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Attack on cop’s house kills nine of family Peshawar bleeds on third consecutive day TARIQ SAEED

Lebanon seizes top al Qaeda linked militant BEIRUT—Lebanon’s army on Wednesday arrested a senior al Qaeda-linked militant described by officials as a “mastermind of car bombs” hitting Shi’ite areas in recent months, triggering a major security sweep in the country. Security sources said the arrest of Naim Abbas, who confessed to his organizational role, helped uncover two boobytrapped cars, two weapons depots and led to the arrest of several jihadilinked people. They added his arrest would also help uncover more radical jihadi cells Continued on Page 7

Photos of Osama’s corpse destroyed WASHINGTON—Within two weeks of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, the head of U.S. special forces issued orders that all photos of the body be either turned in or destroyed, a newly released document shows. In an e-mail dated May 13, 2011, then-Vice Adm. William McRaven wrote the following: “One particular item that I want to emphasize is photos; parContinued on Page 7

Altaf appeals President, PM for recovery of MQM workers STAFF REPORTER K ARACHI —The Founder and Leader of Muttahidda Qaumi Movement (MQM) Altaf Hussain has made a demand to the President Mamnoon Hussain, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif, DG ISI Zaheer-ulIslam, Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and Chief Minister Sindh for the recovery of MQM workers who have been arrested and put in illegal detention by government agencies. Altaf said hundreds of MQM workers and office

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P ESHAWA R —The provincial metropolis continued to bleed on the third consecutive day when hand grenade explosions followed firing at a policemen’s house in the outskirts of Peshawar Wednesday wee hours left nine people dead. Those murdered brutally by the terrorists, belonged to same family and formed part of the progovernment Peace Lashkar. The Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-eInsaaf (PTI) Imran Khan and the Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pervez Khattak have reiterated that the recent wave of terrorism was beyond doubt aimed at sabotaging the peace efforts and the anti-state elements were hell bent to frustrate the ongoing peace parleys. This was a fifth sabotage act in short span of ten days in Peshawar as Peshawarites appear to be sitting on a fireball. On Tuesday 13

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Nawaz directs activating PML-N Lawyers Forum

ANKARA: Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif being received by Turkish Minister of Environment Idris Gulluce.

PM in Turkey to attend Afghan summit

A NKARA —Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif arrived in Turkey Wednesday on a threeday visit to attend the Pakistan-Afghan-Turkey Trilateral summit in Ankara. He was received at the sary moral and political sup- Forum to Senator Rafique airport by Turkish Minister SHARAFAT KAZMI port to the noted legal lumi- Rajwana and Ashraf Gujjar. of Environment Idris ISLAMABAD—Prime Minis- nary Barrister Akram Sheikh, The two would work as pa- Gulluce. During the summit, ter Nawaz Sharif has given who is official prosecutor in tron-in- chiefs of the forum the Prime Minister will have and work for its organiza- extensive interaction with instructions for activation the high profile case. They said while lawyers tional structure and pro- Turkish President Abdullah of PML (N) Lawyers Forum with a view to projecting defending Pervez Musharraf mote its activities. Gul, Prime Minister Recep Political observers say Tayyip Erdogan and Afghan party’s point of view on have adopted a harsh and various legal issues with aggressive tone, there is no with this development, it President Hamid Karzai. special focus on the high organized forum to respond becomes absolutely clear He will also separately treason case of former to their propaganda and that the government is all meet the President and the President, General (Retd) point of view from legal set to take the legal battle Prime Minister of Turkey to angles. over high treason to its logi- review bilateral relations Pervez Musharraf. The sources said, with cal conclusion and there with focus on economic coParty sources confided to this correspondent that this in view, the Prime Minis- would be intensive debate operation. In Istanbul, the the Prime Minister was per- ter has given task of activa- and acrimonious debate in Prime Minister will be havturbed over lack of neces- tion of the PML(N) Lawyers ing meetings with the ChairContinued on Page 7 man/CEO of major Turkish companies. The Ankara Trilateral summit would carry forward the process of constructive engagement and leadership exchanges on the evolving situation as well as matters cess with TTP is complicated and both I SLAMABAD —A meeting between Taliban Continued on Page 7 and the government negotiating committees sides would face difficulties during this journey because some Taliban opponents scheduled on Wednesday want to sabotage the peace process. Shah was postponed till today said if guarantee of protection is provided, (Thursday). Taliban leadership can hold talks directly Talking to media after a with the government. seminar held at Serena here He said the dialogue process would on Wednesday, member of move forward within limits of Pakistan’s constate committee Rustam stitution. Rustam Shah said first priority of Shah Mahmand said that IRFAN ALIGI government is to maintain ceasefire while meeting between two comTaliban leadership also agreed it. Professor mittee is not going to be held today K A R A C H I —Intelligence [Wednesday], both sides would meet on Ibrahim talking media said that the govern- agencies of the country have Thursday instead. He said dialogue proContinued on Page 7 warned of terrorism on 8 shrines in Sindh following which the Sindh Auqaf department had dispatched a summary to the Sindh Chief minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah for extra security measures at the shrines in the province. The intelligence agenSTAFF REPORTER cies issued warning to Sindh Home Department about K ARACHI —Sindh Chief possible attacks by the terCourt was hearing the case. I SLAMABAD —The special Minister Syed Qaim Ali rorists on 8 shrines in the During the hearing, port city. Subsequent to Shah has said that from day court rejected the former Pervez Musharraf’s counsel president Pervez one it was decided by the warnings, the Sindh Home Federal and provincial gov- Musharraf’s counsels’ plea Ahmad Raza Kasuri raising Department had informed ernment to continue the tar- to stop the prosecutor Akram objection against the pros- the Sindh Auqaf departgeted operation till elimina- Sheikh from making argu- ecutor Akram Sheikh made ment of the threats. tion of last criminal from ments in the treason case. a plea that he should be The 8 shrines held vulKarachi and both the gov- Hearing on case Treason re- stopped from making argu- nerable to terrorist attacks ments, as he (Kasuri) has sumed here Wednesday. ernments are determined to included the shrines of The three-judge court already challenged Akram Misri Shah in Clifton, Lal take this operation to its fiheaded by Justice Faisal Continued on Page 7 Continued on Page 7 Continued on Page 7 Arab of the Sindh High

1000 MW electricity to be imported from Iran MoW&P seeks green signal from federal cabinet

Party lawyers to boost Akram’s morale

Taliban, Govt bodies meeting today

Some forces want to sabotage peace process: Rustam

Agencies warn of attacks on Sindh shrines

Targeted operation to continue: Qaim

Treason case against Musharraf

Plea to stop Akram Sh from arguing rejected

ALI SYED ISLAMABAD—Ministry of Water and Power (MoWP) has sent a summary to Federal cabinet seeking the green signal for import of 1000 MW of electricity from Iran, a senior official at Ministry of Water and Power told Pakistan Observer. According to officials of the Ministry, the government has initiated the process to import 1000 MW of electricity from Tehran. Iranian electricity will be cheaper as the electricity is generated on gas in Iran. “Keeping in view the increasing power crisis in the country, we have adopted a policy to import electricity from neighboring countries under which the ministry has sent the summary to federal cabinet seeking permission for importing electricity and green signal for initiating talks with Iranian authorities for agreement on importing 1000 MW. Once the federal cabinet gives the green

WASHINGTON—The US in- two to sign this,” Clapper country’s April elections. telligence chief said Tuesday he does not expect Afghan President Hamid Karzai to sign a security agreement with the United States that would allow American troops to stay after 2014. Washington has repeatedly appealed to Karzai to sign the bilateral security agreement (BSA) negotiated last year but James Clapper, director of national intelligence, said he had given up hope that the Afghan president would endorse the deal. “Well, obviously, it takes

KARACHI —Pressure on Pakistani rupee is likely to intensify during 2014 as country has to repay a loan of US$6.2billion besides maturing swap positions of US$2.7billion. The challenge on the balance of payments front may be worse than most market participants currently expect. Although the currency strengthened in Dec. 2013, and has remained relatively stable in Jan 2014 yet the looming debt repayments and maturity of SBP

and the government’s privatization program to meet the challenges and also to give stability to the tapering off foreign exchange reserves. The IMF disbursement will be US$2.2billion in the year and the delay in Other expected inflows expected to result in renewed currency pressures, said financial analysts. However, the IMF has expressed satisfaction on the pace of government reforms, besides acknowledging that economic growth

told the Senate Armed Services Committee. “And it’s my own view, not necessarily company policy, ...I don’t believe President Karzai is going to sign it,” he said. His comments were the most explicit yet by a senior US official acknowledging the bleak prospects of Karzai backing the agreement. Senator Carl Levin, chairman of the committee, asked Clapper if it would be better for the US government to wait for the next Afghan president to sign the deal after the

MQM to stage protests over party missing workers OBSERVER REPORT KARACHI —The Muttahida Qaumi Movement on Wednesday announced

Heavy repayments of loan may hit forex reserves swap positions may be weighing heavy on country’s Foreign exchange reserves. It may be mentioned that in 2014 Pakistan has loan repayments of US$6.2billion due and swap positions of US$2.7billion are also maturing, while the inflow side continues to remain uncertain. Even accounting for IMF disbursements of US$2.2billion in 2014, a large funding gap remains to be bridged. Situation calls for streamlining other inflows such as the 3G auction, Etisalat receipts, Eurobond,

signal to the initiative of importing electricity of 1000 MW from Iran, then the concerned authorities of both the countries would start dialogue between them on price of electricity to be imported, financing of the transmission lines to be laid down from Tehran to Pakistan and other terms and conditions. “Once the talks are over, then the agreement of importing electricity will take the shape.” To a question the official said that there stands no impact of US sanctions on importing electricity from Iran as Pakistan is already importing 60 MW of electricity. The 60 MW of electricity is currently being distributed bordering areas of Balochistan where in Wapda’s transmission infrastructure is not available. To a question, the official said that the process to import 100 MW of electricity from Iran is also underway for Balochistan’s consumption particularly to meet to electricity needs of Gawadar.

Karzai won’t sign security agreement: US spy chief

Pressure on rupee likely to intensify AMANULLAH KHAN

Shame on you dear MPs ................................................ Drone attack will ignite hatred ................................................ Beware of saboteurs of peace talks See Page 04

people were killed and 25 others wounded seriously when three grenade blasts ripped through a cinema house in Peshawar while on Monday a suicide explosion in the outskirts of city killed four women and wounded five people including four ladies and a child whereas on Tuesday last a powerful explosion ripping through a hotel in a congested locality had left 10 people including women and kids dead and over 45 others seriously wounded. Likewise a two hand grenade attacks in a cinema house on February 2 had resulted in killing of five cine-goers and injuries to three dozen others. Reports reaching here said dozens of terrorists stormed a house in Mashokhel village in the jurisdiction of Badhber Police station and hurled grenades on the night between Tuesday and Wednesday and then resorted to indiscriminate firing on the inmates killing nine people, many of them vol-

prospects are improving as GDP growth target for financial year 2014 has been raised to 3.1% from 2.8% previously. All quantitative targets for December 2013 were met, with the exception of SBP’s net swap/ forward position, and the ceiling on government borrowing from SBP. Despite meeting the targets the country is likely to face significant balance of payments issues ahead in the face of heavy loan repayments during the year. It may be noted that growth in

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that they will stage countrywide protests over their missing party workers after deadline for their recovery expired. The MQM committee said that on Tuesday it had given the government 24 hours to recover 45 of their missing members. This deadline expired on Wednesday evening without any progress. As a result, the party said it will launch countrywide protests. However, it made it clear that their members will abide by the Constitution in staging their protests and observe days of mourning. The MQM said that its protests were also against the extra-judicial killing of their workers. MQM forewarned that it will arrange sits-in on all major roads of the city and protests in the national and

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Clapper said that would be a policy decision and not up to him but he said such a move could “have a salutary effect”. The United States favours leaving about 10,000 troops in Afghanistan after this year to help train Afghan forces and counter Al Qaeda militants and its allies. The delay in signing the security agreement, which would set up a legal framework for foreign troops to stay post-2014, has created uncertainty and undermined

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ECNEC approves nine projects for over Rs324b OBSERVER REPORT I SLAMABAD —The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council considered for approval nine agriculture, education and training, health and nutrition, energy and water projects worth over over Rs324 billion. The meeting was held on Wednesday at Prime Minister’s Office with the Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar in chair. It approved Sindh Agricultural Growth Project for a cost of Rs8.867463 billion. The project is related with sectoral issues and would improve the productivity of agriculture, horticulture and livestock sector in Sindh. The forum also approved “Capacity Building of TeachContinued on Page 7


Varsity teaching staff stress for demands accpetance HYDERABAD—On the call of Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association, the faculty members of the universities of Hyderabad and Jamshoro districts observed strike on Tuesday. According to a press release, issued here on Tuesday, the faculty members of University of Sindh, Mehran University of Engineering and Technology, Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences and Sindh Agriculture University suspended the academic activities for acceptance of the demands. The demands included the appointment of Vice Chancellor from among three senior professors of the respective universities having Ph.D. and not more than the age of 65 years, nomination of Pro-Vice Chancellors of the main campuses of the universities in the Syndicate, amendment in the University Act with immediate effect in accordance with the passage of 18th Amendment of the Constitution and removal of flaws in Sindh Universities Amended Act, passed by Sindh Assembly on August 19, 2013.—APP

Rs50m released for road construction F AISALABAD —The Punjab government has released Rs 50 million for the re-construction of Chak Jhumra Road. According to official sources, the condition of Chak Jhumra Road is dilapidated due to which motorists have to face a great deal difficulties while travelling on the road. The reconstruction of Chak Jhumra Road will be completed at an estimated cost of Rs 130 million, however, the Punjab government initially has released Rs 50 million for the purpose.The work on road will start within few days, he added.—APP

Spring tree plantation kicks off in KP, 10m saplings to be planted PESHAWAR—The spring tree plantation cam- ent process, to invest in KPK forests and bepaign on Wednesday started across Khyber Pakthunkhwa wherein 10 million saplings of different species would be planted with assistance of different stakeholders to offset effects of global warming and climatic change. Officials in KP Forest Department told APP that spring tree plantation campaign was started throughout in the province and a target of planting 10 million saplings would be achieved with the assistance of educational institutions, defence forces, farmers, NGOs, general public and other national building departments. Officials said a stock of 15.597 million saplings of different species was available with the Forest Department to meet the target, adding special tasks were given to Central Southern Circle Peshawar-I, Northern Region-II Abbottabad, and Malakand Forest Region-III, Swat to bring maximum areas under plantation. In addition to planting trees on canals, rivers, roads, highways and in graveyards, focus would also be made to agro forestry keeping in view its huge potential. Under the Govt five year plan, the forest area would be increased from existing 20 percent to 22 percent by 2018, which would entail converting, at least, 30000 hectares of additional land every year into forests through massive afforestation drive. Efforts would be made to enhance tree cover in existing forests from 20-30 percent by 2018 and this would entail gap plantations in, at least, 27000 hectares each year. Under this mechanism private sector entities would be invited, in an open and transpar-

come partners in its preservation. The Government of KP would place a complete ban on cutting and felling of trees in the reserved forests of the province by converting, in a phased manner, all these state owned forests into a “Forest National Parks”. Through these revolutionary measures, the KP Government will not only commit to reverse the high rate of deforestation but also shift the current philosophy of treating forests as a “revenue” machine towards preserving them as a valued “natural capital”. Officials said organizations and NGOs with high human and funds resources coupled with their personal interests is being encouraged in the plantation campaign. Special focus is being given on local communities and individual farmers through their respective VDCs to carryout most of the plantation and farmers and growers is being facilitated. The experts on forestry has been requested to give special lectures on the subject over Radio and TV talks shows to create awareness among masses about its importance in the promotion of socio-economic development. Under student awareness program, Divisional Forest HYDERABAD: Sindh Minister for Lifestock Jam Khan Shoro visiting Horse and Cattle grand prix 2014. Officers (DFOs) and Range Forest Officers (RFOs) would visit educational institutions to make aware school children about the utility of the forestry plantation campaign. Ashar plantations is being organized with participation of elected representative, line agencies and local farmers to make the drive a success.—APP MULTAN—Nishtar Board of Management (BoM) chairman institution and this district as well as their parSTAFF REPORTER Khawaja Jalaluddin Romi said ents. He said along with education the ranger it was their prime responsibility to help for welfare and treat- MANDI BAHAUDDIN—Commandant Rangers school focused on extracurricular activities to ment of patients pouring to fa- Academy Colonel Nadeem said education play develop students’ talents. In this respect he said an important role in eradicating the social and their students had won second and third posicility. He said they would continue economic ills while ensuring socio-economic tions in debate and easy writing competitions to serve patients with the help of development of a nation. He was addressing at district and divisional levels in the ongoing policemen with the latest weapons. the Punjab government, philan- Prize Distribution Ceremony held here at Rang- Punjab Youth Festival. Besides, their student had won top posiPraising the performance of Karachi po- thropists and NGOs. Khawaja ers Public School and College Hall on Tueslice Chief Shahid Hayat, the IGP said that as Jalaluddin Romi was addressing day to award cash awards to students securing tions at international level education competimany as 79 police officers and jawans laid a joint meeting of Nishtar Medi- 90% and above marks in 9th and 10th class in tions. This year the college was also preparing students to participate in such educational comtheir lives in the wake of the on-going opera- cal Institute HoDs and adminis- 2013 exams. tion against criminals and terrorist adding that trative heads of the hospital.He The event was attended by Principal Gov- petitions, he added. Referring to educational more than 13,000 criminals had been appre- added that they would spend re- ernment Post Graduate College Muhammad facilities for the students and teaching staff he hended during the targeted operation in cently collected charity funds in a Akram, District President Pakistan Ex-Service- said Commandant Rangers Col Nadeem who Karachi. transparent way and a committee men Society Major(R) Sher Muhammad is also patron of the school took personal inHe said that in September 2013, when the would set priorities for it first. Gondal, Major (R) Nasir Javed Rangers offic- terest in school affairs and with his efforts all operation was launched, 15 police officials emThe chairman BoM said the ers, members of teaching staff, students and needed facilities were there in the school and the environment was very conducive to probraced martyrdom, 12 in October, 11 each in NMI was facing lots of problems parents of prize winning students. November and December, 25 in January 2014 owing to an increase of patients The Col said that education was the key to mote and impart quality education to students while during February until now, 5 laid their as they were pouring into a a nation’s success, and the more the people of in this remote area. He thanked to the chief guest for taking lives at the hands of the outlaws and terror- health facility from far flung a country were educated; the higher will be the ists.—APP areas.Romi urged the govern- standard of its development, as economic boom special interest to look after the needs of the ment to establish four new hos- always follows educational revolution.The stu- school. Speaking on the occasion, Principal pitals like the NMI to cater the dents at the function sang national songs and Government Post Graduate College lauded efdisplayed tableau that amused the audience. forts of rangers’ school in promoting educaincreasing rush of patients. He added that two new Mrs. Col Nadeem awarded prizes to female tion in the area. medical units 5 and 6 were be- students while the chief guest Col Nadeem gave He said this was the only school that was paying more attention on arranging extracurricuing approved for the facility of prizes to male students. lar activities for the students to participate. SevEarlier Principal RPS&C Lt Col Retired patients besides two new operation theatres were being made Rana Maqsud highlighted achievements of the enteen students received cash awards amountfunctional. The meeting was institution run by rangers and paid tributes to ing to Rs 196800. They include Ammara Waqar, attended among others by Dr students securing more than 90% marks. He Ayesha Khalid, Hafiz Abdullah, Nawal Fatima, Ejaz Kanju, Dr Ghulam Haider also appreciated teachers for their hard work Rida Sameen Ijaz, Hassan Ahmed, Muhammad Qaisrani, Dr Azhar Javid, Dr and dedication to impart quality education to Mohsin, Abeera Irshad, Samia Ahsan, Hassan Ahmed Ghega, Shahzeb Ali, Muhammad Amjad Amin and Dr Salman students. He congratulated parents for their wards Ahsen Faruq, Aida Safdar, Soha Iftikhar, Waris.—APP showing remarkable achievements in their aca- Tehniyat Tariq, Muddaser Hassain and demic career and brightening the name of the Muhammad Talha.

Patients treatment prime responsibility

Education plays role in ending social ills

Over 50pc decline in target killings: IGP SUKKUR—Inspector General of Police (IGP) Sindh, Shahid Nadeem Baloch has said that there has been a 50-60 percent decrease in target killing in Karachi. He said this while addressing a news conference at DIG office Sukkur here on Wednesday. The IGP dismissed accusations of the police being involved in extortion worth Rs 220 million on daily basis in Karachi adding that the police force was working diligently to recover those individuals who had been abducted in interior Sindh. The police chief said that the pocess of induction of 3,000 personnel into the force was underway and there was an urgent need to equip

Property dispute claims life

FAISALABAD—A youth was killed while his wife and brother sustained serious bullet injuries over property dispute, in the area of Sitiana police station. According to police, Irshad resident of Chak No.32-GB had a dispute with Sabir of the same locality over a piece of land. Sabir along with others stormed into the house of Irshad and opened fire at him. His brother Ghulam Mustafa and wife Kaneez Bibi came to rescue him when the accused also shot at and injured them and fled. All the three injured were rushed to hospital where Irshad was pronounced dead while the condition of two others was stated to be serious. The police took the body into custody and started inves- QUETTA: Medical staff busy in providing treatment to a person after gas cylinder blast at tigations.—APP District Courts.

Spring celebrations

S ARGODHA —A three-day spring festivities will start from March 7 at Mela Mandi Ground and a four-member committee has been formed to make foolproof security arrangements. The decision was taken in a meeting presided over by District Coordination Officer Malik Ziaullah while Administrator Dr Farooq Manzoor, DSP city Ghulam Mustafa and others were also present.—APP

Traffic checking drive PESHAWAR—The Provincial Transport Authority has worked out a joint traffic checking campaign that would be conducted at an appropriate place preferable near Peshawar Bus Terminal and General Bus Stand GT Road said an officials statement here on Wednesday.—APP

Russia-Pakistan to cooperate for better world: Avdeev SALAHUDDIN HAIDER KARACHI—Russia and Pakisan “ will cooperate more closely with each other for achieving a better world” said the Russian Consul General In Karachi Oleg Avdeev at the Russian Diplomats day reception here Tuesday night. He added that Russia is trying hard to ensure the supremacy of law and democracy in international relations, to galvanize efforts to search for joint solutions for the challenging problems that we are facing. Speaking of the importance of the event, he emphasized that this is not just the opportunity to mark the day of the diplomat, but tonight “we are also celebrating the decades- old relationship between our two great countries - Russia and Pakistan.” “ Needless to say here that diplomacy is the major instrument to achieve the goal of expanding our bilateral ties. While working to broaden the

scope of this relationship diplomats look confidently to the future, when the two nations will cooperate more closely with each other for achieving a better world.” He said he On 10 February Russian diplomats mark their professional day - Diplomats’ Day, which was established by a Presidential Decree in 2002 to commemorate the founding of the Russian Diplomatic Service in 1549. The date itself is closely associated with the history of Russia’s first foreign affairs agency - the Ambassadorial Department. On 10 February 1549 the Ambassadorial Department, established by Czar Ivan IV, was first mentioned in official chronicles. Of course, the Russian diplomatic traditions date back to more distant times. For instance, the “Agreement on Peace and Love” between Ancient Russia and Byzantine Empire was signed in 860, and the envoys of Russian principalities were frequent guests in the states of the Medieval Europe. But in 1500s, after the creation of a strong united Russian State, the necessity of a special diplomatic department to implement foreign

policy became vital. Since 1549 the diplomatic service was made into an office of the State and received a special status. The Ambassadorial Department successfully managed the Russian foreign policy throughout XVIXVII centuries (with first permanent Russian diplomatic missions abroad opening in 1600s), when in 17181720 it was gradually transformed into the Collegium of Foreign affairs by Emperor Peter the Great. This marked the emergence of Russia as a Great European power. The constellation of talented diplomats serving within the Collegium laid down the basic principles and methods of the Russian diplomacy. Finally, in 1802, the modem form of foreign policy management - the Ministry of Foreign Affairs - was created by the manifesto of Emperor Alexander I. By 1914 Russia had a wide network of diplomatic and consular representations all over the world. Presently the Russian Federation has 140 Embassies, 12 Permanent Representative Offices in International bodies and 78 Consular missions. Modem diplomacy has be-

come by far diverse and dynamic. It requires a wider range of knowledge in various fields such as environmental issues, climate change, fighting terrorism and many others. Still the best fundamental traditions are going strong such as profound knowledge of international relations, commitment to their own country and respect for the countries of posting. The primary meaning of Diplomats’ Day is to reaffirm the continuity of the best traditions of national diplomacy, traditions that have always distinguished the representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who faithfully served Russia in the most diverse situations and always upheld the national interests, freedom and independence. Today the Russian diplomacy plays a significant role within the UN, G8, G20 and other world and regional forums, promotes ties of friendship and cooperation with other states. Now is the time of sweeping changes around the world, which is getting more complicated, multidimensional and interdependent. A new polycentric system of international relations

is currently being shaped. This predetermines the growing role of diplomacy, as well as, of course, greater responsibility of those who have chosen this profession. Russia is trying hard to ensure the supremacy of law and democracy in international relations, to galvanize efforts to search for joint solutions for the challenging problems that we are facing. This event is not just the opportunity to mark the day of the diplomat, tonight we are also celebrating the decades- old relationship between our two great countries - Russia and Pakistan. Needless to say here that diplomacy is the major instrument to achieve the goal of expanding our bilateral ties. While working to broaden the scope of this relationship diplomats look confidently to the future, when the two nations will cooperate more closely with each other for achieving a better world, Oleg concluded The reception was memorable. Large number of people turned up to share the Russians happiness on the historic day. The guests were feted to a sumptuous dinner.


UoP to restore 11 disciplines as independent departments P ESHAWAR —On the recommendation of the committee constituted for the purpose, the academic council of the University of Peshawar has decided to restore the status of eleven disciplines as independent departments after bringing five institutes of varsity into the pre merger status in a meeting. The meeting chaired by Vice Chancellor UoP Prof. Dr Muhammad Rasul Jan after discussion unanimously approved dissolving five institutes i.e. the Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology, the Institute of Physics and Electronics, the Institute of Social Work, Sociology and Gender Studies, the Institute of Islamic and Arabic Studies and the Institute of Urdu and Persian Languages and Literature. The decision would be implemented after approval of the University syndicate. The academic council also approved regulations framed for streamlining of the distance education programme of the University of Peshawar. Also in case of an affiliated college of the University, the BS students were allowed to get admission into the LLB programme of varsity. The body also took exception to the BA PESHAWAR: Activists of Pakistan Wapda Hydroelectric Central Labour Union hold a demonstration against privatization of Wapda.

Commissioner seeks coordination in sanitation work

NA body directs ministry to keep Hajj charges minimum

S U K K U R —Commissioner Sukkur, Dr Niaz Abassi has said that for complete removal of encroachments in the city the trader organizations should appoint their focal persons. He said, traders community to coordinate with district administration by educating people throwing garbage of their shops and homes into the containers placed by NSUSC at each point and also prepare their code of conduct regarding cleanliness and anti encroachment efforts. He was presiding over a meeting with traders at his office, here on Wednesday. The Commissioner Sukkur suggested the businessmen community to arrange meeting with Assistant Commissioner and SSP Sukkur regarding traffic plan.—APP

I S L A M A B A D —National Assembly 2014. Standing Committee on Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Wednesday directed the Ministry of Religious Affairs to keep Hajj charges 2014 at minimum level and ensure stringent measures for making the expenses affordable. The meeting, chaired by Hafiz Abdul Kareem, directed the ministry to reduce Hajj package from 3600 to 3500 Saudi Riyals and Hajj Muhafiz Fund from 500 to 400 Saudi Riyals. The ministry was also directed to avoid dependence only on PIA and consider other options for operational flights to provide timely boarding and lodging of the pilgrims. Appreciating draft Hajj Policy 2014, the committee directed the ministry to provide maximum facilities to pilgrims. The ministry agreed with the proposals floated by the Committee and decided to incorporate them accordingly during the new Hajj policy

Earlier the ministry briefly apprised the committee about the initiatives taken by them to provide maximum facilities to pilgrims to make it affordable for a common man, which were appreciated by the committee as well. The committee unanimously passed a resolution on the National Women Day against the victimization of five innocent girls which were martyred after a wedding ceremony in Kohistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and recommended that Government may take stern action against criminals so that no one could even think to commit such a crime in future. Besides the minister and state ministers for religious affairs and interfaith harmony Sardar Muhammad Yousuf and Pir Amin-ul-Hasnat, Rana Muhammad Hayat Khan, Malik Abdul Ghafoor Dogar, Syed Imran Ahmed Shah,Sahibazada Muhammad Yaqoob, Ms Asiya Naz Tanoli, Tariq Christopher Qaiser, Ms

Romina Khursheed Alam, Pir Bux Junejo, Bhawan Das, Ali Muhammad Khan, Lal Chand, Ms Kishwar Zehra, Bismillah Khan, Maulvi Agaha Muhammad attended the meeting. It is pertinent to mention that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have signed the Hajj agreement 2014. Under the agreement 143,000 Pakistanis will perform Hajj this year. The agreement was signed in January between Pakistan’s Religious Affairs Minister Sardar Yousaf and Saudi Arabia’s Minister for Hajj Dr Bandar al-Hajjar. Sardar Yousaf said Pakistani pilgrims will spend 40 days in Saudi Arabia and all arrangements will be made to provide maximum facilities to them. The approval for their numbers and other arrangements will be granted by the Federal Cabinet. Sardar Yousaf added Pakistan’s Hajj policy will be formulated in light of the agreement with Saudi Arabia.—APP

MCP decides abolition of all illegal water connections

Hamid Gul criticizes exploitation of ex-servicemen

P E S H AWA R — M u n i c i p a l

SHER GONDAL

Corporation Peshawar (MCP) has decided the abolition of all illegal connections to arrest the wastage of water in the City. The decision was taken in a meeting held with Administrator, MCP, Rasheed Ahmad Khan in the chair. Those who attended were included MOR, Shahid Iqbal, AMO Rehmat Khattak, Water Assistant (Recovery), Rizwan, Tax Superintendent, Imran Khan, Mohammad Ayaz Durrani and others. Presiding over the meeting, Administrator MCP expressed anguish over the wastage of water in the city. He said that most of illegal water users do not closed the tap, which not only cause the wastage, but also create water shortage in other areas. He said hat most of nanbais and tea shops are using illegal water ad directed their abolition with immediate effect and not allowing any shopkeepers to flow water on roads. Otherwise, strict action would be taken against them.—APP

M ANDI B AHAUDDIN —Ad-

TIMERGARA: Former Senator Maulana Gul Naseeb congratulating the newly elected representatives of Timergara Press Club.

Govt focusing to establish industrial zones in GB: Barjees ISLAMABAD—Federal Min- duced cheap power. ister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan Ch. Muhammad Barjees Tahir said the government was focusing to make a policy for establishing industrial zones in Gilgit-Baltistan in order to utilize locally pro-

The minister said GilgitBaltistan (GB) was blessed with tremendous hydropower potential which could not only fulfill the needs of the areas but also prove to be a cheapest solution to the energy crisis of the country. He was chairing the meeting of GB Power Development Board on Wednesday in which Chief Minister Gilgit-Baltistan Syed Mehdi Shah and Chief Secretary Muhammad Younas Daga also participated. According to a press release issued here, Ch. Barjees said the provincial government should be authorized to attract private sector for small power generation projects. He emphasized the need of a local grid for GilgitBaltistan and extension of national grid to the region to get benefit from the cheap resource of energy. Board’s basic Structure and service rules were approved in the meeting. The minister was in-

formed that German Agency, GIZ, was agreed to provide financial assistance to develop hydro power in GB. Secretary Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan Division, Shahidullah Baig, informed the members of the meeting that a French Company was ready to help developing a regional grid for Gilgit-Baltistan. The meeting was also informed that a Hong Kong based group under the name of Tri-GEN was also keen to establish a 1450 MW captive power plant in Hunza. The Board also approved various proposals to attract foreign investors in the field of power generation. Barjees advised the members to make arrangements so that electricity provision to the people of Hunza and Nagar could be made possible as early as possible.Chief Minister Gilgit-Baltistan Syed Mahdi Shah emphasized the need to make GB Power Development Board vibrant like other provinces and AJK.—APP

dressing General Body meeting of Pakistan Ex-Servicemen Society (PESS) it’s Chairman General (R) Hamid Gul said that all over the world ex-servicemen were looked with honor and respect since they had sacrificed their youth in love and defense of their respective countries. It is unfortunate that in our country exploitation of ex-servicemen continued due to apathy of rulers. Ex-servicemen from lower ranks and widows of Shaheeds and their heir were seen in queues waiting to draw their pension but there was no one to pity on their plight. He said PESS was an organization comprising intelligent, educated and self respecting citizens of the country. It was playing role of promoting their welfare and resolving their problems of employment, medical and pension. He said PESS had landed in the field with commitment to ensure that ex-servicemen get their legitimate and legal entitlement. To achieve this objective they were working to strengthen and spread the PESS organization across the country. Giving details of his recent organizational visits to Karachi and Lahore he said people’s confidence and faith in armed forces was still strong and there was no decline in it. And this was the reason that civil society and several NGOs were willing to corroborate with PESS to work in welfare projects for ex-servicemen. He said in this respect PESS would consider at appropriate time on whether to work jointly with other organizations or not. He said in other countries ex-servicemen were treated with respect and honor and special legislation for their welfare was done.

PTI UC-5 finalizes strategy for LB polls

( Hons) three year programme run by the Sheikh Zayed Islamic Centre and suggested that the same programme should be converted into four years and necessary changes be brought in the syllabus accordingly. Besides in order to make the conduct of examination current with the demands of the students, a six member committee led by Controller Examination Prof. Dr Rashid Khan was constituted to finalize draft of changes to be brought in the forthcoming meeting of the body. Bringing changes in various disciplines in line with the demands of the higher education and job market was a continuous process in order to get along with the global requirements said Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr Muhammad Rasul Jan in his address to the august body said the departments have been given a pre merger status to ensure better administrative control and academic excellence, adding that he was glad to see consensus of the teaching departments in this regard. The Vice Chancellor termed streamlining of the distance education programme as a mild stone achievement.—APP

Dry, cold weather expected in most parts of country ISLAMABAD—Mainly cold and dry weather is expected in most parts of the country. However, partly cloudy condi-

P E S H A W A R — P a k i s t a n tions with light rain, and light snow over the hills are ex-

Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI), Union Council No.5, Hassan Ghari has finalized strategy for upcoming local bodies’ polls and decided to field Arbaz Khan alias Ajab Khan Afridi for general councilor seat. In this connection, a meeting of PTI UC-5 was held here with president, Haji Iqbal in the chair. Senior vice president, Samad Khan, joint secretary, Rasheed Khan, general secretary, Shakeel and president PTI Madina Colony Ward, Hasham Khan and local elders and notables attended the meeting. The meeting unanimously nominated Ajab Khan Afridi for the seat of general councilor. The meeting also expressed satisfaction over the performance of PTI and its coalition partners.—APP

Minor dies after falling from roof FAISALABAD—A minor boy was killed after falling from a roof of his house, in the area of D-Type Colony police station. According to police, 3year-old Abbas son of Subhan was playing with an iron grill at the rooftop of his house when he slipped and fell onto the ground. He received serious injuries and was rushed to hospital where he breathed his last. The police handed over the body to his heirs for burial after completing necessary formalities.—APP

pected at isolated places in Gilgit-Baltistan during next 24 hours. According to Pakistan Met Office, continental air is prevailing over most parts of the country. Mainly cold and dry weather is expected in most parts of Punjab including Islamabad during next 24 hours. While mainly cold and dry weather is expected in most parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The weather will remain mainly cold and dry in Sindh and Balochistan while very cold in north Balochistan is expected in most parts of the province during next 24 hours. Partly cloudy and dry weather is expected in most parts of Kashmir during next 24 hours. While in GilgitBaltistan, partly cloudy conditions with light rain and light snow over the hills is expected at isolated places during next 24 hours. The Karachi Met Office on Wednesday forecast dry weather with cold night and hazy morning in the metropolis during the next 24 hours.—APP

Action against Zakat committees chiefs ordered BASHIR AHMAD REHMANI HAFIZABAD—Director Chief Minister’s Complaint Cell has directed the Provincial Secretary Zakat and Ushr to take stern action against the irregularities and bunglings being committed by the Chairmen of different local Zakat Committees in Hafizabad district while distributing Zakat Funds. A Field Clerk of the department, Tanveer Sajid had submitted application to the Chief Minister alleging that some Chairmen of the committees without holding the meeting of the committees were distributing Zakat Funds on the basis of bogus proceedings as a result of which the deserving recipients were facing a lot of hardship and inconvenience and the clerks were forced to make fictitious proceedings. He further alleged that when he raised his voice against the irregularities, he was victimised by transferring him to far off place. Meanwhile, a villager was deprived of his motor bike and cash by three armed bandits on Khanqah Road near Mattam village last night. According to police source, Akhtar Ali S/o Muhammad Hussain of Chak Diwanan was on way to Hafizabad city on his “Applied For” bike and when he reached near Mattam village three armed bandits intercepted him and snatched away his bike and cash amount of Rs. 2,000/-. The police have registered a case and are investigating.

Estimates prepared for walls of Shah Rukn-e-Alam mausoleum M ULTAN —The Punjab Ar- feet thick would have to be mosque chaeology department has prepared estimates worth Rs 2 million for repair/restoration of two boundary walls of 680-year-old mausoleum of Hazrat Shah Rukn- eAlam.Water penetration had badly damaged two boundary walls of the mausoleum on its north-east corner. Eastern wall subsided with cracks visible and the northern wall found tilted by three inches towards north. The pre-Mughal era masterpiece can safely be dubbed as a symbol and glory of Multan and was declared one of the best conserved monuments in the country following its conservation at a cost of Rs 2.9 million in 1977. One ablution point was built inside in 2010 and the other side of the same wall was built in 2012. Both were closed after the Archaeology department witnessed cracks on the eastern wall running southwards from the northeast corner. However, after passage of three months, cracks in this wall widened further enough for anybody to peep through and it also subsided by 2.5 inches down making its upper surface curved at the middle. The 38 feet long portion of this wall that is 2.5

rebuilt from its foundations which might be 30 feet deep, officials said.The wall running westward from northeast corner was tilted by three inches towards north. This wall is located on the edge of an almost steep slope and officials believe its five bastions saved it from a possible collapse. The tilt caused a long crack in the floor of the

inside the mausoleum.Heavy rains can cause more water seepage and may also damage the 100 feet portion of the eastern wall that was recently conserved at a cost of Rs 2.7 million, officials said. Officials have suggested to lay a 4-inch thick RCC Raft on 2000 square feet damaged flour that would penetrate into the northern wall to prevent chances of further tilt.—APP


Shame on you dear MPs

MEDIA WATCH

The future of war

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N a shocking disclosure, the FBR spokesman has revealed that de spite persuasion and reminders still 270 Parliamentarians have not filed their tax returns. He, however, expressed the confidence that by the deadline of February 14, all the honourable Members of the Parliament would do so enabling publication of the tax Directory of Parliamentarians as promised by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar. It is really ironical that those who formulate laws are themselves guilty of their violation and have so far miserably failed to file returns as per legal obligation. All MPs may or may not file their return by the deadline for the Directory but the fact remains that majority of them did not do so despite repeated extensions in filing of the tax returns for the current financial year granted by the FBR. Government leaders and FBR are on record repeatedly making commitments to issue notices to those who should have filed their tax returns and that penalties would be imposed on them. May be this is done for ordinary citizens but it is not being done against the powerful lot of Parliamentarians whose names are fully known. The authorities concerned should have moved firmly against them to send right signal to others but in our country laws and rules are for the poor and not for the influential segments of the society. Non-filing of tax return by MPs is in line with their general attitude and behaviour as they routinely violate law and feel proud of this unbecoming conduct. Many of them violate traffic rules, display arms, present fake educational documents, make false statements, misbehave with officials and even slap on the face of nurses and doctors but go scotfree. Goons of a legislator broke legs of a school teacher but justice has not been meted out as yet. MPs are chosen representatives and they are believed to be crème of the society. They, therefore, are supposed to be role model and not supposed to be violators of law. As it did not happen in the past and it is unlikely that some relevant forum would move against them, we would only say to violators of the law ‘shame on you’.

Drone attack will ignite hatred A

CCORDING to media reports, a policy debate is doing on in the United States whether or not to kill a US national, linked to Al-Qaeda and allegedly living in Pakistan, through a drone strike. The issues involved are whether his killing would violate domestic law and what would be the fall out of such a strike or military action in a country, which is resisting such attacks vehemently. As for the internal legalities are concerned, it is for the United States to determine the exact position but as far as drone strikes or army action like the one at Salala or Abbottabad is concerned, no Pakistani or the Government of Pakistan would allow that to happen. Already, there is trust deficit between Pakistan and the United States mainly because of the unilateral drone attacks and actions of Salala and Abbottabad, which have been taken as affront by Pakistan and therefore, repetition of such a course of action would further complicate things and spoil progress so far made to repair the damages. Though the United States has not made it clear as to where the man in question was hiding and there are also questions whether he was on this side of the Durand Line or the other side but even if he was somewhere in Pakistani territory then the saner course would be to pass on the intelligence information to Pakistan, allowing its forces to nab him and hand it over to the US authorities. On a number of occasions in the past, Pakistan did so and handed over its own nationals to the US, proving it beyond any doubt that its law enforcing agencies are capable enough to do so in the case of American national as well. It is better to leave the matter to Pakistani authorities rather than to indulge in an action that could damage further the bilateral relationship and that too at a time when the US is withdrawing its troops from Afghanistan via Pakistan.

Beware of saboteurs of peace talks A

S formal and informal meetings are being held between Government and Taliban nominated peace committees, a series of blasts killing innocent people in Peshawar are source of serious concern for the citizens who believe that certain elements are out to sabotage the peace process. Three back-to-back explosions inside a Peshawar cinema on Tuesday killing 13 people and another attack by the militants in Budhbher area of the city massacring nine people, are sending negative signals. It appears that the blasts are the handiwork of forces who are opposed to the talks and not in favour of restoration of peace in the country. In fact since the beginning of peace talks, acts of terrorism have been taking place and there has been no decrease, which people and the government were expecting. These incidents indicate that splinter groups of the militants, backed by inimical forces were acting on the orders of their masters while vibes from the Taliban are also not very encouraging. One may point towards the statement by Taliban spokesman Shahidullah Shahid that the banned group wants its leader Mullah Fazlullah to lead the country, which is amazing and reflects the intentions of the group. He also said that the TTP would only announce a ceasefire provided the government announces it first. This means that the TTP was also still carrying out its activities side by side holding talks with the government nominated peace committee. The Government announced the formation of peace committee after repeated statements by the Taliban that the group was serious in entering into dialogue but now it is coming out with various demands with each passing day. The government on its part has not launched any fresh offensive against the militants’ positions in Waziristan and is observing an undeclared ceasefire. Therefore, we would emphasise that while the Taliban must stop their activities till the conclusion of the talks, it should also exercise its influence on splinter groups in their areas of influence to seize their activities, as that would be a positive signal from their side to help restore peace and order.

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Hurdles in the way of peace In their respective colonies they slaughtered indigenous at will while proAli Ashraf Khan population moting an image of themselves Email:balti1551@gmail.com as the harbinger of civilization and progress. In South Asia we just have to remember what XTREMISM and terrorism the British did in 1857/59, in are not a Pakistani specific but Jallianwallah Bagh and elsewhere. a worldwide problem. Many The answer to this was the develcountries in the region and beyond opment of anti-colonial and anti-imhave similar experiences with ex- perialist movements that were fighttremism and even the rich and ‘de- ing against colonial domination and veloped’ countries that are profess- while doing so violence could not ing to promote ‘reason’ and ratio- be avoided. The Second World War changed nality are displaying growing streaks of extremism at home. This the situation and as a result the Britseems especially strange if we con- ish Empire and colonialism as direct sider that people there are relatively political domination came to an end. well-to do, well educated and ‘civi- Instead, the US rose to prominence lized’. So how come extremism has and the political domination over what was now called the ‘third world’ been able to spread there? When thinking about the root was replaced by economic and financauses for such a situation it seems cial domination represented through that it must have to do something organizations like the WTO, IMF and with a mindset that is aimed at ac- World Bank. But the main focus of quiring or retaining power: politi- the Western powers during the comcal domination, economic domina- ing forty years of ‘cold war’ was the tion, cultural domination. The West so-called second world or commuand Europe in particular developed nism. While the cold war against a political system for themselves communism managed to stay cold, that was aimed at peaceful change the West and its leader US fought hot of power through democratic sys- wars in Korea, Vietnam. When by the tems and that was deemed to be end of the eighties communism colbased on reason and to promote ra- lapsed the Western war machinery tionality; all this has been meant for was in need of a new enemy. They Europe but not for the rest of the found it in Islam in the folds of which world. The rest of the world has been they had already helped develop exattacked with colonialism by the tremism by promoting jihadi ideolleading ‘civilized’ European pow- ogy in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The argument here is that exers and thus globalization has been furthered through a system that was tremism and terrorism are a reaction of the weak and politically powerbased on coercion and war. That was the tactics of the Brit- less to the economic and political ish in whose Empire the sun would domination of the West and to elites never set, the French, Belgians, in their own countries. In a world Germans, Portuguese and Spanish. where technology has been used in

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the first place for dominating others through drones, drone strikes, wars and NSA spy agencies the reaction to this is naturally also extreme and violent not only in Pakistan and Afghanistan but in Europe when NSA phone bugging of public and private persons came to light their governments could not remain silent and had to take tough stand against US. Now when during the 20th century moral and ethical issues were starring in the face of Christianity, they joined hands with Jews to protect their decline, hence a millennium agenda was planned to divert attention from real issues facing Christianity and Judaism. So 1st January 2000 was declared the beginning of the “New Millennium” with great fun and fare, claiming that it would it be a millennium of peace and prosperity. I had disputed this as wrong date and time, because every new Century begins from 01 year and ends in 100th year so the next millennium was to commence from 2001 and not 2000 in these pages of print media through letters and articles in support of my point of view. The perpetrators of this wrong were in frenzy of power had another tool in their hand, which the world witnessed as 9/11 that led to the War against Terror in Afghanistan and Iraq, and by slip of tongue the truth came out when George W. Bush called it a Crusade. Pakistan unfortunately has become the main target of this crusade war on the same analogy that was tabled by first Israeli Prime Minister Ben Goriun. When the first constitution was passed by the Pakistani parliament in 1956, the state was declared an Islamic Republic of Pakistan with inclusion of the Objective’s Resolution in the preamble of the

Constitution that guarantees that no law repugnant to Quran and Sunnah will ever be enacted in Pakistan. This position was further clarified in the 1973’s constitution that established an Islamic Ideology Council to examine and suggest required changes if any in the existing laws of the land. The only flaw in my view is that the recommendations of this council are not a binding on the state to table a bill for amendment as provided in the constitution to legislate it, but the Council is declared a recommendatory body only and there is no compulsion on the government to transform these recommendations into reality. While there is no doubt that in the case of Pakistan and elsewhere criminals and criminal methods have crept into the Islamist movement the main purpose of those movements of restoring justice in the world and create a just human order should not be forgotten. While the West is blaming Islam and Muslims for the odds that actually have been created by them or with their help they are trying to hide their ulterior goals of keeping and extending Western domination over the rest of the world. Western violence and its mass production of weapons with the aim of making money and dominates to destroy world peace and waging more wars and local conflicts than ever before in human history. It is high time to understand and expose this evil role of ‘Democratic’ Leaders of the West, distance ourselves from them and their ideas and find our own way towards Peace and Prosperity. God bless Pakistan. —The writer is Karachi-based senior columnist.

In that era & now Ayesha Zee Khan Email: ayeshazeekhan@live.com

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HAT led to the Islamic Golden Age? How did it come about? “The Golden Age” was based on several factors. Muslims then followed the guidelines of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) studied and searched for knowledge. The saying of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) is clear: “The scholar’s ink is more sacred than the blood of martyrs”, while the Prophet promoted medical research preaching that “For every disease, Allah has given a cure.” Communication became easier because the Muslim Empire united extensive geographic areas. Scholars traveled to teach or share ideas. Furthermore, the Arabic language became a unifying factor. Translations from Greek, Latin, and Chinese into Arabic were innumerable, thus removing language barriers for scholars. During the same period, Arabs learned from the Chinese how to produce paper so books became more available in easy text. Libraries were established in Cairo, Aleppo, Baghdad, and urban centers in Iran, central Asia, and Spain, while bookshops with thousands of titles opened in several cities. Finally, The House of Wisdom, an academic institution serving as a university, was established in Baghdad in 1004 C.E. In that era, a thorough system of medical education was created in the Arab-Muslim world. Arabic medical studies consisted of initial training in such basic sciences as alchemy, pharmacognosy, anatomy, and physiology, which was followed by clinical training in hospitals, where students performed physical examinations, attended ward rounds, and clinical lecture. Upon comple-

tion of training, future physicians were required to pass oral and practical exams in order to be licensed & become medical practitioners. Medicine was not only a profession or science, but also a philosophical attitude based upon religion and culture, obeying codes of ethics characterizing the physician’s behavior and obligations to patients, colleagues, and the community that he/she lived in. At the same time, secular hospitals (Bimaristans), developed all over the Muslim world. These were wellorganized institutions, run under specific regulations and directed by physicians. No sexual, religious, social, or economic discrimination interfered with patients’ treatment. Patients from the non-Muslim world used to arrive to these hospitals to get treated due to professionalism adopted by the practitioners. Detailed medical records were kept. These hospitals were adequately equipped, and had both inpatient and outpatient units. Small, mobile hospital units were also created to serve distant areas and battle fields. The first known hospital was established in Damascus in 706 C.E., while the most important one, located in Baghdad, was established in 982 C.E. Along with progress in medicine, there were remarkable developments in pharmacology. In the 9th century C.E., manuscripts of Dioscurides and Galen translated from Greek formed the basis of further understanding. Arab scholars became acquainted with herbs, experimented with anesthetics, developed techniques such as distillation, crystallization, solution, and calcinations and introduced new drugs such as camphor, senna, musk, alum, sandalwood, ambergris, mercury, aloes, and aconite. They also developed syrups and juleps, created flavoring extracts made of rose water, orange or lemon peel, and experimented with poisons and antidotes. The most famous manual was The

Comprehensive Book on Materia Medica and Foodstuffs, an alphabetical guide to over 1400 simples, written by Ibn al-Baytar. The first pharmacies were established in Baghdad in 754 C.E. In the 12th century C.E., pharmacology was differentiated from medicine and alchemy which became an independent discipline. The impact of Arabic pharmacology in Europe was tremendous for centuries. Terms used in everyday pharmacy and chemistry today such as drug, alkali, alcohol, elixir, aldehydes, etc., are derived from the Arabic language. Advances in medical sciences were not an isolated phenomenon. Astonishing progress was made in astronomy, mathematics, chemistry, and other fields of science. Prominent astronomers were Ibn Firnas, who constructed a planetarium and reputedly was the first man to fly; AlZarqali, who created a kind of astrolabe for measuring the motion of the stars; Al-Bitruji, who studied stellar movements; Al-Fargani, who wrote the Elements on Astronomy; and alSufi, who described the Andromeda galaxy. Mathematics was closely linked to astronomy and almost every mathematician was also an astronomer. Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and trigonometry flourished. Famous geometricians were AlHajjaj ibn Yusuf, who first translated Euclid’s Elements; and Muhammad and Hasan Banu Musa, who wrote books on the measurement of the sphere and trisection of angles and who discovered kinematical methods of drawing ellipses. Among arithmeticians and algebraists, al-Khwarazmi was considered the greatest. He obtained data from Greeks and Hindus and transmitted arithmetical and algebraic knowledge, which exerted great influence upon medieval mathematics. Finally, trigonometry was developed along with astronomy with important representatives such as

Ahmad al-Nahawandi, AlKhwarizmi, Habash al-Hasib, Yahya ibn abi Mansur, and Sanad ibn Ali. In the field of chemistry, Jabir Ibn Haiyan introduced the meaning of experimentation, leading from alchemy to modern chemistry. Additionally, the Golden Age was characterized by technological, architectural, and artistic achievements. Methods for irrigation including underground channels, windmills, and waterwheels were some of the Muslim inventions, while even today Muslim architectural miracles and unique objects of art can be admired in many countries, with the best examples in southern Spain. In this era, Muslims are disunited, scattered, and pinpointed as targets, which may erupt a bomb or be associated to a terrorist outfit. Our efforts were not even in Lilliputian amounts for the betterment of Muslim societies that represent us. Selfishness, greed, and ethnicity have enveloped each Muslim who treads the Earth today. Are Taliban & Terrorists our identity of today? Are we not equally responsible for the way this world thinks of us now? So while Taliban blow bombs in Pakistan, they are the ones who put demands on the Government and the people of Pakistan. Shariah is what they emphasize upon, one wonders, was it Shariah that drove them to kill thousands of Pakistanis? Was it Shariah that led to a Muslim killing another Muslim in Shia/Sunni tragedies? It is that brainwashed ideology which led to those heinous crimes. Fact is: In modern times the Muslims have lost unity due to political power struggle. More energy is spent to stay on top or in power than to advance forward in research and look for new knowledge. —The writer is Lahore-based freelance writer, author and a poet.

OR at least a century not a year has passed in which British soldiers have not been off fighting somewhere in the world. Churchill’s “rattle of musketry” reverberates down the decades. From the wars of late empire to the conflicts with Germany and Japan, the brush wars of the cold war period, and the interventions and expeditions of the era now passing, our armed forces have been almost continuously deployed. Our survey of this long and bloody history may startle some who believe that the British resort to force only in exceptional circumstances, and only in self-defence. In fact, we do it all the time, as recent histories of imperial wars have demonstrated in often chilling detail. Could all this be about to stop? Our writers suggest that a combination of war-weariness, the diminished effectiveness of our forces after yet another round of spending cuts, the failures that marked the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and the difficulty of building popular support in a society that now has substantial minorities hailing from the potential battle zones, mean that 2015 could be the first year with no British shots fired in anger. Officers call this “a strategic pause”. Certainly, the prospect of it should prompt discussion about the purposes of our armed forces. The nations of Europe spend close to •200bn annually on defence and keep one and a half million men and women under arms, with another four million in reserve, and paramilitary forces. What are they for? They are not for colonial control. They are not (after the end of the cold war) for defence against the Warsaw Pact. They are not (after Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, and in spite of Mali and the Central African Republic) for major interventions outside Europe whether in conjunction with the Americans or separately. They are not (given the nature of asymmetrical conflict) for fighting “terrorism”. Intelligence-led operations and, very arguably, drones are the preferred choice of our governments for that problematic task. They are not (we must hope, and after partial settlements in Ireland, Spain, Corsica and the former Yugoslavia) for suppressing European rebels and separatists. They are no longer (with the end of conscription in most European countries) a means of consolidating national unity through an obligation of military service binding on all (at least on all males). They are clearly of value in border control, maritime patrol, fisheries protection, piracy patrol, anti-smuggling measures, as general-purpose forces in emergencies such as major floods, fires, earthquakes, or nuclear accidents, and as providers of contingents for UN peacekeeping operations, including technical back-up for less well-equipped troop donors. Yet are these useful functions best met by forces that have been expensively trained for combat against other sophisticated armies or for use in insurgencies? Arguably, many of their skills are redundant and much of their equipment irrelevant. That goes especially for British and French nuclear weapons. Soldiers will say that armies are insurance companies, and military spending is the premium. Might Europe in the future once again have enemies akin to the old Soviet Union? Russia itself? Iran? China? Even if that could happen, how relevant would tank and infantry armies be? Again, could there be a new era of intervention in which, because of the compelling nature of the situation, Britain and other European nations, with or without the Americans, would need to send large forces abroad? Say, total breakdown in Syria with weapons of mass destruction out of state control? Is the 21st century, in general, so unpredictably dangerous that we need to maintain state of the art militaries on the basis that if we let the skills, traditions and supporting industries die it will be impossible to revive them? Or do we need to start thinking about our military establishment less in terms of firepower and more in terms of a fire brigade, with war somewhere in the middle, rather than right at the top, of the list of duties? — The Guardian I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear. —Nelson Mandela S African statesman


Afghan Presidential elections Fazal Hakeem Email:ddsaarc22@yahoo.com

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ECTIC election campaign for new Afghan President kick started on 2 February which will take place on 5 April, 2014. Presidential candidate from the Northern Alliance Dr. Abdullah Abdullah with his running mates Muhammad Mohaqiq and Muhammad Khan in their initial speeches in Kabul have called upon the war-weary Afghans to vote for them. Dr. Abdullah has put “security, fighting corruption and the rule of law” as his top priorities. He also favors signing of Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) with USA. Professor Ashraf Ghani, another President-hopeful has claimed that “ reforms will begin with us,: myself, Uzbek warlord Abdul Rashid Dostum and Hazara tribal chieftain Sarwar Danish. President Karzai’s elder brother Qayyum Karzai and his loyalist Zalmai Rasool are also in the field for the top slot. Nevertheless, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani are being predicted as the front runners. In 2009 Presidential elections, Dr. Abdullah was second to Karzai which were termed as chaotic and fraud-riddled. The third Presidential elections since Taliban exit in October, 2001, will be a litmus test of US trained 3,50,000 strong Afghan force, in terms of smooth sailing of election process. A day before the start of election campaign, two aids of Dr. Abdullah were shot dead in the western city of Herat. The same day four soldiers were killed in Farah province in an ambush by the insurgents. The surge in the Taliban attacks is indicative of their strategy to take advantage of troop’s withdrawal by end 2014. President Karzai has catalogued the Taliban as his “brothers”

and US as “rivals”. President Hamid Karzai in an interview with The Sunday Times, London has stated that USA has spent 648 billion dollars during Afghan war but it did not help. While praising Britain for their efforts to improve Pak-Afghan relations stated that “the money they should have paid to the police they paid to private security firms and created militias who caused lawlessness, corruption and highway robbery”. President Karzai doest believe that BSA and subsequent presence of 10,000 US troops on Afghan soil augurs will, claiming that he has always pleaded with Americans “to treat the lives of our civilians as lives of people”. And they did not work for me, they worked against me, he further stressed. The proposed Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) which has become a bone of contention between Afghanistan-USA, Pakistan believes that Afghan should decide about the deal. Though experts are advocating that it will help stabilization in Afghanistan. In case, Afghan government signs the agreement, small noncombat American troops contingent will have to stay there after 2014, as the NATO troops are due to withdraw by December 2014. If no compromising deal is agreed upon, US/NATO has no option but to drop the idea. President Karzai maintains that unlike Afghan kings he does not want to do any thing if he is unaware of the consequences. Prevailing situation in Pakistan has emerged in the aftermath of Afghan war since erstwhile USSR adventurism in landlocked Asian neighbor in December, 1978. Pakistan, therefore, wants to reiterate and underscore its commitment towards stability as the US drawdown is coming nearer. Pakistan foresees “a forward looking, broad-based and enduring defense partnership between Pakistan –USA critical for security and stability in the region”. Pakistan has

also warned that the possible political vacuum after the US departures should be filled in by Afghans and not otherwise. National Security Advisor Mr. Sartaj Aziz explained the position during his recent interactions with the Americans. During a two day conference (2829 January, 2014) on “Peace and Reconciliation in Afghanistan” concluded with a note that Afghans should be allowed to take decisions regarding their future, and any solution imposed by outside should not be accepted. On the occasion Pukhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party’s Chief Mehmood Khan Achakzai suggested that “both Pak-Afghan should sign a treaty and both countries would not give refuge to the other’s enemies”. The Conference was organized by a think tank Centre for Discussions and Solutions. The Afghan Deputy Prime Minister Haji Din Muhammad while suggesting to develop contacts with all groups, stated “if there is peace in Afghanistan, FATA will automatically become peaceful and there will be no need to have negotiations with the Taliban. Afghanistan is once again at the center of world political stage. Pros and cons of the post-US exit time are being analyzed. What scenario will emerge? Will the Afghan elected government in post-Karzai period will enable to control the war ravaged Afghanistan’s mainland. Taliban is the main stakeholder in the future political system of Afghanistan who are fighting the invading foreign troops for the last 12 years. Karzai has survived an assassination attempts in the treacherous Afghan political landscape when billion of dollars poured in Afghanistan. Will any coalition government can be established in Afghanistan? Afghan situation fallout on Pakistan is visible. The serpent of terrorism is strangulating the peace, development and social fabrics. The terror waves have caused

grave consequences when the Americans very astutely exploited the Afghan war in their favor by giving it a religious touch. Pakistan National Security Advisor Sartaj Aziz statement that “only a regional approach of total-non-interference can bring peace and stability to Afghanistan”, is very much appropriate. It is a manifestation of Pakistan’s sincerity towards peace establishment which Mr. Aziz made crystal clear during meeting with US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. The base-line for a stable Afghanistan needs two pronged strategy i.e. non-interference and no favorites in Afghanistan. As the Presidency of Hamid Karzai is leaving palace this year, his trust with the USA is thinning. Lately, he has blamed USA for backing the insurgent-style attacks including attack on Lebanese restaurant in Kabul, normally frequented by foreigners, in January, 2014. Though Afghan Taliban has claimed the responsibility for the deadly attack. President Karzai’s government decision to release 72 alleged Taliban prisoners due to lack of evidence has been condemned by the USA, terming them “dangerous insurgents “ who had Afghan blood on their hands. Recently, both Pakistan and USA have urged the Taliban to join the political process and enter into negotiations with Afghan Government. Both sides recognized the Afghan-led peace and reconciliation as the “surest way” to end violence and ensure lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan. Karzai government reported contact with the Taliban is good if it can be utilized for Afghanistan’s stabilization. The forthcoming Presidential elections will be a clear mandate by the Afghan people to the new President either to sign the BSA or otherwise. —The writer is Islamabad-based political analyst.

Views From Abroad

Bangladesh at crossroads Charles Tannock

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N the course of just a few weeks, Bangladesh’s fragile democracy — which had made substantial social and economic progress in recent years — has deteriorated dramatically. The general election on Jan. 5, which Bangladesh’s Western partners had hoped would consolidate its democratic credentials, was marred by violent protests and the refusal by the European Union and the United States to send observers, following the decision by the Bangladesh National Party (BNP), country’s main opposition party, not to participate. Unrest in South Asia’s dynastic democracies is nothing new. But the international community thought that Bangladesh — though still desperately poor, prone to frequent flooding, and having experienced a recent series of tragedies, including fires and a major building collapse in its garments factory — had matured sufficiently for a peaceful transition of power. Under the Awami League government, which was peacefully elected with a huge majority in December 2008, and whose secular/socialist traditions are rooted in the Bengali national movement (which led to independence from Pakistan in 1971), Bangladesh had enjoyed a period of relative stability and rapid economic growth. But painful divisions persisted beneath the surface. In particular, the split between democratic secularism and Shariah-based Islamist governance has defined Bangladesh’s identity since independence, when the rift between competing political models took its most extreme form in horrendous massacres of Bengali nationalists. That legacy remains a flashpoint for violence today. One contro-

versial issue stoking tensions has been the workings of the International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) established by the current government after receiving a clear mandate to try those accused of mass killings and other atrocities 43 years ago. Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina defended the decision by insisting that there can be no impunity for war crimes on the scale perpetrated in 1971, when an estimated 2 million people died, with many civilians executed in cold blood. This quest for justice is no different from efforts to hold war criminals accountable elsewhere, such as in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia. There is clearly a need for emotional closure to allow the country to move on from its bloody birth. But Hasina’s opponents rejected the ICT as a political act aimed at silencing another opposition party, Jamaat-i-Islami, the country’s most prominent Islamist organization, whose leaders sided with Pakistani forces during the civil war. But Hasina’s desire for justice and closure is understandable, given that her father, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (the country’s founding father), and most of her family were brutally murdered in 1975. There were also sound political motivations for establishing the court: a portion of the Awami League’s support comes from the Bengali intelligentsia, in particular the Hindu minority, which suffered terribly in the 1971 war. Jamaat-i-Islami and its ally, the BNP, responded to the war-crimes trials with violent disruption and obstruction aimed at paralysing the economy. Roughly 300 people — many of them members of religious minorities, who are often scapegoated for supporting the Awami League and the ICT — died last year as a result of the protests. Hindus comprised most of the prosecution’s witnesses

for the ICT. Jamaat-i-Islami and its even more radical ally, Hefazat-e-Islam, a fundamentalist madrasa-based group that has campaigned to ban women’s right to work, attempted to block the ICT’s work physically — and even to destroy its international credibility on the grounds that the court reserved the right to impose the death penalty. Hefazat-e-Islam, which supports the execution of socalled atheist bloggers, apparently thinks that blogging causes greater harm than mass murder. Hasina’s government rightly pointed out that all-criminal courts in Bangladesh can impose the death penalty, so it would be odd that a murderer could be executed but a mass murderer could not. On Dec. 12, Abdul Quader Molla, a prominent member of Jamaat-i-Islam, was the first to be hanged for war crimes, with six more sentenced to death. In fairness, international jurists have criticized the ICT on procedural grounds, while the EU opposes capital punishment in all circumstances. But no one outside the country contests the legitimacy of the ICT per se. In fact, the war-crimes trials were only one of several irritants to the opposition, which was also determined to reinstate the model of a technocratic civil-service-led caretaker government in the run-up to the election. This model, unique to Bangladesh and Pakistan in South Asia, was introduced to eliminate abuse of administrative resources by the incumbent government during election campaigns but was abolished by a constitutional change that the Supreme Court upheld in 2011. Indeed, the Awami League rightly pointed out that the caretaker government that took power in 2006, backed by the military, clung to power for two years, instead of the constitutionally mandated maximum of 90 days,

and even tried to prevent Hasina from returning to the country from abroad. The BNP claimed that there could be no fair elections without a caretaker government, even though they had recently won local municipal elections. This stance led to a boycott, despite Hasina’s offer to create an all-party government with three Cabinet portfolios for the BNP, including the interior ministry, which has substantial oversight over both the police and the conduct of elections. The government had no choice but to hold the election, as mandated by the constitution. So, what can be done now that the election is over and a new Awami League government has been sworn in? Above all, the Awami League must make a greater effort to build bridges — for example, by either charging BNP leaders accused of committing crimes, or releasing them from prison. It must also deliver on its promise to hold a fresh election, provided the BNP ceases its deliberate use of violence, and it should seek an agreement with the EU to send a strong election-observer mission. The BNP should also distance itself from Jamaat-i-Islami and other Islamist fundamentalists, and commit itself to secular governance. Indeed, the BNP has not always been close to those who want a Shariahbased state. On the contrary, the BNP has traditionally been pro-business, and Bangladesh badly needs foreign direct investment, which has dried up with the unrest. The BNP also needs to make peace with India, the regional economic giant. Bangladesh is at a crossroads. Neither the West, nor South Asia, can afford to see the country take a wrong turn. The writer is foreign affairs coordinator for the European Conservatives and Reformists in the European Parliament. — Courtesy: The Japan Times

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T was a bit of a nasty fall I had one morning. It had been rain ing all night and yet I decided to go for my morning walk, and so with umbrella firmly in hand I entered wet deserted park and started a brisk pace. I looked up and saw raindrops nestling on evergreen leaves but did not care to notice they had also snuggled in with mud below and the next moment found myself flying in the air! It was quite a fall and as I struggled to pick myself up from

down from Dubai where they live. “Bob!” my mother in law had told me, “Could you plan a thanksgiving service for our anniversary?” And I did just that. “We’ll sing a song,” I told the children, “and you,” I told my poor brother- in- law who was still trying to unpack, get over his travel fatigue and find a place to keep his luggage, “will speak on such and such a subject!” As I watched with draconian pleasure everybody getting ready for the big event, a neighbor rushed in, “Quick!” she shouted, “your fatherin- law has fallen down stairs! He can’t get up!” In a flash we were down and managed to get him to sit. He had taken quite a nasty fall and yet despite age, not a bone was broken nor was he bruised! We managed to get him home and as he put one

SAARC goals M FAZAL ELAHI

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o be able to answer the question how effective the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) has been, a quick look at its background will have to be taken. SAARC is an economic and geopolitical union of eight member nations that are primarily located in the South Asian region. Its Secretariat is headquartered in Katmandu, Nepal. The idea of regional political and economic cooperation in South Asia was first coined in 1980, and the first summit was held in Dhaka on December 8, 1985 that led to its official establishment by the governments of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. In the intervening years, its successors have grown in size by the accession of new member states. Afghanistan was the first to have been admitted in the physical enlargement of the SAARC in 2007. The SAARC policies aim to promote welfare economics, collective self-reliance among the countries of South Asia, and to accelerate socio-cultural development in the region. A close look at the objectives of this regional body would enable one to assess its successes or failures. SAARC was established with the following aims and objectives: to promote the welfare of the people of South Asia and to improve their quality of life; to accelerate economic growth, social progress and cultural development in the region and to provide all individuals the opportunity to live with dignity and to realize their full potential; to promote and strengthen selective self-reliance among the countries of South Asia; to contribute to mutual trust, understanding and appreciation of one another’s problems; to promote active collaboration and mutual assistance in the economic, social, cultural, technical and scientific fields; to strengthen co-operation with other developing countries; to strengthen co-operation among themselves in international forums on matters of common interest; and to co-operate with international and regional organizations with similar aims and purposes and to maintain peace in the region. The South Asian region stands out in today’s terror-stricken and volatile world conspicuously. The war on terror has had a horrific impact on South Asia. Terrorism has been spreading throughout the region at an incredibly fast pace. The fact of the matter is it has now gone beyond control. Pakistan has been declared a nursery for the terrorists. South Asia has been branded by the developed societies of the world as the most dangerous region in the globe. The region has undoubtedly become more insecure and unstable. Had there been unanimity of thought and action among the SAARC member countries, and had they converged on one platform to genuinely address and attain all SAARC objectives, this important regional body could have proved to be an effective body that could have stood up with courage and honour in the comity of world nations and successfully assert itself on both regional and world issues. —Via email

Pak-US dialogue ESCHMALL SARDAR C Christine Fair’s February 9 article “Ten Fictions that Pakistani Defense Officials Love to Peddle” seems to be a response to Stephen M Walt’s February 3, Foreign Policy magazine article “The Top 10 Mistakes made in Afghanistan”, which is part of the growing anti-war criticism against Obama administration. According to Walt, America’s trying to go it alone, blowing it at Tora Bora, helping introduce the Afghan Constitution, the detour into Iraq, the 2009 surge, setting a time limit, downgrading diplomacy, losing public support, failure to manage unruly allies, and strategic contradictions are the top ten reasons of the US Afghan war failure, which Ms Fair probably tries to justify in her recent article. Her ‘Ten Fictions’ are meant to serve the US-Indian interests while ridiculing Pakistan’s sincere efforts as well as unparalleled contributions in the US-led war against terrorism. Ms Fair’s long stay in Pakistan, especially her ‘teaching’ engagements in Lahore was a great ‘learning activity’, where her frequent interactions with top Afghan ‘war’ observers, including the “Descent into Chaos” author Ahmed Rashid, led to compiling of her new book “Fighting to the End: the Pakistan Army’s Way of War”. She rightly calls the just resumed “strategic dialogue” as “has never been strategic”, thanks to the “carrot and stick policy” and “do more mantra” of her governments that have been dictating terms in the name of ‘strategic’ partnership”, “natural allies”, “friendship” and “strategic dialogue” – refer to then Assistant Secretary Armitage’s “or else we will send you to the stone age” threat, and Secretary Collin Powell’s 11-point demands. Even more than 50,000 Pakistani citizens and security personnel’s sacrifices and over $1trillion economic loss against what she calls $27billion aid, has not sufficiently served to quench the Americans’ thirst for “containing China” and economic commandeering of the High Asian region. “The US policymakers never fully appreciated that the war could not be won without Pakistan’s cooperation”, argues Walt. Christine Fair and “everyone knows and has known that Pakistan is key to the equation…The problem was not lack of understanding about Pakistan’s importance: the problem was, by and large, a naïve belief in Pakistan’s desire to cooperate and a miscalculation about how Pakistan perceives its national interests.” —Hayatabad, Peshawar

Change the ruling elite?

A gentle reminder..! slippery muck, wondered what I had broken and was happy that except for bruised elbow and slightly twisted hip was nonetheless worse for wear! “Why?” I asked aloud, “had I been allowed to fall? Wasn’t there a God above who was supposed to look after me?” It was then I noticed my umbrella handle. The thick steel had bent to a full right angle! It looked quite out of shape and I realized with horror the handle was what had broken my fall and the misshapen steel could well have been my wrist. “Thank you Father!” I prayed, “thank you for showing you are always there!” T’ was a few days later that my family celebrated the golden wedding anniversary of my in laws. We had traveled to their hometown and my brotherin- law and family had also come

Voice of the People

MIAN MUHAMMAD SIDDIQUE arm round me and the other round his son and walked, I realized what I had left out of the whole thanksgiving service: I had forgotten to give thanks! I had forgotten to give thanks to a God above for all the years they had had together, I had forgotten to mention his good health and that of my mother in law despite their increasing years. His fall reminded me that He above had to be thanked, and that is exactly what we did next day; we had a thanksgiving service that gave thanks! I look often at my twisted umbrella handle and there are tears in my eyes; I can write this piece because a God above saved my wrist. How often we need a small fall, don’t we, to whisper thank you..! —Email: bobsbanter@gmail.com

What a misfortune? We have a ruling elite, who is intellectually, morally and financially corrupt to the core, selfish, incompetent and without vision. It has been looting and plundering this country since 1947. Its only aim is to enrich themselves by exploiting state resources in collaboration with bureaucracy, cartels of industrialists, big businessmen, stock brokers, bankers and land mafias etc. Pervez Musharraf’s rule, resulted into an unholy alliance between the two main political parties to take turns in governing and thus protecting each other’s corruption and misdeeds. During last five years of PPP’s misrule and massive corruption, PML(N) neither protested in any meaningful way, nor has it initiated any probe to investigate

their mega corruption scandals after coming into power. In all probability, now PPP in Opposition will reciprocate during PML(N)’s tenure of governance (or misgovernance). And democracy will keep on taking revenge from the people of Pakistan in the name of protecting democracy and reconciliation. Almost all major businesses like Sugar, Textile, Real Estate, Oil &Gas etc are directly or indirectly owned and controlled by the ruling elite, and are run like cartels and mafias. Recent additions are the dairy and milk industries. Policies are made to benefit themselves and not the common man. Their strategy is simple, accumulate the black money, issue amnesty schemes and make it white. Take billions of rupees bank loans and once in power, get them written off. Has there ever been any amnesty scheme for the poor, widows, disabled or the old age? Is there any member of the ruling elite whose assets has declined due to the poor economic conditions of the country? How ironic is it that they invite investment from abroad, while their own businesses, children, investment, palaces and assets are in foreign countries. Pakistan for them is a colony to rule and plunder without impunity; not a homeland. They have lost faith in it and will abandon it when nothing will be left for them to loot. They will fly to the safe havens in the Middle East, Europe, USA and Far East, God forbid, the time comes. 47% of our lawmakers of all Assemblies do not pay income tax; 12% of them even do not have National Tax Number (NTN). Majority of over 23,900 candidates in 2013 elections were tax defaulters, yet they were allowed to contest elections and many of them got elected. They do not declare their actual assets and the declared assets are grossly under valued to avoid taxes. No law is applicable to them. In fact they are the law. Almost all state functionaries and state machinery are partners in crime and protect them. There seems no possibility that present ruling elite will bring about the required changes in the electoral system voluntarily. They have to be forced to do it. Only option is a mass movement by the young generation spearheaded by students of universities and colleges to educate the public through social, print and electronic media, seminars, public meetings and rallies etc culminating in a peaceful mass protest in Islamabad. My generation has destroyed Pakistan. Will the young generation save it ? If not, then enjoy the best revenge and fruits of “ Lootocracy “ (Pakistani version of democracy). —Lahore

Extortions MUHAMMAD NAWAZ According to a news report published on 10th February, the Excise & Taxation office Muzaffargarh is plundering the people of this district most cruelly. The people are issued with mostly sham notices at their residential address and when they visit the tax office, they are verbally asked to pay exorbitant sums, for example, on their motorcycles, rickshaws, wagons, shops (as Trade & Professional Tax), token tax , and so on. They are never shown the real rates and the money is received in cash for which no receipt is ever issued. It is reckoned that most of this money goes into their private pockets. Moreover the clerk handling every such transaction charges extra Rs. 400 as his ‘chair cess’. A 70-yaer old government retired pensioner doctor with his clearly deficit practice who sits in his small cabin-like ‘clinic’ just to pass his ‘remaining’ time in this world, has just been handed a notice to immediately pay Rs. 2000 as Trade/Profes-

sional Tax or face imprisonment. It seems that in its bid to please the IMF, the Punjab government has turned a totally blind eye to corruption in government receipt departments, crushing the common man in the process. It is quite obvious that most of the money these tax officers extort from the public goes directly into their own private coffers. The rough estimate is that 60% of Excise & Taxation money is embezzled by its own staff. Why has the Punjab government become so pitiless and cruel to its own people in a desperate bid to please the international lenders whose only agenda for Pakistan is to hold its people permanently down in the clutches of poverty? —Muzaffargarh

Al-Qaeda in KU SYED OUN ABBAS Day before yesterday there was very big news in all over the Media that a group of Al-Qaeda named Al-Sahab has been operating in University of Karachi. A letter has been written by Sindh’s Hime Department to IG of Sindh Police Shahid Nadeem Baloch and DG Rangers Rizwan Akhter disclosing that a party Al-Sahab has distributed CDs and books in the Arts lobby of Karachi University containing literature against the democracy and law enforcement agencies. The distributed CDs have been designed by production house of Al-Qaeda and have their monogram too. According to the news, the Sindh Home Department has also written a letter to VC Dr. Muhammad Qaiser to find out those guys who distributed this stuff in university of Karachi. Everyone knows that Karachi University is one of the largest university of Sindh. The University of Karachi is a public research university, with more than 80,000 students. It is one of the oldest and top ranked university of Pakistan. The university of Karachi has 53 departments and 20 research centres and institutes, under faculties of Arts, Science, Islamic Studies, Engineering, Law, Pharmacy, Management and Administrative Sciences and Medicine. The enrolment of regular students at the campus is around 28,000 in different range of undergraduate and graduate degree programmes. Now the question arises in the mind of students and teachers as to what is the use of the Rangers who have been deployed in the University for more then 7 years? Are they are performing their duty or not? All the students and teachers are tense at the news of presence of Al-Qaeda group in University. Now it’s our request to IG Sindh Police Shahid Nadeem Balooch and DG Rangers Rizwan Akhter to take serious action against these terrorists who are against our Armed forces and law enforcement agencies. We have an example of Punjab University when police cracked down there they found worst literature about sectarian violence and bottles of wine and arms from the hostel of students. As our Rangers and police controlled the situation in the Punjab University, same like that please take some serious action against these groups in KU. —Karachi

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

—Editor Email:editorial@pakobserver.net


Egypt military chief heads to Moscow in rare visit CAIRO—Egypt’s army chief headed to Moscow in his first visit outside the country since the ouster of its Islamist president and amid reports of a $2 billion arms deal that would significantly expand Russia’s influence with a key U.S. ally in the Middle East. In Moscow, Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi was scheduled to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin and speak at a joint press conference with his Russian counterpart, Egypt’s state news agency MENA reported. According to the stateowned daily Al-Ahram, the purpose of el-Sissi’s visit was to conclude a $2 billion arms deal funded mainly by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Gen. Hossam Sweilam, a retired Egyptian army general who maintains close contact with the military, also said the deal would be finalized in Moscow. The visit comes nearly three months after Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Defense Minister Sergei Shogiu visited Cairo. Moscow has been trying to expand its influence in Egypt at a time when EgyptianU.S. relations soured in the aftermath of President Mohammed Morsi’s ouster last July and the subsequent crackdown on his Islamist supporters that has left hundreds dead and thousands arrested. The United States has been Cairo’s chief foreign backer and benefactor since the 1970s. El-Sissi , who overthrew Morsi after days of mass street protests demanding he step down, is widely expected to announce he will run for presi-

dent in elections likely due in late April. The military chief has become hugely popular among a large segment of Egyptians who see him as a savoir of the nation after Morsi’s year-long rule during which he faced allegations that he and his Muslim Brotherhood group were abusing power. Arab Gulf countries have thrown their weight behind the Egyptian military and el-Sissi’s potential candidacy in what analysts say is an effort to “compensate” for the gradual withdrawal of U.S. support to its longtime ally. Egypt’s Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy who is accompanying el-Sissi in the trip to Moscow, had sought to downplay speculation of a major foreign policy shift during the Russian delegation’s visit British army soldiers carry sandbags at the entrance to a flooded house at Chertsey, England. The River Thames has burst three months ago. its banks after reaching its highest level for many years, flooding riverside towns upstream of London, including Chertsey At the time, Fahmy said the which is about 30 miles west of central London. visit was only an “activation” of existing ties and a sign of cooperation between the two countries “in multiple fields.” In November, Russia’s Interfax news agency said that Egypt has shown interest in purchasing Russian air defense missile systems and MiG-29 fighter jets, combat helicopters and other weapons. Mustafa al-Ani, head of the TEHRAN—Armed forces chief of staff Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. There is no military option against Iran on UAE-based think-tank Secu- General Hassan Firouzabadi has warned US Secretary of State John Kerry said any table in the world,” he said. Iran is rity and Defense Studies at the the Islamic republic’s arch-foes that Iran late last month that if diplomacy with Iran due to resume talks on Monday in Vienna Gulf Research Center said the is prepared for a “decisive battle” if at- fails, “the military option of the United with the P5+1 — Britain, France, the purchase would showcase the tacked, Fars news agency reported. States is ready and prepared to do what it United States, Russia and China plus GerGulf ’s support for Egypt’s “We are ready for the decisive battle would have to do”. But Firouzabadi ac- many — aimed at reaching a comprehenpost-Morsi authorities. On with America and the Zionist regime (Is- cused the US of bluffing. sive nuclear accord following a landmark Wednesday, three policemen rael),” Fars quoted Firouzabadi as saying. “Over the past decade, they brought their interim agreement struck in November. were killed by unidentified He also warned neighbouring nations not forces but came to the conclusion that they Western nations have long suspected gunmen in a drive-by shooting to allow any attack to be launched on Iran can’t attack us and left,” he said, dismissing Iran of covertly pursuing nuclear weapon a highway east of the capi- from their soil. the US military threat as nothing but a “po- ons alongside its civilian programme, altal, Cairo.—AP “We do not have any hostility towards litical bluff”. President Hassan Rouhani said legations denied by Tehran which insists regional states, but if we are ever attacked on Tuesday the West should not have and its nuclear activities are entirely peaceful. from the American bases in the region we delusions about using a military option. Neither the United States nor Israel has will strike that area back,” he said. Washing“I say explicitly, if some have delu- ruled out military action to prevent Iran ton has many military bases in the region, sions of having any threats against Iran on from developing a nuclear weapon, if diincluding in Bahrain, Kuwait, the United their tables, they need to wear new glasses. plomacy fails.—AFP

Iran warns ready for ‘decisive’ battle with US, Israel

Attacks kill brother of Afghan politician

KABUL—Officials say attacks man was killed by Taliban inin southern Afghanistan have killed the brother of a man running for office in provincial elections and a policeman, the latest in continued violence ahead of the April 5 vote. Omar Zwark, spokesman for the governor of Helmand province, said Wednesday that the body of candidate Sabor Sabari’s brother was found the previous night in the provincial capital, Lashkar Gah. He also says a local police-

surgents on Tuesday night in the city. Afghanistan is holding elections to replace President Hamid Karzai and also to choose hundreds of provincial council members. The Taliban have vowed to disrupt the vote and already several campaign workers have been killed as part of the insurgents’ assassination campaign against those supporting the Western-backed government.—AP

North, South Korea seek better ties at rare high-level talks S EOUL — North and South Korea held their first high-level talks in seven years on their fortified border, exploring ways to improve ties while the South and the United States geared up for military exercises that have angered the North. The meeting was set up with unusual speed and great secrecy at the North’s suggestion last week, the latest example of conflicting signals coming from North Korea that included an abrupt cancellation of an invitation for a U.S. envoy to visit. The two sides met at the Panmunjom truce village on the border with no pre-arranged agenda and discussed a range of issues including reunions of families separated during their 1950-53 Korean War, a South Korean official said. The North has demanded that the South and the United States scrap the military exercises, due to start later this month, but both sides have plenty of incentives to seek a

Rape scourge a blow to India’s status

deal that could break their long stalemate. “For the North, if it comes back with an accomplishment in terms of improved SouthNorth ties, it will mean a better atmosphere for Kim Jong Un to visit China and a justification to pursue high-level talks with the United States,” said Cheong Seong-chang, an expert at the Sejong Institute outside Seoul. North Korean leader Kim is believed to be seeking a visit to China, the North’s greatest ally and main benefactor, to reinforce his legitimacy as leader. In his early 30s, Kim took power when his father died suddenly in 2011. The South Korean delegation was led by President Park Geun-hye’s deputy national security adviser. North Korea has sent the second-highest ranking official in the ruling Workers’ Party department charged with ties with the South.—Reuters

Lebanese army seizes top al Qaeda-linked militant BEIRUT—Lebanon’s army has arrested a senior al Qaeda-linked militant described by security sources as a “mastermind of car bombs” that targeted Shi’ite areas of the country. Security sources said the arrest of the “terrorist” Naim Abbas could help uncover radical jihadi cells in Lebanon, which have been ratcheting up attacks against the army and against the political and militant Shi’ite group Hezbollah. The surge in violence in Lebanon is linked to the three-year conflict in neighboring Syria, with sectarian tensions between Sunni and Shi’ite Muslims rising on both sides of the border. Hours after Abbas’s arrest, security forces found two boobytrapped cars - one loaded with 100 kg of explo-

sives in the Corniche al-Mazraa district of central Beirut and another in the village of Arsal, near the border with Syria. “It was he (Abbas) who confessed and gave the location of these two cars. So far two cars have been discovered but many more will follow,” a security source told Reuters. Abbas, a Palestinian, was snatched from his house in a Beirut suburb in a special operation led by the Lebanese army early on Wednesday morning. Hezbollah has sent fighters and advisers to help its ally President Bashar al-Assad, a member of the Shi’ite-derived Alawite minority, against mainly Sunni rebels who have become dominated by Islamist fighters.—Reuters

Supporters of Syrian President Bashar Assad, wave Syrian flags and one holds up the logo of the Syrian Baath Party, left, as they march during a demonstration in solidarity with government forces, in the al-Midan neighbourhood, of Damascus, Syria.

Extremists attack Nigerian town, kill 39 KONDUGA—Hundreds of Islamic extremists posing as soldiers attacked a northeast Nigerian town for hours, killing 39 people and razing a mosque and more than 1,000 homes, survivors said. In the ruins of the burnedout mosque, bodies covered in cloth lay ready for burial Wednesday, including three small shrouds covering children who did not look more than 10 years old. “Why us? Why us?” one woman wailed, trying to understand why militants set on creating an Islamic state in Nigeria would attack a town of mainly Muslim farmers. Numerous villages in the area have been attacked and hundreds have been killed in recent months despite a 9month-long military state of emergency to halt the uprising in three northeastern states covering one-sixth of Africa’s biggest oil producer and most populous nation divided almost equally between Muslims and Christians. Thousands have been made homeless and thousands more have fled to other parts of Nigeria and to neighbouring states. Farmers described Tuesday night’s attack to visiting Borno state Gov. Kashim Shettima. They told the governor that about 400 attackers in military camouflage drove in from all directions in apparently stolen army trucks led by an armoured personnel carrier. They called people to them, then opened fire, the survivors said.—AP

Educating for peace in times of war YOSSI MEKELBERG

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t is quite unusual for nearly three thou sands academics to gather in one place and reach a consensus about almost anything. It might be the influence of Havana’s tranquility, where this gathering took place, or maybe the topic itself – socially responsible education. The source of the agreement here is the idea that education systems have a responsibility to engage students, academics and the wider public in addressing social and political affairs which affect us all. However, encouraging proactive political and social participation in tackling the challenges we face globally is only one side of the story - constructively doing so, in way which is balanced and focuses on the complexity of the issues and their solutions, is another. Fear of apathy should not be replaced with over-zealous or half-thought through activism. What prompted me to take part in this massive gathering was not only the beauty of

this country or the wonderful hospitality of its people. It was an opportunity to highlight the need of peace education in times of conflict for the wider society, and not only for those in the education system. It begs the question as to whether societies that are immersed in war can also prepare for the peace beyond hostilities. Can there be any objectivity among societies in the way they perceive the motivations and actions of their enemies? And if the answer is yes, what educational programs can be devised in order to achieve this? Needless to say, the long and turbulent Arab-Israel conflict provides an almost perfect case study. A quick glance at the terminology used by the Israelis and the Palestinians in their school text books, in the media, and in public statements offers a clear and instant explanation regarding the level of distrust and fear on both sides. This level of distrust is exactly what makes a peace agreement near impossible. To be sure, times of war and conflict are also times of heightened vitriolic language and hatred hurled at political enemies and opponents at home

and abroad. In most cases the discourse in society, including the education system, is almost entirely engaged in mobilizing the society in support of government’s policies and actions. Part of this discourse contributes to the demonization and de-humanization of foes and rivals. Written and oral references to the enemy as inherently violent, terroristic, dishonest, savage, or even worse, are not uncommon. Inevitably, this distortion of reality legitimizes the committing of horrendous atrocities against combatants and civilians alike. In the name of national security the social discourse allows for policies which by international conventions are defined as war crimes or crimes against humanity. Societies are left badly scarred, physically and psychologically, and therefore unable to move to a peaceful dialogue. A more recent report by Israeli and Palestinian scientists, which scrutinized both sides’ text books, was less than complimentary regarding objectivity or balanced views in the way both sides portray each other. The researchers discovered that both sides are presenting “unilateral narratives”

which portray the other side in a negative way while portraying themselves in very positive light, thus lacking a candid self-critical approach. One can understand, to an extent, the need of any leadership to indoctrinate its population to be resolute in time of war. However, it is equally important to mentally prepare them for the necessary compromises and concessions for peace. One of the tasks of modern and responsible education and dialogue in a society, is to engage the public in understanding the complexity of conflicts. Furthermore, it should highlight the diversity of explanations for the root causes of the conflict, as well as their possible solutions. Responsible education has a duty to prepare the ground for conflict resolution, post conflict coexistence and reconciliation. Unfortunately, this approach has rarely been taken by Israeli and Arab leaderships and consequently contributed to prolonging the conflict between them, and in many cases intensifying it. —Courtesy Alarabiya

MANIK MEHTA

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t is counterproductive and foolish to waste millions of tax payers’ money in glorifying ‘Incredible India’ in international media if the country fails to provide security to women “Mother India” — as Indians fondly describe their country, elevating her status to that of a mother — is not at all happy with the savage assaults on the dignity and honour of women, with incidents of rape reaching epidemic proportions since the ghastly gang rape and murder of a Delhi student in December 2012. The United Nations Human Rights Council has described the proliferating incidents of rape in India as a “national problem”. According to India’s National Crime Records Bureau, 24,206 rape cases were reported alone in 2011, but experts agree that the number of unreported cases of sexual assault is much higher. While Indian women have borne the brunt of rape and harassment — be it in offices, cinema houses, moving trains and buses and, indeed, almost everywhere, not to forget the villages where many women are too frightened to even report their plight to the police or other authorities because of the consequences — there is now an alarming outgrowth of India’s rape culture with the Indian male predator making it into the international media by rapinga foreign women visiting the country. Two recent incidents of rape of foreign women, one on a Danish woman and the other on an 18-year-old German girl, were condemned internationally, resulting in travel advisories warning foreign female visitors to be very wary of India. The growing list of rape cases against foreign women also belies the contention of Sujatha Singh, currently India’s Foreign Secretary and former Indian ambassador in Berlin, that assaults on foreign women are an “aberration” in India. Singh, speaking at a press conference at the International Tourism Bourse in Berlin in March 2013, had told me, in response to a question, that one needed to put the “(rape) incidents in perspective”, a remark that left many journalists wondering that an Indian ambassador — and a woman, at that — should be detracting from, if not downplaying, the savagery committed by men against women. Ironically, a few days after Singh’s remark, the Indian media reported fresh incidents of rape against foreign women! Incidents of rape against foreign women will, invariably, impact tourism traffic to India, besides destroying the country’s image as a safe destination. A foreign woman setting foot on Indian soil needs to feel safe. It is counterproductive and foolish to waste millions of taxpayers’ money in glorifying ‘Incredible India’ through eye-catching commercial ads in the international print and broadcast media if the ground realities are totally different. Even the best spin doctor will throw up his hands and walk away before defending a country that is fast becoming a tourist’s nightmare and qualifying itself for the dubious title of a “rape hub”. Though the Indian parliament introduced amendments to the India Penal Code in April 2013 — obviously, to assuage the nationwide outrage — and widened the scope of sexual assault as an offence, stringent laws alone will not do as long as enforcement of law and, more importantly, preventive measures are not put in place. Stopping this ugly phenomenon should be a top priority and this calls for non-interference by politicians and other influential persons. The Indian judicial system, one of the slowest in the world, is equally to blame for its snail-paced delivery of justice, ignoring the fact that justice delayed is justice denied. Despite the changes to the Criminal Procedure Code of 1973 and the Indian Evidence Act — the recording of statement by the victim has been made “more friendly”, thus forcing the hitherto brazenly disinterested police to pursue such cases, and also preventing the police from judging the character of the victimised woman who was often portrayed by officials, police and defence lawyers as “easy” and “inviting” to those committing rape — the Indian Government needs to take preventive measures against rape by asking the law-and-order agencies to intensify street patrolling. A police taskforce, working in tandem with non-governmental organisations representing women’s interests, could be set up to discourage potential criminals from their despicable activities. The so-called tourist police patrols, set up to protect foreign tourists, have done little or nothing to prevent such acts. The Indian parents’ “sons only” craving also needs to change; the killing of female foetuses is slowly but steadily changing India’s demographics, creating a disproportionate female-male ratio and, in effect, a shortage of women against a burgeoning male population. This gender imbalance is replete with a huge social conflict potential, if not checked forthwith. Besides paying lip service, Indian politicians have been largely ineffective in stopping the practice of female foeticide. India’s cultural ethos has traditionally put women on a high pedestal: Women have, in ancient Indian culture, been the embodiment of strength, endurance and sacrifice. However, the happenings in contemporary society suggest a very disturbing trend about women’s place in Indian society. —Courtesy Gulf News

What the Copenhagen Zoo forgot: Zoos should save, not kill

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he killing of a young giraffe at a Danish zoo — after which it was publicly butchered and fed to a lion — breaks what should be the most inviolate if unwritten contract when humans remove wild animals from their natural habitat: to protect and keep healthy those animals and their descendants. A spokesman for the Copenhagen Zoo said the killing with a bolt gun of the 2-year-old giraffe was done to prevent inbreeding of the zoo’s population. The zoo brushed off other options, such as giving the animal to another willing zoo (and there were several) or keeping it in a separate enclosure so that it would not breed. The zoo said it needed that space for more genetically useful animals. The action, and the explanation, cast a harsh spotlight on the role of zoos, a role that is increasingly being questioned as we learn more about wild animals and their difficulties in captivity. Humans love zoos, and have for thousands of years. They entertain, delight and educate children and adults alike. But in recent years it has become clear that neither entertainment nor even education are enough; humans have weighty responsibilities that go with removing animals from the wild and putting them on display. Killer whales, which in the wild form close family bonds and travel long distances, clearly were not meant for life as captive performers. These days, we can see how inhumane the old elephant enclosures were. We have yet to determine whether the newer style of exhibits — larger, with softer ground and more stimulating activities for the elephants — will do right by them. Animal protection, and the restoration of critically endangered species, have taken a more important role in the mission of zoos. More than ever, zoos are taking responsibility for the wellbeing of their animals, which means keeping them alive and healthy as long as possible. That’s not what happened here. And what lesson does it teach the public about respecting and admiring wild animals when that education includes the killing and dismemberment of an animal? Of course, the zoo’s lions weren’t about to turn into herbivores if they weren’t fed giraffe meat; another animal would have died instead. But there is a difference between a zoo’s responsibility toward domesticated animals, long raised for meat, and the commitment it should make toward its wild animals. The wilderness is a harsh place too, but at least the giraffe would have had a chance of escaping its predators there, rather than having its arbitrary death chosen for it. —Courtesy Los Angeles Times


Karzai From Page 1 confidence among Afghans, Clapper said. “The effect already of the delay has been negative in terms of the impact on the economy, not to mention I think the psychological impact,” he said.—AP

MQM to stage From Page 1 provincial assemblies and will start from the Senate session scheduled for Thursday. They have also said that they will observe not one day of mourning but of three to seven days.

Altaf appeals From Page 1 bearers have become victims of enforced disappearances. These detained workers are being subjected to inhumane torture in government detention centers.

Taliban, Govt bodies From Page 1

Attack on cop’s house kills From Page 1 unteers of the peace committee, on the spot. More than a dozen unknown militants armed with heavy weapons attacked a house located at Mashokhel, who first tossed hand grenades and then barging in the house gunned down nine persons. Few volunteer of peace committee are also included among the dead. The Police officials said adding the terrorists targeted the house of a policeman Zafar, who earlier had fell victim in a target killing. The locals as well as the police authorities, however, spotted the brutal killings on Wednesday morning and shifted the dead bodies to hospital. “All those killed in grenade attacks followed by firing were members of a same family including bothers, nephews and other relatives having attachment with the pro-government Amen Lashker”. Locals said While the Police and security forces have started operation in the area, the officials said the terrorists have fled away to semi-tribal area FR Peshawar or Khyber Agency with some reports saying the attackers belonged to the defunct Lashker-eIslam of Bara Khyber agency. This was a third sabotage act in Peshawar in a row and fifth since February 2. Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf (PTI) Imran Khan has strongly condemned attack on a house in Mashokhel at Peshawar and expressed grief and consternation over the loss of precious lives especially the member of local peace committee. In a statement he said that such an inhuman act of terror was absolutely condemnable and seemed a well-thought-out conspiracy to disrupt and sabotage the ongoing peace efforts. He called upon the provincial government to bring the culprits to the justice as early as possible. Imran said our civil and military forces along with civilians have been bearing the brunt of terrorism and so called war on terror. He paid rich tribute to the sacrifices made by law enforcement agencies in Khyber-Pukhtunkhwa. . Such incidents, he observed, were blatant efforts to derail much needed peace process that has yet to enter into a meaningful phase. Stressing upon successful conclusion of negotiations, Chairman PTI said that move for peace should go on and all attempts by inhuman, anti-state forces should be rebuffed explicitly.

The Khyber Pukhtunkhwa Governor Engineer Shaukatullah has also taken strong exception to the terrorist attack at a house at Mashokhel in Peshawar on Wednesday and described it a worst act of inhumanity and cruelness. Strongly condemning the incident, the Governor has said that no effort will be spared to nab the elements involved in the heinous crime and bring them to court of law. He has also expressed deep sympathies with members of the bereaved family and prayed for eternal pace of the departed souls. He has also wished for the grant of courage to the bereaved families to bear the irreparable loss with patience Condemning the recent terror attacks in Peshawar the Khyber Pukhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak has said that the anti-state elements who did not want peace in the country were exposed after the initiation of peace talk’s process with Taliban. In a statement, Khattak said that some elements did not want peace and stability in the country. He said that these elements have intensified their terror activities after the dialogue process between the government and the TTP In the meanwhile, the Khyber Pukhtunkhwa Home Department has ordered a special security plan for cinema houses on Wednesday. The cinema owners have been directed to install CCTV cameras, metal and explosive detectors and deploy uniformed and plain-clothed security personnel. Moreover, there would also be a complete ban on parking vehicles within the premises of the cinema houses and appropriate action would be taken against those who violate the directives. Meanwhile, all divisional commissioners and police officers have been directed to ensure the implementation of the security plan. Police have prepared initial report of Peshawar cinema attacks. According to the report, the attacker was already present in the cinema hall. He hurled the first hand grenade in the first row, second grenade at the gate of the hall. Taking advantage of the stampede in the hall, the attacker managed to escape after the third blast. Police said the same group was involved in Shama Cinema and Picture House attacks on Feb 2.

ment negotiating body has not replied over the demand of scheduling a meeting with army chief and DG ISI. However, he said the Taliban committee was satisfied with the so far developments. Meanwhile Member of Taliban committee Maulana Samiul Haq talking to private news channel said the demands of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) were placed in front of the government’s committee that has expressed satisfaction. Maulana Samiul Haq said that the blasts in Peshawar were a conspiracy to sabotage peace process however TTP has denied any links to these blasts. JUI-S chief Maulana Samiul-Haq has called moot of From Page 1 Ulema from all sects on February 15 in Lahore to create of common interest. Trilateral Summit is “Susconsensus over dialogue Earlier Foreign Office tainable Peace in the Heart process.—Online Spokesperson giving the of Asia.” The Summit is takdetails said the trilateral ing place in the backdrop of summit will be attended by important political and secuthe leaders of Turkey, Af- rity transitions in AfghaniFrom Page 1 ghanistan and Pakistan. stan, including Presidential LSM and services sector is The Prime Minister would and Provincial Council elecbetter than initially expected, be accompanied by a high- tions on 5th April and the as the IMF acknowledged level delegation. draw-down of NATO/ISAF the positive impact of better The Turkey-Afghani- forces by 31st December this electricity availability under stan-Pakistan Trilateral pro- year. Prime Minister Nawaz the new government. The cess was launched in 2007 Sharif has articulated a forIMF officials were also sat- and the last summit was ward-looking vision of a isfied with the progress on held in December 2012 in peaceful and prosperous the fiscal front, where reduc- Ankara. It is an important neighbourhood, defined by tion in subsidies and revenue platform for high-level dia- close, cooperative relations enhancing measures have logue, security cooperation, with all neighbours, includsucceeded in containing the and economic development ing Afghanistan. His particifiscal deficit. partnership on the issue of pation in the Ankara Summit is part of the efforts to help Afghanistan. Pakistan-Afghanistan- strengthen the process of Turkey Trilateral process stabilization in Afghanistan. Pakistan has extended was launched in 2007. The last summit was held in De- consistent support for peace From Page 1 cember 2012 in Ankara. It is and reconciliation in Afghaniers Training Institutions and an important platform for stan. It remains committed to Training of Elementary high-level dialogue, security working with Afghanistan as School Teachers project in cooperation, and economic well as the international comPunjab” at a total cost of development partnership munity for sustainable peace, stability and development in Rs3.137752 billion that would among the three states. The theme of the 8th Afghanistan.—Online extend provision of quality education as one of the objectives of the Medium Term Development Framework 2005-10, besides providing quality teacher education in From Page 1 the Punjab Province. ticularly UBLs remains. At this point all photos should It also approved Khyber have been turned over to the CIA; if you still have them Pakhtunkhwa government’s project titled “Integration of destroy them immediately or get them to the redacted.” Health Services Delivery The e-mail was obtained by the conservative activist group with special focus on EPI Judicial Watch, which has called for the public release and Lady Health Workers of photos of the raid in Pakistan that killed the al Qaeda Programme” and other al- leader. The e-mail, which was almost entirely redacted, was lied sectors relating to nutrition, advising a commit- released under a Freedom of Information Act request. tee comprising secretaries Days before McRaven’s instructions, Judicial Watch of finance, planning, inter- had filed a FOIA request for such photos, and hours provincial coordination before, they filed a lawsuit, according to the group’s and the KP chief secretary president, Tom Fitton. “Despite there being multiple reto work out consensus on quests for this information, and a lawsuit for this inforperiod of financing during mation, there was a directive that was sent out, to who or beyond currency of the knows who, to destroy records,” he said. “It may have been in violation of the law,” he said. 7th NFC Award.

PM in Turkey to attend

Pressure

ECNEC approves

Photos of Osama

Agencies warn From Page 1 Shahbaz Qalandar, Shah Abdul Lateef Bhittai and Sachal Sarmast. The Auqaf Department had in its summary for arrangements of extra security added suggestion that close circuit TV monitoring cameras should be installed at the shrines while additional deployment of security personnel should also be ensured.

Plea to stop From Page 1 Sheikh’s appointment. However, the court directed Akram Sheikh to continue his arguments. Akram Sheikh said that Islamabad High Court has already rejected the petition praying for the transfer of high treason case to the military court. He said that the acceptance of the order of constitutional court was mandatory for other courts. Akram Sheikh further said that there was no mention of high treason in the Army Act.—Online

Lebanon From Page 1 that have been targeting army posts and Shi’ite areas under the control of the Lebanese Shi’ite Hezbollah group. The surge in violence in Lebanon is linked to the three-year conflict in neighboring Syria, with sectarian tensions between Sunni and Shi’ite Muslims rising on both sides of the border.—Reuters

Targeted From Page 1 nal destination rather than to surrender any pressure.

Nawaz directs activating PML-N Lawyers Forum From Page 1 the days to come over legal and other issues involved. It is expected that representatives of the PML(N) Lawyers Forum would also attend proceedings of the special court in the Federal Capital. Meanwhile, after special instructions of the Prime Minister, the Forum, in its general body meeting, held at District Bar Islamabad elected its new body. Abdul Khaliq Thind was elected Chairman; Sajid Hussain Abbasi – President; Shamsher Tariq Ali – Senior Vice President; and Abdul Rauf

Chaudhary, Arif Khan, Mohammad Yaqoob, Zaheeruddin Usmani, Sardar Abid Masroof and Mazhar akram Awan as Vice Presidents; Sardar Arshad Mehmood General Secretary; Tasaddaq Khurshid Abbasi as Joint Secretary and Muhammad Arshad Raja as Finance Secretary of the Forum. All advocates who want to join PML (N) Lawyers Forum DBA Islamabad may contact Chaudhary Abdul Rauf Advocate on mobile No. 03335196281or Mohammad Arshad Raja advocate at 03005163763.

FPCCI President elect leave for Turkey STAFF REPORTER KARACHI—Zakaria Usman, newly elected President FPCCI has left for Ankara, Turkey to attend 8th Istanbul Forum to be held on Feb 13, 2014 on the sideline of 8th Trilateral Summit amongst the President of Turkey, Afghanistan and Pakistan. The Istanbul Forum for Economic Cooperation between Afghanistan, Pakistan and Turkey was established in 2007 under the ages of Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB), FPCCI and Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Bank Alfalah, United Mobile join hands to benefit customers STAFF REPORTER K ARACHI —Bank Alfalah, Pakistan’s largest issuer and acquirer of credit cards has recently joined hands with United Mobile on a strategic alliance to benefit its credit card customers across Pakistan. “This alliance between United Mobile and Bank Alfalah is the first of its kind in Pakistan by leaders of the respective industries. This alliance will benefit the employees and credit card customers of Bank Alfalah to ac-

quire and enjoy high quality Voice smart devices at discounted prices with easy installments on zero percent markups. This partnership will create social capital and is mutually beneficial for both the sides and will go a long way,” said by Ejaz Hassan.

As part of this collaboration, United Mobile will offer its complete range of Voice smart mobile devices and feature phones to Bank Alfalah’s credit card members on six to twelve month installment plans, with zero percent mark up.


Senate passes resolution to protect women rights in TTP talks I S L A M A B A D —The upper

IHC judge refuses to hear plea I S L A M A B A D—Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui of Islamabad High Court (IHC) has refused to hear plea against appointment of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) interim chairman Najam Sethi. Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui, while refusing to hear the plea, said as the same court had given verdict for the dismissal of Zaka Ashraf, therefore, it would refer the case to Chief Justice IHC Justice Anwar Kasi. A man, namely Abdullah Tahir, had filed plea against appointment of Najam Sethi as PCB chairman. In his petition, the applicant had pleaded that Sethi should be stopped from performing his duties as cricket board chief and that the PCB chairman be appointed through election.— INP

CM attends PA session Staff Reporter L AHORE —Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif attended the session of Punjab Assembly for the second consecutive day Wednesday. The Chief Minister was given a standing ovation when he arrived in the house. The bill regarding establishment of a commission for protection of the rights of women and their empowerment was being debated in the house. The Chief Minister took keen interest in the assembly proceedings and also took notes.

Lahore Auto-Show from March 16 MUZAFFAR ALI LAHORE—The 4th edition of the Lahore Auto Show is to be held on the 16th of March at the Liberty Market promises which will be the biggest auto event in the city, with a static display of more than 1000 exclusive cars. Car lovers are in for a grand treat. The auto-show is organized by PakWheels.com in collaboration with the Tourism Development Corporation of Punjab (TDCP).

house of the Parliament Wednesday unanimously passed a resolution calling upon the government to not compromise on the rights of women and minorities in the negotiations with Taliban. The resolution was moved by Muttahida Qaumi Movement Senator Nasreen Jalil. She urged the government to constitute a commission for protection of women to resist illegal orders of jirgas. Ancient traditions like Sawara, Wani and marrying girls with Quran through tribal jirgas are BANGKOK: An anti-government protester offers water to riot police guarding the Department of Forestry on Wednesday common in Pakistan as

Mamnoon endorses govt-Taliban talks IRFAN ALIGI K ARACHI —President Mamnoon Hussain says attaining the goals of strong economy was conditioned by prevalence of peace and tranquility in the country. Peace negotiations with Taliban had showed positive advancement but the pace was yet slower. National and international institutions had been supportive to the government regarding peace talks with Taliban. Targeted operation in Karachi would continue till achievement of required goals and the reservations of all stakeholders would be addressed. The law of capital sentence was being suspended in the country. Personal efforts were being made to make the antipolio drive successful in federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA). President Mamnoon Hussain expressed these views while talking to editors and columnists of newspapers at the State Guest House Wednesday. He said that the government had taken steps for bringing peace and stability in the country and for that reason, peace talks

were being initiated. There were around 35 to 40 groups of Taliban that had welcomed the peace dialogue. Government had adopted a policy to isolate those groups that were not being engaged in peace talks so that they could grow weaker and then be compelled to come on the table for peace talks. He said that peace talks were a step that the government had initiated to make final decisive and sincerest efforts for the peace without further bloodshed. Stability, prosperity and economic growth were all conditioned by the sustainable peace in the country and it was the obligation of the government to take all measures for peace and tranquility. The President also disclosed that institutions at the country level and at international level were also playing their supportive role for meaningful peace dialogues with Taliban. It was a promising situation that peace talks were being pushed forward quite p[positively. However, the pace of such positivity was rather slow.

Missing person case

SC gives govt 2 weeks for recovery ISLAMABAD—Supreme Court giving two weeks notice to federal and the Punjab govt for the recovery of Khawar Mehmood has observed that what could be more unfortunate that despite having concrete proof the missing person could not be recovered. On Wednesday a three member bench of the Supreme Court headed by Justice Jawad S Khawaja heard the Khawar Mehmood missing person’s case from Fort Abbas. Additional Attorney General (AAG) Tariq Khokar, Amina Masood Janjua and advocate general Punjab Mustafa Ramday appeared before the court.

AG Punjab while presenting the report in front of the court said that the uncle of Khawar Mehmood, Abdul Hai in his 161 statement has expressed fear about ISI that they could be behind the abduction of Khawar. He had said in his statement that the ISI members always visited his home and asked him about Khawar’s other brother Amir. They had also picked him up and tortured him after which they released him. AG further stated that in the light of police reports he had directed to the IG Punjab to contact the concerned person and to contact the ISI and MI to gain information about Khawar. .—Online

US to shift Bangladesh aid away from politicians WASHINGTON—The United States said Tuesday it will curtail aid that benefits Bangladeshi politicians and redirect it to address labor and other concerns amid frustration over the country’s prolonged political infighting. Nisha Biswal, the assistant secretary of state for South Asia, reiterated US calls for new elections after a January 5 vote boycotted by the opposition. She also urged Bangladesh to make greater strides in factory safety following a series of horrific disasters. Addressing the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Biswal said the United States was “curtailing any programs that are providing any direct benefit to members of parliament.”—AFP

Indian, Pakistani students in UK feel ‘highly unwelcome’ LONDON—A

majority of Indian, Pakistani students have admitted to feeling highly unwelcome in the UK. Students from India, Pakistan and Nigeria have also admitted advising their friends not to study in the UK. A study of the attitudes of 3,100 international students by the National Union of Students (NUS) has revealed almost 50% feel the UK government was either “not welcoming” or “not welcoming at all towards overseas students”. The NUS is a confederation of students’ unions in the UK. The UK earns £7.9 billion a year from international students. By 2024, one in every three outbound higher education students across the globe is expected to be from India, Pakistan and

China. Figures revealed on Tuesday showed the non-welcoming attitude was most pronounced for PhD students. Almost 63% of Indian students doing their PhD in the UK felt unwanted, besides 64.5% from Japan and 63% from Nigeria. Asked what bothered them the most, 40% cited moves to get landlords to check on their legal status, while 74% said introducing a National Health Service levy would make it impossible to study in the UK. England is already witnessing a sharp tumble in the number of Indian students visiting its universities for higher education. Latest data shows between 2010-11 and 2011-12, over 10,000 fewer Indian students travelled to English shores to pursue a

post-graduation degree. In percentage points, there was a nearly 25% fall in the number of Indian students studying a postgraduate course. While 39,090 Indian students enrolled in British universities in 2010-11 for a PG degree, the number fell to 29,900 in 2011-12. Even after the drop, Indian and Chinese students make up almost 35% of all non-EU domicile students in the UK. Prime minister David Cameron and home secretary Theresa May have pledged to reduce net migration to below 100,000 before the next election in 2015. Study remains the most common reason for migrating to the UK, but the numbers fell to 197,000 from 239,000 the previous year. —Online

Shell explosion kills five Bangladesh soldiers DHAKA—Officials say a mortar shell has exploded accidentally during firing practice at a military training base in Bangladesh, killing five military and border guard personnel and injuring 14 others.The army’s public relations wing says the accident occurred Wednesday at Ghatail in Tangail district. —AP

government data shows that these are on the rise. Nine cases of Sawara were registered in Swat alone in 2013, up from just one in 2012. Rights groups say the true number is much higher. DNA test report as an evidence in rape cases was also recommended in

the resolution. However, it was excluded upon consultation in the house. Meanwhile, the opposition parties staged a token walkout for four minutes against the decision of the Council of Common Interests to privatise the provincial electric supply distribution companies.—Agencies


ASF, partners display excellent rescue skills

Kids may suffer in gap between haves and have-nots

I

N US counties where personal incomes cluster on opposite sides of the rich and poor spectrum, children might endure more neglect and abuse, according to a new U.S. study. Based on the analysis of data from the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System and the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, the effect appears strongest in counties with high poverty. Approximately every minute, about six maltreatment referrals are given to state and local agencies in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It’s not possible to say income inequality actually causes child maltreatment, but, “we know the reverse hypothesis is not true,” John Eckenrode said. “Child maltreatment does not cause income inequality.” Ekenrode, a psychologist at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, led the study. “Also we have ruled out some possible alternate explanations in our study, such as level of education, public assistance levels, child poverty rates and statelevel variations in rates of maltreatment,” he told Reuters Health. “Given what we already know, it makes sense that income inequality could create a social context where child maltreatment happens,” said Kate Pickett, a social epidemiologist at the University of York in

the United Kingdom. “This adds to past evidence that greater income inequality harms us all,” she said. Researchers looked at data on 3,142 U.S. counties between 2005 and 2009. They found that rates of child maltreatment ranged widely, from 0.2 percent to 3.1 percent of children. Using statistical methods to gauge income inequality, they found a steep rise in the rate of child maltreatment with rising inequality. The relationship held after researchers adjusted for poverty itself, and other factors such as the racial and ethnic makeup of regions, education levels and the number of people receiving public assistance income. Where inequalities are most extreme, communities may become more polarized, with the affluent group influencing where public aid money goes, or what programs are made available in the community, said Dr. Ruth Gilbert, a clinical epidemiologist at University College London in the UK. “Where the state or federal government is a key provider of services, such as day care and education,” Gilbert said, “then you may have situations where poorer children mingle with middle-class kids and this helps create a better understanding between the two classes.” Past studies have shown that income inequality can create an environment toxic to human health (see Reuters Health article of October 9, 2013, here: reut.rs/17o0iAZ).

Many witness passenger aircraft’s ‘crash landing’ ZUBAIR QURESHI ISLAMABAD—A large number of Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) officers, workers, general public, passengers and representatives of various civil, security and rescue agencies witnessed full scale airport emergency exercise Aircon-14 Wednesday at the Benazir Bhutto International Airport. The exercise aimed at educating and training the airport staff and achieving the high level of fire safety and first aid procedures during an emergency at the airport. The exercise was organized by Civil Aviation authority (CAA) with the collaboration of PAF, ASF, PIA and other Foreign Airlines along with Ground Handling Agents at the Airport. The Ambulances of Rescue 1122, CDA, Military Hospital, PIMS, Edhi Services, Benazir Bhutto Hospital, along with Doctors and paramedics of the twin cities also participated. During the exercise, an Airbus 310 aircraft was used for demonstration with 130 passengers on board in the simulated exercise. The response time was achieved within 3 minutes. The outcome of the accident was

Pak committed to freedom of media tional Center for Journalists (ICFJ)” of United States which called on him in Parliament House on Wednesday. He said that Pakistan attaches high value to its US relations and we would like to enhance this relationship. Our relationship with US is important and multifaceted. It is in the interest of the two countries to build on the current momentum in the ties and take the relationship to a strategic level that is sustainable and long term. “We want to promote trade with US which is an important market for our goods” Speaker National Assembly, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq with US media delegation at Parlia- he added. The Speaker said that Pament House. kistan is facing challenges bility in the region and we hope that STAFF REPORTER our bilateral engagement would con- like terrorism, extremism, poverty, ilI SLAMABAD —Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, tinue to broaden on basis of mutual literacy, inflation and energy shortages but the country is moving in the Speaker National Assembly has said respect and mutual interests. He was talking to a 10-Members right direction and will successfully that Pakistan and US have the same stated objectives of peace and sta- media delegation from “The Interna- resolve the problems confronting it.

Civil Aviation workers carry out a mock emergency demonstration at Benazir Bhutto International Airport. 5 passengers dead, 08 seriously injured, Airport Manager, CAA, Muhammad ficers of all Airlines, Ground Handling 12 passengers were given first aid, 15 pas- Ayaz Jadoon highlighted the significance Agencies, ASF, Immigration, Pakistan sengers got minor injuries and 90 pas- of the subject exercise and that the aim of Custom, Anti Narcotics Force, Airport sengers evacuated safely. The scenario the exercise is to ensure adequate re- Health and Senior Officers of Civil Aviaof the exercise was that a passenger air- sponse of all personnel and resources, tion Authority from HQCAA and other craft made a crash landing near the run- emergency check of equipments and Airports. way and broken its wings and caught communication, mutual coordination and Pakistan CAA being signatory to fire. Immediately after the incident, fire exchange of facilities among all associ- ICAO conventions is bound to implefighting units rushed to the scene and ated agencies. ment the standards and recommended extinguished the fire instantly. The resIt gives a chance to review the defi- practices to ensure smooth airport opcue teams evacuated the passengers ciencies and improve the operation in case erations. In line with such recommendafrom the plane and shifted them to the of any emergency at the airport, he tion, CAA is required to simulate the subtwin cities hospitals through ambulances added. At this function the participants ject exercise biannually, the CAA Spokesand helicopter. Speaking at the occasion, were including the Senior Mangers/Of- man Added.

Male SHO receiving complainants at women police station

IGP in search of a suitable woman police officer, says police ZUBAIR QURESHI ISLAMABAD—Federal Capital’s only police station for women in the Sector G-7 (Sitara Market) is without a lady Incharge or Station House Officer (SHO) thus mocking its very title of “Women Police Station.” A male police officer of Sub-

Inspector rank is Incharge there these days. A woman complainant (KB) victim of a dacoity attempt told Pakistan Observer Wednesday when she went to register an FIR, she was taken aback to find a male SHO sitting in the Incharge room instead of a lady police officer. “I did not expect to

face a policeman there. Since I feel uncomfortable with male police officials, I had travelled all the way from G11 leaving my area police station (Ramna) to lodge my complaint here,” she said. When asked if the male police official(s) misbehaved with her, she said it was not a matter of good behaviour or

misbehaviour, it was a matter of principle. As in the Women Bank you don’t have to deal with men, in the women police stations you are supposed to see women police officers, sub inspectors/inspectors, said KB. “Being a woman sometime, you cannot share certain sensitive details /facts with male officers.

Iranian National Day

Pak-Iran cooperation is a regional reality Gas pipeline project is lifeline of energy-starved Pakistan; Historic links and close proximity edifice of friendship: Alireza Haghighian; Colourful reception in jam-packed hall reflects amity, cordiality and good neighbourliness LIAQAT TOOR

Guests at the National Day reception of Iran

local hotel on Tuesday has many tones of amity, cor- undeniable historic and culevening. The lively, colourful diality and good tural links with this part of I SLAMABAD —Historic and and jam-packed reception neighbourliness as Iran has the world. cultural links and close proximity with commonalities between Pakistan and Iran in divergent fields have great regional realities forcing both the countries to have cooperative relationship for benefit of their people. Gas pipeline project is a life- line of energy-starved Pakistan which will also bind both the states economically. No doubt, some international and regional dimensions have laid down rough patches in the way of this energy line which can also connect other countries in the region including China and India, but it will remain an ultimate destination of Islamabad and Tehran. The national day of Islamic Republic of Iran brought a special day in Islamabad as eminent personalities belonging to different segments of society Ambassador of Iran Ali Reza Haghighian, Federal Minister for SAFRON Lt. Gen (Retd) thronged a grand reception Abdul Qadir Baloch, Minister of State for Education and Trainings Baligh-ur-Rehman, hosted by Iranian Ambassa- Abdullah Gul and others cutting the cake during a ceremony to celebrate the National dor Alireza Haghighian in a Day of Iran, at a local hotel.—PO photo by Sultan Bashir

The prolific and sagacious Iranian Ambassador was the moving spirit in the grand gala who received and greeted his each and every guest with a smile. The other Iranian diplomats were also in the reception line to welcome politicians, parliamentarians, members of diplomatic corps, businessmen, retired diplomats and Generals, students, religious scholars and mediamen. Among those who attended the reception were Amir of Jamaate Islami Professor Munawwar Hassan, Liaqat Baloch, Dr. Anis Ahmad, Lt. Gen.(retd) Hamid Gul, Pir Naqeeb-ur-Rahman, Haji Adeel, Akram Zaki Former Ministers Dr. Ashiq Awan and Naveed Qamar, Wasim Sajjad, Murtaza Poya, Mushahid Hussain Syed and Minister Balighur Rahman. The proceedings of the reception kicked off on arrival of the Chief Guest Minister Lt. Gen (Retd) Abdul Qadir Baloch when national anthems of both the countries were played followed by

a cake cutting ceremony. The cozy atmosphere of the hall was providing a very conducive atmosphere for interaction among various segments on issues relating to this region and the world. Traditional dishes and exhibition of handicrafts and paintings on the occasion added a beauty to the function. Iran is the biggest trading partner of Pakistan in the region. Some ups and downs in their ties during the last over sixty years did not hamper their progressive ties which has definitely benefited the people of both the nations. With the recent understanding with the US on nuclear programme, Iran is on the move in world affairs now. The frequent exchanges of high level visits have boosted their ties. The regional peace and prosperity depend on Pakistan and Iran which can achieve these goals while moving hand in hand.


Road safety campaign

ITP organizes paintings competition CITY REPORTER Fajar Zohr Asr

06:10 01:30 04:15

Marhrib at Sunset Isha 07:30 Brothers in Islam establish regular prayers and charity

February 13 MINISTER of State for Education, Training and Standards in higher Education Engineer Muhammad Bligh-urRehman will be Chief Guest at the Launching Ceremony of USAID Pakistan Reading Project in Islamabad Model School for Girls located in National Health Colony Chak Shahzad at 10:00 a.m on 13.02.2014.

Nullahs become dumping station STAFF REPORTER

ISLAMABAD —Students here at a painting exhibition with the main theme on ‘Road Safety’ came with innovative ideas to maintain traffic discipline in the city and tried to deliver message that responsible attitude, patience on roads are the only ways to ensure safe road environment and avoid fatal accidents. This contest arranged by Islamabad Traffic Police (ITP) in connection with its 8th years celebration was participated by students of educational institutions in Islamabad and Rawalpindi. Chief Commissioner Islamabad Jawad Paul was chief guest on the occasion while AIG (Operations) Sultan Azam Temuri, Head Corporate Communication Mobilink Umer Manzoor, Program Organizer Ayesha Jameel and other police officials also attended the ceremony. The children prepared different paintings in line with traffic rules and various groups for this painting exhibition were made comprising of students of primary level, Secondary level, Higher Secondary School level and schools of special children. Speaking on the occasion, Chief Commissioner Islamabad said that ITP has succeeded in ensuring safe road environment in the city within a very short span of time. It is really great honor for ITP that its working policies are being replicated by the other law enforcement agencies and police department, he added. He said that ITP has involved public in various police affairs to ensure community policing in the city and it is doing its best for safer road environment in Capital. He urged the students to advise people in their surroundings to follow road discipline. He said that ITP has involved community in various policing affairs and appreciated the force

The only way to steer country out of present crisis and challenges is honesty and hard work. The efforts of young generation can ensure the prosperity of the nation, he maintained. AIG (Operations) Sultan Azam Temuri also assured to consider innovative ideas of students expressed during their painting contest. He said that ITP has emerged as a role model for other police organizations and it ensured policy of zero tolerance and eliminated VIP culture as per its objectives. Temuri thanked all the participants for attending this program and also Ayesha Jameel who coordinated with educational institutions and make this event colorful. He thanked Chief Commissioner Islamabad to attend this colorful painting contest and encouraging the students. He said purpose of arranging this contest is also to forge close links with students and promote friendly policing culture with them as they are our assets. For a bright and secure life, he also urged the students to keep doing hard work and get education with complete devotion besides cooperation with police to make this society as ‘exemplary’ for others. The students also thanked ITP for arranging this special program in which they learned a lot about the traffic rules and hoped that such programs from ITP would continue in future. Umer Manzoor from Mobilink lauded the efforts of ITP Sultan Azam Temuri, Assistant Inspector General (Operations), giving trophy to a student after painting competi- in maintaining traffic discipline and urged the students to follow traffic rules. tion on road safety at Open Air Theater.

Sub-standard helmets risk for lives CITY REPORTER

I SLAMABAD —Nullahs and ISLAMABAD—The use of substandard helstreams flowing through Islamabad have become dumping stations owing to negligence on the part of Capital Development Authority (CDA). Capital Development Authority seems negligent over the issues of piling up of waste along the Nullahs. The concerned department which collects debris from such sites are not contributing their efforts.

in getting success due to its friendly policing culture. Chief Commissioner lauded the efforts of pioneer head of ITP, Sultan Azam Temuri and his con-

mets by the motorcyclists travelling on the busy roads of twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi, putting their lives on risk. Motorcyclists buy cheap helmets made of low quality, while others use helmets which are meant for the cyclists, putting their lives in danger. The Islamabad traffic police (ICT) had made it mandatory for the motorcyclists to wear helmet to save them from fatal head injuries in case of any accident. A trader at G-9 Markaz said, “We are left with no option but to sell low quality

helmets as the imported ones are very costly.” He said all these helmets are not to the mark of international standards and it is difficult to say whether wearing such helmets could protect the riders from the head injury. A senior official of Islamabad Traffic Police (ITP) while talking to APP said the authority has not recommended any specifically designed helmet, that is why motorcyclists wear helmets of any type, shape, colour. Replying to a question, the official said a person who could not wear helmet on medical ground would have to appear before a medical board of the ITP and would be exempted for specified period.

tribution for winning laurels for the force. He said that youth is our real asset and their hard work and commitment can guarantee prosperity and bright future of the nation.

Accused of Raja Bazar incident sent on remand RAWALPINDI—Anti Terror-

S TAFF REPORTER

ism Court (ATC-II) on Wednesday sent three accused of Raja Bazar incident on three-day judicial remand after Police sought their custody to further interrogate the case. Special judge ATC Rana Masood Akhtar granted remand of accused Naqash Haider, Amjad Iqbal and Syed Tayyab Abbas and ordered keeping them in judicial custody and produce them before the court on next hearing. About 10 persons were killed and more than 50 others injured in the incident that took place on Ashura day . While, approximately 180 shops and a Masjid/Seminary were gutted in the unfortunate incident. Frontier Works Organization (FWO) is carrying out reconstruction work at the site for which the Punjab government has allocated Rs 24 million.—APP

R AWA L P I N D I —A five-day polio drive

Poultry training programme CITY REPORTER R AWALPINDI —A

Ladies participating in a rally organized by Aurat Foundation on the occasion of International Women Day.

Development of plots ISLAMABAD—On failing to construct flats in Sector I15, the Capital Development Authority (CDA) has decided to develop plots in the sector and distribute them among the allottees. The civic authority has devised a plan for the development of 4,650 plots in the sector which will be presented before the CDA board for final approval.—INP

25 shopkeepers fined for encroachments STAFF REPORTER R AWALPINDI —Tehsil Municipal Administration (TMA) of Rawal Town under its grand operation against encroachments has confiscated seven truckloads goods of encroachers while 25 shopkeepers

involved in encroachments were imposed fines. TMA, Rawal Town spokesman said that TMA, Enforcement staff under the supervision of Town Officer Regulation Shehzad Gohar, Superintendent Haji Pervaiz Mughal and inspectors conducted raids at Fawara Chowk, Raja Bazar, Iqbal Road and other areas and imposed fines on 25 encroachers while seven truckloads goods were also confiscated and shifted to

Anti-Polio drive from Feb 17

weeklong, free of cost, poultry training programme is being offered by Poultry Research Institute (PRI), Murree Road , Shamsabad Rawalpindi. According to the Senior Research Officer, PRI Punjab, Dr. Abdul Rasheed, the training programme will start on Feb 17 and will continue till Feb 21 with 8.00 AM to 11 AM timing of the course.

would commence in the entire district from Feb 17 to administer polio drops to more than 695, 000 children. During the campaign, 1365 polio teams would go door-to-door and administer polio drops to 695,000 children less than five years of age in all tehsils and union councils of the Rawalpindi district. The health authorities suggested to the district officers to take steps, under Section 144, against those hindering the campaign. It was also decided that 76 polio centers would be established in urban areas in order to facilitate the citizens and serve them at their doorsteps. He said staff deployed for the campaign has been issued special instructions and informed that no negligence in this regard would be tolerated. The Health Department officials have been directed to remain vigilant, particularly in those areas where polio-virus was found during the last year ’s campaign, the District programme coordinator Javaid Iqbal Ch informed. He said all

possible steps had been taken by the Health Department to make the campaign a success. Javaid said, “1365 mobile teams have been constituted for door-to-door vaccination of the children.” Besides that 350 special centers will be set up to facilitate the parents so that their children could be vaccinated in nearby areas. Sufficient quantity of vaccine is available, and no stone will be left unturned in our efforts to make the campaign a success. The District programme coordinator (DPC) urged the citizens, particularly the parents, to come forward and play their role for the elimination of the crippling disease from society. “The parents should cooperate with the special teams so that the set target could be achieved.” He said continuous efforts were being made to control polio. Special teams have also been formed to cover areas from where complaints about unattended children are registered, he said, adding that special arrangements have also been made to cover Cantonment Board areas of Rawalpindi.

Indictment of Ephedrine case accused adjourned STAFF REPORTER R AWA L P I N D I —Special Anti-Narcotics Court on Wednesday adjourned indictment of 12 accused including former Federal Health Minister Makhdoom Shahbuddin and Ali Musa Gilani, son of former prime minister Yusuf Raza Gilani, in the Ephedrine quota case till February 17. Putting-off the hearing without any proceeding, Judge of the Special Court Akhtar Bahadur issued notices to the accused to appear before the court on next date for indictment. The court has already heard arguments from counsels of the accused and Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF).

All accused were present in the court as on previous hearing (February 4) it had summoned guarantors of Ali Musa Gilani and Abdul Khaliq on absence of the accused. The accused are facing charge of being allegedly involved in illegal quota of 6500 kilogram Ephedrine issued to two pharmaceutical companies in Islamabad and Multan, which was re[reportedly smuggled to the neighbouring countries due to ineffective monitoring system. Meanwhile, the court rejected a joint petition of accused Shahabuddin and Ali Musa Gilani for transfer of the case to Islamabad, pleading that it was not domain of the Special Anti-Narcotics Court.

TMA store. He said that on the special directives of Administrator Rawal Town, Imran Qureshi and Town Municipal Officer (TMO), raids are being conducted and the enforcement staff is taking action in accordance with the law against the encroachers. The authorities concerned have urged the traders to cooperate with the TMA administration and all the encroachments should be removed on their own within 24 hours.

Police net 25 lawbreakers STAFF REPORTER R AWALPINDI —Rawalpindi Police have arrested 25 lawbreakers and seized 370 grams charras, 81 bottles of liquor, 60 litre wine, five pistols 30 bore with 20 rounds, one carbean, one 8 MM rifle, 570 Kalashnikov rounds and one pistol 32 bore from the possession of the accused. According to Rawalpindi police spokesman, Kalar Syedan police held Shahzad and recovered 250 grams charras. Rattaamral police netted Ishaq for having eight liquor bottles.

Former Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Malik Amad Khan speaks during International Conference on Pakistan-NATO Relations: Post 2014 organized by SASSI at a local hotel. Chairperson SASSI Dr Maria Sultan, Tariq Azeem and others are also seen sitting on the stage.—PO photo by Sultan Bashir


Shutdown a vote against India: Geelani Expresses gratitude to people of Kashmir for observing 3-day strike SRINAGAR—Hurriyat Conference (G) place to save human lives and if freedom “In 2013 when I was released for a shot

SRINAGAR: People of different walks of life especially youth marching in a rally to show solidarity with the victims who were brutalized by Indian Army in last few days.

Woman health officer accused of maltreating staff

World pictured Maqbool, Guru as ‘National Heros’ SRINAGAR—Protests and sit-in demonstrations other parts of Europe, the JLKF said.

SRINAGAR—Paramedics in were held in many parts of the world to mark Central Kashmir’s Choodur accused a woman health officer of treating them inhumanely. Paramedical staff of community health centre Budgam district’s Chatargam held a demonstration against the block medical officer Dr Jozzy Bashir at Srinagar’s press enclave. The paramedics allege that Dr Bashir is harassing them on daily basis on the one or the other pretext. Scores of paramedical staff assembled and demanded immediate removal of the officer. The protesters alleged that the officer is ‘treating them like animals and is acting in an autocratic way’. “She is rude and treats us like slaves. She loses cool over petty matters and humiliates every staffer in front of attendants and patients,” a protester Nazir Ahmed said. He added the accused health officer ‘has made the hospital as her fiefdom’. Dr Bashir however, said the paramedics want to work at ease. My only fault is that I am after them so that patients don’t suffer. It all concocted, I never misbehave with her subordinates,” she said.—Agencies

the 30th death anniversary of Kashmir resistance leader Mohammad Maqbool Bhat who was sent to gallows on this day in India’s capital New Delhi. “Bhat is our national hero whose struggle and sacrifices will be written in golden words. His passion, zeal, struggle and sacrifice for the freedom of Jammu Kashmir is unparallel,” JKLF chief in Kashmir, Mohammad Yasin Malil said in a statement. Malik, who is in custody, said: today the great leader is being remembered across the cease fire line in Jammu Kashmir, in all major cities of Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, UAE, USA, UK, and Europe and the rest of the world. “Today we Kashmir people acting above their political, religion, cast, creed, regional and linguistic considerations are recalling the legend of this great soul who laid down his life for the freedom of our land and has become an inspiration for all of us,” he said. Bhat was remembered across the globe on his death anniversary. Programs were held in USA, UK, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Germany and

AJK driver sent to 8-day judicial remand

cal College (GMC) Srinagar staged a protest against the government’s proposal to extend the duration of MBBS degree to seven and half years. The protesting students were adamant that they would not tolerate what they called as ‘futile proposals’ aimed to lengthen the duration of their degrees. The president of the student union, Choudhary Muzaffar, said, “We stand against the extension of MBBS course to seven and a half years and we pledge our support to all those medicos who protest against such proposals throughout India” Protests spree usually happens in Indian Held Kashmir because

B ARAMULLA —Police produced a truck driver from Azad Kashmir who is accused of carrying narcotic drugs along, in a court in Baramulla. The court sent him to 8-day judicial remand. Muhammad Shafi Awan, a resident of Sirad Muzaffarabad was arrested by police on January 17 after security agencies and the Jammu and Kashmir police recovered narcotic substance worth 100 crores from his truck at Slamabad Uri.—NNI

DAK: Arrest accused politician or face agitation S RINAGAR —Claiming that government is shielding and protecting tainted Congress politician Shabir Khan, Joint Amalgam of Doctors and Paramedical Associations comprising of various associations Wednesday staged a protest and demanded immediate arrest of the culprit politician involved in molestation of a lady doctor. As a mark of protest, the doctors and Para-medical members assembled outside different hospitals of Kashmir Valley including Baramulla, Pattan, Kupwara, Anantnag, Srinagar and wore black bands for the whole day. The protestors at various district institutions raised voices against the callous attitude of the government in handling this grave issue. “We will firmly stand behind our colleague till justice is not delivered. It seems the ex-minister has been provided hideout by the government itself as otherwise a man living under security cover cannot give an easy slip to state police,” Dr Iqbal told CNS adding that his hunt under the purview of non-bailable warrant has become more difficult than African Safari thus making the judicial institutions instructions mere meaningless.—CNS

A public program was held at Trehgam the birth place of Bhat and was presided over by senior leader Muhammad Afzal. The program was attended by local traders, students, elders and people from all walks of life. Afzal and others addressed people on the occasion and paid rich tributes to Bhat. “Maqbool ‘s nephew and niece recited poems about him,” a press release said. In Srinagar, a protest march led by JKLF leader Bashir Ahmad started from Maisuma despite a strict curfew. As soon as the participants of the rally started their march towards Lal Chowk, police and other forces in large numbers cordoned them from all sides. Bashir along with Ghulam Rasool Hazari, Mohammed Haneef, Muhammad Afzal Sheikh, Imtiyaz Ahmad and Shahid Makaya were arrested. Similar protest and public meetings are being reported from many more countries of the world. It may be noted that on 16thand 26th February 2014 public rallies will be held in Belgium and Nottingham UK in connection with the Maqbool Day. These programs will be organized by JKLF UK and Europe zone.—NNI

GMC students protest new duration of MBBS SRINAGAR—Students of Government Medi- govt deliberately neglect wishes of Kashmir People and bypass all norms of justice, in this particular incident Govt has enhanced duration times f educational programme and forced students to stick to the programme beyond durations. He further said, “We would not have joined this profession had we known that Government will extend the duration of our degree.” The students carried placards which read: “We are medicos, not bonded labourers”. He said, “We are planning to continue the protest in collaboration with other medical colleges. We want MBBS course be finished within 5.5 yrs and we can’t let Government to play with our career.”—Agencies

How empty graves of Bhat, Guru came into existence SRINAGAR—The two graves have nothing dis- known gunmen also lay in the graves. tinct. Tucked in a corner, the snow over the molds of mud, and the winter grass in a constant battle to breath, are the only signs of life. There are no grave flowers. But, at close, a perennial message inscribed on the epitaphs of the two graves halts the gaze. The dead aren’t buried, but their resting places are marked. Located in Old City of Srinagar, the martyrs graveyard or ‘Bihshat—Mazar-e-Shuahad’ at Eidgah is largest cemetery in Kashmir, where nearly two thousand people who were killed since the beginning of armed rebellion against Indian rule are buried. Most of the dead include civilians who were killed by government forces while combating insurgents. Local and non-local militants including those from Pakistan and Bangladesh, and few top resistance leaders, some of whom were killed by forces and un-

Empty graves of Mohammad Maqbool Bhat and Mohammad Afzal Guru. On the extreme right side, opposite to a large iron-gate, the two empty graves await two Kashmir men, whose mortals have been imprisoned after executing them. These empty graves are reserved for Muhammad Maqbool Bhat, and Muhammad Afzal Guru. Bhat – the pioneers of militant movement in Kashmir – was hanged by government of India on 11th February 1984. He lies buried in Tihar prison in Indian capital, where he was executed. In the beginning of Kashmir militancy in late 1980s, some resistance activists established a martyrs’ graveyard exclusively for militants and civilians who died at the hands of government forces. He carried the epitaph was with and installed it on an empty grave adjacent to the empty grave awaiting Bhat.—NNI

MUZAFFARABAD: AJK Minister for Tourism Abdul Salam Butt talking to AJK PM Media Advisor Shoukat Javed Mir.

Chairman Syed Ali Geelani has expressed his gratitude to the people of Kashmir who observed complete three-day strike to remember Mohammad Afzal Guru and Mohammad Maqbool Bhat and demanded the return of their mortal remains. He said: “the three-day strike was a referendum in favour of freedom from India and also a message to Indian rulers and world community that Kashmir people are against forced Indian occupation and they will continue their struggle till they achieve the goal of their martyrs.” Geelani “called the government argument illogical that restrictions were put in

Lawmaker demands return of mortal remains in Indian Parliament

lovers guarantee that peace will not be disturbed there will be no restrictions on their rallies in future”. “The fact of the matter is that government wants to hide its dark face and weaknesses because whenever people held peaceful demonstrations they were stopped by police through violent means,” the octogenarian leader said. The All Parties Hurriyat Conference chief said that in 2008 the whole world saw peaceful gatherings and there was no violence at that time. He said violence always started from police side when they resort to lathicharge and firings on peaceful demonstrations.

period there was no law and order problem anywhere in my public rallies where lakhs of people assembled,” he said, adding: I was again arrested only after one month which proves that government does not want people to express their aspirations in a peaceful manner. He said that state administration has no authority to declare restrictions but it is people in New Delhi who decide on restrictions, arrests and curfews in Kashmir. “It is evident from Omar Abdullah’s tweet about unawareness on ban on internet facility,” he said. —NNI

Hurriyet leaders, organizations denounce arrests spree

ISLAMABAD—The All Parties Hurriyet Confer- all detained leaders and activists. Jamaat-eSRINAGAR—An Indian parlia- ence, the forum led by veteran Hurriyet leader, Islami Spokesman, Advocate Zahid Ali said that mentarian from Kashmir has demanded the return of mortal remains of Mohammad Maqbool Butt and Mohammad Afzal Guru who remained buried in New Delhi’s Tihar Jail. G N Ratanpuri, the National Conference parliamentarian in India’s upper house, stood up at his seat demanding return of the mortal remains of Butt and Guru to Kashmir. He was supported by some members of the Left parties and the Trinamool Congress. Latter he joined other agitating MPs in front of chairman with a placard reading: “Collective Conscience Demands Return mortal remains of Butt & Guru”. Guru, convicted for his role in attack on India Parliament, was hanged secretly in Tihar on February 9, last year. The upper house MP also wrote a letter to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh urging him to initiate a sincere and meaningful dialogue, not the one designed to fail.—NNI

Syed Ali Gilani, Jamaat-e-Islami, Hizb-ulMujahideen, Voice of Victims and APHC leaders Musaddiq Aadil and Javed Ahmad Mir have strongly condemned the arrest of Hurriyet leaders and activists by the Indian authorities. It is an attempt to prevent protest demonstrations and rallies on the martyrdom anniversaries of Muhammad Maqbool Butt and Muhammad Afzal Guru. A spokesman for the APHC in a statement issued in Srinagar while condemning the arrests and raids on houses of Hurriyet leaders and activists said that the authorities would not succeed to break the Kashmiris’ will for freedom through such tactics. The forum led by the veteran leader, in a statement in Srinagar, described the hanging of two martyred leaders as a bolt on India’s democracy. It demanded the immediate release of

India trampled under feet canons of justice democratic rules by sending Maqbool Butt and Afzal Guru to the gallows. Hizbul Mujahideen Supreme Commander, Syed Salahuddin addressing a prayer meeting said that the two gallant had sacrificed their lives but did not compromise on their noble cause. The Voice of Victims in its statement described the India’s refusal to hand over the mortal remains of Muhammad Maqbool Butt and Muhammad Afzal Guru as the worst kind of human rights violations. APHC leaders, Musaddiq Aadi and Javed Ahmad Mir said that the puppet regime patronized by India had caged whole the occupied territory by deploying tens of hundreds troops of paramilitary forces and police on roads and streets of Kashmir.—APP

2,396 lodged in Kashmir jails: Omar I SLAMABAD —The puppet Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has said that at least 2,396 people are lodged in various jails of Jammu and Kashmir. According to KMS, Omar Abdullah, who also holds the Home portfolio while in a written reply to the so-called Assembly of Kashmir said, “2,396 prisoners are lodged in different jails in Kashmir.—APP

Kashmir trade stand-off resolved

RAWALAKOT: AJK Minister of Transport Muhamamd Tahir Khokar inquiring about matters relating to traffic from officials.

Commitment to lead freedom struggle to logical end expressed

An author proposes ‘Kashmir’ capital of South Asia

S RINAGAR —The stand-off SRINAGAR—Hurriyat Confer- its logical conclusion,” he said. SRINAGAR—The Hanging of between India and Pakistan over the cross-LoC trade has ended and the detained vehicles of the two sides were likely to cross over Wednesday evening. According to state and central government sources, the trade stand-off was resolved at the high commissioners’ level by the two countries. All the 27 Indian drivers and their vehicles that were detained by Pakistani authorities at Chakote trade facilitation centre in Muzaffarabad Jan 18 will come back while 48 Pakistani drivers and vehicles will cross over to the Pakistan-controlled side at the Kaman Post this (Wednesday) evening,” a state government source said here. Senior central government sources said the trade standoff was resolved Tuesday. “Drivers and vehicles of the two sides were to cross over yesterday evening, but Pakistani trade authorities communicated that they were not prepared for the same yesterday,” a central government official said. “They have confirmed that the drivers and vehicles should cross over today evening,” he added. The stand-off in the crossLoC trade started Jan 17 when Indian authorities recovered 114 packets of brown sugar hidden in almond bags from a truck that had come with trade goods from Muzaffarabad to Salamabad trade facilitation centre in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district.—Agencies

ence (G) has said its Chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani, is not among those leaders who will change stand on Kashmir issue for issuance of passport. “Geelani is not among those leaders who will change stand for issuance of passport or registration of FIRs. Geelani sahib has taken a pledge to fight till Kashmiris achieve freedom and nothing can change his stand,” spokesperson of Hurriyat (G), Ayaz Akbar, said in a statement. “New Delhi is using every tactic to suppress the mission of Geelani sahib, however this has not deterred his commitment to take the ongoing movement to

Akbar was reacting to filing of a plea in a Delhi court seeking registration of FIR against Geelani and conglomerate’s three other leaders of Hurriyat (G). “Till date over 100 cases and FIRs have been registered against Geelani sahib. He has openly stated that New Delhi has no right to enforce control on Jammu and Kashmir through its Army,” the spokesperson said. Elaborating, he said, “people at helm of affairs in New Delhi seem to be mistaken if they think that registration of FIRs and filing of cases against Geelani sahib can change his stand.”—NNI

SHRC gets new chief after over two years SRINAGAR—After remaining since June 2011 and has passed headless for over two years, the Jammu and Kashmir government has appointed the chairman for the state’s human rights commission, an official said here. He said Governor, NN Vohra has appointed Rafiq Fida as acting chairman of Jammu and Kashmir State Human Rights Commission (SHRC). Fida would take over with immediately. The government has recognized his services and contribution in the commission and necessary orders have also been issued, the official said. Fida, who was the senior most member of the commission, is serving in the commission

some land mark judgments regarding some important, serious and sensitive matters, he added. Earlier a retired judge Bashir-ud-din completed his term of three years as the chairman of the commission. Certain powers and authorities have specifically been vested with the chairman only under the J&K Protection of Human Rights Act, 1997. With the appointment of Rafiq as acting chairman, a long pending demand of human rights activists and individuals from journalism and other stake holders has been fulfilled, the official said.—NNI

Afzal Guru has resurrected? the Kashmir problem in collective consciousness. “Kashmir: The South Asian Panacea”, a Book by an Indian author in its introductory line is itself defining the intensity of Kashmir conflict which has now become a topic of discussion in India. The author Mr. Sanjay Barot ‘Rakhdoo’ has proposed in this book that South Asian countries need to form a union making Kashmir its capital. As a capital it will get neutralized as belong to all the countries of South Asia. In an conversation with Kashmir Watch the author says, “Truly, it is Utopian, but, we can dream, at least.” He said that SAARC’ - South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation is only on paper because its meeting and almost all actions are purely ornamental. For concrete action about unity in South Asia, India and Pakistan have to resolve Kashmir. According to the Kashmir Watch, he says “I passionately believe that there is no salvation of the countries of subcontinent, unless Kashmir is resolved. As neither India nor Pakistan will ever give up Kashmir, the best way out is to make it ‘Ours’ instead of yours or mine. This could be possible if it becomes the capital of the Union.” Kashmir, the burning issue of the South Asian subcontinent, intermittently tosses between deceptive calm and orgy of violence. A temporary respite from violence of this stalemated region makes one believe that ‘may be, the peace has returned’.—NNI


ISE-10 index stays bullish ISLAMABAD—The Islamabad Stock Exchange (ISE) on Wednesday witnessed bullish trend as the ISE-10 index was up by 92.67 points to close at 4,635.23 points. A total of 568,300 shares were traded, which showed a negative growth of 451,100 shares when compared with previous day’s trading of 1,019,400. Out of 162 companies, share prices of 128 companies recorded increase while those of 128 companies decreased and no company remained stable in today’s trading. The share price of Siemens Pakistan Engineering increased by Rs 37.82 while that of Murree Brewery decreased by Rs 7.33 per share. PIA, Bank Al Falah and Askari Bank remained the top trading companies with 309,500, 128,000 and 100,000 shares respectively.—APP

3 lac damaged wheat bags to be auctioned KARACHI—Sindh Food Department has decided to auction approximately 3 Lac bags of damaged wheat all over the province as this damaged wheat is used for animals and birds feed. According to details, Provincial Food Minister Jam Mehtab Hussain Dehar, while taking serious notice of 296,992 wheat bag (damaged), sent a summary to Chief Minister Sindh for auction through open bids /open auction at regional level through publicity in the press by committee. According to a press releases issued here on Wednesday, Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah, approving the summary, has ordered to auction the said damaged wheat. It is to mention here that during 2008 to 2012, the certain number of wheat begs got damaged and they deteriorated as time passed.—NNI

Health Research moot today PESHAWAR—The four-day Annual Health Research Conference would be held from February 13 to 16 under the auspices of Khyber Medical University Peshawar at Khyber Girls’ Medical College Hayatabad. According to a press release here on Wednesday, the fifth health conference would be attended by known health experts and students who would present vital thesis on health research. A science research session would also be arranged during the conference.—APP

There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.

—Colin Powell

ADB to provide $ 900m for Jamshoro coal fired power project ISLAMABAD —The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and import of oil to fuel power plants increasingly the Government of Pakistan Wednesday signed an agreement under which ADB will provide $900 million for the 600 MW Jamshoro supercritical coal-fired power plant. ADB Vice President Wencai Zhang, Director General of the Central and West Asia Department Klaus Gerhaeusser and Pakistan’s Finance Minister Muhammad Ishaq Dar witnessed the signing of the agreement by Nargis Sethi, Secretary Economic Affairs Division, and Werner Liepach, ADB’s Country Director for Pakistan. “The project will boost low-cost power supply and improve Pakistan’s energy mix. Diversifying to coal will help the country cut down its electricity generation cost, and reduce its oil import bill.” Mr. Zhang said. Dar said the government is taking concrete measures to generate cheap electricity to overcome power crisis in the minimum possible time. Pakistan has been facing rising oil prices and declining gas reserves as well as tight foreign account situation, rendering the reliance on the

unaffordable. The country spends more than $14 billion per year on importing oil, a major part of which goes into power generation. Chronic power shortages have often caused social unrest, and cost the country about 2% of its gross domestic product growth each year. The 600 megawatt (MW) supercritical coal-fired power generation plant, using an 80/20 blend of imported sub-bituminous coal and domestic lignite when available, will be in accordance with international and national environmental standards. A more efficient and sustainable energy mix can spur economic growth and create employment opportunities for millions. The Jamshoro power project was approved by the ADB’s Board of Directors in December 2013. The project is expected to be completed by December 2018. The Islamic Development Bank will provide $220 million whereas $380 million will be the government’s contribution to meet the overall estimated project cost of $1.5 billion.—INP

Subsidy of Rs 143b given to electricity consumers, Senate told I SLAMABAD — The Senate was informed on Wednesday that the government is giving a subsidy of 143 billion rupees to the electricity consumers using upto three hundred units. Minister of State for Water and Power, Abid Sher Ali told the house during question hour that prices of electricity have gone up due to rationalization of tariff. The Minister said several projects in the hydel and coal sectors are being implemented to reduce the cost of electricity generation and overcome the energy crisis. He said feasibility study of Diamir Bhasha Dam has been completed and fifteen point one four eight billion ru-

pees have been released in the current financial year for land acquisition and construction of the dam. He said work on Neelum Jhelum hydel project and coal based Power Park at Gaddani has been expedited. The commissioning of Gaddani project will add 6600 megawatt of electricity to the national grid. Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi told the house that a programme has been launched to provide gas to the far flung areas of Balochistan. On behalf of Advisor on Foreign Affairs, Minister for Commerce Khurram Dastgir expressed the confi-

dence that transition taking place in Afghanistan this year will help further strengthen Pak-Afghan relations in different sectors. It also demands no compromise on rights of women, minorities in negotiations with Taliban. radio Meanwhile the Senate unanimously passed a resolution calling upon the government not to compromise on the rights of women and minorities in the negotiations with Taliban. The resolution moved by Nasreen Jalil also urged government to constitute a commission for protection of women from the illegal orders of Jirgas.—Online

Under invoiced Iranian tiles depriving national exchequer, theatening local industry STAFF REPORTER KARACHI —Under invoiced Irani tiles are being cleared by Customs staff on wrong HS code and ridiculously low value. As much as Rs2 billion’s worth of Irani tiles have been dumped in the local market with Customs intelligence sleeping over the matter, said informed sources. According to the Customs’ documents biggest quantity of the tiles is being imported and smuggled into Pakistan through Iran’s borders at just under Rs10 per square meter while the item is being shown under HS Code 2713-2000 which is bitumen. Local manufacturers said that importers have so blatantly mentioned “Tiles” while mentioning HS Code of Bitumen. The massive smuggling in garb of import documents, the local manufacturers have gone into severe stress. Some of them forced to reduce production heavily or even shut down their manufacturing units. The heavy influx of under-invoiced tiles and smuggled tiles from this neighboring country has not only jeopardized the local industry compelling it reduce production and in some cases to shut down units”, said CEO of Karam Ceramics, Irshad A Kassim adding that this large influx of tiles is also causing loss of substantive and precious foreign exchange to the national exchequer in addition to huge losses in revenue collection to the government as some of the importers of these tiles are paying all combined taxes (duty, sales tax, income tax) as low as Rs10 per square meters only, while a locally produced ceramic tiles pay’s just the sales tax at an average of Rs100 per square meter.

Stakeholders said that these under-invoiced Iranian tiles are abundantly available in the local markets all over the country and are being sold at a price that even Chinese manufacturers are unable to match due to the fact that either the large quantity is smuggled from Taftan border or importers mis-declare as tiles are not subjected to physical examination. It is also worth mentioning here that presence of Iranian tiles has tremendously increased during the last year. Moreover imported, smuggled and under invoiced tiles now hold at least 40 to 45 per cent market share while the share of local industry hovers between 60-55 per cent. They added that in addition to paying ridiculously low duties, Iranian tile-making units enjoy subsidized gas that allows them to keep the price extremely low whereas our local industry is either not getting gas or struggling with the high power tariff rates. Sources said that these frequent hikes in the natural gas prices in addition to availability challenges are acting as major roadblocks for the industry and making it difficult for the units to maintain their competitive edge against these imported tiles. He said that the demand for the domestically manufactured tiles has decreased substantially because of huge price difference that is offered by Iranian tiles and other imported tiles, as it is not a level playing field which such huge difference in the taxes collected from imported and local tiles. The Chairman Pakistan Ceramic Manufacturers Association, Mazhar Ali Nasir has also sent a SOS to the Chairman Federal Board of Revenue, Tariq Bajwa to order immediate arrest those who are involved and initiate a probe into the matter.

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Finance, Senator Muhammad Ishaq Dar witnessing the signing ceremony of Jamshoro Project Loan with Asian Development Bank.

NESPAK to design BRT system in Karachi MUZAFFAR ALI LAHORE —The Karachi Mass Transit Cell

(KMTC) is planning to set up Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS), Yellow Line Karachi Project. National Engineering Services Pakistan (Pvt.) Limited (NESPAK)’s services have been hired for preparing feasibility study of this project aimed at alleviating traffic congestion in the biggest city of Pakistan. So far, NESPAK has prepared the preliminary design, engineering and environmental impact assessment reports for the project. The 26 kilometer route stretches from Dawood Chowrangi to Regal Chowk & Numaish Chowrangi via 8000 Road in Korangi Industrial Area, Korangi Road, Shahrah-eFaisal, Shahrah-e-Quaideen and New M. A. Jinnah Road/Preedy Street. The proposed corridor was identified as one of the BRT corridors in Japan International Cooperation I S L A M A B A D —Exploring Agency (JICA) Transport Master Plan, 2030 ‘business’ route to improve as ‘Yellow Line’. The objective of “Yellow relations between the two countries, Pakistan will host three-day ‘India Show’ in Lahore beginning February 14,the daily Times of India reported. According to the report,it may just be a coincidence that this mega business show of ‘made-in-India’ goods in Pakistan will SALIM AHMED begin on the Valentine’s Day, but the occasion will L AHORE —World Bank has evinced keen indeed provide an opportu- interest in the Prime Minister ’s Youth nity for people-to-people Business Loan Scheme. A six-member delcontact - a key to improve egation of the World Bank visited the relations between two Small and Medium Enterprises Developcountries having check- ment Authority (SMEDA) head office toered past. day to get an overview of the scheme. The ‘India Show’ will be Sardar Ahmad Nawaz Sukhera, Chief Exorganized in the backdrop ecutive Officer SMEDA gave a presentaof increased efforts by the tion on main features of the PMYBL and respective governments at also highlighted the role of SMEDA in confidence-building mea- extending technical support to the applisures leading to the pos- cants of the scheme. He informed that out sible grant of the Non-Dis- of the total downloads of 9 million till date criminatory Market Access from SMEDA website, the feasibilities re(NDMA) status to India by lating to services and livestock sectors Pakistan. “The event meets had recorded to be of the highest interthe purpose of ensuring est to public. continuous and increasing However, the 56 pre-feasibility studengagement between our ies prepared by SMEDA for the scheme business communities and have the potential to develop equitable exploring possibilities of ex- business culture both in rural and urban panding business relations areas of Pakistan, he added and said that with Pakistan”, said Jyotsna Ministry of Industries and Production Suri, senior vice president of was developing a national outreach prothe Federation of Indian gram, in conjunction with SMEDA’s Chambers of Commerce and business development services, for benIndustry (FICCI).—APP eficiaries of the PMYBL. He told that a

Pakistan to host ‘India Show’ in Lahore from tomorrow

Line” BRT Corridor Study was to prepare a feasibility report covering technical, financial, economic, legal and environmental aspects along with Transaction Advisory Services. Out of total 26 kilometers corridor length, 4 kilometers will be elevated in congested areas. The project cost is approximately Rs. 13 billion. The expected ridership along the corridor is about 148,000 per day in the year 2013 increasing to 231,000 by the year 2030. The project is designed to be convertible to Light Rail Transit (LRT) system, if required, when the demand will exceed the BRT capacity in future. The project will be executed under Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Mode with three main concession contractors i.e. Infrastructure Developer, Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) / Fare Collector, and Bus Operator. The project will offer a high quality public transport system to the general public alleviating congestion on surrounding roads.

WB shows interest in PM’s Youth loan scheme book titled as “Apni Dunya Aap Paida Kar” was also being published in this regard. Talking about SMEDA’s efforts for promoting SMEs In the country, CEO SMEDA informed that a five year SME development Plan was evolved by SMEDA last year, which had provided an impetus for successful implementation of the PMYBL. The visiting delegation comprised of Mr. Iftikhar Malik, Senior Social Protection Specialist and Task Leader, Mr. Amjad Zafar Khan, Social Protection Specialist and Co-Task Team Leader, Lucian Bucur Pop, Senior Economist, Mr. Thomas Walker, Economist, Mr. Gul Najam jam, Consultant World Bank and Ms. Fatima Naqvi, DFID. The mission’s team leader Mr. Iftikhar Malik informed that the World Bank was engaged in developing social protection for labor and the marginalized businesses in Pakistan through an economic alleviation program. He hoped that the Prime Minister Youth Business Loan Scheme would pave way for curbing unemployment and poverty in Pakistan. He applauded SMEDA’s role in making PMYBL a success in helping Pakistan’s youth become entrepreneurs.

Increased trade, investment between India, Pak to bring a change in region STAFF REPORTER KARACHI—India and Pakistan should increase their cooperation especially on economic front— enhancing bilateral trade and investment- as these two neighbouring counties are the most suited economic partners and this will bring a big positive change in the entire South Asian region. More trade and investment in each other’s country will prove very beneficial for people of India and Pakistan. There is a great economic potential in both the countries which must be exploited for the mutual benefits , said Mukesh Kalra, the Head of 15-member business delegation from India here on Wednesday. The delegation comprising representatives of Federation of Indian Micro and Small and Medium

Enterprises (FISME) from different cities of India has arrived Karachi on Tuesday last on business tour after visiting Islamabad and Lahore. The seminar was jointly organised by KCCI and FISME. Mukesh Kalra said that presently the trade between India and Pakistan is in favour of his country as it has large economy and vast market. However , Pakistan should not hesitate to do trade with India as former can strengthen its position and capture a good share in vast Indian market over a period of time by building capacity of its private sector and by getting maximum accreditation for the companies aiming to compete in the regional and international markets. He cited an example of India and China trade. China is bigger economy than

India. Presently Indian local manufacturers are faced with influx of Chinese goods in Indian market. Thus , the trade is in favaour of China but we are confident that ultimately India will benefit from this arrangement. “ You people should focus on capacity building and accreditation of your products to penetrate regional and international markets. Strong information technology base can prove an effective tool for the survival of economies of the developing countries. India has succeeded in building strong IT base,” he articulated. He said against the media reports , the Indian delegates felt very comfortable in Karachi so far the security is concerned. “ I am very comfortable here. We visited different picnic points here over the night.

Although our Embassy in Pakistan had cautioned us to be little careful in Karachi ,” he added. The senior representative of FISME and Head of India delegation Mukesh Kalra said that there is need to address tariff and non-tariff barriers and liberalizing the visa issuance policy by both the countries especially the business visas. These should be multinational and be issued within shortest possible time as it becomes very troublesome for a businessman to manage his schedule if he has to wait for one and a half month period to get a visa. “ Both the countries should show flexibility at least with business visas ,” he remarked adding that usually the people from both the sides do have a little information about the

visa policy and the conditionalities which creates embarrassment for them and unnecessary hue and cry. He said Indian business delegates have very successful dialogue with Pakistan counterparts. He hinted at signing of contract between a leading Indian company with a Pakistani one here before the delegation leaves for India. He said it is for the first time that Indian SMEs delegation has visited Pakistan through FISME. Against large companies , SMEs are the best suited for B2B meetings, he said. He underlined the need for taking certain practical steps by both the governments to ensure the ease of doing business. The trade between India and Pakistan is the cost and time efficient and would have a very posi-

tive impact on both the economies. Indian and Pakistani societies have same requirements and the commonalities. Thus , he said , we can have ease in doing business. “ Both the people wanted more trade and cooperation in various fields for their good ,” he asserted. He said the Indian delegates would carry a positive message to their country and would try to convince their colleagues to do trade and investment in Pakistan as here are potential opportunities. He proposed for signing of MoU between Karachi Chamber and Federation of Indian Micro and Small and Medium Enterprises (FISME) for closer coordination and exchange of information and delegations. He also invited KCCI delegation to Mumbai.


Currency

Buying

Selling

USA

105.20

105.00

UK

172.74

174.42

Euro

143.79

143.51

Canada

94.94

94.76

Switzerland

117.51

117.29

Australia

94.73

94.55

Sweden

16.25

16.22

Japan

1.0297

1.00277

Norway

17.18

17.15

Singapore

82.89

82.73

Denmark

19.27

19.23

Saudi Arabia

28.05

28.00

Hong Kong

13.56

13.54

Kuwait

372.61

371.90

Malaysia

31.48

31.42

Newzealand

87.31

87.14

Qatar

28.89

28.83

UAE

28.64

28.59

KR. WON

0.0981

0.0979

Thailand

3.208

3.193

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

44,485.00 702.85

MULTAN: Gold Tezabi (24-Ct) 43200.00 Gold 22 Ct 39500.00 SilverTezabi 686.00 Silver Thobi 627.00

LCCI seeks revision of price determination/ fixation mechanism STAFF REPORTER L AHORE —The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) on Wednesday called for revision of price-determination/fixation mechanism as existing formula is likely to cause closure of smooth-running businesses besides denting the government reputation. The call was given by LCCI President Engineer Sohail Lashari at a meeting with owners of Departmental Retail Stores convened by the Chairman LCCI Committee on Trade and Traders issues Muhammad Haroon Arora. The owners of all the leading Departmental Stores including President of their Association Chaudhry Ahmad Nawaz, General Secretary Karyana Merchants Association Ch Azmat Ali, Chief Executive Fair Marketing Jmail Ahmed, CEO Sewara Departmental Stores Mardan Ali Zaidi and Imarn Saleemi of Rainbow Cash and Carry attended the meeting. LCCI former President Bashir A Baksh, former Senior Vice President Irfan Iqbal Sheikh, Executive Committee Members Khawaja Khawar Rashid, Raja Hamid Riaz, Nasir Hameed Khan, S M Tariq and Talha Tayyab Butt were prominent among the speakers. The LCCI President said that representatives of the departmental stores should be made part of Price Fixation Mechanism as unrealistic prices being determined by the District Administration without any consultation are not working while the owners of the stores are being harassed and forced to sell their products much below the cost of their purchase. The LCCI President said that the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry was not against government’s inspections but there should be some standard operating procedures (SOPs) to visit a place and all the stakeholders must have knowledge about that SOPs as haphazard actions often cause undue damage. The LCCI President also urged the District Coordination Officer (DCO) to immediately stop Price Control Magistrates from raiding departmental and Karyana stores as such an action is bound to create a wrong impression of reputed businesses. “It takes years on years to win or build the trust of the customers but vanishes in matter of no time as soon as a police party enters into a shopping place under one pretext or the other.”

PEC launches Building Energy Code of Pakistan I SLAMABAD —Pakistan Engineering cilitate in the implementation of Build- have connected load of minimum Council (PEC) has developed Building Energy Code of Pakistan in collaboration with ENERCON to bring energy efficiency in buildings. The Energy Provisions will apply to buildings and building clusters having total connected load of 100 kilo watt or greater. Addressing to the participants of launching ceremony of the Building Energy Code of Pakistan held here today, the Minister for Science & Technology, Zahid Hamid hoped that it would support the designers and the implementing agencies to ensure energy efficiency in the building designs with stand point of comfort, economic and reduced operating cost. Ministry of Science and Technology fully supports and would fa-

ing Energy Code, especially in the capacity building of implementing organizations, strengthening of testing facilitates and trainings of professionals, he added. The establishment of regimes of Energy Auditors and Energy Managers would also provide job opportunities to large number of senior as well as fresh professionals besides generating new business opportunities for the allied industries and thereby boosting economic activities in the country. Chairman PEC Engr Abdul Qadir Shah while addressing the audience told that the code would help in saving energy up to 20% in large buildings. Energy Provisions shall apply to buildings and building clusters that

100 Kilo Watt, contract demand of minimum 125 KVA, conditioned area of 900m, and unconditioned buildings of covered area of 1,200m—or more, he expressed. Code for medium and small level consumers would also be developed at later stage, he added. PEC in collaboration with EnERCON and Ministry of Housing and Works has designed a comprehensive implementation and capacity building program for effective implementation of the Building Energy Code in building designs, he said. Federal Minister lauded the collaborative effort of PEC, ENERCON and Ministry of Housing and Works in development of the Building Energy Code.—APP

Quarterly PIDE Economy Watch launched

Independent SBP stressed STAFF REPORT I SLAMABAD —Improving the precarious balance of payments position, bringing down the fiscal deficit, avoiding debt trap, keeping inflation in check and yet grow are the major macroeconomic challenges that the economy is faced with’ says the quarterly PIDE Economy Watch launched on Tuesday, by the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics. The document released examines the state of October-December 2013 quarter covering almost all the macroeconomic aspects of the economy. The document also offers viewpoint on some key economic issues. The report points out that the weakness of balance of payments position, including the low level of foreign reserves, has made the rupee vulnerable to speculative attacks with at least two spikes being observed in the last couple of months. The Watch argues that the low reserves have circumscribed the authorities’ ability to counter speculative attacks by aggressively intervening in the market and this makes the Rupee vulnerable. The report highlights that public debt has exceeded the limit of 60 percent of GDP specified in Fiscal Responsibility Debt Limitation Act. The report goes on to stress that the mere the act of reporting crossing of the debt

Munawar Mughal assumes charge of FPCCI VP

limit to the Parliament, as required under FRDL, is not enough to rein in the burgeoning debt. The document calls for a stronger proviso to respect the debt ceiling. The PIDE Economy Watch states that though the credit to the private sector has picked up in recent months, however, with the government borrowing heavily from the SBP there is still substantial crowding out of the private sector. With government’s appetite for borrowing rather huge and SBP’s discount rate high enough, the banks have all the incentive to indulge in ‘risk-free’ lending to the SBP rather than undertake risky and time consuming lending to private sector, states the Watch. Building on from this, the report stresses that an independent central bank is essential to avoid the kind of economic fluctuations mentioned above. Under the prevailing SBP act the Governor SBP is appointed for a term of three years with an option of contract renewal for another term at the discretion of the government. Arguing that the provision of renewal at the discretion of the government has the potential to compromise the independence of the Governor, the document suggest a single term of 5-6 years. The report also emphasizes that a criteria and procedure needs to developed for appointment of the Governor of the SBP while benefitting from international best practices in this regard.

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Science and Technology, Zahid Hamid presenting a souvenir to the Chairman PEC Eng Abdul Qadir Shah.

STAFF REPORTER K ARACHI —Habib Bank Limited (HBL) and Primus Investment Management Limited (PIML), subsidiary of Pak Brunei Investment Company Limited (PBICL) has signed a collections agreement to expedite the sales collections, which will enable PIML to consolidate funds in more efficient manner from across the country. The collections arrangement will provide customers access to all HBL braches, the largest branch network in the country to make investments in multiple mutual funds. It will also facilitate business expansion and enhance their capacity to service customers. The Managing Director PBICL, Ms. Ayesha Aziz, CEO PIML, Mr. Ahmed Ateeq attended the ceremony along with other PIML staff members. The Group Head Payment Services HBL, Mr. Faiq Sadiq, Business Head South Branch Banking, Mr.Salman Razzaq.

Faiq Sadiq, Group Head Payment Service, HBL signing the collections agreement with Ayesha Aziz, Managing Director PBICL. Also seen in the picture Salman Razzaq (HBL) Ahmed Ateeq (PIML), Nasir Hussain (HBL) and Syed Ali Raza Sheerazi.

Khairpur Special Economic zone given SEZ status STAFF REPORTER

STAFF REPORTER

I SLAMABAD —The Board of Investment, I SLAMABAD —Noted busi- Islamabad has issued the SEZ Status to ness leader Munawar Mughal has assumed the charge of Vice President of Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) for the year 2014. This was announced in the 57th Annual General Meeting held at FPCCI Head Office on Wednesday. He was elected in the annual elections of the FPCCI held in December 2013 in Karachi. Earlier he has served as president of the Islamabad Chamber and Chairman of the Founder Group while he has a long history of struggle for the rights of the business community. Munawar Mughal is also incumbent Chairman of the Pak-Malaysia Business Forum and Chairman of the Citizens Joint Action Committee, Islamabad where he works with dedication for the welfare of business community as well as general masses. After formally assuming charge, Mr. Mughal pledged that he would make untiring efforts to resolve all the pending issues.

HBL signs a collections agreement with PBICL

Khairpur Special Economic Zone (KSEZ) on Tuesday during a meeting held in Islamabad. The investment at this zone are now guaranteed with the benefits that are offered under the SEZ ACT 2012. The main fiscal benefits under the act are one time exemption on machinery and equipment and also 10 year income tax holiday for both the developer as well as the zone enterprises within the zone. Earlier the Special Economic Zone Authority (SEZA) Sindh in its First Meeting which was held under the chair of Chief Minister Sindh has approved this project to be forwarded to Federal Board of Approvals for the award of the SEZ Status. It is worth mentioned here that The Sindh Board of Investment, Gov-

ernment of Sindh has developed an industrial zone at 140 Acres of land on Main National Highway. The zone is dedicated to the Agro Industry which has world class features amenities comparable with any industrial zone in the international arena. The KSEZ project is supplemented by a dedicated waste to energy captive power plant which will ensure an uninterrupted power supply to all the enterprises with in the zone. The Khairpur Special Economic Zone (KSEZ) is being developed in Khairpur District as a Future hub for agro-processing and other related industries on a location strategically positioned for proximity to date growing areas, transportation links, and access to labor. The Zone will provide inherent benefits of essential supporting amenities to small, medium, and large enterprises to grow and flourish in a global marketplace.

Need for promotion of IT knowledge stressed STAFF REPORTER LAHORE—In today’s world, IT knowledge is of prime importance as not only it unlocks the doors of progress and prosperity but also provides a chance to get access to global opportunities. This was stated by LCCI President Engineer Sohail Lashari while speaking at certificate-awarding ceremony arranged for the participants of “LCCI IT Training Course Batch 11” here at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry. LCCI Vice President Kashif Anwar also spoke on the occasion while LCCI Secretary General Syed Muhammad Saqlain Naqvi, Instructor of the course Mr

Qamar Siddique were also present. The LCCI President said in the knowledge race in the 21st century and rapid globalization, the quality of information technology-based education has to be enhanced to bring it at par with international standards for bringing the country out of economic mire. “And to achieve the goal, the government would have to spend more on education as the existing budget is too meager to produce desired and required results.” Engineer Sohail Lashari said that it had now become very important to extend every possible help to students as their competitors into the job market are the students from the developed world.

KARACHI: The Ambassador of the Republic of Italy Adriano Chiodi Cianfarani, was the chief guest at ceremony for the bestowing of the “Order of the star of Italy” by the President of Italy to the President of IDC Tariq Ikram, and launching of Franco’s Farm at DHA Club. Picture shows Mr.Roberto Franceschinis, Tariq Ikram, Irfan Vazeeri, A R Sattar, Mohammedi Miabhoy, with other guests.

Pakistan-Italy economic trade relations booming STAFF REPORTER KARACHI—Italy has always followed with keen interest the Pakistani market and gradually increased its’ positioning, becoming one of the top ten global trading partners of Pakistan and the third amongst the EU member States, after the UK and Germany, with a growing trade exchange amounting in 2013 to approximately $1.2 billion. This was said by Italian Ambassador to Pakistan, Mr Adriano Chiodi Cianfarani, at a ceremony for the bestowing of the “Order of the Star of Italy” conferred on President Italian Development Council (IDC) Mr Tariq Ikram by the President of the Republic of Italy. Chiodi said Italian investments in Pakistan have been growing. In the first quarter of the current fiscal 2013-2014) they have reached approximately $200 million which are mostly in the energy sector. Almost 60 percent of Pakistani imports from Italy are in the machinery and equipment sectors, while Pakistan exports to Italy mostly textile and leather products (together amounting to 91 percent). The Italian ambassador said that the 24-strong high-end business delegation representing 15 Italian companies that visited Pakistan in December showed the growing interest that Italy’s economic sector has developed for Pakistan and the huge potential for further growth in our bilateral trade. He said a second business delegation, led by some Italian Members of Parliament will be visiting Pakistan in April to further boost bilateral trade relations.

India’s aviation sector struggling to soar NEW DELHI—India’s aviation sector is starting to equate manpower (for safety) commensurate with not kept pace with growth. The aviation ministry, to recover. Israel took four years to earn its ratings shake off the doldrums with the launch of two new airlines, at least one this year, in a rapidly expanding market. Hampering that recovery though will be the downgrade of India’s aviation safety rating last month by the United States, which prevents its carriers from launching new flights to the US, or having code- share deals with American partners. Last week, Singapore delivered another blow to the industry when it too announced that it is stepping up inspections of Indian carriers. Others, notably the European Union, said the US move was of “significant interest”. “Aviation is growing in India and has to be robustly and efficiently managed. It is disgraceful because (the government) was given warning but did not pay heed it,” said Jitendra Bhargava, former executive director of state-owned Air India. “You need ad-

the growth of industry.” The downgrade from the US Federal Aviation Administration, from category one to category two, means India’s safety oversight regime does not meet global standards, putting it on a par with countries such as Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. The India aviation sector has seen a boom in the last decade as economic growth fuelled the growth of its middle class. It is now the ninthlargest market handling 121 million domestic and 41 million international passengers annually. More than 85 international airlines fly to India and five Indian carriers connect it to over 40 countries. In April, Tata Group, in partnership with Malaysia’s AirAsia, will launch a new budget carrier and Singapore Airlines has tied up with Tata for a fullservice carrier. But the regulatory framework has

for instance, announced it is appointing 75 additional full-time safety inspectors as it scrambles to fix the problems. According to the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (Capa), a research group, India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), with a workforce of 400, has 528 positions vacant. “It won’t be easy to get all that technical expertise and the DGCA has to offer enough to get the expertise,” said Rajan Mehra, former India head of Qatar Airways, now with the US-based Universal Weather and Aviation, a private jet operator. “I don’t think Indian airlines are unsafe,” he said. “But there are fewer safety inspectors, so the DGCA has been asking airlines to do their own safety checks - that is a little tricky.” Countries in similar positions have taken time

back, Indonesia six years and the Philippines is still trying after being downgraded five years ago. Mexico did it in four months. Capa predicted it “could take India a long time to restore its rating” and the harmful implications could endure well beyond that time. Indeed, Indian airlines like Jet Airways will have to put expansion plans to the US on hold. Indian carriers have been struggling with high operating costs and interest rates and, in 2012, had a collective debt of US$20 billion. But opening up the sector to foreign investment has seen the industry get a fresh lease of life. Jet Airways, for instance, sold a 24 per cent stake to Gulf carrier Etihad. “This (downgrade) is maybe a blessing in disguise,” said Bhargava. “It will make the (civil aviation) ministry act.”—Agencies


PAF clinch 22nd National Ski Championship trophy SPORTS REPORTER N ALTAR —Ski competitions for 22nd National Ski Championship and Shah Khan Ski Cup concluded at PAF Ski Resort, Naltar. Chief of the Air Staff, Pakistan Air Force (PAF), Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt, who is also the Patron-in-Chief SFP, was the chief guest at the occasion. Athletes, representing various Ski associations from all over the country, contested for this exhilarating sport. The PAF won the National Ski Championship while Shah Khan Ski Cup was lifted by Gilgit-Baltistan Scouts. The Air Chief commended the efforts of Ski Federation of Pakistan for arranging this exciting sport for young Pakistani enthusiasts. At the same time, he advised the winners of the competitions to uphold the momentum of their winning spree. He further said that demonstrating such

NALTAR: Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt, Chief of the Air Staff, PAF awarding trophy to PAF team for winning 22nd National Ski Championship-2014 at PAF Ski Resort, Gilgit.

Zaheer Abbas geared-up to improve Pakistan batting K A R A C H I —Newly appointed cricket consultant Zaheer Abbas has said that he was ready to improve Pakistan batting to the best of his abilities and work with the players to remove their flaws and deficencies. “ M y objectives is to pass on my experiences to the b a t s m e n a n d prepare and do t h e consoling with them,” he told APP in an interview on Wednesday. Zaheer Abbas was appointed as Pakistan cricket team’s consultant by re-appointed Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Najam Sethi which ap-

proved by the Newly appointed management. “Despite outstanding performances, batting has been Pakistan team’s problems. I will use all my vast experience to play my role in improving it,” Zaheer Abbas, who had scored 108 first class centuries, said. “Its a big challenge and I am looking forward to enhance their batting technique,” he said. However, he made it clear he cannot change these chronic batting problems overnight. But working long-term the players to resolve and improve them. He said majority of current Pakistan team batsmen already done well at the international level. “I don’t want to see batsmen are being hit on the pads many a times. This is not good for our batsmen,” he added. Zaheer strongly dispelled the impression that he was not well versed with modern day cricket with focus on Twenty20. “How many coaches, who are coaching international teams have played T20 cricket. Its modern era

and being a former player he know the trick of the trade,” he commented. Zaheer Abbas said basics in batting are same in brands of cricket like Test, One-day Internationals and T20. But its the mindset which change as per the requirement of each version. He said no major changes will be made in technique of the batsmen. But he will be extending them guidance on and off the field. He said he will be working with the batsmen, how to coup the pressure situation in which most of the mistakes done. “I will be working with the batsmen one-to-one and in the groups to advise them,” Zaheer, who played 70 Test matches and 62 ODIs, pointed out. He said he will be working closely with chief coach Moin Khan, bowling coach Muhammad Akram and fielding coach Shoaib Muhammad to bring out best out of team in this month’s Asia Cup and next month’s ICC World T20 championship both which will be held in Bangladesh.—APP

Marathon race FAISALABAD—The City District Government will organize a marathon race in collaboration with Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) here on Thursday, February 13, in connection with Punjab Youth Festival 2014. President FCCI Sohail Bin Rasheed told here on Wednesday that the marathon race would start at 9:30 am from Abdullahpura which will conclude in front of FCCI Complex on Canal Road. He told that winner of the marathon race would be awarded a cash prize of Rs 20000 whereas the second and third position holders will be given cash prizes of Rs 10000 and Rs 5000, respectively.Divisional Commissioner Sardar Akram Javaid, District Coordination Officer (DCO) Noorul Amin Mengal, Member National Assembly (MNA) Talal Badar Chaudhary and Member Provincial Assembly (MPA) Zafar Iqbal Nagra will also present on the occasion, he added.—APP

Peshawar record victory in Peshawar Board Boys Cricket

RAWALPINDI: A view of cricket match between Lahore Lions and Abbottabad Falcons teams during Faysal Bank T-20 Cup played at Pindi Cricket Stadium.

P ESHAWAR —Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education Peshawar recorded victory against Malakand Board on the opening day of the Pakistan Board Twenty20 Cricket Tournament, which got under way here at BISE premises on Wednesday. Chairman BISE Peshawar Professor Dr. Shafi Afridi was the chief guest on this occasion. Director Sports and Organizing Secretary of the event Manzer Khan, officials, players and spectators were also present. Peshawar Board won the toss and elected to bat first by setting up 146 runs in which Sohail Khan made 36 runs, Esha Khan 20 and Nasir Khan scored 18 runs. For Malakand Board Zubair took two wickets, Ammad and Shafique took one wicket each. In reply, Malakand Board bowled out for 90 runs, Zubair scored 20 runs and Rashid made 14 runs, none of the other batsmen could cross the double figures.—APP

an excellent standard of skiing in the country without appropriate ski infrastructure and facilities spoke of the hidden talent in this winter sport. The Air Chief assured that PAF and Ski Federation would provide budding skiers with all possible training and infrastructure facilities. He reiterated PAF’s continued support for the betterment of education and socioeconomic condition of the people of Naltar area. Following are the results: National Ski Championship Slalom Gold M Abbas (PAF) Silver M Iqbal (Army) Bronze Nk Mir Nawaz (GBS) Giant Slalom Gold M Iqbal (Army) Silver M Abbas (PAF) Bronze Tariq Azam (PAF) Trophy Pakistan Air Force Shah Khan Ski Cup Slalom Gold Sep Waqar (Snr) (GBS) Silver Sep Nadeem (GBS) Bronze Liaquat Ali (Army) Giant Slalom Gold Sep Waqar (Jnr) (GBS) Silver Liaquat Ali (Army) Bronze Farjad Hussain (HEC) Trophy Gilgit Baltistan Scouts.

Inter-varsity badminton championship begins K HAIRPUR —The inaugural ceremony of University Jamshoro. two-day All Pakistan Inter University Badminton Championship 2014 held at Khairpur Gymkhana on Wednesday. The championship is being organised by Sports Section, SALU, Khairpur in collaboration with Higher Education Commission, Islamabad. Syeda Nafisa Shah PPP MNA, was the chief guest of the ceremony, while, Prof Dr Parveen Shah, Vice Chancellor, presided over the ceremony. Meanwhile, Trials for hand ball and hockey will be held on Feb 17 and 18, for base ball & basket ball on Feb 19 and 20, at Sindh University Ground, a press release issued by directress sports (Girls) Sindh

All the bonafide student players have been advised to appear before selection committee in proper kit as per rules of higher education commission (HEC). The participating students should be under 27 years having official letter duly signed by the head of department/ institute.They must bring original matriculation certificate, intermediate (Marks & Pass) certificates, enrollment card, passport size photograph and CNIC with them during trials. The selected players will be able to take part in inter university championship-2014 which would soon be held on the campus.—APP

FCW win HED Inter-College Girls Games trophy P ESHAWAR —Frontier College for Women clinched the trophy after securing 49 points in the Higher Education Department InterCollege Girls Games concluded here at Frontier College premises on Wednesday. Advisor to the Chief Minister on Education Mushtaq Ghani was the chief guest on this occasion. Secretary Education Farah Hamid, President PTI Sports and Culture Forum Engr. Saeed Mehmood, Director HED Prof Noor Ullah Wazir, Deputy Director Sports HED Rashid Anwar, Organizing Secretary Miss Rahim Bibi, Principal of the Frontier College for Women Professor Dure-Shawar, players, officials and large number of college spectators were also present in the colourful presentation ceremony. The colourful Annual Day Sports was started with the recitation of Holy Quran by Kaneez Fatima, followed by a melodious Naat by Asma Qurashi. A national anthem was also present by the college girls, followed by March Past of all the participating teams from nine different colleges affiliated in Peshawar Zone. The kids of Sheikhabad High School displayed excellent PT Show, followed by a stunning performance of the girls on traditional song (Atharn). The was a good competition in the sack race won by Noor Jaat while the Tug of War contest was won by the teachers led by Miss Shaheen who defeated the students teams. There were thundering applauses as the skirt of the students enthralled the sitting spectators who responded well with their cheering hands. FCW grabbed overall trophy by securing 49 points, GGC Gul Shan Rehman got 26 points and City Gul Bahar got 16 points and remained at third. FCW won the trophies of Table Tennis, Badminton, Volley-

ball, Basketball, Cricket, Football and Netball and remained first in athletic while Sadia Gul of the same college was declared best athlete. Gul Shan Rehman got runnersup trophies of Table Tennis, Basketball and Netball while City Gul Bahar got runnersup trophy in Badminton, Volleyball, and Football. Sadia Gul won gold medal in 100m, 200m,

Saadia Gul who won gold medal in race was declared as best athlete. 400m and 800m was declared as best athlete. Laila Akbar of Girls College Hayatabad got 19 points by winning three gold medals in High Jump, Javelin throw and got silver medal in 800m and bronze medal in Discuss Throw. She is the only athlete represented Hayatabad Girls College along with Adeela and Sumaira. Adeela got gold medal in shot put and Sumaira won bronze medal in Javelin throw for Girls College Hayatabad.

8 foreign teams confirm participation for Pakistan Day Bridge KARACHI—As many as eight foreign teams have confirmed their participation for the Pakistan Day International Bridge Championship schedule to be held at Hotel Pearl Continental from March 21 to 23, President Pakistan Bridge Federation Nawab Yousuf Talpur announced on Wednesday. Speaking at a joint news conference at the hotel with Chairman Mind Sports Association of Pakistan (MSAP) Khurshid Hadi, Director Tariq Rasheed Khan, Tournament Coordinator Tahir Masood and PBF Secretary Gulzar Bilal. PBF is holding this event in collaboration with MSAP with support from Karachi Bridge Association (KBA). “We are holding international event after a gap 16 years and we want to make it a memorable,” PBF Chief said. This will be great opportunity for our players to rub shoulders with top-notch bridge players from overseas,” he added.

He said Australia, two teams each from China, India United Kingdom and one from United Arab Emirates (UAE) have confirmed their participation. Yousuf Talpur, who had also represented Pakistan in Bridge Federation of Asian and Middle East (BFAME) and Bermuda Bowl - World Bridge Championship, said he was inspired by recent event in China to hold Pakistan Day in Pakistan. PBF boss said, a delegation of PBF will be meeting Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah to seek his support for the event and invite him as chief guest at the prize distribution ceremony. He said all the foreign participating teams will be provided free boarding and lodging by the organizing committee. “Besides foreign teams, we are hope to field 40-45 Pakistan teams to provide them maximum exposure,” he maintained. Khurshid Hadi said Pakistan’s

bridge legend Zia Mahmood has been helping in arranging foreign teams to feature in Pakistan Day event. “Zia will not be able to attend the event as he will be busy in a big event in USA,” he said. He said Tapal, Pizza Hutt and JS Bank are extending sponsorship for holding of the event. He complimented the role of sponsors for coming forward and supporting this international event. “Overall we extended invitation to about 25 countries and our cutout date is February 20,” Tournament Coordinator Tahir Masood, who led Pakistan team in Bermuda Bowl in Netherlands in 2012, said. Tahir said after pairs event on the first day, two-day teams event starts from March 22. Tournament will be conducted by Pakistan’s senior Tournament Director Ihsan Qadir, who on the World Bridge Federation accredited directors.—APP

ISLAMABAD: Students taking part in the tug of war event during Sports Day of the local college at Sports Complex.


Sri Lanka beat Bangladesh by two runs

ROSA KHUTOR: Joint gold medalists Dominique Gisin of Switzerland and Tina Maze of Slovenia.

Gisin, Maze share downhill gold

Speed skating Kramer pulls out of 1,500m to help 10k bid S OCHI

(Russia)—Dutch speed skater Sven Kramer withdrew from the 1,500 metres on Wednesday to

boost his chances of completing an Olympic long distance double in Sochi. The 27-year-old won the men’s 5,000m at the Adler Arena on Saturday and skates in the 10,000m on Tuesday - an event he thought he had won four years ago only to be disqualified for an incorrect lane change after easily clocking the best time. “A very tough decision, but I have decided not to skate the 1,500m race. This to stay focused on my 10,000m and the team pursuit event,” Kramer posted on his Twitter page (@SvenKramer86) on Wednesday. Jan Blokhuijsen, who finished second to Kramer in the 5,000m, will take his place in the race.

UEFA lift Blanc’s one-match European ban P ARIS —French champions

R OSA K HUTOR (Russia)—- Dominique super-G world champion and proven bigGisin and Tina Maze finished in a thrilling dead heat as an Alpine skiing gold medal was shared for the first time in Winter Olympics history on Wednesday in a dramatic women’s downhill. Swiss outsider Gisin, wearing bib number eight, was first to clock 1min 41.57sec down the icy 2.7km-long course and in brilliant sunshine it looked to have been enough for outright victory. But Gisin, who has not won a World Cup downhill race since 2009 and whose best finish in the downhill this season is seventh, had not counted on Maze, the 2013

e Country ....... G ......... S ...... B .. Total Norway ......... 4 ......... 3 ...... 4 ........ 11 Canada .......... 4 ......... 3 ...... 2 .......... 9 Netherlands . 3 ......... 2 ...... 3 .......... 8 Germany ....... 3 ......... 1 ...... 0 .......... 4 United States 2 ......... 1 ...... 4 .......... 7 Russia ........... 1 ......... 3 ...... 3 .......... 7 Austria .......... 1 ......... 2 ...... 0 .......... 3 France ........... 1 ......... 0 ...... 1 .......... 2 Belarus .......... 1 ......... 0 ...... 0 .......... 1 Poland ........... 1 ......... 0 ...... 0 .......... 1 Slovakia ........ 1 ......... 0 ...... 0 .......... 1 South Korea . 1 ......... 0 ...... 0 .......... 1 Switzerland ... 1 ......... 0 ...... 0 .......... 1 Sweden ......... 0 ......... 3 ...... 1 .......... 4 Czech ............ 0 ......... 2 ...... 1 .......... 3 Slovenia ........ 0 ......... 1 ...... 2 .......... 3 Italy ............... 0 ......... 1 ...... 1 .......... 2 China ............. 0 ......... 1 ...... 0 .......... 1 Finland .......... 0 ......... 1 ...... 0 .......... 1 Great Britain . 0 ......... 0 ...... 1 .......... 1 Ukraine ......... 0 ......... 0 ...... 1 .......... 1

stage performer. Starting 13 runners after Gisin on a course that had not broken up, the Slovenian led all the splits but lost a little time after the final jump to come charging through the finish line in a dead heat. Maze has had a relatively poor season, which was only partially rescued by a first downhill win in Cortina d’Ampezzo in January, but her third place finish in the downhill run of the super-combined was a reminder of her speed abilities. “I’m extremely happy and completely overwhelmed,” said a tearful Gisin after immediately calling her family. “I don’t think I even dreamt about this. Now that I have won, I am living the dream, but this is better than dreaming. “I was speaking to my grandad and grandma. Everybody is extremely excited. They were just crying and I was crying, too.” Meanwhile, Germany’s Eric Frenzel won gold in the nordic combined individual normal hill competition at Sochi 2014. Frenzel, 25, held a six-second advantage after the ski jump phase before the 10km cross country race. He won a team bronze in Vancouver 2010, but took individual gold on Wednesday after holding off a challenge from Japan’s Akito Watabe, who took silver. Norway’s Magnus Krog was third with Italy’s Alessandro Pittin, a bronze medallist four years ago, in fourth. Frenchman Jason Lamy Chappuis took the gold medal in Vancouver but could only finish 35th in Russia. Watabe, 25, was ahead with 2km of the race remaining, before the German regained the lead to win by 4.2 seconds, although the Japanese competitor managed to secure his country’s first medal in this event since 1994.—AFP

Paris Saint-Germain’s coach Laurent Blanc will be able to take his place in the dugout for next week’s Champions League last-16, first-leg tie against German side Bayer Leverkusen after UEFA suspended his one-match ban upon appeal. UEFA’s appeals committee downgraded Blanc’s punishment to a suspended ban, allowing the Frenchman to take his place on the bench at the BayArena. Blanc had initially been handed a one-match ban for “delayed kick-offs” in this season’s competition. Instead he received a one-match ban subject to “a one-year probationary period” and a 10,000 euro fine. The appeals committee “closely analysed the elements and documents supplied by Blanc and Paris” along with the “statements and documents supplied by UEFA’s disciplinary inspector” before taking a decision, read a UEFA statement. Blanc had been sanctioned by European football’s control and disciplinary body after three “late kick-offs” during the group stage of this season’s Champions League. Blanc received a warning for the first infraction (PSG v Benfica on 2 October) before being hit with a fine and suspended one-match ban for the second violation (PSG v Olympiacos on 27 November).—AFP

Dhoni, Raina under scanner in IPL spot-fixing? NEW DELHI—Six prominent “Indian capped” players, including one who is part of the current team, are likely to face the heat for their alleged roles in fixing scandal with their names cropping up in the report filed before the Supreme Court by a committee probing the Indian Premiere League (IPL) betting and spot-fixing scam. In its report, the threemember committee headed by former Punjab and Haryana Chief Justice Mukul Mudgal, said that former BCCI President I.S. Bindra had also stated that he knew two former reputed Indian players who were allegedly involved in match-fixing. According to a report submitted to Justice Mukul Mudgal by G. Sampath Kumar (SP, Railways, Trichy), Kumar had carried out an investigation as SP, Crime Branch CID (internal security) and came in touch with bookies when investigating a fake passport case in 2013. He had submitted the report to Justice Mudgal and top cricketers like M.S. Dhoni and Suresh Raina’s names came up in the report. Justice Mudgal did not give

clean chit to anyone but said further investigation needs to be done on

spot- and match-fixing. But the current focus on just betting is raising questions as to whether senior play-

ers are being deliberately shielded and a cover-up is in place. Notably, Justice Mudgal’s report said that a journalist, who was apparently connected with recording of tapes for a sports magazine, could identify the voice of the Indian player and he had also stated that the player was part of the team which played the World Cup and a member of the team now. “The journalist refused to disclose the names of the Indian players involved. In spite of repeated requests to put the name of the said player in a sealed cover for perusal before the Supreme Court, the journalist appeared terrified and was very reluctant to do so and pleaded that it would be dangerous for the journalist concerned,” it said. “It thus appears that names of six prominent Indian capped play-

ers are available in tapes in connection with dealings with bookies while two of these prominent Indian capped players have also been named by none other than a former President of BCCI,” the report said. The report, filed before a bench headed by justices A.K. Patnaik, also referred to the transcripts of the tapped conversation between two alleged bookies, Chandresh Jain and Ashwani Aggarwal, in which there are “references to high level fixing of players where the names of two international Indian players were mentioned.” The report also said that Delhi Police has disclosed that according to suspended Indian player S. Sreesanth, who was arrested in connection with the case, three prominent Indian players were involved with the bookies.It also said that according to Mumbai and Delhi Police, recorded conversations “indicate connection of some Indian and foreign players with betting activities”. The committee, also comprising Additional Solicitor General N. Nagehswar Rao and Assam Cricket Association member Nilay Dutta, said that in an undercover probe carried out by a sports magazine, a “prominent Indian capped player was recorded interacting with the bookies”.—Agencies

C HITTAGONG (Bangladesh)—Sri Lanka ternational cricket as Seekkuge Prasanna defeated Bangladesh by two runs in the first holed out in the deep to reduce Sri Lanka to Twenty20 international in Chittagong on 87-4 in the 10th over. It became 120-6 as Sunny removed Kusal Wednesday to take the lead in the twomatch series. Sri Lanka, who made 168-7 af- Perera and Angelo Mathews was run out ter being sent in to bat, hit back to restrict after a mix-up with Thisara Perera. Mortaza led the hosts after Mushfiqur Bangladesh to 166-7 in a thrilling finish at Rahim was rested due to a hairline fracture the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury stadium. Earlier, Opener Kusal Perera top-scored in the left hand and Tamim Iqbal stepped with 64 off 44 balls to steer Sri Lanka to 168- down as vice-captain to concentrate on his 7 in the first Twenty20 international against batting. Sri Lanka were without frontline batsBangladesh in Chittagong on Wednesday. The left-hander hit seven boundaries man Mahela Jayawardene, who will miss the and a six, but found little support from the entire limited-overs series of two Twenty20 rest of the top order after the tourists were games and three one-day internationals due sent in to bat at the Zahur Ahmed to a hand injury. Sri Lanka won the preceding two-Test Chowdhury stadium. Sri Lanka were reduced to 120-6 in the series 1-0. The second match will also be played in Chittagong on Friday.—AFP 15th over, before Nuwan Kulasekara and Thisara Perera boosted the total with a seventh-wicket partnership of 44 from 31 balls. Reza ....................... 2-0-18-0 Sri Lanka Innings: Kulasekara made 31 off 21 Perera b Sunny .............. 64 Bangladesh Innings: balls with one four and two Dilshan b Mortaza .......... 0 Tamim b T. Perera .......... 30 sixes, while Thisara Perera re- Chandimal b Shakib ...... 18 Shamsur b Mendis ........ 22 turned unbeaten on 19. Sangakkara c Nasir Anamul 0c and b Perera 58 Bangladesh’s stand-in b Shakib .......................... 11 Shakib b Kulasekara ..... 26 captain Mashrafe Mortaza Prasanna c Nasir b Sunny 4 Nasir b Malinga ............. 16 gave his team a flying start A. Mathews run out ..... 11 Mithun Ali b Kulasekara 0 by bowling Tillakaratne T. Perera not out ............ 19 Farhad Reza run out ....... 7 Dilshan off the sixth ball of Kulasekara b Mortaza .. 31 Sohag Gazi not out ......... 0 the match before the bats- S. Senanayake not out ... 0 Extras: (b1, lb4, w1, nb1) 7 man had scored a run. Extras: (lb7, w3) ............. 10 Total (for 7 wickets) .... 166 Dinesh Chandimal, Sri Total (for 7 wickets) .... 168 Fall of wkts: 1-52, 2-64, 3-107, Lanka’s Twenty20 captain, Fall of wickets: 1-7, 2-61, 3- 4-132, 5-134, 6-158, 7-166 and Kusal Perera shared a 77, 4-87, 5-116, 6-120, 7-164 Bowling: ........... O-M-R-W second-wicket stand of 54 off Bowling: ........... O-M-R-W Malinga ................ 4-0-34-1 35 balls before Shakib Al Mortaza ................ 4-0-43-2 Kulasekara ........... 4-0-29-2 Hasan grabbed two wickets Gazi ........................ 3-0-29-0 Senanayake .......... 3-0-21-0 in successive overs. Rubel ..................... 4-0-27-0 Mendis ................. 4-0-29-1 Debutant left-arm spinner Shakib ................... 4-0-27-2 T. Perera ................ 4-0-42-2 Arafat Sunny claimed a Sunny ................. 03-0-17-2 Prasanna ................. 1-0-6-0 wicket with his fifth ball in in-

CHITTAGONG: Shakib Al Hasan is distraught after losing his stumps to a slower ball during Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka 1st T20.

Kevin Pietersen playing for Delhi Daredevils NEW D ELHI —Kevin Pietersen has been bought by the Delhi Daredevils for £880,000 (90m rupees) in the Indian Premier League auction in Bangalore. The 33-year-old Surrey batsman, who had been expected to fetch a higher price, is available for the full tournament after being dis-

carded by England. Pietersen’s was the third highest price on the first day of auctions. India’s Yuvraj Singh was bought for a larger sum £1.37m (140m rupees) - by Royal Challengers Bangalore. A total of 514 players will be up for sale for the seventh edition of the IPL.

Pietersen played last season for the Delhi side, but they initially chose not to retain him because of his expected international commitments. Pietersen was the only current or former England international to sell on the first day of this two-day auction.—APP

PCB rejects only foreigner’s application for coach position BIPIN DANI Observer Correspondent M UMBAI —Despite Wasim Akram, the former pace bowler and the member of the recent coaching hunting committee insisted no foreigner had applied for the coach position, it is emerged that one South African coach did apply for the job. According to the sources in South Africa, Grant Luden had sent his application well before the dead-line. Confirming exclusively over telephone from Pretoria, where he is a coach in the Pretoria Boys’ High School, Luden said, “I had applied for the fielding and training position with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB)”. “To me Pakistan is “as safe as any

other nation” and I am ambitious to coach any national side”. Before returning to South Africa, Luden, who became dad of the first babyboy in last October, worked with the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) as team’s physical trainer. Obviously, Luden was disappointed as his application was not considered because the PCB had principally agreed to engage the local men for the jobs. Dual role Shoaib Mohammad is likely to be on a dual role as team’s fielding and batting coach. The son of legendary Hanif, the 54-year-old Shoaib has played 45 Tests and 63 ODIs’ with nearly 4,000 international runs and 25 wickets under his belt. The new fielding coach has held 35 catches.


Kids may suffer in gap between haves and have-nots

I

N US counties where personal incomes clus ter on opposite sides of the rich and poor spec trum, children might endure more neglect and abuse, according to a new U.S. study. Based on the analysis of data from the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System and the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, the effect appears strongest in counties with high poverty. Approximately every minute, about six maltreatment referrals are given to state and local agencies in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It’s not possible to say income inequality actually causes child maltreatment, but, “we know the reverse hypothesis is not true,” John Eckenrode said. “Child maltreatment does not cause income inequality.” Ekenrode, a psychologist at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, led the study. “Also we have ruled out some possible alternate explanations in our study, such as level of education, public assistance levels, child poverty rates and state-level variations in rates of maltreatment,” he told Reuters Health. “Given what we already know, it makes sense that income inequality could create a social context where child maltreatment happens,” said Kate Pickett, a social epidemiologist at the University of York in the United Kingdom. “This adds to past evidence that greater income inequality harms us all,” she said. Re-

searchers looked at data on 3,142 U.S. counties between 2005 and 2009. They found that rates of child maltreatment ranged widely, from 0.2 percent to 3.1 percent of children. Using statistical methods to gauge income inequality, they found a steep rise in the rate of child maltreatment with rising inequality. The relationship held after researchers adjusted for poverty itself, and other factors such as the racial and ethnic makeup of regions, education levels and the number of people receiving public assistance income. Where inequalities are most extreme, communities may become more polarized, with the affluent group influencing where public aid money goes, or what programs are made available in the community, said Dr. Ruth Gilbert, a clinical epidemiologist at University College London in the UK. “Where the state or federal government is a key provider of services, such as day care and education,” Gilbert said, “then you may have situations where poorer children mingle with middleclass kids and this helps create a better understanding between the two classes.” Past studies have shown that income inequality can create an environment toxic to human health (see Reuters Health article of October 9, 2013, here: reut.rs/17o0iAZ). Even though the study doesn’t prove causality, Pickett said, “it fits in well with mechanisms we would expect to be underpinning the income inequality relationship.”

Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani, Senior Minister Nisar Ahmed Khuhru and Minister for Information Sharjeel Inam Memon and Mehdi Sobhani Consul General of Iran cutting cake of 35th anniversary of the Victory of the Islamic Revolution.—PO photo Sultan Chaki

Extortionists send emails to doctors for payment of money IRFAN ALIGI KARACHI—Physician and surgeons in

Children playing on railway track near Kala Pul, which may cause any fatal accident.

AKTI delegation meets Karachi Police Chief STAFF REPORTER KARACHI—All Karachi Tajir Itehad (AKTI) delegation led by its president Atiq Mir call on Addl: IGP Karachi Shahid Hayat in Central Police Office Wednesday. The meeting was attended by all Zonal DIGPs and DIGP CID. The delegation informed the Karachi Police Chief of their concerns over the situation of Karachi and in particular problems related to extortion, encroachment, traffic gridlocks

and law and order. They showed their concerns particularly about old Karachi areas where due to traffic congestion, narrow roads and encroachments their clients are facing great difficulty in reaching at various business centres and as a result their business is affected. Taking a prompt action, Hayat formed a committee while nominating all 3 zonal DIGPs and DIGP CID as focal persons from Karachi Police. He directed the committee to meet weekly at the beginning to quickly solve the problems

Cleanliness to be ensured in city parks STAFF REPORTER KARACHI —Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) Parks and Horticulture Department Director General Tahir Jamil Durrani in pursuance to the directives of the KMC Administrator Rauf Akhtar Farooqui, paid a visit of different parks of the city to check their condition and recreation facilities that have been provided for citizens. On this occasion he took strict notice of unsatisfactory cleanliness condition around the Clifton Beach View Park and warned the contractor of park to improve the cleanliness conditions in and around the park and ensure proper renovation of this huge recreation facility at the seaside. He said these parks were meant to provide better recreation facility to citizens and therefore these must be maintained properly. Cleanliness and lighting arrangements should be made and monitored in all city parks. Director General Parks said all necessary measures will be taken to bring improvement in the conditions of all small and big parks of the city and the citizens would soon see the results of these efforts. He said the parks and horticulture department will fulfil its responsibilities on preferential basis and any negligence or carelessness in this regard will not be tolerated.

presented by AKTI and then further meet fortnightly to establish a constant chain of communication. AKTI did not announce its members for the committee yet but promised to do so very soon They thanked the Karachi Police Chief at the end and wished Karachi Police all the best in its work.

Karachi had received e-mails for payment of money in extortion failing which threats of dire consequences were padded in the messages. Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) Karachi chapter President Dr Idrees Adhi disclosed this in a press conference he had addressed along with the Citizens Police Liaison Committee (CPLC) Chief Ahmed Chinoy at the PMA House Karachi Wednesday. Dr Adhi informed 130 doctors had so far been killed since the year 2010 and the extortionist groups had sent emails to 40 doctors to pay the demanded sum of money in extortion or else they would face the music. He said that 40 doctors presently working at Dow University

Hospital, Aga Khan University hospital and Liaquat National Hospital had received threat email for paying money in extortion while the extortionists operating from South Africa, Dubai and Afghanistan had also phoned doctors for payment of money in extortion. The extortionist had used name of a particular political party. The PMA Karachi President also revealed that the extortionist had obtained fake national identity cards, which they used for transfer of money they minted from doctors through Mobi Cash, Easy Paisa and Omni services. The government should pay attention and lay focus on those money transferring services so as to prevent the extortionists from utilising those services. The PMA Karachi General Secretary Dr Qazi Muhammad Wasiq while speak-

ing on the occasion said that the doctors fraternity had expected the situation would improve under ongoing targeted operation but it had disappointed. Doctors were still being killed in target killing, kidnapped for ransom and extortion chits along with bullet were still being sent to doctors in the city. The CPLC Chief Ahmed Chinoy while addressing the press conference said that the kidnapped doctor would be safely rescued. There were 3 groups involved in extortion from abroad and the extortionists group operating from South Africa had the list of doctors and their particulars including their cell phone numbers and email IDs. The Government of South Africa had been contacted in that regard and there were hopes that the Government of South Africa would positively respond.

Police, Rangers gun down 2 Lyari criminals STAFF REPORTER KARACHI—Malir City Police had gunned down 2 Lyari gang war militants in an alleged police encounter. Police claimed the militants were affiliated to Suhail Dada Gang of Lyari gang war and were hiding in Malir under shelter of Suhail Dada Group. According to Malir City Police Station’s Station House Officer (SHO) Muhammad Sabir, police had cordoned off the area under search and arrest operation under targeted operation. The militants had opened indiscriminate fie on Police and were killed in retaliation. The militants thus killed were identi-

fied as Shan alias Shani and Arif alias Billa and both were associated with Lyari gang war and were wanted to Police for various heinous crimes including extortion, kidnapping for ransom, target killings and others to Lyari, Malir, Aziz Bhatti Police Stations. Chhipa Welfare Foundation told that the volunteers had shifted the bodies of the two militants to Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre. The Medico-legal officer of the JPMC told that the bodies of slain militants were shifted to a mortuary of Edhi foundation at Sohrab Goth after necessary medico-legal procedures and looked like Balouch from their facial features.

Sindh Festival promoted Sindhi culture at world level: Owais Muzaffar STAFF REPORTER KARACHI—Pakistan People’s Party Parliamentarian (PPPP) leader and member provincial assembly (MPA) Syed Owais Muzaffar Hashmi said that the purpose of celebrating Sindh Festival was to initiate steps for the promotion of Sindhi language, culture and civilization and the Sindh Festival proved a unique programme for also introducing the culture and civilization of Sindh at the international level. He expressed these views while talking to the newsmen at the Makli Cricket Stadium in Thatta where he arrived to oversee the arrangements for the conclud-

ing ceremony of Sindh Festival, which was started for 15 days from Feb 1 till Feb 15. He said that the programmes held under the canvass of Sindh Festival would prove helpful in efforts for the elimination of extremism and terrorism from the province and the country and brotherhood and peace and tranquility would be promoted. The MPA while responding to a question said that no damage was done to the ruins of Mohenjo Daro from the temporary construction of a steel stage and setting up a pavilion of the visitors on the occasion of inaugural ceremony of Sindh Festival but it had created a wave of passion and love for the Sindhi culture.

Decayed wheat to be auctioned STAFF REPORTER KARACHI—Sindh Food Department has decided to auction approximately 300, 000 bags of damaged wheat all over the province. This damaged wheat is used for animals and birds feed. According to details, Provincial Food Minister Jam Mehtab Hussain Dahar, while taking serious notice of 296,992 wheat bag (damaged), sent a summary to Sindh Chief Minister for auction through open bids at regional level through publicity in the press by committee. Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, approving the summary, has ordered to auction the said damaged wheat.


Kids may suffer in gap between haves and have-nots

I

N US counties where personal incomes clus ter on opposite sides of the rich and poor spec trum, children might endure more neglect and abuse, according to a new U.S. study. Based on the analysis of data from the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System and the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, the effect appears strongest in counties with high poverty. Approximately every minute, about six maltreatment referrals are given to state and local agencies in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It’s not possible to say income inequality actually causes child maltreatment, but, “we know the reverse hypothesis is not true,” John Eckenrode said. “Child maltreatment does not cause income inequality.” Ekenrode, a psychologist at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, led the study. “Also we have ruled out some possible alternate explanations in our study, such as level of education, public assistance levels, child poverty rates and state-level variations in rates of maltreatment,” he told Reuters Health. “Given what we already know, it makes sense that income inequality could create a social context where child maltreatment happens,” said Kate Pickett, a social epidemiologist at the University of York in the United Kingdom. “This adds to past evidence that greater income inequality harms us all,” she said. Re-

searchers looked at data on 3,142 U.S. counties between 2005 and 2009. They found that rates of child maltreatment ranged widely, from 0.2 percent to 3.1 percent of children. Using statistical methods to gauge income inequality, they found a steep rise in the rate of child maltreatment with rising inequality. The relationship held after researchers adjusted for poverty itself, and other factors such as the racial and ethnic makeup of regions, education levels and the number of people receiving public assistance income. Where inequalities are most extreme, communities may become more polarized, with the affluent group influencing where public aid money goes, or what programs are made available in the community, said Dr. Ruth Gilbert, a clinical epidemiologist at University College London in the UK. “Where the state or federal government is a key provider of services, such as day care and education,” Gilbert said, “then you may have situations where poorer children mingle with middleclass kids and this helps create a better understanding between the two classes.” Past studies have shown that income inequality can create an environment toxic to human health (see Reuters Health article of October 9, 2013, here: reut.rs/17o0iAZ). Even though the study doesn’t prove causality, Pickett said, “it fits in well with mechanisms we would expect to be underpinning the income inequality relationship.”

Ladies selecting Valentine related stuff at a shop in connection with upcoming Valentine Day to be celebrated tomorrow.

Funds for education, health on priority basis SALIM AHMED LAHORE—Minister for Finance, Excise & Taxation Punjab Mian Mujtaba Shuja ur Rehman has said government is providing funds to education and health sectors on priority basis. He said that despite difficult economic situation, grant is being provided for the provision of quality health facilities and modern equipment to diagnostic laboratories, schools and colleges especially technical institutions. He expressed these views while presiding over a meeting of Provincial Austerity Committee. Finance Department officials, Provincial Secretaries, DCOs

CM attends PA session

Shahbaz assures resolution of journalists problems

Sialkot, Barani University and College of Technology. The Minister said that the purpose of permission of austerity committee for vehicles and other heavy expenditures is to save big spending on comparatively less important items and provision of grant for the development projects out of the money the saved. He directed the officials of provincial departments to sale out the old transport and machinery in time so that proper price can be deposited in the provincial exchequer. He said that scraped transport and machinery cannot be auctioned at reasonable price so the departments get loss in such auctions.

Lahore Auto-Show from March 16

Philanthropists donate Rs60m to LGH A delegation of European Organisation for Nuclear Research known as CERN along with OBSERVER REPORT Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Muhammad Khaleequr Rehman visits research facilities at Govt College University. LAHORE—An amount to the tune of Rs 60 million has been donated by philanthropists to Lahore General Hospital during last one and half year in result of personal efforts of Prof Anjum Habib Voihra, Principal Post Graduate Medical Institute STAFF REPORTER and Ameer ud Din Medical ColSTAFF REPORTER lege well supported by Patients LAHORE—Punjab Chief MinWelfare Association, LGH. ister Muhammad Shahbaz LAHORE—A delegation of journalists led by President Lahore The donated amount has Sharif attended the session of Press Club Arshad Ansari met Punjab Chief Minister been spent on the projects of Punjab Assembly for the second Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif at Assembly Chamber, here purchase of 10 new dialysis consecutive day Wednesday. Wednesday. Provincial Minister for Law and Local Governmachines, installment of new The Chief Minister was ment Rana Sanaullah Khan, Food Minister Bilal Yasin and Partube well, up gradation of Neuro given a standing ovation when liamentary Secretary on Information Rana Muhammad Arshad operation theater, installation of he arrived in the house. The bill were also present on the occasion. The delegation apprised the new water filtration plant, estabregarding establishment of a Chief Minister of Journalist Colony and other issues. Talking lishment of oxygen tank, provicommission for protection of to the delegation, the Chief Minister said that the genuine probsion of laundry machines and a the rights of women and their lems of journalists would be resolved on priority basis. number of welfare activities for empowerment was being deHe said that Punjab government would continue to take patients and their attendants. bated in the house. effective measures for the welfare of the journalists. The Chief This was informed by Prof. The Chief Minister took Minister announced to form a three-member committee headed Anjum Habib Voihra while talkkeen interest in the assembly by Member National Assembly Hamza Shahbaz Sharif for reing to media, here today. Prof. proceedings and also took notes. solving the problems of journalists. The committee will inVohra told that well equipped Some members of the Punjab clude Provincial Ministers Rana Sanaullah Khan and Bilal Yasin. air-conditioned dialysis centre Assembly later met the Chief The delegation comprised Secretary Press Club Shahbaz Mian, of LGH has now become the Minister in Assembly Chamber senior journalist Maqsood Awan, Waseem Farooq Shahid, Presibiggest centre in the governand discussed projects of gen- dent Press Gallery Committee Babar Dogar, Secretary Naeem ment health sector in the Punjab. eration of electricity. Ashraf Butt and Kh. Naseer.

and officers of Educational Boards were present on the occasion. The Minister directed the officials of Finance Department that the departments should directly purchase low-cost daily use items and there is no need of the permission of the committee in this regard. The meeting also gave approval to the up-gradation of drugs testing laboratory and procurement of modern medical equipment, computers and transport for Punjab Pharmacy Council, PIMH and Blood Transfusion Authority. Besides, grant was also approved for the procurement of 270 computers for Bahawalnagar Campus of Islamia University Bahawalpur, Women University

MUZAFFAR ALI LAHORE—The 4th edition of the Lahore Auto Show is to be held on the 16th of March at the Liberty Market promises which will be the biggest auto event in the city, with a static display of more than 1000 exclusive cars. Car lovers are in for a grand treat. The auto-show is organized by PakWheels.com in collaboration with the Tourism Development Corporation of Punjab (TDCP). The extravaganza of cars is aimed at nurturing the automotive industry in Pakistan through an exciting display of vehicles where

MUZAFFAR ALI

young fans and enthusiasts will also gain insight on the hazards of street racing and reckless driving. The Marketing Manager of PakWheels.com, Mr. Rai Bilal Zafar said, “PakWheels has a history of orchestrating successful auto-shows in numerous cities of Pakistan that attract thousands of visitors from all walks of life. We are delighted to have TDCP as a partner in organizing such a grand event.” “The success of our last shows in Lahore and the overwhelming interest of people have encouraged us to expand the display to both the rings of Liberty,” he added.

Quaid-i-Azam Solar Park and Solar project STAFF REPORTER L AHORE —Punjab

Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said that provincial government is setting up a solar power project at Quaid-i-Azam Solar Park with its own resources. He said that work on provision of necessary facilities in Quaid-i-Azam Solar Park is continuing round the clock. He said that con-

LHC takes notice of unleashing dogs on youth

struction of link roads in the solar park has been completed. He said that the solar project of Punjab government will be a masterpiece of standard and transparency. He said that Quaid-i-Azam Solar Park and solar project will be inaugurated next month. He was presiding over a high level meeting here today. The meeting reviewed the pace of progress of solar power project.

LAHORE—Lahore High Court (LHC) Complaint Cell on Wednesday took notice of a press report on administrative side that influential landlords unleashed dogs on 18-year-old boy and tortured women. The Cell has directed the District & Sessions Judge, Hafizabad to look into the matter and submit a detailed report regarding steps taken by police along with his own comments within a week. According to details, a student of fifth class was kidnapped for ransom from village Jagganwala. A nominated case of abduction was registered against landlords Abdul Jabbar and Abid etc. and Muhammad Asif stood witness in the case. In retaliation, the accused called Qasim, 18, the son of the witness at their Dera. They tortured the boy and left the dogs on him. The victim was shifted to District Headquarters Hospital. The accused also beat up the women of the witness family and they got head injuries. Police lodged a case under attempt to murder charges against the said landlords and arrested them.

Mechanism finalised for Khidmat Cards distribution SALIM AHMED LAHORE—Chairman Punjab Cabinet

Activists of WAPDA Hydroelectric Labour Union hold a demonstration in support of their demands outside Press Club.

Committee on Social Protection Rana Mashhood Ahmed Khan summoned the urgent meeting of the Cabinet Committee within a few hours after the meeting presided over by the Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif to review the progress in provincial social protection programmes. The Cabinet Committee finalized the mechanism of Punjab Khidmat Cards distribution to disburse a total annual grant of Rs.15.90 billion for 26 lakh poorest of the poor families of the province and decided that Punjab Khidmat Cards will be launched on March 23, this year on the occasion of Pakistan Day. The Cabinet Committee meeting presided over by the Provincial Min-

ister for Education Rana Mashhood Ahmad Khan was attended by Provincial Minister for Food Bilal Yaseen, Advisor to the Prime Minister Dr. Musaddaq Malik, MPA Dr. Ayesha Ghaus Pasha, Chairman Punjab Information Technology Board Dr. Omar Saif, Secretary Food Punjab Muhammad Aslam Kamboh, and other relevant senior officers. Rana Mashhood Ahmad Khan informed the meeting that Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has desired to bring Provincial Social Protection Schemes worth Rs.60 billion under one umbrella to expedite their implementation. Punjab Khidmat Cards are being launched as a component of this grand social protection programme for those families who cannot afford to purchase atta on exorbitant rate in the

present price-hike due to wrong polices of previous governments. The meeting decided to establish a “Case Management Cell” in Food Department Punjab for provision of cash money worth RS.1000 every month to 26 lakh poorest of the poor families of Punjab. Whereas, administration of every district will be asked to appoint its best district officer as a focal person to facilitate the disbursement of Punjab Khidmat Cards. The Chief Minister has directed that no family living below the poverty line irrespective of its past political affiliation should remain deprived of this cash grant, Rana Mashhood Ahmed Khan added. The Chairman Cabinet Committee said that according to poverty index survey conducted last year, the additional cash grant of 7 billion, 44

crore and 72 lakh rupees will be given to the 12 lakh deserving families in the first phase of this programme for which the scrutiny work of all subsidy card holders under PISP will be completed next month. He said that those depriving of subsidy as a result of scrutiny will have the right to file an appeal in the special counter set up at Tehsil office for this purpose. He directed that the appeals of such poor families must be accepted as have any disabled person or 65 years old man or four children less than 12 years age or their house is on less than three marla. The meeting decided that the “kafaalat cards” which have been issued to the poorest families by federal government under Pakistan Income Support Programme “PISP” will also continue after proper scrutiny.


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