Canadian Pakistani Times
Syria rebels free 48 Iranians in prisoner swap BEIRUT: Syrian rebels on Wednesday freed 48 Iranians they had been holding for months in a swap for 2,130 prisoners detained by the Syrian regime, according to a Turkish charity, a rebel spokesman and Iranian state television. “This is the result of months of civil diplomacy carried out by our organisation,” a spokesman for the Turkish charity the Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH), Serkan Nergis, told AFP in Turkey. The regime’s prisoners exchanged for
the Iranians were of several nationalities, including Turks, he said. A spokesman for the rebel Free Syrian Army, Ahmed al-Khatib, confirmed the deal, telling AFP in Beirut by telephone it was worked out through Turkish and Qatari mediation with Iran lobbying ally Syrian President Bashar alAssad. Iranian television made no mention of the swap deal, saying only that “the 48 Iranian pilgrims were released.” The Iranians counted several Revolutionary Guards members, according to the rebel group which snatched them in Damascus in early August and threatened them with execution. The rebels released a video on August 5 showing the captives and Iranian military identification cards taken from them. Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi on August 8 admitted there were Revolutionary Guards in the group, but claimed they were “retired”. Salehi had said all 48 had been on a religious pilgrimage to a Shia shrine in southeast Damascus, rejecting suspicions the Iranians had been providing military support to Assad’s forces. Wednesday’s prisoner release was not immediately confirmed by Turkish or Syrian officials. Separate to the abduction, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards acknowledged on Sept 16 that members of its Quds Force, an elite external operations unit, had been dispatched to Syria. But Guards commander General Mohammad Ali Jafari told journalists the Quds deployment was there only to “counsel” Syrian forces fighting insurgents, and not for combat. Salehi’s foreign ministry days later stressed that Jafari’s admission did not in any way mean that Iran had a “military presence” in Syria. Iran has said it is providing only economic and humanitarian aid to Syria’s regime, which it sees as part of a regional “resistance” to Israel. The United States and its Western allies believe that Iran is also providing weapons, snooping technology and military personnel skilled in hunting down and suppressing opposition members.
January 10, 2013 Volume 1, 042
Pakistan terms Indian allegations “baseless and unfounded” ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Wednesday strongly rejected what it called “baseless and unfounded allegations” by India of a cross-border attack by Pakistani troops killing two Indian soldiers, adding that it was ready for a probe by a UN observer body into the incident. “These are baseless and unfounded allegations,” said a statement issued by the Foreign Office. “Pakistan is prepared to hold investigations through the United Nations Military Observer Group for India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) on the recent ceasefire violations on the Line of Control.” The statement said it was important that serious efforts be made to maintain the progress and improvement achieved by the neighbouring countries in the dialogue process and bilateral relations, emphasising that “negative propaganda” be avoided. The Indian army has claimed that firing by Pakistani troops near the heavily militarised Line of Control (LoC) had killed two Indian soldiers on Tuesday, with one’s head allegedly severed and taken away. A senior military official in Islamabad had earlier denied that Pakistani troops had been involved in any attack, similarly claiming that India was using “propaganda” to divert attention from a deadly raid on Sunday. Pakistan’s army says Indian troops crossed the LoC on Sunday and stormed a military post in an attack that left a Pakistani soldier dead and another injured. India has denied crossing the line.
Warning against further escalation India also summoned Pakistan’s envoy in New Delhi on Wednesday to protest the alleged
followed a deadly exchange along the border at the weekend in which a Pakistani soldier was killed, was designed to wreck an already fragile peace
killing. Indian Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid said Pakistani ambassador Salman Bashir had been “spoken to in very strong terms,” but he struck a note of caution and warned against further moves to inflame tensions. “Whatever has happened, should not be escalated. We cannot and must not allow for an escalation of a very unwholesome event that has taken place,” Khurshid told a press conference. Khurshid earlier said the attack, which
process. Relations had been slowly improving over the past few years following a rupture after the 2008 attacks on Mumbai, which were blamed by India on Pakistan-based militants. The clash took place in Mendhar sector, 173 kilometres west of the city of Jammu. A ceasefire has been in place since 2003 along the Line of Control in Kashmir, but it is accused to have been periodically violated by both sides.
Harper rules out military mission to Mali Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Canada is “not considering” a military mission to Mali, where an al Qaeda-affiliated terror group has taken hold in the country’s north. Harper made the comments on Parliament Hill following a meeting with Thomas Boni Yayi, the president of Benin and the head of the African Union. In a joint press conference, the pair announced a new Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA), which they said offers protections to investors in both countries that they hope will boost economic activity between the two nations.But the first question from a reporter was about the deteriorating situation in Mali, where the militant group Islamic Maghreb recently took advantage of a military coup to gain control in the north. A UN Security Council resolution last month called on member states to contribute troops, equipment and other support to an African-led military mission to curb terror activity in Mali. Harper said Tuesday that Canada is “very concerned about the situation,” but will concentrate its efforts in the region on contributing humanitarian aid and diplomatic negotiations with its allies in Africa and the West. “The government of Canada is not considering a direct Canadian military mission,” Harper said, though he noted that, “the development of essentially an entire terrorist region in the middle of Africa is of great concern to the international com-
munity.” Boni Yayi said he discussed the UN resolution with Harper and welcomed the prime minister’s diplomatic and humanitarian efforts. But he emphasized the need for international help to curb terror activity in Africa, and went so far as to call for the assistance of NATO troops. “We need to react for the simple reason that not only does this issue go well beyond the scope of Africa, but also we must be focused on the fact that the scourge of terrorism is an issue of the entire international community,” Boni Yayi said. The prime minister’s remarks were in step with what the office of Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said Monday, that Canada is “not contemplating a military mission” in Mali. But last week, Defence Minister Peter MacKay indicated that Canada would be willing to send military trainers to Mali. After MacKay’s remarks, Baird’s office said Canada is not considering sending troops. On Monday, an anonymous official said Canada “will wait to hear what people are requesting, if they are requesting anything.” The official said Monday that “nothing has been asked” of Canada yet. The government’s position has angered former diplomat Robert Fowler, who was kidnapped by Islamic Maghreb militants in 2008. He and a fellow Canadian diplomat, Louis Guay, were taken captive in Niger, where Fowler was stationed at the time, and held for 130 days.
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Venezuela delays Chavez inauguration as crisis deepens CARACAS: Venezuela heads into uncharted political waters Wednesday without ailing President Hugo Chavez amid calls for the Supreme Court to decide if his government’s postponing his inauguration is constitutional. After days of suspense, the government confirmed Tuesday that Chavez, recovering in Cuba from cancer surgery, was still too sick to return for his re-inauguration Thursday and would take the oath of office at a later date before the Supreme Court. Leaders of the leftist government insist that, under the circumstances, the president’s current term can be extended beyond the January 10 inauguration date until he is well enough to be sworn in to another six-year term. “If anyone has doubts, then go to the Supreme Court, go ahead to the Supreme Court, explain what your doubts are,” Diosdado Cabello, the National Assembly speaker, said in a stormy debate after the delay was announced. “We don’t have any doubts about what we have to do and what is (stated) here in the constitution,” he said. The Supreme Court, which is controlled by proChavez magistrates, called a news conference for Wednesday amid opposition demands for it to rule on the constitutionality of the government’s decision. Chavez, who has not been seen in public for nearly a month, the longest stretch of his 14 years in power.
January 10, 2013
Health No workout worries This is for those of you who are not yet exercising. Who think perhaps that you don’t need to, or can’t. This is also for those who tend to take long breaks in your fitness routine ever so often on some vague pretext or the other, those who tend to keep ‘falling off the wagon’ so to speak. I’ve heard all the excuses: I don’t have time; I don’t need to, (I am slim, I don’t have any medical disorders and so on); I have tried in the past but have always failed, so why try again?; I hate exercise, I can't find anything I like to do. Well, here is the news flash; you have to exercise whatever your shape, size, job, family situation... Time? I haven’t heard of anyone who has more than 24 hours in a day, so you haven’t been singled out with a shortage of time. Strangely, I find the busiest people are the ones who “find” the time to workout. No, actually they do not “find” the time; they “make” the time. It is all about priorities. You have to decide what is more important to you. Watching that TV serial or chatting for hours on the phone or getting a quick 30 minute workout. Once you make a priority list, then the hour you spend working out becomes non-negotiable. You suddenly, magically, “find” the time. If you can’t find anything you like, just do it anyway. Exercise is not meant to entertain you. Grow up. Sometimes we need to do what we need to do. Surprisingly, after doing it often enough, your body begins to recognise it as something you do and is able to cope with the drudgery. It is all about perspective. You start looking at it as something that makes you look, feel and BE better. Not as something you hate or can’t do. Sometimes I think one of the reasons peo-
ple do not start at all is because the goals they set for themselves are so daunting that they don’t know where to begin. They expect results overnight; they think about the terribly difficult task ahead; they imagine the struggle they face and just back off in frustration even before they start.
not plant myself in front of the TV for more than 15 minutes at a time. I will do sit-ups at every commercial break on TV. These are all goals that you can follow and feel pleased about achieving.
They key is to set simple, realistic goals. More important, to set more than one single goal. Make sure the goals are not all focused on the weight on the scale because, that is NOT the only reason you need to exercise. I will workout five days a week. I will aim to burn 100 calories more per workout next week. I will fill in my food journal every day and pay attention to what I eat every day. I will be more active during the day and
It’s not hard. Start with a 15-minute walk every day. Cover a certain distance. Increase the
time to 20-30 minutes. Increase the distance you cover in that time. Add weight training to your routine at least twice a week; 20 minutes a session. Increase the intensity. Get more active during the day. Don’t remain seated all day. Move as much as possible. Buy a Pedometer. It clocks the number of steps you take a day. Put it on and try to cover at least 10,000 steps a day. Find a mentor, preferably someone responsible. This could be an integral part of keeping you motivated. This is something like an AA sponsor/guide who is responsible for your progress. You become accountable to that person. You feel bad if you don’t show up for your workout. You feel guilty for letting them down. This is great to start with. It keeps you motivated, even obligated initially. After a while (hopefully) you start feeling responsible for yourself and are able to stand on your own two feet. Gradually it becomes a habit. An integral part of your day that you are loathe to miss. You start seeing results (however slow) in your body that you appreciate and this motivates you to keep going. You try new things. Add Zumba to your cardio. Pilates for your Core. Oh yes, it CAN be fun too!
New regime to reduce mother-to-child transmission As per the report, over 14,000 children were infected with HIV in 2011 and over 10,000 deaths of children up to four years have been reported during the year. With mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) being the highest cause of HIV infection in children in India, the State Health Department is all set to launch a new effective regime for prevention of MTCT on January 3. According to the latest report by the UNICEF, while new HIV infections in children are down, reaching the goal of an AIDS-free generation requires more HIV positive pregnant women to receive anti-retroviral treatment. This is to decrease the risk of infection for their babies, the report said. As per the report, over 14,000 children were infected with HIV in 2011 and over 10,000 deaths of children up to four years have been reported during the year. Upbeat about the decline in HIV prevalence in the State, from 1.2 per cent to 0.63 per cent in 2011, the government is now making a determined effort to prevent mother-to-child-transmission. Health and Family Welfare Minister Aravind Limbavali will announce the adoption of World Health Organisation’s (WHO) MTCT regime in the State on January 3. NACO guidelines
Giving details about the programme, Health Director B.N. Dhanya Kumar told The Hindu that the new regime was as per NACO guidelines under the National AIDS Control Programme — phase III (NACP III). The department will also launch free travel facilities for those afflicted with HIV, who
are taking anti-retroviral therapy (ART). “Although such a system was in place earlier, the bus passes issued to the persons revealed their HIV status in public. So we have now put in place a system where those coming to the district ART centres for treatment can get their conveyance expenses reimbursed,” Dr. Kumar said. He said a proposal to cover the person’s wage loss for a day (when he/she has to miss work to avail ART treatment) was also on the cards.
Bitter Gourd Filled With Lentils Ingredients Bitter gourd ½ kg Lentils ½ kg Onions 4 Ginger garlic paste 1 tbsp Whole coriander 1 tbsp Fenugreek seeds 6 Turmeric powder 1 tsp Salt to taste Jiggery ½ tbsp Tamarind juice ½ cup Green chilies 4 Fennel seeds 1 tbsp Onion seeds 1 tsp Red chili flakes 1 tbsp Coriander as required Mustard oil 1 cup Salt to taste Cooking Directions Slit bitter gourd and marinate with turmeric powder, salt, jiggery and tamarind juice for 20 minutes. Wash thoroughly and strain excess water. Boil a cup of lentils. In a cooking pot, heat some oil and fry onion. Then add fennel seeds, coriander seeds, onion seeds, fenugreek seeds, salt to taste, ginger garlic paste, turmeric powder and chili and mix.
Sauté and then add fried onion, green chili and tamarind juice. Fill bitter gourd with lentils and onion mix. Tie with a thread to close the opening. Leave the remaining onion mix in the cooking
pot. In a frying pan, add some oil and fry stuffed bitter gourd. When bitter gourds are golden brown, shift them to the onion mix cooking pot. Then add jiggery and finely sliced fresh coriander and put on dam. Delicious bitter gourds filled with lentils are ready to serve.
January 10, 2013
Islamabad braces itself for Qadri’s march ISLAMABAD: Although the capital administration and police have started acquiring containers to seal the red zone on Jan 14, they are in a quandary over whether to let Dr Tahirul Qadri’s march proceed to the city or counter it in the absence of a clear directive from the government. Sources said the administration was waiting for the interior ministry’s advice about ways of handling the march, but there was a complete silence. The administration and police expect a large number of people to turn up and feel that there is need to make proper arrangement so that residents are not inconvenienced, chalk out plans for blocking roads and diverting traffic and, if necessary, declare a holiday in the city. The deployment of police and personnel of other departments is yet to be finalised. A senior police officer told Dawn on Tuesday that Punjab and Kashmir police had been requested to keep 5,000 and 3000 personnel, respectively, on standby and send them immediately when asked for. Rangers have been requested for 5,000 personnel. The officer said Punjab and Kashmir police had been asked to arrange 10 armed personnel carriers, 1,000 rings of barbed wire, long- and short-range teargas shells, guns and rubber bullets. He said the capital police were arranging 40 containers to seal the Grand Trunk Road and Motorway if the government denied permission to the long march. He said Interior Minister Rehman Malik was likely to convene a meeting on Wednesday to decide whether to allow the march or counter it. All entry points from Margalla, Ataturk and Suharwardi roads would have to be sealed by containers if the government decided to block the march, another police officer said, adding that the containers had been placed on the roadside as a precautionary measure. CONFISCATION: Over 25 containers were confiscated by police from GT Road on Tuesday and taken to different areas in Islamabad. Dil Afser Khan, owner of the LahoreHazara Goods Transport Company, said Tarnol police had confiscated their containers. “Police have confiscated three containers of my company. But after a request and payment of some money, two containers loaded with goods were released,” he said.
TMQ: Meanwhile, a meeting was held between the capital administration and a delegation of the TMQ. It was attended by the interior secretary, chief commissioner, IG and director general of the National Crisis Management Cell. The TMQ delegation sought permission for a sit-in in the Parade Ground and parking facility in F-9 Park. IGP Bani Amin Khan said the Parade Ground could not accommodate four million people and suggested that the sit-in should be held in a segregated place like F-9 Park which could be cordoned off effectively by law-enforcement agencies. The interior secretary said that because of severe cold weather the marchers would wear warm cloths and it would be difficult for security personnel to carry out adequate body search. He suggested that the march should be postponed to mid-February. The TMQ delegation assured the meeting that matchers would remain peaceful and would not go to parliament or Diplomatic Enclave. Senior Superintendent of Police Yaseen Farooq did not receive calls despite repeated attempts. SHO of Tarnol police station Fazalur Rehman confirmed the confiscation of containers, but did not say who had ordered them to do so. The capital police had confiscated 17 private containers to block the red zone during a protest against an anti-Islam film in September last year and the containers were not returned to the owners even after a fortnight. In a report sent to the inspector general, the special branch of capital police said the strength of police was inadequate to tackle a large number of marchers and called for seeking help from police of other provinces. The report said the Tehrik-i-Minhajul Quran had assigned the task of bringing people to the march to its office-bearers in the capital. Sources said officers of the administration and police were of the opinion that the government should not allow the march. In a letter to the interior secretary, the administration called for seeking necessary manpower and logistics from other provinces to maintain law and order and avert any untoward incident. It has also sought permission for making arrangements and facilitating the marchers in case the government intends to allow the march and sitin. The letter written on Jan 5 by Islamabad Chief Commissioner Tariq Mehmood Pirzada said there were reports that Dr Tahirul Qadri also planned to hold a sit-in outside the Parliament House till the acceptance of his demands.
The interior secretary was informed that officers of the capital administration and police said at a meeting that the government should not allow the march because Islamabad was a city of diplomats. Any rally held in the city will inconvenience the diplomatic community. Besides, Islamabad is a city of 0.831 million people and a gathering of one or two million would adversely affect its civic life. “The weather is extremely cold and serious health-related issues can arise. Health institutions are not in a position to cater for the medical requirement of a huge crowd,” the letter said, adding that the TMQ rally might also attract terrorists who had already placed Dr Tahirul Qadri on their hit list. MEETING WITH
PPL to start drilling in Arabian sea ISLAMABAD, Jan 8: The Pakistan Petroleum Limited, in collaboration with ENI, a foreign exploratory firm, is set to start drilling of a well in the Arabian Sea along Pakistani waters for discovery of oil. The PPL has acquired exploration rights in a block located at 100km from Baghdad for oil exploration and it is hopeful about discovery of oil. In a briefing to Senate Standing Committee on Petroleum and Natural Resources at the Parliament House, the PPL MD, Asif Murtaza, informed that drilling of exploratory well has already started in the block acquired in Iraq and there are bright chances of oil discovery. In case of major success, the Pakistani company would benefit. The company is already working in Yemen on two blocks. Regarding previous attempts made by the company to find oil from the sea, off Pakistani coast, the PPL MD informed the committee that in Mekran deep sea, some 12 exploration wells were drilled, but none succeeded. The committee, which met with Senator Mohammad Yousuf in the chair, was informed that many foreign exploration companies still have interest in drilling of exploration well in Mekran Deep Sea. However, drilling has been delayed for one year due to various reasons. Additional Secretary of Petroleum Naeem Malik informed the committee that drilling of an exploration well in deep-sea requires at least
$100 million investment and foreign companies take decisions with due care. The federal government recently announced new exploration incentives and the companies which would make first three discoveries in deep-sea would be given extra benefits with incentives to encourage more companies to come forward. The PPL MD informed that PPL is working in Zandan Block (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) and is planning to acquire five more blocks in KPK as Tal Block area has great potential of discoveries. To exploit un-conventional gas reserves in the country, some seven exploratory wells, eight appraisal wells, and 19 development wells have been planned in the next five years and the expected outcome would be 150bcf shale and tight gas production in the country. He informed that shale gas and tight gas price approval has been sought from the regulator to speed up exploration activity. He further informed that some seven pilot projects have been planned for exploration of shale and tight gas reserves. He further informed that in Kirthar block, one exploratory well Rahman-1 is under way. He informed that Hala, Kotri, Notari North, Jangshahi, Gambat and South blocks are potential areas for discovery of shale and tight gas reserves. The committee was informed that PPL has geared up its seismic survey in the country and some 780sq kms were surveyed in 2011-12, while during the current fiscal year, some 1,400sq km have been surveyed.During the meeting, it was informed that District Kohlu (Balochistan) has huge gas reserves and due to law and order situation, exploration companies do not go there. The committee was informed that the federal government was collecting 12.5 per cent royalty on gas production and the entire amount is transferred to provinces and if any provincial government is not spending the amount on welfare of its population or in the relevant district, where oil and gas have been found, it is their internal issue.
January 10, 2013
IHC judges appointment delay: Contempt proceedings sought against president ISLAMABAD, Jan 8: With the government still weighing options to move a review petition against the Dec 21 order asking it to notify the appointment of two Islamabad High Court judges, the Supreme Court received on Tuesday a petition seeking contempt proceedings against the president, prime minister and law minister for resisting the appointment. Moved by Advocate Akram Sheikh on behalf of Advocate Nadeem Ahmed, the petition requested the court to initiate contempt proceedings against President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf, Law Minister Farooq H. Naek and Law Secretary Yasmin Abbasey for wilful disobedience by not issuing notifications to appoint Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui as a regular judge and Justice Noorul Haq N. Qureshi as additional judge for six months. On Dec 21, a five-judge bench had asked the president to appoint the two judges in line with the Sept 22 recommendation of the Judicial Commission (JC) which was also approved by the Parliamentary Committee (PC). But instead of handing down its opinion on a presidential reference, the apex court had issued an order on a petition also moved by Advo-
cate Nadeem to the competent authority to notify the appointment of the two judges. Consequently, the law ministry had on
“Although the president enjoys limited immunity from criminal prosecution under Article 248(2) of the Constitution, contempt proceedings
Dec 26 sent a summary to the prime minister for the issuance of the notification about the appointment. The petitioner also requested the court to initiate proceedings against the respondents under Article 6 of the Constitution, read with provisions of the High Treason Punishment Act 1973.
can be initiated against him since contempt proceedings in stricto senso are not proceedings of criminal nature,” the petition said. It added: “Since the respondents are not implementing the orders with malicious intent, impleading him as a respondent is mandatory in terms of the law declared by
the Supreme Court in the 1990 Aman Ullah Khan case.” Advocate Nadeem contended that conduct of the respondents required issuance of showcause notices asking them why action should not be taken against them for causing obstruction to justice and wilfully flouting the judgment of the august court as well as the constitutional process for more than two months from the unanimous approval by the PC. Even if the summary was to be treated as advice in terms of Article 48 of the Constitution, the time for taking action by the president was not more than 10 days, he said. The petitioner requested the court to order the law secretary to issue the notification in terms of the law to protect the fundamental rights of consumers of justice to enable them to have an unimpeded access to the IHC. As an alternative, the petition said, the court should withdraw the short order it had given on a set of challenges to the 18th Amendment regarding the functioning of incumbent procedure about the appointment of judges in view of Article 175-A and restoring the earlier procedure on the appointment of judges which was prevalent after the Al Jihad Trust case.
servation and Development Federation. Their project was encouraging the locals not to cut the trees by introducing non timber forest products like medicinal plants, fruit orchards, beehives and the marketing of Chilghozas. The aim of the project was to conserve the moist temperate forests of Palas Valley by introducing the concept of managing non timber forest products. The process was slow but word was spreading throughout the valley. The villagers were beginning to realise that they could make more money from these yearly activities than by selling their timber every 20 years. I was told that the people of Palas have always re-
men go in search of work to Karachi and other large cities. The mountain people, with their tall physiques and rugged good looks have survived for centuries in this harsh albeit beautiful environment. Unfortunately, feuds are common in the area and almost every grown male carries a gun. Most homes have watchtowers from where they can guard their property. Feuds are over land and women – and can last for generations. The women are not allowed to mix with the men and have to veil themselves, although they work hard in the fields and have to walk for miles to fetch fire wood and spring water.
spected their natural environment – for example they consider it unlucky to cut a green tree in spring, but they do have to feed their children as well and Kohistan is a poverty stricken region where jobs are rare and every day is a struggle for survival. People own small plots of terraced land and basically live off what they can grow. Many
I remember asking one of the local men, “why the need for all this feuding? Your lives are so tough already”. His haunting reply was, “We are human, not animals, we only pick up our guns and use them when we have to”. From the accounts that I have heard of those five women, I’m afraid, that may not be the truth.
Murders in Paradise The recent revenge killings of the three older brothers of the two boys embroiled in the “video scandal” in Palas Valley, has brought the remote region of Kohistan back into the news. The story broke last year, when a video allegedly showing five girls clapping and dancing at a wedding in Kohistan in the presence of the two younger boys was circulated. News began filtering out of the region that the five girls in the video had been murdered on the orders of a tribal “jirga” for “bringing dishonour” to their tribal traditions. Although an investigation was ordered then by the Supreme Court and indeed it looks like they might re-open the case now, it all remains a mystery as to what really happened. It made me sad to hear this horrific news story for Palas Valley in Kohistan, located half way between Islamabad and Gilgit on the Karakoram Highway, has long been considered a biodiversity hotspot in scientific circles. I feel strongly about this picturesque tribal area because I had the
While I didn’t get anywhere close to the Western Tragopan since it is only found in the Upper Palas side which is a good two days trek from Pattan, I did spend three days visiting some of the nearby villages and climbing up to the see the thick forests. No more than 4 per cent of Pakistan’s land mass is today under the cover of forests so to be able to visit the remaining few natural forests is indeed a special experience. Massive deforestation started in Pakistan in the 1990s and the greatest victims were the conifer forests in the Himalayan belt. The massive earthquake that struck Pakistan’s north on October 8th 2005 resulted in widespread land sliding in the mountains. The land sliding was a direct result of all the deforestation that had taken place in this region and claimed thousands of lives. Villages in Kohistan were badly affected as well – those located near the thick forests, however, were spared the destruction of homes. The UN has recently introduced a mechanism for
good fortune of visiting it a few years ago through WWF-Pakistan, who then had a field office in the small town of Pattan on the Karakoram Highway (just after Besham). In this region, you find the thickest natural forests left in Pakistan – pine and deodar trees and even Chilghoza trees at higher altitudes. Palas Valley, its mountain ridges hidden in clouds, lies just opposite the town of Pattan across the Indus River. Due to its inaccessibility, its forests and rivers are undisturbed (there are only a few jeep tracks leading into the valley). Half the valley lies inside the monsoon belt while half is outside and the great range in altitude means that there are a variety of habitats, from sub-tropical to alpine. Upper Palas has pristine forests, home to rare species of pheasants like the Western Tragopan, which was thought to be extinct but was spotted and then captured on film in the valley.
financially compensating countries to reduce emissions from deforestation. It is called Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) and the goal is to reduce global deforestation by 50 per cent by 2020. While REDD has started in Nepal, it is still in its introductory phase in Pakistan. Workshops have been organised with the Forest Departments to introduce the concept of receiving dividends from the protection of forests. On the way to Pattan, one could see piles of timber lying on the KKH, so clearly the timber mafia is active in this area. A strong REDD mechanism could of course galvanise the government into action. Given the incentive of financial compensation, they might actually think it is worth their while to move against the influential timber mafia and save these old forests. During my visit to Palas Valley, I met with members of the community based Palas Con-
January 10, 2013
Candle Light Vigil for Delhi Rape Victim
a w w v v c I m o K b a c n s t i h D D
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Brampton: 6th Jan 2013 on the appeal of Punjabi Press Club of Canada well over 300+ people gathered @ The Rose Theatre in downtown Brampton to pay homage to the New Delhi India Rape Victim and many more helpless victims like her in those parts of the world & all around the globe. Punjabi Press Club Of Canada which has well over forty media outlets as its members did also mange to gather a lot of elected officials and community leaders from various Organiza-
tions who seemed to be equally concerned & visibly disturbed not by this gruesome act, but also the irresponsibility of the Indian Government & Local Police. The often muted Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh only spoke when he saw that the protest by various groups and students has brought the Indian Capital to a virtual standstill and thus this incident has gathered media attention from all around the world. Than overnight those six animals were arrested who
were responsible for this act. All today defied the cold winter night and stood there to have their presence felt and yes we all made a difference as our voices not only reached all around Canada through different media outlets both national and ethnic but did show our Solidarity with all the helpless whose voices can’t reach out most of the times. A special thanks from Punjabi Press Club of Canada to the City Of Brampton & its staff who left no stone unturned to help us feel at
home. This is why my and our Canada is all about understanding each other and standing out for the a right and just cause. One again big thanks’s to all supported and helped. This is what our Press Club's mission is to create awareness and always stand-up for a cause which is worthy of it.
Rocket attack near Kandahar airport; PIA plane safe
ISLAMABAD: Unknown assailants fired several rockets near Afghanistan’s Kandahar airport on Tuesday while a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane was on the tarmac ready for departure, DawnNews reported. The flight PK-199, with 42 passengers on board, was ready to depart for Quetta when eight to 10 rockets were fired from multiple sides close to the airport.
However, PIA officials confirmed that the passengers and flight crew were safe and that there was no damage to the aircraft. The plane was grounded temporarily as the airfield was shut down following the attack. However, officials confirmed that the field was subsequently cleared for operation and that the PIA flight would depart shortly.
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January 10, 2013
Obama names Pentagon, CIA new chiefs WASHINGTON - US President Barack Obama Monday nominated his counterterrorism adviser John Brennan as CIA director, and Chuck Hagel, a former maverick Republican senator, as defence secretary. Brennan’s choice as head of Central Intelligence Agency, came two months after David Petraeus stepped down admitting an extramarital affair. The president, who will be formally sworn in to begin his second term in office in just two weeks, announced his nominations Monday afternoon from the White House in Washington. “These two leaders have dedicated their lives to protecting our country,” said President Obama. “I’m confident they will do an outstanding job.”Both Brennan and Hagel have been rumoured in recent days to take on new roles within the Obama administration, but only with Monday’s announcement from the president himself did the news become official. A confirmation battle in the Senate is expected to follow the choice for these key posts, although Obama asked lawmakers to confirm both men “as soon as possible” after making his announcement. Hagel, 66, will replace the current US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta at the Pentagon, if confirmed by the Senate. He will also be the first veteran of the Vietnam War to hold the post. “To
this day, Chuck bears the scars and the shrapnel” of service in Vietnam, the president said on Monday. Accepting the nomination, Sen. Hagel replied, “I am grateful for this opportunity to serve our men and women in uniform again.” Known as an outspoken critic of the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as an opponent of the ‘Jewish lobby’ in Washington and of the possible strike against Iran, Hagel has faced tough criticism for his remarks. On Monday, however, President Obama saluted Sen. Hagel’s “willingness to speak his mind” in Congress, “even if it wasn’t popular.” “That’s exactly the spirit I want on my national security team,” said the president. Obama’s adminis-
tration officials have already dismissed claims of Hagel’s anti-Israel and pro-Iran stance, saying he is “completely in line with the president” on these issues.Brennan, 57, who has worked in CIA for 25 years and played a key role in the planning of the 2011 raid on Osama Bin Laden, has been behind the controversial US drone program. He advocated the use of drones overseas, calling targeted killing operations “legal, ethical and wise.”During Monday’s announcement, Obama called Brennan“one of our nation’s most skilled and respected” intelligence leaders.“He understands we are a nation of laws. In moments of debate and decision, he asks the tough questions
and insists on high and rigorous standards,” he said of his nominee. Brennan had withdrawn his CIA director nomination back in 2008, as questions about his involvement in enhanced interrogation techniques forced him to assert he is “a strong opponent” of the George W Bush administration policies. Speaking from the White House on Monday, Brennan said, “Leading the agency I served for 15 years which would be the greatest privilege of my life.” Agencies add: Obama said Hagel “understands that America stands strongest when we stand with allies and with friends,” after criticism by Republican lawmakers of the former Nebraska senator’s past statements on Israel. He said that Hagel, a Republican who broke with his party through his criticism of the Iraq war, earned “respect of national security and military leaders, Republicans and Democrats, including me.”Obama called Hagel “an American patriot” and said that he would play a critical role as the first person of enlisted rank to serve as defense secretary. “Chuck knows that war is not an abstraction. He knows that sending young Americans to fight and bleed in the dirt and mud, that’s something we only do when it’s absolutely necessary,” Obama said.
ECP finalises consultation with political parties on code of conduct ISLAMABAD, Jan 7: Senior officials of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) completed on Monday the process of consultation with political parties on the code of conduct for the coming general election. At a meeting of Senate’s special committee on election issues, presided over by its chairman Jehangir Badr, political parties agreed to empower the ECP to hold a summary trial of polling staff found involved in attempts to steal the mandate of a candidate through any irregularity. In September last year, the ECP had unveiled the draft code of conduct, which for the first time barred the president and provincial governors from taking part in the election campaign after the announcement of poll schedule and sought suggestions from political parties within 15 days. Several political parties had decided to give their proposals from the forum of the Senate’s special committee, which for all practical purposes has turned into a parliamentary committee. Jehangir Badr, who is also Leader of the House in the Senate, told a press conference after the meeting that the committee had completed its recommendations on the code of conduct and decided to empower the ECP to hold free, fair and transparent elections. He said election officials found involved in malpractices would face punitive action. Nobody would be allowed to steal the elections either by bullying and rigging or by using guns or money, the senator asserted.
He invited input from all stakeholders on the code of conduct. “This is a message for Dr Tahirul Qadri, as well,” he remarked. Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, Ishaq Dar, said all parties represented in the upper house of parliament were part of the consultative process. He said the ECP would review the recom-
(elections) ECP Sher Afgan explained difficulties in implementing directives of the Supreme Court, including provision of transport and sending ‘parchis’ (voter’s extract) to the electorate. He said that provision of transport would cost about Rs12 billion and ‘parchis’ would involve Rs400 to 500 million, making it the most ex-
mendations made with consensus and come back to the committee after three days. Ishaq Dar said consequential amendments in electoral laws would be reviewed in the light of the code of conduct and he would pilot these amendments with the same spirit of consensus. He said the punishment for election-related crimes would be enhanced. Electoral reforms would be completed within a few weeks, Mr Dar added. During the meeting, Director General
pensive polls in the country’s history. He said ‘parchis’ were required to have particulars, including polling station of each voter, and polling stations would be finalised two weeks before the polls. “How would we print and send millions of ‘parchis’ in such a short time,” he wondered. The meeting decided that the ECP would go in review against the judgment. Various political parties found it not feasible. They were of the view that the candidates should be allowed to give
‘parchis’ to voters with their election symbols and set up camps outside polling stations. Ishaq Dar said that ‘parchis’ were a substitute to handbills and would help reduce the election expenditure.Ishtiak Ahmad Khan, the ECP Secretary, informed the meeting that the commission would consult the secretary of postal services to explore the idea of sending ‘parchis’ along with utility bills. “We will love to do it if it is found possible,” he remarked. Sughra Imam of the PPP was of the opinion that it would be impossible and inappropriate to send parchis to voters by post. The directive of the Supreme Court about a ban on car rallies from travelling long distances also came under discussion and it was observed that the ECP would not be able to keep a check on the expenditure involved. Shahi Syed of the ANP, in a light mood, said there should be a ban on car rallies and it should be enforced before January 14 – the date of Dr Tahirul Qadri’s long march. “We will come on foot,” Col (retd) Tahir Mashhadi of the MQM, sitting beside him, retorted. The committee endorsed the idea of “PTV democracy” channel for coverage of pre-poll activities and said that a formula for allocation of time to political parties was being worked out. The idea floated by Ishaq Dar was supported by the ECP secretary. The issue of election campaign in the cantonment areas was also raised and it was decided that the ECP would take up the matter with the defence secretary.
January 10, 2013
January 14: what are we looking at? Dr Haider Mehdi
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Canadian PM to meet indigenous leaders THE Canadian prime minister, Stephen Harper, has agreed to a meeting with First Nations leaders following indigenous protests sparked by a hunger strike. Since Dec 10 there have been road and rail blockades across Canada, flash mobs and solidarity events as far away as New Zealand, in the biggest grassroots social movement in North America since Occupy. On Algonquin Island in the Ottawa River, within view of parliament, Chief Theresa Spence of Attawapiskat, a poor aboriginal community, has been living in a teepee in sub-zero temperatures subsisting on liquids. Two other aboriginal elders were in week four of their fasts when Harper agreed to meet to discuss aboriginal rights and economic development. Spence said she would continue her fast until the meeting had produced concrete action and a promise of consultations. Harper recently forced through parliament two budget bills, each more than 400 pages long. MPs had limited time to study the hundreds of legislative changes, let alone debate and amend
them. The protest movement, under the slogan Idle No More, started as a campaign by four women who feared that the bill’s changes to the Indian Act and environmental deregulation would disproportionately affect First Nations peoples, many of whom already live like second-class citizens. News of the meeting, scheduled for Jan 11, has done little to slow the momentum of the movement, a self-professed leaderless and bottom-up mobilisation driven by aboriginal women and media-savvy youth. First Nations constitutionally protected land rights are often seen as red tape in the way of the government’s economic plans. Clayton Thomas-Muller, a Manitoba Cree running the Indigenous Environmental Network’s tar sands campaign, called for a “separation of oil and state”. “400 years ago we had Jesuit priests come into our First Nations in black robes promising a better way of life by changing the way we communicated with our creator,” he said. “Today, CEOs come into our communities in black suits promising a better way of life if we change the way we relate to the sacredness of mother earth.”
Convoluted expectations Sahid kardar ALL and sundry continue to protest the lending behaviour of commercial banks and their large ‘spreads’ (the difference between the interest rates on their lending and the interest rate that they offer on deposits). They protest that they are not catering adequately for the private sector, and the SMEs in particular, and instead holding Rs3.3 trillion worth of government securities, well in excess of the minimum Statutory Liquidity Reserve requirement established by the State Bank of Pakistan. Complaints abound that SBP rhetoric and the moral suasion to get banks to lend to these neglected sectors is not enough and that it should “direct” them to advance funds to private enterprise; whereas more sophisticated analysts argue that a robust system of incentives and disincentives be put in place to get them to do this. Faced with the large portfolio of non-performing loans of the private sector in an economy gasping for breath and a sovereign with a voracious demand for funds the banks are understandably reluctant to lend to the private sector in general and the SME and agriculture sectors in particular. Even the lowering of the interest rate on government securities by 2.5 percentage points in the last 12 months has not been that successful in luring banks away from government securities in favour of the private sector, although it has given respite to the private sector through reduction in the servicing cost of its existing stock of debt. Why are banks continuing to invest in government securities even after the attraction for such instruments is supposedly losing its lustre with interest rates now below the expected rate of inflation and the prospects for capital gains on existing holdings in these securities having run out of steam? Before we discuss this aspect we need to be mindful of two facts not generally well-known or appreciated. To begin with, had the State Bank not ‘injected’ in excess of Rs600bn into the system, the
deposit base of banks would not have been able to support the increased borrowing of both the government and the private sector, particularly at the current low rates of interest; without SBP pumping money into the banking system the interest rate would have shot up to support this enlarged demand for funds from the existing pool of deposits. Secondly, the government has also borrowed close to Rs420bn for its “commodity operations” (its purchase of wheat, fertiliser and now sugar) — to appease different lobbies — at interest rates that are at least 1.5 percentage points higher than those charged by banks to their prime privatesector borrowers! Therefore, banks are not just picking up more of government securities even at low interest rates they have other ways of making money at the expense of a reckless sovereign. It is the State Bank’s prudential regulations with respect to capital adequacy requirements for commercial banks that have tended to reinforce and strengthen this role of the banks. All commercial banks are required to maintain a ‘minimum capital to total risk-weighted assets ratio’ of eight per cent. Resultantly, along with having to bear the cost of funds for holding government securities banks are also required to carry the burden of an additional charge on their activities, which in turn depends upon the categories of assets held in accordance with the ‘risk-weights’ assigned to each. Presently, the risk weights assumed are zero for investments in government securities and 100 per cent for practically all categories of loans including those to the most creditworthy corporations and businesses; and even the balances held with scheduled banks are assigned a risk-weightage of 20 per cent. With this difference in relative capital costs owing to these risk weights the manner in which the capital adequacy norms are being applied (Cont..to next page)
“Dr Qadri….…has firmly put himself across as the voice of Pakistan’s moral consciousness, rising to press the government for finally delivering the rights of ordinary Pakistanis.” – Farhan Bokhari, Indeed, Bokhari has made a sound and appropriate observation in connection with Dr Qadri’s sudden and yet vitally significant entry into Pakistan’s pre-election politics. The fact of the matter is that Dr Qadri’s abrupt self-introduction into Pakistan’s political arena is no threat to the nascent democracy in the country. It is, on the other hand, a timely resplendent political action and a responsible political initiative to correct what is fundamentally wrong with this country’s contemporary political culture and its electoral process. And that, in essence, poses a grave threat to the incumbent ruling elite and its future plans to hijack the people’s mandate through decades-old fraudulent political practices - stealing people’s democratic rights by highly organised and manipulative methods of enormous anti-democratic significance. The Pakistani public is well aware of how this charade is played out again and again with sentimental psychological symbols, meaningless democratic rhetoric, ideological and religious slogans, bribes, favours, use of government machinery and administrative force, “kunba-parveri” (nepotism) and so on and so forth. At last, the people of Pakistan are saying enough is enough - this must come to an end now! Take a logical and rational view of Dr Qadri’s massive public rally in Lahore. Combine this political event with Imran Khan’s jalsas in Lahore and Karachi last year. Aren’t these immense political gatherings a public democratic referendum against the incumbent ruling parties, the PPP and PML-N? Aren’t these political rallies convincingly and openly public indictments against the PPP and PML-N leadership? What other rational explanation is there of such a massive and collective expression of public dissatisfaction, distrust and rejection of the so-called democratic leadership in the country? How else can we understand this recently emerging phenomenon of “Public Political Discontent” expressed so vividly, so convincingly, so profoundly, so collectively, so peacefully, so powerfully, so purposefully, so democratically and with such a strongly united demand for a fundamental change in the ways and manners in which practical politics is conducted in this country. Democracy is not being threatened by Qadri’s political initiative - it is being strengthened: the fact of the matter is that finally the forces of change and the status quo forces in Pakistan have come face-to-face for a decisive showdown. On the one hand is Dr Qadri’s politically correct, valiant and well timed call for public mobilisation on January 14, along with Imran Khan’s PTI’s as well as MQM’s auspicious political endorsement for change in Pakistan’s political culture, structural norms, rules and process of election practices. On the other hand is a dysfunctional, incompetent and corrupt political system and leadership that has failed to deliver basic human rights, economic well being, political stability, justice and equality, safety and security, law and order, self-sufficiency, selfreliance, national dignity and honour. In fact, this so-called democratic leadership has vested interests, has compromised time and again with external forces against Pakistan’s national interests, is patronised by Washington and London and other Western powers, and has at times, even compromised this nation’s sovereignty for personal benefits and ascendency to political power. January 14 ought to be doomsday for Pakistan’s farsoodah leadership. The writing is on the wall! What has Dr Qadri publicly proven so far since his public rally in Lahore? Let us review his credentials with an unbiased, honest and rational spirit of inquiry. Obviously and unquestionably, Dr Qadri is the most eloquent politician of our time.
His scholarly intellectual, conceptual and articulate credentials are impeccable and matchless compared with any other politician in Pakistan. His command of theological knowledge, Islamic political history and understanding of the dynamics of political Islam are at a capacity and capability absolutely beyond the ability or competence of any of his political contemporaries or adversaries. Let us admit that Dr Qadri is a scholarly phenomenon in himself and as such is capable of delivering and contributing to Pakistan’s politics what has been fundamentally missing so far. Let us start with some basics: Dr Qadri’s Lahore rally has proven certain things. First, he has organisational management skills par excellence. His communicative links from the top of the organisational hierarchy to the bottom levels are efficient, conducted with clarity and without delays. His chain of command is highly organised. His policymaking process is visionary and futuristic. The implementation of policy decisions is managed at decentralised levels (all these attributes are essential to the sustainable development and progress of any human organisation). Dr Qadri sits atop a huge organisation and financial institution spread over 90 countries that operates with impeccable efficiency (that is Dr Qadri’s claim, and his Lahore rally seems to endorse it). Politics, in the sense of an organisational entity, is the most complex human organisation in existence because its business is to deal with massive and complicated societal problems and offer urgent resolutions. My simple question is: can’t Pakistan benefit from a person’s scholarly knowledge, management expertise and political correctness even if Dr Qadri holds dual citizenship? Why is suddenly this uproar and outcry that Pakistani democracy is under definite and serious threat? Why are the majority of TV anchors conducting disappointing and misleading TV talk shows, mostly asking irrelevant questions and maintaining unhelpful lines of inquiry on Qadri’s political phenomenon? The real issue in present-day Pakistan is how to maintain national solidarity and enact a political initiative of fundamental change that will save this nation from further sliding into an economic-political abyss and ensure its national survival. It is my considered opinion that time has arrived for the “political forces of change” to join hands in the struggle to save Pakistan from the clutches of vested-interest political leaderships. This is the only option for a future political discourse that will save Pakistan and put it on a path to becoming a democratic self-reliant welfare state. Imran Khan (as well as Sheikh Rasheed) would be well-advised to enter into well intended and serious negotiations and political alliance with Dr Qadri. This alliance would have to define the fundamentals of a comprehensive national agenda in the post-2013 election in Pakistan as well as develop an understanding of the nature and dynamics of national leadership that would emerge out of the said process. The sooner it is done, the better. In the meantime, let Dr Qadri and his associates challenge the forces of status quo on January 14 on Constitutional Avenue in Islamabad and drive them to their ultimate political demise! Let it be known: mobilising the public to demand their fundamental rights and dismantling the political oligarchy are democratic norms! Nelson Mandela, the most profound political philosopher and political activist of our times, once said that politicians always set their eyes on winning elections while a leader sets his or her attention on the welfare of the people and the future well being of the generations to come. My question is: what has the traditional leadership done so far? Win elections and demonstrate apathy for public welfare. Stop them now before it is too late! That is precisely what Dr Qadri is preaching - and that is what January 14 is all about!! Is it not?
Gender inequality in education By: Nazila Isgandarova The world is happy to know that Malala Yousufzai from the Swat Valley in Pakistan is doing well and has been discharged from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham in the UK. Yousufzai has become a hero for the majority of people in the world for challenging the anti-intellectual Taliban in her country, who identified her as a threat to their political agenda when she demanded education for girls. What Yousufzai wants is not different from what the Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) wanted for girls. Since the Prophet’s (pbuh) time until today, the situation has not changed. Gender inequality remains one of the biggest challenges in Pakistan in the 21st century. The majority of girls and women in this country remain one of the most uneducated people of the world. Pakistan is the second largest Muslim country after Indonesia and the number of Muslims there constitutes 11 percent of the world’s Muslim population. However, gender inequality in education is still extreme despite the Quran’s spirit of “Iqra” (read). According to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), almost 77 million children worldwide are deprived of one of their basic rights: education. Girls make up 56 percent of these children. The Global Campaign for Education reports that more than 5.1 million primary school-aged children in Pakistan do not attend school. Sixty-three percent of them are girls. This is the third highest number of out-of-school chil-
dren in the world. A chronic absenteeism from school among girls is worse in rural areas of Pakistan than in the urban areas. Because of the gender inequality in education, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) 2010 report ranked Pakistan 120 out of 146 countries based on its Gender-related Development Index. A major portion of the Pakistani society is not welcoming for girls, who want to attend school. Even those who are enrolled in schools cannot attend them on a regular basis. What is holding Pakistan back in gender equality in education? There are various reasons, including gender discrimination, early marriage and pregnancy, and physical and mental violence against girls within and outside of schools. Cultural and social beliefs, attitudes, stereotypes and practices in Pakistan discriminate girls from getting equal educational opportunities. The general tendency in society is to invest in sons’ education, rather than daughters’. Such discrimination against girls results in poor self-esteem among girls in Pakistan, who only envisage a future as wives and mothers. Early marriage and pregnancy also play a central role in why girls do not receive equal educational opportunities in Pakistan. Another key reason why Pakistani girls do not attend school is because of violence. A joint report by the UN and the Pakistani government pointed out: “Females in Pakistan face (Cont.. to next page
January 10, 2013
Convoluted expectations has also created an incentive for banks to invest in government-guaranteed securities. The large sums invested by the banks in government paper are largely then the natural outcome of these policies. Even if these norms do get changed eventually it does not follow that when the commercial banks reduce their investment in government securities they will necessarily increase their privatesector lending portfolio at the same pace. As other financial institutions pick up these securities there would be a flow of household savings to them, resulting in a shrinking of the deposit base of banks with, perhaps, only a marginal increase in the total value of loans made by them. Moreover, lower interest rates will also disincentivise household savings in rupee deposits even with reduced investment opportunities in the region — e.g. real estate in Dubai (although beginning to pick up, activity in this sector will take time to reach levels of the heady days). Banks have to be given freedom in managing and pricing the asset side of their services that most commentators are reluctant to give, because banks are being expected to also serve social objectives through the asset side of the services, i.e. through loans and advances. Why should the principles that would not just be accepted, but stoutly defended, for organisations in other sectors be different in the case of banks? In my view such objectives are better fulfilled through the liabilities side of the balance
sheet, by serving and protecting the interests of the depositors. Compared with borrowers, depositors have lower per capita incomes. Therefore, if any social objectives are to be fulfilled, it is the interest of depositors that must be accorded a higher priority. It is not the banks but the government that has the responsibility to meet social objectives, a task in which it is failing by soaking up the bulk of household savings which it could put to better use, thereby discharging its social responsibilities more satisfactorily. The government for instance could amend the subsidised Export Refinance Scheme (72 per cent of whose funds are with just 31 exporters — ‘big boys’ who don’t need official help) and restrict its scope to SMEs. As for the issue of the large ‘spreads’ it will only get resolved once you take the gorilla, Islamabad (with its insatiable appetite for funds to finance its misspending), out of the room. Following the government’s diminished yearning for cash from banks the latter will have no choice but to compete among themselves when lending to the private sector, which will inevitably lead to a narrowing in these spreads. Regrettably, a substantial proportion of our private sector does not have the credibility required to raise funds, at any rate of interest, from the public, which is holding on to Rs2tr worth of cash, the equivalent of 36 per cent of bank rupee deposits.
Gender inequality in education discrimination, exploitation and abuse at many levels, starting with girls, who are prevented from exercising their basic right to education either because of traditional family practices, economic necessity or as a consequence of the destruction of schools by militants.” In 2008 and 2009 more than 40,000 girls in the Swat Valley, where Yousufzai lived, did not attend school due to threats by the extremists. There are many reasons why the existing gender inequality in education in Pakistan is problematic. First, the militants violate the Quran by depriving women of their right to education and banning school for girls, even at the expense of their lives and their families. Unfortunately, these people make their claims on behalf of the sunnah, the sayings and actions of the Prophet (pbuh). Second, Muslims in Pakistan fail to pass on the true spirit of Islam from generation to generation. How is it possible to accomplish this important task if girls are deprived of their rights that the Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) declared in the seventh century? Third, without education women and girls
in Pakistan cannot claim their economic, political, social and spiritual rights. Education is the only way to establish, promote and protect human rights. Fourth, imposing limits on girls acquiring education prevents not only women, but also men from fulfilling their moral responsibility as human beings. Thus, gender inequality in education in Pakistan prevents women from fully participating in the social, economic, political and spiritual life of the country. It harms society by reducing national and international competitiveness. Therefore, in order to emerge and grow as a country, there must not be a barrier to education for women. The writer is a Toronto-based researcher and analyst, who also works for the Azerbaijani Women’s Support Centre. This article has been reproduced from the Turkish newspaper, Today’s Zaman, which with TheNation has a contentsharing agreement.
Four killed in Karachi violence, 23 suspects arrested, arms recovered At least four persons were killed and several others injured in fresh spate of violence in different localities of the city on Tuesday. The police arrest 23 suspects during operation and recovered arms from their possession. According to details, unknown armed men barged into a house located in Baloch Goth area of Orangi Town and opened indiscriminate fire at the residents killing two people on the spot and fled the scene. The bodies were shifted to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital where identity of the deceased was confirmed as Ayub and Riaz. In Soldier Bazaar, armed assailants shot at and killed one person identified as Imran while he was on his way to school to drop his children there. Police said that the murder seems to be outcome of personal enmity. The deceased was a res-
ident of Golimar. Police recovered tortured dead body of a woman near Bismillah Market in Gulshan-eMaymar. Firing incidents continued in different localities of the city during which more than 15 persons were reported injured. The wounded persons were shifted of different hospitals of concerned areas where condition of some injured persons was stated to be serious. According to DIG West Zone, Asif Ijaz Sheikh, on a tip off regarding presence of criminals, police accompanied by women constables conducted search operation in Itehad and Nawab Colonies of Baldia Town. During security forces action 23 suspects were arrested and arms including a Kalashnikov, 100 TT Pistols and hundreds of rounds of different bores were recovered from the possession of detainees.
SC accepts surprising Altaf apology LAHORE: South Asia, the most volatile region, mourned the murder of 25 media persons, with Pakistan again remaining on the top with its 13 journalists losing their lives during 2012. This has been stated in the South Asia Media Commission’s (SAMC) Media Monitor 2012 report which was made public by the body’s Secretary General M Ziauddin here on Sunday. The report was simultaneously launched in all eight countries of South Asia. The launch, attended by senior journalists from all the four provinces and the tribal areas of the country, coincided with annual meeting of Media Commission-Pakistan, the local chapter of the SAMC. According to the report, five journalists were killed in India, three in Bangladesh and two each in Nepal and Afghanistan. Though luckily no journalist was killed in Sri Lanka, Bhutan and the Maldives, media persons there continued to face professional challenges and hazards. The media also came under scrutiny for laxity in professionalism in achieving accuracy and being unbiased. Despite the UN Security Council’s adoption of Resolution 1738 in 2006, which stressed the need to protect journalists in dangerous areas, violence against them, their physical security remained a major issue and one of the biggest threats to freedom of expression in most of South Asia. Those killed in Pakistan included Saqib Khan, Ummat, (Karachi), Rehmatullah Abid, Dunya News, (Pujngor), Mushtaq Khand, Dharti Television Network, (Mehran, Khairpur, Sindh), Abdul Haq Baloch, ARY Television, (Khuzdar), Abdul Qadir Hajizai, Wash TV (Quetta), Razzaq Gul, Ex-
press News TV, (Turbat), Mukarram Khan Aatif, Freelance, (Shabqadar), Mohammad Amir, ARY News (Peshawar), Aurangzeb Tunio, Kawaish Television Network, (Lalu Ranwak) Tariq Kamal, reporter for a local Sindhi newspaper (Karachi), Syed Tariq Hussain (Karachi), Aslam Raja (Karachi) and Jamshed Kharal (Quetta). The report said journalists in Pakistan faced pressures from all sides. Historically, it was the state power which curbed freedom of speech and attacked journalists. Now journalists are under attack from non-state actors also. Press freedom has made journalists more audacious in performing their job which, in turn, has also made them a very threatened lot. Killings with impunity aside, there have been various incidents of attacks on media houses and threats and violence against media persons with perpetrators remaining unscathed. There have also been reports of journalists sustaining injuries in protests and bomb blasts. Violent protests that erupted against the anti-Islam film “Innocence of Muslims” in September took a heavy toll on media professionals in Pakistan. One media worker was killed and many others were injured as they covered the protests that turned violent in many cities of the country. Journalists were beaten and dragged by protesters who complained that they were not being given proper coverage. Other than the physical threats, the pressures on the media are tremendous, the repot says. It says the ban on YouTube in Pakistan imposed on September 17 was meant to pacify incensed emotions following the release of the anti-Islam film.
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January 10, 2013
Enter tainment She’s the kind of plastic that is durable and weather resistant; unaffected by the harsh weather changes in her life and there have been many. She’s also malleable, the word ‘change’ being her mantra whether she’s changing roles, relationships or whether she’s using that malleability for professional expansion. How the Nabila brand grew from a tiny garage operation to a multi-million dollar enterprise featuring salons, a bridal studio and nail bars is an inspiration to every woman. She’ll be opening her very own barbering shop next month.
First person: Plastic fantastic She’s the kind of plastic that is durable and weather resistant; unaffected by the harsh weather changes in her life and there have been many. She’s also malleable, the word ‘change’ being her mantra whether she’s changing roles, relationships or whether she’s using that malleability for professional expansion. How the Nabila brand grew from a tiny garage operation to a multi-million dollar enterprise featuring salons, a bridal studio and nail bars is an inspiration to every woman. She’ll be opening her very own barbering shop next month. We meet as she’s training barbers from as far as Soldier Bazaar and Christian Town. “We’ve been cutting hair for as long as we can remember,” says Javed, who’s delighted to have been recruited for the upcoming salon and is training under her these days. “We have learnt on the job but ma’am is teaching us technique and styling.” They’re in awe of her, held in admiration for this ‘plastic fantastic’ specimen of a woman who works 14 hours a day, like a clockwork doll whose energy dies down only when she needs to be rewound. Nabila’s energy does die down around 9pm every night. That’s when she says: “I don’t want to see another human being after 9 o’ clock. Thank God my kids have moved out and my husband works in his studio very late every night.” Despite retiring from the madness of her life at 9pm, she stays awake on her one guilty pleasure: Karachi’s famous chili chips. Salty snacks are her weakness. But she’s also an incorrigible insomniac, no matter how well her ‘mind coach’ counsels it. The only person she’ll listen to is herself and for her adult years (she’ll be celebrating her 50th birthday in a couple) that has been more than good enough. She, being the only woman in a group of
59 trekkers, was able to scale the inhospitable terrain of K2 base camp last year. It was a personal goal she had set for herself and accomplished. “I didn’t slow anyone down,” she says as she chalks up plans of tackling Everest next year. Nabila is her own competition and is unperturbed by the sway of politics that forever blows through the fashion industry. She styled the opening days of both PFDC L’Oreal Paris Bridal Weeks (in 2011 and 2012) and claims that the reason she hasn’t been involved with either Fashion Pakistan Week or PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week is because she’s never been asked. The councils say she’s too expensive. “I have offered to style fashion weeks free of cost as my contribution to the industry,” she offers. Contrary to peoples’ opinion of her being a cut throat aggressor, life isn’t all about work and personal goals. It wouldn’t be possible to achieve a healthy mind-body balance without the positive karma, she firmly agrees with Oriental wisdom. That karma comes from her contributions to organizations like LAML (Light a Million Lives), an initiative to illuminate villages in Punjab or Hunar Foundation, an enterprise that aims to give vocational training to people from the streets and empowering them financially. Nabila has volunteered to mentor individuals interested in beauty and styling by providing them with world class professional training. “I started from scratch,” she says, “and there is no reason why everyone else can’t.” Plastic is protective and whether that applies to her as a mother, a wife or more simply just a human being, Nabila is protective too. It’s her cosmetic line of products that she’s busy protecting these days. Something she calls her ‘gold mine’ she
has conceived, created and christened the product but needs to patent it before it is launched. “I’ve been ready to launch for a while,” she confesses at the risk of revealing any information that may jeopardise her plans, “but I have to copyright the name as well as the product first. It’s not just a product, it’s a concept and should be legally patented.” It will release early this year, she shares. Until then she has her hands full of other things, including styling Humayun Saeed’s image for his upcoming feature film, in which he’s cast himself in the role of a cricketer from the ’90s, no points for guessing who’s the inspiration. Nabila is also styling the ‘item song’ in the film, which will feature none other than Mathira. And submerging into her protective, quiet mode she refuses to let out further information. What she is happy to talk about is her recent showcase at the PFDC L’Oreal Paris Bridal Week, in which the ‘Paper Doll’ concept was somewhat lost on people. She sent a perfectly plastic Barbie doll (depicted by fashion model Ayyan) down the runway in what was intended as a reflection of what women in Pakistan wanted to look like.
“Girls want plastic perfection,” she explained. “They come to me asking to look like a doll; they beg to look like a doll. So I showed them what dolls look like. Months of research and preparation went into developing the concept and it was executed with perfection. Ayyan did look flawless.” Flawless can appear plastic on the surface; it can even appear unreal but as far as Nabila is concerned there is no such thing as unreal. There isn’t anything that can’t be fixed and she sums up the solution in two words: “If you don’t like it, change it.”
Ekta Kapoor brings David and Varun Dhawan together Shah Rukh's planning to buy Varun Dhawan, who made his debut with Karan Johar's 'Student Of The Year' in 2012, is all set for a bigger career boost this year. Producer Ekta Kapoor shelled out 2 crore for the Hindi remake rights of a Telugu blockbuster, which she's making with the youngster under the aegis of his filmmaker father, David Dhawan. Interestingly, a number of producers and actors were vying for its rights, but Ekta, being the determined producer she is, stayed back down South till she closed the deal.
Calling Varun India's youngest teen sensation, the producer says, "An established actor wouldn't get the youth and the young girls' craze that we want. Varun is like a young Salman Khan, he fits the bill perfectly. He's comfortable with humour, his acting is very good and he's a wonderful dancer, too." The ensemble cast and two heroines are yet to be finalised for the film, which is scheduled to start in a couple of months. Ekta, who's making the movie in the space of Wedding Crashers (2005 Hollywood film) meeting a KJo production, continues, "Before Aamir (Khan), Salman (Khan) and Govinda became stars, they were popular with the teens of that time — Aamir with Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (1988), Salman with Maine Pyar Kiya (1989) and Govinda with Love 86 (1986). I
a football team may go awry
see Varun becoming a major masses' star in five years. But before that, he's becoming a huge teen star, not just for Mumbai and the other metros, but also for small towns." Ekta is optimistic that Varun will set a trend with his attitude and style. "And besides Ranbir Kapoor, no other young actor is being emulated. Varun will surely be the next," she asserts. Equally positive is David, who feels this is a wonderful movie for his younger son. He says, "Varun is a very aggressive
Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan's proposed deal to buy stake in the Goa-based Dempo Sports Club is reportedly "dying out" as the superstar is finding it difficult to attend soccer matches as required by a clause. Dempo Sports Club owner Srinivas Dempo told that the deal may not materialise as Shah Rukh has no time to attend the matches, which was a crucial
actor, he has that passion and goes all out with his performances. He's a good dancer, good in romantic scenes and convincing in emotional parts. In short, he delivers all that is expected of a Hindi film hero." Conceding that he wanted to make a film with his son, the director says that this is a perfect opportunity. "Ekta bought the rights and our idea is to take it to another level. We're sure people feel that Varun has grown as an actor and is going ahead in his career. Having made entertaining films with actors like Salman, Sanjay (Dutt) and Govinda, what more would I want as a father than to make a mass entertainer with and for my son?" he concludes.
understanding in the deal. The club had approached Shahrukh, who is the co-owner of IPL team Kolkata Knight Riders, to pick up a stake in the club, the winner of last year's I-league championship. "The proposal is still in the pipeline. Officially it has not been called off", Dempo said, adding the draft of the agreement had a clause that Shah Rukh will attend at least 8-10 matches annually. "But he (Shahrukh) has indicated that he is finding it difficult. We are yet to reply to him", Dempo said. He did not reveal the exact stake the actor was supposed to pick up in the Dempo Sports Club nicknamed 'The Whites'. Dempo said the majority stake would have remained with the parent management even after inking the deal with Shahrukh. "It was not about the money; it was about the popularity of the club. At least for important matches we were expecting his presence", added Dempo.
January 10, 2013
2012 deadliest year in Karachi for two decades KARACHI: Pakistan’s financial hub Karachi saw its deadliest year in two decades in 2012, with around 2,000 people killed in violence linked to ethnic and political tensions, raising fears for elections due this year. Karachi, a business centre with a population of 18 million, is the beating heart of the nuclear-armed country of 180 million. It accounts for 20 per cent of GDP, 57 per cent of tax revenue and elects 33 lawmakers to the federal parliament. Yet enormous waves of migration have tightened resources and exacerbated a fight for identity and control that has only become deadlier in the five years since the main ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) took office in Islamabad. Trapped in the middle are ordinary people who one day leaves home, never to return alive — victims of faceless gangs condemned by political parties yet linked to ethnic and political factions, and who escape with impunity. “My son went to pay his respects at his father’s grave, but he never came back. We found his mutilated body in a bag,” says Shahida, sobbing uncontrollably in her damp home. Faysal, 1 6, was her only son. When he went missing last month from their home and was later found in a rubbish-strewn alley in the working class district of Lyari, her world collapsed. He was shot in the head, and there were drill marks on his head and stomach, says Faysal’s uncle Mohammed Hussein. “We don’t know who did it and why… I don’t have a reason to live any more,” his mother cried. According to the Citizens-Police Liaison Committee, 2,124 people were killed in Karachi in 2012, the worst year since records began nearly 20 years ago.
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) says 1,800 people died in targeted killings in the first nine months of 2012. In 2011, it put the number at 1,000, which was then the dead-
lion people,” says Zohra Yusuf, HRCP chairwoman. Pakistan is scheduled to hold elections by the end of May, which will mark the first democrat-
liest in 16 years. Karachi has all the ingredients of an explosive cocktail — gang warfare, land grabbings, drugs, extremism, political rivalries, ethnic tensions, poverty and a mushrooming population owing to migration. Police insist killings related to ethnic and sectarian disputes accounted for only 20 per cent of the murders, but rights activists say a shortage of law enforcement officers is part of the problem. Karachi is becoming a city where controlling violence is becoming increasingly difficult because of an insufficient police force, which is less than 30,000 for around 18 mil-
ically elected transition of power ever in the country, dominated for decades by military rulers. No date has yet been set for the polls, but parties are disputing the boundaries of constituencies and accuse each other of distorting their respective voter list to inflate their chances of success. “I am very fearful about the coming elections,” said Fateh Muhammad Burfat, a criminologist at Karachi University. The different groups “will try to show their power and there is only one way to show power here — it is violence.” When British colonial rule ended in 1947, and Pakistan was created, Karachi became a capital overnight and the destination of ten thousands of
Indian Muslims. Today, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) controls most of the city apart from Lyari, a bastion of support for the PPP, and areas home to new migrants, ethnic Pashtuns from the northwest. For the past three or four years, Lyari has seen clashes blamed on two rival groups. “Land in Karachi is very precious and grabbing is the bone of contention, the mother of all conflicts,” says Zafar Baloch, number two in the first group. In the spring, a police operation tried but failed to dislodge his men from Lyari. “Sometimes they call us drug mafia, sometimes they call us land mafia, sometimes gangsters, they give different allegations because we are their main obstacle to the project to control Lyari,” he told AFP. Outside Lyari, ethnic tensions are blamed for much of the violence. The MQM vents about alleged Talibanisation, pointing to suicide and bomb attacks linked to the Taliban-led insurgency. “The major criminals are these suicide bombers, these Taliban extremists, whoever they are, are here and have access to local criminals,” complains Khawaja Izhar ul-Hasan, a provincial cabinet minister from MQM. “Now they are like a mafia, from mobile phone snatching on the street to bank robbery, everybody is connected.” The Awami National Party (ANP) accuses the MQM of power politics. “MQM wants to occupy and control the whole city,” said Bashir Jan, ANP secretary general for southern province Sindh, of which Karachi is the capital, who says he has survived three assassination attempts since 2007.
Delhi gang-rape: Indian activists slam Three killed in incidents of firing in Karachi guru who held victim responsible KARACHI: Activists in India slammed Asaram Bapu, a so-called spiritual leader, over his comments regarding the Delhi gang-rape victim, reports in the Indian media said. Asaram had stated that the 23-year-old gang-rape victim was “equally responsible for the crime and the girl could have called her assailants brothers and begged them to stop”, a report published in the Hindustan Times said. The girl was gang-raped on the night of Dec16 and had died nearly a fortnight later at a Singapore hospital. In a recent address to his followers, Asaram had said that when the girl had encountered the men “she should have taken God’s name and could have held the hand of one of the men and said I consider you as my brother and should have said to the other two ‘Brother I am helpless, you are my brother, my religious brother.’ She should have taken God’s name and held their hands and feet…then the misconduct wouldn’t have happened”. “Galti ek taraf se nahi hoti hai (mistake is not committed from one side),” he had stated in his address. “The accused were drunk. If the girl had chanted hymns to goddess Saraswati and to Guru Diksha then she wouldn’t have entered the bus… ,” he had said.
In the wake of the comments, activists have demanded that India’s religious and political leaders be held answerable for their statements. All India Democratic Women’s Association’s Sudha Sundaraman condemned the remarks and advocated stern punishment against leaders making irresponsible statements, the Times of India stated in a report published Tuesday. Sundaraman termed the statements “highly objectionable, regressive and anti-women”. “Such people should be called to question. This is further victimisation of the victim and deeply insulting to women,” the Times of India quoted Sundaraman as saying. The statements were also condemned by Ranjana Kumari of the Centre for Social Research. Kumari said such “irresponsible and ridiculous statements were responsible for encouraging rapists.” “Such people should be socially boycotted. It is these people who are responsible in society for creating misogynist values,” the Times of India quoted Kumari as saying. The statements were also condemned by activist lawyer Brinda Grover, social scientist Imtiaz Ahmad, academic Ayesha Kidwai and lawyer Kirti Singh.
Zardari hints at expanding BISP KARACHI: President Asif Ali Zardari indicated on Monday that the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) would be expanded and the matter would be incorporated into PPP’s manifesto for the coming general elections.
“It’s a legacy of Benazir Bhutto that the BISP is being run transparently,” he said. “The programme has achieved success to a large extent. We will expand it to ensure employment of skilled people.” Addressing a ceremony held at Bilawal House for distribution of prizes among 5,000 fresh graduates, the president said the programme had been appreciated worldwide because
of its transparency, objectivity and efficiency. The BISP has reached out to over seven million families in a short span of four years. Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, BISP Chairperson Farzana Raja, Higher Education Commission’s Chairperson Shahnaz Wazir Ali, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Bakhtawar Bhutto Zardari and Aseefa Bhutto Zardari attended the ceremony. “It’s one of a few programmes from a third-world country which has been recognised by international institutions. It’s purely because of persistent efforts of BISP board members that the programme has become a success,” Mr Zardari said. He said the society had accepted the BISP because it was in accordance with local culture of savings under which families organised ‘committees’ to meet their major expenses. The programme is now a part of culture which is needed to be expanded and made part of the PPP manifesto. The BISP chairperson spoke about achievements of the programme. Ms Raja said 10,000 youths had been equipped with vocational skills to enable them to make their living in a respectable manner. Another 150,000 youths would be trained in different trades and vocations and efforts would be made to find overseas jobs for them. APP adds: The president thanked the international community and partners for their support to the programme which had brought about a revolutionary change in the lives of the poor and dispossessed. Mr Zardari said he was personally monitoring the progress of the Poverty Scorecard Survey and other initiatives of the BISP. He said he was satisfied that work on the survey was progressing well. He said it would be ensured that public money was transparently utilised and for this purpose the BISP had introduced mobile phone banking.
KARACHI: Three people were killed in incidents of firing in Karachi, DawnNews reported on Tuesday. Two people were killed in Orangi Town’s Baloch Goth area and their bodies were shifted to the Abbasi Shahid Hospital. Police said the two were killed over a personal enmity and took four people into custody. Moreover, unknown assailants gunned down one man in the city’s Soldier Bazaar area. The man was a resident of the city’s Gulbahar area. Separately in Gulbahar, two people were injured in an incident of firing. Furthermore, in Karachi’s Gulshan-iMaymar area, the body of an 18-year-old girl bear-
Three policemen injured in Swabi grenade attack SWABI: Three policemen were injured in a grenade attack on their van while patrolling the area on Swabi-Mardan road near Al-Falah link road on Tuesday. All injured were shifted to the District Headquarters Hospital Swabi.
The unknown attackers fled from the scene after the attack taking advantage of the low visibility conditions in the area. In an unrelated incident the slaughtered body of a Sikh man was found in Chora area of Jamrud Tehsil in Khyber tribal region. The killers left a chit on the body claiming that the victim was killed due to his involvement in spying activities for the banned religious outfit, Lashkar-i-Islam. The deceased was a resident of Bara and a practitioner of herbal medicine, who was kidnapped a few days earlier from Tirah valley in Khyber tribal region’s Bara Tehsil. Peshawar, the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, situated between Khyber and Orakzai tribal region is home to the largest Sikh population in the country.
ing torture marks was recovered. The girl had however not yet been identified.
January 10, 2013
SPORTS Umar Akmal draws criticism KARACHI - Pakistan's young batsman Umar Akmal has drawn flak from former players and critics for his below-par performance during the just-concluded tour of India. Even Pakistan's former captain Wasim Akram singled out Umar for criticism after the third and final one-dayer in Delhi on Sunday. "When will Umar learn to play responsibly. He has been around in international cricket now for a considerable time. He really needs to think about his game now," Wasim said. Umar, the younger brother of wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal, got out at a crucial time in the match with Pakistan chasing a low total of 167 set by India. Pakistan's former captain Rashid Latif was more forthright in his views about Umar and the match. "I think it is about time Umar is told by the selectors he is not needed in the national team until he changes his approach and attitude towards the game," Latif said. "Umar has to be sent back to domestic cricket until the selectors see a visible change in his approach and attitude. He has got too many opportunities to realise his talent. But he is not finishing games," Latif said. Umar was also in the eye of the storm before the Indian tour when his department, Sui Gas, which includes Mohammad Hafeez and Misbah-ul-Haq, sidelined him after he missed some games in the President's Trophy tournament due to the wedding of
his brother Adnan. Former Pakistan captain Moin Khan also felt that Umar was not doing justice to his enormous talent. "He is talented no doubt about it but he needs to learn that all this talent is useless until it results in good results for his team. He is just not showing the approach of a finisher which is sad," Moin said. Umar, who played in three matches on the Indian tour, is expected to be axed for the forthcoming South African tour as the selectors have more confidence in upcoming batsman Haris Sohail.
‘Junaid and Irfan outclassed India’ Misbah, Hafeez laud superb show by youngsters in India
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan one-day captain Misbah-ul-Haq on Monday credited left-arm fast bowleder Junaid Khan and Mohammad Irfan for the 2-1 series victory over India, the team’s first win in India in seven years. Irfan and Khan combined for 11 wickets in the series and destroyed the top order batting lineup in all the three matches. Khan claimed the key wicket of Virat Kohli for 0, 6 and 7 in all the three matches which severely jolted the Indian middle order. Kohli was adjudged ICC’s ODI player of the year in 2012 while scoring 1,733 runs in 31 ODI matches including eight centuries. ”The way they (Irfan and Khan) have performed, it shows they have a bright future,” Misbah said. ”They proved against the world’s best batting lineup and simply outclassed them for a huge win.” India averted its first ever whitewash at the hands of Pakistan when it successfully defended a small total of 167 in New Delhi to win by 10 runs. Misbah said he had aimed for the clean sweep and that was the reason he didn’t used the bench strength like fast bowlers Anwar Ali and Wahab Riaz despite taking a decisive 2-0 lead after victories in Chennai and Kolkata. ”We were not relaxed (at New Delhi), we were determined to win the third match and that was the reason we didn’t make changes,” he said. ”But we should give credit to the other team as they fought very well.” Pakistan’s new batting sensation, Nasir Jamshed, scored back-toback centuries at Chennai and Kolkata. Private TV channel Geo reported that the left-hander forgot his man of the series trophy at the team hotel when the team left for the airport on Monday. Pakistan was also impressive in drawing the Twenty20 series 1-1. After winning by five wickets at Bangalore, Pakistan threatened to chase down a target of 193 at Ahmedabad before falling short by 11 runs. Twenty20 captain Mohammad Hafeez hoped that Pakistan’s performance in India will open doors of reviving international cricket in Pakistan. ”We showed how good we are,” Hafeez said. ”I hope after this performance the ICC and rest of the cricketing world will think about reviving international cricket in Pakistan.” No foreign team has toured Pakistan since gunmen attacked the Sri Lanka team bus at Lahore in 2009 and Pakistan has played its ”home” series mainly in the United Arab Emirates. Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Zaka Ashraf, who also attended the ODI series, said he was hopeful of India’s return tour to Pakistan this year and denied reports that India has refused to play in Pakistan. ”Cricket diplomacy is going on with India,” he said. ”The day is not far when India too will come to Pakistan and I am quite hopeful.” Pakistan suffered a huge setback when Bangladesh postponed its tour to Pakistan for the second time in 10 months. Ashraf met with Bangladesh Cricket Board president Nazmul Hasan in New Delhi on Sunday and was still optimistic the tour will take place.
LAHORE: While noting teamwork as instrumental in Pakistan’s victorious tour to India, ODI and T20 captains Misbah-ulHaq and Mohammad Hafeez on Monday praised young players’ exceptional performance under high pressure that led to Pakistan’s wins against the ODI world champions on their home turf. Speaking to media after the national team arrived at the Allama Iqbal In-
wickets in the series and destroyed India’s top order batting in all the three ODIs. Junaid took the key wicket of Virat Kohli for 0, 6 and 7 in all the three ODIs which put the Indian middle order on the defensive.Misbah had a special word of praise for Junaid and Irfan. “The way they [Junaid and Irfan] fared in India, it shows they have a good future,” Misbah said. “They proved them-
ternational Airport here on Monday from India, Misbah said Pakistan’s victory in India came due to the combined effort. Pakistan, after drawing the twomatch T20 series against Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s men, clinched the ODI series 2-1. “Pakistan’s win on Indian soil is the result of teamwork. The outstanding performances by the youngsters made all the difference and they are a big hope for Pakistan in the future,” Misbah said at the airport where a significant number of jubilant cricket fans chanted slogans in favour of the triumphant national team. Rookie left-arm fast bowler Junaid Khan, lanky paceman Mohammad Irfan and dashing left-handed opener Nasir Jamshed all excelled on the high-pressure tour to India, giving impressive performances when it really mattered. Junaid and Irfan combined for 11
selves against the world’s best batting line-up and played crucial role in our wins.” The skipper was also impressed by Nasir’s magnificent run in India where he struck two back-to-back centuries in the first two ODIs which were won by Pakistan. “The way Nasir is batting, it is making our [individual] scores look ordinary. But apart from me and Azhar [Ali], our batsmen have been doing pretty well,” Misbah stated. To a question about losing the low-scoring third ODI in Delhi, Misbah dispelled the impression that he had taken the match lightly. “The conditions changed [in Delhi] for the team batting second. Furthermore a commendable fielding effort by the Indians also helped them earn the victory,” he remarked. It is pertinent to mention that Pak-
istan for the first time ever were at the brink of whitewashing India in an ODI series as they marched towards the 168-run target at Delhi’s Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium on Sunday. The tourists had already bagged the series in the second ODI at Kolkata with a huge 85-run victory. However, Misbah and company — from 113-3 in 34 overs — dipped dramatically, losing their last seven wickets for mere 44 runs to lose the nail-biting game by 10 runs with seven balls still to be bowled. Hafeez, meanwhile, said the entire nation should be proud of the win in India, adding the youngsters’ performance was commendable. “They did not surrender in the high pressure games and gave some outstanding individual performances, which kept Pakistan going in almost every match of the series,” Hafeez stated. “The most encouraging aspect of the tour was that the entire team was focused on the series and everyone was confident to add his contribution for the team,” the all-rounder added and hoped that the team’s fine performance against India would help the PCB restore international cricket in Pakistan. Meanwhile, PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf, who accompanied the team praised the boys for Pakistan’s remarkable win in India. “Pakistan team’s showing was commendable. Beating India in India is a big achievement and all this was possible due to teamwork,” he said. “The boys displayed great unity and fighting spirit.” Zaka also lauded Misbah under whose leadership Pakistan won the ODI series. To a query about Bangladesh’s expected tour to Pakistan, the PCB chairman said the two boards were still holding discussions. “On my invitation BCB president came to India and watched the last ODI in Delhi and we will soon make an announcement in this regard.”
‘PCB needs to rethink Misbah’s place’ DUBAI - Former India great Sunil Gavaskar termed Pakistan’s abject surrender in the 3rd ODI against India “baffling display of timid batting” and suggested captain Misbah-ul-Haq rethink his place in the shorter-form of the game. Pakistan, who won the three-match ODI series 2-1, lost the last game in New Delhi by 10 runs chasing a paltry total of 167. Although the defeat was drowned in euphoria at Pakistan’s triumph, the Indian batting legend said the PCB needed to take some tough decisions.
“One would have thought that the experienced Misbah-ul-Haq would have been able to handle the situation, but he inexplicably went into a shell and at the other end the excitable Umar Akmal was just waiting to do something rash,” Gavaskar said in his columns for Gulf News. “It was the approach of Misbah that cost Pakistan the game, much as it did in the semi-finals of the World Cup two years back. Pakistan may have won the one-day series 2-1, but if they are to carry on winning then some serious thought
needs to be applied to Misbah’s position in the team. He is not getting any younger and it was his dropped catch in Chennai that allowed Dhoni to go on to a century,” he added. Gavaskar also tipped M Hafeez, Pakistan’s captain in T20s, to take charge of the ODI side. “Hafeez is looking a good leader and the way he is batting and bowling, as well as taking superb catches, he could be the man that Pakistan needs to win glory again. With the World Cup just a couple of years away, Pakistan, like India, should be
looking at building a nucleus for that event — just like India seemed to be doing with the messages sent to two senior and prolific players by leaving them out of the team,” he said. Whether Pakistan are ready to follow India’s lead it remains to be seen, but they will need to iron out the chinks fast as their next assignment pits them against the top-ranked South Africans in a three-match Test series, two T20s and five ODIs. The long tour starts on January 25 and will run until March 24.