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Army assures support to ECP during elections ECP proposes polls dates May 8, 9 Observers Conduct Code issued Rejects govt reservations STAFF REPORTER

China to fund Gwadar-Rato highway ISLAMABAD—With fully

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf offering Dua after inaugurating Centaurus, a multipurpose complex.

prepared to take charge of strategic deep water Gwadar port this month or next, China, Pakistan’s time-tested ally and all-weathers friend, now plans to extend financial aid to Islamabad for the construction of Gwadar-Rato Dero highway for providing a vital road link to the Port. Beijing would grant $700m aid to Pakistan, which has long IRFAN ALIGI been facing scarcity of funds with its economy marred by law and order, for construction KARACHI—The law enforcement agencies (LEA) had been of Gwadar’s East Bay Road and other infrastructure.—INP asked to carry out targeted operation in the city against the criminals, gangsters, kidnappers for ransom, target killers and proclaimed offenders with the assistance of the intelligence agencies. ISLAMABAD—The National The Police had to improve Assembly resumed its session its performance and those Police officials that had lacked to maniin Islamabad on Friday with Speaker Dr. Fehmida Mirza in fest the determination should prepare to leave for their homes. the chair. Before the start of This was observed in a high the proceedings National profile meeting at the Sindh Anthem was played. Chief Minister House, which the Chairperson Standing Committee on Defence Dr. Azra Fazal Pechuho presented before the House report of the committee on “The Surveying and Mapping Bill‚ 2013”. The National Assembly unanimously passed “The National Counter Terrorism Authority ISLAMABAD—Advisor on PeBill‚ 2013”. The bill was troleum and Natural Resources moved by Law Minister Dr. Asim Hussain told the SenFarooq H. Naek. The National Assembly on ate Friday that the duration of closure of CNG stations in Friday passed a unanimous resolution paying rich tributes Punjab is longer than other provinces due to more population Continued on Page 7 and usage of the commodity. Answering a question, he said due to meager gas demand there is no gas load management in Balochistan. He said the Sindh and Peshawar High Courts have directed the federal CARACAS—Late Venezuelan government to adhere to the president Hugo Chavez will be provisions of Article 158 of the moved to barracks where he Constitution therefore gas load will lie in state for longer than management is mainly rehad been planned then be stricted to Punjab province and embalmed “like Lenin,” to some extent to Sindh provinterim leader Nicolas Maduro ince as per demand and supply said Thursday. position of gas. Chavez had been due to lie He said CNG stations are in state until a funeral on closed for five days in Punjab, Friday, but Maduro said Federal Capital and Azad millions wanted to see him, so Jammu and Kashmir, two days he will be displayed for an in Sindh and they remain open extra week in the military base for the whole week in Khyber from where he spearheaded a Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan. failed coup in 1992.—Online Dr. Asim Hussain said the

Zardari wants action against criminals across the board Monitoring cell to oversee targeted operation

NA okays NCTA Bill

President Asif Ali Zardari presided over. Sindh Governor Dr Ishrat Ul Ebad Khan, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Sindh Senior Minister Pir Mazhar Ul Haq, Sindh Law Minister Muhammad Ayaz Soomro, Sindh Local Government Minister Agha Siraj Khan Durrani, Sindh Finance Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Enam Memon, Sindh Chief Secretary Raja Muhammad Abbas, heads of law enforcement agencies and other high official attended. The president during the meeting directed Federal Inte-

rior Minister Abdul Rehman Malik and directed him to extend full cooperation to the LEAs in the city so as to assist them to keep the law and order. The President said that he did not want to listen to the reports but he would rather want to know what kind of action the LEAs had so far taken to curb the menace of the lawlessness. He directed the LEAs to take all preventive measures to keep the common man safe from the affects of the targeted operation against the criminals. The President directed the Federal Interior Minister to en-

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29 Brigadiers Gas load management promoted as restricted to Punjab: Asim Major Generals

Chavez to be embalmed

previous government gave a number of licenses to open the CNG stations which was not an appropriate policy. He said we have called this policy wrong at every forum and it should be

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Rs90b lost in power theft, line losses ISLAMABAD—Pakistan lost Rs 90 billion during the last five years in electricity theft and line losses, the Senate, upper house of the parliament was told on Friday. State Minister for Water and Power Tasnim Qureshi told the house that ‘a big mafia was behind the huge electricity theft. The Senate session chaired by Nayar

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ISLAMABAD—Army Promotion Board from Brigadiers to the rank of Major Generals presided over by Chief of Army Staff, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani in its meeting held here on Friday promoted 29 Brigadiers to the rank of Major Generals. A total of 190 officers (Brigadiers) were considered, said an ISPR press release issued here. Following Brigadiers were promoted Major General against vacancies being created due to retirement of Lieutenant Generals/Major Generals during year 2012/2013. The names of those promoted Major Generals are as under:- (1) Brig Sarfraz Sattar, (2) Brig M.Naeem Ashraf, (3) Brig Humayun Aziz, (4) Brig Qazi Muhammad Ikram Ahmad, (5) Brig Syed Shafqat Asghar, (6) Brig Muhammad Humayun Saleem, (7) Brig Bilal Akbar, (8) Brig Farhat Abbas Sani, (9) Brig Muhammad Ajmal Iqbal, (10)

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Obama: No ‘grand peace plan’ during Israel trip W ASHINGTON —President remains the only way for Israel launching a peace effort in six also make stops in the West Barack Obama is playing down expectations for a Mideast peace breakthrough during his upcoming trip to Israel, telling American Jewish leaders that he won’t be carrying a “grand peace plan” when he arrives in the region later this month. Obama, in an hourlong private meeting at the White House on Thursday, acknowledged that near-term prospects for peace are bleak, according to a person who attended the discussion. But the president said a deal with the Palestinians

to achieve long-term security. Israel’s political climate makes the prospects for jumpstarting peace talks all the more unlikely during Obama’s trip. Elections in January weakened Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who since then has struggled to form a coalition government. In his meeting Thursday, Obama said pursuing sweeping peace talks now would be premature, given that Israel is still working to form a new government. But he added that doesn’t preclude him from

months or a year, according to the person in attendance, who was not authorized to discuss the gathering publicly and requested anonymity. Netanyahu recently asked Israeli President Shimon Peres for a two-week extension to build the coalition, putting his new deadline just ahead of Obama’s expected arrival in Israel. The White House has not announced the dates for the president’s trip, although Israeli news media have reported he will arrive on March 20. Obama will

Bank town of Ramallah, and Jordan. The president sought to restart peace talks in 2011, but the effort collapsed within weeks. Palestinians refuse to resume negotiations unless Israel stops building settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Netanyahu says talks should resume without any preconditions, and he has allowed stepped-up construction in the territories since the United Nations moved to recognize a de facto state of Palestine in No-

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PM inaugurates Centaurus ISLAMABAD—Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf on Friday inaugurated a most modern shopping centre Centaurus here.

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RAWALPINDI—Secretary Election Commission of Pakistan visited Military Operations Directorate, General Headquarters on Friday and discussed issues related to provision of security during conduct of elections. According to ISPR, the army authorities assured all possible support to ECP to ensure peaceful environment for the elections. More details of sensitive areas/ polling stations will be worked out by ECP and shared in next meeting scheduled after announcement of election dates. Meanwhile, Election Commission issues Code of Conduct for Observers The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has handed over a proposed election sched-

ule to the government, Director General (DG) of the commission Sher Afgan said Friday. According to DG ECP, the commission has proposed to hold general elections on May 8-9, while it has also informed the government the electoral schedule should be issued before March 21 following the dissolution of assemblies on March 16. Sher Afgan said the ECP should receive the nomination forms within six days after the issuance of schedule, whereas scrutiny would be completed in the next seven days following the submission. He further said that the president would announce the date of elections after which final election schedule would be issued. In another development, Election Commission of Paki-

stan has rejected the government’s reservations on new nomination forms and these forms have been sent to the government for review. Sources are of the view that the Election Commission has analysed the government’s reservations on new nomination forms and has concluded that all the reservations cannot be eliminated or come under discussion. The amendments presented by the Commission were very essential and these should be approved at the earliest, they added. Moreover, the Election Commission will soon send the reservations of the Law Ministry and the amendment to the President of Pakistan. Meanwhile, Secretary Election Com-

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Kuwait introduces visa relaxation policy for Pakistanis I SLAMABAD —The Govern- dent visas of male children nies having state-owned Pakistanis. Further relaxation their wives to Kuwait. ment of Kuwait has introduced a policy to relax visas for Pakistan nationals working in the public sector of the country. Under the policy, Pakistani workers in Kuwait can now bring their families to Kuwait without restriction. They can also issue depen-

up to the age of 15 and female children up to the age of 18 as long as both the employee and his wife have valid residences in Kuwait, said a press release issued here. Furthermore, Pakistanis can obtain a commercial visa to work in first-class compa-

shared. The new measures announced by the Government of Kuwait would ensure greater employment opportunities for Pakistanis in the long run in Kuwait. It would also help in relieving their hardships especially for the divided families of expatriate

is expected in due course. Earlier the Government of Kuwait had imposed a visa ban of all types for Pakistan nationals. The situation had created a critical problem for large number of Overseas Pakistanis living in Kuwait. They even could not bring

The Federal Minister for Overseas Pakistanis took up the case with the Ambassador of Pakistan to Kuwait who discussed the matter in detail with the leadership of Kuwait during visit of the Prime Minister of Pakistan to Kuwait.—APP

PPP sure to win people’s support in elections: Raja ISLAMABAD—Prime Minister nications Arbab Alamgir Khan downtrodden. He said that Khan to inform the people of sues pertaining to his minisRaja Pervez Ashraf has expressed his confidence that the people of Pakistan will vote the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) into power in the upcoming general elections on the basis of performance of SHANGAL: Local residents hold a demonstration in support of their demands at Aloch present government. He was talking to Minister for CommuBazaar.

Two killed in accidents SHAFFAAT MALIK

Corruption of billions causes people restive SHER GONDAL M ANDI

B AHAUDDIN —

Mumtaz Tarar, ex-MNA has

T ALAGANG —Two persons attributed all turmoil gripping

died and another two sustained injuries in different accidents in Talagang. A motorcycle rider died on the spot and his companion sustained injuries when a truck struck him on TalagangMianwali road near village Awkal. The deceased was identified as Muhammad Latif. The injured was shifted to THQ hospital, Talagang. In a separate incident a biker Jahan Dad, in his early thirties, resident of Diwal died when a van hit him at Talagang-Chakwal road. His body was shifted to THQ Hospital Talagang. The deceased was going for shopping for his marriage. After the mishap, the van caught fire. TMA Talagang’s fire bridge arrived on spot and controlled the salutation. The local residents said that they informed 1122 Chakwal but they never turned up as usual.

and Mrs. Asma Arbab Alamgir, MNA, here at Prime Minister House on Friday. The Prime Minister said that despite many challenges, his government has delivered and served the people of Pakistan, adding, the PPP is the party of common man and

the country to unabated corruption in government departments and institutions. He alleged that corruption of about fifteen billion rupees was taking place on daily basis without fear of impunity, adding unless this menace is not weeded out condition of our people would further deteriorate. He was addressing a large gathering of PML-N workers at the eve of kicking off election campaign in NA 108. People in thousands attended the gathering held in Cinema Ground which turned into large public meeting and impressive show of strength in

favour of Mumtaz Tarar. He said his aim to contest election was to ensure protection of basic human rights of the poor and downtrodden. He said rulers were exploiting the commoners and looting the national resources. There was no accountability and evil of corruption had destroyed all national institutions causing prolonged power load shedding, poor law and order situation, price hike and increased terrorism, he added. A tense situation was prevailing in the country and people were leading life under fear and insecurity. No one was happy with the rulers since their performance had been anti people.” How would you win election without enough money to

bear expenditure of election campaign? People ask me and I answer them that money was not the only factor for winning election. Referring to past election he said he won NA seat three times when his rivals spent huge amounts to allure the voters but they failed to defeat him. Similarly, he said he was certain to win NA seat in the upcoming election. Referring to his past sacrifices for the people he said that he was sent to jail first time during Ayub Khan Era for raising voice of the poor. During Bhutto government he was beaten by security personnel during a rally against the then government and sent to jail where he passed three months. Again in Musharraf rule he was detained in jail but despite all

this torture and difficulties he never bowed before evil forces. Highlighting his manifesto he said he after reaching parliament would set up industrial Zone in Mandi Bahauddin where ten thousand people would get jobs. He would ensure that cases in trial courts are decided within three months. Police would not involve any person in false and fake cases. Proterction of human life would be ensured by improving law and order situation. Steps would be taken to weed out corruption from government departments. He said best way to overcome problems and difficulties of the masses was that people should bring those in power who are honest, competent and sincere to them.

PPP has always come into power whenever free and fair elections were held in the country. “We believe in the verdict given by the people of Pakistan as they are the masters of their free will,” he added. The Prime Minister asked Mr and Mrs Arbab Alamgir

Cervical Cancer: A mounting threat to women population STAFF REPORTER RAWALPINDI—Cervical cancer is the most common cancer among woman with 500000 cases every year throughout the world but its effects are mounting very high in developing countries like Pakistan, India along with African and North American countries. Renowned gynaecologist Professor Dr Rizwana Chaudhry said this while addressing a media briefing held to mark International Women. She said that cervical cancer is the cancer of mouth of uterus, which is a curable disease and can be controlled through vaccination. Developed countries have overcome this problems, she said.

GUL HAMAAD FAROOQI CHITRAL—People of Chitral

were facing great hardship in getting fresh fruit and vegetable as its market was loSTAFF REPORTER cated at some distance from local market. Hence a wholeP ESAHWAR —Power supply sale market was inaugurated from 132 KV Peshawar Indusfor fruit and vegetable for the trial Grid Station will remain first time under the auspices suspended due to some necof Chitral Municipal Commitessary repair and maintetee from which commodities nance work on March 10 will be supplied to the retail(Sunday) from 8:30 A.M to ers on controlled prices. 2:30 P.M. resultantly the conAt the opening ceremony sumers of 11 KV Kohat Road, Deputy commissioner, Industrial Estate, Deh Chitral Rahmatullah Khan Bahadar, New Dehbahadar, Wazir, was chief guest who Murshadabad feeders will unveiled the plaque to forface inconvenience. mally inaugurate the market Power supply will remain near Atalique bazaar. Speaksuspended from 132 KV ing on the occasion he said Hussai Grid Station on PESHAWAR: Supporters of Pasban Pakistan chant slogans for release of Dr Aafia Siddiqui while sitting in protest that the establishment of the March 12 (Tuesday) from camp. market was much needed 8:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M. since long to provide fresh resultantly the consumers of 11 KV Ismaila, Kalu Khan, Bakhshali, Shabazghari, Musa Khat, Rustam, Karnal I SLAMABAD —Drug Regula- try in Asia that is introduc- sule, injection etc. of a drug that with the help of this softSher, Yar Hussain, Dobain, tory Authority of Pakistan ing this new software namely shall be traceable in any part ware Pakistan National IndusShawa, Bala Ghari feeders will (DRAP) has decided to launch ‘D-Drug Software’ and the of the country with the help try will flourish and increase face inconvenience. new software to control the software will eliminate the of this software while the sub- exports, and Pakistan industry Similarly, power supply counterfeiting and spurious spurious drugs entering into standard drugs declared by credibility will also increase. will also remain suspended drugs entering into market. market while the culprits in- the laboratories can be D-Drug software is alfrom 132 KV Dargai Grid Sta- The decision was taken dur- volved in this criminal activ- stopped from dispensing ready fully operative sucOUR CORRESPONDENT tion Sunday (March 10, 2013) ing a meeting held in DRAP ity will be identified and will right away. PPMA Vice Chair- cessfully in Belgium. Many from 8:00 A.M. to 3:00 and attended by Nasir M. have to face penalty. Also man Nasir Qureshi said that other countries are in the M ANDI B AHAUDDIN — P.M.resultantly the consum- Qureshi, Vice-Chairman with the help of this software, this software will be very help- stage of implementation of Leader of Pakistan Awami ers of 11 KV Sakhakot, Agra, PPMA and Anthony Dunnet, the expired drugs information ful to eliminate counterfeit, this software. The software Tehreek (PAT) Dr Raheeq New Mian Khan, Old Main President (International can be obtained and patient smuggled and substandard is a great task taken up by Ahmed Abbasi has said elecKhan, Hero Shah, Kot feed- Health Partners) (WHO) be- can be saved from them as medicine from the country. CEO, DRAP and huge retion would not be held in a ers will face inconvenience. side officers from DRAP, said they may be taken out of shelf He appreciated the source mobilization will have free and transparent manner Meanwhile, power sup- a press release here on Friday. before time. DRAP’s initiatives for intro- to be done to fully implement unless the election commisply will also remain susAccording to DRAP, ducing new technology to the software in the best ad- sion was not reformed acAccording to details, Papended from 220 KV Mardan kistan will be the only coun- Each and every tablet, cap- check such medicines. He said dress of the patients.—APP cording to the provisions laid Grid Station.

DRAP new software to check counterfeiting, spurious drugs

T

Italian and the Australian, expressed conc o r d a n t notes on development in Pakistan, one describing bilateral ties as “excellent” and the other eager to develop the vast coal reserves of the country, expecting mining and refining companies from his country, to be able to develop that Thar coal as soon as the situation permits The Italian ambassador Adriano Chiodi Cianfarani during a speech at the Karachi Council for Foreign

Dry weather forecast I SLAMABAD —Pakistan Me- ing next 24 hours. The local teorological Department on Friday forecasts mainly dry weather in most parts of the country during next 24 hours. According to met office, Continental air is prevailing over most parts of the country. A fresh westerly wave is likely to approach upper parts of the country tonight (evening) and persist for 24-36 hours. In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, mainly dry weather is expected in most parts of the province during next 24 hours. However cloudiness with light rain is expected at isolated places in Malakand, Hazara divisions, GilgitBaltistan and Kashmir during next 24 hours. Whereas day temperatures will remain above normal 3-7øC in plain areas of the country. Dry weather is expected in most parts of the Sindh and Balochistan dur-

Met office has forecast partly cloudy weather for the city and its suburbs during the next 24 hours. On Friday, the maximum and minimum temperatures were recorded as 31.7 and 15.5 degrees centigrade, respectively. Humidity was recorded

as 75 per cent at 8am and 32 per cent at 5pm. Hot and dry weather is expected in city during next 24 hours. According to Met Office report on Friday, mainly hot and dry weather will prevail in the Sindh and Balochistan region.—APP

Relations in Karachi at the residence here of eminent businessman Kaleem Farooqi, described bilateral with Pakistan as “excellent’ looking eager to develop it further as potentials were immense. Italy and Pakistan, he felt happy, had maintained the best of relationship. The Strategic engagement plan , signed between the foreign ministers of Italy and Pakistan last month should give a more “structured framework” to already cordial relations between the two countries. Both countries shared common views on many key issues and that Italy recognized the sacrifices Pakistan had rendered in the war against terrorism. He recalled his country’s help in securing Pakistan a seat at the security council, and also its constant help at multilat-

eral forums, commending this country for endorsing global human rights instruments. Recounting his country’s help in education sector and in rehabilitation for the disaster victims in earthquakes and floods. In the cultural field, Italy has been engaged for 60 years In recovering valuable items in Swat, and also developing the Gandhara sites in Sindh. He said some 1,50,000 Pakistanis, settled mostly in northern parts of his country, have been great ambassadors of goodwill, and assimilation of societies, most being from Gujrat and Gujranwalla.A new generation of Pak-Italian army of students had always been remarkable in building a new world of cooperation. He said bilateral trade now stood at US dollars 1.25 billion dollars, but much greater potential existed

for its growth. The spirit behind the Council for Foreign Relations, Mukhtar Ahsan Suberi, and Kaleem Farooqi presented traditional Sindhi gift of Ajrak and topi(cap) to the Italian envoy, which he kept wearing for a long time and looked move by the cultural traditions of southern province of the country. A number of people including General ® Moeenuddin Haider, Admiral ® Khalid Mir, former ambassadors like Shahid Amin, and Mansoor Alam, elite businessmen, old guards from civil service and trade and industry, added charm to the gathering. Mr Kaleem Farooqi is an ardent flower lover. He maintains a beautiful garden at his house, and often wins prizes for love of flowers. Earlier this week he held a garden party at his

house in which a galaxy of people from all walks of life, including diplomats, were there to congratulate him on his passion for flowers and gardening. Kaleem and his wife Shaheen, are remarkable guests, and take great care in looking them after. Flower and fashion shows have been in vogue throughout the last week, until the Abbas Town blast heaped gloom on the city. The new Japanese consul general Akira OUCHI, here for two months, the new Vietnamese trade Commissioner VU Viet DZUNG, the Malaysian, Srilankan, and the Russian consul generals, Abu Bakar Mamat, Jindasa, and Andrey Demidov, were all keen involved at Farooqi’s residence on intimate discussions. It was a great party, an annusal feature with the

vegetable and fruit and putting an end to black marketing and profiteering. He warned the profiteers of dire consequences and asked them to strictly follow the rules and price list. He also directed executive magistrates and officers of administration to strictly check prices on daily basis and take stern action against the violators. The chief municipal officer of municipal committee Muhammad Zahir Khan said that the prices of fruit and vegetable will be fixed on daily basis in consonance with that of regional and national markets. He said that the prices of local fruit and vegetable will also be controlled here and only the superfluous quantity will be allowed to be sent to the down districts to arrest prices

in the area. Maulana Israruddin Alhilal complained of high prices of vegetable and fruit and said they were out of the reach of poor people as compared to Dir and other districts where its prices are very reasonable. Responding to his question Deputy commissioner said that no one would be spared who tried to harass the poor people and stern action would be taken against the profiteers. Tehsil Municipal Officer Karimullah, Rehmat Wali and others thanked the participants for attending the opening ceremony of new fruit and vegetable market (Sabzi Mandi). Besides others president of trade union Habib Hussain and General Secretary Haji Manzoor Qader also were present on the occasion.

No free elections till ECP reforms: Raheeq

Italian, Australian envoys keen in Pakistan progress WO of the friendly country ambassadors,

try. The current political situation also came under discussion in the meeting. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf Friday said that Pakistan is an important and responsible member of the world community.—APP

DC warns of strict punishment to profiteers

Power shutdown in Peshawar, Mardan, Swabi, Dargai,

SALAHUDDIN HAIDER

the landmark achievements of the present government. He said that the record developmental work completed by the present coalition government is unparalleled in the history of Pakistan. Arbab Alamgir Khan briefed the Prime Minister about the is-

Farooqis. The Australian High Commisioner Peter Howard, who too was in Karachi, spoke keenly about Thatr coal development, relying on the tremendous experience of coal mining and exploration, its uses in his country for energy sector. During discussions with the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry members, he said he had already circulated among Australian coal companies prospects of That coal development, and they are keen to be here at an appropriate time. Prospects of investment in That coal, world’s biggest deposit of source of energy in Sindh, has been attracting the attention of the world, energy specialists particularly. The high commissioner looked keen on that.

down in the constitution. He was addressing a convention of PAT workers here on Friday. He said present election commission will not be able to work independently to block thieves, tax evaders and looters from contesting the election and there was a strong apprehension among the people that if election was held under the present election commission the same persons who had been looting national resources and exploiting the public with slogan of democracy would return to assembly and continue their malpractices. In our country, he said outside the courts balance of justice is displayed but inside things happen different. SC turned down petition filed by TMQ Chief Dr Tahir-ulQadri, on the ground that his loyalty was suspect for holding dual nationality which was questionable. He said his party was struggling to end the era of injustice, exploitation of the innocent citizens of the country by handful moneyed people who over the period had established monopoly over national resources. They take part in politics to promote their own interests and welfare of public is not on their agenda. When they say they would not let the democracy derail it means that they do not want democracy which allows public participation in making decisions. He said

holding of election is not his party compulsion. It was the compulsion of those who want to return to assemblies through stereotyped election system. He said 23 Dec public meeting at Minar-e-Pakistan Lahore arranged by TMQ to welcome their chief had jolted the rulers. Long March on 14 Jan and the sit-in at Islamabad had opened eyes of the rulers. He said Tahir-ul-Qadri had been recognized as great leader of Muslims and his struggle spread over last 32 years was bearing fruits in form of increase in his followers who had created awareness among the public about their rights. He said on 17 March another public meeting would be held at Liaqat Bagh Rawalpindi that would be attended by millions, where our chief would expose the true faces of the corrupt rulers. Earlier PAT workers welcomed Dr Raheeq Abbasi at Sat Sira and brought him in a big procession at the place of meeting. At the end of meeting Dr Raheeq asked local leaders of PAT to bring two hundred persons including women from each union council to attend the meeting to be held at Rawalpindi on 17 March instant. There are 65 union councils in this district and if 200 persons from each union council participate in the meeting their strength would be 13000 from this district.


PPAF honours KP women for outstanding courage, bravery PPP set to win polls Staff Reporter

P ESHAWA R —Khyber

Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Labour, Sher Azam Wazir has said that Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) will once again win the upcoming general elections from the whole country including Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA. He expressed these views while addressing a tribal jirga of the Frontier Region (FR) Kohat on the occasion of exhibition cricket match here Friday. He stressed on the tribal youth and elders for beside promotion of sports activities also establishing balance in all sectors of life and extending support to him for the resolution of the problems of the poor people of their respective areas. He called for collective utilization of energies for progress and development of the area. Wazir said that PPP is a recognized popular political force, which considers democracy and 180 million populations, as real source of power. He said that all southern districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa including tribal areas will give wonderful election results. He said that the people of the area have unflinching support for PPP and democracy. He said that out of the six Frontier Regions, FRs Kohat and Lakki are the most backward areas.He had started his political campaign from the areas of these tribesmen. He is fully aware that previous public representatives have taken not interest in the resolution of their problems. Therefore, he has come forward for the service of the electorates of Frontier Regions to mitigate the sufferings those who have been constantly ignored for last 64 years. Sher Azam Wazir said that after election from the National Assembly constituency of Frontier Regions, he besides, provision of basic facilities including gas, electricity, drinking water, communications, health and education sector will also give priority to initiating skill development schemes for the area.

UAF sub-campus at Layyah F AISALABAD —Vice Chancellor (VC), University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF), Prof Dr. Iqrar Ahmad Khan said the university would open a sub-campus at Layyah to provide quality agricultural education to the dwellers at their doorstep. The Punjab Government has approved the project and allotted land for the establishment of sub-campus, he said and added that the foundation stone will likely to be laid by the Punjab Chief Minster Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif next week. Talking to a delegation of 40th Batch of Common Training Program, Civil Services Academy, Walton, Lahore led by Academy Deputy Director Muhammad Rafiq at the Syndicate Room, the Vice Chancellor said the campus will cater the need of producing agricultural skilled manpower to increase the productivity of Layyah. He said it was the need of the hour to provide an opportunity of quality education to people especially living in far flung areas that would open up new pages of prosperity. He was of the view that Pakistan is blessed with four season and best agro conditions, but the lack of awareness about the latest practices were hampering the process of increasing per acre productivity. He said the university had revived the system of admission to FSc (pre agriculture) to get the committed students to the field. He said university was admitting the students on the district quota keeping in view providing equal opportunity to people of the deprived areas with developed areas.—APP

ISLAMABAD—Pakistan Pov- Amjad Ali. erty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) has conferred the second Amtul Raqeeb Award posthumously on five lady teachers, a medical technician and a lady health visitor, of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa who were gunned down by unidentified assailants on their way back from Sher Afzal Banda near Swabi Interchange on January 1, 2013. A simple ceremony was arranged here on the PPAF premises to mark the International Women’s Day and posthumously confer the award on five lady teachers namely Raheela Naz, Lubna Mahmood, Shohrat Bibi, Jamila Bibi, Hamsiyat Bibi, lady health visitor Nayla Naz and medical technician

On this occasion, PPAF also launched “Jab Himat Jawan Ho” a CD in Urdu comprising audio documentaries/case studies of seven PPAF- supported community members from across Pakistan who have come a long way to establish themselves as a successful women playing a significant role in socioeconomic development, says a statement issued by PPAF here on Friday. The deceased were employees of Support With Working Solutions (SWWS) - a PPAF Partner Organization - and working at Sher Afzal Banda in Swabi district. In order to recognize the meritorious services, PPAF awarded Rs 200,000 to the

Tarar distributes solar energy lamps among students BASHIR AHMAD RAHMANI Dr. Muhammad Iqbal Naeem, Gender Specialist Muhammad

H A F I Z A B A D — C h a i r m a n Arshad, DO Social Welfare District Education Committee Muhammad Bakhash Tarar on Friday distributed solar energy lamps among 16 students in Govt. High School Rasulpur Tarar while Shehr Bano Shirazi Principal Govt. Girls Model High Secondary School Hafizabad distributed solar energy lamps among 82 girl students who obtained more than 60 percent marks in annual examination. **** International Women Day was observed here today to create awareness among the public to endeavour to give due respect and dignity to the women and strive for their empowerment. A walk was organised by the Women Development Department which was led by DCO Farah Masood, Aalia Usman Tarar, EDO Education

Sarfraz Ahmad, Incharge Sanat Zaar Nawaz Gohar and large number of male and female social workers and teachers. The walk was started from Jinnah Hall and terminated in Vanike Chowk where the DCO while addressing the gathering said that women empowerment was key phenomena for bringing about substantiate socio-economic progress of every nation. No country could progress without woman education and empowerment and stressed for support and encouragement to the educated women and develop self confidence in them. “To educate a woman was to educate the whole society she said and added that it was imperative for all of us to take care of women’s education so that society could be made prosperous”.

HYDERABAD: Workers of different NGOs hold an awareness rally on International Women’s Day. legal heirs of each of the deceased. As one of the leading proponents of women’s economic and political empowerment, PPAF is particularly focusing on capacity building, skill development mainstreaming of women so that they could fully avail of development opportunities and improve their quality of life. Social inclusion, political mainstreaming and empowerment of women form the bedrock of change and transformation by PPAF. Access and opportunities for women are enabled through microloans, assets transfer and livelihood development. These are hallmarks of PPAF’s financial services for women. Business incubation trainings aimed at

entrepreneurial and skill development to help poor, especially women, set up and expand their own business are key to economic integration with private sector markets and value chains. The PPAF approach is to develop inclusive, representative, transparent and accountable institutions of the poor. The catalytic role of women in program design, delivery and impact is at the core of all interventions. The PPAF has provided awareness to over 300,000 women on freedoms and constitutional rights enshrined in religion. The PPAF also engenders women-only as well as mixed men and women groups’ institutions of the

poor at village/community level. Women are 62 per cent of the mixed community organizations formed by PPAF across the country. As many as 51 per cent are the women among the total beneficiaries of PPAF’s credit & enterprise development component, 49 per cent of water, energy & infrastructure, 62 per cent of social & community mobilization, 56 per cent of basic health & primary education, 41 per cent of institutional development & skill trainings and 47 per cent of livelihood enhancement & social protection. The ceremony was attended by close relatives of the deceased, representatives from local government de-

partments, SWWS Chief Executive Javed Akhtar and Team PPAF. Last year, PPAF instituted Amtul Raqeeb Awardin recognition of sterling bravery and sublime courage of Ms. Amtul Raqeeb, a program officer at Balochistan Rural Support Programme (BRSP), Quetta (Balochistan). Ms. Amtul was shot dead along with two other colleagues on way back to Quetta after performing duties in Mastung on January 24, 2011. Her immense contribution in capacity building of local traditional birth attendants resulted in significant reduction of motherchild mortality rate in the inaccessible regions of Balochistan.—APP

Students are precious asset, need proper nourishment, jobs M HALEEM ASAD

T IMERGARA —Youth especially students as a precious PPP expanding BISP asset for every nation need MULTAN—Former prime minister and PPP proper nourishment, empowsenior vice chairman, Syed Yousuf Raza erment and intellectual elGilani said that Pakistan People’s Party egance to become the agents would expand Benazir Income Support of social change and develProgramme (BISP) after winning the upopment. In this regard the coming general election. Addressing a Department of Sociology, public meeting at Dogar House here, he Social Work and Psychology congratulated the people of South Punjab deserve the arrogance to over passage of the bill with two-thirds equip the students with bamajority in the Senate for creation of new sic skills and dexterity to province. He said the PPP had always rencompete the prevalent social dered sacrifices for the rights of common people. Gilani critievils with sophistication. cized the Punjab government and said that it did not generate In order to attain the meneven a single megawatt (MW) electricity during the five year KOHAT: Muttahida Deeni Mahaz leader Zubari Anjum addressing a public meeting at tioned goal, the training was tenure, adding that the PPP government has added 3,400 MW Kotwell Masjid. given to students on Active electricity in the national grid. He said that terrorism and exCitizens Programme orgatremism were national issues and urged the all political forces nized by Sustainable Peace to evolve a joint strategy for eradicating the twin monsters and Development Organizafrom the country. He said that new province was possible in tion supported by British just one day if the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz extended its support and added that first time he had announced about creation of new province in public meeting at Jalalpur Pir Pakhtunkhwa, Emergency STAFF REPORTER Wala, three years ago. He hailed the PPP leadership and apRescue Service (Rescue1122), M ULTAN —Chairman Board preciated 70 senators who voted for the bill of Bahwalpur PESAHWAR—Secretary, Re- Peshawar at G.T Road/Near of Management Nishtar Janoobi Punjab (BJP) province.—APP lief, Rehabilitation & Settle- Daewoo Bus Stand, Peshawar Medical Institute (NMI), ment, Rasheed Ahmad visited here on Friday. Director Gen- Khawaja Jalaluddin Romi, District Head Office of Khyber eral Rescue 1122 and Director said on Friday the governCivil Defense, Dr Shams-ul- ment should build more pubHaq, welcomed him. lic hospitals for south Punjab Q UETTA —Violence against Director General Rescue people. “Nishtar Hospital is women in west is pretty 1122 highlighted the Services the sole big public facility for higher than east, said Secrebeing provided by Rescue people of south Punjab tary Information Balochistan, 1122. He said that he is proud which welcomes patients Sarwar Javed here on Friday. of his rescuers for the fact from far and wide,” said Addressing at a ceremony that they had reduced the Khawaja Jalaluddin Romi held on the eve of World international emergency re- while addressing a press Women Day organized by sponse time from 7 min to 5 briefing at committee room of the Women Development min 4 Seconds as an average NMI here. Accomapnied by Department in collaboration during last year, which was Principal NMI, Dr Samee with UN-WOMEN and made possible through Akhtar, MS Dr Javaid Umer, UNESCO, he said that immaproper planning, manage- Dr Ejaz Malik and Dr Zafar ture media in Pakistan conment and monitoring of the Alvi, added that the total bed trary to the facts, depicts disservices. mal picture of the women capacity.—APP

Secy relief, rehab lauds Call for more active role of Rescue-1122 hospitals in South Punjab

Council which concluded on Friday, said a press release issued. A certificate distribution ceremony was held in this connection to acknowledge the efforts of students for conducting the social action projects on different issues. Prof. Dr. Johar Ali (Vice Chancellor, UOM), Mr. Raza Shah (Executive Director SPADO), Dr. Arab Naz (Chairman, Department of Sociology, Social Work and Psychology), Mr. Kamran Khan (Coordinator ACP SPADO) and representatives from different social organizations were present at the occasion. The Vice Chancellor distributed the certificates among the students and highly appreciated their

noble mission. There is a prior need to link the academia with the market in order to bridge the gap, utilize the intellectual power and bring sustainability in the vulnerable region of Malakand, the Vice Chancellor added. In his address, the Vice Chancellor highly exalted the efforts of Dr. Arab Naz and emphasized to continue this mission that ultimately raise the students’ capacity and image of UOM. Raza Shah paid a vote of gratitude to the university’s management and ensured his all time assistance to the students and university in terms of trainings, workshops, infrastructure development and research activities.

‘Violence against women higher in West than East’ rights. “The cases of violence against women reported overnight in New York city of USA are much higher than reported throughout year in Pakistan,” he said adding it is Islam and our culture that gives due respect and dignity to women folk. Criticizing the west Javed said they always blame us of suppressing women and subjecting to violence but it is their traditions to send elders to old

homes not ours.” Why the NGOs and other organisations working on rights paint negative, there is much positive to be covered and tell the world how the rights are protected in our society and women is secure,” he maintained. UNESCO head in Balochistan Qaiser Jamali said that it is high time to cast an objective eye on where we stand and reflect on the obstacles that remain.—APP

Farewell to many-splendored innings of Haseeb Ahsan

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T was my former PIA col league and live PR man Ch. Bashir, who called me this morning from Karachi to break the tragic but not unexpected news of the passing away of Haseeb Ahsan. Haseeb has been critically ill with multiple health problems lying almost in a coma for past few days in Agha Khan Hospital. Although I had not met him for a long time since leaving Karachi, I was lucky to speak few words with him on phone about 3 days ago in his hospital bed with the help of his attendant Abid, also a friend. Naturally it was a one way process as he could listen not able to speak.

My friendship and close association with Haseeb went a long way back since he had joined PIA, ap-

Hafeez Kardar to induct him in Pakistan team on their maiden 1956 tour of Westindies as an off-spinner and

in his remarkable career which apart from spanning cricket (as a player, chief selector, and an administrator) also took him to distinguish him as a successful airline executive in PIA in its golden years and subsequently playing a key role in its international chain of overseas hotels. Subsequently he was able to a eke out a new career with American Express in their Travel Division to become its country head and then emerge as a consumnate diplomat to the lrish Consulate in Karachi. He had many achievements to his credit inpointed by the then airline babe of the side along with cluding his efforts to set up chief Nur Khan. A cricket another youngster, Ijaz a full-fledged sports departprotégé discovered by Butt, he never looked back ment in the airline. He also

enjoyed a wide influence Muzzafar founder of NIT throughout his career as he and a senior ranking official of the Finance Ministry. Although his cricket career was most unfortunately cut short by unseemingly and shameful intrigues of some of his team mates, Haseeb remained at peace with himself and never let these reverses’ upset him or let down his noble spirits. Forever he remained a man who helped countless people and would always he remembered for his qualities as a superb and matchless human being. May God bless you Haseeb, and Haseeb Ahsan grant solace to your family had easy access to many top members and especially to personalities being the son Hanif Muhammad, with of a senior and distinguished whom he was particularly civil servant, late M.A close for many many years.


Unwise decisions of last Cabinet meeting

MEDIA WATCH

Iraq invasion: A total waste

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HE Federal Cabinet, on Thursday, held its farewell meeting and took pride in the statistical data about frequency of its sessions and decisions taken as well as implemented. Self-satisfaction of the PPP notwithstanding, the fact remains that the Cabinet in its last meeting as well maintained the tradition of passing on unnecessary burden to the common man and took some of the decisions that are aimed at pleasing powerful and influential feudal class and would also complicate security dilemma of the country. The most controversial decision of the Cabinet is permission given for import of prohibited and non-prohibited bore arms/weapons, which speaks volumes about Government’s reading of the prevailing poor law and order situation and hollowness of commitment to address it. All over the world, civilized societies are placing curbs on proliferation of arms and in Pakistan too there has been consistent demand since long that all types of illegal weapons should be recovered on war footings as this is one of the main factors responsible for nose dive in security situation but the Government has strangely allowed import of arms that is likely to add to the problem. Similarly, cabinets and other decision-making national forums make decisions for collective good but the PPP Government has the distinction of providing relief to the privileged classes. Throughout its tenure, the Government resisted popular demand for imposition of agriculture tax and instead increased procurement price of wheat by over hundred percent and now it has earmarked hefty Rs 12 billion as subsidy for landlords on the pretext of facilitating farmers. Again, the decision to accept demand of the gas companies, which was opposed by the regulator, to increase the limit of the Unaccounted For Gas (UFG) means Rs. 5.50 increase per unit in the price of gas for the consumers. This effectively means fleecing and burdening the consumers to protect and benefit those who steal gas apparently in connivance with gas officials as is done by WAPDA officials. The ECC of the Cabinet is also pursuing the same approach of showering favours on well-connected classes as it is providing all sorts of incentives including uncalled for freight subsidy to encourage export of sugar only to keep its domestic prices on higher side. What a mockery and misuse of authority!

PML-N’s peoplefriendly manifesto O

NE of the two major parties of the country — PML-N — on Thurs day announced its much-awaited election manifesto covering almost all issues of interest and concern to the country and people of Pakistan. The document unfolded by the party Quaid Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif at a press conference in Lahore envisages a number of people-friendly initiatives and plans, which, if implemented in letter and spirit, have the potential to bring about a meaningful transformation in the socio-economic life of the people. Given the downslide in economy over the last five years, the party has rightly described economic revival as its number one priority, which would not only put the country back on track but also help resolve many problems of the common man. Mian Nawaz Sharif has promised revolutionary reforms in economy, education, health, trade, agriculture, information technology, science, industry, infrastructure and other sectors. The party has also held out an assurance to youth, women, labourers and minorities to take practical measures for their betterment and empowerment. Darkness in which the country has been pushed is one of the most worrying causes of our economic woes and therefore, the PML-N has pledged to tackle the crisis within two years, which effectively means people will have to be patient for two long years. The commitment to raise minimum wage to Rs 15,000/- would definitely be welcomed by the working class and hopefully it would be done in the beginning and not at the end of the tenure if voted to power. The target to push exports to $100 billion seems to be too ambitious given the security situation and limited options available to meaningfully attract local and foreign investment. However, the plan to overcome losses of Rs 500 billion per year by restructuring public sector entities like Pakistan Railways, Pakistan Steel and PIA is definitely workable and only needs sincerity of intention and the will to deliver. People would also welcome the announcement to initiate meaningful dialogue with people of Balochistan and new dimensions in the Foreign Policy as well as operation clean up in Karachi and steps to ensure speedy delivery of justice.

Crush Layari criminals once for all A

DAY after the Supreme Court of Pakistan reprimanded the Sindh Government for its inaction to check the deteriorating law and order situation in Karachi, reports suggest operation clean up at one of the troubled spot of the city viz Layari. According to reports, Rangers have sealed all entry and exit points and are carrying operation against criminals. We have been hearing off and on about launch of operation in Karachi but at the end of the day these proved to be mere eyewash. But now the situation has plummeted to such a grave level that such gimmicks would not work and a serious surgical operation will have to be carried out to crush once for all the criminal gangs in Layari. For this to happen, the political parties will have to close their eyes towards their own petty party interests and cooperate in the larger interest of the city and the country. It is also ironical that instead of taking advice of the Supreme Court seriously, the Chief Minister chose to castigate the court just to hide inefficiency and inability of his administration. We may also point out that Layari is just one spot that requires action as there are many other areas as well where writ of the Government is nowhere to be seen and mafias are ruling. There is, therefore, need to expand the scope of the operation to wipe out all criminals from all areas without further loss of time.

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Karzai’s vitriolic prisoners’. Such an attitude could stall efforts for peace and reconciliation initiated by Pakistan authorities. Afghan Mohammad Jamil Unfortunately, President Hamid Karzai Email: mjamil1938@hotmail.com somehow finds an excuse to criticize Pakistan. He lashed out at Pakistan over akistan indeed is playing an a statement by Tahir Mehmood important role in the peace Ashrafi of the All Pakistan Ulema process of Afghanistan. For- Council, who is alleged to have said eign Office Spokesman, Moazzam that suicide attacks in Afghanistan are Ahmed Khan in a statement has re- lawful because NATO troops are initerated Islamabad’s firm commit- vaders that have occupied the counment to any dialogue process with try. Karzai argued that since Ashrafi Taliban and Afghan government that was appointed to the peace delegation ensures peace, stability and prosper- by the Pakistani government, it follows ity in Afghanistan. On the recom- that Islamabad was backing his views. mendations of Afghan High Peace Meanwhile, Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi Council (AHPC) that Pakistan had told an American news agency that released and handed over 26 detain- ‘his comments had been taken out of ees to Afghanistan. And Pakistan is context and that he considered suicide willing to hand over more if re- bombings un-Islamic’. quested by the council and the AfThe fact of the matter is that last ghan government. The release of month a delegation of Afghan Ulema Taliban prisoners by Pakistan has visited Pakistan to seek the support of come across a temporary halt due to Pakistani religious scholars for the renewed distrust between Islamabad proposed Afghan Peace Conference and Kabul. Afghan authorities have planned to be held sans participation claimed that many of the 26 mid- of the Afghan Taliban. Tahir Mehmood ranking to senior Taliban leaders Ashrafi, addressing a Press conference have returned to the Taliban ranks. at Lahore Press Club had said that the But Pakistan is not responsible for objective of the Afghan Ulema delegathat, and it was the responsibility of tion was to consolidate Karzai rule and the peace council and Afghan gov- malign the Taliban resistance. Presiernment to see to it that they do not dent Karzai apparently vented out his go back into the Taliban fold. How- anger over these comments by ever, under the new mechanism Pa- criticising Pakistan. But there are quite kistan would send lists of Taliban a few other reasons for President prisoners to the Afghan HPC, which Karzai’s frustration. He has routinely would give its consent. tried to deflect the myriad issues hauntOn the other hand, Kabul ing his government by accusing Pakigovernment’s refusal to hand over stan of one thing or the other. On Taliban leader Maulvi Faqir Monday, NATO’s Secretary General Mohammad, who has recently been was in Afghanistan and called on the captured by Afghan Intelligence in Afghan government to ensure free and the eastern parts of Afghanistan on fair presidential elections scheduled the pretext that two countries do not for next year. He also asked Afghanihave an agreement on ‘exchanging stan to fight corruption, boost women’s

News & Views

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rights and strengthen the rule of law, adding that these will be the key to maintain stability within Afghanistan, and support within the international community. On several occasions, Karzai was also warned by the US and Britain that they would stop aid to Afghanistan if corruption was not rooted out. For Karzai, these warnings are an excuse to use vitriolic against Pakistan; the country that was severely affected during the Afghan jihad, and has suffered in men and treasure since it joined the “war on terror”. Disregarding Pakistan’s security concerns, he has signed strategic pacts with India and the US. Karzai’s other frustration is that according to the constitution he cannot have another term as president. He, however, wants to see his nominee win the 2014 presidential elections. This is highly improbable though. He is hated by the Taliban who consider him a puppet of occupying powers. Karzai did nothing to accommodate Pushtuns in the administration, and the consequences of completely sidelining Afghanistan’s majority ethnic group are becoming clearer as his international supporters prepare to leave. He sat helplessly when the occupiers packed up the new power structure with their buddies from the Northern alliance 0- Afghan ethnic minorities of Tajiks, Hazaras and Uzbeks. International media, after some short hiatus, has also started propaganda and once again projecting Pakistan’s tribal areas as hub of global jihad where thousands of foreign fighters are provided shelter, training and financial support. The aim is to malign Pakistan on the pretext of nurturing terrorists, organizing their training camps and providing them weapons and financial support for their activities against coalition forces in Afghanistan and undermine its role

after US/NATO withdrawal in 2014. They conveniently forget that Pakistan’s security forces recently launched operation against foreign militants, and they have constrained the space for foreign operatives, as their infrastructure and hideouts have been dismantled. Foreign militants now focus on the sanctuaries/training camps in Nuristan and Kunar provinces of Afghanistan, where TTP leaders and Fazullah’s thugs are ensconced and operating to attack Pakistani posts and citizens in the bordering villages. They appear to have linkage with Al Qaeda. But there are indeed reports that Al Qaeda’s foreign affiliates who once traveled to Pakistan are now joining Al Qaeda’s affiliated groups such as Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) Al-Shabab and Al Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), for which Al Qaeda provides them expertise, weapons and communication skills. Western intelligence officials also believe that a number of Al Qaeda operatives and its affiliates in Pakistan (FATA) have found sanctuaries in ME and Africa. The Economist of November 2012 in its report stated: “The biggest challenge in 2013 in Africa, for its governments and the West’s alike, will be to turn back a tide of extremism, especially as Al Qaeda moves westwards from the Middle East into the sands of the Sahara. After being chased out of Afghanistan in 2001 and having failed to find comfortable sanctuary in Iraq and Yemen, the extremist Islamist group is trying to plant its tents in the almost empty expanse that stretches inland from the coast of West Africa”. The US and the West should chase the Al Qaeda leaders operative in above countries rather than Pakistan. —The writer is Lahore-based senior journalist.

Strategic setting & South Asia sponsible for social fragmentation and destruction ceded Rana Athar Javed only in exchange of “another” historic future uncerEmail: ma_javed@hotmail.com tainty of a peaceful South Asia. Wrongly, the first step to implement “new” US strafter years of trying to reach tegic calculation, has begun with coa victory in Afghanistan, we ercing Pakistan on the matter of Pakcame to the conclusion that Iran gas pipeline project, its negative only a negotiated settlement with the impact on Pak-US relations and, help of regional partners, especially again threatening for sanctions – Pakistan can save the reputation of without looking two steps forward top class military alliance of the that only an economically stable and world. Ironically, the US which has prosperous Pakistan can sustain the been playing solitaire of peace can- share burden of establishing peace in not sustain its so-called status with- Afghanistan. Designingstrategic out partnering with Taliban in Af- settingin South Asia should not be ghanistan. The growing interest in programed without a peaceful Middle al-Qaeda & company of North Af- East; else this policy will be a step rica and neutralizing Iranian nuclear toward generating further hatred ambitions is mirrored in the with- against the US and its Western allies, drawing planning of the US. Noth- the civilian casualties, loss of control ing better exemplified for the sign- over energy and oil resources by naing off from Afghanistan than dis- tives, and thereby economic sufferpatching advance Special Operation ings for billions of Asian population. Forces and technical support teams With all the evidence of human and to Africa and Central Asia.In the economic sufferings from Iraq and past, disagreements and coercive Libyan war projects, the new US dipdiplomacy have become causes of lomatic/defence and security team missed opportunity of historical pro- should devise a plan for the establishportions; no superpower could carry ment of peace without opening up out strategic calculation without other war fronts. looking two steps forward, but the The idea of withdrawing from US/NATO did not even prefer to be Afghanistan in 2014 therefore should strategically creative. As one of the also become a pedestal to unilaterdriving force behind Afghanistan’s ally withdraw from the strategic zone miseries, the President Karzai’s gov- of South Asia, because the declared ernment never fully engaged in re- US objective of peace requires a comsolving the basic issues of Afghan prehensive role of regional powers. population, especially the rampant The roadmap for peace in wider. corruption of state officials. South Asia needs ultimate reforms in Indeed, a year before the with- the current mandate of Afghan govdrawal of US/NATO combat troops ernment, and through addressing the from Afghanistan, motivation out of control private contractor intorebuild Afghan society remains a dustry in the Afghan society. It may matter of conjecture to this day. Con- also be at the expense of lesser physisequently, all previous strategic cal presence of US forces on whom thinking, which held the Taliban re- much of the NATO forces pinned its

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hopes, but toward the end of this year security situation in Afghanistan could become dismal — if the US or Israel engages Iran militarily OR international standing on the use of mercenaries and civil war as goals worth sponsoring “change of regimes” gets wider acclaim in the Western world. By going as far as the French and British troops went in Mali, and in a unilateral process opposition to a separate Palestine state by the major powers bloc would indicate unwillingness to sacrifice for a next peaceful decade. The whole diplomatic process appears to be frozen on the matter of conflicts in almost every part of the world and hence the regular criticism of the US and West is that the major economic powers are just trying to offload their responsibilities. Recognition of the limits of military action in mostly Muslim countries is now merged with the necessity to overcome domestic economic crises, and an apparent partial replacement of the US by a China. Whereas, the mighty military force of the US and NATO is viewed as a source of vital strategic depth, the continuous violence, death and destruction brought by the major Western powers in different parts of the world is becoming more of a liability. Previously, the US support to Pakistan and Afghanistan did not come cheaply; the current US approach should consider bearing responsibility of rebuilding economies of both countries that would have to be resolved within the framework of partnership. By withdrawing comprehensively from South/Central Asia will also directly impact the way US and NATO’s presence is perceived in the region, and hence the importance of diplomacy could be reinvigorated. To be concluded, each day raises new and complex security issues for

both Afghanistan and Pakistan. To illustrate the ramifications of increased violence in the region, primarily diplomatic issues are being transformed as military problems. Similarly, the need to provide funds for electricity, gas, education and healthcare services to millions of inhabitants has become irrelevant for international organizations. For a peaceful strategic setting, demographic considerations by the US should become a procedure to engage the popular opinion on the regional peace. Whereas, a negotiated settlement of Afghanistan would inevitably lead to promoting further peace in the region, with critical ramification for the international security, the importance of resolving the Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan will help surmounting the political obstacles of the twentieth-century. If the original decision to withdraw from Afghanistan in 2014 would represent an historic step for peace, it is possible to synchronize the regional relations out of economic concerns for the future generations of South Asia. The US and NATO cannot be confident of the way conflict zones are expanding because military presence of major powers, especially the US have impacted the lives of millions in the Middle East and South Asia. Hence, it is important to understand that growing gap between the US and its allies cannot be managed by threats and offensive diplomacy. Importantly, the future vulnerabilities require a balanced approach where all must work together in addressing the rapidly emerging economic, and energy needs of next generations. —The author is a Denmark-based National Security Expert and Defence Analyst.

HE final judgment on the US invasion of Iraq and its cata strophic consequences for the country and its people has very much been delivered in a US report just published. Though “Learning from Iraq” deals with the waste and ineffectiveness of US money spent on rebuilding the country, its conclusions can be applied to the whole US involvement in Iraq from the 2003 assault on Saddam Hussein. In his final report before his office is wound up, the Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, Stuart Bowen concluded that Washington’s $ 60 billion rebuilding effort had “achieved little.” Bowen had analyzed many hundreds of audits and site inspections conducted all over Iraq and visits to a large number of Iraqi and US officials and politicians. The bottom line of his findings was that at least $ 8 billion had simply disappeared through corruption, poor security and a breakdown in communications with Iraqi authorities. The remaining $ 52 billion had not been spent effectively. Nor is this by any means all that the United States wasted in its Iraq intervention. The war and subsequent occupation cost in the region of $ 800 billion and nearly 5,000 US lives. The butcher’s bill for Iraqis was considerably higher. No accurate figure is ever likely to be known, but 170,000 dead between 2003 and the end of last year seems to be a conservative estimate. To this must be added many more people who have been maimed for life, as well as tens of thousands of widows and orphans. And this year of course, as the three-year-old national unity government of Nuri Al-Maliki proves ever less national and ever-more incapable of unity, Al-Qaeda terrorists are taking an almost daily toll of lives, with bombings and shootings, designed to re-start inter-ethnic violence. For Iraq and its people, the decision by George W. Bush to topple Saddam Hussein was a calamity. It was also a disaster for US big business, which assumed blithely that once the dictator was ousted, a grateful Iraqi population would have welcomed US oil and construction companies into the country, awarding lucrative reconstruction contracts and generous new licenses for oil and gas exploration and production. Bush and his family were oil men. His Vice President Dick Cheney had been boss of the oil firm Halliburton. Many of the neocons who surrounded Bush were linked to some of the largest American corporations. It was even suggested that during the assault on Iraq by cruise missiles and bombers that besides military objectives, Pentagon war planners were given target lists of installations and infrastructure that needed to be damaged, so US contractors could go in and win contracts to rebuild them. Indeed in the early days of the occupation, there was something of an unseemly struggle among the US and its allies, to win contractual work. The British were particularly bitter that they were losing out regularly to US rivals on some of the biggest reconstruction jobs. In the event, a significant number of the contracts won by American firms never began or were ultimately abandoned, when security in the country spiraled out of control. Implicit in the “Learning from Iraq” title of Bowen’s hard-hitting report is that Washington will somehow take on board the lessons of its multiple and costly failures in Iraq. It seems clear that Bowen is also pointing to the US involvement in Afghanistan, where so far no less than $ 90 billion of US taxpayers’ dollars have been poured into reconstruction, billions of which are known to have found their way into the bank accounts of corrupt and venal officials in the Karzai government. Yet in Iraq, the disastrous waste of life and coin came about not because of a dearth of auditing and supervision. It occurred because of a total lack of understanding on the part of a White House hell-bent on achieving a few narrow objectives, without giving any consideration whatsoever to the likely cost of the unintended consequences of the invasion. —Arab News Parents are the bones on which children sharpen their teeth. Peter Ustinov —British actor


Security threats endanger elections Voice of the People

own security and safety. While in Quetta army rule was debut not given and Ali Ashraf Khan manded governor’s rule was introduced Email:balti@super.net.pk due to political expediency to install another rubber stamp legislature and government. Given nother blast has wrecked Pa the weak performance of the governkistan, this time the port city ment at the center and in the provof Karachi and within that the inces this hasn’t made any visible difShia neighbourhood of Abbas Town. ference. Despite all this the centre is Where 50 people are reported to have in a rush to end governor’s rule at the been killed by a huge blast when the earliest disregarding the security situpeople had just finished their Maghrib ation for playing yet another politiprayers in the adjoining mosque that cal game of appointing a provincial also injured hundreds of people and caretaker setup from their own camp destroyed houses, shops, cars and followers to oversee the next elections electrical installations of these middle if they take place. class families. Though the affected Unfortunate killings in Karachi are not exclusively Shias only but this day in and day out have now acquired seems to be another sectarian attack a new dimension. Some years before, after the two attacks on Quetta’s all these killings were considered Hazara community lately that has more of sectarian in nature and partly killed hundreds of Hazara people and linked to the extortion mafias in the wounded even more. This obvious business and financial hub Karachi. rise in sectarian violence seems to Due to politicization of administrahave taken the government and se- tive machinery, the security personcurity forces by surprise. nel and strategic installations also In both cases in Quetta and became their target. Now, bomb Karachi the government response blasts and suicide bombing by target was weak and delayed and police and killers have started taking a heavy toll rangers seem unprepared to tackle the on the people of Karachi and Quetta. situation because law and order does The terrible mess that the business not seems to be of any importance hub of the country is in has become a rather they are more efficient in do- cause for serious concern of every ing protocol duties of VVIP’s and segment of the Pakistani society, extheir own police officers these days cept those at the helm of affairs both and public is told to arrange for their in the city of Karachi and the coun-

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try. No body is concerned about flight of capital and entrepreneurs taking place from Karachi, where everywhere large multistoried plazas are under construction, which is seen by economists as a black scar on a nations economic health and nobody is pushed on why the wheel of productivity is jammed. As a direct result of this apathy going on in Karachi the situation is as volatile as in Quetta with the difference only that Karachi is much larger than Quetta infected with multiple problems, while the civic amenities have gone bad to worst. Here also on the scene of this tragedy, the government institutions such as police and rangers were lacking in presence for hours after the blast and the citizens and neighbors were left alone to help themselves in this cruel mess. People were running around searching for their loved ones and passers by started searching in the rubble for bodies and survivors unequipped. While the Blast happened shortly after Maghrib no police was seen until after 11pm. One correspondent who was at the blast side reported the following:” Heavy contingents of police, Rangers and FC were deployed in the nearby area of Mohatta Palace in Clifton, due to the engagement ceremony of Sindh Chief Minister’s Advisor Sharmila Farooqui. Many high ups of the federal and provincial government, including Prime

Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf were present in the ceremony but no one visited the blast site till filling of this story.” With this attitude of the sitting government, which in the course of their five years of (mis)rule has damaged all government institutions and allowed the security situation to go out of hand the serious question arises if this is the time when elections can and should take place. With lives of the candidates, election campaigners, voting staff and voters under threat how can a democratic vote be expected? The commitment of General Kayani to democracy should imply that the security for the holding of elections in the absence of capable police and rangers is with the army when two members of Election Commission of Pakistan have expressed it as an uphill task for them. Before there is no major improvement in the security situation there can’t be any elections, otherwise if the out come of all this is going to retain status quo then future of teeming millions appears to be doomed. That was very aptly described by Poet Philosopher Allama Iqbal, when he said: “Khuda ney Aajtak Oss Qaumki Halet nahi badali; NA ho jisko Khayal Aap apni Haletkey Badalney Ka.” Meaning that God does not change the destiny and circumstance of any nation that has no desire in them to do something for that change. God bless Pakistan.

Voice of Kashmir: Syed Ali Geelani Muhammad Daheem Email: muhammaddaheem@gmail.com

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he Indian government is afraid of 83 year-old man. This man is firm and resolute in his efforts to liberate Kashmir from the Indian clutches. Syed Ali Gillani, a great political leader, freedom fighter and true voice of Kashmir, was born in Badipora on 29 September 1929. He started his political career in 1950. He completed his education from Oriental College, Lahore. He has spent almost all of his life for the cause of freedom and spent more than a decade in prison for the same cause. He has been fighting against Indian imperialism since several decades. He is the Chairman of the Tehreek-eHurriyat Jammu and Kashmir in occupied Kashmir. Geelani initially formed the Tehreek-e-Hurriyat in the prime of his youth. Later on, he joined Jamaat-e-Islami Jammu and Kashmir. He re-established his original party in 2003. It is now known as All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC). Geelani had been suffering from renal cancer and recommended by doctors to go to UK or US for special treatment after removal of his left kidney. His passport was seized in 1981 because he was fighting for

the cause of freedom. Moreover, the US turned down his request for visa because he criticized US policy of war in Iraq. It was a clear violation of human rights. For the last two years he has not been allowed to offer Juma prayers during his stay at Hyderpora residence in Srinagar by Indian forces. Geelani was not allowed to pray Namaz-i-Eid at Hazratbal on September 8, 2010. Ironically, he was kept under arrest on that particular day “for disturbing peace.” It is also an open violation of basic human rights. From time to time he was imprisoned particularly before fraudulent elections in the occupied valley. He always called these elections “sham polls”. He is, in fact, a herald of freedom for the people of Jammu and Kashmir. In November 2011 he made protest against objectionable and antiIslamic “satanic audacity” material on Facebook. Several clashes occurred in the occupied Kashmir between the police and the protestors for the cause of Islam. Geelani, a strong advocate of the liberation of the people of Kashmir, has a strong desire to fight against Indian imperialism till death and liberate occupied Kashmir from the clutches of India. Slavery, in no way, can be justified in the civilized world.

Geelani firmly believes that Kashmiris must be given right of self determination through fair and free plebiscite. His struggle for freedom is appreciated all over Pakistan. He is a great advocate of union of Kashmir with Pakistan. Ali Geelani is a torchbearer and leading star for the people of Jammu and Kashmir. The valley, once a dreamland in the world, now presents the sad spectacle of bloodshed and atrocities of Indian forces. It is pertinent to mention here that India still holds 7 lakh Indian forces in the valley of Kashmir to harass the people and oppress freedom movement. Geelani is a great critic of Indian imperialism. He often blames India for broken promises. Several times he made fervent appeal to the people of India “to heed the sufferings of the people of Kashmir.” Arundhat Roy is perhaps the only voice in India who is supporting Geelani and freedom movement in Kashmir. Pakistan is supporting “the indigenous struggle of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, morally, diplomatically and politically.” Geelani is not against dialogue with Indian administration in occupied Kashmir to resolve the Kashmir issue. The question is: what are Indian intentions? Geelani believes that talk should

be fruitful and meaningful. It should not be based on delaying tactics and to deceive the people of Kashmir. It should be without any ifs and buts to resolve the Kashmir crisis. India cannot keep hold on the situation in Kashmir for a much longer period. Thousands of people have been martyred for the cause of freedom in the occupied Kashmir since 1947. Farooq Abdullah, the puppet administrator, strongly opposes plebiscite in the state, saying that dialogue is the only way forward to solve the Kashmir issue. Geelani says that Sheikh Abdullah sold Kashmir just for the sake of power and Farooq Abdullah is trying to create “superficial peace��� by arresting the Kashmiri youths. The Indian government is trying to gain sympathies of the nations through false propaganda and deception. It should know that it can never legitimize its illegitimate desires and wishful thinking. The matter of fact is that whole valley has been corralled in a big prison. Ironically, the champions of freedom of thought and expression are completely silent, not raising any voice for the people of Kashmir. Indian media is trying to hide the reality from the world.

Views From Abroad

Iran is more than a movie A Rahman Al-Rashed

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HE latest Oscar-winning film, Argo, portrays the story of six American Embassy officials who sought refuge in the Canadian Embassy in Tehran during the early days of the Iranian revolution. The film has kicked up a flurry of emotions. The film is a brief chapter in the tense relations between the US and Iran. The relation has worsened further in recent years. Nobody ever imagined that the standoff would continue this long, even 33 years after the embassy occupation without any end in sight for the disputes, sanctions and proxy wars. In the three decades after the revolution, the world has changed. The global situation and leadership are no longer the same. Governments have fallen and alliances have been

changed. Still, Tehran has remained nearly the same. On the other hand, the country has only sharpened its viciousness and violence displaying a hunger for greater influence in the region. The Soviet Union has vanished and China has undergone considerable change, and even Vietnam and Cuba have opened their doors to the US. The regimes of Saddam and Qaddafi have passed into oblivion. Concepts concerning international relations, such as globalization and telecommunications, have undergone radical changes. Even the concept of influence and sovereignty in their meaning and content has changed. Yet Iran still clings to its Khomeinist ideology, whose mantra carries deep hatred to what they call “the Great Satan” (a derogatory Iranian epithet for the US) as a result of their ideologies and policies. At present the “Great Satan” is hated because it does not permit Iran to

achieve its two dreams: Acquisition of nuclear bombs and establishing supremacy in the region. It is clear that the superpowers would never allow the rogue state to have nuclear arsenal that would enable it to destroy sources of oil and destabilize the whole world by arming terrorist organizations, and so it is likely that the superpowers would resist Iran’s untiring efforts to achieve regional supremacy. The taking of US Embassy officials as hostages was an expression of pentup anti-US emotion and the US Embassy may well have been one of their first targets. Indeed, the passing of time has not altered the attitude of Iran. The effort of some of its leaders to change the status quo over the past three decades and bring the country to the ranks of respected countries has failed. The first such leader was its first president Abu Al-Hasan Bani

Sadr. His story is a real drama, even more sensational than Argo. He fought against the Shah of Iran along with Khomeini for over 20 years and won the first presidential election of the republic against seven other candidates but was sacked by Khomeini after one year, the latter having accused him of not being successful in countering Iraqi forces. He had to flee Tehran to the Turkish borders disguising as a soldier. Another rare Iranian politician was Mohammad Khatami, the fifth president of the republic who won with a landslide 70 percent of the votes. Hundreds of politicians, religious scholars and thinkers who were the sons of the revolution were persecuted despite their staunch support for the Khomeini regime. They all failed to make any change in the mindset of the political system of Qum.—Arab News

Something will grow..!

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t’s been nearly a year since the well in my colony was dug. I re member the contractors telling me that the ground was all rock, “Just dig!” I’d told him, and his men did. At ten feet, the rock became a harder variety, but I had urged them on. Today that same well which was finally dug twenty feet has supplied a million and a half liters of water and is going strong, despite a harsh summer approaching. A group of seminarians decided to plant a small vegetable garden

outside their hostel. It would consist of tomatoes, squash and cucumbers and the only financial investment required was for them to get a wheelbarrow, a pickax and a spade. The place didn’t allow much space for a garden, but they were determined that a small, sunny area of the stone-covered dirt parking lot could work well. However, permission would be needed and they feared that getting their superior’s okay might be no easy task. The three seminarians explained their idea to him. His response was a tilt of the head a pronouncement. “You’re wasting your time. Nothing will grow there.” But he allowed them to go ahead if that was what they wanted to do. Reluctant permission is still permission and the three young men began work. First they put stones

around and outlined the garden. Then they slammed their pickax into hard dirt, turning clumps of earth upside down. What they discovered just a few inches beneath the surface brought smiles to their faces. It was a gardener’s dream: dark, composted, fertile soil, likely the result of a former refuse area. Still grinning broadly, all three looked at one another and said in unison, “Ah, nothing will grow there!” The garden, though small, turned out to be spectacular. In fact, tomatoes grew so vigorously they finally topped off at seven feet tall. Nothing will grow there indeed! Don’t believe the words “nothing will grow there.” Especially when assessing your own life. As long as you are alive you can grow and

change. You don’t have to stay the way you are. Almost anything you desire can grow within you. What do you need? Courage for a difficult task? Hope and optimism in your despair? Strength or persistence? Faith in something greater than yourself? Rekindled trust in other people? What is it you need? Deeper understanding? A greater capacity for love? Inner peace or joy? Don’t believe that nothing will grow there. When you assess your own life, consider it with the eye of a gardener. Underneath the surface lies rich, fertile soil waiting to nurture the seeds you sow. Even more than you can imagine will grow there if given a chance..! —Email: bobsbanter@gmail.com

First steps for change MUKHTAR BUTT

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he government and opposition are still not on the same page as far as caretaker Prime Minister is concerned. It would however have been more appropriate if caretaker PM was picked up from Baluchistan which has always been neglected in the past. As and when the caretakers assume the responsibility, the first action the PM should take is to replace all heads of institutions like PIA, CAA, Railways, Pakistan Steel, EOBI, OGDC, PSO, FIA, IB,PTA, FBR including politically appointed ambassadors, commercial attaches abroad with qualified and deserving foreign service regular officers. All institutions where retired generals have been appointed should also be changed with honest and competent civil officers who enjoy good reputation. This should be done within two days of taking over as caretaker prime minister. Establishment division should keep ready the list of junior officers who have been promoted in higher grades by passing senior and competent officers. All promotions made during last three months without merit to give benefit to party loyalists should be rescinded. Amnesty scheme introduced to regularize smuggled vehicles should be annulled to favor the privileged few and stop further entry of smuggled cars in different cities of Pakistan. All luxury cars like Mercedes, BMW and Power wagons be withdrawn from all users including defence forces. Certain organizations and corporations transfer vehicles on depreciated values if the period is less than specified period of 5 years and beyond 5 years it is transferred free of cost. This practice should immediately be banned. All corruption cases against senior officers already reported in the press should be brought to an end and culprits punished accordingly. No one to be paid more than MP-1 grade in any institution of Pakistan. All consultants appointed any where in any organizations should be removed; Pakistan has enough talent to care about the issues. Like the previous caretaker PM he should refrain from allotting plots to any category of officers and avoid going on foreign trips until and unless it is absolutely essential and in the interest of the country. He should bring in fresh and experienced persons as his personal staff and should place no reliance on old hats. I am sure if these measures are taken the country shall get a sigh of relief and so the nation. —Karachi

Education system in Pak M YOUSUF SHAFIQ The word education is derived from the word educate which means to” enable an individual to distinguish between the truth and falsehood, the good and bad, the right and the evil doing.” Education plays a vital role in the progress of the society as well as the country. It helps to differentiate between the right and the wrong. It helps to think about different and new ideas. It determines the status of the people in the society in which they are living in. The government is responsible to provide favorable environment and places where the citizens can acquire knowledge without any hindrance. As we are living in the global village we have an easy access to the recent discoveries and researches. We should benefit from the latest scientific achievements. In Pakistan the education sector has been neglected for the last 65years.The teaching methodology in Schools, colleges, universities must be revised from primary to university level. The H.E.C should be made an autonomous institution without any political affiliation. In national budget, education sector is treated as an unimportant sector. The minimum possible fund of 2% of the G.D.P that is allocated to education is again embezzled by the ministry and its sub- offices. We couldn’t get rid of thousands of ghost schools and ghost teachers in sixty five years. The research works that are halted for several universities including KU and NED and other universities across the country due to lack of funds. Computer education must be provided from primary to graduation level. —Via email

Role of spy agencies MUHAMMAD SUHAIL The role of spy agencies has become doubtful, obscure and grey area for common men while military agencies are bounded up in counting the death toll of Baluchistan’s and Karachi’s people. Additionally, one question is arising in the mind of every Pakistani that whether military agencies are hand-in-glove with proscribed anti-state outfits as during the era of x-chief of Army staff Zia-ul-Haq & Pervez Musharraf. In addition to this, it is true that General Zia bred the seed of sectarian extremism and General Pervez Musharraf further promoted it. Moreover, many banned groups are interlinked with each other and working together towards the common goal. Since its inception, Pakistanis have been remained sandwich between state and anti-state actors’ established by the real powerbroker of Pakistan. This nation salutes their armed troops who have been fighting at the border for the cause of Pakistan and many of them have been martyred for this country. Let’s move forward towards our praetorian politicians. Recently, the chief Minister of Punjab uttered statement in the favor of anti-state actors, sparked large public outrage and asked whether PML-N is with banned outfits or against it? On the other hand, the judiciary of Pakistan used to release the desperadoes of outlawed militant groups. To whom this hapless nation blame for this situation? Sadly, we all are tribal, we think tribal, we fight tribal. As a result, we have PPP, PML-N and etc. tribes and the army tribe and the judiciary tribes. They all blindly follow their bosses at the expense of Pakistan and its nation. Hence, please for God sake, this nation is requesting humbly to the bosses of these tribes that

kindly save Baluchistan’s, Karachi’s ate companion and a guide. and FATA’s people from the internal —Via email and external enemy under the guise of different faces. —Karachi

Parents children relationship SHAMSA KANWAL RAJA One of the major social issues, in the context of Pakistan, unfortunately not addressed comprehensively is of sensitive relationship between parents and children. To be more exact the absence of the realization of the intensity, gravity and sensitivity of this relation leads to a quagmire where conflict arises that further entangles this pure relationship. The appropriate scrutiny of this dire reality unfolds a pathetic truth that significance of parenting even in the context of religion Islam has not been understood which actually has a unique role in the formulation of better human society. Unlike animal, human has a role in the creative process of God without whose understanding the evolution of human society from animal state to human, being the crown of all creations, would never be possible particularly in the context of Islam. Human is the only entity that unlike other living beings has been endowed with free will and intellect and very close observation of a human crawling child and animal’s can reveal how human is free to pounce on any eatable or non-eatable to take into mouth where as instinct of an animal keeps it confined to only those eatables that are meant for it. This observation can expose a fact that from the very childhood a child is, by nature, inclined to act freely; a clear manifestation of thinking brain. This characteristic of act freely is entirely an unrealized phenomenon particularly in the context of third world countries like Pakistan. In the European world the sense of parenting has been realized to a greater extent but in developing countries like Pakistan where social fabric is an intricate reality with low literacy rate, gender disparity, sectarianism and many more issues parenting is even a vague idea. Beyond any doubt even among educated class parenting is considered to be fulfilling responsibilities like providing best education and some other needs and what as a human a child needs may be a matter of concern for few parents. The absence of such realization on the part of parents initiates the widening of gap particularly at an early age of a child whose activities entirely remain confined to observations which in later age, either after some education at high school or penetration into society in any way, strengthens his belief of either being the most neglected human or slave to the whims of his food providers. The aftermath in most of the cases is chaos as a child either spoils him or herself in many ways known to us or develops a rebellious attitude towards parents in particular and society in general. This pathetic and unrealized phenomenon never allows any society to emerge as a civilized one. Societies with the profound understanding of parenting as a vital role in the formulation of civilized human society and children as a pivotal extension of futuristic human endeavors have progressed tremendously. In the realm of human societal evolution begetting a child is entirely a matter of a great purpose and it’s not an animal sexual exertion. This realistic understanding of human’s presence on the surface of earth would extinguish overwhelming pessimism that prevents parents from shaping the personality of a child as a free and independent human entity which in result can bridge the gap between two generations. This realization could easily turn the attitude of parents being a despotic ruler into an affection-

Make women rights real

MUHAMMAD UZAIR NIAZI No society can attain the objective of advancement and prosperity until women in that society are given their rights. International Women’s Day has been observed since in the early 1900’s, a time of immense development and turbulence in the industrialized world that saw blooming population growth and the rise of radical ideologies. Immense disturbances and critical debate was occurring amongst women. Women���s oppression and disparity was spurring women to turn into more voiced and energetic in campaigning for change. Then in 1908, 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter hours, improved pay and voting rights. Women clasp an important place within any society, so it is significant that their rights must be appropriately delivered. In Pakistan, women are facing different problems within the fragments of the society. Our religion Islam has also given a significant importance in delivering the rights of women, with a true spirit. The status of women in Islam is matchless. Islam gives women her proper place in society and honour him with high respect as mother, sister, daughter, etc. In the light of Islam, both man and woman are equivalent. None of them is inferior or superior. The Holy Qur’an declared that “whoever works righteousness, man and woman, and has faith, verily, to Him will we give a new life that is good pure, and we will bestow on such their reward according to the best of their actions” (16:97). The communal, financial and every kind of protection which Islam provides to woman no other religion can even come close to it. In the honor of woman, Prophet (PBUH) said “A man who has a daughter and he neither despises her nor buried her alive nor prefer son to daughter, Allah will admit him in heaven.”(Abu Daud) Islam is a complete code of life, for all the Muslims, where women enjoy a proper position and rights. Our constitution also emphasizes on the proper deliverance of women rights, so that they can be properly streamlined. Unfortunately it has been observed that women in Pakistan are having a massive exposure to violence, unemployment, etc. Women in Pakistan constitute 51% of the population bust still we are not in a position to facilitate such a massive work force with education, employment, basic rights etc. The international community celebrates the International women day, to ignite the spirit of women rights, worldwide. They formulate different policies and make them practical, so that the women of their country can be properly streamlined. On this International women day, I would like to emphasize, that our women are a great asset for us, and it is very important that they must be equipped with their rights, that are given to them by our religion and constitution. The role of women is destabilized at so many diverse levels that she feels deeply disappointed and discontented. Unfairness against women must be brought to a conclusion. Now is the time to be aware of that woman in genuine, have an essential role to decide the direction of social transformation. —Mianwali

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

—Editor Email:editorial@pakobserver.net


Building Communities: How Poor People Are Unlocking Their Own Potential MASOOD UL-MULK

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ural support programs (RSPs), a model built on empowering communities through a bottom-up approach, offers an important lesson for development programs. Programs often adopt a topdown “one size fits all approach” that does not achieve long term sustainability as RSPs. Instead, RSP representatives first engage in discussions with locals to define the top priorities of the community as a whole, which they can advocate for with local governments through the community organization exercises that follow. Case studies from Pakistan show how water, sanitation and energy access has improved using this approach. Evaluations by the UN, World Bank and DFID each praise the program, and the model is now incorporated into India’s national rural livelihoods mission. Although measuring improvements to social capacity is difficult and a long-term process, international development needs to focus more on these sustainable models. At a time of austerity and destabilising socio-economic and political conditions, a holistic approach to international de-

velopment is required. It should acknowledge the role social, political and feudal factors play in development, and recognise the fallacy of a one-size-fits-all approach. One model that encompasses this diversity is rural support programmes (RSPs), the key principles of which have been applied in countries including Pakistan and India. At its heart, the model preaches a simple lesson: that holistic, organic and adaptable approaches to long-term development can be achieved when driven by the needs, priorities and direction of local communities themselves. The RSP philosophy of community self-help works because it doesn’t impose preset development plans from above. No amount of central planning can accommodate the countless variations at grassroots level, and the approach creates the space for poor communities to play an active role in their own development. The model focuses on helping communities to build strong local institutions, and only then facilitates those institutions in addressing other development challenges. Introduced to Pakistan in 1982 through an Aga Khan programme, the methodology

entails RSP representatives hold- a larger structure addressing the links between local government, reliant organisations that have ing public consultations with vil- entire village’s development donors, NGOs and the private empowered more than 12 million lages to determine their needs and needs. The final tier, which op- sector. women and enabled access to $1.3bn from commercial banks in 2007-08 alone (pdf). The Indian government has now made the RSP approach part of its central policy under the national rural livelihoods mission, with 13 other states following the Andhra model. In Pakistan, the model has proven effective across the most remote and tribal regions, including Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, a province that is the focus of much US security concern. Despite the challenges this region has experienced, by utilising grassroots social mobilisation, the Sarhad programme (the largest regional RSP NGO) has helped to empower women and has delivered more than 6,700 energy, water and sanitation projects. A 1998 UN Development Programme evaluation of RSPs said: “The model is unique. It is highly responsive to commuThe Medak district: In 15 years, self-reliant organisations have empowered more than 12 nity motives and aspirations within the context of community particimillion women. pation … [and makes it] feasible establish a collective commit- erates at the local government By leveraging the support of to unlock the productive and enment to organisation. level through union councils the communities that seek assis- trepreneurial potential of Pakistan’s The model comprises three (elected local government bod- tance, the model has engendered rural people. tiers of community organising. ies), consists of village represen- huge growth in short periods. In ” Independent evaluations The lowest tier operates at house- tatives. This tier focuses on set- the Indian state of Andhra commissioned by the World Bank hold level, consisting of networks ting out a development agenda Pradesh, for example, in 15 years in 2004 and by the UK’s Departof 15 households. This supports for its members and building the rural poor have created self- ment for International Develop-

ment (pdf) in 2009 also strongly endorse the model. However, the RSP model does have an achilles heel. The focus on institution building extends the development process for a longer period of time than target-driven aid programmes tend to allow. The building of schools or roads is more quantifiable than the creation of community organisations, even though the long-term benefits of social

strengthening civil society. The model upholds civil society as central to addressing the economic, socio-political and cultural causes of poverty. Even in tribal Pakistan, some old feudal hierarchies have been slowly and subtly challenged by enhancing the role of marginalised groups through the provision of leadership roles and vocational training, and by microfinance

At a time of austerity and destabilising socio-economic and political conditions, a holistic approach to international development is required. It should acknowledge the role social, political and feudal factors play in development, and recognise the fallacy of a one-size-fits-all approach. mobilisation outweigh the shortterm benefits of one-off aid programmes. This may explain why, despite the endorsements of the RSP approach, it is not always a favoured recipient of aid. Ironically, it is precisely this social mobilisation component of the RSP approach that resonates most with a key plank of international development policy –

schemes that promote economic independence. For donors’ development concerns to be addressed, more must be done to support these holistic approaches, which enhance democratisation from the bottom up and ultimately lead to the greatest development returns. Al-Jazeera. —Courtesy: Guardian

Readying Europe for This Global Age UN Investigator Urges US CARL BILDT

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urope is taking the neces sary economic steps to en sure peace within its own borders. But, as Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt writes, Europeans cannot have peace at home if it has turmoil just beyond its borders. Europe must rise to the challenge of helping to create as large a sphere of well-governed and reasonably prosperous states around it as possible.

For all the progress achieved in Europe since then, there have also been substantial setbacks. Quite late in the century, we could not prevent a decade of conflict from erupting in the Balkans, much as had been the case near the beginning of the century, with all the human suffering that followed. Let us not forget the positive, though. What at the time of German reunification was still the European Community changed into the far more ambitious European

Europe faces ongoing debt crisis…. Union, due to having 28 memNext year, it will be 100 ber nations, including the accesyears since a fateful shot in sion of Croatia this summer. Sarajevo unleashed those guns What we have done is to of August, which were made fa- provide an anchor for open somous by Barbara Tuchman and cieties, open economies, the rule the then-British Foreign Secre- of law and freedom for the 100 tary Sir Edward Grey. million people living in Central Call me a Europe optimist, and Eastern Europe. These valif you will. The economic turn- ues had been denied to them for around battle will be won. Look- two full generations and someing out from his magnificent times much longer. office, Grey saw the lamps go The change has been nothout over all of Europe and won- ing short of astounding. Take the dered when they would come on Polish capital Warsaw. again. What followed was deNot that long ago it was a cades of destruction, dictator- grey city in an oppressed counship, division and darkness. try with a decaying economy.

LUKE HUNT

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espite the rhetoric, South east Asian governments have been slow to tap their oil reserves. Fracking could make progress even slower. Oil and gas have long held the promise of untold riches for Southeast Asian countries. Yet, success in the region has been mixed: Brunei has flourished and Malaysia has seen steady progress, but Burma, Cambodia, the Philippines, Vietnam and East Timor have struggled to exploit their reserves. Negotiations with oil companies and powerful neighbors are already tough as it is. However, the advent of hydraulic fracturing (a.k.a. fracking) will make this process even more difficult, especially when it comes to developing reserves in the South China Sea, the Gulf of Thailand, the Timor Sea and the Andaman Sea. The term “fracking” refers to the practice of making fractures in rocks and rock formations by injecting various fluids into cracks to force them to further open. The bigger fissures permit added oil and gas to gush out of the formation and into the wellbore, where it can then be extracted. This in-

Now, it is a bustling and colorful metropolis in a rapidly growing economy of a country with its new free voice in the councils of Europe and the world. At the same time, we have been struggling — and still are — with getting the mechanisms of deeper economic, financial and monetary integration right, notably within the eurozone area. But for all the present doom, I find it important to point out that decisive steps have been

taken. Substantial reforms to budgets, labor markets and public administration have been agreed upon by national parliaments. Europe has provided an anchor for open societies, open economies, the rule of law and freedom for the 100 million people living in Central and Eastern Europe. Deficits are being reduced. The burden of debt is gradually being tackled. The labor market reforms will show positive results, even though they do take time to come to full fruition. That is not political ineptitude

— rather, it follows the economic textbooks. We simply need to understand the asynchronicity of the laws of economics and the media. The latter always focus on transmitting the pain to the public at large, which is undeniably associated with these measures. The pain is immediate, and the payoff always comes later. The pain is news. The positive result, when it materializes, is by definition old hat and therefore not a “news” item.

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

We need to create as large a sphere of well-governed and reasonably prosperous states around us as possible. After the integration of the 100 million people of Central and Eastern Europe, we now have the 100 million people of Southeastern Europe knocking on our door. Turkey, with its vibrant economy and society, is the most important of these countries. Towards Europe’s South, we face a Levant in turmoil and tragedy. The civil war in Syria kills hundreds every day. The Middle East peace process is neither a process nor on the road to peace. Egypt is struggling vehemently with its future. We need to understand the asynchronicity of the laws of economics and the media. The pain is immediate and newsworthy. Success, which comes later, is old hat. And, immediately South of the Sahara, the Sahel region’s fragility was recently vividly illustrated in Mali. Helping to stabilize these regions and countries is a momentous task. We are talking about stability-promoting and state-assisting efforts that will have to be sustained for decades in order to have any chance of success. All of the tasks on the European agenda today are steep ones — reforming our economies, strengthening our integration, developing our institutions, and strengthening our neighborhood by promoting integration, rule of law and prosperous economies. There is a common theme that runs through all of these tasks and makes them part of a package: They are critical to make Europe truly ready for this global age. That is what our contribution to global stability is all about. Those who see the EU as self-contented, merely reactive or even evasive and not ready to shoulder its responsibilities could not be more wrong. —Courtesy Blobalist

to Pursue Bush-Era Abuses

The US government is under increasing pressure to investigate and prosecute violations of human rights and international law during the George W Bush administration as part of the global “War on Terror.” The UN special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights, Ben Emmerson, has released a report criticizing the Obama administrations unwillingness to pursue judicial accountability for human rights violations under the previous US government. So called black sites, in which detainees were denied basic procedural legal rights, were a particularly notable aspect of the report. Thus far, the Obama administration has proven unwilling to prosecute former administration officials or intelligence officers. It remains to be seen whether this recent report

ducted under his predecessor George W. Bush, there have been no prosecutions. “Despite this clear repudiation of the unlawful actions carried out by the Bush-era CIA, many of the facts remain classified, and no public official has so far been brought to justice in the United States,” Emmerson said in a report to the U.N. Human Rights Council, which he will address on Tuesday. Emmerson, an international lawyer from Britain, has served since August 2011 in the independent post set up by the U.N. Human Rights Council in 2005 to probe human rights violations committed during counter-terrorism operations worldwide. The “war on terror” waged by Bush after al Qaeda attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001 led to “gross or sys-

The US government is under increasing pressure to investigate and prosecute violations of human rights and international law during the George W Bush administration as part of the global “War on Terror.” The UN special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights, Ben Emmerson, has released a report criticizing the Obama administrations unwillingness to pursue judicial accountability for human rights violations under the previous US government. will persuade administration tematic” violations involving seofficials to reconsider their cret prisons for Islamic militant suspects, clandestine transfers position on this matter. and torture, Emmerson said. Under Obama, Attorney STEPHANIE NEBEHAY General Eric Holder said that the United Nations investi Department of Justice would not gator called on the United prosecute any official who acted States on Monday to pub- in good faith and within the scope lish its findings on the CIA’s of legal guidance given by its Bush-era program of rendition Office of Legal Counsel in the and secret detention of terrorism Bush era on interrogation. suspects. Ben Emmerson, U.N. But Emmerson said that usspecial rapporteur on the promo- ing a “superior orders defense” tion and protection of human and invoking secrecy on national rights while countering terrorism, security grounds was “perpetuvoiced concern that while Presi- ating impunity for the public ofdent Barack Obama’s administra- ficials implicated in these tion has rejected Central Intelli- crimes”. A Senate select commitgence Agency practices con- tee on intelligence, chaired by

A

What Fracking Means for Southeast Asia novative technique for tapping reserves has revolutionized the oil and gas industry. To be sure, many harbor deep concerns for the damage it can cause to the environment. Nonetheless, its ability to extend the life of existing oil fields has changed the industry’s outlook. The use of fracking is most suitable for mature energy producers with established markets, developed oil fields and infrastructure already in place. Countries such as the United States, Australia, Canada, and in Europe and Central Asia will benefit most from this innovative method. For example, disused oil refineries on the U.S. East Coast are being reopened to accommodate producers whose fields were once thought spent. Alongside extending the life of existing oil fields, fracking has helped to substantially lower oil prices. According to a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers, fracking could keep oil prices up to 40 percent lower than the lev-

els they were previously expected to reach by 2035. This means crude could be valued at less than U.S. $90 per

barrel, compared with the current earning in 2008 amid dwindling price of about U.S. $100 a barrel supplies. and the peak oil price of U.S. $145 “There’s no doubt fracking per barrel that producers were offers a technical solution to coun-

What Fracking Means for Southeast Asia…..

Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, investigated the CIA secret detention and interrogation program, including use of “waterboarding”, which simulates drowning. Bush, who authorized the CIA’s secret prisons overseas, said in his memoirs he had ordered the use of “waterboarding”, which rights experts consider a form of torture banned by international law. Emmerson said that the Senate panel was believed to have had unrestricted access to classified information for its comprehensive review, completed in December 2011. He urged the U.S. government “to publish without delay, and to the fullest extent possible” the Senate report, except for any information strictly necessary to protect legitimate national security interests or the safety of

tering rising hydrocarbon costs and helping end energy dependency on often volatile source countries,” Gavin Greenwood, a risk analyst with Hong Kongbased Allan & Associates, told The Diplomat. For the last ten years, Cambodia and Thailand have failed to reach a production sharing agreement over reserves held in overlapping claims. Likewise, the future of agreements East Timor has forged with Australia is uncertain. Meanwhile, an agreement on production sharing in the South China Sea is as elusive as the much vaunted Code of Conduct for dispute resolution. China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan all have competing claims. Gunboat diplomacy has dominated regional politics in the South China Sea and is particularly disheartening for the Philippines and Vietnam. Their claims surrounding the hotly contested Paracel and Spratly islands are particularly convincing. These is-

land chains are believed to contain vast reserves of natural resources, including oil. Conservatively, Cambodia has an estimated 400 million barrels within its jurisdiction. Prime Minister Hun Sen, who loathes criticism of his government’s handling of the issue, has promised Khmers that oil would flow and standards of living would rise by 2012. To date, however, nothing has been produced. Greenwood says that family elites involved with running many of these countries may have glimpsed a rare opportunity to pursue policies that would enrich themselves at the expense of their respective countries. “For most of the countries the problems of developing an oil and gas sector are technical and legal,” Greenwood said. “None of those above have the resources to develop their usually offshore oil and gas sectors without foreign investment and skills.” He added, “In the case of Cambodia, Vietnam and the Phil-

people identified in it. In November 2009, the Milan criminal tribunal convicted 22 CIA agents in absentia for their role in the kidnapping of an Egyptian Muslim cleric known as Abu Omar on a Milan street in 2003 “and his rendition to Cairo where he was detained for 14 months and repeatedly tortured”, the U.N. investigator said. Emmerson also called on Britain to publish the 2012 interim report of the Gibson Inquiry set up two years earlier to probe whether its security or intelligence agents were involved in any mistreatment or rendition of detainees held by other countries. —Courtesy Reuters ippines, competing territorial claims either with neighbors or with China also hamper development as oil/gas companies cannot justify the massive investment involved unless there is legal certainty over ownership and contractual obligations.” In short, these countries are becoming much less attractive as potential sources of oil given the diminished financial returns and improved oil and gas recovery rates from fracking, coupled with the political risks of doing business in these countries. East Timor has its own issues, in particular its sometimes prickly relations with Canberra and the Treaty on Certain Maritime Arrangements in the Timor Sea, which was supposed to guarantee the revenue split between Australia and East Timor for the next 50 years. Recently an agreement between East Timor and Australia expired and now Dili must decide whether to construct a liquefied natural gas (LNG) processing plant with operator Woodside Petroleum. Such a plant is necessary to develop the Greater Sunrise field. —Courtesy Diplomat


Army assures support to ECP during elections From Page 1 mission of Pakistan has given 11th March deadline to Law Ministry for approval of amendments in nomination papers. He stated on Friday, “As time is very short, if the amendments in nomination papers were not approved till 11th March, then we will order printing of old nomination papers”. Earlier on Thursday, Federal Law Minister Farooq H. Naek and Secretary Law Yasmeen Abbasey held an important meeting with Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Justice (R) Fakhruddin G. Ebrahimin which they conveyed concerns of politicians and suggested some changes in the proposed amendments from constitutional point of view in the nomination papers. LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif offering Dua during inauguration of Ladies Park in Tajpura On Feb 19, the ECP proScheme on Friday. posed some amendments in the nomination papers for contestants in the coming elections which, according to experts, would be an uneasy deal for traWASHINGTON—The US Senate said his delaying tactic was not a killings would be unconstituon Thursday confirmed John protest against Brennan’s quali- tional, saying there could be situBrennan as the Obama fications to lead the CIA, called ations, similar to the Japanese From Page 1 administration’s next Central In- it a major victory for American attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 civil liberties. He nonetheless and the September 11 Al Qaeda Brig Anwar Ul Haq Chaudhary telligence Agency director, over- voted against Brennan. attacks on New York and Washcoming concerns expressed by From Page 1 (11) Brig Muhammad Azfal, (12) Democratic Senator Ron ington in 2001, in which such Brig Faheem Ul Aziz, (13) Brig Republicans and some Demo- Wyden and Republican Senator killings might be appropriate. to women for their contribu Nadeem Raza, (14) Brig crats about the administration’s Marco Rubio, who helped Paul Ted Cruz, another Republi- tion in different sector of life. It use of lethal drone strikes. Muhammad Tayyab Azam, (15) After the administration draw attention to Obama’s drone can senator who tried to slow stated that in line with the day’s Brig Aftab Khan, (16) Brig Sher clarified its drone policy, Repub- programme during his lengthy Brennan’s confirmation, said that theme effective measures will be Afghun, (17), Brig Amer Aslam lican Senators allowed the Sen- speech, voted in favour of con- under questioning, Holder would taken to protect the women Khan, (18) Brig Abid Ejaz ate to vote on Brennan’s confir- firming Brennan. Paul’s mara- only declare that such killings against any kind of violence. Khaloon, (19) Brig Anjum The resolution was moved mation, which he won by a vote thon speech was the latest twist were inappropriate, but he evenEnayat, (20) Brig Iftikhar Aamir, by Dr. Nafisa Shah signed by the in a convoluted process that detually acknowledged they would (21) Brig Mushtaq Ahmad of 63-34. Republican Senator layed Brennan’s Senate confir- be unconstitutional. members of all political parRand Paul spoke for nearly 13 Faisal, (22) Brig Qaiser Anees mation for weeks. The administration has in- ties.—NNI Khurram, (23) Brig Muhammad hours on the Senate floor on The nomination became a creasingly used drone strikes to Wednesday in an attempt to get Muazzam Ali, (24) Brig Salah vehicle for Republicans and target militants overseas, particuUd Din Qasim, (25) Brig Jawad the administration to declare that some Democratic critics to pres- larly in Pakistan and Yemen. The Khaliq Ansari, (26), Brig Sohail “targeted killings” of American sure the White House to disclose administration is under pressure Hafeez, (27) Brig Amjed Iqbal, citizens on US soil were uncon- sensitive government records. from some members of Congress From Page 1 (28) Brig Mazhar Ishaq, (29) stitutional. Hours before the fi- These included emails and docu- to be more transparent about its Brig Muhammad Ashfaq.—APP nal vote, Attorney General Eric ments related to targeted killings rules and legal justifications for The Prime Minister went Holder sent a brief letter to Paul, saying President Barack Obama and the administration’s response the use of drones against both around different sections of the does not have the authority to to the attack last year on a US American citizens and foreign- shopping centre, which has been order a drone to kill an Ameri- diplomatic compound in ers, an issue Brennan likely will built with foreign assistance. The Centaurus Shopping can on US soil who was “not Benghazi, Libya. Holder initially have to deal with from his new engaged in combat”. Paul, who declined to declare the targeted office at CIA headquarters.—AP Mall, which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Raja Ashraf, would have a comprehensive Shopping Mall, having stores of all national and international From Page 1 brands. vember. The White House did not It is one of the mega projects put the meeting with Jewish leadin the private sector. The fourers on the president’s public case with the Ambassador of Pa- dren to Kuwait without restric- storey mall has about 250 shops. STAFF REPORTER schedule. A White House official It will have a five-screen kistan to Kuwait who discussed tions. Also, private sector employlater said Obama sought input ISLAMABAD—The Government the matter in detail with the lead- ees can issue dependent visas cinema, a “fun city” for children, from the leaders on his trip and of Kuwait had imposed a visa ban ership of Kuwait during visit of (male children up to the age of 15 a food court featuring internaunderscored that it would be an of all types for Pakistan nation- the Prime Minister of Pakistan to and female children up to the age tional fast food chain outlets, and opportunity for him to speak di- als. The situation had created a Kuwait. of 18) as long as both the em- four levels of parking in the baserectly to the Israeli people. As a consequence, the Gov- ployee and his wife have valid ment. critical problem for large number Marc Stanley, chairman of of Overseas Pakistanis living in ernment of Kuwait has initiated a residences in Kuwait. The construction on this the National Jewish Democratic Kuwait. They even could not policy of relaxation of visas for Furthermore, Pakistanis can $350 million Centaurus project Council, was among those who bring their wives to Kuwait. Pak nationals. Pakistanis working obtain a commercial visa to work which includes a five-star hotel, attended Thursday’s meeting. He The Federal Minister for in the public sector Kuwait can in “first-class companies” having two residential towers and a corsaid Obama reiterated his Overseas Pakistanis took up the now bring their wives and chil- state-owned shared. porate tower in addition to the “unshakeable support for Israel mall was started in 2006.—APP and explained that his upcoming trip will be focused on discussing with his Israeli counterparts From Page 1 the critical issues facing the Jewish state, including Iran, the peace revoked. The house was also process and Syria.” told that there was a shortfall of present. In all, total numbers of In addition to his meetings STAFF REPORTER 2,947 MW of electricity against From Page 1 participants were over 1300. with Netanyahu, Obama will the demand of 11,451 MW dehold talks with Palestinian Au- ISLAMABAD—To celebrate In- LSF and its Green Pakistan NetHussain Bokhari was told by the spite the fact that the total power thority President Mahmoud ternational Women’s Day work organization including Abbas. He told the Jewish lead- (IWD), Lok Sanjh Foundation other service providers’ i.e. so- ministry in written that FESCO, generation capacity of the couners Thursday that he would em- organized a Women Farmers lar energy and biogas also setup GEPCO, LESCO, MEPCO, try from different sources is phasize to Abbas that peace re- Day “From Food Security to stalls to display their work, says IESCO, SEPCO, HESCO, 8,504 MW. PEPCO, and KESCO lost Rs600 Minister of State for Water mains possible, though very dif- Peace Security” at Lok Virsa. a press release. million, Rs360 million, and Power Tasneem Ahmad The keynote speaker, Dr Rai ficult given the current climate A large number of women in the region. While in Israel, farmers from LSF’s project vil- Niaz Ahmed, Vice Chancellor Rss2.35billion, Rs280 million, Qureshi told the House during Obama is also expected to note lages of District Attock, repre- Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agricul- Rs3.66 billion, Rs7.47 billion, question hour that the power that Israelis live in an increas- sentatives of NGOs, civil soci- ture University, inaugurated the Rs16.17 billion, Rs59billion and generation from Hydel sector is ingly dangerous region, given the ety organizations and others par- conference. He in his address Rs90million lost respectively on 2,837 MW and thermal 5,052 instability in Syria and the poten- ticipated in the event. Maroof emphasized the positive role of account of theft and line losses. MW while Nuclear Power GenQureshi said the line losses eration capacity is 615 MW. tial nuclear threat from Iran. He’ll Saleem of Pakistan Tehreek-e- women farmers in food producHe said till 20th of the last likely reiterate that all options, Insaaf, Engineer Shamshad of tion and food security. He also were cut to 20.5 by his efforts while Petroleum Advisor Dr month the total power demand including military force, remain Sun Power Germany also par- offered University’s technical on the table for the U.S. when it ticipated and addressed the gath- assistance to improve the socio- Asim Hussain said the number was 11,451 MW resulting in a comes to dealing with Iran, while ering. Renowned Prof Dr economic condition of people of CNG stations should be de- shortfall of 2,947 MW. The Senate Friday passed also touting the impact of strict Nadeem Ahmad Abbasi and and agriculture productivity of creased in the county, especially in Punjab. “The Shaheed Zulfikar Ali economic sanctions. Prof Dr Jehangir Sial were also arid areas of Potohar. Bhutto Medical University (PIMS), Islamabad Bill, 2013”. The bill provides to grant Degree Awarding Status to the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, Islamabad. It was moved by Minister for Capital Administration and Development Nazar Muhammad Gondal.—INP

29 Brigadiers promoted as Major Generals

Brennan new CIA director

NA okays NCTA Bill

PM inaugurates Centaurus

Obama: No ‘grand peace plan’ during Israel trip

Kuwait relaxes visa regime for Pakistanis

Women farmers’ role in food security vital: Riaz

Rs90b lost in power theft, line losses

Surveys not a benchmark to measure popularity of parties: Sumsam

ISLAMABAD—Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Syed Sumsam Bakhari on Friday said that the recent surveys were not a benchmark to measure the popularity of apolitical party as these were conducted by such organizations whose attitude had always remained hostile towards Pakistan People’s Party(PPP).“The history shows that these organizations have always supported the PML-N and opposed the PPP,” he told APP in an exclusive interview. He said that when PPP came into power, the country was near to collapse but the prudent policies pursued by the government during the past five years took the country out of crisis. “We have revived country’s economy. That is evident from that fact that Pakistan’s foreign reserves have witnessed an unprecedented upsurge during the

past five years,” he said. The minister said that the PPP would go to the masses in the upcoming general elections on the basis of its performance and hence it did need to take support from fake surveys. Sumsam Bakhari said democracy had strengthened in the country due to initiatives taken by the government. He said PPP did not believe in the politics of victimization and that was evident from the fact that today there was no political prisoner in the country. He expressed the confidence that the PPP would again emerge victorious in the upcoming general elections. He said that during the past five years, the PPPled government tried its best to solve people’s problems. “During these five years, country’s revenue was increased. Inflation was brought down from 25% to the single digit of 7%.,” he said.

He in particular mentioned, the signing of MoU with a Chinese company for Gwadar port and Iran-Pakistan Gas Pipeline Project saying, “the country would continue reaping fruits of these agreements forever.” “These two projects are a remarkable achievement of the government and we will also present this before masses in our election campaign,” he added. He said the country had achieved food security due to steps taken by the government. He also mentioned that the present government conducted first poverty survey to disburse money among the needy under BISP. About the shortage of electricity, he said around 3000 megawatt electricity had been added to notional grid but due to electrifying of new areas the country was facing power shortage. —APP

Gas load

ditional politicians if implemented. The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has issued coded of conduct for security personnel, polling staff and international observers during the general polls. The code of conduct for security personnel stated that all personnel belonging to law enforcing agencies shall work in close collaboration with concerned district returning officer, returning officer and other election officials. They shall remain neutral, shall not act in favour of or against any political party or candidate; implement the lawful orders of presiding officers. The security personnel deputed at the polling station shall stay outside the polling station premises or at a place as directed by concerned Presiding Officer and shall not enter the polling station premises unless they are so directed by the concerned Presiding Officer. They shall assist the Presiding Officer in maintaining or restoring law and order at the polling station as and when asked to do so. The security personnel shall facilitate the voters and ensure that they are properly queued. They will render all possible assistance to persons with physical disability, old and sick voters including pregnant women. Such voters shall be allowed to stand at the front of queue. The security personnel deployed at the polling station

shall ensure that peaceful and conducive environment is provided to voters outside the polling stations and voters are neither intimidated nor hampered from voting. The Code of Conduct for polling staff states that Presiding Officer shall not follow any instructions except those given by the District Returning Officer and / or Returning Officer (RO); Polling personnel shall especially focus on punctuality, accuracy and proper communication with superiors. All the polling personnel shall perform their duties in a neutral manner and treat all the voters, representatives of political parties and candidates, media and observers without any bias. They shall not involve themselves in any political activity nor shall they express any political preference during performance of their duty at the polling stations. Polling personnel shall not wear any symbol of any political party or candidate. The Presiding Officers shall endeavor to resolve any problem at the polling station in order to ensure an uninterrupted conduct of voting and Polling Personnel should show proper courtesy to all voters and attendants at the polling place and shall accommodate illiterate and disabled voters and facilitate their voting, while protecting their right to secrecy. The Code of Conduct

for Observers for the General Elections, 2013 makes it obligatory for them to respect the sovereignty of Pakistan as well as the fundamental rights and freedom of its people, they shall adhere to the laws of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and respect the authority of the Election Commission and its election officials, they will maintain a respectful attitude towards election and security authorities; ensure strict political impartiality and not exhibit any bias or preference with regard to national authorities, political parties and candidates as well as any issue related to the process of elections. The Observers shall ensure that all their observations are impartial, objective and depict the highest standards of accuracy. Observer Organizations may share their findings, methodology and recommendations with the Election Commission of Pakistan. The Observers intending to visit Pakistan shall submit their visa applications well in time, according to the rules laid down by relevant authorities of the Government of Pakistan. No observer shall stay in Pakistan beyond the duration of granted visa. In case of violation of this Code of Conduct, the Election Commission of Pakistan reserves the right to withdraw observer accreditation of an individual Observer or an Observer Mission.

President for action against From Page 1 sure latest equipment were provided to the LEAs. He also decided to form a monitoring cell to oversee the targeted operations that would be supervised by Sindh Governor and Sindh CM. It was further decided that a monitoring committee would also be formed to take Police and Rangers officials on board and to install close circuit video surveillance cameras on sensitive spots in the city. The President reiterated that elections in the country would be held on time and said that militants and extremists and the sectarian elements supporting them would not be allowed to subvert the electoral process by creating a law and order situation. The President urged the provincial government and relevant agencies for taking stern actions to ensure the safety and protection of lives and property of the citizens, which he said was the prime responsibility and also the priority of the government. Meanwhile the President at the

outset of the meeting condemned the barbaric incident of carnage at Abbas Town, Karachi and offered prayers for the departed souls. The President while expressing his sympathies with the bereaved families, directed for extending full support and assistance in rehabilitation to the victims of the blasts and providing best medical treatment on government expenses to all those affected by the bomb blasts in Abbas Town, Karachi. He called upon all political forces and stakeholders to come forward, work hand in hand with the law enforcing agencies in Karachi and play their active role to restore peace and stability to the metropolis and bringing the criminals to books regardless of any affiliations. He said that we all had to work together and augment government efforts to restore complete law and order and protect lives and property of the citizens in the economic hub of the country. He said that government accorded top priority to safeguard-

ing the lives and property of citizens and that they could never be left at the mercy of a handful of vicious elements and reiterated that the criminals involved in violent activities would be traced and brought to justice. He assured that the federal government would provide all possible help and assistance to the victims of bomb blasts. Earlier Governor Sindh and Chief Minster Sindh briefed the meeting on latest situation in Sindh particularly Karachi and the various steps afoot to maintain law and order in Karachi. Later, the President during his separate meeting with Deputy Speaker Sindh Assembly, Shehla Raza, condoled the death of her brother in law, Akhtar Zaidi and her other relatives who lost their lives in the recent bomb blast in Karachi. The President expressed his sympathies with the bereaved families and prayed to Almighty to rest the departed souls in peace and grant courage to the grieved families tot bear this loss with fortitude.

India 6th most liked, Pak 3rd most disliked nation for Americans WASHINGTON—India is the sixth most favourable nation for Americans, while at least eight out of 10 do not like Pakistan, making it the third most unfavourable nation after Iran and Korea, according to a latest poll. According to the GallUP Polls, nearly seven (68%) out of every 10 persons interviewed for the poll favoured India, thus ranking it sixth after Canada (91%), Great Britain (88%), Germany (85%), Japan (81%) and France (73%). Israel, the traditional American ally ranks seventh after India with 66% while Mexico get only 47% favourable votes. Opinion about Russia is

equally divided among favourable and unfavourable rating while 52% of the Americans put China in the unfavourable category. Nine out of 10 Americans have an unfavourable view of Iran, making it the worst rated country out of 22 surveyed. Seven other countries - Libya (72%), Iraq (76%), Afghanistan (80%), the Palestinian Authority (77%), Syria (75%), Pakistan (81%) and North Korea (84%) also receive unfavourable ratings of 70% or more. “Eight countries with the most negative ratings are currently or over the past decade were involved in wars, disputes,

or turmoil in a number of instances, in ways that are hostile to the US,” GallUP said. It said the currently “hostile” category includes Iran and North Korea. Libya was hostile toward the US under the government of Muammar Gaddafi and more recently Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed there. The US-Pakistani relationship is beset with rockiness despite the strained cooperation between the two on military matters. Americans also strongly favour Israel’s enduring conflict with Palestinian Authority,” the survey said.—INP


Indian govt splits over Raja’s Ajmer visit

Haseeb Ahsan passes away KARACHI—Former Pakistan off-spinner and selector Haseeb Ahsan, credited with picking

Shrine chief opposes

PIA plane’s tyres burst QUETTA—Tyres of a Pakistan International Airlines plane burst while the aircraft made an emergency landing on Friday. All passengers on board remained unharmed. The PIA flight 363 was coming from Islamabad and was two-hour late. An emergency was declared at the airport as a result of the incident. According to the authorities, the tyres were repaired immediately and the plane was scheduled to fly back to Islamabad.—INP

Nawaz opens Pak Tea House Staff Reporter L AHORE —Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) President Nawaz Sharif Friday inaugurated the historical Pak Tea House paving the way for more organised literary activities under one roof. Used to be a favourite amongst writers, poets and intellectuals, Pak Tea House was closed about 10 years ago by the owner Zahid Hassan who cited bad business as the reason for the decision. The place was initially rented out to tyre traders and later given to Bashir Sons for use as a warehouse. However, the city government decided to run the tea house under its administration. The City District Government of Lahore, after a ninemonth long restoration work, took possession of the building.

police arrest 10 dacoits KHAIRPUR—The Khairpur police arrested 10 notorious dacoits, 78 absconders, 26 proclaimed offenders and killed one alleged criminal after an encounter in the month of February, 2013. Stating the monthly detail of performance SSP Khairpur Aitzaz Goraya said on Friday that police took action against alleged criminals and also recovered 3 Kalashnikoves , 3 shot guns, 14 pistols, one rifle, 4 cartridges, 50 rounds, two kgs Charas, 1500 grams bhang, two bottles of alcohol from the possession of the accused . Eighteen persons were arrested under Section 107 Cr.PC from various parts of the district. —APP

Rights for women PESHAWAR—Speaker Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly Kiramatullah Khan said that the assembly stand by and hope to do everything possible to give the right to our mothers, daughters, wives, sisters and all deserve. This he said in his message on International Women Day to be commemorated globally on March 8. “Assembly is part of the commemoration of the International Women’s Day,” adds the message of Speaker. Speaker urged the countrymen to make a special promise to women in conflict situations, where all sorts of atrocities are committed on them in different ways. —APP

Sensitive polling stations in Punjab LAHORE—The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Friday finalized a list of sensitive polling stations in Punjab. As many as 41, 465 polling stations have been declared sensitive across the province. Similarly, 10, 623 polling stations have been declared sensitive with B-category. In addition, 26, 551 polling stations were declared sensitive of C-category. In Lahore, 6, 732 polling statoins have been declared sensitive. No polling station was declared in Punjab and Islamabad. —NNI

NEW DELHI— deep divide has opened up within the Indian government over the Ajmer visit of Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf . xternal Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid is keen to receive the Pakistani PM at Ajmer but senior functionaries in the government oppose the move. They say a junior officer should be sent to receive Pervez Ashraf. The opposition to Khurshid’s Ajmer plan ties in with the UPA taking the moral high ground after the alleged killing of two Indian soldiers along the LoC in January. There cannot be business as usual, and the foreign minister receiving a Pakistani dignitary will send out a wrong message, KARACHI: Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Khalid Shameem Wynne and Chief of the Naval Staff those opposed to the move say. Admiral Muhammad Asif Sandila watching Amn Exercise 2013 at North Arabian Sea. “We have spelled out our reservations but the minister seems keen to go,” India Today quoted a source as saying. That the dialogue process between the two countries stands frozen, and treating a lame duck Pakistani government ISLAMABAD—Minister for In- is not justified strategically only formation and Broadcasting strengthens the stand of those Qamar Zaman Kaira Friday said pro-tection of women Humera Alwani said that the PPP lawmaker Ghulam Qadir rights has been one of the top IRFAN ALIGI Sindh Assembly had pioneered Chandio said that if she had sym- priorities of the coalition govKARACHI—Sindh Provincial As- the passing and promulgating the pathy with the poor so she should ernment, adding that the Pakisembly on Friday passed the Bill Bill for the prevention of torture sit with the poor. stan People’s Party (PPP) refor the prevention of domestic tor- on women because out of 10, 8 On the other hand, the assem- mains commit-ted to the well ture on women with majority of women were routinely exposed to bly also passed a Bill for amend- being and empowerment of the votes. Henceforth, the torturing torture at home. ments in all existing laws in the fe-male segment of society. the women at home was made a She said that the (male) province. According to the amendSpeaking in National Ascognizable offence. The person should be careful in future to face ment Bill, all designations of Dis- sembly in connection with the that would torture women would the music on their attempts to beat trict Coordination Officer (DCO), International Women’s Day, be punishable for imprisonment the women at home as the new Executive District Officer (Rev- the minister said women were MARDAN—Pakistan Muslim from one month to two years law would send them to jail for a enue) and Deputy District Officer still considered the less privi- League-Nawaz (PML-N) along with imposition of fine year. MQM belonging leader of (Revenue) would stand null and leged component of society leader, Nawaz Shairf says unamounting to Rs1000 to 50,000. opposition in this regard said that void while these would be re- and that their role in nation fortunately the government, Interestingly, the Bill had de- the domestic violence was not lim- placed with the titles of Commis- building and national progress which touts itself as people’s fined the category of the tortured ited to women alone but the male sioner, Deputy Commissioner, was appreciable. “Our party government, left the “people” person, which could also be a population was also among those Assistant Commissioner and Col- remains committed to empow- high & dry at the end of its fivemale. According to the Bill, the that suffered from domestic lector. erment of women and making year term. “The Pakistan People’s government would form a com- violence.PMLF leader Nusrat MQM lawmakers opposed their role more vibrant for the mission that would comprise a Sahar Abbasi asked the treasury the passing of the Amendment Bill country’s progress and pros- Party (PPP), at the helms of federal as well as three provincial Chairman and members to review to ensure that the implementation while other parties in opposition perity,” the minister said. the provisions of the said Bill and on the Bill would not be compro- supported it.The amendment Bill He said Pakistan was governments, failed in deliverwould recommend amendments mised. She lauded the government would be called as “Sindh Laws proud to have the maximum ing even a sense of security to in the Bill as and when be needed. for passing the Bill. 2nd (amendment) Act-2013. number of women in its par- the people of Pakistan let alone While speaking on the comSindh Minister for Culture Sindh Law Minister liament, adding that this num- food, shelter, and clothes”, said ponents of the said Bill, Sindh Sassui Palejo said that torture on Muhammad Ayaz Soomro said ber could not even be wit- Nawaz Shairf addressing a large Law Minister Muhammad Ayaz women was not limited to rural that the titles that pertained to the nessed in the parlia-ments of public gathering here. Nawaz said Karachi was Soomro said that although the Bill areas but such incidents were also local government ordinance pro- countries that claim to chamwas tabled late in the assembly but common in Karachi city. mulgated by Pervez Musharraf pioning women rights.But, being given a bloodbath everythe delay was not with a purpose. Palejo said that a Bill for the were removed. still we need to do lot. —APP day evident form the bombing massacres and targeted killings. The Pakistan People’s Party had prevention of child marriage Humera Alwani said that all always been a strong supporter of would also be tabled in the assem- laws promulgated by Musharraf rights of women. bly in next couple of days. were removed so there would be While speaking on the Bill, While responding to Rashidi, no one to remember him.

Bill against domestic violence sails throu SA House

‘PPP committed

to protecting rights of women’

Torturing women at home now a cognizable offence

opposed to Khurshid’s Ajmer plan. Not receiving Pervez Ashraf at Ajmer will also send out a message to Islamabad which has not done anything on the issue of probing the killing of Indian soldiers or on terrorism, they say.Khurshid may be seeking for political gain in photo op diplomacy at Ajmer, but sources say that even a minister of the Rajasthan government could have been sent to fulfil protocol requirements. Meanwhile, a local priest Friday expressed concern over Pervez Ashraf’s visit to Ajmir. On the eve of Ashraf’s arrival, the Diwan of Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti shrine in Ajmer- Zainul Abedin Ali Khan - opposed the visit in protest of the alleged beheading of two Indian soldiers along the Line of Control (LoC) earlier this year. Talking to Headlines Today over phone, Abedin said that being the head of the popular shrine he would boycott the Pakistani prime minister when he pays reverence to dargah on his visit on Saturday.—INP

PPP failed to even deliver sense of security: Nawaz

Magsi to restore cabinet on March 11

Must be ready to respond internal, external threats

GHULAM TAHIR

ISLAMABAD—“There is a need Base personnel he said, “Be-

Q UETTA —The

Governor Balochistan, Nawab Zulfiqar Ali Magsi, will withdraw his orders suspending the provincial cabinet and restore it on March 11 it was learnt here on Friday. The decision will enable the chief minister and leader of the opposition to approve the name of the caretaker chief minister for the interim period till the new assemblies are elected. Apprehending external elements indulging in disturbing law and order situation in Balochistan on handing over Gwadar Seaport to friendly country China comprehensive exercise has been carried out by the law enforcing agencies to ensure peace.

of the hour that we must be ready to respond to any internal and external security threats”. This was said by the Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt, Chief of the Air Staff, Pakistan Air Force while inspecting one of the main operational Air Base today. This visit is in connection with the series of inspection visits of various Commands and Bases in order to carry out operational evaluation of the PAF installations, equipment and support units. Upon his arrival at the Base a smartly turned out contingent presented Guard of Honour. The Air Chief reviewed the parade, and addressed a joint gathering of Airmen. While addressing the

sides focusing on and maintaining the highest professional standards, there was a need for the PAF to prepare to meet the security challenges both internal and external”. The Air Chief also emphasized upon the commanders to put in more efforts in improving the quality of living standards for the airmen. He also visited the deployed Army units and appreciated their sense of duty and morale and contributions towards PAF’s combat readiness. The CAS was briefed on the role and task of the various units with a focus on operational and administrative tasks and various projects of infrastructure development.—APP

During the address, he vowed a prosperous as well as peaceful Pakistan, solution to Kashmir issue, and warmer terms with Afghanistan if PMLN came into power. Decrying PPP’s political victimization, Nawaz said President Asif Ali Zardari imposed a governor rule in Punjab and had him and his brother Shahbaz Sharif disqualified by the Dogar courts, which was highly condemnable. Retrospecting, he said a military dictator cut PMLN’s government short. “Had our government not been overturned by a rogue general, we could have changed the face of Pakistan for the better by the end of our tenure”, said he.

legend Wasim Akram in 1984, died Friday after prolonged illness, a family friend said. He was 73. Ahsan was regarded as one of the most straight-forward cricket administrators, and headed Pakistan’s World Cup 1987 organising committee and served as a national team manager. Karachi City Cricket Association president Sirajul Islam Bukhari confirmed Ahsan died early Friday in the city. “Ahsan fought illness with courage,” who was on dialysis for the last two years, said Bukhari. “He served the game well and was particularly supportive of cricket in Karachi.” Ahsan played 12 Tests between 1958 and 1962, and was a member of the Pakistan team on its first tour to the West Indies in 1958. He made his debut at Bridgetown where his old friend Hanif Mohammad scored 337 — still Pakistan’s highest Test score.—INP

LHC directs Wasim Sajjad to conclude arguments LAHORE—Rejecting a request

filed by the federation’s counsel to adjourn the hearing of a petition seeking contempt of court proceedings against President Asif Ali Zardari, the Lahore High Court (LHC) directed Wasim Sajjad to conclude his arguments on the case. A five-judge bench of the LHC, headed by Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial, was hearing the petition seeking contempt of court proceedings against President Zardari for not complying with its May 12, 2011, judgment declaring political activities by the president unconstitutional. Sajjad had requested the court to adjourn Friday’s hearing on account of “prior committments”. The request was rejected by Justice Bandial who said in his remarks that the case was of a “sensitive nature”, therefore the proceedings could not be adjourned. Adjourning the hearing to March 18, the bench said it would rule on the petition even if Sajjad failed to present and conclude his arguments on the said date. On the other hand, a miscellaneous petition was filed in the LHC calling for the court to indict the president in the contempt of court petition. The petition, filed by AK Dogar, alleged that the federation’s counsel was emMARDAN: PML-N President Muhammad Nawaz Sharif addressing a huge public gather- ploying delaying tactics in ing on Friday. the case.—INP

Russian scientists may have found new life under Antarctic ice

RPP case : PM requests CJP to form commission under Suddle

MOSCOW —Russian scien- was found that does not match needed to determine what kinds ment to Reuters on Thursday. the drilling fluid. “When we

ISLAMABAD —Prime Minis- recent years by certain vested

tists believe they have discovered new life forms sealed off for millions of years in a subglacial lake deep under the Antarctic ice, the RIA news agency reported on Thursday. After more than a decade of stop-and-go drilling, Russia pierced through Antarctica’s frozen crust last year and took back samples of water from a vast lake that has lain untouched for at least 14 million year. Scientists say the icy darkness of Lake Vostok, under some 12,139 feet of ice, may provide a glimpse of the planet before the Ice Age and clues to life on other planets. “After excluding all known contaminants, bacterial DNA

any known species in world databases,” Sergei Bulat of the St Petersburg Nuclear Physics Institute told RIA. “If it (the bacteria) had been found on Mars, then without a doubt we would have said there is life on Mars - but this is DNA from Earth,” he said. “We are calling this life form unidentified or unclassified.” Scientists from the United States and Britain are close on Moscow’s heels to probe what life may exist in one of the most extreme environments on Earth. This year, a U.S. expedition said they had seen living cells under a microscope in field samples taken from the shallower subglacial Lake Whillans, but more study is

of bacteria they are and how they live. A British effort to reach a third body, Lake Ellsworth, was called off in December because of problems drilling. What life is found in the icy depths may provide the best answer yet to whether life can exist in the extreme conditions on Mars or Jupiter’s moon Europa. The Russian discovery came from analyzing water that froze onto the end of the drill bit used to bore through to Vostok - the largest of a network of hundreds of lakes under the ice cap that acts like a blanket trapping the Earth’s geothermal heat. Bulat and other members of Russia’s Antarctic mission could not be reached for com-

But Bulat told RIA that scientists are waiting for more samples from the lake to confirm their discovery. Because of the technology used to keep from polluting the pristine lake, Russia will only obtain clean water samples uncontaminated by drilling fluid - for analysis later this year. To answer concerns kerosene and anti-freeze from the borehole would seep into the lake, Russian engineers withdrew the drill to allow the water to percolate up into the borehole and freeze there, only returning this year to collect it. But Bulat said the unknown microbes were found after separating out species of bacteria that are known to exist in

tried to identify the DNA, it did not coincide with any of known species. It’s degree of similarity was less than 86 percent,” Bulat told RIA. “That is practically zero when working with DNA. A level of 90 percent tells us the organism is unknown.” Frozen samples from deeper in the borehole collected during this year’s Antarctic summer season in February are now being carried back by boat and are due in St Petersburg in May. “If we again identify the same group of organism in that pure sample of water, then we can confidently say we have found new life on Earth,” Bulat said.—Reuters

ter Raja Pervez Ashraf Friday requested the Chief Justice to set up a Commission headed by Dr Shoaib Suddle to investigate the allegations against him in the Rental Power Project case. In a letter to the Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, the Prime Minister said he was writing this letter in his capacity both as a citizen of Pakistan and as Prime Minister. The Prime Minister said sometime back he appeared before the Supreme Court to demonstrate publicly that he was not above the law. The Prime Minister regretted that a totally unwarranted and unending smear campaign had been unleashed against him and his family in

interests, which had compelled him to make this request. “It is also extremely demeaning for the State particularly when I hold such a high office,” he stated. The Prime Minister said he considered it expedient to ask to take the case away from NAB and give it to an independent commission in order to effectively deal with the allegation that the government was using its influence on the case. He mentioned that the Supreme Court had also adopted such a course in a recent sensitive case when a one-man commission was constituted under Dr Shoaib Suddle. —NNI


Late lunch may mean less weight loss: Study

P

EOPLE who like to eat lunch late in the afternoon may have more trouble shed ding pounds than those who dine earlier, a new study suggests. Researchers found that of 420 people in a weight-loss programme, the late-lunch crowd lost about 25 percent less weight than those who usually lunched before 3 p.m, Live Science Reported. The findings, reported Jan. 29 in the International Journal of Obesity, come with caveats. The researchers cannot be sure that a late lunch itself thwarts people’s diets. And the study participants were from Spain, where lunch is the biggest meal of the day. It’s not clear if the findings would translate to a country like the United States, where most people eat a lighter lunch and save their main meal for dinner, said senior researcher Frank Scheer, an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston. It is a common belief that it’s better to have your big meal earlier in the day. Scheer pointed to the popular advice to eat breakfast like a king and dinner like a pauper. But there hasn’t been much scientific evidence that the timing of your main meal matters in the battle of the bulge. “This is the first large-scale, long-term study to show that it is an important factor in weight-loss success for overweight and obese individuals,” Scheer said. It’s uncertain why a late lunch would be related to slower weight loss. One possibil-

ity, though, is that at least some late lunchers were going too long between meals, which might have effects on metabolism. Some studies have suggested that evenly spaced meals - eating every three to four hours are helpful in weight control, noted Connie Diekman, director of university nutrition at Washington University in St. Louis. In this study, the latelunch group was more likely to eat a light breakfast or skip breakfast altogether. Almost 7 percent of later lunchers did so, versus less than 3 percent of people who ate lunch earlier. So the findings show a “potential connection between going too long between meals and weight gain,” said Diekman, who was not involved in the study. “But given the study design, more studies are needed to determine if there is a cause-and-effect connection.” The problem is that people who hold off on lunch may differ from other dieters in many ways including ways that could hinder their weight loss. Scheer’s team did account for some of those possibilities. They found that the early and late-lunch groups ate a similar number of calories and burned a similar amount (based on their reported activity levels). The two groups also averaged about the same amount of sleep each night, which is important because sleep loss has been linked to a higher risk of obesity and less weightloss success.

ISLAMABAD: First Lady Nusrat Parvez Raja cutting ribbon to inaugurate a 3-day festival in connection with International Women’s Day at Lok Virsa.—PO photo

Shaheed ZAB University to be established in Islamabad: Gondal I SLAMABAD —Minister for

Capital Administration and Development Nazar Muhammad Gondal has said that under the bill passed in the Senate a new university will be established in the federal capital. Talking to media outside the Parliament House here‚ he said Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto University will monitor the mechanism of the medical institutions of the federal capital. The Minister said the establishment of the medical university in the federal capital was a longstanding demand and Higher Education Commission also issued NOC in this regard on the 23rd January this year. ISLAMABAD: MNA Aila Malik visiting the photo exhibition held in connection with the Nazar Muhammad Gondal International Women’s Day organized by I-LAP.—PO photo by Sultan Bashir said the deliberations of the Standing Committee have also been incorporated in the finalization of the bill. Speaking on the occasion‚ Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira said the nomenclature of the existing medical ISLAMABAD—In a bid to make institution will not be effected Islamabad a tobacco free city, I SLAMABAD —Residents of paintings immediately grab by establishment of the new Deputy Commissioner twin cities took keen interest attention. He said her paintings are university.—NNI Islamabad, Amir Ali Ahmad has in paintings of Artist Soofia directed better enforcement of Hamid , displayed at the Art a valuable addition to paintanti tobacco laws.A meeting held Gallery of Rawalpindi Arts ings assets of the twin cities the other day to review ongoing Council (RAC), that depict of Islamabad and Rawalpindi. anti tobacco operation in federal nature, landscapes and daily He gave credit to Rawalpindi Arts Council for holding the capital initiated in collaboration life. of Tobacco Control Cell (TCC). Renowned painter and solo exhibition of her paintThe deputy commissioner actor Jamal Shah, flanked by ings. Rawalpindi Arts Council said that Islamabad Capital Ad- Rawalpindi Arts Council ministration, TCC and other Resident Director Waqar Resident Director Waqar concerned departments should Ahmed, inaugurated the exhi- Ahmed, speaking on the occasion, said Rawalpindi Arts make all out efforts to make bition. Islamabad a tobacco free city. Her paintings, having ab- Council always encourages The meeting was informed stract touch, bring forth sub- artists to display their artthat fines of Rs250,000 have conscious observation of the works for the general public, been imposed upon violation. painter and immediately grab and new talent and experiAmir Ali directed concerned au- notice due to their unique enced artists are given equal opportunities. thorities to take strict action color scheme. He said that the exhibiagainst violators, saying that negAddressing the gathering, ligence on the part of officials in Jamal Shah said Sofia’s paint- tion of Soofia’s paintings is a enforcing anti tobacco laws ings depict essence of nature feast for the art lovers of the would not be tolerated.—INP and life, and colors used in her region.—APP

Islamabad to be made tobacco free city: Amir Ali

Painting exhibition attracts people

International Women Day

Women festival opens at Lok Virsa SANA JAMAL I SLAMABAD —The 3-day women festival has been inaugurated by First Lady of Pakistan Begum Nusrat Parvez Ashraf who was also the chief guest. The event is jointly organized by Lok Virsa, Parliamentarian Commission for Human Rights and LOK Parya (NGO) to mark International Women’s Day. Women entrepreneurs at the festival believed that equal participation of both men and women in earning livelihoods has helped improve living standards of their families. “Our family, with me and my husband both working as a team, is better

Qatri Commander visits Air Weapon Complex CITY REPORTER ISLAMABAD—A delegation led by Major General Mubarak Mohammad Al-Kumait Al Khayarin, Commander of the Qatar Emiri Air Force, visited Air Weapon Complex today. The delegation was received by Air Vice Marshal Arshad Khan, Director General Air Weapon Complex. The delegation attended a briefing about the complex’s working and organization structure. The distinguished guests visited different departments of the complex and took keen interest in various projects being carried out at the complex. The delegation also visited the Global Industrial & Defence Solutions department.

Gender balance in free functioning media CITY REPORTER ISLAMABAD—In its bid to promote ethical standards of gender sensitive media in Pakistan and to mark International Women’s Day, Press Council of Pakistan (PCP) has formulated draft media guidelines to refer to gender balance in free functioning of present day independent media. To build consensus on these draft guidelines PCP is in constant touch with all relevant stake holders including APNS, CPNE, PFUJ, PBA, National Commission on Women and relevant civil society organization, women rights NGO’s and groups. After having consensus

by sharing different proposals and amendments these draft guidelines will be taken up in the PCP council meeting for open debate and its subsequent approval. PCP believes free media of Pakistan can be an effective tool in breaking down barriers of cultural and social stereotype and empowering women. PCP is also of the view that independent press must address root causes underlying weak responsiveness of present day free media and promote a media that is gender sensitive. With reference to “International Women’s Day” PCP Chairman, Raja Shafqat Abbasi said “in democracy, Press freedom is a way of establishing

sovereignty of people including both men and women and works as a catalyst to create gender balance in society. He said basic mandate of PCP hinges around developing a media that is ethical, credible, independent and devoid of all forms of bias including gender bias. He said basic aim of drafting guidelines for gender sensitive media is to treat women and men as equal subject of news and views by streaming gender in free functioning of media. Salient features of these guidelines include, ensuring balance of women and men as sources, experts analyst and commentators, minimizing negative and stereotypical portrayal of women, integrating

gender balance in daily news gathering, breaking down gender base division of hard and soft news, ensuring balance representation of women in media houses , training and gender sensitization of journalist, genderaware policies and gender sensitive methodology, avoiding sensationalism and breaking females stereotypes in entertainment and new media, protecting gender role in advertisement by avoiding commodification, commercialization and consumerism of women in media. Violence against women and its media coverage is the most important aspect of genders sensitive media. PCP endorses U.N definition on violence against women

that is “any act of gender based violence that result in, or likely to result in, physical, sexual, or mental harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty whether occurring in public or in private life. These draft guidelines aim at protecting rights of women while covering violence against women in media. After approval of these draft guidelines for gender sensitive media this resource document will be published and circulated among all media stakeholders, civil society organization, women rights NGO’s, relevant groups and general masses.

off now as compared the traditional times when our family had one bread earner who had to support the whole family” said Hina Kaleem. Women entrepreneurs highlighted the role of their family members particularly husband, father, or brother who has played a strong supportive role in their success. Talking to this scribe, Hina Kaleem, one of the few women with expertise in art of Multani cut mirror work, said she is proud of the support of her husband that gave a boost to her self-confidence. “On women’s day, I want to recognize the contributions of my husband. It is due to his support that I have earned recognition

in this distinctive field and am able to continue the legacy of my forefathers to promote the Multani art” she said standing proud at a beautiful stall glinting with delicate, and meticulous mirror work from the city of saints, Multan. Kausar with her colleagues travelled all the way from Skardu to attend the women entrepreneurs’ festival to offer fresh fruits from the beautiful land of Gilgit-Baltistan. Mountain Areas organization is creating apt employment opportunities to the community particularly women and enhancing the skill women farmers, Kausar said. Another brave woman who

has achieved success comes from the shadows of Himalayas and Karakoram mountains. Shabana Kausar of Mountain Areas Farmers Support Organization told this correspondent that behind her success is untiring efforts of her husband and family who encouraged her all along. “My parents and husband have given all possible support to me not only to run this small business but also to manage house work and look after children. It is only due to this support that today I stand as a successful entrepreneur.” One of the big achievements for Kausar was the fact that she is able to send her 4 kids to school despite high-poverty rate in her region.


05:50 01:30 05:00 08:00

March 9-10 LOK Virsa is going to organise ‘Women Lok and Folk Festival’ that will start from March 8 and conclude on March 10. The festival is aimed at encouraging the women who performed well in their respective fields. Skilled women from all over the country will participate in the festival, especially the makers of handicrafts.

Long queues of vehicles for CNG ruin traffic system ISLAMABAD—The traffic system in the twin cities has been ruined due to long queues of vehicles at the compressed natural gas (CNG) stations, while on the other hand, most domestic users remained deprived of gas and used firewood to cook meals. The owners of CNG filling stations were seen overcharging consumers, who had to wait for hours to get the fuel. Transporters urged the chief justice of Pakistan to fix separate petrol pumps and CNG stations for the public transports. They also demanded strict action against the owners of CNG stations for not providing gas to motorist and transporters.—Online

Lack of basic facilities in Rawalpindi schools RAWALPINDI—Lack of basic facilities in different schools in Rawalpindi division is proof of the provincial government’s negligence in providing quality education. Majority of schools have no roofs forcing the students to study in open atmosphere in all four seasons. There are a lot of other public schools that lack infrastructure. Many schools have no furniture in classrooms, and lack teaching staff, toilets, clean drinking water and playgrounds. Clean drinking water has always been a big issue for public schools. A number of schools in the district have no water tanks and some that have them, don’t have drinkable water. A number of public school students get sick after drinking water from these tanks.—Online

Ever-increasing encroachments mar Adiala Road

Melody Market needs attention of CDA CITY REPORTER ISLAMABAD—Over 40 years old shopping place, Melody Market, comprising Food Street, located in the middle of the federal capital, is in derelict condition due to the apathy of Capital Development Authority (CDA). The traders of the Melody Market said that food street was developed without proper planning which has now become centre of problems and poor sanitation of the market discourage turnout of costum-

ers. In addition, cats and rats rule the area. On the other hand, traders had constructed a mosque in parking area of the market which aggravated parking problems for the visitors. Visitors to the food street said it is difficult to find space for parking in the market during rush hours particularly at lunch and dinner times. Office bearers said that government promises could not be fulfilled despite laps of many years and change of many chairmen of the capital’s civic body,

adding that flower market in the Melody was ready for last few years but CDA Directorate of Municipal Administration has failed to establish it. Traders said that they constructed water filtration plants on self assistance basis for which electricity was also provided by them. Traders of the Melody Market demanded CDA chairman Syed Tahir Shahbaz to take notice of the sorry state of affairs of the market and take steps for refurbishment of the food park.

New course in Transporters Matric exams reluctant to pick long irks candidates route commuters I SLAMABAD —The commut- ies, are facing problems due ers of Islamabad and Rawalpindi are facing shortage of transport on different routes of the twin cities particularly on Friday and Saturday. A large number of private and government employees coming from suburbs of the cities reach their respective offices through private transport. Most of the public transport vehicles plying on different routes do not follow the allotted routes and create problems for the commuters. The commuters also complained that the transporters are reluctant to pick long routes passengers. The commuters who daily travel between twin cit-

to non-compliance of route number 1, 1C, 3, 111, 121, 21, 105 and 127 by the public transporters. Passengers complained that the public transport vehicles, especially vans, mostly lift passengers only up to a particular destination instead of completing their routes. The commuters said that the authorities concerned should take stern action against the transporters involved in route violations. An official of Capital Development Authority said that the strategy in pipeline to step up it’s efforts for introducing a new viable, decent, convenient and disciplined transport system in Islamabad.—APP

RAWALPINDI —Students and parents have expressed concerns over conducting Chemistry paper in Matric annual exams according to new course by Rawalpindi Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (RBISE). The students said that they had prepared for the exams according to old course, while they were given question papers of new course, therefore they could not attempt most of the questions. They said that the negligence of the education board could waste their one academic year. When contacted, Controller Exams RBISE, Dr Arshad Chatta said that failed candidates could not be included in the exams with old course as candidates appearing for supplementary exams are only allowed to appear in exams with old course.—INP

ISLAMABAD: President Rotary Club of Islamabad Cosmopolitan (RCIC) Rashid Ibrahim presenting a momento to Research Fellow, Institute of Strategic Studies, Sabah Aslam during a meeting of RCIC at a local hotel.—PO photo

Driving in twin IHC orders regularization Rs10m approved for Allied Hospitals cities becomes of daily wagers R —Allied Hospia nightmare I —Islamabad High sub-committee for approval and tals — Holy Family Hospital, AWALPINDI

SLAMABAD

regularize those Benazir Bhutto Hospital, DisISLAMABAD—Traffic problems Court (IHC) has ordered to regu- immediately whose cases have been approved trict Headquarters Hospital —

have exacerbated in twin cities due to increase in number of vehicles and negligence of departments concerned in proper implementations of Master Plan. Traffic problems in capital have worsened during recent years and departments concerned have been turning a deaf ear to calls of commuters for improving the situation. Many commuters from Rawalpindi, including government servants, working in Islamabad comes across traffic problems in morning, evening and while traveling between the twin cities. The Suzuki vans plying between Express highway, Blue area and Peshawar Morr create a traffic jams at Pindora Chongi as their drivers park the vehicles right in the middle of road to pick passengers. It is observed that motorists continue to drive without turning on headlights even after sunset and nobody checks or ticket them. The number of road accidents has also increased in the twin cities because of overspeeding and reckless driving. The commuters have demanded of authorities concerned ISLAMABAD: Ambassador of Denmark Ole Emil Moesby speaks during 2nd National Con- to check these hazards to ference on Gender & Media organized by White Ribbon Campaign, at a local hotel.—PO smoothen traffic flow and avoid accidents.—Online photo by Sultan Bashir

Concession to females students Khayaban-e-Sir Syed plunges in low literacy regions into darkness I —Allama Iqbal these 64 percent are the females, —The Islamabad

IHC issues notices ISLAMABAD

High Court on Friday issued notices to Director General Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Secretary Defence and Secretary Establishment. The notices were issued over an application, seeking contempt of court proceedings over non-compliance of an approval given by a cabinet sub-committee in the light of Lahore High Court ruling for regularization of employees of ISI, Pakistan’s principal spy agency. The application said the cabinet sub-committee had given approval for the regularization of services of ISI employees in the light of LHC verdict issued on December 31, 2012. However, the decision has not been implemented so far. The court adjourned the hearing for a week.—INP

larize scores of daily wagers and contract employees of different ministries, divisions and departments. Justice Riaz Ahmed Khan of IHC heard a petition filed by employees of the ministries, divisions and departments. The Justice ordered the concerned departments to send the cases of those employees who deserve regularization to the Cabinet’s

by the sub-committee. It is pertinent to mention that daily wagers and contract employees of the Ministry of Science and Technology, National Savings and Ministry of Inter Provincial Coordination, among other ministries and departments, had filed petitions in the court for regularization.—INP

board of management has approved Rs10 million for the repair and maintenance, and purchase of equipment in the healthcare facilities. Board of management of Allied Hospitals meeting was held the other day which was attended by medical superintendents of all the three hospitals and other concerned officials.—INP

International Women’s Day marked at FJWU RAWALPINDI—To commemo- and significance of the Women’s should come forward in every rate the “International Women’s Day” Fatima Jinnah Women University on Friday organized a seminar entitled “Journey of decade through violence against women.” Students and faculty members from almost all the departments attended the event.The event started with recitation from the Holy Quran by Hafiza Asma Khan. Zarina Bibi welcomed the audience and gave a brief introduction of Dr Iftikhar-un- Nisa Hassan, who is currently working as Social Sciences Research Consultant in Karakoram International University. In her welcome note, Dr Hassan highlighted the history

Day and resilience among women. She also discussed the theme of International Women’s Day 2013 that is “A promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women” during her speech. She said that the importance of educating the women was neglected in the past because of which they were unaware of their rights. But now girls were more conscious and aware of their rights and responsibilities. She added that economic freedom is the real freedom and women should get education to be independent in real term.She was of the view that women

field of life for their rights. She shed light on how women reconstruct their self throughout different stages of life.Apart from that she also shared her personal life experiences with the audience and said the role of the women in the development of any country can not be ignored.Speaking on the occasion, Dr Rukhsana Hassan, Chairperson Gender Studies Department expressed her appreciation for students, faculty and staff’s efforts. She emphasized that on this day we must remind ourselves if we are vigilant in protecting others’ rights and not causing any type of distress to the fellow beings.—APP

SLAMABAD

Open University (AIOU) and the First Women Bank Ltd. (FWBL) here on Friday signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for providing concession in fee to the females students of matric level, those living in less than 40 percent literacy region. Under the the MoU, the two sides will have bilateral cooperation on a regular basis as a part of their efforts and commitment for empowerment of women. The MoU was inked by Vice-Chancellor, AIOU Prof. Dr. Nazir Ahmed Sangi and the President/Chairperson, FWBL, Shafqat Sultana on the occasion of women day. Addressing the signing ceremony, Dr. Nazir Ahmed Sangi said AIOU has proved to be the only institution whose outreach in Pakistan is more than any organization. Over 1.2 million students are getting benefits from the educational services of AIOU, among

he said. AIOU intends to facilitate its students as much as possible both in fee and academic facilities, he said adding that they highly appreciate the support of FWBL in this connection. Chairperson, FWBL, Shafqat Sultana lauded the role of AIOU in providing quality education for the females as well as supporting them in the fee concession. She said the MoU has laid strong foundation for their future cooperation in providing affordable skillbased socio-economic education to the females students. Under the agreement, AIOU will provide space for opening of ‘FWBL fee collection booths’ at their campuses and study centres to facilitate its students, especially the girls. Whereas FWBL will provide computer-labs and skill training equipment at AIOU regional offices and study centres to facilitate the female students.—APP

RAWALPINDI—Civic facilities on Adiala Road are deteriorating constantly, as both Chaklala Cantonment Board (CCB) and Potohar Town Administration have turned a blind eye towards the ever-increasing phenomenon of encroachments and filthiness in the area. It is ironic that the expanded road on which millions have been spent has been taken over by the encroachment mafia with the connivance of the CCB and town administration officials, the residents told. Similarly, stalls of vegetables and goods have been set up on footpaths, leaving no space for pedestrians from Khawaja Corporation Chowk up to Gulshanabad. Adding to the woes of the residents is the Bakra Mandi set up at the Defence Road turn. The situation along the road near Wahdat Colony was the worst; an area has been turned into a dumping site, where wild plants have grown, while piles of mud along both sides of the road have added to the filthiness in the area. The residents of Askari-VII, XIII, XIV and numerous other colonies demanded the station commander and the district coordination officer to visit the area to see the prevailing situa- ISLAMABAD: A vehicle electrician examining the headlight of a motorbike at Traffic Police special campaign camp. tion.—Online

RAWALPINDI—The streetlights installed in Khayaban-e-Sir Syed area have become dysfunctional plunging several adjoining areas into darkness and creating inconvenience for the residents. The residents complained that the out of order streetlights poses problem for them while the incidents of street crimes have also increased in their areas. Residents complained that with advent of evening the whole area sinks into darkness and causes inconvenience for transporters and residents. The residents have demanded of the TMA to repair the out of order streetlights on pri- ISLAMABAD: Employees of Special Education Department are holding a sit-in in support of their demands, at D Chowk.—PO photo ority. They demanded of the concerning authorities to put the streetlights system in order.— Online

Pick pockets active ISLAMABAD—Pickpocket incidents are on rise in vegetable market I-11 due to negligence of the police. The criminals have devised novel tactics of pick- pocketing and looting the buyers. The popular method being employed by them is that they hit their victim with hand pushed cart. This way the victim falls down and people start gathering around him. The criminals take advantage of the crowd and deprive not only their victim of the money but a lot of other people also fall to their tricks and return home without bringing vegetable or fruit as their wallets are picked away during pick pocketing spree unleashed by the criminals.—Online

Hajj corruption case: IHC rejects bail plea of Rao Shakeel

ISLAMABAD—The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday rejected the bail plea of Rao Shakeel, the former Director General Hajj, in the Hajj corruption case. Shakeel, who is accused of massive corruption in Hajj operations, submitted a bail plea while his counsel argued before the single-member bench, headed by Chief Justice IHC Anwar Khan Kasi, that his client has been in jail for the last two years as the case proceedings are lingering on. Justice Kasi remarked that the case has been lingering on due to delaying tactics used by the accused. The IHC announced the verdict over Shakeel’s bail after his

counsel concluded the arguments. Earlier, Shakeel’s lawyer said that his client was arrested two years ago and he did not cause any delay in the trial. The counsel demanding bail for his client argued that Hamid Saeed Kazmi, the former federal minister for Hajj, had given bail for the same reason. The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) opposed the bail plea in the court. Chaudhry Zulfiqar, the FIA’s prosecutor, said in the court that the trial had not been completed due to delaying tactics used by the accused. The court rejected the bail plea of Shakeel and adjourned the hearing.—INP

Teachers to get educational allowance STAFF REPORTER

RAWALPINDI—Around 1,000 teachers of different subjects of Rawalpindi having M.Phil/ PhD degrees will benefit from the educational allowance announced by the Education Department Punjab. The Education Department announced to give the allowance to teachers of all the subjects in the province. Earlier, such educational allowance was being given to M.Phil/PhD teachers of certain subjects. According to the notification, a teacher of any subject having an M.Phil Degee will be given Rs5,000 while those of having PhD degree will be given Rs10,000 allowance.


Kashmiri women victims of worst HR violations I SLAMABAD—As the world observes the International Women’s Day on Friday the miseries and victimisation of Kashmiri women by Indian troops and police personnel in Indian occupied Kashmir continue unabated. According to a report, released by the Research Section of Kashmir Media Service, on the occasion of the International Women’s Day, today, thousands of women were among 93, 845 civilians, martyred by Indian troops and other paramilitary forces since January 1989 till now. The report maintained that 617 women were killed by the men in uniform alone from January 2001 till date. It revealed that since January 1989 the state terrorism had rendered 22,766 women widowed while 10,048 were molested by the Indian forces. The report said that thousands of women suffered the loss of their sons, husbands and brothers in the occupied territory who got disappeared in the custody of troops, paramilitary forces and police personnel. As per the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons, more than 8,000 Kashmiris went missing during the past 24 years, it added. The report further pointed out that majority of the Kashmiris suffering from multiple psychic problems was of womenfolk.—APP

Baramulla killing slur on Indian democracy

Harassments could not weaken Kashmiris resolve I SLAMABAD —The veteran tice. History is testimony to and police personnel were Kashmiri Hurriyet leader Syed Ali Gilani has said that arrests, curfews and restrictions could not weaken the Kashmiris’ resolve for their fight against Indian repression. Talking in an interview, Ali Gilani said India and its puppet authorities have crossed all limits of cruelty in the territory by resorting to killings, frequent arrests, use of pepper gas and ransacking of residential houses. Ali Gilani, who is under house arrest in Srinagar after his arrival from New Delhi on Thursday, KMS reported. “The battle we are fighting is between truth and injus-

the fact that truth has always prevailed. I am sure victory will be ours,” the veteran leader said. He said that Kashmir was witnessing the fallout of the secret hanging of Muhammad Afzal Guru that a youth from Pulwama was murdered at Hyderabad in India and another youth was killed in cold blood in Baramulla town. He said, “Everybody is aware of the treatment meted out to me in New Delhi. I was put under house arrest for 19 days. Such were the restrictions on me that policemen stayed inside my room for 32 hours.” Syed Ali Gilani said that Indian troops

not only on the killing spree in occupied Kashmir but also arresting minors and even ransacking the public property. He said that the blood of martyrs would not be allowed to go waste. Meanwhile, Tehreek-eHurriyat spokesman, Dr Ghulam Muhammad Ganai, in a media interview said that the police had arrested some youth and an aged man Muhammad Yasin Malik for raising pro-freedom slogans on the arrival of Syed Ali Gilani at the Srinagar airport. He strongly condemned the arrests and the highhandedness of police.—APP

IHK virtually turned into Four burnt in police state: Mirwaiz short circuit fire

MUZAFFARABAD: Raja Faisal Mumtaz Rathore, Minister of AKLAS & Irrigation, Sardar Javed Ayoub and other sitting on the stage during World Women Day.

I SLAMABAD —Chairman of All Parties Hurriyet Conference in Indian occupied Kashmir Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, has expressed serious concern over the unwarranted curfew imposed by the authorities, saying that the life in the territory has been crippled under a well hatched conspiracy. The APHC Chairman, who remains under house arrest in Srinagar for the past several days, in a media interview said that curfew, restrictions, and spreading terror and fear by Indian forces had practically turned Kashmir into a

Police State, KMS reported. He said that the Kashmiris were imprisoned in their own houses and at many places forces were not allowing them to buy food and other essentials for daily living. The Mirwaiz pointed out that under the garb of curfew, the forces were ransacking houses in the old city area of Srinagar and terrorizing the inhabitants. He said that the people were facing war like situation. The APHC Chairman said the occupation authorities were deliberately

creating problems on the ground and stopping people from peacefully expressing their political aspirations. He said that such dictatorial steps were cause of great concern. He urged India to read the writing on the walls or otherwise face intense public reactions in the territory. He also strongly denounced the new spree of arrests of Kashmiri youth and Hurriyet leaders in the aftermath of the execution of Muhammad Afzal Guru, demanding release of the detainees at the earliest.—APP

SRINAGAR—Terming the killing of Baramulla youth Tahir Rasool Sofi by security forces ‘a slur on face of Indian democracy’, United Jihad Council (UJC) chief Syed Sallahudin has said that India is suppressing the voices of people in Valley and committing cruelty, arson and genocide. In a statement, he has said that “those whose behaviour is based on criminal intent against the movement for their vested interests should read the writing on the wall that India has to bow before the truth. That is what history teaches us. The blood of martyrs will not go waste.” “Mudasir Kamraan was murdered in Hyderabad and the state government is the part of this heinous crime,” he added. He said India had to leave Kashmir one day and that day was coming soon. “Those whose behavior is based against the movement on criminal principles for their vested interests should read the writing on the wall. India has to bow before the truth. That is what history teaches us. The blood of martyrs will not go waste,” Salahuddin said in the statement. “Mudasir Kamran was murdered by the fanatics in Hyderabad and the State government is the part of this heinous crime,” he said. Salahuddin paid rich tributes to the both Tahir Rasool Sofi and Mudasir Kamran. Meanwhile, Hizbul Mujahideen also condemned Sofi’s killing. Hizb also termed the breakdown of Omar Abdullah in the Assembly as “crocodile tears”, Hizb spokesperson Saleem Hashmi in a statement said by shedding tears the Abdullah can’t deceive Kashmiris. “State government is also part of the killings of Kashmiri youth,” the Hizb spokesman said. Hizb appealed the international human rights organizations to take note of human rights violations committed by the State on Kashmiris. —NNI

NC facilitating murder of Kashmiris: Mehbooba J A M M U — O p p o s i t i o n tion of AFSPA, she said that were killed in 2010, Mufti said Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) President Mehbooba Mufti has said ruling National Conference (NC) was facilitating the murder of Kashmiris to strength its hold on power by projecting itself in New Delhi as the only party that could hold Jammu and Kashmir for India. “They are shedding the blood of innocents to promote chaos and instability in the State and benefit from it. Such policies of NC are fuelling alienation among the common masses,” Mufti said speaking on the adjournment motion. She said it was a historical fact that NC had always alienated people of Jammu and Kashmir through its misdeeds. Mufti dubbed NC as ‘Kaffan and Daffan party’ and said in case of Afzal Guru’s hanging NC did not even do that. Taking a dig at NC for raking up the issue of Armed Forces Special Power Act (AFSPA), Mufti said that except giving statements NC government, during the past more than four years, had done nothing to revoke the draconian law. Questioning the intension of NC leaders in raising the demand for the revoca-

during the regime of Mufti Sayeed, draconian law POTA was abolished silently and without publicity. “We were not interested in scoring political points while abolishing POTA from the State. Our only interest was to restore dignity and honor of the people and to protect life of the innocents,” she said. “Farooq Abdullah government was first government in entire India that had enforced draconian law like POTA in its State.” Mufti said PDP government had revoked POTA silently but the present regime had failed to revoke AFSPA. She said that instead of taking concerted efforts to revoke AFSPA, NC government had been brazenly using this draconian law as propaganda for petty political gains. “Unfortunately NC is using this law to deflect attention of the people from the failure of the State government on all fronts,” she said. “The government has failed to enforce accountability in the governance.” Launching a scathing attack on Omar Abdullah government for its failure to give justice to 120 Kashmiri youth who

that AFSPA was not applicable in the incidents related to the killing of 120 youth. “I fail to understand why, till date, your government has failed to take action against those who were responsible for such large number of killings of innocent youth in 2010,” she said. “Instead of bringing the culprits involved in the killing 120 youth to book, the State government is trying to project deceased as culprits.” She narrated the incident of the killings of Tufail Mattoo. “This is the mindset of NC to enforce repressive measures so that it can continue in power,” she said and pointed at the draft Police Bill in which the government has proposed more draconian provisions compared to AFSPA. Ridiculing claims of Chief Minister Omar Abdullah that he was pursuing revocation of AFSPA, she challenged the CM and said: “On the one hand you are talking about AFSPA revocation while on the other hand you have deployed Army in every village and nook and corner of Kashmir valley. You are in power only because troops are protecting your government.” —NNI

Kashmir valley under strict curfew

ISLAMABAD—The authorities I SLAMABAD—Indian paramili- adding that the men in uni- imposed curfew in all parts of bers of a family including a form broke the doors of the the Valley to thwart protests, MIRPUR (AJK)—Four mem-

mother and her three daughters were burnt to death due to fire as a result of electricity short circuit fire in a wooden house in village Tangaath late Thursday night. According to police sources, the deceased were identified as Shakeela Bibi wife of Khawaja Nisar Ahmed and her daughters Iqra, Uzma and Sobia. A major portion of the house was reduced to skeleton in the fire in the skyhigh flames which were brought under control by the locals and volunteers.—APP

Er Rashid appeals NC, PDP to work jointly for K-issue

ISLAMABAD: AJK Chief Secretary Ilmuddin Bullo talking with delegation of Pathrand Hydro electric project.

Indian troops arrest KU students in Srinagar

JAMMU—Independent MLA Langate Engineer Sheikh Rashid has appealed both the ruling National Conference and opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to pressurize Delhi for the resolution of Kashmir issue. He was speaking on the adjournment motion moved by the PDP. “Both NC and PDP have been misleading people of Kashmir with their statements and they have been working on the direction of Delhi,” Rashid said. He, however, suggested them to sit together and make possible efforts for the resolution of Kashmir issue jointly. Referring to the former DGP of J&K Police Kuldeep Khuda, he said, “A minister in UP government resigns and government orders investigation against him following allegations of his involvement in the murder of a Deputy SP. Contrary to this, in J&K Government appoints Khuda as Chief Vigilance Commissioner, who was involved in triple murder case.” When the entire country was protesting against the Delhi Rape Case, he said, “In Anantnag police jailed a handicapped girl. Likewise not even a single policeman or other para-military personnel was punished for killing 120 people in 2010.” He said that the people of Kashmir have been going away from Delhi because they are being treated as second class citizens. “We would have full confidence in the law of India, if they had hanged Army or STF officers for killing ci-

tary troops in Indian occupied Kashmir beat up and injured Kashmir University students at Hazratbal in Srinagar. The personnel of Indian Central Reserve Police Force and police beaten to pulp a Ph.D scholar and a post graduate (PG) student and took them to Nigeen police station, KMS reported. The troops, who were infuriated by the protests in Sadrabal Chowk, harassed the students. “There were protests going on in Sadrabal Chowk. CRPF and policemen chased them and the protesters ran towards residential quarters in Mirza Bagh outside the university campus,” said an eyewitness. “Police and CRPF men ran after them and entered the residential area. University staff tried to stop them but they didn’t listen to anybody,” said the eyewitness,

quarters and abused all staff members. “They were abusing everyone and breaking everything that came their way.They entered into the rooms of two students and thrashed them,” they said. “Students were not involved in the protests. They were inside the quarter when police and CRPF broke in. They were beaten to pulp and were later taken to Nigeen police station. This is unfortunate that innocents are being targeted,” said a staff member. Later, massive protests erupted in the campus of University against the Indian state terrorism. Meanwhile, Kashmir University Students Union (KUSU) has condemned the killing of a student, Tahir Ahmad Sofi, in Baramulla and Indian police actions against the students.—APP

on Friday against the killing of a Baramulla youth and demand of the return of the bodies of prominent Kashmiri liberation leaders, Mohammad Maqbool Butt and Mohammad Afzal Guru, from New Delhi’s infamous Tihar Jail. The decision to impose curfew was taken after assessing the critical situation,’ a police official told media men.Earlier, curfew was imposed in Srinagar, Baramulla, Sopore, Trehgam, Pulwama, Pampore, Kulgam and Shopian and strict restrictions were put in place in other parts of the territory on Wednesday, Kashmir Media Service reported.—APP

Forces given free license to JK Govt should bring resolution kill Kashmiris

onAFSPA in LA: CPI(M)

SRINAGAR —While strongly condemning the killing of a

JAMMU—Opposition CPI (M) said, adding, “We do not want youth in Baramulla, JKLF has demanded that the Jammu and Kashmir government should bring a resolution on revocation of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in the state. “If we are sincere government should bring resolution in the state Assembly on revocation of AFSPA (in the state) we will all support it and pass it”, CPI(M) MLA and state secretary M Y Tarigami told the Assembly over the debate on adjournment motion of PDP over the Baramulla firing incident. “After passage of the resolution, we will recommend the revocation of AFSPA to the Parliament”, he

Army in J&K they are needed at the borders now”. Tarigami said: “Central government in the Parliament had revealed that infiltration is down militancy has decrease if the situation has improved, should not there be decrease in the foot steps of security forces should it remain the same as it was in the peak of militancy in 1989-90”. Taking a dig at Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, the CPI (M) leader said: “he should pick up courage come out and award punishment to all those involved in crimes starting from 2010 summer unrest that would be the deterrent”.NNI

chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik has said forces have been given licence to kill Kashmiris. Paying tributes to the Baramulla youth, Yasin Malik in a statement issue here said Indian happy forces have been given a ‘free license’ to kill Kashmiri people. He asked human rights groups to raise their voices against killing of innocent Kashmiris. “It is high time for international human rights groups and civil society of India to come out from their deep slumber and raise their voices against grave HR violations in Kashmir”.—NNI

MUZAFFARABAD: AJK Minister for Forests, Wildlife Sardar Javed Ayub planting a tree to inaugurate annual tree plantation campaign.

Indian Army involved in drug trafficking & raping ZAHEERUL HASSAN ON February 24, 2013 a serving Indian Army Col Ajay Chowdhary, Public Relation Officer (PRO) and Spokesman to its Army was arrested on Sunday for carrying drugs in Manipur. According to TV reports, Col Ajay was arrested with five other people’s red handed for carrying drugs worth Rs 30 crores market value. Arrested persons also include an Assistant manager of the leading airline in the country. Media reports also disclosed that, all the accused were travelling in three vehicles including Chowdhary’s official vehicle when they were arrested at Pallel-60 kms away from the state capital. Col Chowdhary will be tried in the civil court for the offence. The driver of the vehicle told that under the supervision of the Col, the consignment was stuffed in the vehicles in seven airbags, 15 other bags and nine cartons. The drugs included tablets of

Respifed, Omkop, Hilcold, Polyfed and Actidin, the sources said. Notably, the Myanmaar-ManiputNagaland belt has been a haven for smuggling activities from time immemorial. Men o0f military, Paramilitary and Police have been conveniently using this belt for smuggling/ procuring activities for long. In fact, it is not the first case of drug trafficking have been observed in Indian Army. Numbers of Indian officers and soldiers deployed on border duties have been caught up drug trafficking, raping and killing of comrades on the issue of sex because of common and extensive use of liquor. Junior officers living with families even feel hesitation in accompanied calling on their seniors. Earlier, Maj Gen Gur Iqbal Singh Multani, found guilty in smuggling of large qty of liquor to his hometown. Reportedly, Females along either side of

Indo-Myanmar, Indo- Bangladesh and IndoNepal borders are also victims of forced rapes by frustrated and drunk Indian soldiers. It is high time that in few years over 20 senior officers (Brig or above) faced charges of corruption, moral turpitude. Maj Gen AK Lal, dismissed after proven guilty of sexually assault a junior woman officer. In 2007 two Lt Gen SK Oahiya, Sahni, two Maj Gen and more than 50 junior officers were charged for irregularities. CBI sorted out Maj Gen Anand Kapoor for possessing disproportionate assets amounting five crore. Again in Jul 09 Capt Poonam, ASC, has alleged three officers for mental sexual harassment. But unfortunately the same lady has been thrown out of army. In Dec 09 Brig Guredeep of 16 Corps earned millions in the name of forest fire. Now again 03 Jun 10, Engr-in-Chief Lt Gen Nanda, was asked by Indian Army chief to quit on molesting the

wife of his Tech Sectary but Gen has been made clear through local type inquiry . Incidentally ,bulk of the corruption and criminal activities in armed forces is because of involvement of Indian intelligence agencies RAW and CBI Both agencies extensively found engaged in blackmailing, bribing, liquor sup, drug trafficking and offering girls to attract senior officers. RAW and CBI have become the symbol of terror amongst the troops. Indian young lots also seem to be worried about continue declining of the reputation of Indian armed forces. The Indian Army authorities stated that the case against PRO is under investigation and strictest action will be taken if any personnel were found guilty. The claim of Indian authorities regarding punishing the drug traffickers might be proved as toning down the issue. In this regard bombing of Samjhauta Express is a case in which Col

Prohit, notorious intelligence officer was charged for blasting and killing of innocent people but still no punishment has been awarded to him. Thus question arise; How Indian law works? The army PRO was detained, caught red handed, the drugs were in his possession, and the police or army were reluctant to arrest him as they want to establish whether the drug belongs to Col or not, is this correct law? The reasons of continuous deteriorated discipline in Indian Army could be due to the soldiers’ less pay, their deployment for a longer duration on far flung border areas, permission of using liquor, lack of trust between juniors and seniors and pitching them against freedom fighters of Kashmir, Maoists and Nagaland. Thus rectification of narrated causes will help in improvement of discipline and also infuse the pride in the soldiers. —Courtesy: Kashmir watch.


Dollar jumps in Asia TOKYO—The dollar rose to three-and-a-half-year high against the yen in Asia Friday as dealers grow confident of encouraging results from key US jobs data due later in the global day. The greenback climbed to 95.30 yen in Tokyo—its strongest since August 2009—from 94.83 yen in New York late Thursday, while the euro dipped to $1.3095 in Tokyo morning trade against $1.3107. The single currency was also buying 124.82 yen, compared with 124.28 yen. A senior dealer at a major European bank said the focus was on US payroll and jobless figures due later. “Strong readings will push (the dollar) higher,” he said. The US government said Thursday that new claims for US unemployment benefits fell last week to 340,000, Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf in a meeting with Dr Arbab Alamgir Khan, Minister for Communications and Mrs boosting confidence that Asma Arbab Alamgir, MNA. Friday’s much-watched US jobless data would be strong, analysts say.—APP

PQ remains active KARACHI—Six ships scheduled to load/ offload containers, cement, palm oil and iron ore were berthed at Qasim International Container Terminal, Multi Purpose Terminal, Liquid Cargo Terminal and iron ore and coal berth respectively at Port Qasim during the last 24 hours, port sources said here Friday. Two more ships carrying diesel oil and bitumen also arrived at the outer anchorage of Port Qasim during the same period. Berth occupancy was observed at the Port at 58% on Thursday where eight ships namely C.V MSC Nilgun, C.V City of Beijing, C.V Saigon Express, M.V Veruda, MV Anthea, M.V Mycenae, M.V Lancelot and M.T Mid Fighter are currently occupying (PQA) berths to load/ offload containers, cement, iron ore and palm oil during the last 24 hours. Cargo throughput during last 24 hours stood at 91,188 tonnes comprising 35,318 tonnes imports and 55,870 tonnes exports inclusive of containerised cargo carried in 3,100 containers (1,000 imports and 2,100 exports TEUs). Two ships C.V City of Beijing and C.V MSC Nilgun are expected to sail on Friday afternoon.—APP

Pivot of global economy fast shifting to Asia: Mansha STAFF REPORTER

L AHORE —Speaking at the Asia-Pacific CEO Forum organized by International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in New Delhi today, the Chairman of Nishat Group and MCB Bank, Mian Mohammad Mansha stated that the epicenter of the global economy is now shifting to Asia, trends are clearly pointing to the shift of geopolitical, economic and financial power from the developed economies to the emerging markets of Asia. The Forum which was also addressed by Indian ministers including Anand Sharma (Union Minister of Commerce and Industry and Textile) and Salman Khurshid (Minister of External Affairs), appreciated that this will have an increasing impact

Spot rate up by Rs 100 STAFF REPORTER KARACHI—Fine lint remained

in focus amid firm trading with increasing spot rate, traders at the Karachi Cotton Association (KCA) said. In Sindh stations buyers made deals for all grades competitive prices to fortify Rates for conversion on their inventories while the KCA KARACHI—The following revised the spot rate upward by rates will be applicable for Rs 100 per maund to Rs 6,600 conversion into rupees of per maund, floor brokers said. Foreign Currency Deposits, During the trading session, Dollar Bearer Certificates, mills in Punjab and Sindh stations Foreign Currency Bearer made deals for fine grades at Certificates, Special U.S. around Rs 7,200 per maund in orDollar Bonds and profits der to maintain the supply orders thereon by all banks and for of cloth to local market, said tradproviding Forward Cover on ers. General buyers bought all Foreign Currency Deposits grades on slightly higher rates (excluding F.E. 25 deposits) by even at Rs 6,250 per maund while the State Bank on March 11, sellers withholding fine grades 2013. The rates are U.S. offered fine lint at around Rs 7,250 Dollar Rs 97.7769, Japanese per maund on growing demand of Yen Rs 1.0234, Pound Sterling the produce, floor brokers said. Rs 146.9782 and Euro 128.0486.—APP

in the region as Asian economies contributed to nearly sixty percent of global growth in 2012 and the focus of the 21st century is shifting increasingly to Asia. In his address Mian Mansha further stressed that a sound and efficient financial architecture is needed to take advantage of the potential in the Asia-Pacific region. In this context, he also emphasized the need for greater connectivity among the countries of the region, particularly in South Asia. To improve connectivity and ease of doing business, Mr. Mansha suggested opening bank branches in Pakistan and India by interested banks which meet the laid down criteria. The ICC Asia Pacific CEO Forum’s objective was to bring together senior business leaders from the

region, and beyond, to discuss how the Asia-Pacific region can help stimulate the global economy. The purpose of the forum was to provide an opportunity for high level networking and exploring business connectivity with participation of around 60 CEOs from Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East and US. The Forum intended to develop a high level policy message on key issues affective economic growth in the region to G20 leaders in advance of the 2013 G20 Summit in Russia. Participating countries besides India and Pakistan were Australia, Bangladesh, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Macau, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, France, Finland, US, and Mexico.

72pc of black tea imports from Kenya, India STAFF REPORTER ISLAMABAD—Pakistan imports 55 percent of black tea from Kenya and 17 percent from India, Parliamentary Secretary for National Food and Research Natasha Daultana told the National Assembly. Answering various questions during the Question Hour, she said that domestic production was not sufficient, therefore the country had to import tea in bulk quantity. At present, she said, the cultivation and processing of tea was being carried out only at National Tea Research Institute (NTRI) in Mansehra and some quantity of international quality tea was being produced there. Parliamentary Secretary for Cabinet Khurram Jahangir Wattoo said that the previous government had issued as many

as 200 illegal licenses for CNG stations, but the government was vigilant and no such license had so far been issued. He said that there was a shortage of gas in the country and the government was concerned in this regard. Jahangir Watto said that the Supreme Court took notice of the revision in CNG prices on weekly basis in October last year. The apex court, he said, had directed Ogra to audit accounts of CNG stations, while determining the revised CNG prices. Accordingly, Ogra directed all CNG station owners and licence holders to submit their accounts for the past two years. There are 3,395 CNG stations in the country, of which 3,030 had submitted their accounts, whereas 983 CNG stations had submitted incomplete account details.

LSE launches SMS alerts

STAFF REPORTER LAHORE—The Lahore Stock The best political economy is the care and culture of men; for, in these crises, all are ruined except such as are proper individu als, capable of thought, and of new choice and the application of their talent to new labor.

Exchange (LSE) on Thursday launched SMS trade alerts and email notifications directly to the investors to update them about their trade executions. This step has been taken to enhance the transparency in the order executions by the exchange brokers whereby the Exchange would inform the investors directly about their sym-

bol wise gross trading position so that the instances of fictitious trading in the investors account could be checked, said LSE Managing Director Aftab Ahmed Chaudhry. He said that the Exchange achieved another unique milestone in the capital market history of the country by becoming the first exchange in Pakistan by launching this service. The SMS trading alerts will also function as a record for the investors by

apprising them about their daily transactions to eliminate the possibility of any dispute that could generate otherwise, he added. Aftab Ahmad Chaudhry said that some very recent defaults of the brokers had highlighted that certain dishonest brokers from all the Exchanges had sold the shares of the clients from the sub accounts of the brokers without any knowledge of the investors thereby causing huge financial losses to the investors.

Domestic debt rises to Rs 13.043tr

PSCs performance roadmap developed STAFF REPORTER ISLAMABAD—Federal Minister for Finance, Senator Saleem H Mandviwalla Friday said that a comprehensive roadmap would be left for the upcoming government to get rid of the circular debt and improve performance of Public Sector Companies (PSCs) on sustainable basis. The federal minister was speaking at the signing and launching ceremony of the Corporate Governance Rules 2013 for Public Sector Companies here at a local hotel today. “We will leave roadmap for the next government to get rid of circular debt and make other state owned entities effective,” Mandviwalla remarked while terming the circular debt and

Diamer-Bhasha dam gets positive response

STAFF REPORT

STAFF REPORTER

KARACHI—Domestic debt in-

LAHORE—In yet another sig-

creased by Rs 1.697 trillion or 14.9 percent to touch Rs 13.043 trillion in January 2013 as compared to last year’s figure of Rs 11.346 trillion, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) data showed on Thursday. Despite the efforts of the central bank, the borrowing of the federal and provincial governments could not be stopped. Recently the government in two separate policy statements, Fiscal Policy Statement and Debt Policy Statement 2012-13 had claimed that the three major requirements were violated during last financial year ending on June 30, 2012 owing to fiscal profligacy arising out of higher subsidies, lower revenues, drying up of external programme loans and currency devaluations. The SBP and the parliamentarians on different occasions warned the government and imposed different kinds of limits owing to the government persistently borrowing.

nificant development towards implementation of the DiamerBhasha Dam Project, three consortiums, comprising 20 renowned international and local firms, have submitted their proposals of consultancy services for construction design, construction supervision and contract administration of the project. The Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) received this excellent response from reputed firms belonging to Europe, America and China in the wake of its notice for Expression of Interest (EoI) for procurement of consultancy services for Diamer-Bhasha Dam Project, which is regarded as good omen for the project. It is pertinent to mention

Weekly inflation goes up slightly STAFF REPORTER I SLAMABAD—The Sensitive

State Owned Entities as two major challenges. Mandviwalla categorically denied the reports that the government had provided Rs100 billion to Pakistan International Air (PIA) and clarified that Rs. 46 million were provided to the national flag carrier to buy new aircrafts to facilitate the passengers. The federal minister lauded the efforts of the former Finance Minister, Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh for managing the country’s economic and financial affairs despite challenges. He expressed the hope that the launching and implementations of the Corporate governance rules 2013 for PSCs would help improve the performance of the public sector enti-

that the federal government through Wapda is implementing Diamer-Bhasha Dam as a priority project. The project is of immense importance for socio-economic development of the country. On completion, the project will help store 8.1 million acre feet of water for agricultural and generate 4500 MW electricity, contributing about 20 billion units of low-cost hydel electricity to the National Grid every year. For the multi billion dollar project, acquisition of land, development of infrastructure in the project area and implementation of social action plan including construction of a model village for the displaced populace and other steps leading towards their socio-economic development are continuing side by side.

ties and benefit the country. Meanwhile, speaking on the occasion, Chairman Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan Muhammad Ali gave detailed presentation on the Corporate Governance Rules 2013 and expressed the hope that the rules will have far-reaching effect in reviving the PSCs in Pakistan. He said that these rules have been formulated in view of the distinct governance challenges faced by the public sector companies in Pakistan. According to official estimates, the eight major PSCs are receiving more than Rs300 billion in annual support and bailouts from the federal government, thereby draining fiscal resources

Continued on Page 14

Pacra upgrades SCLL rating STAFF REPORTER K ARACHI —Pakistan Credit Rating Agency (Pacra) has upgraded long-term rating of Standard Chartered Leasing Limited (SCLL) to AA+ (double A plus) [Previous: AA] while shortterm rating has been maintained at A1+ (A one plus). The ratings denote a very low expectation of credit risk. They indicate very strong capacity for timely payment of financial commitments. The ratings of SCLL reflect its strong ownership by Standard Chartered Bank (Pakistan) Limited; ultimately owned by a recognized international banking group - Standard Chartered. Over the recent years, this association has led to strong integration of SCLL into Standard Chartered’s operational platform. The company, while deriving synergies from its association with the group, shares common brand, clientele and technological infrastructure.

Hashmat appointed acting MD BoK Banking and Financial industry where he worked on senior poPESHAWAR—The Government sitions. Mir Javed Hashmat started his of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Finance Department Notified the career in 1974 by joining Indusappointment of Mir Javed Hashmat as Acting Managing Director The Bank of Khyber (BOK). He was working as Executive Director of the Bank and join BOK as Member Board of Directors in September 2008. Prior to joining Bank of Khyber Board of Directors he was active member of Business community and office bears of various industrial and business organizations , as a Member Board & later as Executive Di- trial Development Bank of Pakirector of BOK bring with him stan (IDBP) as Project Evaluation 35 years of Corporate & Invest- Officer and served the IDBP for ment Banking experience with over 25 years on various important professional background in positions besides IDBP’s Provin-

STAFF REPORTER

cial Chiefs for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa & Baluchistan Provinces. He also attended various international & national trainings, workshops and seminars organized by World Bank, ADB, PIM, IBP and State Bank of Pakistan. He joined The Bank of Khyber as Senior Vice-President and established Assets Management Division in 2001 and was also member of the Business Development, Resource Mobilization, Management, Credit & Human Resources Development Committees. His appointment as Acting Managing Director BOK shows seriousness of the present Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa towards continuity of policies in The Bank of Khyber which is going to definitely help growth to socio-economic development of the province.

Price Indicator (SPI) for the week ended on March 7 for the lowest income group up to Rs.8,000 increased by 0.51 per cent as compared to the previous week. The SPI for the week under review in the above mentioned group was recorded at 186.36 points against 185.42 points registered in the previous week, according to provisional figures of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS). The weekly SPI has been computed with base 2007 2008=100, covering 17 urban centers and 53 essential items for all income groups and combined. The SPI for the combined group also increased by 0.40 percent as it went up from 190.69 points in the previous week to 191.46 points in the week under review. As compared to the corresponding week of last year, the SPI for the combined group in the week under review witnessed increase of 6.12 percent. As compared to the last week, the SPI for the income groups from Rs.8001 12,000, Deputy Prime Minister Chaudhary Pervaiz Elahi inaugurating Gujranwala Export Pro12,001 18,000, 18001 35,000. cessing Zone. Saadat S Cheema, Chairman EPZA is also seen in the picture.

Energy crisis delay paralyses industrial estate progress STAFF REPORTER LAHORE—Industrial bodies’ representatives have demanded a three year extension in construction period in Sundar Industrial Estate. Vice Chairman PIAF and former chief of PPMA Amjad Jawa said that a large number of businessmen could not start construction of their industrial units because of an acute energy shortage as at such time when neither electricity nor gas

is available to industry, initiation of any new venture was wastage of money. He said that the management of Sundar Industrial Estate should understand ground realities and allow an extension in construction period would be a great favor to the economy. PAAPAM vice chairman Usman Malik, criticising the provincial government policy of forcing allottees of Sundar Industrial Estate who have not yet started industrialisation process

to transfer plots, observed that most of the allottees are genuine industrialists and wanted to set up units there but financial burden and liquidity crunch cannot allow them to invest further. He raised the point that at a time when the business community was already facing a number of challenges, including prolonged energy crisis, deteriorating law and order situation, high input cost and struggling for its survival, instead of providing some relief, the provincial gov-

ernment is engaged in creating more hurdles for Sundar Industrial Estates plot holders’ businessmen. Usman Malik said the business community is presently unable to meet its working capital requirement due to exceptional hike in Rupee-Dollar parity, which is ultimately increasing cost of doing business particularly in Punjab where industrial estates are growing and number of industries is squeezing.

“The sword is hanging on the allottees of SIE to start construction to set up units otherwise their plots will be vacated by the government, as there is long queue of investors belonging to Karachi who wanted to acquire vacated plots, because their position is better due to availability of power as well as gas to their industry.” He said that economic activities were already frozen because of unprecedented energy crisis and de-

teriorating law & order situation. If government forced the industrialists to start construction anyhow, business atmosphere would further gloomy. He appealed to the Chief Minister Punjab to take notice of the situation and order for least 3-year extension in construction period in Sundar Industrial Estate. Meanwhile, the energy crisis-hit industrialists of Lahore Township Industrial Estate (LTIE) have decided to evolve

their future strategy against the agonising load shedding of electricity and gas. “Least interest of the government in solving the energy crisis is enough to prove that present regime has not sympathy with the Punjab industry.” The LTIE industrialists expressed these views here at a meeting on Monday. Chairman Lahore Township Industries Association Nasrullah Mughal, Vice President of the Lahore chamber Mian Abuzar Shad,

former presidents Mian Anjum Nisar and other industrialists were present in the meeting. Speaking on the occasion, Mian Anjum Nisar said that due to wrong government policies and mismanaged affairs, the industry had almost collapsed and industrialists were left with no other option but to stage protest. He said had right steps been taken well in time to enhance the power generation, the situation would have been far better.


smartphone ZONG to light up rural Businesses now can export Newintroduced lives, empower women 3,500 items to US duty-free OBSERVER REPORT

USA

98.00

97.80

UK

147.07

146.77

EURO

128.35

128.08

Canada

95.08

94.88

Switzerland

103.77

103.56

Australia

100.42

100.21

Sweden

15.46

15.43

Japan

1.0278

1.0257

Norway

17.76

17.23

Singapore

78.60

78.44

Denmark

17.22

17.18

Omani Riyal

250.00

245.00

Saudi Arabia

26.13

26.08

Hong Kong

12.63

12.61

Kuwait

345.18

344.48

Malaysia

31.55

31.48

Newzeland

80.92

80.75

Qatar

26.92

26.86

UAE

26.68

26.63

KR WON

0.0898

0.0897

Thailand

3.295

3.289

STAFF REPORTER P E S H AWA R —Commercial Counselor at U.S. Embassy James Fluker Friday said the United States is the largest and most open economy to trade and investment in the world. Talking to the KP Chamber of Commerce and Industry to help local businesses understand how to be competitive in U.S. markets Mr. Fluker said the United States government allows Pakistani businesses to export more than 3,500 items to the U.S. without paying any duties on them. These items include jewelry, most manufactured items, and many types of carpets, agricultural products, minerals, and marble, he added.

Mr. Fluker said trade, investment, and private sector growth are key to the future of the Pak-US relationship. His visit to KP Chamber of Commerce and Industry was part of U.S. initiative to help Pakistani executives take advantage of the opportunities to grow their business with United States. The U.S. Commercial Service is the trade promotion office of the U.S. government. It connects U.S. exporters with international buyers through a network of 100 offices in the United States, and in over 70 cities around the world, including offices in Islamabad, Karachi and Lahore. It also helps Pakistani buyers locate U.S. products, services, and business partners;

meet suppliers and partners face-to-face; and participate in trade shows that feature thousands of U.S. companies. In June 2013, an official U.S. government -led delegation of Pakistani business executives will travel to the International Franchise Expo in New York City. President KP Chamber of Commerce and Industry Dr. M. Yousaf Sarwar speaking on the occasion thanked the U.S. government for its financial and technical support in different development plans. He said American support will play a vital role in reviving the business activities in the province and bringing economic prosperity to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Presently bilateral trade between Pakistan and the United States was more than $5 billion in 2012.

Low cigarette prices affect collection Gold Tezab Silver Tezabi

51600.00 917.14

Gold Tezabi (24-Ct) Gold 22 Ct SilverTezabi Silver Thobi

51000.00 50000.00 900.00 910.00

Japan recession over, recovery eyed TOKYO—Japan eased out of recession in the last quarter of 2012, with modest growth analysts said on Friday underpins a strengthening economy, as the government and central bank up their fight against deflation. The 0.2 percent expansion on an annualised basis in the three months to December will be welcome news for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, whose first few months in office have seen renewed optimism over the world’s third largest economy. The economy had shrunk for two consecutive quarters from April through September as export demand weakened on the back of financial turmoil in the key European market, a strong yen and a diplomatic row with China. Adding to the upbeat sentiment Friday was a 2.64 percent surge in the benchmark Nikkei 225 index, taking it to levels not seen since before the 2008 collapse of Lehman Brothers that heralded the global economic crisis. Abe’s mantra since being swept to power in December has been one of pumping life into a flaccid economy and turning around 15 years of growth-sapping inflation, while announcing huge debtfunded spending packages. The country has seen a mixed bag of economic data lately, with the unemployment rate edging down to 4.2 percent in January and deflation doggedly persisting, while industrial output showed a modest rise of 0.1 percent in January from the previous month. In January, Japan also posted its third straight deficit in the current account, the broadest measure of trade with the rest of the world, showing it was 364.8 billion yen ($3.8 billion) in the red for the month. However, the yen has weakened by almost a fifth since November on expectations the Bank of Japan would adopt an aggressive monetary easing policy, helping make the nation’s exporters more competitive and boosting their latest earnings results. Abe has heaped pressure on the central bank, threatening to change the law guaranteeing its independence if it did not fall into line. Last month he nominated Asian Development Bank head Haruhiko Kuroda, an advocate of aggressive easing measures, to take the helm at the Bank of Japan, after Masaaki Shirakawa stepped down early following repeated policy clashes with the premier. Abe also unveiled a massive spending plan in January that he says will boost gross domestic product by two percentage points and create 600,000 jobs. Hideki Matsumura, economist at Japan Research Institute, said the GDP figure Friday “confirmed that the Japanese economy has hit bottom and started picking up”.—Agencies

STAFF REPORTER ISLAMABAD—The FBR has informed the Ministry of Finance that multinational companies have fixed prices of cigarettes lowest in the world, which resulted in low collection of revenues from cigarette industry. The cigarette manufacturing giants have deliberately maintained very low retail price structure of cigarettes to avoid actual potential of sales tax and Federal Excise Duty (FED) on different brands. The collection of taxes from this industry is even low when compared with regional countries. An analysis of the current cigarette market disclosed that

PYMA seeks withdrawal of SROs STAFF REPORTER KARACHI—Chairman, Pakistan Yarn Merchant Association Mohammad Iqbal Mandavia and members of the association have urged chairman Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and Federal Finance Minister to withdraw SRO 140(1) 2013 and SRO 154(1) 2013. They said the implementation of these SROs is going to crunch the business activates of zero rated textile sector. They also expressed concerned that the abolition of zero rated regime for textile industry will slow down the efforts to increase the countrys exports at a time when our countrys economy is suffering from so many crises such as energy, law and order, etc. PYMA appreciated level playing field given in SRO 140(1)2013 by keeping the withholding tax at uniform rate for both industries and commercial imports. However, it strongly opposed the increase in withholding rate from 1 percent to 5 percent on import of raw material of five zero rated sectors. This shall cripple the exports and hence further deteriorate the country trade balance. PYMA also expressed concern over the levy of 2 percent value addition tax in addition to 2 percent sales tax on commercial imports in SRO 154(1)2013. It is basically 100 percent value addition which shall lead to further.

almost 90 percent of the market is priced at Rs.33 or less per pack of 20 cigarettes, out of which Rs.28.44 is retail price for FED purpose whereas Rs.4.56 is the amount of sales tax. Such price is almost lowest in the world, which results in low collection of revenues from this segment. It is relevant to mention that due to fair prices, countries like Sri Lanka are collecting almost equal amount of duty/ taxes as collected in Pakistan whereas the population of Sri Lanka 1/10th of the size of market in Pakistan. Moreover, the incidence of duty/tax on this segment (ie 90 percent of the market) is 60 percent or less which is well below the international standard of 70

percent, required to be achieved by signatories of Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) ratified under the auspices of WHO Pakistan, which is also a signatory to this convention and has to raise incidence up to 70 percent as well. The FBR has further conveyed to the Ministry of Finance that during 2011-12, Federal Excise Duty (FED) and Sales Tax (ST) collection from cigarette industry was Rs.53.23 billion and Rs.12.52 billion respectively, which during July-Dec, 2012 has reached Rs.24.15 billion and Rs.5.57 billion respectively. However, it is felt that the revenue realization from this industry is not according to its potential.

LAHORE—The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry Friday took a strong exception to the Federal Cabinet for making a hefty increase of Rs.5.5 per unit in gas tariff and called for its immediate withdrawal. The LCCI President Farooq Iftikhar in a statement issued here said that the collection of whopping Rs 11b from the gas consumers already paying gas bill regularly is a sheer injustice because additional collection from consumers under head UFG is against the OGRA Ordinance. While showing grave concerns over fleecing the innocent consumers, the LCCI President said that approval pertaining to collection from consumers can not granted above the set limits on account of unaccounted for gas (UFG). And, both Supreme Court of Pakistan and Lahore High Court had already given verdicts against additionally

US, Gulf states crafting BP spill settlement

NEW YORK—The US government and Gulf Coast states are considering offering BP Plc a deal under which it pays $16 billion to settle civil suits stemming from the deadly 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill, the Wall Street Journal reported. The deal would cover the company’s potential penalties under the Clean Water Act and payments under the Natural Resources Damage Assessment, the newspaper said, citing sources familiar with the discussions. It was unclear if the deal has been formally offered to BP. The U.S. Justice Department declined to comment. A settlement could avert a bruising courtroom battle over the worst ever U.S. offshore oil spill slated to start in New Orleans, although the trial may begin as the terms of the deal are hammered out. A settlement would also put a solid number on BP’s Nadeem Ghani, Dean of Nixor College and Head of Nixor costs under the Clean Water Corporate and Giasuddin Khan, GM and Head of ORIX Act, which range from $4.5 Leasing Pakistan Limited eBusiness Division signing the billion to $17.5 billion, as well agreement. as potential natural resources damage assessments to the states under the Oil Pollution Act.—Newswire

FPCCI hails Wathra appointment as deputy governor of SBP EU team visits Mahmood Wathra as Dy. GovSTAFF REPORTER ernor of SBP who has long and

ISLAMABAD—Haji Fazal Kadir rich experience of more than 35 Khan Sherani, President FPCCI; Tariq Sayeed, Vice President CACCI, Founder & former President SAARC CCI & former President FPCCI; S M Muneer, President, India Pakistan CCI & Former President, FPCCI; Shaikh Haroon Rashid, Shaikh Shakeel Ahmad Dhingra, Sheikh Abdul Waheed Sandal, Mirza Abdul Rehman, Iqbal Dawood Pakwala, Azhar Majeed Sheikh, Zubair Ali, Engr. Haji Daroon Khan and Begum Salma Ahmad Shah, Vice Presidents of FPCCI have congratulated Ashraf Mahmood Wathra on his appointment as Deputy Governor of State Bank of Pakistan. They welcomed and appreciated the decision of the Government for nominating Ashraf

years in the banking sector. Prior to this he was serving as Senior Executive Vice President in National Bank of Pakistan. They said that Wathra is an asset for the country and business community has great expectations that the SBP and the business community will make maximum use of his experience. Ashraf Wathra is a dedicated and honest banker and his appointment as Deputy Governor is recognition of his long meritorious and outstanding services. The business community showing their satisfaction on SBP expressed that it has a very good team in the form of Yasin Anwar and Ashraf Wathra, Governor and Deputy Governor respectively.

LCCI resents increase of Rs5.5 per unit in gas tariff STAFF REPORTER

I SLAMABAD —Samsung has launched its latest Galaxy “Grand” smartphone in Pakistan. A vibrant launch ceremony was held at the Royal Palm Golf & Country Club, followed by an enjoyable movie show attended by a large number of celebrities from television, film and fashion industry of Pakistan. The guests at the launch event were also given opportunities to win fabulous prizes including Samsung Galaxy “Grand” smart-phones, through a lucky draw. Farid Ullah Jan - Head of Mobile phones said; “Samsung, as a brand, is born out of a commitment to relentlessly pursue a better tomorrow with a revolutionary freedom of communication. We consistently seek a deep insight into our customers’ needs and preferences, to evolve and innovate, with an optimism that says “It’s all possible”. The Samsung Galaxy Grand stands for qualities like: innovation, change, fun, discovery, self-expression and excellence in performance. We want to closely connect and interact with our customers through all touch points.

charging the consumers on account of stolen gas. Farooq Iftikhar said that the Cabinet decision to pass on Unaccounted for Gas (UFG) losses to consumers would not only be causing considerable increase in the cost of doing business but would particularly be hitting hard all the manufacturers who had already secured orders from their foreign buyers. He said that the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry understands that gas theft without the connivance of concerned department is near to impossible therefore punishing the honest consumers makes no sense at all. The LCCI President said that the economy was already passing through very challenging times because of an acute shortage of electricity and gas therefore the government should avoid anti-business decisions and start thinking package of incentives for trade and industry.

The LCCI President also sought status of new exploration of gas reserves and supply and demand situation saying that the SNGPL must share with the business community the latest gas reserves status as it has been reported that the current gas reserves are depleting and it will become insufficient to meet the national demand in near future. He said that there is a dire need to find out new reserves in the country. The exploration of oil and gas is considered as a lucrative venture, the companies all over the world are eager to invest in this area, as it promises hefty dividends. What is lacking in Pakistan is a clear roadmap to channelize funds into this sector.” The LCCI President said that if any incentives are being offered to the private companies, it must be publicized so that private sector could be encouraged to divert its investment to this important sector.

fish harbour STAFF REPORTER

KARACHI—Pierre Mayaudon, Deputy Head of Delegation of European Union (EU) to Pakistan along with Husnain Iftikhar, Senior Trade Advisor of Delegation of European Union (EU) to Pakistan visited the Karachi Fish Harbour on Thursday. On his arrival Shaukat Hussain, Director General, Marine Fisheries Department (MFD) briefed him about the steps taken for the improvement of Karachi Fish Harbour by the Karachi Fisheries Harbour Authority (KFHA) and other stakeholders. The EU dignitaries visited the two seafood companies M/ s. Akhlaq Enterprises and M/s. A. G. Fisheries who have been re-listed by EU followed by a meeting with Abdul Ghani Jokhio, Managing Director, KFHA. The Managing Director informed the EU delegation about the efforts made for the improvement of Karachi Fish Harbour. He further informed that further revamping of the Karachi Fish Harbour was under way with the financial assistance of Government of Sindh. Pierre Mayaudon, Deputy Head of Delegation of EU termed his visit very successful. He termed re-listing of two companies as a good development and hope that further seafood companies would also be re-listed if they comply with the EU standards. During the visit he went to auction hall, two processing plants, modified boats. He appreciated the arrangements made by the KFHA for the betterment of Karachi Fish Harbour. He termed re-listing of two companies as a good development and hope that further seafood companies would also be re-listed if they comply with the EU standards.

STAFF REPORTER ISLAMABAD—ZONG, the international brand of China Mobile, in collaboration with Buksh Foundation, a leading microfinance organization, is set to light up rural lives through the project ‘Lighting a Million Lives’ that will provide solarpowered lighting to 2 villages as a start of a long term partnership. The initiative is a part of the TERI project that aims to provide lightning to a billion people worldwide through solar power. Under the partnership, ZONG will sponsor the establishment of Solar Charging Stations in the selected villages in Chiniot District, providing solar lanterns for the use of the villagers, which can be regularly charged at the solar-charging stations. This is the first time in the country’s history that a telecom company is investing in a clean energy initiative to provide much needed lighting to

Zong and Buksh Foundation have signed an MoU to light up rural lives through a project that will provide solar-powered lighting to 2 villages initially. Picture shows Fan Yunjun, CEO, ZONG and Fiza Farhan, CEO, Buksh Foundation signing the agreement along with ZONG and Buksh Foundation officials. those living in the depth of darkness in rural parts of the country. The initiative has important socio-economic benefits as well.

As the solar-charging stations will be operated by women from the same villages, the project directly promotes women empowerment.

Call for increasing health budget STAFF REPORTER I SLAMABAD —At the time when general elections are due in the country and political parties are announcing their manifestos, it is sad to note that none of the parties running for elections has shown interest to increase spending on the healthcare. This becomes more tragic in the light of the fact that Pakistan spends considerably less than its neighbouring countries on health-care, resultantly a significant percentage of our population is deprived of this essential service and basic right. ‘Present government and previous governments did nothing to deal with this issue other than squeezing drug manufacturers which contribute only 12.3% to the total health expenses budget while the expenses on the doctor’s clinic fee is 53.5% and medical tests contribute to 34.42% of the total

amount spent on healthcare, which the government has no check on,’ said a representative of a pharmaceutical company. He further said that the policy of squeezing drug manufacturers has only resulted in: drugs being smuggled; drugs going off the market; no new investment in pharmaceutical sector; no new employment opportunities; and no new therapies coming to Pakistan. ‘We are coming up to elections and need to ask all the political parties what they will do for the ailing health sector of the country and what plans they have to ensure quality health access for Pakistan’s masses,’ he added. It is to be noted that Pakistan has allocated 0.25% of its budget 2012-13 on health, which is $82.1 million, while India for the same time period has allocated 2% of its budget 2012-13 on health which is $6.9 billion.

US unemployment rate falls to 7.7pc from 7.9pc WASHINGTON—US employers stepped up hiring in February, pushing the unemployment rate to a four-year low, suggesting the economy is gaining traction despite the blow from higher taxes and deep government spending cuts. Nonfarm payrolls surged 236,000 jobs last month, the Labour Department said on Friday, handily beating economists’ expectations for a gain of 160,000. The jobless rate fell to 7.7 per cent, the lowest since December 2008, from 7.9 per cent in January. The decline reflected gains in employment as well as people leaving the labour force. The upbeat report was another sign of the economy’s fundamental health, which has already propelled the Dow Jones industrial average to record highs. “This was a strong number and one of those rare cases where we were firing on all cylinders,” said Jacob Oubina, a senior US economist at RBC Capital Markets in New York. US stock index futures and

the dollar added to gains after the report, while interest rates on US government bonds rose. Although December and January’s employment data was revised to show 15,000 fewer jobs added than previously reported, details of the report were solid, with construction adding the most jobs since March 2007 and increased hours for all workers. Job gains in February were well above the 195,000 monthly average for the three months to January. The solid report offered hope the economy would be able to absorb the fiscal austerity. A 2 per cent payroll tax cut ended and tax rates went up for wealthy Americans on Jan. 1. In addition, $85 billion in federal budget cuts that could slice as much as 0.6 percentage point from growth this year started on March 1. But the pace of gains is still below the roughly 250,000 jobs per month over a sustained period that economists say is needed to significantly reduce unemployment.—Agencies

‘This means the government of Pakistan has set aside $0.46 (Rs 43.3) per person including treatment, prevention (medicines) and care, which is far below than the amount of $5.56 (Indian Rs 304.5) India set aside for one person,’ he added. If, he adds, we recap some figures it is clear that India’s population is 1.24 trillion and Pakistan’s is 180 million according to World Bank estimates (2011). ‘Naturally, the government can spend more on people who are in low numbers, but here the case is different if we compare Pakistan’s spendings on health-care considering its population figures with India,’ he added. Though other figures vary quite much like India’s GDP is $1.85 trillion and Pakistan’s is $210.8 million, while GDP per person in India is $1,489 and GDP per person in Pakistan is $1,171, there are wide gaps that need to be bridged in Pakistan’s health sector.

PSCs From Page 13 which may otherwise be used for improving public services. He said that the rules would go a long way in defining the overall objectives of state ownership, avoiding day-to-day interference in the management of PSCs, granting operational autonomy to the board of directors (BODs), centralizing the ownership function through a coordinating entity, and exercising ownership rights according to the legal structure of each PSE, including respecting the rights and interests of minority shareholders in case of partially owned PSCs. With regard to board empowerment, the Rules have laid down the requirements that the BOD shall comprise of at least 40% independent directors while with regard to transparency, the rules have laid down specific requirements pertaining to corporate, financial reporting and accounting framework. All PSCs are required to adopt International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and the Directors’ report to the members shall also include detailed disclosures specific to the PSC operations based on its social mandate.

ISLAMABAD: Dr Iftikhar Ahmad Chairman PARC presiding over a meeting with delegation of CIMMYT headed by Dr Tom Lumpkin.

Mobile phone imports reach $408.387m STAFF REPORTER I SLAMABAD —The mobile phone imports into the country increased by 4.06 percent during the first seven months of the current year over the same period of last year. The imports of mobile phone into the country during JulyJanuary (2012-13) were recorded at $408.387 million against the imports of $392.436 million during July-January (2011-12), according to the data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS). Similarly the mobile phone imports into the country during the month of January 2013 in-

creased by 5.04 percent and 5.8 percent when compared to the imports of January 2012 and December 2012 respectively. The mobile phone imports during January 2013 stood at $62.746 million against the imports of $59.737 million in January 2012 and $59.308 million in December 2012, the data revealed. It is pertinent to mention that the country’s overall trade deficit decreased by 12.05 per cent, with exports witnessing growth of 7.24 per cent and imports decreasing by 2.44 per cent during the first seven months of the current fiscal year, showing a

positive development in trade balance. The overall imports during the period under review were recorded at $25.685 billion against those of $26.327 billion during last year, showing negative growth of 2.44 percent. Exports from the country increased by 7.24 percent from $13.118 billion in July-January (2011-12) to $14.068 billion during July-January (2012-13). Based on the figures, the overall trade deficit during the period was recorded at $11.612 billion against that of $13.209 billion last year.


Grillo struggles for Europe’s populists

Kenya presidential hopeful challenges count in tense vote

PARIS—Italian comic-turned-activist Beppe NAIROBI—Kenyan presidential results whatsoever by any elec- comments.

Grillo has blazed a trail for populist political movements around Europe by taking his Five Star Movement (M5S) from obscurity to become Italy’s largest party in its first general election campaign. Grillo’s stunning success in turning a fringe protest group into a national force while refusing to be interviewed on television or debate with mainstream politicians may be studied by political scientists and campaign operatives for years. Populists hostile to the euro or to immigration have ridden a wave of anger over austerity, recession and unemployment to make inroads from the Netherlands to France, Finland and Greece since the financial crisis began in 2008. But none has upended national politics as suddenly as the 64-year-old Grillo, a self-made millionaire satirist. His spectacular rise highlights the threat to centre-right and centreleft parties of government around Europe that are involved in implementing unpopular austerity policies and structural economic reforms. Grillo’s unique combination of grassroots organisation, personal charisma, rock-star-style road tour, Internet savvy and use of social media confounded pundits and stunned an elderly political class when M5S grabbed 26 percent of the vote. His central theme is to denounce the Italy’s political and business elite as corrupt and over-privileged. The new-age movement of political novices, which advocates sweeping electoral reform, clean government and environmental causes, seized the balance of power in the Senate, making it hard for any party to form a stable government. “By standing on an anti-establishment platform and using modern communications, (Grillo) has combined medium and message to create a genuinely novel type of movement,” Britain’s Demos think-tank said in a report. “Grillo’s remarkable success shows the effectiveness of communicating and organising through the Internet - and the potential that has to speak directly to millions of people, especially those who are disenchanted with existing political structures,” said the study of his Facebook followers commissioned by the Open Society Institute.—Reuters

Renzi tops poll for premier ROME—The big winner in Italy’s election was populist leader Beppe Grillo, but young Florence mayor Matteo Renzi is emerging as a less obvious beneficiary of a huge protest vote that threatens to destroy the old political system. Renzi, a telegenic, 38-year-old Americanstyle politician who toured Italy in a camper van before Grillo did the same in his campaign, is the opposite of colourless centre-left leader Pier Luigi Bersani, the election’s biggest loser. Whereas Bersani’s oratory can leave an audience yawning, Renzi is an electric, fast-talking and articulate performer who paces the stage in his shirt sleeves pushing just the right buttons to whip up a crowd. He has already demonstrated an acid wit in poking fun at Grillo, a shaggy-haired comedian more than 20 years his senior who mobilised public rage against Italy’s discredited politicians to make his party Italy’s biggest in the vote. Bersani’s drab campaign threw away a 10-point opinion poll lead to just scrape victory in the lower house of parliament ahead of Silvio Berlusconi’s centre-right, but fall short of controlling the Senate - essential for government. No other party has a majority either. Now Renzi is waiting for his moment as Bersani fights for survival, desperately trying to reach an agreement with Grillo that will allow him to form a minority government with backing from the anti-establishment 5Star Movement. With Grillo pouring insults on Bersani at every opportunity, the 61-year-old centre left leader looks to have only a tiny chance of success, despite near unanimous backing from his Democratic Party (PD) leadership this week. The market-friendly Renzi challenged Bersani in party primaries back in November, threatening to “scrap” Italy’s old leadership. He was roundly beaten as the party machine mobilised PD cadres to support the leader. But Bersani’s terrible election campaign has opened the way for a comeback. An opinion poll on Friday showed Renzi was by far the favourite candidate for prime minister among Italian voters, with more than twice as much support as Grillo.—Reuters

Moldovan govt quits CHISINAU—Moldovan Prime Minister Vlad Filat’s pro-Europe government resigned on Friday after being defeated in a confidence vote, raising the prospect of early elections unless a new government is approved within six weeks. Filat’s government effectively collapsed on March 5 when it lost a confidence vote in which it was deserted by two coalition parties in the ruling Alliance for European Integration. The Alliance, which has run the former Soviet republic since it pushed the communists into opposition in 2009, has been split for months by internal feuding and personal rivalries.Political leaders say Moldova’s course toward European integration could be threatened if the three main Alliance partners do not settle their differences and end the crisis. The signing of landmark association and free trade agreements with the European Union at the end of the year could, particularly, be in jeopardy, they say. Moldova is one of Europe’s poorest countries with an average monthly salary of about $230 (153 pounds). Heavily reliant on Russian energy supplies, its economy is kept afloat by remittances from several hundred thousand Moldovans working in Russia and EU countries. The three-party Alliance has worked to break with the Soviet past and map out a route to mainstream Europe for the tiny landlocked state of 3.6 million people, which lies between Ukraine and EU-member Romania. Despite Moldova’s poverty and political uncertainty, the EU has welcomed Chisinau’s reforms and has signalled it is on track to sign key agreements in November. President Nicolae Timofti, who accepted Filat’s resignation on Friday, now has 45 days in which to secure parliamentary support for his nominee for prime minister. If he fails to do so within this time frame, early elections must be called. Commentators say this outcome might result in a comeback by the communists, who remain strong particularly in the countryside.—Reuers

candidate Raila Odinga’s campaign team said some of the results of Sunday’s election had been doctored and called for the vote count to be halted, remarks that could inflame a largely peaceful poll. Odinga, Kenya’s prime minister, is trailing Uhuru Kenyatta in the partial count. His running mate Kalonzo Musyoka, who made the comments, said they were not a call for mass action and urged voters to stay calm and patient. Kenyatta has been indicted for crimes against humanity over ethnic violence which grew out of disputes over Kenya’s last election in 2007 that killed 1,200 people, posing a dilemma for Western governments if he wins. Despite technical glitches, international observers have in past days broadly said the vote and count was transparent, but Musyoka said it should be stopped. We as a coalition take the position the national vote tallying process lacks integrity and has to be stopped and restarted using primary documents from the polling stations,” he told a news conference. “We have evidence the results we are receiving have been doctored,” he said. Election officials said the count would not stop and the results could be delivered by Friday. The commission has up to seven days from Monday’s vote to declare the outcome. Issack Hassan, chairman of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, dismissed charges of any manipulation, saying: “The commission wishes to assure Kenyans that with the rigorous verification process in place, there is no room to doctor the

about the use of rejected ballots yers more time to prepare. tion official.” “It is not a call to mass ac- in the vote count, without callMusyoka questioned the “We cannot stop tallying, this tion,” Musyoka said. “We must ing for a halt. Both teams have sharp fall in the number of is a legal process...” Kenyans tell them (Kenyans) there will be also urged voters to be patient. spoiled ballots counted as Kenya

People discuss the presidential elections results in the western town of Kisumu, 350km from the capital Nairobi. have been hoping this vote will restore its image as one of Africa’s more stable democracies after the mayhem five years ago and many have voiced determination not to take their differences to the streets but to turn to a reformed judiciary. Witnesses said areas in the capital Nairobi and Kisumu, a city in the west of Kenya, where violence erupted after the 2007 vote, appeared calm shortly after Musyoka’s

no mass action. We are committed as a coalition to the principle of the rule of law.” By 1515 GMT, with about 6 million votes tallied, Kenyatta had about 3.1 million votes to Odinga’s 2.6 million, giving the deputy prime minister more than 50 percent. But there is still some way to go, as turnout was estimated at more than 70 percent of the 14.3 million voters. Kenyatta’s coalition has also complained,

Kenyatta and his running mate, William Ruto, are charged by the International Criminal Court in The Hague for orchestrating the tribal blood-letting after the 2007 vote. They both deny the charges but said they would cooperate to clear their names. Judges at the ICC agreed on Thursday to delay the start of Kenyatta’s trial for crimes against humanity to July 9 from April 11, to give defence law-

Syrian rebels: no talks under way to free UN peacekeepers

British queen heading back to work after illness

said they were being treated well in the village of Jamla by civilians and rebels opposed to President Bashar al-Assad. The United Nations said the captives had been detained by around 30 rebel fighters, but Taseel said the men were “guests”, not hostages, and were being held for their own safety. However, he said they would only be released once Assad’s forces retreated from around Jamla and halted bombing there. “Negotiations should be between (the United Nations) and the regime of Bashar alAssad to stop the bombing and lift the blockade of the area so it can be safe,” Taseel said. The Damascus government has not commented publicly about the incident. Taseel said the U.N. observers had a responsibility to keep heavy weapons out of the area. Under an agreement brokered by the United

will resume her royal duties next week after a brief illness. Officials said Friday the queen and her husband Prince Philip plan to attend a Westminster Abbey service Monday to mark Commonwealth Day with another event scheduled later in the week. The 86-year-old monarch was hospitalized overnight on Sunday for treatment of gastroenteritis. It was her first hospitalization in a decade. Officials said the queen’s overall health remains good and she is not cutting back on her activities, although taxing overseas travel has been reduced. The 91-year-old Philip has been treated for heart disease in recent years. He has said he plans to attend fewer events and to scale back his charity events.—Reuters

scrapped an electronic tallying system and switched to rely solely on a manual one. The amount of those ballots could have a significant impact on the outcome. The election commission chairman Hassan said the original high figure was due to a computer error. If no candidate gets more than 50 percent of votes in the first round, the top two will go to a run-off, provisionally set for

April depending on any legal challenges. The electronic system that broke down had aimed to provide speedy provisional results before the final figures were manually gathered. The vacuum left when that system failed has been filled by complaints by rivals over the process. Voting passed off broadly peacefully, and Kenyans have said they are determined to see it stay that way. But many businesses had stayed closed or kept stocks low as a precaution against the kind of violence and looting that erupted last time. The government on Thursday ordered all civil servants to report to work on Friday, after four days in which many of them had stayed away from their offices. In Nairobi’s Mathare slum, a flashpoint in the violence five years ago, residents played down any talk of bloodshed. “I don’t anticipate any violence. We are all Kenyans and there is no need to fight. We voted peacefully, let’s maintain that peace,” said Shadrack Otieno, a 37-year-old Odinga backer. In Kisumu, the biggest city in Odinga’s tribal heartland, businesses, which had shut for voting, started re-opening for the first time in four days. “If this trend continues then we will protest in the streets,” minibus taxi conductor Joseph Omwaru told Reuters, adding he believed there was rigging in Kenyatta’s favour. The Kenyan shilling has been volatile against the U.S. dollar with each twist and turn of election, climbing when a clear result looked like it could emerge swiftly but weakening with the uncertainty of the slow count —Reuters

Saudi accuses activists of lying to stir protests

LONDON—Buckingham Palace BURAIDAH—Saudi Arabia on Abdullah, pressing him to adBEIRUT—Rebels holding 21 on Thursday, the peacekeepers States in 1974, Israel and Syria officials say Queen Elizabeth II Thursday accused online activ- dress the issue swiftly, a signifiU.N. peacekeepers near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights in southern Syria said on Friday no talks were under way to free the men and gave no indication that they would be released soon. “There are no negotiations between any parties,” said Abu Essam Taseel, from the media office of the “Martyrs of Yarmouk” brigade that captured the Filipino peacekeepers on Wednesday. The men are part of the U.N. Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF), which has been monitoring a ceasefire line between Syria and Israel on the Golan Heights since 1974. Their capture just a mile (1.6 km) from Israeli-held lines is further evidence of how Syria’s conflict, nearing its second anniversary, could spill over into neighbouring countries. In several videos released

are allowed a limited number of tanks and troops within 20 km (13 miles) of the disengagement line. Taseel said the Syrian military had exceeded those limits and that its warplanes were bombing opposition targets within 500 metres (yards) of the disengagement line. A U.N. report in December said both the Syrian army and rebels had been present in the de-militarised area between Syrian and Israeli forces, and that Syrian army operations had “affected adversely” UNDOF operations. Referring to incidents including shelling from Syrian territory last year, it said: “Recent incidents across the ceasefire line have shown the potential for escalation of tensions between Israel and the Syrian Arab Republic, and jeopardise the ceasefire between the two countries.—Reuters

Deification of founder to help ‘Chavismo’ survive CARACAS —Within hours of tors, but the sentiments run deep

Hugo Chavez’s death, makeshift altars were going up in homes and on street corners around Venezuela with candles, photos and offerings for the late president. Weeping beside his coffin, supporters are likening him to independence hero Simon Bolivar and even Jesus Christ. Ministers quote his words and precepts in reverential tones. Having fostered a cult of personality during his extraordinary life, Chavez is fast being deified Assad foes flexible now: Russia in death. The outpouring of love MOSCOW—Russia will “absolutely not” tell and mythologizing of Chavez Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step may seem over-the-top to detracdown to end the civil war and make way for a political transition, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in comments published on Friday. The remarks to the BBC were a reiteration of Moscow’s position that Assad’s exit must not be a precondition for a negotiated solution to the two-year-old conflict that has killed more than 70,000 people. Asked whether there was a chance that Russia would tell Assad he should step down for the sake of a peace B ANGKOK —When Mallika agreement, Lavrov replied: “Absolutely not. You know that we’re told her parents she was pregnot in the regime-change game.” “We are against interference in nant at 17, they pulled her out of domestic conflicts. And this is our position, which should be of school and ordered her to marry no surprise to anyone,” he said, according to an English-language the baby’s father. But the marversion of his comments posted on the Russian Foreign Minis- riage didn’t happen and the onetry website. Lavrov said Assad had repeatedly said he was not time aspiring singer now cares going to leave. “All those who get in touch with him know that for her baby girl alone. “I love he is not bluffing, and that he is prepared to discuss any issue - her, but at the time I hid in among the Syrians.” Russia has blocked three U.N. Security shame,” said Mallika, now 23 Council resolutions meant to push Assad out or press him to and a vendor of cheap, made-inend violence, a position that has set it against Western and Arab China clothing at a weekend nations which say he must leave power. Lavrov said he saw market in Thailand’s capital, signs of flexibility. “I’m glad that the latest discussions and the Bangkok. latest gestures from the opposition, and statements from some “The boy’s family wanted to of those who support the opposition, hint that they would be pay me to shut up and stay away prepared to start negotiations with some negotiating team with- from them. We were both chilout asking President Assad to step down,” he was quoted as dren ourselves,” she added, sitsaying. Lavrov spoke before a visit to London next week for ting in her dilapidated apartment the first meeting under the auspices of a new “strategic dia- overlooking a highway on the logue” between Russia and Britain. Syria is among the issues outskirts of Bangkok. Mallika’s on the agenda for the talks on Wednesday between the two coun- situation is, sadly, far from untries’ foreign and defense ministers.—Reuters usual. Thailand’s teenage preg-

for millions of supporters who adored his flamboyant style and attention to the poor while overlooking his autocratic side. As Chavez lays in state, a major question for Venezuela is whether such fervour will guarantee an afterlife for his quirky and personal nationalist-socialist movement, “Chavismo.” “As a faith and a doctrine, there is no doubt that ‘Chavismo’ is here to stay. Its preservation in power is, of course, harder to predict,” said influential local analyst and ruling Socialist Party member Nicmer Evans.

“Any movement, be it Chavismo, Peronismo or Zapatismo, will obviously have its ups and downs,” he added, referring to movements inspired by Argentina’s former populist leader Juan Peron and his wife, Eva Peron, and by Mexican revolutionary leader Emilio Zapata. In the short term, “Chavismo” appears to have as fairly safe grip on the South American OPEC nation with 29 million people and the world’s largest oil reserves. Chavez’s chosen successor, Nicolas Maduro, is the interim president and is favoured to win a new election due in weeks.—AP

Thailand struggles to curb high teen pregnancy rate nancy rate is the highest in Southeast Asia after neighbouring Laos, according to the Bureau of Reproductive Health at the Thai Public Health Ministry. In fact, even though the overall birth-rate is dropping, teen births are on the rise. Out of every 1,000 live births, 54 are from teen mothers aged 15-19 - higher than in the United States and ten times higher than Singapore’s teen pregnancy rate. What’s more, it’s rising fast. The number of live births by Thai teenage mothers aged 15-18 increased 43 percent between 2000 and 2011, a Thai annual public health report shows. Though there are many factors responsible, health experts put weight on cultural mores that make frank discussion of the issue difficult, whether in

an official context or a personal one. This is complicated by gender issues. “Women are told to protect their virginity but Thai men who have multiple sexual encounters are seen as cool,” said Visa Benjamano, a commissioner at the Thai National Human Rights Council (NHRC). “If men sleep around, their image is not at stake whereas a woman’s image is. Women are generally more afraid to discuss their sexual health needs in public.” Although sexual education is part of the national school curriculum, teaching is clearly insufficient. The Education Ministry limits instruction on the subject to eight hours a year despite changing attitudes towards sex among the young..—Reuters

Italy’s Berlusconi in hospital for eye problem MILAN—Former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi is in hospital receiving treatment for an eye problem, legal sources said on Friday. The 76-year-old media billionaire had to cancel his appearance at a final rally ahead of Italy’s inconclusive elections in February and a subsequent television interview because of the eye problem. His lawyers have said the problem constitutes a legitimate impediment to his appearance in court, which could potentially delay a trial this month in which he faces charges of paying for sex with an underage prostitute. A hearing is expected on Friday with the verdict expected on March 18.—Reuters

ists of using social media to stir up protests, banned in the kingdom, by distributing “false information” about the number of people detained by the security apparatus. Concern over the fate of the kingdom’s thousands of security detainees, who the government says are Islamist militants, has prompted demonstrations, culminating in the arrest of 161 people at a protest last week in the central city of Buraidah. The accusation, delivered during a news conference in Buraidah, underscored the government’s concerns over the impact of reports distributed via social media that many longterm detainees have not been brought to trial, and that police treated women protesters disrespectfully. Last week’s protest was the latest in a string of demonstrations by relatives of detainees in the capital Riyadh and Qassim Province, heartland of the kingdom’s ultra-conservative Wahhabi school of Islam. In January more than 100 Wahhabi clerics wrote to King

Flooding complicates clean up at Japanese nuclear plant TOKYO—Tokyo Electric Power system. Dealing with the con-

Co is struggling to stop groundwater flooding into damaged reactors at its wrecked Fukushima plant and it may take four years to fix the problem, possibly delaying the removal of melted uranium fuel. A March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami knocked out cooling equipment at the company’s Fukushima Daiichi plant north of Tokyo, triggering the worst atomic disaster since Chernobyl in 1986. More than 160,000 people were forced from their homes. Nearly two years later, hundreds of tonnes of groundwater is seeping into the damaged reactor buildings every day and mixing with water still being YANGON—Nearly 900 repre- poured on the leaking reactors sentatives from Aung San Suu through a jerry-rigged cooling Kyi’s opposition party gathered Friday in Myanmar’s main city to elect their leadership for the first time in the group’s 25-year history. It is a sign of how far Myanmar has come with political reforms that the gathering, which runs through Sunday in CAIRO—Egypt’s election comYangon, is allowed at all. It’s mittee has scrapped a timetable also a test for the National under which voting for the lower League for Democracy, which is house of parliament should have working to transform itself from begun next month, state media a party of one into a structurally reported on Thursday, following viable political opposition in a court ruling that threw the entime for national elections in tire polling process into confusion. 2015. Egypt now lies in limbo, with no NLD officials hope the first election dates at a time when unall-party congress will make the certainty is taking a heavy toll on structure and operations of the the economy - the Egyptian pound party more reflective of its demo- is falling, foreign currency recratic ideals and infuse its aging serves are sliding and the budget ranks with youth, diversity and deficit is soaring to an unmanagenew expertise.—Reuters able level.

Myanmar opposition holds first party congress

cant step given the paramount role of religion in Saudi society and top clerics’ backing of the protest ban. “There are people who misuse the social networking and try to send false information,” Maj. Gen. Mansour Turki, the Interior Ministry’s security spokesman, said. “They use (it) to make some families go outside and try to protest, saying you should release our husbands or our fathers or our sons,” he added. Families of some detainees say their jailed relatives have been held for years without charge or trial, have been mistreated while in detention or continue to be held after their sentences were completed. Human rights activists say people who merely called for political change or elections have been jailed on the same grounds, something the authorities deny. Al Qaeda launched a series of deadly attacks against foreigners and government targets from 2003-06, prompting a heavy crackdown on Islamist militants. —Reuters

taminated water has been especially tricky because of equipment failures and high levels of radiation. Shunichi Suzuki, Tepco’s general manager for research and development of Fukushima Daiichi decommissioning, said on Friday stopping the groundwater was crucial. “Everyday we have approximately 400 tonnes of groundwater,” Suzuki told Reuters in an interview. Tepco is building a bypass system to try to stop the groundwater flowing from high ground into the buildings. On Thursday, the Japanese government told the utility to revise by June its roadmap for cleaning up the site, which is expected to take 30 to 40 years.—Reuters

Egypt cancels parliamentary vote dates after court ruling The political crisis deepened on Wednesday when the Administrative Court cancelled a decree issued by President Mohamed Mursi calling the election. It also returned the electoral law, the subject of feuding between the opposition and Mursi’s ruling Islamists, to the Constitutional Court for review.Egypt’s turbulent transition to democracy after the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak two years ago has been marked by a number of disputes between the ruling Muslim Brotherhood and the judiciary.—Reuters


Rookie Rutherford puts New Zealand on top DUNEDIN—A superb 171 on debut from Hamish Rutherford steered New Zealand to a commanding first innings lead over England on the third day of the opening Test at University Oval on Friday. Rutherford, 23, posted the seventh highest debut in Test history as he carved up the England attack, exceeding the tourists’ total of 167 single handedly as New Zealand opened up a 235 innings lead. The Black Caps were 402 for seven when rain halted

play late in the day, with Brendon McCullum unbeaten on 44 and Bruce Martin 17 not out. While a James Anderson-inspired England improved after a batting performance that Ian Botham said was one of the worst he had ever witnessed, the Black Caps face the frustrating prospect the weather will save the tourists’ blushes. With the entire first day washed out, Friday’s interruption cost another 32 overs, leaving the Black Caps racing against time to use their advantage to rack up a rare win over the world’s second-ranked Test team. Starting the day at 131 without loss, the New Zealanders piled on the pain for England as Rutherford nervelessly added 94 to his overnight total of 77, including a 158-run opening partnership with Peter Fulton (55). On the way, he became only the ninth New Zealander to reach a century on debut, recording the best first-up score since South African Jacques Rudolph’s 222 against Bangladesh in 2003. It was the seventh highest debut in 136 years of Test cricket, bettered among New Zealanders only by Mathew Sinclair ’s 214 against the West Indies in

Wellington in 1999. He finally departed after 340 minutes, when Anderson took the new ball and Rutherford mistimed his response, popping his first dab at it up to a grateful Chris Woakes. Rutherford’s departure led to a wobble in New Zealand’s middle order, as Anderson exploited the new ball to dismiss Ross Taylor for 31 and Dean Brownlie for 27, with Stuart Broad also chipping in to clean bowl BJ Watling for a duck. Anderson ended the day with figures of four for 108, with Broad taking two for 89, while Steve Finn (none for England 1st innings: 1 6 7 102) and Monty Panesar New Zealand 1st innings: (one for 83) both proved exFulton b Anderson ....... 55 pensive in an attack sorely Rutherford b Anderson 171 missing injured spinner Williamson b Panesar ... 24 Graeme Swann. Taylor b Anderson ........ 31 Black Caps captain Brownlie b Anderson ... 27 McCullum, who relinquished McCullum not out ......... 44 his opening spot to come in Watling b Broad .............. 0 down the order, went on the Southee b Broad ........... 25 attack in the final session Martin not out ............... 17 with Tim Southee, who DUNEDIN: Hamish Rutherford works on through the leg Extras: (lb 8) ..................... 8 scored a quickfire 25 off 29 Total: (7 wickets) ......... 402 balls before Broad broke their Fall of wickets: 1-158, 2-249, 44-run partnership. 3-267, 4-310, 5-321, 6-326, 7McCullum, carefully 370 working the strike with the Bowling: ........... O-M-R-W tail-enders, was extending JM Anderson ... 29-2-108-4 New Zealand’s lead in typiFinn ................... 26-3-102-0 cally belligerent fashion beBroad .................. 24-3-89-2 fore rain stopped play alMS Panesar ........ 22-2-83-1 most two hours before IJL Trott .................. 2-0-4-0 KUALA LUMPUR—Australia stumps were due to be JE Root ................... 5-1-8-0 SYDNEY—Pakistani asylum- are banking on their veteran called.—AFP seeker Fawad Ahmed, who players for the Sultan Azlan was granted a permanent Shah Cup hockey tournaAustralia visa in November, ment while Pakistan aim to try wants to play in the Ashes new talent when they face against England, and his defending champions New state coach believes he is Zealand on Saturday. good enough. The Kiwis aim to retain the trophy they won for the first time last year and enter the fray helmed by new AusG A L L E — K u m a r Hossain and Abul Hasan. off Hossain and then hit tralian coach Colin Batch, a Sangakkara hit a brilliant He then hit two successive two fours in an over off the member of the Aussie squad fours off Gazi. He comsame bowler. century to help Sri Lanka who won the World Cup in Sri Lankan batsman reach 247-2 at tea on the pleted his 22nd Test half2010. opening day of the first century in style when he Kithuruwan Vithanage, and Australia, meanwhile, will drove Sunny past mid-on Bangladesh’s Mominul Test against Bangladesh in field a team of veterans, mixed for a four before falling in Haque and Anamul Haque Galle on Friday. with a few new faces of their The left-hander was the next over, caught by made their Test debuts. own, for the tournament in unbeaten on 104 at the debutant Mominul Haque Anamul replaced hard-hitthe Malaysian city of Ipoh, break with Lahiru at mid-off off Gazi. Dilshan ting opener Tamim Iqbal, which ends on March 17. hit nine fours in his 63-ball who was ruled out of the Thirimanne (29 not out) as “We have three players match due to an injury. the hosts dominated the knock. from our 2012 Olympic team L e f t - h a n d e d Sri Lanka’s unorthodox first two sessions after and we are looking to achieve winning the toss on a good Karunaratne, who retired spinner Ajantha Mendis, the high results that this hurt on 15 after being who played his last Test in batting wicket. group has been accustomed struck on the elbow while May 2011, returned to the Sangakkara, who comThe 31-year-old leg-spin- to over the last five years,” pleted his 31st Test hun- trying to pull Hossain in Test team.—AFP ner took seven wickets on coach Ric Charlesworth was dred with two runs to mid- the ninth over, returned afhis Sheffield Shield debut for quoted as saying on the Inter the dismissal of wicket off left-arm spinner Victoria two weeks ago and Elias Sunny, has so far Dilshan. has been getting another He top-edged a Hasan Sri Lanka 1st innings: cracked one six and 12 chance to shine against New Karunaratne lbw b Sohag delivery over the wicketfours in his 170-ball South Wales at the Gazi .................................. 41 keeper ’s head for the first knock. Melbourne Cricket Ground Openers Tillakaratne six of the match but fell in Dilshan b Sohag Gazi ... 54 since Thursday. Dilshan (54) and Dimuth the next over, trapped leg- Sangakkara c Jahurul Islam Australia’s spinners have Karunaratne (41) were the before by Gazi after adding b Sohag Gazi ................ 142 been struggling in recent Thirimanne not out ....... 74 67 for the second wicket other main scorers as Sri Mathews not out .......... 25 Tests and Victoria coach KARACHI—Former Pakistan Lanka scored 132 in the with Sangakkara. Greg Shipperd is certain Sangakkara, who re- Extras: (b4,lb13,w3,nb5) 25 Ahmed has the skills to play off-spinner and selector morning and 115 in the afTotal: (3 wickets) ......... 361 Haseeb Ahsan, credited with turned to the team after ternoon for the loss of just at Test level. missing the third and final Fall of wickets: 1-114, 2-181, two wickets. Ahmed left his home in picking legend Wasim Akram Off-spinner Sohag Gazi Test in Australia in Janu- 3-305 the border region near Af- in 1984, died Friday after probagged two wickets for 71 ary due to finger injury, Bowling: ........... O-M-R-W ghanistan to come to Austra- longed illness, a family friend started impressively as he Shahadat ............ 13-1-60-0 lia on a short-stay visa in said. He was 73. runs. Ahsan was regarded as Dilshan played some hit a four off the first Abul Hasan ..... 14.3-1-66-0 2010, claiming he was tarattractive shots as he ball he faced from Hossain. Sohag Gazi ....... 31-3-101-3 geted by Muslim extremists one of the most straight-forHe completed his half- Elias Sunny ........ 14-0-60-0 because of the perception ward cricket administrators, smashed four boundaries early in his innings, two century in the afternoon Ashraful ............... 4-0-23-0 that cricket promotes West- and headed Pakistan’s World Cup 1987 organising commiteach off seamers Shahadat session with a boundary Mahmudullah ...... 9-1-34-0 ern values.—AFP tee and served as a national team manager. Karachi City Cricket Association president Sirajul Islam Bukhari confirmed Ahsan died early Friday in the city. “Ahsan fought illness with courage,” who was on dialysis for the last two years, said Bukhari. Ahsan “He served the game well and was particularly supportive of cricket in Karachi.” Ahsan played 12 Tests between 1958-62 and was a member of the Pakistan team on its first tour to the West Indies in 1858. He made his debut at Bridgetown where his old friend Hanif Mohammad scored 337 — still Pakistan’s highest Test score. Former Pakistan captain and legendary paceman Wasim Akram said it was Ahsan who selected him for the first time in 1984. “As the chief selector, Ahsan convinced everyone of my talent and selected me against New Zealand,” Wasim told AFP. “He was very close to me and as a powerful selector he spotted young talent LARKANA: A view of cricket match during 6th Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Annual Sports Week 2013 at and threw them in the bigger Chandka Medical College. battles.—AFP

Pakistan asylum-seeker dreams of Australia call-up

side during his 171 runs innings in New Zealand vs England 1st Test.

Differences SAS Hockey: New Zealand emerge between look to repeat in Malaysia Misbah, Hafeez

Sangakkara ton boosts Sri Lanka in first Test against Bangladesh

ternational Hockey Federation website. Pakistan, meanwhile, ranked fifth in the world, have dropped four veterans including Shakeel Abbasi,

Mohammed Waseem, Mohammed Rizwan Senior and Rashid Mehmood in order to test new players. Coach Akhtar Rasool said in Ipoh that Pakistan were “in the process of looking at new players for the future”. “This is a good opportunity to test the younger

ones and we will get quality matches to try out our experiments,” he said. New Zealand won last year’s crown with a powerful display of attacking hockey. They are led by veteran Dean Couzins and ably supported by Andy Hayward, Stephen Jenness, Arun Panchia and Hugo Inglis. But they too have several youngsters in the squad, who Batch will want to develop for the future. The opening match on Saturday will see world number two Australia facing a resurgent India, now ranked 11th. Pakistan, the 2012 Champions Trophy bronze medallists and Asian Champions Trophy winners, will play sixth-ranked New Zealand. World number eight South Korea will round out opening day play against Malaysia, ranked 13th.—AFP

B LOEMFONTEIN (South Africa)—Differences have emerged between Pakistan’s ODI captain Misbah ul Haq and vice captain Muhammad Hafeez. According to reports the team’s think tank is in disagreement over the batting order and team selection. Hafeez has also refused to bat at the one down position while Misbah is insisting on including more bowlers in the line-up. Reports from South Africa also indicate that the Misbah and Hafeez were also at odds during the test series. Pakistan suffered a humiliating defeat against South Africa as the men in green were whitewashed in the test series. Pakistan however fought back and claimed victory in the T20. The five match ODI series against the two countries will begin on March 10.—AFP

Former cricketer Haseeb Ahsan dies

ISLAMABAD: Students of Air University with the Vice Chancellor at the end of annual sports gala.

Son wins over dad’s score BIPIN DANI OBSERVER CORRESPONDENT MUMBAI—Had there been no rain threat in the ongoing New Zealand-England Test match, the former Kiwi captain, Ken Rutherford would have hoped for another century from his son, Hamish, in the second innings. This Test may be the rare example of father scoring zero in his first Test appearance and son registering a century on his debut Test match. Interestingly, Ken Rutherford could not open his account in both the innings

of his first Test against West Indies in 1985. “With the rain in the Test, I doubt whether he will get a chance to score another ton”, the 48-year-old Ken Rutherford said exclusively from Johannesburg, where he is working as a Media Executive. “I watched every ball of his innings (at odd hours) on TV here”, he added. “We spoke before the game. We mainly communicate by text and e mail”. “I went to New Zealand for the Twenty20 series but I have full time job here in SA that precludes me from going to every game that Hamish plays”, he added.

“His thought processes are very good-that was the main message. I wished him to continue to play as he had done previously for Otago”. The 24-year-old opener, Hamish, (his father was also played as an opening batsman for New Zealand) ) in his 340-minute stay at the wicket scored 171 runs. One of his three sixers (and 22 fours) injured a spectator in the stands. “The spectator should have been watching the action in the middle carefully. That way he would have avoided any heachache injury”, the dad signed off.


Late lunch may mean less weight loss: Study

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EOPLE who like to eat lunch late in the afternoon may have more trouble shed ding pounds than those who dine earlier, a new study suggests. Researchers found that of 420 people in a weight-loss programme, the late-lunch crowd lost about 25 percent less weight than those who usually lunched before 3 p.m, Live Science Reported. The findings, reported Jan. 29 in the International Journal of Obesity, come with caveats. The researchers cannot be sure that a late lunch itself thwarts people’s diets. And the study participants were from Spain, where lunch is the biggest meal of the day. It’s not clear if the findings would translate to a country like the United States, where most people eat a lighter lunch and save their main meal for dinner, said senior researcher Frank Scheer, an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston. It is a common belief that it’s better to have your big meal earlier in the day. Scheer pointed to the popular advice to eat breakfast like a king and dinner like a pauper. But there hasn’t been much scientific evidence that the timing of your main meal matters in the battle of the bulge. “This is the first large-scale, long-term study to show that it is an important factor in weight-loss success for overweight and obese individuals,” Scheer said.

It’s uncertain why a late lunch would be related to slower weight loss. One possibility, though, is that at least some late lunchers were going too long between meals, which might have effects on metabolism. Some studies have suggested that evenly spaced meals - eating every three to four hours are helpful in weight control, noted Connie Diekman, director of university nutrition at Washington University in St. Louis. In this study, the latelunch group was more likely to eat a light breakfast or skip breakfast altogether. Almost 7 percent of later lunchers did so, versus less than 3 percent of people who ate lunch earlier. So the findings show a “potential connection between going too long between meals and weight gain,” said Diekman, who was not involved in the study. “But given the study design, more studies are needed to determine if there is a cause-and-effect connection.” The problem is that people who hold off on lunch may differ from other dieters in many ways including ways that could hinder their weight loss. Scheer’s team did account for some of those possibilities. They found that the early and late-lunch groups ate a similar number of calories and burned a similar amount (based on their reported activity levels).

KARACHI: Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah giving away cheque of one lakh rupees to an injured person of Abbas Town blast at Aga Khan Hospital.

Don’t give ethnic colour to Abbas Town carnage: Allama Nasir

KARACHI—Majlis-eWahdat-ul-Muslimeen secretary General Nasir Abbas Friday cautioned political parties to be careful in not giving the Abbas Town tragedy an ethnic colour and urged upon the Pakistani nation to observe ‘Youm-e-Wafa’ for expressing their solidarity and allegiance to the martyrs and the country. Addressing a press conference at Imambargah Ali Raza here, Allama Nasir Abbas demanded that the army should launch operation against the terrorists in the country, especially in Karachi on the pattern of Swat operation. He said that a peace walk would be organized and candles would be lit at the site of incident in which 48 people had died and 200 injured in the horrible exploKARACHI: Governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Eng Shaukatullah Khan offering Fateha sions.—Online at the Mazar-e-Quaid.

Workshop on skills in care & protection of children STAFF REPORTER KARACHI—Caretakers, mainly mothers of child patients admitted to children’s ward, Civil Hospital Karachi attended a two day workshop on skills in care and protection of their children against abuse. The workshop that concluded on Friday was organised by Konpal, Child Abuse Prevention Society in collaboration with Dow University of Health Sciences (DUHS), as part of International Women Day commemoration. It was focused on empowering women participants to protect their rights as well as that of their children. As the theme of the programme “Enhancement of Mothers’ (Parents) Skills in Care and Protection of their Children” reflected it’s participants were facilitated in enhancing their capacities and skills.

US ambassador Olson visits USS William P Lawrence KARACHI—U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Richard Olson and Chief, Office of the Defense Representative, Pakistan, Lt. Gen. Gregory Biscone visited USS William P. Lawrence (DDG 110), a U.S. Navy Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, in the waters off the port of Karachi yesterday. The USS William P. Lawrence is in the region to participate in Aman 13, a multinational exercise being hosted by the Pakistani Navy March 4-8. The USS William P. Lawrence is commanded by a senior female officer, Commander Jana Vavasseur. In addition, Command Master Chief Beverly Leedom is the

senior enlisted leader of USS William P. Lawrence. In honor of International Women’s Day, Ambassador Olson and Lt. Gen. Biscone met separately with Cmdr. Vavasseur and Command Master Chief Leedom, and several other female officers and sailors stationed aboard USS William P. Lawrence, to highlight the advancements and contributions of women in the U.S. military. During their visit, Ambassador Olson and Lt. Gen. Biscone toured the ship’s spaces, including the bridge, crew’s mess, and the flight deck, where they addressed the assembled crew.—APP

KMC orders removal of wires of cable, internet

K ARACHI —The

Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC), on Friday directed to remove wires of all cable and internet services and other installations from the street lights poles of the KMC otherwise legal action will be taken against the cable operators and internet services providers. This was announced by the Engineering Department of the KMC, said a statement. It said the wires of cable television operators and internet services providers cause problems for the people and the same should be removed immediately.—APP

Qaim gives cheques to injured of Abbas Town blast IRFAN ALIGI

women achievers from different walks of life on Friday identified growing materialism in the society as a major stumbling block towards women empowerment. Addressing an event to celebrate International Women’s Day at Aga Khan University the speakers, including TV producer and actress Sahira Kazmi, Dr. Quratulain Bakhtiari, Director, Institute for Development Studies and Practices (IDSP) and Dr. Dilshad Ashraf, Associate Professor, AKU-IED urged women to be optimistic, honest and pragmatic.

In their respective presentations focussed on the theme Women’s Capabilities: Recognised or Denied the speakers said social change is inevitable and there was need for concerted efforts to educate and sensitise the masses. Asking women of the country to have faith in themselves the speakers said it is the Pakistani women who have to play the role of conflict resolver as was done by women in other parts of the world including Yugoslavia. Sahira Kazmi, awarded with National Pride of Performance Award 2012 for her contribution in bringing about social change through her TV plays

said masses are extremely receptive to issues that are linked to their daily lives and social development. Expressing her serious reservation about the current phenomenon of ratings adopted by television channels, she said this has to be changed. Dr. Dilshad Ashraf referred to options society may be offering to women and the choices made by women. She said achievements are not made in vacuum and that men and women both have to maintain a balance. Dr. Quratul Ain discussed in detail her efforts to promote education in the rural parts of Balochistan amidst strict

the CM assured that the affected buildings will be reconstructed and complete care will be adhered to all affectees. He directed the health department and Commissioner Karachi to pay attention towards treatment and care of all other injured who are under treatment in other hospitals. He directed that all injured persons be handed over compensation cheques today positively.

STAFF REPORTER KARACHI—Muttahida

Qaumi Movement Co-Ordination Committee has said that the Abbas Town carnage had passed by five days but the country’s Premier had yet to visit the area to sympathize with the affected and aggrieved families. The Co-Ordination Committee said that it was a sad matter that the Sindh Chief Minister had also not visited the area till Friday while the Ministers were also weary of the Abbas Town carnage as they had also not yet visited the area to say a few words of sympathy to the aggrieved families. The Committee asked the ulty members of ICCBS recognised as the premier es- CM and the Minister as why STAFF REPORTER were also present. tablishment of higher learn- they could not visit the area K ARACHI —The InternaDr. Choudhary said that ing and research in the sub- while Sindh Governor had alUniversity is continent. tional Centre for Chemical Karachi ready visited the site. and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), University of Karachi has inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Adamawa State University, Mubi, Nigeria, to initiate academic exchange and scientific cooperation between both the institutions. Director ICCBS Prof. Dr. Muhammad Iqbal Choudhary on behalf of the International Centre and ViceChancellor Adamawa State University Prof. Alkasum Abba signed the MoU in a special signing ceremony held at Dr. Panjwani Centre of Molecular Medicine and Drug Research, University of Karachi, on Friday. On the occasion, ICCBS International Research Coordinator Prof. Dr. Ahsana Dar Farooq, Registrar Adamawa State University Garnvwa Jinatu Medina, Dr. Zaruwa Moseszira and other fac-

K A R A C H I —Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah Friday arrived at Aga Khan Hospital where he visited those that were injured in the Abbas Town Bomb Blast. Sindh Assembly Deputy Speaker Shehla Raza, former MNA and leader of Jamaat-e Islami Muzaffar Hashmi, Senior Special Assistant to the CM Rashid Rabbani and Special Assistant to the CM

MoU inked for academic exchange, scientific cooperation

Activists identify materialism as obstacle to women empowerment K ARACHI —Activists and

Waqar Mehdi accompanied the CM. He inquired about health of each injured and gave them compensation cheques of Rs.100, 000 each. In all, he gave away 26 cheques there to ailing victims. The CM assured them that till complete recovery, all injured will be provided healthcare and treatment on government expenses. With regard to damages to building of Abbas Town,

MQM regrets apathetic attitude of PM, CM

cultural and traditional barriers. She said empowerment is some thing quite deep inside that has to be felt and exercised by women in their true earnest and with absolute passion. In another session organised by Aurat Foundation to mark International Women’s Day the speakers dedicated the event to the victims of Abbas Town. They too were of the opinion that women in disturbed areas must be supported by all members of the society to play their role in bringing about peace and restore confidence of the communities. —APP


Cancer risk higher among people who eat more processed meat

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STUDY has found that people who eat more processed meat such as ham, bacon, sausages and burgers run a greater risk of premature death and developing conditions such as cancer and heart disease, the daily Guardian reported. The study, which included data from 448,568 people in 10 European countries, including the UK, found that the biggest consumers of processed meat were 44% more likely to die prematurely from any cause than those who ate little of it. High levels of consumption increased the risk of death from heart disease by 72% and cancer by 11%. If everyone ate no more than 20g a day of processed meat - about one rasher of bacon, chipolata sausage or thin slice of ham - then 3% of all premature deaths could be avoided, according to an estimate by the authors, led by Professor Sabine Rohrmann from the University of Zurich. Their results are published in the journal BMC Medicine. But a small amount of red meat also seems to benefit health, because it contains important nutrients and minerals, they added. Risks rise in line with the level of consumption, the researchers found. The results are in line with previous studies. Dr Rachel Thompson, deputy head of science at the World Cancer Research Fund, said the research bore out its own findings in 2007 - dis-

puted by the meat industry at the time about the health risks of processed meat. It has found that consuming bacon, ham, hot dogs, salami and some sausages heightened the risk of bowel cancer. The charity estimates that 4,100 fewer Britons a year would be diagnosed with the disease if everyone ate no more than 10g of processed meat a day, though advises avoiding it altogether. Dr Carrie Ruxton, a nutritionist who sits on the meat industry-funded Meat Advisory Panel, said the study’s findings were not robust enough to justify changing public health advice. The fact those who consumed the largest amounts of processed meat also displayed other unhealthy habits meant it was hard to confidently ascribe risk of death to meat eating alone, she said. “The occasional bacon butty isn’t going to do you much harm. People shouldn’t avoid bacon or salami because they think it’s going to kill them, because it won’t. We can’t say that from this study. But we do know that processed meat has a higher salt and fat content, so having bacon or salami in moderation, and switching to lean red meat products, is a good idea,” Ruxton added. Tracy Parker, a heart health dietitian with the British Heart Foundation, said people who ate a lot of processed meat should try to eat a more varied diet, such as chicken, fish, beans or lentils.

Nawaz opens renovated Pak Tea House STAFF REPORTER L AHORE —Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) President Nawaz Sharif Friday inaugurated the historical Pak Tea House paving the way for more organised literary activities under one roof. Used to be a favourite amongst writers, poets and intellectuals, Pak Tea House was closed about 10 years ago by the owner Zahid Hassan who cited bad business as the reason for the decision. The place was initially rented out to tyre traders and later given to Bashir Sons for use as a warehouse. However, the city government decided to run the tea house under its administration. The City District Government of Lahore, after a nine-month long restoration work, took possession of the building. The PML-N President told the media that writers are the people who spread the message of love and have occupied a prominent position before and after Pakistan had come in to being. He said that not only he is happy with the Pak Tea House opening up, but that the writers and authors are equally excited too. Recalling the days he used to study in the Government College of Lahore, Nawaz recalled passing through the road everyday where the tea house is located. Since the closure of the Pak Tea House and a coffee house in Tolinton Market, intellectuals had no proper place to get together and share their feelings with one another. It may be noted that the Pak Tea House was sort of a movement that involved several writers and poets. Poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz

LAHORE: PML-N President Muhammad Nawaz Sharif talking to journalists after inaugurating the café ‘Pak Tea House’ after 16 years.

Metro bus project a proud proof of ever rising Punjab: Shahbaz SALIM AHMED LAHORE—Punjab Chief Min-

ister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said metro bus project is historic in terms of courage and determination. He said this modern travelling facility has entirely changed the archaic culture of public transport, while the number of passengers, travelling on metro buses, have crossed over more than 125,000. He said those who are raising hue and cry over metro bus project are themselves steeped in corruption. He said the henchmen of dictator L AHORE —Pakistan and In- Musharraf and Zardari are dia should improve ties for unable to digest the success promotion of peace in the re- of this great project, which has been launched for the gion. These views were expressed by a group leader of Hindu Yatrees, Shiv Partap Bajaj, at the Wahga Border, near here on Friday. He stressed upon the both countries to relax visa sanctions, adding the both nations should also play SALIM AHMED cricket in both sides. Deputy Secretary Gen- LAHORE—Provincial Labour eral of Evacuee Trust Prop- Department would establish erty Board (ETPB) received Child Healthcare Centre in the group of 88 Hindu Lahore Township Industrial area for the working women of yatrees. According to industrial area. This was announced by programme, the Hindu yatrees will leave for Divisional Labour Officer Shivaratri at Katas Raj Chaudhry Muhammad Naeem Temples, Chakwal, on March during a meeting with PIAF 9 by road. They will perform Chairman Malik Tahir Javaid. Senior Vice Chairman Lahore their rituals on March 10. They will return Lahore Township Industial Area Assofrom Chakwal on March 11 ciation (LTIA) Muhammad and would visit ‘Krishna Anis Qadri and LTIA Vice Chairman Mian Khurram Ilyas were Mandir’ on March 12. The Hindu yatrees will also present on the occasion. The PIAF Chairman apprereturn India through the Wagha Border on March 13. ciated the Labour Department A member of the delega- decision and said that the PIAF tion, Laxmi Kant Chawala, would soon be submitting a said mosque, church, temple written proposal to the Departand Gurdwara were saved in ment for the sake of responsiPakistan and all people had bilities including acquisition of complete liberty to perform land and purchase of equiptheir religious activities. He ment for this mega project for appreciated the arrange- the welfare of working women. Malik Tahir Javaid informed ments of the ETPB in Katas Raj. Foolproof security ar- the Labour Department team rangements have been made that the LTIA covers an area of eight square kilometers. for Hindu yatrees.—APP

Hindu yatrees arrive

LAHORE: An artisan busy in preparing clay-made pottery at his stall setup in connection with Jashan-e-Baharan at the Race Course Park.

APNA Pakistan formulates population welfare framework SALIM AHMED L AHORE —Under the ambit of APNA Pakistan (Advocacy for Population and National Advancement) campaign, the first meeting of the Core Working Group on Health, Population and Development was held in Lahore. The meeting was organized as a follow up to the non-partisan forum titled “Across the Aisle” held during December, 2012 to bring together political leaders, health and population experts and religious scholars on one platform to build consensus on the need for promoting comprehensive reproductive health on the national agenda regardless of political and ideological affiliations. This non-partisan forum was concluded with the pledge to create a core work-

ing group from amongst the participants tasked with formulating a policy framework at the national level to address these challenges. The first meeting of the Core Working Group was attended by a selected group of representatives of eight major political parties (PMLN, PML-Q, JUI, JI, PPP, ANP, PTI & MQM) as well as renowned health experts, religious leaders and representatives from minority groups. Keeping in view the advocacy approach of APNA Pakistan, a framework was proposed based on best international practices adapted to local context to ensure universal access to reproductive health services. The framework proposed by team leader Dr. Naeem uddin Mian met with support and the usefulness of such an approach was appreciated by the participants. In light of the proposed framework, the participants discussed ways to improve maternal and child health and birth spacing services through focusing on four main tiers including political leadership, planning and management, service delivery and community. Participants gave their valuable suggestions and the need for sustained political commitment to solve these issues was especially highlighted. Other salient recommendations included better coordination between Health and Population Welfare Departments to ensure effective service delivery and efficient use

of available resources, and to create effective monitoring and accountability mechanisms at provincial, district and local levels to ensure delivery of quality services. The first meeting of the core working group concluded on a positive note with all participants demonstrating enthusiasm to work towards achieving the aims of the APNA Pakistan campaign. The participants agreed to continue the process of deliberation and formulation of a policy framework for resolving health and population issues in Pakistan. The framework thus devised would be presented to another wider dissemination session of the ‘Across the Aisle’ forum meeting for formal approval and adoption by all parties.

Child Healthcare Centre in LTIA soon

Punjab Youth Festival turns out biggest world event STAFF REPORTER L AHORE —Guineas World Book of Record has termed Punjab Youth Festival the biggest festival of the world. As many as 30 new world records including 1.4 km long largest painting of the world made by four thousand students in youth festival will be set. Talking at Bagh-e-Jinnah, Rana Mashhood Ahmed Khan congratulated the entire nation for terming Punjab

Youth Festival by Guineas World Book of Record as biggest festival of the world. He said this time more than one lakh persons will participate in Marathon. Director General Sports Board Muhammad Usman Anwar was also present on the occasion. Rana Mashhood said that the dream of such a big youth festival was materialized and a foundation stone has been laid in the sports field whereas it was being

considered impossible. He said that the concluding ceremony of youth festival started in August last will be held on March 12. He said that the allegations of corruption in youth festival are baseless and an agreement is also being made with Transparency International for proving its transparency. He said that the playgrounds destroyed due to metro bus would be restored. Rana Mashhood

convenience of the people. He said, if Allah Almighty gave another opportunity to serve, projects like metro bus service would also be introduced in other big cities. The Chief Minister was presiding over third meeting of Metro Bus Authority at Model Town, today. Special Assistant Zaeem Hussain Qadri, Chairman Lahore Transport Company Khawaja Ahmed Hasaan, Chairman Planning & Development, Secretaries Law, Finance and Transport, Managing Director Punjab Metro Bus Authority were present on the occasion. During the meeting approval was given for import of more buses from Turkey. Addressing the meeting, Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif said that an impossible task has been made possible, due

to grace of Allah Almighty and untiring efforts, within just 11 months. He said this project has become role model for the whole world, as no mega project has been completed within such a short time. He said, if intentions are right and determination is strong then even difficult objectives can easily be achieved. He said people have appreciated that there is such a government which is working for their progress and welfare with sincere intentions. He said travelling in metro bus by citizens in such a large number reflects their vigorous trust over the project of Punjab government. He said there is no need to get performance certificate from anyone, as the complete trust of the people is true fruit of our hard work. He said that those ele-

ments, who see their future darkening, have now become despondent and are illogically criticizing metro bus system, but their past and present is so checkered that people are not prepared to trust them. He said great metro bus project is a living proof of complete transparency, and no one can raise an accusing finger over our development projects. He said more buses are being imported from Turkey, in view of tremendous increase in number of travelers on metro buses. He directed that the process of importing additional buses from Turkey should be further expedited, alongwith augmenting arrangements for provision of facilities to passengers. During the meeting, Chief Minister was given detailed briefing on operational matters of metro bus system.


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