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TTP extends Govt in touch with Taliban secretly ceasefire till Confidence building measures in progress More non-combatants to be released April 10 Another high-level consultation on talks with Taliban

Indian court orders death sentences for multiple rapes M UMBAI –An Indian court on Friday ordered three men to hang after they were convicted of two gang-rapes, the first death sentences to be handed down for multiple sex attacks since the law was toughened last year. A judge handed down the sentences at a court in Mumbai following the trio’s conviction for the two separate attacks at the same abandoned mill compound in the city last year, including an attack on a photographer that made global headlines.—AP

PIA removes 300 employees for fake degrees KARACHI—In compliance with instructions of Supreme Court of Pakistan, the PIA has been vigorously pursuing the issue of credential verifications of its employees. A PIA statement here on Friday said that this gigantic task of verification of credentials of around 16,000 employees was taken up by PIA’s Human Resource Administration Department six months ago-since October, 2013. It said that the verification process is going on in a very transparent manner across the board encompassing all categories and groups of employees without any discrimination. So far more than 30,000 Continued on Page 7

India knock out South Africa for World T20 final DHAKA—Former champions India upstaged South Africa by six wickets in the second semi-final in Dhaka on Friday to cruise into the final of World Twenty20. Chasing 173 to win, India were led by a swashbuckling knock of 72 not out by Virat Kohli as they strolled to the target with five balls to spare. This becomes India’s second final in five World Twenty20s after they won Continued on Page 7

LIAQAT TOOR

ISLAMABAD—Another high level consultation between civil and military leaderships on progress of talks with Taliban was held on Friday in the backdrop of extension of ceasefire till April 10 as announced by Taliban. The meeting chaired by Nawaz Sharif in PM House was attended by COAS General Raheel Sharif, DG ISI Lt.Gen. Zaheerul Islam, Interior Minister Ch. Nisar Ali Khan and Assistant to PM Tariq Fatmi. Prior to that, a meeting of Taliban and Government committees scheduled for Friday was postponed. Now this meeting is expected today. Insiders in knowledge of such developments said away from glare of media, the government is in touch with Taliban secretly. The meeting discussed release of some more non-combatants belonging to Taliban as confidence building measure. The sources said another round of talks with Taliban in FATA will be held next week. The matters pertaining to Afghan presidential

elections being held today, its impact on security scenario in the region and on-

The issue of Iranian guards was also deliberated and Pakistan’s policy

of non-interference in the affairs of neighbouring countries was reaffirmed.

Taliban prisoners release encouraging: Ibrahim NORTH WAZIRISTAN—The any attacks against the

ISLAMABAD: Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif called on Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif at PM Office.

Afghans elect president today Abdullah, Zalmai and Ashraf main contenders; German AP photographer shot dead K ABUL — Amid heightened security and tion and is receiving medical care. on the eve of Afghanistan’s presidential and provincial elections two journalists working for The Associated Press were shot in Afghanistan, one of them fatally, the news agency said Friday. The Associated Press said the slain journalist was Anja Niedringhaus, 48, an internationally acclaimed, Pulitzer Prize-winning German photographer. She was shot in Afghanistan’s AP photographer eastern Khost province. Anja Niedringhaus The second journalist targeted by the gunman was Kathy Gannon, a Canadian reporter based in Islamabad, the AP said. She is said to be in a stable condi-

“Anja and Kathy together have spent years in Afghanistan covering the conflict and the people there,” said AP executive editor Kathleen Carroll, speaking in New York. “Anja was a vibrant, dynamic journalist well-loved for her insightful photographs, her warm heart and joy for life. We are heartbroken at her loss.” 2 AP journalists shot in Afghanistan. In a letter to AP staff Friday morning, chief executive Gary Pruitt also praised her courage and skill, describing her as “spirited, intrepid and fearless, with a raucous laugh that we will always remember.” The two women were travelling in their own car in a convoy of election workers delivering ballots in Khost province, protected

Jaish al-Adl frees Iranian guards T EHRAN —Iranian soldiers captured by a militant group Jaish al-Adl near the Pakistani border in February have been freed, the rebel group and an Iranian official announced Friday. However, there was no indication of how many of the five border guards had been released after Jaish alAdl, which operates in southeastern Iran, claimed last month to have executed one of them. “The soldiers were Continued on Page 7

outlawed Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has extended the ceasefire until April 10, the group’s spokesman Shahidullah Shahid said in a statement, adding that the Taliban shura would be meeting after the 10th to decide a future course of action. In a statement issued to the media, Shahid said the group was awaiting the government’s reply on its demands. Shahid said the Taliban shura has extended the deadline and would sit after April 10 to decide about the future of talks. He said the Taliban were still awaiting a reply from the government regarding the group’s demands, including the release of non-combatants, but despite the passage of three days above the ceasefire deadline, the government had not yet responded to the TTP. Shahid said the TTP had ordered its fighters not to carry out

government and law-enforcement agencies until further orders. The pagelong statement issued in the Urdu language also said that the TTP wanted to clarify its position before the nation that it was serious about the talks but the response from the government had not been encouraging. It added that despite the fact the government’s peace committee had met the Taliban leadership empty-handed, the Taliban had shown willingness to talk peace. The banned outfit had declared the ceasefire on March 1 in an effort to revive the peace initiative which had collapsed following the slaying of 23 paramilitary troops by the group’s Mohmand chapter. Reciprocating the move, the government had also called off surgical air strikes against suspected Taliban

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Bilawal assails govt for pushing nation into dark ages Alleges Punjab govt sheltering extremists, terrorists; Zardari dedicates evening to his son Bilawal OUR CORRESPONDENT LARKANA—Reaffirming his determination to fight Taliban militancy in Pakistan, Patron-in-Chief of Pakistan People’s Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari Friday assailed the PML-N government for pushing the nation back to the dark ages by pursuing peace talks with the Pakistani Taliban. Speaking in Garhi Khuda Bakhsh to commemorate 35th death anniversary of his grandfather and former prime minister

Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, he said the mess created by the government by engaging the militants in direct talks will again be washed by the blood of martyrs – a reference to sacrifices rendered by ZAB and his mother Benazir Bhutto. Rejecting the dialogue process initiated by the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif with the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan, Bilawal said the terrorists will never suc-

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Nawaz to attend Boao Forum in China next week Pak, China PMs to review progress on Economic Corridor LIAQAT TOOR

Keep an eye on projects after launch

ISLAMABAD—Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif

All mourned day of Bhutto’s hanging ................................................ Fall of cricket in Dhaka

Asia (BFA), to be held in China’s Hainan province from April 9 to 11, at the invitation of the Chinese government. Besides attending the Forum, the Prime Minister would hold a bilateral meeting with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. The two leaders would review the progress in bilateral ties- with particular focus on economic cooperation and the China- Pakistan Economic Corridor since their maiden official visits to each other’s countries last year, as well as

................................................ will participate in the 2014 Boao Forum for

See Page 04

going talks with Taliban also came under discussion.

President Mamnoon Hussain’s state visit to China in February this year. The Prime Minister would also deliver speech at the opening plenary of the BFA on April 10, which would be inaugurated by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. Later, he would join other world leaders, including the Prime Ministers of Australia, South Korea and Kazakhstan, at a banquet hosted by the Chinese Premier. The Prime Minister would also make a keynote speech at a seminar on “Reviving the Silk Road” which would be attended by

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Cracks widen in PTI ranks as 14 MPAs submit resignations Blackmailing unacceptable: Imran TARIQ SAEED PESHAWAR —The cracks surfacing in the PTI ranks in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa widened on Friday with 14 disgruntled lawmakers submitting their resignations to the deputy speaker KP assembly authorizing him to take any decision he deems fit, though the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf chairman declared in categorical tone he was not going to fall prey to the estranged MPAs and PTI would rather prefer to dissolve the provin-

cial assembly in KP where it is leading a coalition government. The ruling PTI in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, is confronting a political crisis as over a dozen of its law makers in the KP assembly expressed their annoyance being ignored in the recent reshuffle in the provincial cabinet and formed a forward block a few days back though they called it formation of Hamkhayal group “to save the party and ensure the fulfilment of PTI’s promises made with the people of this province”. They also ex-

pressed their no-confidence in the leadership of Chief Minister Pervez Khattak. As many as 14 estranged KP assembly MPs have submitted their resignations to the deputy speaker of KP assembly whom they said also belonged to their group and authorized him to make any decision with regard to their resignations. The group of 14 members had submitted their resignations and took

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GARHI KHUDA BUKSH: PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari and PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari waiving to the crowd gathered to attend Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s death anniversary on Friday.

60 banned outfits under watch, NA told ISLAMABAD —The National Assembly was informed Friday that sixty banned organizations are being kept under watch as part of efforts to counter terrorism in the country. Briefing the House during question hour about the steps taken so far to cope with terrorist acts, Parliamentary Secretary for Interior, Maryam Aurangzeb said that NADRA is also assisting in providing identification services in matters Continued on Page 7

Judges’ detention case hearing

Musharraf ordered to appear in court on April 25 STAFF REPORTER ISLAMABAD —The anti-terrorism court in Islamabad, which was hearing the judges’ detention case against former military dictator Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf, ordered him to appear in person at its next hearing. The court moreover directed Musharraf ’s guarantors to ensure the former president’s production in its next hearing. During the hearing, Musharraf’s coun-

sel presented the ex-army chief medical report and said he could not appear in court due to security reasons. The court accepted Musharraf’s application requesting exemption from today’s (Friday) hearing and adjourned the next hearing of the case to April 25. The judges’ detention case is based on an FIR against the retired general registered in August 2009 on the complaint of Chaudhry Mohammad Aslam Ghumman ad-

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PPP recognizes ZAB, BB services for restoration of democracy STAFF REPORTER K A R A C H I —The Central Executive Council of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) passed a resolution in a meeting held on the eve of 35th anniversary of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto at Naudero in Larkana. The meeting was co0chaired by Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari. The CEC of PPP resolved that the great democratic struggle of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was eulogized and the unrelenting struggle for the amelioration of the downtrodden people, the labourers, the peasants and the unprecedented struggle for their rights as also unifying the nation and taking out the people from the depression consequent upon the dismemberment of Pakistan as well as sacrificing his very life without comprising on principles were acclaimed and accredited. It resolved that the struggle for the rights of the voiceless people of 3rd World so bravely undertaken by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and his political philosophy as well as the great struggle launched by him was praised, the bravery reflected by the great leader against the colonial powers and the army dictators, and giving the constitution of 1973 based on the principles of federal parliamentary de-

CHAMAN: Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party leader Haji Jilani Khan Adozai addressing a public meeting.

Rs 500m allocated for scholarships A B B O T TA B A D — K h y b e r Phaktunkhwa Minister for Higher Education, Mushataq Ahmed Ghani here Friday said that the provincial government has allocated a record sum of Rs 500 million for students’ scholarship programmes. Addressing the ceremony of Frontier Medical College Welfare society he said that soon a university of science and technology will be established in Abbottabad. He said that establishing new colleges in all over Hazara division is their top priority and the construction of college of home economics is also under way in Abbottabad. Government will distribute 600 laptop amongst the university student this year, minister added.—APP

MPA assaults PESCO officials PESHAWAR—Peshawar Electric Supply Company (PESCO) Friday said that Member Provincial Assembly (MPA) allegedly assaulted company officials other day when they were removing illegal connections in KP-6 Peshawar. The spokesman of PESCO said that PESCO staffers of Kohat Road subdivision and PESCO Police were checking and removing illegal direct hooks and arresting culprits involved in power pilferage at Javed Abad Achar, Kohat Road Peshawar on April 3 when MPA of KP6 along with his armed guards attacked on PESCO staff and Police.—APP

NAB approves reference against SMC ex-principal I SLAMABAD—The Executive Board Meet- in loan default cases of Bank of Punjab (BoP) ing of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Friday decided to file a reference against Dr. Akbar Haider Soomro, Ex-principal Sindh Medical College (SMC) Karachi and others for misuse of authority and cheating public at large. The decision was taken in the Board meeting held here at NAB Headquarters under the chairmanship of Qamar Zaman Chaudhry, said spokesman of Bureau. The accused persons had admitted 315 students against 277 allocated seats. Thus 38 students who were not eligible for admission in the first year of MBBS, were illegally admitted in Sindh Medical College Karachi. The EBM referred back the case against Mr. M.B Awan, Ex-Senior Joint Secretary Ministry of Housing and Works and others to Director General NAB (Rawalpindi) for further investigation.In the alleged 746 illegal appointments case which caused a huge loss to the national exchequer. The EBM also authorized two inquiries

referred by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). In first case, Mr. Ahmed Humayun Sheikh defaulted on an amount of Rs 64.979 million and in second case Mr. Ahmed Waheed Malik defaulted on an amount of Rs 208.88 million of loan taken from BoP.The EBM also closed two inquiries for want of prosecutable incrementing evidence against the accused. Chairman NAB Qamar Zaman Chaudhry, on this occasion directed the senior officers to adopt proactive approach for prosecuting the cases promptly and efficiently and in a very professional manner as no one would be spared for undue delay and lethargy. He deplored that at present, performance is not satisfactory and name of the NAB is being tarnished. Chairman directed that all in the NAB must put their act together and establish the deterrence of NAB as an effective prosecuting agency. He said that neither an accused against whom prosecutable evidence exists be spared nor innocent be held guilty.—APP

Father, son kill two women S WABI —A father and son

Friday killed two women including a passerby in Tordher Police Station area. Police officials said that Tariq son of Gul Akbar while lodging an FIR against the two accused said that he was sitting with his mother in law Zad Mir Akbar and Uncle Fazl Akbar in front of the house when accused Muhammad Wahab and his son Nazar opened indiscriminate firing on them. He said that his mother in law and a passerby woman who was identified as wife of Rohullah of Jalibai were died on the spot. Police said that the reason behind the incident was old enmity. Meanwhile, police claimed to have arrested a woman and her son for allegedly killing her husband Bacha Gul in Bam Khel area and dumping the body in yard of their house a month ago. Police have registered the cases and started investigation. Sargodha: A couple was gunned down for marriage of choice in Shahpur City police limits on Friday. Police said Tahir Imranof village Pindi Bhagat, Shahpur tehsil, had married Safia of Silanwali tehsil. The couple was at the Dera of landowner Aslam when Farooq, brother of Safia, allegedly shot them dead and LOWER DIR: Assistant Commissioner Timergara Muhammad Ayaz Khan giving away fled. The bodies were shifted a cheque to a mother who completed vaccination of her children at District Headquarto THQ hospital.—APP ters Hospital.

Slow and steady Sharif likely to win the race SALAHUDDIN HAIDER

I

GNORING criticism for his ap parent inaction or slow re sponse to various pressing issues facing Pakistan, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif persevered with his plans and his approach is partially paying off. A surge in the value of rupee by nine percent, a relative lull in terror attacks and a forward movement in peace negotiations with the Taleban are some of his substantial achievements. However, much more is required of his government to live up the expectations of the nation. Sharif must be given the due credit for the recent improvements in the economy. He personally intervened to prevent the ministries of petroleum and power from increasing fuel, power and gas charges. He was under immense

pressure from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) — which has provided Pakistan with $1.5 billion loan for five years — to remove subsidies from electricity and to jack up gas prices. Despite the pressure, Sharif directed the relevant authorities to avoid burdening the masses, as the rates of gas and electricity were already beyond their reach. For the last three months, these rates have not been increased. As a matter of fact, petrol and diesel prices have been reduced though nominally. Yet such a decision has set a new precedent in a country, where prices once increased has never been seen coming down. Finance Minister Ishaq Dar expects that a surge in the value of rupee and reduction in fuel prices, would ultimately benefit the common man by the end of this month or by the middle of May. The financial package of $1.5 billion announced by Crown Prince Salman during his recent three-day visit to Pakistan and his decision

to create a “Pakistan Fund” — in which Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will also contribute equal sums of money — has given a huge support to the declining economy of the country. Economic indicators have begun to show an upward trend, though a lot of work remains to be done for upgrading the economic growth rate from the current 2.3 percent to 3.5 or 4 percent by the end of June this year. This is not easy but Sharif seems determined to have his way through. Despite rumors about army’s opposition to the idea of the government holding talks with the Tehreek-e-Taleban Pakistan (TTP) responsible for numerous terror attacks killing hundreds of civilians and many servicemen, Sharif continued with his efforts and fortunately those efforts are paying dividends. After the announcement of a cease-fire, there has been a remarkable decline in terror incidents. This is a healthy sign and slowly and gradually will boost investors’

confidence that will ultimately help in the growth of the ailing economy. Law and order situation in Karachi, in rural Sindh and the restive Balochistan province, has also improved substantially. However, the issue of missing persons in Balochistan is still haunting Sharif. The military intelligence has been accused of abducting political activists in Balochistan. In a bid to resolve this lingering issue, Sharif has to convince the military establishment that freedom is a virtue that cannot be compromised. Analysts believe that Sharif ’s optimism has placed the country on the correct path and if he continues in the same direction he will surely steer the country out of the current crisis. It may be an uphill task but not impossible. At this critical juncture, all political forces must join hands in the larger interest of the country. They must set aside their differences for a better future.

mocracy as well as making the defence of Pakistan impregnable by making Pakistan atomic power were indeed credits to the acumen of the Zulfikar Ali Bhutto which were recognized and praised being without parallel in the history. The CEC meeting also recognized services of Benazir Bhutto, who fought for eliminating dictatorship and struggled for the restoration of democracy, the restoration of people’s right and her services were acclaimed and affirmed by the CEC. It further acknowledged and recognized Benazir Bhutto, who stood like a solid rock undeterred by the threats of terrorists and oblivious of the risk to her life following the footsteps of her father sacrificed her own life for the people of Pakistan and today’s fruits of democracy are the result of her blood which she shed during the struggle against dictatorship. The meeting also paid rich tributes to the great workers of PPP for their unprecedented sacrifice and sufferance endured at the back and call of their leadership. It also took notice of the challenges being faced by the country and it was decided that PPP would carry the mission of democracy firmly in a peaceful manner, promote the transition towards democratic dispensation in coordination

alongside other political forces and strengthen the rule of law. The CEC meeting noticed that the steps of the government in the war on terror should be undertaken in coordination and collaboration with all the political forces and particularly by taking the parliament into confidence and in which process no step or decision repugnant to the constitution, democracy or political order would be acceptable. The meeting while expressing satisfaction on bringing the dictator, who had held the constitution in abeyance to justice however emphasized that the case against him should be taken to its logical conclusion in accordance with law and constitution which was the responsibility of the state and necessary for preventing future adventurism with the constitution. The steps by the Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari and Chairman PPP Bilawal Bhutto Zardari were acclaimed and affirmed in the meeting and they were complimented for strengthening democracy by bringing about constitutional amendments with consensus and there by restoring 1973 constitution to its true ethos and spirit. It further authorised the Chairman to carry all political forces together in tune and tenor with the philosophy of Benazir Bhutto.

Masses voted PTI to get rid of corrupt rulers STAFF REPORTER P ESHAWAR —KP Chief Minister Pervez Khattak has said that people had voted PTI into power for changing the system as they were fed up of corruption, commission, loot, plunder and exploitative policies of the past rulers. However he said actual change comes when one awake own conscience and make own-self accountable. “The process of change is started now but in democratic governments change cannot come over nights rather it takes time”, he said adding that their political opponents also know that big change is in process in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa so seeing the ships of their politics sinking they are making new allegations and hatching conspiracies but they will get nothing else than failure, he asserted. He was talking to 60-member delegation of notables of Charsadda and Shabqadar that called on him in the leadership of MPA Arif Ahmadzai here at CM Secretariat Peshawar. The delegation apprised him of problems and demands of their respective areas.

Pervez Khattak appealed the people not to pay any bribe for their routine matters in any provincial or federal department including police station, patwarkhana, WAPDA and Suigas while in case of any such demand, they should bring them into the notice of the higher authorities. He said that with bearing a little delay and hardship, the cancer of corruption will become a story of the past, which besides uprooting our backwardness and poverty will prove milestone in alleviation of our all deprivations. Regarding the construction and repairing of roads and streets in the area, he clarified that consultants have been hired in all departments and the wait is over now as work on development schemes will be accelerated and progress will be witnessed in nook and corner of KP. In future, he said complaint or reporting about the dilapidated condition of roads and streets will be the duty of the authorities concerned and it will be done in automated ways. He said that all such matters will be timely addressed before the arrival of any public compliant.

USAID launches training programme for engineers I SLAMABAD —The United States Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Energy Policy Program has launched a capacity building program for engineers to provide training, facility assessments, maintenance and plant outage support for state-owned thermal power plants. Sixty engineers from Muzaffargarh, Guddu, and Jamshoro thermal power plants will undergo training in power plant management under USAID’s Energy Policy Programme. “The goal of the training is to establish best operational practices and modern management techniques at the power generation companies (GENCOs), which will raise the overall operation standards and efficiency.” said Energy Policy Program’s Deputy Chief of Party,Talha Javed. The training program will supplement USAID’s efforts to mitigate energy shortfall in Pakistan.

Ongoing USAID funded rehabilitation at the thermal power plants has successfully restored 770 megawatts to the generation capacity, sufficient electricity to meet the needs of at least 7.1 million people. Through capacity building provided to the GENCOs they will be able to develop best practices according to international standards. In addition to building the skills of engineers, the training will result in improved power plant operations and maintenance practices, thereby improving energy services in Pakistan. USAID’s Energy Policy Program is a multi-year initiative to increase power generation, decrease losses and increase cost recovery in Pakistan’s power sector by working with selected energy infrastructure and facilitating Government of Pakistan reform efforts with technical assistance and new technology.—APP

PESHAWAR: Children performing tableau during annual day function of a local school.


SLF, USAID initiate project to conserve snow leopard

ABBOTTABAD: KP Minister for Higher Education Mushtaq Ghani with staff members of Frontier Medical College during his visit to college.

Governor for gradually replacing FCR P ESHAWA R —Governor Khyber Pakthunkhwa Engr. Shaukatullah Khan has said that he was a strong believer of “one country one law” adding that the FCR should be gradually replaced with the extension of the constitution of Pakistan into the tribal belt. He expressed these views while addressing a daylong workshop as chief guest on critical analysis of the research conducted on Misgovernance-Radicalization Nexus in Pakistan by GINI here at University of Peshawar on Friday. The workshop was joint venture of Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies UoP and Governance Institutes Network International (GINI). Advisor GINI Danial Aziz, Senior Journalist Rahimullah Yusafzai, Vice Chancellor University of Peshawar Prof. Dr. Muhammad Rasul Jan also

addressed the workshop. The Governor added the people of FATA have been victim of terrorism for more than a decade and its time that they should be provided with necessities of life at par with the rest of the country. De-radicalization occurred when a group or an individual no longer believes in a violent ideology, he maintained. He said that there are a number of causes attributed to the rise of extremism and the incidents of terrorist attacks within Pakistan. He added the radicalism is often seen as the result of sentiments of “extreme antiWesternism.” Extremism is also attributed to negative attitudes towards the Pakistani regime, their policies, and also towards political repression, he said. Talking to media men after the cer-

emony the Governor said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif himself was looking after the dialogue process with Taliban adding that he was optimistic of the success of the initiative taken by the government. About the workshop he said that such discourses were important for policy guidelines to the government. Advisor GINI Danial Aziz remarked that in the last ten years, the country has suffered 3500 deaths and 78 billion dollars economic losses and now we must recognize that radicalization and mis-governance have become threatening to over existence. He added fact based discussion and debate would help us shift the focus from counter terrorism based on military options to counter radicalization based on civil policy options.—APP

Police foil terror bid, Bride commits suicide recover suicide jacket over forced marriage One injured in firecracker blast

RAFIULLAH MANDOKHAIL

at National Database and Registration Authority Office (NADRA) Thangi branch in Charsadda district here on Friday injured one person. A Spokesman of Charsadda Thangi police station told APP that one person sustained minor wounds when a fire cracker exploded at NADRA Thangi branch office this morning. One person sustained minor wounds. Police rushed to the spot and cordoned off the area and started search operation. The Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS) was called in to search the area and cleared the office. Kohat: Kohat Police has foiled a terrorist bid and recovered suicide jacket, heavy explosive material from the mountains of Gurguri Kamkol. Police have received a tip that some three unknown miscreants have hidden heavy explosive material in the mountains of Gurguri Kamkol and escaped, said a press release on Friday. On getting information a unit of Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS) rushed to the spot and disposed of a suicide jacket, 12 air-craft shell, prima card, safety fuse, one hand grenade and a detonator. Incharge BDS has confirmed the recovery of 4.2 kilogram explosive material, which was disposed of with professional experience. Police Station Billitang after registering case against unknown miscreants has launched search operation.—APP

cide over her parents’ refusal to get her married to her lover on wedding day in Nasarabad area of Zhob city. Mst (Q) daughter of Molavi Saifallah following an altercation with her parents locked herself on wedding day in room and hanged herself to death. Her family members knocked at the door after a few hours, when no response came they broke open the door and found the girl dead. She was shifted to DHQ civil hospital for medico legal formalities.

Z HOB —A teenager bride committed suicide over forced here on Friday, police said. PESHAWAR—A low intensity blast caused by a fire cracker marriage According to police, an 18-year-old girl committed sui-

C HITRAL —Snow Leopard Foundation (SLF) with the assistance of USAID-Small Grant Ambassador’s Fund Program (SGAFP) has initiated a project to conserve snow leopard and help communities sharing fragile ecosystems with snow leopard and other carnivores. The project “Snow Leopard Conservation” through practical measures has launched in six villages including Mori Payeen, Barghuzi, Koghuzi, Kuju Payeen, Bokhtuli and Parsan, an official of SLF said. Under the USAIDSGAFP project SLF Chitral has helped communities in construction of predator’s proof corral, training community workers in animal husbandry, livestock vaccination and providing environmental education to student through the establishment of students Nature Clubs. The predator proof corral will provide safe shelter for the livestock of the herder families which were prone to attacks of snow leopard and other carnivores and would also help control retaliatory killing of precious wildlife species.—APP

IGP suspends SHO of Kot Najibullah PESHAWAR—The Inspector General of Police (IGP) Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Nasir Khan Durrani has suspended SHO Kot Najeebullah (Haripur) and Investigation officer for implicating two innocent citizens in a false and fabricated case, said a press release issued here on Friday. According to details a Civil Engineer from Islamabad has submitted an application to the IGP KP in which he had complained that Kot Najeebullah police had intentionally implicated him and his brother in a false and fabricated case on behest of his opponents due to which police had sent him to jail and his other brother had been declared proclaimed offender. The police chief nominated Additional IGP Investigation for re-inquiry of the case who in their inquiry report termed the case false and fabricated and recommended action against the delinquent police officials.—APP

Estimate prepared for command, control centre for security MULTAN—Regional Police Officer (RPO) Captain (Retd) Muhammad Amin Vans said on Friday that survey had been completed and estimate prepared for Rs 100 million modern command and control centre to provide hi-tech security to people in the city of saints. Talking to people from different walks of life including industrialists, and traders at Multan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI), he said that Rs 100 million was an initial estimate for the modern command and control centre whose operational cost had been assessed at Rs 1 million per month. Initially, 50 CCTV cameras would be installed at exit/entry besides other important points of the city and would be connected to Optic Fibre Network City Database and a backup network that would be expandable to 1000 CCTV cameras. Any one whether banks, industry, or individual would be linked to the centre for provision of security upon request, RPO

said. He said that Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif had promised all kind of support regarding the project. Commissioner Sher Alam Mehsud said that citizens should come forward to push the project ahead adding that people should stop merely looking at the government and instead take lead in supporting such initiatives. He said that initial reports were prepared after five-month long survey and study, however, more study would be carried out and international experts would be consulted for installation of state of the art gadgets and tools at the centre. MCCI president Khawaja Usman promised to give names of four to five MCCI members to serve as members of the management committee by April 7. A meeting of district administration, police, industrialists and traders would be held on April 8 to prepare strategy for funding and to keep the project operational.—APP

ABBOTTABAD: A woman walking on rough road, full of mud due to rain. Development waiting for funds in whole KP which are not released due to hiring of consultants for development works.

Thar is under drought due to no rain M ITHI —Deputy Commissioner (DC) Tharparkar, Asif Ikram here on Friday said that the main cause of drought in Thar is shortage of water which is due to lesser rain in the region. He said this while chairing a meeting with delegation of non-government organisations (NGO) regarding the relief work for drought affectees. The DC informed the meeting that the Sindh government has announced the Thar Development Authority to overcome the drought hit situation. He further informed that the relief aid was provided to 2,53,116 families in Thar and besides this, 1,29,558 bags of wheat were distributed so far. He said that besides this, the process of vaccination among the cattle is under progress, about 30,58,491 cattle were vaccinated till to-date. On the occasion, District health department briefed the meeting regarding the medical facilities being provided to affected families in the district. Assistant Commissioner Shoukat Ujan, NDMA member and other officials were present on the occasion.—APP

Another rain spell likely ISLAMABAD—Pakistan Meteorological Department on Friday forecast another rain spell of good intensity in north Balochistan and upper areas of the country during the next 24 hours. A new weather system would entered into Balochistan on Friday which cause rain and thunderstorm in northern Balochistan including Quetta, Zhob and Kalat divisions, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, upper Punjab, Islamabad, Gilgitbaltistan and Kashmir. While the isolated places of southern Punjab may also receive rain during the next 24 hours. This weather system would produce good rain in upper parts of the country on Sunday and Monday. Rainfed areas of wheat growing in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab are likely to receive good rain during the weekend. The highest maximum temperatures recorded during the last 24 hours were Sh.Benazirabad 40 C, Mithi and Padidan and Turbat 38 C. The minimum temperatures recorded in the other cities were Islamabad 14 C, Lahore 15 C, Karachi 22 C, Peshawar 12 C, Quetta 08 C, Skardu 09 C, Murree 03 C, Muzaffarabad 09 C, Gilgit 15 C, Faisalabad 17 C, Multan 18 C and Hyderabad 20 C.—APP

Alkhidmat Foundation holds free medical camp P ESHAWA R —To provide quality health services to the marginalized segments at their doorsteps, Alkhidmat Foundation, a non-governmental welfare organization, held one day free medical camp at Shah Alam area of Tukhtabad in the suburbs of provincial capital. Specialists doctors of Alkhidmat Foundation participated in the health camp wherein a large number of local people were provided free of cost services. Apart from diagnostic services, free medicines were also provided to the patients in the day long camp. People of the area thanks Jamaat-e-Islami for organizing the camp and hoped that more health camps would be held to ensure free healthcare services to the people at their doorsteps.—APP

DC calls for curbing cheating in exams MIRPURKHAS—Divisional Commissioner Mirpurkhas Sajjid Jamal Abro has said that education is the identity of children and it would be lost if they are not stopped from cheating in the examinations. Talking to journalists during his surprise visit to exam centers in the district where the exams of 9th and 10th classes were in progress. “Every stakeholder, including parents, will have to play their due role to eliminate copying in examinations,” he said. He expressed concern that despite a ban on carrying mobile phones inside the exam centers, many students were seen with phones. He directed the officials concerned to ban the entry of the students who have mobile phone with them in exam halls. He caught nine students for cheating and directed that cases should be registered against such students. Besides, he caught two girl students who were cheating in the exams, he added. On the occasion, Chairman of Chief Minister’s team on Inspection, Subhan Memon, made a surprise visit to various exam centres. He directed officials to take strict action against teachers who are found involved in facilitating cheating. He instructed that all the facilities, including safe drinking water, and other things for students should be ensured on a priority basis.—APP


Keep an eye on projects after launch

MEDIA WATCH

Air pollution: Breathtaking

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RIME Minister Nawaz Sharif, on Thursday, chaired two high level meetings pertaining to important projects in the realm of energy, communication and infrastructure. He reviewed progress on Pakistan-China Economic Corridor and directed authorities concerned to ink agreement with friendly China for implementation of Early Harvest Projects. In the second meeting, he instructed concerned Ministries to fast track progress on implementation of different railway links. The mega projects envisioned by the Prime Minister have indeed potential to bring about an economic revolution in the country as they would not only create enormous employment opportunities but also accelerate the pace of development in different parts of the country especially some of the far-flung and backward areas. The Economic Corridor, motorways, highways, railway links, new airports, seaports, water reservoirs and energy projects are, therefore, welcome but their successful implementation hinges mainly on two relevant issues – removal of bureaucratic bottlenecks and lining up of finances. To visualize a project is something else and to transform it into a reality is quite different as it requires deep commitment and hard work. No doubt, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has proved that he can deliver on his commitments relating to mega projects and other important programmes but given the existing state of affairs in the country, one would expect rigorous efforts on his part to move ahead. We have seen that projects were approved but their implementation was delayed for years and in many cases for decades and as a consequence the cost hiked up to ten folds. It is good that Chinese are willing to provide finances for a number of projects and the Prime Minister can use his goodwill in the Arab world to mobilize more resources from there. Similarly, a centralized cell consisting of experts should be created to monitor progress of all these projects on weekly if not daily basis and directly report to the Prime Minister in case of impediments. A clear-cut time frame for different phases of implementation should be devised for each and every project and the project team should be held accountable for lack of progress. Timely and quality implementation of projects would ensure realization of the objectives for which they were launched.

All mourned day of Bhutto’s hanging HE 35th death anniversary of the founding-Chairman of Pakistan Peoples Party and former Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was observed with reverence and respect throughout the country on Friday with party leaders and workers renewing their pledge to carry forward the mission of their leader. Main event was held at Garhi Khuda Bakhsh where central leadership of the party was present and rich tributes were paid to the leader who contributed a lot to carve out a special place for Pakistan in the comity of nations. One may differ with certain policies of late ZAB but no one can deny the fact that he was a leader par excellence and the country suffered a lot due to his hanging in controversial circumstances. Such was the magnitude of that tragedy that its tremors are still being felt and that is why his hanging is not only being mourned by PPP leaders and workers but many people in the length and breadth of the country. There is a sense of remorse over the tragedy as Bhutto was regarded as ‘Fakhar-eAsia’ and one of the prominent leaders of the third world and a personality who tried his best to unite the Muslim Ummah. He also gave the sense of political awareness, which has emboldened different segments of the society to work strenuously to safeguard their rights. It is all the more terrifying that his brilliant daughter and political heiress Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto also met unnatural death besides mysterious killing of his two sons Murtaza and Shahnawaz and the former one shockingly during tenure of his own sister. His wife Begum Nusrat Bhutto died in exile and now his grandson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari is also facing naked threats to his life. People are understandably paying tributes to the family for its unmatched sacrifices but it is time that the culture of hanging of leaders should come to an end.

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Fall of cricket in Dhaka A

LL-rounder M. Hafeez Thursday stepped down as Pakistan T-20 cricket team captain after dismal performance of his team, which failed to qualify for the semi final of the World T20 Tournament in Bangladesh. He set a good example by owning the responsibility and added that he was ready to play under the captaincy of any one else. PCB Chairman Najam Sethi termed his decision to resign as wise and said they would learn from the mistakes to overcome such grey areas to bring improvement in the overall performance of the team in its future outings. We believe that the decision of the Chairman to go for complete overhaul would intensify the on-going controversy surrounding cricket politics. But announcement of Hafeez and decisions of the PCB are understandable as ‘Fall of Cricket in Dhaka’ was a crude shock to cricket lovers, who are unable to digest the ignominious defeat of 84 runs by an otherwise leading team of the globe. The boys played like street children and their performance brought shame to people of Pakistan. However, this is not end of the world, as such things do happen everywhere. This is particularly true of Pakistan where things are not settled down and we are passing through a period transition in different walks of life. Hopefully, with the passage of time, stabilization would come in sports as well as other fields. A realization for the purpose is there and this is good sign for making any improvement or reforming the system. After all, cricketers too are human beings, not immune to errors and faults. We should, therefore, demonstrate maturity and accept things in the sportsman’s spirit. We also hope that sports would be purged of politics and only merit would prevail as only then we can compete with the rest of the world and bring laurels for the country.

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Balochistan and great game using Baloch dissidents and anti-Pakistan NGOs like American Friends of Balochistan - a Washington-based NGO - which Mohammad Jamil works for Indian lobby. Email: mjamil1938@hotmail.com An individual, Ahmer Masti Khan, a man with shady character and soldout soul, also actively ALOCHISTAN, the re works to promote their agenda in source-rich province of Pa Gwadar, who writes letters to Oman kistan, appears to have been embassy in Washington seeking help attracting the attention of foreign of Sultan Qaboos to defeat the alleged predators, usurpers and imperialis- Pak-China Plan by taking over tic powers who intend to expand Gwadar. He distorts history that their influence in the region to gain Gwadar was part of Oman, disregardcontrol of minerals and other eco- ing the fact that Gwadar was purnomic resources. Unfortunately, chased from Oman by Pakistan in Balochistan lacks technological 1958 during Ayub Khan’s regime. He prowess and economic resources to is still living in USA and does not exploit its minerals and untapped come to Balochistan frequently. resources. In this context, Pakistan People like Ahmer Masti Khan cansought China’s help in developing not be the spokespersons for Baloch Gwadar into an international port people. He has also been writing with a future plan to link it with against BLA and its leadership. Last week, a strike and ‘Black Kashgar (China). China had extended economic and technical co- Day’ was observed in parts of operation in developing Gwadar into Balochistan in response to a call by a deep sea port. This development the Baloch Salvation Front (BSF) to created strategic irritations among protest against, what it said, the ancertain powers including USA, In- nexation of Kalat state by Pakistan dia, Iran and Afghanistan. Chinese on March 27, 1948. The BSF spokessignatures in Gwadar are perceived man said Baloch people had nothing as a threat to US influence in the to do with Pakistan’s political or civil region by monitoring the US in the privileges or electoral process to form Persian Gulf and CARS. No doubt, the so-called political government, Gwadar deep sea port has great po- which according to him, dominated tential to boost Pakistan’s economy; by powerful institutions of the state. and mineral resources of The nation and patriotic media now Balochistan could bring prosperity understand the vile acts of centrifunot only to the people of Balochistan gal forces that include Baloch Salvation Front, Baloch Republican but also entire Pakistan. Since the last year, when Paki- Army, Baloch Liberation Army, and stan gave management and control other myriad Baloch dissident of Gwadar Port to China, many ri- groups. They have been distorting valing eyes have started their perni- facts of history and telling lies that cious plans to destabilize Pakistan. Balochistan was forcibly annexed Unfortunately, certain foreign agen- by Pakistan. It has to be mentioned cies including CIA and RAW are that Khan of Kalat was head of a

News & Views

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small tribe namely Brohi, who had assured that nobody would create problems for the British. Thus he was made head of the Confederacy by the British, which was more of a norm to extend its influence in the region and elsewhere. In fact, Baloch people were not supportive of Khan of Kalat and had a different perception, which was evidenced by Mekran, Kharan and Lasbela’s decision of acceding to Pakistan. Khan of Kalat being an intelligent man could visualize that with the coastal line states joining Pakistan, Kalat would become landlocked. Therefore, signing the document to join Pakistan appeared to be his well-considered decision. It was wrong to say that Khan of Kalat was forced to sign the accession at gunpoint. The fact is well-documented that Kharan, Lasbela and Mekran had applied for accession to Pakistan. Mir Habibullah Khan Ruler of Kharan had written to the Quaid that he had repudiated supremacy of Kalat, and vowed to accede to Pakistan. It is an indisputable fact that the British used to give stipends to sardars, but a major portion was given to the chieftains of the tribes. However, after independence, sardars pocketed all perks and privileges, and became owners of the resources without sharing them with their chieftains and tribals. As acknowledged by the UN and international community, Balochistan is an integral part of Pakistan. It has the history of supporting Resolution of Pakistan-1940, which envisaged creation of a separate homeland for Muslim majority areas of Indian subcontinent. No doubt, Baloch leaders and people of Balochistan played a very vital role in creation of Pakistan and ultimately succeeded under the leadership and guidance of Quaid-eAzam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Unfortunately, there have been certain dis-

sident elements who not only opposed the idea of two nation theory – the fundamental ideological base for creation of Pakistan - but also tried to poison the minds of innocent Baloch youth by distorting the history of Balochistan’s accession to Pakistan. In reality before the independence of Pakistan the territories now consolidated into the province of Balochistan did not constitute a settled province. Apart from Quetta District that was administrated under civil law, the rest of the territory was administrated under Frontier Crimes Regulations (FCRs). Government of British India constituted a special body of tribal elders known as “Shahi Jirga” for consultation by Assistant Governor General (AGG) on local issues relating British Balochistan. On 29th June 1947 “Shahi Jirga” of British Balochistan as representative body of AGG along with elected members of Quetta Municipal Body unanimously passed a resolution of forming part of Pakistan. The State of Kalat had customary over-lordship on States of Kharan, Makran and Lasbela. As these three states decided to join Pakistan in March 1948, the Khan of Kalat (KoK) also acceded with Pakistan on 27th March 1948. The brother of KoK having mustered 130 tribesmen started insurgency in 1948 which never took off ground and the matter was brought under control. It means that people of Balochistan reject the politics of dissident sardars. People of Balochistan, especially the youth are very loyal and patriotic Pakistanis who believe in unity and sovereignty of Pakistan. They cannot be misled by elusive designs of greedy leaders who observe 27th March as the Black Day. —The writer is Lahore-based senior journalist.

Opposing views on talks with TTP endearing to influence the wayward and weak Musand guiding them to beAsif Haroon Raja lims come practicing Muslims Email: asifharoon7751@yahoo.com through preaching and demonstrating strength of character. Politico-Religious Leaders/ NTI-PEACE lobby is mak ing hue and cry as to why Scholars sympathize with the cause the government is insisting of militants since they too yearn for on holding talks with the TTP when Shariah. Enlightened Islamists arthe hands of its new leader Maulana gue that despite the fact that it is Fazlullah are dripping in blood of clearly enshrined in the constitution people of Swat and surroundings that Islamic Republic of Pakistan and is a captive of Afghan govern- will be run in accordance with ment. They argue that it is point- Quran and Sunnah, the seculars less to hold talks with Fazlullah who have ruled the country for the who has a history of breaking deals last 66 years, have governed the and had terrorized Swat. Those sug- country on the basis of Westminster gesting dialogue with slaughterers model of democracy and AngloSaxon form of judicial system. Recare termed as insane. Anti-peace lobbies say that ommendations of Islamic Council closure of NATO supply routes in of Ideology made each year have Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) by PTI never been debated in the Parliahas antagonized the US but failed ment, what to talk of implementto appease the TTP. They say that ing them. They say, if the seculars TTP instead of reciprocating have the right to flout the constitugovernment’s goodwill gesture of tion, why the Islamists should be unconditional talks martyred Maj censured for demanding Islamic Gen Sanaullah, attacked a church system of governance and judiin Peshawar, killed police com- ciary? They suspect that God forbid if mandoes in Karachi, slaughtered 23 FC soldiers, attacked military Pakistan is invaded and conquered and civilian targets including dis- by USA, our liberal class will betrict courts Islamabad to disrupt come collaborators and welcome the talks. They argue that military invaders with open arms and garland power must be demonstrated to the them as liberators having saved them adversary so that it begs for talks. from the clutches of savages bent They are pressing the government upon imposing their will by imposto deliver the hammer with full ing horrific Shariah. They say that force to make them surrender and it is these hateful militants who then hold talks from a position of would eventually stand up and fight strength. Anti-Taliban group com- the aggressors to liberate their homeplain that peddlers of hate and de- land as they have done in Afghanistruction have striven to impose stan and Iraq and forced them to quit. Shariah upon others using coer- Militants condone their aggressive cive, cruel and violent methods. acts under the cover of religion, sayInstead of reforming the society by ing they have a noble agenda of es-

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tablishing Shariah in the country for the betterment of the poor. Misusing the name of Islam, they exploit the poverty of the youth hailing from the deprived class and mislead them to become militants and suicide bombers and kill Muslims. The great majority which comprises of the deprived class, groaning under weight of poverty, illiteracy and insecurity and fed up of arrogance of proud pursed elites, is conservative and Islam loving. They hate elite class and consider our rulers as American collaborators slavishly playing US game. Talibanisation in their view is a backlash to the American centric policies pursued by our rulers to protect their interests rather than safeguard Pakistan interests. They fear that Islamic Republic of Pakistan is being turned into an American satellite. Those driven by ignorance, or half-baked knowledge of Islam, or fear, believe that the extremist groups have taken up militancy in order to get rid of anti-poor western systems of governance and justice, and to usher in real Islam in Pakistan for the betterment of the downtrodden. While doing so, they ignore the fact that the whole social fabric has been severely traumatized. Over a period of time, they have begun to realize that Islam preach peace, tolerance, brotherhood, fraternity and shun violence, bigotry and bloodshed as espoused by Taliban. The Ulema belonging to Wafaqul Madaras are now unanimous in declaring suicide attacks as un-Islamic. All religious leaders do not subscribe to violence and say that Quran clearly spells out that murder of one innocent human being is equivalent to murder of entire hu-

manity. Saudi Arabia’s grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh has recently stated that killing oneself is a grave crime and a grave sin and those who kill themselves with explosives are criminals and are moving fast to hell. 300 Ulema belonging to Deoband have also declared suicide attacks as haram. Their verdicts should impel TTP leaders to introspect whether it was right to train teenage boys as suicide bombers and deceivingly making them believe that no sooner they will blow themselves up, they will be welcomed by Hoors and taken to paradise. The verdict must have embarrassed TTP whose spokesman Azam Tariq is on record having stated that ‘Our Ulema have termed suicide attacks as an elite form of Jihad, which has made the Mujahideen invincible’. Misusing the name of Islam, the trainers have been exploiting the poverty of the boys hailing from downtrodden class and misleading them to kill Muslims. The debate whether to hold talks or fight the militants with full force has not subsided despite the fact that a beginning has been made and some progress made in talks. Although one month ceasefire announced by the TTP expired on 31 March and TTP leaders are divided over the issue whether to extend it or renew militancy, chances are that ceasefire will be extended. A safe venue for future talks in settled areas of KP will also be designated. Although the pro-war lobbies are still skeptical, the government and TTP committee are quite optimistic and say very soon the nation will hear good news. —The writer, a retired Brig, is defence analyst and researcher.

IR pollution is a killer, more of a killer than obesity or passive smoking before the smoking ban. It kills indirectly, through heart attacks, lung infections and cancers. No one questions its devastating impact – here, it is estimated to cause 29,000 early deaths per year – yet, like much of the rest of Europe, the UK is falling well short of EU pollution reduction targets and, on its current trajectory, they won’t be reached in London for another 10 years. The smog that has built up across towns and cities in eastern England over the last fortnight is the result. And it will get worse. It is not only home-produced pollutants that are to blame. Along with the Saharan dust, a weather system is bringing in polluting gases from across the Channel. Pollution is even worse in Paris, but there the administration (fleetingly) introduced restrictions on traffic which alerted people to the problem. In Brussels, warnings have been going out for weeks. Only here has there been virtually no discussion of it, until it reached the extreme levels of the past few days. Cutting the amount of ambient air pollution – the concentration of gases like nitrous and sulphuric oxides, and diesel particulates – is not easy. Although air pollution comes from industry and agriculture as well as traffic, in cities it is diesel engines that do most damage. There is a technology that reduces emissions, but it cannot be retro-fitted, and because the EU target relates to concentrates rather than emissions, there has not been enough of an incentive to drive the change. Faced with the failure of its concentration targets, the European commission is changing strategy to concentrate on reducing emissions. The UK is top of the list for excessive concentrates of nitrous dioxide and, if it still fails to conform, may face multi-million pound fines. That is not the only pressure on the government. A year ago, the law firm ClientEarth successfully challenged the UK on its breach of the EU air quality directive. As a result, later this year, the European court of justice will rule on how it should be enforced. And the World Health Organisation warns that air pollution – now the biggest global killer – has serious health consequences, even at levels below the EU clean air directive. Professor Frank Kelly, who is the government’s clean air adviser, says children at school in polluted areas should be kept in at break-time. This is becoming a national crisis. It should not be allowed to happen again. — The Guardian

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Polls in Afghanistan

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FGHANS go to their third presidential polls today for the first democratic transition of power in the nation’s history and a surprisingly high turnout of more than 70 per cent is expected. If this happens, it will be a very hopeful indication of the vast majority of Afghan people’s commitment to the new civil society that they have been slowly building, despite the continuous attacks by the Taliban who are desperate to wreck the new inclusive society emerging in Afghanistan. The presidential elections have two front runners: Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah and it is encouraging that neither are former warlords, both have technocratic backgrounds and both have built teams that cross Afghanistan’s deep ethnic groups. The front-runner is Ghani — the country’s most able finance minister, who is a Pashtun, and his running mate is the well-known Uzbek leader, Abdul Rashid Dostum. A new administration in Afghanistan with a strong mandate will be much better-placed to tackle the dangerous security issues the country faces and to negotiate with the outgoing Nato-ISAF forces about their retreat from Afghanistan. Both leading candidates have promised to sign the Status of Forces Agreement, which was stalled by Karzai in a dangerous fit of pique with America. — Gulf News Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful. —Samuel Johnson British lexicographer


Justice delayed is justice denied tification for protecting those who defy law and act lawless manner. Justices Shaukat M Zafar inareaexpected to give reasons Email: smzafar101@gmail.com for issuing stay orders on already flouted orders. Retirement benefits, includOT all but most of the Hon ing pension and gratuity, constitute orable judges care more a valuable right in property. It also about the views of ruling constitutes an important source of elites than they do about public opin- wherewithal for senior citizens so ion. The idea that judges decide sa- that they can live the twilight years lient cases based on their own pref- in dignity. It is also well established erences has become part of common the service conditions set by the state sense and has eroded the Court’s authorities can not be modified arimage as an expert in the public bitrarily and employers cannot remind. For a long while, I have been duce retirement benefits at their thinking about this convoluted prac- whim and caprice, as they are contice by which an order passed by stitutionally protected and their depsingle judge bench of the Islamabad rivation must stand scrutiny. Pensioners issue was in Service High Court is first violated, then stayed in divisional bench of High Tribunal, Supreme Court, and then Court. If any public institution or in High Court Rawalpindi / authority does not obey a legally valid Islamabad since 2002 and was fiorder, it should invite some punish- nally decided by the single bench of ment instead of granting stay order. Islamabad High Court on 16.5.2013 Should those who violate legal orders by delivering a comprehensive judgment quite in accordance with law. be allowed to go scot-free? When the appellate court grants This gave some hope to the retiree a stay on the original order passed that with the judgment passed by the by single bench after the order has Mr. Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui been violated, it amounts to provid- in W.P.No. 3022 of 2006 and 23 coning the fig leaf of legal sanctity to nected petitions, the issue would be an illegal action. When granting clinched soon without unduly lingersuch stays, the divisional bench of ing it. This hope was belied when High Court usually does not give the judgment was put into dustbin any reasons for doing so. This means and traced only when contempt pethat there is no evidence of any jus- tition was filed by the pensioners.

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On receiving contempt notice the department at its free will issued a circular implementing the flouted order. Pension in some 33 people was revised and difference paid to some of the petitioners. It was a firm commitment before the court that pension benefit of all the petitions would be revised till 31st December 2013, but meantime time-barred appeals were filed in the Divisional Bench of Islamabad High Court and the department managed to get the status quo order. It was a unique status quo order issued by the Divisional Bench against an already implemented judgment. Whom to rely upon? Judiciary is supposed to be the last channel where resource-less common people can knock the doors for an expeditious justice but it appears that executive politics plays its role even there too. It is the most disheartening and sad story of Pakistani judicial system that courts are used in general and in practice not to get justice but to perpetuate reign of injustice. With the ongoing court case and the closed gates for pensioners, what should pensioners do when several have died hoping justice and rest are getting so aged ready to leave to eternal world? Even those cases which find their way to the courts linger on in such a way that their decisions lose relevancy and meaning. These

injustices create a feeling of deprivation, indignity and frustration. Frustration always gives rise to hatred against those who are perceived to be the cause and source of it. It is unfortunate, that the dimensions of these frustrations are continuing to increase with the passage of time. In order to get justice under the judicial system of Pakistan, one has to be blessed with a life as long as centuries. The judiciary would consider not granting stays on orders when anyone approaches it after defying a legally valid order. Our present practice in the courts favors those who can spend money on hiring lawyers. The public institutions not only spend lavishly on advocates to prolong the hearing, torture the fighting employees but also try its best to weaken the fighting intensity of poor employees. The lawyers who help obtain a stay in the High Court are known to generally charging whopping Rs 20-25 lacs or even more for a single appearance. Perhaps we could change it to favor the rule of law. Only respect for courts will not make a better law-abiding nation; respect for the law will. I strongly feel that any action by an instrument of the state which diminishes respect for the rule of law must be stopped.

— The writer is Islamabadbased former banker.

Media’s role in nation building zens of Pakistan irrespective of cast, creed or posiHowever, with the Rakhshanda Pakistani tion. passage of time Pakistan Email: rakhshanda rakhshy@gmail.com also joined the crowd and did not remain an exception from the general trend N most the countries the media is in the world as successive civil and subjected to curbs, sanctions and military governments began to use the obstacles to ensure that only the media to their own advantage. In the policy of the sitting government is garb of designing ‘a code of conduct’ propagated and its performance for the media they sought to provide eulogised. The basic concept of the loopholes so as to exploit them for media contributing towards nation channelizing it to propagate only the building activities is violated and it government’s points of view. Some is used to indoctrinate the masses, newspapers (very few) continued to propagate the government’s point of defy this government’s policy and view and elongate the span of rule of follow an independent as well as nathe authoritarian regime. tionalistic course of action but genIn the first few years after inde- erally most of the other newspapers pendence, the media in Pakistan was fell in line with the not only free but also acted with a Government’s requirements sense of responsibility to ensure that and were duly exploited (and also the fruits of the freedom were equi- rewarded by different means) by the tably distributed amongst all the citi- successive governments till late as

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well. The television and radio were obviously used as state organs totally under control and acting according to the directives of the always sitting governments. Only some print media, to include selected newspapers and periodicals, showed some signs of independence and followed the long-term objective of nationalistic point of view, which they practiced and preached despite all the hurdles and drawbacks of doing so. Today in current scenario, there are 45 private television channels and 104 private radio stations operating freely in the country. Many new newspapers and periodicals have started operations during this time period and continue to follow an independent policy criticizing the government where necessary and supporting it where its actions are considered positive. This is evident from the free expression of points of view

by both the supporters and opponents of the government and can be judged from the “style and substance” of discussions, talk shows, seminars, debates, lectures, articles and parodies being presented on the electronic and print media. It is fervently hoped that despite some irritants and temporary distractions the understanding developed between the government and the media will be maintained and the freedom of media will be ensured .It is also hoped and we pray that it so happens that combined with their national spirit as well as sense of responsibilities the media will be allowed to play its due role in the building of national opinion and contributing towards the long term objectives of freedom, independence, prosperity and nation building, Insha’ Allah. —The writer is a Dubai-based senior columnist.

Views From Abroad

Russia and China new best chums? David A. Andelman

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S and Western European sanctions against Russian President Vladimir Putin and his cronies, however just their cause, risk undoing what more than half a century of American presidents sought to foster — continued division and distrust between China and Russia. So far, the sanctions are weak and unlikely to cause much change in the financial relationship between Europe and Russia, but if they are strengthened, as President Obama is suggesting, the calculus in Moscow and Beijing could change rapidly. Some European leaders understand the danger of uniting Eurasia’s largest resource-rich nation with the world’s most populous nation or, at least, the permanent disruption it could cause in both military and economic terms. This week, the French newspaper Le Monde published on its website a chilling interactive map of the ties that bind each European country to Russia, which Obama archly dismisses as merely a “regional power.”In fact, for so many of its

neighbours, Russia is the godfather of regional powers. Finland, Lithuania, Estonia, Slovakia and the Czech Republic buy virtually all their natural gas from Russia, while Poland, Austria, Latvia, Bulgaria and Greece, look to Russia for a half to three-quarters of their gas. Even Europe’s economic powerhouse, Germany, relies on Russia for 40% of its gas supplies. Times could be changing. In May, Putin is planning a state visit to Beijing. At the top of the agenda — a 30-year deal to redirect Russia’s vast gas supplies to China. At least 38 billion cubic meters of gas a year would begin flowing to China by 2018. That’s about what all of the European Union, other than Germany, buys from Russia. A decision by Russia to disentangle itself from unreliable European economic partners would have far more wide-ranging consequences. Russia is a major investor in Western Europe, including $31 billion in the Netherlands, $30 billion in Cyprus and $8 billion in Switzerland. Americans and Europeans are big investors there, as well. Since 2009, hundreds of billions have flowed into Russia to buy stocks and debt. Direct

investment by foreign companies in Russia hit a record $94 billion in 2013 alone. If you have a 401(k), chances are good you’ve invested in Russia. Moreover, Russia is a major destination for West European exports — with Germany’s giant Siemens conglomerate in the midst of a 2.5 billion euro contract to supply locomotives to Russian Railways and France producing two Mistral-class warships for the Russian navy at a cost of 1.2 billion euros. Trade between Russia and the EU was more than $400 billion in 2013, below only the United States and China. At one time, in the depths of the communist era, there was fear of Chinese hordes poised to come pouring across the broad frontier, overwhelming Russia and its people. Since the break-up of the old Soviet empire, certainly since the arrival of Putin in power, the frost on the relationship between Beijing and Moscow has been thawing. The “Sino-Soviet split” was real and tangible under Mao, Stalin and their successors. Now, though Russia has been expelled from the Group of Eight club of developed nations, Russia and China have become leaders of another bloc of powers: the Shanghai Coop-

eration Organization, which also embraces Central Asian nations that were once all components of the Soviet Union. Clearly, Russia is preparing for a new order of some sort. With each additional set of sanctions, the stage is being set for separation. After the White House persuaded Visa and MasterCard to drop their cards issued by Russian banks, Putin announced the establishment of a Russian payment system with its own credit cards and underwriting. In last week’s swing through Western Europe, President Obama set forth a program designed to further isolate Russia from the West. But as many Europeans envision and fear, when one door closes, another opens. In the end, we must listen carefully to European concerns that tightening sanctions will isolate Europe and the United States as much as it will Russia. The danger that Obama’s tough talk forces Russia finally to turn its back on the West, embracing a new opening to the East, is profound. The writer is editor in chief of World Policy Journal and author of A Shattered Peace: Versailles 1919 and the Price We Pay Today. — Courtesy: USA Today

Computer savvy..!

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LL of us are not computer savvy! We better be if we need to keep up with the rest of the world! A few years ago a writer friend of mine who was a diehard typewriter faithful finally decided to change over to a computer. He had his first problem on the first day. The tutor teaching him called out the instructions on the phone: “OK Shyam, let’s press the control and escape keys at the same time. That brings up a task list in the middle of the screen. Now type

the letter ‘P’ to bring up the Program Manager.” “I don’t have a ‘P’.” said a distraught Shyam “On your keyboard sir,” said his tutor patiently. “ “What do you mean?” “‘P’ on your keyboard, Shyam!” “I’m not going to do that!” exclaimed my shocked friend. Then there was Sheila who called Tech Support for HewlettPackard’s DeskJet division for about a month with a problem no one could solve: She could not print yellow. All the other colors would print fine, which truly baffled everyone because the only true colors are cyan, magenta, and yellow. For instance, green is a combination of cyan and yellow, but green printed fine. Every color of the rainbow printed fine except for yellow. Tech support had Sheila change ink cartridges. They made her delete and reinstall the drivers. After

over two hours of troubleshooting, they were about to tell the customer to send the printer in for repair when she asked quietly, “Should I try printing on a piece of white paper instead of this yellow paper?” I recall a call from another friend who said that her laser printer was having problems: The bottom half of her printed sheets were coming out blurry. It seemed strange that the printer was smearing only the bottom half. She was taken through the basics, then went over and printed out a test sheet. It printed fine. She was then asked to print a sheet, so she sent a job to the printer. As the paper started coming out, she yanked it out and showed it to the hardware engineer who completely at a loss for words finally managed to explain to her to wait until the paper came out

on its own. Problem solved. Another user was all confused about why the cursor always moved in the opposite direction from the movement of the mouse. He also complained that the buttons were difficult to depress. He was very embarrassed when told to rotate the mouse so the tail pointed away from her..! And here’s another: Mona at a cyber café looked around agitatedly. The owner came to her and asked if she needed any help. “About time!” she grumbled, “I pressed the ‘help’ button fifteen minutes back and now you come..! Yet with all these hiccups, the joy in working on the computer is beyond words isn’t it? A whole new world opens up.! What d’you say Shyam and Mona and Sheila? —Email:bobsbanter@gmail.com

Voice of the People Just call me Muslim SANJHA SOOMRO SANJHA. Today void and discrimination amongst sects is openly publicised in Pakistan. Owing to the lack of quality education and teachers and teaching of irresponsible textbooks in our schools, coupled with biased statements made by myopic religious leaders, the society in Pakistan has made assumptions based on people’s religious views. It is highlighted that being a Muslim you are superior to the followers of other faiths; and inside the Muslim ummah, if you are a Sunni, you are a better Muslim than other sects; if you are a Shia, you are better than the followers of other sects so on and so forth. I once sat in a majlis at a Shia mosque and heard a long speech highlighting all that was wrong with Sunnis, and heard similar sermons about Shia Muslims at Sunni mosques. Let us be Muslims, tolerant Muslims believing in peaceful co-existence and working for sectarian harmony. —Karachi

Reading habits MAIMOONA SAQIB To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life, said W. Somerset Maugham. A good book is considered panacea for mental agony that one suffers during day-to-day life. With the technological advancements in the satellite era, reading habit is said to have taken a beating, or it seems. But that is not the case as reading had never been a habit of common people. What seems to have changed over the years is the taste of youngsters who are more inclined to light readings with the plot they identify themselves rather than the one loaded with philosophical anecdotes. Again, it depends on their taste. Youngsters read every kind of authors, from Charles Dickens to Jamil Ahmed. Kids and young adults seem to be getting inclined to books once again in search of best friends. A few years back, there was decline in the number of young readers but now the trend in on the rise again. Personality development books are more popular among them. Parents usually encourage their wards to read beyond textbook. Talking about eBooks - most of the publications are easily available on the internet and can be downloaded free. Though it is not the same as holding the paperback but still getting the information is better than not reading at all. —Via emil

Steel mill for Chiniot SRH HASHMI It is good to hear the initial reports of deposits of iron ore in Rajua, in the Chiniot District. The dynamic Chief Minister of Punjab, Shahbaz Sharif has already signed an agreement with a company stated to be of world fame, Metallurgical Corporation of China, for further assessment of the reserves and coming up with a report within ten months, giving detailed estimates about the quality and quantity of the deposits. In case, the quantity and quality of iron deposits is found suitable, Shahbaz Sharif has already announced establishing world’s largest steel mill in Chiniot. It is hoped that in case of iron deposits being found to be suitable for commercial exploitation, Shahbaz Sharif will get all the required feasibility reports and also seek expert and unbiased opinion about the setting of the steel mills, looking even beyond Provincial boundaries. It might prove a better alternative to use the iron ore at the already established Pakistan Steel Mills for which the Russian government has offered a one billion US dollar package in order to rehabilitate it and to increase its production capacity substantially. Additionally, a huge steel mill would require thousands of skilled and semi-skilled workers with relevant experience and lot of ancillary industries which develop around an existing facility, and which would be available in abundance in Karachi, in comparison to Chiniot, which specializes in, and is famous world-over for exquisite woodwork His speech had one negative aspect when he said “we worked round the clock for forwarding this project and three Secretaries of Mineral Department who showed negligence in implementation of the project of mineral reserves were transferred to other Provinces.” I think the right course would have been to discharge them or at least to send them on early

Industrial waste treatment HARIS MAJEED

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would like to the notice of all the saner segments of society, the ecological aggregations caused by the commercial enterprises towards natural contamination. The poisonous and deadly effluents of industrial enterprises, tanneries, chemical concerns and other factories are released into the river water. They are doing so in total disregard to the rules and terms of reference underlying the establishment of these industrial and commercial entities. As a concerned and affected resident, I visited a nearby emanating treatment plant. I was stunned to discover that it was closed down because of the absence of working capital. At present release of fluid and poisonous waste into the river is eliminating the riparian livestock including the fishes. It is transforming the river into a vast sewer. Maybe these commercial ventures don’t understand that a clean stream will bring them goodwill and well being. If some remedial measures are not taken, there are obvious chances of breaking out of some halth hazardous epidemics and maladies. —Karachi

retirement, instead of transferring them to other Provinces. I hope Shahbaz Sharif is not working on the lines of a suggestion once made in a lighter vein to fastforward the industrial and commercial activity in Pakistan. It was suggested that a substantial portion of our abundant and surplus poets should be exported to advanced countries, whose august presence, while lifting the souls, would have the natural effect of retarding the material progress in those countries whereas left with fewer poets, we may be in a far better position to progress in industrial and commercial fields. It was suggested that this was the only way to enable us to catch up with the advanced countries and hopefully, over time, even to leave them miles behind. No disrespect is intended to esteemed poets. —Karachi

Asian kids are the best SANAM TAJJAMUL According to a new study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, children in Asian countries are on average better problem solvers than their European and American peers. The study was conducted in 2012, tested more than 85,000 children of 15 year age, in 44 countries and economies on their problem solving skills, testing their ability to explore limitations or obstacles and to understand Pakistan has earth-shattering brains more than our imaginations. The only thing is lack of resources due to which many talents never unearthed. And if someone gets the opportunity to express his aptitude, is usually not appreciated up to a mark level. The key of the economic success in the future is how to crack complex problems. So, if we want our country to be auspicious, it’s not only the duty of government to promote education on national basis but also the teachers who should encourage their students in reading history, social sciences, natural sciences, modern physics and mathematics and apply them in other subjects. Pakistan is strong for the diversity and dynamism of its people and is strongest when every man and woman in Pakistan, regardless of religion or sect or gender, participates his/her role in nation building. —Karachi

Fountain of youth FATIMA ISLAM The Age of Discovery is a period of European global explorations; when the people in Europe searched for the truth and logic of different myths and of the most famous myth was fountain of youth! The Fountain of Youth is a spring that supposedly restores the youth of anyone who drinks or bathes in its waters. After drinking or bathing into such fountain will not only restore the youth but will keep the person young, beautiful and healthy. Tales of such a fountain have been recounted across the world for thousands of years, appearing in writings by Herodotus (5th century BC), the Alexander’s romance and the stories of John Peter (early Crusades, 11th /12th centuries CE). Stories of similar waters were also evidently prominent among the indigenous peoples of the Caribbean during the Age of Exploration (early 15th century), who spoke of the restorative powers of the water in the mythical land of Bimini. According to legend, the Spanish heard of Bimini from the Arawak’s in Hispaniola, Cuba, and Puerto Rico. `The Caribbean islanders described a mythical land of Beimeni or Beniny (whence Bimini), a land of wealth and prosperity, which became conflated with the fountain legend. By the time of Ponce de Leon, the land was thought to be located northwest towards the Bahamas (called la Vieja during the Ponce expedition). ith passing time people immersed more in the fascination of

this fountain of youth and set sails for the search of the fountain but the legend became particularly prominent in the 16th century, when it became attached to the Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León, first Governor of Puerto Rico. Ponce de León was searching for the Fountain of Youth when he travelled to what is now Florida in 1513 but he was unsuccessful. But even returning of Leon empty handed, did not discouraged people and they continued searching for the sign of the fountain but do the fountain of youth really exists? In the age of modern era where scientists have relevant answer to every myth, the answer to this mystery has also been unravelled. From recent years, the research in Geriatrics or geriatric medicine of elderly people, aims at promoting health by preventing and treating disabilities and disabilities in older adults) have been focused on the process of aging. The process of aging is rapid in early years and then it slows down at the particular age. Human brain is the most complex insightful organ discovered up till now. It is the control centre of the body different parts of brain specialize in controlling different processes the pituitary gland, or hypophysis, which is an endocrine gland about the size of a pea and weighing 0.5 grams (0.018 oz) present in medulla oblongata (hind brain). Its work is to release hormones then bind to anterior pituitary endocrine cells, up regulating or down regulating their release of hormones. To this pituitary gland that at certain age the process of hormone releases slows down and eventually stops there is no diagnoses or prevention to stop this process so the researchers have concluded that if the whole pituitary gland in human can be replaced by fresh pituitary gland the work of pituitary gland will start afresh and the body will continue to synthesize new cells and carry out other metabolic activities these can prolong human life to boundless years. So the fountain of youth is present nowhere else but in the human itself! —Via email

Address genuine issues HASHIM ABRO Ours is a society of issues after issues, chronic and chaotic issues, strikes and slogans, protests and provocations, allegations and counter-allegations, serious blunders and excuses but not of wellthought and well-conceived actions to strengthen the state and society. Now we have nothing to debate and discuss but General (retired) Musharraf and his trial in the special tribunal. The state faces several severe challenges both internal and external; hence, approaches must move beyond the slogans of the moment such as “two-three strikes and you’re out” and the excuses of the past. Revolutionary and reformative actions may be taken to address the issues such as lawlessness, militancy, growing intolerance, poor governance, ailing economy, slow delivery of justice to the litigant public, deterioration of overall competence and service delivery in the public sector, climatic and environmental change, drought and famine situation in Thar and other parts of Sindh where dance of death still continues, food and energy crisis, morality crisis, etc.in the supreme interest of the nation. —Islamabad

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.

—Editor Email:editorial@pakobserver.net


Rebels take northern Syrian town on main highway BEIRUT—Islamist rebels in Syria have re- ing Babolin, rebels were battling pro-Assad unconscious man lying on a bed and being Jobar this year. taken a town from President Bashar alAssad’s forces, activists said on Friday, in part of an offensive along a stretch of the main highway linking Damascus to the northern city of Aleppo. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said rebels killed 18 soldiers and disabled two tanks in the fight for the northern town of Babolin. The rebel assault coincided with a two-week-old offensive further west in the coastal province of Latakia, a heartland of Assad’s minority Alawite sect, where fighters seeking to overthrow him have seized a border crossing and several villages. Assad’s army, backed by local militia and Lebanese Hezbollah fighters, has made steady gains around Damascus and in the Lebanese border areas, but his forces remain stretched and rebels have sought to seize the initiative elsewhere. After captur-

fighters along a nearby 20-mile (30-km) stretch of highway between the towns of Morek and Maarat al-Nuaman, the Observatory, which is based in Britain, said. The fall of Babolin puts pressure on two military bases on the edge of Maarat alNuaman held by Assad’s forces. Rebels had blockaded the bases for six months, trying to cut Assad’s main road link between Damascus and Aleppo, before they were pushed back in April 2013. More than 150,000 people have been killed in Syria’s three-year-old civil war, the Observatory said this week. More than 2.6 million people have fled Syria as refugees and another 6 million have been internally displaced by the violence. Meanwhile, opposition activists again accused President Bashar al-Assad’s forces of using poison gas in Syria’s civil war on Thursday, showing footage of an apparently

treated by medics. The alleged attack on the neighborhood of Jobar in the capital Damascus comes a week after the Syrian government sent a letter to the United Nations claiming it had evidence that rebel groups were planning a toxic gas attack in the same area. It could not be verified if the footage or the claims due to security restrictions on reporting in Syria. Activists from the opposition “Jobar Revo” group posted the video on YouTube of a man being treated with oxygen and being injected by medics. A voice off-screen said Thursday’s date and that there was “a poison attack in Jobar.” Another opposition group, the Syrian Revolutionary Coordinators Union, said that all those affected by the gas were “in a good condition”. There has been on-off fighting between rebels and government forces in

In a letter dated March 25 and circulated by the United Nations this week, Syria’s U.N. envoy, Bashar Ja’afari, said his government had intercepted communications between “terrorists” that showed a man named Abu Nadir was secretly distributing gas masks in the rebel-held Jobar area. Ja’afari said in the letter addressed to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the U.N. Security Council that this information “confirms that armed terrorist groups are preparing to use toxic gas in Jobar quarter and other areas, in order to accuse the Syrian government of having committed such an act of terrorism.” A U.N. inquiry found in December that sarin gas had likely been used in Jobar in August and in several other locations, including in the rebel-held Damascus suburb of Ghouta, where hundreds of people were killed.—Agencies

Labour protest sparks clashes in Brussels BRUSSELS—Belgian police used water cannon and pepper spray on protesters who had showered them with oranges and cobblestones during a demonstration Friday by labor unions demanding a better deal for Europe’s working men and women. The protest in Brussels, in which thousands took part peacefully, was called by the European Trade Union Confederation to oppose austerity measures implemented across the 28-country European Union. Participants also voiced their opposition to social dumping, whereby businesses import cheaper workers to replace local hires, or export jobs to a low-wage country or area. As well as paralyzing traffic in the Belgian capital, the demonstration sent the U.S. Embassy into lockdown as the American ambassador to the EU, Anthony L. Gardner, was conducting an unrelated briefing for journalists. Embassy staff said it was the first lockdown they could recall in years. At one of the protest hot spots, near the European Union headquarters buildings, longshoremen from the Belgian cities of Antwerp and Ghent clashed with riot police. Police said one demonstrator was hurt when a rock he was trying to throw hit him on the head instead. Associated Press reporters saw several people who had been injured, including a policeman apparently struck by a cobblestone.—AP

Russia says all Ukrainian servicemen left Crimea M OSCOW —All the the Ukrainian servicemen stationed in Crimea were allowed to leave for mainland Ukraine but 8,000 military men stayed and applied for permission to join the Russian army, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said in televised comments on Friday. Russia annexed the Black Sea peninsula in March after Crimea residents voted overwhelmingly to seek to join Russia. The referendum was called two weeks earlier, coinciding with the military occupation of the region by armed men in unmarked uniforms. Shoigu on Friday described claims that the Russian army has mistreated Ukrainian servicemen as “improper and provocative.” Several senior Ukrainian officers including a military base commander were briefly detained by the Russian forces and kept in custody for several days. Moscow has never admitted that the thousands of troops roaming the peninsula, seizing the airports and putting up road blocks were in fact Russian.—AFP

Pakistanis in Australia to hold demo for Musharraf SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT I SLAMABAD — According to a message received here a section of Pakistanis in Australia plans to hold a demonstration in Sydney on April 6, (Sunday) to urge the Government of Pakistan to allow former President General ® Pervez Musharraf to visit her ailing mother in Dubai. According to a Pakistani community leader, Syed Atiqul Hassan “Pervez Musharraf dealt with the international powers in difficult times of Pakistan, rescued the country and made a stronger economy, technology and defense”. Atiqul Hassan who is also a senior journalist and editor of Tribune International added that “Now, it is the time for the international community and patriotic Pakistanis to provide him justice.” Another member of Pakistani community, Shamsul Abbas said in a statement that “we, we need to stand-up and raise our voice in order to pressurize the government of Pakistan to withdraw all the fake cases against him and let him free as a respectable citizen because Musharraf is not a traitor but a loyalist Pakistani.” Another Pakistani community member, Rehan Shakeel said “Musharraf’s 95 years old mother is fighting for her life in UAE’s hospital and Musharraf is not being given permission to see her mother, this is may be consider as a humiliation of international human rights.” Pakistani community leaders have appealed to the Pakistanis living in Australia to join the protest march and send a message to the Government.

A protester hurls a cobblestone toward police officers during a trade union demonstration in the European Quarter of Brussels.

Erdogan calls for rate cut, says no early election A NKARA —Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan called for an emergency interest rate cut, ruled out early elections and spoke against the lifting of a Twitter ban on Friday, signalling no let-up in his domineering style ahead of an expected August presidential bid. Returning to the public eye after several days of rest following his AK Party’s strong showing in local polls last Sunday, Erdogan said markets had rallied on the back of the election results and lower interest rates would encourage investors to pump more money into Turkey. But his efforts to dictate monetary policy unnerved the markets, with the lira weakening on fears that political pressure to keep rates low could compromise the central bank’s ability to fight rising inflation and external imbalances.

France’s new finance minister to meet Schaeuble BERLIN —France’s new Finance Minister Michel Sapin will meet his German counterpart in Berlin on Monday, a German finance ministry spokeswoman told AFP. European and bilateral issues will be the focus of the talks with Germany’s Wolfgang Schaeuble, with a joint press conference planned afterwards. But the visit will come days after Sapin, who was appointed on Wednesday in a government re-shuffle, said he would discuss the “pace” of deficit reduction during talks with EU partners.—AFP

The lira later recovered its losses after solid U.S. March jobs data, raising hopes that sharp tapering of bond purchases by the United States would be less likely and boosting emerging market assets. “Yields are falling. In line with this, the central bank will probably convene an extraordinary monetary policy committee meeting,” Erdogan said, adding that it should “review” its decision to hike rates at an emergency meeting in January. “Just like it convened extraordinarily last time to hike rates, this time it should convene and lower interest rates,” he told a news conference before departing on a trip to Azerbaijan Erdogan’s AK Party dominated the electoral map in Sunday’s elections, retaining control of the two biggest cities, Istanbul and Ankara, and rais-

ing its share of the national vote despite a corruption scandal rocking the government and a feud with an influential U.S.-based Islamic cleric. Investors largely welcomed the outcome, taking it is as a sign of continuity after a turbulent election campaign, but they also fear it could fuel Erdogan’s domineering instincts, including his readiness to interfere in monetary policy. “Suffice to say, very negative and disruptive comments,” Timothy Ash, head of emerging markets research at Standard Bank in London, said of Erdogan’s latest words. “Politicians should steer clear of making such specific comments over monetary policy in countries which are supposed to operate with independent central banks,” he said.—Reuters

South Korea tests missile bringing entire North in range S EOUL —South Korea said Friday it had the South’s ballistic missile systems. successfully test-fired a new ballistic missile capable of carrying a one-tonne payload to any part of North Korea. The launch was carried out March 23, just two days before North Korea test fired two mediumrange ballistic missiles capable of striking Japan. The announcement of the test is likely to fuel the current tensions on the Korean peninsula which saw the two rivals fire hundreds of live shells into each other’s territorial waters earlier this week. The new South Korean missile, capable of carrying a one-tonne payload up to 500 kilometres (310 miles), was developed under an agreement reached in 2012 with the United States to almost triple the range of

The United States stations 28,500 troops in South Korea and guarantees a nuclear “umbrella” in case of any atomic attack. In return, Seoul accepts limits on its missile capabilities and had previously operated under a range and payload ceiling of 300 kilometres and 500 kilograms (1,100 pounds). Given the ambitions of nuclear-armed North Korea’s own missile programme, the South had long argued for the limits to be extended. The 2012 agreement, which was denounced as a provocation by Pyongyang, allows the South to deploy missiles with a maximum range of 800 kilometres.—AFP

Afghanistan votes on its future ANJA MANUEL

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HE coverage on the impending Afghan presiden tial elections has been filled with death and chaos — the tragic shooting at the Serena hotel where an international election monitor was killed, the shocking attack on the Afghan Election Commission’s headquarters, the killing of a provincial council candidate and the news that several international monitoring groups are pulling out. These tragedies, however, shift the focus from the major news in Afghanistan this week: Election fever has gripped the nation. I hear from Afghans as well as many foreigners now working in Afghanistan that the excitement about the coming April 5 presidential election is palpable and encouraging. If this election goes relatively smoothly, it will mark the first democratic handover of power in Afghan history. Potential large-scale fraud and violence will be substantial obstacles to overcome, but there are also some positive signs. Voters, observers and security personnel are gearing up with a mixture of enthusiasm and trepidation. Why be optimistic? Civil society has begun to blossom in many parts of Afghanistan after decades of repression and near-constant war. Bearded men pump their fists in the air during election rallies, others dance in dusty fields at political gatherings while volunteers serve lunch and tea. Millions of Afghans watch the candidates’ heated debates on television. One key accelerator of civic participation has been the National Solidarity Program. To get funding for village projects under the program, tens of thousands of villages were required to elect local councils to decide how the money would be spent, and many women now serve as leaders of these councils. The flawed parliamentary and presidential elections in 2009 also showed many young Afghans what can happen if they are not engaged — and they seem grittily determined to flaunt Taliban violence and vote. The Afghan media has been covering the campaigns non-stop, and candidates are actively campaigning and debating, rather than focusing on rigging votes, as they might have in the past. The Afghan Election Commission has been surprisingly well-organized during this campaign, according to U.S. sources familiar with its work. They are ahead of schedule on key tasks such as organizing poll monitors, sending ballots to provinces and organizing security at polling stations. The international community is providing funding and local technical advice. Though most media attention has focused on international observers, I know from personal experience as an election monitor in Pakistan how important national observers are as well. Two independent monitoring groups are deploying approximately 10,000 to 15,000 national observers at polling sites around the country and the various political factions are planning to marshal tens of thousands more. These constant eyes on voting by all parties involved make fraud more difficult. International observers add an important second layer of neutrality to the election. Before the violence, there were plans for only 200 foreign monitors. Their partial withdrawal (roughly 80 reportedly remain) will not have a decisive impact. This positive view is not meant to minimize the massive challenges that surround this election. They include: Violence and Security: The Taliban have launched a concerted effort to disrupt the elections through violence and they have unleashed spectacular suicide attacks. Afghans have responded with defiance and are resolutely planning to vote. To protect voters, more than 380,000 army, police and international forces will be working to secure the elections, and more than 13,000 women will also help with security to boost gender participation. A Motley Crew: The three frontrunners in the presidential election — Zalmai Rassoul, Abdullah Abdullah, and Ashraf Ghani — are well-educated, Western-friendly, experienced administrators. Six of the other candidates or their running mates, however, are former warlords. These warlords, men like Abdul Rasul Sayyaf and Rashid Dostum, were ruthless killers in the 1990s civil war but they also helped defeat the Taliban in 2001-2. They have all now pledged to support the national government, and declared their commitment to working with the West, and to signing the security agreement with Washington. They even talk enthusiastically about women’s rights. Yet how they will act in office or as power-brokers during a run-off election remains to be seen. Fraud: No one should be under any illusion that this election will be entirely “free and fair.” In a desperately poor country, a few dollars or just a free meal can buy a vote. There are accounts of virtually all candidates distributing such “bakshish.” We must accept that this election will be far from perfect. Afghans will likely tolerate small-scale fraud, but they may resort to violent protest if they believe a candidate without broad support has maneuvered into office. The key to Afghanistan’s long-term stability will be a peaceful transfer of power to a new president selected by the electorate — and that president’s ability to work with the losers in the election to build a new Afghanistan. This is the moment for the international community to step back, be patient but engaged, and let Afghans decide their destiny. —Courtesy Reuters

Living in Putin’s world IVAN KRASTEV

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HE West is now living in Putin’s world. It is there not because Putin is right, or even because he is stronger, but because he is taking the initiative. Putin is “wild” while the West is “wary.” While European and American leaders recognize that the world order is undergoing a dramatic change, they cannot quite grasp it. They remain overwhelmed by Putin’s transformation from CEO of Russia, Inc., into an ideologyfueled national leader who will stop at nothing to restore his country’s influence. International politics may be founded on treaties, but it functions on the basis of rational expectations. If those expectations turn out to be wrong, the prevailing international order collapses. That is precisely what has hap-

pened in the course of the Ukrainian crisis. Just a few months ago, most western politicians were convinced that in an interdependent world revisionism is too costly and that despite Putin’s determination to defend Russia’s interests in the post-Soviet space, he would not resort to military force to do so. It is now clear that they were sorely mistaken. Then, after Russian troops occupied Crimea, international observers largely assumed that the Kremlin would support its secession from Ukraine but would stop short of making it part of the Russian Federation. That belief, too, proved to be entirely wrong. At this point, the West has no idea what Russia is willing to do, but Russia knows exactly what the West will — and, more important, will not — do. This has created a dangerous asymmetry. For example, when Moldova requests membership in the European

Union, Russia may move to annex its breakaway region of Transnistria, where Russian troops have been stationed for two decades. And Moldova now knows that, should that happen, the West will not intervene militarily to protect its sovereignty. When it comes to Ukraine, Russia has made it clear that it hopes to obstruct the May presidential election, which western leaders hope will cement change in Ukraine, while turning the country’s constitutional negotiations into the opening act in the establishment of a new European order. Russia envisions Ukraine becoming something akin to Bosnia — a radically federalized country comprising political units that each adheres to its own economic, cultural, and geopolitical preferences. In other words, while Ukraine’s territorial integrity would technically be preserved, the eastern part of the coun-

try would have closer ties with Russia than with the rest of Ukraine — similar to the relationship between Bosnia’s Republika Srpska and Serbia. This creates a dilemma for Europe. While radical federalization could allow Ukraine to remain intact through the current crisis, it would most likely doom the country to disintegration and failure in the longer term. As Yugoslavia’s experience demonstrated, radical decentralization works in theory but does not always work in practice. The West will be confronted with the uneasy task of rejecting in the postSoviet space solutions that it promoted two decades ago in the former Yugoslavia. Confronted with Russia’s revisionism, the West resembles the proverbial drunkard searching for his lost keys under a streetlight, because that is where the light is. With their assump-

tions invalidated, western leaders are struggling to craft an effective response. In Europe, the strategies that have emerged — trivializing the annexation of Crimea or treating Putin as a madman — are self-defeating. The EU is oscillating between rhetorical extremism and policy minimalism. Though some have recommended an ill-advised expansion by NATO in the post-Soviet space, most are limiting themselves to support for symbolic sanctions, such as visa bans that affect a dozen or so Russian officials. But this could ratchet up pressure on non-sanctioned Russian elites to prove their loyalty to Putin, possibly even triggering a purge of the more prowestern elements in Russia’s political class. Indeed, no one actually believes that the visa bans will make a difference. They were imposed because doing so was the only action upon which west-

ern governments could agree. When it comes to Ukraine, both western leaders and western publics are in a mood of preventive disappointment. Burned by a decade of wishful thinking and over-expectations — from the “color revolutions” in the post-Soviet world to the Arab Spring — western public opinion has chosen to hear only bad news now. And this is the real risk, because the future of the European order mostly depends on what happens next in Ukraine. It is now clear that Crimea will not return to Kiev; but it is also clear that postponement of the May election will mean the end of Ukraine, as we know it. It is the West’s responsibility to persuade Russia to support the elections — and to guarantee that the needed constitutional reforms will be decided in Kiev, not in Dayton. —Courtesy Arab News


TTP extends ceasefire

Afghans elect

From Page 1

by the Afghan National Army and Afghan police, the news agency said. A unit commander walked up to their car as it waited to move, yelled “Allahu akbar” — “God is great” — and opened fire on them in the back seat, the AP said. He then surrendered to the other police present. The reason for the attack is unclear, but police have arrested the suspected shooter and the case is under investigation, Baryalay Rawan, a spokesman for the Khost provincial governor, told CNN. The three leading presidential candidates — Abdullah Abdullah, Zalmai Rassoul and Ashraf Ghani — have told CNN that they are in favor of signing a deal. Abdullah, who was a vocal critic of the Taliban during their years in power, was a previous Karzai ally and served in his government as foreign minister. But in later years, he has been a thorn in the side of the outgoing President. He is seen as a relatively liberal candidate and advocate of women’s engagement in public life. Rassoul is seen as the establishment candidate. A Karzai ally, he received the backing of the current President’s brother, Qayum, who withdrew his candidacy and endorsed the former foreign minister. Rassoul has a reputation for honesty, despite his years in an administration plagued with accusations of graft. The third key contender, Ghani, is a former U.S. citizen and academic who gave up his passport to run for the Afghan presidency in 2009. He is seen as a moderate, with experience in development, but his past links to the United States may lessen his chances if voters see him as an outsider.—AP

hideouts in the tribal belt. The TTP had asked all its affiliates to put a halt to all sorts of ‘Jihadi’ activities for a period of one month. This was conveyed in a short statement sent to the media by the group’s spokesperson. The government and the Taliban are in a second round of talks which has been described by their interlocutors as ‘decisive’. Professor Ibrahim, a member of Taliban’s negotiating team, on Friday described release of 19 Taliban prisoners as ‘encouraging’ development in the peace talks, but feared that ‘difficulties’ and ‘dangers’ are ahead. “It’s an encouraging de-

velopment but we are not totally satisfied for there are many reservations and dangers, but still we will try to boost up the chances of success,” Prof. Ibrahim told media persons He said that the government had not formally informed the Taliban committee of prisoners’ release. “I came to know about it through media reports. We will ask Taliban to release the captives once the government informs us.” The Taliban intermediary said that the government should also make arrangements for the release of militants other than the noncombatants. He claimed that many Taliban prisoners have not been released despite army’s clearance.—Online

Jaish al-Adl frees freeing captured Iranian guards From Page 1 handed over some hours ago by the small terrorist group Jaish al-Adl to Iranian representatives in Pakistan,” said the Fars news agency, quoting an unidentified security official. For its part, Jaish al-Adl announced the releases on its Twitter account. “At the request of eminent Sunni clerics in Iran, the Iranian soldiers held hostage have been freed and handed over to a delegation of clerics,” it said. The five soldiers, who were serving their 24-month mandatory military service, were abducted in the restive southeastern province of Sistan-Balochistan, where Iran has been confronting the Jaish al-Adl rebels. Last month the group announced it had executed one of the five, Jamshid Danayifar, and warned of more executions to come unless Iran freed Sunni prisoners. The Iranian authorities immediately de-

PIA removes From Page 1 degrees have been dispatched to concerned educational institutions- Universities and Boards, for the verifications. Whereas, dispatch process of remaining 3,000 degrees will be completed by mid of April. Up till now verification of more than 6,000 degrees have been received and out of which 350 degrees were found fake. As per instructions of Supreme Court’s instructions a prompt action was taken against the fake degree holders according to Corporations Rules and Regulations. In the light of these actions services of 300 employees have been terminated whereas remaining 50 cases are subjudice and Courts’ decisions are awaited for further action. The statement further pointed out that PIA has expedited the task of verification, however, appropriate action can only be initiated once the replies from concerned University or Board is received. —APP

nied the execution claim, insisting that all five soldiers were alive. The guards are believed to have been taken into neighbouring Pakistan after being kidnapped on February 6 but the country’s Foreign Office issued a denial statement condemning the incident. In mid-February, Iran warned that it couldconsider sending troops across the border to free the soldiers, and denounced what it called Pakistan’s inability to secure its own borders. Border guards chief Hossein Zolfaghari has admitted that there was “negligence” in the lead-up to the kidnapping, saying those responsible were suspended, with some facing prosecution. Jaish al-Adl took up arms in 2012 to fight for what it says are the rights of Iran’s minority Sunni population.—AP

Bilawal assails govt From Page 1 ceed in their objectives as long as Bhutto’s grandson is alive. “This head can be cut but it will never bow down before the oppressors,” he added. Alleging the Punjab government of sheltering the extremists and terrorists, he said the blind are leading those with eyesight in the name of peace talks. How will peace prevail in a country whose biggest province was sheltering the militants, he questioned. Bilawal urged the masses in Punjab to wake up. Criticizing the privatisation policy, he said the government was planning to sell out national assets in the name of privatisation. The PPP chairman urged the chief ministers of Balochistan, Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to demand their share of assets from the centre.

He also condemned the government for not taking the nation into confidence over $1.5 billion ‘friendly aid.’ Speaking on the occasion, former president Asif Ali Zardari emphasised on the importance of intersect harmony in the country and urged the government of engaging all political forces on the matter to protect Pakistan from sectarianism. He dedicated the evening to his son Bilawal amid popular chants and slogans. He said that everybody needed to adopt the thought to save Pakistan. He said he would also talk to other ‘friends’ in this regard . The former president also asked intellectuals to guide as to how Pakistan should move forward. Zardri also spoke of “difficult situation” which he said Muslim world was facing.

From Page 1

60 banned From Page 1 of countering terrorism and crime. She said that all the unverified SIMs have been blocked and cellular mobile companies have initiated biometric verification system according to agreed time lines. She said that Jail Management System has been installed at Karachi Central Prison to identify prisoners and keep track of their visitors. About the situation in Karachi, the Parliamentary Secretary said enhanced coordination among law enforcement agencies has led to success of the ongoing action.—INP

India knock out South Africa for World T20 final From Page 1 the inaugural event held in South Africa in 2007. They meet Sri Lanka in the final in Dhaka on Sunday. In contrast, South Africa, regarded as perennial chokers in crucial matches, yet again failed to reach any world level final since their readmission into cricket in 1991.

Kohli smashed five boundaries and two sixes off 44 balls in a brilliant display of batting, highlighting India’s strength at chasing a target. He hit paceman Dale Steyn for a boundary to seal the win much to the jubiliation of a packed

Shere Bangla stadium. Kohli and other Indian batsmen blunted South Africa’s best bowlers, legspinner Imran Tahir, joint highest wicket-taker so far in the tournament with 12, and paceman Steyn with authority. Tahir managed just one wicket for 30 runs in his four overs while Steyn went for 36 in 3.1 overs. Kohli brought up his seventh T20 fifty with a huge six off Tahir and despite the loss off Yuvraj Singh (18) and Suresh Raina (21) kept the run-chase smooth. Rohit Sharma made a 13-ball 24 with a six and four boundaries and Ajinkya Rahane scored 32 off 30 balls. South Africa, who batted after winning the toss were helped to 172-4 with skipper Faf du Plessis scoring a 41-ball 58 for his fifth Twenty20 fifty. He added 71 for the third wicket with Jean-Paul Duminy who made an unbeaten 40-ball 45 to bolster the innings. Du Plessis, who missed South Africa’s last game against England because of a slow over-rate suspension, hit five boundaries and two tow-

ering sixes as the duo negotiated an Indian spin quartet with aggressive batting. South Africa lost opener Quinton de Kock (six) in the first over before Hashim Amla and Du Plessis took the score to 44 in the fifth over. But Ravichandran Ashwin, who took 3-22 in his four overs, put the brakes on South Africa’s progress, claiming Amla (22) and then dangerman AB de Villiers (ten) off a miscued pull shot which was smartly held by Rohit Sharma at long leg. In between du Plessis and Duminy batted with guts to take South Africa to 115 before Ashwin bowled du Plessis off a miscued sweep. Duminy, who hit three sixes and a four, added another 43 for the unbroken fifth wicket with Andrew Miller (23 not out) to help South Africa add 106 in the last ten overs. Leg-spinner Amit Mishra, India’s most successful bowler in the Super-10 stage, went for 36 runs in his three overs without taking a wicket.— Agencies

Cracks widen in PTI ranks as 14 MPAs submit resignations oath on the Holy Quran to remain united, said PTI MPA Javed Nasim who is apparently leading the group before leaving for Islamabad to have meeting with the party chief. He said the Hamkhayal group comprised 14 members including Deputy Speaker Shahid Qureshi, Qurban Ali, Javed Nasim, Arbab Jehandad, Mehmood Khan, Idrees Khan, Gul Shab Khattak, Shah Muhammad, Shah Faisal, Ziaullah Bangash, Dr. Amjad, Azizullah Jan, Zahid Durrani and Sardar Idrees. The disgruntled MPAs said that the provincial government isn’t working on PTI manifesto and they have already prepared a charge sheet against the Pervez Khattak led provincial government.They also called for stopping interference of “unauthorized persons in the functioning of the government. The agenda of the group’s meet-

From Page 1 ing with Imran Khan is the sacking of corrupt ministers from provincial cabinet, implementation of PTI manifesto and bringing an end to meddling of irrelevant people in government affairs. Javed Nasim who returned to KP assembly from PK-3 is an aspirant for the ministerial slot. INP adds: Meanwhile talking to media in Islamabad Imran Khan made it clear his party’s government in KP will prefer dissolving the provincial assembly instead of being blackmailed by its MPAs. He said, “We will conduct a re-election in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa but will not budge to forward block’s blackmailing”. He said that it was right of the forward block to express their reservations and the party would try to address their grievances but nobody could blackmail him to get ministries.

He added that instead of bowing to blackmailing, the party will break the assembly to hold re-elections if necessary. Khan said that the KP government was ready to conduct local bodies election on April 30 and the PTI had offered the Election Commission to start its pilot project of biometric and electronic system in the province. He lamented that there was a free media and judiciary in Pakistan but no independent election commission. He said that those who came into power by rigging elections can neither eliminate corruption, nor bring revolution. “Those who’ve come to power through ‘number-two’ (illegitimate) elections are a big obstacle,” he said. “Those who rigged elections should be punished.” Imran Khan also called for action against presiding officers involved in poll rigging.

Punjab Development Strategy 2018 being formulated: CM WB delegation meets Shahbaz SALIM AHMED L AHORE —Chief Minister Punjab Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said that Punjab government is implementing a comprehensive programme for speedy economic development of the province and Development Strategy 2018 is being formulated with consultation of experts for increasing growth rate in Punjab. He said that there is a need for institutional reforms for achieving the targets of economic development and the government is taking effective measures for capacitybuilding of government institutions. He said that rapid progress is being made towards setting up of e-government with the help of information technology. He said that lakhs of new job opportunities would be created during next four and a half years. He was talking to a delegation of World Bank, here today. Development projects and measures for improvement of various sectors were discussed on the occasion. During the meeting, World Bank authorities and Punjab government agreed to promote cooperation in light manufacturing, urban developments, agri business, mining, IT and skill development sectors. The Chief Minister said that economic development is necessary for generation of new job opportunities and strengthening of foundations of economy. He said that government is taking solid measures for achieving the targets of economic development. He said that Quaid-e-Azam Apparel Park is being set up near Motorway and investors associated with garments sector would be provided all necessary facilities under one roof in the apparel park. He said that Quaid-e-Azam Apparel Park would help strengthen textile sector and increase exports. He said that establishment of Apparel Park is of vital importance after the granting of GSP Plus status to Pakistan. He said that GSP Plus

491 victims of accidents rescued L AHORE —The

Punjab Emergency Service (Rescue 1122) provided emergency to four dead persons and 491 victims of 625 road accidents in all 36 districts of the province during the last 24 hours. About 128 accidents were reported in Lahore with 137 victims, 58 in Faisalabad with 75 injured and 42 in Gujranwala with 43 victims. According to data, 515 motorbikes, 68 auto rickshaws, 69 cars, 30 vans, 07 passenger buses, 14 trucks and 66 other types of vehicles and slow moving carts were involved in the accidents.—APP

status has given free access to Pakistani textile products to international markets. He said that a conducive atmosphere has been created in the province for investment while local and foreign investors are being fully encouraged. The Chief Minister said that there is vast scope of development in agriculture, livestock and dairy farming sectors and increase in the export of livestock and Halal products. He said that Pakistan can earn huge foreign exchange through development of these sectors. He said that energy is essential for industrial process and the government is making rapid progress under a comprehensive planning for resolving energy shortage. He said that reform programmes are being implemented for development of education, health and social sectors. The Chief Minister appreciated cooperation of World Bank in the progress of different sectors in Pakistan. Members of World Bank delegation while expressing their views said that Apparel Park is a splendid project and would result in generation of new job opportunities. The delegation included Lead Specialist Vincent Palmade, Consultant James Crittle, Economist Dr. Chan, Senior Urban Specialist Fatima Shah and others. Advisor Dr. Ijaz Nabi, Member Provincial Assembly Dr. Ayesha Ghaus Pasha, Chairman Planning & Development, Additional Chief Secretary Energy, Secretary Industry, Chair-

Nawaz From Page 1 the leaders of China, Iran and Kazakhstan. Since its inception in 2001, the BFA has become the largest multilateral forum held annually under the auspices of the Chinese Government. The BFA’s themes are centered on the pursuit of win-win cooperation in Asia. The international profile of the Forum has risen rapidly, as it attracts a growing number of important political and corporate leaders from around the world with every passing year. The theme of this year’s BFA is Asia’s New Future: Identifying New Growth Drivers.

man Punjab Investment Board and concerned officers were also present.

Musharraf From Page 1 vocate. He had asked the police to initiate legal proceedings against Musharraf for detaining over 60 judges, including then chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, after proclamation of a state of emergency in the country on Nov 3, 2007.


Pakistan-Afghan border closed at Chaman STAFF REPORTER Q UETTA —The Pak-Afghan border at Friendship gate in Chaman was closed Friday morning, a day before the Afghan presidential elections are scheduled to take place, an official said. An official of the Frontier Corps (FC), a para-military force, told said that the border was completely closed by the border forces of the two countries. He said the major reason behind closure of the border was to avert any untoward incident on the eve of Afghan polls. “The border will remain closed on Saturday,” he said. Personnel of paramilitary troops were deployed on the Pakistani side of the border to maintain order on the eve of historic Afghan elections.

26 officers promoted ISLAMABAD—Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has given approval to promotion of 26 Pakistan Administrative Services cadre officers to CHAMAN: Pakistani paramilitary soldiers stand alert at Friendship Gate on Pak- Afghan border on Frdiday. grade 21. The matter of 19 Security at the border is tight from the both sides due to Afghan presidential election. officers has been returned to Central Selection Board. These 19 vacancies will remain vacant until the next meeting of the board.— Online

Cheating in Matric exam continues KARACHI—The annual matriculation examinations held across Sindh entered third day on Friday with rampant and blatant cheating captured in camera in examination centres of Sukkur, Mirpurkhas, Larkana, Hyderabad, Nawabshah and other areas. Candidates sitting the exams were seen using mobile phones, books, notes and other material to answer questions. Unauthorised people were allowed to enter examination centres to pass answers to students and there was no restriction on their movement. —Online

Karachi fire burns goods worth millions KARACHI —A fire erupted on the first floor of the Rainbow centre in Saddar early morning on Friday which here gutted goods worth millions of rupees before it could be controlled. Fire brigade initially sent two fire tenders and later two more were called to control the spreading fire that soon engulfed as many as eight shops before it could be doused after one and a half hour struggle. –INP

Five milk shops sealed L AHORE —Punjab

food officals on Friday sealed five milk shops, two juice corners and three resturants for poor cleanliness and selling substandard food items. According to offical sources, action was taken in different parts of the city. Allama Iqbal Town food safety officer also sealed two Pan shops in Johar Town for poor hygiene. —APP

Ceramic art expo begins LAHORE—A week-long exhibition of ceramic art began at Alhamra art Gallery here on Tuesday. As many as 100 pieces of ceramic art engraved with Quranic verses were put on display in the gallery. Lubna Malik, a graduate from National College of Arts carried out ceramic art work on these pieces. Lubna Malik told APP that she had tried to mix up ceramic art with an islamic art. The exhibition will continue upto April 7.— APP

Pakistan to launch $ 500m bond: Dar

Arvind Kejriwal punched during campaigning in Delhi

Hopes release of $1.6b CSF during his US visit

NEW DELHI—Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal was attacked on Friday during his roadshow in south Delhi’s Dakshinpuri area. When Kejriwal was shaking hands with his supporters, the person punched Kejriwal on his back and even tried to slap him. The former Delhi chief minister blamed BJP for the assault. “Some people are ready to go to any extent to become Prime Minister. Let them do whatever they are doing. Our religion teaches us non-violence. If we raise our hands, this movement will come to an end,” Kejriwal said. He appealed for calm and urged supporters not to react to the attack. —AP

LONDON—Finance Minister Senator Ishaq the Coalition Support Fund is not support Dar has said that Pakistan was going to launch $ 500 million bonds after seven years in the international bond market. In an interview with BBC, Dar said the international bond market had forgotten us and it was important to remind them that Pakistan is in the market. He said he would see the response of his visit to the UK, Middle East and USA and Pakistan would initially issue U.S. $ 500 million bonds. Asked about the possibility of getting American economic aid without addressing its concerns about terrorism, Ishaq Dar said Pakistan is following the 4Es agenda i.e. Economy, Energy, Education development and End of Terrorism. He said Pakistan would hold strategic dialogue with US along with economic negotiations. He said trade is our priority and we want trade but not aid. He said in the future Pakistan’s attention would be to attract investment and get market access. He said

fund but it is the expenditure that Pakistan incurs in the war against terrorism. He said the CSF is yet to release $ 1.6 billion to Pakistan and hoped that these would be released during his current visit. He said Pakistan is also interested for trade agreement with the US. On exemption by the US to Pak-Iran gas pipeline, Dar said as Finance Minister he is not satisfied with the project. He said Pakistan would like that the US and Iran should resolve the sanctions issue bilaterally. He said Pakistan wants peace in Afghanistan as it does not want that whatever has been achieved in the last ten years is wasted. He reiterated that Pakistan was ready to cooperate with the international community for peace and stability in Afghanistan. Federal Finance Minister said Pakistan wold like to establish good economic relations with India and are waiting for the elections in that country. —INP

Babri Masjid demolition was planned NEW DELHI—An elaborate sting operation, conducted on 23 key people of the Ram Janambhoomi movement, claims that the demolition of the Babri Masjid on December 6, 1992, was elaborately planned by the various wings of the Sangh parivar and executed with precision by trained volunteers. It wasn’t, as it is claimed, a case of mob frenzy going out of control, leading to the fall of the disputed 16th century structure. The investigation, carried out by Cobrapost, claims that by piecing together the versions given by the top Ram Janambhhomi players, among them Sakshi Maharaj, Acharya Dharmendra, Uma Bharti, Mahant Vedanti and Vinay Katiyar, it is appar-

ent that top BJP leaders like L K Advani and the then UP chief minister Kalyan Singh, as well the former Congress PM, P V Narasimha Rao, were aware of the planned demolition of Babri Masjid. Posing as a would-be-author researching his book on the Ayodhya movement, Cobrapost associate editor K Ashish travelled to Ayodhya, Faizabad, Tanda, Lucknow, Gorakhpur, Mathura, Moradabad in UP, Jaipur, Aurangabad, Mumbai and Gwalior interviewing 23 of those who participated in the operation. He clandestinely recorded conversations with them. If what they claim is true, the Ram Janambhoomi leaders and

activists toiled secretly for months on a plan codenamed ‘Operation Janmabhoomi’ and executed it with military precision. Volunteers were trained, logistics painstakingly put in place and the assault on the disputed shrine launched using large surging crowds with volunteers skilled in demolishing structures embedded in it. Not only do those interviewed spell out details of the planning, they also allegedly reveal how enthusiastic young participants were deliberately used as cannon fodder by provoking a police firing on kar sevaks in 1990 because of the belief of some leaders that the movement would not gather steam unless ‘some Hindus die’.—INP

Hunt for Malaysian plane heads underwater to find black box PERTH—The

search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in remote seas off Australia headed underwater on Friday, with a US Navy high tech “black box” locator deployed for the first time as the battery life of the cockpit data recorder dwindles. Australian authorities said the so-called Towed Pinger Locator will be pulled behind navy ship HMAS Ocean Shield, searching a converging course on a 240 km (150 miles) track with British hydrographic survey ship HMS Echo. “The area of highest probability as to where the aircraft might have entered the water is the area where the underwater search will commence,” Retired Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, the head of the Australian agency coordinating the operation, told reporters in Perth. “On best advice the locator beacon will last about a month before it ceases its transmissions so we’re now getting pretty close to the time when it might expire.” On Monday it will be 30 days since the jetliner lost communications and disappeared from civilian radar less than an hour into an overnight flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8.

The Boeing 777 was briefly picked up on military radar on the other side of Malaysia and analysis of subsequent hourly electronic “handshakes” exchanged with a satellite led investigators to conclude the plane crashed far off the west Australian coast hours later. Sonar may help find the plane’s black box voice and data recorders that are key to unlocking what happened on the flight. The black box is equipped with a locator beacon that transmits “pings” when underwater, but which only has an expected battery life of around 30 days. Experts have warned the Towed Pinger Locator may be of little use unless investigators can get a much better idea of exactly where the plane went into water, because its limited range and the slow speed at which it must be pulled behind the ship mean it cannot cover large areas of ocean quickly. Houston said the start of the underwater search in earnest did not override the need to keep searching for surface wreckage of the plane, as a find would be the most effective way to pinpoint a sub-sea hunt. “This is a vast area, an area that’s quite remote. We will continue the surface search for a good deal more time,” he said. —Online

Similarly, the Afghan border force has also strengthened security to ensure peace on the eve of polls. “There are long queues of vehicles on both sides of the border,” the FC official stated, adding that people on both sides were facing problems as result of closure of border. Taliban rebels, in recent days, have intensified attacks in Afghanistan in general, particularly the volatile Southern region due to presidential elections and scheduled withdrawal of US-led coalition forces from the war-torn country. Closure of the border has come two days after a blast killed two and injured 13 others in the Waish Mandi area on the Afghan side of the border. According to Afghan police, Taliban rebels had targeted the vehicle of Afghan police.

Cop suspended for accusing baby of attempted murder STAFF REPORTER LAHORE—A policeman has been suspended for bringing a case of attempted murder against a ninemonth old boy and forcing the crying infant to appear in court, officials said Friday. Baby Mohammad Musa, along with other members of his family, was booked for throwing rocks at gas company officials carrying out an anti-theft inspection in the low-income Ahata Thanedaran neighbourhood of Lahore on Feb 1, the family’s lawyer Chaudhry Irfan Sadiq said .Inspector Kashif Muhammad, who attended the alleged crime scene and has since been suspended, wrote in his report that it was a case of at-

tempted murder. Appearing in a packed court room with around 30 others accused in the case on Thursday, Musa was seen crying as his grandfather Muhammad Yasin, a 50year-old labourer, held him on his shoulder. J u d g e Rafaqat Ali Qamar ordered the inspector to be suspended and granted the child bail, though he will have to appear at the next hearing on April 12. But Sadiq, the lawyer, said the charges against the child should have been dropped. “The court should have simply referred the minor’s case to high court for dropping of the charges against the innocent child and acquit him from the case as the minimum criminal responsibility age is seven,” Sadiq told AFP.

Indian Mujahideen ‘almost finished’: Shinde PUNE—Union

Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said Indian Mujahideen (IM) has been “almost finished” and claimed internal security situation in the country has improved under the UPA Government. He said Naxal activities and insurgency in the North-East have declined. “The Indian Mujahiddin (IM) cadre is almost finished with the capture of prominent IM leaders. The Naxalite menace and insurgency in the North-East, too, are on decline,” he told reporters here. IM co-founder Yasin Bhatkal and several other top operatives of the homegrown terror outfit, said to be behind a spate of bombings since 2008, have been arrested in the last few months.—Online


Exercise, diet help people with high blood sugar

F

OR people with high blood sugar at risk of type 2 diabetes, losing weight and ex ercising may lessen their chances of dying from heart disease or other conditions, a new long-term study suggests. People enrolled in the study on diabetes prevention in China followed a diet and exercise program for six years, then were followed by researchers for another 23 years. Over that time, there was a significant reduction in their risk of death from cardiovascular diseases — such as coronary heart disease and stroke — and death from other causes, the researchers found. “This reduction in mortality appears to be due in part to the delay in the onset of diabetes resulting from the lifestyle interventions,” said lead researcher Dr. Guangwei Li, of the department of endocrinology at the China-Japan Friendship Hospital, in Beijing. For the study, Li’s group randomly assigned 438 patients to the diet and exercise program, and another 138 patients to maintain their regular lifestyle. Diets were designed to produce weight loss in obese or overweight participants, and to reduce carbs and alcohol intake in people of normal weight, the study authors explained. The exercise segment of the program focused on increasing how much physical activity participants did during their leisure time. After more than two decades of follow-up, the incidence of death from cardiovascular dis-

ease among those in the diet and exercise program was about 12 percent, compared with nearly 20 percent among those who did not change their lifestyles, the study found. Moreover, the incidence of death from any cause was about 28 percent among those in the lifestylechange group versus over 38 percent among the others, the researchers added. Previous research has shown that for people with type 2 diabetes, the risk of dying from heart conditions and stroke is more than twice that of people without diabetes, Li noted. “These [new] findings provide yet further justification to implement lifestyle interventions in people with high blood sugar, as clinical and public health measures to control the long-term consequences of diabetes,” Li said. The report was published April 3 in the online edition of The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. Dr. David Katz, director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center, said that “lifestyle is the best medicine has been established by an impressively consistent array of research findings spanning populations and decades.” Careful attention to eating well, being active, controlling weight and avoiding tobacco has been shown to reduce the lifetime risk of all major chronic disease by 80 percent, he said. “This study shows first, that an intervention focused particularly on diabetes prevention has generalized benefits,” Katz said.

Visitors keenly viewing the flower arrangements displayed during Annual Spring Flowers and Birds Show organized by CDA at Rose and Jasmine Garden.

Govt considers madaris precious asset: Irfan Siddiqui STAFF REPORTER I SLAMABAD —Advisor to

Prof. Dr. Ahmad Yousif Al-Draiweesh, President IIUI inaugurating the new 400 KVA generator for Kuwait Hostel IIUI. The generator has been donated by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

IMCW, F-8/1 awards outstanding students STAFF REPORTER ISLAMABAD—Islamabad College for Women (IMCW), F-8/1 on Friday arranged its annual prize distribution ceremony to acknowledge the academic performance of the students. Principal of the college, Professor Nasira Adeeba Qureshi distributed prizes among the position holders. The results of Class Prep to IV remained 92.62 percent and the result of Class VI-VIII was 91.02 percent. The result of class V was

100 percent. The students including Mamona Ghafoor, Maryam Habib, Nazia Rehman who obtained position in Matric Part-II (Science group) were given awards and certificates. The students who secured top positions in Intermediate exams including Zainab Rana, Bibi Noreen and Hifsa Saeed also received awards and certificates. A student who got first position in Mathematics in a competition held this year received Rs 10,000 cash prize and set of Encyclopedia by Science Foundation.

Prime Minister on National Affairs Irfan Siddiqui said the government considered madaris a precious asset and for any kind of reforms in religious institutions, religious scholars would be taken into confidence. He was talking to Central Senior Vice President Jamiat Ulema Pakistan and Wali Mohra Sharif Murree, Dr Pir Shahzada Fazeel Ayaz Qasmi during a meeting at the Prime Minister House. Dr Pir Shahzada appreciated the efforts of the PML-N government led by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for establishing peace in the country and said religious scholars fully supported these efforts. Irfan Siddiqui said the government respected the efforts of ulema for peace in the country. He said permanent peace was needed in the country so that the government and the society could play role for progress and prosperity of the country in a peaceful environment.

President for stronger Pakistan, Argentina ties S TAFF R EPORTER I S L A M A B A D —President Mamnoon Hussain Friday stressed further enhancing Pakistan-Argentina bilateral ties and emphasized concerted efforts to explore new ways of expanding cooperation particularly in the realms of economy and trade. He said this while talking to Federal Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Argentina Eduardo Antonio Zuain, who called on him here at the Presidency. The President said Pakistan and Argentina enjoy close and friendly ties however there exist a huge potential to further expand bilateral trade and economic ties. He underscored the need for frequent bilateral exchanges at various

levels to realize the true potential of trade between the two countries. The President expressed hope that the visit of Foreign Secretary for the Third Round of Bilateral Political Consultations would be instrumental in identifying areas of cooperation in various fields of mutual interest. He expressed satisfaction at the close cooperation between Pakistan and Argentina at the UN and other international fora. The President welcomed the relaunch of Argentine-Pakistan Parliamentary Friendship Group in the Congreso de la Nacion and said that Pakistan has also reconstituted the Parliamentary Friendship Group in the National Assembly. He said regular exchange of parlia-

mentary delegations would help strengthen people to people contacts besides creating better understanding between the two countries. Eduardo Antonio Zuain, Federal Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Argentina said 63 years relationship between the two countries was exemplary as both the countries had commonality of views on various international issues. He said Argentina was keen to further enhance and diversify its relations with Pakistan in various fields to the mutual benefit of the people of the two countries. Ambassador of Argentina to Pakistan Rodolfo Martin Saravia and Ambassador Celeste Koch, Foreign Ministry of Argentina were also present during the meeting.

Plastic bags ruining flora, fauna ISLAMABAD—The government has imposed a ban on manufacturing on import, sale and use of non-degradable plastic bags and other products in federal capital but lack of legislation at provincial level creating hindrances to get concrete results. The single-use plastic bags are dangerous to the ecosystem but so far no concrete steps have been taken and as a result these plastic bags chock sewerage lines and Nullahs where the sewerage and other waste material has been dumped. Talking to APP here on Friday an official

of Capital Development Authority (CDA) stated that the authority is very much concerned with the problems created due to plastic bags and ruining flora and fauna of the capital. The official informed that the management of CDA Bazaar is making efforts for the stoppage of sale of plastic bags in CDA Bazars. The CDA official said the authority has urged citizens not to use plastic bags and take active part for protecting the environment of the city. He also urged them to play their role for safeguarding greenery of the capital.—APP

Muneeza Hashmi’s book ‘Who Am I?’ launched STAFF REPORTER ISLAMABAD—Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) launched Moneeza Hashmi’s book entitled “Who am I?”, here on Friday. The book is launched under SDPI series `Inspiring Change: Woman of Substance Series’, aimed at bringing the achievements of women to limelight and those who contributed positively to the society. The leading Pakistani woman and renowned media practitioner Muneeza Hashmi said during the launching cermony that

women’s struggle often remains ignored in Pakistan and needs to be given more attention. The book documents Muneeza’s interviews with some of the most inspiring women in Pakistan’s history. Muneeza spoke candidly about her past and the pressure of being the daughter of one of the most celebrated literary figures in Pakistan, Faiz Ahmed Faiz. She said that while her father has been the subject of much attention, her mother acted as the ‘roof and support’ to keep the family together. She highlighted the bonding that the institution of family generates

in the Pakistani society, which is much more than the ‘standards of living’ in the Western world. She appreciated the tremendous support she had from her family throughout her life. In the depiction of women in Pakistani media, she said that violence against women has become a tool for selling commercial dramas, while the real issues faced by women are rarely brought forth. “There is little ownership to document women’s struggle in Pakistan”, she said. Reflecting on her book, Muneeza said that the title depicts the “wrenching cry of a woman who is trying to find

herself. They all are women who are trying to discover themselves”. Those who were present at the occasion: Khawar Mumtaz, Chairperson of the National Commission on Status of Women (NCSW), Prof. Iftikhar-unnisa Hasan, former Pro-VC of the Fatima Jinnah Women’s University, renowned Pakistani director Agha Nasir, Nisar Memon, Marvi Memon and Dr. Najma Najum. They applauded the book, stressing that women’s struggle is often neglected in Pakistan and needs to be brought forward in mainstream discourse.

Foreign Secretary of Argentina Eduardo Antonio Zuain called on President Mamnoon Hussain at President House. Ambassador of Argentina Rodolfo Martin Saravia and Director Asia & Oceania, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Argentine Republic Ambassador Celeste Koch are also seen in the picture.

Institutionalizing training of district judiciary needed STAFF REPORTER ISLAMABAD—Justice Dost Muhammad Khan, Judge of Supreme Court has underscored the need for institutionalizing judicial training in the country, saying that “ Adhocism will neither build nor improve efficiency of our courts.” He expressed these views in the certificate-awarding ceremony of a one-week refresher course for newly -promoted Additional District and Sessions Judges from all over Pakistan , Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan, here at the Fed-

eral Judicial Academy (FJA), Islamabad, on Friday. He said, “Judicial education and training is one of the important means to develop judicial competence and improve the quality of justice and the performance of courts in the country. Well-designed, welldeveloped and research -oriented programs with focus on improving the quality, will definitely improve and enhance the efficiency of courts. “ “While exercising judicial powers try to discourage unscrupulous litigants who rush to the courts and file frivols

cases against innocent parties. You people know very well that once a criminal case is registered against any innocent citizen, how much mental agony and pain he/she has to undergo during the tedious process”. Apart from Intellectual Property Rights Laws, the Judge also spoke about the importance of the modern methods of investigation skills and tools to unearth and cope with the menace of money laundering which takes place everyday and leads to militancy in the country.


Speakers highlight ZAB’s services to democracy Fajar Zohr Asr

05:30 01:30 05:15

Meghrab at Sunset Isha 08:15 Brothers in Islam establish regular prayers & charity

April 5 ANJUMAN Faiz-ul-Islam will hold a reference in memory of Prof.Yaqub Hashmi and other associates of the organization today. The reference, being held in connection with AFIR’s foundation day, will be attended among others by dignitaries from Azad Jammu and Kashmir and President Sir Syed Memorial Society Iqbal Shafi.

Young man crushed by train RAWALPINDI—A young boy crushed by the train in Shah Khalid Colony here while listening the music on mobile phone. According to the police, young laborer identified as Muhammad Shahid (22) was walking on the track and listening songs on mobile phone by putting headphone in his ears. The ill fated boy was crushed by the train. Rescue 1122 and police shifted the dead body to hospital, later handed body to the heirs.—APP

CTO advises motorists to avoid Murree Road during peak hours STAFF REPORTER RAWALPINDI—Chief Traffic Officer CTO Rawalpindi Shoeb Khurram Janbaz on Friday advised the motorists to avoid using Murree road during peak hours for their convenience. He said motorists should use alternative routes like Airport road through Koral Chowk, and IJP road to reach Islamabad and back Rawalpindi. Seeking public cooperation, he said, the provincial government has initiated a mega development project to provide fast, cheap and decent public transport service for the citizens of Rawalpindi and Islamabad so they should tolerate ‘temporary inconvenience’ for lasting facility. He said 8.6 kilometer elevated track of the Metro Bus Service is being constructed at the busy Murree road, and the traffic police is making all out efforts to ensure traffic moving there.

Fire breaks out in Utility Store RAWALPINDI—Fire broke out in a Utility Store, located at Mareer Chowk due to short circuit, Rescue 1122 said. On receiving call, a team of Rescue 1122 along with fire brigade rushed to the site and started extinguishing fire. After hectic efforts, the officials doused the fire. However, no casualty was reported. According to Rescue 1122, goods worth millions were gutted.—APP

Bonus for Christian employees STAFF REPORTER ISLAMABAD—Capital Development Authority (CDA) Chairman has approved Eid bonus for all the Christian employees on the eve of Easter. Approval has been accorded to grant of bonus as per agreement between CDA Labor union and management. Notification in this regard has been issued. As per notification payment of Eid bonus, monthly salary pension will be made to all Christian employees on April, 16. The approval for payment of bonus has sent a wave of jubilation among Christian employees of CDA and they have thanked the labor union and CDA management for grant of bonus on the eve of Easter.

STAFF REPORTER RAWALPINDI—Speakers here Friday paid tribute to former Prime Minister and founder Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Zulfikar Ali Bhutto for rendering great sacrifices to strengthen democratic norms in the country. They renewed the pledge to make the country strong and prosperous as per vision of their charismatic leader, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. Party workers and local leadership gathered at the Jinnah Park (Old jail) Rawalpindi, where Bhutto was hanged in 1979, in connection with 35th death anniversary of their leader. AJK Minister Abdul Salam Butt, PPP’s Divisional President, Raja Imran Ashraf, Member PPP’s Central Executive Council Qazi Sultan Mehmood, City-chapter President, Malik Amir Fida Paracha, General Secretary Raja Khalid Mehmood, Secretary Information Shujaat Haider, Rashid Mir, district President Ghulam Murtaza Satti, Islamabad-chapter President Sibtain Bukhari, Islamabad’s Women Wing President Nargis Faiz Malik, former Nazims Nasir Mir and Asif Akbar spoke on the occasion and highlighted achievements and national services of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. Earlier, party workers held Quran Khawani and offered Fateha for their leader, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.

Lady workers of PPP offering Fateha at Old Phansi Ghaat on the death anniversary of the former Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.

PIMA organizes workshops on ECG, BLS and MIS STAFF R EPORTER ISLAMABAD—Pakistan Islamic Medical Association (PIMA) Friday organized six preconvention workshops on Electrocardiogram (ECG), Basic Life Support (BLS), Minimal Invasive Surgery (MIS) and Research Methodology. Pre Convention workshops on ECG and BLS were organized at Shifa International Hospital. Senior Cardiologist Dr. Saeed Ullah Shah was the chief guest on the occasion. While a pre convention workshop on MIS was organized at Holy Family Hospital Rawalpindi. Prof. M. Idrees Anwar was presided over the workshop. A workshop on Research Methodology was also presided over by Dr. Hameed Mumtaz Durrani here at PIMS. A pre convention workshops on Communication Skills and Medical Education Medical Education, an Islamic perspective was held at Islamic International Medical College. Major Gen (R) Masood Anwar and Dr. Hameed Mumtaz Durrani presided over the events. A large number of students of Medical colleges

and health professional participated in the workshops. PIMA two-day 23rd biennial International Convention will be held at Convention Centre from Saturday (April 5). Over 3000 delegates from across the country and abroad are expected to attend this convention, Convener Convention, Prof Muhammad Iqbal Khan told reporters. He said that special sessions on health advocacy, health policy, and medical education will be conducted by the experts from all over the world. Convention schedule and scientific programs comprising 18 parallel sessions finalized at this occasion. He said that election for new Central President PIMA Pakistan for next two years will also be held during Convention. Convener Convention said that PIMA holds its central convention every two years in different cities where large number of doctors from all over the country meets showing their full zeal and interest. “A social evening and a scientific exhibition are also part of this mammoth event,” he added.

APCNGA for increasing working hours of CNG stations R AWALPINDI —All Pakistan Compressed Natural Gas Association (APCNGA) on Friday suggested to increase working-schedule of CNG stations from six hours to nine hours a day throughout the week in Punjab. “A proposal has been submitted to the Ministry of Petroleum to increase workinghours of CNG stations replacing existing 10 am to 4 pm schedule with 6 am to 3 pm to facilitate motorists,” said APCNGA Chairman Ghayas Paracha while talking to APP here. He expressed the hope that the government would give a serious consideration to the proposal as it would help mitigate sufferings of motorists, who are spending hours to get CNG. Elaborating, he said that the suggestion has been submitted in line to offer relief especially to the working class who would have about two to three hours for getting CNG cylinders refilled on their way to work places. He said those CNG filling stations, which had earlier got stay from court against the government decision about weekly closure/

Students taking part in different activities during function at Beacon House School Primary Campus F-7/3.

holidays of the outlets, would have no bar to follow the recent formula. In line to avoid hassle, he said that the CNG station owners are being urged to dedicate exclusive dispensers for each public transport vehicles and privately owned vehicles. A great rush is being witnessed at CNG stations of the city after government’s announcement to keep them open for six hours without any holiday. The APCNGA Chairman was of the view that the proposal would make the governmen’s recent plan successful as there would be a visible improvement in the prevailing situation at the gas stations. Meanwhile, the private vehicles owners have pinned the hope that the concerned quarters would take serious note of the situation according to which they have to be part of long queues for getting CNG refilled in their vehicles. The office goers who observe timing from 9 am to 5 pm are totally deprived of this facility as they cannot approach CNG station during working days.—APP

Police arrest 20 outlaws, recover drugs, weapons Students participating in painting contest ‘Polio Free Pakistan’ organized by Rotary Club at Rawalpindi Arts Council.

R AWALPINDI —Launching an operation, covered 6 bottle of liquor from Waseem Abbas. Rawalpindi police arrested 20 outlaws and recovered drugs, weapons, bottles of liquor and stolen mobile phones from their possession here on Friday. According to a police spokesman, Pirwadhi police arrested Muhammad Khan and recovered 110 gram charas from his possession while Bani police arrested Amir and recovered 107 gram charas from his custody. Morgah police nabbed Subhan allah and recovered 110 gram charas from his possession. Wah Cantt police arrested Saqib and recovered 250 gram charas from his possession. City police held Mustafa and recovered a bottle of liquor from his pocket. Rata Amral police arrested Raheel and recovered 20 bottles of liquor from his possession. Bani police re-

Cantt police arrested Suleman Saleem and recovered 3 bottles of liquor from him. Sadiqabad police held Khalid and recovered 6 liter liquor from his custody. Race Course police also arrested Ishtiaq and recovered 30 bore pistol from his possession. Morgah police arrested Kabir and recovered 30 bore pistol with 5 round from his possession. Saddar Wah police arrested Bashrat and recovered 30 bore pistol with 3 round from his possession. Pirwadhi police arrested Tariq Saleem and recovered 8 stolen mobile phones from his possession. Police have registered separate cases against all the accused persons and started investigation.—APP

Crack down on fake lawyers at District Courts STAFF REPORTER R AWALPINDI—Crack down has been launched against fake, under matric lawyers in district courts Rawalpindi. Majority of the fake lawyers have stopped coming in the kutchery due to this operation. Chief Justice of Pakistan Tassaduq Hussain Jillani and Chief Jus-

tice Islamabad High Court while supporting the campaign against fake lawyers have issued directives for gearing up drive. Joint secretary District Bar Association Rawalpindi Raja Kashif Javed said red notices have been issued to fake lawyers secretly that they should leave the district courts on their own.

These fake lawyers have been doing legal practice since the last 15 years in the kutchery with fake degrees and practitioner licenses. Fake lawyers in large number have disappeared from Kutchery after the notices have been served upon them. No fake lawyer or tout will be allowed to stay in kutchery, he announced.


Kashmiris want right of self determination, not election the Lok Sabha election could not re- be a part of legislations processes for OBSERVER REPORT solve the issue of Kashmir, as it was Indian upper house. India has forceO SLO — Sardar Pervez Mehmood not proper and true forum to encour- fully occupied state of Jammu and president Kashmir European has said that holding of controversial elections of Indian Lok Sabha in Jammu & Kashmir under the Indian constitution is unacceptable to Kashmiris. He said that Kashmiri people do not accept these fake elections at all. Sardar Pervez said that holding of controversial elections of Lok Sabha in Jammu & Kashmir under Indian constitution to elect legislators from the state was just to give an impression of false peace in Jammu and Kashmir amidst unprecedented scale of misrule and gross human rights violations and cries of mass resistance against Indian misrule. Government of India has formulated a joint and ill-designed action plan, to curb the mass resistance against the farce of elections by invoking black laws of detention against leaders and workers strangulating press and media and rounding up youth and imposing curfew and cordoning of civil areas and finally publicizing manipulated figures and false turn-out of voters. He said

FFP responsible for Hepatitis C in Hemophiliacs SRINAGAR —Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) has said that it is shocking and at the same time alarming that out of 90 hemophiliac patients screened 35 are positive for Hepatitis C virus infection and 4 of them have died. President DAK, Dr Nisar-ul-Hassan in a statement issued to CNS said that these hemophiliac patients have contracted this deadly virus because of contaminated fresh frozen plasma (FFP), a blood product, which they receive on demand during bleeding. Blood Banks in valley screen blood and blood products by either card method or enzyme immunoassay which can give false negative results thus blood bank pool is a huge source of hepatitis c virus transmission. The introduction of Nucleic Acid Technology (NAT) for screening blood and blood products in rest parts of the world has prevented transfusion related hepatitis c infection. Hepatitis c virus infection causes cirrhosis of liver, hepatocellular carcinoma and death. These hepatitis c positive hemophiliacs have been denied treatment by government thus depriving them from their fundamental right to which government has an obligation. “There are around 250 hemophiliac patients in the valley and most of them are permanently disabled because of non availability of factor VIII and factor IX in hospitals. These coagulation factors are to be given prophylactic ally rather than on demand to prevent hemophilia related complications. Hemophiliacs can live a normal quality life if coagulation factors are given to them on regular basis.” The statement reads that DAK will file a public interest litigation as it is a colossal human tragedy. Hemophiliacs are victims of government apathy. State has failed in their duty by not providing Medicare services to hemophiliac patients. DAK will claim criminal prosecution to the culprits involved in this heinous crime and compensation to the victims.—NNI

age the will and aspirations of the people of Kashmir. Sardar said that Lok Sabha had the history of passing on modifying and manipulating laws which were detrimental to the interest, integrity and aspirations of Kashmiri people. Sardar Pervez reminded that Indian upper house had never in the past debated even upon the issue of gross human rights violations in Kashmir and always paid deaf ear to the cries of victims of state terrorism. Sardar further reminded that Kashmiris as a nation are fighting for the right of self-determination and has nothing to gain out of the Indian parliament elections; it’s a totally fake and waste exercise for them. Sardar Pervez said that resistance will never die off by delaying tactics or election dramas under the shadow of draconian laws. Kashmiri people will remain resolute and steadfast in their heroic struggle for freedom from Indian occupation. Kashmiri people have no interest to be a part of India, neither to

Kashmir and sooner or later has to give way to right of self determination to Kashmiri people. Kashmiri nation is deeply exploited, and been subjected to horrific laws under the Indian army. No youth, kid and kith is safe out in streets. The tender youth disappeared on a common day street chill out never returns home. Mom and dad spent up their lives reaching to local courts and police. They never found any signs of their loving ones. This is a common day frequent story of families in Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. Sardar Pervez emphasized that India has to pay a price for killing and human rights violations in Kashmir. No matter how strong a country might become, and how deaf the world institutions may look like, the occupier (India) have to face a trial for all criminal adventures and occupations sooner or later. All ethics and natural co-balance of every phenomenon, circle or cycle and process in living universe of mankind tends to say that every occupier have to pay a price, Sardar maintained.

Hanging of Kashmiris is Congress’ hallmark: Javaid SRINAGAR—Hurriyat Conference (M) senior leader and Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (H) chairman Javaid Ahmad Mir has said sending Kashmiris to gallows was a “hallmark of Congress led government in New Delhi”. “New Delhi gave life imprisonment to Devender Pal Singh Bullar and death sentence to Muhammad Maqbool Bhat and Muhammad Afzal Guru which speaks volumes of its double standards vi-a-vis Kashmir and its people,” Javid Mir said in a state-

ment, adding that “Congress government will always be remembered in Kashmir’s history as the darkest period. During Congress rule, innocent Kashmiris are killed and awarded life imprisonment and death penalty only to garner votes.” Rejecting elections, Javiad Mir said, “The struggle for the resolution of Kashmir can’t be sabotaged by so-called election and selection. New Delhi should shun policy of changing the nature of conflict by election and selection.”—NNI

SUKKUR: AJK Prime Minister Ch. Abdul Majid along with his cabinet Ministers addressing a press conference at Airport.

Kashmir solution in line with people’s aspiration our policy: Basit NEW DELHI—Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was aware about the aspirations of Kashmir people, Islamabad’s envoy to New Delhi Abdul Basit told chief of All Parties Hurriyat Conference Mirwaiz Umar Farooq. A meeting between a delegation of Hurriyat Executive Council led by Mirwaiz and diplomats of Pakistan led by the recently appointed Basit was held in the premises of Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi. The meeting which lasted for two hours was held at the request of Basit on the sidelines of a reception given by the Pakistan High Commission in connection with the Pakistan National Day (Youmi-Pakistan).

Situation worsens in landslide-hit areas B ARAMULLA—Fresh rains

MUZAFFARABAD: AJK Finance Minister Ch Latif Akbar addressing a public gathering in connection with death anniversary of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.

Sehrai not interested in becoming Geelani’s successor SRINAGAR —Reacting to the statement of has been no process going on within his UJC chief Syed Salahudin Hurriyat Conference (G) General Secretary Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai has stated that he has no interest in becoming Geelani’s successor. Salahudin had said that Sehrai will makes a ‘good successor of Syed Ali Geelani to lead the Kashmir. ’ “I have never worked with Geelani Sahib for any candidature or as a contender for the position of the Chairman. I can even work as a gate keeper for a cause. Post is not important for me,” Ashraf Sehrai told a local news agency over phone. He maintained further that whenever the situation would emerge when the amalgam has to choose Geelani’s successor- the same will be done by he constitutional process and as per the constitutional norms of Tehrek-e-Hurriyat. Geelani’s close aid added that it is only the Shoora that has full authority to choose the Chairman of TeH. While expressing surprise over Hizb chief’s statement, Sehrai remarked that there

amalgam wherein deliberations could have been laid upon choosing the successor of the senior separatist leader. “Geelani Sahib is in sound health now- His health conditions have improved a lot- he addressed a seminar for 30 minutes over phone from Delhi. No discussion over the issue of successor is being discussed at present.” “As far as the statement of Syed Salahuddin is concerned- this could be his suggestion but for me the most important thing is to preserve the cause- I can even work as a gate keeper of Tehreek-e-Huriyat for the same.” Over the issue of Poll Boycott campaign launched by his amalgam, Sehrai while expressing optimism that the people will not vote during the forth coming polls, stated that the boycott campaign against the polls is being done on the party levels and that so such initiative is being taken at present to make it a unanimous effort.—NNI

that lashed Baramulla has aggravated the situation in the landslide-hit areas of Uri and Kandi belt of Baramulla. Already dozens of villages in the upper reaches of Uri are disconnected with the district headquarter for the past 12 days. The areas include Churanda, Batgra, Sohoora, Hathlanga, Dardkote, Machikrand, Gowalta, Nowaranda, Gohalan, Kamalkote, Jabla, Mothal, Bernat, Gagarhil, Chotawali, Silkote, Tilawari and Thajal. According to locals, the fresh rains have worsened the situation and fresh landslides were reported from areas like Machikrand, Dardkote and Gowalta. The entire population is almost caged with no facility to get evacuated from the area. The local population, lashing out at the district authorities over their inaction in clearing the landslides, said that despite passing of 12 days the authorities failed to clear the roads and the population has been left in deep trouble. The major roads in the upper reaches of Uri have witnessed heavy damage due to the landslides. According to sources, the authorities are struggling in convincing the contractors to lift the debris from the landslide-hit roads as the contractors are short of machines and also faced with bad weather.—NNI

In the meeting Basit conveyed a special message from Sharif to Hurriyat leadership in which while reiterating the complete support of Pakistan on the political and diplomatic front for a just and permanent resolution of Kashmir Issue, it was assured to Hurriyat leadership that in any dialogue process with India on Kashmir, the people of Kashmir will be taken into confidence and that the government of Pakistan will take all necessary measures to ensure the participation of Hurriyat Leadership in the dialogue, a statement issued here said. In his message Nawaz Sharif has further said that Pakistan is aware of the sentiments, aspirations and difficulties

of the people of Kashmir and the resolution of Kashmir issue in accordance with the wishes of the people of Kashmir is part of Pakistan’s National Policy. The Prime Minister has expressed hope that whichever political party comes into Power in India after elections, will take adequate steps to start a result oriented dialogue process. During the meeting Mirwaiz while expressing gratitude on behalf of the people of Kashmir to Pakistan for its support to the struggle of the people of Kashmir, said that all bilateral efforts to settle Kashmir issue so far have not produced results and only a tripartite dialogue can produce a durable solution to the Issue.—NNI

Kashmiris being treated as slaves: Nayeem S RINAGAR —The Hurriyat Conference Jammu Kashmir (senior leader and Jammu Kashmir National Front (NF) chairman Nayeem Ahmad Khan has alleged Kashmiris are being treated as slaves. “First, the death sentences of the murderers of Rajiv Gandhi and then that of Bhullar were commuted to life terms. Kashmiris are not against the commutation decisions. Neither do they want that they should be hanged. But the decisions have once again clarified that New Delhi acts differently when it comes to Kashmir and its people. New Delhi hanged Afzal Guru only to satisfy the collective consciences of its people. Later he was buried in the jail premises against all the rules and laws. The same was done 30 years before against

Muhammad Maqbool Bhat. The mortal remains of both these martyrs are not handed over to their respective families for burial in their homeland,” said Nayeem Khan while addressing a meeting of Front office-bearers before leaving for New Delhi to attend a function at the Pakistan High Commission. “No one has been held accountable for killings of youth in 2008, 2009 and 2010,” a spokesman of the Front, in a statement, quoted Nayeem Khan as saying. “These mainstream politicians are now talking about the injustice against Muhammad Afzal Guru to deceive people,” Khan said, stressing upon people to act as mature citizens and reject the politics of power played by the mainstream politicians. —NNI

NC, PDP architect of Kashmiris’ miseries: PC SRINAGAR—Jammu and Kashmir People’s Conference has alleged that National Conference (NC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have bartered and mortgaged the interests of Kashmiris for their comforts and benefits. Addressing a meeting at Hib Dangerpira, Rafiabad, in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district, the PC senior leader Khurshid Ahmad Khan, while welcoming scores of NC and PDP workers into the party fold, said, “Both the parties architected the miseries and sufferings inflicted on Kashmiris during the past two decades. The people of Kashmir are determined to bring

in change and show the doors to those who have facilitated the bloodbath in Kashmir.” “The leaders of NC and PDP are involved in sins of stabbing their own people and grave human rights violations which are unforgettable and unforgivable,” A PC spokesman quoted Khan as saying, adding that “The people are impressed and convinced by the dynamic leadership of Sajad Gani Lone depicting honesty of purpose and courage of commitment. They have pledged to carry forward the mission of People’s Conference and in the coming Lok Sabha election will vote for a change. —NNI

Call to bar parties from ‘misusing’ religious places for poll campaign SRINAGAR—All Parties Sikh Coordination Committee (APSCC) has urged the elections commission of India to bar the mainstream political parties from ‘misusing’ religious places for poll campaigning in view of the parliamentary elections this month. The committee has appealed the Commission to direct the state election authorities not to allow exploitation of people on the lines of religion. In a statement issued here, APSCC Chairman, Jagmohan Singh Raina said that in the past many political parties through their ‘sycophants’ have managed to enter Gurdwaras and deliver political speeches even though the occasion

and stage was not meant for that. Raina said that political parties would feel the absence of Sikhs during the parliamentary elections adding that more befitting treatment would be given at the time of assembly elections. The leaders also said that people should be vigilant against the politicians who might use or facilitate the usage of religious space for political reasons more so while seeking votes. The leaders said that political parties who have exploited Sikhs for their own benefit deserve no sympathy whatsoever from the community members. “We have written a letter to Chief Election Commissioner asking him to

direct the state election authorities to stop the political parties from addressing people who assemble at religious places purely for religious purposes. Any violation in this regard is a violation of Model Code of Conduct and as such necessary action warranted under law should be taken,” said Harjeet Singh, President Sikh Students Federation (Mehta). Referring to the formation of Minority Cell by a political party, Master Kuldeep Singh, Ex-President, Gurdwara Prabhandhak Committee (GPC) Srinagar said that this move was aimed to give an impression that this political party was serious towards the MUZAFFARABAD: Chief Justice of Azad Kashmir Supreme Court Justice Sardar Azam Khan administering oath to problems of Sikhs.—NNI supreme court Bar association office-bearers.


Leaders, entrepreneurs foresee bright future Made in Pak Expo attracts public AMANULLAH KHAN KARACHI —The most popular Pakistani trade show in India – Made In Pakistan has become the centre of attraction for the people of Mumbai as thousands of visitors and buyers have thronged the venue first day of mega event kicked off on Wednesday, April 3, 2014. According to the PRGMEA (Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association) sources the Chairman PRGMEA SZ, Arshad Aziz received the prominent guests of honour when the show began at World Trade Centre’s Exposition Complex this morning after soft launch. Aziz said that the 5-day mega event will prove to be a great success as we are having visitors more than we expected. He said that the formal launching of the 5day extravaganza would be held on Thursday as the Governor Maharashtra, Shri K. Sankaranarayanan is expected to inaugurate the mega eventon Thursday at11 a. m. in the morning “A Festival of Friendship” is the theme of the five days extravaganza that would have other activities including a catwalk, B2B meetings, etc. besides exhibition of Pakistan made products to be displayed in the event for promotion of our various famous brands in the Indian market”, said Aziz. The main feature of the event and my thrust would be on arranging meetings of our exhibitors with their Indian counterparts so that they could procure long-term export orders especially for the readymade garments and other fabrics that’s why PRGMEA has initiated this venture and is trying to establish this event as a regular feature in India.

Turkey retains BBB Fitch credit rating ISLAMABAD—Global ratings agency Fitch has affirmed Turkey’s longterm foreign and local currency Issuer Default Ratings at ‘BBB-’ and ‘BBB’, respectively, after the country continued commitment to its fiscal sustainability. Fitch said in a statement on Friday that Turkey’s macroeconomic policy management had improved over time as the country continued its commitment to its fiscal sustainability, Anadolu news agency reported. Fitch said it considered Turkey’s macroeconomic outcomes to date to have been reassuring, adding: “The lira has stabilised and international reserves rebounded in February, following a steep fall in January. Domestically, industrial production and capacity utilisation remain strong, underpinned by exports, whereas domestic lending growth has slowed, and there are signs of a moderation in consumer and investor confidence.” On January 28, Turkey’s Central Bank doubled its borrowing rate from 3.5 percent to 8 percent.—APP

There is one rule for the industrialist and that is: Make the best quality of goods possible at the lowest cost possible, paying the highest wages possible. — Henry Ford

Privatization worked wonders for business opportunities in Pakistan on many development projects in Pakistan. “The US wants to further strengthen economic ties with Pakistan.” He said that political stability plays a major role in attracting national and international investment. Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for Overseas Investment and Trade Javed Malik said that the government is taking all possible measures to

of economic diplomacy in present international system and said that it also works as conflict resolution mechanism. He stressed upon promoting soft image of Pakistan in the world. ISLAMABAD—Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) Minister of State and Chairman Privatisation Commission Muhammad has come a long way from an old-fashioned, overstaffed organization to Zubair rejected the opinion that the government is adopting privatisation a dynamic, futuristic and a leading telecom company of Pakistan. This policy under the pressure of was said by President and CEO of the company Walid Irshaid IMF. He claimed that quality at ‘The Leaders and The HRM Summit.’ The event was a joint of life has improved in Pakiinitiative of ‘Nutshell Forum’ and a local media house. stan. “According to a survey The chief of the PTCL speaking on the occasion said conducted in Karachi, Lahore privatization of various government entities has done well for and Islamabad 30 years ago, business opportunities in Pakistan, “as it not only generates only 18% people were senda strong sense of competition it also improves efficiency and ing their children to school. performance of the staff.” PTCL, he said, almost eight years The same survey conducted ago, was a liability and on the verge of collapse but now it is a few months back showed doing wonderful business a leader in the field of telecommuthat 100% children go to nication. school in these cities,” he The summit was addressed among others by executives, shared. He said that it was the human resource experts and political leaders who shared their government institutions that views, experiences and strategies of success with the audiwere not able to deliver and ence mostly young business leaders and entrepreneurs from have become almost dysfuncdifferent sectors. tional. Talking about the fast The event is an annual meeting for those who do busipace of privatisation, he said ness, create opportunity and drive change in addition to prothat grievances of the public viding a healthy networking platform for executives and deciare huge and demand quick sion-makers from across the industry. More than 400 highaction by the government. “It profile dignitaries attended the summit. is an opportunity to show the The conference was divided into four sessions, each atworld that government can tended and addressed by eminent leaders of their respective deliver. That is why the prime fields. They said that leaders inspire people rather than comminister has brought people mand them. They stressed bringing transformation in the leadfrom the private sector on key ership culture in Pakistan and said that good leaders change positions in the government.” or amend their strategies according to the changing environChairman Amlak Interment. national Investment and Speaking at the opening session, Federal Minister for President Arab Management Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal said the government has laid strong foundation of economic development in last ISLAMABAD: President PTCL Waleed Irshaid addressing the participants of the Leaders Summit and The HRM Association Dr Ebrahim nine months and by 2025, Pakistan will be among top 10 big Summit at a local hotel. Federal Minister for Planning Ahsan Iqbal, Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for Overseas Khalifa Al Dossary gave the economies. Investment and Trade Javed Malik, Group Managing Director Revenue Jang Media Group Sarmad A Khan and others example of development in Dubai and said that it hapHe said the government is in the process of finalising are also seen sitting on the stage.—PO photo by Sultan Bashir pened due to the visionary Vision 2025, which will be the vision of Pakistan, not the viand true leadership of Sheikh sion of one political party. He said that the country can never provide enabling environment to investors, which has led to increased Khalid. He opined that a true leader wins the hearts of his people through progress until we adjust to the changing environment. US Ambassador to Pakistan Richard Olson said the US was working international investment in the country. He highlighted the importance commitment, vision, simplicity and self-confidence.

ZUBAIR QURESHI

ADB Mission meets LCCI Chief SALIM AHMED LAHORE —A two-member Asian Development Bank (ADB) Fact-Finding Mission Friday called on LCCI President Engineers Sohail Lashari and discussed in detail the trade and transport constraints in Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) countries. The ADB Mission comprising Adrian Sammons and Aamer Ali had over an hour meeting with Engineer Sohail Lashari to identify impediments to trade flows between Pakistan and other CAREC countries. LCCI Vice President Kashif Anwar and Chairman LCCI Committee on Logistics Muhammad Anwar were also present in the meeting. The Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation, or CAREC, Program is a partnership of 10 countries (Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, Pakistan, People’s Republic of China, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan), supported by 6 multilateral institutions, working together to promote

development through cooperation, leading to accelerated growth and poverty reduction. Adrian Sammons informed the LCCI President that the ADB Report on transport constraints in Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) countries would be presented to the government by the end of May 2014. He said that ongoing globalization has imposed challenges on the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) countries because of current transport and trade constraints. Thus, a transport facilitation strategy was critical to sustain economic prosperity in this region. He said that the report being prepared by the Asian Development Bank would be highlighting all the constraints coming in the way of trade facilitation, as the process of consultation initiated by the Bank would help bring to the limelight all the challenges. Adrian Sammons said that the Mission had a number of meetings with the stake

Continued on Page 14

ISLAMABAD: Chinese Ambassador, Liu Jian called on Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reform, Prof Ahsan Iqbal.

OGDCL discovers gas in Sindh

Foreign investors taking keen interest in Pakistan: Miftah Ismail

STAFF REPORTER

I SLAMABAD —Special Advisor to Prime kistan Television (PTV). Pakistan is rich in Minister and Chairman Board of Investment,

natural resources which can be explored for

tors of Pakistan. He said that investment in the telecom sector would enhance business activity in the country and revolution in the communication sector would have positive impact on all the fields besides improving life of the common man. He said a conducive environment was available in Pakistan for investment and a fast trend for investment was seen in the country, he stated this while talking to Pa-

Chairman said that Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) government after coming into power had focused on good governance, transparency and providing a conducive environment imperative for the foreign investors. Mifta Ismail said that foreign investors were looking into this region for investment and present government is taking measures to improve economy.— APP

benefit of the people of this region, he I SLAMABAD —Oil & Gas Miftah Ismail has said that foreign inves- the added. tors are taking keen interest in different secDevelopment Company Limited (OGDCL) made gas discovery from Maru East Well-1, which is located in district Ghotki, Sindh Province. The joint venture of Guddu block – comprising OGDCL as operator having 70 percent stakes, IPR

Continued on Page 14

Govt addressing farmers’ concern over Pak-India bilateral trade STAFF REPORTER LAHORE—The government is committed to address the concerns and reservations of the Agri growers and cultivators in perspective of Pak India bilateral trade through Wagah and with their collaboration an effective mechanism would be chalked out to safeguard the country’s farmers. Director General Trade Development Authority of Pakistan Lahore Sher Afgan Khan stated this while addressing the first Wagha Agri Trade Committee meeting held at the conference room of TDAP Lahore here Friday. The meeting was attended by representatives of all the stakeholders including agri growers, cultivators, exporters and concerned government organizations. Highlighting the issues being faced by the farmers, Mr Tariq Bucha President Farmers Associates Pakistan said that in light of trade with India, farmers demand a separate bilateral trade agreement for the agriculture products. He said present SAFTA

agreement needs to be revisited and clauses pertaining to agriculture needs to be added whereas they also want sensitive list for agriculture products to be expanded. It was observed during the meeting that farmers demand a level playing field in order to compete with the highly subsidized agriculture products of India as compared to Pakistani farmers, the Indian farmers are enjoying 100 billion dollar subsidy. Chaudhary Javed Ahmed of Pak Kissan Ittehad said that our regulations and taxation system is damaging the agriculture sector of Pakistan. Farmers are facing adverse circumstances and the handling of inputs is derisive. The participants observed that there is a need to formulate a proper regulatory infra structure with regard to agriculture sector in view of Pak India trade liberlization so that the Pakistani farmers could compete with the Indian farmers. In Pakistan on average a farmer is owing four to five acres of land and is not financially strong to meet the demands of international trade. The representatives of growers demanded development of

TOR’s for better positing of farmers and stressed on needs to subsidize for better quality output and better results through a proper mechanism including future pricing and support price on other agriculture products. The participants also indicated their concerns regarding usage of Pakistani market for transshipment by India. The participants of the meeting also suggested that testing facility of GMO verification, pesticides and crop diseases needs to established at all district levels and at Wagah border. The representative of Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan stated that milling industry has grown by capacity of 9 million matric tons but the agriculture production is still 6.5 million matric tons. They demanded that rice should be allowed to be imported for re export after processing by the rice units. Rice Exporters Association appreciated the efforts to normalize trade with India. The meeting was also attended by senior officers of TDAP including Mr. Riaz Ahmed, Mrs Shazia Akram and Mr Waqas Azeem.

Heavy rains affect cement exports dispatches AMANULLAH KHAN K ARACHI —Cement despatches to domestic markets during the month of March 2014 declined by 3.7 percent to 2.463 million tons compared with 2.557 Million Tons during same month last year. The decline in cement despatches was mainly due to heavy rains in the month of March. Exports during March 14 stood at 725,000 Tons against 768,000 Tons during March, 13. Total despatches during March, 14 were 3.188 Million Tons compared to 3.326 Million Tons during same month last year showing reduction of 4.1 percent. During the first 9 months of current fiscal year, cement industry despatched 18.76 Million Tons in local markets posting a growth of 2.1 percent compared with local despatches during the same period of last fiscal year. Exports from the country declined by 2.5 percent to 6.02 Million Tons compared with exports during the first nine months of last year. The overall situation during first 3 quarters of current fiscal year showed a meager 0.96% growth compared to the same period of last fiscal year as total despatches increased to 24.776 Million Tons against 24.541 Million Tons from July 12 to March, 13.

Revealing the performance of the sector Spokesman of APCMA said that during the first nine months of the fiscal, average local cement despatches stood at 2.084 Million Tons per month against 2.041 Million Tons during same period of last fiscal. Exports were however down to 668,000 Tons per month from average of 685,000 Tons per month during the first nine months of last fiscal. Substantial increase in exports to India was witnessed during March, 14 as the Industry exported 128,000 Tons to India against 51,000 Tons during last month and 55,000 Tons during same month last year. During the first nine months export of cement India increased by 28.40 percent as cement sector exported 420,000 Tons compared to 327,000 Tons during same period of last fiscal. On the contrary, Afghanistan market declined by 16.44 percent as cement sector was able to export only 2.746 million tons during the first nine months compared to 3.286 Million Tons during same period of last fiscal. Exports to other destinations through sea increased by 11.57 percent to 2.850 Million Tons during the first nine months of current fiscal from 2.555 Million Tons during same period of last year.

Spokesman of Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association deplored that the issues impacting cement sector have still not been addressed by the government. In last budget, cement has been brought within the purview of ‘3rd Schedule’ of Sales Tax Act 1990 that has increased the overall tax burden and has resulted in increase in the local prices. Considering the cement dynamics, industry wants government to reconsider its decision and remove cement from 3rd Schedule and to bring it in the normal sales tax regime. This will help industry to reduce prices which will help to accelerate construction activities across the country, he said, adding that the cost of transportation has increased substantially because of diesel rates as well as the restriction on the trucks to load cement and coal according to the approved axle weight. Industry experts expect positive results from the talks, the government is having with India, to remove non-tariff and technical barriers to export cement from Pakistan. They said that withdrawal of NATO forces from Afghanistan is on the cards and uncertainty has started creeping in the Afghan market which is the reason for low exports to that country.


Selling

Buying

USA

97.90

97.70

UK

162.40

162.06

Euro

134.23

133.96

Canada

88.76

88.58

Switzerland

109.74

109.52

Currency

Australia

90.46

90.27

Sweden

14.98

14.94

Japan

0.9421

0.9402

Norway

16.29

16.26

Singapore

77.46

77.31

Denmark

17.98

17.95

Saudi Arabia

26.10

26.05

Hong Kong

12.62

12.59

Kuwait

347.08

346.37

Malaysia

29.80

29.74

Newzealand

83.81

83.64

Qatar

26.88

26.83

UAE

26.65

26.60

KR. WON

0.0927

0.0925

Thailand

3.009

3.002

Pakwheels introduces afresh look STAFF REPORTER LAHORE—Pakwheels, the largest community based automobile website gives all new look to its website by providing latest online trends aimed to give fast and easy access to users. Pakwheels has come up with this idea to make its website simple, stylish and attractive for all users to post free ads for vehicles. The new look is aimed to streamline all processes for users and provide faster and easy access to search for vehicles and navigate smoothly. The Marketing Manager Saad Salman said, “online selling is increasing day by day and users demand for attractive yet simple websites to browse and search from. A new and refreshing look to our website will improve the user experience and provide them much easier and faster access to search for used cars.”

Lafarge Cement approves company accounts I SLAMABAD —The Board of Directors of Lafarge Pakistan Cement Limited met recently and approved the accounts for the year ended December 31, 2013. Lafarge Pakistan has posted a positive bottom line in year 2013. Net sales grew 7% to Rs. 10,302 million from Rs. 9,624 million. ‘We are happy to share our Annual Results for 2013, with growth in Net Sales of 7%’ said Mr. Amr Reda, Country Chief Executive Officer, Lafarge Pakistan Cement Limited. ‘With our unprecedented commitment to Building Better Cities across Pakistan, we are determined to grow the Pakistan market in 2014 and beyond. Construction trends are favorable in Pakistan and I am confident that we are particularly well positioned to succeed and accelerate growth through innovation.—PR

FPCCI Standing Committee gets Vice Chairman STAFF REPORTER KARACHI—President FPCCI Zakaria Usman has appointed M Saleem Memon as Vice Chairman of FPCCI Standing Committee on Law & Order for the year 2014 and advised him to keep close liaison with law enforcement agencies to resolve the issues of the business community. Saleem Memon committed in his statement to work together with the Chairman of the Committee upto the desired level of the President FPCCI and will further strengthen the relations with law enforcement agencies.

Asia’s small firms need more nonbank financing to grow, create jobs ISLAMABAD—Small-and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of Asia’s economies, but they need better access to finance to grow and generate badly needed new jobs for the region, said a new Asian Development Bank (ADB) report launched on Friday. “Most of Asia’s smaller firms are faced with difficulties in obtaining finance,” said Noritaka Akamatsu, Deputy Head of ADB’s Office of Regional Economic Integration, which produced the inaugural edition of Asia SME Finance Monitor, released today. “SMEs need to be able to tap a wider range of nonbank financing options in addition to bank loans, including capital markets if they are to realize their potential.” The SMEs - defined differently in different countries but generally with a small workforce or low assets - make up 98% of all businesses and provide jobs for 66% of the labor force in Asia, but they represent only 38% of the region’s gross domestic product (GDP), indicating that governments can boost economic growth by developing SMEs. However, small firms have trouble getting the finance they need to grow.

They lose out to larger companies where bank loans are concerned, particularly with banks cutting back their lending to SMEs in the wake of the 2008-2009 global financial crisis as they avoided risk and sought financial stability. Although many governments have developed comprehensive policy frameworks to promote SME growth, most measures focus on helping SMEs get loans from banks, such as public credit guarantee schemes in Indonesia and Thailand, secured transaction reforms in the Pacific region, refinancing schemes in Bangladesh and Malaysia, and mandatory lending in the Philippines. The report highlights the example of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), where SMEs contribute 50% of tax revenues, 60% of GDP, and 80% of urban jobs, and where alternative sources of funding are provided via SME equity markets on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, SME bond instruments, and microcredit firms. However, given that the PRC defines SMEs differently to other countries, further study is needed on the link between the wider availability of finance and SME growth.

More needs to be done across the region to incorporate nonbank financing options into national policies and nurture other options, such as increased use of asset-based finance and capital market instruments. The report, which includes data on SMEs in 14 countries in the region, found that as the world economy becomes increasingly interlinked, SMEs that are part of intricate global supply chains will need access to further trade finance, supply chain finance, and innovative funding models that enable them to expand their business globally. The new report is being launched in tandem with a joint ADB-OECD study on SME access to finance, which looks at lessons for the industry from the 2008-2009 global financial crisis and Europe’s sovereign debt troubles. The ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members - 48 from the region.—APP

ADB Mission meets

LSE organizes IPO awareness session STAFF REPORTER LAHORE—The Lahore Stock Exchange (LSE) organized an IPO awareness session of Hascol Petroleum Limited, inviting the chairman – Hascol, Mumtaz Khan along with his team to share the company’s financial performance before the TREC holders and the investors of the Lahore Stock Exchange. Among the advisors for HPL, Farid Alam, Chief Executive Officer - AKD Securities graced the event as the financial advisor and Liaqat Ali appeared as the lead manager and the arranger. Liaquat Ali while delivering the presentation before the participants covered the financial details indicating the performance, the worth and the potential of the company. He highlighted that Hascol Petroleum Limited has applied for listing of its ordinary shares at the Lahore Stock Exchange and the Karachi Stock Exchange. He added that transaction has received an overwhelming response from both In-

From Page 13

stitutional Investors and High Net Worth Individuals in the book building process. Against an issue size of 18,750,000 Ordinary Shares, the Company received bids for 132,545,778 Ordinary Shares with the Issue being oversubscribed by 7.07 times with an additional premium of PKR 36.50/ per share above the floor price of PKR 20/ per share. Based on the Dutch Auction Method, the strike price has been determined at PKR 56.50/ per share. After successful closure of Book Building, the Company is issuing the remaining 6,250,000 Ordinary Shares to General Public at the strike price of PKR 56.50/ per share. The dates for general Public subscription are April 8 & 9. Managing Director, Lahore Stock Exchange, Aftab Ahmed Ch applauded on the part of both the company and the active participation of the investors that build confidence on the Exchange by experiencing the demand and supply present in the capital markets through such events.

SMEDA signs MoU with FPBS STAFF REPORTER LAHORE—A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between Small & Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA), Government of Pakistan and Finland-Pakistan Business Council (FPBS) to support Social Entrepreneurship, enterprise creation and SME sector development in Pakistan. The MoU entails establishing incubation / innovation centers, social enterprise challenge fund as well as developing business linkages between Pakistani and Finnish businesses. CEO SMEDA, Sardar Ahmad Nawaz Sukhera, at the occasion said that SMEDA by virtue of its outreach and experience in developing and diffusing an entrepreneurial eco-system is poised well to integrate and synergize allied programs for the development of social entrepreneurship in Pakistan. During the MOU signing ceremony, CEO SMEDA stressed upon developing meaningful collaboration with development partners and expressed that SMEDA’s partnership with Finland Pakistan Business Council will go a long way in developing cooperation between the two countries and promotion of entrepreneurship in Pakistan. At the occasion he stated, “Developing an entrepreneurial eco-system is a key priority of SMEDA. Entrepreneurship has the power of moving economies to new stages of development. For entrepreneurs to thrive, however,

MURREE: PML-N MNA Hamza Shahbaz, Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and ERRA Deputy Chairman Major General Muhammad Asif Azeem offering Dua after inaugurating Model Rooftop Rain Water Harvesting System installed by ERRA Resource Centre.

their needs to exist a supportive ecosystem of intertwined factors including access to finance and business support services. Collaboration with Finland-Pakistan Business Council, will provide our budding entrepreneurs to learn best business practices and benefit from the expertise and linkages with Finnish businesses.’ During the ceremony, he also shared that SMEDA, in line with its mandate has developed a 5-year SME Development Plan that builds upon key game changing drivers across SME value chains, related infrastructure and policy & regulatory environment, besides developing an entrepreneurial ecosystem, focusing on access to finance, youth and women cohort of society. Since its establishment, SMEDA has had a number of Entrepreneurship development initiatives to its credit. These include establishing Women Business Development Centres in Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar, Quetta and Swat; entrepreneurs’ facilitation in the on-going Prime Minister’s Youth Business Loans scheme. Similarly, policy advocacy, research, awareness creation, training, facilitating market access, arranging exhibitions/trade fairs and a number of other initiatives have been instrumental in spurring entrepreneurship in Pakistan. “Entrepreneurship is the fastest means of creating new jobs and wealth generation in an emerging market like Pakistan. However, entrepreneurs require support in management, R&D, sales and marketing.

holders working with the Central Asian Estates. Speaking on the occasion, the LCCI President Engineer Sohail Lashari informed the ADB Mission that all the CAREC countries has huge potential to emerge as a center of trade and commerce, achieve higher levels of economic growth, and reduce poverty. Engineer Sohail Lashari said that Central Asian states and Afghanistan are natural trading partners of Pakistan due to its geographic and strategic location therefore; the government should ensure Pakistani entrepreneurs penetration to these markets. The LCCI President invited that attention of the ADB Mission towards the absence of banking channels in the Central Asian Estates. He said that since the liquidity transfer was central to all types of business activities therefore the trade among these countries could not flourish unless and until a true banking mechanism is developed.

RAWALPINDI: Josef Kufer, President, Hashoo Group Hotel Division (far left) being received by Sheharyar Mirza, General Manager Pearl Continental Hotel.

OGDCL From Page 13 Transoil Corporation having 11.5 percent stakes, Spud Energy Ptv Ltd with 13.5 percent and Government Holding Pvt Limited with five percent stakes – discovered gas from its exploratory well, Maru East-1. The Structure of Maru East Well was delineated drilled and tested using OGDCL’s in-house expertise. The well was drilled to the depth of 770 meters, targeting to test the hydrocarbon potential of Pirkoh Limestone, whereby reserves of hydrocarbon have been found at Maru East Well # 01. The Zone has tested 2.10 million cubic feet per day of gas and flow rates are expected to enhance after acid stimulation treatment.

KARACHI: Shoaib Siddiqui, Commissioner Karachi inaugurated Gerry’s Summer Fiesta at The Forum. On this occasion Amin Wali Mohammad, VC Gerry’s Group, Hafeez ur Rehman GM were also present.—PO photo by Sultan Chaki

Business community showing trust in Govt economic policies STAFF REPORTER K ARACHI —Chief Executive, Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP), S.M.Muneer said that confidence of people and industrialists are increasing day by day on present government which is witnessed as foreign and local investors are interested to invest in Pakistan. TDAP is arranging “Life Style Exhibition” in Dehli in September 2014 whereas “Expo Pakistan” will be held at Karachi in which real buyers and investors from foreign countries would be invited. This was stated by S.M.Muneer at a dinner hosted by KATI. At this occasion, Brig.Basit Shuja of Pakistan Rangers, President All Karachi Industrial Alliance, Mian Zahid Hussain, President KATI, Syed Farukh Mazhar, Chairman Afeef Group, Rashid Ahmed Siddiqui, Chairman Law & Order Standing Committee, Nadeem Khan, Immediate Past Chairman KATI, Mohammad Zubair Chhaya also expressed their views while Saeeduddin from Hong Kong, Arif Habib, Abdul Sami Khan, Talat

Jabeen, Gulzar Firoz, Akbar Farooqui, Hasham A.Razzak, Faraz-ur-Rehman, Masood Naqi, Syed Johar Ali Qandhari and others were present. S.M.Muneer said that favourable environment plays an important role in investment and industrialization, law & order situation of Karachi is improving as compared with the past for which Rangers and Police have played an important role. At the occasion, Brig.Basit Shuja said that Police and Rangers are trying to improve law and order situation in Karachi and for that they are sacrificing their lives. For the betterment of economy of the country, present government has decided to take steps due to which Karachi would again become a peaceful and city of light. He said that reasons behind law and order situation in Karachi are target-killing, extorsion, kidnapping for ransom. President All Karachi Industrial Alliance, Mian Zahid Hussain said that hope of improvement in law & order situation has been created due to joint efforts of Police and Rangers. He said

that people involved in extorsion, target killing and kidnapping for ransom are very active in the post, in economic hub, Karachi, but due to operation by Rangers, criminal elements are not active. He said that illegal sims should be blocked for which mobile locators should be provided to Rangers like provided to Police and CPLC so that extorsion could be controlled. President KATI, Syed Farukh Mazhar said that businessmen of Karachi are trying to continue economic activities instead of worst law and order situation. He said that industries of Korangi Industrial Area pay revenue to the tune of Rs.300 million per day to the national exchequer in the shape of various taxes and employment is being provided from private institution therefore, it is need to improve situation of law and order. Chairman Law & Order Standing Committee, Nadeem Khan said that it is necessary to punish criminal elements who were arrested otherwise all efforts for maintaining law and order would be failed.

KARACHI: Acting President of the KCCI, Muhammad Idrees presenting chamber’s crest to Commissioner Karachi, Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui during his visit to KCCI. Vice Chairman of Businessmen Group & former President KCCI, Anjum Nisar, Deputy Commissioner South, Mustafa Jamal Qazi, former President KCCI, A.Q. Khalil and members of Managing Committee are also seen in the picture.—PO photo

A group photo of Brig Basit Shuja of Pakistan Rangers, CEO TDAP S.M. Muneer, AKIA President Mian Zahid Hussain, President KATI Syed Farukh Mazhar, M. Zubair Chhaya, Johar Ali Qandhari, Rashid Ahmed Siddiqui, Masood Naqi, Salim uz Zaman and others.


Shahid leads opening day of National RMI Open Golf P E S H AWA R —International profes- Peshawar Golf Club shared third po- hole no. 11, 14, 15 and 18 while Talib sional golfer Shahid Javed Khan of Royal Palm Lahore took opening day lead with his gross score seven under 65 over 18 holes of the 54-holes National RMI Open Golf Championship which got under way at PAF Golf Course on Friday. Chief Executive Rehman Medical Institute (RMI) Shafiqur Rehman was the chief guest who formally inaugurated the Championship. Secretary KPGA Col. Shahadat Hussain, Director Finance RMI Shahid Khan, players, officials and great number of spectators were also present. Shahid Javed, a winner of Asian Pacific Open Golf Championship held in Thailand, six times national champion carded 33, three under par at front nine and 32, four under par at back nine by recording eight birdies and just missed a stroke over hole no. 16. Another international golfer M. Munir of Islamabad Golf Club, Latif Tafique of Lahore Gymkhana, Talib Hussain of CDA Islamabad, shared a joint second position with their gross score four under par 68 while M. Khurshid of Islamabad and Khalid of

Fata triumph M ULTAN —Asif Afridi excelled with a six-wicket haul as the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) chalked up a 40-run victory over Dera Murad Jamali on the final day of their three-day Quaid-iAzam Trophy Grade-II cricket tournament match in Multan here. Chasing 237 for victory, Dera Murad Jamali were dismissed for 196 in their second innings at the Multan Cricket Stadium. Najibullah (45) and Nasir Khan (44) were the chief run-getters. Asif finished with excellent figures of six for 52. Earlier, Fata added 24 runs to their overnight second-innings total of 180-7 before being all out for 204. Faizullah returned fine figures of 4-64. Both teams would meet in the one-day cup fixture at the same venue on Saturday. Scores and result on Thursday (final day of three): Fata beat Dera Murad Jamali by 40 runs. FATA 188 in 64.3 overs (Asif Ali 83, Mohammad Naeem 25, Khushdil Shah 18; Mohammad Asim 4-92, Shabbir Ahmed 2-20, Faizullah 2-55) and 204 in 64.4 overs (Khushdil Shah 94, Samar Gull 53; Faizullah 4-64, Zahoor Ahmed 2-30, Nasir Khan 216); DERA MURAD JAMALI 156 in 51.3 overs (Asif Ali 39, Taimur Ali 26, Shahbaz Khan 22, Abid Ali 14; Mohammad Zeeshan 4-58, Abdul Mannan 2-27, Sabyar Afridi 2-40) and 196 in 45.1 overs (Najibullah 45, Nasir Khan 44, Shahbaz Khan 28; Asif Afridi 6-52).—AFP

sition with their gross score three under par 69. M. Munir carded 34 each at front and back nine with five birdies at hole no. 6, 9, 12, 17 and 18 and missed a strong at hole no. 14. “I have tried my best to do good putting and to some extend I was succeeded because of hitting all regulations,” Munir told APP. It was a difficult round for the golfers because of the overnight rain as the roll of the ball on the greens were so hard and slower, Munir added. He termed the golf course in excellent condition. Shahid Javed while elaborating his round, lauded the efforts of the organizing committee for excellent fairways and good greens. “I will show good result and my other rounds at well as today the pin placing were easy but it would be difficult on the and third day when top golfers will be competing in the same flights,” Shahid added. Latif Rafique careded 32, four under par at front nine with four birdies and 36, par, at back nine with three birdies besides missing a strong at

Hussain hit 32, four under at front nine with four birdies and 36, par, at back nine with two birdies and missing single stroke at hole no. 7 and 18. Muhammad Kurshid carded 34, two under par at front nine and 35, one under at back nine with only two birdies and Khalid Khan hit 69, three under par, with 34 at front nine and 33, at back nine with only three birdies and two bogys. Matloob Ahmad (70), M. Tariq (70), M. Zubair (71), Waheed Baloch (72), Zahir Shah (72), Asad Khan (72), Asian qualifier international golfer Hamza Amin (73), Manzoor Abbasi (73), Adil Jehangir (73), M. Nazeer (73), Wisal Khan (73), Shahid Latif (74), Ansar Mehmood (74),Haroon Khan of FC (74) were the leading contributors over 18 holes on the opening day. The Championship is carrying a purse money of Rs. 0.8 million for the professional and other attractive prize including home appliances for the amateur. A 1300cc brand new car has been parked for those make a Hole-in-One. A total of 220 golfers in nine different categories are taking part.—APP

Delhi golfers to play at Royal Palm LAHORE—The Delhi golfers touring Lahore will participate in a Golf match here tomorrow at the grand par 72, Royal Palm Golf Course. This contest will commence at 11am and golfers will tee off in a four ball combination that comprises of three Pakistani contenders and one Indian. Delhi Golf Team includes Bubbles Suneja, Meeran Juneja, Maj Gen Shergill, Rajeev Puri, Madhu Misra, Jayant Juneja, Bharat Garg, Gurbir Madhan, Sudir Seth, Indu Seth, Manmohan Singh and Amit Luthra. The host team includes Ramzan Sheikh, Abbas Ali Khan, Sardar Murad, Faisal Malik, Lt Gen M.Tariq, Asad I.A. Khan, Sharjeel Awan, Moeen Salahuddin, Hamayun Mian, Fareed Bajwa, Abid Farooq, Max Babri and Shoaeb Shams. Players from both sides enjoy a standing of their own and though the game will

Sri Lanka offers $1 mln bonus to win T20

be hotly contested from the golfing angle, the idea is to generate a spirit of joy and understanding. Delhi boasts of branded golfers like Amit Luthra, Manmohan Singh, Rajeev Puri and Bubbles Suneja. Bubbles is a lady golfer who has devoted her life to promotion of ladies golf and even played host to the Royal Palm caddy turned lady golfers and gave them vital training. This competition will be contested on Pexas Scrambles Match Play basis which allows the team pair to hit their first shots from the tee and then they have the option of choosing the better hit and placed shot for next hit. As the players compete as a pair, the responsibility to the playing partner rises to a high level. The ladies from Pakistan taking part in this international tournament are Mrs Sameea Javed Ali and Noor Zaman and from the Indian side Bubbles Suneja, Indu Seth and Meeran will be in the forefront.—APP

KP U-17 Inter-District Hockey C’ship from 8th

COLOMBO—The Sri Lankan P E S H AWA R —Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Under-17 Interteam will be handed a million dollar bonus if they can shake off their reputation as chokers in the final of the World Twenty20 this weekend, the country’s cricket board announced Friday. The day after the players won a rain-affected semifinal against the West Indies, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) said it would treble the money it had previously promised if they return home from Bangladesh with the trophy. “The Executive Committee of SLC which met at an emergency meeting this morning decided to offer $ 1.5 million (including the original fee of $500,000) to the national team players in the event that they win the final,” the board said in a statement.—AFP

District Hockey Championship will start from April 8 at Lala Ayub Hockey Stadium here. This was stated by Secretary General Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Hockey Association Syed Zahir Shah while talking to APP here on Friday. He said all districts affiliated with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Hockey Association would be bound to take part in the Championship. He said all arrangements in this connection have already been completed. He said District Hockey Associations have been directed to hold camps, trials before participating in the Championship. For this connection, he said, a selection committee headed by Hidayat Ullah Khan, President Peshawar District Cricket Association with three members comprising Yasir Islam, Zia Ullah Binori would short-list 33 players for the camp to be setup for the forthcoming National Under-17 Championship under the aegis of Pakistan Hockey Federation. He said the camp would be organized for one month duration before participating in the National Under-17 Championship. He said a request has also been made to PHF for deputing a qualified coach here.—APP

ISLAMABAD: A view of cricket match between Multan vs Lahore during 5th All Pakistan National Bank Wheelchair Users Cricket Tournament organized by Saaya Association at Jinnah Sports Complex.

MCB beat Nishat in a limited over match

Pakistan-England XI to play GCU in a one-day match

LAHORE—The Pak -England XI, which has ing the relations of both the countries.” The Punjab Youth Festival (PYF) 2014 L AHORE —MCB defeated arrived in the country on the special invitaNishat Chunian by 5 wickets in a match of the Turk Plast Lahore Sports Cricket League here on Friday at Model Town Ground. Brief scores, Nishat Chunian batted first, 157 for 9 in 30-overs. Hanan Ahmed 41, Mohammed Mohsin 36, Asfand Yar Khan 16 and Mohammed Asher 15 runs were their main run getters. Adnan Hmayun 4 for 25, Mohsan Dar 3 for 12 and Hasan Tariq 1 for 36 did well in bowling from MCB. In reply MCB achieved the target for the loss of 5 wickets in 23-overs. Mudassar Ehsan 62, Adnan Humayou 33, and Mohammed Nazin 35 Not out led them to success. Nishat main wicket taker were ,Wazir Ali 3 for 34 , Mohammed Asher 1 for 24 and Asfand yar Khan 1 for 27, Jawaid Ashraf and Muhammed Kaleem were the umpires and Azhar Hussain scorer of the match.—APP

tion of Provincial Minister for Sports Rana Mashhood Ahmad Khan, will take on the cricket team of Government College University (GCU) tomorrow, at the university’s ground. The guest team will play three matches in total, the remaining two will be played against Pakistan U-19 team and the team of University of Central Punjab (UCP) on April 7 and 9 respectively. The cricket series is being organised under the banner of the Punjab International Sports Festival (PISF). The Pak -England team consists of the players of Pakistani origin, is participating in the matches on the special invitation of Provincial Minister for Sports Rana Mashood Ahmad Khan who will be the chief guest chief during the matches. Manager of guest team Taha Qureshi said that they are very happy with the profound love they received from the lively Lahorites. “The cricket competitions between the two countries will help not only promoting the game but also strengthen-

is a big step taken by the Punjab Government which has been helping the country in portraying its softer image to the entire world, he asserted. “The credit of all this goes to Chief Minister Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif, Provincial Minister for Sports Rana Mashhood, DG. Sports Board Punjab, Mr. Usman Anwar and their entire team. I hope they will continue holding such healthy activities which will help grooming the youth of the country and provide them better opportunities to excel at National and International level,” he added. Captain of guest team Yaseen Khan termed his team’s preparations satisfactory hoping that they would open the series with victory and stamp their authority on the hosts. “The first match against the host team is very significant for us and we will try our best to win it with great style and earn lead to put pressure on the hosts which will also help us in winning all the three matches,” he concluded.—APP

China’s Feng seizes LPGA lead RANCHO MIRAGE (United States)—China’s Feng Shanshan fired a six-under par 66 on Thursday to take a one-stroke first-round lead at the Kraft Nabisco Championship, the first major of the LPGA season. Feng, seeking to add a second major title to her 2012 LPGA Championship crown, is looking for a fourth LPGA Tour title overall. South Korea’s Pak SeRi was tied for second with American Michelle Wie, one shot off the lead. Feng, playing in benign morning conditions in the

PESHAWAR: Acting Director General Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Sports Board Tariq Mehmood with players of the 10-day long camp in Tennis Court at Qayyum Sports Complex.

Real put a foot in semis with majestic show M A D R I D —Real Madrid eased to- Madrid would lose 4-1 over there. In scored again within three minutes of

ISLAMABAD: A horseman seen in action during tent pegging competition held in connection with Spring Festival at Fatima Jinnah Park.

wards a fourth consecutive Champions League semi-final as Cristiano Ronaldo equalled another goalscoring record in their 3-0 win over Borussia Dortmund at the Santiago Bernabeu. Looking to avenge their semi-final defeat at the hands of the Germans last season, Madrid flew out of the traps and were ahead within three minutes when Gareth Bale poked home from Dani Carvajal´s pass. Isco doubled Real´s lead after 27 minutes as his low shot from the edge of the area curled into the bottom corner. Ronaldo then scored his 14th Champions League goal of the campaign to match the competition´s record mark for goals in a season set by Lionel Messi two years ago. However, Real´s night was soured somewhat as Ronaldo had to be substituted late on due to what appeared to be a minor knee injury. “It´s a magnificent result,” Isco told Canal Plus. “We are very happy to get the third goal and not concede. It is a huge step towards the semifinals.” However, the Spanish under-21 international warned Los Blancos will have the memory of their 4-1 defeat in Dortmund in the first-leg of last season´s semi-final to remind them the tie isn´t over. No one imagined

football you never know.” The visitors started the game with just four of the side that also started that famous 4-1 win, but Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp refused to blame the absences suffered by his side as the reason for such a turnaround in less than 12 months. “Yes it is a difference, but the goals we conceded tonight have nothing to do with that. We were not compact enough. The first goal was too easy, we made things too easy for them. In the second-half we had so many chances and we didn´t take one of them, but I know this team can do so much better and that is what we have to think about.” Madrid got off to a flying start as Bale opened the scoring with his 17th goal of the season as he controlled Carvajal´s low centre before finishing first time. Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller then had to make two brilliant saves from a free-kick each from Ronaldo and Bale. However, there was nothing the German international could do to prevent Isco´s precise low effort finding its way into his bottom right-hand corner. Dortmund posed a far greater threat on the Real goal after the break, but that also left them open on the counter-attack and Bale nearly

the restart as Weidenfeller blocked the Welshman´s effort. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had been handed the difficult task of replacing the suspended Robert Lewandowski up front for Dortmund, but he came close to bringing his side back into the game with a shot across goal that flew just wide of the target. Henrikh Mkhitaryan then wasted another good opening for the visitors as his shot was deflected wide by Pepe and within two minutes Dortmund were punished as Ronaldo made it 3-0. The Portuguese was played in by Luka Modric and showed quick feet to sidestep Weidenfeller and roll the ball into an empty net. Dortmund continued to push for an away goal and only an incredible block by Pepe prevented Mkhitaryan after Iker Casillas could only parry a low cross from the right. Weidenfeller was then forced into more heroics to keep the score down as he tipped over Benzema´s sweetlystruck half-volley from the edge of the area. Ronaldo had to be replaced by Brazilian midfielder Casemiro 10 minutes from time, but the former Manchester United man was able to walk freely as he made his exit, suggesting he should be fit for Real´s trip to Real Sociedad on Saturday.—AFP


FICA wants Srinivasan to step aside from ICC I SLAMABAD —The Federation of In- Meiyappan,” he said. ternational Cricketers’ Associations (FICA) on Friday called on the International Cricket Council (ICC) Board to direct N. Srinivasan to stand aside from all ICC functions. FICA Executive Chairman Paul Marsh said it was imperative that the ICC Board acted strongly in response to the situation involving Srinivasan, says a press release issued here. “Serious allegations of betting and spot fixing in IPL 2013 have been made against Gurunath Meiyappan as the alleged Team Principal of Chennai Super Kings and these remain the subject of proceedings before the Indian Supreme Court,” he said. “Srinivasan is the Managing Director of Indian Cements Limited (the owner of the Chennai Super Kings) and is also the father-in-law of

US wingsuit diver dies after Swiss crash G ENEVA —US

wingsuit diver Brian Drake has died of injuries sustained in an accident that killed a New Zealander and a top French extreme sportsman last weekend, Swiss police said Thursday. The 33-year-old American passed away Wednesday evening in hospital, police in the capital Bern said in a statement. Police did not reveal the victim’s name, but on its Facebook page the World Wingsuit League identified him as Drake, saying he had been in a coma since Saturday’s accident. The league set up a special page in Drake’s honour, where dozens of people posted messages and shared memories, photos and videos of his jumps and footage he shot of others in action. “He was the most incredible, wise, kind, adventurous, funny, supportive, loving brother one could ever wish for,” wrote his younger brother, Jordan Drake, in a moving tribute on the site. Wingsuit divers wear special jumpsuits that add surface area to the body, enabling them to glide like a bird, before opening a parachute like a regular skydiver. Drake was one of the biggest names in the wingsuit community, travelling the globe for competition meets and known for his breathtaking jumps.—AFP

“The Supreme Court order from last Friday noted that Srinivasan had made a written offer through his legal counsel to step aside from his functions as BCCI President until investigations into the allegations against him were completed,” he said. “The SC has issued an interim order prohibiting any employees of India Cements Limited (other than players or commentators) from performing any duties for the BCCI,” he said adding that FICA understands that the order applies to Srinivasan, as Managing Director of the company. Marsh called on the ICC Board to take note of the SC’s recent orders and apply the same principles to ICC activities. “We are pleased that Srinivasan, at the behest of the SC, has agreed

to step down from his duties as BCCI President, we are of the firm belief that he should not be exercising any functions on behalf of the ICC either, while any investigations concerning his conduct or that of his company are pending or unresolved,” he said. Marsh said cricket world has been told time and again by the ICC that corruption is the game’s biggest issue and that the game has a zero tolerance approach to it. “For our game to survive we need it to be not only free of corruption but free of any suspicion of corruption,” he said. Marsh said ICC needs to put the reputation of the game and confidence in its procedures first.”Under the current circumstances, the prospect of Srinivasan taking the highest posting in world cricket while these matters are unresolved, is an impossible one,” Marsh said.—APP

S. Korea, India even at 1-1 in Davis Cup

RIO DE JANEIRO: Pakistani players celebrating after tied with the US in the Street Child World Cup and kept their undefeated streak alive in the tournament.

Schumacher showing moments of consciousness

Pakistan qualify for Street Child World Cup quarter-finals

RIO DE JANEIRO—Pakistan tied with the Orlandez Jr. Argentina, which lost its past three B USAN (South Korea)—South Korea and the first set tiebreak, Devvarman led 6-1 P ARIS —Seven-times For- US (1-1) in the Street Child World Cup and India took an opening singles match each in their Davis Cup second-round tie on Friday in the southern South Korean port city of Busan. Somdev Devvarman defeated Chung Hyeon in straight sets, 7-6 (7/4), 7-6 (7/3), 6-4, in the first match on the hard court. But Lim Yong-Kyu turned the tables for the home side, defeating Sanam Singh 7-6(7/5), 6-4, 6-4, to level the tie. After a doubles showdown on Saturday, there will be two more singles matches on Sunday, with the eventual winner moving on to the World Group playoffs. Devvarman, ranked 88th in the singles, was pushed to tiebreaks in the first two sets against the 377th-ranked Chung. In

and held off the 17-year-old South Korean to win 7-4. Chung led 4-1 in the second set, but Devvarman stormed back to force another tiebreak and took advantage of Chung’s sloppy play to win 7-3. At 4-4 in the third set, Devvarman broke Chung’s serve and held his opponent back to complete the straight-set victory. Lim, ranked 300th, edged out the 371stranked Singh in the tiebreak of their opening set, and then won the second set comfortably, with a series of backhand and volley winners. The third set went to 4-4 before Lim secured the crucial break and then served out for the set and the match.—AFP

Bouchard holds off Venus in Charleston C H A R L E S T O N (United States)—Canadian starlet Eugenie Bouchard admitted it was “a bit ugly” as she held off former world number one Venus Williams 7-6 (8/6), 2-6, 6-4 to reach the Family Circle Cup quarter-finals Thursday. Bouchard, an Australian Open semifinalist who is seeded sixth in the green claycourt WTA premier level event, saved two set points in the first-set tiebreaker, and rallied from a break down in the third to advance to a meeting with second-seeded Serbian Jelena Jankovic. Williams followed her younger sister, world number one and top seed Serena, out of the tournament.

Venus Williams, who won the Charleston title in 2004, held two set points at 6-4 in the first-set tiebreaker, but 20-year-old Bouchard won four successive points to take the set. Williams bounced back with a strong second set and broke for a 2-1 lead in the third, but her unforced errors allowed Bouchard to get back in it and the Canadian broke her in the final game to seal the win. “In the second set she really started going for her shots,” Bouchard said. “I just tried to keep fighting. It was a little bit ugly at times, but I just kept trying to fight through it.”— AFP

mula 1 motor racing world champion Michael Schumacher, who suffered serious head injuries in a December skiing accident, is

making progress and showing signs of waking from an artificial coma, his agent said on Friday. “Michael is making progress on his way. He shows moments of consciousness and awakening,” Sabine Kehm said in a statement. Schumacher, 45, slammed his head on a rock while skiing off-piste in the French Alps resort of Meribel on Dec. 29 last year. The most successful Formula 1 champion of all time has been in a stable but critical condition since then in a hospital in the eastern French city of Grenoble. Doctors started lowering the retired German racing driver’s sedation at the end of January to wake him up from an artificial coma. “We are on his side during his long and difficult fight, together with the team of the hospital in Grenoble, and we keep remaining confident,” said the brief statement from Kehm.—APP

Afridi ignored for Caribbean Premier League JAMAICA —Bids have been

CHARLESTON: Eugenie Bouchard, of Canada, serves to Venus Williams during the Family Circle Cup tennis tournament.

made for cricketers to take part in the Caribbean Premier League which will begin in West Indies on July 5. Several Pakistani players will feature in the tournament but surprisingly no teams made a bid for Shahid Afridi. Another Pakistani allrounder Abdul Razzaq was also ignored in the bidding process. The Pakistani players who will feature in the league include former T20 Capitan Mohammad Hafeez, Ahmad Shahzad, Sohail Tanveer, Nasir Jamshed, Shoaib Malik and Imran Nazir. England’s Kevin Pietersen was the first played selected and received a maximum bid of $80,000.—AFP

kept their undefeated streak alive in the tournament. The Pakistani team had already qualified for the quarter-finals of the tournament and finished first in their group. The team had earlier defeated India (130), Kenya (2-0) and Mauritius (3-0). Meanwhile, the Philippines boys team also booked a quarter-finals berth in the ongoing Street Child World Cup in Rio de Janiero, Brazil. This came on the heels of the Philippines girls squad’s earlier entry into the quarters after sweeping their two games against South Africa (9-0) and El Salvador (3-1). The Filipinos upset group leader Tanzania, 2-0, before drawing Argentina, 1-1, in the boys division. Boys team leader and coach Roy Moore, in a statement furnished to Sun.Star Davao, cited the heart and determination of the boys as fantastic. “It was a brilliant defensive performance as they were disciplined, organized, and pressed as we taught them to do,” Moore was quoted in the statement. He was assisted by Team Socceroo captain Enzo Pinga, and 2010 SCWC alumni Noriel Pineones, Erica Mae Inocencio, and Roberto

games, pulled off a surprise by taking a 1-0 lead but the Philippines recovered to level the match behind the goal of Gawad Kalinga’s Avin. The Philippine boys were set to play Pakistan while the Philippine girls were pitted against England at the start of the quarterfinal round as of Friday. Moore, in the statement, said, “It was a heated match, such a dramatic game. Argentina wanted to end their tournament on a high note and probably played their best game against us. They frustrated our players and the boys didn’t play the way they did earlier in the day. We have a lot to work on for the quarterfinals but we’re so pleased to be in the mix for that and the boys have come such a long way just to reach that.” Pakistan earlier crushed 2010 champion India, 12-1, before beating Mauritius and Kenya then forcing a draw with the USA. England had been beaten by the Philippine girls in a friendly match. Three players of the national girls team are SOS Children’s Village - Agot Danton, Maylene Albaracin and Joy Roce Chavez.— AFP

RANCHO MIRAGE: ShanShan Feng of China watches her shot on the 3rd hole during Kraft Nabisco Championship.

Mithali Raj gets chance to fulfil her dream of scoring century at Lord’s Bipin Dani OBSERVER CORRESPONDENT MUMBAI —Two years ago, Mithali Raj, the captain of the Indian Women’s cricket team missed the century at Lord’s (versus England on July 1, 2012). She will get an opportunity to score one this year as she, along with Jhulan Goswami, has been chosen to play for Rest of India vs. MCC Women XI for Lord’s Bicentenary celebration match. “The news about my daughter’s participation is exciting”, Dorairaj Mithali, the father, also the coach for his daughter, said over telephone from Vishakhapatnam, where he was conducing the coaching camp for youngsters. “Mithali has played few matches at Lord’s, and don’t forget the 2006 tour when the women were first time allowed to play at Lord’s”. Though England won the match, Mithali scored highest 59 runs for India in the match. “Hope she registers a century

which she missed by mere 6 runs (94 n.o.) when India won the match against England in 2012. Winning was important than scoring a century”, the father added. “Mithali will also get an another chance to meet India’s legendary cricketers, Sachin Tendulkar. Sachin has been chosen to lead the MCC’s Men XI. Mithali has met Sachin in the past and she very well remembers the occasion when the key of the gifted car (by someone) was handed over to her by masterblaster in Hyderabad”. “She is a dedicated player and never misses her practice session. Perhaps a long gap of about 10 months where no competitive cricket was played, saw India’s debacle in the ICC World Twenty20 this time”. The Indian women team returned on Friday in Kolkata. The team won the important match against Pakistan. “Last time also, our team won against Pakistan in West Indies”, the father signed off.


Exercise, diet help people with high blood sugar

F

OR people with high blood sugar at risk of type 2 diabetes, losing weight and exer cising may lessen their chances of dying from heart disease or other conditions, a new long-term study suggests. People enrolled in the study on diabetes prevention in China followed a diet and exercise program for six years, then were followed by researchers for another 23 years. Over that time, there was a significant reduction in their risk of death from cardiovascular diseases — such as coronary heart disease and stroke — and death from other causes, the researchers found. “This reduction in mortality appears to be due in part to the delay in the onset of diabetes resulting from the lifestyle interventions,” said lead researcher Dr. Guangwei Li, of the department of endocrinology at the China-Japan Friendship Hospital, in Beijing. For the study, Li’s group randomly assigned 438 patients to the diet and exercise program, and another 138 patients to maintain their regular lifestyle. Diets were designed to produce weight loss in obese or overweight participants, and to reduce carbs and alcohol intake in people of normal weight, the study authors explained. The exercise segment of the program focused on increasing how much physical activity participants did during their leisure time. After more than two decades of follow-up, the incidence of death from cardiovascular disease among those in the diet and exercise pro-

gram was about 12 percent, compared with nearly 20 percent among those who did not change their lifestyles, the study found. Moreover, the incidence of death from any cause was about 28 percent among those in the lifestyle-change group versus over 38 percent among the others, the researchers added. Previous research has shown that for people with type 2 diabetes, the risk of dying from heart conditions and stroke is more than twice that of people without diabetes, Li noted. “These [new] findings provide yet further justification to implement lifestyle interventions in people with high blood sugar, as clinical and public health measures to control the long-term consequences of diabetes,” Li said. The report was published April 3 in the online edition of The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. Dr. David Katz, director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center, said that “lifestyle is the best medicine has been established by an impressively consistent array of research findings spanning populations and decades.” Careful attention to eating well, being active, controlling weight and avoiding tobacco has been shown to reduce the lifetime risk of all major chronic disease by 80 percent, he said. “This study shows first, that an intervention focused particularly on diabetes prevention has generalized benefits,” Katz said. “This is not very surprising, since the causal and protective factors for all of the prevalent chronic diseases are interrelated.

School children collecting garbage from beach during clean up campaign at seashore.

7,000kg hashish recovered STAFF REPORTER KARACHI—Police on a tip off

Muhammad Ahmed Shah, Secretary Arts Council presenting shield to Broadcaster Raza Ali Abdi, Prof Sehar Ansari, Dr Huma Mir, Khwaja Razi Haider and Khurram Sohail are also seen in the picture.—PO photo Sultan Chaki

Exam centres exempted from load-shedding STAFF REPORTER KARACHI—K-Electric has claimed that despite outstanding power dues payable by the ministry of education, which exceeds Rs 36 million, it has exempted 40pc of the Matric examination centres from load shedding. Given the fact that these examination centers are spread all across the city limits, granting exemption to 100pc centres was not practical. This is more so, because 60pc of these examination centers are in high losses and very high loss areas, categorized either due to power theft, non-payment of dues, or in some cases both. Despite the above impediments, KE being cognizant of the needs of the students appearing for their matric examinations, has worked out the load shed schedule such that there’s no planned load shed during the exam timings in over 40pc of the centers. KE stressed upon the education authorities to fulfill their responsibility of providing comfortable atmosphere to the candidates by

paying their long due bills immediately. KE pointed out that over 1400 connections belonging to educational institutions of Education Departments of the city and the provincial governments had been defaulters of an accumulated amount of over Rs 36 million. With that huge default, it was unrealistic that these departments demand any sort of exemption from load shedding to begin with. However, being a responsible power utility, KE stepped up to ensure that the maximum relief possible could be extended to such examination centers. KE said that nonpayment of power bills by the educational institutions was in fact injustice towards their students who had to appear in the examinations in difficult conditions. KE said that these government run departments needed to realize their responsibilities and pay their defaulted bills. KE understands the situation from the student point of view but it needs to be realized that the sole responsibility of such a situation lies on these educational institutions, provincial and federal Government.

raided a trailer in Gulshan-e Iqbal and recovered 7000-kg of finest quality hashish, which price in international drug market was nearly Rs 1.56 billion. This was disclosed by Deputy Inspector General of Police, Karachi East Muneer Shaikh in a press briefing at DIG East Office in New Town Police Station premise Friday. According to DIG, raid was conducted by Deputy Superintendent of Police Dr Fahad and his team on Rashid Minhas Road near Moti Mahal area of Gulshane Iqbal. The consignment of hashish was shipped from Peshawar to Karachi for onward location and was chased from Rahim Yar Khan, said DIG Shaikh. He further claimed that the smugglers of narcotics had offered Rs 80 million as bribe for setting the arrested but was refused. It is an awkward situation that Police or any other law enforcement agency did not stop the trailer moving on high ways with tons of narcotics and as per DIG’s claim; the trailer was chased from Rahim Yar Khan to Karachi.

Intelligence agencies warn of attack on courts, prison vans IRFAN ALIGI KARACHI—Karachi Police had taken extra high measures for the security of lower courts (City Courts) located on M A Jinnah Road.

The recent measures of beefing up the security of lower courts were taken on receiving a warning from the intelligence agencies, which warned the Police of expected attack on lower courts and prison vans by terrorists to free their aides. Sindh Home Department had while taking serious notice of such warnings had issued necessary directives to Police authorities to make sure fool proof security for lower courts and prison vans. The intelligence agencies had in intimation to

the authorities concerned said that the terrorists might carry out an act of terrorism under which a state of extreme panic would be created so as to make their operation easier for setting their aides already under arrest. The terrorists would in particular target prison vans as these are vulnerable from security point of view. Police authorities had in this regard directed South Zone Police to take necessary measures for security of lower courts and prison vans that would be inside the premise of lower courts with inmates brought to be produced in courts concerned from various jails. Police authorities had also started to flank a security van carrying cops along with prison vans so that any attack of terrorists could be readily encountered with prompt action.

Karachi inmates exhibition OBSERVER REPORT KARACHI—For the third time, Alliance française of Karachi organized a painting exhibition of Central Jail prisoners - “Karachi Inmates”. This exhibition (26 April 2014 10.00 am to 8.00 pm) will feature 70 pieces of ‘Imprisonistic’ Art by Senior Students of Central Prison Karachi’s Fine Arts School. Present IG Prisons

Nusrat Mangan believes that colours could harness the untamed character of prisoners commenced Fine Arts School in Central Prisons Karachi in 2007. Since its inception many known artists visited the school to lecture. Sikandar Ali Jogi was hired as a full time teacher and has taught over 500 prisoners since the school’s opening. In 2009 Nusrat Mangan organized the

first exposition (in the history of Pakistan) of the work done by the prisoners of the Jail. At that time the French Consul General noticed that very few people visited the exposition in prison due to security reasons and he offered to hold a two-day exposition at Alliance Française, which proved to be a great success. Daily Dawn ran an editorial on the event titled ‘A Ray of Hope’.

Representatives of UK universities to participate in UK Study Fair OBSERVER REPORT KARACHI—More than 10 renowned universities from the United Kingdom arrived in Karachi to participate in the third UK study fair organised by Global Education Fairs & Conferences Britain and supported by UK Trade and Investment, Pakistan. The UK Study Fair 2014 is to be held in Karachi on 28th March 2014 at Movenpick Hotel and Lahore on 30th March 2014 at Pearl Continental Hotel. Universities that will be participating in the fair come from different parts of the United Kingdom including Queen Mary - University of London, Nottingham University, the University of Warwick and Sheffield

University to name a few. Global Education Fairs & Conferences - Britain have been hosting the UK Study Fair bi¬annually since 2013. Potential students who are interested in UK as a destination for higher education will get a chance to directly interact with UK universities’ representatives, learn about admission procedures and find out about syllabus and programmes and fee structures offered by these universities. The fair is also a unique opportunity for universities and institutes in Pakistan to build strategic partnerships with these universities. Fiza Ahmed, Director of Operations Middle East and Africa of Global Education Fairs & Conferences - Britain, said: “We are very excited to bring the UK Study Fair to Pakistan for the third time.

Deaths in Tharparkar: Fact finding report to be presented to SHC STAFF REPORTER KARACHI—Sindh government had on directives of Sindh High Court compiled a factual report on situation of droughtrelated deaths and other issues in district Tharparkar The report spread on 22 pages was compiled by district Hyderabad Deputy Inspector General Sanaullah Abbasi. . The said report would be presented in the Higher Court on Apr 8 next week. According to sources, the report carried sensitive information, which would cause an embarrassing situation to Sindh government. It said that district Tharparkar Deputy Commissioner had after much delay informed Mirpurkhas Division Commissioner about drought in

Tharparkar while 2 of 3 Mukhtarkars had also through their reports in Sep 2013 informed the authorities concerned about worst drought in Tharparkar. The report further carried information that Sindh government had wasted 2 months in taking appropriate measures to amicably prevent the horrible situation that was fast looming around while a summary for declaring Tharparkar as calamity-jit district had remained pending for 3 months. The summary was despatched on Dec 23, 2013 while Tharparkar was declared as calamity-hit district on Feb 26, 2104. During that period, the drought and famine in Tharparkar claimed lives of 196 infants and children. One hundred and forty-one children had died in

Tharparkar during 2012-13 at Civil Hospital in Mithi, According to factual report on situation of Tharparkar, of 34 posts of specialist doctors for Tharparkar 27 were lying vacant while of 251 posts of general physicians 163 were still vacant. The report claimed that district administration had failed to take notice of increasing death toll in Tharparkar and committed utter negligence. Negligence of Relief, Finance, Health and Food Departments had worsened the situation while Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah had approved to release Rs 226 million to meet transport expenses on Jan 28, 2014 and authorities concerned did not comply to his directives.

Gill Atkinson, Khawaja Naveed, Fiza Ahmed Director BA, Yale University, USA, John A Tucknott Director for Trade and Investment, Pakistan and British Deputy High Commissioner, Karachi, Denial Baweja and Mahdhia Rizki Manager Corporate Communication BDHC taken during Global Education Fair & Conference.—PO photo


Exercise, diet help people with high blood sugar

F

OR people with high blood sugar at risk of type 2 diabetes, losing weight and exer cising may lessen their chances of dying from heart disease or other conditions, a new long-term study suggests. People enrolled in the study on diabetes prevention in China followed a diet and exercise program for six years, then were followed by researchers for another 23 years. Over that time, there was a significant reduction in their risk of death from cardiovascular diseases — such as coronary heart disease and stroke — and death from other causes, the researchers found. “This reduction in mortality appears to be due in part to the delay in the onset of diabetes resulting from the lifestyle interventions,” said lead researcher Dr. Guangwei Li, of the department of endocrinology at the China-Japan Friendship Hospital, in Beijing. For the study, Li’s group randomly assigned 438 patients to the diet and exercise program, and another 138 patients to maintain their regular lifestyle. Diets were designed to produce weight loss in obese or overweight participants, and to reduce carbs and alcohol intake in people of normal weight, the study authors explained. The exercise segment of the program focused on increasing how much physical activity participants did during their leisure time. After more than two decades of follow-up, the incidence of death from cardiovascular disease among those in the diet and exercise pro-

gram was about 12 percent, compared with nearly 20 percent among those who did not change their lifestyles, the study found. Moreover, the incidence of death from any cause was about 28 percent among those in the lifestyle-change group versus over 38 percent among the others, the researchers added. Previous research has shown that for people with type 2 diabetes, the risk of dying from heart conditions and stroke is more than twice that of people without diabetes, Li noted. “These [new] findings provide yet further justification to implement lifestyle interventions in people with high blood sugar, as clinical and public health measures to control the long-term consequences of diabetes,” Li said. The report was published April 3 in the online edition of The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. Dr. David Katz, director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center, said that “lifestyle is the best medicine has been established by an impressively consistent array of research findings spanning populations and decades.” Careful attention to eating well, being active, controlling weight and avoiding tobacco has been shown to reduce the lifetime risk of all major chronic disease by 80 percent, he said. “This study shows first, that an intervention focused particularly on diabetes prevention has generalized benefits,” Katz said. “This is not very surprising, since the causal and protective factors for all of the prevalent chronic diseases are interrelated.

Commander Lahore Corps Lt Gen Naweed Zaman conferring gallantry award to the Next of Kin of Shuhada of Pakistan Army who laid down their lives during different operations at an investiture ceremony held at Corps Headquarters Auditorium.

Shahbaz for resolving issues with India through dialogue SALIM AHMED LAHORE—Chief Minister Punjab Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said that Pakistan wants to have friendly relations with all the countries of the region especially neighbouring countries and Pakistan Muslim League (N) is pursuing an effective policy in this regard. He said that there is a need to resolve all issues with India including Kashmir through a meaningful dialogue. He said that Pakistan and India will have to come out of the past and move forward. He was talking to

CM takes notice SALIM AHMED Vehicles standing in a long queue to get CNG from a station in the Provincial Capital.

Keys of 333 houses handed over to deserving workers OBSERVER REPORT LAHORE—Provincial Minister for Labour & Human Resources Raja Ashfaq Sarwar handed over keys of houses to 333 workers at Labour Colony situated on Defence Road Friday. Special quota had also been reserved for disabled, women and elder persons. Addressing the participants, Provincial Minister said that Chief Minister Punjab Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif wants to provide maximum facilities to the workers and their families. He said that provision of shelter to the labourers is priority of the government. He disclosed that 27 labour colonies have been set up in Punjab so far. Raja Ashfaq Sarwar said that ownership rights of 334 houses would be given to the workers during

next phase and this process would continue in future. Raja Ashfaq Sarwar said that labour friendly policies of the Chief Minister are being appreciated. He asked the workers to properly look after these houses. He warned that these houses should not be sold or rented out otherwise departmental action would be taken. He said that the amounts received from Workers Welfare Fund are being spent on the welfare of the workers. Later, the Provincial Minister visited various campus of COMSAT University. He appreciated the modern lab and the progress being made in information technology. He said that COMSAT University is the only institution which is providing quality education to the poorest children.

LHC takes notice of Press reporter’s death LAHORE—The Lahore High Court Complaint Cell Friday took notice of a press report on administrative side that a 65-yearold woman had allegedly died during a police raid. The cell has directed the District & Sessions Judge, Sheikhupura to look into the matter and submit a detailed report of steps taken by police along with his own comments within a week. According to details, a Bhiki police party raided a house of Sheikh Riaz Ahmad in Capri Park to arrest him in connection with a monetary dispute. As the police entered the house, Riaz’s elderly mother Maqbool Bibi asked them the reason for trespass. The police told her that her son was wanted in a case. The elderly woman offered resistance.

LAHORE—Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has taken notice of torture and burning of a 14-yearold housemaid in Nawan Kot area of Lahore and sought a report from Inspector General Police.

During the ensuing scuffle, an ASI pushed the woman whose head struck against an electric pole resulting in her instant death. Sensing the seriousness of the situation, the police party fled from the scene. Later, residents of Capri Park led by relatives of the woman gathered on the LahoreSargodha-Faisalabad road and blocked it for traffic. The protest continued for about seven hours. The protesters finally dispersed on the assurance of police officials that those responsible for the woman’s death would be booked. The City A Division police, on the direction of the district police officer, registered a case under Sections 302, 148, 149 of the PPC against ASI Islam Dogar, three constables and two complainants. —APP

Shuja Nawaz of a Washington-based Think Tank South Asia Centre who met him, here Friday. Matters of mutual interest, Pak-India relations and regional situation were discussed in the meeting. Provincial Minister for Irrigation Yawar Zaman, Minister for Industry Muhammad Shafique, Member Provincial Assembly Dr. Ayesha Ghaus Pasha, Secretary Industry, Secretary Information, Chairman Punjab Investment Board and concerned officers were also present. The Chief Minister said that there should be maximum exchange of del-

egations between Pakistan and India. He said that there is a need to increase the volume of trade between the two countries. Referring to energy shortage in Pakistan, Shahbaz Sharif said that sincere efforts are being made to overcome energy crisis in the country. He said that government has selected six sites for setting up coal-based power plants and a prominent Chinese company has expressed interest in setting up coal power plants in Sahiwal. He said that China is playing an important role in the progress and development of Pakistan and the investment

package of 32 billion dollars for energy and other sectors is a proof of this fact. He said that several Chinese companies are already working on various projects in the country. The Chief Minister said that economy of the country is improving due to timely and solid steps taken by PML-N government led by Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif while foreign investment has also increased. He said that special incentives are being offered to foreign investors in energy, infrastructure and other sectors.

No vehicle delivery without registration: Mujtaba STAFF REPORTER

LAHORE—Punjab Minister for Excise & Taxation and Finance, Mujtaba Shuja-urRehman has said that section 144 will also be imposed on car dealers and they will not hand over the vehicles to the customers without their registration. He said that fine of Rs. 5000 to 10000 will be imposed on the owner on bringing unregistered vehicle on the road and action will also be taken against the con-

cerned dealer. While presiding over a high level meeting regarding motor registration number plates,Mujataba Shuja-urRehman said that non-changeable number plates will be issued by Excise & Taxation Department for checking theft of vehicles and duplicate number plates would be provided by the department in case of bumper accident or broken number plate. He said that number plates will not be removed or fixed on another ve-

hicle after first fixation. Mujataba Shuja-ur-Rehman said that five lakh number plates will be provided by Excise & Taxation Department from June this year. He said that online collection of token tax, property tax and other taxes from Bank of Punjab, Ufone, Mastercard and other departments is also under consideration so that payment of tax could be made simple and easy and citizens will be able to pay their tax at any franchise in any part of the country.

Ombudsperson decides harassment complaint STAFF REPORTER LAHORE—Ombudsperson Punjab, Dr. Mira Phailbus decided the complaint of sexual harassment by one Lady Health Supervisor (LHS) of Allama Iqbal Town, Lahore against DDO (Health) Allama Iqbal Town Dr. Sarwar Sadiq and Dr. Asad Mushtaq, Medical Officer, CDGL Dispensary Dholenwal,

Allama Iqbal Town under Protection against Harassment of Women of Workplace Act 2010. According to the decision, DDO (Health) was acquitted of the charges of harassment, while Medical Officer was imposed a penalty of stoppage of annual increments for three years apart from immediate transfer of both the Medical Officer and the complainant LHS, out of the town for smooth functioning of the health facility.

491 victims of accidents rescued LAHORE—The Punjab Emergency Service (Rescue 1122) provided emergency to four dead persons and 491 victims of 625 road accidents in all 36 districts of the province during the last 24 hours. About 128 accidents were reported in Lahore with 137 victims, 58 in Faisalabad with 75 injured and 42 in Gujranwala with 43 victims. According to data, 515 motorbikes, 68 auto rickshaws, 69 cars, 30 vans, 07 passenger buses, 14 trucks and 66 other types of vehicles and slow moving carts were involved in the accidents.—APP

So many persons travelling on a motorcycle on Shalimar Link Road may cause severe accident.

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