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Wednesday, 15 January, 2020 I 18 Jamadi-ul-Awwal, 1441 I Rs 20.00 I Vol X No 196 I 16 Pages I Lahore Edition

Rains, snow claim oveR 83 lives in KashmiR, Balochistan g

Fresh controversy over Nawaz’s medical condition govt places Maryam nawaz on ecl, again STORIES ON BACK PAGE & 03

Missing persons’ lawyer part of spy network, AGP tells SC STORY ON BACK PAGE

army top brass slams ‘irresponsible indian rhetoric’ STORY ON PAGE 03

over 61 people lose lives, scores stranded as avalanches hit aZad kashMir


Balochistan govt says 20 have died due to heavy snowfall, rain in province


pM iMran, gen Bajwa direct assistance for the tragedy-stricken people




t least 83 people, mostly from azad kashmir, Balochistan and khyber pakhtunkhwa, have lost their lives and scores have received injuries over the past three days as a result of heavy snowfall and subsequent cold wave that has engulfed the country since last week. the national disaster Management authority (ndMa), in a statement on tuesday, put the death toll at 70, fearing an increase in the number of deaths due to unfavourable weather conditions. as per reports, rains in Balochistan had claimed 20 lives and injured 11 others while at least 61 deaths and 12 injured had been reported in azad jammu and kashmir. in neelam valley alone, 59 people died in avalanches while dozens remained missing. ndMa said four injured had been rescued from neelum while work was currently underway to rescue the remaining people. as reports of deaths continue to pour in from across the country, prime Minister imran khan announced that he had instructed the ndMa, military and federal ministers to provide assistance to the people of ajk on an emergency footing. this was followed by a statement by the inter-services public relations (ispr), which said that the army chief, general Qamar javed Bajwa, had directed for continued assistance to the civil administration for rescue and relief operations. according to the ispr, the army chief expressed grief over the loss of lives due to intense snowfall in azad jammu and kashmir and Balochistan. he also offered condolence to the bereaved families. “army helicopters are undertaking operations in snow hit areas of sharda, sargan, Bakwal and taobat,” said the ispr, adding that pakistan army urban search & rescue teams are evacuating the stranded population. the ispr said that doctors, paramedics, tents, rations, blankets, and medicines are being provided to the affected families. ‘BALOCHISTAN WOMEN, CHILDREN AMONG DEAD’: Balochistan government

PM Imran orders to make names of BISP ‘looters’ public STORY ON PAGE 03

Malaysia’s pM defends criticism of india despite palm oil backlash Kerala challenges India’s new citizenship law in Supreme Court STORIES ON BACK PAGE CMYK

spokesperson liaquat shahwani said 20 people had lost their lives in the province in snowfall-related incidents and added that chief Minister jam kamal khan was personally overseeing the relief work. “Most of those who died were women and children,” said Mohammad younus, an official with the provincial disaster management authority, adding that hundreds remained stranded. it may be noted here that the provincial disaster Management authority (pdMa) had imposed emergency in seven districts of the province, Ziarat, harnai, pishin, Mastung, Qila abdullah and kech, following continuous heavy rain and snowfall. Meanwhile, major thoroughfares in Balochistan, including Bolan road, khanozai road and Quetta-chaman road have been closed, the ndMa statement said, adding that the most snowfall recorded in khyber pakhtunkhwa province was at lowari approach road at a whopping 23 inches. key highways connecting pakistan and afghanistan were also blocked due to heavy snow, forcing officials to suspend transportation of essential goods into afghanistan. on Monday, avalanches, landslides and other rain-related incidents claimed at least 21 lives and left scores of others injured as most parts of the country

remained in the grip of a strong westerly weather system that entered Balochistan in the early hours of saturday morning. eleven of the nearly two dozen deaths had been reported in kashmir, seven in punjab and three in Balochistan. relief, disaster and civil defence secretary syed shahid Mohyiddin Qadri said that heavy snowfall and rains had blocked several arteries in high altitude areas. “neelum valley road, leepa valley road, chikar-Bagh road, Baghlasdana road, Mehmood galli-abbaspur road and tain dhalkot road were all closed for traffic,” he said. the official advised people, particularly tourists, to avoid unnecessary travel in snowbound and landslide-prone areas during the prevailing weather conditions. the pakistan Meteorological department (pMd) has issued warnings of flash floods and heavy snowfall for some districts of Balochistan which may cause the closure of roads. it has also warned of landslides and avalanches in kashmir, gB, Malakand and hazara divisions. according to the Met department, rain and snowfall are likely to continue. the cold weather has compelled residents to stay indoors. the shortage of gas or electricity in the area has added to the difficulties of the residents.

CMYK Wednesday, 15 January, 2020

02 NEWS PM Imran offers support to Australian counterpart in overcoming bushfires ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday wrote to Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, expressing grief over the loss of lives and environmental damage following bushfires. The letter read: “The people of Pakistan are deeply saddened over the loss of precious lives and large-scale material damage caused by the bushfires in Australia.” “On behalf of the government and the people of Pakistan, and on my own behalf, I would like to offer our profound sympathies and prayers for the people of Australia.” “We have no doubt that the Australian people will overcome this calamity with strength and resilience,” the letter read. The premier with particular emphasis on measures for climate change added: “I have, time and again, described climate change as one of the defining issues of our time. The challenge cannot be met by any one country alone. I am sure this crisis will also create the opportunity for greater international collaboration to reinforce the imperative of collective solutions.” Prime Minister Imran extended assistance to Australia in extinguishing the bushfires, and further added, “Keeping in view our close friendly ties and deep-rooted historical connections, I would like to convey our readiness to assist in any manner possible.” STAFF REPORT

SC seeks details of fake degree cases against PIA employees ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday sought details of cases pertaining to fake degrees of employees working in Pakistan International Airlines (PIA). During the hearing of losses in PIA, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Gulzar Ahmed said that pilots having fake degrees are flying planes. The news of PIA privatization is a ‘joke’ with this prestigious national department, he added. The top judge said that 700 employees work on one aircraft in PIA. He further directed the Attorney General to review the audit report and assist the court in the next hearing. Previously, SC had ordered verification of PIA employees’ degrees after the plaintiff claimed that the officials had received their academic degrees without even going to the private university in Azad Kashmir. Earlier, PIA had sacked 50 cabin crew members and three pilots for holding fake degrees. The spokesperson of the airlines said that the action was taken on the instructions of the Supreme Court. STAFF REPORT

PPP urges MQM-P to not coMProMise stance for sake of Ministry KARACHI



INDH government spokesperson Murtaza Wahab on Tuesday urged the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQMP) not to “compromise for the sake of another ministry”. “The federal government has failed to address Karachi’s concerns. I urge MQM to fight on behalf of Karachi and not compromise for the sake of another ministry. “If we all rally and unite behind this cause, the federal government will be forced to transfer the Rs162 billion which was allocated under the development programme,” he said. Addressing the media in Karachi on Tuesday, Wahab said that in his opinion, the MQM’s decision to give back a federal ministry was the result of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal BhuttoZardari’s offer to give the party ministries in Sindh in exchange for breaking its alliance with the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf (PTI) in Centre. “I urge the MQM to stand by their decision. They should stand with the people of Karachi. You are all aware of the promises Prime Minister Imran Khan made to the peo-

ple of Karachi. “However, not a single one of those promises has been fulfilled, whether it was funding development programmes, funding the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation, funding projects in Hyderabad or funding hospital in Mithi.” SIDDIQUI RESIGNS: In a surprise move last week, MQM-P Convener Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui had resigned as the federal minister for information technology because he said the ruling PTI “did not fulfil its promises”. However, Siddiqui insisted his party would continue to support the Prime Minister Imran Khan-led government. MQM-P also clarified that its senator, Farogh Nasim, who is the federal minister for law, will continue to be part of the cabinet. The party did, however, claim that the government had not consulted it before giving Nasim the portfolio of law. Siddiqui went on to say that his party was promised one more ministry but despite repeated assurances, the PTI-led government did not fulfil its promise. Senior MQM-P leader Faisal Subzwari had told a private media outlet that after Siddiqui’s press conference, Prime Minister Imran Khan had personally contacted the MQM-P convener and assured

him that he would look into his party’s legitimate concerns. GOVT DELEGATION MEETS MQM-P LEADERS: A day after Siddiqui’s announcement, a PTI delegation led by Federal Minister for Planning, Development, Reforms and Special Initiatives Asad Umar also met with MQM-P members in Karachi. But it appeared that the deadlock between the two sides persisted after both Umar and Sidiqqui insisted that the meeting was pre-planned and that the latter was not retracting his resignation. Siddiqui’s announcement came just weeks after PPP chairman Bilawal BhuttoZardari’s public offer that the PPP was ready to embrace the MQM-P as a coalition partner in Sindh provided it helped the opposition in bringing down the PTI-led federal government. However, in his presser, Siddiqui clarified that his decision to quit the federal cabinet had nothing to do with the “recent offer of ministries from a party”. Siddiqui insisted that MQM-P had supported the PTI government for strengthening the democratic system, but to date, it had not seen any serious headway on even one of the many points of the MoU it had signed with PTI.

ECP dismisses disqualification petition against Faryal ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Tuesday dismissed a petition seeking the disqualification of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Faryal Talpur while Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari was given 15 days to remove contradiction in his tax returns. The ECP two-member bench headed by Acting Chief Election Commissioner Altaf Ibrahim heard disqualification petition against Faryal Talpur and action against the contradiction in the returns submitted by Bilawal. Talpur, who is the sister of PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, was elected as an MPA from PS10 Larkana-I. Farooq H Naek, Talpur’s lawyer, appeared before the two-member bench. The commission, however, dismissed the case because of the prosecution’s continuous absence from the hearings. On October 18, PTI’s Arsalan Taj had filed the petition in the ECP seeking Talpur disqualification for allegedly hiding assets. According to the petition, Talpur didn’t declare her 60-acre land in Shahdadkot, while another land owned by her in Shahdadpur is not mentioned in the revenue department’s record. It said the PPP lawmaker also hid her plot in Nawabshah from the ECP. On the other hand, the lawyer raised concerns over ECP’s jurisdiction in the case pertaining to Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, adding that as per the election act, the action cannot be taken over a contradiction in the submission of returns. On which member of the ECP Irshad Qaiser said, if a member hides his assets and tells a lie then action can be taken under the corrupt practices. Farooq H Naik said that the ECP can only ask clarification over the contradiction while connecting the contradiction to the corrupt practices is not right. After hearing the arguments, the ECP ordered to remove the contradictions in the returns within 15-day time and adjourned the hearing till August 6.

15 districts of Balochistan have university campuses, Senate told ISLAMABAD APP

Minister for Federal Education, Professional Training, National History, and Literary Heritage Shafqat Mahmood Tuesday said that 15 districts out of 34 districts of Balochistan have been enjoying the facility of university or its campuses. During the question hour session in the Senate, the minister said that whereas 19 districts were without any Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) at present. He said provision of higher education facilities in underdeveloped areas, having the potential of a university or campus was one of the priorities of the Higher Education Commission (HEC). Shafqat Mahmood said that accordingly, the HEC in line with the government’s vision 2025 initiated planning for the establishment of the university cam-

pus at each district. The minister said the mapping of HEI‘s coverage at district level was prepared in 2015 and 67 districts (including 27 districts of Balochistan) were identified having no university or campus. He said the mapping was shared with all the relevant stakeholders like Ministry of Planning, Development, and Reforms, Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training, Chief Ministers of Provinces/Regions, Governors/ Chancellors and Vice-Chancellors of all public sector universities to determine the priority of respective provincial governments. The HEC prepared an umbrella project titled establishment of sub-campuses of public sector universities at the district level (Phase-1), which was approved by ECNEC in January 2017 at a capital cost of Rs. 5206.280 million, he added. Shafqat Mahmood said under this

project, 21 sub-campuses of public sector universities were being established across the country including five in Balochistan. He said the approved implementation period of the project was 36 months (February 2017 to February 2020). The minister said in addition to this umbrella project, the government had approved six development projects at a total cost of Rs. 8988.537 million for the establishment of new campuses and universities in Balochistan. Shafqat Mahmood said the names of 26 heritage sites were included in Pakistan tentative list for nomination as World Heritage sites. The sites included Badshahi Mosque, Lahore (1993), Wazir Khan Mosque, Lahore (1993), Tobs of Jahangir, Asif Khan and Akbari Sarai, Lahore (1993), Hiran Minar and Tank, Sheikhupura (1993) and others It was stated that no funds and assis-

tance have been provided by the Global Heritage Fund to Pakistan for the heritage sites, the minister added. He said in the wake of 18th Constitution Amendment all heritage sites stood devolved to the respective province since April 2011 and concerned provincial departments were responsible to take necessary step for seeking partnership with Global Heritage Fund (GHF) on those sites which have the department of Archaeology & Museums have potential for promoting cultural tourism. The minister said it was further stated that the Department of Archaeology and Museum has always extended its cooperation by providing its professional advice and expertise to provincial departments of Archaeology for promotion of cultural tourism in the country. He said that in pursuance of Supreme Court‘s judgment regarding reduction in

fees of private schools of Islamabad, three public notices were issued in the national dailies. Shafqat Mahmood said wherein clear instructions were issued to private schools of Islamabad to comply with the orders of the court in letter and spirit. The minister said, in addition, complainants/parents were asked to visit the office of the authority (ICT-PEIRA) along-with paid fee vouchers for the month of November/December 2018 and unpaid fee vouchers for January/February 2019. Accordingly, he said the authority had determined their fees in line with the order of the Supreme Court and subsequently directed private schools of Islamabad to issue revised fee vouchers. The minister said that similarly, individual notices to defaulter private schools of Islamabad were also issued to ensure compliance with court orders.

FM Qureshi condoles with new Omani monarch over predecessor's demise MUSCAT STAFF REPORT

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Tuesday offered his condolences to the royal family of Oman after the death of long-reigning Sultan of Oman Qaboos bin Said. “The government of Pakistan and its people are heartbroken over the passing of Sultan Qaboos,” Qureshi said while expressing grief to the new ruler of Oman, Haitham bin Tariq. The foreign minister said that the departed ruler was known as a “benevolent, orderly and peaceful


ruler”. He also prayed for his forgiveness. “During his reign, Oman made ideal development,” he said and added that the country lost a sincere leader and Pakistan lost a trusted friend. Sultan Haitham thanked the foreign minister for his visit and pledged that Oman’s government will strive to promote peace and security in the region based on the golden principles laid down by his predecessor. Qureshi was received by Pakistan’s ambassador to Oman, Ahsan Wagan,

and other officials of Oman’s Foreign Ministry at the Muscat International Airport. During his half-century reign, Sultan Qaboos thoroughly modernised his country but also forged a broader role as a go-between in regional and international crises. In the high-stakes Iran nuclear crisis, Oman played a discreet role in the dialogue between Tehran and Washington, leading to the 2015 deal involving Western powers, which three years later was unilaterally abandoned by US President Donald Trump.

CMYK Wednesday, 15 January, 2020

NEWS govt places Maryam nawaz on ecl, again ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT

The federal cabinet on Tuesday decided to impose a travel ban on Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President Maryam Nawaz and party leader Javed Latif for their alleged involvement in corrupt practices. The decision to put the name of Maryam Nawaz and Javed Latif on the Exit Control List (ECL) was taken after the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) approached the government, fearing the accused might escape the accountability process by travelling abroad. In its request, NAB had stated that Maryam Nawaz was an accused in Chaudhry Sugar Mills case along with her father Nawaz Sharif and that the investigation in the money laundering case was still underway. Interestingly, the cabinet in its Dec 2019 decision had decided to keep Maryam Nawaz on the ECL after she approached the government for permission to go abroad to tend to her ailing father. In her petition, Maryam Nawaz had pleaded that her father Nawaz Sharif’s health deteriorated and he was under medical treatment out of the country. Maryam is currently out on bail in the Chaudhry Mills Case. She, along with the Sharif family was accused of using CSM for money laundering and illegal transfer of its shares. According to NAB, the family took a $15 million loan on the pretext to set up the mill despite the fact that it had already been established before the loan was acquired. Addressing a press conference after the cabinet meeting, PM’s Special Assistant on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said the allied parties of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf were part of the government and would remain so. Speaking about the resignation of an allied minister, she said the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) leaders had presented all their concerns to the committee led by Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar, which had been conveyed to the prime minister. The special assistant said Prime Minister Imran Khan had already given a package of Rs162 billion for Karachi and it was now time for its implementation and then transferring its benefits to the grassroots level.

arMy toP brass slaMs 'irresPonsible indian rhetoric' RAWALPINDI



AKISTAN Army has condemned the recent provocative statements by Indian military, terming them “irresponsible rhetoric” which could have implications on regional peace and stability. The remarks were made in the 228th Corps Commanders’ Conference presided over by army chief General at the GHQ in Rawalpindi on Tuesday. General Manoj Mukund Naravane – who earlier this month threat-

ened to carry out “preemptive strikes” in Pakistan – said on Saturday that the Indian army would take steps to take control of AJK if the Indian government gave such an order. The forum, the communiqué added, also reviewed geo-strategic, regional and national security environment. Internal security, situation along borders, the Line of Control, Indian Occupied Kashmir as well as the evolving situation in the Middle East with reference to USIran relations following the killing of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani, and Tehran’s retaliatory

PM Imran orders to make names of BISP ‘looters’ public

strikes, also came under discussion. “Pakistan is one of the lead participations with significant contributions towards peace and stability efforts in the region, the military’s media wing quoted the army chief as saying. “We shall continue to play our responsible and positive role towards this end without compromising national security and defence of the motherland at whatever cost.” Pakistan has urged all sides to exercise maximum restraint and avoid taking any further escalatory steps to defuse tensions in the Middle East.

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday directed the authorities concerned to make public the names of government officials who were beneficiaries of the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP). “We cannot forgive people who deprived the poor of their rights,” said Prime Minister Imran, adding: “The names of the looters should be made public.” Earlier last week, weeks after the government struck over 800,000 names off Benazir Income Support Program (BISP) database, a report revealed that several high-rank officials of federal and provincial governments were also the beneficiaries of the poverty reduction initiative. According to a private media house, amongst the 820,165 names removed from the list, over 2,000 individuals were working in different government offices. According to details overall 2,543 government officials belonging to Grade-17 till Grade-21 were receiving income support tri-monthly handouts. Some officers were receiving money in the name of their wives and other members of families, which were registered on the list. STAFF REPORT


Minister for States and Frontier Regions and Narcotics Control Shehryar Afridi and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Rana Sanaullah had a heated exchange of words over the narcotics case during the session of the National Assembly (NA) when the former challenged the latter to “face the trial like a man” only to be told that no inquiry was conducted in the case. Afridi said that Sanaullah did not want to face the court in the case. Referring to the last sitting of the House where the former Punjab law minister had picked up the Holy Quran and sworn that he was innocent, the minister said, “I have been told that he is carrying around the Holy Quran with him. You should learn to follow the holy book.”

“If you are speaking the truth, go to the courts and fight like a man. Stop beating around the bush,” he said, adding that the incumbent government did not come to power to target or bully opponents. The minister’s speech was interrupted by the PML-N leader’s entry into the house. Seeing that Sanaullah was carrying a file, Afridi said, “I thought you would bring a copy of the Holy Quran today but you have brought a file with you today. Anyway, let us take this matter to a logical conclusion here today. There is a hearing on January 18, let him stand up and say that the trial should be initiated so that the truth can be revealed.” “Don’t run away. This government and ministry will not let you run away. We will take this to the end because this matter concerns my generation and my country,” he said.

PML-N LEADER SAYS NO INQUIRY WAS CONDUCTED AS ANF OFFICIALS WHO ARRESTED HIM WERE ‘CLUELESS’ The minister further said that members from opposition parties commend him for being a “man’s son”. “It’s not me who is the son of a man, it is the people who stand before tyrants. We will take this case to its end. Read my eyes Rana sahib. Initiate the trial so that the truth can come out,” he added. After the conclusion of Afridi’s speech, Sanaullah addressed the house and denied his involvement in the case. “May God curse me if I have ever been in contact with a heroin dealer or tried to influence on behalf of anyone. The ANF officials, who arrested me last year, had no idea about the case being prepared against him,” he said. “I have been accused of having links with an international gang which supply drugs to all over the world after bringing it to Lahore and Faisalabad from Afghanistan. If it is true then why has the government not arrested

Sindh governor denies any deadlock between PTI and GDA KARACHI STAFF REPORT

Sindh Governor Imran Ismail on Tuesday refuted rumors that there is a deadlock between Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and its coalition partner, the Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA). A PTI delegation reached Kingri House and met with GDA leader Saddaruddin Shah Rashdi — the visit came after the ruling party made several attempts to appease the disgruntled Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan. Addressing a joint press conference with Rashdi later, Ismail refuted rumors that the delegation had come to clear the differences with its coalition partner. The Sindh governor said, “I have not come here to convince anyone,


rather I just came to eat food.” The governor said that the “GDA was still working with limited resources,” while various projects were underway for the province. The meeting was constructive, the prevailing issues of the

province were discussed, PML-F leader Rashdi said. “The GDA is standing alongside the government and we will continue our struggle to resolve the province’s issues,” he said. “Pir sahab is a very sincere

man and gives good advice as well,” the governor said. PTI-MQM DEADLOCK: Prime Minister Imran Khan contacted MQM-P leader Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui on Monday, assuring the disgruntled coalition partner that his valid demands would be fulfilled. PM Imran Khan approached the MQM-P leader and has summoned him to Islamabad. During the conversation, Siddiqui put forth his reservations in front of the premier, who assured the former that the party’s issues would be addressed. PM Imran spoke on the matter during the media strategy committee session earlier in the day, where he said that the demands of the MQM-P related to the release of funds, development works, and establishment of educational institutions would be met soon.


any other member of the gang when I had been in jail for seven months?” asked the PML-N leader. Sanaullah said that the trial of a case can only start after registration of a first information report (FIR) and completion of inquiry. “However, no inquiry has been conducted in the case,” he added. The former Punjab law minister was arrested by the ANF Lahore team in July last year while he was travelling from Faisalabad to Lahore near the Ravi Toll Plaza on the motorway, claiming to have seized 15kg heroin from his vehicle. A special team of the force had also arrested five others, including the driver and security guards of the PML-N leader. Sanaullah, who insists that he has been arrested in a false case and is being politically victimised, was granted bail by the Lahore High Court (LHC) in December.

9 injured in Peshawar hand grenade explosion PESHAWAR STAFF REPORT At least 9 people were injured on Tuesday in an explosion near the Karkhano police checkpost in Peshawar. According to the Hayatabad Medical Complex spokesperson, nine persons injured in the blast were brought to the hospital, of whom five were women. At least one woman is in critical condition, the HMC spokesperson said. Additional Inspector General BDS Shaqat Malik said that a hand grenade was used in the explosion, adding that further investigation into the incident is being carried out. The Karkhano police checkpost is located at the border between Peshawar and Khyber tribal districts. Multiple attacks on security forces have been carried out in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa over the past month. On December 19, a Frontier Corps soldier was martyred in a landmine blast in Landi Kotal while on patrolling duty. Another bomb blast took place on December 16 took place outside the KP Assembly in Peshawar, injuring at least 11 people.


Wednesday, 15 January, 2020




Roof collapse claims three lives in Nankana Sahib LAHORE: Three members of a family were killed after the roof of a house collapsed due to rain at Khokran village of Nankana Sahib in the wee hours of Tuesday. According to rescue officials, rescue teams reached the side and pulled out three bodies from under the debris. According to the relatives of the deceased, the roof collapsed because of heavy rains as their house was under construction. APP










WB commends govt for digitalising urBan land record LAHORE INP

The World Bank has acknowledged the effective steps being taken by Punjab government with regard to initiating digitalization of Urban Land Record in the province. The reforms being taken in Urban Land Record has been duly commended in a letter written by Melinda Good Operations Manager World

Bank. It has also been hoped that steps undertaken by Punjab government will not only bring improvements in Land Record Management System but will also achieve targets of Punjab growth strategy 2023. Matters pertaining to revenue will also be improved by taking up the project of computerization of land record which will prove to be beneficial in fulfilling the goals of vibrant economy, consolidated housing supply, expedi-

tious urbanization and urban planning, she maintained. 7-member World Bank delegation headed by Dong Kyu Kwak during their recent visit met with Provincial Revenue Minister Malik Muhammad Anwar Khan, officers of Punjab Land Record Authority, Board of Revenue, concerned departments and discussed in detail matters relating to digitalization of Punjab Urban Land Record and thereby attaining various development targets.

IGP stresses need for eďŹƒciency to implement modern policing initiatives LAHORE APP

Inspector General of Police (IGP) Shoaib Dastgir said the success of all info-tech projects launched in connection with modern policing and smart working initiatives were dependent on police force's polite behaviour, diligent performance and quick response to the public complaints. Addressing all regional police officer (RPOs), city police officers (CPOs) and district police officers (DPOs) during a video-link crime meeting at the Central Police Office here on Tuesday, he said all officers should pay surprise visits to police stations and offices to improve service delivery and bring about a change in behaviour of police. The IGP said special attention should be paid to arrest of pro-

Two Pakistani nationals stranded across border handed over by India LAHORE: Indian officials on Tuesday handed over two Pakistani youth who mistakenly crossed the border and entered into Indian territory to Pakistani authority at Wagah border. Pakistani citizens, Sajjad Haider and Mubashir Bilal were handed over the Pakistani authorities at Wagah border crossing. Sajjad Haider is a native of Lahore and 17-year-old Mubashir Bilal is from Kasur. Two youth were warmly received by their families. Bilal was stranded to the Indian side of the border from Kasur in February 2018 and Sajjad had inadvertently crossed over to the Indian territory in November 2018. According to media reports, Bilal was released from a juvenile home in the Hoshiarpur district of India on Tuesday morning and was taken to the Attari-Wagah border for handing him over to the Pakistani authorities. INP

Pakistan won’t sit silent over HR violations in IOK: CM LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar has said that convening of UN Security Council session for pondering over the volatile situation in Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir is an important foreign policy achievement of the PTI government. In a statement issued on Tuesday, Usman Buzdar said that the worst situation in Jammu & Kashmir requires the immediate attention of the international community as 163 days have passed to continuous lockdown there. STAFF REPORT


claimed offenders, their accomplices, and criminal gangs. He warned of punishment to all those officers and officials who would show slackness in performance of their duties. He said only a single incident of death in police custody washes away good work of police throughout the year. He directed all DPOs to personally visit the crime scenes in women and child rape cases and conduct investigation under their own supervision. All the offi-

cers briefed the meeting about police action and overall crime scene of their respective regions and districts. Addl IGs, DIGs were present whereas all RPOs, CPOs and DPOs attended the conference through video link.

Wednesday, 15 January, 2020






HE federal cabinet on Tuesday approved a proposal for the launch of AirSial, a new airline, and gave a green light to the signing of an agreement between Pakistan and Saudi air services to improve the aviation services in the country. During the cabinet meeting, the Civil Aviation Authority also briefed the ministers that in future there would be no need to get a no-objection certificate for high-rise buildings near the airports, saying such a move would attract investments. Addressing a press conference following the cabinet meeting, Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Information Firdous Ashiq Awan said that Prime Minister Imran Khan issued directives to the ministries and divisions to complete the process of recruitment on 129,301 vacant posts within four months. She said the government will not lay off the public sector employees, as the PTI believed in giving employment opportunities to people. The prime minister directed the ministries and divisions to dispose of all the pending cases of civil servants as per

rules and regulations, penalty measures, seniority, promotions and other matters within the period of three months. He gave the directions after a briefing in which it was told that 106,343 cases of employees were pending in the ministries and divisions for the last three decades. Firdous said the meeting was also informed that 37 million items, including 6,000 official vehicles, of various government departments, had been worn out, but no practical steps had been taken to dispose them of. The prime minister tasked the PM’s Delivery Unit to pursue all the relevant ministries to resolve all the pending cases

within 45 days, she added. She said the cabinet gave approval to the proposal for structural and organizational reforms of the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination. It noted that restructuring of the ministry was imperative to fulfill the government’s vision of correcting the imbalance in technical and administrative positions from existing 80 per cent staff having no health background to 70 per cent technical staff and 30 per cent administrative ones. In line with the best international practices, she said, the cabinet approved

London-based entrepreneur invests in Pakistani Ed-tech start up ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT

Karachi-based Ed-tech startup Dot and Line have successfully closed their seed round with an additional investment from London-based entrepreneur, Zeeshah Shah. Zeeshan is an award winning entrepreneur focused on the real estate with projects in excess of $500 Million under development and interests in the USA, UK, Dubai and Pakistan. Seed Round Refers to a series of related investments in which 15 or less investors “seed” a new company with anywhere from $50,000 to $2 million. This money is often used to support initial market research and early product development. The seed round was led by Pakistan’s leading VC fund Sarmayacar and Silicon Valley-based private investor and technology industry veteran Hasan Rizvi, former Executive Vice President of Oracle in California. Founded in 2015 by two LSE (London School of Economics) alums; Maheen Adamjee and Lina Ahmed, Dot & Line is a tech-based network of female tutors who deliver after-school classes in mathematics and English from their own homes. With the cutting-edge technology

and a quality curriculum built for Dot & Line by subject specialists including PhDs from leading universities and top schools, Dot & Line’s tutors are able to show a 40% increase in student learning outcomes within 4 months, while earning PKR 24,000 ($150) to PKR 72,000 ($450) every month by delivering the program without leaving their home. Since raising their seed round in June 2019 Dot and Line has expanded its offering by launching an English Program to complement its flagship Math Program. The program has been a roaring success, and has added to Dot and Line’s growth momentum by increasing monthly registrations by over 4x in just two months. In addition they have built a robust and scalable tech-enabled teacher recruitment process that can be used to recruit and train women anywhere in the country to become Dot and Line Teacher Partners. With it, Dot and Line has grown its network of teaching centres to 200 locations, spanning major cities across Pakistan and successfully matching parents with trained and certified teachers located just 5 minutes away. The company is continuously developing new content, striving to fill learning gaps, and implementing teaching methodologies that are stu-

dent – centric and inclusive for all learners. Till date, Dot and Line has successfully helped over 900 students overcome their learning challenges with Math and English. Lina Ahmed, Co-Founder of Dot & Line says “we strive for nothing less than excellence regarding the quality of our content and teachers. It is our belief as a company that there is no reason a child should be struggling academically if these two core components are provided and by leveraging technology we are able to make a much stronger nation-wide impact.” COO of Dot & Line, Fariha Yousufi said the company’s approach to growth has been two- fold. “We constantly turn to data collected from our customers, teacher partners, experts in the field and our target market to look for opportunities to pave and fuel our way forward; moreover, as an ed-tech company, we are deeply committed to using technology to solve for problems and build systems across the board, from customer acquisition and service delivery to recruitment and training of teacher partners. Today Dot and Line, with its lean team, robust data-driven processes, and automated tech-enabled systems is perfectly positioned for fast growth.”

Vawda ridicules PML-N, PPP by bringing army ‘boot’ in TV show NEWS DESK Federal Minister for Water Resources Faisal Vawda on Tuesday trolled the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) for their unconditional support to the amendment in the Army Act by bringing a military-style boot in a TV show. Apparently, Vawda was ridiculing both parties, whose representatives were present in the studio, for backtracking on their claims of standing up for the civilian supremacy. He said the stance of PML-N and opposition parties change from ‘Vote Ko Izzat Do’ to ‘Boot ko Izzat Do’. PML-N leader Javed Abbasi and PPP’s stalwart Qamar Zaman Kaira left the show to protest the ill-thought move by the controversial PTI leader.

Swat villagers kill leopard after it injures two people NEWS DESK Villagers in Swat’s Matta tehsil gunned down a leopard after it injured two people on Tuesday. According to reports, two leopards attacked villagers, injuring two. One leopard was killed by the villagers while the other disappeared into the woods after hearing gun shots. Officials said that the wild animals entered the village due to heavy snowfall on the mountains. Body of the wild animal was shifted to the wildlife department’s office.


in principle to change the name of the ministry to the Ministry of Health and Population. As part of the reforms, a completely new organogram had been evolved, with key positions filled by technical experts alongside civil servants in high administrative positions that would foster an enabling role for the ministry to function effectively and transparently, she added. A new cadre for health among the Civil Services of Pakistan was approved by the cabinet, under which civil servants would be trained for the newly reformed health ministry, further enhancing its performance, the SAPM said. Firdous said the cabinet also gave ap-

proval for launch of inquiry against five homeopathic colleges. The cabinet has postponed the matter related to the appointment of Pakistan State Oil (PSO) chief executive officer (CEO), however, the appointments on the positions were approved including Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA) director-general, production control member of Heavy Industries Taxila and in-charge member in Karachi Secretariat of Pakistan Ombudsman. Firdous said the Power Ministry presented a plan to the cabinet, under which the electricity consumers would soon get relief in bills.

Ishaq Dar’s Lahore residence to be auctioned on 28th LAHORE: Following the orders of an accountability court, the auction of former finance minister Ishaq Dar’s bungalow in Lahore’s Gulberg neighborhood will be carried out on Jan 28. According to details, the city district government has also posted the advertisement for the auction. The government has set the price of about five-kanal Hajvery House at Rs180 million. On July 28 last year, a Supreme Court bench had ordered NAB to file reference against Ishaq Dar on multiple petitions filed by government and its allies against Dar for alleged abuse of power.

In its reference, the NAB had alleged: “The accused had acquired assets and pecuniary interests/resources in his own name and/or in the name of his dependents of an approximate amount of Rs831.678 million”. For his absconding in a corruption reference, NAB seized Dar’s all movable and immovable assets — the Gulberg house; three plots in Al Falah Housing Society, Lahore; six acres of land in Islamabad; a two-kanal plot in Parliamentarians Enclave, Islamabad; a plot in the Senate Cooperative Housing Society, Islamabad; a plot measuring two kanals and another of nine marlas in Islamabad and six vehicles. STAFF REPORT

Wednesday, 15 January, 2020



New York Times


Peter S Goodman

ran is caught in a wretched economic crisis. Jobs are scarce. Prices for food and other necessities are skyrocketing. The economy is rapidly shrinking. Iranians are increasingly disgusted. Crippling sanctions imposed by the Trump administration have severed Iran’s access to international markets, decimating the economy, which is now contracting at an alarming 9.5 percent annual rate, the International Monetary Fund estimated. Oil exports were effectively zero in December, according to Oxford Economics, as the sanctions have prevented sales, even though smugglers have transported unknown volumes. On Tuesday, pressure intensified as Britain, France and Germany served notice that they would formally trigger negotiations with Iran toward forcing it back into compliance with a 2015 nuclear deal — a step that could ultimately lead to the imposition of United nations sanctions. The bleak economy appears to be tempering the willingness of Iran to escalate hostilities with the United States, its leaders cognizant that war could profoundly worsen national fortunes. In recent months, public anger over joblessness, economic anxiety and corruption has emerged as a potentially existential threat to Iran’s hard-line regime. Only a week ago, such sentiments had been redirected by outrage over the Trump administration’s Jan. 3 killing of Iran’s top military commander, Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani. But protests flared anew over the weekend in Tehran, and then continued on Monday, after the government’s astonishing admission that it was — despite three days of denial — responsible for shooting down a Ukrainian jetliner. The demonstrations were most pointedly an expression of contempt for the regime’s cover-up following its downing of the Ukrainian jet, which killed all 176 people on board. But the fury in the streets resonated as a rebuke for broader grievances — diminishing livelihoods, financial anxiety and the sense that the regime is at best impotent in the face of formidable troubles. Inflation is running near 40 percent, assailing consumers with sharply rising prices for food and other basic necessi-

ties. More than one in four young Iranians is jobless, with college graduates especially short of work, according to the World Bank. The missile strikes that Iran unleashed on american bases in Iraq last week in response to Gen. Suleimani’s killing appeared calibrated to enable its leaders to declare that vengeance had been secured without provoking an extreme response from President Trump, such as aerial bombing. Hostilities with the most powerful military on earth would make life even more punishing for ordinary Iranians. It would likely weaken the currency and exacerbate inflation, while menacing what remains of national industry, eliminating jobs and reinvigorating public pressure on the leadership. Conflict could threaten a run on domestic banks by sending more companies into distress. Iranian companies have been spared from collapse by surges of credit from banks. The government controls about 70 percent of banking assets, according to a paper by adnan Mazarei, a former I.M.F. deputy director and now a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington. roughly half of all bank loans are in arrears, Iran’s Parliament has estimated. Many Iranian companies depend on imported goods to make and sell products, from machinery to steel to grain. If Iran’s currency declines further, those companies would have to pay more for such goods. Banks would either have to extend more loans, or businesses would collapse, adding to the ranks of the jobless. The central bank has been financing government spending, filling holes in a tattered budget to limit public ire over cuts. That entails printing Iranian money, adding to the strains on the currency. a war could prompt wealthier Iranians to yank assets out of the country, threatening a further decline in the currency and producing runaway inflation. In sum, this is the unpalatable choice confronting the Iranian leadership: It can keep the economy going by continuing to steer credit to banks and industry, adding to the risks of an eventual banking disaster and hyperinflation. Or it can opt for austerity that would cause immediate public suffering, threatening more street demonstrations. “That is the specter hanging over the Iranian economy,” Mr. Mazarei said. “The current economic situation is not sustainable.”

Though such realities appear to be limiting Iran’s appetite for escalation, some experts suggest that the regime’s hard-liners may eventually come to embrace hostilities with the United States as a means of stimulating the anemic economy. Cut off from international investors and markets, Iran has in recent years focused on forging a so-called resistance economy in which the state has invested aggressively, subsidizing strategic industries, while seeking to substitute domestic production for imported goods. That strategy has been inefficient, say economists, adding to the strains on Iran’s budget and the banking system, but it appears to have raised employment. Hardliners might come to see a fight with Iran’s archenemy, the United States, as an opportunity to expand the resistance economy while stoking politically useful nationalist anger. “There will be those who will argue that we can’t sustain the current situation if we don’t have a war,” said Yassamine Mather, a political economist at the University of Oxford. “For the Iranian government, living in crisis is good. It’s always been good, because you can blame all the economic problems on sanctions, or on the foreign threat of war. In the last couple of years, Iran has looked for adventures as a way of diverting attention from economic problems.” However Iran’s leaders proceed, experts assume that economic concerns will not be paramount: Iran’s leaders prioritize one goal above all others — their own survival. If confrontation with outside powers appears promising as a means of reinforcing their hold on power, the leadership may accept economic pain as a necessary cost. “The hard-liners are willing to impoverish people to stay in power,” said Sanam Vakil, deputy director of the Middle East and north africa program at Chatham House, a research institution in London. “The Islamic republic does not make decisions based on purely economic outcomes.” But Iran’s leaders need only survey their own region to recognize the dangers that economic distress can pose to established powers. In recent months, Iraq and Lebanon have seen furious demonstrations fueled in part by declining living standards amid corruption and abuse of power. as recently as november, Iran’s per-

Is a new India rising?

HiNdu HarbanS mukHia

The tsunami of protests across the length and breadth of the country has several fascinating facets. are there any significant pointers in it? First and foremost, these are clearly the civil society’s autonomous protests, devoid of any organic links with any political party. Barring issuing some statements in support or occasional visits by leaders to a protest site, even political parties have kept themselves at a distance from these protests. Underlying the autonomy is perhaps an unarticulated feeling that the issues evoking the protests go beyond electoral battles; that these con-

cern the very life and blood of society’s future. There is also an unarticulated assumption that the solution lies beyond the ken of one or the other political party or indeed all parties together. Therefore, reliance on a party or a group, any group, might end up in diversion, which often becomes equivalent of betrayal. The one possible link with political parties is perhaps a potential realisation by them that they might be left aside by the people if they keep the distance intact — a case of people leading the parties instead of the other way round. THE POWER OF RESISTANCE: a consequence of civil society’s direct involvement is that it is refusing to buy the current regime’s divisive Hindu-Muslim formula. This formula has already fetched the national Democratic alliance two terms in Parliament but seems to have hit a wall. resistance began with society’s response to uncalled-for police brutality on students in Jamia Millia Islamia and aligarh Muslim University. and soon the chief tar-

get of resistance became the Citizenship amendment act-national register of Citizens-national Population register strategy devised by the regime to pit the Muslim community against the rest. The wide-ranging and unrelenting participation of people from all groups in the protests is clear enough signal of society’s refusal to fall for it. Interesting also is the Muslim community’s refusal to fall for the strategy of making their identity dichotomous with their Indian identity; the Muslims have instead sought to assert their religious identity in full concert with their Indian national identity by flaunting both at the same time, which in any case is far truer than the one which counterposes the two. The resistance from the students is an amazing aspect even as it is wise to remind ourselves that their community has been the most energetic element in India’s various resistance movements — and for that matter elsewhere around the world, whether in the anti-colonial struggles in asia, africa and Latin america, or the anti-Vietnam

ilous economic state appeared to pose a foundational threat to the regime. as the government scrambled to secure cash to finance aid for the poor and the jobless, it scrapped subsidies on gasoline, sending the price of fuel soaring by as much as 200 percent. That spurred angry protests in the streets of Iranian cities, with demonstrators openly calling for the expulsion of President Hassan rouhani. “That’s a sign of how much pressure they are under,” said Maya Senussi, a Middle East expert at Oxford Economics in London. In unleashing the drone strike that killed General Suleimani, Mr. Trump effectively relieved the leadership of that pressure, undercutting the force of his own sanctions, say experts. Within Iran, the killing resounded as a breach of national sovereignty and evidence that the United States bore malevolent intent. It muted the complaints that propelled november’s demonstrations — laments over rising prices, accusations of corruption and economic malpractice amid the leadership — replacing them with mourning for a man celebrated as a national hero. a country fraught with grievances aimed directly at its senior leaders had seemingly been united in anger at the United States. “The killing of Suleimani represents a watershed, not only in terms of diverting attention away from domestic problems, but also rallying Iranians around their flag,” said Fawaz a. Gerges, a professor of international relations at the London School of Economics. Mr. Trump had supplied the Iranian leadership “time and space to change the conversation,” he added. Iranians were no longer consumed with the “misguided and failed economic policies of the Iranian regime,” but rather “the arrogant aggression of the United States against the Iranian nation.” But then came the government’s admission that it was responsible for bringing down the Ukrainian passenger jet. now, Iran’s leaders again find themselves on the wrong end of angry street demonstrations. For now, the regime is seeking to quash the demonstrations with riot police and admonitions to the protesters to go home. But if public rage continues, hardliners may resort to challenging american interests in the hopes that confrontation will force Mr. Trump to negotiate a deal

war protests in the U.S. Their protests have also grown in dimensions from repression in universities to the regime’s hitherto successful Divide and rule policy and its latest version encapsulated in the Caa-nrC-nPr. neither has the government’s incessant attempts to convince them of the honesty of its purpose, which could also be called brainwashing, failed to persuade them, nor has the repeated assertion by Home Minister amit Shah of not budging an inch deterred them. One of the most vociferous charges made against the government has been its grave attempt to prevent students and others from questioning it by simply branding such people as “anti-nationals” of which various equivalents have been newly minted: “anti-Modi”, “anti-Hindu”, “Urban naxal”. The government has also unleashed a barrage of filthy abuse and threats on social media through a highly organised IT machine under the BJP’s control. a good segment of the media — now being called ‘Modia’ — has also pitched in with its aggressive campaign of malice against anyone with the mildest of doubts against the government’s extravagant claims.

toward eliminating the sanctions. Iran may threaten the passage of ships carrying oil through the Strait of Hormuz, the passageway for more than one-fifth of the world’s consumption of liquid petroleum. Disruption there would restrict the global supply of oil, raising the price of the vital commodity. That could sow alarm in world markets while limiting global economic growth, potentially jeopardizing Mr. Trump’s re-election bid, as the logic goes. Iran previously had a different pathway toward gaining relief from the sanctions: Under a 2015 deal forged by President Barack Obama, the sanctions were removed in exchange for Iran’s verified promise to dismantle large sections of its nuclear program. But when Mr. Trump took office, he renounced that deal and resumed sanctions. The Iranian leadership has courted European support for a resumption of the nuclear deal, seeking to exploit divergence between Europe and the United States. The Europeans have been unhappy about Mr. Trump’s renewed sanctions, which have dashed the hopes of German, French and Italian companies that had looked to Iran for expanded business opportunities. Whatever comes next, Iran’s leadership is painfully aware that getting out from under the american sanctions is the only route to lifting its economy, say experts. The nuclear deal was intended to give Iran’s leaders an incentive to diminish hostility as a means of seeking liberation from the sanctions. Mr. Trump’s abandonment of the deal effectively left them with only one means of pursuing that goal — confrontation. “They see escalation as the only way to the negotiating table,” said Ms. Vakil. “They can’t capitulate and come to the negotiating table. They can’t compromise, because that would show weakness. By demonstrating that they can escalate, that they are fearless, they are trying to build leverage.” Peter S. Goodman is a London-based European economics correspondent. He was previously a national economic correspondent in New York. He has also worked at The Washington Post as a China correspondent, and was global editor in chief of the International Business Times.

Yet, all this could not crush the spirit of questioning, especially on campuses, repression notwithstanding. The examples are now beyond count: there are protests in Hyderabad University, Jadavpur University, Banaras Hindu University, the Indian Institutes of Technology, aligarh Muslim University, Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi University and even in some of the safe and secure private universities. Jawaharlal nehru University is an outstanding instance of standing up to repression for over four years now. repression in any case is not the most durable of all forms of governance; this is one of history’s abiding lessons. The wider society is waking up to the limits of repression as state policy and responding. QUALITY OF LEADERSHIP: One of the most endearing aspects of the current wave of protests is the exemplary quality of leadership displayed by students from the underprivileged social strata. Kanhaiya Kumar has become a national figure thanks largely to the Modi government’s atrocious handling of his “crime” which enabled him to demonstrate his extraordinary oratorical skill and his clear-headed perspectives to put forward his case with almost devastating ease. It is

fascinating that the extempore slogan he raised on the JnU campus for “azadi” on his release from jail in 2016 has now become the national war cry for students and the youth. But he is one among innumerable other emerging leaders of student movements across the country. It is heartwarming to see young women taking up verbal, and now even physical, challenges to articulate their feelings and thoughts lucidly, fearlessly and forcefully. JnU Students’ Union president aishe Ghosh has once again occupied premier space on this front, thanks again to the mishandling by the Modi regime. One also comes across a large number of such promising student leaders on local channels speaking in their local language. This is where one sees promise of a new generation refusing to buy any “line” of any party but laying down its own terms for the country’s future discourse. The conflict is no longer between the BJP and the Opposition parties’ vote banks; it is now firmly situated between the BJP government and the people of India. Harbans Mukhia retired as Professor of Medieval History from JNU.

Wednesday, 15 January, 2020

Trudeau ciTes us raTcheTing up Tensions wiTh iran in plane's downing TORONTO



ICTIMS of an Iran-downed jetliner would still be alive if not for a recent escalation of tensions partly triggered by the United States, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Monday. “I think if there were no tensions, if there was no escalation recently in the region, those Canadians would be right now home with their families,” Trudeau said in an interview with Global television, according to a transcript shared with other media. He added that the international community has been “very, very clear about needing to have a non-nuclear Iran” but also in “managing the tensions in the region that are brought about by US actions as well”. The Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737 was shot down by a missile shortly after taking off from Tehran before dawn last Wednesday, killing all 176 on board. By Ottawa’s count, 57 of the passengers were Canadian citizens, many of them dual Iranian nationals. Longstanding US-Iran tensions have soared since January 3 when missiles fired from a US drone killed a top Iranian commander, Qasem Soleimani, near Baghdad’s airport. Iran responded with a barrage of missiles at two US bases in Iraq, inflicting no casualties in what was seen as an attempt to prevent a spiral of escalation. But hours later, an Iranian Revolutionary Guard unit mistakenly shot down the Ukrainian passenger jet, in what Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called a “human error”. Trudeau also said he would have “obviously” liked a heads-up from Washington about the drone strike on Soleimani. SOMEBODY’S RESPONSIBLE: Over the weekend, Trudeau demanded that Iran provide Canada with “full clarity” on the airliner shootdown. The prime minister said he made the de-

libya's haftar leaves moscow without signing peace deal TRIPOLI AGENCIES

Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar left Moscow on Tuesday without signing a ceasefire agreement aimed at ending nine months of fighting, leaving the future of a fragile truce uncertain. The commander’s abrupt departure in the early hours of Tuesday was a setback for an international diplomatic push in recent days, though Moscow insisted it would continue mediation efforts. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan — who first brokered the Libya truce deal with President Vladimir Putin of Russia last week — warned he would “teach a lesson” to Haftar if his forces resumed fighting. Haftar and his allies were in Moscow on Monday for talks with the UN-recognised government headed by Fayez al-Sarraj that is based in Tripoli. Sarraj’s government has been under attack since last April from forces loyal to Haftar, who is based in the east of the oil-rich North African country with his own loyalist politicians. The two sides had agreed to the ceasefire that took effect at the weekend and were in Moscow to sign a long-term agreement. The talks raised hopes of an end to the latest fighting to wrack Libya since a 2011 NATO-backed uprising killed longtime dictator Moamer Kadhafi. BERLIN TALKS: “We will pursue our efforts in this direction. For now, a definitive result has not been achieved,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at a press conference in Sri Lanka. Russia, European powers and Libya’s neighbours “are working in the same vein and motivating all Libyan sides to agree rather than continue sorting things out by force”, Lavrov said. Russian state news agency RIA Novosti quoted a source in Haftar’s stronghold Benghazi as saying he did not sign because the agreement did not spell out a timeline for disbanding groups allied with Sarraj’s Government of National Accord (GNA).

Iran grants Canadian investigators access to downed plane TEHRAN: Canadian investigators flying to Tehran on Monday will access the wreckage and black boxes from a Ukranian jetliner downed by a missile strike last week, officials said. “We don’t fully know what the scope of our investigation will be,” Transportation Safety Board (TSB) chair Kathy Fox told a press conference. However, she added, “there have been early signs that Iran is allowing the TSB to play a more active role than is normally permitted.” Two Canadian investigators were to land in Tehran within hours, followed by two more in the coming days or weeks. They have been invited by Iran, which is leading the crash probe, to participate in the downloading and analysis of the aircraft’s cockpit voice and data recorders. They will also be allowed to visit the crash site and the wreckage of the plane that is being reassembled in a nearby hanger. “We do know what has happened. What we don’t know is why it happened,” Fox commented before listing off questions surrounding the crash that still need to be answered. These include whether the missile strike was intentional or not, and why the air space was open amid heightened tensions in the region. The Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737 was shot down by a missile shortly after taking off from Tehran before dawn last Wednesday, killing all 176 passengers and crew on board. Fiftyseven of the victims were Canadian. AGENCIES

mand in a call with Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani, who admitted earlier Saturday that the airliner was mistakenly shot down by Iranian missiles. At a televised press conference on Saturday, Trudeau said he told Rouhani the admission was “an important step” but “many more steps must be taken”. “A full and complete investigation must be conducted,” he said. “We need full clarity on how such a horrific tragedy could have occurred. “Iran must take full responsibility,” Trudeau said. A Toronto law student who lost his mother in the crash echoed Trudeau’s statement in an interview with AFP. “Once you start to cope with the sorrow a little bit, then came the tragic news that it was downed by a missile, and it was almost as if she

died again,” Amirali Alavi said. The 27-year-old said that “thinking how it could have been avoided, how somebody’s responsible for it” made him furious and inconsolable. The accident was a deep blow to the Iranian community in Canada, which is home to North America’s largest Iranian diaspora. According to the last census, there were 210,000 Canadians of Iranian origin living in this country in 2016. “I am, of course, outraged and furious that families across this country are grieving the loss of their loved ones, that the Iranian-Canadian community is suffering so greatly, that all Canadians are shocked and appalled at the senseless loss of life,” Trudeau said on Saturday. “It’s a huge tragedy for the entire country and not just for the Iranian community.”

EU states launch process against Iran over nuclear violations BERLIN AGENCIES

Three EU countries on Tuesday said they were launching a dispute mechanism against Iran under the 2015 nuclear deal, accusing Tehran of repeatedly violating the accord while insisting they remained committed to the agreement. The move by Britain, France and Germany comes as tensions soar between the West and Iran following the killing of top commander Qasem Soleimani in a US strike and the admission by Tehran days later it had accidentally shot down a Ukrainian airliner. The foreign ministers of the three European nations said Iran had been progressively scaling back its commitments under the deal and defying key restrictions on its nuclear programme since May last year. “We have therefore been left with no choice, given Iran’s actions” to begin the dispute process, their statement said, adding Tehran was not “meeting its commitments”. The 2015 nuclear deal — known as The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) — has a provision that allows a party to claim significant non-compliance by another party before a joint commission. If the issue is not resolved at the joint commission, it then goes to an advisory board and eventually to the UN Security Council which could reimpose sanctions. Iran had intensified sensitive activities to enrich uranium — which can be used to make a nuclear weapon — in response to the United States pulling out of the deal in 2018. Its latest step in January to forego the limit on the number of centrifuges used in uranium enrichment prompted the Europeans to trigger the mechanism. “Iran’s actions are inconsistent with the provisions of the nuclear agreement and have increasingly severe and non-reversible proliferation implications,” the statement said. But the three powers said they “once again express our commitment” to the deal and expressed “determination to work with all participants to preserve it”. “Given recent events, it is all the more important that we do not add a nuclear proliferation

crisis to the current escalation threatening the whole region,” the statement added. “Our hope is to bring Iran back into full compliance with its commitments under the JCPoA.” The accord aimed to restrict Iran’s nuclear ambitions — which Western powers feared were aimed at developing weapons — in return for sanctions relief. The three countries said they would not join “a campaign to implement maximum pressure against Iran” championed by US President Donald Trump. Trump’s move meant Iran has not benefitted from the sanctions relief it had hoped for, creating more trouble for its already battered economy. The country also saw highly unusual protests in November sparked by a surprise petrol price rise. Yet even as the EU powers made clear their committment to the deal, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Tuesday he would be willing to work on a “Trump deal” to replace the JCPoA. “If we are going to get rid of it, let’s replace it and let’s replace it with the Trump deal,” he said. “That’s what we need to see. I think that would be a great way forward,” he added, noting that “from the American perspective it’s a flawed agreement.” But EU’s diplomatic chief Josep Borrell said it was “more important than ever” to save the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal “in light of the ongoing dangerous escalations in the Middle East.” Tensions between Iran and the United States last week climbed to their highest levels since the hostage crisis at the Tehran US embassy that followed the 1979 Islamic Revolution which ousted the pro-American shah. The United States killed Soleimani in a strike in the Iraqi capital Baghdad, prompting vows of retribution by Iran. And while Iran’s attack on Iraqi bases housing US troops was seen as a relatively measured retaliation, Iranian forces mistakenly shot down over a Tehran a Ukrainian plane killing all 176 passengers and crew on board. Analysts have said the Europeans still have an opportunity to press for diplomacy, with Tehran on the defensive after admitting shooting down the airliner.

FOREIGN NEWS 07 Tens of thousands face uncertainty as Philippine volcano spews lava MANILA: Taal volcano in the Philippines could spew lava and ash for weeks, authorities warned Tuesday, leaving tens of thousands in limbo after they fled their homes fearing a massive eruption. The crater of the volcano exploded to life with towering clouds of ash and jets of redhot lava on Sunday, forcing those living around the mountain south of Manila to rush to safety. Many people abandoned livestock and pets as well as homes full of belongings after authorities sounded an alert warning that an “explosive eruption” could come imminently. “We left everything apart from what we’re wearing,” said Robert Cadiz, a 47-year-old fisherman among some 30,000 who took refuge in shelters. “We were terrified.” Gerald Aseoche, 30, who left with his four young children and a few possessions, has missed work to stay with them as the volcano belches out lava and earthquakes tied to the eruption rattle the region. “I am hoping this won’t go on too long because I will lose my job if I can’t report to work immediately,” Aseoche, a house painter, told AFP at an evacuation centre. Taal is one of the most active volcanoes in a nation hit periodically by eruptions and earthquakes due to its location on the Pacific “Ring of Fire” — a zone of intense seismic activity. Philippine Red Cross Chairman Richard Gordon warned that the group was “preparing for the worst” and urged people to away from the volcano. “Bring your animals and livestock to evacuation centres if you must,” he added. ERUPTIONS HAVE LASTED MONTHS: Renato Solidum, head of the Philippines’ seismological agency, said Taal’s previous eruptions have lasted as long as months so it was impossible to predict an end to the current activity. However, he said the alert warning of a potentially catastrophic “explosive eruption” may remain in place for weeks, depending on developments. AGENCIES

Wednesday, 15 January, 2020

08 COMMENT LHC judgment raises some hackles Legal issues can only be settled legally


hE Lahore high Court (LhC) on Monday threw out death penalty awarded by a special court to former military ruler Pervez Musharraf and declared unconstitutional all actions taken by the previous government against him, including the filing of a complaint on high treason charge and the formation of a special court as well as its proceedings. Those disagreeing with the verdict have to take recourse to higher judicial forums. The verdict has meanwhile shocked many in the country who have not forgotten the pictures of the manhandling of the then Chief Justice of Pakistan on the roads of islamabad or the way the military ruler put judges under house arrest The supreme Court has for years overseen the cases filed against Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf. Despite human memory being notoriously short, those reading newspapers carefully still remember November 3 2007 when Presidentcum-COAs Pervez Musharraf declared a state of emergency and suspended the Constitution of Pakistan. People also recall the countrywide celebrations following the sC judgment in the PCO judges’ case. On 5 April 2013, the supreme Court accepted a petition filed against General Musharraf that accused him of committing high treason under Article 6 of the Constitution. in 2014 the apex court’s 14-member bench headed by Chief Justice Tassaduq hussain Jillani disposed of the former military ruler’s petition against the 31 July 2009 verdict that accused him of declaring an emergency in November 2007 that was illegal and unconstitutional. The LhC has called the special court formed for Musharraf treason trial unconstitutional. But on 18 November 2013, the supreme Court accepted the sharif government’s request to set up a special Court to try Musharraf under section 2 of the high Treason (Punishment) Act 1973. For a common man it is difficult to understand that a judgment by a lower court could undo what was being done under the careful watch of the sC.

Questions over Nawaz Sharif’s health PTI should prioritise its many issues


AWAZ sharif’s exit from the country on the orders of the Lahore high Court on medical grounds was not an easily digestible proposition for Prime Minister imran Khan who had championed the PML(N) leader’s disqualification after the Panama Papers leaks, his sentencing and making his subsequent incarceration as uncomfortable as possible. Although it was Mr Khan’s own trustworthy team that provided all the evidence proving Mr sharif’s ‘critical condition’, as soon as he was seen boarding his air ambulance to fly to London on his own two feet, the PTi began questioning the severity of his condition. A picture has now emerged where Mr sharif can be seen at a London eatery with his family, which has the PTi riled up, adding to its suspicions. The sharif camp in London has provided the justification that the outing was on “doctor’s orders”. The Punjab government, that has to decide on an extension in time to Mr sharif for him continue treatment abroad, is now seeking latest reports from his personal physician. While the PTi government is fixated on how ill Mr sharif really is, other pressing matters requiring its immediate attention are being ignored. There is continuous pressure on the government from the business community to provide some relief. A delegation from the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and industry (FPCCi) put forth its demands to the PM asking for a cut in interest rates, reduction in energy prices and withdrawal for the CNiC requirement for purchases of over Rs50,000. short of this, they claimed, more industrial units would shut down. This is near impossible, as the state Bank of Pakistan has said monetary policy tightening has to continue, the iMF will not allow any reduction in energy tariffs and a failure to meet tax revenue targets means the CNiC condition will remain intact. There are crises on almost all borders starting with india threatening LoC aggression, instability in Afghanistan as Us-Taliban talks continue amid regular attacks and the dangerously escalating tensions between the Us and iran. internal security problems also persist with an uptick in terrorist attacks in Quetta. The PTi government should prioritise the many issues it faces. it is well within its rights to seek updates on Mr sharif’s health. it can additionally send a team from the London embassy to make its own investigations. But the sharif obsession should not divert its attention from more crucial issues that it is failing to address effectively.

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Kashmir: From legal rigmarole to a solution There are solutions aplenty, if only India was ready

aMjed jaaved


AshMiR is a disputed state. By annexing it, india negated the cardinal principle in inter-state relations, that is, pacta sunt servanda (treaties are to be observed) and are binding upon signatories. UN resolutions antiquated?: if disinterested, india should wriggle out of bilateral and multilateral agreements by pleading that the UN resolutions stand antiquated under another principle clasula rebus sic stantibus: in the case of a `fundamental change of circumstances’, that existed when a treaty was concluded, a party to that treaty may invoke this fact as a ground for termination or suspending operation of a treaty. The principle stands codified in Article 62 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. Paragraph 3, codifying the principle of rebus sic stantibus, states `if, under the foregoing paragraphs, a party may invoke a fundamental change of circumstances as a ground for terminating or withdrawing from a treaty, it may also invoke the change as a ground for suspending the operation of the treaty’. india should tell the international Court of Justice that the simla Agreement of 1972 has superseded the UN Resolution of 1948 (envisioning exercise of the right of self-determination) on the basis of the principle lex posterior derogat priori, ‘the later treaty abrogates the earlier’. The principle is enshrined in Article 59 of the Vienna Convention. simla Accord: But, even the simla Accord accepts the UN resolutions. The UN observers are still on duty on the Line Of Actual Control. They submit an annual report to the UN’s secretary general. it identifies Kashmir as an international problem. The United Nations’ Military Observers’ Group on india Pakistan came into existence in 1949 to maintain sanctity of the ceasefire line after the war of 1947-48. The first group of United Nations military observers arrived on 24 January 1949. The UN spends $40 million annually on their upkeep. india is wary of their presence. it asked them to vacate their office in New Delhi where they had been since 1949, in 2014. it even harassed them. indian troops fired across LoC in their presence and injured two locals in March 2018).

MuhaMMad Tahir iqbal


his time, it is Jawaharlal Nehru University– one of india’s most prestigious universities– which came under attack by a pro-government mob. The students and their teachers were attacked by men wearing masks over their faces and chanting “Jai shri Ram”– a slogan used in india by the charged extremists bent to attack the minorities, especially Muslims. The mob, allegedly from the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), with rods and sticks entered the JNU premises while the New Delhi Police stood still, silent and tranquil, watching the horrific play of vandalism on the loose. When a journalist asked the wrathful crowd why they were beating up the students and teachers, one of them replied, “Mughalon ki aulaad ko bahir nikalna hai” (These descendants of the Mughal dynasty are to be snuffed out). This is how the indian state under the Modi-regime craftily plans to settle scores with the 201 million Muslims of india. Readers from across the globe will be awed to know that an FiR has been registered against the union president of the JNU– the same student who was savagely beaten by the ABVP goons. The best befitting response, in this regard, comes from the famous indian poet, Javed Akhtar, who ironically says: “The FiR against the president of JNU is understandable. how dare she stop a nationalist’s iron rod with her head? These anti-nationals don’t even let our poor goons swing a lathi properly.” The cause of the current wave of unrest is the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) which was passed by the indian Parliament on DeKarachi – Ph: 021-35381208-9


india could not get the dormant `india-Pakistan Question’ deleted from the UN agenda (as informally decided by the security Council on 30 July 1996). Paragraph 1(i) of the simla Agreement provides, `the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations shall govern the relations between the two countries’. The right of self-determination is a recognised right under the UNO charter and conventions. it is now not only a political but also a legal right. Dixit’s mid-way advice: Former indian foreign secretary J.N. Dixit was of view that it is no use splitting legal hairs. `Everybody who has a sense of history knows that legality only has relevance up to the threshold of transcending political realities. And especially in inter-state relations… so to quibble about points about points of law and hope that by proving a legal point you can reverse the process of history is living in a somewhat contrived utopia. it won’t work’ (V schofield, Kashmir in the Crossfire). Tentative solutions: Aside from plebiscite, there are a plethora of alternative solutions: ( a) Freezing the Territorial status Quo. This solution offers the Kashmiris south of the LoC both Kashmiri iD cards and indian passports. Likewise, it offers those on the north of the LoC, Kashmiri iD cards and Pakistani passports (b) Andorra Model: Andorra was a unique co-principality (without any arbitrator), ruled by the French chief of state and the spanish bishop of Urgel for 715 years. Through a constitution, enacted in 1993, the government was transformed into a parliamentary democracy with both French and spanish heads of states jointly wielding executive powers (as well as defence) as co-principis. indian media termed this solution a ‘Pandora’s box’. (c) sweden-Finland Aland-island Model: When the League of Nations appointed as an arbitrator in 1921, the island was given the status of an autonomous territory. Finland retains nominal sovereignty over the island with obligation to ensure linguistic rights (swedish language) as well as culture and heritage of Aland residents. The island enjoys a neutral and demilitarised status with its own flag, postage stamps and police force. On

31 December 1994, Aland joined the European Union voluntarily. Aland is a self-governing entity, created without use of force, catering for conflicting interests of rival communities. (d) italy-Austria south Tyrol Model: south Tyrol was part of Austria. it was inhabited by three linguistic groups (70 percent Germans, 26 percent italians, and 4 percent Ladin). The revised package still recognizes italian sovereignty but allows greater autonomy of legislation and administration, recognition of cultural diversity, minority vote on issues of fundamental importance, and proportional ethnic representation. (e) National Conference Autonomy Formula (2001) envisages return to the 1953 position, abrogation of all central laws imposed on the state, and an informal co-federal relationship between the parts of Kashmir. (f) Chenab Formula stipulates the River Chenab will form the separation line between free (Azad) and occupied parts of Kashmir. some writers have discussed an indus-basinbased formula, akin to it. (g) The Kashmir-studyGroup Formula envisages division of the state into two self-governing entities, enjoying free access to one another. The entities would have their own democratic constitutions, citizenship, flag, and legislature (sans defence matters jurisdiction). Defence would be the joint responsibility of india and Pakistan. (h) Northern ireland model. in a 2003 video talk to an audience in New Delhi bill Clinton favoured it.(i) Misc. sami parliamentary model, italy-Yugoslavia Trieste model, Basque leader Jose ibarretxe ideas, Caledonia island (discovered in 1774) sovereigntysharing Noumea agreement (1999). interim solution: Pending a final settlement, softening the borders à la Mehta appears to be need of the hour to mitigate suffering of the Kashmiri. Divine solution: if no solution is hammered out, then, still, there are two solutions– a nuclear holocaust or, perhaps, divine intervention. Amjed Jaaved is a freelance journalist, has served in the Pakistan government for 39 years and holds degrees in economics, business administration, and law. He can be reached at

Goons let loose in India The CAA are being crushed by state power cember 12. The bill allows hindus, sikhs, Buddhists, Zoroastrians, and Christians who came to india from nearby Muslim-majority countries— Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan— prior to December 2014, to attain citizenship. But the Muslims were excluded. This legislation reminds me of a similar citizenship law adopted by the government of Myanmar in 1982— which was subsequently used to persecute the Muslim population residing specifically in Rakhine state of Myanmar. Perhaps the situation in india would not have been this volatile if the police had not raided Jamia Milia islamia University on 20 December. The images of policemen forcibly barging into the university’s library, beating, dragging and injuring the female students, went viral in the entire india, spurring the students and common folk to come out and register their protest against the discriminatory citizenship law. Jamia Milia islamia has always been carrying a unique example of hindu-Muslim unity since before Partition. The university was founded in 1920 by hakim Ajmal Khan. The students of Jamia have participated in protests twice in history— in the Quit india Movement of 1942, and against the emergency imposed in india in late 1970s. But on both of these occasions, the library of Jamia was not raided— because the viceroy in 1942 (Lord Linlithgow) and the PM in the 1970s (indira Gandhi) may have been authoritarian, but were not book-enemies. so, the protests that started off

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from the educational institutions proliferated to the other parts of india. People from various creeds joined the demonstrations so as to give a robust fight to the intentions of the government, which was hellbent to alter the secular and pluralistic fabric of the indian polity. The administration in other parts of india allowed for the protests and they remained peaceful as well. But when the dissent arose in the most populated province of india, Uttar Pradesh, the state came down hard on the dissenting voices: 19 people, all Muslims, were killed. The chief minister of UP, Yogi Adityanath, an extremist hindu nationalist notorious for his open hatred of Muslims, vowed to take revenge on the protesters. in the aftermath, we have witnessed heartrending accounts of police brutalities in the state. The residents of the Muslimdominated areas say that the police enter their homes, hurl abuses at everyone including women and children, break their doors and beat up whoever is around. Maulana Asad Raza hussaini, a Muslim cleric, was picked up by the police along with his some seminary students. hannah Ellis Peterson writes in The Guardian that the police stripped the Maulana of his clothes in front of his students, beat him mercilessly and shoved an iron rod up his anus causing rectal bleeding. hamid hassan, a 73-year-old victim, says that the police stormed into his home and attacked him, his 65-year-old wife and 22-year-old granddaughter with metal batons. The granddaughter was given such



a harsh thrashing that blood spurted out of her forehead. At hospital, she got 16 stiches on her forehead wound. hamid hassan sobbingly told the news reporters, “Muslims in this country are being made to live in fear, even in our homes we are not safe from violence now.” in Delhi, the area of shaheen Bagh is the new epicentre of antiCAA protests. Thousands of women daily appear here and outpour their angst against the law which makes them alien in their own land. Most of these elderly women may not know the intricacies of the Citizenship Amendment Act and National Register of Citizens, but the brutal treatment of the Muslims in various parts of india has made them realize that this Modi-Amit shah-consonance may crush them if they do not come out of their thresholds and stand for a cause. What might happen next? Will this monster of bigotry keep wreaking its vengeance on the minorities of india? Will the vulnerable denizens of india ever find moments of respite? The answer is that there does not seem to be any glimmer of hope in the near future as long as this intractable monster, which has been fed over the years with inordinate sentiments of fear and hatred against non-hindus, lurks. The only hope is the likes of the president of JNsU, Aishe Ghosh, who have been responding the harsh blows of oppressive regime with a brave and honest fight so as to claw out the cherished values of a secular and tolerant polity from the relentless clutches of a muscular hindutva ideology. Muhammad Tahir Iqbal can be reached at and tweets @TahirIqbal87


Wednesday, 15 January, 2020

COMMENT 09 Editor’s mail

Send your letters to: Letters to Editor, Pakistan Today, 4-Shaarey Fatima Jinnah, Lahore, Pakistan. E-mail: Letters should be addressed to Pakistan Today exclusively

Continuous rain spells paralysed the lives and traffic as well siR i want to show my concerns about the continuous rain spell or heavy rain paralysed the life of a person due to poor sewerage system. The reason behind is that many people living in low-lying areas found knee-deep rain water in the roads so they stuck in their houses due to inundated roads. some of them reach their offices by all means like pushing their cars or bikes on the roads contaminated with water. so the public faces huge traffic jams, And the other major disaster that the public faces in heavy rainfall is basically the tripped transformer sometimes leads to cut off the light connection for the whole day. And stopped the working of housewives. in short the working life is paralyzed by all means when there is heavy rainfall outside. so the prime minister should take into consideration that proper roads infrastructure is necessary to mobilize this paralysed life even during heavy rainfall, so the proper sewerage system should be planned by the government as soon as possible. FATIMA SATTAR Lahore

IHK’s militarisation

Sheer hypocrisy Trump spoke about the Iranian people while ignoring the Kashmiris

Malik MuhaMMad ashraf


N the wake of anti-government demonstrations in Tehran over the accidental shooting down of a Ukrainian aitliner, Us President Donald Trump has warned iran against any massacre saying the protests were being closely watched by the UsA and the world and that he stood by the brave and longsuffering people of iran. One would have taken his words at their face value and as showing a genuine concern for human lives and human rights had he also condemned the killing of more than 30 people in india protesting against the discriminatory Citizenship Amendment Act and National Register of Citizens, as well as the killing spree in indian Occupied Kashmir. What President Trump has said is sheer hypocrisy. it is a shameful reality that the UsA itself was responsible for massacre of millions. The litany of conflicts and wars that the UsA started and supported includes the nuclear attack on Japan, the war in Vietnam, massacres in Palestine, wars in Libya, iraq, syria, other Middle Eastern countries and her misadventure in Afghanistan. The situation has become more dangerous after transformation of the world from bipolar into a unipolar entity. The killing of Maj Gen Qasem soleimani in iraq was in violation of international law besides being breach of the sovereignty of a third country; an unpardonable indiscretion. it was the ugliest manifestation of the maxim ‘Might is Right’. humanity fades into nothingness when it comes to the self-defined strategic and national interest of the UsA. No country, or even the UN, can do anything about it. The UsA under Trump is also showing criminal indifference to the human sufferings in indian-Occupied Kashmir, blinded by her strategic and commercial interests. Eighty million Kashmiris have been under siege since August 5 and the indian security forces every day are killing Kashmiri youth demonstrating against indian oppression. The Modi government undid the special status of indian-Occupied Kashmir in blatant defiance of the UN resolutions, which constituted an affront to the world conscience and the UN authority but

none of the so-called champions of human liberties, human rights and proponents of the right to self-determination condemned india or made any substantive move to have the Kashmir dispute resolved in consonance with the UN resolutions. One only hears sporadic and stifled expressions of concern on the situation in the Valley. The UsA and its western allies seem least pushed about removing the root cause of tensions in this region. Encouraged by the acquiescence of the UsA and its allies over its moves in iiNDiAN-OCCUPiED KAshMiR, it has also adopted a belligerent posture towards Pakistan. Continued firing along the LOC and threats hurled by the indian army chief to annex even Azad Jummu and Kashmir present a ranting testimony to the indian designs. it is however regrettable that neither UN nor any other power has taken notice of this blatant threat to a sovereign country or realized the danger to peace and security in this region. The move by Modi government to end the special stats of Kashmir and the promulgation of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act, which became effective on October 31, has brought the two nuclear powers face to face with each other. in the backdrop of the turmoil in india over the Citizenship Amendment Act and the continued resistance against india in indian-Occupied Kashmir, india might resort to a false flag operation against Pakistan and any miscalculation on either side could lead to armed conflict between them with unimaginable consequences for the region and the world at large. Prime Minister imran Khan in his address to the UN General Assembly warned the world about the dangers lurking on the horizon as a consequence of the indian action in indian-Occupied Kashmir and the policies pursued by Modi government, stemming from the supremacist Rss ideology which believes in making india a hindu state. Pakistan has made several peace overtures to india without any reciprocation. The role played by her to facilitate dialogue between Taliban and the UsA, and in the

reconciliation process in Afghanistan, proves her credentials as a peace loving state. however it has the will and capability to give a befitting reply if a war is foisted on her. in the interest of world peace and their own strategic interests, the UsA and its allies must rethink their position with regard to the Kashmir dispute. The dilemma is that the UN cannot do much with regard to implementation of its resolutions on Kashmir without the nod and support of powers like the UsA. The UN Charter, which was drawn up by the countries that were the victors of World War ii, is geared to serving their interests rather than being instrumental in resolving conflicts and preventing wars in the real sense. The veto powers enjoyed by the UsA, and its western allies like the UK and France, enable them to manage world affairs in conformity with their global interests. That is why the issues like Palestine and Kashmir remain unresolved even after seven decades. Consequently the perpetrators of oppression and architects of massacres get away scot-free with their crimes against humanity. There can be no peace in the world in the presence of oppression and injustice. Conflict and wars that have piled misery on human beings and devastated civilization, and happened because of injustice and oppression, and tp this history is a witness. history is also a witness to the fact that freedom struggles cannot be subdued through the barrel of a gun. if the UsA and other powers really want to promote peace in the world, they will have to play their role in resolving the conflicts around the world in a judicious manner, and rising above their own strategic and commercial interests. They will have to bring forth their humane credentials to be able to play that role. hypocrisy must give way to honesty of purpose. They and the UN owe it to humanity to act in this way. They must realize that their strategic and commercial interests will be served better in a peaceful world environment.

If the USA and other powers really want to promote peace in the world, they will have to play their role in resolving the conflicts around the world in a judicious manner, and rising above their own strategic and commercial interests. They will have to bring forth their humane credentials to be able to play that role

Malik Muhammad Ashraf is an academic. He can be contacted at:

iNDiA has shrugged off Us president’s repeated mediation offers, though without chanting the ‘atoot ang’ mantra (sacred words or sounds repeated). simultaneously, she rushed ten thousand additional troops to ihK to meet tangible terror threat from Pakistan. Lt Gen KJs Dhillon, Corps Commander of the srinagar-headquartered 15 Corps, along with iGP Kashmir sP Pani and CRPF ADG Zulfiquar hasan addressed a joint press conference in srinagar. he claimed to have recovered a cache of snipers and land mines with Pak army markings. The airlifting of additional forces triggered rumours that Article 35-A was being rescinded. The puppet governor of Kashmir had to publicly announce that ‘there were no plans to abrogate Article 35A’. some newspapers reported that Pakistan would withhold terrorist attacks until it has passed the FATF test this coming October. india highlights ‘terror threat’ while simultaneously dispelling it for reason of FATF constraints on Pakistan. Let india be consistent in its lies. M A HAMEEd Rawalpindi

A solution to Kashmir dispute? is the Kashmir solution finally in sight? The BJP-led indian Government is planning on revoking the “special status” of Kashmir in india. This special status allowed Kashmir region to be an independent state within the indian state, with its own Prime Minister and President. This status also stopped indians from purchasing property in Kashmir, which helped maintain the Muslim majority in the region. But now the indian Government wants to end this special status, absorbing Kashmir into india, while allowing hindus to purchase property and eventually become the majority in the region. And when india implements the end of special status, than Pakistan can also convert Kashmir into its province and request UN and the World to consider the current disputed border as a permanent border. And both countries can agree to develop their new provinces for tourism, while also plan on disarming the regions and increasing tourism cooperation among the two regions. Tourists and locals should be allowed to move across borders easily to ensure lasting peace. india can also be offered to be a part of CPEC to ensure trade and peace for a long time. EnGR SHAHRyAR KHAn BASEER Peshawar

4G needed back in Turbat iNTERNET is a medium which has enabled computers to connect with each has pervaded our lives like air. For students, the internet is like a living teacher or even more than that. A couple of years ago, 4G was available in Turbat which helped the students, especially the poor ones, very much in their studies. Poor students cannot afford a PTCL connection as it is beyond their budget. 4G packages were cheaper and more helpful as they could be availed everywhere. The students could have used 4G in many ways like, they could have ordered books online, they could have downloaded lectures related to their courses, and many more. Not only it was beneficial for students. but for the companies as well as they were doing great business by the help of 4G. since 4G has gone, students are facing problems. The students of Turbat are looking forward to avail 4G once again. MAHnAz FAqIR Turbat

Repair the D Baloch Bridge! LiFE is more important than anything in this world, and there are a lot of lives under danger in Turbat due to a broken bridge. D Baloch Bridge is the way of thousands of cars, buses, motorbikes, trucks, etc. This bridge is in a miserable condition. One can see the irons of the bridge very clearly, but no action is being taken. This is the only way for the students of Turbat to go to their university which is situated on the other side of the city. Every day thousands of students have to risk their lives by passing this dangerous valley of death in the name of education. it’s a plea to the accountable authorities to awake from their stupor and take action to repair the bridge as soon as possible. AFRoz BoLAnI Turbat

Wednesday, 15 January, 2020


Trump Trial possibly days away as democraTs meeT WASHINGTON



HE trial of President Donald Trump for abuse of power and obstruction could open within days as House of Representatives leader Nancy Pelosi convenes Democrats early Tuesday to discuss sending impeachment charges to the Senate. Pelosi appeared ready to move ahead after holding onto the articles of impeachment since they were passed on December 18 to pressure the Republican-controlled Senate to agree to subpoena witnesses with direct knowledge of what Trump is charged with: illicitly seeking help from Ukraine for his reelection campaign this year. But with Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell refusing to agree up front on the witness issue, Pelosi is now expected to forward the case without a deal and see the president placed on trial by next week. Pelosi’s House Democratic caucus is expected to discuss the schedule for a full vote in the House of Representatives, the lower chamber, on forwarding the case. They also have to decide who will comprise their team of impeachment managers to argue the case against Trump in the Senate, the upper chamber.

Once the House forwards the charges, the Senate has to begin trial proceedings within one day. On the first day, senators will decide the rules of the historic trial. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts will then be sworn in to preside; in turn he will swear in the 100 senators to preside as judges and jury over Trump’s fate. Republican Senator John Cornyn told The Hill news website that he expects all that could happen within this week, and that opening arguments in the trial could take place as early as Tuesday, January 21, after Monday’s federal holiday. “That’s what it feels like right

Microsoft CEO Nadella 'saddened' by India's citizenship law NEW YORK: Microsoft Corp’s India-born Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella said he was saddened by a new citizenship law based on religion that was recently implemented in his home country, BuzzFeed News reported on Monday. “I think what is happening is sad, primarily as sort of someone who grew up there […] I think it’s just bad,” Nadella told BuzzFeed at a Microsoft event in Manhattan. Nadella grew up in Hyderabad, a technology hub in India that is home to the biggest Microsoft research and development center outside of the United States. India’s Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which eases the path for non-Muslims in the neighbouring Muslimmajority nations of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh to gain citizenship, has triggered weeks of sometimes violent protests in the world’s second most populous country. If combined with a proposed national register of citizens, critics of the CAA fear it will discriminate against India’s Muslim minority and chip away at its secular constitution. Microsoft did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment. The company’s India Twitter handle put out a statement quoting Nadella as saying he was shaped by “growing up in a multicultural India” and his “immigrant experience in the United States”. AGENCIES

China fears fallout from controversial Indian citizenship law NEW DELHI AGENCIES

India’s recently enacted citizenship law, which excludes Muslim and cherry-picks migrant communities from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh for naturalisation, is fuelling anxiety in China, The Hindu said on Monday in a report from Beijing. It said a Chinese official who did not wish to be named told The Hindu that Beijing apprehends that the law, if it alienates Muslims in India, could have repercussions in Xinjiang — a vast strategically important border region, which has faced separatist violence. “We fear that if possible Muslim alienation triggered by India’s new Act spreads, it could channel into international terrorism and eventually bolster separatism in Xinjiang,” the official said. Xinjiang is China’s strategic

US Treasury removes currency manipulator label on China WASHINGTON AGENCIES

The United States on Monday removed the currency manipulator label it imposed on China last summer, in a sign of easing tensions between the economic powers after nearly two years of conflict. Just two days before President Donald Trump is set to sign a “phase one” trade agreement with China, the US Treasury said in its semi-annual report to Congress that the yuan has strengthened and Beijing is no longer considered a currency manipulator. Although Treasury refrained from slapping the label on China in its report last May, Trump in August angrily accused Beijing of weakening its currency “to steal our business

now,” Cornyn said. Trump’s Republican party hold a solid majority in the Senate and are expected to exonerate him. But the witness issue remains a point of contention. Democrats want at least four current and former top Trump aides to appear at the trial, after Trump barred them from testifying in the House impeachment investigation. They also want documents related to the charges that Trump refused to hand over to the House probe. The witnesses and documents, Democrats believe, could deliver more concrete evidence that Trump abused his powers for personal political gain

and obstructed the Congressional investigation. “In the Clinton impeachment process, 66 witnesses were allowed to testify including 3 in the Senate trial, and 90,000 pages of documents were turned over,” Pelosi said via Twitter Monday. “Trump was too afraid to let any of his top aides testify & covered up every single document. The Senate must #EndTheCoverUp.” But McConnell, backed by the Republicans’ 53-47 Senate majority, says he won’t agree on the issue before the trial opens. McConnell cites president Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial in 1999, when the contentious witness issue was put off until after opening arguments were made. Then the two sides agreed to allow three witnesses against Clinton to be deposed. But in that case Republicans held all the power in Congress against a Democratic president. In this case, with defendant Trump’s own Republican party in control of the Senate, which sets the rules for the case, Pelosi has little real leverage outside of public pressure. Democrats are hoping that three or more Republican senators break ranks to insist on the witnesses. “House Democrats have already done enough damage to precedent, to national unity, and to our institutions of government,” McConnell said in a statement Monday.

and factories,” re-stating a longstanding grievance. Chinese authorities in August allowed the yuan to fall below 7 to the dollar, sending shudders through stock markets at the time and stoking Trump’s ire. “Over the summer, China took concrete steps to devalue its currency,” also known as the renminbi (RMB), and those moves “left the RMB at its weakest level against the dollar in over 11 years,” Treasury said. However, more recently it strengthened to 6.93 to the dollar. Treasury said the new trade pact addresses currency issues. “In this agreement, China has made enforceable commitments to refrain from competitive devaluation and not target its exchange rate for competitive purposes,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.

lifeline. The West-East gas pipeline network drawing gas from Central Asia along a land corridor helps fuel Beijing’s east coast industrial heartland— the workshop of the world, represented by Shanghai and Guangdong province, the report said. China has also unveiled the Greater Bay Area plan, covering the economic integration of Guangdong with Hong Kong and Macao, requiring huge energy sources. Apart from energy security, Xinjiang is also the “choke point” through which China is connected with Central Asia and Europe along with a vast inter-continental transportation network under Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Besides, China views Xinjiang as central to the “one-China” policy, while it also rejects efforts that encourage “separatism” in Taiwan, Tibet, Hong Kong and islands in the South China Sea. “Given Xinjiang’s extraordinary importance, China

firmly rejects any moves to weaken the one-China principle on the grounds of human rights,” the official said. China has blamed the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) — a group of mainly Muslim extremists of ethnic Uyghur descent, for seeking an independent “East Turkestan” in Xinjiang. In response to the CAA, a section of the Chinese state media has asserted that the new law mirrors India’s evolving geostrategic posture, in its South Asian neighborhood, the Indian Ocean and beyond, fuelled by what is called, the rise of “Hindu nationalism”. An article in the state-run tabloid Global Times noted that “broadly speaking” the CAA “reflects the conflict between liberalism and nationalism. In India, the world’s largest democracy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has embarked on a path of nationalism.

After Florida killings, Saudis withdraw 21 cadets from United States RIYADH AGENCIES

Saudi Arabia will withdraw 21 cadets receiving military training in the United States following a US investigation into a Saudi officer’s fatal shooting of three Americans at a Florida naval base that US Attorney General William Barr on Monday branded an act of terrorism. The Dec 6 attack further complicated US-Saudi relations at a time of heightened tensions between the United States and Iran, Saudi Arabia’s regional rival. A deputy sheriff shot dead the gunman, Saudi Air Force Second Lieutenant Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, in the Pensacola, Florida, incident. Barr provided previously undisclosed details about Alshamrani’s actions before the shooting. Barr said 21 Saudi cadets were “disenrolled from their training curriculum” in the US military and would leave the United States later on Monday after an investigation showed they either had child pornography or social media accounts containing extremist or anti-American content. He indicated that it was Saudi Arabia that withdrew the cadets, rather than the United States formally expelling them, and said the Saudi authorities told him they would consider filing criminal charges against them. A Justice Department official, briefing reporters on the condition of anonymity, said US officials agreed with the decision to withdraw them.

Huge sinkhole swallows bus, kills six in China BEIJING AGENCIES

An enormous sinkhole swallowed a bus and pedestrians in northwest China, sparking an explosion, killing six people and leaving four more missing, state media said Tuesday. Footage showed people at a bus stop running from the collapsing road as the vehicle — jutting into the air — sank into the ground. Several people disappeared into the sinkhole as it spread, including what appeared to be a child. The incident also triggered an explosion inside the hole, video showed. Sinkholes are not unknown in China, where they are often blamed on construction works and the country’s rapid pace of development. The incident occurred at around 5:30 pm (0930 GMT) on Monday in Xining, the capital of Qinghai province, the state-run broadcaster CCTV said. A search and rescue operation involving more than 1,000 people and 30 vehicles was underway, according to the official Xinhua news agency. An investigation into the cause has been opened. Video footage published by state broadcaster CGTN showed a person being pulled from the hole by rescue workers. The collapse left an 80-square-metre (860-square-foot) pit in the street outside a hospital.

Canada yet to decide if it will pay Harry and Meghan's security costs VANCOUVER AGENCIES

The Canadian government has yet to decide whether it will assume the security costs associated with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s decision to split their time between Canada and Britain, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Monday. “I think that is part of the reflection that […] needs to be had, and there are discussions going on,” Trudeau said in an interview with Canadian television channel Global. “We’re not entirely sure what the final decisions will be, where the dispositions are and those are decisions for them,” he said. Harry and Meghan caught the world off guard last week when they announced their intention to step back

from frontline royal duties. According to Trudeau, Canadians are “very supportive” of having the royal couple live in Canada, but there are still “lots of discussions to have”. “We haven’t spent any time thinking about this issue,” said Canadian finance minister Bill Morneau, who was interviewed earlier on Monday about British press reports that Trudeau had assured Queen Elizabeth II that Canada would cover security costs for Harry and Meghan. “We obviously are always looking to make sure, as a member of the Commonwealth, we play a role,” Morneau said. British press had reported Canada would contribute $650,000 (500,000 pounds) per year. Canadian media have estimated that protecting the couple and their baby son Archie would cost about $1.3 million

(Can$1.7 million) per year. Canadian taxpayers have traditionally contributed towards security costs when members of the Royal Family visit the country. Prince Harry and Meghan, formally known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, have said their official plan is to continue to “fully support” the queen and honour their duties to the Commonwealth and their patronages. But they want to make 2020 a transition year to carve out their new role and launch their new Sussex Royal charitable entity and seek to raise their own sources of income. On Monday, Queen Elizabeth II allowed her grandson Harry and Meghan to split their time between Canada and Britain. But she frankly admitted that the couple’s decision was not welcome news.

Wednesday, 15 January, 2020






DvISeR to Prime Minister on Commerce, Textile, Industry and Production Abdul Razak Dawood on Monday said that Pakistan’s exports were performing better than its competitors as China, India and vietnam’s exports had been declining rapidly. Addressing a press conference after the conclusion of a two-day conference on e-commerce policy in the federal capital, the PM’s aide said that the growth rate of Pakistan’s exports was 3.5 per cent because of the government’s policies.

“This news is encouraging for the government and the general public,” he added. Talking about the e-commerce policy which was approved the government last year, Dawood said that suggestions and proposals of different stakeholders would be considered and incorporated in the existing law to facilitate the country’s growth in the digital sector. “The policy will be fully implemented within the next few months. A summary has already been prepared in this

NITL selects Refinitiv’s ‘World-Check’ to ensure financial compliance ISLAMABAD: National Investment Trust Limited (NITL), Pakistan’s first & largest asset management company, has selected Refinitiv’s ‘World-Check’ to support its compliance with the provisions of the Securities and exchange Commission of Pakistan’s Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating Financing Terrorism (CFT) regulatory framework. Refinitiv’s WorldCheck Risk Intelligence is used by regulated companies to help screen for financial crime risks as part of their anti-money laundering compliance programmes. The Refinitiv’s database delivers accurate and reliable data that assists clients in their decision-making processes. It employs hundreds of specialist research analysts across the globe, who adhere to stringent research guidelines when collating information from reliable sources such as watchlists, government records, and reputable media publications. “This step marks another milestone for NITL’s vision to ensure effective compliance in line with the SeCP’s AML & CFT framework. We are committed to fighting financial crime and will be leveraging our robust technology infrastructure to achieve our compliance vision as we scale our business in a sustainable and responsible manner,” said NITL Managing Director Adnan Afridi. “We’re pleased to have been chosen by NIT as it moves towards establishing a solid compliance program. Know Your Customer (KYC) screening is now a critical process in mitigating financial crime and regulators are placing significant attentions in this area across their policy making agenda. We believe this partnership will help NIT take a further step in meeting their regulatory requirements in Pakistan and beyond,” said Refinitiv Managing Director (Middle east and Africa) Nadim Najjar. STAFF REPORT

regard which includes legislation, a draft law for registration with the World Trade Organisation, regulatory framework and details about technology and logistics in the international digital business,” he said, adding that the government has already started the implementation of the policy on some important subjects. The PM’s aide said that Pakistan’s export potential was over $5 billion and the government will support different sectors to reach the desired target. “A 47 per cent increase in the freelance market indicates the growth of the digital business,” he added. He said that the e-commerce policy will play an important role in projecting Pakistan’s products abroad in accordance with the incumbent government’s agenda. “Those who invest in e-commerce would definitely see the fruits of their investment. Although the process of imple-

menting the policy is taking longer than expected, we hope that the people will hold on to their enthusiasm so that we can keep moving towards the desired objectives,” he added. “Once Pakistan is able to remove hurdles in online payments, we will see a rapid increase in our exports. Pakistan’s future is dependent on its services sector exports and the e-commerce policy was formulated with this idea in mind,” he further said. Dawood also said that the policy would also minimise corruption as transparency is one of the key elements of the digital age. “Inefficiency will decline as well and we will move forward at a greater pace,” he added. Additional Secretary Commerce Javed Akbar, while addressing the press conference, said that the government will implement regulation to ensure the security and interests of

‘Govt striving hard to tackle inflation, enhance productivity’ ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT

Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said on Tuesday that the government was striving hard to tackle inflation and enhance domestic productivity through greater spending on social safety net, improving cash transfer programme, ensuring greater ease of doing business and providing subsidized loans, electricity and gas to the exporters. “The government has worked very hard to pull the economy out of the ICU and the stage is now set for greater stabilization and enhanced domestic productivity which would help us overcome inflation, boost businesses and create more employment opportunities,” he said while talking to Ambassador of France Dr Marc Barety. Dr Shaikh said the government was focusing on revitalizing the agriculture sector, adding that several mega projects had been approved to improve irrigation management, watercourses and construction of water storage facilities at farm level. “These projects were also aimed at productivity enhancement of various crops, oilseeds, cage culture development, shrimp farming cluster development and water conservation in arid areas.”

He said the government had doubled the social safety budget from Rs100 billion to Rs190 billion while it had also recently revamped its cash transfer programme by replacing nearly 800,000 people with

LAHORE Punjab’s powerful sugar mill owners continue to halt the production of sugar during the ongoing crushing season on the pretext of the shortage of sugarcane in spite of evidence pointing otherwise. Though the owners claimed insufficient crop, dozens of trollies loaded with sugarcane could be seen at the gates of these sugar mills, waiting to unload the yield. On consistent complaints, the deputy commissioner of Muzaffargarh had to act against sugar millers for their refusal to buy the crop after farmers, led by PPP MNA Raza Rabbani Khar and local MPA Abdul Hayee Dasti, approached him for redressal of complaints. The action in Muzaffargarh

more deserving people. He said the government had also recently launched a special food package at a cost of Rs7 billion to provide essential food items at reduced rates through the utility stores to the poor segment of the population. On the macro front, The adviser said the government had brought down the current account deficit from $20 billion to $13 billion. “It will be further reduced to $8 billion this year. Similarly, exports which had remained stagnant for almost five years have started showing an upward trend.” He said the revenue collection had jumped by 16pc while foreign direct investment had gone up by 280pc growth in the current financial year. Similarly, he added, Pakistan’s exchange rate had begun to stabilise due to enhanced external flows while Pakistan Stock exchange was declared by Bloomberg as the best performing market in the world. French Ambassador to Pakistan Dr Marc Barety said he was impressed with the good work done by the Pakistani government and lauded the introduction of institutional reforms across the country. He said both France and Pakistan enjoyed excellent relationship and hoped this relationship would further deepen in the coming days through greater economic collaborations and business partnerships.

Committee excludes five properties from privatisation list ISLAMABAD SHAHZAD PARACHA

In a meeting held on Tuesday, the Cabinet Committee on Privatisation (CCOP) has decided to exclude five prime properties from the privatisation list. Sources privy to the matter told Profit that the cabinet committee under the chair of Advisor to Prime Minister on Finance Hafeez Shiekh on the proposal of privatisation commission has directed to exclude five properties belonging to the Ministry of Information, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and

Pakistan Post from the privatisation list. The properties include two buildings of Radio Pakistan in Multan and Karachi, an 841 Kanal piece of land in Mohlanwala, Multan Road, Lahore, where a high power transmission station has already been established and a second 928 Kanal piece of land in receiving centre Pipri Karachi. In addition to this, two properties belonging to the FBR, which include a 40 Kanal piece of land in IRS colony in Lahore and a second 50-acre piece of land located on Hawke’s Bay Road Mauripur Karachi. Moreover, CCOP has also excluded

an 18 Kanal and 8 Marla property belonging to Pakistan post, located in F15 Islamabad and which is now under the control of Capital Development Authority (CDA). Sources said that CCOP has also given the approval to transfer the three properties belonging to Radio Pakistan and the 50 acres Hawke’s Bay land to Naya Pakistan Housing Authority. Sources said that the 50 acre land in Hawksbay Karachi belonging to FBR has already been encroached by the locals, meanwhile, the tax officials had informed Prime Minister Imran Khan on this matter in previous meetings.

Sugar mills continue to exploit farmers HASSAN NAQVI

the consumers in the digital business. “A code of conduct is also being prepared to ensure that local companies meet international standards and follow global practices,” he said. He said that they were constantly in contact with the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) for proper implementation of the e-commerce policy. It is worth mentioning here that there is a need to enhance cross-border trade and the e-commerce policy provides an enabling environment through the establishment of a single window for allowing re-exports and re-shipments. A code of conduct for e-commerce platforms will help regulate digital businesses to prevent malpractices. Moreover, the implementation of the policy requires collaboration among different ministries and departments and the government would also have to implement an eprocurement model for its procurements.

provided a brief relief to farmers. But, elsewhere, they haven’t had enough luck. According to sources in the sugar industry, about 30 sugar mills out of 41, were not carrying out production process without delay flouting the undertaking they submitted to the government for getting No objection Certificate (NoC) for the formation of a sugar mill. A senior official with the PSMA, however, told Pakistan Today that at present the mills couldn’t carry out the production process without delays due to scarcity of sugarcane. “The sugar mills require a sufficient amount of sugarcane to continue the production process without any halt,” he added. He added that presently the sugar mills are producing sugar for 1-2 days and then stops

the production for a day or two and then start again as they don’t have enough sugarcane required for the production process. ‘EXPLOITATION’: On the other hand, farmers rejected the PSAM stance, saying that delay in purchase of the crop was an old ploy by millers to exploit them. Syed Ghulam Abbas, a Rahim Yar Khan-based farmer, told Profit that sugar mill owners delay the purchase of sugarcane crop on purpose due to which the weight and sucrose content of the sugarcane crop is lost but the sugar content remains the same. He added that he lost around 300 mounds of sugarcane crop because one of the sugar mills used delaying tactics in buying his sugarcane and issuing him the permit. Another farmer agreeing with

him said that the sugar mill owners delayed the purchase of sugarcane from him and rats and other insects were destroying his crop. “It forced me to sell my crop to one of the owners in Rs120 per mound only, as there was fear that my crop would be wasted completely,” he said. Although the sugar mills association claimed that the production was halted only because of the insufficient amount of sugarcane, facts state otherwise. According to figures available with the scribe, the production area of sugarcane was 1.756 million acres in 2018 compared to 1.86 million acres in 2019. ‘MIDDLEMEN’: Another problem that the farmers face is the existence of the middleman. These brokers purchase the crop in peanuts from the farmers and sell them to the mill owners at a

Sources also added that the finance minister expressed displeasure over the officials that why these properties were included in the privatisation list, to begin with. He directed the ministry to submit clear and alternate properties against the properties excluded from the privatisation list. It is pertinent to mention that the privatisation list initially included 32 properties out of which, five have been removed on the orders that clear and alternative properties will be submitted and three of these five have been transferred to the Naya Pakistan Housing Project.

OWNERS CLAIM INSUFFICIENT CROP FOR SUGAR PRODUCTION; FARMERS ACCUSE MILLS OF DELAY TACTICS higher rate. Malik Abdul Razaq, a sugarcane farmer from Faisalabad, said, “I sold my sugarcane crop to the middle man for Rs145 per mound instead of the government rate of Rs190 because he offered me instant cash unlike the mill owners. Allah Ditta, a Layyah farmer, said mills do not make timely payments. “I am still waiting for my payments of the last year,” he added. THE CARTELS ARE NOT ‘NEW’: A senior official working at the country’s competition watchdog, the Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) told Profit that soon after its inception in 2007 the CCP busted the sugar sector cartel, which was looting consumers through controlling the

production, sale, and trade of sugar. A senior official at CCP confirmed that they were keeping a close watch on the activities of sugar mills and PSMA and would act against the owners if any discrepancies observed. “However, despite widespread concerns, the hardcore proofs of cartelization haven’t surfaced yet, something that the CCP needs before it can move against the so-called sugar cartel,” the senior official said. He also added that they had put in place a system of “informant reward” and “leniency” to help reach the roots of cartels. Any such information and names of the informers are kept confidential under the Competition Leniency Regulations 2019.

Wednesday, 15 January, 2020


sbP ImPoses Rs219m fINe oN fIve CommeRCIAL bANks



FAISALABAD: Nishat Group Chairman Mian Mohammad Mansha alongside guests from Hyundai (Korea), Sojitz (Japan) and management team of the company at the Start of Production ceremony of Hyundai Nishat Motor plant in Faisalabad Industrial Estate. Hyundai Nishat Plant will manufacture Hyundai brand commercial and passenger vehicles with Phase-I capacity of 15,000 units per annum. PRESS RELEASE

LAHORE: All Pakistan Women Movement, an initiative to promote gender inclusion in Pakistan through awareness, advocacy and capacity building hosted a full day mega-conference on gender inclusion titled Evolve 2020 – Inspire. Include. Empower which took place on January 12, 2020. PRESS RELEASE



He State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has imposed a cumulative fine worth Rs219.058 million on five commercial banks for violating its regulations in December. These banks include Bank Alfalah, National Bank of Pakistan (NBP), MCB Bank, Habib Metropolitan Bank, and Summit Bank. Bank Alfalah faced the highest fine, at Rs96.095 million, for procedural violations in Know Your Customer (KYC) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT). According to the state bank, the bank was advised to conduct an internal inquiry the violation of regulatory requirements. The bank was also advised to strengthen its process related to KYC and customer due diligence (CDD). MCB faced the second highest fine of

Rs49.499 million for violations in foreign exchange (FX) operations. Additionally, Habib Metropolitan Bank faced Rs34.578 million and NBP was fined Rs21.544 million; both for violations in CDD and KYC. Both banks were advised timelines to bring improvements in its systems. Finally, Summit Bank was fined Rs17.422 million for violations in FX operations.


Stocks stay flat amid lacklustre trading KARACHI STAFF REPORT

Renault, Nissan say alliance not headed for break-up TOKYO/PARIS: Shares in Renault recovered some lost ground on Tuesday after the French carmaker and its Japanese partner Nissan Motor rejected media reports that their alliance was in danger of being dissolved. Growing concerns about the state of the 20-year old French-Japanese alliance, forged by former boss turned fugitive Carlos Ghosn, had sent Renault and Nissan shares skidding to multi-year lows on Monday. At the opening of trading in Paris on Tuesday, Renault shares rose 1.3pc, before falling back slightly to trade up 0.49pc by 08:23 GMT. The alliance, which also includes Japan’s Mitsubishi Motors Corp, is “solid, robust, everything but dead,” the chairman of Renault, Jean-Philippe Senard, told Belgian newspaper L’echo. French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire also weighed in, saying reports some executives wanted to break up the alliance were “malicious.” Speaking to France’s CNews Tv, he also said he expected Renault to name a new chief executive within days to replace Thierry Bollore, a Ghosn-era appointee who was ousted in October. Luca de Meo, who stepped down as the head of volkswagen’s Seat brand last week, is seen as a frontrunner for the job, although a stringent non-compete clause in his contract firm may prove a hurdle, sources have told Reuters. AGENCIES

Stocks traded within a narrow range for the second consecutive session on Tuesday, as the indices oscillated in both ways in search of a clear direction before closing flat. Foreign investors closed the previous session as net buyers with a net inflow of $1.29 million. The benchmark KSe-100 Index, which opened at 43,272.46, touched its intraday high at 43,468.22 (+249.55 points) during the initial trading hours. It then swung to its day’s low at 43,095.41 after losing 123.26 points. The index settled flat at 43,207.04 (11.63 points). The KMI-30 Index inched up by 12.60 points to end day at 70,654.16, whereas the KSe All Share Index declined by 47.54 points, closing at 29,973.44. The overall trading volumes decreased by 32pc on a daily basis and were recorded at 249.67 million. The Bank of Punjab (BOP +0.75pc) led the volume chart once again, followed by TRG Pakistan Limited (TRG 1.05pc) and TPL Corp Limited (TPL +7.54pc). The scripts had exchanged 18.02 million, 16.48 million and 14.61 million shares, respectively. Sectors that pushed the KSe-100 Index in the red zone included oil &

gas exploration (-52.94 points), chemical (-21.08 points) and cement (-19.54 points). On the other hand, sectors that contributed positively included fertiliser (+48.28 points), banking (+21.51 points) and investment banking (+16.85 points). On the market front, the engro Polymer and Chemicals Limited (ePCL -3.78pc) board has stated that the company may issue preference shares with differential rights & privileges having face value of Rs10 by way of pre-IPO placements & public offerings each aggregating up to Rs3 billion other than by way of right issue. Meanwhile, according to latest data released by Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association Passenger, car sales declined by 38pc to 9,987 units in December 2019 as compared to 16,141 units in December 2018. However, on a month-onmonth basis, car sales witnessed a recovery of 17.16pc. Honda Atlas Cars (Pakistan) Limited (HCAR +4.09pc) market share fell from 21pc in Jan 2019 to 9pc in December 2019 while Indus Motor Company Limited’s (INDU +0.61pc) share came down from 28pc to 21pc, whereas Pakistan Suzuki Motors Company Limited’s (PSMC +5.00pc) share inflated from 52pc to 70pc in the same period.

The SBP has recently started making public the fines it imposed on commercial banks. This most recent fine has come on the heels of increased regulation and fines imposed by the SBP in the last few months, through its offsite supervision and enforcement department. The SBP has also become more vigilant about complying with international standards due to Pakistan

‘Us businessmen keen to invest in first CPeC economic zone’ ISLAMABAD: US entrepreneurs have shown a keen interest to invest in the China Pakistan economic Corridor’s first Special economic Zone (SeZ) – the Allama Iqbal Industrial City – due to its immense market potential and improved governance in the country. “There is a huge potential in Pakistan’s agriculture, livestock, and food processing & seafood sectors for US companies, and the US businessmen are ready to explore the new investment-friendly business environment offered by the zone,” Pakistan American Business Forum (PBAF) President Riaz Hussain said while talking to Faisalabad Industrial estate Development & Management Company (FIeDMC) Chairman Mian Kashif Ashfaq on Tuesday. The Allama Iqbal Industrial City is a prioritised SeZ of FIeDMC. The major purpose of the meeting was to provide an opportunity to exchange views and identify trade areas where investment can be pumped. Mian Kashif Ashfaq briefed the delegation on the investment opportunities and incentive packages being offered to the investors. He said that FIeDMC, following the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan, was extending maximum facilities to the foreign and local manufacturers, besides providing all services to businessperson under one roof to ensure ‘ease of doing business’ in the province. He further said that all industries within the export processing zone would be exempted from tax for a period of 10 years, adding that plants, machinery, raw material and other equipment would be imported duty-free. Ashfaq said that around Rs400 billion foreign and local investments would be injected into various projects of FIeDMC, which clearly indicates that the investors have reposed complete confidence in the present regime. “More than 25 Chinese companies had made agreements for investments in the industrial city,” he stated. “The US had titled 2020 as ‘Partners for Prosperity’ year, which can only be materialized once we have an increase in people-to-people contact. Also, cooperation with key organizations in both countries to ensure cohesive and coordinated strategies in promoting US private sector interests in Pakistan must also be ensured.” APP

The Organic Meat Company applies for IPO at PSX LAHORE HASSAN NAQVI

The Organic Meat Company limited (TOMC) has applied for initial public offering (IPO) listing at Pakistan Stock exchange on Tuesday. The offering consists of 40,000,000 ordinary shares (35.77pc of the total post-IPO paid up capital of TOMC) at a face value of Rs10 each. As per a notice issued by PSX, the entire issue would be offered through book building at a floor price of Rs18 per share (including premium of Rs8 per share) with a maximum price band of up to 40pc. According to TOMC’s prospectus for IPO listing, the bidders will be allowed to place bids for 100pc of the issue size and the strike price will be the price at which 100pc of the issue is subscribed. “However, the successful bidders will be provisionally allotted only 75pc of the issue size i.e. 30,000,000 shares

while the remaining 25pc i.e. 10,000,000 shares will be offered to the retail investors. In case the retail portion of the issue remains unsubscribed, the unsubscribed shares will be allotted to the successful bidders on pro rata basis,” the prospectus read. TOMC’S PROFILE: TOMC was incorporated on July 14, 2010, and commenced its operations on February 6, 2011, with two initial products, fresh chilled beef & mutton and frozen boneless beef, having capacities of 5tpd and 3tpd respectively. Since then, the company has expanded its daily production capacity to 75tpd and 30tpd and product portfolio to four products with multiple market coverage. Talking to Profit, TOMC Chief Financial Officer Syed Ali Imran said the company has the largest product range as well as market access from Pakistan’s meat export sector. TOMC claims that it is an exclusive

livestock slaughtering and meat processing facility in the country matching and complying with international standards like HACCP ISO 9001:2008, PSQCA, Gulf Food Standards (UAe), Saudi Food and Drug Authority, egyptian and Malaysian Standards. The CFO shared that TOMC’s slaughtering and meat-processing facility is spread over 11 acres at Gadap, Karachi. “The facilities are approved to supply products to Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, United Arab emirates, Bahrain, egypt, Azerbaijan, Malaysia and vietnam, whereas efforts are underway to procure approval for new markets such as Hong Kong, China and Russia.” Currently, the product line of the company includes fresh chilled category, frozen category (bone-in and boneless), fresh chilled vacuum-packed category (for both full carcass and deboned meat)

being included on the Financial Action Task Force’s grey list. The country has until February 2020 to complete the FATF’s action plan. earlier in October 2019, SBP penalised HBL with a Rs35.6 million fine “due to major flaws in the foreign trade operation services and customer due diligence (CDD)”. In September 2019, the SBP fined three banks a total of Rs133.3 million; Meezan Bank Ltd, Askari Bank Ltd, and MCB Islamic Bank Ltd. The penalty was imposed over violations by all three banks in Know Your Customer (KYC) and CDD. In August 2019, the SBP imposed a total penalty of Rs805 million on 10 banks, including HBL, mostly for violating AML and CFT regulations. In July 2019, the SBP fined four banks a total of Rs184 million; the Bank of Punjab, JS Bank Ltd, Bank Al Habib Ltd, and Soneri Bank Ltd. The penalties were mostly for violating AML and KYC.

and offal chilled and frozen. Imran claims this is the most diverse product portfolio offering in Pakistan’s meat sector. “TOMC is the only player dealing in the offal export segment, which give us a unique edge over our competitors,” he said. The company also provides raw lamb, goat, sheep, cow, buffalo and bull meat to their customers around the world. On November 8, 2018, the company was converted into a public limited company. The pre and post issue shareholding before the issue of shares to the general public the holding of CeO, Faisal Hussain was 70.91pc and postissue his shareholding will be 45.54pc. Director, Mr. Ali Hussain’s shareholding before the issue was 14.78pc that will be 9.50pc after the issue. PURPOSE OF IPO: TOMC CFO Syed Ali Imran said the main purpose of offering shares was to increase the current output of the company’s products, setting up

a new facility for the processing of offal sourced locally in Korangi industrial area, and lastly, to utilize IPO funds to set up a facility in the export processing zone. TOMC currently has short term borrowings of Rs718.659 million. Historically, the company has been utilizing short term borrowings from various banks to cater to the working capital requirements. However, keeping in mind the interest rate scenario as well as the devaluation of PKR against the USD, the company has decided to reduce its dependence upon banks for working capital. As part of the strategic plan, the company aims to reduce its reliance on funding and increasing equity component to manageable levels. Therefore, from a current Rs718.659 million short term funding, the company intends to reduce its short term funding if the amount is raised in excess. The TOMC CFO said that last year, the company’s sales were approximately Rs2.4 billion while the target is to achieve the sales of around Rs3 billion this year after the expansion using IPO funds.

Amber Zulfiqar

Ammara Durrani

Aussie Burger Company opens its doors in Karachi Food lovers in Karachi came together in a private food tasting right before the opening of Aussie Burger Company to enjoy delicious beef burgers and buffalo wings, that the restaurant has in offering.

Ahsan Majid and Omayer

Anusha Bawany

Anoushay Abbasi


How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop? The world may never know. But on average, a Licking Machine made at Purdue needed 364. Bisma Karim

Hamna Sohail

Hirra Daniel

Humayun Farooq

Rabia Kulsoom

Rabia and Farah

Mariam Saqib Kapadia

Saba Jannat Khan

Barcelona is home to hundreds of playgrounds for seniors. The spaces are meant to promote fitness and combat loneliness in elderly citizens.

Taha Hussain releases his second song, BEWAFA Bewafa is the second song from Taha Hussain’s debut album, Ibtida


After the critical success of the release of his debut song Jee Lunga in December 2019, one of Pakistan’s most exciting young musician Taha Hussain has released his second song, ‘BEWAFA’ from the album, Ibtida. The melodious BEWAFA is the first song which Taha wrote, composed and recorded in a studio. “I write a lot about my fears and I have written a lot of words that turned into songs in times I was down, BEWAFA is an interpretation of my feelings at a point in my life.” said Taha Hussain on the release of BEWAFA. Originally composed and written in Urdu by Taha Hussain, BEWAFA features some of the industry’s leading musicians such as Saad Hayat on keyboard, Ajay Harri on drums, Yasir Ejaz and

Mohsin Raza Shah on guitars and Shane Kerr on bass. BEWAFA has been mixed, mastered and produced at Saad Hayat Music in Karachi. The lyrical video for BEWAFA has been edited and produced by Kashif Ahmed Khan with support from Shahrukh Hayat and Talal H Shah. Indeed, born and bred in Dubai, Taha is heavily inspired by his dad, who is also a musician. Growing up around music and guitars, Taha has been an amateur performer since the tender age of 15 and in 2017, he moved to Karachi to pursue his dream of becoming a musician. A fitness trainer and a keen musician whose instrument of choice is an acoustic guitar, Taha Hussain spent over 5 years refining his talent which led him to record his debut album Ibtida.

In Switzerland, it's illegal to own only one guinea pig.

Australian Fires May Impact Thor 4; Aaradhya is all smiles as she accompanies Kasautii Zindagi Kay 2 actor Erica Shang-Chi Delayed Aishwarya Rai, Abhishek for a family dinner Fernandes is in love, clarifies that she The Australian fires sweeping the land down under may impact Actors Aishwarya Rai and Abhishek Bachchan stepped out for is not engaged

filming on Thor 4, with it said the Shang-Chi production has been delayed. Marvel's Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings movie has apparently seen its filming delayed due to the Australian fires, which could also impact Thor 4, both of which are supposed to film in Sydney. Director Taika Waititi recently told Variety that they start pre-production on Thor 4 in April and that they are supposed to start filming in August. When questioned if the fires would affect production, Waititi, who hails from nearby New Zealand, said he didn't know and that the fires are "insane" and "chaos." Bushfires in Australia have destroyed millions of acres and have killed an estimated one billion animals with twenty deaths attributed to the blaze. "Hi everyone. Like you, I want to support the fight against the bushfires here in Australia. My family and I are contributing a million dollars," Hemsworth posted on Instagram Tuesday.

a quiet dinner with their daughter Aaradhya Pictures of the family together were online in no time. While Aaradhya and Abhishek twinned in blue demins and white T-shirts, Aishwarya was in all black. Few days back, Amitabh had hosted Shah Rukh Khan and his wife including wife Gauri and daughter Suhana Khan. Aishwarya Rai, who hasn’t seen a release since Fanney Khan, will be seen next in Mani Ratnam’s Ponniyin Selvan, which is based on a Tamil classic of the same name. It chronicles the rise of Chola king Rajaraja Chola I. The film will star Tamil actor Vikram with several others like Karthi, Jayam Ravi and Amala Paul in prominent roles. To be produced by Lyca Productions, the film will feature Aishwarya in a double role -- she may seen as Nandini, the wife of Periya Pazhuvettaraiyar, chancellor and treasurer of the Chola kingdom (a role played by Telugu actor Mohan Babu), and her speech-impaired mother, Queen Mandakini Devi.


Kasautii Zindagi Kay 2 actor Erica Fernandes is among the most popular names on Indian television. The actor’s name has been associated with her co-star Parth Samthaan. Now, in a new Instagram post she has clarified that while she is in love, she is not engaged. She wrote on Instagram: “When I’m with you, i act different, in a good way ofcourse. I always smile more, i always laugh more With you i can drop the fake smile (if any) and put on a real one. I don’t feel hurt or alone when I’m with you instead i feel safe and loved You’re easy to talk to and you listen to me. I don’t feel sad around you and you show me that you really do care in-fact i can see that you’re not pretending. I really appreciate what you’ve done and continue to do .coz with you I’m different I’m happy #us p.s :- if thats what your thinking then Nah not engaged.” In the picture, a man and a woman (possibly Erica and the man she is in love with) hold hands.

Wednesday, 15 January, 2020


BaRTy SuRviveS ScaRe To STay in THe HunT in adelaide BriSBane



ORLD number one Ashleigh Barty survived a scare Tuesday before battling through her opening match at the Adelaide International to beat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in three tough sets. The top seed, who had a bye in the first round at Memorial Drive, faced a struggle to get past her experienced Russian opponent 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 and book a place in the quarter-finals. The Australian was joined in the last eight by second seed Simona Halep, who made her 2020 competitive debut with a 6-4, 7-5 defeat of Ajla Tomljanovic. Halep is back with Adelaide coach Darren Cahill after his family leave during 2019, and the Romanian said getting through the opening match of the season is an annual challenge. “It was a tough match but I expected that, since I’ve played her twice before. I’m very happy to go through.

Training cannot compare with actually playing. “I got a bit tired in the second set and I’ll have to keep up my level for the next match.” STePHenS crASHeS: Former US Open champion Sloane Stephens didn’t fare as well, crashing 6-2, 6-2 to 201stranked Australian qualifier Arina Rodi-

Japan’s ‘King Kazu’ striker, nearly 53, renews contract Tokyo: Former Japan striker Kazuyoshi Miura, who turns 53 next month, has renewed his contract with Yokohama FC to extend his record as the world’s oldest professional footballer. The veteran player, admiringly nicknamed “King Kazu” for his spirited onfield style, will kick off his 35th career season this year, the club announced over the weekend. Miura, who has played for Yokohama FC since 2005, has said he won’t hang up his boots until he turns 60. He played for the club three times last season but did not find the net. In a short statement, he said he was concentrating on enjoying his football and keeping the club in the top league. “I’ll do my best to contribute to the team winning,” he said. In 2017, Miura surpassed football’s previous professional longevity record and became the oldest player to score a competitive goal in a professional match. Both records were previously held by English legend Stanley Matthews. Miura left Japan for Brazil in 1982 and signed a contract with Santos FC in 1986 to make his professional debut. He made his Japan debut in 1990 and pushed for the country’s first ever World Cup appearance in 1998 but failed to make the final squad for France, despite scoring 55 goals in 89 games for the national side. He was one of the stars of the professional J-League at its 1993 launch before joining Italy’s Genoa on loan the following year. Agencies

onova. The American, whose last match was a second-round ouster in Beijing on October 1, exited in 72 minutes, dropping serve four times. Rodionova worked her way through qualifying rounds, defeating a pair of top 100 opponents to earn her spot in the draw.

“This is my third big win of the week, so I’m not counting anymore,” the winner said. “Hopefully I manage to continue. It’s always great to get such amazing wins against the top players. I feel pretty good about myself right now.” Elsewhere, Maria Sakkari of Greece made quick work of Vitalia Diatchenko of Russia 7-5, 6-2. Last year’s French Open finalist, Czech Marketa Vondrosova, played her first match since picking up an arm injury at last year’s Wimbledon, defeating Tatiana Maria in Adelaide 6-3, 6-0. German Julia Goerges will line up for a quarter-final place fourth seed Belinda Bencic after defeating Australian wild card Priscilla Hon 7-6 (9/7), 6-3. In the men’s draw, Britain’s Dan Evans reached the quarters with a 7-5, 6-2 defeat of Alexander Bublik. American qualifier Tommy Paul beat Aljaz Bedene 6-4, 6-4. Australian Jordan Thompson was put out 6-4, 6-7 (5/7), 6-3 in the first round by Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas.

Barcelona sack Valverde and appoint Setien as successor Barcelona Agencies

Spanish champions Barcelona have sacked their coach Ernesto Valverde and appointed Quique Setien as his replacement, the club announced on Monday. The decision to remove Valverde was confirmed following a board meeting that lasted more than four hours at Camp Nou on Monday afternoon. Barca are top of La Liga but have won only one of their last five matches. Valverde is the first coach the club has sacked mid-season since Louis van Gaal in 2003. “FC Barcelona and Ernesto Valverde have reached an agreement to terminate the contract that united both parties,” read a club statement released on Monday night. Setien will be presented in a press conference at Camp Nou at 2.30pm local time (1330 GMT) on Tuesday. “Barcelona and Quique Setien have reached an agreement for the latter to become first team coach until 30 June 2022,” the club said. “Setien is one of the most experienced coaches in Spanish football,” it added. “Throughout his

career he has been a proponent of possession based, attacking football that has been attractive to the fans.” His first game in charge will be at home to Granada on Sunday. Barcelona play Napoli in the last 16 of the Champions League next month and Real Madrid in the league at the start of March. Setien has made no secret of his admiration for the stylistic traditions

of Barcelona, with the 61-year-old also renowned for favouring an exciting, offensive mode of football. A former player of Atletico Madrid and Racing Santander, he was circled as a potential Barca coach during a particularly successful period in charge of Real Betis. Setien led Betis to a sixth-place finish in 2018 and qualification for the Europa League but, despite overseeing a thrilling 4-3 victory at Camp Nou early the following season, results tailed off. Betis finished 10th and the club and coach parted ways in the summer. Previously, he also helped Las Palmas avoid relegation from La Liga in 2016. A footballing purist, Setien and Barcelona would seem a good fit, particularly if the players feel released from some of Valverde’s more pragmatic tendencies. But critics of Setien would argue style often takes precedence over substance and it remains to be seen how he handles the pressure of matching aesthetics with results at one of the world’s most demanding clubs. He will also have to do without Luis Suarez, who will be missing for the next four months after having surgery on his right knee.

Hopefully not this year: Big Three aim to keep young challengers at bay AucklAnd: Novak Djokovic admits the next generation of players are edging closer, but tennis’s Big Three remain one step ahead as they aim to extend their dominance at the Australian Open. Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have kept a tight grip on the Majors over the past decade, with the Serb and the Swiss particularly prolific at the year’s opening Grand Slam. Between them they have won 13 of the last 16 tournaments at Melbourne Park. This year, defending champion Djokovic is gunning for his eighth crown and Federer his seventh, having last lifted the trophy in 2018. Adding spice is the prospect of Nadal breaking through for only his second win in Melbourne to equal the 38-year-old Federer’s all-time record of 20 Grand Slam wins. All players may also have to deal with hazy conditions caused by Australia’s raging bushfires, after practice was suspended on Tuesday when air pollution soared to hazardous levels. “Obviously the Australian Open has been my favourite tournament. It’s the tournament where I’ve played my best tennis,” said Djokovic, who is coming off six straight wins during Serbia’s victory at the ATP Cup. “You have obviously Federer, Nadal, myself because of the experience and everything and the rankings, that we get to be probably named the top three favourites. Agencies

Right call: Sharapova match abandoned in smoggy Melbourne Melbourne: Maria Sharapova said it was the “right call” to abandon her match at the Kooyong Classic exhibition tournament as smog from raging bushfires engulfed Melbourne on Tuesday. The Russian fivetime Grand Slam winner was 6-7 (4/7), 5-5 down against Germany’s Laura Siegemund when the umpire called a halt, saying “the players are feeling the smoke”. Pollution has soared to hazardous levels in Australia’s second-biggest city, suspending practice for next week’s Australian Open Grand Slam where one player was forced out of qualifying with a coughing fit. Sharapova, who described the conditions as “extreme”, she could feel “a bit of a cough coming out through the end of the second set”. “Then the umpire came down and said, ‘Play one more game’. We were there for over two hours. From the whole standpoint, it was the right call.” Agencies

From cricket to yachting: Five sports events disrupted by bushfires Sydney Agencies

Practice sessions for the Australian Open were disrupted by bushfire smoke on Tuesday, just days before the first Grand Slam of the year which begins on Monday. The crisis has already cast a shadow over Australia’s summer of sport. Here are five events that have already been affected by the fires. rAlly cAncelled: Rally Australia, the final round of the 2019 FIA World Rally Championship, was cancelled in early November because of dozens of bushfires raging near the Coffs Harbour venue in New South Wales. Drivers and crews had feared if the rally went ahead it would be in impossible conditions for officials, teams and spectators even though the schedule had been scaled back. “Considering the best interests and safety of everyone involved in the rally, and of course the wider community, it is not appropriate to conduct the rally,” event chairman Andrew Papadopoulos said.

SIddle SuFFerS: Australia seam bowler Peter Siddle was treated for smoke inhalation after a Big Bash League Twenty20 cricket match in Canberra was abandoned just before Christmas. Sydney Thunder and Adelaide Strikers were forced off when the pitch was enveloped in a thick soup of toxic haze. “It was pretty unsafe out there” said Strikers captain Alex Carey. “We had a couple of cases after, the doctor had to come in and assess (Siddle). We have a few asthmatics in the team as well, luckily they did not stay out there too long.” Siddle, who bowled two overs in the match, made a full recovery. FAIrWAy HAZArd: Matt Jones complained of stinging eyes and trouble breathing on his way to winning golf’s Australian Open early in December as smoke from fires raging across New South Wales wafted across the Sydney venue during the first two rounds. “It’s tough to see your golf ball when you’re out there playing, where it finishes. Your eyes do burn,” said Jones, while New Zealand’s Ryan Chisnall, who

is asthmatic, played in a mask. Australian number one Adam Scott was another to suffer. “It feels like I should shove a bit of salt water up my nose or something and try and rinse myself out,” said the 2013 US Masters champion and former world number one Scott.


SMoke on THe WATer: The SOLAS Big Boat Challenge — a warmup for the famous annual Sydney-Hobart race — was cancelled in December after thick smoke sent visibility plunging on Sydney Harbour. “The smoke from all the fires is just

so severe here on the harbour that you just can’t see anything, so it’s just too dangerous,” Sydney to Hobart Race media director Di Pearson told AFP. “The vision is just so poor.” It was the first time the challenge, which was celebrating its 25th anniversary, had been cancelled. cAnberrA clouded: A new year challenger circuit tennis event in Canberra was moved to Bendigo near Melbourne after the city became shrouded in smoke from neighbouring New South Wales. British number six Katie Swan complained she had to wear a mask even indoors. “When the sun came up you could see that outside was completely covered in smoke, and ash had settled on top of cars in the street,” Swan told the BBC. “It was like being at a bonfire, but being stood next to it all the time.” City native Nick Kyrgios, who has pledged Aus$200 (US$140) for each ace he serves to support victims of bushfires, said: “My hometown is Canberra and it’s got the most toxic air in the world. That’s sad. It is tough.”

Wednesday, 15 January, 2020

WaRneR, FincH ScoRe TonS in RecoRd STand aS auSTRalia RoMp HoMe MuMBai



USTRALIA'S fast bowlers adjusted brilliantly on the fly in good batting conditions and were aided by impressive bowler rotation from captain Aaron Finch, as India were reduced to 255 after being put in in the first ODI. At the forefront was Mitchell Starc, who strangled India in three different phases to finish with 3 for 56 in his first ODI in India since his debut in 2010. Taking two important wickets - Shikhar Dhawan for 74 and Rishabh Pant for 28 - to deny India any acceleration was Pat Cummins, who finished with 2 for 44 in his ten overs. The first over of the match was indicative of two things to Australia - there wasn't going to be too much swing, and straying too full was always going to cost boundaries. On either side of surviving a run-out chance, Rohit Sharma made this clear with two sweetly timed boundaries

against Starc, who was feeling outside off for some movement back in. At the other end, with a different ball, Cummins found marginal swing but relied more on whacking the ball into the surface. Soon enough, Starc adjusted his lengths too. After eight in the first over, India were tied to 13 in the middle of the fifth, when Sharma attempted another expansive drive off Starc. On this occasion, Starc had delivered it cross-seam and natural variation off the pitch meant a harmless chip off the inside half to David Warner at mid-off. KL Rahul, India's third opener in the squad, came in at No. 3, as had been hinted by Virat Kohli in the lead up to this match. To start off, he looked more fluent than the returning Dhawan, who crawled to 3 off 22 before he got his first boundary. To counter Starc's yorkers, Dhawan stepped out and punched him past the non-striker. Next ball, midwicket couldn't hold onto a difficult chance low to his left that also went for four. With a slap over midwicket off Kane Richardson soon

after, Dhawan became increasingly confident. Both him and Rahul seemed to have assessed there was some grip on the surface. Hardly any of the boundaries they picked up were forced - save one glorious six against the turn and over mid-off by Dhawan. Even so, their 121-run stand came in good time at 22.4 overs. A slight lapse from Rahul, however, gave Australia an opening that they aggressively took advantage of. After stepping out to Ashton Agar, Rahul lobbed his drive straight to extra cover to fall for 47. Next over, Cummins was brought on as soon as Kohli was at the crease. He managed to find Dhawan's leading edge as he looked to flick, with Agar rounding up a tumbling catch at mid-off. From the other end, Finch also brought back Adam Zampa, who had troubled Kohli on Australia's last tour. This was a feature throughout India's innings, with no bowler really getting an extended spell. On this occasion, it resulted in a wicket, Kohli looking to force a drive off Zampa but only managing to drill it straight

SPORTS 15 InnIngS IndIa 255 (dhawan 74, Rahul 47, StaRc 356, cummInS 2-44, RIchaRdSon 2-43) V auStRalIa

back at him. Next over, another bowling change brought another wicket. Starc replaced Cummins, roughed Shreyas Iyer up with a bouncer, and pushed one across him next ball to have him caught behind on the drive. From 134 for 1, the score read 164 for 5, with 17 overs still to play. With Kedar Jadhav making way for a third opener, Pant was India's No. 6 and one half of the last recognised batting pair alongside Ravindra Jadeja. The left-handers went about it much like Dhawan and Rahul had. No serious risks were taken, but the scoring rate was good enough to keep the prospects of a score in the region of 280 alive. That came in part because of the release option in Agar, who despite managing to sneak in a maiden against Jadeja, conceded two fours and two sixes to both of them.

Just as they were on the verge of putting up a fifty partnership though, Jadeja's attempted glide to third man off a Richardson offcutter came off the edge for wicketkeeper Alex Carey to hold on. True to patten, Cummins was brought on next over and produced a steep short one that Pant ended up pulling to point via the top edge and his helmet. Briefly, Shardul Thakur provided his home crowd the sort of batting entertainment he has shown he's capable of in recent months. He slapped Cummins nonchalantly to the extra cover boundary and hoicked him to fine leg off consecutive balls. Next over, a drop at long-on and an overturned lbw decision against Mohammed Shami got the crowd even more involved. But that party lasted about ten minutes as Starc rattled the stumps from around the wicket.

will retire at my discretion, says mashrafe, but speculation rolls on Slc to terminate coach Hathurusingha’s contract, finally coloMbo: Sri Lanka Cricket has decided to terminate ‘s contract as head coach, while Hathurusingha has moved for compensation through the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), following months of deadlock. Although SLC had suspended Hathurusingha , they had continued to pay him for several months, while lawyers traded letters and the board sent Hathurusingha a list of alleged failings as head coach. The charges levelled by SLC include failure to adequately prepare the Sri Lanka side for various assignments, and failure to maintain good relationships with players. The board has finally resolved to terminate Hathurusingha’s contract, but the possibility that they will have to pay Hathurusingha a substantial amount for early termination remains. His contract was due to run until December this year. “At the last executive committee meeting, on Friday, it was decided that the contract would be terminated,” board CEO Ashley de Silva told ESPNcricinfo. “I can’t say by memory when we stopped the payments to [Hathurusingha], but I believe it was somewhere around October last year.” Agencies

dhaka Agencies

The Retirement Speculation Circus™ has rolled into its 13th month. The end of his side Dhaka Platoon’s BPL campaign became the latest occasion on which to pitch the uncomfortably large tent. The press conference, which at times veered into terse and tense exchanges, ended with Mashrafe clearly stating that he has “no interest” in receiving a prepared send-off from the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB). A response, no doubt, to board president Nazmul Hassan saying they had offered Mashrafe a massive going away party, “the likes of which has never happened and never will”. In the Circus™ terms, Monday’s press conference was better than his Friday proclamation where he questioned his own selection in the ODI side based on his 2019 World Cup performance. It was certainly edgier, as he shot back at every question that either contained the word “retirement” or hinted at it. His appearance in the BPL’s eliminator match itself had piqued the Circus™. Mashrafe played with 14 stitches on his left hand. He batted and bowled without showing any

Jofra archer abuser banned from new Zealand venues for two years

discomfort, and then took a onehanded catch to dismiss Chris Gayle. His wife and kids were seen in the Shere Bangla National Stadium’s grandstand too. Surely this was it? In the face of several questions, Mashrafe was firm in his stance to keep playing as long as he is enjoying the game, and not retiring just because the BCB president has said that they would throw a big party. “Till yesterday, I was a centrally contracted cricketer with the cricket board but not anymore,” Mashrafe said. “I always believe the BCB is the cricketers’ guardian. I never took pride in going against them. I thank the BCB for considering me to give me a proper send-off, but I

don’t have much interest in it. In an ideal world, Mashrafe should have been left alone long ago, at least after the last match in the World Cup, where he didn’t announce his retirement even though he was largely expected to. He made himself available for the Sri Lanka series that followed, but missed it due to injury. It is now January 2020, and he has gone through a full season of the BPL, just like he has done over the last seven seasons. Clearly there is fire in the belly. Nobody is paying attention to his repeated assertions that he wants to retire at his own discretion, never on anyone else’s, big party or no big party.

South Africa looking for change of fortune in third Test against England cape Town Agencies

South African captain Faf du Plessis returns to one of his most productive venues, seeking a change of form and fortune in the third Test against England, starting at St George’s Park on Thursday. In six Tests at the ground where South Africa played their first Test match, against England in 1888/89, Du Plessis has scored 509 runs at an average of 72.71, including two of his nine career Test centuries. With the four-match World Test Championship series tied at 1-1, runs will be handy for the South African captain after a highest score of 29 in his most recent seven Test innings - as will some luck with the toss. “That’s a record-breaking five (losses) in a row,” Du Plessis wryly

noted when England’s Joe Root called correctly before the second Test in Cape Town last week. Root went into the second Test under some pressure but England squared the series with a 189-run win and he had a good match as batsman, scoring 35 and 61, and as captain. Now there is pressure on Du Plessis, albeit primarily from the public through social media. His place as captain and batsman is under no serious threat but his recent performances have been compared to those of Temba Bavuma, who was dropped after averaging below 20 in 2019 – even though Du Plessis was the country’s second-highest run-scorer behind Quinton de Kock last year. What is beyond dispute is that South Africa need better performances from Zubayr Hamza and Du Plessis in the key number three and four batting positions. Hamza has scored 66 runs in


four innings and Du Plessis 69. Du Plessis will also want to shore up his ratio of wins against losses as captain. When South Africa completed a series win against Australia two years ago they had won 15 and lost five of 23 Tests under his leadership. Since then, several leading players have left the stage and the Proteas have just three wins to set against eight defeats. Five of those losses were in Sri Lanka and India, on each occasion after Du Plessis lost the toss in countries where the toss is usually more important than in South Africa. Arguably the team’s worst loss, though, was at St George’s Park last February when they were beaten by Sri Lanka inside three days – after Du Plessis won the toss. The captain scored 25 and 50 not out in what was largely a dismal batting performance against modest opposition.

WellIngTon: The man who racially abused Jofra Archer during England’s tour of New Zealand in November has been banned from attending international and domestic matches in the country for two years. Following a police investigation, a 28-yearold man from Auckland admitted the abuse during the first Test at Mount Maunganui, and has been issued with a verbal warning for using insulting language. Archer heard the comments as he left the field following his dismissal towards the end of England’s innings-and-65-run defeat. He reported the comments to stewards at the time, and tweeted about the incident shortly after the match had finished. A complaint was subsequently lodged with Tauranga police, incorporating CCTV footage, audio recordings, bystanders’ interviews and material gathered from social media. As the alleged culprit contacted Archer on Instagram in the hours after the incident. New Zealand Cricket confirmed in a statement that they had contacted the man and written to him, advising of his ban until 2022. If he breaches the ban he could be “subject to police action” again. “We’d again like to extend our apologies to Jofra and the England team management for such an unsavoury incident and reiterate once more that this type of behaviour is completely unacceptable,” said NZC spokesman Anthony Crummy, who added that the board would not be identifying the individual. “We want to thank the New Zealand police for their efforts in identifying the person responsible, and for making it clear that this type of behaviour will not be minimised,” he added. Archer described the incident as “disturbing”, while captain Kane Williamson said the abuse was “horrific” and that he hoped “nothing like that ever happens again”. England’s director of cricket, Ashley Giles, said at the time that the team would rally round Archer, who struggled with the ball in his first overseas Test series, and lamented the fact that racial abuse is still a factor in the modern game. “It’s a problem in sport still, clearly, and it’s terrible that in this day and age this sort of thing is still happening,” he said. “It’s a good series and played in the right fashion and one person should not ruin that, but it’s a shame that sort of thing is still in society.” Agencies

Wednesday, 15 January, 2020





S questions continue to be raised over the health of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, the Punjab government on Tuesday claimed that the medical reports submitted by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) were “not conclusive to form any medical opinion” and sought fresh reports within 48 hours, whereas Nawaz’s personal physician has said that they have already submitted the latest medical reports to the government which state that he is suffering from a severe cardiac disease. Addressing a press conference here, Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmeen Rashid said that a special medical board looking at Nawaz’s health condition had met on Jan 3 and after reviewing all the reports submitted by Nawaz’s team, they had said that the reports “had not shared any new information”. She said that Nawaz’s physician in London, David R Lawrence, had sent a letter which was “very similar” to the summary issued by the government regarding the former premier’s health. According to the provincial health minister, Nawaz’s earlier medical history had been shared in the letter along with a summary of the government’s report. Additionally, she said another letter was attached which stated that a positron emission tomography (PET)

scan was being arranged at London Bridge Hospital. She added that they had offered to conduct Nawaz’s PET scan in Pakistan as well, however, he had declined the offer. The letter also mentioned that a lymph node biopsy had been recommended. Dr Yasmeen said that she called Nawaz’s personal physician Dr Adnan Khan after she saw the picture of the former premier dining at a restaurant on Monday. “On one hand you say he is in a very critical condition […] then tell us, is it a part of it that you are socialising? Is it a part of the treatment?” The provincial health minister said that the PML-N was seeking an application for Nawaz’s daughter Maryam Nawaz to go and care of her father. “Where will she take care of him? At a restaurant? You take care of a person who is bedridden, which he is not, according to them, he was moving around.” Dr Yasmeen said that responding to them (PML-N) in a letter, the government has said, as per the report of the medical board, the “documents provided are not sufficient to form a conclusive opinion”. The provincial health minister added that the home department had directly written a letter to Nawaz on Monday in which it had said: “I am directed to intimate that the special medical board under the convenership of Dr. Muhammad Ayaz […] examined the medical document and concluded that the medical reports are not conclusive

to form any medical opinion. “The most recent laboratory and imaging reports have to be sought from your doctor,” the letter stated. Dr Yasmeen said she had reiterated the same to Dr Adnan Khan. As per the minister, the letter stated: “You are required to provide the latest medical report within 48 hours as it has been stated in recent media reports that you seem to be in good health and socialising also.” DR ADNAN SLAMS DR YASMEEN: Hitting back at the claims made by Dr Yasmeen, Nawaz Sharif’s personal physician Dr Adnan Khan said that the medical reports and investigations desired by the government were submitted early on Tuesday morning to the minister and other government officials. “This is the latest medical summary of Nawaz Sharif dated January 13-01-2020. It was surprising to see the minister denying receiving any report although they were submitted earlier in the morning and the government officials confirmed being in receipt of the reports.” Dr Adnan Khan confirmed that Dr Yasmeen called him and asked for a fresh medical report which was provided duly. “Nawaz Sharif has been recommended by the doctors to go out for short walks at least twice a day. He went out with his family on their insistence and as per medical advice but sadly the issue is being politicised.” Dr Adnan Khan explained that Nawaz’s disease conditions are further

UNSC likely to hold session on Kashmir situation today NEWS DESK

confirmed and endorsed by UK doctors as similarly it was diagnosed initially by doctors appointed by the PTI government, recommending treatment abroad. NAWAZ’S FRESH MEDICAL REPORT: Meanwhile, Nawaz’s latest medical reports by the Royal Brompton Hospital states that he has significant areas of compromised perfusion (blood supply to heart) and there is element of impaired cardiac function as well. The reports say that the former premier’s heart is at risk of another heart attack or an adverse cardiac event. Both the Royal Brompton and Dr David Lawrence have recommended urgent heart intervention which is important for Nawaz’s health and life. The reports further say that Nawaz Sharif cannot undergo the invasive procedure unless cleared by the haematologists, as his platelet counts are variable and unstable. Dr David Lawrence writes in the summary: “The impression is of compromised heart blood supply and functionality particularly in the circumflex territory. I recommend that Mr Sharif undergo coronary angiography at the earliest as there is a significant part of his heart at risk. I would strongly recommend urgent coronary intervention. Failure to do this could compromise his myocardium, his cardiac health, and his wellbeing.” He adds: “The Guy’s and St Thomas’ haematology experts are managing his unstable platelet count to make him safe for an invasive procedure including lymph node biopsy. The significant carotid artery disease further makes the issue complex and is managed simultaneously on aggressive medical therapy pending an intervention.”


The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday suspended a Lahore High Court (LHC) order calling for the release of Lt Col (r) Inamur Rahim, an advocate who was picked up by law enforcement agencies from his home in Rawalpindi in December last year. Last week, the Rawalpindi bench of the LHC had the detention of Rahim to be illegal and ordered the Defence Ministry to release him immediately. Following the order, the federal government on Saturday approached the apex court to challenge the ruling. Ruling on the government appeal, the top court on Tuesday suspended the LHC order and asked for the record submitted in the high court. Attorney General for Pakistan Anwar Mansoor Khan submitted a sealed report in the court. During the proceedings, Justice Mushir Alam asked the basis on which the case (against Rahim) had been formed, in response to which the attorney gen-

eral said a lot of material had been found on a laptop. “There must be some reason for the arrest,” said Justice Alam, adding that as per the law, it is necessary to share the grounds for an arrest. “Listen to the case in chambers, I am ready to tell [you] everything,” said the attorney general. Justice Alam said they want to determine the nature of the crime. According to Attorney General Khan, Rahim had information about nuclear weapons, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and “some people”. “You mean to say that he had information which he shared with the enemy?” asked Justice Mansoor Ali Shah. “Yes, colonel Inamur Rahim is a spy,” said the attorney general, adding that there is a whole network behind him in which many people need to be arrested. Justice Alam inquired about the stage the investigation had reached, in response to which Khan said till the investigations aren’t completed, he could not say anything regarding the court-martial. Khan said once the investigations are completed, Rahim will have full rights.

‘CONNECTION’ BETWEEN DETENTION AND NATIONAL SECURITY: Yesterday, the Supreme Court had directed the federal government to formally explain the “connection” between the case involving Rahim’s detention and national security. The court directive came as the top court took up the federal government’s petition against the LHC order calling for Rahim’s release. Attorney General Khan had requested that incamera proceedings of the case be conducted inside the judges’ chambers as the case related to issues of national security. Responding to the government’s request, the apex court had asked for an explanation on how the detention of the retired lieutenant colonel concerned national security. “We have no objections but show us the matter on the basis of which we should do this. Show us the documents, we will not make them public,” said Justice Mushir Alam. “Come on Tuesday to explain how the detention of Col Inam is related to national security.”

The United Nation Security Council (UNSC) is set to hold a meeting for the second time on Wednesday to discuss deteriorating human rights situation in Occupied Kashmir, a private news channel reported on Tuesday. The UNSC meeting will take place in New York to discuss the situation in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) for the second time after August. According to a press release, the UN observers group will brief the participants on the LoC situation. UNSC had adopted a resolution on January 5, 1949, under which the Kashmiris were mandated to decide about their future as per their will. On August 5, Indian President Ram Nath Kovind signed a bill to remove Article 370, about the special status of Kashmir, from the Indian constitution. Since the abortion of Article 370, the held valley is facing strict curfew and communication blockade. Amid continued military siege and lockdown on the 163rd day, on Wednesday, the life in the Kashmir Valley and Muslim majority areas of Jammu region was also paralyzed due to the closure of SrinagarJammu highway. The Kashmir valley is cut off from the rest of the world due to the closure of the highway. Telephone and internet service stands shut and several major news papers are not being published

Iran announces arrests over downing of Ukrainian plane TEHRAN: Iran’s judiciary on Tuesday said arrests have been made over the downing last week of a Ukrainian passenger by Iranian forces just after takeoff from Tehran, killing all 176 people aboard. “Extensive investigations have taken place and some individuals are arrested,” the judiciary spokesperson, Gholamhossein Esmaili, said on Tuesday. He was quoted by Iranian state media, but did not say how many individuals have been detained or name them. The Revolutionary Guards’ aerospace commander Brigadier General Amirali Hajizadeh accepted full responsibility but said the missile operator who opened fire had been acting independently. “Numerous investigations have been conducted in this area and every night our judicial team has been seeking documents until midnight,” said Esmaili, adding: “Suggestions have been made so far but we have to weigh all the dimensions to get to the truth.” Earlier on Tuesday, Iran’s president had called for a special court to be set up to probe the shootdown of the Ukrainian plane. Iran, which initially dismissed allegations that a missile had brought down the jetliner, acknowledged — three days after Wednesday’s downing and in the face of mounting evidence — that its Revolutionary Guard had shot down the Ukrainian plane by mistake. “The judiciary should form a special court with a ranking judge and dozens of experts,” President Hassan Rouhani said in a speech televised in Iran on Tuesday. “This is not an ordinary case. The entire the world will be watching this court.” Rouhani called the incident “a painful and unforgivable” mistake and promised that his administration would pursue the case “by all means”. AGENCIES

Kerala challenges India’s new Malaysia’s PM defends criticism citizenship law in Supreme Court of India despite palm oil backlash KOCHI AGENCIES

India’s southern Kerala on Tuesday became the first state to legally challenge a new citizenship law that has triggered nationwide demonstrations. The Kerala government in its petition to the Supreme Court called the law a violation of the secular nature of the Indian constitution and accused the government of dividing the nation on communal lines. The citizenship law backed by Prime Minister Narendra Modis Hindu nationalist party provides a path to naturalisation for people from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan, unless they’re Muslim. It has led to nationwide protests and clashes with police, leading to

23 deaths. The rallies have slowly morphed into much wider anti-government protests. Critics say the law will be used in conjunction with a citizenship list that could require all Indians to produce documents proving their origins, a challenge in a country where many people lack official records including birth certificates. Political challenges for Modi over the passage of the new law are mounting with a number of Indian states saying they will not implement it. West Bengal states Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, a staunch Modi critic, has led several mass rallies in her state against the law. Punjab, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh states, which are governed by the opposition Congress party, have also announced they will not impose the new law.


Malaysia is concerned about India’s new curbs on imports of palm oil after a diplomatic row, said Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on Tuesday, but indicated he would continue to speak out against “wrong things” even if it costs his country financially. India, the world’s biggest buyer of edible oils, last week changed rules that traders say effectively ban imports of refined palm oil from Malaysia, the world’s second-biggest producer and exporter of palm oil after Indonesia. The move came after New Delhi objected to Mahathir’s criticism of India’s new religion-based citizenship law. The 94-year-old premier, whose outspoken nature has soured ties with both India and Saudi Arabia in recent months, earlier accused India of invading Kashmir. As Malaysian palm refiners stare at a massive loss of business, Mahathir said his government would find a solu-

tion. “We are concerned of course because we sell a lot of palm oil to India, but on the other hand we need to be frank and see that if something goes wrong, we will have to say it,” he told reporters. “If we allow things to go wrong and think only about the money involved, then I think a lot of wrong things will be done, by us and by other people.” The benchmark palm oil contract for March delivery was down 0.9% in afternoon trade. Reuters reported on Monday the Indian government had informally instructed traders to stay away from Malaysian palm oil. Indian traders are instead buying Indonesian crude palm oil at a premium of $10 ton over Malaysian prices. India’s foreign ministry said on Thursday the palm curbs were not country specific but that “for any commercial trading, the status of relationship between any two countries” is something a business would consider. India was Malaysia’s biggest buyer of palm oil in 2019, with 4.4 million tons of purchases. In 2020, purchases could fall below 1 million tonnes if relations don’t improve, Indian traders say.

Published by Arif Nizami at Qandeel Printing Press, 4 Queens Road, Lahore. Ph: 042-36300938, 042-36375965. Email:


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