Canadian Pakistani Times
August 29, 2013
Volume 1, 74
NDP getting connected NDP’s move to get connected with people from all walks of life throughout Canada and especially ethnic minorities through their media. Thomas Mulcair (leader NDP) on brief stopover in Brampton – Ontario to get to know the ethnic (south Asian) media and have an open question answer session, this move sure was hailed as a very positive step by all. Basically all issues effecting Canada were discussed and covered. Bottom line according to Mr Mulcair we have an arrogant Prime Minister of Canada, who is not only disconnected with the grass roots but makes it a point not to make any extra effort to bridge this gap. Answering question on Senate of Canada’s financial (misuse) scandals (by a couple of Senators) he says Prime Minister Harper has appointed well over fifty senators without any election but had promised elections for these very posts early (of course election time), he also says by the end of 2013 supreme court of Canada would specify some guidelines as to how the Canadian Senate can be abolished and on those guidelines next federal Canadian
elections would be contested. In answer to another questions he admits that both other political parties i.e. Liberals & Conservatives and their respective leaders are totally disconnected with voters as one leader is totally arrogant and the other admits smoking pot so what role models they should be considered as? Let the voters decide as only his party has the ability to deliver. Later on he toured the kitchen of the local Indian restaurant where the press conference was held. Mr. Mulcair was introduced to some wonderful Indian species and curries which he thoroughly enjoyed. The chef explained all appetizers and dishes and how carefully they are prepared. In conclusion events like these manage to bridge lots of gap between different communities and are seen as a very positive approach. Maybe other politicians/political parties will take a clue and begin one and one talks with ethnic media rather than just (empty) smiles for the cameras.
Province Targets 15 Per Cent Average Rate Reduction Ontario is taking action to protect consumers and help them save money on auto insurance through its Auto Insurance Cost and Rate Reduction Strategy.
Within the next two years, Ontario is targeting an average 15 per cent auto insurance rate reduction -- with an average eight per cent reduction target by August 2014. The province will achieve these reductions by:
Providing the Superintendent of Financial Services with authority to require insurers to re-file rates Continuing to crack down on fraud, including licensing health clinics that invoice auto insurance companies Reducing unexpected costs by making the Superintendent's Guidelines on accident benefits binding
Helping ensure that all regions of Ontario benefit fairly from cost savings.
The government will take further action as required and all necessary steps to achieve the 15 per cent average rate reduction target. These measures build on previous reforms that stabilized auto insurance rates and are part of the government's plan to ensure a fair and affordable auto insurance system for Ontario's nine million drivers and help people in their everyday lives.
Exploring other cost reduction initiatives, including provincial oversight of the towing industry and addressing collision
repair practices Continuing to require insurers to offer discounts for consumers with safe driving
At least five dead in India building collapse: official AHMEDABAD: At least five people died and several others were trapped when a four-storey apartment block collapsed Wednesday in the western Indian city of Vadodara, officials said.The government-built block “caved in” at about 4:00 am in the city's Manjalpur area, senior administrator Vinod Rao said by telephone. Rescuers in Vadodara, which is about 110 kilometres (70 miles) from Ahmedabad, had so far retrieved eight people from the debris of the building, which had 14 apartments. “There were 15 to 20 people in the building which caved in early today,” Rao told AFP.“Eight have been evacuated and five bodies found so far,” he said. Last month, a two-storey hotel collapsed in the southern city of Secunderabad, killing 13 people and injuring 17 others. Several buildings have collapsed in India in recent months, many of them apartment blocks in the financial capital Mumbai. One collapse in April in the city killed 74 people. The accidents have highlighted shoddy construction standards in the country, where huge demand for housing and endemic corruption often results in illegal buildings and a lack of safety inspections.
August 29, 2013
Weekly Fortune: by Kiran Pandey Rai (firstname.lastname@example.org) 29Th AUGUST â€“4th SEPTEMBER ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
ARIES (21 Mar- 20 Apr) Some of you can have chances to have some ailment related to heart or lungs . Your effort to create a peaceful aura at your home would be supported by other family members too. But some professional commitments may be keeping you away from home. Gains from foreign can be expected. But you will be more inquisitive about spiritual science. Lucky Days : Thursday , Friday and Saturday ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
TAURUS (21Apr- 21 May) Your ideas and creativity will be well appreciated in your office.In the middle of the week you will be little aggressive and finally your attitude will prove fruitful.At the end of the week , depression and anxiety will be felt. Take extra care while dealing any legal matter. Avoid alcohol as this can lead to some mishap. Monetary gain is also lukewarm this week.. Lucky Days : Saturday and Sunday ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
GEMINI (22 May- 21 June) You will get good opportunity at your workplace and you are putting up your maximum effort to get real success .But always mind your words before delivering it . Though you are leading towards the path of success but internally something is keeping you restless. Take out some time for personal care and entertainment. Lucky Days : Monday and Tuesday ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
CANCER (22 June- 22 July) Party ,recreation or outing only such terms are in the air. At the same time domestic condition is not very supportive. Work hard to check your temperament and accept your fault .Only accepting fault and move ahead tendency may spoil your image. So check your fault and rectify it. Health care such as cough and cold may disturb your mood. Lucky Days : Monday and Tuesday ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
LEO (23 July- 22 Aug) You will find yourself passionate about your work.You will try to serve needy or under privileged class. Some job offer from foreign country can be expected. Never to give up attitude will help you to throw away obstacles coming your way. Give space to your partner too . Your kid needs your moral support . In short, balancing home and profession will be your main target. Lucky Days : Thursday and Friday _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________
VIRGO (23 Aug- 23 Sept) You will keep yourself little low. Finance should be under control of some elder of your family.Your siblings may suffer .Professionally , a successful week ahead.An official tour is on card. You can get the news of promotion of your spouse .Students will have very good and enhanced image in public. Physical care will be one of the prime concern of the week.. Lucky Days : Thursday, Friday and Saturday _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________
LIBRA ( 24 Sept-23 Oct). Your unstable mind will bother your surroundings. Workplace will be one of the most affected area to be taken care of. You will meet the friends from different walk of life and they will be good for your progress. Spending quality time with your beloved will be sigh of relief for you. Lucky Days : Tuesday and Wednesday ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
SCORPIO (24 Oct-22Nov) Your main concern may be health this week . You need to maintain adequate diet and work out . Your kids are making you stress free by their activities and achievements. You may have to face wrong allegation which may cause you on the verge of breaking down. This is a very average week for you. Lucky Days : Monday and Tuesday ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
SAGITTARIUS (23 Nov-2 1 Dec) In the beginning of the week you will feel uncomfortable due to your friends or may be your kid too. While in the middle of the week, avoid any accidents .Good chance for those students who are appearing for any competitive exams.You will be interested in knowing more about religion. Lucky Days : Tuesday and Wednesday ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
CAPRICORN (22 Dec-20 Jan) . Some short trips can be expected in this week . But improve your food habit to avoid hospital. Your father is suffering internally. Or you maybe compelled to be away from him but very soon his condition will be fine which will give you happiness in life to think over other areas of life too. Though you are trying to use your full potential but something will be distracting you this week. Lucky Days : Thursday and Friday ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
AQUARIUS (21 Jan-19 Feb) Be very careful at workplace . As some conspiracy might be planned at office .So do not trust anyone there.Special care should be taken of your father. Avoid availing any kind of loan this week. Strong indication of accidents this week so try avoiding rash driving or any other risk. Gains in terms of money is there which will be the bright area for you. Lucky Days : Saturday and Sunday ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
PISCES (20 Feb-20 Mar) A bright hope in professional zone is indicating . You will dominate over your enemies. Most of you will be able to return money or loan in this week.You will get some good news from your kid. Aggressive action may cause some problem for you in your friend circle.Overall a good week ahead! Lucky Days : Sunday and Monday
KCIP may be delayed KARACHI: A number of local and multinational companies have been facing difficulties in getting approval of their building plans submitted with the Korangi Creek cantonment board on the plots acquired by them at Korangi Creek Industrial Park (KCIP). The project is being developed by the National Industrial Parks Development and Management Company (NIP), and according to experts, it may run into snags because of non-serious attitude of Cantonment Board Korangi Creek. Khawaja Amer, a spokesman for the NIP said a total of 20 building plans had been submitted to CBKC to date and of these only five had been approved. The last building plan was approved on Dec 28, 2012 and since then the NIP did not receive any building plans from the CBKC. The building plans submitted by various reputed corporate entities, including manufacturing of consumer products, food and pharmaceutical, garments/textile, light engineering and packaging and printing had been pending with CBKC. He said NIP had requested the CBKC that delay in approval of building plans is causing anxiety among investors. In the current economic and prevalent law and order condition in the city, it is very difficult to attract good corporate houses to promote industrial growth in the country, he added. He urged the KBKC to approve building plans so that industrial activity may commence at the KCIP. As per directives of the government, he said, the NIP had been trying to facilitate investors in getting their building plans approved through its one-window operation. But despite efforts, NIP could not get it through from the CBKC. He feared that the attitude of CBKC may create hurdles in regaining the confidence of investors in Karachi who are looking safer industrial investment, like KCIP which offers perimeter wall with controlled entry and exit to the complex spreading over an area of 250 acres for safe and secure environment to investors. To date, he said, approximately 90 per cent of the total saleable area in the low density industrial zone has been sold out while a number of applications are still in the pipeline. The KCIP project, developed at an estimated cost of Rs3.3 billion with an investment opportunity of Rs20bn, would provide approximately 30,000 direct and 180,000 indirect employments.
August 29, 2013
Punjab Day 2013 Ontario
Canada is a multicultural society and today everyone at Punjab day 2013 displayed that all are proud Punjabi Canadians. Thanks Canada for letting us immigrants be a part of you. Thanks
Mefil Media and of course Jaswinder S Khosa of Mehfil Meida for arranging such a great, well organized event. Punjabis you all rock but Brampton Ontario - Canada rocks even more. Hope we could say/think/claim the
same for the neighbor at the south of our borders. Canada so far has managed to maintain a neutral image internationally and we hope and pray from the bottom of our hearts that this will remain same for generations to come.
As wanting or not we all have to share the same world so why not share it with mutual respect and let peace prevail. This of course would result in an ideal world for all.
California wildfire burns deeper into Yosemite National Park established around 20 per cent of the fire's perimeter, nearly triple Sunday's figure, though the overall area of the blaze continued to grow as much of the firefighting effort focused on structure protection. After advancing on the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir for several days, the flames reached the shores of the artificial lake on Tuesday, officials said. But the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission said in a statement there was “little risk for direct impacts” on the reservoir because of the rocky terrain and lack of brush surrounding it. Officials said ash had drifted onto the surface of the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, but testing of samples showed water quality remained healthy. SAN FRANCISCO: A wildfire in Yosemite National Park that ranks as one of the largest California blazes on record was set to force the closure on Wednesday of a key route to the premiere outdoor destination and possibly block some visitors from reaching the park over the Labor Day weekend. This comes a day after the so-called Rim Fire burned deeper into the park and reached the shores of a key reservoir that serves as the primary water supply for San Francisco some 200 miles (320 km) to the west. The blaze has charred nearly 184,500 acres (about 75,000 hectares) - an area larger than the land mass of Chicago since it erupted on Aug. 17.
Stanislaus National Forest west of Yosemite, but it has scorched more than 40,000 acres of the park. The Rim Fire last week forced the closure of a stretch of Highway 120 that leads to the west side of the 750,000-acre (300,000-hectare) Yosemite National Park and is the main entrance from the San Francisco Bay area. On Wednesday at noon local time, the second of four access routes to the park was set to close when Tioga Road shuts down to allow fire crews to build containment lines along the road before the blaze approaches, said Yosemite spokesman Tom Medema.
It ranks as the biggest California wildfire since October 2007, and the sixthlargest in state history, according to the records of Cal Fire, a state government site.
“That will limit the access for visitors to and from the east side of the park, quite possibly over Labor Day weekend, which will have a significant economic impact on the area and an inconvenience for visitors,” he said.
The fire is burning mainly in the
Some 4 million people visit Yosemite
each year, most of them during the peak months of June through August. Cooler temperatures, higher humidity and calmer winds expected overnight into Wednesday would likely help firefighters burn containment lines around the Rim Fire, said Alison Hesterly, spokeswoman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. But later on Wednesday, temperatures were expected to be hot and dry, reaching a maximum of 94 Fahrenheit (34 Celsius) in the area with a minimum of 15 per cent humidity, she said. “If we reach the maximum temperature and the minimum humidity, we're expecting continued erratic fire behavior,” she added. On Tuesday, a firefighting force of some 4,100 personnel, backed by teams of bulldozers and water-dropping helicopters, continued to make headway in their drive to encircle and suppress the flames. Containment
If the water should become fouled by too much ash and soot and require filtration, it can be diverted through a treatment plant near San Francisco before being delivered to customers, officials from the Public Utilities Commission said. Firefighters hacking through dense, dry brush and trees to create clearings in the rugged terrain on Tuesday rushed to improve buffer zones around some 4,500 homes threatened by the blaze on its northwestern flank on Tuesday, said Cal Fire spokesman Daniel Berlant. Most of those dwellings have been ordered evacuated or were under advisories urging residents to leave voluntarily or be ready to flee at a moment's notice. The fire has already destroyed dozens of homes and cabins, Berlant said, but no serious injuries have been reported. The cause of the blaze remained under investigation.
August 29, 2013
Karzai concludes Pakistan visit with invitation to Sharif
KCIP may be delayed KARACHI: A number of local and multinational companies have been facing difficulties in getting approval of their building plans submitted with the Korangi Creek cantonment board on the plots acquired by them at Korangi Creek Industrial Park (KCIP). The project is being developed by the National Industrial Parks Development and Management Company (NIP), and according to experts, it may run into snags because of non-serious attitude of Cantonment Board Korangi Creek. Khawaja Amer, a spokesman for the NIP said a total of 20 building plans had been submitted to CBKC to date and of these only five had been approved. The last building plan was approved on Dec 28, 2012 and since then the NIP did not receive any building plans from the CBKC.
ISLAMABAD: Afghan President Hamid Karzai returned to Kabul on Tuesday after completing an extended visit to Pakistan, but apparently without any major breakthrough on stalemated peace talks with Taliban or release of militants the Afghan government wants to be freed by Pakistan. The upshot of the visit was renewal of political contacts between the two countries after months of acrimony and estrangement. The visit had started with low expectations. But the unexpected extension in President Karzai’s trip had spurred hopes of a breakthrough. Both the countries were nudged into this engagement by the US and the UK after fears that a rupture in Pak-Afghan ties could affect the drawdown plan. Karzai concluded his two-day trip by inviting Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to visit Kabul. The Afghan president came to Islamabad to meet Sharif for the first time since his election in May in a bid to overcome a series of public rows that have hampered efforts to end 12 years of war in Afghanistan.
extending his visit by a day. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and President Karzai met for the extended round of talks in Murree on Tuesday but could not come up with anything concrete about revival of the reconciliation process in Afghanistan except for reiteration of principled stance that Pakistan remained committed to helping the Afghans in restoring peace to their country. “Pakistan would facilitate in whatever manner we think would be useful,” Foreign Office spokesman Aizaz Chaudhry told Dawn after the meeting. Prime Minister Sharif was quoted in a statement issued by his office as having reaffirmed “strong and sincere support for peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan”. Meanwhile, the Afghan presidency in a statement after Mr Karzai’s return to Kabul asked Islamabad to fulfil the promises made during the talks spread over two days. “The Pakistani side is expected to take specific and practical steps in accordance with the decisions made during these negotiations,” an Afghan presidential spokesman said. The agreed steps were, however, not revealed.
The Afghan president urged Pakistan to help arrange peace talks between his government and the Afghan Taliban, then took the unexpected step of
During his visit, Mr Karzai sought Pakistan’s help
for the troubled reconciliation process and pressed his Pakistani interlocutors for making restoration of peace and stability in Afghanistan a priority in the bilateral agenda. Release of key militants in custody of Pakistani authorities, particularly Mullah Barader, and coaxing Taliban to talk to High Peace Council were the Afghan leader’s key demands. Prime Minister’s Foreign Affairs and National Security Adviser Sartaj Aziz claimed in a television interview that the Pakistani side was able to convince Mr Karzai that it did not control the Taliban. Mr Karzai said Pakistan had failed to use its influence to convince the Taliban to join peace talks. In a reference to Pakistan, he said, Taliban backers wanted to keep Afghanistan “impoverished and underdeveloped forever”. The harsh statement indicated that Afghan president’s expectations from the visit haven’t been met, even though some promises might have been made with him. The Afghan president and his delegation were later seen off at the Noor Khan Airbase by Advisor to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz. President Karzai during his stay also held a separate meeting with President Asif Ali Zardari.
The building plans submitted by various reputed corporate entities, including manufacturing of consumer products, food and pharmaceutical, garments/textile, light engineering and packaging and printing had been pending with CBKC. He said NIP had requested the CBKC that delay in approval of building plans is causing anxiety among investors. In the current economic and prevalent law and order condition in the city, it is very difficult to attract good corporate houses to promote industrial growth in the country, he added. He urged the KBKC to approve building plans so that industrial activity may commence at the KCIP. As per directives of the government, he said, the NIP had been trying to facilitate investors in getting their building plans approved through its one-window operation. But despite efforts, NIP could not get it through from the CBKC. He feared that the attitude of CBKC may create hurdles in regaining the confidence of investors in Karachi who are looking safer industrial investment, like KCIP which offers perimeter wall with controlled entry and exit to the complex spreading over an area of 250 acres for safe and secure environment to investors. To date, he said, approximately 90 per cent of the total saleable area in the low density industrial zone has been sold out while a number of applications are still in the pipeline. The KCIP project, developed at an estimated cost of Rs3.3 billion with an investment opportunity of Rs20bn, would provide approximately 30,000 direct and 180,000 indirect employments.
Russia warns of ‘catastrophic consequences’ if Syria hit MOSCOW: Russia on Tuesday warned a military intervention in Syria could have “catastrophic consequences” for the region and called on the international community to show “prudence” over the crisis.
they await outside intervention,” he said. Lukashevich said convening the peace “Working out the parameters of a political conference was now a “most urgent solution in Syria would have been especially task.”Western countries including the United helpful right now, when military action is States are considering their response to an alleged chemical weapons attack by Assad's Twitter.
“Attempts to bypass the Security Council, once again to create artificial groundless excuses for a military intervention in the region are fraught with new suffering in Syria and catastrophic consequences for other countries of the Middle East and North Africa,” a foreign ministry spokesman said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin told British Prime Minister David Cameron in a telephone call on Monday there was no evidence yet that the Syrian regime had used chemical weapons against rebels, Cameron's office said. Pro-Kremlin Russian newspaper Izvestia on Monday published an interview with Assad who ridiculed as “nonsense” the idea his regime used chemical weapons and warned the United States of failure if it attacked Syria. Russian officials are now comparing the possible use of force against Syria to the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq, which was vehemently opposed by Moscow as based on flawed intelligence that Saddam Hussein's regime possessed weapons of mass destruction.
“We are calling on our American partners and all members of the world community to demonstrate prudence (and) strict observance of international law, especially the fundamental principles of the UN Charter,” ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said in a statement. Earlier Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said that Moscow regretted Monday's decision by the US to postpone a meeting on the Syria crisis, as Western powers mulled military action over last week's chemical hanging over this country,” Gatilov said. attack in Syria. The scrapping of the meeting, which was due to take place at The Hague later in the week, is the latest sign of a new peak in tensions between Moscow and the West over the possibility of military strikes against President Bashar al-Assad's regime.
He also said Russia would not get involved in a military conflict in Syria.
In such a climate, it was especially important to work in concert to try to organise the repeatedly postponed peace conference bringing together the Damascus regime and the rebels, Lukashevich said.
“However, the United States' decision to “It arouses regret that our partners decided to postpone the meeting in The Hague is sending cancel the bilateral meeting” involving senior precisely the opposite signal to the diplomats from both sides, Gatilov said on opposition, encouraging their intransigence as
“Deja-vu,” Alexei Pushkov, the head of the Russian parliament's foreign affairs committee wrote on Twitter. regime on August 21.
“It feels like in the White House it's still (George W.) Bush, (Dick) Cheney and Russia has said it believes rebels were behind (Donald) Rumsfeld and in Downing Street the incident and has warned any military Tony Blair,” he said, referring to the former action without UN approval would violate US president, vice president, defence international law. secretary and British premier during the Iraq war. On Monday Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov condemned the “hysteria” over the “The faces change. But not the politics,” he claimed chemical attack and said the West added. had yet to come up with proof that Assad's regime was behind it.
August 29, 2013
SPORTS Sikh Sports Club Ontario - Canada Sikh sports soccer club serving the all around the greater Toronto area also commonly known as GTA in Ontario – Canada. A project where every summer (vacation) kids of various communities take part in practice sessions (twice a week) and matches every Sunday. Parents become volunteer coaches along with other experts of this sport. Again the credit goes to all levels of government of Canada i.e. municipal, provincial & federal to make events like these take place all across Canada. This is the beauty of our great land where everyone can enjoy their culture which beautifully blends into the already rich Canadian fabric. This over two month long tournament not only attracts the youth but parents and families fully tend to get involved as well. As these are the moments our kids will cherish in days to come as in today’s day and age spending quality time for families has become an issue at times. No matter we have to keep abreast with today’s fast paced life styles, but taking time out to spend quality time with our kids and families is equally important as well. So thanks all volunteers of Sikh sports club for a job well done, and most importantly thanks Canada for letting
different (minority) communities understand each other and enjoy each other’s company in harmony. As a peaceful society is always a healthy society. I myself have followed
this sports club for the last three years and have volunteered as a photographer and have done some write ups for them, and have enjoyed every moment interacting.
2014 registrations are open now the number to call is 416 - 744 - 2999 or visit them at www.sikhsportsclub.com.
Ice Hockey & Brampton - Ontario. Ice hockey is very well known Canadian passion from ages. It sure would not be a exaggeration at all to say that every household all across Canada has to have at least one fan of this great sport amongst them.
The answer was yes south Asians are very welcome at all events and we at the official level want all communities to be a part of this great franchise. But when a meeting was arranged between the very same officials they not only refused to advertise with any ethnic (south asian) media outlet rather said please do create awareness amongst your readers, listeners & viewers but we don’t have a budget.
Have often witnessed new Canadian immigrants trying their best to understand this full of life sport through their teen age kids and their friends.
Now my question to them was, you want us to advertise your business to masses on our expense? No clear answer was given to me by any official.
In Canadian south Asian circles this sport has a decent amount of fan following for sure in the province of Ontario. So when a local hockey franchise came to our town recently and named itself “Brampton Beast” a wave of excitement was felt by me amongst locals when visiting some events.
This does not even end here as they do have budget to advertise with the main stream media i.e. the Brampton Guardian & others. Now what sort of double standard is this?
Anyway a grand opening event was announced to introduce this local team logo arranged by both Brampton city officials and the new soon to be teams officials. So a great morning event at Brampton city hall took place and of course our very own Brampton mayor was there to assure
people that this new team has her full support. Media (south asian) asked Brampton beast officials if this team brings
a message of communities.
They want all communities included but how beats me. Is the word multiculturalism just for print or does it really has a meaning attached to our great Canadian values?
Haseem scores hat-trick as Pakistan blow Chinese Taipei away 13-0 Netherlands, are likely to face South Korea in the semi-finals who are currently place number two in Group B. Shakeel Abbasi started the rot for Chinese Taipei, dribbling past the defenders to finish a brilliant goal in the 13th minute before skipper Muhammad Imran sent his drag-flick clattering into goal ten minutes later.
and one each by Muhammad Tousiq and Muhammad Irfan added the final touches to what may have seemed like a never-ending nightmare to the Chinese Taipei, players. The result gave Pakistan a perfect record in the group stages but Imran’s men will have to put all of this behind them when the semifinals start.
Muhammad Rizwan also got on the score Japan, Malaysia and Chinese Taipei, have sheet through a field goal in the 26th minute been harmless opponents but rest assured the as the stunned Chinese Taipei, players failed lightning-fast Koreans will take some beating. to cope with the pace of the game. Pakistan’s veteran defender Waseem Any hopes of a comeback by them were Ahmed said of his team’s performance, “The soon dashed by the Pakistani forwards, who team is working really hard and if we can added another two goals as soon as the second keep on doing the same thing throughout the half got underway, Rizwan for his second and tournament, I think our chances of becoming Shafqat Rasool for his first. champions here and booking a spot in the Goals from Muhammad Dilber (45) and World Cup is very bright.” another by Rasool (46) added to their The semi-finals commence from August opponents misery but the rampant Pakistani 30. team were out for more.
Pakistan proved way too strong for place in Group A of the 2013 Asia Cup. Imran’s second (52), a super hattrick by Chinese Taipei, formerly Taiwan, handing The Greenshirts, who need to win the title rising star Abdul Haseem Khan (54, 56, 69) them a 13-0 thumping and sealing the top to earn a spot in next year’s World Cup in the
August 29, 2013
Pakistan's almost dead Movie Industry. Pakistan and its dying or almost dead feature film (movie) industry. No official department or agency of Pakistan has done anything to save and promote it, but they sure want to tax them and enjoy their part of the revenue. Internationally even if we take the yester years in account this industry has had enjoyed hardly any promotion or recognition. Does Pakistan have talent in reference to this industry?...The simple answer is “a lot” but either it is snubbed at the grass roots by the so called religious – Mullah mafia or the very same talent ends up in wrong hands and thus get negatively exploited. Very few have single handedly managed to emerge on any sort of national or international level to represent Pakistan. Pakistan’s movie star Merra has to be such a name. Hats off to her love not only for Pakistan. But also a bid applause to her confidence when in a recent film festival in Toronto – Canada she was
the lone Pakistani star who made us feel proud by her presence. While talking to her on a one on one base I sure found her to be a genuine person. Having said that and getting back to the subject no Pakistani diplomat was even there to present with her at that event – Could it be again the fear of the “Mullah” mafia or ignorance as always? But never the less we all are proud who still under these (often) not so friendly circumstances mange to represent the country with pride, dignity and self respect. Pakistan at present might be going through some sort of turmoil. But we will praise and salute those who still hold their head high and represent Pakistan positively with “chin up” at all forums on their own without even any Government back up. As the political and diplomatic set up of this great land has become a mere laughing stock over the years. God Bless Pakistan....Amen!
Ahmed Faraz goes unsung on death anniversary
ISLAMABAD, Aug 25: The fifth death anniversary of the renowned poet Ahmed Faraz on Sunday went unnoticed at the state level as no official function was held in this regard in the federal capital. However, his family visited the H-8 graveyard to pray for him. Saadi Faraz and Shibli Faraz, sons of Ahmed Faraz, were accompanied by Mehboob Zafar and Ghazanfar Hashmi who laid a floral wreath on behalf of the Ahmed Faraz Trust. Poets and writers from the twin cities, including Naseem Saher, Manzar Naqvi, Sana Hashmi, Tariq Naeem, Aftab Zia, Rana Mohammad Ajmal and others were also present on the occasion. Similarly, Chairman Pakistan Academy of Letters (PAL) Abdul Hameed also visited the grave and laid a floral wreath. Shibli Faraz, while talking to Dawn, said all over the world, poets and literary personalities were officially remembered but the government of Pakistan had done nothing to appreciate his father’s services. “My father had said Asif Zardari’s PPP (Pakistan People’s Party) was not the same founded by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto due to which he was banned from state television,” he said.
'Felicity' opens at Canvas
He added, “The PPP government should have returned his (Ahmed Faraz’) presidential awards Sitara-e -Imtiaz and Hilal-e-Imtiaz which he was given in 2004. He had returned these titles when Pervez Musharraf imposed an emergency in November 2007, but no one bothered to restore them,” he said. Shibli Faraz said during the PPP government, he had gone to the Secretary for Cabinet Division Nargis Sethi after coming to know that his father’s awards were being restored, but she had refused to give him anything in writing. “I don’t have any expectation from the [current] PML-N government because they think Ahmed Faraz belonged to the PPP. They should understand that Faraz was poet of Pakistan,” he said. Poet Mehboob Zafar said Ahmad Faraz’ death was an irrecoverable loss as such poets were born once in a century. “Faraz was the most prominent and famous poet,” he said.
KARACHI: Interpreting cultural norms in a postmodern setting is a pretty formidable task. Artists construe trends by using unconventional techniques trying to get a sense of patterns set from time immemorial. It is an encouraging sign that young Pakistani artists are willing to break moulds and think out of the box to create art in their endeavour to understand or feel the issues that are of concern to them. An exhibition of Sana Arjumand’s artworks titled ‘Felicity’ opened at the Canvas Art Gallery on Tuesday. Don’t be misled by the title of the show, because there’s irony, delectable at that, involved in the word
The irony can be viewed as smart artistic remarks by Sana Arjumand on the sociocultural practices that she’s witnessed. Fittingly, the first exhibit is called ‘Learning to Fly’ (acrylic on wasli). The learning is not of elementary. There are snags of a different kind that impede the learning process.
‘Ascension 2’ and ‘Travelling towards the Heart’ (digital print on canvas) are two remarkable wor ks of ar t . T hei r symbolism aside, they are a visual treat to watch. There can be quite a few ways to interpret these pieces (autopilot flight, truck art in the air, feelings in limbo, etc) but what stands out is the visually richness of the images.
‘ N ect ar o r Knowledge’ (tea wash, acrylic, oil and embroidery on wasli paper) brings into view the artist’s ability to turn technique into message. There’s no element of wit or irony here which hints at the fact that in order to have a clearer understanding of things one has to go through
‘Rich Man’ (coin impressions, acrylic gel, acrylic paint, oil on canvas) has a touch of literality to it primarily because of the use of coin impressions because even if the artwork hadn’t been captioned, the viewer
would have treated it thus. And yet, it is metaphorically as meaningful as any other exhibit on display. However ‘Capitalism’, despite being made with the same media, belongs to a different category, content-wise. It is a witty comment not just on the ism but also on the gullibility of those who believe in isms. ‘Overlapping Dimensions’ (oil on canvas) is about perceptions and opinions, the subjectivity of issues which often eclipses their objective aspects. The exhibition continue until Sept 5.
Poet Tariq Shahid said, “A large number of poets and writers who were facing financial problems were helped by Faraz.” Ahmed Faraz (real name Syed Ahmad Shah Ali) was born on Jan 12 1931 in Kohat. He was arrested for reciting poems which criticised military rulers in Pakistan during the Zia-ul-Haq era and also went into a self-imposed exile to the United Kingdom. During Benazir Bhutto’s rule, Faraz came back to Pakistan and was appointed as Chairman PAL and later as chairperson of the National Book Foundation for several years. He was awarded numerous national and international awards, and died from kidney failure on August 25 2008.
August 29, 2013
Beauty awards focus the best in fashion, entertainment Raheal. After Zoe Viccaji’s cover of Nazia Hassan’s Aap Jaisa Koi, the revolutionary ’80s period was heralded in that saw the Most Beautiful Skin and Miss Photogenic awards being given away by Asadul Haq and Zoe Viccaji to Ayyan Ali and Aamina Sheikh, respectively. Designer Ali Xeeshan showed his collection focusing the era of pop with Ali Azmat performing his hits Neeli Neeli Aankhoon, Mera Mahi and Sajna with Nadia Ali as the showstopper in the fashion presentation. The present age entitled the Eclectic era witnessed the Miss Elegance 2013 award going to Mahnoor Baloch with Humaima Mallik of Bol fame bagging the coveted Veet Beauty of the Year trophy. Next, designer duo par excellence Sana Safinaz showcased a superlative collection with varied silhouettes including togainspired dresses, slim-fit pants, etc, and Ms Mallik as the showstopper.
The golden times of the decade after Pakistan’s independence were the focus of the song and dance tribute to Madam Noorjehan and performed by Sara Raza on vocals. Mehwish Hayat in a peacock theme
costume danced to Mehki Fizayain from the film, Koel (1959). The fashion segment entitled the Retro ’70s featured the designs of Sadaf Malaterre
with film star and TV host Sana as the showstopper. Afterwards, the Best Posture award was given to Nadia Ali and the Miss Catwalk trophy to Aamna Ilyas by presenters Nomi Ansari and Mehreen
Finally, a song and dance medley featuring film and TV actress Sara Loren concluded the ceremony and brought the evening to a close. The event was styled and choreographed by Nabila and her team with show production.
Movie Review: Pacific Rim (namely Robert Kazinsky), is never as deep as his character wants us to believe. He plays Raleigh Becket, one-half of a brotherset who jointly pilot ‘Gipsy Danger’, the ‘Rim’s’ main Mecha – which a sort-of important dialogue reminds us, is ‘analog’. This reveal is kind-of relevant, especially at the juncture when Mr. Hunnam says it out loud; at least as relevant as it should be within the drastic quantity of pricey visual effects sprucing-up the screen. For a change, all of the action – no matter how deafening – is applause worthy. Almost as if ‘Rim’ was structured around these not-so-frequent, yet classily choreographed brawl-em-up episodes between Jaegers and Kaijus (think any of the ‘Transformers’ movies, only more steadily shot).
In ‘Pacific Rim’, the new overly loud spectacle playing in cinemas now, we see humanity under assault by big nasty space invaders. The premise is by no means novel given the number of times Earth is annually attacked on the big-screen. However the unique selling point of this – and any other movie structured on the same lines – is that small bit of deviation that makes one want to shell out Rs. 450 (or more) for the ticket. Throughout ‘Rim’, that deviation equals to gargantuan robotic monoliths splashing through oceanic currents – an image unambiguously photoshopped on the movie’s poster. But hold that thought for a second. Have a gander at the poster. Let it sink in. It more or less tells the exact story that ‘Rim’s’ trailer quite unabashedly tells. And yet, for all its cliché, the image sells. Today, or in the future since that’s when ‘Rim’ is set in, the battle for survival
is from oversized reptilian monsters out from Toho, the sometimes serious film distributors whose biggest international product is the Japanese nuke-born megalizard Godzilla. Coincidentally, or deliberately, the monsters that spring from an interdimensional rift in the Pacific Ocean and tumble metropolitan bay areas of the world are called Kaiju. That’s Japanese for ‘giant creature’ (or to be precise, ‘strange creature’) – and it’s the least of the Japanese references that pop -up within the screenplay by director Guillermo del Toro and Travis Beacham. The movie’s other stars are Jaegers, hulking robots about half the height of the New York Times building, straight out of 80’s Anime right down to shiny monocolored paint-jobs and outlandish armaments. It kind of makes sense; Big robots versus big amphibian alien-monsters in big special effects.
Although often a dabbler in the fantastic and pop-horror, doing big isn’t really Mr. del Toro’s forte (his other ‘monster’ movies ‘Mimic’, ‘Hellboy’ and the prodigious ‘Pans Labyrinth’ are lowerkey than ‘Pacific Rim’). But the gimmicky premise – and the scale of the onslaught – reimburses a hefty chunk of the movie’s inherent nonsensicality. And of course, we have the usual sketched-up stereotypes as well: a pair of geeky scientists (Charlie Day and Burn Gorman) who fumble around for comedic relief and talk fake sci-fi mumbo-jumbo, a girl (Rinko Kikuchi) with a transparent backstory and kickass martial arts skillset, a mission commander with a constant cloud of gloom over his head (Idris Elba – now go -to guy for tent-pole flicks), and a battlescarred hero, who’s an ace Jaeger pilot (Charlie Hunnam). Mr. Hunnam though fine in looks and knock-down matches with other actors
At one point, ‘Gipsy Danger’ smashes the head of a mean-tempered monster with a cargo ship. The crowd goes wild. So do you for that matter, though don’t fret. Mr. del Toro is just playing to those childish impulses one left out years ago to step into the lucidity of this ‘real world’. Don’t hold it against him – or yourself for that matter. ‘Pacific Rim’ stars: Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day, Burn Gorman, Rob Kazinsky, Max Martini, Clifton Collins and Ron Perlman. Directed by Guillermo del Toro; Produced by Mr. del Toro, Thomas Tull, Jon Jashni and Mary Parent; Written by Mr. del Toro and Travis Beacham; Cinematography by Guillermo Navarro; Edited by Peter Amundson and John Gilroy; Music by Ramin Djawadi. Released by Warner Brothers Pictures, Legendary Pictures and Footprint Entertainment, ‘Pacific Rim’ is rated PG-13: Think the usual tent-pole warnings: CGI-faked cities fall, digitalactors die off-screen, monsters oozing neon-blue blood spit, spasm and split open.
August 29, 2013
08 Pakistani snow leopard's cub makes debut at New York zoo
President Obama to mark 50 years since King's 'Dream' speech have said they will ring bells. The Swiss city of Lutry and Tokyo are also taking part, said Atlanta's King Center, one of the event's organizers. Other organizers include the National Action Network of civil rights leader Al Sharpton, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and the National Council of Churches.
NEW YORK: The Bronx Zoo in New York City is showing off its newest resident: a snow leopard cub. The cub is the first son of an orphaned snow leopard from Pakistan. The cub's father, Leo was caught in Naltar village, 35km northwest of Gilgit by a local shepherd on July 12, 2005 and handed over to the Bronx Zoo in New York in 2006. The New York Times says Leo was paired with Maya, a proven breeder, and the cub was born in April. The baby is not yet named and went on view last week.Snow leopards are among the world's most endangered large cats. The Bronx Zoo was the first zoo in North America to exhibit snow
leopards in 1903. It has bred more than 70 since then. The zoo currently has 10 snow leopards. Nadeem Hotiana, the press attaché at the Pakistani embassy in Washington, said in a telephone interview that the country had decided to send Leo to the Bronx Zoo because Pakistan lacked an “appropriate facility” to care for the orphaned cub, The New York Time reported. It also quoted Dr. Asad M. Khan, Pakistan’s chargé d’affaires in Washington as saying: “It’s heartening to learn that Leo had his own cub, a male, this summer. Leo has served as a symbol of deep friendship and abiding good will between our two countries.”
WASHINGTON: Words from the first black US president and bell ringing around the world on Wednesday will mark 50 years to the minute that civil rights leader Martin Luther King ended his landmark “I have a dream” speech. Capping a week long celebration of King's historic call for racial and economic justice, President Barack Obama will speak at the Lincoln Memorial, site of King's address on Aug. 28, 1963. The “Let Freedom Ring and Call to Action” ceremony comes as almost half of Americans say much more needs to be done before the colorblind society King envisioned is realized. Former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton also will address the crowd at the ceremony, which includes bell-ringing at 3 p.m. EDT (1900 GMT), 50 years to the minute after King ended his clarion call of the civil rights movement with the words “let freedom ring.”
The ceremony follows an interfaith service at Shiloh Baptist Church in Washington, organizers said. Obama's address will wrap up more than a week of Washington events around the anniversary. They included a march on Saturday that drew thousands of people urging action on jobs, voting rights and gun violence. King, a black clergyman and advocate of non -violence, was among six organizers of the 1963 “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom,” where he made his address. King's speech is credited with helping spur passage of sweeping civil rights laws. A white prison escapee assassinated the Nobel Peace Prize winner in 1968.
About 50 US communities or organizations
Beautiful Balochistan turned into graveyard, says Mengal situation in Balochistan.
He said decisions from Islamabad should not be imposed on Balochistan rather people of the province should be strengthened to make their own decisions. Sardar Akhtar Mengal said the once beautiful Balochistan had now been turned into a graveyard, citing example of civilwar struck Afghanistan, he said, "I visited the war-torn country in 1995, all parks were turned into graveyards". He said Pakistan intervened in Afghanistan to serve American interest and fight against communism there. "If we are not concerned about the children of others, then we cannot protect our own children as well", he said. Sardar Akhtar Mengal remained Chief Minister of Balochistan from 1997 to 1998. His government was overthrown by the then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Jan Muhammad Jamali was elected as the Chief Minister of Balochistan.
QUETTA: Chief of Balochistan National Party, Sardar Akhtar Mengal has said that government must break the silence and name the institutions involved in enforced disappearances and the killing of Baloch political workers and the dumping of their bodies. Sardar Akhtar Mengal, the Chief of BNP and former chief minister Balochistan took oath as an MPA after an interval of 14 years from parliamentary politics on Wednesday. Chief Minister Balochistan, Dr. Malik Baloch, and members of Balochistan Assembly belonging to both treasury and opposition benches welcomed the arrival of Sardar Mengal in the assembly. On the occasion of his oath-taking the BNP-M chief said that in addition to the oath of loyalty to Pakistan, oath should also be taken of loyalty to Balochistan. In his speech, Sardar Akhtar Mengal lashed out at the government over the increasing number of missing persons and
the recovery of bullet-riddled bodies. He said during last three months 57 bodies of missing persons were found, 75 people had disappeared whereas 19 were subjected to targeted killings. "Earlier bodies were thrown in the deserts of Balochistan, now their bodies are being found in Karachi", Sardar Mengal said. He said Baloch political were not killed as result of any tsunami or any other natural disaster rather they were being killed by institutions. "Their parents demand justice and ask that who is the murderer of their loved ones", he said.
Sardar Mengal demanded that now it was an appropriate time for Nawaz Sharif to implement those six points in order to avoid further bloodshed and to establish durable peace in Balochistan. "Had rulers implemented those six points, the situation would have improved here", he said. The Baloch nationalist leader claimed that still an operation was underway in Dera Bugti, Kohlu and other parts of Balochistan. He said so far no government has called an end to military operation in the province, adding that a large number of people were displaced from their homes.
The BNP Chief demanded prompt action against those involved in the murder of Baloch political workers.
"Respected people are now forced to engage in beggary in Sindh", he said referring to internally displaced persons of Dera Bugti, who are languishing in different parts of Sindh province.
He said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had endorsed his six points, he presented before the apex court last year.
"I demand the arrest of killers of all, whether Sunni or Shia ", he said while referring to worsening law and order
BNP had leveled serious allegations against the government and refused to accept the results of May 2013 general elections. The party has decided to sit in parliament and raise voice for Baloch rights and protect resources, after carrying lengthy deliberations Chief Minister of Balochistan, Dr Malik Blaoch, while welcoming Mengal's arrival said that both leaders shared the same destination and would make efforts to lift the province out of difficult times. Leader of the opposition in the Balochistan Assembly, Zmarak Khan Achakzai, belonging to the Awami National party (ANP) assuring Akhtar Mengal of his complete cooperation said that both the parties (ANP and BNP-M) would work together to stabilise democracy as they had in the past.
August 29, 2013
Improving Public and Police Officer Safety O NT AR IO T O A L L OW P OL ICE S ERVICES TO E QUIP O FFICERS WITH C ONDUCTED E NERGY W EAPONS Ontario is allowing local police services to decide which officers will be permitted to carry conducted energy weapons (CEWs). Currently, the province restricts the use of these devices to certain designated positions and police teams such as members of tactical units, hostage rescue teams, containment teams and frontline supervisors. The new approach is based on evidence that shows CEW use results in fewer significant injuries to both subjects and police officers when compared to other useof-force options. Since CEWs were first introduced in Ontario in 2002, the government has been carefully reviewing independent research, stakeholder input, and the recommendations of several coroners' inquest juries, all of which contributed to this decision.
community groups, the government is introducing changes that:
Provide direction and guidance as to when a CEW would be deemed to be appropriate; Increase reporting provisions (i.e., CEW use will be reported in an open and transparent manner, including when a CEW is displayed with the intention to achieve behaviour compliance); Enhance training, including scenariobased training and training for interactions with people with mental health issues, to assist in ensuring the safe, appropriate and effective use of CEWs; and Expect that police services should engage local communities prior to deciding to expand CEW deployment in their jurisdiction.
Permitting local police services to expand CEW use is part of the government's plan to build safe communities for all Ontarians.
The government is committed to openness and accountability in policing. After consulting with policing and
Stricter gold import policy The government has introduced a new scheme for gold imports effective August 31 — the day when a temporary ban on these imports, imposed in late July, will go. “With the new policy in place, the availability of gold for jewellery exporters would no longer be a problem; smuggling of Pakistani jewellery to India and the UAE would be contained, and declining jewellery exports would get a shot in the arm,” says a finance ministry official. Net foreign exchange earnings through jewellery exports (i.e. exports of jewellery minus imports of gold) had turned negative in April this year, and the negative balance crossed the $100 million -mark in July (see table). This compelled the government to enforce a one-month ban on gold imports, effective July 26. Fresh guidelines on the import of gold, approved by the Economic Coordination Committee on August 22, offers two parallel sets of procedures — the entrustment scheme and self-consignment imports. Under the entrustment scheme, an eligible importer can import a maximum of 25kg gold for manufacturing jewellery for export. He can again import gold on a revolving basis, i.e. limiting his fresh imports to as much quantity as he has already used in making value-added jewellery and has also exported that particular volume of jewellery within 120 days. Previously, the timelimit for such exports was 180 days. This change is obviously aimed at speeding up exports and ensuring that the impact of foreign exchange spent on gold imports is more than offset in a lesser time period through export earnings. Another change in the policy is that jewellery exporters are no more permitted to use 100 per cent of export proceeds to import gold, as was the case in the past. Now they need to bring home 50 per cent of the export proceeds in the form of foreign exchange. They are free to hold the remaining 50 per cent abroad to import gold of an equivalent value. Under the selfconsignment part of the gold import policy, importers will not only have to export jewellery within 120 days to qualify for the next round of imports, but will also have to ensure realisation of export proceeds within the same time. Earlier, they had to bring the proceeds within 240 days. Under the new policy, gold importers have also been required to present to banks (while seeking foreign exchange) valid import contracts signed with foreign suppliers, which have been approved by financial authorities of the supplier countries and duly attested by our foreign missions abroad. “This is to check those people who used to transfer forex funds abroad to their front-men operating in the garb of gold suppliers. Lately, this had emerged as a big means of capital flight,” says another official of the ministry of finance, while citing this as one of the reasons for the
rupee’s decline in July. The rupee lost about 2.2 per cent value against the dollar during July in the fastest monthly fall so far in 2013, when the balance of jewellery exports and gold imports hit a huge deficit of $119 million. The new scheme also prohibits the sale of imported gold in the domestic market, and requires higher standards of value-addition in jewellery from importers to qualify for imports of the precious metal against their actual exports. Now, a minimum of eight, 12 and 13 per cent value-addition is required, respectively, in the cases of plain gold bangles and chains, plain gold jewellery, and jewellery studded with pricey gemstones. Earlier, the standards were far lower at four per cent, six per cent and nine per cent, respectively. “Sale of imported gold in the local market was never allowed,” a Karachi-based jewellery exporter told Dawn, while explaining that the new policy only “explicitly declares it as a violation of the conditions to qualify for gold imports for making exportable jewellery”. That gold imported for making exportable jewellery was not being used for this purpose is evident from a vast gap between forex earnings of jewellery and import bills of gold, particularly during April-July this year (see table). The rise and fall of jewellery exports within the last few years offers important lessons in effective foreign exchange management and external trade facilitation. The most important lesson is that while promoting export of items that depend heavily on imported raw materials, complacency about growth in gross exports could be fatal. “Another one relates to effective monitoring of real-time effective linkages between various markets, as people with big money, particularly those who have acquired it through illegal means, are so agile now that they don’t let surplus funds sit idle for an hour,” says a former chairman of the Karachi Stock Exchange. Despite the fact that a declining growth trend set in jewellery exports in the second half of FY13, gross forex earnings, at $1.178 billion, against $916 million in FY12, showed an annual increase of about 29 per cent. But the rise in net earnings was just about 12 per cent, as they rose to $832 million in FY13 from $744 million in FY12. Had the authorities been closely watching net forex earnings on monthly or quarterly basis, and had they raised alarm bells a bit earlier, perhaps it could have helped plug in at least one reason of the recent exchange rate volatility. “Similarly, had portfolio investment been under a penetrating spotlight, a lousy pattern could have been easily spotted: booking gold imports out of illegitimate money, using it to transfer funds to your foreign front-men and asking them to reinvest the same into soaring Pakistani stocks — a cool money-whitening strategy,” says the head of equity of a local bank. —Mohiuddin Aazim
Driver and Vehicle Licence Fees Continue Gradual O NTARIO G OVERNMENT C OMMITTED TO I MPROVING I NFRASTRUCTURE , K EY S ERVICES Ontario is continuing its gradual increase of driver and vehicle licence fees to improve vital infrastructure and support key services. Fees for new driver's licences and renewals, driver's licence replacements, driver examinations and vehicle permits are among those being increased. Until last
year, they had not been increased in 15 years. The changes are necessary to cover the rising costs of maintaining provincial roads, bridges and highways and to support the quality services Ontarians rely on, such as education and health care. Even with these increases, Ontario's passenger vehicle licence fees will remain lower than many other provinces in Canada.
Widening tax net
The ministry of finance appears determined this time to go ahead with its initiative to broaden the tax base, even though its past record on this score has been disappointing. The new move, also not without a tinge of controversy, was adopted on the eve of the budget by making an amendment in the Income Tax Ordinance, which aimed to lay hands on tax evaders by having online access to their bank accounts. One reason for the regime showing firmness in implementing this scheme, which the business community calls ‘a harsh measure,’ is that the broadening the tax base is one of the conditions for the new $6.6 billion loan that the country is seeking from the International Monetary Fund. The loan will come up for approval before the IMF’s executive board early next month. The business community is resisting the new law on grounds that it amounts to ‘invasion’ of privacy of the accounts that the banks have guaranteed and are supposed to protect. The banks have also opposed the measure, but not publicly. The businessmen, in a desperate bid to get this measure quashed, have even offered quid pro quo proposals to the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to make up for the shortfall. One such offer is to pay withholding tax also on crossed cheques that will, they say, raise revenues worth billions. What worries them is that a blanket application of Section 165-A, inducted in the Income Tax Ordinance 2001 this June, regarding access to transactions will expose their accounts to misuse, and subject account holders to harassment and blackmail by FBR functionaries. The Senate’s standing committee on finance had in its meeting on June 17 rejected the government move. Some senators were of the opinion that this measure was likely to promote ‘corruption and open up new doors of blackmailing’ by the tax authorities.
The fear stemmed from the fact that the new amendment did not define the category of account holders who would come under its jurisdiction. Authorities removed this confusion by issuing a notification saying that not all account holders are subject to having their accounts accessed by the FBR.
lowest in the world.
There have been repeated clarifications, and a recent one made by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar at the meeting of the apex body of the business community on August 18 made it clear that bank accounts of only those ‘affluent’ persons who are out of the tax net or are deliberately not paying taxes will be looked into. The accounts of existing/ compliant taxpayers would not be touched. But the fear still seems to persist.
In April, Sir Malcolm B r u ce , c ha i r ma n o f Britain’s House of Commons’ international development committee, had warned in a report that the British public may rise against economic assistance to Pakistan if the elite there “don’t come to senses and continue to evade taxes and encourage corrupt practices”.
During the meeting, the finance minister made it amply clear that the government was not considering ‘deferring the changes’ in the law, as has been sought by some business circles. Besides, he assured Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCPI) members that only top officials of the FBR, such as its chairman and board members — not ordinary officials — will be authorised to have access to the bank accounts. But many businessmen are still unsure about the safety of their bank accounts. Those who are involved in illegal transactions or money laundering have already spread panic that businessmen were withdrawing most of their deposits or simply closing their accounts, to put pressure on the government to withdraw the scheme. What is strange to note is the lack of support shown by members of the FPCCI for the government’s efforts to expand the tax net and persuade the non-taxpayers to enter the net. Instead most of them have been so pre-occupied with rescuing their own bank accounts from the FBR ‘invasion’. Currently, the total number of National Tax Number (NTN) holders in the country in a population of 180 million is just 3.3 million. Of these, around 800,000 persons are paying taxes. Pakistan’s tax-toGDP ratio is one of the
The most committed to tax compliance are the corporate sector and the salaried class. The latter are in fact forced to pay, as their taxes are deducted at source. A large number of self-employed persons prefer to pay FBR functionaries rather than the national exchequer.
In its report, the powerful committee had recommended halting the planned rise in aid to Pakistan, after having seen ‘no evidence’ in the last few years that there was any movement towards ‘serious tax reforms’ and having not noticed the wealthy people ‘taking any responsibility by stopping to cheat.’ Britain had planned to increase its bilateral assistance to Pakistan from £267 million in 2012-13 to £446 million in 2014-15, making Pakistan the largest recipient of UK aid. The people of Pakistan, the report says, should know that the “Pakistani rich class who don’t pay taxes at all are wealthier than British citizens, including British Pakistanis”. If the British public has a commitment towards Pakistan, then Pakistan’s rulers and other wealthy people should have a similar commitment too. “We have to work together to deliver results. If we are to increase our contribution then the tax base should increase at the same time…” The committee chairman Sir Bruce added it’s not the wealthy in Pakistan alone who are cheaters. Britain’s elite, as well as rich people everywhere else in the world, try to hide their wealth and dodge paying taxes, but what’s happening in Pakistan is beyond any comparison. Pakistan’s wealthy class, he observed, don’t seem to have any respect for the concept of social contract and justice.
August 29, 2013
The Brampton A’s Sign First Player: Canadian Evaldas Zabas directly out of high school Zabas brings a decorated 7-year playing resume to The A’s. Coming off another successful year in the Czech Republic, the 6’2” 195 lb point guard looks to make an immediate on court impact as he has advanced a playing level every year of his career. The A’s are thrilled to have him, “We have been training Ev at our Athlete Institute facility for the past four summers and have seen amazing growth as a player, athlete, and person,” said Head Coach David Magley, “When we decided to start an NBL franchise he was the first player we put on our list of guys to get. He is an amazing leader who has been a success at every level of professional basketball and the fact that he is Canadian is an even better coincidence.”
Zabas is equally excited to be back in Canada and playing in front of a home crowd, “I have spent 7 years away from my family and an opportunity to come home and have them come to games is truly a thrill for me. I have been with the AI folks for 4 years and they are like family as well.” As for his personal and team goals they are simple “I want to win a championship and be in a position to play at the highest level possible when the season is done, including the NBA.” ORANGEVILLE, Ontario. – The Brampton A’s have signed former St. Michaels star guard and Mississauga resident Evaldas Zabas. Zabas returns
home after a successful career in Europe and is the first player signed to the expansion franchise team.
The Lithuanian born player moved to Canada when he was 15 years old and led all GTA Schools in scoring his senior year with a 40 ppg average. Since turning pro
New rating agency plans operations in Pakistan
The Brampton A’s will be starting their season on November 1st and play in the Brampton Powerade Centre.
Unilever posts profit
dominated by the three American-based firms, Moody’s, Fitch, and Standards and Poor’s. Delegation visits ISE The UCRG delegation during its visit to the Islamabad Stock Exchange (ISE) stressed that a dualrating system was needed in the current financial system to balance rating risks.
ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said on Tuesday that there was a need for a new international rating agency and Hong Kong-based Universal Credit Rating Group (UCRG) is a welcome addition in this regard. Dar said this while appreciating the interest expressed by the UCRG to extend its activities in Pakistan, and provide services to companies, bourses and evaluate financial activities. The UCRG Chairman Guan Jianzhong, leading a four-member delegation, met with Dar to explored ways and means to extend UCRG’s operations in Pakistan. “Pakistan would like to benefit from UCRG’s expertise and services as we have an ambitious plan to launch infrastructure, power and mega projects in the near future,” the minister said. In this connection, he referred to the GwadarKashgar corridor, coal-fuelled thermal power plant and Lahore-Karachi motorway besides the need for floating financial products for financing public sector projects. Senator Dar stated that the rating company based in China was positive news for emerging economies in the region including Pakistan. Mr Jianzhong who was accompanied by UCRG Chief Executive Richard Hainsworth, International Affairs Dagong, Jialin Chen, and Wei Ding, managing director international affairs, Dagong, briefed the finance minister about the functioning of UCRG. Three independent credit rating agencies from China, the United States and Russia launched the UCRG in Hong Kong. UCRG, comprised of Dagong Global Credit Rating, Egan-Jones Ratings Company, and RusRaiting, aims to set up a non-sovereign global credit rating agency which will reform the current rating system
The role of smaller rating agencies is becoming importance to counter the errors being made by the top three rating agencies who are being blamed for the recent financial crisis, the delegates opined. “UCRG aims at providing some balance to the industry, traditionally cornered by Moody's, Standard & Poor's and Fitch,” Mr Hainsworth said while talking to the ISE members. “Credit ratings are indispensable in global economic operation, and it is obvious that the current rating system needs reforming and introducing new thinking,” he added Mr Guan highlighted about his plans to introduce in Pakistan, a new Yuan-based market, providing access to Chinese investors to Pakistan market and developing a Yuan-based bonds in regional markets outside China. He stated that that the idea of UCRG was first proposed by Dagong in 2008 when the global financial crisis broke out. President and CEO of JCR-VIS Credit Rating Company Limited Faheem Ahmad said that Yuan-based bond market can help Pakistan to lessen its dependence on the dollar. He lauded the efforts of the UCRG for creating a good competition amongst raters. COO ISE Ahmad Noman gave a detailed presentation on ISE and criteria for strategic investors to acquire 40 per cent shares of ISE under Demutualisation Act. The Chinese companies were invited to consider strategic investment in ISE. There are more than 70 credit rating agencies worldwide and the big three US-based ratings companies alone hold a collective market share of roughly 95pc. UCRG may also prove to be a good alternate for many countries for their sovereign rating.
KARACHI: The Board of Unilever Pakistan Limited declared results of the company for the six months ended June 30 on Tuesday, posting profit after tax (PAT) at Rs469 million, translating into earning per share (eps) at Rs76.17. It represented improvement over the PAT at Rs401 and eps at Rs65.15 in the same time last year. Sales rose to Rs3.465 billion for the latest six months, from Rs3.006bn in the corresponding six months of last year. Cost of sales increased to Rs2.012bn, from Rs1.809bn. In a statement presented alongside the report, the directors said that 2013 continues to be a challenging year, with energy crisis, adverse security environment, market closures and slowdown in consumer demand impacting the business. Despite all that, the underlying sales grew 15 per cent and the growth was broad based. Gross margin increased by 212bps, through savings programs and a more favourable mix. “In 2Q, we stepped up advertising and promotion in an environment with many players vying for a share of the shrinking consumer wallet", directors said. Lotte Chemical Pakistan Formerly, the Lotte Pakistan PTA Limited announced results for the six months ended June 30 on Tuesday. The company posted loss after tax (LAT) at Rs423m, converting into loss per share (lps) at Re0.28. It represented increase over the LAT at Rs294 and Lps at Re0.19 in the corresponding period of the earlier year. Revenue decreased to Rs25.9bn, from Rs26.5bn and gross loss rose to Rs568m, from Rs174m. While ‘other income’ showed strong growth to Rs278m in the latest six months from Rs30m same time last year, finance cost ate up the benefit with an increase to Rs108m, from Rs54m.
August 29, 2013
An archive for development visions The Planning Commission of Pakistan seems to be a great place for producing wonderful documents, plans and visions for the future, whether or not these are tested in the real world. Dozens of annual plans, a series of five -year plans, perspective plans, frameworks and then strategic ‘visions’ keep on adding to the richness of its library.
Pakistan’. Simultaneously, the consultation process has just begun for formulating the ‘Vision 2025’. Major themes of the Vision 2025 include an integrated energy plan, modernisation of infrastructure, mobilisation of indigenous resources, institutional
making a progressive Pakistan, he added. Former economic adviser and dean at the National University of Science and Technology Dr Ashfaq Hassain Khan wondered if all ministries and divisions of the government had been taken on board for such a vision, which envisages cross-cutting
Starting with 1950, Pakistan’s policymakers prepared and implemented about nine five-year plans, with varying degrees of success and failure, followed by a Medium Term Development Framework (2004-07) introduced by former prime minister Shaukat Aziz. The 10th five-year plan (2010-15) was shelved in May 2010 just ahead of its formal launch, and was replaced by the Framework for Economic Growth, which too did not take off. The annual plans and the five-year plans like the 1965-88 Perspective Plan, the Vision 2010, the 2003-13 Perspective Plan, and the Vision 2030, generally followed broader and longer-term development goals, ostensibly to protect national priorities irrespective of political changes. Their objectives, however, remained elusive. In a majority of the immediate, short, medium and longer-term plans and visions, seldom was any productive stock-taking done to see their level of achievement, the reasons for their failures. In the process, however, the planning commission witnessed a steady decline in its role as a planning body, and failed to guide the political leadership about the challenges and steer the country out of low-growth cycles. It deteriorated to the extent of becoming a subordinate body of the finance ministry, approving PC-1 papers and allocating funds on the directions of the finance minister or the chief executives. But now empowered with a fullfledged ministry and renamed as the ‘planning, development and reforms commission,’ it is reviving the tradition of five-year plans and perspective plans, albeit with fresh jargon. It has started working on the ‘Development Strategy 2013-18,’ with a focus on ‘Strong Economy - Strong
reforms and governance, value addition in production sectors, export and private sector -led growth, and exploitation of social capital. Some independent stakeholders, however, question if the ambitious reforms envisaged in the development strategy and the Vision 2025 are possible in an environment of devolution and bureaucratic hassle. The proposed plan was seen with some skepticism by economists and experts, who did not see a supportive (also inefficient) bureaucracy taking the process forward to the implementation stage — one of the most challenging tasks in the country’s history — as they referred to a number of past failed experiences Reiterating a narrative of former deputy chairman planning commission Dr Nadeem ul Haque, planning minister Ahsan Iqbal argues that so far the emphasis had been ‘on building hardware by compromising the soft side of development’. The government would make policies to promote education, increase health facilities, reduce poverty, and harness the potential of the youth for
corporate image abroad and bring back best international business practices. Meanwhile, the five-year development strategy aims to achieve all possible wishes. It calls for stabilising the economy through minimising the fiscal deficit, adopting self-reliance, focusing on tax reforms, increasing investments, reviving the economy for balanced and sustainable growth, promoting the private sector, and transforming productive sectors towards value addition through innovation, enhancing quality and productivity.
themes for the entire public sector.
It also seeks to achieve energy security by addressing the energy crisis and inefficiencies, adding cheap power to the national grid, and replacing expensive dependence on fuel oil with cheaper alternatives to provide affordable energy to citizens through an integrated energy policy. It plans on building modern infrastructure for a high growth economy that would serve as a corridor and hub of regional trade through efficient transport networks, by reducing production and transaction costs for providing a stimulus to economic growth.
He said past initiatives failed because of resistance from the bureaucracy, and hence the prime minister should have spearheaded the Vision 2025 to give a strong message to all bureaucrats that the government was serious about moving forward on the reform process.
The strategists also wish to restore peace and security. They hope to improve security by initiating various social and entrepreneurial programmes in underdeveloped areas, and wish to achieve good governance through institutional and governance reforms.
Dr Khan also wondered how the federal government could implement such a serious plan in an environment of devolution, and whether the provinces would be ready to adopt it. He said the provincial representatives and the Council of Common Interest should also be part of the plan. There is also a serious issue of capacity at the planning commission, which has seen years of decay. It lacks quality manpower.
Meanwhile, some other experts also believe that while planning for the future, the policymakers should also consider acquisition of natural resources in Africa and other possible locations by encouraging corporations both in the public and private sector to make joint ventures and take ownership of energy resources wherever possible.
Former minister and industrialist Abdul Razaq Dawood suggested encouraging Pakistani corporations to invest abroad, instead of talking all the time about foreign direct investment. Investment by Pakistanis abroad would market the country’s
The development strategy’s success would generally depend on a strong champion who could take the planning process to the implementation stage; remove bottlenecks and resistance, and give a big push to the cross-cutting reform process. The realisation of even half of the targets would not be a mean achievement after all.
External sector scenario Fire-fighting is on to halt the ongoing rupee slide. But promising signs are not missing. Developments in July included a record $1.4 billion in remittances, an increase in foreign private investment, a tiny surplus in the current account and a larger one in the overall balance of payments. The rupee shed four per cent value against the dollar in less than two months of this fiscal year (from July 1 to August 21) on heavy external debt servicing, increase in import bills, and transfer abroad of profits and dividends by multinational companies. In mid-August, Pakistan received the first tranche of an Islamic Development Bank (IDB) loan, and another tranche is expected to come by the month-end. The IDB has pledged to provide about a billion dollars in two separate loans. The government is also expecting some immediate inflows of foreign exchange from China and Saudi Arabia, after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s visits to these countries. Without specifying the expected modes of financing, a senior official of the ministry of finance said Pakistan would receive “a few hundreds of millions of dollars from these two countries — and probably from the US and Japan as well — within a couple of months”. Meanwhile, the IMF’s board of directors is expected to approve in its September 4 meeting a new $6.6 billion financing for Pakistan, as officials say the
government has fulfilled both explicit and implicit prior conditions for the loan, including increasing energy tariffs, hiking the sales tax, issuing notices to over 10,000 potential taxpayers for widening the tax net, and maintaining monetary variables at mutually-agreed-upon levels. The World Bank would also lend $1.5 billion to Pakistan within this fiscal year, its vice president Le Houerou was quoted as saying after his recent meeting with Finance Minister Ishaq Dar in Islamabad. But for now, the foreign exchange market is jittery. The rupee nosedived from 101.82 per dollar at the end of July to 103.60 on August 21, losing 1.75 per cent in just three weeks. “This happened chiefly because the State Bank bought back from banks and exchange companies a sizable amount of dollars it had earlier sold to them to check exchange rates volatility,” says the treasurer of a large local bank. The central bank had to do it because it can’t remain a net seller in the forex market, particularly when the country is awaiting approval of a new IMF loan.” Meanwhile, the finance ministry is pursuing a foreign currency loan from banks. Bankers say the issue is being examined from various angles, adding that instead of making an outright loan to the government, a few banks may rather enter into rupee-dollar swaps. “Banks did it back in 1998-99. That was a tripartite deal involving leading local and foreign banks, the central bank and the
government,” recalls a former senior central banker. “And the tool used was a rupeedollar swap, not an outright loan.” Making a consortium financing to a government-run project could also be an option. On the domestic front, large-scale manufacturing (LSM) is growing fast. Latest data shows a strong rebound, with the pace of growth shooting up to 4.8 per cent in June this year from about a quarter per cent in June last year. Overall in FY13, growth in LSM, at 4.3 per cent, was about three times higher than what it was in FY12 — 1.17 per cent. The sectors that witnessed growth in June this year are textiles, food, beverages and tobacco, coke and petroleum products, paper and board, rubber products, pharmaceuticals, non-metallic mineral products, iron, steel and leather products. And the industries that showed a decline in output included fertilisers, electronics, wood and engineering products, chemicals and automobiles. As the energy crisis has somewhat subsided, at least for industries, LSM may keep up the current growth momentum in the coming months. But electricity and gas tariff hikes, along with a falling rupee, are fuelling inflation not only for consumers but for industries as well. How this will impact growth in industrial output depends much on both domestic and the global demand situation. For the time being, domestic demand is up, and global demand has started showing signs of improvement, as suggested by latest external trade data of the US, China and Japan. On the other
hand, a weaker rupee is supporting export growth, and may eventually cause a slowdown in imports. “Our exports minus jewellery in July this year comes to $2.079 billion, against just $1.851 billion in July last year, showing an increase of 12.3 per cent,” points out an official of the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan. He linked it to an impressive increase in key export categories. Export earnings of food items, textiles, leather and cement sectors all showed double-digit rise in the first month of FY14. However, jewellery exports plunged from $190 million in July 2012 to just $16 million in July 2013, as exporters had to rely 100 per cent on imported gold, and local supply in the form of old ornaments came to a halt ahead of Eid. The government is retiring commercial bank loans, but borrowing heavily from the central bank, which is one basic reason for inflation going up. Between July 1 and August 9 this year, the federal government retired commercial banks’ loans worth Rs413 billion, and borrowed Rs610.6 billion. This is happening at a time when the cash-rich private sector is also busy retiring bank loans. Banks are, thus, awash with liquidity. This is good for the government, as it will help it shift gears towards the end of the quarter when it will have to bring its net borrowing from SBP to zero, “predictably by acquiring huge loans from banks,” says the treasurer of a foreign bank.
August 29, 2013
US soldier gets life without parole for killing Afghans TACOMA, Washington : A decorated American soldier was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole on Friday for killing 16 unarmed Afghan civilians, mostly women and children, in two bloody nighttime forays from his military post. Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales, a veteran of four combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, has admitted to slaughtering the villagers in attacks on their family compounds in Kandahar province in March 2012. He pleaded guilty to the killings in June in a deal that spared him the death penalty, and a sentencing jury of six military personnel deliberated less than two hours on Friday before deciding he should spend the rest of his life in prison. Bales, who appeared in a military court in Washington state in blue military dress, showed no emotion as the verdict was handed down, but his mother cried and rocked back and forth. Army prosecutors said Bales acted alone and with premeditation when, armed with a pistol, a rifle and a grenade launcher, he left his outpost twice during the night, returning in the middle of his rampage to tell a fellow soldier, “I just shot up some people.” The killings marked the worst case of civilian deaths blamed on a rogue US soldier since the Vietnam War and further eroded strained US-Afghan relations after more than a decade of conflict in Afghanistan. “He wiped out generations and he ruined lives forever,” prosecutor Lieutenant Colonel Jay Morse told the jury in his closing arguments. “He should be known by one official title from this day until the day he dies: inmate.” In arguing for life without parole, Morse told jurors that Bales lacked a moral compass, and played video in which Bales could be seen returning to base on the day of the killings, cloaked in a blanket snatched during the rampage.
“This is the walk of a cold blooded killer,” Morse said. Defense attorneys had contended that Bales carried out the killings after suffering a breakdown under the pressure of the last
statement after the sentence was handed down, adding the defense would mount an automatic appeal. ‘WE DIDN’T GET OUR WISH’ Some Afghan survivors of the attack and
of his four deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. They said he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and a brain injury even before shipping off to Kandahar province. “We won the case when we got the death penalty off the table,” John Henry Browne, one of Bales’ attorneys, said in a
family members of the victims who had been flown to the United States to testify about the impact of the shooting later expressed disappointment at a news conference that the penalty was not stronger. “This murderer jumped into my house in the middle of the night, killed 11 members of my family and then burned
them,” said villager Hajji Mohammad Wazir, who lost his wife and six of his seven children, among other relatives, in the attacks. “We were brought all the way here from Afghanistan to see if justice would be served. But not our way. The justice was served (in the) American way, their way,” he said. “We wanted this murderer to be executed but we didn’t get our wish.” Bales’ sentencing came the same day a separate military jury convicted US Army psychiatrist Major Nidal Hasan of killing 13 people in 2009 when he walked into a medical facility at Fort Hood, Texas, and opened fire on unarmed soldiers with a laser -sighted handgun. He could face the death penalty. Prior to the sentencing, Bales told the jury on Thursday he had struggled with anger issues that worsened after his third military deployment, but that he had tried to disguise his problems behind a veneer of normalcy. He said he briefly sought treatment before his final deployment but stopped after he felt it was not working. He also apologized, both to his fellow servicemen and to the Afghan villagers, for the killings, saying: “What I did is an act of cowardice behind a mask of fear, bullshit and bravado.” In seeking the possibility of parole for Bales, civilian defense attorney Emma Scanlan had tried to persuade the jury to look at Bales’ life in entirety while deciding on an appropriate sentence. “We don’t throw out the first 38 years,” Scanlan said. “That doesn’t mean, again, that there is anything about this that is not completely horrific.” Scanlan read a letter Bales wrote to his children and family before the attack in which he compared Afghan children to his own, saying they love “to eat candy and play soccer.” “Those aren’t the words of a coldblooded murderer who likes to kill innocent women and children,” Scanlan said.
Thousands at risk as Pakistan warns of fresh polio outbreak Pakistan is one of only three countries in the world where the highly infectious, crippling disease remains endemic. Infections shot up from a low of 28 in 2005 to almost 200 last year.
MIRAMSHAH: Health officials in Pakistan on Wednesday warned of a serious polio outbreak after the disease was detected in 16 children in a tribal district where militant groups have banned vaccination. Doctor Khayal Mir Jan, the top health official in Pakistan's militant-infested North Waziristan tribal district, on the Afghan border, told AFP that thousands of children were at risk.
“Polio virus has been detected in 16 children since the Taliban ban,” Jan told AFP. “We are waiting for the result of the stool samples of another 42 children suspected of having the disease.” Local warlord Hafiz Gul Bahadur banned polio vaccinations in Waziristan in June 2012, alleging the campaign was a cover for espionage. Bahadur, who is allied with Afghan Taliban fighting US-led troops across the border, said the ban would remain until the US stops drone attacks in the tribal regions.
North Waziristan has borne the brunt of the strikes. Health officials said the disease is in danger of becoming an epidemic and voiced fears that it could spread to the neighbouring districts if vaccination was not begun immediately. “Every day we are receiving children with polio, we will have to start an antipolio campaign, otherwise it's becoming epidemic,” Jan told AFP. Most of the children affected were under five years old. Jan said nine cases were detected in Mir Ali town while seven were detected in Miramshah, the main town of North Waziristan. An administrative official in the area
said efforts were underway to talk to militant groups and support from Islamic scholars had also been sought. Officials said more than 240,000 in North and South Waziristan were at risk due the ban and have not been administered polio drops since the ban. A World Health Organization official, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed: “Scores of polio cases have been reported in North Waziristan.” “Several other children have also been paralysed in North Waziristan but we are waiting for their test results as we don't know what virus paralysed them,” the official said.