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Senators want India says still buying Barack Obama oﬀers ‘Pakistani WMD’ Veena Iran oil, despite populist vision in Malik in the House new sanctions campaign-year address PAGE 03
rs15.00 vol ii no 210 22 pages lahore edition
thursday, 26 January, 2012 rabi-ul-awal 2, 1433
PM backtracks in bid to mend fences over 100 PIC drug reaCtIon
dead and counting
LAHORE sTAFF RePoRT
Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said on Wednesday that more than 100 heart patients had died in and out of various hospitals from reactions to a dubious drug distributed by the Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC), outlining the scope of the catastrophe, now in its fifth day, that has caused widespread panic. In a strange move, the chief minister revealed figures that were a lot more than the ones reported to the media by the Health Department. Shahbaz told reporters after a meeting held to review the measures taken to overcome the situation that the drug samples had been sent to drug testing laboratories in Britain and France through two responsible people and action would be taken upon receiving the lab reports. He said three different samples of the drug had been prepared which included one sample from the hospital stocks, one from under-treatment patients and one from the medicines retrieved from the families of those who had died from the reaction to the drug. The chief minister also said he had chaired a meeting in which the detailed figures of deaths had been presented to him, according to which more than 70 people died in hospitals while nearly 20 people lost their lives out of hospitals, not just in Lahore but in other areas of the province as well. He said that government teams were also investigating this incident and as soon as the investigation report was received, it would be brought before the people. Replying to a question, Shahbaz said manufacturing and import of medicines was the responsibility of the federal government despite the 18th Amendment. Meanwhile, relatives of the victims protested outside the PIC and demanded action against those responsible, as PPMA employees protested against their factories being sealed without waiting for the lab reports.
says Coas, isi Dg did nothing unconstitutional by submitting replies to sC ISLAMABAD
T’S time to mend fences. In a bid to ease tensions with the military leadership, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on Wednesday retracted his statement about Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Director General (DG) Lt General Ahmad Shuja Pasha, saying he wanted to dispel the impression that the two generals had submitted their replies to the Supreme Court in violation of rules of business and the constitution. He told reporters at Chaklala Air Base before leaving for Davos, Switzeland to attend the World Economic Forum that his statements regarding the rejoinders of General Kayani and Lt Gen Pasha were relevant in a certain situation. Gilani’s statement came a day after a meeting with the COAS and the ISI DG. He said there were a lot of events taking place and there was overlapping by a lot of government functionaries on many issues. “My statement was in that context,” said the prime minister, adding that later when he found that some of the discrepancies had been made by certain functionaries, he
CHAKLALA: Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani heads to the aircraft to depart for Davos. online took action against them. “I am dispelling the remarks given at that occasion; they were under a unique situation when things were overlapping and there was no clarity. But since there is clarity and now we have all met and [the statement] does not pertain to these two gentlemen (The COAS and the ISI DG),” he said. Replying to another question about relations between the institutions, the prime minister said: “The
KARACHI: Men mourn their dead relatives after three shia lawyers were gunned down in an apparent targeted killing on Wednesday. online | story page 28
rs 630m fraud: FIa told to catch fraudster by 27th ISLAMABAD MAsooD ReHMAn
The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to ensure by January 27 the arrest of Mian Khurram Rasool, former media coordinator to the prime minister accused of Rs 630 million fraud. It also ordered the recording of a statement by Nargis Sethi, then principal secretary to the prime minister, as she was the complainant against Rasool. A three-member bench of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Khilji Arif Hussain and Justice Tariq
Parvez passed the order while hearing a petition filed by Parvez Hussain and others against Rasool, who allegedly swindled over Rs 630 million from a Karachi-based business concern on the pretext of managing a petroleum export licence for it to NATO supply and the award of a contract of Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG). The court noted that an important aspect of the case was that Nargis Sethi had lodged the complaint against Rasool and in her complaint she said there was secret information that several other senior officers were also involved in the matter. The court also directed FIA to ensure by January 27
the recovery of Rs 630 million, allegedly extorted by Rasool. During the hearing, the chief justice remarked that if allegations were proved right, it would be the biggest crisis of the country as the prime minister and his secretaries were named in the case. Taking strong exception to the non-appearance of FIA Director General Tehseen Anwar Shah despite a court notice, the chief justice said Shah was explicitly violating court orders. “He will have to face action for leaving abroad without intimating the court,” the chief justice remarked. Continued on page 04
country cannot work in an atmosphere of confrontation among the institutions. Therefore for the national interest, we have to be on the same page.” This is not the first time that Gilani has withdrawn his words. On December 16, a day after the COAS and the ISI DG’s responses were submitted to the apex court in the memo case, General Kayani had held a meeting with Prime Minister Gilani. An official statement issued by
PM’s House after the meeting had said: “The Prime Minister and the Army Chief also agreed that replies forwarded by the COAS and DG ISI were in response to the notice of the Honourable Court, through proper channel and in accordance with the rules of business and should not be misconstrued as a standoff between the Army and the government.” However, a week later on December 22, Gilani made two emotional speeches in a day, claiming that conspirators were plotting to bring down the democratic government. He also said that a “state within a state” would not be allowed. He claimed that rules of business had been violated when the army chief and ISI DG sent their replies to the court and the government had been bypassed in this regard. However, the following day, the army chief rubbished the allegations and said in an Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) statement that the army would support the democratic process in the country. However, after a short lull, Gilani once again hit back at Kayani by telling a Chinese online daily on January 9 that General Kayani and Continued on page 04
Civil-military ties hinge on memo issue | page 04
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‘It’s the federal government’s fault!’
Leaked gas explodes to kill 7 of a family
Story on Page 07
Story on Page 06
85-year-old blasphemy convict says he was trapped LAHORE sTAFF RePoRT
Justice Mazahar Ali Naqvi of the Lahore High Court on Wednesday adjourned, without any proceedings, an appeal petition of 85-year-old convict against his sentence of life imprisonment, awarded to him by trial court over committing blasphemy against Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Appellant-convict Muhammad Zaman Khan, through his counsel Shah Mehmood Bhatti, filed an appeal petition against the judgment of the trial court that awarded him life imprisonment under the section 295C of the blasphemy law in a false case made against him by his opponents, adding that the statements of the witnesses were contradictory and the SHO had a grudge against him. He claimed that he was a true Muslim, adding that he was a custodian of Hazrat Rang Ali Shah shrine, located at Chak 175/7R Fort Abbas, Bahawalnagar Tehsil, when the case was made against him, adding that the devotee of a saint could not utter objectionable words against Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), therefore the judgment of the trial court may be set aside and he be released from the false case. He said that Fort Abbas Police Station House Officer (SHO) Muhammad Imran had a grudge against him as he had moved an application against him to the higher officials of police, adding that only a superintendent of police (SP) or higher could investigate his case. He prayed the LHC set aside the impugned judgment by the trial court and pass orders for his release.
Nawaz agreed on caretaker govt for elections: Fazl Caretaker setup likely in June ISLAMABAD onLIne
AMIAT Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Fazlur Rehman said on Wednesday that Pakistan Muslim LeagueNawaz (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif had agreed in principle to form an acceptable caretaker government that would hold general elections in the country, but added that the term “early elections” should not be used because it was not possible in the current situation. He told reporters at Quaid-e-Azam International Airport that currently Sharif was out of the country and when he returned, all opposition parties would sit down to find a resolution to the caretaker government issue. “The words ‘early elections’ or ‘election in a hurry’ should not be used because the Election Commission of Pakistan itself clarified that more than 37 million voters in the voters lists were sus-
The ruling PPP has decided to install a caretaker set up in June and has started the consultation process with allied and opposition parties, sources said on Wednesday. It was decided in the PPP core committee meeting that the caretaker set up would be put in place during June and the PPP had made contacts with opposition on this count. Sources said the PPP was seeing the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf as third major political force in the country. However, its leadership was of the view that the PPP vote bank would not be divided and Imran Khan would cause more harm to the PML-N than the PPP. picious. It is necessary for transparent elections that electoral rolls are fair and accurate. We want transparent elections,” he added. Fazl said the public meeting of his party on January 27 at Mazar-e-Quaid would be historic. “We will not demand security from the government because it is the duty of the government to provide security. There is no need to apply for it,” he said. He said the government had accepted the stance that there was no foreign policy. “We are proceeding towards an independent foreign policy. The notion of a one-sided foreign policy is coming to an end,” said Fazl. In a statement on the Republic Day of India, Fazl also urged Pakistan’s archrival to give the right of self-determination to the people of Kashmir by pursuing democratic norms.
KARACHI: oil tankers are parked at shireen Jinnah Colony on Wednesday due to suspension of nATo supplies. online
Sherpao wants revival of Afghan Council to reactivate peace process g
East West Institute set to hold next meeting in March g PPP-S chief says Islamabad, Kabul need to remove trust deficit ISLAMABAD MIAn ABRAR
With the East West Institute (EWI) all set to arrange a follow-up meeting of all stakeholders in March this year to revive its initiative on Afghan peace process, the organisation has been advised to focus its efforts for reactivation of contributions by Pakistan, which was a key player in the Afghan peace process, Pakistan Today has reliably learnt. A source in the PPP-S said this advice was passed on to Ambassador Guenter Overfeld, East West Institute vice presi-
dent and director of regional security and preventive diplomacy, by PPP-S Chairman Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao on Wednesday. Guenter is an ambassador-at-large on loan to EWI from the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who called on Sherpao quietly. He would proceed to Afghanistan following his visit to Pakistan. Sherpao told the visiting dignitary that Doha Peace Initiative would not help resolve the complex situation in Afghanistan and rather there was a dire need to speed up joint efforts to normalise relations between all the three stakeholders – Pakistan, Afghanistan and the US.
Calling upon the US and Afghanistan governments to speed up efforts to normalise their relations with Pakistan which was a key factor in Afghan peace process, Sherpao added that the strained trilateral relations had badly dented the peace efforts in Afghanistan. Sherpao told the ambassador that the US attack on Pakistani checkposts had a very negative impact not only on bilateral relations but also on the peace efforts in Afghanistan. He said the sour relations between Pakistan and the US were detrimental for peace efforts while the same had also dam-
aged Pak-Afghan ties. “While the normalisation process is on between Pakistan and the US, proactive efforts are needed to revive ties between Islamabad and Kabul which also suffered a major dent in wake of assassination of Afghan High Peace Council chief Burhanuddin Rabbani and ISAF attack on Pakistani posts. The future visit of foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar would be of paramount importance in this regard,” he added. Calling upon Afghan President Hamid Karzai to nominate a new chief for the Afghan High Peace Council after the assas-
sination of Prof Rabbani, Sherpao said the martyrdom of Rabbani was an equally great loss for Pakistan, there was an urgent need for nominating successor to Rabbani. “There is a need for removal of distrust between both friendly nations and trust should replace distrust. Bilateral forums including exchange of parliamentary, media and youth delegations is the way forward,” he added. He said there was an urgent need to revive relations at various forums and levels between both the neighbouring countries as it would help remove misunderstandings.
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ARtS & EntERtAInMEnt
Palestinians insist talks with Israel are ‘last’
I will not talk about sRK: Priyanka
Misbah holds Pakistan together after early england strikes easing tensions?:
coMMEnt Where are Pak-US relations headed…
spurious drugs: The disaster that is the Punjab Health Dept.
nazir naji says: Of matters past: Too busy dealing with the past to care about the present.
Kuldip nayar says: Of Bonapartists: India has its fair share too.
Imran Husain says: Know thy limits: To all institutions in Pakistan.
Story on Page 15
Story on Page 17
Story on Page 18
Articles on Page 12-13
Senators recommend Veena Malik as senator ISLAMABAD TAHIR nIAZ
T was an expression of dissatisfaction over the efficiency of the federal ministers coupled with a sense of humour, when senators on Wednesday suggested having Veena Malik elected as the deputy chairman of the Upper House of parliament to attract ministers as jovial Jan Jamali failed in keeping the members in attendance through his humour. Deputy Chairman Jan Jamali lamented the absence of the ministers from the House saying, “Bring a resolution… let us dissolve the Senate.” Treasury Senator Kazim Khan said only the ministers should be sacked for their failure to attend the session. Senator Tahir Mashhadi said the ministers’ absence was “contempt of the House”. The remarks of the
senators led PML-N Senator Mushahidullah Khan to come up with a solution to the problem, suggesting, “Let us bring Veena Malik from India and elect her as Senate deputy chairman to attract the ministers in the House.” Jamali responded, “Then something superior (than Veena Malik) should be elected as chairman and the prime minister.”
Jamali said he would take up the issue of ministers’ absence from the House with “his boss”, Farooq Naik. Later, the deputy chairman expunged the remarks on Veena Malik. Another source of irritation for the senators was “Reply not received” on the question they submitted in the Secretariat for written replies. The replies to eight of the 11 questions on the agenda were not given by the ministries concerned. Interestingly, the ministers concerning with three questions which were replied were absent from the House. The deputy chairman referred “The National Commission for Human Rights Bill, 2011” to the House committees on Law and Human Rights after the senators proposed amendments in it to make it more suitable. The members were of the view that human rights situation in the country was dismal and required a proper legislative cover.
two govt officials among 4 killed in Quetta violence g
Bullet-ridden body found from Hub QUETTA sTAFF RePoRT
IcJ concerned over Husain Haqqani’s security GENEVA PRess ReLeAse
The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) has expressed grave concern for the infringement of rights of Husain Haqqani, former Pakistani ambassador to the United States of America. “Husain Haqqani faced a vicious media trial following which the Supreme Court of Pakistan on a petition filed debarred him from travelling abroad, despite the fact that he has not been charged with any crime,” said Sheila Varadan, International Legal Advisor at the ICJ Asia-Pacific Regional Office. “Husain Haqqani continues to receive threats and has been painted as disloyal to the country. There is, though, no proof of any betrayal of his duties as an Ambassador of Pakistan to the United States.” “We are calling on the Pakistani Authorities to respect Husain Haqqani’s right to be presumed innocent and to remove the restriction on his right to leave the country and any other restrictions on his right to freedom of movement,” added Varadan. “They must also ensure his personal safety at all times and respect his right to a fair and impartial hearing throughout the Inquiry process.”
Four men, including two government officials, were killed in the provincial capital late on Wednesday. Police officials said two unidentified armed motorcyclists opened indiscriminate firing on a car on Mechongy Road in the centre of the city using automatic weapons, killing all three occupants of the car. When contacted, Quetta SP Mohammad Tariq said that according to witnesses, the two assailants were masked and fled soon after killing the men. Tariq said since all three victims were Shias, he suspected it to be a case of sectarian killing. However, he said investigations to ascertain the real motive behind the incident were underway. The victims were identified as FIA Inspector Walayat Hussain, Accountant General Office accounts officer Anwar Ali and a well-known TV actor Abid Hussain. After hearing about the killings, a large crowd rushed towards Civil Hospital. Many of them were said to be armed with sophisticated weapons. The mob blocked the main Jinnah Road and shopkeepers had to pull down their shutters for the fear of being attacked and their shops ransacked.
The protesters remained on the roads for about an hour and later took the bodies in a procession under heavy police security. Police cordoned off the area and beefed up security while a search operation had also been started. In another incident, unidentified assailants shot dead a man in Nawae-Kill, in the outskirts of Quetta. Police said the victim Alam Khan was on his way home when he was targeted by the assailants and the murder could be the result of enmity. Bullet-ridden: A bullet-ridden body was found from Hub in Lasbela district on Wednesday. According to reports, local residents informed police that a suspected bag was lying on the Hub River bank. Police rushed to the area and found a body from the bag and moved it to Jam Ghulam Qadir Civil Hospital for autopsy. According to police sources, the body had multiple bullet wounds and a paper was found from bag on which Imran was written. two killed: Two people, including a child, were killed and two other injured in separate incidents of roof collapse and firing in Quetta and Naseerabad on Wednesday. According to police, a hotel roof collapsed at Sariab Road, Quetta due to snowfall and rain. As a result, three people, including Fahim, 10, were injured. The injured were rushed to hospital where Fahim succumbed to his injuries.
Pakistan not responsible for current n-impasse: Fo ISLAMABAD sTAFF RePoRT
Pakistan on Wednesday rejected media reports suggesting that it was responsible for the current impasse in the Conference on Disarmament. Some media reports quoted UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon warning on Tuesday that the UN Conference on Disarmament could fail because of a three-year stalemate over Pakistan’s reluctance to discuss nuclear power. “The future of the conference is in the hands of member states,” Ban said, urging the immediate start of nuclear negotiations, according to a report. The report said citing national security, Pakistan has since May 2009 balked at implementing a work programme established by the UN conference, blocking the resumption of nuclear talks. “In response to a question about news reports concerning the current impasse in the Conference on Disarmament (CD), the Foreign Office spokesman said Pakistan attached immense importance to the work of the CD as the sole multilateral forum for arms control and disarmament negotiations,” a Foreign Office statement said. The spokesman said Pakistan, along with several other countries, was of the firm view that the CD should have a balanced approach and pursue all items on its agenda, taking into account the well-established principle of equal and undiminished security for all states.
Pakistan today reporter’s house attacked GuJrAnwAlA: Four unidentified motorcyclists fired at Pakistan Today Bureau Chief Atif Masood Butt’s house at 4:30am on Wednesday. According to reports, four men, at around 4:30am, fired at Atif’s house and fled. Several shots hit the internal premises and a few bullets, after breaking the main windows, hit the internal walls of the drawing room. Talking to Pakistan Today, Old Age Benefit Office guard said that four people on two 70 cc motorcycles came at around 4:30am and fired at Atif’s house and fled. Gujranwala Union of Journalists (GUJ) President Raja Habib said that the association condemned attacks on journalists, who were constantly working under threats. He said that authorities should take notice of attacks on journalists. Civil Lines Police Station SHO Waseem Dar said that a case was filed against four unidentified people and investigation had started. sTAFF RePoRT
WeF summit kicks off at Davos g
Uncertainties stare at world economy NEW DELHI nnI
The World Economic Forum’s (WEF) five-day annual meeting began in Davos on Wednesday with top business and political leaders from across the world in attendance in this snow-laden skiing resort town, away from the gloomy economic scenario prevailing in most parts of the globe. Ahead of the summit, a worldwide CEO survey showed that the confidence has plummeted sharply about the global economic growth, even as the companies were relatively more optimistic about their own revenue growth. In its first session, the WEF Annual
Meeting 2012 is hosting a debate on the future of capitalism and its relevance in the 21st century, even as the event is often known as an annual congregation of the rich and powerful of the world, PTI reported. The theme of this year’s meeting is ‘The Great Transformation: Shaping New Models’. One of the key participants, Bill Gates has also called for investment in innovation to help the poor, while a host of labour leaders attending the event are seeking immediate steps to create jobs and put an end to the income inequality. This year’s Annual Meeting has also attracted anti-inequality protesters, who have called for an ‘Occupy Davos’ protest
on the lines of ‘Occupy Wall Street’ and ‘Occupy London’ to put forth their opposition to the so-called ‘one per cent’ rich and powerful population. The protesters have erected an ‘igloo village’ in the town, thus adding to an already hard task of Swiss army and police personnel providing security to the highprofile guest list comprising of nearly 40 heads of state. These include German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister David Cameron, as also heads of organisations like IMF, World Bank, OECD, WTO etc. More than 100 participants from India are expected, including industry leaders like Mukesh Ambani, Azim Pre-
mji, Sunil Mittal, Adi Godrej and Rahul Bajaj, besides Industry and Commerce Minister Anand Sharma. A senior Indian delegate attending the meeting said that it would be interesting to watch whether the business leaders from India would raise the issue the policy paralysis and slowing pace of reforms at Davos WEF meeting as well, or they would continue with their usual praise for the Indian growth. The meeting, among other issues, would discuss “India`s Tall Ambitions”, its preparedness to deliver inclusive growth for a huge population, while achieving effective governance at central and state levels and promoting its model of democratic capitalism.
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CM’s Secretariat opens doors to PML-N workers LAHORE YAsIR HABIB
HE Punjab Chief Minister’s Secretariat is buzzing with Pakistan Muslim LeagueNawaz (PML-N) workers and leaders, who have kicked up political activities ahead of possible general elections later this year. Credit goes to PML-N President Nawaz Sharif who made the secretariat friendly to the ruling party in Punjab, as his brother Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif had kept the government building out of bounds for most party workers. Several PML-N workers were of the view that the CM’s Secretariat was now becoming a place to share their grievances with party leaders and get their help. The CM’s Secretariat remained a forbidden place for party workers since 2008 after Shahbaz assumed charge as chief minister. Its doors were opened only for selected party leaders and
close aides to the Sharifs. The chief minister’s indifference discouraged and even annoyed party workers, who repeatedly complained about Shahbaz’s policy in party meetings. A senior PML-N leader told Pakistan Today that several party members believed that Shahbaz was treating them like lowly people. According to him, PML-N leader Khawaja Saad Rafiq played a significant role in convincing Nawaz to change the policy and make the secretariat a friendly place for PML-N workers in order to heal their grievances. He said that Nawaz replaced Dr Tauqeer Shah with Nadeem Hasan Asif as principal secretary to the CM. PML-N sources said that Shah had earned the repute of a rude person, and was deliberately appointed by Shahbaz to keep party workers at arm’s length. Nawaz picked Nadeem Asif, a former home secretary, additional chief secretary and Lahore division commissioner, because of his socialising skills.
Sources said the chief minister’s son Hamza Shahbaz after being empowered to handle the secretariat’s affairs, also stirred displeasure among party leaders and workers. He has also been instructed to be polite and gentle with party workers coming to the secretariat to get their jobs done on priority basis, sources added. They said that Nawaz had also decided to appoint his handpicked persons as assistants and advisors to the CM to keep an eye on the performance of the Punjab government. Nawaz also advised the CM to improve his government’s performance and be available to party leaders and workers, sources added. However, former PMLN information secretary Khawaja Imran Nazir denied the impression that the CM’s Secretariat was ever unwelcoming to party leaders and workers. He said that nowadays political activities at the building had increased because of approaching elections.
na body defers biological Zardari confers Benazir democracy weapons bill ISLAMABAD sTAFF RePoRT
The National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs on Wednesday deferred the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) Implementation Bill 2011 after some of its members raised concerns over some clauses of the proposed legislation. The committee, which met here with MQM’s Farooq Sattar in the chair in the absence of committee chairman Asfandyar Wali, reviewed the bill. Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir told the committee that the proposed bill had no relation with the war on terror, and as many as 164 countries had ratified the international convention that prohibits the production and stockpiling of biological and toxin weapons. The foreign secretary further told the committee that around 132 countries, including India, Israel, United States and the United Kingdom, had taken steps to implement the international
convention. The committee asked the foreign secretary to explain a clause of the bill which stated: “the federal government shall designate any law enforcement agency or agencies for the enforcement of this Act, or it may entrust any of its functions under the Act to any government body, agency or entity.” The committee members also asked him to specify the agency which should be tasked to enforce the act. The proposed bill prohibits the use of biological weapons in Pakistan or anywhere outside Pakistan. It also recommends a death penalty or lifetime imprisonment, along with a fine of at least Rs 10 million for those who violate or attempt to violate the law. The proposed bill further says that materials, equipments, technologies as well as all movable and immovable property of such an offender who uses or attempts to use biological weapons shall be confiscated by the federal government.
award on Aung San Suu Kyi YANGON APP
President Asif Ali Zardari on Wednesday conferred the Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Award for Democracy on Myanmar democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi. The president especially flew from Naypyidaw to Yangon to meet the National League for Democracy head. In a special investiture ceremony to pay tribute to Aung San Suu Kyi, Zardari awarded the leader known for her 22-year-old struggle for democracy. PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Bakhtawar Bhutto Zardari and Aseefa Bhutto Zardari were also present. The president said that Pakistanis hold Aung San Suu Kyi in high esteem for her sacrifices.
6 troops, 15 militants killed in Kurram fighting PeSHAwAr: At least six security forces personnel and 15 militants were killed in a clash at the Joogi area of Kurram Agency on Wednesday, officials said. Fighting broke out after dozens of armed militants attacked a checkpost in Joogi at midnight, killing six troops. Soon after the attack, security forces from all over the area began retaliatory action, which went on for a couple of hours. Officials claimed that 15 militants were killed and 13 were injured in the retaliatory action. Several hideouts of the militants were also destroyed. sTAFF RePoRT
KARACHI: Lawyers shout slogans against the killing of three shia lawyers who were gunned down by unidentified persons at Pakistan Chowk on Wednesday. online
Obama offers populist vision in campaign-year address WASHINGTON AFP
US President Barack Obama wants large tax hikes on millionaires to finance a fair economy for all, a populist vision aimed at convincing crisis-weary voters he merits a second White House term. In his annual State of the Union address late on Tuesday – which this year served as a grand kick-off of his 2012 reelection campaign, Obama played on rising anger over inequality in the wake of the 2008 economic collapse. “We can either settle for a country where a shrinking number of people do really well, while a growing number of Americans barely get by. Or we can restore an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules,” he said, as part of a wide-ranging speech mainly focused on domestic policy priorities. Obama kicked off the annual ritual – his best chance for months to directly reach mil-
PM backtracks Continued from page 1 Lt General Pasha had violated the rules of business while submitting their responses to the Supreme Court in the memo case without the approval of the competent authority. The significance of the premier’s statement was that General Kayani was on an official visit to China by the time the contents of the inter-
Rs 630m fraud Continued from page 1
lions of voters – by recalling two of his biggest achievements: killing al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden and ending the nine-year Iraq war. Later he touched on the deepening nuclear showdown with Iran, which has exposed him to charges of weakness from Republican White House hopefuls. “Let there be no doubt. America is determined to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, and I will take no options off the table to achieve that goal,” Obama said, earning a standing ovation in the House of Representatives. “But a peaceful resolution of this issue is still possible, and far better.” The president said the “defining issue” of our time was how to safeguard the basic “American promise” that hard work could provide a decent living, defending his efforts to revive the economy, the central issue of the campaign. He proposed using the power of government to close the gap between the superrich and the middle class, throwing down a gauntlet to
Republicans who charge he stifled the recovery with burdensome regulation. Obama touted the creation of more than three million jobs in less than two years, said he had saved the US auto industry and predicted American manufacturing, the engine of the economy, would rise again. “The state of our union is getting stronger, and we’ve come too far to turn back now,” Obama said, delivering a sharp warning to Republicans expected to block almost all of the jobs and recovery plans contained in his speech. “I will oppose any effort to return to the very same policies that brought on this economic crisis in the first place,” he said to loud cheers from Democrats and mostly icy silence from Republicans. He held up the heroism of the Navy SEAL team that snuffed out bin Laden in a daring Pakistan raid last year as a metaphor for the way feuding US politicians should join together in the interest of national renewal.
view were officially released by the government. General Kayani kept his cool and an ISPR rejoinder again made a categorical statement that the COAS and ISI DG, in their response to the apex court, were obliged to state facts as known to them on the memo issue following prescribed rules. “Allegiance to State and the Constitution is and will always remain prime consideration for the Respondent, who in this
case has followed the book,” added the ISPR statement. General Kayani later held a detailed meeting with President Asif Ali Zardari and a foreign media outlet had claimed that during the meeting, General Kayani had demanded a statement by the government to dispel the impression created by Gilani. This statement by the prime minister seems a desperate bid to clear that impression, as demanded by the army.
FIA Additional Director General Chaudhry Sajjad Ahmad sought a week’s time for Rasool’s arrest. The chief justice, however, said sufficient time had already been granted in the case and no more time would be given. He observed that influential people might influence the case, thus Rasool’s arrest must be ensured by Friday. He said it was a serious matter, as it involved a crime against the state. “People from top to bottom are involved in the case,” the chief justice remarked. To a court query, Ahmad said both Rasool and his brother were present in Pakistan. The FIA additional director general submitted that statements of the petitioners, including Pervez and Sameer were being recorded before a first class magistrate. He submitted the statement of Sameer Khan before the court, according to which, Khushnood Lashari, on orders of the prime minister, interfered in the matter and hindered Rasool’s arrest. “The case should not be considered an ordinary one and the statements must immediately be recorded”, the chief justice said. Ahmad also told the court that he had faxed the statements of the petitioners recorded by the FIA the other day (Tuesday) to Lashari, principal secretary to the prime minister, and FIA’s former directors general Malik Iqbal and Waseem Ahmad. “However, they have denied their involvement in the case,” he said.
Civil-military relations hinge on the memo issue nEWS AnALYSIS Rana Qaisar The brinkmanship stops – the civil-military relations are seemingly back to normal and the business is as usual with the tension, on the face of it, eased off. But it’s still not all milk and honey. The trustdeficit continues to keep both sides suspecting each other – the memo remains the central issue. True to his reputation of first make a statement and then withdraw it, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani finally ate his own words that Chief of Army Staff (COAS) and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Director General (DG) Lt General Ahmad Shuja Pasha had violated the constitution and
their replies submitted with the Supreme Court in the memo case were illegal. It vindicated the army’s position. The army had wanted the prime minister to clarify his statement, which, it considered, had “very serious ramifications with potentially grievous consequences for the country”. He clarified his position. Surely, it happened after hectic behind-the-scenes efforts by the intermediaries to break the ice and Tuesday’s meeting between the prime minister, the COAS and the ISI DG, the first time all three came face-to-face ever since the memo issue surfaced, was significant. Dispelling the impression that the COAS and the ISI DG’s replies in the memo case were unconstitutional, he said he had given this statement in “certain circum-
stances”. Obviously, it was with a purpose to checkmate the generals but without working out a strategy to handle the situation the statement would create. “Now the situation is clear and there is no ambiguity,” Gilani said, adding that there should be harmony in the view points of all state institutions, as the country could not afford confrontation. “The country cannot work in an atmosphere of confrontation among the institutions. Therefore, for the national interest, we have to be on the same page,” the prime minister said, clarifying that his statement did not pertain to the “two gentlemen” as he had already taken action against a government functionary – the defence secretary. There is no doubt that the state institutions have to be on the same
page. But the conflict over the memo issue continues to dog the civil-military relations – the government wants this controversy brushed under the carpet and the army does not budge from its position. The ISI DG’s stance on the memo issue remains unchanged. Before meeting the prime minister, Lt General Pasha had submitted his statement with the Parliamentary Committee on National Security and it was same as the one he had submitted to the Supreme Court. Obviously, he cannot change his position in the middle of the enquiry. But the enquiry may prolong, as it appears to be stretching beyond the stipulated four-week time with the judicial commission seeking another four weeks from the Supreme Court. This means, if it gets more
time, the commission will finalise its report by the end of February and present it to the Supreme Court, which will examine the findings and then make a judgement. Meanwhile, the Senate elections would take place – the government’s fear that all this was part of a scheme to oust it before March, however, stands allayed. The civil-military relations hinge on the memo issue. As Mansoor Ijaz, through a letter, has categorically informed the judicial commission that he will not come to Pakistan if anyone associated with the government is given the responsibility of his security, the probe will understandably remain incomplete without his deposition. While the Supreme Court has clearly mandated the judicial commission to travel anywhere in the
world to collect the evidence, it remains to be seen what decision the commission takes and the question, in case it is decided to record Mansoor Ijaz’s statement in a country of his choice, is: will it be acceptable to all concerned? The prime minister has said all the institutions have to be on the same page as confrontation between them would not augur well for the country. He is right. But it’s a little too late to realise this. To be or not to be on the same page will, however, be determined by what the judicial commission finds in its probe. Nonetheless, he has defused the situation for the time being. If it’s back to normal, the element of “national interest”, in case of civil and military leaderships agreeing to leave the memo issue behind and move forward, can also not be ignored.
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Prime minister leaves for Davos
Workers besiege FESCO headquarters to protest privatisation FAISALABAD
ISLAMABAD sTAFF RePoRT
Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani left on Wednesday to attend the World Economic Forum (WEF) being held in Davos, Switzerland from January 25 to 29. “He is accompanied by Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh and Senator Abbas Afridi,” a Foreign Office statement said. The PM will interact with political and corporate leaders and participate in an interaction session on “Adapting to Climate Risk” and “Informal Gathering of World Economic Leader” (IGWEL). “On sidelines of the WEF, the PM is expected to hold bilateral meetings with the president of Azerbaijan, president of Switzerland, PM of Denmark, PM of Thailand and Microsoft Corporation Chairman Bill Gates,” the statement said. Gilani will also hold meetings with the World Health Organisation (WHO) director general, WEF founder and executive director and the UNHCR. He will also host a business lunch on January 28, which will be attended by business leaders.
ERTURBED by imminent fast-track privatisation process, thousands of Faisalabad Electric Supply Company (FESCO) employees from eight districts on Wednesday continued to besiege FESCO Headquarters at West Canal Road, Faisalabad, which has been locked out by the protesters since Monday. The protesters warned that if the government did not accept their demands, they would cut off power supply to Faisalabad, the third largest city of the country. The Lahore High Court (LHC) had on Tuesday restrained the federal government from appointing new chief executives in Lahore and Faisalabad electric supply companies on a petition
challenging the appointments. However, the court allowed that the selection process might continue. FESCO employees locked out the offices and staged rallies from various subdivisions of the company. The rallies converged at FESCO Headquarter in Abdullah Pur on the Canal Road, where the protesters staged a sit-in and chanted slogans against the privatisation of the company and appointment of non-technical chief executives. The issue was triggered by the appointment of a chief executive from the private sector, a government move taken as a first step to implement the privatisation process. On Monday, they locked the regional office for an indefinite period while protesting against the move, fearing it would eventually lead to privatisation of the power utility. They voiced fear that the appoint-
ment of CEO from the private sector would be the first step towards privatisation of the company and later workers would be laid off on a large scale. They demand the expulsion of the newly appointed CEO and asked the government to fill the top seat from among five chief engineers of the company instead of bringing people from the private sector. Hydroelectric Union Regional Secretary Rasheed Ahmad said the employees feared that more than one third of the workforce would get terminated as a result of the privatisation. “The situation has driven a deep sense of anxiety and frustration among the employees who have vowed to fight back to save their families from starvation”, he said. “Privatisation is not a solution and the government should consider how to overcome energy shortages and provide cheap electric-
Former senator slams PA resolution lAHore: Former human rights and law minister Senator (r) Iqbal Haider on Wednesday expressed dismay over the resolution passed by the Punjab Assembly prohibiting the holding of concerts in girls institutions, due to the tragic death of three girls in a stampede at a musical concert organised in the Arts Council Auditorium. He said citizens were shocked over the incident. However, he said the tragedy could not be made the basis of yet another prohibition for girls by any stretch of law or logic. “The prohibition suggested by the Punjab Assembly members is in violation of the constitution, laws and all norms of decency and justice. In a country like ours, which is rife with terrorism, a stampede can be caused by any mischief monger, by spreading false alarm about the bomb, in any public gathering,” he said. He said prohibiting sports, political rallies, cinemas or religious ceremonies could not be justified. “Surely no one in his right mind will ever suggest prohibition on the aforesaid.” PRess ReLeAse
nADRA starts eunuchs’ registration KHANEWAL sTAFF RePoRT
The National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) has started the registration of eunuchs in Khanewal division for computerised national identity cards (CNIC), and their inclusion in electoral rolls, a local NADRA official said. NADRA representative Tauseef Ghauri and Khanewal Assistant Election Commissioner Javed Iqbal Chatta told reporters that so far 56 eunuchs were available for registration and 12 of them had been registered. Ghauri said the NADRA initiative was in compliance with the Supreme Court’s orders on early registration of eunuchs. He said the authority had created a separate gender category of “shemale” in the registration forms according to the apex court’s orders. Rani and Khalid, the representatives of eunuchs, praised the initiative and thanked the chief justice of Pakistan for allowing them the right to cast vote.
ity,” he remarked. Bashir Ahmad, an officer in FESCO, questioned why the government wanted to destroy the company by turning it into an entity like Pakistan International Airlines and Pakistan Railways and that too at a time when it had been performing exceptionally well. Engineers Association President Gazanfer Ali said the government should focus on building new power generation plants based on coal and water resources to protect the people from expensive electricity. The employees questioned the capability of private sector CEOs, saying they did not have the technical know how to run the electricity companies. They also opposed any move to withdraw free electricity facility for employees of Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) and Pakistan Electric Power Company (PEPCO).
DeRA GHAZI KHAn: eunuchs dance outside the election Commission office on Wednesday after submitting their applications for nADRA identity cards. online
11 miners feared dead near abbottabad PESHAWAR AFP
At least 11 miners were feared dead after a landslide trapped them in a phosphate mine in the country’s northwest on Wednesday, officials said. The incident took place when miners were having lunch inside the mine in the mountainous Tarnawi area,
some 45 kilometres (28 miles) northeast of Abbottabad, where US troops shot dead Osama bin Laden last May. “It was a huge landslide. Eleven of them are trapped and their survival will be a miracle,” Syed Imtiaz Hussain, the top government official in Abbottabad, told AFP. Hussain said continuous rain was hampering rescue efforts.
Local police said the men who were trapped were poor labourers and that local residents were digging with shovels to help rescue them. Mines in Pakistan are notorious for poor safety standards. At least 43 workers were killed last March when explosions triggered a collapse in a coal mine in Pakistan’s southwestern Baluchistan province.
PAF trainer jet crashes, pilots safe iSlAMABAd: A fighter trainer aircraft of Pakistan Air Force (PAF) crashed near Mianwali on Wednesday. A PAF spokesman said the FT-7 fighter trainer jet crashed while on a routine training mission. “Both pilots, Wing Commander Waqar Ahmed and Flying Officer Fatima Tariq, ejected safely,” the spokesman said in a press statement. “No loss to civilian life or property on ground has been reported,” the statement said, adding, “A board of enquiry has been ordered to determine the cause of the accident.” sTAFF RePoRT
PPP faces internal strife as old guards hope to keep Awan out ISLAMABAD MIAn ABRAR
Though the leadership of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) is trying its best to resolve the standoff with the military and judiciary, it is faced with an internal strife as the presidential and prime minister’s camps are pitched against each other to choose between party’s old guards like Aitzaz Ahsan and new comrades like Babar Awan. Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on January 17 had vetoed the president’s decision to reappoint Babar Awan as law minister and Gilani in a firm tone had told President Asif Ali Zardari that he
would not approve the resignation of law minister Moula Bux Chandio and even if Awan was reappointed, he would not attend the oath-taking ceremony. A well-placed PPP leader close to the prime minister admitted in an informal chat with Pakistan Today on Wednesday that the party was passing through a critical stage and the party leadership had different views on keeping Babar Awan in the federal cabinet. “But let me tell you that truth would prevail upon the evil and the party’s top leadership would soon realise the utility of the party’s true leaders including those who had been discarded like Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan, who is the true face of the PPP rather than advisers like Babar Awan,” said the senior party leader. He said during several party meetings, the party’s second-tier leaders had
advised the party’s co-chairperson to mend fences with party leaders like Aitzaz Ahsan who were assets of the PPP. “I think the party suffered a major dent the day Mian Raza Rabbani refused to accept the office of the law minister. Hence, Babar Awan was given the portfolio and this was also the start of the party’s clash with Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. As law minister, he passed on ill advice to the party leadership and thus the government took a confrontational path with the superior judiciary,” he asserted. He said with Aitzaz back in the saddle, things would improve and the government-judiciary relations would also get better. “During the past four years, the party had adopted a negative route which did nothing but annoyed the judiciary. I myself have been a strong critic of the use-
less confrontation with the judiciary. Though I had to face ire of the president Asif Ali Zardari, I did not change my views and finally it has been proved that my advice was based on wisdom and was inline with the party’s stance taken by Benazir Bhutto,” he added. “Actually, the president was given a bad advice by Babar Awan who might have personal scores to settle against the superior judiciary for whom the PPP had fought and its workers had laid down their lives,” he added. Another source when the apex court suspended Awan’s licence and the PM engaged Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan in the contempt case, Gilani came to know of the president’s decision and sent a ministerial delegation led by Khursheed Shah to convince him not to appoint Awan as the law minister. Gilani’s opinion was that Awan’s
reappointment as law minister would send a negative message to the Supreme Court at a time when the executive and the judiciary were in a standoff. However, the source said, when the president did not budge, the prime minister called him and conveyed his unwillingness. “On this, it was agreed not to administer oath to Awan and it was also decided that he would be given some other ministerial slot and not the portfolio of law.” The source said Awan may not be given any portfolio in the near future, but would be accommodated in the Senate by re-electing him upon his retirement in March. “There is a lot of resentment in the cabinet as well as in the PPP for Awan’s reckless legal advices which are being considered a main cause of the situation the government is faced with,” the source said.
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Leaked gas explodes to kill 7 of a family PESHAWAR sTAFF RePoRT
At least seven members of a family, including four children, were killed and two others were injured when leaked gas exploded in a house in the Namakmandi area in the wee hours of Wednesday. Police officials said the explosion was so strong that two rooms of the house collapsed and a portion of the two-storey building caught fire. Rescue workers reached the site and shifted the victims to Lady Reading Hospital after extinguishing the fire. Doctors said the injured members of the family were in stable condition. Several politicians and senior civil officers also visited the accident site.
obama hails bin Laden SEALs flag as symbol of unity WASHINGTON AFP
PesHAWAR: Police and local officials observe the site of a roof-collapse that killed six children and a woman in shah Qabool area on Wednesday. staFF photo
11 more nADRA employees arrested in mobile SIM scam KARACHI
Kashmiris to observe India’s Republic Day as Black Day
The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Wednesday took 11 NADRA employees, including two officers, into custody after a private TV channel exposed the Pakistan Telecommunication Authortiy’s (PTA) incompetence in registering mechanism of mobile subscriber identity module (SIM) cards. The report had shown how a mobile SIM was registered and activated by using particulars of Interior Minister Senator Rehman Malik. The Interior Ministry swung into action and rounded up five NADRA officials from different parts of the country on Tuesday.
ASHMIRIS on both sides of the Line of Control will observe India’s Republic Day as Black Day today (Thursday) to remind the international community that India’s continued denial of Kashmiris’ right of self-determination was contrary to its tall claims of being a democratic republic. The day will be marked with complete shutdown in Indian-held Kashmir with all business establishments, offices, banks and courts being closed,
while traffic will remain off the road, KMS reported. The call for the observance of the day has been given by the All-Parties Hurriyat Conference, the High Court Bar Association, veteran Kashmiri Hurriyet leader Syed Ali Gilani and JKLF Chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik. Syed Ali Gilani, in his statement, said then Indian prime minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru had committed to the Kashmiris that the Indian army would be withdrawn from the occupied territory and the people of Kashmir would be given the opportunity to decide their future themselves.
Pakistan for Palestinians’ self-determination UNITED NATIONS onLIne
Reaffirming its firm support to the Palestinian cause, Pakistan on Thursday underscored the need for implementing relevant UN Security Council resolutions to pave the way for a sovereign state of Palestine, living side-byside in peace with all its neighbours. “We again call upon the Security Council to transform its words into resolute action,” Ambassador Abdullah Hussain Haroon, Pakistan’s permanent representative to the UN, told the 15-member body, the world body’s power centre. The Council, he said, should ensure mechanism for implementation of its decades-old decisions on Israel and Palestine. “Otherwise it will further undermine its own credibility,” he
said while participating in an open debate on the Middle East. “While we deliberate endlessly in the Security Council,” the Palestinians continue to suffer at the “cruel hands” of an occupation force. Departing from his text, the Pakistan ambassador pointed out that Islamic countries were so often the topic of discussion in the Security Council that they might eventually account for 70 percent of its work. He then posed the question: “Shouldn’t we get a permanent seat as well?” “How often do we mention Iran, Syria, Nigeria, Libya, Sudan,” Haroon asked. “We wonder and I wonder with them, should I be afraid of being a Muslim as all of these countries seemingly come from that category... So I wonder if we are doing right in frightening the world into religious ethnic-
ities. I don’t think it is beneficial for the Council or the institution. Meanwhile, having said that, I am confident that this sort of scare will not be encouraged by this Council. We will be, as was mentioned by people in various aspects referring to other situations in the world under discussion here in a fashion that promotes democracy, promotes representative government etc...” Ambassador Haroon said Israel’s settlement activity continued apace, the Quartet remained frozen in a state of “suspended promises” and the Palestinians seemingly had no recourse to address the matter. He also stressed that life in the Gaza Strip could not return to normal without free movement of persons and goods, including those essential for reconstruction.
Senior APHC leader, Shabbir Ahmad Shah said that the Indian army and police had unleashed a wave of state terrorism to force the people to participate in the India’s Republic Day celebrations. He maintained that India wanted to hoodwink the world into believing that the people were not against the Indian occupation of Kashmir. In New York, the Human Rights Watch in its World Report 2012 said India had failed to repeal the widely discredited Armed Forces Special Powers Act in occupied Kashmir and to hold human rights violators accountable during 2011.
US President Barack Obama on Tuesday held up the flag of the Navy SEAL team which carried out the mission to eliminate Osama bin Laden as a symbol of the need for America to unite in face of challenges. Calling the flag “one of my proudest possessions”, Obama told US lawmakers in his annual State of the Union address that it bears the names of all the men who carried out the daring raid commando raid deep inside Pakistan on May 2. “Some may be Democrats. Some may be Republicans. But that doesn’t matter. Just like it didn’t matter that day in the Situation room,” said Obama, whose agenda has been stymied by battles with Republican congressional foes. “All that mattered that day was the mission. No-one thought about politics,” he said, pointing out how he watched the raid unfold alongside then defence secretary Robert Gates, who served under former president George W Bush, as well as his former rival for the Democratic presidential nomination, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. “Each time I look at that flag, I’m reminded that our destiny is stitched together like those fifty stars and those thirteen stripes. No-one built this country on their own,” Obama said. “This nation is great because we built it together. This nation is great because we worked as a team. This nation is great because we get each others’ backs. And if we hold fast to that truth, in this moment of trial, there is no challenge too great, no mission too hard.” The annual address this year effectively launches Obama’s campaign for re-election in the November polls, as he sought to tout his credentials as the nation’s commander-in-chief.
clerics to cooperate in polio eradication LOWER DIR sTAFF RePoRT
Clerics on Wednesday announced to cooperate with the government and health staff in eradicating polio from Lower Dir. The announcement was made during a press conference organised by the National Research & Development Foundation (NRDF) and UNICEF at Timergara Press Club. Lower Dir Health EDO Dr Shaukat Ali and others spoke on the occasion. They said that rest of the world had overcome polio due to preventive measures but Pakistan had not been successful to make it polio free because it had been facing many challenges such as people’s ignorance, militancy and negative propaganda against anti-polio vaccines. They said that 189 polio cases had been detected in Pakistan until now. The speakers said that Pakistan was determined to become polio free by end of 2012. “If Pakistan did not overcome polio by the end of this year, it could face economical sanctions and problems pertaining to travel abroad,” Dr Shaukat said, adding that clerics and seminaries students should play their active role to create mass awareness against the disease. He said that Lower Dir had been polio free since 1996, as no new case had been detected. Shaukat said that the detection of new cases in Upper Dir and adjacent Tribal Areas were alarming.
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‘stop banning fun!’ PAgE 08
opposition demands answers LAHORE nAUMAn TAsLeeM
The issue of deaths due to spurious drugs in the province remained centre of attention in Punjab Assembly with the Opposition demanding resignation of Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and also the punishing the culprits. The hallmark of the session was lack of quorum, which was pointed out five times by the Opposition during fivehour session. The questions relating to departments of Youth Affairs, Sports, Archeology and Tourism were put in the session. Parliamentary Secretary Rana Muhamamd Arshad while responding to the questions said the CM had approved two stadiums for every tehsil. He said Punjab government gave Rs 40 million annually to Punjab Sports Board to promote healthy activities in the province. To another question, he said that 17 guards were performing duty at Jahangir Tomb. Opposition leader Raja Riaz Ahmed came hard on the Punjab CM and said that he was thinking of giving advertisement of finding Punjab CM. “I would write in the advertisement that Punjab CM has gone missing,” he said. He also accused the CM for not taking the issue of spurious medicines seriously. However, the speaker stopped him from talking against the Punjab CM on medicines issue, at which the Opposition walked out and the session resumed after quorum was pointed out. Again Raja Riaz Ahmed criticised the Punjab CM. “Earlier 800 people were killed due to dengue and now people are dying due to spurious drugs. It is all due to Punjab CM whose stubbornness is causing deaths of innocent people,” Raja Riaz said. He demanded of the speaker to postpone the proceedings of the day and initiate debate on the spurious drugs. Law Minister Rana Sana Ullah Khan said the government would accept the proposals of Opposition on the fake medicines and the House would be informed on daily basis about the actions taken in this regard.
Police, FIA ‘It’s the federal hound for government’s fault!’ culprits Punjab govt using ‘mystery’ drug drama to push for the establishment of separate provincial drug regulatory authority g Drug labs missing crucial instruments
OOKING at it as an excellent opportunity for political pointscoring against the federal government, the Punjab government is exploiting the issue of ‘mystery’ drugs distributed by Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC) in order to establish a provincial drug regulatory authority, Pakistan Today has learnt. Sources privy to development said Punjab is the only province that had objected to the setting up of a national drug regulatory body due to “vested interests” only to get powers to register drugs, give licenses to pharmaceutical companies and fix prices, none of which are related to quality control of drugs. They further said all protocols regarding quality assurance of drugs have been defined in the Drugs Regulation Act, 1976, with “ample” powers given to provinces to monitor pharmaceutical companies and initiate action against them. They said the Drug Act provides for a provincial Quality Control Board, provincial drug inspectors and provincial drug courts, giving ample powers to the provincial administration. Per details, Section 9 of the drugs act deals with the provincial Quality Control Board which has the power to “inspect any premises where any drug is being or is to be, manufactured or sold and to recommend to the appropriate authority the cancellation or suspension of the licence to manufacture or sell drugs granted to any person who is found to be contravening, or to have contravened, any of the provisions of this Act, or the rules, (d) To advise the provincial government on ways and means to ensure quality control of drugs manufactured in the province
LAHORE sTAFF RePoRT
(e) To ascertain the names of such directors, partners and employees of the company, corporation, firms or institution who are prima facie responsible for the commission of any offence under this Act or the rules (f) To conduct annual validation of all instruments in the provincial drug testing laboratories and to recommend measures to upgrade such laboratories, if required” Moreover, they said Section 18 of the Drugs Act describes the powers of the drug inspectors in detail who are allowed to enter the premises of a pharmaceutical unit, monitor the process or take drug samples for testing and recommend action. The sources further said the NIR instrument required for complete analysis of a drug is missing at the drug testing laboratories because of “neglect” of the authorities. They said the PC-I of the said instrument was formed to equip the labs but it had fallen victim to bureaucratic neglect. If the labs had that instrument, a detailed analysis of all drugs would have been done
and the entire crisis could have been averted, they added. Health Parliamentary Secretary Dr Saeed Elahi however said the provincial government had been vying for drug regulatory authority which was supposed to be handed down to provinces after the 18th amendment. He said under the current circumstances the government could not register a drug which was an important part. “There are other factors involved too which only the federal government has the power to do,” he said. To a question on the role of provincial quality control boards, he said the same board had sealed the factory.
Investigators of Lahore Police on Wednesday requested the authorities to put the names of the owners of Pharmaceutical Companies, whose medicines reaction have killed dozens of persons at different hospitals of the city, on the Exit Control List (ECL). Investigators involved in the investigations of a case registered with Shadman Police, said they had started investigating the matter and were gathering the records of the companies that had manufactured the deadly drugs. Sources said the police investigators have also requested the officials of Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to provide them the record of the owners of three pharmaceutical companies who were nabbed a few days back. It is learnt that the investigators have also banned five medicines of aforesaid five pharmaceutical companies including Lahore based Pharmaviz and Mega Pharma and Karachi based Zafa Pharma, Swiss Pharma and Afroz Chemicals. FiA inVeStiGAtionS: Meanwhile investigators of FIA sealed the factory of Al-Fah Pharma located on Sheikhupura Road after the management of the said company failed to present license for the manufacturing of medicines. Investigators said it was revealed that management of Al-flah did not even possess the license to run the company, had purchased raw material from a commercial importer instead of a drug importer and had used raw material that did not carry manufacturing, expiry or validity dates. Interestingly the medicines manufactured with the substandard raw material were passed by the officials of Dug Testing Laboratory (DTL) which could be brought to book. Investigators said they had collected the record of all companies and more revelations and arrests were expected.
Hameed Nizami, a man of simple words Nizami’s unprecedented contributions to the formation of Pakistan, establishment of journalism as an institution remembered on his 50th death anniversary LAHORE sTAFF RePoRT
The services of Hameed Nizami in the field of journalism were remembered on his 50th death anniversary in a special session held under aegis of Hameed Nizami Memorial Society (HNMS) at Aiwan e Iqbal here on Wednesday. Veteran journalists and media-related personalities paid tribute to the services rendered by Nizami in establishing journalism as an institution in the newborn state of Pakistan. Pakistan Today Editor Arif Nizami explained the historical background of Hameed Nizami’s journalism. He said his father was a patriot, anti-feudalist and a famous student leader of his time. He said Nizami was the founder of Muslim Student Federation (MSF), adding that MSF had played a vital role in the struggle to achieve Pakistan. He said Nizami was inspired by Quaid-e-Azam and Allama Iqbal. He said Hameed Nizami was the founder of “Nawa e Waqt” newspaper adding that the purpose of newspaper was to raise voice for separate state for
Muslims. He said Nizami’s journalistic struggle played a leading role in Pakistan movement. HNMS Chairman Mian Afzal Hayat, Arif Nizami, son of Hameed Nizami, Mujeeb Ur Rehman Shami and Dr Mughees ud Din Sheikh also spoke on the occasion and highlighted the writing style of legendary journalist Hameed Nizami. The topic of the session, interactive in nature, was “Hameed Nizami ka tarz e sahafat”
(Hameed Nizami’s style of journalism). The pick of the session was the lecture delivered by senior journalist, political analyst and owner of a local Urdu daily Mujeeb Ur Rehman Shami. He said Hameed Nizami was the only journalist who used very simple Urdu to convey his message. He said because Nizami was inspired by Iqbal, he spread the message of Iqbal through his newspaper. He said Nizami had a grip on editorial writing
adding that he wrote editorial in a simple language on public, political, international issues and also suggested the solution of problems. He said Nizami presented a strong opposition against government’s incorrect policies after the partition. He said Nizami highlighted the problems of the people and urged the government to solve them. He said Hameed Nizami’s editorials played an important role in government’s policymaking. Shami said Nizami was in the favour of democracy and he criticised Ayub Khan for imposing martial law. Shami said Nizami introduced a new style in journalism and he was an opinion maker, adding that his opinions had a strong influence on people. Media critic and communication expert Prof Dr Mugheesuddin Sheikh said Nizami was a trendsetter in Urdu journalism. He said Nizami introduced advanced principles and ethics in Urdu journalism. Columnist Irshad Ahmed Arif and Sajaad Mir said Hameed Nizami introduced direct and simple style of talks and started institutional journalism. Irshad said be-
fore Nizami the concept of solo journalism existed but he turned this trend into institution. He said Nizami was the first person who introduced journalism as an institution, adding that Nizami always delivered his message in a very simple and direct way and reader shiftily picked it. MontHlY leCtureS: Arif Nizami announced on the occasion of anniversary of Hameed Nizami that a regular lecture series under the auspices of Hameed Nizami Memorial Society would be held once a month to pay tribute to Nizami. He said matters including journalism, public, national and international affairs would be discussed in the lectures.
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HoSPItALS MID cItY 37573382-3 SERVIcES 99203402-11 MAYo 99211100-9 gEnERAL 35810892-8 SHEIKH ZAID 35865731 SIR gAngA RAM 99200572 UcH 35763573-5 IttEFAq 35881981-85 cMH 366996168-72 SHoUKAt KHAnUM 35945100 JInnAH 111-809-809 ADIL (DEFEncE) 36667275 cHILDREn’S 99230901-3 DEFEncE nAtIonAL HoSPItAL 111-17-18-19
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Students say legislators should first define the term ‘objectionable’ g IJt rallies in favour of the resolution LAHORE
TUDENTS came hard on the Punjab Assembly (PA) on Wednesday for seeking a ban on music concerts in educational institutions while academicians gave a mixed response. The PA on Tuesday had unanimously passed a resolution for a ban on “objectionable” musical concerts in public and private educational institutions, which was tabled by PML-Q MPA Seemal Kamran. The resolution had been presented in wake of the stampede incident, which claimed lives of three girls of a private college a few weeks ago. Earlier in January last year, stage dancer Deedar’s concert at Government College University (GCU) had also made headlines for being declared as obscene by some stakeholders. GCU Vice-Chancellor (VC) Dr Khaliqur Rehman said that healthy activities should continue in educational institutions but in a “controlled” manner. He said that these activities must be in line with our traditions. If an event creates indiscipline in students, it must be stopped, Khaliq
said. The VC said that all activities in educational institutions must be in limits and under certain conditions to ensure discipline and decorum of the place. Lawyer Saad Rasool, who teaches law at Punjab University (PU), said that it was a step forward to cultural suffocation, which the country was suffering from. According to the constitution, it was the government’s responsibility to protect the social well being of the people and provide them with opportunities of entertainment. He advised parliamentarians to focus on their duty. Rasool said that the resolution depicted the mindset of the parliamentarians. FC College student Mudassar Iqbal expressed anger saying, “I am astonished at the intelligent MPAs who decided to ban music after an incident of stampede instead of making arrangements for security”. He said that many people died in stampedes during Hajj, so whether it should be banned as well. Students asked legislators to define the term “objectionable”, as they said that it was a very vague term to be used on an assembly floor. PU student Durr-e-Shahwar Memon said that legislators were supposed to talk responsibly on the
assembly floor. “What is objectionable by the way? Female singers or male, Atif Aslam or Abida Parveen?” she asked. Is music against the teachings of religion then why do not you ban every musical performance, be it on TV or concert at all,” she said. LSE student Hiba Khan questioned the understanding of parliamentarians saying, “If they had any reservations on the stampede, they would have improved the security conditions”. If they think that the media played down the news, they must bring a regulating law for the media but what was the reason of seeking such irresponsible bans, she asked. Islami Jamiat-e-Talba, notorious for attacking music-related activities in the varsity staged a rally in favour of the resolution. The hard line group called the opponents of the resolution as “un-Islamic”. Terming it as an agenda of the capitalistic world, IJT Lahore chief Akhzar Nazeer said that the youth was being trapped to immorality and Weestern culture. He said that clerics must expose the traps of the West. Music activities at PU were banned a long time ago due to dear of hard line groups. Music classes at the varsity were already being held under threat.
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Eunuchs celebrate vote registration LAHORE
Rs 2.25b Mayo Hospital Surgical Block near completion LAHORE sTAFF RePoRT
HE eunuchs registered themselves in large numbers in the voters list at the office of the Lahore District Election Commission, after receiving National Identity Cards from National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) mobile vans on Wednesday. The jubilant eunuchs also celebrated the historical moment by dancing and singing songs. They showed their enthusiasm at joining the mainstream population of voters and announced full participation in the coming general elections. The NADRA Social Department and Election Commission staff worked past work hours to facilitate maximum registration of eunuchs in the voters list. The staff also encouraged the registered eunuchs to ask remaining eunuchs to approach the District Commission Office for the registration of votes.
In order to provide medical facilities of international standard to the patients, the construction of a modern 800-bed Surgical Block at Mayo Hospital at a cost of Rs 2.25 billion is in the final stages. This was stated by Punjab Minister for Planning and Development Abdul Ghafoor while talking to journalists during a visit to the under-construction building on Wednesday. Ghafoor said surgical ward earlier consisted of 450-bed and its capacity had now been increased to 800-bed for the benefit of the patients. Moreover, installation of modern machinery in the operation theatres of the ward would facilitate in conducting complicated operations, he added.
of alexander, black days and quorum Ruckus over concert issue in Punjab Assembly continues as 14 bills returned by governor passed
LcWU lecturer recommended for PhD LAHORE sTAFF RePoRT
LAHORE sTAFF RePoRT
The Punjab Assembly on Wednesday passed 14 bills which were returned by the governor for reconsideration. The Opposition kept criticising Treasury benches for adopting a wrong way of reconsidering and passing the bills. Punjab governor returned 28 bills to PA for reconsideration and 14 bills were passed by the PA. Sheikh Alaud Din on a point of order criticised the resolution of banning musical concerts in education institutes. PPP member Sajida Mir also came hard on the resolution and said people should not be deprived of cultural activities. The hide and seek of MPAs continued in the House and opposition remained busy in pointing quorum. The Opposition remained busy in criticis-
ing Law Minister Rana Sana Ullah Khan for passing the bills haphazardly and termed his act a ‘black day’ in the history of PA. The opposition said current government had defeated the black traditions set by dictator Ziaul Haq. PPP MPA Shaukat Basra while teasing the law minister said Rana Sana Ullah was a conqueror of the Punjab Assembly and he had broken the records of Alexander the Great and Zaheer ud Din Babar by passing 14 bills in one day. Another opposition member Ehsan ul Haq Nolatia said that it was astonishing how PA had passed 14 bills in one day. “If a Supreme Court judge says that he disposed off 1,500 cases in one day the do you think he has done justice? Same is the case for PA,” he lamented. Rana Sana Ullah Khan said that after 18th Amendment, the concurrent list had been abolished and the provinces could legislate.
salary-less security guard heard, after 19 years! LAHORE sTAFF RePoRT
The Lahore High Court on Wednesday, issuing a show cause notice, summoned Punjab health secretary, DCOs Chiniot and Jhang for February 8 on a contempt petition against non-payment of salaries to a security guard for the last 19 years despite orders by court. The court issued notice on a plea filed by Munir Ahmad, an employee of Health Department posted at Ahmad Nagar Rural Health Center, Chiniot who said he had been running from pillar to post for the
last 10 years but in vain. The petitioner’s counsel Abid Hussain told the court that despite orders of the LHC, the concerned authorities were not paying the salaries of the petitioner. He prayed the court to initiate contempt proceedings against the delinquent officials. The court took a serious note of the matter and observed that it was a sheer negligence on the part of the department as the poor security guard was being deprived of salaries. The court adjourned the matter till February 8 and summoned secretary health and others along with record.
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lAHore: Public relations experts through an effective strategy pave the way for solution of children’s problems. These views were expressed by speakers at an awareness session arranged by Children Complaint Office. Addressing the session on the topic “Raise your voice for the welfare of children”, Punjab Secretary Information Mohyuddin Wani said an excellent platform had been provided for the protection of children’s rights in the form of Children Complaint Office at Ombudsman Office Punjab and public relations officers should play an active role from this platform for the welfare of children. PRess ReLeAse
Lahore College for Women University (LCWU) Department of Fine Arts Lecturer Sadia Arshad is recommended for the award of PhD degree from the LCWU. The thesis “Themes and sources of current generation of Pakistani artists (1997-2007)”, was carried out under the supervision of Prof Dr Khalid Mahmood, a professor of Fine Art Department. She has presented her research paper in an international conference conducted by LUMS in 2009. She is also the author of one nationally published article out of her PhD thesis.
LUMS gets Rs 20 million LAHORE sTAFF RePoRT
The Spin Physics Group of Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) headed by Dr Sabieh Anwar has managed to draw 20 millions as a funding from Higher Education Commission (HEC). According to the LUMS, Dr Sabieh, Chair Department of Physics, is the in-charge for the research project. The three-year funding will allow him to establish some key experimental facilities, notably atomic layer deposition by sputtering and a high-end pulsed laser for time-dependent optical studies. The project will contribute to the development of new avenues in magnetic landscape mapping, magnetic microscopes, and magnetic resonance at the nano-scale.
USAID to strengthen power sector LAHORE sTAFF RePoRT
The United States is strengthening Pakistan’s energy sector and helping to end energy shortages. In this effort USAID Punjab Deputy Director Gail Spence launched a human resource management workshop for the nine power sector distribution companies (DISCOs) at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) on Wednesday. “By supporting an improvement in the DISCO’s commercial performance and operational management, we will ultimately improve the financial and organisational sustainability of the entire power sector of Pakistan,” Gail Spence remarked. The USAID Power Distribution Program (PDIP) organised the training for the DISCOs and the Department of Business Management Studies, LUMS designed the three-day programme. The three-year long USAID Power Distribution Programme’s mission is to reduce energy losses, increase revenue, improve customer service, and transform distribution companies into efficient utilities.
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Pakistan-ASEAn ties discussed LAHORE sTAFF RePoRT
The Punjab University Department of Political Science in collaboration with Centre for South Asian Studies (CSAS) organised a seminar on “ASEANPakistan Relations” on Wednesday. University of Indonesia Department of International Relations Head Dr Hariyadi Wirawan was the keynote speaker, while Indonesian Ambassador Ishak Latuconsina, Political Science Department Chairperson (also CSAS Director) Prof Dr Umbreen Javaid, faculty members and scholars were also present on the occasion. Dr Hariyadi vowed to develop cooperation between University of Indonesia and CSAS to start the courses on South East Studies Affairs. Ishak Latuconsina said there was a need for cooperation in economic and cultural prospects between Pakistan and Indonesia. He also expressed his desire to invest the resource rich area Balochistan, but he had some security concerns. Meanwhile, a three-member Indonesian delegation led by Ambassador Ishak Latuconsina, visited the Punjab University and called on Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran at his office.
USB’s efforts lauded LAHORE sTAFF RePoRT
Federal Minister for National Heritage and Integration Samina Khalid Ghurki visited Urdu Science Board (USB) and presided over a meeting the other day. USB DG Dr Abdul Ghafoor Rashid gave a detailed briefing about the ongoing and future projects and also discussed the problems faced by the organisation. The federal minister acknowledged the efforts and services of USB for the promotion of science in Urdu language in the country. She ordered the administration to make efforts for the provision of its books in the libraries of all government education institutions. Ghurki also advised to contact technical institutions regarding the publishing of technical books.
Shahbaz appoints parliamentary secy LAHORE sTAFF RePoRT
Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has appointed Member Provincial Assembly of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz Rana Muhammad Arshad as Parliamentary Secretary for Youth Affairs, Archaeology, Tourism and Sports. Rana Muhammad Arshad is elected from PP 171 Nankana Sahib.
LcWU gets new top officials LAHORE sTAFF RePoRT
The Punjab governor in exercise of the powers vested in him under section 14(1), 15 and 16 (read with Section 9 (7) of the Lahore College for Women University Lahore Ordinance 2002, appointed the following persons in the varsity on contract basis, for a period of three years with immediate effect. They are: Tanzeela Qamar (Registrar), Dr Tahira Aziz Mughal (Controller Examination) and Abdul Ghaffar Ali (Treasurer). The three top posts were vacant for last one year and different persons had been working against these posts as additional in-charge. Search Committee interviewed candidates in September last year and finalised the three-member penal each.
‘We WAnT LAPToPs Too!’ students of a school located inside the Children Hospital ask Chief Minister shabhaz sharif to give them laptops too. Murtaza ali
PIC judicial investigation petition to be heard today LAHORE
USTICE Umer Ata Bandial will hear on Thursday (today) a petition seeking directions for conducting judicial inquiry into the deaths of over 70 patients by the reaction of spurious medicines at the Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC). The Lahore High Court (LHC) judicial registrar on Wednesday admitted the petition for hearing, declaring it maintainable and fixed it before court of Justice Bandial for today. The petition also seeks the making of an effective mechanism to control the sale and supply of sub-standard medicines at hospitals and medical stores. The petition was filed by Judicial Activism Panel Chairman Muhammad Azhar Siddique advocate. In the petition he has impleaded the federal government, Punjab government, federal Health Department, federal Ministry of Industries, Pakistan Quality Control Board, provincial health secretary, Pakistan Institute of Quality chief executive, FIA, Lahore commissioner, Lahore DCO, Punjab Inspector General of Police (IGP) and Race Course Police SHO. The petitioner contended that the Punjab government had failed to check the sale of spurious drugs. He said that hundreds of patients die annually due to fake medicines and no action has been taken against the responsible officials in the Health Department due to loopholes in the system. He said that over a week had elapsed since the death of patients at the PIC but the Punjab government was yet to start an inquiry under the Judicial Inquiry Tribunal Act. He alleged that the government was trying to stifle the issue by a casual departmental inquiry. lHC CJ tHuMPS tCP on duBiouS reSPonSe on SuGAr: LHC Chief Justice Azmat Saeed on Wednesday expressed annoyance on failure of the Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) in submitting a record of the purchase of sugar by it, on a petition hinting at an impending sugar crisis. Petitioner Ahmad Imran Ghazi, through his counsel Azhar Siddique advocate, pleaded that the TCP had purchased sugar from the sugar mills in abundance on very high rates which was a malafide step, aimed at pushing up the price of sugar in the open market. He said that sugar was available in
the open market at Rs 53 per kilogramme, while TCP has purchased it at Rs 65 per kg from the sugar mills, benefiting the sugar mafia indirectly. He submitted that by way of purchasing about 100,000 MT sugar, the national exchequer would face a loss of Rs 2.5 billion and the public would be forced to purchase sugar at higher prices. The CJ inquired the TCP counsel on the quantity of sugar purchased by TCP this year, to which the TCP counsel remained mum and sought time for submitting a reply. The CJ rebuked him, observing that the court will not tolerate injustice done to people by creating an artificial shortage of essential commodities. The court adjourned the hearing till February 10, giving time to TCP for filing a report on the matter. MAJ (retired) SAleeM GetS BAil in deAtH oF 3 FeMAle StudentS: Additional District & Sessions Judge Shahida Saeed on Wednesday confirmed after-arrest bail of Major (retired) Muhammad Saleem, allegedly involved in showing negligence in security arrangements at the Punjab Cultural Complex, where three female students died and six had been severely injured. The judge confirmed his bail against a surety bound of Rs100,000. The petitioner, Major (retired) Muhammad Saleem, contended that he was implicated in a false case, adding that the concert mishap was an accident. He told the court that a student had joked that there was a bomb in the hall which caused fear among the students who ran amok and the mishap took place. He said that there was no negligence on the part of the college administration. The complainant, Naseem Abbas Malik, had got an FIR registered against Punjab Group of Colleges Security In-charge Major (retired) Muhammad Saleem, Principal Agha Tahir Saleem and security guard Muhammad Iqbal security guard, in the Gulberg Police Station under the sections 322 and 337/L2 of the Pakistan Penal Code. lHC SeekS rePort on unlAwFul trAnSPort FAreS: The LHC CJ on Wednesday sought a reply from the Punjab government, regional transport authority secretary and local and foreign transport companies on a petition against the unlawful increase in transport fares.
The CJ was hearing a petition, filed by Muhammad Saeed Zafar advocate, contending that the private and public transport companies were charging many times more fare than the approved fares from Lahore to Sheikhupura. He said the local and foreign transport companies that were plying buses for commuters were getting subsidy from the government, despite that they were charging exorbitant fares without any fare list. The court sought reply after initial arguments from the petitioner counsel. Full BenCH to HeAr CASe AGAinSt ForeiGn direCtorS oF SAMMi dAewoo: Justice Umar Ata Bandial of the LHC on Wednesday referred a petition, against non-compliance of sessions court orders for registration of case against the foreign directors of Sammi Daewoo, to the LHC CJ with a request to constitute a larger bench. The court observed that some important points had been raised through the petition regarding difficulties faced by the people to get their cases registered despite sessions court orders, therefore, a larger bench be constituted to hear the petition. The petition was filed by Muhammad Inaam Ali, submitting that he had been simultaneously working as the chief financial officer and director in the Sammi Logistics and as the country general manager of Daewoo Pakistan Express, a sister company of Sammi logistics. He said that he had resigned from the office of country general manager, however, he alleged that the company’s directors prepared a forged document, according to which he had resigned from all the posts that he held in the company. The petitioner said that he had filed a petition against the forgery in the sessions court, which gave orders to Gulberg police station SHO and the concerned ASP to record the petitioner’s statement and take action in accordance with the law. However, the police officials were not following the court orders and did not register a case against the accused persons. On Wednesday, a report was submitted to the court from inspector general of police Punjab in this regard. The IGP suggested that the court, before passing the order for case registration, should seek comments from the concerned SHO.
Police busts four gangs LAHORE sTAFF RePoRT
The police claimed to have busted four criminal gangs involved in street crimes, robberies and robbery-cum-murders and recovered automatic firearms, stanched motor vehicles, gold ornaments and other valuables form their possession in the Model Town Police Station precincts on Wednesday. Addressing a press conference, Operations chief Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Ghulam Mehmood Dogar said that a proclaimed offender, namely Yaqoob Boka was arrested and Chaand, Sabi and Haseeba Kamboh gangs were busted. The DIG said that a special police team raided a hideout in Sadhoki Kahna, where Yaqooba Boka had hidden himself. On seeing police team, Boka opened fire on the police personnel. However, the police retaliated and managed to apprehend the criminal. The three-member Chaand and fourmember Haseeba Kamboh gangs were busted in the Ichra Police Station precincts, while five-member Sabi gang was busted in the Liaqatabad Police Station precincts. He said that the police have recovered mobile phones, batteries, computers, electronics, motorbikes, automatic sophisticated firearms and other stolen/snatched valuables form their possession. Fire: Four people sustained multiple burn injuries in separate incidents on Wednesday. According to sources, 30-year-old Muhammad Fiaz and his wife Shahida sustained critical injuries at their house in Jhugian Nagraan, Nawankot. The fire was caught due to gas leakage from stove. The couple were taken to the Mayo Hospital Burn Unit, where their condition was said to be critical. Meanwhile, two labourers at Rafiq Steel Mill, Nazeer and Muhammad Hussain, sustained multiple burn injuries when fire broke out in the factory in Baghbanpura due to short circuiting. They were taken to the Mayo Hospital, where their condition was said to be stable. MYSteriouS deAtH: A 30-yearold man died mysteriously in Mozang Police Station precincts on Wednesday. According to Police, Din Muhammad, a resident of Mozang Adda, had eaten poisonous food and was taken to a nearby hospital, where the doctors pronounced him dead. His body was handed over to his family, who refused to initiate legal action against anyone.
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Editor’s mail 11
Respect our sovereignty This is with reference to a news item that appeared in your esteemed paper (24 Jan) saying that Pakistan army has rejected the enquiry report conducted by US on NATO attack on Salala checkpost on 26 November 2011 in which 24 soldiers including officers were killed. How can the US fix partial responsibility on Pakistanis who were guarding the interest of the US in war on terror? In fact, it was an attack on our sovereignty, you don not treat your close ally like this who is sacrificing their lives being part of the war. Pakistan has suffered a great deal in men and material. Our highways have been destroyed causing Rs 50 billion loss to this poor nation. How can US deny the
no more dictators SOP's established between the two countries about conduct of operations? How can it be termed as partial retaliation when our troops never opened fire? It was a deliberate attack that lasted for over two hours causing loss of precious lives. No amount of compensation can substitute this wanton killing. The US in the past has been carrying out drone attacks killing innocent people and attacking our known posts and our response remained restricted to protests. How can a highly trained army and equipped with the latest art of technology could misjudge when the grid bearings are available with them? This is all the more serious offence when the US has been fed with complete information
about the deployment of Pakistani troops in this theatre of operation. The nation is fully behind the armed forces of Pakistan on such vital issues. It is opposed to the opening of the NATO supply route until and unless clear cut apology is tendered. It is true that the US is a superpower but that does not entitle her to attack the sovereignty of an independent state and kill those very soldiers who were guarding their interest. The US’ attitude, now and before, simply reflects her mindset that they can do anything they want irrespective of the consequences but this cannot go on for a long period. The Pakistan government has sent strong signals by closing Shamsi base,
closure of NATO supply route and boycotting Bonn Conference. It means that it wants to be taken seriously and the US should review its policy towards Pakistan. The US should not forget that Pakistan since joining the US camp has suffered badly. We want relations with all peace loving states, including the US, but on equal footing guaranteeing that no such activity takes place in the future. The US certainly needs to improve its image in Pakistan and for that the US government will have to extend respect, reverence and dignity for the people of Pakistan and respect its sovereignty. LT COL (R) MUKHTAR AHMED BUTT Karachi
Worth of human life At a time when the Pakistani nation is passing through trauma of loosing precious Pakistani genius, the youngest Microsoft Engineer Arfa Kareem Randhawa, every passing day brings some more wounds and cuts to add salt to our festering injuries. First, we have seen the selfishness, apathy and indifference of our state and government in the wake of providing a suitable treatment to Arfa Kareem Randhawa while keeping in view the seriousness and urgency of sufferings as well as the preciousness and worth of her life. Now the images published in national dailies of mourning relatives over the deaths of some heart patients caused by spurious medicine is another plume into hat of people holding sway over the helm of affairs. The sorry state of affair has gone to such lows that number of such deaths, caused by the use of suspected medicine, rose to 72 till Tuesday since the incidence of reaction to suspected drugs surfaced. We are pretty sure that the will leave no stone unturned to hush up the incident and they will dole out a handsome amount from national kitty to sooth the relatives. What I would request is that instead of using our crumbling economy, it would be better that our leaders take pains to develop a setup and system where irresponsible and criminals have no chance to get away with for playing with innocent lives. AAMIR SALEEM Rawalpindi
Hearing of old cases Several old cases in the courts are being reopened by some circles. The petitioners of such cases want to divert the attention of Apex Court from real current cases. A number of cases are still pending, waiting for speedy justice. I appeal to the superior court judges to set aside the hearing of unnecessary cases and focus on current cases. I think hearing of old cases is a useless practice and also complete wastage of time. TARIQ HUSAIN KHAN Karachi
opportunity in every traffic jam Every other day, the city of Lahore faces traffic jams that cause long queues of vehicles on both sides of the road. Most of the drivers don’t even care about road signals and traffic rules while stuck in such a mess. They keep honking their horns and swearing at other drivers. In a worst case scenario, some even
A master stroke Once again, America played a master stroke by holding back Mansoor Ijaz to tarnish the credibility of Pakistan Army, and judiciary to some extent. We can say this because Mansoor Ijaz met with American officials before coming to Pakistan. The US officials are not staying anything about this said meeting. It seems that by deploying Mansoor Ijaz they have been able to achieve their tar-
resort to fighting or scuffle. Meanwhile, fruit vendors, who have already encroached busy roads and streets, seem to take full advantage of the situation by selling their merchandise. SARA TAHIR Lahore
gets. In the coming few days we will see the opening of NATO routes, more drone attacks and the list goes on. The cold attitude of our COAS says it all. Analysts are saying that that for the sake of our national interests, this case would be considered closed. I have a question to ask to my Army Chief: when the curtain raiser was about to fall what made him think about national interests? They could have thought about saving national interests when they submitted
their verdict on memo. Why at this juncture when the stage was all set to reveal everything? I believe there is more to it than meets the eye. There is nothing much to say except that our last hope was the army and judiciary but now it seems that we have lost them as well. The government of the day seems to be in the driving seat. ASMA AHSAN Islamabad
No sane mind can deny the fact that Pakistan is a multilingual, multi-ethnic and multicultural society. Democracy calls for unity but also respects the diversity. The divisions prevailing in our society can be addressed only through democracy. I am very optimistic about the future of democracy in our country. The reasons why I am optimistic are given below: We have a population which contains 60 percent youth that can't be ruled without its will. This youth will protect democracy in our country. We have a vibrant media which will support democracy to protect its own freedom. We have an independent judiciary which has already said 'No' to a dictator. We have such a geo-political position that our neighbours and world powers can't afford dictatorship in our country. The both major political parties of the country have already faced the music due to their misdeeds, so it is expected that they will not support any dictatorship in the future. Although bad performance of political powers discouraged the nation, yet the 'slogan of change' succeeded to motivate the youth which wants to end the dynastic politics in this nation state. Beside the above mentioned favourable factors, it is an acknowledged fact that bad governance, faltering economy, the spectre of conflict among state institutions, the polarisation of society on ethic and religious basis and poor human rights situation are the big giants that will pave the way for next dictatorship. If we want to flourish democracy in our country, we have to address these dangers. For this: Every individual should condemn the dynastic politics which is the main reason of bad governance and nepotism. Political parties themselves should introduce democratic reforms in their internal structure. Government, along with opposition, should pass a bill in favour of election inside the political parties. It will be good if it is banned to be the president of a political party for more than three one-year terms. The political leaders should do their utmost to give better performance for gaining the wholehearted support of the masses. Before doing anything illegal, we should keep in mind that this country has no option other than democracy. MUHAMMAD NADEEM Lahore Send your letters to: Letters to Editor, Pakistan Today, 4-Shaarey Fatima Jinnah, Lahore, Pakistan Fax: +92-42-36298302 e-mail: email@example.com Letters may be edited for length and clarity. It would be appreciated if letters were addressed to Pakistan Today exclusively.
social media: from innovation to revolution
By Adeel Amjad
istorically, movements against dictatorial or democratic regimes in a region were made possible due to formation of underground groups, propaganda through different banned newspapers and seizure of radio stations. Thomas Paine's pamphlet “Common Sense”, published in 1776, stimulated the colonists during American Revolution and became one of the most-read publications at that time. Its message was spread through readings in taverns and coffee shops. John
Adams later said: "Without the pen of the author of “Common Sense”, the sword of Washington would have been raised in vain." The role of traditional media emerged as a source to get the word about protests and gatherings, but it was time consuming and mostly hijacked by people with their own political motives. Year 2011 has been considered as a year of numerous revolutions in the Arab world that have resulted in ousting strong dictatorial regimes. The role of social media in these movements has been very prominent and it has been praised, applauded and also criticised at different spheres. The question is how big a role Twitter or Facebook groups played in toppling over the governments of dictators in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya. The idea of social revolution is of great value for the investors with high stakes in social media. Platforms, like Facebook and Twitter, are being used to bring a socalled “Political Revolution” in Pakistan. In countries like Pak-
istan, where only a small portion of a population of 180 million people have ever used the Internet, the question is not if but how could digital and social media possibly become the conduit for tens of thousands of protesters? Pakistan is amongst one of the most populous countries of the world having more than 60 percent of its population between the age of 18 and 30. The majority of young generation has been found engaged in the usage of social media networks. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is the biggest example of success of social media in creating an influence on the younger generation of this country. Only sometime ago, PTI was considered as a nonexistent party in the political hemisphere of Pakistan. However, they had huge support in social media. Technological advances like cell phones, video cameras, blog posts and Facebook, in conjunction with more traditional media outlets like TV channels and newspapers, have created the circum-
stances for effective information dissemination for PTI. PTI’s jalsa in Karachi was watched live on internet by more than 30,000 users through live streaming, tweeted more than half a million times, shared on Facebook for thousands of times, googled and uploaded on YouTube and many other social network websites by hundreds and thousands of respective users. The YouTube channel of PTI was uploading videos of all the PTI speakers and those videos were further shared at multiple rates at other networks around the globe. It is rumoured that the jalsa involved a huge amount of investment on advertisement through nontraditional modes, some say around 30 million Pakistani rupees were spent on arranging this successful show. Unlike traditional media, digital media allowed for a non-hierarchical, collective communication. Digital media has provided the outlet for free expression that government monitored traditional media did not. Of course, no distinct tweet or Facebook group
obligated these thousands of people to attend the jalsa. Facebook, blogs, Twitter and other social media networks are the new shape of journalism. Certainly, they are the most effective means of communication. In this fast-moving era, it may already be time to settle the question of the Internet's role in present Pakistani political revolution. The Facebook pages of PTI, PML(N), PPP and other political parties have attracted thousands of people. Similarly, updates of Imran Khan and Shahbaz Sharif have been followed and further shared by thousands of Facebook users. Social media has become a substitute for traditional media, much of which in Pakistan is statecontrolled. It's too soon to know how the “political tsunami” will turn out, including whether virtual networks of people can prevail over more traditionally organised groups. But still, it's already clear that social media via the Web is unprecedented and unpredictable. For authoritarian leaders used to
controlling media and events, time and technology are not on their side. It can lead to the improbable rise of leaders who otherwise might never have had a shot. It has helped in gathering of large groups in a short period of time. These technological developments will be used as an expanded set of tools for the tasks that have always been and remain the most crucial to activists: amassing support, communicating with likeminded people and spreading the word. The tactics haven't changed. It's just that the available channels of communication have expanded. The future of the movements around the world will help in determining the role of social media and vice a versa. The necessary legislation to prevent the misuse of social media is the need of the hour and the governments will have to set up measures to channelise the growth of this medium. The writer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, and on Twitter @Alethargicsoul
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12 Comment Easing tensions? cooperation is the only way forward
ith the memo commission rejecting the plea to record the statement of Mansoor Ijaz outside Pakistan and Ijaz refusing to appear before the commission in Islamabad, little choice is left for the commission other than dismissing the case if Ijaz fails to avail the last opportunity given to him to record his statement on February 9. Meanwhile, Mian Nawaz Sharif remains disinclined to pursue his petition. The last week was abuzz with rumours of a possible coup. It has ended with signs of bonhomie between the government and the army. Both the COAS and DG ISI have jointly met the PM for the first time after Gilani’s December 22 statement about “a state within the state”. There are also signs of the easing of tensions between Pakistan and US. In the wake of the NATO attack on the Mohmand posts, so much anti-US propaganda had been conducted in the country that it would be highly embarrassing to announce the resumption of military ties, agreeing to ‘limited’ drone attacks and allowing CIA agents to operate from the country. Unless the civilian government shows willingness to carry the heavy cross and own the decision, the army leadership would be the target of severe criticism from within and outside. The US on its part badly needs Pakistan’s help at this juncture. A happy conclusion to the longest war US has waged against any country in its history is the key to Obama’s nomination and success in the forthcoming elections. This is not possible without allowing Pakistan a key role in talks with the Afghan Taliban leadership. Only the joining of hands by Washington and Islamabad can release the synergy needed to defeat an enemy which is both resilient and resourceful. The mutual distrust between the two countries has allowed the Afghan Taliban and TTP to play havoc inside the two countries. Confidence has to be restored if talks with the militants are to succeed The US and Nato should apologise for the Mohmand attack. For this, Washington has to refrain from the violation of Pakistan’s territorial sovereignty. It has also to accept the centrality of Pakistan’s role in the talks with the Taliban. Unless the measures are announced, it would be difficult to defend the resumption of close relations at the joint session of Parliament scheduled at the end of the month.
Spurious drugs not much regulation
he death toll, and this is the notoriously conservative government estimate, has risen to 73. It is expected to go much higher. Things aren't going to simmer down any time soon. The media is up in faux-outrage, fully cognisant of the fact that the mysterious (at least initially) disease, one that was later found to be the result of corporate greed, is the stuff of dream ratings. And the chief minister has responded to the crisis with the only tool he has in his oneweapon arsenal: he axed the MS of the Punjab Institute of Cardiology. The unbearable plight of the families of the victims is there for all to see. Years' worth of savings are eaten into at times of major medical procedures. Not for one moment, even during times of financial plight, does the prospect of this expenditure actually causing the demise of their loved ones, rather preventing it, rear its head. In the blame game that has followed the incident, the easiest target, as usual, is the political government. Public discourse is what it is and the Punjab government should be held accountable even if the incident isn't of its own making; after all, the League doesn't show other parties a mature aversion to political point-scoring when it comes to unavoidable tragedies elsewhere. There is a scuffle at the moment about where the immediate fault should be pinned on. The suspects: the political government, the pharmaceutical companies and the doctors. There is also a smattering of those who actually blame the patients' families for not being more "careful." There are sectors in the country that are under-regulated. Health isn't one of them, if one considers the number of laws and regulations that pertain to the sector. But a lax attitude towards the enforcement of these regulations means the sector is functionally under-regulated. How could drugs be sold so freely that did not even have expiry dates printed on them? At the various stages of this happening i.e. the manufacturing, the stocking, the sale, the use in the hospitals, why weren't there any regulatory checks at any stage? Most of the regulations in the health sector are completed for formality's sake. Whether it is simply getting a pharmacist to sign up for a pharmacy or getting a drug inspector to observe a batch of drugs. And this state of affairs isn't limited to the Punjab either but extends to the whole country. Nowhere is the need for a complete overhaul felt more than in the health sector.
thursday, 26 January, 2012
of matters past Bygones be not bygones
By Nazir Naji
majority of readers and viewers have a gripe with us analysts who write in the press and speak on the airwaves. They say that analysts don’t pay enough attention to public problems but rather pontificate on issues the public have little direct concern with. I can’t speak on the behalf of everybody but can certainly do so for myself. As far as the problems of the publics are concerned, one of their major causes is increase in population. The rates of growth of population and resources are not commensurate. Even if they were, our standard of living would not improve. It’s a simple rule of economics: the faster resources grow than population, the more progress there is. In our case, the reverse is happening. The population is growing at a much faster rate than resources are. The result: a significant portion of the population drops below the poverty line each year. We are now one of the five poorest countries in the world. In such a situation, even if angels outfit the government, we will not be able to eliminate hunger, poverty, illiteracy, disease, unemployment and crime. Another reason for our current predicament is the way we lead our life – the principle on which we base our actions. We tend to live a big part of our life in the throes of the past and consider our future to be the hereafter. Who can improve the lot of a nation that operates on such a worldview? If we look at our collective activities for the past two three years, it will become clear that we have spent a great part of our time dwelling on matters past. We have been busy trying to remake our oft-violated constitution and are again debating new amendments. Our political parties have yet not been able to ascertain what the respective duties of the government and the opposition are. The opposition is forever ambulant trying to undercut the government and ensuring that it will not be able to get votes the next time around and the government is constantly busy in trying to ward of this relentless onslaught from the opposition. These days, since we have a coalition government, the government not only has to deal with the opposition but with the tantrums of its smaller, more excitable coalition partners. As the opposition cranks up the pressure, these flaky partners too start weighing their options and try to squeeze as much they can out of the government in its time of stress. These power games in the parliament aside, there is also the not-so-slight matter of dealing with cases against the government in the SC. That’s how our government whiles away its 9 to 5 hours: appearing in court. It seems as if the law minister and attorney general are permanently camped in
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witness did not give a final word. Has anybody seen a court being held by the caprices of one witness? Another such instance is the case of presidential immunity. For more than two and a half years, the president has not been able to get the judiciary to accept this as his right. It is written clearly in our constitution that the president of the country and the governors of the four provinces have immunity and no criminal proceedings can be initiated against them while they occupy their respective posts. This immunity is accorded to the post and not the person and whoever occupies the post has it by default. A retired judge who had on an occasion himself deemed so while presiding over a larger bench said on television the other day that “The president would have to claim immunity by appearing in court himself. Otherwise, every other person would claim immunity while sitting at home.” This retired judge ignored the fact while making this statement that only five people occupying certain posts could have this immunity. Why would any Tom, Dick and Harry claim it? Hence, a government that has to face such cases, that has to face the kind of aforementioned opposition and also has to face the constant spectre of a military takeover, what can one expect of such a government? This is a government that has to see an institution of the state itself give written statements to the state that if it went through with certain actions, it would have to face ‘grievous consequences’. You must have noted that all the problems that I said afflicted the government were also things that had roots in the past. The cases in the courts pertain to matters past. The tension between the opposition and the government has deep roots and the tension between the military and the civilian setups has even deeper roots. Hence, the government is busy squaring off the debts of the past. How can it look to the future when the demons of the past won’t leave it alone? As I said earlier, we spend our present days in the throes of the pasts and leave our future to the hereafter. We don’t have time to deal with today. We are too busy dealing with yesterday. The writer is one of Pakistan’s most widely read columnists.
State of confrontation Daily Pakhtun Post
Dedicated to the legacy of the late Hameed Nizami
the SC premises and the people back at their office are on tenterhooks awaiting their orders. The state of affairs is such that ministers are often summoned at as much as a notice of half an hour and they have to scurry to the courts. No government has had to face as many cases as the current one. Consequently, the ministers spend their days in courts and their nights preparing for their days in courts. This is not the end. Democracy has not strengthened itself enough to shake off the mindsets that have entrenched themselves during protracted periods of military rule. The government quarters are frustrated when they see the COAS struggling in the courts about the matter of his date of birth. The DOB of the Indian COAS was mistakenly written as 1950 whereas he claims it is 1951. In fact, this is a ‘clerkish’ mistake. As per Indian regulations, the DOB on your school certificate is the one used officially. The army chief was constantly asking the defence ministry to correct his DOB but his request was rejected. He, thus, moved the court. The court said that the ministry of defence has the requisite authority so the COAS should ask them and the SC would not intervene. Even our government is an elected one and we also claim that democracy has been restored. But the way matters are conducted here is decidedly different than how the matter of the Indian COAS was dealt with. Over here, the SC asks the president and prime minister have to put in writing that they do not intend to sack the COAS and DG-ISI , even though they had given statements to the same effect. One cannot find examples anywhere of the kind of cases the Pakistani government is embroiled in. For instance, the memo case. It is a one-of-its-kind case and the way its investigation is being conducted is also one-of-a-kind. It is not yet clear who the petitioner is in this sub-judice case and our honourable justices are now waiting for the testimony of an ordinary American citizen and our subject to his whims. They give a certain date and the witness says I’ll come on that one. On the third such instance, the justices had to wait an entire day to find out what date the witness would give next. He kept levying conditions for his arrival and consequent testimony and they were accepted by the commission. Despite that, the
n the one hand, the common man has to face countless problems due to the unrest in the country and the spate of ongoing terrorist acts, the deteriorating law and order situation and the economic crunch. On the other hand, these miseries are being compounded by the state of confrontation between the rulers (political leadership), the army and the judiciary. Both external and internal forces are active right now in destabilising the country and are involved in the killing of our citizens. In such circumstances where we are facing threats both internally and externally, internal rifts or hostilities amongst three highly responsible state institutions could plunge the
country into chaos. No one can support such power games amongst custodians of three state organs. These rifts are adding to political instability which is adversely impacting the climate for economic activities as well. These tussles could even put the sovereignty and solidarity of the country at stake as it creates a window of opportunity for external powers to exploit. It is the high time to save the country from these crises by easing the tensions amongst these vital state organs. The government and armed forces must cooperate with each other as it is essential for combating external threats whereas the judiciary must ensure its impartiality and independence. Only when all state institutions function harmoniously can any stability be brought to Pakistan. – Translated from the original Pashto by Shamim Shahid
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thursday, 26 January, 2012
Know thy limits
India has some too
All roads, it seems, lead to the apex court
Border Crossing By Kuldip Nayar
he issue of the two army chiefs, in India and Pakistan, still dominate the discussions. Chief of Army Staff V K Singh has done an unprecedented thing by moving the Supreme Court on his birth year which he claims is 1951 while the government says repeatedly that it is 1950, meaning thereby he retires this May. I wish the matter had been handled with care and caution. Preferably some amicable settlement should have been found and things allowed not to come to such a pass. Defence Minister A K Antony is known to be balanced and experienced. Why did he let the issue reach the point of no return? Yet that does not justify General Singh’s knock at the Supreme Court’s door. He could not have made a worse choice and will now encourage talk that the civil setup has humiliated the armed forces. What BJP leader Jaswant Singh, a parliament member, has said is tantamount to Bonapartism. He says the sword of the armed forces has been blunted. Thank god, he is not in the government. Otherwise, the retired army officer that he is, he would have done unimaginable harm to democracy. It is a pity that even the 15 years he has spent in parliament has not yet worn out the dictatorial tendencies in him. In democracy, the civil side is supreme and not the military or any other institution. When I rang up former Air Chief Idris Latif at Hyderabad, he was horrified over General Singh’s appeal to the Supreme Court. He is probably of the old school that service comes before self and that the military does not challenge the order of a government, whatever one’s feelings.
After General Singh had accepted the year 1950 for promotions, particularly at the time of his elevation as army chief, he should not have gone back on his commitments. This is what he and his supporters should ponder over. Their behaviour smacks of dangerous ambitions and when some former top brass interpret the age issue as a civil-military confrontation, they mock at India’s democratic state. People are proud of the armed forces but they do not want them to be anything except apolitical. Once the government, elected by the people, decides anything there is no question of disobeying it. General Singh should have resigned and then gone to the court if he was so incensed. I wish the BJP had rapped General Singh on the knuckles. Or, does Jaswant Singh represent their viewpoint? No doubt, the government has handled the case insensitively. But the question has become bigger. The COAS has challenged the Union of India. There is no dilly-dallying when the question of the country comes. General Singh has wrongly been advised and he has compromised the position he holds. The government has filed a caveat in the Supreme Court so that the case is not decided without hearing the other side. It is a case of indiscipline and should have been dealt that way, not through the court. I am shocked to hear that some compromise has been tried through back channels. This should have been done before the army chief went to the court. Now it looks like a compromise at the expense of people’s sovereignty which the government represents. General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani has been taken over by some other developments in Pakistan. Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani put the army chief on the spot by criticising him that he should have sent his reply to the Supreme Court inquiry not directly. Not only that, Gilani dismissed his defence secretary and also went on to say that he would not tolerate “state within state.” While the army posted at Islamabad the infamous brigade which has helped stage coups in the past, Gilani convened the meeting of parliament to declare the confrontation was between democracy and dictatorship. He
wanted a vote of confidence in him and there was indeed consensus in the support of democracy. I know PM Gilani went out of his way to defend in parliament General Kayani and ISI chief Shuja Pasha when America killed Osama bin-Laden in Abbottabad without letting Islamabad know. But everyone learns from their mistakes and Gilani is no exception. In fact, he has brought the nation together behind the demand of democracy after realising that whatever the outcome of the crisis, Pakistan’s problems essentially flow from the control of the army over administrative matters. Another development in Pakistan is that the Supreme Court has issued a contempt notice to Gilani, for which he has respectfully appeared in court. He has been taken to task for not obeying the court’s order for reopening the cases of corruption against President Asif Ali Zardari. The government’s defence has been that both of them and some others were exonerated by former President General Pervez Musharraf through the NRO he issued. Whatever the outcome of this case, he is the first prime minister who has withstood the pressure of the army. People may ask him why he did he not stand up before in the four years of his regime? Probably, the army did not throw its weight about. Probably, Gilani was waiting for an opportunity and hit back when it arose. True, all eyes are on the Supreme Court - the Supreme Court which gave legal sanctity to the first coup by General Ayub inventing “a doctrine of necessity”. Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry has given independence to the institution, something which Pakistan needs. Indeed, Pakistan has changed. But India is yet to understand how. People and political parties are unanimous in opposing to the return of the military. Democracy has come to stay, however belatedly. This prepares the ground for both countries to be friendly neighbours. There is no option but peace. Even if they consider it a punishment, they are sentenced to work towards normalisation. The writer is a senior Indian journalist.
fter a torrid discussion with someone whose analytical excellence and intellect I hold in high esteem, I despondently asked the question, “Are you then saying my views are irrelevant in the present context?” His response was coherent but icy, “No. But they are in the minority!” I was seriously taken aback. My belief was, and I presume wishful thinking will make me continue to believe, that my views reflect those of the silent majority. This, though, is where the goalpost has apparently shifted. The silent majority was dedicated to the rule of law. It sought democracy based on values. A progressive Pakistan committed to educating its people, building tolerance, eradicating corruption and extremism, enhancing its natural endowments, building international relations beneficial to a developing country and ending the confrontational stance with the country’s immediate neighbours. When four plus years ago, the silent majority decided to show its hand in favour of the apex court and against the man who believed he had its tacit support, it was convinced the time had come for the writ of all institutions to be finally imposed. None of this has happened nor does evidence provide any chance for it to happen either. Instead of the writ of institutions being firmly established as provided in the constitution, institutions have gone after each other and repeatedly encroached upon each other’s already-fragile writ, creating confusion and opening the doors to instability. All this time, a tide of negativity has taken over and the nation is confronted with complete disregard of the rule of law. In an apparent attempt to Random Thoughts curb dysfunctional government and provide justice to the peoBy Imran Husain ple against arbitrary actions, the judiciary has taken over (or at least appears to have) the functions of every authoritative body in the nation. All roads lead to the apex court. The people believe that they can bypass processes by obtaining an order from the court. The court is inundated with applications of limited significance, especially from politicians. In many instances, it has moved suo motu. Its cause list is bursting at the seams. One cannot fathom why aggrieved parties are not encouraged to seek the relief available from the office of the Wafaqi Mohtasib as many matters fall within the purview of that office. This will provide relevance to a statutory body established for the very purpose and create the valuable time needed by the apex court to deal with other important matters that bring relief to the common man.
The charter of the Mohtasib’s office is crystal clear: “The Establishment of the Office of the Wafaqi Mohtasib (Ombudsman) Order, 1983 empowers the Wafaqi Mohtasib (Ombudsman) to diagnose, investigate, redress and rectify any injustice done to a person through maladministration of an Agency. The Order defines an 'Agency' as a Ministry, Division, Commission or office of the Federal Government or a statutory body, corporation or other institution established or controlled by the Federal Government but does not include the Supreme Court, the Supreme Judicial Council, the Federal Shariat Court or a High Court.” “The Order further defines ‘Maladministration’ to include: (i) a decision, process, recommendation, act of omission or commission which: (a) is contrary to law, rules or regulations or is a departure from established practice or procedure, unless it is bona fide and for valid reasons; or (b) is perverse, arbitrary or unreasonable, unjust, biased, oppressive, or discriminatory; or (c) is based on irrelevant grounds; or (d) involves the exercise of powers or the failure or refusal to do so, for corrupt or improper motives, such as, bribery, jobbery, favouritism, nepotism and administrative excesses; and(ii) neglect, inattention, delay, incompetence, inefficiency and ineptitude, in the administration or discharge of duties and responsibilities.” Despite serious attempts at bringing order and providing governance, implementation is at times lacking. One missing factor has been the court’s apparently benign attitude towards the religious extremism that is trying hard to impose itself ruthlessly on our country. No suo motu action has been taken against extremist parties that have claimed responsibility for acts of violence and destruction, killing innocent people, creating fear and hatred within and leading to the branding of the country internationally as a terrorist state. It would be interesting to know the reasons that prompt this benign attitude. When ‘mad men’ hurl threats damaging to the country’s integrity from a podium set up a few kilometers from the capital and scream and shout convoluted ideas reminiscent of the days of the caveman, it is imperative that authorities take cognizance including, if need be, suo motu action. Lack thereof perhaps provides impetus to these elements to continue in this negative direction. The time is ripe for the people to assert themselves. Our battle is with ourselves; for us to know what we want and to enable those who are willing to come forth and work in that direction. Self-styled leadership based on financial ability, aided by angels and ghosts will only work for themselves. We need to make it known we have not capitulated or surrendered and we need to task the media to move away from destructive entertainment and towards building Pakistan. Leadership is the right of the people of Pakistan, not just its elite. The writer may be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
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thursday, 26 January, 2012
begins celebrations for 100 years of Indian cinema
T was reported a while ago that The Film and Television Producers’ Guild was planning a celebration to commemorate 100 years of Indian cinema. News is that the merriment takes off at the Apsara Awards being shot tonight at Yash Raj Studios. Living legends like Dilip Kumar, Shashi Kapoor, Jaya Bachchan, Shabana Azmi and Hema Malini will be presented with trophies for their contribution to Hindi cinema. A special act has been designed with Shiamak Davar and his troupe to pay tributes to these artistes’ iconic works. Anushka Sharma is gearing up to set the stage on fire with a hip-hop dance as well as some Maharashtrian folk style dance. Soon-
to-be married couple Riteish Deshmukh and Genelia D’Souza are said to bring their reallife love story alive on stage while performing at the award function. Kareena Kapoor will also set the stage ablaze with her south Indian act. For her performance at the Apsara Awards, the actor will perform to a medley of chartbusters like ‘Nakka Mukka’, ‘Ringa Ringa’ and ‘Kolaveri Di’. Also, Ameesha Patel will present an act incorporating the recent item numbers like ‘Chikni Chameli’, ‘Ooh La La’ and ‘Madhubala’. The show will be hosted by Karan Johar and Farah Khan. This year ‘Rockstar’ topped the nomination list for the Apsara Awards with 13 nods, with the ‘The Dirty Picture’ and ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’ winning nine nominations each. AGenCIes
Best Actor: Ranbir Kapoor for ‘Rockstar’ Shah Rukh Khan: Salman Khan: Emraan Hashmi for ‘Murder 2’ and Ajay Devgn for ‘Singham’ Best Film: ‘Rockstar’: ‘no one Killed Jessica’: ‘Singham’: ‘the Dirty Picture’: ‘Zindagi na Milegi Dobara’. Best Director: Imtiaz Ali for ‘Rockstar’: Rohan Sippy for ‘Dum Maaro Dum’: Rajkumar gupta for ‘no one Killed Jessica’: Rohit Shetty for ‘Singham’: Milan Luthria for ‘the Dirty Picture’: Zoya Akhtar for ‘Zindagi na Milegi Dobara’. Best Actre ss: Vidya Balan for ‘the Dirty Picture’: Priyanka chopra for ‘7 Khoon Maaf’: Katrina Kaif for ‘Mere Brother Ki Dulhan’: Rani Mukerji for ‘no one Killed Jessica’: Mahie gill for ‘Saheb Biwi Aur gangster’: Kangna Ranaut for ‘tanu Weds Manu’.
Faisal with Khadija
Khawaja Pervaiz saeed with Mrs Hassan and Ainy
Hamza with sundas
Haseeb Gardezi with Fia
Mr and Mrs Javaid
Demi Moore treated for ‘exhaustion’, ‘stress’ LOS ANGELES AFP
Actress Demi Moore is being treated for “exhaustion”, her publicist said after a media report said she had been rushed to hospital due to substance abuse. Moore, who split from her younger husband Ashton Kutcher in November after reports he had been unfaithful, had been placed in a facility to receive treatment, the TMZ celebrity news website said. It cited police as saying that a 911 call was placed late Monday evening. Paramedics responded to her Los Angeles home and, after checking her
for half an hour, transported her to a local hospital. “Because of the stresses in her life right now, Demi has chosen to seek professional assistance to treat her exhaustion and improve her overall health,” said a statement issued by her publicist, Carrie Gordon. “She looks forward to getting well and is grateful for the support of her family and friends,” it added. The publicist did not immediately comment on the details reported by TMZ. Moore, 49, and 33-year-old Kutcher announced their separation in November, after months of media reports about problems between the couple, who married in 2005.
When the going gets tough,
SrK goes bad MUMBAI: not that a journalist is new to disrespect shown by Bollywood celebs, a scribe recently bore the brunt from an otherwise media friendly star, none other than Shah Rukh Khan. SRK is known to conduct himself impeccably with his fans and the media; however he lost his cool when this reporter supposedly touched a raw nerve of the actor. the incident took place at a party held for the nominees of a prestigious awards ceremony. the superstar was giving interviews to a tV channel when this reporter asked him about his personal equation with Juhi chawla. “It was a casual question and not meant to give offence. But SRK seemed enraged. things reached a head when he verbally abused the hapless reporter, who just froze,” a witness recounted while talking to a daily. the officials connected to the awards didn’t want word of the incident to leak out — understandably, they don’t want to further upset SRK. “Shah Rukh anyway seemed to be in a bad mood, and the reporter’s question ticked him off,” said a source. AGenCIes
Mr and Mrs nadeem
Mr and Mrs nauman
numan Ijaz with a friend
When Kate Middleton
LonDon: It’s not often that you see a Duchess show her emotional side and that too at a film screening. But, this is exactly what happened when Duchess of cambridge, Kate Middleton watched the ‘War Horse’, directed by Steven Spielberg, at its London premiere. Says the director, “My wife, Kate capshaw, had to hand the Duchess a tissue as she sat weeping in the stalls during the film’s premiere. I was sitting next to her and all I know is, at one point, my wife - who was sitting to my right right in front of my face, she passed a Kleenex. I didn’t want to intrude on her experience watching ‘War Horse’ so I never glanced over.” Kate is not the only one who has been moved to tears by the First World War epic the critically acclaimed director admitted that he wept the first time he saw an earlier the play based on Michael Morpurgo’s classic story about a boy and his horse Joey, which inspired the film. “the play did that to me, I came out a soaking wet wreck,” he revealed. AGenCIes
Umer Qureshi and Meena
nomi with Fia
shoaib and Anny
saim and Abid
Vidya to pull oﬀ a Katrina Kaif MUMBAI: She raised eyebrows with her sultry outing in ‘ooh La La’ and now, Vidya Balan is set for a Lavani clash on the big screen. Even as Katrina Kaif gets rave reviews for her ‘Agneepath’ item number ‘chikni chameli’ Vidya is readying to take on Katrina in the traditional song-and-dance space. Signed on to do an item number for Vidhu Vinod chopra’s ‘Ferrari Ki Sawaari’, ‘the Dirty Picture’ star has finally decided to do a Lavani-inspired song in the Sharman Joshi-starrer. Interestingly, at an internal creative meeting, the makers pointed out that ‘chikni chameli’ was also a Lavani song, which might lead to comparisons. “But Vidya wasn’t worried. She loves Katrina’s energetic dance steps, but pointed out that she could take Lavani to another level by giving it a totally new twist,” says an insider from the unit. “It will be an entertaining song, but the authenticity of the dance form will be maintained throughout,” says the insider. to put her best foot forward, Vidya will rehearse for about three weeks with expert dancers, getting comfortable with the nuances of Lavani. the number is expected to be shot in a month. AGenCIes
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15 green light for whiskers at US Disney parks
The big gold nominations announced
Oscar nominations 2012:
Snubs and surprises LOS ANGELES
HE nominees for this year’s Academy Awards have been announced, and, as happens every year, there were a few surprises in the mix - along with some snubs. Here’s a look at some of the biggest surprises:
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Fashion central Media group launched its new online music portal MusicBox360 at Hotel one Photos by: Murtaza Ali
Many expected silent film ‘The Artist’ to be the top contender when nominations were announced Tuesday, but it was ‘Hugo,’ Martin Scorsese’s 3-D family film that earned the top spot with 11 nods. (‘The Artist’ earned 10.) ‘Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close’ was considered a long shot for the best picture category, but now it’s among the nine films up for the Oscars’ highest honor. Rooney Mara earned a best actress nomination for her role in ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,’ bumping Tilda Swinton (‘We Need to Talk about Kevin’) out of the category. Gary Oldman, fresh off a BAFTA nomination for ‘Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,’ earned his first ever Oscar nomination this year, beating out expected best actor nominee Michael Fassbender (‘Shame’). Also left out of the category: Leonardo DiCaprio, for ‘J. Edgar.’ Another surprise appearance on the best actor list came from Demian Bichir, nominated for his role in ‘A Better Life.’ In the directing category, David Fincher did not get a nomination for ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.’ It was expected that George Clooney would earn a best actor nomination for ‘The Descendants,’ but he’s also nominated in the adapted screenplay category, with Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon for ‘The Ides of March.’ Another ‘Descendants’ star was not so lucky - Shailene Woodley earned critical praise (and a Golden Globe nomination) for her performance in the film, but that didn’t translate to an Oscar nod. ‘Bridesmaids’ didn’t make the best picture list, but the comedy still got love from Academy voters - a best supporting actress nod for Melissa McCarthy, and an original screenplay nomination for Kristin Wiig and Annie Mumolo. This was not a good year for Steven Spielberg – ‘War Horse’ was nominated in the best picture category, but he was left off the best director list and his ‘The Adventures of Tintin’ was not nominated for best animated film. Ryan Gosling may be watching from home next month despite earning praise for roles in ‘Drive’ and ‘The Ides of March,’ he did not receive any nominations.
looks good only with me’: Saif MUMBAI: Saif Ali Khan didn’t mince words when asked which of Bollywood’s many Khans does his girlfriend, actress Kareena Kapoor look best with. Apart from Saif, Kareena has so far worked with Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Aamir Khan and will soon be seen with young Imran Khan in ‘Ek Main Aur Ekk tu’. After working with Saif in ‘tashan’ and ‘Kurbaan’, she will be seen with him again in the upcoming ‘Agent Vinod’, set for release March 23. “Kareena looks good with me and there is no comparison. Apart from me, I don`t see anybody (with whom she looks good),” Saif told reporters on the sidelines of the first poster launch of his production ‘Agent Vinod’. Kareena, the leading lady of the spy thriller, was missing from the event. Saif explained: “We had to divide to conquer. She will be seen in future promotional activities for the film.’ the first poster of the movie features only Saif in it. However, he promises that unlike other action films, the actress has a justified role in his film too. He guarantees that the wait will be worth it, as he said: “the kind of action and locations that we have chosen, I have not seen in a lot of movies. the film must have taken a longer time, but it does not matter as long as the product is interesting.” the film is said to have dollops of action besides which it will also have a “different” item song, a ‘mujra’ picturised on Kareena. “We thought let’s go a different way and try something different in terms of expression. I believe even Dinesh Vijan was pushing for a mujra. We needed to make our item a little bit different,” said Saif. AGenCIes
HERE IS A LISt oF tHE RESt oF tHE noMInAtIonS
Best Picture: ‘The Artist’ ‘The Descendants’ ‘Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close’ ‘The Help’ ‘Hugo’ ‘Midnight in Paris’ ‘Moneyball’ ‘The Tree of Life’ ‘War Horse’ Best Actor: Demian Bichir, ‘A Better Life’ George Clooney, ‘The Descendants’ Jean Dujarin, ‘The Artist’ Gary Oldman, ‘Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy’ Brad Pitt, ‘Moneyball’ Best Actress: Glenn Close, ‘Albert Nobbs’ Viola Davis, ‘The Help’ Rooney Mara, ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ Meryl Streep, ‘The Iron Lady’ Michelle Williams, ‘My Week with Marilyn’ Best Supporting Actor: Kenneth Branagh, ‘My Week with Marilyn’ Jonah Hill, ‘Moneyball’ Nick Nolte, ‘Warrior’ Christopher Plummer, ‘Beginners’ Max von Sydow, ‘Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close’ Best Supporting Actress: Berenice Bejo, ‘The Artist’ Jessica Chastain, ‘The Help’ Melissa McCarthy, ‘Bridesmaids’ Janet McTeer, ‘Albert Nobbs’ Octavia Spencer, ‘The Help’ Best directing: Michel Hazanavicius, ‘The Artist’ Alexander Payne, ‘The Descendants’ Martin Scorsese, ‘Hugo’ Woody Allen, ‘Midnight in Paris’ Terrence Malick, ‘The Tree of Life’ Best Foreign language Film: ‘Bullhead’ (Belgium) ‘Footnote’ (Israel) ‘In Darkness’ (Poland) ‘Monsieur Lazhar’ (Canada) ‘A Separation’ (Iran) Best Animated Feature Film ‘A Cat in Paris’ ‘Chico & Rita’ ‘Kung Fu Panda 2’ ‘Puss in Boots’ ‘Rango’ Best original Score: ‘The Adventures of Tintin,’ John Williams ‘The Artist,’ Ludovic Bource ‘Hugo,’ Howard Shore ‘Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,’ Alberto Iglesias ‘War Horse,’ John Williams Best documentary Feature: ‘Hell and Back Again’ ‘If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front’ ‘Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory’ ‘Pina’ ‘Undefeated’ Best documentary (short subject): ‘The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement’ ‘God is the Bigger Elvis’ ‘Incident in New Baghdad’ ‘Saving Face’ ‘The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom’
MiAMi: Captain Hook would certainly approve: the Walt Disney Co. has overturned a rule in place since 1955 banning facial hair for its US theme park workers. Starting February 3, workers at Disney World in Florida and Disneyland in California will be allowed to let their mustaches, beards and goatees grow freely. “Disney periodically reviews its rules and the company decided that now was an appropriate time to revise the hair policy,” Andrea Finger, a Disney spokesperson in Orlando, Florida, told AFP. The ban on facial hair has been in place since the global purveyor of family-friendly entertainment opened its first theme park. The company last revised its dress code in 2000, when it banned facial hair only while at work. AFP
Kylie Minogue to revive old hits london: Australian popstar Kylie Minogue is to celebrate her 25 years in showbusiness by re-recording some of her old and popular hits. The singer, who released her debut single ‘The Locomotion’ in 1987, has recorded an acoustic version of her 1992 hit ‘Finer Feelings’. A 24-piece orchestra accompanied the star’s recording session, which took place at London’s Abbey Road studios. The 43-year-old will release more tracks later this year. Minogue made her name playing the teenage mechanic Charlene Mitchell in the Australian soap ‘Neighbours’, before she launched her pop career. Her debut single spent seven weeks at number one in her native country and went to on become the highest selling single of the decade. In the UK, her first 13 singles reached the top ten and in 2008. BBC
The Academy Awards ceremony will be presented on Sunday, Feburary 26, at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles, hosted by Billy Crystal.
i will not talk about SrK: Priyanka
MUMBAI: Putting the Shah Rukh Khan controversy to rest, Priyanka chopra refuses to let the rumour affect her composure. the actress, who has been in news for her alleged romance with Shah Rukh Khan minced no words when she told a daily, “I will not talk about this. I shall never talk about this.” Speaking about her upcoming release ‘Agneepath’, the actress said, “I am nervous and excited. Reports have been brilliant. they have liked Hrithik’s, Sanju’s (Sanjay Dutt) and my work. More than anything, they have loved the film. I’m very proud of Karan (Malhotra, the director) as this is his first film and I’m his first heroine. For me, it’s not a remake. I hadn’t even seen the original ‘Agneepath’ till I signed this film. Also my role has been written fresh.” Apprently, Priyanka’s close proximity with SRK has alienated the actress from the Salman Khan camp. “I have worked with every co-actor possible. I don’t come from a film background. I don’t have relationships with people in terms of uncles and aunts. I have been an outsider. Wherever I’m today is due to the support of this film industry. they have given big films and amazing work to me. It hasn’t been because of any director, production house, actor or a person. I have never been a part of any camp. I respect every co-actor tremendously and equally. I would work with anyone,” the actress said. ZeeneWs
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16 Foreign News
thursday, 26 January, 2012
nine dead as indian bus driver goes on rampage MUMBAI AFP
An Indian bus driver left at least nine people dead and dozens hurt Wednesday after going on a rampage during rushhour, smashing into cars and crushing pedestrians, police told AFP. The rogue driver hijacked the vehicle in a depot and then sped down the crowded streets of central Pune in western India as children headed to school and office employees made their way to work. The half-hour wrecking spree came to a halt only when members of the public wrestled him from the controls after he rammed into another bus. He has since been detained and interrogated by police. “He just went berserk. He went on ramming whatever vehicles were plying the road,” the city’s commissioner of police, Meeran Borwankar, told local television. “Citizens came forward and literally threw children (out of the way). He was in such a dangerous mood. Ultimately he was held (by police) but the damage has been tremendous.” An officer in the local police control room told AFP that nine people had been killed and 27 injured. Some 40 vehicles were left mangled, with cars damaged and autorickshaws overturned. “He was a nut-case, he had completely lost his head,” said the officer, who asked not to be named. “Most of the damage was to parked taxis, private vehicles, cycles and stalls.” Identified by police as 30-yearold Santosh Mane, he was confirmed as a licensed driver and employee of the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC).
Deadly unrest spreads in tibetan areas of China
CAIRo: egyptian demonstrators in the upscale Cairo neighborhood of Mohandiseen march to the iconic Tahrir square on the first anniversary of the revolt that toppled the regime on Wednesday. aFp
Egypt marks one year since anti-Mubarak revolt CAIRO
Police in China shot dead more protesters in Tibetan-inhabited areas as unrest spread, official media and an advocacy group said Wednesday, amid signs of a physical and virtual lockdown on the region. China’s Sichuan province, which has big populations of ethnic Tibetans, many of whom complain of severe repression, has been rocked by violent clashes this week — some of the worst since huge protests against Chinese rule in 2008. The United States on Tuesday said it was “seriously concerned” by the situation, calling on Chinese security forces to “exercise restraint” and urging authorities to allow journalists and diplomats into flashpoint areas. There were indications on Wednesday that the authorities were restricting movement and communications in the region as unrest spread. Phone numbers that previously worked were suddenly unavailable and one local reached by AFP said his town had been closed off by authorities. The situation has prompted Lobsang Sangay, head of the India-based Tibetan government-inexile, to call on the international community “to not remain passive” and “to intervene to prevent further bloodshed”. The unrest comes at a time of increasing tensions in Tibetaninhabited areas, where at least 16 people have set themselves ablaze in less than a year — including four this month alone — over a lack of religious freedom. In the latest bout of violence, police opened fire on a protest in Seda county on Tuesday, killing two protesters and injuring scores of others, according to the exiled Tibetan government and advocacy group Free Tibet. The official Xinhua news agency, citing local authorities, said police had shot dead only one “rioter” and injured another, adding they had to use lethal force after a violent mob attacked them with knives, gasoline bottles and guns.
GYPTIANS poured into Tahrir Square on Wednesday to mark one year since the launch of the uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak, with activists vowing to revive their unfinished revolution and the ruling army labelling it a day of celebration. Tens of thousands of Islamists, liberals, leftists and ordinary citizens packed the square, the epicentre of protests that ousted Mubarak, waving flags and bearing banners reflecting the day’s varying messages. The powerful Muslim Brotherhood, which dominates the newly elected parliament, was there to celebrate one year since Egyptians — inspired by an uprising in Tunisia — took to the streets to topple the regime. But other groups, including prodemocracy movements behind the revolt, insisted they were at Tahrir to reignite their revolution and demand
the ouster of the military council that took over when Mubarak quit. Several marches set off for Tahrir from different parts of Cairo, with the chant of “Down with military rule!” ringing across the capital. Thousands also packed a waterfront square in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria, where the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), headed by Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, had planned a naval parade. In the canal city of Suez, around 5,000 protesters gathered in the main square chanting: “From Suez to Tahrir, down with the Field Marshal.” “This is a demonstration, not a celebration,” said Mustafa al-Masry, one of the leaders of a Suez-based revolutionary group. In Cairo, huge flags hovered over the protesters in Tahrir, where a military band attempted to entertain the crowds in the morning. But calls of “Down, down with military rule” drowned out the music, forcing the band to be shuttled away by bus.
“We will keep going to Tahrir to push for the goals of the revolution, no matter what,” said Hala Rashad, a 46year-old chef. “The military council has done nothing. They are behaving just like the old regime. We have not received our rights and the country is a mess,” she said. At the entrances to Tahrir, “popular committees” searched protesters after the interior ministry said there would be no police presence at the square. Several members of the Muslim Brotherhood’s youth told AFP they were in the square to demonstrate, not celebrate, despite an announcement by the group that it would not be pushing for “a second revolution.” The big question, reflected in the headline of the state-owned weekly AlAhram Hebdo, remains “Who will capture the soul of the revolution?” On Tuesday, Tantawi announced the partial lifting of a hated decades-old emergency law, in an apparent bid to placate protesters, but said the law would still apply to acts of “thuggery.”
EU takes on Internet giants over people’s personal data BRUSSELS AFP
The European Commission launched Wednesday a bid to make companies including Internet giants such as Google or Facebook give people more control of their personal data or be fined up to one million euros. The proposal championed by EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding would force all companies to get explicit consent from customers to collect their data, explain how it will be used, and allow users to totally erase their information. Failure to comply could cost a company a fine of up to one million euros ($1.30 million), or two percent of annual turnover. “Personal data is in today’s world the currency of the digital market, and like any currency it has to be stable and it has to be trustworthy,” Reding told a news conference after the EU executive endorsed her proposal. “Only if consumers trust that their data is well protected, will they continue to entrust businesses and authorities with it, buy online, accept new services,” she said. Citing a survey showing 72 percent of Europeans worry their data may be misused, Reding pressed her case to give people “the right to be forgotten” from the Internet by allowing them to make their data vanish from the web.
Arrests in BAhrAin As shiAs protest DUBAI AFP
Bahraini police dispersed anti-government protesters who blocked roads in several villages, an official statement said on Wednesday, as tensions in the Shiite-majority Gulf kingdom continue to rise. Public Security Chief Major General Tariq al-Hassan said “vandals blocked roads” and threw petrol bombs during Tuesday night clashes, according to a statement published on the official BNA news agency website. Hassan said security forces made “several arrests” in Shiite villages, but gave no further details on the exact location of the clashes or if there were any injuries. Former opposition MP Matar Matar told AFP that protesters clashed with security forces in at least four Shiite villages, leaving several people injured,
including one who remains in serious condition after being hit on the head with a tear gas canister. “One young man is in hospital and is in critical condition,” said Matar, who is also a member of the key Shiite opposition group Al-Wefaq, noting another two protesters have been killed in recent months from similar tear gas injuries. “This indicates the existence of a (government) policy to intentionally injure protesters rather than just merely disperse them,” said Matar. On December 31, AlWefaq said 15-year-old Sayyed Hashem Saeed died after being hit in the head by a tear gas canister. The government at the time released a statement saying they would investigate the teenager’s death. According to Matar, Tuesday night’s clashes erupted after posts on social networks, including Facebook and Twitter, called on Bahrainis to go out and “confront” the security forces.
emergency rule was legal, says Bahrain court duBAi: A Bahraini court ruled on Wednesday that King Hamad acted lawfully when he declared a quasi state of emergency in March ahead of a crackdown on Shiite-led democracy protests. The constitutional court “rejected the appeal into the constitutionality of the articles of the (state of) National Safety,” the official BNA news agency reported. National Safety is the first of two categories of exceptional measures that the king can resort to in times of emergency. The sec-
ond is a full state of Martial Law. An independent commission King Hamad tasked with probing the bloody clampdown on a month-long protest in midMarch had recommended that the constitutional court review the royal declaration of a three-month State of National Safety. The commission found 35 people were killed in the crackdown on protests, including five security personnel and five detainees who were tortured to death in custody.aFp
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Russia stays firm on Syria as regime pounds Hama DAMASCUS
USSIA said Wednesday it would consider “constructive proposals” to end bloodshed in Syria but was opposed to force or sanctions, as regime troops reportedly pounded the protest hub of Hama. “We are open to constructive proposals that go in line with the set task of ending violence,” Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in Moscow after meeting his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu. Lavrov said any UN Security Council resolution backed by Russia “must firmly record that it cannot be used or interpreted to justify any-
one’s outside military intervention in the Syria crisis.” His comments came after Russian and US officials held talks in Moscow on how to stop the violence in Syria, which the United Nations estimates has killed more than 5,400 people since it erupted in mid-March. Russia and China both blocked a previous Western attempt to have the Security Council formally condemn Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s crackdown on dissent and impose stiff sanctions if he refuses to enter direct talks. According to diplomats at the United Nations, European and Arab nations are in the process of hammering out a Security Council draft resolution condemning the crackdown. Syria’s Foreign Minister Walid Muallem on Tuesday warned against for-
eign “interference,” which he said Russia, a Cold War ally with a naval base at Tartus on the country’s Mediterranean coast, would never accept. Muallem said Damascus had no choice but to confront armed groups the government blames for the violence. He also delivered a stinging attack on the Arab League after its weekend call for Assad to hand over power to his deputy and clear the way for a unity government within two months. “Enough of the Arab solutions from now,” he said on Tuesday, accusing the Arabs of “plotting” to internationalise the crisis and taking decisions in the knowledge Damascus would reject them. “We do not want Arab solutions,” he said. Western governments have capitalised on the Arab League’s tough new
stance to launch another drive for UN Security Council action despite previous efforts being blocked by Beijing and Moscow. According to diplomats, European and Arab nations want a vote next week on a resolution condemning the Syrian crackdown and hinting at sanctions against Assad’s regime. Britain, France, Germany and Arab nations were working on the resolution that would call on all UN member states to follow Arab League sanctions, they said, adding there could be a vote as early as next Monday or Tuesday. A first draft of the new resolution, obtained by AFP, notes Arab League sanctions ordered against Syria and “encourages all states to adopt similar steps and fully to cooperate with
the League of Arab States in the implementation of its measures.” Moscow and Beijing vetoed a previous European attempt in October to get a resolution passed condemning Assad for the violence. Lavrov made it clear on Wednesday that any resolution hinting of sanctions would also be opposed by Moscow. “We will not be able to back proposals under which unilaterally imposed sanctions against Syria — sanctions that were declared without any consultations with Russia or China ... are blessed retroactively,” he said. Syria’s official SANA news agency said on Tuesday Muallem had written to Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi telling him Damascus agreed to extend the observer mission for one month, until February 23.
India says still buying Iran oil, despite new sanctions NEW DELHI AFP
India’s oil minister said Wednesday the energy-hungry nation was continuing to import oil from Iran and was not bound by new sanctions imposed by the European Union. The EU agreed earlier this week to an embargo on Iran’s vital oil exports as part of an intensifying US-led campaign aimed at forcing Tehran to abandon its nuclear programme. “We, as a member of the UN, are obliged to follow UN sanctions. Other sanctions imposed by big blocs of countries — we can have some freedom there,” Petroleum Minister S. Jaipal Reddy told reporters in New Delhi. “As of now, supplies (from Iran) are on,” Reddy said, adding that New Delhi was continuing to explore ways to pay Iran for its crude purchases. An Indian delegation visited Tehran last week, but Reddy would not divulge the outcome of their talks. Officials say India could pay partly in rupees that Iran could then use to buy Indian imports, but that would not cover the the entire oil purchase bill.
Pro-Kremlin television channel to air WikiLeaks talk show MOSCOW
ATHens: People grab free produce distributed by farmers on Wednesday. Farmers from the area of Thebes, northwest of Athens, handed out hundreds of kilos of produces to protest media reports that waste from local industries had rendered crops unfit for human consumption. aFp
A Russian state television channel said Wednesday that it would exclusively air a television chat show hosted by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. RT, formerly known as Russia Today, an English language channel funded by the Russian government, said in a statement that Assange “is launching his own talkshow, to be broadcast exclusively on RT.” Assange had announced the show on Tuesday on the WikiLeaks website saying that it had licensing commitments covering more than 600 million viewers across cable, satellite and terrestrial networks.
Iraq vows legal action after Haditha marine spared BAGHDAD AFP
The Baghdad government vowed Wednesday to take legal action after an American marine was spared jail by a US military court over the massacre of 24 unarmed civilians in the Iraqi town of Haditha in 2005. The verdict, widely panned in Iraq as being too light, closed a case that fuelled anger and highlighted why authorities demanded Americans be subject to local laws in failed talks to extend the US military presence in the country beyond 2011. Staff Sergeant Frank Wuterich, who led an eight-man squad whose other members have all been let off, was sentenced to 90 days confinement but will not serve the term, under a deal with prosecutors. “We think that the punishment is not suitable with the crime that was committed,” Ali Mussawi, spokesman for Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri alMaliki, told AFP.
palestinians insist talks with israel are ‘last’ RAMALLAH AFP
Talks in Amman between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators on Wednesday will be the “last” exploratory meeting between the two sides, a Palestinian official said. “The last exploratory meeting will be held in Amman between us and the Israeli side and there will be no extension of these meetings after today,” the official said on condition of anonymity ahead of the evening discussions. Negotiators from both sides have held four rounds of “exploratory” talks in Jordan since January 3, under the supervision of the international peace-making Quartet, in a bid to restart direct talks on hold since September 2010. The talks are part of a timeline that the Quartet — which consists of the United Nations, United States, European Union and Russia — proposed on October 26. The group called for both sides to submit proposals on territory and security within three months as part of a bid to restart direct talks with the goal of reaching a final agreement within a year. The Palestinians say they submitted their proposals before the January 26 deadline, but accuse Israel of
JeRUsALeM: Palestinian Fatah leader Marwan Barghuti flashes the V-sign of victory as he is escorted by Israeli police into Jerusalem’s Magistrate Court to testify as part of a Us civil lawsuit against the Palestinian leadership on Wednesday. Barghuti, who was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2002 for organising antiIsraeli attacks during the second Intifada in 2000, said in this rare court appearance that the Middle east conflict will end only when Israel withdraws to the pre-1967 lines and a Palestinian state is established. aFp failing to offer their own proposal and have warned they will not continue to hold talks after the deadline. They also want Israel to agree to halt settlement construction during talks and to use the lines that existed before the 1967 Six Day War as a basis for negotiations on borders. But Israel says it
wants talks without preconditions and it disagrees with the Palestinians on the deadline for the submission of proposals to the Quartet. It argues the three-month period began from January 3, when the exploratory talks kicked off, and not from October 26.
us forces free aid workers held in somalia MOGADISHU AFP
US special forces swooped into Somalia to rescue two hostages, including an American aid worker, in a pre-dawn raid Wednesday that President Barack Obama said he had personally authorized. US Navy SEALs aboard at least six military helicopters flew in low over central Somalia to surprise the kidnappers, killing several in a gunbattle, before carrying to safety the two unharmed hostages, held since October. “The United States will not tolerate the abduction of our people, and will spare no effort to secure the safety of our citizens and to bring their captors to justice,” Obama said in a statement issued by the White House. “This is yet another message to the world that the United States of America will stand strongly against any threats to our people.” The two hostages, American Jessica Buchanan and Poul Thisted, a Dane, who worked for the Danish Refugee Council Demining Group, were unharmed and flown to safety, their employer said. “At least six military helicopters attacked early this morning...there was a heavy shooting that left several of the pirates dead,” said Mohamed Nur, a local security official. “The reports we have is that the freed hostages were flown to Djibouti by their rescuers,” he added, referring to the main US military base in the region.
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‘too loud’ Sharapova rebuffs scream quiz Page 21
Misbah holds Pakistan together after early England strikes
ABU DHABI: Pakistan captain Misbah-ul Haq raises his bat to acknowledge the crowd after scoring a half-century while Asad Shafiq plays a shot during the first day of the second test match. aFp ABU DHABI
NGLAND'S pace-cum-spin attack delivered the goods to keep Pakistan down to 256-7 on the opening day of the second Test at Abu Dhabi Stadium here on Wednesday. Paceman Stuart Broad took 347 while spinner Graeme Swann (3-52) bowled well to keep England's hopes of squaring the three-Test series alive after they lost the first match in Dubai by 10 wickets inside three days. Skipper Misbah-ul Haq, unbeaten on 83 at the close with Saeed Ajmal on nought, held the Pakistan innings together during a fighting stand of 100 for the fifth wicket with Asad Shafiq (58). That partnership helped Pakistan revive their innings after Broad chipped in with two wickets in the post-lunch session but England got three more wickets in the last session, two off which were claimed by Swann. "I think we lost two wickets more then we would have liked, but Misbah is
sCoReBoARD PAKIsTAn 1st innings Mohammad Hafeez b Panesar 31 Taufiq Umar b swann 16 24 Azhar Ali b Broad Younis Khan b Broad 24 Misbah-ul Haq not out 83 Asad shafiq lbw b swann 58 9 Adnan Akmal lbw b Broad Abdul Rehman b swann 0 saeed Ajmal not out 0 11 eXTRAs: (b8, lb1, nb2) ToTAL: (for seven wkts) 256 Fall of wickets: 1-51 (Umar), 2-61 (Hafeez), 3-98 (Younis), 4103 (Ali), 5-203 (shafiq), 6-216 (Adnan), 7-243 (Rehman) BoWLInG: Anderson 18-5-45-0 (nb1), Broad 23-3-47-3 (nb1), Panesar 33-9-91-1, swann 18-2-52-3, Trott 2-0-12-0 overs: 94 Toss: Pakistan, Umpires: steve Davis (AUs) and Bruce oxenford (AUs), TV umpire: Billy Bowden (nZL), Match referee: Javagal srinath (InD).
still there and if we manage a total of around 300-350 then our bowlers have a good chance because the spin on the pitch has surprised everyone," said batsman Taufiq Umar. England, ranked world number one in Test cricket, could have
had a more fruitful day had they not dropped four regulation catches, but Broad and Swann made sure their fumbles did not prove too costly. James Anderson dropped Misbah on 30 off Monty Panesar, while Cook let off Shafiq off Swann on 53 before Andrew Strauss floored Adnan Akmal on nought in Anderson's first over with the second new ball. Misbah notched his 12th half-century in 14 Tests -- and 16th in all -- since being made Test captain in October 2010 and holds the key for Pakistan to post a challenging total on a pitch that was expected to help batsmen. The Pakistani skipper has so far hit five boundaries and four sixes -- all off Panesar -- during his fighting 168-ball knock. Swann dismissed Abdul Rehman leg before for nought in the penultimate over of the day. England were rewarded for picking two spinners in Swann and recalled left-armer Panesar after they introduced spin as early as in the 10th over. Openers Mohammad Hafeez and Umar, who put on 114 for the opening wicket in
the first Test, negotiated the first hour without any discomfort before Swann gave England the breakthrough. Umar misjudged a delivery and lost his off stump after seemingly playing no stroke on 16. Panesar, brought in to replace paceman Chris Tremlett -- flying home after a recurrence of a back injury -- dropped Hafeez off his own bowling but had the Pakistani opener bowled off the very next ball. Hafeez made 31 with four boundaries. Broad then chipped in with the wickets of Younis and Ali, both bowled on incoming deliveries to leave Pakistan struggling at 103-4. Misbah hit Panesar for two towering sixes to help ease the pressure. Shafiq, who also hit Panesar for a six, hit seven boundaries during his 126-ball knock. The inclusion of Panesar, playing his first Test since the July 2009 Ashes Test in Cardiff, is the first time England have played with two spinners since the Dhaka Test against Bangladesh in early 2010. Pakistan brought in left-arm paceman Junaid Khan for Aizaz Cheema.
Afridi wants to be remembered as legend after he quits KARACHI AFP
Dashing all-rounder Shahid Afridi said Wednesday he will skip most of the lucrative Bangladesh league in order to play Pakistan's limited overs series against England. The 31-year-old hard hitting batsman and skilled leg-spinner was signed for $70,000 -- the highest salary offered to any international player in next month's league -- but the fixtures coincide with Pakistan's matches. "The Bangladesh league clashes with our one-day and T20 series against England and for me national duty has always remained the top priority because Pakistan has given me a lot," Afridi told reporters. Afridi is known for his world record fastest one-day hundred, which he made off 37 balls against Sri Lanka in Nairobi in 1997. "I want to play for Pakistan because my team needs me and we want to keep the winning sequence intact," he said. Pakistan remain unbeaten in one-day series since losing 3-2 to South Africa in November 2010. Afridi retired in anger at being dumped as one-day captain last May, but came out of retirement in October. "I have not as yet made up my mind when to call it quits. But certainly one thing I have decided is that I want to retire when I am performing well so that people remember me positively," he said. "I think I still have a lot to offer to Pakistan cricket. I will retire when I feel I am at the peak of the career and have also contributed to Pakistan cricket as other legends of Pakistan cricket have done. "I want to be remembered like Imran Khan, Javed Miandad or Wasim Akram are remembered today. And my ambition remains to reach a consistent scale of performance as these legends did in their careers." Pakistan will announce the limited overs squad for the England series next month.
ClarKe, PontIng InFlICt double trouble
India’s poor show continues in Australia ADELAIDE AFP
Double centuries by Michael Clarke and Ricky Ponting and another shaky start by India's stuttering batsman left the visitors under pressure in the fourth Test in Adelaide on Wednesday. Skipper Clarke declared for the second time in the one-sided series -- this time at 604 for seven -- before his bowlers claimed two early wickets to put Australia well on top at the end the second day. India were 61 for two at stumps in reply with Sachin Tendulkar, chasing his elusive 100th international century, unbeaten on 12 and Gautam Gambhir 30 not out. Clarke hit 210 and Ponting 221 in an Australian innings that had the beleaguered Indians toiling in the field under a hot sun for 10 and a half hours. They then grabbed
the key wickets of under-fire opener Virender Sehwag and Rahul Dravid in the 21 overs to stumps to have the tourists reeling with three days left and a mountain to climb to avoid a 4-0 series defeat. "It was probably more about the runs, to be honest, trying to get to 600," Clarke said on the timing of his declaration. "We still had plenty of time left in the day as we scored quite quickly in our innings and to take those two key wickets is a really good start for us but there's a lot of work still to be done." Sehwag, captaining India in place of the suspended M.S. Dhoni, again fell cheaply, out to the first ball of Peter Siddle's opening over for 18. He played a leading edge to a low full toss and leaping Siddle plucked the ball with his outstretched right hand. The normally prolific batsman, who averages over 50 in
Tests, has scored just 136 runs at 19.42 in the Australia series. Dravid, Test cricket's second all-time leading run-getter, was bowled for the sixth time in the series, this time off Ben Hilfenhaus. "In 2003 here Australia scored 550-odd runs and we won the game from there," India paceman Ishant Sharma said. "I think there is a positive you can take out of that, everyone is positive and looking forward to a good next three days." Earlier Clarke called a halt to Australia's run onslaught midway through the final session after Ryan Harris clouted Umesh Yadav for six. Clarke and Ponting shared in Australia's fourth-highest ever partnership of 386. The top three stands all featured the great Don Bradman. "The wicket is very flat to bat on and both Ricky and I spoke early in our innings, once we'd got in, and today was about scoring a big one," Clarke said.
sCoReBoARD AUsTRALIA 1st innings (335 for 3 overnight) e. Cowan c Laxman b Ashwin 30 D. Warner lbw b Khan 8 s. Marsh b Ashwin 3 R. Ponting c Tendulkar b Khan 221 M. Clarke b Yadav 210 M. Hussey run out (Gambhir) 25 B. Haddin not out 42 P. siddle c saha b Ashwin 2 R. Harris not out 35 eXTRAs (b3, lb17, w8) 28 ToTAL (7 wickets declared for; 157 overs) 604 Fall of wickets: 1-26, 2-31, 3-84, 4-470, 5-520, 6-530, 7-533 BoWLInG: Khan 31-4-96-2 (3w), Yadav 26-1-136-1 (5w), Ashwin 53-6-194-3, sharma 30-6-100-0, sehwag 16-0-55-0, Kohli 1-0-3-0 InDIA 1st innings G. Gambhir not out 30 V. sehwag c and b siddle 18 R. Dravid b Hilfenhaus 1 s. Tendulkar not out 12 eXTRAs 0 ToTAL (2 wickets for; 21 overs) 61 Fall of wickets: 1-26, 2-31 BoWLInG: Harris 6-2-18-0, Hilfenhaus 6-1-21-1, siddle 3-0-13-1, Lyon 5-2-9-0, Clarke 1-1-0-0 Toss: Australia, Umpires: Aleem Dar (PAK), Kumar Dharmasena (sRI), Video umpire: simon Fry (AUs).
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Clarke joins Bradman, hammond with big scores ADELAIDE AFP
Michael Clarke joined Don Bradman and Wally Hammond as the only players to hit double and triple centuries in the same series on Wednesday as Australia made India suffer in the fourth Test. The Australian captain followed up the unbeaten 329 he made in the second Test in Sydney with 210 at the Adelaide Oval as the hosts declared on 604 for seven on the second day against the despairing Indians. There was more misery for the tourists before the close as Australia snared key batsmen Virender Sehwag (18) and Rahul Dravid (1) to leave them in trouble at 61 for two with three days to play. Clarke and Ricky Ponting
Injured tremlett to return home ABU DHABI AFP
England paceman Chris Tremlett will return home after a troublesome back problem recurred in the lead-up to the second Test against Pakistan which started on Wednesday. The 30-year-old paceman failed to take a wicket in England's ten wicket defeat in the first Test in Dubai last week before a back injury returned, leaving him unable to bowl in practice sessions. Tremlett, who has taken 49 wickets in 11 Tests, missed five months of international cricket after injuring his back last summer. The fast bowler, who stands at six feet and eight inches, becomes the second casualty for England after paceman Tim Bresnan was forced to return home three days into the tour, failing to recover from elbow surgery undertaken last year. "Tremlett has been ruled out of the series after a recurrence of a back injury and a replacement will be announced in due course," the England and Wales Cricket Board said. Left-arm spinner Monty Panesar replaced Tremlett in England's squad for the second Test. England trail Pakistan 1-0 after losing the first Test in Dubai by ten wickets. The threeTest series will be followed by four oneday and three Twenty20 internationals.
(221) put on 386 for the fourth wicket, the fourth highest Test partnership of all time for Australia -- with all three bigger stands featuring the great Bradman. But the skipper played down his achievement in matching Bradman and Englishman Hammond, both regarded as among the finest batsmen ever to play the game. "I didn't know that, but it's very nice. It's very special, no doubt about it. One thing I've never been very keen on is statistics and records," Clarke said. "It's about helping your team win and, if things like that come along, it's very special." Clarke said he and Ponting were keen to cash in
on the chance to post big innings during their partnership, which lasted more than six hours. "When you are doing well, you need to make big scores because the other side of that is going to come around again and you're going to have some failures," he said. "It's a tough game, it's the toughest game in the world, in my opinion. The captain said he and Ponting had been disappointed with their contributions in last year's Ashes series, which Australia lost, and were keen to occupy the crease against India for as long as possible. "It's always nice to see both of us scoring runs and to bat together, we've known each other for a long time,
Pak’s Gulf ambassador wants India cricket ties ABU DHABI
AKISTAN'S ambassador in the United Arab Emirates on Wednesday said he was using his contacts to convince India to resume bilateral ties with his country and hopes for a breakthrough next year. India froze all bilateral ties with Pakistan in the wake of terrorist attacks on their commercial hub Mumbai in November 2008, which New Delhi blamed on militants based in Pakistan. But despite a recent thaw, with Pakistan declaring India "the most favoured nation" and both prime ministers vowing to improve ties during their meeting at the SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) conference late last year, the
ties remain suspended. India refused to send its team to Pakistan for a scheduled tour a month after the Mumbai attacks. The chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Zaka Ashraf, had also vowed to revive ties but has not received a positive reply from the Board of Control for Cricket in India. Despite tempered optimism, Pakistan's ambassador in the UAE, Jamil Ahmed Khan, said he was using his position to raise support for a series between the countries here. "I am in regular contact with the Indian ambassador (Kapanaiah Lokesh) here and he has also talked to his government in New Delhi to convince them to play here in the Gulf," Khan told reporters. A PCB official on Monday said in Lahore that there was no possibility of a resumption of ties this year.
India beat Pakistan in a high-profile World Cup semi-final in Mohali in March last year and are due to face each other in the Asia Cup in Bangladesh in March this year. Khan said a PakistanIndia series is the most sought-after by fans around the world. "If Pakistan and India play here it would be a big thing for not only people living here but also for the people around the world. I think 2013 could be the breakthrough because everyone is trying for it," said Khan, who had also worked for United Nations. Khan said interest in cricket was also developing among UAE locals. "The locals here are also taking more interest in cricket since Pakistan is playing here and the image of the game as well as that of the Pakistan cricket team is also improving in the Gulf," said Khan.
Amar cables beat textile tigers LAHORE
Amar Cables beat Textile Tigers by 22 runs in the 14th National Senior Cricket Cup here at the Ali Garh Cricket Ground on Wednesday. Amar Cables batting first got 203 for 9 after 30 overs. Dastgeer Butt 52, Ameer Akbar 51, Muhammad Arif 33, Aziz-ur-Rehman 28 and Amer Ilyas Butt 19 runs. Rehan Rouf 3 for 53, Asif Qureshi 2 for 14, Romail Bashir 1 for 28 & Azhar Ali 1 for 29 wickets. In reply, Textile Tigers 181 all out. Muhammad Riaz 33, Romail Bashir 39, Rizwan Nisar 27, Khalid Habib 27 & Maqsood Ahmad 24 runs. Rouf Wain 3 for 22, Tariq Rasheed 3 for 27, Dastgeer Butt 1 for 30 & Shafqat Butt 1 for 24 wickets. Rasheed Bhatti, Muhammad Kaleem Umpire, Zahoor Alam was the scorer. Later chief guest Test Cricketer Ashraf Ali gave the man of the match award to Rouf Wain. Amer Ilyas Butt and Rizwan Nisar were also present on the ocasion.
national hockey event from tomorrow kArACHi: The 59th National Hockey Championship will begin here at Hockey Club of Pakistan from Thursday. The teams competing are defending champions Wapda, SSGC, Port Qasim Authority, NBP, HBL, PAF, Navy, Army, PIA and PHF Academy. The championship will conclude on Feb 11. The event will be played on league basis. Apart from players in the national camp and in the national team, no other player over 30 years of age will be allowed to participate. However, the federation has made one excep-
played a lot of cricket together and it's nice to spend some time in the middle," he said. "I guess both of us were disappointed with our series last summer but we've worked hard on our games to improve and it's nice to score some runs this summer. "We know each other's games quite well and we can both communicate what we're seeing out there." Umesh Yadav bowled Clarke with the third ball after lunch to end his 380minute, 275-ball vigil, in which he hit 26 fours and one six. So far in this series Clarke has amassed 589 runs at an average of 147.25 with Ponting following up his 134 in Sydney to have 484 runs at 96.80. Ponting fell short of his highest score of 242 at Adelaide when he was caught in the deep by Sachin Tendulkar off Zaheer Khan.
tion for seasoned player Rehan Butt, who is neither a part of national camp or national squad, but will participate in the event. “The national team management wants us to allow Rehan Butt to participate in the event,” Rana Mujahid, associate secretary PHF told reporters at HCP. He said that the selectors wanted to judge his form and fitness ahead of the Olympics. Rana also said that Pakistan’s national coach Michel Van Den Heuvel would also be here for the championship and also for the national camp. AGenCIes
LAHoRe: Mithu Pahlwan, Wapda coach ch Iqbal, Mian Zulfiqar and others during the Sher-e-gulshan Ravi Dangal. staFF photo
PUtD win Inter collegiate Hockey title LAHORE sTAFF RePoRT
Punjab University Teaching Department (PUTD) team has clinched the Inter Collegiate Hockey Tournament title played under the aegis of Punjab University here at New Campus hockey ground. In the final match, Punjab University Teaching Department thrashed Haile College of Banking and Finance by six goals to zero. Arbab Rafiq played superb hockey and scored two goals while Aaqib Rasool, Irfan, Mazhar and Saleem added one goal each in PUTD win. The teams of 12 colleges participated in the event. At the end, chief guests Director Sports Punjab University Dr Zafar Rasheed and additional Director Sports Atiya Mumtaz distributed prizes among the winners.
Eight matches decided in LccA League LAHORE sTAFF RePoRT
In all eight matches of the East Zone clubs were decided in the LCCA Super Cricket League at the various grounds of the city on Wednesday. In the 1st match at LCCA ground Mughalpura Whites beat Servis club. At Cricket Center, Rising star beat Khan gym. At New Iteefaq ground Alhamra club outplayed Shaheen club, at Township ground New Union club defeated Servis Colts, at Albilal Ground Township Imperial club beat Dharampura sports, at Wahdat Colony ground Golden stars beat Faran sports, at Iteefaq Hospital ground Fayaaz Memorial club down Young Ghari Shaho gym while at Imtiaz Acadmey ground Shafqat Rana club beat Dharampura CLub.
Ludhiyana gym in League stage LAHORE sTAFF RePoRT
LAHoRe: chief guest test cricketer Ashraf Ali gives the man of the match award to Rouf Wain as Amer Ilyas Butt and Rizwan nisar look on.
Ludhiyana Gym moved into the league stage of 15th Tauseef Trophy cricket Championship when they beat strong P&T Gym by 6 wickets played at Model Town ground on Tuesday. SCoreS: P&T Gym 129 for 7 in 20 overs. Abdul Razaq 22, Hasan Talat 27, Khaqan Arsal 18, Asim 15, Rustam 14, Rohail 17. Imran Ali 3 for 20, Ali Aslam 2 for 18, Nazeer 2 for 20. Ludhiyana Gym 130 for 4. Umer Siddiq 57, Adnan Butt 16, Rizwan 25, Nike Mohammad 14. Asim 2 for 30, Rohail 1 for 25, Wajid 1 for 30.
SL sacks coach Marsh, brings in Ford COLOMBO AFP
Sri Lanka Cricket on Wednesday sacked its Australian coach Geoff Marsh and replaced him with South African Graham Ford as part of a major shake-up following the national team's poor run. Marsh's sacking came after Tillakaratne Dilshan quit his captaincy on Monday and former skipper Mahela Jayawardene was brought in to lead the team for the upcoming triangular one-day series with India. "The executive committee of Sri Lanka Cricket takes this opportunity to wish... the newly appointed coach Graham Ford the best of luck during their tenure with the national team," the statement said. "They also convey their gratitude to Geoff Marsh the outgoing national coach," the statement said. There was no immediate comment from Marsh or Ford. Ford, 51, is the fourth coach since Australian Trevor Bayliss stepped aside after the World Cup final in April 2011. Bayliss's assistant Stuart Law took over for the England series and
quit to coach Bangladesh. Sri Lankan pace bowler Rumesh Ratnayake took over for the home se-
ries against Australia and was replaced by Marsh. There was no immediate comment from Marsh, who had a twoyear contract with Sri Lanka Cricket. Sri Lanka's sports minister last week named a four-member selection panel and gave them one year to put the team in order after the side lost Test and one-day series to England, Australia, Pakistan and South Africa. A former all-rounder, Ford quit as head coach of the Dolphins, the Durban-based franchise last week, and said he wanted to "follow my dreams of involvement at an international level". Ford replaced Bob Woolmer in 1999 as South African coach, a post he held till 2001. He shifted to Kent as director of cricket in 2004, and returned home in 2006 to take charge of the Dolphins. In June 2007, he famously turned down an offer to coach India, after being chosen to replace Australian Greg Chappell. In 2009, he withdrew his name as candidate to coach England. Sri Lanka's team manager Anura Tennakoon was also replaced on Wednesday with former player Charith Senanayake.
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PFF ‘D’ certificate couching course for Regions concludes ISLAMABAD sPoRTs RePoRT
The Pakistan Football Federation in line with its emphasis on PFF Vision Plan 2020 and Youth Development Program has hosted the PFF “D” Certificate Football Coaching Course for Region-2011 at Jinnah Stadium, Pakistan Sports Board in Islamabad on Tuesday. The 6-day coaching course was conducted by Shehzad Anwar as Instructor. Sajjad Mahmood acted as Assistant Instructor, Salah-ud-Din Awan, Referee Instructor and Course Coordinator Muhammad Zaman Khan. Dr. Fazal-ur-Rehman, President Islamabad Football Association (IFA) was the chief guest for the closing ceremony. He said that the PFF was committed to providing coaches with the up-to-date theoretical, physical and practical knowledge for coaches from all regions i.e. Islamabad, Gilgit Baltistan, Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK) and Federally Administrated Tribal Areas (FATA) can ensure that players develop their skill to full potential. The course will change the fortune of many participants and this will be a great opportunity for all of the Pakistani coaches to come on board and take advantage of Shahzad Anwar’s coaching philosophy and experience. Later chief guest Dr Fazal-ur-Rehman presented certificates to Matti-ur-Rehman (Huma FC), Ali Agha (Islamabad Academy FC), Vaqas Ahmed (Islamabad Academy FC), Shafqat Ali Khan (Gilgit Baltistan FC), Muhammad Arslan Qureshi (Ghauri FC), Qaiser Ali (Quaid-e- Azam FC), Ghulam Fareed (Al-Qaim FC), Shafqat Munir Ahmed (Alfaisal FC), Misbah Ali (Baltistan FC), Mujahid Ghouri (Evergreen FC), M. Arslan Bin Zahoor (Islamabad FC), Shifat Ullah (Kiran FC), Naveed-ul-Hassan (Mehran FC), Nasir Ali (Youth Power FC), M. Abdullah Abbasi (Poona FC), Mumtaz Hussain (Millat FC), Shah Khalid (Mehran FC), Asjid Raza Mir (Falcon FC), Ashraf Alam (Gilgit Baltistan FA), Muhammad Ashraf Iqbal (Gilgit Baltistan FA), Ejaz Khan (AJK FA), Zeeshan Bashir (AJK FA), Sarfraz Haider (AJK FA), Muhammad Awais (AJK FA), Niaz Muhammad (FATA) and Wajid Ali (FATA).
ZtBL to sponsor women cricket trophy
Cardiff stun palace to reach league Cup final CARDIFF AFP
Cardiff battled through to the League Cup final on Tuesday, overcoming a first leg deficit to defeat Championship rivals Crystal Palace on penalties. Palace, who had captain Patrick McCarthy sent off late in the game, had withstood wave after wave of Cardiff pressure to take the match to a penalty shoot-out after the tie finished 1-1 on aggregate. But the Eagles' nerves failed them in the shoot-out, with Jermaine Easter, Sean
Scannell and Jonathan Parr all missing from the spot as Cardiff booked a place in the final against either Liverpool or Manchester City. Cardiff clinched victory when Parr's penalty flew high and wide to spark wild celebrations amongst the Bluebirds fans. The game had gone to spot-kicks after Anthony Gardner -- the goal hero for Palace in the first leg -- scored an own goal after only seven minutes to give Cardiff the initiative in a frenetic opening spell. Gardner could only watch in horror after he got on the end of a Craig Conway cross to head past stranded keeper Julian
Speroni into his own net. Cardiff dominated for much of the match, carving out a string of opportunities to take the lead but unable to find the killer touch in front of goal as Palace clung on. Full-back Andrew Taylor bludgeoned a volley over the bar and veteran Scottish striker Kenny Miller should have done better when gifted an opportunity after a poor headed clearance by Parr fell to Aron Gunnarsson. Gunnarsson sprang the offside trap to put Miller in but the Scotland striker's effort trickled just wide. Miller also had the home crowd out of their seats near half-
time when his volley crashed off the woodwork. A similar pattern unfolded in the second half but again Cardiff's finishing let them down. Palace were reduced to 10 men 13 minutes from time, McCarthy receiving his marching orders from referee Howard Webb after picking up his second yellow card of the night for flattening Miller. Cardiff were unable to make the extra man count however, and the game duly went to extra-time. The Bluebirds were on top throughout the additional 30 minutes, with Filip Kiss and Gunnarsson hitting the woodwork before the penalty drama.
LAHORE sTAFF RePoRT
The Pakistan Cricket Board and Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited have on Wednesday signed a long term deal for the holding of the Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Women Cricket Challenge Trophy on an annual basis. Subhan Ahmad, COO PCB and Anjum Saeed Akhtar, MD & COO Kissan Support ZTBL signed the Memorandum of Understanding to make the T20 Women Trophy T-20 a regular feature. ZTBL also sponsored the inaugural Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Challenge T20 Trophy which was also won by the bank’s own team and after the success of the first edition of the tournament the bank wants to continue its support of the women cricket.
Federer-nadal rivalry plays out in unfamiliar territory
LAHoRe: Subhan Ahmad, coo PcB and Anjum Saeed Akhtar, MD and coo Kissan Support ZtBL sign a Memorandum of Understanding to hold Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Women cricket challenge t-20 trophy annually. staFF photo
Misbah’s 13th knock as skipper stats corner
S. PERVEz QAISER
ISBAH-UL-HAQ scored the 13th half century as Pakistan skipper by making an unbeaten 83 off 168 balls with five fours and four sixes on the first day of the second Test match at Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi on Wednesday (January 25). It was his second fifty plus score in as many innings against England and 19th overall in 55 innings of 33 Test matches. Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar had renewed their spin-bowling double act for England for the first time in two-and-a-half years and both had a wicket to their name by lunch. Swann bowled Taufeeq Umar in his fourth over while Monty Panesar dismissed Mohammad Hafeez in the same fashion in his seventh. The last time England have two spinners was against Australia at
CenTURY sTAnDs FoR THe FIFTH WICKeT FoR PAKIsTAn AGAInsT enGLAnD RUns BATsMen VenUe seAson 197 Javed Burki/nasim-ul-ghani Lord’s 1962 191 Imran Khan/Javed Miandad the oval 1987 173 Inzamam-ul-Haq/Mohammad Yousuf Lord’s 2006 153 Asif Iqbal/Mushtaq Mohammad Hyderabad 1972-73 145 Inzamam-ul-Haq/Shahid Afridi Faisalabad 2004-05 141 Inzamam-ul-Haq/Younis Khan Manchester 2001 123 Saleem Malik/Wasim Raja Faisalabad 1983-84 100 Asad Shafiq/Misbah-ul-Haq Abu Dhabi 2011-12 Cardiff in 2009. Swann also became the fifth highest wickettaker for England against Pakistan by bowling out Abdur Rehman in the last over of the day. It was his 29th wicket in eight innings of six Test matches against Pakistan. The 100-run stand between Misbah-ul-Haq and Asad Shafiq was eighth century stand for the fifth wicket for Pakistan against England. It was only the second century stand for Pakistan against England on neutral venue after 114-run partnership for the opening wicket between Hafeez and Taufeeq in the first Test match at Dubai.
One of the great rivalries of modern tennis will be played out in the unfamiliar surroundings of the semi-finals at the Australian Open on Thursday. Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal, who have won 26 grand slam titles between them, are used to meeting in the finals of the four majors where Nadal holds a 6-2 record over his Swiss rival. Their only grand slam semifinal showdown was at the 2005 French Open which Nadal won. "We have been on opposite sides of the draw many times," Federer said. "I didn't even play (Andy) Murray last year because we were ranked I guess three and four, so we always ran into Novak (Djokovic) or I basically always ran into Novak. "I guess it's a nice changeup... but I think it's good for tennis that it changes up a bit." The pair last met at the Australian Open in 2009 when Nadal won an epic five-set battle
that reduced Federer to tears on Rod Laver Arena and the Spaniard said the match would be special no matter what ranking each man held in the world. "We talk about a player who won 16 grand slams and I have won 10 and we played a lot of matches between each other, all (were) very important for our careers," Nadal said. "Every match is different, and I know I will be on court playing against probably the best (player) of history. "So obviously my only chance to win is play aggressive, play very well, and to play to a limit. That's what I gonna try." Both of the women's semi-finals will also be played on Thursday with fourth seed Maria Sharapova looking to avenge her Wimbledon final defeat to second seed Petra Kvitova. The Russian was full of praise for her young Czech opponent. "It will certainly be tough. I've lost to her the last couple of times, obviously the big one in Wimbledon where she played really well," Sharapova said.
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CArDiFF: Cardiff City's Aron Gunnarsson (3rd L) heads the ball against the crossbar during the League Cup semi final football match between Cardiff City and Crystal palace at the Cardiff City stadium. aFp
Grimacing Djokovic into Open semis
wATch IT LIve TEN SPORTS Pakistan V England Test 2nd Day 11:00AM
STAR SPORTS Australia V India Test 3rd Day 05:30AM
Breakthrough nishikori ‘still years off peak’ MELBOURNE AFP
t auStralIan oPen 2012 dIary
Pakistan’s challenge ends as ragged Aisam packs up FROM ALI AKBAR IN MELBOURNE
AKISTAN'S challenge in the Australian Open ended this Wednesday evening when Aisam Qureshi and his partner Andrea Hlavackova were beaten 6-1, 7-5 in the quarter finals of the mixed doubles event. It was a ragged performance, considering the occasion and the opportunity to take advantage of a draw that had opened up for them with the elimination of the top seeds in their quarterfinal. Aisam began proceedings and immediately dropped his serve due to some unforced errors and some inspired play by Vinci. Hlavackova was broken in the third game on the deciding point and again in the seventh game to give the set to the Italians by 6-1. Aisam and Hlavackova broke in the first game of the second set, but when serving at 4-3, Hlavackova was again broken to tie the set at 4-4. Aisam will seldom have
missed the backhand volley that he netted at 5-6 deciding point, to give the match to the Italians. It was a sitter right on his racquet on top of the net. That would have given them the game and taken the set into a tie breaker. So, yet another chance has gone abegging for Aisam to win a major title. The top four players duly made their way into the semi finals of the men's singles. Asia'top player Kei Nishikori ran into a player who plays similar to him, only is bigger and stronger. Apart from a few flashes of brilliance from him, it was smooth sailing for Andy Murray and his date with Novak Djokovic in the semis. Djokovic was far too good for th hard working but overmatched David Ferrer of Spain.Djokovic, Nadal, Federer and Murray are consistently better than the rest of the top twenty and only rarely lose to the others. Dell Potro, Berdych and Tsonga are tthe ones who look to have the game, but Del Potro was taken apart by Federer at his best and Berdych came up just short after having a point for a two sets to love lead against Nadal. Federer is in rare form and would be fancying his chances against nemesis Nadal while Djokovic should be too good for Murray. Murray has an attitude problem and his shoulders drop every time he loses a point. New coach Ivan Lendl will have to work overtime to correct that.
OP seed Novak Djokovic survived a brief injury scare before setting up an Australian Open semi-final with British rival Andy Murray on Wednesday. The Serbian defending champion grimaced and clutched the back of his thigh during the second set against David Ferrer, and repeatedly looked tentative and uncomfortable on court. But he shrugged off the problem to win the set on a tiebreak, and he raced through the third to see off the tenacious Spaniard 6-4, 7-6 (7/4), 6-1 in 2hr 44 min. Djokovic, who withdrew from his 2009 Australian Open quarter-final blaming cramps and heat, and also retired in the 2007 Wimbledon semis, explained that he was simply tired after the 58-minute first set. "I had to hang in there, especially with a player like Ferrer," he said. "I wasn't feeling very fresh after playing a long first set.... Already after a couple of games I was feeling it was going to be a long match." The victory means Djokovic, seeking his third straight major title, now goes into a rematch of last year's title match against Murray, whom he destroyed to take his second Australian Open crown. Djokovic put together one of the best seasons in history last year when he won 10 of 11 finals, including the Australian Open, Wimbledon and US Open, and went unbeaten for 41 matches. But the world number one
faltered at the end of 2011 with injury, and he has shown occasional vulnerability in Melbourne. In the fourth round, he was briefly troubled by veteran Lleyton Hewitt, who claimed the third set. Earlier Murray moved smoothly into the last four with an entertaining win over Japan's Kei Nishikori, as Petra Kvitova and Maria Sharapova also reached the semis. Despite sometimes being caught flat-footed by the flamboyant Nishikori, Murray ended the 22-year-old's historic run 6-3, 6-3, 6-1 in just 2hr 12min. Murray is now into his fifth consecutive grand slam semi-final as he seeks the first major win by a British man in 76 years, and is on course for his third straight Melbourne title match. After heavy defeats by Roger Federer and Djokovic in the past two finals, Murray has progressed almost unnoticed, but Ivan Lendl's new charge is unbeaten this year and has dropped just one set in reaching the last four. Importantly Murray, whose previous opponent retired hurt, has been barely detained on court so far, leaving him physically fresh for the semi-finals. "I'm going to have to play a lot of long points and a lot of tough points against either Ferrer or Novak, so it's good that I'm fresh," Murray said. Four-time winner Federer and Rafael Nadal will be in action in the other semi-final on Thursday, in a rematch of the epic 2009 final which the Spaniard won in five sets.
Japan's Kei Nishikori Wednesday said he's still years away from his peak after a breakthrough Australian Open that will push him into the top 20 for the first time. The impressive Nishikori became the first Japanese man in the open era to reach the Melbourne quarter-finals thanks to his shock win over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, but Britain's Andy Murray proved a step too far. Speaking after his 6-3, 6-3, 6-1 defeat to the fourth seed on Rod Laver Arena, Nishikori, seeded 24th in Melbourne, said he was delighted with his tournament. And Nishikori, the highest-placed Japanese man in rankings history, is projected to be ranked 20th when the next list is released on January 30. "That's exciting news for me because my first goal was to get top 20... it was a fantastic week for me. Now I'll try to get to the top 15," he said. The 22year-old, currently ranked 26th, said while he was getting stronger he was still a few years away from his maximum strength.
clijsters withdraws from Fed cup BruSSelS: Australian Open semi-finalist Kim Clijsters will not compete in Belgium's Fed Cup first-round match with Serbia in Charleroi on February 4-5, team captain Ann Devries announced on Wednesday. "Kim confirmed it to me yesterday," said Devries. "She explains the decision, which we understand, by the two difficult weeks she's had in Melbourne, as well as her ankle injury." In Clijsters' absence, the Belgian team will be led by world number 26 Yanina Wickmayer and will also feature Kirsten Flipkens (world number 193), Tamaryn Hendler (211) and Alison Van Uytvanck (286). AFP
MeLBoURne: Sania Mirza of India (R) speaks with compatriot Mahesh Bhupathi during their mixed doubles match against Liezel Huber of the US and colin Fleming of Britain on the tenth day of the Australian open. aFp
‘Too loud’ Sharapova rebuffs scream quiz MELBOURNE AFP
MeLBoURne: Maria Sharapova celebrates winning a point against Ekaterina Makarova in their women's singles quarter-final. aFp
Notoriously noisy Maria Sharapova slapped down questions over her loud shrieking Wednesday after she was singled out for criticism during a push for quieter women's tennis at the Australian Open. As Swiss great Martina Hingis weighed into the controversy, Sharapova, described by rival player Agnieszka Radwanska as "just too loud", told a questioner that that "no one important enough" had told her to be quiet. "You've obviously asked me this question before," Sharapova said. "I've heard it a few times over my career. You've watched me grow up, you've watched me play tennis. "I've been the same over the course of my career.
No one important enough has told me to change or do something different. "I've answered it many times before, I'm sure I'll answer it many more times ahead. I'm OK with that." The Russian was speaking after the perennial issue of high-decibel grunting and shrieking returned to the fore at the Australian Open, prompting action from the Women's Tennis Association (WTA). The body, admitting that "some fans find it bothersome", said it was looking at ways to stop young players developing the habit. "Everyone who watches tennis knows grunting is a part of the game, and we are aware that some fans find it bothersome," the WTA said. "We are currently in the process of exploring how to reduce excessive grunting, especially for younger players just starting out, without adversely affecting
players who have developed their game under the current training, rules and procedures." Retired Hingis, who is playing the seniors event in Melbourne, said grunting was more noticeable by fans than players, but she admitted that some women's noisy habits baffled her. "It's just sometimes when they were stretching a little bit more, you're like: 'What are you doing?' The more they had to stretch the louder it got," she said. "Or sometimes it's like a heavy grunt and it's on the service line and the ball doesn't have any weight on it. But I think it's more of an issue with the spectators." Debate has reached a crescendo after high-decibel Belarusian Victoria Azarenka's distinctive squeal was mimicked by large sections of the Melbourne crowd during her win over Casey Dellacqua.
MeLBoURne: Ekaterina Makarova gestures during her loss to Maria Sharapova in the quarter-final. aFp
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thursday, 26 January, 2012
India, Pakistan report progress on TAPI gasline g
india considering proposal to export petroleum products to pakistan NEW DELHI
NDIA and Pakistan said on Wednesday they were closer to an agreement on a pipeline to import gas from Turkmenistan that would signal a further warming of economic ties between the traditional ri-
vals. Turkmenistan has the world’s fourthlargest gas reserves and energy-hungry India and Pakistan are both eager to tap this source through the pipeline that would run through the Central Asian nation’s eastern neighbour, Afghanistan. “There has been considerable progress in our talks,” said Indian Oil Minister S Jaipal Reddy after a meeting in New Delhi with his Pakistani counterpart, Dr Asim Hussain, on energy cooperation. The 1,700-kilometre TurkmenistanAfghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline, aims to transport over 30 billion cubic metres of gas annually from the Dauletabad gas fields in southeast Turkmenistan. “The issue of transit fees is being
discussed with Afghanistan. A joint strategy is being evolved between India and Pakistan,” Hussain said. “Whatever deal we reach will apply to both countries,” Reddy added. Reddy said Pakistan would also consider a proposal to import Indian petroleum products and cited the savings in freight costs for Pakistan as several Indian refineries were located near the border. The Asian Development Bank estimated the cost of the TAPI pipeline in 2008 when the four countries signed a framework agreement at $7.6 billion. Reddy said conflict-racked Afghanistan, which also desperately requires gas, was “very keen on the project”
and had pledged security for the pipeline. But energy experts have said instability in the region could yet scuttle the plan. “We consider it a pipeline of peace,” Reddy added. “Everyone needs gas.” The minister indicated that an earlier plan for a pipeline to carry gas from Iran to Pakistan and then India was now on the backburner. “We do what is more easily possible,” Reddy said, referring to the Turkmenistan project. The United States, which has spearheaded sanctions against Iran over its nuclear programme, favours the TAPI pipeline and has pressured both India and Pakistan to hold off on a pipeline deal with Tehran. Reddy said New Delhi was continuing to import oil from Iran and
was not bound by new sanctions imposed by the European Union on the Islamic Republic earlier this week. “We, as a member of the UN, are obliged to follow UN sanctions. Other sanctions imposed by big blocs of countries - we can have some freedom there,” Reddy said. Iran is India’s second-largest oil supplier after Saudi Arabia. Reddy said India was examining the proposal to export petroleum products to Pakistan and details of the proposal would be finalised in a few weeks. Pakistan currently bans imports of Indian petrol. It allowed diesel imports from India in 2009, but no Indian supplies were sent in the face of preferential prices offered by Pakistan’s allies such as Kuwait.
three Shia lawyers killed in Karachi KARACHI AAMIR MAJeeD
YAnGon: Myanmar democracy icon Aung san suu Kyi smiles after receiving the shaheed Benazir Bhutto award from President Asif Zardari's daughter Assefa Bhutto Zardari at her house on Wednesday. aFp
sC accepts plea on deaths of four missing adyala prisoners iSlAMABAd: Accepting a plea to enquire into the death of four out of 11 missing prisoners who had been allegedly picked up by intelligence agencies from outside the Adyala Jail following their release in 2010, the Supreme Court on Wednesday sought a reply from the attorney general over the matter by January 30. The court also issued notices to other respondents, including the defence secretary, directors general of the Inter-Services Intelligence and Military Intelligence, Judge Advocate General (JAG) Department and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa advocate general. A three-member bench of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Khilji Arif Hussain and Justice Tariq Parvez was hearing a petition filed by Ruhaifa, the mother of three of the prisoners. During the hearing, the chief justice expressed concerns over the death of four missing prisoners and asked the attorney general that the matter should be probed keeping in view its seriousness. The applicant’s counsel Tariq Asad told the court that he had a video of those prisoners who were killed by torture. He said three bodies of missing prisoners were found in hospitals but the last body was found in a forest near Peshawar. The attorney general requested the court to allow some time for getting details from relevant authorities. The court then adjourned the hearing until January 30. staFF report
Pakistan ranks 151st in Press Freedom Index 2011-12 10 killings in 2011 make pakistan world’s deadliest country for journalists
NEW YORK onLIne
With 10 killings in 2011 making Pakistan the world’s most deadliest country for journalists for the second year in a row, the country has been ranked 151st in the Press Freedom Index 2011-12 by Reporters Without Borders. In India (131st), journalists were exposed to violence stemming from persistent conflicts in states of Chhattisgarh and Indian-held Kashmir (IHK). The threat from mafia groups operating in main cities of the country also contributed to self-censorship. But the authorities were no better. In May, they unveiled the “Information Technology Rules 2011,” which have dangerous implications for online freedom of expression. Foreign reporters saw their visa requests turned down or were pressured to provide positive coverage. In Iran (175th), hounding and humiliating journalists has been part of officialdom’s political culture for years. The regime feeds on persecution of the media. Iraq (152nd) fell back 22 places and is now worryingly approaching its 2008 position (158th). In Sri Lanka (163rd), the stranglehold of the Rajapakse clan
A day after two activists of the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ) – a reorganised version of the banned militant outfit Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan – were shot dead outside the city courts, three lawyers belonging to the Shia sect were gunned down and another injured by unidentified assailants near the same place on Wednesday. After the incident, tension engulfed the old city areas and later spread across the city, as unidentified armed men resorted to aerial firing in Model Colony – the residence area of the slain lawyers – and forced the shopkeepers to close down markets. The spree of sectarian violence in the metropolis has claimed at least six lives within two days, as another ASWJ activist was gunned down later in the Orangi Town area. The lawyers, identified as Badar Munir, 45, his 25-year-old son Gohar Shakil Jaffery, Kafil Jaffery, 28, and Babar Ali, 45, were returning home in a car (R-7162) after attending court proceedings, when four unidentified assailants riding on two motorcycles intercepted their vehicle at Din Muhammad Wafai Road and sprayed the car with bullets, killing three of the lawyers on the spot while Ali was injured. The bodies of the deceased and the injured lawyer were shifted to the Civil Hospital Karachi. The situation in Jaffar Tayyar Society in Malir also became tense as unidentified miscreants set ablaze tyres and closed the roads for vehicular traffic. A strong reaction was also reported from other Shia-dominated areas of Ancholi, Abul Hassan Isphani Road and Rizvia Society in Nazimabad, where a large number of residents came out of their houses and blocked the roads in protest of the killings of lawyers. Taking notice of the incident, Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad ordered the imme-
forced the last few opposition journalists to flee the country. Any that stayed behind were regularly subjected to harassment and threats. Attacks were less common but impunity and official censorship of independent news sites put an end to pluralism and contributed more than ever to self-censorship by almost all media outlets. China, which has more journalists, bloggers and cyber-dissidents in prison than any other country, stepped up its censorship and propaganda campaign in 2011 and tightened its control of the Internet, particularly the blogosphere. The first protest movements in Arab countries and the ensuing calls for democracy in China’s main cities set off a wave of arrests with no end yet in sight. In the autonomous regions of Tibet, Inner Mongolia and Xinjiang, protests by minorities regularly gave rise to a harsh crackdown by authorities. In Beijing and Shanghai, international correspondents were particular targets of security forces and had to work under the continual threat of expulsion or having their visas withdrawn. Journalists were prevented from covering most of the events that threatened China’s stability or might have given it a negative image.
Published by Arif Nizami for Nawa Media Corporation (Pvt) Ltd at Qandeel Printing Press, 4 Queens Road, Lahore.
diate arrest of the attackers involved in the murder of the three lawyers. Sindh Home Minister Manzoor Wasan suspended Aram Bagh police station SHO and Sub-Inspector Minhajul Hassan on account of negligence. South Zone Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Naeem Sheikh has constituted a committee under the supervision of Saddar Superintendent of Police (SP) for investigation. Later, Karachi Additional Inspector General of Police (AIGP) also formed an inquiry committee to investigate the case under the supervision of Deputy Inspector General (DIG) South, South SSP Sheikh, SP Saddar Tariq Dharejo, SP Crime Branch Niaz Ahmed Khosa and Special Investigation Unit (SIU) SP Shahjehan Khan. Aram Bagh SHO Jan Khan Niazi, who assumed charge after the suspension of Hassan, said the incident could be a reaction to the killing of ASWJ’s legal adviser a day earlier. Endorsing Niazi’s view, the SSP South Zone said it would be premature to conclude the case, adding that the killings might have been due to offering resistance during a robbery bid. “Apparently, it was a sectarian killing but again I cannot say anything with surety until the committee completes its findings,” he maintained. Sheikh said the condition of the injured man was stable and police have recorded his statement. “With his help, the sketches of the attackers will be prepared to arrest them as soon as possible,” he added. Responding to a question, the SSP said that the brother of slain ASWJ legal adviser had registered an FIR against three people belonging to Fiqah-e-Jafaria (Shia), but again it would be premature to link the killing with a single incident. In response to another query, he said that with thousands of lawyers visiting the city courts everyday and that too without any proper schedule; it is not possible for the police to escort every lawyer.