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The non-entity becomes the alternate
BBC in hot waters over ‘pandagate’ sexism row
No chance of early elections, says Yousaf Raza Gilani
rs15.00 Vol ii no 184 22 pages lahore edition
Govt fires up Gas bomb CnG to cost Rs 74.30/kg from January 1 g APCnGA gives province-wide strike call in Punjab on Sunday
ISLAMABAD AMER SIAL
Indecisiveness and inefficiency, the hallmarks of the incumbent government, were obvious on Friday when it increased CNG prices to Rs 77.14 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and Potohar and to Rs 71.07 in Punjab and Sindh, but immediately revised its decision in the face of a strong outcry from the people, reducing the gas prices by 60 percent to notify new prices of Rs 74.30 and Rs 69.62 per kg respectively with effect from January 1, 2012. The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) notified a massive increase of 14 percent in the gas tariff on all the consumer categories, with the imposition of gas infrastructure development cess on all categories expect domestic, commercial, cement and new fertiliser plants with effect from next year. The OGRA notification said the increase in gas sale prices was necessitated owing to the cess imposed by the federal government, rise in cost of gas, decrease in gas sales volume as well as prior year adjustments of the gas companies with respect to line losses and
non-operating income. About the adjustment in CNG consumer price, it said it was necessitated owing to increase in natural gas prices and imposition of gas cess by the federal government. However, no clarification has been offered on the abnormally high annual unaccounted for gas (UFG) losses of 12 percent of the two state-owned gas utility companies, as compared to the international benchmark of 5 percent. One percent UFG comes to a loss of Rs 2 billion per year. This translates into a massive loss of Rs 24 billion every year. The government and OGRA have both failed their primary duty of protecting the consumers from paying this unaccountable loss to the companies. Massive imposition of cess has been reserved only for the CNG sector, which the Petroleum Ministry holds primarily responsible for the current gas shortage in the country. Consumer price for CNG in Zone I, consisting of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and Potohar region, has been increased from Rs 66.42 per kg to Rs 74.34 kg, while in Zone II, consisting of Sindh and Punjab, the consumer price has been increased from Rs 63.11 to Rs
Asma ‘disappointed’, questions SC’s motives
69.62 per kg. Increasing the CNG prices to Rs 74.34 and Rs 69.62 per kg will bring them closer to the petrol prices of Rs 87.89 per litre and LDO price of Rs 86.78 per litre. The tariff for domestic consumers using up to 100 cubic metres or 3.5 mmBTU increased from Rs 107.87 per mmBTU to 122.95 mmBTU. Tariff for consumers using up to 300 units or 10.6 mmBTU will jump from Rs 215.74 to Rs 245.89 mmBTU. Tariff for domestic consumers using up to 500 cubic metres or 17.7 mmBTU increased from Rs 908.38 to Rs 1,035 mmBTU. And for domestic consumers using more than 500 cubic metres or 24.8 mmBTU, the price was increased from Rs 1,142 to Rs 1,302 mmBTU. Tariff of commercial consumers will be increased from Rs 526.59 to Rs 600.19 mmBTU per month. The Industrial sector tariff increased by 16.97 percent from Rs 434.17 to 507.86 mmBTU, which will also include Rs 13 mmBTU as cess. Power sector tariff of WAPDA and KESC will jump by 13.58 percent to Rs 507.86 from Rs 447.14 mmBTU, including cess of Rs 27 per mmBTU.
saturday, 31 december, 2011 safar 5, 1433
Memogate will be probed, decides SC Apex court finds memo pleas maintainable, forms three-member enquiry commission
Continued on page 04
9 killed, 35 injured in Quetta suicide blast BLA claims responsibility, says attack was aimed at ‘traitor’ Shafiq-ur-Rehman Mengal
ISLAMABAD: Barrister Zafar Ullah makes the victory sign after the SC hearing. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leaders Ishaq Dar and Ghous Ali Shah are also seen in the photograph. online
QUETTA SHAHZADA ZULFIQAR
ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT
Expressing disappointment over the Supreme Court’s short order in the memo case, Asma Jahangir, counsel for former ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani, on Friday questioned whether the court was there to serve and protect the rights of the public or the establishment. She told reporters at the Supreme Court building that it was a dark day for the judiciary and she was forced to think whether it was the judiciary of the people or the judiciary of the establishment. She also warned that in future, this decision would haunt the petitioners and they would remember her statement. She said the civilian authority had come under the military establishment. “I was expecting at least one dissenting note/voice against the judgement, but I did not see any ray of hope in the court today,” she said. Expressing disappointment over her struggle for the restoration of the judiciary, she said the court’s decision had compromised a person’s right to justice. Continued on page 04
At least nine tribesmen were killed and some 35 others were injured when a Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) suicide bomber rammed his explosives-laden car into the house of a Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) central leader here on Friday. Police said a car carrying explosives struck the main gate of a house owned by Mir Shafiq-urRahman Mengal on Arbab Karam Khan Road. Shafiq-ur-Rehman is the son of Mir Naseer Mengal, former Balochistan chief minister and a former federal minister from the PML-Q. The car was blown to pieces, killing and injuring a number of armed tribesmen guarding the house. Mengal, who was inside the house, remained safe. Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Operations Nazir Ahmad Kurd told Pakistan Today that at least nine people were killed and more than 35 were wounded. He said it was yet to be determined how many among the dead and wounded were passersby, but police had begun investigation and would be in a position to make a definite comment soon. There is still some doubt whether the attack was a suicide blast or the attackers parked the vehicle in front of the gate of the house and detonated it via remote from a distance. Although the BLA, a banned outfit, claimed it was a suicide attack, the police was unable to say anything conclusive until investigations came to a close. A spokesman for the BLA who identified himself as Meerak
Baloch called a TV channel and a foreign radio service and claimed that it was a suicide attack on the house of Baloch “traitor” Shafiq Mengal, who was the prime target of the attack. He also claimed that the suicide attack was conducted by the Majid Shaheed brigade of the BLA and such attacks would be continued against traitors, Chinese engineers involved in various projects and the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project, which runs through Balochistan. The explosion was so massive that it was heard far and wide in the city and windows and glass doors of dozens of buildings in locality were shattered. After the blast, the gas pipeline supplying gas to the house was broken and caught fire. Some 14 vehicles were damaged or completely destroyed as a result of the blast. After the blast, armed tribesmen took over the street and did not allow anyone to pass through. The guards reportedly opened fire and gunshots rang out at the scene for up to half an hour, but it was unclear who they were shooting at. Reporters rushed to the site to cover the incident, but the guards did not permit them to enter the street. The cameraman of a private TV channel was badly beaten up and a photographer was wounded by firing in the chaotic aftermath of the blast, and their equipment was smashed. Both were admitted to Civil Hospital for their injuries. The injured tribesmen were first taken to Civil Hospital but were later moved to Combined Military Hospital for better treatment.
piCture | page 24
INALLy, it goes the judicial way. Declaring the petitions seeking a probe into the memo controversy maintainable, a nine-member larger bench of the Supreme Court on Friday constituted a high-powered threemember judicial commission to investigate the matter and submit its report within four weeks, with a restriction still placed on Husain Haqqani disallowing him to leave the country without its permission. The significance of the short order was the unanimity of the bench, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. More significantly, the court, without undermining the authority of parliament, noted that “it would be appreciated if the outcome of the proposed enquiry by the Parliamentary Committee on National Security is shared with the court, if possible”. In exercise of powers of judicial review, the court held that the petitioners had succeeded in establishing that the issues raised in their petitions were justifiable and question of public importance with regard to enforcement of fundamental rights, prima facie, under Articles 9, 14 and 19A of the constitution, had been made out, thus the petitions under Article 184(3) of the constitution were maintainable. Holding that to delineate measures with a
view to ensuring enforcement of the fundamental rights, the court noted that a probe into the matter was necessary and ordered an investigation to ascertain the origin, authenticity and purpose of creating or drafting the memo for delivery to Former US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen through General (r) James Logan Jones, former US national security adviser. The court said the due process of law was the entitlement of all stakeholders, therefore, to ensure a probe into the matter in a transparent manner it decided to appoint the commission, which would be headed by Balochistan High Court Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa, with Islamabad High Court Chief Justice Iqbal Hameedur Rehman and Sindh High Court Chief Justice Mushir Alam as its members. Islamabad District and Sessions Judge Raja Jawwad Abbas Hassan was appointed the secretary to the commission. According to the short order, the commission would hold its meetings in the building of Islamabad High Court with a mandate to exercise all powers of judicial officers for the purpose of carrying out the objectives, freely availing services of advocates, experts of forensic science and cyber crime. Continued on page 04
related stories | pages 02 & 04 parliamentary probe into memo begins | page 24
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02 News Today’s
Saturday, 31 december, 2011
Ayeasha Ahad Malik row reaches PA
PPP and its allies: a stable, bumpy ride
Citizens are as responsible for corruption ...
Story on Page 05
Story on Page 09
Story on Page 14
PPP abstains, others welcome SC order ISLAMABAD
AKISTAN People’s Party Information Secretary Qamar Zaman Kaira said on Friday his party would comment on the Supreme Court’s decision about the enquiry into the memogate scandal after examining the detailed judgment. Other major political parties welcomed the verdict, advising the government to avoid confrontation with the court and to remain within its constitutional limits. “The Supreme Court has issued a short order. The detailed judgment is yet to come. PPP’s lawyers will examine the decision after its release. We will then decide whether to call for a review of the judgment or not. No comment can be made unless the detailed judgment is released,” said Kaira. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) MNA Ayaz Amir objected to the court’s decision, saying that it should not have been delivered on perceptions. He said the court had unnecessarily expanded its jurisdiction in this case, which could be dreadful in future. He said it was not understandable how the security and sovereignty of Pakistan had been damaged through this alleged memo. He said not even the petitioners had mentioned anything about the violation of their fundamental rights in their petitions. Awami National Party leader Senator Haji
Adeel said no one could reject the court orders regardless of whether they liked it or not. “We cannot reject the decision. We will accept it as citizens of this country,” he said. Jamaat-I-Islami Senator Prof Khurshid Ahmed welcomed the apex court’s decision saying the memo issue pertained to national security and should be probed. He also advised the government to avoid confrontational politics as it could be detrimental for it as well as the country. MQM spokesman Wasay Jalil said his party accepted the decision. “We are law abiding people and cannot reject the court’s decision,” he said. Pakistan Muslim League-Likeminded President and Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman, Senator Salim Saifullah Khan welcomed the decision saying the government should avoid conflict with the institutions and respect the verdict. “Every institution of the country should give importance to national interest. The nation wants to know the reality about the memo issue,” Saifullah said, adding that the memo was a serious issue and all the people involved in it should be punished. MNA Aftab Sherpao said everyone should abide by the decision of the court as doing so was a constitutional obligation as well. “The court has given its decision. No one should oppose it or it could be dangerous for the country”, he added. JUI-Spokesman Maulana Amjad said the whole nation will want the memogate issue to be probed after the court’s decision.
no threat to govt from memogate: Babar Awan LAHORE STAFF REPORT
Coming hard on PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif over his petition in the memogate scandal, PPP Vice President Dr Babar Awan on Friday said it was tantamount to ‘no trust in the parliament’. Holding the Punjab government responsible for most of problems, especially the energy crisis, Babar Awan said the PML-N was ruling 62 percent portion of the country, but no good governance prevailed there. Talking to reporters and a gathering of lawyers from the People’s Lawyers Forum, Senator Babar Awan said there was no threat to the federal government due to the meogate scandal as it had no role in it. He said the elected government was not so weak that a piece of paper could topple it. He said the country’s sovereignty could not be shattered even by 100 such letters. He alleged the PMLN was misleading the nation by raising alarm on non-issues. Awan said the SC decision on the memo petitions had brought a ‘mourning day’ for Nawaz. He alleged the Punjab police had been tasked to fetch a big crowd for the PML-N public meeting on Saturday (today).
There would be another show of patwaris in Gujranwala, he added. Expressing grief over killings of 14 people in Gujranwala, he said there was no administration in the province as people were being killed on roads. He alleged the rulers of the Punjab were utilising all government resources for their political motives.
Constitutional experts welcome SC’s short order on memogate ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT
Various constitutional experts believe that the short order announced by the Supreme Court in memo case on Friday is legitimate and it will help dig out facts behind the entire controversy surrounding the issue. They observed as to how the Supreme Court can throw out an important case, which relates to national security and sovereignty of the country. Justice (retd) Wajihuddin Ahmad, when asked to comment on the SC’s short order, said, “It is a right decision. It is a timely decision to avert any confrontation between the two state organs; the executive and the military, when not only the security but the very sovereignty of the country is being questioned”. Commenting on the jurisdiction of the SC, he said, “If the government is sacked or the assemblies are dissolved, the matter goes to the Supreme Court. The apex courts in India and the US have had also dealt with such political questions. The same happened when the United States Supreme Court decided the matter of the 2000 presidential election in favour of George W Bush on December 12, 2000.” He said
even former ambassador to the US, Hussain Haqqani had also demanded a probe into the issue. On the question whether or not a parliamentary committee on national security could continue its proceedings viz-a-viz the probe into the memo, Ahmad said that when an issue was in the SC, it was sub-judice and it could not be discussed at the parliamentary forum. “Once the SC has established its writ on the subject, neither the parliament nor a parliamentary body can take up the issue,” he observed. “They (parliamentary body) must hold off their hands… if both the SC and the parliamentary body continued with the proceedings on the issue, there might be a conflict between their recommendations,” he added. Justice (retd) Saeed-uz-Zaman Siddiqui also termed the short order as ‘lawful and a step toward right direction’. He too said how the court could throw out an important issue relating to the national security. He hoped that as the court would complete its hearing of the case, more fact would come on record. He, however, observed that there would be nothing wrong if the Supreme Court and the parliamentary committee on national security simultaneously took up the issue. He was of
the view that parliamentary committee was not going to decide the matter; rather, it could only help establish the facts. Anwar Mansoor, a prominent lawyer, also endorsed the SC’s short order and observed that the sensitivity of the issue required a deeper probe into the issue. He was of the view that the matter was not sub-judice and the parliamentary body could also probe the issue. “The Parliament has its own mandate. The parliamentary body has been assigned with the fact finding work and more than one fact finding bodies could work simultaneously,” he opined. Another prominent lawyer, Ikram Chaudhary, said there could be no second opinion on the maintainability of the petitions after the SC’ order and that it was a constitutional requirement to know as to where the memo got originated. It is a matter of national importance and fundamental rights and that could also attract the Article 9 of the constitution, which dealt with life and security of the citizens. “If life of the citizens is not secure in a particular state, it becomes a matter of national importance and fundamental rights,” he said. He appreciated the SC for constituting a high-powered commission to probe the matter.
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Saturday, 31 december, 2011
ARtS & eNteRtAiNMeNt
Syrian day of mass protests
Son seems stronger than me: Shah Rukh Khan Misbah urges Pakistani, Indian govts to help revive cricket Killing the witness:
CoMMeNt Whither witness protection?
Gas crisis: Mishandled, but not of the government’s making.
Prof James Trevelyan says: More on rationing: Pakistan will have to cut its electricity subsidy
White Lies: Move over Sahara and Mithal, there is now a Pakistani wedding that has the chattering circles chattering overtime. This one is a union between the daughter of the media mogul Mir Shakil-ur-Rehman and son of an investment banker that made inroads into the media business.
Story on Page 16
Story on Page 14
Story on Page 18
Articles on Page 12-13
Nisar wants ‘fake doctor’ heading Petroleum Ministry out g
opp leader says Dr Hussain ‘rewarded’ with portfolio because of close ties with president ISLAMABAD
T FAISALABAD: Industrial workers burn tyres on the road during a demonstration against gas load shedding on Friday. online
Nine AidS cases reported from Gujrat in october: report ISLAMABAD: A Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) monitoring report Friday said nine suspected cases of AIDS were reported in Gujrat district in October. The FAFEN monitors gathered statistics from 73 districts across Pakistan from the offices of Executive District Officer (EDO)/Health-27 in Punjab, 14 in Sindh, 18 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and 11 in Balochistan along with the office of Health Management Information System in the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) and the Agency Surgeon Health (ASH) in two districts of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). The report said seven cases of polio were confirmed - three in Killa Abdullah district in Balochistan, one each in Rahimyar Khan and Vehari districts of Punjab and two in Kamber Shahdadkot district in Sindh. Moreover, six cases of probable poliomyelitis, five in Gujrat and one in Bhakkar, were reported during the monitored period. STAFF RePoRT
National security not exclusive domain: Gen wynne ISLAMABAD: The Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC), General Khalid Shameem Wynne, Friday said the national security was no longer a pursuit of the military alone nor was its management the exclusive domain of a selected few. “The effective pursuit of national security requires developing a strategic framework which encompasses all elements of national power, tangible as well as intangible,” he said while addressing a certificates awarding ceremony held for the participants of thirteenth National Security Workshop at National Defence University (NDU), Islamabad, said an ISPR press statement issued here. General Wynne highlighted that by bringing people from diverse backgrounds, experiences and outlooks together and enabling them to reflect on issues from a national standpoint, the National Defence University had provided a fillip to the process of national integration and nation-building. STAFF RePoRT
HE opposition members demanded on Friday the government get rid of its “incompetent and fake doctor” petroleum minister and circulate “draft of facts” among National Assembly members reflecting a comparison between gas availability and shortage on Monday. For a shock to the treasury benches, some members from major coalition partners, including the Awami National Party (ANP) and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), also called for solutions to the problems being faced by the people. Deputy Speaker Faisal Karim Kundi also snubbed the religious affairs minister’s proposal to form a bipartisan committee to propose to the government how to handle gas shortage. Kundi said forming so many committees was not wise and rather every committee should be given draft proposals within a timeframe. Supporting views of Kundi, Opposition Leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan came down hard on the government and advised the ruling party to get rid of the petroleum minister, whom he called a “fake
doctor”. Speaking on a point of order, Nisar said there was no precedence of forming so many committees as done by the incumbent parliament, and so many committees had been formed without any plan of action. At the start of Question Hour, Acting Speaker Faisal Karim Kundi expressed displeasure over the absence of the secretaries concerned in the gallery during the Question Hour and directed the establishment secretary to report about them in the next session on Monday. Khurshid Shah also backed the move and suggested any secretary who did not turn up in the House should be sacked. The House also unanimously passed the Carriage by Air Bill of 2011, moved by Defence Minister Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar. During his speech, Nisar was supported by Pakistan Muslim LeagueNawaz (PML-N) members who raised slogans against gas shortage in the country. But opposition MPs did not stage a walkout against the issue despite warnings by the opposition leader, who had threatened action on Thursday if gas shortage was not addressed. “Other than the Public Accounts Committee, no committee has come up with any achievements and no other committee’s plan has been implemented by the government. Even the resolutions by the joint session of parliament have been ignored,” Nisar
PM’s statement on osama ‘charge sheet’ against army, says nisar ISLAMABAD: National Assembly Opposition Leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said on Friday that the statement by Prime Minister yousaf Raza Gilani questioning what visa al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden had was a “charge sheet” against the armed forces, observing that it might create problems for the country. Speaking on a pint of order on the floor of the National Assembly, Nisar said such a statement by the chief executive of the country would have dire consequences for defence institutions. “This statement might be
exploited by anyone at any international forum or court. I fear this may prove to be problematic in the future,” said Nisar, and asked the prime minister to explain his statement. The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader said his party would accept a clarification by the prime minister over the sensitive issue and asked him to remove any ambiguity created by his statement. Nisar also suggested that such words of the prime minister should be expunged from the record of the assembly if Gilani clarified his position. STAFF RePoRT
said. He asked the government to replace Petroleum Minister Dr Asim Hussain and appoint a politician from among the ruling party in his place, who must be sensitised about the miseries of the people at the hands of the gas shortage. He said Dr Hussain was rewarded with such an important portfolio because of his close association with President Asif Ali Zardari. He also demanded the resignation of the minister and civil servants concerned with the gas sector, as according to him their inefficiency and failure
had compounded the problems of the people. He demanded the government present correct facts on the gas shortage. He also rejected an offer made by Religious Affairs Minister Khurshid Shah to form a bipartisan committee to probe the gas shortage. On the closure of CNG stations next month, Nisar said his party was not in favour of this step and if any member from the opposition benches supported this decision, it might be their personal stance but had nothing to do with the party’s policy.
‘Q’ starts afresh efforts to woo Unification Bloc members
Four children killed in fire on empress Road LAHORE
LAHORE NASIR BUTT
In an effort to capitalise on the loosening grip of Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) on the Unification Bloc in Punjab Assembly, Chaudrys of Gujrat have started their efforts afresh to woo its disgruntled lot back into the fold of Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid. Pakistan Today has learnt that Chaudhry brothers have once again reopened their doors to the Unification Bloc members, who parted ways with their parent party, PML-Q, under the influence of certain quarters but now they seem ready to reconsider and revise their decision. After the damage caused by the ‘tsunami’ of Imran Khan to its political rival PML-N and increasing political uncertainty, PML-Q has re-launched a drive to woo back its breakaway faction. It is notable that the Unification Bloc that was created some four years ago from with the PML-Q and it remained intact for over three years but the ‘expectations’ of a majority of breakaway faction members could not be materialised
and the group was neither accommodated in the Punjab cabinet nor were they granted some ‘special incentives’. As a result, some lobbyists within the Unification Bloc have also begun to flex their muscles either to join the PTI to share the political windfalls likely to fall in Khan’s lap in the near future or return back to the Chaudhrys. In this regard, several contacts between the PML-Q and the dissentients have been reported so far. The fresh contact was made by Unification Bloc’s member Dildar Cheema who hosted a lunch for Chaudhry brothers on Friday here and PML-Q leadership reciprocated the gesture affectionately and attended the lunch with open heart. Political analysts are now saying that it may be beginning of another set back to PML-N who was already in a shocking position with many of its stalwarts already leaving the party in the lurch. On the other hand, it seems that the beleaguered PML-N is about to suffer another political blow as the Unification Bloc which has been loyal to the Sharifs, now seems eager to join the Pakistan
Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI). Even some reports have appeared that they have started organising meetings to convince their fellow bloc members to abandon the Sharifs, “who never reciprocated their gesture for the PML-N” and urging them to join Khan’s army to secure their political careers. Most of the bloc members, who had been dormant and had had grievances against the Punjab government, are now said to be in close contact with one another and it seems that they are trying to hash out a strategy in the light of the country’s changing political scenario. Finding the situation favourable, the PML-Q has started to woo the bloc’s member, a PML-Q leader, seeking anonymity, told this scribe. He said the Unification Bloc was eager to decide about their political future soon. He said the softening of Chaudhrys’ hearts for the bloc’s members was a good omen and many Unification Bloc members might rejoin PML-Q in days to come. They said it was also being speculated that Dildar Cheema was joining PTI but his meeting with Chauhdrys proved what was actually going on.
Four children of an on-duty constable died while his wife sustained serious burns when a fire broke out in their house on Empress Road from a gas leakage late on Friday night. The deceased were identified as 3-year-old Kainat, 5year-old Malaika, 2-year-old Ali and 8-year-old Faraz Ahmed, while the injured woman was identified as Balqees, all residents of Empress Park near the Bibi Pakdaman shrine. Rescue officials said Lahore Police Constable Sarfaraz, posted in Police Lines Qila Gujjar Singh, late on Friday night locked his house from the outside and left for duty on the night shift. Sarfaraz’s wife, two sons and two daughters were inside the house when the gas pipeline caught fire when they lit a candle during a power outage. The fire engulfed the house and the locked door meant the residents had no way to escape. Meanwhile, locals informed rescue officials, who pulled out the four children and their mother from the house. Rescue sources said the children were found dead while their mother was rushed to Mayo Hospital in critical condition.
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Saturday, 31 december, 2011
Five militants killed as Levies foil abduction bid QUETTA SHAHZADA ZULFIQAR
WO militants from North Waziristan blew themselves up to avoid being arrested and three others were killed in a gunbattle with Levies forces, while one was arrested in Pishin district, 60km north of Quetta on Friday. Balochistan Home and Tribal Affairs Secretary Naseebullah Bazai told Pakistan Today that seven armed militants were ab-
ducting six medical staff, including a lady health worker, and two civilians from Hakalzai and Malazai villages in Pishin district when they were intercepted by Levies forces. The militants released all the captives in the Barshoor area and fled into the mountains. He said three of the militants were killed in a shootout, while two others blew themselves up when the Levies personnel attempted to arrest them. However, one of the militants was arrested in injured condition. He said all
medical staff and other captives were safe and sound. Pishin Deputy Commissioner Abdul Mansoor Kakar told Pakistan Today that it was confirmed that they were militants belonging to North Waziristan. He said they were hardcore militants, which was why two of them blew themselves up. Sources close to the district administration said the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan had started contacting the deputy commissioner and other Levies officials and threatened them of dire consequences.
US mulls transfer of high-risk Taliban prisoner in peace bid wASHIngTOn REUTERS
The Obama administration is considering transferring to Afghan’s custody a senior Taliban official suspected of major human rights abuses as part of a remote bid to improve the prospects of a peace deal in Afghanistan, Reuters has learned. The potential handover of Mohammed Fazl, a “high-risk detainee” held at the Guantánamo Bay military prison since early 2002, has set off alarms on Capitol Hill and among some US intelligence officials. As a senior commander of the Taliban army, Fazl is alleged to be responsible for the killing of thousands of Afghanistan’s
minority Shi’ite Muslims between 1998 and 2001. According to US military documents made public by WikiLeaks, he was also on the scene of a November 2001 prison riot that killed CIA operative Johnny Micheal Spann, the first American who died in combat in the Afghan war. There is no evidence, however, that Fazl played any direct role in Spann’s death. Senior officials have said their 10-month-long effort to set up substantive negotiations between the weak government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai and the Taliban has reached a make-or-break stage involving “confidence-building measures” such as the transfer of five detainees from Guantá-
namo – of whom Fazl could be one – and the establishment of a Taliban office outside Afghanistan. Officials said the detainees would not be set free, but would remain in some sort of custody. One intelligence official said there had been intense bipartisan opposition in the Congress as to the proposed transfer. “I can tell you that the hair on the back of my neck went up when they walked in with this a month ago, and there’s been very, very strong letters fired off to the administration,” the official said on condition of anonymity. “What is clear is the president’s order to us to continue to discuss these important matters with the Congress.”
Memogate will be probed Continued from page 1 All federal secretaries, chief secretaries of all the provinces, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) chief, inspectors general of police of all the provinces and ambassadors of Pakistan in the US and UK, have been directed to provide necessary assistance to the commission. The government, through the cabinet secretary, will provide logistic support to the commission, subject to its demands through the secretary of the commission. The commission will be authorised to collect evidence within and outside Pakistan according to prevailing laws on the subject and provide full opportunity of hearing to all the parties. The court directed the High Commission of Pakistan in Canada to cooperate and assist the commission, as forensic evidence was likely to be collected
from Research In Motion (RIM) Ltd, the Canada-based company that manufactures Blackberry smartphones. Repeating its December 1 order, the court directed Haqqani not to leave the country without the permission of the court. “This order is kept intact,” the court said, also asking its office to put a separate note in the chambers of the Chief Justice along with the transcript of the December 1 press conference of Babar Awan in which the judiciary was ridiculed. The court held that the short order would be followed by detailed reasons to be recorded later. In its short order, the court particularly referred the ‘Objectives Resolution’, which has been made a substantive part of the constitution by means of Article 2A, which commands that: “And whereas it is the will of the people of Pakistan to establish an order;
wherein integrity of the territories of the federation, its independence and all its rights, including its sovereign rights on land, sea and air, shall be safeguarded; So that people of Pakistan may prosper and attain their rightful and honoured place amongst the nations of the world and make their full contribution towards international peace and progress and happiness of humanity.” Meanwhile, the court adjourned the petitions for a date to be fixed after receipt of the report from the commission. Presidential Spokesman Farhatullah Babar would not comment on the decision but said President Asif Ali Zardari would not take on the courts. “One thing is clear. We don’t believe in confrontation with the judiciary and will continue to follow this policy of no confrontation,” Babar told AFP in a text message.
PR suspends Asma ‘disappointed’ order. Meanwhile, Attorney Continued from page 1 five more trains General Maulvi Anwarul Haq LAHORE: The already aggravated situation of Pakistan Railways turned even worse when on Friday the railway authorities had to suspend another fleet of five mail trains owing to the fuel shortage, including Lahore-Rawalpindi rail car. Among other suspended trains are included Lahore-Wazirabad train, Sargodha Express, JaranwalaShorkot passenger train and Okara Express. Five trains only in Lahore division have been stopped as Railways has diesel stocks enough for one day only and this would be utilized in running some profitable and important trains, Pakistan Today has learnt. STAFF REPORT
“It is sad that the superior judiciary has done it and if saying this is a contempt of court, then I am ready to go to jail for the implementation of the rule of law,” she added. She contended that the judgement was not in accordance with the law. She, however, accepted the court’s decision, even if she had not agreed with it. She contended that the court had given the petitioners relief more than they had asked for and the court had given the national security more priority than fundamental rights. She said she would wait for the detailed verdict and then would decide if she would file a review petition against the court’s short
told reporters the court had not said anything about the parliamentary committee, which was also probing the memo issue. He said he could not say that the court’s decision was against the constitution, adding that anyone had the right to oppose the court’s decision on any matter. He said the court had also given him the task to investigate the alleged memo. He said the government would consider filing a review petition after examining the detailed judgement. He said the commission would start its work after receiving the court’s December 30 short order.
Zahid Hamid rejects Hashmi’s allegations as misunderstanding ISLAMABAD
And the judicial way it goes NewS ANALYSiS
Zahid Hamid of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) on Friday rejected the allegations leveled against him by Javed Hashmi and termed them a misunderstanding. Hamid was earlier accused by Hashmi, now a PTI leader, of allegedly trying to attack latter’s daughter Maimoona Hashmi during a protest against Hashmi’s arrest in a previous NA session. Talking to Pakistan Today, Zahid Hamid clarified that he was not even present on the spot. It was another PML-Q MNA Tariq Javed, he said, who had allegedly tried to attack the daughter of Javed Hashmi. He said that he has great respect for Hashmi and his family. He further added that photos and video shots of the particular session would also prove his version. He said he has great respect particularly for the women and cannot even think of doing such act.
Does the memo exist? To determine Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani’s statement, based on the information and preliminary enquiry by Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Director General Lt General Ahmad Shuja Pasha that the memo is a reality, the Supreme Court declared all 11 petitions maintainable and appointed a high-powered three-member judicial commission to investigate the treacherous conspiracy that has bedeviled civil-military relations. Prima facie, it is evidently clear from the judgement that the nine-member bench was satisfied with the contents of the affidavits submitted by the COAS and the ISI DG that the memo was a “reality” and it needed to be investigated to determine its origin. The objective resolution, under Article 2A of the constitution, forms the basis of the Supreme Court judgement. “And whereas it is the will of the people of Pakistan to establish an order; wherein integrity of the territories of the Federation, its independence and all its rights, including its sovereign rights on land, sea and air, shall be safeguarded…” the article commands. Though Asma Jahangir, counsel for former ambassador to the United States Husain Haqqani, expressed her disappointment over the judgement with her observation that it was not the system she had struggled for as the military authority continued to subjugate the civil authority, she accepted the judgement. Her arguments in the court dur-
Govt fires up gas bomb Continued from page 1 Tariff for IPPs increased by 34.57 percent to Rs 507.86 from Rs 377.39 mmBTU including cess of Rs 70 mmBTU. Cement sector tariff has been increased 14 percent from Rs 609.09 mmBTU to Rs 694.22 mmBTU but no cess has been imposed as at present no gas supplies are given to the sector. Tariff of feedstock for old fertiliser plants was jacked up by 207.10 percent from Rs 102.01 to Rs 313.27 mmBTU, including a cess of Rs 197. While for new fertiliser, tariff increased only 1.81 percent from Rs 59.59 to Rs 60.67 mmBTU and no cess has been imposed. Gas tariff for direct sales to WAPDA from Kandhkot to Guddu increased from Rs 431.94 to Rs 507.86 mmBTU, including a cess of Rs 27. Tariff from Sara and Mari to Guddu increased 20.89 percent from Rs 420.09 to Rs 507.86 mmBTU including a cess of Rs 27 mmBTU. Petroleum Minister Dr Asim Hussain has been claiming that the increase in gas tariff will not impact the people but the increase in gas tariff of CNG, industrial, power and fertiliser sector will be indirectly impacting the people and will massively increase inflation. OGRA also issued directives on Friday to All Pakistan CNG Association (APCNGA) to immediately stop refueling vehicles in which cylinders were installed beneath passenger seats or on the roof, as such installation were in violation of the safety code of practice. In case of any violation, the licence of CNG stations would be revoked. Increase in CNG tariff and OGRA directive was immediately rejected by the APCNGA, which gave a province-wide strike call in Punjab on Sunday to dissuade the government from implementing the decision. It said there was no justification for price increase due to the severe shortage of gas in the country and the government was rushing for implementing safety measures which could be done immediately.
ing the proceedings had unambiguously suggested that the generals pulled the strings despite a civil dispensation being in place. But the judges’ observations had tacitly indicated that someone, somewhere did it (the memo). Notwithstanding the arguments for and against the question of maintainability of these petitions, the verdict is balanced – the contents of the memo are criminal and it warrants an investigation. The formation of the commission with unprecedented power - with three chief justices of the high courts and no Supreme Court judge being part of it leaves no room to question its formation. The composition of the commission reflects the gravity of the matter that involves the Federation of Pakistan. Hence, it had to be with the representatives of the federation. The largest province has, however, not been given representation in the commission. This is understandable as the main petitioner, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Nawaz Sharif, belongs to Punjab. This again gives credibility to the commission, which would sit in the federal capital – the Islamabad High Court. The deadline is also set for the commission: the investigation has to be completed within four weeks. February, therefore, is the most awaited month and is critical for the country. With the alarm bells already ringing in the corridors of power ever since this memo surfaced with the publication of an op-ed article by Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz and the military establishment taking it as a con-
spiracy against the state, the government strategy, which will be evident from its actions, will speak for its approach to the judicial probe. The stated position of the government is that parliament is the right forum to probe the memo issue. The Supreme Court did take cognizance of a press conference held in the Press Information Department (PID) by Babar Awan with some other Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leaders also in attendance to criticise the court “contemptuously”. However, the Supreme Court did not give any direction in the short order as they would be passed in the detailed judgement. Probably, the Supreme Court has checkmated the critics of the judicial process and seemingly put them under observation during the four-week judicial process before giving a final word on contempt of court. Parallel to the judicial process, the parliamentary investigation into the memo issue will also start after January 10 with the committee summoning the ISI DG and the former ambassador to Washington. But there is no cut-off date for the parliamentary probe. There is a possibility that with two parallel investigations, one political and the other judicial, the parliament and judiciary may come face-to-face, if the question of parliament’s sovereignty arises at some stage. The PML-N’s position, whether it stands with the judiciary or the parliamentary committee - of which it is also a member - will also be of critical importance in case of dissimilarity in the results of the judicial and parliamentary probes.
Not well enough Pervaiz elahi hints at misappropriation to visit Pakistan, of millions of rupees in USC ISLAMABAD: Federal Industries and Defence Producsays wajid tion Minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi on Friday told the
MOnITORIng DESK Pakistan’s High Commissioner in the UK Wajid Shamsul Hassan said on Friday that he could not come to Pakistan because of health issues, so he would not be able to present himself before the Abbottabad Commission. In a letter written to the commission, Hassan said he could not travel to Pakistan because he was not feeling well. He said he was ready to give his stance via video conference. However, the Abbottabad Commission – which made him a party in its investigations - refused to record his statements via live video.
National Assembly that the commercial audit of the Utility Stores Corporation (USC) for the year 2010-11 had pointed out misappropriation by its employees. In a written reply to the house during question hour, Pervaiz Elahi said misappropriation of Rs 15.485 million and Rs.9.500 million was reported in Nawabshah and Attock USC regions. He added that a loss of Rs 8.802 million on account of issue of stocks to franchise stores on credit was also pointed out. Water and Power Minster Naveed Qamar, responding to a supplementary question, said no long march could end the energy crisis. Naveed Qamar said gas shortage would affect the power generation sector and, currently, no gas was being supplied to any power station. To another question regarding electricity import from Iran, the minister said an agreement of 5,000MW was under process and this setup would be made in Gawadar or Zahidan to provide electricity to the entire country. He said that Pakistan was getting its due share of water as per Indus Water Treaty 1960. In a written reply, the minister said the treaty allocated waters of the Sutlej, Beas and Ravi rivers to India and those of the Indus, Jhelum and Chenab to Pakistan. STAFF REPORT
woman, animals shot by indian BSf LAHORE: A woman and some animals received gunshot wounds when the Indian Border Security Force (BSF) opened unprovoked fire with automatic weapons at the villagers of Nihala in the Zafar Wall sector of Narowal on Friday night. However, officials of Punjab Rangers retaliated effectively and forced BSF personnel to stop firing. The Rangers also lodged a strong protest with the BSF authorities over the incident and a sector commander level flag meeting has been called to discuss this serious violation. Separately, Punjab Rangers foiled another attempt of smuggling of liquor and other contraband in Kasur district on Friday. Ranger’s officials of Kanganpur had spotted two suspicious men and tried to intercept them, but they managed to flee under cover of darkness, leaving behind 23 bottles of liquor. STAFF REPORT
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Saturday, 31 december, 2011
Traffic police indifferent to fading zebra crossings PAGe 08
New Years parties under tax threat excise and taxation dept ready to raid New Years parties without NoCs g defence, Cantonment exempt from raids g
LAHORE YASIR HABIB
EWARE; as the Punjab Excise and Taxation Department is all set to ruin New year celebrations for revellers enthusiastically looking forward to the new year. The Punjab Excise and Taxation Department has sprung into action against the illegal sale of liquor and arranging New year parties under the garb of musical shows, dance functions and other entertainment events without securing valid No Objection Certificates (NOCs) from the department. A special task force has been constituted under Excise and Taxation Officer (Excise) Tanveer Gondal who will head the squads comprising 2 AETOs and 8 inspectors. A police team will assist ETO (Entertainment) Falik Sher Gondal raid hotels, guest houses, clubs and other
places to check illegal parties. The raiding team will register cases against the law-breakers. The Excise department also obtained the list of drug-peddlers from special branch to counter the sale of narcotics in the province. AETO (Excise) Malik Fiaz told Pakistan Today that a complete ban on the sale of permitted liquor will be imposed in hotels after 6 pm and hotels had been informed in advance. “We have already moved to counter illegal liquor manufactures and sealed an illegal factory preparing liquor without license last week. We also got cases lodged including in Mazang and Qila Gujjar Singh,” he added. Pearl Continental, Royal Palm and Golf Club and Park Plaza, Hospitality Inn and Avari have obtained NOCs to avoid unpleasant situation during New year festivities. But around 80 to 100 hotels and rest houses are yet to obtain
NOCs. ETO (Entertainment) Falik Sher Gondal said raids would start in the evening from Saturday throughout the length and breadth of city including Gulberg, Faisal Town, Garden Town, Shadman Model Town and Johar Town. However, the department could not raid DHA and Cantonments since the fell outside the control of Punjab government, another Excise official said. The Excise & Taxation Department take action under Entertainment Act 158, section 10. Under the entrainment tax, an organizer who held New year parties either on public or private platform was liable to pay security money which varied from Rs 20,000 to Rs. 0.15 million depending upon the size and items of the shows. He said the department would slap 65 percent on the total rate of admission
Ayesha Ahad Malik row reaches PA opp stages walkout over refusal to constitute enquiry board g Rana Sanullah asked to name father, provide birth certificate g
LAHORE NASIR BUTT
When Ayesha Ahad Malik arrived at the Punjab Assembly (PA), a fracas would be bound to ensue; and so it was on Friday when opposition members staged a walkout when their demand to set up a committee to investigate the police’s alleged torture of Hamza Shahbaz’s alleged spouse. No official business was accomplished after the walkout when the speaker was forced to adjourn the house till Monday due to lack of quorum. When the PA session began on Friday morning under Speaker Rana Iqbal, Opposition Leader in the House Raja Riaz Ahmad stood on a point of order and informed the Speaker that a woman had spoken to him outside the assembly building. “She demands justice against the police and desires a meeting in the Speaker’s chamber. I will not discuss her family matters but want to provide her justice against the police. She is sitting on the stairs outside the Assembly, and her name is Ayesha Ahad Malik.” The mention of Ayesha’s name, left the Law Minister Rana Sanaullah flustered, who pointed guns at the Opposition and claimed Ayesha had not come independently. Sanaullah said the opposition was playing politics in the name of a ‘woman with a criminal background’. He leveled personal allegations against her and said she did not know her ‘real father.’ Upon hearing this, female opposition members, including Sajida Mir, Azma Bukhari, Dr Samia Amjad, Samina Khawar Hayyat, Seemal Kamran, Khadija Umar, Amna Ulfat as well as opposition leader Raja Riaz, Shaukat Basra, Ahsan-ul-Haq Naulatia and other members began sloganeering against the law minister. Samina Khawar Hayyat tried to talk on a point of order but the Speaker disallowed her, at which she said Rana Sanaullah had no respect for females. She asked Sanaullah to inform the house who his real father was and provide a birth certificate to prove it. She asked the Speaker to act against the law minister for his disrespectful language against Ayesha, which the speaker ignored. In protest against the treasury’s attitude, Raja Riaz announced a walk-out and all members, excluding PPP member Ashraf Sohna left the House. MInORITIES SEATS: Meanwhile, Pakistan Peoples Party-backed (PPP) Minorities Representative Pervez Rafiq demanded the federal and provincial governments increase the number of minority seats in all assemblies. Sanaullah was embarrassed again when asked about the easy release of an accused by the anti-corruption de-
‘Remove Sanaullah, get Ayesha Ahad justice’
LAHORE: After Ayesha Ahad Malik, self-proclaimed spouse of Punjab chief minister’s son, Hamza Shahbaz, on Friday knocked on the PA’s doors against alleged police torture, female opposition lawmakers joined her in a solidarity protest against the government. They joined Ayesha, daughter of a former Member of Provincial Assembly, in a sit-in outside the PA main gate to block the exit of Law Minister Rana Sanaullah, the speaker and other treasury members. Rana Sanaullah did not attempt to leave the PA building before Ayesha and the demonstrators had dispersed. The speaker in his chambers and left under high security cover. Chief Minister’s Advisor Zulfiqar Khosa refused to hear the protesters’ complaints. Female opposition legislators joined Ayesha in a press conference and protested against the law minister and demanded the Punjab chief minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president remove him because he has no respect for women. Ayesha Ahad Malik told journalists police had tortured her and she wanted to meet the PA speaker to seek justice. She said she could prove she was married to Hamza Shahbaz Sharif and she would follow Hamza wherever he goes till she gets justice. STAFF REPORT partment. Sanaullah, without naming Moonis Elahi, said most accused used tactics like “meeting family members at night” to runaway. A resolution was unanimously passed to pay tribute to late MPA Amir Hayat Khan Rokhri who recently passed away due to cardiac arrest.
at New year functions where entry tickets were charged. However, where tickets were not imposed, no entrainment tax would be levied and the security money deposited with E & T department would be refunded them later, he added Another official said that levy was not for the New year only. If anyone organises a musical event or dance party at any time in the year, he must submit security, pay 65 percent tax and secure NOC. Department sources said the E&T department was issuing liquor permits frequently to agents (non-Muslims), who could be seen standing outside the departments’ office to obtain permits daily. Interestingly, agents hand over permits to bar managements, who sell banned products to customers. Four bars have been set up in leading hotels because government allows them to sell liquor to non-Muslims.
Army storekeeper booked over Rs 5m embezzlement LAHORE: The Sarwar Road Police has registered a case against a storekeeper of the Military Engineering Services (MES), a department of Pakistan Army, for embezzling valuables worth about Rs 5 million on Friday. The Sarwar Road Police registered the case number 189/11 under the section 409 of Pakistan Penal Code on the orders of the General Headquarters (GHQ). According to details, the MES high officials learnt about an embezzlement of iron bars worth about Rs 5 millions, over which Colonel Nisar Ali Khan of MES ordered a detailed inquiry against storekeeper Tauqeer during which he was proven guilty. The inquiry officer asked Tauqeer to surrender but he escaped to his native town Chiniot. The inquiry officer contacted the Chiniot district coordination officer (DCO) for tracing Tauqeer but the Chiniot DCO reported the inquiry officers, via the letter number 2581/DCO, about the escape of Tauqeer from Chiniot. The inquiry officer was informed that Tauqeer had sold his house and escaped. STAFF REPORT
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06 Lahore district judiciary requires structural changes to eliminate corruption: LHC CJ LAHORE STAFF REPORT
Lahore High Court Chief Justice Azmat Saeed said on Friday that corruption in the district judiciary could be eradicated through structural changes in the judicial systems, rather than the ‘use of Danda’. The chief justice was addressing on the last day of a training workshop held for capacity building of the district and session judges (D&SJs) at the Punjab Judicial Academy. The CJ handed over the certificates to 20 D&SJs on completion of the first ever training held for them.
Saturday, 31 december, 2011
BISE, police ranked highest among violators of child laws LAHORE STAFF REPORT
T CM inaugurates state-of-theart research facility LAHORE STAFF REPORT
Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif inaugurated a state-ofthe-art Resource Centre in Murree on Friday and said huge investments are being made in the education and health sectors. “This includes provision of foreign scholarships to deserving students, computer labs in all high schools, laptops to high achievers and establishment of Danish Schools,” he said while addressing University of Health Sciences (UHS) postgraduate students through video conferencing facility. The chief minister further said the agreement for purchasing 100,000 laptops for outstanding students of the province had been signed and the first shipment would arrive before the end of the next month. He added that laptops would be distributed on merit.
Sub-committee to implement ban on public meetings on the Mall LAHORE: Senior Advisor to Chief Minister Sardar Zulfiqar Khosa said on Friday that a 5-member sub-committee has been constituted for implementation of the orders of the Lahore High Court (LHC) regarding a complete ban on public meetings and processions on the Mall Road. Presiding over a meeting at 90-Mall Road, he said that the sub-committee would formulate suggestions for removing hurdles created in the flow of traffic and the problems being faced by traders due to public meetings and processions on The Mall. STAFF REPORT
HE Children Complaint Office (CCO) of the Punjab Ombudsman on Friday released its first annual report for the year of 2010, with the Boards of Intermediate and Secondary Education (BISE) and the police ranked highest for violating the child protection laws. According to the report, the complaints, against violation of children’s protection and welfare laws, were addressed through the friendly investigation procedures. The report said that the CCO investigated the existence of laws dealing with
children and found that 22 laws were present for the protection and welfare of children. The CCO received 274 complaints since its inception, till 2010. Out of the total complaints, 99 were received in the last two months of 2009, while 175 complaints were registered during 2010. The BISE and Education Department was first amongst the list of provincial agencies against which the complaints were registered. In 2009 and 2010, 22 and 73 complaints were received against BISE, respectively. The Police was second in the list for both 2009 and 2010, with 13 complaints in 2009 and 18 complaints in 2010.
Moreover, the children also complained about the Child Protection & Welfare Bureau, Health agencies, Punjab Education Endowment Fund, City District Governments, NADRA, Parks & Horticulture Authority and other provincial agencies. The CCO reached 3,500 school children, 150 juveniles, 300 cancer patients, 1,000 teachers, 137 orphan girls and 40 child labourers in 2010. The report said that CCO, established in the Punjab Ombudsman in 2009 with the collaboration of UNICEF, provided financial and psychological aid to flood affected women and children in 2010.
Police arrest makers of fake documents LAHORE STAFF REPORT
A team of the Muslim Town Police on Friday arrested a gang of fake document makers during a raid at an office in the Central Flats. The arrested men were identified as Muhammad Shabbir, a resident of Faisalabad and Muhammad Pervez, a resident of Haroon Abad. The police alleged that the two were involved in making fake documents, including degrees, passports and computerised national identity cards (CNICs). On Friday, a police team, led by Sub-Inspector Akhtar Hussain raided the Office # 24 in Central Flats and arrested the accused. The police started investigation after registering a case number 591/11 against both accused under section 420, 468 and 471 of the Pakistan Penal Code. Two brothers injured: Two brothers sustained bullet wounds due to firing by their neighbour in the Shadbagh Police precincts on Friday. The injured persons were identified as Hamza and his brother Faysal. Haris, a resident of Mohalla Nazim Abad, did aerial firing in the street often, while his neighbours Hamza and Faisal had stopped him repeatedly. On Friday, Hamza and Faysal stopped Haris from aerial firing again, over which he opened fire on them. Faysal sustained bullet injuries on his head while Hamza had been hit on his feet. They were taken to the Mayo Hospital, where Faysal’s condition was stated to be critical. The police said that Haris had also been injured during the clash and had been taken to a local hospital for medical care.
POLIcE cOnSTABLE ARRESTED AfTER SnATcHIng cAR: A constable of the Elite Force along with an accomplice was held at the Gaju Matta Police picket on Friday escaping from city limits in a car snatched from the Defence area. The police also recovered two mobile phones and two pistols from possession of the arrested men. The accused were handed over to Defence B police where a case was registered against them. According to Defence B police, Elite Force Constable Asad had snatched a car from a citizen namely Tanveer on gun point and fled to the Ferozpur Road. However, the escape of the car snatchers was informed to the exits of the city through a call on Police Emergency 15. The policemen at the Gajju Matta exit picket identified the car and arrested the snatchers. Defence additional superintendent police (ASP) said the investigations were underway and more revelations were expected from the arrested persons. VALuABLES wORTH RS 7M ROBBED fROM HOuSE: Five robbers took valuables worth Rs 7 million from a house in Cavalry Ground Police precincts on Friday. Reportedly, the robbers came to the house – located at 234, Cavalry Ground and owned by a man named Malik Abdul Rasheed - in a Toyota Corolla at 7.45pm. Four of them stormed into the house with their faces covered and held up the residents at gunpoint, demanding cash and gold ornaments. The robbers stayed in the house for 45 minutes and took with them gold ornaments, 3 LCD TVs, laptops and other valuables from the house.
UoL violating PMdC pay rules: YdA LAHORE: The University of Lahore (UOL) Raiwind Road is paying Rs 14,000 to its 15 house officers while all others are working without pay in total violation of the laid down rules and regulations of the Pakistan Medical & Dental Council (PMDC), young Doctors Association (yDA) said in a statement on Friday. The government of Punjab announced an increase in salaries of house officers from July 1 which is now Rs 24,000 per month but the UoL has not raised salaries accordingly. According to PMDC rules and regulations all the private medical institutes are bound to pay the salary in accordance with the government sector. They are also bound to provide paid house jobs to all freshly produced graduates. UoL has earned millions of rupees annually from the same students but is not willing to give them paid house job, they further added.The yDA Central office bearers Dr Rana Sohail, Dr Salman Kazmi, Dr Talha Sherwani, Dr Ghulam Qasim, Dr Murtaza Bloch, Dr Muhammad Khawar Khan, Dr Shahid Dreshik, Dr Hafiz Munir, Dr Umer have given UoL an the ultimatum of one week to increase the salary of house officers or prepare for protests. STAFF REPORT
CiNe StAR PH: 35157462
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Saturday, 31 december, 2011
PU VC set to keep job till new VC appointed LAHORE STAFF REPORT
The drama of sectarian clash and whole negative propaganda against PU Vice Chancellor (VC) Professor Dr Mujahid Kamran has been exposed before the Punjab government and the government is likely to allow PU VC to continue his tenure after January 2 till the appointment of a permanent VC at the varsity. Punjab Higher Education Department (HED) sources said that HED received information on the sectarian attack on Shia students was to bar the Punjab government to allow Dr Kamran to continue his tenure after January 2, 2012. On the other hand, interviews will be conducted for around 30 applicants for the PU VC slot on January 2 and the process will be completed within one week. Beside this an advertisement campaign was also continue against the Dr Kamran to damage his repute but they all failed and HED has now decided that to ask the Dr Kamran to control the affairs till further order. A race for the PU VC slot is underway and favour is being sought from the Punjab CM who wants to improve the research culture at PU. HED officials said the government had learnt plagiarists and third divisioners had applied for the post and neither would be eligible. They said the JI was active to appoint to pro-JI VC but Kamran’s record was steady. They said Mujahid Kamran, his wife Professor Karakoram International University Gilgit VC Dr Najma Najam, former PU Registrar Dr Naeem Ahmad Khan and Garrison University VC Dr Jamil Anwer were favourites for the slot. Secretary HED: HED Secretary Dr Ejaz Munir said there were good chances that Dr Kamran will continue work but a notification could be issued after the Punjab CM’s recommendation today ( Saturday) or on January 02. He said interviews will span January 2-3 and a summary will be sent to concerned authorities the next day.
pu to award first Geography phD in 35 years LAHORE ADNAN LODHI
In the 120th convocation of the Punjab University to held at the varsity’s Faisal auditorium on Saturday (today), PU Chancellor Governor Sardar Latif Khan Khosa will award Dr Munawer Sabir of the PU Geography Department his PhD that he has dedicated to lab attendant Shafqat Ullah who secured his thesis from plagiarism by a faculty member of the same department. The PU faculty members have demanded PU VC Dr Mujahid Kamran announce a gold medal for the lab attendant who had not compromised on duty. Dr Munawer Sabir also gave the credit for his PhD to the PU VC, who he said had brought a revolution in research at the PU. The PU Geography Department was constructed before the creation of Pakistan in 1944 and since then only three scholars have been able to complete their PhD degrees. The department had not been able to produce any PhD scholar in the last 35 years. Dr Sabir’s thesis topic was “Performance of Media in creating awareness about population as an economic problem in Pakistan”. Late PU Department of Communication’s Chairman Dr Maskeen Ali Hajazi was the supervisor of Dr Munawer Sabir and it was the last thesis that he was supervising. According to sources, some elements at PU that were thwarting the PU VC’s attempts to promote PhD, attempted to steal Dr Sabir’s thesis through a lab attendant. Another assistant professor of the department had intended to plagiarise Dr Sabir’s work but lab attendant Shafqat Ullah had thwated the attempt.
A HOME ON A FOOTPATH: A gypsy woman eats while sitting on her bed set on a road divider on Sheikhupura Road. online
Why did Khosa offer Sapna’s father Rs 7m diyat: brother LAHORE STAFF REPORT
AHORE High Court (LHC) Justice Najam-ul-Hasan on Friday adjourned till January 5 the hearing of a petition filed by former Punjab chief minister Dost Muhammad Khosa for registration of a case against the father, brother and sister of Zeba khan alias Sapna Khan, for kidnapping her to blackmail him. Dost through his counsel Zubair Khalid advocate, pleaded that his exwife Sapna Khan was in custody of Misal Khan, her self claimed father and her brother Amin Khan and that they were leveling false allegations of kidnap and murder against him to harass him and damage his repute. Rejecting the claims of Misal khan,
Khosa’s counsel said that Khosa had divorced Sapna on June 19, 2011, therefore it was false that she was last seen in the GOR-1 with Khosa, where his guards had tortured or kidnapped her. He said that Dost married Zeba on June 2, 2010 and out of this wedlock a girl was born, who was in the care of his family now. He said that some differences surfaced between them after one year, resulting in Sapna leaving his house on June 17, 2011 and Khosa divorced her later. Muhammad Azhar Siddique advocate, the counsel for Misal, pleaded that Misal’s petition for recovery of Sapna was pending adjudication in the court and that should be decided before hearing Khosa’s petition. After listening to arguments from both sides the court adjourned the hearing till Jan 5.
Dost Khosa has impleaded the Punjab inspector general of police (IGP), Lahore capital city police officer (CCPO), Race Course station house officer (SHO), Nawab Town SHO, Misal Khan, and the Lahore additional session judge who had given the order of First Investigation Report (FIR) against him on the application of Misal khan. Later, talking to reporters outside the court, Khosa’s counsel claimed that Sapna was not the daughter of Misal Khan and his case was bogus, aimed at blackmailing his client. While Amin Khan, brother of Sapna, said that if their stance was false, then why had Khosa offered Sapna’s family Diyat (blood money) of Rs 7 million when they had protested against her kidnap and murder and filed a case/application against him.
All flock to the dry fruit market g
despite increased prices, a chillier winter means consumers have flocked to dry fruit markets
almonDs: rs 800-1200 per kilo
walnuts: rs. 300 – 400 per kilo
pistaChios: rs 1000-1200 per kilo
peanuts: rs 200-300 per kilo
Cashew nuts: rs.1000-1600 per kilo
pine nuts: rs 2400- 2800 per kilo
have purchased dry fruits this year, which might be due to colder weather”, said a dry fruit shopkeeper. He said people were both visiting more frequently and purchasing more individually compared to last year. Pakistan Today observed bustling dry fruit shops, with consumers demanding all varieties. “Winters and dry fruits have a great relationship with each other”, said Rashidah Farooqi, a
mother of two, “One without the other is incomplete.” She said the intense weather had compelled her to purchase dry fruits twice this season. She said dry fruit were good for her little children in the cold weather. Akbari Mandi, situated near Mochi Gate, is reputed in the trade of pulses and dry fruits. Consumers visiting the market in search of dry fruits showed dissatisfaction over prices but still pur-
chased the winter delicacy. The prices of individual dry fruits have increased by 10% to 50% each. The price of peanuts has increased by 25%, pistachio by 10%, cashew nuts by 45%, pine nuts by 20% and walnuts by 25% this year. Nevertheless, consumption has not dropped. “Last year the demand was less. This year, with flood-hit areas are recovering, both demand and supply of dry fruit supplies has
been up”, said shopkeeper Ashfaq. “I never thought that pine nuts would be Rs 2,400 per kilo, but if the rate is up then it is up. It’s cold and I’ll have to purchase them,” said Akram, while bargaining with a shop keeper. “It seems dry fruits are just for the elite only”, said Uzma, a mother of two. Sellers attributed the rise in dry fruit prices to increased petrol prices. “The hike in petrol prices
was a major factor in the price increase,” said Shehzad, a shopkeeper. A Pakistan Today survey revealed dry fruit prices this year are: almonds: Rs 800-1200 per kilo, walnuts: Rs. 300 – 400 per kilo, pistachios: Rs 1000-1200 per kilo, peanuts: Rs 200-300 per kilo, cashew nuts: Rs.1000-1600 per kilo, while pine nuts were observed to be ranging from Rs. 2400- 2800 per kilo.
With the winter chill having finally descending, the fate of dry fruits appears the same as city dwellers continue to feast upon the traditional winter delicacy despite astronomical prices. “Despite the hike in prices, the demand of dry fruit remains unaffected, rather I think more people
4-day media workshop concludes at PU LAHORE STAFF REPORT
The concluding ceremony of a four-day media workshop, organised by the Unified Media Club (UMC), was held at the Punjab University’s Institute of Communication Studies (ICS) on Friday. Addressing the ceremony, Punjab government Spokesperson Senator Pervez Rashid said that the culture of debate was discouraged in the educational institutions during the dictatorship in Zia-ul-Haq’s time. He said academic development was arrested
and extremism was furthered in the society, adding that journalists and politicians should promote tolerance towards each other’s views. Dean of Social Sciences Prof Dr Muhammad Hafeez said that each person would have to play a role in the development of the society, adding that the government should patronise research and think tanks and provide them with sufficient funds. The government should involve researchers from universities in the policy-making, he said. Speaking on the occasion, UMC President Muhammad Hassan said that
UMC provided a platform to the students of media sciences to provide them with training opportunities to perform their professional responsibilities. The four-day media workshop included training in reporting, production and the news room culture. It was attended by the students of Punjab University ICS, Lahore College for Women University, Kinnaird College, University of Management and Technology (UMT), Forman Christian College (FCC) University and other journalists.
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20 °C High 0C 07 Low
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PRAYeR tiMiNGS fajr Sunrise 05:35 07:00
CitY diReCtoRY DOUBLE CARRAIGE: A wagon body is carried atop a donkey cart on Ravi Road. nADeeM iJAz
eMeRGeNCY HeLP ReSCUe edHi CoNtRoL MotoRwAY PoLiCe PoLiCe GoveRNoR’S HoUSe CHief MiNiSteR’S HoUSe fiRe BRiGAde BoMB diSPoSAL MCL CoMPLAiNtS LAHoRe wASte diSPoSAL
1122 115 130 15 99200081-7 99203226 16 99212111 99211022-29 1139
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
BLood BANk fAtMid iSLAMiC ALLiANCe
CoMPLAiNt wAPdA SUi GAS
RAiLwAYS CitY StAtioN (iNqUiRY) ReSeRvAtioN RAiLwAY PoLiCe
117 99201772 1333
Traffic police indifferent to fading zebra crossings LAHORE ALI TAHIR
HE vanishing zebra crossings, even on the main roads of Lahore, make obvious the lack of importance given to the rights of pedestrians in the city. The zebra crossings seem to be disappearing in the city as the government completely ignores a vital tool used around the world to minimise roadside pedestrian accidents. The zebra crossings on almost all major roads and around schools, colleges and universities and business centers have been fading away. All the major roads, including the Ferozpur Road, Jail Road, Mall Road, Ravi Road, Main Boulevard Garden Town and the Main Boulevard Gulberg, have been suffering from the problem equally. The maintenance of zebra crossings partially falls in the hands of the City District Government Lahore (CDGL), which is assisted by the Lahore Traffic Department. Although the culture of zebra crossing is being transformed by the use of overhead bridges, the spots where zebra crossings are still pertinent and need to be visible reflect the lack of interest of the district administration is in this regard. The Jail Road serves as the prime example of fading zebra crossings, despite the road being lined by several educational institutions, offices, restaurants, hospitals and pharmacies. There are approximately eight crossings on the road, however unfortunately none of the junctions have a visible zebra crossing strip. A large number of students from the Kinnard College, Lahore College for Women University, Apwa College and the Services
Institute of Medical Sciences use the road daily, where the probability of them meeting accidents is very high. According to the Rescue 1122 officials, the Jail Road and the Ferozpur Road, being the busiest roads of the city, are the grounds for several major and minor accidents during a day. “The pedestrian accidents are usually minor, but they can be very severe at times,” a 1122 official said. Traffic Warden Rizwan, standing near a signal on the Mall Road, admitted that it was partially the responsibility of the traffic officials like him, who were supposed to report the fading of a zebra crossing. “yes we do report such spots, but frankly the city is going through a
major traffic crisis, we have bigger problems on ground,” he added. The Traffic Department spokesman confirmed that they notify the problem but it was up to the Traffic Engineering and Planning Authority (TEPA) to ensure the maintenance. The TEPA officials chose to remain silent on the issue as none of the officials that were contacted spoke about the ongoing situation.
Yes, we do report such spots, but frankly the city is going through a major traffic crisis, we have bigger problems on ground RIZWAN
AiRPoRt fLiGHt iNqUiRY PiA ReSeRvAtioN
According to a research, the zebra crossings have been found to reduce the pedestrian crashes by 80 percent. A zebra crossing, also known as “crosswalks”, is an area specified on the roads for the pedestrians to cross the road. The zebra crossings are usually white diagonal stripes on the road and were first used in the UK, from where their use spread around the world.
DoCumentary makinG Course
harmony anD heritaGe of pakistan
CoLLeGeS / UNiveRSitieS PUNJAB UNiveRSitY kiNNAiRd CoLLeGe qUeeN MARY CoLLeGe Govt. CoLLeGe UNiveRSitY UMt LUMS Uet LCwU SUPeRioR CoLLeGe
99231257 99203781-4 36362942 111-000-010 35212801-10 35608000 36288666 99203072 111-000-078
dAte ANd tiMe: Nov 11 to JUN1, 2012, 4PM to 6PM veNUe: HASt-o-NeeSt CeNteR CALLiGRAPHY CLASSeS are on-going, interested students can enroll throughout the year. the duration of one module is three months. there are four modules of learning calligraphyt: primary, secondary, advanced and higher. the course includes traditional pen and traditional paper making.
dAte: deC 30, 2011 to JAN 30,2012 veNUe: LAwReNCe GARdeN Be a successful documentary maker and learn the art from the media professionals including orya Maqbool Jan.
dAte: deC 29, 2011, 5:30 PM veNUe: SHAkiR ALi MUSeUM. 93 tiPU BLoCk NewGARdeN towN An exhibiton of painintings by Ms irum Asfaque organised by PNCA.
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PPP and its allies: a stable, bumpy ride
ISLAMABAD ARIF TAJ
HE Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) government remained stable in 2011, with one hiccup, when in January, the coalition seemed to be shaking after the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) quit government. But the threat was averted after the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) decided to join the ruling coalition. The
matter of the MQM, however, remained unresolved. LOVERS OR HATERS: THE PPP AnD MQM: The relationship between the MQM and the PPP continued as a lovehate affair in 2011 with the former quitting and rejoining the coalition a number of times. The fragility of the partnership suggested the partnership was made of glass, a marriage of convenience, not a marriage of ideals. The MQM left the government in December 20101, only to rejoin the federal government on January 7 after talks with
Prime Minister yousuf Raza Gilani at MQM headquarters 90. PPP-MQM relations deteriorated again in June over the postponed elections in two constituencies of the Azad Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly. MQM quit government with the promise to not return: it withdrew support from the Sindh Assembly and the centre together and Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad resigned from his post. But the first week of October found the MQM returning to the coalition government’s
fold after intense negotiations spanning two months. As the year closes, the PPP and MQM are still unstable partnerships, holding differences deeper than appear to the eye over local bodies, census and the targeted killings of political workers in Karachi and still the next anticipated move from the other coalition partner still causes paranoia. IMPOSSIBLE BEcOMES POSSIBLE: THE PML-Q: 2011 saw an ‘impossible’ come true when the PML-Q joined the government in first week of May. In
return for four ministries, the PML-Q gave as the PPP leverage against blackmail by other coalition partners. THE STABLE PARTnER: THE AnP: The Awami National Party (ANP) remained the most loyal coalition partner of the government and no differences surfaced between them in 2011. The ANP continued to defend the government throughout the year as well as PPP members itself and stood by through thick and thin. FATA MNAs showed the same commitment.
The promise of 2012: Entering political instability ISLAMABAD TAHIR NIAZ
Though the political instability continued haunting the Pakistan People’s Party-led government throughout the outgoing year, the risk of political instability, at least for the moment, is quite high with the government facing a number of challenges at political and judicial front, particularly the memogate. The year 2011 accounted for the marked increase in social unrest and political instability with people crying and taking to streets over load-shedding, price-hike and government’s incapacity to deliver, particularly on economic front and the government struggling for its survival in the face of a number of challenges. The first day of the year 2011 reminds a lot about how the government entered the year and the political issues unfolding on national horizon. President Asif Zardari had welcomed the outgoing year by signing the 19th Amendment Bill, making it a part of the Constitution. It was a big achievement on part of the government as well as the opposition parties as the Bill was drafted by the 26-member Parliamentary Committee on Constitutional Reforms,
Blast kills two in Bajaur KHAR
which also authored the landmark 18th Amendment that introduced a parliamentary role in top judicial appointments and was unanimously adopted by both houses of the parliament. But on the same day, the Awami National Party, Jamaat-e-Islami and the Pakistan Muslim League–Nawaz rejected the hike in prices of petroleum products and presented adjournment motions in the Senate and the National Assembly. Same day, Interior Minister Rehman Malik dispelled the impression that the MuttahidaQaumi Movement had called for the removal of Sindh Home Minister, ZulfiqarMirza. It seemed that the government is entering the year 2012 carrying almost the same kind of problems in its skirt as it was facing at the start of the outgoing year, rather, the challenges have multiplied in number and intensity. During the outgoing year, the government survived a severe political jolt when MuttahidaQaumi Movement left the PPP-led coalition government in June, leaving the government into a minority. However, in October, the MQM rejoined the government after continued talks between the two parties. In 2011, whenever the MQM and JUI-F quit the federal government, it suggested
that ‘countdown’ had started but every time it survived, thanks to the policy of reconciliation adopted by the top PPP leadership. Target killings in Karachi also remained a major challenge for the government that led to social unrest and worsening law and order situation in the city and pitched the two allies in the provincial government — PPP and MQM — against each other. The government faced another jerk in the shape of US Special Forces operation in Abbottabad on the night between May 1 and May 2, in which the US claimed to having killed Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden. The operation was carried out without taking Pakistan into confidence. The raid where put the country’s sovereignty under question also put the government in an awkward position in the face of severe criticism from the opposition parties. PML-N campaign against President Zardari aimed at throwing him out of the presidency multiplied by threats to resign en-mass from the parliament and provincial assemblies also contributed to the ongoing political instability. However, it touched climax when the
‘Baloch elements involved in insurgency to break Pakistan’
At least two persons were killed and three sustained injuries in a bomb blast in Bajaur on Friday, officials and witnesses said. The bomb, detonated through a remote control, targeted the members of the pro-government peace force in the Salarzai Tehsil. According to sources, no group had claimed responsibility for the attack. However, the authorities have blamed Taliban for the attack, while the security forces have arrested a person suspected of fixing the bomb in a shop. The security forces had launched major offensive in Bajaur in 2008-9 and cleared most of the areas from the militants. The army claims that several militant leaders from Bajaur had fled to Afghanistan and were operating from there.
ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT
Interior Minister Rehman Malik said on Friday that some elements among the Balochi people were involved in an insurgency to break Pakistan, adding that personal enmity could have resulted in the assassination of Police Surgeon Dr Baqir Shah. Speaking to reporters outside the Par-
liament House, he said, “There is a miniinsurgency in Balochistan and some of the Baloch people are involved it. They are working against Pakistan and want to break up the country.” Malik said that personal enmity could be behind the assassination of Police Surgeon Dr Baqir Shah, which could be established only after an inquiry report has been submitted on whether the surgeon was killed due to personal feud. He said that the assassination of Dr Baqir was a cruel act which should be condemned. The interior minister said that the government was aware of the people who talked through satellite phones with the people in Balochistan and destroyed peace in the province. He said that the Balochi people should help the government in creating peace in the province. The interior minister was questioned over the government’s inability to provide security arrangements to the citizens, while fool-proof security had been provided for the president’s address at former prime minister Benazir Bhutto’s death anniversary. Malik answered that the security arrangements on the occasion of Pakistan Tehreek-Insaaf’s public gathering in Karachi were similar to that of the Ghari Khuda Bux rally.
memo scandal surfaced with government faced off with judiciary and military leadership of the country on the issue. Prime Minister Gilani cried foul against these state institutions besides accusing PML-N for hatching conspiracies against democracy and the parliament. The last two months of the outgoing year were the most troublesome for the government as the memo issue almost pushed it into a closed tunnel and political instability touching its peak. At one time
there were rumours that military was all set to stage coup in the country, however, the government again survived out of the situation. The memo case is in the Supreme Court and it looks that government’s fate is hanging in the balance. The year 2012 is here to stay for the next 365 days. Just like every passing year has a history, every upcoming one has a future. Let’s see what the heavens have to offer to the government and country during the next 12 months.
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Exploring the ‘memogate’ controversy ISLAMABAD
PPARENTLy, it was all going well between the civilian and military leadership of the country until the memo controversy surfaced in mid-October, which hit the government hard and also exposed the trust deficit between the two sides. At a time when everything between the military and civilian leadership seemed rosy and both sides were seemingly flowing with milk and honey on all issues of national significance and it was being predicted that the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP)-led coalition government would complete its tenure for the first time in history and President Asif Ali Zardari may get another term, the memo controversy hit the country hard, exposing a severe trust deficit on both sides. The controversy, dubbed “memogate”, revolves around an alleged memorandum addressed to the former US military chief Admiral Mike Mullen, seeking help from the Obama administration in the wake of the Osama bin Laden raid to avert a military takeover in Pakistan. MEMO cOnTROVERSY: The main actors in the plot included PakistaniAmerican businessman Mansoor Ijaz, who alleged that Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States Husain Haqqani had asked him to deliver a confidential memo asking for US assistance to President Zardari. The memo is alleged to have been drafted by Haqqani at the behest of the president, but Haqqani and several senior Pakistani officials have consistently denied these allegations. Although the authenticity of the memo could not be deduced, politicians in the opposition called for a broader enquiry into its origins, credibility and purpose. Pending investigation, it was required that all officials involved in the enquiry be suspended from or relieved of their duties, which ultimately led to Haqqani’s resignation as envoy to the US. His resignation was demanded and then duly accepted by Prime Minister yousaf Raza Gilani. Sherry Rehman succeeded Haqqani as Pakistan’s new ambassador to the US. cOnTEnTS Of THE MEMO: The alleged confidential memo was published
in its entirety on Foreign Policy magazine’s website on November 17. The memo was addressed to Michael Mullen, and requested the Obama administration to convey a “strong, urgent and direct message to General Kayani and General Pasha” – the country’s army and intelligence chiefs respectively - to “end their brinkmanship aimed at bringing down the civilian apparatus”. The memo made certain explicit offers to the United States government in exchange for their support. These include the following: An “independent and accountable enquiry” would be made into the Osama bin Laden raid, the findings would be tangible value to the United States. Proposal were also made to establish a new “national security team” that would support the decisions of the US administration and give a “green light” for future US killor-capture operations on Pakistani soil. Development of a new “[and] acceptable framework of discipline” was also proposed in order to handle Pakistan’s nuclear weapons. It was also proposed that the aforementioned national security team would also disband and eliminate units within the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) that were largely believed to have contacts with terrorist organisations. Furthermore, ‘Section S’ of the ISI was allegedly named in the memo as being charged with maintaining relations with the Taliban and the Haqqani network.
The memo also promised full cooperation of the government to assist the Indian government in apprehending suspects to the 2008 Mumbai attacks, “whether outside or inside the government, including its intelligence agency”. HAQQAnI’S ROLE: Haqqani had to resign over the affairs concerning the alleged memo. He had consistently denied the existence and authorship of the memo in question. In a rally at Minar-e-Pakistan in Lahore on October 30, 2011, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf Chairman Imran Khan acknowledged Haqqani’s involvement with the memo. It was not until later, however, that Ijaz officially acknowledged Haqqani’s involvement in public. After returning to Pakistan and meeting the president, prime minister, chief of army staff, and the ISI chief, he handed in his resignation, which was immediately accepted. OPPOSITIOn: Several Pakistani opposition politicians saw opportunity in turning the scandal into a major political issue, accusing the Pakistan government of compromising the country’s sovereignty and conspiring against the armed forces. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking a probe into the scandal and this step triggered a major gulf between the state institutions –the judiciary and army pitted against the government. This created
panic in government circles and the federation challenged the court’s jurisdiction, claiming that the Parliamentary Committee on National Security was tasked with probing the matter. Meanwhile, former US national security adviser General James Jones came to Haqqani’s rescue and stated in an affidavit that he believed Haqqani was not involved in the memo and the language of the memo reflected the fact that Ijaz had drafted it. PRESIDEnT’S ILLnESS: The memo controversy touched its peak with a quiet trip by President Asif Ali Zardari to Dubai after allegedly been hit by a mild ‘stroke’. Following his departure on December 6, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari shifted to Prime Minister’s House and took the affairs of the party in his hand. In the absence of his father, Bilawal took care of the party’s affairs, which reflected that he had been officially launched to run the party. On December 17, Bilawal also cochaired the party’s parliamentary party meeting held at Prime Minister’s House. Addressing the meeting, Bilawal said the PPP as a party excelled in sacrifices. However, as soon as President Asif Ali Zardari returned Karachi from Dubai, Bilawal left for Dubai quietly despite the fact that her mother’s death anniversary was only a week away. gILAnI-KAYAnI cOnfROnTATIOn: Meanwhile, when all the respondents in the petitions against the memo
The non-entity becomes the alternate g
Charisma, youth and disgruntled stalwarts combine to make the Pti a third force
were asked to submit responses to the apex court, the army and ISI chiefs stood their ground and submitted their statements to the court bypassing the directions of Prime Minister Gilani, who wanted all statements to be submitted to his office visibly to manipulate their statements. In their statements, the army chief and ISI chief termed the memo a ‘reality’ while the government termed the memo a ‘worthless piece of paper’. The civil-military confrontation reached its peak when Prime Minister Gilani claimed in end-December that conspirators were plotting to bring his government down, adding that “a state within a state” would not be allowed. Making two hard-hitting speeches in a day, the premier hinted at the military leadership for conspiring against his government. However, within hours, the army chief and chief justice responded strongly, clearing the air about Gilani’s claims and said no military takeover would take place and the army would keep supporting the democratic process. However, the army chief said no compromise would be made on national security. Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry said no one would be allowed to go for intervention in violation of the constitution. After some quiet messaging and hectic efforts by some friendly states and leaders of coalition partners, things returned to normal but the case is still being heard in the apex court.
Militants blow up primary school in Nowshera nOwSHERA
ISLAMABAD IRFAN BUKHARI
The failures of the government, the political lethargy of opposition parties and the street perseverance of Imran Khan and his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) ‘comrades’ meant the political party being considered a ‘non-entity’ when 2011 begun became a genuine alternative, a third political force, as 2012 begins. PTI gained weight after a number of prominent, but disgruntled politicians from existing political parties jumped on the Khan bandwagon. The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) all had to deal with high-profile departures, as the PPP’s Shah Mehmood Qureshi and PML-N’s Javed Hashmi sparked the rise of the PTI. The PTI Minar-e-Pakistan jalsa on October 30 removed the doubts of dozens of political heavyweights, sitting on the fence in other political parties, and they joined PTI en bloc. Opponents continued to scream ‘military establishment’ support but PTI rejected charges calling the accusers’ ‘status quo’ politicians. PML-Q, already fissured since the ouster of former president Pervez Musharraf in August 2008, saw massdefections from the Chaudhry camp to the Khan camp. PTI pressure meant the PML-N Sharifs’ opened doors to former Musharraf aides, who the PML-N had promised “never to embrace.” Defectors from the Q-league formed a unification bloc with PML-Likeminded and All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) and en-
gulfed themselves within Khan’s tsunami. Critics began to call the PTI, the “rebirth of the PML-Q.” The PTI had been joined by sitting and former parliamentarians Ghulam Sarwar Khan, Sikandar Khan Bosan, Ishaq Khakwani, Senator Jamal Leghari, G.G Jamal, Owais Legari etc under the leadership of PML-Functional parliamentary leader Jahangir Khan Tareen and former dis-
League-Nawaz restarted efforts to get youth to join its think tank to form a strategy to win over 103 million Pakistani youngsters. It was less Khan’s charisma or PTI’s slogans, but the passion and persuasion skills of the youth which attracted thousands to attend mammoth public processions in Lahore on October 30 and Karachi on December 25. A decadent
Passion rebuilds the world for the youth. it makes all things alive and significant: RAlPH WAlDo eMeRSon trict and tehsil nazims from across Punjab such as Sardar Ghulam Abbas. As the youth became the PTI vanguard, a ‘concerned’ Pakistan Muslim
decades-old political landscape in the country had been changed. Slogans of “change,” from Imran, captured the passion of the dejected youth, facing unem-
ployment, poverty and the lack of justice. All was a testament to what Ralph Waldo Emerson once said: “Passion rebuilds the world for the youth. It makes all things alive and significant.” To counter PTI’s youth vanguard, Nawaz Sharif asked his daughter Maryam Nawaz to enter politics. Maryam’s frequent visits to women colleges and universities and close interaction with female students were aimed at pulling them out of the charisma of Khan, who misses no opportunity to ‘pun’ at the Sharifs for being ‘covert’ supporters of Zardari-Gilani government. The PTI’s popularity has begun to pose a challenge to PPP stronghold Southern Punjab, after Multan’s Shah Mehmood Qureshi and other PML-Q stalwarts including Bosan, Tareen, the Khakwanis and Legharis have created cracks in the PPP’s vote bank in the region. The PML-Q defections have perturbed the PPP leadership on whether these could sabotage Zardari-Shujaat plans of agreeing a seat-adjustment for next the election to defeat the Sharifs in Punjab. On the political outside, former dictator General (r) Musharraf’s failure to establish his political party, the APML, has found him extending support to Imran Khan and the PTI for “breaking the political status quo.” Musharraf’s growing fondness for Imran was witnessed in interviews in which he went the extra length to defend the former Pakistani cricket captain. In an interview with Indian journalist Barkha Datt, Musharraf termed Imran “the best among the existing Pakistani politicians.”
Some suspected militants detonated a bomb at the Government Primary School in the Ziarat Kaka Sahib area of Nowshera district here on Friday, police said. Sources said the school building was destroyed in a huge explosion that caused panic in the entire neighborhood area. After the tragic incident, police, law enforcement agencies and Elite Police force conducted a search operation after the incident and arrested 8 suspects with firearms.
BLLf pays tribute to Justice Zulla LAHORE PRESS RELEASE
Labour organizations, activists and scores of brick-kiln workers have paid rich tributes to former Lahore High Court chief justice Afzal Zulla (late) for declaring the brick kiln work a worst form of bonded labour in his historical verdict he had announced in September 1988. Speaking at a condolence reference held here under aegis of Bonded Labour Liberation Front (BLLF) Pakistan in collaboration with Trocaire on Friday, the speakers said Justice Zulla, who died recently, always decided the cases on merit by upholding the rule of law. “The workers should always remember services of Justice Zulla who decided a case on bonded labour on merit,” Muttahida Labour Federation President Chaudhry Muhammad yaqoob said while speaking on the occasion.
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Saturday, 31 december, 2011
Editor’s mail 11 Letter to the parliament
female drug addicts in educational institutes Pakistan, being a developing country, is passing through a phase where there are many social problems in the society that are overlooked. The new generation is specially inclined towards narcotics due to reasons like peer pressure and stress. We have been struggling to get rid of this problem and although we have been able to raise awareness to some extent but we still have not been able to eliminate the problem entirely. Along with male drug addicts, there are a huge number of female drug addicts as well. Strangely, it is prevalent in educational institutes as well. What are the factors influencing drug addiction, how do these students manage to get drugs, the introductory source that leads them to taking drugs, from which sources do they get these drugs, how do they manage expenditures of drugs, how much do they spend on taking drugs in a month, what is the total monthly income of their family and questions like these have to be thoroughly researched and answered to reach some solid conclusion.
As a matter of fact, I conducted a survey on this very topic and found interesting result. Majority of the students I questioned belonged to the religion Islam, other than few students, who belonged to Christianity or Hinduism. The religion of the students was questioned because I wanted to analyse if the socio-cultural factors have any implication on the usage of drugs among people. Female drug users are rejected by our society, so they prefer to keep their drug usage quiet in order to be socially acceptable. I also took into account different socio-economic factors, such as education, income and demographic factors. Majority of the female drug users belonged to upper class of the society with a monthly income of Rs 10,001-200,000. The interaction among family was low, and resultantly, the parents were unaware of the activities of their children. The negligence of the parents towards their children can also be added as a factor. The most popular type of drug used
among females was found to be tobacco and heroin. Female students were more lenient about smoking as compared to other forms of drugs. There were few who mentioned using drugs like Ecstasy. Smoking is a comparatively harmless form and it doesn’t alter their conscious state of mind the way other stronger forms of drugs do, so they can move easily among people and interact. Moreover, it is also less easily detectable. The main source which leads females to drug addiction was found out to be friends. Females were influenced when they saw their friends taking drugs. When I asked the respondents that how do they manage their expenditure on drugs, they told that they either spend their pocket money on them or if they run out of pocket money, then they tend to borrow from their friends to buy drugs because they don’t want to be detected by their parents. Moreover, these people spend almost Rs 2000 every month on drugs and a
great majority also goes as far as spending Rs 4000-6000 every month. These are those female students who take strong drugs like Ecstasy, because it is more expensive as compared to other forms of drugs. Drug addiction can be reduced by launching informative websites to educate the public on how to get rid of addiction. Drug addiction is one of the major social problems in our society that does not discriminate its victims in terms of gender, class levels, age but it lies as a curse upon everyone in the society and has a tendency to ruin them. If we don’t put a stop to this problem soon, our society will be infected by this disease so badly that the cure will become impossible. Since, females make up the most crucial part of a family, they have a major influence over children; so the drug usage of females is even more dangerous than that of males. NOOR-UL-AIN Kinnaird College, Lahore
Unanswered questions The whole nation is chanting one slogan and that’s change. But do we really need a change or it’s a mere useless desire. We definitely need change and a change of a different kind. Imran Khan is the latest agent of change and the heartbeat of millions of youngsters. Despite listening to praises for him from my fellows I can’t blindly head towards Khan’s rally and shout like others. There are some questions that need answering. The first question I want to ask is what kind of a change? A change with the same team as Musharraf had; Kasoori, Jehangir Tareen, Sardar Assef Ahmed Ali and the list continues. Does change mean going back into time and have a different leader but with the same team and same agenda? The Karachi rally also needs answers. Imran's Karachi meeting was a success. Only couple of months ago, Imran could enter Karachi only with tacit consent of MQM, let alone arrange a meeting. What may be the cause of MQM's metamorphosis? This is a very important question. If it was so easy a matter that just lifting of a finger or move of a baton could pacify MQM, then why was Karachi allowed to be a victim of violence? The power that made this possible today is responsible for the thousands of deaths over the years. Imran Khan also needs to address how he is going to bring change rather then jus saying change. He should also answer about his special hatred towards Nawaz Sharif when his role has been appreciable of late. MAJID TAMOOR Lahore
Beyond the NAto attack Pakistan must use intact and offensive defence capacities on Afghan border because American policies on Afghan war are shifting against Pakistan and are also threatening our national security, territorial integrity and our strategic interests in Afghanistan. The attacks on 2 May and 26 November were serious attacks of aggression on our sovereignty and territorial integrity. These attacks raised serious questions on our defence capabilities and affected the morale of soldiers who are serving in tribal region and Afghan border. Moreover, participants of Bonn Conference on Afghanistan frequently criticised Pakistan for having safe havens for militant in North Waziristan. This conference tried to put all blame of instability and increased militant activities against NATO on Pakistan. The Bonn Conference delegates declared North Waziristan based militants as security risk to the whole world and demanded a military action against them. In case we do not follow American direction of military action in North Waziristan, the Americans can attempt another unilateral attack under the disguise of an important target because it is now in a hurry to get few significant achievements before its departure from Afghanistan. In the presence of such fears we must have an unassailable defence capability on the Afghan border. MUHAMMAD EJAZ SARWAR Lahore
The founder of Pakistan Muhammad Ali Jinnah wanted Pakistan to be a moderate secular state. The Constitution of Pakistan provides for fundamental rights which include freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of the press and the right to bear arms. I belong to Christian community of Pakistan. We are about 1.5 % of the population of our beloved homeland Pakistan. Our state law mandates that any "blasphemies" of the Quran are to be met with punishment. On July 28, 1994, Amnesty International urged Pakistan's Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto to change the law because it was being used to terrorise religious minorities. She tried, but was unsuccessful. However, she modified the laws to make them more moderate. Her changes were reversed by the Nawaz Sharif administration which was backed by religio-political parties. The current government should do the best and follow Benazir Bhutto's vision in this regard. It is very sad that Christian community's Christmas celebrations were overshadowed by power outages. This is one example of discriminatory act against the minorities in Pakistan. On the occasion of Muslims' rituals, the system is set into order; no loadshedding at all. Why are the minorities of Pakistan treated as second class citizens of Pakistan? Why this discrimination? Are we not Pakistanis? I believe the parliament is supreme of all institutions, but we have no proper representation in the parliament which is why minorities are deprived of their rights. Would any of the members of parliament care to respond my letter? AMEEN KHOKHAR Islamabad
New water accord needed
‘No smoking’ I wish to lodge a protest through this letter against an unethical practice of smoking in public places and in TV shows, by some of our former ministers and politicians. I was shocked to see Sheikh Rashid, our former Minister for Railways and a man for all political parties, who has been elected an MNA six times, proudly puffing on a cigar in a TV programme. Though a TV show is not exactly a public place, it is all the same in importance as millions would be watching the show. Unfortunately, with due respect, this is not the first time that the Sheikh has displayed this lack of sensibility and instead
Government vs corruption It has become routine talk that the politicians are corrupt. Whoever enters into politics is bound to be corrupt or no one can enter politics unless he is ready for corruption. Very sadly, this is a common understanding among the people of Pakistan about the state of politics and the kind of governance running the country. The question is who is responsible for this sorry state of affairs? Good governance and corruption cannot go hand in hand. The people responsible to perform the duties of governance cannot ensure a good and fair one unless they themselves
of setting an example, the former minister seems to be in a habit to display his disrespect for the law. If our leaders, ministers and senior politicians do not respect the laws, then they have no moral right to be sitting in our parliament. As such, I request our leading TV channels and senior anchors to ensure that their guests observe a certain code of conduct during these talk shows. I also request our TV anchors to try and put an end to the shouting and mud-slinging matches that we witness in their talk shows. HAMID MAKER Karachi
are free of evils of dishonesty and corruption. The main reason of this widespread corruption is lust for money. It is not just the politicians and government servants who are caught up in this pursuit but the general society as a whole is running after acquiring more and more money. A student of class eight may be telling you that his main aim in life is to earn more and more money. When the society in general is misguided and following a policy that may lead to ultimate destruction, we cannot simply single out the politicians for their vested aims. The whole society needs to reconsider and redirect its main aim and
goal. Good governance starts at one’s own home. When an individual is conscious of his duties to his family and wants to carry them out in the most fair and honest way, then he has contributed towards good governance. Corruption cannot be overcome unless brakes are applied on the lust for acquiring more and more money. The society as a whole needs to understand that money is a means to an end but is not at all an end in itself. People need to adopt the noble qualities of contentment and giving charity. AHSAN IQBAL MASEEDIA Karachi
Pakistan and her approval maybe was necessary for this. Moreover, media remained unaware of Mr Khan’s activities in China. After Nawaz Sharif’s tour to Turkey, it was also considered indispensable to make arrangements for Imran Khan’s tour. He went there and came back with pompous attitude. Now, he has done his best in Karachi and it is possible that he may go to London or even United States? Think for a while: why former foreign ministers – Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Khurshid Mahmood Kasuri – who were never close to Mr Khan have joined his hands for changing the destiny of
poverty-stricken people of this pureland? They had always sided with the new entrants and it doesn’t matter to them whether they had been blue-eyed boys of dictators or have helped democracy, their purpose is to remain in power. Is it so hard to imagine as to why the demoralised mullah-military elite of this country have now decided to run their propped-up horses on the grounds of PTI? Of course, not. But why Imran Khan has been chosen for this task, it baffles me. Since the coup of ’99, Nawaz Sharif has not been able to forget turbulent past. And now the establishment does
The MQM Chief Altaf Hussain has supported the creation of new province of South Punjab which raises the question of cobbling down a new water accord to apportion the shares of each province for irrigation water. The existing water accord has fixed 37 % share each for Punjab and Sindh to allocate liberal share to Sindh in view of saline ground water in that province. Similarly, South Punjab has also large tracts of saline ground water unfit for irrigation. It would have to be compensated for that. The newly proposed shares of North Punjab and South Punjab and Sindh may be to the tune of 25 % for North Punjab, 20 % for South Punjab and 29 % for Sindh. The total irrigated area of Punjab at present is 76% while of Sindh it is 12 % in rounded figure. As such the North and South Punjab would need to get a total of 45 % while Sindh ought to get 29 % instead of 37 %. However, these shares could only be met by a new storage dam which is a moot question as no new dam seems to be in the offing at present. DR MUHAMMAD YAQOOB BHATTI Lahore
turncoats in politics Turncoats are playing with Pakistan’s politics from the day one with their motto of personal benefits. They change parties and put the whole democratic system on stake. Although law against floor-crossing exists, it has failed to overcome such practices. Now turncoats are joining the PTI but if the PTI did not meet their requirements, they will leave it too. TARIQ HUSSAIN KHAN Karachi
imran khan's popularity The popularity of Imran Khan has been increasing at great speed recently and turncoats of different sorts are joining the PTI for what they say “to save the country” from corruption, maladministration, politics of inheritance and free the people from American hegemony and feudal system. Everybody is surprised that where there had been only Imran Khan’s towering personality for 15 years, why all of a sudden he has become so popular. His programmes are already scheduled. As he demonstrated his political potency in Lahore, his trip was arranged for China because China is more than a friend for
not seem to have overcome the reservations that Nawaz Sharif has against it. A new player in the form of Imran Khan was already available in the market, so it was used for its vested interests. A dirty political game seem to have started well before the coming general election, and mullah-military nexus seems to have found a way to hit where it matters the most; by manipulating peoples’ desires and aspirations. All the patriots of the country should keep in mind that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. SARWECH SARYO Rato Dero
Send your letters to: Letters to Editor, Pakistan Today, 4-Shaarey Fatima Jinnah, Lahore, Pakistan. Fax: +92-42-36298302. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Letters should be addressed to Pakistan Today exclusively.
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12 Comment killing the witness the death of justice too
henever asked why the government has failed to stop the unending killing spree in Balochistan, prompt comes the oft-repeated reply from Rehman Malik that a ‘foreign hand’ is behind the acts. He never explains why the interior ministry and security agencies have failed to stop the killings. He continues to accuse some unknown outside power, even in cases where the victims had pointed out the source of the threat. Former police surgeon Baqir Shah who was killed on Thursday in Quetta was one of those who knew the identity of the predator. Shah had conducted the autopsy of the Kharotabad victims. He had told the enquiry tribunal set up by the CJ BHC that all five victims had died of gunshot wounds from the police and Frontier Constabulary weapons instead of their own hand grenade, as claimed by the police. This was to cost him heavily. In June, he complained to the Balochistan High Court in writing that his life was under threat and named police officials who had tortured him. Two police officials were immediately suspended. Threats, however, continued to come. It should not be difficult to point out who could be behind the killing. The question is if those in Islamabad and Quetta are interested in punishing the perpetrators. As a number of police and FC personnel were involved in the Kharotabad incident, pressures were exerted on witnesses from the first day to support the police version of the killings that exonerated the police and FC officials. Appearing before the tribunal, the driver accompanying the foreigners presented a version contradicting the one extracted from him earlier by the police under coercion. The tribunal recommended punishment for the police and FC personnel, holding them responsible for the murder of five foreigners. Unless the key witnesses are dead, the officers are likely to be punished. The last one who photographed the incident has told a TV network that his life is in danger as he too facing serious threats. The incident would provide yet another argument to Sardar Ataullah Mengal who told Nawaz Sharif early this month that “the existing conditions have led to Balochistan reaching the point of no return.” What is highly serious is that the people of Balochistan are losing confidence in all institutions of the state as killings continue unchecked.
Gas crisis it is what it is
ust the way dams can only store water but not create it, good and effective management could have only delayed the ongoing natural gas crisis, it could not have created the stuff. That is all there is to it; there just isn’t enough gas to go around. Has the present political dispensation been slacking on this front? yes. The concerned ministry was first the victim of coalition politics and then general cabinet reshuffles. But can this government’s incompetence explain the crisis? No. In Dr Asim Hussain, the public finds a straight-talking minister for natural resources. They don’t like it. They want to be lied to, like they were when former power minister Raja Parvez Ashraf, much to the chagrin of his bureaucratic staff, kept giving one deadline after the other for the end of electric power load shedding. They might have ridiculed him endlessly for it but the actual date, rumoured to be sometime in 2018, would have been too bitter to swallow. The public’s resentment at the minister’s grim warning of a month-long closure of a CNG stations did not go down well with the press, even those segments who otherwise decry a lack of candour from government officials. It was not on this government’s watch when the public was encouraged to switch over to CNG-powered vehicles. The Musharraf regime then sat on the issue of an impending mismatch between demand and supply, spreading a network of stations across the land. The current government, yes, did not stop the glut and perhaps made a few decisions it shouldn’t have on the LPG front. The reception to correct management is rather interesting. Conventional wisdom would suggest that if a government has to make a choice between the two, you should let the households bear most of the brunt and ensure that the factories get an uninterrupted supply, there being livelihoods to protect. But the media won’t have any of that. It doesn’t even want things to be the other way around. It wants a neither/nor in an either/or situation. Gas management is something we are going to have to reconcile ourselves to. The opposition parties might rally around the crisis, they might accuse (correctly) the government of incompetence. But they would not be able to provide a solution without taking some unsavoury decisions.
Saturday, 31 december, 2011
More on rationing Pakistan’s unsustainable energy policy
By James Trevelyan
r Bari’s article "Rationing Issues" (Pakistan Today, Dec 20) omitted some important factors that affect the conclusions that one can draw from his analysis. He suggested that, when supply is limited, one option for the government is to ration supplies for the poor who would have to stand in long queues to collect their entitlements. This is equivalent to load shedding in the case of gas and electricity. Rationing (or load shedding) imposes significant extra costs that Dr Bari omitted from his article. First, one must include the economic cost of unpaid labour incurred as a result of time spent standing in queues. Technically, this is known as the shadow priced cost of unpaid labour, “value of time”, and is a real economic penalty or opportunity cost. People could be earning income instead of standing in queues. Then there are the inevitable bribes that accompany any government-controlled rationing scheme. Hence, rationing imposes significant extra costs on the poor. The unofficial black-market price (for those who do not want to wait) would become equivalent to the combined value of time spent standing in queues and the cost of "facilitation" payments. Therefore, the economic cost to the poor is equivalent to the black market price. In the case of electricity rationing through load shedding, the effect is once again to transfer additional costs to the poor especially. With a high incidence of load shedding, the community is forced to bear the cost of a large number of inefficient, noisy, polluting standby generators with a significant increase in the requirement for fuel to be imported to run them. In addition, the additional labour required to operate the generators and damage to appliances affected by power spikes and power interruptions further increase the cost of the community. These costs are either transferred
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standby generators, reduced life of appliances, poor maintenance and inefficient design. These differences are hard to explain, given that the necessary technology is available to anyone who wishes to acquire it, and well publicised. I have concluded that most of the difference can be explained by differences in engineering productivity: the ability of engineering enterprises to provide a reliable service at a given level of quality and cost. Unfortunately, engineering education programmes world-wide provide inadequate preparation for young engineers to overcome these issues. There are some new technologies that could help with electricity, gas and water supply rationing (load shedding), however they need extensive testing and development to understand how social and community factors would interact with these technologies. The privately owned mobile phone systems demonstrate that high-tech engineering can work in an environment like Pakistan providing a high quality service at much lower cost than the government monopoly they replaced. New technologies could do the same for water, gas and electricity services. In the meantime, the only policy option available to the Pakistan government is to gradually increase prices to encourage greater efficiency in energy and water use that will occur through market responses. Currently there is significant obvious wastage in the use of water and electricity in Pakistan. The appropriate way to safeguard the interests of the poor is to provide compensation payments funded from taxes collected through energy distribution. Energy taxes, like taxes on petrol, are reasonably easy to collect as part of the energy distribution system. In Australia, the government is now distributing social welfare benefits through community organisations and charities, sidestepping most of the impersonal bureaucracy of government social welfare agencies. Reducing the price and rationing the commodity, as demonstrated by the current situation, is highly inefficient, penalises the poor, cripples the economy, and holds most of the country in a state of near destitution. This situation can be changed if enough people desire improvements. The writer is Winthrop Professor at The University of Western Australia. He has extensively studied engineering practice and the economics of public utility infrastructure in Pakistan, India and Australia since 2001.
By ess Aich
ove over Sahara and Mithal, there is now a Pakistani wedding that has the chattering circles chattering overtime. This one is a union between the daughter of the media mogul Mir Shakil-ur-Rehman and son of an investment banker that made inroads into the media business. And it all happened in Dubai. First came the invite or rather a parcel wrapped in velvet carrying a gift for the chosen. We hear that this package could have been sold for a premium had the security arrangements at the Mina Salam Hotel been lax. The reason being the guest list of celebs, of course. Take the Dholki on the 27th December. It was a song and dance but one where family and friends were joined by Bollywood’s Sonu Nigam on karaoke. Mehndi, the next day was a step up in upmanship. It was celebrated with friends, family and five singers including Udit Naryan, Sunidhi
Dedicated to the legacy of the late Hameed Nizami
directly to those who use the generators, or indirectly through the costs of commodities sold through enterprises that require standby generators. Therefore, one can argue that rationing or load shedding is inefficient economically. Both measures impose large extra costs, tangible and intangible, on the whole community without any useful gain. I have conducted an analysis of recent trends in power prices in Pakistan using data available from the Ministry of Finance and the State Bank of Pakistan. After allowing for official consumer price inflation (CPI), the official metered price of electricity has significantly decreased in real terms for most consumers over the last few years while remaining relatively constant for high consumption consumers. This price, of course, is only a small proportion of real power costs that have to include standby generators, fuel, maintenance, labour etc. However this official price determines cash flow to the power companies and sends a strong price signal to consumers who often are not aware of the full cost. When compared with the overall significant increase in the cost of energy worldwide over the same time span, this suggests that the Pakistan government has chosen to decrease energy prices, thereby increasing subsidies. The predictable result has been supply shortages because insufficient funds are collected to cover the cost of providing the energy, and a decreasing price encourages wasteful use of energy. My interest lies in researching engineering practice, originating with observations that the cost of engineered services such as water supply and electricity is much greater for end users in Pakistan than it is in countries like Australia and the USA. The most extreme example is clean potable water which costs between 20 and 50 times as much in Pakistan per thousand litres as it does in Australia. In Australia, clean safe drinking water is delivered to taps in houses and businesses at approximately 2 dollars per tonne and is available at high pressure, 24 hours per day. In Pakistan the cost is anywhere from $40-$90 per tonne depending on how the water is obtained, including factors such as the value of time spent carrying and preparing safe potable water. If this sounds surprising, consider the cost of 20 litre plastic water bottles, and remember that you need 50 for a tonne of water. In terms of energy used at the point of application, electricity costs are 3-5 times higher than in Australia, in real cash terms, after allowing for the costs of
t seems the info boss in Islamabad can use her tears just as well as her punches to tear down the deadliest of opponents. Minister Firdaus Ashiq Awan had been complaining for some time about a “gang of four” that met regularly to plot her downfall or should we say her departure from the cabinet. She had often whispered that Kaira, Sethi (principle
Chauhan, and Sadhna Sargam with Shaan making a guest appearance. But then came the icing on the wedding cake. On the wedding day itself, in walks Shahrukh Khan with Kareena Kapoor and Arjun Rampal. Now just before SRK walked in another VVIP, former President Musharraf had been lapping in the limelight but enter King Khan and the crowd discarded him like a used tissue. The stage nearly collapsed under the onslaught and the screams of joy were heard for a mile. It was announced that these were SRK’s admirers from Lahore and Karachi to which the super star replied “And I am a Muslim from Peshawar”. More screams of joy. Mark you, all this joy and enthusiasm came without the help of a bottle. And here was another news break. In a city which oozes with liquor brought in from every corner of the world, this was one event that was as dry as dry can be.
secretary) Nadir Chan and Nazar Gondal met regularly to hatch plans aimed at axing the lady politically. She complained of a whispering campaign which blamed all government woes on the media and therefore on her mismanagement of the media. Finally, Ms Awan decided she was going to take off her gloves and pull a few
aking Babar Awan the Vice President of PPP raises many questions but one in particular. you see there is no position of a vice president in the PPP constitution. Some say that it was Babar Awan who misinterpreted the constitution for the president to make a cosy corner for himself and get a few more perks. He may even have charged the presidency for this opinion. Now that does make sense. As for the elevated office. Office naqli ho ya asli, office office he hai.
punches of her own. She then went on to use a woman’s traditional weapon: tears. Under full glare of the media, she rendered her resignation and attacked her opponents with tears or at least the sound of tears. The Prime Minister was reduced to putty, the resignation was rejected and all was forgiven. your move, Gang of Four.
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Saturday, 31 december, 2011
Calculated defiance Things could get bad for the PPP
By Aziz-ud-Din Ahmad
resident Zardari’s speech at the death anniversary of Benazir Bhutto was marked by a grim resolve. While the address might have disappointed those who expected him to indulge in the type of fireworks that marked his earlier speeches on the occasion, Zardari refrained from confronting the military directly. He nevertheless made it clear that he was not the man to cut and run. Coming within days of Gilani’s tough stand against plotters who according to him wanted to bring down the government, the address indicates the PPP’s resolve to continue to hold on to power till the end of its tenure. Zardari knows it is not possible to remove him in the way delineated in the constitution. The President can be sent home on the ground of physical or mental incapacity or impeached on a charge of violating the Constitution or gross misconduct. The partial stroke and the travel to Dubai had led some of his opponents to think he had fled from the country for good. When he returned to give them a lie, they launched a media campaign maintaining that he was sound neither physically nor mentally. Holding a number of meetings and travelling over long distances were proofs of Zardari’s physical fitness. The hopes that he would act rashly by launching a tirade against the army have also proved to be false. The speech indicated that he was fitter than ever before. Thus one ground on which Zardari could have been legally removed has proved untenable. The president can also be impeached on a charge of violating the constitution or gross misconduct. Even with its combined strength, the opposition is not in a position to get the mandatory signatures of more than half the
membership of either the Senate or the National Assembly to call a joint session of Parliament to start the impeachment process. Unless the offstage players pressurise the MQM and PML(Q) to quit the alliance, the move would fizzle out at the initial stage. The way the government and the army have come face to face in the Supreme Court shows a resolve on the part of the powers that be to see the back of the president and, if necessary, that of the PPP government before the end of their tenure. Of course, the establishment can manage the desertions as it has enough levers to pressurise the PML(Q) and MQM. But even then, it would not be able to command the two-thirds majority of the total 442 members of Parliament (342 MNAs and 100 Senators) required under the constitution to pass the resolution. After the recent resignations from the parliament, even if the BNP(A) and PML(F),the remaining components of the coalition also decide to vote for the impeachment, the required two-thirds majority would remain illusory in the presence of PPP’s 153 solid votes (126 MNAs and 27 Senators) combined with 15 votes of the ANP which is likely to stick to the alliance. PPP’s votes are likely to increase after the March Senate elections by more than 20. Some of the levers that were frequently employed by the offstage players during the 1990’s are no more available. In the early years of the decade, the military acted through docile presidents armed with immense powers to remove the civilian governments. Taking note of the trick, Nawaz Sharif brought in a president of his own choice, leaving Musharraf no way other than a direct military takeover. With the president and the prime minister belonging to the same party, those desiring urgent government change face a dilemma. A Musharraf type takeover requires a pliant judiciary to subsequently legalise the act. Things have changed now. There is an independent and assertive judiciary in place. It has rejected the doctrine of necessity which was used to justify every successful rebellion as a revolutionary act. The present SC has declare in un-
equivocal terms that it would not allow any change of government through unconstitutional means. Removing the PPP government through a putsch a year before the end of its tenure would somewhat raise its badly shattered image. Any military takeover will lead all major political parties to join hands in its opposition. The PPP which is bad at governance but fairly good at agitation would be the principal beneficiary. As Zardari put it in this address, “Our way will be that of Aung San Suu Kyi,” (the widely acclaimed torch bearer of democracy in Myanmar). Can the court play any role in the scenario? Supposing the SC decides that Zardari authorised the memo which was delivered to Mullen through Mansoor Ijaz and that by doing this he was guilty of gross misconduct or even of violating the constitution; this would create a situation where parliament is required to impeach the president but is unable to do so. The issue could force the opposition to go for en masse resignations followed by a movement to paralyse the government. If called upon to quell the agitation, the army could refuse to oblige. The already isolated PPP would hardly be able to withstand a movement of the sort. The way it has mismanaged the economy, shown callous disregard for the common man and provided benefits to its unprincipled allies has left it with few sympathisers. Zardari had once cynically remarked that the return of democracy was not the outcome of the people’s movement but the result of Benazir Bhutto’s negotiating skills. His party subsequently decided to ignore the people as they didn’t matter to him. The PPP government was kept in office mainly through alliances with the pro-establishment parties that had been the mainstay of Musharraf’s regime. The common man suffered everywhere particularly in Sindh and Balochistan. Despite its five year mandate, the PPP has lost the moral authority to rule. It will find this out when it is obliged to go to the masses. The writer is a former academic and a political analyst.
Defying logic A long haul to March
oing by the prime minister’s somersaults in the last few days, one can only surmise that there “something is rotten in the state of Denmark”. The befuddling sequence of statements started with a tell-tale session with the COAS and the DG-ISI wherein resignation from the former ambassador to the US was secured. Next, in response to the heads of the military and the ISI depositing affidavits with the SC asking it to conduct a thorough probe of the memo scandal which was in conflict with the government’s stance that the apex court did not have the jurisdiction to probe the matter, he delivered a fiery speech on the floor of the house demanding of the military to provide information how Osama bin Laden had stayed in Pakistan and what visa had he travelled on to enter the country? He also spoke of conspiracies being hatched to topple the democratic government. When that was greeted by rumours that the government may be heading towards removing the COAS and the DG-ISI and when the military termed the government’s stance an attempt to divert attention from other important issues, the PM softened his tone saying that commanders are not changed during a state of war and that he had ‘begged’ (later changed to ‘requested’) the COAS and the DG-ISI to accept the extensions. All this happened within a short span of three to four days. More than anything else, it speaks volumes of the extreme stress that the prime minister has been subjected to in the wake of the controversy surrounding the President’s ‘sickness’ and his dash to a relatively ‘safe’ Dubai. It was a crude attempt to browbeat the military and the principal intelBy Raoof Hasan ligence agency of the country into submission and threaten the SC away from probing the memo affair. Faced with humiliating failure, the prime minister was left with no alternative but to back off and call for urgent ceasefire. On the surface, things seem to have settled down – for now at least. Is this going to last or will it prove to be a short interregnum before the war commences? There is a problem concerning the opposing positions that the government on the one hand and the military and the premier intelligence agency on the other hand have taken before the apex court. In the event of a possible reconciliation, one of the parties – the government or the military-ISI combine would have to alter its stated position. Inter alia, it means that either the government would have to withdraw its objection to the jurisdiction of the apex court or the military-ISI would have to ask the court to stay away from the probe
paving the way for the innocuous parliamentary commission appointed by the government do the needful. While anything can be expected of the government as has been graphically demonstrated by the bewildering sequence of conflicting statements of the PM, the same cannot be said of either the military or the ISI. I believe that the opening salvos are going to lead to a pitched battle before the SC that may determine the government’s faltering credentials as also the prospects of its future. This is further substantiated by the president’s speech marking the 4th death anniversary of Benazir Bhutto. While he spared throwing punches at the opposing political parties and the military-led establishment, he was not so generous with the SC and highlighted its ‘discrimination’ against the government and the People’s Party. He bemoaned that the courts were not under him. Why does the president desire to put the judiciary under his direct control? It may not be difficult to untangle this knot at least. It has been a known secret that, of all the state institutions, it is the ‘restored’ judiciary that has posed the maximum trouble for the incumbent government. Umpteen mega scams have been unearthed leading to recovery of billions of the looted state funds. Ministers and officials have been suspended and reprimanded. The NRO, NICL, Hajj, Pakistan Steel, Railways and scores of other cases have brought indescribable shame to the government and dented its legitimacy to rule. The government has systematically defied the apex court’s injunctions including its verdict on the NRO: it refuses to write to the Swiss court as adjudicated by the SC. Can it continue to rule by defying the constitution and the courts? More importantly, should it be allowed to do so and, if not, what are the options available? While the government may have lost its legitimacy, even its right to rule, the SC has stayed clear of ordering it out so far. It could be because the apex court and other powers that be do not want the most corrupt and inefficient government in Pakistan’s entire history to be booted out with the tag of a ‘martyr’. It would much rather that it completed its term in office and is voted out by the people on account of its loot spree and lack of delivery. That being the ‘democratic’ course should be the preferred option, but is it really? Can the country afford any more of these shenanigans which are increasingly at the cost of the state’s security interests, even its survival? The obvious answer being in the negative, are we heading towards early elections or the prospect of securing a long hiatus from ‘democracy’ giving Pakistan an economic recovery-based agenda for implementation by a group of ‘clean’ people? Will the military and the judiciary become active players in this plan, or would they stay by the side overseeing Pakistan’s slow and painful recovery from the brutal haemorrhaging it has taken over the last few decades? The guessing game continues. The PM predicts that the conspiracies would be over after the Senate elections, but it is a long haul to March! The writer is a political analyst and a member of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf. He can be reached at email@example.com
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14 Foreign News
Saturday, 31 december, 2011
Syrian day of mass protests g
over 250,000 rally across idlib Syrian forces kill at least 10 protesters g
NTERNET activists are urging regime opponents emboldened by the presence of observers to take to Syria’s streets Friday, a traditional day of mass protests, despite unrelenting bloodshed. The appeal comes as the toll in Syria rose again, with a rights groups reporting 10 new deaths on Friday and at least 27 civilians killed the previous day as Arab observers expanded their mission across the country. More than 250,000 anti-regime protesters took to the streets of Syria’s flashpoint northwestern province of Idlib after the main weekly Muslim prayers on Friday, a rights watchdog said. “More than 250,000 people protested across Idlib province in 74 locations after Friday prayers,” the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. Bracing against planned mass demonstrations, Syrian security forces deployed heavily in the flashpoint southern province of Daraa, where protests against the autocratic regime of President Bashar al-Assad first erupted in March. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said security forces surrounded the Al-Bassam and Al-Omari mosques in the Daraa town of Inkhil as snipers took up positions on high grounds. “On Friday we will march to the squares of freedom, bare-chested,” the activists said on their Facebook page, adding they were ready to confront the regime’s “artillery and machinegun fire.” The Observatory’s Rami Abdel Rahman said activists are determined to
US jet deal aims to maximise defence: Saudi AFP
DUMA: An image grab from a video uploaded on You Tube shows Syrian security forces kicking a man after arresting him. AFP make their voices heard to the monitors despite the bloody crackdown which has killed more than 100 people since Monday when the monitors arrived. “The Arab League’s initiative is the only ray of light that we now see,” said Abdel Rahman. “The presence of the observers in Homs broke the barrier of fear,” he said in reference to some 70,000 demonstrators who flooded the streets of the central city Tuesday as monitors entered the protest hub.
Since then thousands have taken to the streets in different parts of Syria energised by the presence of the observers whose mission was accepted by Damascus earlier this month after weeks of stalling. The monitors are seeking to implement an Arab League peace plan to end a government crackdown on prodemocracy protesters. World governments have warned Syria against hiding the facts from the monitors. Earlier this week Dabi - a veteran Sudanese military intelligence officer –
said the visit to Homs was “good” and that Syrian authorities were cooperating with the monitors. His comments reportedly set off alarm bells within some ranks of the opposition who are unhappy with the choice of Dabi as the head of the mission. Meanwhile, Arab peace observers touring crisis-hit Syria have been closely tracked by intrepid activists who, armed with camera-equipped mobile phones, provide the only glimpse into spiralling violence.
Kurdish rebels call for uprising ISTAnBUL AFP
ULUDERE: Kurds carry the coffins of victims of a Turkish air raid on Friday. AFP
Jamaican opposition wins landslide vote KIngSTOn AFP
Jamaica’s leading opposition People’s National Party won a landslide election, according to preliminary results, in a vote driven by concerns about crime, corruption and poverty. The preliminary results indicated the leftleaning party had won 41 out of 63 constituencies, giving it a resounding majority and showing the door to Prime Minister Andrew Holness, 39, the youngest person to hold the top office. The results were released late Thursday, but within hours of polls closing local media had called the PNP’s victory, and PNP leader Portia Simpson Miller, the designated prime minister, delivered an ecstatic acceptance speech. “you will know everything. We will never hide anything from you. Now you have a government you can trust,” she told jubilant supporters.
The rebel Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) on Friday urged Kurds in Turkey to stage an “uprising” after an air force raid killed 35 villagers near the Iraq border. “We urge the people of Kurdistan... to react after this massacre and seek a settling of accounts through uprisings,” Bahoz Erdal from the armed wing of the PKK, labelled a terrorist organisation by Ankara, said in a statement. Turkey’s ruling party on Thursday said the strike could have been a “blunder” that killed civilians and not Kurdish separatists. “According to initial reports, these people were smugglers and not terrorists,” said Huseyin Celik, vice-president of the governing Justice and Development Party (AKP). “If it turns out to have been a mistake, a blunder, rest assured that this will not be covered up,” he said, adding that it could have been an “operational accident” by the military. Turkey’s military command said it had launched an air raid on PKK militants after a spy drone spotted a group moving toward its sensitive southeastern border
under cover of darkness late Wednesday. “The area where this happened is called Sinat-Haftanin, in northern Iraq, where there is no civilian population, and where the terrorist organisation has bases,” a military statement said, referring to the outlawed PKK. But the country’s main pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) said the planes had bombed villagers from Kurdish majority southeastern Turkey who were smuggling sugar and fuel across the border on mules and donkeys. “It’s clearly a massacre of civilians, of whom the oldest is 20,” BDP leader Selahattin Demirtas said in a statement that called on Turkey’s Kurdish population to respond “by democratic means”. ERDOgAn ‘REgRETS’ DEATH Of KuRDISH cIVILIAnS In AIR STRIKE: Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed regret Friday for the death of 35 Kurdish civilians in an air strike, saying it had been determined they were smugglers and not separatist rebels. Speaking to journalists in Istanbul, Erdogan offered his condolences to the families of the victims for what he called an “unfortunate and distressing” incident.
Friday disappears in Samoa APIA AFP
Samoans went to bed Thursday and woke up on Saturday in a historic timezone switch which the Pacific island state’s prime minister says will take the country forward to a more prosperous future. Samoa previously sat to the east of the International Date Line - which runs through the middle of the Pacific meaning that it was 11 hours behind GMT and was one of the last places on Earth to see dawn. At midnight Thursday Samoa became, instead one of the first places to experience the new day, omitting Friday December 30 entirely and jumping 24 hours ahead to Saturday as it moves west of the dateline. The move brought the Pacific island nation in line with regional economic powerhouses Australia and New Zealand, both of which are also home to large expatriate Samoan communities. Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi said the move made business sense and offered tourism opportunities. “We’ve got to remember that over 90 percent of our people emigrate to New Zealand and Australia. That’s why it is absolutely vital to make this change,” he told the Samoa Observer in the countdown to the midnight switch. Prior to this move, Samoa was 23 hours behind Australa-
sia and lost two commercial days a week with its main trading partners. “While it’s Friday here, it’s Saturday in New Zealand and when we’re at church Sunday, they’re already conducting business in Sydney and Brisbane,” Tuilaepa said. Speaking from Apia on Thursday to Radio New Zealand - when it was Friday in Wellington - Tuilaepa said the change would also remove the confusion in travel times for tourists who arrive in Samoa and “keep thinking of the New Zealand and Australian time zones”.
Saudi Arabia said Friday it has signed a deal to buy 84 new US fighter jets to maximise its defence capabilities in order to protect the oil-rich kingdom. The deal the United States said is worth $30 billion “ensures the kingdom receives the highest possible defence capabilities to protect its people and land,” state news agency SPA quoted a defence ministry spokesman as saying. The United States said Thursday the arms deal sent a “strong message” to the Gulf region. The announcement came with tensions between Iran and the United States on the rise after Tehran threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz to oil tankers if Washington implements a new raft of sanctions over its nuclear programme. The $29.4 billion deal, which was signed on Saturday in Riyadh, will supply 84 new Boeing F-15SA aircraft, modernise 70 existing planes, and also includes munitions, spare parts, training and maintenance contracts, US officials said.
Six dead in Sudan chopper crash KHARTOUM AFP
All six crewmen aboard a Sudanese military helicopter were killed when it crashlanded and burned in North Kordofan state on Friday, the army said. Fire broke out because of a “technical problem” aboard the Russian-made aircraft three minutes after takeoff from a base at El Obeid, the state capital, army spokesman Sawarmi Khaled Saad said. The pilot crash-landed in a yard “but the fire destroyed the plane completely and all six crew were killed,” he said. Saad said the chopper was carrying “military equipment” on a logistical mission. The official SUNA news agency reported that the aircraft was a helicopter gunship. El Obeid is a base for the Sudanese military but there is no known rebel activity in that immediate area.
Maldives bans spas after protests COLOMBO AFP
The Maldives has ordered hundreds of luxury hotels to close their spas after protests by an Islamist party which claimed they were a front for prostitution, an official said Friday. The tourism ministry instructed all resort hotels across the nation’s 1,192 tiny coral islands to shut their spas and health centres with immediate effect. The opposition Adhaalath party, a socially conservative movement whose website features an article criticising “lustful music,” staged protests in the capital last week accusing spas of being used as brothels. “An Islamic party has been agitating against spas hoping to embarrass the government,” an official said by telephone, confirming Thursday’s ministry order but asking not to be named. Tourism is a key foreign exchange earner in the Maldives, a popular high-end destination for well-heeled honeymooners where luxury rooms can cost up to $12,000 a day. The Indian Ocean country this year received more than 850,000 tourists, drawn to its secluded islands known for turquoise blue lagoons, flourishing corals and reefs filled with multicoloured fish. But the government bowed to the pressure less than a week after President Mohamed Nasheed called for a “tolerant” form of Islam in his nation of 330,000 people, who by law are all Muslims. The order applied to all spas in the country.
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Saturday, 31 december, 2011
Roadside bomb kills four in Afghanistan
Foreign News 15
A roadside bomb killed four civilians in Afghanistan’s southern province of Uruzgan Friday, the provincial head of the criminal investigation unit said. Also in the volatile south, a member of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force was killed by an IED (improvised explosive device) attack, ISAF said in a statement. The nationality was not released in line with policy. “Four civilians were killed and one injured when their vehicle hit a Talibanplanted mine in Trinkot city this morning,” said Uruzgan CID chief Gulab Khan. All the victims were male and the civilian who was injured was in a critical condition, he added. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, but roadside bombs are frequently planted by Talibanled insurgents fighting a decade-long war against NATO-led foreign troops and Afghan government forces. “Those responsible for this shameful attack must be held to account for their actions against the people of Afghanistan,” said ISAF commander General John Allen. In a separate incident in the neighbouring southern province of Kandahar, the Taliban said they were behind a roadside bomb which killed a local police commander Thursday. “Last night a police vehicle hit a roadside mine in Spin Boldak district. As a result a border police commander was killed and two of his bodyguards were injured,” said provincial police chief Gen Abdul Razeq Friday.
NONTHABURI: A Thai boy holds aloft banknotes to keep them dry while he sinks during the flood in suburban Bangkok, on October 15, 2011. Thailand fought to hold back floodwaters flowing towards Bangkok as a spring tide hindered efforts to protect the city of 12 million people from the kingdom’s worst inundation in decades. AFP
North Korea says Seoul policy won’t change SEOUL AFP
CHEORWON: South Korean soldiers take position during a drill near the Demilitarised zone dividing the two Koreas on Friday, AFP
North Korea warned the world Friday to expect no policy changes under new leader Kim Jong-Un, and threatened retaliation against South Korea for “rubbing salt” into the wounds of its grieving people. The tough statement came a day after the communist nation ended 13 days of mourning for late leader Kim Jong-Il, and proclaimed his son Jong-Un as new supreme chief at a massive memorial ceremony. We “solemnly declare with confidence that the South Korean puppets and foolish politicians around the world should not expect any change from the DPRK (North Korea),” said the National Defence Commission (NDC), the top decision-making body. The North will never have dealings “with the Lee Myung-Bak group of traitors”, the NDC said, referring to the South’s conservative president in a statement carried on the official news agency and state television. “We will surely force the group of traitors to pay for its hideous crimes committed at the time of the great national misfortune,” it said, accusing Seoul’s government of insulting behaviour during the mourning period for Kim. A “sea of tears” shed by the North’s army
and people would “turn into that of retaliatory fire to burn all the group of traitors”. Despite the bellicose language, analysts said the North was warning the world against any interference during the transition and that the chance of any provocation was low. The NDC’s Korean-language statement Friday referred to the son as “great leader”, a title also conferred on his father and grandfather, although the English-language version did not use the phrase. The world has been watching for any signs of change under the new leader. His father presided over a 1990s famine which killed hundreds of thousands, pursued a nuclear and missile programme which brought international sanctions and resisted Chinese pressure to reform the crumbling state-directed economy. Inter-Korean relations have been frosty since Lee took office in February 2008 and linked major economic aid to nuclear disarmament. Seoul’s response to Kim’s death was seen as conciliatory even by domestic political opponents. However it permitted only two private mourning delegations to visit Pyongyang and sent no government representative. The North has repeatedly blasted the “inhuman” response by the South, and rapped Seoul’s decision to briefly order troops on alert after Kim’s death.
Thatcher-era records made public LOnDOn AFP
British prime minister Margaret Thatcher secretly approved offering concessions to IRA prisoners if their hunger strikes were called off, files released after 30 years revealed Friday. In public, Thatcher took a firm stance against demands to be recognised as political prisoners made by jailed Irish Republican Army members and other paramilitaries waging an armed campaign to end British rule in Northern Ireland. Though largely backed in mainland Britain, her unbending stand triggered international condemnation. However, files from 1981 released by the National Archives showed that her Conservative government sent messages to the IRA leadership, through a secret intermediary, promising concessions if the hunger strikes were stopped. The papers reveal the anxiety among government ministers, despite their outward show of determination. By July 1981, the pressure on Thatcher was intense over the issue. Four men had died, including their leader, 27-year-old
Bobby Sands, who had been elected to parliament while on hunger strike. So when the remaining hunger strikers dropped their demand to be treated as “prisoners of war”, Thatcher authorised a secret message setting out what concessions the government would make if the strikes were called off. London set out the concessions the government was to offer “if, but only if, it would lead to the immediate end of the hunger strike”. The message ended: “If the reply we receive is unsatisfactory and there is subsequently any public reference to this exchange we shall deny that it took place. Silence will be taken as an unsatisfactory reply.” The hunger strikes were to carry on for another three months, during which five more prisoners died. On July 2, 1981, Thatcher told her Cabinet they should consider “all possible courses of action in regard to Northern Ireland, however difficult or unpalatable”. With “increasingly disturbing signs of an erosion of international confidence in British policy”, ministers even discussed abandoning Northern Ireland - hitherto unthinkable for a Conservative government.
Recriminations over india’s stalled anti-graft law nEw DELHI/HYDERABAD AFP
India's government faced fierce criticism in the media and from the opposition on Friday after it failed to push through its flagship anti-corruption law in the upper house of parliament. The legislation cleared the lower house earlier in the week and the government had insisted it would put the draft law to a vote in the upper house on Thursday, the last day of an extended parliamentary session. After more than 13 hours of debate, however, proceedings were adjourned shortly before 12:00 pm amid scenes of disorder and shouting from lawmakers described as a "midnight farce" by one newspaper. The opposition and some news reports accused the government of orchestrating the disruption in a cynical ploy to have the house adjourned and avoid a vote it looked set to lose. Minority parties in the ruling coalition -- led by the Congress party of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh -- had turned against the government and demanded amendments, meaning the law would have almost certainly failed to pass. The Indian Express daily said the ruling coalition had "egg on its face" while the Mail Today tabloid said the law was now "in cold storage." Arun Jaitley, leader of the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which has also consistently disrupted parliament over the last year, said the government was "running away" because it was "a hopeless minority." Thursday's failure is another blow to the increasingly vulnerable Singh, whose administration had to withdraw another major reform earlier this month allowing foreign supermarkets to operate in India. The future of the bill is now uncertain, but it will most likely have to be revised and again presented to lawmakers in the opening session of parliament in 2012. cYcLOnE HITS InDIA'S SOuTHERn cOAST, KILLS 16: A severe cyclone packing winds of up to 140 kilometres (85 miles) an hour tore into India's southeastern coast on Friday, killing at least 16 people, a senior official said. Cyclone Thane lashed the coast between Cuddalore in Tamil Nadu state and the territory of Pondicherry early on Friday, according to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA). "Fourteen persons have died in Tamil Nadu and two in Pondicherry.
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Saturday, 31 december, 2011
SHeeP introduces new fashion lines
KARACHI In keeping with SHEEP’s commitment to versatility within its design and providing affordable options for the urban Pakistani woman, SHEEP has introduced four new fashion lines: ‘Black Sheep’, ‘Workwear’, ‘Smart Casuals’ and ‘Luxury Pret’. As an extension of the SHEEP retail philosophy of providing a comfortable and convenient retail experience, the brand has launched its ‘Shop from Home’ service. It provides shoppers with the option of purchasing SHEEP’s designs from the comfort of their homes as the brand now delivers its products to all of its local customers through its Facebook page. With SHEEP’s brand new
website launching soon, this service will also be extended towards international customers. Encompassing both Eastern and Western trends, the ‘Black Sheep’ is a premium line of formal evening wear including cocktail tops as well as Eastern wear; ‘Luxury Prêt’ is a high end line for day wear; ‘Workwear’ is a line made specifically for working women or women who prefer understated elegance in the form of sharp, subtle, statement garments; ‘Smart Casuals’, a trendy line of fusion wear, for everyday use. These new lines encompass a price range from Rs 1650 to Rs 25500. Striving to bring accessibility to its customers, SHEEP will be also be expanding its outlets within Karachi with the opening of their new store at Dolmen City Mall.
Babyshop mascots with Santa Claus
Guests at the Babyshop Toy Fest
the darkest Hour:
A high-octane action-packed thriller Guests at the Babyshop Toy Fest LOS AngELES AGENCIES
After the box office success of ‘X-Men: First Class’ and ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’, comes another high-octane action-packed thriller from the same studio in January 2012. Fox Star Studios’ ‘The Darkest Hour’ tells the story of five young people who find themselves trapped in Moscow, fighting to stay alive in the wake of a devastating alien attack. The film’s cast is a fresh young group that includes Emile Hirsch (‘Speed Racer’, ‘Into the Wild’), Olivia Thirlby (‘Juno’) and Max Minghella (‘How to Lose Friends and Alienate People’, ‘The Social Network’). The first trailer gives movie buffs a sneak peek at the digital wizardry and action sequences that they can get to see in 3D. Produced by filmmaker Timur Bekmambetov and Tom Jacobson with direction by Chris Gorak, the 3D thriller is one of the rare films that has showcased the characteristic
beauty of Russia alongside incredible special effects. The film, explains Chris, brings something radically new to the cinematic experience. “The movie is going to be a really strong emotional and thrilling ride. Our aliens aren’t just creatures - they’re cloaked in an electrically-charged shield that affects the environment around them. What I got really excited about was the idea that the darkness is safer than the light.” Emile adds, “The most exciting thing for audiences would be to ask themselves, ‘How would I act in the face of adversity?’ Clearly an alien invasion is, hopefully, not in our future. But the film is really about young people trying to figure out who they are and what it takes to be a hero. I really hope that character’s journey will resonate. I’m fairly confident that the visual effects will be something that you quite simply haven’t seen before. Movies are made of moments and there are moments in here that people are going to remember for quite a while.” The Darkest Hour releases on January 6, 2012.
Did Salman Khan give
Anees Bazmee the royal ignore? MUMBAI: All is not well between Salman khan and Anees Bazmee. the duo that shared cold vibes during the making of ‘Ready’ is once again pitted against each other in ‘No entry Mein entry.’ Apparently, Anees is ready with the script of ‘No entry Mein entry’ but Salman has refused to give time to the director for narration. ‘No entry Mein entry’ is the sequel to ‘No entry,’ were Anil kapoor, fardeen khan and Salman khan will be seen in double roles. while everything looks nice, producer Boney kapoor is facing tough time handling Salman and Anees. talking to a daily, a source close to Anees and Boney said, “Salman is really excited about his first double role since ‘Judwaa.’ And he will love the script that Anees has written. However, he first needs to hear it. He has to give Anees time.” interestingly, Boney kapoor and Anil kapoor tried discussing things with Salman at his birthday bash but nothing worked out as Anees was not on the guest list. when questioned Anees about his tiff with Salman, the director said, “Aisa kuch nahin hai. i’m leaving for a holiday with my wife and children for New Year. i met Boney and he loved my script. i haven’t met Salman. But Boney and Anil have met Salmanbhai. Salman is very excited about the script. As soon as we can we will sit down for a narration.”AGENCIES
Emania with her son dressed up as a police officer
The Babyshop organised ‘Toy Fest’- a mini costume party where children dressed up in a variety of costumes and walked on a ramp with their mothers. The costume party was judged by Annie Mansoor of Allenora, jewellery designer Shazia Dean and Kuki of Kuki Concepts. Guests at the Babyshop Toy Fest
seems stronger than me: Shah Rukh Khan DUBAI: Shah Rukh khan is a devoted daddy, but in the midst of his work commitments, it seems he has missed some part of his son’s growing years. No wonder when he held his 14-year-old’s hand recently; he felt the boy has become stronger than him. “in dubai. Had a great book shopping spree with my son. How he has grown. Holding his hand now seems i am holding someone stronger than me,” tweeted Shah Rukh. the actor has taken a break after busy promotions for his latest release ‘don 2: the king is Back’. A voracious reader, Shah Rukh has been missing out on the joy of reading books, but he is finally getting to do that. “Can’t wait to get my teeth into the books i bought. Beach... books... babies. i like the end of a year,” he added. AGENCIES
12k guitar gift
LOS ANGELES: kristen Stewart has shelled out $12,000 on two vintage guitars for boyfriend Robert Pattinson. the 21-year-old actress - who stars alongside the hunk in the ‘twilight’ saga - snapped up the instruments from Norman’s Rare Guitars in Los Angeles to make the perfect Christmas gift. Shop owner Norman Harris explained that as well as picking up a 1959 fender Jazzmaster and a 1947 k&f Lap Steel, kristen had a strum on the instruments herself while
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BBC in hot water over ‘pandagate’ sexism row LOnDOn
T was intended as a light-hearted addition to an otherwise serious list of women who made the headlines in 2011. But the BBC’s inclusion of a panda in its “faces of the year” has kicked up a storm. In a media row dubbed “Pandagate” by users of Twitter, the broadcaster has included Tian Tian (Sweetie), one of two pandas who arrived at a Scottish zoo earlier this month, as its female “face” for December in an online feature. The hairy giant is named alongside women such as US Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who survived being shot in the head during a meeting with voters,
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and Kate Middleton’s sister Pippa. Opposition Labour lawmaker Stella Creasy was among those who criticised the BBC’s decision, saying that despite its lighthearted tone, the list caused concern because it appeared to be part of a trend. Last month, the BBC came under fire for failing to include any women in the 10strong shortlist for its prestigious Sports Personality of the year award. “These lists aren’t meant to be serious but coming so soon after the lack of women from their Sports Personality of the year award it does seem as if the BBC hasn’t noticed the wide and varied contribution women make to public life,” Creasy said in a statement. “Whilst we all love a good panda story,
in a year when Christine Lagarde became head of the IMF, or Helle ThorningSchmidt became prime minister of Denmark or even the sad death of Amy Winehouse, it’s frustrating the BBC couldn’t think of 12 human female faces who have made the news this year.” The BBC said this was not the first time an animal had made the list. “Including Sweetie as one of the annual headline makers was a light-hearted addition to the list, and this isn’t the first time it has featured a non-human,” a spokeswoman said. “In 2009, Benson the Carp, a muchcaught giant fish, was August’s entry on the male list and last year Peppa the Pig (a popular cartoon character) was on the female list for April.”
Big-name stars to perform on
new Year’s eve nEw YORK AFP
Sabeena Pasha with her son
Kuki of Kuki concepts, Babbloo and Natasha she was in the shop. the gifts could come in handy for Robert, as it was recently revealed the 25-year-old actor plans to make the most of the current break in his schedule by heading in to the studio to record an album, as music has always been his “first love”. A source previously explained: “Music is his first love. He’s tortured because he avoids it. when he’s sitting around jamming in the studio, it’s his most cherished moment of life. Rob has been kicking a few original songs around for a long time, but his schedule didn’t allow it.” kristen could also think about purchasing a piano for the star in the future, as he has admitted he eyed a career as a professional musician before turning to acting. Robert recently said: “i love the piano. i never really had any aspirations to be an actor when i was young. i wanted to play the piano in a bar, to be the old dude with a whiskey glass.” AGENCIES
Pop diva Lady Gaga, tenor Placido Domingo and rock veterans Chuck Berry and Patti Smith will join a star-studded line-up to ring in the New year Saturday in New york. As with every December 31, the main celebration will be held at Times Square in the heart of Manhattan, where more than a million people are expected to gather to watch the New year’s crystal ball drop at the stroke of midnight. The party, first held in 1908, is one of the biggest in the world to ring in the New year. Lady Gaga and New york Mayor Michael Bloomberg will press the button that drops the giant glittering ball at one minute before midnight. Ahead of midnight, the indefatigable Berry, now 85, will perform at a club near Times Square, while rocker Smith will give three concerts on the Lower East side of Manhattan. Domingo, 70, will perform at The Metropolitan Opera, while the New york Philharmonic will offer a concert at the Lincoln Center. Separately, a local company is making a big splash by selling a patch it claims can prevent hangovers. The “Bytox Hangover Prevention Remedy” is an “all-natural specially-formulated” patch containing “a powerful blend of antioxidants, vitamins and amino acids”. Bytox claims the ingredients “have been shown to reduce and prevent hangovers”. If the patch works, it may help save lives: according to the New york Department of Health, alcohol-related emergency department visits more than double on New year’s Day compared to the daily average.
‘Everything in Batman movie has
purpose’ LOS ANGELES: Anne Hathaway thinks everything in ‘the dark knight Rises’ has “a purpose”. the ‘one day’ actress - who portrays Selina kyle, ‘Catwoman’, in the upcoming third and final movie in the Batman franchise - insists that nothing in director Christopher Nolan’s concept of Gotham City was put in place just for “fantasy’s sake”. “i love the costume because everything has a purpose, nothing is in place for fantasy’s sake, and that’s the case with everything in Christopher Nolan’s Gotham City,” she said. the 27-year-old star also admitted after being cast in the role, she researched the history of the legendary character by reading the traditional comics in which ‘Catwoman’ first appeared. “i really got into the comics after i was cast and i like that when she made her first appearance she meets Bruce wayne and says ‘Let go of me or i’ll claw your eyes out,’ and he says, ‘Careful, claws in or papa spank’. So i’m glad we’ve come a long way since then,” she added. AGENCIES
17 Metallica singer throws stones at lensmen
Metallica lead singer James Hetfield hurled stones at reporters who were photographing him in an ice-cream parlour at a chic Uruguayan resort, the El Pais daily reported Thursday. The singer for the hugely popular American heavy metal band was cruising with his son on a scooter Sunday in Jose Ignacio when photographers spotted him and followed him to the shop, the paper said. “When Hetfield saw the photographers outside, he walked down the stairs to the street, grabbed stones and hurled them at the reporters,” Gaston Renis, a photographer for the magazine Hola, told El Pais. “The guy was having an ice cream. He was not in an awkward situation to react in such a manner. There were even some passers-by saluting him as they recognised him right away,” Renis added. The paper said the incident caused only a few dents on the car of a photographer, who lodged a complaint with police.
Michael Jordan engaged to model Yvette Prieto Basketball legend Michael Jordan is engaged to his long-time girlfriend yvette Prieto, his spokeswoman said on Thursday. Jordan, 48, considered the greatest U.S. basketball player of all time, proposed to Cuban-American model Prieto, 32, over the Christmas holidays, the spokeswoman said. The couple have been dating for about three years. It will be the second marriage for Jordan, who divorced his wife Juanita in 2006 after 17 years. Jordan spent almost 19 years with the National Basketball Association (NBA), retiring twice from the Chicago Bulls before finally quitting the game and the Washington Wizards in 2003. He endorsed the successful line of Nike Air Jordan athletic shoes and appeared as himself in the 1996 movie ‘Space Jam’. Jordan is currently the majority owner of the NBA’s Charlotte Bobcats. REUTERS
‘I’ll dance for a house in London’ MUMBAI: katrina kaif will dance at New Year’s eve dos. But only if it involves “ridiculous amounts of money” enough to buy her another house in London (she already has a large one there). Before she flew to the British capital, she offered her reasons for consistently turning down dancing offers: “i don’t think it’s worth it. i would dance at a New Year’s bash in a five-star hotel or anywhere else only if i was offered a humongous amount of money. Money that would allow me to buy a house for my family in London or not do a couple of films or something equivalent to that. i haven’t been offered such an amount as yet. the money has to be so ridiculous that i can’t refuse!” Money and hits (‘Chikni Chameli’ and ‘Sheila ki Jawani’) aside, the lure of spending time with family is overbearing, “for my family and me New Year’s is a very special occasion, a time when the entire family comes together. i would never sacrifice those moments for a dance at a hotel.”AGENCIES
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Saturday, 31 december, 2011
kvitova has wozniacki in sights at Hopman Page 21
PCB in a fix over Whatmore, Mohsin LAHORE STAFF REPORT
Confusion continues to prevail in the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on the issue of appointment of the new coaching staff for the national cricket team. According to a reports, the PCB has decided to appoint Dav Whatmore as the head coach and Julian Fountain as fielding coach of the national team. "Whatmore and Fountain will be visiting Pakistan next month to just sign their contracts with the board. Everything else has been finalised," a source said. Interestingly the report came just two days after Pakistan's interim coach, Mohsin Khan met with the chairman of the PCB,
Zaka Ashraf and was told to submit a formal application for the post of the coach with the committee that has been appointed to oversee the scrutiny, vetting and recommendation of coaches for the national team. "Mohsin was told to submit a formal application if he wanted to be considered for a permanent position as head coach with the national team," a source revealed. Mohsin, a former Test player, was appointed the interim coach by the board in September after the resignation of Waqar younis. Mohsin was relieved of his duties as chief selector and was appointed interim coach for the series against Sri Lanka that Pakistan won. The success resulted in Mohsin being retained for the tour to
Bangladesh where the team continued its winning streak. "Mohsin, when he met the PCB chief, had conveyed his disappointment that despite doing well as a coach he was constantly on trial and the board was not willing to trust him with a permanent job of
the head coach," a source said. "He conveyed to Ashraf that he was not comfortable working on a temporary position and on series to series basis. After which he was told that the PCB had not decided as yet on who would be the permanent coach of the team and that Mohsin must also submit a formal application with the committee headed by Intikhab Alam that will recommend shortlist of coaches to the board," he added. But if reports are is to be believed, the board has already decided to appoint Whatmore as coach after Asia Cup in Bangladesh in March and Fountain will be the fielding coach. Besides these two, the coaching staff will also include Aaqib Javed as bowling coach and Ijaz Ahmed as batting coach. Mohsin, how-
Misbah urges Pakistani, Indian govts to help revive cricket LAHORE
AKISTAN captain Misbah-ul-Haq has questioned the rationale behind the continued suspension of cricket ties between Pakistan and India and has also voiced his surprise over the opposition from the Board of Control for Cricket in India to the full implementation of the Decision Review System (DRS). Talking to journalists here Friday, Misbah said: "It is beyond my understanding as to why the Indians oppose the DRS all the time. It is a modern technology that is not harming the sport. It is in its infant stages and can be made more productive with time." Indian players and the BCCI have opposed the use of the DRS in their ongoing series in Australia as they feel that the technology has many flaws. They have also rejected moves to have it for their one-day tri-series against Australia and Sri Lanka to be held in February in Australia. In contrast, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and England
and Wales Cricket Board ( ECB) will have it for the Test and one-day series in the United Arab Emirates, starting from next month. "I support the DRS because it does give that chance to the players and umpires to rectify errors which at times can be pretty decisive in a match," Misbah insisted. "There is no doubt that there is room for improvement in this technology and that will only be worked out if it is implemented consistently in all series," he added. Last October, the ICC bowed to India's wishes and made the DRS optional, four months after saying its use was compulsory. The ICC's Executive
Board reverted to its original decision of allowing the participating nations in a bilateral series to decide on using the technology. Under the system, teams are allowed two television reviews per innings if they feel that the on-field umpires have not given the correct decision. But the influential BCCI has constantly opposed even the partial use of the DRS, saying the current technology was not suitable. Misbah though feels there was nothing wrong with the technology and it has won the approval of m o s t teams and players. "The cost and technology issues can be worked out but that can only be done if it is used
on regular basis and backed by all boards," he added. Misbah said the governments of Pakistan and India needed to sort out the issues for a bilateral series. "As a player I only know that for me an Indo-Pak series is always special and there are millions of people in both countries eager to see the teams play against each other regularly. I know that due to the current hiatus millions of cricket fans are being deprived of some high class cricket contests, which also boost the image of the sport," he said. On the issue of the appointment of new coach for the national cricket team, the captain said, "Whosoever the board appoints as permanent coach I am confident I can develop a good working relationship with him for the betterment of the team. I have enjoyed very good working relations with Waqar younis and Mohsin Khan. "So I don't see too many issues in this area." The 37year old Pakistani batsman said he was looking forward to the upcoming series against England as it should be "a closely fought series with quality performers in both teams".
ever, said that he was not aware of any fresh developments on the coaching issue. "My focus right now is on just preparing for the England series, which is going to be a tough one. I am willing to continue as head coach if the board wants me but that is PCB's decision what they want to do," he said. Mohsin also made it clear that he had conveyed his feelings to the board and rest was up to them now. "I feel I have done a decent job as coach and I know now what this team is capable off." Indications are that Whatmore would like to get some of his terms met by the board before he signs the contract with the PCB. And one term is that he will only be available as coach of national team after the Indian Premier League ends in May.
time to work on next world Cup, Latif tells PCB LAHORE STAFF REPORT
Former Pakistani captain Rashid Latif has asked the Pakistan Cricket Board to start preparing the national team in perspective of the next World Cup. It might get too late if the board waits for 2013 to begin the preparations, he added. The 2015 ICC World Cup will be jointly hosted by Australia and New Zealand. In the recent 2011 World Cup, the Green Shirts exhibited great talent, will and fighting spirit, beating some of the world’s best teams which has boosted the nation’s morale. They have held onto their performance since then acquiring some major Test, ODI and T20 victories. However, cricket analysts around the world speculate that most Pakistani top-of-the-line players may not be available for the next World Cup since they are in their 30s now. Pakpassion quoted Rashid as saying that a handful of senior players like Abdul Razzaq, younus Khan and Misbah ul Haq won’t be able to hold until 2015, therefore it’s about time to bring up younger players. He feels that it is absolutely crucial to start preparing in time. The former wicketkeeper said, “A number of players will not be around for the next World Cup. When is the planning going to start for the World Cup? In 2013 when it is too late? Why not start planning and rebuilding the one day squad now for the next World Cup by drafting some of the younger players into the team and giving them a deserving opportunity.” He further added that the upcoming Australian and South African tours will be highly challenging for the Pakistani team and will be a test of time for their potential and consistency.
Australia v India: five lessons from the MCG Comment JOnATHAn LIEw
From India’s batting slump to Australia’s emergence as a team with pace depth, here are five lessons after the riveting opening Test at the MCG. 1) India’s batting home and abroad It is a truth universally acknowledged that you can prove anything you want using Statsguru, but the weight of numbers is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore: batting-wise, 2011 has been India’s worst year for over a decade. Their average runs per wicket in Tests has been just 30.9, the worst since 1996, while they have been bowled out for under 300 a staggering 13 times out of 18. But the statistics speak of a wider malaise most evident when India’s jongleurs venture out of the subcontinent. Even modest lateral movement appear to flummox them completely. Some of the shots they played to get out at the MCG were abominable; Gautam Gambhir’s waft at Ben Hilfenhaus on the second afternoon deserves singling out. Moreover, there seems little possibility of India’s addressing the issue. Gambhir may not have scored a Test century or, in fact, looked in decent nick for about two years, and Virender Sehwag’s flashes of brilliance are becoming increasingly
infrequent, but will they ever be dropped? No. With Virat Kohli looking like he may get the chance to secure the number six slot, the only hope the talented Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane have of squeezing their way into the side is through injury. 2) Australia’s problems begin at the top RELATED ARTICLES When was the last time Australia fielded a top three with just five Test matches between them? In the absence of Shane Watson, who is unlikely to return at Sydney, Australia’s top order remains in flux. Phil Hughes looks to have been jettisoned for now; Ed Cowan began promisingly, with a half-century on debut before getting an unfortunate caught-behind decision, but Shaun Marsh failed twice, and David Warner’s tortured second innings of five was almost painful to watch. The intrepid Warner and circumspect Cowan may eventually prove a successful opening partnership for Australia. But with Watson’s shadow looming, there remains a brittle, transient feel to Australia’s top order that is exacerbated by its lack of experience. The middle order, with Ricky Ponting and Mike Hussey also finding their way back into form, is being put under undue pressure. If it weren’t for the tail, which added 211 runs during the match, Australia might have been staring at defeat. 3) Zaheer Khan is back Playing his first Test in five months
and sporting a new do, Zaheer was scarcely recognisable from the meat bus who rocked up at Lord’s in July with scarcely a day’s practice under his belt and limped off on the first day. His
working-over of Michael Clarke in the first innings was one of the year’s great spells, while he cleaned up Hussey twice with vicious lifting deliveries from just short of a length. 3, Zaheer reminded us why he is one of the best old-ball bowlers in the world. If he has a good series, India may yet claw their way back into this. 4) Australia are rivalling England for pace depth What might a fully-fit Australian seam attack look like? Until the last few weeks, you might plump for Ryan Harris, Mitchell Johnson and Pat Cummins, with Shane Watson for backup. In the absence of all four, Australia still managed to bowl India out for 282 and 169. James Pattinson looks the real deal, generating brisk pace and bounce and claiming his second match award in his first three Tests. The selection of Ben Hilfenhaus for his first Tests since the Ashes raised a few eyebrows, but he justified his place with seven wickets. Peter Siddle remains one of the best ‘angry’ bowlers in world cricket. Meanwhile, Mitchell Starc, Trent Copeland, Ben Cutting and Doug Bollinger wait on the sidelines, while Harris could be fit for Sydney. And what of Johnson? The South Africa series next November is the earliest he could return. Whether he will is another matter. Like Steve Harmison a few years ago, Johnson could find himself marginalised very quickly indeed.
5) The DRS stand-off will not be resolved on the field This may be perhaps the only word of sympathy with India’s stance, but there is a certain noble charm in India’s determination to preserve the integrity of the onfield umpires. The Australian media has not held back in condemning the BCCI’s refusal to allow the referral system, after both Hussey and Cowan got duff decisions in Australia’s first innings. “India’s stone-age attitude to technology may have cost Mike Hussey his career,” fumed the Sydney Daily Telegraph. But India got the rough end, too; with Australia 51/4 in their second innings, Ponting was trapped in front by Zaheer Khan and given not out, a decision that would have been reversed on review. India also got their fair share of harsh calls in the England series, too. What is becoming clear is that such occurrences will not sway them. At the moment, MS Dhoni and other senior players do not trust DRS. That is their firm opinion, and there is currently little evidence to suggest it is one based on self-interest. Let us not trust the motives of India’s detractors too unquestioningly. Hawkeye is British, Hot Spot Australian, Virtual Eye from New Zealand. All three have huge amounts to gain from the universal adoption of technology. Perhaps the point when an Indian manufacturer puts forward an alternative system is when the world will finally ‘agree’ on a DRS system for all. (Telegraph )
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Aqeel, Yasir to clash for Subh-e-Nau tennis final KARACHI APP
Pakistan's top tennis player Aqeel Khan will face younger brother yasir Khan in the men's singles final of 9th Subh-e-Nau National Hard Court Tennis Championship at CDGK Sports Complex Tennis Courts on Saturday. Maheen Dada will be up against Hania Naveed in ladies singles final. Both Maheen, Hania qualified for event decider after securing top slots after the round robin league. On Friday, Wania Khan defeated veteran Shahida Kausar Farooq after a stiff three set tussle. Wania took the first set 6-3. Mrs Farooq, despite her illness, showed great skills and won the next by same margin. In the decider Wania showing better stamina took the set and stormed into the final after marathon three hours contest. In another match, Hania defeated Urooj Iltefat. Syed Zohair Raza entered the boys Under18 final after beating Saad Noor Soomar in straight sets. Zohair will face Talha in the final who defeated Amanwal Anwar in second semifinal. M. Azhar will face Dawar Rehan in mixed U-14 final. RESuLTS: Ladies singles (Round robin) Wania Khan bt Shahida Kausar 63, 3-6, 6-3, Hania Naveed bt Urooj Iltefat 6-3, 6-2 Boys U-18 (semifinals): Syed Zohair Raza bt Saad Noor Soomar 6-1, 6-0, Talha Zubair bt Amanwal Anwar 6-1, 6-3 Mixed U-14 (semifinals): M. Azhar bt Nazif Ahmed 6-2, 6-2, Dawar Rehan bt Hassan Farooq 6-3, 2-6, 6-2.
Moin’s world journey ends today LAHORE
XPATIATE PakistaniAmerican Moin Khan who claims to have ‘A Different Agenda’ of uniting the two nations will reach his destination, Lahore, today (Saturday). Relaying across the world on his Honda CBR 600 F4i motorbike, carrying love and peace for the American and Pakistan people, Moin started his journey from the Golden Bridge of California on June 10, 2011, to Lahore showing the world that Pakistan people are peace-loving. Moin entered Pakistan early this month from Iran and is now looking forward to seeing his dream achieved when he reaches the Expo Centre Johar
Town Lahore. Pak Wheels have made all the arrangement for giving Moin a warm welcome. Moin, who solely trav-
elled 40,000 km on his sports bike showed the people on his way that Pakistanis are a peaceful nation. “This solo motorcycle journey took me from the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California, to Lahore. It’s as unplanned as a ride could ever be. I’m hoping to last 4 to 5 months on the road. I’m not sure of the exact length of the journey, but it will probably be around 25,000 miles (40,000 km). I have no idea where I’ll be staying during the nights, have some camping gear but no idea where the campgrounds are. The unique thing about this journey is that I’ll be doing it on a sport bike and not a touring bike!,” Moin had said before starting the journey. He was having a simple agenda in him mind – to tell the world the peace loving nature of the vast silent
Park View Villas in MMA Cup polo final
quaid-e-Azam day festival Match
LAHORE STAFF REPORT
Ghulam Qadir Memorial Cricket club has moved to the second round of the 27th Mohammad yaseen Akhter Memorial Event when they beat Gulberg Eaglets by seen wickets at Allama Iqbal Institute ground on Tuesday.
SIALKOT As many as two matches were played in the second PHF Inter Academy Hockey Tournament here at the Sialkot Hockey Stadium. In the opening match of the day, Bahawalpur routed Karachi and later in the day, Abbottabad struggled to beat Quetta. RESuLTS: Bahawalpur beat Karachi5-0 (Full Time) 4-0 (Half Time), Bahawalpur: Sohail yousaf 11th minute (PC), Umar Hamdi 2 Goals 22nd minute (FG) & 36thminute (PC) & Moadid Ali 2 Goals 24th & 30thminutes (FG). Abbottabad beat Quetta 1-0 (Full Time) 1-0 (Half Time)Abbottabad: Haseeb 18th minute (PC).
Ghulam qadir Club win
Glory to Abbottabad, Bahawalpur in inter Academy Hockey STAFF REPORT
LCCA Super League matches postponed The LCCA Super League matches have been postponed for a week due to the death of former LCCA president Aamir Hayat Khan Rokhri. Now the matches will be played in the second week of next month.
majority in Pakistan. “As all are well aware that Pakistanis the world over are seen and treated with suspicion due to the negative news that filters through the world media about our country,” he said. “As a Pakistani, I was deeply disturbed by the fact that after having been shown cooperation and extra ordinary kindnesses by governments and people of over 20 countries, the Pakistan customs at the Iran and Pak border (Taftan) restricted the entry of my bike into Pakistan. But after a couple of hours, thanks to my supporters I have finally arrived at my destination, Pakistan,” he added. However, now his journey of pain and love will terminate at Johar Town’s Expo Centre with a lot yet to be achieved by the government and the people of Pakistan.
LAHORE STAFF REPORT
LAHoRe: Riders in action in the MMC Cup Polo tournament at the Lahore Polo Club. nADeeM iJAz LAHORE STAFF REPORT
Park View Villas reached the main final of the MMA Polo Cup on Friday at the Lahore Polo Club. They won their last league match. Soneri Bank reached subsidiary final having won their match against Sakuf. Both the main final and the classification match will be played on Sunday (tomorrow) at the same venue. Soneri Bank will take on Olympia while
the other finalist will be decided on Saturday. Soneri Bank moved to the third place match beating Sakuf 7-4 while Park View Villas had the same scoreline in its win against Master Paints. Santiago Mendivil ensured that with his five goals and two from Ahmed Zubair Soneri, win was achieved. Shah Shamyl Alam did his best with three goals with Omar Asjad Malhi getting one for Sakuf but their efforts were undone by Santiago. Park View Villas
SiCAS-Salamat School tennis final today LAHORE STAFF REPORT
LAHoRe: Mohammad Saeed plays a forehand in the U-10 category. nADeeM iJAz
The finals of the SICAS-Salamat School Tennis Tournament will be played today here at the Bagh-i-Jinnah’s PLTA Courts. On Friday, semi-final in all the age groups of under-18, 14, 12 and 10 were played and there was no major upset witnessed. Saad Zafar and Ahmed Babar has reached the final of the under-18 singles and interesting matches is expected between the two players. In under-14 category, Hafiz Arbab and Abdal Haider marched to the final while Hafiz Arbab Ali and Sahabzada Mohammad Ali would contest for under-12 title. And in the under-10 class, Mohammad Saeed and Taimur Ali will clash in the final on Saturday. RESULTS SEMI-FINALS: Under-18: Saad Zafar beat Mohammad Ahmed 6-3, 6-1 and Ahmed Babar beat Husnain Manzoor 7-5, 6-3. Under-14: Hafiz Arbab beat Bilal Shafi Sheikh 6-1, 6-0 and Abdal Haider beat Husssain Sheikh 6-3, 6-4. Under-12: Hafiz Arbab Ali beat Bilal Umer Mahdi 6-4, 7-5 and Sahabzada Mohammad Ali Humbal 6-3, 6-0. Under-10: Mohammad Saeed beat Mustafa farhan 6-2 and taimur Ali beat Hassan Ali 6-0.
scored enough goals that prevented Master Paints from coming close. And in that win Hamza Mawaz Khan and Ahmed Ali Tiwana played a pivotal role sharing three goals each while Atif yar Tiwana completed the seven goal scoreline. Shah Qublai Alam and Saqib Khan Khakwani are big stars of the game but could manage two goals each. Sameer Habib Oberoi, Mian Hussain Iftikhar and Shaukat Ali Malik were the umpires for the Friday’s matches.
The Quaid-e-Azam Day match between Tauseef Club and Wahdat Eaglets was called off drawn due to bad light at Wahdat Colony ground. Scores: Tauseef Club 258/8 in 35 overs. Waqas Khan 67, Sher Baz Khan 53, Ibrar Baig 38, Israr Baig 32, Qadeer Ahmed 31, Ali Raza 20(no). Qaiser Ashraf 3/41, Imran Ali Shah 2/33, Saleem Bhati 2/17, Qamber Ali Shah 1/19. Wahdat Eaglets 241/6 in 31.2 overs. Abdul Waheed 45, M Atari 25, M Haris 52, Zahid Khan 51(no). Israr Baig 3/31, Sheraz Baig 2/27, Junaid Mudassar 1/11.
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20 Sports AfC C-Certificate football Coaching Course begins ISLAMABAD
Saturday, 31 december, 2011
VALENCIA: A Spanish League football selection (white jerseys) and an African and International selection pose with French-Malian football player Frederic Kanoute (CL) and children as dove-shaped airballoons go up prior to a charity friendly football match for the Champions for Africa campaign at the Mestalla Stadium in Valencia. AFP
The Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) is hosting an AFC C-Certificate Football Coaching Course at Jinnah Football Stadium, Pakistan Sports Board, Islamabad, which commenced from Thursday. The 15-day coaching course will be conducted by AFC Instructor, Sheikh Siddique assisted by Assistant Course Instructor Shehzad Anwar, Refree Instructor Salahud-Din Awan and Course Coordinator Muhammad Zaman Khan. General Secretary PFF Lt. Col. ® Ahmed yar Khan Lodhi opened the Course as chief guest and said that experience is essential for a coach whether working with other coaches and learning from them or coaching different groups of players with mixed abilities. ”A successful coach should always be open to new ideas and posses a will to improve their individual skills and knowledge of the game. AFC courses offer the perfect solution to all coaches who aim to improve their skills, knowledge, experience and enjoyment of the game,” he added. Director Development & youth, Wing Cmdr ® Pervaiz Saeed Mir was also present on this occasion.
PoA grieved at Rokhri’s death LAHORE STAFF REPORT
President Pakistan Olympic Association Lt Gen (Retd) Syed Arif Hasan and the entire Olympic family of Pakistan have expressed their shock and grief at the news of sad demise of former LCCA president Aamir Hayat Khan Rokhri. His contribution towards sports will always be remembered particularly in the circles of cricket and badminton. He was a great lover and patron of sports and had constructed a badminton hall near his office at Lawrence Road, Lahore, and had been providing financial assistance to outstanding badminton players. The Executive Committee of Pakistan Olympic Association unanimously passed a Condolence Resolution and prayed that Almighty Allah may rest the departed soul in eternal peace.
Pvf to hold ‘Cool volley’ event ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT
The Pakistan Volleyball Federation will hold cool volley event on January 1, 2012 at Govt. High School, Sarjal Shakhargarh, Punjab. According to an official of the federation, Cool is a new campaign to attract the youth to participate in volleyball and beach volleyball. Cool Volley is a proactive development tool aiming to assist the PVF to recruit youth through their various projects. Secretary General Major (Retd) Mohammad Afzal will be the chief guest on the occasion of opening ceremony held at 0900 hrs, and President Pakistan Volleyball Federation Ch. Muhammad yaqub will be the chief guest at the closing ceremony. This event is being organized by PVF as a new project of FIVB with the collaboration of Volleyball Academy Shakhargarh under the supervision of Mr. Muhammad Akram, national volleyball (coach level-II) along with Karamat, Tanveer, Sufi Bashir, Naseer Ahmed, and Muhammad Wasif.
Manchester United’s December delight ePL CRYStAL BALL KUnwAR KHULDUnE SHAHID
Reflections over Manchester United’s recent run, Bale’s awe-inspiring displays, FA’s inconsistency and Thierry Henry’s possible return to Arsenal
ANCHESTER United have taken full advantage of Manchester City dropping points recently by clawing back towards the apex of the English Premier League. The defending champions have the same tally of points as their neighbours, with only goal difference separating the two rivals. And considering the fact that United’s last two opponents were spanked for a total of 10 goals, the goaldifference bridge has been considerably reduced as well. Granted, beating the likes of Villa, Wolves, QPR, Fulham and Wigan, isn’t exactly a groundbreaking achievement. However, as the cliché goes, you can only beat what is put before you; and United have done that resoundingly. The fact that we’re approaching the halfway stage connotes that both City and United – like the rest of the teams – have played almost every team once. And the fact that the two teams find themselves neck and neck means that the competition is as stiff as it gets at the summit. Another point worth considering is that even though United have faced everyone in the league, they have played all of the usual suspects – barring Liverpool – at home. Therefore, the sternest away tests still await the defending champions in the second half off the season. All the same, United’s away form this year has been considerably better than their mediocre displays last year. And all things considered, the top of league table is intriguingly poised,
and United might need to pull out their ever dependable card in the coming runin – their title winning knowhow.
should have the same yardstick to gauge the actions of every player – without any discrimination whatsoever. Much like the refereeing, all an average fan wants is consistency from the FA. Judging foreign players differently and condemning their acts, while using rose-tinted glasses to perceive their own crop is hypocrisy manifestation of the lowliest kind.
WELSH WIZARD There is a new Welsh wizard on the EPL bloc; he’s the current holder of the PFA Player of the year award; he goes by the name of Gareth Bale. Last season’s PFA award was won by Bale courtesy his exploits on the European front – most notably the Milanese expeditions. Of course this was bizarre, and the corollary of the press relentlessly waxing lyrical over Bale’s displays on the left wing. What was even more bizarre was the fact that in terms of endproduct Bale was no way near the top of the pile of impacting players – he conjured up as many assists as Ali Al-Habsi for example; Wigan’s goalkeeper. Bale flaunted a monotonous kickand-run ploy throughout the course of the season, and while that was hard to deal with for most opponents it curtailed his decisive contributions and limited the Welshman’s ability to enhance his all round influence over games – you know, something one associates with the ‘PFA Player of the year.’ This year has been a different tale altogether. While the media hasn’t been getting carried away as much as last year – possibly due to the absence of Champions Lack football for Spurs – Bale’s impact and his overall play is prodigiously more effectual than last year. Even though his solitary trick was too good for most defenders, Bale can no longer be classified as a one-trick pony. He has curbed his inconsistency, enhanced his repertoire and has beefed himself
HENRY’S LOAN DEAL
up with muscle to add further strength to his blistering speed. His ball control is top notch and he is scoring some pivotal goals for his side. All in all, Bale now possesses more of an all-round game this year, which in turn has meant that he – along with the catalyst of Spurs renaissance; Emmanuel Adebayor – is now the vanguard of Spurs aspirations and indubitably one of the best players in the league.
FA’S HYPOCRISY As FA’s final verdict on Luis Suarez’s eight match ban continues to linger on after Liverpool decided to contest the ban, the English FA has decided to play another little game to pass the time by banning Suarez for a game along with a 20,000 pound fine for a hand gesture towards the crowd. Again, like last week’s column suggested, FA’s desire of purging out the unwanted actions from the game is noble; there inconsistency is not. English players have been found guilty of explicit gestures in the not-sodistant past as well. There was Ashley Cole’s confrontation with Arsenal fans in December 2007, Gary Neville’s gesture to Tevez in 2010 and a multitude of other such examples when English players have dodged the bullet for considerably bigger offences than that of Suarez. yes, Rooney was banned for a couple of games for swearing into the camera last season; but you don’t need this writer to grasp the massive disparity between being audible on camera and giving a silent hand gesture. And yes, while the vulgar gesticulation is definitely not a leaf out of the social service manual, one
At the time of writing, the rumours recently broke about Thierry Henry being offered a two-month loan deal for a nostalgic return to Arsenal. There is nothing concrete as yet, but if the British press is to be believed, the deal is on the horizon. The talk of Henry returning to Arsenal had gathered momentum even before this rumour flashed all over the globe, and even Wenger hasn’t exactly downplayed the possibility of the deal materialising. Considering the fact that Chamakh and Gervinho would be off for the African Cup of Nations, it would leave the Gunners short of striking options as matches come thick and fast. While bolstering their attacking repertoire was a no-brainer, going for Thierry Henry to fill the gap is fascinating – if nothing else. Some writers have touted the move as Wenger “gambling on sentimentality” and that Henry would not be the same player that left the club. There is a three letter word that Generation-Z uses in response to such a scenario that involves a ‘D’ a ‘U’ and an ‘H’. Obviously Henry would be light years away from the player that used to set the league ablaze week in week out, but what Henry’s return to Arsenal has the potential of doing is that it can absolutely blow the lid off the place with the sheer inspiration that the Frenchman would bring back to Arsenal. Back in 2006-2007 when United were vying to win back the league title after Chelsea’s dominance it was the three month loan deal of a certain Henrik Larrson that proved to be the catalyst for United’s success; not only in 2007 but for years to come. Arsenal need a similar figure in this transitory phase to ensure that the club finally manages to turn the elongated corner. The fact that he is a club legend and the greatest striker to play for the side wouldn’t hamper that effect the slightest.
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Saturday, 31 december, 2011
Shabbir continues to lead Pakistan Open Golf KARACHI
HE 41st Pakistan Open Golf Championship, sponsored by AKD Securities and currently in progress at the exquisite par 72, DHA Country Club Golf Course in Karachi, has begun to sparkle with quality shot making and exceedingly good work around the greens as the four days championship reaches the half way mark, after completion of the second round. At the end of the second day, the champion upfront is Shabbir Iqbal who had no problem in retaining his leader board top position with a second round 18 holes score of gross 70 and a twoday aggregate of 139, five under par. And for that matter the top three positions remain unchanged and are similar to the ones on the first day, as Mohammed Munir is placed second and Matloob Ahmed, third. The advantage in terms of stroke difference is all tilted towards Shabbir as now he has a two-stroke edge over Munir who is placed at 141 (70+71) and a four-stroke ascendancy over Matloob who reached an aggregate score of 143 (71+72). Other professionals looking good and very much in contention are: Shahid Javed Khan of Royal Palm at 144 (72+72), Irfan Mehmood of Rawalpindi at 146 (70+76) alongwith Talib Hussain of Islamabad and Afsar Ali of Karachi at the same score, followed by four competitors at 147 and they are Imdad Hussain, Mehroz Ilyas, Javed Inayat and Hamza Amin. As for Javed Inayat, an experienced one and Hamza Amin, barely 22 years old and a new entrant to the professional
World number one Caroline Wozniacki has arrived in Thailand for a charity tennis match against Victoria Azarenka to raise money for the country's recent flood crisis, a spokeswoman said Friday. Denmark's Wozniacki will play world number three Azarenka of Belarus on Sunday in the coastal resort Hua Hin, with ticket revenues going to relief efforts for inundations that swamped huge areas of the country and left nearly 800 dead. A spokeswoman for the World Tennis Charity Invitation said all players had arrived in Thailand and were spending their days sightseeing ahead of the event, which also features men's number 18
John Isner of the United States and retired popular Thai player Paradorn Srichaphan. "I have seen some of the pictures of the terrible floods and I am delighted to be a part of the World Tennis Charity Invitation," Wozniacki said earlier this month. The Dane is in Thailand with her boyfriend, top golfer Rory McIlroy, who bowed out of the Thailand Golf Championship earlier this month after suffering a bout of dengue fever that has hurt his bid for the European number one spot. She will head to Perth, Western Australia, next week for the Hopman Cup. Thailand's devastating floods, which at their height affected 65 of the 77 provinces in the low-lying nation, deluged hundreds of thousands of homes and forced the closure of large industrial parks, disrupting global supply chains.
KVITOVA HAS WOZNIACKI in sights at Hopman PERTH
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ranks, brightened the competition with laudable excellence through similar scores of gross 68, four under par, the best score produced in the second round. In particular, Hamza, after a rather desolate show in the first round, launched himself in 18 holes, riding high in confidence, enjoying virtually a flawless round that was highlighted by four birdies and fourteen pars. "I am very happy with how I’ve played, tee shots were all great and putting was flair oriented,” said Hamza. He further said: "The competition is fierce which has to be countered with quality play". From the statistical angle Shabbir was rock solid, not too spectacular but steady and in full control, two birdies on the front nine, two on the back nine, 12 pars and two bogies, the bogies not to his liking but they all the same to erode the good effect of two birdies. "I am happy
with my feel of the game and hope to compile a spectacular under par round on Saturday, the third day," he said. Munir is attracting enough attention and very much in the run, though his second round score was not to his liking. "The one under par 71 could have been 69 if the putts on 16th and 18th hole had not stopped at the lip of the hole," he added. The cut was made after the second round and only 44 professional contenders play the third and fourth round. As many as fourty seven participants stand eliminated. In the amateur section, Capt Anser Mehmood (Navy) is ahead with two rounds scores of 72+75=147, followed by Robin Bagh (Sargodah) at 150 (75+75), Wasim Rana (DHA) 153, (75+78) and Ali Hai (Karachi Golf Club) 153, (79+74). The senior professionals enter the competition on Saturday for a match over 36 holes.
HUA HiN: Caroline wozniacki (L) and Rory Mcilroy (R) pray at the buddhist temple. AFP
victoria Azarenka willing to play for thailand’s flood victims. File PHoTo
Defending champions WAPDA and Balochistan outclassed Sindh and Khyber PK respectively to win their matches on the second day of the 19th National Baseball Championship at the Iqbal Park Sports Complex here on Friday. Three runs each by Usman Butt, Sumair Zawar, Adnan Butt, M Asif and M Zubair helped WAPDA crush Sindh by a big margin of 16-1. Sindh could scored their lone run in the first innings through Nadeem Zaheer, in which WAPDA had scored three runs through Usman Butt, Sumair and Asif. WAPDA were on the offensive in the second innings scoring 10 runs without conceding any run as Usman, Sumair, Asif, Akhlaq Ahmad and Zubair added two runs each. In the third innings WAPDA scored three more runs as Adnan added two more and Abu Baker one to complete the tally. In the second match, Balochistan earned a facile 17-1 win against KPK. Balochistan had made a fine start of 3-0 lead with Majeed, Arsalan and Asif scoring one run each against none from the rivals. In the second innings, Balochistan added three more through Majeed, Arslan and Asim and they had made a big difference in the third innings by adding 11 runs with Nisar, Aslam, Nur Ahmad chipping in with two runs each and Abdul Samad, Majeed, Arslan, Usman and Sami contributing one run apiece. KPK could earn the lone run through Irfan in the third innings.
Bartoli putting in the HARD YARDS Stosur set for EMOTION AL homecomi ng PERTH
wimbledon champion Petra kvitova will hope to score early psychological points at the Hopman Cup as she seeks to send denmark's Caroline wozniacki crashing from the women's number one spot. Czech Republic's kvitova, currently ranked second but just 115 points behind the dane, can put down an important marker when the two meet next week in singles action at the mixedteams event in Perth, western Australia. Both players' form in the season-opener will also be under scrutiny before next month's Australian open, where wozniacki will again be under pressure to deliver her maiden Grand Slam title. kvitova, by contrast, is looking to extend her fairytale run of last season when she claimed six titles including wimbledon and the wtA Championships, along with the fed Cup as part of the Czech team. Her victory at the season-ending tour Championships in turkey included a straight-sets win over wozniacki, underlining her ascendancy with only her second win against the dane. Competition gets under way on Saturday and the women's top two will play when denmark, represented by wozniacki and 236th-ranked frederik Nielsen, face the Czech Republic in Group A next friday. No rankings points are available at the Hopman Cup, featuring men's and women's singles and mixed doubles, but kvitova and wozniacki may meet again in the Sydney international in the week before the Australian open. kvitova and teammate tomas Berdych are seeded top for the event, which appears wide open with defending champion Bethanie Mattek-Sands returning with new partner Mardy fish, who replaces John isner. Chinese star Li Na will also look to start the season strongly as she bids to
Balochistan, wAPdA advance in National Baseball C’ship
Wozniacki, Azarenka in Thai flood fundraiser BAngKOK
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repeat January's run to the Australian open final -- the prequel to her historic french open win, which made her Asia's first Grand Slam champion. Li, ranked fifth, and partner wu di will open the event on Saturday against the second-seeded french pairing of world number nine Marion Bartoli and Richard Gasquet, who lies 19th in the men's standings. "i think we have a good team with two players who have had a very good year in 2011," Bartoli said. "it’s a new beginning for every player so we will see how fit and ready to play everyone is. "if we could win it would be a great start for the summer season leading up to the Australian open. it’s the first tournament of the year so you never know how you are going to go." other teams are host nation Australia, represented by Lleyton Hewitt and Jarmila Gajdosova, Spain's fernando verdasco and Anabel Medina Garrigues, and Bulgaria's tsvetana Pironkova and Grigor dimitrov. America's fish is no stranger to the Hopman Cup, having teamed with Serena williams to win it in 2008.
Reigning US open champion Samantha Stosur hopes her win over Serena williams has given her the confidence to meet the high expectations of her home crowd at the Brisbane international beginning Sunday. Stosur has not played a tournament in Australia since her stunning straight sets victory over williams at flushing Meadows in August. the 27-year-old was
french veteran Marion Bartoli hopes an extended preparation in Australia will have her primed for a big showing at next month's Australian open. Bartoli capped a consistent 2011 by climbing back to ninth in the season-ending rankings, equalling her career high back in 2007. the highlight of her year was a semi-final appearance at the french open, and she also reached the quarter-finals at wimbledon, as well as winning titles at osaka and eastbourne. while many of her rivals were celebrating the festive season around the globe, the 27-year-old has been in western Australia training determinedly since well before Christmas in a bid to acclimatise and give herself the edge in the first Grand Slam of the year. "i'm living in europe so i'm practising there and practising all winter indoors is not really the best preparation for playing outdoors, especially for the Australian open," she said. "i really needed a two-week practice session to get my game ready. "it was a great priority for me to come here and practise. "i'm really pleased with everything here so far in Perth." Bartoli starts her build-up for the Australian open on New Year's eve, when she partners Richard Gasquet at the mixed teams Hopman Cup. She will then round out her preparation at the Sydney international as she seeks to erase the disappointment of this year's Australian open. Bartoli was disappointingly bundled out in the second round in Melbourne in January by 146th-ranked Russian vesna dolonts. She said the guarantee of three singles matches in Perth was one of the at-
tractions of the Hopman Cup. "that's great and i think i'm also going to practise with the girls before the tournament so it's going to be a very good warm-up before Sydney and the Australian open. "that's what we are looking for, having some great matches of preparation before the tournaments in Sydney and Melbourne."
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Saturday, 31 december, 2011
Parliamentary probe into memo begins g
Committee summons Haqqani, ijaz, Pasha to provide evidence ISLAMABAD
parallel parliamentary probe into the memogate controversy also started with the Parliamentary Committee on National Security (PCNS) on Friday, summoning former ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Director General Lt General Ahmad Shuja Pasha and Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz for the next sitting of the committee, scheduled to be held after January 10 to provide evidence in the memo scandal. The committee, which met here at Parliament House, also told the Foreign Ministry to contact Ijaz and seek an early date for appearance before the committee and provide requisite material available on the memo issue, which has raised the country’s political temperature since it came to the fore. Meanwhile, the committee had to cancel its scheduled session about finalising its proposals on post-NATO attack and future roadmap on cooperation with the alliance and ISAF forces in the war against terror, since the finance minister was not available. A source told Pakistan Today that though the committee decided to summon Ijaz, no decision could be made as to who would contact the US national who has levelled serious allegations against the top Pakistani political leadership of conspiring against the country’s security establishment. “A mechanism has to be developed by the committee chairman to contact Mansoor Ijaz, enabling him to attend the committee’s meeting for his input and viewpoint. Moreover, we would also need him to provide relevant data about the memo which could then be sent for forensic examination and investigation,” added the source. The source said further that the committee would also strategize to get authentication of the alleged communication of Ijaz with Haqqani, and the Foreign Ministry and Pakistani embassy in Canada would be directed to assist in getting confirmation from Research In Motion
Ltd (RIM), the company that manufactures Blackberry smartphones. Committee Chairman Raza Rabbani told reporters the participants of the committee were provided material about the memo. He said it was also decided that the committee would devise a mechanism to contact and summon Ijaz, who was a US national. He said Ijaz would be asked to provide relevant data to the committee for forensic investigation. He said the committee would meet next week to finalise its recommendations vis-à-vis future terms of engagements with the US and NATO forces and a working draft had also been distributed among the committee participants. He said now the committee would meet on Tuesday and the finance minister would brief the committee on the financial impact on the country if ties with the US were not revived in the war against terror. “We will also summon ministers for foreign affairs and defence, who will further brief the committee. Later, the committee will present its report to the prime minister and the proposals will be submitted in the joint session of parliament,” he added. Senator Prof Khurshid Ahmed said the committee had summoned Haqqani and Pasha in the next meeting to be held on memogate after January 10, while Ijaz would be contacted through the Foreign Ministry and he would be invited to provide evidence at his convenience. He said the problem the committee was facing was that forensic investigation was impossible without data provision by RIM, which would be contacted for data verification by the Foreign Ministry. The senator said the committee was provided a 30-point working draft on Friday and all members would come up with their proposals in the next meeting. Asked if he smelled a rat in the parliamentary committee’s probe and were there any chances that the government might bail out Haqqani in the memo case, the senator said he believed in the integrity of all the committee members. However, he said if any such evidence came to the fore, he and his colleagues from opposition parties would devise a joint strategy in this regard.
QUETTA: A paramedic treats an injured boy at the hospital following a car bombing on Friday. AFP
no chance of early elections: Gilani MULTAn ONLINE
Prime Minister yousaf Raza Gilani has rejected any chance of early elections and said polls would be held on time after parliament completes its tenure. He told reporters after inaugurating the new building of Pakistan Television Centre that the government would follow the constitutional and legal process to hold general elections. Gilani said the demand for early elections was an “old technique of the have-nots to become haves”. “However, we will act according to the constitution,” the prime minister said. He said the coalition government was stable and assured that other political parties also supported the view that parliament should complete its tenure. He said the hue and cry for early polls was aimed at
sabotaging the upcoming Senate elections in March. Gilani also said the revised foreign policy with the United States and NATO would be approved by parliament. He said the Parliamentary Committee on National Security was preparing recommendations on the issue, which would be finalised by parliament. When asked about relations between President Asif Ali Zardari and Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvaiz Kayani, the prime minister said “these [ties] are very good”. He rejected the impression of “begging” or “requesting” the army chief for accepting an extension in his term, and said this was an ambiguity brought on by the English translation of his words. On the creation of a Saraiki province, the prime minister said the matter enjoyed the support of coalition partners and would be pursued with consensus.
Pakistan tops list of ‘sex’ searchers MOnITORIng DESK Google has revealed that among all the countries in the world, the one that had the most number of users that searched for ‘sex’ in 2011 was Pakistan, a report from PTI said on Friday. Following right behind Pakistan was India. Additionally, of the top ten cities that had the top number of searches for ‘sex’ on Google in 2011, eight are Indian. Pakistan has over 20 million Internet users and had outranked all other countries in searching for pornographic content in 2010 as well. This data was determined by Google, using a feature called Google Trends. This feature analyses a few terms searched on Google to see how many times they had been searched for, relative to the total number of Google searches done over time. Google uses IP addresses to get information on where the search was generated. However, they did issue a statement on accuracy, along with these numbers, saying that the numbers are intended to interest and entertain users only, and people should not use these numbers in a dissertation. Google Trends say: “The data Trends produces may contain inaccuracies for a number of reasons, including data-sampling issues and a variety of approximations that are used to compute results.” Published by Arif Nizami for Nawa Media Corporation (Pvt) Ltd at Qandeel Printing Press, 4 Queens Road, Lahore.
india asks Pakistan to declare N-doctrine nEw DELHI NNI
India has pressed Pakistan to enunciate its nuclear doctrine to ensure “transparency and predictability” of its atomic policy, local media reported on Friday quoting official sources. The demand was made at a meeting on nuclear confidence-building measures (CBMs) earlier this week. The talks took place after nearly four years - the last such engagement was in the Indian capital in 2007, the Financial Express reported.It is learnt that officials from Pakistan Army were part of the talks on December 27 in Islamabad, which was led by officials from the Foreign Ministries of the two countries, the newspaper said.The sources said that in view of the concerns about the safety and security of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons, there was a need for an official doctrine on their nuclear “command and control”.India, which has declared its nuclear doctrine, told Pakistan that if it demonstrates practical measures on “restraint and responsibility” towards its nuclear assets, it will be considered a “CBM” on the nuclear front, the newspaper said.