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Guns rule Karachi—No govt in sight IRFAN ALIGI KARACHI: The port city of Karachi was paralysed within just one hour on Wednesday at about 2:30 PM, only 90 minutes ahead of scheduled press conference of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement Co-Ordination Committee. All of a sudden gunmen

sprung into action in their typical style Wednesday afternoon, terrorizing the citizens and traders by firing shots in the air and forcing the markets and shopkeepers to pull their shutters down and transporters to keep their wheels jammed. Unidentified armed men had started aerial firing in different areas of the city and forced the

closure of scattered shops and designated shopping centres. The panic was spread in the city and the people had started rushing to their homes leaving their offices and private businesses. Gulshan-e Iqbal, Tariq Road, Saddar, North Karachi, Federal B Area, Malir, Landhi, Korangi, Ancholi, Gulistan-e Jauhar, Jama Cloth, M A Jinnah

Security, corruption mess PML-N nominates three for caretaker PM STAFF REPORTER LAHORE—Opposition leader in the National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar Wednesday said Pakistan Muslim LeagueNawaz (PML-N) has short listed three names i.e., Rasool Baksh Paleejo, Justice (Retd.) Nasir Aslam Zahid and Justice (Retd.) Shakirullah Jan for the slot of caretaker prime minister. Addressing a news conference here Wednesday, Nisar said that the PML-N had chosen three candidates for the office of caretaker prime

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Polls schedule after 10 days: Secy ECP

Army for clean-up before polls handled the subsequent operations with the internally disISLAMABAD—Asserting as the placed person (IDPs) only unwavering institution programme on top of them,” the amid political transition, Paki- sources maintained. stan army has urged upon political leader-ship to go for law and order be-sides accountability before general elections, wellplaced sources told Pakistan Observer. According to the sources, the armed forces’ top brass believes that politically elected functionaries must be held responsible for the misgivings, lacking, and blatant failures on their part. “The army do not want to share the responsibility of the outgoing government’s miserable failure in the counter terror measures,” the sources According to the sources, added. “For instance,” the sources the military leadership was consaid, “army did up to mark in vinced that the militants that had the Swat and Malakand opera- literally scattered after Swat/ tion. Conse-quently, the brains Malakand and South Wa-ziristan in uniform complain that the operation, regained strength afpolitical ad-ministration mis- ter dissolution of the national

resolve against violent extremism. The situation especially that of security threatening already frag-ile economy has warranted the army to convey these concerns through behind the scene chan-nels besides expressing on the record ‘readiness’ to handle at least the extent of law and order that the political government could not. According to reports, Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Per-vaiz who dashed to Karachi in the wake of worsening security of the financial capital of the country has again expressed his institution’s readiness and pre-pared to assist the civil administration to maintain law and or-der. Earlier he had expressed readiness to takeover Balochistan to arrest deteriorating state of security in the province. After having a briefing at

MQM cancels strike for indefinite period

Caretaker PM’s name before 16 March: Shah

AFZAL BAJWA

ISLAMABAD—The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Secretary Ishtiak Ahmed Wednesday said schedule of election-2013 would be issued after 10 days. Talking to media persons here, Ishtiak Ahmed said only 10 days were left for the dissolution of the parliament, and added whatever is to be done has to be done within these 10 days. STAFF REPORTER He said a cell of SBP, FBR, Nadra and NAB KARACHI—Muttahida Qaumi Continued on Page 7 Movement (MQM) withdrew the call for strike for an indefinite period over non-arrest of the terrorists that carried the Abbas Town carnage. The transporters, private school management, traders’ bodies, businessmen community and people from walks of life CARACAS—Venezuelans hailed the decision by the MQM. began on Wednesday to bid However, the MQM Co-Orfarewell to late President Hugo dination Committee said that it Chavez, whose body was to lie would continue with its peacein state for three days to ful protest till the terrorists were honour the firebrand leftist arrested and brought to task. who ruled the oil-rich nation The MQM Co-Ordination for 14 years. Committee withdrew its deciThe body of the 58-year- sion for going to strike for an old former paratrooper was indefinite period in a second to be escorted by a four-horse emergency press conference it cortege from the Caracas had addressed at 8PM on military hospital where he Wednesday. died from cancer to a Earlier, the MMQM Co-Ormilitary academy he considered his second home.—Agencies

Venezuela begins Chavez farewell

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Int’l meddling led to terrorism in Afghanistan STAFF REPORTER ISLAMABAD—Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani on Wednesday said the role of international forces in Afghanistan had led to terrorism in the war-torn country. Speaking at a conference on Afghanistan in Islamabad, the foreign secretary said terrorism would continue to affect the country even after the withdrawal of Nato forces. The US plans to end its

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dination Committee member Raza Haroon made that announcement in first press conference he had addressed at the the Khursheed Begum Secretariat in Azizabad at 4PM. Dr Sagheer Ahmed, Waseem Aftab, Amir Khan, Kunwar Khalid Younus and other members were present. Haroon had said that the terrorists had freely operated in the city and carried sabotage activities without any fear while the citizens had been pinned to wall as they had been pushed into the ocean of insecurity and fright. “The MQM that enjoys the largest public mandate in the city and other urban areas of the province had no other option but to start a protest campaign against the terrorists, which was its democratic right. The MQM could not sit idle and it could not

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STAFF REPORTER ISLAMABAD—Federal Minister of Religious Affairs Khursheed Shah said on Wednesday that name of caretaker Prime Minister (PM) will be announced before March 16 while the President would announce date of election after consultation with all four chief ministers. Talking to media in Islamabad, Khursheed Shah said every conspiracy of postponement of elections would be made unsuccessful and elections will be held on time. After midnight of March 16 interim government will be installed while elections in all provinces will be conducted on same day. Replying to a question Shah said.

More politicians join PML-N

People’s problems uppermost on PML-N agenda: Nawaz SALIM AHMED LAHORE —Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Mian Nawaz Sharif Wednesday said that he is making a just struggle for securing the future of coming generations and putting the country on the road to progress and prosperity. “If Allah Almighty provided an opportunity to the PML-N to serve the masses as a result of general elections, we would sincerely work day and night to address the issues faced by the countrymen as

well as country,” he said while talking to PPP leaders from D.G. Khan Zeeshan Leghari and Azeem Shah and PTI leader from Sargodha Dastgir Luk who called on him here at Model Town and announced to join the PMLN reposing full confidence in the leadership of Nawaz Sharif. They also vowed to devote their energies for strengthening the party and resolving the issues faced by people. Nawaz Sharif maintained that people are fully aware about the political elements

who believe in rendering selfless services to the masses and are indulged in corruption. The PML-N leader also chaired meeting of PML-N district Pakpattan. Addressing the meeting, Nawaz said the PMLN is fully aware about problems faced by the countrymen and if voted to power we would attach priority to address public issues. He said the goal of bringing progress and prosperity cannot be achieved without eradication of terrorism for which practical steps are needed.

Road, Safora Chowrangi, Regal, Boulton Market, Bohri Bazar, Water Pump, Rizvia Society, Liaquatabad, Gharibabad, Hassan Square, Ayesha Manzil, Kharadar, Mithadar, and Ranchor Lines there was hardly any area spared was terror traders. Some ill-fated persons got injured as a result of firing by

the unidentified scruplous elements in various parts of the city. Ambulance Services remained on high alert during the day, according to Sindh Secretary Health. In the event of firing incidents in different parts of the city, all ambulance services were ordered to stand as on high alert so as to cope up with any major untoward situation in the city.

Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhary and Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani were in the city when it was forced to shut down for almost a whole long hour. The Chief Justice of Pakistan was in the city for hearing the suo motu case on Karachi

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Court suspends Sindh govt fires police chief Egypt’s parliament election CAIRO—An Egyptian administrative court on Wednesday ordered the suspension of parliamentary elections scheduled to begin next month, throwing the country’s politics deeper into confusion. The ruling is likely to force a delay in the elections and adds a new legal battle to Egypt’s intertwined crises. The country is caught in political fights between the Islamist president and

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Govt not sincere over law, order: CJ

K ARACHI —The provincial government of Sindh axed the Inspector General of police on Wednesday over a bomb attack that killed 50 people in a Shia Muslim neighbourhood of Karachi, following stinging criticism by the country’s Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad

Chaudhry resumed the hearing over Abbas Town tragedy at the Supreme Court’s Karachi registry. During the hearing, Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry remarked that the Rangers had completely failed at establishing law and order in the city, and that the government did not appear serious over the issue. He further said that inci-

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Senate passes 24th Constitutional Amend Bill STAFF REPORTER ISLAMABAD—The Senate on Wednesday approved the 24th Constitutional Amendment Bill for the creation of Bahawalpur Janoobi Punjab province after 70 votes were cast in its favour. Minister for Law and Justice Farooq H. Naek had moved the bill in Senate. Despite a strong protest by the opposition, particularly PML-N and a walkout, no votes opposing the amendment were cast. Muttahida Qaumi Movement, despite being a part of the opposition, did not participate in the protest or walkout. The bill will amend seven articles of the constitution to pave the way for the creation of a new province and proposes that the new province shall comprise territories of Multan, Bahawalpur, Dera Ghazi Khan, Mianwali and Bhakkar districts. The bill would be presented in the National Assembly. The Senate also passed the Defence Housing Authority Islamabad Bill, 2013 with the object of carrying out schemes

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JTI: Vote those in polls Skill development plans finalized to modernise TVET capable to serve mases Q UETTA —Jamiat Tulba-e- able to the masses about their Islam described, it the responsibility of the government to ensure the life and property of citizens and the lapses in security arrangements lead to acts of terrorism in the province. According to a JTI press release here, the office bearers urged the people to vote those in the upcoming general elections who really have the ability to represent them and redress their grievances. The government is answer-

security and ensuring peace in its jurisdiction, they said and expressed resentment over lack of facilities and preparedness to effectively deal emergency at Civil Hospital, one of the major public sector hospitals in the provincial capital. Citizens Action Committee Quetta expressed deep concern over deteriorating law and order situation in the province and demanded of the government for taking concrete measures to restore peace to the province.

In a statement here Tuesday, Salahudin Kakar, Rafiullah Mengal, Muzamal Khan and others said the incidents of bomb blasts, firing on passengers coaches and targeted killings had made the environment dreadful and the citizens find themselves extremely vulnerable even at their homes. They demanded of the provincial government for evolving an effective strategy to restore peace to the province so that the citizens could have a sigh of relief.—APP

ISLAMABAD—All the provincial governments including State of Azad Jammu & Kashmir, Gilgit Baltistan and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) have finalized skills development plans in line with National Skill Strategy to modernize technical and vocational education and training (TVET) in the country. National conference jointly held by National Vocational & Technical Training Commission (NAVTTC) and Technical Education & Vocational Training Authorities (TEVTAS) where Federal, provincial and regional skill development plans pre-

sented. TVET reform Support Programme is co-financed by the European Union, the Embassy of Kingdom of the Netherlands and Federal republic of Germany. The conference was designed to enable the provincial TEVTAs/ agencies and NAVTTC to publicly present their skills development plans which have been developed in line with the National Skills Strategy (NSS). NAVTTC Director General Skills standards and Curricula Shahid Ashraf Tarar termed the conference as a major achieve-

ment which will illustrate the action being undertaken to advance skills development and the TVET sector across Pakistan. He said all the skill development plans reflects a roadmap for revamping TVET sector of Pakistan, enabling stakeholders and international donor organizations to understand the actions that were underway. Dr. Ute Hoffmann, Coordinator TVET Reform Support Programme, lauded the efforts of NAVTTC, TEVTAs and all the public and private sector organizations for putting energies in preparation

of the skills development plans. She said it was an important occasion, as for the first time NSS has been translated into action plans, to be undertaken at different levels. Implementation of these plans will enable Pakistan to produce skilled workforce for its economic and social development, she added. Later on, representatives from TEVTA Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan, Azad Jammu & Kashmir and officials from the Directorate of Technical Education FATA presented their respective skill devel-

Dry weather forecaste

Eight Pakistanis deported from Iran

ISLAMABAD—Pakistan Meteo- and dry weather is expected rological Department on Wednesday forecast mainly dry weather in most parts of the country during next 24 hours. According to met office, continental air is prevailing over most parts of the country. In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa mainly dry weather is expected in most parts of the province during next 24 hours. Day temperatures are likely to rise in the plain areas of the province. In Sindh dry weather is expected in most parts of the province during next 24 hours. Day temperatures are likely to rise in Sindh. While in Balochistan dry weather is expected in most parts of the province during next 24 hours. Day temperatures are likely to rise in the Southern parts of the province. Moreover, in Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan mainly Cold

in most parts of Kashmir and GB during next 24 hours. The KP Met Office here on Wednesday predicted dry weather in most parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and FATA with no prediction of rain. According to Met Office

opment plans. These plans have been facilitated by local and international experts from TVET reform Support Programme and guide the government and donor funding into areas of priority with the greatest economic impact. The plans also outline economic implications, growth, employment trends as well as highlight particular policy, regulatory, funding, infrastructure and implementation issues and organizational structures available for TVET and any strengthening required to implement activities planned.—APP

279 solar energy lamps distributed

KHANEWAL—A total of 279 CHAGHI—Eight illegal Pakisolar energy lamps were disstanis were deported by the tributed among 244 female Iranian authorities at Taftan and 35 male students of disborder on Wednesday. Actrict colleges on merit here cording to Levies force offiWednesday. Addressing the cials, the handed over eight distribution ceremony at persons were given in the Government College for custody of Federal InvestiWomen, Member Provincial gation Agency for necessary Assembly Nishat Ahmed action. 174 criminals arKhan said that nation’s derested: Quetta police have velopment is linked with detained some 174 criminals education and the Punjab during a span of one week, government was utilizing all police sources said. resources for educational Sources said that on the directives of CCPO Quetta here, continental air is prevail- revolution in the province. Mir Zubair Mehmood, police ing over most parts of the Deputy Director Colleges launched search operations country and that dry weather Muhammad Jahangir inthat resulted into arrest of 174 is expected in most parts of formed that previously 664 criminals, besides recovery of the country including KP and solar energy lamps were disarms and ammunition. The FATA. The day temperature tributed among second year detained included wanted in will remain above normal 4-6 male.— APP various heinous crimes and C in plain areas of the counabsconder, they added. try in next 48 hours.—APP CCPO commending the efforts of the police announced Rs one lakh for Airport PS CHAMAN: FC 85 Gulistan Wing Commander Lt Col Rashid Akhtar checking 1800 kg of hashish seized at Pakstaffers and Rs 50000 for New Afghan border which was being smuggled to Pakistan from Afghanistan. S ARGODHA —Chairman NaSariab PS. It may be mentional Vocational and Techtioned here that police have nical Education Mumataz launched crackdown against Akhtar Kahloon said that the criminals, illegal arms and partment for onward distribuQ UETTA —Balochistan govPPP led government provehicles to maintain peace ernment would distribute free tion among the students vided 150,000 employments and tranquility in the provintextbooks among 1.2 million across the province”, he said, to educated youth during its cial capital and its adjoining students in sixteen districts of Steps have been taken to five years tenure. Addressareas.—APP the province. Chairman shun the sale of free textbook ing a press conference on Balochistan Textbook Board in open market by the corrupt Wednesday after inauguratAbdul Qayum Babai told APP officials of the department, ing party offices at Farooqa I SLAMABAD —Minister for could not be resolved. Kaira Malik Gujjar,he said that he here Wednesday that distri- he added. Meanwhile, The and Sahiwal Tehsil (NA-68), HAMEED SHAHEEN Information and Broadcast- appreciated the role of Press had advised the Principal Inbution of free textbooks Fulbright Programme in Pa- he said that for eliminating ing Qamar Zaman Kaira said Information Department (PID) formation Officer to prepare Wednesday the Information and other attached depart- a summary for its approval I S L A M A B A D — T h e among the students of class kistan has started accepting poverty from the society, the Organisation of Islamic Coop- one to 10th had already been applications for 2014. The US PPP government launched Ministry and its attached ments of the ministry in high- from the Prime Minister. Kaira promised that he eration has delivered one hun- launched following the end of government’s flagship schol- Benazir Income Support departments had to play very lighting the achievements of sensitive role in keeping the the government. He hoped would try to get some suit- dred housing units, a school, winter vocations of schools arship programme awards Programme for stabilizing STAFF REPORTER masses informed and project- that the newly established able plot and building allot- a health center and a mosque in winter zone of the province. full scholarships to deserv- women economically and for “The Textbook Board has ing Pakistani students who this purpose Rs 300,000 were ing the positive image of the staff welfare association will ted for the PID in coming few to the people of the D. G. Khan strive for resolution of the days. He also announced Rs village in Multan, Punjab Prov- got completed the publishing wish to complete their Mas- given to women under P ESHAWAR —Qaumi Watan government. 500,000 grant for the welfare ince. The handover ceremony of new textbook and has pro- ters or PhD, in a field of their Wasleela-e-Haq programme Party (QWP) provincial ChairAddressing as chief guest problems of the PID. He also hoped that the association and directed the was held for the D. G. Khan vided bulk of text books to choice, in universities across to start reasonable busiman Sikandar Hayat Khan at oath-taking ceremony of Sherpao on Wednesday the Information Staff Welfare PID will also play construc- PIO for payment of hono- villagers, affected by the disas- the provincial education de- the United States. —APP ness.—APP criticised the government for Association here, he said that tive role in upcoming general rarium to the PID staff.In the trous floods that hit Pakistan failing to restore peace and in the developing countries elections. While speaking end he administered oath to in the summer of 2010. The cersolve problems of the due to non-availability of about the demands of the the newly-elected office bear- emony was attended by repPakhtuns over the last five enough funds all problems association president Abdul ers of the association.—APP resentatives of OIC and Pakistan govt, says an OIC report. years. “Those claiming to have The project was given identity to the Pakhtuns launched at the directions of have in fact exposed them to the OIC Secretary General, untold miseries,” he told a wellEkmeleddin Ihsanoglu, who attended public meeting in had announced OIC pledges Lower Dir district. at the Donors’ Conference Condemning the Karachi for the benefit of the victims bombing, he said his party of the Pakistan floods in July had a comprehensive not go vain and always be re- Tashfin Khan besides tribal 2010.The Organisation of Isprogramme to establish susSTAFF REPORTER membered with great respect elders of Khyber Agency. lamic Cooperation thanked tainable peace and serve the The Governor said that Cameron, whose permanent Pakhtun nation. Sikandar P E S H A W A R — K h y b e r and regard. He was addressSherpao asked the govern- Pakhtunkhwa Governor, En- ing a condolence reference result oriented investiga- representative to the OIC, ment to ensure timely polls so gineer Shaukatullah Wednes- held at Governor’s House here tions would be perused to Ambassador Tijani, handed that the country could be day said the establishment of Wednesday, wherein homage bring the culprits, involved over the keys to the villagsteered out of the prevailing Rescue-1122 institution in was paid to the former APA in the incidents, to justice. ers, for contributing the largFATA is dire need of the re- Landi Kotal, Shaheed Khalid He said that country has est share towards the financcrises. Coming down hard on spective people and measures Mumtaz Kundi who was been achieved by render- ing of the project. Guyana the provincial government, would be taken actively to martyred in the tragic incident ing matchless sacrifices, was also thanked for its conhe said those affected by acts materialize it within the short- of the terrorist attack at the adding we are still facing tribution in the building of of subversion in Khyber est possible time. During a office of the Political Agent of the challenges of same the village. The OIC also paid Pakhtunkhwa received less briefing on the proposed Khyber Agency, last month. level while struggling to tribute to Pakistan for providThe ceremony was also ensure stability and secu- ing facilities to the OIC to compensation compared to project at Governor’s House complete the project. The D. the financial aid being of- here, he stressed upon expe- addressed by MNA from rity. He also gave compensa- G. Khan village project had fered to the victims of terror ditious work on establishment Khyber Agency, Maulana Hafiz Noorul Haq Qadri, Po- tion cheques to heirs of mar- been planned by the OIC in PESHAWAR: PHC Chief Justice, Justice Dost Muhammad Khan and United Nations acts in other provinces. of Rescue-1122 in FATA. Meanwhile the Khyber litical Agent, Mutahirzeb tyrs and injured in the tragic collaboration with the Youth Development Programme Marc-Andre Franche offering Dua after opening research Sikandar Sherpao said the government had been unable Pakhtunkhwa Governor, Engr. Khan, prominent elders, incident. He said that the fi- Parliament of Pakistan. wing at judicial complex. to revive the infrastructure in Shaukatullah has said that the Malik Waris Khan Afridi, nancial assistance represents Malakand division, which sacrifices offered by the of- Malik Faizullah Jan, Malik the solidarity and commitwas destroyed by the 2010 ficers and the jawans while Dariya Khan and Additional ment of the government to the floods and acts of sabotage. fulfilling their duties would Chief Secretary FATA, Dr. affected families.

PID geared up to energetic projection of govt gains: Kaira

Sherpao blasts govt for failing to restore peace

OIC hands over 1000 housing units to DG Khan flood affectees

1.2m Balochistan students to have free textbook

PPP government provided 150,000

Governor for setting up Rescue-1122 in FATA

Anti-narcotics panel warns of widespread increase in use of ‘legal highs’

I SLAMABAD —The indepen- 2000 and 2005 there was an dent U.N. body tasked with monitoring the production and consumption of narcotics worldwide warned Tuesday of the increase in use of psychoactive substances known as ‘legal highs’ which reproduce the effect of illegal drugs, and represent a threat to public health. “In recent years, there has been an unprecedented surge in the abuse of new psychoactive substances”, said the President of the Viennabased International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), Raymond Yans, says a messge received here. According to the latest INCB annual report, these ‘legal highs’ are easily available over the Internet, with their numbers estimated to be in the hundreds and growing steadily. In Europe alone, almost one new substance is appearing every week, Yans said. Previously, between

average of five notifications of new substances per year. Clear action must be taken now by governments to prevent and deal with the abuse of these so-called ‘legal highs’ which are already a threat to public health and pose a significant challenge to public health systems. The report also states that the abuse of prescription drugs has continued to spread in all regions of the world. In particular, there has been an unabated increase in the consumption of drugs used for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in a number of countries. Another major issue is the abuse of tranquilizers and sedatives. More than 6 per cent of secondary school students have already abused tranquilizers in some countries, highlighting another alarming trend of drug abuse, Yans said.

He added that the drug problem is a truly global problem that necessitates a global solution at an international, national and community level, and stressed the importance of following existing international drug control conventions to prevent drug-related trafficking. The report also outlines the situation in each geographical region, noting that North America remains the biggest illicit drug market in the world, as well as the region reporting the highest drug-related mortality rate with approximately one in every 20 deaths among people aged from 15 to 64 in North America related to drug abuse. Cannabis remains the most widely cultivated, trafficked and abused drug in Africa, the report says, but amphetamine-type stimulants are increasingly seen as a new threat in the region. There have also been higher

levels of cocaine abuse in West Africa, as the region has emerged as a transit area for narcotics from South America to the European market in recent years. In South America, the total area of illicit coca bush cultivation has slightly decreased compared to the previous years. However, there continue to be large seizures of cannabis. Central America and the Caribbean continue to be used as major transit areas for cocaine trafficked from South America to the North American market, which is having destabilizing effects in these countries due to an increase in the levels of drug-related violence. This continues to constitute a major threat to public security particularly in Mexico, where according to Government figures more than 60,000 people have been killed as a result of drug-related violence since 2006.—APP


CM approves Rs 110m for UoP

Provinces asked to run polio awareness drives

P ESHAWA R —Chief Minister Khyber ISLAMABAD—The provinces situation, health teams could

Pakhtunkhwa Ameer Haider Khan Hoti has approved a grant of Rs. 110 million for University of Peshawar (UoP) for the year 2012-13. Out of 110 million rupees 100 million would be spent on purchase of transport for the university whereas the rest of 10 million have been allocated for Peshawar University Teachers Association (PUTA). Moreover, CM has approved a supplementary grant of 30 million rupees for Long Land schools and college district Chitral. The CM has advised that the grant should be utilized for increase in salary of the teaching staff, purchase of multi-media and computers, construction of garage and to meet other requirements. Journalist community Tuesday walked out from proceedings of provincial assembly to protest over financial crisis in Associated Press of Pakistan. Newsmen covering Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assembly’s proceedings went out of the house under the leadership of Shahab Ahmad of Aaj TV to express solidarity with their colleagues in APP who are facing problems in getting their salary on time from the last several years and due to non-payment of their allowances. Taking notice of the boy-cott, Speaker KP, Kiramatullah Khan directed Provincial Minister for Information, Mian Iftikhar Hussain who met with the protesting journalists. The newsmen apprised Information Minister that from the last four years the employees of APP are suffering due to financial crisis. The APP staffers are not getting salaries on time besides their allowances have been stopped and arrears of increase in salaries announced by government in the last three years are not being paid.—APP

Consultations for caretaker setup Staff Reporter

P ESHAWA R —Khyber

Pakthunkhwa Minister for Information, Transport and Culture, Mian Iftikhar Hussain said Wednesday consultations with all stakeholders including opposition parties were underway pertaining to formation of Caretaker setup in the province. Chief Minister Ameer Haider Khan Hoti will soon meet Opposition Leader in Provincial Assembly, Akram Khan Durrani again for developing consensus on a name for caretaker Chief Minister and his cabinet,he added. He was talking to mediapersons after distributing cheques among 153 artisans of Khyber Pakthunkhkwa under aegis of Directorate of Culture’s Annual Development Programme (ADP) scheme “Assistance and Support of the Cultural Community of the Province” here at Nishtar Hall. The KP Government has established Rs.200 million founds for financial support and assistance of locals artists and Rs. Six million were already distributed among 130 local artists. Khyber Pakthunkhwa Secretary Information Azmat Hanif Orakzai were also present and distributed cheques among the artists selected from across the province. The Information Minister said no consensus with opposition parties has been developed on formation of Caretaker Chief Minister and cabinet. He expressed the hope to resolve this issue in line with parameters laid down in the constitution. Earlier in his address as chief guest, he said despite limited resources, the provincial government has provided full support to artisans of the province to help address their financial problems. The soil of Khyber Pakthunkhwa, he said, was very rich in producing international and local artists whom not only earned name for themselves but also for the country.

Balochistan development speeded up I SLAMABAD —Federal Minister for Postal Services Sardar Alhaj Muhammad Umar Gorgaij Wednesday said that government has initiated record development projects in Balochistan for the welfare of the people. Talking to APP, he said that various development projects were initiated including dams, roads and others infrastructure projects. “The development work done during last five years in Balochistan, were never carried out in the history of the country. He said that the present government has implemented NFC award to provinces on the desire of the masses for the welfare of the people of the province. Talking about Pak-Iran gas pipeline project, he said that President Asif Ali Zardari recently visited Iran and signed the project which is one of the bold steps for resolving the energy crisis in the country. He expressed the hope that this project will end the energy crisis in the country. The minister said that thousands sacked employees reinstated and daily wages and contract employees regularized by the present government during last five years. He said All Parties Conference (APC) of JUI-F and ANP for peace in the country was a good initiative, adding that table talk is the only option for resolving various issues. The minister asked the PPP workers to utilize their energy for winning the forthcoming general elections by the party. He said Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto still rules over the hearts of the people. Last month, Balochistan’s coalition government led by Aslam Raisani was dismissed and governor’s rule was imposed. Yet in the present scenario no government even governor’s rule appears to be able to pacify the restive province. The fact is that Balochistan is virtually under the control of the military establishment. The provincial government has limited authority.—APP

PPP wants S Punjab province ISLAMABAD —PPP leader and Member Punjab Assembly Syed Ahmed Mujtaba Gilani has said that PPP want to form South Punjab province in the larger interest of the area but PML-N did not participate in the meeting of Parliamentary Commission on new provinces as they were against the formation of new provinces. Talking to Radio Pakistan he said PPP government carried out record developments during its tenure. He said that President Asif Ali Zardari visited Multan on the invitation of former prime minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani and appreciated developmental projects in South Punjab. He said that former prime minister Gilani completed record developmental projects in the area to address people’s deprivation. Former prime minister and PPP senior vice chairman Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani praised President Asif Ali Zardari for his support in uplifting the backward areas of the country including South Punjab on war footing. Gilani said that uplift of backward areas was essential to extend the development to the people as their right and role of the President was commendable in this connection. It was not just South Punjab but all other under developed areas of the country remained in focus for development, Gilani said adding that record development projects worth Rs 3 trillion were executed or were under execution during the on-going five- year tenure of the government. He said the PPP was the name of an ideology and its leaders and workers believe in serving the people whether in power or not. The pace of development was swift, Gilani said adding that one can hardly witness examples that a leader who laid the foundation of a project would also be opening it for welfare of the people.—APP

have been asked to effectively run awareness campaigns to educate parents to administer anti-polio drops to their children during every national drive. According to an official of Expanded Programme on Immunization, district health managers have been directed to properly manage the immunization drives following the set strategy. He said they have been asked to ensure 100 per cent coverage during the national anti-polio drive to vaccinate all children to protect them from the crippling disease. He added such directions have been issued after receiving complaints from the citizens that district health teams mostly miss the children during anti-polio drives. He said due to law and order

not continue anti-polio drive in Swat that resulted increase in polio cases in the area. He, however, said that now after improving the situation polio drops were administered to children in Swat in recent polio eradication drives. He added the government has planned to immunize maximum number of children in Swat during every polio eradication drive. Dr Wasim Khawaja from Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) said, polio is a highly infectious viral disease, which mainly affects young children. They added the virus is transmitted through contaminated food and water, and multiplies in the intestine, from where it can invade the nervous system. He said initial symptoms of polio included fever.—APP SWAT: Students presenting military tableau during Annual Day of at a local school.

Police raid PO house, 8 hand grenades seized Sukkur Press Club BASHIR AHMAD RAHMANI rial. H AFIZABAD —On the pointation of a thief, the Kaleke police raided the house of proclaimed offender Muhammad Aslam Rajoka in Mailoana village and seized eight live hand grenades and explosive material. According to police source, a thief Shafqat Ali intruded into the house of proclaimed offender Aslam in Mailoana and spotted eight hand grenades and some explosive material hidden in the house. The frightened thief ran away from the house and informed the Kaleke police which alongwith bomb disposal squad rushed to the spot and defused the grenades and explosive mate-

The police source said Muhammad Aslam Rajoka, Nasrullah, Nazim Bhatti and others had murdered school teacher Ajmal Khan Bhatti about three years back and since then they were declared Proclaimed Offenders. Aslam had stocked the hand grenades and explosive material to blow up the houses of their rivals. The police have registered a case against Aslam Rajoka and others and are investigating. The POs have not yet been arrested. However, the police have arrested the informant thief Shafqat. ***** The city police have registered a case against Manzar, Ansar and nine oth-

ers of Dhanoway Dogran on the charge of allegedly attacking Emergency Ward of DHQ Hospital Hafizabad, ransacking the furnitures, broken window panes and injuring two hospital employees Sarfraz and Asif. The police have so far arrested Manzar, Ansar and three others. According to villagers, they took a pregnant woman Qamar Bibi to the emergency ward in the hospital but the doctors and paramedical staff evinced little interest. Afterward, angered dependants of Qamar Bibi raided the hospital and ransacked the Emergency Ward. ***** Hundreds of men and women belonging to Shia Community today taken out

a rally and staged sit-in demonstration to protest against the genocide of Muslims in Karachi and Quetta. The protesters which were led by Syeda Shama Gilani Chairperson Hussaini Alliance Women Wing, Syed Hussain Ali Shah President HA, Haji Liaquat Zawar Khano protested by beating their chests and raised slogans against the rulers and law enforcing agencies which have miserably failed to prevent target killing of Shias in the country. They demanded that effective measures should be adopted to stop target killings otherwise the Shia Community would be constrained to launch protest against the rulers in the whole country.

team meets Raja I SLAMABAD —A delegation added. The Prime Minister of Sukkur Press Club (SPC) led by Saeed Jahan Alias Lala Asad called on Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf here at the Prime Minister House. The Prime Minister said he was pleased to learn that Sukkur Press Club has a tradition of visiting various parts of the country to have first hand information of events and issues. The Prime Minister said that Islam ordains its followers to see for themselves and investigate before testifying. It is all the more necessary for media persons as they have to report on sensitive issues which have an impact on millions of people, he

hailed the role of media in general and Sukkur Press Club in particular for upholding and supporting the cause of democracy in Pakistan. The president SPC thanked the government for providing the club a grant of Rs. 105 million for building a complex which has an auditorium as well as other facilities and can compete with any modern press club of the world. He informed the Prime Minister that the complex also has a video conference facility which can link the club to the rest of the world. wMinister for Religious Affairs Syed Khurshid Shah, Minister for Information.— APP

Police foil terror bid, defuse 40-kg bomb

Mudslide kills 3 coalminers Q UETTA —At least three coalminers were reported killed in an incident of mud sliding in Chamalang area of Balochistan. The lethal mudsliding incident took place near a private coalmine in Chamalang area of District Loralai on Tuesday night, where three coalminers lost their lives. Owing to the absence of communication system, the rescue efforts were delayed and helpless coalminers identified as Muhammad Ibrahim, Abdul Rahim and Abdul Halim, lost their lives. Later on, the rescue Peshawar: Vice Chancellor UoP Prof Dr Muhammad Rasul Jan visiting stalls at the Project and Chart Exhibition held at the Institute of Physics and Electronics.

Imran Khan loud on crushing PML-N, PPP MANSEHRA—Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan once again confidently said that his party will defeat Pakistan Muslim Leagu-N (PML-N) and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) in the elections. Addressing a public gathering here, Khan said that both Asif Zardari and Nawaz Sharif have damaged and looted the country but the people would reject them this time in the elections. After coming into power, the PTI will overcome all the problems and will make the country an attractive place for the foreign investors, he said. He further said that era of dynastic politics is over and

that PTI will not offer funds to MNAs and MPAs as bribe. Imran also said that he would bring reforms in the police system. NNI Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan on Tuesday called for appointing a non-political individual as caretaker prime minister of the country. Addressing public gatherings in Haripur, Hawailian and Abbottabad, he said the people were well-aware of their political tights and the masses would make accountable the political parties in the forthcoming general elections. He said the people had to join PTI for bringing real change in the country, adding it was PTI.—APP

KHAIRPUR—Armed persons looted Rs 3 million from a Mela contractor in Ranipur on Wednesday. According to details, three unidentified armed motorcyclist intercepted the organiser of Ranipur Mela, Abdul Hameed Memon, at National Highway in the jurisdiction of Ranipur police station when he was going to Hyderabad. The accused looted Rs three million from him at gun point. On resistance the accused attacked him with a knife. As a result he was injured and shifted to Ranipur Hospital for treatment while the armed persons managed to escape. Ranipur police reached the spot on receipt

of information and pursued the culprits but could not trace them. Muzaffargarh: Police have arrested drug pedlars and recovered marijuana (Charas) and liquor from their possession here Wednesday. According to details, in a general hold up police have arrested Shahid Ali and Ahmad Nawaz and recovered 50 liter liquor from their possession. Meanwhile on a tip off police arrested the accused Yunas and Saqib, retrieved 1 kilogram marijuana (Charas) and 13 liter liquor from their possession respectively. Police have registered separate cases, and started investigation.—APP

Anti-polio drive continues STAFF REPORTER P ESHAWAR —The anti-polio campaign on Wednesday continues for the third consecutive day in different areas of Peshawar and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). The health authorities plan to administer polio vaccine to 700,000 children and seven thousands teams have been formed to achieve the target.

Remembering unforgettable Agha Muneer Akhtar KHALID BUTT

Armed persons snatch T Rs 3m from contractor

teams recovered bodies of the killed coalminers with the help of local coalmine workers of Chamlang. According to the official tally, over 300 hundred coalminers have been killed and many more injured since 2005 in continued lethal mishaps in Balochistan. APP adds: A man was killed and another sustained injuries over an old enmity by unknown gunmen here on Wednesday. According to police, the victim identified as Muhammad Luqman and Muhammad Iqbal were standing near taxi stand

when armed assailants riding a motorbike opened fire on them and fled from the scene. As a result, Muhammad Luqman died on the spot while another sustained wounds. Khanpur: One person killed and a woman was injured when a speeding trailer hit a motorcycle on national highway here Wednesday. According to details, Sharafat Ali alias Kala and Shamim Mai were going to Chani Goth on a motorcycle, while crossing near Tranda Muhammad Panah a trailer ran over them.—APP

Zardari clarify expenses on huge Lahore palace : Hamza WAQAS ASHRAF K ASUR —The PML(N) will form government in all the provinces of Pakistan and after becoming the prime minister, Mian Nawaz Sharfi would resolve the problems of the country. These views were expressed by MNA Hamza Shahbaz Sharif while addressing a public gathering at new bus terminal here. Addressing the rally, Hamza Shahbaz said the inflation, unemployment and load shedding were main issues of Pakistan and the PML (N) government would solve these problems. He said President Asif Ali

Zardari should tell the massess from where he got the money for his luxurious palace which had been built in Lahore. He added that the PPP governement did not deliver to the masses and agriculture land of Sindh have become barren. He said the people of Sindh have been disappointed by the policies of PPP government and now were supporting Nawaz Sharif for the progress and prosperity of the country. He lamented that the educated youth have degrees in their hands but were unable to get jobs. “PML (N) government would

create employment opportunities for them within three months of their goverment. He said the law and order situation of Karachi was very poor and it needed special attention to improve. He said the terrorism mind would change when the children of poor class people would get quality education. Hamza also inaugurated the newly constructed Kasur-Deepalpur road. On this occasion, MNA Malik Rasheed Ahmed Khan, MNA Waseem Akhtar Sheikh, Malik Ahmed Saeed and the candidate from 178 Mubashar Nawaz were also present.

HE sudden and unex pected passing away of one of my oldest cricketing friends from Sahiwal (former Montgomery) in Lahore on Monday came as a shock to me and his many friends all over the country. Agha Muneer had been one of the oldest cricket players and organizers of that sporting city which produced many a great player. Agha Muneer was widely known cricket figure, with close pals like Ijaz Butt, Col. Nayyar, Brig. Syed Ali, Capt. Naseer, General (rtd) Waheed Malik, Javed Qayum and many others who would all miss his joyful and lovely company. My deep condolence to Begum Muneer, his daughter Prof. Shazia of Punjab University, brother Agha Zaheer Akhtar, formerly of Karachi Sea Customs and nephew Agha Pervez Bashir FAISALABAD: Women workers are busy in carpeting of a road totally ignorant of (of Lahore Gymkhana fame). Women’s Day to be observed tomorrow.


Balochistan comes to political mainstream

MEDIA WATCH

Wrong fight

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ML-N scored double victory on Tuesday as it not only re-estab lished its visible presence in Hazara by embracing several of the prominent figures of the area into its folds, but also achieved a breakthrough in Balochistan where former Senator Lashkari Raisani along with several others joined the party. This was an important development in the sense that Raisani was former President of PPP Balochistan and apparently his decision is being seen as a big setback to the ruling party. Joining of Raisani and Humayun Kurd is surely a major boost to PML-N, which is eager to establish its footholds in all the four provinces to rebut propaganda of its opponents that it is mainly confined to Punjab. But this development is more important and significant from the point of view of Balochistan situation as joining of a major political party by some stalwarts is being viewed as a step towards political mainstreaming of the province. This would in turn mean scuttling of the efforts of a handful of elements that are talking about separation and other things at the behest of their foreign masters. PML(N) definitely deserves credit for making good moves in the province which will go a long way in promoting national harmony and solidarity. It has established good working relationship with other popular parties of the province like JWP and PKMAP as well as JUI(F) of Maulana Fazlur Rehman. There are also reports that almost all nationalist parties of the province are planning to take part in the forthcoming general elections and should that happens it would give the much-needed legitimacy to the political process in the province. We are confident that the leadership emerging out of the next elections would be able to resolve problems of the people and help strengthen the federation. Already, handing over of management of Gwadar Port to China and signing of IP gas pipeline agreement with Iran mean tremendous boost to the economic activities in Balochistan and these appreciable political developments would send a strong but healthy message across borders about things to come in the province.

Raja’s India visit at this point of time R

EPORTS in the media that Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf would be visiting Ajmer Sharif on Saturday has caused surprise among the people particularly at this point of time when he will be having last week in office as Chief Executive of the country. During the final days, a Prime Minister is required to settle all the pending issues by clearing his desk so that the caretaker set up could feel comfortable and devote its entire attention to the holding of free, fair and transparent elections. Raja Pervez Ashraf reportedly had to postpone scheduled pilgrimage to the shrine of Khawaja Moinuddin Chishti twice in the last five years and he could have done so for another week till transfer of power. According to officials, he will be going to Amjer Sharif with his family and other relatives to pay his respect to the Saint for successfully completing his term and pray for the well being of the country. While we do not question the devotion that Raja Saheb has to the Sufi Saint, but emphasise that visits to religious places are unofficial and should not be undertaken at official expenses. The national exchequer will be burdened, as millions of dollars will be spent for just one day’s visit. The Hindu extremist organisation Shiv Sena has opposed the visit while the officials had made it clear that there would be no bilateral meetings. In fact the visit is not an isolated one but part of the culture of the ruling class that draws maximum benefits for their own and family members pleasure at state expenses till the last moment in office.

Pakistan can go for TAPI as well T

HINGS are moving ahead with appreciable speed on the front of Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project but the United States is still harping on the same old mantra of “I would not agree”. During his visit to Tarbela on Tuesday, US Ambassador Richard Olson reiterated his country’s opposition to IP but added that Washington supports TAPI project. Though Olson was there in Tarbela in connection with completion of the first phase of upgradation of power station, which was a happy occasion, but he marred the achievement by making comments that are never welcomed in Pakistan. It is strange that on the one hand the United States claims that it was fully alive to the growing energy requirements of Pakistan but on the other hand it is opposing tooth and nail genuine attempts being made by the country towards energy security. Pakistan has lived for five years in darkness and many of its industries shifted to other countries just because of energy crisis and in the given situation it is duty of all of its friends to extend a helping hand to meet the challenge. The much-delayed IP gas project is, in fact, just a beginning as it would not bridge the entire gap between demand and supply of gas, rather it would only feed some power plants in Sindh. This effectively means that Pakistan would definitely need to pursue the TAPI gas pipeline project as well and we would urge Olson to prevail upon his authorities concerned to help expedite this project but not at the cost of IP. IP has reached advanced stages of implementation as formal construction work on Pakistani side of the border is scheduled to begin on March 11. Perhaps, Pakistan would not have needed Iranian gas for some years had there been urgency on the part of the US and others to facilitate implementation of TAPI that is there on papers since 1990s.

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Living in the make believe! done to this country and this region. The feeling was strengthened by the fact that he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. As it turned this was a simplistic Khalid Saleem out, view which did not stand the Email: binwakeel@yahoo.com test of time. Policy making in the sole superpower is a complicated and convoluted he so-called strategic rela business and mere change of leadtionship between the US and ership at the top does not necessithis country appears to be in tate a change in priorities, especially a state of flux, not that there ever in the field of foreign affairs. The re-election of President was a period when it wasn’t! The muck raised by WikiLeaks is all but Obama had the cynics looking forgotten (short public memory and askance. Let us face it, people in this all that!). But the latest pronounce- country are not asking for the moon. ments coming out of Washington The one question that came to their and the hints dropped by respon- simplistic mind was: why can’t they sible persons who ought to know leave our country alone? We have better, give one the queasy feeling more than enough troubles as it is. that things are not proceeding the The man in the street does not know way they ought to. There was the whether he is coming or going. The time when the diplomats of the world as we know it is in a state of Land of the Pure, who had the right utter chaos. When the Cold War connections to be posted to such ended, there were fond hopes that coveted stations as Washington, this would mark the beginning of the New York and London, used to pray end of the madness inherent in that the country got a column or two armed conflict; and that thenceforth of mention in the lordly press of the at least a virtual peace would reign. area. Not any more. Now, with all But no such luck. The sole superthe headlines we are cadging day power that emerged out of the ashes after day, they must be praying for - phoenix-like - took it upon itself the day when the mention of the to devise a brand new conflict. The country would disappear from the shaken world was not allowed even the proverbial respite that comes to front pages. So many earthshaking leading all those that have gone through the articles have appeared in the West- virtual hell that is the war of this era. The peoples of the world had set ern media that one does not know where to begin. When Barack great store by the dawn of the new Obama got elected the first time, millennium but regrettably that too there was a general feeling of ela- turned out to be a damp squib. The tion in this country. It was felt that conflagration that was lit all around the new president was a good and thanks to the New World Order orhonorable man and like all good dained by the neo-cons has left an men he could be counted upon to already shaken world staggering. right all the wrongs that had been One is at a loss to describe the man-

Friendly Fire

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ner in which the Western visual media have been choreographing the carnage in the War on Terror. What the world has seen are no more than repetitious images of the mighty and murderous war machines out to ‘liberate’ this land from the clutches of the ‘bad guys’ . One cannot blame the networks, either. They can hardly be totally ob-

The Bush administration was outraged by Mr Greenspan’s allegation that “the Iraq war is largely about oil”. Therein lay the rub. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, it would appear, are no different from the wars in the past waged by those who coveted what is not theirs by right. jective so long as they have an agenda to push. The Western news media made no secret of their glee when the post nine/eleven wars were let loose. The good guys had at long last been given the green light and all that remained was their reception, complete with trumpets and bouquets from the people they were sent out to ‘liberate’. The one outstanding casualty of what may be termed as America’s ‘friendly fire’ has been the generally accepted concept of human rights. The Geneva Conven-

tions have emerged out of the current conflicts in a tattered state. Let us look at the facts. When it suits the interests of the ‘liberators’, they conveniently reject the Geneva Conventions as ‘irrelevant’. But when they are at the receiving end, the least innocuous breach causes them such anguish as to justify several prime time hours on television. The valiant efforts of the American television networks to justify the unjustifiable notwithstanding, the horrible cruelty of the bombing campaigns in Afghanistan (and Iraq) has become all too evident. The tragedy of the co-lateral killings by the drones are another story. The wars have brought in their wake a humanitarian tragedy of immense proportions. Now that the deed is done and the invaders have ridden roughshod over all that is good and fair, there is little fun in whining about the Geneva Conventions and the responsibilities of occupying armies written therein visà-vis pillage and hazards to civilians, their property and institutions. These are matters that are now of little or no import. In the war-torn country of Afghanistan, people will hope and pray that the long-suffering people of this unfortunate land will some day be enabled to enjoy an independent existence with total control over their own resources. Talking of resources brings to mind what Alan Greenspan had reportedly come up with in his memoir. The Bush administration was outraged by Mr Greenspan’s allegation that “the Iraq war is largely about oil”. Therein lay the rub. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, it would appear, are no different from the wars in the past waged by those who coveted what is not theirs by right.

Indian anti-Pak role in Afghanistan dia has left no stone unturned in getting its hold in Afghaniby manipulating US Sajjad Shaukat stan strategy. In this regard, stiff Email: sajjad_logic@yahoo.com resistance of the Taliban militants against the occupying forces created unending lawrecently released video by lessness in the country which has beWashington Free Beacon come a most suitable place for Inpointed out that the US new dian secret agency RAW to impleSecretary of Defence Chuck Hagel ment a conspiracy to fulfill its disclosed during a speech at country’s strategic designs against Oklahoma’s Cameron University in Iran, China and particularly Paki2011, “India has always used Af- stan, while achieving collective ghanistan as a second front” and goals of the US against these coun“has over the years financed prob- tries including Russia. However, lems for Pakistan on that side of the India which has already invested border.” Earlier, the then NATO billion of dollars in Afghanistan, commander in Afghanistan, Gen. signed a wide-ranging strategic McChrystal had revealed: “Indian agreement with that country on Ocpolitical and economic influence is tober 5, 2011 also includes to help increasing in Afghanistan…is likely train Afghan security forces, while assisting Kabul in diversified to exacerbate regional tensions.” These remarks are quite sharp projects. Apparently, it is open strato some of American top officials tegic agreement, but secretly, India who had been accusing Pakistan of seeks to further strengthen its grip cross-border terrorism in Afghani- in Afghanistan to get strategic depth stan. During his trip to India and against Islamabad. Besides, with the cooperation of Kabul, last year, US ex-Secretary of Defence Leon Panetta revived Afghan President Hamid Karzai and similar old blame game against Pa- Afghan intelligence-National Direckistan. He also encouraged New torate of Security (NDS), and with Delhi on October 26, 2012, saying the tactical assistance of American that India has vital role to play in CIA and Israeli Mossad, RAW has Afghanistan and it will be helpful well-established anti-Pakistan espiofor peace and stability in the region, nage network in Afghanistan. For adding, “Our new defence policy this sinister move, a religious hinges upon this strategy.” The US Madrassa of Wakhan, located in Afwhich signed an agreement of stra- ghanistan is functioning under the tegic partnership with Afghanistan, patronage of Indian officials. It is has finally decided to keep around being used for brainwashing of very 10,000 troops and six military bases young boys who are Afghans and soin that country permanently after the called Indian Muslims. Posing themselves as Pakistani complete withdrawal of NATO forces. In fact, America seeks to Taliban, they have joined the ranks obtain multiple strategic designs by and files of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pacontrolling the energy resources of kistan and other banned extremist Central Asia, and weakening Paki- outfits. In this context, India’s several secret training camps are also stan, China, Iran and Russia. In this respect, by availing the present in Afghanistan from where golden opportunity of the 9/11, In- highly trained militants, equipped

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with sophisticated weapons are being sent to Pakistan’s various places to conduct target killings, bomb blasts, suicide attacks, assaults on civil and military installations including religious leaders to foment sectarian violence. Particularly, RAW has perennially been arranging similar subversive acts in Balochistan through their affiliated militant groups such as Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), Jundollah (God’s soldiers) and other Baloch separatist elements. India is also in collusion with the Balochi separatist leaders who took shelter in Afghanistan. For example, on July 23, 2008, in an interview with the BBC from Afghanistan, Brahmdagh Bugti had stated that they “have the right to accept foreign arms and ammunition from anywhere including India.” Notably, in the recent years, a series of international conferences were held in order to bring stability and peace in Afghanistan before the foreign troops commence withdrawal from that country in 2013, which would be completed in 2014. For this purpose, US-led developed nations also pledged billions of dollars for the development of Afghanistan. A recent meeting of NATO defence minsters, held in Brussels, decided a sum of $6.5bn for that war-torn country. Besides, American top officials have repeatedly agreed that without the help of Islamabad, stability cannot be achieved in Afghanistan. Pakistan is also facilitating US-backed dialogue with the Afghan Taliban. Besides, NATO has started moving its equipments via Pakistani route. Nevertheless, taking note of Indian negative approach, in the recent past, US Senator John McCain reminded the Obama administration that encouraging India to take a more active role in Afghanistan, while si-

multaneously criticising Pakistan could be a recipe for disaster. In fact, India wants instability in Afghanistan, which favours its secret goals against Pakistan. But Pakistan seeks stability in Afghanistan, which is not possible owing to Indian presence in that country. Therefore, Pakistan has legitimate concerns in Afghanistan. It is notable that that Pakistan’s civil and military leadership has repeatedly pointed out Indian interference, cross-border terrorism from Afghanistan including TTP location there, but US-led NATO and Afghan top officials have taken no action. And Federal Minister Rehnam Malik has openly remarked that based in Afghanistan, RAW has been supporting subversive activities in Pakistan. Nonetheless, in the post-2014 scenario, despite the presence of American troops on small scale, New Delhi which has been assisting the Northern Alliance against the Afghan militants will not be in a position to maintain its network due to successful guerrilla warfare of the Taliban. Afghanistan will be thrown in an era of uncertainty and civil war. In that drastic situation, foreign donors will not be able to sustain their economic aid in that lawless country. By showing realistic approach, US and other western countries should realise that unlike India, Pakistan shares common geographical, historical, religious and cultural bonds with Afghanistan, while there is a co-relationship of stability in Afghanistan and Pakistan, which is essential for their global and regional interests. And by abandoning its faulty strategy in this region and double game with Islamabad, especially America must check Indian anti-Pakistan role in Afghanistan.

RESIDENT Obama began his second term with a prom ise to push harder on energy and climate change. The events of the past week remind us that he won’t have to contend just with Republicans and coal-state Democrats determined to oppose reasonable measures to combat global warming. He will also have to sidestep environmentalists demanding that he fight the wrong battles. Last Friday, the State Department released a new draft analysis of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, opposition to which has become a counterproductive obsession of many in the environmental movement. In its 2,000 pages, the report dismantled the case that nixing the Canadian pipeline must be a priority for anyone concerned about climate change, explaining anew that accepting or rejecting the project won’t make much difference to global emissions, US oil consumption or world oil markets. Under antiKeystone activists’ very best scenario — Keystone XL and all other new pipeline capacity restricted — they could hope to reduce Canadian oil-sands production by only 2 to 4 percent by 2030. The analysis underscores the extent to which activists have trumped up a relatively mundane infrastructure issue into the premier environmental fight of this decade, leading to big marches and acts of civil disobedience to advance a cause that is worthy of neither. The activists ought to pick more important fights. Until they do, the president should ignore their pressure. Mr. Obama should also ignore the complaints about Ernest Moniz, whom the president nominated Monday to head the Energy Department. Mr. Moniz, an MIT professor, favours renewable sources of electricity — but also nuclear power and natural gas. That’s a sin among some in the environmental movement, although it should not be. Mr. Moniz was right, for example, when he argued that natural gas can help cut the nation’s carbon emissions over the next couple of decades, because burning it produces half the emissions of burning coal. What’s needed is not knee-jerk opposition to natural gas but, rather, sensible regulations to ensure that communities near well sites are safe and that the country sees the most emissions benefits from its use of the fuel. Mr. Obama so far has taken that course, and we hope his appointment of Mr. Moniz means that he will stay on track. Instead of indulging in distractions, Mr. Obama and his friends in the environmental movement should push for policies that could make a significant difference by cutting demand for carbon-intensive fuels. As we argued Sunday, a carbon tax is a cause that really is worth fighting for. — The Washington Post

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BD needs stability

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BOUT 80 people have been killed in Bangladesh in the last 40 days in riots over the trial of a handful of alleged war criminals, who are accused of crimes against humanity during the bloody nine-month war of independence in 1971. The conflict started when a war crimes tribunal passed a death sentence against one of the offenders, a fugitive, following which the workers of the Jamaate-Islami Bangladesh took to the streets in protest. Jamaat, a political party, had opposed Bangladesh’s independence from Pak, along with the Muslim League. The fact that some of its members collaborated and participated in the killings, torture and rapes has been well documented. Some of these crimes have come to the surface after four decades. However, the life sentence handed down on the second offender, Abdul Qader Mulla — whose record is among the worst — raised eyebrows among many. The latest round of violence has strengthened calls to ban the Jamaat and other extremist political parties, especially those supporting terrorism. While it is important for the Bangladesh government to carry out fair trials and ensure justice, it also has a responsibility to ensure peace and stability. Bangladesh, a democracy, also needs to decide if it wants to let extremist forces carry out their agenda on its soil. If not, then the time for the decision is now. — Gulf News A fool bolts pleasure, then complains of moral indigestion. Minna Antrim —US writer


Kashmir on defining path Saman Zulfqar Email: samanz.pk@gmail.com

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n the recent past there has been much media hype about the thaw in India-Pakistan relations relating to free trade, Pakistan’s granting of Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to India, Visa liberalization between two states and giving India a transit route to access Central Asian Republicans. All these efforts got a setback when Indian troops started firing across the LoC that killed some civilians as well as Pakistani soldiers. This is a clear violation of international law, UN Charter and November 2003 ceasefire agreement between India and Pakistan. For Pakistan this is not a new thing as we know India does not have a tendency to respect the bilateral agreements when it comes to Pakistan. The occupation of Siachen has been a violation of Simla agreement and the construction of dams on Western rivers by India is a violation of Indus Water Treaty. A part from LoC incident, recent developments in Indian Held Kashmir have seriously impaired the Indo-Pak relations. Following the Kashmir day on February 5 (Pakistani and the Kashmiri on both sides

of the LoC have been observing 5th February as Kashmir Day since 1990. The people of Pakistan express solidarity with the people of Jammu and Kashmir who are struggling for their right of self determination), Afzal Guru, a Kashmiri was hanged on mere allegations of being part of the planning of attack on Indian Parliament on December 13, 2001. His execution and lack of access to proper legal council has raised questions about Indian judicial system and the role of Indian media. Majority of Kashmiri people consider that Afzal Guru could not receive fair trial and without having direct evidence he was awarded death sentence. India has been criticized not only by Kashmiris and some Indian human right activists such as Arundhati Roy and others but by International human rights organizations also. These organizations otherwise remain indifferent to human rights violations in Kashmir whether it is the killing of hundreds and thousands of innocent people in Kashmir or the issue of missing persons or the discovery of mass graves in Kashmir. These international human rights organizations are just being used by some powerful states to enhance their own political agendas by criticizing the human rights standards of

other states. In the aftermath of hanging of Afzal Guru on February 9, 2013 curfew was imposed across Kashmir Valley for nearly a week as an attempt to contain the deterioration of law and order situation in case of protest against his execution. Due to India’s mishandling of Afzal Guru’s case, it missed an opportunity to build trust and confidence with the Kashmiri youth who may not be as much aware of armed struggle of the Kashmiri people during the decade of 1990s. Sumit Ganguly, an eminent writer has identified the cause of sudden unrest and uprising in Kashmir in 1989 as the ‘short-sighted policies on the part of various regimes in New Delhi that created conducive conditions for the rise of Kashmiri freedom struggle in 1989. Now this case can have far reaching implications for the future as well. A number of questions are being raised that what will be the future course of action of the people of Kashmir? Will they abandon their peaceful struggle for their right of self determination as it has already received a setback in the post 9/11 international political environment? Pakistan’s Foreign Office spokesman also made it clear that there was no change or shift in Pakistan’s policy on the disputed state. Pakistan always strives to re-

solve this issue through meaningful dialogue in accordance with UN resolutions as well as the aspirations of Kashmiri people. Kashmir presents a unique example for being the oldest issue on the agenda of United Nations Security Council. It was India that approached the United Nations Security Council on January 1, 1948 and took the Kashmir issue to the UN. Security Council has passed a number of resolutions regarding the holding of plebiscite in Kashmir but India’s non-compliance with UN resolutions has not triggered any forceful action from the world body. One major reason for this inaction may be that resolutions on Kashmir were passed under chapter six of the UN Charter that does not have any mandatory enforceability as opposed to the resolutions passed under chapter seven of the Charter. Now the most pressing questions are how the future of Kashmir will be decided? How far the Kashmiris’ struggle for their rights will go unnoticed by the major powers? And how far international human rights organizations will remain silent on the grave human rights violations in Kashmir? —The writer is a researcher at Islamabad Policy Research Institute (IPRI).

Talks prospects with militants S Adnan A Bukhari

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five-point declaration was signed by All Parties Con ference (APC) on February 28, 2013 called upon by Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-F (JUI-F). The major stipulations in the declaration were; first, a 17-member grand jirga should be expanded having representation of all schools of thought of the country, second, a trust be established for the welfare of the injured and the families of those killed (about 50,000 victims of War on Terror) in terrorism related incidents. Third, the jirga should commence negotiations under the guidelines set by APC, fourth, practical steps should be taken to eliminate lawlessness, and fifth, the present, interim and the next elected governments and the future opposition would be bound to implement this declaration. The APC was attended by nearly 30 political and religious parties except Pakistan Tehrik-eInsaf of Imran Khan. The calling for APC is a response to the Talibans call for political dialogue early in this month. A similar APC was held by ANP on February 14 but having no substantial outcome than this one. The ANPbacked APC had lesser representation and only called for dialogues with militant groups but failed to

provide a clear course of action. However, one point is common in both APCs that is resort to political dialogue for internally conflict-ridden Pakistani state. The move is positive in a manner that there would be a win-win situation for both parties. At least, peace and stability are the common objective in the country and region. However, one point is to be contemplated; the timing of APC when the present government is going after two weeks is arousing concerns among masses. Albeit, a clause of binding this declaration by the present, interim and coming government is provided yet who would guarantee to implement this declaration after elections. Taliban and the Army would be amongst stakeholders. It is high time to initiate this process after a decade long war. In the beleaguered tense situation where sectarianism at one hand and targeted killing are eroding the state writ, the talks seem to be a sliver-lining in the dark clouds of lawlessness. Moreover, there is a dire need to initiate a process for chalking out a Grand strategy to eliminate extremism, run the stagnant economy and build a pluralistic society. Tehrik-e-Taliban (TTP) spokesperson, Ehsanullah Ehsan said that the political ‘shura’ or council of the Taliban described the five-point declaration a ‘welcoming’ sign on

March 1, 2013, the very next day from the announcement of APC declaration. The bargaining and accommodative attitude from both government and Taliban depict that it is commonality of interest for all stakeholders that the APC backed

Given all these developments in counter-militancy strategy, restoration of peace is in the larger national interest. The talks with Talibans would also put positive implications for regional peace efforts in the wake of post-US withdrawal scenario. tribal jirga be initiate peace talks among the Taliban, the army, and all other decision makers. However, the spokesman of Pakistani Taliban was still waiting for a “positive response” from the Pakistani military on the offer of peace talks with the militants. Army is one of the major stakeholders in peace process. It is to be seen that what would be response of

Army. A major demand from Pakistani side is the ‘ceasefire’ from Taliban. Nevertheless, Taliban said, “ceasefire and such modalities can be discussed when we kick start the peace process.” Amid such developments, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor, Engineer Shaukatullah said that his office would serve as coordination office of a tribal jirga to facilitate negotiations between the government and Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). The governor had agreed to establish ‘Shuhada Trust’ and had announced a sum of Rs. 10 million for that. In this context, the initiatives and unabated support of the governor Pakhtunkha for peace process is appreciable. Given all these developments in counter-militancy strategy, restoration of peace is in the larger national interest. The talks with Talibans would also put positive implications for regional peace efforts in the wake of post-US withdrawal scenario. Commenting on the APC declaration, Fazl-ur-Rehman of JUI-F said that even the US and Europe had taken great interest in the success of the jirga. No denial, a stable Pakistan and Afghanistan would prove to be a stable region and this stable region would be the harbinger of stable world. —The writer is Research Fellow, South Asian Strategic Stability Institute.

Views From Abroad

Telling secrets Andrew Rosenthal

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fter a long delay, the White House has agreed to send the Senate and House intelligence committees all 11 secret legal memos that it has relied on to kill suspected terrorists, including American citizens, in other countries without judicial oversight. This is a good step by the president, who came into office promising transparency on national security — but has so far held his cards as close as his predecessor did. The American Civil Liberties, The New York Times and several other organizations have been waiting for over a year for these documents. Recently the Senate used the

nomination of John Brennan as director of central intelligence as an excuse to step up pressure, and the White House gave way. Senator Dianne Feinstein, the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said: “I have reached an agreement with the White House to provide the committee access to all OLC opinions related to the targeted killing of Americans in a way that allows members to fulfil their oversight responsibilities.” The OLC is the Office of Legal Counsel at the Justice Department, which tells the rest of the executive branch whether a policy is legal — and gives legal cover. So long as you’re following OLC’s guidance, you don’t have to worry about getting dragged before a judge. The need

for transparency and oversight does not end here. Senators and Representatives on the intelligence committees have a right to know the administration’s reasoning — but so do legislators who don’t happen to sit on those committees as well as the general public. We all need to know what’s going on. The documents should be made public for everyone to read, with any national security secrets redacted. Congress, moreover, should compel the White House to submit its so-called kill list and kill orders to independent review. Ms Feinstein last month suggested setting up a new court, modelled after the one that approves intelligence-gathering wiretaps, for targeted killings. We’ve been calling for exactly that on our edito-

rial page for some time now. It’s true that, through leaks and reporting, we have a sense of how the administration justifies its targeted killing policy. But we remain in the dark on many basic points. I’ve been trying to get the White House to answer this question: Does President Obama think he has the power to authorize, without judicial approval or even review, the killing in the United States of an American citizen suspected of terrorism. No success so far. Meanwhile the Senate intelligence committee voted to confirm Mr. Brennan as director of the CIA, hours after the White House agreed to provide more information on the legal basis for its targeted killings program. — Courtesy: The New York Times

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n our great country not many awards are won through merit or hard work, most are won through right connections! The stationmaster of the local suburban station came and stood by me, leaving his office in the capable hands of his assistant, “ There’s an award for the best kept station,” he whispered to me spitting a wad of red betel nut leaves onto the platform. “Interesting,” I said as I watched the red juice flow over the concrete surface. “My station will win the award!” said the stationmaster with a determined glare.“You’ll have to work hard at

am strict about cleanliness!” “Looks like the award is yours then!” I volunteered sarcastically. “Of course it is,” said the stationmaster moving amicably out of the way of a passenger gargling after he’d eaten something from the stall, “See how particular this passenger is to clean his mouth! The award is mine!” “You better start working on it right away,” I told the stationmaster seriously, as an express train rushed by and raised a cloud of dust that later lay thick on the betel nut juice and gargled water, “There is a lot of work that needs to be done!” “I have already done everything!” said the stationmaster, “The award is mine! All the newspapers will write about it, the minister himself may come here to be photographed with me on this platform. It will be a red letter day for all of us!” “You must talk to your juniors and

Decades of load-shedding RAJA GHAZANFAR A KHAN It is one of the most serious problem of Pakistan for the Pakistani peoples that they are facing the load shedding from 8 hours to 18 hours continuously since 1983 uptil now but there is no load shedding in the residented sectors of bureaucrats, officers and wapda officers colonies. But on others side, the general poor people of Pakistan now become most upsett and are in mental worries because they don’t find any hope of ending of load shedding from this and all forth coming govts. It has now become a permanent routine by all the political parties to give more and more tension and mental worries to people of Pakistan. All politicians and bureaucrates officers are not fearing from the Aazab of the Allah and they also con sider the poor people of Pakistan worse than the animals. Educational careers of the students have been upsett. Small children fell down from their cots in darkness. Lizards fell in the drinking water or meal dish. Sometimes most serious patients are lying of dead in the houses in darkness. If our govt is really sincere in solving the problem of load sheding. I will advise the govt that Wapda Department should be handed over to foreign firm. Only a foreign firm can manages to run the department of Wapda most efficiently. It is the only real solution of eradication of load shedding in the country of Pakistan. —Rawalpindi

Education problem in Sindh AGHA SHAHEEN KHAN “Get education from cradle to grave” is the common saying we have been hearing, but how?Sindh is passing through the dark days due to substandard education system. There is no doubt that Sindh has given birth to many great personalities who have earned name and fame all over the world and they made whole Nation to be proud of them. But today getting higher education has become the dream of the all young students who pass their intermediate with flying colors. After completing their intermediate they are facing financial hardships due to lack of resources in continuing further education. There are any reasons behind this and one of them is dearth of universities especially in interior Sindh. Students after doing intermediate sit idle at their homes after applying in engineering and medical universities of public sector whose expenses are in affordable range. if they are selected. But when they are not selected due to limited quota of seats for their respective cities then there is no alternative available to them except continuing their education privately from a college. They attempt for simple B.A and B. Sc from college side. The main reason for their full-stop to regular tertiary studies is high cost of education in private universities and poor standard of public sector universities in interior Sindh. The prevailing situation of education has caused frustration among the students belonging to remote areas of Sindh. The Government of Sindh is requested to kindly invest more in education sector, ensure quality education in all the universities by maintaining peace and discipline there. The cost of education should also be kept on affordable level to create more chances for rural students. —Ghotki

Govt ignoring Pak Railways MALIK UMAR DRAZ AWAN

Right connections..! it,” I said watching with renewed disgust, a pair of urchins passing water straight onto the tracks. “It will be a great day for the passengers of this station!” said the stationmaster smiling at the people around him who frowned back at him. “I am sure they are already delighted,” I said watching with horror an old lady slipping on the red betel nut juice that had trailed onto the railway tracks. “Stupid woman!” said the stationmaster to me as the public poured water all over her face to revive her, “Now she has made them dirty the platform. Come let us move from here and have some tea!” The canteen boy at the tea stall poured some soapy water into a glass, rinsed it, and threw it onto the platform. “He always washes the glass when he sees me, “ said the stationmaster proudly, “He knows I

Voice of the People

other employees immediately!” I said. “I already have, and they are overjoyed!” “Overjoyed?” I asked, watching a railway sweeper sweeping all the platform garbage onto the tracks, “Don’t they realize they will have to work hard to win?” “They are overjoyed they have already won!” said the stationmaster as he spat another wad of betel nut juice onto the platform. “But, what about all this?” I asked, looking at the filth all around. “Who cares,” said the station master as he looked at me with a grin, “Who cares when the railway minister’s PA’s brother is a close friend of my wife’s sister. You must come for the award ceremony tomorrow..!” Like I said, in our country it’s all about the right connections. —Email: bobsbanter@gmail.com

Since 2008 PPP led Government is neglecting Pakistan Railways continuously. In every budget Government announced specific amount for the development of Railway but unfortunately it proved only political slogan. Pakistan Railways provides mode of transportation in the farthest corners of the country and brings them closer for business, sightseeing and education. It caters to large scale movement of people and freight. An effective railways system facilitates trade and reduces transportation cost in comparison to other means of transportation and eventually promote rural development and national integration. Railway also provides a sufficient help to armed forces in transporting their human resources, equipment. PR has a potential and always played a crucial role in the development of Pakistan. Economy and trade directly depends upon Railway network. For the progress of business and trade, a successful rail net-

Free hand to killer NIAZ BETAB

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ormer Deputy Commissioner of Gwadar Abdul Rehman Dashti’s assassination has gone unnoticed. He was mercilessly assassinated on March 5, 2012. The news was circulated in the electronic and print media by an old friend. The irony is that his nominated assassin, who is also the father of a MNA, has still not been arrested. He often travels within and outside of the country. The victim’s family members have sent letters to the Supreme Court (SC) and high courts demanding strict action against the assassin but the courts have remained silent. The state has already left them disappointed by not taking any action. Now all this forces one to think that if a government posted high official’s assassin roams freely without being disturbed, what about those poor people who come under the boots of such ruthless killers? —Islamabad

work is necessary. Through its 7791 KMs wide track it combines and connects people of all provinces. Recently, Railway fell into a crisis due to shortage of locomotives and lack of funds. To decrease the deficit of department Government should support and take bold steps for improving state run department. Government should purchase new locomotives for the operation of rail network because only 100 locomotives cannot run whole network smoothly. It should give funds for repairing of track which has completed its age. For the development of economy and prosperity of Pakistani nation, an effective Railway network is vital. —Lahore

which requires the seller to display the price list and issue a formal receipt to the purchaser. The violation may be reported to the Punjab Consumer Protection Council (PCPC) but complaints are seldom lodged because the general population is simply unaware of the protection afforded under the law. The attention of government authorities as well as print and electronic media should be drawn to this problem. The media can play a pivotal role to spread awareness about existing laws. The government may improve its implementation mechanism by allowing complaints through the use of modern means of communication. A helpline or hotline for such complaints may also help consumers to report violations without hassle. —Islamabad

Ladies hair cutting barbershops Monitoring roads KHURSHID BAI MATRON

MUBASHIR MAHMOOD

This is in reference of a city desk news, published a few days ago in Pakistan Observer about the worst dirty position inside barbershop and also use of unhygenic tools etc We, working women of poor families., who are doing jobs in various govt departments and private firms/offices as a lady secretay, stenotypist, teachers, nurses, packers, receiptionists,etc ,are also facing such problems because,we working women dont find any time to shampoo , combing,set our own hair and facial epilating our self and also can not afford the payment of heavy charges of hair dressing of Rs 500/- or more in a beauty parlours hence we working women get our hair cutting, shampooing,shaving,facial bleaching, etc in the barbershops who charge Rs 70/- to 100/- for ladies hair cutting shampooing,colouring,faial bleaching. etc Although male barbers of such barbershop are doing ladies hair cutting in more decent ways than ladies beauty parlours but there are problems for getting hair cutting and other services in such barber shops. Because such barbershops exist in one room by making a wooden partition or curtain for The making of a Ladies hair dressing partition but it is not a proper way of Purdah because of talking of male clients out side partition or curtains. The barbers are using dirty towels, aprons, low quality shampoo, oil, shaving cream,lotion, and shaving blades. while doing the ladies hair cutting ,dressing etc. Similarly, such barbershops are not in tidy and neat. The wash basin for doing ladies hair shampooing are also most dirty and stinking. I will request the city mayor /administrator of municipility that such ladies hair cutting barbershops should be checked and drastic action taken against owners of such ladies hair cutting barber shop, who are using time barred ladies hair cutting tools and other equipments/appliances etc. and also low quality cosmetics. It is also requested that seperate ladies hair cutting barbershops should be set up for ladies only in which no male clients should be allowed barbers and their helpers, etc so that working women should get their hair cutting in Complete Purdah. —Lahore

The twin blasts that targeted a residential building in Abbas Town killed more than 46 people and wounded around 140. Many children were also killed in the tragic incident. According to media reports, police and law enforcement agencies reached the incident after one hour and this delay was because hundreds of police officers were present at the engagement ceremony of PPP leader Sharmila Farooqi at Mohatta Palace. A few hours after the attack, many people started criticising Sharmila Farooqi and the Karachi police on social networking websites. It is time that CCTV cameras in Karachi were installed in massive numbers. I have read many times that around 3,000 to 4,000 CCTV cameras are already installed in different zones in Karachi from the toll plaza at the entrance to Karachi to all the main roads and streets. All our roads should be covered by this CCTV system, which should be linked to a command and control system. Whenever any incident occurs (mobile snatching, robbery, murder or bomb blast) the police can see from where the accused arrived on the scene of the crime and where he fled. It is hoped that the next government after elections will make sure to do this. It will require a lot of money but will ensure law and order in the metropolitan city. —Karachi

Exploitation of consumers MUHAMMAD ZAHEER ABBAS Securing the interests of the consumer is the paramount responsibility of the state. In Pakistan, this area was ignored due to lack of political will. In 1995, the Islamabad Consumer Protection Act was enacted. It was followed by enactments at the provincial level, for instance the Punjab Consumer Protection Act (CPA) 2005, in the context of devolution of powers plan. Unfortunately, all these laws have remained dormant due to lack of awareness about the laws. Consumers face severe problems everyday, especially during travel on the G T Road or motorway. They have no other choice but to buy substandard and unhygienic food items at prices much higher than normal, rather double the price in most instances. This is a blatant violation of Article 18 and Article 19 of the Punjab Consumer Protection Act,

A sad situation SAANWAL K BARLAAS “To forget pain is to be painless; to forget care is to be rid of it; to go abroad is to accomplish both” — Mark Twain. It is a huge irony that what Mark Twain remarked more than a century ago still seems to hold true when we glimpse the present situation of Pakistan. In Mark Twain’s time, the situation of western countries was pitiable and so has witty words were indeed particularly true then. Astonishingly, it is not just the hassled Hazaras who are pathetically desperate and are abandoning this country; it is not only the religious minorities; it is not even the underprivileged ones; it is everyone, each and every Pakistani. Educated and uneducated people alike cling to the first opportunity they stumble upon to leave their homeland. To someone not well acquainted with Pakistan, this behaviour might well come across as manic. Yet, technically, there is not even a single reason why one should not abandon this land named Pakistan. Scores of youngsters are blindly fervent about foreign lands, taking for granted a fantastic fate.The so-called education consultants who now run businesses in every nook and cranny of all towns and cities here are robbing people of their hard-earned savings. Hundreds of unaware youngsters are exploited by these malicious agents who have some sort of ‘understanding’ with law enforcement agencies. It is a sad situation. —Via email

READERS are requested to type their letters legibly with double spacing and only on one side of the paper.

—Editor Email:editorial@pakobserver.net


An analysis of factors behind Mali’s internal turmoil PROF OLIVIER ROY

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RANCE’S official war aims in Mali are: 1) com batting “Islamic terrorism” and 2) re-establishing Mali’s territorial integrity. The question is how those aims relate to one another. Is Mali threatened by “Islamic terrorism”? That depends on what one means by the term, and it is clear that we are still stuck in the kind of semantic and political confusion introduced by the Bush administration when it launched its “war on terror” after the 11 September 2001 attacks. “Islamic terrorism” is a notion capacious enough to contain almost anything: al-Qaeda, naturally, but also parties that are primarily nationalist, such as Hamas; local movements that want to establish sharia, such as the Taliban in Afghanistan or Ansar Dine in Mali; indeed, more or less any religious party that speaks of Islamic law. (Some would include even the Muslim Brotherhood under this heading.) This confusion prevents the elaboration of a clear, long-term strategy, because it conflates legitimate actors, with whom the west can and must negotiate, even if they are anti-western, with terrorists whose sole objective is confrontation with the west and who have no social base. The territorial integrity of Mali is threatened above all by Tuareg groups in the north of the country, who consider themselves, rightly or wrongly, to have been ignored by successive Malian governments run largely by black Africans from the south. These are long-standing grievances, going back more than 30 years, and are the consequence of the colonial division between North Africa, which is mostly in the hands of Arabs, and Central Africa, largely in the control of black Africans. The Tuaregs have been the losers in this partition, and are now concentrated in

Chad, Mali and Niger. Excluded from power, they have profited from cross-border smuggling and have taken advantage of regional conflicts (including the revolution in Libya) to arm themselves. Meanwhile, their recent appeal to Islam has allowed them to pose as bearers of a universal message, their tribal identity notwithstanding. In truth, the Tuareg question

are primarily ethno-nationalist in nature. Historically, the Tuaregs have been represented by secular groups, such as the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad, which began the latest uprising. Today, these are accompanied by Salafist elements, such as Ansar Dine, which emphasise the implementation of sharia law and the construction of an Islamic

for the creation of “Islamic emirates”. Southern Afghanistan is a good example of a tribal society (in this case, the Pashtuns) expressing its ethnic identity in the form of a religious movement (the Taliban). It happens because the appeal to sharia allows such groups to overcome tribal divisions without threatening the tribal system as a whole. This is an old

French troops arrive in Timbuktu, Mali. is a matter of ethno-national tensions and has little to do with Islamism. It is a problem that can only be resolved by political negotiation that aims to establish a more equitable balance of power. In order to re-establish Mali’s territorial integrity, a solid and stable central state is required (for the moment, such a thing does not exist). Rather than restoring a viable state for all Malians, the French intervention risks exacerbating ethnic tensions by handing power back to a particular faction that is unwilling to share it. A second problem, not restricted to Mali, is the religious radicalisation of movements that

emirate (whose borders would correspond more or less to those of the area to which the nationalists are laying claim). This has been a recurrent phenomenon in the Muslim world since the 1980s – think of the mujahedin in Afghanistan being followed by the Taliban. Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon exemplify the Islamicisation of nationalist or regionalist movements. Curiously, it is in tribal zones such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Mali, that the mutation of regionalist struggles into religious conflicts has gone furthest. National or ethnic self-assertion doubles up as a demand

phenomenon – one thinks of the Sudanese Mahdi in the 1880s or the Rif war in Morocco in the 1920s. To view such movements through the prism of “Islamic terrorism” is absurd and dangerous. The recent split in Ansar Dine between a Salafist tendency and a Tuareg nationalist group is a clear indication that this complex of factors (sharia law, tribal coalitions and ethno-nationalist claims) can be reassembled in various ways, with one or the other of the elements taking precedence. A new movement in Mali, the Islamic Movement for Azawad, attaches more importance to tractable political de-

mands than to the introduction of sharia. It should be a partner in any negotiation. There is nothing new or distinctive about the activities of alQaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (Mujao) or any of the other small bands of international jihadists operating in the Sahel. The groups linked to al-Qaeda are nomadic, almost by definition – they are not anchored in the societies in which they operate. The set-up has been the same for two decades; al-Qaeda is composed of international jihadists and is never the expression of local social or political interests. The composition of the group that attacked the In Amenas gas plant in Algeria is a prime example: its members were from several different countries and of various races, and also included converts. AlQaeda’s main recruiting ground is still the west, rather than societies in the Muslim world (it has recruited few Malians). AQIM has no sociological roots in the Sahel; instead, it trades on its alliance with local Salafist forces and also with delinquent, criminal elements. This was equally the case in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Al-Qaeda acts mostly on the periphery of the Muslim world (Bosnia, Chechnya, Afghanistan, Yemen, the Sahel) but rarely in the heart of the Middle East (the brief episode of Abu Musab al- Zarqawi in Iraq excepted). It is not a political movement that seeks to establish authentic local Islamic emirates; its principal target is the west, as the attack on the Algerian gas complex, in which non-Muslim expatriates were singled out, shows. Al-Qaeda’s strategy is global and deterritorialised – it aims to multiply confrontations, with the west always in its sights. Simply put, al-Qaeda is parasitic upon local conflicts, which have their

own logic, and tries to radicalise them in an anti-western direction so as to lure the west into the trap of intervention. The Bush administration did not grasp the deterritorialised nature of al-Qaeda and desperately sought to reduce the number of sanctuaries available to it by controlling territory, through deployment of troops on the ground. This strategy is hopeless: to occupy territory requires hundreds of thousands of soldiers, and usually by the time they are in place al-Qaeda has already fled (this was the case in Afghanistan in 2001). In this sense, and whatever moral and legal reservations one might have about it, President Obama’s anti-terrorist strategy – not to deploy the army and instead to use drones, the intelligence services and special forces – is much more effective and

of its potency if the local forces it takes advantage of could be persuaded that they have no reason to protect it. This did not happen in Afghanistan in 2001, when Mullah Omar, against the advice of his Taliban lieutenants, refused to extradite Osama Bin Laden; it did happen in Bosnia and Iraq, where local fighters ended up driving out foreign jihadists. And it could happen in Yemen and Syria, and should happen in Mali, if negotiations are opened with local elements. But, for that to occur, these forces should not be labelled “terrorists we don’t talk to”. Why has France intervened in Mali? There are several reasons. First, the urgency. In threatening the capital, Bamako, Islamist groups are endangering Mali’s very existence, which cannot be tolerated. The Malian government, weak as it is, asked France to in-

where it was always the junior partner to the Americans (the British know what this is like). Things weren’t any better in Libya, where the army felt it was treated like a band of mercenaries subject to Sarkozy’s whims – and all for a cause it did not believe in. The French officer corps is very “culturalist” and often has a “civilisational” view of current conflicts. It is suspicious of the various Arab springs, which have brought Islamists to power. Moreover, the war in Libya was fought mainly by the French navy and air force, leaving the army marginalised. It now wants to reassert its pre-eminence. There is what one might call a “corporatist” dimension here that cannot be ignored. By intervening in Mali, the army is back where it thinks it belongs. After the withdrawal

much less costly, because it is tailored to fit al-Qaeda’s distinctive modus operandi. It would be absurd for the French to think they could evict al-Qaeda from the Maghreb by occupying territory: al-Qaeda would simply regroup a little further away. And if the aim is the destruction of these groups, that is also absurd. Given the small numbers of fighters involved (a few hundred) and given that alQaeda recruits internationally, it would be easy for them to take flight, to cross borders or to return to London or Toronto in jeans and without beards. AlQaeda is a nuisance but not a strategic threat. It would lose much

tervene, even in the absence of any bilateral assistance agreement. The fall of Bamako would damage French credibility badly and would open a Pandora’s box, with unimaginable consequences. In short, intervention is seen as the lesser evil. There are two further reasons why France has entered the conflict without reservations. First, there is François Hollande’s need to look like he’s boss and to put an end to the incessant comparisons with Nicolas Sarkozy, an activist president who had “his” war in Libya. Second is the pressure to intervene put on Hollande by the French army. The army did not feel at ease in Afghanistan,

from Afghanistan, it can show that it is indispensable and so protect itself against looming budget restrictions. A prolonged dearth of external operations could lead the government to question the usefulness of much of its defence spending (there is nothing outlandish about this: it is what is happening in Sweden, for instance, and most European countries are in the process of sacrificing their armed forces, the assumption being that, if it comes to the crunch, we can always rely on the Americans to do the job).—The writer is a Professor who analyses Mali’s growing turmoil which can severely affect neighbours.

There is nothing new or distinctive about the activities of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (Mujao) or any of the other small bands of international jihadists operating in the Sahel. The groups linked to al-Qaeda are nomadic, almost by definition – they are not anchored in the societies in which they operate.

An Eye Opener

Continental diplomatic wrestling

A Changing World Order

Readying Europe for This Global Age

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omprehensive Beijing Review’s latest interview with Bheki Langa, S African Ambadssador to Peoples Republic of China on changing world order, the first such frank comments: 2013 is an important year for South Africa. The country will

five years. It was this potential, combined with the economic power of Brazil, Russia, India and China, that will enable the BRICS grouping to pave the way for “a new global pattern focusing on South-South relations ... overriding previous East-West

tions accounts for nearly 20 percent of the world’s GDP and contributes half of the growth in the global economy. There is a huge amount of savings in the BRICS countries, which is not fully used. So the idea started there, it’s about how to use the huge amount of savings which are un-

financial architecture into one that is more equitable, balanced and rests on multi-lateralism. Those who constantly refer to this particular issue completely miss the point, namely, that BRICS is not all about size and numbers, but rather about ideas and ideology. BRICS is a re-

Eye-opener: Participants in a bilateral tour aimed at learning about South Korea’s atomic energy operations visit the Shin Kori plant in Ulsan, which faces the Sea of Japan. host the Fifth BRICS Summit in March and it also celebrates the 15th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations with China. On January 31, Bheki Langa, South African Ambassador to China, shared his thoughts on the upcoming BRICS Summit and relations between China and South Africa with Beijing Review. An edited transcript of his opinions follows: Beijing Review: What are your expectations for the Fifth BRICS Summit? Bheki Langa: BRICS and Africa—Partnership for Development, Integration and Industrialization will be the theme of the Fifth BRICS Summit taking place in Durban in March. South Africa’s accession to the BRICS grouping was in large part premised on the country’s role as a financial and logistical gateway to sub-Saharan Africa, as well as on the continent’s huge economic potential. Africa is the fastest growing power after Asia and offers the highest returns on investment of any region. The African continent is home to 60 percent of the world’s unused arable land. In 2010, six of the world’s fastest growing economies were located in Africa, and Africa’s output is expected to expand by 50 percent over the next four years. Economic growth is expected to expand by an average of 5.5 percent annually in the next

and North-South constructs and divisions.” This was in line with the underlying principle for South Africa’s partnership with BRICS, that of advancing the role of emerging economies in international relations, to ultimately help fashion a more equitable global political and financial architecture. With South Africa’s unique history and independent foreign

used. With its own development bank, the BRICS countries can work together to shape a new international monetary system. As export-led economies, the BRICS countries feel the impact sharply each time global financial crises hit. Drawing on our experience with successful reforms, it’s necessary for us to set up such a bank for our common

sponse to the current global political and financial architectures, which are dominated by certain players. South Africa has a proven record of contributing to the discourse of multi-lateralism and advocating for the rights of emerging economies. Among developing countries we are still the biggest investor on the African continent. This means that, although our

2013 is an important year for South Africa. The country will host the Fifth BRICS Summit in March and it also celebrates the 15th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations with China. On January 31, Bheki Langa, South African Ambassador to China, shared his thoughts on the upcoming BRICS Summit and relations between China and South Africa with Beijing Review. policy, we bring our own experience and perspective to the BRICS collaboration. BRICS members suggested establishing a BRICS development bank at their last summit. How do you feel about this suggestion and what role could this new bank play if it is established? To build a BRICS development bank is not a new idea. It was talked about at the G20 Summit in Seoul in 2010. With a total population accounting for about 40 percent of the world’s total, the total GDP of BRICS na-

development according to our own conditions. Some have suggested that because South Africa is the smallest of the BRICS nations in terms of population and GDP, it may not deserve a place in this club of leading developing nations. How do you respond to that? The rationale for South Africa’s consideration was a matter of crucial importance to BRICS Member States—namely the role of emerging economies in advancing the restructuring of the global political, economic and

economy is small in relation to other BRICS members, we have attributes that have positioned us well in the world and which will allow us to bring special insight to the work of BRICS. As a member of BRICS, how can South Africa promote its own and other African countries’ economic development and represent the interests of the African continent? Our country, as a member of the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa bloc (BRICS), is playing an important role in the shifting and distribu-

tion of international power. This shift is expected to give rise to a multi-polar world order. Our interaction with fellow BRICS states is premised on three levels of engagement: firstly, national, where we advance our national interests. Secondly, regional, where we promote regional integration and interaction with specific emphasis on the African Union mandate to promote infrastructure development across the continent. And, thirdly, on a global level, where we advocate for a more inclusive global governance system. What role do China and South Africa play in each others development plans? What steps are South Africa taking to scale up its relationship with China? The bilateral relationship between the two countries is grounded in the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership Agreement (CSPA) signed by our respective leaders in August 2010, which continues to guide interactions between South Africa and China. As partners, the two countries can learn from each other and develop the best possible models for addressing the issue of socio-economic development in our respective countries. In terms of bilateral trade, China has become South Africa’s largest trade partner. Both sides are looking at ways of encouraging further trade, but are also concentrating on the quality of trade rather than the quantity. We enjoy cooperation in numerous fields and, as a reflection of the growing ties between the two countries, in July 2012 our leaders proposed the establishment of a joint work group to coordinate the implementation of various bilateral projects. Xavier Carim, Deputy Director General at the SA Department of Trade and Industry, has said that South Africa wants to align its interests to support the integration agenda in Africa, rather than just focusing on access to resources. What does this mean to you? Trade between our countries is skewed in favor of China, and so South Africa is running a trade deficit with China. Through discussions with the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, South Africa and China have agreed to promote value-added exports from South Africa to China in order to lower the trade deficit and diversify trade away from primary commodities to include more manufactured goods. In this light, South Africa will certainly be measuring future successes in trade relations by evaluating the reduction in the trade deficit and the increases in value-added exports from South Africa to China. —Courtesy: Beijing Review.

CARL BILDT

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urope is taking the neces sary economic steps to en sure peace within its own borders. But, as Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt writes, Europeans cannot have peace at home if it has turmoil just beyond its borders. Europe must rise to the challenge of helping to create as large a sphere of well-governed and reasonably prosperous states around it as possible. Next year, it will be 100 years since a fateful shot in Sarajevo unleashed those guns of August, which were made fa-

metropolis in a rapidly growing economy of a country with its new free voice in the councils of Europe and the world. At the same time, we have been struggling — and still are — with getting the mechanisms of deeper economic, financial and monetary integration right, notably within the eurozone area. But for all the present doom, I find it important to point out that decisive steps have been taken. Substantial reforms to budgets, labor markets and public administration have been agreed upon by national parliaments. Europe has provided an an-

definition old hat and therefore not a “news” item. Call me a Europe optimist, if you will. The economic turnaround battle will be won. That is why, in my view, it is important not to overemphasize the eurozone’s current troubles. They are important, but there is a larger agenda to be aware of. Simply put, we Europeans cannot have peace at home if we have turmoil just outside our door. And here we face huge tasks in the decades ahead. Seeking peace is now (thankfully) no longer about ourselves. It is primarily about how secure

Europe is taking the necessary economic steps to ensure peace within its own borders. But, as Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt writes, Europeans cannot have peace at home if it has turmoil just beyond its borders. Europe must rise to the challenge of helping to create as large a sphere of well-governed and reasonably prosperous states around it as possible. mous by Barbara Tuchman and the then-British Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey. Call me a Europe optimist, if you will. The economic turnaround battle will be won. Looking out from his magnificent office, Grey saw the lamps go out over all of Europe and wondered when they would come on again. What followed was decades of destruction, dictatorship, division and darkness. For all the progress achieved in Europe since then, there have also been substantial setbacks. Quite late in the century, we could not prevent a decade of conflict from erupting in the Balkans, much as had been the case near the beginning of the century, with all the human suffering that followed. Let us not forget the positive, though. What at the time of German reunification was still the European Community changed into the far more ambitious European Union, due to having 28 member nations, including the accession of Croatia this summer. What we have done is to provide an anchor for open societies, open economies, the rule of law and freedom for the 100 million people living in Central and Eastern Europe. These values had been denied to them for two full generations and sometimes much longer. The change has been nothing short of astounding. Take the Polish capital Warsaw. Not that long ago it was a grey city in an oppressed country with a decaying economy. Now, it is a bustling and colorful

chor for open societies, open economies, the rule of law and freedom for the 100 million people living in Central and Eastern Europe. are being reduced. The burden of debt is gradually being tackled. The labor market reforms will show positive results, even though they do take time to come to full fruition. That is not

Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt political ineptitude — rather, it follows the economic textbooks. We simply need to understand the asynchronicity of the laws of economics and the media. The latter always focus on transmitting the pain to the public at large, which is undeniably associated with these measures. The pain is immediate, and the payoff always comes later. The pain is news. The positive result, when it materializes, is by

our neighbors are. We need to create as large a sphere of wellgoverned and reasonably prosperous states around us as possible. After the integration of the 100 million people of Central and Eastern Europe, we now have the 100 million people of Southeastern Europe knocking on our door. Turkey, with its vibrant economy and society, is the most important of these countries. Towards Europe’s South, we face a Levant in turmoil and tragedy. The civil war in Syria kills hundreds every day. The Middle East peace process is neither a process nor on the road to peace. Egypt is struggling vehemently with its future. We need to understand the asynchronicity of the laws of economics and the media. The pain is immediate and newsworthy. Success, which comes later, is old hat. And, immediately South of the Sahara, the Sahel region’s fragility was recently vividly illustrated in Mali. Helping to stabilize these regions and countries is a momentous task. We are talking about stability-promoting and state-assisting efforts that will have to be sustained for decades in order to have any chance of success. All of the tasks on the European agenda today are steep ones — reforming our economies, strengthening our integration, developing our institutions, and strengthening our neighborhood by promoting integration, rule of law and prosperous economies. —Globalist.


PML-N nominates three for caretaker PM

Sindh govt

Commander of the Qatar Emiri Air Force visits Air after due consultation Headquarters minister with the opposition parties and

From Page 1 dents of terrorism continued in the city despite the presence of 11,000 Rangers personnel who enjoyed special policing powers. The court ordered the Rangers’ chief to use his 11,000 troops to safeguard the city’s entry points and not allow “a single bullet to enter”. Rangers’ Director General Rizwan Akhtar said his troops conducted overnight operations and arrested 59 suspects in the blast. The court ordered the country’s three main intelligence agencies, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Military Intelligence (MI) and the Intelligence Bureau (IB), to submit reports on Friday on the blast. The court also issued notices to officials of the federal government and intelligence agencies summoning them to appear in court on Mar 8. The court also instructed for the suspension of Malir Police chief SP Rao Anwar. The Chief Justice had taken suo motu notice on an office note sent by the SC Registrar based on clippings of different newspapers over a deadly bombing last week in Karachi’s Abbas Town in which around 50 people reportedly lost their lives and almost 200 others were injured. Anwer Mansoor Khan, lawyer for Sindh provincial government, told a Supreme Court hearing in Karachi on Wednesday that police chief Fayyaz Leghari was being removed from his post, along with one of his deputies. Leghari was also removed from his post in June 2011, but was later reinstated, after security forces shot dead an unarmed man in a public park. Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry slammed the government and security agencies for negligence, demanding to know why heads had not rolled after Sunday’s attack. “We’ll not allow anyone to enjoy public office at the cost of public taxes and do nothing to safeguard their lives and properties,” Chaudhry said. “Those who died in the blast and others who are continuously being targeted in other terrorist acts are not foreigners. They are our own blood, they pay taxes for our salaries.”—Agencies

Int’l meddling From Page 1 combat operations in Afghanistan by the end of 2014 and is encouraging the Afghan government to engage the Taliban militants for a peaceful end to the conflict. The Taliban, however, appear reluctant to work with Kabul. Jilani added that Pakistan’s army and intelligence agencies were in close contact with their Afghan counterparts over cooperation on security-related issues. The foreign secretary said Pakistan had allocated funds for development projects in Afghanistan, adding that 20 million dollars were for assisting the Afghan National Army (ANA).

Senate passes 24th Constitutional Amend Bill From Page 1 and projects of land development for the welfare of the bereaved families of martyrs, war injured, disabled and other persons of the defence forces. The said bill was also moved by Minister for Law and Justice Farooq H. Naek and was unanimously passed by the Senate. The National Assembly has already passed the bill.

would be replying to Prime ISLAMABAD—Major General he Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf’s

Mubarak Mohammad AlKumait Al Khayarin, Commander of the Qatar Emiri Air Force visited Air Headquarters, Islamabad today. The distinguished guest was received by Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt, Chief of the Air Staff, Pakistan Air Force. On his arrival, a smartly turned out contingent of Pakistan Air Force presented the Guard of Honour. Later he was introduced to Principal Staff Officers of Pakistan Air Force. He also called on Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt, Chief of the Air Staff, Pakistan Air Force, in his office. Both the dignitaries reISLAMABAD: Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt, Chief of the Air Staff, PAF receiving mained together for some time Major General Mubarak Mohammad Al-Kumait al Khayarin, Commander of the Qatar and discussed matters of profesEmiri Air Force, at Air Headquarters on Wednesday. sional interest. The distinguished guest also attended a briefing at Air Headquarters on the organization, role and functioning of Pakistan From Page 1 law and order and Abbas Town being gutted. The smoke that As a result of firing, 4 per- Air Force.—Agencies Bomb Blast tragedy. had been visible to the naked son shad been gunned down On the other hand, the Chief eyes from many miles had cre- while a ffew sustained bullet of the Army Staff General ated panic among the citizens injuries. Ashfaq Pervez Kiyani was also and the rumours had spread that Children and teachers rein the city and had received the rioters had torched vehicles. mained stranded inside schools briefing on city situation at the However, the fear of the citi- for hours as they had no other corps headquarters in the city. zens for seeing vehicles torched option but to wait till the situaFrom Page 1 The untoward situation in was turned into reality as the ri- tion improves outside. the city was not unexpected but oters had also set a few passenThe gunmen also forced the representatives has been the intensity of the situation was, ger coaches on fire. petrol pumps across the city to established in the ECP to ensure thorough scrutiny of however, not expected to be exThe untoward situation that shut down. tremely horrible. The entire city had instilled panic and fear Fear gripped the citizens, as the candidates. He said the majority of the had been shut down just in an among the hearts of the citizens they remained clueless as to hour. had worsened when the passen- what caused the Karachi’s situ- country wants implementation The untoward situation in ger coaches had also vanished ation which was completely of articles 62 and 63 of the conthe city was followed by the in- from roads all of a sudden. Men, peaceful till afternoon to get so stitution for holding free, fair and transparent elections. cident of fire that erupted in a women, boys and girls were bad within moments. Responding to a question, godown of New Fruit and Veg- wandering from here to there in Meanwhile, businesses etable Market located on Super order to get a cab to reach home were also forced to close down the ECP secretary said that Highway. The fire tenders from safely. However, the cab driv- in Hyderabad, Mirpurkhas and nomination paper draft has been all departments were summoned ers also started making hay Nawabshah, after similar inci- sent to the Law Ministry after to slake the flames and to pre- while the sun shine and de- dents of firing coincided with making few changes. The ECP secretary said the vent the remaining market from manded extra tariff. those of Karachi. Election Commission wants elections on time. He said making of laws is not the responsibility of the ECP, rather From Page 1 In its ruling on Wednesday, the Law Ministry was responthe mainly liberal and secular opposition, and at the same time dates, which had been due to the administrative court said sible for the same. protests against President start Saturday, would be delayed parliament had not observed the Election Commission of right of the constitutional court Pakistan (ECP) has taken notice Mohammed Morsi and his rul- in light of the ruling. ing Muslim Brotherhood have That could delay the entire to review the election law, in- of new appointments, provision mounted around the country. election process. The multi- cluding any revisions in it, to of loans and job regularization In the Suez Canal city of phase election was supposed to ensure it conforms to the con- by the Sindh, Punjab and FedPort Said, scene of some of the begin in April 22 and last for stitution. When the judge read eral governments. the verdict, lawyers in the court heaviest protests, a new rounds nearly two months. In a statement, Director of violence entered a fourth day “As it stands, we don’t have room broke out in chants of General ECP Syed Sher Afgan as protesters clashed with police elections, even if temporarily,” “God is great.” said Punjab government reguA voice in the room said: larized 100,000 employees of even as the military tried to in- said Negad Borai, a rights actervene to stop the unrest. tivist. “This reinforces the po- “We are regaining the state grade 1-16, while the Sindh govback.” The court verdict was in re- litical crisis.” ernment provided loans to Egypt’s political crisis has 300,000 youths under Waseela sponse to dozens of complaints The ruling Islamists have questioning the legality of the presented the election as a step been mired in various judicial Rozgar Scheme. law organizing the election, toward bringing stability to the disputes, including an outcry He said both the provincial which Morsi’s Islamist allies crisis-ridden country. But their among the opposition following governments violated ECP orpushed through parliament. call of the vote amid the wave Morsi’s decision last November ders, which is tantamount to afThe court ruled that the pro- of protests that began in No- to grant himself immunity from fect the election results. cess of the law’s passage was vember and has since spiraled the judicary’s supervision. He The ECP also took notice of improper. Presiding judge had seemed to heighten the cri- later revoked this right, in the making Farooq Awan as memface of massive protests. Abdel-Meguid el-Muqanen said sis. ber finance of PTA by the fedAt the heart of the election eral government. that the law must be reviewed The opposition had called a by the Supreme Constitutional boycott of the vote, saying now dispute is a loosely worded arThe commission has sought Court to determine its confor- was not the time for an election ticle in the newly adopted con- reply in three and seven days mity to the constitution. He and that Morsi must first loosen stitution that deprives the con- from Federal, Punjab and Sindh ruled that, in the meantime, the his grip on power. The opposi- stitutional court from review- governments respectively.— presidential decree calling for tion has accused Morsi’s Mus- ing election laws after parlia- INP elections based on the law was lim Brotherhood of monopoliz- ment passes them. The adminannulled. ing rule and imposing their own istrative court appeared to be Morsi’s legal adviser, decisions, and say the group has arguing that the article means Mohammed Fouad Gadallah, shown itself as incapable of run- parliament must consult the constitutional court before said the state would appeal the ning the country. administrative court ruling. At Morsi’s supporters, in turn, passing the law. Initially, parliament sent the the same time, he said, it will say Islamists have a right to rule submit the law to the constitu- after repeated election victories draft bill to the constitutional tional court for review. The ap- and accuse the opposition of try- court, which rejected it, asking peal aims to establish the right ing to use street unrest to reverse lawmakers to amend nearly a of the president to call the elec- their wins. Even without the dozen articles, including the tions, which the court called into opposition boycott, Islamists drawing of districts.—AP question by annulling the de- would likely win a majority in cree. the upcoming parliament elecHe said that during the ap- tions. peals, the government would The opposition had opposed respect the ruling suspending the the election law, expressing conelection. “The verdict will be cerns over gerrymandering by respected and implemented,” he the Brotherhood, which domitold The Associated Press. nates the parliament, and comFrom Page 1 He said the opening of the plaining it was not consulted Corps Headquarters Karachi application period for candi- before it was drafted. over the dangerous law and order situation in the city, the Army Chief ex-pressed concerns. He was quoted as saying that the enemies of the country were targeting its financial hub to dampen the economy. He also remembered 5000 martyred troops of the army during the war on terror and said rest of their colleagues are ready to sacrifice their lives for the country. “It is the foremost duty of Pakistan army to safeguard the solidarity of the country and the army will fulfil this responsibility at all costs,” the chief was quoted as addressing the briefing at Ka-rachi Corps Headquarters. The sources told Pakistan Ob-server that the Chief rushed back to the GHQ in Rawalpindi “the way generals move during the fire-fighting season.” The sources hinted that a crucial meeting be-tween President Asif Ali Zardari and General Kayani was on cards wherein the fate of law and order across country would be decided.

Guns rule Karachi—No govt in sight

Polls schedule after 10 days: Secy ECP

Court suspends Egypt’s parliament election

Army for clean-up before polls

letter on Thursday(today). He said the name of Rasool Baksh Paleejo has been floated for the slot of caretaker PM on the recommendations of opposition parties. After consultation with PTI through Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan Secretary General Liaquat Balouch, the said three names would be conveyed to the Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf through a letter, he added. He said consultations have also been made with those parties which have no representation in the Parliament. Nisar also rejected all media reports regarding back door talks between the PPP and PML-N and stated that there is no back channel dialogue going on regarding caretaker setup as the PML-N does not believe in such channels. The Opposition leader said all out efforts have been made to propose the names of impartial persons for caretaker PM. Answering a question, he said the PML-N wants elections for National and Provin-

From Page 1 cial Assemblies on same day. Nisar alleged the PPP-led government for ‘stealing’ election process in Sindh and Balochistan. If due consultation was not made with the opposition parties in Sindh and Balochistan for caretaker chief ministers there, the decision about dissolution of Punjab government would be taken after due consideration, he warned. How the MQM could be dubbed as opposition as its governor is still serving in the Sindh government, Nisar questioned? Under a well-thought-out strategy the PPP has allotted opposition benches to its allies who enjoyed five years on treasury benches, whereas the government was reluctant to appoint opposition leaders in Sindh and Balochistan assemblies unless their tenure ended, he said. According to him, the ‘genuine opposition’ in Sindh includes PML-F, Jamaat-eIslami and other parties, but they are not being consulted which is unacceptable. The PML-N leader slammed the PPP-led government for their bid of ‘pre-poll rigging’ in Sindh through former allies.

MQM cancels strike for indefinite period

To another question, Nisar said that Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif is going to write a letter to Opposition Leader in Punjab Assembly Raja Riaz for caretaker Chief Minister in Punjab. Expressing grave concern over state of economy in the country, Nisar said the PPP-led government through Finance Ministry and FBR are causing dents on poor national economy so that new government fails to deliver. He regretted that new gates are being opened to whiten the black money while the PML-N would oppose tooth and nail the proposed Tax Amnesty Bill. He said FBR chairman is a political appointee and political aide of President Zardari, alleging that the chairman was clearing cases of influential people through deals. He invited the attention of Supreme Court and Election Commission of Pakistan towards what he claimed rampant corruption in Ministry of Finance and said national kitty is being used for personal objectives. He also alleged that a special fund is being created for PPP.

Int’l Women’s Day tomorrow

From Page 1 leave the people on the mercy of the terrorists.” The protest campaign would continue till the moment the terrorists were arrested and in this regard, the public transporters, traders and businessmen should join the MQM and keep all kinds of trade and other business activities suspended quite voluntarily. He said that the MQM was fully aware of the consequences of the problems that would inflict the citizens but amid the devastating circumstances, the MQM believed that it was the high time that the traders, businessmen community, people from every walks of life should stand united against the rampant sabotage activities done by the terrorists. He said that the frigid attitude of the leaders of political parties over the sad tragedy of Abbas town was regrettable because they had been sympathizing with the perpetrators rather than standing beside the aggrieved families. He lambasted the government and the law enforcement agencies for failing to arrest the terrorists that had carried the sabotage activities one after another. The terrorists that had carried out two major sabotage activities in Quetta, one on Alamdar Road and the other on Kirmani Road were yet to be arrested. He appealed to the people of the city, transporters of goods and passenger transport, traders

and businessmen to show solidarity with the aggrieved families of the victims of Abbas Town. He said that it was the national duty of the government to rehabilitate the affected families failing which the MQM would fill the gap and would perform the rehabilitation work on its own because the MQM could not leave the people that had elected it for many times. Waseem Aftab while speaking on the occasion said that it was very sad to note that there were some political and religious parties that launched a Train March from Karachi to Rawalpindi but they did not come to the Abbas Town to show sympathy to the affected people.

LAHORE—Like other parts of the globe, the International Women’s Day will be observed here on Friday. Various NGO’s, women’s groups, women wings of political parties, governmental departments and educational institutes will organize various programmes in the provincial capital. Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Standing Committee on Women Entrepreneurs Development and Resource Centre will organize programme to mark the day from March 8 to 10, aimed to promote women entrepreneurship and for the awareness of women empowerment in the country.—APP


No disengagement from the region: Olson

Anti-polio drive security tightened PESHAWAR—Security has been beefed up for the vaccinators and other relevant staff deployed to administer polio vaccines to under five children in provincial capital. Talking to media persons a senior police official said on Wednesday that 20 to 25 polio teams are working in the jurisdiction of each police station. SPs and SHOs are supervising the security of the teams. He said that three police personnel were performing their duties with each polio team while more contingent of police have been deployed in outskirts and sensitive areas of Peshawar. The antipolio campaign continued for the third consecutive day in different areas of Peshawar and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). The health authorities intend to administer polio vaccine to 700,000 children and seven thousands teams have been formed to achieve the target. However, 200,000 children in South and North Waziristan tribal areas would be deprived of the polio drops on security grounds. 22,000 teams have been formed to administer polio vaccine to 800,000 children in Peshawar. —INP

NAB to take action against defaulters ISLAMABAD—NAB has started its strategy to initiate the legal proceedings through issuance of notices to all electricity bills defaulters. Chairman NAB Admiral (Retd) Fasih Bokhari in a detailed meeting Wednesday with Minister for Water and Power, Ch. Ahmed Mukhtar decided to take action against electricity bills defaulters (private consumers). In this regard terms of reference have been decided between NAB and Ministry of Water and Power . Ministry of Water and Power will refer all cases to the NAB and the Bureau will take action under National Accountability Ordinance 1999. MoWP will provide list of electricity bills defaulters by Monday evening, March 11, 2013.—INP

Well toxic gas claims two brothers’ lives LORALAI—Two brothers on Wednesday suffocated to death due to poisonous gas filled in a well during cleaning process in Anmbrig area of Loralai. According to father Kamal Khan, his two sons named Nasrullah Khan and Muhammad Khan went down to well for cleaning it and did not come up from the well after many hours. They were retrieved from the well in unconscious condition by local people. They were rushed to nearby hospital and the doctor pronounced them dead. The hospital sources said that they died due to toxic gas filled in the well. —INP

4 including young girl shot dead KARACHI—At least four more persons, including a girl, were killed in unstoppable violence in the metropolis. According to police, a 40-year-old man, Qadir Hussain, was gunned down near Eye Hospital in Korangi. In another firing incident, Rashid, 38, was killed in Landhi sector 36B. Abdul Wahid Jan, 25, was shot dead in Memon Goth, Malir. A bullet-riddled body of an 18-yearold girl, Aneesa, was found from a ground near Al-Asif Square, Sohrab Goth. —NNI

RAWALPINDI: PML-F chief Pir Sibghatullah Shah Pagara Rasheedi, flanked by Awami Muslim League President Sheikh Rashid, talking to media after a meeting at Lal Haweli.

PPP cannot secure more than 50 NA seats: Pagara STAFF REPORTER RAWALPINDI—The Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F) chief Pir Pagara has said that it would be a miracle if the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) manages to secure more than 50 seats in the National Assembly in the upcoming polls. Speaking to the media at Lal Haweli in Rawalpindi, the PML-F chief said public sentiment was polarized against the PPP. “I have been in Punjab for past five days. I met a lot of dif-

ferent people. In Sindh we had the perception that the PPP will take a clear majority in polls. But after looking at the reaction of people in different areas, I am not so sure.” The Pir Pagara in a matterof-fact manner said that it would be very difficult for the PPP to secure enough seats to form a government in the centre. “Maybe my figures are not accurate, but there are around 340 seats in the National Assembly, and if the PPP manages to secure even 50 seats in the upcoming polls, it will be a miracle.”

Dozen militants killed in Orakzai TARIQ SAEED PESHAWA—As the operation

against the miscreants challenging the writ of the government in Aurakzai agency continued, bloody clashes between the trouble makers and the security forces in Momozai area of the agency Wednesday resulted in killing of at least a dozen militants while an Army officer and four soldiers also sustained injuries. This has brought the number of militants mowed down during three days ground and air offensive to more than thirty. The PAF jet planes during strikes on militants’ positions in upper and lower and upper Aurakzai agencies on Monday and Tuesday had left more than fifteen alleged terrorists dead. Reports reaching here said, the security forces during operation against the militants in Momozai area in upper Aurakzai their country have not yet regis- clashed with the miscreants that tered as refugees, suggesting the led to the killing of at least 12 total number well exceeds 1 mil- militants. lion, said Adrian Edwards, a spokesman for the U.N. refugee agency. Syria’s uprising began in March 2011 with protests against President Bashar Assad’s authoritarian rule. When the government cracked down on demonstrators, I SLAMABAD —The Supreme the opposition took up arms and Court on Wednesday directed the the conflict turned into a full- chairman of Federal Bureau of blown civil war. The U.N. esti- Revenue (FBR), Ali Arshad mates that more than 70,000 Hakeem, to recover money from the accused in the International people have been killed. The pace of refugees fleeing Security Assistance Force (Isaf) the battered country has picked missing containers’ case. According to a private TV up dramatically over the past three months. In Lebanon, 19- channel, the case was heard by a year-old Bushra, a mother of two, three-member bench of the apex became the millionth Syrian refu- court, headed by Chief Justice gee registered in the region since Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice the conflict began.—AP Sheikh Azmat Saeed.—NNI “It is not the point of what other parties have worked for, rather it is the PPP that has destroyed itself in the way it has run the country so far.” The PML-F chief said that any government that is elected into power will have to face the after effects of the incumbent government’s five year term. “They have pushed the country far back. The situation is so bad that even the government that is elected into power, it will be a headache for them to take the country forward.” .

UN: number of Syrian refugees reaches 1m BEIRUT—The number of Syrians who have fled their war-ravaged country and are seeking assistance has now topped the 1 million mark, the U.N. refugee agency said Wednesday, warning that Syria is heading toward a “fullscale disaster.” In Syria, activists said rebels completed their takeover of the northern city of Raqqa after seizing two key security buildings there. If confirmed, it would be the first major city to fall completely into rebel hands since Syria’s conflict began nearly two years ago. The U.N., meanwhile, said about 20 peacekeepers in a force that monitors the cease-fire between Israel and Syria in the Golan Heights were detained Wednesday by about 30 armed fighters. U.N. deputy spokesman Eduardo del

Buey said the U.N. observers were stopped near an observation post which sustained damage and was evacuated last weekend following heavy combat. In Geneva, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres, said that the figure of 1 million refugees is based on reports from his agency’s field offices in countries neighboring Syria that have provided safe haven for refugees escaping the civil war. “With a million people in flight, millions more displaced internally, and thousands of people continuing to cross the border every day, Syria is spiraling toward full-scale disaster,” Guterres said. Syria’s population is about 22 million. In addition, several hundred thousand Syrians who have fled

Missing containers: SC directs FBR chief to recover money

Naval Exercise Aman-13

Naval Chief visits foreign navy ships KARACHI—Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Asif Sandila Wednesday visited different ships of foreign navies participating in the Multinational Exercise AMAN-13. Upon his arrival, the Naval Chief was presented guard of honor by smartly turned out contingents of the respective ships. He met officers and men onboard and appreciated their participation in this international

exercise. The Naval Chief visited ships of friendly countries of Turkey, China, UAE, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, UK, Australia, Bangladesh and Italy where he was briefed on the operational capabilities of the visiting navies. While recording his remarks in the visitors’ book, the Naval Chief stated that the exercise AMAN would further

strengthen ties among the participating navies and help devise a common strategy to curb the menace of terrorism at high seas. During his visit to Chinese navy ship, Admiral Sandila observed that Pakistan and China enjoy long standing friendly ties. He hoped that these cordial relations would be further consolidated and mutual cooperation in defence sector would also be enhanced in future.—NNI

ISLAMABAD —Richard Olson, US Ambassador to Pakistan, said on Wednesday that 2014 is not an exit year for the United States and that the US will not disengage from the region. In a speech at a conference on the situation in Afghanistan post2014 at the National University of Modern Languages, Ambassador Richard Olson stated that “2014 is not an exit. It is a continuation of a long-term commitment and engagement with the Afghan people. 2014 is not 1989. The United States will not disengage from the region.” Ambassador Olson noted that, “The international community’s financial and political commitment, and the nearly $20 billion in pledges for security and development assistance that have already been made through 2024, stands out as a defining difference between 2014 and 1989. The United States, and nations across the globe, have unambiguously committed to Afghanistan’s future.” “As President Obama and President Karzai agreed in Washington, Afghan-led peace and reconciliation is the surest way to end violence and ensure the lasting stability of Afghanistan and the region,” Ambassador Olson recalled. “The U.S. role is to help advance such a process, including by supporting an office in Qatar, where negotiations can take place between the Afghan High Peace Council and authorized representatives of the Taliban.” In order to facilitate a negotiated peace, Ambassador Olson called for the United States and Pakistan to work together with purpose, noting, “For the sake of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the re-

Gilani’s close aide Ahmed Hussain Dehar joins PML-N SALIM A HMED L AHORE —Member Federal Council of Pakistan People’s Party and MPA from PA-200 Multan Ahmed Hussain Dehar called on Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif and expressing full confidence in the leadership of Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif announced to join Pakistan Muslim League-N. Chairman Lahore Transport Company Khawaja Ahmed Hassan and Advisor Zaeem Hussain Qadri were also present on the occasion. Ahmed Hussain Dehar was the close companion of former Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani and President PPP Multan Division from 1997. Ahmed Hussain Dehar has sent his resignation from membership of provincial assembly to the Speaker Punjab Assembly. Welcoming the joining of

US Army to leave $6b worth of gear in Afghanistan W ASHINGTO N —The U.S. that, it plans to bring home about Army is planning to leave about $6 billion worth of equipment in Afghanistan after 2014. The service is in the middle of planning a major “retrograde” that will account for the bulk of the vehicles, gear, and other materiel after more than 11 years of war. The Army has approximately 1.38 million pieces of equipment in Afghanistan valued at roughly $28 billion. Of

757,000 pieces, or about $21 billion worth of materiel, and “divest itself” of about 628,000 pieces of equipment valued at about $6 billion, according to Wayne Hall, an Army spokesman at the Pentagon. “We will bring back those items that will support the Army’s approved force,” Hall said. “We will also bring home items with security trade restrictions.” —INP

PPP lambastes MQM for politicizing Abbas Town tragedy IRFAN ALIGI KARACHI—Government

of Sindh had on the directives of Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah deposited Rs250 million in the accounts of the local government of Karachi. The Abbas Town bomb blast was a national tragedy that had saddened people across the board. However, it was not just to use the tragedy for scoring political points. There were certain elements that wanted to spoil the peace and tranquility in the city and had caused the city to shut, which was a shameful political maneouvour. There were cer-

tain people that had quit the government and had been levelling allegation on the government that it had failed.” Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Karachi Chapter President MNSA Abdul Qadir Patel, Deputy Speaker of Sindh Assembly Shahla Raza and Karachi Commissioner Syed Hashim Raza Zaidi said this in a joint press conference they addressed Wednesday at Sindh Chief Minister House. Special assistants to the Sindh CM Waqar Mehdi, Rashid Hussain Rabbani and Najmi Alam were present. Shahla Raza said that a survey had been completed to determine the extent of the losses.

The affected people were relatives of the people in the government but the relief activities were impeded under a planned conspiracy so as to defame the government and character assassination was also conducted through electronic media. The government would not sit idle until the last of the affected was not rehabilitated. Karachi Commissioner Syed Hashim Raza Zaidi on the occasion said that the estimated loss was amounted to Rs120.75 million and 50 were lost and 140 were injured in the Abbas Town Bomb Blast tragedy. The Commissioner said that 75 apartments and 65 shops were destroyed in the tragedy.

There were 7 unidentified victims, identity process of whom was being started through the collection of samples for DNA. MNA Abdul Qadir Patel said that the Abbas Town tragedy was a very sad incident in the history of the country that had traumatized the aggrieved families and the government. However, the entire area was converted into a No Go area and elected representatives were barred from reaching the affected area, which was a planned conspiracy. PPP leaders Shahla Raza, Shazia Atta Marri, Faisal Raza Abidi and others were not allowed to enter the area. Those that had prevented the PPP

gion, Pakistan’s full support to an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned peace process is needed now.” Ambassador Olson also reiterated the United States commitment to a cooperative and long-term partnership with Pakistan. “The U.S. relationship with Pakistan is not shaped solely by our commitments and responsibilities in Afghanistan. This partnership is far broader than any one issue, and centered on areas of mutual interest,” he said. “It is not dictated solely by the requirements of today, but rooted in the joint realization that the security and prosperity of our peoples is better served when we remain engaged, and cooperate.” For Pakistan, supporting progress toward peace in Afghanistan is not a matter of altruism, but is instead a critical sovereign interest. “I need only cite your civilian and military leaders who have stated clearly and repeatedly that continued violence and in-

leaders and did not allow them to start relief and rehabilitation activities and criticised the government were team B of the terrorists that carried out the Abbas Town tragedy. He said that the destroyed buildings would be reconstructed and after necessary legal procedures, the aggrieved families would be given the compensation money. It was said that those who had recently parted ways with the government were now levelling false allegations against the government for its failure and were closing the city under a planned conspiracy.

PML-N by Ahmed Hussain Dehar, Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif said that the party will further strengthen in the area. The Chief Minister said that due to the politics of public service, PML-N has become the most popular party of the country and Zar Baba Forty Thieves will be given crushing defeat in the forthcoming general elections. He said people are fully aware that who committed corruption and who served the masses. He said that Rs.260 billion have been spent during the last five years for the progress and prosperity of the people of South Punjab. On this occasion, Ahmed Hussain Dehar said that he has joined PML-N unconditionally and sent his resignation from membership of provincial assembly to the Speaker Punjab Assembly.

creased instability in Afghanistan equates to increased instability and violence in Pakistan. We agree and are acutely aware of that nexus”, he said. Sustainable peace in Afghanistan is not only good for Afghanistan, but offers the promise of significant dividends for regional development. We are encouraged by the growing scope of engagement between Pakistan and Afghanistan and hope we can work together to advance a common vision for peace and prosperity in Pakistan and across the region. He assured that the United States will remain committed to ensuring a stable and peaceful Afghanistan. And we will continue to view the U.S.Pakistan partnership as one of critical and growing importance. We will also maintain cooperation with Pakistan in our joint efforts to counter extremism, combat terrorism, and protect both our peoples from the scourge of senseless violence.—Online

Musharraf attack case

Court revokes death sentence of two convicts ISLAMABAD—Supreme Court on Wednesday revoked death sentences for two accused in a case pertaining to the attack on former president Pervez Musharraf. A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry had reserved the verdict in the case on February 28 against the procedure adopted by a military court to enhance the sentence of Rana Naveed and Amir Sohail who were convicted for their role in the suicide attack. However, the apex court maintained Rana Naveed’s life imprisonment and Amir Sohail’s 20 year imprisonment sentences. Field General Court Martial (FGCM) on July 21, 2005 had awarded sentence to the two accused of the case. Naveed was awarded life imprisonment, whereas Sohail was awarded 20year incarceration..—INP


Brain tests show child wealth gap

T

HE brains of children from low-in come families process information differently to those of their wealthier counterparts, US research suggests. Normal nine and 10year-olds from rich and poor backgrounds had differing electrical activity in a part of the brain linked to problem solving. The Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience study was described as a “wake-up call” about the impact of deprivation. A UK researcher said it could shed light on early brain development. The 26 children in the study, conducted at the University of California, Berkeley, were measured using an electroencephalograph (EEG), which measured activity in the “prefrontal cortex” of the brain. Half were from low income homes, and half from high income families. During the test, an image the children had not been briefed to expect was flashed onto a screen, and their brain responses were measured. Those from lower income families showed a lower prefrontal cortex response to it than those from wealthier households. Dr Mark Kishiyama, one of the researchers, said: “The low socioeconomic kids were not detecting or processing the visual stimuli as well - they were not getting that extra boost from the pre-

frontal cortex.” Since the children were, in health terms, normal in every way, the researchers suspected that “stressful environments” created by low socioeconomic status might be to blame. Previous studies have suggested that children in low-income families are spoken to far less - on average hearing 30 million fewer words by the age of four. Professor Thomas Boyce, another of the researchers, said that talking more to children could boost prefrontal cortex development. “We are certainly not blaming lower socioeconomic families for not talking to their kids - there are probably a zillion reasons why that happens.” His colleague, Professor Robert Knight, added: “This is a wake-up call - it’s not just that these kids are poor and more likely to have health problems, but they might actually not be getting full brain development from the stressful and relatively impoverished environment associated with low socioeconomic status.”He said that with “proper intervention and training”, improvements could be made, even in older children.Dr Emese Nagy, from the University of Dundee, said that it was a “pioneering” study which could aid understanding of how environment could affect brain development.

ISLAMABAD: A boy walks past a broken road at G-7/2 which may cause any severe accident.

Action against unregistered NGOs in Capital

Poetry book ‘Benazir’ launched CITY REPORTER

ISLAMABAD—Federal MinisI SLAMABAD —The govern- ter for Religious Affairs Syed

ISLAMABAD: An attractive view of seasonal flowers flourishing and blooming in a local park marking the spring season.

Rescue 15 receives 23,674 calls during Feb I S L A M A B A D —Helpline of Islamabad Police- Rescue 15 received 23674 calls during the last month and provided immediate assistance to the people seeking assistance from police. Out of these calls, 8120 calls were regarding general information while 1478 distressed calls were immediately responded and assistance was provided to the people. Out of these calls, 62 were related to ambulance service while police staff at various desks in hospitals including PIMS and Poly Clinic provided immediate help to 605 persons. Meanwhile, 74 crime

scenes were visited by Rescue 15 staff for collecting evidences and providing assistance during investigation process. Bomb Disposal Squad checked 1205 vehicles at various entry points and Vehicles’ Verification Cell checked 525 cars as well as 29 motorbikes. A total of 28354 vehicles were verified by SMS service of Rescue 15 and staff of WAPDA, Fire brigade and SNGPL were also conveyed complaints of citizens for immediate redressal. A total of 18 lost children and persons were reunited with their families and efforts of Rescue 15 were lauded by

the heirs of these persons. IGP Islamabad Bani Amin Khan said that Rescue 15 is delivering valuable services for the cause of humanity and helping people out from the distressed situations. He said that 38 vehicles have been provided to Rescue 15 for helping citizens and ‘respond time’ of this service is only four minutes. He appreciated the staff of Rescue 15 and further directed to maintain the quality of service with professional commitment and dedications. “The way Rescue 15 is serving the citizens is praise worthy,” he maintained.—APP

World Travelling Expo at QAU CITY REPORTER I S L A M A B A D —Concluding ceremony of International Travelling Expo titled “Energies, for a Sustainable World” launched by Pakistan Science Foundation (PSF) in collaboration with Embassy of France, will be concluded on Thursday, here at National Centre for Physics (NCP), Quaid-eAzam University. PSF Chairman Prof. Dr. Manzoor H. Soomro inaugurated the Expo,which will travel from Islamabad to Muzzafarabad (AJK), Gilgit, Abbottabad, Gujrat, Larkana during March-April, 2013. NCP Advisor Prof. Dr. Aslam Baig, PSF Member Science Dr. Khalil Ahmed Ibupoto, France Embassy’s Cooperation Attach‚ for Development and Humanitarian Affairs Mr. Gilles Angels and PSF Principal Scientific Officer Dr. Naushaba Atta

were also present at the inaugural ceremony attended by scientists, teachers and students from different educational institutions. Addressing the launching ceremony, Dr. Soomro urged the students that after visiting the expo the students may experiment to develop such things at their schools and homes. He advised them to explore what the Expo tells them and develop their own ideas for sustainable use of energy to overcome global energy crisis. He said PSF as part of its science popularization activities holds S&T Fairs and Exhibitions for creating science awareness among the students and general public. In this regard, so far more than 2 million students, teachers and general visitors have participated in these expos, which mainly include five National S&T Fairs, four

International travelling Expos and a large number of science caravan exhibitions. He said the students and teachers should take maximum benefit from PSF Science Caravan, Inquiry-Based Science Education, London International Young Scientists Forum programmes that are specially meant for students. He also made a mention to PSF collaboration with different organizations including Pak-Turk Foundation, Intel Education Initiative Pakistan, National Center for Physics and universities etc to promote science education in the country through science competitions, fairs and science Olympiads. He said the reason for holding the Energy Expo at NCP was to plan some new programmes jointly in order to build such exhibitions in the country.

ment is taking action against the unregistered NGOs and a survey will be conducted in the capital city to ascertain such NGOs and to take action against them.This was stated by Parliamentary Secretary for Interior Rai Mujtaba Kharal while replying to a call attention notice in NA moved by Dr. Talat Mahesar and others regarding rampant increase in the number of NGOs working on different issues without registration in Islamabad and other parts of the country. Replying to another call attention notice moved by Chaudhary Muhammad Barjees Tahir and others regarding unscheduled loadshedding in Islamabad and other parts of the country, Minister of State for Water and Power Tasneem Ahmad Qureshi told the House that the total production capacity of electricity from different sources is 18000 MW but due to the shortage of water, the hydel production has been affected to a great deal. He said efforts are underway to maximize the production to overcome the unscheduled loadshedding in the country.—INP

Khursheed Shah has said that the country always needed a dynamic and charismatic leadership like Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto for amoilarating the lot of the poor. He was addressing as the chief guest at the book launching ceremony of Collection of Poetry titled “Benazir” written by Saeed Akhtar here on Wednes-

day. While Deputy Speaker National Assembly Faisal Karim Kundi presided over the ceremony. Syed Khursheed Shah said that Saeed Akhtar ’s book “Benazir” is the voice of heart for her beloved leader. He congratulated the writer and said that the book is basically a tribute to Shaheed Benazir Bhutto. Khursheed Shah said Shaheed Benazir Bhutto was exemplary leader and as much if we wrote in the love of Benazir that is less. Deputy Speaker Na-

tional Assembly Faisal Karim Kundi lauded the work of Saeed Akhtar. He said that PPP would go in the court of masses and let them decide our future. He said that the assemblies would be dissolved on March 16. He stressed for unity among all the political forces for resolving various issues being faced by the country. He said that our youth are very talented and if we provide better opportunities to them, our future would be bright.

Japanese Embassy to hold free Ikebana workshop I SLAMABAD —The Embassy of Japan in collaboration with the Pakistan National Council of the Arts is organizing an Ikebana Workshop (Japanese art of flower arrangement) at the National Art Gallery (PNCA) from March 21 to 28. Professor of Ikebana, Asifa Ataka, who studied the art from one of the leading flower arrangement schools in Japan, Ikenobo has been

specially invited from Karachi to conduct the workshop, said a news release issued here Monday. Interested people are required to register their names to Mushtaq Moeeni, Senior Cultural Advisor, Embassy of Japan, on Telephone: 0519072225 or by sending an email at (mushtaq.moeeni@ib.mofa.go.jp) after filling the registration form.

Registration forms are available on Embassy website; www.pk.embjapan.go.jp. It is to mentioned that there is no registration fee for the workshop. However, flower arrangement equipments and materials will be brought by the participants according to the instructions of the Ikebana expert. The last date for registration is March 10.—APP

Seven gamblers arrested ISLAMABAD—Islamabad Police arrested seven gamblers during raid at Shehzad town area besides recovering cash, five mobile phones and one dagger from their possession, a police spokesman said on Wednesday. The nabbed persons were identified as Ishaq, Khalid, Raza Gull, Riaz, Nadeem, Yasir Mehmood and Ruksar.Cases have been registered against these nabbed persons and further investigation is underway from them.—APP

Empowering public private partnership venture dents who answered the most general knowledge questions. I S L A M A B A D —The stuThe faculty members dents from Roots Millenat the school expressed nium Schools, Millentheir gratitude to CEO nium Campus I-9/3, Roots Millennium Islamabad visited Kalyal Schools Mr. Faisal Public School as part of Mushtaq for facilitating the “social responsibility the field trip which not by empowering public only helped the Global private partnership venPerspectives students ture. learn more about the difThey were accompaference in education benied by their subject tween public and private teacher and a represeninstitutions, appreciate tative Change- in Educaeveryday bounties they tion which is a social sectake for granted, and contor initiative of Roots tribute to the education Millennium Schools, Paof the community. kistan. The activity will deThe Millennials convelop a spirit of sharing ducted various activities and contributing for the including drawing and greater good of Pakistan. coloring, Chinese whisThe management of pers, general knowledge, Roots Millennium hide the flag, and a Schools under the dycouple of quick competinamic leadership of Mr. tions. The visitors were Faisal Mushtaq vowed to pleasantly surprised to continue this positive discover that the children trend of creating learning at the school could easopportunities for both ily comprehend instrucsides of the social divide tions in English and most and inculcate a spirit of of them surpassed their intellectual expectations, ISLAMABAD: Students of Roots Millennium Schools during visit to Kalyal Public School. graciousness among our future generations. which is a direct conse-

C ITY REPORTER

quence of the investment in the school by the management of Change in Education, who have adopted the school since 2011. Birthday boy Muhammad Taki Jawad shared sweets with the

class of 10-year olds and the rest of the students of the school. Other students included Abeeha Shah, Sumbal Tauheed, Rida Satti, Hira Satti, Khushan Shahad and Juhaina

Mubarak. They were accompanied by Global Perspectives teacher Mr. Tj Hussain and National Program Manager Change in Education, Ms. Irum Gilani. Ms. Gilani also gave away gifts to the brightest stu-


Islam provides prestigious status to woman 06:00 01:30 04:45 07:45

March 8-10 LOK Virsa is going to organise ‘Women Lok and Folk Festival’ that will start from March 8 and conclude on March 10. The festival is aimed at encouraging the women who performed well in their respective fields. Skilled women from all over the country will participate in the festival, especially the makers of handicrafts.

CITY REPORTER ISLAMABAD—President International Islamic University, Islamabad (IIUI) Prof. Dr. Ahmad Yousif Al-Draiweesh, has said that Islam has provided woman a prestigious status in the society. He made these remarks while addressing a meeting of the female faculty members and administrative staff of female campus of the university. The female faculty members and workers of International Islamic University are

Education Atlas project launched ISLAMABAD—A Pakistan Edu-

cation Atlas project was formally launched on Wednesday to improve the dissemination of educational statistics and indicators by using Geographical information system (GIS) technologies. The project initiated in March 8 2010 was completed with colPAKISTAN National Coun- laboration of World Food cil of the Arts, Ministry of Program and the erstwhile National Heritage and Inte- Ministry of Education and gration in collaboration with Training through NEMIS Ministry of Narcotics Con- and the academy of educatrol has arranged Stagy Play tional planning and manage‘Suhani Mai’ on Friday, at ment AEPAM, Islamabad. Federal Minister for edu7 pm at PNCA auditorium, cation and training Sheikh F-5/1. Waqas Akram appreciated the efforts of AEPAM and paid special thanks to world food program. He said that this new system will help us make sound educational planning, monitoring and evaluation. He desired the system be extended to I S L A M A B A D — o m m a n d e r that union council level.—APP Qatar Emiri Air Force, Major General Mubarak Mohammad Al-Kumait Al-Khayarin on Wednesday called on Vice Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Muhammad Shafiq in his office at Naval Headquarters here. They held detailed discussion on professional matters, said a press release issued by Pakistan Navy. Major General Mubarak Mohammad joined Qatar Emiri Air Force in 1977. Besides commanding the Qatar Emiri Air Force, he has had the privilege to hold a number of Command and Staff appointments including Officer Commanding Fighter Wing, Director Operations, Plans and Training.—PP

Commander Qatar Air Force calls on VC of Naval Staff

Ban on sale of firework material violated RAWALPINDI—Firework-material is being sold in the bazaars of the city without any check. Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif imposed restriction on the sale and use of firework material three years before but the ban has not been implemented. It has been reported that the makers of such material also get injured and some lose their lives. The sale of the explosive material is going on in the busiest bazaar of the city, namely Narankari bazaar, in addition to Bagh Sardaran, Bunny Market, Dhok Ratta, Babu Lal Hussain Road, and Raja bazaar. Godowns of firework material are also present in the abovementioned places. To add to this, firework substance is also prepared on order. The authorities concerned are not paying heed to the state of affairs, whereas the Police has vowed to take action in this regard.—Online

Lady of family is top most influencer

playing their role with responsibility and sincerity not only within the campus but outside of the university and abroad. He added that teachers are role models for the students and they should study Islam in depth so that the real face of Islam could be introduced and propaganda against it could be countered. Dr. Al-Draiweesh said life of Holy Prophet (PBUH) is the best model which containing guidance for us about each and every matter of life. He said that being a Mus-

lim and teacher we should play our role within and outside of the university because this is the demand of our position. He announced that prizes would be awarded to best teachers on their performance as a teacher as well as a social worker. Prof. Dr. Sahibzada Sajid ur Rehman, Vice President IIUI, Dr. Mumtaz Ahmad, Vice President Academics and Dr. Zaitoon Begum, Director Female Campus also addressed on the occasion.

66KV Pinanwal Grid Station upgraded ISLAMABAD—Islamabad Electric Supply Company (IESCO) has upgraded 66KV Pinanwal Grid Station into 132KV to facilitate the valued customers. After up-gradation of the system more stable and smooth electricity supply could be ensued. According to the details, 66KV Grid Station Pinanwal situated in the vicinity of Pind Dadan Khan has been upgraded into 132KV. Two New Power Transformers having the capacity of 10/13MVA has been installed in the Grid Station. It is pertinent to mention here that prior to installation of these Power Transformers two Power Transformers 10/13 and 7.5MVA were exiting.

Due to installation of these Power Transformers more stable and smooth electricity supply could be ensured whereas technical losses also be reduced. New electricity connection could be made possible to the consumers. With the installation of these Power Transformers at 132KV Pinanwal Grid Station, the electricity of Pinanwal, Dharyala Jalib, Chak Mujahid and surrounding areas will be more stable and smooth as compared to the past. The Project of augmentation and upgradation was headed by Abid Qaiser (Project Director) GSC whereas officers contributed their services were Shahid Raza Khalil (XEN T&G), Ejaz Ahmad Bhutta (SDO T&G) and others.—APP

Compensation paid to owner of damaged house

RAWALPINDI—The residents I SLAMABAD —On the direc- compensation of his house of Westridge Colony have expressed concern over poor sanitation as garbage could be seen scattered in the streets due to negligence of sanitation staff. Residents talking to INP complained that sanitation staff visits their areas after two weeks which turns the garbage into heaps causing trouble for them. Muhammad Shahid, a resident of Street No.6, said that dwellers of Westridge Colony clean their streets on their own instead of concerned staff, adding that sanitation staff remains absents for weeks. Expressing outrage over the step motherly treatment, the residents demanded concerned authorities to ensure proper sanitation in their locality.—INP

Commandoes deployed at Pindi railway station

tions of chief coordinator to the Prime Minister, Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani, the BGP (Pakistan) international has made payment of compensation to Masood Sadiq s/o Ch. Safdar Hussain of village Kanial Bajrana, Tehsil Gujar Khan, District Rawalpindi for damage caused to his house during a seismic operation in the area. The applicant Masood Sadiq of village Kanial Bajrana approached the Prime Minister, stating that the BGP Pakistan (International) and their sub-contractors had conducted seismic operation across his land, during which his house was badly damaged due to vibration of heavy machinery. He, therefore, claimed

damage. His request was forwarded to the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Resources for settlement of the issue. It had been reported by the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Resources that the matter had been settled with the applicant and the BGP Pakistan (International) had made the compensation charges Rs. 300,000 to him. The applicant, on receiving the compensation amount, thanked the Prime Minister, Raja Pervez Ashraf and the Chief Coordinator, Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani for the prompt action on his request and prayed for their long lives and success of the present government.— APP

District Courts staffers protest ban on parking

R AWALPINDI —Security has RAWALPINDI—Staffers of all mands. been tightened at Rawalpindi railway station while commandoes have been deployed and secret cameras have been installed therein in view of security concerns. As many as 26 secret cameras will be installed at different places on the station. However 3 secret cameras have been installed so far. On the other hand no camera has been installed at Islamabad railway station. Scanning machines have also been erected at the stations.—Online

Undue raise in transport fares

ISLAMABAD: Major General Mubarak Mohammad Al-Kumait Al-Khayarin, Commander Qatar Emiri Air Force called on Vice Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Muhammad Shafiq in his office at Naval Headquarters.

Westridge residents decry apathy of sanitation staff

ISLAMABAD: Customs officials showing the liquor bottles which were being smuggled from Benazir Bhutto International Airport.—PO photo by Sultan Bashir

R AWALPINDI —In spite of the notification for decrease in petroleum products, the transporters have increased the fares on their own. The situation has led to quarrels between the passengers and the transporters such that the commuters who do not pay the overstated fare are forced to get down from the vehicle. Even if certain public transport vehicles run on CNG, the fare is increased after every raise in the price of petrol. Secretary Regional Transport Authority and other authorities concerned are doing nothing to resolve the matter.—Online

sessions, family and civil courts of the District Courts have held a demonstration and complete strike in the Judicial Complex protesting the ban on parking of vehicles and motorcycles of the employees. The courts remained functionally closed from 9:00am to 12:00pm due to the protest demonstration. The demonstrators chanted slogans in favour of their de-

The district bar had put a ban on the parking of vehicles and motorcycles of the employees of the courts the other day that infuriated the staffers. The leaders of the demonstration said that they were the backbone of the court system and if their vehicles would not be allowed to enter the complex, how would the system work. They said the administration and bar

Senate body recommends handing over cultural entities to ministry

were banning the parking on the lame excuse of terrorist threats. Later, District and Sessions Judge Syed Maroof Ahmed Ali and Additional Sessions Judge Muhammad Kaleem Khan allowed the staffers to park their motorcycles in the complex and asked them to end the protest. Therefore, the demonstrators returned to their work peacefully.—INP

Decision taken to launch MSc Statistics classes in Pindi colleges

I SLAMABAD—Senate Stand- belonging to PNCA, had not R AWALPINDI —Decision has ing Committe on Heritage and Integration urged to hand over the Pak-China Friendship Centre, Tourist Services and Youth Exchange Programme to Ministry of National Heritage and Integration being the cultural entities. The committe had their first introductory meeting here on Wednesday at Pakistan National Council of Arts (PNCA), where they were briefed about the different departments attached to the ministry of heritage and intergration. The committe noticed that the different departments

been handed over to ministry after the 18th Amendment despite different resolutions passed. The committee noted that cultural activities could play vital role in peace making efforts and projecting the soft image of the country through its cultural activities at international level. PNCA needs to do much more to enhance role for promotion of national integration, Officials of ministry informed the Senate body that PNCA has overall 1085 employees, 14 departments and they had allocation of Rs 794 billion.—APP

been taken to launch MSc statistics and commerce classes in boys and girls colleges of Rawalpindi. In pursuance of directives of education department Punjab MSc statistics classes will be started in one boys college and commerce class in another boys college. Classes will commence from new academic year. Punjab government has also accorded permission to start MSc statistics classes in Government Post Graduate College Satellite town Rawalpindi from the new academic year.—Online

Mobile phone jammers installed in Adiala Jail R AWA L P I N D I — M o b i l e phone jammers have been installed in Adiala Central Jail to stop illegal communication. Sources said that sensitive agencies have expressed concerns over the use of mobile phone from inside the jail upon which four jammers have been installed on central tower in the detention centre. However, it is yet to be ISLAMABAD: Activists of Joint Action Committee Federal Directorate of Education observed whether installa- hold a sit-in outside FDE, in support of their demands.—PO photo tion of jammers would impede illegal communication as the same had been installed in the detention centre but the required result could not be achieved.—INP

Cito delegation lauds HEC’s quality assurance reforms

Police nab 22 suspicious persons

ISLAMABAD—According to a Gilani Research Foundation Survey carried out by Gallup Pakistan, Lady of the family (54%) is the top most influencer for conservation of electricity in the household, followed by Man of the famISLAMABAD—Islamabad Poily (45%). lice, in a search operation in A nationally representaBlue Area, have apprehended tive sample of men and 22 suspicious persons. women from across the four According to details, provinces was asked “Who Kohsar Police Station, on the in your opinion can play directives of SSP Islamabad major role towards electricYasin Farooq, conducted the ity conservation at home?” operation against anti-social Responding to this, Lady of elements, aiming at ensuring the family (54%) is the top foolproof security in the fedmost influencer for consereral capital. vation of electricity in the The police registered household, followed by cases against the nabbed Man of the family (45%).— ISLAMABAD: A man arranging strawberries, most popular fruit of the season, to earn persons and started investiINP gation.—INP livelihood for his family.—PO photo by Sultan Bashir

I SLAMABAD —A delegation of senior officials from Cito B.V, a Netherland based international reputed organization working in the areas of testing and assessment, paid visit to the Higher Education Commission (HEC) here at Islamabad. The main objective of the visit was to comprehend the state of higher education in Pakistan and explore the possibilities of cooperation in the fields of testing and assessment and higher education sector. Mr. Marten Roorda CEO and Dr. Henk Moelands Director Cito International met with senior HEC officials and representatives of accreditation councils.

The Executive Director HEC Prof. Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed welcomed the delegation and apprised them about the scope, functions and role of HEC for strengthening higher education sector in Pakistan. He informed that the establishment of the HEC in 2002 has brought revolutionary changes in higher education sector of Pakistan. The HEC has accomplished more in ten years since its establishment than was achieved in the first 55 years of Pakistan’s existence. He also informed that due to revolutionary reforms in the sector, Pakistani universities have

been reflected among the top world and Asian universities. During last decade, international collaborations with leading organizations and higher education institutions of academically advanced countries have been established throughout the globe. He said that National Testing Service (NTS) Pakistan has already been working as reputed testing and assessment organization and HEC would encourage their collaborations with international organizations like Cito to bring the quality of testing and assessment in Pakistan at par with international standards.—NNI


Indian authorities impose curfew, curbs in IHK Anti-India protest demonstrations to continue SRINAGAR—The Indian au- roads were blocked and internet Moosvi Al-Safvi and other Delhi’s Tihar Jail. Besides UN thorities, today, imposed curfew and strict restrictions in Srinagar, Baramulla, Sopore, Pulwama, Shopian and other parts of the Kashmir Valley to prevent people from protesting against the killing of a university student by Indian troops. The student, Tahir Ahmad Sofi was shot dead, yesterday, by troops during a protest demonstration in Baramulla town against the killing of the Kashmiri research scholar, Mudassir Kamran Malla in Indian city of Hyderabad Deccan. Indian paramilitary forces and police personnel were deployed in strength, all major

Geelani extends Delhi stay S RINAGAR — Dispelling rumors that he was arriving in the Valley on March 6, Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani has said he has not finalized the date as to when he would return to Kashmir from New Delhi. In a media interview Geelani said: “I am not coming on March 6. I haven’t decided about my return plans so far. I haven’t booked any ticket as well.” The veteran leader said he would beforehand inform the people about his arrival. Pertinently, the Hurriyat (G) chairman left for Delhi in December last year. According to Hurriyat spokesman, due to severe cold conditions in Kashmir, Geelani needs to stay in a warm atmosphere. “That’s why he stays in New Delhi for some time. He being an aged man can’t bear the biting cold as he is also suffering from multiple ailments,” the spokesman said.—NNI

services were suspended across the Valley to thwart anti-India protests. People, however, defying restrictions came out of their houses in different areas of Srinagar and protested against Indian state terrorism. During demonstrations, people raised Pakistan’s national flags. Police also barged into the houses and ransacked household goods. Clashes were reported between police and demonstrators from different parts of the Valley. The APHC Chairman, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, veteran Hurriyet leader, Syed Ali Gilani, Syed Agha Hassan Al-

Hurriyet leaders and organizations including Mukhtar Ahmad Waza, Zafar Akbar Butt, Bashir Ahmad Butt, Farooq Ahmad Dar, Aasiya Andrabi, Yasmeen Raja, Javed Ahmad Mir, Muhammad Azam Inqilabi, Jamaat-e-Islami, Democratic Freedom Party, Peoples Freedom League and Jammu and Kashmir National Front condemned the killing of the student. In Geneva, speakers at a seminar organized by the World Muslim Congress said that India violated international norms and standards by secretly hanging Muhammad Afzal Guru in

Special Rapporteur, Alfred de Zayas a large number of people including Kashmiri leaders, Barrister Abdul Majeed Tramboo, Professor Nazir Ahmad Shawl and Syed Faiz Naqshbandi addressed the seminar. Sardar Amjad Yousuf hosted the function. A Delhi-based wellknown Indian social activist and Supreme Court lawyer, Prashant Bhushan in a media interview urging New Delhi to urgently resolve the Kashmir dispute, said that no Kashmiri was safe in any part of India as communal forces were ruling the country.—KMS

Like Britain, India will also apologize: MLA Rashid JAMMU — Optimistic MLA Langate Engineer Sheikh Rashid has said like British Government one day Indian government would also apologize for hanging Mohammad Afzal Guru, Mohammad Maqbool Bhat and other innocents who were killed for no real reason. “It is my faith that one day Indian government will say sorry for hanging Afzal Guru, Mohammad Maqbool Bhat, Gowkadal killing and killing of one million people in two decades in Kashmir like British government did on the killing in Jallianwala Bagh (Punjab),” Rashid told journalists here. Referring to the letters written by the Omar Abdullah and Mufti Mohammed Sayeed to Delhi seeking mortal remains of

Afzal Guru, the Independent MLA said “Writing letters shows the helplessness of the leaders from ruling and opposition parties, who have been working on Delhi’s directions. “Now they want to save their image so that they can go before the people in Kashmir that was why they are demanding the return of mortal remains of Afzal Guru,” the MLA said. He said that his resolution on Afzal Guru could not be passed last year due to lack of support from ruling National Conference and even PDP did not supported me then and now they are crying for the mortal returns. They kept criminal silence over the resolution only because of blessing from Delhi, he alleged. Hitting at CPI (M) leader

Mohammed Yousaf Tarigami, Rashid said, “What was more surprising is that even Tarigami spoke for the return of mortal remains of Guru. Last time when I was pushing for it all he did was supporting the ones who were avoiding the resolution.” He said that now the opposition PDP is trying to come clean by saying that they remained silent because the resolution on Guru could be sabotaged. “It is also not a hidden fact that next day when he was staging a protest dharna outside the Secretariat with the panches and sarpanches, from Chief Minister Omar Abdullah to opposition leader Mehbooba Mufti passed from there, but nobody bothered about the issue or about the protesters,” Rashid recalled.—NNI

APHC denounces house arrest of Kashmiri leadership S RINAGAR — All Parties Hurriyet Conference (APHC) has strongly condemned the continued house arrest of its Chairman, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Agha Syed Hassan AlMoosvi Al-Safvi, Mukhtar Ahmed Waza and illegal detention of Hurriyet leaders including Shabbir Ahmad Shah, Mukhtar Ahmad Waza and Nayeem Ahmad Khan, demanding their immediate release. The APHC in an extraordinary meeting held in Srinagar, today, said that arrests and use of brute force were no solution to the situation of the occupied territory but would make it more complicated. It also castigated the authorities for imposing curbs on the political and religious activities of the Hurriyet leaders terming the action as frustration of the puppet administration. The participants of the meeting said that the safe and peaceful future of the people of Kashmir, Pakistan and India was linked to the amicable resolution of the Kashmir dispute. Paying tributes to the 1990 Zakoora martyrs, the meeting said that the sacrifices of martyrs would not be allowed to go waste. They said that the Hurriyet Conference would continue its struggle till the Kashmiri people achieved their right to self-determination. The meeting was presided over by senior APHC leader, Professor Abdul Ghani Butt, and attended among others by Musaddiq Aadil, Syed Bashir Andrabi and Ghulam Nabi Zaki..—Online

UJC backs Majlis S RINAGAR — United Jihad Council (UJC) Chairman Syed Salahuddin has expressed satisfaction over the formation of the united front of pro-freedom parties under the banner of Muttahida Majlis-eMushawarat (MMM). “MMM should devise a joint strategy to give the movement a new direction,” UJC spokesman Syed Sadaqat Hussain said in a statement while quoting Salahuddin. He asked the people to follow MMM programme in letter and spirit. Sadaqat said that chairing a special meeting of UJC, Salahuddin said cautioned profreedom leaders against falling prey to the divisive designs of India. “Agencies are working overtime to break this joint forum. But I caution you not to fall prey to their designs,” Salahuddin said. UJC has also warned the people not to work against the movement. “Writing is clear on the wall for those people who are working against the movement. These people have sold their consciences for petty interests. It is better for them to distance from the activities done by India to control Kashmir. Otherwise history will not forgive them,” the statement said.—NNI

Afzal’s hanging created mistrust: Padgaonkar SRINAGAR—The former chief MUZAFFARABAD: Led by Senior AJK PP leader Sardar Tabarik Ali a party procession on its way to public meeting venue for participation.

Delhi undermines democratic institutions in JK: Tarigami JAMMU—Terming the decision of hanging Parliament attack convict Mohammad Afzal Guru as narrow-mindedness, CPI (M) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami has said New Delhi has always undermined democratic institutions in Jammu and Kashmir. “The way and circumstances under which Guru was hanged by New Delhi has reinforced the extendibility of Kashmiris. He was figuring at 28th in the list and hanged before those who figured before him. A feeling of alienation has been strengthened further. And the feeling that a Kashmiri is expendable while those from other parts of India are not will only be reinforced,” Tarigami told Assembly.

QAZI SYED SAJAD

A

ISLAMABAD: Deputy Chairman ERRA, Major General Muhammad Azim Asif, called on AJK President Sardar Yaqoob Khan.

politician thinks of the next election; a statesman thinks of the next generation. ~James Freeman Clarke, Sermon. The untimely, tragic and politically surcharged execution of Parliament attack convict Mohammad Afzal Guru has genuinely opened up a floodgate of view points and speculations. To this writer it has led to the emergence of a transitional phase in Indian political system. The larger picture is that the hanging has done lot of disservice to the country as a whole than the bereaved family. Till yesterday Indian Nation Congress (which sometimes is taken as synonym with India) was perceived as an epitome of non-violence, satyagrah, tolerance and soft approach. But now it is looked as something completely different. There are people who are now going to the extent of declaring Congress as harder than the hardest BJP. What baffles the minds of various political pundits is the seemingly unison of ideologies between these two arch rival parties. After all baring some less important issues both parties now seem to be alike in terms of strong centre, Pakistan bashing, tough on terror

Maintaining that he can understand the helplessness of the government, which is accused of being part and parcel in decision over Guru’s hanging, Tarigami said Delhi has always undermined democratic institutions in J&K. “The state governments and Chief Ministers are being rendered valueless”. He said instead of investing to bridge the gap between Srinagar and Delhi, GoI rubbed salt on injuries of people of Kashmir by hanging Guru. Questioning the judicial structure of India, Tarigami said Guru was awarded death sentence by the court to satisfy the consciousness of majority of the people of country. “If that was the case, then why questions were raised by civil society and larger sec-

tion of people? It was all to please the people involved in jingoism and small section of media”. He said in case hanging would have been in national interests, he would have been the first person to support the decision. “Can GoI tell how many hearts it won after hanging Guru? Has this hanging contributed to strengthen security grid in Kashmir? The fact is that all efforts invested by it in Kashmir to bridge the gap between people of Kashmir and New Delhi are questioned now,” CPI (M) leader said. He said the present leadership in New Delhi has gone away from the ideology of prominent leaders like Mahatma Gandhi and Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru.—NNI

Amid ruckus Legislature debates Afzal hanging JAMMU — Amid uproar and Marxist too wanted a discus- that it is hard on terror. noisy scenes, the two houses of state legislature have discussed the hanging of Muhammad Afzal Guru with the opposition and treasury benches trading charges. Opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader Mehbooba Mufti initiated the debate in the Legislative Assembly, saying it was “inhumane” that Guru’s family was not allowed to meet him one last time before his execution in Delhi on February 9. A PDP member also demanded debate on the death of a Kashmiri student in Hyderabad. Mehbooba sought suspension of all regular business of the house to “discuss this issue of urgent nature”. The ruling National Conference and the Communist Party of India-

sion. Mehbooba blamed the chief minister for his failure to protect the life of Afzal Guru. If we really want to bring back body we don’t need any resolution. Let us resolve once for all that there will be no Afzal Guru and Maqbool Bhatt in future” she said and demanded from the state government to bring a white paper on how many people of the state are lodged in jails outside. She said a number of persons have been involved in killing of innocent persons in fake encounters as also during peaceful street protests. “There are thousands of unmarked graves and enforced disappearances but none of the perpetrators has been punished so far.” She also questioned Congress’s stand

Omar Abdullah wants to protest, but can’t do for chair’s sake SRINAGAR—Expressing his helplessness in reining in the army’s activities in civilian areas, Indian held Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah broke down in the legislative council when the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) cornered him over the alleged killing of a 24-year-old man in Baramulla by the security forces. According to some reports, a group of youths had pelted stones on a Rashtriya Rifles convoy in Baramulla during a protest against the mysterious suicide of a Pulwama youth in Hyderabad on Saturday. About a dozen soldiers then chased the youths, entered the nearby Kakar Hamam village in the

district’s old town, beat up the residents and smashed the windowpanes of some houses. This led to a clash between the soldiers and the residents. The soldiers then allegedly fired, killing Tahir Ahmad Sofi and injuring four people. In the legislative council, PDP legislators taunted Omar over the killing and then walked out. Addressing the Upper House, an emotional Omar said every time there was news of deaths in the state, the opposition always blamed him, when it was hardly his fault. “I too want to protest, but my chair doesn’t allow me to do so,” he said. “Mujhe mushkil ho rahi hai bolne mein ... Agar us procession mein koi militant

nahi tha, toh procession par goli kyo chalai gayi? ... Mein kahan jaaun? (I am finding it hard to speak ... If there was no militant in that procession, why was it fired upon? ... Where should I go?) ... Why we are talking of development and health care here if such things continue to happen?” Earlier in his address, Omar said the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) should be repealed from places where the army was not required. He said the AFSPA issue was not on the “backburner” and if Irom Sharmila could fast in protest against the Act for 12 years why could he not just speak against it.—INP

interlocutor and journalist Dilip Padgaongar has said Afzal Guru’s secret execution has created a huge mistrust between people of Kashmir and New Delhi. “For last couple of years, numerous initiatives were taken to build the trust of the people especially that of the Valley and to a greater extent the goal had been achieved. However, the secret execution of Afzal Guru washed away all those initiatives and Valley was again pushed to cynicism and mistrust,” Padgaonkar told a local news gathering agency, KNS over phone from Pune. He said he has raised his voice against denying Guru a last meeting with his family. “The hanging of Guru has not created mistrust and widened gap between Delhi and Kashmir once again”. Referring to mysterious death of Kashmiri youth Mudasir Ahmad Malla in Hyderabad, Padgaonkar said, “Suicides were being committed everywhere in the country and the people of J&K must wait till the inquiry report was MUZAFFARABAD: Thousands of persons applauding artists during rehearsal for World Shawl Day. made public”.—NNI

A long term loss approach and so on. I think a voter will be in a fix to choose between these two in the upcoming election of 2014. The other matter of concern is the pronouncement of a pure socio-political judgment by Supreme Court of India. The founding fathers of Indian nation held Supreme Court in high esteem and wanted this vital organ to be an impartial, impersonal and politically neutral law adjudicating agency. The phrase “collective conscience’’ used by the apex court has already attracted plethora of criticism and venomous remarks. Even senior lawyers in Supreme Court have come down heavily on this emotive verdict. Not informing the family about the rejection of their mercy plea, secret hanging and denial of body to bereaved family are some other legal excesses which made a dint in the Indian legal system. The happenings in Jantar Mantar New Delhi and Dehradun will not be out of place to mention. The ruthless beating of peacefully protest-

Mehbooba said: “Had the state government acted in time, Afzal Guru’s life could have been saved. While Tamil Nadu and Punjab could save the lives of the two convicts from their states who were sentenced to death, Omar Abdullah’s government did nothing.” The remarks drew vehement protests from members of the National Conference. The chief minister plunged into the discussion, accusing the PDP of “politicizing the issue”. “The PDP makes it appear like I was the one responsible for the hanging of Afzal Guru,” Omar said. In the vitriolic exchange that followed, PDP members raised slogans and rushed towards the Speaker’s podium raising slogans against the government.—NNI

ing Kashmiri students by certain goons along with policemen and their subsequent detainment tarnished the sanctity of Art 19 of Indian constitution guaranteeing right to assemble and freedom of expression. Even after their release they are being harassed by various communal patriots and many of them have left their studies mid way. These highly educated students are completely awestruck about the huge difference they witness between theory and practice of Indian State. The image of India which would be now in their minds is anybody’s guess. Jammu and Kashmir is the only state with a negotiated relationship with Indian Union. Article 370 guarantees this special status. Although this arrangement was badly tampered with over the years, the situation has now reached to the extent that this state is treated badly then other states. Pertinently there was no uproar over the resolution passed by Tamil Nadu Assembly seeking clemency for foreign LTTE terrorists.

And now when Chief Minister has himself admitted that his government was not consulted and central government went ahead with the execution of a Kashmiri state subject of its own, the realization that Kashmir is treated as colony is picking up more ground. Not seeking an opinion from a Chief Minister on an issue concerning about the security of his state and threatening even his political career by all yardsticks is sheer injustice. As a matter of fact people in Kashmir had a clouded memory of tumultuous years of 2008 and 2010, but now with the shabby treatment of their elected government, secret hanging of a Kashmiri, who is widely believed to be falsely implicated and subsequent state repression has led to the revival of separatist tendency. With continuously imposing curfews the image of Omar Abdullah has already suffered body blows. He is less seen as a competent Chief Minister and more perceived as a cop maintaining law and order in his state on the behest of Central Government. Such a realization is bound to alter the

political discourse in Kashmir for a great deal of time. Congress itself which over the years succeeded in creating a niche in valley has lost much of its credibility. If reports are to be believed then local congressmen were also sidetracked by their high command and kept in dark about the execution plan. The common line is that India has done a great mistake by executing Afzal Guru. It has served no purpose. Terrorism is not going to stop with such a tit for tat approach. Had it been so then there would not have been terrorist strikes in Hyderabad (AP) barely 12 days after hanging episode. The disadvantages seem to be far greater. Even at international level India has been criticized. The UN and EU have already expressed their displeasure. Back home a large chunk of scholars, academicians and lawyers have openly criticized the decision. Indian Muslim leaders who rarely spoke about Kashmir related issues have also broken their silence. Dr Zafarul-Islam Khan, President of All India Muslim Majlis-e Mushawarat (AIMMM), said that Afzal Guru did not get a fair trial and his execution was legally and morally unjustified and hasty. Courtesy:—Kashmir Watch.


Conversion rates KARACHI—The following rates will be applicable for conversion into rupees of Foreign Currency Deposits, Dollar Bearer Certi ficates, Foreign Currency Bearer Certificates, Special U.S. Dollar Bonds and profits thereon by all banks and for providing Forward Cover on Foreign Currency Deposits (excluding F.E. 25 deposits) by the State Bank on March 7, 2013. The rates are U.S. Dollar Rs 98.0771, Japanese Yen Rs 1.0499, Pound Sterling Rs 148.0180 and Euro 127.8828.—APP

Taiwan, US to reopen stalled trade talks TAIPEI—Taiwan and the United States will resume stalled trade talks next week after Taipei removed a sixyear-old ban on some US beef imports, officials said Wednesday. The US delegation will be led by Deputy US Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis at the two-day discussions beginning Monday, the American Institute in Taiwan, the de facto embassy, said in a statement. Negotiations on a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement, seen as a precursor to a full free trade agreement, have been dormant since 2007. The hiatus was prompted when Taiwan banned US beef containing ractopamine, a drug used in animal feed to promote lean meat. Taipei amended the law in July 2012 to allow imports of the meat to resume. Washington is the island’s third largest trade partner and a leading arms supplier, despite switching diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1979.—AFP

Raja wants energy sector investment prioritization STAFF REPORTER ISLAMABAD—Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf on Wednesday stressed the need for more investment in energy sector. The Prime Minister was talking to Esam Yousif Janahi, Chairman and Founder of Gulf Finance House at the Prime Minister House here. He said Pakistan and Bahrain had close and brotherly relations. Recalling his

meeting with Amir of Bahrain, Sheikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa in Kuwait recently, the Prime Minister praised him for his warmth and graciousness. He appreciated the Gulf Finance House Bahrain for doing well financially and drew the attention of the Chairman to huge investment potential in Pakistan. The Prime Minister said Pakistan had a good wind corridor, hydel potential and coal reserves. He said the

Independent Power Producers (IPPs) installed way back in 1994 were doing roaring business. Jahani said his company was examining the possibility of investing in energy sector in Pakistan. The Chairman Gulf Finance House, while talking to the Prime Minister said the investment policies of Pakistan were conducive and attractive for foreign inves- ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Finance Saleem H. Mandviwalla chairing the meeting of the Economic Coordinators because of rewarding tion Committee of the Cabinet. returns on investments.

MFN status to India after removing stakeholders apprehensions STAFF REPORTER I SLAMABAD —India would only be granted the status of Most Favoured Nation (MFN) after removing the apprehensions of all stakeholders, state minister Abbas Khan Afridi said Wednesday. Answering a question in Senate he said the ministry was consulting other ministries and private sector stakeholders to assess and evaluate level playing field enjoyed by Pakistani exporters to India, non- tariff barriers being faced by Pakistan exporters and issues of market excess of Pakistani products to India. He said the ministry of

commerce will submit the case to the cabinet for complete normalization of trade relations with Indian in due course. Senator Sughra Imam said the Government should not grant the status of MFN in haste. The whole agriculture sector has been kept in negative list. The minister said federal cabinet had only endorsed the decision of commerce ministry to normalize the trade relations with India and directed the commerce division to complete the process for granting MFN status to India. The cabinet had accorded approval of a negative list of 1209 items for imports from India replacing the

Positive list. In a written reply to another question the state minister said country’s exports had registered 22 percent increase in 2013. Giving details he said in 2011-12 Pakistan’s imports were $ 44911.9 million as comparing the $23624.2 million. In 2010-11 country’s imports were $40413.6 million as comparing to exports of $ 24810.4 million. In 2009-10 country’s exports were $19290.0 million as comparing to imports of $34709.9 million. In 2008-9 country’s imports were $ 34822.1 million as comparing to $ 17688.1 million. In 200708 country’s imports were $ 39965.5 million as comparing to $ 19052.1 million.

ISLAMABAD—Islamabad Stock Exchange (ISE-10) witnessed bullish trend here on Monday as the index was up by 8.11 points to close at 3513.57 points as compared to the previous day’s trading. Out of 142 companies shares traded, the price of 49 increased, while the share price of 99 companies decreased whereas zero company remain stable in today’s trading. Unilever Pakistan remained the top gainer with an increase of Rs. 74.99 per share while the share prices of Mitchell fruits Farms decreased by Rs. 4.50 during the Wednesday trading. Fauji Cement Company, Lafrge Pakistan Cement and NIB Bank remained the volume leaders with 50,000, 45,000 and 20,000 shares respectively. —APP

Consumers can claim compensation Mahmood based on decisions of CCP: Hassan appointed Deputy Governor of SBP

Hong Kong stocks end 0.96% higher

I SLAMABAD —The Federal

HONG KONG—Hong Kong shares jumped 0.96 percent on Wednesday, taking a strong cue from Wall Street, where the Dow closed at a record high. The benchmark Hang Seng Index added 217.34 points to 22,777.84 on turnover of HK$73.25 billion ($9.45 billion). The Dow finished Tuesday 0.89 percent higher at 14,253.77, beating by nearly 90 points its former record seen on October 9, 2007, just before the onset of the global financial crisis. The surge on the Dow comes despite uncertainty in the US economy and as Washington battles over how to trim its huge deficit. Shares were also helped by a pick-up in the country’s services sector. Also on Wall Street, the S&P 500 climbed 0.96 percent to close at 1,539.79, just two percent short of its own record. Shares of China developers rebounded following two days of falls after Beijing announced new measures to curb rising property prices.—AFP

ISE-10 up by 8.11 points

STAFF REPORTER ISLAMABAD—A team of the

Competition Commission of Pakistan, headed by its Chairperson, Ms. Rahat Kaunain Hassan, and comprising its Members, conducted an advocacy session at the Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (RCCI). The advocacy session was also attended by Members of CCP Mr. Abdul Ghaffar, Dr. Joseph Wilson and Dr. Shahzad Ansar, Registrar of the Commission Mr. Ikram ul Haque Qureshi, President RCCI Mr. Manzar Perpetual devotion to Khurshid Sheikh, Senior Vice what a man calls his President Ch. Pervaiz Ahmed members of the business, is only to be Warriach, Executive Committee and sustained by pergeneral body in large numpetual neglect of ber. many other things. Addressing the session, CCP Chairperson explained —Robert Louis

to the participants of the meeting the four pillars of Competition Act, 2010, i.e. Section 3 (Abuse of Dominant Position), Section 4 (Prohibited Agreements), Section 10 (Deceptive Marketing Practices), and Section 11 (Approval of Mergers), besides highlighting the key enforcement actions, and other recently handled matters. She said that over the last five years, the Commission has demonstrated independence and autonomy through its decisions. “We have issued orders that speak for our independence and autonomy, however, at the same time we have exercised self-restraint, which is essential for a law enforcement agency,” the Chairperson maintained. She informed the participants that as a result of effective en-

forcement, CCP got ‘Fair’ rating and our performance has been termed ‘impressively consistent’ in an independent third-party evaluation conducted by the Global Competition Review (GCR), a UK based entity, and was also shortlisted by GCR for the Enforcement Award in the category ‘Agency of the Year among top five out of 42 agencies in the region of Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa’ for 2012. The Chairperson said that CCP has imposed over PKR 8.5 billion on various undertakings for violation of competition law, however, under the Competition Act, the penalties to be recovered are deposited in the Federal Consolidated Fund. She said that by imposing fines, CCP aims at promoting compliance through deterrence while creating a culture of competition.

Government has appointed Ashraf Mahmood Wathra as Deputy Governor, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) for a period of three years from the date he assumes office. A notification issued by the Finance Division, Islamabad on Wednesday said. According to a statement of SBP, Mr. Wathra brings 35 years of commercial & investment banking experience to his new assignment. He is currently serving the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) as its Senior Executive Vice President & Group Chief, Credit Management Group, since October, 2012. Before joining NBP, Mr. Wathra served Habib Bank Limited from April 1999 to September 2012 in various responsible capacities such as Regional General Manager (Bangladesh), Executive Vice President & Regional General Manager (Singapore), Executive Vice President, Group Executive and Risk Manager & Senior Credit Officer, Asset Remedial Management Group. He was attached with Faysal Bank Limited from May 1992 to March 1999 in senior positions such as Executive Vice President & Country Risk Manager, Executive Vice President & Regional Manager and Senior Vice President & Chief Manager.—APP

PR has 281 non-functional diesel locomotives STAFF REPORTER

I SLAMABAD —Minister for Railways Haji Ghulam Ahmad Bilour on Wednesday informed the National Assembly that currently, Pakistan Railways (PR) has 281 non-functional Diesel Electric Locomotives due to non availability of spare parts. In response to various questions during Question Hour, he said that 250 out of 281 locomotives were being repaired/rehabilitated

under different repair plans and projects with the approximate cost Rs.1.721 million. To a supplementary question he said that only provision of new 400 locomotives could turn PR into a profitable earning organization. He said that hundred acres of railways land was retrieved from the illegal occupant and efforts were being made to vacate the remaining land. To another question, the minister said that the total route

length of railways network was 7791 km and no track has been removed since 2008 to date. He said that there was no proposal under consideration to obtain loan of Rs.650 million from Asian Development Bank for rehabilitation of PR. In response to a question, Haji Ghulam Bilour told the House that three pairs of Mail/Express trains and one shuttle train had been introduced during the last two years.

Hunger strike against anti-CNG policies announced STAFF REPORTER ISLAMABAD—The All Pakistan CNG Association (APCNGA) on Wednesday flayed anti-CNG policies of the government and announced to opt for hunger strike in protest from March 12. We will protest anti-CNG policies of the government, unjust gas distribution, 5-day gas loadshedding for CNG sector in Punjab and continuous discrimination by authorities, said Ghiyas Abdullah Paracha, Chairman Supreme Council APCNGA. Speaking to a press conference here, he said that all the concerned departments

have been harassing CNG operators while false cases are being registered against CNG owners to discourage APCNGA. Ghiyas Abdullah Paracha said that all the concerned authorities have been directed to continue annoy CNG operators continuously after March 16 when assembles will be dissolved. He informed that concerned top officials have been warned of dire consequences if they showed any reluctance in penalising CNG sector which is total disregarded of the law and very unfortunate. Five-day gas loadshedding in Punjab is unacceptable as it amounts to

punishing 80 million masses living in that province, Paracha added. The leaders of the CNG sector said that some top government functionaries, hand in glove with petrol and liquid gas mafia, have laid siege to the CNG sector aiming its annihilation which cannot be allowed under any circumstances. Government has been using energy crisis to reap dividends by promoting influential energy mafia which is worst kind of exploitation masses have ever suffered in history of Pakistan, he added. Paracha said that never in the history of this country such hardship was created for the public to ensure personal prosperity.

CCG must be implemented in letter & spirit: Mukhtar TARIQ KHATTAK ISLAMABAD—The Islamabad Stock Exchange Limited (ISE) in collaboration with the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) conducted an awareness session on Revised Code of Corporate Governance (the Code) at its auditorium. The awareness session was attended by Directors, CEOs, CFOs, company secretaries and internal auditors of companies located in KPK and Rawalpindi/Islamabad. The session was opened with the inaugural address by Mian Ayyaz Afzal, Managing Director, ISE. The MD ISE appreciated the efforts of the SECP for introducing best practices in the corporate sector. He said that the ISE was focusing on ensuring compliance of the Code by

the companies. He said that the Code was initially launched in 2002 as a part of the listing regulations of the stock exchanges. Later on, in 2012, it was reviewed and finalized after extensive stakeholders’ consultation both by the Pakistan Institute of Corporate Governance Task Force and SECP. Mr. Akif Saeed, Executive Director, SECP highlighted the main amendments in the revised Code. Syed Mukhtar Hussain Jaffery, Chairman Demutualization Committee ISE apprised the participants about the philosophy of the Code of Corporate Governance (CCG) and the implementation timelines and schedules of the revised Code. He said that the Code should not only be implemented by the listed entities in letter but also by spirit.

Mr. Imtiaz Haider, Commissioner SMD, SECP said that SECP has been making its best efforts to bring the corporate sector at par with international level. The revised Code was meant to bring about necessary amendments in view of the recent developments in the corporate sector. Mr. Imtiaz Haider also highlighted the other initiatives of SECP taken for the development of the capital market of the country. He said that the Commission is actively working on e-voting system for the general body meetings participation by shareholders. Moreover, the SECP has also encouraged IPOs through electronic system and very soon a comprehensive system with the collaboration of banks shall be in place.

FBR set to protect local industry against onslaught of imported goods STAFF REPORTER K ARACHI —Ali

Arshad Hakeem, Chairman Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) along with his team visited Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce (FPCCI) Head Office, Karachi and held a meeting with Haji Fazal Kadir Khan Sherani, President, FPCCI. During the course of meeting various issues pertaining to taxes came under discussion. While speaking on the occasion, FPCCI President Haji Fazal Kadir Khan Sherani appreciated the ef-

forts of FBR for expansion of income tax network which will contribute the tax share in the GDP. He also appreciated the FBR’s strict action against malpractices, he however opined that the SRO and ad hoc culture in the FBR polices should be eliminated. The members of the FPCCI were of the view that the refund policy should be reviewed. They informed the FBR that the million of rupees were stuck-up in the form of outstanding refund payment. During the meeting, the

Chairman FBR accepted varibal markets and all policies ous demands of the FPCCI in this respect would be members made in the meetdrafted in consultations with ing which was highly apprethe business community. He also announced the ciated by the members of FPCCI. policy of FBR to regularise In response to FPCCI non-tax paid vehicles includproposal, the Chairman FBR ing public transport, which agreed to allow adjustment will be a great benefit to the of accumulated carry forward provinces of Balochistan, input sales tax instead of reBaltistan and Khyber fund under SRO 647 dated Pukhtunkhwa and will be a great benefit to the poor 2007. The Chairman FBR furmasses of these provinces. ther disclosed that FBR was During the meeting the taking certain measures to issue of five percent income protect local industry against tax withholding on all imonslaught of imported goods Haji Fazal Kadir Khan Sherani, President FPCCI is presenting crest to Ali Arshad ports instead of three perin the local as well as the glo- Hakeem, Chairman FBR. cent for industrial manufac-

turers vide SRO 140 was discussed, as well as the matter of life of reconditioned cars being imported into Pakistan. The President, FPCCI also pointed out the huge volume of smuggling of livestock from Pakistan to Afghanistan and Iran. FBR team included Malik Abdus Samad, Deputy Chairman, FBR; Muhammad Raza Baqar, Member, Inland Revenue, FBR; Khawaja Tanveer Ahmed, Chief Commissioner, Inland Revenue, FBR and Khalid Mahmood, Director General, Intelligence and Investigation, FBR.


USA

98.00

97.80

UK

148.25

147.95

EURO

127.70

127.44

Canada

95.53

95.33

Switzerland

104.18

103.97

Australia

100.30

100.09

Sweden

15.27

15.24

Japan

1.0514

1.0493

Norway

17.15

17.11

Singapore

78.77

78.61

Denmark

17.13

17.09

Omani Riyal

256.00

246.00

Saudi Arabia

26.13

26.08

Hong Kong

12.64

12.61

Kuwait

345.42

344.72

Malaysia

31.62

31.56

Newzeland

81.30

81.13

Qatar

26.92

26.86

UAE

26.68

26.63

KR WON

0.0902

0.0900

Thailand

3.290

3.283

Gold Tezab Silver Tezabi

51771.00 925.71

Gold Tezabi (24-Ct) 48000.00 Gold 22 Ct 43890.00 SilverTezabi 830.00 Silver Thobi 800.00

More than 25,000 gems enterprises operate in Punjab ISLAMABAD—Lahore has become the 2nd largest jewellery production hub of Pakistan after Karachi, as more than 25000 business enterprises related to gems and jewellery are operating in Punjab, providing employment to more than 20,0000 individuals. Traditionally Lahore has always been a land of finesse artisans and this tradition has transcended in the jewellery industry as well. Continuing its progress on the mandate of development of gems and jewellery industry,Pakistan Gems and Jewellery Development Company (PGJDC) has established a Gems and Jewellery Training and Manufacturing Center (GJTMC) at Lahore. The center is successfully providing training and common facility services to the gems and jewellery industry of Punjab. Talking to APP, an official said the training center is not only for the jewellers but for everybody who wants to learn to design jewellery. “With its new approach in jewellery making, GJTMC will help refine artistic abilities to make jewellery while working in a creative and rewarding jewellery profession”. Classes are taught through live demonstrations, as well as though lectures supported by multimedia presentations and comprehensive exercises which provides students with rich and rewarding learning experience in the best suited environment. Official said GJTMC Lahore possesses a highly qualified, immensely experienced and very dedicated faculty who helps the students to bring forth their creativity and convert dream ideas into beautiful jewellery pieces. In an effort to further support the growing industrialization of the province, PGJDC intends to open a GJTMC in thriving gems and jewellery industry of Sargodha in near future as well. APP DR. Baig appointed Chairman Pak-UAE business council ISLAMABAD, Mar 6 (APP): The President Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FPCCI) Senator Haji Fazal Kadir Khan Sherani has appointed Dr. Mirza Ikhtiar Baig as Chairman PAK-UAE Business Council of FPCCI for the year 2013. The other Directors on the board elected unopposed from Dr. Baig’s panel are: Mir Shakeel Ur Rehman - Independent Media Corporation, Sirajuddin Aziz - Habib Metropolitan Bank, Mirza Ishtiaq Baig Photo Magic Int’l LLC, Nasir H. Schon Schon Group, Syed Farukh Mazhar - SGS, Mirza Omair Baig - Lucky Cotton Mills, Junaid Ahmed - Dubai Islamic Bank and Imtiaz Hussain - Asia Mega Foods.—APP

Senate body directs PARC for publicizing latest researches STAFF REPORTER

munity living rural areas to enhancing their farm output by utilizing the modern and innovative technology. Committee also directed the research institute to develop the nurseries and seeds centers across the country to facilitate the farmers to enhance the agriculture output. The meeting further directed the council to release its own newsletter or magazine containing the expert opinions and guidelines of the agricultural experts and circulated it the Universities and all research institutes. The committee also directed the council to initiate public and private partnership to develop the higher yield varieties of different crops of fruit and vegetable.

PARC Chairman Dr Iftikhar Ahmed told the comI SLAMABAD —The Senate mittee that high yielding seed of wheat was introduced by Standing Committee on NaNational Agriculture Retional Food Security and Research Council (NARC) search (NFSR) asked the Pawhich enhanced about 17 kistan Agriculture Research mound output per acre. BeCouncil (PARC) to take apsides, the PARC has also depropriate measures dissemiveloped hybrid seed of nating information of agriculcanola which is available at tural research to the the reasonable price in the grossroots level. The commitopen market, he said. tee met here Wednesday It was further told that with Senator Syed Muzafar the PARC had developed Hussain Shah in the chair new different types seeds ISLAMABAD: Senator Syed Muzafar Hussain Shah, Chairman Senate Committee of NFS&R presiding over a and discussed the different varieties in ten years while meeting on PARC initiatives. issues related to agricultural it takes at least of 15 years development and research to produce such seeds. The for enhancing the production meeting was attended by of crops in the country. Senators, Muhammad The committee called Kazim Khan, Nuzhat Sadiq, upon PARC to further conMuhammad Zafarullah vey the agricultural research Khan Dhandla and Mohsin to the door step of the farmK ARACHI —Four ships carLeghari. ers particularly farming comrying containers and iron ore $153.35 million. The Friday STAFF REPORTER M U LTA N —Multan Chamof the first weekend of the were berthed at Qasim Interber of Commerce and Indus- I SLAMABAD —International sale also witnessed record national Containers Terminal try (MCCI) on Wednesday visitors to the UAE spent spending, with over $25 mil- and IOCB Terminal on Tuesstressed the need for in- over $589 million on their Visa lion spent on overseas Visa day, port sources said here stalling fire extinguish cards during the Dubai Shop- cards. Wednesday. Four more ships equipments at all industrial ping Festival 2013, registerThe data also revealed carrying containers, iron ore units to ensure safety of ing a 19 per cent year-on-year that cardholders from Russia, and edible oil also arrived at workers at the work place. growth over DSF 2012, ac- Kingdom of Saudi Arabia outer anchorage of Port Secretary Communica- committee has been formed to STAFF REPORTER In addition to installaQasim during the last 24 tions Anwaar Ahmed Khan discuss the matter and it tion of equipment at the in- cording to data issued by and the United Kingdom hours. were the top spenders durVisa Inc., the world’s largest ISLAMABAD—Federal Minis- while speaking at the occa- would submit its report within dustrial units, labour deBerth occupancy was retail electronic payments ing DSF 2013, contributing in ter for Communications Dr. sion told that NHA has the two weeks. partment should also play networks and a lead sponsor excess of $82 million, $66 mil- 95% on Wednesday where a The NHC took a policy a pivotal role to ensure that Arbab Alamgir Khan has said capacity to complete National total of ten ships namely that NHA has portfolio of Rs. Highway Network projects decision on construction of workers should not be ex- of the region’s premier shop- lion and $53 million respec- MSC Nllgun, Deira, Maersk tively to the UAE economy. ping event. 750 billion all over Pakistan, within the PSDP allocation. bridges across major rivers as posed to any kind of risks The results collected by Visa cardholders from each of Kalamata, Hanjin Venezia, but the available budgetary The projects outside National 4-Lane to provide access including fire eruption at Mercy Wisdom, Denny-Z, allocations do not match its Highway Network exert pres- across and keeping in view the work place, said MCCI the company’s VisaVue® these countries showed sig- Mycenae, Daiduing Sunrise, nificant increase in spending Travel data service indiportfolio. Average allocations sure on the budgetary alloca- the increasing volume of traf- president Muhammad M.T Lahore and Bunga of 20-25 billion per annum do tion through diversion of fic and economic activity. Khan Saddozai while ad- cated the month-long retail compared to DSF 2012, with Akasia are currently occupyRussians spending 34 per and shopping extravaganza not enable NHA to complete funds towards those projects. Secretary Communications dressing a fire safety semigot off to an excellent start, cent more on their Visa cards ing berths to load/ offload its project in time, he added. He proposed that NHA told that Prime Minister of nar. with spending on overseas- compared to last year’s sale, containers, cement, wheat, Federal Minister said this should be given additional Pakistan has also approved Industrialists and busi- issued Visa cards in the first while Saudis spent 26 per rice, iron ore, furnace oil and while addressing the 26th budget for such schemes so the proposal. He also quoted nessmen got a detailed edible oil respectively. A cent more than DSF 2012. Meeting of National Highway that the progress of the project the construction of Thakot briefing through multime- week of DSF touching cargo volume of 155778 Bridge and Khushalgarh dia from experts of Fire Council (NHC) held in Minis- is not affected. tonnes comprising 115573 The meeting discussed Bridge which will give impe- Safety Institute (FSI) try of Communications, here tonnes imports and 40205 matters relating to revenue tus to economic activity in Multan during the seminar. on Wednesday. tonnes exports inclusive of Dr. Arbab Alamgir Khan generation and stressed upon the area. Workers should have containerised cargo carried in Secretary Planning said masks, gloves, and all said that a planned priority of increasing the revenue gen3344 containers (TEUs) was projects is needed to be imple- eration to make the organiza- that cost effectiveness of other safety gadgets for handled at the Port during the In Women’s Singles, S TAFF R EPORTER mented in letter and spirit to tion self sufficient. The Fed- each bridge should be taken their protection, Saddozai last 24 hours. —APP Azka Hamid was the clear ensure timely realization of eral Minister proposed that a into account while making said. project. Due to ill planning dedicated separate revenue such decisions. Provision of MCCI senior vice presi- ISLAMABAD—Pakistan Tele- winner, while Tasnim Akhtar cost of projects increases and department should be made more 2-lane bridges, than a dent Bakhtawar Tanweer communication Company and Saira Javed beat Azka this has declined, the comple- within NHA to look after it. single 4-lane bridge may fa- Sheikh said that in addition Limited (PTCL) Inter-Re- Hamid and Nida Iftikhar in Table Tennis Women’s Doubles. Mr. & Chairman NHA told that a cilitate more people, he added. to ensuring safety of work- gional tion rate, he added. ers, the fire safety systems Tournament’s first phase has Mrs. Aqdus Faraz Tahir beat were also part of interna- concluded at the company’s their rivals Azka Hamid and STAFF REPORTER tional standards which Officers Club F-8, Islamabad. Raza Sarwar in the Mixed must be met to have access The 14 day tournament saw Doubles finals. The matches ISLAMABAD —Intel Pakistan to lucrative foreign markets a large number of employees drew large number of spec- has signed a Memorandum for Pakistani products. He competing in categories of tators comprising of employ- of Understanding (MoU) laid stress on ceaseless ad- Men’s Singles, Women’s ees as well as their families with Pakistan Science Founvocacy which should in- Singles, Men’s Doubles, who appreciated the sports- dation (PSF - Federal Minisclude efforts to highlight Women’s Doubles, Veteran’s manship and level of com- try of Science & Technolbenefits behind meeting the Singles, Veteran’s Doubles petition displayed by the ogy) to support Intel Pakiplayers. international standards for and Mixed Doubles. Syed Mazhar Hussain, stan in holding Science Fairs In the Men’s Singles fiworkers safety. PTCL Senior Executive Vice all over the country. nal, Amir Kundi emerged as He said that standards The MoU will bring Intel should be implemented and winner by brilliantly defeat- President (SEVP) HR pre- Pakistan and PSF together to sented awards among the ing Asim Akhtar, while must be monitored reguwork for accelerating the pace larly to avoid recurrence of Imran-Ul-Haq and Haroon players reiterating that the and scale of education in Patragic fire incidents that Rafiq defeated Aamir Kundi company shall carry on with kistan and will create awarehad cost lives of many & Salman A Farooqi after an its efforts to bring PTCL fam- ness and promote research in workers in Karachi and enthralling match in Men’s ily closer through co-curricu- Sciences. PSF works to proLahore. FSI head Abdur Doubles final. Behram lar activities in future as well, mote scientific research and Rahman said that situation Shahrokh Aslam stood the enabling employees to provide funding for research regarding availability of ground in his contest with showcase their athletic abili- projects in the areas of Agriproper fire safety arrange- Aqdus Faraz Tahir in ties, sporting passion and cultural Sciences, Biological ments was not encourag- Veteran’s Singles before team spirit. Abdul Sattar Naeem, Ex- Sciences, Bio-technology ing and added that indus- teaming up with Abdul ecutive Vice President (EVP) and Genetic Engineering, Sattar to defeat Sana Ullah FAISALABAD: A view of a factory closed due to load-shedding. trialists and business comHR Services and other senior Chemical Sciences, InformaShaikh & Abdul Rashid munity must take the initiaofficials were also present at tion Technology, MathematiQuadry in Veteran’s tive to improve it.—APP cal Sciences, Environmental the occasion. Doubles. Sciences, Engineering, Earth sciences, Medical sciences and Physics. The Foundation has so far funded 1031 research projects in various fields of Science and Technology and has been supAffairs, Ministry of Com- interview, but 20% marks STAFF REPORTER porting Intel in conducting merce, Ministry of Textiles, were allocated for it in the fithe Intel ISEF affiliated NaI SLAMABAD —Ministry of Board of Investment, Secre- nal assessment. It may be tional Science Fairs ever Commerce has strongly re- tary Establishment Division mentioned that the job desince the inception of the futed the news items appear- and Chief Executive TDAP scription of a trade officer program in Pakistan in the ing in a section of the media interviewed all the shortlisted requires more than the theoyear 2003. that the selection of trade candidates to select the best retical knowledge of the trade officers was made on politi- professionals to represent related matters. It entails cal recommendations. In a the trade interests of Paki- strong interpersonal skills to statement issued to the me- stan, abroad. An impression act as trade diplomat and dia, the Ministry of Com- has also been created in the strong networking ability for merce has stated that it was media that the weightage of effective trade promotion. not unusual in Pakistan to try written test in the final selec- Therefore, the interview has to influence the selection tion was only 20%. It is to a stronger weightage than process by using references. clarify that in the past, the written test in the final selecHowever, the selection pro- written test did not have any tion process. J OHANNESBURG —African The selection process cess was conducted on com- weightage, at all, in the setelecoms giant MTN on plete professional lines. A lection process and only in- was conducted impartially Wednesday reported weaker and professionally, without written test was conducted terview mattered. than expected earnings, as curThe weightage to the any political influence. The by LUMS to short-list the rency fluctuations bit into the written test was introduced best example of the fair secandidates. South African company’s botA high-powered inter- in the last selection policy lection is that one of the lady tom line. Revenue jumped ministerial selection board approved by the Prime Min- officers, selected for one of nearly 10.9 percent in 2012 to headed by the Commerce ister in May 2012. Thus, this the most important posting ISLAMABAD: Syed Mazhar Hussain, PTCL SEVP HR and Abdul Sattar Naeem, EVP 135 billion rand ($15 billion), but Minister, with federal secre- weightage of written test was stations (London) has de- HR Services with the winner and runner-up players of PTCL Inter-Regional Table headline earnings per share intaries of Ministry of Foreign not only to allow entry for clined the offer. Tennis Tournament. creased just 1.9 percent to 10.89 cents from 10.69 cents. The mobile giant operates in 22 African and Middle Eastern countries, and now has 189.3 million customers, up over their air quality to protect launch was a demo measure- M3) for safe occupational Pakistan Environmental Pro- ous mercury. 15 percent. The company said STAFF REPORTER environment and human ment of mercury pollution at health and safety. tection Agency (Pak - EPA) Mercury sources are foreign currency losses in marISLAMABAD—Pakistan’s first health. SDPI office, which the team SDPI monitoring team is and Institute of Chemical quite diverse, ranging from kets like Iran and Syria resulted As part of commence- selected as their first sam- now going to visit Lahore for Sciences, Peshawar Univer- thermometers, electric bulbs, in the bottom line shrinking and ever project to measure mercury pollution in the air was ment activities, the teams of pling site in Pakistan. The further monitoring at differ- sity, Khyber PakhtunKhawa and switches to power a marginal profit according to launched here on Wednes- SDPI monitors have been team took indoor and out- ent sampling sites, including had already extended their plants, coal fired power sta- adjusted earnings. It has been tions, metal smelters, gold a tough year for the South Afday. The collaborative project trained on Lumex Mercury door air samples along with dental clinics, light products support for the study. Mercury (Hg), known as mining and cement industry. rica-based firm, fending off graft started by Sustainable Devel- Analyzer and other special- other climatic parameters manufacturing industry and opment Policy Institute ized field instruments to ac- such as temperature, humid- chlor-alkali plant. Lahore visit ‘quick silver’ poses serious It is also employed in some allegations linked to Iran and (SDPI), European Environ- curately collect and note ity, wind speed and direction. would be followed up by simi- risks not only to environment cosmetics like facial creams increasingly competitive mobile The results showed mercury lar studies at sites in but also to human health. and dental treatments like markets. “The year was mental Bureau (EEB) and measurements. The project was formally level to be between 10.44 - Peshawar, Islamabad and Earlier this month, 140 coun- mercury amalgam filling. A characterised by the continued Zero Mercury Working tries in Geneva adopted a persistent pollutant, Mercury global economic slowdown, Group (ZMWG), is an at- launched by SDPI’s Execu- 10.89 (n=9) nano gram per Rawalpindi. The project has garnered ground-breaking, world’s is not limited to its source but increasingly competitive mobile tempt to identify and moni- tive Director, Dr. Abid cubic meter of the air. These tor ‘Mercury emission and Qayyum Suleri and Deputy levels are considered safe, widespread support across first legally binding treaty on it travels and sometimes markets as well as regulatory release sites’ in various cit- Executive Director, Dr. Vaqar and are far below than the the country where Ministry mercury, limiting the use and found thousands of kilome- and political challenges,” the ies of Pakistan and assess Ahmad. Main feature of the permissible limit (2000 ng/ of Disaster Management, emission of health-hazard- ters away from the source. firm said in a statement.—AFP

MCCI for fire fighting tools in factories

Visa registers 19pc increase in spending

PQ shipping activity

NHA has portfolio of Rs 750b all over country: Arbab

PTCL inter-regional table tennis tourney concludes

Intel signs MoU with PSF

Selection of trade officers on merit: Ministry

S.Africa’s MTN earnings miss as forex rates bite

Project launched to measure mercury pollution


Lebanon urges AL to reinstate Syria CAIRO—Lebanese Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour called on Wednesday for Syria’s suspension from the Arab League to be lifted in order to help find a political solution to the conflict in the country. Damascus was suspended from membership of the Cairobased League in November 2011, eight months into what began as a peaceful popular uprising against President Bashar alAssad. “I call for Syria’s membership of the Arab League to be unblocked,” Mansour told a League ministerial meeting. “Communication with Syria ... is essential for a political solution.” Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati’s government is dominated by a coalition including the militant group Hezbollah and its mainly Shi’ite and Christian allies who support Assad. Mikati, who has sought to follow a policy of “dissociation” from the conflict in Lebanon’s dominant neighbor, has said his country would respect any decisions taken by the League over Syria. However, Mansour has been critical of the Cairo-based organization’s steps against Damascus. “We have held meetings over two years and taken decision after decision thinking that with them we will be providing Syria with security and stability by removing the regime and replacing it with another while Syria sank into blood and destruction,” said Mansour. Qatar, which has led efforts at the League against Damascus, blamed Assad for nearly two years of bloodshed in Syria in which an estimated 70,000 people have been killed. “The person who brought a sea of blood is Bashar because he did not commit to the Arab decisions and did not cooperate with us,” Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr al-Thani told the meeting. One million refugees have fled Syria, piling pressure on its neighbors, including Lebanon, which are struggling to support them, the United Nations refugee agency said on Wednesday.—Reuters

VP Maduro succeeds Chavez CARACAS—Even in death, Hugo Chavez’s orders are being followed. The man he anointed to succeed him, Vice President Nicolas Maduro, will continue to run Venezuela as interim president and be the governing socialists’ candidate in an election to be called within 30 days. Foreign Minister Elias Jaua confirmed that Tuesday, just hours after Maduro, tears running down his face, announced the death of Chavez, the largerthan-life former paratroop officer who had presided over Venezuela as virtually a one-man show for more than 14 years. It was not immediately clear when the presidential vote would be held. Considerable funereal pageantry was expected to honour Chavez, the political impresario widely adored among Venezuela’s poor for putting the oil-rich state in their service. Seven days of mourning were declared, all school was suspended for the week and friendly heads of state were expected in this economically challenged and violence-afflicted nation for an elaborate funeral Friday. No date or place were announced for Chavez’s burial. Venezuela’s constitution specifies that the speaker of the National Assembly, currently Diosdado Cabello, should assume the interim presidency if a president can’t be sworn in. But the officials left in charge by Chavez before he went to Cuba in December for his fourth cancer surgery in a little less than two years have not been especially assiduous about heeding the constitution, and human rights and free speech activists are concerned they will flaunt the rule of law. Some in anguish, some in fear, Venezuelans raced for home and stocked up on food and water after the government announced Chavez’s death, declining to say what exactly killed him. On Monday night, the government had said the president had been weakened by a severe, new respiratory infection. Tuesday was a day fraught with mixed signals, some foreboding. Just a few hours before announcing Chavez’s death, Maduro virulently accused enemies, domestic and foreign and clearly including the United States, of trying to undermine Venezuelan democracy.—Reuters.

Obama popularity drops WASHINGTON—Less than two months into his second term, President Barack Obama’s approval rating has dropped and Americans blame him and his fellow Democrats almost as much as his Republican opponents for a fiscal mess. A Reuters/Ipsos online poll released on Wednesday showed 43 percent of people approve of Obama’s handling of his job, down 7 percentage points from February 19. Most of that steep drop came in the week to February 26 when it was becoming clear that Washington was going to be unable to put aside partisan differences and agree to halt automatic budget cuts which started last Friday. Confounding the White House’s efforts to blame Republicans for the cuts, most respondents in the online survey hold both Democrats and Republicans responsible. Obama shot out of the gate in January at the start of his second four years in the White House, promising gun control and immigration legislation as well as efforts to tackle climate change and expand gay rights. But Ipsos pollster Julia Clark said the survey shows Obama’s honeymoon is now over, partly due to the “sequestration” cuts which will likely curtail public services like air traffic control and national parks as well as funding for the Pentagon. “People are seeing things are back to business as usual in Washington,” she said. “They are reading about the immense fallout this is going to have in terms of how it’s going to affect the military and individuals.” Thirty-eight percent of Americans believe all the political actors involved - Republican and Democratic members of Congress along with Obama - deserve most of the blame for the cuts. Twentyseven percent think Republicans in Congress are responsible, 17 percent blamed Obama and 6 percent thought Democrats were to blame. Nearly half of independent voters, 49 percent, said both sides deserve the blame. “I think this frustration is being reflected certainly in their view of the president and Congress as well. This is a pox on everyone’s house really,” Clark said. The fall in Obama’s rating was similar to that in the Gallup three-day average tracking poll which shows his approval dropping 7 percentage points from late February to last weekend before recovering slightly. —Reuters

Chaldean patriarch enthroned in Iraq B AGHDAD —Iraq’s Chaldean Catholic Church enthroned a new patriarch during a ceremonial mass Wednesday that was held amid tight security in Baghdad. The mass at St. Joseph’s Chaldean church in downtown Baghdad marked the final step as Louis Sako, 64, replaced Emmanuel III Delly, who has retired. Iraqi troops sealed off all roads leading to the church in the middle-class neighborhood of Karradah and worshippers were searched by security forces before going in. Last month, bishops of the Eastern rite church chose Sako, archbishop of Kirkuk since 2003, as their patriarch and later, Pope Benedict XVI approved the election. Sako was ordained in 1974, earned two doctorates in Rome and Paris in the 1980s and then returned to Iraq. He has written books on church fathers. He speaks Arabic, Chaldean, French, English and Italian. Since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, Iraqi Christians have suffered repeated violence by Islamic militants and hundreds of thousands have fled the country. The most recent Iraq census in 1978 said there were 1.4 million Christians in the country, but the number dropped significantly to only several hundred thousand following the invasion. The vast majority of Iraqi Catholics are Chaldean with a small Assyrian Catholic minority. During Wednesday’s ceremony, Sako said he will push for dialogue with Muslim clerics, both Sunnis and Shiites, to ensure co-existence and cooperation in Iraq. “I will work along with my Muslim brothers in order to provide our country with a better future,” he said. Senior Iraq officials, including Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and Sunni parliament speaker Osama al-Nujaifi attended the ceremony. —Reuters

Bulgaria suffers massive power shortage SOFIA—In a rundown area on tions almost certainly heading for force could come from nowhere, shrunk 7 percent in a decade to ing, will remain blocked from first as doctors and nurses insist the edge of Bulgaria’s capital, where violent protests over power prices brought down the government last month, some residents are risking their lives and their neighbours’ wrath to steal electricity. Struggling to make ends meet in the European Union’s poorest country, thieves bypass the meter or piggyback on someone else’s supply. “They do tricky stuff - putting toothpicks in the light switches, so that the electricity in the entrance can go on and they can hook up to it,” said Lora Todorova, administrator of a communist-era apartment block in Modern Suburb, a district that belies its name. No one seems to be doing anything about it, she says, not the police, nor the power companies, but then few things run as well as they ought. Six years after joining the EU, governance in Bulgaria remains deeply dysfunctional and graft ridden, despite efforts in Brussels to force Sofia to clean up its act. It is the bloc’s second most corrupt member, says Transparency International. “Our compatriots make clear they want simple things they want decent politicians, they don’t want to be robbed, they do not want to be lied to, and they want to live good lives,” President Rosen Plevneliev said in a speech last week. With next month’s elec-

a hung parliament and raising questions over economic stability, those aspirations are unlikely to be met any time soon. Outgoing premier Boiko

inspired by the dramatic rise of comic Beppe Grillo’s Five Star Movement in Italy’s elections last month. “The phrase lions led by don-

7.3 million as citizens fled its toxic mix of corruption, weak rule of law and poor infrastructure. Many in the bloc, and especially in Britain, are concerned

passport-free travel into the Schengen zone due to corruption and organized crime. Successive governments have failed to solve hundreds of

Protestors march on a boulevard during a demonstration in central Sofia. Borisov has alienated his poten- keys comes to mind when I think that a flood of migrants will leave tial coalition partners, while his of the Bulgarian people and some Bulgaria and neighboring Romamain rival, Socialist leader Sergei of the politicians they get,” said nia when the last remaining reStanishev, whose party is neck Andy Anderson, a Briton who strictions are lifted at the end of and neck with Borisov’s, says he runs Stara Planina Properties in this year. won’t be premier if his party the town of Ruse on the Danube. Both countries, whose justice wins. Some think a new political Bulgaria’s population has systems are under EU monitor-

high-profile contract killings that have plagued Sofia and other cities since the late 1990s. Everyday life is a struggle, made worse by frequent lowlevel corruption. Even hospital patients must visit a cash point

Venezuelans mourn Chavez, focus turns to funeral, then election

Karzai calls on Afghan troops to clean up own act

on extra payment above their tiny salaries. All of which helped fuel demonstrations that have continued for nearly a month. Three protestors have even set themselves on fire in protest at high fuel prices and low standards of living. Two of them died. In response, Bulgaria cut electricity prices by an average 7 percent from March 1 and is revoking the licence of Czech utility CEZ, saying the distributors are to blame for the high bills. The companies say they have done nothing wrong. “I am positive that there is some kind of conspiracy with the electricity bills,” outgoing premier Borisov said. By risking a diplomatic row with the Czech government, which is the majority owner of CEZ, and the rest of the EU, Bulgaria has alarmed investors and highlighted a tendency among some new EU members, like Hungary and Romania, to test the bloc’s rules. In the meantime, Bulgarians expect little will change. “We live in a time where corruption dictates the actions of politicians,” said student Grigor Radkov, 24, walking in central Sofia, where plush shops and pedestrianised streets are a far cry from the surrounding estates. Other residents have unusually high bills, and inspectors from CEZ, distributor for the area, have confirmed there have been thefts, she said.—Reuters

Armed Filipinos elusive after Malaysian assault

KUALA LUMPUR—Malaysian which claims to have a royal anforces on Wednesday cestral right over Malaysia’s reC A R A C A S —Venezuelans into peace.”Maduro, a 50-year- would be held within 30 days - K ABUL —Afghan President security battled a group of Filipino intrud- source-rich eastern state of Hamid Karzai is calling on his mourned the death of Hugo old former bus driver and union or whether the date for the ballot Chavez and prepared on Wednesday for his body to lie in state as attention turns to a new election to succeed the socialist leader after 14 years of tumultuous and divisive rule. The 58-year-old president died on Tuesday after a two-year battle with cancer that was first detected in his pelvis. He had suffered multiple complications following his latest operation on December 11 and had not been seen in public since then. The future of Chavez’s selfstyled leftist revolution, which won him passionate support from the poor but alienated opponents who called him a dictator, now rests on the shoulders of his preferred successor, Vice President Nicolas Maduro. “In the immense pain of this historic tragedy that has affected our fatherland, we call on all the compatriots to be vigilant for peace, love, respect and tranquility,” Maduro said. “We ask our people to channel this pain

leader, will be the government’s would be announced within 30 candidate at a new presidential days. Military commanders election that is likely to pit him quickly pledged loyalty to Maduro, who becomes caretaker leader until the new election. Much of Caracas was quiet overnight, with streets deserted especially in richer parts of the capital. Most shops locked their doors as the news spread, fearing looting. Despite having weeks to come to terms with their leader’s likely demise, Chavez supporters were wrought with grief. “He was our father,” said Nancy Jotiya, 56, sobbing in Caracas’ central Plaza Bolivar. “He taught us to defend ourselves. Chavismo is not over! We are the people; we will fight!” Hundreds of emotional against opposition leader and “chavista” loyalists gathered outstate governor Henrique side the military hospital where Capriles. the president spent his last two The authorities said a new weeks. A female TV reporter vote would be called within 30 from neighboring Colombia was days, but it was not immediately beaten up, and gunshots were clear if that meant the election fired in the air.—Reuters

One million refugees have fled Syria: UN

own security forces to clean up their act and end incidents of torture and abuse of the Afghan people. The remarks are a shift in tone from Karzai’s speeches that have solely blamed foreign troops for abuse. Karzai told parliament Wednesday that Afghan forces are violating their own people’s rights, making it harder for him to raise the issue when abuses are carried out by foreigners. He says he didn’t initially want to believe reports that his own security forces had tortured prisoners. Karzai has also blamed U.S. special operations troops together with Afghan forces for a series of alleged incidents in Wardak province, and has called for the withdrawal of U.S. special operations troops there. U.S. officials say they are investigating.—AP

Malaysian troops still hunting gunmen after Sabah assault

ers in the rugged terrain of Borneo after they escaped a military assault with fighter jets and mortar fire on their hideout, police said. One Filipino was shot and believed killed. It was not clear if any of the intruders suffered any casualties in Tuesday’s assault before they melted away into the jungles, chased by hundreds of Malaysian security forces. Previous clashes between the two sides have left 19 intruders and eight policemen dead. Malaysia’s national police chief Ismail Omar said security forces exchanged gunfire in a hilly coastal district thick with foliage slightly after dawn. One clansman was shot and possibly killed, he said. “We’re in a good position. We ask the public not to panic,” Ismail said, adding that authorities would expand their search area beyond the current 4 square kilometers (1.5 square miles). The bizarre security crisis involves some 200 armed members of a Philippine Muslim clan,

Sabah. They arrived with little fanfare from southern Philippines, a short boat ride away, three weeks ago and occupied a remote part of Sabah after scaring away the villagers. Ignoring appeals by the Malaysian government as well as Philippine President Benigno Aquino III, the intruders have refused to leave to highlight their claim. The crisis has caught both countries by surprise. Few in Malaysia or the Philippines even know about the Filipino group led by Jamalul Kiram III, who claims to be the sultan, or the hereditary ruler, of the southern, predominantly Muslim province of Sulu in the Philippines. Sabah and Sulu are separated by a narrow strip of the Sulu Sea that at its shortest span can be traversed by boat in 30 minutes. The two provinces have shared traditional ties and people, who are of the same ethnic stock, frequently travel back and forth.—AP

China eyes residence permits to replace divisive hukou system

FELDA SAHABAT—Malaysian BEIJING—China’s new leaders how long it would take. “The BEIRUT—One million people country when President Bashar five people in Lebanon is now soldiers expanded their hunt for are planning a system of national trend is to dilute the urban-rural have fled Syria’s civil war, piling pressure on the country’s neighbors who are struggling to support them, the United Nations refugee agency said on Wednesday. Around half the refugees are children, most of them aged under 11, and the numbers leaving are mounting every week, UNHCR added. “With a million people in flight, millions more displaced internally, and thousands of people continuing to cross the border every day, Syria is spiraling towards full-scale disaster,” UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres said in a statement. “We are doing everything we can to help, but the international humanitarian response capacity is dangerously stretched. This tragedy has to be stopped.” Nearly two years ago, Syrians started trickling out of the

al-Assad’s forces started shooting at pro-democracy protests. The uprising has since turned into an increasingly sectarian struggle between armed rebels and government soldiers and militias. An estimated 70,000 people have been killed. UNHCR said the number of Syrians quitting their country has increased dramatically since the beginning of the year with more than 400,000 - nearly half the total figure - since January 1st. They arrive traumatized, without possessions and having lost members of their families, it added. Most have fled to Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt and some arrive in North Africa and Europe. Lebanon - the country closest to Syria’s embattled capital of Damascus - is the smallest of the country’s neighbors but has received the most refugees. Including Syrian workers and self-supporting Syrian families, one in

Syrian. Refugee flows into Lebanon have doubled to 4,400 a day in the past three weeks, UNHCR representative in Lebanon Ninette Kelley told Reuters in an interview. But despite pledges of $1.5 billion by international donors for a U.N. response plan to help Syria’s displaced, only 25 per cent has been funded, UNHCR said. In Jordan, energy, water, health and education services are being strained to the limit, the agency added. Turkey has spent more than $600 million setting up 17 refugee camps, with more under construction. There is no end in sight for Syria’s civil war and international powers are divided over how to respond to it. Russia and Shi’ite Iran support their historical ally Assad while the United States and Sunni Muslim Gulf countries back the opposition.—AP

elusive Philippine militants on Borneo island on Wednesday, a day after an all-out assault with fighter jets, mortars and hundreds of troops failed to end the security crisis. The nearly month-long confrontation in Sabah state was sparked when gunmen sailed from the nearby southern Philippines to press an ancient claim to the resource-rich region. Clashes killed at least 27 people including eight Malaysian policemen in the days leading up to the assault, raising concerns of broader insecurity ahead of elections in Malaysia. Malaysian police said one gunman was shot on Wednesday, and warned residents to be on alert for members of the group who had likely escaped into palm-oil plantations that dominate the coastal area and who could be posing as farmers. It was unclear if the gunman had been killed.—Reuters

residence permits to replace the household registration or ‘hukou’ regime, a government source said, a vital reform that will boost its urbanization campaign and drive consumption-led growth. The hukou system, which dates to 1958, has split China’s 1.3 billion people along urbanrural lines, preventing many of the roughly 800 million Chinese who are registered as rural residents from settling in cities and enjoying basic urban welfare and services. Critics have called for changes for years and a government researcher told Reuters a “unified national residence permit system” would be adopted as policy in a document to be published after the current annual session of parliament. Benefits and entitlement under the new system would be “basically equal”, he said, although the changes would be eased in slowly. He did not say

household registration divide”, said the researcher, who was briefed on the details but declined to be identified because the plan has not yet been made public. Previous administrations have experimented with reform on the fringes of hukou for years but have not delivered on calls to overhaul the system, which affords different welfare and civic services to urban and rural citizens. In a speech to parliament on Tuesday that laid out the blueprint of the new leaders, outgoing Premier Wen Jiabao said hukou reforms should be accelerated to drive an urbanization effort that he said would underpin economic development. Zhang Ping, head of the National Development and Reform Commission, China’s main economic planning agency, said on Wednesday that guidelines for the urbanization plan would be launched in the first half of 2013.—Reuters

S-Korea to strike back if North attacked SEOUL/UNITED NATIONS— rean peninsula since the North, Wednesday that it would not to the island shelling, South ties blocked the sale of two yachts sonnel, North Korean banking reSouth Korea’s military said it will strike back at North Korea and target its top leadership if Pyongyang launches a threatened attack in response to what it says are “hostile” drills between U.S. and South Korean forces. One of North Korea’s top generals, in a rare appearance on state television on Tuesday, said Pyongyang had torn up its armistice deal with Washington and threatened military action against the U.S. and South Korea if the drills went ahead. The military exercises began on March 1. Tensions have ratcheted higher across the Ko-

under youthful leader Kim Jongun who took office just over a year ago after the death of his father, launched a long range rocket last December. He followed this with a third nuclear test on February 12, triggering the prospect of more U.N. sanctions that are due to be formally announced on Thursday after the United States and China, the North’s one major diplomatic ally, struck a deal to punish Pyongyang. At the same time, North Korea has stepped up its military threats against South Korea and the United States, prompting the terse warning from Seoul on

stand idly by if its territory was attacked. “We have all preparations in place for strong and decisive punishment, not only against the source of the aggression and its support forces but also the commanding element,” Major General Kim Yong-hyun of the South Korean army told a press conference. North Korea’s bellicose rhetoric rarely goes beyond that, although in 2010 it sank a South Korean naval vessel, killing 46 sailors and in the same year shelled a South Korean island, killing civilians. Stung by criticism it took too long to respond

Korea’s military has relaxed its rules, allowing commanders on the ground to respond to aggression instead of needing permission from top military brass. South Korea’s new President Park Geun-hye had pledged to engage with the North if it dropped its nuclear plans but now faces the prospect of a hostile challenge early in her 5-year term. The proposed fresh sanctions would explicitly ban the sale to Pyongyang of items coveted by North Korea’s ruling elite, such as yachts and racing cars, a U.N. Security Council diplomat said on condition of anonymity. In 2009, Italian authori-

worth more than $10 million that they believed were headed for Kim Jong-il, the current Kim’s father, who enjoyed copious amounts of luxury brandy and fresh sushi in a country where a third of the population is malnourished. The new sanctions will target North Korea’s financial transactions, which often involve using cash couriers that make them hard to trace, and its criminal activities such as drugs and counterfeiting. The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, said the new sanctions would target “the illicit activities of North Korean diplomatic per-

lationships, (and) illicit transfers of bulk cash”. North Korea was slapped with sanctions in 2006 that banned the import of a range of luxury goods from jet skis to Fenders and Harleys following its first nuclear test in a bid to hit the high-life of the Kim family and its hangers on. The impoverished country, whose economy is smaller than it was 20 years ago, has been subject to sanctions of some kind from the United States for almost all of its existence and since 2006 has seen United Nations sanctions imposed for its long range rocket and nuclear tests.—Reuters


Champions League

Real oust United on way to Quarters M A N C H E S T E R —Cristiano Ronaldo scored the decisive goal as Real Madrid controversially came from behind to win 2-1 at Manchester United and reach the Champions League quarter-finals. In a breathless game, Nani forced Sergio Ramos to put through his own goal in the 48th minute to give United a 2-1 aggregate lead in the last 16 tie, only for the Portuguese winger to then be sent off for a foul on Alvaro Arbeloa. Madrid immediately seized the initiative, equalising through substitute Luka Modric in the 66th minute and then earning victory through United old boy Ronaldo on his return to Old Trafford. Madrid manager Jose Mourinho conceded his side had been fortunate to go through, telling ITV: “Independent of the (Nani) decision, the best team lost. We

didn’t deserve to win, but football is like this.” United’s defeat meant that Ryan Giggs’ 1,000th appearance in senior football ended in disappointment, while Madrid can dream of a 10th European title after reinvigorating their season in recent weeks. United manager Alex Ferguson had sprung a major surprise by naming Wayne Rooney on the substitutes’ bench, but Giggs was included in the starting XI as he became only the third British outield player to play in 1,000 games. A wave of applause for Ronaldo rippled around the ground at kick-off and the Madrid number seven unexpectedly found himself in direct opposition to Giggs, who started the match in an unfamiliar role on the right flank. Giggs roused the home fans with a determined run

down the wing in the 20th minute and from the corner he won, United came within a hair’s breadth of taking the lead. Nemanja Vidic met Giggs’ inswinging corner with a typically emphatic header that came back off the righthand post and goalkeeper Diego Lopez reacted well to smother Danny Welbeck’s instinctive follow-up. Madrid then enjoyed a brief spell in the ascendancy, with Rio Ferdinand blocking from Ronaldo and goalkeeper David de Gea thwarting Gonzalo Higuain before Ramos had a goal ruled out for a foul on Robin van Persie. The action soon swang the other way, however, with Lopez doing brilliantly to divert a shot from Welbeck over the bar after he had allowed a stinging effort from van Persie to get ISLAMABAD: Students taking part in different events during the Athletics’ competition in the Sports Week of Air University at Sports Complex. away from hi..—AFP

Shama club win Right to Play Super-6 Twenty20 Cricket trophy

ENGLAND: Real Madrid’s Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo center shoots at goal during the UEFA Champions League round of second leg football match between Manchester United and Real Madrid.

1st day of England-NZ Test washed out

No plans to postpone Asian Snooker: Alamgir

sian Confederation of BilARACHI —Pakistan BilD UNEDIN —Bad light and K liards and Snooker Federa- liards Sports (ACBS) alloheavy rain prevented play on the first day of the opening Test between New Zealand and England on Wednesday, as the tourists lost spinner Graeme Swann without a ball being bowled. The Black Caps won the toss and chose to bowl in overcast conditions, hoping for early swing, but conditions worsened and the teams were unable to take the field. Play was officially called off after an inspection at the tea interval. While England go into the three-Test series as firm favourites, they suffered a blow when Swann was forced from the side at the last minute after a long-standing elbow injury flared up, requiring surgery by a US specialist.—AFP

tion (PBSF) has no plan to postpone the upcoming Asian Snooker Championship scheduled to be held here in April/May. “At this stage we have no plans to postpone it. We are resorting to wait-and-see policy,” he told a group of reporters at Karachi Gymkhana on Wednesday. “It is too early to predict things. We are hoping to stage (it) here as per plan,” he commented.

cated the event to Pakistan which is scheduled to be held at a local five star hotel from April 27 to May 3. “At this stage we are not even thinking to shift it to Islamabad,” he said. “The cost of shifting of the event would be very high as compared to Karachi,” he said. Pak-India Snooker series which was to be held here from March 7 to 10 has been postponed on Sunday last.—APP

P ESHAWA R —Shama club clinched the trophy after defeating Gymkhana Stars in the final of the Right to Play Super-6 Twenty20 cricket tournament played here at Arbab Niaz Cricket Stadium on Wednesday. Director General Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Directorate of Sports Iltaf Khan Umarzai was the chief guest on this occasion, President Peshawar District Cricket Association Syed Fayyaz Ali Shah, Senior Vice President Malik Farman, former President Peshawar District Cricket Association Asghar Khan, former international Test umpire Mian Said Shah, Organizing Secretary and former Secretary General of Peshawar District Cricket Association Hanif Shah, officials and players were also present on this occasion. Shama club skipper Hamad-ul-Hasan won the toss and elected to bat first grabed 269 runs target with a cracking 66 balls center knock of Adil Amin 144 runs including 12 boundaries and six sixes. Muhammad Shoaib Khan hammered another elegant knock of 67 runs off 32 balls with six boundaries and two sixes, Hamad-ul-Hasan made 26 runs and were the leading runs contributors. For Gymkhana Stars Aziz Ullah claimed two wickets, Saqib took two wickets while Ahmad Gul and Rushtam got one wicket each.—APP

Cycling: Kittel wins stage as French champion crashes out

CMC Larkana annual sports week starts

(France)— Howard taking the final place Gaudin third overall and a LARKANA—The Sixth Shaheed further second adrift. “It Benazir Bhutto Annual Sports Germany’s Marcel Kittel on the podium. “I am very happy to have gives me great satisfaction to Week-2013, organised jointly had this opportunity,” said have the yellow jersey which by Sindh Peoples Students Kittel. “After the first stage, was my objective,” enthused Federation (SPSF) CMC Unit, I was very disappointed not Viviani. “I didn’t win the the Administration of Shaheed to have a chance to win be- stage but Kittel was very Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto cause I had a puncture about strong, too strong for me to- Medical University and 10km from the finish. “It’s day. “I’ve taken a look at the Chandka Medical College important for me to win a race profile for the next stage and (CMC) started from Wedneson the World Tour and also it’s going to be difficult to day at CMC Larkana. It will continue till Monto do it so early in the sea- retain the jersey but I have a Vice Chancellor son but it is probably the last good team and I’m going to day. SMBBMU Larkana Professor chance for me to win on this try my best.” year’s Paris-Nice,” he added. Stage three features a Akbar Haider Soomro along Viviani has a seven sec- 170.5km ride from Chatel-Guyon with Principal CMC Professor ond lead to protect over to Brioude and includes a cat- Assadullah Mahar inauguFrenchman Sylvain Chavanel egory two climb just 15km from rated the Sports Week on Wednesday by opening of a won the second stage of the with compatriot Damien the finish.—AFP badminton match.—APP Paris-Nice race, a 200.5km ride from Vimory to Cerilly, on Tuesday. However, the overall lead is held by Italian Elia Viviani, who benefited from overnight leader French champion Nacer Bouhanni crashing out of the race when he came to grief 58km from the finish and suffered a mouth injury. The 22-year-old was later diagnosed with two broken teeth and needed eight stitches to repair the split lip. “The x-rays revealed no fractures or even any cracked ribs which was what we feared,” said FDJ team doctor Gerard Guillaume. The 24-year-old Kittel who counts a stage win on the Tour of Spain in 2011 amongst his honours - overtook four riders, including Viviani, to take the stage in a sprint finish. Viviani finished LARKANA: Students playing snooker during 6th Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto second with Australian Leigh Annual Sports Week 2013 at Chandka Medical College.

C ERILLY

Youth Festival

Gujranwala Bar win cricket, Lahore Press bag TT title L AHORE —Gujranlawa won the Bar Association cricket title beating Rawalpindi in the final here at Mehran club Wednesday while Lahore Press Club reached the final of badminton at the Iqbal Park Sports Complex Gymnasium and their table tennis team clinched the title of Punjab festival at Johar Town Hall. On the third day of the final phase of the Punjab Youth Festival, PHA got walk over and reached the final to face Sports Board Punjab team for the departments table tennis title. SBP table tennis team made its way to the final beating Motorway Police.—APP FAISALABAD: Students posing for a photo during the Annual Sports Day of Punjab Model College.

Sachin may have experienced mixedemotions for his longest wait in Hyderabad Test: Sports Psychologist BIPIN DANI OBSERVER CORRESPONDENT M U M B A I —The recently concluded Test match in Hyderabad saw Sachin Tendulkar’s longest wait. The 40-year-old, India’s master-blaster, who has above 34,000 runs in his 24-year-long international career, had to wait for 109.4 overs-the most he had to wait with his pads on. Vijay Murali and Cheteshwar Pujara’s partnership made him to wait for 7 hours & 15 minutes for his 7 runs. Sachin could have experienced ‘mixed-emotions’, according to Dr. Chaitanya Sridhar, the Sport Psychologist whose Doctoral Research was on the ‘Emotional Labour (Work) of Indian and

Austalian cricketers. Speaking exclusively from Bangalore, she said, “he (Sachin) would have been happy as India was in a pretty good place. Yet, to wait that long would be a little frustrating for anyone. Hence the phrase ‘mixed emotions’- happy and a little frustrated due to the longwait”. “What an athlete thinks would depend on his/her ‘conditioning and state of mind, along with how the team is placed’. Given the amount of pressure we put on him everytime, he might have focused either on what may or may not go well or just kept his mind blank and focused on the match. Thoughts might spring up every now and then. No experienced player will be having a ‘mental dialogue’ for the entire span he was pad-

ded up”, she said. Adding further, she says, “however, being padded up is also a ‘sign of readiness’.. it would have taken a lot of ‘mental energy to defocus’, especially when the wait is very long. ‘Regaining focus’ when actually batting would require some effort. This is akin to his 7-hour wait and scoring 7 runs”. “On the other hand, Sachin is one of the seasoned players who has silenced his critics with his bat on many occassions and being one of the most ‘mentally tough players’, by now he would have learnt the art of ‘mind control’ and staying focused on the ‘present moment and enjoying the game’. And, think about the rest, when he goes in to bat”, she signed off.


Brain tests show child wealth gap

T

HE brains of children from low-in come families process information differently to those of their wealthier counterparts, US research suggests. Normal nine and 10-year-olds from rich and poor backgrounds had differing electrical activity in a part of the brain linked to problem solving. The Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience study was described as a “wakeup call” about the impact of deprivation. A UK researcher said it could shed light on early brain development. The 26 children in the study, conducted at the University of California, Berkeley, were measured using an electroencephalograph (EEG), which measured activity in the “prefrontal cortex” of the brain. Half were from low income homes, and half from high income families. During the test, an image the children had not been briefed to expect was flashed onto a screen, and their brain responses were measured. Those from lower income families showed a lower prefrontal cortex response to it than those from wealthier households. Dr Mark Kishiyama, one of the researchers, said: “The low socioeconomic kids were not detecting or processing the visual stimuli as well - they were not getting that extra boost from the prefrontal

cortex.” Since the children were, in health terms, normal in every way, the researchers suspected that “stressful environments” created by low socioeconomic status might be to blame. Previous studies have suggested that children in low-income families are spoken to far less - on average hearing 30 million fewer words by the age of four. Professor Thomas Boyce, another of the researchers, said that talking more to children could boost prefrontal cortex development. “We are certainly not blaming lower socioeconomic families for not talking to their kids - there are probably a zillion reasons why that happens.” His colleague, Professor Robert Knight, added: “This is a wake-up call - it’s not just that these kids are poor and more likely to have health problems, but they might actually not be getting full brain development from the stressful and relatively impoverished environment associated with low socioeconomic status.”He said that with “proper intervention and training”, improvements could be made, even in older children.Dr Emese Nagy, from the University of Dundee, said that it was a “pioneering” study which could aid understanding of how environment could affect brain development.

KARACHI: Firefighters extinguishing fire that was erupted at New Sabzi Mandi on Supper Highway.

Ebad for arrest of perpetrators at the earliest

STAFF REPORTER tention for treatment of the inARACHI — Commissioner debris have been lifted. KARACHI—Sindh Governor, K Lifting of debris from jured have been provided. Karachi Syed Hashim Raza Dr. Ishrat-ul-Ebad Khan, on Wednesday presided over an emergent meeting of the police, rangers and intelligence agencies at the Governor House here. A Governor House statement said that Dr. Ishrat-ulEbad Khan directed that the perpetrators of Abbas Town blasts be arrested at the earliest. He further directed that action against the terrorists in the province be speeded up and that there be coordinated system of information of the intelligence agencies. The Governor also instructed that rangers and the police should take prompt action on the basis of intelligence information.

Sharjeel warns against forced closure of shops KARACHI: Employees of Sobhraj Hospital hold a demonstration in support of their demands.

KW&SB orders to pay KESC bills STAFF REPORTER KARACHI—The High Court of Sindh through a Divisional Bench order has taken cognizance that Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KW&SB) is not paying its current monthly bills to Karachi Electric supply Company (KESC) and has ordered KWSB to commence paying its current monthly bills from February, 2013 directly to KESC. In return, KESC will restore power to those facilities (of KW&SB), which are currently disconnected. The supply of electricity to all of KW&SB’s facilities has been made subject to payment of monthly current bills by KW&SB to KESC which amounts to approximately Rs. 350 to 400 Million per month. Due to non-payment of current monthly bills to KESC, the outstanding amounts owed to it by KWSB have risen to a staggering Rs. 21 Billion. The Order dated February 28, 2013 has been welcomed by KESC management, as it will help reduce the liquidity crunch on KESC as it will start receiving its current monthly bills from KW&SB. This will also stop the total outstanding payable from increasing, for which the Federal Government is directly liable to make payment to KESC under the terms of the Implementation Agreement.

Security sought for ambulance service, staff KARACHI—Pakistan Islamic nity by all.” Medical Association (PIMA) Wednesday urged the government to ensure absolute protection for ambulance services and their staff offered by different Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in Karachi. According to a press release, President of PIMA Dr. Misbah-ul-Aziz and Sindh President, Dr. Abdul Aziz Memon have said that ambulances and the associated staff meeting an essential need of the citizens must be considered as “neutral” by all stakeholders. “The vehicles and the staff manning them must necessarily be granted immu-

Dr. Aziz said there was also an urgent need to declare all hospitals, clinics and healthcare facilities as “armsfree zone.” Dr. Memon demanded of the authorities to ensure fool proof security arrangements for professionals associated with a profession meant to serve the ailing humanity. Their security must be adopted as a collective responsibility of all stakeholders. They reiterated that protection of people in general must be ensured in all parts of the province with particular reference to Karachi.—APP

WAF condemns extremists, militants for killing citizens K ARACHI —Women Action WAF members demanded. Forum (WAF) has condemned all extremist elements for killing of people, terrorist attacks without any justification. WAF members in a resolution adopted on Wednesday demanded that militant organisations must face public criminal prosecution through due process of law. They said the criminal justice system must become responsive to the needs of citizens and the impunity with which these terrorists operate must be revoked. “Above all their funding sources must be halted,”

The activists said peace is not simply cessation of killing and that there cannot be peace without justice. Expressing their unstinting support for democracy, they demanded that political parties must fulfill their mandate of representation. “Political parties must stand by families of victims of terrorism, survivors of violence and ordinary citizens who are the aggrieved party,” they said. WAF members urged the political parties to prioritise interests and concerns of vulnerable groups.—APP

Abbas Town blasts affectees to get compensation: Commissioner

IRFAN ALIGI K A R A C H I — Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Enam Memon has asked the law enforcement agencies to ensure complete protection of lives and property of the people of the city and deal with the perpetrators with an iron hand. No one should be allowed to jeopardize lives of the innocent people. He said that the government would not allow anyone to force the trades and shopkeepers to keep their businesses closed and those that would force the people to shut their shops would face the music. The Minister asked the traders to keep their shops and businesses outlets open and it would be the government;’ responsibility to ensure their full security.

FATA children’s scholarships

Zaidi has said that the compensation amount announced by the government for the affectees of twin blast at Abbas Town would be provided to them in two to three days. He said this while talking to media representatives in a relief camp set up in Abbas Town on Tuesday evening. The Commissioner Karachi said technical survey of affected buildings have been completed and 85 percent

blasts-hit buildings along with other works at affected place in Abbas Town would be completed by Wednesday evening, he added. Syed Hashim Raza Zaidi himself was present in relief camp for several hours and monitored the restoration and relief works. Injured people and relatives of blasts’ victims also met with him and shared their problems. He said that all necessary facilities along with special at-

He said that the arrangements of residence along with food and water for victims of Abbas Town have been made, on the directives of Sindh Governor Dr. Ishrat-ul-Ebad Khan. Eight families have been shifted immediately to a school of New Rizvia Society on temporary basis whereas the arrangements for shifting remaining families along with their goods have been made, the Commissioner Karachi said.—APP

KW&SB now chases slums for water charges STAFF REPORTER K ARACHI — Karachi Water and sewerage Board (KW&SB) Managing Director Misbahuddin Fareed had been extra active in making the collection of revenue improved but to no avail. The financial crunch had escalated in his tenure as the MD to its apex. On Tuesday, the MD had is-

sued orders for collecting improvement and betterment charges from the Army Cantonment Boards of the city while a dispute with the DHA was yet to be resolved because the DHA had been suffering from acute water shortage from the Board. Recently, the MD had issued orders for the establishment of Kachi Abadis (Spatial Settlement) revenue Generation Cell

(KARGC). The Board had said that the objective of the establishment of the KARGC was to expedite revenue collection campaign from the residential and commercial consumers of water. Mehmood Qadir and Jawaid Shamim had been made incharge of the KARGC and they would prepare a data in different categories in three months.

KU invites alumni for registration as official body K ARACHI — The University of Karachi is launching its first-ever alumni body on March 11 as named University of Karachi Alumni, an official said on Wednesday . Through this alumni body, the University will ensure that good communication link is established amongst the alumni as well as between the University. To achieve this it has established an office in the Public Relation Office, where administrative facilities are provided to its alumni for the completion of their membership.

Not only this, the office will be responsible to build a cohesive network of UoK Alumni. It will ensure unhindered communication throughout the year that includes timely announcement of University events as well. The office aims to organise different alumni based activities that will help in connecting the alumni around the globe. It is pertinent to note that graduates from colleges and institutes affiliated to Karachi University are also eligible to obtain the membership. These measures will keep

the alumni informed about the whereabouts and achievements of fellow alumni, as well as important developments at the University. To provide a more efficient communication link, a website will soon be developed to provide up to date information regarding alumni events. Also, the latest developments at the University will be announced through this website. An electronic version of the University Magazine will also be available on the website.—APP

Police on high alert K ARACHI — Sindh police spokesman on wednesday said that the police have been put on high alert in view of the city situation. The mobile motorcycle patrolling, snap checking, picketing and action against the alleged criminals intensified, said a police statement here. For the protection of the lives and property of the people, action is being taken without any distinction against miscreants and alleged criminals, it added.—APP

FUUAST extends admission date K ARACHI — The

Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science and Technology (FUUAST) has extended the last date for admission. According to a spokesperson of the institution here on Wednesday said that last date of admission has been extended, for the Evening Programme of the Faculty of Business Administration, Commerce and Economics at its Abdul Haq Campus till March 11.—APP

AKU to mark Cancer Survivor Day

KARACHI —Aga Khan University (AKU) hospital will KASBIT and Chairman of celebrate Cancer Survivor KASB Foundation, Arif Ali Day on March 9 to acknowlShah Bukhari had a formal edge those who have braved meeting with former chancelthe disease often considered lor Gerhard Schroeder of Geras terminal ailment. many. The event will also be an The meeting was held inspiration for those recently during an international condiagnosed as would meet the ference in Istanbul, Turkey, survivors, said the organisers said a statement here on on Wednesday. It is expected Wednesday. to generate support for famiIt said that Bukhari aplies with cancer patients prised the former German around as an awareness seschancellor about the sucsion will be held on the occacessful implementation of the sion addressing the commuFATA Children’s Scholarship nity at large. Programme. Cancer specialists includThe programme was run ing consultants, radiologists by KASB Foundation with and nurses will speak to the the support of the German participants and respond to Foreign Office to educate the children from FATA re- KARACHI: Rangers’ soldiers showing the ammunition recovered during a search op- queries raised by all coneration in Bakhar Goth area. cerned sections.—APP gion.—APP

K ARACHI — Chancellor of


Anxiety, depression destroys brain effectiveness

D

EPRESSION and anxiety create havoc with brain chemicals. De pression and anxiety are two factors that can cause havoc in a person’s general health. Depression is caused due to a number of factors ranging from emotional turmoil to too much exertion at work. These create undesirable reactions in the body and cause ill health. There are a number of neurotransmitters and chemicals in the brain that are responsible for maintaining balance in the body. When a person is stressed, these elements are impacted. In several cases, important chemicals in the neither brain such as nor epinephrine, dopamine and serotonin that are responsible for calming the brain and inducing sleep are lost due to stress. Emotional and psychological problems that follow depression and anxiety; Owing to the high stress life that people are living these days, there is a large increase in the number of cases of depression and anxiety. Being depressed can increase emotional degeneration. Loss of self esteem is one of the major emotional side effects of depression. The person begins to become introverted and withdrawn. Anxiety creates a constant feeling of fear in a person that can cause strain in personal and professional lives. Further, people suffering with such a problem develop other prob-

lems such as insomnia. If not treated in time, they can lead to serious problems that can result in suicides.Depression and anxiety is caused due to a number of factors. The leading causes are some kind of tragedy such as loss of a loved one, divorces, failure in professional front and other incidents that can make a solid impact on a person. Depression can also be caused due to drugs used for illnesses. Many drugs that are used to treat diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, insomnia and Alzheimer ’s have been known to cause depression and anxiety. Among the two genders, it has been found that women are more susceptible to depression and anxiety than men. Women can also suffer depression during major hormonal changes in the body such as menopause, pregnancy and childbirth. Excessive loss and gain of weight can also lead to these problems. A person who suffers from depression and anxiety tends exhibit symptoms such as unprecedented and unreasonable fear, withdrawal, sweating, tight shoulders, stiff neck, irregular breathing and irregular heart beat. A good physiatrist will be able to cure the problem through a combination of medicines, counseling and therapy. Healthy living habits, eating nutritious food and adequate exercise can be very effective in reducing depression and anxiety.

LAHORE: PML-N President Muhammad Nawaz Sharif chairing a meeting to discuss elections in Okara Division.

LABARD Mela attracts masses STAFF REPORTER L AHORE —City elite, top

LAHORE: Educators burning photocopies of their degrees during a demonstration in support of their demands.

PPP seeks cooperation for South Punjab province STAFF REPORTER LAHORE—Raja Riaz, Opposition leader in the Punjab Assembly, has urged the opponents of the Southern Punjab Province to lend their support for the cause as it was reflective of the aspirations of the people who firmly believed that the new province was the only solution to mitigate their depravation on permanent basis. He said that the PPP had been struggling for the creation of new province keep-

ing in view the sentiments of the people and would continue the movement till the dream of the people came true. “Welfare of the people is the prime consideration of the policies of PPP” he added. He advised the leadership of other political parties to extend requisite cooperation to the government in resolving the issue of new province sooner than later. “By opposing the southern Punjab province they would earn the enmity of the people, they should lend

helping hand instead and thus win their hearts and minds.’’ He said it was well known, that “government at the door step is the best government”. Keeping in view this rationale it is easy to infer that the new province would be the great source of comfort and convenience for the people as in the eventuality they need not to travel hundreds of miles to Lahore after spending large amount of money besides undergoing the torture of delay in getting their problems resolved.

Unavailability of water at railways station irks passengers STAFF REPORTER L AHORE—Unavailability of drinking water at Lahore Railway Station riled passengers as they were compelled to buy costly bottled water. Most of the water taps are missing or broken at almost all platforms of the station and the situation causes ample problems especially for minor children, women and elderly people. Passengers told media persons here on Wednesday the railway station administration had been informed about the unavailability of water but it had not taken any action against for the last many days but no action has been taken in this regard so far while mer-

cury level was getting raised in the provincial capital. It was observed that canteens and kiosks were charging exorbitant prices for the bottled drinking water. “Bottled water worth Rs 30 is being sold for Rs 50 by vendors at plat form number 2, 3, 4, 5, 3A, 8 and 9”, passengers said. Some regular commuters alleged that vendors bribe the railway officials for creating artificial water shortage so that people would have to buy costly water bottles. Asad, Ashfaq, Tariq, Usman and some other daily commuters told this scribe that drinking water had become scarce at plat form number 3, 3A, 8 and 9. Passenger said that single

water dispenser was functioning at platform number 2 while others were un-operational at all platforms. Tariq, Shahid and Fraz alleged the railway authorities did not try to facilitate the passengers, adding that they did not even have time to examine the facilities. The concerned Railway official, on contacting, rejected the allegations of any misconduct or bribe and said that no water tap were missing at any platform, however, he admitted that only three water dispensers were not on sight due to some technical faults. He said that missing water dispensers would be re-installed in a few days after repairing.

politicians, bureaucrats and heads of various special education institutions on Wednesday joined thousands of special children to welcome spring at LABARD Mela at Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park on Wednesday. Over the years, the LABARD Mela has become a great attraction for the special children as it has attained the status of annual cultural event of the City. As many as 7000 special children belonging to various institutions took part in different activities. There were 50 stalls where free food and other stuff was made available to the participants. The very objective of holding this mela is to give encouragement to the disabled persons for making them useful citizens of the society so that they could be able to play a positive role in their future life. Member National Assembly (MNA) & LABARD President Pervez Malik, DCO Lahore Noor-ul-Amin Mengal, DG PHA Muhammad Mahmood, LCCI President Farooq Iftikhar, Vice President Mian Abuzar Shad, LABARD Senior Vice President Mian Nusratuddin, Joint Secretary Muhammad Saeed Khan, Ahmer Malik.

Shahbaz pleads immediate action for Balochistan peace restoration SALIM AHMED L AHORE —Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said that there is a need for immediate steps for restoring peace in Balochistan and removing sense of deprivation of the Balochi people. He said that upholding of human rights and improvement of the situation in Balochistan is of vital importance. He said that grievances of the people of Balochistan should be redressed and if given opportunity by Allah Almighty and the masses, the problems of the province would be solved without wasting any time. He said that Punjab government has increased the quota of reserved seats for Balochi students in educational institutions of Punjab by 160 percent. He said that Pakistan Muslim League will be further strengthened with

the joining of Nawab Haji Lashkeri Raeesani and other Balochi leaders. He was talking to the delegations of Balouch leaders led by Nawab Haji Lashkeri Raeesani who have quit Pakistan Peoples Party and joined Pakistan Muslim League-N, here Wednesday. Overall political situation of the country, especially in Balochistan and other matters of mutual interest were discussed in the meeting. Former Member Provincial Assembly Ismail Gujar and patron-in-chief of Hindu Council Dr. Ramesh Kumar were also present on the occasion. Welcoming the decision of Nawab Haji Lashkeri Raeesani and other political leaders of Balochistan to join PML-N, Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif said that Punjab government is striving for promotion of national solidarity and removing the sense of deprivation of the people of Balochistan. He

said that people of all units of Pakistan are united and their hearts beat in unison. He said that people of Punjab have always extended all-out help and assistance to the people of other provinces in the time of need and played due role for the promotion of interprovincial harmony. He said that Balochistan, Sindh and KPK houses will be constructed in Punjab and land has been allocated for this purpose. He said that Punjab set a noble example of love, sacrifice and brotherhood by giving its share of eleven billion rupees to Balochistan under National Finance Commission Award. He said every patriotic Pakistani is concerned over the situation prevailing in Balochistan and there is a need to solve this issue with consultation of all Balochi leaders. The Chief Minister informed the delegation that Punjab government has increased 2566 seats for

Students advised to respect traffic laws

Int’l Women’s Day tomorrow LAHORE—Like other parts of the globe, the International Women’s Day will be observed here on Friday. Various NGO’s, women’s groups, women wings of political parties, governmental departments and educational institutes will organize various programmes in the provincial capital. Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Standing Committee on Women Entrepreneurs Development and Resource Centre will organize programme to mark the day from March 8 to 10, aimed to promote women entrepreneurship and for the awareness of women empowerment in the country. Fashion Show and a three-day exhibition will also be held in which a large number of leading brands will be put on display during the event. Kashf Foundation has also arranged a “Kashf Entrepreneurs Awards Ceremony 2013” here at Noor Jahan Banquet Hall, Garden Town on Thursday. Aurat Foundation will also hold a candlelit vigil titled “The Gender Agenda: Gaining Momentum” here in front of Punjab Assembly on Thursday.—APP

Balochi students in the educational institutions of Punjab. He said that earlier there were 1608 seats for the students of Balochistan but now 4174 boy and girl students of Balochistan will benefit from educational facilities in the province. He expressed hope that the number of students of Balochistan studying in Punjab will cross the figure of 20 thousand during the next five years. He said that Punjab government has also included the students of Balochistan, Sindh, KPK, Azad Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan and Islamabad in its laptops scheme, Ujala programme, educational endowment fund and award of prizes to position-holder boy and girl students. He said that the volume of PEEF has increased to ten billion rupees and an increase of two billion rupees is being made every year. He said that more than 40 thousand students were given educational scholarships from PEEF during the last five years.

L AHORE —CTO

LAHORE: Women are busy in sowing the seeds in a farm.

Punjab govt striving hard to ensure food security STAFF REPORTER LAHORE—Minister for Planning & Development Punjab Chaudhry Abdul Ghafoor Khan has said that the 350,000 metric ton storage capacity would be constructed by the private party while the government will pay storage-fee for the facility. In order to ensure food security in the Punjab Province and to provide healthy wheat to the consumers by developing scientific and modernized storage facilities, the proposal of the Provincial Food department to construct modern silos through Public Private Partnership has been approved in the

steering committee meeting. He said this while presiding over the seventh meeting of Public Private Partnership Steering Committee held on Wednesday in Planning & Development Department Lahore. The Chairman Planning & Development Board Javaid Aslam, Provincial Secretaries of Planning & Development, Finance and other relevant departments also attended the meeting. Minister P&D directed the relevant departments to complete these valuable projects within given time frame so that the public may be able to benefit from them. During the steering committee meeting,

two mega projects of road and transport sectors were presented for approval including “Vehicle Inspection & Certification System” in Punjab to ensure road safety and enhance the life of vehicles and the project of “Southern Loop of Lahore Ring Road”. The Steering Committee allowed Provincial Transport department to advertise the project of Vehicle Inspection & Certification System to seek proposals from private parties whereas for the project of Southern Loop of Lahore Ring Road, the Transport Department was advised to prepare a comprehensive project structure before advertising it in the newspapers.

Lahore Sohail Chaudhry advised the students to respect traffic rules for smooth traffic flow and safe journey on roads. Delivering lecture to students regarding road safety and traffic awareness at FC College here on Wednesday, he said that students should play an important role for further improvement in traffic system. He said traffic system could be improved by creating awareness about traffic rules and road safety. On the occasion, learner permits were issued to 311 students. Later, the principal and other speakers lauded the performance of city traffic police in their speeches.—APP


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