Canadian Pakistani Times
September 05, 2013
Volume 1, 75
Death penalty & Pakistan?
ISLAMABAD, Sept 1: The moratorium on executions, which was imposed by the previous PPP led government in 2008 and lifted recently, has sparked off a debate on the death penalty while also revealing the lack of awareness available on the lengthy legal procedure that kicks into place once a man or woman is condemned. This came to light when the Senate Standing Committee on Interior took up the issue on August 27, 2013. A senator had asked which authority issues the death warrant and the answer was the relevant trial court which could either be the session court or the anti-terrorism court that has awarded the death sentence.This death warrant is commonly known as the ‘black warrant’. The question was asked because a moratorium imposed by the federal government in 2008 was lifted recently by the Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) government. However, after a brief gap of two months, which started in the last week of June 2013, the ban was re-imposed in August when three convicted terrorists were to be hanged. It was against this background that the senator had asked the initial question and the answer provided by the Interior ministry led to a general discussion and more questions. A participating senator asked the interior ministry officials present how the
session courts or the relevant ATC found out that the appeal of the condemned prisoner had been dismissed by the Supreme Court (SC) of Pakistan in order to issue the back warrant. A number of prisoners, who are condemned to death, appeal to the higher courts against their convictions – and the senators were interested in finding out who kept track of appeals filed and rejected in order to then finally kick-start the process of implementing the conviction once the appeals had been exhausted. Under the current law, anybody awarded a death sentence by a lower court can appeal at the high court in seven days. If the appeal is dismissed by the high court, the convict has 60 days to approach the SC. The final authority, however, to waive off the death sentence is the president of the country and a mercy petition can be forwarded to the president after the death sentence is awarded by any court. In addition, one senator also wanted to know if the interior ministry had informed all the Sessions Courts during the period the moratorium was lifted so that they could issue the black warrants. The officials incorrectly informed the parliamentarians that the registrar of the apex court informs the relevant High Courts and the information is passed to the session court of the ATC, so that the black warrant (s) can be issued. The officials of the Law Ministry talking to Dawn contradicted this. “The interior ministry people are either ignorant or they were not speaking the truth,” the official said, adding that the session court or the ATC are approached by the prosecutor general office of the concerned province for issuance of the black warrant. “But I am not clear how the home department of the province will find out that the appeal of a condemned prisoner has been rejected by the Supreme Court?” the official added.
He was not the only one. Even the spokesman of the interior ministry was not clear on how the home department would find out that a prisoner’s mercy petition had been rejected by the president of country or his appeal against his sentence had been rejected by the SC. Conversations with various officials revealed the ignorance prevalent. One official said, “The moratorium will never be lifted so there is no need to find out about the procedure to obtain the black warrants,” while another claimed that it was the responsibility of the jail superintendent to get the black warrant. Inspector General Prisons, Sindh, Nusrat Mangan said the jail authorities were on the operational side of the whole episode and hence were not concerned with the legal or administrative proceedings.
province.” This is how, he said, the home department comes to know that the final appeal of certain condemned prisoner has been rejected by the apex court. At the High Court level, lawyers from the office of the prosecutor general are aware of appeals filed and rejected. Once the appeals process are complete, the officials of the prosecutor branch of the home department, in coordination with the relevant jail authority, then approach the relevant session court/ATC to obtain the black warrant. “The hanging date is set in consultation with the relevant jail authority, as there are chances that the sentence has been awarded by a court in one district, while the prisoner might be housed in a jail located in a different district,” Mr Khan said.
“The routine procedure is that the black warrants are issued by the session court or ATC – however before implementing the warrant, we intimate the home department,” he added. The IG prisons explained that the executions were carried out by the authorities early in the morning - prior to the Fajr aazan.
“However, implementation of the death sentence is carried out according to the government policies and can be stopped at the last moment as it has been done recently.” In the 50 days that the moratorium had been lifted, Sindh and Punjab were found to be the most active with death row prisoners.
“The kin of the condemned prisoner is informed and the execution is carried out in the presence of the local magistrate,” he said. Fortunately Sadaqat Ali Khan, Prosecutor General Punjab, finally provided the answers that had evaded the federal government officials.
Punjab issued black warrants to around 26 condemned prisoners, which mainly included criminals and no terrorist. Sindh was scheduled to execute four condemned prisoners last week in Central Prisons Karachi and Sukkur.
“All four provinces have representation in the SC in the shape of the office of the Advocate General while the deputy prosecutor general of all provinces also appear regularly there,” Mr Khan said, adding, “Whenever there is any such development, the deputy prosecutor general gets all the details and documents, and forwards it to the home department of his
The information available from the IG Prisons office says that of these four, two Attaullah alias Qasim and Mohammad Azam alias Sharif - belonged to the banned group Lashkar-i-Jhangvi. These two were to be executed on August 20 and 21, 2013 respectively. The other two condemned prisoners were ordinary criminals. However, the federal government has stopped the executions until further orders.
Canadian International Air Show.
Toronto was the site of numerous air shows as the city developed into a centre of air transportation and aircraft manufacturing in the early twentieth century. The Canadian International Air Show began in 1946 when the National Aeronautical Association of Canada attracted overflow
crowds to a show at de Havilland Canada manufacturing plant at Downsview Airport. Staged annually thereafter, the air show moved to Exhibition Place in 1949, and became a regular feature of the CNE in 1956.
September 05, 2013
Weekly Fortune: by Kiran Pandey Rai (email@example.com) 05Th September – 11th September ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
ARIES (21 Mar- 20 Apr) Better week than previous one and It’s all your own attitude which will create such a positive vibes around you. Discourage a friend who may be the reason to create some disturbances in your marital life. If you had been waiting for any support from Government this is the right time to hit . Financial benefits can be expected in this week. Avoid travelling by air if possible. Lucky Days : Saturday and Sunday ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
TAURUS (21Apr- 21 May) Your hard work will pay this week and your opponent will be at bay. Professionally you will shine unexpectedly . Keep a proper check on your sugar intake specially Diabetics or pre-diabetics. Safe driving is required specially in the middle of the week. Your clever mind will cross all adverse situation with a smile. Your work will be recognized at your workplace. Lucky Days : Thursday and Friday ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
GEMINI (22 May- 21 June) Your courage and hard work will churn out the best of your career. Your words and action will go hand in hand and yes these (words and action) will be authoritative and fierce . And you will be at the best of your decision and strategies. Overall a fruitful week ahead! Enjoy and have fun ! Lucky Days : Sunday and Monda ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
CANCER (22 June- 22 July) If there is any pending work related to change or transfer in profession, this week is indicating the fructification of it. This change may give you mixed effect in your life. Be little humble while dealing your subordinates. You may plan to buy a vehicle or house. Time to do some charity work as per your affordability. Lucky Days : Friday and Sunday ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
LEO (23 July- 22 Aug) You are ready to face every circumstances with ease. Your communication skill will help you in winning the people around. You may come closer to someone of opposite gender and the decision of choosing your friend might prove wrong. Stay away from establishing any illicit relationship. You need to put more work even for small favour. Lucky Days : Tuesday and Wednesday _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________
VIRGO (23 Aug- 23 Sept) People will be mesmerized by your amazing communication skill. Most of your work will be done by your pleasant approach towards life. At the same time you will have fickle mind which you will realize at the end of the week. Extra work need for even small gain. You will be meeting your family members or extended family after a long time. Enjoy and have fun ! Lucky Days : Sunday and Monday _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________
LIBRA ( 24 Sept-23 Oct). You will get respect in your society due to your multi-dimensional approach of life. You will be benefitted from one of your decent and resourceful friend . Keep a check on your aggression and utilize it in constructive way. Your interest towards learning ancient history or any spiritual books may surface. Some of you may try your hand in writing for the first time or the one who is already established in this field ,will get recognition. Lucky Days : Friday and Saturday ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
SCORPIO (24 Oct-22Nov) This week may give you either of the two extreme end of life,viz spirituality or worldly pleasure. Take good care of health. If there is any court case, better avoid and delay it. Maintaining good relation with father will help you morally. Avoid availing any loan and do not trust much on any friends. Lucky Days : Thursday and Friday ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
SAGITTARIUS (23 Nov-2 1 Dec) As per your choice ,your kids’ performances are not up to the mark and internally you are fighting with yourself. Money won’t be an issue. You need to have a look at the quality of friends. In the beginning of the week, you will find yourself little inconvenient at workplace but gradually situation will improve. Love in air can be witnessed. Have fun and enjoy your week ! Lucky Days : Sunday and Monday ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
CAPRICORN (22 Dec-20 Jan) . You are not very comfortable at your workplace but due to help of your colleagues, the scene won’t spoil further. Health care will be essential part of the week. There can be argument with your spouse. There can be someone at your workplace who can be disturbing your focus at work. Use magical words rather than using any harsh words. Lucky Days : Saturday and Sunday ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
AQUARIUS (21 Jan-19 Feb) Time to have a new car or house . Your inclination towards unorthodox way of life will be more. A long journey is in your card. Don’t avoid even minor health issue and visit your family doctor even for small issues. Professional growth after hard work is assured. You wont be happy with your kid’s behavior. Safe driving is advised. Lucky Days : Sunday and Monday ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
PISCES (20 Feb-20 Mar) You are doing good in your profession and your enemies won’t be able to overcome it. Sudden gain Is seen in your card this week. Avoid any secret relationship or take extra care as this can cause defame in your society. You are either away from your own kids or some bad relation is predicted in this week. Lucky Days : Thursday and Wednesday
Supporting Canada's Seniors BRAMPTON, ON- Yesterday, Kyle Seeback, Member of Parliament for Brampton West, hosted a Seniors’ Town hall at St. Bartholomew's United Church to discuss matter of importance to local seniors in Brampton. There was an excellent turn out with seniors gathering from various corners of Brampton. All were eager to ask MP Seeback questions of their own. "I always look forward to my town hall meetings with our Seniors. It is our seniors who built this great country", commented MP Seeback. "It is important to hear from them about issues that matter to them". T hr ough our Gover nment’ s Economic Action Plan we’ve initiated a series of measures aimed at helping Canadian seniors enjoy their later years with dignity. One of the first initiatives our Government put forward in 2006 was to allow senior couples the freedom to split their pension income. By allowing a senior to split their pension with their spouse or partner, we lower the taxes that they are required to pay and allow them to keep more of their money. Nearly six years after first being implemented, millions of pensioners have been able to save hundreds or even thousands of dollars per year. We also made changes to the Age Credit—increasing it not once but twice—growing the amount of income that seniors can earn without incurring tax consequences. In 2006, we increased this amount by $1000 and in 2009 we increased it again by an additional $1000. The result of these and other similar initiatives means that a single senior can now earn up to $19,542 and a senior couple can earn up to $39,084 before having to pay federal income tax. Since 2006, our Government has been able to take 380,000 seniors off of the tax rolls, letting seniors keep more of their hard earned money.
September 05, 2013
Polio breaks out amid militant threats PESHAWAR: Syed Wali desperately wants to immunise his three young children against polio but fears the militants who banned the vaccine from this remote area in northwest Pakistan will catch him if he tries to smuggle it in. ''I can afford to bring the vaccine for my children, but what answer will I give the Taliban if they recover the vaccine bag from my possession?'' Wali asked. Wali's fears are shared by many in the North Waziristan tribal area as health authorities recently confirmed five new polio cases there and suspect there are many more. It's one of a series of outbreaks this year in parts of the country where security threats have kept out vaccination teams. Officials worry these outbreaks — inflamed by militant threats and attacks on vaccination teams — could worsen and spread to other parts of Pakistan, especially since the country is entering the high season for virus transmission. ''It's not like a pot of boiling water where you see bubbles coming from everywhere, but there is steam coming out from specific areas,'' said Dr Elias Durry, emergency coordinator for polio eradication in Pakistan for the World Health Organisation. ''Our fear is that the virus from these areas can go out and seriously jeopardise the success in fighting polio that has been achieved in the past couple of years.'' Pakistan — one of only three countries left where polio is endemic — had 198 confirmed cases in 2011, the highest number of any nation in the world. Pakistan was able to bring that number down to 58 in 2012 through a vaccination program that is supported by the United Nations. But the militant threats could reverse that progress. There have been 27 confirmed polio cases in Pakistan so far this year — the third highest total in the world after Somalia and Nigeria. Seventeen of them have occurred in the country's semiautonomous tribal region, the main sanctuary for Taliban and Al Qaeda
militants, Durry said. Two powerful Pakistani Taliban militants have banned vaccinators from North and South Waziristan over roughly the past year because of their opposition to US drone strikes. Gunmen have also killed over a dozen vaccination workers and police guards in different areas of the country. Many suspect the Taliban of carrying out the murders, although the group has denied the allegation. Militants have claimed the vaccine is meant to sterilise Muslim children and have accused health workers of being US spies. The allegation gained traction after the CIA used a Pakistani doctor to try to confirm the presence of Osama bin Laden in 2011 under the guise of an immunisation program. The threats have left residents like the shopkeeper Wali, who lives in the town of Miramshah, with the difficult decision of whether to defy the militants by smuggling the vaccine in for his children from
Peshawar. Some families couldn't afford to make the six-hour journey to get the vaccine from Peshawar, even if they wanted to take the risk. Health workers have stationed themselves at two checkpoints protected by the army in North Waziristan, where they are vaccinating children riding by in vehicles. But many people are afraid the militants will find out if they vaccinate their children at the checkpoints. The polio virus, which usually infects children in unsanitary conditions, attacks the nerves and can kill or paralyse. It can spread widely and unnoticed before it starts crippling children. On average, about one in 200 cases will result in paralysis. Durry, the WHO official, said authorities have confirmed five polio cases in North Waziristan and three others in the nearby district of Bannu this year. The five cases in North Waziristan were confirmed since the beginning of August, two of them
on Wednesday, said a local health official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to talk to the media. Officials are still investigating 20 suspected cases, he said. There have been a total of 12 confirmed cases since the militant ban, the official said. Tribal elders sent to ask the militants to change their minds haven't been successful, said Jahan Mir, a senior government health official in Miramshah. There also have been confirmed polio cases this year in the Khyber tribal area and the provinces of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh and Punjab, Durry said. Health officials had planned to immunise 34 million children across the country, but 1.5 million have not received the vaccine because of security threats, he said.
September 05, 2013
04 Pakistani contractors resume Nato oil supplies to Afghanistan
Steep fall in Punjab’s cotton production flowering.
KARACHI: The first cotton production report for the season 2013-14 has shown a huge shortfall in Punjab which produces around 80 per cent of the country’s crop.
PESHAWAR: Overland oil supplies to Nato troops in Afghanistan resumed through Pakistan on Wednesday with stepped up security after a four-month hiatus due to attacks, Pakistani officials said. Pakistani contractors stopped driving oil supplies from Karachi on the Arabian Sea to the Torkham crossing on the Afghan border in June due to frequent attacks on their vehicles. “We resumed these supplies from today after hiring the services of a private firm, which will provide security to
our convoys from Karachi to local intelligence official also Torkham,” contractor Azad confirmed resumption of Khan Afridi told AFP. supplies. He said contractors suspended supplies after the government refused to provide them with extra security.
Pakistan is a key transit route for the Nato mission in landlocked Afghanistan.
From November 2011 to July 2012, Pakistan shut its Four oil tankers had now Afghan border to all overland reached the border town and Nato traffic after US air raids were undergoing security killed 24 Pakistani troops. clearance, Afridi said. Pakistan and the United Paramilitary Frontier Corps States have signed a deal troops also escorted the allowing Nato convoys to travel into Afghanistan until tankers to the border. the end of 2015. A local administration official, Miraj Khan, and a
This has caused a great concern among stakeholders, including spinners and value -added textile sector. A jointly compiled report of phutti (seed cotton) arrival by Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association (PCGA), All-Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma) and Karachi Cotton Association disclosed a steep fall of up to 33.41pc in cotton production in Punjab. According to these figures, Punjab has produced 0.644 million bales up to Sept 1 as compared to 0.968 million bales produced in the same period last year, thereby showing a steep fall of around 33.41pc in cotton production. A huge shortfall of up to 0.323 million bales at the outset of the current season in Punjab is not a good sign, observed cotton analysts amid fears that it would have farreaching consequences on entire economy of the country. The excessive heat-wave prior to the start of monsoon rains in Punjab is reported to have retarded growth of cotton plants which could not produce sufficient cotton balls that could result in healthy
However, it is highly encouraging that raw cotton production in Sindh during the period under review was highly encouraging which helped cover up the gap created by the short crop in Punjab. Though higher cotton production in Sindh managed to offset the wide gap created by a huge shortfall in Punjab but cotton analysts believe that in case this tendency continues, it will not be possible even to meet downward revised cotton production target at 12.65 million bales recently set by the Cotton Crop Assessment Committee (CCAC). A remarkably high cotton production, however, has been recorded by Sindh at 1.081 million bales or 41.63pc higher over the corresponding period of last year when production stood at 0.764 million bales. This means that Sindh produced around 0.318 million more bales this season over the previous year. As a result of higher production of cotton in Sindh, country’s overall production remained close to previous year. The total production of the country stood at 1.725 million bales or 0.31pc short over the same period last year when production stood at 1.731 million bales. The phutti (seed cotton) flow during this period stood at 1.725 million bales as against 1.731 million bales recorded in the same period last year, thereby showing a shortfall of 5,392 bales.
Pakistan keen to strengthen ties with Afghanistan: Aziz contributions, majorly in the form of developments in the education, health and infrastructure sectors in Afghanistan. "We are keen on working with Afghanistan as a conduit for energy supply," Aziz stated, in support of his statement that the prime minister had clearly underlined the government's priority in terms of energy in both long and short terms. However, the adviser was also insistent on the need for further international support in order to help stabalise Afghanistan. Referring to Pakistan's war-torn neighbor, Aziz said that Pakistan had been host to one of the largest refugee populations for over three decades. He said that three million refugees still live in Pakistan, with only 1.6 million of them registered. He added that Pakistan had signed the Tripartite Agreement, extending the stay of the refugees in the country until coming December.
Sartaj Aziz, the adviser to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on National Security and Foreign Affairs, assured the international community on Wednesday of Pakistan’s sincere desire to work with Afghanistan. While addressing a seminar organized by the East West Institute “Afghanistan Reconnected: Linking energy suppliers to consumers in Asia”, the Adviser insisted that a peaceful, stable and prosperous Afghanistan is in Pakistan's vital national interest. He added that the two neighbouring countries are committed to working together on various energy and connectivity projects, to strengthen trade ties under the Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA).
In support of his statement, the Foreign Affairs Adviser said that Pakistan had been invited by Afghanistan to jointly invest in the Kunar Hydro Power project, which will produce 1500 megawatts of electricity to be shared between the two countries.
potentials in terms of natural resources, which if tapped efficiently can yield benefits to the entire region and Afghanistan occupies an important position in the region, straddling Central, West and South Asia," he declared.
He added that the design and feasibility of the project had been finalized.
He added that its ideal location allows it to connect to energy suppliers and users in its immediate neighborhood and beyond.
He also said that the two countries would pursue the finalization of the 170 kilometre Torkham-Jalalabad rail with World Bank, which will connect Peshawar with Jalalabad. Aziz added that they were also working on the 11.5 kilometre Chaman-Spinbolduk rail, which will ultimately connect Chaman with Kandahar province. "Our region is blessed with immense
Building on the statement, Aziz talked about the Afghanistan, Pakistan and India gas pipeline project (TAPI)and Central Asia South Asia (CASA-1000), which are two major examples of Afghanistan acting as a "connector" in the region. Despite limited resources and capabilities, Pakistan has been continually providing support to its neighbor in the form of
Finally, with regards to the impending withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan in 2014, the Adviser was of the opinion that a successful security transition between Nato troops followed by assumption of full responsiblity by the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) and Afghan National Army (ANA) would go a long way to building stability, which would prepare the way for successful pursuit of more development projects. Afghanistan has been subject to terrorism and Taliban attacks for over a decade. These have increased as Nato countries are in the process of withdrawing their 130,000 troops ahead of the 2014 deadline.
September 05, 2013
SPORTS Canada’s pride the Stanley Cup is the championship trophy awarded annually to the National Ice Hockey League (NHL) playoff winner after the conclusion of the Stanley Cup Finals every year. Originally commissioned in 1892 as the Dominion (Ice) Hockey Challenge Cup, the trophy is named after Lord Stanley of Preston, the then Governor General of Canada, who awarded it to Canada's top-ranking amateur ice hockey club, which the entire Stanley family supported, with their sons and daughters playing and promoting the game.
Challenge Cup", the authenticated "Presentation Cup", and the "Replica Cup" at the Hall of Fame. The NHL has maintained effective control over both the trophy itself and its associated trademarks.
piece Cup was designed with a five-band barrel which could contain 13 winning teams per band. To prevent the Stanley Cup from growing, when the bottom band is full, the oldest band is removed and preserved in
Since the 1914–15 season, the Cup has been won a combined 95 times by 18 active NHL teams and five defunct teams. Prior to that, the challenge cup was held by nine different teams. The Montreal Canadiens have won the Cup a record 24 times and are currently the last Canadianbased team in the NHL to win the cup after winning it in 1993. In its long history the Stanley Cup was not awarded in 1919 because of a Spanish flu epidemic, and in 2005, as a consequence of the NHL lockout.
The first Cup was awarded in 1893 to Montreal HC. In 1915, the two professional ice hockey organizations, the National Hockey Association (NHA) and the Pacific Coast Hockey Association (PCHA), reached a gentlemen's agreement in which their respective champions would face each other for the Stanley Cup. After a series of league mergers and folds, the Stanley "Presentation Cup" was established as the de facto championship trophy of the NHL in 1926 and then the de jure NHL championship prize in 1947.
Nevertheless, the NHL does not actually own the trophy, but instead uses it by agreement with the two Trustees of the Cup.
There are actually three Stanley Cups: the original bowl of the "Dominion Hockey
However in 1958 the modern one-
BRAMPTON, ON- Yesterday, Kyle Seeback, Member of Parliament for Brampton West, hosted a Seniors’ Town hall at St. Bartholomew's United Church to discuss matter of importance to local seniors in Brampton.
One of the first initiatives our Government put forward in 2006 was to allow senior couples
the Hockey Hall of Fame, and a new blank band added to the bottom. Over the years it has been referred to as The Cup, Lord Stanley's Cup, The Holy Grail, or facetiously (chiefly by sportswriters) as Lord allowing a senior to split their pension with their spouse or partner, we lower the taxes that they
Today every year The Stanley Cup travels all around Canada so that fans along with their families and various hockey leagues all could have a closer feel and get photographed with this prestigious cup. Love for this sport and The Stanley Cup could be seen and felt in everyone’s eyes standing in long line ups. As Canadians all around the world are known for their Love towards this sport and rightly so as well.
of their money. Nearly six years after first being implemented, millions of pensioners have been able to save hundreds or even thousands of dollars per year. We also made changes to the Age Credit— increasing it not once but twice—growing the amount of income that seniors can earn without incurring tax consequences. In 2006, we increased this amount by $1000 and in 2009 we increased it again by an additional $1000.
There was an excellent turn out with seniors gathering from various corners of Brampton. All were eager to ask MP Seeback questions of their own. “I always look forward to my town hall meetings with our Seniors. It is our seniors who built this great country”, commented MP Seeback. “It is important to hear from them about issues that matter to them”. Through our Government’s Economic Action Plan we’ve initiated a series of measures aimed at helping Canadian seniors enjoy their later years with dignity.
Stanley's Mug. The Stanley Cup is surrounded by many traditions, the oldest of which is the celebratory drinking of champagne out of the cup by the winning team each year.
The result of these and other similar initiatives means that a single senior can now earn up to $19,542 and a senior couple can earn up to $39,084 before having to pay federal income tax. Since 2006, our Government has been able to take 380,000 seniors off of the tax rolls, letting seniors keep more of their hard earned money. the freedom to split their pension income. By
are required to pay and allow them to keep more
Zimbabwe struggle in reply to Pakistan's 249 **HARARE: Zimbabwe lost three top order The pair played both pace and spin with ease. wickets in reply to Pakistan's first innings score of Masakadza, known for his big shots, played cautiously but was quick to heave an over-pitched 249 on the second day of the first Tets in Harare.
Metro Punjabi Sports Club of Canada would be hosting its annual Kabaddi Cup @ Powerade Centre in Brampton - Onatrio Canada. For more info please call Balraj Singh Cheema 416-399-
3000 or visit them at www.metropunjabisports.com. (Photos by Akbar Warris - be nice and ask before using).
Junaid Khan accounted for openers Tino Maywoyo and Vusi Sibanda while spin wizard snapped up the inform Hamilton Masakadza to leave Zimbabwe on 68/3 and on the back foot after lunch.Earlier, Opener Vusi Sibanda and captain Hamilton Masakadza added 42 runs for the unbroken second wicket Wednesday as Zimbabwe reached 67-1 at lunch on the second day of the first Test in reply to Pakistan's first innings score of 249.
delivery from off-spinner Saeed Ajmal for the first six of the Zimbabwe innings. Mawoyo was dismissed for 13 by left-arm pace bowler Junaid Khan but some resolute batting denied the visiting side another wicket.Mawoyo played tentatively and edged an outgoing delivery for wicketkeeper Adnan Akmal to take a simple catch.
Earlier, Pakistan failed to add to its overnight score of 249-9 as Ajmal was bowled by pace bowler Tendai Chatara for 49, one short of his Sibanda was batting on 30 off 74 deliveries career-best score of 50. Pakistan won a preceding with six fours while Masakadza was on 19 off 44 three-game one-day series 2-1 and a two-game balls with two fours and a six as the home team Twenty20 series 2-0. steadied the innings after the early dismissal of Tino Mawoyo.
September 05, 2013
Toronto film festival promises WikiLeaks 'full story' OTTAWA: North America's largest film festival opens Thursday with a drama about real life WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, promising the “full story” behind the whistleblower website.
uniquely emotive medium,” he told AFP. “It's got so many tools at its disposal: the power of the image, the size of the image, the communal way we watch movies, music, all of these things can combine to
ever let you rest on one simple impression of him.” The film festival, which gets underway on September 5 and runs through
“The Fifth Estate” by director Bill Condon is based on a book by Assange's once-trusted lieutenant and former WikiLeaks spokesman Daniel DomscheitBerg, about events leading to the largest secrets leak in American history in 2010.
Assange meanwhile remains holed up at the Ecuador embassy in London after claiming asylum from that country a year ago to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning over allegations of sexual assault against two women. “It's not that common for a feature film, particularly a Hollywood feature film, to deal with a story that is so current in the news,” commented festival boss Cameron Bailey. “So it's interesting to see.””Film is a
“It's far more than any news article or broadcast news could ever give you. It really gives you the feeling of transformation that this man underwent... to become a figure of inspiration for a country that he felt needed it,” said Bailey. “I don't think a simple recounting of the facts of Mandela's life is enough to give you the power of the emotion that this film does,” he said. “You can only get that through fiction, whether in books or film.”
Its world premiere comes just weeks after soldier Chelsea Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison for sending 700,000 documents - military war logs and US diplomatic cables - to WikiLeaks, which published them. Manning, who has asked to be recognized as a woman following his trial, was arrested in 2010 while serving as a junior intelligence analyst at a US base near Baghdad. The young soldier has been hailed by supporters as a hero for exposing what they see as US abuses in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but denounced by prosecutors as a traitor who put country and comrades at risk.
Freedom,” starring British actor Idris Elba as the legendary South African freedom fighter and based on his autobiography.
Canadian filmmaker Atom Egoyan will also screen his “Devil's Knot” about Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley Jr. and Jason Baldwin. The three men were tried and convicted in 1994 of the murders of three boys in West Memphis, Arkansas. Prosecutors alleged the children were killed as part of a satanic ritual. really make us feel something deeply or reveal a deeper truth.””That can be a good thing in that sometimes dry news reporting doesn't give you the full story... Feeling sympathetic (or not) toward a central character can also influence your opinion on events or what they mean. “I think this film is just one more way to understand Julian Assange and WikiLeaks,” Bailey said. “The film does not come down hard on one side or another but it tries to make audiences understand all of the elements that are at play." “It doesn't invite you to like or hate Assange. He's neither a hero nor a villain, he's a complex person and to its credit the film shows you that complexity. It doesn't
September 15, will showcase 366 feature films, including 146 world premieres. Though it does not award a jury prize like at Cannes or Venice, the Toronto film festival has traditionally been a key event for Oscar-conscious studios and distributors, and attracts hundreds of filmmakers and actors to its red carpet. This year's lineup includes celebrities such as Meryl Streep, Colin Firth, Julia Roberts, Kate Winslet and Jennifer Aniston. In addition to Condon's latest title, the festival will showcase several stories ripped from the headlines, such as Justin Chadwick's “Mandela: Long Walk to
But new forensic evidence presented in 2011 led them to reach a deal with prosecutors which allowed them to assert their innocence while acknowledging that prosecutors had enough evidence to convict them. They were released after having spent 18 years in prison. Several documentaries, including Amy Berg's documentary “West of Memphis,”which premiered at last year's Toronto film festival, have been made about the case. Egoyan is the first to turn it into a feature film.
Ron Howard's new test of survival in F1 racing film His box office hit was based on the true story of three US astronauts orbiting the Earth in a crippled space capsule, with that unforgettable line: “Houston, we have a problem.”Whether a comedy, drama or true story, “you're always looking for the test, how are the characters being tested and I'm always interested in seeing how people reach for something that is really, really challenging,” Howard says.
PARIS: Racing around the track at breakneck speed, Formula One drivers remind film-maker Ron Howard of combat pilots, or even gladiators. His new movie “Rush” is about the death-defying thrill of F1 racing and the legendary rivalry between Austrian driver Niki Lauda and Britain's James Hunt in 1976. “The closer you are to death, the more alive you feel,” says the flamboyant Hunt, played by Chris Hemsworth of action hero “Thor” fame. For the film's director, it's almost like they're going to war. “At the beginning of every year they would have a drivers' meeting... and a number of people from that time (1970s) told me that you would look around the room and know that a couple of those faces were not going to make it, weren't going to live through the year,” says Howard in a recent interview in Paris. “And that's what combat pilots talk about.”The 59year-old Hollywood director, bearded and youthful-looking in his usual baseball cap, admits he likes stories where the characters take life to the edge, “putting themselves on the line” - like in “Apollo 13”.
“Rush” is set in what he calls the “recklessness” of 1970s F1 racing which was “a golden age for fans, because a lot of people were dying, which made it more gladiatorial and so the danger was with the audience and the fans every lap. ”The film captures the almost ghoulish fascination with racing and the tension on the track in recreating the famous fiery crash of Niki Lauda - played by multi-lingual German actor Daniel Bruehl (“Good-by Lenin”, “Inglourious Basterds”). Lauda was left disfigured from severe burns but he went on to become an amazing comeback Grand Prix champion. Howard's next project “In the Heart of the Sea” tells the tale of the whaleship Essex in 1820 which was attacked by a sperm whale leaving the crew adrift for 90 days, resorting to cannibalism to stay alive. “It's the events that inspired Herman Melville to write 'Moby Dick' 30 years later.... When I learned about it, and their survival story which is both tragic and heroic, really remarkable, I felt like it was a very original kind of story to tackle.” 'Feels like emotional life or death' Howard is a son of Hollywood having started as a child actor in popular US television sitcoms, first as the young boy Opie on “The Andy Griffith Show” and then teenager Richie on “Happy Days”, and what he wants is to entertain.
“I try to choose movies where I think I understand something, but also make me curious enough that I want to learn, and then offer back to audiences in an entertaining way what I think I've come to realise.”He made his first movie in 1977, another car flick “Grand Theft Auto”, and won a directing Oscar for the 2001 film “A Beautiful Mind”. His credits also include “Cocoon”, “Frost/Nixon”, and the screen adaptations of Dan Brown's bestsellers “The Da Vinci Code” and “Angels & Demons”. He shrugs and smiles - a glimmer of the boyish charm that endeared him to TV audiences - when asked about his rare success story, not the stereotypical child actor who grows up to be a disillusioned adult hooked on drugs. He insists he's not alone and points to Jodie Foster. “She's certainly a very successful child actor who's had a very rich adult career. ”He then recalls how he was encouraged to pursue directing by iconic actor Henry Fonda, whom he worked with “in the 70s on a television series that was a complete disaster.” But Fonda gave him some advice. “He said to me: 'If you don't make creative decisions, where you feel you're risking your career, every 18 months or two years, you're playing it too safe, and you're not going to grow as an artist, whether you are in front of the camera or behind the camera'.” ”But you asked me earlier about my interest in stories that are about risk, there's a lot of emotional risk in being involved in a high-profile way in movies and television... It's nothing like Formula One or going to the moon... but it's your life's work and it sometimes feels like it's emotional life or death...,” Howard tells AFP as he prepares for a screening of “Rush” at the Toronto film festival on September 8 and its general release later this month.
September 05, 2013
Agatha Christie detective Poirot to return in new novel
LONDON: Agatha Christie's mustachioed detective Hercule Poirot is to be resurrected in a new novel nearly 40 years after his last adventures, it was announced on Wednesday. British crime writer Sophie Hannah has been commissioned to write the as yet untitled book, the first continuation novel in Christie's celebrated series about the Belgian sleuth. The project has the support of the Christie family. The book is due to be published next September, 94 years after Poirot first appeared in Christie's debut novel “The Mysterious Affair at Styles”, publisher HarperCollins announced in a joint statement with Acorn Productions, which manages Christie's rights.
Hannah said it was Christie, who died in 1974, who had made her “fall in love with mystery fiction” at the age of 13. “It is almost impossible to put into words how honoured I am to have been entrusted with this amazing project,” she said. “It was Christie's brilliant plotting and deep understanding of the human psyche that shaped my identity as a crime writer.”She added that she hopes to “create a puzzle that will confound and frustrate the incomparable Hercule Poirot for at least a good few chapters”. Hannah is the author of eight psychological thrillers as well as eight volumes of poetry. Two of her novels have
been adapted for television. Along with Miss Marple, the diminutive Poirot is one of Christie's bestloved characters. Christie's grandson Mathew Prichard said it was “pure serendipity” that Hannah was commissioned to write the book, as her agent approached the publisher with the idea in the same week that the family began discussing a new Christie novel. “Her idea for a plotline was so compelling and her passion for my grandmother's work so strong, that we felt that the time was right for a new Christie to be written,” he said.
billion books which have been adapted countless times for the stage and screen. Her play “The Mousetrap” is the longest-running show in history, having had more than 25,000 performances since it opened in London 61 years ago. Poirot is not the first famous character to be revived after their creator's death. Sebastian Faulks, Jeffery Deaver and William Boyd have all penned continuation novels for Ian Fleming's James Bond series, while Faulks is due to publish a new book about PG Woodhouse's Jeeves and Wooster in November.
Christie has sold more than two
Matt Damon, Michael Douglas to present at Emmys LOS ANGELES: Matt Damon and Michael Douglas won't just be competing for an Emmy. They'll be handing one out, too. Emmys producers announced the pair as this year's first presenters Tuesday. Damon and Douglas are both nominated for outstanding lead actor in a miniseries or movie for "Behind the Candelabra. " The HBO biopic about pianist Liberace's affair with Scott Thorson has 15 nominations in all. Both men have previously been up for Emmys four times. They were last nominated as outstanding guest star in a comedy series. Damon was nominated for the award for "30 Rock" in 2011, while Douglas was nominated in 2002 for "Will & Grace."
VENICE: The Venice Film Festival got off to an explosive start on Wednesday with the premiere of 3D space movie "Gravity", teaming George Clooney and Sandra Bullock as astronauts imperiled by a botched Russian missile shot - Reuters.
The 65th Primetime Emmy Awards will air live Sept. 22 from the Nokia Theatre. Neil Patrick Harris is the host.
September 05, 2013
Peaks can portray soft image of Pakistan, say mountaineers
ISLAMABAD: Kazuya Hiraide, Japanese ski mountaineer and mountain climber, on Wednesday said that Pakistan's soft image could be portrayed by properly promoting its natural beauty. Hiraide, who has filmed several less explored peaks of Pakistan, is on a visit to the country these days along with his fellow climber Ms Kei Taniguchi. The two mountaineers have also climbed
several highest peaks of Pakistan, including Golden Peak, G-1 and G-2. This year they focused on Diran and Shispa peaks from the south east side. Hiraide said that Pakistan had the world's most spectacular mountains and if the natural beauty of these peaks was promoted, the world would have a soft image of this land. “Mountaineering is a risky task but those having passion for it don't bother for
security concerns or other risks,” Ms Kei said.
surely come here time and again to conquer the peaks,” Kei said.
Since 2004, the two climbers have been focusing on different peaks, including the popular ones. But this year, they said, “they want to explore the less known peaks. Now we are also planning to scale the Shispa peak.”
Commenting on the support of local people in the mountains, the climbers said that they got sufficient support from the locals as part of their security and guidance.
“Mountains in Pakistan compel the climbers to come here despite some risks. And those, who visit this country once, will
“We climbed on Indian Peaks, but found the Pakistani peaks more interesting,” they said.
Nisar says Karachi ‘operation’ to start in two days Rangers would lead the operation while KARACHI: Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan announced Wednesday police and the federal and provincial that the paramilitary Rangers force would intelligence agencies would support them. He start a targeted operation against criminal said. gangs and terrorists in Karachi in the next “one to two days”. He said the prime minister had held detailed meetings with top government A committee led by the provincial chief officials and heads of law enforcement minister would “manage, administer and control” the operation, he said, however he emphasised on calling it a targeted action or "exercise" rather than an operation.
paramilitary force in Karachi. “We have The interior minister said orders had been spoken to Rangers officials and have been issued to revamp the provincial police force informed of deficiencies in the system. which has come under intense criticism for Measures would soon be taken to fill these poor performance. gaps,” he said. “We have ordered and authorised the IGP Nisar said at least one police station in to revamp the police… and not only identify every district of the city would be assigned as weaknesses but also elements in its ranks which are in cahoots with terrorists and criminals. These individuals should not only be terminated from duty but also arrested,” he said.
The interior minister, flanked by Governor Sindh Dr Ishratul Ibad and Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah, was speaking to media representatives following a special session of the federal cabinet in Karachi chaired by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to formulate a strategy to restore peace in the provincial capital. Earlier during the cabinet session, the prime minister had also stressed on calling it a “concerted campaign” against lawlessness and terrorism in the city rather than an operation. Sharif expressed concern at the deteriorating law and order situation, authorities, and it was decided at the cabinet although he ruled out a possibility of meeting that the Rangers force would be given special prosecution powers to aid them deploying military troops in the metropolis. in acting against miscreants. The Sindh police came under intense A second committee would be formed criticism during the session for the ‘political comprising of federal minister Zahid Hamid, recruitments’ in its ranks. The prime minister Farogh Naseem of the Muttahida Qaumi said that the common man had lost faith in Movement, and the prosecutor general to the police force. look at the legal aspect.
An “outer monitoring committee” comprising of members of the civil society and the media will also be formed to monitor the overall operation. “Members of this committee will be honest members of the civil society and notable representatives of the media who will identify if any wrongful arrests are made,” said Nisar. The interior minister also pointed out the existence of 4 million unregistered mobile phone SIMs which he said aided terrorists a focal police station where Rangers would and criminals in carrying out their activities. be made part of investigations into the ‘four heinous crimes. He said cellular companies would be forced to follow clear cut guidelines to A smaller operational committee, headed ensure the sale of SIMs without proper by DG Rangers Sindh Maj-Gen Rizwan registration. Akhtar and comprising the Inspector General of Sindh Police and representatives of —With reporting by Asif Mahmood intelligence agencies, would meet almost daily to monitor the operational activities.
Announcing the details of the plan, Nisar Nisar said the committee would propose The interior minister said the first meeting told reporters that targeted action would be taken against criminals involved in the “four legal recommendations for the law of of the committee would be called as soon as heinous crimes of target-killing, kidnapping, evidence and other provisions to give grant he returns to Islamabad. investigation and prosecution powers to the extortion and terrorism”.
September 05, 2013
Seoul parliament votes for arrest of leftist lawmaker
Experimental Lakes Area to Remain Open Ontario Government Commits $2 million per year to foster Research and Innovation Ontario will commit up to $2 million per year to keep the Experimental Lakes Area open - the only fresh water research facility of its kind in the world - a decision that will see that the important research conducted there can continue benefit the world. The Experimental Lakes Area is a freshwater research facility in Northwestern Ontario specializing in pollution reduction strategies, climate change,
and protection of freshwater ecosystems. This unique facility in Ontario attracts scientists from around the world while conducting i mportant research which informs our pollution reduction strategies, our understanding of climate change and how we can protect our lakes and rivers right here in Ontario, across the country and the entire globe. This investment is part of the Ontario government's plan to foster research and innovation and create jobs in Ontario.
Afghan security death toll 'unsustainable': Nato commander SEOUL: South Korea's parliament on Wednesday approved the arrest of a leftist lawmaker accused of plotting an armed insurrection in support of Pyongyang. In a rare show of cooperation, rival political parties joined forces to pass a motion allowing the arrest of sitting United Progress Party (UPP) legislator Lee Seok-Ki on charges of sedition. Of the 289 lawmakers who took part in the vote, 258 said yes, 14 said no, 11 abstained and six other votes were nullified. Hundreds of police, including riot officers carrying shields, stood guard outside the National Assembly as the vote was under way, with riot vans forming a blockade across access roads and a water canon atop an armoured vehicle. About 200 members of the minor opposition UPP staged a sitdown protest on the steps leading to the doors of the assembly building, chanting slogans accusing the National Intelligence Service (NIS) of fabricating the charges.
but steps towards independence, peace and democracy will never falter,” Lee told parliament. As a lawmaker, Lee would ordinarily be immune from arrest while the assembly is in session, meaning his detention was subject to parliamentary consent. His arrest was not expected immediately as parliament must first complete the necessary documentary procedures. The request for arrest approval was made by the government, and the main opposition Democratic Party had earlier indicated it would support the ruling conservatives in passing the motion. “We'll never tolerate anyone who is willing to fight on the side of the enemy in the event of a war,” K i m H a n -G i l , he ad o f t h e Democratic Party, said. The NIS last Wednesday raided UPP party offices and arrested three of Lee's supporters on charges of seeking to instigate an armed insurrection in support of North Korea.
Justice Minister Hwang KyoAhn told lawmakers that in May Lee — believing war with the North was imminent — told his secretive leftist group to prepare for attacks on South Korea's communication lines and railways.
Lee reacted by describing the sedition charges as “sheer fabrication” and an attempt by the NIS to “block progressive and democratic forces”.
Lee replied that he was the victim of a “savage and irrational witch hunt” led by the country's secret police and fanned by the conservative news media.
Sedition charges have been extremely rare since South Korea introduced democratic elections in the late 1980s, and political analysts suggested the timing of the NIS action was likely to raise eyebrows.
A statement from the UPP denounced what it called a joint campaign by the presidential Blue House and the NIS to cloud the issue of an election-rigging scandal that has spawned large candle-light street protests in Seoul in recent weeks. The scandal has seen the arrest of former NIS head Won Sei-Hoon for allegedly ordering agents to run an online smear campaign against opposition presidential candidate Moon Jae-In of the Democratic Party. Moon was narrowly beaten in the December poll by the ruling party candidate Park Geun-Hye. It is not the first time Lee has faced subversion charges. He was arrested in 2002 and sentenced to two and a half years for working with an underground political party in the 1990s. He received a presidential pardon later in the same year. It remains to be seen whether the NIS has secured solid evidence to make charges stand up in court. The service, formerly known as the Korea Central Intelligence Agency, was tainted by many cases of human rights abuse under the country's former authoritarian government. South Korea is still technically at war with the North, as the Korean War ended in a ceasefire in 1953 rather than a peace treaty.
LONDON: The Nato commander in Afghanistan has warned that the current casualty rates suffered by the Afghan army and police force are “unsustainable”, in an interview published in Tuesday's Guardian. US General Joseph Dunford told the paper that Afghan security forces may need five more years of western support before being able to take over full responsibility. “I view it as serious, and so do all the commanders,” Dunford said of the toll, which has often hit 100 per week. “I'm not assuming that those casualties are sustainable.”The general said “time is going to tell” whether Nato had been right to switch in June from playing a combat role to a “train, advise, assist”operation. “I don't think you can tell that today,” he added. US President Barack Obama has promised that Afghans will take full responsibility for their security by the end of 2014, although some Nato troops will remain to provide training. Dunford claimed that some of these soldiers may be required until 2018. “I look at Afghan security forces development as really kind of three to five years,” he explained. “I'm just talking about before they get to the standard where they may not need assistance and support any more.” He also suggested that in fulfilling its “assist” role, Nato may be required to provide combat support. In the latest wave of violence, Taliban suicide bombers and gunmen dressed as Afghan police attacked a US base near the Pakistani border on Monday and set dozens of parked Nato supply vehicles ablaze. All three attackers were shot dead by helicopter gunships during the assault on the base in Nangarhar province, but no member of the US-led Nato mission was killed. Afghanistan's 350,000-strong security forces are suffering a steep rise in attacks as the Nato mission winds down, with police and army casualties said to have increased by 15-20 per cent since 2011.
“They may jail me for a while
Al Qaeda set up anti-drone cells, secret US documents show: Post WASHINGTON: Al Qaeda's leaders have set up cells of engineers to try to shoot down, disable or hijack US drones, The Washington Post reported late Tuesday citing top-secret US intelligence documents. The Al Qaeda leadership is “hoping to exploit the technological vulnerabilities of a weapons system that has inflicted huge losses against the terrorist network,” the Post said online. “Although there is no evidence that Al Qaeda has forced a drone crash or successfully interfered with flight operations, US intelligence officials have closely tracked the group's persistent efforts to develop a counterdrone strategy since 2010,” the report
said, citing the secret documents. The Al Qaeda commanders are keen to achieve “a technological breakthrough that could curb the US drone campaign, which has killed an estimated 3,000 people over the past decade,” the Post reported. Drone strikes have forced Al Qaeda operatives to limit their movements in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia and other places. They have also taken a toll among civilians in those countries, something that has fueled anti-US sentiment.
September 05, 2013
Putin demands 'convincing' proof of Syria chemical attack MOSCOW: President Vladimir Putin Wednesday suggested Russia could approve military strikes against the Syrian regime if the West presented watertight evidence of chemical weapons crimes but warned the use of force without UN approval would be an “aggression”.
force against another sovereign and independent state are unacceptable and cannot be qualified as anything other than aggression,” Putin said. “When questions linked to the use of force are decided outside the UN Security Council then the danger appears that such illegal decisions can be used against
circumstances of the attack, which some Russian officials have previously blamed on rebels seeking to discredit the regime.
with any logic” for the Syrian regime to have used chemical weapons at a time when it is on a military offensive.
“If there is evidence that chemical weapons were used, and by the regular army,... then this evidence must be presented to the UN Security Council. And it must be convincing,” Putin said.
Putin appeared to acknowledge he had seen the “horrific images” posted on the Internet that allegedly show children killed in the chemical attack outside Damascus.
In an interview with state-run Channel One television ahead of the G20 summit in Saint Petersburg this week, Putin sought to adopt a more conciliatory position on the Syria crisis which had widened the rift between Russia and the West.
“But the question is, who did what and who is guilty,” Putin said, saying that some believed that the pictures were a montage by the radical Islamist rebels fighting Assad. Putin confirmed that Russia had delivered some components of sophisticated S-300 missile systems to Syria but revealed for the first time deliveries had now been halted.
Yet he still appeared unconvinced by US assertions that the Syrian regime was behind a chemical attack outside Damascus on August 21 that left hundreds dead and said the West had to present “convincing” evidence to the UN Security Council.
“We have delivered separate components but the whole delivery has not been completed and for the moment we have suspended it,” Putin said, without specifying the reason for halting the deliveries.
Asked whether Russia would agree with US-led military strikes if it was proven that the Syrian regime had carried out the chemical attack, Putin replied: “I do not exclude that.” But he said it would be unacceptable for the West to go ahead with military action against the regime of Bashar alAssad without the assent of the UN Security Council, where Russia has vetowielding permanent membership. “Only the UN Security Council can give approval for the use of force against another state,” Putin said. “Any other ways to justify the use of
anyone or under any pretext,” he added. The United States has indicated it is prepared to go ahead with military action without UN approval, but President Barack Obama is first seeking approval from Congress which will push back the timetable until after the G20 which begins Thursday. Putin said the West still needed to put forward cast-iron proof of the
“It cannot be based on rumours, information based on special services' eavesdropping or chatter and so forth,” Putin said. If there was clear proof of what weapons were used and who used them, Russia “will be ready to act in the most decisive and serious way”, Putin said. But he reaffirmed his past arguments it would have been “absurd and not in line
The contract had been vehemently condemned by the West which argued that Moscow was handing Damascus the firepower to hit back at eventual air attacks. A military source told the state RIA Novosti news agency after the interview was broadcast that the components delivered by Moscow to Damascus were thus far not enough to mount a single complete S-300 missile system and could not be used as a weapon.
iPhone expected to star at Apple event September 10
San Francisco - Apple on Tuesday fired off invitations to a September 10 event at which it is expected to spice up its iPhone line and unveil a low-priced version. In true Apple style, the invitations revealed little. The message, “This should brighten everyone's day” was below the company logo on a page dotted with brightly colored circles. The design seemed to lend credence to unconfirmed reports that Apple plans to release iPhones in a rainbow of colors, including gold.
centered around whether Apple will shift its artists before you hear them anywhere else,” strategy of focusing on premium devices Apple said. priced at the high-end of the market to include a lower-cost handset appealing to Apple last week began letting US people with tight budgets. iPhone owners trade in their smartphones for credit toward buying new models. As the While new iPhones promise to grab smartphone market in the United States and attention, a centerpiece of the Apple event other Western countries matures, companies will be the dramatically overhauled touch- may have better luck encouraging upgrades screen interface. In June, Apple unveiled rather than reaching out to first-time buyers, what chief executive Tim Cook branded the according to Gartner analyst Van Baker. biggest change to iOS - Apple's mobile operating system - since the introduction of Motives for Apple's trade-in program the iPhone in 2007. likely include keeping iPhone users loyal to the smartphones as well as the lucrative Jonathan Ive, the man behind the iTunes shop for digital music, films, and winning hardware designs of Apple books. “Keeping people in the fold is what it products, put his mark on the icons, layout is all about,” Baker said. and style of the home and lock screens The special event will take place at people use to engage with Apple mobile South Korean Samsung has found Apple's headquarters in the Silicon Valley devices. global success with smartphones powered by city of Cupertino. Google's free Android software, which now The new iOS comes with a hotly dominates the market. Apple is widely believed to be readying anticipated iTunes Radio Service featuring two new versions of its iPhone, with one a more than 200 stations “and an incredible There are also rumours about a new less expensive model to win over budget catalog of music” from Apple's online shop. iPad, allegedly with a smaller frame, but buyers in emerging markets such as China. maintaining the same screen size. If true, this The ad-supported free music service will be the 5th generation model of the Apple's move comes as pressure “offers music fans access to thousands of iconic tablet that Apple has introduced. mounts from rivals such as Samsung that new songs every week, as well as serving up field a Android-powered smartphones exclusive music from new and popular running the gamut of prices. Speculation has
September 05, 2013
Nepra advised to provide Rs31bn relief for masses ISLAMABAD: With the exception of Karachites, the inflation stricken masses are likely to benefit from the Rs31 billion relief after the Ministry of Water and Power issued an advice in this regard to the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra). Official document available with Dawn.com reveal that Nepra had approved the Reference Fuel Cost (RFC) for the financial year 2012-13 in April 2013 only due to late submission of applications by the DISCOs. As per rules, after approval from Nepra, the Ministry of Water and Power issues gazette notification on RFC, which is then implemented. The ministry had issued gazette notification of RFC on August 5, 2013 and implemented it on July 1, 2012. Interestingly, before the issuance of a notification of RFC for the FY 2012-13 by the ministry, Nepra had approved the fuel adjustment for a period starting from July 2012 to May 2013 on the basis of a reference fuel cost of 2011-12. A sum of 74 billion unit of electricity was sold to the DISCOs during July 2012 to May 2013. The documents further discloses that Nepra on the basis of RFC of FY 2011-12 had increased the power tariff by Rs0.85/ unit for the month of July 2012 and also decreased the power tariff by 0.5/unit in
August 2012. However, the Nepra approved to jack up the power tariff by 0.5/unit for September 2012, Rs0.39/unit for October 2012, Rs0.91/ unit for November 2012, Rs1.13/unit for December 2012, Rs1.55/unit for January 2012, Rs0.63/unit for February, Rs1.33/unit for March 2012, Rs0.74/unit for April and Rs1.12/unit for May 2012. After the notified RFC by the Ministry of Water and Power for the month of July 2012, the electricity price would witness a decline and the difference would cause relief to the masses that is expected soon within the next couple of days. And, with effect to the notified RFC of the power ministry, the power price would go up by Rs0.33/unit instead of Nepra’s approved Rs0.85/unit. Similarly, Rs0.45/unit decrease for August 2012 instead of Rs0.5/unit reduction, Rs0.36/unit for September 2012 instead of only Rs0.5/unit, Rs0.46/unit decrease for October 2012 instead of Rs0.46/unit, Rs0.26/unit hike for November 2012 instead of Rs91/unit, Rs1.06/unit raise instead of Rs1.13/unit hike for December 2012 earlier approved by Nepra. Likewise, instead of Rs1.55/unit hike only Rs0.97/unit increase for January 2013, Rs43/unit raise instead of Rs0.63/unit for February, Rs0.83/unit decrease instead of approved Rs1.33/unit hike for March, Rs1.54/unit reduction for April instead of Rs0.74/unit approved increase, and for the
month of May 2013, the per unit of electricity price seems to reduce by Rs0.70 instead of earlier approved increase of Rs1.12/unit by Nepra. When contacted, Zargham Isahak a spokesman of the Ministry of Water and Power said that Nepra had been advised to provide relief to the masses by reviewing the fuel adjustment of a period starting from July 2012 to May 2013 during a high-level meeting held in August. Requesting anonymity, Nepra officials also said that a decision regarding provision of relief in per unit of power prices to the common man was likely soon. They also told that at this stage only two mechanism/options were under
consideration to pass on Rs31 billion worthy relief to the general public. Under option one; Nepra would arrange public hearing on fuel adjustments of 11 months in a bid to pass on total relief to the masses in only one go. And, under the second option, it has also been considered that Nepra while determining annual tariff for the Fiscal Year 2013-14, would decrease the per unit power price of electricity by average Rs1.70/unit. “A decision to choose any one option out of the two is likely during upcoming week but consumers of Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) would not benefit with the relief,” an official at Nepra said.
Nepra advised to provide Rs31bn relief for masses Banks’ quest for profitability is taking a new turn, and this time quite in the right direction in view of the emerging business scenario for them. Now in the first half of 2013, banks have also tried to boost profits by increasing their non-interest income, and some of them have succeeded remarkably. In the past few years, banks usually made profits through investment in government papers, to compensate for lesser lending to the private sector, and a squeeze in banking spreads due to monetary easing. Bank deposits grew by 9.5 per cent during the first half of this year — more than double from the 4.1 per cent growth seen in the year-ago period.
been lower, had the government not opted for clearing part of the Rs500 billion circular debt in May-June by borrowing from banks through T-bills and Pakistan Investment Bonds (PIBs). “This, on one hand, helped us employ surplus funds instead of allowing them to remain idle. But on the other, it made lending to the private sector a secondary priority,” says the treasurer of a local bank. “Additionally, as the stock market continued its upward journey, banks’ net lending to non-bank financial institutions also fell. So there wasn’t much choice for banks but to continue to invest in T-bills and PIBs.”
Witnessing a decline in their core interest incomes, most banks increased their non-interest incomes through investment advisory, brokerage and custodian services.
“In a low interest rate environment, banks should ideally strive to boost non-interest incomes because that’s where a huge untapped demand exists, and exploiting it doesn’t carry the kind of risk associated with private lending,” says the head of a large local bank. Combined pre-tax profits of the five major local banks — ABL, HBL, MCB Bank, NBP and UBL — at Rs41.1 billion in the first half of 2013, was down 12 per cent from the year-ago period, according to a research report from Topline Securities. In overall 2012, profits of these banks had risen by six per cent to Rs88.3 billion. For the last few years, banks have relied too heavily on investment in government papers, and this continued in the first half of 2013 as well, when their overall investment rose 6.2 per cent over the first half of 2012. Against that, their overall lending remained almost static at just 0.03 per cent. Banks’ investment in government securities could have
Citibank’s ADR also inched up from 28 per cent in the first half of 2012 to 29 per cent in the first half of 2013, but that improvement is deceptive in the sense that it emerged because of a massive decline in the bank’s deposits — down from 64 billion to Rs38 billion. The bank’s actual advances also declined from Rs18 billion in January-June 2012 to Rs11 billion in January-June 2013. Bankers say that in the second half of the current year, challenges for the banking industry would be different than those in the same period of last year. “First of all, the rescheduling of the monetary policy announcement indicates that the policymakers are buying time to build arguments for keeping the interest rates unchanged, instead of hiking them,” says a senior executive of a foreign bank. “Secondly, we don’t think government borrowing from banks would be as huge now as in the past, because tax revenue has started rising fast and big foreign exchange inflows, including that from an IMF loan, are about to come in,” adds the senior executive.
But as monetary easing continued, and the minimum return of six per cent on savings deposits remained unchanged, banks utilised most of their surplus funds in government papers. And as the yields on government papers remained flat or fell at times, their profitability was hurt.
UBL and Bank Alfalah reported that their non-interest income in the first half of 2013 shot up 31 per cent and 26 per cent respectively, to Rs9.4 billion and about Rs3.9 billion. Some other banks, including state-run NBP, also reported a rise in non-interest income.
81 per cent from 71 per cent in January-June 2012.
A falling trend in overall net lending by banks was also reflected in banks’ advances to deposits ratio (ADR). The ADR of HBL and UBL, for example, declined to 38 per cent and 47 per cent respectively in January-June 2013, from 45 per cent and 52 per cent in the same period of 2012. The ratio for state-run NBP, which generally remains higher than that of its peer banks, also fell to 57 per cent from 61 per cent, as it resorted to heavier provisioning against bad loans. The ABL, on the other hand, saw its ADR fall from about 53 per cent to 46 per cent for a different reason — a big growth in its deposit base and a small decline in advances. It’s deposits rose from Rs514 billion in December 2012 to Rs570 billion in June 2013, whereas its total advances shrank from Rs271 billion to Rs262 billion. Some smaller banks, however, recorded a rising trend in their advances to deposits ratios, chiefly because they either had to spend little on provisioning of bad loans, or they lent more to selected growing segments of private sector businesses like textiles and food and beverages. NIB Bank, for example, improved its January-June 2013 ADR to
But industries are growing faster than before; publicsector enterprises are being revamped and injected with fresh liquidity, and big-ticket development projects are likely to be initiated. All of this indicates that private sector credit demand would be strong. Now it depends on banks on how they can exploit it to their benefit. Bankers admit that the core issue in profitability of banks is not limited to finding ways for increasing net interest income, which is earning on advances (excluding the cost involved) minus spending on paying returns on deposits (including the cost of their mobilisation). They admit that even in the current low interest rate environment, the banking spread is not too bad — 538 basis points in July 2013, based on fresh lending and deposit rates, including zero mark-up but excluding interbank transactions. “Regardless of which way the monetary policy moves, if banks need to maintain their profitability or increase it further, they need to bear in mind that sustainable profitability originates from both interest and non-interest incomes, and also from a diversified class of clients from both public and private sectors,” says a senior central banker.
September 05, 2013
Jai n s i n In d i a c el eb r at e Parushan Parva: Paryushana is a
major Jain festival of fasts and spiritual awareness held for 8 to 10
days and emphasises on non-violence, reading of the scriptures, salvation,
preservation of animal life, and symbolic cleansing - AFP.
Nawaz in favour of Rangers-led operation in Karachi KARACHI: Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif was presiding over the meeting of the federal cabinet over the law and order situation in Karachi at the Governor's house on Wednesday.
Shah also supported the stance of Sharif for a Rangers-led operation to restore the law and order in the port city.
law enforcment agencies (LEAs). During the meeting Sharif also
Lt Gen Zaheer told the premier that some political parties were involved in extortion activites and that 80 per cent of such cases were not reported by the victims.
During the special meeting Sharif said that recruitments had been made in Sindh Police on political basis adding that it was easy for persons involved in criminal activities to get themselves released after obtaining bail.
Moreover, DG Rangers Sindh Maj Gen Rizwan Akhtar informed Sharif that he had 9,000 personnel at his disposal to tackle the law and order situation in Karachi. He asked the prime minister for a month's time and liberty to conduct a successful operation in this regard.
The premier further said that the common man and the business community had lost faith in the police and that state institutions had failed to restore peace in the city. He said that handing Karachi over to the army was a long-shot. Sharif had also said that he hoped take the Pakistan Peoples Party and Muttahida Qaumi Movement on-board. The prime minister further said that he was in favor handing over the control of the operation in Karachi to DG Rangers and asked then Chief Minister Sindh Qaim Ali Shah for his opinion over the matter.
problems faced with regards to extortion in the old city areas and the concerns expressed by Karachi's business community in a meeting held a day earlier.
Maj Gen Akhtar also requested Sharif to ask political parties to expel all criminal elements from within their ranks. Earlier, said that premier Sharif met with Director General Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) and DG Rangers to discuss the law and order situation of Karachi and issued instructions for improvement in the intelligence sharing network between police, Rangers and other
instructed DG ISI Lt Gen Zaheerul Islam to provide police with all required resources including latest technology, modern epuipment and intelligence. Prime minister asked the chief of the country's top spy agency about the
Sharif then ordered DG ISI to cooperate with Rangers, police and other LEA's in making a feasibility report over the operation to be conducted in the city. â€” Asif Mahmood contributed to the reporting of this story