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LHR 26-02-2012_Layout 1 2/26/2012 3:39 AM Page 1

Rs22.00 Vol ii no 240 22 pages Karachi edition

Sunday, 26 February, 2012 Rabi-ul-Sani 3, 1433

By-polls marred by violence, irregularities g

PM’s son makes his way to NA with huge margin

MULTAN: Ali Musa Gilani celebrates his victory in the NA-148 by-election.

T

Wo men were killed and at least three others were injured in aerial firing and clashes at polling stations, as by-elections were held on Saturday on six National Assembly and four provincial assembly seats, two each in Punjab and Sindh. The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has won the most seats: two each in the National and provincial assemblies. The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) succeeded in getting one National Assembly and two provincial assembly seats, whereas PMLFunctional (PML-F) and the Awami National Party (ANP) bagged one seat each. An independent candidate from Kasur also secured his place in the national legislature. Although tight security arrangements had been promised for the by-polls, gun tot-

ing mobs of rival candidates were seen at various polling stations across the country. Incidents of aerial firing claimed two lives, both at the hands of the supporters of ruling political parties, the PPP and ANP. A private TV channel reported that a man was killed in Multan due to aerial firing by the supporters of PPP candidate and the prime minister’s son Ali Moosa Gilani, who won from the NA-148 constituency. The injured man later succumbed to bullet wounds. Gilani took a comprehensive lead with 60,000 votes over his opponent Ghaffar Dogar, a PML-N candidate, who got 28,000 votes. According to our reporter, one person was killed in Mardan when ANP workers opened fire after their candidate Himayatullah Mayar was announced victorious from NA-9. Policemen were present at the scene, but showed reluctance to take action against Mayar’s supporters. Mayar won the election with 30,566 votes against Jamiat Ulema-eIslam-Fazl (JUI-F) candidate Maulana Shuja Mulk, who received 10,713 votes. Women were reported to have been blocked from casting votes at certain polling stations, including the ones in Mianwali. At least three people were injured in Mianwali and Mardan as rival groups clashed at polling stations. Incidents of violence were reported from NA-140 Kasur (Punjab), PP-44 Mianwali (Punjab) and NA-168 Vehari (Punjab), Continued on page 04

MULTAN: A Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz female activist, Sultana Shaheen argues with Pakistan People’s Party candidate Liaqat Dogar over bogus voters’ list during the by-election on Saturday. INP

No threat to Pakistan, Crocker complains of militant havens assures prime minister in Pakistan g

Gilani says govt identifying stakeholders for APC on Balochistan ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT

Assuring the nation that there is no threat to the country, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani said on Saturday that the government was in the process of identifying the stakeholders who would be taken on board before summoning the All Parties Conference (APC) on Balochistan. Talking to journalists at the Prime Minister’s House, Gilani said, “We are in the process to identify the stakeholders who would be taken on board. The Baloch are pro-Pakistan and nationalists. First we will address the

issue of mutilated bodies in the province, then we will consult them (Baloch) at the APC or whatever other forum they wanted to discuss and resolve the issue.” The prime minister said a committee had been constituted to contact the country’s political leadership to convene the APC on the issue. Gilani said he would meet the Balochistan governor and chief minister “very soon” to discuss ways to engage all the stakeholders in the consultations. The prime minister said the benefits of the Aghaze-Haqooq-e-Balochistan Package could Continued on page 04

WASHINGTON AFP

The US ambassador to Afghanistan sent a top-secret cable to Washington last month warning that the existence of enemy havens in Pakistan was placing the US strategy in Afghanistan in jeopardy, The Washington Post reported late Friday. Citing unnamed US officials, the newspaper said that the cable, written by Ambassador Ryan Crocker, amounted to an admission that US efforts to curtail activities in Pakistan by the Haqqani network, a key Taliban ally, were failing. Pakistan’s relationship with the United Continued on page 04

RemembeRing the pioneeR

‘hameed Nizami, a journalist par excellence’ LAHORE

Hussain’s report on Balochistan should be followed, as in this way law and order of that province could be restored. orya Maqbool Jan said that Hameed Nizami was a torchbearer of truth and if he would have been alive today, he would have given the right solution to the Balochistan issue. He said that media should play its role in solving the Baloch dilemma. Lahore Press Club President Sarmad Bashir read the speech of Nazir Naji, who could not come due to ill health. In his speech, Naji said that we can tackle the menace of terrorism by following the ideology of Hameed Nizami, who actively fought against the aggression of the dictators.

NAUMAN TASLEEM

Hameed Nizami was one of the best journalists ever produced by Pakistan and has an immortal place in the history of Pakistani journalism. He played an important role in the Pakistan movement and Mohammad Ali Jinnah highly appreciated his efforts. Facing the Hindu press bravely by founding the Nawa-e-Waqt newspaper, he played a pivotal role in defining and representing the sentiments of the Muslims of the sub-continent. These views were expressed by the speakers on at a function arranged on the 50th death anniversary of Hameed Nizami on saturday. Hameed Nizami Memorial Society and Awan-e-Iqbal jointly arranged the programme. Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain presided over the function and Federal Minister Samina Khalid Ghurki was the chief guest. Famous writers, anchors, and columnists like Mujeeb ur Rehman Shami, Hamid Mir, Sajad Mir, orya Maqbool Jan, Jahangir Badar and Allama Iqbal’s grandson Waleed Iqbal spoke on the occasion. A large number of students,

Continued on page 04

LAHORE: Distinguished speakers listen to a speech during the annual Hameed Nizami Day at the Aiwan-e-Iqbal on Saturday. StAff Photo political workers and the general public attended the function. Speaking on the occasion, Editor Pakistan Today Arif Nizami said that now press enjoys a lot of freedom but during the time of Hameed Nizami, the press was not as free as it is today. Hameed Nizami sacrificed his life

while fighting against the martial law of Ayub Khan, he said. “It is unfortunate that the newspaper founded by Hameed Nizami is hurling negative propaganda against me,” Arif Nizami said. Shujaat appreciated the efforts rendered by Hameed Nizami for Pakistan and said that journalism is incomplete without

mentioning him. “Hameed Nizami was a journalist par excellence and waged a struggle for the cause of freedom of expression,” Shujaat said. While giving a solution of the Balochistan issue, he said that President Asif Zardari should travel abroad to meet the Baloch leaders. He said that Mushahid


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02 News

Sunday, 26 February 2012

NewS

LAHore

today’s

CArTooN

A good lawyer enjoys a good feast before he votes… Firdous brushes aside media curb speculations

Quick Look

Story on Page 05

Story on Page 07

Blown up rail tracks repaired, train service started KARACHI/ISLAMABAD: Around 18 blasts damaged railway tracks at different places across Sindh on Saturday but were repaired and train services started after a couple of hours, officials said. After restoration of tracks, trains held back at Karachi stations have been were sent to their destinations. No casualties were reported in the explosions. According to sources, 12 small blasts hit railway tracks at Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur, Nawabshah, Khairpur and Mirpur Mathilo. No group claimed responsibility for the blasts. Sindh Home Minister Manzoor Wasan said that the killing of Benazir Bhutto had increased the sense of deprivation in the province and railways blasts were its outcome. AGENcIES

DPC to hold APC on Balochistan on 27th: Saeed QUETTA: An All Parties Conference (APC) on Balochistan will be held in Quetta on February 27 by the Difa-e-Pakistan Council (DPC), outlawed Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed said on Saturday. Talking to journalists, he said that the entire political leadership of the country was invited to the APC, including PTI Chairman Imran Khan, PML-N President Nawaz Sharif, PML-Q President Senator Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, ANP President Asfand Yar Wali and Baloch leaders. Saeed said that the APC will discuss alleged American, Indian and Israeli intervention in Balochistan and the situation created by the US Congress resolution on Balochistan. He said that special recommendations will be given to resolve the issues facing the province. ONLINE

PPP-backed Shehram Sarwar wins LHCBA election

Page 13

$500m corruption in PIA, says PTI ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT

The tale of corruption in PIA continues with signing of an agreement to purchase five 777 Boeing aircraft for $1.5 billion, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) Information Secretary Shafqat Mehmood said on Saturday. He said that the entire process was correctly questioned by the Transparency International, which believed that $500 million kickbacks were taken in the deal. According to it, an exorbitant price of $300 million was agreed upon, which was around 50 percent higher than the market price. Corruption by the PIA management with support of its political masters was also visible from the fact that this deal was never advertised and PPRA rules were not followed, Mehmood said. The PTI information secretary said that inordinate hurry in finalising the purchase was also visible. In 21 short days, the deal was finalised, which was unprecedented in aviation history, he said. Mehmood said that purchase of new aircraft had to go through a lengthy process of approvals, including working out details of configuration, testing under extreme weather conditions, particularly summers and compatibility with the existing repair and maintenance facilities. The PTI leader said that special attention was paid to issues such as conformity with the existing fleet to minimise overhead costs. None of this was done, which in itself was a testimony to corruption, he said. The deal was rushed through to take huge kickbacks, Mehmood said, adding that the leadership of a country whose economy was in serious downturn, whose revenues were so low that it was effectively bankrupt, continued with its massive corruption.

10 missing Balochs return home QuETTA SHAHzADA zULFIqAR

LAHoRE: Shehram Sarwar Ch, supported by friends’ alliance of former SCBA president Asma Jahangir and PPP lawyers, was elected president of the Lahore High Court bar Association (LHCBA) defeating his rival Muhammad Aslam Butter of pro-judiciary Professional Group led by Hamid Khan. He was successful with a clear lead of 555 votes as Shehram secured 3284 votes against his rival contester Mr Butter who bagged only 2729 votes. While PML- N supported candidate for the slot of bar’s President, Shafqat Mahmood Chohan remained 3rd in the race with 2175 votes. The candidates backed by Asma and PPP government have already won control of Punjab bar council (PBC) Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) in the recently held elections and the LHCBA is the last election which has also gone to PPP lawyers backed by Asma, Governor Punjab Latif Khosa and the PLF leadership. However, on the seat of Vice President, Hafeez Ur Rehman, won with 5760 and the losing candidate Afzaal Azeem Pahat got 2391 in the one on one contest. The winner, Hafeez, was backed by professional group. Sardar Akbar Dogar was elected secretary of the bar by knocking out his rival Rana Awais Tauseef securing 5398, and 2770 respectively. Rahila Anjum Minhas was elected on the seat of secretary finance with 2748 votes defeating Sheikh Faisal Zaheer who got 2013. JAMALUDDIN JAMALI

Amidst information about the release of ten Baloch missing persons by the intelligence agencies, Nasrullah Baloch, Chairman Voice for Baloch Missing Persons has confirmed that four missing persons had reached their homes last night. Nasrullah Baloch told the reporters on Saturday that personnel of intelligence agencies whisked away four persons, all the resident of Makran during the last one year from different areas and were released last night. They all have reached their homes. He said that they included Mohammad son of Haji Gul Jan resident of Mand of Kachh district, Mohammad Haneef Baloch, a resident of Mand, Majid Baloch of Buleda and Ali Johar alias Ali Baba, the resident of the coastal town of Pasni. He said that Ali Baba was picked up along with other persons including BSo-Azada leader Ilyas Nazar whose bullet riddled body was found from Murgha, near Turbat last year. VBMP Chairman said that his group had been struggling for the release of hundreds of Baloch missing persons. He demanded for the release of all persons confined in the agencies

torture cells while further calling for action to be taken against the responsible ones. He said that the Voice would continue its protest till the acceptance of their demands. He also appealed to international human rights organisations to take notice of human rights violations particularly enforced disappearances in Balochistan. Ten ‘missing’ Balochs return home: security officials INP adds: Ten Baloch political activists, who were termed missing by their families, have returned home, security officials said on Saturday. There was contradiction in exact number of persons returning home as security forces put the figure at 10, while Nasarullah Baloch - Chairman of Baloch Voice for Missing People - put the figure at four. Mohammad Gul, Mohammad Hanif, Majid Baloch and Johar Ali returned to their homes in Turbat, Buladan and Pasni, according to Nasrullah Baloch. The missing persons returned during the last five days and 200 people are now missing in the province, security officials said. Contradicting the statement, Baloch said that thousands of men are still missing. Several cases related to the ‘missing persons’ are being heard in courts across the country, including the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

Balach Marri’s house razed, claims BNV QuETTA STAFF REPORT

Baloch National Voice, a separatist group, claimed that residence of slain Baloch leader Balach Marri was razed to the ground on Saturday by progovernment people backed by security forces. In a statement, BNV condemned the incident saying that the house was occupied by armed men supported by the Balochistan CM and intelligence agencies. It said that the armed men razed the house completely and warned that the responsible people would have to face the consequences. The statement said that it was against Baloch tradition to storm into someone’s house and destroy it completely. Government officials said that no one informed them about the incident and action would be taken if someone lodged a complaint.


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Sunday, 26 February 2012

ForeIGN NewS

ArTS & eNTerTAINMeNT

SPorTS

clinton pledges US help for Tunisia reforms

‘Heroine’ loses her lines

PcB keeps Misbah as captain for Asia cup

News 03 CoMMeNT The silver lining Inching towards understanding

crime in Punjab Complacency and micromanaging

Humayun Gauhar says: The tyranny of history: How our servile attitude has led us to nowhere

Iqbal Haider says: The Indo-Pak peace: National security vs welfare state

M J Akbar says: Revenge of the provinces: Congress couldn’t get its act together

Story on Page 14

Story on Page 17

Story on Page 18

Articles on Page 12-13

‘Cases against Baloch leaders involving third party to stay’ g

Interior minister says Interpol contacted to issue red warrants for Musharraf ISLAMABAD

I

STAFF REPORT

NTERIoR Minister Rehman Malik, Saturday clarified that the government could not withdraw cases against Baloch leaders where a third party was involved in it. “only political cases against Baloch leaders would be quashed, while those filed by a third party cannot be withdrawn and hence would remain intact,” he told media after a meeting with Balochistan Chief Minister, Nawab Aslam Khan Raisani. He said his meeting with Raisani remained fruitful and various issues of national interest came under discussion. Rehman Malik said withdrawal of political cases against Baloch leaders was in accordance with Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan Package. He agreed that in the past Balochistan remained neglected but pointed out that soon after coming into power, the PPP-led

MULTAN: Women stand in a queue to cast their votes during the by-election in NA 148 on Saturday. oNLINE

revival of NATo supplies unacceptable: Hashmi ISLAMABAD: Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Javed Hashmi warned of protests till the ouster of the government if NATo supplies were restored through any route, Geo News reported on Saturday. Addressing a protest demonstration staged here at Parade Avenue, Hashmi said drone strikes began in Musharraf era and continued till today. In spite of being in power, the government in the past four years even failed to rectify the mistakes committed in Musharraf’s rule, he regretted. The PTI leader also lamented that although the Parliament had passed a resolution against drone attacks, the same could not be stopped. “Restoration of NATo supplies, whether through land or air routes, will not be acceptable,” he asserted. MONITORING DESk

government took various steps for the development of the province. He said during the meeting, Chief Minister Balochistan demanded more jobs for his province adding that the federal government would create more job opportunities for the people of Balochistan. He said Balochistan Chief Minister had asked to declare Gwadar port a ‘free port’ adding, “It will be better for the region.” INP ADDS: Interior Minister Rehman Malik has said that he is trying to contact the Baloch leadership. Talking to the media, Rehman Malik said that orders have also been issued to write a letter to Interpol for the arrest of former president Pervez Musharraf. Malik stirred the political scene by saying early this week that the government is willing to quash cases against all Baloch leaders living in exile abroad. However, Shahzain Bugti set out 10-point demands for restoring peace in the province. His demands included calling off the All Par-

ties Conference (APC) and arrest of Musharraf in the Bugti murder case. Meanwhile, Interior ministry has written to DG FIA to contact Interpol for issuing red warrants of Musharraf. The interior ministry has written to Director General (DG) of FIA regarding contacting Interpol for issuing red warrants of former President Pervez Musharraf, for his trail in Benazir Bhutto murder case. The DG-FIA has been directed to complete all legal formalities regarding ensuring the issuance of red alert warrants for Pervez Musharraf within three days. Sources have also informed that Rehman Malik had also specifically stressed on officials to keep him updated about the issue on a daily basis. It is pertinent to note that former President Musharraf has been declared a proclaimed offender, and government has been directed to take adequate steps to ensure Musharraf’s return back home for his trail in Benazir murder case.

Intruders smash heads of 70-year-old, his granddaughter in Lahore LAHORE STAFF REPORT

In a gory incident, 70-year old man Muhammad Arshad and his four years old granddaughter Khadija were murdered in their home in Garden Town police precincts on Saturday. Police has shifted the dead bodies to the Jinnah Hospital morgue for autopsy and started investigations. According to details, Adnan, son of Muhammad Arshad and father of Khadija, a resident of Abu Bakar Block in Garden Town and an employee of State Bank, left home for grocery shopping around noon, after which some unidentified people jumped inside the house from the back wall. The invaders killed Arshad and his granddaughter by smacking their heads with a sharp

object and left the scene. DIG operations and SP Model Town circle reached the place after being informed and forensic experts collected samples from crime scene. Police said nothing had been stolen from home and it was suspected that murder might have had been a result of a rivalry. However, the cause remains a mystery. SoDoMISED: Two men were held for sodomising a ten-year old boy, Yasir, a resident of China Scheme Gujjar Pura, in Shalimar police station on Saturday. According to details, the victim worked at a carpenter’s shop. Three persons kidnapped him on Saturday when he reached his workplace and took him to an abandoned place in China Scheme. The accused left the young boy in state of unconsciousness after sodomising him

and escaped. Upon getting information, the victim’s father Ali Sher lodged a complaint. Police arrested two suspects Tanvir and Abdul Latif and are on the hunt for a third fellow. DEAD BoDIES: Two dead bodies including of a newborn were found from different places in the provincial capital on Saturday. According to details, a middle aged man was found dead in Bhatti Gate police precincts. Police shifted the body to morgue after locals spotted the body. Bhatti gate Police officials said the deceased appeared to be a drug addict, and had not been identified as yet. Moreover, a newborn’s dead body was found from an empty plot of Rizwan Town in Factory Area police precincts. Police has instigated a case against unidentified persons on murder charges.

US Congressman denies CIA behind Balochistan resolution NEWS DESK US House Foreign Affairs Committee member Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), who launched a Congressional resolution calling for self-determination for Balochistan, has denied that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was behind the resolution. “The purpose of the resolution was to create a much-needed dialogue about Pakistan and Balochistan, and that’s what it’s done, so that’s very nice,” he said in an interview with “The Cable”. “It’s important to get over that phase where people are going ballistic and start getting serious discussion about an issue that’s been ignored but shouldn’t be ignored.” According to the US magazine interview, Rohrabacher said the Balochistan issue and the human rights violations there have been ignored in Washington out of a fear of offending the Pakistani establishment, but that strategy isn’t work-

ing.

“It’s one of those issues that’s been ignored as to not upset the Pakistanis because they are fragile friends,” he said. “Well, they’re not fragile friends, they are hard-core, two-faced enemies of the United States.” In fact, the discovery that osama bin Laden was hiding for years in the Pakistani military town of Abbottabad was direct motivation for his Balochistan initiative, he said during the interview. “What made me really determined to get involved to the point where I was willing to author resolutions like this was when osama bin Laden was discovered in an area which made it clear that Pakistanis had for eight years taken billions in U.S. foreign aid while giving safe haven to the monster that slaughtered 3,000 Americans on 9/11,” he said. “At that point I felt, no more walking on egg shells around Pakistan.” “I can see why the prime minister of Pakistan wouldn’t fully understand why

people in various countries — especially elected officials — are free to comment on any policies they see fit in any country they see fit,” Rohrabacher said. “That’s what freedom is all about, but perhaps that’s why they don’t understand it.” To a question, Rohrabacher denied he introduced the resolution on the behest of CIA to pressurize Pakistan. “Anyone who believes that is totally out of touch with reality,” Rohrabacher responded. “I’ve had no discussions with anyone in the CIA about this whatsoever and my guess is that if I did, they would be doing somersaults trying to prevent me from doing this.” In fact, he didn’t even bother to confer with the obama administration about the resolution at all, he said, and has not heard from any administration officials. “It was my resolution and not theirs,” he said of the administration. “Unlike our friends in Pakistan, they understand that in a democracy people elected to the legislative branch have the right to propose

any legislation they want. I can see why the Pakistani government wouldn’t understand that.” Rohrabacher compared the struggle of the people of Balochistan to the struggle of the American colonies against the British Empire. “Like in the United States, where we gave a declaration of independence, we have a right to a country separate from Great Britain. That’s what self-determination is,” he said. Beyond Balochistan, Rohrabacher’s top priority is preventing Pakistan from influencing the Afghanistan reconciliation talks to the benefit of the Taliban. He promises to fight giving US aid to Pakistan if that’s the case. “The most important thing now is not to permit Pakistan to think they can do anything they want and there will never be any repercussions and they can side with any enemy of the West and still think we’re going to pour money into their pockets,” he said. “That ain’t gonna happen.”


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Sunday, 26 February, 2012

NATO recalls staff in Kabul ministries after officer deaths KABuL AGENcIES

N

ATo’s top commander in Afghanistan, General John Allen, said on Saturday he was recalling all staff working at ministries in the Afghan capital after two American officers were shot dead inside the Interior Ministry. “For obvious force protection reasons, I have also taken immediate measures to recall all other ISAF personnel working in ministries in and around Kabul,” Allen said in a statement. Separately, the Pentagon decried as “unacceptable” the killing of two US military advisers in Kabul and called on

Afghan authorities to better protect coalition forces and curtail raging violence. “This act is unacceptable, and the US condemns it in the strongest possible terms,” said Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s spokesman George Little. The two Americans, working as International Security Assistance Force officers in the NATo coalition, were in the interior ministry when “an individual” turned his weapon against the pair, NATo said, without giving further details. Taliban claimed responsibility for the shooting, saying it was in revenge for the burning of the Holy Quran at a US-run military base — an incident that forced US President Barack obama to apologise to the Afghan people. Little said

Crocker complains Continued FRom page 1 States drastically deteriorated last year over the covert American raid that killed osama bin Laden and US air strikes that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers along the Afghan border. The administration of President Barack obama plans to end combat operations in Afghanistan by 2014. In past years, US military officials have argued that the best defence against Pakistan insurgent sanctuaries was a stronger Afghan army and government, the newspaper report said. But with the US drawdown looming, the need to directly address the sanctuaries seems more urgent. “The sanctuaries are a deal-killer for the strategy,” The Post quoted a senior defence official as saying. The Haqqani network is

responsible for some of the larger and more dramatic attacks on Kabul, including one on the US Embassy last year, the paper said. The group’s patriarch, Jalaluddin Haqqani, was a prominent fighter in the CIAbacked effort to expel the Soviets from Afghanistan in the 1980s. He has relinquished control to his son, Sirajuddin, who carries a $5 million US bounty on his head and runs day-to-day operations from the network’s Pakistani base in Miran Shah, the paper said. The location has given the Haqqani leadership a measure of protection, according to The Post. The CIA has refrained from launching missiles at known Haqqani targets, out of concern for civilian casualties and the backlash that could ensue.

Four killed in mortar attack PESHAwAR: Four members of a family were killed and two others injured when a house was hit by mortar shells at Akakhel area of Bara in the Khyber Agency on Saturday. The killed included a mother, her two daughters and son. According to details, house of Ali Zakhakhel was hit by several mortar shells. Various portions of the house were razed to the ground and almost all residents were buried under the debris. STAFF REPORT

Afghan Defence Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak telephoned Panetta on Saturday and “apologised for today’s incident” and offered condolences to family members of those killed. Panetta urged Wardak and “the Afghan government to take decisive action to protect coalition forces and curtail the violence in Afghanistan after a challenging week in the country,” Little said. Wardak also assured his American counterpart that Afghan President Hamid Karzai “was assembling the religious leaders, parliamentarians, justices of the Supreme Court, and other senior Afghan officials to take urgent steps to do so,” the spokesman added.

41 Syrian civilians killed ahead of referendum DAMASCUS: Syrian forces killed at least 41 civilians on Saturday’s eve of a referendum on a new constitution called by the regime in the face of an 11month uprising, as the Red Cross failed to agree a deal to evacuate wounded Western journalists. Embattled President Bashar al-Assad’s forces resumed shelling the Baba Amr district of Homs after an apparent pause to allow in relief teams, more than three weeks into a deadly assault on rebels in Syria’s third largest city. They also attacked elsewhere, killing at least 41 civilians nationwide, including 19 in Homs, said the Britainbased Syrian observatory for Human Rights. AFP

HYDERABAD: Rangers personnel stand guard as railway employees repair a portion of a track blown away by a bomb on Saturday. oNLINE

By-polls marred by violence, Irregularities Constituency

Successful

Party

Votes

Runner up

Party

Votes

NA-9 Mardan

Himayat Ullah Mayar

ANP

30566

Shuja-ul-Mulk

JUI(F)

------

NA-48

Tariq Rashid

PML-N

38,176

Malik Liaqat Dogar

(PPP)

27,760

NA-140 Kasur

Malik Rashid

Independent

45974

Azim-ud-Din

(I)

45672

NA-148 Multan-I

Ali Musa Gilani

PPP

60000

Ghafar Dogar

PML(N)

28000

NA-168 Vihari

Natasha Daultana

PPP

70551

Bilal Akbar

PML(N)

46636

NA-195 RY Khan

Mustafa Mehmood

PML(F)

75162

Tariq Chuhan

(I)

7211

PP 18 Attock

Malik Azam Khan

PMLN

34108

Amanat Khan

(I)

24450

PP-44 Mianwali

Adil Abdullah Rokhari

PMLN

45670

Tariq Masood Kundi

----

36070

PS-53 Sindh

Waheeda Shah

PPP

27000

Mushtaq Ali

(I)

12000

PS-57 Badin

Husnain Mirza

PPP

40551

Papu Shah

(I)

7983

Continued FRom page 1 NA-9 Mardan (KP). Voting in Vehari and Mardan could not be resumed after the clashes. Law and order situation also remained tense in PS-57 Badin where armed men moved freely in polling booths. Bogus voting continued unchecked in NA-155, Rahim Yar Khan, where people cast votes on expired identity cards and even their photocopies. An independent candidate Malik Rashid got 45,974 votes, whereas his opponent, another independent candi-

date, Azimuddin got 45,672 votes in NA-140 Kasur. PPP candidate Sardar Sarwar came in third with 17,000 votes. The PPP made its way in NA-168 Vihari, where its candidate Natasha Daultana won the elections with 70,551 votes, whereas her opponent Bilal Akbar of PML-N received 46,636 votes. PML-F candidate Mustafa Mehmood bagged 75,162 votes against his opponent, an independent candidate, Tariq Chohan, who obtained 7,211 votes from NA-195, Rahim Yar Khan.

on the Sindh Assembly seat PS-53, PPP candidate Waheeda Shah got 27,000 votes against her opponent Mushtaq Ali, an independent candidate, who got 12,000 votes. From PS-57, Badin, PPP candidate Husnain Mirza, who is the son of former Sindh home minister Zulfiqar Mirza, won with 40,551 votes over his rival Papu Shah, who managed to get only 7,983 votes. on Punjab Assembly seat PP-18, Attock, PML-N candidate Malik Azam Khan won with 34,108 votes. His rival, an independent candi-

date, Amanat Khan got 24,450 votes. PML-N’s Adil Abdullah Rokhari won the PP-44 seat from Mianwali with 45,670 votes, whereas his opponent Tariq Masood Kundi (independent) obtained 36,070 votes. Meanwhile, the PPP has accused the PMLN-led Punjab government of rigging the by-polls in the province. opposition Leader in Punjab Assembly Raja Riaz alleged that PML-N workers interfered in the polling process “out of fear of losing to the PPP”.

‘hameed Nizami, a journalist par excellence’ Continued FRom page 1 Sajjad Mir said that Hameed Nizami was the true spokesman of Muslim League and it was the reason why he opposed Liaquat Ali Khan. “Nizami was inspired by Quaid-e-Azam and never compromised on expressing the truth,” he said. Waleed Iqbal said that Quaid-eAzam lauded the efforts of Hameed Nizami. While quoting the example of Saleem Shehzad, he said that now it is the duty of politicians to protect the journalists for writing the truth. Hamid Mir said that if Hameed Nizami had not fought against dictators then there would have been no democracy in Pakistan. He said that Nizami

participated in the struggle for Pakistan through journalism and created awareness amongst the masses. He said that Nawab Akbar Bugti voted in favour of Pakistan but he was killed. He said that now media is being barred for highlighting the Balochistan issue but we will not accept it. Mir said that some forces are conspiring against media and we will fight against them. Mujeeb ur Rehman Shami said that Hameed Nizami was son of an ordinary person but he made his name through hard work. “Nizami actively participated in the Pakistan movement and Quaid-e-Azam wanted to make him member of the Working Committee of Muslim League but he

(Nizami) preferred journalism,” he said, adding it is a dilemma that Pakistan was created in the name of democracy but dictators ran it. “The army could not take Kashmir but it conquered its own country many times,” Shami said, adding we have to overcome every problem amicably through talks. He urged the media to not resort to cheap publicity stunts only to gain attention. “Hameed Nizami never supported vulgarity for getting public attention rather he was the pioneer of morality in journalism,” he added. Senator Jahangir Badar said that only a few journalists achieved such a landmark, which Hameed

No threat to Pakistan, assures Gilani Continued FRom page 1 not trickle down effectively to the masses because of fragile law and order situation in the province. He said it was the government’s duty to remove the grievances of Baloch people. on a question that the US was interfering in Pakistan’s affairs, Gilani said it (US) had already clarified that the Congress resolution had nothing to do with the US administration’s policy, therefore the resolution should not be given much importance.

He said that Pakistan’s defence was strong and there was no threat to the country. The prime minister said that he was scheduled to receive the Shalimar Express at Multan Railway Station, but cancelled his visit to avoid allegations of influencing the by-polls being contested by his son. To a question on extending the services of the chiefs of the Pakistan Air Force and the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), the prime minister said, “It is a continuing process and only time will determine it.” He said the

government had taken shortterm, mid-term and longterm measures to overcome the energy crisis. “We want to materialise the MoU with Qatar to overcome energy shortage as soon as possible”, he added. on Afghanistan, Gilani said the whole world was convinced that military option was not a solution to the problem. “It requires reconciliation; that’s why we have appealed to all the stakeholders to make the peace process in Afghanistan a success. Afghan President Hamid

Nizami achieved. “Hameed Nizami willingly endured hardships inflicted on him by detractors of the mission of the Quaid. Yet he continued to propagate, in his daily writings, the logic and the purpose underlying the creation of a separate state for the Muslims of the sub-continent,” Badr added. Samina Khalid Ghurki said that Hameed Nizami remained very close to Quaid-e-Azam. She said that Nizami bravely faced the Hindu press at that time and rightly advocated the voices of Muslims of the sub-continent. She said that the principles of Nizami are a beacon of light for the journalists and our society.

Karzai has asked us to use our good offices in resolving the issue,” he said, adding, “We don’t want to interfere in Afghanistan ... we want a stronger Afghanistan. It is in the interest of Pakistan.” To a question, Gilani said the government was bound to comply with the recommendations of the Defence Coordination Committee (DCC), which had asked the government to get Shamsi airbase vacated from the US and suspend NATo supply routes. He said Pakistan wanted good relations with the US based on mutual respect.

To a question on summoning the joint session of the parliament, the prime minister said it would be summoned after the Senate elections so that the ‘new comers’ could discuss the recommendations of the parliamentary committee on national security vis-à-vis new terms of engagement with the US and NATo. To a question that the government wanted to bring new laws to curb media freedom, Gilani said, “We are not Musharraf.” He also dispelled the impression that passage of 20th Amendment was the outcome of a deal.


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Sunday, 26 February, 2012

News 05 Ijaz hatching conspiracy on someone else’s direction: Asma

LAHORE AGENcIES

qUETTA: People enjoy a fight between roosters in the suburbs of the provincial capital on Saturday. oNLINE

Firdous brushes aside media curb speculations ISLAMABAD

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APP

EDERAL Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan Saturday said, “The government des not intend to curb media freedom as democracy and media independence go hand in hand.” In a statement, she said the government wanted to empower media to strengthen democracy. Media without law and democracy without media freedom could not flourish, she added. The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) government strongly believed in freedom of expression and media, but the freedom must be coupled with responsibility and in conformity with societal norms, she said. “The credit of lifting curbs on media imposed by the previous dictatorial regime goes to the present government,” she observed. Brushing aside the impression created by a news item regarding the imposition of sanctions on media, she said the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) had always framed laws to facilitate media but not to put curbs on the media freedom. She said the government was in

constant liaison with the stakeholders concerned before making or formulating any policy, law or regulations. There is not a single clause in the proposed content regulations that could be presumed anti-media. All the media rules and regulations either framed or amended had been in consultation with the stakeholders, so the government could not curb or muzzle the media which was its own creation and for which the PEMRA

had been given the mandate to flourish, the minister said. “The government witnesses hue and cry from civil society and stakeholders on daily basis whereby the PEMRA is criticised for not discharging its functions adequately. on the contrary, whenever it takes initiatives in the interest of public, country or media itself, accusations of media curbs are levelled against the government and the PEMRA,” she observed. She said it was unfortunate that each and every step of the government was perceived negative and propagated as arbitrary sanctions on media. “It is never appreciated that the present democratic government has been the biggest proponent of selfregulation and the massive spurt of electronic media that the country has witnessed today is the result of the government’s media-friendly policies. “Policies are adopted and implemented by the licensees on their own and the PEMRA or the government has never intervened in the freedom of media,” the minister claimed. She said there was no harm if the request was made to media to ensure balanced, objective and unbiased converge and to preserve the sanctity of religions, sects, ethical values, morality and decency.

PPP candidate slaps polling staff TANDO MuHAMMAD KHAN NNI

Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) candidate Waheeda Shah lost her temper while at a polling station of PS-53, and beat the polling staff on Saturday. Waheeda alleged the polling staff of rigging the election, and slapped the female staff in the face with policemen and voters among the onlookers. The district returning officer supervising the election and the station house officer (SHo) of local

police were also present inside the polling station when the incident took place. Talking to reporters, Waheeda alleged that the polling staff allowed casting of fake votes. “This made me lose my temper and I hit the staff,” she admitted, but added that “it was only a slap”. She also acknowledged her mistake, saying, “It was my mistake that I hit the staff.” Meanwhile, Sindh Chief Election Commissioner Sono Khan Baloch said that he had telephoned the returning officer concerned, and had

sought details of the incident. He said that action would be taken on a written complaint. Tando Muhammad Khan Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Muhammad Ali Baloch said the police were looking into the matter. He said he had not seen the TV footage showing Waheeda hitting the polling staff, but added that he would take action if any one lodged a complaint against the PPP candidate. He said that anyone who interfered with the official business could face imprisonment for a year.

US national Mansoor Ijaz is hatching a conspiracy against the federal government on someone else’s direction, renowned human rights activist Asma Jahangir said on Saturday. Talking to journalists after casting her vote in the Lahore High Court Bar Association (LHCBA) elections, she said that no one could trust Ijaz, as some people were using him against the federal government to achieve their motives and everybody knew his past character against Pakistan. Asma said that state institutions should work within limits to strengthen the country and a conflict between the federal government and judiciary should be avoided. The former SCBA president lamented that the federal and provincial governments could not meet the expectations of the people. She said that annual polls in bar associations across the country were strengthening democracy in bars.

India taken off wHo polio list in major milestone NEw DELHI: India was taken off a list of polio endemic countries by the World Health organisation on Saturday, marking a massive victory for health workers battling the crippling disease. “This gives us hope that we can finally eradicate polio not only from India but from the face of the earth,” Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said. The announcement leaves just three countries with endemic polio — Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria. India, which last reported a fresh polio case more than 12 months ago, now will have to remain polio free for the next two years to be judged to have eradicated the disease, WHo representative in India Natela Menabde said. “The government of India has coordinated a massive effort to rid our country of the terrible scourge of polio that has scarred the lives of thousands of thousand of children in India,” Singh told a polio summit in New Delhi. But “the real credit” for India’s success in tackling polio goes to the volunteers who repeatedly vaccinated children, he said. They visited slums and railway stations, construction sites and bus stops, using all means of transport to reach even the most farflung corners of one of the world’s most crowded and impoverished countries. The success of the effort shows that “team work pays,” Singh said. Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said he received a letter stating that the “WHo has taken India’s name off the list of polio endemic countries in view of the remarkable progress that we have made during the past one year.” AFP


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06 News war against terror hampering polio eradication drive: Bijarani NEW DELHI APP

Terming the War against Terror as a major obstacle in Pakistan’s polio eradication drive, particularly in areas bordering Afghanistan, Inter-Provincial Coordination Minister Hazar Bijarani on Saturday invited planners and managers from all over the world to assist in curbing this menace. He was addressing a session of the Polio Summit 2012 “Seeking Polio Free World-Progress and the way forward.” “one major obstacle is Pakistan’s fight against terror, which has made a number of areas in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan bordering Afghanistan as highly volatile. Resultantly it is not possible for health workers and vaccinators to reach all children in all areas to administer polio drops to them,” he said. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh inaugurated the summit, which was jointly organised by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India and Rotary International. Bijarani said that Pakistan was one of the four endemic countries, which were seriously engaged in a relentless struggle to fight this crippling disease, adding that India, which was one of the most populous countries, had done a marvelous job by bringing the number of polio cases to zero during last year. “We are doing our best to follow its (Indian) footprints and rid Pakistan of polio”, he said, adding that there were multiple factors, which were creating hurdles in the way of Pakistan’s Polio Eradication effort.

Sunday, 26 February, 2012

Inflation pushing people towards starvation: JI chief LAHORE

A

AGENcIES

MEER Jamaat e Islami, Pakistan, Syed Munawar Hasan has said that the PPP government has inflicted maximum harm to the workers and labourers during the last four years. Addressing the central executive of the National Labour Federation (NLF) at Moghulpura on Saturday he said that thousands of factories and industrial units had been closed due to load shedding of electricity and gas rendering millions of workers unemployed. Spiraling prices and unemployment has pushed the workers and their families towards starvation, he added. JI Naib Ameer, Sirajul Haq newly elected NLF President Shamsur Rahman Swati and NLF Secretary General, Abdur Razzaq Abbasi also spoke on the occasion. Syed Munawar Hasan said that leading national institutions including PIA, Railways, Pakistan Steel Mills and WAPDA had been destroyed due to corruption and mismanagement and there was no effort on the gov-

ernment level to save them. Syed Munawar Hasan urged the masses to rise against the corrupt and incompetent rulers and warned that if the rulers were allowed more time, the situation would get out of control. He said the foremost responsibility of a democratic government was to protect the life and property of the masses and provide them the basic necessities of life. But on the other hand, he said, the PPP led government was snatching every facility from the masses and exploiting them in the worst manner. The prices of electricity, gas and PoL are rising every week that is harming the purchasing power of the people. Basic items, such as flour, sugar, pulses he said have become unaffordable. He condemned the government’s move to grant Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to India. It was a paradox, he said, that while India has been hatching conspiracies against Pakistan, the rulers have decided to grant MFN status to the country. He said the rulers were under US pressure on this score but such a move would establish India’s supremacy in the region and ruin Pakistan’s economy and agriculture both.

Rehman Malik is a habitual liar: Lashkari Raisani

FILE PHOTO ISLAMABAD INP

Senior PPP leader Senator Lashkari Raisani, said on Saturday that the disgruntled people of Balochistan sitting in caves could not trust Interior Minister, Rehman Malik as he never speaks the truth. “I don’t trust Rehman Malik as he has lied to me several times,” Lashkari Raisani said. “Then how can the estranged people living in caves trust Rehman Malik,” he questioned. The PPP leader said the interior minister was not an authority, and he simply

wanted talks by exerting psychological pressure, which would not work. “Rehman Malik is a habitual liar,” he went on to say. He said the people of Balochistan had rejected the All Parties Conference called by the prime minister. He said the problem of Balochistan could be resolved if serious efforts were made towards this end. Raisani said the government will have to assure the Balochis that they will be given full rights that are at par with the rights of the other provinces. “The Balochis also feel that they had rented their house to someone, but the tenant later became the owner of their house,” he said.

Socio-economic rehabilitation through BISP ISLAMABAD PRESS RELEASE

Credible international organisations including the World Bank and the ADB has termed various initiatives of the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) a milestone in providing relief to underprivileged and uplift the lives of the poor strata of the population. They have appreciated the fact that the programme, besides attaining global appreciation for transparent and efficient mechanisms it has adopted, has attained several achievements regarding poverty alleviation. Besides others, conducting first ever nation-wide targeting survey is being termed unprecedented. The survey was started in october 2010 in all districts of the country, including AJK and GilgitBaltistan. Thus, as a result of the transparent and efficient mechanisms adopted by the BISP, the programme has emerged as first ever such initiative in the social sector of the country, which has gained support and trust of various prestigious interna-

tional organisations. It is being expected that the number of registered beneficiary families of BISP would rise up to seven million eventually. With regard to eradication of poverty, the BISP has taken numerous innovative steps besides provision of regular income support to beneficiary families. Under Waseela-e-Rozgar scheme of the BISP, one member from each registered beneficiary family would be imparted modern technical/vocational training to be able to find better income generation opportunities. Likewise, Waseela-e-Haq scheme is proving to be a huge success in invoking the trend of entrepreneurship among the underprivileged segments of society. The other initiatives including Waseela-e-Rozgar, Waseela-e-Sahat and Waseela-e-Taleem as well as introduction of the state of the art technology based mechanisms to facilitate beneficiary families have also been termed instrumental and of higher significance pertain to poverty alleviation as well as socio-economic empowerment of women and economically deprived segments of society.


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Sunday, 26 February, 2012

FiLUMS 2012 – driving a cinematic revival PAGe 07

CDGL running a katchi abadi racket g

CDGL sources claim PSo to DCo Lahore Tariq Zaman setting bribe rates g DCo Lahore yet to respond to Katchi Abadi Directorate letter asking for revenue record LAHORE

T

YASIR HABIB

HE CDGL bureaucracy has unleashed corruption in grant of ownership rights to the dwellers of 65 Katchi Abadis (shanties) in clear violation of the Punjab government’s orders and the recently approved amendment to the Punjab Katchi Abadis Act 1992. The trail has been traced by Pakistan Today to the DCo Lahore’s Personal Staff officer (PSo) Tariq Zaman, who has set the bribery rates for transferring ownership rights to katchi abadi residents. Rates have been set according to size, position, development works, commercial aspect and adjacent developed localities. A senior CDGL official said that Tariq Zaman was earning disrepute for DCo Lahore Ahad Cheema and Punjab CM Shahbaz Sharif by impeding public welfare projects to mint money. He said, “Being PSo to the DCo, Zaman is free to manipulate official work with impunity. Zaman manoeuvres matters with the help of other CDGL officials on deputation before they reach the DCo.” ASKED foR REvENUE RECoRD: Punjab Special Department Directorate of Katchi Abadis and Urban Improvement, working under the local government and

community development department, asked the CDGL to submit the revenue record after submitting a list of 65 katchi abadis to be granted ownership rights. Recently, the Punjab Katchi Abadi Directorate issued a letter DG (KA & UI) 104 / 2007-135 to Lahore DCo Ahad Cheema mentioning Reminder-10 and requesting the DCo to finalise the issue on priority basis. The letter was accompanied by the complete list of 65 katchi abadis where the CDGL, LDA and revenue department completed surveys and compiled lists of the residential units. Sources said that while the DCo looked culpable, in fact, it was Tariq Zaman who had thrown the spanner looking for illegal gratification. They said that Zaman was behind the CDGL’s deliberate inaction on a number of issues, including high-rising building, sanitation, clean drinking water, transport, land-grabbing and the anti-encroachment drive, which have affected the CM’s reputation negatively.. Speaking to Pakistan Today, DCo PRo Rafi Ullah said the DCo was not available for comment. He denied that PSo to DCo Tariq Zaman had anything to do with the matter. Tariq Zaman said, “I am Do (Environment) and deal with environment issues. Revenue matters do not come to me. It is Additional Collector and EDo (Revenue) Nadir Shah who deals with katchi abadi matters.”

LIST: The list of katchi abadis includes Ferozian Wala Johar Town spreading over 5 kanals 17 marlas with 42 residential units; Gilani Mohala on 5 kanals 18 marlas with 63 residential units; Aahatah Namak Wala on 15 kanals 13 marlas with 49 housing units; Chandi Aahata on 2 kanals 1 marla with 47 residential units; Cooper Road on 15 kanals 11 marlas with 75 residential units; Ittehad Colony Roti Plant on 14 kanals 12 marlas with 154 residential units; Jewan Hana Davisabad on 14 kanals 8 marlas on 101 residential units; Keer Kalan Green Town on 12 kanals 7 marlas with 100 residential units; Link Wahdat Road on 25 kanals with 135 residential units; Rasool Pura Niaz Baig on 28 kanals 14 marlas with 165 residential units; Muhammad Pura on 17 kanals 8 marlas with 113 residential units; Mushtaq Colony Niaz Baig on 20 kanals 17 marlas with 116 residential units; Tipu Block Garden Town on 5 kanals 3 marlas with 44 residential units; Karamat Colony Thokar Niaz Baig on 66 kanals 11 marlas with 616 residential units. other katchi abadis included are Takkiya Pir Yaqoob Shah, Tibba Baba Fareed, Harbanspura Extension, Qalandar Pura Extension, Rehmanpura Rani Pind, Altaf Colony, Ibrahim Colony, Chungi Gujjarpura, Ismail Town, Ittehad Town, Fareed Garden, Habib Block, Hajveri Town, and Chaudhry Colony.

A good lawyer enjoys a good feast before he votes…

LAHORE JAMALUDDIN JAMALI

What a day it was for the Lahore High Court Bar as lawyers from far flung areas poured into Lahore to cast votes, meet colleagues and enjoy the annual feast hosted by presidential hopefuls. The Mall, GPo chowk, the Lahore High Court and bar premises were flourishing with blackcoats, which badly affected traffic on nearby roads. That the lawyers were casting their votes on Saturday was loud and clear as 8,364 out of 15,684 eligible LHCBA members cast their votes. A gooD LUNCH MENU IS A MUST: A large number of lawyers were brought from other cities, including Faisalabad, by coaches arranged by presidential candidates Shehram Sarwar, Aslam Butter and Shafqat Chohan, who spent millions of rupees on lavish luncheons, transport and ‘other things” till the last minute of polling. ‘Eating tents’ set up at various points at the LHCBA and LHC premises where mutton, chicken, rice and other dishes continued to be served from 1pm to till 5pm for newly arriving voters so that late-comers were not annoyed by ‘meal over’ signs. When at 1pm someone gave the call that the food courts were open, lawyers rushed to the voice, making for a spectacular sight with half sucked-bones littering almost every single inch of open spaces at LHC. Lawyers walked over on election-cards, flyers, leaflets – aloof to who they were voting for. Voting was held at nine booths set up at Karachi Shuhda Hall, Kiyani Hall, Li-

brary Hall, courtrooms and the LHC side gate at GPo chowk. Stalls were set up by all candidates separately where last minute efforts were made to persuade voters. oNLy A RICH LAwyER CAN LEAD THE BLACKCoATS: The ‘eating-culture’ among legal voters has enhanced election cost of each of the two major LHCBA presidential seat contestants to over Rs16 million on various heads, including lavish meals and transportation of voters on election day. In such a situation, an average middle-class lawyer can not even think of contesting LHCBA elections and only rich lawyers dare declare they will lead blackcoats. Earlier, on February 10, a 24-member LHCBA election board commission, headed by Advocate Aurangzeb Mirza, had banned meals during campaigns and on election day till February 25 but a resolution was moved on February 13 to lift the ban calling it ‘anti-election’ on the pretext that lawyers will not cast votes if they are not served meals and the bar could not afford a low turn out. THE ‘MEAL-EATINg’ RESoLUTIoN: The resolution was brought by Rana Ahmed Saeed advocate in the house stating that voters will not cast votes on electionday if meals are not served in accordance with the new code of conduct for LHCBA polls 2012-13. Saeed said meals were part of the bar culture which should not die with the so-called code of conducts. So fish and mutton were vigorous served by the candidates to voters and supporters from Feb 14 to Feb 25 and lawyers voted happily for candidates of their ‘choice’.

An official said that the department had already completed a survey, which was given the go ahead after the Punjab Assembly (PA) passed the Punjab Katchi Abadis (Amendment) Bill 2009. “Under the Katchi Abadis Bill, amendments had been made in sections 2, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 9 of Act VIII of 1992. Under the amendment in Section 5, the Punjab government formed an implementation committee for a district in which a katchi abadi was located. Under Section 6, “March 23, 1985” has been replaced with “December 31, 2006,” he added. “The main emphasis in the survey was to assess changes in the layout of settlementskatchi abadis, construction of houses, addition of rooms, and changes made in the covered area of the houses, water schemes, sewerage and drainage plans, road infrastructures and utility services. The survey teams filed 3 types of performa issued jointly by the ministry of local government and rural development. Performa A involved geographical demarcation of katchi abadis, location, moaza and total land. It also featured the number of registered units (houses), number of residents, date of regularisation, date of transfer to LDA or TMA and number of people who had been awarded (or not) ownership rights of land in possession. Performa B includes available infrastructure in katchi abadis such as provisions of waterlines, sewerage and drainage pipes, roads, streets, san-

itation, sui gas, electricity and street lights. It also shows details of government dispensaries and private dispensaries, maternity centers, vocational schools run by NGos and number of primary, middle and high schools. Performa C had details of general information regarding the number of technical and non-technical people living in katchi abadis and details of business and trade activities and the ratio of encroachments. Sources said that the Punjab government had surveyed as many as 900 katchi abadis, which are likely to benefit after the amendment in the Punjab Katchi Abadis Act. Meanwhile, LDA has began to transfer ownership rights to the residents of 154 registered ‘katchi abadis’ (shanties) in Lahore Development Authority-controlled areas. on the directive of Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, LDA DG Abdul Jabbar Shaheen has directed the katchi abadi residents to contacts the LDA Directorate Katchi Abadis to get proprietary rights of their housing units. According to data, there are 154 registered katchi abadis containing 38,000 housing units. From these, 10,000 housing units have been granted ownership rights during last decade while the remaining 28,000 are yet to be approved. Till 1996, there were 145 registered ‘katchi abadis’ in LDA-governed area. The addition of eight more katchi abadis after 1996 has now brought the tally to 154.


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08 Lahore

Sunday, 26 February, 2012

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FiLUMS 2012 – driving a cinematic revival LAHORE DURRE-SAMEEN MIRzA

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ILUMS 2012 was the 7th annual film-festival at LUMS. After receiving over 250 entries last year (out of which 150 were international) FiLUMS was set to create another high benchmark for itself this year. This year again, the festival was held in the freezing rain-ridden days of February – from the 10th to 12th of February at LUMS, much to the delight of film enthusiasts and aspiring film makers. The event was attended by youngsters interested in learning the art of film-making and documentary making as they were treated to a series of workshops by leading filmmakers from all over the country. Short listed entries from the participants were screened throughout the three-day event. Not only that, but the event also had two premieres of upcoming films and then culminated in an Awards Night and Dinner on the 12th. The first day of FiLUMS began with a concoction of screenings of short listed entries and ended with the premiere of the upcoming movie ‘Dusk’. The star-studded event was attended by the director of the venture Zeeshan Kazmi, producer Wajahat Kazmi and actress Zeb Rehman (who garnered fame

for her role in Bol). The movie, based on the life of a young doctor who gets kidnapped and the trauma his wife consequently goes through, was well received by the interactive audience who later went on to participate actively in the Q and A session the ensued. Day2 continued with the screenings but there were multiple workshops scheduled later for the day. The first workshop was by Samar Minallah, who is known for her documentaries like “Bibi Shireeney” and upcoming documentary on child labour, “I have a dream.” She showed clips from her work which left the audience almost in tears as they encompassed important issues like correct treatment of acid victims, eradication of swara. She talked to her audience about the importance of motivation and inspiration in a field such as that of documentary-making and also highlighted the fact that having a skilled technical crew is not imperative to make an effective documentary; even a mobile camera can be enough to render the job done. Later on that night Minallah’s latest documentary ‘I have a dream’ was premiered. Samar Minallah is not just a director; she is a humanistic story-teller and once again her work managed to touch the hearts of the audience and left them in contemplation. Another workshop was con-

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ducted by Sarah Tareen, who has worked alongside British Director Steve Moore to make the upcoming feature-length film Tamanna. FiLUMS day3 had more workshops in store for the participants, so the participants would leave at the end with greater knowledge of the dynamics of film-makings by getting the information firsthand from professionals themselves. Apart from screenings of all the remaining short listed entries, as well as a special screening of Host Team’s choice entries, the highlights of the day were the two workshops. The first workshop was conducted by Bilal Lashari, who has not only gathered acclaim for his work in directing innovative music

letteR to tAseeR ii

videos but is now creating a storm with his upcoming film “Waar” featuring Shaan. He talked to the participants about his film, as well as shared insightful tips with them and we too hope that many would follow his footsteps as we need the youngsters to step up and create waves with better work in all fields, especially film-making. We want FiLUMS to provide that spark which will drive the much-needed cinematic revival in Pakistan. Also, we had another great workshop by Veteran Director Syed Noor, with whom the participants had a very useful and memorable interaction. The event ended with Awards given out to best entries and a dinner afterwards.

Red bull pApeR Wings 2012 p ...

CoLLeGeS / UNIVerSITIeS PUNJAB UNIVerSITY KINNAIrD CoLLeGe qUeeN MArY CoLLeGe GoVT. CoLLeGe UNIVerSITY UMT LUMS UeT LCwU SUPerIor CoLLeGe

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

DATe AND TIMe: JUNe 1, 2012, 4PM To 6PM VeNUe: HAST-o-NeeST CeNTer CALLIGrAPHY CLASSeS are on-going, interested students can enroll throughout the year. The duration of one module is three months. There are four modules of learning calligraphyt: primary, secondary, advanced and higher. The course includes traditional pen and traditional paper making.

DATe: JAN 23 – FeB 23, 2012 VeNUe: THe DrAwING rooM ArT GALLerY rashid rana, Naazish Ataullah, Ayesha Jatoi, Mudassar Manzoor, rM Naeem, Sadaf Naeem, Irfan Hasan, Adeel Us Zafar and others display their art in an effort to capture past.

DATe: FeBrUArY 10 — MArCH 10, 2012 VeNUe: UNSPeCIFIeD, LAHore Feeling the need for wINGS? After an overwhelming response to red Bull Paper wings held in Pakistan in 2009, the best and most creative Pakistani folders & throwers will have the chance to represent their country at the world Finals at Hangar-7, Salzburg, Austria this year also!


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Sunday, 26 February, 2012

Lahore 09

Punjab CM extends brotherly hand towards India, sort of…

Discusses Indo-Pak issues with Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar g Believes war not the solution; wants negotiations g Calls for a haul over of current ‘oppressive’ system g

LAHORE

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STAFF REPORT

HE Punjab Chief Minister (CM) Shahbaz Sharif has said that India and Pakistan would have to develop peaceful relations and promote bilateral relations. He asserted that efforts should continue for the solution of all outstanding issues, including Kashmir, as it was imperative for durable and long-lasting peace in the subcontinent. These views were expressed by the CM at a luncheon hosted in the honour of Indian Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar at Chief Minister’s Secretariat. Besides members of Indian delegation, Indian High Commissioner in Pakistan Sharat Sabharwal, PML-N senior leaders Zulfiqar Ali Khan Khosa, Muhamamd Mehdi, senior columnist Ata-ul-Haq Qasmi and others were also present on the occasion. Shahbaz said that war was not the solution to problems, and that they should be resolved via negotiations. He said that during the tenure of former Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, Indian Prime Minister Atal Bahari Vajpai had come to Lahore

and declared at Minar-e-Pakistan that India wholeheartedly accepted Pakistan. He said that had democratic process continued in Pakistan, many irritants in Indo-Pak relations would have had been removed and solid progress would have had been made towards solution of Kashmir, water and many other issues. He said that instead of indulging in arms race, peoples of India and Pakistan should compete in education, science, art and other fields and resolve their outstanding problems in a peaceful manner. He said that destiny of the

region can be changed only if the two countries concentrated on the prosperity of their peoples. He said that there was a need for promoting mutual contacts at public level between the two countries and believed that realities should be accepted no matter how bitter they were. He asserted that the two countries had fought three wars and millions of lives had been lost but the basic issues were still unresolved. The Chief Minister stressed the need for replacing the existing oppressive system of social and economic inequalities with a system based on justice and fair play and said that economic and social exploitation would have to be done away with for changing the existing state of affairs. He said that the revolutionary project of Danish school system had been introduced for the children, who are deprived of even basic education, which would bring about a positive change. He believed that social progress was not possible without removing the disparity between the rich and the poor; therefore, Punjab government was giving special importance to education and other public welfare projects. SHEIKH ZAyED HoSPITAL vISIT: Shahbaz Sharif presided over a meeting at Sheikh Zayed Hospital, which reviewed the medical facilities, academic activities, financial and administrative affairs and other matters relating to the hospital. The head

PMA asks PM to restart anti-quackery campaign LAHORE STAFF REPORT

Pakistan Medical Association has appealed to the Punjab Chief Minister to restart the anti quackery campaign before the case of Dengue Fever again recommences. PMA Punjab office bearers Prof Dr Ashraf Nizami, Dr Akhter Rasheed Malik, Dr Muhammad Tanveer Anwar, Dr Izhar Ahmed, Dr Shahid Malik, Dr Ihsan ur Rehman, Dr Yasmeen Ihsan, Dr Sabahat Habib and Dr. Salman Kazmi have further added that last year during the dengue fever epidemic more than 250 patients died who had been mismanaged by the quacks and on this the Punjab CM had constituted a three-member committee headed by the Food Secretary to eradicate the quacks from the city. However, complete eradication was not done and now all those fake doctors have reopened their clinics and are once again playing with the lives of the public. PMA has appealed to the Chief Minister that since dengue help-lines and dengue centers across all towns of the city are being established, similarly the complaints against quacks was needed to be registered on the same help lines and a full fledged anti quackery campaign was needed to be started to save the lives of the public in case of any outbreak of dengue fever.

‘Fehm-e-Seerat’ exhibition concludes LAHORE STAFF REPORT

one of a kind, “Fehm-e-Seerat” (Understanding of Prophet’s life (PBUH) exhibition, arranged by the renowned publishing house Darussalam, concluded on Saturday amidst great success. The exhibition was unique due to the models and maps of the battles fought by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). The models of Madina and the battlefields were prepared by Professor Muhammad Mubarik of Madina University and his fellow Rafiq Masri. The one week exhibition was due to conclude last Sunday, however, it was extended for a week after visitors’ insistence. The exhibition included a Seerat Gallery with maps of Arabia, Models of Madina, Masjide-Nabvi and battles of Badar, Uhad and Ehzaab. People from all walks of life visited the exhibition and appreciated the initiative of Darussalam for bringing these models in the country.

of Sheikh Zayed Hospital Dr Zafar Iqbal gave a detailed briefing regarding the hospital. CM while setting up a committee headed by Senator Ishaq Dar directed the committee to submit its recommendations after reviewing the hospital affairs. Addressing the meeting and talking to journalists the CM said that Punjab government had taken solid steps for the provision of modern health facilities to the masses and medicines worth billions of rupees were being given free of cost to the patients in all hospitals of the province. He said that liver plantation had recently been started in Sheikh Zayed Hospital and Punjab government would extend financial assistance to the poor patients undergoing this surgery.

He said that in the wake of 18thamendment Sheikh Zayed Hospital had been devolved to the province and now it was the responsibility of provincial government to run this hospital. He added that provision of health and education facilities was a public service and it should be above political considerations. He said that doctors and paramedical staff of the hospital should serve the ailing humanity with renewed commitment. He also visited intensive care unit and liver transplant unit of the hospital and reviewed medical facilities. DENgUE CoNTRoL: Punjab CM has said that an effective strategy had been devised to deal with the possible outbreak of dengue and all provincial departments were working in tandem. He said that a cabinet committee had also been formed to work for dengue control, which is assisting in the arrangements being made by various departments for the eradication of dengue. He said that the people of different sectors who had received training from Sri Lanka and Thailand were imparting their knowledge as master trainers to the people of various districts regarding preventive measures against dengue. He said that on the pattern of Lahore, the model of dengue brigade should be replicated in all districts to control this menace.


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10 Lahore

Sunday, 26 February, 2012

Youth counseling a phone call away LAHORE STAFF REPORT

The MoU signing ceremony for the establishment of Toll Free Youth Help Line between Plan Pakistan and Youth Affairs, Sports, Archaeology and Tourism Department Government of the Punjab was held here in Lahore. The proposed Youth Help Line will provide free telephonic counseling on career related issues of youth and adolescents as well as guidance on emotional, psychological and reproductive health issues. The MoU was signed by Youth Affairs Secretary Dr Allah Bakhsh Malik, Sports, Archaeology and Tourism Department Government of the Punjab and Rashid Javed Country Director Plan Pakistan. While addressing the ceremony Plan International Senior Health Advisor Dr Irfan Ahmed said that Pakistan was the sixth most populous country in the world and had one of the largest cohorts of youth in its history, with approximately 25 million people between the ages of 15 and 24. People between 9 and 19 years are called adolescents and currently a large portion of Pakistan’s population, 39.5 million, falls within this range. He emphasised that it was the right time for provincial government to invest on adolescents and the youth to make them responsible citizens of Pakistan keeping in view the country’s development.

Governor Punjab talks up education

A GAS WORkERS FUNERAL: SNGPL employees’ perform a symbolic funeral prayer outside the Lahore Press club for an employee who died of a heart attack in a protest on Friday. MURtAZA ALI

IHP, WHO collaborate to master the mosquitoes LAHORE LAHORE STAFF REPORT

Governor Punjab Sardar Latif Khan Khosa on Saturday said that the young generation should equip itself with the latest knowledge in the field of science and technology to make Pakistan a prosperous and progressive country. He believed that education promised to be the only catalyst for change in the destiny of the nation. Punjab Governor said this while addressing the convocation of the University of Lahore. UoL Chairman Board of Governors Muhammad Abdul-Rauf, senior faculty members and a large number of students were present on the occasion. Khosa said that 21stcentury was the century of knowledge. He also said that universities should act as drivers of change and added that the passage of the 18th amendment would ensure more fundamental rights to the masses including the right to education. He said the improvement of education at all levels must be a major priority for Pakistan as no country could progress without it. Governor said that the role of women especially female students was of vital importance in national development. He also said that the goal of rapid progress and prosperity of the country could be achieved via women empowerment.

Punjab govt transfers officials LAHoRE: The Punjab government has reshuffled a few officers on Saturday. As per details, Aftab Ahmed Manekha, member judicial IV has been repatriated to the federal government while Waheed Akhtar Ansari, who was oSD has been posted in his place. STAFF REPORT

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STAFF REPORT

NSTITUTE of Health of Public Health Lahore in coordination with Department of Health under technical support of World Health organisation (WHo) organised a one-day training workshop of Programme Directors, District health development center on dengue prevention and control. Dr Babar Alam, WHo operations officer Punjab, Dr Rubina Sarmad, Head of MCH Department, Dr Rabia Arshad, Head of Public Health Practice IPH also attended the workshop. The objective of training workshop was to develop a pool of Master Trainers from each district of Punjab to train the rest of the staff in Dengue Prevention activities. Speakers said that seasonal extremes have provided a window of opportunity for the health man-

agers to prepare and reorganise themselves to combat the disease this season. The main objective of organising training workshop at IPH was to provide feedback to the training team regarding further trainings for the remaining master trainers at district level and polish their capabilities to act as guides for dengue prevention and control set up. Speakers gave an indepth review on the vector responsible for dengue and pointed out the misconception many had about the adoptability of variation in the life cycle of the Aides mosquito. They also discussed the results of local research issue and warned the participants that the mosquito was more than capable of containing its existence in the region and spreading the disease. Dr Rubina Sarmad also talked about organisational framework for dengue prevention and control. She highlighted the job description and responsibilities of programme directors DHDCs, with special reference to vector control.

ex-PHA man warns of hunger strike till death LAHORE STAFF REPORT

Former Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA) Assistant Nusrat Ali Toor has announced to go on hunger strike till death from 29th in front of the Punjab Assembly against departmental discrimination and victimisation. In a notice to all functionaries of the Punjab government and clerks associations, Toor said he had been struggling for

the last 20 years as APCA provincial president for the rights and promotion of government employees from the platform of trade unions and All Pakistan Clerks Association. During his long struggle, he went to jails many times and faced criminal cases as well, but never gave up his efforts for the rights of employees, he added. Toor further said in the notice that he had negotiated successfully for the employees’ rights with all top-most functionaries and got raise in their salaries and other privileges.

Mosquito hunters geared up and ready to go! LAHORE STAFF REPORT

Lahore Development Authority (LDA) Director General Abdul Jabbar Shaheen has constituted a special squad to initiate ‘larvaciding’ at Dengue mosquito breeding places in 150 plus approved private housing schemes, 154 katchi abadies of the city, LDA offices, schools and official residences from tomorrow( Monday). With a view to affectively curtail the dengue menace in the provincial metropolis, a training workshop for imparting practical training to the antidengue squad was held at LDA head office on Saturday. Renowned entomologist Mian Manzoor Ahmad briefed the staff about techniques of larvaciding and tested the performance of officials in this regard.

Condolence LAHORE STAFF REPORT

Punjab University Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran has expressed his grief and sorrow over the sad demise of the mother of Resident officer 2 Malik Zaheer.

From pulverising ground strokes to strokes of pen LAHORE STAFF REPORT

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“Lessons Learnt from the Tennis Tour”, a book written by national hero and old Ravian Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi was officially launched at the Government College University Lahore under the auspices of the old Ravians Union (oRU). Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Muhammad Khaleequr-Rahman chaired over the book launch attended by the family of Aisam-ul-Haq including her wife Faha Makhdum; who happens to be the granddaughter of GCU’s former principal Dr M Ajmal. oRU Secretary Dr Khalid Manzoor Butt, Aisam’s teacher Prof. Dr Amin-ul Haq and large number GCU sportsmen also attended the ceremony. Speaking on the occasion, Aisam hoped that the Pakistani youth would learn from his experiences. “I want to interact with every single youngster of my country but it is not possible for me, so I have written a

Tennis star Aisam-ul-Haq launches his book at GCU, Lahore g

book which would work as a medium of interaction with the youth,” the tennis star said. Aisam said that he owed his success to his alma mater and teachers who, during his college life, had always encouraged him to play professional tournaments at the national and international level. “I think that was the support which elevated my confidence and backed me in the pursuance of my goals,” he added. Recalling his college days,

Aisam proudly said that he is a recipient of Roll of Honour and a Gold Medal in Tennis from GC University Lahore. “While playing for GCU, I also won the Inter-Collegiate Tennis Championship in the year 19971998,” he added. He said that GCU inculcated great values of tolerance, respect for others views and faiths, and compassion along with imagination, and added that he was proud to be “Ra-

vain” and a “Pakistani”. He thanked the GCU Vice Chancellor, old Ravians Union and the Sports Board for giving such a warm reception in his honour. He also proudly said that his father was also an old Ravian. GCU VC Prof Khaleeq-ur-Rahman said Aisam was also acknowledged as an Ambassador of Peace of Pakistan — something that he wished every Ravain to be. “He is a true Ravian,” he said and added that GCU would continue to produce sportsmen like Aisam. oRU Secretary Dr Khalid Butt said that the respect and honor which Aisam has earned for Pakistan is impossible to attain through years of diplomacy. He said that Aisam is a true Pakistani who gave the message of peace from Pakistan all over the world. Prof Dr Amin-ul-Haq, who had admitted Aisam to Government College Lahore, said that Aisam had been as good in academics as he had been in sports and always secured A+ in all his examinations.


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Sunday, 26 February, 2012

Editor’s mail 11

The true agenda of DPC Although Difa-e-Pakistan Council (DPC) leaders claim that it was not a political coalition but on the other side its leaders has clarified that Difa-e-Pakistan Council was not temporary organisation. They also announced complete support for those fighting in ‘occupied Kashmir’ as well as the Taliban in Afghanistan. Besides dispersing anti US and anti Indian sentiments through their speeches and campaigns at public level, these parties are bluntly threatening the government, media for grave consequences because of their policies and activities. one speaker ordered “break the legs of any ‘whore’ who went to India to sing and act in films”, while other claimed if “DPC’s ongoing activities weren’t given full coverage he will turn Karachi in to graveyard” according to one assumption DoP is united to gain political momentum but according to other assumption DPC platform is being used to convey establishment thinking to US and India.

Fair by-elections? Difa-e-Pakistan is openly challenging the state institutions and its policy towards anti state elements. The extremist and Taliban’s ideology had become ban in Pakistan after starting of the operations against militant groups. Unfortunately, today the mindset holding and supporting Taliban’s ideology is out for the defence of Pakistan and the state and concerned authorities remain silent. Difa-e-Pakistan Council is taking full opportunity of the vacuum and free space available for the propagation of its so called agenda in the name of Islam and Sharia and trying to revive old narrative of state. It will be early to predict whether the government will allow banned leaders to raise their message once again during their scheduled visit to Quetta or halt them like Islamabad rally? In this scenario important questions are being raised by analysts, various sections of media and society.

If establishment is not backing Difae-Pakistan Council and political government is not afraid then why both state institutions and concerned wings are inactive and not willing to counter ongoing anti state agenda? Where is counter strategy of state against militants and who is making it? What message we are sending to our neighbours and whole international community which is already blaming us and alleging us of supporting terrorist. Today, the whole world is looking towards Pakistan as a major game player in the war against terrorism. Instead of allowing parties like the Difa-e-Pakistan Council to propagate anti state agenda , our policy makers should come forward and make a new foundation for peace and stability. our foreign policy should be made by the consensus of the military and civilian administration, not dictated by this emotional party that is suggesting the im-

practical option of isolation. We should preserve our sovereignty but simultaneously also align ourselves with the international community’s stance on the war on terror to counter the criticism levelled against us by the world. There is a need to review policy and strategy to stabilize country, besides deployment of forces and conducting operations in areas under militant’s control, proper planning and procedures should be designed to abolish and counter anti state mindset and thinking like Difa-ePakistan and others. our academia and media can play major role to take Pakistan out of danger and save the future of our coming generations and if the policy makers and main institutions will not take positive initiative the current situation will lead the country towards another disaster and isolation for our coming generations. HUMAIRA KANWAL Islamabad

what a novel tax! Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation (PBC) commonly known as Radio Pakistan is facing deep financial crisis and is on the verge of closure. Information Secretary Taimoor Azmat has categorically said that government was not in a position to provide financial support to PBC. According to him, the PBC would have to explore other sources of income to become self-reliant. To keep the state-run institution alive, head of PBC has come up with a novel idea of levying radio tax on mobile phone users. Earlier, the government levied television license fee and added the same in electricity bills. Interestingly, license fee was added in electricity bills of mosques, churches, temples and on those poor people who did not own television sets. With the decision of charging two percent radio tax on mobile users on every recharge, people with mobile phone sets that do not have radio in it are perplexed. Religious head of the mosque of my locality was asking me the other day if he too will have to pay radio tax whereas he never tunes into any radio stations. The PBC head is asking for tax from mobile phone users whereas FM stations are available on mobile phone sets. I have not come across a mobile phone set that tunes into "Radio Pakistan". Is PBC justified in asking for tax? Tomorrow, if the local government runs short of funds for making roads, will it ask the people walking on the roads to pay a 'walking tax' to be followed by a ‘breathing tax’ etc? M RAFIQUE ZAKARIA Karachi

Thar coal misadventure? Sania Safdar in her letter published in February 25 issue laments that the government diverted funds to buy off the Senators when these funds could have been used to develop Thar coal project. The government has already committed US$ 115 million (nearly Rs 10 billion), and most of the allocation has been spent, on a Quixotic adventure of underground gasification of Thar coal. Whether millions are spent to satisfy politicians through financing of their pork-barrel projects, whether millions are spent on pomp and pageantry to satisfy ego of top leaders, or whether pumping billions to satisfy a nuclear scientist's lust to become a jack-of-all, the fact is that Pakistan is getting nowhere. FBR can only collect less than Rs 2000 billion revenue from the blood, sweat and tears of taxpayers, and then the government squanders it away as if there is no tomorrow. Thar gasification misadventure must be immediately axed otherwise billions more would be spent needlessly, inflow of foreign direct investment in Thar would be jeopardised, and people like the nuclear Dr Strangelove and his coterie will be planning to destroy some other natural resource somewhere else in Pakistan. The doctor should stick to nuclear bombs and missiles and let experts manage coal and other minerals. Please. MAJYD AZIZ Karachi

What purpose does Election Commission serve when you see images of gross irregularities during by-elections conducted in various parts of country on 25 February? A lady candidate physically beating up staff deputed by Election Commission was shown by major television stations, and armed hooligans were shown harassing common citizens outside polling stations while police stood by. In Mardan, so called followers of party which professes itself to be party of the man known as Frontier Gandhi, were shown firing automatic weapons in air, within premises of party office. As if this was not enough a supporter of our democratically elected PM's son, contesting for a seat in Multan, was seen on television networks firing in jubilation. If this is an indicator of how coming general elections will be conducted, than may God Almighty have mercy upon us! All these election results should be cancelled and those guilty of crimes committed and shown by major television channels must be given exemplary punishments. You cannot expect government servants deputed for election duty to stand up and ensure conduct of fair polls, if the EC and law enforcement agencies are to behave in the shameful manner that they did. MALIK TARIQ ALI Lahore

The changing face of PTI

The Balochistan dispute is worsening with the passage of time. There is no secret that the US and India are backing the Baloch rebel leaders. Unfortunately, our government is paying no heed to this serious matter. They are taking it lightly. To resolve this dispute, we should analyse the true facts about Balochistan’s mutiny. The government must invite all Baloch leaders and inquire about their

grievances. If their demands are relate to the people of Balochistan, the government should address them immediately. The government should also conduct a comprehensive survey to ask the people directly about their demands. The government should increase the budget and resolve the Baloch people’s issues on priority basis. Policy making is the function of the government, it should be people friendly. The role of law enforcing agencies has become controversial. They should follow the government’s instructions instead of initiating their own steps. They should also produce the missing persons before the court and refrain from picking up people illegally. only by taking concrete and practical steps can we save Balochistan. TARIQ HUSAIN KHAN Karachi

A lot seems to have changed, in content and perhaps even in terms of objectives of Imran Khan and his Tehreek-e-Insaf. For a man who has always claimed to be an advocate for social justice, transparency and ethics, it is strange that he welcomes all sorts of opportunists, some with criminal records to his party. Is he not aware of a man from Lahore, involved in land mafia scams with connivance of Musharraf’s former DG Rangers Punjab, or the controversial oxford educated former foreign minister and Zardari cabinet Chairman Planning Commission, whose rice export family concern was involved in heroin smuggling during BB's second tenure? This incident was reported in print media when instead of exporter, the local courier company manager was wrongly implicated by customs at Karachi and thereafter the matter was hushed up. Has he forgotten about the BBC documentary which implicated sons of a former president in illegal car smuggling of stolen vehicles across the Pak-Iran border? Can IK explain how it is kosher that the education business house cartel, who benefitted from dole-outs of railway and state land and championed US intervention in Afghanistan, Lal Masjid massacre and drone attacks in his capacity as Musharraf’s foreign minister has become clean when he switches over to his party? Imran Khan wants to reopen Younus Habib funding of sensitive agencies involved three decades ago in aiding political parties, while he himself seems to be a beneficiary of big business and even same agencies. After all who is paying for all these chartered jets, bullet proof cars etc? The PTI today seems to be a party dominated by all those who have few things in common, like switching political parties at convenience and calls for Seraiki province. Is this party becoming an ethnic nationalist party that has become friendly with another such party based in Urban Sindh, which Imran till few months ago defined as a fascist terrorist mafia? GULL ZAMAN Peshawar

of NRo deal. However, she changed her plans and the result is before us. Had she taken the advice of General (Retd) Musharraf she would have been ruling the country but it is a sad chapter of the history now. The interior minister is advised not to make the country a laughing stock by making such statements as this is not going to help him or the government. He must answer questions posed by the media about the security of Benazir Bhutto instead of accusing the former president who took oath to the ministers after the general elections. Who was giving him the protocol of head of state for a long time? If we start issuing red war-

rants on such murders, then no head of state will be safe. The fact of the matter is time is running short and these gimmicks instead of helping would further aggravate the matters. The country is passing through the most critical moments in its history and demands better sense of proportion and sense of responsibility instead of repeating old rhetoric. Why are we so ignorant about the changed environment? You cannot avert dangers by shutting your eyes. We are very vulnerable, we are at war within our own country. The situation is getting worse day by day. Recent damage to railway tracks by

planting IEDs at different places in Sindh should be taken seriously. If not controlled immediately, it could end up in a disaster beyond imagination. It appears that our politicians are taking everything lightly and think that by issuing statements they can affect the change. Clouds of uncertainty are getting deeper and deeper endangering the safety of common man who is otherwise hard pressed. This situation soon will be out of control and it is feared there will be total breakdown of law and order that would ultimately result in total anarchy and that is what our enemies want. LT COL (R) MUKHTAR AHMED BUTT Karachi

A people-friendly government? Around four years have passed of the tenure of our socalled incumbent people-friendly government. But the roti, kapra aur makan, the basic slogan of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), still does not appear to have been put into practice anywhere. The people of Pakistan, the poor masses, are getting poorer day by day due to government’s unique policies, the policies that make the living difficult and coping with the

Government schools It is quite disappointing to note here that more than 70 percent of all schools and colleges in the Sindh province do not have basic facilities of drinking water and toilets, and even if they are found somewhere, these exist in a pitiable condition. Shockingly many girl schools and colleges, even in big cities and towns, don’t have proper toilets. Even in my home district Larkano, more than 80 percent schools and colleges do not have proper drinking water and toilet facilities. So much so, all primary schools in this illfated district are deprived of this fundamental human right. It is quite pleasing to note here that in some schools, a few kind-hearted elders of the community and educationfriendly teachers have provided temporary toilets for the girl students but past rulers and the policymakers wasted

price-hike a task that can never be achieved successfully. Zardari and Co is always busy spending huge amount of money, influence and various positions to please their allies, like MQM, PML(Q) and ANP, almost all the times from the national exchequer, hurting public sector development and abusing taxpayers’ money. KAINAT FATIMA Lahore

the state resources ruthlessly and shamelessly over cosmetic measures and programmes. However, the president is appealed to direct the concerned provincial departments to build proper drinking water and toilet facilities, particularly for girls in all government schools at the earliest. HASHIM ABRO Islamabd

Dispute and solution

Irresponsible statement? The government is under very heavy pressure for the ‘good deeds’ it has done and claiming former President Pervez Musharraf responsible for Benazir Bhutto murder case is nothing but a diversionary tactics to keep the people busy and to sidetrack the main issues. Benazir Bhutto's security was the responsibility of the provincial government and not of president of Pakistan. If at all questions are to be asked they should be asked from the provincial administration. To put the record straight Gen Musharraf had advised Benazir Bhutto to return Pakistan after general elections for security reasons, and it was also part

Send your letters to: Letters to Editor, Pakistan Today, 4-Shaarey Fatima Jinnah, Lahore, Pakistan. Fax: +92-42-36298302. E-mail: letters@pakistantoday.com.pk. Letters should be addressed to Pakistan Today exclusively.


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12 Comment The silver lining Inching towards understanding

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fter the hard talk during Karzai’s Islamabad visit last week, PM Gilani’s statement comes as nothing short of a game changer in the context of the Afghan reconciliation. In the wake of the trilateral summit Khar had called the request by Karzai to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table as ‘preposterous’. Behind-the-scenes moves, meanwhile, have led to the melting of the snow. Gilani has agreed to actively help the Karzai government by issuing a public call to all Afghan militant groups, including the Taliban and Hezb-e-Islami, to enter into direct negotiations in the framework of an intra-Afghan reconciliation process. Keeping in view Gilani’s meeting with the CJCS and DG ISI and reportedly a telephonic conversation with the CoAS earlier in the day, his stance enjoys the backing of the military establishment. The incident of burning of the Holy Quran at Bagram base has given rise to an unprecedented furore against the US and the Nato forces, thus creating doubts abut the future of a negotiated settlement with the militants. This has created new problems for the US as well as the Karzai government. Gilani’s statement should provide some comfort to both as it puts life into the reconciliation process. The stand has been welcomed by the Hezb-eIslami. The invitation for talks comes a day after the meeting between Clinton and Khar in London which constitutes the first step towards the thawing of relations frozen since November when US air strikes killed 24 Pakistani soldiers. Clinton hit the nail by maintaining that while ups and downs are normal in relations between friendly countries, the ties between the US and Pakistan are simply too important to turn our backs on. There is an urgent need to remove some of the main irritants that keep the pot boiling. Hopefully the expected apology from the US over Salala killings would come within the next few weeks. one also hopes that the dispute over the drone attacks would be resolved keeping in view the dire need for cooperation between the two countries against terrorism.

Crime in Punjab Complacency and micromanaging

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he Punjab government’s failure to curb rising crime rate in the province has resulted in a lower court issuing arrest warrants of 500 police officials for not complying with the orders of the Supreme Court pertaining to the production of prosecution witnesses and case records. The action was taken a day after a two-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry took a serious notice of the abysmal performance of the Punjab police and the prosecution department. IGP Haji Habibur Rehman was snubbed by the court when he tried to convince it that he had assumed the charge only three days ago and had already issued show-cause notices to the delinquent police officials. There is no doubt that there has been no proper check on the subordinate judiciary to clear a huge backlog of cases pending before various courts all over the province. But delay in submission of case records, challans as well as prosecution witnesses in the courts is mainly caused by widespread corruption in the police department at the lower level. Apart from other factors, one of the reasons for the deteriorating law and order situation in the country’s largest province is complacency of the police force. During the last three years, the crime rate in the Punjab has risen by 21 percent with the crime wave having swept across the provincial capital. There are news reports indicating that there has been a phenomenal rise in the incidents of kidnapping for ransom in Lahore over the past few months. Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif, who doesn’t tire of claiming credit for having changed the decadent thana culture, needs to put in place an effective system to contain the rising crime rate in the province. This can be done if he stops micromanaging the things and fully empowers the top police administration to appoint officers on the basis of their professional competence rather than their loyalty to the ruling political leadership.

Dedicated to the legacy of the late Hameed Nizami

Arif Nizami Editor

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

Sunday, 26 February, 2012

the tyranny of history How our servile attitude has led us to nowhere

By Humayun Gauhar

W

ith the US-Pakistan relationship in turmoil, and hopefully resetting itself to a healthier, more equitable and less dependent one, our usual conventional lack of wisdom has it that America has painted itself into a corner by making us no longer dependent on it while remaining dependent on us to get it out of Afghanistan. It’s never quite that simple. No matter how great the political, economic and financial decline of the most powerful country in history, it will still remain the most powerful for some time yet, a huge market, and most importantly, possessor of the greatest knowledge bank. It would be foolhardy to have an adversarial relationship with it, forget no relationship at all, but it takes two to tango. It is moot whether America is a worse dancer or we are. America’s scientific and technological advancement is greater than most people imagine. This knowledge it has used in certain areas, some good some bad. A good one that springs to mind is medicine, particularly surgery, including its advanced tools. Another is the Internet, which has made communications so easy and quick that the post office, already out of fashion, will soon go out of business altogether. It has opened vast information and knowledge banks for all peoples of the world for virtually free, a most admirable achievement indeed. But at the same time, the Internet’s social pages being spawned have also become the most modern weapon so far, for it conquers hearts and colonises minds and keeps people constantly tagged and under watch. How many young people do you run into from the boondocks that study in local schools and have never even been to Karachi, let alone to America, speaking with comical American accents? The worst areas that knowledge has been used for are making weaponry. It has been so since the advent of Man. America is compelled to do this, and also start wars, to feed its vast military-industrial complex that is the engine of its economy. It still lives in the outdated paradigm that the only way to gain economic advantage is by establishing hegemony over the world. Time to shift this paradigm, and only America has the wherewithal to do this. It tried by shifting to ‘consensual hegemony’ rather than European-style coercive hegemony, but when it became the sole super-

power it went hyper and fell back on coercive hegemony like a rooster goes for hens after being caged for a time. It’s not easy to change because gaining economic advantage emanates from that most primeval instinct of man – survival. America has given more money to the world than any country before, but it failed to win hearts, minds and admiration because of its shrill bullying that is part of its personality. The much-acclaimed book, ‘The Ugly American’, described this shrill bullying. America’s societal advancement (as indeed the advancement of the entire world) is comparatively far less, particularly its economic and financial systems, which were dynamic once but have since become static and exploitative. So has its political system that at one time produced admirable leaders but is today spewing out the sort of leadership we have before us. This is where America has taken a self-inflicted beating, reinforcing the notion that the very powerful cannot be beaten from the outside but fall from within because of inevitable decadence and hubris and the end of dynamism. Dynamism is lost when people think that, “We have arrived and nothing and nobody can challenge us so we don’t need to change.” This mindset leads to a certain kind of mental lethargy that makes one stick to the tried and tested that worked for a while but is now worn out and stale and so is failing. People and the world change constantly, so what was credible once is no longer even plausible. Though no longer a ‘neocon’, US hubris was reflected in the title of Francis Fukuyama’s book, ‘The End of History and the Last Man’ that was published after the collapse of the Soviet Union. ‘End of History’ says it all. How can one even contemplate such an outlandish notion unless one is completely zoned out in the throes of intellectual hubris and mental lethargy? So long as there is time and dialectics, history will never end. We romantic Pakistanis never got one thing straight: there is no such thing as ‘friend’ in relations between states, only temporary allies in a common cause that serves all parties. The minute that cause ceases or ceases to be common, the alliance either ends or its intensity decreases. For one state to expect a continuing special privileged relationship and preferential treatment from another because at one time they were allies in a particular endeavour doesn’t make sense. The problem is that for us alliances are more like romances that don’t cease because we live in that fool’s paradise that was especially made for one-way romantics. Which is why America cannot understand why we keep on dredging up our common history. In the sense of romance, history for us doesn’t end. We remain mired in it. We should know that when alliances end another history begins. We Pakistanis suffer from the courtier culture of India’s princely past – please the prince and many vistas will open up. But courtier culture becomes decadent and contrary when it is thrown into a contemporary milieu – trying to live in the past

and the present at the same time. When we try and treat America like the potentate of a princely state it gets befuddled, unlike their European cousins who themselves come from a courtier culture and which is one reason why they remained our masters for so long. The courtier culture also keeps us mired in western political constructs for they were our last princes. That begs the question: what is the eastern political construct, or a modern Muslim one for that matter, that we could fall back on after 90 years of colonisation? While one can make fumbling assertions about some Muslim construct or the other, we will find nothing in the present that suits the times. I know about Turkey. our last political construct was dynastic rule, which still prevails in most Arab countries regardless of what title potentates bestow on themselves, and in our own political culture of the subcontinent where we have political dynasties. That is how backward we are. The only eastern country to have forged a distinct and modern political system of its own is China. We remain stuck in ended histories, like our undoubtedly great Muslim past (“Muslims have a great past but no future”) or our past favours to the US – what we did for it in Afghanistan or by opening our door to China. What America cannot understand is why we didn’t insist on larger pieces of flesh at the time: Yahya Khan’s servile statement to Nixon comes to mind when after his famous China visit Nixon asked what he could do for Pakistan. our portly general-president replied in a haze: “It was good to be of service, sir”. We think that such talk will put us on a pedestal and we will get more in return than even what America had in mind. That could have happened with the ‘Nabob of Boogaland’ in the 19th century, but no longer. our mentality is that if we stake a claim to greater benefits in a particular joint venture, we are ‘selling’ ourselves. This sort of thinking comes from the courtier-courtesan mentality that has not left us, even though princely states and fiefdoms have. Today’s world is ruthless and no place for any goody two shoes. Pakistan and America have more than one thing in common. one is that we are both expert gravediggers – of our own graves. What we consider self-interest is self-destruction. In bombing countries to smithereens and occupying them for a while, America might cause regime change, but by destroying their infrastructure and slaughtering thousands of people they turn angry mobs into nations, causing themselves greater harm. What we thought would be good for us by joining the ‘war on terror’ because it would help rid us of terrorism in our own country has boomeranged: today large chunks of our people feel disenfranchised and disheartened with Pakistan and terrorism has increased the world over. Don’t be sad: learn. The writer is a political analyst. He can be contacted at humayun.gauhar786@gmail.com

Regional Press

Terrorist acts in Peshawar Daily Khabroona

T

he two terrorist acts that occurred on consecutive days in Peshawar and its surrounding areas have made a common man uncertain. A car bomb at a bus stand on Kohat road caused 13 lives lost and injuries to more than 50 others whereas four policemen including two officers were killed and five injured when three suicide bombers made an attempt to occupy a police station inside a congested locality of Peshawar city. officials believe that the suicide bombers were trying to either blow up the three-storey building or make hostage all of its occupants. More than 350 policemen were present inside the building during the attack. But policemen, guarding the building and present there offered a courageous resistance and foiled the attempt of suicide bombers. The four policemen, who embraced martyrdom, deserve appreciation. Such sacrifices should be remembered forever

as they are a milestone in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s history. on one hand, frequent acts of terror have resulted in creating panic amongst common man but they have also made alert, on the other hand, the law enforcing agencies of their responsibilities. Soon after the attack on police station at Peshawar, Inspector General of KP Police has chaired a high level meeting whereas a plan was devised to combat the situation that has erupted with the latest terrorism acts. No one can neglect the fact that KP Police is rendering tremendous sacrifices in war on terror. Winning such a war could become easy if the common man realies his responsibilities of extending support to the police force. The terrorist groups enjoy links and support within the population, therefore, the public needs to help in pinpointing such elements, which could enable the law enforcing agencies in foiling such terrorism attempts. – Translated from the original Pashto by Shamim Shahid


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Sunday, 26 February, 2012

the Indo-Pak peace National security vs welfare state

by Iqbal Haider

S

hould the priority and focus of the state be national security or the security and welfare of the people who live in it? This is an issue, which is being debated particularly in Pakistan and in other South Asian countries. I belong to the school of thought which believes that social welfare should not be compromised by national security considerations. No doubt, territorial integrity and stability within the states and from interstate conflicts must be secured, but the paramount consideration ought to be the social welfare of the people. If social welfare is not secured then the people tend to secure their economic interest in other countries. Regrettably, in India and Pakistan our budget allocation priorities have remained riveted on defence sector. If we cannot afford to make such huge allocations for the defense, we readily indulge in borrowings in billions of dollars, which makes our future generations also heavily indebted. This obviously results in neglect of the social sector. These arguments constitute simple common sense but unfortunately certain vested interests and the establishments of our countries, which thrive on promotion of hatred and conflicts, reject such simple logic and reasoning. The prudent and advisable policies to secure both national security and social welfare of the people, is to strike warm, cordial relations and cooperation in all sphere, with our neighboring countries, rather than placing reliance on distantly located USA or the western block. China, in my opinion, appears to be more trustworthy neighbour to secure not only defence but also equitable economic developments. Last year in July a conference was held in China to discuss ways and means to promote collaboration between China and SAARC through enhanced people to people exchanges. It

is obvious from the very decision to hold this Conference in China that both the government and its think tanks are equally desirous of promoting more close and cordial relations with the SAARC countries. Greater cooperation and closer ties of the SAARC countries with China, in my opinion would not only serve our national security concerns but also enable us to give greater priority and allocation to the social sector, which is the craving need of the oppressed people of the entire South Asia region. It is very heartening to note that in the post-Cold War era, both Congress and BJP of India have wisely pursued a consistent policy of reconciliation and engagement with China. The past prime ministers of these parties and other leaders of India have repeatedly expressed that “India had no wish to hold China as an enemy or a threat”. They reinforced the desire to establish friendly relations with China. At no point has the diplomatic engagement between India and China ceased. Even the 1998 nuclear tests by India did not cause any harm to India’s policy and relations with China. To my knowledge, India has also succeeded in making some of the territorial adjustments with China. Lately, the economic ties between India and China have attained new heights, perhaps China is the biggest trading partner of India. on the other hand, China is the most trusted ally and strategic partner of Pakistan for close to five decades. China, being the common denominator between India and Pakistan, is well placed to play a significant role in promoting cordial relations, peace and progress not only between our three countries but also in the entire South Asia region. China’s high profile in the economic interactions at both bilateral and regional levels has most favourable implications for the region as a whole. It is necessary to highlight a most portent threat to our security, that of terrorism. It is not only destroying peace and security of both India and Pakistan, but also harming trust and confidence between the two. Those terrorists, who were involved in one of the worst tragedies of 26/11 in Mumbai, or in the terrorist attack on Parliament in Delhi on 13th December 2001 or in the commission of the same barbaric acts of terrorism every other week in all nooks and corners of Pakistan, are enemies of Pakistan and equally of India. Pakistan in particular, is the worst victim of religious

extremist terrorist organisations. According to unofficial sources since 2002, more than 7,000 members of our military and paramilitary forces and police have sacrificed their precious lives in confronting these terrorists while more than 70,000 innocent citizens in various part of our country have died in innumerable attacks by the terrorists during the same period. The imperatives of the foreign policy of both India and Pakistan must be focused on the principles of peaceful coexistence and economic collaboration and to put an end to the blame game strategy and the hate propaganda by state or non-state elements against each other. I am mindful of the fact that the issue of Kashmir is a serious bone of contention between India and Pakistan. However, this dispute should not be allowed to prevent, forever cordial relations between our two countries. I have been urging and pleading for over a decade that one of the viable, realistic and pragmatic solutions for resolving the Kashmir dispute, at least for the time being and without prejudice to the respective stand of the two countries on Kashmir, is to de-facto accept the line of control with some adjustment as the international border. In my view, this is also the spirit and objective of the Shimla Agreement of 1972. The aforesaid acknowledgement must, however, be followed by a treaty between India and Pakistan containing firm and sincere commitments a) That both the countries must discourage and prevent aggressive actions, militancy or terrorism or policy of blame game against each other; and b) Border between the two countries and between the two Kashmirs should be opened to the people at large with free access, free trade, exchange of cultural activities, academics, intellectual groups, sports events, free access to the electronic and print media etc. I would also like to highlight the incalculable dividends that we can draw by establishment of peace, harmony, open borders, environment of trust, cooperation and collaboration between the SAARC countries and with China will usher a new era of prosperity and peace. The writer is a senior advocate of the Supreme Court, a former Senator, Attorney General and Federal Minister. He may be contacted at ihaider45@yahoo.com

Comment 13

Revenge of the provinces congress couldn’t get its act together

Third Eye By M J Akbar

H

ow did relations between Samajwadi Party and Congress descend, within the space of half a campaign, from flirtation barely disguised by a Lucknow burqa and hints of betrothal to the acrimony of an imminent divorce? Invective is a jaded weapon: too dull to wound the enemy, and terribly sharp when it inflicts self-injury, as it mostly does. But ridicule scores a flesh wound whenever backed by reason. The Samajwadi heir apparent, Akhilesh Yadav, has just discovered the pleasures of lampoon; significantly his first and only target is Rahul Gandhi. Congress can, if it wants to, shrug off Yadav’s jibe that Rahul began his campaign by rolling up his sleeves, continued by tearing up a simulated Samajwadi manifesto, and will possibly end by jumping off the podium in the last act of such faux dramatics. But it should worry about the fact that the audience is laughing. Nothing disperses the claim of charisma more easily than laughter. Incidentally, whatever happened to the rolled sleeves? They seem to have disappeared. It takes time to recognise a political pattern, but 45 years is probably enough to shade out the exceptions that prove the rule. Precisely 45 years ago, in the elections of 1967, Congress began to cede large sections of India to regional parties. Its nadir came in 1967, 1977 and for much of the 1990s, when it teetered in Delhi and disappeared from Amritsar to Calcutta. The high

points were 1971-72, when Mrs Indira Gandhi injected the elixir of ideology, and 1984-85, when her martyrdom brought spectacular electoral rewards. But the Congress never recovered the certainty of office that had been its historical privilege between 1952 and 1967. Mrs Gandhi’s legacy is evident in those forgotten corners of the mind that still shape voter behaviour. She believed in a strong Centre, and subservient state governments that could be dismissed by a stroke of an imperious pen through the application of Article 356. Regional parties fought back, as they are doing now, under the banner of a federal constitution. The voter, who wants, logically, a strong Centre as well as a strong state, began to trust the Congress for Delhi, and other parties for the provinces. Even the success of Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s NDA coalition has not fully erased the memory of that disaster called Janata rule between 1977 and 1980. The voter is rarely wrong, and Congress continues to prove him right in the provinces: UPA 2 is in tatters, but the only governments in a deeper hole are Congress governments in Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and Goa. The Congress has such a weak reputation in states that it has been unable to exploit fractious splits in regional parties, which is akin to missing a penalty. Instead, such a regional split has delayed or even aborted a Congress revival. In Tamil Nadu, the Congress would have been elected when people became tired of DMK’s mercurial ways. Instead, its splinter Anna DMK became the successor, and remains so 25 years after founder M G Ramachandran’s death. In Bihar, Lalu Yadav and Nitish Kumar lived, albeit uncomfortably, within the same party. Lalu captured Bihar, and had a wonderful run. When his ego-and-caste inflated bubble was finally punctured, it was Nitish who won Patna, not the Congress.

Nitish promises to keep the Congress out of office in Bihar for even longer than Lalu did. In Bengal, the regional force, the Left, did not split, but the Congress did. once again, when the Left collapsed, the voter trusted Mamata Banerjee as the alternative, not the Congress. Maharashtra has seen a further variation. Congress and its breakaway bit, Sharad Pawar’s NCP, set aside their internal bitterness to make successful common cause against the Shiv Sena-BJP combine. Now, when their alliance is beginning to fray, it is the Congress which has taken the greater drubbing as compared to NCP. Check the latest local government results. In Uttar Pradesh, Congress collapsed 22 years ago. Mulayam Singh Yadav and BJP took turns in office. When voters became tired of these two, they did not seek out Congress but went to a fourth force, Mayawati. It is an interesting thought: Would Congress have had a chance in the current Punjab elections if a second Akali Dal had emerged and consolidated itself? Rahul Gandhi’s advisers are blessed with enthusiasm; maybe this is why a sober reading of the past eludes them. I have no idea whether the Congress is going to do well or badly, but it was risky to turn the UP poll into the springboard for a Rahul pole vault. It is embarrassing if you huff and you puff and then go through under the bar. Bookies have a better feel for ground reality than astrologers or journalists. on February 21, they were offering even bets on these figures: 120-130 seats for SP; 100-110 for BSP; 80-90 for BJP; and 50-60 for Congress. If this is true, then the past still has some claim on the present. The columnist is editor of The Sunday Guardian, published from Delhi, India on Sunday, published from London and Editorial Director, India Today and Headlines Today.


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14

Sunday, 26 February, 2012

The Artist scoops

in limelight

six French film awards PARIS

B

REUTERS

LACK-AND-WHITE silent movie ‘The Artist’ scooped up six Cesar awards, including best film and best actress in France's annual version of the Academy Awards, further raising French hopes it could do well at the oscars this weekend. A misty-eyed flashback to late 1920s Hollywood, the French-made film has proved an unexpected international success, bagging seven British BAFTA awards earlier this month, including best film, and a Golden Globe before that. It won best director for Michel Hazanavicius at the 37th Cesar ceremony and best actress for Berenice Bejo, who utters no words out loud as she plays a young actress starting out as silent cinema falls out of fashion and is replaced by “talkies.” “This is a film that started out at the very bottom, it's a film nobody wanted to make, and now we are right at the top. It's a beautiful story,” Hazanavicius said receiving his prize. Argentine-born Bejo, who plays the beguiling Peppy Miller, admitted tearfully that she had desperately wanting to win.

Co-star Jean Dujardin, whose debonair rendition of a silent movie icon has won him Best Actor at Cannes, a BAFTA, a Golden Globe and an oscar nomination, was passed over for the best actor Cesar, which went instead to omar Sy in ‘Intouchables.’ Sy plays a rough-spoken but loveable delinquent from the deprived Paris suburbs who by accident ends up as a live-in carer to a quadriplegic aristocrat in a touching comedy that has been a smash hit in France with some 19 million admissions. Based on a true story sparked by a paragliding accident, it plays on deep-rooted racial and class barriers in France. “This is a gigantic buzz. I feel like a crazy guy,” Sy, one of France's most popular black actors and best known for his TV comedy roles, said. Winners of Cesar awards receive oscar-like trophies sculpted by Cesar Baldaccini, the artist they are named after. Dujardin is seen as well-placed for the best actor oscar on Sunday, with ‘The Artist,’ a critics' darling throughout this award season, nominated for 10 Academy Awards. He would be the first French-born actor to win the oscar for a lead role. Highly acclaimed Iranian family drama ‘A Separation’ was awarded the Cesar for best foreign film.

MeXICo: elton John performs at a special concert entitled ‘By Peace in Mexico’. AfP

PArIS: Jean Dujardin at the 37th Cesar Awards. AfP

Angelina Jolie writes foreword for Billy Bob thornton's memoir LOS ANGELES

PArIS: ‘The Artist’ director and screenwriter Michel Hazanavicius and actress Berenice Bejo pose with their trophy at the 37th Cesar Awards. AfP

cBS

Angelina Jolie and her ex-husband Billy Bob Thornton have reunited for his tellall memoir titled ‘The Billy Bob Tapes: A Cave Full of Ghosts,’ due out this May. Jolie has written the foreword to 56-yearold ‘Sling Blade’ director's book. It is described as, “spinning colorful tales of (Thornton's) modest (to say the least) Southern upbringing, his bizarre phobias, his life, his loves (including his heartbreakingly brief marriage to fellow oscar winner Angelina Jolie), and, of course, his movie career.” Jolie and Thornton were married from 2000 to 2003. The couple drew media attention when they admitted to wearing each others' blood in vials around their necks. Now, Jolie has six children with her current partner Brad Pitt, who recently said in an interview that Jolie is still a “bad girl” but it's not for “public consumption.”

Shahid’s four-day

birthday

bash

MUMBAI: Some may say turning 30 isn't all that great. But add a year to it, and Shahid Kapoor will tell you how to turn 31 in style. The actor, who is busy celebrating his 31st birthday in Goa, has once again proved that boys in Bollywood, do know how to have all the fun. while Atul Kasbekar has been busy uploading pictures of the birthday boy on his social networking profile calling them #ShahidGoanCrazy, a tabloid has found out what is really going on at the four day and three night long bash in Morjim beach. The actor, who took off to the party destination a couple of days before his birthday on February 25, will be returning to Mumbai on February 28. Shahid is not the only one who is having a ball. He has also planned a big bash for his close friends from school and the Hindi film industry. In fact, he had even asked the DJ to play at a stretch from 9 am in the morning to 3 am the next day. And that's not all. Shahid had even instructed his manager to ask all the guests about their food and beverage preferences. This, despite Shahid being a teetotaler himself. The guest list included Kunal Kohli, Siddharth Anand, Siddharth Malhotra, Mubina rattonsey, Anjali Lavania, photographer Atul Kasbekar, who had been clicking his pictures and of course his new found buddy Nargis Fakhri. AGENcIES

BeVerLY HILLS: Meryl Streep presents Iranian director Ashgar Farhadi, from the film ‘A Separation’ with the certificate of nomination during the 84th Academy Awards Foreign Language Film Award Directors reception. AfP

CoLoMBo: Pakistani models display a creation at the annual Colombo fashion week in which designers from Sri Lankan, India, Pakistan and Palestine were among the dozens of fashion designers that displayed their work at the three day event. AfP

‘heroine’ loses her lines MUMBAI: Madhur Bhadarkar’s ‘Heroine’ has met with yet another roadblock. while the filmmaker had once lost his leading lady (Aishwarya rai Bachchan) for the project (saved later by Kareena Kapoor), this time around, he has lost the film’s dialogues. writer Niranjan Iyengar, who was visiting his good friend Karan Johar, realised that his laptop had been stolen from his car parked under KJo’s office. The writer panicked and went straight to the police. Iyengar said: “All the dialogues of ‘Heroine’ were stored in my laptop. I have lodged a FIr. Let’s hope I get it back but I think that the chances are slim.” Iyengar had been visiting his friend Karan Johar to plan their itinerary for the Jammu and Kashmir schedule of KJo’s directorial ‘Student of The Year’. However, with the script of Heroine stolen, the writer will not be able to accompany the crew on their trip up north. “I generally go on the sets of most of my films, but I can’t do that now,” he said. His major concern now is to re-write the dialogues for Bhandarkar’s project. “Now I need to be on the set of ‘Heroine’ and rewrite the dialogues. I don’t have the entire backup. I had emailed a chunk of it to Madhur, so that part is retained. But now, the remaining will have to be quickly rewritten,” said Iyengar. Bhandarkar said, “Iyengar has consented to be on the set of ‘Heroine’. I am very thankful to him. whatever happened is very unfortunate.” when asked whether he will be able to recreate the very lines, Iyengar said, “Those lines are in my head. There is no reference point, though.” AGENcIES

As coming-of-age film ‘London Paris New York’ closes in on its release; the film is receiving an unprecedented response as leads Ali Zafar and Aditi rao Hydari kick off their city tours to promote the film, starting with the Indian city and youth metropolisPune. Promising to bring the wit back into Bollywood's romantic comedies, ‘London Paris New York’ starring Ali Zafar and Aditi rao Hydari , mirrors the 3 states of love set in an international scenario ,and also marks the directorial debut of Anu Menon. The students at a local college were the first to receive an unplugged live performance from Ali and Aditi both of whom have sung in the film. As a token of appreciation the youngsters also prepared a special AV for the film, leaving the duo overwhelmed. The next pit stop was a press conference at a popular mall, where the team spoke about the film at length and interacted with the crowds that had gathered in numbers to catch a glimpse of the stars. on the occasion Ali said: “LPNY is a hatke love story with a lot of romance and great music. our experience from the film, I believe, is different from those who have done similar films in the past. The characters are different, the story is different. This is our way of telling a love story of today's time and age.” ‘London Paris New York’ will release on 2nd March. NEWS DESk


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15 What Might George Clooney

Wear to the oscars? LOS ANGELES AGENcIES

Unlike his other nominees, you can pretty much expect what G e o r g e Clooney might wear to the oscars. While Brad Pitt has changed up his red carpet look often over the years, and Gary oldman has hardly settled on his own signature style, Clooney is always there with pure, consistent class: An Armani tuxedo, tailored just so, very dark wool-usually alongside peak lapels and a bow tie-as it should be for this sort of ceremony. Lately, though, Clooney's been questioning his own bachelor-for-life status (thanks to Stacy Keibler) and, on a more stylistic note, switching up his evening game in small ways. At the

orange British Academy Film Awards, he walked the carpet in a fantastic topcoat; at the SAG awards, he swapped his usual routine for a shawl collar tuxedo worn with a standard necktie. And in closer relation to the Academy Awards, he showed up to the nominee luncheon wearing a smart grey suit with an 80sstyle cut that reminded us of his ‘ocean's Eleven’ casinowheeling days. That last one is a day look, to be certain, and we're predicting that ‘The Descendants’ star will use The oscars, as he has for years now, to show up and show off in a peak lapel tuxedo with the perfect finishing touches. Though, it would be nice if he were to pull that shawl collar that he's been wearing lately out from his closet. Perhaps, this time, he could up his own game by wearing that with one of those bow ties he knows how to knot so well.

Chester Bernard

Whitney houston committed

suicide? LOS ANGELES AGENcIES

W

HITNEY Houston is at the centre of a bizarre suicide mystery after she was reportedly seen covered in blood hours before her death. The tragic diva, 48, was spotted with her arms slashed before bingeing on drugs and booze. A source said she had cut herself with a razor blade in the toilet of a Los Angeles nightclub after seeing her on-off lover Ray J, 31, chatting to another woman. Just 48 hours later she was found slumped in the bath of her suite at the Beverly Hilton hotel, surrounded by bottles of tranquillisers. Houston had stumbled out of the trendy Tru Hollywood club cut and bleeding after spending hours downing champagne and

humming the ‘humsafar’ tune

opens new flagship FAISALABAD PR

Chester Bernard, the premier local brand for men's shirts, has crossed yet another milestone in its rapid growth. The Karachi-based label which was previously only available in Lahore and Karachi, has now opened a store in Sitara Mall in Faisalabad. The shop located on the first floor (shop no # 35-36) has an extensive display of shirts, ties, pocket squares and cuff links. on the same floor are other well known brands such as Hub Leather, Nike, Labels, Mothercare, JafferJees and more. “We are delighted to be opening up in Faisalabad,” said Faraz Salehjee, Creative director of Chester Bernard. "I think Faisalabad is rapidly becoming Pakistan's fourth largest city and I think a brand like Chester Bernard definitely has a market here.” “Chester Bernard is a com-

Ali Zafar, Aditi

charm the youngsters

plete design house,” said Taimur Khan, “Faisalabad is a great market for a highend fashion and design outlet such as Chester Bernard.” Eager shoppers walked through the shop all day long, admiring the finishing of the shirts and the vast variety of ties available. Chester Bernard prides itself on having something to suit everyone's taste when it comes to formal shirts and ties. Their most popular designs are the Limited Sports Collection and Police Collection among other several Limited Editions. The management of the Sitara Mall, arguably the most elite and posh of Faisalabad’s malls, was delighted at the arrival of Chester Bernard in their mall. “It is an eventful moment to express my feelings on the opening of an exclusive men's wear boutique at Sitara Mall,” said the Director of the mall, Haseeb Ahmad, “Indeed its opening will make Faisalabadis look more smart and elegent.”

tough schedules for Abhishek Bachchan MUMBAI: Abhishek Bachchan is going through tough schedules. even as Amitabh Bachchan returned home from the hospital, his maternal grandmother Indira Bhaduri is now said to be in another hospital, giving him two major reasons to stay put in Mumbai. These days, the actor is shooting out of Mumbai, in wai for rohit Shetty’s ‘Bol Bachchan’. He also likes to be by his elders' side, so his schedule is under tremendous pressure. “every day Abhishek commutes between wai and Mumbai. He leaves early morning for wai, packs up shooting by evening, drives back. It’s a good five hours drive. He rushes home to see his father and then his Nani in hospital before heading home to catch a few moments with his daughter and wife (in that order nowadays). If he's lucky he catches Baby Bachchan awake for a bit,” said a source. without much sleep, Abhishek returns to wai early morning. But he sails through the shoot of the comedy film. “Laughter is the last thing on Abhishek's mind. But he's going through the comic scenes with Ajay Devgn with door-die determination,” the source added. Ajay is going out of his way to accommodate Abhishek's packed schedule. “He waits without a murmur for Abhishek to get ready. He's even offered to postpone the shooting until things get normal at the Bachchans'. But Abhishek insists on carrying on,” said the source. AGeNCIeS

tequila. Just before leaving the nightspot she had a furious row with US ‘X Factor’ finalist Stacy Francis, 42, for chatting to singer Ray J. “She was like a wild animal, screaming at me not to go near her man and calling me a bitch,” Francis said. “Whitney was totally drunk and the sight of Ray J talking to another woman pushed her over the edge,” an insider said. “She flew into a complete rage, went into the bathroom of the club and tried to slit her wrists. It was a real cry for help and probably a bit of attention seeking, as the cuts were not that deep. But they were bad enough to leave her bleeding and in a mess. There was blood all over her,” the insider added. The pop-star’s devastated daughter Bobbi Kristina, 18, is feared to be suicidal after downing drink and prescription pills after her mother’s death on February 11.

NEWS DESK All activities skidded to a halt, wars over the remote control were forgotten, commitments were sidelined and errands postponed as the entire family gathered to watch the modern day phenomenon that redefined the meaning of Saturday night. Yes, nothing defines cult status as ‘Humsafar’ does. Directed by Sarmad Sultan Khoosat, and based on the novel of the same name by Farhat Ishtiaq, ‘Humsafar’ has taken the entire country by storm. The captivating story and crackling chemistry between the two leads-Fawad Afzal Khan (Ashar) and Mahira Khan, (Khirad) made the drama’s popularity sky-rocket. Throw in jealous forces and superb acting and you get a show that has trumped every other show in terms of viewership. For the uninitiated, the story revolves around Ashar and Khirad who marry each other against their

wishes but later develop a strong bond that is shattered thanks to Ashar’s mom. If social networking sites are any indication, the ‘Humsafar’ Facebook page now boasts more than 15, 000 likes. Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites witness a phenomenal number of statutes and photos dedicated to the serial, especially on Saturday night. So what exactly has led to the drama’s immense popularity? one would be the exceptional acting by all the artists involved. For Pakistani viewers, for whom slapstick humour and often repeated story lines had become a signature of local dramas, ‘Humsafar’ has given them powerful acting that is strongly supported by the excellent script. It is not unnecessarily stretched out and does not have the characters wearing loud make-up or clothes. The soundtrack is another factor. Quratul-Ain Baloch (or QB as she is popularly called), has lend her powerful vocals to the title song. Add quality poetry and composing and you have a song that tops everyone’s playlists. As ‘Humsafar’ aired its last episode last night, more than a few people were seen lamenting the end of the show, while many more say nothing can replace ‘Humsafar’ as their favourite. So here’s to the roller-coaster ride that made us laugh and cry, hate and love right alongside Ashar and Khirad.

Gerard Butler completes rehab stint LOS ANGELES AGENcIES

He spent the majority of last fall filming in the big wavesnow Gerard Butler has done his best to clean himself up. The Scottish superstar has been quietly undergoing rehabilitation treatment at a rehabilitation centre for the last three weeks, and was released from the facility recently. The star's rep didn't directly address reports that Butler checked himself into the celeb-friendly centre to fend off an increasing dependence on prescription painkillers. Instead, his publicist would only confirm that he has finished his stint. “Gerard has completed a successful course of treatment and has returned home in good health,” the rep said. Last year, Butler had a headline-grabbing underwater scare on the set of ‘of Men and Mavericks’ that left him banged up. That actor has never been shy about discussing his sobriety issues in the past, notably his heavy drinking, which he has since given up.

cranberries find new ‘chemistry’ after 9-year break PARIS AFP

Tired of non-stop touring and hurting for inspiration, The Cranberries hung up their guitars in 2003. Nine years on, the Irish rockers say the chemistry came right back for their new album ‘Roses’. The quartet shot to fame in the 1990s with hits like ‘Linger’ and ‘Zombie’ lifted by the powerful voice of singer Dolores o'Riordan. By 2003, two years after releasing their album ‘Wake Up and Smell the Coffee’, they had hit a dead end. They went their separate ways. ‘Roses’, the album born of their recent recording sessions, is instantly recognisable as the work of The Cranberries, with soft, airy melodies backing up o'Riordan's distinctive voice. “I think this breathing comes from the fact we have a chemistry, which came back immediately,” said drummer Fergal Lawler.

eyewitness blames Saif, says he was the first to provoke MUMBAI: The Saif-Sharma brawl saga has been witnessing new twists and turns every day, and from what’s the latest, an eyewitness has come up with his own version of the incident. The eyewitness has blamed Saif for starting the fight, saying that the actor was the one who provoked Iqbal Sharma and punched him. According to what had been claimed by actor Saif Ali Khan some time back, there were two sides of the story of the brawl between him and Iqbal Sharma, a South African businessman. However, from what has been learnt from an eyewitness account, Saif’s claims appear to be false. one of the employees of the wasabi restaurant at The Taj, where the fight between Saif and Sharma took place, in a statement given to the police has said that the former was the first to provoke and punch the latter. Taj Hotel’s wasabi restaurant in Colaba was a witness to the entire fiasco, and despite several different versions of the story doing the rounds, Saif seems to be the one who was at the crux of it all. However, the actual verdict from the police is still awaited. Actor Salman Khan and his family have supported Saif. At the place inside the restaurant where the brawl ensued, no video cameras were installed. But the statement from the eyewitness has changed things, according to sources. AGENcIES


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16 Foreign News Syrian security forces kill 16 civilians BEIRuT AFP

Regime forces killed at 16 civilians in Syria on Saturday, as they shelled a rebel stronghold for the 22nd straight day and opened fire in Hama and Aleppo, where thousands were rallying, monitors said. The shelling of the neighbourhood of Baba Amr began at first light, the Syrian observatory for Human Rights said, as sporadic explosions were heard in other areas of the central city. Four civilians were killed in Baba Amr and other Homs neighbourhoods, as security forces also opened fire on the neighbourhoods of Khaldiyeh and Hamidiyeh, in the city centre, the Britainbased observatory said. opposition group Local Coordination Committees said security forces fired mortars at Khaldiyeh. Meanwhile, security forces shot dead six people, including a woman and a girl, as they clashed with defected troops in the Aleppo provincial town of Ezaz, the observatory said. Police also opened fire to disperse a demonstration of some 4,000 people who took to the street in the neighbourhood of Sayef al-Dawla, in Aleppo, for the funeral of a civilian killed on Friday, the observatory said. A local activist, who requested anonymity, also told AFP that thousands were taking part in the protest. No casualties were reported so far. Six civilians, including two girls, died when troops stormed the villages of Maarazaf and Al-Majdel, in the central province of Hama, the observatory said.

Sunday, 26 January, 2012

Deadly blast overshadows Yemen leader swearing-in g

26 elite troops killed in suicide car bombing outside presidential palace SANAA

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AFP

suicide bomber blew up a vehicle outside a presidential palace in southeastern Yemen Saturday, killing 26 elite troops and overshadowing the swearing in of the first new president in Sanaa since 1978. A military official said the bombing in the Hadramawt provincial capital Mukalla bore the hallmark of Al-Qaeda, as Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi pledged after taking the oath to succeed veteran strongman Ali Abdullah Saleh that he would press the battle against the jihadists. Militants loyal to Al-Qaeda have exploited the decline in central govern-

ment control that accompanied 10 months of deadly unrest that led up to Saleh’s agreement to cede power to seize large swathes of southern and eastern Yemen. “A pick-up truck driven by a suicide bomber exploded at the entrance of the presidential palace in Mukalla,” the military official said. He said the attack “carries the fingerprints of Al-Qaeda,” adding that the bomber “could be Mohammed al-Sayari,” a Saudi originally from Hadramawt. “The bodies of 20 soldiers were taken to the mortuary and there are many others wounded,” said a medic at Mukalla’s Ibn Sina hospital. Another medic said later that “six others have died of their wounds.”

The military source said no highranking officials were in the palace when the bomber struck. The palace is guarded by troops of the elite Republican Guard, who are under the command of Saleh’s son Ahmed and who played a key role in the veteran strongman’s deadly crackdown on the uprising against his rule before finally signing November’s transfer of power deal. In an address to the nation straight after being sworn in to succeed Saleh, Hadi vowed to press the fight against Al-Qaeda and restore security across his impoverished nation, ancestral homeland of slain jihadist leader osama bin Laden. “It is a patriotic and religious duty to continue the battle against Al-

Qaeda,” the new president said. “If we don’t restore security, the only outcome will be chaos.” Hadi said he had the political legitimacy to meet the huge challenges facing the country after winning overwhelming endorsement in a Tuesday election in which his name was the only one on the ballot paper. He vowed to “turn a new page in the building of a new Yemen which unites all its citizens.” official results released late Friday gave Hadi 99.8 percent of valid votes cast in the election in which turnout reached 60 percent nationwide. But in a sign of the country’s divisions, the turnout was by no means uniform.

US spies find no hard evidence Iran building bomb WASHINGTON AFP

US intelligence analysts continue to believe there is no hard evidence that Iran has decided to build a nuclear bomb, The New York Times reported Saturday. Citing unnamed US officials, the newspaper said the latest assessments by US spy agencies are broadly consistent with a 2007 intelligence finding that concluded that Iran had abandoned its nuclear weapons program. The officials said that assessment was largely reaffirmed in a 2010 National Intelligence Estimate, and that it remains the consensus view of America’s 16 intelligence agencies, the report said. The report came after the International Atomic Energy Agency warned that it continued to have “serious concerns regarding possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear program.” The Times said there was no dispute among American, Israeli and European intelligence officials that Iran had been enriching nuclear fuel and developing some necessary infrastructure to become a nuclear power. But the Central Intelligence Agency and other intelligence agencies believe that Iran has yet to decide whether to resume a parallel program to design a nuclear warhead — a program they believe was essentially halted in 2003, the paper noted.

LONDON: A protester of the ‘Occupy London Stock Exchange’ demonstration rests in the early morning sunshine among tents outside St. Paul’s cathedral on Saturday. AfP

Raid by Islamists on Nigeria police kills 14 KANO AFP

Suspected Boko Haram Islamists razed a police station and killed 14 people, whose charred bodies were found, in an overnight raid in Nigeria’s northeastern city of Gombe, witnesses said Saturday. The city was put under lockdown, with no residents allowed to leave their homes, after the gun and bomb assaults where attackers also tried to break into a prison in a botched attempt to free inmates, witnesses and local radio said. Boko Haram, responsible for a wave of recent raids in northern and central Nigeria, have repeatedly claimed its members are being illegally held in state prisons and demanded their release. Many of Boko Haram’s recent attacks have targeted the police. Suspected members of the group also gunned down five worshippers inside a mosque on Friday as evening prayers ended in

Kano, Nigeria’s second largest city. Later in Kano explosions were heard. Residents said gunmen stole a car belonging to the country’s electoral commission, but it appeared to have stalled a few hundred metres (yards) later, and they blew it up. Boko Haram’s violent campaign has intensified in recent months and on Thursday Nigeria’s top military chief said the group had formed links with Al-Qaeda’s north Africa branch, known as Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. “I have seen at least 14 burnt bodies in and around the police station,” a witness in Gombe said on condition of anonymity. He said he counted 10 bodies inside the police building, adding the victims could be policemen, while four others were found dead in a burned out car outside the station. “At a roundabout between the police station and the prison there was a car that was burned out with all its four occupants. It’s not clear who they were,” he added.

8,000 killed in last year of Sri Lanka war: census COLOMBO AFP

Nearly 8,000 people, including 550 children below the age of 10, were killed in Sri Lanka’s war-torn north during a final offensive to crush Tamil rebels, the census department said Saturday. Another 6,350 people went missing after government forces finally crushed the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in May 2009, the department said in an 80-page report. The figures are in stark contrast to estimates by international rights groups, which say up to 40,000 civilians perished in the final months of the civil war and have heavily criticised Sri Lanka’s treatment of civil-

ians. The census report said 6,858 people were killed in the first five months of 2009 when fighting peaked just before the military claimed victory in its no-holds-barred offensive. The census did not cover security forces killed in the war zone, but the military had previously said 6,000 personnel were killed in the final stages of the war. The department had carried out the census between June and August last year, but disclosed the figures only over the weekend. There was no immediate comment from international rights groups to the latest Sri Lankan census report. The report described the 7,934 deaths in the Northern Province in 2009 as being due to “extraordinary circumstances”, but did not identify those responsible or

whether Tiger combatants were included in the statistics. Much of the deaths occurred at a time when civilians were ordered to move into what was supposed to be a “no fire zone” as the military tightened its grip on the territory controlled by the rebels. About a fifth of those killed in the first five months of 2009 were below the age of 19 years, according to the census department which said 552 children below the age of 10 years and another 952 between 10 and 19 years were killed. The numbers appear to confirm fears expressed by UNICEF at the time that hundreds of children were caught up in the conflict and had been killed. UNICEF had also documented the cases of 7,000 children who had been re-

cruited by the Tamil Tigers, some of whom surrendered to security forces when the fighting drew to a close in 2009. More than 330,000 ethnic Tamil civilians were displaced by the fighting and were initially housed in internment camps which were eventually dismantled under intense international pressure. The census department also said that the number of people killed in the Tamildominated northern province was 22,329 between 2005 and 2009 when a Norwegian-brokered truce began to unravel and fighting escalated. Colombo has long maintained that its military should not be held culpable for any civilian deaths during the fighting, blaming the Tigers for using noncombatants as human shields.

west has ‘hegemonistic ambitions’ in Syria: Xinhua BEIJING AFP

Chinese state media on Saturday accused the US and Europe of “harbouring hegemonistic ambitions” in Syria, after Western and Arab nations ratcheted up pressure on Bashar al-Assad at a meeting in Tunisia. In a commentary Beijing’s official Xinhua news agency said that “most of the Arab countries have begun to realise that the United States and Europe are hiding a dagger behind a smile”. “In other words, while they appear to be acting out of humanitarian concern, they are actually harbouring hegemonistic ambitions,” it said. Xinhua claimed that the Friends of Syria conference — which was boycotted by both China and Russia — “concluded with a consensus on avoiding a militarisation of the conflict in Syria”. But the meeting of more than 60 foreign ministers saw calls for Arab peacekeepers to intervene and for the opposition to be armed, as well as a US warning that Assad would pay a heavy price for defying international will.


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Sunday, 26 January, 2012

Foreign News 17 2 NATo staff killed in Kabul shooting KABuL AFP

Two American members of the NATo force in Afghanistan were shot dead within the interior ministry in Kabul Saturday, military and government sources said, as anti-US protests raged for a fifth day. “Initial reports indicate an individual turned his weapon against International Security Assistance Force service members in Kabul City today, killing two service members,” NATo said in a statement, without giving further details. A government source told AFP the two men were American advisors and that they were shot within the Afghan interior ministry in Kabul by a member of the Afghan police. “There was a shooting inside the command and control centre of the interior ministry and two Americans have been killed,” the source told AFP, requesting anonymity. Some reports said the shooting was a result of a “verbal clash”. The shooting came on the fifth day of anti-US protests across Afghanistan over the burning of Korans at an American-run military base, but it was not immediately clear whether the ministry shooting was related to the demonstrations.

kUNDUz: Afghan demonstrators carry a wounded man as they protest against quran desecration on Saturday. AfP

Four dead in Afghan protests, UN complex attacked KuNDuZ

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AFP

oCK-THRoWING protesters attacked a UN compound, clashed with police and set tyres alight in Afghanistan Saturday, as a fifth day of protests over the burning of Korans left four dead. Dozens were also injured as violence rocked the northern city of Kunduz, where the UN compound was attacked, in unrest that raised the death toll from the protests to 28, according to an AFP tally. Columns of smoke hung over the city as demonstrators set tyres and traffic booths alight, witnesses said. There were fresh protests in five different Afghan provinces Saturday over the burning of the Islamic holy book — which prisoners allegedly used to pass messages — at the US airbase at Bagram near Kabul. In Mihtarlam, in the central province of Laghman, protesters suf-

US bolsters defenses in Strait of Hormuz WASHINGTON AFP

The Pentagon has notified US lawmakers of plans to bolster US defenses in and around the Strait of Hormuz to be prepared for a military response against Iran, a report said Friday. New minedetection and clearing equipment as well as improved surveillance capabilities are part of the planned build-up, said the Wall Street Journal, citing defense officials briefed on the requests. The Pentagon also wants to modify ship weapons systems to best deal with Iranian attack boats in the Strait, said the report. The moves highlight efforts to boost US military capabilities amid heightened tension with Iran and rising speculation of a strike from Israel over Iran’s nuclear program. The United States, France, Britain and Germany accuse Iran of seeking to build a nuclear bomb, but Tehran says its nuclear drive is peaceful.

fered gunshot wounds. The worst violence was in Kunduz, where thousands attempted to storm the UN complex but failed to get in when police fired into the crowd at around 2:00 pm (0930 GMT), according to an AFP correspondent at the scene. officers had so far managed to stop the crowd from entering the compound, police spokesman Sarwar Husaini told AFP, adding that reinforcements were being sent to protect the premises. A UN spokeswoman confirmed the attack but refused to say how many UN staff were on site at the time. Sahad Mokhtar, head of the public health department in Kunduz, said: “The report we have so far from hospitals is four killed, 56 wounded in today’s demonstrations.” The Koran burning has inflamed anti-Western sentiment already smouldering in Afghanistan over abuses by US-led foreign troops, such as the release last month of a video

six Afghan soldiers die trying to defuse bomb KABUL: Six Afghan army soldiers were killed and 16 wounded in western Afghanistan on Saturday when a Taliban bomb exploded as the troops attempted to defuse it, the defence ministry said. The incident happened in the insurgency-hit Muqur district of western Badghis province, Afghan defence ministry spokesman Dawlat Waziri told AFP. “Six soldiers were killed and 16 others injured when the Taliban improvised explosive device (IED) went off prematurely,” Waziri said. Taliban IEDs have become increasingly sophisticated and have killed and maimed thousands of Afghan and international soldiers, as well as civilians. AFP showing US Marines urinating on the corpses of dead Afghans. Denise Jeanmonod, a spokeswoman for UNAMA, the United Nations’ mission in Afghanistan, confirmed the Kunduz incident, saying that the organisation was “assessing the situation at the scene.” But she refused to give further details “for the security of staff” at the compound, or to say how many people were there.

In Mihtarlam, hospital officials told AFP 15 protesters had been brought in with gunshot wounds. Rallies elsewhere in Afghanistan were largely peaceful, however, authorities said. A demonstrator in Mihtarlam, named only as Abdullah, put the crowd there at “around 2,000” and said: “The protesters turned violent and were throwing stones at the governor’s palace.

Marchers target Putin’s city ahead of vote SAINT PETERSBuRG AFP

Russian protest leader Alexei Navalny led thousands through the streets of Vladimir Putin’s native city Saturday in protest against his likely return to the Kremlin in March 4 polls. The demonstration was called a day before thousands more hoped to link hands around Moscow in a poignant show of frustration with the ex-KGB spy’s decision to seek a third presidential term after dominating Russia for 12 years. “The event on March 4 cannot be called an election,” Navalny told reporters before heading to the central Moscow Station depot in Saint Petersburg for the march. “People should be not looking at it as an election but as an opportunity to create as much stress for the authorities as possible ... by voting for anyone but Putin,” Navalny said. Thousands then snaked their way along the city’s scenic embankments chanting “Russia without Putin” and “Putin is a thief” — a chant that would have been unimaginable just months ago — while police helicopters circled overhead. The 35-yearold Navalny has gained prominence among Russia’s Internet-savvy youth for waging a tireless web campaign to expose state corruption.

Clinton pledges US help for Tunisia reforms TuNIS AFP

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pledged Saturday that Washington would help Tunisia rebuild its economy and cement democracy, as the cradle of the Arab Spring struggles with reforms. Clinton met Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki as she continued a tour that will also take her to Algeria and Morocco following a global meeting on Syria in Tunis that ratcheted up pressure on the regime of Bashar al-Assad. “I come with a very specific and committed statement of support about the political and economic reforms that are occurring here,” Clinton said after the talks with Marzouki. “The political side of the revolution is going quite well,” she said.“I am a very strong champion for Tunisian democracy and what has been accomplished here.... The challenge is how to ensure the economic development of Tunisia matches the political development.”

At the start of the talks she also praised Friday’s “Friends of Syria” meeting of more than 60 foreign ministers for bringing new pressure to bear on Assad’s regime. “It was quite a successful conference and a great credit to Tunisia, and your words and the prime minister’s leadership were a very strong signal,” she said. Washington is keen to support Tunisia’s democratic progress and economic success, hoping it will set an example for other countries in the region that have toppled autocratic rulers or are undergoing popular uprisings. Tunisia, where mass protests ousted strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali early last year, launched the Arab Spring and inspired similar movements in Egypt, Libya, Syria and elsewhere. Authorities in Tunisia, which elected a moderate Islamist government in october, are struggling to deal with unemployment levels of nearly 20 percent and continuing political tensions following the revolution.


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Sunday, 26 February, 2012

Gul, letting his performance do the talking Page 20

Pakistan searches for venue for Australia oDIs KARACHI AFP

Pakistan are looking for a suitable venue to stage their one-day series against Australia later this year, an official said Saturday. Pakistan have been forced to play their home series at the neutral venues of United Arab Emirates, New Zealand and England since international cricket was halted in their country after attacks on the Sri Lankan team bus in 2009. The terrorists attacks in Lahore, which left seven Sri Lankan players and their assistant coach injured and killed eight people, suspended all international cricket in Pakistan. Even before the attacks Pakistan had been a 'no go' zone for international teams since the 9-11 attacks on the United States which sparked security fears in and around Pakistan. Australia have not toured Pakistan since 1998, forcing them to play in Sri Lanka and Sharjah (2002) and in England in 2010. They have five one-day matches scheduled for August this year and PCB chief operating officer Subhan Ahmad said three venues were under consideration.

PCB keeps Misbah as captain for Asia Cup LAHORE

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STAFF REPORT

HE Pakistan Cricket Board has no plans to strip Misbah-ul-Haq of the captaincy in any format of the sport in the near future, in the wake of oDI series whitewash against England. "Misbah is going to be retained as captain for the Asia Cup and they are no immediate plans to sack him as captain of the oneday or T20 squads," a senior official of the board said. He also ruled out any major overhaul in the national selection committee before the Asia Cup. "All this talk about Misbah being replaced as captain for limited overs cricket is not correct. So far he is captain for all three formats and this issue is not even on the agenda of the

Governing board meeting that is due to be held on March 1," the official said. He said the performance of the team, captain or selection committee was not on the agenda of the Governing board which would mostly deal with passing the audited budget report of last fiscal year, release of funds for under construction projects and the Woolfe report on the governance of the International Cricket Council. "If any member wants to discuss the team performance or related issue that can be done but it is

not on the agenda," the official said. He said reports that the national selection committee would be changed after the England series were not correct. "only the coaching staff will be changed before the Asia Cup that is decided. The rest will remain the same. Then it is up to the Chairman of the board to decide what he wants to do after the Asia Cup," the official said.

PCB to confirm Whatmore as coach next week LAHORE STAFF REPORT

Former Pakistan manager and coach Intikhan Alam has revealed that Dave Whatmore will be confirmed as coach of the national team on his arrival here in the first week of March. “Whatmore will be confirmed as Pakistan's new coach in March,” said Alam. Alam chaired a committee put together by the Pakistan Cricket Board to find a new coach after Waqar Younis quit the role last year. Mohsin Khan has been leading the Pakistan team since, with spectacular success, inflicting defeats on Sri Lanka and England at Test level. Mohsin will likely return to his previous role as a selector, allowing Sri Lankan Whatmore to take up his new position. Alam was quoted by PakPassion: "Dav Whatmore will arrive in early March to sign his contract. Alam who was Head Coach for both the 1992 World Cup win in Australia and the Twenty20 World Cup win in England feels that the appointment of Whatmore will mark the launch of exciting

times for Pakistan cricket. "I can't give you the exact date yet as that has not been verified, but everything is in place for him to take over with his first assignment being the Asia Cup in Bangladesh. "Whatmore has a proven record and I

feel that his appointment will be an exciting one for the Pakistan cricket team. "The team under Misbah-ul-Haq's astute leadership have gelled and continued to show great signs of improvement over the last year or so. "I feel that

Whatmore will add more professionalism to an already improving team and will take this team to greater heights." Australian Dav Whatmore will arrive in Pakistan in early March to be formally announced as the head coach of Pakistan's cricket team with the Asia Cup in Bangladesh being his first assignment. Alam further confirmed that Julien Fountain will arrive in Pakistan to take over as the fielding coach after his current assignment with Dhaka in the Bangladesh Premier League. “Fountain who has previously worked for the PCB will arrive in Pakistan straight from Bangladesh where he is working with the Dhaka Gladiators. our fielding continues to trouble us and I hope that in Fountain we will have someone who can address this issue that has troubled Pakistan cricket for a long time.” Alam refused to confirm the length of the contracts for either Whatmore or Fountain, but PakPassion understands that Whatmore had requested a two year contract from the Pakistan Cricket Board, as well as a say in selection matters.

PCB to question banned pacer Aamir

LAHORE STAFF REPORT

Pakistan cricket authorities plan to question banned pace bowler Mohammad Aamir following his return home on Sunday from Britain after serving a jail sentence for corruption. Aamir, 19, was released from prison this month after serving a threemonth sentence for his role in a spot-fixing scandal during the 2010 test against England at Lord's. He had been banned for five years by the International Cricket Council (ICC). "obviously we will be meeting him to find out the root cause of the spot-fixing issue in Pakistan cricket," Pakistan Cricket Board chief operating officer Subhan Ahmad reported to have said. "We will talk to him to find out how and why he got involved in this corruption. Initially he was not very honest with us so we need to ask him questions. We also want to discuss his rehabilitation with him." Aamir and his team mates Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif were banned by the ICC last year for arranging for deliberate no-balls to be delivered in the Lord's test. Butt and Asif are still serving jail sentences. Meanwhile, former Pakistan captain Imran Khan believes that convicted spot-fixer Aamir should be recalled to the Pakistan side as soon as his ban has been served. Aamir was recently released from a juvenile detention centre after he pleaded guilty to spot-fixing charges, but still has most of his five-year ban from cricket to serve. He has appealed to the ICC against the length of the sentence and indicated a desire to resume his cricket as soon as possible. Having shown remorse for his actions - something which Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif failed to do - Aamir deserves to be welcomed back by Pakistan, according to Khan. "I would have him back," Khan said during an interview on the BBC's TMS show. "He didn't lie. He was straightforward. He said, 'Look, I did this, it was a mistake, and I ask for forgiveness'. "And for a 19-year-old, yes, I would forgive him. "My heart has always gone out to Aamir because he was one of the best young talents I've seen. But at least he pleaded guilty straight away and said 'I've made a mistake'.

South Africa cruise to victory on de Villiers ton WELLINGTON AFP

South African captain AB de Villiers compiled a superb century to lead his side to an easy six wicket win over New Zealand in the opening one-day international at Westpac Stadium on Saturday. De Villiers, in deft touch, was not out for 106 with Faf du Plessis on 66 as South Africa overhauled New Zealand's 253 for nine with 28 balls to spare. on a ground with a history of favouring the side batting second, New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum won the toss, elected to bat first and never seriously threatened from there as his batsmen failed to gain momentum. Although the target was not immense, South Africa wavered at the start of their innings with Hashim Amla (8), Graeme Smith (9) and Jacques Kallis (13) falling in quick succession to be 35 for three by the 10th over. But from there de Villiers steadied the run chase and they slowly and surely reeled in the New Zealand total although the South African captain played down the comprehensive nature of the win. "We did really well in the field to restrict them to 250. They had a couple of partnerships going but they didn't extend them and we kept picking up wickets at the right times," he said. "I thought I constructed my innings quite well which was important in the conditions on this pitch. "We finished

weLLINGToN: AB de Villiers celebrates his century during the first one-day International against New Zealand. AfP

weLLINGToN: rob Nicol takes the catch of Jean-Paul Duminy during the first one-day International at westpac Stadium. AfP

up with a win but, feet on the ground, we have two more big games to come" McCullum said he had "no regrets" about batting first but "they kept picking up wickets at regular times against us and we couldn't get that partnership we needed. The way AB came out certainly took the game away from us." De Villiers combined with JP Duminy

(46) in a 90-run stand for the fourth wicket which was broken when Rob Nicol tossed up a full delivery and was rewarded with a simple caught and bowled opportunity. South Africa were then 125 for four in the 31st over when Faf de Plessis joined his skipper and they dismantled the New Zealand bowling attack with apparent

ease, compiling 129 runs over the next 14 overs. They poked and prodded for singles when the field was spread and then effortlessly found the boundary when the fielders were brought in. De Villiers came to the wicket in the fifth over with South Africa at 17 for two and faced 151 balls for his 106 which included three fours and four sixes. He reached his century with a single off Doug Bracewell at the start of the 44th over and du Plessis marked the occasion with a six and two fours off the next three balls. Du Plessis' 66 in 72 balls included nine fours and a six. The New Zealand innings was built around a 79run stand by McCullum and Kane Williamson for the third wicket after the hosts had started slowly, creeping to 75 for two in the first 20 overs. The next 75 runs took less than 13 overs but the loss of McCullum, and the quick departure of big-hitting Jesse Ryder (6) soon after put the brakes on the New Zealand charge. McCullum had a charmed life and was saved three times by television replays on his way to 56 off 67 balls. Williamson, who was content to look for the singles, appeared intent on batting through the innings and reached his 55 in 69 balls when he had an uncharacteristic slash at Lonwabo Tsotsobe and was caught behind. opener Rob Nicol made 30 while James Franklin added 32 in the middle of the innings.

ScOREBOARD NEW zEALAND R. Nicol c kallis b Peterson 30 M. Guptill c de Villiers b Tsotsobe 7 B. Mccullum c Peterson b kallis 56 k. Williamson c de Villiers b Tsotsobe 55 J. Ryder c Smith b kallis 6 J. Franklin c Amla b M. Morkel 32 A. Ellis b Steyn 20 N. Mccullum b M. Morkel 15 D. Bracewell st de Villiers b Peterson 0 k. Mills not out 4 T. Southee not out 4 EXTRAS (b 4, lb 10, w 7, nb 3) 24 TOTAL (9 wickets; 50 overs) 253 Fall of wickets: 1-25 (Guptill), 2-58 (Nicol), 3-137 (B. Mccullum), 4-153 (Ryder), 5-194 (Williamson), 6-211 (Franklin), 7-230 (Ellis), 8-234 (Bracewell), 9-249 (N. Mccullum) BOWLING: Tsotsobe 10-1-41-2 (3nb, 1w), M. Morkel 9-0-49-2 (2w), Steyn 9-0-37-1 (2w), Peterson 10-1-45-2 (1w), Duminy 50-22-0, kallis 7-0-45-2 (1w) SOUTH AFRIcA H. Amla b Southee 8 G. Smith c Ryder b Mills 9 J. kallis c Williamson b Bracewell 13 JP Duminy c & b Nicol 46 AB de Villiers not out 106 F. du Plessis not out 66 EXTRAS (lb 1, w 5) 6 TOTAL (4 wickets; 45.2 overs) 254 Fall of wickets 1-17 (Amla), 2-17 (Smith), 3-35 (kallis), 4-125 (Duminy) BOWLING: Mills 7-0-27-1, Southee 10-0-64-1 (2w), Bracewell 101-61-1, N. Mccullum 7-0-25-0, Nicol 5-0-43-1, Ellis 5-0-26-0, Franklin 1-0-5-0, Williamson 0.2-0-2-0 (1w) South Africa won by six wickets Toss: New zealand Umpires: chris Gaffaney (NzL), Richard Illingworth (ENG) TV umpire: Aleem Dar (PAk) Match referee: Roshan Mahanama (SRI).


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Sunday, 26 February, 2012

England level T20 series DuBAI AFP

J

oNNY Bairstow hit a maiden half-century and paceman Steven Finn took three wickets to guide England to a comfortable 38-run win in the second Twenty20 international against Pakistan on Saturday. Bairstow's 60 off 46 balls, studded with two sixes and five boundaries, helped England recover from a precarious 79-4 to post a challenging 150-7 before Finn claimed 3-30 to bowl Pakistan out for 112 in 18.2 overs at Dubai Stadium. England's victory levelled the Twenty20 series and set up an intriguing third and final match in Abu Dhabi on Monday. Pakistan were off to a disastrous start as Finn had Mohammad Hafeez (nought) caught off

ScOREBOARD ENGLAND 17 k. Pietersen c Gul b Ajmal c. kieswetter c Gul b Afridi 31 R. Bopara lbw b Gul 1 E. Morgan lbw b Hafeez 9 60 J. Bairstow not out 13 S. Patel run out 7 J. Buttler b Gul 2 S. Broad b cheema 2 G. Swann not out 8 EXTRAS: (lb5, w3) TOTAL: (for seven wickets) 150 Fall of wickets: 1-35 (Pietersen), 2-38 (Bopara), 3-49 (Morgan), 4-79 (kieswetter), 5-118 (Patel), 6-132 (Buttler), 7-137 (Broad). BOWLING: Hafeez 4-0-25-1 (w1), cheema 4-0-31-1 (w2), Ajmal 4-0-20-1, Gul 4-0-31-2, Afridi 3-0-28-1, Malik 1-0-10-0

PAkISTAN 0 Mohammad Hafeez c Pietersen b Finn 6 Awais zia c Dernbach b Broad 1 Asad Shafiq c and b Dernbach 19 Umar Akmal c Morgan b Finn 12 Shoaib Malik c Bairstow b Swann 13 Misbah-ul Haq c Bairstow b Swann Shahid Afridi c Morgan b Broad 25 Hammad Azam c Buttler b Bopara 21 Umar Gul c kieswetter b Finn 10 0 Saeed Ajmal run out 0 Aizaz cheema not out 5 Extras: (nb1, w4) 112 Total: (in 18.2 overs) Fall of wickets: 1-0 (Hafeez), 2-2 (Shafiq), 3-30 (Umar), 4-32 (zia), 5-50 (Malik), 6-74 (Misbah), 7-98 (Azam), 8-111 (Gul), 9-111 (Ajmal), 10-112 (Afridi) BOWLING: Finn 4-0-30-3, Dernbach 3-0-13-1 (w3), Broad 3.2-0-12-2, Swann 4-0-17-2, Bopara 3-0-23-1, Patel 1-0-17-0 Result: England won by 38 runs. Toss: England.

the second ball of the innings and then removed a threatening Umar Akmal (19 off 12). Pakistan were dealt further crucial blows when Awais (six), Asad (one) and Shoaib Malik (12) were out, leaving half the side

back in the pavilion for just 50. Afridi (25) lifted the tempo with two boundaries and a six off Samit Patel, taking 17 off the left-arm spinner's 12th over, but England hit back by dismissing Misbah (13) at the other end.

Inter-district Sports festival competitions conclude

LAHORE

DUBAI: Steven Finn celebrates with teammates after dismissing Mohammad Hafeez. AfP

India facing must-win oDI against Australia AFP

STAFF REPORT

on the final day of Inter-district sports competitions, different competitions concluded at various venues of the province. In the university boys’ karate final competitions, 48 kg: Waqas of Superior University got first position. In 55 kg: Ayaz of University of Central Punjab while in 55+ kg: Shahid of Superior University got first position. In athletics university female final, 100, 400 and 800: Sehrish of Punjab University excelled brilliantly. In 200m, javelin throw and shot-put: Sobia of Punjab University, 1500m: Naseem Akhtar of PU, long jump: Nighat won the titles. In football final, Punjab University beat University of South Asia 3-1. Umair scored one goal while Shahbaz scored two goals to win the match. In volleyball boys final, Lahore University beat GC University 3-1 with a score of 25-19, 25-19, 22-25, 25-16. In the blind cricket final, Aziz Jahan Begum Trust for Deaf scored 53

Blind are playing the second innings. Meanwhile, Sports Board Punjab has planned to facilitate people to get online registration for marathon, cycling, family fun run earlier at the nearest kiosks. For this purpose stalls are placed at different routes for general public in which Liberty Market Roundabout, Regal Chowk Naqi Market, Moon Market Iqbal Town, Allah Hu Chowk Roundabout, Shadman Market, Mughalpura Chowk, Barket Market and Anarkali entrance. For the students’ convenience, the kiosks are placed at educational institutes including Kinnaird College, Lahore College, Home Economics College, FC College, GC University, Punjab University, Islamia College Civil Lines, MAo College, UET, LUMS, UCP, UMT, Superior University, Comsats University and Lahore University. Besides the above, mobile floats will be do the round at various route of the city for the awareness and attraction of the general public.

Army win National Inter-dept Baseball opener STAFF REPORT

SYDNEY

LAHore: Lahore University and Punjab University players in action during the Inter-university Volleyball match of the Sports Festival. StAff Photo runs in 5 overs in while Hajvery Center for LAHORE

Sports 19

India must beat Australia in Sunday's oneday international in Sydney to retain any hope of reaching the tri-series finals, and they must do it while denying claims of changing room unrest. The World Cup champions are four points adrift of secondplaced Australia ahead of two crucial oDIs in three days. It is likely they will have to win both if they are to play in next month's bestof-three finals. India have slipped behind after back-to-back losses to Sri Lanka and Australia following their tie with Sri Lanka in Adelaide on February 14. If India lose on Sunday they will fall at least eight points behind Australia and will need a bonus-point (five points) win over Sri Lanka in their last match next Tuesday to Hobart to have any chance of reaching the March 4-8 final series. India's big showdown comes after Indian media reported differences between captain M.S. Dhoni and two senior batsmen, Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir, and the continuing slump in form of Sachin Tendulkar. Dhoni, who was suspended from India's 51-run loss to Sri Lanka in Brisbane last Tuesday denied Saturday there was any rift within the team over the rotation policy of the opening batting positions. "Will play like a unit against Australia," said Dhoni, adding that the team was looking forward to building momentum after their recent losses. All-rounder Irfan Pathan also downplayed talk of differences in the team. "Everyone is working hard. There is no difference of opinion in the team," he told reporters on Saturday. "I have been hearing things, but it's nothing like that. Things are pretty good. "It's a matter of winning big games. once we start winning the big games, these things are going to vanish," he said. There is concern over the form of Tendulkar, the greatest run-scorer in oDIs and struggling in his pursuit of his elusive 100th international century during the tour of Australia.

Defending champions Army defeated Police 6-3 on the first day of the first Shaheed Kamran National Inter-departmental Baseball Championship at the UCP ground here on Saturday. The match lasted three hours and ended in the 9thinnings. Mohammad Arif gave Army first run in the first innings while Police failed to score. No run was made in the next two innings by either sides. In the fourth innings, both Army and Police earned two runs as Army led 4-3. While Mohammad Arshad and Iftikhar scored one run each for Army while Nasir Adeeb and Muzaffar Hussain scored one run apiece for Police. Again no run was made in the 5th innings. Army again scored two more runs through Iftikhar and Arshad to build up the lead to 5-2. In the next innings Arif added his second run, while Police again failed to make any addition. In the 9th innings Police made their third run through Ahsan Beg but only to lose the match 6-3. Wapda will meet Army in the second match on Sunday. Secretary Pakistan Federation Baseball Khawar Shah inaugurated the championship, which is named to Shaheed Kamran, who was baseball player from Army and lost his life in the war against terrorisms. Syed Fakhar Ali Shah Director Tournment told that Mr. Shuakat Javed President Pakistan Federation Baseball and Vice President Pakistan olympics Association will be the chief guest on final day and Brig Iqtidar will be among the guests.

National U-19 soccer camp begins LAHORE STAFF REPORT

The Pakistan Football Federation has called 20 incumbents of Pakistan Under-19 football players have assembled at the Punjab Stadium on Saturday for a training camp. The camp has been called under the PFF Fast Track Programme to keep the young footballers in shape under which outfits of different age-groups will undergo training at regular intervals throughout the year. The young team will take part in forthcoming KPT National Challenge Cup 2012 starting from March 10 to 23 at KPT Football Stadium, Karachi. The top teams of the country will take part in this mega event. The camp trainees: Muzammil Hussain (WAPDA), Saqib Hanif (KESC), Tanveer Mumtaz (Faisalabad Youth Centre), Sharam Babar (SSGC), Aamir Anwar (ZTBL), Mohsin Ali (Navy), Amir Saddique (NBP), Muhammad Rafiq ( Muslim FC), Junaid Qadir (KPT), Bilawal Rehman (KRL), Saadullah (KRL), Sher Muhammad (NBP), Muhammad Bilal (Navy), Saddam Hussain (PIA), Muhammad Riaz (KESC), Muhammad osman Mohkum (PAF), Naveed Ahmed (Navy), Abdul Salam (Karachi), Salah-Ud-Din (PTV) and Noman Ashraf (Wohaib FC). The officials of training camp are Shahzad Anwar (coach), Muhammad Habib (team anager) and Nadeem Abdul Rehman (goalkeeper Coach).

IC sports extravaganza ends

LAHore: A view of the chatti race at Islamia College railway road. StAff Photo LAHoRE: The three-day sports festival of Islamia College Railway Road concluded here at the college ground on Saturday. Maj ® Zubai Qayyum Butt was the chief guest of the final proceeding that included 100 metres race, tug or war between Principal XI ad Chief Guest XI, staff race and the old boys race. Prof Amjad Ali Shakir was also present on the occasion. Later chief guest of the prize distribution ceremony Khawaja Salman Rafique, MPA, gave the prizes to the winners and the principal presented a momento to the chief guest. STAFF REPORT

Sameer Iftikhar wins 1st ICAP Golf Tournament LAHORE

STAFF REPORT

The 1st ICAP Golf Tournament conducted by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan concluded at the par 72, Royal Palm Golf Course yesterday. After 18 holes of competitive golf and though the contenders for top prizes were as many as 119, the ultimate winner in gross section turned out to be Sameer Iftikhar, a three handicapper who emerged with the best gross score of the day, a four over par 76 and thereby picked up the winners trophy from Sardar Latif Khosa, Governor Punjab. During this prestigious corporate event, Sameer's nearest challenger was omer Salamat, who ended the 18 holes fight with a score similar to that of Sameer but Sameer won because of a better score on the back nine leaving Salamat a

little distraught as he had to be content with the runners up prize. In this category Sardar Murad came third. In the handicap category 1-12, the winners in net category were Abdullah Sharif, first with a score of net 69, Faisal Ali Malik, second with a net 70 and Nasir Irshad, third with a net 72. Amongst the Chartered Accountants category, the top performers were Mohtisham Aftab (3rd net), Ibne Hassan (2nd net), Waheed Aslam (1st net) and Anjum A. Sheikh (3rd gross), Ale Imran (2nd gross), and Mian M. Saleem (1st gross). As for the other prize winners the nearest to the pin prizes were won by Abdullah Sharif, Brig Arshed Abbasi and Hamid Sharif. The longest drive was hit by omer Salamt and most accurate drive by Haris Nasir. Maximum birdies were scored by Shoaib Bokhari. Another event for contestants in the

handicap category 13-18 was also held and the performers in this category are Saeedul Haseeb (3rd net), Khurram Mazhar (2nd net), Irfan Ali (1st net), Faisal Hassan (3rd gross), Shahid Karim (2nd gross), and Dr Ahmed Faizan (1st gross). on the occasion of the prize giving ceremony, a lucky draw was held for the caddies also and 10 lucky ones were given bicycles by the Governor Punjab, Sardar Latif Khosa and Rashid Rehman Mir, President ICAP and Haji M. Yousaf of ICAP. Haji Yousaf stated that this golf tournament was an initiative on the part of ICAP to promote corporate golf. Also present at the concluding ceremony were Ramzan Sheikh, Lt Gen (r) Muhammed Tariq, Naeem Sheikh, Pervez Qureshi, Ronda Ehsan of CIDA, Col (r) Jamil Khalid, Ziaur Rehman and a large number of participating golfers.

LAHore: Prize winners of the 1st ICAP Golf Tournament with Sardar Latif Khosa, Governor Punjab and Haji Mohammed Yousaf of ICAP at the royal Palm Golf Tournament. StAff Photo


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20Sports

Sunday, 26 February, 2012

dubAi open

Goerges

sends Wozniacki

crashing out

Gul, letting his performance do the talking

SportS thiS Week

I

ALI AKBAR

S there a better, more hard working and unassuming workhorse of a fast bowler than our very own Umar Gul? He has been carrying one half of the Pakistan new ball load for the past several years with a consistency and poise that could only have been polished in the crucible of English County cricket. In Pakistan's Twenty20 against England, it was Gul who stepped into the breach to quell the hemorrhage of runs brought about by Kevin Pietersen against the inexperienced Junaid Khan. Gul is a genuinely fast bowler and has the ability to control line and length at express pace, something only the best of the best are capable of. A modest soft spoken man, he lets his performance on the field do the talking. Such a refreshing change from the self-styled greats that we have been afflicted with in the recent past, Umar Gul is certainly a source of pride for Pakistan cricket. This was a satisfying win for Pakistan after the ignominy of the oDIs. The oDI mindset is quite different from that of the Test. In a Test match, a spinner has time to work the batsman out. He can apply close in fielders that the batsman is only too aware of. In the oDIs the spinner has to be in the run saving mode and the luxury of flight has to be dispensed with to a great extent. Thus the delicate balance between the spinner and the batter is tilted ever so slightly, but enough to make the difference. The relative ineffectiveness of the spinners allowed Alastair Cook and Pietersen to regain the form that they had been searching for and consecutive hundreds by both were enough to make the difference.

DHONI’S REMARKS RELEVANT TO PAKISTAN Mahinder Singh Dhoni is never one to hold back on his words and his statement regarding the fielding abilities of India’s aging trio of Sehwag, Tendulkar and Gambhir was quite significant. Dhoni has

recently stated that India cannot afford to play all three batters because they leak an average of 20 runs an innings. Twenty runs an inning amount to four overs of batting, something any side can ill afford. This is especially relevant to Pakistan because many of our players are hesitant to dive headlong for the ball to save boundaries. A boundary saved could be worth two runs. This lack of fielding commitment could be because our selectors do not lay as much emphasis on fielding as a specialty, so the fielders concentrate more on their one field of expertise and do not wish to injure themselves by doing something crazy while fielding. In Australia, for example, the selectors look for the player to be outstanding in two aspects of the game, be it batting and bowling, batting and fielding or bowling and fielding. If the same criterion was applied to our team, many of our greats would not have been able to get into the side. It is simple math. Every run saved is one run less to be made, so if a side saves 20 runs more than the other, they have an extra four overs cushion when they bat. That is why Jonty Rhodes was gold dust for the South Africans. He hardly ever missed a catch; in fact he created catches from nowhere. He then stopped a slew of runs in the point-gully region. So, if he was averaging 30 while batting in oDIs, he was worth well over fifty an innings to his side. This is an aspect that should not be lost to our selectors when they make their decisions. At the moment all our fieldsmen are capable but there is no one who stands out, someone who can electrify the side with his inspirational work. These fielding instincts are developed very early in a cricketer’s career and are difficult to instill once the incorrect mindset is developed. Whoever gets the Pakistan coach’s job would be well advised to do his oDI sums and focus on this vital aspect.

PUNTER, IRRESISTIBLE IN HIS POMP The Triangular series in Australia is beginning to pick up steam. The Sri

the triangular series in australia is beginning to pick up steam

Lankans are beginning to play some effective cricket and have had the measure of the Australians and the Indians. They may be the one team from South Asia who show total commitment while fielding. Perhaps it is because their grounds are less hard and their grass softer and more lush than their other regional counterparts. But commitment is a state of mind and the Sri Lankans certainly have that. They have left the absence of Muralitharan well behind and are playing some excellent cricket. The curtain is slowly coming down on the stellar career of Ricky Ponting, with announcement by selector John Inverarity that he was being dropped from the Australian oDI side. Ponting has been cited as being the best Australian batsman since Donald Bradman. Few would argue with that, although Steve Waugh or Neil Harvey might also come into the reckoning. In his pomp, Ricky was simply the best. once he got through the initial few overs where he could be caught out reaching for the ball, Ponting was simply irresistible. His pull shot off even the fastest bowlers was one of the all time great strokes in cricket. What set Punter apart from his peers Lara and Tendulkar was that he was a superlative fielder, almost in the same league as Rhodes. No one hit the stumps with the accuracy and regularity as he did. His catching was also safe and sure. In recent years, as the edge comes of his reflexes and eyes, he has lost the infallibility of his pull shot. There have been a run of low scores. But it should be remembered that Ponting’ last Test innings was a double hundred. There are not too many Test matches ahead for Australia and Ponting has expressed a desire to tour England in 2013. That tour would depend on Ricky’s performances in the series against the West Indies and South Africa. But till then retirement from Test cricket is entirely Punter’s call.

DUBAI: Julia Goerges of Germany reacts after beating defending champion Caroline wozniacki at their wTA Dubai open semi-final. AfP DuBAI AFP

C

ARoLINE Wozniacki's hopes of regaining the world number one ranking took another blow when her defence of the Dubai open title ended in the semi-finals on Friday. Wozniacki lost the top spot after an Australian open quarter-final defeat last month. She then fell at the first hurdle in Doha, and on Friday failed to capitalise on a 4-2 second set lead against unseeded German Julia Goerges and was beaten 7-6 (7/3), 7-5. Despite this there was also plenty of evidence why the world number 19 from Germany had beaten her better known Danish opponent in both their last two meetings. Goerges, who will face Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska in Saturday's final, hit the ball with great power, especially on the forehand, and was prepared to risk errors to apply pressure. Had Wozniacki been more confident she might have held on to her serve in the seventh game of the second set and perhaps extended the match to a decider. Instead she chose to dispute the Hawkeye replay decision which consigned her to 30-40 -- a futile if emotionally understandable response which both indicated and heightened her frustration. Mostly Wozniacki used a slower pace and changes of pace and direction, as well her impressive mobility to contain the Goerges bombardment, but she was not quite consistent enough to make the policy work. "Today was just a day where you try, you try, you try, and it just doesn't work. You know, you have some of these days sometimes," said Wozniacki, who will also defend title-holder’s points at her next tournament, in Indian Wells the week after next. "overall, I think I played some good matches. I can take some positives from it," she said, referring principally to her quarterfinal win over Ana Ivanovic, another former world number one. Goerges was thrilled with her win. "When you see the draw you never expect to get to the final," she said of something she had only achieved three times previously. "It’s amazing to be in the final and to beat Caro again. I just tried to stay aggressive and play my kind of game." Goerges has enterprisngly taken advantage of a top half minus the injured world number one Victoria Azarenka, and which quickly lost the sixth-seeded semi-injured Marion Bartoli, beaten by Peng Shuai of China in the first round. Goerges will play the in-form Radwanska, who has only lost to Azarenka this year and will climb one place

DUBAI: Denmark's Caroline wozniacki serves to Julia Goerges of Germany during their wTA Dubai open semi-final. AfP to world number five if she takes the title. The rising 22-year-old from Krakow overcame former world number one Jelena Jankovic 6-2, 2-6, 6-0 in a topsy-turvy match in which Radwanska started and finished the more patient and controlled player. Jankovic tried hard to impose her new more attacking emphasis upon an opponent who defends, contains and counter-attacks very well, but the Serb could only make it work in the middle of the match. Radwanska remained calm through that period of pressure although she admitted to finishing tired after a contest of one hour and 43 minutes in which she did plenty of running. She also admitted to having had arguments with her father Robert, who last year alleged that she needed "a psychiatrist, a psychologist, something like that," and with whom she has parted as a coach.

Memphis open

Top seed

isner out MEMPHIS: Top seeded American John Isner was sent crashing out of the ATP and WTA Memphis open after losing to Austrian Jurgen Melzer 6-3, 7-6 (8/6) in a quarter-final match Friday. Isner, who hammered 48 aces in his first two matches in Memphis, fired 11 aces against Melzer in the 81 minute match at the $1.1 million indoor hardcourt tournament at The Racquet Club of Memphis. Besides Melzer, hardserving Canadian Milos Raonic, Czech Radek Stepanek and Benjamin Becker of Germany also reached the semis on Friday. In the tie break, Melzer had a double fault to hand Isner a set point, but the Austrian battled back to win the final three points of the set. Isner, who is ranked 13th in the world, also had two double faults and won just 67 percent of his first-serve points. Melzer won 80 percent of his first-serve points, had seven aces and saved both of his break point chances. Third seeded Stepanek also cruised into the semis surviving a firstset tie break then dominating the second set to beat Sam Querrey 7-6 (7/5), 6-0. Stepanek will face Melzer in the semis. AFP


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Sunday, 26 February, 2012

Sports 21 technical quality in the world La Liga fails to live up as a competitive spectacle. All the same, La Liga’s competitiveness would be the last thing on the mind of Jose Mourinho at the moment as he continues to plot his way through the labyrinth of league glory, with the final line pretty much in sight. And also after their 1-0 triumph in Moscow in the Champions League round of 16 first leg, and watching Barca beat Leverkusen in Germany, the safe money is on these two locking horns in Europe’s premier club competition as well. For, it’s difficult to see either of them being beaten by anyone but each other.

Showcasing the swinging pendulum in the Pakistan-England series, La Liga and the world of golf

THE TIGER THAT WAS

ALL BASeS CoVereD

I

KuNWAR KHuLDuNE SHAHID

N a sequel of last week’s ‘Fluctuating Fortunes’ we take a look at the events in the Middle East, as England riposte with swagger and pull off a whitewash of their own, with Pakistan coming back in the T20s. Also under discussion is the title race in La Liga, and after presenting the unpredictable world of Phil Mickelson in FF1 last week, FF2 looks at the disintegrating world of a certain Tiger Woods.

RETORTING TO THE RETORT After England’s oDI whitewash, in reply to Pakistan’s greenwash, the fans, media and former greats (read; could play a bit in their day and now whine at every opportunity) duly pulled out their knives and cannons to fire relentless blitzkriegs of castigation towards the national cricket side – the team that had only a few days back conjured up the greatest test triumph in the nation’s history. While we were convincingly out-cooked in the oDI series, the criticism bombarded at the team was completely un-called for. No one likes to be bageled in a series – refer to Ian Botham’s commentary or Bob Willis’ column after the test series for further evidence – but one should always draw a line before demoralising a team that has been on the right track for the good part of a year. Yes, the oDI series has come as a jolt, but as far as long term prospects and the bigger picture are concerned, there is no doubt that the team in going in the right direction. This piece is being scribed before the culmination of last night’s T20 match, and

whatever the result might have been Pakistan’s triumph on Thursday has ensured that the pendulum continues to swing between England and Pakistan in the gulf. It was 2007 all over again, as three of the four men who laid the foundation of Pakistan being a T20 powerhouse – Umar Gul, Shoaib Malik and Misbah-ul-Haq (the fourth being Shahid Afridi) – came to the fore. Umar Gul delivering in the clutch in T20s has become a custom of sorts, and few would argue against him being the best fast bowler – if not the best bowler – in the shortest format of the game. Customarily, ever since his comeback, Shoaib Malik contributes as much to Pakistani batting as the on field umpires’ lightmeter or the advertisement hoardings behind the boundary line. However, that innings on Thursday was crucial – albeit ugly – in ensuring that Pakistan reached a defendable total. Shoaib Malik seems to have had undue backing of his captain over the recent past, but it is exactly because of that sort of a rugged knock in crunch time that he can sermon.

Malik needs to retrace consistency in his batting now to further vindicate that trust; for, we are completely devoid of a similar batsman, who can slug it out, rotate the strike and has the potential to up the ante

as well – evidently, he has the widest gamut of gears in our batting. Also, as much as you might love to hate him, Shoaib Malik was the mind behind Pakistan’s world-beating exploits in T20s in and around the first World Cup in 2007, which laid the foundation for our triumph in 2009.

REAL ON THE UP The Big Two in Spain still have ten points between them, as away tests at Rayo Vallecano and Atletico await Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively. As discussed last week, it is Barcelona’s away form that has resulted in the gap between the two sides increasing – especially around the time of their World Club Championship triumph. And now it seems that

despite firmly being under Barcelona’s domination – both over the league and in their head to head – in the recent past, the pendulum of league glory might finally swing towards the Spanish capital. Meanwhile, a Leo Messi inspired Barcelona completely dismantled Valencia – a team in the third position – 5-1 last Sunday, to further elucidate the gaping disparity between the top two and the rest. La Liga continues to cement itself as a duopoly; and with an annual two-horse derby being served up in Spain, it is hard to see any title-winning pendulums swinging in the direction of the chasing pack anytime soon. The matters are skewed in the top two’s favour to such an extent this season – and over the recent seasons – that a draw for either side is perceived as being akin to a defeat in the title race. And this is exactly why despite having the top two players, top two teams, possibly top two managers and all the

Here’s a question: when was the last time you saw Tiger Woods’ putting being as abysmal as it was in the Accenture Match Play in the second round on Friday? Yes, the last weekend is a just response; but what the question implied was before Tiger bear-hugged this protracted downward spiral of his in 2010. As the tournament – that the former world number one has won three times – continued without him being in the third round, the Arizona desert was still echoing with horror from his missed five-footer on the 18th green. And despite Woods being out of contention, his flat-stick misery continues to hog the limelight in golf talks. Yes, it is absolutely unrealistic to expect a golfer – even someone with unprecedented golfing wherewithal, like Tiger – to go through his entire career without having any putting problems. But Tiger Woods has made a career – one of the most illustrious in the history of sports, at that – out of flaunting the unrealistic and pulling off the unimaginable. And what makes the scenario even more worrisome for Tiger is that not only was putting his bread and butter in his heyday, golfing experts opine that putting is the first thing to go before the curtain begins to stealthily draw on a career. The stroke has been Woods Achilles’ heel – who thought that we’d be saying this one day – ever since his abysmal putting in the 9th hole on Sunday at Augusta last April, that blew off his chance of a fifth green jacket. And now with Tiger’s stutters continuing, the pendulum of golfing supremacy that has been fluctuating between Lee Westwood, Martin Kaymer and Luke Donald might finally rest with Rory McIlroy, who has the chance of becoming the top ranked golf player with a triumph at Accenture Match Play.

Manchester United’s defence is an accident waiting to happen Comment

I

J.K WALI

T is funny that this current United lot of David de Gea, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Fabio da Silva and Rafael da Silva are regularly being touted as the next big things in the world of football; however, when you put them together what you get is an accident waiting to happen. This was vindicated in the shambolic defensive display on Thursday against Ajax, and barring the generosity of the visitors, United could have easily found themselves dumped out of the lower tier of European club competition as well. Granted Rio Ferdinand and Patrice Evra weren’t there, but they haven’t exactly been at their best this season, now have they? United’s defensive struggle is the primary reason why the defending English champions had to bear the early exit in the UEFA Champions League. Starting off with De Gea; he might be a top drawer shot stopper, but his handling of crosses must surely disturb Alex Ferguson’s blood pressure. His tendency to flap at aerial balls, when catching them is the easier – and the logical – option, means that once the opposition bombard in the balls from the flanks, United’s defensive mix becomes the hub of uncertainty. Then there are the Da Silva twins; Fabio comes across as the more steady of the twopossibly because of being a few seconds older – but he is still not the finished article in terms of defensive solidity. Fabio can be labeled as being twofooted but more often than not he is found to prefer

his right foot – always a setback for the flank positions. Rafael is a headless chicken of the Theo Walcott breed, and while he is a menace going forward, he is also a menace going back – both for different

teams of course. He is also a walking red card, especially when he gets booked early on in the game, as United found out against Munich in the Champions League a couple of seasons back. And more often

than not his card inviting tackling is found to be in the opposition’s half with unnecessary challenges. Jones and Smalling have been the ones talked up by Alex Ferguson and the media as well, and are the future Englandcenter-back partnership – possibly the present as well. However, the duo isn’t quite as stable as you’d want them to be. Phil Jones has been praised left, right and center for his performance in his debut season for United, with both United and English captaincy being considered as a matter of ‘when’ not ‘if’. But, Jones has had his off days – quite a few of them actually – and has been found wanting dealing with aerial balls. His versatility has meant that he has been played all over the pitch, but that has also ensured that he hasn’t managed to trace stability and hence hasn’t fulfilled the immense potential that he undoubtedly has. He has been more of a second coming of John o’Shea than say Steve Bruce or Bryan Robson as he has been peddled. Smalling possibly has looked the most sure at the back, from the current United crop, and can move forward with ease and efficiency as well. But again, being thrown around in different positions has hindered his progress through the course of the season. There is Johnny Evans as well, who occasionally resembles a competent defender, only to showcase the contrary at the crucial moments. Alex Ferguson needs to identify the best position of his young breed, and stop mixing and matching, if he wants the current crop to fulfill their potential and for his club to move forward and not behind.


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Tribesmen protest against drones, NATO supply ISLAMABAD ONLINE

ISLAMABAD: Tribesmen hold up a placard of alleged drone strike victims during a protest on Saturday against US drone attacks in the tribal region.AfP

no guarantee Afghan talks will succeed, us and Kabul told ISLAMABAD SHAIq HUSSAIN

As Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani appealed to the Taliban and other militant groups in Afghanistan to participate in the intra-Afghan reconciliation process on Friday, Pakistan has plainly conveyed it to the Afghan government and the obama administration that it could “facilitate” their peace talks with various Afghan insurgent groups, but would not become a “guarantor” for the success of such negotiations. It is for the first time that Pakistan has called on the Afghan Taliban to start peace talks with the government of President Hamid Karzai, and to many observers it is a clear indication of a major policy shift on part of Pakistan. “No doubt, the prime minister’s statement is an important development and it shows clearly that Pakistan is willing to play the role of a facilitator in the ongoing reconciliation process in

Afghanistan. However, at the same time Pakistan has also made it clear to the Afghan government as well as the United States that it could use its ‘good offices’ to facilitate the talks, but would not play the role of a guarantor, which is to ensure that the talks would succeed,” said a Pakistani diplomat here on Saturday seeking anonymity. He said Pakistan could facilitate the Afghan government as well as the US authorities to have access to various Taliban groups, but to ask it to play the role of a guarantor would be asking for “too much”, as the Taliban could not be influenced to that extent. “They (Taliban) are not under the control of Islamabad as it is falsely assumed and they make their own independent decisions,” he said. The Taliban have already set up their office in Qatar for dialogue with the United States as they announced a month or so ago and they have also been engaged in initial talks with the

US authorities and that too for the release of their prisoners, who are in American detention. The Afghan government, however, is finding it difficult to reach out to the top leadership of the Taliban for talks on its own after being left out by the United States in talks with the militants in Qatar. Another Pakistani official, when contacted, said that talks with the Taliban would be a long drawn exercise whether it was with the US or with the Karzai government, as there were difficult issues to be sorted out such as the form and nature of future ruling setup in Kabul and the share of the Taliban. “It will be a very hard dialogue with the Taliban no matter if it’s being done by Kabul or Washington, and to play the role of a guarantor on part of Pakistan would not be a wise step and that’s why it is most likely that Islamabad will not take any such responsibility, at least not at such at an early stage,” he said.

Bin LAden’S LAir deMoLiShed FILE PHOTO

PESHAWAR SHAMIM S H AHI D

The multi-storey compound of Al Qaeda’s former chief osama Bin Laden in Bilal Town, Abbottabad was demolished with the help of heavy machinery late on Saturday night.

The compound, situated near the Pakistan armed forces training academy at Kakul was demolished under the supervision of local administration with collaboration of armed forces. According to details, soon after dusk a heavy contingent of armed

Hundreds of tribesmen kicked off here on Saturday protests and a two-day sit-in against US drone attacks outside the Parliament House. The tribesmen, most of them belonging to North Waziristan Agency, arrived in Islamabad to convey their resentments to the Pakistani authorities and the world against the attacks,” an anti-drone attack campaigner from North Waziristan, Karim Khan, who lost his son in one of US drone attacks, told online. The protesters from the tribal areas were accompanied by the workers of various political parties including PML-Q, JI, PTI, JUI as well as workers of NGos and HR organisations besides a large number of other people. The protesters carrying banners inscribed with anti-drone attack slogans and appeal for stopping it gathered in D-Square outside the parliament. They were chanting slogans - ‘the friend of America is traitor’. Later on, the sit-in was addressed by leaders of protestors Karim Khan and former JI Amir Qazi Hussain Ahmad, PML-Q leader Ajmal Wazir and PTI senior leader Javaid Hashmi. The speakers said the US drone attacks on the tribal people were being carried out by the covert consent of Pakistani authorities. They demanded of the government to take concrete steps for protecting its people by stopping the attacks. one of the protestors said that protests would continue across the country till the end of attacks. After a lull of about two months, the CIA-supported drone attacks were resumed in January. Earlier on Thursday, a protest rally was staged against the drones in Miranshah, while the tribal people had also launched a protest last year. So far 288 drone strikes have been carried out in the various locations of the tribal areas and over 2,700 people including militant leaders had lost life in the attacks. Drone strikes were halted in November 2011 after Nato forces killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in the Salala incident. Shamsi Airfield was evacuated of the Americans and it was taken over by the Pakistanis the next month. The incident prompted an approximately twomonth stop in drone strikes, which were resumed on January 10, 2012. Pakistan had stated times and again that attacks were counterproductive and created problems in the war on terror. However, the CIA controlled attacks continued unabated. The issue of drone attacks was raised by

taliban claim downing a drone MIRANSHAH: A US drone may have crashed on Saturday in North Waziristan, intelligence officials said while the Taliban claimed that they had shot it down. The Taliban led by Hafiz Gul Bahadur said they had collected wreckage of the destroyed drone and would provide its pictures to the media on Sunday. Security officials, however, said they did not know what caused the drone to crash. “A drone aircraft was seen going down in Machikhel and flames were seen,” an intelligence official said. “We don’t know what caused it to go down. We are investigating.” Another official said the drone had gone down in an area controlled by militants, about 30 kilometres from the Afghan border. “The local Taliban have the wreckage,” he said. Separately, a US official denied Taliban claims that militants shot down the drone but declined further comment. REUTERS Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar in her meeting in London with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. However, no change is expected as it is not for the first time that the issue was discussed. Meanwhile, Hundreds of people hailing from South Waziristan staged a protest demonstration against the restoration of Nato supply. The parade avenue was filled with hundred of protestors carrying placards, posters and banners against the US as well as Pakistani government. An anti-drone campaigner namely Ayesha Gulala Wazir said that more than 1,350 people have lost their lives in the drones out of which 1,000 belonged to South Waziristan. “The United Nations (UN) didn’t give mandate to anyone to breach the sovereignty of an independent state,” she stated. She said that number of innocent women, children and elders lost their lives in drone attacks. She said national and especially international media projected wrong picture of tribal people that they (tribal) are savages, who like violence and brutality. “The case was not like that, tribal didn’t like violence in the area but they want peace and progress,” she added. She further said there was still no engineering university, medical college and other facilities in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata).

forces and police cordoned off the compound. All routes and streets connecting Bilal Town with the rest of Abbottabad were blocked for vehicles and pedestrians as well. More than 400 personnel of the armed forces, police and Frontier Constabulary were deployed around the compound blocking all routes and streets leading to the house. With the help of bulldozers, tractors and other machineries, the multi-storey compound was demolished in a period of around two hours. There are no further details regarding the belongings of osama bin Laden. According to official documents, 4,200 square yards of land was purchased for construction of the house sometime in 2004. The house was constructed over 1,800 square yards whereas the rest of the area was used as a courtyard and garden. So far the authorities are tightlipped about the reason behind the demolition of the compound but it is believed that the government was troubled by frequent visits of foreigners, especially media squads to capture images and videos of the compound. A few days back, the law enforcement agencies detained two foreign journalists who were taking pictures of the building.

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

Editor: Arif Nizami, Executive Editor: Sarmad Bashir


e-paper pakistantoday 26th february, 2012