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UN ready to mediate Understanding reached to resolve Musharraf syndrome between Pakistan, India on Kashmir LIAQAT TOOR

I SLAMABAD —As the pro-

cess of reconciliation has begun with peace moves with warring Taliban, estranged Balochs and actions against groups stirring trouble in Karachi, an understanding has also been reached among stakeholders to resolve Musharraf treason case amicably for ending confrontation, conflict and show down in the country.

Pak-UK hold consultations on arms control ISLAMABAD —Pakistan and Britain on Friday reviewed developments in the areas of international arms control, non-proliferation and disarmament. Both the countries, in their third round of Pakistan-UK Bilateral Consultations on Arms Control, Non-Proliferation and Disarmament held here, expressed satisfaction on the bilateral relations in these areas. The Pakistani side was led by Ms. Tasnim Aslam, Additional Secretary (United Nations & Economic Co-operation) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office delegation was led by Ms. Sarah MacIntosh, Director for Defence and International Security. The talks were held in a cordial and friendly atmosphere.—APP

India plans wall at LoC, NA told ISLAMABAD—National Security Advisor Sartaj Aziz has told National Assembly that India desires to build a concrete wall along the Line of Control in Sialkot sector. In a written statement, he said work on 41 km long and 10 meter high wall hadn’t started yet, and the Indian authorities had been accordingly conveyed message to refrain from materializing this project. He also said that during last eight years, Iran had set free 46 prisoners, and India released 725 Pakistanis. During the same period, Pakistan set free 1801 Indian prisoners, he added. On behalf of the Advisor on Foreign Affairs, Khurram Dastgir

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Two suspects held in Khanewal, one killed OUR CORRESPONDENT KHANEWAL—Officials of an intelligence agency along with local Police and Elite force skirmished with armed men in Khanewal during which one attacker died in an explosion, while his two injured accomplices were apprehended. Intelligence agents acting on a tip off, raided a hideout in Vehari but the suspects had managed to escape just before the raid. Security officials pursued the suspects. DPO Khanewal Rana Ayaz Saleem while talking to media said that police intercepted the suspects between Vehari and Khanewal. The suspects opened fire on the officials, injuring two. Earlier reports had suggested that the two officials had been killed.

The Insiders privy to such developments told this scribe there was growing realisation at all levels to rid the country out of prevailing sores and irritants including Musharraf case which has triggered tension, division and disruption in the very fabrics of social order, hampering vital economic development and harmony. The sources said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had already taken several steps

to weed out menace of terrorism, lower political tem-

perature and tension to cre-

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Treason court summons Musharraf on Feb 18 OBSERVER REPORT

ISLAMABAD—A special court trying former military ruler Pervez Musharraf for treason Friday ordered him to appear on February 18, the latest postponement in the longdelayed case. Continued on Page 7

TTP negotiator rejects peace talks under constitution Maulana Aziz seeks assurance on Shariah enforcement Taliban team authorised to agree on ceasefire OBSERVER REPORT ISLAMABAD—A member of the team of negotiators representing the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan in peace talks with the Pakistani government has expressed his reservations over the dialogue, saying he won’t be part of further negotiations. Talks to end the militants’ bloody seven-year insurgency formally kicked off Thursday between a four-member government committee and a three-man Taliban team, amid much scepticism over whether dialogue can yield a lasting peace deal. The first round of talks ended with both sides charting a roadmap for future negotiations, with the govern-

ment team proposing that the peace talk be pursued within the framework of the constitution of Pakistan. However, Maulana Abdul Aziz urged the government on Friday to remove the condition of holding talks under the constitution. “There would be no problems if our constitution were the Quran and Sunnah. But the Taliban say they do not recognise the prevailing constitution,” Aziz told a press conference in Islamabad. “The people should not be misled into believing that our constitution is Islamic.” Aziz, who rose to prominence during the 2007 military operation in Islamabad’s Lal Masjid where he is the chief cleric, said Pakistan’s constitution should be replaced by the teachings of

the Quran and the Holy Prophet (PBUH).

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If we followed Constitution war wouldn’t have been waged: Shahid ISLAMABAD—Central spokesman of the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Shahidullah Shahid on Friday said that Taliban wouldn’t be waging a war against the government if they followed a law or a constitution other than Islamic Sharia. According to a report on BBC Urdu website, he said the real purpose behind holding dialogue with Pakistani government was to enforce the Islamic Sharia in the country.

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U NITED N ATIONS —The UN is available to mediate between Pakistan and India if the two neighbours request such assistance in resolving the Kashmir issue, a spokesperson for UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has said. “On Kashmir, (as with other conflicts around the world), our good offices are available if both sides (Pakistan and India) were to request that. And that remains the case today,” Acting Deputy Spokesperson for the Secretary-General, Farhan Haq said here. Farhan Haq was responding to a question on whether the UN Continued on Page 7

Govt team looking at TTP demand to meet PM, COAS, DG ISI Talks do not provide legitimacy to illegal activities: PR STAFF REPORTER ISLAMABAD—Federal Information Minister Pervez Rashid on Friday said the government committee was taking into consideration the demand by the Taliban committee to meet the prime minister, army chief and director general Inter-Services Intelligence. Speaking to media representatives, Rashid said the government was awaiting recommendations from its negotiators on the demand put forth by the Taliban committee, adding that whatever recommendations are brought forward would be facilitated and implemented by the government. The federal minister said every possible help would be extended to government negotiators and helicopter services would also be provided in case there was a need to send the team for peace talks to Waziristan. On the matter of legality of these talks, the minister said the option of a peaceful discourse remained viable in the areas where Taliban held greater influence. Furthermore, Rashid said talks were not unconstitutional as it was a form of putting a stop to unlawful activities. Senator Pervaiz Rashid said that holding of dialogue with anyone did not provide legitimacy to any body illegal activities. Talking to media persons after distrib-

uting certificates among the participants of 30th Specialized Training Course of Information Group here he said that “Talks do not provide legitimacy to any illegal activity,rather talks are a tool to stop illegal activities of certain elements’. In this regard he referred to United States talks with Afghan Taliban and United Kingdom’s talks with banned Irish organisation IRA in Ireland. To a question he said that international community has fully supported Pakistan initiative to hold talks with Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan and they want to see Pakistan a stable and peaceful country. To a question about the demands of the Taliban’s committee Pervaiz Rashid said the government will welcome all proposals which will result in peace. About appearance of Musharraf in the specail court,he said he would not comment on this as it was sub judice matter and the court will decide about his future. He said he would advise to Pervez Musharraf to appear before the court as hiring he could not escape from law by hiring senior lawyers by paying heavy fees. About Local Body elections,he said that all political forces were interested in holding LG elections and the same were post-

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US halting drone attacks will be beneficial for dialogue: Imran Peace talks with TTP will probably fail OBSERVER REPORT ISLAMABAD—Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairman Imran Khan has said peace talks with the Taliban would benefit from the US stopping or announcing that it was going to stop drone attacks. In the interview with Bloomberg, Khan said terrorism would be fueled if talks failed and a military operation followed. The peace negotiations between the government

and the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan will probably fail and a resulting military operation would lead to more violence, Pakistan Tehreeke-Insaf chairperson Imran Khan told Bloomberg. In an interview with the New York-based news website, Imran was quoted as saying: “The most likely result is that the negotiations will start, there will be about three or four big explosions and terrorist attacks and the negotiations will be

called off.” “There will be people baying for blood and the operation will start,” he claimed. “If the US stops drone attacks, announces stopping the drone attacks during the talks, it would be a big plus point,” he stressed. Imran further accused the US of sabotaging an earlier effort at talks with a November 1 drone attack that killed TTP leader Hakimullah Mehsud. “The US doesn’t want

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Talks with Pakistan depend on circumstances: Salman NEW DELHI—India on Friday reacted with caution to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s invitation to engage in a comprehensive and sustained dialogue, saying it will depend on circumstances which have to be considered “thoughtfully”. “They must have sent an invite which will go to the prime minister. The prime minister will apply his mind. It will all depend on the circumstances which have to be considered thoughtfully,” Indian external affairs minister Salman Khurshid told report-

ers here on the sidelines of a function. Nawaz Sharif had on Wednesday invited India to engage in a “comprehensive, sustained and result-oriented” dialogue with Pakistan to resolve the Kashmir issue. “I invite India for a comprehensive, sustained and result-oriented” dialogue for the resolution of the Kashmir issue, Nawaz Sharif had said while addressing a joint session of Azad Jammu and Kashmir assembly. Noting that circumstances had led In-

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, Saudi Minister for Tourism and Antiquities Prince Sultan Bin Salman and Dr. Naeem Ghani, Chairman Sultana Foundation offering dua after inauguration of Center for Education Research and Social Development at Sultana Foundation.

US senators demand say in Afghan deal

W ASHINGTON —A biparti- ISLAMABAD —Prime Minister Muhammad an important role in eradicating the ecosan group of senators demanding an end to US military involvement in Afghanistan urged President Barack Obama on Thursday to seek congressional approval if he wants to keep

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MQM mourning day against extrajudicial killings today OBSERVER REPORT K ARACHI —The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Friday announced it will observe a day of mourning on Saturday against the alleged extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances of party workers. Speaking to a press conference at MQM headquarters ‘Nine-Zero,’ senior party leader Haider Abbas Rizvi said that his party was pro-democracy which supports presenting suspects in courts of law. He recounted that Muhammad Salman, an MQM worker of Korangi Sector 75 along with his nephew Noman, was taken into police custody

from Korangi Crossing area of Karachi on February 3. “Noman was later dropped off near Tower area the next day; however, the mutilated dead body of Salman was recovered from Shah Latif Town,” said the MQM leader. He alleged that the MQM activist was subjected to horrific torture and presented some photos of Salman during the press conference as evidence. Calling the ongoing targeted operation of police and Rangers in Karachi being carried out against the party, he claimed that more than 40 MQM workers have disappeared since inception of the operation in November.

S&T can help eradicate economic ills: PM

“We don’t know their whereabouts and whether they are dead or alive,” he said. Rizvi further added that despite 10 MQM workers being killed unlawfully in a year, his party was still waiting to get relief from the courts. Meanwhile, Patron-in-Chief of Pakistan People’s Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari criticized the MQM’s decision in a tweet saying the party will further lose its goodwill for taking Karachi hostage with strike politics. Appealing to MQM chief Altaf Hussain to call off the strike, he said threatening people on live TV was not “Philosophy of Love,” referring to Hussain’s recently launched book.

Nawaz Sharif Friday said education in fields of science and technology can play an important role in eradicating the economic ills while ensuring socio-economic development of a nation. He was addressing a ceremony to mark the launch of new initiative of the Centre for Education Research and Social Development by Sultana Foundation. The Foundation, which is a Trust, financed by voluntary donations from within and outside Pakistan is providing education to around 8000 students, besides undertaking welfare projects. The new Centre will focus on Teachers’ Development, Early Pre-school Age development and Primary Education Development in Pakistan. The event was attended by Prince Sultan Bin Salman, Captain Shujaat Azim, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Aviation, Dr. Naeem Ghani, Chairman Sultana Foundation, Admiral Mohammad Sharif, Trust member sultana Foundation Trust, Members of Sultana Foundation, teachers and students. The Prime Minister said education was the key to a nation’s success and the more the people of a country were educated; the higher will be the standard of its development, as economic boom always follows educational revolution. He said education, particularly in the fields of science and technology, can play

nomic ills and ensure socio-economic development of a nation. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said as a country on path of development, Pakistan needs skilled, highly educated and motivated youth to compete in the present global environment. “Though the present government is keen to develop educational facilities for our youth, yet governmental efforts alone are not enough to meet the ever growing requirement.” The Prime Minister therefore urged the philanthropic institutions, the people and the private sector to devote their efforts and resources to the noble cause of imparting quality education to young generation in line with modern trends. He said Pakistan was blessed with a vast treasure of talented youth who need to be properly trained and guided. However he stressed that there was an urgent need to provide them with opportunities so that their capabilities were usefully employed for the nation’s socio-economic betterment. He said the Youth Business Loan Scheme was one such step which the present government has taken to allow the youth to use their skills and make them self reliant. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said social work was a service to humanity. “After the worship of Allah, no task is nobler than

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Govt to launch KP green growth initiative tomorrow

200 police personnel complete ATT in Balochistan

PESHAWAR—The Provincial Government has decided to formally launch the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Green Growth Initiative (GGI) on Sunday to bring maximum areas under plantation to offsets the challenges of global warming and climatic change. Imran Khan, Chairman Pakistan Tahrik e Insaf is likely to inaugurate the project during a function at Pakistan Forest Institute, University of Peshawar on Sunday, officials sources in Environment Department in KP told APP on Friday. Under this mega project, two billion saplings would be planted in the province over next five years with help of forest department, students, civil society organizations, educational institutes and other stakeholders to make the province lush green. As per the plan, four important sectors, including increasing forest-covered area, protected green areas, parks, promotion of environmental tourism, increasing resources of energy and climatic changes and resilience would also be paid special attention. —APP

Ajmal Khattak remembered P ESHAWA R —Awami National Party (ANP) Friday observed with reverence and respect the fourth death anniversary of noted Pashto poet, scholar, writer and former central ANP President Ajmal Khattak here at Bacha Khan Markaz with interim ANP KP President Bashir Khan Matta in the chair. The event was addressed among others by Central interim President of ANP Senator Haji Muhammad Adeel, central organizing secretary Senator Baz Muhammad Khattak, Senator Afrasiab Khattak, former KP Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain. The speakers paid glowing tributes to the political, literary, poetic and national services of late Ajmal Khattak, saying he (Ajmal Khattak) took part in struggle against British Raj from his school time and was an active member of Quit India Movement. He joined the government job when he was a student of class eighth. He also obtained a degree in fine arts and did MA in Persian language from Peshawar University. He also served as editor in various newspapers of his time including Anjaam, Bange Haram, Shahbaz and Rehber and also worked in Radio Pakistan. He was also an active member of the ‘Khudai Khidmatgar Movement’ and was elevated to the post of Secretary General National Awami Party (NAP). He spent fifteen years in asylum in Afghanistan after the Liaqat Bagh firing incident. —APP

HMC’s poor performance flayed H YDERABAD —The Sindh Secretary Local Government Javed Hanif has expressed dissatisfaction at the performance of Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (HMC), Hyderabad Development Authority (HDA) and Water and Sanitation Agency (WASA). “The state of cleanliness, waste disposal and water supply in Hyderabad is in very bad shape,” he remarked at a meeting here on Friday. The Divisional Commissioner of Hyderabad Jamal Mustafa Syed, Deputy Commissioner Nawaz Soho and officials of the HMC, HDA and WASA attended the meeting. Hanif strictly warned the municipal officials to improve their services without delay failing which they would have to face disciplinary action. “There is ever growing pile of complaints from citizens against the bad state of these services, and after having visited parts of the district, I feel these complaints are justified,” he said.—APP

OKARA: Members of Baloch missing persons’ families on way towards Islamabad during their long march.

Record snowfall paralyses life

SEPCO operation against defaulters

house of Zahir Rehman destroyed as it was hit by landslide at Ganshal area last night. SHANGLA: An avalanche slightly hit a house at Alpuri, headquarter of Shangla district, however no casualty has been reported, police said on Friday. According to Alpuri police station spokesman, an avalanche caused by yesterday rain and snowfall on mountains rolled over and slightly hit a house of Sher Bacha at Sanbai area in Tehsil Alpuri. However, he said no casualty has been reported. He said all the inmates of the house was safe and no body was trapped under the avalanche. The local residents and police rushed to the spot and removed the avalanche. QUETTA: Having one of the world’s railway stations lying on highest altitudes, small mountainous town of Kan Mehtarzai received two to four feet snowfall on Thursday night. APP Quetta correspondent travelled to Kan Mehtarzai, located at some two hours distance from the provincial capital and found the entire town wearing white blanket of

I SLAMABAD —Minister of State for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali on Friday said the Sukkur Electrical Supply Company (SEPCO) has planned a high level operation against electricity theft to check losses and sought cooperation for parliamentarians in the drive. Addressing a press conference, he said a number of losses has been monitored in different areas of SEPCO which result in extra burden on the pocket of common man, adding, these losses results in high traffic and increased loadshedding. “Total receivable amount from SEPCO is 69 billion with 40 percent total losses”, the minister said adding, the operation has been launched from today to give relief to other consumers who are suffering on the cost these law violators. Giving details, he said in Sub-Division Nauderao, feeder City III, looses of 61.2 percent has been recorded with receivable amount of Rs. 56.528 million and having only 167 registered consumers.—APP

D I R U P P E R —Record snowfall in various parts of the Dir Upper has paralyzed life in the district as all the approach roads have been closed while Army Engineers engaged in hectic efforts to clear the snow from the Lawari tunnel. The bodies of two women who buried under an avalanche last night could not be retrieved on the second as well. The power supply disconnected for the last four days in some parts of the district due to heavy snowfall could not be restored even on Friday. Dir city has received almost a feet snow while it was recorded between six to eleven feet at Maina, Nehrgah areas, Lawari tunnel and Lawari Top. Local people facing tremendous difficulties due to closure of approach roads in the district and they are virtually stranded in their houses. In Dir city, the local people protested against the Wapda officials for removing links from transformers thus disconnecting the power supply. The incident of land sliding also reported in Chukiattan area situated on main Dir-Peshawar road however NHA officials cleared the road. The

heavy snowfall. “Our town received over two feet snowfall and the mountainous surrounding it got four feet snowfall,” Khalil Khan, a local person said. He added that the local people were so much happy on heavy snowfall because it was a “fuel” for their apple fruit gardens and it would also charge subsoil water level.He said that all people of the area used to dry meat by applying salt that called “Landhee” in Pashto language and whenever, heavy snowfall lashes the region and the link roads are closed, the people cook and eat this dried meat to keep them warm in extreme cold weather, in which mercury used to drop to minus 18 Centigrade. Kan Mehtarzai, a small mountainous town lying on about 8,000 feet altitude having one of the railway stations among the highest altitude’s railway stations of the world is famous for special taste of apple, Chromites mines and wildlife. The town presents the same look showed in cowboy movies of Hollywood. The scattered houses and shops are constructed on same design of the buildings screened in the Hollywood’s cowboy movies. —APP

R AWA L P I N E D I —Pakistan Army’s Southern Command in uetta organized eight week long specialized anti-terrorism training (ATT) for 200 personnel of Police and Balochistan Constabulary which was successfully concluded on Friday. Governor Balochistan, Muhammad Khan Achakzai was the chief guest at the closing ceremony which was hosted by Commander Southern Command Lieutenant General Nasser Khan Janjua. Deputy Speaker Balochistan Assembly Abdul Quddus Bizenjo, Ministers and Members of Provincial Assembly, Abdul Rahim Ziaratwal, Hamid Khan Achakzai, Ubaidullah Babat,IG FC Balochistan, IG Police,Secretary for Home and TA and a large number of senior civil and military officers were present on the occasion, said an ISPR press release issued here. Earlier in 2013 also, 200 personnel of Police and Balochistan Constabulary were trained by Southern

Command. Commander Southern Command Lieutenant General Nasser Khan Janjua in his speech at closing ceremony underlined the need of highest level of training of law enforcement agencies owing to the challenging security environments in Balochistan. He said that Pakistan Army has undertaken the responsibility of enhancing the capacity of Police force and the high quality training for both Police and Rapid Response Group of Balochistan Constabulary is part of the effort. He lauded the enthusiasm of the trainees who participated in the course and added that now the trained and motivated Police can look into the eyes of the terrorists and defeat them. General Nasser also appreciated the efforts of training teams of 33 Division, 41 Division and SSG. He highlighted that besides training, Pakistan Army has handed over modern weapons and ammunition to Balochistan Police to enhance their capacity.—APP

Cold, dry weather across country likely I SLAMABAD —Mainly cold and dry weather is expected in most parts of the country during next 24 hours while foggy conditions are expected to prevail in plain areas of Punjab during morning hours. Met office reported continental air is prevailing over most parts of the country. However, a shallow westerly trough is still prevailing over northern parts of the country and likely to persist during next 2-3 days. In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, mainly cold and dry weather is expected in most parts of the province, however, rain (snowfall over the hills) is expected at isolated places of Malakand division during next 24 hours. In Sindh and Balochistan, mainly cold and dry weather is expected in most parts of the provinces during next 24 hours. In Kashmir rain and snowfall over the hills is ex-

pected at isolated places of Kashmir during next 24 hours whereas in Gilgit-Baltistan rain with snowfall over the hills is expected at isolated

places of Gilgit-Baltistan during next 24 hours. Meanwhile, the KP Meteorological Department here Friday predicted rain with snowfall over the hills at isolated places in Malakand division, Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan (GB) during next 24 hours, however, the weather would remain cold and dry in most parts of the country.—APP

Saleem thanks PM for early release of uplift projects funds PESHAWAR—Senior Leader PML and former ing of PDWP held under the chairmanship

UPPER DIR : A beautiful view of the snow covered mountains at Upper Dir .

Sindh Ombudsman pledges to protect working women H YDERABAD —Provincial Ombudsman Sindh Syed Pir Ali Shah has pledged to ensure protection of working women in public and private sectors adding that strict action will be initiated against those found harassing working women. He was talking to media persons after conducting hearing against various complaints here at Ex-District Nazim Secretariat on Friday. He informed that the Ombudsman Secretariat is setting up the offices of the protection against harassment of women in each district of the prov-

ince and so far nine offices have been established in three districts of Karachi, Hyderabad, Umerkot, Naushero Feroz, Shaheed Benazirabad, Khairpur and Thatta. Besides, he informed that Muhalla Committees are also being formed in each district and in this regard, 22 committees have been formed only in Hyderabad district which are monitoring the situation against women. He informed that he received majority of complaints regarding harassment of working women from Health Department while Education Depart-

ment stood at number two. The Ombudsman said that he desired that working women should discharge their responsibilities in public and private sectors departments without any fear. The Ombudsman Secretariat has so far received 27 complaints against harassment of working women, of which 21 complaints have been decided while six are in pending, he said and added that prompt action is being taken by the secretariat whenever it received complaints of working women. —APP

Minister Salim Saifullah Khan has thanked Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for releasing funds for the ongoing uplift projects in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and in southern districts. Talking to elders of southern districts here, Salim Saifullah Khan said that federal government has expedited work on on-going uplift projects including Kurram- Tangi Dam and all mega projects under Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) besides provision of sui-gas facility to all areas of the province. Salim Saifullah said that timely completion of these developmental projects would change the lot of the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and would end deprivation of the people. Moreover, he went on to add that it was very important for the province to have close coordination with the federal government so as to address the long-standing issues in the province and to give maximum relief to the people. He appreciated the measures taken by the federal government. Meanwhile, the Provincial Development Working Party (PDWP) has approved 37 schemes costing Rs.19601.398million for different sectors of the province to help accelerate the pace of development. The approval was given during a meet-

of Additional Chief Secretary Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Peshawar. The meeting approved 37 schemes with an estimated cost about Rs. 19601.398 million in the Home, ST&IT, Water, Roads, Building, Urban Development, Regional Development, Research & Development, Energy & Power, Higher Education, Health & Social Welfare sectors, says an official statement here on Friday. The Administrative Secretaries of the concerned departments and offices of the sponsoring agencies attended the meeting. As per details, Rs. 324.407 million for a scheme in Law & Justice sector, Rs. 1781.039 million in Home, Rs. 85.038 million in ST&IT, Rs. 845.271 million for three schemes in Water sector, Rs. 2579.46 for six schemes in Roads, Rs. 188.453 million for two schemes in Building sector and Rs. 2119.12 million for one scheme in Urban Development. Similarly, Rs. 37.66 million were allocated for a scheme in Regional Development, Rs. 254.849 million for four schemes in Research & Development, Rs. 4765.532 for two schemes in Energy & Power, Rs. 2115.795 for ten schemes in Higher Education, Rs. 2541.421 million for three schemes in Health sector and Rs. 1963.353 million for two schemes in Social Welfare sector. —APP

Pirzada hosts lunch in honour of IUB students ISLAMABAD—Federal Minister for Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC) Riaz Hussain Pirzada, hosted a lunch in honor of the students of Islamia University’s media department, led by Dr. Abdul Wajid Khan here on Friday in the cafeteria of national assembly. Before lunch, students had a tour of the national assembly building. During their visit they also went into the galleries of national assembly and

senate respectively and witnessed the proceedings of the lower and uppert Houses. They were of the view that such tour would help them to sharpen their educational and leadreship qualities. On the occasion, Federal Minister addressing the students said “you are the future of Pakistan and it is a propitious sign that youth has started to take interest in the politics of the coun-

try”. He further added that youth were much more aware of their rights and it would achieve all those and marks in the filed of politics which our generation has failed to achieve. He advised youg students to remain honest and faithful to their duties. In the end Dr. Abdul Wajid thanked the Federal Minister on the ISLAMABAD: A students delegation from Islamia University Bahawalpur with parliamentarians at Parliament House. behalf of the students. —APP


Any drone attack will widen trust deficit

MEDIA WATCH

Talking to Taliban

R

EITERATING its position on the issue of unilateral and provoca tive drone strikes, Pakistan, on Thursday, categorically stated that it wanted complete halt of the attacks and not just decrease in their frequency. Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam said at the weekly news briefing that Pakistan’s stance over drone attacks is lucid that they are unacceptable as they kill innocent people and violate the country’s sovereignty. The Foreign Office reaction was in response to a report appearing in the Washington Post that the United States had cut back sharply on drone strikes in Pakistan after Islamabad asked for restraint while it seeks peace talks with Taliban. The spokesperson has done well in further clarifying the position of Pakistan as the issue is not only being agitated vociferously by people of Pakistan but has also become one of the main irritants in Pakistan-US relations. On the one hand, it infuriates people of Pakistan on breach of their sovereignty and that too by a country that claims to be its friend and on the other hand, it widens trust deficit between the two countries. Though one must acknowledge that the United States has exercised somewhat restraint these days when the process of talks between the Government and the TTP has begun but no one knows for sure how long this restraint would continue. In the past, the United States used the weapon of drones to strike down the prospects of peace with Taliban and therefore, apprehensions remain that at some point of time Washington might repeat the machination to undermine talks. But irrespective of the process of talks, the United States must respect wishes of people of Pakistan who saw these attacks as highly provocative and disruptive. The killing of innocent people in what is being dubbed as collateral damage is fuelling more resentment and thereby more extremism and terrorism. It is all the more intriguing that drone strikes are not directed at Pakistani Taliban on both sides of the Durand Line, which speaks volumes about real intentions and designs of the United States. As things stand today, drones are likely to be retained by the US as the choicest of weapons in the so-called war against terror and the issue would continue to spoil bilateral ties besides fuelling terrorism. Therefore, revision of policy is the only answer to the issue — either they should be stopped altogether or their technology be handed over to Pakistan for its use in its own territory.

Start dialogue with Baloch dissidents also A

S the dialogue process with TTP has started, political circles and observers are emphasizing the need to replicate the same approach to resolve the ticklish issue of Balochistan as well. The onus in this regard obviously falls on Chief Minister Abdul Maalik and Provincial leaders of other parties but unfortunately they seem to be entangled in power tussle as the latest reports indicate from Quetta, highlighting differences among coalition partners over exercise of power and authority. It seems that Provincial set up, to which people of Pakistan had pinned legitimate hopes of working towards resolution of the problems and promotion of national harmony, has priorities other than reconciliation. We would, therefore, urge Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the Provincial Chief Minister and Governor to play their roles in addressing internal issues of the coalition swiftly and pay focused attention to the problem of militancy and violence in the Province. Though the situation in Balochistan is not as volatile as in FATA because an elected government is functioning, the law-enforcing agencies have presence everywhere to ensure writ of the state and Army too has its establishments augmenting security and development efforts but still there is urgency to address the issue as it is being exploited by some foreign forces. It is an open secret that some foreign countries are aiding and abetting terrorists and saboteurs to advance their own nefarious agenda. But it is also a fact that the vast majority of people of Balochistan are as patriotic as people in other parts of the country and only a handful of elements are pursuing the path of violence at the instance of their foreign masters. We have been hearing about talks with dissident Baloch leaders ever since former President Asif Ali Zardari offered apology from people of Balochistan for the past mistakes but not only the PPP regime but also the present PML-N government also failed to take any tangible initiative to restore peace and harmony in the Province. One fails to understand why those at the helm of affairs are taking the issue so lightly when the situation is deteriorating day-by-day. If talks can be held with Taliban, there is no question not to engage estranged Baloch leaders in dialogue as well. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif enjoys good rapport with leaders of Balochistan and therefore, we expect that he would move forward on this front as well without loss of further time.

Accelerate production of solar energy A

CCORDING to report, 22 solar power projects with cumulative ca pacity of 773 MW are under different stages of development and are expected to achieve commercial operation by 2016. Similarly, during his recent visit to the site of Quaid-i-Azam Solar Park in Bahawalpur, the Prime Minister was informed that the first stage of the project would be completed in November this year which will add 100 MW to the national grid. All these are appreciable developments and would surely contribute towards meeting the crippling shortages of energy that is affecting almost every sector of the national economy. However, these projects are fraction of the real potential of the country for solar power production, which, experts say is 2.9 million megawatts per annum. Similarly, according to a study conducted by a US organization, Pakistan can produce 150,000 MW of wind energy. These two sources alone have the prospects to make Pakistan surplus in energy production but the question is that of planning and implementation and we have been lacking on both fronts. There is every reason to pursue these options as other sources of energy either take long and arduous time to tap or the electricity so produced is costly and create environmental problems. However, on the contrary, the energy produced from solar and wind sources would be cheaper and environment friendly; therefore, apart from attracting foreign companies in the sector, efforts should also be made to promote indigenous research and development.

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US soldiers afflicted by PTSD among veterans who were out of defense force for a period of two to three years. In 2012 the number of US soldiers that Mohammad Jamil committed suicide was estimated to be greater Email: mjamil1938@hotmail.com than the numbers (6460) that were killed in combat in Afghanistan and HIS week’s Time magazine Iraq”. Before World Wars, Americal carried Marine sergeant maintained somewhat neutrality, and David Linley’s tragic tale by had tried to keep out of the First Mark Thomson, in which he also nar- World War for three years. It entered rated the plight of thousands of vet- the war on April 6th, 1917. After seeerans suffering from Post Traumatic ing the threat to its shores by Stress Disorder (PTSD) that were de- Germany’s unrestricted submarine ployed in Afghanistan and Iraq. movements America joined the war Linley had tried to kill himself twice on the side of the Allies. World War by filling the house with natural gas, II had started in September 1939, and once by sitting in his car running in- United States did not enter the war side the garage and once by hanging. until after the Japanese bombed the Mark Thompson wrote: “Linley saw American fleet in Pearl Harbor, Haaction and witnessed horrors in waii, on December 7, 1941. The US was the main beneficiary Grenada, Lebanon and Iraq a generation ago. Ten years ago in Janu- of the WWII, and had emerged as a ary, he headed back to Iraq on his fi- super power along with the Soviet nal combat deployment. But the fi- Union. Since 1950s, America is ennal firefight was on his suburban gaged in wars – from Korean War to street 30 miles southwest of Chicago, Vietnam War to Iraq and Afghanistan and the enemy was local police. War. American soldiers on the one When it ended he had traded 17 years hand perpetrate excesses on the in uniform for 16 years behind bars”. people in the occupied territories, Anyhow, 10000 veterans from Af- and on the other hand they suffer ghanistan and Iraq are in nation’s pris- from mental ailments, besides facing ons, where adequate facilities do not death and disablement. On 23rd exist for mental health treatment for March 2011, American army specialist Jeremy Morlock, 23 was senthousands of PTSD patients. A Defense Force Study released tenced for 24 years after he pleaded in August 2013 claimed that soldiers guilty in US military court, admitinvolved in bomb disposal and ting that he was part of a ‘kill team’ greater combat exposure in coun- that deliberately murdered Afghan tries like Afghanistan and Iraq were civilians for sport between January at a greater risk of suffering from and May 2010. On 28th October subsequent mental health problems 2009, 26-year-old Fort Carson was including Post-Traumatic Stress supposed to return to Afghanistan, Disorder. The study discovered the but he intentionally shot himself in highest rates of PTSD symptoms the shoulder to avoid deployment. On

News & Views

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5th November 2009, a 39-year-old US Army psychiatrist, who had faced repeated harassment for his ethnicity and faith from his fellow soldiers, shot dead 13 people at the “Soldier Readiness Center” in Fort Hood, Texas military base. According to reports, U.S. military troops with severe psychological problems were sent to Iraq or kept in combat, even when superiors had been aware of signs of mental illness. It could be the acts of mentally sick or suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder that they bombed even wedding parties. After 2nd World War, America assumed a special position of a super power, and continued to wage wars to control world resources. Vietnam War began in 1954 and ended in 1975 when all US personnel left and North Vietnamese forces conquered Saigon. The war had escalated from an insurgency in South Vietnam sponsored by the North Vietnamese, as Ho Chi Min wanted to unify the Vietnam. During this war, more than 60000 American soldiers were killed; about 500000 Vietnam civilians were killed by US Soldiers, and millions died of starvation. The figure of those killed in Cambodia and Laos, when American forces bombed on the pretext that they provided the supply line to North Vietnam, exceeded one million. America has indeed traditions of freedom, democracy, human rights and human values dating back to American founding fathers. It is, however, unfortunate that barring a few honorable exceptions, their successors through their actions negated the principles upheld by them. In the past, the US had resorted to unilateral use of force ostensibly to promote democracy in Haiti, Nicaragua and in Latin America. It had intervened forcibly to

change regimes, restore order and preach democracy. In the new millennium, the US with a view to achieving its avowed objectives attacked and occupied Afghanistan and Iraq, obviously to control the oil resources, as all other pretexts were proven wrong. After the change of guard with the election of President Obama it was expected that he would abandon the policies pursued by former president. He has completed first year of his 2nd term as president, and vows to withdraw American forces by the end of 2014. But President Obama is seeking an agreement with Afghanistan for keeping ten thousand troops and some Air Force squadrons, on the pretext of imparting training to Afghan forces and providing support to Afghanistan in the event of foreign intervention. President Hamid Karzai is not inclined to sign the agreement, insisting that it should be done after the forthcoming elections in Afghanistan. American leadership should think whether it was worth spending trillions of dollars on wars in Afghanistan and Iraq wars, more than 5,000 deaths and 30,000 maimed. The decade-long American wars in Afghanistan and Iraq would end up costing between US Dollars 4 to 6 trillion, which includes salaries to military personnel, salaries of contractors engaged in both countries; compensation and medical care and disability benefits paid to those killed or disabled during the next ten years. Former President Bush’s economic advisor had estimated cost of Iraq war as two hundred billion dollars, but America has already paid $300 billion as interest on war debt. —The writer is Lahore-based senior journalist.

Cornering a Palestinian man of peace Nicola Nasser Email: nassernicola@ymail.com

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ALESTINIAN President Mahmoud Abbas stands now at a crossroads of his people’s national struggle for liberation and independence as well as of his political life career. Cornered between the rock of his own rejecting constituency and the hard place of his Israeli occupying power and the US sponsors of their bilateral negotiations, which were resumed last July 29, despite his minesweeping concessions and backtracking “on all his redlines.” Unmercifully pressured by both Israeli negotiators and American mediators, the elusive cause of peace stands about to loose in Abbas a brave Palestinian man of peace-making of an historical stature whose demise would squander what could be the last opportunity for the so-called twostate solution. To continue pressuring Abbas into yielding more concessions without any reciprocal rewards is turning a brave man into an adventurer committing historical and strategic mistakes in the eyes of his people, a trend that if continued would in no time disqualify him of a personal weight that is a prerequisite to make his people accept his “painful” concessions. The emerging, heavily “pro-Israel” US-proposed framework agreement “appears to ask the Palestinians to accept peace terms that are worse than the Israeli ones they already rejected … that it would all but compel the Palestinians to reject it,” Larry Derfner wrote in The National Interest on this February 3. Abbas “rejects all transitional, partial and temporary solutions,” his spokesman Nabil Abu Rdaineh said on last January 5, but that’s exactly what the leaks of the blueprint of the “framework agree-

ment” reveal. Reportedly, the international Quartet on the Middle East, comprising the US, EU, UN and Russia, meeting on the sidelines of the Munich security conference last week, supported US Secretary of State John Kerry’s efforts to commit Palestinian and Israeli negotiators to his proposed “framework agreement.” Europe is also tightening the rope around Abbas’ neck. If the current US-backed framework agreement talks with Israel fail, Europe will not automatically continue to support the Palestinian Authority, Israel’s Walla website reported on last January 29. However, The US envoy Martyn Indyk said on last January 31 that Kerry will be proposing the “framework agreement” to the Palestinian and Israeli negotiators “within a few weeks,” but the State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki on the same day “clarified” in a statement that the “contents of the framework” are not “final” because “this is an ongoing process and these decisions have not yet been made.” Israeli President Shimon Peres on last January 30, during a joint press conference with the envoy of the Middle East Quartet, Tony Blair, said that there is “an opportunity” now to make “historic decisions, not political ones” for the “two-state solution” of the Arab – Israeli conflict and that “we are facing the most crucial time since the establishment of the new Middle East in 1948,” i.e. since what the Israeli historian Ilan Pappé called the “ethnic cleaning” of the Arabs of Palestine and the creation of Israel on their ancestral land. Peres on the same occasion said that he was “convinced” that Abbas wants “seriously” to make peace with Israel, but what Peres failed to note was that “historic decisions” are made by historic leaders and that such a leader is still missing in Israel since the assassination of late former pre-

mier Yitzhak Rabin in 1995, but already available in the person of President Abbas, whom Peres had more than once confirmed as the Palestinian peace “partner,” defying his country’s official denial of the existence of such a partner on the Palestinian side. Abbas is making concessions unacceptable to his people out of deep conviction in peace and unwavering commitment to peaceful negotiations and not because he is out of options. One of his options was reported in an interview with The New York Times on this February 2, when Abbas said that he had been “resisting pressure” from the Palestinian street and leadership to join the UN agencies for which his staff “had presented 63 applications ready for his signature.” In 2012 the UNGA recognized Palestine as an observer non-member state; reapplying for the recognition of Palestine as a member state is another option postponed by Abbas to give the resumed negotiations with Israel a chance. Reconciliation with Hamas in the Gaza Strip is a third option that Abbas has been maneuvering not to make since 2005 in order not to alienate Israel and the US away from peace talks because they condemn it as a terrorist organization. Suspension of the security coordination with Israel is also a possible option, which his predecessor Arafat used to test now and then. Looking for other players to join the US in co-sponsoring the peace talks with Israel is an option that Abbas made clear in his latest visit to Moscow. “We would like other parties, such as Russia, the European Union, China and UN, to play an influential role in these talks,” the Voice of Russia quoted him as saying on last January 24. Israel’s DEBKAfile in an exclusive report on last January 24 considered his Moscow visit an “exit from the Kerry peace initiative,” labeling it a “diplomatic Intifada” and

a “defection” that caught Kerry and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu “unprepared.” Abbas’ representative Jibril alRjoub on January 27 was in the Iranian capital Tehran for the first time in many years. “Our openness to Iran is a Palestinian interest and part of our strategy to open to the whole world,” al-Rjoub said. Three days later the London-based Al-Quds alArabi daily reported that Abbas will be invited to visit Iran soon with the aim of “rehabilitating” the bilateral ties. The Central committee of Fatah, which Abbas leads, on this February 3 said that al-Rjoub’s Tehran visit “comes in line with maintaining international relations in favor of the high interests of our people and the Palestinian cause.” Opening up to erstwhile “hostile” nations like Iran and Syria is more likely a tactical maneuvering than a strategic shift by Abbas, meant to send the message that all Abbas’ options are open. However his strategic option would undeniably be to honor his previous repeated threats of resignation, to leave the Israeli Occupation Forces to fend for themselves face to face with the Palestinian people whose status quo is no more sustainable. Speaking in Munich, Germany, Kerry on this February 1 conveyed the message bluntly: “Today’s status quo, absolutely to a certainty, I promise you 100 percent, cannot be maintained,” Kerry said of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “It is not sustainable.” Last November, Kerry warned that Israel would face a Palestinian “third Intifada” if his sponsored talks see no breakthrough. The loss of Abbas by resignation or by nature would for sure end Kerry’s peace mission and make his warning come true. —The writer is a West Bank-based veteran Arab journalist.

ELAY in the peace talks be tween Islamabad and the Pa kistan Taliban — aimed to achieve peace without resorting to force — has set off a heated debate about the viability of even holding a dialogue with the militant group whose diametrically opposite viewpoint regarding governance and constitution goes against what the Pakistan state stands for. The Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has always been advocating a Sharia-based government on the lines of the Afghan Taliban under Mullah Omar. So the set of conditions the TTP has set before Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s committee tasked to negotiate a settlement with it should not surprise. Among the Taliban’s 10 demands are the release of all Taliban prisoners, compensation for drone-strike victims and specific conditions imposed on women to dress according to Sharia. Heading a democratic government, Sharif is unlikely to impose any conditions on women or men, irrespective of how desirous he may be to achieve peace through dialogue. Even the release of prisoners is likely to raise the stakes for the government. Many of these prisoners have been caught in hard-fought security operations. The successes achieved so far in many reclaimed restive areas in the tribal belt and northern areas face the risk of being overturned if appeasement measures backfire, which they will most likely. The success of any peace talks will only come about if the government shows resolve and negotiates from a position of strength. Giving in to even one unreasonable demand can jeopardise the whole effort and fail to achieve anything tangible. While it may be true that Sharif may be making a last-ditch effort at peace talks before he gives the formal goahead of launching a large-scale military offensive to flush out the militant strongholds in North Waziristan, credit must be given to him for going the extra mile. But what the government must not do is allow the TTP to use any agreement if it comes about as a means to buy time to shore up its resources for starting a new phase of insurgency. Pakistan cannot afford to indulge in experiments of this sort at this juncture when any wrong move in dealing with its Taliban groups could impact the security handover in neighbouring Afghanistan. — Gulf News

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Khaleda’s accusations

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NP chairperson Khaleda Zia made a very serious claim in her Thursday’s press briefing that in a month between December 26, 2013 and January 27, 2014, some 300 opposition activists were killed or made to forcibly disappear by the law-enforcing agencies and AL men. But she could provide the names of only five of such victims and designations of two others, including one from its alliance partner Jamaat-i-Islami, while the identities of the overwhelming majority of rest remained unknown. Needless to say, this only made her claim lose credibility before the public eye. Worse yet, her slapdash approach towards such a serious matter supplied enough arsenal to the government to dismiss her accusations out of hand. The question that naturally arises is what was the basis of the BNP leader’s information about the victims of killing and disappearance? If she has any details about the names and addresses of the victims those demand immediate disclosure. Otherwise, the whole exercise will look like an attempt at playing a sheer numbers game with the plight of the victims. The government, on its part, cannot confine its responsibility to just dismissing BNP leader’s claim about atrocities said to have been committed by law-enforcers and ruling party cadres. If truth be told, reports of excesses committed by different arms of the law-enforcement department abound. Given the media reports and occasional disclosures by local and international human rights bodies, the government has little room for complacency about the issue. So, before brushing off BNP’s claim as fake, the government must clarify its position about widespread allegations of atrocities committed by law-enforcers against the opposition activists and members of the public. — The Daily Star Things are not always what they seem.

—Proverb


Negotiations with Taliban no matter Pakistan goes extra mile, to accommodate their conditions. Such a hope is prematurely doomed for the obvious reasons laid out Saeed Qureshi in the foregoing narraEmail: qureshisa2003@yahoo.com tive. The taming of hardcore religious bigots and tenacious fighters is HERE seems to be a slim a far cry and cannot be attained by chance for the negotiating solicitation or sweet overtures. The team put up by Prime Minis- underlying purpose of Taliban and ter Nawaz Sharif, to strike a deal their supporters from the mainstream with shrewd and battle hardened politico- religious parties is to revive Taliban and to convince them to lay the pristine Islamic caliphate and down arms and join the society as towards the attainment of this obpeaceful and law abiding citizens. jective they would never comproThe sticking point is obviously their mise or budge. focus on a bloody struggle for enEven if by a miracle they join forcement of shariah in Pakistan. hands with the government, they If their brand of Sharia is even would not abandon their option of partially enforced and interpolated falling out with the civilian or in the constitution, then Pakistan democratic government. They would recede to the times of As- would not abandon their fanatic sassins in the Middle East and Van- creed anyway. The induction of dals in Europe. Any reconciliation Taliban factions into the democratic between an elected constitutional political culture of Pakistan would government and renegade Taliban remain like strange and incompatis inherently contradictory, i.e., sav- ible bedfellow and would backfire. age inhuman system vs a represenThe ongoing, unrelenting maytative rule. hem of terrorism is primarily beThe assassins were eliminated ing spawned and tenaciously carby the Mongols to rid the Islamic ried out by Taliban and sectarian regimes from that curse. Same un- rivals. It would be spine-chilling to forgiving blitz is needed to wipe off imagine what would happen to Pathis scourge from the soil of Paki- kistan if such rigid, extremist and stan. But perhaps there seems to be ruthless militants as Taliban, in tana kind of catch and trickery behind dem with the homegrown religiothis overture of the incumbent re- political groups, become shareholdgime not to be blamed later that it ers in power. In that horrid situadid not offer an olive branch to the tion would Pakistan be any differbrute Taliban. The refusal from ent from Syria and Iraq or certain Taliban for a deal could morally jus- African countries where religious tify the military action against the insurgents are braced against the TTP network of hordes. states and also fighting one another According to a news report on the sectarian basis? TTP’s monthly earnings from exThe Al-Qaida and Al-shabab tortion, kidnapping, drug trade and and various shades of Taliban are a bounty killings in Karachi alone newborn face of the erstwhile relihave exceeded 115 million dollars. gious fundamentalist forces. The Therefore, they would go down present day religious outfits with fighting but would not submit. As stubborn agenda and unflinching a ferocious, religious conglomera- will to fight the heathens are a tion, their affiliates and members spillover from the past. It is mind prefer dying for a swift placement boggling to watch that in these in paradise. Such is the level of times of enlightenment, liberalism, powerful indoctrination by the zeal- free societies, the human rights, the ots of that outfit created by Paki- planet Earth is still infested with stan herself in yester-years. Taliban such rogue bands that want the obwould not relinquish their militancy scure dogmatic orders to be revived

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and implemented in entirety. So the only effective and absolute mechanism for dealing with the radical militants is to exterminate them physically and destroy and debilitate their militancy with full might of the state. If in Pakistan the skirmishes with the Taliban and AlQaida continue unabated, there would never be an end or any tangible result coming out of these. The compelling reason is that those who are killed among the insurgents are filled by new cadres and volunteers indoctrinated and motivated by religious zealots and fiery demagogues with a dainty and alluring promise of straight away going to paradise as martyrs. In the hindsight let us recollect that Pakistan along with other Islamic regimes created a force of universal Islamic crusaders to fight ungodly Russians in rugged Afghanistan as allies of a free and religious Christian world led by the United States. What a hoax it was that while the Islamic countries were arraigned against the Russian with a resounding spirit of Islamic resurgence, the underlying catch was to bring victory of capitalism over communism. While the second purpose has been ideally served, the first one (creation of militants) has become a lasting millstone around the neck of Pakistan. It is like a Frankenstein ever ready to swallow its own creator which in this case is Pakistan. Pakistan allowed its land and manpower for the fulfillment of a goal that was extraneous to its national interests. Hence we see the proliferation of terrorism all over Pakistan by Taliban and hardcore religious fanatics. The pitiless Taliban and their cohorts had virtually occupied Swat valley in 2007. They were driven out with full-fledged military operations in 2007 and 2009. One could gauge the resilience and the devious way the Taliban broadened their tentacles based on primitive orthodoxy in that marvelous enchanting valley. From Swat valley they were planning to march towards the federal capital of Pakistan Islamabad and terrorize the local population through coercive

regimentation. They and their agents forced the people to abide by religious injunctions such as for the ladies to cover their head in the market places. The Taliban and their ilk would resist, thwart and block, by every conceivable means, all such endeavors that overhaul Pakistan into a modern frame. The fundamental question is whether Pakistan survives as a modern state or succumbs to the dictates of Taliban and fanatic orthodox religious entities. The choice is certainly a modern state with a secular and pluralistic edifice erected on the foundation of an enlightened Islam. It would not be advisable or thinkable to live with a monster like Taliban and then expect to remain unscathed. The dream of crafting a modern egalitarian, Liberal, pluralistic and democratic society in Pakistan is entirely out of sync with the crude model of statehood envisioned by the obscurantist and the conservative Islamic forces. Islam fundamentally is a progressive religion and can tailor itself with the changing times. The creed and ideologies of fundamentalists and reactionary religious assortments are retrogressive and negate the fruits of modern times such as advancement in technology, universal culture of humanism, pluralism, inclusiveness, emancipation of women folks and a fusion of religion with modernity and so on. The sectarian and ideological conflicts now rife in the Islamic countries are the formidable hurdles in their progress and getting into the strides of modern nation states. With the advent of a fossilized version of Islam imposed on Pakistan, the country can transform into a medieval state but not the one that is indispensable in the present times of enlightenment and awakening. The conservative Islamic societies are in a state of flux and groping how to explore an identity that simultaneously serves their religious obligations and the imperative of the present times. —The writer is a senior journalist and a former diplomat.

Views From Abroad

Asia’s dangerous nostalgia William Pesek

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NDONESIA is growing at 6 per cent, has rejoined the ranks of in vestment-grade nations and, after decades under the corrupt and repressive Suharto, has reaffirmed its place as the world’s third-largest democracy. Yet somehow enough Indonesians remember the Suharto years fondly that his Golkar Party has hopes of regaining power in upcoming elections. Golkar isn’t alone in trying to exploit nostalgia for past strongmen (and women). India’s Congress Party is trying to squeeze any remaining good feelings about the Nehru-Gandhi period (from 1947 to about 1989) to elevate lacklustre heir apparent Rahul Gandhi. Even as China’s Xi Jinping pushes ahead with market reforms, he continues to pay homage to communist icon Mao Zedong (19491976). Thais are destroying their economy rather than cut off support for tycoon Thaksin Shinawatra (2001-2006) and his sister Yingluck. Many Malaysians wax sentimental about the boom days of Mahathir Mohamad (1981-2003). Japanese are indulging Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s dangerous stroll down memory lane. What gives with “nostalgianomics”? The yearning for yesteryear speaks to our disorienting times and a dearth of visionary leadership when it’s most

needed. This is an upside-down era when the unthinkable has a way of becoming reality: The United States is a developing nation again; Europe is hitting up “poor” China to bail out its debt markets; central banks have gone Islamic with zero-interest rates everywhere; the free trade that once raised living standards now foments poverty. Many simply want to get off this crazy ride. That’s a problem in a dynamic global economy that is constantly reinventing itself. It’s natural to pine for a less-frenzied existence, but looking to the past for policy solutions courts economic decline. Unless nations reinvent themselves and plan ahead now, they’ll get left behind. Across Asia, there are too many examples of populations still fixated on worldviews that no longer exist. The forces of globalisation won’t slow down as nations reminisce. Neither will the biggest migration flows in history, the dizzying pace of change in technology, the need to compete with neighbours as much as cooperate, nor the deadly effects of climate change. These are simply the conditions of our new world. Amid such upheaval, those at the helm must lead their people forward. They must innovate constantly, promote dialogue about how best to exploit global developments, and manage plural societies. When their citizens start looking to the past for inspiration, today’s leaders must take the hint and do better.

Nostalgianomics is related to the cult of gross domestic product that started with Japan. Its swift rise from the ashes of World War II set the bar high for leaders from South Korea to Indonesia. Fond memories of a Japan-like postwar boom under Park Chung-hee (1961-1979) helped propel daughter Park Geun-hye into the South Korean presidency. Japanese long for a return to their boom years so much that they’re willing to turn a blind eye to Abe’s nationalistic ways and retrograde foreign policy. The Mahathir schmaltz pervading Malaysia recalls the days when GDP also soared. But the insular and jury-rigged system of affirmative action, national champions and fat subsidies over which Mahathir presided now holds the economy back. The Malaysian leader also had a tendency to embarrass his nation on the global stage with his nutty antiSemitic tirades. Malaysians must find inspiration by looking forward, not back to 1990. The same holds true across the region. As Singaporeans try to balance the open immigration flows that drive growth with rising social tensions and inequality, they won’t find answers by harking back to the heady days of Lee Kuan Yew (1959-1990). They need to identify and empower a new generation of progressive leaders. N o one really worries about a revival of Mao’s disastrous economic policies in China. But not until Beijing stops pretending that the Great

Helmsman remains a guiding inspiration — and removes his portrait from the Tiananmen gate in central Beijing — will it enjoy the global legitimacy it craves. Abe’s wistfulness about a time when Japan was a military powerhouse, its pacifist constitution wasn’t an American creation, and war crimes of past leaders didn’t anger neighbors or implicate his grandfather is proving especially dangerous. At some point Japanese are going to have to ask themselves how much more leeway they’re willing to grant their prime minister in the hopes that he can revive growth — something that remains in doubt. Asia is hardly alone, of course. In the US, the slow recovery under President Barack Obama has some looking back fondly to the wreckage that was the George W. Bush years. Europe’s many crises and waning competitiveness have voters in Barcelona and Milan missing the pre-euro days. And how else do you explain Vladimir Putin’s lasting presence in Russia? Musing over the past helps humankind avoid repeating its mistakes. But looking at yesteryear with rose-tinted glasses encourages policies and styles of leadership that are no longer relevant in a fast-changing Asia. The more voters yearn to go back, the more they may suffer in the future. The writer is a Bloomberg View columnist in Tokyo. — Courtesy: The Japan Times

Brotherly love..!

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LL too often I hear friends sigh and wish father, uncle, sister or brother would leave them fortune, some property or maybe just a Mercedes! “Imagine postman bringing a letter saying my brother gifted me a car!” they sigh and look wistfully in the direction of rich relative’s house. Here’s an incident related by Dan Clark and sent by my mother which touched me and I’m sure will do the same for you: A friend of mine named Paul received an automobile from his brother as a

Christmas present. On Christmas Eve when Paul came out of his office, a street urchin was walking around the shiny new car, admiring it. “Is this your car, Mister?” he asked. Paul nodded. “My brother gave it to me for Christmas.” The boy was astounded. “You mean your brother gave it to you and it didn’t cost you nothing? Boy, I wish . . .” he hesitated. Of course Paul knew what he was going to wish for. He was going to wish he had a brother like that. But what the lad said jarred Paul all the way down to his heels. “I wish,” the boy went on, “that I could be a brother like that!” Paul looked at the boy in astonishment, then impulsively asked, “Would you like a ride in my automobile?”

“Oh yes, I’d love that.” After a short ride, the boy turned and with his eyes glowing, said, “Mister, would you mind driving in front of my house?” Paul smiled a little. He thought he knew what the lad wanted. He wanted to show his neighbors that he could ride home in a big automobile. But Paul was wrong again. “Will you stop where those two steps are?” the boy asked. He ran up the steps. Then in a little while Paul heard him coming back, but he was not coming fast. He was carrying his little crippled brother. He sat him down on the bottom step, then sort of squeezed up against him, pointed to the car and said, “There she is Buddy, just like I told you upstairs. His brother gave it to him for Christmas and it didn’t cost him a cent. And some

day I’m gonna give you one just like it . . . then you can see for yourself all the pretty things in the shop windows that I’ve been trying to tell you about!” Paul got out with tears in his eyes and lifted the little lad to the front seat of his car. The shiningeyed older brother climbed in beside him and the three of them began a memorable holiday ride. In my mind’s eye I can see that car go by; I see two brothers smiling, one sitting in the car, giving his little sibling a joy ride and a few moments of happiness, and the other not in the car; the brother who gave Paul the car as a gift. “Oh Brother!” they say, “what fun to see your joy!” Oh Brother! It’s time we experienced such joy..! —Email:bobsbanter@gmail.com

Voice of the People Sui Gas connections RAJA GHAZANFAR ALI

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t seems that most of the cruel officers of SNGPL, WAPDA, Railways, Public Transport and those of others departments will die, this year, due to heart failure, cancer, kidneys failure, bursting of brain vein, road accidents etc. by the wrath of Allah, because of their cruel and corrupt dealings with the most oppressed people of Pakistan because of the following reasons. Officers of SNGPL are giving extensive mental tension to SNGPL Consumers by illegally charging shortfall Security Charges forcibly from the SNGPL Consumers; moreover, under the pretext of ban on new connections, the SNGPL officials are charging heavy bribes from the applicants, who applied for gas connection, years ago, to install gas meters. WAPDA, in the same pattern, is forcibly charging Neelam Jhelum Dam chgarges from the consumers bills while there are existed the amount of others chaeges under the heads like CED, Octroi Duty, GST , Fuel Adjustment Charges etc in the consumers bills only for getting more and more money to enjoy luxurious lives themselves, while the small children and patients are dying due to worst loadshedding in common areas; though the officers’ colonies are exempted from this load shedding of gas and electricity. —Via email

Mobile applications for traffic AAMIR KHAN KASI Recently I came across a computer application the Punjab government has launched to execute rate control of commodities. It is a step worth praising. But it is only a small use of the technology. Indeed, a lot more can be done. Spending some time in Lahore, I analysed that attention has been paid to the infrastructure of Lahore. But there is always room to excel. Vehicular traffic is one issue. Underpasses and flyovers have eased the load of traffic. Public transport is used by around half of the population in Lahore. Metro bus cannot tackle this problem alone. More modes of transportation are needed to boost efficiency. Buses get late because of traffic jams, and the common man has to suffer. I once had to wait for a bus for 30 minutes and when it did arrive, I could not board it because of a large crowd. Calculating these minutes for millions on a daily basis can make us realise the gravity of the time-loss being incurred, besides the loss of fuel and energy. The transport sector needs applications (apps) to cater to the needs of passengers. For example, if I am waiting for a bus, I am unaware where is the bus at the moment and how much I have to wait for it and, more importantly, I have no idea of the load already on the bus. These are the answers needed by the passengers to make a decision. Most people have mobile phones. Applications can be introduced to tackle the issue. SMS service can be started on request. It will tackle the agony of the common man to some extent. I have noticed the Punjab government is focusing on mega schemes. Some small steps can also help us a lot. Last but not least, traffic jam alert on SMS or the application can guide the commuter about the traffic jam ahead. This will save millions of rupees in saving of fuel. I hope all Provincial governments will introduce such small things as soon as possible. These don’t need huge funds. —Via email

Right to self-defence ABDUL WAHID I agree with M. Akram Niazi, regarding the right of citizens to carry non-prohibited bore arms and ammunition for self-defence. I would like to add that under Article 9 the security of a person is a fundamental right whereby it has been guaranteed, “no person shall be deprived of life or liberty saves in accordance with law.” And the right to life may not be imagined without the right to self-defence. Compulsory licensing of arms and ammunition is a kind of discrimination that divides the common people into two privileged and nonprivileged classes. This is also contrary to the spirit of the Constitution that no discriminatory law may be made by the state. Under Sections 42 and 43 of the Criminal Procedure Code every person is bound to assist the police to prevent crimes, and the police are authorised to arrest any criminal who is committing any offence against public or public property. Obviously, the duty imposed by the law may not be performed by a citizen unless he has sufficient means to do so. It has, frequently, been witnessed that criminals succeeded in their crimes only because the citizens present on the spot are no more than helpless spectators. Keeping in view the prevailing onslaughts of terrorists and street criminals, including target killers, it prompts us to allow every citizen to carry arms, following an appropriate legislation in this behalf. Whenever the law and order situation runs out of hands, the government launches drives to unearth illicit arms and ammunitions but at the end the whole exercise proves futile since we have no foolproof mechanism to stop entry of such illicit arms in the city or locality.

Some people fear that if citizens are allowed to carry a weapon, it would be fatal and may turn into a civil war-like situation. However, the history of mankind has no such example of any society where a civil war was caused by ammunition. An example of recent past is that of the former NWFP Province ( now called KPK ) where it was customary for all to carry weapons which they used to call their ornament, and the crime rate in the Provinces was less than other parts of the country, because every criminal pre-empted as the person whom he might assault might also be in a position to respond more fatally. Hence there seems to be no harm to abolish licensing of non-prohibited bore weapons for self-defence. —Karachi

KP and Kalabagh Dam DR M YAQOOB BHATTI Aftab Sherpao is reported to have said in the National Assembly, while commenting on Kalabagh dam, that it would submerge the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa lands in the Province and that three Provincial Assemblies had passed resolutions against it. The facts as given by WAPDA illustrate that out of 164 square miles submerged land, only 3,000 acres are irrigated, mostly in Punjab, and 24,500 acres are dry-farmed while the dam would irrigate three to four million acres of virgin land. As such, the views of Mr Sherpao are based on hearsay. Moreover, Provincial Assemblies have no nexus with water issues. Only the Council of Common Interests (CCI) has the authority to decide the issue of a water-storage dam, which has already been done in the 1991 Water Accord, wherein any dam feasible on the Indus may be built while the Kalabagh dam is highly feasible. Mr Sherpao wants to sacrifice 14 per cent share of water for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa which can only be assured by the Kalabagh dam, while at present Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has only five per cent irrigated area. Mr Sherpao needs to reassess the problem in national interest, including Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. —Lahore

‘I am Malala’ MOHAMMAD RAFI The launching of Malala’s book ‘I am Malala’ by Peshawar University was stopped by the Provincial government. It is being criticised by many, including Imran Khan, on the ground that it amounts to curbing freedom of expression. Launching of a book is simply a ceremony. Disallowing it does not mean “curbing the freedom of expression”. Banning the publication and sale/purchase of a book does mean that. When I first saw Malala speaking on TV, I formed the opinion she was an intelligent girl. When she was shot and was in a critical condition, I, like many other Pakistanis, prayed for her survival and with will of Allah she did survive. Then there was a shower of awards on her regarding education and acclamations, which she probably did not deserve, with what motives and objectives Malala should know better. But by her stance and statements regarding education in Pakistan, she is spreading Pakistan’s image as a country where the government and people are against giving education to children, especially to girls. This is incorrect except for some villages where tribal chiefs have enslaved the people. Otherwise both boys and girls almost everywhere go to school. Unfortunately, our government is not doing anything to correct the image. —Karachi

BPSC: neglecting Pashtun zones HAZRAT WALI KAKAR The Balcohistan Public Service Commission (BPSC) had announced vacancies for Lecturers (BS-17) in the Education Department. It has neglected the Pashtun districts of the Province. According to the recruitment policy of 1991, vacancies in

every department of the Province should allocate vacancies on the basis of zonal merit system: Kalat zone, Zhob zone, Makran zone, Quetta division, Sibi zone and Quetta division zone and also a specific number of vacancies for disabled and religious minorities. This time the authorities concerned have neglected Pashtun districts, including Zhob, Sherani, Musakhel, Lorlai, Harnai, Duki and Ziarat, along with the disabled and minorities. Out of 674 posts , there are only 93 vacancies for Pashtun districts, while there is not a single vacancy for disabled and religious minorities. The BPSC also eliminated open merit and zonal merit and zonal allocation of seats. The BPSC had announced these vacancies on districts-based merit system among districts except the above-mentioned districts. This is against the BPSC’s recruitment policy of 1991. There is disappointment among educated youth of the above-mentioned districts, disabled youth and religious minorities of the Province on this unjust and unfair distribution and allocations of vacancies. There are a number of degree-holders in these districts. I request Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch to restore the zonal allocation and distribution of vacancies. Last but not the least, I request the government to provide jobs to the youth of the area to utilise their skills in the development and prosperity of the province. —Zhob, Balochistan

Pakistan’s ‘Newton’, Dr Abdus Salam M ASADULLAH The name of Dr. Abdus Salam is synonymous with one thing in Pakistan, Nobel Prize because to date he is the only Pakistani who has received this award, which is undoubtedly world’s most coveted prize in science. Dr Abdus Salam was born in Jhang and had an illustrious academic career, which took him from his parental town to Government College and then to Cambridge University where he completed his PhD. He came back to Pakistan after completing his PhD and taught at Government College, Lahore where he later headed Mathematics department as well. Dr. Abdus Salam went on to establish a world class institute in Theoretical Physics in Italy where he kept a special place for students from developing countries with limited resources. This institute is still functioning as a premier research body in Physics. Dr. Abdus Salam’s work with Professors Weinberg and Glashow earned him Nobel Prize for Physics in 1979. During the award ceremony, Dr Abdus Salam being the true Pakistani that he was, was proudly clad in his national dress. Dr Abdus Salam was a remarkable scientist whose other achievements include being an influential academician at institutes like Imperial College London and awards like Royal Medal, Hopkins Prize, Maxwell Prize and Einstein award by UNESCO. —Hayatabad, Peshawar

Tollinton market M SALEEM SAYYED Shops in the new Tollinton Market, Lahore, sell chicken, mutton, fish and pets. Filth, foul smell, heaps of rotten meat and waste are hallmarks of the market. Selling pets and meat under one roof is a health hazard. Animal germs easily infest meat. It is dangerous for human health. —Lahore

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

—Editor Email:editorial@pakobserver.net


Israeli foreign minister defends peace-maker Kerry

Egypt’s despair, and its hope ALAA AL ASWANY

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JERUSALEM—Israel’s right-wing foreign minister on Friday defended U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry whose Middle East peace drive has seen mounting criticism from within the Israeli government. The conciliatory remarks by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who has previously been a vocal critic of international efforts to set up a Palestinian state on Israeli-occupied territory, could help Kerry cobble together consensus for pursuing the peace negotiations. “I want to make clear - Kerry is a true friend of Israel,” Lieberman told business leaders in Tel Aviv. “What is the point of turning friend into foe?” Lieberman has taken a more circumspect tack since resuming the role of foreign minister after he was cleared of graft charges last year. Kerry launched the latest Israeli-Palestinian peace push last July and has visited the region more than 10 times in the past year. He hopes to complete a “framework” accord by an April deadline and will then try to negotiate a final peace deal by the end of 2014, a U.S. official has said. However, both sides are standing firm on their demands in decades-old disputes.—APP

S Africa to hold general election on May 7 JOHANNESBURG—President of the popular vote. Jacob Zuma on Friday announced that South Africa will hold a general election on May 7, a vote which promises to be the sternest test yet of the ruling African National Congress. The election — South Africa’s fifth since apartheid ended in 1994 — will be the first in which “born free” citizens can cast their ballot. They could make up as much as one fifth of the electorate. It will also be the first election since the death of Nelson Mandela, the nation’s founding father, first democratically elected president and the ANC’s talismanic leader. “These are historic elections as they take place during the 20th anniversary of our freedom from apartheid bondage,” Zuma said, foreshadowing a campaign likely to lean heavily on the ANC’s past glories. Zuma said the vote would “consolidate the democracy and freedom that we worked so hard to achieve, and for which esteemed South Africans such as former president Nelson Mandela sacrificed life’s comforts for.” The ANC is the strong favourite to win a majority of the 400 seats in parliament and so to return Zuma, now 71, to the presidency. It has won each of the last four elections by a landslide, winning more than 60 percent

But the party’s reputation has been sullied by pervasive inequality, joblessness, cronyism, corruption and government incompetence. And this time round the ANC faces a phalanx of opposition parties — from the centrist Democratic Alliance to the left-wing Economic Freedom Fighters of Julius Malema — who have fastened on to widespread popular unease. Struggling leadership Zuma himself heads into the election with his own standing significantly reduced. He has been beset by a litany of scandals, crowned by the revelation that $20 million of taxpayers’ money was used to refurbish his rural homestead. That sits uneasily in a country where one in three workers is unemployed and many millions struggle to get by. “This will be the jobs election,” said Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille, who promises to implement policies that create six million new jobs, if elected. “We will make this election a battle of ideas; even as our opponents cling to the outdated politics of racial mobilisation.” With the Democratic Alliance still struggling to shed its image as a party of white and mixedrace South Africans, the ANC’s strongest challenge may come in urban and provincial elections.—AFP

Two Egypt bombs wound six officers CAIRO—Six Egyptian policemen were wounded in a bomb attack in Cairo on Friday, hours before clashes between police and Islamist protesters in several cities killed at least one person, officials said. The attack shattered a tense calm in the capital after a spate of bombings on January 24 killed six policemen, in an escalation of a militant campaign following the overthrow of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi. The interior ministry said two small bombs exploded near policemen stationed on a bridge near central Cairo. At least six were wounded in the attack, the health ministry said. Police cordoned off the scene, where a lightly damaged police truck appeared to have borne the brunt of the blast. State television reported that the attack targeted a checkpoint set up to counter a scheduled protest by Morsi’s Islamist supporters, who had called for rallies on Friday.

Police dispersed several protest marches that set off from mosques after noon prayers, security officials said. One person was killed in the violence in Fayoum, a city south west of Cairo. The country has been shaken by persistent and often violent protests as well as bombings and shootings since the military overthrew Morsi on July 3. Militant attacks on police and soldiers have killed scores, mostly in the restive Sinai Peninsula. Jihadists based in the peninsula have also claimed responsibility for attacks on police in Cairo and elsewhere. An Al-Qaeda-inspired group in the Sinai said it carried out a car bombing outside Cairo police headquarters on January 24 that killed four people. Two more policemen were killed in three additional bombings in the capital that day.—AFP

A man walks along a street lined with damaged buildings in the besieged area of Homs.

Syria starts evacuating civilians from besieged Homs amid temporary truce HOMS—Syria evacuated three busloads of civilians from a besieged area of Homs on Friday, the first stage of a planned three-day humanitarian ceasefire in the city which has suffered some of the worst devastation of Syria’s three-year conflict. The buses carrying dozens of wearylooking evacuees, accompanied by Syrian Arab Red Crescent officials, arrived at a meeting point outside Homs watched by soldiers and police. The deal is the first positive result of peace talks which were launched two weeks ago between Syria’s warring foes and resume on Monday in Geneva, with little prospect of resolving core grievances behind a war which has killed 130,000 people. Under the Homs deal, women, children and old men are allowed to leave the Old City which has been under siege by President Bashar al-Assad’s forces for a year and a half, while humanitarian supplies will be allowed in to those who re-

main. The World Food Programme said it had trucks ready to take a month’s supply of food on Saturday to the estimated 2,500 hungry and malnourished people who have been trapped for months in the rebel-held heart of the city. Syrian authorities and aid groups said they expected around 200 people to leave the rebel-controlled neighborhoods. By Friday afternoon about 80 people had been evacuated, a U.N. official told Syrian television. It was the first time the Red Crescent had gained access to the center of Homs since the siege began, the aid agency said. Russia said a three-day ceasefire had been agreed in the city, which was one of the first areas to erupt in protest against Assad nearly three years ago and where street after street has been destroyed in heavy fighting between Assad’s forces and rebels seeking his overthrow. Syrian authorities had announced that evacuees would be given medical treat-

ment and shelter. They said residents of Old Homs who prefer to remain will be sent humanitarian aid as well. Moscow, which has supported and armed Assad throughout the civil war, hailed the Homs deal as a “landmark agreement”, but Western officials gave a skeptical response, saying Syria had an unconditional obligation to civilians trapped by conflict, arguing the issue should not have required weeks of negotiation to allow aid to enter. “The regime should let the humanitarian convoy in. Then the population should decide to stay or leave,” said Jon Wilks, Britain’s diplomatic representative to the Syrian opposition. Rebels have rejected similar offers to evacuate women and children in the past because of concerns about what might happen to any men, including fighters, who are left behind. Dozens of men were detained and disappeared after a similar deal made last year in Mouadamiya, west of Damascus.—Agencies

US hits Iceland on whaling, looks at sanctions WASHINGTON—The United States said Thursday that Iceland was violating an international agreement through its whaling, opening the possibility of economic sanctions over the controversial hunt. The Department of the Interior, in a decision it is required to take under US law, found that the Nordic country’s actions violated the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. The certification was sent to President Barack Obama, who has 60 days to determine whether to impose economic sanctions on the NATO ally.

After a similar decision in 2011, Obama declined to do so but ordered diplomatic measures to raise concern. Iceland and Norway are the only nations that openly defy a 1986 global moratorium on commercial whaling. Japan kills hundreds of whales a year but says it abides by the moratorium by using a loophole that allows “lethal research” on the ocean giants. Iceland consumes little whale meat but supplies the Japanese market. It increased its 2014 quotas to 383 whales, despite not making the hunt level the previous year. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, in a state-

ment on the decision, credited the 1986 moratorium with helping whale stocks recover after commercial whaling “had nearly driven whales to extinction.” Conservation and animal rights groups hailed the move and called for Obama to take action to stop Iceland’s hunt. “Killing endangered fin whales is not only brutal, it’s short-sighted,” said Taryn Kiekow Heimer of the Natural Resources Defense Council. “Iceland should not be allowed to ignore the fact that, regardless of some temporary financial reward, this practice is simply unsustainable and cruel,” she said.—AFP

14 people dead in Philippines bus crash BONTOC, Philippines—Police

Civilians and rebel fighters are seen on a boat in Sobat river in town of Ulang in Upper Nile State, South Sudan.

in the Philippines said at least 14 people died and 31 were injured Friday after a bus fell into a 300-foot ravine. The accident took place around 7:20 a.m., local time, in Sitio Pagang, Barangay Tabulin, Bontoc Mountain Province, ABS-CBN reported. Some witness told police the bus had engine problems, but investigators said they’re considering human error. Among the dead were two tourists from the Netherlands and Canada, ABS-CBN reported. Twenty-one people were taken to Bontoc General Hospital, three were admitted to Luis Hora Hospital and four were missing, the newspaper said.—Agencies

ast month, on the third anniversary of the revolu tion of Jan. 25 that led to the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak, millions of Egyptians came out onto the streets carrying Egyptian flags and pictures of Gen. Abdul-Fattah el-Sisi, the army leader whom they considered their hero for siding with the will of the people and overthrowing the Muslim Brotherhood government in June. At the same time, supporters of the Brotherhood’s deposed president, Mohamed Morsi, continued their confrontations with the police, which resulted in 49 deaths and scores of injuries. There was a third position taken by some of the young revolutionaries who played a role in ending Brotherhood rule last year, but were terrified at the prospect of the return of the police state they had opposed when Mr. Mubarak was in power. Two such people are Khaled elSayed, 30, and Nagy Kamel, 27, both engineers, who helped organize a demonstration against both a return of the Brotherhood and the Mubarak-style regime. The demonstration had hardly started before it was set upon by the police, reportedly using tear gas and live ammunition, causing the demonstrators to flee for their lives. After the protesters were dispersed, Mr. Sayed and Mr. Kamel went for lunch in the city center, where they were picked up and placed under arrest by the secret police, who charged them with possession of bombs for use in terrorist attacks. Prosecutors ordered both men to be held in custody for 15 days, pending investigation. What happened to these two men is just one episode in a long series that has targeted young revolutionaries. Some have been sentenced to three years in prison just for organizing a peaceful demonstration without prior authorization. These sentences are based on the law on demonstrations issued by the transitional government on Nov. 24, which has been widely criticized and has led several human rights organizations to issue a joint statement of protest. The statement noted that the law had been promulgated by an unelected government with no legislative authority, that it put unreasonable strictures on the right to peaceful assembly, and that it empowered the police to use lethal firepower. Such oppressive measures previously met with stiff resistance, but now they are used on a daily basis and few Egyptians raise much of a voice in protest. This change of stance has a number of explanations. First, since Mr. Morsi was deposed, terrorists have been carrying out armed attacks and car bombings against the army, the police and churches, causing hundreds of fatalities among both military personnel and civilians; this campaign has led most Egyptians to give their support to the state in its fight against terrorism and to turn a blind eye to excesses committed by the security apparatus. Second, the standard of living in Egypt three years after the revolution has deteriorated to the point where it is worse now than it was under Mr. Mubarak. Many Egyptians long for the reimposition of security and an improvement in the economy at any price. The third reason is a systematic media campaign carried out by state television and the private channels owned by businessmen who used to back the Mubarak regime. This public relations effort aims to convey the notion that the January 2011 revolution was a plot by American intelligence agencies to remove Mr. Mubarak. It accuses the young revolutionaries of being traitors and paid agents of the West. The campaign to discredit the activists has not provided any conclusive evidence, but it has had the effect of reducing their popularity to the extent that some wellknown dissidents have been attacked by ordinary citizens. Last month, when a prominent activist, Esraa Abdel Fattah, went to vote in the referendum on the new constitution, she was surrounded by women who forcibly ejected her from the voting station to shouts of “enemy agent” and “traitor.” This is a tragic turn of events. Those young revolutionaries stood up to the giant machine of oppression that was the Mubarak regime; they resisted the previous military council and rose up against the tyranny of the Muslim Brotherhood. They carried aloft the corpses of their comrades, shot by the police. They sacrificed so much to restore freedom and dignity for precisely those Egyptians who now accuse them of being traitors. A few days ago, someone posted a comment on Facebook that went viral: “Fellow revolutionaries, we have been through the three most beautiful and difficult years of our life. We have tried to realize the dream but we now know that it has become impossible. Yet we keep on stating that it was a real dream, no matter how much they try to falsify history. None of us who have lived that dream will ever forget, or regret it, for a moment. As for those who have died in the service of the revolution, we say to you and your families that we apologize because we are not worthy of your sacrifices.” The poster’s words clearly reflect the despair of this generation, a disillusionment that led many to abstain from voting in the constitutional referendum, which was approved by 98 percent of those who turned out. Commenting on the abstentions, observers have noted that it has made the transitional government uneasy: Egypt’s prime minister has convened more than one meeting with representatives of the young revolutionaries. It has also led General Sisi to issue a statement confirming that there can be no return to the status quo that existed before Jan. 25. Is the Egyptian revolution over, as the frustrated young Facebook poster declared? The answer is provided by recent official statistics that show that the country’s population has already reached 85 million, 60 percent of whom are under 29. It is these young people — the majority of the population — who made the revolution. It is they who, in the end, will \win out, because they alone are the future. —Courtesy The New York Times

Passive super power DR N JANARDHAN

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hen Barack Obama won the presidential bid in 2008, it was tough to be even remotely critical of the first African-American to occupy the White House. More than five years later, it is tough to highlight anything remotely posi-

tive. Despite a comfortable re-election in 2012, Obama has moved from one predicament to another on domestic and international issues, receiving flak for the way his administration has handled or mishandled them. The latest round of criticism revolves around the recent State of the Union address. While Obama concentrated mostly on domestic issues in light of the mid-term polls in November, the gist of his foreign and defence policy in the annual address was that Washington would limit US military intervention in conflicts around the world, without neglecting global terrorism. The criticism must be seen in the context of two US decisions related to the Gulf and Middle East — retreating on the chemical weapons ‘red line’ that he emphasised as a condition for military intervention in Syria, and the negotiations on Iran’s nuclear programme and rapprochement with the Islamic republic. These policies reflect either or both the following sentiments: Washington’s decline as an unchallenged superpower due to its economic woes and the desire to focus on domestic issues at the expense of its international role. With less than three years remaining in his second term, the US president has failed to turn around the American economy in the manner he had claimed he would during his first campaign trails. Since his domestic legacy hinges more on stabilising the economy, Obama’s recent external policies clearly stress the mantra that “it’s the

economy, stupid”. Obama recognises a major reason that triggered the US economic slump — the George W. Bush administration’s misadventures in Afghanistan and Iraq, which is estimated to finally cost the United States up to $6 trillion, mostly borrowed from international lenders at high interest. According to a 2013 report by Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, these “will be the most expensive wars in US history” and the decisions revolving around them would impact federal budgets for decades. Apart from the lives lost, the financial costs include “long-term medical care and disability compensation for (American) service members, veterans and families, military replenishment and social and economic costs… paying off trillions of dollars in debt incurred as the US government failed to include them in annual budgets… (and) huge expenditures to replace military equipment used in the two wars”. This has made Americans favour a diminished US security role abroad, which has been recognised by Washington. According to a Council on Foreign Relations and Pew Research Center survey last December, 53 percent of those polled opined that Washington was less important and powerful in global affairs than it was a decade earlier. More importantly, 52 percent felt that Washington should “mind its own business internationally and let other nations get along the best they can on their own”. It is the most emphatic response on this issue since about five decades. This was qualified by a record 80 percent wishing that Washington would “concentrate more on national” than international problems. In the past, while most of Washington’s foreign policies have been good for America, even if they had disastrous consequences for other countries, some may have beneficial to the world at large, even if they had undesired consequences for the

United States. Obama’s latest ‘defensive’ strategy, however, could be categorised as falling somewhere in between — a win-win scenario for the United States and the world. ‘No offence, mostly defence’ is a good economic and diplomatic policy, especially since the United States has earned more enemies than friends during the last few decades of its aggressive foreign policy. It is this understanding — maximum economic growth as the ‘end’ through minimum external military engagement as the ‘means’ — that could have conditioned Obama’s recent strategies. The point is, why tread the road of military conflict when good results can be achieved through diplomacy. More seems to have been achieved through negotiations with Iran than has been seemingly achieved through the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. Thus, if Bill Clinton’s presidency could be termed as ‘economic highs and Lewinsky lows’, George W. Bush’s as ‘military highs and economic lows’, Obama’s term — going by his five-year reign — could still end up being ‘economic and military lows’. Not doing much or anything at all is a great risk for anyone, let alone a politician. But Obama seems to have mastered this by doing very little and still appearing to be attempting radical change, irrespective of the results. While the jury is still out on what his final legacy at home would be, his external policies so far mean that Obama could still be the first US president in recent memory to finish, not one, but two terms without waging direct wars against any country in the world. Just on this count, he deserves a better international approval rating than the prevailing 43 percent among Americans. And for those displeased in the Gulf and Middle East about US policies, it is time to ponder alternative strategies, boldly experiment and intensify regional solutions to tackle regional problems. —Courtesy Khaleej Times


TTP negotiator rejects peace talks under constitution “That should be the law in Pakistan and until the committee brings this point on the agenda I won’t be part of negotiations,” he told reporters. He said he would remain part of the TTP’s three-man delegation led by fellow cleric Maulana Sami-ul-Haq, unless told otherwise, but would not come to the negotiating table. “I won’t participate in talks until they include a clause about the imposition of Islamic law,” he said. Aziz’s move threatens to further undermine the talks – the government side has already voiced doubts about the composition and authority of the TTP’s representatives. The government delegation skipped an initial meeting on Tuesday citing confusion over the militants’ team after two members pulled out.

UN ready to mediate From Page 1 chief would propose to India to sit down and talk with Pakistan to resolve the longstanding Kashmir issue. Among the most vital roles played by the Secretary-General is the use of his “good offices,” which are steps taken publicly and in private, drawing upon his independence, impartiality and integrity, to prevent international disputes from arising, escalating or spreading. “Good offices” are employed to help bring warring parties towards peace or to prevent political and armed conflicts from escalating. India has always ruled out any intervention by the UN in settling issues, including Kashmir, with Pakistan. Pakistan, on the other hand has sought UN intervention and has described the UN resolutions on the issue as an “important framework” for settlement of the dispute.—INP

US halting drone attacks From Page 1 peace talks here or peace in Pakistan while they are leaving Afghanistan,” the report quoted Imran. “The thinking is that if they [insurgents] are engaged here, they would not be going across to fight.” Imran criticised Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for waiting too long after the May election to start talks with the TTP. He said the state negotiation team also reflected Nawaz’s lack of seriousness. “If I was him, I would lead it myself; it’s too important an issue for Pakistan,” he said. Commenting on why the TTP named him as a negotiator from their side, Imran said that they trust him to withstand US pressures. Stressing that he disagrees with TTP’s interpretation of Sharia law, Imran said “clearly, I don’t represent Taliban.”

From Page 1 Meanwhile, the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan has given its negotiators the authority to agree on a ceasefire if the government agrees to halt troop deployment, sources said. The authority was delegated to the negotiating body headed by Maulana Samiul Haq in a contact between members of the group with Qari Shakeel, who is heading the nine-member monitoring committee of the TTP. Shakeel has communicated to the negotiators that if the government stops the deployment of forces, a ceasefire can be agreed upon. The communication also entailed discussion on Taliban militants in government custody as well as those abducted by the TTP. The state has 43 senior Taliban leaders

US senators demand From Page 1 troops there beyond 2014. The Obama administration is negotiating a bilateral security agreement with Afghan President Hamid Karzai that could keep troops in Afghanistan after the longest war in US history winds down at the end of this year, when the Nato mission ends. “We are introducing a bipartisan resolution to say before any American soldier, sailor, airman or Marine is committed to stay in Afghanistan after 2014, Congress should vote,” Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley told reporters. “Automatic renewal is fine for Netflix and gym memberships, but it isn’t the right approach when it comes to war.” Conservative Senator Mike Lee and fellow Republican Senator Rand Paul have also signed on.—AFP

and some 800 Taliban members as prisoners, Shakeel said, adding that if the government releases Taliban prisoners, the TTP would release those detained by it for their links with the government and security forces. Shakeel said those being held by the Taliban, including Prof Ajmal, Ali Haider Gilani and Wapda and FC personnel, would be released if the government agrees to release TTP leaders and members. He insisted that the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan team of negotiators was formed with good intentions, and pointed out that the government’s demand to hold negotiation within the parameters of the Constitution will only delay the process. “The peace process can move forward only if it is according to the Quran and

2014 Sochi Winter From Back Page add another gold medal to their collection of Stanley Cups. In the rink, American’s Ashley Wagner and Gracie Gold will try to dethrone South Korean marvel and defending goal medalist Yuna Kim. But every athlete who makes it to Sochi is honoured with the title Olympian, and a satellite image of the earth was projected on the floor of Fisht Stadium as they entered during the parade of nations, the map shifting so the athletes emerged from their own country. The athletes from the Cayman Islands even arrived in shorts! After Greece, traditionally first as the birthplace nation of Olympic competition, the teams marching into the stadium in Russian alphabetical order, putting the US between Slovenia and Tajkistan. The ceremony was crafted as a celebration of Russia and is

presenting Putin’s version: a country with a rich and complex history emerging confidently from a rocky two decades and now capable of putting on a major international sports event. And it didn’t take long for that classic Russian pride in their nation to come shining through. The official ceremony opened with the Russian alphabet projected on the stadium floor, as a young girl told the story of her country’s heroes and their globally renowned achievements: composer Tchaikovsky; artists Kandinsky, Chagall and Malevich; writers Tolstoy, Pushkin and Chekhov; Mendeleev and his periodic table; the first spaceship Sputnik and Russia’s space stations. There was a glitch, too, as the lighting of the five Olympic Rings overshadowed the singing of the Russian national anthem.—AP

Sunnah,” Aziz stressed, adding that if the government means Islamic laws when it mentions the Constitution, there would be no problem. “We want this constitution as well,” he said. Aziz said that even the lawmakers in Pakistan do not know anything about Islamic law. Sources said Qari Shakeel, head of caretaker committee of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan telephoned Maulana Aziz three times while he was talking to mediamen, however, Maualana Aziz did not respond. In the press conference, Maulana Aziz said Taliban were calling him but he would not receive their call till he present his viewpoint. Sources added that JUI-S chief Maulana Samiul Haq also called him, however, Abdul Aziz did not speak to him as well.

India plans From Page 1 Khan said Pakistan releases the Indian prisoners after completion of their sentences as per the bilateral agreement but regretfully India is not reciprocating in the same manner. He said the present government has taken up this issue seriously with India to ensure release of its prisoners. Responding to a call attention notice, Parliamentary Secretary for Cabinet Secretariat Raja Javed Ikhlas told the House that the government is ensuring uninterrupted supply of vaccines of different diseases with the cooperation of WHO and UNICEF. He said majority of funds allocated for the current financial year for Expanded Programme on Immunization have been released. The House has now been prorogued.— Online

Treason court summons Musharraf on Feb 18 From Page 1 The 70-year-old is facing treason charges, which can carry the death penalty, over his imposition of a state of emergency in 2007 while he was president. He was first ordered before the tribunal on December 24 but has yet to put in an appearance, with bomb scares and health problems keeping him away. In his arguments before the court, Musharraf ’s counsel Anwar Mansoor assured the court that his client would appear on February 18. “Pervez Musharraf will appear before the court after being discharged from the hospital,” Anwar said. Justice Faisal Arab remarked that a non-bailable warrant for Musharraf would be issued if he failed to appear before the court. Earlier, Anwar Mansoor pleaded that his client’s petitions challenging the appointments of the prosecutor and judges should be taken up first, as during the entire weeklong hearing at no point was this petition heard. He said that if the hearing proceeded without deciding on the petitions it would be injustice to his client. Justice Faisal Arab intervening said proceeding in the case were deferred on three consecutive hear-

ings, adding it is not our personal matter whatever case comes before the court it is our responsibility to hear. The hearing of the case has been adjourned till February 10. On January 31 the court refused to grant him permission to go abroad for medical treatment and ordered him to appear on Friday. But at Friday’s hearing Justice Faisal Arab accepted a request from Musharraf ’s lawyers that he be excused until February 18. The next hearing in the case will be on February 10, but Musharraf is not required to attend. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was the man Musharraf ousted from power in his 1999 coup, and his lawyers have said the treason case is an attempt to settle old scores through the courts. They have also challenged the civilian court’s right to try a former army chief, saying he is entitled to be dealt with by a military tribunal. In addition to treason, Musharraf faces an array of other criminal charges dating back to his 1999-2008 rule, including for the murder of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto in December 2007. Musharraf faces treason charges under Article 6 for

suspending, subverting and abrogating the Constitution, imposing an emergency in the country in November 2007 and detaining judges of the superior courts. The 70-year-old retired general is currently hospitalised at AFIC in Rawalpindi. He was rushed to the AFIC and admitted there over a month ago, after he complained of chest pain en route to the court. Three possible routes were set out between the AFIC and the special court and at least 1,100 security personnel were on duty to ensure Musharraf ’s security. Large contingents of police and Rangers, including elite forces were standing guard at the National Library and AFIC as well as on parts of Airport Road, Murree Road, Express Highway and Mall Road. The Bomb Disposal Squad also swept the area to check for explosives. On February 4, the former army chief had challenged the special court’s order regarding the issuance of a bailable warrant, along with its January 10 order on the applicability of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) in the Supreme Court. The SC on Friday dismissed Musharraf’s request against the arrest warrant.

S&T can help eradicate economic ills: PM From Page 1 service to humanity.” He said the teachings of Islam were based on two basic principles, worship of Allah (Huqooq-ul-Allah) and service of men (Huqooq-ul-Ibad). Without putting both of these principles into practice, there can be no true fulfillment of one’s religious duties, he added. Quoting a Hadith, Sharif said “you should be merciful to people on earth and Allah Almighty will be merciful to you”, and added it was the way in which Islam links personal salvation to serving humanity. Prime Minister said every Pakistani has a special place in the hearts for the people and government of Saudi Arabia and keeps them in high esteem. Prime Minister said the Centre will work as a vehicle for transferring the retired people’s intellectual, academic and professional knowledge and experiences to the younger generation. He also expressed his gratitude to Prince Sultan Bin Salman for taking out time to visit Pakistan and pay reverence to his mother late Sultana Turki-Al-Suderi, who played a key role in the expansion and building of the Sultana Foundation. “Your presence here today is a symbol of the longstanding and everlasting friendly relations between the people of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan,” he said. Prime Minister said both the countries share a vast heritage of cultural, religious and social values that bind them in the common bond of eternal brotherhood. “Pakistan is just like your second home. The people of Pakistan hold Saudi Arabia in great reverence as a model Islamic country, having the privilege of being the caretaker of the ‘Harmain Sharifain’, and as a reliable and trustworthy friend.” He said people of both the countries were peace loving, faithful and hardworking and can

make great contributions to the overall peace and prosperity of not only the region but that of the whole world. The Prime Minister said the primary mission of social work was to enhance human well-being and help meet the basic human needs of all people, with particular attention to the needs and empowerment of people who are vulnerable, oppressed, and living in poverty. He said a defining feature of social work was its focus on individual well-being in a social context and the well-being of society in terms of education, health and social uplift. Thus it is fundamental to social work to promote social justice and social change. “We need a social change to create a healthy society in which our people are safe, educated and are able to participate in the development and prosperity of the country,” Sharif said. He said Sultana Foundation was one such example of social work, conceived by a few retired people and transformed into reality by the generous financial support of Late Princess Sultana whose love and devotion to human service was reflected in the shape of this Knowledge city, serving thousands of students on humanitarian basis. “The name of that great philanthropist lady will forever remain a great source of inspiration for generations to come,” the Prime Minister said. He said the vast range of formal and informal education modalities applied to education development, by Sultana Foundation, was highly helpful in promoting the cause of education in Pakistan. He said its initiatives for emphasis on outof-school children, which Dr. Naeem Ghani has named a “Quantitative Deficit of Education” as a vital area needing attention of the civil society as well as the government. “I pay my humble tribute to the Great Lady

and the men behind this Mission,” the Prime Minister said. He acknowledged that the Foundation which started with a two room primary school for boys in 1994 was today running a number of prestigious educational institutions where thousands of students were getting quality education. “The Foundation’s emphasis on skills training and character building is also commendable,” Prime Minister Sharif said and prayed “may Allah keep us in peace and give us the strength to serve humanity to the best of our abilities.” The Prime Minister concluded his address by raising the slogan of Long Live Pakistan Saudi Arabia friendship, amidst a loud applause. Prince Sultan bin Salman Abdul Aziz said he saw a bright future for Pakistan as its people were hard working and committed. The Prince posed great trust in the leadership qualities of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and said that Pakistan was a great country and has bright future under Nawaz Sharif”s leadership. He said the foundation has played a key role in improving and spreading education across the nook and corner of the country. He recalled the vital role of his mother in this regard and said his family was proud to have been of assistance to the fellow Pakistanis in a noble task. He said that foundation was an idea of his mother and she also supported several other charitable institutions. Outlining future plans of the Foundation the Prince said that we want to further expand the programme from schools to colleges and medical colleges and scholarships for the needy students. He pledged to continue support to the Sultana Foundation particularly in the areas of education, research and health.—APP

Understanding reached From Page 1 ate conducive atmosphere for economic progress. He had already made sacrifices offering government seat to Baloch nationalists in Balcohistan and allowed smooth sailing of PTI government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Sharif had lamented in his address to AJK Assembly on Feb. 5 he could not find ample time for carrying out mega projects for economic uplift of the country as he had to devote most of his time in tackling law and order and security issues. Sources did not specify details about way out of Musharraf case but tipped it would be done through the court.

Govt team looking From Page 1 poned due to some legal hitches. All political parties want to allow their worker an opportunity to take part in the is process and serve the masses. Earlier while addressing the participants of the course the minister said that in the past Pakistan remained an authoritarian state and role of information ministry was to cover the mistakes of the rulers.However he said now Pakistan has become a democratic country and with democratization of the country the role of the ministry has changed. Now the job of the information ministry would be promote a soft and positive image of Pakistan across t he world and at local level work for promotion of peace and stability and work for development of Pakistan.

Talks with Pakistan From Page 1 dia to suspend dialogue with Pakistan, Khurshid said, “Circumstances must be befitting to be revived”. Though relations have improved “undoubtedly”, there is still a lot of work to be done, he said. “I believe my colleague Anand Sharma is going to Pakistan on trade talks. Let me see what happens,” Khurshid said.—INP

If we followed Constitution war wouldn’t have been waged From Page 1 “The war we are fighting is for enforcement of Sharia….and talks with the government we will be holding will be for the same objective,” said Shahidullah. Commenting on the conditions put forward by government negotiators, he said those were being consulted upon, however, he added that any decision in this regard would be made after his meeting with TTP negotiators. Talks to end the militants’ bloody seven-year insurgency formally kicked off Thursday between a four-member government committee and a three-man Taliban team, amid much scepticism over whether dialogue can yield a lasting peace deal. When he was asked how enforcement of Islamic Sharia was possible with an already imposed Constitution in the country? He replied: “This is simple because the other party we are holding peace

talks with claim that they are Muslim…..and Pakistan was created in Islam’s name…so this task shouldn’t be difficult for any Muslim.” “If we demand Americans to enforce Sharia in their country then it would be understandably difficult for them to do so but not for people who call themselves Muslims,” said the TTP spokesman. Expressing optimism about outcome of peace talks, he said a meeting with Taliban negotiators was due in next four to five days in which further course of action would be directed to them. Answering a query regarding dissociation of Maulana Abdul Aziz from peace talks, Shahidullah said Aziz was still his representative and that his reservations will be addressed soon. “Maulana (Abdul) Aziz is not wrong in his stance,” he added.—BBC


2014 Sochi Winter Olympics sees spectacular start SOCHI —Music, dance and the seashore just outside Fisht

Operation at Sohrab Goth

plenty of Russian bravado unleashed the ultimate achievement of Vladimir Putin’s Russia on Friday — a Winter Olympics to showcase the best athletes on ice and snow that the world has to offer. The opening ceremony on the edge of the Black Sea and subsequent games are Russia’s chance to tell its story of postSoviet resurrection to the world, and dispel the anger, fear and suspicion that has marred the buildup to these most expensive Olympics ever. Just after the sun set over the Caucasus Mountains and along SOCHI, RUSSIA: A general view of fireworks over Fisht Olympic Stadium during the opening ceremony of the Sochi 2014

ISLAMABAD—Rangers con- Winter Olympics on Friday.

ducting search operation held several suspects at Hassan Noman Colony in Sohrab Goth on Friday morning here. Rangers’ sources said that the operation started on secret information relating to the presence of miscreants in the area and a strong contingent of 400 Rangers conducting raids at the suspected houses and hideouts.—Online

Pakistan yet not awarded NDMA, MFN status to India ISLAMABAD—Federal Minister for Com- awarded MFN status to Pakistan in 1996. customs tariffs while MFN is a terminolmerce Engineer Khurram Dastgir Khan Friday said that Pakistan had not yet given Non Discriminatory Market Access and Most Favoured Nation status to India, adding that although India had already

This he said while answering a question raised by Senator Syeda Sughra Imam in the Senate. Dastgir explained that NDMA entails imports in terms of market access and imposition of taxes/

ogy used in World Trade Organisation agreement which implies any advantage or immunity to a member country for any product to be accorded immediately and unconditionally.—APP

Stadium in the wet-paint-fresh Olympic Park, Russian TV star Yana Churikova shouted to a crowd still taking their seats: “Welcome to the centre of the universe!” For the next two weeks, it certainly is for the 3,000 athletes who will compete in 98 events, more people and contests than ever at the Winter Games. American snowboarder Shaun White is certain to wow crowds in the Krasnaya Polyana resort halfpipe. On the ice, Canadian hockey players Sidney Crosby and Jonathan Toews will try to

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Ch. Fazl-i-Haq passes away OBSERVER REPORT ISLAMABAD—Former Interior Secretary and ex-Inspector General Police Ch. Fazal-IHaq was laid to rest here on Friday. He breathed his last here in the day at the age of over 90 years. A large number of relatives

and friends including in-service and retired personnel attended Nazemay–e- Janaja. Ch. Fal-I-Haq belong to the early inductees of police service of Pakistan. He gained tribute of being outstanding officer. He had the honour of meeting Quaid-i-Azam after and before creation of Pakistan.

Famous actor Ghayyur Akhtar passes away STAFF REPORT LAHORE—Renowned radio, TV and film actor Ghayyur A k h t a r passed away on Friday in Lahore. According to sources, he suffered paralysis three years ago and was shifted to hospital Thursday night after his condition deteriorated where he could not survive. Ghayyur Akhtar started acting in the late 1970s and became famous during 1980s. His performances in drama serials such as ‘Khawaja and Sons’ and ‘Sona Chandi’ were highly appreciated. Ghayyur was particularly famous for his acting abilities in comedy roles. For his startling performance throughout his career, he also received Pride of Performance Award.


Flavor-pairing may teach kids to like vegetables

P

ARENTS have long poured on cheese sauce, peanut butter and the like to coax kids to eat their vegetables, but a new study suggests those tricks might also get children to look more favorably at the vegetables themselves. Preschoolers introduced to Brussels sprouts alongside cream cheese to spread on the bitter vegetable more often said they liked the sprouts and ate more of them, even when later served plain. The strategy of pairing something new with something a person already likes is known as associative conditioning and could be helpful in encouraging kids - and adults - to eat more fruits and vegetables, the authors say. “This has the potential to change the eating habits of children, including eating more vegetables, and this in turn will affect childhood obesity,” said Elizabeth Capaldi-Phillips, a psychologist at Arizona State University and lead author of the study. The research was published in Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. In the study, parents of 29 children between the ages of three and five years old filled out a survey about the kids’ views of 11 vegetables, including whether they liked or disliked the vegetable, or had never tried it. Cauliflower and Brussels sprouts were among the vegetables most children had not tried, and were selected as the ones used to gauge children’s preferences in the study.

The children were given either cauliflower or Brussels sprouts once per day for seven days, and ate in a group of five or six children that was led by a researcher or teacher. The vegetables were all boiled, then were either served plain, with unsweetened cream cheese or with sweetened cream cheese. After this conditioning period, the kids were given the vegetables plain. The researchers found that children given Brussels sprouts with cream cheese during conditioning liked them significantly more than those given plain sprouts. Less than one in five kids given plain sprouts said they liked the vegetable, whereas about twothirds of kids who got sprouts with either type of cream cheese said they liked the vegetables. The children liked milder, non-bitter cauliflower more overall, and about equally whether or not it was served with cream cheese. After the conditioning period, when children were given the plain vegetables, those who had previously said they “liked” Brussels sprouts ate more of them than kids who had expressed dislike. Although previous research has found that kids need to try some new foods eight to 10 times before they get used to the taste, the children in the study tried the new vegetables only seven times before they would eat them plain, the authors point out. Such a flavor-pairing strategy could work, not only for Brussels sprouts, but other vegetables and foods of other kinds, they suggest.

LED screens installed at toll plazas OBSERVER REPORT ISLAMABAD—National Highways & Motorway Police has installed LED screens on Motorways and Highways Toll Plazas to facilitate the road users travelling and to enhance road safety awareness among road users. Security Cameras have also been installed at Toll Plazas on Motorways. As per details Motorway Police has installed security cameras at in and out side of Toll Plazas on Motorways to keep the information’s of Vehicles and to indentify the criminals activates. These cameras can save the recording for two months. Motorway Police also installed LED Screens on all Toll Plazas and Service areas on motorways for creating awareness on road safety and providing information regarding fog and weather change etc. These LED screens are becoming very useful for the road users. Road safety messages regarding usage of seat belt, prohibition of usage of mobile phone while driving, speed limits, usage of Helmet, information regarding fog and other weather information’s are being displayed continuously on these LED screens. Apart from these information’s, messages of National integrity and collective National responsibilities are also displayed on these LED screens.

Fines imposed on food outlets ISLAMABAD—Assistant Director, Food Islamabad, Muhammad Afzal conducted surprise visit to check and inspect the price of food outlets in Chak Shezad, NIH market and I-9 markets. He imposed fines amounting Rs 18,000/- on 5 unhygienic food outlets on account of violation of hygiene and sanitation laws. He also imposed heavy fines on the profiteers for Dried up trees in the capital waiting for spring season to blossom again. over charging the Flour bags, eggs and chickens. Muhammad Afzal directed the shopkeepers to display the rate list of food items and ensure the quality of food items failing which stern action would be taken against the violapeace after failing all kind of hatred. Sufis tors.—APP CITY REPORTER played their role to turn the world into the I SLAMABAD —Prominent singers Ustad peaceful place, to bring the people of difShoukat Manzoor and Mushtaq Raza on ferent religions and sects closer by their Friday mesmerized the audience with their writings and philosophy and it is a magnifimelodious tunes and ‘Aarifana Kalam’ to cent chapter of our literature traditions and acknowledge the services of legendary Sufi culture, he added. Ali Akbar Abbas presented his espoets at the Sufi Musical Night held at Pasay regarding Sufia Ikram and said that kistan Academy of Letters (PAL). Talking on the occasion, Abdul Hameed, the personality of spiritual writer has a Chairman, Pakistan Academy of Letters different appearance and unique effect, (PAL) said that Sufis always talked about and listeners remained under its influence for long and the persons who listruth and rights. Abdul Hameed said that all the peoples ten to it, he gets spiritual, mental and of all religions respect Sufi people because hearty melody. He said that the echo of spiritual poetry they conveyed message of brotherhood, love and humanity. It is necessary that their can be heard in a Mehfil-e-Sama. This tramessage should be delivered to everyone dition can also be found on the tombs of and in this way a soft image of Pakistan Shah Shams Tabraiz and Pir Rumi. It can also be heard on the shrine of Nizam uddin should be portrayed. He said that Sufi joined the hearts by Olia, Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai, Baba Bulleh their teachings and lightened the candle of Shah and Shah Hussain.

Audience mesmerized with aarifana kalam

Delegation from King Abdullah Int’l Centre visits NUML

Efforts for promotion of Arabic language appreciated

Dr Muhammad Al-Hadlaq, Ex-chairman Board of Trustees for the Centre, is exchanging his views with Rector NUML Maj Gen (R) Masood Hasan during his visit to NUML.

CITY REPORTER ISLAMABAD—A three-member delegation of King Abdullah International Centre for Arabic Language, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia along with officials of Islamic International University, Islamabad (IIUI), visited National University of Modern Languages (NUML) to support and acknowledge efforts of Arabic Department for the promotion of Arabic Language within and out of Pakistan. The delegation was headed by Dr. Muhammad al-Hadlaq, Ex-Chairman Board of Trustees for the Centre, and comprised of renowned scholars and experts in the field of Arabic language and literature including Prof. Dr. Salih al-Shathri, Head of the Department of Humanities Military College of King Khalid, and Dr. Salih bin Mueed Al-Ghamadi, Dean Faculty of Literature King Saud University. The members of delegation called on Rector Maj Gen (R) Masood

IHC orders removal of slums STAFF REPORTER I SLAMABAD —Islamabad High Court (IHC), Friday, ordered the removal of illegal residential colonies (Slums) in the federal capital. The IHC judge Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui said this while hearing issuance of NADRA identity card case. Additional Secretary Interior Ministry apprised the court that slums were constructed illegally in the capital. Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui in his remarks said that illegal residential colonies are security risk in Islamabad therefore it is necessary to remove these slums. Member Capital Development Authority also presented before the court and briefed about the slums.

Establishment of UNESCO’s chair ZUBAIR QURESHI I SLAMABAD —United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) and Comsats Institute of Information Technology (CIIT) have inked an agreement to establish the Unesco Chair on ‘Knowledge Systems for Integrated Water Resources Management’ at the COMSATS Wah Campus. The signing ceremony, held at the Ministry of Science and Technology, was presided over by Minister for Science and Technology Zahid Hamid. Director General Unesco, Dr Irina Bokova, and the Rector CIIT,

Dr. SM Junaid Zaidi, signed the agreement on behalf of their organizations. The ceremony was witnessed by the Secretary S&T Kamran Ali Qureshi, Executive Director COMSATS, Dr Imtinan Elahi Qureshi, Resident Director Unesco to Pakistan, Dr. Kozue Kay Nagata, Secretary-General Pakistan National Commission for Unesco, Amna Imran. Federal Minister Zahid Hamid highlighted the role his ministry is playing for the promotion of science and technology in the country. He noted his ministry’s recent initiatives on technical education and viewed the recently adopted National Science,

Technology and Innovation Policy (2012) of Pakistan was a step in the right direction for national development. Executive Director COMSATS Dr Imtinan Qureshi expressed his desire to have long-term partnership between COMSATS and Unesco based on synergy, goodwill and mutual understanding. DG Unesco, Dr Bokova reiterated Unesco ‘s pledge to work with the Government of Pakistan to elevate the level of knowledge and expertise in the country. Unesco supports initiatives that aim at S&T advocacy, knowledge sharing and excellence in higher education, she said.

She also pledged support to COMSATS, especially for activities related to science, technology and innovation, which she considered pivotal for the future development frameworks. She said that this signing ceremony is a testimony of the importance Unesco gives to science, technology and innovation. The purpose of the chair is to promote an integrated system of research, training, information and documentation on water resources management, facilitating high-level international collaboration for researchers and teaching staff of the university and other institutions in Pakistan with those in other parts of the world.

Hasan and Director General (DG) Brig Azam Jamal where they discussed different issues of mutual interest and pledged to continue coordinated efforts for the promotion of academic research and scholarship in Arabic Language. Head of Arabic Language Department, Dr Syed Ali Anwer briefed the delegation about university’s objectives, mission, functions, regional campus, organizational aspects, international partners, teaching, learning facilities and the role of Arabic Department for the promotion of Arabic Language. Dr Syed Ali Anwer told the delegation that Arabic Department at NUML was not only disseminating a quality education of Arabic Language from language courses to doctoral level to Pakistani students but also to knowledge seekers from Central Asia, China, Bangladesh, Turkey and other countries. Dr Syed Ali Anwer said that NUML has state of the art language

labs in Persian, Chinese, Korean, Turkish languages department and would urge the delegation member to support the Arabic Department for the establishment of such language laboratory. Dr. Muhammad al-Hadlaq, also delivered a lecture on “Role of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for Promotion of Arabic Language in Future” which was attended by the faculty members and students of the Arabic Department. A question and answer session was also held in the end of lecture. The delegation and other visitor also visited the different departments of the university including Iranology Centre, Language Labs and Library. The delegation was also accompanied by the Hafiz Muhammad Bashir Dean faculty of Arabic IIUI, Dr Riasat Ali Director Planning and Coordination NUML, and other officials of the university. In the end Rector NUML Maj Gen (R) Masood Hasan presented university shield to the visiting guests.


Zohr

06:20 01:30 04:15 07:30

Brothers in Islam establish

Dead body recovered from Cantt area STAFF REPORTER R AWALPINDI —An unidentified body has been recovered from the sensitive area of the Cantonment. The body was discovered by some citizens who instantly informed Morgah police station. Apparently somebody had killed the man and thrown his dead body there. The police took the body into custody and placed it in a hospital morgue. No identification was found on the deceased.

Water meters in 13 union councils STAFF REPORTER R A W A L P I N D I — WA S A Rawalpindi has decided to install water meters in the residences of 30000 consumers in respect of 13 union councils of provincial assembly constituency PP- 6 which have been placed under its control. WASA has also started survey of these union councils to .to ascertain number of consumers connected with water supply schemes. WASA will begin the process of sending bills to the consumers following the completion of this survey. WASA has brought 25 out of 33 water supply schemes of PP-6 under its control and committee under deputy managing director WASA Amir Rashid has been constituted to run them. A tubewell repair team has also been set up to monitor the working of schemes in PP-6. Revenue department has also started survey.

Ban imposed on construction STAFF REPORTER R AWA L P I N D I — D i s t r i c t management Rawalpindi has imposed ban on all types of construction alongside Murree road and its link roads till the completion of metro bus project. The district administration has issued orders to the concerned quarters not to approve any map in respect of any new construction project unless the metro bus project is accomplished. This way hundreds of maps have been kept aside from the process of approval. The step has been taken to avoid any untoward situation during the construction of the metro bus project.

Orthopaedic ward in DHQ Hospital STAFF REPORTER R AWALPINDI —An orthopaedic ward, constructed with the financial assistance of Pakistan Orthopaedic Association, has been inaugurated in the District Headquarters Hospital Rawalpindi. The new orthopaedic ward will be consisting of 32 beds, while operation theatre is already functional in the hospital. Chairman Board of Management Allied Hospitals, Dr Muhammad Aslam was the chief guest in the inauguration ceremony, while Hanif Abbasi, Dr Muhammad Umar, Dr Arif Malik, Dr Nasir Mehmood, Dr Nayar and others also attended the event.

UNESCO launches Malala Funds-in-Trust for girls’ education STAFF REPORTER I SLAMABAD —UNESCO Director-General Irina

implemented in Pakistan, we intend to narrow that gap to 5% in 3 years, he added. Commenting on the spirit of this fund, the Director-Gen-

Bokova and the Pakistan’s Minister of State for Education, Training and Standards in Higher Education, Muhammad Baleeghur Rehman signed Malala Funds-in-Trust agreement to support better access, improved quality and safe learning environments for girls in the hard-to-reach areas of Pakistan. The $7 million funds-in-trust will focus on building up capacities in both formal and non-formal education, from gender-sensitive training for teachers to awareness-raising in communities to support girls’ education. This marks the launch of an operational phase, following the high-level advocacy event co-hosted by UNESCO and the Government of Pakistan in December 2012, when the Malala Fund for Girls’ Right to Education was announced. Girls’ education is one of the most powerful forces for human dignity. It is a human rights issue and a breakthrough strategy for human development and peace. There is no better long-term investment a country can make to foster social inclusion, justice, equity and economic growth, said the Director-General. Pakistan is home to 3.8 million out-of-school girls, while those in school are more likely to drop out than boys. Today gender disparities between boys and girls in access to primary education stand at 10%, said Minister of State Mr. Baligh-urRehman. With the Malala Fund programme

Minister of State for Education and Trainings Engr Baleegh-ur-Rehman presenting a photo album to Director General UNESCO Irina Bokova during the ceremony.—PO photo by Sultan Bashir

Public transport service for women STAFF REPORTER R AWA L P I N D I —Regional Transport Authority (RTA) Friday announced start public transport service for women commuting between the twin cities and SowanHaji Camp from February 17. The service titled “Tabeer” being initiated as a pilot project in collaboration with RTA, Al-Abrar Associates and ZONG Flutter with the aim to ensure safe, secure, comfortable and economical transport service for women. Briefing reporters here, Secretary RTA, Awais Manzoor Tarar said primarily twelve 16seater hiace vans would ply on Route No.1 and 7 from 07:00 a.m. to 07:00 p.m. with only five minutes break at starting and ending points.

He said the branded vans equipped with cellular phone facility, would be driven by male driver, however, conductors would be ladies for guidance of the passengers. Tarar said terminal for the service has been set up at RTA office where the fleet would be parked and operated in an effective manner. He said any transporter wishing to ply their vans under the pilot project would be welcome as Punjab government has plans to extend the facility to other parts of the province. To a question, the Secretary said, RTA has the role of regulatory and supervisory body in execution of the project, while private sector would ply vans and arrange the required staff. “Fare of the

transport service will be at par with public transport operating on other routes,” he said replying to another question. Following is the Route No.1 for ladies transport service; Haider Road Saddar, Railway Station, Mareer Chowk, Moti Mahal, Committee Chowk, Waris Khan, Naz Cinema, Central Hospital, Sadiqabad, Rehmanabad, Shamsabad, Faizabad, Zero Point, Fire Brigade, Aabpara, Melody, GPO, Polyclinic Hospital, F-6/1, Super Market and Pak Secretariat. While, Route No.7 is; Haji Camp, Golra Morr, Kohinoor Mills, Pir Wadhai Morr, Chur Depot, Chairing Cross, Radio Pakistan, Race Course Ground, MH Chowk, Railway Station.

eral said, Education is not just about quantity or putting more money or improving enrolment rates. It is about the quality of education pro-

Chinese Ambassador presents gift STAFF REPORTER ISLAMABAD—In a simple and dignified ceremony held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan H.E. Sun Weidong presented a tapestry of the Great Wall of China for the Sahibzada Yaqub Khan Block of the Foreign Office. It was received by the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Syed Tariq Fatemi and Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry in the presence of senior officers of the Ministry. Speaking on the occasion, the Chinese Ambassador said that, this gift symbolizes the long-standing & time-tested friendship between Pakistan and China. SAPM Syed Tariq Fatemi & Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry thanked the Chinese Ambassador for the precious gift.

Affiliation with Federal Education Board STAFF REPORTER RAWALPINDI—Management of all private schools of Rawalpindi division has decided to seek affiliation for their respective educational institutions with Federal Education Board. They have taken this decision due to increase in students fee at exorbitant rate, imposition of certificate fee, enhancement in rechecking of papers fee, ban on appearance of private students in science subjects examination by Rawalpindi Education Board. The private schools administration has contacted Monkeys getting their food from a litter bin near Margalla Hills. management of federal education board and state minister for education in this regard. In the wake of this decision over 8000 private educational institutions of Rawalpindi division will delink them from Rawalpindi Education Board tions before the court. All the CNG stations and forge affiliation with fedSTAFF REPORTER were not divided into different categories eral education board. ISLAMABAD—Justice Jawwad S Khawaja has in this report. Justice Jawwad S Khawaja remarked “corruption has gone deep rooted remarked “ divide them into categories and and there can be no development in the coun- then tell the court about it. Iftikhar Gillani, try without weeding it out. He gave these counsel for OGRA told the court “ some remarks while presiding over a 3-member bench CNG stations are legal and some are illegal. Justice Jawwad S Khawaja observed “ of Supreme Court (SC) during the course of hearing of 650 illegal CNG licenses case here generally guideline given to regulatory auFriday. He further remarked “ This is public thority is meant for assistance and not for money and we will not let any one to stomach guidance. The court has sought reply from it easily. Taking action against the corrupt ele- Attorney General (AG) that court be inments is one of the pivotal obligations of the formed if government policy is applicable state. The way CNG licenses were distributed to OGRA or otherwise. The court while seeking assistance from AG adjourned the hearstands unprecedented in the country. OGRA presented report about CNG sta- ing of the case till February, 27.

Corruption has gone deep rooted

vided in schools, it is about teacher training, it is about relevant competencies for decent jobs and an inclusive society. The Malala fund will address this. During a National Forum on Girls’ Right to Education, the Minister also outlined measures taken by the government to accelerate progress, including the adoption of free and compulsory education for all children 5 to 16 as a constitutional right, adopted with the technical support of UNESCO, and a commitment to increase education spending from 2% to 4% of GDP, along with the development of a national plan of action to define targeted initiatives. “The rights accorded to girls in Islam are absolutely equal to those of boys,” said Baligh ur-Rehman. “Education in today’s world is not a choice but a fundamental right of every child. Government is responsible morally, ethically and constitutionally to provide education for every child regardless of creed or gender.” During the Forum, attended by UN partners, civil society groups, experts and donors, the emphasis was put on changing attitudes, training female teachers and making schools accessible and safe, especially in remote and rural areas. Families want to send girls to school but they want safe, quality education for their girls. Schools need to be located closer to familes and sharper policies in place to reach the unreached, said Mrs Bokova. The commitment of families and local leaders, including religious leaders, is essential to convince everyone that education is the best investment for the future.

AIOU to promote ethicsbased radio programming CITY REPORTER I SLAMABAD —Allama

Iqbal Open University(AIOU) has adopted a comprehensive strategy to promote ethics-based radio programming for character-building of its students. Proper brought-up of the new generation as well as proper education is imperative to develop a healthy society. AIOU has focused to meet this target through its various academic programme, said the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Dr. Nazir Ahmed Sangi while addressing the closing and certificate distribution ceremony of training workshop “Radio for Education”. Director General, Radio Pakistan, Samina Pervez was a chief guest on the occasion. Dr. Sangi highlighted the recent initiatives undertaken by the University for educating its students through FM radio and other E-learning programmes. He said that the University is working actively in three main areas, education, skill and attitude building. New contents have been incorporated in the University curriculum to inculcate positive attitude in the new generation, as well as motivating them to play their active role in the nation building task. The Vice-Chancellor further said the AIOU is prepare to work with radio Pakistan and other broadcasting institutions for promoting education through radio. He hoped that the Educational Broadcasters Forum(EBF) will expand its network on coun-

try-wide level to promote radio broadcasting for the benefit of the students. He advised the President of EBF, Muhammad Qasim Haider to work out a three years plan for promoting ethics based education through radio. He assured that the University will provide all possible cooperation to achieve the task. DG Radio, Samina Pervez elaborated the radio Pakistan programmes which are aimed at motivating the new generation for their participation for the socioeconomic development of the country. Radio Pakistan has a pivotal role in highlighting issues faced by the civil societies. The radio, he said has also laid emphasis on promotion of skill-based vocational training through its broadcast based programmes. She also appreciated the efforts of EBF for streamlining the FM radio programmes, making them useful for the society. Dr. Shamim Zaidi, Head of the Mass Communication Department, Fatima Jinnah Women Education also addressed the ceremony and appreciated the AIOU’s efforts for focusing more on character building of its students, she also appreciated the open schooling project recently launched by the University at the country level. Dr. Sangi said AIOU will set-up 30 FM radio FM-Radio Channels at regional headquarters as a part of distance learning system to facilitate its students in their educational pursuits as well as to promote community-based services.

Post Office housing scheme for employees STAFF REPORTER R AWALPINDI —Director General Pakistan Post (PO), Syed Ghulam Panjtan Rizvi Friday said a housing scheme would be launched for employees of the organization. Addressing a ceremony held here to distribute motorcycles among postmen, the scheme would be introduced on Karachi pattern under which 72 flats were handed over to employees from low income group. He said Khyber Bank has shown interest in this regard and negotiations are under process accordingly, saying that it would be a great facility for the workers. Besides, he said, another plan is under consideration to provide different household items to the employees on easy installments. Handing over keys of motorcycles to postmen, he urged them to pay installment

on time so that more projects could be initiated. Rizvi said more motorcycles would be distributed among postmen in different circles of Pakistan Post. He said the organization has so far distributed 267 motorcycles in Islamabad circle, 442 motorcycles in Rawalpindi circle, 105 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa circle, 20 in Lahore circle and 46 motorcycles in the Directorate General Islamabad without any down-payment. He said the scheme has been initiated for the low-paid employees on easy installments and without any advance payment. He said welfare of the employees has always remained priority of the authorities and the instant motorcycle distribution scheme is a sequence of the same policy. He expressed the confidence that these motorcycles would help increase efficiency of the employees besides improving their living standard.

BISP sets targets to improve efficiency STAFF R EPORTER I S L A M A B A D —Chairman Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP), Enver Baig, has said that the targets will be given to different regions which should be met. He was addressing a BISP’s Director Generals’

Conference held at BISP’s Secretariat, Friday. The Chairman directed the DGs to ensure transparency in the Programme and assist underprivileged people at grass root level. He said that BISP has received some complaints that unscrupulous elements are fleecing people

in rural areas in the name of BISP through fake SMS. He asked the DGs to strengthen monitoring and case management to counter such elements. He also stressed upon the need to ensure that beneficiaries must not face any difficulty in receiving services from BISP.

Federal Minister for Information, Broadcasting, Senator Pervaiz Rashid distributing certificates among the officers of Information Group of 30 th Specialized Training Programme on the occasion of their passing out ceremony at ISA.


Massive crackdown against Hurriyet leaders in IHK S RINAGAR —The authorities have launched a massive crackdown against Hurriyet leaders and activists to thwart conducting of various programmes in connection with the martyrdom anniversaries of prominent liberation leaders, Muhammad Maqbool Butt and Muhammad Afzal Guru. Muhammad Maqbool Butt was hanged in New Delhi’s Tihar Jail on February 11, 1984, while Muhammad Afzal Guru was sent to gallows in the same jail on February 9, last year. Both the leaders remain buried in the premises of the jail. Indian police, today, arrested Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front leaders, Bashir Ahmed Butt, Showkat Ahmed Bakhshi and Sheikh Khalid besides more than one hundred party activists. The police also raided the residence of the JKLF Chairman, Muhammad Yasin Malik, and harassed the inmates. It also disallowed the JKLF to hold an exhibition of the pictures of Maqbool Butt in Srinagar.The

Overall telecom teledensity reaches 64.1pc in AJK

puppet authorities have already arrested Hurriyet leaders including Shabbir Ahmad Shah, Nayeem Ahmad Khan, Mushtaq-ulIslam, Zafar Akbar Butt, Shabbir Ahmed Dar, Muhammad Yousuf Naqash, Muhammad Ahsan Untoo and Muhammad Shafi Reshi while Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai and Altaf Ahmed Shah have been placed under house arrest. The veteran Hurriyet leader, Syed Ali Gilani, and the Vice Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Democratic Freedom Party, Mehmood Ahmed Saghar, in their statements denounced the police action against pro-liberation leaders and activists. APHC leaders including Agha Syed Hassan Al-Moosvi Al-Safvi, Syed Bashir Andrabi, Javed Ahmad Mir and Hakeem Abdur Rasheed addressing gatherings and rallies at different places paid rich tributes to Muhammad Maqbool Butt and Muhammad Afzal Guru. They demanded transfer of their bodies to the occupied territory. On the other hand, three-day protest

Kashmir dispute core issue between Pakistan, India: Fazl

PULWAMA: Indian police arrest JKLF Chairman, Muhammad Yasin Malik along with other party leaders from Awantipora when they were on their way to Islamabad town.

Expelled Kashmiri students protest in Press Enclave

Indian troops committing worst HRs abuses

SRINAGAR—Around 23 exMIRPUR (AJK)—Chairman Parliamentary of Pakistanis and the people of Jammu & Kash- pelled Kashmiri students, pur- SRINAGAR—APHC leader and the Chairman mir beat in unison. He resolved that entire Paki-

ISLAMABAD —The telecom Kashmir Committee Maulana Fazal ur Rehman sector in Azad Jammu Kashmir (AJK) and Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) is witnessing a steady growth with overall tele-density including cellular mobile, Local Loop (LL) and Wireless Local Loop (WLL) has increased to 64.1 per cent. The de-regulation of the area by Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has resulted in expanded coverage, drop of tariffs and at the same time afordability of cellular mobile connection for a common man. Currently, cellular mobile has 61.4 per cent penetration in the area followed by 1.5 per cent of WLL and 1.2 per cent by Fixed Line Loop (FLL) sector. According to PTA here on Friday, cellular mobile subscribers have reached 3.2 million till 2012-13 as compared to 2.7 million in the previous year. All six mobile operators combined together added 423,909 subscribers with 17 per cent growth during the period. The Regulator said cellular mobile growth in AJK & GB was a direct result of its decision to deregulate the sector and introduce competitors to the already established Special Communications Organization (SCO) network. The influx of five more cellular operators changed the entire telecom scenario of AJK & GB as the new operators quickly gained market share and the proliferation of cellular sector blossomed. During the period, the sector added 423,909 subscribers with Telenor leading the way having added 216,930 subscribers. SCO stood at the second spot with 143,480 subscribers followed by China Mobile Pakistan (CMPak) with 121,048. However, Warid, Ufone and Mobilink lost some subscribers during the last year owing to subscriber churn. Telenor has a strong hold on the cellular sector in AJK & GB with 41 per cent market share followed by SCO with 18 per cent. Mobilink holds the third spot with 15 per cent share while CMPak is close behind with 14 per cent.—APP

strike will commence on Sunday to press the demand for transfer of mortal remains of Muhammad Maqbool Butt and Muhammad Afzal Guru from Tihar Jail to the occupied territory for a decent burial. Call for the shutdown has been given by pro-freedom leaders and organizations. The JKLF has called for a march towards Srinagar’s Lal Chowk on Sunday. The High Court Bar Association in a report regarding a recent visit of its team to New Delhi’s Tihar Jail, highlighted the problems faced by the Kashmiri detainees languishing in the jail for years. The report said that the Kashmiri detainees had been lodged in high security cells and their every movement was being monitored by the jail authorities through close-circuit television cameras fixed in their cells. The report said that the Kashmiri prisoners were not provided with proper basic facilities. The team was headed by the Bar President, Mian Abdul Qayoom, and comprised Muhammad Ashraf Butt, Arshad Indrabi and Bilal Ahmad Butt.—KMS

said in Muzaffarabad on Friday that Kashmir is a core issue between Pakistan and India and it should be resolved as per the aspirations of the people of Kashmir. Talking to mediaman in Muzaffarabad, Moulana, also the Chief of Jammiat Ulema-eIslam (F) said Pakistan would continue fighting the case of Kashmiris at each forum unless Kashmir issue was settled in line with the wishes of the people of Jammu & Kashmir. He reiterated that Pakistan would continue full moral, political and diplomatic support to the people of Jammu & Kashmir in their just and principled struggle for the achievement of their legitimate right to self determination. He urged the world powers to come forward and play their vital role in resolving the lingering issue of Kashmir. Moulana Fazal ur Rehman said that hearts

stani nation stands united with their Kashmiri brethren all the time. He said that the Kashmiri Committee in the Pakistani Parliament was raising Kashmir question at all relevant forum both at home and abroad to muster maximum support for the Kashmir cause and the Kashmiris indigenous struggle for freedom and right to self determination. He said that people of Jammu & Kashmir enjoyed full moral, political and diplomatic support of entire Pakistani nation and the government. The Moulana extended gratitude to the entire political leadership of Pakistan for adopting unanimous stance on the Kashmir issue. Moulana said the government was taking all possible steps to promote peace in the region as improvements of its economic conditions.—APP

suing Bachelor of Pharmacy at Shekhawati College of Pharmacy in Rajasthan, along with their parents staged a protest in Press Enclave in Srinagar, saying that India in a well-planned manner was hell-bent to ruin the future of Kashmiri students.The students have been evicted from the college and hostel following non-release of payment from the Indian Prime Minister’s Special Scholarship Scheme (PMSSS). The students said that under PMSSS their future was ruined. “Some 15 days ago the college authorities forced us to leave the college following the non-release of scholarship fund. “The PMSSS fund has not been released into the college accounts despite the fact that we have fulfilled all formalities,” said one of the students, Ahsan Ali. Meanwhile, Tahafuz-eAnjuman-e-Urdu lashed at the puppet authorities for ignoring Urdu language and issuing ration card application forms only in Hindi and English languages.—KMS

Mirwaiz stresses Kashmir settlement through dialogue ISLAMABAD—Chairman of All Parties Hurriyet Conference, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, has MUZAFFARABAD: Parliament’s Kashmir Committee Chairman Fazlur Rehman along termed the Pakistan Prime Minister, Muhammad Nawaz with AJK Prime Minister Ch Abdul Majeed addressing a press conference. Sharif’s offer of dialogue to India for permanent resolution of the Kashmir dispute as a right step taken at the right time. According to Kashmir Media service, the APHC Chairman said that time had come when leadership of both SRINAGAR—Senior leader of Muhammad Afzal Guru in the ers and activists by the authori- the countries needed to show the All Parties Hurriyet Con- New Delhi’s Tihar jail was a ties to thwart conducting of vari- political courage and shed their ference (APHC), Agha Syed spot on the face of so-called ous programmes in connection confrontationist approach for Hassan Al-Moosvi Al-Safvi, Indian democracy. He said that with the martyrdom anniversa- the better future of the people paying rich tributes to the Indian judiciary had dual stan- ries of the two martyred leaders. of the region and start a resultIt is to mention here that oriented dialogue process for prominent Kashmiri leaders, dard, adding that on one side, Muhammad Maqbool Butt and it executed Afzal Guru with- Muhammad Maqbool Butt was settling the Kashmir dispute Muhammad Afzal Guru, on out proper trial and proof to hanged in New Delhi’s Tihar and all other pending issues. their martyrdom anniversaries, satisfy the collective con- Jail on February 11, 1984, while “APHC has always supreiterated the demand for scious of Indian people, while Muhammad Afzal Guru was ported dialogue for a just and transfer of their bodies to the on the other, it gave clean chit sent to gallows in the same jail permanent resolution of Kashoccupied territory for proper to the men in uniform involved on February 9, last year. Both mir, however, the inclusion of burial.Agha Syed Hassan Al- in the Pathribal fake encoun- the leaders remain buried in the Kashmiri people was imperapremises of the jail and India has tive to make such a process Moosvi Al-Safvi addressing a ter. He also condemned the not shifted their bodies to occu- credible and meaningful,” he gathering in Badgam, today, said that hanging of crackdown on the Hurriyet lead- pied Kashmir.—APP said. People of Kashmir.—APP

Demand for transfer of bodies of Butt, Guru reiterated

of Kashmir Freedom Front (KFF), Syed Bashir Andrabi, has said that Indian troops are committing the worst kind of human rights violations in the territory to suppress the Kashmiris into submission.Syed Bashir Andrabi addressing a gathering at Naman Kakapora in Pulwama urged the Kashmiri people to continue to fight for securing their right to self-determination till complete success. He said that sacrifices of the Kashmiri people would not go waste. Syed Bashir Andrabi paying glowing tributes to prominent martyred liberation leaders, Muhammad Maqbool Butt and Muhammad Afzal Guru, said that the Kashmiris remembered both the leaders with great love and respect. He said that New Delhi’s refusal to handover mortal remains of Maqbool Butt and Afzal Guru had exposed the cruel face of the so-called democratic India. He demanded return of the mortal remains of the two leaders to their families. Syed Bashir Andrabi also supported the strike call given in connection with the anniversaries of Maqbool Butt and Afzal Guru.

The KFF Chairman condemned the arrest of youth throughout the Kashmir Valley particularly in Pulwama town and said that such tactics could not stop the Kashmiris from continuing their struggle to achieve their right to self-determination. He stressed for initiating immediate steps for resolution of the Kashmir dispute for ensuring permanent peace in the region. Syed Bashir Andrabi also welcomed the statement of Pakistan Prime Minister, Mohammad Nawaz Sharif, inviting India for meaningful and result-oriented talks on Kashmir. He said that Kashmiris were basic party to the dispute so both the countries must start dialogue process and involve the leadership of Kashmiris in it. He hailed the role of Pakistan in highlighting the violations of human rights in the occupied territory by Indian troops and police personnel. Syed Bashir Andrabi was accompanied by party leaders, Muhammad Akbar Dar, Muhammad Shameem and Showkat Ahmad.—KMS

International community urged to help resolve Kashmir issue ISLAMABAD—Pakistanis in Jeddah commemorated the 25th Kashmir Solidarity Day at the consulate and a local school this week. Aftab Khokhar, the Pakistan consul general, was the chief guest at a programme held at the Pakistan International School-Jeddah (PIS-J) Azizia, Arab News reported, Friday. Mohammed Bilal, the principal of the school, was also present. Muhammad Ahmed, a grade nine student, delivered a speech in support of the people in Kashmir. Another speaker, Muhammad Zubair, said that Pakistan would continue assisting with moral and diplomatic support of accupide Kashmir. Yahya Aneeq said: “India should realize that the Kashmir dispute is not about a piece of land but involves human lives and emotions.” Zahid Mahmood, a grade 11 student, said Kashmir was one of the oldest unresolved international disputes in the world today. The Pakistan consulate and the Kashmir Committee also commemorated the day in Jeddah on Wednesday at an event held at Khokhar’s residence. The guests included Mahdy Fathallah, director general of political affairs for the Organi-

zation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Ali AlGhamdi, a former Saudi diplomat and writer, and Abdulwahab Noorwali, former assistant secretary of the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY). Khokhar urged the international community to help resolve the dispute in accordance with United Nations Security Council resolutions and the aspirations of the Kashmiri people. Khokhar also out read messages from Pakistan’s President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Khokhar said, quoting Hussain, that the day was held on Feb. 5 every year to reaffirm “our moral, political, and diplomatic support for our Kashmiri brethren in their just struggle for fundamental rights, including the right to self-determination as enshrined in the United Nations Charter and the relevant UN resolutions.” Sharif in his message called for a just and peaceful resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute. “On this day we reaffirm our resolve to stand by our brothers and sisters in their valiant struggle for their just cause. The peaceful people of Jammu and Kashmir continue to suffer,” he said.—APP

Signature drive for return of mortal remains of Butt, Guru

Pakistan’s full support for Kashmiris to continue until their freedom: Masood N EW Y ORK —Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Masood Khan and other speakers at a special event on Thursday night pledged to stand by Kashmiri people until the realisation of their “sacred” right to self-determination. The speakers denounced the large-scale human rights violations taking place in Indian Occupied Kashmir, and urged the international community to help resolve the decades-old dispute in accordance with the aspirations of the Kashmiri people and ensure protection of their fundamental rights. They were addressing a large gathering of the Pakistani and Kashmiri diaspora residing in the snow-hit tri-state region— New York, New Jersey and Connecticut—on the occasion of the Kashmir Solidarity Day. The event was organized by the Consulate General of Pakistan in New York. The speakers included Consul General Raja Ali Ejaz, Captain (retired) Shaheen Butt, head of the Kashmir Mission, US, Sardar Sawar Khan, a former member of the Kashmir Council, Sardar Aslam Khan, a Kashmiri activist, and Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rehman, a noted religious scholar.

Asif Saeed Khan, a consulate official, conducted the meeting, which started with recitation of the Holy Quran and ended with ‘dua’ for Kashmir’s freedom from Indian yoke. Special tributes were paid at the meeting to Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif’s efforts to infuse new life into the Kashmir dispute. As part of those efforts, it was pointed out that the Prime Minister forcefully spoke out for the rights of the Kashmiri people in the U.N. General Assembly, highlighted the issue during his talks with the world leaders, and instructed Pakistani diplomatic missions abroad to hold commemoration of the Kashmir Solidarity Day every year. In his keynote speech, Ambassador Masood Khan said Islamabad had remained steadfast in extending moral, political and diplomatic support to the Kashmiri people and it would continue to do so because Kashmir, in the world of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, was Pakistan’s jugular vein. The people of Kashmir, he said, were indebted to Pakistan’s solid backing, and hearts of Kashmiris and Pakistani beat in unison.

The Ambassador exhorted the audience not to get disheartened or frustrated by the inordinate delay in accomplishing freedom for the people of Kashmir. The issue remained alive even after the passage of six decades and was still on the agenda of the U.N. Security Council despite Indian efforts to move it from the list of outstanding international disputes. Consul General Ejaz highlights the repression let loose by India as documented by credible international human rights orgainzations. The people of Hedl Kashmir, he said, were suffering at the hands of brutal Indian security forces and called on the international community to play a role in putting an end to those atrocities. Capt (Retd) Shaheen Butt deplored India’s continued occupation of Kashmir, saying an overwheming majority of Kashmiri people wanted to be part of Pakistan. The struggle for the Kashmiri people’s inalienable right to self-determation would continue, he said. Sardar Sawar Khan urged the United Nations to wake up and implement its resolutions on the Kashmir dispute.—APP

SRINAGAR: People are participating in signature drive for return of mortal remains of Butt and Guru.

SRINAGAR—All Parties Hurriyet Conference pro-freedom leaders and highhandedness of any (APHC) leaders including Javed Ahmad Mir, Hakeem Abdur Rasheed, Imtiyaz Ahmed Reshi, Jaffer Kashmiri and Ghulam Mustafa Butt, Friday, addressed a signature campaign in Soura and other parts of Srinagar regarding return of mortal remains of Muhammad Maqbool Butt and Muhammad Afzal Guru. On the occasion, they leaders condemned the arrest of pro-freedom leaders and restrictions on political leaders, as they were not allowed to offer Friday prayers, Kashmir Media Service (KMS) reported. They said that harassment of the family of

kind would never be accepted and tolerated. They said that after the execution of Muhammad Maqbool Butt and Muhammad Afzal Guru, Indian forces in Kashmir had started crackdown against the Kashmiri people. They said that houses of the pro-freedom leaders ware being raided and political activists had been arrested. On the occasion, the Hurriyet leaders led a rally and raised pro-freedom slogans besides demanding the return of mortal remains of the martyrs from New Delhi’s Tihar jail.— APP


ISE stays bearish ISLAMABAD —The Islamabad Stock Exchange (ISE) Friday witnessed a bearish trend as the ISE-10 Index was down by 24.57 points to close at 4614.38 points. A total of 400,000 shares were traded, which showed a negative growth of 385,000 shares when compared to previous day’s trading of 785,000 shares. Out of 160 companies, share prices of 45 recorded increase while those of 115 companies decreased. The share price of Murree Brewery increased by Rs 17.24 while that of Siemens Engineering decreased by Rs 51.5 per share. Lotte Chemical, Fauji Cement and Lafrage Pakistan Cement remained the top trading companies with 250,000, 200,000 and 178,000 shares respectively.—APP

Invest in minerals PESHAWAR—Zambazi, an English investment company has shown its interest in investing in mineral sector of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. A delegation of the company called on Special Assistant to Chief Minister for Minerals Development, Ziaullah Afridi here at his office on Friday. The delegation was led by George H. Richmond. They expressed their willingness to invest in discovering copper, gold, iron ore, precious stones and minerals in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa especially in District Chitral. Secretary Minerals Mian Waheed and Director Minerals, Shakirullah Khan were also present on the occasion. Ziaullah Afridi, assured the delegation that the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa would not only encourage foreign investors but would also provide them all possible facilities through one window operation. He said all out steps would be taken for the protection and security of the foreign investors. Ziaullah hoped that foreign investment in minerals would help changing the lot of people of this province.—APP

Shipping activity at Port Qasim KARACHI—Four ships C.V Saigon Express, C.V Box Contact, C.V Tabea and M.T DL Violet carrying containers and chemicals were arranged berthing at Qasim International Container Terminal and Engro Vopak Terminal respectively at Port Qasim on Thursday, 06th February-2014. Meanwhile four more ships with containers and coke also arrived at outer anchorage of Port Qasim during last 24 hours. Berth occupancy was maintained at the Port at fifty percent on Thursday where seven ships namely C.V Saigon Express, C.V Box Contact, C.V Tabea, C.V Chopin, M.T Gonuine Galaxy, M.T Norgas Innovation and M.T DL Violet were occupied at PQA berths to load/offload containers palm oil and chemicals respectively during last 24 hours. A cargo volume of 78,649 tonnes, comprises 45,519 tonnes imports and 33,130 tonnes exports inclusive containerized cargo carried in 3,368 containers (TEUs) (1,701 imports and 1,667 exports TEUs) were handled at the Port during last 24 hours. Three ships Containers Vessal ‘Saigon Express and Box Contact.—APP

If there is anything that a man can do well, I say let him do it. Give him a chance. —Abraham Lincoln

Shahbaz for increasing volume of trade with Nigeria SALIM AHMED L AHORE —Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said that Pakistan and Nigeria have strong friendly relations and there is a need to increase the volume of trade between the two countries. He said that there should be exchange of trade delegations between Pakistan and Nigeria as the two countries can promote trade relations through investment. He said that Pakistan is ready to promote cooperation with Nigeria in textile, pharmaceutical, rice processing and agriculture sectors and a high level delegation of Punjab government will soon meet Nigerian authorities to finalized measures for promoting mutual trade and investment. He was talking to Nigerian High Commissioner in Pakistanm, Dauda Danladi, who called on him here today. Matters of mutual interest and promotion of bilateral relations were discussed in the

meeting and it was agreed that the two countries would promote cooperation in textile, rice processing, pharmaceutical, agriculture and other sectors. Provincial Minister for Agriculture Dr. Farukh Javed, Minister for Industry Muhammad Shafique, Secretary Agriculture, Secretary Industry and Vice Chairman Punjab Investment Board were also present on the occasion. Talking to the Nigerian High Commissioner, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said that due to business-friendly policies of Pakistan Muslim League-N government, investment is increasing in the country while trade and economic relations are strengthening with the friendly countries. He said that government has provided a favorable atmosphere for investment and special facilities are being extended for investment in various sectors due to which confidence of investors has restored. He said that there are longstanding relations between Pakistan and Nigeria and they

should promote bilateral trade, investment and economic ties. He said that Pakistan has an important place in agriculture, textile and livestock sectors and is ready to promote cooperation with Nigeria in these sectors. He said that exchange of trade and industrial delegations between Pakistan and Nigeria is of vital importance as it will strengthen economic and trade ties between the two countries. The Chief Minister directed Punjab Investment Board to formulate a consolidated plan for promotion of cooperation with Nigeria in textile, pharmaceutical, rice processing, agriculture and other sectors and recommendations be submitted as soon as possible so that economic and trade ties between the two countries could further strengthen. Nigerian High Commissioner Dauda Danladi while speaking on the occasion said that Nigeria attaches high importance to its relations with Pakistan. He said that Pakistan and Nigeria have deep-

rooted friendly ties and cooperation in trade and investment should be promoted between the two countries. He said that Pakistan and Nigeria are members of OIC, Commonwealth and D-8. He expressed the desire to promote cooperation with Pakistan in textile, rice processing pharmaceutical and agriculture sectors. The Nigerian High Commissioner said that Pakistan especially Punjab has made rapid progress and Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has executed a number of development projects for the welfare of the people. He said that the efforts made by Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif for the welfare and prosperity of the masses have been appreciated at every level. He said that Shahbaz Sharif’s metro bus project is a splendid gift to the people and execution of this project in a very short time is no less than a miracle. He said that Shahbaz Sharif has indeed set new record of public service through his hard work and determination.

Positive turnaround in Engro Fertilizers’ financial results STAFF REPORTER LAHORE—The year 2013 was a turnaround year for Engro Fertilizers Limited. The Company managed to return back to profitability after incurring a loss in 2012 and in the process, achieved its highest ever revenue. The sound financial performance was on the back of highest ever production and sales of 1,562 k tons and 1,570 k tons respectively. With improved profitability, the Company decided to go for an IPO, which was a huge success as it was oversubscribed by 4 times. In 2013 the urea industry grew by 13% after the downturn in 2012 (5,900K tons in 2013 versus 5,230 K

tons in 2012). This growth was mainly attributable to better economics on major crops; weather conditions also remained favorable, casting a positive impact on demand. Increase in off take is also a result of restoration of channel confidence at retail and trade level. The Government also played an important role by improving gas allocation to the industry. Local production increased by 17%, as a result of which, the Government managed to reduce the subsidy on imported urea. The prices of locally produced urea remained fairly stable throughout the year. Average price of domestic urea during the year increased by 3.8% only

(1% was due to sales tax changes) versus overall inflation of 9%. Sales revenue for 2013 was Rs. 50,129 million which was higher by 64% as compared to the corresponding period (2012: Rs. 30,627 million). Profit after tax for the year was Rs. 5,497 million as compared to a loss of Rs. 2,934 million for the same period. This increase in profit after tax is due to higher sales on account of both plants running at around 80% for most part of the second half coupled with increased efficiencies due to conversion of Enven to run on Mari gas. As a result of above, EPS improved to Rs. 4.66 per share as compared to loss per share of Rs. 2.59 last year.

Performance evaluation of 60 Commercial Counsellors soon

Daewoo Bus Service UM join hands for strategic alliance

I SLAMABAD —Minister for Commerce during the last five years. However, based

STAFF REPORTER

Khurram Dastgir Khan Friday said the performance evaluation of country’s 60 Commercial Counsellors working across the world would be initiated soon. Replying the questions of legislators in the National Assembly, the minister said that there is an open merit for appointing commercial counsellors before giving advertisements in the important newspapers. And provincial quota is also observed in the appointment process. He said the commercial counsellors have not yet been appointed in 55 countries and country’s embassies look after trade relations. To a question, he said interior ministry deals with the issue of Iranian prisoners and fishermen. The host governments has not yet officially informed or provided data regarding release of any Pakistani prisoners /fisherman

upon recent Consular meeting /visits, 26 Pakistanis prisoners, who were detained on various charges, have been released. Moreover, 20 Pakistani prisoners had also been released from various prisons of Iran, after 90 days of imprisonment for illegal entry. He said that during the last five years Pakistan has released 1801 Indian prisoners 74 civil and 1727 fishermen). During the last five years India has released 725 Pakistani prisoners 324 civil and 401 fishermen. Khurram Dastgir Khan said Pakistan released the Indian prisoners after completion of their sentences as per the bilateral agreement but regretfully India is not reciprocating in the same manner. He said the present government has taken up this issue seriously with India to ensure release of its prisoners.—APP

ISLAMABAD: Ambassador of Turkey, S Babur Girgin called on Federal Minister for Commerce and Textile Industry Engr, Khurram Dastgir.

L A H O R E —Daewoo Pakistan Express Bus Service Limited and United Mobile have joined hands for a strategic alliance covering various aspects of business including promotional activities and creating passenger convenience. Both the organizations Friday stamped an agreement at a ceremony held at local hotel. Vice President Daewoo Express Faisal Siddiqui and Director United Mobile Syed Ejaz Hassan signed the agreement on behalf of their organizations. Faisal Siddiqui said on the occasion that they entered into a strategic business alliance with United Mobile which is one of the top-ranking cell phone companies in Pakistan. Syed Ejaz Hassan said that it would be a pleasure to collaborate with Daewoo Express which is one of the largest transport companies in Pakistan. Manager Marketing Daewoo Express Naeem Ullah said this strategic alliance between the two organizations may expand in future. He said about 6 million people travel on Daewoo Express every year due to reliability of our organizations. He said Daewoo Express would continue to take steps for the facilitation of its passengers.

KARACHI: President of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry Abdullah Zaki presenting Chamber’s crest to secretary, Trade Development Authority of Pakistan and Chairperson, Export Processing Zones Authority Rabia Javeri Agha during her visit to KCCI.

RCCI to explore business prospects: TDAP delegation I SLAMABAD —A delegation of the Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) is on its maiden visit to South Africa presently to study the market, look for business prospects and to make initial assessment for holding a single country exhibition. According to a statement issued by the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) on Friday said that the delegation is led by Kashif Shabbir, former President of the Chamber. Meetings of the delegation has been arranged and coordinated by the Trade Commission of Pakistan, Johannesburg (South Africa). The Rawalpindi Chamber is planning to hold a Single Country exhibition in South Africa. This will be the first single country exhibition of Pakistan in South Africa. During their visit, the delegation held meetings with local business community to ascertain the market

potential, prospects for the export of Pakistani products in the African continent. South Africa is the most important and largest trading partner of Pakistan in the African Continent of 54 countries. The South Africa is the biggest economy of Africa with GDP of US $ 390 billion and total trade of US$ 210 billion. Traditionally, it is called as gateway to Africa and it plays critical role in the socio-politico and economic milieu of African continent. South Africa has FTAs with EU, member of BRICS, SACU, SADC, FTA with US (AGOA), and member of numerous other vital preferential trading agreements. South Africa imported goods worth US$ 280 million from Pakistan (2011-12) while the total South African imports were US $ 106 billion (2012), Thereby, reflecting a huge potential for Pakistani goods.—APP

PIA bearing loss of Rs.87m per day ISLAMABAD—Minister for State for Parlia- is improving its financial day by day. mentary Affairs Sheikh Aftab Ahmad stated that Pakistan International Airline (PIA) is bearing loss of Rs.87 million on daily basis. Responding a question in the Senate, he informed that previously, PIA was making loss of round about Rs.101 million per day on average. This year, PIA has improved and it has generated Rs.71.71 billion net income within the first nine months from January to September 2013. Aftab apprised the House that the government has injected Rs.16 billion out of which RS.11.759 billion has been released so far as equity in PIA. Senator Muhammad Talha Mehmood showed his concern about the privatisation of PIA if the organisation

“In fact, the government has no concern with business, it is the department of private sector. As far as the government is concerned, its duty is to form polices and legislation etc.”, the minister replied. On various queries of other respective members, he pointed out that PIA has taken four airlines on lease from Turkey and it has planned to get five more in near future. Aftab declared that last time, the airlines was purchased on weight lease but this time, the deal is being done on dry lease. He was of the opinion that the small aircraft are better than big airlines in comparison to fuel consumption.—APP

LCCI seeks end of harassment of retailers SALIM AHMED LAHORE—The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has urged the Punjab government to stop district administration from harassing the retailers on the issue of prices as they are being forced to sell their goods below their actual prices. After a meeting with retailers here Friday, the LCCI President Engineer Sohail Lashari and the Chairman LCCI Committee on Trade and Traders Issues Muhammad Haroon Arora said that government should maintain supplies instead forcing the business to sell their goods below the prices of their purchase. They said that either the government should

make upward revision in its control list or should ensure provision of these goods at lesser rates than their actual cost. How a businessman can sell his goods at lesser than its actual prices, they questioned. Unfortunately, there are numerous grades of food items in Pakistan therefore their rates are according to their grades. They said that the district administration

should only focus on ‘CM Sasta Bazaars scheme’ that is an ample proof of Chief Minister’s sagacious approach. He said that the ‘Sasta Bazaars’ should be in all areas to enable the people to purchase daily useitems from the place of their choice. The LCCI President said that the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry had also received complaints that

the retailers are being harassed and forced to sell food items as per the control list wherein the quoted rates have no relation to the actual costs. Muhammad Haroon said that the government would have to bridge demandsupply gap to overcome the issue of pricehike as the existing mechanism of implementation of unrealistic prices would not work at all as businessmen would prefer closure of businesses instead of generating huge losses on daily basis. He also urged the District Coordination Officer Lahore to immediately stop harassment and fines on this pretext to enable the businessmen to continue their businesses with peace of mind.

SECP initiates action against non-compliant companies K ARACHI —The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has stepped up its enforcement efforts against lapses in accounting and financial reporting besides accelerating action against irregularities. In January, the Insurance Division of the SECP issued six show cause notices and passed three orders against insurance companies for failing to comply with the 1984 Companies Ordinance and 2000 Insurance Ordinance.—INP


Pakistan can provide skilled manpower for growing UAE economy: Dar

Selling

Buying

USA

105.20

105.00

UK

171.74

171.41

Euro

142.99

142.72

Canada

95.08

94.90

ABU DHABI—The Federal Minister for lations with the people and leadership Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak al

Switzerland

116.82

116.60

Finance, Economic Affairs, Revenue and Statistics Senator Muhammad Ishaq Dar said that the government had taken a number of bold initiatives to bring financial discipline and turnaround the economy. He expressed these views while meeting Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak al Nahyan, the Minister of Culture, Youth and Social Development of the United Arab Emirates at Abu Dhabi and discussed matters of mutual interests. The Finance Minister enquired about the health of the UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and conveyed good wishes and prayers of the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for his good health and long life. Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak al Nahyan said that the United Arab Emirates leadership and its people enjoy close historical and cultural re-

Currency

Australia

94.07

93.89

Sweden

16.18

16.15

Japan

1.0314

1.0295

Norway

16.93

16.90

Singapore

82.94

82.78

Denmark

19.16

19.12

Saudi Arabia

28.05

28.00

Hong Kong

13.56

13.53

Kuwait

372.02

371.31

Malaysia

31.65

31.59

Newzealand

86.56

86.39

Qatar

28.89

28.83

UAE

28.64

28.59

KR. WON

0.0978

0.0976

Thailand

3.206

3.200

Bullion Rates KARACHI—Following were the bullion rates in major cities yesterday. RS PER 10 GRAMS KARACHI: Gold Tezab Silver Tezabi

47142.00 788.75

MULTAN: Gold Tezabi (24-Ct) 43380.00 Gold 22 Ct 39660.00 SilverTezabi 686.00 Silver Thobi 627.00

New President Founder Group ICCI assures to resolve business community problems I SLAMABAD —Businessmen are playing a vital role in promoting trade and economic activities and their problems would be resolved on priority basis, said Abdul Rauf, a ceremony after taking oath as new Chairman Founder Group of ICCI. Large number of traders and industrialists attended the ceremony, according to a statement issued by the ICCI here on Friday. Abdul Rauf, was also Former President of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) elected as new President said that the business community has posed great confidence that he would work with full dedication to resolve their problems. He said many issues of businessmen related to the district administration, CDA, FBR, police and other departments are still unresolved and he will Insha Allah play his role to resolve the same on priority. Shaban Khalid, President, ICCI under the guidance of Founder Group is acting as a bridge between the private sector and the government and has taken many initiatives to facilitate the growth of private sector.—APP

Microsoft Lync: transforming business communication AMANULLAH KHAN KARACHI—Microsoft Pakistan held an exclusive event for Pakistani corporate customers in the presence of Worldwide CTO for Lync, Aamer Kaleem at the Pearl Continental Hotel, Karachi. Aamer Kaleem travelled all the way from Seattle to engage with Pakistani customers- a growing market which Microsoft is keenly interested in. The discussion provided a detailed insight on “Microsoft Lync”, a software which provides organizations integrated communication solutions designed to cut costs and improve productivity. At this occasion Microsoft Country Manager Pakistan, Amir Rao, shared worldwide enterprise communication trends and discussed how customers in Pakistan could benefit from Microsoft Lync.“The way we connect and interact with people, information and organizations is evolving, and those changes have tremendous impact in the workplace,” said Amir Rao, “With Lync, Pakistanis can now reduce communication costs.

of Pakistan. He expressed the confidence that these relations would strengthen further with the passage of time. Senator Muhammad Ishaq Dar said that Pakistan and UAE enjoy close fraternal relations which were deep rooted in shared history, culture, and heritage. Pakistani leadership and its people value its bond of fraternity and look forward to expand cooperation with UAE in all fields, he added. The Minister said the Pakistani leadership and its people acknowledge UAE’s contributions and cooperation for the development of Pakistan. He said that we eulogize UAE progress and achievements. Sheikh Nahyan expressed his confidence that the present government would soon overcome the economic challenges confronting the country.

Nahyan said Pakistan is his second home and assured that his government would extend all possible cooperation for economic development of Pakistan. The Finance Minister said that the government had taken a number of bold initiatives to bring financial discipline and turnaround the economy. He stated that the government was incentivizing foreign investment in all fields including oil and gas sector to accelerate pace of economic development in the country. The Finance Minister while talking to Sheikh Nahyan said that Pakistan could provide skilled manpower for the growing UAE economy. Alluding to the forthcoming spectrum license auction in Pakistan, the Finance Minister expressed the hope that telecom companies from the Middle East countries would participate in it.—Online

Nigerian market has huge potential for Pakistani products: Danladi SALIM AHMED L AHORE —The Nigerian High Commissioner in Islamabad Dauda Danladi has said that Nigerian market has huge potential for Pakistan Rice, Textile products, Pharmaceuticals and Agricultural machinery including tractors, therefore Pakistani businessmen should avail opportunities in these areas. The High Commissioner was speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Friday. LCCI President Engineer Sohail Lashari presented address of welcome while Chairman LCCI Committee for Pakistan-Africa Trade Promotion Zafar Mehmood, LCCI former Executive Committee Member Rehmatullah Javaid also spoke on the occasion. The High Commissioner said that the President of Pakistan and the Chief Minister Punjab had promised to take business delegations to Nigeria that would pave way for frequent business exchanges between the two countries. Mr Dauda Danladi said that Chief Minister Punjab had formed a committee to finalise modalities for a highpowered visit to Nigeria. The High Commissioner expressed the optimism that the

trade between Pakistan and Nigeria would get a new boost as both sides were planning to sign various trade-related agreements including Preferential Trade Agreement very soon. Speaking on the occasion, the LCCI President Engineer Sohail Lashari said that Pakistan’s business community was well aware of the market size of Africa and Nigeria could serve to be the best destination to exploit the potential. The LCCI President said that the continuity of organizing Africa Show every year in Lahore is a clear sign of LCCI’s commitment towards bridging the gaps and upsizing the current level of two way trade. Engineer Sohail Lashari said that it is encouraging to note that Nigeria is one of the major member states of African Union and classified as an emerging market rapidly approaching to middle income status. “By way of having good banking network and stock exchange, Nigeria seems fully poised to lead the acceleration of Africa’s economic development.” He said that the joint efforts in the form of organizing Africa Show on regular basis from the last three years or so have started paying off.

Etihad Airways announces to increase its services for Islamabad, Peshawar ISLAMABAD—Etihad Airways, the national include Karachi and Lahore. The additional airline of the United Arab Emirates, has announced plans to increase its services to the Pakistani cities of Islamabad and Peshawar as part of its commitment to provide travellers with more convenient travel timings and choices. Starting from 30 March 2014, Etihad Airways will increase its flights to Pakistan’s capital city, Islamabad, from 11 flights a week to a double daily schedule. Services to Peshawar, often referred to as the “City on the Frontier” due to its strategic location at the crossroads of Central Asia and South Asia, increased from two to five per week on 1 February 2014. With the addition of the new services, Etihad Airways will now offer 37 weekly flights from four destinations in Pakistan which, along with Islamabad and Peshawar,

services on each route will be operated by A320 aircraft, fitted with 16 Pearl Business Class and 120 Economy Class seats, and will increase capacity by over 150 per cent. The new services to Peshawar will improve the number of connections over the airline’s Abu Dhabi hub to more than 167 connections a week (representing an increase of 78 per cent) to a number of key destinations in the GCC, North America and Europe. Kevin Knight, Etihad Airways’ Chief Strategy and Planning Officer, said: “Pakistan is a growing market for Etihad Airways, as passenger demand, connectivity choice, and frequency enhancements continue to drive business and leisure traffic onto our expanding global network.—NNI

CNG load shedding across Punjab unfair as weather turns pleasant L AHORE —The Punjab Forum on Friday said weather has improved across province of Punjab leaving government without any justification to continue CNG load shedding. People of Punjab are without CNG since months on the pretext of cold weather but now it has normalised, it said. Masses as well as transporters across Punjab except for the twin cities have been facing difficulties due to suspension of natural gas supply which has also left many jobless, said Baig Raj, President of Punjab Forum. He said that CNG sector was closed on the pretext of gas shortage but all the other sectors including captive power plants wasting gas worth billions continue to get supply. Resuming supply of natural gas to

CNG sector in Punjab will have an impact of one per cent only on the overall natural gas production while it will benefit tens of millions, he added. Baig Raj said that domestic use of gas in dropping which has increased pressure in the pipelines therefore masses should be no more deprived by the bureaucracy and politicians. He noted that discriminatory distribution of gas since last five years has taken toll on economy and masses with Punjab suffering the most. Incumbent government should feel its responsibility to improve situation and take action against gas mafia so that they can stop victimising masses for their petty gains, demanded Mr Baig Raj.— INP

Pakistan Textile City, Karachi Garment City being set up ISLAMABAD—The National Assembly was informed that Pakistan Textile City and Karachi Garment City are being set up to further enhance textile exports. Parliamentary Secretary for Cabinet Secretariat Raja Javed Ikhlas told the House during question hour that land for Pakistan Textile City has been acquired in Karachi. He said 1.5 billion rupees have been released by the Finance Division for supporting of the textile sector during the first six months of the current fiscal year. Raja Javed Ikhlas said new trade and agriculture policies are on the cards. He said the government is giving top priority to address energy crisis to provide uninterrupted power

and gas supply to the industries. Minister for Commerce Khurram Dastgir Khan told the House that enhancing trade ties with neighbouring countries is the foremost priority of the government. It is in negotiations with Iran on the possibility of entering into Free Trade Agreement. Besides, Pakistan is also striving to enter into Preferential Trade Agreements with Turkey, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. To a question, the Minister for Commerce said there is no shortage of cement in the country and the commodity is also being exported. He said there is a price control mechanism at the provincial level to check prices of cement.—Online

Federal Minister for Finance, Economic Affairs, Revenue and Statistics Senator Muhammad Ishaq Dar meeting with Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak al Nahyan, the Minister of Culture, Youth and Social Development of the United Arab Emirates.

Technical training GSP OBSERVER REPORT K ARACHI —Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority (PSQCA), under the Ministry of Science and Technology, as the National Standardization Body of Pakistan organized a technical training course on Good Standardization Practices on 07th February 2014. Mr. Pir Bakhsh Jamali, Director General, PSQCA in his closing remarks highlighted the importance of Good Standardization Practices and stressed the importance of international participation. Further, he asked standards developers, academia and Industry must work jointly to realize the economic benefits by following the International standards. Moreover, he asked to organize this kind of training course on regular basis particularly energy management system and other market oriented topics. Earlier, Dr. Barkat Saeed Memon, Deputy Director General (Finance) in his opening remarks advised to all participants to actively involve in the training course. Earlier Mr. Khawja Gulam Mohiuddin, Deputy Director/ Incharge, International Affairs and Training of PSQCA highlighted that this Authority have provided the platform at national level for the exchange of ideas and best practices among stakeholders and shows commitment towards sustainability on Good Standardization Practices in Pakistan. More than forty participants were attended the training course. This training course is expected to ensure the implementation and use of international standards, active participation in standardization which directly impacts the growth of the national economy.

Abuld Rauf, newly elected Chairman Founder Group in a group photo with Shahban Khalid President and Khalid Chaudhry Senior Vice President of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Minister of State for IT& Telecommunication, Anusha Rahman while chairing a meeting interactive session with CEOs of Technology companies here at Islamabad.

Women Exclusive Van Service kicks off in Twin Cities OBSERVER REPORT K ARACHI —Taking further ISLAMABAD: Jamaat-e-Islami Secretary General Liaqat Baloch speaks during an the Government of Punjab’s objective of women empowerment, Al-Abrar Associates, RTA (Regional Transport Authority) and ZonG have joined hands to launch a Women Exclusive Van service – “Tabeer” for the commuting women of Islamabad/ Rawalpindi. To provide a sustainable solution to traveling issue, DRTA has taken a revolutionary step of Project Tabeer in collaboration with Al-Abrar Associates, sponsored by Zong Flutter to allow every woman the right to avail convenient transport facility to commute for work. Expressing his views on the Project Tabeer initiative, Mr. Awais Manzoor Tarar, Secretary DRTA said, “With the very first initiative of its kind taken by private sector, DRTA in collaboration with Al-Abrar Associates and support of Zong wishes to take the endeavors of Government of Punjab for women’s empowerment to a new level.

‘Anti-Privatization Seminar’ organized by National Labour Federation.

ISLAMABAD: Secretary Rawalpindi Transport Authority speaks during a press conference regarding the project of a bus service exclusively for women.


Spot-fixing trio dream of comebacks L AHORE —Pakistan’s talented but tainted after serving a two-year ban on fixing. trio of Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir on Wednesday vowed to return to international cricket, three years to the day after they were banned for spotfixing. On February 5, 2011 an anti-corruption tribunal of the International Cricket Council (ICC) banned the three players for a minimum of five years for arranging no balls to order during the Lord’s Test against England in August 2010. Butt, the captain of the Pakistan Test team at the time, finally admitted his guilt in June last year and said he wanted to move on from the disgrace. “I try hard to forget but someone always makes me remember that tough day,” Butt told AFP. Butt was banned for 10 years, with five suspended, Asif for seven with two suspended and Amir for five years, meaning all of them could return to the game in August 2015. “I regularly play cricket as I cannot adopt any other profession and I am very, very keen to stage a comeback,” said Butt. The ICC tribunal made rehabilitation, including anti-corruption courses, mandatory to avoid the suspended part of the players’ sentence. West Indian Marlon Samuels is the only player ever to return to international cricket

Butt said he wanted the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to help him get permission to play first-class cricket. “The PCB has taken up Amir’s case and I have appealed to them to help me play first-class cricket, as I am very keen to resume my career,” said Butt, who played 33 Tests, 78 one-day internationals and 24 Twenty20s for Pakistan. The ICC last year formed a committee to consider relaxing some of the sanctions of Amir’s ban. Asif has found a sideline on the silver screen and is about to star in a joint IndianPakistani film, but says he wants to return to the game. “Although I am going to act in the film, my first love is cricket and I am counting the days until my ban is over,” Asif told AFP. “Cricket will always be part of my life, it’s in my blood and I will bowl once again for Pakistan.” Meanwhile 21-year-old Amir, who was just 19 at the time of the scandal and received a great deal of sympathy, said he was looking forward to returning. “I train a lot because I cannot think of anything else to do other than playing cricket,” he told AFP. Before the ban, the young left-armer was seen as one of the brightest fast-bowling talents in international cricket.— AFP

RAWALPINDI: Players of Dera Murad Jamali Ibexes and Abbottabad Falcons teams in action during Faysal Bank T20 Cup played at Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium.

Ibexes cause major upset for Falcons in T20 Cup I SLAMABAD —Pitching for the first wickets. Yasir Hameed top scored with Stadium. time in the Faysal Bank Twenty-20 Cup, Dera Murad Jamali Ibexes caused a major upset for Abbottabad Falcons by hammering them by 11 runs in the match played at Pindi Stadium, Rawalpindi on Friday. Put into bat, Jamali Ibexes posted a total of 35 runs for the loss of five wickets in the reduced five-over match due to the wet outfield. Mohammad Ayub and Sanaullah scored 8 runs each while Kamran Sajid (4) and Taimur Ali (3) batted well. Abid Ali remained unbeaten at 7 runs. For Falcons, Fazl-e-Rabbi and Yasir Shah bagged two wickets each for 11 and 9 runs, respectively. Junaid Khan grabbed one wicket for 7 runs. In reply, Falcons could hardly make 24 runs in the allotted overs losing 7

11 runs smashing two 4s while Riaz Kail was the other batsman to bat well scoring 8 runs. For Jamali Ibexes, Shabbir Ali and Kamran Sajid took two wickets each for 8 and 1 runs, respectively. Najaf Shah bagged one wicket giving 3 runs. Kamran Sajid of Dera Murad Jamali Ibexes was declared Player of the match. The Twenty20 Cup matches are being staged at four different venues of Islamabad and Rawalpindi with seventeen teams battling for the title. The tournament will continue till February 16 and the matches are being played at venues including Diamond Ground, Marghazar Ground, National Cricket Ground and Rawalpindi Cricket

A total of 17 teams have been divided into four groups. Group A: Sialkot Stallions, Karachi Dolphins, Hyderabad Hawks, Quetta Bears and Larkana Bulls; Group B: Rawalpindi Rams, Karachi Zebras, Multan Tigers and Fata Cheetahs; Group C: Faisalabad Wolves, Islamabad Leopards, Lahore Eagles and Peshawar Panthers; Group D: Lahore Lions, Abbottabad Falcons, Bahawalpur Stags and D.M.Jamali Ibexes. Teams of D.M.Jamali Ibexes, Fata Cheetahs and Larkana Bulls are participating in the event for the first time. Faysal Bank will be awarding a total of Rs 2 million as prize money to the winning team while Rs 1 million to the runner-ups.—APP

Zahid-Huma win special category races of PYF LAHORE—The competition of special people continued here on Friday at Punjab Stadium in collaboration with Sports Board Punjab under the banner of Punjab Youth Festival 2014. In Men’s Blind Athletics Events, Zahid Mahmood earned limelight while in Girls’ Category, success went in favour of Huma Ashraf. The event attracted special children from education centres of Lahore, Sheikhupura, Kasur, and Kahna. Mentally impeded children took part in 100m Race and Shahzad Maqbool of Sharakpur was declared the winner while M Bilal of Iqbal Town was placed second and Zaheer was third in the same category. In Girls’ Category, Huma Ashraf was the winner of top honour while Rabia Islam of Government College University took the second position and Saima of Sangla Hills was third. In Boys’ Class of blind 100m Race, Zahid Mahmood from Johar Town took the first position, Abdul Shakoor of GCU was declared second while Ziauddin from Punjab University was placed third.—APP

Flamens, Hawks Clubs win Essa Lab U-23 Basketball K ARACHI —Flamens Club and Hawks Club won their matches in the Essa Laboratory Under-23 Basketball Tournament at Arambagh Floodlight Court Thursday night. Zareen Mehdi contributed 14 points to as Flamens Club routed Civil Club 47-19 in one sided tie. Abbas Ali scored nine points and Shoaib Ahmed (8) was other main scorers for the winner.SM Abbasi (10) and Sohail Khan (4) played well for the losers.—APP

PAF win 2nd Inter-Services Ski C’ship SPORTS REPORTER N A LTA R (G ILGIT )—PAF clinched the trophy of the 2nd Inter-Services Ski Championship and 8th Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Ski Championship concluded at PAF Ski Resort, Naltar on Friday. Saleem Bhatti, Inspector General Police Gilgit Baltistan was the chief guest on the occasion who later on distributed trophies and awards among the winners. Pakistan Air Force won the 2nd Inter-Services Ski Championship wherein Gilgit Baltistan Scouts took 8th Chairman Joint Chief of Staff Committee Ski Championship Trophy. The ski competition continued for three days at PAF Ski Resort, Naltar. Skiers from various Ski associations participated in the Championship in temperatures below freezing point. Results of events are as under: - Slalom Gold Muhammad Abbas (PAF) Silver Abdul Jan (Army) Bronze Sawar Khan (PAF) Giant Slalom Gold Muhammad Abbas (PAF).

Zakir named manager of Pak cricket teams LAHORE —Zakir Khan, Di-

HAFIZABAD: Minister of State Saira Afzal Tarar is givng away trophy to a player winner of district level competition.

Imran fires 6-under in DHA Open Golf

Junior Tennis Camp concludes

KARACHI—Little known Imran Ali Khan of the host club stole the limelight in the first round of DHA Al-Baraka Open Golf Championship by carding 6-under-par 66 at Defence Authority Country Golf Club (DACGC) on Friday. Brilliant Imran demonstrated superb driving, chipping and putting at the fairways and greens of DACGC to lead the pack of over 100 golfers on day one. After making two birdies at the front nine and five birdies and one bogey at the back, Imran maintain his ascendancy from start to finish in presence of all big of Pakistan golf and that took in strong wind by playing impeccable 32 at the back nine in Rs.1.8 million prize money event. Matloob Ahmed of Lahore Garrison and Latif Rafiq of Lahore Gymkhana were lying two strokes behind the leader with opening round of 4-under-par 68. Spectacular Matloob made as many as seven birdies and one double bogey while Latif made five birdies and one double bogey. Defending Champion Shabbir Iqbal was laying joints 19th with ten golfers after carding two-over-par 74. Zuhaib Asif of DACGC led in the net amateur event after carding the first round of 2-over-par 74 while Muhammad Shariq of Westwind Golf Club was placed two strokes behind. Waheed Akbar of the host club was leading gross event with first round of 66. Leaderboard: Professionals: 66 Imran Ali Khan (Isb) 68 - Matlopob Ahmed (LGC), Latif Rafique (Gym) 69 - Akbar Mehroz (Gym) 70 - M.Sajjad (AMGC), Naseer Khan (KPK) 71 - Waheed Baloch (KGC), M.Khursheed (Isb), M.tariq (Isb), M.Aamir (KGC) 72 Muhammad Munir (Isb), Amjad Yousuf (KGC), Amateurs: Net: 66 - Waheed Akbar (DACGC) 67 - Sandeel (DHA) 69 Farman (AMGC) Gross: 74- Zuhaib Asif (DACGC) 76M.Sharif (WWGC) 78- Waheed Akbar (DACGC).—APP

ISLAMABAD—The ATF-PTF Junior Training Camp concluded here at PTF Tennis Complex on Friday with 14 players from all over the country participating in it. The training camp was held from February 2 to 7. The training camp was supervised by Ex Davis Cup player and Davis Cup captain Mushaf Zia. A total of four national coaches including Moin Khan, Jalil Khan, Khalid Mehmood Khan and Rashid Ali worked as assistant coaches for the camp. The training camp focused on the modern techniques of coaching which include drills, match playing tetchiness, tactics, mental and physical training. A 4-day tournament will start from Satudrday amongst the participants. The tournament will be held feed in draw and all the players will play the matches till last day of tournament. Shahzad Akhtar Alvi, White badge official has been nominated at Referee for the tournament.—APP

rector Cricket Operations International PCB has been appointed Manager of Pakistan Team for the upcoming ACC Asia Cup 2014 and ICC World Twenty-20 to be played in Bangladesh.—APP

NALTAR: IGP G-B Saleem Bhatti awarding trophy to PAF team for winning 2nd Inter Services Ski Championship at PAF Ski Resort.

Donkey cart race held in Punjab Youth Festival L AHORE —In the build up Sher-i-Lahore donkey cart to the Divisional level of the Punjab Youth Festival 2014, Donkey Cart Races and Donkeys’ Beauty contest were held to give a different colour to the festivity of the mega event here in Defence on Friday. Divisional Sports Convener MPA Mian Naseer was the chief guest of the events, witnessed by a large number of people. MPA Yasmin Sohal was also among the guests. The chief guests gave prizes to the winning owners of the donkeys. In the other competition, around 50 Donkey Carts took part in the race that started from Defence mor to Walton bus stop.

owned by Ustad Shahabuddin won the race and was followed by the cart of Arshad Ali while cart owned by Javed took the third position. To the amusement of all the donkey owned by Ch. Jabbar won the beauty contest, which was unique in many ways and first of its kind. The competition was participated by around 30 animals which were beautified by various materials like glitter and colourful cloths. While the donkey owned by Mian Kashif was runnerup in the event and the donkey owned by Sakhi Mohammad was third in the contest.—APP

Mubarak elected as ACBS chief K ARACHI —Mubarak Al Khayarin of Qatar was elected as the President of Asian Confederation of Billiards Sports (ACBS) unopposed, according to a news release issued on Friday Alamgir Shaikh of Pakistan was also elected as Senior Vice President unopposed of the continental body. The deadline for the nominations for the forthcoming elections to be held in Fujaira (UAE) has passed by the end of February 04, 2014. Michal Al Khoury (Syria) was elected General Secretary and Joseph Lo (Hongkong) elected Treasurer of ACBS.—APP

ATTOCK: Players of Attock and Hazro playing during a Kabaddi match in connection with Punjab Youth Festival.


McCullum scores 224 as NZ bowled out for 503

SOCHI: Pakistan Ski delegation headed by President Ski Federation of Pakistan Air Marshal Athar Hussain Bukhari with Pakistan Skier Muhammad Karim at Winter Olympic Village Russia.

Sangakkara hits another ton as Sri Lanka eye win C HITTAGONG (Bangladesh)—Kumar get of 467 to record a series-levelling after Bangladesh resumed the day at Sangakkara became the second batsman in history to score a triple-century and a hundred in the same match as Sri Lanka pressed for victory in the second Test against Bangladesh in Chittagong on Friday. The tourists, who led by 161 runs on the first innings, declared their second knock at 305-4 in the post-tea session of the fourth day’s play at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury stadium. Bangladesh, set an improbable tar-

win, were 12-0 at stumps with Tamim Iqbal on seven and Shamsur Rahman on four. Sri Lanka will begin the final day needing 10 wickets to sweep the twomatch series, while Bangladesh require another 455 runs in a minimum of 90 overs. Left-handed Sangakkara followed his 319 in the first innings with 105 in the second, joining Englishman Graham Gooch as the only batsmen to achieve the rare feat. G o o c h made 333 and 123 against India at Lord’s in 1990.

Sangakkara, with 34 three-figure knocks already under his belt, added one more to the tally with a six off Sohag Gazi after tea, but was bowled off the next delivery. Dinesh Chandimal remained unbeaten on 100, having shared a fourthwicket stand of 145 with Sangakkara after Sri Lanka’s wobbled at the start. Earlier, Bangladesh were bowled out for 426 in their first knock within 25 minutes of the start in reply to Sri Lanka’s 587. Spinner Ajantha Mendis finished with six for 99, having CHITTAGONG: Kumar Sangakkara goes on the attack claimed both the during Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka 2nd Test’s 4th day. remaining wickets

409-8. Mendis dismissed Mahmudullah with the morning’s fourth delivery, forcing a catch to short-leg before the batsman had added to his overnight score of 30. Al-Amin Hossain was bowled by Mendis for nine, leaving last man Abdur Razzak unbeaten on 11. Off-spinner Dilruwan Perera supported Mendis with three wickets, while seamer Suranga Lakmal took one. When Sri Lanka batted a second time, off-spinner Mohammad Mahmudullah dismissed both openers, Dimuth Karunaratne and Kaushal Silva, in his first three overs before lunch to make it 49-2.—AFP

Sri Lanka 1st innings: .......... 5 8 7 Bangladesh 1st innings: ........ 4 2 6 Sri Lanka 2nd innings: Karunaratne b Mahmudullah .... 15 Silva lbw b Mahmudullah .......... 29 Sangakkara b Sohag Gazi ......... 105 Jayawardene lbw b Shakib ........ 11 Chandimal not out .................... 100 Mathews not out ........................ 43 Extras: (lb 2) ................................... 2 Total: (4 wickets dec) ................ 305 Fall of wkts: 1-36, 2-49, 3-78, 4-223 Bowling: ......................... O-M-R-W Al-Amin Hossain .............. 7-1-31-0 Sohag Gazi .................... 18.5-1-87-1 Shakib ............................... 22-2-80-1 Mahmudullah .................. 18-4-46-2 Mominul ............................. 7-0-46-0 Nasir Hossain .................... 3-0-13-0 Bangladesh 2nd innings: Tamim Iqbal not out ...................... 7 Shamsur not out ............................ 4 Extras: (b 1) .................................... 1 Total: (0 wickets) ......................... 12 Bowling: ......................... O-M-R-W RAS Lakmal ......................... 3-0-9-0 Perera .................................... 4-3-1-0 Mendis ................................. 1-0-1-0

Brazil league unveils fixtures after drop controversy R IO D E J ANEIRO —The Brazilian Football Confedera- took the matter to the courts, demanded clubs abide by tion (CBF) on Thursday unveiled its calendar for next season without Portuguesa, who were controversially relegated in December. Sao Paulo-based Portuguesa exited the top flight after having four points docked for fielding suspended midfielder Heverton on the final day. The punishment, which the club continues to contest, enabled Fluminense, who had finished in the final relegation spot, to escape becoming the first champions to go down the following season. Portuguesa have spent the period since the end of the season pursuing civil court actions to try to have their demotion overturned but without success. The CBF said Thursday it was now in a position to publish the calendar for the “Brasileirao” season running from April 20 through to December 7. CBF chairman Jose Maria Marin, alluding to the legal complications of the Portuguesa case after the club

sporting tribunal decisions or face potential long-term damage to the league. Resorting to court actions and throwing into doubt the final outcome of a league season would, Marin said, “bring about negative consequences” such as sponsors pulling the plug on deals. Marin said broadcaster Globo had already voiced such concerns. Atletico Mineiro chairman Alexandre Kalil agreed, pointing to the weeks of “uncertainty” following the Portuguesa row. “Without sponsorship, clubs will go to the wall,” Kalil warned. The league will observe a break for the June 12 to July 13 World Cup, halting action from June 2 to July 15. Cruzeiro are the reigning champions and will start their title defence at Bahia. Portuguesa will meanwhile have to hope they can achieve promotion and put behind them a punishment deemed excessive by many observers.—AFP

AUCKLAND —Captain Brendon McCullum where they left off on Thursday by scoring scored his second test double century to at almost four runs an over. Anderson had push New Zealand to an impressive 503 moved to a breezy 77, his first test half cenbefore they were bowled out shortly after tury, before being trapped lbw by Sharma, lunch on the second day of the first test ending a 133-run partnership. Wicketkeeper BJ Watling (1) became against India at Eden Park on Friday. McCullum, whose highest test innings Sharma’s fourth victim on the first ball after is 225 scored against India in 2010, was last the drinks break when he drove at a wide man out for 224 when attempting to slog delivery and was snapped up by Shikhar another six to add to the five in his 307-ball Dhawan in the slips. Pace bowler Tim Southee provided an eninnings. McCullum’s innings was the highest by tertaining, quick-fire 28, which included three a New Zealander at Eden Park and fourth boundaries and two sixes, before being highest overall.England’s Wally Hammond bowled by Mohammed Shami. McCullum and scored 336 not out on the ground in 1933. Kane Williamson had rescued New Zealand’s The New Zealand captain had brought innings on the first day with a 221-run stand up his double century on the final ball of after India had exploited the green drop-in the morning session with his 28th bound- pitch and overcast conditions to reduce the ary and upped the run rate after the break. hosts to 30 for three.—APP Legspinner Ish Sodhi, who had been 18 not out at lunch, added five runs to his total before he became Ishant Sharma’s fifth wicket when New Zealand first innings Sharma ......................... 23 Wagner c Kohli Rohit Sharma held a good (overnight 329-4) b Jadeja .......................... 0 catch in the slips to end a Fulton lbw b Zaheer .. 13 valuable 56-run partnership Rutherford c Rahane T. Boult not out ............ 1 Extras: (w-5, lb-5, b-1, b I. Sharma .................... 6 with McCullum. Neil Wagner was well Williamson c Dhoni nb-3) ............................. 14 Total: (all out) ........... 503 caught by Virat Kohli at slip b Zaheer .................... 113 c Jadeja Fall of wickets: 1-19 2-23 for a duck off left-arm spin- Taylor 3-30 4-251 5-384 6-398 7ner Ravindra Jadeja before b I. Sharma .................... 3 c Jadeja 434 8-490, 9-495 10-503 McCullum was well caught by McCullum Bowling: ........ O-M-W-R Jadeja on the boundary to b I. Sharma ................ 224 lbw Shami ............... 28-6-95-1 give Sharma his sixth wicket Anderson Zaheer ............... 30-2-132 b I. Sharma .................. 77 of the innings. c Dhawan Sharma ........ 33.4-4-134-6 New Zealand had re- Watling Jadeja ............. 26-1-120-1 sumed on 329 for four with b I. Sharma .................... 1 Kholi .................... 1-0-4-0 McCullum (143) and aggres- Southee b Shami ........ 28 sive all-rounder Corey Sodhi c R. Sharma b I. R. Sharma .......... 3-0-12-0 Anderson (42) picking up

Federer, Swiss to face Kazakh Davis Cup tie G E N E V A — Switzerland’s Davis Cup team, boasting newlycrowned Australian Open champion

Stanislas Wawrinka and former world number one Roger Federer, will face Kazakhstan in Geneva in April’s quarter-finals, Swiss Tennis announced Friday. The Swiss team will take on the visitors from April 4 to 6 in a 16,500capacity venue at Geneva’s Palexpo centre. Swiss captain Severin Luethi said his squad was relishing the prospect of playing in Geneva, the largest city in Switzerland’s western French-speaking region. “I know that the team likes playing there because it’s a region where we have the biggest number of loyal fans. It’s going to be a festival of tennis, and we hope to play to a packed house in front of a crowd that’s supporting us with every bone in their body,” Luethi said in a statement released by Swiss Tennis. “It’s been 10 years since Switzerland managed to reach the quarter-finals.With Stan and Roger, it’s clear that we’re targeting the semis,” he added. The Swiss team earned their berth in the quarter-finals thanks to a 3-2 win last weekend away to Serbia, last year’s beaten finalists. The Davis Cup is the only major trophy missing from 17-time Grand Slam winner Federer’s collection.— AFP

AUCKLAND: Ravindra Jadeja takes a blinder during New Zealand vs India 1st Test’s 2nd day on Friday.

Kenya cricket dead, says former captain Aasif Karim Bipin Dani Observer CORRESPONDENT M UMBAI —There were hardly any fans at Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport-NBO to greet the Kenyan team which earlier this week returned from New Zealand after losing the ODI status. According to Aasif Karim, who was Kenya’s first captain after the team got the ODI status in 1997, the cricket in his country is now dead. Speaking exclusively over telephone from Nairobi, he says, “I am not surprised as I had seen this fall coming almost 5 to 7 years back. Kenya cricket was in coma for the last 5 years and now dead and buried”. “Having began from the humble be-

ginning to play for Kenya at the age of 17 in 1980 and finished at the world cup 2003, In south Africa-semi finals, it pains me to see where Kenya cricket has gone”. When Kenya got ODI status 1997,I was appointed captain. At that time, bangladssh also got the ODi status. Until 2003,Kenya was 8-1 ahead between the 2 countries. Since then it has been a disaster for Kenya. Whereas Bangladsh has moved on to a much a higher level.”, he added. “All stack holders will need to get together to chart a way forward to revive cricket in Kenya. If at all that happens sincerely, correctly, I think it will take at least 10 years to be a force In international cricket at the top level”. “We have excellent facilities, weather. We just need dedicated and competent people to run cricket, he signed off.


Flavor-pairing may teach kids to like vegetables

P

ARENTS have long poured on cheese sauce, peanut butter and the like to coax kids to eat their vegetables, but a new study suggests those tricks might also get children to look more favorably at the vegetables themselves. Preschoolers introduced to Brussels sprouts alongside cream cheese to spread on the bitter vegetable more often said they liked the sprouts and ate more of them, even when later served plain. The strategy of pairing something new with something a person already likes is known as associative conditioning and could be helpful in encouraging kids - and adults - to eat more fruits and vegetables, the authors say. “This has the potential to change the eating habits of children, including eating more vegetables, and this in turn will affect childhood obesity,” said Elizabeth CapaldiPhillips, a psychologist at Arizona State University and lead author of the study. The research was published in Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. In the study, parents of 29 children between the ages of three and five years old filled out a survey about the kids’ views of 11 vegetables, including whether they liked or disliked the vegetable, or had never tried it. Cauliflower and Brussels sprouts were among the vegetables most children had not tried, and were selected as the ones used to gauge children’s preferences in the study. The children were given either cauliflower or Brussels sprouts once per day for seven days, and ate in a group of five or six children that

was led by a researcher or teacher. The vegetables were all boiled, then were either served plain, with unsweetened cream cheese or with sweetened cream cheese. After this conditioning period, the kids were given the vegetables plain. The researchers found that children given Brussels sprouts with cream cheese during conditioning liked them significantly more than those given plain sprouts. Less than one in five kids given plain sprouts said they liked the vegetable, whereas about twothirds of kids who got sprouts with either type of cream cheese said they liked the vegetables. The children liked milder, non-bitter cauliflower more overall, and about equally whether or not it was served with cream cheese. After the conditioning period, when children were given the plain vegetables, those who had previously said they “liked” Brussels sprouts ate more of them than kids who had expressed dislike. Although previous research has found that kids need to try some new foods eight to 10 times before they get used to the taste, the children in the study tried the new vegetables only seven times before they would eat them plain, the authors point out. “Children develop food preferences at a young age, yet tend to be really picky at this age, so it’s important to sustain healthy habits which will persist into adulthood,” Devina Wadhera, also a researcher at Arizona State University and the study’s other author, told Reuters Health.

Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah putting his note on application of a woman in the Provincial Assembly session.—PO photo Sultan Chaki

Pakistani astrologer wins Malaysian award STAFF REPORTER KARACHI—Humayun Mehboob is the first Pakistani astrologer to receive the most prestigious Civil Award of Malaysia bestowed on him by the King of Malaysia H.E. Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu’azam Shah. Introducing the astrologer to media, Azeem Qureshi General manager Hotel Pearl Continental Karachi said that in the history of Malaysia and Pakistan this is the first time this award was given to Mr. Humayun Mehboob which is called the DATUK AWARD.

The Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany Dr Tilo Klinner, hosted a dinner for delegates of the Karachi Literature Festival at a local hotel. Picture shows Ambassador Dr Michael Koch, special Envoy of German Government for Afghanistan and Pakistan, PGBF, President Qazi Sajid Ali, Byram D Avari, Luba Klinner, Amina Seyid, and diplomats from Germany and Sri Lanka.

German envoy fetes KLF participants OBSERVER REPORT KARACHI—Pakistan has a beauty that can best be seen in its culture and rich traditions. This was said by Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany Dr Tilo Klinner at a dinner hosted by him for guests participating in the three-day 5th Karachi Literature Festival. The German diplomat said literature opens the horizons and expands the vision of humans, guiding them toward accommodation and harmony with their fellow beings and promoting peace. He added the Karachi Literature Festival Peace Prize 2014 is meant to recognise and honour such achievements. Dr Klinner said the Peace Prize is joint project of the Consulate

General of Germany in Karachi, the Embassy of Germany in Islamabad and the Karachi Literature Festival. It aims to recognise books promoting peace, international understanding and tolerance. It is awarded by a jury comprising eminent Pakistani academics and human rights activists and carries a prize of 3,000 euros. Special Envoy of the government of Federal Republic of Germany for Afghanistan/Pakistan who has also served as German ambassador to Pakistan, Dr Michael Koch, said he was glad to be back among so many friends. He said books and literature bring out the best in mankind.

MQM walks out from SA over workers killing STAFF REPORTER KARACHI—The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) staged a token walkout from the Sindh assembly during its session on Friday. The walkout was in condemnation to murder after kidnapping of the worker of the party. Earlier, leader of opposition in Sindh assembly Syed Faisal Sabzwari while speaking in the House said that people in plain clothes in private vehicles without displayed registration numbers had been roaming across the city and kidnapped any person they wanted. Later the bodies of kidnapped persons with signs of vehement physical torture were dropped. He said that the people in plain clothes had kidnapped one of workers of the MQM Salman and his brother Nadir during their passage from Korangi to Civil Hospital Karachi. His brother was released while body of Salman was recovered from Malir River after three days of his abduction. He said that a targeted operation was in full swing in the metropolis under the orders and command of the Sindh government while the MQM had immensely supported the targeted operation and the criminals were being arrested but the incidences like that of Salman were a great reason for the reservations by the MQM on the targeted operation. He demanded that in case any was held under suspicions, he should be produced in any court of law but the kidnapping of the workers of the MQM and their killings were sheer manifest of extra-judicial killings and had created a perception that the targeted operation was deliberately directed against a particular community of the province.

Orientation for JENESYS participants AMANULLAH KHAN KARACHI—A total of 72 participants from Pakistan,67 High School and University students from Islamabad, Karachi and Quettaand 5supervisors will be visiting Japan in February. The Consulate-General of Japan at Karachi held the orientation for the JENESYS (JapanEast Asia Network of Exchange for Students and Youths) Participants. Akira Ouchi, the ConsulGeneral of Japan in Karachi, emphasized in his speech that through JENESYS programme, youths of Pakistan and Japan would foster and strengthen friendship.

SA allows high-tech equipments for Police IRFAN ALIGI KARACHI—Sindh Police had been allowed to procure tools, equipments, weapons, machinery and special vehicles to amicably deal with the terrorism. It was the Sindh government that had made it lawful for a period of one year that Sindh Police would not be answerable till one year for not following the rules and regulations under the Sindh Public Procurement Regulatory Act (SPPRA)-2009. This was all done in Sindh assembly on Friday as the House had passed a Bill through which the Police of the province to buy bomb and bullet proof cars and jackets, helmets and latest weapons to fight away the terrorism. The Bill would be for one year and would become void after one year deadline on its own. Sindh Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Dr Sikandar Meendhro while defending the

passage of the said Bill, said that under the (SPPRA) Act-2009 Police could not readily procure any item of urgent need as the Act had to be followed with variety of departmental procedures. However, Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz member in the House suggested to the Sindh government that the law should be not for one year but for 5 years. MQM member Khawaja Izhar Ul Hassan suggested that Police and other departments concerned should attain people’s trust. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf member said that any procurement by Police should be held accountable under the Public Accounts Committee. Leader of opposition in the House Syed Faisal Sabzwari demanded that a committee comprising members of the Sindh assembly should be constituted for any urgent procurement.

Sindh building Control Authority (Amendment) Bill passed STAFF REPORTER KARACHI—The treasury Bench in Sindh assembly had passed a Bill with majority of votes after which powers of the town planning were withdrawn from the local governments and conferred upon the Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA). The Bill thus passed was ‘Sindh building Control Authority (Amendment) Bill-2014. The opposition in the assembly had opposed the passage of the said Bill. In this regard, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) while rejecting the passage of the said Bill said that it looked as if the Sindh government would not conduct the local body polls in the province and for that purpose, had been withdrawing powers of the local governments. In rejection of the stance of the MQM, Sindh Minister for information Sharjeel Innam

Memon said that the Sindh government was fully determined to conduct the local body polls in the province. The powers for town planning with the local government had smashed the shapes of the urban nomenclatures and the amenity plots were widely misused and illegally occupied or converted into commercial entities. The Minister said that the Sindh government did not move courts over the local body polls and the powers of town planning that were given to the union councils had smashed the face of the city and the amenity plots were converted into commercial Marriage Halls for minting money on commercial basis. The union councils had utterly failed to work with honesty and in a diligent and transparent manner and hence the Sindh government had decid3ed to withdraw their powers and transfers them to the SBCA.

World learning about Mohenjodaro through its inaugural festivity: Bilawal IRFAN ALIGI KARACHI—Pakistan People’s Party Parliamentarian (PPPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that the first prize winning documentary film to be screened at the Sindh International Film festival under the canvass of Sindh festival would be forwarded for the nomination in the London International Film Festival. Bilawal Bhutto Zardari was speaking at the International seminar held at the Alliance Francaise Friday. He said that varieties of programmes under the Sindh festival were being completed successfully and the response was quite overwhelming. On the occasion, the Ambassador of France in Pakistan Phillipe Thiebaud felicitated Bilawal for the successful organization of Sindh festival. The French convoy said that Sindh Festival would pave ways for promoting

Pakistan’s soft image across the world. The holding of the Karachi Literature Festival as part of Sindh Festival would be a great activity, which would also promote the soft image of Karachi and the country at the world level. He said that the Alliance Francaise had played a pivotal role in promoting bilateral relations between the people of the two countries, Pakistan and France regarding cultural and literary activities. While responding to the French convoy, Bilawal said that following the inaugural cession of Sindh Festival, he had received tremendous messages of appreciation from all over the world as the Mohenjo Daro session had introduced it to the world in a diligent manner that was never done before in history of the country. He said that Mohenjodaro session had informed millions of people around the world that had never heard about it before.

Ombudsman helps release stuck up dues AMANULLAH KHAN KARACHI—On the intervention of the Provincial Ombudsman Sindh Asad Ashraf Malik, the Karachi University has paid the dues of former Director Finance Karachi University Syed Masood Rizvi for the services he rendered for the University. The Provincial Ombudsman gave the cheque amounting to Rs. 276774.against the dues claimed by complainant the former Director Finance Karachi University. The complainant had made his complain against Karachi University to the Provincial Ombudsman that the University was not paying his dues against the services he rendered for Applied Economics Research Centre, and ICCBS(aka-HEJ) on the instructions of the competent authority.


Flavor-pairing may teach kids to like vegetables

P

ARENTS have long poured on cheese sauce, peanut butter and the like to coax kids to eat their vegetables, but a new study suggests those tricks might also get children to look more favorably at the vegetables themselves. Preschoolers introduced to Brussels sprouts alongside cream cheese to spread on the bitter vegetable more often said they liked the sprouts and ate more of them, even when later served plain. The strategy of pairing something new with something a person already likes is known as associative conditioning and could be helpful in encouraging kids - and adults - to eat more fruits and vegetables, the authors say. “This has the potential to change the eating habits of children, including eating more vegetables, and this in turn will affect childhood obesity,” said Elizabeth CapaldiPhillips, a psychologist at Arizona State University and lead author of the study. The research was published in Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. In the study, parents of 29 children between the ages of three and five years old filled out a survey about the kids’ views of 11 vegetables, including whether they liked or disliked the vegetable, or had never tried it. Cauliflower and Brussels sprouts were among the vegetables most children had not tried, and were selected as the ones used to gauge children’s preferences in the study. The children were given either cauliflower or Brussels sprouts once per day for seven days, and ate in a group of five or six children that

was led by a researcher or teacher. The vegetables were all boiled, then were either served plain, with unsweetened cream cheese or with sweetened cream cheese. After this conditioning period, the kids were given the vegetables plain. The researchers found that children given Brussels sprouts with cream cheese during conditioning liked them significantly more than those given plain sprouts. Less than one in five kids given plain sprouts said they liked the vegetable, whereas about twothirds of kids who got sprouts with either type of cream cheese said they liked the vegetables. The children liked milder, non-bitter cauliflower more overall, and about equally whether or not it was served with cream cheese. After the conditioning period, when children were given the plain vegetables, those who had previously said they “liked” Brussels sprouts ate more of them than kids who had expressed dislike. Although previous research has found that kids need to try some new foods eight to 10 times before they get used to the taste, the children in the study tried the new vegetables only seven times before they would eat them plain, the authors point out. “Children develop food preferences at a young age, yet tend to be really picky at this age, so it’s important to sustain healthy habits which will persist into adulthood,” Devina Wadhera, also a researcher at Arizona State University and the study’s other author, told Reuters Health.

Activists of different NGOs lighting candles in connection with World Interfaith Harmony Week.

Security plan for Indian delegation SALIM AHMED

Record funds for health, education sectors

LAHORE—A security plan has been prepared for the Indian Cultural Delegation’s visit to Lahore. This was disclosed by the Minister for Environment Protection and Chairman Police Reforms Committee Col R Shuja Khanzada while presiding over a review meeting regarding security arrangements on arrival of Indian delegation at Lahore. Chief Secretary Punjab, Secretary Home, IG Punjab Police, Director General Protocol, Director General Rangers, representatives of Lahore Chamber of Commerce and other officials were also present in meeting. The Minister told meeting that 200member Indian cultural delegation will arrive at Lahore on 12th February through Wahga Border and will stay till 16th February. Rita Akhtar and Dr Tebbe cutting the ribbon to inaugurate Fulbright Centre, a Joint Venture of FC College and United States Educational Foundation.

Metro bus providing best travelling facilities OBSERVER REPORT LAHORE—Provincial Minister for Law, Rana Sanaullah Khan has said that the entire world appreciates metro bus project but only the leaders of Q-League have been unduly criticising this project. In a statement here Thursday, Rana Sanaullah said that it is not understandable why Q-League criticizes every public-welfare project. He said that Q-League had also levelled allegations against Lahore metro bus project but it faced humiliation.

He said the fact that more than 1.5 lakh passengers travel by Lahore metro buses daily is a proof of the utility of this project. He said that like Lahore, metro bus service will also provide best travelling facilities to the people of Rawalpindi, Multan and Faisalabad and these projects will be a masterpiece of transparency and architecture. Rana Sanaullah said that exemplary performance of Punjab government has caused panic in the ranks of Q-League therefore its leaders are criticizing provincial government without any justification.

No posting on political ground LAHORE—Advisor to Chief Minister Punjab on Health Khawaja Salman Raffique has said that no posting and transfer of officers in Health Department including EDOs/DOs and MSs of government hospitals would be made on political grounds.

He said that Chief Minister has approved the policy for this purpose. He expressed these views while addressing monthly EDOs Health Conference at Directorate General Health Punjab, here Friday. —NNI

OBSERVER REPORT LAHORE—Provincial Minister for Excise & Taxation, Finance Mian Mujtaba Shuja ur Rehman has said that in order to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), record funds are being provided to health and education sectors. He said that health sector, the major focus of the government is on protecting the health of people trough strengthening of Primary Health Care & Disease Preventive Programmes and government is giving special focus for the treatment of chronic & fatal diseases. He said that for imparting modern education to the students Rs. 244 billion are being spent on education sector during the current fiscal year which is 26 percent of the total budget of the province. He told that establishment of 82 new colleges has been planned while missing facilities will be provided in 68 colleges with a cost of Rs. 1470 million. He told that funds to the tune of Rs. 175 million have been allocated for different

Standardized curriculum for medical education OBSERVER REPORT LAHORE—Prominent medical experts associated with teaching process in medical colleges of Punjab have demanded setting up of a medical staff college in the province on the pattern of Administrative Staff College so that promotion of professor doctors could be linked with completion of courses at medical staff college. This demand was voiced at the second day of 3-day international conference on medical education being held at Fatima Jinnah Medical College. Provincial Minister for Education Rana Mashhood Ahmed Khan presided over the scientific session. He stressed the need for evolving a standardized curriculum of MBBS and postgraduate medical education keeping in view the local needs. Brig Dr Moadat Hussain Rana stressed the importance of consolidating various diagnostic fields of medical education so that doctors could play their due role in providing affordable health facilities to the masses. He said that Indian and Pakistani societies even hospitals are based on caste system and the health administrators of major hospitals and health department are not doctors but others who consider themselves as superior beings. He said that at the next level there are professor doctors, general cadre doctors and then internees. He said that nurses who serve the patients in the real sense have not been granted their due status whereas ward boys and sanitary staff of hospitals are considered untouchable.

Govt would continue to provide resources of HIV/AIDS control OBSERVER REPORT LAHORE—Advisor to Chief Minister Punjab on Health Khawaja Salman Rafique has reiterated that government would continue to provide all out resources for the control of HIV/ AIDS and to provide diagnostic as well as facilities to the AIDS patients in Punjab. He said that all recommendations of WHO for the control of HIV/AIDS shell be implemented. He expressed these views while presiding over the concluding session of a two-day consultative meeting

organized by Punjab AIDS Control Program and WHO, here today. The meeting was attended by Gabriele Riedner, Regional Advisor HIV/ AIDS, WHO/EMRO, Joumana George Hermez, Technical Officer, HIV/AIDS, WHO/EMRO, Dr. Quiad Saeed, National Professional Officer HIV/AIDS, WHO Pakistan, Russell Armstrong, International Consultant, Dr. Zahid Pervaiz, DGHS Punjab and Dr. Salman Shahid, Project Director, Punjab AIDS Control Program. A large number of representatives of civil

society, preventive programs and other stakeholders also attended the meeting. The WHO conducted an analysis of HIV/AIDS treatment program in Punjab. The gaps and challenges were identified and shared with the participants. The efforts of the Health Department and Punjab AIDS Control Program regarding preventive, diagnostic and treatment services were appreciated. The 9 core interventions were discussed in detail. The recommendations included scaling up of preventive services, HIV

testing & counseling, care & support and drug dependence treatment services. The importance of awareness and advocacy campaigns was also emphasized. On the occasion, the WHO provided two Mobile CD4 testing machines worth Rs.3 million to Punjab AIDS Control Program. The CD4 testing is crucial to initiate treatment of HIV AIDS. The machines will be used to provide testing services at the doorsteps of the AIDS patients in Southern Punjab and jail inmates all over the Punjab.

projects of commerce colleges in the province while Rs. 266 million have been allocated for establishment of new universities. Addressing the delegation of NGO, Mujtaba Shuja ur Rehman said that government was encouraging the NGOs as well as educational institutions for organizing awareness events against fatal diseases. He said that Punjab government has provided 19 per cent additional budget for the provision of health services in Punjab. He said that by increasing the health budget up to 102 billion rupees, the present government has ensured modern health facilities and free medicines as well as air-conditioning in general wards to poor and resource-less people. He told that Rs.4 billion have been allocated for launching of health insurance scheme. He said that Rs.30 crore has been reserved for dialysis facilities to the poor kidney patients. He said that huge amount of 7.5billon is being spent on the provision of free treatment and medicines to the poor and destitute in public sector hospitals of the province.

Shahbaz condoles death of Kunjahi OBSERVER REPORT LAHORE—Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has expressed deep sense of sorrow and grief over the sad demise of prominent poet Zaman Kunjahi.


Ep08february2014  
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