate province in Sindh. The party MPAs also refused to sign the unanimous resolution adopted by the Sindh Assembly against the division off Sindh. Unless the MQM issues a definitive statement on the issue of the Mohajr province, suspicions will continue to be aired about its possible role in Tuesday’s incident. The killings have led to countrywide condemnations and a strike in several cities of Sindh. Rehman Malik’s announcement of a thorough and impartial probe by a joint investigation team would seem hollow after his partisan claim that the PML(N) was spreading unrest in Sindh and would be accountable for the killings in Karachi. The city has suffered a lot due to the political exigencies of the ruling coalition. There is a need to take decisions irrespective of party interests. Unless this happens, Sindh could become the number one problem province of Pakistan.
leverage Ours and theirs
tates use their leverage in whatever manner possible when negotiating with other states in the international arena. There are no permanent friends or foes, goes the mantra of the realists, but only interests. Hard-nosed patriots within Pakistan take this line when discussing our not-what-it-seems gameplan in Afghanistan. To those criticising this allegedly cloak and dagger policy, our hypernationalists chime: don’t hate the player, hate the game. Fair enough. But this does mean we would be in no position to complain when other countries use their own sets of leverages. If we pull no punches, we can’t expect them to be Gandhian in their approach either. And there is considerable leverage that they can use. The US government’s cutting aid to Pakistan is perhaps one of the milder weapons in its arsenal. Yes, linking aid, it appears, to supply routes will definitely kill our manoeuvrable space. But there is more, much more that they can do. Consider one of the Pakistani security establishment’s biggest fears: another operation like the one in Abbottabad on the 2nd of May. Would the US think twice before undertaking such an operation were it to get actionable intelligence about the presence of other extremely high-profile targets within the country? Some time ago we used to show indignation at accusations about Osama Bin Laden being present in the country. It is surprising we show a similar disdain when such speculations are made about the likes of Mullah Omar and Ayman al Zawahiri. For all their talk about realism and the cold pursuit of interests, the “realists” forget the most important aspect of the mantra: sizing up one’s adversary. Economically, militarily, politically, socially, are we in any position to take on the US? The saccharine sweet language of formal diplomacy might talk about equal relationships and the like but are we stupid enough to actually believe all this talk?
Dedicated to the legacy of the late Hameed Nizami
Arif Nizami Editor
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thursday, 24 May, 2012
On Egypt's election We've never been here before
Washington Watch By Dr James J Zogby
his Egyptian presidential election has all the earmarks of being a "we've never been here before" event. Never before have we seen such a competitive contest in Egypt or, for that matter, in any Arab country. And never before have we had a presidential contest, anywhere in the world that I can recall, where we have no idea what the winner will actually win when the election is over. At this point, the polls are too close and no clear front-runner has emerged. Anyone can still emerge victorious. This is the third major vote in Egypt in the past year. The two earlier rounds were notable for the surprises they brought. First, there was the referendum to ratify the constitutional changes put forward by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF). Back then, the once very popular, Mohamed El Baradei, and the always popular former Foreign Minister and Arab League Secretary General, Amr Moussa, and the youthful leaders of the Tahrir Square revolt – all campaigned for a "no" vote. Just a few days before the vote, these forces were predicting victory. Meanwhile, the alliance of the SCAF and the Muslim Brotherhood appeared to be working in tandem in support of the referendum. Their combined organisational strength proved decisive and carried the day, winning by a huge margin of more than 3 to 1. The surprise that occurred in the many rounds of the parliamentary elections was the consistent strength demonstrated by the Salafi movement. It had been expected that the Muslim Brotherhood would win handily. And they did. But what caught most observers off guard was the broad support given to Salafi candidates resulting in their party winning almost one-quarter of the seats in the new parliament. While one might assume that these contests lay the predicate for this presidential election and can be used to project the outcome, it appears they may not provide a useful guide to the expected result for two reasons: Egyptians appear to view the presidency differently than they do the legislature; and competition among the Islamic parties and a general concern of a Muslim Brotherhood "over-reach" is producing an
alliance of "strange bedfellows" which may affect voter behavior. These factors combined have resulted in a Salafi/liberal alliance supporting the candidacy of a moderate former Muslim Brotherhood leader, Abdul Moneim Aboul Fatouh who has since been denounced by the Brotherhood. The Brotherhood's own candidate has so far fared poorly in the polls, since even some in his own party are concerned lest their group be seen as wanting too much power too soon. Secularists and liberals have at least three candidates in the running. Far and away the leader of this group appears to be the charismatic Amr Moussa. Also scoring fairly well in various polls are former Prime Minister-for-amonth Ahmad Shafiq and leader of the Kefaya movement, Hamdeen Sabahi. As I noted, the polling on this contest has been inconsistent – and for good reason. Because we've never seen a competitive presidential contest of this type in Egypt, we do not know how to predict the turnout, the voter intensity, or each party's or candidate's organisational strength. And so regardless of what the polls may be saying, I would never count out the capacity of the Brotherhood or the SCAF to play a major role on election day. As big as the question of who the winner will be, is what the job of the presidency will be like in the short term, when this election is over, and in the long term, after the new constitution is written. Some Egyptians may have set high expectations for this vote, assuming that major change will occur should their preferred candidate win. Most likely, that will not be the case. This is not a contest that will put in office a leader who will have the power of a President Mubarak or Sadat or Nasser. Past presidents came out of the military and controlled the ruling party and parliament, and the security services and the other in-
stitutions of the state. The current situation is less clear, more diffuse. The SCAF will remain a major force to be sure and appears unlikely to surrender complete control to a civilian authority, especially if it is one they do not trust. The Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafi movement have control over significant blocs in the parliament and, corresponding to that, large and influential segments of the Egyptian society. And then there are those other organised forces who played such a significant role in the revolt, and have demonstrated the capacity to mobilise protests. Given all of this, the space available for the new president to act will be constrained. Parliament will weigh in on the formation of the government, the military will push back as it sees fit to protect its prerogatives, and the "street" will react when it feels compelled to do so. As I said –"we've never been here before.” This new situation in Egypt is called democracy and it is an uncertain balancing act between competing forces. It is sometimes messy and it will take time to work itself out. It is important to remember, though, that while all this drama is playing out, Egyptians are facing a major challenge lurking in the shadows that could upset an already precariously perched applecart. And that is the state of the country's economy. It they are responsible, leaders across the spectrum will push aside differences born of self-interest and act quickly to consolidate the power of the new president and the effectiveness of the new government so that the economic crisis can be addressed as a national priority. Whether that will happen remains to be seen. After all, we've never been here before. The writer is President of the ArabAmerican Institute.
Facebook’s flop show The Hindu
t was supposed to be a dream debut for the most visited site on the Internet but Facebook's Nasdaq listing on Friday turned out to be anything but that. A combination of technical glitches on the trading platform, poor investor appetite and most important of all, that old stock market trait called greed ensured that the listing turned into a flop show. But even if the stock trades well below its offer price of $38 a share now, Facebook's early investors, who include some venture capitalists, angel investors and even a Russian oligarch, are now laughing all the way to the bank. By pricing the IPO fully, the investment banks may have ensured that early investors got the maximum bang for their buck. Yet, by leaving very little on the table for new investors, the investment bankers also ensured the stock will not trade over the offer price in the near term. In a throwback to the dark days of the dot-com boom last decade, Facebook, after sensing the hype around the IPO, raised the price band from $28-35 to $34-38 a share and also increased the number of shares on offer by a quarter. It is not surprising that 60 per cent of the proceeds of the offer of $16 billion will accrue to shareholders who invested in Facebook in its early days. Of course, as those who assumed
great risk in investing in an unknown company, they deserve to reap the rewards now. But should this have been at the cost of incoming investors? The first two days of trading suggest the market is uncomfortable with Facebook's mind-boggling $104 billion valuation. The company's price-earnings ratio of 107, based on its 2011 earnings, is way ahead of the 13x that the more profitable Apple commands. The first quarter revenues and earnings also show a slowdown compared to 2011 and with General Motors recently deciding to pull out of advertising on Facebook, the concerns are real. Questions are being raised over its revenue model, which mainly relies on advertising on the site, though Facebook Credits, which it sells for applications on the site, also contribute to revenues. With about half its users accessing the site through smartphones, Facebook has to develop advertising options for them. Typically, such users find advertisements annoying on the small screen. Facebook is also experimenting in New Zealand with paid posts (NZ$2 a post) with the assurance that the recipient will surely get to see them. With petabytes of information and pictures vested with it, there is no question of the opportunity available for Facebook to leverage. How well it does that will decide whether Facebook's stock appreciates rapidly like Google's or continues to languish below the offer price.
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thursday, 24 May, 2012
Burning black gold On thar coal and our faulty fuel mix
By Amjad Agha
ecently, it has been reported that the Planning Commission has decided to stop further financing of the Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) Project at Thar, since no encouraging results are forthcoming. This UCG project is the brainchild of Dr Samar Mubarakmand, who has been working on it for the last couple of years. This news has been given lot of coverage by the media, and a wrong impression is being created as if the Planning Commission has rejected the Thar Coal project. It is surprising that so far the Planning Commission has not clarified their position. Obviously the objection pertains to Underground Gasification of the Thar Coal and not the mining of the huge deposit of coal. Thar coal deposits are the largest resource discovered in the country which can provide the much needed solution for generating a large amount of electricity for many, many years at an affordable price. The estimates indicate that 135 to 175 billion tons of lignite coal can be obtained from the deposit, which can produce thousands of megawatts of electricity for decades. Thar coal can be obtained by open cast mining similar to the method used all over the world. The Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) is a method of converting unworked coal – coal still in the ground - into a combustible gas which can be used for power generation. The UCG is at present not extensively used commercially, but research is going on to make it commercially attractive. However, the open pit mining of coal is the normal method being used, and most of the coal is being obtained in this manner. The UCG method is still in the research stage and if found suitable for Thar Coal, it will
be useful and economical. Therefore, Dr Samar’s project may be curtailed but should not be stopped till it reaches the final outcome. The open cast mining of Thar Coal is the project which the nation has been keenly awaiting, but for some unknown reasons the work on it has still not started. A couple of months ago, an article “Thar Coal and Energy Security” by Muhammad Younas Dagha was printed in Dawn. Mr Dagha is the Secretary Coal and Energy Sindh. In the article, he had stated that final arrangement have been completed by Global Mining Company of China for Block-1 and another by Sindh Engro Coal Mining for Block-II. The mining on these projects shall reportedly start by June 2012. Are these dates still valid? The public is desperately waiting for any good news about electricity.
that monthly requirement of furnace oil for power plants is 32,000 tons but only 10,000 tons of oil is being imported. Obviously, the generation is accordingly low. Natural gas is another fuel which is being used but is in short supply and very little is available for generation of electricity. The country needs $5 billion for the import of oil; only one third of the amount will be required if the dependence of our fuel mix on oil is reduced. Globally, about 21,000 Twh of electricity is consumed per year; 41 percent of this electricity is generated through coal. China generates 78 percent of its electricity through coal, India 68 percent, USA 48 percent but Pakistan only 0.1 percent. The world does not use oil for electricity, as less than 5 percent of the world electricity is generated through oil,
it’s time that we wake up and concentrate on mining thar Coal and start generating electricity through this indigenous resource. Obtaining natural gas through fracturing of underground Shale rocks is big news these days. the US is leading in this technology, and China is following very fast. does Pakistan have any plans for expanding its natural gas production? The Planning Commission should immediately clarify their statement on Thar Coal and inform the public about the real status on start of mining. In my recent paper “Electricity Crisis and Circular Debt”, it was explained that the real cause of the electricity crisis in the country is due to a faulty fuel mix as we are using highly expensive furnace oil as the main fuel for generating electricity. The fuel cost to generate one Kwh (unit) of electricity through furnace is about 17-18 rupees. This does not include the fixed charges for the plant, transmission and distribution costs and losses etc. Since the government cannot afford to buy the oil at this high price, several thermal power plants have been shut down or are producing much below their capacity. A news item indicated recently
but Pakistan is using oil for 40 percent of its electricity, which obviously it cannot afford. It’s time that we wake up to these realities, and concentrate on mining Thar Coal and start generating electricity through this indigenous resource. Obtaining natural gas through fracturing of underground Shale rocks is big news these days. The US is leading in the development of this technology, and China is following very fast. Does Pakistan have any plans for expanding its natural gas production? The writer is the President of Associated Consulting Engineers, Former Managing Director of NESPAK, and former Chief Executive of Pakistan Hydro Consultants for the Ghazi Barotha Hydropower Project.
On the other side A visit to india after a long time
lifetime passes by before one even knows it. Sometimes it drags; sometimes it is faster than light. Two weeks ago when I landed at Mumbai it had been fifty years since my last visit to India. I find that really hard to believe considering it’s closer to home than even Lahore. But, given the circumstances, it’s a reality and a sad one at that. The ‘sad’ refers to the fact that two peoples, by and large, comfortable and ‘at home’ with each other are kept apart by endless issues and controversies of which the bulk are mostly unaware and in which most are least interested. Worse still is I met people who had been all over the world but never to Pakistan. Not just the young but even people my age. Most people, both sides of the fence, want to know of the differences between the two countries. Frankly speaking it’s the similarities that are striking. Much like at home, there is an economic divide between the rich and the poor, developed areas and lesser-developed areas. There are power cuts and shortages, there is unemployment, and traffic is wayward, amongst a million others similarities. Hospitality is par excellence, as is ours. Allow your focus to wander and you could be sitting in any city of Pakistan. And yes there are differences, again based on culture and, undeniably, the sheer size in terms of landmass, population and By Imran Husain the economy. A few are noteworthy. Firstly, Indians generally speak in a lower voice and while articulate are measured and respectful of sensibilities. There is no arrogance or attitude with immigration or security staff and even the police, who the terms of my visa unfortunately had me visit on multiple occasions. They are polite and correct and even display a smile. Now I am told that this is a South Indian phenomenon and that the North is different. Why does that ring a bell? I witnessed an incident that took me completely by surprise. While driving into Coimbatore from Ooty, on the outskirts, there was a fatal accident. The corpse was covered, in the middle of the road. The offending tanker with the motorcycle under its wheels was on one side of the road, the forlorn driver standing and police directing traffic around. All very orderly. I was dumbstruck. Had it been Karachi, We would have
made a U-turn and run for our lives. The tanker would have been in flames, the driver lynched if he hadn’t run, half a dozen cars stuck in the melee would also have been damaged and mayhem would have reigned. No sane person would have stuck around even for a minute to be directed around the corpse. The third is the absence of arms. They are just not visible. Yes, hotels have security gates and explosive detection equipment but no armed guards. Around Mumbai there is nakabandi, in towns and at the entrance to the airports. And the police doesn’t run around in multi-million rupee SUVs. I loved the city of Ooty in Tamil Nadu. A hill station, much like Murree in style. But it’s almost a city by comparison. Remnants of the Raj are very apparent in the hotels, typical shopping centres and the hustle bustle of tourists enjoying the weather. In the hotel, I met a gentleman from Bangalore, who spends each summer in Ooty, at the very same hotel, like many of our people do in Murree. And guess where he was born? Lahore! Has never visited, couldn’t stop asking questions. The spectacular part of my trip was (apart from the super dog shows with record entries I was invited to judge that hectic weekend) the visit to the Mudumalai game reserve. Spent hours driving the main road with elephants, wild boars, bison, deer, peacock, monkeys, you name it we saw it. The best, however, was yet to come. This great guy, my princely host’s cousin, who had superb connections and knew the forest well took us deep into it around midnight. It was suddenly another world. In an open Gypsy (Suzuki) armed with a huge spotlight, we tracked the forest in search of the elusive. An elephant with her baby was at the roadside, trumpeting a mock charge, a porcupine, magnificent in full bloom with deadly spikes. I may have dozed because the driver nudged me with “tiger!” and as I looked up, in all its magnificence was this amazing beast fifty yards ahead. I caught half its head and the complete torso before it vanished into the jungle. We gave chase and saw a herd of deer taking evasive action. Two minutes later, the spotlight fell on a leopard ambling in the clearing. He took two magnificent full-length strides airborne and was gone into the thicket. He paused. In the light we could see him. Then he turned and slowly walked away. I can still picture the images! Pure magnificence. Brings me to the question discussed often when one side meets the other. What if we were a united country of 1.5 billion people? Could the sub-continent have been another China? The writer can be contacted at email@example.com.
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thursday, 24 May, 2012
N1 releases third music video ‘Ghoomay Ja’
newS DeSK Music band n1 has become the talk of the town by surprising its fans with their third music video in a span of few months and this time it’s a groovy dance track titled ‘ghoomay Ja’. all three music videos by n1 have been unique and inspiring in a different way. ‘Inqilaab’, their first video released in December 2011, is on the theme of “change and revolution.” their second video ‘Jalwa’ released in May 2012 is a melodious love song around a mysterious woman. and now ‘ghoomay Ja’ brings energy to the dance floor for everyone. naimul abd, the firebrand marketer who runs his one-manband n1 as a passion pursuit says, “n1 stands for diversity. we believe that it’s a primal mistake to slot one’s music talent because that limits the power of your imagination. Imagination to us is a journey into the heart of infinity and that’s exactly what n1’s music stands for: doing different stuff and not being afraid of experimentation. this is why all three of our music videos are different.” ‘ghoomay Ja’ is a dance track featuring colours, light flashes, groovy beat, and carefree souls dancing to a catchy tune. the video has been directed by DJ Shahrukh with music production by DJ ali Mustafa. Currently, the video is being exclusively aired on a leading music channel and will shortly be released on other channels and online. about his idea behind ‘ghoomay Ja’, naimul abd says, “‘ghoomay Ja’ can be interpreted as a dance number with a simple carefree thought or people can get one level down and try to understand the philosophical meaning behind the lyrics. It has contagious energy that forces you to jump off your seat and start dancing.”
KaraChI: the second outlet of gloria Jeans opened with much fanfare at Dolmen Mall.
Oprah takes a $125m pay cut; still earns more than Lady Gaga
LOS AngELES AGeNCieS
Speaking of staggering financial losses, Oprah Winfrey reportedly earns a full $125 million less than she did last year. According to Forbes, the 43 percent drop from Winfrey’s estimated $290 million earnings last year is mostly due to lost income from
‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’, which aired its final episode in May 2011. Earlier this month, it was reported that the eponymous media mogul’s Oprah Winfrey Network may have lost as much as $330 million since its January 2011 start-up. Although she does not earn a salary from the OWN network, Oprah continues to make money from a diversified portfolio that includes ‘O: The Oprah Winfrey Magazine’, spin-off series such as ‘Dr. Phil’ and ‘The Dr. Oz Show’, and a radio sponsorship deal with Sirius, according to Forbes. In April, Winfrey asked advertisers to stick with her network despite its losses, telling them, “I’m climbing Kilimanjaro. With our restructuring and right-sizing and getting into the sauce of what needs to happen every day, I feel like I can at least now see the summit.” Even with her wincing pay cut, Oprah still managed to be the No. 2 (behind Jennifer Lopez) earner on the Forbes Celebrity 100 list, topping Steven Spielberg, Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, and Tom Cruise. If only Spielberg had thought to partner with Dr. Phil.
‘Shanghai’— Emmran Hashmi’s new treat for summer In a bustling Indian city gearing up for the latest celebrated political elections, 4 individuals find themselves tied up into a gruesome game of crime and politics. a young activist encounters a shocking and disturbing road accident which leaves a prominent political figure in critical condition. a lone girl on the street believes it to be a murder. a porn filmmaker claims to have documented proof that will bring the government down. a high ranking bureaucrat is brought in by the government for damage control. as days go by, the individuals discover a hidden secret in the governments sector: a vision of a new metropolis, a pipe dream, a dream called ‘Shanghai’. the cast of the movies includes emmran hashmi who is acting as an adult film maker followed by abhay Deol and Kalki Koechlin. the movie is going to be released on 8th June 2012 and is distributed by IMgC global in Pakistan and encyclomedia Pr is handling its Pr. NeWS deSK
‘Shera Di Kaum’ famed RDB member Kuly passes away mUmBAi: here’s a piece of sad news for Punjabi music lovers. Kuly ral, from the world renowned band rDB passed away yesterday morning. the cause of his death is yet to be known, but it is believed that the musician might have succumbed to cancer. the charismatic singer had played a huge role in making rDB a Punjabi band which conquered the uK and Indian Bhangra Industry. Kuly along with his brothers Manj and Surj traveled around the world making great music, and worked with international artist Snoop Dogg, and Bollywood star, akshay Kumar. the uK trio gave blockbuster hits like ‘Shera Di Kaum
Punjabi’ from Speedy Singhs’, ‘Yamla Pagla Deewana’, ‘aloo Chaat’ and their latest number which created a rage among the youth, ‘Sadi gali’ from the film ‘tanu weds Manu’. Kuly’s death is a huge blow to the Punjabi music industry; his contribution will never be forgotten. expressing shock over Kuly’s death, akshay Kumar tweeted, “Just heard about Kuly from rDB`s sudden demise. Still reeling from the shock of the news. rIP.” AGeNCieS
Humaima Malick signs first Bollywood film alluring fans with her stunning performance and modeling, Pakistan’s popular actress humaima Malick has now signed her first Bollywood film ‘Shair’. Malick is touching new heights of fame these days. recently, she brought home accolades for Pakistan by winning Best actor Female award for her debut film ‘Bol’ at the london asian Film Festival 2012. making her way to Indian cinema, Malick has signed her first Indian film that is said to be a high budget movie. humaima will appear in lead role along with Bollywood’s superstars Sanjay Dutt, Vivek Oberoi and Paresh rawal. the production company for the movie will be Shree ashtavinayak whereas the director Soham Shah of hit Indian films like ‘Kaal’ and ‘luck’, will be directing the film. humaima Malick’s first Bollywood film will be shot in Jaipur and Mumbai. NeWS deSK
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15 Young Hollywood stars strike out on own at Cannes Cannes
AMPIRES, ‘Transformers’, singing high-schoolers: They can all be tough to outrun. But at the 65th annual Cannes Film Festival, a number of young Hollywood
ISlaMaBaD: taana Baana opened a new outlet at the Jinnah Super Market.
stars are attempting to do just that. By striking out on their own, they hope to move their careers beyond mega franchises and toward more mature roles in bolder films. Robert Pattinson (‘Twilight’), Kristen Stewart (also ‘Twilight’), Shia LaBeouf (‘Transformers’, ‘Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull’) and Zac Efron (‘High School Musical’) all have films in competition at the French Riviera festival. In David Cronenberg’s Don DeLillo adaptation ‘Cosmopolis,’ which is to premiere at Cannes, Pattinson stars as a Manhattan billionaire on a crosstown odyssey. Certainly, most actors would eagerly jump at the chance to star in well-paying, hugely promoted movies. But iconic roles begun as teenagers can choke promising acting careers. Stewart, Pattinson’s 22-year-old ‘Twilight’ co-star, is also expanding into new territory at Cannes with Walter Salles’ anticipated adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s ‘On the Road.’ Earlier in the festival was LaBeouf’s ‘Lawless,’ a Prohibition-era gangster film. Lee Daniels will bring his ‘The Paperboy’ to the festival, the director’s first film since the hit “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire.” Efron, 24, co-stars as the younger brother of a reporter (Matthew Mc-
Conaughey) who’s investigating an inmate on death row (John Cusack). Efron, Stewart, LaBeouf and Pattinson will get no better launching pad for their new roles than Cannes, where daring is prized above all other attributes. “There’s no point in being scared of just trying,” says Pattinson. “The worst that can happen is just failure, right?”
Brad Pitt says new film not anti-Obama
Veena Malik to star in second Bollywood flick
WASHINgtON: Brad Pitt’s latest movie paints a bleak picture of the broken american dream, blending a violent but comic gangster story with overt criticism of politicians’ failure to address the economic crisis. ‘Killing them Softly’ takes place in an unspecified u.S. city which has borne the brunt of the financial collapse-houses are abandoned, shops are shuttered and petty criminals and mobsters alike are struggling to get by. Pitt has asserted that his new flick speaks more of the great toxic divide in american, and is not to be viewed as an attack on President Obama. the actor criticised the “toxic” politics of the uS election campaign as he launched his latest film in Cannes. “I think we’re going to see more negative ads than ever before, and I certainly don’t want this film to in any way be mistaken for that,” the Politico quoted Pitt as saying. while the movie, due out in September, is based on a 1970s crime novel, it is set during the 2008 presidential election and economic crisis. Clips of then-Senators Barack Obama, John McCain and then President george w Bush are played throughout, in addition to grim imagery of those struggling because of the financial collapse. Instead, he said that the movie ‘Killing them Softly’ mostly reflects “a toxic divide” in american politics. “It’s a serious, serious problem,” Pitt said. Criticising the way the financial crisis was handled, Pitt said it’s “criminal that there still haven’t been any criminal repercussions” for people who caused the meltdown”. It was “at the apex of the mortgage loan debacle” that he had first looked at the script. “I felt that I was reading a gangster film and it wasn’t until the very end that it coalesced for me as far what the direction of the film is pointing to overall-that this microcosm is actually saying something about the greater, macro world.” Pitt added. AGeNCieS
Former ‘Bigg Boss’ contestant Veena Malik has managed to ruffle quite a few feathers and also her co-participants ever since she stepped on Indian soil. with her tV show ‘Swayamwar’ being scrapped Veena is now looking for greener pastures. after having acted in ‘Mumbai 125kms’ Veena is now going to be seen in another film Deepak Bali’s film titled ‘Daal Me Kaala hai’. the film also stars Bobby Darling, Jackie Shroff, raja Chaudhry, Shakti Kapoor, Sunaina Singh and Jennifer. Malik has also made sure she grabs enough eyeballs for her Bollywood debut. the starlet has shot for a raunchy photoshoot for ‘Daal Mein Kuch Kaala hai’. In one of the pics, she slips into a skimpy bikini. not to forget the smirk that conveys it all. Veena’s debut film is said to be all about love, lies and lust. Sounds like a perfect debut for the FhM cover girl, who’s name is synonymous with controversy. the film is directed by anand Balraj, who’s all praises for Veena. “Veena’s acting reminds me of angelina Jolie. She is as comfortable in front of camera as her and she is more attractive also,” he said in one of the interviews. Veena’s ‘Mumbai 125 KM’ has also been hitting headlines for all the controversial reasons. First, Veena disappeared from the film’s set only to be found in a hotel room. then came Veena’s intimate pictures with the director of the film hemant Madhukar, sparking casting couch rumours. the Pakistani actor also hogged newsprint for her nude FhM cover. ‘Daal Me Kaala hai’ will be Veena’s first hindi release and will decide her fate in Bollywood. But Veena is still harbouring hopes of going back to tV. NeWS deSK
Whom did SrK point his shoe at? PUNe: he seems to have lost it completely. going by his latest antic, what one can notice is that Shah rukh Khan just cannot do without controversies. here’s what the megastar, who also happen to be the owner of KKr team did when his side stormed into the finals of IPl tuesday night. after the victory lap, just as the ecstatic actor was soaking in the glory of a big win, he was seen waving to a group of people asking them to come on to the ground. at first, it looked as if he was waving to his fans, but, it looked absurd when he pretended to take off his shoe as if to hurl it at someone in the stand. SrK didn’t just stop there. he was again seen daring some people in the crowd to see him on the ground. well, we really wonder what has gone wrong with SrK. the actor has been involved into a lot of controversies in the recent past. the latest one saw him being banned from entering Mumbai’s wankhede Stadium for five years as he was accused of allegedly abusing a guard at the stadium. AGeNCieS
‘Kingdom of women’ sole Pakistani nom at Cannes nEWS DESK Directed and written by Amna Ehtesham Khaishgi, ‘Kingdom of Women’ has been nominated at the Cannes Film Festival in the Short Film category. A tribute to the working women of Pakistan, it tells the story of the first women-only market in South Asia where entrepreneur women run their businesses. It is the first exclusive sneak-peak into this unique Bazaar which encapsulates the experiences of these inspiring women who have built their future with their own hands. There are two generations of businesswomen included in the documentary. The senior generation that helped establish the bazaar three decades ago and the younger generation that joined the league to support their families while also pursuing their studies at the same time. The post production of the film is supported by Abu Dhabi Film Commission and music is composed by Muqeem Khan. The documentary has been produced by Arsalan Khan
Colour is back with l’Oreal Paris Colour riche nEWS DESK Women are now reinventing themselves everyday through colour be in her clothes, hair colour, cosmetics and of course lipstick. Experience the intense, natural and boosting serum lip shades through L’Oreal Paris Colour Riche where the L’Oréal Laboratories have selected only the purest and finest colour pigments, combined uniquely with Omega 3 and Vitamin E to moisturise lips for smooth application and for comfortable wear. L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche has a wide range of assertive, intense, vivid, radiant colours which are once again in vogue. “I absolutely love the luminous loveliness of L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche which offers an enormous amount of light reflect and shine. It’s not a Lipstick, it’s my Color Riche,” said L’ Oreal Paris Pakistan Spokesperson Aamina Sheikh
TOM CrUISe in ‘Magnificent Seven’ remake? lOS ANGeleS: tom Cruise has been lined up to star in a remake of john Sturges’ 1960 film ‘the magnificent Seven’, according to reports. the movie follows an oppressed mexican village as its inhabitants assemble seven gunmen to assist them in defending their homes against bandits. According to Variety, the film is still under development and makers mGm are yet to signed a writer or director, the BBC reported. Cruise, who has long been keen on a remake, is busy with other films for now. the 49-year-old will finish joseph Kosinski’s ‘Oblivion’ then work on doug liman’s action feature ‘All You Need is Kill’. the original 1960 ‘magnificent Seven’, starring Yul Brynner, Steve mcQueen and Charles Bronson, was a remake of the 1954 movie ‘Seven Samurai’ by Akira Kurosawa. it was followed by three sequels and a television series on CBS, which ran from 1998 until 2000. AGeNCieS
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16 Foreign News
thursday, 24 May, 2012
Saudis sign $3b deal with Britain to buy trainer jets RIYADH AfP
Saudi Arabia has signed a $3-billion deal with Britain to buy trainer jets for the Gulf kingdom’s air force, SPA state news agency said on Wednesday. The agreement includes the provision of simulators, ground and training equipment and spare parts, SPA reported, quoting a Saudi defence ministry official. The official said the new jets would help qualify Saudi pilots “to use fourth-generation jet fighters in full professionalism and efficiency.” Defence Minister Prince Salman bin Abdul Aziz in April visited Britain, a major supplier of weapons to the oil-rich kingdom. Riyadh in 2006 ordered 72 Eurofighter Typhoons in a deal worth $32.9 billion, including armaments and long-term servicing. The multi-role fighter jet is built by a European consortium in which Britain’s BAE Systems has a 33-percent share. Saudi Arabia spends more than 10 percent of its gross domestic product on defence. In September 2010, Washington revealed a deal worth up to $60 billion to sell F-15 fighters, attack helicopters and other defence equipment and services to the Saudis. Britain signed in the 1980s its biggest ever arms deal with Saudi Arabia, the long-term Al-Yamamah agreement, which is said to have channeled around 40 billion pounds ($63.6 billion in current prices) into Britain’s coffers. The controversial deal was subject to investigation in London over alleged bribes paid to Saudi officials. Britain’s Serious Fraud Office had investigated claims that BAE Systems, one of the world’s biggest weapons makers, ran a 60-million-pound ($95.4- million) slush fund for Saudi officials to attract contracts.
tens of thousands defy quebec protest law MOnTREAL AfP
Tens of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Montreal to mark 100 days of student protests and defy a new law requiring that organizers give notice of demonstrations eight hours in advance. The law and subsequent protest grew out of weeks of student demonstrations against plans to raise university tuition fees, in which clashes have erupted between police and protesters, with hundreds arrested. The protest against the so-called “truncheon law” on Tuesday was mostly peaceful and unfolded in a festive atmosphere despite scattered incidents in which protesters shattered three shop windows. However, police used batons and stun grenades to break up a smaller demonstration of around 2,000 people later Tuesday night. Police said they arrested 50 people at the later protest for “illegal assembly” and wearing masks, which are banned at demonstrations, after some protesters threw bottles at the riot police. The provincial government has defended the law, which requires organizers of demonstrations of more than 50 people to submit detailed plans to police at least eight hours advance under penalty of heavy fines.
YANGON: myanmar demonstrators light candles and pray during a candlelight protest at Sule pagoda against severe power cuts on Wednesday. AfP
Atomic weapons against Islam, Nejad insists TEHRAn
SLAM forbids atomic weapons and other arms of mass destruction, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad insisted on Wednesday ahead of his country’s nuclear talks with world powers in Baghdad. “Based on Islamic teachings and the clear fatwa (edict) of the supreme leader, the production and use of weapons of mass destruction is haram (forbidden) and have no place in the Islamic Republic of Iran’s defence doctrine,” he said. Ahmadinejad’s message was read out at a conference in the western city of Borujerd to commemorate Iranian victims of chemical weapons during a 1980-1988 war against Iraq, the official news agency IRNA reported. World powers were to hold crunch talks in the Iraqi capital on Wednesday with Iran to try to persuade Tehran to suspend sensitive nuclear work. Ahmadinejad’s mention of a fatwa against nuclear weapons by Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, referred to an edict which officials say he laid down in either 2004 or 2005. Though no published fatwa exists,
Iranian scholars point out that declarations by prominent ayatollahs can later take on the weight of a fatwa. Khamenei has spoken out against nuclear weapons on several occasions, most recently on February 22 when he said that possessing an atomic bomb “constitutes a major sin.” “The Iranian nation has never been seeking an atomic weapon and never will be,” while developing nuclear energy was in Iran’s interest, he said. The United States has seized on Khamenei’s stance as a possible basis to resolve the dangerous standoff with Iran. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said last month that Iranian officials “point to a fatwa that the supreme
leader has issued against the pursuit of nuclear weapons.” World powers expect Tehran to back up that position by demonstrating “clearly in the actions they propose that they have truly abandoned any nuclear weapons ambition,” she said.
Iran makes counter-proposal in nuclear talks BAgHDAD: Iran made a counter-proposal to the P5+1 group of world powers during talks between the two sides over its nuclear programme on Wednesday, and talks will run into a second day, an Iranian official said. “Iran proposed a package with five items based on the principles of step-by-step and reciprocity, and we are waiting for the reaction of the P5+1 during meetings this afternoon,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. The official said talks would continue Wednesday evening and into Thursday. Iran was to continue its negotiations with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and China’s delegation to the talks. Neither the United States nor Iran broached the subject of bilateral talks, the official added. AfP
Defiant Myanmar protesters return to streets YAngOn AfP
Protesters returned to the streets of Myanmar’s main city Yangon for a second day on Wednesday, defying a police request to disperse as they explore the extent of freedoms under the reformist regime. The country’s first major demonstrations since a deadly 2007 crackdown on monk-led protests are being closely watched as a test of the new quasi-civilian government’s tolerance of public discontent. About 250 protesters gathered at the Sule Pagoda, in central Yangon, holding candles or placards calling for 24-hour electricity, watched by hundreds of onlookers, according to an AFP reporter. They ignored a request by the authorities to leave, saying they would gather for three consecutive evenings, although another group of what appeared to be farmers called off a rally in a nearby location. “We are protesting peacefully for 24-hour electricity. Police came and asked us to leave but we didn’t go. We will continue our protest. We are just asking for what we need,” protester Han Win Aung, a former political prisoner, told AFP. The impoverished country suffers crippling power cuts, with six-hour blackouts commonplace in Yangon and outages three times as long in Mandalay, another major city. “We are not protesting, just asking for more electricity. We get only about six hours a day,” said Yangon resident Zaw Lin Aung. Asked if he was worried about being arrested, he replied: “I have to suffer like others. So I will continue.”
Russia tests new missile after NATO summit MOSCOW AfP
Russia staged Wednesday the first successful test-launch of a new intercontinental missile designed to pierce the defence system now being deployed by NATO despite Moscow’s fierce complaints. The highly-symbolic launch came just four days after the alliance formally activated the first stage of a defence shield whose deployment Russia has bitterly opposed out of fears that it may target its own vast nuclear arsenal. The missile “should raise the combat capabilities of Russia’s Strategic Nuclear Forces, including by improving their ability to overcome missile defence systems,” defence ministry spokesman Vadim
Koval told RIA Novosti. A military source told the Interfax news agency that the launch was only the second ever conducted in the top-secret programme. The source said the first failed on September 27 when the missile suffered an undisclosed malfunction and crashed only 10 kilometres (six miles) from the launch site. The rocket still has no formal name but is being billed by the military as a “fifth generation” weapon that substantially upgrades the technology used by its already-feared feared Topol-M and Yars systems. “This is one of the... measures being developed by Russia’s military and political leadership in response to the US deployment of a global anti-missile system,” former strategic forces director
Viktor Yesin told Interfax. Little has been revealed about the weapon except its purported ability to better avoid being shot down. The government Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspaper claimed the missile “can reach any spot on Earth” from Russian soil with a maximum range of 16,000 kilometres (10,000 miles) and can carry a bigger payload than any missile in Russia’s current range. Military sources said Wednesday that the missile was also easier to manoeuvre and had individual and had individual warheads that could change course as they closed in on a target at supersonic speed. Russia already has hundreds of longrange missiles capable of raining down nearly 2,000 nuclear warheads on the
United States. But much of the force is built on technology developed in the Soviet era that Russia fears may become obsolete by the time NATO’s shield becomes fully operational in 2018. Russian President Vladimir Putin unveiled a massive new armaments programme during his successful election to a third term and made a visit to a military factory one of his first high-profile stops after his May 7 swearing in. Putin’s predecessor and protege Dmitry Medvedev warned the West last year that Russia will have to deploy new rockets on the borders of NATO’s European partners such as Poland should its concerns not be addressed. It has since deployed a next-generation anti-missile radar near the Polish
border and on Wednesday began testing a similar station at the heart of its nuclear arsenal base in the Siberian city of Irkutsk. The army’s top general Nikolai Makarov this month ratcheted up the rhetoric further by warning that Russia reserved the right to preemptively strike NATO targets once it felt its shield posed a significant threat. US President Barack Obama has sent multiple negotiating missions to Moscow and was earlier this year caught by an open microphone telling Medvedev that he intended to negotiate more on the issue should he win re-election in November. Medvedev this weekend also delivered a message from Putin to Obama that one Russian official said covered security issues along with other points.
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Foreign News 17 Syria rebels pounded, deny pilgrims kidnap DAMASCUS AfP
CAirO: An egyptian woman shows her ink-stained finger after voting in the country’s first free presidential election as others queue at a polling station on Wednesday. AfP
Iraq attacks kill eight BAgHDAD AfP
Attacks in Iraq killed eight people and wounded 33 on Wednesday, security officials said, as Baghdad hosted key nuclear talks in its latest effort to emerge from decades of isolation. Three people were killed and 14 wounded in a shooting and three roadside bombings in Baquba, capital of Diyala province north of the capital, a police lieutenant colonel and Dr Ahmed Ibrahim of Baquba General Hospital said. And a roadside bomb exploded near a bus carrying Lebanese Shiite pilgrims near Ramadi, capital of Anbar, a Sunni Arab province west of Baghdad, killing three and wounding 10 others, police and medical sources said. Iraq is home to some of the holiest sites in Shiite Islam, to which hundreds of thousands of pilgrims flock each year. Pilgrims have come under repeated attack by Sunni insurgents, often with bombs. Two policemen were killed and five wounded in attacks in the northern oil hub of Kirkuk, capital of a province that Kurdish leaders want to incorporate into their autonomous region in northern Iraq, against Baghdad’s wishes. Unknown gunmen attacked the house of a high-ranking police officer, killing a police guard, another highranking officer in the Kirkuk police said.
Egyptians vote for Mubarak successor in historic poll CAIRO
GYPTIANS were voting Wednesday in historic presidential elections contested by Islamists and secularists promising different futures for the country after the overthrow of veteran dictator Hosni Mubarak. Queues formed outside polling stations long before they opened at 08:00 am (0600 GMT), with voters in a festive mood. “It’s a beautiful day for Egypt,” said Nehmedo Abdel Hadi, who was voting at the Omar Markram school in Cairo’s Shubra neighbourhood. “Now I feel this is my country and I have dignity,” said the 46-year-old woman, who wears a full-face veil. Across the city, in the leafy Mohandesseen neighbourhood, Rania, wearing gym clothes and a ponytail under her baseball cap, was at the front of the line. “It’s the first time in Egypt’s his-
Australian tycoon world’s richest woman SYDnEY AfP
Australia’s richest person Gina Rinehart has eclipsed Wal-Mart heiress Christy Walton to become the world’s wealthiest woman, according to an annual index by Business Review Weekly. A preview of the respected BRW Rich 200 list, published Wednesday, put the mining tycoon’s personal fortune at Aus$29.17 billion (US$28.48 billion), a figure that sees her outstrip Walton for the first time. In March, Forbes placed Walton and her family’s net worth at US$25.3 billion, while Rinehart’s fortune stood at US$18 billion. BRW rich list editor Andrew Heathcote said mining magnate Rinehart had almost tripled her wealth in 12 months as commodity prices rose and she pulled off two deals in iron ore and coal. “The Aus$18.87 billion increase in her wealth is unparalleled. It is a product of foreign investment in new projects, increased production and a
recovery in the iron ore price over the past six months,” said Heathcote. Rinehart, 58, heiress to an iron ore prospecting empire built in Australia’s resources-rich west, is a controversial figure who stridently campaigned against new mining taxes and recently bought up big in the media sector. She is also locked in a series of lawsuits, including an acrimonious row with her own children over a family trust where she has been accused of threatening to financially ruin them. Heathcote said Rinehart was on track to overtake Mexican telecommunications tycoon Carlos Slim — worth US$69 billion — as the world’s richest person as demand ramps up for Australia’s natural resources. “A $100 billion fortune is not out of the question for Rinehart if the resources boom continues unabated,” said Heathcote. “There is a real possibility that Rinehart will become not just the richest woman in the world but the richest person in the world.”
tory we choose our president,” she said, preferring to keep her choice “a secret between me and my ballot box.” More than 50 million eligible voters have been called to choose one of 12 candidates wrestling to succeed ousted president Hosni Mubarak. Voting over two days is taking place at 13,000 polling stations, with initial results expected on Sunday. Voting ends at 8:00 pm (1800 GMT) on both days. A senior interior ministry official said police were on standby across the country and helping soldiers secure polling stations. The election marks the final phase of a tumultuous transition overseen by the ruling military council after Mubarak was ousted in a popular uprising last year. After decades of pre-determined results, for the first time, the outcome of the vote in the Arab world’s most populous nation — which also pits revolutionaries against old regime members — is wide open. According to pollsters, the large
number of voters undecided between candidates reflecting radically different trends and the novelty of a free presidential vote make Wednesday’s election almost impossible to call. Among the leading contenders is former foreign minister and Arab League chief Amr Mussa, who is seen as an experienced politician and diplomat but like Ahmed Shafiq, Mubarak’s last prime minister, is accused of belonging to the old regime. The powerful Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate Mohammed Mursi faces competition from Abdel Moneim Abul Fotouh, a former member of the Islamist movement who portrays himself as a consensus choice with a wide range of support. The next president will inherit a struggling economy, deteriorating security and the challenge of uniting a nation divided by the uprising and its sometimes deadly aftermath, but his powers are yet to be defined by a new constitution.
Regime forces launched a fierce assault on the rebel bastion of Rastan in central Syria on Wednesday, raining shells on the town before launching a ground attack, monitors and activists said. The rebel Free Syrian Army, meanwhile, denied it was behind the kidnapping of Lebanese Shiite pilgrims in the north, an incident adding to tensions in neighbouring Lebanon which is already divided between pro- and anti-Damascus camps. There was no immediate word on any casualties at Rastan but the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said seven people were killed in other parts of the country. Soldiers were trying to storm Rastan under the cover of heavy gunfire, shelling and rocket bombardment, the Britain-based watchdog said, adding that at one stage shells smashed into the town at a rate of “one a minute.” An activist reached by Skype told AFP that Free Syrian Army fighters were defending Rastan’s entrances but that “regime forces are being strengthened with new deployments,” including from the elite Republican Guard. “Electricity has been cut off in Rastan, and water tanks have been shelled,” said activist Abu Rawan. “There is also a severe lack of food because the market is closed and we can’t bring food in from nearby villages.”
Yemen needs urgent help, aid groups tell meeting RIYADH AfP
Seven aid groups on Wednesday warned Western diplomats that Yemen was on the brink of a “catastrophic food crisis” and urged them to bolster efforts to salvage the situation as they meet in Riyadh for an international conference to help the nation. “Yemen is on the brink of a catastrophic food crisis,” the seven agencies which include Oxfam, CARE and Save the Children, said in a joint statement released Wednesday ahead of the “Friends of Yemen” meeting. The agencies called on ministers from the wealthy Gulf countries and Western nations due to attend the meeting to “scale up efforts to tackle” the problem. At least 10 million people, some 44 percent of the population, do not get “enough food to eat”, it said, adding that one in three children was “severely malnourished”.
Indian PM says govt must ‘do better’ as woes mount nEW DELHI AfP
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has acknowledged the “large unfinished agenda” facing his government after three years in power, and vowed to tackle corruption and fiscal mismanagement. “I will be the first to say we need to do better,” Singh said late Tuesday as he presented his graft-tainted coalition’s annual report card at a function in New Delhi. Singh’s second term in office has been marked by slowing economic growth, accusations of policy paralysis and a series of corruption scandals that have combined to undermine optimism about India’s future development. “Some people have questioned the sustainability of our growth process. I am confident we will prove the sceptics wrong,” Singh said, after listing achievements such as progress tackling poverty and improving primary education. India’s economy is predicted to have grown 6.9 percent in the last fiscal year to March 2012, the slowest pace since the 2008 global financial crisis, while widening trade and current account deficits have added to concerns. The Indian rupee has fallen to
record lows against the dollar in recent days, reflecting declining foreign fund inflows and frustration among potential foreign investors about India’s inability to push through reforms. Singh said that his government must “remove implementation bottlenecks that are preventing large projects from getting off the ground... (and) quicken the pace of implementation of our policies of inclusive growth.” “I recognise that we face pressures on our balance of payments and that the fiscal situation requires careful management,” added Singh, 79, a softly-spoken former academic who is often accused of failing to provide strong leadership. Singh, who first came to power in 2004, has seen his reputation badly damaged in recent years by corruption scandals linked to organisation of the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi and the sale of mobile phone licences. The telecoms ministry’s under-selling of 2G (second-generation) phone licences to selected firms is thought to have cost the government up to $40 billion in lost revenue. “We know there is public frustration and anger on the issue of corruption,” Singh said, vowing to address the problem through measures including a long-delayed anti-corruption bill.
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McIlroy, Donald battle for top spot Page 21
wasti backs nazir for ICC world t20
Ramdin urges Windies to keep up progress nOTTIngHAM AfP
LAHORE StAff rePOrt
Former Pakistan Test cricketer, Wajahatullah Wasti, is backing the discarded opening batsman, Imran Nazir to make a comeback at the international level and feels that he should be considered for the upcoming ICC World T20 2012, which is scheduled to be held in Sri Lanka in September. Nazir made his international debut in 1999 after some inspiring performances for Pakistan Under-19s. The righthanded batsman is considered to be one of the most talented cricketers produced by the country and was always predicted for a great future by some of the legends of the game like Imran Khan and Ian Chappell. However, the 30-year-old cricketer is one of the biggest disappointments of the previous decade for Pakistan cricket and even after 13 years of making his Test debut, Nazir remains a potential unfulfilled. Wasti, who played alongside the strokeplayer in his initial years, was quoted by Pakpassion that Imran was successful as long as he played orthodox cricket shots. However, the effort to become more flamboyant damaged the batsman’s career and as result; he has ordinary stats despite being given a number of chances at the international stage. The former cricketer said, “Imran Nazir played with me on his debut in Lahore during the Asian Test Championships. When he first started out his technique was very good, and it still is. He performed very well at the beginning of his career - even in Test matches he had his own way of playing cricket.” Wasti believes that Nazir has been working hard on his game in recent times and there is an evident improvement in his mental approach as well. The former opening batsman urged selectors to consider the Gujranwala-born cricketer for the World T20, as he can surely bolster Pakistan’s batting line-up. “Imran Nazir should be given a chance. His temperament used to be a problem but it has improved a lot and I think he is ready to make a comeback. Imran could be an inspired selection for the T20 World Cup later this year," he added.
EST Indies wicket-keeper Denesh Ramdin has said it would be "amazing" for a youthful side if they were to beat world number ones England during their ongoing Test series. The tourists showed plenty of heart in taking England into the fifth day of the first Test at Lord's before going down to a five-wicket defeat concluded Monday to fall 1-0 behind in the three-match series. Now they are in Nottingham, where the second Test at Trent Bridge starts on Friday, looking to improve on a run of just two wins in their last 31 matches at this level and a sequence of 15 Tests without a win on English soil dating back to 2000. "It would be amazing for the young team we have to go out there and win a Test match against the number one team in the world," said Ramdin, speaking at Trent Bridge, on Wednesday. "We showed some fight against Australia back in the Caribbean but in English conditions, we are in their backyard where it is very tough to beat them. "But, having said that, they are beatable once we bowl the right areas, get wickets and our batters put runs on the board. "The confidence is still high. Everyone thought we would lose inside four days (at Lord's) but the guys showed character and fight. If we had a batted a bit better in the first innings we could have probably won." However, Ramdin, a veteran of 43 Tests, said occasional lapses were costing the West Indies dear. "You could just have one bad session and you lose a Test match," said the 27-year-old Trinidad and Tobago keeper. "We need to be more consistent than that." When Ramdin made his Test debut in 2005, Australia were still the kings of the five-day game. Now it's England who are on top and Ramdin believes playing in English conditions is an even harder task than playing Test cricket in India, long regarded as one of the toughest challenges for touring teams. "When I just started the team that was on top was Australia. I think England have a formula they have put into place and that's why they are number one
nOttInghaM: Darren Sammy catches a ball during a training session before Friday's second test match against england at trent Bridge. REUTERS in the world at the moment. "They play hard, they use their conditions well, the batters get runs and put their bowlers in a position to win games. I think it's easier to play in India than in England." BROAD SEEKS NEW tRENt BRIDgE tRIUMPH: Stuart Broad will be back on his home ground when the second Test against the West Indies starts here on Friday, with the seamer keen to follow up last year's Trent Bridge triumph. In 2011 the 25-year-old paceman took a hat-trick against India at Nottinghamshire's headquarters as England won the second Test by 319 runs. "That was definitely one of the highlights of my career," Broad said Wednesday. "I love playing at Trent Bridge. It's a fantastic ground. The home support is brilliant and looking back to last summer it was great to get the win." Broad, recalling his hat-trick, added: "We got the new ball when India were in a very strong position and when the sun is out, Trent Bridge can play very well for the batsmen. "Rahul Dravid played particularly well for his hundred. I remember
Straussy (England captain Andrew Strauss) said, 'Let's go for broke, let's try to hit the stumps. "'Don't worry too much about the runs because we need to make to make some breakthroughs.' Fortunately that worked me," he added. With the tourists on 273 for five in reply to England's first innings 221, Broad had India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni caught for five. Next ball Harbhajan Singh was lbw and the ball after Broad bowled Praveen Kumar. "I don't think it could have been much better," Broad said. "It was a Saturday evening about 5:00 pm (1600 GMT), the crowd was really lively. It went wild. The atmosphere was incredible when I bowled Kumar." Now Broad, the son of former Nottinghamshire and England opening batsman Chris, is looking for more Test success at Trent Bridge where England will look to consolidate their position as the world's number one ranked Test team. He comes into the middle leg of this three-match series having taken 11 for 165, including a Test-best seven for 72 in England's five-wicket first Test win over the
West Indies at Lord's concluded Monday. That performance helped propel Broad to joint-third in the International Cricket Council Test bowling rankings alongside his England new-ball partner James Anderson. England off-spinner Graeme Swann is fifth in a list headed by South Africa fast bowler Dale Steyn, who is set to tour England later in the season. "To have Swanny, Jimmy and myself all in the top five is testament to how far we've come as a team," Broad said. "Jimmy and I work together on most aspects of our bowling so for us both to be in the top three or four is brilliant for both of us. It's an honour to be up there. "In international cricket you always have to be at the top of your game and keep performing," added Broad, who has now taken 158 wickets in 46 Tests at a shade over 30 apiece. "You keep pushing yourself in training to get better. "Having the strength of competition that we have is important in that. Someone like Steven Finn would be in most Test teams in the world at the moment and he's having to wait patiently for his opportunity."
BD clears premier league dues of Pakistan players LAHORE StAff rePOrt
The legal action threat issued by the Federation of International Cricketers Association (FICA) to the Bangladesh Cricket Board over non-payment of dues to the players who took part in the Bangladesh Premier League apparently has had its effects. Former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi said he finally received his dues from the BPL two days back in full. "I got my full dues two days back from the BPL," said Afridi, who was one of the most expensive players purchased in the players bid for the tournament that was held early this year in Bangladesh. As
many as 20 Pakistani players represented different franchises in the BPL that was won by Dhaka Gladiators -the team that signed on Afridi. FICA chief executive Tim May had few days back sent a letter to the BCB President Mustafa Kamal, asking him to clear the dues of all overseas and local players who took part in the BPL within five days or face legal action. Afridi, who only played in the
semi-final and final for Dhaka and had a price of around USD 700,000 in the bid, said he had enjoyed his experience of playing in the BPL. Another player, who was awaiting his dues but didn't wish to be identified, also confirmed to have received his dues. "Yes I have come to know that other players have also started receiving their dues from Bangladesh," he said. FICA stepped in after several overseas players, including Australians, who played in the BPL claimed that the fran-
chises had not fulfilled their promise of clearing their full payments within 45 days after the last match of the BPL. A source in the Pakistan Cricket Board reported to have said that even at the board level Mustafa Kamal had been requested to step in and get the issue of outstanding dues resolved. Relations between Pakistan and Bangladesh cricket boards have taken a nosedive since the BCB pulled out of a short tour to Lahore to play a ODI and T20 match in late April. In another controversy, former captain Mohammad Yousuf was embroiled in a dispute with the Dhaka League organizers over a NOC issued to him by his former club.
Razzaq slams selectors for Sri Lanka snub LAHORE StAff rePOrt
Pakistan allrounder Abdul Razzaq has lashed out at the selectors for advising him to play and perform in domestic cricket if he wants to be considered for national selection. Razzaq, who has not been considered for selection since he played against Sri Lanka last November in the UAE, said it was strange that selectors who got positions in the board because of public relations were giving advice to senior players. "The selectors are quick to advise senior players who have
given years of services to Pakistan cricket to show their form in domestic cricket. How can we expect justice from selectors who get positions in the board because of public relations," he told reporters in Karachi. Razzaq said it was disappointing that while chief selector Iqbal Qasim became a selector on the basis of his PR, he was advising senior players to play domestic cricket. "I think after having played 15 years of international cricket I don't need to prove myself. I am disappointed that the selectors didn't even bother to call me and ask me to prove my fitness before announcing the squad for
the Sri Lanka tour," he said. Razzaq, who has played 46 tests and 265 ODIs, said he would continue to go and perform in foreign leagues. "I think my performance in foreign leagues is enough to show everyone I am fit and doing well. I will be going to England and will try to prove my form and fitness with my performances," he said. . Razzaq said he would like to see the board and selectors giving more respect to the senior players. "I don't want to repeat myself but in 15 years tell me when was I ever given a settled role in the national team as a batsman or bowler although I
performed whenever I got the opportunity." The 32-year-old allrounder lamented that no coach including former Pakistan coaches - Waqar Younis and Mohsin Khan - could utilize his experience and skills properly. "I was never even sure about my batting position all these years," he said. Reports also suggested that Razzaq is unlikely to get a central contract when the list of contracted players is announced by the board soon. Sources say that the PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf has approved a pay hike of 10 per cent in the new contracts which will be till end of the year.
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Pay increase likely for Pakistan cricketers LAHORE StAff rePOrt
Pakistani cricketers, who will get central contracts later this month, can expect a pay hike of between 15 to 25 per cent, an official of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said on Wednesday. The official said that a recommendation of raising the monthly retainer fees and match fees by 10 to 25 per cent had
Kolkata in IPl final for first time PUnE
been approved. "The list of players who will get the central contracts and retainers should be announced by end of the week before the team leaves for the Sri Lanka tour," he said. Reports quoting sources disclosed that the head of game development in the board, Intikhab Alam, chief selector, Iqbal Qasim, domestic cricket operations manager, Zakir Khan were on the committee that was given the task of reviewing the clauses
After four seasons of at times embarrassing underachievement, Kolkata Knight Riders will play for the IPL trophy on Sunday. For almost two-thirds of the qualifier against Delhi Daredevils, they nearly blew it, though the odds were stacked in their favour right from the start. On a pitch where the first ball of spin turned sharply, Knight Riders had three spinners waiting; Delhi Daredevils stuck to playing three specialist fast bowlers. Daredevils' strategy did not seem to have backfired when Knight Riders lumbered to 106 for 4 in 16 overs. In the chase, despite losing Virender Sehwag and David Warner in the first 13 balls, Daredevils were right in the hunt at 83 for 2 after 10 overs. But like they had suddenly bolted away in the last four overs of their innings, Knight Riders choked Daredevils in the latter half of the chase. Daredevils did not help their cause, sending Pawan Negi ahead of Ross Taylor, who finally came in at No. 7 when the asking-rate was more than 14 an over. The late boost that carried Knight Riders to a challenging total on the difficult pitch came from the unlikeliest quarters. Yusuf Pathan, who had done almost nothing the entire season, and Laxmi Shukla, playing in place of an unfit Manoj Tiwary, carted the quicks for 56 off the final four overs, and 36 off the final two, as Knight Riders surged to 162. SCOreS: Kolkata Knight riders 162 for 4 (Yusuf 40*) beat Delhi Daredevils 144 for 8 (Jayawardene 40, Kallis 2-24, narine 2-24) by 18 runs.
LAHORE Punjab University Inter-Collegiate Cricket Lahore Zone Championship: 2011-12 being held under the auspices of the Punjab University at the University ground. The samifinal will be played between Punjab University Law College and Govt. College, Township while Hailey College of Commerce will take on College of Pharmacy. reSUltS: Punjab university law College beat govt. Dyal Singh College, lahore by 182 runs. Punjab university law College, 296/9. tayyab rashid 90, ali zeeshan 76. Sajawal 3 for 51, arslan hadir 2 for 75. govt. Dyal Singh College. 114 for all. usman Butt 34. atif ali 4 for 24, tayyab rashid 3 for 10. College of Pharmacy beat nove College of Commerce 6 wicket. hailey College of Commerce beat u.C.I.t. 33 runs. govt. College, township beat govt Shailmar College 142 runes to win
aussies cry foul over ‘dawn’ starts in hockey SYDnEY reUterS
Australia's men's hockey coach Ric Charlesworth has slammed London Olympic schedulers for lumbering his team with three early starts in their round-robin matches at the Games. The 'Kookaburras' are favourites to win the gold medal in London but Charlesworth said the schedule, released on Tuesday, was unfair and would be disruptive to his top-seeded team. "I don't expect special treatment, I expect not to be disadvantaged, out of five matches you may expect one 5am start for our athletes not three," Charlesworth told Hockey Australia's website. "It interferes with momentum, as major finals won't be played at that hour and it interrupts our routine over two weeks. Early games should be fairly distributed between all teams." While Australia face Spain, Argentina and Pakistan in matches starting at 8.30am local time, second seeds and defending champions Germany play all their games later in the day.
players in the top slab range from 300,000 to 350,000 rupees. Seniors like Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Malik, who didn't have central contracts in the second half of last year, are expected to be given new contracts but allrounder Abdul Razzaq and wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal might miss out again. The source said the new contracts would be announced during a dinner to be hosted for the Sri Lanka bound team on May 26 in Lahore.
SBP to black-list turf installer StAff rePOrt
dating back to January 1 this year. The pay hike means that members of the national team can look forward to a substantial raise in their match fees for Tests, ODIs and T20 matches which have remained unchanged for last three to four years. "The pay hike will also be added to the monthly retainers which at present are in the range of 250,000 rupees, 175,000 and 125,000," the source said. The highest Test or ODI match fee paid to the
Hockey’s shock pad blues
Pu Collegiate Cricket in semis stage
of the central contract and recommending pay hikes and list of players to be awarded the contracts and retainers. "Around 30 to 32 players will be given the central contracts and retainers," one source said. The central contracts of Pakistani cricketers have expired in December 31 last year but due to various reasons the PCB has been unable to issue fresh contracts. But the official said that the players would be given contacts
HE Sports Board Punjab (SBP ) has issued a final show cause notice to the installer of the blue turf at the National Hockey Stadium for adopting delaying tactics in the execution of the project in due frame of time. The firm M/s Swallow International owned by Usman Afridi was given the task to lay the synthetic turf at the stadium which should have been laid by now but he has violated the terms of the deal from day one. However, the timely action of the SBP has not only saved the Punjab government of the losses of Rs 750 million but also saved the hockey facility from the installation of a poorly-manicured turf. He was with clear directives on five counts on April 25th, 27th, 30th and then on May 4th and 8th asked to remove the shock pads, clean and asphalt the surface of the stadium but he failed to remove them and follow other work, is compelling the SBP for his continuous violations of the terms to declare Afridi and Swallow International a black-listed firm and take legal action. The Swallow International’s Muhammad Usman Afiridi has been asked to give reasons within three days as to why his work order should not be cancelled and further action is taken against him for violating the terms of the deal. Afiridi was given the directives on March 31, 2012 to start the work as agreed but he first delayed the signing of the contract and instead started the work before bringing the signed stamp papers of agree-
ment. At the time of the signing of the agreement with the SBP of laying the blue turf, Afridi agreed upon the removing of the existing synthetic turf, its shock pads and cleaning of the asphalt floor as per the instructions of the engineer-in-charge. He also agreed to properly roll, stack and kept safe the existing turf but despite a number of calls he did not respond to the notices set aside the removing of the shock pads and cleaning of the asphalt floor. And then install the blue synthetic turf as approved by the FIH Global having a thickness of shock pads of 8-10 millimetres, pile height 12-14 mm, yarn weight should be
Pakistan open to play seven T20s against Australia
LAHORE StAff rePOrt
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has not ruled out the possibility of accepting a proposal by its Emirates counterpart to play a series of seven Twenty20 Internationals against Australia in the UAE later this year. Pakistan is scheduled to play a series of five ODIs and three T20 matches against Australia from August and is still searching for a neutral venue to organise the matches. The Emirates Cricket Board last week floated a proposal that they were willing to host the PakAustralia series if the PCB decided to do away with the ODIs and instead play seven T20 matches against the Australians. According to the Emirates board, the proposal is viable since the matches can start late and be organised after Eid which should fall around August 22. The PCB had initially ruled out UAE as a neutral venue for the series because of the weather conditions and month of Ra-
mazan during the period the series is scheduled to start. "The proposal to have a series of T20 matches is viable and we are looking at it but first of all we need to have clearance from the International Cricket Council to organise such a large number of T20 internationals," PCB chief operating officer Subhan Ahmed was quoted by PTI. He pointed out that under existing ICC rules maximum three T20 matches could be played in a bilateral series between two countries. "It is a proposal that can be explored but at the same time we are studying other alternate venues for the series including Zimbabwe and Malaysia," he said. Ahmed said that a decision on where the series would be held could be decided within a week's time. "We are looking at all the alternate venues and their cost effectiveness in organising the series plus the weather conditions and facilities," he added. Pakistan since 2009 has played all its home series at neutral venues mostly at Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah as foreign teams have refused to visit the country because of security concerns. "This is a high profile series and we want to earn something from it. It is a difficult situation for us because of teams refusing to play in Pakistan," Ahmed said. On Tuesday PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf also said that India could also be a neutral venue for the series and he would dwell upon this with the BCCI officials when he will be in Chennai to watch the IPL final on Sunday.
at least 1700 grams per square metres and it should also be tufted as agreed. But till Tuesday, May 23, 2012, neither the shock pads were completely removed nor the surface was cleaned and floor was asphalted. Afridi in his reply to one of the notices also admitted that he violated the terms and conditions. He was also asked to regularly visit the site and give his progress report every three days but he field to follow the instructions. Then on March 30, 2012, Afridi was asked as to why he did not remove the old shock pads. Afridi was on May 4 and 8, 2012 again asked to furnish his report but he again failed to follow instructions.
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Venezuela seeks to improve on poor Olympic record CARACAS reUterS
Socialist-run Venezuela has been unable to replicate the Olympic glories of political bedfellows Cuba, China or the old Soviet Union. Yet there is no lack of enthusiasm among the 60 or so athletes heading to the London Olympics with the dream of adding to the South American nation's gold medal tally of one. No one will be cheering them louder than President Hugo Chavez, a sportslover who has poured oil revenues into
the "massification" of sport as a major plank of his self-styled revolution in Venezuela since taking power in 1999. "In socialist countries, the government is close to sport," Venezuela's Olympic Committee President Eduardo Alvarez told Reuters, praising Chavez's efforts to take sport to the masses. "Political support is a catalyst ... It makes Venezuelan athletes stand out to the world," he added. "In a different political system, where people have to pay, there's exclusion, that's an important difference." Venezuela sent a record 110
athletes to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, more than twice any of its previous teams. Despite that boost in numbers, Venezuelan fans were largely disappointed: taekwondo competitor Dalia Contreras brought home the only medal, a bronze. She has since retired. That had Chavez's many detractors in the politically-polarized nation scoffing at the failure to turn Venezuela into an Olympic player. Critics say the president has politicized sport for his own self-aggrandizement, and claim funds have been chaotically and sometimes
corruptly allocated. The Venezuelan Olympians going to London are fewer than the Beijing delegation because several large teams, including women's softball and volleyball, failed to qualify. Venezuela will spend around $20 million preparing athletes for London, Alvarez said at the Olympic committee's headquarters next to a stadium in a down-at-heel Caracas district. That pales in comparison to powerhouses like the United States, whose committee has an annual budget of roughly $150 million.
PRU names squad for A5N Rugby
lahOre: the Pakistan rugby team train with their Irish coach. STAff PHOTO LAHORE StAff rePOrt
Pakistan Rugby Union on Wednesday announced 24-member team for the participation in the HSBC Asian 5-Nation Div-III Rugby Championship at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from May 30. Talking to the reporters here at a local hotel on Wednesday, PRU secretary Arif Saeed said: “Pakistan team will leave for Malaysia on May 24 where it will attend three-day training camp. Pakistan team will take on archrivals India in its opening match on May 30 while Guam will face Indonesia on the same day. The winners of both matches will play against each other and both losing sides will take on each other on June 1.” He said that the winner of the winners’ match would go on to play the winner of Div-II as part of the Rugby World Cup qualifying round for the 2015 Rugby World Cup scheduled to be held in London. Talking about Pakistan squad,
the PRU secretary said: “This year’s squad contains nine new faces and a strong presence of Pakistan Army players while the team has been trained by former Ireland Prop Justin Fitzpatrick wit 26 caps to his credit playing for Ireland against all top rugby playing nations.” “Justin has been in Pakistan from May 1 and has held 20 sessions with the team making it physically fit and mentally strong. He will be traveling with the team to Kuala Lumpur along with Pakistan Rugby resident coach Rizwan Malik and team physio Rashid Hafeez. The 24-member squad is Arsalan Zahid (captain), Fiaz Ahmed, M Abu Bakar Khan, M Tahir Rafi, Inam Ullah Khan, M Ali, Sharafat Ali, Fouzan Majeed Wain, Halide Mehmood, Umer Islam, Nasir Mehmood, Imad Ali Nasir, M Javed, Rehan Mansoor, M Imran, M Babar, Israr Ahmed, Shakeel Ahmed, Tahir Yaqoob, M Manan Naseem, Saqib Murtaza, Shaharyar Ahmad, Ahmed Mumtaz and Temour Ahmed.
CaraCaS: Discus thrower Jesus Parejo, 31, makes a throw during a practice session. REUTERS
Djokovic signs for Japan’s Uniqlo PARIS AfP
World number one Novak Djokovic was on Wednesday unveiled as the new ambassador for Japanese clothing firm Uniqlo, whose sportswear he will wear at the French Open this weekend. Djokovic, who has been under contract with the Italian firm Sergio Tacchini, showed off his new kit to the media at a Paris hotel. No indication was given as to the size of the contract. Fast Retailing, the parent company of Uniqlo, anticipates anticipates selling the clothing line at its high street stores, the company's head, Tadashi Yanai, said. An off-court range endorsed by the player has also been developed using designer Naoki Takizawa, who has previously worked for Issey Miyake. The company said it also plans a t-shirt line, profits from which will go towards supporting Djokovic's charitable foundation.
Royal Palm Golf Course gets top ranking in Pakistan LAHORE StAff rePOrt
lahOre: a golfers compete at the royal Palm golf Course. STAff PHOTO
In a periodic review of Golf Courses around the world carried out by Golf Digest under the label, Planet Golf, the Royal Palm Golf and Country Club Golf Course has been ranked as the best golf course in Pakistan. The ranking of Royal Palm Golf Course is a part of the individual rankings of golf courses in 203 countries based on a large global panel survey involving 609 panelists, 11426 individual course evaluations, with input from 30 international editions of Golf Digest (May 2012, vol 63, no 5, page 124). A significant feature that emerged through this survey was that growth of golf in USA has stalled and in 2011 there was a net loss of 140 courses in America. The survey also highlights that, internationally, a lot of exciting new prominent golf courses have come up, like Yas Links
in Abu Dhabi, Barnbough Lost Farm in Australia, Castle Stuart in Scotland, Black Mountain in Thailand and many others. Then there are other countries which have joined the league of golf nations by adding their first golf course and include Belarus, Equatorial Guinea and Sudan. However some countries still have no golf course, the most populous being Iraq (32 million inhabitants) and Yemen (24 million). The survey also states that Planet Golf is a world of 32,515 golf courses, played and beloved by 60 million people who are proud to call themselves golfers. As for Royal Palm Golf Course, it has played host to numerous national and regional golf tournaments including the National Amateur, Pakistan Open, SAARC Golf Championship. In these competitions, national teams and players of South Asia participated. Soon Royal Palm hopes to host the Asian Tour Event in Lahore.
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McIlroy, Donald battle for top spot WEnTWORTH
HE battle to be the world's top-ranked golfer will again be a subplot of this week's PGA Championship which starts on Thursday here at Wentworth. Luke Donald, who deposed Lee Westwood at the top of the rankings when winning last year's title, is the only player who can topple current number one Rory McIlroy but needs to repeat his victory of 12 months ago to do so. However McIlroy performs, Donald has to finish eighth alone or better to have any chance of reclaiming his place at the head of the rankings. A win for Westwood, who displaced Tiger Woods as number one in October 2010, would leave him just short of top spot. Donald will start the defence of his title playing with England's Justin Rose and Spaniard Alvaro Quiros for the first two rounds whilst McIlroy is grouped with three-time major winner Ernie Els from South Africa and Scotland's Martin Laird. Westwood is grouped with Ireland's Graeme McDowell and Thomas Bjorn from Denmark. There are a record number of 14 major champions in the
wentwOrth: luke Donald watches his tee shot on the second hold during the final round of the Players Championship Pga golf tournament at tPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach. REUTERS field including Els who with his course designer hat on has made more changes to the course. Two years ago Els was criticised by his fellow players for altering the course, particularly the par-5 18th that caused drama in last
year's play-off when Westwood hit his approach into the water around the green. Further tinkering ahead of the tournament a year ago also did not meet with the approval of many of the golfers with Ian Poulter being one of
Cambodians feel difficulty in Paralympics too PHnOM PEnH reUterS
Impoverished Cambodia has thousands of disabled athletes, the legacy of war, revolution, landmines along disputed borders and inadequate healthcare, but only one will be in Britain for the Paralympic games this year. "I am very excited to compete in a big country like this," said 30-year-old shortdistance runner Thim Senghon, handicapped from birth, who will represent Cambodia at the games starting in August. Speaking by telephone from Australia where she is training, Thim Senghon said she would be using an old prosthetic limb that helped her win a gold and two silver medals at regional games in Indonesia. It was donated years ago by a Norwegian sponsor. "I want to win, I train hard, but I've got little hope of winning a medal," she said, adding that part of the problem was that a new, lighter artificial leg would cost thousands of dollars, well out of her reach. "We can't afford good prosthetic limbs like the ones used by athletes from European countries," she said. "It's too expensive and only rich countries can afford that." Since athletes wanting to compete in the Games have to meet certain qualifying standards, those from poorer countries often miss out simply because they cannot afford the best equipment. The International Paralympics Committee can offer a "wild card" to a few athletes from countries where none qualify on the normal criteria, but that leaves many disappointed, such as wheelchair
racer Van Vun, 26, disabled since having polio at the age of three. "I was told I was going to compete in England and later they told me that they only needed one," he said, referring to a message he got from a local sports federation. "I'm very upset because I want to compete in a big event," said Van Vun, who has won two silver medals at a regional event. Australian Christopher Minko, secretary general of Cambodia National Volleyball League (Disabled), has another complaint: his sport is not even in the Games even though all that is needed is a ball and net, so it is popular in poorer countries. "The big problem now with the Paralympic Games is that it's changed, it's become a game that's dominated by technology. They're putting new sports in and throwing old sports out," he said. A lot of the simple, traditional sports had gone, to be replaced by relatively expensive sports such as rowing and equestrian golf, he said, saying the event was now "just becoming a game for rich nations". The absence of volleyball is all the more distressing since Cambodia is ranked number two in the world after Germany for volleyball played by teams of the disabled, Minko said. "When it comes to equipment, we can't compete, we don't have the resources, we don't have the facilities, we don't have the $30,000 wheelchair. But when it comes to athletic ability, we've already reached number two in the world."
PhnOM Penh: Cambodia's wheelchair racer Van Vun, 26 trains for the london Olympics. REUTERS
the loudest to vent his disapproval. Els has made some minor modifications to the course for the flagship event of the European Tour and is convinced he has finally come up with a fair test of golf. "I think the guys will have a lot better scoring opportunities," Els told reporters at Wentworth. "It is a par 72, six-under won last year. I think 14 or 16-under is going to be the winning score and hopefully we will have a lot more smiling faces from the players this year." The 18th has provided some grandstand finishes over the years and Els believes the latest changes, with players hitting their approach shots from an elevated part of the fairway to a small green surrounded by water will provide the same this year. He added: "It is going to be a great finishing hole. There is water so there is risk and reward if you want to go for it. It is an exciting finish and you can make an eagle there now." Meanwhile England's Simon Dyson, the reigning Irish and Dutch Open champion, has withdrawn from the tournament with a hip injury. Dyson, who pulled out of the Players Championship in Florida two weeks ago, is replaced in the field by Dutchman Maarten Lafeber.
watCh it Live ESPN Sportscentre 07:30PM
annual Sports gala LAHORE StAff rePOrt
The Lahore School Annual Sports Gala started off with great fervor at the Lahore School of Economics on Wednesday. Football, basketball, volleyball, cricket and rugby matches were played among girls and boys. The three-day sports event kick started with a football face-off between the Lahore School of Economicsâ€™ Black Team and FC College. Sports events were sporadically set throughout the day to accommodate the teams from different institutes like LUMS, LMDC, NCA, BNU, FC College, COMSAT and USA. These sporty interuniversity events allow creating relationships with other schools letting students meet peers with similar talents and interests, and to strengthen sportsmen spirit of the players.
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TAPI countries sign gas pipeline deal ISLAMABAD
FTER more than 20 years of delicate negotiations, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India (TAPI) finally signed an agreement on Wednesday for a 1,800kilometre natural gas pipeline that would connect one of Central Asia’s largest energy suppliers with South Asia’s critically underserved market. A statement issued by the Ministry of Petroleum said that Petroleum Minister Dr Asim Hussain had termed the development as an important milestone in regional relations, and said that the project would help in meeting the energy requirements of Pakistan in the long run. TAPI gas pipeline is a 30-year agreement under which Turkmenistan will supply 1.34 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) of
natural gas to Pakistan. The TAPI project is scheduled to be completed by October 2017. With the TAPI pipeline in place, Turkmenistan’s gas will reach a greater range of overland markets, diversifying from its existing markets in Russia, Iran, and China. An agreement between Afghanistan and Turkmenistan is expected to be finalised shortly. The next step is for the four TAPI nations to attract commercial partners to build, finance, and operate the pipeline, estimated in 2008 to cost at least $7.6 billion. A statement issued by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), which has played a leading role in coordinating and facilitating the TAPI negotiation process over the past 10 years, said that Pakistan’s Inter-State Gas System Limited and India’s GAIL Limited signed gas sales and purchase agreements with Turkmenistan that would lead to the supply of up to 90 million cubic metres of natural gas per day.
Afghanistan also signed a memorandum of understanding on long-term gas cooperation with Turkmenistan. “This is a truly historic moment of unparalleled regional cooperation,” said Klaus Gerhaeusser, director general of the Central and West Asia Department ADB, which has acted as the TAPI Secretariat since 2002. The bulk of exported gas will help meet surging energy demand in India and Pakistan, where energy needs are set to double by 2030, while the remainder will alleviate chronic power shortages in Afghanistan. “The pipeline represents a win-win scenario for each TAPI country, as it will give Turkmenistan with the world’s fourth largest reserves more diverse markets, and would help fuel the energy-hungry economies to the South,” Gerhaeusser said. “Each country stands to gain, making this not only the ‘peace pipeline’, but a pipeline to prosperity as well.”
US senators reject Pakistan’s $5,000 per NATO truck ‘extortion’ MOnITORIng DESK
Kyrgyzstan, NATO ink transit agreement
hYderABAd: Activists of nationalist parties shout slogans during a shutter-down strike on Wednesday. INP
Army chopper crashes into Chenab River, pilots missing WAZIRABAD: A small twoseater trainer helicopter of Pakistan Army’s aviation wing crashed into Chenab River near Wazirabad on Wednesday while flying over the waterway, officials said. Military officials said army teams reached the scene to search for the helicopter after it lost communication with the airbase. The chopper was recovered from the river later in the day, but the pilot and trainee onboard were still missing, a private TV channel reported. “It was a two-seater helicopter which is generally used for technical purposes,” an official told the media. The rescue teams and police also rushed to the spot while three army choppers also took part in the search operation, officials said, adding that divers from Mangla were also called in to search for the wreckage of ill-fated chopper. ONLINE
Coalition partners want more development funds ISLAMABAD Amer SiAl
Upping the ante one day before the important meeting of the National Economic Council (NEC), the coalition parties of the government presented their multi-billion rupee demands for inclusion in the next fiscal year’s public sector development programme along with tax incentive proposal for the federal budget. A two member MQM parliamentary team led by Dr Nadeem Ahsan and including Abdul Rashid Godil held talks with Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh and other senior officials. They demanded allocation for the Karachi Circular Railways, Motorway between Karachi-Hyderabad (M-9), Lyari Expressway and water supply project K-4. Talking to reporters after the meeting, Dr Nadeem Ahsan said the government had heard their demands and assured a considerate consideration, but no decision was taken. He said the final decisions would be made in negotiations on Thursday and the MQM team would be led by Dr Farooq Sattar. An official source said all mentioned projects fell under the provincial domain
US Senators John McCain and Carl Levin, the chair and ranking members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, on Wednesday said the US BISHKEK: Kyrgyzstan and NATO have signed an agreement on the should not pay $5,000 per truck demanded by transit of cargo by land through Kyrgyzstan for the International Pakistan for supplies to Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, the Kyrgyz Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday. The agreement was signed at the NATO troops in Afghanistan, summit in Chicago on Tuesday, said a press release issued by the which McCain called ministry. The ministry believes that the accord “is important for the “extortion”. Talking to further development of bilateral cooperation between Kyrgyzstan and “The Cable”, Senator McCain said: “We can’t NATO in the interests of stabilising the situation in Afghanistan, and look at aid in that light. ensuring security in Kyrgyzstan and the Central Asian region”. At the signing ceremony, NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander It’s now becoming a Vershbow thanked Kyrgyzstan for the support, saying the agreement matter of principle.” was an important contribution to stabilising the situation in Meanwhile, Senator Afghanistan. Kyrgyz Foreign Minister Ruslan Kazakbaev said his Carl Levin said the US should not pay Pakistan country would continue to assist the international community, fees anywhere near that including NATO, in security, peace, stability and further economic and social development of Afghanistan. NNI level. The reactions from the US senators come in light of a New York Times report which stated that Pakistan wanted upwards of $5,000 for each truck that passed through its territory, whereas the fees paid prior to the Salala attack was about $250 per truck.
other than M-9, but the MQM was still insisting the federal government finance the projects. He said considering the political situation, the government would have to give commitment for the projects and set some allocation to pacify its coalition partners. The government faces a similar pressure from the Awami National Party, which sent KP Chief Minister Amir Haider Hoti who stressed on a tax incentive package for the province for being at the frontline in the war against terrorism. The government actually wanted to take back incentives given two years back to the province due to the improvement in law and order. However, Hoti stressed its continuation, claiming the province was still not out of the woods. Talking to reporters, he said they had asked for an incentive package for the province. He said they had raised the demand to uncap the net hydel profit from Rs 6 billion per annum limit imposed in 1990s. He said WAPDA had paid only Rs 2 billion to the province while Rs 4 billion for the current fiscal year was still pending.Uncapping of the net hydel profit is a major demand by KP, as it wants royalty on the basis of actual units of hydel power generated from the dams located in its jurisdiction.
Published by Arif Nizami for Nawa Media Corporation (Pvt) Ltd at Qandeel Printing Press, 4 Queens Road, Lahore.
Editor: Arif Nizami