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Volume 12 Issue 328 Rabi ul Awaal 13, 1434 AH / January 25, 2013 - $1

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Billionaires’ fortunes hinder fight against poverty, says Oxfam

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Surrey council votes down $100M MEGA CASINO Mayor Dianne Watts defended Surrey council’s rejection of a proposed $100-million casino, saying while the hotel and conference centre offered in the proposal were desperately needed, citizens overwhelmingly felt the rural south Surrey neighbourhood was the wrong fit. Despite vocal criticism from Rich Coleman, the provincial cabinet minister in charge of gambling, Watts said council’s rejection, a 5-4 vote at 2 a.m. Saturday after a second lengthy public hearing, respected the democratic process. “I know he clearly is disappointed,” Watts said Sunday evening. “I think that the process did work and it’s about what we want in our city and how we develop it. We have to live in the city of Surrey, all of us. “And we’re elected by the residents of Surrey, you have to take that voice into consideration.” Coleman, who wasn’t available for comment Sunday, told reporters over the weekend he was disappointed and won’t be looking to other parts of Surrey for the project proposed by Gateway Casinos and Entertainment Ltd. and the B.C. Lottery Corp. The project, proposed for 12th Avenue and 168th Street, comprised a 60,000-square-foot gambling floor, 200room four-star hotel and 27,000-sq.-ft convention and entertainment centre with restaurants and lounges. Gateway had sought to move the temporary gambling licence it has for the Newton Bingo Country casino on King George Boulevard to the new facility. But many residents were worried that the casino would be built first, then used to finance later construction of the hotel and conference centre, Watts said. “When we approved the slots at Fraser Downs and the racetrack, that was the commitment, that we would have con-

vention space and a hotel, which 10 years later we’re still waiting for,” Watts said. Jim Lightbody, a senior executive of the B.C. Lottery Corp., insisted Gateway would have had to carry through on all parts of the development or face penalties. Coun. Judy Villeneuve suggested Gateway partner with Fraser Downs Racetrack and casino to build a hotel and conference centre in nearby Cloverdale, noting that part of Surrey has the infrastructure in place to service such a development. The south Surrey proposal required city approval before a gambling licence could be issued, and the public meetings drew close to 200 speakers and ran over two nights. Councillors Linda Hepner, Barbara Steele, Barinder Rasode and Tom Gill supported the project. Watts and the other four councillors — Bruce Hayne, Villeneuve, Marvin Hunt and Mary Martin — voted no. The decision followed a seven-hour hearing Friday night, during which most supporters said the project would create local jobs and bring high-end entertainment to the city, while most opponents said it would increase traffic and crime, and hurt their property values. Some 74 south Surrey residents — many of them students — opposed the casino, while 112 speakers, many of them Gateway workers bused to the hearing, spoke in favour. Lightbody had urged the city to approve the license, saying he believes the project would serve the needs of south Surrey. He noted gambling is the fifth most popular choice for entertainment among adults, behind restaurants, bars, movie theatres and live entertainment. The project, Lightbody said, has four of those choices. “What you have is all about choice,” he said.

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The vast fortunes made by the world’s richest 100 billionaires is driving up inequality and hindering the world’s ability to tackle poverty, according to Oxfam. The charity said the accumulation of wealth and income on an unprecedented scale, often at the expense of secure jobs and decent wages for the poorest, undermined the ability of people who survive on aid or low wages to improve their situation and escape poverty. Oxfam said the world’s poorest could be lifted out of poverty several times over should the richest 100 billionaires give away the money they made last year. Without pointing a finger at individuals, the charity argued that the $240bn (£150bn) net income amassed in 2012 by the richest 100 billionaires would be enough to make extreme poverty history four times over. It is rare for charities to attack the wealthy, who are usually regarded as a source of funding. Bill Gates and Warren Buffett are among a group of 40 US billionaires who have pledged much of their wealth to aid projects, but there is little detail about the level of their annual donations. Their actions have also not been matched by Russian, Middle Eastern or Chinese billionaires. In the report, The Cost of Inequality: How Wealth and Income Extremes Hurt Us All, published before the World Economic Forum in Davos next week, the charity calls on world leaders to curb income extremes and commit to reducing inequality to at least 1990 levels. The report found that the richest 1% had increased their incomes by 60% in the past 20 years, with the financial crisis accelerating rather than slowing the process. Barbara Stocking, Oxfam’s chief executive, said extreme wealth was “economically inefficient, politically corrosive, socially divisive and environmentally destructive”. She pointed to studies that show countries have suffered low levels

Continued on pg 16

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Volume 12 Issue 328 Rabi ul Awaal 13, 1434 AH / January 25, 2013


p a k i s t a n

Volume 12 Issue 328 Rabi ul Awaal 13, 1434 AH / January 25, 2013

India issues Kashmir nuclear war advisory

Officials in India-administered Kashmir have published an advisory in a local newspaper warning residents to be prepared for a possible nuclear war by building bomb shelters and other precautions, barely two weeks after deadly border skirmishes. In an unprecedented move, the Jammu and Kashmir Police Civil Defence and State Disaster Response Force published the advisory on Monday in English language Greater Kashmir daily. However, local officials said the advisory was routine and that it did not signal new concerns about a nuclear attack in the region. “If the blast wave does not arrive within five seconds of the flash you were far enough from the ground zero,” stated the notice titled “Protection against Nuclear, Biological & Chemical (NBC) Weapons”. Fayaz Ahmed, a resident of Srinagar, the main city in the Indian controlled Kashmir said that the notice “is fueling an atmosphere of fear”. “Educating people is fine but not [in] this brazen way,” he

added. The notice provided vivid details on “do’s” and “don’ts” including the construction of bunkers, which should be stocked with “non-perishable foods and water” and toilet facilities and the storage of “ample candles and battery lights”. “Expect some initial disorientation as the blast wave may blow down and carry away many prominent and familiar features,” it advised. ‘Ill-timed and inopportune’ In an editorial on Tuesday, Greater Kashmir dubbed the advisory “ill-timed and inopportune”. “If anything, such advisories at this time while creating needless panic among the people in Jammu and Kashmir could provide grist to the propaganda mill of a section of electronic media which seems to have specialised in blowing smaller issues into big controversies. “This section of the media ostensibly harbors a visceral hatred for the calm on the borders and the peace between India and Pakistan. Thankfully, the mature political leadership in the country has shown considerable restraint to fall to the jingoistic reportage.” Yoginder Kaul, inspector-general at the civil defence and state disaster response force, said: “The advisory was part of a normal campaign to educate the public.” “We routinely train and educate people regarding different natural and man-made disasters and that’s our duty. This advertisement too was part of such a campaign. Please, let’s not read into this beyond that. Let it be clear that this is purely in the nature of educating people and not connected with anything else,’’ he said. Ajay Sahni, the executive director of the Institute for Conflict Management in New Delhi think that “there can be no conceivable motive for issuing a notice like

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Terror camps exist in India: Indin home minister

Looking inwards for a change, India has made public some home truths, admitting that ‘terror training camps’ on its land were spreading saffron terrorism. Another message coming out of Jaipur at a Congress meet is that it was unfortunate ‘that out of context debates take place in the Indian media; however, the government would not be influenced by the “jingoistic conversations”. Reports from Jaipur quoted Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde a saying: “Reports have come during investigations that the BJP and RSS conduct terror training camps to spread terrorism...Bombs were planted in the Samjhauta Express, Mecca Masjid and also a blast was carried out in Malegaon. We will have to think about it seriously and will have to remain alert. This is saffron terrorism that I have talked about.” Meanwhile, Minister for External Affairs Salman Khurshid told Karan Thapar on CNN-IBN’s Devil’s Advocate that the government would not be influenced by the “jingoistic conversations” in sections of the media, and that the peace process with Pakistan was back on track “considerably”. “It is unfortunate that out of context debates take place in the media. But the media is free. You have to take the good and bad of the media if you believe in a free society. But we are not going to be influenced necessarily by jingoistic conversations that take place in some sections of the media.” Pakistan had through the media invited India for a foreign

minister’s level meeting to talk things through but as yet no formal invitation has been sent at the diplomatic level. “What we need to do is to ensure that multi-dimensionally the atmospherics improve. We did hit a low point obviously a few days ago and I think it is important that we get back to a level of atmospherics that can be described as near normal (in which) the LoC remains peaceful and there is no incident that is counter-productive and then we can think of moving forward in a meaningful way,” he said. He pointed out that it was sensible not to hasten and rush into things that one is not fully prepared for and where any failure or any disappointment can lead to implications that are not necessarily very productive. Khurshid appeared eager yet cautious about moving forward. “The environment changes, both sides will know it’s changed. This is not a private conversation that takes place between two parties, two countries or two foreign ministers. It is something in which two nations are involved. I think the peace process is going well. What are the indications is that we have got back on track quite a bit. I don’t even know to what extent we had gone off track but certainly there was a sense that we were slipping. We have got back on track considerably. That is a good sign and we would want that to continue. But obviously time will tell if we are back on track or not.”


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i n t e r n a t i o n a l

Volume 12 Issue 328 Rabi ul Awaal 13, 1434 AH / January 25, 2013

Hearings begin in Indian gang-rape trial

Hearings in the New Delhi gang rape and murder case have begun in a fast-track court in the Indian capital. Additional Sessions Judge Yogesh Khanna, who leads the special court dealing with crimes against women, was given copies of the charges and documents with evidence after the five accused were produced in the Saket district court in New Delhi on Monday. The transfer of the rape case from a district court to the fast-track court, a decision which is largely procedural, comes as emotions continue to run high in India over brutal attack on the student last month. “The judge has fixed arguments on charges for 24 January,” VK Anand, lawyer for one of the accused, said. “Defence lawyers will argue with the prosecution whether the charges are correct and if the accused could be tried for these charges.” The five men are accused of gangraping and murdering a 23-year-old student. Apart from murder and rape, they also face charges such as kidnapping. If convicted, they could be given the death penalty. A sixth accused, who police believe is a minor, is expected to be tried separately in a juvenile court. Monday’s hearing was delayed by an hour after defence lawyers argued that the proceedings should be open to the media. The judge said the proceedings would be held behind closed doors. AP Singh, another defence lawyer, said that one of his two clients was a minor,

as he was born on March 1, 1995, and the crime took place on December 16. He said the police had mistakenly given March 1, 1994, as his client’s date of birth. “I requested the court to order medical tests including bone ossification tests to determine his age, and the court has reserved its order on the matter,” he said. Another defence lawyer petitioned the Indian Supreme Court to transfer the case out of New Delhi, saying the ongoing protests and media coverage prejudiced the case against his client, broadcaster NDTV reported. It said the court is expected to take up the petition on Tuesday. The lawyers said arguments on the framing of charges would be scheduled for later this week. The victim’s parents have called for the death penalty for the accused. Prosecutors say they have DNA evidence linking the defendants to the attack in which the student and a male companion were assaulted on a bus as it was driven around New Delhi, having been picked up after seeing a film. The prosecutors also have the victim’s hospital-bed declaration before her death and testimony from her companion who took part in identification parades after the ordeal. Rajiv Mohan, senior prosecutor, has pledged to seek the death penalty for the “heinous” crime, saying “we have sufficient evidence against all the accused” to secure a conviction. The woman, a promising student whose father worked extra

shifts as an airport baggage handler to educate her, suffered massive intestinal injuries during the December 16 assault in which she was raped and violated with an iron bar. She died 13 days later after the government airlifted her to a Singapore hospital. The defence lawyers have claimed that their clients were beaten at New Delhi’s Tihar jail by prison inmates at the behest of police. They have alleged that the woman died because of medical negligence and charged the police with fabricating evidence in hastily conducted investigations under public pressure. Source: Al-Jazeera

Lawyer of Afghan massacre suspect claims PTSD

A US soldier charged with capital murder in the slayings of 16 civilians near his military post in Afghanistan was diagnosed as suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury prior to the killings, his lawyer has claimed. The disclosure that Robert Bales was diagnosed with PTSD followed a hearing on Thursday in which defence lawyers told a military judge they were preparing a possible “mental health defence”. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against Bales, a decorated veteran of four combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan who is accused of gunning down the villagers, mostly women and children, in cold blood during two rampages through their family compounds in Kandahar province in March of last year. The judge, Colonel Jeffery Nance, said such a defence would require a formal psychiatric evaluation and he would order a “sanity board” of independent doctors to review Bales’ mental condition. Defence lawyers also deferred entering a plea on behalf of their client and waived a formal reading of the charges. Under the military justice system, a plea is commonly postponed at this stage to preserve legal options for the defence, whose ability to make additional motions is severely restricted once a plea is entered, experts say. Civilian defence lawyer John Henry Browne told the judge, Colonel Jeffery Nance, that he would need at least a year and a half to prepare for Bales’ defence. Prosecutors say Bales, a father of two from Lake Tapps, Washington, acted alone and with “chilling premeditation” when, armed with a pistol, a rifle and a grenade launcher, he left his base twice, returning in the middle of his rampage to tell a fellow soldier: “I just shot up some people.” The shootings, which occurred over a five-hour period in March, marked one of the deadliest incidents the military has blamed on a rogue US soldier since the Vietnam War, and strained US-Afghan relations. Browne told reporters he doubted Bales would get a fair trial unless “we slow this thing down”. He said two Afghans that prosecutors had listed as potential witnesses in the case turned out to be insurgents who were killed by US-led forces, a claim that could not be immediately corroborated with US military officials. Browne said he had government documentation showing that personnel at Lewis-McChord’s Madigan Medical Center had found his client to be suffering from both post-traumatic stress disorder and a traumatic brain injury. Defence lawyers previously have said Bales had suffered a possible concussion from a bomb blast during a prior tour of duty in Iraq. Bales was bound over for court-martial in December and faces 16 murder charges, as well as other charges, including attempted murder, assault and drug and alcohol charges. During a pre-trial hearing in November witnesses testified that he had been angered by a bomb blast near his outpost that severed a fellow soldier’s leg days before the shootings. The government believes Bales was solely responsible for the deaths, and survivors have testified that they saw only one US soldier. However, several indirect accounts have suggested more than one soldier may have been involved. Source: Al-Jazeera

Dozens killed in Iraq suicide bomb attack A suicide bomb in the middle of a funeral at a Shia mosque in northern Iraq has killed at least 35 people -and wounded 75 others, according to security and medical officials. Wednesday’s blast struck at the Sayida al-Shuhada mosque in Tuz Khurmatu, 175km (110 miles) north of Baghdad, and targeted the funeral of a relative of a politician who was killed a day earlier. No group claimed responsibility of the attack, which comes after more than four weeks of anti-government protest.

Harper still waiting on Algeria to explain Canadian link to gas-plant militants Canada was making little headway Wednesday in firmly establishing whether any of its nationals were part of a group of terrorists linked to al-Qaida who mounted a deadly siege at an isolated Algerian energy plant. The federal government still has no substantial information from Algeria to confirm claims that Canadians were among the hostage-takers at the Sahara Desert gas plant, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Wednesday. Canadian officials are still trying to get information from their Algerian counterparts, Harper told a news conference in Cambridge, Ont. Harper said he has not spoken to Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal, who claimed two Canadian nationals were among the band of al-Qaida-linked militants who took hundreds of workers hostage at a natural gas complex. “People in our government are in contact with the government of Algeria,” Harper said. “We have no substantial information at the present time on these particular individuals, but obviously we will continue to work with the government of Algeria to find out more about this particular matter.” Canadian diplomats in Algeria are also seeking access to more details in order to either confirm or debunk Sellal’s claim. The Department of Foreign Affairs summoned Algeria’s ambassador to Canada in hopes of getting an explanation. Authorities say 37 hostages and 29 militants were killed when Algerian forces stormed the complex. Five foreign workers remain missing. NDP foreign affairs critic Paul Dewar said he’s not sure what else the government can do to get answers. “There’s lots of questions, not many answers,” he said. “You would hope (Canada) has strong enough relations with Algeria that we’d be getting the straight goods. Not clear that’s the case.” Rick Roth, the spokesman for Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, said Wednesday that the government has received “no information” from the Algerian government about the identities of the people it believes are Canadian. “We support the government of Algeria in its ongoing struggle with terrorism,” Roth said in an email. Meanwhile, the Algerian government moved to play down reports that it has suffered heavy losses during the four-day siege of the plant. Its defence ministry said eight soldiers suffered minor wounds and were now back to work. Source: Ottawa Citizen


i n t e r n a t i o n a l

Volume 12 Issue 328 Rabi ul Awaal 13, 1434 AH / January 25, 2013

French and Malian troops enter Diabaly

French and Malian troops have entered the key central Malian towns of Diabaly and Doutenza, both of which have been in the hands of al-Qaeda-linked rebels for weeks. A convoy of about 30 armored vehicles carrying about 200 French and Malian soldiers moved into the town on Monday at about 09:00 GMT, without meeting resistance. Diabaly, 350km north of the capital Bamako, had harbored the main cluster of rebels south of the frontline towns of Mopti and Sevare until French air attacks forced them to flee or attempt to blend in with locals, residents said. A colonel in the Malian army had said earlier that a “fringe of the Diabaly population adheres to the jihadists’ theories and we must be very careful in the coming hours”. French television footage from Diabaly has shown charred pick-up trucks abandoned by rebels amid mud brick homes. One resident said the rebels had fled the town which was abandoned by many of its residents, and those remaining lacked food and other essentials. “We are truly really grateful to the French who came in the nick of time,” said Gaoussou Kone, 34, the head of a local youth association. “Without the French, not only would there not be a Diabaly, there would soon no longer be a Mali.” Malian

officials also said that fighters had retreated from Doutenza, where French and Malian forces arrived on Monday morning. A local town adviser said there was no sign of the rebels when the troops arrived. Paris said the aim of the 11-day old military offensive was total victory. “The goal is the total reconquest of Mali,” Jean-Yves Le Drian, French defence minister, said in televised remarks. “We will not leave any pockets” of resistance. France began its military offensive in Mali on January 11, and has said that African nations must take the lead though it could be some weeks before they are ready to do so. Britain said on Monday that it would consider giving more help to French forces, but would not take a combat role in the conflict. Rebels in Mali were reported Sunday to be abandoning some of their positions and converging on the mountainous region of Kidal, their northernmost bastion, 1,500km from Bamako and near the border with Algeria. Kidal was the first town seized by an amalgam of fighters, some linked to al-Qaeda, and Tuareg separatist groups that started the rebellion in March last year. Meanwhile, the planned deployment of nearly 6,000 African soldiers continued slowly into Bamako, hampered by cash and logistical constraints. Only 150 African troops had arrived by Sunday. Senegal, Benin and six other West African nations are contributing to the African mission who is expected to take over the baton from France, and Chad has also pledged 2,000 soldiers. Desire Kadre Ouedraogo, head of the Commission of regional West African bloc ECOWAS, estimated the cost of an African offensive against the armed Islamist groups at about $500m. The European Union has pledged 50m euros to the International Support Mission for Mali. Source: Al-Jazeera

Public won’t pay for Port Mann ‘ice bomb’ prevention: gov’t

The B.C. government says cable sweepers will soon be installed on the new Port Mann Bridge to prevent another falling “ice bomb” fiasco, but taxpayers won’t be on the hook -for the cost. Last month, chunks of ice plummeted onto cars as they crossed the bridge, denting hoods, cracking windshields and injuring two people. The ensuing chaos resulted in ICBC damage claims from hundreds of drivers. On Monday, Transportation Minister Mary Polak revealed a number of potential solutions the government is hoping to implement, including devices that will scrape snow and ice off the overhanging bridge cables before it can accumulate. Polak said there is currently “no dollar figure” connected to the plan, but suggested bridge builders in the Kiewit-Flatiron partnership may cover

the cost. “Taxpayers will not be on the hook for this. Kiewit has been nothing but collaborative and cooperative with us and I have no reason to believe that will change,” Polak said. Kiewit-Flatiron developed the sweepers along with the provincial government and Transportation Investment Corp. They are expected to be installed on 152 bridge cables by mid-February. Mike Proudfoot of TI Corp. explained that the devices will fit around the outside cables and be carried up and down on a winch system. “The sweepers are equipped with a plow-type device that is set one centimeter about the sheathing on the cable, that is followed by these four thick-bristeled brushes that sweept the reminder of the accumulation away,” Proudfoot said. The government also said engineers are testing a silicone-based water repellant that can be applied to the cables. Another plan is to spray a de-icing solution onto them before a snowstorm hits. The ice fiasco took place on Dec. 19, just weeks after the bridge opened, and forced authorities to close the crossing for several hours. On Jan. 3, at least 40 vehicles were involved in crashes on the bridge. Mounties blamed the accidents on a catastrophic combination of heavy fog and black ice. The Port Mann’s service provider, Mainroad Contracting, was instructed to apply de-icing solution more frequently as a result. Source: CTV News

Netanyahu in coalition talks after narrow win Israeli politicians have started negotiating over the shape of their next government after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s Likud party won a narrower-thanexpected victory in parliamentary elections on Tuesday. His party, along with its allies in the ultra-nationalist Yisrael Beiteinu party, took 31 of 120 seats, according to a near-final tally of votes. That makes it the single-biggest bloc, despite losing 11 of its previous seats. In a brief statement on Wednesday, Netanyahu promised that the next government will focus chiefly on socioeconomic issues. “The Israeli public wants me... to put together a government which will include three big changes internally: a greater sharing of the burden [of military service], affordable housing, and changes in the system of government,” Netanyahu said. “We will focus... on putting together a government along these three principles.” His coalition will almost certainly include the surprise second-place finisher, Yesh Atid, a new centrist party founded by former television journalist Yair Lapid which is projected to win 19 seats. Lapid ran largely on an economic platform, promising to lower the cost of living and redistribute the welfare benefits given to ultra-Orthodox Jews. He also pledged not to join the government unless it takes action to draft the ultra-Orthodox into the army; most are currently exempt from mandatory service. His platform won him wide support among middle-class, secular voters. Netanyahu will also likely negotiate with the right-wing Jewish Home party, headed by software mogul Naftali Bennett, which is projected to win 11 seats; and Shas, an ultra-Orthodox party which represents mostly Sephardic Jews and also picked up 11 mandates. The Labour party, the oldest of Israel’s centre-left parties, won 15 seats, fewer than party chief Shelly Yachimovich had hoped. Palestinians reacted to the results with little enthusiasm. “If he brings Lapid into his government, this would improve the image of the Netanyahu government in the eyes of the world. But it won’t make him stop building settlements, particularly in east Jerusalem,’’ said Mohammed Shtayyeh, a senior adviser to President Abbas. Palestinian officials closely followed the Israeli election campaign, fearing Netanyahu’s ambitious plans for settlement construction over the next four years could prove lethal to their dreams of a state. Ahmed Assaf, a spokesman for the Fatah movement, described the Palestinians as “the main losers from this uel between the racist right-wing parties.” Source: Al Jazeera

North Korea says new nuclear and rocket tests will target U.S North Korea said on Thursday it would carry out further rocket launches and a nuclear test that would target the United States, dramatically stepping up its threats against a country it called its “sworn enemy”. The announcement by the country’s top military body came a day after the UN Security Council agreed a U.S.-backed resolution to censure and sanction the country for a rocket launch in December that breached its bans. North Korea is believed by South Korea and other observers to be “technically ready” for a third nuclear test, and the decision to go ahead rests with leader Kim Jong-un who pressed ahead with the December rocket launch in defiance of the UN sanctions. China, the one major diplomatic ally of the isolated and impoverished North, agreed to the U.S.-backed resolution and it also supported resolutions in 2006 and 2009 after Pyongyang’s two earlier nuclear tests. Thursday’s statement by North Korea represents a huge challenge to Beijing as it undergoes a leadership transition with Xi Jinping due to take office in March. North Korea has rejected proposals to restart the so-called six-party talks aimed at reining in its nuclear capacity. Analysts said the North could test as early as February as South Korea prepares to install a new, untested president or that it could choose to stage a nuclear explosion to coincide with former ruler Kim Jong-il’s Feb. 16 birthday. Washington urged North Korea not to proceed with a third test just as the North’s statement was published on Thursday. The North was banned from developing missile and nuclear technology under sanctions dating from its 2006 and 2009 nuclear tests. A South Korean military official said the concern now is that Pyongyang could undertake a third nuclear test using highly enriched uranium for the first time, opening a second path to a bomb. North Korea’s 2006 nuclear test using plutonium produced a puny yield equivalent to one kiloton of TNT – compared with 13-18 kilotons for the Hiroshima bomb – and U.S. intelligence estimates put the 2009 test’s yield at roughly two kilotons North Korea is estimated to have enough fissile material for about a dozen plutonium warheads, although estimates vary, and intelligence reports suggest that it has been enriching uranium to supplement that stock and give it a second path to the bomb. According to estimates from the Institute for Science and International Security from late 2012, North Korea could have enough weapons grade uranium for 21-32 nuclear weapons by 2016 if it used one centrifuge at its Yongbyon nuclear plant to enrich uranium to weapons grade. North Korea gave no time-frame for the coming test and often employs harsh rhetoric in response to UN and U.S. actions that it sees as hostile. Its long-range rockets are not seen as capable of reaching the United States mainland and it is not believed to have the technology to mount a nuclear warhead on a long-range missile. The bellicose statement on Thursday appeared to dent any remaining hopes that Kim Jong-un, believed to be 30 years old, would pursue a different path from his father Kim Jong-il, who oversaw the country’s military and nuclear programs. The older Mr. Kim died in December 2011. Source: Globe and Mail


e d i t o r i a l

Volume 12 Issue 328 Rabi ul Awaal 13, 1434 AH / January 25, 2013


Unlike dictatorship, monarchy and aristocracy, a democracy gives people right to voice their opinion and right of electing their own government and legislators. It is viewed generally as being the most challenging form of government, because the people themselves determine the most suitable direction for their country. U.S. president Abraham Lincoln (18091865) defined democracy as: «Government of the people, by the people, for the people» Democracy is by far the most challenging form of government - both for politicians and for the people. Simply speaking, a democracy means “rule by the people;” however, it is variously defined in differing ways among democracies of the world with regard to its local viability. It is said that a competent official opposition is as necessary as is a competent government. In fact, the elected rulers are constantly under pressure to perform and deliver to the satisfaction of the ruled. The people don’t need sub standard governance. But in Pakistan, the past five years were wasted, as the regime has been busy manipulating the opposition parties with the intent of staying in power and nothing beyond. The credit of easy passing of amendments and other bills goes to the friendly opposition which has been on board with the government enjoying “cabinet shares” in return for not opposing in the parliament. Maybe, Pakistan has a little bit of democracy but the essential element of effective opposition is seen nowhere. Surely, time for change is pretty close, and the nation is going to have a chance to change for the better. The status quo parties can be eliminated through the forthcoming election. Unfortunately, due to the sad demise of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Pakistan has been

governed by dictatorial regimes (civil/ military), so the democracy never actually began in the real sense. The country remained in the clutches of powerful greedy elite throughout its history. The flawed system suited the rich in order to keep the vulnerable nation consisting of “poverty stricken majority” suffering in the dead end street. Sadly, the civil service, the police, and administrative positions of higher level are usually occupied and controlled by the rich and the feudal. The independence of the Election Commission has been compromised in the past many a times. Notoriously, the commission has been performing below standard as people with bogus degrees were able to sit in the assemblies as fake legislators due to lack of proper screening and scrutiny of the candidates. Since the federal and provincial assemblies are mostly made of incompetent members who are none other than the dishonest opportunists responsible for many national crises. Furthermore, the dynastic and feudal politicians want to maintain their hold on the socio/economic/political power structures. This class of unethical politicians are usually driven by their selfish objectives which has nothing to do with their deliverance for the betterment of masses. Rather, these power grabbers are habitual of employing deceitful means including pressure tactics, coercion, threats of reprisals and much more just to get elected. This selfish attitude has pushed the country almost onto the verge of disaster where free fall is imminent. Although not legally binding, the recent declaration signed between the government and Mr Qadri has some good points. If the so called deal is implemented as pressured, this should be helpful for a genuine election.



On the contrary, the rulers love to keep up the negative pressure to facilitate “unruly tactics,” so that political space of resistance fades away. The past experience shows that the State never hesitates when it comes to apply its “coercive apparatus” when threatened politically. If the National Assembly dissolves before the due date of March 16, 2013 (believed to be March 10) the elections may take place within 90 days. With general elections in the first week of May, there is only one month for scrutiny of nomination papers for the purpose of pre-clearance of the candidates under article 62 and 63 of the constitution. With regard to appointing a care taker set up, the government, the official opposition and the PTI must be on the same page. An enforcement of electoral reforms prior to the polls seems unlikely but the following is worth focussing on: (a) Article 62, 63 and 218 (3) of the constitution; b) Section 77 to 82 of the Representation of Peoples’ Act 1976 and other relevant provisions relating to conducting free, fair, just and honest elections guarded against all corrupt practices and; (c) The Supreme Court Judgement of June 8, 2012 on constitutional petition of 2011 must be implemented in entirety in true letter and spirit. It’s highly unfair with the people of Pakistan, if the ongoing political situation continues to be tolerated; as otherwise, the “privileged minority” would keep exploiting the “vulnerable majority.” The whole nation should stand united now and be vigilant enough to fight the odds to go ahead with electing only those who are the most competent carrying the unchallengeable integrity. The electors must display their courage and be brave enough to reject all pressure from the powerful rich. Obviously, the mindset of stinky electoral

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for the practice of their faith in a peaceful and secure manner. The perpetrators of all such acts of violence against minority communities in Pakistan , and particularly Muslims of stan . The failure of any serious action by state Shia faith, should be apprehended and brought police in apprehending and bringing to jus- to justice. tice the culprits only goes to suggest that either the criminals are too powerful and ‘well connected’ or they are operating with a tacit approval of the “ higher ups “. The genocide and the atrocities committed By: Bernie Simpson, C.M. Vancouver against Shia Muslims ( including the Haz- As you are well aware, the casino proposal aras ) in Quetta are most regrettable. Their was rejected by Surrey City Council by a vote crime? Their faith? Several International of 5-4, with the Mayor casting the deciding Human Rights Organizations including, vote. but not limited to , the Secretary General of I’d like to thank you and members of the Musthe United Nations, Mr Ban K Moon, have lim community for signing the many petitions against this proposal which would have been condemned such events in Pakistan. We urge the Government of Pakistan to destructive to the homes in the minorities provide the necessary protection for all its communities within Surrey. citizen and create a conducive environment In view of the comments by the cabinet min-

Casino proposal was rejected!

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Genocide and the atrocities committed against Shia Muslims By: Zaheer Ali Manki, Surrey It makes me sad that in a country which came into existence in the name of Islam, for decades and to date that a sizeable minority Shias are being subjugated to very unfair discrimination. In the recent past there has been a very violent and vicious cycle of violence and target killings of Shia Muslims in Pakistan. According to some reports, since 2012, thousands of Shia Zawwars of Ahlul Bait and particularly of Imam Hussain AS have been targeted and killed. Buses full of pilgrims enroute to the shrines of our holy Imams have been attacked . Male members of the group have been murdered in front of women and children. The increase in such events at an alarming rate reflects a sad state of law & order in Paki-

culture is not easy to remove before loosening of the feudal grip completely. It’s crystal clear that the electors deserve to fully exercise their free will to elect only those who are sincere and capable of delivering honestly. The current independence of the supreme judiciary has to be maintained, and the election commission should be cleansed of the officials with vested interests. In order to guarantee free and fair polls, all high brass in the administration must be replaced by the care taker regime. Replacing Attorney General, all Advocate Generals, All IGPs (Inspector Generals of Police), all Chief Secretaries and the Principal Secretary to the care taker Prime Minister and a new chairman PEMRA (Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority) will be a definite help. A neutral election authority and independent judiciary is a healthy sign capable of producing a strong political system. It’s also encouraging to know that the chief justice of Pakistan and the chief election commissioner are on the single page. Moreover, the CEC Fakhrudin Ibrahim claims he won’t quit before he is done with free and fair election - wow! A positive change is possible only through free and fair ballot of course. Therefore, all members of the civil society should come out and participate in the upcoming election to pick the right only candidates in order to re-build the future of Pakistan exactly as envisioned by Hakeem ul ummat Dr Allama Iqbal and the founder/ father of the nation - Mr Jinnah.

ister Rich Coleman, who is responsible for gambling, it is clear that a handful of people had determined that this proposal should go ahead. As a result of the ethnic communities (Muslim, Sikh, Hindu) getting together and signing over 4,000 no petitions, this showed the proponents that they cannot get away with imposing their views on the minority communities which would have been so destructive. I hope that the minority communities can get together and form a council to fight future attempts to adversely affect the families within the communities IMPORTANT NOTE: We do not publish anonymous letters or the letters of the people who do not disclose their identity to ‘The Miracle.’ A writer can use a pen name or request ‘The Miracle’ to withhold his / her identity. Please include your daytime telephone number for the confirmation of your letter. We regret the inconvenience.

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Volume 12 Issue 328 Rabi ul Awaal 13, 1434 AH / January 25, 2013

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Prophet Muhammad (SW) A Man of Character

By: Reehab Ramadan Now that we know we must love the Prophet what true love is, and what the signs of love are, we must begin to actually build this love. The longest lasting love is a love of someone’s perfection in noble inner qualities. So we will now begin to go through snapshots of the life of Prophet Muhammad . For forty years prior to the revelation, the Prophet Muhammad was indisputably known to be of sound morals. Amongst his tribe he was known as “As-Sadeeq AlAmeen,” meaning the honest and trustworthy one. The fact that he was given this name can mean one of two things: Either his honesty and trustworthy nature surpassed all others, or At the time, it was rare to find someone who was honest and trustworthy; therefore his nature was unique and treasured as such. There are many instances in the seerah (Prophetic biography) that illustrate the moral soundness of the Prophet Muhammad . One of these stories exemplifies the strength of the trust people had in him. It happened near the beginning of his prophethood. He summoned the people of Quraysh to the foot of a mountain and called out to them, saying: “Would you believe me if I told you an enemy host was waiting behind this hill to attack you?” Everyone, including those who would soon become his enemies, agreed that they would believe him. Although we may have heard this story many times, it may be difficult to grasp the true significance of that moment; an entire tribe agreed that they would prepare for a battle with an enemy they had not seen, using their precious time, and risking their resources - based on the words of one man. Allahu Akbar! (God is great) It is said that the people had so much faith in Prophet Muhammad that they would advise one another to seek his services when needed. They would say: “If you want to entrust your wealth for safeguarding, entrust it to this trustworthy, honest man, for he will never touch it. If you look for someone who never tells a lie and never breaks his word, go directly to Muhammad, because whatever he says is true.” The best way to feel this point is to take a moment and imagine someone who you trust one hundred percent, someone you know would never hurt you, someone who would never betray your trust. When they speak, you know that their words contained no lies; you find comfort in their presence.

Most likely, this imagining will cause you to yearn for someone of this nature. Now take a moment and change that yearning for a nameless individual, to yearning for the Prophet because this description is exactly what he was like. May God cause us to be of those who yearn to be in the presence of the Prophet Mohammed and truly make him beloved to our hearts.

A Man of Ultimate Consideration Even at a young age, the Prophet Muhammad showed amazing consideration to those around him. Despite the lack of a steady father figure and the many trials he endured in his youth, the Prophet continued to persevere and serve those who were around him. After the death of his grandfather, he was sent to live with his Uncle, Abu Talib. Abu Talib had many children but he always treated the Prophet Muhammad as his own and did not deprive him of what he needed. He was known to be a generous man and would always feed the pilgrims when they would come to make pilgrimage. Because of his intense generosity, Abu Talib was poor and struggled to keep his family fed. At the young age of thirteen, Prophet Muhammad decided that he never wanted to be a burden on the shoulders of his uncle and wanted to fend for himself. In a time where being a shepherd was seen to be lowly and unrewarding, the young Prophet sacrificed his own image and became a shepherd, receiving the lowest pay possible. He did whatever he could to make sure that his uncle did not have to struggle to keep him fed and carried his own weight around the house. He stayed patient and rose in ranks in the work force until he became a successful business man by the age of twenty-five. It is at this time, in a highly chauvinistic society, that Lady Khadijah hired him to work for her. Just as his ego did not prevent him from a lowly job when he needed it, again his ego did not prevent him from working for a successful woman, whom he would eventually marry. When Prophet Muhammad did finally marry Khadijah, he did not forget the generosity of his uncle. It was not enough for him that he had carried his own weight when living with his uncle, he also wanted to give back. The Prophet returned to Abu Talib and made a noble and dignified request. He asked for one of the children of Abu Talib so that he could raise him and care for him, just as

his uncle had once done for him. Abu Talib agreed and gave him Ali, who would later be a great torch bearer of Islam. At an age where many young men are only thinking about themselves, the Prophet was already catching every opportunity to make the lives of others easier. Had he not returned to foster one of his cousins, Abu Talib would not have been hurt. Abu Talib did not expect such a gesture; rather, it came from the pure unselfish heart of the Prophet. He was truly a man of consideration, asking for nothing in return.

A Man of Mercy Today, often times a “religious” person is seen to be someone who is rough and rigid, spouting do’s and don’ts without thinking twice about the emotions of the person being scolded. The Prophet, however, was the farthest from any such description. He was a man who was enveloped in mercy, who cared for the weak, encouraged the women, and stood up for anyone in need. God describes the character of the Prophet in the Quran when He says: {So by mercy from Allah, [O Muhammad], you were lenient with them. And if you had been rude [in speech] and harsh in heart, they would have disbanded from about you. So pardon them and ask forgiveness for them and consult them in the matter. And when you have decided, then rely upon Allah. Indeed, Allah loves those who rely [upon Him].} (Al-Imran 3: 159). The Prophet did not only have mercy towards the men of his society at a time when women were treated very harshly, he was also busy working against this to replace it with mercy and compassion. The men at the time of Prophet Muhammad were privileged with the opportunity to constantly be in his company, learning and growing with him. The women wanted to have such an opportunity, and being the leader that he was, the women did not feel any shyness or fear in requesting this from him. Upon request, the Prophet set aside a special time just for the women so that he could answer their questions and help them with what they needed. There is a narration in which the Prophet was sitting amongst the women and they were talking loudly to him. Omar came into the room and the women completely changed their demeanor. Seeing this, the Prophet did not get angry, nor offended, nor even jealous-rather, he laughed. Omar asked the Prophet why he laughed at their

Narrated Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri: A man heard another man reciting: Surat-ul-Ikhlas (The Unity) ‘Say: He is Allah, the One (112) and he was repeating it. The next morning he came to Allah’s Apostle and mentioned the whole story to him as if he regarded the recitation of that Sura as insufficient On that, Allah’s Apostle said, “By Him in Whose Hand my soul is! That (Sura No. 112) equals one-third of the Qur’an.” behavior and he replied that he was amazed at how the women hid the instant they heard Omar’s voice! This angered Omar and he questioned the women, asking how they should fear him yet not the Prophet? Their response exemplifies the mercy that Prophet had towards these women; they responded confidently that in comparison, Omar was hot-tempered, while the Prophet was the epitome of mercy. The Prophet’s mercy was vast and inclusive. He spread it far and wide to the point that even animals could find refuge in his kindness. Of the many instances that are breathtakingly vibrant with the clemency of the Prophet is that of the helpless bird. ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud was traveling with the Prophet and a few other men. One of the men took an egg from the bird’s nest. Out of despair, the bird came and flapped its wings at the Prophet, and he took immediate notice to her sad state. He turned to his companions and asked them who had made this poor bird miserable. Upon finding out that her egg had been taken, he ordered the man to return the egg to her as a sign of mercy and compassion. At a time when many humans were not being shown kindness, the Prophet mastered kindness to mankind and was already encouraging kindness and rights for animals. Today, we look to the lives of the companions and read their stories. Many times, it is hard to comprehend how they had so much energy and drive to do all the things that they did. Their energy stemmed from pure Divine love which was not built through harsh reprimands or robotic movementsrather, this love was built by being in the presence of the Prophet seeing his amazing mercy and knowing that if he, the creation of God, could exhibit such mercy, then what of his Creator? Source: Muslim Link

Surrey : Continued from pg 1 Surrey stood to gain $3 million in annual revenue if the casino approved, a figure that Steele said “was nothing to sneeze at.” She argued the hotel, convention centre and entertainment complex were desperately needed. Gill agreed: “We need to build this city, we need these amenities.” But south Surrey residents argued the project should be in an industrial area and not on land that is home to all sorts of wildlife and a fish-bearing stream. Semiahmoo high school student Jordana Peters, armed with a 144-signature petition, urged council to reject the proposal, saying “you don’t represent Gateway, you represent your constituents. “Do not alienate us by giving us a development we don’t need or want,” she said.

Pakistan : Continued from pg 3 this”. “Such information collected from here and there is not worth the paper it is printed on,” he said, adding that “there can be no preparedness for such an eventuality”. The notice came barely two weeks after border skirmishes between Indian and Pakistani soldiers along the line of control - the de facto border - in which five soldiers, three of them Pakistani, were killed. It was the worst violence in the region since 2003, amid heightened tensions between the two countries. Two of the the three wars fought between the neighbours since its partition have been over the Kashmir region that both countries claim.

From Jan 25-Feb 8, 2013 (Rabi ul Awal 13- 27, 1434H) Safar Jan/F25 25 13 26 14 27 15 28 16 29 17 30 18 31 19 20 Feb 01 02 21 03 22 04 23 05 24 06 25 07 26 08 27

Day Fajar Fri 6:22 Sat 6:21 Sun 6:19 Mon 6:18 Tue 6:17 Wed 6:16 Thu 6:15 Fri 6:14 Sat 6:13 Sun 6:11 Mon 6:09 Tue 6:08 Wed 6:07 Thu 6:05 Fri 6:03

Sunr 7:52 7:51 7:49 7:48 7:47 7:46 7:45 7:44 7:43 7:41 7:39 7:38 7:37 7:35 7:33

Zawal Dhuhr Asar Maghrib 12:25 12:30 3:10 5:00 12:25 12:30 3:12 5:02 12:25 12:30 3:14 5:04 12:25 12:30 3:15 5:05 12:25 12:30 3:17 5:07 12:26 12:31 3:19 5:08 12:26 12:31 3:20 5:09 12:26 12:31 3:22 5:11 12:31 12:26 3:23 5:13 12:26 12:31 3:25 5:15 12:26 12:31 3:26 5:16 12:26 12:31 3:27 5:18 12:26 12:31 3:28 5:19 12:26 12:31 3:29 5:21 12:27 12:32 3:30 5:23

Isha 6:30 6:32 6:34 6:35 6:37 6:38 6:39 6:41 6:43 6:45 6:46 6:48 6:49 6:51 6:53

For such Prayers are enjoined on believers at stated times: Quran ,n 4:103 Source: BCMA


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Volume 12 Issue 328 Rabi ul Awaal 13, 1434 AH / January 25, 2013

Community Seniors’ Day celebrates in Masjid Al Salam Burnaby On January 20, BC Muslim Association Burnaby-New Westminster-TriCities branch organised a Community seniors’ Day at Masjid Al Salam at Canada way Burnaby. Mr. Imad Ali was the co-ordinator of this event. He briefed why Muslim Community members and others of 65 years and older need the seniors facilities in centre. MP Peter Julian along with the local MLA and dignitaries were invited for this occasion. Ms. Sana Siddique from youth read the Premier Christy Clark message for this day. All dignitaries delivered their speech for the importance of Seniors Community centre. Mr. Daud Ismail coordinated the super seniors awarded plaques which were awarded for seniors who served the community for many years. These awards were presented by all dignitaries to the following recipients: Br. Mahmood Awan, Br, Jamurat Begg, Br. M.Z.Khan, Br. Sayed Madani, Br. Abu Bakr Saddique, Br.Kasim Ali, Dr. Soleman Mohammad, Sr. Fatima , Br. Aziz Khan, Sr. Khatija Subedar, Br. Immamuvich, Sr. Zohra Ali,

Br. Rahman Ali, Master Shameem Ahmad, Br. Suleiman Bhamji, Sr. Akhtur Nissa Ibrahim, Sr. Habiba Gamiet and Sr. Kamla Khan. After the presentation, all dignitar-

Liaqat A. Bajwa receives Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubliee Medal

On Jan 23 MP Nina Grewal, Fleetwood--Port Kells presented Mr. Liaqat Ali Bajwa Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal at a banquet hall in Surrey.This award was presented in commemoration of the sixtieth anniversary of the Majesty’s Accession to the Throne and in recognition of Mr. Bajwa ‘s contributions to Canada. He is currently a senior member of the Pakistani Canadian community, having served in many capacities over the past three decades. Some of the roles he have served in include President, Senior Vice-President, General Secretary, Director of Public Relations, and Director of the Pakistan Canada Association of Vancouver, British Columbia Chapter. He presently holds the office of the Public Relations Director for the Pakistan Canada Association. He was appointed by the Government of British Columbia as a member of the Court of Revision for a period of two terms. Having served in both regional and national settings, it was natural for him to build excellent working relationships with other multicultural communities across Canada; especially the Indo-Canadian and Ismaili communities. Over the past 25 years, he have been working with a diverse group of individuals and

teams to promote the cultural “Lok Virsa” and traditions of both the Indo-Canadian and Pakistani backgrounds through live theatre shows of internationally acclaimed artists from both Pakistan and India. As an international promoter, it gave him great pleasure to share these artists and their stories with all interested people across North America. Whether it be raising funds for the victims of earthquakes in any part of the world or it was simply helping a new family find their new home in Vancouver, the chance to help someone gives me the greatest joy, hence the many years of public service. As an Executive TV Producer with Shaw and Rogers through Sohni Dharti Pakistan. He is able to keep a pulse on the issues affecting the community He was asked to run and subsequently elected in 1992 to serve as a Vice-President of the National Federation of Pakistani Canadians in Ottawa for a two year term. This allowed him the opportunity to work proactively with the Pakistani Canadian community across Canada. Because of his desire to serve the multicultural communities of BC, in 1996, he decided to run, as an MLA, for a major provincial political party.

ies took part in ribbon cutting of Gym facilitates centre at 2nd floor of the Masjid Al-Salam. The facility contains diverse gym equipment for the use of seniors in the community. There are also plans for educational series for Seniors on topics of wellness, support and care. The Community Day Centre for Seniors

will help to comprise a wide range of social, cognitive, creative, physical, cultural and spiritual activities. Health promotion and disease prevention activities, social worker, Diet-controlled programs will be managed. Delicious healthy food was served and at the end Mr. Daud Ali thanked all the guests.


Volume 12 Issue 328 Rabi ul Awaal 13, 1434 AH / January 25, 2013

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On the prayer on the Messenger of Allah RIYAD AS-SALIHIN (THE MEADOWS OF THE RIGHTEOUS)

By Imam Nawawi 243. Chapter: On the prayer on the Messenger of Allah Allah Almighty says, “Allah and His angels call down blessings on the Prophet. O you who believe! call down blessings on him and ask for complete peace and safety for him.” (33:56) 1397. ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-’As reported the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, says, “Anyone who says a prayer on me, Allah will pray on him ten times on account of it.” [Muslim] 1398. Ibn Mas’ud stated that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “The nearest of people to me on the Day of Rising will be the one who blesses me the most.” [at-Tirmidhi] 1399. Aws ibn Aws reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “The best of your days is the Day of Jumu’a, so do a lot of prayers on me during it. Your prayer is shown to me.” They said, “Messenger of Allah, how will our prayer be shown to you when you have become dust?” He said, “Allah has forbidden the earth (to consume) the bodies of the Prophets.” [Abu Dawud] 1400. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “May humiliation be the lot any man who, when I am mentioned in his presence, does not pray for blessing on me.” [at-Tirmidhi] 1401. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Do not make my grave a place of celebration. Pray over me. Your prayer reaches me wherever you are.” [Abu Dawud]

1402. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “No one greets me without Allah returning my spirit to me so that I can return the greeting to him.” [Abu Dawud] 1403. ‘Ali reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “A miser is someone who, when I am mentioned in his presence, does not pray for blessing on me.” [at-Tirmidhi] 1404. Fadala ibn ‘Ubayd said, “The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, heard a man making supplication in his prayer without glorifying Allah Almighty or praying for blessing on the Prophet. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘This one was in a hurry.’ Then he called him and said to him - or to someone else “When one of you prays, he should begin by glorifying his Lord, glory be to Him! and praising Him, and then pray for blessing on the Prophet. Then he should ask for anything else he wants afterwards.’” [Abu Dawud and at-Tirmidhi] 1405. Abu Muhammad Ka’b ibn ‘Ujra said, “The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, came out to us and we said, ‘Messenger of Allah, we know how to greet you, but how should we bless you?’ He said, ‘Say, “O Allah, bless Muhammad and the family of Muhammad as You blessed the family of Ibrahim. You are Praiseworthy, Glorious. O Allah, grant blessing to Muhammad and the family of Muhammad as You granted blessing to the family of Ibrahim. You are Praiseworthy, Glorious.”’” [Agreed upon] 1406. Abu Mas’ud al-Badri said, “Once the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him

and grant him peace, came to us while we were in the assembly of Sa’d ibn ‘Ubada. Bashir ibn Sa’d said to him, ‘Allah Almighty has commanded us to bless you, Messenger of Allah. How shall we bless you?’ The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was silent until we wished that he had not asked him. Then the Messenger of Allah said, ‘Say, ‘O Allah, bless Muhammad and the family of Muhammad as You blessed the family of Ibrahim. Grant blessing to Muhammad and the family of Muhammad as You granted blessing to the family of Ibrahim. You are the Praiseworthy, the Glorious,’ and the greeting is the way you have been taught.’” [Muslim] 1407. Abu Humayd as-Sa’idi said, “They said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, how should we bless you?’ He said, ‘Say, “O Allah, bless Muhammad and his wives and descendants as You blessed Ibrahim. Grant blessing to Muhammad and his wives and descendants as You granted blessing to Ibrahim. You are Praiseworthy, Glorious.”’” [Agreed upon]

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p o l i t i c s

Volume 12 Issue 328 Rabi ul Awaal 13, 1434 AH / January 25, 2013

Are majority Muslim countries truly independent?

By: Zafar Bangash We must define the term “independence” accurately to fully grasp the Muslim world’s current situation. Possessing territory, having a government, army, etc, do not necessarily mean independence . Given that there are 56 “Muslim” nation-states, all members of the United Nations and the Organization of Islamic Conference, the question may raise some eyebrows. Each country also has defined borders, a government headed by a king, amir, president, prime minister or even a general. Further, there is a cabinet, a standing army, national airline (or two), a national flag, and even an anthem for each country. Do these not represent independence? We must define the term “independence” accurately to fully grasp the Muslim world’s current situation. Possessing territory, having a government, army, etc, do not necessarily mean independence. The term independence must be viewed more broadly. Neo-Marxist writers — Hans Singer, Raúl Prebisch, Paul A. Baran, Paul Sweezy, Andre Gunder Frank, Theotonio Dos Santos et al — have written extensively about dependency theory demonstrating how difficult it is for a society to break out of this cycle. We need not go into the details of dependency theory but suffice it to say that the natural resources and cheap labour of dependent societies are exploited to enrich wealthy societies (in reality, these enrich the top 1% of society as the Occupy Wall Street Movement has so clearly shown!). The elite in rich societies actively perpetuate a cycle of de-

pendency through economic, political, social, cultural, banking, and financial policies. Societies that attempt to break out of the dependency cycle are coerced back into the fold through sanctions and/or the use of military force. The price exacted for trying to break loose is exceedingly high. Even societies that go through a revolution — Cuba, Vietnam, Nicaragua, etc — show how difficult it is to throw off the yoke of dependency. Most countries in Africa gained “independence” from colonialism in the 1960s but they are still dependent on the colonial masters for survival. Africa is gripped by mass starvation even though it is a resource-rich continent, due largely to the manufactured nation-state conflicts managed by Western powers (read that: starvation policies) coupled with their structural adjustment programs (read that, slavery to debt), which regard material resources in the ground to be more valuable than human resources on the ground. African countries have been trapped into a spider web-type relation-

ship from which they cannot escape. Institutions like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund are used to reinforce dependency on the colonial powers. Colonel Muammar Qaddafi of Libya paid the price with his life for attempting to break the Western stranglehold on Africa by proposing to establish an African Monetary Fund as well as an African Central Bank. More resources and capital have been sucked out of Africa into the West after “independence” than during direct colonialism. Let us, however, return to our discussion of majority Muslim countries. Are they free to formulate their own economic, political, military, cultural or social policies? Even societies that are not financially dependent on the West suffer from the dependency syndrome. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates offer good examples. These are artificial constructs that were created by Britain to serve its interests. While financially secure, they are still subservient to the West when formulating political, social, cultural, military or educational policies. Even in the economic field, these countries cannot formulate policies to benefit their own people. Saudi Arabia pumps excessive amounts of oil far beyond its needs because it must serve US and Western interests. This keeps the price of oil low depriving producers of much-needed income while transferring wealth to the West. For every dollar drop in the price of oil, producers

lose $1 billion per day. On the political front, few majority Muslim countries can stand up to Zionist Israel. Instead they are aligned with US/Zionist aggressors against the Palestinian people. Flags and national anthems aside, what is the solution to the problem facing Muslim societies? Any attempt to answer this question merely through economic analysis will not yield the correct answer. Muslim societies are unable to formulate their own policies to serve the interests of their people precisely because they are not independent. For true independence, they must first undergo an Islamic revolution to overthrow the colonial imposed order. Iran has shown how this is done. For more than 30 years, Western “experts” and “pundits” have been predicting the collapse of the Islamic system. What they fail to understand is that an Islamic revolution changes the very nature of society and renders it impervious to sanctions and boycotts. As the Noble Qur’an states so eloquently: “Allah does not alter the condition of a people until they change their attitude” (13:11). It is through this consummate change — a clean break from the exploitative milieu created by fear of temporal power to an Islamic system that fosters confidence by reliance only on the Sustainer of the worlds — that Muslims will gain true independence. Until then, Muslims will only delude themselves into believing they are independent. Zafar Bangash is Director of the Institute of Contemporary Islamic Thought

GCC official wants Arab League to set realistic goals Abdul Aziz Al-Owaisheq, assistant secretary-general of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) for negotiations and strategic dialogues, has urged the Arab League to be realistic and practical in its decisions and declarations, because impractical rhetoric does not lead to economic success. “The Arab League can only maintain its credibility if it succeeds in abandoning exaggerated statements on ambitious projects, which the league and its member states cannot implement within the time-frames specified,” Al-Owaisheq said in a statement to a local newspaper. Four years ago the Arab League decided to expand its responsibilities beyond its political character, launching the first Arab economic summit. According to Al-Owaisheq, “The Arab League’s decision requires a radical shift in its style of rhetoric, because economic decisions are different from political statements.” He also stressed that making announcements about launching ambitious projects, without following through with concrete implementation steps will damage the organization’s credibility. He said he did not observe any noticeable progress in the implementation of the league’s past economic summit declarations. He referred in particular to the announcement made during the first summit in 2009 to launch an Arab customs union by 2015. Another example he cited was the declaration to establish an Arab common market by 2020. On the other hand, he expressed hope that the successful economic integration of the GCC countries would serve as a model for the rest of the Arab world. “The GCC experience can serve as a learning platform in terms of establishing an Arab customs union and other joint institutions,” he added. Regarding the reasons hindering mutual trade between GCC and Arab countries, Al-Owaisheq attributed it to the fact that they trade with the outside world more than among one another. In addition, the bulk of exports from GCC and other Arab countries remains petroleum, which means there is a lack of diversification in terms of traded

goods. Other causes for the poor mutual trade between Arab countries include lack of good transportation facilities and the absence of a unified customs union. Al-Owaisheq also ruled out the development of a greater Arab free trade zone, due to the zone’s definition of locally produced goods, which stipulates that a product is considered locally manufactured only if 40 percent of the product’s content is of indigenous origin. Most of the goods produced in the Arab world do not fulfill this stipulation and are therefore unable to enjoy the free trade zone amenities. Furthermore, the absence of unified standards and specifications in the Arab world, except in the GCC region, poses an additional obstacle in the way of achieving extensive trade exchange between the Arab countries. Even the North African countries and European Union have unified standards and specifications that govern their commercial activities, while the Arab countries have still not reached a common understanding among themselves. In order to attract private investments there must be a safe investment environment and assurances for profitable returns. Unfortunately, for the time being the investment climate in the Arab world is neither safe nor profitable, he said. Lack of fast and hassle-free transportation is another factor that discourages investors. These are major problems the Arab League has to resolve in order to achieve greater economic integration and investments. He also stressed the need for modernizing the infrastructure and telecommunications sectors and establishing investment-friendly political administrations. Highlighting the issue of assistance given to less-advantaged countries, the GCC official said he expected the summit to apply pressure on the wealthier Arab countries to offer financial aid to their fellow counterparts. However, he expressed reservations that the assistance would be limited and therefore urged poor countries to strive hard to attract private sector investors from richer Arab countries. He pointed out that the GCC

countries offered $ 5 billion in aid to Jordan and Morocco to implement developmental projects and a similar assistance package to Yemen. In his concluding remarks, Al-Owaisheq

said he firmly believed that this summit would deliver realistic declarations because it is hosted in Riyadh and the Kingdom’s leadership is practical in its words and deeds.



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Volume 12 Issue 328 Rabi ul Awaal 13, 1434 AH / January 25, 2013

Miracle’s Special: Shahid Yusaf, A Pakistani Canadian serving in Pakistan

The Miracle always appreciates those Canadians who serve people in good faith either in Canada or outside Canada. Few weeks ago, Mr. Shahid Yusaf a PakistaniCanadian, visited Vancouver. We met in Bear Creek Community centre at an event organized by PCCA event on Dec 23. I asked him a few questions about his work in Pakistan and here is what he said:

The Miracle: Mr Shahid Yusaf, welcome on your annual visit to Vancouver. Can you summarise your past stay in BC and achievements for those readers who don’t know about your past services in BC? Shahid Yusaf: Well I served as Pakistan’s honorary investment Counsellor in Vancouver and was responsible for establishing trade and investment linkages between Pakistan and Canada. As there was no consulate here at that time, I was the first and only Pakistani who served in an official capacity to represent Pakistan here. With the grace of God, I was able to organize many delegations of Pakistani Businessmen to Visit BC and be engaged in developing trading ties here. We brought in delegations of businessmen related to Timber, food, auto parts, mining, Marble, garments, textile and many other sectors. I also helped the High Commission put together the feasibility to set up the Consulate in Vancouver. Besides that, I issued a number of Business Visa on Arrival Passes to Canadian businessmen to visit Pakistan. As you also know how the community came together and I was asked to chair the committee to raise almost a million dollar for the earthquake in 2005. I also led efforts to raise Pakistan’s profile and host events in this regard and defend Pakistan when thoughtless remarks were made against Pakistan by politicians and others alike. On a professional level my company FINCON expanded its operations and now works in more than 32 countries around the world. Also I have been involved with charitable causes and had raised resources for non profit sector in Pakistan worth more than CA$ 10 million, while I was living in BC. So with the grace of God, it was a very fruitful time.

The Miracle: What was your agenda during your stay for few years in Canada? After you received citizenship, you left the province. Were you on an entrepreneur visa. Shahid: No I was on a skilled worker visa and got my immigration in 1996 but I did not want to move from States right away and so I landed in 1998. I left Pakistan in 1984 and was in States before coming to Canada. So I wanted my kids to understand that they are Pakistani and that they have roots in Peshawar. I initially wanted to spend 3 years in Pakistan but then I got more and more involved in charitable causes and decided to extend my stay there. I do plan to return back by next year.

The Miracle: If you had a good opportunity in Pakistan then it is good for you. You upgraded your experience here and then left to serve the country. Did you hold an executive

position in any Pakistani NGO? Shahid: Thank you, yes I got my Bachelors and Masters from States and my accounting designation CMA-CPA from Canada. I returned to Pakistan and was working for my consulting firm FINCON but was also involved with a non Profit called Poverty Eradication Initiative (PEI). 3 years ago, I was asked by the board, if I can give more time and serve as its Executive Director, which I accepted. Though it is a totally voluntary position and I do not draw any salary or compensation from it. It’s a cause and I am glad that I am a part of this effort.

Shahid: Well an NGO is not owned by anyone, it is a non profit with a full independent Board. I have been affiliated with it since its creation by the expatriate Pakistani community in 2002. I have raised recourses for it since and have worked with them for the betterment of Pakistan. At the moment I am

do come for conferences to US and in Canada and make it a point to visit Vancouver. As you know I have many friends here and it is nice to catch up with them. Also I have my house here, which is rented, so I need to take care of issues related to that as well. The Miracle: Are you not scared of the cur-

heading the management of the organization and am answerable to the board. I also spend most of my energies in raising recourses for the PEI. As I mentioned earlier, I have helped in raising close to US $ 45 million for PEI in the last 3 years alone. Most of this funding is coming from US and Canada and from charitable organizations, corporate sector and other friends and colleagues that I have developed relationships with, over the last 3 decades.

rent Pakistan situation in terrorism, instability and socio economic environment? Shahid: Well one does get concerned about what is going on in Pakistan. These issues are huge challenges for Pakistan. But please remember Pakistan is not a small country, it is the sixth largest country of the world and its size is equal to the entire US west coast. In other words it is bigger than the size of Washington, Oregon and California combined. It has huge natural resources, and resilient people. I am very optimistic about the future of Pakistan. Let me quote two Great leaders Mahathir Muhammed and Abdullah Gull, Both said that this century belongs to Pakistan and that it is the leader of the Islamic world.

The Miracle: After 9-11 many Non Government Organizations (NGO’S) flooded Pakistani land, and they made money and some are still making money. Some of them became causes of terrorism, what has the Government done in this situation. Shahid: You are right to some extent, after any disaster many NGOs come to take the benefit of the situation and increase their outreach and naturally gain public sympathy along with financial resources. I do not think NGOs are contributing to the terrorist activities. PEI programmes are not geared towards disaster and relief operations but are development oriented. We have signed agreements with the government and work with them to reduce poverty and increase access to health, education, sanitation and Hygiene. We also carry out economic development activities. Besides that we have a vibrant Youth oriented programme.

The Miracle: What are the NGOs doing for the betterment of Pakistan? One example that we are watching every week in the media, is that NGOs are building elementary schools and health centre structures and few weeks later the terrorists are bombing those structures . Is it not wasting Pakistani money in this situation of those terrible areas? Shahid : You are right that the terrorism has affected many parts of the country and targeted schools and other facilities. This benefits no one. As far as we are concerned, PEI have signed agreement with 11 universities and formed Youth societies. At the moment we have agreements with NWFP Health Department, Education department, Social welfare department. FATA Disaster management Agency, Baluchistan Health department and others, where we have promised an assistance of Rs. 4 Billion to them over the next four years.

The Miracle: You are doing business in Peshawar city in the province of KPK and that city is always suffering from terrorist attacks. Do you feel that you are not secure there and if so, then how do you survive? Shahid: Well when I moved back, I spent the initial 3 years in Peshawar and now I am living in Islamabad, but do spend significant amount of time in Peshawar. Peshawar is a changed city. It is a city which faces many terrorist attacks and security situation is precarious. However, it is still my city and I am more comfortable in Peshawar than any other part of the country. Also the way media portrays a city is way different than the reality. So the situation is not as bad as what you see on your TV screens.

The Miracle: Do you work for NGO or own your NGO Poverty Eradication Initiative? How was it founded, and who is funding it?

The Miracle: Let us know what your Poverty Eradication Initiative is doing for the people of Pakistan. As I know that you have Medical Support Program, Non Food Items Program and Youth Initiative. please briefly tell us about those. Shahid: We were offered 40 containers of brand new cloths from H&M cloths; I accepted only 17 as I needed only the clothes that are culturally acceptable to Pakistani rural and poor populations. We also recently received around 800,000 pairs of brand new shoes from a US company called TOMS shoes. Also I helped raise a lot of medical and surgical supplies for various hospitals in Pakistan. PEI had already donated medical and surgical goods worth of millions to various government health facilities in Khyber Pukhtunkhwa, Baluchistan & FATA and working on several projects such as health, youth, livelihood, wash, gender, child protection and other sectors. We have school programmes where we donate cloths and shoes to kids but during the process, teach them the value of personal hygiene as you know that the biggest cause of death for kids under 10 is diarrhoea. Simply teaching kids how to wash their hands, mouth and feet can save many lives. We have Youth councils in 11 universities and we are trying to promote tolerance and positive extracurricular activities among youth. So we are doing many activities. You can find out more about us by visiting our website: and our facebook site: http://www.facebook. com/povertyeradicationinitiative

The Miracle: You are visiting every year in British Columbia, is that the Canadian Immigration requirement or you and your family love beautiful British Columbia. Shahid: No there is no immigration requirements as I have Canadian Nationality. But I

The Miracle: What’s the future you are looking of Pakistan in Politics and as well as economics, any good news for overseas Pakistanis? Shahid: This May when Pakistan holds its next elections will be the biggest test of Pakistan’s democracy. This is a huge event and a tremendous accomplishment. A democracy in transition! I see huge gains for Pakistan in this momentous occasion. Even though Pakistan faces many challenges, it will move forward, bring better leadership and move in the right direction. I am quite optimistic and hopeful that this will be a very positive change for Pakistan. The Miracle: At the end please initiate Miracle readers if someone are not well settled here, they can go back in Pakistan and do freely whatever he wants. Shahid: Well that is a personal choice. For sure Pakistan does offer tremendous opportunities in terms of business and work. Also being familiar with culture, traditions and values one can achieve success more easily. However, BC offers a great environment and a good quality of life. It is a great place to live and raise kids. So all depends on what one wants to accomplish and what are their priorities in life. The Miracle: Thanks, when will you be back in BC? Shahid: Inshallah will be back during summer with the family. The Miracle: Thanks for catching up with us, you bring positive news from Pakistan and we pray that this year offers a better and positive outlook for Pakistan. (Ameen)



Volume 12 Issue 328 Rabi ul Awaal 13, 1434 AH / January 25, 2013

What is the main difference between Islamic and Interest Base Monetary System?

By: Mr. Irfan Shahzad. Islamic monetary system is test of leadership and management of executives and economic managers and Islamic economists to apply. Islamic economic system is radically different to conventional interest based economic system. Islamic monetary system takes money as medium or mode of economic transactions not as a commodity itself. Imam Hasan Al Basri, an eminent scholar of Islam of the fist Islamic century, commented on the utility of money as: “Money is such a friend of yours which benefits you only when it leaves you.” This brief remark in fact makes up the whole of Islamic monetary system. The remark emanates two main points: • Money is mode to achieve a some objective not the objective itself • Money has got no intrinsic value Money carries no intrinsic utility. It cannot be used directly to fulfill the human needs. It can only be used in exchange of some goods or services. On the other hand a commodity has its intrinsic utility. It can be used directly to meet human needs. This can be well described in economic terms: there are two types of commodities: “consumption goods” and “productive goods”. Money falls not to any of the mentioned categories. Money is not consumed itself, so it is not consumption goods, nor does it produce anything, so it is not productive good. All the modern economists admit, now, that money is the means and medium of exchange for economic activities, not a commodity. Adam Smith called the horded money as dead stock, which produce nothing. Yet, in effect, money is treated as a commodity in itself in the interest based monetary system; and this is the basic of usury and interest. Once admitted that money is a medium of exchange not a commodity, the logical consequent is that while exchanging it with money especially of the same denomination, it must earn no profit. It is the logical and philosophical bases for the prohibition of interest. The economists after conceding money as a medium of exchange do not take it to this logical result. The invention of paper money was used to propel the interest based monetary system. This paper money when deposited with the banks created an imaginary kind of pre-

sumed money considered by “fractional reserve system”. This money surpassed the amount of real currency. The financial papers were invented, later, on which banking entities advanced loans on the basis of interest. This fictitious money crossed all the bounds and reached an unbelievable extent. The size of this fictitious money is twelve times more than the collective GDP of the whole world! Fictitious money is nothing but numbers fed in the computers. It is a bubble has nothing to do with the real finance. This is what Imam Ghazali has indicated centuries ago: “Interest is forbidden, for, it stops people from taking up real financial activities; since a person is allowed to earn interest based money… it becomes easy for him to earn interest based money and bothers not to take part in the real economic activities. This phenomenon leads to damaging real economic activities of people, as the interest of people cannot be protected without real skills of trade, industry and construction” Here comes the test of leadership and management. Islamic monetary system based on real money. It offers its mutual venture of economic activities in which the investor and the worker, Mudarib and Rab ul Mall, share profit and loss on agreed ratio. In this way, the saver of money becomes an actual partner in the business. This system creates no fictitious money or bubble which may burst at times, as it did in the great depression of 1930s as suggested by the, then, investigatory team “Economic Crisis Committee”. Islamic interest free monetary system can save the world from economic crises, since it allows no interest which produced fictitious money. Nonetheless, Islamic monetary system can not work in isolation from other organs of society. Unless the whole system backs it, it cannot produce its fruits in full. To achieve this goal the foremost job to be done is to focus on education in Islamic finance along with training of leadership and management and leadership development. Islamic leadership development programs need great sophistication to cope with the real world challenges.

USAID to roll out largest AMR project in Pakistan ISLAMABAD: United States Agency of International Development (USAID) in itss continuing efforts to assist government-owned power distribution companies (DISCOs)) d in loss reductions and revenue enhancements is in the final stages off rolling out a nationwide installation of Automated Meter Reading (AMR) projects. Initially the project would be targeting areas with high thefts and significantly high line losses. The AMR would provide highly accurate electronic meter readings with very little human intervention, using computer technology to transmit meter readings data via GSM/GPRS and Radio Frequency. This would help DISCOs in monitoring the energy consumption trends among different consumer categories, understand consumer patterns, reduce electricity losses significantly and increase their revenues. The installation of AMR meters would start in the first quarter of 2013. With the intervention approaching its installation phase, the USAID Power Distribution Programme organised an AMR solution requirements workshop at Lahore. ITRON the AMR system provider for DISCOs and their local partner MicroTech Industries (MTI) were also present during these workshops to demonstrate proposed AMR solutions to DISCOs. The main objective of the workshop was

to better understand and gather DISCOs’ bbusiness requirements. AMR project teams ffrom all five DISCOs (Islamabad E Electric Supply Company, P Peshawar Electric Supply C Company, Lahore Electric S Supply Company, Hyderabad Electric Supply C Company and Multan E Electric Power Company) actively participated in the workshop. The delegations were briefed about the business requirements and how AMR implementation can be profitable for DISCOs. This is the largest AMR rollout in Pakistan with almost 17,000 AMR meters being installed among all five DISCOs. Under this project AMR meters will be installed at feeders, distribution transformers, agricultural tubewells, general and high-end consumers, in areas with a high number of thefts and electricity losses. The project is being launched as a model for the five DISCOs to showcase the benefits of the latest meter reading technologies. The programme would also facilitate in establishing methodologies for energy accounting and cost of service studies for DISCOs. This is one among a number of engineering projects being implemented in partnership with government-owned DISCOs. The USAID Power Distribution Programme would also introduce new equipment specifically designed to reduce the frequency and duration of power outages.

The India-Pakistan Conflict in a Philly Cab

By Deepak Singh On a December morning, I checked out of my hotel in Philadelphia, and wheeled my suitcase through the automatic doors. Several taxis —yellow, white and multicolored— were lined up at the curb. I looked through the window of one cab and gestured to the driver to pop the trunk for me. The guy looked Indian. I put my suitcase away and hopped in next to him, hoping for some conversation along the way. “Airport?” The guy asked me. “No, the train station,” I replied with a smile. He started the meter and took off. The driver looked to be in his mid-thirties. He was a little overweight—his paunch pressing against the steering wheel. I asked him, “Are you from India?” He looked at me with a blank face and said, “Pakistan. Are you from India?” I said yes and smiled again. He didn’t respond. So a few seconds later, I tried again. “How are things in Pakistan?” “Not good,” he said, looking ahead. I waited for him to say more, but he didn’t appear to be in a mood to talk. I decided not to bother him. But a minute later, when I was looking out the window, he said, “Your country is responsible for all the problems in Pakistan.” I looked at him, surprised, but didn’t say

anything. “Innocent children and women are dying daily,” he continued. “Every other day there is a terrorist attack. It has become impossible to live there.” I didn’t know what to say. “Can you ask your country to stop the killings?” he said, turning to me, with teary eyes. “I have lost so many of my relatives.” I was just going to the station to catch a train to Charlottesville, Virginia, and wasn’t prepared for my 15-minute taxi ride to be so intense. I was sitting next to him, and he was waiting for me to answer his question. “Can you help us?” he asked again. I swallowed, and nodded unconvincingly. For the next ten minutes, we sat next to each other, without saying a word. I watched tears rolling down his cheeks, dropping on the steering wheel. I felt helpless and uncomfortable. Finally, we arrived at the station, and he stopped the car. The meter displayed $12.67. We both got out. He pulled my suitcase out of the trunk, and I pulled out a $20 bill to pay him, thinking I’d tell him to keep the change. I approached him and handed him the money. He took the bill, folded it, and shoved it back into my shirt pocket. “Do something,” he said to me. “We need your country’s help.” I just stood there and watched him get into his car and drive away.


s p e c i a l

Volume 12 Issue 328 Rabi ul Awaal 13, 1434 AH / January 25, 2013

Miracle’s Special:

Tehrik e Minhaj ul Quran BC Chapter

Today we got the optutunity to sit with Tehrik e Minhaj ul Quran BC Chapter executive members, let’s read about them. I have known Allama Tahir ul Qadri from many years from Pakistan in 80’s. He made a political Party name Awami Tehrik e Inqlab, and participated in election till 2004 referendum election. His strong relations at that time were with Mr. Nawaz Sharif and benefitted from him. And then at the time of Perviaz Mushraf, he was involved in politics and then differences developed between them. Allama Qadri left Pakistan and settled in Canada and got the Canadian Nationality and worked here for his publications And oversaw the Minjaj ul Quran of 90 countries branches. Today we will not discuss his past. The Miracle: Allma Tahir ul Qadri sahib visited many times in Vancouver, BC during past 8 years. In the beginning his programs were organised by some prominent Pakistani community members, and then with time, most of the Pakistani community moved away from him and the Fijian and Indian Muslim community members get closer to them. Mr. Ilyas Sharif : As far as the origination of Minhaj ul Quran in BC in 1995 Mr Amanullah Patel , Shabbir Patel and I formed this Tehreek unofficially while we were concentrating on the knowledge, vision and methodology of Sheikh ul Islam Dr Tahir al qadri. Mr Amanullah even went to visit the secretariat in Lahore to get a firsthand experience of the ground realities. In 2003 Dr Muhammad Tahir al Qadri visited Vancouver upon our invitation. In the same year we registered our organisation in BC. I would like to clarify the statement that most of the Pakistani community members moved away as mentioned at the beginning of the interview. While you might have some names in your mind, I would like to tell you that there are approximate 50 life

members of Minhaj ul Quran in Lower mainland and most of them are Pakistani. Since the very beginning we had Pakistani members who joined us from Calgary and from here. Br Tariq Raza and Br Muhammad Tahir claimed that they were influenced by this mission even when they were in Pakistan and had understood the vision of Dr Tahir al qadri. Later on Br Javed Chaudhrey who was a former political activist in Pakistan joined the mission here. Br Tariq Raza and Br Javed Chaudrey moved to Saskatchewan and also participated in the Long march. Hafiz Muhammad Tariq also joined the mission. Apart from them the Fijian community members and Indian Muslims also became life members of this mission. This shows the global influence of this mission, Al-hamdulillah. Miracle: Mr. Illyas Sharif you as the chief organiser, briefly tell how you became member of Minhaj ul Quran, what motivated you to join and what are your thoughts about Allama Qadri’s vision. When was the last time Dr. Qadri was in BC? Mr. Ilyas: The unique dimension of Dr Muhammad tahir al qadri’s vision is that the religion of Islam was finalized by the last prophet more than 1400 years ago but will continue until the last day. Islam has all the constituents to fulfill the need of the time but it is the duty of the scholars to explore and find out the methodology, the analogy and the vocabulary to impart the spirit of Islam to the Muslims of the time. There are 2 words which I will mention. “Urf and Ibn al-Waqt” meaning ‘customs of the place’ and the ‘son of the time’. The first is a concept and the latter is the scholar who understands the import of the application of that concept. Both are clearly visible in the personality and vision of Dr Tahir al Qadri. Miracle: Today we will talk about the current long March of Pakistan, what do say about its start and conclusion. I

can understand if your knowledge about Pakistani politics and politicians is limited. Mr. Ilyas: The starting and conclusion of the long march can be summarised as the beginning of change in Pakistan. The spirit of democracy is in the rule of law for the service of the people which is very much lacking in Pakistan. Dr Muhammad Tahir al Qadri had for a long time analysed the situation coming to the conclusion that the electoral system needs to be reformed as per the provision existent in the constitution of Pakistan and the people’s representation act of 1976. Only then the fair representatives of the people of Pakistan can reach the parliament who can serve their people, filtering out the unqualified candidates. Dr Qadri stood up with hundreds of thousands of marchers and they were successful in meeting their demands. When implemented in letter and spirit this will bring change from top to bottom as all will be able to reap the fruits of true democracy. The whole Pakistani nation should stand in favour of implementing the long march declaration. Miracle: People want to know who is behind the Minhaj ul Quran funding and its Agenda. what would you say about funding sources? Mr. Ilyas: Minhaj ul Quran has branches in 90 countries of the world. When-ever there is a big project it is announced and all branches contribute to that cause. For example the earthquake disaster in Pakistan

where the Minhaj ul Quran BC in affiliation with Br Shahid Chaudhrey sent containers of tents for the shelter of the victims and Br Shahid himself went there to oversee the distribution. Then during the flood disaster the members supported and likewise for the long march the global members contributed their shares. I would like to clarify that this long march was organised under the banner of Minhaj ul Quran because this was not the political agenda of Pakistan Awami Tehreek. This was the agenda of reforms to root out the corrupt practices in the electoral process. And give the power of ruling to those who are qualified. And this is the hukm of the Quran as far as the principles are concerned: Allah says “Indeed Allah commands you to give the trust to those who are qualified for it and when you judge between people give your judgement based on fairness and justice (4:58).” Another note of clarification is that Dr Tahir al Qadri never received any personal monetary benefit from anyone nor governmental favour for his organisation. This is on the record. Miracle: If anyone has any question about Allama Qadri , can they reach you for further clarification? As far as the personality of Sheikh ul Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir al Qadri is concerned anyone having any question can contact me or brother shabbir Patel and we will clarify the matter based on the principles of Quran and Sunna while mere opinions based on altered facts are insignificant because honor lies in the hands of Allah alone. Those who wish to join this mission they can also contact us. ; .

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Volume 12 Issue 328 Rabi ul Awaal 13, 1434 AH / January 25, 2013

Pak govt-Qadri deal: Genuine or farce?

By: Afzal Khan, Islamabad The deal struck by the government and cleric Tahirul Qadri after sit-out in front of Parliament House has triggered controversy with many sceptics describing it as a farce.

“It is too good to believe there has been no dubious dealing behind the scenes,” senior anchor Nusrat Javed observed saying the whole show was scripted long before it was actually enacted in Islamabad’s Jinnah Avenue. An impression was created that the government had conceded to most of Qadir’s demands. PTI senior leader Ishaq Khaqwani, PMLN’s Tariq Azim and National Reconstruction former chairman Danyal Aziz concurred

that President Asif Ali Zardari had launched the firebrand chief of Minhajul Quran International (MQI) while targeting Nawaz Sharif. Another senior anchor Mushtaq Minhas claimed that the draft of the agreement announced in a dramatic fashion was ready when PML-Q chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain met Qadri in Model Town headquarters of the MQI before the start of the march. “The draft agreement was already in place when the socalled talks were held after Qadri gave 90-minute deadline to President Zardari to negotiate or face unspecified ‘action’,” Minhas said. Group Editor of The News Shaheen Sehbai, however, offered a different interpretation claiming that the army intervened after Qadri’s threat of “action”, implying that he would unleash his mob to occupy the Parliament House, the Presidency and the PM House. Ishaq Khawani said PTI chairman Imran Khan resisted intense pressure to join Qadri’s march because he was convinced that the entire show was orchestrated and


Imran Khan was the only honest By: Khurram Rai, PTI Coordinator Vancouver Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf believes that immediate fair and free elections, under a neutral caretaker government, are the only way out of crisis confronted by the country. I believe that Dr. Tahir Ul. Qadri’s dharna had several positives. First it highlighted the strong public desire to bring a change in the country. To do a sit-in for so many days and nights in extreme conditions is evidence of the desperation existing in people for a change. Dr Qadri’s undoubtedly strong statements on the character and performance of our leaders did resonate with the public sentiment. It highlighted the tools the ECP of Pakistan has to conduct free and fair election and the lack of implementation of these tools. The major attention in this march was on the PTI. Dr Qadri’s stand on the corruption in the country and the need for change was very similar to what the PTI had been saying for five years. To add to this Dr Qadri also admitted that Imran Khan was the only honest and credible hope of the country. If the signed declaration is really acted upon then I can see at least 60% of the current parliamentarians becoming (legally) ineligible to contest the next general elections.

“ More of the Same “ By: Zaheer Ali Manki, Surrey The emergence of Dr Tahirul Qadri on the political scene of Pakistan is , at the very least, a good sign. As the general elections in Pakistan are fast approaching, the existing governing machine is a cesspool of corrupt and morally bankrupt politicians. In the absence of Dr Qadri’s appearance in Pakistan’s political arena , what could be reasonably expected outcome of the election results would be “ more of the same “ i.e status quo. The same old tried and tested corrupt politicians would be recycled. • Dr Qadri is an honest and pious man. What Dr Qadri is demanding is that enough is enough. The cesspool of corrupt politicians needs purging. The bad blood of

funded by President Zardari. English daily The Express Tribune headlined its story on the deal ‘Concluding the farce’. There was common view among sceptics that Nawaz Sharif was the target of the whole plan. Qadri’s political party PAT will become part of a four-party combine, including the PPP, the PML-Q and MQM, to confront Sharif and Imran Khan in elections in Punjab hoping that Imran would chip in Sharif’s vote bank. Nawaz Sharif, who had earlier termed Qadri’s sit-in as a “circus”, said the cleric had started with demanding dissolution of assemblies and termed coalition ministers and the PM as former ministers, struck a deal with the same ministers. Aaj TV reporter Tariq Chaudhry disclosed that Qadri and his family had made reservations to fly to Toronto via Dubai on January 27 night just when he was telling tens of thousands of mesmerised audience in Jinnah Avenue to stay put till acceptance of the demands even if it takes them a month. Tariq said he has copies of the ticket. Express TV reported that the Canadian authorities have called Qadir to appear before them on February 5 to respond to the charge

that he violated its immigration and asylum laws. Qadri reportedly had sought asylum in Canada in 2008 on plea that he was under life threat from banned extremist organisation Lashkar-e-Jhangvi. Under Canadian laws, anybody who is given asylum cannot travel to the country where he is threatened. Terms of deal • National Assembly will be dissolved before its mandated term ending March 16 • Elections will be held within 90 days giving the interim government and the Election Commission more time to oversee elections • One month will be given for scrutiny of candidates under Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution • No candidate will be allowed to launch campaign till clearance • Both parties will select two names with consensus to be presented to the opposition parties for nomination of the interim PM • The reconstitution of the Election Commission will be discussed on January 27 in MQI’s Lahore office • Electoral reforms will be undertaken in accordance with the Supreme Court’s June 8, 2012 verdict • All cases registered against protesters will be withdrawn.


corruption and selfishness must be drained and a team of young , honest and educated politicians to take the helm of the nations affairs. • The long march perhaps was a little draconian step but it has got the attention of the establishment. Resolution of demands and counter demands with dialogue is a desirable phenomenon. The Government has handled it rather well. We as a nation have proven to the world that we are a mature and peaceful nation which can manage its own affairs in an amicable fashion. • An area where extra attention needs to be focused is in the composition of an independent and impartial Election Commission so the election results are acceptable to all i.e losers and winners. Thus a new National Assembly may start a whole new page in the history of Pakistan where the decisions are made in the sole interest of the Nation.

Islamabad declaration was very well pre written By: Intikhab Ahmed, Surrey A very well organized long march, in long violent political history of Pakistan, and results out of it were very strange me. Mr. Qadari and Pakistan People’s Party and establishment of Pakistan have achieved much more than expected. Mr. Qadari have been used by establishment, Previously, when Mr. Musharaf took control of the country, A very well written script was played, Mr.Qadari played a major role, few days before the military coup in May 1998, in his speech, Dr. Qadari Invited, military to intervene against Nawaz Shareef’s corrupt government. This time again Mr.Qadari, have been used against PML(N). Imarn Khan’s PTI did not repeated the same mistake, they did not joined the Dr. Qadari long march. Nawaz Shreef betrayed Imran Khan, during the Lawyers movement second time, when Imran Khan joined, Sheikh Rasheed’s call to over throw the government, this call did not materialized as well., third time PTI don’t want to repeat the same. Dr. Qadari have

became some sort of political force in Pakistan, out of it, the beneficiary is PPP. Now Mr. Mushrraf is throwing his support to, Dr. Qadari, Musharaf, PPP Dr. Qadari a new player in politics have one point agenda to keep Rai Wind kings, out of federal politics. At the same time, division of Punjab province, into Bahawalrpur province, will further weaken the PML(N) political strength. PML(N) will bring Dr. Amar Liaqat Hussain to, Lahore to stage similar drama. Islamabad declaration was very well pre written, in English then translated into Urdu script, which was played very well, for the nation, where literacy rate is declining at a alarming rate.

Container Bargaining! By: Ijaz Chatha, Surrey First of all we should thank Allah (SWT) that the long march ended in peace because we have previously seen the tragic incident of the Laal Masjid; had the government and Sheikh-ul Islam not been able to give up their stubbornness, it could have led to an unacceptable situation. Any issue which can be resolved at the table (container) is a step forward to strengthening democracy. I believe Qadri’s personality was disputed for various reasons, especially due to some of his publicized videos. Even though some of his demands were reasonable, they were not something new because the public always wishes to see the electoral system reformed;

However, Tahir ul Qadri had a wrong timing and a very wrong approach to address the issues. The government has had to spend 20 Million rupees of the public’s money and perhaps Dr. Qadri had to spend much more, for just some container bargaining, which could have been easily addressed in one room over a cup of coffee. At the end of the day, who knows if the negotiations will be acted upon? The elected government should not adopt an arrogant attitude; rather they should be cooperative, helpful and considerate of the wellbeing of the nation. They should be listening to the common man rather than giving personal protocols to the wealthier. Political parties should also be held accountable for not having democracy amongst them. People’s party has not been able to deliver Roti, Kapra, and Makaan for the last many decades and real change can only be made possible by vote; not by a means of long marches. Another important aspect is to educate the public about the importance of their vote, so that at the time of marking their ballot, an individual is able to keep in mind the records of the political parties, internal/ external policies, and make an educated decision so that later they don’t blame the government for having no electricity, drinking water, gas, etc. The nation is currently in need of electing patriotic and determined individuals to run the nation rather than corrupt! May Allah save our country! Ameen!


h o m e & g a r d e n Volume 12 Issue 328 Rabi ul Awaal 13, 1434 AH / January 25, 2013

Roofing & Renovation Solutions Popular Choices of Driveways

By Imran Tipu, B.Sc. Civil Eng Asphalt Driveways | Popular and Cost Effective Driveways Asphalt driveways are an excellent alternative to concrete: they are cheaper, more flexible and can even be similarly customized in appearance. Asphalt consists, most typically, of rock, sand and asphalt cement, which is a petroleum product. Asphalt is most commonly found only in black, but it is a common misconception that no other colors or elaborate patterns are available; most people, when they think of asphalt, think of a highway: effective, but bland. This, however, is not the case: asphalt stamping can create intricate and beautiful patterns, adding an aesthetic touch that can be further enhanced by mixing in polymer dyes that give the asphalt different colors, tints or hues. Like concrete, asphalt requires a solid foundation upon which to build; it is imperative that the foundation is properly installed, because a faulty foundation can wreak havoc on the strength and durability of your asphalt driveway. Because of their petroleum base, asphalt driveways are relatively flexible, allowing them to better withstand the freezing of water and its subsequent expansion,

which is a huge cause of cracking and distortion in concrete driveways. Furthermore, asphalt driveways can be salted in winter, providing greater traction and helping to melt any ice that might cover them; concrete driveways, on the other hand, are damaged by salt. Finally, asphalt driveways retain heat very well, especially the common black variants. Though this can be problematic in the summer, when the surface becomes so hot it is uncomfortable to walk barefoot across, it can be a great boon in winter, when the surface absorbs heat from the sun, storing it more effectively than gravel, concrete and stone, thereby making it more difficult for the driveway to ice over. Asphalt driveways are extremely cost effective, and are among the cheapest drive ways to install: price estimates typically range between $2-$5 per square foot, which, while double the cost of gravel, the cheapest driveway material, is still roughly half the cost of concrete. It should be noted that pattern stamping and coloring will augment these estimates. Asphalt driveways require semi-regular maintenance to be kept in the best possible condition. Cracks or fissures should be sealed immediately using emulsified liquids or specially purchased asphalt sealants. Though asphalt driveways tend to crack more frequently than their concrete counter-parts, repairing these cracks in asphalt is significantly easier and less expensive, offsetting somewhat the more regular repairs (special note: after initial installation, a minimum period of six to nine months should pass

Mortgage Watch By Kazim Jafary Buying a home is no doubt a big undertaking which has a number of financial aspects. One thing that can make or break your mortgage application just like down payment is the availability of funds for closing costs. Before you take possession of your new home, you need to consider any and all additional costs of obtaining your mortgage. These are called closing costs. Generally estimated around 1 - 1.5% of the price of the home, these are the unavoidable costs that are the last hurdle between you and your dream home. Deposit: Due upon the acceptance of your purchase offer, a deposit is essentially a gesture of good faith between the buyer and the seller. A minimum deposit is usually around $5000. This is something your realtor will help you with. Appraisal: An appraisal may be required to determine the market value of the property you are buying. If you are putting more than 20% down the appraisal is at your cost and they generally start at $350 and go up depending on the appraisal company, the size of the property and its location. For example, properties over 1800 square feet as well as acreages depending on the size of land and where they are located have a higher cost of appraisal. Mortgage loan insurance: It is a mandatory expense for buyers who make a down payment of less than 20%. Administered through one of the three insurers we have in Canada; the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), Genworth Financial and Canada Guaranty, the cost of this insurance depends on the amount of your down

payment and also certain details of your application. The premium ranges from between 0.5% all the way up to around 7% if you are self-employed and putting only 5% down. This premium is charged on the amount of the mortgage and can be added on to the loan amount. Home inspection: Real estate agents normally counsel buyers to make an offer on a home conditional on the outcome of an independent home inspection. A home inspector looks for items that could affect the price and desirability of a home, such as outdated wiring, shabby roofing, an elderly furnace or cracks in the foundation. The fee depends on size of the home, age and the amount of time it takes to do a thorough inspection. Approximate cost can be considered around $400-500. Home insurance: Canadian law states that a home owner must have fire insurance on his or her new property effective when he or she takes possession. If the home inspection turned up antiquated wiring or other problematic features, a potential insurer may refuse to cover you unless you get it fixed. So the rule of thumb in this regard is that you should factor in all costs required to pacify the insurance company. Legal fees: A lawyer or a notary public is vital to any home deal. He or she is responsible for research, handling documents, mediating with the seller’s attorney, transfer of land title and much more. Approximately this cost is around $800-1300. Title insurance: This protects you and your lender from any unpleasant revelations about your property’s history that might crop up in the future. Unless you pay for a survey, it’s difficult to ascertain a comprehensive history of your property. In order to deal with potential errors or omissions in the public registry or secret heirs to the land, most new homeowners buy title insurance and sometimes it’s also a requirement by the lender. The fee depends on two factors. The first is whether the property is urban or rural; title

before any sealant is used, as prior to this time it could damage the foundation). Because of their incredible ability to contract and expand without sustaining damage, asphalt driveways are ideal in colder climates, or climates that experience drastic differences in temperature. They are a costeffective means of paving, and, unlike gravel and concrete, are more suitable to steep inclines or slopes. Block Driveways | Decorative Driveway Choices Building a block driveway can be a good choice for increasing the curb appeal of the front of the house or the front of your property. There are certain places where considerations have to be made in order to make a good installation. Homes in all climates can have a block driveway, but that does not mean that each installation is the same. In colder climates, a block driveway needs to have small spaces in between the different sections of the driveway to allow for expansion of the blocks during freezing weather. Moreover, the driveway needs to be constructed so that there is traction available to vehicles that are travelling on the driveway. A block driveway that is purely decorative in any climate still needs to be level and easy to drive on. This means that the plans for the driveway need to be done by a professional architect or planner so that you can ensure that the space will be functional. When you want to put in a block driveway at an office building or other space where the drive sway is decorative, you should get

insurance costs more out in the country because there’s a greater chance that the property may contain an undisclosed structure, such as a well or a septic tank. The second factor depends on whether it’s a single residence or a multiple-family dwelling (such as an apartment); the cost is more in the latter case. This is obtained through your lawyer and is approximately $200-250. Interest adjustment: Unless you take possession on the first of the month, you must prepay your lender the amount of interest accrued up to the first day of the next month. This depends on what payment structure you have chosen for your mortgage loan (monthly, biweekly, or weekly etc.). The sum is due on your closing day or with your first payment, depending on the lender. Prepaid bills: The seller may be entitled to a reimbursement from you, if he or she has prepaid bills (water, gas or hydro) or property taxes. Moving expenses: Whether you are hiring professional haulers, conscripting friends and family to lug boxes, or renting a U-Haul

plans done so that you can have your company logo designed into the blocks. This is an easy way to brand for your company and brand the building as well. When looking to install a block driveway, it is best to think about how you will be able to make the driveway look nice and functional at the same time. You also have to choose the right type of materials for the installation. Most block driveways are constructed from bricks or decorative landscaping stones. This allows for the most choices in color and shape. Beyond the blocks, a bonding material is required, but depending on the climate, the bonding agent could change. This is why calling on a contractor can make this project easier. Choosing to do a block driveway involves talking to a designer who can draw up plans to make the design functional and seasonal considerations based on the climate. This makes a block driveway beautiful and functional at the same time. For more information about these article series and/or all our previous articles, please visit:

vehicle you should definitely expect an outlay of cash on moving day. Service activation fees: Once you move into your new dwelling, you’ll inevitably have to pay activation fees for utilities such as phone, cable, gas and electricity. Mail forwarding: You have made a point of apprising the important people and entities in your life (family, friends, employers, banks, utility companies, and credit card companies) of your new postal address. But you are bound to forget someone. To ensure you don’t miss any crucial mail, you should get Canada Post to forward mail sent to your old address to your new residence. You can sign up for the service online or at any post office. The cost is about $30 for six months, but peace of mind is priceless. Undoubtedly, the privilege of home ownership is a costly affair. So it is important that you keep all the aforementioned costs in mind for a smooth transfer of residence from a rented place to your own new home. Questions & Comments:

Billionaires’ : Continued from pg 1 of investment and growth as workers are forced to survive on a smaller share of total incomes. She said: “We can no longer pretend that the creation of wealth for a few will inevitably benefit the many – too often the reverse is true.” The report said the issue affected all parts of the world. “In the UK inequality is rapidly returning to levels not seen since the time of Charles Dickens. In China the top 10% now take home nearly 60% of the income. Chinese inequality levels are now similar to those in South Africa, which is now the most unequal country on Earth and significantly more unequal than at the end of apartheid.” In the US, the share of national income going to the top 1% has doubled since 1980 from 10 to 20%, the report says. For the top 0.01% the share of national income is above levels last seen in the 1920s. The World Bank and Inter-

national Monetary Fund have argued that extreme income inequality undermines growth and both organizations have attempted to tie their loans to programs that limit the growth of inequality. Members of the richest 1% are estimated to use as much as 10,000 times more carbon than the average US citizen. Oxfam said world leaders should learn from countries such as Brazil that had grown rapidly while reducing inequality. Stocking said: “We need a global new deal to reverse decades of increasing inequality. As a first step world leaders should formally commit themselves to reducing inequality to the levels seen in 1990.” She said closing tax havens, which the Tax Justice Network says hold as much as $31 trillion, or as much as a third of all global wealth, could yield an additional $189bn (£118bn) in additional tax revenues. Source: Guardian


Volume 12 Issue 328 Rabi ul Awaal 13, 1434 AH / January 25, 2013

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Volume 12 Issue 328 Rabi ul Awaal 13, 1434 AH / January 25, 2013


Volume 12 Issue 328 Rabi ul Awaal 13, 1434 AH / January 25, 2013



Volume 12 Issue 328 Rabi ul Awaal 13, 1434 AH / January 25, 2013

Canada lags behind other countries in after-hours medical care: report

A new report suggests Canadians have a harder time getting rapid access to their doctors, especially outside of working hours, than people in a group of similar countries. The report shows Canadians are least likely to be able to get a same-day or next-day medical appointment than residents of countries like Britain, the Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand and the United States. And Canadians are among the least likely to be able to get a house call from their doctor. The report says 58 per cent of Canadian doctors reported they make home visits, compared to between 90 and 100 per cent in the Netherlands, Norway, Britain, France and Switzerland. The findings are included in the 2012

Commonwealth Fund international health policy survey, which asked primary care doctors to assess the performance of their health-care systems on a wide range of issues. Doctors in 11 countries were polled for the survey, which was conducted between March and July of 2012. In Canada, the report was released Monday by the Health Council of Canada. Most of the Canadian doctors polled felt better about the way Canada’s system is working than they did a few years ago, but only 40 per cent said the system works well and needs only minor changes. One of the problems the report highlights is after-hours care. Canadian doctors are among the least likely to have arrangements for their patients to see other doctors -- other than

in hospital emergency departments -- when their own practices are closed. While having an arrangement for patients to be able to consult another doctor or a nurse after hours seems to be the norm in many of the countries in the survey, only 46 per cent of doctors in Canada reported having such a system in place. “That’s a system issue that needs to be addressed because . . . you’re only recourse then is an emergency room. And Canada is pretty well the highest user of emergency rooms,” said John Abbott, CEO of the Health Council of Canada. “It’s inefficient for the system, it’s definitely much more costly for the system and as a patient it is not the appropriate area for care.” In addition to the international comparisons, the poll broke responses down by

province as well within Canada. Doctors in British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador and Ontario are more likely to do house calls. Doctors in the three Prairie provinces were the least likely to do so. Ontario doctors are considerably more likely to have arrangements for after-hours care for their patients than doctors in other provinces; Manitoba doctors were the least likely to have these kinds of arrangements. Source: The Canadian Press

Many confused by difference between flu and ‘stomach flu’

As almost Canadians have heard by now, the country is knee-deep in a flu outbreak. Just about everyone knows someone who’s been felled by illness. But as the virus circulates, so too does the confusion about what is really flu, and what is what we all like to call “stomach flu.” In fact, there’s really no such thing as “stomach flu.” Flu, or influenza, is an illness that affects the respiratory system, not the stomach. Infectious diseases expert Dr. Neil Rau says it just so happens that while we’re grappling with a flu “There’s huge confusion between ‘stomach flu’ – which is Norwalk virus or norovirus – and the flu,” Rau told CTV’s Canada AM Thursday. “Norwalk does not actually cause fever. That’s a big distinction. ‘Stomach flu’ is lots of diarrhea, vomiting, belly cramps, but no cough, no sore throat or runny nose.”

Once known as “winter vomiting disease,” noroviruses tend to spread in the winter, bringing on illness suddenly, and then leaving just as quickly. Rau says the typical norovirus illness lasts one or two days. “It can even be as short as 12 hours. If your illness lasts more than three days, you do not have Norwalk,” he says. Influenza, on the other hand, typically leaves patients sick in bed for a week with fever, cough and chills. Nausea and vomiting are rare in adults, but the fever of flu can sometimes bring those symptoms on in children. As for the current flu outbreak, Rau believes the worst of it is finally starting to come to an end. “We’re probably at the height of it in most of Canada and past the height in many places,” he said. “It doesn’t mean there’s no virus circulating; we’re just seeing fewer and fewer cases.” Rau points out that flu is not the only respiratory bug that circulates in the winter, so not everyone who comes down with flu symptoms actually has influenza. “For every person who has a flu-like illness, only one of three at the height of flu season actually has the flu,” he says. With all kinds of other influenza-like illnesses out there, it might explain why some people seem to “get” the flu from the flu shot. In fact, in many of these cases, the vaccine

Living In Reality

Shabnam Khan - Family Counsellor Life is not as promising as it seems at times! We, as humans have to go through so many obstacles in life whether we like it or not. This can raise a lot of challenges at work, family problems, marital problems, peer pressure and the list will definitely go on. In my previous articles I have mentioned the fact that so many people are living in denial. Don’t pretend that “things” are o.k. or will be o.k. one day. Change does not happen by itself. It’s what you do to make these change that matters. How long are you prepared to torture yourself and the people you love and care for in life?” Now do the people have the resources to handle and overcome these so called issues and problems. Many people will suffer rather than seek the appropriate or professional help. Some due to their name and reputation in the society, some due to lack of information, some scared of the end result or simply because seeking profes-

sional help is considered a taboo. There has always been a lot of reluctance in seeking appropriate services in our community! No matter what the reasons are, it’s your right to make your own choice’s in life. There has been many incidents where people continue to survive with a entirely fake picture of their changed lifestyle without seeking any help. It is very important to address any issues as they come across instead of waiting for it to become a huge problem. When your rage reaches the maximum level, situations can be really tough to handle. What could be possible, becomes impossible as you may have become used to living in a life full of torture, anger, guilt, name calling, harassment and so on. If you have chosen yourself to be in this situation, you are the only one responsible to get yourself out of this situation. Your courage, determination, trust, motivation and self-esteem are the keys for your success. You can say so much but results don’t come without your action! Remember you deserve the best in your life! Life is very precious and you deserve the best. There is always a beginning........,

may have protected them from influenza; they just had the bad luck to pick up something else altogether. Of course, the flu vaccine, like every vaccine, doesn’t offer 100 per cent protection to 100 per cent of the population. A recent report from doctors running Canada’s flu surveillance network found that Canadians who got a flu shot this year cut their risk of being hospitalized with the flu by about half. While that might not sound great, for flu -- a virus with many strains that have the notorious ability to change themselves as they travel -- that’s pretty good. “It’s not a perfect vaccine but it does offer fairly good protection. And it’s actually a very safe vaccine,” says Rau. “Especially if you have the risk factors for a bad outcome from the flu, you definitely should get it. Even if you don’t have risk factors, if it does cut your chances of getting the illness, so that’s still worth something,” he adds. Rau says this year has been a good example of why it’s better to get the vaccine before the first wave of illness hits and makes headlines. But he also thinks there’s still benefit to getting the shot this late in the season. “I think if people have risk factors for complications, they should absolutely still get the vaccine even if we’re past the peak, because there’s still some virus out there.” Source: CTV

LOC : Continued from pg 3 The minister said there has been a change in Pakistan’s stand from trying to internationalise the LoC incidents to now attempting to reach out. “I think it is a departure from what we heard in the first couple of days and we had made it very clear that it was not very clearly acceptable to us... Our position is that these matters must be dealt with bilaterally between Pakistan and ourselves. Which manner, what manner, what level, these are things that are worked out time to time,” he said. At a time when some Indian journalists admitted that the Indian Army had on different occasions shown them severed heads of Pakistani soldiers, Khurshid shied away from giving his own views on the matter except to say, “As far as I am concerned this is a tactical issue that the army can handle, has handled and will continue to handle. I don’t think we need to get involved in how the army handles its own troops”. But then he added that “just in order to overcome something that is unpleasant, something unacceptable happened now, India was not going to reopen everything going back to 1950. “We are not going to... We have to look forward. But something has happened right now (the LoC incident) and we cannot give the impression that nothing causes concern to us. This is something that was of an extreme

nature, something that has caught public imagination in a manner which I do believe we needed to respond to and we have”. Asked if Pakistan Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani was “inimical” to India, Khurshid said: “I don’t know. I will tell you that the general perception in the past has been that we are better off with civilian governments...We do believe and the prime minister has said it many times that democracies don’t fight each other”. INP adds: Meanwhile, addressing the All India Congress Committee meeting at Jaipur, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told Pakistan that India was outraged by the killing of two of its soldiers on the Line of Control (LoC) and Islamabad must show, through actions, that it wanted good relations with its neighbour. “Pakistan committed an inhuman act on the LoC on January 8. The incident has cast a negative impact on our ties. We will take steps with care and due consideration,” Dr Singh said.“We want friendship with Pakistan. But they should also make efforts in this regard. It is not possible only with our efforts,” he said. Tension de-escalated only last week after a telephonic conversation between the DGMOs of the two countries. Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar too offered foreign minister-level talks to resolve the situation.



Volume 12 Issue 328 Rabi ul Awaal 13, 1434 AH / January 25, 2013

Biography Series: Hakeem

Hakeem Olajuwon is a retired Nigerianborn basketball player who rose to stardom with the Houston Cougars on a collegiate level, and then with the Houston Rockets in the National Basketball Association. Nicknamed, “The Dream,” Olajuwon was a 12-time all-star, 1993-94 MVP, 2-time NBA champion (with Rockets in 1994 and 1995) and the 1994 and 1995 NBA Finals MVP. Olajuwon is the NBA’s all-time leader in blocked shots, 8th in points scored, and 11th in total rebounds. Olajuwon was selected with the first overall

pick by the Rockets in the famed 1984 draft. In that draft, Olajuwon was picked ahead of such luminaries as Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley and John Stockton. He went on to spend 17 seasons with the Rockets, bringing the city their only major sports championships. He’s the franchise’s all-time leader in points, rebounds, steals, blocks, minutes and games played. Today, his number is retired by the Rockets organization, and a statue of him stands outside of Toyota Center in downtown Houston, where the Rockets play their home games. Olajuwon was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008. College Career Olajuwon came to the United States from his native Lagos, Nigeria in 1980 to play collegiately for the University of Houston. He came with little fanfare, but within three years had become one of the greatest college basketball players in history, leading the Cougars to 3 straight NCAA Final Four appearances. Called ‘Akeem’ while at Houston, Olajuwon was part of the famed “Phi Slama Jama” team that was an NCAA finalist and finished the year with a 31-3 record. He averaged 13.9 PPG and 11.4 RPG (highest in the SWC) that year, helping the Cougars win their first ever Southwest Conference regular season title with a 16-0 record. As a junior, Olajuwon was named a consensus All-American after leading Houston to their 2nd straight NCAA Championship game and a 32-5 record. The Cougars won their second straight regular and postseason SWC titles, as Akeem was named MVP of the SWC Postseason Classic. He led the nation in 2 statistical categories that year, as he was the leader in field goal percentage (.675) and rebounding (13.5 RPG). Later, Olajuwon was named the SWC Player of the Decade in the 1980’s. In February of 1997, he and teammate Clyde Drexler had their numbers retired by the University. Professional Career The Twin Towers Olajuwon was drafted with the first overall pick in the 1984 NBA Draft by the Houston Rockets. Akeem became the 2nd Cougar to be selected as the top player in the draft by the Rockets (Elvin Hayes, ‘68). The 1984 NBA Draft is regarded as possibly the best of all-time, as Olajuwon was selected ahead of such luminaries as

Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, and John Stockton. His rookie season, Olajuwon played all 82 games for the Rockets, averaging 20.6 points and 11.9 rebounds per game. Olajuwon was selected to his first of 6 consecutive all-star teams. The Rockets that year were ousted in the first round of the playoffs by Utah. The following season, Olajuwon and Ralph Sampson, nicknamed “The Twin Towers,” led the Rockets to the NBA Finals. That season, Olajuwon averaged better than 23 points and 11 rebounds per game. The Rockets were defeated by the Celtics in the NBA Finals in 6 games. In 1987, he was named to his first NBA All-Defensive team, as well as his first All-NBA team. He would be named to 6 All-NBA teams in his illustrious career. Olajuwon averaged at least 22.9 points and 11.2 rebounds per game each season from 1986-1990. The Rockets would make the playoffs in 8 of Olajuwon’s first 9 seasons in the league, but never advanced beyond the Western Conference semis until 1994. Championship Years The Rockets began the 1993-94 season by winning their first 15 games. It was a harbinger of things to come -- as it would prove to be the best season in franchise history on a number of fronts. Hakeem averaged a then-career-high 27.3 points per game for the season, as Houston won a franchise record 58 games in the regular season. They then marched through the postseason, in a run that included an epic 7-game series against the Phoenix Suns. The Rockets went on beat the Knicks in 7 games in the NBA Finals, and Olajuwon won both the league MVP award and the NBA Finals MVP award. The following season, the Rockets weren’t as strong in the regular season (finishing 3rd in the Midwest division), but were energized by a mid-season deal, as Olajuwon was paired with former Houston Cougars teammate Clyde Drexler. The two paired up for another memorable run, this time finishing what they couldn’t accomplish in college -- winning it all. After defeating league MVP David Robinson and the San Antonio Spurs in the conference finals, the Rockets swept Shaquille O’Neal and the Magic to win their 2nd NBA title. In 1996, Olajuwon enjoyed a pair of immense honors. After gaining American citizenship, Olajuwon was named to the US Olympic team that won a gold medal at the Atlanta Olympics. Another honor was being named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History, which was announced on October 29th of that year. Post Championship Years The Rockets would continue to pursue championship glory with Hakeem as their centerpiece, but would never return to the NBA Finals with him. Olajuwon continued to be one of the game’s elite players, being named to the All-NBA 2nd team in 1996, and 1st team in 1997. He averaged 23.2 PPG in 1997, his last season with more than 20 points per game. Part of this was the cause of adding additional prolific scorers: Charles Barkley spent 4 years with the Rockets from 1996-2000, and Scottie Pippen was acquired and played with the team in the ‘98-99 season. The 1997 season began on a tremendous uptick for the Rockets, as they started the year 21-2. They went on to win 57 games in the regular season, the 2nd-highest total in franchise history. They advanced to the Western Conference Finals that year against the Utah Jazz, but were eliminated

Olajuwon in 6 games. After being eliminated in the first round of the 1999 playoffs by the Lakers, Pippen was traded to Portland, leaving the aging Olajuwon and Barkley to lead the team. On August 2, 2001, Olajuwon was traded to the Toronto Raptors, where he played his final NBA season. Shortly after retirement, his number 34 was retired by the Rockets. Muslim faith In Olajuwon’s college career and early years in the NBA, he was often undisciplined, talking back to officials, getting in minor fights with other players and amassing technical fouls. Later, Olajuwon took an active interest in spirituality, becoming a more devout Muslim. On March 9, 1991, he altered his name from Akeem to the proper Arabic spelling Hakeem, saying, “I’m not changing the spelling of my name, I’m correcting it”. He later recalled, “I studied the Qur’an every day. At home, at the mosque...I would read it in airplanes, before games and after them. I was soaking up the faith and learning new mean-

ings each time I turned a page. I didn’t dabble in the faith, I gave myself over to it.” “His religion dominates his life” Drexler said in 1995. Olajuwon was still

recognized as one of the league’s elite centers despite his strict observance of Ramadan (i.e., abstaining from food and drink during daylight hours for about a month), which occurred during virtually every season of his career. Olajuwon was noted as sometimes playing better during the month, and in 1995 he was named NBA Player of the Month in February, even though Ramadan began on February 1 of that year. Personal Olajuwon still owns a home in Houston, where he is regarded as an iconic figure. He has had great success in the Houston real estate market, where he deals in cash-only transactions, because it is against Islamic law to pay interest. He spends most of his time in Jordan, where he continues to pursue Islamic studies. He also conducts an annual Big Man Camp, with attendees including Emeka Okafor and Yao Ming. Olajuwon was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008.


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Volume 12 Issue 328 Rabi ul Awaal 13, 1434 AH / January 25, 2013

Best Example for Youth Today

“Muhammad is not the father of any man among you, but he is the Messenger of Allah, and the Seal of the Prophets, and Allah has full knowledge of all things.” (Al-Ahzab 33:40) Young people today see a lot of pomp and ceremony when it comes to politicians and leaders. It seems today as though the more authority you have, the more the red carpet is laid out for you, the more special attire and finery you are expected to wear, and the more freedom you have to express your opinions whether they are held up by evidence or not, and no matter how much they may offend others. But let’s take a look at the final Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and see the stark difference between what is now and what was before. “Which one is Muhammad?” So humble was the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) that strangers looking for him in the mosque in Madinah had to ask this. Sitting in the row of believers for the daily prayers, Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), with his simple and modest bearing, could not be distinguished from anyone else. He was so calm, so dignified, and so peaceful that no one could single him out as the leader. Children and youth could approach him to receive a warm greeting or to ask this great, yet humble, man a question or some advice. In quiet prayer he looked like any other simple man. There was no sign here of the great warrior, the skillful negotiator in times of war and peace, the statesman. There was no sign either that this was the man, from among all men, who was chosen to receive the Creator’s final message to mankind. In the mosque his focus was on Allah alone. He was like every Muslim who enters the mosque to pray. And yet, unlike any other Muslim, he had been chosen as the Seal of the Prophets, the most honorable and the noblest of men. He was the one whom Allah selected to guide all mankind. Orphaned by the age of six and born in a relatively unimportant region of the world to a simple family, Muhammad could neither read nor write. When commanded by the Angel Jibreel to recite the first glorious verses of the Qur’an, Muhammad could only respond that he was unable to read or recite them.

Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) had neither power nor wealth. He possessed none of the things that the world considers important. Yet Allah chose him from all men in the world to be what the Qur’an calls “a mercy to mankind.” This is the role that young Muslims should take on in this world that is so full of turmoil and hate. The youth are the standard-bearers of the message of Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) and it is a message of mercy. In his person, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was a mercy to all the people on earth. One so kind, so pious, so devout in prayer and obedience to the will of Allah had been chosen as the guide for mankind. We should ask ourselves, how closely are we living our lives according to the message of Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). If we are living in his way, no problem will be too great to overcome, our future will appear clear before us, and the challenges of young adulthood will seem small. If young Muslims join in the ranks of the followers of Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), they will be joining the ranks of the merciful, pious, and just people through all the ages, from the beginning of time. Indeed, Allah opens the way for those who sincerely obey Him and His Messenger. Good people should surround themselves with good friends. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was surrounded by people who sought the pleasure of Allah. Ask yourself: Who do you mix with and why? Your friends reflect who you are. At the end of his life, when Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) was laid to rest in the earth, his funeral was attended by his heartbroken friends and Companions. They had been with him for so long, many since the time of the first revelation of the Qur’an some 23 years before, and now they were to be left alone, without a guide for the first time in so many years. Imagine yourself living at the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him); imagine walking in his blessed footsteps. If you follow his Sunnah, you are walking in his footsteps today. His body was not laid to rest in some grand tomb as one might expect for so important

and so influential a man. Rather it was placed in the earth beneath the spot where he used to sleep on a simple mat. It fell upon Abu Bakr (May Allah be pleased with him), his friend from before the time of the first revelation, to deliver the funeral sermon. Abu Bakr had to try to make sense out of this tragedy for the crowds assembled before him. At this key moment in the development of Islam, they eagerly awaited what Abu Bakr, the closest friend of the Prophet, would have to say. His words to them were filled with wisdom. “O men,” he said, “if anyone worships Muhammad, let him know that Muhammad is dead. But if anyone worships Allah, then know that Allah is alive and will never die.” Abu Bakr (Allah be pleased with him) told the Muslim faithful that Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) was the greatest man to have lived but he was not the Lord of all creation. He was a man like all men. And this is what makes Islam so extraordinary. There are now at least one and a half billion Muslims in the world, and we are attentive to what our beloved Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said or did. Each one of us proclaims at least five times a day that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) is the Messenger of Allah. It is the core of our faith. In the same breath in which we declare belief in the One true Lord of mankind and all that exists, we declare belief in His Messenger. The love and reverence which we have for Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) is both real and deep. We see him as the gentlest, the kindest, and the sweetest of men, and yet he remains for us precisely that: a man. Neither a god nor a saint. We do not ascribe to our Prophet magical powers. It would be a blasphemy for us to do so. We see him as a simple man, chosen from among men, with the same cares and worries we might have. But in Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) we see that it is possible for us to dedicate all our lives to Allah and to live under His guidance, yet live in the midst of life. Not divine, but human like us,

Prophet Muhammad showed us by his life and example that Islam is the perfect way of life and that it is possible to achieve happiness by following this way. If you find your life is taking you in another direction, stop and think. Don’t make decisions in your youth that will take you on a different path that heads away from that of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). In Islam there are no priests or popes. That, perhaps, is the secret of Islam. There is no special knowledge reserved for a professional religious class. There are no gobetweens between the Creator and the created. Islam is ours for the taking. How many of us reach out and take what Islam has to offer? How many of us are shining examples of mercy and justice that Islam can develop in us? Each of us can fall prostrate before our Maker and say what we need to say without the help of anyone else. Just you and your creator! We can see this clearly inside any mosque. Muslim men and women, each in their own place, gather in the mosque for the five daily prayers. They pray together as a community, in congregation, receiving blessings for doing so, yet it is obvious to anyone who looks on that each Muslim is concerned with speaking to his or her Lord individually. It is perhaps this, more than anything else, which makes the place of Prophet Muhammad so strong in the heart of every Muslim. Muhammad was a man and he found it possible, with Allah’s help, to live out every requirement of Islam. So you and I, then, can try to do the same and, with Allah’s help, we can live out our faith like our beloved Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). About the writer: Idris Tawfiq has a degree in English language and Literature from the University of Manchester and a degree in Sacred Theology from the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas in Rome. For many years he was Head of Religious Studies in different schools in England and Wales and has much experience of teaching, both in the UK and Egypt. Before embracing Islam, Idris was a Roman Catholic priest.

CAIR-CAN Offering a Leadership Bootcamp on February 2nd First-in-BC Event will empower Muslims in public advocacy and countering Islamophobia. Canadian Muslims should not stay quiet when facing discrimination and anti-Muslim sentiment, says the Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CAN), a prominent national Muslim civil liberties & advocacy organization. The group is launching a timely training session with a one-day workshop on Saturday, February 2nd from 9AM to 7PM, to empower Muslims to overcome the challenges of Islamophobia. The program is designed to provide professional advocacy skills to Muslim activists, Imams and youth. Themed as “Rising to the Challenge,” the CAIR-CAN Leadership Bootcamp will feature sessions on countering Islamophobia, how to deal with tough media questions about Islam & Muslims, plus public advocacy to protect Muslim civil rights and deal with cases of anti-Muslim discrimination. The workshop also has sessions on tackling the media, civil liberties strategies, Islamic awareness training, public speaking coaching and much more. The speakers list includes Kashif Ahmed,

CAIR-CAN National Chair; Ihsaan Gardee, Executive Director; Amira Elghawaby, Human Rights Coordinator; Maryam Dadabhoy, Community Relations Coordinator; and Pamela Hart, a renowned Vancouverbased public speaking coach. Recent incidents of Islamophobia right here in BC, as well as across Canada, have indicated that Canadian Muslim communities must do more to empower themselves with professional advocacy skills. As recently as last month, anti-Muslim activists tried to smear and defame the Reviving the Islamic Spirit (RIS) Convention with false accusations and tried to stop federal

Liberal leadership contender Justin Trudeau from speaking at RIS. These attacks caught RIS organizers off guard, although Justin Trudeau still spoke at RIS to over 20,000 Canadian Muslims. Since the year 2000, CAIR-CAN has been at the forefront in promoting and defending the civil liberties of Canadian Muslims, protecting their public interests, and challenging Islamophobia. In 2012, several mosques were targeted by vandals in BC, Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes. Masjid Al-Hidayah in Port Coquitlam and the Gatineau Mosque in Quebec were repeatedly vandalized and CAIR-CAN

urged elected politicians to denounce these attacks and to support the Muslim community. Subsequently, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Minister of Citizenship Jason Kenney as well as other politicians, spoke out against the vandalism and some even visited these mosques to express solidarity with Muslim communities. The CAIR-CAN Leadership Boot Camp will be held on Saturday, February 2, 2013 at the Richmond Olympic Oval from 9 AM to 7 PM. Seats are limited (50 maximum) and tickets are selling fast, so interested activists are urged to register now at: http://


Volume 12 Issue 328 Rabi ul Awaal 13, 1434 AH / January 25, 2013


2020 Olympics: Istanbul says it would host ‘open and affordable’ Games

The leader of Istanbul’s bid to host the Olympics for the first time has claimed that its unique geographical position bridging two continents will give it the edge over its rivals and outlined plans to stage a spectacular opening ceremony in front of more than half a million people lining the Bosphorus. Much like the successful bids from London and Rio de Janeiro, Istanbul’s bid team will make much of the extent to which the Games will be embedded into the city and its culture as part of its attempt to beat Madrid and Tokyo to the prize of hosting the 2020 Games. “We will have an incomparable backdrop, combining natural and architectural beauty like nowhere else,” said Istanbul’s 2020 bid leader, Hasan Arat, a former professional basketball player who is also vice-president of the Turkish Olympic Committee. “That is why it has been a global city of inspiration

for thousands of years. “If the IOC awards the Games to Istanbul, in the morning you could watch the beach volleyball in Asia, in the afternoon the rugby in Europe and in the evening you can join a celebration across the continents on the banks of the Bosphorus. There is a unique opportunity for a compact, intercontinental concept.” Adopting other mantras that proved successful for London and Rio, Arat promised that an Istanbul Games would be “the people’s Games” and would be “open, accessible and affordable”. Istanbul, bidding for a fifth time, is seen as a riskier choice than Tokyo and Madrid because many of the venues and infrastructure still have to be built. But Arat insisted that the non-organizing committee budget of $19.2bn (£11.9m), much higher than that of its rivals, had been guaranteed by the government and was largely

accounted for by major infrastructure projects that would proceed with or without the Games. In 2011 the annual European Fraud Survey by the international accounting firm Ernst & Young found 77% of Turks interviewed thought bribery and corruption commonplace. But Arat said the government was committed to a “zero tolerance” policy. “They are committed to all these things at all levels of sports administration and to protecting its integrity. The law is very strong,” he said. All three bidders on Monday published the detailed candidature files handed to the International Olympic Committee, with the favourite, Tokyo, highlighting its safety, advanced infrastructure and convenience. It plans to completely renovate the stadium used for the 1964 Games, which will also serve as one of the main venues for the 2019 Rugby World Cup. Ma-

drid said its bid was strengthened by Spain’s sporting excellence, the capital’s qualities as an attractive, modern city and the project’s ability to create jobs in the recession-hit country. An IOC evaluation commission inspection team, led by the British executive committee member Sir Craig Reedie, will visit each bidder in March and present its report in July. Each bidder will also present to the IOC executive board in July ahead of the final presentations and vote among the entire IOC membership in Buenos Aires

Misbah: Pakistan attack can challenge SA There are some places Pakistan have not played cricket in for even longer than

their home country. South Africa is one of them. Having last played a Test here in 2007, India is the only other place Pakistan have not featured in whites for the last six years although they played a one-day series in India recently. South Africa remains an uncharted territory for much of the squad. It has been so infrequently visited that none of the current Test bowling attack have played a Test in the country. They have missed out. Known for their pace and bounce, South African surfaces are among the favourites of quicks the world over and Pakistan’s pack cannot wait to get stuck in. “Junaid Khan would love to bowl in these conditions and Mohammed Irfan will do well if he can put the ball in the right areas,” Misbah-ul-Haq, the Pakistan captain, said after arriving in Johannesburg. The closest Junaid has got to South Africa is its neighbour, Zimbabwe, where he made his debut in September 2011. He played second fiddle to Aizaz Cheema in that match but has since overtaken Cheema with three five-wicket hauls from eight matches. Being a left-armer he may have half an eye on Graeme Smith with the South Africa captain having been susceptible to many southpaws over the years. At 7’ 1”, Irfan had caught the eye of the South African media well before Pakistan’s arrival in the country. Knowing the kind of bounce Morne Morkel can extract from surfaces, the hype around what someone eight inches taller may be able to do has grown. So has the expectation over how South Africa’s batsmen will deal with Saeed Ajmal. They have seen him once before, in a Test in 2010 in Dubai when

he took three wickets but he has since developed into the magician that ran circles around the then No.1 ranked England. Facing Ajmal will be South Africa’s first significant test against spin since becoming the No. 1 team. Misbah suspects that Ajmal will also enjoy what South Africa has to offer. “Saeed Ajmal is the world’s top spinner and in these conditions you get turn and bounce especially on the fourth and fifth days,” he said. While the bowlers are looking forward to assistance, the batsmen are readying themselves for a much sterner examination. South Africa is regarded as one of the toughest places to score runs, especially for the top-order. Of Pakistan’s line-up, Taufeeq Umar, Misbah, Younis Khan and Mohammed Hafeez have all batted in South Africa before but the younger players such as Asad Shafiq, Azhar Ali and Nasir Jamshed will have their first taste of these conditions. The pace of the pitches will take some getting used to. Shafiq has played in New Zealand, West Indies and the subcontinent while Jamshed, who starred in the one-dayers against India, has yet to make his Test debut. With limited touring opportunities because of their schedule, Misbah conceded that preparations have not been ideal although they have made the best of what they have. Pakistan will play a three-day warm-up match against a fairly strong South African Invitation XI in East London where the surface is traditionally sluggish. That could be South Africa’s way of softening the batsman up especially as historically the hosts have prepared seamer-friendly pitches against subcontinent sides and tried to scare their batsmen out. They may be wary of trying the same thing this time because Pakistan has a good attack of their own. While pre-series talk will rage about how competitive a less “unpredictable,” as Smith called them, Pakistan will be against South Africa, there is also an undercurrent of a campaign running through the visitors’ camp. It is both a drive to show off their consistency and resolve and to talk openly about promoting the return of cricket to their home. The former ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat, who is a South African, has been doing some consultative work for the PCB on the matter as well. Source: Cricinfo

Family Affair Brothers Jim and John Harbaugh will face each other for the Super Bowl in New Orleans. The two brothers have faced each other once in their respective careers with older brother John Harbaugh winning the meeting.

Raina, Rohit set up series-clinching victory If Rohit Sharma’s 83 pushed England to the brink of a series defeat, Raina’s 89 knocked the visiting side over. In a contest that never rose to any memorable heights, India brought down a fighting England for a hat-trick of victories built largely on an all-round team effort dotted with individual brilliance. After letting England escape from 157 for four in 40 overs to a healthy-looking 257 for seven in its allotted overs, India covered the distance riding on three half-century stands, with five wickets and 15 deliveries to spare. The triumph gave India a winning 3-1 lead and reduced the fifth match at Dharamshala on January 27 to academic interest. In conditions conducive to seam bowling, if England’s innings was built largely on scores of 76 by skipper Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen followed by a maiden ODI half-century, a 57, from Joseph Root, India’s chase, too, and its heroes at the PCA Stadium here. Rohit, opening for India precisely two years after he was last seen in the role against host South Africa, set up the chase. Opening the innings only for the fourth time in 87 outings, the Mumbai batsman played an innings similar to Cook’s. Known to get far more chances than what a player with a history of failures usually deserves, Rohit rode his luck and made this knock count. With a sequence of scores that read, 5, 0, 0, 4, 4, 4, in the last six innings, Rohit was fortunate to be considered ahead of his Mumbai teammate Ajinkya Rahane for the match. He was understandably jittery early in the innings and lucky on 12, when an acrobatic Pietersen failed to latch on to a tough offering at mid-off. Slowly he grew in confidence and played some delightful strokes. Gambhir, unlucky to be given caught behind by Steve Davis, and Kohli promised more than they delivered. Just when Kohli was showing signs of settling in, he offered a return-catch to James Tredwell. Soon thereafter, Tredwell

sent back Yuvraj Singh for the fourth successive time. Yuvraj, who managed just one run off seven deliveries from Tredwell fell to the eighth, leg-before for the second time in the series. All this while, Rohit slowly gained in confidence and played some delightful strokes all over the ground. After Rohit’s departure, Raina took control. Caught in the slips by Cook off Finn luckily off a “dead ball” declared by Steve Davis after the bowler had dislodged the bails on his follow-through, Raina went on to reach his 27th half-century in ODIs. In the company of Dhoni, Raina raised 55 runs in eight overs to keep India within striking distance of the target. After Dhoni departed, Raina kept his head, hit boundaries at regular intervals and found a confident partner in Ravindra Jadeja at the business end of the chase. Earlier, scoring 100 runs in the final 10 overs, England had reasons to be pleased with 257 runs. The late assault was expected after just 19 runs came in the second Power Play. But England got some timely help from Kohli and Raina, considered two of the better Indian fielders. Root, who remained unbeaten with a 45-ball 57, opened his account with a fortuitous boundary after Kohli failed to latch on to a low catch at first slip. Root enjoyed a second ‘life’ on 42 when a casual-looking Raina floored the simplest of catches. Pietersen, playing much against his flamboyant nature, got to his 24th ODI half-century with only his third boundary off 84 balls, changed gears to hit three boundaries and a six off the last four deliveries he faced before being yorked by Ishant. Earlier, Alastair Cook scored 76, looking in command throughout, before being at the receiving end of a leg-before decision by Sudhir Asnani. Overall, the match saw some ordinary umpiring decisions impacting both teams equally. Source: The Hindu















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