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PTI Rally House Price Lights Up Karachi stagnation to continue, says

Nationwide

Following an incredible show of people’s strength in toppling decades old autocratic regimes in the Middle east, the revolutionary wave is heralding a new age of democracy. From Tunisia to Cairo, from Alexandria to Syria, from occupying Wall Street to Moscow, the protests have created a new awareness and the change is quite conspicuous. Pakistan is going through its worst political crises and it is paying a huge cost for siding with the US in the War on Terror. The continuous violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty by American forces, the weak and ineffective govt, the Taliban question and the sectarian clashes has literally torn the country apart. In such a backdrop, the rally organised by Pakistan Tehreeke-Insaf’s leader Imran Khan, who is roaring like a lion, have kicked off with a big bang. The impressive strong character of Imran Khan has been attracting tens of thousands of youth, students, workers and others in his political rallies. Many analysts are of the opinion that Imran

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Khan has been the gaining support of people over a number of years; however he has failed in executing a proper plan of action. Imran Khan needs to transform this public support into his success and gain more seats in the upcoming national assembly elections. Being a strong critic of Pak-US alliance and opponent of drone attacks, Imran Khan has emerged as the hero of people, who openly supports the cause of oppressed. The cricketer-turnedpolitician says he will end corruption in Pakistan within 90 days of coming to power. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s rally at Mazar-e-Quaid (Quaid’s mausoleum) in Karachi on the significant date of December 25 overshadowed the political arena. The presence of a large number of people in the Karachi gathering evidently shows the sudden popularity PTI has gained in the recent past. Many past opponents are now joining the bandwagon, under the pretext of bringing about a change. The attendees of the rally seemed excited and viewed Imran Khan as a ray of hope and a messiah for their

problems. The people, especially the youth, seem mesmerised by the name of Imran Khan and are advocating his views vehemently. Again the credit goes to Imran Khan to bring out not only the middle class, but also influence the people who belong to a slightly privileged section. But it is only Imran Khan and not his party or any other individual in his party showing keenness for leadership. We seem to have banked all our hopes, expectations and promises on one individual, while the fact is that an individual cannot run a country on his/her own. The recent PTI rally in Karachi is a reminder for leadership of Pakistan. It is time to free Pakistan from foreign intervention, remove all those who are involved in corruption, and to provide security and safety for the people of Pakistan. In the meantime Pakistan must reassert itself as a state and renegotiate its policies and conditions with NATO. It is time to realise the strong and stable Pakistan.

Nationwide has previously expressed surprise at the resilience of prices in 2011 UK house prices remained relatively unchanged in 2011 and more of the same is expected, the Nationwide has said. The building society said that the average home rose in value by 1% in 2011, but fell by 0.2% in December compared with the previous month. The economic climate was likely

to lead to a similar situation for the housing market in 2012, it said. There were geographical differences. Prices in Northern Ireland fell sharply in 2011 but rose in London. "The 1% rise in house prices recorded over the past 12 months could hardly be described as a strong performance, but against a backdrop of anaemic economic growth and a deteriorating labour market, UK house prices were surprisingly

resilient in 2011," said Nationwide's chief economist Robert Gardner. "2012 is not shaping up to be much better than 2011 for the UK economy or the housing market." Geographical range The average home is worth £163,822, according to the Nationwide, which calculates the figures using its own mortgage data. Read more on page 15...

At the end of 2010 who would have predicted that the death of a Tunisian street vendor would be the precursor to uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and across the Arab region? Or that this would be the year in which Osama Bin Laden, Kim Jong-il and Muammar Gaddafi died? Without question, 2011 will be remembered for the Arab Awakening, and perhaps—it’s too soon to know for sure—a political awakening in Russia as well. The one story that could compare to the Arab Awakening is the euro crisis. If the eurozone or the European Union comes apart, the events will be comparable in historical

significance to what’s happened in the Middle East. The killing of Osama bin Laden and even Japan’s devastating earthquake and tsunami and subsequent nuclear crisis do not rise to the same historic level. The Fukushima accident put a huge question mark over the likelihood of a nuclear renaissance. Global warming may still turn the world toward nuclear energy as a non-carbonemitting form of electrical power—it’s too early to say. But it was a huge event for Japan and elsewhere with countries as big as Germany choosing to phase out nuclear plants and others slowing down plans for nuclear

growth. The latter is probably a good thing, particularly in China and India, as plans envisioned extremely rapid growth. Slower growth will increase the likelihood of safer development. 2011 turned out to be a huge surprise. Things happened that no one predicted two weeks before they took place. Surprise was the leitmotif of the year and it would be wise for us to expect the unexpected again in 2012. 2012 should be another historic year. The first thing to look at is the quartet of issues in the Middle East—Egypt, Iraq, Syria, and Iran.

How will 2011 be Remembered?

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‘The Protester’

Queen’s Jubilee Bank Holiday in 2012

is Time’s Person of the Year

Time magazine has named ‘The Protester’ as its Person of the Year for 2011. The publication is known for choosing the figure it thinks has made the biggest impact during the year and it has decided to honour the people behind protests spanning the globe. Time is honouring those who have stood up for their rights in 2011. The journals cover story states: “No one could have known that

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when a Tunisian fruit vendor set himself on fire in a public square, it would incite protests that would topple dictators and start a global wave of dissent. In 2011, protesters didn’t just voice their complaints; they changed the world.” As well as uprisings in Arab countries such as Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, there has also been popular unrest in Greece, Spain and the Occupy movement which started in the US. In the

UK there have been protests by public sector workers over job cuts and pension reform. “This year, do-it-yourself democratic politics became globalised, and real live protest went massively viral. But as they’ve rejuvenated and enlarged the idea of democracy, the protesters, and the rest of us, are discovering that democracy is difficult and sometimes a little scary,” Andersen wrote. The article covers the widespread protests’ origins and the role that social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter have played. The issue also contains profiles of protesters and iconic images from the year. The runner-up was Admiral William McRaven, commander of the US raid that killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan in May. Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei and the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, who married Prince William in April were also shortlisted. Given the international focus of most of the protest movements, this issue can be considered the first time a non-American has won since 2007 when Russian President Vladimir Putin came out on top. He is now facing widespread opposition from the Russian population over alleged vote fraud. Last year the winner was Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

An extra UK Bank Holiday date in 2012 means smart Travellers are already marking their calendars and booking the time off with their employers. Following the success of 2011’s extra bank holiday for the Royal Wedding, 2012 sees an extra day added for the country to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee on Tuesday 5 June. It follows immediately after the Spring Bank Holiday on Monday 4 June - which means for many that a

week-long break will only involve taking three days off work. Events for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee will dominate the long weekend, from 2 June to 5 June 2012. These will include a Big Jubilee Lunch, a Diamond Jubilee Pageant on the Thames, a concert at Buckingham Palace, and the lighting of 2012 beacons throughout the United Kingdom. Here are all the England & Wales Bank Holiday dates for 2012, to help you plan the year:

1 January New Year’s Day (Sunday) 2 January Monday 6 April Good Friday 9 April Easter Monday 7 May Early May Bank Holiday Monday 4 June Spring Bank Holiday Monday 5 June Queen’s Diamond Jubilee 27 August Summer Bank Holiday Monday 25 December Christmas Day (Tuesday)

London 2012 Olympic Ticket Resale The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) has announced the ticket resale process for the mega event will begin January 6. Those who have bought tickets directly from LOCOG before January 6 will be able to resell their tickets via www.tickets. london2012.com from January

6 until February 3. There will then be further opportunities to resell from Spring 2012. The resale process will allow those who are no longer able to attend or no longer want their tickets to sell them to other sports fans and help ensure that venues are full during the time of an event. Those who purchased tickets from LOCOG and wish to re-

sell them will be able to choose which tickets they wish to resell via their ticketing account on www.tickets.london2012.com, BBC reported. Remaining tickets for the Olympic Football Tournament and the Paralympic Games are currently on sale until Feb 6 when the seat allocation process will begin.

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Campaign Aims to Stub Out Shisha A major crackdown on shisha smoking in Manchester’s curry mile will be launched in the New Year. Health bosses at Manchester council will launch a public health campaign to warn people about the dangers of smoking the pipes. Police have also vowed to tackle law-breakers who are smoking shisha pipes indoors and say anyone caught will be given a £50 fine. More than 30 of the bars – which provide Middle Eastern hookah pipes for people to smoke tobacco – have opened in a quartermile stretch of Wilmslow Road, in Rusholme, over the past three years. Shisha bars are legal but are bound by the 2007 smoking ban and can only operate in areas with three sides open for ventilation. But inspections by council staff and police have found some

operating in first-floor premises and rooms with no ventilation. Coun Rabnawaz Akbar, who represents Rusholme, said: “There has been an idea that smoking shisha is in some way safer than cigarette smoking, but guidance from the World Health Organisation says it is just as dangerous as tobacco. “It’s also against the law to smoke inside.” David Regan, director of public health for Manchester, said: “We, along with Manchester council, are developing a campaign which aims to raise awareness of the dangers to health of smoking shisha and of being exposed to second-hand smoke from shisha pipes. “This will run early in the New Year. In the last year, there has been a rapid rise in the number of shisha bars opening in Manchester, particularly in Rush-

olme. These bars are becoming popular with young adults aged 18 to 25. There is a misconception that Shisha is not as harmful as smoking cigarettes as it can be fruit flavoured and passes through water first. However, waterpipe tobacco smoking delivers nicotine and high levels of toxic compound and the health impacts are comparable to those of cigarette smoking. We are aware that some shisha bars have not been complying with the smoke-free legislation and have been allowing waterpipes to be smoked in enclosed public spaces. The campaign then also aims to reinforce the message that smoking Shisha in an enclosed public space is against the law and if you are caught doing this you could receive a fixed-penalty notice of £50,” he said.

Landlords Urged to Report Rents The National Landlords Association (NLA) is urging landlords to report the rent levels of their list property to the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) to help local authorities determine average market rents in their area. This is vital in helping the local authority gain a full understanding of the state of the private rented sector in the area. Furthermore, it will help determine the amount of local housing allowance (LHA) that is paid to tenants on benefits.

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Under the government’s cuts to LHA, payments will be based on the 30th percentile of local rents, rather than the previous 50th percentile. Therefore, helping the VOA arrive at an accurate figure for rent levels could ultimately benefit landlords if the have tenants receiving LHA. Landlords can report their rents to the VOA by filling in the lettings information and collection form and emailing, posting or faxing it back to them. It follows the announcement

that the government is to reconsider proposals to include housing benefits within its ‘universal credit’ system. This would have seen LHA go directly to tenants as part of a single benefits payment, which they would then need to pass on to the landlord. However, the government may now give people the option of receiving the payment themselves, or it going straight to their landlord.

Welcome Withdrawal of Proposed Religious Slaughter Ban The Association of Non Stun Abattoirs (ANSA), an industry body representing traditional UK Halal slaughterhouses, welcomed the news that the proposed parliamentary bill to ban religious slaughter of animals in the Netherlands had been withdrawn. It was withdrawn after a majority of Dutch senators expressed their reservations to the ban on Halal and Kosher slaughter. An agreement could be made with Jewish and Muslim slaughterhouses regarding the length of time that an animal is conscious before dying and the number of animals to be ritually slaughtered. ANSA spokesperson Mohammed Saleem said, “This is a positive,

sensible and welcome step. We are glad they have finally seen sense. The initial movement to ban religious slaughter was based on misconceptions and some political motives. The welfare of animals is a primary concern for Muslims and Jews, and Kosher and Halal methods are both designed to be most compassionate to the animal. It is entirely incorrect to equate religious slaughter with cruelty to animals. The fact is there are countless other real acts of cruelty being carried out on animals daily in industrial slaughterhouses, including under the guise of so-called ‘merciful’ methods of stunning, which merit proper scrutiny and attention. We

would advise proponents of animal welfare to turn their focus to where the evidence actually leads them.” The few countries that still ban religious slaughter in Europe are mostly traceable to pre-World War II anti-Semitism. Mohammed Saleem said “This a tremendous success for our joint efforts. We said before and we reiterate again, we stand united with the Jewish and Muslim communities of the UK, the Netherlands and other countries. The reversal of the Dutch decision should send a clear message to everyone that we will be united and defend any unjust attack on all fronts.”

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85% of all Burglargy Offences Unsolved Almost 85 per cent of all burglaries committed in Sheffield went unpunished with no suspect ever being caught. Of more than 22,000 break-ins across the city in the last three years, 18,592 were undetected with no suspect charged. The figures, which also show the total number of burglaries has fallen over the period, were released by South Yorkshire Police under the Freedom of Information Act. In 2008 there were 8,364 breakins, with 7,018 going unsolved; the following year 7,390 properties were broken into with 5,886 undetected; and in 2010 6,654 burglaries were carried out with 5,688 remaining unsolved. The figures include both business and home burglaries, while detected incidents include those that resulted in cautions and crimes tak-

en into account, as well as crooks who ended up in court. Over the last three years, in Doncaster there were a total of 15,127 burglaries with 13,448 unsolved; in Barnsley, of 6,469 break-ins, 5,704 of which were never detected; and in Rotherham, there were 8,032 burglaries with no charges brought in 6,174 cases. Detective Chief Inspector Craig Robinson, South Yorkshire Police’s lead officer for burglaries, said the force currently solves around one third of all burglaries across its entire area and that, compared to other forces, the rate was among the best in the country. “There has been a year-on-year reduction in burglaries and we are detecting a third of all dwelling burglaries which exceeds our 27 per cent target,” he added. “Last year we achieved a 35 per cent

detection rate, which was one of the best in the country. We are also ranked as one of the most improving forces. “Rotherham’s rate for reducing and detecting serious acquisitive crime was the best in the country last year, so it is not all doom and gloom. “Criminals are becoming more sophisticated in terms of being more aware of the forensic opportunities the police have, so they don’t leave fingerprints, DNA or footmarks and wear face coverings because they know they are looking at lengthy sentences if they are caught. “Usually there are no witnesses because such crimes are often committed in the hours of darkness when there is less chances of being seen. “Criminals are trying to keep one step ahead of us but we are trying to keep one step ahead of them too.”

Grandparents to Get Vital Funding Much needed funding has been secured by Sheffield City Council to help boost the vital work done by grandparents who care for their offspring’s children. All too often grandparents bear the brunt of child care for families across the city – without any real recognition for the hard work they do. Now Sheffield City Council’s Family Learning team has secured £150,000 of funding for three years from the Big Lottery Reaching Communities fund to improve the life chances of children and families in Sheffield . The project, Generation Link, will start during 2012 with an emphasis on supporting grandparents who care for their grandchildren by offering fun Family Learning activities. Cllr Jackie Drayton, Sheffield City Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families said: “All too often the grandparents’ role in helping to look after their grandchildren gets overlooked. But it is a vital role and one which can help boost children’s ability to learn as well. “Without these unsung heroes of childcare many families would

not be able to afford to go out to work, especially with the economic climate as it is. “Childcare is expensive so having a grandparent who is willing to help can really be a godsend. And as a parent myself I know exactly what hard work it is to be there day in day out. The grand-parenting bit can be more fun, but still hard work, especially if you are working as carers full time. “But what is really important is the role grandparents have to play in their grandchildren’s lives. Mixing the generations like this can only serve to enhance children’s lives and I am glad to see this being recognised here in this Big Lottery award. Anything which seeks to boost this special relationship can only be a good thing.” It is estimated that over 200,000 grandparents in the UK care full time for their grandchildren. Many more look after their grandchildren on an informal basis. Generation Link will provide activities and learning for grandparents and grandchildren to enjoy together. Activities will include family memory boxes, health and exercise, growing food, online

safety and storytelling. There will also be opportunities for grandparents to meet and support each other. The project will take place in the North East, East and Central Community Assembly areas of Sheffield . This is the third major project the Family Learning team has secured since 2005 to support Sheffield families. From 20052008, European funds enabled 240 families to have a computer and access to the Internet to help them learn together as a family. Big Lottery provided funding from 2008-2011 to engage over 300 families in workshops to help them understand how they can support their children’s development through play and fun learning activities. Sheffield City Council is committed to providing the best possible start in life for children. Family Learning helps families find out more about how their children learn and develop and what they can do to improve their children’s chances in life. It also supports adult skills. Learning together as a family is fun and provides everyone with new skills.

Bus Tickets Set For New Year Price Hike Bus passengers will be paying more with a tickets price hike next month. Fares on many bus services across South Yorkshire are set to increase from next month. Ticket prices on First buses will rise by an average of 5 per cent from Monday, January 2. The company has blamed the fare hike on soaring fuel costs, as well as a planned rise in fuel duty. Some single fares will be rising by 20p, while First’s weekly Sheffield pass will be £1 more expensive.

First say its fuel costs are expected to rise by about 30 per cent next year. The company claims that even with the proposed fare changes, it will only recover about 35 per cent of the total amount of the fuel cost increase. The increase means a £1.30 single ticket will cost £1.40, while a £1.90 single will rise to £2.10. Fares above £3 will not change. A First South Yorkshire day ticket will go up 20p to £5, while a Sheffield day ticket will be 30p more expensive at £4.60.

British Kids will get Failed Teachers Hundreds of new schoolteachers in Britain are going to teach pupils in their classrooms despite having struggled themselves up to 39 attempts to clear even basic literacy and numeracy tests. Trainee teachers are required to pass the online tests to qualify for their chosen profession. But many of them are joining schools despite having repeatedly failed straightforward online tests of their basic skills, the Daily Mail reported. Eight percent of the candidates needed to take three or more re-sits before they passed the literacy test, a number that increases to 10 percent for the numeracy test. According to figures released by the Department Of Education, some teachers took more than 10 attempts before finally passing. One teacher sat the literacy test a total of 36 times before finally passing, while another candidate had 39 attempts at the numeracy

test, it has been revealed. The tests, taken on a computer at a registered teacher training centre, are designed to ensure all teachers have the basic skills required to carry out their duties, such as working out class grades or writing report letters. As per this year’s figures, a total of 6,740 teachers needed to resit the literacy exam and 6,440 had to have a second go at the numeracy test. Of these, 760 required five or more attempts at the literacy paper, with 40 logging 10 or more attempts to pass. In the numeracy test, 1,290 teachers made five or more attempts to pass the computer test, with 160 taking up the exam 10 times or more. The literacy test checks applicants on their punctuation, grammar, comprehension and spelling on words such as ‘available’, ‘immediately’, ‘receipt’, ‘argumentative’ and ‘accommodates’.

City one of the Most Generous SHEFFIELDERS are charitable folk, according to a new survey which has placed the city as one of the most generous in the country. The research by charity ActionAid found Sheffield was the sixth most generous city in England, based on the number of people who sponsor children in poor countries. Over 540 local people sponsored youngsters living in poverty across Africa, Asia and South America, raising more than £110,000 every year, the organisation found. The money goes directly to the children and their communities, providing them with food, clean water and shelter. Since ActionAid’s launch in 1972, Sheffield residents helped more than 1,850 children. Dawn Wyatt, from the charity’s child sponsorship team, said: “The generosity of people in Sheffield is inspiring and absolutely vital in supporting our work.” DISCLAIMER ILM (The Knowledge) Newspaper does not represent any political, religious or any other group. It is purely for providing general information, entertainment and knowledge to its readers. ILM News does not take any responsibility of any views expressed by authors.

Blue Badge Costs Increases Kept To A Minimum National Government is introducing a number of changes in the New Year in order to crackdown on misuse and fraud of the Blue Badge Scheme as well as standardising the scheme. These changes are due to be implemented from January 1 2012 and include: * Fraud prevention – automated checks that can be made at the application stage to prevent fraudulent applications * Use of sophisticated anti fraud technologies and more security in the supply, storage and distri-

bution of the badge * Quick and easy enforcement checks by officers anywhere in the country on badges issued by any local authority The Government is also increasing the costs to Council’s to administer the scheme. Rotherham Borough Council will be subsidising the Blue Badge Scheme so that disabled motorists across the Borough do not bear the full implementation costs of the National Charges. Cabinet Members for Adult Social Care, Councillor John

Doyle, said: “As an authority, we realise that these are not the most prosperous of times, so, we have endeavoured to keep the increase as low as possible. “Customers will be required to pay £8.50 for their badge instead of the current £2. This rise will be the first time in nearly 30 years. The option was there to increase the price to £10, however, we felt that it was necessary to keep the increase as low as possible.” For more information please contact Rothercare Direct on 01709 822330.

“All Things Halal” Joins HMC ATH (All Things Halal) announced its plans to move away from Halal certification and join HMC (Halal Monitoring Committee) to bring more unity to Halal certification in the UK. Established in 2005, ATH has focused its efforts on the certification of

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Halal Products (non-meats) such as cosmetics, ice creams, hand sanitisers, laundry products, and other non-meat products to help Muslim consumers make an informed Halal choice. ATH has agreed to join HMC and transfer all its certified

products under the HMC brand. Jointly HMC intends to grow its non-meat products certification for the benefits of the Muslim consumer in what has become a complex food area.

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BA N Q U E T I N G

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5


Legal Corner

Q & A : Property & Commercial Mohammed Nazir Solicitor

Head of Property/Immigration, Wosskow Brown

Q. Could you please explain give you the lease, it is essential what Chancel Repair Liability that the agreement is in place beSearch is? fore you submit the planning permission application. A. It is a search which determines whether the property is in Q. I am becoming a partner in Chancel Repair liability area. If a a business but my name is not property is near a church, or is on included on the lease, will this land formerly owned by some of affect me? the older universities, there may be an obligation to contribute A. If your name is not on the towards repairs to the chancel of lease it can be added via Asthe local parish church. This was signment of Lease or your name laid down in the Chancel Repairs can be added in the Partnership Act 1932. Such liability is en- Agreement as a special provision forceable in the County Court, that the existing partner holds the and can apply to properties fall- lease in trust for two partners. ing within a Church of England parish which has a vicar or had Q. I am buying a property and a vicarage and has a church dat- my solicitor has advised that I ing from the medieval period or have to take Defective Title Inearlier. surance. What is this? Q. I want to take a lease of a property and use it as a hot food takeaway but the property doesn’t have planning permission. What should I do? A. If the property hasn’t got planning permission then you should come to an agreement with the landlord (the property owner) that once planning permission is granted, he will be bound to give you the lease. As there is apprehension that if the planning permission is granted, the landlord is not duty bound to

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A. Defective Title Indemnity Insurance policies are widely used in the property industry to cover defects in the Title. These Indemnity Insurance policies are available according to the value of the property and the level of risk. Lenders use Conveyancing Indemnity Policies for residential and commercial mortgages so solicitors have done their due diligence. According to the risk they put the insurance in place to cover Unknown Restrictive Covenants, lost Title deeds, Defective Titles, Good Leaseholds, Posses-

sory Titles etc. Q. I wish to retire as a Partner, how will this affect the lease, which I am included in ? A- The simplest way to retire as a partner is to speak to the partners directly and inform them of your intention. The partners can then agree on the way forward for example purchase of the interest of the leaving partner. It is important to be aware that if you leave the partnership, your liability continues in relation to the debts owned by the firm up to the date of your departure. A written agreement can be formally prepared, which states that you are released from you liability, but this may be at the cost of reducing the value of your interest. In connection with the lease, you are required to seek the permission of your landlord and ask whether you can assign the lease to your partners. It is often the case that a landlord would refuse to remove you as a tenant, as it is beneficial for him to have more tenants to recover rent. If this is so, the best practice is to also address in the written agreement with your partners, that they are willing to indemnify you for all the rent due after your departure.

‘Don’t Shake Hands with Muslims’ Academics at Cambridge University have been asked not to shake hands with Muslims or disabled people because it might upset them, a media report said. A directive by the admissions office has warned that some students were culturally sensitive to traditional greetings. It says that “suitable body language” was just as welcoming, the Daily Express said. However, most tutors

termed the fiat “ridiculous”, saying the politically correct decree treats them as “social misfits”. “It seems to be totally bonkers. We know when to shake someone’s hand and when not to. All this seems to be stupid and pointless and could make interviews even more awkward,” one academic said. Another said: handshakes and we would know “This is ridiculous. It would be what to do. We don’t need inobvious if someone objected to structions.”

Calls for New Rights for Victims of Crime

Victims of crime are feeling let down, unrepresented and abandoned and it’s time to change the law. That was the message delivered to parliament as several MPs from the East came together to give their backing to a new bill, which aims to give new rights to the victims of crime. Several Conservative MPs have put their names to the new bill being drawn up by Priti Patel, the Conservative MP for Witham. “We all know the horrific, appalling and devastating effect that criminals have on (victims’)

lives. “But all too often victims and their families feel let down, unrepresented and abandoned, as they are processed through the criminal justice system,” Ms Patel told the Commons. She drew on figures from the British Crime Survey which found that only 39% of victims believe the criminal justice system is effective and just over half think it fair. Other recent surveys, she added, showed that 80% of people think the system treats those who’re accused of committing a crime more fairly. “All too often victims and their families feel let down, unrepresented and abandoned, as they are processed through the criminal justice system.” “The existing procedures for victims have failed and proved to be inadequate,” she added. “There is a need, if not to take away rights

from offenders, to at least give consideration to balancing up the system towards some basic needs of victims.” Ms Patel’s bill, which will be debated in the new year, will include the right for victims to have a say in whether a defendant is charged and what sort of sentence a convicted person should receive. It will also try to end the delays in releasing bodies for burial (78% of bereaved families wait more than 28 days to bury loved ones, 6% wait more than six months) and it hopes to give victims the right to legal redress if they feel their rights have not been respected. Other aims are to increase support for the families of Britons murdered abroad and give greater protection to victims from criminals, once they are released from prison.

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Technology Killing Old Joys Like Letter-Writing The traditional way of life appears to be fast vanishing down the memory lane, thanks to modern technology. Things like writing a letter to reading a map are among the top 50 tasks that have been wiped out by technology. Top of a list of 3,000 adults quizzed was the fall in ringing the cinema to check the times of films. Printing out photographs was the second least popular activity these days. While VHS (Video Home System) recording came third in the list, thanks to a reliance on recordable DVDs and catch-up TV. One in five people admit never being out of reach of an internet device, as an average Briton now has more than four computing devices at their home - more than double the number they owned a decade ago. The smart phones’ popularity has eliminated the need for telephone

directories, address books, or reversing the charges in phone boxes. Computers have led to a decline in the number of people with pen friends while most of us rarely buy TV listings, have no need to try on hundreds of pairs of shoes on the High Street, or go into banks to conduct their business. Paying bills at the post office, checking a map before or even during a car journey are also falling by the wayside. Booking online has seen a decline in trips to the travel agents while using public telephone boxes, thanks to the proliferation of mobile phones, is also close to non-existent for most of us. These findings show that Brits are using technology to replace many of our traditional ways of life, as we move to a more digital world.

Three Women Activists Receive Nobel Peace Prize Three women rights activists from Africa and the Arab world received the Nobel Peace Prize at a ceremony in Oslo last month. Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Liberian peace activist Leymah Gbowee and Yemen’s pro-democracy campaigner Tawakul Karman were awarded the prize in early October for their “non-violent struggle for the

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safety of women and for women’s rights.” The three women will share the prize of one million euro (about $1.5 million). The ceremony, attended by King Harald V of Norway, Queen Sonja, Norwegian MPs and cabinet members and foreign guests, was held at Oslo City Hall. The 10th of December marks the anniversary of Alfred Nobles death.

Amir Khan:

I want to be pound-for-pound champ

Amir Khan insists he will still be Britain’s first pound-for-pound No1. The former double world champion has made a defiant response to his shock defeat to Lamont Peterson. He has vowed to reclaim his WBA and IBF light-welterweight titles – and is already in negotiations with the American over a rematch to be held as early as March. And Khan says he doesn’t want the next fight to be in the UK, despite his fury over losing his titles in Peterson’s home town of Washington. The 25-year-old is adamant he doesn’t want to give his rival any

excuses when he avenges the defeat. Khan said: “I don’t think the rematch will be in the UK. It can be anywhere but DC. Maybe Las Vegas. “He said he would love a rematch, but he will never come to the UK. I’d rather not have it in the UK because if I do beat him then he can’t say the same happened to him. “We want a neutral venue with neutral judges and referee.” Khan was livid after referee Joe Cooper deducted him two points in his split-decision defeat to Peterson. Without those two crucial decisions he would have won the fight unanimously, setting him

up for a pound-for-pound super fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. The Bolton star is convinced he will still get in the ring with Mayweather and dismissed suggestions he allowed himself to be distracted by the prospect of a clash with “Money”. “We focused on Lamont Peterson 100 percent,” he said. “We knew it would be a tough fight and we didn’t look past that fight. “But everyone has ambitions. They want to fight the best. I want to fight Floyd Mayweather. That’s still an ambition of mine to face the best fighter in the world, just like Ricky Hatton did. “That

would probably be the pinnacle of my career. He’s the guy to beat. But whoever they put in front of me, that’s the guy I focus on.” Khan’s camp has issued a complaint over Cooper’s performance. They were also angered after being told he’d won the fight during the five-minute wait for the verdict to be announced at the Washington Convention Centre. Questions have been asked as to why he agreed to fight in Peterson’s home town when he was the defending champion.

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PROPERTY CORNER REVIEW OF 2011

by: Mohammed Mahroof BSc (Hons) MRICS Consultant: Mark Jenkinson & Son The beginning of the new year is full of anticipation, enthusiasm, resolutions, ideas and above all, a new spring in thinking. This year is going to be no different but last year has taught us whatever activity, profession or business you are involved in, issues whether local, national or international have a huge bearing on the economic climate of any community. Last year in property has been a year of two halves. The first part of the year was quite active, with people seeing and developing opportunities in property. Yes, it was difficult because finance was always a challenge but hardworking entrepreneurs saw the potential and camE back into the market. The second half of the year was more a time of consolidation, which is no bad thing. It gave people the opportunity to look at their assets and develop strategies for improving returns and developing further opportunities within their existing portfolios. The foundations for future growth are being laid by these people who will see the benefits in years to come. Asset management strategies which are now common practice amongst local and central government are beginning to be seen as an important tool in managing portfolios generally, and keeps people like me occupied. It is a thought process that anyone who has a portfolio should

look into. Over many years people have been investing and accumulating assets without reflection on their potential. Diversifying, extracting development potential are the key ingredients of any strategy. The commentary on last year by sector is as follows: Residential This is the market which most readers will have first hand knowledge of, whether they are renting, owner occupiers or investors. This year has been quite challenging but sales through the auction room have been quite strong. There is a clear need for housing and the demand is only likely to rise as fewer properties are being built. I believe the private rental sector is likely to rise in the future as people choose not to buy and enjoy the freedom of being able to move for economic and employment reasons. It is quite a common tenure in many parts of the world. This in itself will create a new investment opportunity for investors and many people are availing themselves of these opportunities. Retail The market for retail property, as with other sectors, can be quite challenging but demand for such properties is steady for areas such as Ecclesall Road, Sharrowvale Road and London Road. There is generally a rise in enquiries for these properties as people look to set up enterprises

in difficult employment conditions. Offices It is, I believe, well documented that this market has enjoyed a good supply of quality accommodation but as new projects are slowing down, this supply will become a challenge for future demand as and when the economic climate begins to change. Commercial Whether these are offices, industrial or commercial properties, the demand for good quality investments with passing rentals has been quite strong. Investors are anxious to see their investment yield a good income and where there is an established tenant with a good rental, the demand in my experience has been quite strong. Next year will be interesting. There is speculation that the market will become more active as the year progresses as people get used to the new culture and environment of the world. But the people who will really decide how the market progresses are yourselves. You are the most important people in making a market. I wish all readers a happy new year and thank you for your comments which are valuable to me in writing these columns. As ever, if you want to contact me please call me on 0114 2760151/0787 901 5095 or through ILM.

4 Million British Children Don’t own a Book

One in three children in Britain- about four million- does not own a book, a study has said. Seven years ago, the number stood at one in 10 youngsters, meaning the number of children without

books has trebled. The latest report by the National Literacy Trust also shows boys are more likely to be without books than girls, The Telegraph reported. The study was based on a survey of 18,000 children aged between eight and 16. Researchers found that children who are eligible for free school meals - a measure of poverty - are less likely to own a book than their more wealthy peers. Children who do not own a book are almost three times more likely to have literacy levels below the norm than those who do own one, the study found. The number of children without books is of particular concern as the study shows a direct correlation between book ownership and childrens reading abilities.

Brain Drain By Foreign Students to Hit British Economy A rising number of foreign students who return home after studying science, maths and engineering at British universities could hit Britain’s manufacturing economy with a brain-drain, a report has warned. While Britain is producing more engineers due to the expansion in further education, international students make up a large proportion - with the risk that they will take their expertise home with them. Latest statistics show that British universities produced 6,500 more engineers in 2007 in comparison to a decade ago. But an

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analysis by the think-tank Civitas showed that the number of international students studying science, technology, engineering and maths courses had increased

by 12,308 -- meaning a fall in British graduates of 5,769. The report claims the effect of these foreign graduates returning home after finishing university education may have “a serious and negative effect upon the British economy, while other countries benefit”. “If we want manufacturing in Britain to grow, the lack of science, technology, engineering and maths graduates needs to be urgently addressed,” said Stephen Clarke, the study’s author.

World Records of Pakistan Championship from the Pakistan Cricket Board. Fastest Cricket Bowler The highest electronically measured speed for a ball bowled by any bowler is 100.23mph (161.3km/h) by Shoaib Akhtar (Pakistan) against England on 22 February 2003 in a World Cup match at Newlands, Cape Town, South Africa. Nicknamed the ‘Rawalpindi Express’ Shoaib burst onto the cricket scene in 1999, but has since struggled to cement a first choice place in the Pakistan line-up. He has played for many teams, including: Agriculture Development Bank of Pakistan, Since the World Open was inau- Pakistan International Airlines, gurated in 1975, Jansher Khan Rawalpindi Cricket Association, has clinched the title eight times, Somerset, Khan Research Labs, with his relative Jahangir coming Durham, Lashings and Pakistan. close behind winning six titles. But Jahangir has also claimed Largest Mosque three International Squash Rack- The largest mosque is Shah ets Federation world individual titles, taking his tally of World titles to a record-breaking total of nine. In 1982 Jahangir astonished everyone by winning the International Squash Players Association Championship without losing a single point! Jansher played in his first World Open in 1987 in Birmingham, England, beating Jahangir in the semi-final. Jansher has only once failed to make it to the final in the 10 World Opens Faisal Mosque, near Islamahe has played. The famous Khan bad, Pakistan. The total area of family have dominated the sport the complex is 18.97 ha (46.87 of squash for over 50 years. The acres), with the covered area champion family originates from of the prayer hall being 0.48 ha a village called Nawakille in (1.19 acres). It can accommodate Pakistan. Jansher (born in 1960 100,000 worshippers. and whose name means “Lion- Largest Football (Soccer) Hearted”) succeeded his rela- A football made from artifitives - Peshawar, Hashim, Azam, cial leather PV-PVC and handRoshan, Moibullah (Senior), sewn by staff at Ihsan Sports of and Jahangir, all of them cham- Hajipura, Sialkot, Pakistan, had a pion squash stars. Since 1950, the diameter of 4m (13ft 1in) when family has won 29 British Opens. measured on 30 June 2002. The super-sized soccer ball – an Most Wickets In A One-Day In- exact replica of the company’s standard football – was made ternational Career The most wickets taken over a from 32 separate panels that were laminated, printed then handstitched together. It was unveiled at the Al Faysaliah shopping mall in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, by members of the Disabled Children’s Society. “I was amazed at the size of the football,” said one spectator, “and I imagine it would be really hard to actually play with.” Heaviest Weight Lifted With Ear The heaviest weight lifted using only the ear is 51.7 kg (113 lb 15 oz) by Zafar Gill (Pakistan), who lifted gym weights hanging from Most World Squash Titles

one-day international cricket career is 440 by Pakistan’s Wasim Akram in 319 matches between 1985 and 2001. Wasim took the wickets at an average of 24.04 runs. Born in 1966 Lahore, Wasim Akram started playing cricket, like many Pakistanis, on the streets. He made his international debut at the age of 18 after an invitation to join the national team’s training camp as they prepared for a match against New Zealand. Wasim’s ability to move the ball in the air combined with his pace and accuracy has earned him a reputation as one of the world’s best fast bowlers. In February 2000, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award

a clamp attached to his right ear and held the weight for seven seconds on May 26, 2004 at Lahore, Pakistan. Largest Appendix Removed An appendix removed from a 55-year-old Pakistani man on June 11, 2003, at Pakistan Insti-

tute of Medical Sciences, Islamabad, Pakistan, measured 23.5 cm (9.2 in) in length. The operation was carried out by Dr. Riaz Ahmed Khokhar. The appendix is a long, thin, worm-like pouch sticking out of the join between the large and small intestines. Doctors are still not sure of its purpose – or even if it has a purpose – and although

it contains immune-system cells, if it’s surgically removed, health doesn’t suffer. Smallest Quran The smallest published Quran book measures 1.7 cm x 1.28 cm x 0.72 cm (0.66 in x 0.50 in x 0.28 in). It is published in an unabridged, bound version, in fine print Arabic and is 571 pages long. Dr Muhammad Karim Beebani at October 15, 2004 in Pakistan. Highest Margin Of Victory - One Day Int. The largest victory margin is 233 runs by Pakistan against Bangladesh (320 for the loss of three wickets to 87 all out), at Dhaka, Bangladesh, on June 2, 2000. Youngest Cricket Test Player The youngest Test player ever is Hasan Raza (Pakistan) who made his debut, aged 14 years 227 days, against Zimbabwe at Faisalabad, Pakistan on 24 October 1996. Born 11 March 1982 in Karachi, like other Pakistani cricketers Raza was given test match experience very early. The righthanded batsmen has played for Pakistan Customs, Habib Bank Limited, Karachi Cricket Association, and Pakistan. Largest Flaming Image Using Candles The largest flaming candle image took place at the Serena Hotel in Faisalabad, Pakistan when 48 people lit 8,154 candles to create the Sandoz logo on December 31, 2003. Largest Volunteer Ambulance

Organization Abdul Sattar Edhi (Pakistan) began his ambulance service in 1948, ferrying injured people to hospital. Today, his radio-linked network includes 500 ambulances all over Pakistan, and attracts funds of US$5 million a year.

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Acid Bills must be Start to Women’s Rights Overhaul Pakistan’s authorities must take concrete steps to end violence against women, Amnesty International has said after the country’s Senate unanimously passed two landmark women’s rights bills. The Acid Control and Acid Crime Prevention Bill 2010 and The Prevention of Anti-Women Practices (Criminal Law Amendment) Bill 2008 aim to empower and protect women and increase penalties for perpetrators of gender-based violence. Dozens of Pakistani women every year suffer serious injury and physical deformity as a result of having acid or other corrosive substances thrown on them, of-

ten as a result of family disputes. Sam Zarifi, Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific director, said: “It is encouraging that Pakistan’s parliament has passed more bills seeking to protect women and bring perpetrators to justice, but it is not clear that the situation for women has improved in Pakistan. “Pakistani authorities must establish immediate benchmarks for assessing the implementation of these new laws. “These reforms will be of little practical benefit until federal and provincial authorities create mechanisms for compensating and rehabilitating victims of gender-based violence, ad-

dressing the low conviction rate of perpetrators and regulating the sale of acid.” Amnesty International’s research in Pakistan suggests that government-run women’s shelters are in dire need of an overhaul. Most are poorly funded and their staff lack training to deal with the trauma and other issues faced by victims. Police investigations are often compromised by political or family influence, corruption and a lack of basic training for dealing with gender-based violence. Activists from across Pakistan’s political spectrum campaigned to secure support from lawmakers for the two bills.

Pakistan A Permanent Member Of UN Scientific Body of Pakistan’s technological advancement in applications of the peaceful uses of nuclear radiations in the fields of health, agriculture, environment and research and development, a statement from the country’s permanent mission here said. The UNSCEAR, which was established in 1955, consists of 27 member states and is based in Vienna. Pakistan had observer status on the committee since 2007. The member states have to provide scientists to serve as members of the committee, The UN General Assembly has tee on the Effects of Atomic which holds formal meetings anunanimously decided to appoint Radiation(UNSCEAR), Geo nually and submits a report to the Pakistan a permanent member News reported. The UN deci- General Assembly. of the UN Scientific Commit- sion is an acknowledgement

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Plans for ‘Muslim Facebook’

A group of Muslim businessmen unveiled plans in Turkey for a Facebook-style social networking site with “healthy values” for a young, Islamic audience. SalamWorld.com, which will make its internet debut next year, “will seek to unify the youth in a common vision and the healthy values of Islam while attempting to not diffuse any unhealthy information,” said Akhmed Azi-

mov, the initiative’s vice-president. Based in Istanbul, with offices in Moscow and Cairo and coordinators in 30 countries, the site hopes to attract 50 million users within three years. “The heart of the project is to create a network without any content that is prohibited by religion,” said Azimov, a Dagestan native. “To achieve this, we will have a big

team of moderators and there will be filters. “We also count on users to moderate themselves and to filter the contents.” Beyond user-generated content, the site will offer services such as theological consultations and city guides that list mosque locations and halal food stores. “We’re going to try to create an online encyclopedia, a sort of Islamic Wikipedia,” Azimov said.

IBM Predicts ‘Mind-Controlled’ Pcs within Five Years Technology company IBM predicts that mind-controlled computers will be on the market within five years. Apple, Google and Microsoft are already investigating voicecontrolled gadgets - or gadgets controlled by moving your body in front of a camera. But IBM thinks the tech giants might be a little shortsighted. “Mind-read-

ing has been wishful thinking for science fiction fans for decades, but their wish may soon come true, ” Daily Mail reported. The company is investigating smartphone and PC technology where “you would just need to think about calling someone and it happens”. The prediction was part of IBM’s annual “Five in Five” report.

The company also predicted that by 2016, passwords would have disappeared. Primitive mind-control is already used in games such as Mattel’s Mindflex, where you wear a brainwave-reading headband and concentrate to raise and lower a ball - held mid-air by jets of air that respond to your brainwaves.

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When Protecting the Community Involves ‘Spying’on it Imran Awan, senior lecturer in the Centre for Police Sciences at the University of Glamorgan looks into undercover policing in covert operations across British mosques in the pursuit of extremists. The terrorist threat has had an immense impact on how UK counter-terrorism policy and counterterrorism policing is shaped. The aim of such policies has been in the narrative of winning hearts and minds and in order to do that counter-terrorism policing has been used in a number of controversial campaigns that have alienated Muslim communities and viewed them as ‘suspects’. Greater Manchester Police is the latest force to have fallen prey to poor policing tactics when it began using undercover police officers to pose as Muslims and use British Mosques as a forum to ‘spy’ upon the community and as such tackle the threat of extremism. A recent Dispatches documentary aired on Channel 4 called ‘Confessions of an Undercover Cop’ aptly examined the role of undercover police officers and the problematic nature of their role within communities as well as the ethical issues as regards the role of the police in such covert operations. Indeed, Greater Manchester Police further exacerbated an antagonistic feeling between the Muslim community and the police when they used police officers in undercover operations within British mosques. This approach targeted the Muslim community as the police used such tactics to gather intelligence and further fuel the potential for terrorist ideology to flourish; underpinned by a grievance against law enforcement agencies. Undercover policing in mosques The North West Counter-Terrorism Unit which carried out the investigation used police officers posing as Muslims who were given access to attend prayer meetings and services at a number of mosques in Manchester in the pursuit of tackling extremism. It should be noted that as a result of the operation three men were arrested and charged with terrorist offences yet it is the manner in

which the police infiltrated the mosques which is so damaging to community relations with the police. It is not the aim of this article to downplay the threat from terrorism but to highlight the manner in which the police are conducting such operations. The nature of the covert tactics used in this case raises serious ethical questions about how the police deal with Muslim communities (BBC News 2011). Critics argue that such tactics by the police do not take into account the role of communities and the influence they have in tackling extremists within mosques. For example, it was the Muslim community in London that was able to voice their opposition of the radical cleric

Abu Hamza, who as a result was forced to leave Finsbury Mosque and later be deported (BBC News 2006). The actions of Greater Manchester Police in effect, had viewed the Muslim community as ‘suspects’, fostering social divisions within this community, and damaged both police and local community relations in the long and short-term. There are over one and a half million Muslims in Britain and approximately over 900 mosques in the UK that range in size (Muslim Council of Britain 2003). The vast majority of the mosques are split into various entities from the Gujerati, Pakistani, Yemeni and Bangladeshi mosques. The heart of all Muslim communities is the mosque, which is considered a place of tolerance and a pivotal source for the community where education, spiritual guidance and community cohesion is encouraged. Therefore, mosques are an

excellent way of reaching thousands of people – however, they should not be institutions that act as an intelligence tool for government or police operations when combating terrorism. It appears that Greater Manchester Police have undermined trust in both law enforcement agencies and counter-terrorism policies and such strategies are ill-conceived. Muslim communities and the police The broader literature suggests that Muslims in the UK feel that law enforcement agencies (such as the police) have begun to use a deliberate campaign of surveillance against them. For example, Project Champion – which involved the police using covert and overt surveillance cameras in predominately Muslim areas of Birmingham – was heavily criticized for targeting vulnerable minority communities (Thornton 2010). It seems that while the police in principle have an overall goal of community engagement to combat extremism, they have instead alienated large sections of the Muslim communities because the policies have been misdirected. The police need to be aware of the wider social and cultural diaspora when engaging with minority communities. Political pressures on local police forces have meant a higher level of policing in mainly Muslim areas that has further fuelled dissent and alienation. The police must now begin to engage with Muslims and recognize the importance of community policing. Conclusion Policing operations such as the above are not helpful in tackling the terrorist threat and will instead drive people underground who then will not go to mosques because of fear that the police are there listening to their every word. So where will these people go to voice their opinions? The answer seems simple. They will be expressed on the Internet, where extremist groups like Al-Qaeda will be keen to listen, recruit and indoctrinate.

Managing Your Business in Difficult Times By: Amar Saleem Business Development Manager Sheffield Chamber of Commerce Email: amar.saleem@scci.org.uk You may have seen the recent regular discussions in the media about the increasingly bleak prospects for the economy, the lack of growth and fears that the Governments austerity plans are not working. The Eurozone crisis continues, indirectly affecting the UK through the banking system and general lack of confidence. One consequence of this has been the Bank of England’s recent announcement of a second phase of quantitative easing, with £75bn to be created and released into the economy over the next three months. The latest insolvency statistics just released show that during the third quarter of 2011 there was an increase in corporate insolvencies of 9% compared with the same three months of 2010. During this period 3,600 companies became insolvent with construction, retail, hospitality & leisure and property being the sectors that suffered the most.

With spending cuts beginning to take effect and consumer confidence falling as families seek to tighten their already firm belts, there is the real prospect that the economy faces a tougher time ahead than it did three years ago when the credit crunch started. So what can businesses do to manage themselves through these difficult times? To survive periods of economic stress, good management is essential and managers must plan for the future and keep on top of how their business is performing. They should ensure that they have up to date financial and management information and ideally should produce monthly management accounts and produce & review cash flow forecasts on an ongoing basis, to ensure you know where your business is standing at any given point. As the saying goes, “cash is king”. Businesses should en-

sure that they invoice promptly and regularly and should not be afraid to chase customers for payment once agreed terms have been exceeded, ensure you make this very clear to your customers upon purchasing. Know your customer, establish credit limits and adhere to them. There can often be a conflict between the interests of the sales team and the interests of the credit control team when dealing with customers. However, it should be remembered that there is little profit to be made from a customer who doesn’t pay. Review your supply chain to ensure that you are getting the best prices and payment terms available and review your own terms and conditions to ensure that you secure yourself in case your customers fail to pay you. Finally take professional advice where appropriate and be proactive in managing and promoting your business.

EU Court allows Asylum Seekers to Stay A European court has banned Britain from deporting asylum seekers from the country, saying it could infringe their human rights. The European Court of Justice has banned their deportation back to Greece, a key entry point for illegal immigrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East

heading for Britain. However, it is now feared the ruling could lead to an explosion in “asylum shopping”, the Daily Express reported. The row erupted when the Luxembourg court - the EU’s highest legal authority - upheld claims of asylum seekers in Britain and Ireland. Thousands

crossing the Turkish frontier into Greece are held in often degrading conditions in camps while claims are processed. Officials feared the Home Office could face a string of costly legal claims if they pressed ahead with deportations to Greece.

GREAT EXPECTATIONS Countries are never developed on hot air and rhetoric of leaders, but Imran Khan is sincere and honest and very open. All hopes are being built on his success. Slowly his backing is increasing with big names steadily joining him, but to see the spectacle of his recent PTI rallies drawing in a multitude of crowds doesn’t need any words to explain his popularity. The swelling crowds at party rallies and the growing volume of politicians switching sides to join the PTI contribute to the perception that Imran Khan and PTI is experiencing a sudden and meteoric political ascent. Public figures who are revered by their followers and hated by their ideological opponents are invariably called “polarising”. But this

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label fails to capture the puzzle of Imran Khan, or the question of what he represents in Pakistan today—of what makes the very idea of the man so powerful for so many people and in so many conflicting ways across a wide spectrum of desire. These rallies are not exercises in cultish discipline, as we usually see with the MQM, nor did they have the tired, stale stench of PPP demonstrations, which invariably dissolve, by the end of the night, into squabbles between party members. Neither were the rallies made up of pockets of paid-for protestors who are an essential part of every other major rally. PTI rallies for the television viewer seemed more like an all night disorganised party with a

guest of honour. But more importantly the gathering was made up of all walks of life, families with children, the youth who don’t identify with political parties looking for a better role model and the all important working class man. We see a man that on his own calibre has attracted a refreshing change for the vast variety of people in Pakistan. Let’s hope the people of Pakistan can forget the past and move forward with their eyes open. No matter what the outcome of the elections, we can be assured this style politics is attracting a broader cosmopolitan audience within Pakistan. I SHAH - Sheffield

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Pensioners Contribute £2,000 a Year in Unpaid Work Britain’s 12 million pensioners contribute £2,000 each to the economy every year though unpaid childcare, voluntary and charity work. A report by MGM Advantage, a pensions company, found that retired people contribute £25billion a year to the economy yet a third of them feel unappreciated. The report described the low regard in which pensioners are held as an “indictment of society” and called on the Government to appoint a Minister for Retirement to represent their views. A survey of over 2,000 people aged 65 and over found that a third of pensioners think that wider society treats them badly. Meanwhile almost all retired people said that they dislike the label ‘old age pensioners’ or

OAPs, with a third preferring the term ‘senior citizen’. The report said that with the number of retired people set to get even bigger over the medium term, “more should be done to challenge the pre-conceived notion of retirement”. This year 658,000 people reached 65, an increase of 12,000 on 2010, taking the total number of retired people to 11.8 million. Next year, 806,000 people will reach 65, further swelling the number of retired people. This trend will continue as the baby boomer generation grows older. The Retirement Nation report found that retired people collectively save the Government and parents £15.4 billion a year by taking on unpaid care of grandchildren. In addition to this, re-

tired people undertake voluntary work in their local communities worth £5.6 billion a year, and do charitable work worth £3.4 billion a year. Almost a third of retired people said that they feel undervalued and not respected by society. Just 14 per cent said that they feel valued, while the balance – 55 per cent – said that they are sometimes treated badly. More needs to be done to understand the different life stages in retirement and the changing needs of individuals. Retired people are not a homogenous group – they are a big part of society – rich in diversity and will many net contributors. Retired people “deserve respect and attention for the contribution they make” to society.

Give Patients Online Access to Records NHS patients should be able to view their medical records online from 2015, the NHS Future Forum has announced, although doubts have been expressed as to whether some GP surgeries would be able to provide the data. The idea is that people would ‘own’ their medical records, having the ability to download their medical history and even see

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comments that GPs and hospital staff have put on their file. There would be no charge for being able to do this. Patients could also be able to order repeat prescriptions using the online system. The government said: “We fully support NHS patients having online access to their personal GP records. Our vision for a modern NHS is to give patients more in-

formation and control over their health.” As well as some GP practices not being able to cope with demands for such open data, concerns have also been raised about confidentiality, including the possibility that family members and others could access a person’s private medical information if the data was not secure enough.

No Sign of Richness but Shame

We all know smoking is injurious to health for those who smoke and who don’t. The list of problems it causes includes everything from lung cancer to emphysema to wrinkles. Not only is it a major cause of pollution, but also it is one of the leading causes of premature death in developed countries. But we do smoke! Why is it so? Well for starters, smoking is one of those things that we cannot stop no matter how harder we try. It is very hard to stop. Smoking is dependent on personal interest of a person. When we start, we never care about what is going to happen in future. There are many reasons for doing so; the most common being cultural reasons or peer pressure. Initially, smoking was restricted to the male members of our society, but now women and children have also fallen prey. Everyday more and more people take up smoking and this process is catalyzed by the promotion of different brands of cigarettes in print and electronic media. Nowadays, pipes and hookahs are the most popular methods of smoking and hence also the most injurious smoking elements for health. It is very essential to know exactly how smoking is injurious to health. Once we have the understanding of how it affects our health, then we are able to counter its affects. The commonly used slogans to educate people that ‘smoking is injurious to health’ are usually right. On an estimated average, smoking takes away between 5 and 20 minutes of a person’s lifespan with every cigarette. It can lead to many diseases of heart and lung, the two most essential organs of human body. Different kinds of cancer are caused by smoking, the most common being lung and throat cancer. Smoking can also decrease the body’s immunity system. Due to this, a smoker is more prone to diseases such as bronchitis and pneumonia compared to a non-smoker. Smoking can cause weaker bones and yellow teeth. Wrinkling and bad skin can also occur with time. Stamina is also reduced due to decreased blood circulation leading to rapid heartbeat and shortage of breath. There are also many other dayto-day issues related with smok-

ing such as bad breath as well as bad smell from hair and hands. Human body knows smoking is injurious to health; therefore, it tries to counter it at the start. That is why coughing, sore throat, nausea and other negative feelings are aroused in the body when a person tries to smoke the first time. But how can dried tobacco leaves rolled into a cylindrical shape and wrapped in paper, measuring 120 millimetres long on the average, be such an evil for the health of people? The answer is that the three main things present in the smoke of a cigarette (which the smoker inhales) are tar, carbon monoxide, and nicotine. The remaining about 597 ingredients are added for flavour. Research shows the key purpose of using additives is to improve tobacco’s potency resulting in increased addictiveness–and the additives they choose to use are dreadful. Cigarette flavours have gone through many changes since it was first made. Initially, cigarettes were unfiltered, allowing the full “flavour” of tar. As concerns about the ill-effects of smoking started emerging, filters were added. While this helped alleviate the public fears, the result was a cigarette that tasted too bitter. And filters do not remove enough tar to make cigarettes less dangerous. To get rid of the bitter taste was easy. Just add taste-improving chemicals to tobacco. Once they got rolling they figured out they could really maximize the whole addiction part, what a hook. They found that a chemical similar to rocket fuel helps keep the tip of the cigarette burning at an extremely hot temperature, which allows nicotine in tobacco to turn into a vapour so that the lungs can absorb it more easily. Or how about ammonia? Adding ammonia to cigarettes allows nicotine in its vapour form to be absorbed through the lungs more quickly. This, in turn, means the brain can get a higher dose of nicotine with each inhalation. Back in the 1990s when tobacco companies first started being taken to task for their dastardly ways, a list of all the mentioned used was issued. Seeing the list again now it’s amazing it isn’t in the news everyday! For a start, here’s a quick look into the most toxic ingredients used to make

cigarettes tastier, and of course, effectively addictive: • Ammonia: Household cleaner. • Arsenic: Used in rat poisons. • Benzene: Used in making dyes, synthetic rubber. • Butane: Gas; used in lighter fluid. • Carbon monoxide: Poisonous gas. • Cadmium: Used in batteries. • Cyanide: Lethal poison. • DDT: A banned insecticide. • Ethyl Furoate: Causes liver damage in animals. • Lead: Poisonous in high doses. • Formaldehyde: Used to preserve dead specimens. • Methoprene: Insecticide. • Maltitol: Sweetener for diabetics. • Napthalene: Ingredient in mothballs. • Methyl isocyanate: Its accidental release killed 2000 people in Bhopal, India, in 1984. • Polonium: Cancer-causing radioactive element. It is clearly written on the cigarette packets that smoking is injurious to health. Still people smoke and new cigarette companies are established. If a person is offered a glass of water with a label - “Poison” on top of the container, will he consume that? Why it is not followed in smoking? What is the logic behind this? We all know that smoking is not a sign of richness but it a sign of shame. So, its abundance is mandatory. It is duty of each individual to raise the flame against smoking. It is very important to teach how it is leading us to death. It is dangerous or hazardous for not only an active smoker but also for the passive smoker. Are we justified in smoking, say inside our homes, and exposing our wives and innocent children to thousands of poisons with every puff that we inhale? A small ash can lead a person to death bed. As it has direct effect to the all, lungs as well as the kidney of a man. Moreover, the more usage can add the problem of asthma for whole life. Its abundance will also show the true nature of the citizens. A puff of cigarette is not a sign of standard but a shame. Awareness about adverse effect of smoking will be really helpful to save coming generation who are dragging themselves into it unnecessary.

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The Pakistan That you Don’t see in the News With the prophets of doom prophesying Pakistan’s end and the world media crying itself hoarse about the ostensible failure of Pakistan as a State, it is easy to escape those aspects of Pakistan that make this country what it actually is, i.e. a truly great nation. Below, I skim over a few select spheres of influence where Pakistan has truly blazed a trail. Second largest gas infrastructure in the world: Pakistan’s gas distribution network is the second largest in the world after that of the United States, i.e. it is larger than those of all other industrialized countries such Germany, France, UK, Australia and others. World class educational institutions: Pakistan is now home to some to some the finest universities there can be. The Aga Khan University, Lahore University of Management Sciences, National University of Science and Technology, FAST, Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture and the Ghulam Ishaq Khan University are those newly established universities that have joined the ranks of older Pakistani educational institutions such as Dow, King Edward College of Medicine, National College of Arts and the IBA to become the bedrock of Pakistan’s higher education infrastructure. One of the most independent media in the world + stature of the journalists: The media in Pakistan is among the most independent in the world as are the world-class journalists that comprise this institution. This has resulted in a silent revolution and national awakening throughout the length and breadth of Pakistani society similar to that which this country had witnessed prior to independence. Thus, thinkers and scholars now mould public opinion in a manner that is conducive for national building and progress. An outstanding road network: Many developed countries as well as most developing ones experience rush hour traffic jams and generally bad traffic throughout the day. In Pakistan, however, where the car to population ratio is small but growing at an astonishing pace, cities have managed to build road networks at an even faster pace. Thus, overhead bypasses, underpasses, ring roads and new motorways have successfully outpaced the uncontrolled growth of cars and motorbikes.

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The fastest growing telecom network: The phenomenal rate of growth of Pakistan’s telecom industry is unheard of anywhere else in the world. Despite having a very small GDP per capita, Pakistan has succeeded in achieving cellular connections for fifty percent of the population, i.e. sixty million cellular connections within a span of a few years. Tech power: The level of technology in the computer connectivity and telecom sectors has, in many cases, been either equivalent to or better than even the most industrialized nations of the world. As an example, the first WiMax rolled out in the world was in Pakistan. Pakistan joined the aerospace club by producing its own aircraft: Pakistan is among the few countries in the world that produce its own aircraft. Thus, our aeronautical industry shares the likes of those in the US, France, China, Sweden. Submarine production: Pakistan has always been a shipbuilding country but has now started manufacturing submarines as well. Largest ambulance service in the world: Other than the impressive list of large NGOs and charities currently operating in the country, the Edhi Trust runs the largest ambulance network in the world and is completely free; it is run entirely on donations. Given the per capita income of the people of Pakistan, this is no small achievement. State of the art teaching hospitals and research centers: In medicine, not only have we have produced world class doctors that now practice all over the world, we also have state of the art medical facilities that offer services at a fraction of the cost that is charged for similar facilities elsewhere. To name a few, these facilities include Aga Khan, South City Hospital, SIUT, Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital, Burns Center, Kidney Center, Services Hospital Lahore and Indus Hospital among others. To elaborate on some of the points mentioned above, I want to point out that Shaukat Khanum Hospital is the world’s only free Cancer hospital. Similary, the Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT) is the world’s only kidney and liver transplant hospital that treats patients entirely free of cost.

These institutions did not come into being as a coincidence. Rather, hard work and visionary leadership have been the primary force behind these successful projects which is very typical of a lot of development work that is currently going on in Pakistan. The Citizens Foundation: It is a non-government funded charitable institution teaching over fifty thousand students in more than 600 schools in the poorest areas of the country. There is no parallel to this institution anywhere else in the world. Land of the music legends: Most of South Asia’s master musicians in every genre are produced in Pakistan. Whether it is the world famous qawwali of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, the ghazals of Iqbal Bano, Farida Khanum or Mehdi Hassan, pioneers of pop music in the subcontinent such as Nazia and Zoheb Hassan or bands such as Junoon, Fuzon and Atif Aslam, it seems the only music produced in South Asia comes from Pakistan. Art: Pakistan has produced master artists such as Sadeqain, Abdur Rahman Chughtai, Ustad Allah Baksh, Shakir Ali and others whose work is not only recognized in this part of the world but is the predominant feature of many art auctions all over the world at Sothebys and Christies . Our artist are the product of a rich cultural heritage that dates back thousands of years. A resilient judiciary: Pakistan has an exemplary judicial system in place. Attacks have repeatedly been made to subdue and weaken it over the country’s history, but each time this institution has stood its ground and come out stronger after every such attempt. In my opinion, no other judiciary in the world can compare to the resilience that Pakistan’s judiciary has displayed time and again. Pakistan’s current Chief Justice, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhary is a recipient of the Harvard Law School Medal of Freedom that has only been awarded to two other people in the school’s history, Nelson Mandela and Charles Hamilton Houston. I am actually guilty of not continuing this any further as it has already become lengthier than what I think will be comfortable for most people to read. Otherwise, I could go on and on. By: Humayun Qureshi

Is Asif Zardari a Pawn in a Battle of Wits? To resign or not to resign is not for Asif Zardari to decide. His illness and the Memo scandal might have taken him to Dubai. He might also return to Islamabad. However, the decisive factors are well beyond his control. He may be only a pawn in a battle that the Pentagon, the State Department and our army are fighting among themselves. First the background The battleground is Afghanistan. The State Department wants to cut losses and run from it because peace, whatever its shape, may help Barack bin Obama stay in the White House for the next term. On the other hand, the Pentagon wants to prolong its stay as long as possible. Bob Woodward laid their intentions bare in his book, “Obama’s wars.” According to him, Obama could never pin them down to an exit strategy. (They only said that the insurgency required 500,000 troops, 100,000 Americans and 400,000 Afghans. With only about 100,000 Afghan soldiers available after 10 years, the rest may take decades.) The Pentagon do realize that the army’s help is crucial in prolonging their stay. That may not be certain if the Zardari government continues because it is under the thumb of the State Department. Left to the State, both Zardari and his party may be reelected easily for another term. If it does not happen, the successor elected government may also not be palatable because it may be less pliable. The interest of the army coincides with that of the Pentagon. It wants the Pentagon to stay on in Afghanistan so that civil war does not start there, as it happened after the Russians left, with harmful fallout for our country. The army also wants to get rid of the gov-

ernment, and sooner the better. The maneuvers by Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of State under President Bush, paved the way for NRO and then PPP government. The idea was to have a liberal, pro-America government that will go out of the way to help the war in Afghanistan. It worked very well. America got concessions and facilities that Pervez Musharraf would have not agreed to. (No wonder, he was eased out within months of the PPP taking over.) Americans had the run of the country, while the rulers were too busy plundering the country, and destroying the economy and institutions. The army played ball until now. It ignored every destructive action of the government, while the people groaned in misery and desperation. The problem was that the U.S. was running amok and it would not have been easy to change the government without its consent. Though the State is still in love with the Zardari coterie, help is coming from the Pentagon. On its prodding, Mansoor Ijaz exploded the bomb of the Memo scandal under the feet of the PPP regime, which is now tottering on the verge of collapse. Now the action The army was up in arms because it was never aware of the treacherous Memo by the government. Its first step was to get the head of the State’s man in our embassy in Washington. The next would have been to bring down the government but the State intervened. It is also trying to shore up the coterie, with its powerful lobby in our media working full time to discredit the Memo and Mansoor. The Pentagon made the next move by attacking deliberately the Silala post. The purpose was

to provoke the army to force the government take some drastic steps: NATO supplies blocked, Shimshi airport vacated, and most important, Bonn conference boycotted. The State was stunned. Now the battle is raging. The State wants the army to overthrow the Zardari coterie so that it may go abroad and wait for better days, as it happened with Benazir, who left the country in 1999 just before she was to get her first conviction in court, until her triumphant return in 2007. On the other hand, the Pentagon wants PPP government to go on its own, so that it may deal easily with the army and also reduce anti-Americanism in the country. The army also does not want to have another political martyr on its hands. Therefore, it wants Zardari to resign voluntarily and disappear into oblivion. That will pave the way for a better political setup in the interim period and also allow a massive cleanup of the political mess that has been accumulating for decades. The outcome. If the State Department wants the help of the army in Afghanistan, it will have to ask Zardari to resign. In addition, it will have to retrace the steps it has been taking in favor of India. If it doesn’t, there will be more problems. That will allow the Pentagon blame the State for snatching failure from the jaws of a (presumed) military success in Afghanistan. Who will blink first? Wait for some more days. Meanwhile, Zardari will keep his fingers crossed, here or abroad, though not for long. 2012 will be a really new year for us, the people. By: MUNIR AHMED BALOCH

Pakistan for Promotion of Human Rights: Gilani Pakistan stands committed to the protection, promotion and practice of human rights, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said. In a message on the occasion of Universal Human Rights Day on Dec 10, Gilani said the constitution guarantees freedoms to its people including all minorities. He said that every nation of the world celebrates this day “to commemorate the importance of human rights in the perspective of the present day world”, reported Associated Press of Pakistan. He added: “The government is

bound to respond more vocally to the vulnerable and marginalized sections of society. We have taken a number of political, economic and legislative reforms to make sure that the rights of underprivileged sections of society are safeguarded.” Pakistan has a population of about 180 million.

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COUP AGAINST SECULARISM

Spin doctors would like us to believe that the inception of the very idea of Pakistan was a theocratic land for the Muslims of India; a sort of core country which would serve as a launching pad for the renaissance of Islam. Islam in this view would be the binding force between the people of different ethnicities. What led to the dismemberment of Pakistan? It was largely the reaction of the majority of Pakistani citizens who were by then totally disenchanted with the twonation-theory and the idea of defining national identity on the basis of religion. There is a time gap of 92 years between the Battle of Plassey in Bengal (1757) and annexation of Western Punjab into British India (1849). Thus Bengal came into contact with the civilized democratic (hence secularized) world almost a century before the areas of the Sub-continent that now constitute Pakistan. To draw analogy and contrast with the separatist movement of today’s Baloch nationalism; unlike the Balochs of Pakistan today, whose ultra-nationalism is to a great extent inspired by their tribal chiefs, the pre-1971 Bengali Pakistanis had a democratic and secular mindset, which was the result of the longer history of political awareness in that region. In the early years of Pakistan, when its entire Civil-Military leadership was busy consolidating the country’s foundation on the bedrock of religion, the then most popular Muslim League leader from Bengal, Hussain Shaheed Suharwardy, was the only one to dispute the notion of an ‘ideological state’, proposing its substitution with the idea of a ‘nation state’. He supported pro-West foreign policy, seeing little gain in pursuit of the utopian concept of Pan-Islamism. Like other Bengali leaders of Pakistan, however, Suharwardy was kicked out of the office of Prime Minister of Pakistan by West Pakistan’s Civil-Military nexus, after just one year in office (1956-1957). He was later barred from politics by Ayub Khan. Succeeding military ruler of Pakistan

Yahya Khan not only continued the emphasis on the ideological state; but also declared the Pak Army as the ultimate defender of country’s ‘ideological borders’, besides geographical boundaries – a phrase that has been echoing in Pakistan’s state affairs ever since. Accordingly, the ‘Legal Framework Order’ (LFO), announced by Yahya Khan on March 28, 1970 – under which first general elections in Pakistan were to be held later that year – stipulated Islamic Ideology as the corner stone of the country’s future constitution. The apparently free and fair elections of 1970 were intended to be an eyewash for the national and international observers. The political neutrality of military rulers was fallacious as it covertly backed religious parties, while Pakistan’s state media openly promoted Islamic political thought, to indirectly support the agenda of Islamic parties, whereby becoming a tool of their election campaign. It was not by coincidence that several Islamic parties in Pakistan observed ‘Shaukat-e-Islam’ (Glory of Islam) day on May 31, 1970, which was the stock phrase of Yahya Khan, his Information commissar Sher Ali Khan and the entire military leadership. The mass rallies taken out by Jamaate-Islami and other religious parties that day convinced the intelligence agencies that Islamists were going to have a strong representation in the future constituent assembly, not only to uphold Islamic National Ideology; but also to enable the army to use democracy as a façade of its mastery over the country. However, the election results proved to be very anti-climatic for West Pakistan’s establishment. Sheikh Mujeeb-ur-Rehman’s Awami League swept the polls in East Pakistan, also emerging as the major political party of Pakistan, laying its claim to rule Pakistan as the First Democratically Elected Party. It won 160 out of 162 seats in the East Pakistan taking a total share of 53% in the Constituent Assembly. This was almost twice as

Ali Baqri Graduates in BSc Financial Management

Ali Baqri graduated in Accounting and Financial management from Sheffield Hallam University with a upper second class (2/1) degree. “It has been a great experience studying at Hallam University and gaining knowledge in my relevant field. It was a three years course

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General Zia-ur-Rehman in 1977). Whereas the Awami League was clear in its stance on Secularism, Bhutto’s PPP’s manifesto put Islam together with Socialism and democracy as one of the foundational bases of its politics. Utterly disappointed by the performance of Islamic parties, now the establishment decided to co-operate with Bhutto to undermine Awami League’s right to form the political government in Pakistan. Earlier, Bhutto, serving as Foreign Minister in Ayub Khan’s Cabinet had promised a “Thousand-Year-War”

an Ultra-Nationalist; but also a Secularist and a Socialist. It was unambiguously stated in Awami League’s manifesto that the Fundamentals of Pakistan’s constitution would be Secular, besides con-federal. Secularism or ‘Dhormo Niropekhota’ in Bengali, was the fundamental principal that drove the Bengali Nationalist Movement. That is why the term Secularity was later induced into the First Constitution of Bangladesh in 1972 as one of the Four State Principles beside Democracy, Nationalism and Socialism (following Mujeeb’s assassination, the word Secularism was condemned by subsequent military regimes and eventually replaced in the constitution with the words “Absolute ….. faith in the Almighty Allah…..” by

with India. He maintained close personal relationship with several generals, including Yahya Khan. In fact the PPP’s founding document contained a reference to Jihad against India (Feldman, From Crisis to Crisis, p. 250 cited by Hussain Haqqani in, PakistanBetween Mosque and Military, p67). Earlier, in his LFO, Yahya Khan had announced that the new Constituent Assembly would be bound to formulate country’s Constitution within 120 days of its election, failing to which it would dissolve automatically. In February 1971, however, he belatedly scheduled the session of elected assembly as late as on March 3, 1971. He later on postponed it indefinitely on the pretext of the demand of Bhutto, as a leader of Majority populace of West Pakistan. Bhutto, becoming

which helped me in widening my skills in my professional life. I am currently taking exams for the Association of Certified Chartered Accountant (ACCA) and hopefully try to complete my fully qualified professional qualifications by the end of 2012, said Ali”

continued from page 1:Arguably, the best measure of current trends in house prices is to compare the average price of the past three months with the average price of the previous three months. On this measure, Nationwide’s data shows a rise of

much as 81 seats that Z.A. Bhutto’s PPP bagged in West Pakistan. The establishment viewed Mujeeb as an Indian-backed secessionist and opposed to Pakistan’s ideology (read the establishment), although on June 28, 1970, in a huge public rally at Nishtar Park Karachi, Mujeeb had reaffirmed that East Pakistan would never separate itself from Pakistan. He had pointedly declared that his struggle was not against Pakistan or West Pakistan; but against “exploiters”. Mujeeb was disliked by the establishment not only on account of his being

0.4% in the three months to the end of December. The housing market is not the same across the UK and can even look different on a neighbourhoodby-neighbourhood basis. In the final three months of the year, the annual

the tool of the establishment, asserted that an agreement had to be reached between him and Mujeeb, before the First Session of Assembly was called. After the humiliation of the fall of Dacca, both the military as well as the PPP blamed each other either directly or through their apologists for that debacle. But the fact is that the denial of the rights of the Majority Party which led to this eventuality was coordinated and jointly carried out by both in the so-called interest of West Pakistan (for details see: Hasan Zaheer’s The Separation of East Pakistan, Oxford University Press 1994). Subsequent to indefinite postponement of the Assembly’s session, Awami League announced Civil Disobedience. The Civil and Military advisers of Yahya Khan suggested a Military Action against the Awami League. According to them an iron fist would fix the Bengalis. However, the military officials, belonging to West Pakistan, who savvied the determination of the Bengalis opposed such action. These included the Military Governor of East Pakistan, Admiral S.M. Ahsan and Commandant-in-chief of Eastern Wing Lt. General Sahibzada Yaqub Ali Khan, both of whom resigned when they were pressured by the Federal Government to carry out a crackdown. Lt. General Tikka Khan replaced Sahibzada Yaqub Khan – to defend ‘National Ideology’ and ‘Glory of Islam’ – and ‘Operation Searchlight’ started on March 25, 1971 with Tikka Khan’s following words manifesting its objectives: “…..Kill all the traitors and, if necessary, raze Dacca to the ground. There will be no one to rule; there will be nothing to rule” (Saddique Salik, Witness to Surrender, p. 53). Pakistani soldiers attacking Awami League activists were heard hollering “Allah ho Akbar”. The Butcher of Bengalis General Tikka Khan was later on appointed Defence Minister by Z.A. Bhutto in 1976. He was accepted in PPP with open arms and

Overseas Pakistani Student take their studies seriously

went on to become its Secretary General, further underlining the fact that the differences that later developed between PPP and the security establishment were not ideological; but a result of power tussle. Jamaat-e-Islami youth wing Al-Bader led by Khurram Murad – who went on to become JI’s General Secretary under Qazi Hussain – served as a spearhead of the army in its genocide of Bengalis. On December 14, 1971, just two days before Pakistan Army’s Surrender to India, many Bengali intellectuals and writers including Shaheed Qaiser were kidnapped and later slaughtered by Al-Bader. Every year Bangladesh observes this day as a ‘Day of Martyred Intellectuals’. Pakistan’s establishment has always called Sheikh Mujeeb-ur-Rehman a secessionist. Secession by definition is an act in which a group withdraws itself from a larger political body. The separation of the East Pakistan was in a way unique because in this case the majority refused to be ruled by the minority – which was denying the formers right to choose a political system – and was still called defector. The system that majority were opting for was also inter alia secularism. It was denied by the minority which was ruled by even a smaller group that had arms (Bengalis constituted less than 10% of the army in united Pakistan). This group has been adamant to sacrifice anything and everything for its ideological bigotry. The fall of East Pakistan not only saw the loss of the Eastern half of Pakistan; but also the lost opportunity of making Pakistan a secular country – a potential development that would have not only saved it from the disaster that it is presently going through; but also the much bigger one foreseeable ahead, when the Taliban may finally take over Pakistan. Nayyer Khan K4Kashmir

For long the impression for overseas Pakistani students was that when they come over to UK for studies , they don’t complete their respective cources instead find work and stabilise themselves financially. Well the trend is now changing, a prime example is Syed Farhan Ali who recently completed his masters in Business Management and plans for further studying.

House prices stagnation to continue says Nationwide

price change in 10 of 13 areas of the UK ranged between a 2% rise and a 2% fall. However, Northern Ireland has seen an 8.7% fall in prices in 2011 and London has seen a 5.5% rise over the year, the Nationwide’s figures

show. Outlook Mr Gardner said that a fall in real income for many people, as well as high unemployment and an uncertain economic outlook, had restricted activity among buyers in 2011. Yet, low interest rates and

a lack of newly-built homes meant supply was also low and stalled any price falls. He predicted that the same low level of activity was expected in 2012, although the outlook would depend “crucially” on how the wider

UK economy performed. The Nationwide is the first to publish figures for the year as a whole. Prices are expected by most observers to fall a little in 2012, echoing the Nationwide’s prediction.

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January Edition 2012