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Cops among 19 killed in Afghan clashes K ABUL —Three Afghan Local Police (ALP) members and 15 militants have been killed and 15 others wounded in offensives in different provinces of the country, officials said on Tuesday. Shafiq Nang, the Ghazni governor’s spokesman, said three ALP personnel were killed when a roadside bomb hit their vehicle in the Rabat area of Deh Yak district. An ALP commander was among the dead, locals said. Seven policemen were injured in a bomb blast in Samangan province. Maj. Gen. Mohammad Akram Behzad, the police chief, said the incident occurred last evening in Judara area northeast of Aibak, the provincial capital. In another incident in Maidan Wardak, eight fighters were killed and three others wounded during a search operation and clashes between security forces and Taliban. Attaullah Khogyani, the governor’s spokesmen, said the incidents took place in Nirkh and Chak districts. Two Afghan National

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TTP expected to extend ceasefire STAFF REPORTER PESHAWAR—The Tehrik-iTaliban Pakistan (TTP) Shura will deliberate over the ceasefire and dialogue process in its next meeting. According to sources the TTP Shura is expected to announce an extension in the ceasefire. Sources add that despite reservations the Taliban remain committed Continued on Page 7

Windies destroy Pak to make World T20 semis DHAKA–Defending champions West Indies charged into the World Twenty20 semi-finals with a spectacular 84-run win over Pakistan in a key Super-10 match in Dhaka on Tuesday. The West Indies recovered from a toporder meltdown to post 1666 after electing to take first strike, before three wickets each by spin twins Samuel Badree and Sunil Narine skittled Pakistan for 82 in 17.5 overs. The West Indies, who finished second behind unbeaten India in group two, will clash with group one champions Sri Lanka in the first semi-final in Dhaka on Thursday. India, who won all their four league matches, meet South Africa at the same venue on Friday. The final will take place in Dhaka on Sunday. It was the first time Pakistan, finalists in the inaugural World T20 in 2007 and champions in 2009, failed to reach the knockout rounds in the five edi-

Govt in Catch-22 situation on Musharraf issue PML-N splits on allowing him to go abroad Stakeholders in touch to wriggle out of dilemma Musharraf’s travel abroad is imminent Pakistan’s powerful stakeholders which are trying to offset negative impact of the ISLAMABAD—After putting ball in the gov- treason case on the forces. After the morning meeting, Chief of ernment court by the Special Court hearing treason case against former president Army Staff General Raheel Sharif and ISI Pervez Musharraf, the Government is Chief Lt.Gen. Zaheerul Islam were in PM caught in Catch-22 situation on remov- House with the PM to discuss the issue ing his name from Exit Control List (ECL). which has been divided the nation. Sources in knowledge of such devel- ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif meeting Shinsuke J Sugiyama, Deputy Foreign Minister A split was seen in the meeting of key leaders of PML-N presided by Prime Min- opments said the government is finding of Japan who called on him at PM House on Tuesday. ister Nawaz Sharif in PM House on Tues- itself in a very difficult situation as sigday as hawks vehemently opposed his nals it has been receiving from friendly travel abroad without any conviction by countries and stakeholders are irresistible. the court. Sources further said his travel abroad The meeting attended by Defence Minister Khawja Asif, Ch. Nisar Ali Khan, has become imminent on account of SpePervez Rashid, Mehtab Abbasi, Ahsan cial Court’s decision, humanitarian apSTAFF REPORTER iqbal and others debated on different as- peals to let Musharraf see his ailing pects of the issue including some strong mother in UAE and also his own treatISLAMABAD—Former presisignals from friendly Arab countries and ment abroad. tional and health sectors. dent and Pakistan People’s I SLAMABAD —Prime Minister Mian The Prime Minister said that Japan is a Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday said Party leader Asif Ali Zardari valuable friend and development partner has contacted Prime Minis- economic stability and implementation of and its investments would be most crucial ter Nawaz Sharif through Pakistan’s development agenda is essen- especially in energy sector and infrastructial for the success which in turn is vital for telephone. ture development. He said that we look Sources said on Tues- regional peace and security. Prime Minister forward to greater level of cooperation beMian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif met Japaday that the former presitween the two countries, particularly, in the dent discussed with the nese Deputy Foreign Minister Mr. Shinsuke areas of trade, investment, development, president issues relating to J. Sugiyama, who called on him at the Prime security, energy, institution building and Pervez Musharraf case and Minister house. The meeting was also attended by capacity building. Japanese technological political situation prevailing Hiroshi Inomata Japanese Ambassador to assistance in gasification of Thar coal which in the country. Pakistan and Mr. Tariq Fatimi Special As- will be of immense benefit to overcome the sistant to the Prime Minister. The Prime energy deficiency in Pakistan, The Prime ing to seminaries, PPP MNA Nafisa Shah STAFF REPORTER Minister while talking to the Japanese Minister added. said a majority of the madrassahs were playNawaz Sharif expressed satisfaction Deputy Foreign Minister said that EcoI SLAMABAD —The treasury bench of the ing a constructive role but many were also nomic Development is the top priority of over the fact that bilateral trade between National Assembly on Tuesday opposed a engaged in promoting sectarianism and exthe present government. Nawaz Sharif ap- the two countries is witnessing upward traresolution demanding to lift the ban on tremism. preciated Japan’s assistance in a number jectory. However, there is vast potential on She added that science should also be YouTube while another resolution seeking of projects focusing on Pakistan’s socio- both sides which I believe must be utilized improvements in the curriculum and the dis- taught as a subject in religious schools. Federal Minister for Religious Affairs W A S H I N G T O N — T h e economic needs in various social, educa- for mutual benefit, he added.—NNI ciplinary processes of religious seminaries Sardar Mohammad Yousuf pointed out that United States say that the was passed in the House. Both resolutions were tabled by Paki- there were 8,000 seminaries teaching sci- trial of former President stan Peoples Party (PPP) MNAs from the ence as a subject and added that consulta- Rtd General Pervez tions were underway over the formation of Musharraf is an issue to be opposition. MNA Shazia Marri, submitted the reso- regulatory authority for religious schools. resolved in accordance Another opposition member from the with Pakistan’s constitulution seeking to lift the ban imposed on YouTube. Ms Marri was of the view that Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), tion and laws. YouTube was accessible through proxy Kishwar Zehra, expressed dissatisfaction Answering a question websites and there was no point in main- over the explanation given by Federal Fi- at a briefing here, State denance Minister Ishaq Dar over the grant- partment deputy spokes- BRUSSELS —Nato on Tues- East-West standoff since after Moscow formally antaining the ban. The resolution was opposed by the ing of $1.5bn by a ‘friendly’ country. the Cold War. nexed Crimea and Nato Secperson Marie Harf said Moreover, Awami Muslim League “we don’t take any posi- day said it could not contreasury members of the House while Ukraine’s parliament met retary General Anders Fogh firm the withdrawal of Russpeaker of the National Assembly, Sardar (AML) president Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed tion on legal proceedings sian troops from near the one of Moscow’s key de- Rasmussen warned he staged a walk-out protesting lack of quo- involving former President Ayaz Sadiq, delayed the matter. flashpoint Ukrainian border mands by voting unani- could not confirm that RusWhile submitting the resolution relat- rum in the House. Musharraf”.—INP as Russia heaped even mously to disarm all self-de- sia had pulled away from the more pressure on a teeter- fence groups that sprang up Ukrainian border, as aning Ukraine economy with a across the country during its nounced by the Kremlin. “This is not what we painful gas price hike. Picture on Back Page have seen,” Rasmussen said Foreign ministers from as Nato ministers gathered the western alliance gathered in Brussels to try and political crisis that first for two days of talks, includforge a response to Russia’s erupted over a ditched EU ing US Secretary of State John Kerry, who flew in beannexation of Crimea last alliance in late November. But tensions still re- tween shuttle diplomacy month, amid tentative signs of a calming in the worst mained high over two weeks Continued on Page 7 ings is expected to be that the treatW ASHINGTON —Water-boarding and amounted to torture. The US senate’s powerful intelli- ment meted out to Al Qa eda suspects other harsh interrogation techniques provided no key evidence in the hunt gence committee is due to hold a vote in sites such as Bagram Airbase in for Osama bin Laden, a new senate on Thursday on whether to release a Afghanistan, the Guantanamo Bay report into the use of torture by the 400-page summary of the report, set- detention centre and black jails around the world did not ultimately CIA in the years after the September ting in motion a declassification proyield critical intelligence. 11 attacks is expected to claim. The successful assassination of If confirmed, the finding in the cess that could take bin Laden was seized on by former 6,200-page senate report will directly several months beISLAMABAD —The National liamentarians. over opposBush administration figures and top challenge assertion by former mem- fore documents are Assembly’s standing com- ing the bill. P E S H AWA R —Five minisCIA officials as vindication of the enPML-N’s, Tehmina bers of the George W. Bush adminis- made public. of Khyber mittee for interior has ap- Daultana’s The findings of hanced interrogation techniques they ters statement tration that the CIA’s so-called enproved the Amended NaCabinet authorised after the Sept. 11, 2001, at- Pakhtunkhwa against MQM’s opposition hanced interrogation techniques were the report have altook their oath. The oath tional Security Act Bill by of any National Security Bill ready caused a bitter tacks. an essential tool in prosecuting the majority, while it was also and public rift between Dianne That narrative was strengthened was administered by KP jointly opposed by PPP, was by MQM on grounds war on terror. Engineer that any such Security bill Congressional aides familiar with Feinstein, the Committee’s democrat in the popular imagination by Kathryn Governor PTI, MQM, JI and JUI (F). Shaukat Ali. chair, and the CIA whom she has Bigelow’s controversial film Zero Dark was always used against the still-secret report told the AssociThe in-camera session The new five ministers ated Press that a review of some 6 mil- openly accused of trying to frustrate Thirty, a dramatic reconstruction of of the committee, convened MQM: since the bill rather in the cabinet are Qalander lion classified documents had led them the publication of the report since its how bin Laden’s whereabouts were by Rana Shamim on Tues- empowered abductions of to conclude there was no benefit de- findings were approved in December pieced together that was accused by Lodhi, Mushtaq Ghani, day also witnessed spats citizens at will , rather than civil rights groups of wrongly depict- Ziaullah Afridi, Ikramullah between PML-N’s Tehmina providing any security for rived from treatment that the United 2012. Most fundamental among its findNations and rights groups say Daultana and MQM’s parContinued on Page 7 Continued on Page 7 Continued on Page 7


Zardari calls Nawaz Sharif

NA resolution urges govt to regulate education in seminaries Treasury bench opposes removal of ban on YouTube

US takes no position on Musharraf issue

Nato sees no Russian troops pullout from Ukraine border

Torture didn’t lead to Osama bin Laden: US Senate report

5 ministers sworn in KP Cabinet

Changes imminent to fill senior minister slot and avert cracks in PTI ranks Situationer Tariq Saeed

................................................ Turks opt for progress all around ................................................ Significant visit of RoK Premier

See Page 04

NA standing body approves National Security Act Bill

KP cabinet likely to see another reshuffle

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Govt’s welcome relief

Economic stability necessary for peace, security: PM


HE Khyber Pukhtunkhwa cabinet that saw drastic changes a few days back, is likely to be reshuffled again in the back drop of new developments amid reports of formation of a forward block in the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI). The provincial cabinet led by the Pervez Khattak of PTI, was reshuffled a few days back not only to accommodate new faces and elevate some cabinet members to the senior positions but also owing to a reason that the Chair-

man of the Pakistan Tehreek -e-Insaaf (PTI) Imran Khan, whose party is leading a coalition government in Khyber Pukhtunkhwa, appeared to be unsatisfied with the performance of the provincial government with particular reference to the mismanagement. The newly inducted and elevated ministers were administered oath of their offices by the Governor KP Engineer Shaukatullah on Tuesday. While a number of new faces were inducted in the cabinet comprising three coalition partners, the leading PTI, Jamat-e-Islami and Awami Jamhoori Ittehad (AJI), the AJI head and provin-

cial Agriculture minister Sharaam Khan Tarakai was made the senior minister as five advisors were also made full-fledge ministers. Likewise the portfolios of some ministers, prominent among whom is Health Minister and former provincial president of PTI Shaukat Yousafzai, were also changed. However, what is necessitating yet another reshuffle in the KP cabinet is mainly the election of senior minister KP Siraj ul Haq of Jamaat-e-Islami to the coveted slot of JI Ameer as well the reports of many PTI MPAs feeling aggrieved over the recent reshuffle. Siraj ul Haq, who is also charge d affairs of

the all-important Finance minister, has in an unprecedented move defeated the incumbent JI chief Munawwar Hassan as well as the party secretary general Liaqat Baloch. As per the party norms, Siraj ul Haq is required to step down from the senior ministerial slot shortly in order to take charge of Jamaat -e- Islami and spend all his energies and potentials on the affairs of the party that has a reputation of a well –organized and disciplined political set up of the country. The reported formation of a forward block in the PTI ranks is being attributed the second reason for future shake

up in the provincial cabinet. Around a dozen MPAs of the PTI, reports said, are annoyed being ignored in the recent reshuffle and mowing towards the formation of a forward block though apparently they would not admit. “We are not making a forward block in the party but have made PTI Hum Khayaal in order to save our party and ensure the fulfillments of PTI’s promises made with the people of this province”. The PTI MPA from PK 3 Peshawar Javed Nasim told news men. He along with another PTI parliamentarian Qurban Ali is reported to be leading a group of ten to

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Air Chief visits Operational Air Base

Tahir hails Airmen motivation towards services ISLAMABAD—Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt, Chief of the Air Staff, Pakistan Air Force visited an Operational Air Base of Northern Air Command, Pakistan Air Force today. Upon his arrival at the Base, Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt, Chief of The Air Staff, Pakistan Air Force was presented with Guard of Honour by a smartly turned out contingent. The visit was undertaken with the purpose to assess the operational assets and facilities at the various Squadrons and installations of the Base. While interacting with the airmen, the Air Chief appreciated their level of motivation and dedication towards service. The Air Chief reiterated that we must remain focused and make concerted efforts as a team to keep the Pakistan Air Force in high state of operational readiness. The Air Chief further emphasized that Allah Almighty rewards those, here and in the hereafter, who sincerely strive for the betterment and glory of their motherland. Earlier, on his arrival at the Base, the Air Chief was received by Air Vice Marshal Arshad Malik , Air Officer Commanding, Northern Air Command and Base Com- OPERATIONAL AIR BASE: Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt, Chief of the Air Staff, Pakistan Air Force mander. interacting with the airmen during his inspection visit.

ANF apprehends 12 persons, recovers drugs I S L A M A B A D —The Anti- seized two vehicles and re- 3 KGs Opium, 5.4 KGs Narcotics Force (ANF) has conducted a total of nine operations at Punjab, KPK and Sindh and apprehended 12 persons and

covered a huge quantity of drugs from their possession. According to a press release ANF has recovered

Heroin, 11.800 KGs Hashish and 160 Heroin filled Capsules . Most of the drugs were destined abroad.—APP

Polio eradication be included in agenda for talks with Taliban ISLAMABAD—The issue of polio eradication should be included in the agenda of ongoing talks with Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), said former interior minister Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao on Tuesday. All and sundry should join hands against polio, he said while speaking on a motion moved by Shazia Mari in the National Assembly to discuss steps for elimination of the deadly disease. Sherpao said the health ministry officials should be held responsible for detection of each case of polio. Dr Azra Fazl Pechhu condemned the killings of polio workers and urged Ulema to support administering polio vaccine to children. The condition of polio eradication must be included in agenda for dialogue with Taliban, she added. She expressed concern over surfacing of 96 polio cases in the country this year. Ms Shazia Mari, mover of the motion, said the government must take adequate steps for eradicating the menace of polio. She regretted that polio existed in only three countries, including Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria. She said in last six months, 96 cases of polio had been detected in the country. Abdul Rahim Mandokhel said preventive measures must be taken to protect the children from contagious diseases. Ejaz Jakhrani said polio could be eradicated with dedication and will. Rajab Ali Khan Baloch condemned the killing of a volunteer polio worker in Bannu last day. He urged the provincial government to protect polio workers.—APP

PCP greets APNS new office bearers STAFF REPORTER ISLAMABAD—Press Council of Pakistan (PCP) congratulates the newly elected office bearers of the All Pakistan Newspaper Society (APNS). The Council particularly felicitate the newly elected President of APNS Hameed Haroon as President, Jamil Ather as Senior Vice President, Umer Majid Shami as Vice President, Sarmad Ali as Secretary General, Syed Muhammad Munir Jilani as joint Secretary and Waseem Ahmed as Finance Secretary and other office bearers. The council is hopeful that newly elected office bearers of APNS will stand by Press Council of Pakistan in promoting ethical standards in the functioning of free press in Pakistan and relationship between media and the people would be further deepened especially in context of protecting people’s right to know. PCP looks forward to professional input of APNS office bearers as their election to important positions reflects trust and confidence reposed in their leadership and journalistic acumen.

Home childbirth by untrained midwives major cause of infants’ death in Thar IRFAN ALIGI KARACHI—Majority of infants that had expired in their first quarter of a year after birth due to acquiring chest-related health disorders such as pneumonia. The major cause of acquiring infectious disease was owing to performing the process of childbirth at home under supervision of untrained and eclectic midwives, which led to deaths of approximately 87 percent of infants. . Another major cause after these flaws was that the concept of family planning in Tharparkar was absolutely missing and mothers had given birth to 5 to 15 children in a family, which also created acute dilapidated state of mothers and they faced a weaker immune system and nutritional defects. Around 55 percent of Tharparkar remained void of basic health facilities, which were being provided for the first time by Sindh government and the network of community midwife, lady health workers and lady health visitors was being expanded. Screening of pregnant and children below the age of 2 was also being initiated and on

completion of the screening process, provisioning of diet with complete nutrition would be ensured. Sindh Secretary for health Iqbal Durrani stated this in a press briefing at the Karachi Press Club on the occasion of his visit to the Karachi Press Club dispensary Tuesday. He was flanked by Special secretary for health Dr Mansoor Abbas and Director Health Dr Zafar Ejaz Ahmed. The Secretary said that the birth rate in Tharparkar was higher than other areas and it was found that 5 to 15 children were in a family despite extreme level poverty and lack of nutritious diet for the mothers and infants and children, which was a direct threat to infants’ lives. A close study conducted on 103 children revealed that the infants and children that died in Tharparkar were between 1 to 30 days of age and they were born to the hands of untrained midwives without required antiseptic measures, which led to acquiring the infectious diseases among the newborn. They could even face deaths if brought at hospitals, said Durrani.

Hashoo Foundation Commemorates 1,700 Scholarships STAFF REPORTER ISLAMABAD—Hashoo

PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhawa Governor Shaukatullah taking oath of new KP ministers at Governor House. Chief Minister Pervez Khattak is also present.

Governor takes oath STAFF REPORTER P ESHAWA R —The Khyber Pukhtunkhwa Governor, Engineer Shaukatullah administered oath to the newly inducted five members of the provincial cabinet at a ceremony held at Governor ’s House, Peshawar on Tuesday. Provincial Chief Minister, Mr. Pervez Khattak, was also seated at the dais. Amongst the newly inducted members, were Mr. Mushtaq Ahmad Ghani, Mr. Qalandar Ali Khan Lodhi, Mian. Jamshaid-ud-Din Kakakhel, Mr. Ikaramullah Khan Gandapur and Mr. Ziaulhah Afridi. The ceremony was also attended by provincial ministers, senior government officials and relatives and well wishers of the newly inducted members of the provincial cabinet. # In the meanwhile. the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor, Engineer Shaukatullah administered oath of the office of Chairman, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Public Service Commission to Mr. Attaullah Khan at a ceremony held at Governor’s House, Peshawar on Tuesday.

NHA approves construction of Lahore-Karachi Motorway ISLAMABAD—The National Assembly was informed Tuesday that National Highway Authority has conducted survey and approved route for construction of LahoreKarachi Motorway. Responding to a call attention notice, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Shaikh Aftab Ahmad told the House that the approved route is the most suitable and will prove to be cost effective. He said this motorway project is part of Prime Minister’s vision to improve communication infrastructure in the country. The House which transacted members private business, passed a resolution urging the government to take steps to improve and regulate Madrassah education. Speaking on the resolution, Minister for Religious Affairs Sardar Muhammad.Yusuf said the government is holding consultations with Ittehad-eTanzeemate Madaris to bring reforms in religious seminaries. He said over eight thousand seminaries are already providing contemporary education and the government is ready to facilitate other seminaries to introduce contemporary subjects in their curricula.

He said that negotiations are being held with the stakeholders to establish a Regulatory Authority for seminaries. The House also adopted a resolution urging the government to impose immediate ban on telecasting of immoral programmes on private and public TV channels. Speaking on a motion, Parliamentary Secretary for Finance Rana Muhammad Afzal Khan said that every year an amount is allocated for grant of House Building Advance to the government employees. He said this loan is given to the employees on the basis of their seniority and length of service. He said every effort will be made to enhance this allocation in the next budget. He said five hundred thousand lowcost houses will be constructed by the Federal Government as part of the PMLN’s election manifesto. He said similar schemes are also being executed by the provincial governments in which government employees will get preference. Earlier, the members called upon the government to increase the amount of house building advance for the government employees.—INP

PESHAWAR—Participants of a seminar Tuesday called for increasing the overall education and health budgets of district Swabi and enhancing the level of public participation in budget making and oversight of expenditure. The seminar organized by Centre for Governance and Public Accountability (CGPA) in Swabi uncovered the findings of three research studies it had carried out in Swabi, Mardan and Peshawar District. The organizers of the seminar recommended active involvement of community, civil society, parents while finalizing budget proposal. The seminar criticized discrepancy between allocation of budget for male and female education. In the education budget of district Swabi, Mardan and Peshawar, which is a specifically gender sensitive budgeting, sector, allocation for female education is continually substantially less than what is allocated for male education. The participants observed that the previous year’s health budget was brought forward with an incremental increase and no consideration was made about the needs of different health facilities. It was suggested that community health mobilization be encouraged at village and union council level so that the poor and remote area get better access to health facilities. Moreover, the budget should be so designed that it ensures quality health services at BHUs and RHCs at District level. The seminar was attended by a large number of Civil Society Organizations, District Education Officers, ADO Education, DMS Bacha Khan Medical Complex and DMS District Head Quarter Hospital.—APP

Met Office predicts more rains this week ISLAMABAD—Metrological Department has predicted two spells of spring rain over the upper parts of the country during the current week. Met-Office reported that a weather system, presently located over Iran, is heading towards Pakistan and is likely to approach Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and upper parts of the country on Wednesday. Under the influence of this weather system scattered rain-thunderstorm is expected in upper KP (Malakand, Hazara, Peshawar, Mardan, Kohat & Bannu divisions), Islamabad, upper Punjab (Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, Sargodha & Lahore divisions), Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan on Wednesday. Another weather system is likely to approach northern parts of Balochistan on Friday and is likely to grip upper parts of the country on Saturday producing scattered rain/thunderstorm in northern Balochistan (Quetta, Zhob & Kalat divisions on Friday (evening/night)/Saturday), and in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Upper Punjab, Islamabad, Kashmir & GilgitBaltistan on Saturday and Sunday. Rain-fed areas of wheat growing in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab are likely to receive good rain during the weekend; however weather will remain dry in southern Punjab and Sindh during the period. Rain will be accompanied by windstorm/hailstorm at isolated places in Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Peshawar and Kohat divisions during the weekend.—INP

KP taking steps for promotion of education I SLAMABAD —The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Government is taking concrete steps for uplift of education sector in the province. According to Radio Pakistan quoting official sources said that the government has decided to establish a total of 100 primary schools with at least one school in each provincial assembly constituency. Two new primary schools will be constructed in Chitral. Under the plan, upgradation of 50 primary schools to middle level and 50 middle schools to high school status has also been approved. The sources said that the provincial government has also planned construction of boundary walls and provision of clean drinking water to the students besides setting up 10 offices of the education department in the entire province.—APP

EMIS established in FATA TB Control Programme PESHAWAR—The launching ceremony of Establishment of Electronic Management Information System (EMIS) was held in the office of TB Control Programme FATA. Director Health Services, FATA Secretariat, Dr. Pervez Kamal Khan chaired the function. Dr Sartaj Khan, Programme Manager TB Control Programme FATA highlighted the main features of this latest information technology system. After implementation of system the entry and diagnostic record of TB patients in FATA will be computerized and the data generated will be utilized for the informed decision making by stakeholders about the control of TB disease at FATA and National level in future as per strategic plan 2015-20. Besides, Dr. Fazal-eMula, Dr. Ikhtiar Ali, Dr. Qasim Abbas, Dr. Sahibzada Hayat, Dr. Sanam Gul and Waqas Abdullah, Project Director FATA Basic Health Programme also attended the function.—APP

Hindu community demands minorities rights MUZAFFAR A LI

9 Inspectors promoted as DSP

L AHORE —The Hindu community in

SARGODHA—Inspector General police Punjab Khan Baig has promoted nine police Inspectors of the district as Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP). Police spokesman said on Tuesday that according to notification nine Inspectors including Mehr Nasir Mehmood, Muhammad Tahir, Malik Usman, Azhar Yaqoob, Raza Ullah Khan, Farrukh Suhail, Rana Anwar, Saeed Ullah Khan Niazi and Malik Shahid Nazir have been promoted as Deputy Superintendent of Police.—APP

Foundation, Pakistan hosted its First Alumni Get Together at Marriott Hotel, Islamabad. The Foundation celebrated a decade of successfully assisting deserving youth through Hashoo Foundation Scholarships. The prestigious event recognized the challenges and achievements of Hashoo Foundation’s Alumni, during their education and within their respective fields. The Alumni Get Together was graced by numerous senior dignitaries from all walks of life including the Patron in Chief, Chairman Hashoo Group Mr. Sadruddin Hashwani. The Get Together involved inspirational speeches from beneficiaries of the Scholarship Program, cultural dances and musical performances. The Patron in Chief, Chairman Hashoo Group Mr. Sadruddin Hashwani presented awards to the high achieving alumni of the Scholarship Program. In his address, he emphasized that Islam is the faith of sharing and he encouraged all capable individuals to use their resources to alleviate poverty. Mr. Sadruddin Hashwani reaffirmed his commitment to help ensure the financial sustainability of Hashoo Foundation, so that it can continue to expand its reach and impact in raising the quality of life of marginalized groups of society for generations to come. He acknowledged the visionary leadership of Ms. Sarah Hashwani, Chairperson Hashoo Foundation and expressed his gratitude towards all the individuals and partners for their continued contribution and support. Chairperson Hashoo Foundation, Ms. Sarah Hashwani said it was an emotional occasion for her as she had interacted with so many of the alumni on a personal basis and understood how far each individual had come in their journey. She was proud to announce that Hashoo Foundation has provided 1,700 scholarships to date.

Increase in health, education budget sought

QUETTA: A metropolitan department truck on his back after anti-encroachment operation.

Loss to national exchequer

Shah Latif Town residents uses public utilities for free K ARACHI —If you visit Shah Latif clude themselves in their network. On all parts of the city and penalized the Town, one of the neighbourhoods of Bin Qasim Town you might feel that you have entered another state as the residents of the town challenging writ of the government are enjoying public utilities without payment of monthly bills. During a brief visit of the town, it was seen that electric wires and rubber pipes of gas, supplying electricity and gas, were hanging on wooden poles. At some places of the area the residents took under ground connections of gas and electricity. Not only this, the residents of the town have taken under ground water connections illegally. The owners of oil tankers have made a stop in the town and if you visit the town then you will see a large number of oil tankers parked everywhere. Illegal and open connections of gas and electricity can become reason of any untoward incident in presence of oil tankers. The residents of the town have claimed that they have applied for connection to the authorities concerned but they are not willing to in-

the other hand, the management of public utilities has claimed that they visited the town several times along with law enforcement agencies to remove illegal connection but the area residents again got connection by puncturing supply lines. “We have conducted operation in Shah Latif Town several times to remove illegal gas connection but the area residents again got connection by puncturing our supply lines,” Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) spokesman Innayatullah Ismail claimed. “A few months back, we launched a crackdown in the town along with police to remove illegal connection, but as we reached in the area then some unidentified restored aerial firing,” the SSGC spokesman said, adding that “As the unidentified armed men started aerial firing, the police fled away from the spot by leaving us alone in the town.” “The former government has introduced a law and fixed penalties to avoid theft of gas and after this law, we have conducted raids in almost

defaulter and those involved in theft of gas,” the spokesman maintained. “Not only Shah Latif Town, there are many other areas in the metropolis where residents are enjoying free gas supply but we cannot dare to visit these areas due to fear of attack,” he added. “We have conducted raids in Shah Latif Town and removed illegal connections but the area residents again reconnected through our supply lines,” K Electric spokesman Adil Murtaza claimed. “Our team visited the town and offered the area residents to get connected with our system legally but they did not pay attention to our proposals,” Murtaza said, adding that “Some representatives of Shah Latif Town visited our business center and have shown their willingness to get connection but they do not return back for connection again.” “Some people of the town have applied for connection and we have issued temporary connection as per load and they are paying monthly bills,” he claimed.

Pakistan has demanded the government to ensure religious freedom, respect for worship places, protection of lives and properties and grant them their constitutional fundamental rights. A fifty member delegation of Pakistani Hindu community members demanded this while celebrating their religious festival “Holi” which South Asia Partnership-Pakistan (SAP-PK) organized here at its office on Tuesday. The delegation members comprising males and females were hailing from different districts of the Punjab. Expressing their concerns they said that among the major problems they were facing despite being the citizens of Pakistan since birth were the registration of marriages because no family laws were available for them. They said that it was deplorable that despite their elders struggled for establishing Pakistan, but they are not even regarded as third grade citizens. They are discriminated in every field including education. They said that nothing about

Hindu community and their religion was included in syllabus of schools despite the fact that among religious minority groups in Pakistan Hindus were the largest. Their children also get education from schools but nothing about interfaith harmony was taught in those schools to all children. Kanwal Kishor from Rahim Yar Khan said that what the founder of Pakistan has said in his speeches about the rights and status of minorities was never honored or given respect particularly in case of Hindus. He said that their representatives in assemblies should not be selected by political parties rather they should be elected so that they (Hindus) could held them responsible in case their issues are not resolved. He said that in Punjab there are eight reserved seats for minorities in the provincial Assembly and out of them only one seat was reserved for Hindus despite the fact that Hindu population was the major religious minority group in Punjab. Pandit Channa Lal from Rawalpindi district said that in case any Hindu child up to the age of 12 years dies then he or she is buried

but unfortunately there is no graveyard where this burial could be done. He demanded that burial place should be allocated besides allocating residential plots and houses to them (Hindus). He said that there was no respect for their places of worship and it could be gauged from this reality that a temple in Saidpur Village (Islamabad) was changed into a hotel by the authorities concerned. Another temple at Rawal Lake (Rawalpindi) was taken from them by a government department which afterwards was decorated with the picks of political leaders and other personalities and was made a visiting place. Members of the Punjab Assembly Sadia Sohail Rana and Dr Anisa also took part in the event and assured that they would highlight the issues of Hindu community on the floor of the Assembly. Meanwhile, Naeema Malik and Hameed Gondal from SAP-PK facilitated this discussion and the event. They also assured that SAP-PK would provide all its possible support to Hindu community in Pakistan.

Fazlullah sending weapons from Afghanistan into Pakistan I SLAMABAD —Former interior minister Senator Rehman Malik said on Tuesday that the TTP chief Mullah Fazlullah was sending weapons from Afghanistan into Pakistan which was causing increasing terror incidents in the country. Talking to media persons outside the Parliament House, Rehman Malik said there was no difference between the TTP and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi. He said the PPP was siding with the Pakistan government instead of the Taliban for peace in the country, adding that declaring the PPP and MQM responsible for failure of the talks was not right.—INP

KASHMORE: A large number of JUI-F supporters attending the Islam Zindabad and Tahfuze Deeni Madaris Rally.

Govt’s welcome relief



Indictment & beyond

S the economy has started showing signs of improvement, the Gov ernment is appreciably taking steps to ensure that the benefits trickle down to the masses, who have been passing through a period of agony because of hard-pressed economic conditions. On Monday, the Government decided to slash down prices of POL products in view of appreciation of rupee vis-a-vis dollar. And in a related development, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif wrote a letter to the Chief Minister urging them to see to it that reduced import costs due to depreciation of dollar should be reflected in market prices. This is, perhaps, for the first time that a Government was thinking in terms of forcing the traders to behave following noticeable depreciation of dollar. In fair markets, businessmen themselves adjust the prices with rise and fall in the cost of input but in Pakistan unscrupulous elements pocket the difference themselves and do not pass on the benefit to the end consumer. Prices of almost every item with imported component rose sharply during the last nine months on the pretext of appreciation of dollar and hike in prices of oil in the international market. Now that the rupee is strengthening and POL prices are also coming down it is duty of traders to make downward adjustment in prices. The Government has necessary mechanism in place to ensure compliance by traders and what is required is commitment and will to do that. We hope that apart from reduction in prices of goods, it would also be ensured that transport fares are also brought down in a commensurate way. In fact, with increased availability of gas for public transport, their profit margin has increased further and this should also be reflected in the new fare chart. The Governments will have to act quickly; otherwise the anticipated relief would be eaten up by budget-related price-hike. It is good that the Government has started feeling for miseries of the people but this should not be the end of it. People also legitimately expect that the Government would announce more relief for them in the coming budget.

Turks opt for progress all around


Bangladesh: Public & concocted history


OON after his victory in local elections, buoyant Turkish Prime Minis ter Recep Tayyip Erdogan pledged to his nation to make concerted efforts to build a stronger democracy, an oblique reference to allegation that the victory could spur autocratic tendencies. The decisive victory of his Justice and Development Party in Sunday’s polls has immense significance as it comes in the wake of intensive propaganda campaign launched by some forces to undermine political and economic stability of the country by rocking the system that has delivered to the Turkish people in an unparalleled manner. The victory of the ruling AK Party, which got more votes in the latest local elections as compared to the previous one, is reflection of confidence of Turkish people in the policies and leadership qualities of Prime Minister Erdogan, who has not only strengthened Islamic identity of Turkey but also taken the country to new heights in the socio-economic development. He had projected the election as a referendum on his rule and the Turkish people showed sagacity and majority by voting for continuity. It is because of this that the commentators point out that Erdogan has led his party to six consecutive victories in parliamentary and local elections as well as two constitutional referendums. Earlier this month, he became the longest serving Prime Minister in the country’s history. It is rightly said that Erdogan broadened the tax base and in return is spending the money wisely to raise income and standard of living of his people. Apart from economic policies, moves by AK Party to strengthen democracy and loosen military and civilian bureaucratic shackles, focus onto the needs of the conservative sections of the society, initiation of talks with Kurds for the sake of sustainable peace, electoral reforms and a prudent foreign policy with focus on supporting Islamic causes, have also paid back and there are expectations that Erdogan would also win if he decides to contest next Presidential election. We are glad that people of Turkey are demonstrating traits of a model and mature nation by rejecting fissiparous tendencies and voting for unity, progress, and advancement.

Significant visit of RoK Premier T

HE visit to Pakistan by Prime Minister of Republic of Korea Jung HongWon next week is manifestation of expanding bilateral relationship and business friendly environment in Pakistan. Relations between Pakistan and ROK are exemplary as the two countries are cooperating in a host of areas of infrastructure and industrial development and this visit will give new dimensions to expanding relationship. A strong delegation of Korean entrepreneurs will accompany the Prime Minister to interact with Pakistani business community and one expects that they will enter into agreements for boosting trade relations and investment in hitherto unexplored areas in Pakistan. Pakistan attaches great importance to its relations with South Korea and is keen to further strengthen relations in different fields. In fact there is enormous untapped potential for trade that needs to be explored. Pakistan-Korea cooperation would not only promote friendly ties but will also benefit the economy of both countries. RoK has emerged as one of the most vibrant economy, a manufacturing powerhouse and a hub of imports and exports. In a region of fast growth, since the 1960s, Korea has increased its per capita GDP more quickly than any of its neighbours. While Pakistan can benefit from the technological advancement of the friendly country, it can also export agricultural products and skilled manpower to meet its manpower requirements. RoK has played a key role in undertaking some of the important projects including the Lahore-Islamabad Motorway and the commuters remember this contribution in good words when they travel on it. Also the Koreans are fully familiar with the working environment in Pakistan and they would not feel any problem by doing business here. Regular exchange of visits between the two countries speak of understanding between them on important regional and international issues. Earlier in January, a Parliamentary delegation of South Korea led by Speaker of the National Assembly Kang Chang Hee visited Pakistan and exchanged views on matters of mutual interest and bilateral significance. In our view the visit of Prime Minister Jung Hong-Won will be a milestone and open new vistas of all round cooperation to the mutual advantage of the two countries.

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IDE gap between Bangladesh’s ruling Awami League’s Pakistan perception and the public sentiment is quite interesting. AL carries a pathological legacy of trumping up anti-Pakistan frenzy for political expediency. When in government, it employs the entire State apparatus toward this end. Though recent lunatic orders banning local fans from carrying the flags of foreign countries in the stadiums during the ongoing World T20 Championship came from the Bangladesh Cricket Board, these, apparently, had the concurrence of the highest political authority. The trigger and driver was the enthusiastic support shown to Pakistani team by Bangladeshi fans during its matches against India and Australia as well as during the recent Asia Cup matches. It is amply clear that people of Bangladesh don’t endorse the sitting government’s attitude towards Pakistan. It reminds one of an earlier event when Pakistan won the thrilling final of the 2012 Asia Cup, also played in Bangladesh. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina stormed out of the stadium without applauding the winning team or giving away the winner’s trophy. Similar childish attitude seems to be on display these days. Being the founding party of Bangladesh, AL made a negative start by throwing up fictional figures about war atrocities. Instead of giving a healing touch to its people, many a times, AL deliberately reversed the near healing process by re-scratching the fading memories. This strategy helps the AL in two ways: justifies its policy of appeasement towards India; and provides it

a handle over public sentiment, which it tries to exploit as political expediency, on as required basis. AL conveniently ignores the atrocities committed by ethnic Bengalis against non-Bengalis that lead to military operation on March 26, 1971; though heaps of literature is available on this count. Right from beginning, there has been a very powerful counter narrative to atrocities’ related official figures; interestingly it emerged from within Bangladesh as much as from international community. Latest step to malign Pakistan is an upcoming play in the UK being enacted by Komola Collective, a London-based theatre. Play is based on the AL version of atrocities committed by Pakistani troops during 1971 war. Theme of the play has already been refuted by independent analysts including those from Bengalis and Hindu communities. The play, which will premiere in London on April 9, is called “Birangona” — meaning “Brave Woman” or “War Heroine”. Perception has it that this activity is being heavily funded by Bangladesh and India. The so called International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) was set up in 2009. By 2012, nine leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami, and two of the Bangladesh National Party, had been indicted and convicted. The Four-Party Alliance, including the BNP and Jamaat-e-Islami, has several alleged war criminals among their top-ranking politicians. International community has persistently voiced concerns that these trials are neither transparent nor impartial. Human Rights Watch, which initially supported the establishment of the tribunal, has severely condemned it for issues of fairness and transparency, as well as reported harassment of lawyers and witnesses representing the accused. In December 2012, the Economist published contents of leaked

communications between the then chief justice of the tribunal, Mohammed Nizamul Huq, and Ahmed Ziauddin, a Bangladeshi attorney in Brussels. After this, Huq resigned from the tribunal. He had been revealed to have had “prohibited contact” with the “prosecution, government officials, and an external adviser.” According to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), the e-mails and Skype calls showed that Ziauddin was playing an important part in the proceedings, although he had no legal standing. The WSJ also said that the communications suggested that the Bangladeshi government was trying to secure a quick verdict, as Huq referred to pressure from a government official. Human Rights Watch and defence lawyers, acting for Ghulam Azam and Delawar Hossain Sayeedi, requested retrials for the two because of the controversy during their trials. Brad Adams of Human Rights Watch expressed concern that because of changes among all the judges in the course of the trial, none of the three judges in Sayeedi’s case would have heard the entirety of the testimony before reaching a verdict. On 28 February 2013, Delwar Hossain Sayeedi, the deputy of Jamaat, was found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging. His defence lawyer had earlier complained that a witness who was supposed to testify for him was abducted from the gates of the courthouse on November 5, 2012, reportedly by police, and has not been heard from since. In May 2013, Bali was found in an Indian prison, and he alleged state abduction and that officials had told him that both he and Sayeedi would be killed. General elections of Bangladesh held on January 5, present an interesting case study. The vote’s credibility had been undermined even before the polling day, as 153 Awami League (AL) members or its allies were de-

clared elected unopposed to a house having 300 elected members. Since October 2013, around 180 people have died in electoral violence. At least 26 people were killed on the polling day. The entire process was compromised due to boycott by Khalida Zia’s Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and 20 other opposition parties. In a country that has experienced nearly 20 coups, people are questioning the legitimacy of the new legislature and pondering over the likelihood of another coup. Following madness as strategy, the Bangladesh ruling party is targeting those Bangladeshis, who were against the dismemberment of Pakistan. After targeting the Jamaate-Islami, and sentencing its leaders to death, Jamaat-e-Islami is now to stand trial, as an entity. In her February 4, 2014 address to the Bangladesh parliament, Sheikh Hasina declared that fresh investigations would be launched to ascertain whether Begum Khaleda Zia’s Bangladesh Nationalist Party was involved in smuggling 10 truckloads of arms with the help of ISI. Under these circumstances, Hasina Sheikh is unnecessarily opening new fronts. Under the prevailing circumstances, prudence is best course of action. Bangladesh must look inwards. No one stopped Bangladesh from bringing the alleged perpetrators of rapes and murders during the 1971 war to justice for 42 long years. The reason why the AL chose to do it now is because Teesta Water sharing and the IndoBangladeshi land boundary agreements are yet to come to fruition. Hasina faces accusations that she has not been reciprocated by India. Best way to come out of the accountability net for her failed pro-India foreign policy is to create an anti-Pakistan hype. —The writer is Consultant Policy and Strategic Response IPRI.

Negating TTP’s version wonders with a tinge of ire: “They (the US) are standing by military (Pakistan army) that M Tahir Iqbal aprotects, aids and abets people Email: who are going against the U.S. and Western mission in Afghanistan, in Syria, everyHE report published lately in where.” Temper frays when one cuds The New York Times has sent over the query: what logic then retremulous tocsin in Pakistan mains to attack Pakistan army when disturbing many a policy maker in it has been playing ambidextrously the realm. The Pakistani military with US evermore hitting the US inalong with the ones at political of- terests in region and elsewhere? Now, the fact is that the TTP try fices rebuts the report written by the dexterous hands of Carlotta Gall. Per to portray their outfit as under the contra, the report really amused me, leadership of Mullah Omer’s Afghan and I dare to take it positively. If Taliban. They also regard Mullah taken positively, it can save us from Omer as their Emir. Associating a bigger menace we in Pakistan have themselves with Afghan Taliban’s ideological efforts in Afghanistan, the been fighting with since 2007. The report, that got space in The TTP try to draw the required moral New York Times on the 19th day of and political legitimacy. But the remarch, negates the version of port says that Mullah Omer is proTehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan which tected by Pakistan’s agency. On one have been attacking Pakistan army hand, TTP eulogize the attacks exand its security apparatus on the ecuted by Afghan Taliban on the US premise that the Pakistan army is a interests in Afghanistan, and the Afstooge to the American army, and ghan government almost every time the former has always served the points fingers at Pakistan for backlatter’s interest in the region precipi- ing Afghan Taliban for such ontating severe blows to the cause of slaughts; but on the other hand, they jihad in Afghanistan. Moreover, the (TTP) criticize Pakistan army for ragtag and bobtail groups in Paki- being cause of support for US misstan under the umbrella of TTP sion in Afghanistan. The picture looks claim vociferously that Pakistan opaque — what to believe and what army’s unfair assistance to Pentagon not? Both America and TTP castigate is the cause of the spill of blood of Pakistan for helping each other’s foes; common men in Afghanistan. So, heaven knows who is whose foe? It may be a mere coincidence that such an army that became part of the gory scheme of America in Af- another report on the 19th of this march was written in Hindustan ghanistan must be a target. But the report conversely says Times by Vikram Sood, the former that Pakistan’s military’s top agency secretary of RAW. This report, too, ISI has always played to give dents contains the same kinds of allegations to the US and western interests in against Pakistan. I daresay whenever the region. The writer Carlotta Gall such reports are published, TTP must


step forward to negate their versions in the strongest words, because the contentions in such reports may blunt the basis of their jihad against a Muslim state. But they cannot. The fact of the matter is that all the arguments propounded by the TTP to attack the state of Pakistan are bogus and baseless. The reality of TTP transpires when we try to discover the hands which control, finance and provide logistics to TTP so as to debilitate Pakistan’s security apparatus. Of late, Lateef Mehsud, the deputy of Hakeemulla Mehsud, was nabbed in Afghanistan enjoying itinerary with the officials of National Directorate of Security (NDS), Afghanistan’s intelligence agency. The story was leaked by The New York Times. The report unfolds that Aimal Faizi, the spokesman for the President Karzai said that Lateef Mehsud was part of an NDS project, and had been in contact with the officials for a long period of time. Some officials divulged that “the ultimate plan was to take revenge on the Pakistani military”. This stratagem of using TTP as proxy from across the clears the clouds of opacity as to the ongoing war initiated by TTP against Pakistan especially Pakistan army. Another eye-opening reality is that the TTP have been against all those jihadi groups in Pakistan which deem jihad obligatory only in Afghanistan. They (TTP) present weird logic for waging the war against the state of Pakistan. Pakistan is the ally of the US war in Afghanistan, so the ally or friend will not be spared, but the real enemy would not be touched upon leaving aside the sole incident of ‘Camp Chapman attack’. They have always been at odds with North

Waziristan’s Hafiz Gul Bahadur, South’s Maulvi Nazir and Haqqani Network, reason being these factions believe in armed struggle in Afghanistan in contrast to the TTP’s efforts to decimate state of Pakistan. Even there exist dichotomy between TTP’s inflexible approach and the one adopted by Afghan Taliban on many fronts. The willful approach of TTP to malign Pakistan about certain issues like anti-polio drive and female education is not in consonance with that of Afghan Taliban. In 2009, some 400 private schools in Swat enrolling 40,000 girls were forced to close by the Pakistani Taliban. But contrarily, Afghan Taliban during these years have not adopted such a harsh approach. This is the war of ideological propaganda. Some may have been carried away. The things can be simple when we delve deep to come out with the reality that the hostile foreign forces have taken full control of the handful of people who are hell-bent to have their jihad only on Pakistan. There is a strong need to develop a counter-narrative to the baseless and groundless ideology exploited by the TTP to corrupt the brains and infuse in them the hatred against Pakistan. Media men, anchors, intellectuals and above all religious scholars must come forward and provide a counter-argument – how can jihad be waged against a Muslim state which does not debar its citizens from performing the basic obligations of Islam: prayer (Namaz), fasting (Roza), pilgrimage (Haj) and Zakat? —The writer is a freelance columnist.

AKISTAN’S former military ruler General Pervez Musharraf stood rock solid as charges of treason were read out in court against him. His unshaken reply was ‘Not guilty’. This calm defiance is something that the judiciary and civilian forces trying to pin him down may not be able to shake. While addressing the three judges hearing the case, he defended himself in a way that will not only create public sympathy for him but at the same time will also prevent the prosecutors from taking an extreme step for fear of antagonising the powerful army. The general said, “I am being called a traitor, I have been chief of army staff for nine years and I have served this army for 45 years. I have fought two wars and it is ‘treason’?” His resolute conclusion was: “I prefer death to surrender.” It is quite unfortunate that the ex-army chief had to face charges in a case that many believe could have been shelved at an early stage. But now that the die has been cast, this high-profile case will cause many things to unravel and skeletons to rattle in the corridors of power. The defence is likely to give a tough time to the judiciary and the premature civilian set-up. The army’s keeping mum is a good thing for any crossing of swords would lead to a volatile situation. Everyone is now agog to hear what Musharraf has to say as he declares why, how and with whom on board he decided to sack the judges of the superior court when he imposed emergency on November 3, 2007. This politically surcharged hearing could raise questions that the civilmilitary establishment may not be able to answer at ease and the prosecution’s case may be weakened. Musharraf has already said that he executed his powers as the army chief and the civilian court is incompetent to try and question him on the subject. With his indictment, which political pundits think could have been avoided, a Pandora’s box has been opened. The fact that Musharraf never tried to leave the country voluntarily and made it a point to face the court makes his case strong. Now the million-dollar question is, what next? How will the law react if Musharraf makes revelations which could implicate many others and broaden the scope of inquiry to include several bigwigs? It’s a risk and for now Pakistan will have to wait and watch. — Khaleej Times


Vote without any fear


HE people of Afghanistan face a difficult choice this weekend when they vote for a new president who will take control of the deeply troubled country as the Nato-ISAF forces leave. Even going out to vote will take a lot of courage as the Taliban is using violence to frighten voters into staying away and discredit any result. The in-coming president will need to nurture the gains that civil society has made over the past 10 years and defeat the security challenge from the Taliban. The main contenders for this huge task are Ashraf Ghani, who may appeal to the international community given his experience in the World Bank, but is more of an unknown quantity in Afghanistan; the veteran opposition leader Abdullah Abdullah who ran a close second to Hamid Karzai the last time but suffers from the electoral handicap of not being a full Pashtun; and Zalmay Rasoul, who has the dubious distinction of having the backing of out-going President Karzai, who would love to continue pulling the strings after leaving office. In addition, the Taliban and its more extreme allies are trying hard to wreck the elections. They would benefit hugely from a weak president with an incomplete mandate, which would give their bizarre alternative more credibility. This is why terrorists have attacked soft targets, killing more than 21 people in recent weeks, as well as several offices of the Election Commission. The people of Afghanistan need to show yet again that they will stand up to such threats by going out to vote in this election, so as to give their new president mandate he will need to guide their country forward to a more prosperous future. — Gulf News

What must be, must be. —Proverb

Lacunas in tax system Fazal Hakeem


HE reported Rs.9 billion fraud in sales tax refund manifests lacunas in our tax system. It is also tantamount to create hurdles to new taxation policy that emphasizes on eradication of maladministration and corruption. Tax collection target has been reduced by whopping Rs.130 billion, despite un-satisfactory 9% TaxGDP ratio. Under the new taxation policy, tax-GDP ratio percentage will be enhanced to 13% and 15% by 2018. Currently, in India, taxGDP ratio is 16%. Central government contributes 10% while states share is 6%. Budgetary target for tax collection was set Rs.2,475 billion but revised downward to Rs.2,345 billion. Another Rs.45 billion shortfall in tax collection is being predicted. Downward revision of tax collection targets is the visible fallout of fraudulent practices in tax machinery. The broad theme of present government taxation policy that aims to facilitate the tax payers focuses on (i) taxing those who are not paying any tax, (ii) enhancing efficiency of the tax machinery, (iii) removing anomalies and distortions in the tax system, (iv) simplifying the tax procedures, (v) broadening of the tax base, (vi) rationalization of tax rates and exemptions, (vii) encouraging corporatization and documentation, and (viii) tax payers facilitation. According to Finance Minister 17.7% growth in tax collection is noted in the Current Financial Year. An amount of Rs.1.348 trillion taxes are collected against Rs.1.145 trillion in the corresponding period of last year. Revelation of rampant settlement of refund against fake invoices is an unwarranted skeleton in the taxation cupboard. Introduc-

tion of the electronic monitoring through video links tax stamps and labels electronic tracking was to ensure transparency, automatic and error free way for tax payment. The practice of fake invoices causes monthly losses of Rs.20 billion. To nip this fraudulent mechanism in the bud, experts suggest that fixing the ratio between input (raw material) and output (finished products) could be a pragmatic approach to plug the cushion for claiming undue refunds. The economy is showing positive indicators. The State Bank of Pakistan has kept 10% Interest rate status quo in its latest Monetary Policy announced on 15 March in view of serious challenges. In a statement, the Bank has justified that “reliance on one-off inflows and foreign loans may provide short-term stability, but share of private financial flows need to increase consistently to achieve long-term stability”. To bring more and more fellow countrymen into the tax net is high on agenda. The amnesty scheme announced on 1st January and extended up to 30 April, 2014 is a manifestation to put the wheezing economy on an even keel. The Finance Minister has claimed turned around by the key economic indicators stating that “almost every indicator from GDP to inflation, agriculture to industry, from imports to exports from remittances to foreign inflows from exchange rate stability to interest rate, fiscal deficit to revenues and from reserves to public debt shows improvement”. Mismanagement, nonimplementation of economic plans, corruption, lowest tax-GDP ratio, security problem including visible effects of terrorism are some of the accomplished reasons of Pakistan’s low pace development and discouraging tax culture. Reportedly, Federal government -Provinces differences over the tax collection on the basis of origin or destination has

been resolved through an MoU. In India tax on services is collected by the central government while in Pakistan it’s the other way round. Good governance is the prima facie to have higher tax revenue and more progressive tax regimes. In Pakistan, around 60% taxes levied in the form of indirect taxes like sales tax, customs duty, federal excise duty. While 97% share of direct tax is only income tax. Consequently, Pakistan has to control the crisis like situation caused by liquidity constraints, unsatisfactory security situation, rampant corruption and under utilization of natural and human resources. Pakistan’s chequered political history is an amalgam of civilmilitary rules. Political instability has promoted trust deficit, dented the confidence and equity matter. This scenario has greatly influenced our taxpaying culture. Smuggling through porous border with Afghanistan and use of culprits and criminals by terrorists also downgraded economic upward journey. Courtesy the Afghan war and fallout of Afghan Refugees spreading tentacles on the social fabrics are visible. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) in its latest recommendations has warned against inequalities fallout on economic growth. The Fund that has pledged US$6.6 billion as part of Extended Fund Facility for Pakistan subject to (a) reduction in budget deficit, (b) ensuring economic growth and (c) bringing 100,000 people into tax net has recommended (i) taxing property taxes, (ii) taxing the rich more than others, (iii) raising the eligibility age for government servant. The Fund left the solution to the individual countries as to how reduce income disparity. However, the government can use the tax and spending policies to reduce inequalities, according to the Fund. Pernicious effects of eco-

nomic inequality are a fait accompli. Experts believe that amongst others balancing the tax-spending ratio is an appropriate instrument to ensure smooth economic growth and satisfactory Gini Coefficient also known as Gini Index or Gini Ratio (income distribution of a nation’s residents) status. It can also be helpful to facilitate social justice as large wealth gap is prone to growth depression. Government’s mediumterm economic roadmap aims to raise the GDP growth gradually to around 6 to 7 percent and tax-GDP ratio to 13%. Taxing the rich to reduce the poor’s’ burden means to ensure social equity. No one can deny that income disparity is the tension fueling recipe. Unqualified support to strong but judicious economy and good taxation system is the litmus test of statesmanship qualities. Worldwide tension and concern is indicative of this stark disparity. To gain the confidence of the people through good economic turnaround and robust tax culture is the daunting challenge. Pakistan stands at 44th position in the world’s economies which can be brought downward through equitable taxation system, in time execution of economic policy including completion of development projects. Lukewarm response to P.M’s tax amnesty scheme is indicative of taxpayers’ non-serious approach. According to Member FBR (Inland Revenue Policy) that out of 3.5 million National Tax Number holders, only one million have filed tax returns in 2012-13. Good governance means good taxation mechanism both horizontally and vertically. It is a panacea to gain the trust of tax payers. Uneven tax distribution boosts malpractices that in turn plummets the national revenue. —The writer is Islamabad-based freelance columnist.

Views From Abroad

Gulf widens between Qatar & its neighbours Bulent Aras


S President Barack Obama visited Saudi Arabia at a criti cal moment for the country. Its recent decision to withdraw its ambassador from Qatar has revealed the gravity of the crisis in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), composed of Saudia Arabia’s most immediate neighbours. Gulf politics is shifting toward a new balance in the wake of the Saudi-United Arab Emirates rapprochement and recent attempt to isolate Qatar. UAE and Bahrain have joined Saudi Arabia in downgrading relations with Qatar. This is an unusual move, considering Persian Gulf states’ tradition of treating political disagreements as a family matter, to be handled behind the scenes. Oman is keeping its distance from situation, while Kuwait has attempted to mediate between Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Several factors are driving Saudi Arabia’s moves against Qatar, which include a ban prohibiting Saudi intellectuals from contributing to Qatari newspapers. There is Qatar’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood (in Egypt and elsewhere); the speeches by the Islamic theologian Yusuf al-Qardawi and the broadcasting policy of Qatar-funded Al Jazeera since the Arab Spring; and the credence given to the view that Qatar is hosting Western institutions with the intent of orchestrating a coup in Saudia Arabia. That view reflects the Saudis’ tough stance against the Muslim Brotherhood, which they

have declared a terrorist organization. The Saudis perceive the Brotherhood’s influence in Arab countries, particularly the Gulf states, as a serious threat to their internal stability and survival. The voluntary abdication by Qatar’s Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani in June 2013, and his replacement as Emir by his son Sheik Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, failed to satisfy Saudi expectations of change in Qatari foreign policy. And now the Saudis have made it clear that they have reached the limits of their patience. But Saudi Arabia’s attitude toward Qatar may generate some difficulties for its own policy. There is considerable transnational movement of goods and services, and billions of dollars of cross-border investment, across the Gulf — economic activity that would be endangered by the GCC’s further disintegration. The Muslim Brotherhood is not a violent organization, and it has not engaged in illegal activities in the Gulf countries. Other GCC states, eager to avoid escalating political tensions in their own countries, are unlikely to declare it a terrorist organization. Even Saudi Arabia’s special relationship with Jordan will not push its government to adopt such a declaration. For the time being, harsh policies toward the Muslim Brotherhood are likely to be confined to Egypt and Saudi Arabia. The problem for the Saudis is that simply “correcting” the Qatari position cannot change the political trajectory within the region — particularly in Syria and Egypt. Moreover, the Saudis’ imposition of their pre-

ferred policies on the GCC, together with the possibility of sanctions on Qatar, risks jeopardizing all that the GCC (which already has fallen into political decline in the wake of the Arab Spring) has achieved past 33 years. Although Qatar’s rulers are concerned about the Saudis’ growing antipathy toward them, they have shown no indications of submitting to Saudi demands that they change course. Given the impact on regional geopolitics of the recent interim nuclear deal between Iran and the West, Saudi Arabia’s alienation of its neighbours is all the more hazardous. Making matters worse, it is clear that disagreements within the GCC can no longer be resolved behind closed doors, and that member states are unable to air them publicly without risking a diplomatic rupture. Across the region, minorities are feeling more empowered and citizens are making ever-stronger demands for better government. There is a burgeoning desire for a future that dispenses with traditional policies based on fear and anger. In this context, Saudi policy seems to be stuck in the past, and the Saudis have chosen to adopt a strategy of self-help in order to isolate itself from problems outside its borders, though it continues to regard itself as the region’s power broker. The sudden rapprochement between Saudi Arabia and the UAE resulted not from the attractiveness of Saudi policy, but from their rulers’ shared perception that there is a dearth of political options. It would, of course, be wiser

to address the real problems facing GCC governments, which range from embittered minorities to economies that are unable to create enough jobs for young people. But resolving these issues would require an inclusive and accommodating approach, both domestically and regionally, and Saudi Arabia, in particular, is not prepared to take that route. The gulf impasse will exacerbate the already-fragile situation in the Middle East. Regional political realities, transnational interaction and the common search for a better future should, eventually, prevail over policies geared for repression, discipline and order. The GCC should be accustomed to conflicting perspectives on regional design and differing degrees of cooperation across regional actors, and it should draw on these differences as a source of strength. This crisis may create an opportunity to rethink and recalibrate GCC strategies, based on a more realistic view of regional interdependence, common security, and shared decision-making. A new mentality in GCC governance could result in the creation of mechanisms of constructive engagement in the region, while maintaining cooperation with international actors. Clearly this policy would be more constructive than Saudi Arabia’s desire for a lonewolf role that merely results in a deadlock within and around the gulf. The writer is global fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Centre and professor of international relations at Sabanci University. — Courtesy: The Japan Times

Never give up..!


DOCTOR friend dropped in, he appeared sad and beaten. A patient who had been operated upon in his hospital had gone into coma for no fault of his or his staff and now he was hounded by the media, police and even members of the local community, to which the lady belonged. To top it all, his father who had been living with him, suddenly had a heart attack and passed away a week ago. “Bob,” he said, “how much can a man take? I feel like quitting, my life, my practice, everything!” Both my wife and I felt

sad that night for a man who seemed to be on the receiving end of such fate. And then next morning I came across a wonderful piece, which set my mind right and which I decided to send to my friend: One day I decided to quit...I quit my job, my relationship, my spirituality... I wanted to quit my life. I went to the woods to have one last talk with God. “God, I said. “Can you give me one good reason not to quit?” His answer surprised me. “Look around,” He said. “Do you see the fern and the bamboo?” “Yes,” I replied. ”When I planted the fern and the bamboo seeds, I took very good care of them. I gave them light. I gave them water. The fern quickly grew from the earth. Its brilliant green covered the floor. Yet nothing came from the bamboo seed. But I did not quit on the bamboo.” “ In the sec-

ond year the Fern grew more vibrant and plentiful. And again, nothing came from the bamboo seed. But I did not quit on the bamboo.” “In year three there was still nothing from the bamboo seed. But I would not quit. In year four, again, there was nothing from bamboo seed. I would not quit.” He said. “Then in the fifth year a tiny sprout emerged from the earth. Compared to the fern it was seemingly small and insignificant...But just 6 months later the bamboo rose to over 100 feet tall!” “ It had spent the five years growing roots. Those roots made it strong and gave it what it needed to survive. I would not give any of my creations a challenge it could not handle.” He said to me, “Did you know, my child, that all this time you have been struggling, you have actually been growing roots?” “I would not quit on the

bamboo. I will never quit on you. Don’t compare yourself to others.” He said. “The bamboo had a different purpose than the fern. Yet they both make the forest beautiful. Your time will come,” God said to me. “You will rise high!” “How high should I rise?” I asked. “How high will the bamboo rise?” He asked in return. ”As high as it can,” I said ”Yes,” said God, “Give me glory by rising as high as you can..!” And that my dear friend is what your struggle is all about; roots digging deeper and deeper into soil, past rock and hard ground, past other stubborn roots, till when deep, firm and strong you grow taller than the other trees around. Don’t ever, ever give up, ‘cause you’ll soon stand tall like the bamboo..! —

Voice of the People Public transport in Pakistan UMAIR IQBAL


his paper highlights the core problems of the continuing failures of Pakistani cities to develop and manage their public transport systems in such a way as to provide a high level of mobility, equity and environmental sustainability. A draft National Transport Policy was published in 1991, by the National Transport Research Centre (NTRC), which suggested the adoption of a bus-based public transport system as compared to rail-based mass transit system, as the preferred urban transport model in the metropolitan cities of Pakistan (Government of Pakistan, NTRC 1991). This approach may have been adopted due to the lack of finances available from the World Bank to implement a rail based mass transit system. However, at the same time, heavy and light rail based public transport was proposed for Lahore by the technical and financial assistance of JICA and TEPA 1992. The NTRC transport policy also proposed that government responsibility should be limited to low-income groups by providing a sufficient number of subsidised public transport services (Government of Pakistan, NTRC 1991). It was argued that the introduction of low quality public transport in urban areas would convey a negative image of government-owned transportation, ultimately discouraging the efforts towards promoting public transport. This policy also proposed that the government should encourage the private sector to provide efficient and high quality public transport services for the middle class. Several steps were proposed to encourage the involvement of the private sector, including soft loans from banks, a reduction in custom duty and tax incentives for the importation of vehicle spare parts. Concluding the purpose of this paper, It is crystal clear that Pakistan’s public transport is really in a crisis and harmful situation, whatever the reasons are behind it but it is a big question mark for the government. In Pakistan, several steps have been taken to manage the public transport in a good manner but no serious efforts have ever been made for proper implementation of the plans. Nowadays, we see ‘Qinquis’ on big scale as public transport in even big cities of Pakistan. According to Automotive engineers, it has been stated that Qinqui is improper form of vehicle and they must be fully ignored as they can be the cause of serious accidents. Moreover, the buses we have in our transportation are in really in poor and dilapidated condition causing deadly pollution. This ignorance of concerned authorities of Pakistan’s public transport has demolished the view and the look of Pakistan. There should be a proper system of transport for public in Pakistan with a proper management. I hope concerned authorities will take necessary action in this regard. —Via email

Rich man toys MALIK SHAYAAN AFZAL The PM has launched the Rawalpindi-Islamabad metro bus project, which will be completed within a year at the cost of Rs44 billion. The project will cater to about 150,000 commuters. Similar projects are envisaged for Multan and other major cities. The new Islamabad Airport project has also been given a target date for its completion by the PM. The interest of the PM and his brother, the CM of Punjab, in building such projects is certainly praiseworthy. They are great builders like the Mughals. But the trouble is that their priorities are a little lopsided from the viewpoint of balanced economic growth. Should not security, law and order, energy, education, health, education and poverty alleviation be our top priorities at this stage? Going for these mega projects is like a poor child buying toys he sees a rich man’s child playing with, using all his meagre resources and in the process staying uneducated, unsheltered, insecure, hungry and weak. Perhaps our rulers also feel that investing resources on health, education, poverty alleviation and education etc. is a long-term process and will show results after a few years when they might not be in power while they want to show quick results. —Islamabad

Load-shedding in Karachi TAMOOR SULAIMAN KAZI This is with reference to un-equal load-shedding schedule of K-Electric going on in different areas of Karachi. The worst load-shedding was carried in Gulshan-e-Maymar, specially sector Z-6. During this period un-scheduled load-shedding was carried out for upto 7 hours during the day time. My children annual examination was being held how we are manage our kids study during long spell of load-shedding? When you complain with KElectric and ask why the long unschedule load-shedding they simply say due to so many villages near Gulshan-e-Maymar using illegal light of k-electric. Recently IBC (Gadap), Gulshan-e-Maymar, office was shifted to new premises at Madaras Society KDA Scheme #33, it is far away and very difficult to inhabitants of Gulshan-e-Maymar to reach this place. Request to KarachiElectric to shift this office another convenient place. Now residents of Gulshan-e-Maymar, Karachi, request Honourable Chief Justice of Supreme Court of Pakistan, to take suo motu action against K-Electric for discriminative load-shedding formula. And draw the kind attention of Prime Minister of Pakistan, Federal Minister for Water & Power, Federal State Minister for Water and Power, and Federal Secretary, for Water & Power, to look into the matter personally and resolve genuine grievance of inhabitant of Gulsahn-e-Maymar, Karachi. —Karachi

KU at night SHAEMA SAHER University Of Karachi is one of the best universities in South Asia. Due to increasing number of people willing to study there, evening programs were introduced. It was a good cause which is worth appreciating. But the policymakers have neglected the idea to facilitate evening students who pay 90 percent more fees as

compared to morning student. The biggest issue is the transport system in university. There is no transport for evening student except the Nipa shuttle which is almost impossible to catch because its timings are not fixed and in spite of being scheduled it denies to operate at last moment. students end up going on autos which charge too much at night. The other big issue is the lightning system in the night. At night there are no street lights working which is the worst part. Mobile snatching is common due to this problem. Moreover there are no extra-curricular activities for evening student. There should be internal transport system as departments are very far from main gate. The lightning system should be improved. As evening students are also part of university so these issues must be solved in order to facilitate them. —Karachi

Remedy to national issues FATIMA ISLAM Pakistan geographically located in one of the most strategically political and geographical locations in the world. Even though having abundant natural resources and a very fertile land, Pakistan is amidst a lot of problems and challenges right now. These include the reeling economy, erupting population, internal threats, a constant war threat by our worst enemy on the Eastern border, energy crisis etc. However, there is one thing which is keeping this nation alive and sanguine is the ‘hope’. The power of hope is keeping the people of Pakistan to move on among all these hurricanes. However here, I will not address any of the politically related issues, rather would focus to the challenges whose solution can change the whole political face of the country. The youth of Pakistan will have to play their role in order to combat the challenges that our country is currently facing. Each and everyone will have to stand up and play his/her role. The first armament that we need to have to start this mission is to get proper education, especially in the field of Science and Technology in order to cope with the modern world of technology. The first two major challenges that must be addressed, are, a high ratio of illiteracy in country which is interlinked with the other big challenge and needs the foremost attention - the alarmingly increasing population. People not only need to get formally educated but also be briefed and convinced on having a small family so that each member of family enjoys all the basic necessities of life plus a good education and thus can contribute to the literacy and development of the country. For this there are many campaigns and awareness programmes run by our local NGOs and Government organizations in addition to the help provided by World Health Organization. Still that is not proving to be sufficient and needs more focus and disciplined campaigns pursued with a rigor, force and with an honest determination. Another major challenge that Pakistan is facing is the energy crisis. Pakistan is facing an electricity shortfall of around 6,000 MW according to the Government resources and it is exceeding this figure. The reason, why our country is facing this electricity shortfall is that we are producing most of the electricity using hydropower. Since our major dams have reached their age and are not working to their full capacity and because of the lack of new dam owing to a lot of political reasons ,we are bound to go foe expensive modes of power generation, i.e. through im-

ported oil or coal, and that too opted through big corrupt deals. Under these circumstances, we need to consider alternative resources for energy, like bio-based energy sources, solar power, coal powered electricity plants and wind resources. Especially, the idea of producing electricity from solar power holds the most need of attention and investment as Pakistan geographically enjoys an average of 12 hours of day light. Currently government of Pakistan is considering its option as they have just installed a 1.8megawatt (MW) solar power plant funded by the Chinese in the Parliament house in Islamabad which will save them around $1 million in their annual utility bills. Now it’s the time for the government to introduce and implement new and innovative ideas, and our immensely talented youth have to understand their responsibilities and play their due role for redeeming this nation from the current grave situation. —Via email

Deteriorating legal system ZULQARNAIN SEWAG Jarod Kintz a famous writer once said “politicians are like warts on the body of society. And the only things worse than warts, are lawyers and lobbyists”. The profession of a lawyer has always been important in the history. It is basically the advocate of truthfulness and the oppressed. But it is no more now. What apathy that a lawyer is making the right false and false the right. Scuffles among lawyers, policemen and the poor are daily news. Lawyers even do not hesitate to humiliate the honourable judges. Blackmailing, deceiving and terrorising have replaced honesty, integrity and co-operation attached with this profession. A case that can be decided in a week is lingered on for decades. Father files a case and it runs for generations. People die waiting for justice. Justice delayed is justice denied and it is most of the time due to the inefficiency, money grabbing and delaying tactics by the advocates of law. That is why; a famous professor of law, Mrs. Nancy Levit was forced to say that lawyers are merchants of misery. There are lawyers of integrity as well but most of the profession is full of black sheep. Founder of Pakistan too was a lawyer but the stuff we see all around is really substandard. Every university whether government or private, having capacity or not, is offering law education. Most of the affiliated colleges are selling law degrees. It is so easy that even student do not need to attend classes. Result is obvious in the form of social disorder. Government must take firms steps to cover the loopholes in this regard. Bar councils should play fair while granting licences to the law graduates. A rational and common man oriented ethical order must be devised so that no case could be delayed and no common man or the judge be beaten in the hands of lawyers. —Jhang

DISCLAIMER THE articles, columns and letters are published on these pages in good faith. However, the contents of these writings may not necessarily match the views of the newspaper.


Ukraine’s not out of the woods

Kerry returning to Mideast today to push peace talks


BRUSSELS—U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will return to the Middle East on Wednesday to continue his push to salvage Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. The State Department says Kerry will visit Israel and the Palestinian territories, meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (mahkMOOD’ ah-BAHS’) in the West Bank town of Ramallah. Kerry met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (neh-ten-YAH’hoo) this week in Jerusalem. After seeing Abbas, he will travel to Algeria and Morocco. An official close to the Mideast peace talks has said a deal is emerging to extend the troubled peace negotiations. It could include the U.S. release of convicted spy Jonathan Pollard, an American Jew who spied for Israel, in exchange for Israel’s release of 400 Palestinian prisoners, according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the deal with the media on the record.—AP

Syrian army retakes key post in Latakia D AMASCUS—Syrian troops recaptured on Monday a key position in coastal Latakia province, a regime bastion, state television said, as rebels press a campaign in the region. “Syrian army units have full control of Observatory 45 in the north of Latakia province and are continuing to pursue terrorist groups,” the state broadcaster said, quoting the military. Observatory 45 is a strategic hilltop that overlooks several areas inhabited by residents from the Alawi community, the religious sect to which President Bashar al-Assad belongs. State television reported live from near the site and broadcast pictures of dead bodies it said were “terrorists,” many of them foreigners. Last week, the rebels seized the position as part of an offensive launched on March 21 in Latakia province, which had been relatively untouched by the widespread violence elsewhere in the country. Rebel forces, including jihadists from the Al Qaeda-affiliated Al-Nusra Front, have also captured the Armenian town of Kasab and the nearby Kasab border crossing with Turkey, as well as the village of Samra, giving them access to the Mediterranean for the first time. More than 300 people on both sides have been killed since the rebels launched their offensive, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. “The army has managed to install multiple rocket-launchers on Observatory 45, but fighting in continuing in the vicinity of the hillside,” said the monitoring group. After a series of rebel losses in Damascus province, the opposition has shifted its focus to Latakia, where the army and pro-regime militias have rallied to defend the area. On Monday, opposition forces fired Grad rockets at the Bassel al-Assad airport for the first time.—AP


BEIJING: Chinese relatives of passengers onboard the missing Malaysia Airlines plane, Malaysia embassy.

Malaysian credibility in jet hunt challenged again KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia—It may mean little strengthened the case for creating an oppositionto investigators that the last words air traffic controllers heard from the lost jetliner were “Good night, Malaysian three-seven-zero,” rather than “All right, good night.” But to Malaysian officials whose credibility has been questioned almost from the beginning, it means a great deal. “This sort of mistake hits at the heart of trust in their communications. If Malaysia is changing what the pilot said, people start thinking, ‘What are they going to change next?” said Hamish McLean, an expert in risk and crisis communication at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia. “Information is in a crisis is absolutely critical. When we are dealing with such a small amount of information its needs to be handled very carefully,” he said. Authorities have been forced on the defensive by the criticism, the most forceful of which has come from a group of Chinese relatives who accuse them of lying about — or even involvement in — the plane’s disappearance. In part responding to domestic political criticism, defense minister Hishammuddin Hussein has taken to retweeting supportive comments on Twitter. He has twice in recent days proclaimed that “history would judge us well” over the handling of the crisis. The government’s opponents disagree. Opposition leader Lim Kit Siang said the correction set off a “medley of shame, sadness and anger” and

led parliamentary committee to investigate the government’s performance in the search. The communications skills of any government or airline would have been severely tested by the search for the Boeing 777-200 and its 239 passengers and crew. So far not a scrap of debris has been found. “There has been very little to tell and a lot of unanswered questions,” said Andrew Herdman, director-general of the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines. “There is frustration on the lack of new information, frustration over progress with investigations and the search. That frustration is being channeled to the Malaysian authorities but I think it’s a bit premature to use that to reflect adversely on how they are doing.” Still, the government’s handling of information has at times fed perceptions that it was holding back. From the first day of the search, crews were looking far to the west of the plane’s last point of contact with air-traffic controllers, but it took about a week for officials to explain that radar had detected the plane in the area. “There are some things that I can tell you and some things that I can’t,” Malaysia’s civil aviation chief said cryptically in the early days of the search. “That was a terrible, terrible response,” said Lyall Mercer, the principal of Australian-based Mercer PR, a public relations company. “It says to the families that ‘we know things that we are not going to share’ and that ‘something else is more important than you’.”—AP

SIMFEROPOL: Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev speaks to schoolchildren during his visit to Crimea.

HE pro-Europe protesters in Kiev succeeded in dislodg ing a president for which they’ve paid an unexpected price. The Crimean Peninsula is lost to them, perhaps forever; the majority of their military personnel based there have defected to Russia — and there may be a lot worse to come. It’s an uncomfortable truth that people’s power, however well intentioned, is more often than not destructive. It’s primarily driven by the emotions of people unable to grasp the big picture. The Kiev crowds may have initially got what they wanted, but will they want what they get? The West’s corporate media paints an optimistic picture of Ukraine’s potential future, provided “bad guy” Putin doesn’t decide to invade parts of the Russian-speaking west. But even if he sticks to his side of the border — as he has pledged to do provided ethnic Russians aren’t victimized — all in the garden is far from rosy. Firstly, Ukraine’s population is divided. On Saturday, proRussian demonstrators turned out in the eastern city of Donetsk demanding regional autonomy while expressing their intention to boycott elections. Several of those interviewed said “the fascists” running Kiev don’t represent them; one said that she didn’t view Russian troops as invaders but rather protectors. It’s a similar story in Kharkiv, close to the Russian border, where there are regular clashes between pro-Europe and pro-Russian protesters. USA Today quotes a city council representative bemoaning the impact the enmity between Kiev and Moscow is having. “Right now, most Kharkiv factories are only working two days a week. Russians aren’t ordering because they don’t want to cooperate with the enemy. But the EU wants to turn us into a banana republic.” A few stray bullets fired by Ukrainian riot police that flight MH370, shout in protest as they march towards the kill or injure ethnic Russians could be an invitation to Putin’s tanks. President Obama has dismissed Moscow’s assertion that ethnic Russians are threatened. Yet a video that’s gone viral show masked Ukrainian vigilantes running after Russian “thugs” in the city of Dnepropetrovsk before holding a knife to the throat of one of their victims and punching another in the face. Secondly, not all Kiev residents are cheering-on the acting government. A police raid on right-wing militants in Rovno reRAMADI, Iraq—An Iraqi spe- of Iraq and the Levant, the al- sulting in the death of their leader Aleksandr Muzychko, a promicial forces patrol moves on foot Qaida spin-off group leading the nent anti-government figure in the Maidan, has infuriated the past ruined homes on the out- militants. Soldiers nearby said right-wing sector that accuses the interior minister of orchestratskirts of Ramadi, a city west of they could hear the militants taunt- ing a planned assassination. Thousands demanding his resignaBaghdad where al-Qaida-in- ing them through loudspeakers: tion have since obstructed the entrance to the Rada (parliament) spired militants have held off “Our slain are in Heaven, while in an attempt to block lawmakers from rubber-stamping the IMF’s austerity measures. the military for three months. your slain are in Hell.” Thirdly, it’s worth noting that life-changing decisions affectThis grueling urban warAs they head down an alleyway, shots from snipers ring fare in the Ramadi suburb of ing ordinary citizens for decades hence have been hurriedly put out, followed by grenade al-Bakir, witnessed by an As- into effect by an unelected president, prime minister and Cabiblasts. The troops take shelter sociated Press reporter on net with little authority to speak for anyone. Presidential elecbehind walls and Humvees and Thursday, is part of a deadly tions are slated for May 25 but so far candidates look distinctly return fire. No one is wounded standoff pitting government unpromising. Now that the populist former boxer Vitaly Klitschko forces and allied tribal militias has withdrawn from the race, Ukraine is left with just two: The and the operation continues. A short while later the unit against the Islamic State and current favorite Petro Poroshenko, a billionaire dubbed “the is clearing a house. They blow allied militants in Anbar prov- Chocolate King” and the controversial golden-haired icon of the open the outer gate with a ince, the heartland of Iraq’s Orange Revolution Yulia Tymoshenko, a former prime minister charge and a bomb expert goes Sunni minority. The militants who was convicted and jailed for abuses of power. —Courtesy: Arab News inside. He pronounces the hold part of the provincial capital of Ramadi and nearly all of building safe to enter and calls on the rest of the soldiers to the nearby city of Fallujah. It’s the biggest challenge yet search it. Moments later a huge explosion collapses the build- to the Shiite-led government of ing, shakes the ground and Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki sends dust billowing in the air. and has dragged on far longer than The house was booby- officials had expected, costing the trapped. Four soldiers are killed lives of scores of Iraqi soldiers. It JONATHAN POWER is likely to disrupt voting in elecand 10 are wounded. “God curse Daesh,” one jun- tions scheduled for the end of RESIDENT Vladimir Putin’s speech to both houses of the ior officer swore, using the Ara- April, shaking the credibility of Russian parliament last week got bad notices. Anne bic acronym for the Islamic State the government.—AP Applebaum, the experienced Russian-watcher, wrote in her column in the Washington Post that it was “an imperial rant” and went on to say that “Nato should moves its forces from Germany to the alliance’s eastern borders”. Most Western governments also gave their own misleading interpretations of Putin’s speech. In this column I’m not going to defend Putin up and down W ASHINGTON —The nine- supervision of Modi govern- the hill. I profoundly reject the way the absorption of Crimea year US visa ban on Narendra ment and has since not revoked into Russia was carried out. One can’t mount a referendum on Modi will automatically be its decision. an issue as important as this with two weeks’ notice — the Scots The seven-page report have been discussing their planned referendum, set for later this lifted and he would enjoy diplomatic immunity if he be- ‘Visa Policy: the case of year, for years. comes the prime minister, an Narendra Modi’ was prepared Moreover, this referendum only had two questions: whether Indian quoting US Congres- by the CRS - an independent the voters wanted to go back to Russia or whether they wanted sional report said on Tuesday. and bipartisan wing of the US increased autonomy. It didn’t ask if voters wanted to remain part “Modi is widely considered to Congress - at the request of of Ukraine. be one of the front-runners as several lawmakers who have Then there is the agreement signed in 1994 when Ukraine’s prime ministerial candidate of been opposed to a US visa to large nuclear weapon armoury was sent to Russia. In it Russia Modi. The views and reports his Bharatiya Janata Party. agreed to recognise Ukrainian boundaries. That was a fair and If Narendra Modi were to of the CRS are meant to keep honourable deal. become Prime Minister of In- the lawmakers informed and is As for the question whether Russia had beefed up the numdia, he would automatically be non-binding either on the Con- ber of its armed forces in Crimea, it clearly did although it was eligible for an A-1 (diplomatic) gress or the US Government. within the range set by the treaty establishing the Russian naval visa as head of state, regardless “On the other hand, the base. One should note too, as Putin said, no fatal shot was fired of the purpose of his visit,” the Gujarat high court continues during the time leading up to the referendum. Nevertheless, Congressional Research Ser- to criticize chief minister Modi Crimeans were clearly intimidated by the presence on the street vice (CRS) said in its commu- for his ‘inaction and negli- of large numbers of Russian soldiers. nication to US lawmakers. In gence’ during the violence,” In the early 2000s, after negotiations with the Ukrainian gov2005, the US had denied visa the report said. The report said ernment, Russia was unambiguous about the extent of UkraiModi as the Prime Minister to Modi in the wake of the 2002 nian sovereignty. As Putin said in his speech, “everyone had a Gujarat riots in which thou- would enjoy diplomatic im- clear understanding that by agreeing to delimitate the border we munity.—Online sands Muslims were killed in admitted de facto and de jure that Crimea was Ukrainian territory, thereby closing the issue”. But he has simply dropped this commitment. Those are five good reasons for rejecting Putin’s way of handling Crimea. Now for the rest of his inadequately reported speech: First, he was as outspoken as anyone in the West in his criAt one level, what might be considered a case of severe tique of the politics of Ukraine: “I would like to reiterate that I Putinism seems to have struck Prime Minister Recep Tayyip understand those who came out on Maidan, [Kiev’s square], with Erdogan — who, despite winning successive elections, appears peaceful slogans against corruption, inefficient state management determined to destroy his own legitimacy through a series of and poverty.” power-grabs. On another level, however — and one that may, But then he went on to denounce the element in the protestagain, surprise the West — there are indications that Erdogan’s ers who “resorted to terror” — “nationalists, neo-Nazis, AK Party may well snatch victory from the jaws of defeat beRussophobes and anti-Semites”. cause it is convincing more and more Turks that the only thing Many in the West have played down the role of the extremworse than its own overreach is a takeover by the state by the ists. But not everyone. In one detailed essay on its website early shadowy Gulenist movement. in March the BBC reported that in the events that led to the Throughout the Middle East, a counter-revolution to the toppling of President Viktor Yanukovych, the far right minority Arab Spring, led by the region’s monarchies and military govat “key points of the demonstrations played an outsized.... ernments, is taking hold, from the Gulf to Egypt. Beneath the role.....At times they appeared to be the driving force behind the surface of a struggle for democracy among the region’s youth, demonstrations.” I would add that by unleashing violence at the a more fundamental decision has been taken by the West’s alend these far rightists brought the government’s fall to a head. lies to destroy the Muslim Brotherhood at all costs. The promise of Yanukovych to arrange early elections, made to To these leaders, the Brotherhood poses the true existential German, French, Polish and Russia negotiators, was overridden. challenge to their future hold on power — far more than Iran, Most of the rest of the demonstrators and the West simply went or Israel, or even the Sunni-Shi’ite divisions. Western voices along with the mob. warning about the danger of extinguishing a place for legitiThe BBC went on to say that the political party, Svoboda, to mate politics in these societies — and the risk of creating a which the far right demonstrators belong, now has six positions monster of extremism far greater through unrelenting represin the new government, including deputy prime minister, gension — is falling on deaf ears. eral prosecutor and the minister of defence. Further east, India’s impending elections are likely to bring Putin then went on to make a powerful case for the malign to power a leader in Narendra Modi whose core appeal — role played by Western governments. He reminded his audience whatever protestations to Western visitors — is a nationalist of how the West itself had broken international law. The West, and often chauvinist Hindu interpretation of his country’s idenhe said, “lied to us many times”. In particular, over the question tity at home and purpose abroad. In Brazil, meanwhile, an inof the decision by Nato to expand its reach right up to Russia’s creasingly embattled government led by Dilma Rousseff had borders, despite an explicit promise not to, made by the US to to resort in September to cancelling a state visit to the United Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev. Moreover, as Putin said, States — after revelations that the National Security Agency “We have already heard declarations from Kiev about Ukraine had monitored her personal communications — in pursuit of joining Nato”. The West is “constantly trying to sweep us into a domestic support rooted in resentments of U.S. overreach. corner”. —Courtesy Reuters —Courtesy: Khaleej Times

Iraqi army battles militants in deadly Anbar siege

Putin’s rejoinder to West


Modi to enjoy diplomatic immunity if becomes PM: US



URPRISE is the least forgivable sin of statecraft. Yet noth ing has so characterized the Ukraine crisis as the West’s continuing surprise at Russia’s behavior. The past 30 days have provided almost daily reminders of the deep disconnect between Western expectations of what statecraft would — and ought to — look like in the 21st century, and the reality of how the Kremlin seeks to assert its interests in the world. From the outset of this crisis, the West consistently underestimated the strategic significance of Ukraine, and Crimea, to Russia. The West also assumed that the threat, and subsequent reality, of economic sanctions would alter Russian President Vladimir Putin’s strategic calculus. One month later, Russia has irreversibly annexed a region of Ukraine and left the West divided and floundering in its response. That Putin may have won a short-term victory at the cost of a long-term defeat by setting every European country on a path to energy independence from Russia should be small comfort to the United States and European leaders meeting in Brussels this week. If this were merely a matter of misreading the moves and motivations of a declining great power whose economic vulnerabilities are as severe as they are structural, the annexation of Crimea could be considered a mere geopolitical nuisance. At its root, however, this failure is rooted in a dangerous vanity about the West’s inevitable dominance — and an illusion about a global acceptance of its norms and forms of economic and political governance. To believe, therefore, that the remedy is a question of better intelligence or information about the decision-making dynamic in the Kremlin is to focus on symptoms rather than causes. It is also to assume that Putin, or even Russia, are exceptions to

an otherwise coalescing global environment — when they are more likely canaries in the coal mine of a fundamentally fragmenting geopolitical landscape. The West consistently misjudged Putin’s economic pain threshold because we assume a global convergence to its political norm threshold. The Russian leader, and many other leaders around the world, have neither the personal motivation nor the domestic constituency to sustain such a choice. A real — as opposed to idealized — map of the new geopolitical world would shine the light on capitals as diverse as Tokyo, Brasilia, Riyadh, Delhi, Beijing, Ankara and Bangkok and reveal an emerging archipelago of diverging politics, economics and ideals of governance. With such a map — however unwelcome and unfamiliar it may appear — decisions driven by historic grievances, nationalist rivalries, unrequited respect, elite interests and a deep desire to chart a course independent of the dominant Western narrative will seem rather less surprising. Davos was set alight earlier this year by the offhand comparison offered by the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe between the origins of World War One and today’s tensions between his country and China. What should have garnered as much attention was Abe’s absolute, and almost casual, defense of his visit to the Yasukuni shrine — which honors Japanese sacrifices in World War Two and serves as a searing reminder to the Chinese of Japan’s reluctance to acknowledge its record of aggression and atrocities in those years. A Western audience obsessed with its own centenary memorials had little to suggest by way of a 21st dialogue between Asia’s two giants marching to an increasingly nationalist drum. Turkey’s once-heralded example of democratic politics in a modernizing, economically successful Muslim country straddling the borders between Europe and Asia is coming undone in a struggle at once personal and structural.

KP cabinet likely to see another reshuffle From Page 1 14 likeminded disgruntled MPAs who feel unhappy over the recent reshuffle in the cabinet. He has also resigned from the house standing committee a couple of days back to record his protest. Though Javed Nasim and associates are not admitting in their personal capacity their anguish over the reshuffle in the cabinet or being ignored, a meeting of the disgruntled MPAs was held in the residence of MPA Jehandad Khan where they have appointed MPA Qurban Ali as the focal person for the group and tasked him to hold meeting with the party chief Imran Khan and apprised him of their serious concern over the recent reshuffle in the cabinet wherein they were ignored. They

also decided to work out their future course of action in a couple of days. Likewise, hundreds of supporters of Javed Nasim MPA held a demonstration in front of Peshawar Press Club on Monday out rightly rejecting the recent changes in the cabinet and calling for immediate inclusion of Javed Nasim in the provincial cabinet. They said, that the inclusion of MPA in the cabinet would not only ensure representation of PK 3 Peshawar in the set up but Javed Nasim deserved to be included in the cabinet as he had defeated Awami National Party stalwart Haroon Bilore in the hub of ANP. Insiders told this scribe there was also seri-

ous concern in the KP set up of PTI as number of districts remained unrepresented in the cabinet while on the other Noshehra that is the constituency of Chief Minister Pervez Khattak, has many ministers including Mr. Khattak himself. Though keeping the principled stance of Party chief Imran Khan in mind, it is assumed that he is not going to succumb to the black mailings by certain law makers of the party. The political observers believe that filling the slot of the senior minister and accommodating a couple of disgruntled MPAs in order to avert cracks in the party ranks or for that matter nip the evil in the bud, yet another reshuffle in the KP cabinet has become imminent.

Nato sees no Russian troops pullout From Page 1 stops in the Middle East. Ukraine and the United States have accused Russia of massing thousands of troops near the border and have expressed concern that Moscow intends to seize southeastern parts of Ukraine that are home to large populations of ethnic Russians, following the Crimea takeover. German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s office said Russian President Vladimir Putin had personally informed her of the troop pullback in a telephone conversation and on Tuesday said she had “no reason” to doubt his word. Ukraine also reported Monday that Russian troops were leaving the sensitive area adding it appeared to coincide with a

phone call that Putin had unexpectedly placed to US President Barack Obama on Friday. With the assurances from Moscow, Nato seemed to be stepping back from a floated idea to reinforce the alliance’s military presence in countries bordering Russia, preferring for now to give more time to talks. “I think everybody realises that the best way forward is a political and diplomatic dialogue,” Rasmussen said, though he added NATO was “very determined to provide effective defence and protection of our allies”. One counter-measure apparently off the table for now is the idea to set up permanent military bases in Nato countries bordering

NA standing body approves From Page 1 citizens. Tehmina Daultana reacted angrily to MQM’s reservations citing equal sufferings by PML-N, while other members intervened timely to ward of any escalation of the conflict. JUI (F)’s opposition of the bill stemmed from reservations about government not taking Maulana Fazl into confidence; while PTI’s Arif Alvi had reservations over numerous sections of the bill, promising many amendments, at the time of debating the bill in parliament. Arif Alvi was critical of Armed Forces being given right of arresting citizens, who were subject to civil arrests only. He was also critical of the section according to which government had right to relocate the

case from regular courts to ‘special courts’. Talking to media the state minister for interior, Baleegh-ur-Rehman said that a few amendments had been introduced after a consensus with opposition, in order to enhance the bill. Replying to a question he also quoted the Article 10, according to which every citizen had been provided full security and safety; assuring that no legislation contrary to Constitution would be carried out. He also brushed out fears of abduction of citizens and relocation of any cases to anti-terrorism and special courts, without any profound logical reasons; while he was also critical of opposition to bill without comprehending it, properly. —Online

Windies destroy Pak From Page 1 tions of the tournament. The West Indies slumped to 81-5 before skipper Darren Sammy and Dwayne Bravo led a dramatic rescue act by adding 71 for the sixth wicket off just 32 balls. Bravo smashed four sixes and two fours in a 26ball 46, while Sammy remained unbeaten on 42 off 20 balls that contained five fours and two sixes. The West Indies plundered 71 runs in the last four overs, taking 21 runs in the 18th bowled by seamer Umar Gul and 24 in the 19th by offspinner Saeed Ajmal. Pakistan never recovered after Ahmed Shehzad, who scored a century in the previous match against Bangladesh, was leg-before to Krishmar Santokie off the

first ball of the innings. Badree removed Kamran Akmal in the second over, Umar Akmal in the fourth and Shoaib Malik in the sixth to leave Pakistan tottering at 134. Skipper Mohammad Hafeez (19) and Sohaib Maqsood (18) fell in successive overs to make it 42-6, before Narine removed Shahid Afridi and Sohail Tanvir in four balls to hasten the end. Earlier, the West Indies lost both openers by the fourth over, with Chris Gayle stumped off Hafeez for five and Dwayne Smith caught behind off Tanvir for eight. Lendl Simmons and Marlon Samuel add 39 for the third wicket when both batsmen fell in the 11th over to reduce the West Indies to 67 for four.—AFP

BBC Sairbeen comes to TV, social screens LAHORE–A brand new ver- there remains a gap for nonsion of BBC Sairbeen – a popular radio programme produced and shot in London – broadcast live on Tuesday on a private television channel besides available online with the same name. The Sairbeen programme shows BBC Urdu service’s commitment to providing audiences in Pakistan with credible news bringing professionalism to the screens. As more and more people switch on their television sets, they can rest assured that Sairbeen will remain a constant in their lives with a brand new look and feel. Despite a plethora of 24-hour news channels,

sensationalised, credible news sources. “The feedback we get is very clear – there is a demand for Sairbeen on TV, for its breadth of coverage, connecting the local with the global, and for its independent, balanced and distinctive approach to any story,” said Aamer Ahmed Khan, editor of the BBC Urdu. “In this volatile environment, we are committed to helping our viewers understand the world and how the world sees Pakistan,” he said. In addition to news and current affairs, the show also covers arts, technology, travel and social media.—PR

with Russia. The move would be highly controversial for Moscow, reversing an informal agreement made when Nato expanded east to include former Warsaw Pact countries that were eager to break away from years of Soviet domination. But Dutch foreign minister Frank Timmermans said that for now “we don’t need Nato troops at the border with Russia,” adding there was “no need for sudden moves”. The cautious line could come as a disappointment to eastern Nato members, such as the Baltic nations and Poland — who were expected to argue for a tougher stance against Russia at the meeting. Poland “would welcome any forces” on its territory, Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said. Ahead of the Nato talks, Germany’s foreign minister said that he saw no quick solution to the crisis, nor the likelihood of Ukraine joining Nato. “We can’t promise we’ll be in a position to resolve this conflict in the short term,” Frank-Walter Steinmeier said. Ukraine is not a Nato member but it did form a “distinctive partnership” with the Alliance in 1997 and has been staging joint exercises with its state members ever since. Parliament in Kiev on

Tuesday approved a new series of joint military exercises with the alliance that would put US troops in direct proximity with Russian forces in the annexed Crimea peninsula. “This is a good opportunity to develop our armed forces,” acting Defence Minister Mykhailo Koval said. The exercises would partly occupy a 25-day span between July and October based around two Odessa ports and “along the waters of the Black Sea”. Meeting a key demand posed by Russia, Ukraine’s parliament Tuesday also voted to disarm all self-defence groups that had sprung up across the country during its political crisis. The move came after a member of the radical Ukrainian nationalist group Pravy Sektor opened fire in central Kiev late Monday, injuring three. Gazprom pressures Ukraine: The crisis is at an especially critical juncture in Kiev as Ukrainian politicians jockey for position ahead of May 25 presidential elections after the fall of president Viktor Yanukovych. And with Moscow able to use gas as a lever, Gazprom chief executive Alexei Miller said Ukraine will now pay $385.5 dollars per 1,000 cubic metres of gas from the previous cut rate of $268.5. “The discount will no longer apply,” he said in a

statement. “This is due to the inability of the Ukrainian side to pay for debts from 2013 and realise full payments for current deliveries.”—AP

TTP expected From Page 1 to the dialogue process. The TTP have expressed their reservations over the treatment of their members in Sindh.

Cops among From Page 1 Army (ANA) soldiers were also wounded in the clashes. In eastern Laghman province, seven insurgents were killed and two others injured during a search operation in Alingar district. Sarhadi Zwak, the governor’s spokesman, confirmed the incident and said one civilian was also killed and another injured during the operations.—INP

5 ministers sworn in KP From Page 1 Gandapur and Jamshed. Senior officials also participated in the oath taking ceremony.—Online

Torture didn’t lead to Osama bin Laden: US Senate report ing torture as effective. Among the key points of contention in the report was the treatment of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the man accused of masterminding the September 11 attacks who was waterboarded 183 times. Intelligence officials have cited that Mohammed had confirmed that he knew an important al-Qaida courier with the nom de guerre Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti who helped lead CIA investigators to the compound in Abbottabad where bin Laden was killed. However the Senate report concludes such information wasn t critical and was obtained not when Mohammed was being water-boarded, but under standard interrogation months later, the unnamed aides told the Associated Press. The CIA also has pointed to the value of information provided by senior al-Qaida operative Abu Faraj al-Libi, who was captured in 2005 and held at a secret prison run by the agency.

From Page 1 In previous accounts, U.S. officials have described how al-Libi made up a name for a trusted courier and denied knowing al-Kuwaiti. AlLibi was so adamant and unbelievable in his denial that the CIA took it as confirmation he and Mohammed were protecting the courier. The Senate report concludes evidence gathered from al-Libi wasn t significant either, aides said. Essentially, they argue, Mohammed, al-Libi and others subjected to harsh treatment confirmed only what investigators already knew about the courier. And when they denied the courier’s significance or provided misleading information, investigators would only have considered that significant if they already presumed the courier’s importance. The aides did not address information provided by yet another al-Qaida operative: Hassan Ghul, captured in Iraq in 2004. Intelligence officials have described Ghul as the true linchpin of the bin Laden

investigation after he identified al-Kuwaiti as a critical courier. In a 2012 news release, Ms Feinstein, the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and Sen. Carl Levin, both Democrats, acknowledged an unidentified third detainee had provided relevant information on the courier. But they said he did so the day before he was subjected to harsh CIA interrogation. This information will be detailed in the Intelligence committee’s report, the senators said at the time. In any case, it still took the CIA years to learn alKuwaiti’s real identity: Sheikh Abu Ahmed, a Pakistani man born in Kuwait. How the U.S. learned of Ahmed’s name is still unclear. Without providing full details, aides said the Senate report illustrates the importance of the National Security Agency’s efforts overseas. At that point, U.S. intelligence was able to follow Ahmed to bin Laden’s hideout.—AP

Japan to relax arms export ban TOKYO—Japan

Pak-China border at Khanjrab Pass opens I S L A M A B A D —Pak-China BRUSSELS—NATO Ministers from 28 countries meeting for the first time since Russia’s military occupation and border at Khanjrab Pass was opened for trade and visits on Tuesday. According to the standing protocol signed between the two countries, the border opens on 1st of April and closes on 30th November every year.—Online

annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region.

Road mishap claims six lives

YANGON—The UN agency tasked with facilitating Myanmar´s first census in decades on Tuesday said it was “deeply concerned” over a government decision to bar Muslims from identifying as Rohingya, warning it could stoke tensions. Myanmar had said it would conduct the rare survey in accordance with international standards and “explicitly agreed” to allow people to be able to choose their own ethnicity, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) said in a statement. The agreement was dropped on the eve of the census, which began Sunday and runs to April 10, when Myanmar announced that “Rohingya” would not be accepted by census takers. The move followed fresh unrest in western Rakhine State where Buddhist nationalists have campaigned vociferously against the inclusion of the term, fearing it could herald political rights for the stateless Muslim Rohingya. “UNFPA is deeply concerned about this


least six people were killed and a dozen other wounded in road mishap in Hafizabad district of upper Punjab, officials said on Tuesday. According to local police, the accident took place at Madharyanwala Bypass in Hafizabad where a collision between a truck and a bus left six people dead on the spot on Tuesday afternoon. 12 others were injured in the collision. The injured were taken to Hafizabad District HQs Hospital for medical assistance; Medics said adding that three wounded were in critical condition.—Online

LHC reinstates 250 doctors L AHORE —Lahore

High Court has reinstated 250 doctors suspended by Punjab government. LHC judge, Justice Khalid Mehmood, took up the petition for hearing, filed by doctors, praying that their suspension was illegal. The doctors prayed that they were suspended after refusing to sign affidavit which sought them not to get training abroad during their job and could not marry foreign lady.—Online

NAB (KP) arrests motor cars dealer P ESHAWA R —NAB (KP) Tuesday arrested Salimat Khan Orakzai, Motor Cars Dealer who defrauded dozen of people by giving them incentive to provide them Brand New Vehicles significantly below the market price and embezzled Rs. 195.00 Million. The accused Salimat Khan Orakzai was doing business in the name of Al-Faisal Motors at Kohat, Fathi Jang with Head Office at Islamabad.—INP

UN deeply concerned Myanmar´s Rohingya census ban departure from international census standards, human rights principles and agreed procedures,” the agency said. “We are concerned that this could heighten tensions in Rakhine State, which has a history of communal violence, as well as undermining the credibility of census data collected. “In the sprawling camps near the Rakhine capital of Sittwe, where 140,000 people made homeless by sectarian fighting two years ago live, there were signs Tuesday census takers were not collecting any data on people identifying as Rohingya — the vast majority of the displaced. An AFP journalist said teams flanked by police and soldiers would ask for a person´s ethnicity and would walk away if the householder replied “Rohingya”. The census is the first since 1983 for the country following years of junta rule, and is meant to fill gaping deficits in information that mean even the country´s population is a broad estimate.—AFP

Ahmedi man arrested for ‘desecrating’ Quran amid rampage OUR CORRESPONDENT H YDERABAD —A number of residents of various localities of Tando Allahyar city and activists of religious parties took to the streets against alleged desecration of the Holy Quran and attacked the home-cumworship place of a man belonging to the Ahmedi community for his involvement in the alleged sacrilege. The charged crowd rushed to Tahir Ahmed’s place and went on the rampage in the worship place on the ground floor. He took refuge on the upper floor, where his family lived, and the crowd did not pursue him there. A heavy contingent of police and Rangers arrived at the spot and detained Mr Ahmed while protesters threw stones at the suspect and injured him. According to sources, 12-year-old Salman was coming from a seminary in Mansoor Colony, Tando Allahyar city, when he was intercepted by two men riding a motorbike and snatched the Quran from him and beat him up. Salman crying went back home and told

his family and others that Mr Ahmed and an unknown man riding a motorbike had roughed him up and snatched the Quran and desecrated it. Then a big charged crowd gathered and chanted slogans against the suspect and reached his home in Mansoor Colony. Salman lives in the neighbourhood of the suspect. The crowd went on the rampage on the ground floor of the house, said to be a small worship place. A heavy contingent of police and Rangers arrived there and arrested Tahir Ahmed and took him to the A-Section police station of Tando Allahyar, where the crowd threw stones at the suspect and demanded registration of a case against the suspect. An FIR (68/2014) was registered on a complaint of Qari Mohammad Ayub Siddique, Salman’s paternal uncle, under Sections 295-b, 337-A-1 and F-1 against the two suspects at the A-Section police station. The protesters burnt tyres and resorted to firing in the air, forcing traders to shut their businesses. Tando Allahyar was tense till late in the night.

Karachi tense after MQM worker, sympathizer bodies recovered STAFF REPORTER K ARACHI —Tension

engulfed parts of the city after recovery of two Muttaheda Qaumi Movement (MQM) workers dead bodies from Gaghar Phattak, District Thatta on Tuesday. Dead bodies of MQM worker and party sympathizer were recovered from near Gaghar Phatta District Thatta. The dead bodies were identified as of Sanaullah, 35, son of Habibullah and Mansoor Ahmed. Sanaullah was active worker of MQM Unit 109 Shah Faisal Sector while Mansoor Ahmed was said to be sympathizer of the party. Both of them were residents of Landhi and had been kidnapped by unidentified armed men from the town few days back. The dead bodies were taken to hospital for postmortem. The autopsy report of both has confirmed that they were tortured brutally and later shot dead. The dead bodies were handed over to heirs for burial. Some unidentified armed men took to streets and restored aerial firing in different parts of the metropolis very after news regarding recovery of two MQM workers dead bodies received. The unidentified forcibly closed shops and petrol pumps situated at Main Sharae Faisal.

on Tuesday to ease its selfimposed arms export ban for the first time in almost 50 years. In the past all military sales have effectively been banned, although there has been technology transfer to the US. The new conditions would allow Japan to jointly develop arms with allies and give its defence industry access to new markets and technology. The move is likely to be viewed with suspicion in China, which has accused Japan of increasing militarism. Japan adopted a pacifist constitution after World War Two which prohibits going to war except in cases of self-defence. It has for decades observed the “three principles” of not exporting arms to countries that are communist, subject to UN arms embargos and involved or likely to be involved in international conflicts. These principles were adopted in 1967 and later evolved into a full self-imposed ban. But Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is keen to bolster national security and also normalise some of the restrictions Japan placed on itself after World War Two. Under the policy, the restrictions on exports to countries involved in conflicts or subject to UN embargos would remain. Exports will be allowed in cases where they contributed to global peace and served

Japan’s security interests, Kyodo news agency reported. Japan would impose strict screening on exports and would be transparent about the process, it said. Japan would also not allow its exports to be sold on to third parties. “Under the new principles, we have made the procedure for transfer of defence equipment more transparent,” said Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga. “That will contribute to peace and international co-operation from the standpoint of proactive pacifism.” “And we will participate in joint development and production of defence equipment,” he added. Earlier this year, China warned against the move. “Against the backdrop of an intensifying swing to the right for Japanese politics, the intention behind and effect of massively loosening restrictions on the export of weapons really worries people,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in February. Late last year, Japan’s cabinet approved a new national security strategy and increased defence spending in a move widely seen as aimed at China. Over the next five years, Japan will buy hardware including drones, stealth aircraft and amphibious vehicles.—Online

US to spend $400,000 for camel statue for embassy in Pakistan W ASHINGTON —The State Department in the new embassy should reflect the valplans to spend $400,000 in taxpayer dollars to purchase a camel statue for the new American embassy in Islamabad. The sculpture by artist John Baldessari depicts a fiberglass camel staring into the eye of an oversized needle in play on a passage from the New Testament about the difficulty the wealthy have in entering heaven, BuzzFeed reported. According to a procurement document, the 500-pound, fiberglass, aluminum, stainless-steel, acrylic and painted “Camel Contemplating a Needle” will be displayed at the new embassy compound in Islamabad, which is estimated to be fully completed by 2016. “This artist’s product is uniquely qualified,” the document says. “Public art which will be presented

ues of a predominantly Islamist country.” State Department press spokeswoman Christine Foushee told BuzzFeed the proposed purchase is part of the department’s “Office of Art in Embassies” program, which oversees art purchases for new construction projects at embassies and consulates. Steven Beyer of Beyer Projects, the dealer for the project, told the publication the $400,000 price tag “is actually a very reduced price for this sculpture,” adding that the firm was “quite surprised” with the State Department’s request. The department came under scrutiny in December after commissioning a $1 million sculpture to be installed at new building at the American embassy in London in 2017. The purchase was defended as a “good use” of the agency’s resources.—INP

Lahore plaza fire doused, CM takes notice SALIM AHMED L AHORE —The fire which erupted in a multi-storey commercial plaza near Kalma Chowk here on Tuesday was successfully doused by fire fighting teams and all trapped persons were safely rescued. Rescue teams swiftly rushed to the scene of the incident and rescued several persons including women who were trapped inside the building. Around seven fire tenders and Res-

cue 1122 teams took part in the operation to extinguish the fire. Lahore DCO, Dr. Ahmad Javed on information also arrived at the location of the fire and supervised rescue work. Some offices at the plaza were destroyed in the wake of the fire, however, no loss of life occurred due to deft handling of the situation by fire fighting teams. Punjab Chief Minister, Shahbaz Sharif taking notice of the incident has sought report from the concerned authorities.

Atlanta archbishop apologizes over $2.2m mansion A TLANTA — The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Atlanta apologized Monday for building a $2.2 million mansion for himself, a decision criticized by local Catholics who cited the example of austerity set by the new pope. Archbishop Wilton Gregory recently moved into a nearly 6,400square-foot (595-square-meter) residence. Its construction was made possible by a large donation from the estate of Joseph Mitchell, nephew of Margaret Mitchell, author of “Gone With The Wind,” the Civil War epic that made his family wealthy. When Mitchell died in 2011, he left an estate worth more than $15 million to the archdiocese on the condition it be used

for “general religious and charitable purposes.” Gregory said that he has received criticism over the spending in letters, emails and telephone messages. “I am disappointed that, while my advisors (sic) and I were able to justify this project fiscally, logistically and practically, I personally failed to project the cost in terms of my own integrity and pastoral credibility with the people of God of north and central Georgia,” Gregory said in a column posted on the website of the archdiocesan newspaper, The Georgia Bulletin. “I failed to consider the impact on the families throughout the Archdiocese who, though struggling to pay their mortgages, utilities, tuition and other bills, faithfully re-

spond year after year to my pleas to assist with funding our ministries and services,” he added. The Catholic leader said he will discuss the situation with several diocesan councils, including a special meeting of its finance council. If church representatives want the bishop to sell the home, Gregory said he will do so and move elsewhere. The purchase of the sprawling home was part of a real estate deal made possible by money from Joseph Mitchell’s estate. In his will, Mitchell requested that primary consideration be given to the Cathedral of Christ The King, where he worshipped. —AP

LAHORE: A view of fire erupted in a multi- story commercial plaza near Kalma Chowk.

Published by: Zahid Malik, Printed by Gauhar Zahid Malik,33-Queens Road, Lahore at Barex Printers.

Smokers may show heart disease much younger than nonsmokers


smoker’s coronary artery disease is likely to be as advanced as that of a non-smoker who is 10 years older when both show up at the hospital with a heart attack, according to a new study. Researchers looked at nearly 14,000 patients hospitalized with blockages in arteries supplying the heart muscle and found smokers were more likely than nonsmokers to die within a year. Despite their being younger, and otherwise healthier, the smokers’ heart arteries were in a condition similar to those of nonsmokers 10 years older. “We saw smokers presenting the disease at age 55 and nonsmokers presenting the same disease at 65,” said Dr. Alexandra Lansky, a researcher on the study. Smoking can cause blood clots, which often get lodged in the rigid and narrow arteries that have already been clogged by the buildup of cholesterol and fat deposits, according to Lansky and her colleagues. Although the fat buildup and stiffening of the artery walls, known as atherosclerosis, becomes more likely with age for everyone, the clots caused by smoking worsen the blockages. That makes smokers more likely to have a heart attack at a younger age, but less likely to have the other conditions, known as comorbidities, that go along with

aging, such as diabetes and high blood pressure. “Smoking accelerates the manifestation of coronary disease but in the absence of these comorbidities,” Lansky told Reuters Health. Past research has identified a “smoker’s paradox” because smokers are younger, with fewer other health problems, when they had a heart attack, they were more likely to recover it. Or so it seemed. “We wanted to look at longerterm effects of smoking rather just the short term effect,” Lansky said. The researchers analyzed medical records for 13,819 patients, almost 4,000 of them smokers, hospitalized with chest pain or a heart attack caused by a blocked coronary artery. The study team organized the data to match the smokers and nonsmokers by age, weight, comorbidities and other risk factors. When compared to nonsmokers with similar overall health, the smokers were ten years younger, on average, and more likely to have already been treated with blood thinners - suggesting they had already experienced problems with blood flow. Imaging of the coronary artery showed the smokers’ had atherosclerosis comparable to the nonsmokers ten years their senior, the researchers report in the journal JACC: Cardiovascular Interventions.

Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal speaking at awards ceremony organised by Institute of Architects of Pakistan.

Debris of building not removed since one year I SLAMABAD —The Capital


Development Authority (CDA) has failed to remove construction waste material debris in front of the buildings situated at Zero Point, including Information Service Academy (ISA) and others despite passage of a year. Almost one year ago, the CDA’s Sanitation Directorate replaced sanitation pipes of the ISA and others offices, but left the construction waste material on the site, creating trouble for the residents of the area. According to an ISA official, many attempts had been made to approach the CDA Chairman to resolve the issue, but in vain.—APP

I SLAMABAD —Federal Minister for

Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan Shinsuke Sugiyama called on Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif at General Headquarters.

Japanese deputy FM, Army Chief discuss bilateral ties

RAWALPINDI—Shinsuke Sugiyama, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Japan and Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif on Tuesday discussed matters related to bilateral interests. The between Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Japan and General Raheel Sharif was held at General Headquarters (GHQ) here.—Online

who had established its embassy in Pakistan in 1947. Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Sardar Muhammad Yousaf said the historic relations between the two countries were being strengthened further. Pakistanis were always anxious and love to visit the sacred places of Iraq. The Muslim Ummah was enduring the chronic problems of poverty and ignorance. Both should join hands to overcome the common issues. The minister pointed out that he was trying to develop a consensus in the country by holding frequent meetings with Ulema and holding conferences so that peace and tranquillity could be ensured in the country.—APP

ITP arranges workshop on road safety ISLAMABAD—Islamabad Traffic Police (ITP) on Tuesday arranged a workshop for students of Grafton College to acquaint them about road safety tips and better awareness about traffic rules. A large number of students attended the workshop where education team of ITP spoke about community policing techniques and efforts of the force in ensuring safe road environment in the city.They were informed as how special measures are being taken to curb various traffic violations in the city and also informed about traffic rules and regulations. The educational teams of ITP visit various organizations as this exercise is helpful in providing a disciplined traffic system to the

masses. Education team briefed the participants on the history of the force, targets given to ITP and its achievements, safety measures while walking along the road, road crossing code, causes of accidents and how to protect oneself, defensive driving and its requirements, practice to prevent risky situations on road, planning for a long journey, positioning vehicle or lane discipline, right of way on junctions and road markings, safe overtaking, traffic sign boards and traffic light signals and perils of using mobile phone while driving. SP (Traffic) Ilyas Hashmi addressed the concluding ceremony and said that ITP will continue efforts for safe road environment in the city.—APP

Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal on Tuesday said that the government was committed to focus on urban planning to save national identity, history and cultural heritage through modern architectural trends. Addressing at the Mehdi Ali Mirza Award Ceremony organized by Institute of Architect Pakistan (IAP) here, Ahsan said that Pakistan was the fastest urbanized country which requires modern building infrastructure with the use of modern technology for the facility of the people. The Minister said every great architect have vision to change the mind of people through its practical vision and

build new towns and infrastructure of the modern buildings. Ahsan Iqbal said the government is fully focussed on modernizing the countries infrastructure and build small green cities in different region of the country. He said that Pakistan has huge human resources potential gifted with talented, passionate and skilled youth to brought overall change in society. He added that the government is committed to give employment and business opportunity to the youth for development and prosperity of the nation. The Minister said “founder of Pakistan, Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah was architect of our freedom, who gave us vision to change our life in better way”. He said that countries like

China, Malaysia, South Korea designed their decades long vision and gave them practical shape for the development and prosperity. He added that the government has started work on vision 2025 to focus on major things including energy, infrastructure and education. Ahsan Iqbal said the government has undertaken many projects to expand energy resources for bringing economic stability in the country. The government will also include institutional reforms and improvement in security with the aim to ensure sustainable development, he added. The Minister said that political stability and continuity of the democratic system is necessary to achieve the development targets of the country.

Pharmaceutical companies’ stocks seized I SLAMABAD —Federal Inspector of Drugs on Tuesday seized stocks of all those products of two pharmaceutical companies which they were selling on prices more than the prices fixed by the federal government. According to official sources, on the direction of Minister of State for National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination, Saira Afzal Tarar, Federal Inspector raided the warehouses of two Islamabad based pharmaceutical companies namely M/s Wislon’s Pharmaceuticals, Islamabad and M/s Scottmann Pharmaceuticals, Islamabad.

Iraq offers to establish Pak-Arab Cultural Centre ISLAMABAD—Iraq Ambassador in Pakistan Dr Rushdi Alani Tuesday met with Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Sardar Muhammad Yousaf and agreed to establish Pak-Arab Cultural Centre in the federal capital for promoting Arabic language. Talking to the Minister, he said the initial talks with various Arab countries have already been held regarding the establishment of the centre. The ambassador also offered imparting Arabic language to Pakistani students in the institutions of Iraqi Auqaf department. He also offered to explore investment opportunities available in vacant land of Iraqi Auqaf department in his country.Recalling the initial days of Pakistan, he said Iraq was the first country,

Focus on urban planning through modern architectural trends

During the inspection, the companies were found overcharging the prices of few drugs. Further legal action will be taken under the Drugs Act, 1976 and rules framed there under, they added. Earlier, on the directives of the Prime Minister, Minister for \ National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination Saira Afzal Tarar took strict notice of reports of unilateral and illegal price hike by certain pharmaceutical companies. The minister, in an emergency meeting here, directed that stern action be taken against violators of the government’s pricing regime.”There will

be zero tolerance against those deceiving the government and hurting public interest,” she warned. She said a three-member committee headed by Chief Executive Officer of Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP), has been constituted to monitor the market and report any violation of the pricing regime. “Strict action under the law will be taken against companies found violating the law and overpricing”, she said. The minister said some companies after resorting to illegal price hike sought restraining orders from the court to avoid action by DRAP. —APP

Sudents enthrall audience by scintillating performance I SLAMABAD—Students en- the jubilant audience comprising judges totally awestruck. In the Punjab University, Lahore. Third pating universities through his thralled the audience by scintillating performance during inter-university Singing Competition, organized here today by Preston University. The referenced competition that was divided into two categories, male and female, was held at the university as part of ‘Spring Splash 2014’. The universities which took part in the female category of the competition were Punjab University, Lahore, Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi, Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad, Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi, Institute of Space Technology, Islamabad and Preston University Islamabad. In the male category, the participating universities were: Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi, Institute of Space Technology, Islamabad,Punjab University, Lahore, Bahria University, Islamabad, Ripha University,Islamabad, Federal Urdu University, Islamabad and Preston University,Islamabad. The students of the participating universities enthralled

students, staff and faculty of Preston University and other guests by their remarkable singing talent. The brilliant performances

female category of the competition, Jasmeen of Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad outclassed her counterparts from other universities with her brilliant perfor-

prize in the competition was awarded to Nosheen Qayyum of Preston University, Islamabad. In male category of the singing competition, Shiraz

Chancellor Preston University Dr Abdul Basit and Eminent Singer Saira Naseem giving award to the position holders of Inter University Singing Competition at Preston University.—PO photo Sultan Bashir of the participating students left mance to win the first prize. Ahmed of Bahria University, the chief guest of occasion, emiThe second prize was Islamabad over- shadowed his nent singer Saira Naseem and the grabbed by Mehrun Nisa of counterparts from other partici-

outstanding performance. He was adjudged the best singer by the judges and awarded first prize. Second prize in the male category of the competition was grabbed by Haseebul-Hassan of Punjab University, Lahore. M. Zahid Abbasi of Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi won the 3rd prize. In her brief remarks on occasion, chief guest Ms Saira Naseem, singer of national eminence, profoundly eulogized the singing prowess of the students of the participating universities. The judges of the competition also appreciated the singing skills of the competing students. With a little more grooming they could even perform better, the judges maintained. The Chancellor Preston University, Dr Abdul Basit said that the performance of the participating students was excellent. He fully agreed with the chief guest Ms. Saira and the judges that if these students were groomed a little more they could do extremely well in this field and earn laurels for their respective institutions and for the country. —APP

Metro Bus Project

Fajar Zohr Asr

05:50 01:30 05:00

Meghrab at Sunset Isha 08:00 Brothers in Islam establish regular prayers & charity

April 2 INTERNATIONAL Hazrat Fatima Zahra Conference will be arranged on 2nd April 2:30 p.m Pearl Continental Hotel Rawalpindi. Prominent ulmas and mashaikh from the sects will participate in the conference. Theme of the conference will be “Hazrat Fatima rile model for the woken folk on global level”. ***** MINISTER of State for Parliamentary Affairs Sheikh Aftab Ahmed will host and Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq will be the chief guest on the occasion of annual festival to be held at District Council Stadium, District Attock at 11 am. April 3 INAUGURATION Ceremony of Jamia Masjid Abubakar Siddique will be held on Thursday, 3rd April at Multi Gardens, Sector B17, Block B Markaz by Multi Professionals Cooperative Housing Society. ***** LAST date for submission of admission forms with late fee charges from Matric to Master level programmes of the Allama Iqbal Open University for the Semester Spring, 2014 is April 3. This was announced by Director Admissions, AIOU Syed Zia-ul-Hasnain.

RCB to place new trash trolleys CITY REPORTER R AWALPINDI —Rawalpindi Cantonment Board (RCB) in its effort to provide better sanitary environment to the residents would place 150 new trash trolleys at garbage collection points in different localities of the cantonment. Newly appointed Cantt Executive Officer (CEO) Faheem Zafar Khan took this initiative on complaints regarding brimming and insufficient trash trolleys by the area residents, sources in RCB told APP here Tuesday. Accordingly, they said, a tender has been floated to acquire specific yellow colour trolleys, having five-feet height, eight feet length and four feet width, in a transparent manner. They said these trolleys would be placed in different parts of the cannt area from where RCB vehicles would lift the solid waste on regular basis.

35th death anniversary of ZAB STAFF REPORTER R AWALPINDI —All the arrangements have been completed to observe 35th death anniversary of former Prime Minister and founder of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto at Jinnah Park (Old jail) here on Friday (April 4). Talking to APP, Member Central Executive Committee, Qazi Sultan Mehmood said that Quran Khawani will be held at 10 a.m. and ‘Dua’ will be offered at The local leadership will attend the ceremony and highlight the achievements of Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto who struggled hard for the democracy in the country and sacrificed his life for the people of Pakistan. Later, Bhutto lungar will also be distributed on the occasion.

Citizens urged to use Airport, Peshawar roads to reach Islamabad CITY REPORTER RAWALPINDI—Chief Traffic Officer (CTO) Rawalpindi Shoaib Khurram on Tuesday urged the citizens to use Airport Road, Peshawar Road to reach Islamabad during construction period of Metro Bus Project. Addressing a press conference here at Traffic Headquarters he said great efforts were being made by the traffic po-

lice to regulate traffic on Murree Road but without the cooperation of the citizens, traffic load on city roads including Benazir Bhutto Road cannot be controlled. The CTO said besides enhanced number of traffic wardens, the officials who were performing duties in traffic headquarters, were also deployed on Murree Road and other roads. He said a comprehensive

traffic plan had been devised, but the cooperation of citizens was necessary to avoid a traffic mess, mainly on the Murree road. He advised the motorists to use Airport Road through Karal Chowk, and Peshawar Road through IJP Road and Golra Mor, to reach Islamabad. The citizens can come to the city area through Rawal Road, Saidpur Road and IJP Road, during the construction

of Metro Bus project, he added. He informed that CTP in coordination with departments concerned will conduct operations against encroachers aimed at clearing city roads for the smooth flow of traffic to provide relief to the motorists. The encroachers have been warned that in future cases would be registered against the violators of the rules and no one would be spared. CTP is tak-

ing action against encroachers and conducting special operations for the removal of encroachments from city roads aimed at resolving traffic problems of the city, he said. The city traffic police have also prepared a plan to keep the traffic moving as much as possible while the elevated road will be constructed for the bus service, on the busy Murree road. The building work on the

project would be completed within a fixed timeframe. All necessary arrangements, regarding the flow of the traffic, have been made and are aimed at facilitating the citizens, mainly motorists, he said. In order to mitigate the sufferings of the general public, and to avoid a mess of traffic on the Murree road, alternative routes have been provided to the traffic, to minimise the load

on the busiest road of the city. He informed that a demand of 522 traffic wardens has also been sent to the authorities concerned as out total 1150 strength of City Traffic Police, as many as 730 traffic wardens and officers are performing duties on city roads. He said that 12,000 vehicles per hour use Murree Road during peak hours and all-out efforts being made to regulate the traffic load.

Comprehensive policy being followed to promote quality education RAWALPINDI—Punjab government is following a comprehensive policy to promote quality education, increase literacy rate and provide missing facilities in public sector schools across the province, said Member Provincial Assembly (MPA) and Parliamentary Secretary for Youth Affairs, Sports, Archeology and Tourism Chaudhry Sarfraz Afzal here Tuesday. Addressing a prize distribution ceremony among position holders of the Government Boys High School Ghareebabad, he said allout efforts are being made to impart quality education to the younger generation, making them useful citizens so that they play their role in national development and prosperity.

He said record funds have been allocated to achieve the task, adding that free text books are being provided to students from class one to ten, while more than 45,000 IT labs have also been set up in public sector institutions. He said special attention is being given to develop teachers’ skills and achieve high educational standards so that the younger generation could face challenges of the contemporary world. A plan, he said, is also being worked out to set up examination centers in all government schools to facilitate students visiting other centers for annual exams. Sarfraz Afzal also distributed shields among position holding students of the school.—APP

Govt failed to complete 2 colleges in seven years STAFF REPORTER RAWALPINDI—Punjab Government failed to complete Degree Colleges in Dhoke Syedan Rawalpindi after 7 years. Civil society to hold a demonstration to urge the Punjab Government to start the classes in both degree colleges of Dhoke Syedan, Rawalpindi. Syed Kausar Abbas, Program Manager of Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives, (CPDI) while addressing the media said that despite conducting number of protests, meetings and writing letters to the government, government of Punjab failed to start classes in both degree colleges of Dhoke Syedan. He said that the project of two Government Degree Colleges Dhoke Syedan chowk Rawalpindi was started in 2007 by Chief Minister Pervez Elahi and Muhammad Basharat Raja Ex-Law Minister but the Government of Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz are not able to start the classes in both the colleges from last seven years. Kausar Abbas said that RS 42 million were spent on these buildings in the financial years 2007-8 and 2008-9 but later on the PMLN government in Punjab stopped funds for these colleges due to political reasons. He said that these colleges are located at

the boundary of two National Assembly Constituencies NA-52 and NA-54. The constituency belongs to the elected representatives Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and Malik Abrar Ahmad. Both the elected representatives have been approached by the constituent’s number of times during the last six years but they always make fake commitments. Kausar Abbas said that after taking oath Member National Assembly Malik Abrar Ahmad committed in a public forum organized by CPDI that the colleges will be started by September 2013 but they have not started working on these colleges yet. He further told that these are the only colleges of NA-52 and NA-54 and the students do not have the opportunity to get access to higher education in their area. The students have to travel long distance to Rawalpindi city or Islamabad to get education. Kausar Abbas told that if classes will not be started in August 2014 then a sit-in and grand protest will be organized to get the attention of Punjab Government. We have started corner meetings with the activists and political workers to involve them in massive campaign for completion of these colleges. The natives of Dhoke Syedan Colleges urged the Government of Punjab to immediately complete buildings of both colleges.

Heavy machinery is being used for metro bus project on Benazir Bhutto Road.

Head UNICEF’s polio programme, Peter Crowly meeting with PTI Chairman Imran Khan.

Fake appointments unearthed in CDA CITY REPORTER ISLAMABAD—Fake appointments scandal has been unearthed in Capital Development Authority (CDA). A group of fraudsters among CDA employees is said to have extorted million of rupees from the innocent people in return for fake offer for appointment while CDA chairman has ordered inquiry into the scam. One Kasahghar Riaz is stated to be behind the whole scandal who is Naib Qasid in CDA but poses himself to be a senior officer. Through one fake offer for appointment he recruited 10 persons. Ubaid ur

Rehman, Shaukat Hussain and Muhammad Rizwan have been recruited Baildar, Tauqir Abbasi pump operator, Zahir ul Hassan sub assistant, Zulqarnai sub engineer Hamid Hassan Naib Qasid, Zeeshan Haider and Wasif Ali volve man and Muhammad Sarwar as Naib Qasid. This appointment letter was issued on October, 12, 2013 under the signatures of HRO, Fida Muhammad Aftab. Sources said that the accused stole away cheque book from CDA treasury and he has also prepared fake service books and issued to the employees enrolled by him under fake appointment letter.

Construction of six Police Stations delayed RAWALPINDI—Construction project of 6 new Police Stations in the populated areas of the city has become victim of red tapism. Police had planned to build new Police Stations for controlling the crimes and for peace. IG Punjab has sent the whole paper work of this project along with his letter to Home department but still no action has been taken despite passage of 5 months. Under the project in the area of New town

Police Station Pindora Police Station, external area of Murree Police Station New Murree, in the populated area Sadiqabad Police Station Shaqrial Police Station, for the biggest Police Station of Tehsil Gujar Khan Sadar Gujar Khan Police Station, for Air Port Police Station Chaklala Police Station and for the most important area of External Saddar Police Station Chakri Police Station were to be constructed.—Online

Operation against unregistered schools RAWALPINDI—Punjab government has ordered grand operation against unregistered schools operating in the province including Rawalpindi. On the directions of CM Punjab Shahbaz Sharif Secretary Education Punjab has sent a circular to all EDO’s to take action against unregistered schools. The unregistered educa-

tional institutes would be sealed and legal action would be taken against their owners and administration. It has also been ordered to check those schools whose registration have expired and to probe as to why they have not applied for re-registration and delay in registration would cost RS 100 per day.—Online

Women buying school bags from a stall in connection with the start of new educational year.

PARC scientist gets Research Productivity Award STAFF REPORTER ISLAMABAD —Pakistan Council for Science and Technology (PCST) has conferred Research Productivity Award in category-D to Principal Scientific Officer (PSO) of Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC), Dr. Muhammad Ramzan Khan for the year 2013-14. Dr Ramzan Khan is the only scien-

tists from PARC to achieve this honour for this year on the basis of his research contribution in Molecular Biotechnology / Genomics during 2012. The PCST confers the Research Productivity Award (RPA) every year to productive scientists of the country with an aim to encourage them for their valuable contribution in serving the nation in various fields. The award is conferred to scientists

working in public or private sector universities, Science and Technology as well as Research and Development organizations in addition to Ministries and Divisions engaged in basic and applied research. The evaluation is done on the basis of the criteria which has been developed and approved by a high level committee constituted by the Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST).

Double standards in India’s judicial system exposed: APHC I S L A M A B A D — H u r r i y e t 1993 convict Devenderpal

HAJEERA: Shops remained closed due to strike called by Anjuman-e-Tajraan.

Ashfaq changed 5000-year-old history of Kashmir: Malik

All Pro-India parties dangerous for Kashmir cause: Forum ISLAMABAD—The forum led by the veteran Hurriyet leader, Syed Ali Gilani stating that pro-India parties were using the Kashmir dispute as an election card, has said that these parties are equally dangerous for the Kashmir cause. The General Secretary of the forum, Ghulam Nabi Sumji in a statement issued in Srinagar said, “In reality they are least bothered about the miseries and difficulties of the Kashmiri people,” KMS reported. “The Kashmiris have sacrificed everything for the sacred cause and to protect these sacrifices we have to boycott the elections,” he added.—APP

Bhullar decision reopens Kashmir’s wounds: Mehbooba

SRINAGAR—The Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) Chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik has appealed the people to boycott the Lok Sabha elections. He was addressing a series of public meetings in Kulgam. Earlier, he paid rich tributes to Ishfaq Majid Wani, Shabir Ahmad Sidiqui and others on their death anniversaries at Martyrs Graveyard here. The Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front has paid glowing tributes to its former militant commander Ashfaq Majid Wani, who died fighting Indian troops on this day in 1990, in the old city of Kashmir’s capital Srinagar. JKLF chairman, and Wani’s comrade, Mohammad Yasin Malik led a prayer meeting at the Martyrs Graved Yard in Old City where a large number of people were present on the occasion, a party press release said. After the prayer meeting, Malik along with other leaders started his journey towards Kulgam in South Kashmir where a public meet was scheduled in connection with the death anniversaries ‘of these great martyrs’, the release said.

SRINAGAR—Reacting to the Supreme Court decision about 1993 Delhi bomb blast case convict, Davinderpal Singh Bhullar the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president, Mehbooba Mufti has said it is another example of double-standards displayed vis-à-vis Kashmir and with every such development as like the latest by the Apex Court or its earlier verdict on convicts who have been on death row the wounds of Kashmiris are re-opened. Addressing various roadside meetings in Tral segment of Anantanag constituency, Mehbooba said such discriminatory approach about Kashmir needs to be responded forcefully to prevent their repetition in future and that will call for an united and strong response at political level and through democratic institutions. She said the National Conference, which should have represented the sentiments of the people of the state, unfortunately, collaborated in the hanging of Mohammad Afzal Guroo in the most inhuman manner by even denying him a last customary meeting with his family.—NNI

JKLF chairman was stopped by hundreds of people in Bichroo especially youth and women folk who after coming to know about his movement had come out of their houses in large numbers to welcome him, it read. “A procession started from Bichroo in which youth, elders, children and women of the area participated with great enthusiasm,” it read further. “This procession walked along with Malik through Tarigaam, Boosu and other villages to Bogam where it turned into a public meet. While speaking to the people on the occasion, Malik said: “Ashfaq was a great leader who strived for the freedom of our nation and sacrificed his blood to nourish the freedom struggle.” He said that Ashfaq was ‘a born leader and the days and years of his life from September 5, 1966, to March 30, 1990, are a shining evidence of his greatness’. The former militant commander, who announced truce in 1994, said: Ashfaq’s gallant leadership in 1988 gave courage to hundreds of young men to stand up for the cause of free-

dom and independence of motherland. “Ashfaq led a people’s revolution in 1990 and changed the 5000-year-old history of Kashmir,” he remarked. “It was his leadership that united a nation which was tagged as coward and inactive for the just cause of freedom and history bears a witness that thousands of young people followed Ashfaq in this struggle,” he said. “Ashfaq always prioritized others but when it came to sacrifices he led from the front and sacrificed his life for the cause of freedom,” Malik noted. He said Ashfaq was a practicing follower of Quran, a brave commander, a wise political leader, a refined diplomat, a fiery speaker, a respected student and a great athlete. “Above all he was an inspiring personality who had courage to call a spade a spade and look into the eyes of tyrant and fight with firmness,” he said. Malik, who took over the reins of the JKLF after Ashfaq died, said ‘he was a true picture of great predecessors and true follower of father of nation Mohammad Maqbool Butt’.— NNI

Shohada Brigade brain child of HM: Salahudin S RINAGAR —United Jehad Council chief Syed Salahudin has confirmed that ‘Shohada Brigade, the militant outfit responsible for Kathua twin attack is the brain child of Hizbul Mujahideen and this organization will continue to strike in different parts of Jammu region. In an interview with Srinagar based news agency CNS, Salahudin said that different youth from Jammu region including Kishtwar, Ramban, Rajouri, Poonch, Banihal and other parts are joining their newly established militant outfit ‘Shohada Brigade’ and it will continue to target security establishments in Jammu region. He said that the outfit was formed soon after the Gool incident in which innocent Muslim youth were butchered by Indian Security personnel. “We are capable of striking anywhere in India and we believe that armed struggle is inevitable in the present context of Kashmir Freedom struggle. India has never responded to the peaceful movement that Kashmiri people launched from time to time and it is our firm belief that Gun is the only way to dislodge Indian Army from the state of Jammu and Kashmir,” he said

adding Shohada Brigade is expanding its base in Rajouri, Poonch and Banihal. He maintained that with regard to Kashmir issue, there is no difference between National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and United Progressive Alliance (UPA). “Whether it is Congress or BJP, Janta Dal or CPI(M), all parties pursue same policy with regard to Kashmir. To expect any positive results from NDA government or from Narendara Modi will be disastrous. We must understand that all the Indian parties are anti-Kashmir particularly Narendra Modi who is the killer of innocent Muslims,” he said. Syed Salahudin claimed that Kashmir issue was never discussed in any Indo-Pak ministerial level talks. “I am telling you with authority that Kashmir was never the subject during any Ministerial level talks between India and Pakistan as India always showed half-hearted willingness to discuss this vital issue and instead discussed the issues related to Siachen and Sir Creek,” he said adding that Pakistan continued to hold dialogue with India with a hope that it

will one day agree to talk on Kashmir issue. “These are talks only for the purpose of talks or to just keep the stakeholders engaged. It has brought no result in the past nor will it do so in the future. During the past six decades, hundreds of such exercises have been undertaken. But what is the result? The issue has to be resolved in a realistic way. India and Pakistan both have to agree that Kashmiris are the principle party to the dispute. Till they carry on bilateral dialogue, there will be no result just like it has happened in the past. There will be no breakthrough,” he said adding that Mirwaiz Umar Farooq after various interactions and photo sessions with Indian leadership himself admitted that it is meaningless to hold dialogue with the Government of India. Salahuddin advised the Government of Pakistan not to repeat the mistake of putting Kashmir on the back burner and try to foster friendship with New Delhi through trade, cultural exchanges and tourism.—NNI

Indian troops martyr 8 kashmiris in March ISLAMABAD—Indian troops in their unabated acts of state terrorism martyred 8 Kashmiris including a young boy in the last month of March in occupied Kashmir. According to Kashmir Media Service, 185 persons were injured when Indian troops and police personnel resorted to brute force against peaceful protesters. As many as 185 civilians were arrested in the month. The troops also destroyed several residential houses and disgraced twelve women during the period.—APP

Geelani must identify black sheep: JKLF-R S R I N A G A R —Reacting to the recent statement of Huriyat Conference (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani that several religious and pro-freedom parties have a ‘nexus’ with the mainstream parties here, Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF)-R, a constituent of newly formed Huriyat Conference Jammu Kashmir (HCJK) has stated that Geelani in 2008 was cautioned by his own men about the presence of ‘black-sheep’ is his amalgam, but the senior separatist undermined the issue. The chief of JKLF-R, Farooq Ahmad Dar alias Bitta Karate while speaking at the martyrs’ graveyard on the anniversary of slain JKLF Chief Ashfaq Majeed Wani- remarked that the statement of the senior separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani that has appeared in several dailies must be analyzed thoroughly. “I have read the statement-Geelani has stated that that some pro-freedom parties have close contacts with the proIndia parties- first of all Geelani should reveal their names so that truth could come to fore,” said Farooq.—NNI

leaders commenting on the commutation of death sentence of 1993 Delhi blasts convict to life imprisonment have said that the judgement vindicates that New Delhi was in a hurry to hang Muhammad Afzal Guru for being a Kashmiri Muslim. The Indian Supreme Court in its verdict commuted the death sentence of Devenderpal Singh Bhullar to life imprisonment on the grounds of inordinate delay in deciding his mercy petition, KMS reported. “This is a clear double standard. This has exposed the system and the tall claims of justice and fair play. The reality is that two yard sticks are being adopted when a Kashmir and that too a Muslim is concerned,” said the All Parties Hurriyet Conference Chairman, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq. The Mirwaiz added that earlier the death sentence of the assassins of Rajiv Gandhi was commuted into life imprisonment and now

Singh Bhullar had been sentenced for life imprisonment. “This can be asked as why Afzal Guru was hanged, then.” The Chairman Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), Muhammad Yasin Malik said the double standards have exposed bias in the system against the people of Kashmir. “Even the court judgment stated that there was no direct involvement of Guru in parliament attack but to satisfy the collective conscience of India, he was hanged mercilessly at Tihar.” The forum led by the veteran Hurriyet leader, Syed Ali Gilani remarked that the stand of the Hurriyet had been vindicated by the Supreme Court itself. “We have been saying time and again that people of Kashmir cannot expect justice from the systemnow that has been proved and world must know how much we are being tormented at large,”Syed Ali Gilani added.—APP

Decline in voters turnout in Kashmir after ‘rigged election of 1987’ S RINAGAR —Kashmir has opposed’. witnessed a huge decrease in participation of people in the Lok Sabha elections following the 1987 Assembly polls that were allegedly rigged, official data has suggested. From a high of 68 percent in 1984 LS polls, the voter turnout stood at 31 percent during the last election in 2009. In 1984, the voter turnout was 68 percent in Kashmir. During these elections, all major political forces in Kashmir stood behind the National Conference following toppling of the Farooq Abdullah-led government by Ghulam Muhammad Shah. In Baramulla constituency, the voter turnout was 61.09 percent while as it was 73.51 and 70.08 percent for Srinagar and Baramulla parliamentary segments respectively. Riding on ‘sympathy wave’, all three seats in Kashmir were bagged by the National Conference candidates—Saifuddin Soz (Baramulla), Abdur Rashid Kabuli (Srinagar) and Akbar Jahan Begum (Anantnag)—with a huge margin. In Jammu, Udhampur and Ladakh segments, the voter turnout was four percent less than Kashmir. The 1989 LS polls—the first election conducted after the ‘rigging’ of 1987 Assembly polls—witnessed the lowest-ever voter turnout. According to official figures, the polling stood at marginal 5 percent in Srinagar and Islamabad (Anantnag) segments. Saifuddin Soz (who was then with NC) and PL Handoo (NC) were elected from Baramulla and Islamabad seats respectively. In Srinagar, the situation was such that no one, except the NC candidate Muhammad Shafi Bhat, had filed the nomination. Bhat was ‘declared elected un-

Even in Udhampur LS segment which includes Chenab Valley, the voting percentage stood at minimal 39.45 percent. In Ladakh and Jammu, the polling continued to be high. The 10th Lok Sabha elections couldn’t be held in the State due to volatile situation. The 1996 LS elections were marred by widespread reports of threats, intimidation and coercion. Even as the authorities maintained 43 percent polling took place, the claims remained questionable given the situation prevailing in Kashmir at that time. Though National Conference boycotted the polls, their space was filled by government-gunmen who contested the elections as independent candidates. Ghulam Rasool Kar (Congress) and Ghulam Muhammad (Congress) were elected from Baramulla and Srinagar seats respectively. Surprisingly, Janta Dal candidate Muhammad Maqbool Dar won from south Kashmir’s Islamabad seat. In Udhampur segment– where 40 candidates were contesting– 53. 29 percent voter turnout was recorded. In neighboring Jammu, 48.18 percent polling was recorded with 30 candidates in fray. In 1998, when Omar Abdullah (NC) and Mufti Muhammad Sayeed (Congress) were elected from Srinagar and Islamabad (Anantnag) seats respectively, the official claims put the polling at 33 percent on three LS seats of Kashmir—the figure contested by separatists. According to the Election Commission of India, the polling was 30.06 percent and 28.15 in Srinagar and Islamabad segments. In Baramulla, Saifuddin Soz of NC won and the segment recorded 41 percent polling.—NNI

Resolution of Kashmir, water dispute with India vital for durable peace I SLAMABAD —President Centre for Pakistan and Gulf Studies (CPGS) Senator Seher Kamran has stressed the need of a pro-active diplomatic approach to resolve Kashmir and water disputes with for durable regional peace and trust worthy relations between the two countries. She stated this while speaking at a seminar entitled “Pakistan-India relations: Challenges and Prospects held here at CPGS on Tuesday. Senator Seher said that no country can survive without peace but in the aspiration of peace, compromising national interests would damage country’s long standing resolve on the issue of Kashmir. Stressing effective use of diplomacy, President CPGS termed it unfortunate that country’s diplomacy getting weaker and no powerful voice heard against Indian brutal human rights violations in Kashmir.

Speaking on the occasion defence analyst, Lt. Gen. (R) Talat Masood, HI (M) said that internal strength will determine the external face of the country but Pakistan’s weak internal situation always undermine its foreign policy. Participants of round table expressed that though India’s secular face disfigured due to its atrocities and brutal human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir but in terms of Pakistan, this Indian defeat was not much taken advantage at diplomatic fronts. Ghulam Mohammad Safi, a renowned scholar and Kashmiri leader cautioned that unresolved Kashmir issue is a persistent threat to the stability of South Asia and war could ignite anytime between India and Pakistan. Irshad Mehmood said that after a voilent years of freedom struggle, Kahsmiris not only returned to non-

violent movement but also developed their own Kashmiri narrative but India has given no space to this peaceful transition and as a result youth again joining armed struggle. Other participants included Lt. Gen. (R) Agha Muhammad Umer Farooq HI (M), Dr. Tahir Amin (QAU), Farooq Rahmani, Nasir Hafeez TI (M) (NDU), Shamsa Nawaz (ISSI), Heba AlAdawy(IRS), Dr Mavara Inayat (QAU), Dr. Adil Sultan, Bilal Akram Shah, Ghani Jafar (CPGS) stressed that confidence building measures (CBM’s), composite dialogue process and trade ties are necessary between Pakistan and India for a meaningful solution of Kashmir issue. Conference emphasized upon getting rid of internal weaknesses, stop defensive attitude towards Kashmir issue, through effective diplomacy exploit Indian human rights abuses in Kashmir while go for trade but not at the cost of national interests.—INP

NEELUM: Students of Punjab University Lahore enjoying the weather at Neelum valley recreational spots.

Knitwear exports increase to $ 2.03b ISLAMABAD —The incentives announced in first ever Textiles Policy has resulted in boost to knitwear exports that have reached US $ 2.03 billion from US $ 1.73 billion. Ministry of Textile Industry adopted measures to facilitate the sector to enhance exports while under the Policy (2009-14), various short to medium term schemes were notified including SRO of duty free import of textiles machinery by Federal Board of Revenue (FBR). Under Textiles Policy initiatives Rs. 28.75 billion have been disbursed by State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) till date. The Ministry on Tuesday announced that there are 973 knitwear exporting units registered with Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers Association. These include 392 in Karachi, 159 in Lahore, 275 in Faisalabad and 147 in Sialkot. Meanwhile, Pakistan Hosiery Association said their membership has decreased since 2005. However, the total numbers of new textile companies registered with Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) were 485 against 265 companies that were dissolved during 2008 to 2012. Importantly since 2005, the knitwear exports have increased from $ 1.73 billion to $ 2.03 billion.—APP

Shipping activity at Port Qasim KARACHI —Two ships carrying containers and chemical were berthed at Qasim International Containers Terminal and Vopak Terminal respectively. Meanwhile, two more ships carrying containers also arrived at outer anchorage of Port Qasim during last 24 hours. Berth occupancy was 45 percent at the port on Tuesday where five ships namely Safmarine Ngami, Valerie, Al Mahbooba, Autaurus and Argent Aster are currently occupying berths to load/offload containers, cement, chemical and edible oil respectively during last 24 hours. A cargo volume of 43422 tonnes comprising 28577 tonnes imports and 14845 tonnes exports inclusive of containerized cargo carried in 1246 containers (TEUs) were handled at the Port during last 24 hours.—APP

Happiness does not come from doing easy work but from the afterglow of satisfaction that comes after the achievement of a difficult task that demanded our best. —Theodore Isaac Rubin

APCNGA commends govt for CNG supply throughout week

Govt providing friendly environment to foreign investors: PM

I SLAMABAD —All Pakistan CNG Association (APCNGA) on Tuesday hailed the government for availability of compressed natural gas (CNG) seven days a week and termed it a peoplefriendly decision. Ghiyas Paracha, Chairman Supreme Council APCNGA, said, “We are thankful to Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and Petroleum Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi for opening of all CNG stations in Punjab, including Islamabad, throughout a week after three years.—APP

I SLAMABAD —Prime Minister Nawaz vestment in different sectors of the customers, we want to develop Sharif has said that Pakistan has provided friendly environment for the foreign investors and country’s economy is full of opportunities in energy and infrastructure sectors. The Prime Minister was talking to delegations of Turkish companies STFA and TAV who called on him Tuesday at PM House. The Prime Minister said that Pakistan’s economic policies have begun to show positive results and as a result the foreign investors are keen to harvest benefits of progressing economy. Many foreign investors have shown interest in in-

economy, PM added. He said that your keen interest and desire for investment in Pakistan is a strong manifestation of Pakistan Turkish friendship. The CEOs of Turkish companies told that their companies have expertise in management and expansion of airports and expressed their interest in investment in this sector in Pakistan. The Prime Minister said that we are initiating a transparent process for the management of the Airports and all the international companies would be invited to compete. He told that keeping in view the demands of

our airports on international standards. He also recalled his meeting with the CEOs of the companies in Istanbul and said that we had very fruitful discussions in Istanbul in February. The meeting was attended by Mehmet Ali Neyzi, CEO STFA, Mr. Riza Arsan Vice Chairman Pakistan Turkey Business Council, Mr. Bulent Ozuturk Investment Coordinator TAV, Kh. Muhammad Asif Minister for Defence, Mr. Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, CM Punjab, Mr. Tarq Fatimi and Special Assistant to PM, Captain ® Shujaat Azim Special Assistant to PM.—INP

Foreign Exchange reserves cross $10b ISLAMABAD—The foreign exchange reserves of the country have crossed the threshold of US $ 10 billion on 31st March 2014.The total liquid reserves stood at US $ 10.072 billion. The net reserves with State Bank of Pakistan are US $ 5.365 billion and the net reserves with the Banks stood at US $4.706 billion. The Finance Minister, Senator Ishaq Dar said that after repayment of power sector circular debt up to Rs. 500 billion in 45 days and strengthening of the value of Pakistan Rupee, the government of PML (N) has fulfilled yet another commitment with the nation of shoring up of the FE reserves to a comfortable level of US $ 10 billion by the end of March 2014. Ishaq Dar said that a solid foundation for economic uplift of the country has been laid down and building of the foreign exchange reserves will bring in stability and strength in the economy. He said that Pakistan has an encouraging macro-economic framework and this will lead to enhanced confidence in Pakistan by foreign investors, international community and institutions in energy and infrastructure projects.—INP

ADB forecasts 3.4% GDP growth in Pak I SLAMABAD —Asian Development Bank has forecasted moderate GDP growth of 3.4 percent in Pakistan during the year 2014 as the government’s reforms and stabilization efforts took effect. The Bank in its recent Asian Development Outlook 2014 (ADO) report said that due to reforms and stabilization introduced by the government, Pakistan’s economy is showing signs of recovery in 2014. However, it said that macroeconomic and security challenges continue to weigh on which need to be addressed to maintain the current momentum. The Asian Development Outlook 2014 (ADO,) which was released on Tuesday further said that although growth in South Asia is inching up, it remained the slowest growing sub-region with GDP expanding by 4.8 percent in 2013, compares to the GDP growth rate of 6.5 percent experienced by Central Asia during the same period. The report said that continued energy sector subsidies, growing losses incurred by state-owned enterprises and high expenditures for national security are some of the factors testing Pakistan’s financial discipline in recent years. The ADO notes that structural reforms to broaden Pakistan’s revenue-base through better tax administration and eliminating exemptions are critical for fiscal sustainability and the reallocation of resources to promote investment and economic growth. C u r r e n t l y, over 90 percent of provincial revenues are transfers of federal shared taxes, it added. As provinces have assumed a greater share of federal resources and spending respon-

sibilities through devolution, their fiscal performance has become even more important in relation to the national fiscal outcome, the report said. It said that large scale manufacturing sector, which grew with a stronger rate of 6.7 percent during the first 6 months of FY 2014 presents a silver lining. The Asian Development Outlook 2014 further said that the exports from the country also picked up and are expected to grow further in the remainder of the fiscal year. Rising level of worker remittances and the reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan reflecting the steady foreign inflows are other positive signs on the horizon of economic recovery, it added. The report said that inflation remains in single digits but it required to further bring down for the welfare of the people in the country. Speaking on the occasion, ADB’s Country Director for Pakistan, Werner E. Liepach said that like other countries in the region, Pakistan needs to safeguard the poor from adverse effects of fiscal adjustments and other negative shocks. To this end, he said that the direct cash transfer to poor families through social protection programs provides vital help in shielding the vulnerable groups. He said that about US$ 500-600 million inflows from ADB are expected for Pakistan by the end of this fiscal year for different projects of social sector development. He said that these inflows are expected to reach US$ 900 million to 1 billion during next 2-3 years.—APP

CPI-based inflation up 0.96% in March ISLAMABAD—The country’s

ISLAMABAD: A delegation of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) led by acting President Khalid Chaudhary, presenting flower bouquet to chairman Senate Syed Nayyar Hussain Bokhari.

Senate Chairman assures new rent law in Islamabad I SLAMABAD —A delegation of Islamabad demand of the federal capital, but no govChamber of Commerce & Industry led by Khalid Chaudhry, Senior Vice President called on Syed Nayyar Hussain Bukhari, Chairman Senate and apprised him of various issues being faced by the business community. Addressing the delegation, Syed Nayyar Hussain Bukhari said that domicile holder of Islamabad is not provided job in any province, but residents of all provinces are employed in the federal government. He said residents of Islamabad should be given preference in federal jobs up to Grade-15. He said rent control act is a long standing

ernment made any serious effort to address this issue. He assured that bill of new rent law will soon be presented in the Senate for its enactment to pave way for cordial relations between the landlords and the tenants. Speaking at the occasion, Khalid Chaudhry, Senior Vice President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry apprised the Chairman Senate of the various problems of trade and industry. He said businessmen are playing crucial role in improving the local economy, but are facing many issues in running business activities.—Online

Consumer Price Index (CPI) based inflation rate for the month of March increased by 0.96 percent, as compared to the last month. On year on year basis, the inflation during March 2014 increased by 8.53 percent as compared to the same month of last year, while the average inflation rate during first nine months of current fiscal year increased by 8.64 percent over same period of last year. Addressing a press briefing here Tuesday, Arif Mehmood Cheema, Member Price, Trade and National Account, Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), said the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) and Sensitive Prices Index (SPI) in March increased by 0.34 percent and 2.15 percent when compared to February, 2014. The food items that witnessed increase in the prices during March 2014 over February 2014 included tomatoes (53.32%), potatoes (39.17%), eggs (15.29%), fresh fruits (9.28%), pulse moong (6.31%), chicken (6.11%), sugar (4.21%), fish (2.79%), pulse masoor (2.44%), betel leaves and nuts (1.53%), pulse mash (1.29%), vegetable ghee (1.22%0, wheat (1.16%), condiments (1.06%) and wheat flour (1.03%).—APP

PESHAWAR: Federal Minister for Commerce, Engr Khurram Dastagir addressing a press conference at Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KPCCI).

PIAF chief hails SAARC exhibition to uphold economic activities LAHORE—SAARC International exhibition number of foreigners and local dignitaries is a giant leap towards economic stability as it would not only accelerate trade and economic activities but also pave way for much needed foreign direct investment in the country. In a press statement issued here on Tuesday, Chairman Pakistan Industrial & Traders Associations Front (PIAF) & member of International Exhibitions Organizing Committee Malik Tahir Javed said that fairs and exhibitions play a vital role in promotion of economic activities and also highlight the soft image of the respective country. He urged upon the business community to avail this opportunity in all possible manners. He said that the LCCI SAARC International Exhibition in collaboration with Labour Department of Punjab from April 25th to 27th would be a golden opportunity for the business community of Punjab to show its full strength as a large

were expected to be the part of this mega event. Malik Tahir Javed said that SAARC International Exhibition would highlight the soft image of the country that was badly tarnished by the groundless policies of the previous regime. He said that this mega event was the most opportune time to bring to the limelight the potential of this part of the South Asia. He said that since a large number of foreigners were also taking part in this mega event, therefore, business community should also concentrate towards businessto-business meetings on the sidelines of the exhibition. Malik Tahir Javed also paid rich tributes to the Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif, Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Chief Minister Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif for their untiring efforts to bring economy back on rail.—NNI

PPF to develop low cost housing schemes I SLAMABAD —Pakistan Post Foundation (PPF) would develop low cost housing schemes in Lahore, Karachi and Peshawar for postal employees. This was conveyed by Managing Director PPF Ejaz Ahmed Minhas to the Senate Standing Committee on Communications and Postal Services in a meeting recently held at Parliament House. He said that PPF would work with recognized, reputed and developed housing societies in these cities to obtain peace of land for its own housing schemes. He said that PPF would join hands with partners to launch its own remittance services through countrywide postal network. Ejaz Minhas said that the focus would be both on international and local remittances as

it aims to inject competition in the existing remittance market by attracting new partners such as money gram and express etc. PPF would build partnership with local firms to extend local remittances to the retail level. He also briefed the committee about the commercial projects of the foundation including Printing press, furniture workshop, mail motor service, textile section, bus service, info tech, Post Foundation Shield Security services and housing schemes. He said that the strategic plan 2013-16 revolves around delivering specific and measurable results including organizational, resource generation and welfare initiatives.—APP

Governor assures businessmen to take up tax issues with PM SALIM AHMED L A H O R E —Governor Punjab Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar Tuesday make a pledge to take up business community taxation-related issues with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. The Governor was talking to a 10-member Lahore Chamber delegation led by LCCI President Engineer Sohail Lashari and comprising Senior Vice President Mian Tariq Misbah, Vice President Kashif Anwar, former Presidents Sheikh Muhammad Asif, Mian Anjum Nisar, Shahid Hassan Sheikh, Executive Committee Members Muhammad Haroon Arrora, Maqsood Ahmad Butt, Chairman OIC Standing Committee Husnain Reza Mirza and Co-Chairman Mahmood Ghaznavi. The Governor agreed with the LCCI President Engineer Sohail Lashari that tax procedures should be simplified, untaxed sectors be taxed while there must be a comprehensive strategy to deal with under-invoicing and high rate of taxes. The Governor said that

he understands that the implementation of LCCI taxation proposals would give much needed rise in Tax-toGDP in the country that is lowest in the region and a number of international donors were calling for increase in this ratio. He said that he would soon have a meeting with the Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif to apprise him of the challenges hitting hard the economy. He said that there were no two opinions that all incomes should be taxed so that the economy could get required pace at its earliest. Appreciating the LCCI initiative to hold three-day second OIC Ambassadors and Trade Conference scheduled for April 11 to 13 in Lahore, the Governor said that the Punjab government would extend every possible help for the success of this mega event. Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar said the Punjab government believes that the OIC Ambassadors and Trade Conference would give new boost to business among Muslim countries that have a huge potential in various

sectors of the economy. The Governor said that as soon as the LCCI finalises its recommendations for smooth flow of goods among the OIC members, the government would make all out efforts to implement those suggestions. On the occasion, the LCCI President gave a detailed briefing to the Governor Punjab on the OIC Ambassadors and Trade Conference and thanked him for playing role for the success of the event. He said that the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry was not only putting in its relentless efforts for the promotion of regional trade but was also working out a strategy to promote trade among all 57 Muslim countries. Engineer Sohail Lashari said that it was not the Ambassadors of the OIC countries that had already given their consent to attend the conference but a large number of businessmen and sector specific experts from these countries were also taking part in this mega event that would be first of its kind in Lahore. He said that there

would be two sessions of B-2-B meetings among the participants. The LCCI President said that the LCCI was also inviting the businessmen and the heads of all leading banks to the conference, as there were countries where Pakistani businessmen were facing banking issues. Talking about taxation issues, the LCCI President said that there must be frequent meetings between the LCCI and the FBR authorities, as any further delay in resolution of these issues would hit hard the government’s plans to revive economic activities. He also urged the Governor Punjab to play his role for bringing the untaxed sectors including the Agriculture sector into the tax net as the size of gray economy was ballooning with every passing day. The LCCI president also shared his idea of Public-Private Dialogue with the Governor and said that the spadework had already been done to this regard and a complete working paper and its implementation strategy would be presented to the Chief minister soon.





































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Farooq Afzal nominated as FPCCI-PRBC chairman KARACHI—Zakaria Usman, President FPCCI has nominated Muhammad Farooq Afzal of ITN group of companies as Chairman of Pakistan Russia Business Council (PRBC) of FPCCI for the 2014 term. He advised the Council to promote and increase Pakistan’s trade collaboration in joint venture and investment opportunities and possibilities of trade delegation exchange. After nomination as Chairman, Farooq Afzal said that consumer goods market in Russia consists of 2.23 trillion dollars and if a proper strategy is adopted then Pakistan can surge its consumer goods export to Russia up to one billion dollars within a year. In order to promote bilateral trade the PRBC is planning to organize single country exhibition of Russian Companies in Karachi “Russian Expo 2014”, scheduled on 10-11 June 2014.—PR

FTO clarifies news item ISLAMABAD—Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) here on Tuesday categorically denied a news item appeared in a section of press under the heading “Textile Iron Companies using FTO Office to break tax queue”. A statement issued by the FTO said that the observation that Advisers in the Regional Office Lahore, routinely summon Commissioners Inland Revenue during Complaint Proceedings and pressurize them to issue refunds of tax to Complainants, “Whether Lawful or Not” is false and is categorically denied. The fact is that neither Commissioners nor Additional Commissioners are asked to appear before the Advisers unless special circumstances require their personal appearance to render explanation on specific points in particular cases through lawful exercise of powers conferred upon the FTO and delegated to the Advisors. It said that in not a single case, has any Adviser issued instructions unilaterally to FBR officers for issuance of tax refunds. Any correspondence between the Regional Office and FBR officials in the context of tax refunds is, invariably, directly related to implementation of the recommendations made by the Federal Tax Ombudsman when disposing of complaints. The Advisers are duty bound to get all the recommendations approved by the FTO, fully implemented within the time frame stipulated in the order/statute. In the cases referred to in the news item namely (i) C.No.80/2013 M/s. Black Gold Industry, (ii) C.No.1123/ 2013 M/s. Irfan Textile Mills (iii) C.No.337/2013 M/s. Siddique Iron Industry (Pvt) Ltd. and (iv) C.No.1399/2013 M/s. US Demin Mills (Pvt) Ltd. The FBR/Inland Revenue Department neither filed Review Petitions before the FTO nor preferred Representations before the President of Pakistan against the recommendations issued by the FTO.—APP

Ahsan focuses on urban planning through modern architectural trends ISLAMABAD—Federal Minister for Planning, Development government is committed to give employment and busiand Reforms Ahsan Iqbal on Tuesday said that the government was committed to focus on urban planing to save national identity, history and cultural heritage through modern architectural trends. Addressing at the Mehdi Ali Mirza Award Ceremony organized by Institute of Architect Pakistan (IAP) here, Ahsan said that Pakistan was the fastest urbanized country which requires modern building infrastructure with the use of modern technology for the facility of the people. The Minister said every great architect have vision to change the mind of people through its practical vision and build new towns and infrastructure of the modern buildings. Ahsan Iqbal said the government is fully focussed on modernizing the countries infrastructure and build small green cities in different region of the country. He said that Pakistan has huge human resources potential gifted with talented, passionate and skilled youth to brought overall change in society. He added that the

PCCA, WTL sign agreement for free WIFI services at airports

ness opportunity to the youth for development and prosperity of the nation. The Minister said “founder of Pakistan, Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah was architect of our freedom, who gave us vision to change our life in better way”. He said that countries like China, Malaysia, South Korea designed their decades long vision and gave them practical shape for the development and prosperity. He added that the government has started work on vision 2025 to focus on major things including energy, infrastructure and education. Ahsan Iqbal said the government has undertaken many projects to expand energy resources for bringing economic stability in the country. The government will also include institutional reforms and improvement in security with the aim to ensure sustainable development, he added. The Minister said that political stability and continuity of the democratic system is necessary to achieve the development targets of the country.—APP

Huawei launches new smartphone

NBP, PSO sign strategic agreement


K ARACHI —National Bank

KARACHI—Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority has made an agreement with M/s Wateen Telecom Limited under which the company will establish an State of the Art WiFi / Hotspot Zone in all lounges Arrival / Departure, International / Domestic, Briefing / Check-in areas & Concourse Hall at Jinnah Int’l Airport, Karachi, Allama Iqbal Int’l Airport, Lahore, Benazir Bhutto Int’l Airport, Islamabad, Bacha Khan Int’l Airport, Peshawar, Quetta, Multan and Faisalabad International Airports. Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority is committed to provide all the facilities of international standards to its valued passengers using PCAA airports and this free WiFi / Hotspot facility is an addition to the already available facilities at PCAA airports which has already been activated at the above airports with effect from 1st April, 2014.—PR

KARACHI: The 4th Karachi Advertising Festival held at Mohammad Ali Jinnah University. Karan Jawaid presents appreciation award to Ateequr Rehman (Advisor, Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry) accompanied by Kaukab Iqbal and Abudl Wahab Khan.

of Pakistan (NBP) and Paki-

K ARACHI —Huawei technologies is to launch two new stan State Oil (PSO) signed handsets in first week of April in Pakistan. The Ascend G730 and Ascend Y530 will be available at Huawei’s retails outlets across the country. The new, simple and stylish phones will be available from the first week of April this year. The phones are packed with latest technologies with creative yet attractive styles competing to the best available in market. The Ascend G730 has a 5.5-inch display with Quadcore 1.3 GHz processor along with jellybean 4.2 and 5MP front and 0.3MP camera. While five points multi touch control and loaded with 30 plus themes, it has 2300 mAh battery and dual SIM supported. Ascend G730 phone is ideal for communicating freely and catering the sophisticated class. Huawei Ascend Y530 is a lightweight and compact Dual-SIM smartphone running on latest Android 4.3 OS 5MP front and 0.3MP rear. Performance of this handset speaks for itself, it has simple friendly UI clearly catering to a sophisticated class, and this phone comes in four classic colors- grey, black yellow and black. Furthermore, quite an impressive amount of 4 GB Storage is provided, which you can expand later by adding an extra microSD card. Huawei Ascend G730 and Ascend Y530 have all the necessary components to provide easy communication and enjoying innovation at its best. Lot more is expected from the company in coming times, as they are known to deliver the best.

Punjab govt allocates Rs 3954m for development schemes SALIM AHMED LAHORE—The Punjab government on Tuesday has approved seven development schemes with an estimated cost of Rs 3954.909 million. These schemes were approved in the 37th meeting of Provincial Development working Party of current fiscal year 2013-14 presided over by the Punjab Planning and Development Board Chairman, Muhammad Irfan Elahi, says P&D Spokesman. Provincial Secretary P&D Arif Anwar Baloch, all members of the Planning & Development Board, Provincial Secretaries concerned and other senior representatives of the relevant Provincial Departments also attended the meeting. According to Spokesman P&D, the approved development schemes included: Feasibility Study Regarding Development of Strategic and Bankable Investment Proposal for Wildlife Park Bansra Gali Murree (PC-II) at the cost of Rs. 11.520 Million,

Feasibility Study Regarding Development of Strategic and Bankable Investment Proposal for Lal Suhanra National Park, Bahawalpur and Zoo Safari, Lahore. (PC-II) at the cost of Rs. 18.220 Million, Capacity Building of Emergency Service in Punjab (Revenue) at the cost of Rs. 664.942 Million, Urban Extension Water Supply & Sewerage Scheme Nankana Sahib District Nankana Sahib (Revised) at the cost of Rs. 254.634 Million, Lahore Ring Road (Package-3B) Underpass near Shadbagh Pumping Station at Jhuggian Jodha on Ring Road Lahore. (Revised) at the cost of Rs. 334.701 Million, Construction of Underpass along Canal at Abdullahpur Chowk, District Faisalabad (Revised) at the cost of Rs. 1267.910 Million, Remodeling of Canal Bank Road Between Dharampura Underpass to Thoker Niaz Baig Lahore (Widening / Improvement of Portion from Mall Road Underpass to Doctor ’s Hospital Underpass Phase-I) at the cost of Rs. 1402.982 Million.

MCB announces collaboration with MiGS LAHORE—Muslim Commercial Bank (MCB) the e-commerce market. Along with presentand MasterCard on Tuesday announced their collaboration to provide Internet Gateway services to businesses in Pakistan. The launch of this new service follows the signing of an agreement between Mr. Imran Maqbool, President and CEO of MCB Bank Ltd, and Mr. Michael Miebach, President, Middle-East & Africa Region, MasterCard, at a ceremony, which was held at MCB House, Lahore. “The new Gateway will make it very easy for business owners to take their businesses online and accept card payments online,” said Mr Imran Maqbool. “This will enable them to provide convenience to their customers, increase outreach and easily scale up their operations.” “With over 30 million internet users, businesses in Pakistan have a huge opportunity to tap into

ing a number of advantages to the consumer – including speed and convenience, e-commerce has a multitude of benefits for business owners. The MasterCard Internet Gateway Services (MiGS) is a reliable and secure e-commerce platform that will help businesses access millions of new consumers that use the internet and also allow them to tap into new markets,” said Miebach. MCB boasts one of the largest merchant acquiring networks in Pakistan and is a leading player in the digital payments space. MasterCard is a major global player in digital payment technology. Through this collaboration, the two companies will play a pioneering role in the imminent e- commerce and digital payments revolution in Pakistan.—PR

Zong expands BVS across Karachi & Baluchistan KARACHI—Following the directive of PTA for greater need of security, Zong CM Pak shows commitment to deploy maximum number of Biometric Verification Systems (BVS) in Pakistan Karachi – 31st Biometric Verification System (BVS) at their customer service centers, Zong continues to show its commitment towards national security by expanding its BVS network throughout Pakistan. Taking active steps towards this commitment, Zong is initially expanding its BVS network throughout Karachi and Baluchistan. These endeavors are set to make a substantial contribution towards

eliminating unregistered SIMs from Pakistan eventually by adhering to the directives of Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) and the government of Pakistan. In the latter half of last year, Zong became the first telecom operator in Pakistan to introduce BVS in Pakistan in compliance with PTA directives. The high quality verification system introduced requires each citizen to approach one of their Retailer, Franchisee or Customer Service Centers of Zong and provide their fingerprints for authentication against CNIC data held with NADRA.—PR

a strategic agreement, through which NBP will be using PSO fuel cards to procure fuel for the generators being used across the entire NBP network including its head office, 30 regional offices and approximately 1,300 branches nationwide. This agreement is the result of a joint initiative of Mr. Zubair Ahmed, SEVP/Group Chief, LSS&EG-NBP and Mr. Arif Nasib, General Manager Marketing Services-PSO. The agreement was signed by Mr. Malik Amir Sultan, SVP/Wing Head, NBP and Mr. Rustom. H. Mavalvala, Deputy General Manager, Cards Division, PSO. Through this agreement, PSO, Pakistan’s leading Oil Marketing Company (OMC) and NBP, one of the country’s largest commercial banks have partnered to establish a transparent and cost effective process of fuel consumption for NBP and centralize the payment process utilizing the PSO Cards Fuel Management solution. This will result in cost efficiency and hassle-free payment processing.—PR

KARACHI: Zubair Ahmed, SEVP/Group Chief, LSS&EG, Tariq Jamali, SEVP/Group Chief, C&RBG, Shahzad A Shami, EVP/Group Chief, Compliance Group, Aamir Sattar, EVP/Financial Control Division and Saad Salman Dar, Vice President of NBP and Arif Nasib, General Manager Marketing Services, Zulfiqar Ali Jaffri, Senior General Manager, Iftikhar Amanat, Manager Cards Sales from PSO are present at the signing ceremony along other officials.

Oil prices dip on hopes of Ukraine crisis easing S INGAPORE —Oil prices dipped in Asian trade Tuesday as reports of a partial withdrawal of Russian troops along the Ukrainian border raised hopes of an easing in the worst East West standoff since the Cold War. New York’s West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for May delivery dropped 24 cents to $101.34 a barrel in mid-morning Asian trade and Brent North Sea crude for May shed 13 cents to $107.63. The Ukrainian defence ministry’s general staff spokesman Oleksiy Dmytrashkivskiy told AFP Monday Russian forces have been “gradually withdrawing” from its border. The United States said it would welcome any Russian move to pull its forces back, but did not confirm reports that Moscow had begun to do so. Kenny Kan, market analyst at CMC Markets in Singapore, said the reported troop withdrawal by the Kremlin had eased concerns about a full-fledged military conflict between Russia and Ukraine, which would cause oil prices to soar immediately. “The tapering of the geopolitical tensions may have... reduced the risk premium that has previously been pegged to the oil prices,” Kan told AFP. Russia provides about a quarter of Europe’s natural gas supplies, with about 80 percent of those exports travelling through pipelines in Ukraine. Russian troops are massed on the borders of eastern Ukraine, sparking fears about Moscow’s plans after its takeover of the Crimean peninsula last month. Investors meanwhile are also digesting the latest Chinese manufacturing data released on Tuesday. The official purchasing managers’ index (PMI) was 50.3 in March, the National Bureau of Statistics said in a statement, up from 50.2 in February, which was an eightmonth low.—AFP

MARDAN: Siraj-ul-Haq Senior Minister for Finance Khyber Pakhtunkhwa inaugurating the Bank of Khyber (BoK) Raast Islamic Banking Brance at Khawaja Gunj Bazzar Mardan. Imran Samad Managing Director BoK is also present on the occasion.

KARACHI: Stockbrokers are trading during ascending trend at Karachi Stock Exchange.

A delegation of business community presenting bouquet to Munawar Mughal, VP FPCCI.

Punjab Youth Festival

Foreign teams confirm participation in baseball event L AHORE —Five foreign teams namely India, Afghanistan, Nepal, Tunisia and Iraq have confirmed their participation in the Baseball Tournament of the Punjab International Sports Festival (PISF). The grand baseball event is likely to be played in the second week of this month. The members of National Baseball team are flexing their muscles at the training camp underway here at the University of Central Punjab (UCP). The Pakistan Federation Baseball (PFB) coaches are conducting morning and evening training sessions daily to make their players fully prepared for the tough International contests. All the sports federations and associations have paced up their preparations for the Punjab International sports Festival. Pakistan Rugby Union (PRU) has already announced its preliminary squad for the upcoming notable event.

PFB Secretary Syed Khawar Shah has expressed his determination to repeat the Asia Cup performance in the upcoming competition by leading the country to another glory. “Pakistan players are in good spirits and are quite confident of offering their best possible performance in the mega event,” he asserted. “We will not take the contest with any team lightly, and that’s why we are preparing our players under the supervision of highly-qualified coaches in two sessions daily,” he added. Praising the effort of the Punjab International sports Festival, Khawar Shah said: “It’s a very useful development on part of the Sports Board Punjab (SBP) and it will also play a great role in polishing the skills of Pakistan Baseball Players besides providing a chance to Pakistan sports fans to watch International sports activity.”—APP

Autonomy of ANOC vital for future of Olympic Movement: Bach

KARACHI: Players of KP and Sindh Women Hockey teams in action during National Women Hockey Championship 2014 at Hockey Club.

Okara beat Lahore in National veteran cricket

National RMI Open Golf C’ship to start from April 4

P ESHAWAR —International Olympic Com- autonomy in recent years. Kuwait was L AHORE —Okara scored a P E S H AWA R —International golfers pionship to be organized in August Ladies, Senior Amateur, Veterans mittee (IOC) President Thomas Bach has spoken strongly about the vital importance of National Olympic Committee autonomy in order to ensure a level playing field in international sport. Speaking during the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) Executive Council meeting, Bach claimed the IOC are always watching the global situation in order to ensure absolute independence everywhere in the world. “In international sport and in particular the Olympic Movement you need autonomy because if you cannot apply the same rules for everyone worldwide there is no international sport anymore,” he said. “That is why we are establishing rules which every NOC which wants to be part of the Olympic Movement has to agree to. “We are always respecting national laws but what has to be ensured is the functioning of sport, and for this to happen we have established the rules.” Bach strongly denied suggestions there is inequality with how much leeway the IOC give larger and smaller NOC’s as he insisted that exactly “the same standards apply to everyone”. He explained this by citing the example of Kuwait and India, two countries which have each fallen foul of rules regarding

Sindh Basketball trials on April 6 KARACHI —Trials to select Sindh Basketball squad for Kashmir Cup will be held at Arambagh Floodlight court on April 6 at 7 pm, Sindh Basketball Association (SBBA) announced on Tuesday. All the interested players are advised to report to SBBA Secretary Abdul Nasir at the venue before appearing in the trials. All Pakistan Kashmir Cup Basketball Tournament will be held in Lahore from April 20 to 26 in which top departmental and provincial teams take part.—APP

suspended from the IOC in January 2010 because of alleged political interference by the Government, and athletes competed at the inaugural Summer Youth Olympics that year independently under the Olympic Flag before the situation was resolved ahead of London 2012. India, meanwhile, were suspended last year for similar Government interference, as well as corruption allegations within the Indian Olympic Association (IOA). The Indian team initially competed at the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi as independent athletes before a special Ceremony was held in the Olympic Village midway through the Games to mark their return following the election of World Squash Federation (WSF) President N Ramachandran as IOA head in an IOCapproved election. “With regards to Kuwait, they were in a good position so we could lift the suspension of the KOC because the problems were resolved,” said Bach. “But we had felt we needed to take action in Kuwait and in India we felt we had to take action due to the interference by law into the composition of the NOC as well as issues with the governance. “There is no difference in our approach between considering these NOCs and others.”—APP

fine 94 runs win over Lahore Tigers in a match of the 16th National Senior Cricket Cup here at Shah Faisal Cricket Ground. Brief scores, Okara Senior batted first 288/5 in 30overs. Amir Tauseef 80, Ashraf Ali 36, Asif Mehmood 28, Muhammad Hafeez 17, Shahid Ahsan 57 Runs not out and Rao Nadeem 48-Runs notout were their main scorers. Lahore Tigers bowling, Muhammad Jamil 1/36, Zahid Javaid 1/47, Shabbir Khan 1/ 50 and Ismail ur Rehman 1/ 56 wickets. In reply Lahore Tigers were all out at 194 in 29.5 overs and their main scorers were Zahid Javaid 57, Saif Azam 41, Shabbir Khan 27 and Shahzad Umer 21 Runs Not out. Okara Senior bowling, Farzand Ali 2/27, Rao Nadeem 2/32, Amir Tauseef 2/36 and Muhammad Hafeez 1/23 wickets, Muhammad Asif and Qaiser Waheed were the umpires and Abdul Hameed was the scorer.—APP

Basketball Championship begins SPORTS REPORTER WAH CANTT—Opening ceremony of 53rd National Basketball Championship held at POF Sports Complex. President Basketball Federation Mr. Muhammad Asif was the chief guest of the opening ceremony. 12 prominent teams of the country including Pakistan Army, Pakistan Railway, Pakistan Navy, POF, WAPDA, Higher Education Commission, Islamabad, KPK, Punjab, Sindh, Baluchistan and Pakistan Air Force are participating in this

Shabbir Iqbal, M. Munir and local talent Taimur Khan will vie for the top honor in the forthcoming National RMI Open Golf Championship to be commencing from April 4 here at 6666-yard PAF Golf Course. This was stated by Secretary Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Golf Association and senior golfer Col. Shahadat Hussain while talking to the media men here on Tuesday. He said that the RMI Golf Open Championship is carrying a prize money of Rs. 0.8 million and a 1300cc car will be awarded for those make a hole-in-one. Col. Shahadat Hussain paid tribute to President Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Golf Association Lt. Gen Khalid Rabbani, Corps Commandant Peshawar and Vice President Brig. Zakir Hussain, Station Commander Peshawar for their efforts in master minding the Championship. It was the new induction of the event in the Pakistan Golf Federation calendar besides Swat Open Golf Cham-

Amateur and Senior Professionals. The Championship, he said, will be governed by the rules of Royals and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews and local rules. He said this time a putting competitions for the kids, ladies and journalist will be organized in order to attract them toward the golf. He also lauded the efforts of Chief Executive Rehman Medical Institute (RMI) Shafiqur Rehman for supporting golfing event wherein top amateur and professional golfers coming to the City for exhibiting their skills in the Championship. He said the stroke of the play over 54-holes, cut for professional after 36-holes. Top 30 and ties will make the cut and prize money shared amongs all professional playing in the last round as per established while the cut for amateur at discretion of match committee headed by former national team skipper Mehmood Aziz.—APP

Kabaddi tournament today F AISALABAD —The annual WAPDA inter-unit kabaddi tournament (Asian style) will begin at FESCO football ground from today (April 02). The FESCO, LECSO, MEPCO and GEPCO teams will participate in the event which will continue till April 4. All arrangements have been finalized to hold the event in a befitting manner, said tournament organizing secretary Mujahid Chattha.—APP

championship. Chief Guest Mr. Muhammad Asif declared by saying the championship open. The opening match was played between Pakistan Railway and POF. Earlier, President POF Sports Control Board Mr. Muhammad Afzal in his welcoming remarks said that all sports grounds of Wah Cantt. are crowded with the play- Nanjing 2014 ready ers which the symbol of a healthy to open its doors to society. He hoped that the player parthe world’s best ticipating in this championship young athletes will observe the best discipline during the course of the champi- PESHAWAR—Visitors from all over the world flocked to onship.

WAH CANTT: Players alongwith President Basketball Federation Mr. Muhammad Asif at opening ceremony of 53rd National Basketball Championship being held at POF Sports Complex.

in Swat. He said the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Open Golf Championship will be organized this time in Peppers Golf Course, Abbottabad in June this year, followed by 2nd edition of the Swat Open Golf Championship in August this year. He said President Gold Medalists and international professional golfers comprising Shabbir Iqbal, M. Munir and national team player Taimur Naseer, Tariq Mehmood, Shahid Javed Khan, Ghazanfar Mehmood, Col Saud Khan, Zahir Shah, Naeem Naseer, etc and top amateur would compete in the 54hole Championship. He said top women golfers including Tahir Nazir, Dr. Darida Naseer and Dr. Soni Wali will also vie for the top honor. He said the top amateur and professional will compete from 0-9 HCP besides competitions in 10-18 Handicap, and subsidiary matches in the following categories comprising Boys Under-18 and Under-15,

Nanjing, China, this week for final updates on the 2nd Youth Olympic Games (YOG) taking place this summer. One hundred and four Young Ambassadors, 197 Chefs de Mission representing the 204 National Olympic Committees (NOC) taking part in the games, and the IOC Coordination Commission “on its fifth and final visit” all deemed Nanjing ready to welcome the world’s best young athletes. IOC member and Chairman of the Coordination Commission Alexander Popov said, “There is a real buzz here in Nanjing that the Youth Olympic Games are coming soon. The team here is so passionate about creating the ultimate experience not only for the athletes, but also for young people from across China and overseas. The local organizing committee and Chinese Olympic Committee have done an excellent job and we congratulate them on their progress so far.” With 137 days to go until the Opening Ceremony, the Nanjing Organizing Committee (NYOGOC) gave an impressive overview to the NOC and IOC visitors of their final preparations and world-class sports facilities all of which are close to completion.—APP

LAHORE: Cyclists practicing during rehearsal for National Cycling Championship organised by Pakistan Cycling Federation.

KPAthletic Academy inaugurated P ESHAWAR —First Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Wali Khan University, and former KP Athletic Academy in the history of the Games kicked on here at Tartan Track of the Qayyum Sports Complex on Tuesday with 151 athletic aspirants turned up. The athletes from different age groups like 8-16 are initially enrolled with the Academy which was formally inaugurated by Honorary Council General of Tajikistan and Chairman PTI Sports and Culture Forum Engr. Saeed Mehmood here in a colourful opening ceremony. Director Development Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Sports Board Arshad Hussain, Assistant Director Sports Amir Zahir Shah, International athletic coach Jaffar Hussain, coaches Zafraz Khan, Aamir Iqbal, Rehman Ullah, Ijaz Ahmad, players and officials were also present. Speaking on this occasion, Engr. Saeed Mehmood lauded the efforts of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Sports Board for launching the Athletic Academy. He also appreciated Bahre Karam, Secretary Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Athletic Association, Arshad Hussain, Director Sports BISE and national athlete Manzar Khan, Chairman Department of Physical Education Farooq Hussain of Abdul

Sports Minister Mehmood Khan who extended all out support for the establishment of the Athletic Academy. He expressed the hope that association of 151 upcoming athletes including a good number of female would come up at national and international levels. Engr. Saeed Mehmood also announced playing uniform for the academy players and urged upon the coaches to work dedication and commitment as far as coaching and training to the young players are concerned. He said the athletes of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had achieved name and fame in the past. He said athletes like Iqbal Shinwari, Zafar Iqbal, Bahre Karam, Habib Afridi, Irfan Ullah Marwat, Muhammad Shah, Manzar Khan, Samin Jan, and Asif Khan have achieved great name and fame internationally. Later on, he formally inaugurated the Athletic Academy and distributed playing kits among the players. Coach Jaffar Shah said that initially they have enrolled 151 athletes including female from all across the province. A 100m sprint race was also organized on this occasion.—APP

Australia breeze to consolation win M IRPUR —Australia completed their the gloves of Mushfiqur up at the ferently in the team, something that World Twenty20 campaign with a seven-wicket victory against Bangladesh in Mirpur. Both teams were a l ready o u t havi n g l o s t their first three games a n d were trying to avoid finishing bottom of Group Two. Shakib Al Hasan hit five fours and three sixes in his 66 off 52 balls, putting on 112 with Mushfiqur Rahim, who added 47, as Bangladesh made 153-5. Opener Aaron Finch blasted seven fours and four sixes in 71 from 45 balls as Australia won with 15 balls remaining. Bangladesh, who had won only once in 25 previous meetings with Australia across all formats, lost both openers inside four overs. Shakib told a local newspaper Bangladesh should not play home matches for two years because of the high level of expectation placed on their players but he appeared to thrive on the pressure, smashing Doug Bollinger and Shane Watson for legside sixes and reaching his fourth T20 half century from 40 balls. Although Mushfiqur was caught by Glenn Maxwell at deep mid-wicket in the 17th over and Shakib was superbly taken by the same fielder diving forward in a similar position in the next, the Tigers recorded their highest total in the four group games. However, Finch and opening partner David Warner were rarely threatened by a Tigers bowling unit dominated by spin. On 41 Finch appeared to edge into

Brazil halts work on World Cup stadium

stumps but was given not out, the Shane Warne certainly felt preferable, feisty Bangladesh captain confront- suggesting on commentary that the ing Warner to express his views. former could have been used at No. 3 There was added delight there- throughout. fore for the spirited Tigers when Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Warner was bowled for 48 attempt- Rahim had prospered through the ing an ungainly heave. middle overs against a fairly monoThe powerful Finch, whose fifty tone collection of medium pace and spanned 35 balls, was brilliantly above, while Glenn Maxwell’s spin caught low by Nasir Hossain running was not in the class of that in the in from deep cover with 19 runs re- armoury of Hogg and James quired, but victory had long since Muirhead, also left out of this match, been a certainty. or numerous others sitting at home, Debutant seamer Taskin Ahmed, including the Test spinner Nathan 18, bowled Maxwell with an Lyon. inswinging full toss but Australia The omission of both specialist skipper George Bailey ended the spin bowlers chosen for the tournamatch in style with a six over long- ment seemed a kind of concession off. that Australia’s slow bowling plans It remains to be seen whether had been awry, with the use of five Bailey will continue as the specialist seamers a rare curiosity in a tournaT20 captain, having guided Austra- ment where all the most accomplished lia through two tournament cam- teams have relied on quality exhibipaigns for diminishing returns. He tions of flight, dip and turn. Mitchell ended Australia’s tournament with a Starc looked underdone, as he has hollow-feeling six as Finch and appeared all tournament, while Doug Warner swung lustily but intelli- Bollinger huffed and puffed to little gently, but looked nonplussed at effect.—AFP times in the field as Bangladesh wriggled to a higher total than a more ruthless and balanced Bangladesh innings: Australia innings: Australian com- Tamim b Coulter-Nile ...... 5 AJ Finch b Al-Amin bination might Anamul b Coulter-Nile ... 0 Hossain .......................... 71 have conceded. Shakib b Bollinger ......... 66 Warner b Al-Amin ......... 48 Equally glum Mushfiqur b Watson .... 47 White not out ................ 18 were Brad Mahmudullah not out .... 6 Maxwell b Taskin Ahmed5 Hodge and Brad Nasir Hossain b Starc ... 14 GJ Bailey not out ........... 11 Hogg, the two Extras: (b 2, lb 4, w 7, Extras: (lb 3, w 2) ............. 5 most venerable nb 2) ............................... 15 Total: (3 wickets; 17.3 members of Total: (5 wickets) ......... 153 overs) ............................ 158 A u s t r a l i a ’ s Fall of wickets: 1-4, 2-12, 3- Fall of wickets: 1-98, 2-135, squad, left out 124, 4-133, 5-153 3-147 for the final Bowling: ........... O-M-R-W Bowling: ........... O-M-R-W match and un- MA Starc .............. 4-0-25-1 Sohag Gazi ........... 4-0-35-0 likely to figure in Coulter-Nile .......... 3-0-17-2 Al-Amin ............. 3.3-0-30-2 future assign- Bollinger ............... 4-0-31-1 Shakib ................... 3-0-36-0 ments. Both Wa t s o n ................. 4-0-25-1 Taskin Ahmed ...... 4-0-24-1 Hodge and GJ Maxwell ........... 3-0-32-0 Razzak ................... 2-0-16-0 Hogg might have Christian ............... 2-0-17-0 Mominul Haque .. 1-0-14-0 been utilised dif-

Anna Nordqvist Claims Victory at LPGA Kia Classic

C ARLSBAD — Anna Nordqvist rallied to in February, beating out number-one SAO PAULO—The Brazilian win the Kia Classic by one shot at seated Park In-Bee, and previously won government halted work on two temporary tribunes for Sao Paulo’s World Cup stadium after the death of another construction worker, media reports said. A new inspection of the Corinthians club stadium to be used for the World Cup opening match between Brazil and Croatia on June 12 was to be carried out Tuesday. The worker died Saturday after an eight metre (26 feet) fall. Three workers have now been killed during the Sao Paulo construction and seven in World Cup work across Brazil. According to press reports, the man who died Saturday may not have been wearing safety equipment. His employers have denied this. The regional labour department ordered construction work halted on the two temporary tribunes until the company carrying out the work installs safety nets. Meanwhile, Inter Milan let three points slip from their grasp in their quest for European competition next season on Monday as they allowed relegation-threatened Livorno to come from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 in their Serie A clash. Colombian Fredy Guarin’s terrible backpass five minutes from time let in Livorno’s Swiss-Nigerian Innocent Emeghara to level at 2-2 which leaves Livorno still in the relegation places but only a point off fourth from bottom Bologna. Inter remain in fifth place but only three points ahead of Atalanta, who are in seventh which is not good enough for competing in Europe next term. Inter had taken a firm hold on the match by the time halftime came as Brazilian Hernanes scored his first goal for them since he joined from Lazio while their freescoring Argentinian Rodrigo Palacio netted his 14th of the campaign in time added on of the first-half.—AFP

Aviara Golf Club in Carlsbad, C.A., and capture her second win in four starts in her last four LGPA starts. The Swedish 27-year-old player was two strokes behind leaders Cristie Kerr and Lizette Salas when she entered the round, and finished with her second straight 5-under 67 for a one stroke victory over American player Salas. Projected to rise from being seated 16th to ninth in the world, Nordqvist finished with a 13-under par total 275 and earned $255,000. Salas birdied the 18th for a 70. “I’m very excited. I still can’t believe it,” Nordqvist said. “I was a couple of shots back going into today, but this morning I told myself to give it a shot and I ended up making quite of bit of birdies out there. I’m very excited to have two wins this season,” she continued. Nordqvist won the LPGA Thailand

the LPGA Championship and LPGA Tour Championship in 2009. Nordqvist had contemplated giving up golf after poor performances in 2013. She changed equipment and started working with instructor Jorje Parada in the off-season. Nordqvist will now head into the first major tournament of the year, the Kraft Nabisco Championship at Rancho Mirage, California, next week, with two wins under her belt thus far this year. “I really love the majors,” Nordqvist said. “It’s a tougher set up on course and I feel more pressure, more spotlight on the tournament and I like that. I like the test and it seems like it is going to be pretty windy next week which will make it tougher. I’m very happy with the way I’m playing and can’t wait to tee it up,” she continued.—AFP

MIRPUR: avid Warner slogs during his 48, Bangladesh v Australia, World T20, Group 2.

Motor racing: Williams F1 team sells hybrid power unit to GKN L ONDON —Williams Grand Prix Holdings, parent of the Formula One team, has sold a hybrid power unit that has applications in mass transport to British engineering firm GKN, the two companies announced on Tuesday. GKN said it was paying 8 million pounds ($13.34 million) with further payments based on future sales and licences over the next 10 years. Although relatively small in financial terms, the deal illustrates the spin-off value of technologies created for grand prix racing. Williams Hybrid Power, which has developed flywheel systems for use in trams and buses and has also supplied the energy storage system for Audi’s Le Mans-winning sportscar, posted a loss of 1 million pounds after tax in 2013. The technology was developed for the 2009 Williams Formula One car and the company felt that it now needed to be expanded to reap the full benefit. “GKN have the resources and expertise to fully realise the enormous potential of the motorsport proven flywheel technology, primarily within a variety of public transport applications,” said Williams Group CEO Mike O’Driscoll.—APP

Asian Games organisers ask IOC to help bring NKorea to Incheon S EOUL —South

PALMA DE MALLORCA (SPAIN): Bryony Shaw from the British Sailing Team sails her RSX during day one of the ISAF Sailing World Cup.

Korean organisers of this year ’s Asian Games in Incheon have asked the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for help in getting North Korea to take part in the multi-sports event. The news comes amid heightened tension on the Korean peninsula after the North fired more than 100 artillery rounds into South Korean waters as part of a drill on Monday, prompting the South to fire back. Asian Games organisers said in a statement that Kim Young-soo, president of the organising committee, had made the request to IOC President Thomas Bach at a meeting in Kuwait on Monday. Bach responded by saying that the IOC would do all it could to help the South Korean organisers. He also said he would attend the Sept. 19 to Oct. 4 Asian Games.—APP

Rafael Nadal aims to find his feet before clay swing LOS ANGELES—Rafael Nadal says he still of May in cities such as Barcelona; Oeiras, has work to do on his game as he gets set to launch his claycourt season, which the Spaniard hopes culminates with his ninth French Open title. World No. 1 Nadal lost in straight sets in the final of the Miami Masters tournament on Sunday to second seed Novak Djokovic. Djokovic cruised to a 6-3, 6-3 win as he easily dismantled Nadal, who has been hampered by a back injury that wrecked his Australian Open bid earlier this year. Thirteen-time Grand Slam winner Nadal said, despite the loss, which dropped him to 0-4 in Miami finals, he feels good about having made it to the final.“It is great that I am in the top of the race arriving to the claycourt season,” Nadal said. “But now we start on clay and I need to be 100 per cent. “I need to work hard and try to be in better shape for clay.” Miami is one of just three ATP Tour Masters 1000 events that Nadal has failed to win. “To be able to play in the final here is a lot of points,” Nadal said. “I had a few good matches so that gives me confidence to start a very important part of the season for me.” Asked on Sunday if his back is still bothering him, Nadal said: “No. I am fine. Thank you very much.” Nadal’s success on clay has earned him the nickname “King of Clay”. By winning last year’s French Open, Nadal became the first player to win a single Grand Slam tournament eight times. Djokovic said on Sunday he ranks victories over Nadal to be his most satisfying. “He is definitely the biggest rivalry I have in my tennis career,” said Djokovic. The two met in last year’s final of the Monte Carlo Masters, which is the biggest early event of the clay swing. Djokovic won in straight sets 6-2, 7-6 (7/1). After Monte Carlo, the players hit the clay the last few weeks of April and all

Portugal; Munich, Madrid and Rome. Like Nadal, 17-time Grand Slam title winner Roger Federer is looking forward to feeling the clay under his feet. The Swiss veteran said one of the best things about the clay swing is there is less distance to travel from tournament to tournament in Europe. “I like the changes of continents and surfaces,” said world No. 4 Federer. “The next five, six months are going to be quite easy travelling-wise for us. Federer lost to Japan’s Kei Nishikori in the Miami quarter-finals and to Djokovic in the final at Indian Wells, California. “The beginning of the year is tough when we go to Australia, and then the west coast and all of that; Dubai, as well,” he said. “The clay is something I have always actually enjoyed throughout my career. It’s what

I grew up playing on. It’s where I played most of my tennis in my career.”—AFP

‘Will never forget Sobers’ gesture on my April 1 birthday: Ajit Wadekar Bipin Dani OBSERVER CORRESPONDENT M UMBAI —Former India captain Ajit Wadekar turned 73 today. He has no regrets on being born on All Fools Day, but admits he is being fooled by many on this day. Speaking exclusively over his wife Rekha’s mobile from daughter Kashmira’s house on the eve of April 1, he said, “no specific plan has been decided for the celebrations. Every year my family members throw some surprise party and it may not be exception this year also”. Wadekar has played few international matches on this day but most he remembers is the Test match against West Indies in 1971. “I can never forget the incident when Gary Sobers brought a cake on the field of play on this day in 1971. Just before the Toss in the Barbados Test, Sobers

asked me to cut the cake”. “It was a pleasant surprise from the opposite team captain and I shall never forget this gesture. We had won the toss but the Test was drawn”, the no. 3 batsman further added. When contacted in Barbados, Gary Sobers was delighted when informed him about Wadekar’s birthday. “Oh, yes, yes, I remember it. It was nice of him to remember this incident after so many year. I don’t have fond memories of this Test but certainly remember that I arranged a cake for his on this day. I rate him very high and convey my best wishes to him”. India’s other batsman (opener) Murali Vijay gas completed 29 years to-day on All Fools Day. England’s David Gower, India-born England’s Vikram Solanki and New Zealand’s Stephen Fleming are few of the other international cricketers also born on this day.

Smokers may show heart disease much younger than nonsmokers


smoker’s coronary artery disease is likely to be as advanced as that of a non-smoker who is 10 years older when both show up at the hospital with a heart attack, according to a new study. Researchers looked at nearly 14,000 patients hospitalized with blockages in arteries supplying the heart muscle and found smokers were more likely than nonsmokers to die within a year. Despite their being younger, and otherwise healthier, the smokers’ heart arteries were in a condition similar to those of nonsmokers 10 years older. “We saw smokers presenting the disease at age 55 and nonsmokers presenting the same disease at 65,” said Dr. Alexandra Lansky, a researcher on the study. Smoking can cause blood clots, which often get lodged in the rigid and narrow arteries that have already been clogged by the buildup of cholesterol and fat deposits, according to Lansky and her colleagues. Although the fat buildup and stiffening of the artery walls, known as atherosclerosis, becomes more likely with age for everyone, the clots caused by smoking worsen the blockages. That makes smokers more likely to have a heart attack at a younger age, but less likely to have the other conditions, known as comorbidities, that go

along with aging, such as diabetes and high blood pressure. “Smoking accelerates the manifestation of coronary disease but in the absence of these comorbidities,” Lansky told Reuters Health. Past research has identified a “smoker’s paradox” - because smokers are younger, with fewer other health problems, when they had a heart attack, they were more likely to recover it. Or so it seemed. “We wanted to look at longerterm effects of smoking rather just the short term effect,” Lansky said. The researchers analyzed medical records for 13,819 patients, almost 4,000 of them smokers, hospitalized with chest pain or a heart attack caused by a blocked coronary artery. The study team organized the data to match the smokers and nonsmokers by age, weight, comorbidities and other risk factors. When compared to nonsmokers with similar overall health, the smokers were ten years younger, on average, and more likely to have already been treated with blood thinners - suggesting they had already experienced problems with blood flow. Imaging of the coronary artery showed the smokers’ had atherosclerosis comparable to the nonsmokers ten years their senior, the researchers report in the journal JACC: Cardiovascular Interventions.

Motorists facing hardships due to concrete blocks put on MA Jinnah Road due to security threats to Mazar-e-Quaid.

SHC asks government to submit details on closure of streets STAFF REPORTER K ARACHI —Sindh High Court (SHC) had directed Sindh government to present details about No Go Areas and closure of lanes and alleys in Karachi. The higher court had passed these directive while hearing petition filed by Rana Faizul Hassan on the subject as was cited in above lines. The hearing was conducted by a 2-member bench headed by Chief justice, Justice Maqbool Baqar and Justice Farooq Channa Tuesday. The petitioner had apprised the SHC about closure of streets, lanes and alleys up to 90 percent with barriers despite a ban was imposed by the Supreme Court of Pakistan while according

Abdullah Hussain Haroon announcing his new political party ‘Karachi Awami Ittehad’ at his residence. —PO Photo by Sultan Chaki

Bank robbery bid foiled STAFF REPORTER KARACHI—The police have foiled a robbery bid in Future Colony and arrested two robbers in injured condition after an encounter on Tuesday. A police constable and a guard of private bank also sustained bullet wounds during the encounter. As per reports, five armed robbers tried to enter a private bank branch in Future Colony in jurisdiction of Sharafi Goth police

to the Article 6 of the Constitution of Pakistan, no citizen could close any street or lane with barriers or other whatsoever means of impediments and hence the closure of streets and lanes with barriers was a direct violation of the constitution of Pakistan. The petitioner had also apprised the Higher Court about non-implementation of laws for the prevention of graffiti and the menace of graffiti was still being carried out in full swing in the city due to which the aesthetic beauty of the city was being tarnished. The Higher Court had through the Advocate General of Sindh asked Sindh government to tender their response in the Higher Court on next hearing of the petition.

Centers operational against harassment of working women STAFF REPORTER

station. Sub Inspector Ishaq son of Abdullah when stopped one of them for checking, they opened firing on police. The policeman who already got injury in one of his hand in an encounter in the past retaliated and opened fire on criminals. After a brief encounter, two robbers were arrested in injured condition while the sub inspector and a bank guard Anwar Saeed son of Naimatullah also received bullet wounds in exchange of fire.

Meanwhile, the Higher Court had in a separate hearing of a petition by the same petitioner against sale of notorious Gutka, Manpuri and synthetically coloured and flavoured beetle-nut in Karachi asked Sindh government, Sindh Food department to present details about measures taken for curbing the menace of these notorious chewable products on Apr 22. The petitioner had apprised the Higher Court that sale of these notorious and hazardous chewable products was a violation of Food Ordinances of 1965 and 1990 and prayed that the Higher Court should pass an order to register an FIR against station house officer of the area concerned where these hazardous products were being freely sold out to consumers.

K ARACHI —In-charge Registrar of the Protection against Harassment of Women at Workplace Cell of Provincial Ombudsman Hina Zaib said that people’s response had greatly been attained regarding lodging of complaints against harassment to women at places of works and prompt resolution of the grievances at the complaint cells in 9 districts of the province of Sindh including Hyderabad,

Nausheroferoze, Khairpur Miras, Thatta and Umerkot while further centres in Larkana, Shikarpur, Sukkur and Sanghar would shortly be established. She said that complaints were being received at the established centres, which were resolved in a month time and in this regard, 25 of 30 complaints had so far been resolved. She urged upon private institutions to constitute a 3-member committee with one female member and also display the committee members’

names and contact details on notice boards. She said that the law pertaining to harassment to the working women was promulgated in 2010 and all the complaints regarding harassment would be dealt with in accordance to that law. Under the procedures, the accused would be asked to submit his statement in his defence in written form after which onward procedures would be applied to sort out the complaint and required onward legal action.

KMC stops fuel facility of KDA officers IRFAN ALIGI K ARACHI —Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) Vehicle department had stopped release of fuel coupons to officers of defunct Karachi Development Authority (KDA), which was being treated as one of various wings of the KMC. According to details, Vehicle Department Additional Director Junaid had verbally informed 48 officers of KDA that the KMC Administrator had directed to stop release of monthly fuel coupons to them. However, Engineering Department KDA Wing Director Admin Shamsher and additional director Alam got petrol this month of March and engineering department KDA Wing Alam were allowed to receive fuel coupons for 250 litre of petrol, which is an average quota of each officer for 30 days. Further, an amount of Rs 5000 for conveyance allowance was also deducted from salary of the affected of-

ficers, which could only be deducted after fuel coupons were released. Sources privy to this scam disclosed that fuel coupons for 250 litres per officer were stopped verbally while the KMC Administrator was unaware of that development as the stoppage of fuel coupons was a violation of services rules as it was approved by Sindh government. Sources claimed that fuel facility might be restored in April but the money for fuel expenses for March would be embezzled through production of fake fuel bills, which would come to millions. While talking to Pakistan Observer, KMC Human Resource Management Senior Director Shoaib Waqar said that payments on behalf of fuel expenses was not received at the KMC’s end due to which fuel allocations of 250 litre per officer was stopped. While talking to Pakistan Observer KMC Vehicle Department Additional director Junaid said that the budget section of KDA had failed to

transfer amounts for fuel expenses to KMC’s accounts due to which KDA officers’ monthly fuel allocations were stopped. As soon as the amounts would be received in KMC’s accounts, the fuel facility would be restored. On asking as why a few were still allowed to get the 250 litre petrol while others were refused, he said that a few were obliged and nothing was in written whether fuel facility should be continued or not. Even the fuel allocations were also on verbal understanding and there was no written order by any authority, which meant that the fuel expenditures accrued so far were all under verbal understanding. Sources also claimed that a scam was already being investigated by authorities concerned for embezzlement of huge sum of money being drawn from treasury to fuel the dead and out of order machinery parked inside the machine pool near Mewa Shah Graveyard.

Customers buying new textbooks and notebooks for children in Urdu Bazaar as new year of Schools begins.

Smokers may show heart disease much younger than nonsmokers


smoker’s coronary artery disease is likely to be as advanced as that of a non-smoker who is 10 years older when both show up at the hospital with a heart attack, according to a new study. Researchers looked at nearly 14,000 patients hospitalized with blockages in arteries supplying the heart muscle and found smokers were more likely than nonsmokers to die within a year. Despite their being younger, and otherwise healthier, the smokers’ heart arteries were in a condition similar to those of nonsmokers 10 years older. “We saw smokers presenting the disease at age 55 and nonsmokers presenting the same disease at 65,” said Dr. Alexandra Lansky, a researcher on the study. Smoking can cause blood clots, which often get lodged in the rigid and narrow arteries that have already been clogged by the buildup of cholesterol and fat deposits, according to Lansky and her colleagues. Although the fat buildup and stiffening of the artery walls, known as atherosclerosis, becomes more likely with age for everyone, the clots caused by smoking worsen the blockages. That makes smokers more likely to have a heart attack at a younger age, but less likely to have the other conditions, known as comorbidities, that go along

with aging, such as diabetes and high blood pressure. “Smoking accelerates the manifestation of coronary disease but in the absence of these comorbidities,” Lansky told Reuters Health. Past research has identified a “smoker’s paradox” - because smokers are younger, with fewer other health problems, when they had a heart attack, they were more likely to recover it. Or so it seemed. “We wanted to look at longer-term effects of smoking rather just the short term effect,” Lansky said. The researchers analyzed medical records for 13,819 patients, almost 4,000 of them smokers, hospitalized with chest pain or a heart attack caused by a blocked coronary artery. The study team organized the data to match the smokers and nonsmokers by age, weight, comorbidities and other risk factors. When compared to nonsmokers with similar overall health, the smokers were ten years younger, on average, and more likely to have already been treated with blood thinners - suggesting they had already experienced problems with blood flow. Imaging of the coronary artery showed the smokers’ had atherosclerosis comparable to the nonsmokers ten years their senior, the researchers report in the journal JACC: Cardiovascular Interventions.

Fire fighters trying to control the fire which erupted in a multi-storey commercial Plaza near Kalama Chowk.

Lahore plaza fire doused, CM takes notice SALIM AHMED L AHORE —The fire which erupted in a multi-storey commercial plaza near Kalma Chowk here on Tuesday was successfully doused by fire fighting teams and all trapped persons were safely rescued. Rescue teams swiftly rushed to the scene of the incident and rescued several persons including women who were trapped inside the building. Around seven fire tenders and Res-

cue 1122 teams took part in the operation to extinguish the fire. Lahore DCO, Dr. Ahmad Javed on information also arrived at the location of the fire and supervised rescue work. Some offices at the plaza were destroyed in the wake of the fire, however, no loss of life occurred due to deft handling of the situation by fire fighting teams. Punjab Chief Minister, Shahbaz Sharif taking notice of the incident has sought report from the concerned authorities.

LHC takes notice of vani girl MUZAFFAR ALI LAHORE—Lahore High Court (LHC) Complaint Cell on Tuesday took notice of a press report on administrative side that a woman sought recovery of her 12-year-old daughter who was married to a 30-year-old man under the direction of a panchayat. The Cell has directed the District & Sessions Judge, Faisalabad to look into the matter and submit a detailed report regarding steps taken by police along with his own comments within a week. According to details, a

seven-member jury held at Chak Bagu Da Koh, Tandlianwala, had reportedly taken up the issue of Azhar’s love marriage with Mafia Bibi of the same village. It decided to “vani” Naziran Bibi (12), a sister of Azhar to Ramzan (30) of the same locality to ‘compensate’ the aggrieved party for the ‘dishonor’. Accordingly, the nikkah of the minor girl was solemnized with Ramzan. Rani Bibi, mother of the victim, told reporters that since the forced Nikah, she had been kept by the ‘abductors’ at an undisclosed location and she was not being allowed to meet her parents.

CM takes action

Issues orders for bringing down fares and prices CITY REPORTER L AHORE —Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, while immediately acting upon the letter written by Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif to the provincial chief ministers, has directed administration and concerned departments to take effective measures to bring down transport fares and prices of essential items. He said that Pakistan Muslim League-N government is determined to provide maximum relief to the masses and it would be ensured that benefits of stability in the value of rupee and reduction in petroleum prices should reach the common man. The Chief Minister said that Punjab government is already implementing a comprehensive programme for raising the living standard of the

people and sincere efforts are being made for the welfare of low-income people. He directed concerned departments and administrations to harmonize transport fares and prices of essential articles with the recent decrease in petroleum prices so as to provide relief to the masses. He directed that price control committees set up at Tehsil, town and district levels be fully mobilized while teams of special magistrates should be constituted for ensuring sale of daily use items at the fixed rate. Shahbaz Sharif said that the interest of people would be fully protected and no one would be allowed to exploit the citizens. He said that law would immediately come into action against the elements involved in profiteering. The Chief Minister directed concerned departments to take solid

measures for reducing transport fares and prices of essential items and submit him a reports. He said that provision of quality daily use items to the masses would be ensured and the role of elected representatives as well as administration is of vital importance for this purpose. He said that people have high expectations from PML-N government and it will be fulfilled at any cost. He said that the elements involved in overcharging deserve no leniency and immediate action should be taken against them. He said that economic situation is improving due to solid measures taken by PML-N government. He said that every step of the government is directed towards betterment of the people. He said that those showing good performance in the entire process of price control mechanism would be encouraged.

Public participation essential for dengue eradication

gue control, enthusiastic participation of public in dengue control measures ter Punjab on Health Khawaja sensitive districts. was essential adding “If Salman Raffique has said that people do not remove the community participation is hot spots of dengue essential for eradication of breeding from inside the dengue. Talking to houses and keep the surmediamen at the end of denroundings clean and dry, gue awareness walk from dengue would not be fully Post Graduate Medical controlled.” Institute(PGMU), Birdwood On this occasion, PrinRoad to Shadman Chowk cipal Prof. here, he said people could Anjam Habib Vohra protect themselves from densaid preventive measures gue mosquito by keeping were the only solution of their houses clean and dry dengue and urged youngand eliminating breeding sters to come forward for grounds of dengue. creating awareness The awareness walk was against the diseases. organized by Post Graduate At the end of the walk, Medical Institute and Khawaja Salman Raffique, Amiruddin Medical College. Prof Anjam Habib Vohra Khawaja Salman said as per and other participants disdirections of the Chief Mintributed pamphlets among ister Punjab Muhammad the citizens at Shadman Shahbaz Sharif, measures for Chowk for disseminating dengue control had been information regarding prestarted in Punjab from 15th February and Dengue sur- Advisor to Chief Minister for Health Khawaj Salman Rafique leading an awareness ventive measures against dengue.—APP veillance, larvae-ciding and walk against dengue.

L AHORE —Advisor to Chief Minis- case response had been started in

Spray campaign against dengue MUZAFFAR ALI L AHORE —Punjab University Health Center with the collaboration of office of Resident Officer-II has started spray of insecticides for prevention of dengue fever. Spray teams consisting of 5 to 10 members will carry out the insecticide spray in different parts of both campuses including hostels on daily basis. Punjab University Chief Medical Officer Dr Nauman Ahmad said posters and leaflets were also being distributed amongst the university population regarding information and prevention about dengue fever and to ensure cleanliness of the varsity premises. He said this process of insecticide spray would continue till both the campuses and hostels were completely sprayed. He said a team of the Dengue Research Group has also started visiting the areas around hostel sites to collect water samples for larvae of Dengue mosquito.

He said in addition to government’s arrangements for den-

Daily use items made easily available SALIM AHMED L AHORE —Minister for Food and Chairman Price Control Cabinet Committee Bilal Yasin has said that items of daily use have been made easily available in the markets, as a result of effective strategy and concrete steps taken by the government throughout the province. The Minister was presiding over a high level meeting held at civil secre-

tariat, here Tuesday, during which Secretaries Agriculture, Food, Industries and Health, besides DG Punjab Food Authority were also present. During the meeting, a detailed review was taken over government’s steps taken with regard to controlling inflation and ensuring availability of items of everyday use to the people. The Provincial Minister directed DCOs to visit Sunday bazaars and Sahulat shops in the afternoons, in-

stead of in the mornings, so that continuous monitoring of prices in Sahulat bazaars and Sunday bazaars can be ensured. He said that the prices of everyday items should be reviewed in the afternoon, but no compromise should be made on food quality. Bilal Yasin said that security staff has been deputed to eliminate the extortion mafia, besides taking strong legal action against them.

PEF announces result CITY REPORTER L AHORE —Punjab Education Foundation (PEF) has announced the result of pre-quality assurance test of private schools intending of academic partnership with the Punjab Education Foundation under expansion phase- 8 of its Foundation Assisted School (FAS) program.

A total of 1458 private schools of different districts took part in it. After the physical inspection, these schools will be offered partnership under FAS program to provide free education to the most- deserving students up to matric level. Punjab Education Foundation will provide free text books as well as monthly fee of students to schools management.

An illuminated view of canal decorated with colourful lights and different replicas in Provincial Capital.