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Volume 14 Issue 362 Rajab 16-1435 AH / May 16, 2014 - $1
NIGERIA KIDNAPPED GIRLS ‘SHOWN IN BOKO HARAM VIDEO’
More than 200 kidnapped girls and women have been reportedly sold into marriage with their Boko Haram abductors for $12.
Islamist militants Boko Haram have released a video apparently showing about 130 girls kidnapped from a school in northern Nigeria on 14 April. Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau said the children would be held until all imprisoned militants had been freed. Interior Minister Abba Moro rejected the deal, telling the BBC that it was “absurd” for a “terrorist group” to try to set conditions. Boko Haram abducted more than 200 girls and threatened to sell them. The BBC’s John Simpson in the northern city of Maiduguri says Boko Haram’s comments show signs that the group is willing to negotiate. Three of the girls - wearing full-length cloaks - are shown speaking in the 27-minute video, obtained by French news agency AFP.Two girls say they were
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Rajab 16, 1435H May 16, 2014
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Rajab 16, 1435H May 16, 2014
P A K I S T A N
High-level meeting agrees to continue Karachi operation
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif arrived here on Wednesday to chair a high-level meeting to review the law and order situation and ongoing targeted operation in the city as reported by The News.The meeting was attended by the top civilian and political leadership, along with Army Chief Raheel Sharif and former President Asif Ali Zardari. DG Rangers briefed the meeting on the ongoing targeted operation in the city.Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif called for increased intelligence sharing to combat terrorists and criminal elements in the city. The prime minister asked
why illegal SIMs were not being blocked. On the issue of criminals who have fled the country, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif asked why red warrants had not been issued. Following the high-level meeting on law and order, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif met with representatives of political parties.Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said that the provincial and federal governments were serious in their efforts to establish peace in Karachi. He also called upon political parties to come on the same page for this purpose.The representatives of political parties agreed that the targeted operation should continue in Karachi.The prime minister said all political parties wanted peace in Karachi and terrorists will not be allowed to take political cover.According to sources, former President Zardari said he would support all measures of the government which would bring peace in Karachi.
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Abdul Rauf (President)
Pakistanis not treated as Terrorist in Malaysia
Malaysia is becoming most preferred tourist destination for Pakistani tourists and only last year over 80,000 Pakistanis visited Malaysia for business, tourism and education as reported by Dawn.“Malaysia does not treat visiting Pakistanis as terror suspects the way Europe and America treat and we feel delighted to find Pakistanis in our country,” Malaysian High Commissioner to Pakistan Dato Hasrul Sani Mujtabar told a media briefing at newly constructed Malaysian High Commission building in Islamabad. The envoy said at political level both the countries enjoy excellent relations and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has sent letter of invitation to his Malaysian counterpart to visit Pakistan at his convenience.“Malaysia offers best education at par with western standards at very economical price to students from Asia and rest of the world and which is why there are over 100,000 foreign students studying various disciplines in our country from under graduate to PhD level,” Mujtabar remarked. The envoy said Pakistani fruits particularly Mango is very much liked in Malaysia and there was great potential for Mango
exporters to export the king of the fruit there. Speaking about tourism, Mujtabar said over 25 million tourists visited Malaysia last year from all around the world, adding that there was no security issue with high quality hotels and food were affordable.
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Musharraf emergency act declared ‘illegal’
Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has “irrefutable proof” that former military ruler Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf illegally declared a state of emergency in 2007, according to a report it released Wednesday.The one-time leader now faces a high treason trial over the declaration.The 237-page report quotes a former governor of Punjab, Khalid Maqbool and a former attorney general, Malik Muhammad Qayyum as saying they had not been consulted by Musharraf before he declared the emergency on Nov 3, 2007. Under Pakistani law, Musharraf was to have consulted then-Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz before making the declaration – something the former government officials said he hadn’t done. The report also quotes former Cabinet Secretary Masoom Alam Rizvi as saying Aziz never gave any advice to Musharraf about declaring a state of emergency. The position of cabinet secretary is considered one of the most important in Pakistan as the official issues all government notifications. The report said investigators believe that’s “irrefutable proof and concrete documentary evidence” that Musharraf illegally declared the state of emergency. It also accused the former military ruler of taking the decision “for his ulterior motives.” The FIA report comes as Musharraf faces high treason charges over the decision, charges that carry the death penalty. It is the first time the government has submitted the findings of its
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investigation to the court, which has adjourned the hearing until May 22. Musharraf, 70, seized power in a bloodless coup by ousting the government of then-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in 1999. Musharraf resigned as president in August 2008. He later left the country, but returned to Pakistan in March 2013, hoping for a political comeback. Instead, he got embroiled in court cases relating to his near-decade in power. He’s also been threatened by militants who would like to see him dead for ordering a series of military operations against their strongholds in Pakistan’s tribal areas bordering Afghanistan. The charges are connected to his decision in 2007 to declare a state of emergency and detain senior judges, including the chief justice. Critics said he was worried the judges would challenge his recent re-election as president but Musharraf portrayed it as a necessary step to fight the growing Taliban insurgency. On Wednesday, Musharraf’s lawyer Farogh Naseem refused to comment on the FIA report, saying he had not studied it yet. Naseem is trying to get permission from courts for Musharraf to travel abroad for medical treatment. Prosecutors have been blocking the attempts, saying the former military strongman wants to flee the country to avoid prosecution.
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4 I N T E R N A T I O N A L Amnesty: Torture is alive Ukraine crisis: and Flourishing Separatists looking to union with Russia Rajab 16, 2014 May 16, 2014
The use of torture is widespread 30 years after the United Nations adopted a convention outlawing the practice, Amnesty International has said. At least 44 percent of more than 21,000 people from 21 countries surveyed by the London-based rights group for its new report released on Monday, said that they would not feel safe from torture if arrested in their home country. The report titled Torture in 2014 30 Years of Broken Promises read: “Although governments have prohibited this dehumanising practice in law and have recognised global disgust at its existence, many of them are carrying out torture or facilitating it in practice.” “Three decades from the convention and more than 65 years after the Universal Declaration of Human Rights torture is not just alive and well. It is flourishing,” according to the report. Amnesty said 155 countries have ratified the 1984 UN Convention Against Torture but many governments were still “betraying their responsibility” with at least 79 countries continuing to engage in the outlawed practice in 2014. “It’s almost become normalised, it’s become routine,” Amnesty Secretary General Salil Shetty told reporters at the launch of the “Stop Torture” campaign in London. The campaign focuses on Mexico, the Philippines, Morocco and Western Sahara, Nigeria and Uzbekistan. Shetty also spoke of “the
cruelty of inmates in the United States being held in solitary confinement with no light”, of stoning and flogging in the Middle East and of the “stubborn failure” of European nations to investigate allegations of complicity in torture. “Since the so-called war against terrorism, the use of torture, particularly in the United States and their sphere of influence... has got so much more normalised as part of national security expectations,” he said. The survey showed that the concern about torture is highest in Brazil and Mexico and lowest in Australia and Britain. Support for torture ranged widely across nations, from 74 percent in China and India, to just 12 percent in Greece and 15 percent in Argentina, the Amnesty survey conducted by GlobeScan found. The report described police brutality in Asia, where torture is a “fact of life”, and pointed out that more than 30 countries in Africa have yet to make such abuse punishable by law. Amnesty said it had received reports of torture being used in more 140 countries and the report gave examples from countries ranging from Nigeria to Mexico and Ukraine. The NGO called on governments to prevent torture by providing medical and legal access for prisoners and better inspection of detention centres. It also wants an end to the impunity that exists in many places, urging independent investigations of allegations of torture. The group notes how the UN Convention made torturers “international outlaws” and prompted governments worldwide to denounce the practice. But it warns that in reality many are endorsing or at least failing to tackle the issue head-on. “Governments have broken their promises, and because of these broken promises millions of people have suffered terribly,” said Shetty. Source: Al-Jazeera
Afghan election frontrunner Abdullah Abdullah has received a major boost to his presidential campaign, with Zalmai Rassoul, a close ally of the current leader, endorsing him after withdrawing from the race. Rassoul was seen as the favoured candidate of outgoing President Hamid Karzai, and his support for Abdullah could be decisive in deal-making to choose Afghanistan’s next leader as US-led troops withdraw from the country. Rassoul’s own bid to become president gained little momentum and he came third with just 11.5 percent in the first round of voting, but he remains an influential power-broker. “I ask the people for the sake of national unity and political stability to vote for Doctor Abdullah, so that we win the election,” Rassoul, who resigned as foreign minister to run in the election, told a news conference in Kabul on Sunday, the AFP news agency reported. He said his support could be a “balance maker” in the run-off election due next month. Al Jazeera’s Imtiaz Tyab, reporting from Kabul, said: “Abdullah is a very happy man. If a runoff is called, he is going to need those suppporters who backed Rassoul.” Tyab said the move could see Rassoul securing a position in the next cabinet. The sec-
ond-round vote will pit Abdullah against former World Bank economist Ashraf Ghani in a head-to-head battle, after the two came first and second in the eight-man election on April 5. Neither candidate secured the 50 percent needed for outright victory. Abdullah garnered 44.9 percent and Ghani received 31.5 percent, according to preliminary results. The official final first-round result will be announced on Wednesday after weeks of adjudication over fraud complaints. The 2009 election, when Karzai retained power after defeating Abdullah, was marred by massive fraud in a chaotic process that shook the multinational effort to develop the country after the ousting of the Taliban in 2001. The eventual winner will lead Afghanistan into a new era as US-led NATO combat troops end their 13-year operation in the country. The first-round election was hailed as a success by Afghan officials and foreign allies, with turnout far better than in 2009, and the Taliban failing to launch a major attack despite threats to disrupt the vote. A run-off vote in June - at the height of the traditional “fighting season” - could be more difficult for Afghanistan’s stretched security forces to guard. Another election could be avoided by negotiations in the coming weeks, but both Abdullah and Ghani have dismissed talk of a power-sharing deal. Karzai, who is constitutionally barred from a third term in office, stayed publicly neutral in the election. But diplomats in Kabul said Rassoul had received discreet backing from the president in the early stages of the campaign. Source: Al-Jazeera
Karzai ally to back Abdullah in Afghan runoff
Pro-Moscow insurgents in eastern Ukraine declared independence Monday and sought to join Russia, undermining upcoming presidential elections, strengthening the Kremlin’s hand and putting pressure on Kyiv to hold talks with the separatists following a referendum on self-rule. Russia signalled it has no intention of subsuming eastern Ukraine the way it annexed Crimea in March. Instead, Moscow is pushing to include eastern regions in negotiations on Ukraine’s future — suggesting that Russia prefers a political rather than a military solution to its worst standoff with the West since the Cold War. Such talks are central to a potential path toward peace outlined Monday by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. The plan laid out by Swiss President Didier Burkhalter calls on all sides to refrain from violence and urges immediate amnesty, talks on decentralization and the status of the Russian language. That’s a key complaint of insurgents who have seized power in eastern regions and clashed with government troops and police. But it’s up to the Ukrainian government to take the next step. Acting Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk pledged to hold a dialogue with Ukraine’s east. But he gave no specifics and stopped short of addressing Sunday’s referendum and the declarations of independence in the pro-Moscow regions of Donetsk and Luhansk. “We would like to launch the broad national dialogue with the east, centre, the west, and all of Ukraine,” Yatsenyuk told a news conference in Brussels, adding that the agenda for talks should include changes to the constitution that would give more powers to the regions. Ukraine’s central government and the West say the Kremlin has encouraged weeks of unrest in eastern Ukraine in a possible attempt to grab more land. Russia says that’s not so, and accuses the West of meddling in a region that Moscow sees as its backyard. The Ukrainian government’s room to manoeuvre is shrinking. With national presidential elections scheduled for May 25, the regions of Donetsk and Luhansk declared independence Monday, and those in Donetsk even asked to join enormous neighbour Russia instead. The sprawling areas along Russia’s border, home to about 6.6 million people, form Ukraine’s industrial heartland. “We, the people of the Donetsk People’s Republic, based on the results of the May 11, 2014, referendum, declare that henceforth the Donetsk People’s Republic will be deemed a sovereign state,” Denis Pushilin, co-chairman of the insurgent government, said to applause Monday. Wearing an ill-fitting suit and reading his speech from a Mac
laptop, he continued, “The people of Donetsk have always been part of the Russian world, regardless of ethnic affiliation. For us, the history of Russia is our history.” A day earlier, both regions held a slapdash referendum that Ukraine’s acting president called a “sham” and Western governments said violated international law. White House spokesman Jay Carney says the United States does not recognize the results of the vote, and is focusing on making sure Ukraine’s presidential election takes place as planned in 13 days. But that is starting to look in doubt: Luhansk spokesman Vasily Nikitin said his region will not take part. Burkhalter outlined some of that plan Monday in Brussels, where the European Union’s foreign ministers added 13 people and two firms to their visa ban and asset freeze list over Ukraine, according to two officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because the measure had yet to be officially announced. The U.S. and the EU, which have slapped travel bans and asset freezes on members of Putin’s entourage after Russia’s annexation of Crimea, have warned they could target entire sectors of the Russian economy if Moscow tries to derail the May 25 vote. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Moscow saw no need for another four-way meeting between Russia, the U.S., the EU and Ukraine following their talks in Geneva last month, saying Ukrainian authorities should focus on a dialogue with the east. He accused Washington and Kyiv of stonewalling the OSCE plan and warned that efforts to defuse the crisis wouldn’t succeed without “engaging opponents of the regime in a direct dialogue.” The Foreign Ministry criticized the EU for its “inarticulate reaction” to the OSCE plan, and said by refusing to recognize the referendums, the EU “undermines its credibility as a partner” in resolving the crisis. Last week, Putin urged referendum organizers to postpone the balloting in an apparent attempt to distance himself from the insurgents. Sunday’s balloting appeared to be mostly peaceful but armed men stopped the voting and took control of the town hall in Krasnoarmeisk, then opened fire on the crowd outside. They identified themselves as Ukrainian national guards but the Interior Ministry said they were not. Two deaths were reported. Turchynov and Ukraine’s caretaker government came to power in February following the ouster of Kremlin-friendly President Viktor Yanukovych after months of protests in Kyiv. Moscow and many in Ukraine’s east have accused the new government of intending to trample the rights of Russian-speakers. Source: CBC News
Rajab 16, 2014 May 16, 2014
I N T E R N A T I O N A L
UN chief calls for tribunal UN report on aboriginals on S Sudan crimes warns of crisis in Canada
N Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called for a special tribunal for South Sudan, saying there are grounds to believe that crimes against humanity have been committed since widespread violence began five months ago. The UN chief welcomed on Monday the ceasefire agreement signed by President Salva Kiir last Friday with his former vice president, Riek Machar, and demanded an immediate end to fighting, which flared over the weekend. He called for “30 days of tranquillity” so farmers can plant crops in peace to avoid famine in the world’s newest nation. “If the conflict continues, half of South Sudan’s 12 million people will either be displaced internally, refugees abroad, starving or dead by the year’s end,” Ban warned the UN Security Council, the AP news agency reported. Kiir fired Machar last July and accused him of trying to oust him in a coup in December, which sparked months of ethnic attacks and killings. Fighting took place between troops loyal to Kiir, an ethnic Dinka, and those loyal to Machar, an ethnic Nuer. Ban, who visited South Sudan last week, said that since the crisis began, “many thousands of South Sudanese have been killed, atrocities have been committed by both sides, more than a million people have been displaced and nearly five million more need humanitarian assistance.” A UN
report last week said gross violations of human rights had been committed “on a massive scale” in South Sudan. Ban said that report “underscores the level of atrocities committed by all sides” and “a special -or hybrid- tribunal, with international involvement should be considered.” UN human rights chief Navi Pillay said after meetings with Kiir and Machar last week that she had warned them “they will inevitably be the subject of international investigations regarding the extent of their knowledge of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by subordinates under their authority,” and their failure to stop it. Ban said his message to both leaders “was quite clear and loud that we have found crimes against humanity by both sides” and the perpetrators must be held accountable, AP reported. Francis Deng, South Sudan’s UN ambassador, who was Ban’s special adviser on the prevention of genocide, told the council his country “has been experiencing one of the worst atrocities the world has seen in the last decades”. He expressed hope that “the specular accomplishment” of Ban and US Secretary of State John Kerry in getting Kiir and Machar to meet face-to-face “will usher South Sudan to a renewed commitment to peace, security, stability and dignity for all its people”. Source: Al-Jazeera
Jobs recovery overstated, Bank of Canada study finds
The Bank of Canada says the country’s jobcreation record since the recession is likely a little less impressive than the fall in the unemployment rate would suggest. The central bank says in a new research paper that the unemployment rate, although the most quoted measure of labour market health, has overestimated the jobs recovery in Canada, and particularly in the U.S. The paper, by economists Konrad Zmitrowicz and Mikael Khan, estimates Canada lost 430,000 jobs in the recession, with unemployment rising from 5.9 per cent in May 2007 to a peak of 8.7 per cent in October 2009. It has since recovered those lost jobs and created 600,000 more, but “an unusually large share of the unemployed have been out of work for six months or more, and many workers who would like to work full time have been able to obtain only part-time employment.” The unemployment rate in December 2013 was around 7.2 per cent, but that figure does not accurately measure underutilization of labour in the Canadian economy, the authors say, Khan and Zmitrowicz create a composite labour market indicator — LMI — that combines factors such as long-term unemployment, wage growth and average hours worked that attempts to paint a more accurate picture of what has occurred since the recession of 2008-09. In the recovery period between 2010 and 2013, the bank says the unemployment rate fell 0.9 percentage points. But the LMI fell only 0.5 percentage points during the period, suggesting
the improvement in the labour market has not been as good as the drop in unemployment indicates. Long-term unemployment, defined as being out of work for more than 27 weeks, has been a significant problem in the post-recession recovery, the report says. “Most alarming, long-term unemployment can be self-perpetuating, since workers who face extended periods of unemployment, in particular, may find new employment increasingly difficult to obtain. Lower wages and loss of employment opportunities could be the result of the loss of skills or the stigma employers attach to workers who have been unemployed for a long time,” the report says. In Canada, the percentage of the labour force considered long-term unemployed doubled to 20 per cent in 2011, with some people dropping out of the labour force altogether. However, Khan and Zmitrowicz say the picture has improved since then in Canada, while in the U.S. there is a larger percentage of long-term unemployed. In the United States, the inaccuracy of the picture presented by a falling unemployment rate is worse, because it shows joblessness dropping from 10 per cent to 6.7 per cent, though the labour market is far weaker. The bank concludes that policymakers need to consider the broad range of employment indicators for a truer picture of labour market health. In another research paper issued Tuesday, the bank notes that the loonie has gained in prominence as a global reserve currency since the recession, and now accounts for about 1.8 per cent of the total with world reserve holdings valued at about $200 billion US. The bank also examined the growth of so-called digital currencies, such as bitcoin and Amazon coins, concluding that while they have the potential to challenge more traditional currencies, none is widely used at the moment. Source: CBC News
A United Nations envoy says there’s a crisis in Canada when it comes to how aboriginal people in this country are treated, noting that the relationship between the federal government and indigenous peoples is even more strained than a decade ago. In a new report released Monday, James Anaya -the UN’s Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples -- says there appears to be a high level of distrust among aboriginal Canadians toward both the federal government and the provinces. The report notes that the “disturbing phenomenon” of missing and murdered aboriginal women has further strained relations, and it calls on Ottawa to launch “a comprehensive, national inquiry” into the issue of why aboriginal women and girls remain vulnerable to abuse. Further, the report notes the “distressing socio-economic conditions of indigenous peoples” in Canada and says it’s particularly jarring given that Canada is so highly developed. “It is difficult to reconcile Canada’s well-developed legal framework and general prosperity with the human rights problems faced by indigenous peoples in Canada that have reached crisis proportions in many respects,” the report reads. Anaya spent nine days in Canada last year meeting with First Nations representatives and government officials, as a followup to a visit made in 2004 by the previous Special Rapporteur. Anaya notes that the previous envoy recommended that Canada intensify its measures to close the gaps between indigenous and non-indigenous Canadians in health care, housing, education, and social services. But he says it appears “there has been no change in that gap,” while acknowledging that socio-economic conditions for Metis and non-status Indians have improved. During Monday’s question period in the House of Commons, Justice Minister Peter MacKay said a nationwide inquiry was unnecessary. “Over the last number of years there have been some 40 different reports and inquiries and measures taken to identify issues. But the reality is more work needs to be done directly to get to the problem,” he said. MacKay dismissed claims that the government failed to act upon indigenous issues since taking power, referencing renewed funding for the Aboriginal Justice Strategy. “The reality is
we are taking action into this very serious issue and have been since forming office,” he said. “This is coupled with numerous efforts, including introducing a number of criminal justice initiatives giving police more tools to do their important work. And yes, action is very important.” But report’s author said problems extend beyond money and support issues. “What needs to be done is aboriginal people have a say in resolving the problem, and not just receiving funding from the government,” Anaya said in a phone interview on CTV’s Power Play. “If it’s within their territory where they live, they have to have a substantial say,” he added. “Just as with other property holders, and more so because they have self-governance powers, that say needs to have sway.” He also said the problem of missing and murdered aboriginal women isn’t fully understood, citing people’s surprise at the recently released RCMP statistics. An inquiry, he said, is justified. “If there’s only a small chance that having a national inquiry can contribute to solutions to the problem,” he said, “it’s worth having a national inquiry given the magnitude and severity of the problem.” Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Bernard Valcourt also issued a response to the report Monday, acknowledging that more work needs to be done. But he added that the government is proud of “the effective and incremental steps taken in partnership with Aboriginal communities” and committed to making “significant progress” in improving the lives of Aboriginal people. Valcourt said his office would review the report to determine how to address the recommendations and thanked Anaya for “his important work.” Source: Al-Jazeera
NAIGARIA KIDNAPPED GIRLS Continued from pg 1 Christian and have converted to Islam, while the other says she is Muslim. “These girls, these girls you occupy yourselves with... we have indeed liberated them. These girls have become Muslims,” Abubakar Shekau says in the video. He said his offer to swap the girls for imprisoned militants only referred to the children who had not converted to Islam. It is thought the majority of the abducted girls are Christians, although there are a number of Muslims among them. A man who is related to three of the abducted girls said the video at first gave him hope, but then made him anxious and tearful. “Maybe they are converted into another religion by force, so it truly is a kind of terrifying situation,” said the man, who did not want to be named. Some 136 girls are shown in the video, just under half of the 276 pupils abducted from their school in the northern state of Borno. Our correspondent says this could mean those abducted had been split into smaller groups to help avoid detection. Local officials said they had started making copies of the video to show relatives and friends of the abducted girls in an attempt to identify them. Boko Haram, which means “Western education is forbidden”, had previously said the girls should not have been at school and should get married instead. The militants have been engaged in a violent campaign against the Nigerian government since 2009. The government has faced heavy criticism of its response to the mass abduction. President Goodluck Jonathan said on Sunday that assistance from abroad had made him optimistic of finding the girls. The UK and US already have teams helping on the ground in Nigeria and an Israeli counter-terrorism team is also on its way to the country.
6 E D I T O R I A L Electoral Reforms, the Only Way Out Rajab 16, 2014 May 16, 2014
With the exception of a few, the majority of Pakistanis continue to be the sole victim of fake democracy. Although, the stubborn “status quo forces” benefit from it, yet they don’t care about miserable condition of the suffering majority. Probably, the “imitation democracy” is to blame for having wiped out the middle class from the national scene. Sadly, the surviving majority lives below poverty line only to moan with pain of poverty; this class faces terrible living conditions. Nevertheless, the ailing system of governance appears to be the mother of all ills. Under the cloak of democracy, the power addicted mafia (political vampires), struggles to keep erecting financial empires at will. In other words, the ruling elite including members of the official opposition are always after grabbing the political office regardless of merit. Some members of this elite class are notoriously remembered for their oppressive behaviour towards “the have-nots.” Yet, it doesn’t end here, as these selfish vultures mainly focus on stealing the public exchequer and other resources. If such is the case, it’s simply a matter of chronic condition of selfish behaviour; this can simply be classified as “untreatable” unless a large scale revolution occurs, sooner the better. Some other factors include the curse of feudalism and hypocrisy at different levels; they do create major hurdles blocking the smooth running of fair practices both in public and private sectors. Better Late than Never: The common people are getting active by coming out on the streets to start a journey from ‘revolution to evolution’ of real democracy. It’s a sure way for achieving the targeted
democratic process in place. According to News channels, there was a tremendous response to the calls made by Imran Khan and Tahir ul Qadri on May 11 for anti rigging rally and for the electoral reforms respectively. That’s a sign of political maturity in the making. Absolutely, a fair political system would be a blessing for all, because everyone enjoys the fruits in the form of better opportunities and equal rights under the constitution and there is rule of law. Last Sunday was the day to commemorate the first anniversary of rigged general elections of May 11, 2013 when the country ended up with sham parliament (the fake democracy) as usual. But, there comes a point where the patience gets exhausted. Among others, Pakistan Tahreeke-Insaaf (PTI) and the Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) were out rallying around against the never ending cycle of massive exploitation to the “dis-advantaged majority.” Last year, there were complaints against rigging; the cases were filed with the Election Commission and with the honourable courts, but all in vain. Of course, the disputed election results leave a big question mark on the authenticity of the election process. By the way: The election related cases pending adjudication before the courts for so long means “justice delayed is justice denied.” Indeed, the ills of selective justice and the partiality displayed by the Election commission are unacceptable. Furthermore, the PTI leadership gave more than enough time to the Judiciary and finally came out in the open asking for justice. It blames the Election Commission
and the ROs (the returning officers) for the massive rigging. Obviously, the judiciary haven’t responded swiftly with regard to the electoral issues. PTI have been hawkingly stressing upon the need of recount and authenticating of voters’ thumb impressions in four pin-pointed constituencies in question. Thank God! The ‘anti rigging rallies’ were peaceful and orderly. Remember! The enemy of Pakistan takes advantage of any weak spot produced by sub standard governance, attitude of some members of the media and even the judiciary. The attempts of character assassination of political personality or tarnishing the image of military and intelligence service are matters of real concern indeed. Recently, the intense concocted reporting against the national institution is something very serious in nature. Furthermore, as the insecure common people are left on their own, they tend to come out voicing their concerns on the streets. In short, Pakistan’s main problem is the oppressive behavior of the powerful denying the basic rights to the powerless oppressed. The parliaments based on stolen mandate are nothing other than a major disappointment because their members are more interested to secure their own agendas. Technically speaking, there is no democracy when the poor people continue to suffer, while the elite class continues to prosper by leaps and bounds. And, the people also wonder as to how did the ‘party in power’ manage to obtain the ‘restraining order’ from the court, if it hadn’t rig the elections as claimed? Isn’t there something fishy behind the removal of the NADRA chief? Even a layman can easily figure
Letters & Opinions BCMA Denounces the abhorrent act of terrorist group Boko Haram
Let us all pray to God (Allah) to give wisdom to the Nigerian Government to liberate these girls without harm and bring them safely to their families. Our Government should be asked to extend our support to the Nigerian Government in any way or By: David Ali VP Media, Public Relations & Com- form. Boko Haram is not in any way repremunications (BCMA) The recent kidnapping of Nigerian senting Muslims or the Islamic Faith schoolgirls by the terrorist group and should be brought to Justice. Boko Haram is un Islamic and BCMA stands to condemn such act. This incident has justifiably sparked an international outcry at the suffering and trauma of the young girls, and By: JCE Phillips the pain and anguish it has caused to I have a question I was wondering the parents as well. where to ask it. Perhaps you can We all should organize a rally in sup- direct it.I want to know why the rest port of these schoolgirls and their of the muslim world does not, as far parents. Let us ask our media not to as I can see, speak out against what is describe Boko Haram as “Islamic” or happening in Nigeria with the kid“Islamist”. Just call them terrorists as napped girls? the kidnapped schoolgirls are Mus- Why do muslims so very often use lims as well as Christians. terrorize to achieve their goals?
What is happening in Nigeria?
Boko Haram Kidnappers are Criminals By: ISSC Canada In spite of kidnappers’ claims ISCC considers them non-believers Toronto) The Islamic Supreme Council of Canada and the Muslims Against Terrorism have strongly condemned the recent kidnapping of the school girls in Nigeria. Hundreds of girls were allegedly kidnapped by the members of a terrorist group Boko Haram in Nigeria. Although in the media the kidnappers’ are being reported as Muslims but every Muslim knows that kidnapping children (girls or boys) and selling them is against Islam. Islam abolished human trade 1400 centuries ago but if anyone who calls himself/herself Muslim and justifies slavery is dead wrong and commits a major crime in the eyes of Islam. It is the most deplorable unIslamic criminal act and a major sin in Islam. Therefore, it is appropriate for us to declare Boko Haram kidnappers as non-believers regardless of what they call themselves. “We urge all Muslim and non-Muslim
out what would be the consequences if one ruins the electoral system and is in violation of the constitution under normal circumstances where parliament is genuine and the government respects the merit system. Simply speaking, the rule of thumb is if anti Pakistan activity is said to have been committed it is punishable under article 6 and a few other articles. Furthermore, applying article 63(g) will be a major blow to the selfish elite. Without punishing the criminals and paving the way for a democratic order there can’t be real economic prosperity. There is no doubt that the electoral reforms are needed desperately to wipe out corruption at all levels. Also, the real essence of democracy is said to exist when people are really entitled to choose whoever they want without any pressure or coercion or fear of reprisal. It’s crystal clear that the dynastic politics cannot bring the true essence of democracy as some families tend to remain in power merely taking turns, while the friendly opposition adds further to mockery of democracy. Though many people don’t exactly know what democracy is, yet at the same time it would be easier to stick to the famous proverb, “I know it when I see it.” Most importantly, all those who have invested their capital abroad but keep their political links with Pakistan are not sincere enough to be patriotic. They must be persuaded to look after Pakistan first. The problem is the selfishness, where love of wealth surpasses love of country. Waan laysa lil insani illa ma’ sa’aa That man can have nothing but what he strives for.
governments to capture the members of Boko Haram immediately and bring them to justice. These criminals must be punished to the full extent of the Islamic law”, said Imam Syed Soharwardy, founder of the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada and the Muslim Against Terrorism. ISCC urges the media not to associate Islam with these criminals. Muslims should not be held responsible for the crimes of few thugs who portray themselves as Muslims. Recent stories on the Canadian media about the Boko Haram have sometimes referred to them as an “Islamic group”. The appropriate term would be “Nigerian Terrorists”. In fact, the overwhelming majority of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims would utterly reject Boko Haram’s goals, and certainly their horrific means. It is never appropriate to use the adjective “Islamic” for something that does not represent the definitive, universal understanding of the religion. We pray to Allah to keep those girls safe and healthy and punish those who kidnapped them. We stand shoulder to shoulder with the families of kidnaped girls and pray for their safe return to their families.
MIR A LE
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Rajab 16, 2014 May 16, 2014
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Rajab 16, 2014 May 16, 2014
F A I T H In Muslim, Abu Dawud, and Ahmad: `Uthman ibn Hakim al-Ansari said: I asked Sa`id ibn Jubayr about fasting in Rajab, and we were then passing through the month of Rajab, whereupon he said: I heard Ibn `Abbas saying: “The Messenger of Allah used to observe fast so continuously that we thought he would never break it, and at other times he remained without fasting so continuously that we thought he would never fast.”2
Istighfar: Seeking Forgiveness from Allah our relationship with Him. We turn to no one except Allah in repentance. We confess our deepest errors, shortcomings, failures, and sins to Him and Him alone. In contrast, Christianity made a fatal mistake when it instituted confession to priests. As Martin Luther (1537) observed, “What torture, rascality, and idolatry such confession has produced is more than can be related”. We seek His forgiveness, knowing that He alone has knowledge about all our deeds and thoughts and He alone can forgive us and save us from the consequences of our actions. Istighfar, thus, is a most intimate conversation with Allah. And during that conversation we are at our humblest. We can see why tawbah and istighfar are the essence of our servitude and submission to Allah! We need istighfar to constantly purify and cleanse our heart. We are not born in sin, but we are born in weakness. We are prone to fall prey to the many temptations that are part of our test in this life. And when we do fall and commit a sin, it produces a dark spot in our heart. A famous hadith, reported by Abu Huraira (ra) describes this process. When a person shows remorse and repents, that dark spot is removed. Otherwise it will stay there and grow with each additional sin. A time may come when his heart is full of darkness because of un-repented sins. We can see this gradual darkness of the heart as people advance in their sinful behavior. In the beginning they have a lot of inhibitions. They commit the wrong hesitatingly and feel bad about it. If they do not turn back, they get used to it, so it just feels normal. Then a stage comes when vice becomes virtue and virtue vice. They defend and advocate evil and shun good. Today, unfortunately, we see so many examples of this all around us. In the “everything goes” post-modern world, good and evil do not mean anything anymore. Then there is a whole crop of misguided psychologists who are ready to assure you that the only guilt you should feel is for feeling guilty in the first place! Is it any wonder that in the English language the word sin is now normally used to describe things that are delicious, attractive, fun, and highly desirable? That this darkness of the heart should be considered enlightenment only completes the inversion. But there is hope for those who seek hope. No matter how corrupt we might have become,
we can always make a U-turn. We can repent and seek forgiveness from our Beneficent and Merciful Creator Who is always ready to forgive those who turn to Him in sincerity. “O my Servants who have transgressed against their souls! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah. Verily, Allah forgives all sins: for He is Oft“O Allah! Make me among those Forgiving, Most Merciful” [az-Zumar 39:53]. who, when they commit an act of virFurther a hadith declares: “When a person has tue, feel good, and when they commit a repented from a sin, it is as if he had never mistake, they seek forgiveness.” [Ibn Macommitted that sin”. jah] The Prophet Muhammad (saw) has taught us Tawbah (repentance) and Istighfar (seeking many words of repentance and it is good if we forgiveness from Allah) are among the most learn, understand, and use them. Of these one meritorious acts of virtue for the believers. has been mentioned as Syed-ul-Istighfar (the Tawbah means feeling remorse for our actions master of forgiveness). A hadith explains its or omissions. Istighfar means expressing that extraordinary significance: “If a believer says remorse in words and begging Allah for forthis with complete faith and sincerity in the giveness. morning and dies before that evening, he will The act for which we perform tawbah and enter paradise. If he says it during the night istighfar is not necessarily a sin, or an act of and dies before the morning, he will enter pardisobedience to Allah; it also includes our adise.” This powerful du’a is our daily pledge shortcomings. As we realize Allah’s immense of allegiance. We will do well to memorize it favors to us, all of our thankfulness and devoin Arabic and never let a day or night go by tion clearly appears to be inadequate. As we without saying it with full consciousness: realize the grandeur of Allah, Most High, our “O Allah! You are my Lord. There is no God acts of worship and obedience clearly are seen except You. You created me and I am Your to be insufficient. The higher a person is on slave. To the best of my ability, I will abide by the scale of taqwa, piety and God consciousmy covenant and pledge to You. I seek Your ness, the greater is this sense of inadequacy. protection from the evil of my own creation. Consequently the greater is his/her practice of I acknowledge Your favors to me and I admit istighfar. “Truly, Allah loves those who repent, and He That is why all the Prophets (as) preached loves those who cleanse themselves.” [aland practiced tawbah and istighfar. We do not Baqarah 2:222] have to invent any sins, inherited or person“O Allah! Make me among those who, when al, to explain their repentance. In fact all the they commit an act of virtue, feel good, and prophets were free of sin, as Allah appointed when they commit a mistake, they seek forthem as role models for humanity and Allah giveness.” [Ibn Majah] did not send defective role models. Tawbah (repentance) and Istighfar (seeking The leader of all the prophets was Prophet forgiveness from Allah) are among the most Muhammad (saw) a fact which was also symmeritorious acts of virtue for the believers. bolized in his leading of all the prophets in Tawbah means feeling remorse for our actions Salah (prayer) in Jerusalem during Isra’. And or omissions. Istighfar means expressing that what did the prayer leader of the prophets use remorse in words and begging Allah for forto do after every prayer? He used to say astagiveness. ghfirullah (I seek Allah’s forgiveness) three The act for which we perform tawbah and times! This is the istighfar that comes out of istighfar is not necessarily a sin, or an act of the highest level of God consciousness! He disobedience to Allah; it also includes our taught us to perform istighfar profusely, as he shortcomings. As we realize Allah’s immense himself practiced. The Companions have refavors to us, all of our thankfulness and deported that he used to do istighfar hundreds of votion clearly appears to be inadequate. As times during the course of a day. we realize the grandeur of Allah, Most High, Istighfar is also a means of enhancing that our acts of worship and obedience clearly are consciousness of Allah and strengthening seen to be insufficient. The higher a person is on the scale of taqwa, piety and God consciousness, the greater is this sense of inadequacy. Consequently the greater is his/her practice of istighfar. Date Date Day Fajar Sunr Zawal Dhuhr Asar Maghrib Isha That is why all the Prophets (as) preached and practiced tawbah and 16 16 Fri 1:13 1:18 18:27 20:58 22:42 istighfar. We do not have to invent 2:56 5:26 17 17 Sat 1:13 1:18 18:27 20:59 22:44 any sins, inherited or personal, to 2:54 5:25 18 Sun 18 1:13 1:18 18:28 21:01 22:46 explain their repentance. In fact all 2:53 5:24 19 Mon 19 1:13 1:18 18:29 21:02 22:47 the prophets were free of sin, as Al2:51 5:23 lah appointed them as role models 20 20 Tue 1:13 1:18 18:30 21:03 22:49 for humanity and Allah did not send 2:49 5:21 21 Wed 21 1:13 1:18 18:30 21:04 22:50 defective role models. 2:48 5:20 22 Thu 22 1:13 1:18 18:31 21:06 22:52 The leader of all the prophets was 2:46 5:19 23 23 Fri 1:14 1:19 18:32 21:07 22:53 Prophet Muhammad (saw) a fact 2:45 5:18 which was also symbolized in his 24 24 Sat 1:14 1:19 18:32 21:08 22:55 leading of all the prophets in Salah 2:44 5:17 25 Sun 25 1:14 1:19 18:33 21:09 22:56 (prayer) in Jerusalem during Isra’. 2:44 5:16 26 Mon 26 1:14 1:19 18:34 21:10 22:57 And what did the prayer leader of 2:44 5:15 27 27 Tue 1:14 1:19 18:34 21:11 22:58 the prophets use to do after every 2:43 5:14 prayer? He used to say astaghfirul28 Wed 28 1:14 1:19 18:35 21:13 22:58 lah (I seek Allah’s forgiveness) three 2:43 5:13 29 Thu 29 1:14 1:19 18:36 21:14 22:59 times! This is the istighfar that comes 2:43 5:13 30 Sh 1 Fri 1:14 1:19 18:36 21:15 23:00 out of the highest level of God con2:43 5:12 sciousness! He taught us to perform For such Prayers are enjoined on believers at stated times: Quran ,n 4:103 Source: BCMA istighfar profusely, as he himself
By: Khalid Baig Albalagh* “Truly, Allah loves those who repent, and He loves those who cleanse themselves.” [al-Baqarah 2:222]
Prayer Schedule in Greater Vancouver May 16, 2014 Rajab 16 - Shahban 1, 1435H
practiced. The Companions have reported that he used to do istighfar hundreds of times during the course of a day. Istighfar is also a means of enhancing that consciousness of Allah and strengthening our relationship with Him. We turn to no one except Allah in repentance. We confess our deepest errors, shortcomings, failures, and sins to Him and Him alone. In contrast, Christianity made a fatal mistake when it instituted confession to priests. consequences of our actions. Istighfar, thus, is a most intimate conversation with Allah. And during that conversation we are at our humblest. We can see why tawbah and istighfar are the essence of our servitude and submission to Allah! We need istighfar to constantly purify and A famous hadith, reported by Abu Huraira (ra) describes this process. When a person shows remorse and repents, that dark spot is removed. Otherwise it will stay there and grow with each additional sin. A time may come when his heart is full of darkness because of un-repented sins. We can see this gradual darkness of the heart as people advance in their sinful behavior. In the beginning they have a lot of inhibitions. They commit the wrong hesitatingly and feel bad about it. If they do not turn back, they get used to it, so it just feels normal. Then a stage comes when vice becomes virtue and virtue vice. They defend and advocate evil and shun good. Today, unfortunately, we see so many examples of this all around us. In the “everything goes” post-modern world, good and evil do not mean anything anymore. Then there is a whole crop of misguided psychologists who are ready to assure you that the only guilt you should feel is for feeling guilty in the first place! Is it any wonder that in the English language the word sin is now normally used to describe things that are delicious, attractive, fun, and highly desirable? That this darkness of the heart should be considered enlightenment only completes the inversion. But there is hope for those who seek hope. No matter how corrupt we might have become, we can always make a U-turn. We can repent and seek forgiveness from our Beneficent and Merciful Creator Who is always ready to forgive those who turn to Him in sincerity. “O my Servants who have transgressed against their souls! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah. Verily, Allah forgives all sins: for He is OftForgiving, Most Merciful” [az-Zumar 39:53].
Further a hadith declares: “When a person has repented from a sin, it is as if he had never committed that sin”. The Prophet Muhammad (saw) has taught us many words of repentance and it is good if we learn, understand, and use them. Of these one has been mentioned as Syed-ulIstighfar (the master of forgiveness). A hadith explains its extraordinary significance: “If a believer says this with complete faith and sincerity in the morning and dies before that evening, he will enter paradise. If he says it during the night and dies before the morning, he will enter paradise.” This powerful du’a is our daily pledge of allegiance. We will do well to memorize it in Arabic and never let a day or night go by without saying it with full consciousness: “O Allah! You are my Lord. There is no God except You. one can forgive sins except You.................” Baqarah 2:222]
Rajab 16, 2014 May 16, 2014
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Rajab 16, 2014 May 16, 2014
A D V E R T I S E R
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Rajab 16, 2014 May 16, 2014
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Rajab 16, 2014 May 16, 2014
L O C A L
PCCA presents Appreciation Awards to Volunteers, Media and Consul Gen. Office
On May 11, the Pakistani Canadian Cultural Association (PCCA) distributed Awards to those Volunteers who worked hard to contributed towards the success of celebrations of 74th Pakistan Day show at the Royal King Palace in Surrey on March 23rd. Mr. Rizwan Shawl hosted this gathering very well at Madina Restaurant in Surrey. The restaurant hall was full of volunteers, Media representatives, PCCA directors, businessman community and Mr. Shuja Alam, Pakistani Consul General. Mr. Shuja Alam, Mr. Rizwan and President PCCA Mr. Naveed Waraich highly appreciated the Volunteer work of all youngsters
and their coach Ms. Rabia Asmat for their dedication for March 23rd celebrations. Mr. Alam also said that you are lucky in Canada., where volunteer work is highly appreciated and helps in your career. PCCA president distributed Certificates and Awards to the Print Media, Sohni Dharti of Pakistan, sponsors and also acknowledged the great work of Consul General of Pakistan Mr. Shuja Alam, and his team. The Recipients Awards holders were: Consul General Office: Mr. Shuja Alam (Pakistan Counsel General) Mrs. Batool Kazim , Mr. Kashif From the youth wing many kids received
awards for their volunteer work. Media: Mr. Naseer Pirzada ( Miracle Media) Mr. Sanaullah Ch.(Canada Times) Mrs. Shahana Haqani( Muslim General) Mr. Harris Hafeez ( Community Times of Canada) Mr. Tarik Kiyani( Sohni Darti of Pakistan) Overall it was an excellent presentation of PCCA to encourage volunteerism particularly amongst youth. We hope this will inspire more people to come forward in future events t o help associations in organizing.
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Rajab 16, 2014 May 16, 2014
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Rajab 16, 2014 May 16, 2014
L O C A L
National Zakat Foundation Opens Straight Path Recovery House
Yusuf is a young man with a troubled past. As an immigrant to Canada, he feels lost as he struggles to cope with nightmares from his past while trying to learn English and fit in. Bullied by other Muslims, he turns to the alluring and dangerous world of parties and drugs. Mike has been on the streets most of his life. He had run away from his abusive step-father and was soon hooked on heroin. By 21, he was selling to support his habit and before he knew it he was behind bars. He converts to Islam and realizes that there must be more to life than this. Our Facility These stories are familiar for the newly established Straight Path Recovery House in Surrey, BC. Straight Path Recovery House is a government regulated faith-based facility operated by the National Zakat Foundation. It is an abstinence based long-term support-
ive recovery facility for men aged 19 and over recovering from addictions. The facility includes shared accommodation for up to 10 men in a residential setting with two kitchens, lounge areas, dining areas, prayer rooms, washrooms, showers, laundry, computer area, sun deck, garden and telephone access. Referrals can come from any source and men must have completed a detox program prior to admission. How We Help? We provide a safe, structured and supervised living environment where men in the early stages of recovery help themselves and each other overcome their addiction. We provide individual and group counselling, individualized assessment and recovery planning, referrals to community resources, job training, relapse prevention, spiritual support, recreation and fitness activities and community events. We foster an atmosphere of recovery
where residents can reach their full potential, become productive members of the community and find a new way of life â€“ The Straight Path. Community Support The problem associated with substance abuse and addiction is wide spread in Muslim youth of today. Due to shame and social implications, many families choose not to speak about issues relating to addiction in their own families and sweep it under the carpet until the individual concerned turns out to be a danger to himself or to the larger community. The need for community support for projects of this nature is crucial so that families have faith based solutions and a place to turn to for problems associated with addictions and
substance abuse. For information on the programmes offered at Straight Path, please contact Br.Robert Currie on 778 320 6749. For donations to the recovery house please contact Br.Nazeer Bawa on 604 338 8127 or email email@example.com.
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We serve Certified Halal Zabiha ANGUS AAA Canadian HALAL MEAT PRODUCTS
KABABS • Koobideh
2-Skewers of seasoned premium ground
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beef serve with rice and tomato
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Free Run, Grain fed Chicken tender
marinated, serve with rice and tomato
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Lamb lovers, one Skewer of our finest bonein rack of lamb, soaked in house marinade and grilled serve with rice and tomato
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Tours Operators For: Africa, Europe, Middle East, Indian Subcontinent Turkey Iran and more. Rafiq Mohammad- Manager : firstname.lastname@example.org Asmaa Khalil -Travel Consultant: Asmaa@universaltravel.ca Yasmin Chinoy -Director: : email@example.com Groups & Wedding Destination Explorer We speak ENGLISH, URDU, Rafiq Chinoy CEO: firstname.lastname@example.org HINDI, PUNJABI, GUJRAGeneral : email@example.com TI, BENGALI, ARABIC, DARI/FARSI and SWALI.
GREEK FOODS We serve all Halal Greek Foods WRAP • Kabab Wrap
Skewer of seasoned premium beef wrap in Pita
PERSIAN SPECIAL DISHES • Baghali Polo with Chicken Leg
Slow Cooked Chicken Leg Served with Basmati Rice, dill and Fava Beans
Jamadi ul II- 18, 1435H April 18, 2014
L O C A L
MP, Sims discussed Immigration matters at Surrey Jameh Masjid
On May 3, Newton- North Delta MP Jinny Sims was invited by the BCMA Surrey Jameh Masjid Committee. Chairman Surrey Masjid Mr. Basharat Ali Sidhu co-ordinated this meeting and invited MP Sims at the public forum to discuss the recent Canadian Immigration policies and Jobs matters in Canada. Ms. Sims outlined her efforts in parliament hill as the Immigration critic since she was elected as MP for Newton- North Delta. She said she has spoken numerous hours against the former immigration minister Mr. Jason Kenney’s immigration policies at Parliament and many public gatherings. She also complained to the community that when any Canadian Immigration Minister visits BC especially in Surrey, most of the community members are happy only to have a photo session with him they never pursue their complaints which are presented to him. Through this habit, they are doing not any good for themselves. At least you should convey your message to the Parliament through your local MP. After her detailed speech about immigration and other Canadian policy matters, and what she has done in past two years, there was a Question and Answer session announced by Mr. Sidhu. Many people asked about Canada’s immigration Policies matters and she briefed them. Mr. Pirzada from Miracle Media also asked few questions from Jinny Sims. Specifically, he asked for her remarks about a statement last month in which Immigration minister Mr. Chris Alexander urged Canada and its allies to take a “united front” against Pakistan” Also in regards to the processing times for sponsorship of spouses, common-law or conjugal partners and dependent children applications, Why the application processing times is longest for Pakistan (32) weeks. Ms. Jinny Sims avoided to give any comments on Mr. Chris Alexander statement about terrorism sponsored by Pakistan. About processing time she said agreed that this is big issue in Canadian Immigration offices around the world. There is shortage of employees in foreign offices. She said, ``I raised many time this issue in Parliament and brought in knowledge that the issue is creating problems between the extended families and by this many spouses marriages are at stakes and even most of them having kids in their countries and waiting for their visas since 5-7 years after marriage, most parents have passed away during their application process, but it looks like that Harper’s government is not taking serious these genuine issues of Ca-
nadian immigrants. About Pakistan she also agreed that its processing period is higher than all other countries and it is not fair and this 32 months waiting period can be more, this 32 months is after all requirements are completed of visa application. Many others questions were put up for the same Canadian immigrations matters, including Student, Spouse, Parents visa, seniors pension plan. Job opportunities in Canada is also a big issue for many skilled workers and highly professional people and was discussed at the forum. She said that all these matters has been increased by your vote choice. Why did people vote for the Conservative party, while they knew their policies. She said she had tried many times to force all communities that they should discuss their community matters time to time with their constituency member of Parliament. “I offered many times to all my ridings community members, that they will come in my constituency office or call me at your community place and let me know your community problems. I will raise your voice to the Parliament, but unfortunately hopeless response from Muslim and other community. You have to do it for yourself and stand for your rights.” At the end she thanked BCMA Surrey Jameh Masjid Committee who invited her in this important public forum to share the public issues and find out their solutions. She also said that she expects to be called at least bimonthly for these type of forums. Mr. Basharat Sidhu thanked MP Jinny Sims and her assistant Mr. Pram for accepting his invitation at Surrey Jameh Masjid and spending time with the community.
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Rajab 16, 2014 May 16, 2014
When grief becomes overwhelming
It is normal to feel sad or mourn the loss of a loved one: A parent, a child, or a lifetime partner with tears, sorrow, and feeling of loss. However, when one is stricken by extreme grief and sadness, the condition can become serious and needs to be addressed in its early stages before it turns into deep depression and becomes suicidal. Let us see a description of this devastating emotion. Grief is an acute negative emotion of extreme devastation, caused by the loss of a loved one, with whom one has shared beautiful years or had a deep meaningful relationship. The grieved person is usually a husband, a wife, a child, a parent, or a dear close friend, for whom the bereaved felt a close and special love and attachment, especially if the loss was sudden (accident) or through a long agonizing illness. The bereaved usually forgets how to live without the lost one or refuses the thought of a life with out him or her. Most people shake off their grief fairly quickly with the help of relatives and friends, but the worst part is when one cannot come to term with his or her sorrow or accept the fact of the loss and becomes emotionally attached and focused on memories of the lost one. This kind of grief can ruin one’s mental state and life as well as the lives of the ones who are around him or her. Life becomes miserable, unbearable, and depressing, moreover making the caring loved ones downhearted and helpless. Such a person would be hiding in the shadows of the lost person’s memory, identifying everything or everyone with that memory or love. When grief settles in the heart and mind and takes over the brain, feelings, and senses, it ruins life for everyone, making the person on the brink of hopelessness and desperation. It interferes with daily plans, decisions, and sleep as well as emotions toward others. If too much focus is given to the loss, the feeling of grief is not kept in check, and things are not in their right perspective, the condition can turn into depression, madness, and even suicide. That
is what I intend to address today, this kind of overwhelming grief. Here is an example. As I was reading Dr. Daniel Amen’s book, Use Your Brain to Change Your Age, I came across a section where he describes how a person can overcome depression, grief, and stress by using the brain as a tool and the will power to change negative thoughts and attitudes that come with destructive emotions. Here is the story of Chris, a loving mother, and her daughter Sammie. When Chris decided to take a job away from home, Sammie began to develop intense anxiety and fear of becoming ill despite her parents reassurance. They made her write her fears on a sheet of paper, crush it, and throw it into the fireplace. This psychological technique usually helps “toss fears away,” but this time it was different. The next day, as Sammie was rollerblading, she fell and her knee swelled that night, which sent fears rolling back in her mind. The following day, Chris took her to check the knee and that is how the shock of the most unexpected news crashed on the parents. The swelling turned out to be a tumor caused by a bone cancer called osteosarcoma. Unfortunately, the condition was advanced; the cancer had already crept to the lungs, which needed chemotherapy. The treatment was accompanied by the usual side effects of nausea, weakness, and hair loss. Sadly, the therapy could not save the leg. Major surgery was also required to remove the lung tumor. With all the above done, the surgeons declared Sammie to be cancer-free. To everyone’s dismay three months later, a scan revealed the reappearance of multiple tumors. Seven months of excruciating pain and depressing days ended with the cessation of Sammie’s life and struggles with pain, agony, and disease. But, this was not the end for Chris who became grief stricken and badly traumatized by the experience. During the long three and half years of battling with cancer and uncer-
tainty, Chris put her two other children, her husband, and herself aside. To chill her feelings and grief, she turned to food and alcohol for comfort. Depression took over her and she lost interest in her family and life. Her therapist did not advise medication, thinking she would eventually make a shift away from grief. Alcohol and overeating fed her grief and gloom furthermore. With her small frame, she reached over 200 pound, when she was once fit, optimistic, and happy. One day, she came across one of Dr. Amen’s books, “Arrange Your Brain, Change Your Body.” What caught her attention was that it explained that alcohol blocks one’s feelings of understanding and sensitivity to others. She read it in one night. It was a wake-up call for her. She did not want to lose her remaining children or her husband who were so understanding and patient during her grieving period. She decided to gain them back. Chris followed Amen’s twenty-eight day plan of body cleansing, which meant no more alcohol and no more processed food. She also took fish oil and vitamin D supplements to fight her depression. Her willpower kicked in and she began nourishing her body, brain, and cells with “real” whole fresh foods, which helped suppress her cravings for alcohol, food, colas, and diet drinks. Cleansing helped her sleep restfully. She started analyzing her own thoughts, loss, and grief. She began a mental detox by killing her ANTs (automatic negative thoughts) as per the book’s instructions, which taught her to calm her anxiety and disturbing thoughts. She lost 35 pounds. All this was achieved in only five months. She took up exercising and running four times weekly (around 4.5 miles). She enjoyed the “runner’s high,” the feel-good endorphins, hormones secreted through vigorous exercising. She felt fitter and looked better with the healthy lifestyle changes (diet, physical training, weight loss). She managed her appetite and weight with nutrient dense whole foods. By exercis-
ing, she replaced her flabs with muscles. It was not easy to wash out the grief and the pain of her loss so easily, but she began to look them in the eye. Her children were finally given full attention and the focus of a caring parent. Father and children sustained years of emotional vacuum and neglect during Sammie’s illness. They welcomed Chris back and supported her and worked together to make them succeed. She continued struggling with grief and her nagging ANTs at times, but she learned to control them and take care of herself and her family. She went into learning new skills and expanding her horizons as well as her brain. She focused on what she has “instead of what [she does not] have.” Chris proudly expressed it: “I am honoring Sammie’s memory … by taking care of myself ...” Sorrow is a normal process and outcome of the loss of a loved one, but extreme and unresolved grief leads to chronic stress and depression, which take a toll on the brain and body and destroy the joys of life. Not only does it ruin the person’s mind and life, but it is also destructive to relationships and happiness of those who are around. They suffer too; it leaves scars in children, no matter how accepting they may be. It also results in the break-up of relationships.
Evolution Of The Universe Simulated By Scientists
Computer model covers 13 billion-year lifespan, beginning just 12 million years after the Big Bang Scientists have unveiled what has been described as the most complete computer model yet of the evolution of the universe. This new virtual cosmos created by U.S., German and English researchers includes details never before achieved in a simulation that have previously failed because of numerical inaccuracies and incomplete physical models, the scientists said. Those behind the project hope it will serve as a way to predict and interpret observations seen in the cosmos and allow scientists to test current theories of how the universe will evolve and how galaxies can grow. Called Illustris, the numerical-based model covers the 13 billion-year evolution of the universe beginning just 12 million years after the Big Bang. And its developers said it accurately depicts the distribution and composition of various types of galaxies.The scientists said the model “reproduces the observed distribution of galaxies in clusters and characteristics
of hydrogen on large scales, and at the same time matches the ‘metal’ and hydrogen content of galaxies on small scales.” The model was developed by a team led by astrophysicist Mark Vogelsberger of Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It is described in Thursday’s issue of the journal Nature. Vogelsberger told the scientific journal that the model represented indirect evidence for the correctness of how we think the universe works. The Illustris creators said it represents “a significant step forward in modeling galaxy formation.” They attribute their success to advanced computer power equivalent to 10,000 home computers doing calculations at the same time for half a year. “Which means if you try to do this on an ordinary desktop computer, or state-of-the-art desktop computer, this would take something like 5,000 years to calculate,” Vogelsberger said. “Until now, no single simulation was able to reproduce the universe on both large and small scales simultaneously,” Vogelsberger said. Al Jazeera and The Associated Press Scientists have unveiled what has been described as the most complete computer model yet of the evolution of the universe. This new virtual cosmos created by U.S., German and English researchers includes details never before achieved in a simulation that have previously failed because of numerical inaccuracies and incomplete physical models, the scientists said. Those behind the project hope it will serve as a way to predict and interpret observations seen in the cosmos and allow scientists to test current theories of how the universe will evolve
Shabnam Khan – Family Counsellor Do you appreciate your life? First and foremost, remember that our time here is limited, and it’s up to you to decide how you’ll use it. When someone survives a near-death experience, they always resolve to live life to the fullest after that moment. But is there any reason you need to wait for a near-death experience? Why not decide to live life to the fullest right now? Simply deciding to do so makes it much easier to figure out how. On the other hand, you could devote your entire life to complaining. It’s really up to you of how you approach to your life situations. It’s helpful to have a journal to record things that come to mind.
and how galaxies can grow. Called Illustris, the numerical-based model covers the 13 billion-year evolution of the universe beginning just 12 million years after the Big Bang. And its developers said it accurately depicts the distribution and composition of various types of galaxies. The scientists said the model “reproduces the observed distribution of galaxies in clusters and characteristics of hydrogen on large scales, and at the same time matches the ‘metal’ and hydrogen content of galaxies on small scales.” The model was developed by a team led by astrophysicist Mark Vogelsberger of Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It is described in Thursday’s issue of the journal Nature. Vogelsberger told the scientific journal that the model represented indirect evidence for the correctness of how we think the universe works. The Illustris creators said it represents “a significant step forward in modeling galaxy formation.” They attribute their success to advanced computer power equivalent to 10,000 home computers doing calculations at the same time for half a year. “Which means if you try to do this on an ordinary desktop computer, or state-of-the-art desktop computer, this would take something like 5,000 years to calculate,” Vogelsberger said. “Until now, no single simulation was able to reproduce the universe on both large and small scales simultaneously,” Vogelsberger said. Source: Al Jazeera and The AP
Don’t feel that you can only write down major things like moving into a new place or achieving something really major in life. It will be much more beneficial if you set it really low, and feel free to write down small things. It’s not really the act of writing these things down that matter so much as the habit of being on the lookout for things you can write about. When you get in the habit, you’ll be seeing and appreciating many things you might not even have noticed before. This will be the true essence of your life experiences. It is always beneficial to remember that instead of complaining about things that are not working out, try and appreciate and be thankful for the things that are actually working out for you. When you look at your life compared to whoever you think has the perfect life, there probably isn’t really that much of a difference. It is true that a lot of time we get so focused on trying to make our lives better that we forget to appreciate what we already have. If you’re obsessed with reaching some finish line off in the distance, you’ll spend your whole life trying to get there, and then realize at the very end that you missed a lot along the way!! Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Rajab 16, 2014 May 16, 2014
A D V E R T I S E R
Allhumdulillah due to overwhelming response from Pakwan House Food lovers, we are now moving to a bigger place to serve you even more delicious food in a more pleasant environment. Your cooperation for our business will be highly appreciated.
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Rajab 16, 2014 May 16, 2014
How to minimize online distractions and keep productive by Shaden Abdulrahman Technology is supposed to help us be more productive; except it doesn’t. Being online and connected all the time has its disadvantages. You can keep track of your activity online and manage your productivity by using softwares like RescueTime. But you can also practice some control and eliminate time wasters by yourself by following these steps: 1. Disable notifications from social media Most social media apps notify you of new activity instantaneously, and they are most probably the biggest distraction in your life. Do you really need to know that your friend liked the picture of your cat the moment he/ she does that? The answer is no. Stop the temptation to check your phone every few minutes by following the instructions in the article “How to Stop Notifications from Facebook”. 2. Unsubscribe from any e-mail lists you’re not interested to read Fortunately, there’s an innovative new service called Unroll.me that makes unsubscribing from e-mail an easy process. You can also benefit from my article “How to free up space in Gmail”. 3. Manage your Facebook groups Facebook allows people to add you to groups without your consent. You can change the notification settings from the right-top corner of the group’s page or click on the group’s settings’ icon to leave it. Follow the instructions in the article “Are Facebook
Groups Driving You Crazy?” 4. Unlike Facebook pages that doesn’t interest you any more Unliking the pages you don’t really care about helps out your favorite pages by getting their updates more room on your timeline. It should also result in a less cluttered feed. Log into your account and click here to clean up your feed with ease. 5. Unfriend people you are connected to for no good reason I know it’s not easy for you to do it but seriously, how many people on your friends’ list you hardly know anymore? They probably won’t notice if you unfriend them, besides if you unfriend them, there will be more room for your true friends in your feed. To remove Facebook friends you don’t truly care about, follow the steps below: • Access Facebook via the mobile app on your cellphone or log-in on your computer • Navigate to your profile • Click the link to “friends” • Scroll really far down, because it lists them in order of relevancy (i.e. the people you actually communicate/interact with will be at the top and vice versa) • Use the quick link next to a person’s name to unfriend Do the above on a regular basis to ensure a de-cluttered online life from now on. How do you minimize online distractions while you work? Share with us in the comments section.
Muhammad Ali Najm Memorized QURAN
By: Mohammad Akbar The program began with beautiful recitation from the Holy Qur’an The president of Al-Kawthar Islamic Association Hajj Abu Ahmid Nouri welcomed the audience to the program. He said that it was a pride of the community one of its own young boy Muhammad Ali Najm memorized the entire Holy Qur’an before he turned 10 years of age. The program organizer at Al-Kawthar Hajj Jaafar Ali was the Emcee of the program. He was pleased to see many people from various centers in Surrey and Richmond were present in the program. Dr Sayyid Nasir Zaidi talked about the importance of memorizing the Holy Qur’an in the light of the Qur’an and Hadith. The Emcee and a number of people asked the young Hafiz al-Qur’an to recite spontaneously different passages from the Qur’an. They would recite only part of an āyat, and Hafiz al-Qur’an would then continue reciting until the Emcee would recite salawat on the Holy Prophet and his family, indicating to the boy to the recitation of that passage. This continued for over half an-hour. Then the boy was asked to recite from the Qur’an verses that talk about different roots (usul) and branches (furu`) of Islam. The boy was also asked to
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recite from memory some of the khutab (sermons) of Amirul Mu’mineen Ali b. Talib from Nahjul Balagha. The father of the young Hafiz al-Qur’an informed the audience that he has worked tirelessly for the last five years on his son who memorized juz al-Amma when he was only 6 years old. In order to ensure that Muhammad does not forget what he has memorized, the father would make his son recite 3 ajzaa (sections) of the Qur’an every day in the beginning. Now he revises daily one Juz’ of the Qur’an. The father was asked by the audience if himself was Hafiz al-Qur’an. He said that he has so far memorized 20 ajzaa (sections) out of a total 30 ajazaa. Shaykh Hasanayn Kassamali, visiting scholar and the director of the Academy for Learning Islam thanked the participants and donors who donated for a special gift presented to the young Hafiz. He presented him with a voucher valued $2,500.00 for Umrah package from Gala Travels in Markham, Ontario. Al-Mustafa Academy, Surrey, administrator Hajj Talib Jaffar presented Muhammad Ali Najm with a certificate that would allow him to study gratis at the Academy for the rest of his life. He will also get free snacks during the brea.
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Rajab 16, 2014 May 16, 2014
K I D S
Parents lose 8 years of sleep over a child
Believe it or not, if you are a parent you will have over eight years worth of sleepless nights by the time your child turns 30, a British study has revealed. And while you might think the disturbed nights ease off as the infant grows up, research shows most lose more sleep when their child is in their teenage years and an adult. It is mainly because parents are worried about children not coming home or that they could be getting into trouble. Also, given the current job market, concerns over a child finding, or lacking gainful employment also keep British parents awake at night (38 per cent), as well as lack of contact from a child when they move out (32 per cent) and concerns over them driving or learning to drive (30 per cent), the study added. However, while independence brings parents a host of fears, a child’s early life also causes their parents stress, with 27 percent
saying they worry most during the ages of 12-17, losing seven nights sleep a month. By age 30, a child will have caused their parents 3,096 sleepless nights, equating to over 8.4 years. While 54 percent of mothers taking part in the survey felt they “worried too much, but could not help it”, only 34 percent of fathers felt they worried excessively. Jed MacEwan, managing director of www. Ergoflex.co.uk that conducted the study commented: “Having over 8.4 years of sleepless nights equates to a tremendously large amount of sleep to lose for anyone which only increases when parents make the decision to have more than one child.” “However, as with other forms of stress, rationalising worries and talking about concerns are often the best ways to settle the mind and get off to sleep,” he was quoted as saying in a Daily Mail report.
By Fatima Nadeem Grade 6, Surrey
Kids Korner is a fun way for kids to exercise their brain, build up their imagination with lots of other things while having fun.
The 4 Wives of Life Once upon a time...There was a rich merchant who had 4 wives. He loved the 4th wife the most and adorned her with rich robes and treated her to delicacies. He took great care of her and gave her nothing but the best. He also loved the 3rd wife very much. He’s very proud of her and always wanted to show off her to his friends. However, the merchant is always in great fear that she might run away with some other men. He too, loved his 2nd wife. She is a very considerate person, always patient and in fact is the merchant’s confidante. Whenever the merchant faced some problems, he always turned to his 2nd wife and she would always help him out and tide him through difficult times. Now, the merchant’s 1st wife is a very loyal partner and has made great contributions in maintaining his wealth and business as well as taking care of the household. However, the merchant did not love the first wife and although she loved him deeply, he hardly took notice of her. One day, the merchant fell ill. Before long, he knew that he was going to die soon. He thought of his luxurious life and told himself, “Now I have 4 wives with me. But when I die, I’ll be alone. How lonely I’ll be!” Thus, he asked the 4th wife, “I loved you most, endowed you with the finest clothing and showered great care over you. Now that I’m dying, will you follow me and keep me company?” “No way!” replied the 4th wife and she walked away without another word. The answer cut like a sharp knife right into the merchant’s heart. The sad merchant then asked the 3rd wife, “I have loved you so much for all my life. Now that I’m dying,
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will you follow me and keep me company?” “No!” replied the 3rd wife. “Life is so good over here! I’m going to remarry when you die! “The merchant’s heart sank and turned cold. He then asked the 2nd wife, “I always turned to you for help and you’ve always helped me out. Now I need your help again. When I die, will you follow me and keep me company?” “I’m sorry, I can’t help you out this time!” replied the 2nd wife. “At the very most, I can only send you to your grave.” The answer came like a bolt of thunder and the merchant was devastated. Then a voice called out: “I’ll leave with you. I’ll follow you no matter where you go.” The merchant looked up and there was his first wife. She was so skinny, almost like she suffered from malnutrition. Greatly grieved, the merchant said, “I should have taken much better care of you while I could have!” Actually, we all have 4 wives in our lives... The 4th wife is our body. No matter how much time and effort we lavish in making it look good, it’ll leave us when we die. Our 3rd wife, are our possessions, status and wealth. When we die, they all go to others. The 2nd wife is our family and friends. No matter how close they had been there for us when we’re alive, the furthest they can stay by us is up to the grave. The 1st wife is in fact our soul, often neglected in our pursuit of material wealth and sensual pleasure. It is actually the only thing that follows us wherever we go. Perhaps it’s a good idea to cultivate and strengthen it now rather than to wait until we’re on our deathbed to lament.
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Saturday Breakfast Sunday Breakfast From 8 am to 12 pm. Nihari, Halwa puri, Chana masala,Aloobhujia, Qeema, $8.99 per person
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Rajab 16, 2014 May 16, 2014
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In an attempt to fulfil the responsibility of both personal and professional life, mothers forget to give time to them. This Mother’s Day, on May 11, an expert suggests that moms should rest and rejuvenate, focus on work-life balance and be themselves to make the most of their journey. According to Samir Parikh, one of the leading psychiatrists of Delhi, Mother’s Day is a reminder to celebrate mothers. However, he feels every mom needs a stress-free and smooth journey and to achieve that, they should follow some tips, said a statement. - Rest and Rejuvenate: Everyone deserves a break and a rest. For a mother, it becomes even more important to take a break and de-stress both body and mind. It may feel like things would collapse and you cannot take a day off from time to time, but with effective planning it’s not difficult. This will help a woman in being a more relaxed and happier mom.
- Work-Life Balance: If you were a working mother, it would be challenging for you to manage work and family responsibilities effectively. Too many responsibilities can stress out even the most organised person. Therefore it is important to have the demarcation between work and family life. When you are at work, try not to solve family chores and vice-versa. This is an effective stress and time management strategy. - Be Yourself: Once a mother, a woman’s responsibilities begin to pile-up and she tends to forget various aspects of her own personality. Do not forget that you are much more than only a mother; you are an individual with hobbies, tastes and interests. It is important to invest in yourself for a satisfied life. - Social Support: With many things to manage and handle, friends can become a forgotten detail on the list of things to do. However, friends can be your backbone when things seem overwhelming and difficult to manage. Sometimes just knowing that friends are in the same boat can be a great source of comfort. - Enjoy The Journey: Motherhood is a gift with its many ups and downs. However, it is a unique experience that changes you, your perspectives and your priorities. It is important to keep in mind that this is a journey that should be enjoyed and experienced fully. On Mother’s Day, remind yourself of the many joys of motherhood.
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S P O R T S
High costs, corruption suspicions in Brazil’s World Cup on tournament’s eve
The cost of building Brasilia’s World Cup stadium has nearly tripled to $900m in public funds, largely due to allegedly fraudulent billing, government auditors have said. After the dramatic increase in costs, it is now the world’s second-most expensive football arena, even though the city has no major professional team. Analysis of data from Brazil’s top electoral court by the AP news agency shows skyrocketing campaign contributions by companies that have won the most World Cup projects. The lead builder of Brasilia’s stadium increased its political donations 500fold in the most recent election. The links between construction firms and politicians add to suspicions that preparations for football’s premier event are marred by corruption. They also raise questions about how politicians who benefit from construction firms’ largesse can be effective watchdogs over billion-dollar World Cup contracts. “These donations are making corruption in this country even worse and making it increasingly difficult to fight,” said Renato Rainha, an arbiter at Brasilia’s
Audit Court, which is investigating the Brasilia stadium spending. “These politicians are working for those who financed campaigns.” With only three-fourths of the $900m stadium project examined by auditors, $275m hve already been found in alleged price-gouging. Federal prosecutors say as yet no individuals or companies face corruption charges related to World Cup works. There are at least a dozen separate federal investigations into World Cup spending. Claudio Monteiro, the head of the government’s World Cup committee in Brasilia responsible for oversight, said the audit court’s allegations were simply wrong and that all the spending would be justified. “This report comes out just 100 days before the Cup? That’s why I say they’re trying to spoil the party,” Monteiro said from his office outside the stadium. “We’re going to show how this report is off base.” Funding for Brasilia’s stadium relies solely on financing from the federal district’s coffers, meaning every cent comes from taxpayers. The auditors’ report found instances of what appears to be flagrant
overpricing. For instance, it says the transportation of pre-fabricated grandstands was supposed to cost just $4,700, but the construction consortium billed the government $1.5m. The consortium is made up of Andrade Gutierrez, a construction conglomerate, and Via Engenharia, an engineering firm. The steel to build the arena represented one-fifth of total expenses, and auditors say wasteful cutting practices or poor planning added $28m in costs, the single biggest overrun. The audit questions why the consortium had to discard 12 percent of its steel in Brasilia when Andrade Gutierrez, using the same cutting methods, lost just five percent of steel at another stadium in Manaus, and virtually none at a Cup arena in the city of Cuiaba. Andrade Gutierrez did not respond to an AP request for comment on the accusations of cost overruns. It noted its political donations were legal. Andrade Gutierrez, which was awarded stakes in contracts totaling nearly one-fourth of the World Cup’s total price tag, contributed $73,180 in 2008 municipal elections. Four years later, after it was
known which cities were hosting tournament matches, and thus which political parties controlled the local governments that awarded and are overseeing cup projects, the company’s political contributions totaled $37.1m. While those campaign contributions were legal, they are likely to soon be banned by Brazil’s Supreme Court. A majority of justices voted last month to end corporate donations, citing corruption concerns. A single justice demanded to delay a final vote, meaning the reform will not take effect for months, after the World Cup is over. Suspicions abound in Brazil, where in a poll last year three-fourths of respondents said the World Cup construction has been infused with corruption. That helped fuel widespread, often violent, anti-government protests last June that sent more than a million Brazilians onto the streets. Many protesters railed against the billions spent to host the tournament. The overall price of the 12 stadiums, four of which critics say will become white elephants after the tournament because they are in cities that cannot support them, has jumped to $4.2bn in nominal terms, nearly four times the estimate in a 2007 FIFA document published just days before Brazil was awarded the tournament. At the time, leaders also promised the stadiums would be privately funded.Source: Al-Jazeera
Interim CEO confident NBA will succeed in forcing sale of Clippers The interim CEO hand-picked by the NBA to run the Los Angeles Clippers said Monday he’s confident the league will succeed in forcing a sale of the team owned by Donald Sterling since 1981. Dick Parsons arrived in Los Angeles and met with management and staff of the Clippers. Sterling has been banned for life by the NBA and fined $2.5 million after recordings of him making racist comments surfaced. “My personal belief is the league will prevail, which means there will be an ownership change,” Parsons said during a news conference at Staples Center. “A prolonged legal battle is in no one’s interest, certainly not the league’s. I would hope we could avoid that.” Parsons said he won’t be involved in the ownership fight. He said
he’s being paid by the NBA but he doesn’t report to Commissioner Adam Silver or the league’s owners. Donald Sterling has apologized for the racist comments captured during a recorded conversation, saying in a televised interview Monday that they were a “terrible mistake.” “He’s a little late, to be sure,” said Parsons, who doesn’t know Sterling and won’t be talking to him because the 80-yearold owner is banned. “I’m here to turn one of the burners off under the pot, not to turn it up higher.” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said he was aware of Sterling’s apology, although he had not seen the interview. “I’m glad that he did it,” Rivers said by phone from Oklahoma City, where the team plays Tuesday. “That’s what you have to do and you should do it.
Probably should have done it right away.” Sterling’s estranged wife, Shelly, has said she will fight to keep her 50 per cent ownership of the team. Parsons said he anticipates talking with her at some point, although he said Donald Sterling is the only controlling owner of the team. Parsons described himself as a conservator of the team, someone who will try to keep it from losing value and ensure there is a viable franchise to work with once the ownership issue is resolved. “I want to leave this place in good shape and in good hands,” he said. With Sterling barred from anything to do with the team or league, and team President Andy Roeser on an indefinite leave of absence, Parsons will be a key contact for the team’s support staff. “A lot of these folks have
felt beleaguered, beyond disappointed with the way the franchise has been characterized,” said Parsons, who wore a Clippers lapel pin on his suit. “Part of my job will be to tell the folks here to stay focused on the business. Ultimately, there will be a change of ownership and management.” He said he let them know they are appreciated and the interaction gave him ideas on how to move forward, although he has offered no specifics since taking the job Thursday. “I’m only beginning to get my arms around what I’m going to do,” he said. Rivers endorsed Parsons’ hiring, believing he can calm the situation and allow employees to focus on their jobs. Source: Vancouver Sun
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