An eyeful of weekly
Diplomatic Affairs June 17-23, 2013
2013-14 Expert sees Pak-Saudi bilateral cooperation heightening (Interview Raja Amir-ur-Rehman, Chief Executive of Al-Waqas Enterprises)
Rodolfo Martin Saravia hosts reception for FSA under-training diplomats, dinner for Naghmana Hashmi
Week-long Austrian Food Festival attracts visitors Rs3.591 trillion outlay
Govt unveils â€˜investment, business friendlyâ€™ budget
June 17-23, 2013
Obama and Xi play nice, but future unclear
he leaders of the United States and China appear to have started off on friendly terms during a weekend together in the California sun, but it remains to be seen if good vibes can bridge deep gaps. At the aptly named Sunnylands retreat, President Barack Obama gave his counterpart Xi Jinping a redwood bench as a gift, and the leaders of the rising and established powers took a 50-minute stroll with only their interpreters. The two sides had billed the casual summit as a way to set a positive tone after Xi became president in March. Xi will probably be in charge over a decade in which China eclipses the United States as the world’s largest economy. While the two governments had an obvious interest in describing the summit as a success, experts said that the talks at least went smoothly, not an insignificant feat considering the number of disputes. “Did they emerge as the best of chums? That’s hard to tell — my guess is probably not. But they understand each other and I think that’s important,” said Chris Johnson, a former CIA analyst on China who is now at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “Both sides seemed to suggest that they can work with the other guy, and I think that’s very substantial,” he said. But the two sides could not paper over differences on cybersecurity. Obama took China to task over alleged hacking that a recent study said has cost the US economy
hundreds of billions of dollars in intellectual property theft. The United States and China have agreed to working-level talks on cyber disputes. The issue came at an awkward time for Obama, who is under fire at home over revelations that the United States has kept broad tabs on Internet messages and phone records for purported security reasons. Edward Snowden, the contract employee who said he leaked details of online surveillance, fled to Hong Kong. If the United States seeks his extradition, his case would present an early test on how far Xi wants to work with Obama. In one signal of cooperation, Washington and Beijing said that they would work together to phase out hydrofluorocarbons, the mega contributors to climate change found mostly in made-in-China refrigerators and air conditioners. The statement was not entirely new — China had agreed in April to phase out production in return for international assistance — but it went with the theme of showing that the two powers can work together. Representative Chris Smith, a Republican from New Jersey who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Human Rights, voiced disappointment over the summit. He said that Obama, who mentioned human rights in his opening statement, should have started the relationship with Xi by insisting on the release of imprisoned activists including Liu Xiaobo, the Nobel peace laureate who authored a bold petition for reforms. “Making a cursory statement about human rights just is ineffective and it’s read that way by Beijing,” Smith told AFP.
Transparency in Afghanistan
t’s a cold, damp day in Kabul, but the mood is all warmth and energy inside Yama Torabi’s office, with its crackling woodstove and steady flow of civil society reps, donors and government officials streaming in and out. Torabi is the director of Integrity WatchAfghanistan (IWA), a small organisation that has succeeded in doing what few Afghan NGOs have attempted: holding the government – and the country’s many donors – to account for their actions, and their spending. Torabi, who grew up in Afghanistan, founded IWA seven years ago, while he was still working on his PhD in France. “It came really as a reaction to the donors, who told me at the time that corruption was not an issue,” Torabi says. “But I knew that corruption was an issue that needed to be approached, and that it was something urgent that [the donors] had to focus on.” IWA started off as a thinktank, but Torabi and his colleagues quickly
moved into advocacy and hands-on monitoring work. “Doing research isn’t going to have a lot of impact in terms of bringing changes,” says Torabi, 37. Today, the organisation runs programmes that monitor the government budget, the extractive industry, and the courts. IWA has also started a community-based programme that encourages citizens to keep tabs on the aid-funded projects being implemented in their neighbourhoods. There is plenty of aid money to track in Afghanistan, which is due to receive $16bn in foreign assistance over the next four years – and that’s not counting military spending. Donors are not always interested in tracking how and where their money is spent, Torabi says, despite their good intentions. “It’s political … they have their spending imperatives,” Torabi explains, adding that security concerns are also an issue. “[The donors] can’t work on the street, they can’t go to the provinces to check what their money is spent on.” So IWA, which occupies a modest building on a muddy street in Kabul,
An eyeful of weekly
“He is talking to the jailer of a Nobel Peace Prize winner. Imagine if the Nobel Peace Prize winner was Nelson Mandela and he was meeting with the (South African) leader and doesn’t mention — demand, frankly — the release of Nelson Mandela,” Smith said. “It’s untenable, especially because he’s a Nobel Peace Prize winner himself,” he said of Obama. Aides said that Obama and Xi spoke at length about issues that have often divided the Pacific powers, including North Korea and the rising friction between China and US ally Japan in the East China Sea. Xi, seen as more effusive and confident than his famously stiff predecessor Hu Jintao, also raised his frequent theme of creating a “new type of great power relationship.” The slogan, if vague, is sometimes seen as his call for China and the United States to avoid the conflict that has historically plagued relations between emerging and established powers. A. Greer Meisels of the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars said the summit could be seen as successful by going off without a hitch and avoiding missteps that have clouded many previous USChina meetings. The talks showed that the two leaders “are taking this relationship very seriously and perhaps recognizing that things have been a bit of tense and a little off-kilter as of late,” she said. “But this is obviously just a first step, so whether this generates additional momentum and additional positive knock-on effects, I think it’s still a little early to tell,” she said.
picks up the slack. “In the last year, we’ve been monitoring more than 250 projects – infrastructure projects worth more than $230m,” Torabi says, noting that the challenges have been daunting at times. “If you have 40 donors, you have to deal with 40 governments, and they all have different rules, they all have different policies, they all depend on the internal policies of their own governments,” he says. IWA’s focus is on monitoring, but the organisation hasn’t abandoned its policy work. Recently, IWA has been pressuring the Afghan government to adopt a freedom of information law. “At the moment, if you want to go and ask how much time it will take for the administration to deliver your passport, they will never give you the information,” Torabi says. “And if you don’t have the information, you’re tempted to pay a bribe in order to get it – and that is the beginning of corruption.” “India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, all of these countries have passed [freedom of information] laws within the last 10 years, so we’re learning from them,” he says.
Chief Editor: Abubakar Siddique
Diplomatic Affairs Publisher, Abubakar Siddique published at House no: 20, Street No 29, F-8/1, Islamaabd
Editor’s Note Abubakar Siddique Chief Editor
Fragile economy and balanced budget
he new government has presented its debut budget early after taking the saddle. The state of the country’s economy is in earnest need of revamp. In this scenario, presenting budget and that too after a couple of weeks of elections and assumption of power is a very appreciable step. The new government, keeping in view the fragility of the national kitty, has presented a balanced budget. It is criticised mainly by some political parties, but the facts show that presenting budget in such an early stage is itself a remarkable achievement of the new government. The targets set by the new government in the budget are now the main goals that need to be achieved while keeping within the available resources. The development funds allocated for various sectors should be utilised in an appropriate manner. The budget is investment and business friendly, as it will hopefully thrive businesses in the country. However, the taxevaders should at all costs be brought under the tax net, as the government has promised. It will help bring a balance in income and expenditures. The GDP growth rate has been set at 4.4 per cent, which is indeed a good figure amid the economic challenges facing the country. The budgetary allocations for crucial sectors like health and education are also appreciable. However practical measures are mandatory to ensure development in these sectors for the masses welfare. The government has indicated to not relying on subsidies, as the finance minister said in his budget speech that they will prepare a comprehensive plan to improve the lot of poor and deprived segments of society. This statement should be materialised in real sense, as generally people wait for subsidies in every budget and the lack of them is always disappointing. However it is hoped that the new government, as it has promised, would practically remove the miseries of people by controlling inflation. Keeping the Income Support Fund intact and increasing amount for it is a very good decision. Similarly setting the minimum pension level to Rs 6000 from Rs 3000 is also a big step. However, the increase of sales-tax from 16 per cent to 17 per cent is a matter of concern. This should be brought down in order to provide relief to already inflation-hit people. The government decision to get rid of the menace of circular debt is very good, as it will help overcome the energy crisis. Improved energy supply will help industrial development. The government has set targets for development of youth, as it has decided to launch a new laptop scheme. Youth are the real asset of a nation. The government must focus on equipping the youth with technical training and skills in order to enable them to create jobs for themselves. The budget might not be so impressive in the eyes of many. It has drawn criticism as well. But amid the crises that have hit the economy and the challenges lying ahead of the government, the budget is balanced. Now, the government must focus on stabilisation of the economy while keeping resolution of masses problems its top priority. The government must take very resultoriented measures to fulfill its ambitions.
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June 17-23, 2013
Martin N. Baily and Richard Dobbs
nterest in Myanmar (Burma) has become intense. Last month, Thein Sein became the first president of Myanmar to visit the White House in nearly 50 years, and leaders from British Prime Minister David Cameron to India’s Manmohan Singh to Japan’s Shinzo Abe have all visited Yangon. Indeed, after years of absence, foreign governments are rushing to reopen their embassies in the country. Moreover, multilateral organisations and former ministers from around the world are flocking to help the authorities make progress on their ambitious agenda, from expanding electricity provision to building their own governing capacity. Investors, too, are actively exploring opportunities. This focus is not surprising. After years of economic isolation and ane-
mic growth, Myanmar is one of Asia’s last largely untapped markets. Now that the country is opening up, investors are clearly hoping to establish sources of structural advantage that could last for many years. But can investing in Myanmar live up to today’s soaring expectations? There are undoubtedly major uncertainties and risks. Investors are rightly nervous about how political reform will evolve; whether the government can maintain the fragile peace between ethnic groups; and how regulation and ownership rights will develop. Moreover, it is difficult to quantify the economy’s potential, given the paucity of reliable data; even basic indicators like population size and historical economic growth are shrouded in uncertainty. There is little doubt that Myanmar begins its development journey from a shockingly weak starting point, as a new report from the McKinsey Global
Institute (MGI) demonstrates. Indeed, Myanmar was virtually untouched by the global economy’s spectacular growth during the twentieth century. While global per capita GDP quadrupled around the world, Myanmar’s was virtually flat. Moreover, productivity is low. A worker in Myanmar added only $1,500 of economic value, on average, in 2010 – around 30 per cent of the average of eight Asian peers. Myanmar’s GDP is now only around 0.2 per cent of Asia’s, equivalent to the size of cities such as Bristol, Delhi, or Seville. Myanmar needs a step-change in productivity growth. If Myanmar were to boost annual labor-productivity growth from an estimated 2.7 per cent to around 7 per cent, 8 per cent annual GDP growth would be possible. This could quadruple the size of the economy by 2030, with annual output rising to more than $200 billion, from $45
billion in 2010. But it is virtually inconceivable that Myanmar could achieve such acceleration in growth without large volumes of inward investment. The MGI research estimates that $170 billion — as well as the transfer of capabilities and knowledge that typically accompany such investment — is needed between now and 2030. Thus far, much of the interest among investors has been focused on Myanmar’s energy and mining sectors — no surprise, given the country’s large reserves of oil and gas, its 90 per cent share of global jade production, and its strong position in ruby and sapphire mining. But Myanmar cannot rely on energy and mining alone. It needs growth that is balanced across sectors, providing diverse opportunities for inward investors. Five sectors – energy and mining, agriculture, manufacturing, tourism,
Need for nuclear dialogue
Dr Maleeha Lodhi
n a speech last month in Delhi, a distinguished former foreign secretary of India, Shyam Saran, made several pronouncements about the evolution of his country’s nuclear policy and the current status of its nuclear deterrent. He cast these remarks as his personal views. But Saran is current chairman of India’s National Security Advisory Board. Many in India and outside saw his statements as articulating official policy while maintaining deniability. The Times of India, for example, said Saran was “placing on record India’s official nuclear posture with the full concurrence of the highest levels of nuclear policymakers in Delhi”. And Islamabad asked Delhi for an official clarification. The most consequential part of Saran’s speech is where he presents a scenario that culminates with India engaging in “massive nuclear retaliation” against Pakistan. He posits an escalatory ladder that presumably starts with a sub-conventional event or terrorist attack, after which Pakistan tries to dissuade India from carrying out punitive conventional retaliation, by deploying its tactical nuclear weapons. India responds by using strategic weapons. Saran warns that any nuclear attack — whether by strategic or tactical weapons — would be met by “massive retaliation” from India. “Pakistan”, he declares, should “be prudent not to assume otherwise as it sometimes appears to do, most recently by developing and perhaps deploying theatre nuclear weapons”. Several of Saran’s assumptions are open to question. First there is a presumption that Pakistan’s decision to develop battlefield nuclear weapons represents a nu-
clear war-fighting option. Official spokesmen have repeatedly said that Pakistan regards the surfaceto-surface solid fuel-based Hatf IX (Nasr) as primarily a weapon of deterrence. Its purpose is to reinforce deterrence and restore nuclear stability. Islamabad remains committed to its nuclear policy of achieving credible nuclear deterrence at the lowest practical level. The central tenet of its nuclear policy is for its capability to be maintained for the purpose of deterrence against aggression. Saran’s escalatory scenario seems to suggest that India’s Cold Start Doctrine, now known as “proactive operations”, has been challenged if not blunted by Pakistan’s TNW response. That is why this emerges as the main thrust of his remarks. In doing so he also reaffirms the Indian intent to preserve the limited war option. That Saran believes that India can or should consider a punitive war against its nuclear neighbour in retaliation for an act of terror carried out by a non-state actor is disconcerting enough. But he then warns that if Pakistan tried to deter an Indian conventional attack by its TNWs, India would retaliate with nuclear weapons. This fails to factor in Pakistan’s full spectrum capabilities to counter “massive retaliation” not to speak of its potent second-strike capability. The rationale for Pakistan’s decision to pursue a TNW capability bears repetition to place Saran’s remarks in perspective. Pakistan perceived a number of rapid developments in the past decade to adversely affect the region’s strategic equilibrium established after the 1998 nuclear tests by both countries. They included the IndoUS civilian nuclear deal and the NSG exemption under which India was assured of fuel supply by many countries. These significantly en-
hanced India’s ability to expand its strategic arsenal and altered Pakistan’s security calculations. Meanwhile, the new Indian military doctrine, which came on the back of these developments, became a gamechanger. The effort to find space for limited conventional engagement below the nuclear threshold impelled Pakistan to seek a response at the tactical level in the nuclear domain. In trying to call Pakistan’s ‘nuclear bluff’ by operationalising proactive warfighting strategies, these Indian moves urged Pakistan to develop TNWs to deter Cold Start and reestablish nuclear stability. Against this backdrop what Saran now seems to be signalling is that if Pakistan thinks it can deter limited conventional war by tactical nuclear weapons, then India too can use strategic weapons in “massive retaliation”. This is dangerous talk in a situation where a delicate balance holds between the nuclear neighbours. Nuclear powers do not define their relations by threats or bluster. The only answer to dilemmas created by the region’s nuclearisation is for both nations to engage seriously to build better understanding of each other’s nuclear policy, doctrines and postures. This means advancing the nuclear dialogue to put in place credible confidence building measures in both the strategic and conventional military spheres. The two countries have a mutual interest in stabilising their nuclear relationship. The way forward is not by ill-thought nuclear signaling but in engaging substantively to narrow the perception gaps and address the issues that lie at the root of both countries’ security predicament. Dr Maleeha Lodhi served as Pakistan’s ambassador to the US and United Kingdom
and infrastructure – could account for more than 90 per cent of Myanmar’s total growth and employment potential. Of these, manufacturing, which could take advantage of many companies’ desire to relocate from China and other Asian economies where wages are rising, is by far the most important. Myanmar faces monumental development challenges that embrace virtually every aspect of the economy. But that implies the broadest possible range of opportunities for companies and investors as well. They should proceed with caution, but with the expectation of tapping into a potentially lucrative new market. Martin N. Baily, Chairman of the US President’s Council of Economic Advisers under Bill Clinton, is Bernard L. Schwartz Chair in Economic Policy Development at the Brookings Institution. Richard Dobbs is a director of the McKinsey Global Institute
GCC and Azerbaijan: First strategic step in the Caucasus
ABDEL AZIZ ALWUAISHEG
write this week from Azerbaijan’s capital Baku, which has witnessed the first foray of the Gulf Cooperation Council Secretariat-General (GCC) in the Caucasus, when it signed an agreement with Azerbaijan to launch regular high-level consultations and dialogue on political, economic and cultural issues. The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding, on June 12, was preceded by meetings with Azeri senior officials, including President Ilham Aliyev and Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov in Baku. The GCC and Azerbaijan have much in common and they share many concerns. They are both major oil and gas producers, enjoy significant surpluses that they try to invest at home and abroad, and are engaged in ambitious development programs to improve the quality of life for their citizens. Similar to the GCC, Azerbaijan also lives in a rough neighborhood. It is sandwiched between three powers: Iran in the south, Russia in the north, and Turkey in the west. Also to its west lies its small neighbor Armenia that 20 years ago carved out Nagorno-Karabakh, which constitutes about 20 percent of Azerbaijan’s territory, and made it into a puppet state. The Iran-Russia rivalry, in particular, has shaped much of Azerbaijan’s history over the past two centuries. The Treaty of Gulistan in 1812 between Iran and Russia divided the historical territory of Azerbaijan into two parts: A southern part under Iranian control and a northern part under Russian control. Azerbaijan’s independence from Russia took another 180 years to materialize, despite many attempts to break away from Russia’s tight grip. In 1918, Azerbaijanis took advantage of the collapse of the Russian empire, revolted and declared their Azerbaijan Democratic Republic. That independent state lasted only two years, as Moscow’s new Communist masters crushed the rebellion and re-annexed Azerbaijan. It was not until 1991, after the disintegration of the Soviet Union that Azerbaijan able to re-gain its independence. The southern part of Azerbaijan has not been as lucky. It has remained part of Iran, despite a brief period of independence during World War II, when it established, with Soviet help, the Azerbaijan People’s Government, with Tabriz as its capital. Its independence was ended as part of the East-West understanding at the conclusion of the war. The West was keen to deny Russia a foothold in Iran and wanted instead to bolster its ally the Shah of Iran. The southern part of Azerbaijan under Iranian rule is more populous than the north; estimates run as high as thirty million Azeris in Iran, three times the population of the Republic of Azerbaijan. However, they are denied the use of their language and other expressions of their Azeri culture. Unity between north and south remains a far-away dream, but Azeris hope that Iran would at least relent in its denial of Azeri human rights, especially their right to cultural expression.
June 17-23, 2013
Mauritius HC hosts dinner for new, outgoing envoys DA REPORT ISLAMABAD
igh Commissioner of Mauritius, Muhammad Rashad Daureeawo held a dinner in honour of new and outgoing ambassadors here the other day. The reception was attended by a large number of people, especially the diplomatic community.
June 17-23, 2013
Consolidating Pak-Austria relations
Week-long Austrian Food Festival attracts masses ABUBAKAR SIDDIQUE ISLAMABAD
mbassador of Austria Axel Wech inaugurated Austrian Food Festival that attracted people who visited the event organised by Austrian Embassy in Islamabad. The festival was attended by diplomats of different countries and people from different walks of life. After the inauguration ceremony, Ambassador of Austria Axel Wech spoke to a press conference and said that we understand the cultural values of Pakistan and Islam, so during the festival we will serve only halal (lawful) foods. We also intend to invite folk music performers of Austria to Pakistan in order to promote cultural cooperation between the two countries. He said there is a lot of potential of cooperation between Pakistan and Austria
so we are working hard to enhance our cooperation in every field. He said Pakistan is the fifth largest Austrian partner in Asia. He said although our cooperation is visible in big projects, yet Austria has good working relation with Pakistan.
Speaking on the occasion, Deputy Ambassador Mr Martin Thellen said that service industry in Pakistan can help overcome the countryâ€™s problems. Babar Jajummal, Honorary Counsel-designate in Karachi, congratu-
lated the Austrian Ambassador and his team on holding Austrian Food Festival, presenting delicious foods, in Pakistan. He said such events can help strengthen cultural relations between the two countries. The festival was organised in col-
laboration with teachers and students of the High School of Tourism, HLT Retz - Lower Austria, headed by Mr Udo Vorwarlder, who gave presentation on the school activities and tourism industry of Austria.
June 17-23, 2013
Thomson calls on Interior Minister
Pakistan, UK to strengthen counter-terror, trade ties
DA REPORT ISLAMABAD
he British government has expressed the resolve to further improve bilateral ties with Pakistan while working together to increase trade between the two countries. British High Commissioner to Pakistan, Adam Thomson called on Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and discussed matters of mutual interest. He conveyed that building on Pakistan’s traditional cooperation with the UK Government on trade and economic growth and education will be a high-priority for the British government. The Interior Minister while conveying Pakistan’s commitment towards furthering the bilateral relations with the British government said the government was working on prioritising
its interaction in different areas of cooperation, such as counter terrorism, immigration issues, organised crime and security. The Minister emphasised that he and his team would engage with the British working groups on a “timebound schedule”. Certain areas would have more preference over others and special task groups would be formed to resolve the gamut of bilateral issues. The British High Commissioner pointed out that their government had high expectations from Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and the UK Government considers it a priority that democracy flourishes in Pakistan. He viewed that with a clear majority in the Centre and the Province of Punjab, the new government is ensured of a sound start. The British government viewed Pakistan as a major player in the region. Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan emphasised that PML-N government would like to build on the
60 years relationship with Britain to the mutual benefit of both the countries and to extend the cooperation beyond the current bilateral issues of terrorism, drugs, immigration and money laundering to a broader spectrum. He said the cooperation should also extend on day-to-day civic issues, which shall be short-listed by him and a request shall be made for, institutional support. The Minister also conveyed that in keeping with the help extended by the British government in Punjab on forensics expertise and laboratories he would make a similar request for helping out the federal government. The Minister also expressed his desire to make Islamabad a model city and then replicating the model in other provincial capitals. The Minister in the end expressed his resolve to work on a fast track basis with the British government and to follow up on issues with senior level engagement. pr
FPCCI invites Thai USAID funds Sindh ECE project entrepreneurs DA REPORT ISLAMABAD
BUREAU REPORT KARACHI
resident Fe d e r a t i o n of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Zubair Ahmed Malik has invited a delegation of Thailand Federation of Industries, Thailand Federation of Commerce and Board of Trade to visit Pakistan for bilateral trade talks, said a statement. Zubair Mailk called on vice chairman Thailand Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Chairman Working Group on FTA during his visit to Thailand. He suggested establishing a PakThailand joint business council to boost trade between the two countries. Malik also held a separate meeting with Pakistan’s ambassador Suhail Mahmood. Mailk asked his counterpart to convince his government to allow on-arrival visas to Pakistani businessmen, as it did in the past. He asked the ambassador to take up this issue with the Thai government.
project of early childhood education (ECE) is being promoted in Sindh through the financial cooperation of US-
AID. This was stated by Chief Executive Officer (CEO) DevCon (Local NGO), Nisar Memon while talking to media here the other day. He said that the project of Early Childhood Education (ECE) have been launched in 15 government and 15 private schools of District Badin, Sindh. Besides, the twenty seven months project’s interventions cover the installation of Hand pumps for safe drinking water facility, rehabilitation and construction of washrooms, he said. He said that six learning corners in each ECE centers along with play area and ECE resource center have been established at school level and at district level respectively. Speaking on the occasion, Product Manager DevCon, Muhammad Aslam Khatti sad that project will include the soft core components including activating SMCs, mother groups’ formation and their capacity building. On the
other hand the 60 teachers of those 30 schools will undergo a comprehensive ECE training, he said. Such prominent interventions will not only enhance the institutional strength but will also help to promote ECE in accessible private and public institutions, Khatti said. The importance of education is not only limited to students but also for those who impart knowledge and that is why the United States aims to strengthen the education roots in Pakistan by investing in higher education and teacher’s training programmes. Muhammad Tariq Khan, the senior education advisor of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), shared these views while talking to reporters earlier. He was attending a ceremony where 200 students, who have enrolled into two-year associate degree (ADE) and four-year Bachelors programme in education (BEd Hons) at public colleges and universities in Sindh, were awarded Rs20,000 each in the form of scholarships. The programmes were a part of USAID’s Teachers Education Project to bring reforms for long-term sustainability in Pakistan’s education sector.
PTI proposes tax on goods under AfPak Transit Trade AGENCIES PESHAWAR
he Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has recommended special tax on foreign goods and Pakistani products, transported to Afghanistan under Pak-Afghan Transit Trade agreement. Talking to a private news channel here the other day, the PTI leader Shaukat Yousufzai said the proposal was put forward in order to boost the income of the provincial government. Yousufzai said tax would not only improve revenue of the provincial government but also help halting the smuggling. Meanwhile, President Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chamber of Commerce Yousuf Sarwar has welcomed the proposal and said that this would improve condition of PeshawarTorkham road besides economic condition of the province.
Singh urged to initiate dialogue with Pakistan AGENCIES SRINAGAR
n occupied Kashmir, Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M)) leader, Muhammad Yousuf Tarigami has asked the Indian Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh to take concrete steps for initiating a result-oriented dialogue with Pakistan and other stakeholders. M Y Tarigami in a statement in Srinagar urged India and Pakistan to take bold initiatives and make serious efforts to turn a new leaf in their relations by addressing the protracted Kashmir issue. “People of Kashmir are forced to bear the brunt of disruptions in Indo-Pak dialogue. Now time has come when New Delhi and Islamabad should make serious efforts to turn a new leaf in their relations. For this, the leadership has to exhibit will and capacity to move forward and revamp the stalled peace process.” “I urge India and Pakistan to reverse the self-destructive path and take bold initiatives to address the vexed Kashmir issue,” he said. “Rigidities must be replaced with flexibilities” and both leaderships and people of the two neighbouring countries should realise the urgency of the commitment to address the Kashmir issue, he emphasised. Addressing the issue is in the interest of both countries and to bring peace and prosperity in South Asia, he said, “It is ironic that the money which both countries should have utilised for the welfare of the poor and the hungry, is being utilised to keep vigil on glaciers. The two countries should end the path of confrontation and go for reconciliation to resolve all outstanding issues including Siachen, Sir Creek and Kashmir,” he said. “I urge the prime minister to take concrete steps during his tenure to initiate a result oriented dialogue with Pakistan and other stake holders,” Tarigami added.
June 17-23, 2013
Ban ki-Moon expresses well wishes for Nawaz DA REPORT ISLAMABAD
elcoming Pakistan’s first ever transition from one civilian government to another, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, in his congratulatory message to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, expressed his confidence that under his leadership, Pakistan would build on its democratic achievements. This has been the strongest message of support that Sharif has received these past few days from the world over, in which the UN chief lays great emphasis on Pakistan’s contribution towards Afghanistan. According to the office of Pakistan’s Permanent Representative’s statement, Moon said: “I look forward to working closely with your Government to find a better and more effective ways to meet some of the more pressing challenges facing the international community at this moment.” Welcoming Pakistan’s support for regional cooperation, the secretary general said he was looking forward to working with the prime minister and welcomes Pakistan’s support
for regional cooperation, particularly as it contributes to supporting stability and reconciliation in Afghanistan. The UN chief made a special mention of the fact that he was confident that Sharif would ensure women’s empowerment, advancement of human rights, and progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the eight targets agreed to by the world leaders in 2000 to improve people’s lives around the world. “By exercising their constitutional right to vote, the people of Pakistan have reaffirmed their desire for and commitment to a democratic Pakistan and their respect for the constitution. This is a significant step forward for democracy in the country,” wrote the Secretary General. He also praised Pakistan’s “active and constructive” role in the United Nations, especially its contribution to the peacekeeping operations.“The status of Pakistan as one of the largest troop contributors to peacekeeping operations and its membership in the Security Council are testament to this,” he said. “I am certain that, under your leadership, the partnership that has been built over the years between Pakistan and the
United Nations will continue to grow as we strive to fulfill the expectation of Member States and their citizens for peace, progress and prosperity.”
‘China, Pakistan enjoy close friendly ties’ AGENCIES KARACHI
eputy Consul General of China in Karachi, Pan Qingjiang, has spoken of very close and cordial ties between China and Pakistan which is growing further with the passage of time. He was performing the inauguration of a la carte menu at a local posh hotel’s Taipan Chinese Restaurant, says a statement here. He was of the view that the love of Pakistanis for the Chinese food also reflect these relations. He also spoke of the deep understanding and respect that has developed between the people of the two countries. The Deputy Consul General also appreciated the hotel management for introducing the Chinese cuisine to the Pakistani people.
ISLAMABAD: Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Gen Khalid Shameem Wynne in a meeting with Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif at PM Office. DA
Kerry to visit Pakistan, India this month DA REPORT ISLAMABAD
U ISLAMABAD: Chief of Army Staff Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani in a meeting with Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz
S Secretary of State John Kerry will travel to Pakistan and India this month for the first time since taking office, officials in Delhi and Islamabad said the other day. A senior Indian government official said Kerry would be in New Delhi on June 23 and 24, adding that Afghanistan would be one of the main topics up for discussion. “They (the Americans) have repeatedly said that they welcome India’s role in Afghanistan... They would like to see it go forward,” said the official on the condition of anonymity. “We would like to get from the secretary a better idea of what the American plans are,” the official added. Kerry’s scheduled visit to Pakistan is the most senior foreign trip to be announced since Nawaz Sharif was sworn in as Pakistani prime minister. “US Secretary of State Mr John Kerry will be visiting Pakistan in the last week of June,” Pakistani foreign ministry spokesman Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry told a weekly press briefing in Islamabad. He said the specific dates of Kerry’s visit would be announced once they had been finalised. US officials previously said Kerry would visit once the new government was in place.
ISLAMABAD: Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal, Tahir Rafiq Butt, meeting with Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif at Prime Minister's Office. DA
June 17-23, 2013
President for expanding Pak-Korea economic ties DA REPORT ISLAMABAD
mbassador of the Republic of Korea Mr Choong Joo Choi called on President Asif Ali Zardari at Aiwane-Sadr the other day. Ms Aseefa Bhutto Zardari was also present during the meeting. Discussing Pak-Korea bilateral relations, the President said that Pakistan values its cordial and friendly relations with Korea and desires to further cement its bilateral ties especially in the trade and economic sphere. The President appreciated the diplomatic services of Mr Choi in brining Pakistan and Korea further closer during his stint as Ambassador. The president wished the outgoing ambassador good luck in his future life and assignments. Ambassador Choi Choong-joo thanked the president and the Government of Pakistan for the support he was extended during his tenure as ambassador.
‘US‚ Pakistan can expand trade ties’ MONITORS REPORT VIRGINIA
he United States-based Pakistan-American Business Association Chief Siddique Sheikh has said the United States and Pakistan have the potential to increase their trade. Speaking in Virginia‚ he backed the new Pakistani government’s move for economic diplomacy. He said there is a need to devise a goal-oriented roadmap to bolster Pakistan’s market access to the United States. He said‚ incentives should be given to American investors in the fields of power generation and oil and gas exploration.
ISLAMABAD: Ambassador of Korea Choong Joo Choi in a meeting with President Asif Ali Zardari and Aseefa Bhutto Zardari at Aiwan-e-Sadr. DA
UAE to finance anti-polio efforts in KP, tribal areas BUREAU REPORT PESHAWAR
he United Arab Emirate has pledged to provide financial support to polio eradication efforts in Khyber Pakh-
tunkhwa and Federally Administered Tribal Areas for the next three years, according to officials. “We have sent plan for 2013-15 to the UAE government regarding polio immunisation in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Fata. The UAE will start financing the campaigns from July,” they said. Presently, the polio vaccination programme in Pakistan, including Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Fata is being run through $330 million loan secured by the government from Islamic Development Bank (IDB). The officials said that IDB was approached last year by the government after refusals by the international donors to provide funds to the programme. The UAE had already contributed $120 million to $5.5 billion to the five-year (2013-18) global polio eradication
plan, to eliminate the vaccine-preventable childhood ailment by the 2015, officials said. According to conservative estimates, the global plan seeks to eradicate polio by 2014 from Pakistan and by 2015 from Afghanistan and Nigeria, the other two endemic countries. The UAE government has agreed to sponsor the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Fata polio eradication programmes from the amount, it has already donated to the global plan. The officials said that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Fata would stop using IDB’s loan next month, when it would start getting exclusive funding from the UAE. They said that Fata and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa recorded nine cases -- the former having five and the latter four, out of the total 13 registered cases nationwide in 2013 so far. Last year, both accounted by 47 cases of the total 58 in Pakistan and had been under the focus of international donors. Fata has a total of 1.1 million under-five population but
authorities are required to administer anti-polio drops to about 800,000 because the remaining children live in North and South Waziristan agencies where Taliban have banned vaccination. Officials said that Melinda and Bill Gates Foundation, the main donor of the $5.5 billion global polio eradication plan, had sought support of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chairman Imran Khan in polio eradication efforts in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where his party was in power. According to them, US Microsoft giant Bill Gates had requested Imran Khan in a letter to further polio eradication in the province and safeguard children against disabilities. Bill Gates commitment to polio eradication resulted in his support for a massive anti-polio programme in Pakistan, Imran Khan tweeted. “The PTI is already committed to eliminating life threatening diseases from Pakistan through health education and immunisation programmes,” he said.
June 17-23, 2013
Film shows US envoy’s leisure SPECIAL REPORT ISLAMABAD
public relations video has been a centre of attention for many, as it shows US Ambassador to Pakistan, Richard Olson, enjoying a Sunday about town. The move is a good way indeed to dispel conspiracy theories and improve relations between American diplomats and the Pakistani public. The film shows Richard Olson scooping up chickpea curry with a paratha flatbread for break-
fast, before buying watermelon at a roadside stall — surrounded by armed guards — and browsing a book shop. Talking about the video in a statment, the US embassy said “There are lots of people who ... ask what the ambassador does in his free time and what he likes about Pakistan.” In the video, which is accompanied by jangly Pakistani music, Mr Olson’s brief commentary appears in the form of speech bubbles. “Delicious,” is his verdict on the watermelon.
Pak first female fighter pilot SPECIAL REPORT ISLAMABAD
ith an olive green head scarf poking out from her helmet, Ayesha Farooq flashes a cheeky grin when asked if it is lonely being the only war-ready female fighter pilot in Pakistan. Farooq, hailing from Bahawalpur, is one of 19 women who have become pilots in the Pakistan Air Force over the last decade – there are five other female fighter pilots, but they have yet to take the final tests to qualify for combat. “I don’t feel any different. We do the same activities, the same precision bombing,” the soft-spoken 26-year-old said of her male colleagues at Mushaf base in Sargodha, where neatly piled missiles sit. A growing number of women have joined Pakistan’s defence forces in recent years as attitudes towards women change. “Because of terrorism and our geographical location it’s very important that we stay on our toes,”
said Farooq, referring to Taliban militancy and a sharp rise in sectarian violence. Deteriorating security in neighbouring Afghanistan, where USled troops are preparing to leave by the end of next year, and an uneasy relationship with arch rival India to the east add to the mix. Farooq, whose slim frame offers a study in contrast with her burly male colleagues, was at loggerheads with her widowed and uneducated mother seven years ago when she said she wanted to join
the air force. “In our society most girls don’t even think about doing such things as flying an aircraft,” she said. Family pressure against the traditionally male domain of the armed forces dissuaded other women from taking the next step to become combat ready, air force officials said. They fly slower aircraft instead, ferrying troops and equipment around the country. “Less of a taboo” Centuries-old rule in the tribal belt area along the border with
Afghanistan, where rape, mutilation and the killing of women are ordered to mete out justice, underlines Pakistan’s failures in protecting women’s rights. But women are becoming more aware of those rights and signing up with the air force is about as empowering as it gets. “More and more ladies are joining now,” said Nasim Abbas, Wing Commander of Squadron 20, made up of 25 pilots, including Farooq, who fly Chinese-made F-7PG fighter jets.
“It’s seen as less of a taboo. There’s been a shift in the nation’s, the society’s, way of thinking,” Abbas told Reuters on the base in Sargodha. There are now about 4,000 women in Pakistan’s armed forces, largely confined to desk jobs and medical work. But over the last decade, women have became sky marshals, defending Pakistan’s commercial liners against insurgent attacks, and a select few are serving in the elite anti-terrorist force.
June 17-23, 2013
Restoration of IIUI VC hailed
ice President International Islamic University (IIU), Prof Sahibzada Sajid-ur-Rehman has joined his office after his restoration as Vice President, granted by Islamabad High Court (IHC) on an intra court appeal. IHC suspended the order of a judge declaring the appointment of Sahibzada Sajidur-Rehman illegal. Vice President
IIUI, on his arrival, was warmly welcomed by a large number of officers, Deans of Faculties and other university employees. Bouquets were presented to Sahibzada Sajid ur-Rehman by the IIUI employees of male and female campuses of the university, immense joy and excitement was witnessed on the occasion. Later, addressing to the university employees Sahibazada Sajid-ur-Rehman thanked all for his remark-
able welcome after his restoration. He stressed on the employees to devote their selves for the betterment of IIUI and advised them to refrain from personal differences and biasness. “I dedicated 40 years of my life to IIUI, I never took a single decision based on favouritism or personal interest and in future same would continue” VP IIU said. He said he would not take any action of revenge against those who propagated against him.
He added that IIUI staff would have to develop a milieu of brotherhood and unity for the progress of the institution. He termed the protection of the ordinance of university as strength of it while saying that it was prime obligation of everybody to maintain and protect the integrity and prestige of the IIU ordinance. On the occasion, he also lauded the role of Rector IIUI, Dr Mazoom Yasinzai and President IIU,
they may give priority to solve out the problems of students, so they may not feel any inconvenience. He expressed his views that the university needs an environment of brotherhood and close interaction between students and teachers. He wished that the faculty member arrange a secession in which they exchange of views with students.
President cleared the point that, miscreants would not be allowed in university and dealt with strictness. Committee discussed the agenda of proposed seminars, workshops and conferences including, seminar on IIUI today & future vision, Donor conference of the Department of Education, IIUI9th Convocation, International conference on evalu-
Dr Ahmed Yousif Al-Draiweesh for the progress and betterment of the university. He said IIU was fortunate that it found two high profile and multi-talented personalities who head this institution. He hoped that IIU would achieve its goals within minimum time under the leadership of Dr Al-Draiweesh. He also assured of every possible support to IIU President in this regard. NEWS RELEASE
University to observe strict rule & regulation, Dr Al-Draiweesh ISLAMABAD
niversity administration and heads of academics department must manage to solve out every kind of students’ problem on prior bases but there would be no compromise on the observance of rules and regulations in the university premises. These views were expressed by the Presidents IIUI Pro Dr. Ahmed Yousif Al-Draiweesh while speak-
ing to 5th steering committee of the university. On the occasion, in addition to vice president Prof Dr Sajid ur Rehman heads of academic departments and administration were also present. Dr Al-Draiweesh said that the dynamic socialization process required, along with the formal education in university. He said that there is a need to construct social and moral attitude of the students an idealist on the bases of Islamic values. Dr Al-Draiweesh instructed to departmental heads that
ation of family issues in the list of Shariah & Law, 5th International Applied Business Research Conference. The committee agreed on the point that keeping the tradition alive, it stressed on the need to arrange more seminars, workshops and special lectures for the social, moral and mental betterment of the students. NEWS RELEASE
IIUI 54th Shariah course for judges, law officers concludes DA REPORT ISLAMABAD
he concluding ceremony of the 54th Shariah course took place at Shriah Academy Faisal Masjid campus of International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI). Director General Shriah Academy Dr Tahir Mansoori was the chief guest of the ceremony. During the sixteen week course the participants availed the golden opportunity to visit different countries including Egypt, turkey and some of the Middle Eastern
countries, where they also visited their law and justice institutions, and studied their contemporary judicial system. During the foreign visit Participants also got an opportunity to interact with law experts of that specific country. They analyzed and compared that judicial and justice system with Pakistani and Islamic judicial and justice system and its practices in Pakistan. At the end of the foreign visit participants of the course also performed Ummra. Participants were also awarded certificates on the successfully completion of their course. The course lasted for sixteen weeks.
June 17-23, 2013
British MP says rule of law vital to fetch foreign investments
Minister lauds USAID, USDA for coop in agri sector
DA REPORT ISLAMABAD
he Pakistani origin first elected Muslim Member of British Parliament from Glasgow Muhammad Sarwar visited Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry and addressing the business community said that Overseas Pakistanis have deep love & affection for Pakistan. They are very much interested to invest in Pakistan, but factors like security problems, corruption, lack of rule of law and bureaucratic approach were keeping them away. He said Overseas Pakistanis have huge investment potential and can bring billions of dollars into their country of origin, so much so that Pakistan will have no need of any foreign investment. But for this to happen, establishing rule of law, fair legal system, good governance etc. were the key requirements. He said government should prepare feasibility studies of projects and share such studies with Overseas Pakistanis so that they could explore investment opportunities in their country. He said Pakistan Embassies in foreign countries should have full information and database about trade, commerce & export potential for Pakistani products in their host countries and they should facilitate Pakistani entrepreneurs to tap such opportunities for promoting Pakistan’s trade and exports. Mr. Muhammad Sarwar said it is not the job of government to run commercial organizations and advised that government should privatize loss making public sector enterprises. For this purpose, government should make a consortium to evaluate the potential of local and overseas Pakistani investors to purchase PSEs. In his welcome address, Zafar Bakhtawari, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry appreciated the services of Muhammad Sarwar for Pakistan and Pakistani community. He said people like Muhammad Sarwar have rich experience as he has served as public representative in a developed democracy. Therefore, Pakistan should benefit from such experienced people. Tahir Iqbal Ch. Member National Assembly from Vehari also lauded the services of Muhammad Sarwar and said that he rendered valuable contribution for the welfare of people during earthquake and floods in Pakistan.
DA REPORT Islamabad
he Federal Minister for National Food Security & Research (NFSR) Mr. Sikandar Hayat Bosan while presiding over a meeting of USDA delegation headed by Richard T. Drennan & Asmat Raza with Mr. Tamoor Azmat, Secretary (MNSFS) and Dr. Iftikhar Ahmad, Chairman PARC and other senior officers at Ministry has said that the present Government gives special emphasis for promotion and development agriculture sector in Pakistan to boost up production to achieve self-sufficiency in food secu-
and Dissemination the Basic Technologies to help rural farmers. These initiatives will surely increase crop productivity and production value of livestock, horticultural and cereal crops, thus increasing income for Pakistani farmers. He said that the Ministry acknowledged the role of said international agencies in Pakistan and fully committed to extend all possible cooperation to all international agriculture development agencies for their support for the development of agriculture sector of Pakistan especially self-sufficiency in wheat, rice, cotton, sugarcane crops and livestock to improve economy as well as living standard of country’ small farmers.
rity as well as for economic development. He appreciated the role of USAID/ USDA and other donor agencies such as CIMMYT, ICARDA, ARS), FAO, etc. for support in different areas of agriculture through launching of various programmmes such as Pakistan Agricultural Innovation Programme (AIP) with US$ 30 Million, Wheat Productivity Enhancement Programme (WPEP) – a US, Pakistan and CG Centres Partnership focused on mitigating the Threat of Ug99 causing wheat diseases stem rusts with US $ 8.19 Million, Agricutlural Linkages Programme (ALP) and Waterhsed Rehabilitation & Improvement: Demonstration in Pakistan
Association of American graduates formed DA REPORT ISLAMABAD
.S. Embassy Chargé d’affaires’ Ambassador Richard Hoagland congratulated students and faculty of COMSATS Institute of Information Technology on the formation of the COMSATS Association of American Graduates, an association of more than
60 faculty members who have received PhDs in the United States through partnerships with U.S. universities in North Dakota and Illinois. COMSATS formed the Association to provide opportunities for these alumni to network and compare experiences. At the inaugural event hosted by COMSATS Rector Dr. Syed Muhammad Junaid Zaid, Ambassador Hoagland congratulated participants:
Academic ties between the United States and Pakistan are critical to ensuring mutual understanding. They also play a key role in supporting Pakistan’s economic and social development. I congratulate COMSATS both on its successful efforts to build productive linkages with U.S. universities and continued engagement with this alumni association.
Meeting with minister
USAID assures support for power sector DA REPORT ISLAMABAD
four-member delegation of USAID led by Jonathan M Conly called on Federal Minister for Water and Power, Khawaja Muhammad Asif here the other day and discussed various matters of mutual cooperation in power sector and technical assistance initiatives for power projects. The minister while welcoming the delegation appreciated US cooperation and assistance being extended to the power sector and said that it would help to improve the efficiency of the public sector power entities. The minister observed that construction of dams, run of river hydel projects and coal energy generation projects are solution to energy
crisis on sustainable basis .He said it was priority of the government to reduce load shedding on priority and increase in the generation. The government has planned to change the energy mix and to convert the existing thermal power plants on imported coal. Run of river projects have also been identified. He said
that reduction in line losses and eradication of power theft are also the major targets. The Discos would be given autonomy and reforms process would be continue. Mr. Asif said that the circular debt issue would alos be resolved on permanent basis. He also agreed the proposal to make one Disco as Model Disco.
Mr Jonathan Conley, USAID Country Head said that United States and Pakistan together are carrying out large-scale energy projects. These projects include renovating the power plant at the Tarbela Dam: modernizing the generators of the Mangla Dam: upgrading the Guddu, Jamshoro and
Muzafargarh power plants and construction of Gomal Zam Dam and Satpara dam, Kurram Tangi and Diamer Basha dam projects.. He informed that 1700 capacitors and 130 energy pumps and 4900 meters for advanced metering system for real time data have been installed. The reforms are focused both on reducing technical losses on the power grid and on increasing receivables. A five year USAID funded programme of 853 million dollars is already under progress which aims to improve the performance of Discos in terms of reduction in losses and improvement in revenues and customer services to bring them at par with best global practices, he maintained. He said that US is committed to work with the Government of Pakistan towards a brighter future for the people of Pakistan.
June 17-23, 2013
Rodolfo Martin Saravia hosts reception for FSA under-training diplomats ABUBAKAR SIDDIQUE ISLAMABAD
The Dean of Diplomatic Corps and Ambassador of the Argentine Republic, Rodolfo Martin Saravia held a reception in honour of foreign diplomats participating in the study and training course of the
Foreign Service Academy (FSA). Pakistanâ€™s former ambassador to China and Saudi Arabia Khalid Mahmud was the chief guest in the reception. The reception was attended by Foreign Service Academy Director General Khalid Usman Qaisar, ambassadors of different countries including Nigeria, Tunisia and Azerbaijan. The diplomats,
belonging to several countries, who are attaining the training in the academy attended the reception. Music arranged on the occasion enthralled the audience as the event was held in a very pleasant weather in the capital. The attendants enjoyed themselves in the function, as the pleasant weather was coupled with beautiful performances.
A Lok singer Erum enthralled the guests by singing regional songs of Pakistan. The diplomats talked high of standard of the training and education imparted to them by Pakistani scholars and senior diplomats. They were of the view that Pakistanâ€™s diplomats are second to none in displaying their skill and it would
be the best of the experience of their life to seek knowledge from such high quality people who are masters of their own field. The under-training diplomats referred to general election in their host country and said that people of Pakistan have proved that they are intelligent and sensible enough to deal with their national issues.
June 17-23, 2013
Expert sees Pak-Saudi bilateral cooperation heightening
n Amir-ur-Rehman says Saudi envoy working hard to expand ties n Urges govt to address miseries of overseas Pakistanis ABUBAKAR SIDDIQUE ISLAMABAD
he depth of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia brotherhood and cordial relations is evident from the cooperation in every field of life between the two countries. The two countries are very close to each other. Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to Pakistan Dr Abdul Aziz Al-Ghadeer is playing a very important role to further consolidate Pakistan-Saudi Arabia relations, as he is very active to expand the bilateral cooperation in various fields. This was stated by Raja Amirur-Rehman, Chief Executive of Al-Waqas Enterprises (Overseas Employment Promoters) and former Chairman of Pakistan Oversees Employment Promoters Association (POEPA) and an expert on overseas Pakistanis employment matters, in exclusive interview with Diplomatic Affairs. He said the ambassador knows the importance of relations between the two countries and he is working very hard to bring them closer. He said Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are brotherly countries and the bilateral relations are getting strengthened day by day. He said the Saudi government has always been kind to Pakistan, adding its recent move to ask illegal immigrants to legalise their stay is in favour of illegal Pakistani manpower living and working in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He said the Saudi government has the right to enact and amend its laws as any other country. He said the issue of illegal workers negated rumours that thousands of Pakistanis were imprisoned, or asked to leave the kingdom. He said there was no veracity and truthfulness in all the news, adding that expatriates were however under tremendous strain following reports of in-
spections by ministries on private establishments. Amir-ur-Rehman said it was a very laudable decision by King Abdullah, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, who issued directives to the ministries of interior and labour to give a three-month grace period to workers violating the labour and residency (iqama) regulations, to rectify their status. “This will help the people work with more comfort in the kingdom”. Raja sahib said people who went to Saudi Arabia independently, spending a lot of money, used to face difficulties in finding suitable jobs and setting up their businesses in the past not being aligned to any institutions they were often indelible for basic human services. He added that after the implementation of the new regulations they will work in the kingdom with out fear. He said, “I can assure you that rumours had violated in this matter. If there was any problem, it had some link to the failure of the previous Pakistani governments’ policies.” He said the grace period of three months awarded by the Saudi King was a while gesture and the bonafide expatriates living in Saudi Arabia warmly welcomed it. He said majority of expatriates have benefited from the grace period and they rectified their status. He said the implementation of the new regulations will h e l p
businessmen and other people who want to get settled in the kingdom. He said the new law must be enforced, as it will protect all employees irrespective of their nationalities. Amir-ur-Rehman said the new government in Pakistan must focus on relations with Saudi Arabia, adding that a huge number of Pakistanis are working in the kingdom and remitting capital to the country. He said Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are brotherly countries and the bilateral relations are based on common religion and culture. He said Pakistani people respect very much Saudi Arabia and its people, as their religious sentiments are associated to the kingdom. He said the relations between the two countries will get further strengthened with the passage of time. Talking about the elections and formation of new government in Pakistan, he said he hoped the development will thrive businesses in the country. “The relations between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia will surely go to new heights in Nawaz Sharif government. Cooperation between the two countries will get extended. Businesses will hopefully, get developed.” He urged the new government to pay heed to the problems of overseas Pakistanis and remove their woes, as they and their remit-
“The new government in Pakistan must focus on relations with Saudi Arabia. A huge number of Pakistanis are working in the kingdom and remitting capital to the country. Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are brotherly countries and the bilateral relations are based on common religion and culture. Pakistani people respect very much Saudi Arabia and its people, as their religious sentiments are associated to the kingdom. The relations between the two countries will get further strengthened with the passage of time.”
June 17-23, 2013
MPBS calls for focus on non-traditional items to Pak-Malaysia trade DA REPORT ISLAMABAD
alaysia-Pak istan Business Council (MPBC) has called for a greater focus on non-traditional items for enhancing and diversifying bilateral trade between Pakistan and Malaysia. MPBC Chairman Datuk Salim Fateh Din said, “the trade balance is currently unfavourable to Pakistan and it is high time the Pakistani businessmen to come up with innovative ideas and focused on non-traditional items to broaden the scope of trade between the two countries”. At the residence of Pakistan High Commissioner to Malaysia Shahid M G Kiani to honour Datuk Salim Fateh Din following conferral upon
him of Tamgha-e-Imtiaz (Medal of Excellence) by the President of Pakistan he said the MPBC was aggressively exploring niche areas for joint investments and sectors such as education, power, energy, water, infrastructure, property development, telecommunication, retail
and rail transportation were ideal for forging joint ventures. Another huge potential area for joint investment is the global halal market which is worth half a trillion US dollars and offers massive opportunities for both Pakistan and Malaysia to leverage their resources
Bokhari sees cooperation with Mauritius increasing
optimally to tap into the market, he said. Datuk Salim believed more bilateral trade in the halal products could also help in enhancing and networking businessmen and entrepreneurs from both countries. We would also set up a Malaysia-
Pakistan Halal Corporation to promote and sell halal products all over the world, he said. Shahid Kiani hailed Datuk Salim Fateh Din’s services in boosting bilateral trade and strengthening business networking and matchmaking between potential investors and traders from both countries. He said the growing bilateral trade between Pakistan and Malaysia was also an indicator of ‘the strength of their political ties, economic and trade volume and the rapport between the leadership of the two countries’. Kiani lauded Datuk Salim Fateh Din for his untiring efforts, which led to the establishment of PMBC in September 2011 to provide an ideal platform to introduce and market agri products from Pakistan into the Malaysian market.
USAID active to curb unscheduled power loadshedding DA REPORT ISLAMABAD
nited States Agency for International Development (USAID) Power Distribution Programme has successfully implemented its ‘Load Data Improvement (LDI) Programme’ in DISCOs, which aims to minimise unscheduled loadshedding. Currently Pakistan is in a serious power crisis, which is gravely affecting its economy and having a detrimental impact on various segments of society. With each passing day, the country is plunging deeper and deeper into the crisis-already the electricity shortfall has hit record levels. This situation has resulted in the citizens of Pakistan bearing the burden of heavy daily load shedding of 12 to 16 hours, with the expectation that it might increase in the future.
DA REPORT ISLAMABAD
hairman Senate Syed Nayyer Hussain Bokhari said the other day that Pakistan was desirous and keen to have good relations with all countries of the world on basis of equality. He said that bilateral cooperation between Pakistan and Mauritius will be promoted. He
expressed these views while talking to High Commissioner of Mauritius Mohammad Rashad Daureeawo who called on Senate chairman in his chamber here. Bokhari stated that exchange of parliamentary delegations between the two countries will boost bilateral relations. He said that sugarcane being the major produce of Mauritius, Pakistan can help it in establishing sugar industry there.Besides
that, Pakistan can also export mangoes,oranges and fine quality rice too. He said that there are vast opportunities for bilateral trade. The Mauritius envoy said that peaceful transition of power is very important for democracy and a good message has gone out to the world from Pakistan in this regard. He emphasized that Pakistan-Mauritius relations will be further promoted and bilateral trade will be enhanced.
Malaysian real estate tycoon honoured MONITORS REPORT KUALA LUMPUR
akistan’s High Commission in Kuala Lumpur honoured Malaysian real estate magnate Datuk Salim Fateh Din for his services to increase bilateral trade and investment between Pakistan and Malaysia. The event was held at the residence of Pakistan’s High Commissioner to Malaysia, Shahid M G Kiani. The high commissioner hailed Din’s role as the head of the Malaysia-Pakistan Business Council in boosting bilateral trade and strengthening business networking between potential investors and traders from both the countries.
Cohen urges US-Pak civilian N-deal MONITORS REPORT WASHINGTON
tephen Cohen, an eminent American expert on South Asia, has asked Washington to formally recognise Pakistan’s nuclear status through civilian cooperation. He underlined in his latest book the vital importance that normalisation of Pakistan-India relations holds out for US interests in the region. “The United States has a strong interest in the normalisation of IndiaPakistan relations that goes far beyond normal “good” ties to each of
them. Their normalisation is more important than Afghanistan’s stabilisation or building India up as a barrier to an expanding China,” Cohen advocates, while proposing a new US approach to South Asian peace prospects. He underlines the tremendous economic regional benefits as well as formation of a strong democratic region if Pakistan and India make progress towards normalisation. In his just-published book,”Shooting for a Century:The India-Pakistan onundrum,” Dr. Cohen looks into some causes and implications of outstanding issues between the two South Asian countries, par-
ticularly the longstanding Kashmir dispute. Cohen observes in the book that ironically, the one fear that steered US policy after the end of the cold war’nuclear proliferation’ turns out to have important implications for India-Pakistan normalisation and “suggests further modification” in American policy. The United States, he stated should encourage the two neighbouring states to take advantage of the reality of deterrence and work toward a stable nuclear regime, while maintaining the tightest control over the use of the weapons.
“Washington went part way down this road when it entered into a civilian nuclear deal with India that legitimised New Delhi’s nuclear status; it should find a formula that does the same for Pakistan, with the caveat that being a full member of the nuclear club means that Pakistan’ and India’ must assume the obligations set forth for nuclear weapons states under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT).” Dr Cohen has previously authored books including “The Idea of Pakistan” and “The Future of Pakistan.” While pushing for normalisation of Pakistan-India relations in the
new book, the expert notes that some in India might greet a new American initiative with skepticism, but the recently completed American policy document on India actually encourages regional cooperation, and a carefully crafted US initiative might be more welcome in New Delhi than previous efforts. Doubts will exist on the Pakistan side, but America has stuck by Pakistan and its interest, like that of India’s, is to see a stable democratic Pakistan emerge over the next decade., he said. “Part of the new approach would be to confirm Pakistan’s identity as a South Asian state,” Cohen writes.
June 17-23, 2013
SMEDA for promoting trade with China, India, Afghanistan BUREAU REPORT LAHORE
S ISLAMABAD: Ro Kyong Chol, Ambassador of North Korea, shaking hands with Dr Shahzad Waseem, advisor to the Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf at his office in Islamabad. DA
KSE holds ‘Pakistan Investment Conference’ in New York BUREAU REPORT KARACHI
he Karachi Stock Exchange in partnership with Bloomberg LP, the leading global financial news and data provider, and in coordination with JS Global organised a ‘Pakistan Investment Conference’ in New York. A statement of the KSE said this conference brought together the top management of Pakistan’s most successful listed companies and several international financial institutions and potential investors from across the United States, including many well-known mutual funds invested in Emerging and Frontier markets. This conference played an important role in generating awareness amongst the US investment community regarding investment opportunities in Pakistan’s capital market and also in creating a positive perception about Pakistan and its long term growth potential as a major emerging market with a large and vibrant domestic demand base. Given the interest shown in the conference proceedings by participants it is expected that the stock market of Pakistan should get a favorable and enthusiastic
response from US institutional investors. Addressing the conference, KSE Chairman Muneer Kamal highlighted the strong performance of the Pakistan stock market despite challenging global financial environment. The enthusiasm of international investors for Pakistan equities was a clear sign that confidence has been restored in the country’s capital market. No wonder, Pakistan market’s performance has been one of the best not only in Asia but also within the emerging and frontier markets universe in the last 12 months, with the 100-share index rising by over 65 per cent during this period. Kamal highlighted the important milestone in Pakistan’s political history where, for the first time, there was change from one civilian government to another civilian government through the election process. He said that the strong mandate of the new Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government meant policy implementations would likely be decisive and help stabilise the economy with action on key areas such as the power sector, taxation, privatisation and improved governance. Furthermore, with all political players in Pakistan on the same page regard-
ing improvement of relations with India, a new era of regional cooperation and surge in intra-regional trade was on the anvil, which bode well for peace and economic development of South Asia, providing opportunity for global investors to participate in this growth. State Bank of Pakistan’s Monitory Policy Director Hamza also participated in the conference. Other capital market institution present at the conference was the Central Depository Company of Pakistan, represented by its Chief Executive Hanif Jhakura. In the second session of the conference key Pakistani companies in major economic sectors ranging from banks, chemicals, cement, oil and gas, power, telecoms and textiles highlighted their achievements and outlook for the future, which was greatly appreciated by the investor community in New York. Representative of the following companies also participated In the conference: MCB Bank, OGDC, Nishat, Mills, Nishat Chunian, Nishat Chunian Power, Kot Addu Power, Fatima Fertilizer, PTCL, Bank Al Falah, FFBL, DG Khan Cement, Lucky Cement, Attock Petroleum, Attock Refinery and Pakistan Oilfields.
mall and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) has proposed promotion of trade with China through Gilgit-Baltistan, with Iran through Quetta, with Afghanistan through Quetta/ Peshawar and with India through Lahore for effective implementation of the Strategic Trade Policy Framework 2012-15. Establishment of special economic zones in the border areas has been proposed as one of the recommendations submitted by SMEDA to the Ministry of Commerce regarding Strategic Trade Policy Framework Supplement 2013-14, a spokesman for SMEDA said here the other day. The authority also recommended a sector development strategy for logistics to be implemented in collaboration with NTTFC and SMEDA. In its proposals, SMEDA expressed its support to the Ministry of Commerce for establishing institutional framework announced in STPF 2012-15 for promoting trade and commerce, especially regarding taskforce for facilitating development of e-commerce, leather promotion council, export-import bank and service trade development council. The Strategic Trade Policy Supplement 2013-14 is being developed as a roadmap for effective implementation of the Strategic Trade Policy Framework (STPF 2012-15). Appreciating the comprehensive approach adopted by the Ministry of Commerce, SMEDA expressed SMEs concerns regarding regulations and procedures to avail the announced incentives that are cumbersome as SMEs neither have the time, nor the financial strength to benefit from these incentives at times. Procedure for exports by SMEs in terms of documentation etc must be simplified vis-a-vis those required by large enterprises and related information should be widely disseminated, he added. SMEDA has also proposed inclusion of additional monetary concessions, for selected high growth sectors, such as gems & jewellery that may also be included in the list of sectors for which mark-up support of 2 per cent on LTFF on purchase/import of machinery.
Import of power from India discussed DA REPORT ISLAMABAD
five-member Indian delegation met Khawaja Asif Minister for Water and Power and discussed the proposals for electricity trade and HVDC link establishment to transfer 500 megawatts (MW). Indo-Pak experts on trade of electricity were also present on the occasion. Indian experts group headed by Joint Secretary (transmission), Ministry of Power India was of the view the lines would emanate from grid station in India to grid station in Pakistan. Detailed discussions with National Transmission Data Company Limited (NTDCL) were held in Lahore the other day.
PRCS steps up preparation to cope with monsoon challenges DA REPORT ISLAMABAD
n view of the upcoming monsoon season and potential floods, the Pakistan Red Crescent Society (PRCS) has stepped up its preparations from district to national levels, said PRCS Chairman Major General (retd) Chaudhry Muhammad Nawaz Khan. Khan was chairing a meeting of the PRCS Managing Board, the highest policy-making body, at the National Headquarters.
The PRCS has prepared a comprehensive plan for thousands of families in case of a disaster. In this connection, the PRCS is also holding meetings with other disastermanagement-related agencies for better coordination and an effective response in case of floods. The PRCS had recently trained hundreds of volunteers to deal with challenges and sensitised communities in their respective areas in case of floods, he said. General Nawaz told the participants of the meeting that the PRCS,
with a proactive approach, was all set to respond actively to the monsoon-related disasters in the best possible way to minimise the suffering of the vulnerable. He said that the PRCS had a capacity to cater to 35,000 families with food and shelters all over the country, especially in the disaster-prone districts. He said the PRCS was committed to its motto “first to reach and last to leave”, and being the leading humanitarian organisation of the country, it would use all its human and material resources to support the victims.
PRCS Secretary General Dr Mahboob Sardar, while briefing the board members, said that the agency as a first step had geared up its coordination and planning efforts with the movement partners, International Federation of Red Cross, Red Crescent societies and sister national societies, and discussions were being held to frame a mechanism for an effective response and secure proper funding in case of a massive disaster. The secretary general said that 92 district branches, 43 disaster management cells, medical units
and thousands of volunteers along with 443 trained disaster relief training members had started monsoon preparations in their respective areas. Dr Mahboob said that despite the PRCS’ experience of a number of disasters and emergencies handled in the last few years, it was gathering all its energies to respond quickly and efficiently, besides continuing its efforts and support in the rehabilitation and recovery phase by providing shelter, livelihood, healthcare and clean drinking water to the victims.
June 17-23, 2013
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Polio eradication measures discussed
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DA REPORT ISLAMABAD
resident Asif Ali Zardari has said that polio eradication remains a high national priority and the programme has complete ownership of all political parties. He was talking to representative of the Bill Gates and Melinda Gates Foundation Dr Waqar Ajmal in Islamabad the other day. The president said that sustained efforts would continue to ensure timely polio vaccination drives as envisioned under the National Emergency Action Plan 2013. The president said that despite challenges of inaccessibility in certain areas and attacks on polio missionaries by the militant mindset‚ anti-polio drive continues across the country this year. He said that such heinous attacks have been strongly condemned by all sections of society and the whole nation stands united for this cause. He said that the government was ensuring the security of the polio workers who are visiting door-to-door to ensure full coverage of the polio programme. The president noted with satisfaction that as a result of continued efforts by the gov-
ernment duly supported by all segments of society‚ the number of polio cases dropped to only 58 last year as compared to 198 in previous year. This year so far the reported number of the cases was 14. He said that Ambassador for Polio eradication Ms Aseefa was taking a leading role in providing assistance to initiatives aimed at eradicating polio and mobilizing masses’ support towards this cause. The president also highlighted the role being played by the parliamentarians and the Ulemas who have issued fatwa in favour of polio eradication initiative. Dr Waqar Ajmal appreciated the efforts being made by the Government for eradication of polio from the country. He also delivered a letter from Mr Bill Gates to the President in which he sought President’s continued support to polio eradication during transition period. Bill Gates assured that he would continue to follow Pakistan’s progress on polio eradication. Talking to Special Representative of Bill Gates and Melinda Foundation Dr Waqar Ajmal in Islamabad‚ Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif reiterated the government’s resolve to eradicate fatal diseases like polio in the country.
We congratulate Qari Haroon Akmal on becoming secretary information of Pakistan Thafuz e Therik Sonia Rohail, Hajveria Wahidi,Dr,Sohail Riaz(phd,Persian)
June 17-23, 2013
Argentina envoy hosts dinner for Naghmana Hashmi DA REPORT ISLAMABAD
he Dean of Diplomatic Corps and Ambassador of Argentina Rodolfo Martin Saravia held a dinner in honour of Ms Naghmana Hashmi, Additional Secretary Americas, the other day. A large number of dignitaries especially from the diplomatic community attended the dinner.
KCCI bids farewell to Indian high commissioner BUREAU REPORT KARACHI
he Indo-Pak governments should build more confidence building measures and resume the bilateral dialogues from point left rather going back to square one. Members of Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) organised a reception in honour of the High Commissioner of India Sharat Sabharwal to bid farewell on completion of his diplomatic assignment in Pakistan. Chairman Businessmen Group Siraj Kassam Teli recognised the High Commissionerâ€™s efforts on confidence building measures between Pakistan and India. He said he acted as a bridge between two nations and played an important role in the recent bilateral talks on economic and commercial cooperation between two countries. He expressed satisfaction over the positive moves by Indo-Pak
governments for strengthening commercial and economic ties during last two years. It is in the interest of both countries to live together maintaining cordial relationship and both sides are learning day by day, he opined. He hoped the existing hurdles in respect to trade between two coun-
tries would overcome soon. He presented his best compliments to the High Commissioner for his vibrant and meaningful interaction with KCCI during last four years and wished him best for his future. KCCI President Haroon Agar appreciated the efforts of Sharat Sabharwal to foster economic, trade
and friendly bilateral relations between Pakistan and India. Sabharwal successfully projected and promoted the interests of both countries and under the dynamic lead of Sabharwal disseminated information about trade with India, facilitated the members/business community in respect of consular
and visa services. The KCCI signed agreement with Bombay Chamber to form Bombay-Karachi Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which has been recognised by the Indo-Pak governments, he added. Sharat Sabharwal is equally popular in the public, private sectors and the diplomatic circles. Chairman Sindh Board of Investment Zubair Motiwala informed an Indian company at Rajasthan border was interest to exploit Thar Cal reserves of Pakistan for producing energy and provide electricity to Pakistan on barter-basis. The Thar Cal reserves are available in the Thar region of both sides of border. The Indian company is already generating electricity on the order side of border and has offered 1,700 megawatts electricity. The Indian know about the quality of Thar Coal and investors may invest in it while more confidence building measures are required on areas like Thar Coal and market access to European Union.
June 17-23, 2013
US rebuilding ties with Pakistan: Gen Dempsey MONITORS REPORT WASHINGTON
he United States is gradually rebuilding its bilateral relationship with Pakistan in the wake of 2011 tensions, the top American military officer said, as he also acknowledged that a defeat in Afghanistan would have fallout for Pakistan and the region. “We are gradually rebuilding our relationship as reflected in the recent signing of a tripartite border document to standardise complementary cross-border operations and will continue to do so with Pakistan’s new lead-
ership following its historic election last month,” Gen Martin Dempsey said. Dempsey, who is chairman of the Joint Chiefs Staff, was appearing before the Senate Committee on Appropriations to testify on the Administration’s fiscal year 2014 defence budget request. The general recalled that when he appeared for a testimony last year, the effects of the November 2011 border incident with Pakistan were still fresh, and tensions were as high as any time since the Osama bin Laden raid but things improved through bilateral engagement. “Measured, but steady civilian-military engagement with
Pakistani leadership led to the reopening of the Ground Lines of Communication in July 2012,” he noted.When Senator Lindsey Graham posed the question to Dempsey what would happen if the United States-led allies lose the conflict in Afghanistan, the military officer cited a number of possible implications. “Well, the region will become unstable. Our — I think there will be problems on Pakistan’s border. Iran will be encouraged to become even more regionally aggressive — we could find a re-emergence of violent extremist groups.”
Sikh yatrees attend Jore Mela in Hassanabdal OUR CORRESPONDENT ATTOCK
n the occasion of 407th death anniversary of Guru Arjun Deve Je the 5th Guru of Sikh religion, the Jore Mela ceremonies were held in Gurdwara Punjah Sahib Hassan Abdal Attock. The ceremonies of Jore Mela continued till June 13. To participate in this
religious gathering Sikh yatrees arrived from India. Sikh community of Paksitan and across the world are also participating in this gathering. Ceremonies of Jore Mela started with the old rites of Sikhs’ religion. Sikh yatrees who came from India to participate in this religious gathering said that they were very happy to come to Pakistan and feeling as they were in their own country. They were received
warmly here. They said people of Pakistan gave them love and affection and they would not forget it forever. Sikh yatrees further said that this is their utmost desire to remove hate emotion between India and Pakistan and they live like two brother. They urged the governments of Pakistan and India to resolve the issues regarding visa policy. Tight security measures were taken during these Jore Mela ceremonies.
Egypt, Pakistan deny importing Israeli arms DA REPORT ISLAMABAD/ CAIRO/ JERUSALEM
n an unusual concurrence of opinion, Egypt, Pakistan and Israel all agreed the other day that the British report, saying Egypt and Pakistan imported Israeli arms, was false. Haaretz reported that a British report in 2011 stated that Israel exported weapons over the past five years to Pakistan and four Arab countries: Egypt, Algeria, the United Arab Emirates and Morocco. Cairo quickly denied the report. The Egyptian Army denied the claims that it purchased weapons from Israel, according to a report published by the Egypt state information service website. Military spokesman Col Ahmed Mohamed Ali called the claims baseless, adding that the army follows strict rules and that trust in the military establishment should never be shaken. A spokesman for the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) the other day categorically rejected a news report stating that Pakistan purchased defence equipment from Israel. The spokesman said the report was misleading and not based on facts. Also, the Israeli Defense Ministry released a statement saying, “Israel denies selling any military equipment to Pakistan,” and that Israel plans to contact the British office in charge of export permits to seek an explanation for the information that was published.
RAWALPINDI: High Commissioner of Australia, Peter Heyward shaking hands with leader of Awami Muslim League and MNA, Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad in a meeting at Lal Haveli.DA
Hindus get representation in Punjab Assembly after 16 years BUREAU REPORT LAHORE
he Hindu community finally has some representation in the Punjab Assembly with Kanji Ram, a Hindu, elected on the reserved seats for minorities from the Pakistan Muslim LeagueNawaz (PML-N). He is the second Hindu to reach the provincial assembly after Seth Bharta Ram who was elected in 1997. The Election Commission has issued a notification in this regard. The PML-N had given eight names for the eight reserved seats allocated in the Punjab assembly for minorities and due to its huge mandate in the House, it has won seven seats out of the eight. One of its candidates, Asfandyar Bhandara, hails from the Parsi (Zoroastrian) community and resigned from the provincial seat as he was also elected a member of National Assembly on the reserved seat. His vacant seat was allotted to Kanji Ram as successor in the roll.
DFID delegation meets minister, discusses health issues ISLAMABAD
delegation of the Department of International Development (DFID) called on the Minister of State for National Health Services, Regulation & Coordination, Mrs Saira Afzal Tarar here the other day. The purpose of the visit was to facilitate caucus between the visiting DFID Chief Head of profession Mr Neil Squires and Senior Health Advisor Mr Desmond Whyms and the Honorable Minister of State. The meeting focused on understanding better the role and responsibilities of the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulation & Coordination. Dur-
ing the parleys the participants discussed ways and means of new intervention within the health sector. Special emphasis was laid on matters related to health system strengthening and future plans for the Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI). Secretary, Ministry of National Health Services, Regulation & Coordination, Imtiaz Inayat Elahi, briefed the delegation on the prevailing post-devolution health sector scenario. Mrs Saira Afzal Tarar assured the delegation that accountability, transparency and efficiency will be the order of the day. She stressed the need for beefing up Health Awareness programs. She stated that it is her strong belief that prevention is better than cure. The Minister ap-
prised the delegation that with the newly defined role of this Ministry she hoped to see a marked improvement in coordination. The Minister stated that it is her ardent desire to hold a moot in the near future for engaging all donors/ stakeholders so that routine immunization can be strengthened to the same level as Polio. The DFID delegation suggested strengthening of the epidemiological picture of the country, a proposal which appreciated by all the participants. In closing the Minister thanked the delegation for DFID’s continued support and assured the delegation that the incumbent regime attaches great importance to the Health Sector and the well being of the common man. NEWS RELEASE
June 17-23, 2013
Hizlan meets NA Speaker
‘Parliamentary links to further strengthen Pak-Turkey ties’ DA REPORT ISLAMABAD
mbassador of Turkey Babur Hizlan called on Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq here at the Parliament House and congratulated him on his election as the Speaker of the National Assembly. The Speaker thanked the Ambassador and asked him to convey his best wishes and thanks to his Turkish counterpart as well. He said that peaceful transition from one government to another smoothly was completed as a historic event which indicated commitment of the people of his country to democracy as well as upholding rule of law through the representative Institutions. Ayaz Sadiq said that Pakistan considers Turkey its brother and a trusted friend who has always stood by in times of need. He said that religion, history and culture bind both
the nations in fraternal bonds. He lauded the unwavering Turkish support to Pakistan at regional and international level. He appreciated Turk assistance in socio-economic sectors in Pakistan especially the Mass transit project in the provincial metropolis. He said that enhanced interaction
PM wishes good health for Nelson Mandela DA REPORT ISLAMABAD
rime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif in his message of good wishes on behalf of the Government and the people of Pakistan for Nelson Mandela, Former President of the Republic of South Africa, prayed for his early recovery from his illness. The Prime Minister said that Pakistan greatly values the friendly relations with South Africa and highly admires the role played by Mr. Mandela in strengthening the relations between the two countries. The well being of the great leader and statesman like Mr. Mandela is not only a blessing for South African people but is also a source of inspiration for all the oppressed people o f the world, added the Prime Minister. The Premier further said that the valiant struggle of Mr. Mandela during apartheid era and rise of South African nation as a modern democratic state has been an unprecedented achievement, which will be remembered throughout the history.
Education bedrock of any society: COAS DA REPORT RAWALPINDI
hief of Army Staff, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani has said that Education is the bedrock of any society and plays a pivotal role in nation building. He made these remarks while inaugurating a recently constructed Branch of Army Public School, Fort Road Rawalpindi. With a huge campus, the school has the capacity to accommodate 3700 students, providing a much needed relief to the pindiite parents, who had to wait for months to admit their children in school. It may be mentioned here that there are a total of 126 Army Public Schools and Colleges throughout the Country which are contributing significantly towards imparting quality eduction for the Youth of the Country. Besides education, Schools being run under Army Public Schools and Colleges System are laying greater emphasis on character development and grooming of young children. Lieutenant General Sajjad Ghani, Quarter Master General Pakistan Army was also present on the occasion.
between business communities of both the countries would boost economic activities for mutual benefit of both the nations. Referring to the existing warm parliamentary relations between parliaments of both the countries, the Speaker desired for further cementing those relations through
enhanced interaction at parliamentarians as well as secretarial level. He termed it a befitting way for exchanging views and learning from each others experiences. He said that Pak-Turk Friendship Group in National Assembly would soon be activated so that it could start its activities.
He was convinced that Pakistan and Turkey could play their role at PAECO level for enhancing cooperation between OIC members’ states. The Ambassador reaffirmed his government’s continued support to the government and people of Pakistan. He said that Turkish business community was keen to grab the huge economic potential in Pakistan for which Turkish Mission in Islamabad had arranged interaction between businessmen from both sides. He said that Pak-Turk parliamentary friendship group in Turkish Grand National Assembly exists and its Members were keen to interact with their Pakistan counterparts. He was confident that such interaction would further cement ties between both the brotherly countries. He informed the Speaker that his Turkish Counterpart was keenly looking forward to his visit to Turkey.
Germany to help women entrepreneurship in Pakistan: Klinner DA REPORT KARACHI
he Consul General of Federal Republic of Germany, Dr Tilo Klinner gas asked the apex trade body – Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) to provide him the concrete proposals required for promoting and strengthening women entrepreneurship in Pakistan. The German diplomat was talking to the acting President FPCCI Rukhsana Jehangir along with Vice Presidents, Gulzar Firoz, Abdul Khaliq and Chairman Standing Committee on Foreign Investment Shaikh Humayun Saeed, and Mir Nasir Abbas D.G International Affairs in a meeting held here the CG also discussed matters of mutual interests. The CG also informed the business representatives that he would also hold one more session in FPCCI where he will bring the visa officer to streamline the visa issuance which is mentioned at every step. The CG advised Rukhsana Jehangir to present all those proposals which require strengthening and support to women entrepreneurial projects from German agencies. He said that database of women stakeholders would be collected so as to progress forward and take up the matter in Berlin. The Consul General Dr. Klinner was joined by Mian Abrar and Mr. Qazi Managing Director BSAF, and President of Pakistan German Business Forum. The acting President emphasized the need for close col-
laboration with the German Consulate for enhancing bilateral trade and investment in Pakistan. She further added that being a woman Vice President of apex trade body her prime objective is to give support to women entrepreneurs who are mostly small and medium, and require full support in the field of product development and capacity building on order to attract international buyers and suppliers. She requested the CG to get support for Agencies such as GIZ and other prominent organizations and government agencies who can provide support in the field of fairs and exhibitions, value addition, etc. Vice President FPCCI, Gulzar Firoz pointed out that there were very little German delegations visiting Pakistan and emphasized the need for getting more trade and investment delegations. Especially after the visit of German Foreign
Minister to Pakistan and after the general elections held in Pakistan the environment is feasible and conducive to business development. He further added that FPCCI through Pak-German Business Council can promote collaboration in the field of chemicals, which will eventually help the export sector of Pakistan. Mr. Humayun Sayeed while appreciating the initiative taken by the Vice President, said that the FPCCI and Pak-German Business Forum are duplicating tasks by working in isolation with each other instead of work through the Business Council of FPCCI. He suggested that we can work more positively this way, join hands and hold a joint session since both of us have a common goal. It was decided by the Consul General that an interactive session should be held at FPCCI having BoD of Pak-German Business Forum and office bearers of Pak-German Business Council PGBF would also like to take SAARC on board when they meet at the FPCCI. Caption: The German Consul General, Dr Tilo Klinner is photographed with Acting President FPCCI Rukhsana Jehangir, Vice Presidents Gulzar Firoz and Khaliq Khan, Shaikh Humayun Saeed and Mian Abrar during their meeting at the Consulate.w
June 17-23, 2013
Korean envoy hosts farewell reception DA REPORT ISLAMABAD
m bassador of K o r e a Choong Joo Choi and Mrs Sunhwa Choi held a farewell reception, wherein a large number of people, especially the diplomatic community, participated.
June 17-23, 2013
Meeting with Chinese delegation
PM seeks chinese investment in energy sector DA REPORT ISLAMABAD
five-member delegation led by Mr Wang Yitong, Chairman, China North Industries Corporation (NORINCO), called on Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif at PMâ€™s Office the other day. The Chairman, NORINCO congratulated Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on the assumption of his office as the Chief Executive of the country. The Chairman, NORINCO briefed the Prime Minister that his company is one of the 500 largest state owned enterprises in terms of assets and revenue and deals in various areas, including petroleum, mining, engineering and infrastructure projects. The Chairman, NORINCO informed the Prime Minister that after the successful visit of the Chinese Premier Mr Li Keqiang to Pakistan, they have enjoyed special support of the Chinese government and leadership to boost business relations between the two friendly countries and undertake projects in Pakistan. Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Shrif recalled that during the recent visit of the Chinese Premier to Pakistan, he had very useful and fruitful talks with him and termed the visit of a delegation from NORINCO as a testimony that these relations were being further solidified, strengthened and expanded. While talking to the Chairman, NORINCO, the Prime Minister said that Pakistan is experiencing a severe power shortage. He invited NORINCO, which is engaged in production of solar power plants, to install solar power plants in Pakistan. The Prime Minister said that we
MoU signed with Chinese firm for industrial city near M-2 BUREAU REPORT LAHORE
he memorandum of understanding between Punjab government and Chinese company, NORINCO International, was signed by Planning & Development Punjab Chairman Sohail Ahmed and NORINCO International President Hu Farong. Under the MoU, NORINCO
have vast areas in Balochistan and South Punjab which have sunshine
International will extend cooperation to Punjab government for setting up an industrial city near motorway M2, construction of infrastructure for Metro training Lahore, launching of solar energy project, solar irrigation project and various projects of roads. Under the agreement, Chinese Company would provide financing, technical expertise and other services so that the projects could be executed expeditiously.
round the year and there is ample land available for installation of so-
lar power plants in Pakistan. During the meeting, the Prime
Minister also discussed the possibility of installation of solar energy plants in Balochistan where population is thin, scattered and at distances. This, he said, would help save laying of transmission lines which have a prohibitive cost. The Prime Minister also offered NORINCO to look into mining and setting up of coal power plants at sites in Thar, Balochistan and Punjab where coal is available. The work on the mining and setting up of Thermal Power plants, the Prime Minister said, can be carried out simultaneously so that the power can be produced as quickly as possible. The Prime Minister also offered NORINCO to look into the exploration of iron ore in the country. The Prime Minister also discussed the possibilities of projects for running underground trains in Karachi, Lahore and twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad in order to facilitate commuters in these cities. The Chairman, NORINCO said that his company was serious and keen to take up projects in Pakistan. In this connection, the Chairman informed the Prime Minister that on his return to China, he would immediately despatch his team of experts to Pakistan to initiate discussions and take these ideas forward. The Prime Minister assured the Chinese delegation that his government is ready and shall extend all possible support and cooperation to NORINCO for expediting the process so that work on these projects can start in right earnest. The meeting was attended by Mr Mohammad Shahbaz Sharif, Chief Minister Punjab, Khawaja Muhammad Asif Minister for Water and Power, Mr Ahsan Iqbal Minister for Planning & Development and senior officials of the Prime Ministerâ€™s Office.
80,000 Pakistanis legalised in Saudi Arabia: Naeem MONITORS REPORT ISLAMABAD
he government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has declared the stay of 80,000 Pakistani expatriates in the country legal. Ambassador of Pakistan to Saudi Arabia, Muhammad Naeem Khan, said this during an interview, adding that 110 Saudi companies have started providing jobs to Pakistanis who have been living in the kingdom illegally. He said his meetings with different governors were very fruitful. He urged the people who went to Saudi Arabia for Umrah and Hajj in 2008 and got jobs there to rectify their status till July 3. He said those who visited the kingdom during 2008 to 2013 and stayed there will have to leave Saudi Arabia till July 3, however they will not
be black-listed. He said they can come back to Saudi Arabia after getting work permit. The ambassador said the Saudi government had granted three-month grace period to all illegal expatriates including from India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Phillippine, Egypt and other countries to look for their sponsor. He said this grace period was granted after his meeting with Prince Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah. He said he met several governors and in-
formed them that about 1.5 million Pakistanis were serving the kingdom. He said the Saudi Arabia King, Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz loves Pakistani people and Pakistanis also consider the kingdom their second home. To a question, he said he is making efforts to get extension in the grace period. He said 12,000 Pakistanis who visited the kingdom during 2008-2013 and absconded will have to go back to Pakistan at all costs. He said the Pakistani missions in the kingdom have started organising job fairs. He said centres have been established for Pakistani expatriates in Riyadh, Jeddah and other big cities of
the kingdom, where illegal expatriates can get themselves registered. He said so far 19,000 people have got themselves registered, adding that 110 Saudi firms were providing them with jobs. He said those Pakistanis who have left their sponsor are illegal while those who adopted a profession other than the one they had mentioned in the job permit are also illegal. He said he has appealed Pakistani expatriates in Saudi Arabia to get themselves registered in Pakistani centres and look for their sponsors, warning that otherwise the deadline of July 3 will pass and they will face problems. He said the Saudi Foreign Ministry has declared the steps of Pakistan embassy in this regard very admirable and asked the embassies of other countries also to take such dynamic steps.
June 17-23, 2013
Rs3.591 trillion outlay
Govt unveils ‘investment, business friendly’ budget n Budget projects GDP growth rate at 4.4 per cent n Revenue target set at Rs 2.475 trillion n Rs 225 billion allocated for energy sector development n Gvernt hopes to save Rs 40 billion through an austerity drive n PM discretionary fund, govt depts secret funds get frozen and scrapped n PM House expenses to be brought down by over 40 per cent n Ban on purchase of new vehicles for PM Office proposed n Rs 21 billion allocated to health sector for programmes of immunisation, mother child care, family planning, reduction of blindness, and other national programmes n Rs 8 billion allocated for social welfare n Rs 31 billion earmarked for Pakistani Railways SPECIAL REPORT ISLAMABAD
erming it ‘an investment and business friendly’, the federal government has unveiled the budget for the fiscal year 2013-14 with a total outlay of Rs3.591 trillion. Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar presented the budget in the National Assembly without any usual voices and shouting by the opposition. The budget is expected to be funded partially by tax revenues of around Rs 2.75 trillion. Dar said while presenting the budget that the government’s objective was to make tax-evaders pay taxes, and widen the tax net. As the burden of circular debt has witnessed a whopping increase of 250 per cent to reach Rs14,284 billion, the focus of the budget is spurring growth by stabilisation of the economy, cutting down on non-development expenditures, enhancing productivity and overcoming the energy crisis, which has been costing the country two per cent of GDP annually, by bringing down subsidies and gradually increasing electricity tariff for all consumers. The budget projects fiscal deficit at 6.3 per cent (Rs 1,651), GDP (gross domestic product) growth rate at 4.4 per cent, inflation 9.5 per cent while revenue target has been set at Rs 2.475trillion. Rs 1.155 trillion have been allocated for national development, Rs 926 billion for debt servicing, Rs 225 billion for energy sector development and Rs 75 billion each for Income Support Fund and human resource development. The General Sales Tax (GST) has been proposed to increase from 16 per cent to 17. The pension of federal government employees has been increased by 10 per cent, while the minimum pension has also been raised from Rs 3,000 to 6,000. A new 0.5 per cent levy has been imposed on movable assets, while ‘adjustable’ withholding tax has been imposed on wedding ceremonies, and foreign films and dramas. Tax rate on cigarettes and cold drinks has also been increased. An additional 5 per cent sales tax has been imposed on commercial and industrial electricity account holders who are not registered as tax payers. Tax on cash withdrawals from banks has been raised to 0.3 per cent. Tax on vehicles has also been increased, however, a 100 per cent exemption from all duties and taxes has been granted on import of eco-friendly hybrid cars of up to 1200cc. The new budget earmarked 627 billion rupees ($6.3 billion) for defence, a 10 per cent increase compared to 570 billion rupees in the outgoing year. Dar said in his budget speech that the government inherited a battered economy and the average rate of inflation stood at 13 per cent in the last five years. He promised that the government would focus on economic growth, resolve energy crisis, reduce fiscal deficit and tackle public debt for putting economy back on track. He underlined
the need to put an end to subsidies and reliance on others, adding that selfreliance could not be achieved without ending subsidies. The minister said that GDP growth remained below three per cent and if compared with the population growth of about two per cent, the real growth would stand at just 1 per cent. He said that inflation has remained at 13 per cent which is highest during the past 4 decades while the foreign exchange reserves have fallen from $11.1 billion to $6.3 billion. The minister said that it seemed the country was being run on autopilot over the last five years. He, however, expressed the hope that Pakistan would regain its lost glory, vowing that the government would ‘turn the tide’. “We are starting our journey from very precarious situation, however, the bad condition of economy has boosted our courage to lead it towards its desired heights of sustainability,” he said. The previous government, he said, had not looked after the economy in accordance with the national interests. The minister said that the nation has made better accountability by rejecting those who did not deliver in past five years. “We need self-reliant economy to run the affairs of the country,” he said, adding that the government would not involve in over-spending like the previous government. Dar said that the government was hoping to save Rs 40 billion through an austerity drive that entails freezing of secrets funds for all ministries and departments as well as by discouraging the VVIP Culture. “The Prime Minister’s discretion-
ary fund and secret funds of all government departments, except for national security agencies, have been frozen and scrapped,” Dar announced. The minister added that all ministers’ discretionary funds had also been scrapped, and that the expenses of the PM House will be brought down
by over 40 per cent. He also proposed ban on purchase of new vehicles for Prime Minister Office. He was of the view that doing business was not the job of the government so it would make the private sector centre of economic activities and introduce reforms in the market system. He said the government however would do intervene in those sectors where private sector has limitation particularly in education, health, population and huge infrastructure development sectors. The finance minister said the government is introducing the concept of a medium term plan for improvement of economy. According to Medium Term Macroeconomic Framework (MTMF), Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rate would be increased to 7 per cent in next three fiscal years (2013-14 and 201516), inflation will be brought down to single digit, investment to GDP will be increased to 20% and fiscal deficit will be reduced to 4 per cent. Dar said the circular debt will be resolved in 60 days, as he requested to all consumers to pay their bills on time. “We will evaluate the allotment of subsides, 3G licenses will be sold in a transparent within the current fiscal year” and foreign exchange reserves will be raised to $20 billion in three years. He also announced that employment opportunities will be created in the private sector. There will reforms in state owned enterprises. The first step is to appoint professional managers who will be appointed on the basis of merit. Dar announced that steps should be taken to set up a system which collects taxes from those who do not
pay them. In an announcement welcomed by the house, the finance minister said that the government had planned to grant 100 per cent exemption all duties and taxes to imported eco-friendly hybrid cars up to
1200cc. He said that adjustable withholding tax is being introduced on wedding ceremonies, and foreign films and dramas while income tax laws will be reformed. A new 0.5% levy to be imposed on movable assets, will be channelled to Income Support Programme, he said, adding that he would introduce the levy by volunteering himself. He further announced that commercial and industrial electricity account holders will be charged an additional 5% sales tax if they are not registered tax payers. When they are registered this increase will be withdrawn, he added. According to finance minister, “Budget is a part of medium-term economic framework.” An amount of Rs 21 billion allocated to the health sector for programmes of immunisation, mother child care, family planning, reduction of blindness, and other national programmes, while Rs8 billion have been allocated for social welfare. The federal government, he said, would also assist the provinces in population welfare projects. Calling human resource development vital for the national economy, he said total allocations for development of human capital would be Rs57 billion and Rs 18 billion is allocated for higher education. According to a study, number of students in higher education will increase from one million to 1.2 million and 6,200 scholarships would be provided to bright students. The government has earmarked Rs 78 million for the Human Rights Division in Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) for the year 2013-14. Rs 5 billion have been allocated for Tameere-Pakistan Program. The minister said that Income Support Fund will continue and the amount, with an increase of 80 per cent, will be increased to Rs 75 billion. He however said they
would m a k e some changes to the programme so people do not become dependent on it. The finance minister also announced a programme for youth and other initiatives of Rs115 billion that includes Prime Minister’s Youth training programme, Prime Minister’s Youth
Skill Development programme, Small Business Loans Scheme, Prime Minister’s Scheme for Provision of Laptop, Fee Reimbursement Scheme for less developed areas, Prime Minister’s Micro Finance Scheme, Prime Minister’s Housing Scheme and Public Works Programme for parliamentarians. While describing the salient features of Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP), he said Pakistan has abundant water resources and it inherited a countrywide system of irrigation and dams at the time of partition, followed by building of Mangla and Tarbela dams which are lifeline of economy. The government has allocated Rs 59 billion for water projects including expansion of Mangla and Tarbela dams, Diamer-Bhasha Dam, Gomal Zam Dam and various other dams and irrigation projects, he added. The minister informed the House that Rs 225 billion have been allocated for energy sector in which Rs160 billion was allocated in the PSDP and Rs 65 billion revenue would be generated by Gencos and Discos. Funds have been allocated for Neelum Jhelum Dam, Thar coal, Chashma nuclear power plant, modernisation of power stations and building of grid stations, he added. Ishaq Dar expressed disappointment that during the last five years, investment in industrial sector decreased and the sector grew on average only 1.8 per cent. The industrial sector is the mainstay of the economy and engine of economic growth and job creation, he said adding, laws would be improved to make the export processing zones more attractive for investors and Special Industrial Zone in Gwadar would be given more incentives. For the Textile Industry Division projects, he said, Rs 315 million have been allocated. Referring to the building of unprecedented Islamabad-Lahore Motorway by the PML-N government in 1997-99, the finance minister said Rs 63 billion have been allocated for building of highways and roads. He said roads in far flung areas, link roads and farms to market roads are essential to create economic opportunities and alleviate poverty. One of the government’s main strategic project would be to link Gwadar Port to the Northern Areas making Gwadar a gateway to Central Asia and access point for markets of Europe, the Minister said. He said Rs31 billion was allocated for railway to improve a mode of transportation, which was remarkable at the time of partition, but now it is in shambles. He earmarked Rs 31 billion for Pakistani Railways. He added that work on Karachi Circular Railway is underway with the assistance of Japan and it will be completed soon. The newly-elected government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has presented its first budget in record time of less than a week. No salary was given in the budget, however the ruling PML-N announced a raise of 10 percent in the salaries of government employees after two days of presenting the budget.
June 17-23, 2013
Air Chief receives pilot badge MONITORS REPORT BANGKOK
hief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt made an official visit to Royal Thai Air Force, where Air Chief Marshal Prajin Juntong, Commander-in-Chief of Royal Thai Air Force, presented him the honorary Pilot Badge at Royal Thai Air Force Headquarters. On his arrival, a smartly turned-out contingent of Royal Thai Air Force presented the Guard of Honour. He laid a floral wreath on Royal Thai Air Force Monument. He also called on Air Chief Marshal Prajin Juntong, Commanderin-Chief of Royal Thai Air Force, in his office. Both the dignitaries remained together for some time and discussed matters of professional interest. He also attended a briefing on the organi-
zation, role and functioning of Royal Thai Air Force. Earlier, Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt, Chief of the Air Staff, Pakistan Air Force, visited the Royal Thai Air Force Academy, where he
Moderate cleric Hasan Rowhani elected president of Iran
was received by Air Marshal Wattana Maneenai, Superintendent Royal Thai Air Force Academy. The CAS, PAF attended a comprehensive briefing about the Academy’s organization structure and training.
Bomb attack destroys Quaid’s residency in Ziarat OUR CORRESPONDENT QUETTA
he residency of Quaid-eAzam, the founder of Pakistan, in Ziarat was destroyed in militants attack with hand grenades the other day, devastating the historical monument. A police constable identified as Muhammad Tahir Jan deployed outside the Quaid’s residency was also killed in the attack while another sustained wounds. According to details, four militants on two motorcycles entered the residency and hurled hand held bombs. All old memorials inside the residency including memorial chairs, beds, and historic photographs of the founder were burnt to the ground in the resulting fire. The wood structure of the residence was also burnt down, however, the exterior concrete structure was still
MONITORS REPORT TEHRAN
T intact. Bomb disposal squad also claimed to have defused six more bombs plant-
ed inside the residency. Police said the militants escaped unhurt from the spot.
Quetta carnage saddens atmosphere OUR CORRESPONDENT QUETTA
t least 30 people, including 14 students of a women university, the deputy commissioner, Quetta, four FC personnel and four nurses died and 16 others sustained injuries in multiple bomb blasts and firing incidents in Quetta. The police officials said that 14 students of the Sardar Bahadur Khan Women’s University were killed while 20 others sustained burn wounds in the blast in a bus belonging to the university. Almost an hour later, firing and a suicide attack created panic at the Bolan Medical Complex, where most of the wounded had been shifted for treatment. CCPO Quetta Mir Zubair Mahmood told media persons that the dead in the university bus blast were all women students, adding that it was an im-
provised explosive device. Another police official, Fayyaz Sunbal, said the bomb exploded after the girl students had boarded and the bus was about to leave the university to drop the students at their homes in the city. Officials of the police, FC and administration reached the spot and cordoned off the area as officials of the bomb disposal squad examined the site of the blast. As the dead and injured students were shifted to the Bolan Medical Complex, gunfire along with three explosions — one in the Emergency Ward — rocked the premises and at least three officials and four militants were killed in the ensuing gun battles between security personnel and the militants. More than five gunmen had taken positions on the premises, restricting security personnel from entering the complex building. Three soldiers were stated to be killed in an encounter at the hospital.
CCPO Mehmood confirmed that the Quetta Deputy Commissioner Abdul Mansoor Khan who was shot in the head and chest during the siege, died. The siege at the Bolan Medical Complex ended after more than five hours. The police said they arrested one of the attackers, while four blew themselves up. Two pedestrians also died in the crossfire. Deputy Commissioner, Quetta, four personnel from the paramilitary Frontier Corps (FC) and four nurses were killed during the siege of the Bolan Medical Complex, according to police and hospital sources. Edhi Foundation sources said that four soldiers, four nurses, DC Quetta and two unknown pedestrians died in explosions and firing in addition to the four attackers. Following the bomb explosions and exchange of intense firing, panic and fear gripped the BMC Hospital and its vicinity.
he Iranian interior ministry announced the other day that moderate cleric Hasan Rowhani has won the country’s presidential election. Rowhani won with a fraction over the 50 percent of the vote needed to win outright on the first poll. Voter turnout was recorded at 72.7 per cent. An Iranian state media outlet reported that Rowhani was born in the city of Sorkheh and earned his masters and doctorate degrees at Glasgow Caledonian University. After receiving more than three times the number of votes than his closest rival, moderate cleric Hassan Rohani has been declared the new president of Iran. Msnbc’s Alex Witt reports. Rowhani was the closest thing to a reform candidate in the election to replace Mahmoud Ahmadinejad after Mohammad Reza Aref dropped out of the race on Tuesday. Some Iranians showed their support for Rowhani on the streets by wearing purple bracelets. Aref’s withdrawal was seen as likely to help Rowhani, who drew substantial crowds at his campaign rallies. Rowhani also won the support of an advisory council aligned with reformist former President Mohammad Khatami.
Gulf leaders welcome new Iran president MONITORS REPORT DUBAI
eaders of Gulf states have swifty welcomed moderate cleric Hassan Rowhani’s election as the new president of the Islamic republic, several state news agencies said. “We look forward to working together for the good of this region and the Emirati and Iranian peoples,” the UAE President Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan wrote in a telegram to Rowhani, state news agency WAM said. “We are keen to forge relations based on cooperation with the Islamic Republic of Iran,” he added. Leaders of Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar also congratulated Rowhani, who grabbed 50.6 percent of the votes in Friday’s election, state news agencies in their respective countries said.
Film shows US envoyâ€™s leisure
June 17-23, 2013
An eyeful of weekly
80,000 Pakistanis legalised in Saudi Arabia: Naeem