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Junaid Khan, Nasir Jamshed script Pakistan’s win
Taliban reorganising in Balochistan: Baloch lawmakers
US has good leads on who was behind Benghazi attacks PAGE 04
Rs 15.00 Vol iii no 184 19 pages Lahore — peshawar edition
Monday, 31 december, 2012 Safar 17, 1434
PML-Q eyes alliance with PTI, TMQ, JI to counter PML-N ISLAMABAD TAyyAb HuSSAin
Another 25 injured as convoy of pilgrims heading to Iran targeted with roadside car bomb Jaishul Islam says attack reply to attack on Sunni leader in Karachi
QUETTA SHAHzAdA zulFiqAR
T least 19 Shia pilgrims were killed and over 25 others injured when a powerful bomb ripped through a bus in Mastung district on Sunday. The victims were among a group of Shia pilgrims on way to Iran to perform religious rites. Jaishul Islam claimed responsibility for the attack in telephone calls to various media houses. Per details, three buses carrying the pilgrims were moving from Quetta to Iran under a security cover provided by the Levies Force. However, when the convoy passed through Dringar area on the main Quetta-Taftan highway in Mastung, an explosives-laden vehicle parked along the roadside was remotely detonated, smashing one of the three buses to
pieces. Nineteen of the passengers were killed on the spot, while another 25, including four women, were critically injured. Following the explosion, passengers on other buses and levies personnel started evacuating the people from the damaged bus. However, inaccessibility to fire fighting engines made the rescue operation extremely difficult, resulting in several of the victims suffocating to death. Most of the bodies were charred beyond recognition. Jaishul Islam spokesman Ghazi Haq Nawaz said the attack on pilgrims’ buses by the mujahideen was in response to the attack on Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamat leader Maulana Arungzeb Farooqi in Karachi. He warned the Mastung administration to remain away from Shia sect; otherwise they would be their next target. Balochistan Home
Secretary Akbar Hussain Durrani said three buses with Shia pilgrims were on way to Iran when an explosives-laden car parked along the road exploded near Dringar area of Mastung. He said the buses were being escorted by Levies personnel and rejected reports that the attack had been a suicide bombing. About 70 to 80 kilogrammes of explosives were packed in the vehicle of attack, he said. Durrani added that all deceased were travelling in the bus at the front of the convoy, while the injured were on board the first as well as the second bus. The passengers of the third bus escaped unhurt, the official said, adding that most of the deceased belonged to Punjab. Soon after the incident, Levies and Frontier Corps personnel rushed to the site and cordoned
off the area. Rescue workers shifted the bodies and injured to Bolan Medical Complex Hospital in Quetta. The Hazara Democratic Party, Tahfuz Azadari Council and Shia Ulema Council strongly condemned the killing of innocent people and announced a three-day mourning. Shia Ulema Council’s head Allama Juma Asadi and Hazara Qaumi Jirga leader Qayyum Nazar Changezai condemned the brutal killing. They demanded the Supreme Court and central government take prompt action against culprits involved in slaughtering Shias. President Asif Ali Zardari also condemned the attack and expressed sympathy with the families of the victims, directing authorities to provide the best medical treatment to the injured. Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf condemned the attack as well.
A new alliance between right-wing political parties is in the offing as Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) leadership is making covert contacts to join hands with Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreeke-Insaf (PTI), Dr Tahirul Qadri-led Tehreek-eMinhajul Quran (TMQ), Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and other smaller parties to counter Nawaz Sharif’s PML-Nawaz, Pakistan Today learnt reliably on Sunday. A well-placed source in the PML-Q told this scribe that the party’s leadership was set to make formal contacts with the leadership of other parties when party leader Shujaat Hussain returned from Saudi Arabia on January 2. “If initial contacts succeed, the PML-Q would be the second political party to jump the PPP ship and join hands with Dr Qadri, as the MQM is already in touch with the professor,” the source said. As the coalition with the ruling party is not working to its advantage, the leadership of the PML-Q is making efforts to create another coalition with some new, but promising, political parties to give a tough time to its major rival in the upcoming general election. The source said PMLQ President Shujaat Hussain and Secretary-General Mushahid Hussain Sayyed had been involved in an inhouse consultation to weigh their options to form another alliance, as their coalition with the PPP was fast becoming a heavy baggage. Continued on page 04
MQM decides to take part in Qadri’s long march on 14th, Altaf says MQM, TMQ to live and die together Dr Qadri says he will visit Nine Zero to thank MQM leadership
KARACHI STAFF REPORT
A joint meeting of the coordination committee of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) on Sunday decided to participate in the Tehreek-e-Minhajul Quran’s long march on January 14. MQM Deputy Convener Dr Farooq Sattar said this in a press briefing at Nine Zero. Dr Sattar said, “After discussing all aspects in detail the co-ordination committee decided to take active part in the long march being held in Islamabad on January 14 for abolishing the decaying feudal system, eliminating corruption and use of money in politics, restoring the rights of the people belonging to the poor and middle classes in the politics of the country and establishing a just and equitable system in the country. The meeting decided that hundreds of thou-
sands of the MQM workers would take part in the long march along with Minhajul Quran for these noble objectives.” MQM chief Altaf Hussain endorsed the decision and appealed to the MQM workers to take part in the long march. Dr Sattar said the MQM chief has always said that he wanted to change the outmoded system of the country. He said, “As the programme presented by Dr Qadri is the same for which Altaf Hussain has been relentlessly struggling for the past 33 years, hence the MQM has decided to extend full support for this noble cause. We are with Dr Qadri for achieving these objectives.” “People of Pakistan are well aware that Altaf Hussain wants to establish a truly democratic system in the country. He wishes to establish a middle class order by eliminating the feudal system, unrestrained capitalism, and the hereditary control of a handful of
families on the politics.” “The MQM did not raise the mere slogan of the middle class order. It actually sent the educated and qualified people from the poor and middle classes to the assemblies and brought a revolution as far as the urban areas of Sindh are concerned.” “We wanted to spread this revolution throughout the country but our path was obstructed by state repression. Thousands of the MQM workers were mercilessly killed. Even the brother and nephew of Mr Hussain were martyred when he refused to bow down. We were not disappointed by these injustices and continued our struggle.” Continued on page 04
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02 News cArtooN
Record number of Afghan soldiers killed in 2012
INfotAINmeNt Animal rights group pays circus $9.3m
on Page 11
Story on Page 09
Ashura blast accused arrested in DI Khan DI KHAN: Police claimed to have arrested an accused involved in Ashura blast in Dera Ismail Khan. Police also claimed to have seized explosives from village Diwala on the information gathered from the accused. The explosives were buried in a pressure cooker and two batteries were also attached to it. According to police, the accused was planning to use the explosives during Imam Hussain (AS)’s chehlum procession. A bomb blast on Ashura in Dera Ismail Khan had killed seven people and wounded 136 others. inP
Becoming caretaker PM not on my agenda, says Qadri LAHoRE inP
Yousuf Badini elected senator unopposed QUETTA: Yousuf Badini, the candidate of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), has been elected senator unopposed. Balochistan Election Commissioner Sultan Bayazeed said on Sunday that four candidates had submitted their nomination papers for the vacant seat. “The three candidates who have withdrawn their nomination papers in favour of Mir Muhammad Yousuf Badini include Haji Wali Muhammad of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam, Abdul Wahid of Balochistan National Party-Awami and independent candidate Muhammad Osman Badini,” he said. He said that Election Commission of Pakistan would notify the unopposed success of Badini. APP
US plane reportedly made emergency landing at Iranian airport TEHRAN: An Iranian semi-official news agency has reported that a small American commercial plane made an emergency landing in an Iranian airport earlier this month. The Sunday report by Mehr news agency quoted the state-owned Iran Airports Company head Mahmoud Rasoulinejad, as saying that the plane landed some three weeks ago in the airport of the southern city of Ahvaz due to technical failure. Rasoulinejad said three passengers left Iran for Arab countries in the Gulf, but the plane was under repair at the airport, adding that it would be fixed soon. He did not elaborate on the issue as to why the announcement was not made earlier. inP
Tehreek-e-Minhajul Quran Chairman Dr Tahirul Qadri has said that becoming a caretaker prime minister was not on his agenda. Addressing workers’ convention in Lahore through video facility on Sunday, Qadri said he wanted to see the establishment of real democracy in the country and he would not accept any post after changing the electoral system in Pakistan. He thanked those who supported him in the December 23 public rally held at Minar-e-Pakistan. The journey of democratic revolution had started from December 23 onwards, he said. Qadri demanded of the armed forces to take responsibility of security of the participants of the march towards Islamabad on January 14. He said he had sold the jewellery of his wife, daughter and daughter-in-law to met the expenses of the long march planned for January 14. He said he was not a fool and would not allow anyone to sabotage his movement and take benefit from it. In addition, he said that he would also not allow
PESHAWAR: A blast outside a cinema in Peshawar’s Faqirabad area injured one person on Sunday. The blast occurred at the gate of Shama Cinema near Bacha Khan Chowk, according to police sources. No casualties or major damage was reported in the bombing. A passerby who suffered minor injuries as a result of the blast was discharged from the hospital after first aid. inP
the two main political parties of the country to decide the issue of caretaker prime minister among themselves. He expressed confidence that after the Jan 14 march, the parliament would become ineffective. Furthermore, Qadri said he would not return from Islamabad until the attainment of his objective even if he had to stay there for one year. He said he had not uttered a single word against the constitution, law, democracy and Pakistan. Moreover, the Minhajul Quran chief said he had returned to the country to ensure the supremacy of the constitution, law and the judiciary. He claimed that the Lahore revolution would turn into Pakistan revolution in a week. Meanwhile, he came down hard on those asking about the sources of his income and said that he did not receive even a single penny from the United States or any other country. Qadri also said that corrupt supporters of the existent exploitative system should read the writing on the wall which clearly stated that no more corruption would be allowed in the country and no one would usurp power on the basis of money. “Now, only the people of Pakistan will decide their fate in the future,” he asserted.
Harris Group sends legal notice to BoP chief g
Afzal says bank has usurped his property in Pakistan and Dubai on fake documents LAHoRE OnlinE
Peshawar cinema blast injures one
Story on Page 14
The Harris Group has served a legal notice to the Bank of Punjab president. Sheikh Afzal in the notice has taken the stance that the bank has usurped his moveable and immovable property in Pakistan as well as Dubai on fake and forged documents and has sold
them at throwaway prices. According to the Harris Steel Mills spokesman, the Foreign Office has also declared those documents bogus. He said that a very expensive villa in Dubai, properties in Pakistan, shares, vehicles, watches and gold jewellry worth billions of rupees were sold out through a group of crooked bankers and businessmen in connivance with
Aftab Ahmed, an officer of the National Accountability Bureau. The notice has asked the bank to withdraw its teams from the illegal sale of Harris Group’s properties and hand over the keys of the said property along with all expensive articles to them forthwith. According to the spokesman, in case of no cooperation, Sheikh Afzal will take appropriate legal action in criminal as well as civil
Most struck-oﬀ doctors are trained outside Britain g g
India has highest number of struck-off/suspended doctors BIDA official says NHS is known for having problems with discrimination and racism LonDon MAjid KHATTAK
A vast majority of doctors banned in the past five years were trained outside Britain, new figures from the General Medical Council (GMC) UK revealed on Sunday. The data obtained by The Sunday Telegraph using freedom of information laws, shows that three quarters of doctors struck off the medical register this year were trained abroad. Similarly doctors trained overseas are five times more likely to be struck off than those trained in the UK. The latest information also revealed that in total, 669 doctors have been either struck off or suspended by the GMC over the last five years. Only 249 were British (37 percent) while 420 (63 percent) were trained abroad – whereas one-third of doctors on the register were trained abroad, and
monday, 31 December, 2012
two-thirds in Britain. The figures show that India has the highest number of doctors who have been suspended or struck off the register with 123. Nigeria and Egypt also fare badly, each with 33 doctors subject to the measures since 2008. Pakistan is third with 32 doctors suspended while Eastern European countries account for 27 such cases. The country with the best record is Hong Kong. Despite having an average of 773 doctors working in the UK since 2008, none have been struck off or disciplined by the GMC. Similarly, New Zealand has had an average of 600 doctors working in Britain, but none have had those measures taken against them. According to Telegraph, in recent years a series of cases have raised concerns about the competence and language skills of overseas doctors. Under the current system, British
hospitals and medical agencies which hire doctors are not allowed to test the language skills of those from EU countries to seek if staff will be able to communicate safely. Until now, Britain has interpreted EU law as meaning that doctors who qualify in any of the 27 countries must be free to work elsewhere, without restriction. The British government has promised to change the law, so that doctors will have to prove they can speak English before they get work here, but the changes are bogged down in discussions in Brussels, claimed the British leading newspaper. Under the rules, doctors from outside Europe have to take a test before they can work in the UK, but the GMC can refuse entry to those from medical schools which do not meet its official standards or those agreed internationally. From this month, all
UK doctors will also have annual checks of their competence, under a new licencing system called revalidation. Dr Umesh Prahbu, British International Doctors Association National Vice-chairman said he believed the reasons why overseas doctors are far more likely to be struck off were complex and varied. He said, “The UK National Health Service (NHS) is known for having problems with discrimination and racism and I think this is part of it.” Dr Prahbu said other problems stemmed from cultural differences and communication problems, more than from differences in clinical training. Dr Prahbu, who trained in India, said the technical training was very similar to that in the UK, but it was more difficult to learn about the “softer” skills and ensure that patients felt treated with courtesy.
jurisdictions in Dubai and Pakistan. The spokesman also said BoP official Naeemuddin is using his office to create hurdles to the settlement of a plea bargain. The plea bargain should have been filed some three years back. The spokesman appealed to the Supreme Court to take notice of the bogus auction of the moveable and immoveable properties of the owners of Harris Steel Mills.
Caretaker PM to be appointed after consultation with all parties: Khursheed Shah MonIToRIng DESK Religious Affairs Minister Syed Khursheed Shah on Sunday said that a caretaker prime Minister will be appointed after consultation with all political parties. Talking to journalists in Peshawar, Khursheed Shah said the government’s tenure would end on March 16 and it will not run the affairs of the country a single day after that. The minister said dialogue was the only way to resolve issues with the Taliban. “However, none of their leaders have come forward to hold talks and resolve the matter,” he added. He said the PPP respected Tahirul Qadri and would not take measures against his long march.
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News 03 ArtS & eNtertAINmeNt
‘Please address me as Kareena Kapoor Khan’
Fearless land mafia challenges CM Shahbaz to stop it if he can lessons of Hussey’s long apprenticeship
blood in the streets
Anarchy is not far behind
Kamran Rehmat says;
Nazuk daur, again: …but whiﬀ of edge-of-the-seat fare couldn’t have been thicker
Aima Khosa says;
Why elections will happen (on time): And with that Pakistan could finally set in motion a tradition of smooth democratic transition
Arif Ansar says; Outlook for US-Pakistan ties: Pakistan is gravitating and positioning itself more towards BRICS and SCO
Story on Page 07
Story on Page 12
Story on Page 15
Articles on Page 10-11
Kaira urges masses to elect honest, devoted people in next election KHARIAn APP
LAHORE: A woman donates jewellery on Sunday as funding for Tehreek-eMinhajul Quran leader Dr Tahirul Qadri’s planned long march to Islamabad on January 14. nni
malik invites taliban for talks KARACHI inP
Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Sunday said public security was the top priority of the government and he would welcome Hakimullah Mehsud for peace talks in case the latter decides to stop violence. Talking to journalists at the wedding ceremony of Federal Minister Babar Khan Ghauri’s daughter in Karachi, the interior minister said investigation in the Cantt Station blast was underway and added that mobile phones were being used in 80 percent of terrorist activities.
Zardari likely to visit Kolkata on January 3 KARACHI AGEnCiES
Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari is likely to visit India on January 3, 2013 (Thursday) to watch the second match of a three-match oneday series between the two neighbouring countries in Kolkata, claimed the Indian media. Indian media reported that Asif would watch the second One Day International (ODI) match with his Indian counterpart Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The Indian media said that the president’s visit would be a part of cricket diplomacy to improve bilateral relations between the two countries. Earlier, a two-match Pakistan-India T20 series had concluded in India. The series was levelled 1-1 with Pakistan winning the first match in Bangalore and India winning the second in Ahmedabad.
NFORMATION and Broadcasting Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira on Sunday urged people to elect honest and devoted people in the forthcoming general elections to bring about a real change in the country. Addressing a gas supply inauguration ceremony near Dewaan Kot village, he said the election was around the corner and political adversaries were running propaganda against Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP). He assured the people that the elections would be held on time and expressed optimism that the PPP would win the next general elections on the basis of their performance. Kaira said the survival of the country was directly linked to the democratic system and urged the people to play an active role in further strengthening democracy. Regarding the performance of the PPP-led government during the last five years, the information minister said the government would present its case before the masses when the final date for the next elections would be set. He said during PPP’s government, Pakistan faced internal and external challenges, including terrorism, law and order situation in Swat and Malakand, energy crisis, threat of isolation on the international front, economic recession, food crisis and floods. Recounting the government’s achievements, he said the PPP brought all political forces to one platform and launched the operation to free Swat and Malakand from the hold of the terrorists. “There was scarcity of flour in 2008 but with the prudent policies of the PPP, self-sufficiency was achieved
in wheat production. We are now exporting wheat to other countries,” he said. “Inflation has also been brought down from 25 percent to 8 percent,” he added. “We added 4000 MW to the national grid, purchased land for the Bhasha dam and started work on the Neelum-Jhelum Project, he said. The minister said the PML-N leadership must understand the fact that President Asif Ali Zardari’s office of PPP Co-Chairman was honorary. “The PML-N must elaborate whether it wants a democratic president or a conspirator in the presidency,” he said. He said the presidency used to be the centre of conspiracies against democratic governments in the past but President Asif Ali Zardari strengthened the democracy by relinquishing all powers to the prime minister and the parliament. “We do not need a dictator or an autocrat president in the presidency,” he added. “Although bad governance is the norm in Punjab, the CM is used to clamouring about good governance in the province,” he said. Referring to Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Kaira said the N-League leader must understand that one cannot become Zulfikar Ali Bhutto by mere imitation.
“In order to become Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, sacrifices need to be made,” he said. He said the country’s economy had suffered a great loss due to the Yellow Cab project, ‘sasti roti’ scheme and the construction of ‘useless roads’. “Over Rs 70 billion are being spent on the construction of a single road in Lahore,” he added. Kaira said the PPP-led government had dismantled the majority of the terrorist networks in the country. He said the government had ensured a consensus on the seventh NFC Award, introduced ‘grower-friendly policies’ and raised government employees’ salaries. “Today, Pakistan is far more developed than it was in 2008. There should be an end to the perception-based corruption rhetoric,” he added.
UN chief voices ‘deep sorrow’ over death of India rape victim UnITED nATIonS nni
The United Nations (UN) Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has expressed “deep sorrow” on the death of a Delhi female student, who was gang raped in a moving bus earlier this month in the Indian capital New Delhi, saying that “violence against women must never be accepted.” “The UN secretary general expresses deep sorrow over the death of the 23-year-old Delhi student who was gang-raped by six men in a moving bus in New Delhi on December 16,” said a statement issued here on Saturday night by Ban’s spokesman. “The secretary general offers his sincerest condolences to her parents, family and friends, and utterly condemns this brutal crime,” it further stated. The statement also said, “Violence against women must never be accepted, never excused, never tolerated. Every girl and woman has the
right to be respected, valued and protected.” Meanwhile, the Indian victim of gang rape, identified as Nirbhaya by the local media, died at a private hospital in Singapore early on Saturday, hospital sources said. Mount Elizabeth Hospital Chief Executive Officer Kelvin Loh said the patient died at the hospital at 4:45 am (local time) on Saturday after suffering from severe organ failure. In an apparent haste to calm down public anger over the death of the medical student, Indian police on Saturday invoked murder charges against the six men involved in the gang-rape. In addition to this, Dharmendra Kumar, special commissioner of police (law and order), told the media, “We hope to file the charge sheet by January 3, 2013 and will add Section 302 of IPC to the case, which is the penal section for murder.” “The secretary general also encourages the government of India to strengthen critical services for rape
victims,” the UN statement further said. “UN Women and other parts of the UN stand ready to support such reform efforts with technical expertise and other support as required.” Meanwhile, in regard to Indian government’s decision to devise new anti-rape laws, the statement said, “The secretary general welcomes the efforts of the government of India to take urgent action and calls for further steps and reforms to deter such crimes and bring the perpetrators to justice.” Also, UN Women, the main UN body dedicated to the protection of rights of women and girls, mourned the death of the Indian gang rape victim. “UN Women joins the UN secretary general in mourning the death of a 23-year-old student who was gang raped by six men earlier this month in New Delhi, India,” the UN agency said on its official website. “UN Women and other parts of the UN stand ready to support reform efforts to deter such crimes and bring the perpetrators to justice.”
monday, 31 December, 2012
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04 till death Continued fRoM page 01
“It is the outcome of our struggle that the message of the MQM is spreading at a quick pace in the Punjab, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit-Baltistan, Azad Kashmir and tribal areas of the country. There is no area in the country where the admirers of Altaf Hussain are not present.” “We firmly believe that one day our struggle will be successful and the outdated political system will be changed.” Dr Tahirul Qadri called Altaf Hussain and thanked him for deciding to take part in the long march. Dr Qadri said he would soon visit Nine Zero to thank the MQM leadership in this regard. Earlier, MQM Chief Altaf Hussain said that revolution in Pakistan was inevitable. He was talking on phone to a delegation of Tehreek-eMinhajul Quran (TMQ), who visited MQM’s Karachi headquarters Nine Zero. “We will live together and we will die together. Together we will save Pakistan,” Altaf said. The MQM thanked TMQ Chairman Dr Tahirul Qadri for sending the delegation and inviting MQM in a march scheduled to begin on January 14, 2013. “Both the MQM and Minhajul Quran are working for the noble cause of eliminating feudal system and corruption, introduction of a uniform system of education, establishment of equality in every sphere of life and bringing the just and equitable rule on the pattern of the pious caliphs.” The MQM chief assured the visiting delegation of its party’s support. “Time has come to free the country from the clutches of thieves and robbers.” TMQ nazim-e-aala Dr Raheeq Abbasi thanked the MQM chief for warm welcome at Nine Zero. He said, “Your open support to the programme of Dr Qadri is a source of strength for us and we are thankful to you for this gesture.”
Continued fRoM page 01 “We have been making contacts with some new parties to weigh our options. Through the back-channel, we are in touch with chief of Minhajul Qauran Dr Tahirul Qadri and Imran Khan’s PTI to gauge if we could go to polls together,” another source privy to the contacts said, adding that formal contacts would be made after the return of Shujaat from Saudi Arabia. “Soon after the successful show by Dr Qadri at Minar-e-Pakistan, Shujaat and Pervez Elahi contacted him and congratulated him on the powerful show,” the Q league source added. He said if a formidable alliance was made, the three powers could defeat the PMLN in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). “The failure to make a formidable alliance will leave an open field for the PML-N. We
PML-Q eyeS ALLIANce have strong contenders across Punjab and KP provinces who are “elect-ables”, while Imran Khan and Dr Qadri have strong following in public, especially among the youth,” he said, adding that the JI had street power and a sizable vote bank in every constituency. He said his party had already finalised an alliance with Sahibzada Fazal Karim’s party that was a major faction of Jamat Ahle Sunnat. The PML-Q source said his party had to also taken up the matter within the party and views would also be sought from its members before making formal contacts with the PTI and Dr Qadri. He said the PTI leadership was reluctant, but his party would make a formal
contact with Imran Khan through Mushahid Hussain Sayyed, who has a good relationship with Khan. “Mushahid has also worked with Dr Qadri when both were lecturers in Lahore and hence he also has good ties with Qadri,” he added. Asked whether their alliance with the PPP was over, the Q leaguer said though the alliance was facing hiccups, it was yet to end. “Pervez Elahi believes that the PML-Q should not detach itself and any decision should be made after a meeting of the party leadership with President Asif Ali Zardari. However, this alliance is heading toward its demise for sure and both parties are looking for new options as their workers are not voting
for each other’s candidates - meaning they have rejected this unnatural alliance,” he added. Neither PML-Q Secretary Information Kamil Ali Agha nor Shafqat Mahmood of the PTI attended repeated calls for comment. Talking over telephone from Dubai, PMLQ Deputy Secretary Information Ghulam Mustafa Malik said politics was an art of making the impossible possible and nothing could be said as sure in politics. “In-house consultations are on to look for new options to go to polls. We have the support of political heavyweights in Punjab and sitting and former MNAs, MPAs and former nazims are with the party. A formidable alliance can help us defeat the PML-N in Punjab and KP,” he added. He said political pundits were under-estimating Shujaat and Elahi, who were senior politicians and knew the art of making and breaking alliances.
HydERAbAd: Residents of Marvi Town burn tyres to block the road to protest against water shortage. inP
Taliban reorganising in Balochistan: Baloch lawmakers g
Senator says Taliban are emerging and getting themselves established in Pashtun areas g Baloch nationalists accuse security forces of patronising gangs and militias ISLAMABAD AnwAR AbbAS
Baloch members of the National Assembly and Senate have warned of emergence, reorganization and rise of the Taliban in Quetta, Mastung and other areas. They also feared that upcoming polls could not be held free and fair in the presence of army and hurdles in the way of Baloch leadership could be erected. Expressing their concerns, they denounced the rise in sectarianism they have termed that situation for Shias in Balochistan is identical to that of Malakand and Swat. They also pointed out that abysmal education and health sectors in the province need efforts on a war footing. During a research exclusively conducted by Pakistan Today, Senator Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo, former Senate chairman Jan Muhammad Khan Jamali, National Assembly ex-deputy speaker Sardar Wazir Ahmed Khan Jogezai, Senator Sardar Fateh Muhammad Khan Hasni, Senator Nawabzada Saifullah Magsi, Senator Daud Khan Achakzai and Senator Hamayun Khan Mandokhail were interviewed On the issue of re-emergence and reorganisation of the Taliban in the province, the Baloch lawmakers were of the view that the Taliban do not exist in the Baloch strongholds as a force, adding that they exist in the shape of splinter groups such as the banned Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and the Ahl-e-Sunnat Wal Jamaat (Former Sipah-e-Sahaba). They said further the Taliban and extremist operatives are reorganizing in Quetta, Mastung, Kharotabad and in the remote areas and are coming into
monday, 31 December, 2012
position to pose an open threat to the Baloch nationalist leadership. In future, they said, the growing extremism and radicalisation of locals could worsen the present law and order situation, destabilise local governments and could hold the politics of Balochistan hostage. Senator Hamayun Khan Mandokhail said, “In Pashtun belt there is no movement for the separation or there exist no separatists. However, now the Taliban are emerging and are getting themselves established in the Pashtun areas.” The influence of Pashtun leadership is at stake as the Taliban are tightening their grip over the 45 percent Pashtun population of the province, being replaced by the religious groups such as various factions of the Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Islam, including JUI-Nazariati and JUIFazl, he added. Religious extremists in Balochistan do not enjoy the strong support among the Baloch, but they are being supported by the JUI-Nazriati, for which they pay back during elections. Despite being popular among middle-class Baloch youth, the Baloch separatist movements have failed in attracting support from the major Baloch tribes like Mengal, Zehri, Magsi, Lehri and Raisani. The Baloch separatists and dissident leaders have no say in the Pashtun belt of the province, however, Pashtun living in the province have strong sympathies for them. Almost whole political leadership from the province, both Baloch and Pashtun areas, support negotiations with rebel Baloch leaders and to redress issues through dialogue. A majority of politicians have said that major support for such movements and elements is the
foreign financial assistance, that is keeping them alive, however, the non-development from the provincial and federal governments, involuntary or forced abduction of youth, extrajudicial killings, illegal imprisonments, unavailability of reformation for separatists, and atrocities by the civilian militias against them are winning support for them among the Baloch. The Baloch does not praise the role of police, law enforcers and paramilitary troops and intelligence agencies considering them responsible for mutilated bodies, extra-judicial killings, illegal imprisonments. On the other hand, in Pashtun areas their popularity is getting stained because of their behaviour, attitude and corruption towards general public. According to the Baloch leaders, the courts have also indicated that intelligence agencies, including the Inter- Services Intelligence, the Military Intelligence and the Frontier Constabulary are engaged in introducing their own decisions and sometimes misusing their powers. Baloch nationalists also accuse security forces and intelligence agencies of raising and patronising various civilian gangs and militias – who are also indulged in criminal activities. They are of the view that such militias have been armed to counter Baloch separatists and militants. Almost all Baloch leaders in their interviews condemned Hazara killing and termed it an alarming situation. They demanded that the state establish its writ by curbing such incidents and bringing those behind such incidents to book. Some of the leaders blamed the law-enforcement agencies for not acting and countering the banned outfits and supporting them in
their cause for promoting sectarian hatred against Shias. Baloch leaders said the situation in province for Shias was worst as compared to that of Swat and Malakand for Hazara, saying not only the Hazaras but people from other sects were being victimized for raising voice against Shia killing. “The Hazara tribes in Balochistan are currently facing Swat and Malakand like situation. They are being chased, followed and killed everywhere in the province.” Sardar Wazir Ahmed Khan Jogezai mentioned. It was disclosed that thousands of Hazaras and Shias have immigrated to the European countries, Iran and Afghanistan. Some politicians also pointed out that Iranian and Saudi influence, especially Saudi petro-money, was an important factor in the continued incidents of Hazara and Shia genocide. There exists a strong difference among Pashtun and Baloch inhabitants of the province, for which the Pashtun politicians from the province are extremely concerned, and demanded that the government revise the administration based upon recent census. Leadership from both sides, especially from Pashtun belt of the province, say they have grudges against each other on issue of the chief minister’s slot, representation in the National Assembly, the Senate and the provincial assembly, and position of federal secretaries and present quota system. Currently, the issue is not at surface but could intensify, causing more hatred and could be turned into law and order disturbance among both communities of the province in coming years if not handled carefully at its initial stages by
revising everything, with consensus. The census on the computerized NICs would not take much time, Advocate Daud Khan Achakzai said, but would assist in redressing the problem. All things, including the representation of Pashtun in parliament and the Balochistan Assembly, depend upon an independent census. Such differences also act as a factor becoming the reason that Baloch separatists have failed attracting Pushtons in their separation movements. The religious extremists and Taliban who failed in diffusing into the Baloch strongholds have successfully managed to emerge and to get reorganised in Pashtun areas of the province. The province direly demands emergency in account of education and health sectors, as major universities and hospitals lack qualified doctors and lecturers because large number of qualified experts have fled to the other provinces due to rise in the incidents of killing and abduction of doctors and lecturers. There is no security or protection in general for the doctors and lecturers who are exposed to the risks, on the other hand no reasonable budgetary support is present for the education and health sectors in the province. Former Senate chairman Jan Mohammad Khan Jamali said, “It needs total revamping, as the condition of both sectors is not positive. The people from the other areas are not ready to come to Balochistan to uplift the education and the health sectors. The vacuum created of poor and insufficient government institutions is being filled successfully by the religious seminaries, who also promote intolerance because of their
unqualified teachers and clerics.” The ratio of school dropout, a lack of qualified teachers, poor infrastructure of government schools, large number of ghost schools or one-teacher schools, no financial cover for teachers, unavailability of budgetary support by the government and unavailability of qualified teachers is causing the current provincial education system to breathe its last. There are wide differences in curriculum of government schools, elite educational institutions and religious seminaries. A majority of Baloch politicians are convinced that upcoming polls could not be held free, fair and transparent, because they believe the military would not allow it to happen. Baloch nationalist leaders said the province is in a dire need of effective administration, as the non-serious provincial government has failed in serving the people and is working for the interests of the Centre as well as establishment. A good number of the Baloch (about 20 percent) does not have computerised national identity cards, following which they are ineligible to vote in the upcoming polls, posing a serious question mark on transparency of the polls. “Many Baloch are not registered because of multiple reasons. I think the number of those who do not have their national identity cards would be around 20 percent,” said Sardar Fateh Mohammad Hasni. Rise in the discretionary funds of the members of the provincial assembly has made them so powerful that they are in a position to silence and harass opposition blocking the way for the genuine leadership of the province.
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KemU graduates lay out their demands LAHoRE STAFF REPORT
King Edward Medical University (KEMU) graduates on Sunday appealed to Vice Chancellor (VC) Search Committee to take special considerations regarding merit and seniority while selecting the new VC for the university. Speaking at a press conference at Lahore Press Club, they critisised some trainees of the ward of the acting VC and said he using them to influence the VC search committee. Young Kemcolians Forum (YKF) office bearers, while speaking to journalists, also alleged that the current VC had destroyed the system of merit and was appointing graduates of other universities without giving preference to KEMU graduates. Commenting on the current state of affairs in the university, they said that while taking the annual exams of MBBS third professional in 2012, the students had received the same exam questions they had been tested on in 2011. They brought the two examination papers with them as proof. They also said that the university had announced the examination schedule for MD/MS which were to be held in November this year and postgraduate trainees of MD/MS came all the way from Saudi Arabia, Iran, Nepal to appear in their exam. However, the university was not prepared to conduct the exams and they were postponed indefinitely. They demanded that King Edward Medical College must be restored immediately under KEMU and a senior professor must be appointed as the principal to deal with the affairs of undergraduate medical students of the institute. They further demanded that graduates of KEMU must be preferred in upcoming induction for training in FCPS for the session January 2013 as was the rule before 2006 and all Kemcolians must be given paid induction. They further said that new hostels must be constructed for girls on urgent basis. They also said that the schedule for MD/MS exams must be announced on urgent basis to avoid confusion among trainees. They further demanded the universityâ€™s VC should refrain from any kind of politics within the institute.
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lAHORE: A view of construction of overhead bridge for Rapid bus Service at Ferozpur road. OnLinE
BRTS almost completed: Shahbaz LAHoRE inP
UNJAB Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Sunday announced that the Metro Bus project was in the final stages of completion, adding that modern and comfortable metro buses would soon be made operational for the benefit of the masses. Speaking to journalists after visiting various sections of the Metro Bus project, the chief minister said that the project would be completed within the stipulated period of 11 months, adding that a similar project took two years for completion in Turkey. Shahbaz further said that he was satisfied with the successful test launch of the Metro
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Bus, adding that Metro Bus was a revolutionary effort in changing the transport system of the city. The chief minister lauded the efforts of construction workers who were working round-the-clock during winters to finish the mega-project. He further said that the Metro Bus project was a historic achievement by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government in Punjab. Shahbaz inspected construction work of Metro Bus project from Gajjumata to Azadi Chowk and directed authorities concerned to complete the installation of escalators expeditiously while the work on provision of facilities at the stations should be completed within the fixed period. The Chief Minister also visited the bus
depot being constructed for metro buses and also inspected the buses stationed there. He said that all necessary facilities should be made available at the bus depot. He also inspected the newly-constructed bridge along Lahore Bridge. He visited Kalma Chowk underpass project and took a briefing regarding the pace of work. He directed authorities concerned that the completion of Kalma Chowk underpass project within stipulated period should be ensured at any cost and LESCO authorities should be contacted for the immediate shifting of electric poles and wires. The Chief Minister also gave instructions for horticulture and landscaping on the route of Metro Bus.
lDA recovers billions in commercialisation fee LAHoRE inP
Lahore Development Authority on Sunday collected a sum of Rs 2.3412 billion on account of commercialisation fee, including Rs 2.0012 billion under the head of permanent commercialization. As many as 500 properties which had failed to pay the commercialisation fee despite repeated notices were sealed to gear up collection of commercialisation charges from these properties. Town Planning (TP) wing of LDA disposed off all the 238 applications seeking permanent commercialisation besides taking appropriate action on 168 out of 170 pleas for extension in the permission for annual commercialisation. The TP wing also received a total of 4,273 applications for approval of building plans and 817 for issuance of completion certificates of buildings out of which 4,244 and 803 were disposed of respectively.
Nawaz rejects Pml-N election manifesto, calls for more changes LAHoRE OnlinE
Pakistan Muslim LeagueNawaz (PML-N) President Nawaz Sharif on Sunday rejected the partyâ€™s new election manifesto and called for a meeting of the central executive committee on January 5. A private TV channel reported that in a meeting with the committee, the party leader rejected the amended election manifesto and demanded further changes to ensure more packages for students, traders and labourers. Nawaz also stressed that the new manifestor be finalised by January 3.
lAHORE: Volunteers setting free milk stall in front of data darbar. Three-day urs of renowned Sufi data Gunj bakhsh will start from january 1. inP
monday, 31 December, 2012
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06 Lahore Strict security to be ensured for chehlum processions: Sardar zulfikar Khosa
Punjab govt plans awareness about youth issues
Senior Advisor to Punjab Chief Minister Senator Sardar Zulfiqar Ali Khan Khosa has said that all chehlum processions of Imam Hussain (RA) are important and sensitive in nature, therefore, best possible security should be provided to them without distinction of category to avert any unpleasant incident from taking place. Presiding over a high level meeting held here to review security arrangements for the chehlum processions, Zulfiqar said that no laxity in security arrangements would be tolerated at any cost and all departments concerned should coordinate completely so that the provision of effective security to all processions could be made possible. Zulfiqar ordered the authorities concerned to provide yellow lights to the processions to be used in case there was fog. He also ordered that load shedding should not be carried out in the areas holding processions and gatherings. He ordered the Home Secretary to immediately get a detailed report of security arrangements made in this regard from all District Coordination Officers (DCOs), Regional Police Officers (RPOs) and District Police Officers (DPOs). The meeting also discussed various proposals for the suspension of mobile phone services during the time of chehlum processions. Zulfiqar said that the DCOs would decide the issue of banning pillion riding according to the requirements of their respective districts.
Punjab Youth Affairs Secretary Haroon Ahmad Khan on Sunday said that the Punjab government was planning its first ever strategy to create awareness among youth about their rights and issues. He made the statement at a summit arranged by Bargad, a non-governmental organisation, in collaboration with the Punjab government, titled Adolescent Girls Leadership Summit. The summit was an effort to provide a forum for adolescent girls to enhance leadership and advocacy skills and develop advocacy campaigns for improving access to their rights. The students, talking about their experience, said the youth of the country was generally hesitant to discuss their problems and the campaign would encourage them to be more vocal about their issues.
lAHORE: A long queue of cars seen outside a CnG station after gas sales opened after six days. nnA
Prisons minister gives glowing report of Punjab govtâ€™s success LAHoRE STAFF REPORT
UNJAB Minister for Prisons Malik Iqbal Channar on Sunday said every effort will be made to transform Pakistan into a country that Jinnah envisioned. Speaking to various delegations at his residence, he said that the Punjab government had utilised all resources to ensure a better quality of life for citizens, adding that peo-
ple would elect Pakistan Muslim LeagueNawaz (PML-N) in the upcoming general elections based on their performance. Channar further said that a new modern hospital constructed at a cost of Rs 3 billion in Bahawalpur would become functional next month. Moreover, the minister said that for the first time in the history of Cholistan, farms had been constructed at a cost of Rs 50 million and steps were also being taken for resolving the water problem of Cholistan. Furthermore, he said that
cm condemns mastung blast LAHoRE STAFF REPORT
Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Sunday condemned the blast in a bus in Mastung, Balochistan and expressed sorrow over the loss of human lives. He prayed for the departed souls and early recovery of the injured.
monday, 31 December, 2012
20,000 green tractors had been distributed among small farmers in Punjab through a subsidy of Rs 6 billion. The provincial minister said that 70,000 teachers had been recruited in the province on merit. He said a policy of transparency and merit was being implemented strictly in the province, adding the politics of â€˜Biradariâ€™ was being put to an end. He said PML-N believed in serving the needy and the oppressed and would continue to uphold the mission if they were elected in the next election.
Punjab govt failed to deliver basic needs: Ghurki LAHoRE APP
Pakistan Peoples' Party (PPP) Lahore President Federal Minister Samina Khalid Ghurki on Sunday alleged that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government in Punjab had failed to provide basic health facilities to citizens. In a statement, Ghurki said that the PPP government and its coalition partners had made full efforts to ensure quality healthcare for citizens. She further said that people would not elect PML-N leaders in the next general elections because their provincial government had failed to provide basic necessities to citizens.
Two die in separate incidents LAHoRE
At least two people died in separate incidents in different parts of the city on Sunday. According to details, a man was murdered over a minor dispute. Reports said that Irfan, along with his accomplices, opened fire on Sajjad, killing him on the spot. Police was summoned to the scene. They shifted the body to the morgue for post-mortem analysis and registered an FIR against Irfan. The accused has not been arrested so far. In another incident, an over-speeding truck collided with a four-year-old boy, killing the child on the spot. According to details, four-year-old Abdul Moeez, accompanied by an older cousin, was returning home on a motorbike when an
over-speeding truck collided with the vehicle, killing the minor on the spot. Police reached the scene and took the truck driver into custody for further investigation. In another incident, a car was driven into the canal upon collision with an damper near Mughalpura. Rescue 1122 personnel reached the scene and pulled out three women from the car. They were rushed to the nearest hospital where they were stated to be in a critical condition. Furthermore, robbers broke into a house in WAPDA Town and robbed 10 tola gold on gunpoint and escaped from the scene. In another incident, Badami Bagh Police arrested three suspected gamblers and seized a television, computers and other valuables from their possession.
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Fearless land mafia challenges cM Shahbaz to stop it if he can M LAHoRE
STAFF REPORT/RAnA HAidER
IGHT is right, and the latest order of might in the country comes in the form of the land mafia which is involved in snatching the lands of innocent people from right under the nose of government authorities. As nothing has been done so far to tackle the fast growing influence of the mafia, these landeaters have gone berserk and are now preying on the unguarded properties of overseas Pakistanis. Though there were numerous such cases pending in the backlogs of the law enforcement agencies, but the most recent ordeal in this regard would be enough to feel the agony of an expatriate Pakistani who had brought back his hard-earned money to the country and invested it in a piece of land. The ordeal started in the first week of December when Ghulam Hussain Awan, an overseas Pakistani journalist, reached his land and found that the boundary wall around his land had disappeared. It was a rude awakening for the foreign returned journalist. Sensing a problem, he visited the land on December 9 to build a room for a watchman to maintain surveillance of the area to protect his land located at Jodho Dheer, Moza Raiwind, seven kilometres away from the residence of former two-time prime minister of Pakistan and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Chief Nawaz Sharif. It was a really shameful situation when a team of hooligans backed by the land mafia forcibly stopped the construction work of a guard room on the land. They subjected the owner and other people to torture and hurled life threats towards them. According to Hussain’s narrative, a few years ago he had purchased the land from two women namely Batool Bibi and Salim Bibi. He said that on the day of the incident, Majeed, Sher Ali, Javed and Aziz, brothers of the above mentioned women, visited his land along with 20 men. They thrashed the security guard, demolished the boundary walls and later fled the area with guns blazing. Meanwhile, members of the influential land mafia also claimed that nobody, not even the Punjab Chief Minister (CM) Shahbaz Sharif could rescue Hussain as they were ruling the area without any fear. As the situation grew worst, police officers reached the spot and instead of helping Hussain, they openly sided with the gang of thugs. On the pretext of avoiding a brawl, they ordered Hussain that
it was better to discontinue the construction work. Showing more ruthlessness, they threatened to lodge an FIR against him. Police was informed by Hussain that the legal documents featuring ownerships rights of the land, transfer of land, copy of mutation, sale deed and local commission report for the rightful possession of property of 5 kanals and 12 marlas of land at Jodho Dheer were in his possession. The anguish-stricken journalist further informed the police that the criminals did not possess a single documentary proof to dispossess him of his land. However, his voice remained unheard as the local police and the land mafia had already connived with each other regarding this issue. Hussain also claimed that he had purchased the mentioned land at a cost of Rs 2.1 million and the land mafia was pressurising him to sell them his land on the original price, while property rates have increased manifold during the past few years. In addition, he said that Sub-Inspector Bashir of the police station concerned and former nazim of Jodha Dheer Habib Khan were siding with the mafia by frequently demanding him to surrender his land. On the other hand, Habib rebutted Hussain’s version by saying that he was not a greedy person. He said that he himself was neither interested in the mentioned land, nor was he demanding the original owner to sell it to someone else.
Later, the issue was also raised in CM overseas complaint cell by Hussain who sought a solution to his problem at the earliest. Yet again, all his efforts were in vain as no action was taken by the authorities concerned. Ultimately, he knocked on the door of a court that issued a restraining order in his favour under section 151 CPC on December 12. Meanwhile, an application was submitted to SP (Operations) Saddar on December 14 for help. Copy available with this scribe revealed that the applicant submitted a written request to provide protection to life and wealth of the applicant against the powerful mafia. The victim said that if a United Kingdom (UK) based senior journalist, who was also joint secretary of Pakistan Journalists Association in the UK, could suffer the fear of being deprived of his own land while the government and police left him high and dry, how could other overseas Pakistanis dare to invest money in Punjab where the rights of people were not protected. “The economy desperately needs a handsome flow of money and if such discouraging situation stands unimproved, overseas Pakistanis would bring to a halt the investment that is already decreasing with time,” he concluded. He made an earnest appeal to the Punjab CM to intervene in the matter to enable him to get justice and to restore the shaking confidence of overseas Pakistanis.
AIrPort flIGHt eNqUIry PIA reServAtIoN
FaCes portrait photography Workshop
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Workshop on Film/doCumentary making
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tHU Dec 20 2012 At 03:00 Pm veNUe : lAHore the mark of a true portrait photographer is the ability to consistently produce high quality images - getting control of light is a combination of experience, expertise, instinct and that is what this course is all about.
tHU Dec 20 2012 At 04:00 Pm veNUe : mm AlAm roAD
SUN Dec 23 2012 At 01:00 Pm veNUe: royAl PAlm Golf AND coUNtry clUB
two male and female winners with best pictures will be awarded with a cash prize of 10,000 each.
Have you always wanted to make a film of your own, but aren't sure of how to start, or even what to do if you finish your film? with this "1 day filmmaking workshop", you will learn practical, no-nonsense approaches to developing, producing, marketing, and selling your independent film and video projects.
monday, 31 December, 2012
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India gang-rape victim’s body cremated nEw DELHI
HE body of a woman who died after being gang-raped and beaten on a bus in India’s capital has been cremated amid an outpouring of anger and grief by millions across the country demanding greater protection for women from sexual violence. The young woman’s body was cremated in a private ceremony on Sunday soon after its arrival on a special Air India flight from Singapore, where she died at a hospital on Saturday after being sent for medical treatment. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi, head of the ruling Congress party, were at the airport to receive the body and meet family members of the victim who had also arrived on the
flight early on Sunday. Hours after the victim died on Saturday, Indian police charged six men who had been arrested in connection with the attack with murder, adding to accusations that they beat and gang-raped the woman on a New Delhi bus on December 16. The victim, who has not been identified, was taken to Singapore’s Mount Elizabeth hospital, which specialises in multi-organ transplants, in extremely critical condition, and her condition took a turn for the worse, with her vital signs deteriorating. After her death, thousands of mourning Indians lit candles, held prayer meetings and marched through various cities and towns, including New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Kolkata, on Saturday night to express their grief. The mourners demanded stronger
protection for women and the death penalty for rape, which is now punishable by a maximum of life imprisonment. Women face daily harassment across India, ranging from catcalls on the streets, groping and touching in public transport to rape. New Delhi police spokesman Rajan Bhagat said the six suspects face the death penalty if convicted, in a case that has triggered protests across India and raised questions about lax attitudes by police toward sexual crimes. The tragedy has forced India to confront the reality that sexually assaulted women are often blamed for the crime, forcing them to keep quiet and discouraging them from reporting it to authorities for fear of exposing their families to ridicule. Police often refuse to accept complaints from those who are courageous
enough to report the rapes, and the rare prosecutions that reach courts drag on for years. Prime Minister Singh said on Saturday that he was aware of the emotions the attack has stirred, adding that it was up to all Indians to ensure that the young woman’s death will not have been in vain. The woman and a male friend, who also has not been identified, were on a bus in New Delhi after watching a film on the evening of December 16 when they were attacked by six men who raped her. The men beat the couple and inserted an iron rod into the woman’s body, resulting in severe organ damage. Both were then stripped and thrown off the bus, according to police. The couple was planning to get married next year, neighbours of the boyfriend told local media on Sunday. Gandhi, the governing party chief, as-
sured the protesters in a statement that the rape victim’s death “deepens our determination to battle the pervasive, the shameful social attitudes and mindset that allow men to rape and molest women and girls with such an impunity”. A statement issued by United Nations spokesman Martin Nesirky said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon “offers his sincerest condolences” to the victim’s family and “utterly condemns this brutal crime”. “Violence against women must never be accepted, never excused, never tolerated,” the statement said. “Every girl and woman has the right to be respected, valued and protected.” Ban urged the Indian government to take steps to deter such crimes and bring perpetrators to justice, and to “strengthen critical services for rape victims,” the statement said.
Sunni protests continue in Iraqi cities BAgHDAD: Sunni Muslims in Iraq are continuing their demonstrations against the Shia-led government which they accuse of marginalising them. Thousands gathered on Sunday in Ramadi, 100km west of Baghdad, in Anbar Province, which has seen several days of protests. The protests began on Friday with many demonstrators massing along a major highway near the city of Falujah in the country’s north. Nouri al-Maliki, the Shia prime minister, has denied all the allegations, saying they are not correct, said our correspondent. The rallies appear to be the largest yet in a week of demonstrations, intensifying pressure on the Shia-led government. During Friday’s protests in the northern city of Mosul, around 3,000 demonstrators took to the streets to denounce what they called the sidelining of Sunnis. As in protests earlier in the week, demonstrators there chanted the Arab Spring slogan: “The people want the downfall of the regime.” Thousands also took to the streets in the northern Sunni towns of Tikrit and Samarra, where they were joined by legislators and provincial officials, said Salahuddin provincial spokesman Mohammed al-Asi. Many Sunnis accuse Maliki of marginalising the country’s religious minority group by refusing to share power and depriving them of equal rights. AGEnCiES
nEw dElHi: Protesters sit on a pavement with placards during a demonstration on Sunday following the cremation of a young woman who had been gang raped and beaten on a bus. AGEnCiES
Qatari poet granted appeal of life sentence DoHA AGEnCiES
A Qatari poet who has been sentenced to life in prison for insulting the Emir of Qatar and spreading incendiary material has been granted an appeal, according to his lawyer. Muhammad al-Ajami, 36, was jailed in November 2011 after an investigative judge found him guilty of calling for the overthrow of the government of the Gulf sate. Al-Ajami’s lawyer, Dr Najeeb alNuaimi, told Al Jazeera on Sunday that his client’s case will be brought before of the Court of Appeal on January 27 and that both the prosecution and the defence will present oral arguments. However, al-Nuaimi said that his special request that al-Ajami be released on bail was rejected by the court without motivation. “Still, I put all my confidence on the appeals court as they are actually independent. We were very angry but now I’m calm as I am confident that we will get a fair review of the case,” alNuaimi, who is Qatar’s former justice minister, told Al Jazeera. Both the Court of First Instance and the Qatari Justice ministry could not immediately be reached for comment.
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After his arrest in 2011, al-Ajami was charged for encouraging the overthrow of the government of Qatar, accusing the Emir of misusing the county’s constitution and for criticising the country’s crown prince. Among other things, al-Ajemi was accused of writing and spreading a poem about the Tunisian uprising in which he allegedly wrote: “... we are all Tunisians in the face of repressive elites”, his lawyer told Al Jazeera. Qatar’s Court of First Instance sentenced al-Ajami to life in prison on November 29, 2011, handing down the maximum sentence allowed under article 136 of Qatar’s criminal law, which deals with attempts to overthrow the government. The Court of Appeal will now review the life sentence handed out by the first instance court as well as the written documentation handed over by al-Nuaimi and the prosecution. “The first instance court was very aggressive toward my client and they did not give me access the court,” alNuaimi said on Sunday. “To my great surprise, the initial investigative judge fulfilled two roles in this case as he also became the chairman of the court that sentenced my client to life in prison. This is illegal under Qatari law.”
Israel eases ban on Gaza building material TEL AvIv AGEnCiES
Raed Fattouh, familiar with the Egyptian-brokered ceasefire that ended eight days of fighting last month between Israel and Gaza fighters, said on Sunday the move had been expected as part of the deal. “This is the first time gravel has been allowed into Gaza for the Palestinian private sector since the blockade,” Fattouh, who oversees the shipment of 20 truckloads of the material, said. Israel tightened the blockade after Hamas, the Palestinian group that refuses to recognise the Jewish state, took power five years ago, but it began to ease the restrictions in 2010 under international pressure, allowing international aid agencies to import construction material. The gravel was transferred a day after Egypt allowed building material into Gaza through its Rafah crossing, departing from a six-year ban. It was part of a shipment donated by the Gulf Arab state of
Qatar, which has pledged $400m to finance reconstruction. That pledge was made by Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, when he visited the enclave in October, becoming the first leader to enter the enclave since the blockade was imposed. Gaza economists say nearly 70 per cent of the enclave’s commercial needs - including building material and fuel - were being met through shipments via Israel and a network of smuggling tunnels running under the Egyptian border. One Palestinian official said Israeli counterparts had promised “other building items” would be allowed into Gaza in the coming days. “Israel has promised to ease the blockade more if the truce continues to hold,” said the official, who asked not to be identified. Israeli Vice Prime Minister Silvan Shalom, speaking to reporters in Jerusalem, said more than 300 truckloads of goods have been moving from Israel to the Gaza Strip on a daily basis. “They can have much more if they would like to,” he said.
US troops sent to aid CAR evacuation WASHINgToN: The US has sent 50 troops to Chad to help evacuate US citizens and embassy staff in neighbouring Central African Republic where rebels have seized several cities and are advancing on the capital Bangui. Barack Obama, the US president, informed congressional leaders of Thursday’s deployment in a letter on Saturday citing a “deteriorating security situation” in the deeply impoverished nation. The US has special forces in the country who are assisting in the hunt for Joseph Kony, a Ugandan fugitive rebel leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army based in northern Uganda. The planned evacuation of the US diplomats follows criticism of Washington’s handling of diplomatic security before and during the attack on its consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11. The ambassador and three other Americans were killed in that attack. The US deployment comes amid reports that a rebel coalition known as Seleka seized another town in their advance on the capital, forcing an army retreat and putting the rebels just one town away from Bangui. Sibut, a key transport hub, fell on Saturday without a shot being fired because the government army and forces from Chad had pulled back to Damara, 75km from Bangui on Friday, said Josie Binoua, minister of territorial administration. The report could not be independently verified as telephone lines to Sibut have been cut, making it difficult to check the situation with local residents. Talks between the rebels and the government led by President Francois Bozize are planned to start next week in Gabon. AGEnCiES
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News 09 Dr Fauzia Marri to be appointed BA deputy speaker QUETTA: Advisor to Balochistan Chief Minister on Information Technology, Dr Fauzia Nazeer Mari is likely to be made deputy speaker of the Balochistan Assembly after the house successfully passed a no-confidence movement Aslam Bhootani. According to sources, some PML-Q members wanted that the slot of speaker be given to their party as Mr Bhootani belonged to the PML-Q. However, Mr Raisani reportedly convinced them not to press for the demand. Governor Nawab Zulfiqar Ali Magsi has summoned a session of the Balochistan Assembly on December 31 in this regard. inP
Two schools blown up in Bara PESHAWAR: Militants blew up two government schools with explosive material in Tehsil Bara of Khyber Agency on Sunday. According to government sources, the extremists blew up two primary schools in Aaka Khel. However, no casualties were reported. A total of 70 educational institutions have been destroyed in Khyber Agency over the last four years. inP
Two security oﬃcials killed in NWA PESHAWAR: As many as two security personnel were killed and another three were injured when unidentified militants attacked a convoy with an improvised explosive device (IED) at Data Khel in North Waziristan Agency (NWA) on Sunday. The official in Miranshah said the convoy was on its way from Data Khel to Miranshah when targeted with an IED. A vehicle was completely damaged in the attack. The bodies and injured were later airlifted to Bannu’s Combined Military Hospital. Condition of some injured was stated to be serious. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack so far. The area is controlled by Taliban commander Hafiz Gul Bahadur. STAFF REPORT
PPP, allies a threat to democracy: Talal Bugti
CAiRO: Egyptian riot police stand guard outside the Shura Council, the upper house of parliament where the Constituent Assembly drafted the country's new constitution. OnLinE
11 children killed in Syria bombardments BEIRUT
Y R I A N troops bombarded rebel bastions near the capital on Sunday, a day after at least 32 civilians, including 11 children were killed by airstrikes and artillery fire in the Damascus area, a watchdog said. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that the children and two women were among the victims of bombardments focused on southwest and northeast Damascus suburbs and outlying towns on Saturday.
Overnight, regime forces battled rebels in the opposition stronghold of Harasta northeast of Damascus and bombarded the town of Moadamiyet al-Sham to the southwest and Bait Saham near the airport road to the southeast, it said. The Local Coordination Committees, a network of activists on the ground, also reported artillery fire on Sunday on residential neighbourhoods in Moadamiyet alSham coming from the direction of Mazzeh military airport. In the southern province of Daraa, considered the cradle of the rebellion, troops and rebels clashed in the town of Sheikh Maskeen and battled for control
of several small border crossings on the regime-controlled border with Jordan. Syria and Jordan share a 370-kilometre-long border which hundreds of people cross on foot every day to escape the bloody civil war, which the Britainbased Observatory says has killed at least 45,000 people. Two rebels were also reported killed in clashes with troops in the central province of Hama, where a series of blasts also rocked the provincial capital In neighbouring Homs province, the army pounded the rebel-controlled area around the Crac des Chevaliers crusader castle, a UNESCO-listed world heritage site. Dozens of casualties were also re-
Record number of Afghan soldiers killed in 2012
ported in Homs city after a fierce regime assault ended in the army seizing the Deir Baalbeh district on Saturday, according to the Observatory. The watchdog, which gathers its information from a network of activists and medics in civilian and military hospitals, said the final death toll had not yet been documented because of communications difficulties in the area. One video released by the Syrian Revolution General Commission showed the bodies of nine male victims from Deir Baalbeh lying on the ground, their faces bloody and mutilated. Its authenticity could not be immediately verified.
killing oF levies personnel
Those responsible should be brought to justice: KP governor PESHAwAR APP
KABUL LAHoRE: The Jamhoori Watan Party (JWP) chief Talal Akbar Bugti on Sunday said the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and its allies had become a threat to democracy and the solidarity of the country. Talking to journalists, Bugti said only the grand alliance of the opposition parties could save the country from disaster. He said the PPP was not serious in holding free, fair and transparent elections and the people would never vote for the PPP no matter who they bring forward now. “The PPP is only looking after their personal interests,” the JWP chief said. inP
More than 1,000 Afghan soldiers died in action this year, the highest since the Taliban insurgency began, as the army assumes more responsibility before NATO forces withdraw in 2014, officials said on Sunday. “In the past nine months, 906 Afghan army soldiers were killed. A total of 1,056 soldiers were killed in 2012,” Defence Ministry spokesman General Mohammad Zahir Azimi told reporters in Kabul. “The toll has increased compared to the previous years.” The ability of the rapidly-expanding army to thwart the insurgency is key to Afghanistan avoiding civil war as about 100,000 international troops head home. Azimi said the army had now taken the lead role for
security in more than 75 percent of the country, though he added that it needed better equipment and protection against land mines to cut fatalities. NATO is aiming to train up 350,000 Afghan soldiers and police by the end of 2014 to ensure stability in Afghanistan, but challenges remain in the transition process. Desertions, poor re-enlistment rates and low morale are among the key problems troubling Afghan and NATO commanders. So-called “insider” attacks by Afghan security forces on their NATO colleagues and mentors have left more than 60 foreign troops dead this year, seriously undermining trust between the two forces. The Taliban were ousted from power in 2001, but have waged an 11-year insurgency against the US-backed government of President Hamid Karzai.
Condemning the killings of the Levies personnel who were kidnapped from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Governor Barrister Masood Kausar on Sunday said the elements responsible for this heinous crime would be brought to justice. “This is the worst act of inhumanity and a serious threat to the power of the state. The elements involved do not deserve any sympathy, and the law of the land has to be invoked with full force to nab them as soon as possible,” he said in a press statement. Paying tribute to the martyrs, the governor said the sacrifice made by the soldiers was a great asset of the nation, and they would always be remembered with great respect and regard. “Their martyrdom will never be in vain, the culprits involved will have to pay the cost,” he added. He also asked the concerned authorities to gear up arrangements to ensure maintenance of law and order in the area. The Governor also expressed his deepest sympathies with the family members of the martyrs. “Your beloved have sacrificed their lives for the security of the country. In this hour, the entire nation stands besides you,” he said. The governor also prayed for the eternal peace of the departed souls.
monday, 31 December, 2012
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10 Comment Dedicated to the legacy of the late Hameed Nizami
Arif Nizami Editor
Lahore – Ph: 042-36375963-5 Fax: 042-32535230 Karachi – Ph: 021-35381208-9 Fax: 021-35381208 Islamabad – Ph: 051-2287414-6 Fax: 051-2287417 Web: www.pakistantoday.com.pk Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Blood in the streets Anarchy is not far behind
edia, they say, is a mirror for the society. Every time one flicks between TV channels or flips through newspaper pages, stories of violence, murder, kidnappings and killings stare right back at the viewers, or readers, as the case may be. This much lawlessness, in every society, is an indication of a system-wide breakdown in law and order, responsible for which are mainly the government itself, law enforcement agencies, security and intelligence regimen. By the looks of it, the miscreants and terrorists seem to have given a drubbing to the government on the security front. Every major city in the country has seen terrorism in one way or another. Only the other day, Karachi saw a bomb blast in a bus, killing six and injuring 50; Quetta saw four policemen killed; Peshawar received 21 dead bodies of Levies personnel; and yesterday it was Mastung where 19 Shia pilgrims were killed. And the list does not include target killings in Karachi and other cities. The terrorists are in no mood to slow down, contrary to whatever the TTP chief says. Karachi, admittedly, has problems of its own but what’s happening in other parts of the country, the interior minister, responsible for internal security, cannot justify it, specifically when he seems to be so focused on whether or not allowing the YouTube to operate in the country. A united stand against terrorism is what’s lacking among the major political and security stakeholders, making the public more vulnerable to the tactics of militants who are using terrorism as a tool to achieve their agenda. Agreed that our security and intelligence setup lacks resources and technology to track down every terrorist, but it still does not absolve them from their duty to protect the life and property of citizens. It is not rocket science to understand what and where our weak spots are, from the security point of view. One wonders, then, why our pristine intelligence agencies and LEAs can’t pinpoint the same factors and try to cover them as much as possible. The lack of political will to challenge the terrorists and skewed policy of our security establishment in choosing which terrorists to go after and which to let loose, are the main reasons why this menace still afflicts us. But that’s not the whole story, there is more. What would be the status of a society that stands divided along a number of lines, from ethnic to sectarian; the society that allows divisive and hatred spewing speeches from none other than its leading religious scholars; the society that tolerates violence and militancy; the society that has been unable to take a firm stand against terrorism for the past 11 years? Unless we ask ourselves these hard questions, and figure out the solutions to the same, a bus or two would be attacked in one city or another; a mosque or a church would be blown up around the corner of our streets; minorities would be targeted and so would be our security personnel. It’s time we delivered a heavy dosage to the infection we have allowed so long to fester, lest it takes a hold on the entire system.
Nazuk daur, again …but whiff of edge-of-the-seat fare couldn’t have been thicker
his year appears to give the impression of being a particularly turbulent one but skim recent history and the conclusion that, in fact, it is quite the standard fare is inevitable. One of the almost de rigueur descriptions bandied about is how the country is passing through a critical juncture. This reminds one of the hit 2009 single by pop star Shehzad Roy known for his chutzpah. Entitled Laga Reh (Keep at it), it is a pithy take on the lackadaisical mien pervading the republic. A couple of lines for inference: I’m not worried about how the country will go on/ I’m worried that it will keep going the way it is now On a serious note, Pakistan at the yearend is poised to enter, in By Kamran Rehmat many ways, a defining period in 2013. Crystal ball gazing won’t be easy by any stretch of imagination. For argument’s sake, even if the intentions are good and all the key stakeholders stay strictly within the ambit of law, in the land of Shahid Afridi, the unpredictable can happen anytime and completely change the equation. A very pertinent example would be that of Imran Khan, who, at this time of the year — last year — looked like he was on the threshold of ‘tsunamising’ a revolution. Today, he’s struggling to hold fort. There are plenty of reasons to ascribe this to but space constraints would
not permit to go into greater details. Suffice it to say, while some of it were Khan’s own making, others not so as the ground beneath his feet shifted. The ground realities are rooted in whether the country is politically stable or not, whether the economy is doing well or not, whether there is law and order or not. On all three accounts, Pakistan is delicately poised. Paradoxically, the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party government is nearing a milestone that every democraticallyinclined Pakistani would be happy to see: the completion of a full term, and on course for a democratic transition. However, the fact that this would be a first in Pakistan’s 65-year-history betrays how fragile the order has been. But the singular achievement does not necessarily lie at the government’s door. The stoic role played by Nawaz Sharif as well as the supporting cast of an assertive judiciary and a vibrant media in guarding against any adventure has apparently helped achieve the goal. However, this is as far as it goes. The incumbent government has presided over the kind of bad governance never seen before. The dwindling foreign reserves, deepening energy crisis, inflation and unemployment appear to reinforce that view. The unflattering view holds despite an understanding and allowance for the security challenges faced by the government. Militancy and extremism took new forms this year with the shooting of Malala Yousafzai; the killing of Shias in Hazara; desecration of a minority graveyard; and last but not least the shocking killing of antipolio vaccinators — some as young as a 14-year-old girl volunteer! It is hard to conceive the barbarity that Malala faced last October could be transcended but the heart-rending images of teenage girl volunteers risking their lives to provide polio drops drenched in blood shocked the nation — an occurrence so dire the UN agencies pulled out its staff. But even before the country could recover from the bestial action of the obscurantist elements, Bashir Bilour, a much admired political leader of the secular Awami National Party, was
killed in a suicide blast along with his fellow party aides, and just before the year is out 21 Levies personnel were also executed by Taliban. These deaths bring into sharp focus the one overriding factor that will determine what happens in 2013: the will and ability to cope with what are ominous existential threats. The banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan has already warned of hunting key figures to further their relentless war on the state. Bilour appears to have been the first. Even though the PPP government has struck a defiant note in fighting terror and extremism, doubts have surfaced about the holding of polls, President Zardari’s assurances notwithstanding. The sudden but intriguing second coming of Tahir-ul-Qadri has stirred, if not shaken, the scene. His spectacular — and surprisingly safe — show of strength last Sunday in Lahore touted “to save the state, not politics” has set the tongues wagging about the “ulterior motives” of unleashing a million-man march on Islamabad “if the government does not introduce election reforms by January 14, 2013”. The general suspicion is that both the TTP’s target-shooting and generally chaotic atmosphere arising out of stakeholders working at cross purposes may be used as a pretext to postpone the elections and a national government of technocrats formed for a substantial period to clean the house as it were before polls are conducted. The aforesaid is often dismissed as a popular conspiracy theory, but it is not entirely outside the realm of what’s possible in Pakistan. Such an idea, however, is fraught with dangerous repercussions because the situation can easily spiral out of control. In the Pakistan of old, such fare may not even have been a last resort action, but the country now has powerful competing forces that bring the equilibrium into play. As always, the whiff of edge-of-theseat fare could not have been thicker. Watch this space! The writer is Editor, Pique Magazine. He may be reached at email@example.com
Why elections will happen (on time) And with that Pakistan could finally set in motion a tradition of smooth democratic transition
By Aima Khosa
t isn’t as if this is a big secret. Everyone has been talking about the next big challenge facing our country: the election. In normal democratic nations, there are no ‘ifs’ hanging over the idea of a government stepping down to allow another to take charge. In Pakistan, though, this is an anomaly, something unique. The intricacies and the patterns behind this fascinating game of politics are extremely wonderful to watch. Sure there is a daunting task lying ahead of us. Sure there is a big question if Pakistan as a whole will be able to manage such a task. But let us understand the beauty of it: here is a nation about to take a plunge in democracy. The weak democratic state of Pakistan is about to allow itself to heal a little. One has to appreciate the significance of it in the history of the country, if nothing else.
monday, 31 December, 2012
But there is a general (and persistent) rumour going around that Pakistan may face a delayed election at best, and no election at worst. The rumour is not baseless. The law and order situation in the country has deteriorated over the past few months. TTP launched a brazen attack in Peshawar and demonic tattoos were revealed. The anti-polio drive was suspended because volunteers came under attack, and around ten people lost their lives. The Supreme Court issued a contempt notice to MQM’s Altaf Hussain, who refused to appear before the court. ANP leader Bashir Bilour was killed in a targeted attack. Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri made an untimely return and made impractical demands to implement the constitution, or face a long march. PML-N has been shouting itself hoarse that it will not stand for delayed elections, PTI is barely holding its party together, PPP is making changes within its party to reign in more members and to secure a solid pro-PPP interim setup. So, one understands the ruckus. But one must also understand that the one thing the election has going for it is the fact that the Pakistan has a constitution. In chapter two of the constitution, article 52 (Duration of the National Assembly) clearly states that “the National Assembly shall, unless sooner dissolved, continue for a term of five years from the day of its first meeting and shall stand dissolved at the expiration of its term.” With this as a basis, what political party in Pakistan is going to go against the consti-
tution and postpone the elections without setting in motion a series of events the likes of which the country has never seen before? If the election is delayed, and the country descends into chaos, what will happen? The logical answer is calling in the military. It is doubtful that the country’s leadership would want to go down that road (again). And who is going to demand the return of the army? The PML-N, a party that already has had strained relations with the armed forces? The controversial MQM? The weakened PTI, that has had a history of supporting Musharraf and has since then called for a democratic Pakistan? PPP, the party that may cause the disruption in the first place? Or would it be Tahir-ul-Qadri, a man who has already faced so much backlash and ridicule for his long march threat? What is Qadri going to do at the end of his long march? Orchestrate a deal with the establishment? How would that, still, postpone the elections? A military takeover today will not be tolerated. The media is freer than ever before, the judiciary is stronger than ever before and the political consciousness among the masses is better than ever before. Pakistan as a whole has been picking up pieces from what was left of it after several generals ruled the country. No one wants the military called in. Even under such questionable circumstances, no one has said that they’d prefer the generals watching over the elections – because they all know that if that came to be, the elec-
tions may not happen again. Moreover, it is doubtful that Pakistan’s armed forces would risk wasting the five years they have spent trying to build a better military-civilian relationship. One can only hope that the military has matured beyond that. The armed forces, over the last five years, have tried very hard to distance themselves from Pakistan’s democratic process. Yes, the military has flexed its muscle a couple of times over the last few years – old habits do die hard. But for the most part, the civilian government has been allowed to function with all of its eccentricities. One must also remember that dictatorial regimes world over are meeting their logical end and Pakistan’s generals are aware of it too. There is also a strong belief that it may not be a question of the military taking over. It may more be a question of whether a civilian-technocrat setup, backed by the establishment, is in store for us. This, too, could be achieved by delaying the elections and setting up regime which has the approval and/or the backing of the establishment without the generals having to step in directly. That may be more likely than a direct military takeover. However, that too has the same argument. How does one achieve a delay in the elections without going against the constitution? By ensuring that the situation gets worse than before? That, again, is very likely. But at the risk of sounding repetitive, how does one justify a move against the constitution
they are so eager to uphold? Elections are a natural part of ensuring a nation’s transition to a stronger future. India’s Indira Gandhi was assassinated and one of the country’s biggest, bloodiest massacres ensued as a result. Despite such chaos, the election was held as demanded by their constitution. Despite various separatist movements in the country (three main secessionist movements of Khalistan, Assam and Kashmir and small movements in Tripura, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Manipur and, Nagaland), the country continues to uphold a strong tradition of holding its elections on time. One could say that because the democratic process in India was facilitated because of its elections, the country has managed to build stronger institutions and keep itself together. With this lesson in mind, it is imperative to understand that the elections must be held on time, and so far, despite what all rumours suggest, there is no reason why anyone would challenge the constitution so blatantly and postpone the country’s electoral process. So let the rumour mills run. Let the politicians sweat a little over the fear that elections may get delayed. If the general elections are allowed to happen as scheduled, Pakistan would finally set in motion a tradition of smooth democratic transition. The writer is a staff member at Pakistan Today
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Outlook for US-Pakistan ties Editor’s mail Pakistan is gravitating and positioning itself more towards bRiCS and SCO
By Arif Ansar
s Afghan reconciliation picks pace, Pak-US relations are also entering a new phase. From most accounts, matters are beginning to stabilise between the two after a great deal of turbulence in 2011. The change may be related to the shift in US focus on a political solution for the Afghan conflict. Moreover, both US and Pakistan claim to have toned down their expectations from each other. Pakistan has an election scheduled for next year and US is entering a tumultuous phase related to the fiscal cliff. This means both will be distracted by their domestic politics. Pakistan’s bleak economic outlook makes its difficult to continue the fight against terrorism with the same vigour. On the other hand, tight financial situation will make it difficult for the US to be as forthcoming in providing economic and military assistance to Pakistan. This dynamics is what will shape the future of Pak-US relations in the short-term from one to two years, and in the mid-term from about four to five years. This changing political and fiscal landscape will shape American policies towards Pakistan and the rest of the world. In its 2011 forecast, PoliTact had observed: “The inter-institutional tussles between the US defense and intelligence organisations and the State Department over the control of US foreign policy are likely to continue. The mixed messages that emanate from Washington, as a result, will be a source of confusion for its allies, on the real intent and policy of the US. This could also complicate the job of the US President as Congress pushes for cuts in defence spending.”
In PoliTact’s estimation, President Obama’s victory in the November election represents a decisive swing in favour of political approaches to major foreign policy issues. This is in stark contrast to preference for hard power that was the norm in the aftermath of 9/11. However, this does not mean the hardliners will readily admit to the reality. The result of the debate on fiscal cliff will be another demonstration of how the institutional balances are settling down. The US Senate’s decision to block the funding for the creation of a new military intelligence organisation paralleling the CIA is also an example of this move, although the Senate’s decision has more to do with managing waste and creating efficiency with in the military guided intelligence apparatus. As US shifts to a lighter footprint around the world, the role and scope of its intelligence organisations are likely to increase manifold even when the overall military spending decreases. The crux of the matter is that for the last couple of years, a thorough recalibration of the American threat perceptions has been taking place. While this process still continues, there is a growing realisation that the war on terror should not distract it from the larger threats posed in the Pacific, more specifically by China. In this context, Pakistan’s role goes beyond just a key player in the war against terror, or in finding a political solution to the Afghan conflict. The country is an influential democratic Islamic state of South and Central Asia that borders China and Iran; two other key headaches of the US. From an American perspective, if Pakistan can resolve its differences with India and be a part of the Afghan reconciliation, then under the right international conditions it can also move towards restraining Iran. However, Pakistan would like to keep its options open. While it looks forward to benefit economically from its improving ties with India and maintaining its influence in Afghanistan, Pakistan will not like that to happen at the cost of its ties with Iran and China. This is similar to how India has played its cards; while it has strategic relations with the US, the country continues to strengthen its defence ties with Russia and widen its trade with China. During his visit to India, on December 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed defence deals worth a total
of $4 billion. The leaders of the two countries also held extensive discussions to further cooperation in the field of nuclear energy, and to fast forward discussions on cooperation for reactor 3 and 4 in Kudankulam. India and Russia have agreed to increase bilateral trade to $20 billion by 2015. By 2015, trade between India and China is expected to hit $100 billion, as compared to $150 billion between India and US. On the contrary, trade between Pakistan and US is projected to reach a minuscule $6 to $7 billion during the same timeframe, which is close to the trade volume anticipated between India and Pakistan. In other words, US leverage over Pakistan continues to decline. These numbers also explain why Pakistan seeks more US trade than aid. Meanwhile, PakistanChina trade volume is estimated to hit $15 billion by 2015. While there is a bilateral tangent to the Pakistan-US ties, the future of the relations between the two is more dependent on the trajectory of US-Iran, US-China, and US-Russian relations. If the balance starts to tilt more towards competition as opposed to cooperation in the US-China relations, as is expected from the American pivot towards the Pacific, Pakistan will most definitely feel the heat. Pakistan is already under considerable American pressure regarding its improving ties with Iran, especially as it relates to Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project. Reportedly, it was the Indian pressure that caused the postponement of President Putin’s visit to Pakistan in October. As Pakistan-India ties improve, Russia is likely to have a freer hand. In essence, the centrality of Pakistan in the war against terror and Afghanistan is widely known. However, the nation also holds a fundamental position vis-à-vis other high profile concerns of the US: China, Iran, and increasingly Russia. In the short term, Pakistan US ties are indeed stabilising, but in the long run Pakistan is gravitating and positioning itself more towards BRICS and SCO. From the point of view of trade, it’s a win-win situation. How the security alliances will shape up, is another matter altogether. The writer is chief analyst at PoliTact, a Washington based futurist advisory firm (www.PoliTact.com and http:twitter.com/politact) and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Send your letters to: Letters to Editor, Pakistan Today, 4-Shaarey Fatima Jinnah, Lahore, Pakistan. Fax: +92-42-36298302. E-mail: email@example.com. Letters should be addressed to Pakistan Today exclusively.
Anjuman library: a model to follow Anjuman Behbood-e-Bashindigan, Block J, North Nazimabad, Karachi, owns a unique library where hundreds of students from nearby vicinities flock daily to concentrate on their studies. I have deliberately used an adjective ‘unique’ for the library as it provides maximum opportunities to its visitors which is rare in Karachi. It opens on weekly offs, public holidays and even on strikes. It also provides its visitors a day-long timing from 9am to 11pm. It has recently facilitated its visitors by installing three computers with internet. On the other hand, many libraries in Karachi don’t provide maximum opportunities to their visitors as they are either public libraries or private libraries. Public libraries are not visitor-friendly as their staffers are not encouraging at all. As far as the private libraries are concerned, their organisations under which they are run don’t have a will to finance their libraries. They just want to take advantage of their very presence from the government in the name of running a ‘welfare activity’. Two weekly offs, public holidays, strikes and black days mar the progress of students determined to excel in their studies. Persistent load shedding, not to mention scheduled or unscheduled, and political turmoil in the metropolis also hinder the progress of students. I, therefore, appreciate the people behind the library as they have made a wonderful contribution on their own. Now the students residing in the nearby areas can get best out of their schedules. I also request the government of the hour and the organisations patronising public and private libraries respectively in Karachi to extend their libraries timings and try their utmost to make libraries visitor-friendly. I also request the Anjuman to subscribe maximum number of newspapers from home and abroad and widen its book sections as much as it could. Widening a book section of any library is not a
problem now as every library should follow the model adopted by the Bedil Library, Sharfabad, Karachi, whose chief librarian Muhammed Zubair uses his personal contacts to invite attention of the people who have their personal book collections to donate either their entire library or a section. JAWED AHMED KHURSHEED Karachi
let’s get serious Are we going to be stung by the dark forces again? Let's not mourn the death of teenager student from Dir who remained in coma for 15 months after getting injured in a suicide bomber attack; or the death of KP Senior Minister Bashir Bilour for defying Taliban or this week’s attack by hundreds of militants on Levies checkposts outside Peshawar killing several on spot and later shooting 21 kidnapped soldiers as well. Amid this grim atmosphere comes the joking stuff from Taliban -- offer to negotiate with the Pakistan government. But this offer is not coming free; it has got several strings attached: Taliban will not disarm, Pakistan shall adapt militant's version of Islam, Pakistan shall withdraw from Afghan war, and denounce democracy. Do we need to negotiate any further after fulfilling Taliban's preconditions? We better hand over the keys of Islamabad to them as we did in 2009 when Pakistan National Assembly legitimised Taliban's rule in Swat. We all know what Afghan Taliban did to women, minorities and general public when they ruled that unfortunate country before 9/11. And we have not yet forgotten what their Pakistani brethren did in Swat. We need not to be fooled by any such offer for negotiations; Taliban have always used this tactic to rearm and regroup and then strike hard. We shall also be grateful to Taliban who have denied the myth used by several religious parties that Pakistani Taliban are different from their Afghan and AlQaeda comrades. All three -- Pakistani and Afghan Taliban and Al-Qaeda -- are in the same league to destroy the civilian rule in these countries. Pakistan has no other choice but to win this war on these dark forces from medieval times. Obviously, it's not only physical elimination of Taliban but also dismantling of their ideological and financial support network spread all over the country. So far Pakistan has proved its incapability to handle this menace; obviously outside world will not wait endlessly for the outcome. It's something more serious than blocking and unblocking of YouTube. MASOOD KHAN Jubail, Saudi Arabia
monday, 31 December, 2012
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The hoBBIT PASSeS $500M MARK IN 2WeeKS
Playing Bijli was mentally draining: Anushka Sharma For Anushka Sharma, playing the role of Bijlee in Matru Ki Bijli Ka Mandola was far too complex than the roles she has done till now, and even left her mentally drained. "So far the characters which I have played have been very strong girls so I cannot play them in a relaxed way. I played them the way they were written. Bijli is one of the most complex characters I had to play," Anushka told IANS. "My character is saying something and means something else, you have to read between the lines. It is a complete dichotomy. For me, the way she (Bijli) was, was not something which I could relate to naturally. I just could not relate to her. She is very vague and vain," she added. Written and directed by Vishal Bhardwaj, "Matru Ki Bijli..." also features Imran Khan and veteran actor Pankaj Kapoor. It is due to hit screens Jan 11.
But being a Vishal Bhardwaj film, Anushka says she was prepared for the unexpected. "Vishal Bhardwaj's films are not obvious. That is what I had to learn. Human beings are flawed and he works in this grey area. When a film is not very verbose, it is the in-between spaces you have to fill, which becomes difficult," said the 24-yearold. "Mentally it was draining. After a few days, I sent a message saying I don't think I can do this. Everything which I have done has been simple till now. Here there are too many layers. I would have spoilt it if I had played it linear," she added. However, the actress agrees she has learnt a lot during the course of the film. "When I started shooting this film, I saw the world in either black or white. After doing this film, somewhere I started accepting things more, and became less judgmental. I started to sympathise with
people. Everyone has made mistakes in life and acceptance of that was what I learnt in the film," said Anushka, who made her Bollywood debut with 2008 film "Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi". "Vishal Bhardwaj has seen a certain kind of life. He has seen so much which you and I won't even think is true, because we have lived in big cities. He has learnt a lot from life and that's what you see in his films," s h e added. nEWS DESk
‘Please address me as kareena kapoor khan’
Peter Jackson's The Hobbit has exceeded the milestone of $500 million in worldwide earnings since its December 12 release, announced the film's production companies this week. In just two weeks, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Voyage has earned $523.7M, with $179.7M from the US and $344M from international markets. The epic Middle-earth fantasy sold a record number of tickets in Australia on its release day there. The journey of the Hobbit doesn't end there, but it will be a difficult one if the film is to see the same results as Peter Jackson's previous Tolkien trilogy, The Lord of the Rings. That series's first installment, The Fellowship of the Ring, brought in $870M, less than The Two Towers ($924M) and The Return of the King. The final episode generated more than $1.1 billion, for the sixth-best worldwide box office performance of all time.
Kareena Kapoor Khan says she's finally getting the hang of her new 'beautiful' surname. It all started with Aishwarya Rai when she decided to go ahead and add Bachchan to her surname. After tying the knot with Saif Ali Khan, the latest entrant to this fledgling club in B-Town is Bebo. Earlier, Bollywood actresses usually chose not to tweak their established screen names post wedding. Needless to add, times are indeed changing. In fact, Kareena Kapoor Khan quite often ends up insisting others to use her updated conjugal identity. "I keep telling people to please address me as Kareena Kapoor-Khan. Besides, that's my name now, isn't it? Although I've not converted, Saif is my husband and it's a beautiful surname to have," states the actress with a glint in her green eyes. On being asked about the positive response she received for her latest item in Dabangg 2, Kareena gives credit to its choreographer. "Farah (Khan) has done a fabulous job with the whole routine. I've never performed a pelvic thrust before in my entire career so yes, I was looking forward to an encouraging reception. The tune is massy: something tailor-made for the aam janta!" Kareena will start shooting for Prakash Jha's Satyagraha next month. However, she says she doesn't have a dream role as such. So, which actors does she look up to? "I love Meryl Streep and Angelina Jolie. They are not only wonderful actresses but also strong personalities. nEWS DESk
Wife turned my life into celebration: Akshay Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar, on his wife Twinkle's 38th birthday Saturday, called her the woman of his dreams, and says she turned his life into a celebration all the way. "Today is a very special day because it is the birthday of the person who has made my life a celebration. Happy Birthday Tina (Twinkle), my wife, my friend, mother of my children... in short the woman of my dream," the 45-year-old tweeted. Akshay and Twinkle tied the knot in 2001. They have two kids - Aarav, 10 and daughter Nitara, who was born in September this year. Twinkle shares her birthday with her father, late superstar Rajesh Khanna, who passed away earlier this year. The actor would have turned 70. nEWS DESk
New Year 2013: What is Bollywood up to? It’s that time of year when Bollywood celebs get revved up to let their hair down and wait for the countdown to begin with their near and dear ones on December 31.
HRITHIk ROSHAn HR is heading to Thailand too, with his mom, dad, wife and kids. Will he bump into other celebs there? Only time will tell…
monday, 31 December, 2012
But who will do what? A new year is about to begin and obviously we all want to know what the Khans, Roshans and Kapoors are really up to. Will they fly out of the
SHILPA SHETTY & HuBBY RAJ kunDRA
AAMIR kHAn AnD kIRAn RAO
The couple is heading to Thailand with their li’l bundle of joy, Viaan. now that’s what we call a happy ‘trio time’.
Scuba diving it is for the khan couple at Thailand’s most tranquil island koh Samui. The couple plans to break free and don’t be surprised if some enthusiastic fan or someone from the paparazzi fraternity manages to capture a shot of the two having a gala time, running around like twoyear-olds on the beach. That’s pretty much possible!
country, lounge around in their comfortable pads or will they go all whacky and crazy indulging in some awesome adventure sports? After snooping around a
bit, the ‘super spook’ residing within us found out that most the B-town actors have an interesting plan in place. So don’t expect unwieldy arrangements, last
moment confusion or infuriating dilemmas – bags are packed and the glitter-folk are ready to go! here’s a quick look at what our fave celebs are going to do…
SAIf AnD kAREEnA
Shahrukh khan will mark the beginning of the new Year in his luxurious Dubai house. not just that SRk has also made sure to invite some close friends for an exclusive party at his pad. While khan will be busy playing the cordial host, we wait to see who from Bollywood will make an appearance at the party. Arjun Rampal, karan Johar, Chunky and Bhavna Pandey are a part of the guest list, we hear.
Ms kaif plans to be with family in London for the new Year. The babe has give ex beau Salman khan and current beau (a certain Mr kapoor?) the royal ditch. It’s ‘Hum Saath Saath Hai’ time for kk and nobody dare disturb her…
Sk plans to chill at his Panvel farmhouse. Sallu bhai wants to be away from the new Year clamour and plans to unwind in his own peaceful way. Of course there will be friends around, but trust Salman to slip away from the party just to be in an introspective mood.
The couple is still in their honeymooning phase and no points for guessing, yet again, that they have opted for their usual ‘unwinding away to glory’ place - Gstaad in Switzerland.
The family that stays together, parties together. The Deol family is taking time off, just to have a blast together at their khandala farmhouse.
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Very soon, we'll have to learn to remember it isn't 2012 anymore. Meanwhile, as the curtain begins to fall on this year, we look back at some of the most interesting and insightful responses the stars gave to our questions Your cousin Ranbir said that he was born into luxury. Can you say the same? We weren’t brought up in luxury, as people think about the Kapoor clan. My mom (Babita) and sister (Karisma) really struggled to give me a better life. especially my mom, because she was a single parent. everything was very limited for us. Lolo went to college in local trains, but I escaped that because I didn’t go to college here. But I took the school bus like everyone else. We had one car and didn’t have enough money for a driver. It’s only because mom brought us up like this that we value everything we have today.
...Does it sadden you that he (Abhishek) hasn't got to where you are?
Your father, filmmaker Yash Johar, left you a legacy to take forward. Who will carry forward your name?
Do you agree that because the glamour industry is full of good-looking people, temptations can be big here?
I may adopt. I love children and I do feel the need to take the legacy forward. I am open to it, but emotionally you have to be ready for it. Raising a child is really a huge responsibility. And I should have that time and emotional energy to give to child. How and when is a decision my mother and I will take a few years from now. My father has given me this company that I have built up, and I cannot see it dwindling into nothing.
Beautiful people exist in all industries. The IT industry, media, wherever you go, you see beauties around you. So much so that, where I stay in Tamil Nadu, my friends ask me, ‘Mumbai girls are very beautiful, no?’ They find every girl walking down the road beautiful. Let me tell you that one gives in to temptation, or has aﬀairs in all fields. It’s not just the glamour industry. Yes, it exists here, but it also exists outside and I know of it.
What has been the wildest pass on you?
Do you feel that the industry is unkind to actresses after a particular time? A filmmaker chooses an actress keeping the best interest of the film in mind. If he doesn’t cast you, it doesn’t mean there’s a personal agenda. Change is constant and if you have agreed to be part of this industry, you will have to go with the change. You cannot sit at home and crib. Instead, work hard and keep looking beautiful and be open to roles that are exciting and inspiring. Success and failure are not in my hand, but hard work and perseverance are. The biggest example of this is Amitabh Bachchan. He fought it out and reinvented himself. You have to understand the mechanics of durability and longevity and go with the flow.
Some people say you must have had plastic surgery to look like this.
Sridevi Amitabh Bachchan
How does your cricket franchise work?
Success and failure will happen to everybody and we cannot judge somebody's career according to that. If we didn't have failures we would be abnormal people. I think we are normal people and we face failures and successes. Life is only about how we conduct ourselves, whether we are good human beings or not. And I would be happy if he is just a good human being. When somebody tells you how well you have brought up your son and daughter, and how well-behaved they are… that is like a super successful film for me.
Are you scared of ever losing the fan following you have now?
If the adulation has not aﬀected me now, how will it aﬀect me at all? There are people who take their onscreen image seriously. Luckily, I don’t. Rajesh Khanna is the classic case of a superstar forgotten until he passed away… I have never seen or heard of such unparalleled adulation as his. I was happy to witness a sea of humanity descend on his funeral. But I wish it had all happened when he was alive! He would have been very happy. Love and respect should be accorded in your lifetime. Honestly, I wouldn’t want such pandemonium when I am dead and gone. It’s no use then, because I won’t be able to see or feel the love.
My team was bogged down with the expectations of being part of a filmstar’s team—with no proper reasons. So for four years, KKR struggled. Though many other IPL teams faced problems too, we came in for a lot of flak. The lesson I learned from this is that you don’t have to look good if you are not delivering. Of course, I am a movie star, so I have to look good whether I am delivering or not. But I must say that KKR is like any other IPL team and it is trying very hard to do better and better every season.
Shah Rukh Khan
How does a superstar's life look at 90?
Sometimes they come asking for photographs… and when we pose for the camera, they put their arm around straight on my butt (laughs). I like this when people come upto me. I am a very accessible person.
I don’t have to tell the audiences anything to lure them. They decide whether a film will be good or bad by watching its first promo. After that, whatever promotions we show, they’re just a reminder that says there is a movie coming up. Impressions are made on the first day of the film. All the super hit films in the past made their mark with their first promos. They decide whether a film will be good or bad by watching its first promo.
What do you have to say about ghost-directing your films?
At 45 you still look so fit. Tell us: how important are face-lifts and plastic surgeries after a certain age? Youth is a lifestyle; it’s not a blessing from God. If we treat our bodies as if they are not the most precious things we possess, then obviously we will show wear and tear. We’re like a good pair of jeans. If we take care of them, they’ll remain classic forever, but if we batter and abuse them, they’ll look like tattered old rags. What I’m trying to say is, plastic surgery doesn’t make you fit, it makes you lazy. A) It’s always obvious, so respect is lost almost instantly. B) What is wrong with growing old gracefully with health and dignity? Put down the steroids and the needles and go outside and play with your children and your children’s children, that’s my‘expensive’secret.
People may have found it diﬃcult to approach me and I realised that and have worked on it. I used to be socially shy. Now I have become a social animal. I go out, meet and interact with people. I made an eﬀort and I am really enjoying that phase now. Beyond that, I cannot change who I am. I am a Piscean, and they have a lovingly detached attitude towards life.
Trishala wants to get into movies but you are dead against it. Why? None of my sisters are in the movies, nor are my nieces going to be. That’s how Dutt sahab, my dad, brought up the girls in the family and I am just carrying his thought forward. If he had been alive today, Trishala wouldn’thave thought about getting into movies.
In an interview with Amitabh Bachchan, he said that you were naïve back when you acted with him in Kaizad Gustad’s Boom (2003). Looking back, was your Bollywood debut scary? It’s really an interesting observation by Mr Bachchan. I was 17 years old when I came here (to Mumbai) and I was genuinely naïve, unlike today’s 17-year-olds, who are far sharper. I viewed everything, every person in the best possible way, and it’s not like I think that’s a bad quality. But it’s a quality that people can take advantage of. I was very trusting. I felt nobody could mean anything wrong or have bad intentions. Yes, I could have been misused or led the wrong way. But there were many diﬀerent factors as to why nothing bad happened to me and why I could grow very quickly.
...Suddenly, it felt as though Priyanka was an untouchable.
Tell us, why people should go to the theatres for Son Of Sardaar?
I was never pleased by my stardom. I have always said that there shouldn't be a term like 'star' for an actor. It is a marketing term, coined by the marketing men. It is the work that I chose to accept that mattered to me and preoccupied me. I always lived a normal life and never got carried away into another world of another personality who sought pampering and constant attention. When you do that, you acquire a false, unapproachable personality.
Certain people in the industry believe you exude a kind of arrogance. How did you control the damage?
I want to tell these people that instead of whining and criticising, why don’t you move out of your comfort zone, zip your mouth and slog it out? Then let’s talk! There will be a visible change not just in your appearance, but also in your attitude. But if you’re a lazy bum, hooked to TV, and cannot give up your food because you know you can undergo cosmetic surgery., you’re damned! It doesn’t work like that. Anything that is plastic melts in no time. Then let’s talk! There will be a visible change not just in your appearance, but also in your attitude. But if you’re a lazy bum, hooked to TV, and cannot give up your food because you know you can undergo cosmetic surgery.
I think it’s great to be flawed. I am hugely flawed and I like it this way. That’s the fun of life. You fall, get up, make mistakes, learn from them, be human and be you.
You’re all over the place just before the release of any of your films, but not so accessible otherwise. Why?
Is Bollywood unfair to actresses who are past their prime? ...It’s not just the film industry. It’s a mindset that exists in all industries and in every sphere of life. Women are expected to be younger and good looking. Unfortunately, that’s been the mindset for ages. And to put it simply, the film industry is a reflection of society. Let’s ask ourselves: are men and women ever considered equals?
Honestly, every label accorded to me is by the media and hugely inaccurate. So I don’t have much to say about monikers like ‘perfectionist’, or ‘ghost-director’. If somebody wants to cast aspersions on my relationship with my directors, then it is their lookout. However, by saying that I ghost-direct, the media has overlooked the contributions of my directors in my movies.
I have a personality problem. I am extremely shy; an introvert and a private person. I lead a normal life when I am not working. I am not on Facebook, Twitter or anywhere. I like it this way. You’ll see that I don’t have a PR manager to take care of my image, because there isn’t any image that I have set out to create.
monday, 31 December, 2012
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Futuristic predictions that came true in 2012 Newborns addicted to pain pills up 300 percent
EARTBREAKING medical news: Cases of babies born addicted to pain pills are up more than 300% over the past decade, forcing doctors and nurses to invent treatments on the fly, the Wall Street Journal reports. Crying nonstop, vomiting, jerking their limbs, these newborns are the result of America's addiction to drugs called opioids—including anti-addiction drugs like methadone and painkillers like oxycodone. More than 13,000 such babies were diagnosed in the US in 2009. Ill-prepared hospitals have created different treatments, with one giving babies methodone and another trying morphine. But then newborns have to be weaned off of those drugs. Worse, care for drugaddicted babies can take weeks and fatten hospital bills; one study found a mean cost of $53,400, with Medicaid covering 78% of the cases. And hospital staffs worry about babies they fail to diagnose: "Some are going home and withdrawing," said one doctor who noted that drug-addicted mothers may not be ready for such difficult, sensitive babies. nEwS dESK
HE past year provided no shortage of futureshock. We watched a cyborg compete at the Olympic Games, and marveled at the news that NASA was actually working on a fasterthan-light warp drive. It was also a year that featured the planet's first superstorm, the development of an artificial retina — and primates who had their intelligence enhanced with a chip. Here are 16 predictions that came true in 2012.
1. A cyborg competes against able-bodied athletes at the olympics For the first time ever in Olympic history, a double-amputee raced alongside able-bodied athletes. Nicknamed "Blade Runner," South African sprinter Oscar Pistorius's remarkable achievement raised as much enthusiasm as it did concern — some observers felt that his advanced prosthetic "Cheetahs" gave him an unfair advantage over the other athletes. But while Pistorius failed to medal, his remarkable achievement signified the dawn of the cyborg age.
2. NASA starts to work on a faster-than-light warp drive Speaking at the 100 Year Starship 2012 Public Symposium earlier this year, physicist Harold White stunned the aeronautics world when he announced that he and his team at NASA had begun work on the development of a faster-than-light warp drive. His proposed design, an ingenious re-imagining of an Alcubierre Drive, may eventually result in an engine that can transport a spacecraft to the nearest star in a matter of weeks — and all without violating Einstein's law of relativity. Though still in the proof-of-concept phase, White and his colleagues are trying to turn theory into practice —
and potentially change the nature of space travel as we know it.
3. Scientists enhance the intelligence of primates with a chip Back in September, scientists demonstrated that a brain implant could improve thinking ability in primates — and by a factor of 10 percent. By implanting an electrode array into the cerebral cortex of monkeys, researchers were able to restore — and even improve — their decision-making abilities. The implications for possible therapies are far-reaching, including potential treatments for cognitive disorders and brain injuries. And it also means the era of animal uplifting has begun.
4. earth experiences its first true Superstorm Back in 1999, Art Bell and Whitley Strieber published a book titled The Coming Global Superstorm. It predicted that global warming would eventually result in sudden and catastrophic climatic effects — including the onset of unusually large storms. Now, 13 years later — although some are still loathe to admit it — the Atlantic Ocean experienced its first bona fide superstorm. Sandy was a colossal hurricane that occupied a space measuring 1.8 million square miles (4.6 million square kilometers), and stretched from the Mid-Atlantic to the Ohio Valley, and into Canada and New England. It may have been the first, but it certainly won't be the last.
5. The world's first cybernetic hate crime occurs at a McDonalds in France Steve Mann, the "father of wearable computing," was physically assaulted while visiting a McDonalds in Paris, France. The Canadian university pro-
fessor was at the restaurant with his family when three different McDonalds employees took exception to his "Digital Eye Glass" device and attempted to forcibly remove it from his head. Mann was then physically removed from the store by the employees, along with having his support documentation destroyed. It was the first ever recorded assault of a person instigated by the prominent display of a Google Glasslike wearable computer.
6. Augmented reality goes mainstream Speaking of Google Glass — this was the year that augmented reality finally hit the big time. Back in April, Google unveiled preliminary designs and a short concept piece showcasing the technology — an initiative to create smart shades straight out of Vernon Vinge's Rainbows End or Warren Ellis and Darick Robertson's Transmetropolitan. Soon thereafter, beta testers could be seen cruising the streets of California with their sweet wearable devices.
7. Researchers create a robot with legs that can run faster than any human Boston Dynamics, along with funding from DARPA's Maximum Mobility Program, significantly revved up their Cheetah Robot this year. The previous iteration ran at a speed of 18 mph (29 kph), but the new version clocked upwards of 28.8 mph (46.3 kph) — demolishing its previous record, and even surpassing the fasted recorded human speed on Earth. Not content to stop there, Boston Dynamics also upgraded their robotic pack mule (a.k.a. "Big Dog") so that it can respond to vocal commands.
8. Doctors communicate with a man in a coma Back in 2010, neuroscientists confirmed that it was possible to com-
municate with some patients locked in a vegetative state by using an fMRI scanner. Though limited, the breakthrough suggested that more meaningful dialogue with patients in a coma could someday be possible. And now, two years later, it finally happened. A Canadian man in a vegetative state used his thoughts to tell scientists that he is not in any pain, marking the first time a patient in such a condition has relayed information relevant to their care.
9. A child attends school by sending a robot in his place
Animal rights group pays circus $9.3m
N animal rights group has paid $9.3 million to settle two federal court cases over the treatment of circus elephants, CNN reports. Feld Entertainment Inc., which owns Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, is trumpeting the settlement with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) as a big win: "These defendants attempted to destroy our family-owned business with a hired plaintiff who made statements that the court did not believe," said CEO Kenneth Feld. What's more, Feld is pressing cases against other animal-rights groups in an attempt to recoup a reported $20 million in legal costs. But the ASPCA isn't admitting to any wrongdoing, and notes that the court never ruled on its elephant-abuse allegations. nEwS dESK
The rise of telecommuting robots has increasingly allowed stay-athome workers to create a virtual presence at their remote workplaces. It now appears, however, that working professionals aren't the only ones taking advantage of telepresence technologies: A six-year old boy with severe allergies from Seneca Falls, NY, is using a VGo robot to attend school — and it's an experiment that appears to be working. The technology is quickly attracting the attention of other educators, including districts in Colorado, Arkansas, and Pittsburgh. It may only be a matter of time before VGo and other telepresence robots will make their way into other schools.
10. Self-driving cars become legal in several states Slowly but surely we're entering into the era of the driverless car. 2012 marked an important year as three states made autonomous vehicles legal, including California, Nevada, and Florida. Upon signing the bill into law in California, Governor Jerry Brown said they're "turning today's science fiction into tomorrow's reality." Self-driving cars, once perfected and produced en masse, will help with traffic congestion and significantly reduce the chance of auto accidents through the use of GPS, radar, and other technologies. nEwS dESK
Giant, smelly 'corpse Flower' blooms in Brazil
ALL them gangrene thumbs. Hundreds of flower lovers are flocking to Inhotim garden, 275 miles from Rio de Janeiro, to catch a glimpse—and a whiff— of the massive and rare titan arum, aka, the "corpse flower," reports AFP. Blooming for just three days, the corpse flower smells like rotting flesh, in order to attract its choice pollinators, carrion flies and beetles. The titan arum's full scientific name, Amorphophallus titanum, actually means misshapen giant penis. The one blooming now in Brazil is 5-foot3, but the plant can grow up to 10 feet tall. The species is native to western Sumatra and is thought to be the world's largest and smelliest tropical flower. nEwS dESK
monday, 31 December, 2012
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Junaid, Jamshed script Pakistan’s win CHEnnAI
ASIR Jamshed hit an unbeaten 101 as Pakistan beat India by six wickets in Chennai to win the first of a three-match one-day international series. Junaid Khan’s spell of 4-7 reduced India to 29-5 in the 10th over, before Mahendra Dhoni hit three sixes in an undefeated 113 in his team’s 227-6. Debutant Bhuvneshwar Kumar struck with the first ball of the Pakistan reply but Younis Khan and Jamshed put on 112. Left-hander Jamshed made his second ODI ton as Pakistan won with 11 balls left. After missing the Twenty20 series that was shared 1-1, Virender Sehwag returned to open India’s innings with Gautam Gambhir. But both were back in the pavilion by the fifth over as Pakistan won an important toss, which was delayed for an hour because of a damp pitch. India captain Dhoni, dropped by Misbah-ul-Haq on 17, took 79 balls to score his first boundary but passed 7,000 oneday international runs, reaching his eighth ODI hundred with a six over cover off Mohammad Irfan. Despite that, India’s total looked below average, but they were given encouragement when the wiry Kumar, 22, bowled Mohammad Hafeez, who offered no stroke. Kumar, who also struck in the first over of his Twenty20 international
indiA 8 G Gambhir b irfan 4 V Sehwag b junaid V Kohli b junaid 0 yuvraj Singh b junaid 2 RG Sharma c Hafeez b junaid 4 SK Raina b Hafeez 43 113 MS dhoni not out 31 R Ashwin not out Extras (lb 11, w 9, nb 2) 22 Total (6 wickets; 50 overs; 228 mins) 227 did not bat b Kumar, i Sharma, Ab dinda Fall of wickets 1-17 (Sehwag, 3.5 ov), 2-17 (Gambhir, 4.4 ov), 3-19 (Kohli, 5.4 ov), 4-20 (yuvraj Singh, 5.6 ov), 5-29 (RG Sharma, 9.4 ov), 6-102 (Raina, 33.2 ov) bowling: Mohammad irfan 9-2-58-1, junaid Khan 9-1-43-4, umar Gul 8-0-38-0, Saeed Ajmal 10-1-42-0, Mohammad Hafeez 10-2-26-1, Shoaib Malik 4-0-9-0 PAKiSTAn 0 Mohammad Hafeez b Kumar 101 nasir jamshed not out 9 Azhar Ali c RG Sharma b Kumar 58 younis Khan c Ashwin b dinda 16 Misbah-ul-Haq b i Sharma Shoaib Malik not out 34 Extras (lb 6, w 3, nb 1) 10 Total (4 wickets; 48.1 overs; 230 mins) 228 did not bat Kamran Akmal†, junaid Khan, umar Gul, Saeed Ajmal, Mohammad irfan Fall of wickets 1-0 (Mohammad Hafeez, 0.1 ov), 2-21 (Azhar Ali, 10.2 ov), 3-133 (younis Khan, 30.3 ov), 4-172 (Misbah-ulHaq, 38.2 ov) bowling: b Kumar 9-3-27-2, i Sharma 10-0-39-1, Ab dinda 9.10-45-1, R Ashwin 10-0-34-0, yuvraj Singh 5-0-33-0, SK Raina 2.1-0-23-0, V Kohli 2.5-0-21-0 Toss Pakistan, who chose to field Series Pakistan led the 3-match series 1-0 Odi debut b Kumar (india) Player of the match MS dhoni (india) umpires bF bowden (new zealand) and S Ravi TV umpire S Asnani Match referee RS Mahanama (Sri lanka) Reserve umpire CK nandan
debut on Tuesday, had Azhar Ali caught cheaply but Younis settled the innings with a stylish 48th ODI half-century. He clipped a low catch to mid-wicket
Jamshed was reprieved on 68 when Yuvraj Singh spilled a chance at point. With 41 needed from 49 balls Shoaib Malik was caught behind off Ashwin, only
for it to be called a no-ball after video footage was checked. On 99 , Jamshed, in his 20th international, was hit on the helmet by Ashok Dinda but the 23-year-old
pulled the next ball for the single he needed to reach three figures from 127 balls, and Shoaib pulled the winning boundary in the penultimate over.
LESSONS OF HUSSEY’S Warner and Cowan LONG APPRENTICESHIP in line to lead DAnIEL BRETTIg
No-one made more runs before being handed a baggy green cap than Michael Hussey, and it is highly likely that no-one ever will have to again. In addition to leaving an enormous hole in Australia’s batting order, Hussey’s exit from the game at 37 also poses a major question about the development of players capable of filling it. Was Hussey robbed of an even more illustrious career by a selection panel that scorned his talents until he was 30, or was the wonderfully dextrous and adaptable player he became a direct result of all those years spent honing his game for the opportunity? As he looked forward to more time at home, though he will continue to play for Western Australia and Chennai Super Kings in the IPL, Hussey said he wished he had been given an earlier chance, but reasoned that the completeness of his game and the maturity of his approach stemmed from the extra time he was left to shape it. “I would’ve loved to get an opportunity earlier, there’s no question about that,” Hussey said. “I would’ve maybe liked to go through what young players go through at international level where you come in, you’re so excited to be there, probably go through some hard times and then come out the other side a better player. “But in a lot of ways it probably did help me to be able to perform consistently at international level, to have so much first-class cricket behind me. To learn about the game and learn about batting and learn about myself as a person, I think held me in very good stead when I came to the international game when there’s so many distractions externally, to be able to put them aside and concentration my game. Knowing what worked for me helped me definitely.” With Hussey soon to be gone from the team, Australia’s selectors are left to pick from the meagre batting options they have left. Usman Khawaja is part of the current squad and has worked at rounding out his game in the manner of
David Warner and Ed Cowan must contemplate leading Australia after Michael Hussey’s retirement added further to the leadership conundrum created by Michael Clarke’s tender hamstring and Shane Watson’s uncertain international future. The loss of Hussey and Ponting in the space of three Test matches means Australia are not only without two of their most seasoned batsmen but also the likely candidates to lead the Test team in the event of Clarke and Watson being unavailable. Watson has already been ruled out of the New Year’s Test in Sydney due to a calf problem that may well sound the final knell for his attempts to maintain fitness as a Test match allrounder, and Clarke is again in some doubt with a strained hamstring. Hussey’s decision to retire shocked Clarke and Australia’s coach Mickey Arthur, leaving them short not only of their most complete batsman but also a safe candidate for shortterm leadership duty. Arthur had been digesting Watson’s confession that he may no longer be an allrounder in the future in the hours following the Boxing Day Test when he felt a tap on the shoulder. Hussey requested an audience with Arthur and Clarke, whereupon the 37-year-old confirmed his intention to retire at summer’s end. The instant response of Clarke and Arthur was to leave Hussey room to reconsider. “We’d done our selection meetings, we’d got everything out of the way, and Watto and I had a chat to see where he was with his injury and Watto hinted that he might just consider being used as a batsman from now on, so that was a little bit of a shock,” Arthur told ESPNcricinfo. “And then I thought I’d just have a
monday, 31 December, 2012
Hussey, while the Twenty20 captain George Bailey has a fighter’s instinct and a leader’s brain and attitude, if not quite the record of batting achievement that suggests he will make as instant an impression at 30 as Hussey did after he debuted in 2005. “The 2007 World Cup was just an amazing experience - the way the team played throughout that tournament was just incredible cricket,. So to be a part of that was absolutely fantastic and a huge highlight for me. Being part of an Ashes series where we won 5-0 here in Australia and to play with some of the true legends and greats of the game I’m really thrilled to play with these guys and to play in such a fantastic Ashes series like that. They’re the two that standout most to me over my career. “From a personal point of view my favourite moment would be hitting the winning runs in the second Test in Adelaide in that Ashes series [in 2006]. I’m not sure how many I made that day, but that feeling I got, to win that amazing Test match and to be out there to hit the winning runs, was a fantastic honour.” Hussey himself believes his 35-yearold brother David deserves a chance, while Chris Rogers is of the same age and the possessor of endless first-class experience in England. Other young batsmen
like Joe Burns in Queensland, Kurtis Patterson in New South Wales, Alex Doolan in Tasmania and Peter Handscomb in Victoria will in time press their claims, but their readiness for international cricket and all its myriad challenges will depend on how - and for how long - they are groomed. A major reason for Hussey’s exit is that he is no longer prepared to separate himself from his family for the long tracts of time required by international tours, but another is the wearing down effect of Test match pressure, be it from opponents, media, supporters, team-mates and the man himself. The support Hussey has been given from the likes of his first-grade batting coach Ian Keevan, the former Northants coach Bob Carter, and his wife Amy allowed him to push through much of it, and those relationships were also built up over the years he spent waiting for his chance. “There’s so much pressure, stress and tension around international cricket, on all the guys,” Hussey said. “I’m amazed how the guys handle it at times. But I think it’s very important to have a good support network around you, people who keep believing in you all the time, and keep you in a positive frame of mind when sometimes it’s quite easy to get yourself down and put more pressure on yourself.
beer now and enjoy the win and Mike Hussey tapped me on the shoulder. “So my first reaction was ‘wow’, it was myself and Michael Clarke and Huss together, Clarkey and I looked at each other and it was just ‘wow, what do we do’. We congratulated him on a fantastic career and said ‘are you sure?’ but Huss had made his mind up and like a true champion he’s done it very well.” Warner and Cowan have both been mentioned as potential captains, after leading various teams in the past 12 months. Warner led the Sydney Thunder and a CA Chairman’s XI last summer, while Cowan guided Australia A on their winter tour of England and showed his batting could benefit from the extra responsibility by comfortably topping the tour aggregates. Australia’s plans for the tours of India and England in 2013 had been drawn up with Hussey as a central part, especially after Ponting’s loss of form had hastened his exit from the national team. Arthur said a swift change of tack was now required, and he placed onus on the likes of Warner, Cowan and Watson when he returned to fitness to step into the breach. “We were certainly building a top six around that,” Arthur said. “We always knew Clarke was there, and once Ponting went we knew we had Hussey. We had all our plans in place, so with no warning it was a shock, but I totally understand his reasoning and respect his decision. He deserves to go out the way he is. But for us now it’s about moulding a top six that’s going to win us a Test series in India and win us an Ashes - an enormous task. “In our Test team you’ve got to hope that David Warner and Shane Watson really step up now. I’m pretty confident they’ll do that. In Ed Cowan you’ve got a very wise head, a very good, calming leader around the group.
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Lampard double down Everton LonDon
VERTON’S unbeaten home record this season came to an end after Frank Lampard’s brace helped Chelsea beat the Toffees 2-1 in a come-
back win. Lampard’s days at Chelsea are reportedly numbered, but if that is the case he seems determined to go out in a blaze of glory. Restored to the starting line-up, the England midfielder scored twice to inspire his side to recover from Steven Pienaar’s second-minute strike and secure a fourth successive league victory. The win ensured Chelsea head into 2013 in third place in the table, just four points behind second-placed Manchester City with a match in hand. But the main focus of debate will be about the 34-year-old Lampard, who is eligible to sign a pre-contract agreement to join a foreign club in the summer on January 1. If he wanted to make a viable case for a new contract when his deal expires in June he is going the right way about it, although the noises from Stamford Bridge suggest there is little or no inclination to do so. Lampard is now just one goal short of Kerry Dixon, who is the club’s second all-
time leading scorer with 193. But it had looked like being a long afternoon on Merseyside for the visitors after Everton got off to a dream start with just 64 seconds gone. Phil Jagielka, playing at right-back in recent weeks because of injuries, swung over a cross which Victor Anichebe headed against the far post and Pienaar was quickest to react to the loose ball to drill it past Petr Cech. That strike ensured Everton recorded their best Premier League goalscoring return in a calendar year, beating the previous best of 64 in 1996. The same post denied Nikica Jelavic a second from a free-kick, but this time the rebound was not so kind to the Toffees and Chelsea were able to clear. However, the home side, emboldened by a home record which has not seen them been beaten in the league since late March, continued to press forward with Leon Osman bringing a good low save out of Cech. By the midway point of the half Chelsea had begun to find a foothold in the game with Ramires and Juan Mata starting to have more influence. The former produced a driving 50yard run and shot which was blocked by John Heitinga and Mata’s follow-up caught just enough of the Holland defender to take off sufficient pace to allow Howard to block with his legs. Full-back Ashley Cole was then
inches away from sliding in the equaliser from Cesar Azpilicueta’s cross but the goal they threatened finally arrived three minutes before the interval. Lampard, given far too much space, planted a header from Ramires’ cross inside the near post to wrongfoot Howard. Chelsea lost Cech to injury at the interval, giving Ross Turnbull his first league appearance of the season, as the second half started openly but scrappily. Torres, so often the scourge of Everton in a red shirt, had been relatively subdued but started to get a few more openings and midway through the half brought a good save out of Howard with a shot on the turn. Osman then did the same to Turnbull at the other end after side-stepping a couple of half-hearted tackles, before Jelavic’s flicked header from Leighton Baines’ cross beat the goalkeeper but not the crossbar - the 17th time this season they have hit the woodwork. With 18 minutes remaining Everton were carved open by another driving Ramires run and Howard was desperately unlucky that when he brilliantly denied Mata, the ball fell to Lampard six yards out who could not miss an open goal. Jelavic had a chance to snatch a draw deep into in added time but could not get enough power on his close-range effort and Turnbull gathered gratefully.
Djokovic retains exhibition title in Abu Dhabi ABU DHABI
Shakir’s Iraq promotion ends maradona speculations
Novak Djokovic retained his title at the World Tennis Championship exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi on Saturday by rallying past Nicolas Almagro of Spain 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-4. The top-ranked Serb swept past David Ferrer in straight sets to reach the final, but he got a tough test from the 11th-ranked Almagro. Almagro, a late replacement at the tournament for Rafael Nadal, rallied from 3-1 down in the tiebreaker to take the first set. ‘’It is amazing, him coming here only a few days ago and having a late entrance to the tournament and performing this well yesterday and today,’’ Djokovic said. Djokovic broke to lead 3-1 in the second set on his way to evening the match. The third set was much tighter, with both players holding serve after eight games until Djokovic went up 54 and then broke Almagro to clinch the victory. Both players had 12 aces, but Almagro was able to convert only one of six break points. He won just 34 percent of points on returns.
Iraq football association has promoted Hakeem Shakir to the head coach’s post, ending speculations of a possible appointment of Diego Maradona for the job. Shakir, 49, who guided Iraq to the final of this year’s AFC under-19 Championship in the United Arab Emirates, had been in temporary charge of the national side since Brazilian Zico resigned in November. The Iraq football association on Friday confirmed Shakir’s appointment, the Asian Football Confederation said on its website (www.the-afc.com). Earlier this month, an agent representing Maradona said that the Argentine great, former coach of UAE side Al Wasl and now their consultant, was excited at the prospect of a chance to lead Iraq to the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil. Former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson of Sweden was also in the fray to take over the reins of the Middle Eastern country, the agent said. Shakir’s first assignment after his fulltime appointment will be the Gulf Cup starting in Bahrain next week.
DzEkO inSPirES CiTy AS UniTED SEAL Win LonDon AGEnCiES
Edin Dzeko shone to give 10-man Manchester City a battling 4-3 victory at Norwich City but leaders Manchester United also won as own goals and more controversial refereeing marked the last Saturday of 2012. In another bumper day for Premier League goals, resurgent Arsenal went fifth after a thrilling 7-3 home win over Newcastle United with contract rebel Theo Walcott scoring a hat-trick. Manchester United maintained their seven-point advantage over City at the top after Gareth McAuley turned the ball into his own net and substitute Robin van Persie netted in a 2-0 win over West Bromwich Albion at a sodden Old Trafford. “(Van Persie) changed the game for us,” United boss Alex Ferguson told the BBC. “When I brought him and Paul Scholes on they settled the game down for us. West Brom dominated in the second half and kept pumping the ball into our box. “We’re in a good position. We’re halfway
there.” City striker Dzeko scored twice in the first four minutes and another of his strikes was credited as an own goal by goalkeeper Mark Bunn at Norwich where Samir Nasri’s 44th-minute red card had threatened the champions’ dominance. In-form Tottenham Hotspur moved third following a 2-1 comeback win at Sunderland where an apoplectic Gareth Bale was again booked for diving while fourthbottom Aston Villa lost their third in a row in a 3-0 home defeat by Wigan Athletic. Paul Lambert’s Villa have conceded 15 in the three games and scored none. Arsenal opened the scoring against leaky Newcastle through Walcott - again playing as a striker - when he escaped the offside trap and finished with aplomb in the style of boyhood hero and mentor Thierry Henry, who was watching from the stands. Demba Ba’s deflected free kick just before the interval gave the visitors hope but an excellent finish from Alex Oxlade- Chamberlain and a close-range header from Lukas Podolski after Sylvain Marveaux’s leveller looked to have secured the points.
Ba then grabbed another equaliser but England’s Walcott expertly found the top corner after 73 minutes and substitute Olivier Giroud bagged a double late on. A persistent Walcott then took the matchball to show he is not just a winger. Ten-man Stoke City were facing a first
home loss since February but a superb late Cameron Jerome strike secured a 3-3 draw with struggling Southampton and Reading pulled themselves away from last spot with a 1-0 home win over West Ham United. Swansea City shrugged off the injury absence of top scorer Michu to triumph 2-1 at Fulham where stand-in striker Danny Graham grabbed the opener. Leaders United started with Van Persie on the bench and had Wayne Rooney out injured for a West Brom game that was nearly called off before kickoff because of heavy rain in Manchester. Japan midfielder Shinji Kagawa made his comeback from injury but it was another returnee, winger Ashley Young, who provided the cross for McAuley to inadvertently score after nine minutes. Alex Ferguson’s side have been consistently shipping goals, only prevailing 4-3 over Newcastle on Wednesday thanks to a last-minute strike, but they just about held on to a clean sheet before Van Persie eased fan nerves in the last minute. After 20 of 38 games, United have 49 points to City’s 42 but Roberto Mancini will
be glad his champions did not slip further behind after playing with 10 men for over a half at Norwich. Bosnian forward Dzeko made a stunning start for City but Anthony Pilkington’s 15th-minute goal and Nasri’s debatable sending off left the game in the balance. France midfielder Nasri saw red for going head-to-head with Sebastien Bassong but the dismissal seemed harsh. Sergio Aguero then gave City breathing space after 50 minutes before a Dzeko strike came back off the post and hit Bunn on its way into the net, in between Russell Martin’s brace. “Today we showed we are there for the title,” Mancini said. Two goals in three second-half minutes helped Tottenham fight back for a deserved win at Sunderland. “I think we started well, we went one goal down but were on top of the game really. We showed our character,” match-winner Aaron Lennon said. The hosts, who beat Manchester City 1-0 at home on Wednesday, took the lead against the run of play in the 40th minute when captain John O’Shea coolly tapped in a rare goal after Spurs had failed to deal with a free-kick into the box.
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17 Sports li Na beats Azarenka THAILAnD
tHAIlAND: li Na of china returns a shot during a tennis invitation match against victoria Azarenka of Belarus in Hua Hin.
Li Na beat Victoria Azarenka 10-6 in a deciding tie-break after the pair shared a set each in a see-sawing invitation match in the Thai resort of Hua Hin. Li, who became China’s first Grand Slam champion at the 2011 French Open, took the first set 6-3, dominating world number one Azarenka on the hard court with her serving and groundstrokes. Azarenka sprung to life and belted a series of winners as she claimed the second set 6-2. But the Australian Open champion, who secured the top ranking when she beat Li in October at the WTA Championships in Istanbul, stumbled in the decider - a first to 10 tie-break - following a costly series of unforced errors. “I can beat Azarenka, I think this win makes it around the same for each of us... so we are on a similar level,” Li, the world number seven, joked after the match. Azarenka, who flies to Brisbane from Thailand to prepare her Australian Open defence, conceded she could have been better prepared for the match - which was her second appearance at the invitational.
Spain defeat S Africa PERTH AGEnCiES
Spain came from 1-0 down to claim a 21 victory over South Africa in the Hopman Cup at Perth Arena. Kevin Anderson had put South Africa ahead with a 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 defeat of Fernando Verdasco in a tight match which featured just one break of serve. Anabel Medina Garrigues then brought Spain level with a 6-4 6-2 defeat of Chanelle Scheepers. The world number 50 won with four breaks of serve and 15 winners to save face for Spain with Medina Garrigues and Verdasco combining for the decisive rubber with the Spaniards winning 6-4 6-7 (7-3) 10-8. The South Africans were unable to force an opening against the serve of the Spanish pair and the number four seeds claimed the first set 6-4 in 34 minutes. A tiebreak was required to decide the second set and it was the South Africans who gained the upper hand early claiming the first three points. It was an advantage they were never to relinquish as the Spaniards failed to win a point on their own serve; South Africa claiming the tiebreak 7-3 to force a match tiebreak. South Africa again skipped away early in the deciding set, leading 5-2 after the first rotation of serves but Spain strung together the next three points to square the match tiebreak at 5-5. The South Africans moved to the verge of victory at 8-5 but once more Spain fought back claiming both points on the serve of Scheepers before Anderson failed to put away a couple of high volleys to give up the lead and a match point.
Distracted Williams sounds ominous warning in season opener BRISBAnE
N angry and impatient Serena Williams overcame blustery conditions at the Brisbane International on Sunday in an ominous beginning to her only tournament before her charge at a 16th major title at the Australian Open next month. The American threw her hands in the air, shook her head, gesticulated towards her coach and stomped her feet in petulant protest - but that did little to help compatriot Varvara Lepchenko who suffered a 62 6-1 first round defeat. Howling with frustration in her first match since winning the WTA Championships at Istanbul in October, lacking rhythm in swirling winds on Pat Rafter Arena, Williams still delivered enough booming serves and punishing groundstrokes to prevail in a formidable if cantan-
kerous display. The reigning Wimbledon, Olympic and U.S. Open champion told reporters a calendar-year grand slam was very much on her mind at the start of the season. Williams held all four major titles in the so-called Serena Slam of 2002-2003 but the holy grail of professional tennis is to win the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and U.S. Open tournaments in the same calendar year. The American claimed world number one Victoria Azarenka and number two Maria Sharapova, and perhaps a few fringedwellers, were eyeing off a near-impossible feat not achieved since Steffi Graf’s unbeaten run through 1988. “I think whoever wins the Australian Open will have that same thought,” Williams said. “I think there is no way that Victoria or Maria or maybe some other players don’t have that same thought. I think I definitely feel that way.” Both Azarenka and Sharapova are in a red-hot Brisbane field with Williams. Of the world’s top 10, only Ag-
nieszka Radwanska and Li Na are missing. The predictability of her defeat of Lepchenko was matched by the level of emotion surrounding Australian wildcard Jarmila Gajdosova’s victory on the opening day. Playing her first tournament since the passing in September of her mother, also named Jarmila, and with her world ranking having plummeted from a career high of 25 to 183 in the last 18 months, Gajdosova roared home from a one-set deficit to stun Italy’s world number 16 Roberta Vinci. Gajdosova wept after a 4-6 6-1 6-3 triumph that set up a second-round showdown against French Open champion Sharapova. “There have been a lot of things happening in my life,” Gajdosova said. “As you all know, my mom passed away in September. It’s been a difficult time. First Christmas, as well, without her. My dad is here. My brother and his wife and son. It was my first match in front of them and my first match in Australia, after a long time, without my mum.”
CriCkET’S GrEATEST SALESMAn g
tony Greig had unlimited enthusiasm for the game, and he took it global, working from Brisbane to Bridgetown and everywhere in between MARK nICHoLAS
So Greigy has died. He didn’t seem the sort. That huge heart, the heart that brought an uncompromising and triumphant life, finally said enough now, enough. He was born in 1946, and you kind of expected him to say good morning to all his viewers in 2046. Unbreakable Greigy; spirited, talented, courageous, opinionated, passionate, compassionate Greigy. Hard nut one minute, soft as the sands of Bondi the next. Goodbye, mate. Anthony William Greig was out of South Africa’s Eastern Cape, to Sussex in England, then Sydney, where he settled with a beautiful family of young and old, from marriages old and new. He first met his second wife, Vivian, soon after the World Series Cricket days and they became an irresistible partnership - breathtakingly good-looking, stylish and fun. Eventually their joint legacy was to be two children: Beau who is tall, gifted and 12, and Tom, two years her junior and a complete natural with bat and ball. Today their confusion and grief will be overwhelming. Though time will never fully heal, it will
monday, 31 December, 2012
allow space for their father’s strong leadership to make its impact. Greig was a dynamic and fearless leader. He brought confidence and bravado to English cricket and unwavering commitment and showmanship to World Series Cricket. That move away from England was the seismic shift in his life. He stood at Kerry Packer’s side and from an unlikely friendship came the seismic shifts of modern cricket. More money, more colour, more drama, more commerce. He was the face of the game’s popular culture, full of mischief but still grounded, rooted even, by cricket’s inherent and traditional values. This was a contradiction that England could not understand. The old school patronised his belief in a better world for all and vilified his desertion. He was sacked as captain - of course he was, like a dozen strokes from the headmaster solves anything - and left to rot as the adopted son who betrayed a nation. Greig did anything but rot. This was a man who conquered epilepsy, the English establishment was but a bauble of intrusion. He convinced the greatest players in the world to come to Australia and play for
Packer. He made the World XI a team that took on and beat the Aussies and by galvanising this so-called circus - probably the best cricket ever played, incidentally - he gave credibility to the show that ultimately brought Packer the television rights he so desired. This was, by any standard, a phenomenal achievement. In less than two years the game had changed forever. The Eastern Suburbs of Sydney became his home, the Packer compendium his playground and the beaches his relaxation. But most of all, the television screen gave him a new identity. He became cricket’s greatest salesman, taking it global, working from Brisbane to Bombay, from Birmingham to Bridgetown. He understood television’s unique access and its value to the broadcaster, the advertiser and audience. “This is the time, boy” he once said to me, rubbing his hands with glee as we took our commentary seats at 4 o’clock in the afternoon, “that we get the housewives and the children: get them now and they are ours forever.” He loved it - absolutely, unconditionally loved that microphone. Yes, he could raise the hairs on the back of any neck and
just occasionally he pushed his luck but mainly, day in and out, he educated and entertained in a way like no other. Bill Lawry and Geoffrey Boycott loved to work with him; Ian Healy, Ravi Shastri and Ian Botham loved to work with him too. There you have it, a common appeal. Sure, he could shoot you a look or fire a barb; intimidation was often the name of his fame. Surprisingly, when it came to work he was as insecure as the next man - “The jury’s still out on you blokes” he said to Ian Healy, Mark Taylor, Michael Slater and me three or four years back, with tongue only marginally in cheek - but he cared deeply about the product and was terrified that one day he may not be a part of it. He need not have worried. The key with Greigy was to divide most things he said by half; that way you got a better feel for their real meaning. For example, he was not remotely racist in his threat to make the West Indians “grovel”. Rather he thought that if you got on top of them, you had better stay there or they would bounce back and bite your balls off. And he was right, they bit and they bit,
until he screamed. When he arrived in India as captain of England, he emerged from the plane into the subcontinental clamour and pronounced Indian umpires to be comfortably the best in the world. This got him favourable decisions previous touring teams could not have dreamed of. Against all odds England won the first three Tests and secured the series before anyone worked it out. Sort of a heist, or better explained as the power of personality. It is worth noting that Tony was an exceptional cricketer, without ever quite looking like one. Platinum blond, gangly tall, long arms loping, big hands flapping, bigger smile disarming, and a huge, almighty, competitor. He scored his runs at more than 40 per innings and took his wickets, as both swing bowler and offspinner, at better than 33 per innings. Only two other men have ever done that. And he took a heap of catches, mainly at slip. The runs came against Lillee and Thomson; Roberts and Holding; Bedi, Prasanna and Chandrasekhar. Hardly muggins. The wickets included names such as Richards and Chappell - in other words, the best.
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Walcott stakes claim for forward berth ABU DHABI
mBe ‘a bit surreal’ for Adams
HEO Walcott hopes he can win a regular starting role up front after proving his worth with a stunning hattrick in the 7-3 defeat of Newcastle on Saturday evening. Walcott, whose contract runs out at the end of the season, was in irresistible form on Saturday night, book-ending the scoring as well as adding his side’s fourth as the Toon left the Emirates Stadium humiliated. One of the sticking blocks in Walcott signing a new long-term deal with the Gunners is believed to stem around his desire to play a regular role up front instead of on the wing. And while he insists he will do what is best for the team, he was pleased to show his talents in a forward role. “I enjoy playing in whatever position but it was just telling the manager to give me the opportunities to play up front,” he told ESPN. “I’m not saying I’m always going to play up front but it’s just showing what I can do but hopefully I’ve opened a few eyes and it’s just a different option. “Hopefully, I can start to take it a bit more often now.” Arsenal took a one-goal lead on three occasions through Walcott, Alex OxladeChamberlain and Lukas Podolski but were pegged back on each occasion by two strikes from Ba sandwiched in-between Sylvain Marveaux’s tap in. But after Walcott put the London side ahead once more, the Gunners ran riot in the final 10 minutes thanks to two goals from Olivier Giroud and a further strike
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from Walcott. “It was just end-to-end and very open. When it’s open it plays into my hands to be honest,” Walcott added. “We’re disappointed in the goals we conceded but to score seven, it doesn’t matter how we win. As long as we get the three points. “We’ve got a game in hand. I don’t know what crisis everyone’s on about.” It was Arsenal’s fourth consecutive Barclays Premier League win, which lifts them up to fifth, and midfielder Jack Wilshere insists they have not been stung by recent criticism. “We just get on with it. We know we’ve got great players here and we showed it today [Saturday],” he said. “Theo was great and okay we conceded three and we’re not happy about that and we’ll look at that but to score seven in any game in the Premier League is a great achievement.” Wenger was thrilled with Walcott’s performance, although the Frenchman
Nicola Adams, the first woman to win an Olympic gold boxing title, said it is “all a bit surreal” to now also be honoured with an MBE. “It is really good to receive such a prestigious honour,’’ said Adams, 30, from Leeds. “Everything is all a bit surreal for me. “It has been an incredible year. To have achieved so much in that time - it is really hard to put it into words how amazing this year has been. “I have won an Olympic gold medal and have met the Queen.’’ The flyweight with a mega-watt grin is now aiming to compete at the Rio 2012 Olympics. She said: “I have got a chance, hopefully to become a double Olympic champion and that sounds good.’’ Adams was also pleased that British Amateur Boxing Association performance director Rob McCracken, who is credited for Team GB’s haul of five boxing medals at London 2012, has got a MBE. “I am really happy for him. He is a fantastic coach - that is fantastic,” she said. Adams’ mother Dee said: “Who would have thought at the start of this year that she would have these two titles - Olympic champion and now MBE. I am very proud. “I would never ever have thought this could have happened when she was 12 and I brought her and her brother to the gym. “She is living her dream. Her brother Kurtis says it (the MBE) is phenomenal.’’ Just three years ago Adams’ Olympic dream was uncertain. She cracked a bone in her back in 2009 when she tripped and fell down the stairs on her way to a bout. She was bed-bound for three months and out of the ring for a year. Adams worked her way back and in to the ring as women’s boxing made its first appearance at the Olympics at the London 2012 Games.
HOPMAN CUP TENNIS: Serbia vs Italy 07:30 AM
Another Bale booking takes shine off Spurs win
hinted he is not yet ready to pick the 23year-old in a regular striking berth. “We cannot ask much more than three goals and the performance he gave today [Saturday],” Wenger said. “I said I’m convinced that he can play in there - he has qualities - and he can only improve the more he plays there. “He can play in the other position on the left, right or through the middle and it is good because Giroud is basically a centre-forward only so I can play the two together.” “Today [Saturday] just typifies what I think he can do through the middle,” Wenger said. “The first goal was a Thierry Henrytype goal and he showed great determination with the third. “He has become a good finisher. He has learned a lot because he is an intelligent player and because he is intelligent he will continue to improve.”
Weir concerned over honours system LonDon
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Six-time Paralympic gold medallist David Weir has suggested Paralympians have to work harder to earn recognition than their non-disabled counterparts. Weir has been recognised with a CBE for winning four gold medals at this summer’s London Games, but the wheelchair athlete was not among the five sporting dames and knights created. Olympic cyclist Bradley Wiggins and British Cycling performance director David Brailsford have both been knighted, as has sailor Ben Ainslie, with Paralympic cyclist Sarah Storey becoming a dame after taking her gold medal tally to 11 to match Baroness Tanni GreyThompson’s record. British rowing performance director
David Tanner has also been knighted. In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Weir said: “I am absolutely hon-
oured to receive this award. “I would have been disappointed if Sarah Storey had not been made a dame because she deserves it with 11 gold medals. “It’s a weird one how they choose it. Sometimes it seems that Paralympians have to win lots and lots of medals to get a damehood or a knighthood. “Kelly Holmes was made a same when she won two gold medals, but it seems we have to get into double figures to get it. “Sarah Storey should have been awarded this years ago, and I just feel that sometimes we are left out perhaps because we are not in the public eye. “It is a bit strange, but I am just honoured to get anything from the Queen for doing a sport I love.” Weir is the only disabled athlete among five CBEs with only two Paralympians receiving OBEs in the list published.
Tottenham Hotspur winger Gareth Bale is regarded as one of the most exciting players in the world but rightly or wrongly he now has a darker reputation as one of the game’s biggest divers after another booking on Saturday. In-form Spurs won 2-1 at Sunderland to move third in the Premier League after hammering Aston Villa 4-0 away on Wednesday when the speedy yet skilful Bale netted a majestic hat-trick. The talk after Saturday’s deserved victory though was all about diving after he received a third booking in a month for going to ground too easily. It was his fifth domestic yellow card of the season, prompting a ban against Reading on New Year’s Day. “It’s the same thing every time. I’ve been booked for no reason again,” Bale protested to Sky Sports. According to statisticians Opta, Bale has been given five cautions for simulation in the Premier League since the start of 2011-12, while no other player has more than two in that period. He was booked in Tottenham’s 3-0 win at Fulham on December 1 when he tumbled after slight contact by Steve Sidwell having also seen yellow for a dive at home to Liverpool the previous week. Saturday’s booking followed Bale falling in the area after a touch from Craig Gardner, who had his arm across the Welshman and may have clipped his knee. Bale immediately turned to the referee as he lay on the floor but Martin Atkinson had no qualms about reaching for his pocket to the winger’s dismay. He feels he is being victimised by officials who do not take into account the speed he runs and denies he is being too theatrical when falling. “There’s nothing I can do. The referees just have to look a bit closer I think,” he said. “If I am getting contact, it’s a free kick or a penalty. If people are kicking me I’m not going to stop going over because it is a foul.” Bale’s point was backed up by team mate Jermain Defoe avoiding a booking despite an apparently obvious dive. Spurs are emerging as a real force this term thanks to their power and pace on the flanks and dynamism in midfield.
OLyMPiC HErOES CELEBrATE AGAin LonDon AGEnCiES
London’s Olympic champions are celebrating again after being rewarded in the special New Year Honours list, with Bradley Wiggins and Ben Ainslie receiving knighthoods. Wiggins followed his historic Tour de France triumph, the first by a British cyclist, by winning a fourth Olympic gold medal and first on the road while Ainslie became the most successful Olympic sailor of all time with his fourth successive gold. Wiggins said: “It’s quite something really. I never ever imagined that I would ever become a knight so it’s an incredible honour but there’s a slight element of disbelief, and it will take a while to sink in.’’ Ainslie announced his Olympic retirement last month and will now concentrate on the America’s Cup, which Britain has never won. The 35-year-old said: “This is an incredible honour. When I set out Olympic sailing 20 years ago, I never would have dreamt this would happen. “I couldn’t have achieved this honour
without the support of all the people who have helped me throughout my career and so I hope they can also take some pride in this moment.’’ All the 2012 gold medallists end the year with an honour, although seven athletes who had previously received honours, including Sir Chris Hoy, were not recognised further this time.
Along with Ainslie and Wiggins, inspirational British Cycling performance director Dave Brailsford is also knighted after he once again masterminded a stunning medal haul as well as leading Team Sky to a one-two in the Tour de France. Brailsford is renowned as a team player and admitted to being not entirely comfort-
able with an individual honour such as this. He said: “I can totally understand it with Chris (Hoy) when he won his three gold medals, or with Brad, because to have done what he has done is pretty amazing. “But I guess it does feel a little bit uncomfortable given the hard work that everyone puts in that there is an individual recognition rather than a group recognition. That is a bit of a challenge - but it is a great honour nevertheless.” A fourth knighthood goes to David Tanner, the performance director for British Rowing, who also oversaw a record medal haul as Britain’s rowers won four golds and nine medals in all. Four Olympic stars are made CBEs, including the king and queen of British athletics, Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis, after they lit up the Olympic Stadium. London was the swansong for cyclist Victoria Pendleton, who added a second Olympic gold and is made a CBE after playing a trailblazing role for women sprinters on the track. Rower Katherine Grainger receives the same honour in the year she finally made it gold with Anna Watkins in the double sculls following three successive silvers.
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19 MuRREE: Snow has completely covered the country’s northern areas, leading to severe cold in other parts of the country. nni
Funeral prayers of 21 Levies officials offered g
Insiders believe arrangements for military action are thoroughly discussed PESHAwAR
UNERAL prayers of 21 security personnel shot dead by the Taliban were held in Hassan Khel and Janakoor of Frontier region Peshawar on Sunday. The Taliban abducted 23 officials on December 27. One of the abducted was found injured along with the bodies dumped at Janakoor whereas other one fled from the scene. The administration of Frontier Region Peshawar on Friday directed
tribal elders for early and safe recovery of abducted persons within three days otherwise they were warned of action under Territorial Responsibilities Laws. Officials did not issue any statement, but insiders believed that arrangements for military action against the militants were thoroughly discussed. According to reports, Taliban after killing the officials asked the local tribesmen to retrieve the bodies from Janakoor Hassan Khel. The officials reached the scene and found one of the soldiers injured among the bodies. He was rushed to Lady Reading Hospital Peshawar. FR
Peshawar Assistant Political Agent Naveed Akbar said the condition of the injured soldier was not stable. He, however, did not reveal the identity of the soldier who escaped from the Taliban captivity. The Taliban have made similar deadly attacks against security forces in FR Peshawar in recent past. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has made frequent requests to the federal government for early action against these militants. The area is in jurisdiction of the federal government through Federally Administrative Tribal Areas (FATA) Secretariat.
us has good leads on Benghazi attacks WASHINgToN: The United States has some “very good leads” about who carried out the attacks in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans including the US ambassador in September, President Barack Obama has said. In an interview with the NBC’s “Meet the Press” that was broadcast on Sunday, Obama said the US would carry out all of the recommendations put forward in an independent review of the September 11 attack on the US mission in Benghazi
in which Ambassador Christopher Stevens was killed. “We’re not going to pretend that this was not a problem. This was a huge problem. And we’re going to implement every single recommendation that’s been put forward,” Obama said in the interview, referring to security issues identified in the review. “With respect to who carried it out, that’s an ongoing investigation. The FBI has sent individuals to Libya repeatedly. We have some very good leads, but this is not something that I’m going to be at liberty to talk about right now,” he said. AGEnCiES
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no end to syria war if sides refuse to talk: Brahimi UN-Arab League negotiator for Syria calls for outside help to save Syria from ‘hell’ MonIToRIng DESK The UN-Arab League negotiator for Syria on Sunday called for outside help to get the warring parties talking to each other, without which he said the country’s 21-month civil war would not end. Speaking in Egypt after visiting Moscow and Damascus in the past week, Lakhdar Brahimi said the situation in Syria had deteriorated sharply, but a solution was still possible under the terms of a peace plan agreed in Geneva in June. “The problem is that both sides aren’t speaking to one another,” he said. “This is where help is needed from outside.” Brahimi has struggled to bridge the mutual hostility between Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his foes, and efforts to find a negotiated settlement to the conflict, which has claimed at least 44,000 lives, have failed to make headway. Addressing reporters at the Cairo headquarters of the Arab League, Brahimi said the Syrian state would collapse without a negotiated solution and turn into “hell”. The peace plan has stalled on demands by the opposition that Assad be excluded from any transitional government, and Brahimi
Editor: Arif Nizami
now cuts an unpopular figure among the rebels, who have been emboldened by their advances on the ground. “I say that the solution must be this year: 2013, and, God willing, before the second anniversary of this crisis,” he said. The Geneva agreement, which leaves Assad’s fate unclear but includes a ceasefire and steps towards elections, was negotiated by Brahimi’s predecessor Kofi Annan, who later quit in frustration at divisions in the UN Security Council. “A solution is still possible but is getting more complicated every day,” said Brahimi. “We have a proposal, and I believe this proposal is adopted by the
international community.” A day after Egyptian leader Mohamed Mursi said Assad’s office had no place in Syria’s future, Brahimi met Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr, who dismissed the possibility of a military resolution, state media reported. “The situation in Syria is bad, very, very bad, and it is getting worse, and the pace of deterioration is increasing,” Brahimi told reporters. “People are talking about Syria being split into a number of small states ... This is not what will happen. What will happen is Somalisation: warlords.” Somalia has been without effective central government since civil war broke out there in 1991.
monday, 31 December, 2012