Militants disguised as cricketers attack Srinagar mily camp 5 soldiers killed; Pakistan hand in attack, accuses Indian Home Secy SRINAGAR—Two militants
Raisani’s govt returns for two days STAFF REPORTER QUETTA—Exactly two months after being booted out, Nawab Aslam Raisani’s government in Balochistan got automatically restored in the wee hours today (Thursday). President Asif Ali Zardari’s proclamation of governor’s rule in the province also expired today. Zardari invoked Article 234 of the Constitution and imposed a state of emergency in Balochistan on January 14 in the aftermath of the deadly
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Soldier stoned to death for alleged ‘love affair’ TARIQ SAEED PESHAWAR—A tribal Jirga in the Kurram agency stoned to death a soldier allegedly for heaving illicit relations with a teenaged girl who continues to be in the custody of a local organization Hussein Tehreek though unconfirmed reports said she might have also been killed. The stoning of the soldier belonging to Mianwali district was conducted at a graveyard in the agency headquarters Parachinar on Tuesday night. The dead body of the victim recognized as Anwaaruddin Khattak, who was deployed at Bhatti Choraya check post in
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disguised as cricketers opened fire with automatic rifles on a paramilitary camp on the Indian side of the disputed region of Kashmir on Wednesday, killing five Indian personnel and wounding five, police said. The militants were killed in a gunfight at the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) base just outside the restive city of Srinagar, under curfew for much of the last few weeks following protests and clashes with police.
Jammu and Kashmir state There was no immediate Chief Minister Omar claim of responsibility for the Abdullah, describing the assault as a “suicide attack”, said three civilians were also wounded.” A division of the CRPF ISLAMABAD—Ministry of Forwas deployed at a camp here eign Affairs on Wednesday disand children were playing missed the “knee-jerk” allegacricket in the field when two tion by a senior Indian official militants fired grenades and that militants who killed five attacked our division,” Abdul Indian soldiers in Srinagar were Gani Mir, Inspector General of from Pakistan. Police, told Reuters TV. “We In a press release issued have lost five of our CRPF Wednesday, it strongly rejected personnel who gunned down the remarks made by Indian the two militants.”
Pakistan dismisses Indian allegation
SC issues interim order in Joseph Colony case
Punjab IGP failed to protect 220 Christians’ homes I SLAMABAD —The Supreme
and why they were not provided security. The SSP Investigation while informing the court about the investigation of the incident said that during initial interrogation the Christian suspect accused of blasphemy in his statement admitted to being intoxicated and did not remember what he had said. The SSP sought time to ascertain the facts. Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry remarked that the po-
Court of Pakistan (SCP) threemember bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry issued its interim order in the Joseph Colony suo moto case here on Wednesday. In the interim order the apex court stated that Inspector General Police Punjab had failed in providing security to 220 homes of the Christian community. The court has sought answers to what steps have been taken to stop such attacks in the future, why residents were displaced
No talks with govt on nomination papers: ECP ISLAMABAD—Election Commission of Pakistan has refused to have talks with the government on nomination papers, such that around 100,000 new nomination papers have already been printed. In an informal media conversation here on Wednesday, Election Commissioner Punjab Riaz Kiani said that talks on
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attack. Mir said initial inves- tants belonged to the Pakistan- which has a history of targettigations suggested the mili- based Lashkar-e-Taiba group, ing civilians and the military in India. Police said the attack began when the gunmen got out of a car outside a school near Home Secretary RK Singh al- killed five Indian paramilitary the camp and, disguised in leging that “prima facie evi- police earlier in the day in an cricket gear, walked across the dence suggests that the militants ambush in the main city of In- school playing field to the camp and shot a sentry dead who attacked the members of dian-administered Kashmir. the Central Reserve Police Force The local Hizbul before firing indiscriminately were from across the border, Mujahideen group claimed re- into the base. Militants often attacked sethey were probably from Paki- sponsibility for the attack in curity bases in Kashmir during stan”. Srinagar’s Bemina district. The rebuttal comes as miliThe Pakistan Foreign Of- the 1990s, when there was a full-blown insurgency against tants disguised as cricketers Continued on Page 7 Indian rule in a region over
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PM: Completion of govt’s term ‘historic moment’ SHARAFAT KAZMI ISLAMABAD—Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf Wednesday assured on time and transparent parliamentary elections in his address to the last meeting of the cabinet. The government will complete its five-year constitutional term on March 16 and ministers say that the assemblies will be dissolved on the same day. A caretaker government will be installed to hold elections within two months under the
constitution. The Prime Minister said that we are now heading towards elections. It is the government’s strong conviction that free fair and transparent elections are essential for democracy, security and development of the country. The government and the opposition are in the process of consultations to agree on a consensus name for the caretaker prime minister. The main opposition party has proposed three names for the post. The govern-
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Orangi Pilot Project Director among 8 killed STAFF REPORTER KARACHI—Director of Orangi Pilot Project, Parveen Rehman and seven others were killed in different incidents of violence in Karachi on Wednesday. Parveen was targeted when she was travelling in her car near Orangi Town’s Peerabad neighbourhhod. Her body was shifted to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital for medico-legal formalities. Taking notice of the incident, Governor Sindh Dr Ishratul Ibad Khan ordered to form a special team to probe the murder while Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah has ordered a report from the IG Sindh Po-
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which India and Pakistan fought two of their three wars. But there have been very few in recent years. Tensions have been running high in Srinagar since last month, when India hanged a Kashmiri man for an attack on the country’s parliament in 2001. The authorities have sought to quash clashes between protesters and police by imposing curfews. Meanwhile, hours after terrorist struck in the heart of
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Quetta police arrest kids ‘involved in bombings’ STAFF REPORTER QUETTA—Police claimed to have busted a terrorist gang comprising of children who were allegedly involved in a series of bomb explosions in Quetta on Wednesday. Capital City Police Officer, Zubair Mehmood said all accused were children and their ages were between 11 to 18 years. “Police arrested 11 children after an encounter in suburbs of Quetta last night,” Mehmood told a hurriedly called press conference on Wednesday. He said all teenagers belong to extremely poor and down-trodden families.
He added that eight militants belonging to a Baloch separatists group managed to escape during the operation. “Arrested teenagers have confessed to involvement in more than one dozen bomb explosions,” Mehmood said. He said the teenagers were paid between 2000 to 5000 rupees per blast. The CCPO stated that children were being used by terrorists to carry out terrorist incidents at crowded locations of Quetta city. He said the children had admitted to their involvement in Mezan Chowk blast, which left more than a dozen people including three frontier corps
personnel dead. Mehmood said police seized anti personnel mines, explosives and other arms and ammunitions from children’s possessions. At least 12 people lost their lives at Bacha Khan Chowk in Quetta on Jan 10 this year when a bomb went off near a vehicle of the Frontier Corps on the same day that the Alamdar road blast incident took place killing over a hundred people. The Bacha Khan blast was claimed by the proscribed United Baloch Army as revenge for Mashkay, Awaran and Bolan operations launched by FC.
IP gas pipeline project to save $2.3b fuel oil cost AMANULLAH KHAN KARACHI—The Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project will help net saving of estimated annual cost of fuel oil imports worth $2.3 billion besides generating 4000mw of much sought after power for the country. The target of 4000mw power, generation, however would call expansion in generating capacity both of the pri-
vate and the public sector power companies. According to political and economic analysts, there are however many a slips between cup and the lips such as clarity in various segments i.e. politics, funding, technical support and future energy mix in the face of what it is being called as tricky situation of international politics and tough stance taken by the US as the move forward with the
project calls for advocating the genuine energy needs of Pakistan to avoid implications in sourcing international expertise/ raw material in construction of the pipeline which will be further complicated by the law and order situation in Balochistan. Keeping in view that excess gas of 350mmcfd may be available after fulfilling needs of power sector, the fertilizers and captive power units in textiles
and chemicals likely to be the key beneficiaries. While govt has already committed gas to fertilizer plants on SNGPL network, it is believed that a share of the excess can be diverted to FFBL urea plant which is currently operating at 50% capacity. It may be recalled that the heads of the State of Iran and
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Economy in doldrums: end power-shedding STAFF REPORTER R AWALPINDI —Government should take emergent measures to overcome aggravating serious electricity load shedding by providing oil and gas to the closed Thermal Power Houses and getting paid Rs. 3.5 trillion electricity dues from the government and semi-government and private agencies and ensure security to the staff posted on detection of pilfering of energy and develop national campaign for conservation of electricity. An action should also be taken to get implemented the incentives package for
Wapda employees announced by the Federal Minister for Water and Power for up-gradation of the workers and recruitment of children of the deceased workers against the prescribed quota instead of recruiting new hands on the recommendation of MNAs and MPAs. These demands were voiced in the meeting of National Executive Committee of “Pakistan Wapda Hydro Electric Central Labour Union” held, on Wednesday here which was presided over by Abdul Latif Nizamani, President of the union. Addressing the meeting General Secretary of union Khurshid Ahmed urged the
workers to forge unity among their ranks to defeat the divisive forces in the country and establish an egalitarian society based on social justice and equality and fraternity. The meeting was attended by Gohar Taj Chairman (KPK), Haji Ramzan Achakzai (Balochistan), Malik Noor Muhammad, Osama Tariq (Lahore), Mian Rehman Ghani, Javed Baloch, Ramzan Jadoon, Malik Fateh Khan, Sajjad Hussain Sajid (Islamabad), Iqbal Dar, Wali-ur-Rehman (Gujranwala), Mian Rasheed (Faisalabad), Malik Saeed (Multan) and others representatives of the union from all over the country.
Bugti murder case: Court orders Mir Shoaib arrest Q UETTA —A local court on Wednesday cancelled the interim bail of former Balochistan Home Minister Mir Shoaib Nosherwani and issued order for his arrest. A single member bench comprising District and Sessions Judge Rashid Mehmood resumed hearing of the Akbar Bugti murder case. Key accused in Akbar Bugti case, Mir Shoaib Nosherwani did not appear in the court after which the court took action against him. The court also ordered former interior minister Aftab Sherpao to appear in the court during next hearing on March 15. —INP
Rs 55m misappropriation: case against contractors registered BASHIR AHMAD RAHMANI Muhammad Farooq, Mansab a motor cycle and rickshaw electricity pole on Mangat Ali, Athar Hussain, Tasawar collided
ruption Establishment have registered a case against two contractors and ten others on the charge of allegedly misappropriating over Rs. 55.7 million. The Circle Inspector ACE Hafizabad Rana Muhammad Ramzan has started investigation. According to official source, Muhammad Iqbal, Awan Executive Engineer, Provincial Highway, Gujranwala, had submitted complaint against contractors Mian Rauf Ahmad, Mian Khalid Iqbal and their official accomplices
Probation officers visit Talagang offices
STAFF REPORTER PESHAWAR—Peshawar Electricity Supply Company (PESCO) has urged consumers for adopting precautionary measures to avoid electrocution and electric shocks for their own safety to secure precious human lives and property in the current rains. These safety measures include proper maintenance of electrical appliances and replacing or taping all worn out wires and not avoiding touching electrical appliances, cables with wet hands. The consumers are also requested to be careful and attentive while using electric water pumps and other appliances. They are urged not to tie their pets and cattle with the poles and towers while women in particular are requested to avoid usage of metal wires for drying of clothes and not to touch the washing machine with wet hands without switching it off.
on Road as a result of which the
According to Rescue-1122 sources, Shah Nawaz of Lakhia village was on way to his village on his bike when a rickshaw coming from the opposite direction dashed against the bike as a result of which Shah Nawaz died on the spot while eight passengers of rickshaw including driver were injured who were rushed to the DHQ Hospital by Rescue-1122, where condition of two of them was causing concern. The police are investigating. Meanwhile, a truck hit an
QUETTA: Gypsy children playing outside their makeshift house.
Fool proof election security apparatus ordered
Political banners, posters, bill boards to be removed STAFF REPORTER R AWA L P I N D I — C o m m i s sioner Rawalpindi Imdad Ullah Bosal has directed DCOs and DPOs to make fool proof security arrangements of local Election Commission officers and staff in their respective districts. The instructions issued by the Election Commission of Pakistan regarding code of conduct and other matters should be implemented in true letter and spirit and necessary arrangements should be made for holding of smooth and impartial elections and the list of sensitive polling stations be sent to the commissioner’s office on priority basis. These directions were issued in a meeting held under
the Chairmanship of Commissioner Rawalpindi which was attended by RPO Capt. (R) Muhammad Zubair, DCOs of Rawalpindi, Attock, Jhelum and Chakwal, Saqib Zafar, Ahmed Aziz Tarar, Mirza Mehmud-ul-Hassan and Usman Ahmed Chaudhry, CPO Rawalpindi Azhar Hameed Khokhar, DPOs of Chakwal, Attock, Jhelum and Rawalpindi, Additional Commissioner Ch. Habib Ullah, District Election Commissioner, Rawalpindi, and Director Local Govt. Tahir Zia. The RPO Muhammad Zubair directed police officers on the occasion that security plan of polling stations be finalized keeping in view the security arrangements of all polling stations. The demands
of extra police force and other resources should be made within couple of days so that the matter could be taken up with the government. The Commissioner directed officials to remove the political banners, posters and bill boards immediately and a meeting with the office-bearers of all political parties at district and divisional level be convened to make them aware of code of conduct of ECP. He further directed that after the filing of nomination papers, a meeting of final candidates should also be held in this connection. He also directed that instructions should be issued to the poster printers and banner making artists to abide by the size of the banners and post-
ers specified by the ECP and no violation in this respect would be tolerated. With the implementation of code of conduct, no political party could hold car rallies. There would be no restrictions on holding of corner meetings but the political parties would be bound to inform the district administration three days before holding of public gatherings in any place and the permission from the district administration should be obtained to avoid any clash of public gatherings of different political parties. A briefing was also given in the meeting by the CPO Azhar Hameed Khokhar, DCOs and DPOs about the arrangements done so far in their respective districts.
Health Officer Hyderabad Dr. Bux Ali Patafi has appealed to the people to vaccinate their children under five years age against polio during the three days’ long 3 polio eradication campaign. Addressing a meeting at his office here on Tuesday, he said that the district administration is fully determined to eradicate polio and make Hyderabad a polio free district. Three- day Polio Eradication Campaign has continued on the second consecutive day here on Wednesday in all four talukas of Hyderabad district. DHO said that cooperation of the residents of the district in this direction is essential, as without their cooperation, the vaccination of children below 5 years’ age could not be carried out successfully. He informed that the department has assigned medical officers at union council level to carry out vaccination of the children in a proper manner. Besides anti-polio vaccination, Dr. Bux Ali Patafi informed that the drops of Vitamin-A will be administered to children by mobile teams as well as at fixed and transit points. Among others those who attended the meeting included Dr. Muhammad Ashraf Memon, Dr. Altaf Khearo, Dr. Nadeem Shah, Dr. David, Dr. Kamal Mustafa and staff members.—APP
down in nearby Nullah with a bang owing to which power supply in the locality remained disrupted which could not be restored till the lapse of six hours. The transformer was still lying in the Nullah. ***** A case has been registered against Hamesh Khan, the main accused in the Punjab Bank scam, his father Humayun Khan (Ex-Provincial Minister during 2008 interm government), Jabbar Khan, Aamir Khan, Safdar Ali, Shoukat Ali, Nasrullah.
Met Office forecasts scattered rains
H YDERABAD —The District PESHAWAR—The Met Office
PESCO urges precautionary measures
Qadir Bukhash, Awais Hayat and others that they had misappropriated over Rs. 55.7 by bogus acquisition of land/ building while executing widening of Hafizabad-Pindi Bhattian road from Jinnah Chowk to Pindi Bhattian Interchange about two years back. After thorough inquiry into the allegations, the ACE Hafizabad have registered a case against the accused. **** One villager was killed while eight others injured, two of them seriously when
DHO appeals for kids anti-polio vaccination
SHAFFAAT MALIK ers of 40th Common Course undergoing training at Civil Services Academy visited Talagang on Wednesday. Probation Officers visited City Hospital, a Primary School and a road construction project near Tamman. The officers concerned apprised the officers about the projects. Assistant Commissioner and Administrator TMA, Tanveer ur Rehman, TMO Malik Khalil Ahmed Nayyer and Tehsildar Khan Rafaqat Ali Khan accompanied the visitors. ***** Christian community of Talagang has Strongly condemned the Joseph Colony, Lahore, tragedy and demanded of federal and Punjab governments to take strict action against the culprits involved in torching the minorities houses and award them exemplary punishment. They demanded better protection to minorities. They took out a protest rally from Tehsil Municipal Administration to Press Club. The demonstrators, led by the Community leaders, were holding banners and placards with different slogans against the Joseph Colony’s incident, and seeking protection to minorities in the country.
HAFIZABAD—The Anti-Cor- Hussain, Muhammad Afzal, Madhrianwala road today. transformer installed on it fell
here on Wednesday forecasted scattered rain in most parts of Khyber Pakthunkhwa during next 24 hours. According to Met Office here, a westerly wave is affecting Upper and Central parts of the country. As result, scattered rain-thunderstorm is expected in Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan, KP and Upper Punjab (Islamabad/ Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, Lahore, Sargodha & Faisalabad divisions), whereas isolated rain-thunderstorm is expected over Upper Sindh during next 24 hours. In next 48 hours, rain/ thunderstorm is expected at scattered places in Upper KP, Upper Punjab including Islamabad, Gilgit-Baltistan and Kashmir. The isolated rain-thunderstorm occurred in Malakand, Hazara, Quetta & Kalat divisions and Kashmir. The agriculturists said the current rain will lay positive impact on the wheat crops in dry areas of the province. Khuzdar has received maximum 42 mm rain followed by Dir 26, Saidu Sharif 14, Kalam13, Malamjaba 13, Chitral 12, Lower Dir 10, Muzaffarabad 09, Dalbandin 09, Kakul 07, Murree 07, Drosh 06, Parachinar 06, Pattan 05, Peshawar City 05, Rawalpindi 5, Quetta & Panjgur 03 and Islamabad 02 mm. Kalam 00 C remained the coldest place followed by Astore and Parachinar 01 C while pollen count: 12,784 per cubic meter.
Fair/ partly cloudy weather has been forecast for Thursday in the metropolis, said a weather report on Wednesday. According to the report, the minimum temperature is expected to remain in the range of 18 to 20 degree celsius. It said rain/ thunderstorm is likely to occur at isolated
places in Zhob, Sibi, Nasirabad, Kalat and Quetta division of Balochistan and at one or two places in Sukkur, Larkana and Mirpurkhas divisions of Sindh. The weather report said light/ moderate rather heavy rain occurred at number of places in Sindh and Balochistan Region during the past 24 hours. Some areas of the port city also received a brief spell of light rain in the morning. While in Sindh, mainly dry weather is expected in most parts of the province during next 24 hours whereas in Balochistan mainly dry weather is expected in most parts of the province. However light rain-thunderstorm is expected at isolated places of Quetta division during the next 24 hours. In Kashmir and in Gilgit-Baltistan partly cloudy weather condition is expected during next 24 hours.—APP
in PML-N to bury graft politics Registration SAU faculties BASHIR AHMAD RAHMANI Sooianwala. At all the three which 22 kanal and 18 H YDERABAD —The Deputy places he addressed the pub- marlas land has been acAdmissions of H AFIABAD —MNA Hamza lic gatherings and said that quired, he said that PML (N) Registrar Sindh Agriculture University
Shahbaz Sharif and Central Leader of PML (N) has declared that with the support of masses, it would come to power and bury the politics of corruption of the PPP once for all to steer the country out of the quagmire of darkness, inflation, hunger, poverty and unemployment. Hamza Shahbaz Sharif on Wednesday undertook herculean tour of Sukheke, Pindi Bhattian and
PML (N) equate politics as worship and its politics revolved around public service and it would continue to serve the masses to mitigate their sufferings. While addressing a gathering in Sukheke after laying the foundation stone of Govt. Girls Degree College, which would be completed at an estimated cost of Rs. 103 million and for
under the dynamic leadership of Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has formulated policies aimed at promotion of education, better health care and opening of new schools and colleges, distribution of laptops, solar panels, free distribution of land to the students of Agriculture Universities and provision of free medicines in the hospitals.
(SAU) Tandojam has announced that the date for registration in current 2nd Term, of 1st 2nd, 3rd, 4th and final year classes of all Faculties / ITC/Institute of Food Sciences and Technology and SZABAC Dokri, for academic session 2011-12, has been extended up to March 20. According to a press release issued here on Wednesday, it was further informed that a late fee of Rs 1000/- will be BANNU: Ameer JUI-F Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman speaks during Grand Jirga of tribesmen of North Waziristan Agency. charged.—APP
Mega project completed by NLC in less than 5 months
Shahbaz to inaugurate Pirwadhai Morr flyover today STAFF REPORTER R AWALPINDI —The Punjab Chief Minister, Mian Shahbaz Sharif will inaugurate Pir Wadhai Morr flyover mage project today as the flyover and underpass constructed by National Logistics Cell has met its completion. The main aim of the project was to minimize the sufferings of the commuters. The project was materialized in short time due to keen interest shown by Lt Gen Sajjad Ghani, Quarter Master General Pakistan Army and Major General Asghar Nawaz, Director General National Logistics Cell. It was PESHAWAR: A group photograph of Chairman Qaumi Watan Party Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao, Provincial Chair- executed under the leadership of Brig Shahid Manzoor. man Sikandar Sherpao and other members of QWP after a meeting at Watan Kor.
General Sajjad Ghani and DG NLC paid several visits to the site to monitor the pace of work and quality of construction undertaken by NLC Engineers at various stages. The Project has been constructed by NLC in a period of less than five months in face of monumental challenges like round the clock flow of heavy vehicular traffic and shifting of utility services like main water supply, telephone, gas and high tension electricity lines while ensuring highest possible standards of works. The significant feature of project is construction of monolith deck slab measuring 378 meters without any expansion or construction joint
which is the first of its kind in Pakistan. The flyover will facilitate hundreds of thousands of commuters coming to and going out of Rawalpindi-Islamabad and the residents of several densely populated localities of the twin cities daily. The length of the underpass is 436 meters and has two lanes while the three lanes bridge is 380 meters long. Length of ramps ranges from 95 to 96 meters. There are as many 12 spans each having a total length of 31 meters. Vertical clearance at intersection is 5.6 meters. Apart from providing hassle free access, the flyover and underpass will reduce fuel consumption by 370 gallon
per peak hour which is estimated at around Rs. 150,000 per peak hour or Rs.219 million per year. NLC has emerged as a trend setter of speedy construction of superior quality structures unparallel in the construction history of the country. It merits to mention here that NLC has recently constructed Chandni Chowk flyover in just 127 days and another flyover at 6th Road Junction on the busiest Muree Road in record time of 100 days. NLC is presently undertaking construction works on Mureer Chowk tunnel project in Rawalpindi and several other mega development works worth billions of rupees all across Pakistan.
‘People get modern facilities’ F AISALABAD —Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif has said the Punjab government is striving hard to provide modern educational and vocational facilities to the youth. He said new medical colleges, engineering and IT institutions were being established throughout the province besides setting up campuses of University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF), Punjab University, Government College University, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences etc. He was addressing the foundation laying ceremony of a new Medical College on Susan Road here on Wednesday. He said the Punjab government was following a comprehensive strategy to make the Punjab literate and under this program, laptops, solar lamps, educational scholarships under Punjab Endowment Fund were being distributed among talented students. Shahbaz Sharif said establishment of Danish Schools and provision of internship was also a part of the Literate Punjab programme while practical efforts were being made sincerely.—APP
Apex committee urges early repatriation of FATA IDPs STAFF REPORTER P ESHAWA R —The Apex Committee of the province in its 32nd meeting held with the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor, Engineer Shaukatullah in the chair at Governor ’s House, on Wednesday reviewed over all law and order situation in the province. The meeting was attended by the Chief Minister, Amir Haider Khan Hoti, Corps Commander, Lt. Gen. Khalid Rabbani, Chief Secretary Ghulam Dastagir
IGFC, ACS, FATA, Home Secretary, and IGP, besides heads of other law enforcement agencies. Speaking on the occasion, the Governor stressed the importance of maintaining peace and stability to ensure accelerated repatriation and rehabilitation of the displaced tribes from FATA. While referring to his meetings with a number of tribal jirga across the FATA over the last one month, the Governor was of the view that accelerated efforts to
generate economic activities in the affected areas are the best panacea of the confronted hurdles. In this connection, he also mentioned the need for opening of times old traditional cross border routes of trade via various tribal agencies and stressed the need for creating amicable situation in the respective areas for making this possible. He also welcomed the solid steps under way on part of Pak Army particularly in South Waziristan Agency for devel-
opment of quality roads and said that measures on similar lines are also required both in Mohmand and Bajaur agencies. Meanwhile the meeting was also briefed about the pace of progress on the ongoing security measures as well as the rehabilitation arrangements in the affected areas. The meeting discussed the future needs coupled with the available options for generating financial resources to materialize development projects.
CM directs protect rights of labourers Staff Reporter
P ESHAWA R —Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Amir Haider Khan Hoti has said that the role of the labourers in the development of the country not rejected as the government has to protect their rights and solved their problems. The present provincial government has taken revolutionary measures for the welfare of the labourers. He expressed these views while talking to a delegation of Labour Colony Mardan in Peshawar on Wednesday. The Chief Minister said that the sole aim of his politics was to sever the down trodden segment of society and he does not believe in politics of mere slogans and rather he firmly believes in serving the poor masses. Workers welfare Board has approved funds amounting to 55 million rupees for various development schemes in the said colony including the installation of Gas meters, boundary wall, street lightning, repair of quarters and other civil works, he said and added that practically work on the schemes will soon be started. He said that the provincial boys and girls schools of labour colony had already been upgraded. On this occasion President ANP KP-23 Mardan, Shah Nawaz Khan, General Secretary Latif Khan, Secretary Housing Department Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Akbar Khan, Secretary Workers Welfare Board, Tariq Awan and other concerned authorities were present.
General elections on time
Environmental impact assessment soon Staff Reporter
P ESHAWAR —Participants at one day seminar on environmental impact assessment and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Environment Protection Act-2013 (Draft) have underlined the need for putting Strategic Environment Assessment as mandatory part of the bill. They added that environment has become a provincial subject after the eighteenth constitutional amendment, and special reinforcement policies should be adapted to control over the growing pollution being created by local industries and other culprits. The seminar was arranged by Department of Environmental Sciences University of Peshawar in collaboration with International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and provincial Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Vice Chancellor University of Peshawar Prof. Dr. Muhammad Rasul Jan was the chief guest of the inaugural session. Director EPA Dr. Bashir and Chairperson Environmental Sciences Department Prof. Dr. Shahid Zakir were also present on the occasion. The mushroom growth of housing societies in Agricultural lands is one of the fatal environmental issue and less streamlined according to the global environmental requirements, the problem can aggravate to uncontrollable proportions in the near future, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, said Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Muhammad Rasul Jan in his address. He added that the same problem would lead to issue of food security in the years to come. Lack of proper environmental impact assessment has led to a bleak picture of our surroundings.
M IAN CHANNU /JHELUM— At least six persons were killed and eight others injured in separate road accidents in different cities of Punjab on Wednesday. According to details, an over speeding van turned turtle in Talamba area of Mian Channu while negotiating a sharp turn resulting in death of two persons, Barkat Ali and Waqas, on the spot and leaving nine others injured. The injured were rushed to Nishtar Hospital where another injured person succumbed to his wounds raising the death toll to three. Police said that the victims of accident were returning home after attending funeral procession of a relative. In Jhelum a reckless driven speedy truck crushed to death three students and fled the scene leaving the vehicle on the spot. The police took the truck into custody and registering a case started search for the driver. Meanwhile as many as two children died of measles
in Chachro area on Wednesday. As per details, a 4-yearold child identified as Mohan from village Salo Bhel and Ramshesh, 3, from Mego Bhel died of measles. Several children are reportedly suffering from measles in adjoining areas including Karim Dad Tehar, Jetarar, and Malkam. On the other hand, health ministry has taken no steps in the affected areas so far. At least two women were killed while 17 others critically injured in a road mishap here at Karakaram Highway on Wednesday. According to details, a Mansehra bound Toyota Hiace collided with a speeding passenger coach near Chattigatti, as a result, Nasreen and Gul Fareezan died on the spot, while 17 others sustained multiple injuries, who were shifted to King Abdullah Hospital Mansehra. Police have registered a case against the coach driver who managed to flee from the spot.—INP
US envoy affirms the importance of the USPakistan relationship STAFF REPORTER P ESHAWAR —U.S. envoy to
PESHAWAR: Vehicles running on road braving heavy rains.
ISLAMABAD —State Minister for Water and Power Tasneem Qureshi said that general electiond would be held on time and democratic government is going to complete its constitutional tenure first time in the history of the country which is a good sign for democratic forces. Talking to a private tv news channel, the state minister said that consultation process with all the political forces is continuing regarding the appointment of caretaker prime minister and expressed the hoppe that consensus would be completed with all the stakeholders within few days. Tasneem said that rumors regarding postponement of elections are totally baseless. Pak-Iran gas pipeline project is a great project to meet the energy crisis and development of the country, the minister said. Tasneem Qureshi said Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) had never compromised on national interest and sacrificed precious lives to boost the democracy and democratic institutions. Replying to a question, the state minister said that in 2008 the country’s economic condition was very bad but now due to the best policies of the PPP government it is stable and war on terror was on peak at that time which was also under control now, he added.—APP
Six die, eight hurt in Punjab road accidents
GUL HAMAAD FAROOQI college, said in his address tion can develop without edu-
Joseph Colony culprits be brought to justice: Amjad
C H I T R A L — K h y b e r dents are studying here but college complained of lack of
Tangible steps afoot for education promotion: Saleem of welcome that some 850 stu- cation. Some students of this
Pakhtunkhwa Provincial Minister Saleem Khan has said that the government had taken significant steps for promotion of education in the province and has set up four higher secondary, eight high and seven middle schools in 5-year tenure. He said this while addressing the inaugaration of new block of Government college of Commerce as chief guest. He said that computers would be installed at Computer lab. Similarly two campus of Benazir Bhutto and Abdul Wali Khan university were established, he said. Sahibuddin, Principal of the
there was lack of facilities. He said that maintenance work and new block was constructed with a cost of Rs 70 million. He said that IT block has also been completed and will be a tribute to Mehtari Chitral because he donated land to the college. G.D Langland, a British educationist said that he was supervising a school and college rendering quality education and after his retirement an other British lady educationist was called here as Principal of G.D. Langland School and College. He emphasized on students to read with great zeal and zest because no na-
hostel and other facilities and said that they were living in a rented house. They said that there were more than 52 colleges in Chitral but there are only two campus of university while at Dir, having only 2 colleges and a full fledge university was established there. Students demanded a fullfledged university at Chitral. A large number of students and PPP workers participated in the opening ceremony. Later on the provincial minister visited different sections of college including new class rooms, library and computer lab.
10 houses in Tirah torched in militants mutual clash P ESHAWA R —Clashes between outlawed militant groups in the northwestern Pakistan escalated late Tuesday as Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militants set ablaze houses of at least 10 civilians, accusing them of being supporters of the rival Ansarul Islam (AI) group. According to a private TV channel, Locals and the eyewitnesses confirmed the burning of the houses in Khyber Agency’s restive Tirah Valley, while other reports say at least 20 militants from both sides have also died in fresh clashes.
Meanwhile, sources say hundreds of tribal families have fled to Afghanistan owing to excessive artillery shelling by Pakistani security forces and aerial bombing in parts of the valley. Officials confirmed that fresh clashes have escalated in Maidan area of Tirrah Valley though they were uncertain about the exact number of casualties. Ansarul Islam spokesman Sadaat Afridi claimed the group has lost four fighters while three others were injured in the ensuing gunbattles still continuing in the flashpoint valley.
“We have killed more than 13 TTP fighters as their attack on the civilian houses was repulsed in Maidan Bar bagh area,” he said. Sadaat claimed the rival TTP militants had started targeting the civilian population after losing ground in the battles, and has so far set ablaze more than 10 houses. Speaking about targeting of civilians, Ehsanullah Ehsan, a spokesman for the TTP, said the people were supporters of the Ansarul Islam. “They have taken up arms against the Taliban, so they would be dealt with similarly,” he added.—Online
KASUR—JUI (F) leader Amjad
Pakistan Richard Olson has affirmed the importance of the U.S.-Pakistan relationship during his recent visit to Peshawar. In a series of meetings, Ambassador Olson met with 11th Corps Commander Lt. General Khalid Rabbani and Frontier Corps Inspector General Major General GhayurMahmood. “The United States seeks a relationship with Pakistan that is enduring and strategic. We are grateful for the partnership we share with the government at all levels, especially here in the FATA and KP.”Ambassador Olson said. In radio and newspaper interviews, Ambassador Olson detailed U.S. assistance to the region, which includes the U.S.-funded construction of over 650 kilometers of roads, primarily in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, 2,000 small projects de-
signed by local residents throughout the FATA and KP (including water system improvements, school rehabilitations, and irrigation canal projects), and support to help local officials increase educational and economic opportunities in the region. “The United States is committed to a cooperative and long-term partnership with Pakistan,” said Ambassador Olson. “U.S. assistance to Pakistan in energy, economic development, education, and health is a tangible sign of our long-term investment in Pakistan’s future.” During his visit, Ambassador Olson also visited the Peshawar Museum. Founded in 1907, the museum houses the largest collection of Gandhara GrecoBuddhist art in the world. Director Shah Nazar Khan and Curator Nidaullah Serhai guided the Ambassador on a tour of ancient relics depicting the history and culture of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Khan has said the government should investigate the incident of Joseph Colony and the culprits should be brought to justice in which 125 houses were burnt by a mob allegedly enraged over a blasphemy incident. He said the blasphemy was committed by a single man and there was law to punish him but such incidents were not the solution of blasphemy. Addressing a press conference at the residence of Haji Fazal Hussain in Kasur, he said the interior Minister Rehman Malik was responsible for the law and order situation in the country who can see the terrorists but could not arrest them. He said the conspiracies were being hatched to destroy the economy of Pakistan by deteriorating the law and order situation in the country. He said our elders achieved Pakistan in the name of Islam by sacrifying their lives but we could not implement Islam even in sixty-five years. He added that Election Commission was an independent institution and its chairman Fakhrudin G Ibrahim can help the Pakistani nation to get rid of the corrupt rulers by implementing the clauses of 62 and 63 of the constitution. He said that JUI (F) would organise a big public gathering on March 31 at Minar-e-Pakistan, Lahore, in which the manifesto of their MULTAN: A view of out of order waterfall at Nawan-Shahr party would be announced. Chowk filled with garbage and needs repair.
Kidney disease raises risk of heart ailments H YDERABAD —Kidney dis- of ease increases the risk of heart problems for people with diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease. Talking to this scribe here on World Kidney Day, eminent Consultant Nephrologists Dr. Bhagwandas informed that the disease due to unavailability of clean water and low water intake affects a large number of people. Dr. Bhagwandas said the ratio of male and female kidney patients was almost equal and they came from all over the country. He said kidneys were essential for vitamin D metabolism and QUETTA: Members of defunct UBA are under the custody of Balochistan police after a they help control blood raid. pressure and composition
body fluids. Dr. Bhagwandas informed that the main cause of this fatal disease is sugar, high blood pressure, stones and inflammation of kidney. He informed that high blood pressure can independently cause chronic kidney disease and the treatment of high blood pressure is the most important part of the management of all forms of chronic kidney disease. He said that treatment of raised blood pressure slows the progression of chronic kidney disease and makes it less likely that a patient will require dialysis or suffer from heart or other cardiovascular diseases.
Dr. Bhagwandas observed that the clues that can make people aware of kidney problems are generalised weakness, increasing paleness, aches and pain, vomiting, falling appetite, body swelling, breathing difficulties and blood in urine. Kidney diseases also runs in families, he informed. He further informed that lifestyle changes, including regular exercise and a diet, low in salt and unsaturated fats, can have a profound impact on blood pressure and overall health. They said in addition to lifestyle changes, most people with hypertension will require physical exericse.—APP
Withdrawal of funds at this point of time
Soaring refugee crisis
T a time when the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has raised serious but legitimate objection to diversion of develop ment funds and announcement of this or that project by federal and provincial governments, Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf is reported to have moved a step further in approving a policy giving blanket approval for unhindered release of funds. It is learnt that the policy is in clear violation of the audit rules and is clear manifestation of pre-polls rigging. The policy was approved on Tuesday when the incumbent Assembly was left with just three days of its life, which means that the Government had no locus standi to go for a move aimed at emptying the national exchequer on political considerations. Earlier too, there were reports that the Prime Minister has diverted huge funds from other heads for questionable developmental activities in his own Constituency in Gujar Khan while other reports suggested that the Speaker National Assembly Dr. Fehmida Mirza too has managed diversion of additional funds to her Constituency. The Prime Minister, Ministers and other functionaries of the Government are entitled to propose development programmes and seek funds for them but this should have been done during their active tenure and not at the fag end of their membership of the elected houses. There is no harm if developmental activities were carried out earlier. It is also worrying how the caretaker Government and the next elected Government would run affairs of the state up to June 30 if the budget is exhausted by the outgoing Government. In the first place, the Prime Minister, Chief Ministers, MPs and other high officials themselves should resist the tendency of laying hands on the national kitty at this point of time and if they persist with their designs then the ECP should take notice of the abhorring practice.
MPs in defiant mode on electoral reforms T
HE decision of the Election Commission to get amended nomination papers printed without waiting for the approval of the President, which was unlikely because of obstructionist attitude adopted by the Law Minister. The members of Parliament seem to have formed an unholy alliance to resist the move of the Commission. The Government and in a way the parliament has already blocked the way of electoral reforms proposed by the Commission, forcing it to wait for the caretaker set up to come and approve them through an ordinance. The position adopted by the Government, other political parties and MPs on the issue of electoral reforms and amendments in the nomination papers, which are crucial for ensuring fairness and transparency of the electoral exercise, has sent a clear message all around that Dr. Tahirul Qadri, who had spearheaded the campaign for reforms, was right in complaining about ‘Muk Muka’. The political players have done everything they could to resist reforms but credit goes to the Election Commission, led by the upright CEC retired Justice Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim, for demonstrating courage and asserting its authority. Credit must also go to the Supreme Court, media and the civil society that have put their full weight behind the Commission, urging it to exercise its powers without fear or favour. The criticism of the Commission by some Senators belonging to PPP in the house on Tuesday accusing it of overstepping its mandate has also exposed the ruling party and its designs. Regrettably, it is backtracking from the commitments it made with Dr. Qadri on each and every point on different pretexts but strangely enough Dr. Qadri too has opted to keep a mum over government’s betrayal, raising questions about what actually transpired behind the scene. The apprehension that scrutiny could delay the polls are baseless and we hope that the caretaker set up will ensure necessary administrative changes in the key departments to see to it that they wholeheartedly cooperate with the Commission in carrying out scrutiny of nomination papers on the yardstick of Articles-62 and 63 of the Constitution.
US rhetoric on IP sanctions T
HE Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project has moved forward firmly as ground breaking has already been performed and tenders have been floated for procurement of pipes and compressors but the United States is still beating about the bush of threats of sanctions. Hardly a day passes when no hostile statement is churned out by US officials that serve nothing but antagonize Pakistani public opinion. There is absolutely no justification for opposition to a project that is a pure commercial venture dictated by the universally acknowledged demand and supply principle. There are no two opinions that Pakistan is an extremely energy deficient country as wheel of the industry has almost halted and even house-wives are feeling the adverse impact of energy crisis. Like other countries including the United States that are making hectic endeavours and Washington is even invading other nations to ensure energy security, Pakistan too is entitled to make sovereign decisions to meet its energy requirements from different sources. What is so special about Pakistan importing gas from Iran when countries like India are importing Iranian oil courtesy generous exceptions from sanctions and some other countries are getting Iranian gas supply? The United States and its spokesmen should also realize that the coercive instrument of sanctions has lost its utility and Washington must learn from the experience of Pakistan-specific Pressler and Symington amendments. In a way sanctions act as blessings in disguise as they enable the victim to make efforts to stand on its own feet and we are sure Pakistan has the will and potential to survive such discriminatory treatment from the United States. The US public opinion is also weary of such tactics as it wants its administration to focus on economy and reforms.
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Indian claim for Kohinoor snubbed Sikhs in Punjab. This is even now Cameron’s case. He Kuldip Nayar considers the booty from the Email:firstname.lastname@example.org days of the Raj legitimate. The Kohinoor is not the only relic the British governritish Prime Minister David ment forcibly retains. It has kept Cameron has exhibited back books, documents, papers, once again England’s impe- pictures, posters and paintings of rial side when he came to comment the Raj and of our independence on the Koninoor. He said at struggle. The British have taken adAmritsar during his visit that his vantage of the difference between country “controls” the diamond, India and Pakistan over the division which is partly studded in the of the material and distributed it Queen’s crown. This only explains among different museums in the what the UK has done with the UK. It looks as if India has more or diamond after taking it away forc- less accepted the appropriation of ibly from India. This does not es- the entire loot by the British govtablish control, much less legal ernment. I raised the question of the title. This only confirms British Kohinoor’s return when I was India’s High Commissioner to high-handedness. Cameron would have gone Great Britain in 1990. A couple of down better in India if he had said newspapers in London published that they could not dissect the my statement that the Kohinoor becrown which is adorned with the longed to India and that we must Kohinoor as the central piece. He get it back because we were the could have argued that since Lord rightful owners. During my short stint in the Dalhousie who presented the diamond to Queen Victoria much wa- UK, I found that the Britons would ter had passed flowed down the be embarrassed whenever I talked Thames and that it was too late to to them about the Kohinoor. When disturb the status quo. Instead, the I visited the Tower of London with British Prime Minister says that my family to see the Indian diathe diamond is theirs by the dint monds, including the Kohinoor, the of possession. It is like a brigand crown has been studded with a part laying claim to a thing which he of the Kohinoor. British officials, had obtained through force years who showed us the diamonds were ago. Take the history of Britain’s very apologetic. They said: “We acquisition of the Kohinoor. Lord feel ashamed to show them because Dalhousie, then viceroy in India, they are from your country.” I retook it from Dalip Singh, the eight- call the remark which our old seryear-old son of Maharaja Ranjit vant, Murli, made after seeing the Singh. It was told that the diamond diamonds: “We must take back the was part of reparation which the Kohinoor when we return to India!” British exacted after defeating the His words reflected the Indian
psyche. At the common level, it is an emotional problem. I did not stay long enough in London to pursue the claim over the Kohinoor. But when I was nominated to the Rajya Sabha (19972003), I took up the matter in the
The Kohinoor is not the only relic the British government forcibly retains. It has kept back books, documents, papers, pictures, posters and paintings of the Raj and of our independence struggle. The British have taken advantage of the difference between India and Pakistan over the division of the material and distributed it among different museums in UK. house as well as with the government. I got a petition signed by some 50 MPs—opposition leader Manmohan Singh was one of them—to request the government of India to ask the British government to return the Kohinoor.
Jaswant Singh, then foreign minister, assured me that his government would take up the matter with London forthwith. I presumed that he had done so. After some months I asked a question in the house: What was the progress on the return of the Kohinoor to India? Jaswant Singh replied that the government had taken up the matter with the UK through the Indian High Commission at London. To my horror, I found during a subsequent visit to London that it was not true. The Indian High Commission had no knowledge of any step that New Delhi had taken. Apparently, the government was procrastinating and not coming out with the facts. I would remind Jaswant Singh of the Kohinoor practically every session but his reply was a mere gentle smile. Once when I talked to him about the return of the Kohinoor, he was cold. But he was frank and told me that by raising the issue of the Kohinoor India would be unnecessarily spoiling relations with the Great Britain. It was a revelation to me. I would have brought the issue before the Rajya Sabha but then I was nearing the end of my tenure. What hurt me the most was a remark by a British official in New Delhi at a party some time later: “Mr Nayar, the Kohinoor does not belong to India. If ever things came to such a pass where we have to return it, we would rather give it to Pakistan.” I said in reply: By all means, do so. We would have the satisfaction that the Kohinoor had at least returned to the Indian subcontinent.
Propaganda against Pak ideology Ali, it indicated that it was a one sided story and that acSajjad Shaukat tually it was an Indian reacEmail: email@example.com tion to Pakistani attacks on Hindu and Sikhs. But self-created approach of ‘The Christian traightforwardly speaking, Science Monitor’ was clearly exsubversive activities ar posed when it wrote, “Across Paranged by the Indian secret kistan, government-sanctioned agency, RAW in connivance with school text books contain blatantly American CIA and Israeli Mossad anti-religious-minority and antiinside Pakistan coincides with the Western material…many people propaganda launched by the US, are worried that the curriculum is some western countries and India. fueling intolerance, especially Their high officials and media ma- among youths…leading to violent nipulate every terror attack to tar- behavior and even sympathy for nish the image of Pakistan. For ex- the Taliban.” ample, Pakistan’s civil and military Nevertheless, we need to know leadership, all the political and re- the historical facts with reference ligious parties had strongly con- to the above false propaganda. Durdemned Taliban for the failed as- ing the British rule, Hindus which sault on Malala Yousufzai. But US- were in majority in India dominated led these countries, especially In- Muslims in every field. Hindus dedia left no stone unturned in ex- manded that Urdu should be writploiting the incident in connection ten in Hindi Script instead of Perwith Talibanisation of Pakistan. sian script. The Indian National Now, these foreign entities Congress which claimed to reprehave taken a new turn of propa- sent all communities, oppressed all ganda by targeting the idealogy of Muslim ideas and supported the Pakistan. In this context, Indian Hindus. In 1905, the partition of propagandists visited Pakistani Bengal ensured many benefits for educational institutions and the Muslims, but the Hindus criticised country’s curriculum la- launched an agitation against the beling it hate-spreading contents partition which was annulled. Takagainst India. While favouring In- ing cognisance of Hindu injustices, dian point of view unilaterally, US- in 1906, a Muslim deputation met based magazine, ‘The Christian Viceroy Lord Minto and demanded Science Monitor’ published a story the right of separate electorate for on February 28, 2013, titled ‘Pa- Muslims. Afterwards, in various kistan text books raise debate political reforms, the separate elecabout curriculum of hate.’ It writes torate was maintained for Musthat in a suburban high school of lims, which endorsed the two naIslamabad, ninth-graders are tion theory. taught Pakistani history with an The two nation theory means oblique angle vision. the cultural, religious, and social As regards the migration of dissimilarities between Hindus and 1947, the magazine explained that Muslims, which gave rise to two students are taught: “Caravans on distinct political ideologies. Allama the way to Pakistan were attacked Iqbal said in 1930, “India is a conby Hindus and Sikhs. Not a single tinent of human beings belonging Muslim was left alive in trains to different languages and professcoming to Pakistan.” While quot- ing different religions…I, thereing Pakistani historian Mubarak fore, demand the formation of con-
solidated Muslim state in the best interests of the Muslims of India and Islam.” Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah advocated the two nation theory by declaring that Muslims needed a separate state to protect their rights. Jinnah came to believe that Muslims and Hindus were distinct nations with unbridgeable differences. In All India Muslim League’s annual session at Lahore in 1940, the Pakistan Resolution was adopted as the main goal. During partition, thousands of armless Muslims, migrating to Pakistan were massacred by the brutal attacks conducted by Indian armed gangs. They were tortured to death; their women were raped, caravans were looted and several Muslims disappeared. No doubt, Pakistan became a reality on the basis of ideology which is Islam. In this respect, while addressing the Constituent Assembly on August, 11 1947, Quaid-i-Azam elaborated that he did not want Pakistan to be a theocratic state. He wanted Pakistan to be a liberal, secular and progressive state where the followers of every religion, faith, and sect were treated as citizens of equal status and they enjoyed equal rights. Notably, Islam considers killing one innocent person equal to murdering the entire humanity, while jihad is a sacred obligation, but its real spirit needs to be understood clearly. In this connection, 50 Islamic scholars of the Sunni Ittehad Council have issued a joint fatwa (edict) on February 7, 2013, and declared, “Killing of innocent people, target killings and suicide bombings…in Karachi and Balochistan including sectarianism as against the spirit of Islam.” Now, people from all segment of life and majority of politicians want that a handful of terrorist elements must not be allowed to dictate their agenda and to impose their self-created ideology in the country. On the other
side, US-led some western countries and their media have totally ignored Hindu terrorism which emanates from the ideology of Hindutva (Hindu nationalism). Hindu politics and culture, dominated by the fundamentalists parties such as BJP, RSS, VHP, Shiv Sena etc. have been propagating Hindutva which is also being encouraged by Indian high officials. Although, sporadic attacks on the other ethnic and religious communities, entailing Indian lower castes, and especially Muslims and Christians have continued, yet appointment of extremist Hindus in top positions in various institutes, and alteration of academic courses in accordance with the Hindu ideology have reflected the intentions of the BJB and the subsequent Congress rulers. Indian text books misinterpret historical facts regarding Sub-continent and Pakistan. While India claims to be a secular state, but in practice ideology of Hindu nationalism has been implemented. Recently, Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid and top officials confessed the nexus between BJP and the RSS, disclosing that organised training camps run by these fundamentalist parties were promoting Hindu Terrorism. They also revealed that these parties were behind the Samjhauta Express, Meccca Masjid and Malegaon blasts including Gujarat and Babri masjid incidents. Nonetheless, displaying unilateral move by neglecting Hindu terrorism and Indian text books, The Christian Science Monitor and some Pakistani internal elements have been misinterpreting Pakistan’s ideology and Islam by equating the latter with Talibanisation. They are defaming Islam which is the religion of peace, democracy, moderation and human rights.
HE UNHCR has a serious concern to address. The world body’s refugee chief Antonio Guterres fears that if the conflict goes on unabated, the number of refuges pouring into neighbouring states could well surpass two million figure. This is so because the UN has already registered more than a million Syrian refugees in Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan, and there are hundreds and thousands more in the Iraqi territory. The situation is getting complicated because there isn’t any mechanism to check the flow of desolate people across the frontiers, and the law and order situation is getting from worse to worst. With more than 70,000 casualties in a span of two years and the country mired in civil war, Syrians are groping in the dark. Guterres remarks in Turkey should come as a wake up call for the international community. This influx of refugees into states that already have their own ethnic and sectarian problems could open a new Pandora’s box of geopolitical revulsions. The strategic plateau of Middle East already has a number of territorial discords and there isn’t much harmony among many of the tribes and communities that sprawl from the Mediterranean shores to the mountainous Yemen. The fact that Guterres estimates of one million in diaspora are limited to the statistics lying with his office, in the form of proper registration, goes on to suggest that there are millions more starved of basic amenities of life and in a state of despair inside the war-torn country. As stated by the UNICEF, unrelenting violence, massive displacement and damage to infrastructure are issues that have devastated Syrians to the core. Moreover, the conflict risks leaving an entire generation of children scarred for life. UNICEF executive director Anthony Lake has rightly observed that the future of the children is somewhere lost amidst the rubble and destruction. This pathetic situation cannot be allowed to go on. The foremost prerequisite is to bring the conflict to an end by brokering a ceasefire. The onus is on all the stakeholders, including the international community. The least that needs to be done on a warfooting basis is to enable and empower the aid agencies to reach each and every nook and corner of the country, so that succour is delivered. There may be hundreds and thousands stranded in the conflict zones from Homs to Aleppo awaiting for two square meals a day or an opportunity to crossover into safer pastures. The helping hand has to get them before it gets too late. — Khaleej Times .
Prompt justice to deter acid attacks
USTICE as a causative force is one of the strongest mea sures for any society’s wellbeing and there is good evidence that this force is gathering strength in Pakistan with regard to its rampant social malaise — acid attacks on women. Legislation in 2011 ensured a 14-year prison sentence and Rs1 million (Dh37,239) as punishment, with the victim’s statement being considered sufficient evidence to process the case. This has led to convictions rising at a laudatory rate — from 6% during pre-legislation times to 18% in 2012. This is not mere statistical accretion but a hugely empowering development for the women of Pakistan. In the absence of a ground shift in male attitudes that can effectively be said to have moved from repression to respect, what can shore women’s defences in a society are strong laws and their effective implementation. By focusing on one of the most crucial denominators of women’s issues domestic violence and convicting the guilty without laxity, the Pakistan govt has shown its will to change the status quo. This change now needs to be reflected in its society. — Gulf News Addresses are given to us to conceal our whereabouts. —H H Munro British writer
Can Afghan war be over? Muhammad Ali Ehsan Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
ow can the President of United States claim that ‘US war in Afghanistan would be over by late 2014’? Can a war be over only because the President of United States wishes so and says so in his State of the Union address? How can the war be over when the US President vows to continue to target militant hideouts even after NATO forces have withdrawn from Afghanistan? This war that United States started was a means and not an end. It was meant to entirely and not partially fix the problem of terrorism in the region. United States is today more anxious to execute a safe and well planned exit strategy rather than a commitment to stay and finish the job it started in Afghanistan. If anything the statement by the President of United States in his State of the Union address should be a wakeup call for Pakistan Army that is deployed on the western front. Who else will bear the brunt of Taliban reprisals? Will the Taliban’s not react when the US drones continue to target them and their hideouts? How can the war be over when the US acts of war continue to persist? Have the US policy makers taken a moment out to think that a
more suitable fix of the problem in Afghanistan could have easily been achieved at a very less cost? United States has spent US$600 billion over the past 10 years putting its combat forces in Afghanistan. It will now further spend US$5.7billion over the next year or two to transfer back all the troops and equipment it shipped into that country. After all these expenditures, can the President of United States claim that he fixed the problem that his forces had come to resolve? Not for the first time Pakistan and its Armed Forces will be left to face somewhat similar consequences of a US action in the region that has made things worse rather than better. And this brings into question the readiness of our rulers (military) to quickly jump into the bandwagon of a Superpower that has reputedly become a worst finisher of many military actions in the past; notably, Vietnam, Haiti, Somalia, Leabnon and now Afghanistan; US hardly ever entirely finishes what it plans to execute when it militarily intervenes and leaves these countries to bear the consequences of its unfinished agenda. Terrorism being a transnational threat requires collective State efforts to execute agreed military plans and strategies. The exit strategy is also supposed to be an important component of the collective actions and agreements between the states. Paki-
stan although a major Non NATO US will remain committed to Afghanially has hardly any say in the US exit stan but the nature of its engageplans, yet it gets ready to lose the most ment will change”. Without the US troops in Afghanistan the Afghan The chances are security forces will be too weak to prevent the ehno-sectarian faction’s that region will fight to grab political and economic experience greater power. The difficult tasks ahead instability and more will drain the Afghan Army with violence in a post its will and resources much quicker and faster than the US can imagUS withdrawal ine. The drone strikes than will not Afghanistan. The only be unsuitable but out of place toughest job ahead to prevent the chaos, instability and likely to engulf the counis not for Islamabad infighting try. to seek an While the future is pregnant with many alternatives the choice agreement with for Pakistan army is limited to takWashington for ing either of the two extreme posipurchase of left tions; fight or negotiate with over US military Taliban’s. Withdrawal of US forces will not influence Taliban’s to reconequipment as its their ‘path to purification and forces withdraw. It sider glory through unlimited violence’? is how to clean the The chances are that the region will mess that US leaves experience greater instability and more violence in a post US withbehind. drawal Afghanistan. The toughest as a consequence of this US exit. How job ahead is not for Islamabad to can a State unilaterally decide on the seek an agreement with Washingtimings to call it quits and call off war ton for the purchase of the left over yet continue to claim that it leads a US military equipment as its forces grand coalition of the willing? For withdraw. It is how to clean the mess Pakistan surely the US exit by 2014 that US leaves behind. will intensify rather than diminish the —The author is a retd Lt Col from Pak Army and a research scholar security dilemmas. President Obama says that, ‘US at Karachi University.
Migration trends in Euro-zone Rashid A Mughal Email: email@example.com
or many, the cherished dream of living in Europe’s cozy en vironments has turned out to be a utopia. After years and years of breathing European winds, the immigrants from less-developed countries, who migrated to Europe for economic reasons, better living conditions, education and safety reasons, are having a second thought and are either returning to their countries of origin or migrating to countries offering better economic prospects. With horrifying un-employment figures in most of the Eurozone area, looming defaults, business activity at the lowest ebb, what is being witnessed is a new kind of labour migration which has surprised many thinkers, researchers and economists. Migration has become a part of gloomy prognosis.
And the bulk of the new emigrants do appear to be the youngest workers. In the second quarter of 2012, for example, the 20 to 29years old segment of the population fell 8.8 percent year-on-year in Ireland, 4.3 percent in Spain and 3.5 percent in Portugal – bringing respective peak-to-through declines for this age group to 25 percent, 17 percent and 18 percent. The drop in Ireland’s 20 to 29 year age group in 2011, at 8 percent, exceeds that seen for this age group in any EU country in the last 40 years. If migrants return quickly is the problem solved? How much of the scale of the recent exit was merely a reversal of huge movements of young workers from Eastern Europe post-2004? Spanish statistics, for example, show the biggest destinations for emigrants from Spain in 2011 were Romania and Morocco. Eurostat, too, shows emigration of recent years only partly reverses the influx to these economies during the
boom years. Ireland’s workforce increased 1.8 percent a year on average in the 19 years to 2009. Migration of young adults in their 20s to areas of plentiful work is now very fast and flexible, unlike more traumatic and opened-ended historic episodes of high emigration. After joining the euro in 1999, Spain’s economic boom made it the land of opportunity for millions of Latin American migrant workers. But since the decade-long boom turned to bust roughly four years, ago, many of those immigrants have returned, joined by a growing number of disillusioned Spaniards who hope that Latin America, with its developing economies and low cost of living, has more to offer. Ecuadoreans are returning to their native land because they went to Spain for the same reasons-to find work/job. Spanish un-employment rate is the highest in Euro-zone area and its economy still facing shockwaves.
When the A8 countriesPoland,Latvia,Lithuania,Slovakia,Slovenia,Hungary,Estonia and Czech Republic joined the EU in 2004,Britian was one of the three countries to immediately open its labour market to them. As the third biggest economy in Europe, it soon became a major destination for workers from poor post-communist states. Their population now exceeds one million in BritianThe access to labour market, which was later on restricted in 2007,will be lifted next year(2014) and there are possibilities of a huge influx from debt ridden and crisis-hit states. After listening to all the gloom and doom on the news these days sometimes one feels sorry for people living in Europe. But then even with a crisis, Europeans still enjoy just about the safest, healthiest and wealthiest lives on the planet. —Former Director, Emigration, overseas employment & Consultant ILO and IOM.
Views From Abroad
Standing up for human rights in Sri Lanka David Miliband
n early 2009, as foreign minis ter, I travelled to Sri Lanka with Bernard Kouchner, the French foreign minister, so we could see for ourselves the situation at the end of the brutal 26-year civil war. We met the president and his ministers in Colombo, and then travelled to refugee camps further north. I will never forget what I saw, and in particular the pleading of Tamil women carrying slips of paper with the names of their husbands and sons who had been taken away for “screening”. The last phase of the government offensive involved squeezing anything up to 330,000 people into the Vanni region, south of the Jaffna peninsula. A report in March 2011 by a special UN panel laid bare the scale of human suffering. Tens of thousands had been killed by government shelling, which had targeted UN food distribution lines and hospitals. The report also detailed appalling behaviour by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), the
“Tamil Tigers”, alleging that civilians were prevented from escaping and used as hostages. The UN report found credible allegations of serious violations of international law by the Sri Lanka government and the LTTE, including war crimes and crimes against humanity. An internal UN review reported last November that the government obstructed the provision of aid and assistance to civilians, did not protect humanitarian workers, and was largely to blame for the shelling of heavily populated areas and the deaths of civilians. And a further report last month, by the United Nations high commissioner for human rights, criticises the progress made on accountability and reconciliation and, significantly, the commissioner, Navi Pillay, reaffirmed her “long-standing call for an independent and credible international investigation” into alleged human rights violations. The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (Chogm) is due to take place in Sri Lanka in the autumn. Canada, which is Conservative-led, has robustly called
for the meeting — which the Queen would normally open — to be moved from the country. The Labour government took this course when we were planning for the 2011 meeting. It is time for the British government, which has trumpeted its priority of making the Commonwealth a model of good governance and democratic values, to make its voice heard. The insistence on justice and accountability is not legalistic nitpicking. It’s about the message that is sent to those who violate human rights. Just think about the insouciance of Syria’s President Bashar Al Assad and his supporters. Nor are concerns about the actions of the Sri Lanka government merely historic. The leading opposition candidate in the 2010 presidential election was jailed soon afterwards. The chief justice of Sri Lanka has been impeached and dismissed, neutering the independence of the judiciary. Human Rights Watch says that several thousand people are locked up without charge, and that statesponsored abuse of Tamil activists is widespread. Other UN investigations record over 5,000 out-
standing cases of enforced and involuntary disappearances; and nearly 100,000 internally displaced people remain without proper protection. In 2005 the whole of the UN endorsed the idea of a “responsibility to protect” — the notion that governments and the international system should take active measures to protect civilian life. This is a moment to show that calls for justice and democracy have teeth. Britain needs to back the call for Chogm to be moved. For it to go ahead in Sri Lanka would be a mockery of Commonwealth values and UN authority, and a further invitation for its government to ignore international pleas for decency and accountability. And it would be a nail in the coffin of the vision of a pluralistic Sri Lanka, respectful of the place of all its peoples. UN conventions are the civilising product of the wars — and slaughters — of the 20th century. They are a universal badge of humanity. The UK government should be standing up for them. — Guardian News & Media Ltd
hile Dhoni was hitting his famous helicopter shots on the cricket field, an Indian air-force chief was allegedly busy picking up his helicopter purchase bribes. Many times I hear people telling me it’s time our press and public stop going after these bribe takers, “What’s a little money changing hands under the table?” they ask, “Let everybody make a few extra bucks!” I shudder when I hear such and will try to explain why: A bribe is not just about money; it’s about a word called ‘compromise’. When
a bribe is taken, the bribe taker normally a person in whose hands power has been given to choose the best person or the best product, compromises on the ‘best’. He chooses the second best, maybe the third best and sometimes when the bribe given is huge, he takes the risk of choosing the worst. Those helicopters the air-chief chose after taking a bribe are certainly not the best in the market; if they were, there would be no need for a bribe. Today we have in our country two huge business houses who have learned how to use this great weakness of ours to their advantage. They know who to give bribes to, and where to compromise on quality. The whole country distrusts their products and services, but both the billionaire owners of these two companies can’t be bothered as they
grease the palms of those in power and carry on regardless. A bribe makes the whole nation suffer. During the Mumbai terrorist attack, the bullet proof jackets the poor police officers put on allowed the terrorist bullets to penetrate. Can you imagine that? What a shame! Obviously huge amounts of cash must have passed hands to allow this. But what happened in the end? We lost three of our best officers! That’s what a bribe does; it makes us losers. I am sure the helicopters given by the Italian firm that paid the bribe can fly, obviously it’s rotor blades work, or I hope they do, but whether they can stand the vagaries of bad weather, whether they can take risks and whether they will last a few decades of service need to be seen. In the city of Mumbai the roads are the worst in the coun-
try, the reason being that the contractors pay huge bribes to the municipal engineers and corporators, such huge bribes that there is no money left for concrete, cement and asphalt, and so cheap material is used. The bribe money is deducted from the cost of services or the product. Like I said there are many of us who think that TV and press are being too harsh in unearthing scam after scam of bribe takers and givers. Don’t wait for a new bridge to collapse under you, don’t wait to lose a loved one, don’t wait to find out what tragedy bribes can do in your life, instead realize the gravity of those ‘helicopter shots’ that are being played in our country and shout and scream that enough is enough..! —Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
Voice of the People Dreaming for a change? ALI ASHRAF KHAN
oping against hope the people of Pakistan God willing may take it as a bold step by the Election Commission Pakistan (ECP) that they went ahead with the printing of the new amended application forms for candidates in the forthcoming elections after the deadline ECP had given to the President for approval of the amendments has expired without response. We do hope fully that ECP really means business this time and that this is not a part of planned gimmick to delay elections. There is a discussion going on whether there is any need for an approval by the President. While the government represented by Law Minister Farooq Naek insists that this approval is needed constitutional lawyers quote the constitution itself which terms the Election Commission as a completely independent body that binds all executive authorities of the federation and all provinces to assist the commission. The Election Commission was obviously trying to take a consensus road in their effort to prevent fake degree-holders, tax evaders, non-filers of tax returns, loan defaulters, cheaters and fraudsters from candidacy in the forthcoming elections. But unfortunately, such a consensus does not exists neither in the PPP nor in the other parties who all have representatives of the above mentioned categories within their folds. It is, therefore, an even more commendable step of the Election Commission to go ahead on its path of trying to clear out candidates who do not comply with paras 62 and 63 of the constitution from standing for election. With regard to the fake degrees there has been a discussion also that now the degree question does not arise any more with the condition of BA removed as a requirement for candidacy. But that is another attempt to distract attention from the fact that this had been a condition in the previous election and those who submitted fake degrees committed fraud and are therefore not electable any more in their lives. How can the country ever progress when cheating and fraud is regarded as excusable? The Election Commission has to be commended and supported by all who are interested in bringing a real change. —Karachi
‘New Laws’ slogan
cessionist feelings. The solution to this Gordian knot is impossible except regarding the fundamental, legal and basic human rights as supreme. No one must be tried out side SULEMAN MANSHA the court without meeting legal forOn March 11,2013 our National malities essential for the administraAssembly demanded a new law for tion of justice. the protection of minorities. The —Lahore demand is valid, but the tragedy is that our ruling elite always enacts new laws for political scoring, not for implementing them. In Pakistan a new law is made for the enforceCHANGEZI SANDHU ment of the existing laws and a new department is created for mitigating corruption in the existing de- The negative and selfish acts of our partments. Unfortunately all of politicians have created political inthem fail to deliver. The reasons stability in Pakistan and also caused behind that are vested interests, a lot of local, national and internanepotism, murder of merit, politi- tional knotty problems. One of the cal compulsions, incapability and major reason of it is dishonesty of lethargic attitude of our parliamen- politicians with their job due to their tarians. personal and party interests. DemocIn the last five years of this gov- racy was derailed in the past due to ernment thousands of people have political instability, political leglost their lives due to drone attacks, pulling and self interests. We have bomb blasts, target killings, sectar- seen the result of political instabilian disorders, poor law and order ity in 1971 so we should not allow situation and bad governance. Ar- any politician to repeat the history ticle 8 to 25 of the constitution of of 1971.Now the question arises Pakistan 1973 provide fundamen- why it happens thus and why democtal rights to all the citizens of Paki- racy is not given a chance to grow? stan regardless of their In reality we have not at all unreligion,sect, caste, creed, color and derstood democracy until now, nor even gender. Besides the supreme have taken even a step towards it. law of the land special laws and acts As a result of this negligence of poare also available. The thing we litical leaders the whole nation is unlack is the implementation of the dergoing the punishment. Even polaws. And in the reign of this po- litical leaders do not take a lesson litically elected and democratic nor do they make use of the little regovernment I have never ever seen maining wisdom to understand their any parliamentarian, except a few, real destination. Military intervenseriously talking about the viola- tion has a crucial role in political tion of the special laws, general instability. Political stability can be laws, and even the violation of the achieved in Pakistan by eradicating articles of the fundamental rights. multi-party system, selfish policies, Now they cannot exploit the political pressure groups, plundering people of Pakistan by merely chant- political system and military intering slogans of new laws, new laws. vention in politics. If they want to be a part of the Par- —Islamabad liament again they will have to deliver. In these elections a silent revolution will be brought through the vote and neither the new law nor the political slogans can save them. —Lahore MUKHTAR AHMED BUTT
Talk shows or Mock shows
Game not over yet ABUBAKAR BHEEL Damn silence presages disaster. Nonetheless the volume was spoken about Balochistan issue, the persecutions of them did not come to an end. The people of Balochistan are still subject to State tyranny and the extra-Judicial justice is still being dispensed to the locals. Though Media took a respite, the turmoil in Balochistan is not over. The addition in the numbers of missing people is going on without any check over it. The innocent and alleged suspects are picked up from their houses with out taking into account the day light or darkness of night since the concerned authorities regard themselves impervious to Rule of Law. Two Parties, Pro-federation and separatists are at cross road in the Balochistan. In the former the privileged class and some officeholder politicians fall while the later category includes some insurgent tribal leaders and common masses. On this point media also shares the blame of portraying soft picture and bringing the pro-Pakistan speakers on front line in order to support the fact that the circumstances are under control , Writ of state is intact and the people who raise their voice for separation do not enjoy to support of masses. But the situation on ground is contrary. The alarming facet of the situation is that the anti state elements have been working for their cause since Bugti’s death. They are classifying their enemies and allies on national as well as international level. While on the other side the authorities, responsible for the situations are behaving like ostrich. Their plans and policies are non strategic and tactless. Instead of rooting out the se-
Due credit must be given to Gen Musharraf for allowing so many TV channels in the country and giving them free hand to air their programme. As a result of this media has assumed the status of 4th pillar of the state. TV talk shows are very popular and are considered the best means to bring to the viewers facts on current national and international issues. Talk shows are basically television or radio programmes in which a presenter (anchor) introduces a particular topic which is then discussed by the participants and lesson drawn. The anchor of the talk show is supposed to discover hidden facts, un-earth corruption scandals and excesses being committed by government in dealing with people or highlight the agenda behind a project in its true perspective to the viewers. But while doing so a clear cut line has to be drawn. The discussion and disclosures have to be within legal, moral, cultural and ethical limits conforming to the norms of the society. The quality of views and information must be based on facts that could be proved and under no circumstance should they lead to character assassination of an individual group or organization. Unfortunately in Pakistan freedom of press has been used to defame people for which there is no justification. How on earth can a channel air a programme on a case that is being heard in any court of law? By doing so anyone discussing a case which is subjudice is liable to contempt of court. However, here in Pakistan no one is bothered about rules and regulations and such acts go un-noticed. Most of the anchors are young girls who pose questions to elderly experts in their fields and out match the anchors knowledge on the subject but the anchor creates a very embarrassing situation by ask-
ing such questions as fail to generate healthy debate. Another normal practice is to call 3 leaders from different political parties, pitch them against each other and enjoy their fight with no interest on the need to elaborate an important issue and draw lessons from it. Sometimes these shows lead to use of abusive language and words unbecoming of any gentleman and tarnish the basic concept of the show. We have a category of sponsored talk shows which can also be termed as ‘Lifafa’ shows. It is difficult to deny this fact as many names of renowned anchors have appeared in the press being involved in the game of ‘Lifafa’, though they were denied later but not before causing extensive damage to the profession. I would just give one example of the property tycoon of this country, who was being targeted by every channel but once he started giving them ads there was an end to hostility against him. Where do we go from here? Continue with this drama of Talk Shows or show some maturity and make the shows into efforts to bring facts to the people. If we really want the people to benefit from talk shows, we must be realistic, honest and should have no bias or leaning towards any particular party involved in the issue. To achieve this it would be best to invite neutral experts who can voice opinions on the basis of the merits of the case rather than on the basis of affiliation to a political party. The media in Pakistan is important and very powerful. It must use its power to educate and build not damage and destroy. —Karachi
Ban beggary NIMRA IRFAN Begging is a very complex issue in Karachi. There seem to be a number of beggars at traffic signals on every road and at every corner. These beggars are not independent but are instead part of a very dense network of criminals popularly known as the beggar mafia. This beggar mafia recruits abducted children, chops off their limbs and forces them to beg on the streets. The children are given a target for money collection and, if they do not meet it, they are tortured and abused in the most unimaginable ways. These ‘professionals’ use all the tactics they know to compel commuters to part with their money. Begging in Karachi has developed into an art and a full-fledged profession. For these beggars, it is the easiest way to earn; they do not have to do any hard work for this. So many people have even chosen this way to ‘earn’. It is difficult for us to know who the actual deprived people are and who is a part of the begging mafia. This situation is not only prevalent in Karachi but all over the country. The government should take severe action regarding this matter. Not only should begging be declared illegal by an act of parliament, public opinion should also be educated against it. Those who give alms to strong and able bodied men, women and children should be punished. Begging should be banned in Pakistan by law. Street begging is really a great nuisance. Nowadays, people are not moved by any religious consideration. Islam has also strongly condemned begging as this is a negation of self-respect. Something must be done about this social ill before the problem gets out of hand. —Via email
READERS are requested to type their letters legibly with double spacing and only on one side of the paper.
M D NALAPAT
ACH human being is different from any other, having a mix of strengths and weaknesses that are unique. In the same way, societies differ from each other, having evolved out of different historical circumstances. For example, in the 19th century, the British Empire was a source of pride in the United Kingdom, being a small island that took control of more than half the planet and converted its resources to its advantage. India’s view on the same empire is different, for it saw its share in the global economy fall from 24 percent to less than 1 percent from 1820, when the British began to establish themselves in India, to 1947, the year they left. Similarly, the Opium Wars were a source of immense profit for UK merchants, helping huge conglomerates dominate business in Asia and elsewhere. However, for the Chinese people, the Opium Wars were a source of immense pain and the cause of social disintegration that was only reversed in 1949, when the Communist Party of China founded New China. The reality is that the European experience of colonialism has almost always been a zerosum game, in which the other side lost heavily in order to ensure gains for the colonizing power. Which is why it is not reasonable for the West to demand that the rest of the world accept its version of history and eco-
Western models not panacea nomic and political doctrines. The circumstances in each nonWestern country are very different from those in the West, which is why imposing a Western model
a model that had a natural fit with Chinese experience and needs. Strangely, while admitting that the Chinese economic model has worked in China, where a purely
vious centuries by control of territory. These days, they seek the same outcome by seeking to make other societies believe that following the advice given by
Activists wearing masks hold a banner during a protest against a joint military drill between the Republic of Korea and the US. would result in a less than optimal outcome. If China has made such great progress, especially since the 1980s, it is because the CPC rejected copying Western commercial institutions, creating instead
Western version may have failed, some Western powers constantly criticize China for not adopting a fully Western model of democracy. Western powers ensured their dominance in the two pre-
them is the best course. In South America in the 1970s, much misery was caused precisely because governments there strictly followed the orders of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, both of
which were, and still are, dominated by the West, with only a United States or an European Union national heading these socalled international organizations. Indeed, to the West, international means the West. The socalled international relations programs taught in the West, which are unfortunately so popular with affluent students in China and India, teach subjects solely through the prism of Western interests. Those passing out of such programs subconsciously begin to act and think in ways that promote Western interests, rather than that of their own countries. This is hardly surprising. When the West refers to the international community, it refers only to itself. The views of people in China, India and other large non-Western countries are regarded as not having any worth. In the same way, “international media” refers only to the Western media and to their West-centric viewpoint, ignoring the views of the rest of the world. Even globalization is taken to mean easier access to Western products, services and people in other markets rather than a genuinely international free flow across borders. The European Union in particular has made entry into its own markets as difficult as possible for companies based in
Asia, while constantly putting pressure on this continent to open up markets to the EU. Rather than a Western zero- sum approach, what the world needs is an Asian win-win approach, which is why the rest of the world needs to avoid falling into the trap of judging their own interests solely in
a century. Democracy is good for making decisions taking different groups’ interests into consideration, but India has developed at a slow pace. In 1949, the Indian economy was twice as big as China’s. Today, it is less than a third the size. It costs millions of dollars to
During the 1997 financial crisis in Asia, which was caused by Western currency speculators, India and China both escaped as both refused to adopt the measures that Western governments were urging them to do. In contrast, countries such as Thailand, which faithfully implemented Western prescriptions, suffered badly. Western prescriptions are good - but only for the West. Non-Western countries should take care to ensure that their national policies do not get framed in a way that helps out-
The reality is that the European experience of colonialism has almost always been a zero-sum game, in which the other side lost heavily in order to ensure gains for the colonizing power. Which is why it is not reasonable for the West to demand that the rest of the world accept its version of history and economic and political doctrines. The circumstances in each nonWestern country are very different from those in the West, which is why imposing a Western model would result in a less than optimal outcome. the terms set for them by the West. Each country has the right to its own perspective and the right to craft its own path to progress. India provides an example of a country whose leadership uncritically accepted Western systems when more local solutions were required. Although a democracy, the legal and administrative system in India is largely what it was during British rule. The Indian Penal Code and the Indian Police Act, for example, have not changed for more than
fight a parliamentary election in India and in the US, thereby ensuring that only those with access to money will be elected, the poor are effectively excluded. While Western-style democracy may suit Western countries, other countries need to ensure that systems are created that meet local needs. A one-size-fits-all approach makes no sense, except for the West, because if other countries slavishly follow the Western model they will be handicapped from competing with the West.
side powers at the expense of their national interests. Democracy implies diversity, not the total adherence to the concepts and models that Western countries promote as universal, but which are really to their advantage. Each country has not only the right but the duty to ensure that diversity is protected and that models suited to their own people and their own history get adopted.—Courtesy: China Daily The author is vice-chair of Manipal Advanced Research Group and UNESCO peace chair.
Brain-building ultimately rewards
Flexibility key to resolving Japan’s Inexorable End of Africa Story territorial disputes
t last count, Japan was in severe dispute with every one of its neigh bors — Russia, South Korea, North Korea, China and Taiwan. Blame Tokyo’s mishandling of issues if you wish. But blame also the legacy of the region’s immediate postwar history. The dispute with Russia is a good example. In February 1945, to persuade Moscow to join the still unfinished war against Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States at Yalta promised Moscow it could take Japan’s Kuril Islands as a reward. Moscow gladly seized that reward. And in the 1951 San Francisco peace treaty negotiations the U.S. seemed to confirm that Yalta promise by forcing Japan to renounce all rights, claim and title to the Kurils. In 1954, Tokyo began to insist that Moscow should at least return Shikotan and the Habomais, islands separate from the Kurils and close to Hokkaido that Soviet troops had also seized at war end. Moscow said yes, but when Tokyo then demanded the return of the two southernmost Kurils islands — Etorofu and Kunashiri also close to Japan — Moscow said no. In 1956 when Tokyo seemed willing to drop the EtorofuKunashiri claim in exchange for a peace treaty and the return of Shikotan and the Habomais, the U.S., which in 1951 had forced Japan to renounce all the Kurils, about-faced and insisted that Tokyo had to maintain its claim to Etorofu and Kunashiri. The resulting stalemate has continued ever since with Tokyo now insisting, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that the Kurils to which it signed away its rights in 1951 did not include Etorofu and Kunashiri. What to do? The first move is to understand that for
Moscow to return territory gained in 1945 would create a precedent dangerous for territory it gained in the West. It would need some convincing reason before making such a concession. Tokyo can
its historical claims but they too are clouded by actions taken before and after its expansionist 1894-95 war against China. In its 1972 and 1978 normalization and peace treaty talks with Beijing,
Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe accompanied by Indonesia’s President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono speaks in a news conference after their meeting at the Merdeka palace in Jakarta. provide that reason. It should de- set out to claim ownership, both sides were said to have been classify the documentary evi- threatening force if necessary. willing to shelve the ownership dence proving that in 1951 Prime Japan, unable to respond with issue for the future. Today Tokyo Minister Shigeru Yoshida only force, has relied mainly on calls, says it made no such promise. Jasigned the Kurils away under ignored by Seoul, for an Interna- pan seeming to gain territory by protest. That protest focused es- tional Court of Justice ruling. reneging on the gentleman’s pecially on Etorofu and In the 1951 preparations for agreement has long been a hot isKunashiri, Japan’s traditional ter- the San Francisco peace treaty, the sue for the Chinese — all Chinese. ritory. On this basis it would cre- right to ownership was closely Tokyo makes much of Beijing ate a more convincing legal ba- debated by the Allies, with the and Taiwan only beginning to sis for a Moscow concession. But U.S., mainly for Cold War rea- make formal Sentakus claims afthat would mean Japan would sons, finally taking a pro-Japan ter oil possibilities were discovhave to begin to criticize its good position. But it was unwilling to ered in the late sixties. But the friend, the U.S., and cease to go further. Turning to the Senkaku former Nationalist government of blame Moscow for the loss of its Islands dispute, both Taiwan and China had claims going back to territory: a Catch-22. The dispute Beijing make claims based on his- the 1940s. And after 1945 the with South Korea over the tory and geography. Japan too has Senkakus, together with the
NEIL BERRY HIS week came fresh allegations that that former UK Prime Min ister, Tony Blair, knowingly oversold the danger posed by Saddam Hussein’s Iraq in order to secure parliamentary backing for a preemptive US-led war. Few now doubt that both Blair and former US president George W. Bush were dishonourable leaders who bear responsibility for the nightmare of sectarian violence that engulfed Iraq following the invasion of 20 March 2003 and could engulf the country afresh. It might be expected that so tarnished a politician would no longer be listened to about anything. Yet the 10th anniversary of the war has afforded Blair fresh opportunities, in television and radio interviews, to claim that despite everything Iraq is now a better place while proclaiming his undimmed faith in what has been variously described as ‘liberal interventionism’ and ‘military humanism’. Asked if he favours military action against Iran if Tehran fails to prove that it is not pursuing a
Takeshima islands is even more intractable. Japan has its historical claim, as does South Korea. But Japan’s claim is clouded by its 1910-45 colonial domination of Korea. In 1952, South Korea
dential clique. Exchanging banter and wearing broad grins, the two men swaggered up to their microphones like co-presenters of some television spectacular. And in a sense that was precisely what, at its inception, the credible on the subject it is not the other cheek, a democrat Iraq war was: the Bush and Blair because it has made a rational someone who heeds the opinions Show, a hyped-up media event estimate of his record but because of others. Blair is more accurately that promised entertainment in it is defective in understanding. defined by his egregious obses- the form of ‘shock and awe’ and Looking like a man wrestling sion with celebrity, his blatant ‘full spectrum dominance’. with ‘anger management’ issues, craving for public exposure. And Not that Blair – in contrast the former British leader increas- perhaps, on the 10th anniversary to the US president — presented ingly calls to mind Guardian car- of the war, it is worth pondering himself as an unabashed wartoonist Steve On the Blair confesses that he has ‘given monger. Bell’s depiction contrary, he was of him as a psy- up trying to persuade people’ of the seeking to be chotic freak with validity of his arguments on Iraq, hailed as a mesa grotesquely siah. Blair eviswollen left eye. implying that if the public does not dently calcuIt is a Cyclopean find him credible on the subject it is lated that he image that capwould be tures Blair’s ma- not because it has made a rational greeted with niacal subjectiv- estimate of his record but because it gratitude by the ity, his crazed inpeople of Iraq. is defective in understanding. sensitivity to alA politician less ternative points of view. Critics the extent to which the war was, addicted to publicity, less eager might well say to him: ‘We have not caused, but facilitated by to strut the world stage, might given up trying to persuade you’. Anglo-American ‘celebrity cul- have been more mindful of the How curious that Blair por- ture’, with its inordinate invest- perils implicit in attempting to trays himself as both a Christian ment in personality and visceral refashion a highly developed and a democrat. After all, a Chris- drama. Many will recall how, in Arab state by brute military tian is supposed to be a person the run-up to the war, Blair flew force. —Courtesy: KT with a highly developed con- to the United States to confer with Neil Berry is a London-based science who believes in turning George W. Bush and his presi- writer
Blair’s misleading persona nuclear weapons programme, he replies with a categorical ‘yes’. Blair confesses that he has ‘given up trying to persuade
people’ of the validity of his arguments on Iraq, implying that if the public does not find him
Okinawa islands, were first under U.S. military control and then U.S. trusteeship until 1972, with Japan having no more than what was called “residual sovereignty.” Formal claims by others had to wait till the end of that trusteeship. And when that end approached, the U.S., reportedly as a result of pressure from Taiwan, promised only to grant Japan administrative control of the Senkakus, with sovereignty left undecided. It maintains that position today. What to do?: Tokyo’s willingness not to station personnel on the disputed islands suggests it realizes the sovereignty issue exists. It also provides the basis for a solution. If it were to tell Beijing that it is willing to continue the nonstationing of personnel, the situation could be made to seem to return to the “shelving” solution of the 1970s. The gunboats could be safely withdrawn. The abduction issue with North Korea could also be solved easily by a return to the past, this time to the dramatic 2002 breakthrough in relations when Pyongyang promised to return five abductees in exchange for a Tokyo promise to normalize relations. But rightwing pressures then led Tokyo to go back on that promise, claiming more abductees still remained in North Korea. Whether they exist or not has been disputed and, given the refusal to normalize relations, cannot be confirmed. This, plus the imposition of so-far ineffective sanctions, has led to the current stalemate. Japan’s anger over the abduction of its citizens is understandable. But it also has some responsibility for the current stalemate. —Courtesy: Japan Times Gregory Clark, a former China and Russian specialist in the Australian diplomatic service, is a commentator on Japanese affairs.
EN years after the on set of the biggest eco nomic upswing Africa has seen in many decades, the region’s commodity boom remains just that — a commodity boom. Until Africa is blessed with manufacturing jobs for its underemployed workers and dynamic trade among its many countries, Africa won’t be catching up as much as standing still, writes Jonathan Anderson. There’s no question that Africa has seen a great decade. The ten years from 2001-10 brought the fastest pace of real growth since the immediate post-colonial 1960s spurt, and a very far cry from the bleak crisis-filled era of the 1980s and 1990s. The Africa story is not poised for takeoff. Rather, it’s a few years past its prime. There is also no question that Africa still has decent momentum today. There is no obvious looming economic shock that would push the region into a sharp downturn. From Ghana to Sierra Leone to Mozambique,
prime. And if and when the commodity cycle turns, it will inevitably take much of the continent with it. Not with a bang, but certainly with a whimper. It is important to note that these are not unique African failures. They apply just as much to large swathes of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Latin America and the Middle East — that is, a significant share of the overall emerging markets. Why the focus on Africa? For two reasons. First, compared to, say, Latin America or the CIS, there is far more excitement in the past few years about a new “African renaissance,” the idea that the continent has finally put itself on a sustainable and rapid trajectory of development. If and when the commodity cycle turns downward, it will inevitably take much of the African continent with it. And second, it is one thing to talk about slower growth in Latin America, with an average per capita GDP of $10,000. It is quite another to look at fading hopes for Africa, with one billion people earning less than
ize on one of the biggest structural changes of the past few years: the end of China’s market-share monopoly. After two decades of extraordinary growth, demographic pressures and rising wages have already started to push China out of traditional industries such as toys, apparel, furniture, sporting goods, etc. These trends are increasingly having an impact in the electronics space as well. And where is that manufacturing capacity now going? Alas, not to Africa. Instead, industrial investment is simply going next door to China’s low-income neighbors like Vietnam, Cambodia and Bangladesh. Meanwhile, Africa’s global share in labor-intensive light manufacturing continues to decline. The largest beneficiaries of the expansion in global trade are the nations closest to its centers or those part of the sea-based production chain. Why? In large part because of the iron chains of geography. The only two regions in the entire emerging markets universe that were able to achieve a sus-
Signs are seen in the air as demonstrators protest against... there are plenty of individual examples where new commoditybased production continues to push the pace of economic growth towards double digits. Now, the bad news: The “Africa story” is still mostly about commodities. There has been a lot of excitement in the markets about Africa finally coming into its own and making the most of its human and economic potential. However, looked at more soberly, and despite the long boom that continues to this date, there are disappointingly few signs that Africa has been able to diversify its export base. Neither has the continent managed to create enough manufacturing jobs for its rapidly increasing pool of underemployed labor — or spark truly self-sustaining domestic-led regional demand or credit growth. Indeed, even with today’s high resource prices the continent has already exhausted its initial “balance sheet dividend” of falling debt and rising external surpluses. In other words, the Africa story is not poised for take-off. Rather, it is a few years past its
$1,700 per year on an average GDP basis — and perhaps the most dire concentration of poverty in the world today. Of course, if commodity prices did continue to go up aggressively from here, there is no reason that Africa couldn’t roll right along for the next half-decade or longer. But here is the problem: The commodity sector doesn’t generate many jobs. Africa has a working age population of nearly 550 million people, more than half of whom are chronically underutilized in traditional agriculture or living in urban slums without permanent employment. And the true definition of development is the rise of industrialized manufacturing and services sectors that can provide growth and income prospects for these hundreds of millions. How is Africa doing on this front? Poorly. Africa’s industrial export share of GDP is one of the lowest in the world, and almost completely lacking in the kind of labor-intensive manufactured goods that truly drive employment gains. Nor has the continent been able to capital-
tained increase in manufacturing exports as a share of GDP are East and Southeast Asia and core Central Europe. Mexico and Central America come in a more distant third, and everyone else was more or less flat. That is, the past and current winners from the global game either sit right next to developed Europe and the United States or along the same shipping lanes as Japan and the original Asian tigers. And the same is true for tomorrow’s champions, who will still be those with the closest proximity to markets or the sea-based production chain. By contrast, pure “competitiveness” has very little to do with the equation. Africa boosters like to argue that, once countries around the continent improve their physical and especially their “soft” infrastructure, industrial exports will follow as a matter of course. In short, just standing in place (which is essentially where we are today and where we may well be going forward) still means the inexorable end of the great African story. —Courtesy: Globalist.
PM: Completion of govt’s term From Page 1 ment has not yet disclosed its names. The Prime Minister said the government has taken the opposition into confidence regarding the appointment of caretaker prime minister. Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf has said that the democratic government is constantly fighting war on terror and the terrorists would not be allowed to implement their agenda. Addressing the farewell meeting of the Federal cabinet in Islamabad Wednesday he said the democratic government has the full support of the all segments of the society in this war. The Prime Minister said but still we have to do a lot to eliminate this menace from the society. He said the fearful terrorists have now started targetting the innocent citizens. Raja Pervez Ashraf condemned the acts of terrorism in Karachi and Peshawar in which precious human lives were lost. He thanked the provincial governments, Pakistan army and law enforcement agencies for their cooperation with the government for the last five years. He said today is an important day in the history of Pakistan, as the democratic government is completing its tenure. Raja Pervez Ashraf expressed his sadness at the unfortunate incident of criminal assault on the Christian colony in Lahore. He said Christians are equal citizens of the land and must be given complete protection. He assured Christian brothers and sisters that their losses of properties would be made good jointly by the Federal and Provincial Governments. He further assured that the culprits, responsible for this inhuman act will get exemplary punishment. He said Islam teaches tolerance and assures protection of life and property of all its citizens without discrimination. He requested the Ulema to help the Government in promoting religious harmony and elimination of intolerance. Such acts of violence convey wrong signals that depict a negative image of our society before the international community. The Cabinet expresses its solidarity with Christians and all minorities as a mark of respect towards them. He said the government is working on multiple fronts to achieve energy security for the country. The government has, therefore, formally kicked off the long awaited 7.5 billion dollars Pak – Iran Gas Pipeline Project aimed at addressing the energy crisis in Pakistan. The Prime Minister said the government has taken the opposition into confidence regarding the appointment of caretaker prime minister. He said the caretaker Prime Minister will be appointed by mutual consultation. The meeting is discussing a sixteen point agenda and would review political and law and order situation of the country, discuss arrangements for the upcoming general elections and formation of Caretaker setup.
Orangi Pilot Project Director among 8 killed
Militants disguised as cricketers attack From Page 1 Srinagar leaving five CRPF jawans dead, Union Home Secretary RK Singh said on Wednesday that the attack seems to be handiwork of militants who came from across the border in Pakistan. Briefing reporters about the fidyayeen attack in Srinagar, Union Home Secretary RK Singh said, “The attack seems to be handiwork of militants who came from across the border in Pakistan.” “Prima facie evidence suggests that these militants were from across the border. They were probably from Pakistan,” Singh was quoted as saying by Indian media “We had inputs of four militants having entered; now two are dead. All our units are alert,” he added. “The two militants who managed to escape after the attack are also said to be from Pakistan. The four are believed to from the LeT. A probe into the matter has been ordered and the security forces have been asked to take all preventive measures,” he said. His statement came shortly after some militants stormed a CRPF camp adjoining a school in Bemina area of Srinagar killing five jawans and injuring at least seven others. According to reports, militants sneaked inside a public school and opened indiscriminate firing on civilians, including school children who were playing cricket, and the security
Raisani’s govt returns for two days From Page 1 blast in Quetta’s Alamdar Road which targeted the city’s Hazara community. Under the law, the president was supposed to obtain Parliament’s endorsement for the state of emergency within a period of two months.— March 16.
first targeted the CRPF camp and hurled grenades on the security forces and then sneaked inside the public school, which was closed due to the shutdown called by separatist leaders today. The shutdown has been called by the separatists who are demanding the return of mortal remains of Parliament attack convict Mohammad Afzal Guru.. Security officials also recovered a huge quantity of arms and ammunition from the slain militants. Shortly after the attack, Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah also made a brief statement in the State Legislative Assembly over the incident. Meanwhile, the PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti condemned the attack on the CRPF camp. “We condemn this terror attack in Srinagar in the strongest terms. Unfortunate that 5 CRPF jawans were killed,” she said. Bemina area is important as it houses several vital installations, including a police public school, belonging to the CRPF, Indian Army, and the state government. This is the first major suicide attack in Kashmir in the last three years with the last such incident taking place in January 2010. On March 2, militants had shot dead two policemen in Handwara area of Kupwara district.—Agencies
Punjab IGP failed to protect lice instead of asking witnesses was asking suspects. He added that the incident had taken place after Friday prayers and asked if what had provoked the people was being investigated. Advocate General Punjab, Ashtra Ausauf presented the report on Gojra incident and said the judicial commission report had recommended an amendment in the police order. This recommendation was sent to concerned officials but there were differences between the home department and police over the amendment. The chief justice remarked that was the government so helpless that it could not implement the judicial commission report due to some differences. The chief justice also asked why no concrete steps were taken for the implementation of the report. The advocate general further informed the court that the trial of those accused in the Gojra incident had begun but there was a compromise reached. The bench remarked that there was no room for compromise in cases of terrorism. Later, the hearing of the case was adjourned till March 18. Meanwhile, the government has failed to devise a solid strategy for allotting Overseas Pakistanis the right to vote, Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhary remarked while hearing the case on expatriate Pakistanis’ vote-right. He furthered that they have been reiterating that the Pakistanis living abroad are playing a pivotal role for the country’s
From Page 1 progress, which is why it would be injustice to deprive them of the vote-right. A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhary heard the case on Wednesday. The apex court was told that the allotment of right to vote to Overseas Pakistanis is under process such that the relevant parties are negotiating in this regard, which would take some time. Hearing of the case was adjourned till today (Thursday). On the other hand, Supreme Court (SC) has allowed 7 days period to former Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani to file his review petition again remarking a larger bench will be constituted on this count. A 3-member bench of SC presided over by the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry took up the case for hearing Wednesday. Former PM Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani appeared in the court in person. When he started giving arguments with reference to hearing of his case , the CJP remarked “you have started your career as lawyer. Gilani said he had failed in LLB paper and he had to contest election due to death of his father and he had come here in connection with petition filed by him against his disqualification. CJP remarked two points in his petition were required to be explained. “First you have not challenged the verdict given by 7-member bench, whereby you
were declared disqualified. Secondly your petition has gone time barred and if you want to challenge the decision then we can constitute new bench”. CJP observed “ now Swiss authorities letter has also come whereby they have informed that they can not reopen cases against the president. Gilani said “ please constitute the bench and allow me time so that I could file review petition again”. Later talking to media men Gilani said court had allowed 7 days to file review petition again and a 7-member larger bench will be constituted to hear this petition. “Speaker assembly had not declared disqualified me. I had decided not to write letter and I am not worried over it. I am appearing in the court for the fourth time”, he stated. “I have come to the court to seek revocation of my disqualification. I am not repentant over what I have done”, he added. “Later the counsel for the sitting prime minister pursued the same stance what I had taken that president enjoys immunity in all cases. This immunity has been granted not only in his own country but also in other countries. The difference is only this that my stance was not accepted while stand point of the incumbent prime minister was accepted”, he stated. Gilani said he hoped the court would do justice with him and issue orders for setting aside his disqualification.—Agencies
N EW DELHI —India’s Tihar Jail is a land of bakeries and carpentry shops, where inmates compete in music contests, take classes and perform intensive Buddhist meditation as part of their rehabilitation. Tihar Jail is also a vast, overcrowded facility, crammed with people awaiting trial who sleep on concrete floors, face daily threats from other prisoners and are shaken down for bribes from their poorly paid jailers, according to human rights lawyers and former inmates there. The two sides of India’s most famous jail emerged this week when a man accused in the notorious rape of a woman aboard a New Delhi bus was found dead in his cell. Jail authorities said Ram Singh, 33, hanged himself, but his family questioned how he could have done that with three cellmates sleeping beside him. A magistrate is investigating. Just two days earlier, the jail’s director-general strutted the catwalk at a fashion show premiering the design creations of Tihar’s female inmates. The genius of Tihar officials is that they are able “to violate human rights, and have a brilliant camouflage,” said Colin Gonsalves, a Supreme Court lawyer and the director of the Human Rights Law Network. Tihar is a massive complex of nine separate jails in New Delhi that is one of the largest incarceration facilities in South Asia. Like many of India’s prisons, it long suffered from a reputation for badly mistreating prisoners. In the 1990s, Kiran Bedi, a reformist police official, took charge and tried to turn it around. She introduced yoga, brought in literacy and vocational classes and reined in some of the jail’s worst excesses, a process she documented in her book, “It’s Always Possible.” A movie, “Doing Time, Doing Vipassana,” praised the jail’s intensive 10-day silent meditation program. The jail also became a business, making about 300 million rupees ($5.5 million) in revenue this fiscal year, according to jail officials.—AP
Pakistan dismisses From Page 1
fice also rejected earlier statements made by the Indian defence minister accusing Pakistani military commandos of beheading Indian soldiers near the Kashmir border. “Pakistan also rejects the statement made by Defence Minister AK Antony in the Rajya Sabha accusing the Special Services Group of Pakistan Army of beheading two Indian soldiers on the Line of Control on January 08, 2013,” added the press release. The Foreign Office further warned that such a “trend of making irresponsible statements and knee-jerk reactions by senior Indian Government functionaries” could undermine efforts by the two neighbours to normalise relations. It said Pakistan “remains damaged after being hit by committed to discussing and restones. Wounds all over and the solving all outstanding issues face could no longer be recog- with India through a meaningnized,” the official said ful dialogue.” The president Tehreek-eHusainia Kurram agency Munir Hussein claimed that both the killed security personal and the girl were caught from the Toori graveyard while they were trying to flee adding the sentenced was announced by a tribal Jirga consisting of six tribes of ISLAMABAD—Jamiat Ulama-eIslam(F) and Balochistan NaKurram agency. He further claimed that an- tional Party(Awami) have deother security personal had also cided to sit on opposition developed illicit relation with benches in provincial assembly the local girl and both the ac- after expiry of governor’s rule cused were in the custody of a in province. A consultative meeting of colonel of Kurram scouts. He said both the girls had estab- the both parties was held at Parlished links with the security liament House in which Israr Ullah Zehri from BNP(Awami) personals through telephone. and Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haidri of JUI-F participated . Other leaders of both the parties were also present on the occasion. Both the leaders advised former Chief Minister Nawab the evening sky prompted cries Aslam Raisani not to resign, of “Long live the pope!” from his credibility would be afpilgrims clutching rosaries and fected by quitting his seat. waving flags in the square, The meeting also discussed where the image of the tiny cop- that ex CM Balochistan told per chimney was projected onto his circle of friends that there four giant screens. Bergoglio, is lot of pressure on him to who is the 266th pope in the resign. Catholic Church’s 2,000-year It is pertinent to mention history, retired to a chamber here that the governor’s rule known as the “Room of Tears” would be abolished in immediately after the nomina- Balochistan today(Thursday), tion to don his papal vestments which was imposed for imand then prayed in the Pauline provement of law and order situChapel.—Agencies ation in the province.—Online
Soldier stoned to death From Page 1
From Page 1 lice and condemned the devastating incident. Meanwhile, a body in gunny bag was recovered in Soldier Bazar and two people were shot dead in Lyari and Awami Colony. Two more dead bodies were recovered from Kharadar and Nazimabad localities while a tortured body of a 12-year boy was found behind the bushes in Hijrat Colony. In the meantime, police constable Gulzar, who sustained injuries in a gun attack on a police vehicle in front of the Annu Bhai Park in Nazimabad on Tuesday night, has succumbed to his wounds. Moreover, CID police claimed to have arrested three alleged militants of banned Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) during a raid in Manghopir Colony. They said that suicide vests and a large quantity of explosives were also recovered from their possession.
forces. Two militants were shot dead by the security forces in the ensuing firing. Some civilians also sustained severe injuries in the incident. LeT militant Hillal Maulavi is said to have carried out the brazen attack on the CRPF camp. The security forces cordoned off the entire area to avoid any further casualty. Senior security officials confirmed the killing of two militants in the cross firing. “Five jawans have been martyred and seven have been injured,” IGP (Kashmir) Abdul Gani Mir told reporters at the spot. Four to five CRPF jawans were among the injured, he said. Mir further said it was not immediately clear whether there were two or three militants who hurled grenades and opened indiscriminate firing at the CRPF camp. “Two fidayeen (suicide militants) were neutralized by the security forces,” Mir said. He said the group affiliation and identity of the militants killed in the incident was a matter of investigation. The firing, which was suspended for some time, resumed after more gunshots were heard in the locality. Meanwhile, a massive search operation was also launched to ascertain if more militants were hiding in the area. It is believed to be a fidayeen attack as the militants
Inmate suicide casts shadow on model Indian jail
Parachinar, has been handed over to the local administration by the tribal elders. “The tribesmen stoned to death a soldier in upper Kurram Agency over allegations of an affair with a teenage girl”. Officials of the local administration said adding a tribal council in the town of Parachinar, close to the Afghan border in Kurram district, ordered the sentence on Anwar-ud Din, who was about 25 years old, for having “illicit relations” with a local girl. “There were some 40 to 50 people who hit the man with stones till he bled to death,” a local tribesman told foreign news agency. Din was accused of having an affair with an 18year-old girl and meeting her
secretly, but both were caught on Sunday in a graveyard. The soldier admitted he had met the girl three or more times before and the punishment was carried out on Tuesday in the graveyard where the couple was traced, the tribesman said, adding that the body was later taken to hospital. Local government and security officials confirmed the incident, but declined to comment. The fate of the girl remains unclear, but there were rumors in the area that she may also have been executed, although she denied the affair, the tribesman said. A hospital official confirmed that they had received a mutilated body on Tuesday, which was later taken away by paramilitary forces. “It was really a horrific sight. The body had been badly
Argentina’s Bergoglio becomes first Latin American pope VATICAN CITY—Argentina’s tears, overcome with emotion Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected Pope Francis I on Wednesday, becoming the church’s first Latin American pontiff after a conclave to elect a leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics. The 76-year-old conservative emerged from the balcony of St Peter’s Basilica to the cry of “Habemus Papam!” (“We Have a Pope!”), as tens of thousands of pilgrims clambered over barriers and broke down in
after suspenseful prayer vigils worldwide. White smoke earlier billowed from the Sistine Chapel and the bells of St Peter’s Basilica rang out, signalling the election had taken place after five rounds of voting in the Vatican, one more than when Benedict XVI was elected in 2005. Bergoglio is the first Jesuit to become pope and is believed to have been the runner-up in 2005. The first wisps of smoke in
JUI-F, BNP (Awami) to sit in opposition
No talks with govt on nomination papers: ECP nomination papers couldn’t be held in future. He added that the Election Commission would only accept the ruling of the Supreme Court with regard to the nomination papers. Meanwhile, the Election Commission has written a letter to the Interior Ministry to ensure foolproof security of the members of the Commission and its officials. The letter has been written after the murder of a District Election Commissioner in Balochistan. Member of the Election Commission, Balochistan, Fazal-ur-Rehman noted that the list of sensitive polling stations have already been prepared. The security of these polling stations will be ensured during the next general elections, he maintained. Meanwhile, Election Commission of Pakistan has established a secret monitoring cell for making the political parties abide by the code of conduct. The cell will monitor the political parties for twenty-four hours and will present its report to the Chief Election Commissioner on daily basis. Sources said that the monitoring cell would work in the centre and all of the provincial and district’s members of the commission would also be its members. The report on any type of misconduct would be sent to the monitoring cell. The processions and rallies would be monitored completely to check show of arms, buying and selling of votes, and unrestrained use of money. On the other had, the The Finance Ministry has released Rs 71 million for the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to meet imme-
IP gas pipeline project to save $2.3b fuel oil cost From Page 1 Pakistan inaugurated the construction of a much-delayed section of a $7.5 billion gas pipeline linking the two neighbouring countries. It may be noted that Iran has the second largest gas reserves in the world, but has been strangled by a Western oil embargo that has seen its crude exports halve in the past year. Iran produces around 600 million cubic metres of gas per day.
From Page 1 diate expenses. The government granted the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) with a supplementary grant worth Rs5 billion on Wednesday. Around Rs710 million from the grant have been dispatched while the rest of the money will be released next month. According to the commission’s additional secretary, the Finance Ministry has assured the ECP that Rs 4 billion would provided within one month. The election commission had requested for the grant in January, maintaining that Rs0.5 billion has been allocated to the army to provide security during elections, while a major chunk of the supplementary grant, Rs1.259 billion, would be spent on polling staff expenditures. According to the breakdown of the proposed expenditures submitted by Law Minister Farooq H Naek, Rs1 billion would be spent on printing ballot papers, forms, envelopes, posters and placards; Rs450 million for publicity; Rs87.5 million for establishing improvised polling stations; Rs148 million on procurement of election material and Rs215 million on procurement and transportation of ballot boxes and voting screens. The government spent
Rs1.85 billion for the polls held in 2008, while the army was given Rs195 million for providing assistance. Meanwhile the printing of the new nomination papers has been completed. 100,000 nomination papers have been printed and white would be used for general seats, pink for women seats and yellow for minority and reserved seats. The process of delivering the nomination papers is expected to be completed by March 18. The Election Commission has also summoned polling schemes from provincial election commissioners and has directed that polling stations should only be set-up in government offices. The polling stations should not be at a distance of two kilometres and each polling station should not exceed 2,500 voters. Another report says, Election Commission of Pakistan has decided to print 200 million ballot papers for upcoming general elections. A total of 180 million ballot papers would be printed for national and provincial assembly seats, DG ECP Sher Afghan said and added that 5 percent (20 million) extra papers would also be printed for the upcoming general elections. He said the total number of eligible voters in the country is more than 85 million.— Online
Hina most gorgeous woman politician NEW DELHI—Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar topped the list of most gorgeous women politicians in the world, a survey conducted by India Today said on Wednesday.Khar, who was elected member of National Assembly from the seat of Pakistan People’s Party, is famous for wearing attractive and fashionable outfits. Her handbags and dresses remains the focus of the media during foreign trips. Another Pakistani lawmaker Kashmala Tariq is at number eight on the list. Kashmala, who is also a lawyer and a member of Pakistan Muslim League-Like Minded, is famous for her dressings and outspoken statements. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is placed at number 9 on the list of most gorgeous women politicians.—INP
Girl gunned down, boy stoned to death HANGU—Upon the final decision of tribal elders, a boy was stoned to death while the girl was gunned down over suspicious of LAHORE: Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri having illicit relations The incident came to light in the area of Parachinar when a close relative alleged that a boy Noor- u -Deen and a girl Intizar Bibi were having illicit relations and presented them in front of a tribal elder After holding the jirga, the tribal elder stook the final decision and STAFF REPORTER announced the punishment of gunning down the girl and ston- LAHORE—President Pakistan ing for the boy.—Online Muslim League (Likeminded) Arbab Ghulam Rahim met Punjab Chief Minister Father kills son Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif at Model Town, today. over bread Political situation of the MULTAN—A father killed his 11 country, cooperation in forthyear old son when he asked for coming general elections and some roti from his step mother. political issues were discussed As per reports, 11 year old in the meeting. Bilawal was brutally beaten up Chairman Pakistan Musby his father Nasir with a lim League (likeminded) stick.—Online Hamid Nasir Chatha, General
addressing media persons on his arrival from Cananda
Arbab Rahim meets Shahbaz Secretary Hamayun Akhtar Khan, Haroon Akhtar Khan, President Pakistan Muslim League (Likeminded) Sindh, Arbab Lutfullah, General Secretary Sindh Senator Ghaffar Qureshi as well as PML-N Member National Assembly Pervaiz Malik, Deputy Speaker Punjab Assembly Rana Mashhood Ahmed Khan and Chairman Lahore Transport Company Khawaja Ahmed Hasaan were present on the occasion. Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz
Sharif welcomed the return of former chief minister Sindh, Arbab Ghulam Rahim to Pakistan and said that the forthcoming general elections are not for a change of government but for survival of the country. He expressed the hope that people will bring forward an honest and sincere leadership in the general elections. He said that Pakistan is passing through a critical phase and the correct decision of the people will take the country in the right direction.
Four policemen killed in one hour K ARACHI —Four policemen have been killed in just one hour in two separate incidents of firing in Karachi.In the first incident of firing, armed men gunned down two Police Constables (PC) Jawed Khan and Imran on Tuesday night. The incident happened near the DMart, Phase-1 DHA. Sub-Inspector (SI), Taj, of Defence Police Station said that PC Jawed and PC Imran were present near the DMart when two armed men riding a motorcycle opened fire at them and fled away. Another targeted attack at the police occurred within the Nazimabad police remits where Sub-Inspector (SI) Abid Hussain and another junior policeman were killed while PC Gulzar was injured.—Online
Badami Bagh tragedy
Challans against 54 persons lodged in anti-terrorist court SALIM AHMED was also established in a school. nience to the affectees to enable He said that three time meal them get immediate cash. LAHORE—Leader of Pakistan Muslim League-N, Senator Pervaiz Rashid has said that as many as 150 persons involved in Badami Bagh tragedy have been arrested while 54 persons have been recognized against whom challans have been prepared and submitted to anti-terrorist court. While addressing a press conference here Wednesday, he said that the court has been requested to hear these cases on daily basis so that deterrent punishment could be awarded to those responsible. He said, on the directive of Chief Minister Punjab, Punjab government has distributed cheques amounting to Rs.0.5 million each among 255 affected families, however, grant announced by federal government has so far not reached the affectees. He said that the Punjab government had requested Chief Justice Lahore High Court on very first day to constitute a commission to conduct judicial investigation of the tragedy. Accompanied by provincial Education Minister Mujtaba Shuja-ur-Rehman and Deputy Speaker Punjab Assembly Rana Mashhood, Senator Pervaiz Rashid said that those officials who were directly responsible for this negligence have been removed from their posts and suspended so that they are not in a position to influence independent, transparent and impartial investigation. He said that Punjab government set up tent village for the rehabilitation of the affectees on very first day, while a relief camp
is being served to the affectees in a village of 200 tents, while two medical camps have been set up and an ambulance has also been provided in this regard. Senator Pervaiz Rashid said that on the special directive of Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, work on the construction of houses has been initiated from March 10, and assigned to 20 separate contractors in order to ensure early completion of houses. He said that besides water supply, electricity and drainage, pavement of streets of Joseph Colony is being carried out on war footings. He said that cheques amounting to Rs 0.5 million each have been distributed so far among 255 families, while a counter of Punjab Bank has also been opened at Joseph Colony to provide conve-
He said that those affectees who did not have Identity card are now being issued ID cards. He said that a police post has also been established for protection of Christian brethren while an officer of SP rank has also been deputed there. He said, on the directive of Punjab Chief Minister, reconstruction of both the churches is being carried out in a beautiful and dignified manner. Senator Pervaiz Rashid said that police have arrested more than 150 persons, while challan of 54 persons involved in the tragedy is being submitted to anti-terrorist court. He said 80 persons had been nominated in the case who have been arrested while police have been given a target to arrest other persons within a day.
What is cocaine? how addictive is cocaine?
OCAINE is a bitter, addictive pain blocker that is extracted from the leaves of Erythroxylon coca, also known as the coca scrub, a plant that comes from the Andean highlands in South America. Cocaine is the most powerful stimulant of natural origin. The name of “cocaine” came from the plant “coca”. When Coca-Cola first came out it contained nine milligrams of cocaine per glass - in 1903 it was removed, but the drink still has coca flavoring.William S. Halstead (1852-1922), an American surgeon, injected cocaine into nerve trunks and demonstrated its numbing effect. It soon became used as an anesthetic agent. In 1898 August Bier, a German surgeon used cocaine as a spinal anesthetic. Not long afterwards the medical profession became aware of the addictive nature of cocaine and safer anesthetics were developed. Cocaine in its basic form stopped being used clinically as a pain blocker. Recreational cocaine, often termed illicit cocaine, and informally known as “powder, snow, ski, soft, blow, slopes,coca, and nose candy”, is presented as a white crystalline powder or as an off-white chunky substance. In powder form it is usually cocaine hydrochloride (C17H21NO4), which is then diluted with other substances, such as local anesthetic (lidocaine), sugars (lactose), inositol, and mannitol. By adulterating the cocaine in this way the seller can make more profits. Crack is the street name for a type of co-
caine that has had the hydrochloride removed, making it possible to smoke. When the mixture is heated it makes a crackling sound, hence the name. It is processed with baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) or ammonia and water, and heated to remove the hydrochloride. The crack smoker receives large doses of cocaine - the effect is virtually immediate, as with injected cocaine. The extremely intense feelings derived from smoking crack are short-lived. Overdosing on cocaine can lead to seizures, and life-threatening heart failure, cerebral hemorrhage, stroke and respiratory failure - even regular usage without overdosing raises the risk of detrimental health consequences (see paragraph below). There is no specific medication for cocaine overdose. Some studies have shown that those who inject or smoke cocaine have a greater risk of complications than individuals who snort it. Smokers will typically become compulsive cocaine users more rapidly than those who snort it. Smoking cocaine increases the risk of developing respiratory problems, such as shortness of breath, coughing, and lung trauma (including bleeding).Recreational cocaine users tend to have harder arteries, thicker heart muscle walls, and higher blood pressure compared to those who never use the drug.Regular cocaine users who otherwise healthy appear to have an 8mm Hg higher systolic blood pressure compared to non-users, as well as an up to 35% increased risk in the hardening of the aorta.
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf being briefed during the inauguration of Walk Aviary at Lake View Park.
PM inaugurates Bird Aviary at Lake View Park CITY REPORTER ISLAMABAD—Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf Wednesday inaugurated Bird Aviary at Lake View Park here on Wednesday. The Prime Minister was informed that the aviary, spread over 3.8 acres of land, was the biggest bird aviary in the country. He was informed that it had been completed at a cost of 74 million rupees. The prime minister was also informed that more than 1200 birds of 65 varieties had been kept in the aviary.—APP
CDA to auction 62 residential, commercial plots ISLAMABAD—The Capital DeISLAMABAD: Vehicles pass through round-about in front of Parliament House during velopment Authority (CDA) is all set to auction around 62 resirain on Wednesday evening. dential and commercial plots in various sectors of the federal capital to help bridge its financial deficit. The auction would be held on March 26 at Jinnah Convention Centre, here. Among the residential RAWALPINDI—The City Dis- monitoring teams would imple- conduct.A meeting of district plots to be auctioned include 47 trict Government Rawalpindi ment the Election Commission election commissioner, district residential and 15 commercial (CDGR) has prepared foolproof of Pakistan (ECP) code of con- returning officer, CDGR and po- plots. The auction plan has allice has been convened next security plan for holding of free duct. The monitoring teams week.Affidavits would be ready been widely publicized and fair elections in the city. According to security plan, would check wall chalking, ban- sought from the candidates for through media. The Authority would aucstrict surveillance of sensitive ners and size of billboards on peaceful holding of polling and polling stations would be en- daily basis and action would be to avoid displaying arms and tion 20 residential plots of difsured besides installation of taken against candidates if found brawls during the polling day.— ferent size in sector G-10, G-11 and 16 in sector D-12.—APP CCTV cameras and special violating the ECP code of INP
CCTV cameras at sensitive polling stations
PCP promoting ethical coverage of polls STAFF REPORTER ISLAMABAD—Ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium Peter Claes called on PCP Chairman, Raja Shafqat Khan Abbasi in PCP Secretariat and shared niews on upcoming general elections in Pakistan and its subsequent coverage in free and independent media and other related issues. Chairman PCP briefed the distinguished guest about the efforts put up by the Council in promoting ethical coverage of the polls and welcomed EU de-
cision to send 150 foreign observers to fairly and independently judge the state of general elections being held in Pakistan. He said arrival of these foreign observers will strengthen Pakistan’s bilateral relations with the EU countries and will also help them in identifying common grounds and benchmarks in developing free media in this part of the world. Chairman also presented to the ambassador PCP guidelines for media coverage of elections 2013 and briefed him about the mechanism of monitoring press
during polls. Ambassador of Belgium, Peter Claes appreciated PCP efforts in issuing media guidelines to cover general elections and strengthening development of free Pakistani media with recognized international standards. He said as a member of Alliance of Independent Press Councils of Europe (AIPCE), Belgium will continue supporting Pakistan as a partner and its cause for developing free media. Chairman also presented souvenir to H.A Peter Claes at the end of meeting.
PIMS receives 1,560 pollen allergy patients ISLAMABAD—Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) has provided medical treatment to 1560 patients of pollen allergy in last 13 days at its emergency and out patients department (OPD). According to hospital spokesman, Dr Wasim Khawaja, 960 patients were treated in emergency while 20% of patients came to emergency were suffering from severe shortness of breath. He advised the patients with severe symptoms to come to PIMS emergency round the clock while patients with light symptoms can visit the out patients department from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm.
He said the hospital management has made arrangements in emergency and OPD for checking of pollen allergy patients. He said the number of pollen allergy patients are increasing who are being treated in the PIMS emergency and Pulmonology department. He said best facilities are being provided to such patients free of cost and free life saving medicines in the emergency department besides nebulization, bronchodilaters, steroids, oxygen therapy, nursing care and specialist consultation. He advised the pollen allergy patients to adopt
precautionary measures to avert any complication. He said allergy patients should avoid going to places having the offending plants and pollen in the air. He asked pollen allergy patients, especially those working outdoors to wear face masks designed to filter pollen out of the air reaching their nasal passages. He said that during period of high pollen levels, people with pollen allergy should try to avoid unnecessary exposure to irritants such as dust, insect sprays, tobacco smoke, air pollution can aggravate the symptoms of pollen allergy, he added,—APP
Federal capital picnic spots attract visitors ISLAMABAD—A good number of domestic tourists from different parts of the country are visiting various resorts of federal capital. The resorts including Rawal Lake View Park, Damane-Koh and National Monument have become the source of attraction for such tourists. Rawal Lake Park, located on Murree road, this spacious park has been developed over Rawal Lake offering leisure and recreational opportunities for visitors. The park has a panoramic view of Rawal Dam and have a lush green playground for the children. The folk musicians sitting in the park play different tunes representing the folk music of the country to enthral the visitors.—APP
Independence Day of Mauritius
High Commissioner Daureeawo for closer relations with Pakistan A SHRAF A NSARI ISLAMABAD —High commissioner of Mauritius and Mrs. M. Rashad Daureeawo hosted a reception here at a hotel to celebrate independence of their country. A large number of guests graced the reception. The Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Nawabzada Malik Amad Khan was the chief guest at the reception who joined the host in cutting ceremonial cake. The guests included ambassadors, senior diplomats, senior civil and military officials and prominent personalities of the twin cities. Mauritius and Pakistan maintain close and mutually beneficial relations in several fields. The two countries are trying to enhance cooperation in several areas such as trade, investment, tourism and cultural exchanges.
ISLAMABAD: State Minister for Foreign Affairs Nawabzada Malik Amad Khan, High Commissioner, of Mauritius Rashad Daureeawo, Senator Jahangir Badar, Chairman HEC Dr. Javaid Laghari, Chief Minister Gilgit-Baltistan Syed Mehdi Shah,Ambassador of Saudi Arabia Abdul Aziz Ibrahim Al-Ghadeer, Ambassador of Egypt Said Hindam, Ambassador of Iraq Dr Rushdi Al-Ani, High Commissioner of Kenya MISHI MASIKA MWATSAHU and Ambassador of the State of Palestine Walid A M Abu Ali cutting cake on the occasion of 45th Independence Day of Mauritius.—PO photo by Sultan Bashir
The High Commissioner of Mauritius Mr. Rashad Daureeawo said; Pakistan and his country need to do more to boost bilateral cooperation and friendly relations to a higher level. “The two countries should work together on issues of common interest such as maritime safety and security, climate change and renewable energy”, he observed. He said at the same time the two countries should explore new avenues of cooperation to serve best interests of both the countries. There is vast scope for strengthening of cooperation between Pakistan and Mauritius. Mauritius is one of the most popular countries for tourists. It is a fascinating island, famous for lush green forests and peaceful beaches. The island is a great attraction for
the world tourists for its historic sights, cultural diversity, geographic variation and almost limitless activities. But perhaps its biggest asset is the relaxed charm of it warm and welcoming people. Mauritius is the most developed of the Mascarene Islands and its mercantile capital Port Louis is Africa’s wealthiest city. The Black River Gorges National Park’s beautiful forests have no parallel anywhere. Mauritius gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1968. It became a republic in 1992. Ethnically the country is made up of majority belonging to South Asian races but the people are of African, European and Chinese descent. English, French and Mauritian Creole languages are spoken in the country.
Museum of Natural History
05:50 01:30 05:00
Inauguration ceremony of audio tour guide CITY REPORTER
March 14 THE Japanese Embassy and the Rawalpindi Arts Council have arranged an exhibition of photo panels titled “Contemporary Japan caught by Lens” at 3pm on Thursday at Rawalpindi Arts Council, Stadium, Road, Rawalpindi. The exhibition will remain open till March 29 from 9am to 4pm daily except holidays. March 18 THE Institute of Strategic Studies, Islamabad is organizing a Public Talk on ‘Impact of the Arab Spring on South and East Asia’ at 1130 hrs at its premises. Speakers will be Prof Dr Claudia Derichs, University of Marburg, Germany”. Continues NATIONAL Centr4e for Physics in collaboration with Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Trieste, Italy is organizing the Fifth International Scientific Spring till March 15 at NCP Campus.
ISLAMABAD—In lieu with existing partnership between Pakistan Science Foundation (PSF) and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), on Wednesday an event was organized to hand over “audio commentary equipment” to Pakistan Museum of Natural History (PMNH) as a facility for the museum visitors. The audio commentary equipment will enhance the accessibility of scientific information and knowledge for the visitors, especially for young boys and girls. The commentary would be in Urdu and English language at the beginning and later regional languages will also be introduced for the benefit of visitors. Dr. Kay Nagata, Director of
UNESCO Islamabad in her opening remarks congratulated Pakistan Museum of Natural History (PMNH) and Pakistan Science Foundation. She said, “ This audio equipment will provide more informed scientific experience to the visitors in the Museum, with precise information about the exhibits as knowledge assistance. This initiative will be a pilot-case for replication by other museums in the country”. Islamabad Office and Pakistan Science Foundation (PSF) are working closely for some considerable time for the promotion of Science and related activities in the country. In addition to providing this audio equipment for the museum; UNESCO is supporting PSF in the development of Online Virtual Museum guide based on existing data and resources available with PMNH
to connect the audience with the museum virtually. Dr. Manzoor Hussain Soomro, Chairman, Pakistan Science Foundation expressed his satisfaction at the collaboration saying, “We have one of the most significant natural science specimens in the Museum— we find it most appropriate now to upgrade our resources technologically to meet the demand, and we are thankful to UNESCO to support us”. UNESCO with its partnership with PSF is working on the various initiatives for the popularization of science such as Man and Biosphere Programme implementation and also supporting Science Caravans in Conflict areas of FATA. Support to Natural Sciences is among one of the five key mandates of UNESCO, Director ISLAMABAD: Speaker National Assembly Dr Fehmida Mirza in a group photo with the members of the Women ParliaUNESCO further added.—INP mentary Caucus.
UNDP sends voter education kits to ECP
PIPS launches report on election issues
ECP and other partners, we are working to increase the number of voters in upcoming elections particularly women, first time voters and minority groups.” It is pertinent to mention that UNDP supported the ECP to prepare more than two hundred of its regional and district officers on voter education earlier this year, the ECP’s district officers will use the voter education materials with community leaders and civil society organizations.
ISLAMABAD—The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on Wednesday has sent voter education’s kits to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), the kits including stickers, posters, t-shirts, caps, pens and badges. The kits have been sent to the provincial, regional and district field offices of the ECP. Marc-André Franche, Country Director of UNDP Pakistan said, “Together with the
According to the ECP, turnout in the 2008 elections was just 44 percent and ECP wanted to increase the volume of turnout upto at least 63 percent in the forth coming elections. UNDP in collaboration with Australia, Norway and European Union is assisting the Election Commission of Pakistan for training, results management and voter’s education through a three-year electoral cycle support project.—Online
Grand competition for university students ISLAMABAD—”Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) is holding a grand competition amongst the students of the University who won 1st prize in each category in the competitions held in their respective region/cities. In view of this, three days program will be commenced from 19th to 21st March, 2013" this was announced by Syed Zia-ul-Husnain, Director, Directorate of Students Advisory & Counselling Services, AIOU. Vice-Chancellor, AIOU Prof. Dr. Nazir Ahmed Sangi will preside over the opening session on 19th March at 09:00 a.m. in Begum Nusrat Bhutto Auditorium of the University. Competitions includes essay (English & Urdu), Qira’t, Naa’t, Cultural Show, Flower exhibition has been scheduled for 19th March while Milli Naghma, Speech (English & Urdu), Flower Exhibition and stalls has been arranged to be held on 20th March.—Online
Free education for handicapped RAWALPINDI—Arid University has approved free education and lodging facility for the handicapped students. Approval was accorded in a meeting of Academic Council (AC) of the university held here under the vice chancellor Professor Dr Roy Niaz Ahmad. Senor faculty members, heads of different departments of the university, Faculty deans, institute directors, librarian, registrars and controller examination attended the meeting. The meeting approved the establishment of new faculty for agriculture engineering besides provision of education and lodging facilities free to the handicapped students.—Online
Absence of sewerage line RAWALPINDI—Non laying of sewerage line in street No 3 of Dhok Ratta have put the residents at the risk of becoming victim to dengue virus. The TMA had dug the street for laying sewerage line two months earlier but the project is still incomplete and has become a distant dream, said a group of residents. We cannot go to mosques as the whole street is flooded with excrement and filth, said inmates of street. The residents demanded immediate laying of sewerage line otherwise they will hold protest rallies.—Online
tute for Parliamentary Services (PIPS) launched a report of the Senate Special Committee on Election Issues here on Wednesday. Speaking on the occasion‚ Leader of the House in Senate Jahangir Badar said the report is the first historical document suggesting various recommendations for fair‚ free and impartial elections. He said the committee finalized the report after a series of meetings with all stakeholders and all political parties. He said that PPP has the credit that its leadership and workers rendered numerous sacrifices for upholding of democracy and will continue to render in future as well. Leader of Opposition Ishaq Dar‚ speaking on the occasion‚ said that PML-N has been playing its role in strengthening of the democratic set up during the last 5 years.—NNI
FBISE SSC exams to start on March 19
ISLAMABAD: Singers Sara Raza and Ali Abbas performing during a dinner hosted by MD PTV Mirza Yousaf Baig in honour of Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting.
WASA water quality team visits College Road
Lack of civic amenities in New Lalazar
R AWALPINDI —Water and RAWALPINDI—Lack of civic by incurring additional expenses Sanitation Agency (WASA) has started collecting samples of water upon complaints of supply of sewage mixed water to College Road and surrounding localities.WASA Managing Director Raja Shoukat Mehmood said that water quality monitoring team of the civic agency follow substantial approach to redress the grievances of public complaints. Upon complaints from residents of Collage Road and surrounding areas, team of water quality monitoring visited the areas and identified and repaired a leakage which subsequently resulted in contaminated water supply to house. Shoukat urged consumers to report their complaints on WASA toll free number 1334 which remain operational 24 hours.—INP
I SLAMABAD —During the Hafiz Jamshed Ahmed, Umar Iqbal and Sharif Virk member is month of Feb 2013, Commission on Enforced Disappearances, after holding proceedings at Lahore and Islamabad was able to trace out another 19 missing persons. According to the commission, Names /Percentage of these Missing Persons are Muhammad Ibrahim S/O Muhammad Hanif, Barkat Ullah S/o Syed Fazal Mansoor, Syed Hazrat Ullah S/O Syed Fazal Hameed, Muhammad Ikram S/ O Muhammad Ameen, Gulfam Haider Syed ,Mazhar Iqbal S/O Sher Muhammad (Proclaimed offender), Farooq Shafique s/O Muhammad Shafique ,Mian Azhar Hussain S/O Muhammad Sadiq ,Qari Abdul Rehman S/o
Residents demand cleanliness
Hayat S/O Umer Zada, Kaleem Ullah S/O Rana Muhammad Ayub, Muhammad Azam S/o Haji Rehmat khan, Hafiz Syed Tayyab Jilani S/O Syed Munawar Hussain Jilani ,GIdeen S/O Baaz Muhammad (confined in Central jail Dera Ismail Khan) , Muhammad Nawaz S/o Khuda Bakhsh (dead Body recovered) , Nisar Khan s/O Aurangziab Khan ,Hamadullah S/o Muhammad Ilyas Abuzar Ghaffari S/O Qari Muhammad Ismail and Shaukat ali S/o ali Rehman (Dead body recovered). The commission of inquiry on Enforced disappearances comprising former senior judge of Supreme Court, Justice Javed
conducting proceedings of the cases of Enforced disappearances regularly with the assistance of Law enforcing agencies for tracing out the Missing persons. Proceedings of the commission are being held at Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi, and Quetta periodically. On Ist January, 2011 138 cases of missing persons were pending. During the period of Ist January 2011 to 28th Feb 2013 ,861 new cases were received in the commission enhancing the total numbers to that of 999 out of which 378 cases have been disposed of and current balance of the cases under investigation is 621.— Online
Fishing in Rawal Dam despite ban CITY REPORTER ISLAMABAD—Despite ban on
fishing in Rawal Dam, some persons continued fishing through nets in the dam in alleged connivance of the government officials and selling dozens of fish on daily basis. According to experts, the ISLAMABAD—The Secondary School Certificate (SSC) Annual current season is the time of layExamination 2013 of the Federal Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (FBISE) will start on March 19. Roll number slips of all regular candidates of SSC PartI and II have been dispatched to their academic institutions and those of ex or private candidates on the addresses given by them in their admission forms. In case the roll number slip is not received by any candidate, he or she should contact the following officials of the board; controller of examination (conduct) 9250606, director one-window 9250612, deputy controller of examination (SSC conduct) 9250620, assistant controller of examinations (SSC conduct) 9250642 or superintendent (SSC conduct) 9250666.— INP
out of their own pockets. “We are low paid employees working in hotels, shops and other small enterprises and we have to spend one quarter of our salaries in purchasing water for drinking purpose and daily use. The vicious price spiral has squeezed last drop of blood from our bodies and the additional expenses on water purchase has plunged us into depths of woes and miseries, said a group of inmates. There is not a single grave yard located in the area and even no space has been provided by the government for this purpose in this thickly populated locality. The residents pointed out that tract of land lying around Askari-14 is area of shamlat. This ISLAMABAD—Residents of secmay be allocated for grave yard, tors G-7, G-10, G-9, I-8, I-9 and I-10 are facing a lot of problems they demanded.—Online as the authorities concerned seem least interested to clean these areas. They alleged that Capital Development Authority (CDA) did not bother about ensuring proper maintenance of parks and there was no place for public gatherings in these sectors. The residents of I-10 said the issue had been brought to the notice of the CDA time and again. Even roads and streetlights were in poor shape while wild growth of grass was another problem, he said. Heaps of garbage, scattered construction material attracted immediate attention of the authorities concerned, said others. They said pedestrians avoided footpaths due to wild bush and traffic on roads was messy. Besides cleanliness, they also complained of growing enRAWALPINDI: Workers holding rally to condemn proposed privatisation of Pakistan Rail- croachments in these sectors.— Online ways on Wednesday. amenities in New Lalazar defence road area has made the living conditions worse for the residents. In this era of 21st century when the man has explored new avenues of development and scientific achievements, the inmates of this area still stand deprived of basic facilities including water supply and graveyard. Due to non-availability of water supply facility, water crisis has aggravated and the inmates are forced to purchase water tankers at the rates ranging between Rs 700 and Rs 1200 per tanker. The water being supplied through the tankers is not fit for drinking purpose as it is brackish and contaminated. The residents have to make separate arrangement for fetching water for drinking purpose on rickshaws, taxis and motor cycles
19 missing persons traced out, says Commission
ing eggs of fish, therefore finishing poses threat to their existence in the dam but some persons continue fishing at Dam Bani Gala, Karash Nala, Nusary and other points, while the concerned authorities are playing the role of silent spectators. Meanwhile, the residents expressing their concerns said that the officials of police and
CDA were minting money from the residents in the name of fishing licence. They said that the money received was not submitted in the national exchequer. The residents appealed to the higher officials of the CDA, Fisheries Department and Small Dams Organizations to take notice of the prevailing situation and control the irregularities.
RAWALPINDI: Students of Government Degree College for Women Dhoke Mangtal reciting naat during Qirat-o-Naat Competition.
Pedestrians not using overhead bridges on Islamabad Expressway I SLAMABAD —Most of the and different sign-boards across pressway, but most of them did people of twin cities of Islamabad and Rawlpindi residing on both sides of the Islamabad Expressway do not use overhead bridges built on various points for their safety. Despite police warnings and traffic rules, the pedestrians do not bother to climb the bridges and instead put their lives at risk by walking across the road. The pedestrians usually think that they save their time by using a short-cut for crossing the road instead of overhead bridges. But practically, they have to waste extra time while waiting to get a chance to cross the road through heavy speeding traffic. An Islamabad Traffic Police official, while talking to APP on Wednesday, said they were doing their best to educate the road users on road safety
the Capital roads had been installed for their guidance. However, he regretted that most of the pedestrians prefer short-cut, avoid using overhead bridges and face road accidents. Several fatal road accidents have occurred on the Islamabad Expressway due to the negligence of pedestrians, he added. The official requested the people to use overhead bridges, which were installed for their safety and smooth flow of traffic. The Expressway is one of the busiest roads as it is used by most of the traffic coming from Lahore to enter Islamabad and Rawalpindi, he added. Atif Noor, a motorist, told APP that overhead bridges had been installed at a cost of million of rupees for the safety of people living across the Ex-
not use that facility putting not only their own lives at risk but those of the motorists also. Zohaib Kazmi, a public transport driver of Route 21, said that the people, who do not use the bridge for crossing the road and instead walk across the road, disturbed the traffic flow. Qaiser Zaman, a government employee, said that he always used overhead bridges, which had been erected for the safety of pedestrians crossing the Expressway. When contacted, a Capital Development Authority spokesman said that a proposal was under consideration to construct a six-feet high safety wall along the Islamabad Expressway for discouraging the pedestrians to cross the road at points other than the designated ones.—APP
People harassing tourists are anti-movement: Mirwaiz SRINAGAR—Denouncing the should expose such miscre- to any extent to remain in the spirit. government crackdown on youth and separatist leaders and activists in Valley, Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has said people indulging in harassing tourists are anti-movement and people should identify these elements. In a statement issued here, Mirwaiz, who is under house arrest, condemned the attacks on tourists. He asked people to keep an eye on miscreants as it was being reported that at some places tourists were harassed and their vehicles were targeted. “Such acts were a cause of concern and were in no way connected with struggle. People
MUZAFFARABAD: Baba-e-Hurriyat Syed Ali Shah Gilani addressing telephonically a mass meeting organized by Tehreek Azad Jammu & Kashmir.
Omar using AFSPA card to mislead people: Mehbooba
PDP protests ‘police brutalities BANDIPORA——Hundreds of opposition Peoples Democratic Party workers lodged strong protest in front of the Deputy Commissioner’s Office here against the arrest of at least 16 youth and three parents during the recent nocturnal raids. The protesters threatened to intensify their agitation if the youth are not released forthwith. The PDP workers marched from District office to Deputy Commissioner’s office and blocked Bandipora-Sopore road this morning. They alleged that police have arrested 16 youth and three parents during nocturnal raids in the area and ransacked their houses. The protesters were raising slogans against the alleged high-handedness of police. “They have arrested innocent youth and parents during nocturnal raids,” said a PDP worker. Senior PDP activist Abdul Majeed Rahi demanded immediate release of the detained. Quoting few local residents, Rahi said the cops barged into their houses and damaged windowpanes and doors. However police said they are investigating the cases and the detained youth are “involved in stonepelting.”—NNI
JAMMU—Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president, Mehbooba Mufti has accused the government of using the issue of AFSPA revocation to divert attention of people from its failure to deal with the prevailing situation in Kashmir. “Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has been using revocation of AFSPA as a tool for the government to divert attention of people from the present crises and its failure to deal with the situation,” Mehbooba told media persons here. Stating that PDP is serious about the revocation of AFSPA from J&K, Mehbooba accused the ruling National Conference of using the issue for political gains and to mislead people. “PDP took the issue of AFSPA removal in 2007, and it was part of the government’s policy then.” She said they had taken up
‘Statements of Shinde, Prasad aimed to promote Indian rule’
cern about the health of Hurriyat (G) Chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelnai, Lok Jan Shakti Party leader, Ram Villas Pasvan has criticized the State and Centre government for continuously keeping him under house arrest at a time when he is suffering from different ailments. Paswan while addressing a rally in Patna said that Centre is not serious about Kashmir issue and it doesn’t care about the view points of Kashmiri people. “Injustice was done to the
S RINAGAR —All
Parties Hurriyet Conference (APHC) leader and the Chairman of Islamic Political Party Jammu and Kashmir, Mohammad Yousuf Naqash has said that the statements of Indian Home Minister, Sushil Kumar Shinde and police head of occupied Kashmir, Ashok Prasad are aimed at promoting the mindset and policies of Indian colonial rule in Kashmir. Mohammad Yousuf Naqash in a statement issued in Srinagar said that instead of feeling surprised on the statements, Kashmiri people, in general, and committed and sincere pro-freedom persons, in particular, should evolve a well-planned long-term strategy to continue and promote the ongoing liberation struggle till its logical conclusion. Naqash expressed resentment over the continued detention of APHC leader and the DFP Chairman, Shabbir Ahmad Shah and his deteriorating health and added that Indian government and its puppet administration were intentionally playing with his life by avoiding his treatment in the hospital.—KMS
the issue in the Round Table Conference and with Prime Minister. “However, Omar government has derailed the efforts of PDP government and are now using the serious issue to divert people’s attention from the present situation in Valley.” Referring to the killing of over 120 innocent people in Kashmir during 2010 turmoil, the PDP president said the NCled coalition did not take action against the erring policemen. PDP president also accused the government of terrorizing people. She said police and other security agencies have been harassing people in some localities and ransacking their houses. She added that pellet or pepper guns are being used indiscriminately. She said the government is resorting to “terrorizing tactics” to hide its failures. Up siding down the claims of the Chief Minister Omar
Abdullah that while dealing with protestors, Government was using non- lethal weapons to avoid maximum injuries to protestors, Mehbooba Mufti said that only heartless people can claim this as the reality is that pepper gas is being used widely all across Kashmir. Mehbooba said that way these Pellet Guns and pepper Gas was brought into use, it was completely inhuman and those who value human lives will certainly term it as anti-people. “Everyone saw the photograph of a boy published in a newspaper that was bearing pellet Gun injuries. He was badly wounded. Last time an old lady died due to inhalation of pepper gas. Is it justified? People are complaining of breathing problems, nasal bleedings, what kind of justice it is? We can’t bail out government on this sensitive issue,” she said.—NNI
Allow Geelani to venture out: Paswan to State, Centre SRINAGAR—Expressing con- family of Afzal for not allow- evening, the government of ing them to meet him before his execution. The decision of Centre to execute Afzal was totally wrong,” Paswan said adding that people of Kashmir are furious over the hanging of Afzal. He criticized the role of Jammu and Kashmir government for continuously keeping Syed Ali Shah Geelani under house arrest. “At a time when 86 year old Kashmir leader (Syed Ali Shah Geelani) needs rest and doctors have advised him to have a wale morning and
Jammu and Kashmir is not allowing him to venture outside his residence. It is totally injustice,” Paswan said. He said that anger is brewing among Kashmiri people over the execution of Afzal Guru and at a time when they are demanding the mortal remains of Afzal, Syed Ali Shah Geelani is not being allowed to move out from his residence. “I have taken up this issue with Home Minister of India and he has assured me that Geelani will be allowed to move freely,” Paswan said.—NNI
Won’t return Afzal’s body: Home Minister NEW DELHI—Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde has ruled out handing over the body of Muhammad Afzal Guru to his family. There has been persistent demand from Afzal’s family for handing over his body so that he could be buried properly in Kashmir. Afzal was hanged and buried in New Delhi’s Tihar Jail on February 9. “Under the jail rules, the body can’t be given to Guru’s family members,” he said. However, Shinde said that Guru’s family members are free to visit Tihar Jail and offer prayers at his grave. Shinde’s comments come amid the demand by Guru’s family and major political groups in Kashmir asking for the return of the body. Even Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and opposition PDP patron Mufti Muhammad Sayeed had written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh earlier and demanded that the body be handed over to the family. Replying to a question by Greater Kashmir, Shinde refused direct comment on possible action against JKLF chairman Yasin Malik. “Home Ministry is fully aware about the happenings in Pakistan. Jammu and Kashmir Police has already taken action against Malik,” he said. Certain quarters, especially BJP, are demanding action against Malik as Mumbai attack accused Hafiz Sayed had made an appearance at his hunger strike in Islamabad, Pakistan.—NNI
Zafar Akbar sympathises with injured youth
S RINAGAR —All Parties Hurriyet Conference (APHC) leader and the Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Salvation Movement (JKSM), Zafar Akbar Butt has expressed solidarity with those injured by Indian troops during peaceful protest demonstrations in the territory. Zafar Akbar Butt, while Interacting with the people affected by firing, pepper gas and grenades shelling of Indian troops, urged the international community to take cognisance of human rights violations and stop genocide of Kashmiris in occupied Kashmir. Terming the use of brute force on peaceful protesters, Zafar Akbar Butt said, “For last one month more than five persons have lost their lives and several including infants are suffering from acute respiratory diseases.” During his interaction with the injured people at various hospitals, Zafar Akbar Butt was ISLAMABAD: Amir Jamaat-e-Islami Abdul RAshid Turabi explaining Kashmir and its apprised about the hazardous effects of pepper gas.—KMS background to the ambassador of Turkey.
ants”. Mirwaiz said Kashmir has a history of hospitality since centuries onwards. “People have been courteous to guests and whosoever is indulging in harassing tourists is anti-movement. People should not allow those miscreants to succeed in their nefarious designs”. Terming the arrests and excesses committed by cops as the worst phase of dictatorial politics in Jammu and Kashmir, he said, “The use of wanton force and large scale crackdown including nocturnal raids against youth in Srinagar and across Kashmiris testifies the fact that the despotic authorities can go
power”. “By virtue of black powers, the Indian forces are increasingly misusing those powers to spread terror and scare. As a result, the repression is increasing day by day and forces don’t even desist from committing barbaric acts,” he said. Accusing the government of playing politics of ‘hypocrisy’ in Kashmir, Mirwaiz said on one hand government was falsely claiming of providing security to people and on another hand it was involved in naked aggression against Kashmiris at all levels. He appealed people to follow MMM calls in letter and
Meanwhile, Hurriyat (M) spokesman has strongly condemned the attack on JKLF chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik at Delhi airport by RSS and shiv sena activists. “Malik was a respectable leader of Kashmir and Hurriyat cannot tolerate any attack on him”. He expressed concern that police was not furnishing details of charges to the family members of the arrested youth lodged in different police lock ups across Kashmir. “The youth are being torture and terrorised to admit offences which they have not committed,” he added.—NNI
Govt admits use of excessive force in Held Kashmir JAMMU—The government has from asthama also most vulner- ors,” argued Hussain. admitted that excessive force was used at some places in the Valley to maintain law and order situation after opposition PDP members created ruckus in the Assembly and staged walkout over use of pepper gas on protesters. As the session started, all the PDP legislators stood from their seats and sought statement from government over use of pepper gas in the Valley. “It is really unfortunate that pepper gas, which is being blamed for death of women in Srinagar, is being used by forces on common people and protesters in Valley. Experts are sounding alert against its use and the patients suffering
able. So we want government to come up with a statement in the House over this issue before start of normal proceedings,” PDP members Syed Basharat Bukhari and Peerzada Mansoor Hussain told Speaker Mubarak Gul. The Speaker urged the members to allow the normal business of the House. However, all the PDP members went into the well of the House and created ruckus to press for their demand. “How can you ask us to allow the normal proceedings when the use of pepper guns has made lives of people miserable in Kashmir? How can government use such a weapon, which is life threatening, on protest-
Another PDP leader A R Veeri said arrests have become random. “The innocent people are beaten and raids are being carried out by the forces to nab the youth. The situation is alarming”. However, no other member from opposition raised the issue over use of pepper gas in the Valley. CPI (M) leader M Y Tarigami, DFP leader Hakeem Yasin and others preferred silence over the issue. As the PDP members continuously agitated in the well of House, Speaker assured them that after completion of Question Hour, the concerned minister will make a statement on the issue. On his request, all the members returned to their seats.—NNI
MUZAFFARABAD: A group photo of AJK PPP Media Advisor Shoukat Javed, Senior Naib Sadar Syed Majaz Shah, Administrator Mir Mushtaq, Shoukat Rathore in Sindh PSF rally.
Afzal Guru issue: PDP stages walkout J AMMU — The Indian held you to speak over the issue— I House to pass a resolution over Jammu and Kashmir Assembly Wednesday witnessed uproarious scenes amid walkout from PDP over the issue of return of Afzal Guru’s mortal remains and the comments of Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde on it. As the House assembled Wednesday morning, PDP members led by leader of the opposition Mehbooba Mufti raised the issue of return of the Guru’s body to the family and the statement of Union Home Minister that the body will not be handed over to the family. However, Speaker Mubarak Gul intervening them said that they can raise the issue in the business advisory committee meeting in the day. Speaker further said “you had raised the issue — there was a debate on it (yesterday), the government gave statement on it— what is your issue now”. He said “let one member of
want to know from you what is the issue and let me allow the House to run smoothly”. On this, PDP MLA Rafi Mir said “it is unfortunate— we have raised the point of return of the body to the family but it has been turned down by the Home Minister of India— this House has been insulted— Chief Minister has been insulted— opposition has been insulted— nothing has been done to return the body”. BJP member Jugal Kishore and Ashwani Sharma of Jammu State Morcha (JSM) amid sloganeering and uproarious scenes said that PDP was only raising the issue of Guru and Assembly has been kept hostage on this issue but there was no mention of the person who was killed in Valley in stone pelting. It triggered verbal duels between BJP and PDP Legislators. Amid uproar, PDP’s Moulvi Iftikar Hussain Ansari asked the
the return of Guru’s body to the family. However, Speaker turned it down, saying, state government has already taken up the issue with the Centre and the process is going on. He further said whatever the information we receive will be shared with the House and the people of J&K. Later speaking on the issue, leader of the House Mehbooba Mufti demanded reply from the government and condemned the Shinde’s statement. “Sense of the House and people demanded return of the body so that the religious obligations are performed by the family”, she said. “First he (Shinde) spoke about the saffron terror then he thought how to prove himself that he was not against Hindus he hanged them recently he reveals the names of rape victims which was a blunder”, she said.—INP
Hindu terrorism becomes subtle reality, India taking action against Kashmiris in bafflement New Delhi’s selective outrage: The tale of two rapes SHIKHA DALMIA
NE of the most obscene moments after the death of the gang-rape victim in New Delhi was a tweet by Narendra Modi, the Governor of the Indian state of Gujarat, offering regret and condolences to the dead woman’s family. Modi, who has quelled restive minorities by allowing attackers to subject women to unspeakable horrors, has done more than any man to numb his prudish country to sexual violence. Yet he was elected to a third term last month and is the presumptive front-runner of the Bharatiya Janata Party, the main Hindu opposition party, for prime minister in next year’s national elections. So long as Indians keep rewarding politicos such as Modi, the country’s collective outrage after the New Delhi case won’t change the culture that makes such atrocities common in India.
The attack on the 23-year-old physiotherapy student was truly depraved. Five men and a teenager in a private bus are accused of kidnapping, beating, raping, and violating her with an iron rod – and then dumping her and her semi-conscious boyfriend on a highway, where they also allegedly tried to run her over. But as horrific as this crime was, consider what happened in Gujarat in February 2002, a few months after Modi assumed office. Organized bands of well-armed Hindus – some from groups tied to Modi’s party – fanned across the state seeking revenge against Muslims for allegedly burning a train full of Hindu pilgrims a few weeks earlier. The Hindu rioters systematically sought out and destroyed Muslim homes and businesses, killing more than 1,000 people. Muslim women were singled out. According to many Indian and foreign sources, including a
Human Rights Watch account and a report by an international research team called “Threatened Existence: A Feminist Analysis of the Genocide in Gujarat,” women were stripped, gang-raped, often publicly, and finally in almost all cases burned or hacked to death. The reason the violence reached such extremes was that the state police stood back and didn’t intervene to stop the Hindu attacks and even told victims that it could not protect them. As if the bloodletting wasn’t horrific enough, Modi subsequently dismantled the shelters constructed by private organizations for dispossessed Muslims, calling them “child-breeding centers.” Compared with the New Delhi rape, which has triggered a protest movement in India calling for the castration and execution of the suspects, the Gujarat rapes and pogrom elicited barely a whimper. Many Hindus either deny that the horror even occurred, or if they accept it, they claim
it wasn’t as grisly as media accounts suggest. And if they believe the accounts, they say Muslims had it coming. Fewer than 100 out of the thousands of accused culprits – among them only one state minister and one Bharatiya Janata Party leader – were convicted, and that was a decade later. Modi himself was exonerated. Whatever public disgust there was against him has dissipated, given the stellar economic growth that Gujarat has seen on his watch. Business leaders and corporations, from India and overseas, turn a blind eye to Modi’s role in allowing the bloodshed, and praise his economic stewardship. His business backers have already managed to get the U.K. government to reverse its long-standing ban on him and to give him a visa. Now they are trying to persuade the U.S. government to follow suit. What accounts for the wide gulf in the Indian public response to the single crime in New
Delhi and the mass crimes in Gujarat? On the positive side, attitudes toward women have evolved considerably since the Gujarat atrocity more than 10 years ago. Thanks to liberalization, Indian women’s aspirations and opportunities have increased, especially in big cities, and they are demanding that the governing classes keep pace and create an environment in which they are free to move around safely. After the New Delhi attack, any politician or even religious guru – no matter how revered – who suggested that women need to circumscribe their lives and choices for their own protection was condemned and lampooned, something scarcely imaginable when I was growing up in New Delhi (in a Hindu household) in the 1970s. But the darker reality is that the young woman’s rape and murder outraged the country’s Hindu urban middle class because it was a random and senseless act that could have just as easily victimized their daughters. —KMS
Conversion rates KARACHI—The following rates will be applicable for conversion into rupees of Foreign Currency Deposits, Dollar Bearer Certificates, Foreign Currency Bearer Certificates, Special U.S. Dollar Bonds and profits thereon by all banks and for providing Forward Cover on Foreign Currency Deposits (excluding F.E. 25 deposits) by the State Bank on March 14, 2013. The rates are U.S. Dollar Rs 97.8890, Japanese Yen Rs 1.0221, Pound Sterling Rs 146.5105 and Euro 127.4417.—APP
IEA sees weak 0.9pc growth P ARIS —The International Energy Agency (IEA) forecast on Wednesday that global demand for oil would grow at a weak pace of 0.9 percent this year amid uncertainty generated by the US budget negotiations, slower-than-anticipated Chinese business activity and chronically high unemployment in Europe. The IEA’s estimated nominal growth figure of 820,000 barrels per day contrasted with average growth in demand of 1.4 million b/d in nonrecessionary years, a monthly report said.—AFP
Asian markets slip H O N G K O N G —Asian
Fahim for boosting trade relations with UAE STAFF REPORTER I SLAMABAD —Matar Ali Al Mansoori, First Secretary , Charge de Affairs, United Arab Emirates (UAE ) Embassy of Pakistan here called on Federal Minister of Commerce, Makhdoom Amin Fahim and discussed ways and means for further boosting trade and investment relations between the two brotherly countries. Makhdoom Amin Fahim while highlighting the importance of trade relation
with UAE said that the Emirates has become a grate trade partner of Pakistan with export to UAE reaching US $ 2292.3 million in 2011-12. However, there is substantive potential for increasing the volume of trade, said a statement of Ministry of Commerce issued here today. It was also mentioned that UAE is the 3rd biggest foreign investor in Pakistan after the United States and United Kingdom. Pakistan’s main exports
to UAE are textile, chemical material and compounds construction materials including cement, cotton , fabrics, essential oil & perfumes, cotton yarn, fish, footwear, fruits & vegetables, jewellery gold and silver ware, machinery and parts, petroleum products, rice and sports goods. Matar Ali Al Mansoori, emphasized exchange of trade delegations would enhance business and commercial opportunities in each other ’s country.
Engro recognised among top five employers KARACHI—Pakistan’s home- league of top five employers. grown multinational Engro Corporation was recognised among the top and most preferred employers in the country. A statement here on Wednesday said that the Engro Corporation is the only Pakistani private company that has made it to the top five. It said that according to a survey conducted by Rozee.pk, in collaboration with a UK based Research Company YouGov, Engro Corporation was voted as a preferred employer bringing the company to the fourth place in the
To ensure that Engro remains the most sought after employer among college graduates and experienced professionals, the company continues to implement its holistic strategy for employee and organisational development. As part of the survey, the respondents were asked to cast their votes based on the organisation’s brand image, potential for career growth, work environment, compensation, benefits and social responsibility.
The statement further pointed out that Engro Corporation Limited received a weighted share of 77 percent in Agriculture/ Fertilizer and Pesticide sector for its fertilizers business- Engro Fertilizers and was, thus, the most preferred employer in the category, securing the first position. Similarly, the foods business of the CompanyEngro Foods, received 34 percent weighted votes and secured the second position in the category of the most preferred employer in the FMCG sector.—APP
markets mostly fell on Wednesday, with few catalysts to drive buying after recent gains, while Wall Street provided a limp lead. The yen edged up slightly as investors weighed reports that Japan’s main opposition party will vote against one of the government’s nominations for deputy governor of the country’s central bank. Tokyo fell 0.61 percent, or 75.15 points to 12,239.66, Sydney slipped 0.50 percent, or 25.5 points, to 5,092.4, while Seoul rose 0.32 percent, or 6.39 points, to 1,999.73. Hong Kong shed 1.46 percent, or 333.95 points, to end at 22,556.65, while Shanghai fell 0.99 percent, or 22.64 points, to 2,263.97. —AFP ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Finance Saleem H. Mandviwalla meeting with CEO of Northern Enterprises Imtiaz Ahmad.
Japan auto giants to give workers bonus boost T O K Y O —Japan’s top
automakers are set to give tens of thousands of employees an annual bonus bump as a weaker yen helped their bottom line while Tokyo presses firms to hike staff pay to lift the economy. Toyota, Japan’s biggest car firm, said Wednesday it would accept union demands for a richer bonus with the Camry-maker agreeing to inflate the annual payment by about 10 percent to an average 2.05 million yen ($21,000).—AFP
“Development is about transforming the lives of people, not just transforming economies.”
SECP amends first schedule of Companies Ordinance 1984 TARIQ KHATTAK ISLAMABAD—The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) with the aim of facilitating corporate sector has made certain amendments to the First Schedule to the 1984 Companies Ordinance, containing articles of association of companies vide its SRO 194(I)/2013. The amendments broadly relate to the areas of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanism, dividend payments mode, holding of the meetings of the Board of Directors through tele/video conferencing, sending of notices through email, and procedure for election of directors for companies limited by guarantee and not having a
share capital. In order to provide a tool for dispute resolution between the company or its shareholders or between the directors or the shareholders, new provisions have been added to Tables A and C. The said provisions seek to encourage directors, shareholders and other stakeholders to solve their disputes without recourse to courts of law. Amendments have also been made to Table A of the First Schedule, enabling the companies to make payment of dividend in cash and/or in specie. Earlier, such facility was not clarified in the relevant provisions. As per previous provisions, it was not necessary to give notice of directors’
meeting to any director who was out of country for the time being. Now, owing to the amendment to Tables A and C of the First Schedule, it has been made easier to send notice to directors, whether in the country or out of country, via email, which will be considered a valid notice. Keeping in view the technological advances, new provisions in Tables A and C have been added to facilitate directors to hold meetings through tele/video conferencing in emergency situations, where it is not possible for them to be physically present at the venue of the meeting. This provision shall increase directors’ participation in meetings.
ISLAMABAD: Charge de affaires, UAE Embassy, Matar Ali Al-Mansoori called on Federal Minister for Commerce and Senior Minister Makhdoom Amin Fahim.
NBP second major agri loan provider STAFF REPORTER ISLAMABAD—National Bank of Pakistan is the second major loan provider to agriculture sector after Zarai Taraqiati Bank of Pakistan. This was stated by the senior officials of NBP during a briefing to the Senate Standing Committee on Finance held with Islamuddin Sheikh. They said their customers in the agriculture sector have increased to 250,000, adding that loans were being given at 15.5 percent interest rate. The meeting was also informed that corporate sector is being offered loan at 12 to 15 percent interest rate. President ZTBL Asif Brohi and other officials of NBP gave a detailed briefing to the committee about various functions. About the home remittances, the officials of NBP stated that at present, home remittances volume of Pakistan is around $ 13.9 billion of which NBP has a share of $ 1.306 billion, for the year ending December 31, 2012.
PACRA upgrades MCB Bank’s long term credit rating K ARACHI —The Pakistan Credit Rating Agency (PACRA) has upgraded Muslim Commercial Bank (MCB) Long Term Credit Rating from AA+ to AAA which defines the highest credit quality with lowest expectation of credit risk. A statement here on Wednesday said that such rating is assigned only in case of exceptionally strong capacity for timely repayment of financial commit-
ments and which is highly unlikely to be negatively affected by foreseeable events and reflects the top status on the PACRA rating mechanism. It said that the short term rating of the Bank is maintained at A1+ which is already the highest allocated rating in the grid. A1+ denotes the ability of the bank to meet its obligation supported by the highest capacity for timely repayment.
The statement further pointed out that this elevation is coherent with the well-defined organisational structure of the Bank, experienced Management, high standards of corporate governance, prudent risk management framework, improving asset quality, continuous investment in information technology, well established and diversified branch network and strong absorption capacity. —APP
OGDCL institute of science & technology opens STAFF REPORTER
Companies were present on the occasion here today. The Institute is starting an MS Petroleum Engineering Programme and Geosciences soon. Oil & Gas Training Institute of OGDCL, is a premier institute of petroleum industry in the country which was established in 1979 with technical assistance from Canadian International Development Agency and now upgraded for higher education and training. This institute has been elevated to a degree awarding institute through affiliation with Quaid-i-Azam University
Islamabad and renamed as OGDCL Institute of Science & Technology (OIST). A high level Sudanese delegation visited OGDCL Head office on March 12, 2013. The Advisor for Petroleum and Natural Resources welcomed the delegation to Pakistan and highlighted that Sudan is one of the promising upcoming highly prospective country which has a lot of potential to monetize oil and gas resources. Further there exist a number of joint venture opportunities which can both be materialized by OGDCL and PPL jointly.
I SLAMABAD —Dr. Asim Hussain Advisor to the Prime Minister on Petroleum & Natural Resources and Mr. Awad Ahmed Algeez Minister of Petroleum Sudan inaugurated OGDCL Institute of Science & Technology (OIST). The ceremony was graced by H.E Alshafi Ahmed Ambassador of Sudan in Pakistan, Vice ChanOBSERVER REPORT cellor of Quaid-e-Azam UniK ARACHI —Karachi Stock versity Dr. Masoom Yasinzai, Exchange has suspended the and Mr. Masood Siddiqui trading in shares of Goodluck MD/CEO OGDCL and Chief Executives of other E&P Industries Limited. The notice in this regard issued by KSE stated that: It is hereby informed to all concerned that Goodluck Industries Limited has failed to comply with the instructions of Exchange to fulfill the requirements of Listing Regulation No.30 (1)(g) i.e. induction of the Ordinary Shares of the Company into CDS of Central Depository Company of Pakistan Limited within 90 days i.e. up to March 11, 2013. In view of above and as required under the Listing Regulation No30(2)(b), trading in the shares of the company will be suspended w.e.f. March 13, in exercise of the powers vested in the Exchange under Sub-Section (7) of Section 9 of Securities & Exchange Ordinance 1969 ISLAMABAD: Advisor to PM on Petroleum and Natural Resources, Dr Asim Hussain and Regulation No.30 (2)(b) with Petroleum Minister of Sudan, Dr Awan Ahmed Algaaz inaugurating OGDCL Institute of Science and Technology. of the Listing Regulations.
Trading in Goodluck Industries shares suspended
Japan Special Economic Zone draws in foreign investment AMANULLAH KHAN KARACHI —Dr Hironao Takahashi, leader of the Japanese Business delegation who is also the honorary Investment Counsellor, Board of Investment, highlighting the details of Japan Special Economic Zone planned at Dhabeji in the vicinity of Karachi city said that initially 250 acres land is allocated which will be enhanced to 2000 acres. Speaking at a reception organized by Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) HE stressed upon
the need of productive action on discussion between Pakistan-Japan Business Community and frequent interaction. KCCI can join hands with Tokyo Chamber of Commerce & Industry for mutual cooperation and to facilitate the business communities of two countries he said and added that Japanese companies from auto sector have shown their interest in the Japanese Special Economic Zone. Dr. Hironao said that Pakistan has flourishing potential in the region and the Japanese companies can take the advantage of its geo-strategic loca-
tion. He sought cooperation of KCCI to attract the Japanese companies to invest in the Japan Special Economic Zone and likewise assured his close cooperation to KCCI on matters of mutual interest. Express his views on the occasion Muhammad Haroon Agar President KCCI stated that Japan Special Economic Zone will prove as milestone in the Economic and Commercial Cooperation between Pakistan and Japan. He appreciated the initiative of Sindh Government through Sindh Board of Investment to sign the Memorandum of Understanding with Japan
to execute the establishment of Japan Special Economic Zone earmarked near Dhabeji in the vicinity of Karachi city. Exchanging views with the a Japanese delegation of businesspersons led by Dr Hironao Takahashi, Honorary Investment Counsellor, Board of Investment, Government of Pakistan, he emphasized to promote SMEs which are the driving force for the growth of economy, Pakistan should learn and adopt the strategies of Japanese SMEs to uplift the SMEs sector here in Pakistan, JETRO (Japan External Trade Organization) Pakistan and
KCCI may join hands for mutual cooperation to promote SMEs in association with its Japanese counterparts. He focused that Pakistan’s exports to Japan can be multiplied while exploring the vast missed and untapped opportunities. The Pakistan-Japan Special Economic Zone planned for establishing in Karachi will prove as a milestone for enhancement of bilateral trade. He drew the attention of Japanese delegation towards exports potential of Pakistan fruits especially mango & citrus fruits, vegetables, rice, and livestock along with textile products in-
cluding cotton yarn, woven fabrics, leather goods, surgical & sports goods, hand-madecarpets, fish and fish products. He highlighted that Pakistan produces world’s best mango which has great demand in Japan. He stated that PakistanJapan trade was facing imbalance which cannot be abridged because Japan is one of the world’s largest economy, however, Japan offers tremendous opportunities as the Pakistan’s exports are just 11 percent of what Japan exports to Pakistan. He also appreciated the efforts of JETRO (Japan External Trade Organization) to develop and
promote SMEs sector in Pakistan and JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) for technical training programmes. He said that Pakistan-Japan major joint ventures were in automobiles and motorcycles, investment banking and power plants. He asserted upon the Japanese companies to invest in the Japan Special Economic Zone to explore more opportunities of joint ventures in power generation, construction of mega projects etc. He concluded that Pakistan offers great opportunities to Japan due to its strategic location on the cross-roads
of South Asia, Central Asian Republics & Middle East and through Gawadar; Japan while building a manufacturing base in Pakistan can tap the regional huge markets. President KCCI, also invited Japanese companies to participate in KCCI’s 10th International My-Karachi Exhibition to be organized in July 2013 whereby an International Pavilion is planned for B2B and B2C meetings. He apprised about the vital role of KCCI in the socio-economic development of Pakistan and to promote trade and industry in Karachi and elsewhere.
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Oil prices mixed S INGAPORE —Oil prices were mixed in Asia on Wednesday after the OPEC cartel projected an increase in crude production, analysts said. New York’s main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) light sweet crude for delivery in April gained 15 cents to $92.69 a barrel in the afternoon while Brent North Sea crude for April delivery dropped 28 cents to $109.37. Prices had been up in early trade on general confidence in global equity markets, despite the broad losses on Wednesday in Asian bourses. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries on Tuesday stood pat on its 2013 crude demand forecast, but raised its expectation of production growth by non-OPEC suppliers by 11 percent to 1.0 million barrels a day. It expects the growth by non-OPEC suppliers to come mainly from North America. “While supply is moving forward, demand is staying at where it is. This puts a negative premium on oil futures,” said Jason Hughes, head of premium client management at IG Markets Singapore. The cartel, which accounts for around 35 percent of world supply, expects a global demand of 89.7 million barrels per day in 2013, up 0.8 million from 2012. The US Energy Information Agency in its short-term energy outlook Tuesday lowered its forecast for the average WTI and Brent prices this year.—AFP
Tokyo shares close down 0.61pc T OKYO —Tokyo shares closed down 0.61 percent W ednesday after a mixed performance on Wall Street, with the yen’s gains against the dollar and euro dragging down the market. The benchmark Nikkei 225 index slipped 75.15 points to 12,239.66, while the Topix index of all first-section shares was 0.43 percent, or 4.48 points, lower at 1,031.42. Despite Wednesday’s sell off, the Nikkei would likely keep rising over the next few weeks amid talk that a new leadership team at the Bank of Japan will launch aggressive easing to boost the economy, dealers said. “Speculation for BoJ easing will likely further grow ahead of the April 3-4 policy board meeting, which weakens the yen,” Mitsushige Akino, chief fund manager at Ichiyoshi Investment Management, told Dow Jones Newswires.—AFP
Work starts to generate electricity from bagasse STAFF REPORTER I SLAMABAD —The government at the end of its current tenure will pass on a much better electricity situation to the next government than what it had inherited from the preceding government. These views were expressed by Federal Minister for Water and Power Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar while chairing 93rd meeting of the Board of Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB) held here Wednesday. He said, “During our five year tenure, we have made important decisions for new projects and made the procedures easy and investor friendly.” He added that serious work has been started for generating power through bagasse and furthermore, power generation through
wind and hydro resources has got a boost during our government, thus paving way for more reliance on wind power for future. Managing Director Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB) highlighted PPIB’s initiatives to tackle the power situation prevailing in the country. He said that with reference to indigenous resources, PPIB has undertaken 15 hydropower projects of around 6,500 MW power generation capacity in different locations of the country, some of which are at advance stages of completion. In today’s meeting, important decisions were taken relating to hydropower projects; 7100 MW Bunji Hydropower Project will be undertaken by WAPDA which will soon start studies
on development of infrastructure i.e. transmission lines, access roads, land acquisition etc. It was also decided with consensus of Punjab and AJ&K governments that PPIB shall develop 590 MW Mahl Hydropower Project in the private sector. In order to facilitate and reduce the processing time for IPPs in obtaining Working Capital financing from banks, the Board approved the execution of Direct Agreement by PPIB with Working Capital Lenders. To encourage cheaper coal based power generation, the Board approved procedures for development of Private Power SIALKOT: Flight crew and airport administration personnel posing for a group photo during the first flight of Fly Projects under Upfront Tarif. Dubai. This will standardize and reduce the approval time once NEPRA announces tariff for coal based projects.
Issues in SRO 98 to be addressed to facilitate businesses: FBR STAFF REPORTER K ARACHI —“The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) is cognizant all issues emanating out of SRO 98(I)/2013 dated 14 February 2013 and steps are being taken to address all problematic issues in consultation with Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP) so that businesses may not be adversely affected due to new set of sales tax withholding rules”. This was stated by Khawaja Tanveer Ahmad, Chief Commissioner, Regional Tax Office, Karachi while addressing a jam packed seminar organized by ICAP Southern Region Committee (SRC) here at Karachi. During his address, the
top sales tax official of FBR dilated upon reasons why Government failed to introduce a broad based Value Added Tax (VAT) in 2009. He explained that in the past FBR’s enforcement arm was frozen for sometime resulting in suspension of tax audits; as a result most of the field officers forgot techniques for conducting meaningful tax audits. However, he agreed that collection of sales tax through withholding schemes was negation of self assessment, which should be discouraged. Aimed huge applause, Khawaja Tanveer Ahmad categorically declared that SRO 98 will be amended to cater and suit business operations and no
business needs to modify its operations due to the new withholding tax scheme. Upon a question, the Chief Commissioner also clarified that FBR has no objection to allow input tax credits to its taxpayers whose corresponding output tax was being paid in SRB or PRA kitty. Earlier, while making a comprehensive and elaborative presentation on SRO 09, M. Adnan Mufti FCA, CPD Convener SRC dilated at length about legislative history of Sales Tax Withholding Tax Rules 2007. He highlighted that due to rescinding of SRO 603, the requirement of tax deduction on purchase from unregistered sectors has been done away with.
PESHAWAR: President KPCCI Dr M. Yousaf Sarwar presenting shield to Imtiaz Inayat Elahi, Secretary Regulations and Services.
Only 24 PIA aircraft are operational
I S L A M A B A D —Fundamo, a Visa company and one of the world’s largest specialist mobile financial service providers, has been selected by Monet, an independent mobile financial services company, to launch a mobile money network in Pakistan . The platform, now approved by the State Bank of Pakistan , will be able to enable providers and partners that share a common objective, to accelerate the delivery of convenient, secure and affordable mobile financial services to the banked, unbanked and underbanked of Pakistan . Bank Alfalah Limited (BAFL), the sixth largest fi-
nancial institution in Pakistan , and Warid Telecom Private Limited (Warid) have teamed up to launch a new mobile financial services brand on the platform. The platform will enable BAFL and Warid to jointly offer mobile and branchless banking to its existing and potential customer base. Monet provides a managed service platform, agent management services and bill aggregation services to new financial institutions and network operators interested in entering branchless banking services with a faster time to market. Monet, a first of its kind provider, is creating linkages with existing deployments, financial switches, channels
and networks to provide a standardized offering in the market. Despite the growth of financial services the majority of Pakistanis remain unbanked. According to the Pakistan Access to Finance Survey, only 12 percent of the population has access to formal financial services (A2FS, 2012). Conversely, mobile penetration stands at nearly 70 percent (Pakistan Telecommunications Authority, 2013). A recent study by the Boston Consulting Group estimates that 35 percent of Pakistan ’s adult population will be using mobile financial services by 2020. Now is the perfect time to introduce new branchless banking services to Pakistan.
FAISALABAD: A factory is seen closed due to gas and electricity shortage.
Putin makes aide Nabiullina Russian central bank chief
The President of ZTBL G UJAR K HAN —The Zarai I SLAMABAD —Minister for Tarqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL) further said that under the N OVO -O GARYOVO —PresiDefence Syed Naveed Qamar on Wednesday apprised the National Assembly that Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) had acute shortage of aircraft and out of total 38 planes, only 24 were being operated on various routes. Replying to various supplementary questions during Question Hour, he said that eight aircrafts were grounded temporary for maintenance while six were grounded permanently. He said that all the aircraft require routine maintenance checks, were grounded periodically to accomplish the checks as per manufacturer’s and requirements of the regulatory authority. The minister said that seating capacity of five B747 aircraft was increased from 468 seats to 503 seats in all economy configuration in year 2011. No additional cost was incurred as the configuration change was done in-house and the seats were cannibalized from a grounded B747 aircraft. No other up-gradation was done on PIA fleet during the last five years, he added. He said all PIA aircraft were painted in-house using own manpower and resources and Rs.5.65 million had been spent under the head of paint and material cost during the last five years on painting. The minister said that PIA has started process to induct new aircraft in its fleet and shortly new aircraft would be part of the national carrier —APP
Hungary keen to up trade ties with Pakistan
Bank Alfalah, Warid Telecom to launch new branchless banking service soon R STAFF REPORTER
ZTBL opens new branches to benefit more farmers
AWA L P I N D I —Hungarian ambassador Istvan Szabo said Wednesday his country would enhance trade relations with Pakistan and Rawalpindi Chamber would be facilitated to organize single country exhibition in Hungary. He said that Rawalpindi Chamber was playing pivotal role in national economic and industrial uplift and his country would assist it to endorse trade relations between two countries. He was exchanging these views with the President Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) Manzar Khurshid Sheikh during his visit to the RCCI here.Senior Vice President Pervaiz Ahmed Warriach, Vice President Nadeem Rauf, former presidents, members’ executive committee and other members of the chamber were also present on the occasion. He said that for enhancing trade relations between Pakistan and Hungary the direct interaction of the business community of two sides should be promoted and embassy will cooperate with RCCI in this regard.He said that Pakistani products were high in demand but no effort was being made from the Pakistan side to further explore the market. He invited RCCI to visit Hungary trade markets and organize single country expo to promote local goods and ensured his full cooperation to the President RCCI in this regard. Speaking on the occasion President RCCI Manzar Khurshid said that RCCI motto is to promote business activities within and outside the country to generate revenues for its motherland.—APP
on Wednesday opened its new branch at Dhok Ambh in Gujar Khan and announced to open two more branches at Doltana and Bewal within few days to benefit farmers and in getting agricultural credit and boost agri sector production. Raja Javed Ashraf, brother of Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf inaugurated the branch at a public gathering here today. “The new branch is set to offer convenient banking services along with all types of agriculture related loans to the local farmers”, President of the bank Ihsan ul Haq Khan told the public gethering during the inauguration ceremony of the branch. He said that now the farmers of the area would be able to get loans in terms of buying tractors, seeds, pesticide, and setting up tubewells, fisheries and poultry farms for boosting agriculture sector in the area. He said the branch is a gift for the people of the area which would usher in a new era of development and prosperity for the people of the area.
directives of President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf, the bank has recently launched four new loans schemes for the poor people specially living in rural areas. The schemes include Aasan Qarza Scheme (Easy Loan), Khawateen Rozgar Scheme (Women employment), Shamsi Tawanai Scheme (Solar Energy) and Bio Gas schemes, he added. Speaking on the occasion, Raja Javed Ashraf said it was Prime Minister’s keen desire to open a ZTBL branch in the area to facilitate the local farmers. He said the present government has spent over Rs. 36 billion in Gujar Khan Tehsil on different development projects for the welfare of the people in the area. He expressed the hope that Pakistan Peoples Party would also win next elections on the basis of its performance and development initiatives to the people across the country and Raja Pervez Ashraf would again become the Prime Minister. He thanked the ZTBL management for opening the branch in a very short time.—APP
PQ shipping activity KARACHI—Five ships carry- ships namely M.V Asir, ing containers, cement and edible oil berthed at Qasim International Containers Terminal, Multi Purpose Terminal and Liquid Cargo Terminal on Tuesday, port sources said here Wednesday. Four more ships carrying container, cement and chemical also arrived at outer anchorage of Port Qasim during the last 24 hours. Berth occupancy was 65% at the Port on Wednesday where a total of seven
Sealand Washington, Nedlloyd Hudson, Sea Gull, Anthea, Asian Express and Bunga Aster are currently occupying berths to load/ offload containers, cement and edible oil respectively. A cargo volume of 84222 tonnes comprising 32208 tonnes imports and 52014 tonnes exports inclusive of containerised cargo carried in 3445 containers (TEUs) was handled at the Port during the last 24 hours.—APP
dent Vladimir Putin on Tuesday chose his chief economic adviser to head Russia’s central bank, backing a loyal technocrat seen as more likely to bow to political pressures to ease monetary policy than other potential candidates. Elvira Nabiullina, a 49-year-old economist and former cabinet minister, emerged as a compromise choice after Putin ruled out picking an insider to replace Sergei Ignatyev, who is standing down in June after 11 years in the job. Putin blessed Nabiullina’s candidacy in a meeting at his residence outside Moscow. In a sign of her lack of experience in monetary policy, Nabiullina immediately asked for Ignatyev who was present - to stay on as an adviser. She will join a small female contingent at the top table of global finance, led by International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde and the heads of the central banks of South Africa and Argentina, just in time for Russia to host the Group of 20 summit in St. Petersburg this September. She was the only contender left standing after a behind-the-scenes battle for control over monetary policy between the Kremlin, concerned by weakening economic growth, and inflation hawks who predominate at the central bank. Ignatyev’s most senior deputy, Alexei Ulyukayev, had long been regarded as his likely successor. His role as the central bank’s top policy spokesman may now be at risk. “The decision represents a move away from the hawkish credentials of Ignatyev,” said Timothy Ash, head of emerging markets research at Standard Bank in London.—Agencies
KARACHI: President Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry Haroon visiting Zainab Market.
Govt releases Rs 136.3b PSDP funds STAFF REPORTER I SLAMABAD —The Planning Commission of Pakistan (PC) has so far released Rs 136.3 billion under its Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) against the total allocations of Rs 233 billion for the fiscal year 2012-13. Out of the total funds, Rs 73.9 billion has been released for 345 infrastructure development projects and Rs 58.2 billion for 691 social sector projects. According to data of the PC, up to March 8, 2013 Rs 1.4 billion has been released for 74 other projects and Rs 2.8 billion for the Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (ERRA).
The total size of the PSDP for the year 2012-13 is Rs 360 billion, including Rs 100 billion foreign aid, which is managed by Economic Affairs Division and Rs 27 billion special programmes, release of which are made by Cabinet Division or Finance Division. According to break up details the total cost of 345 infrastructure projects has been estimated at Rs 2913.7 billion, out of which Rs 211.1 billion have been earmarked in the 2012-13 budget that include Rs 85.6 billion as foreign aid. Likewise the total cost of 691 social sector projects is Rs 551.8 billion, of which Rs 135.9 billion has been allocated in the current PSDP with foreign aid of Rs
8.4 percent. The cost of other 71 projects has been estimated at Rs 41.3 billion out of which Rs 3 billion has been earmarked in the PSDP 2012-13 while Rs 10 billion has been earmarked for ERRA in the current development programme. The PC has been following a proper mechanism for the release of funds and accordingly funds are released as per given mechanism. The Commission released 20 percent of funds in first quarter (July-September), 20 percent in second quarter (October-December), 25 percent third quarter (January-March) and 35 percent in fourth quarter (April-June).
Mugabe keeps liaison with youth BULAWAYO—It could be a scene from any African mobile phone ad: flanked by two mohawked teenagers and shuffling stiffly to a pulsing hip-hop beat, an old man puts a phone to his ear and addresses a young lady with an awkward “What’s up?” But the ageing, suited star of “Getting Connected” is Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe and the message is political not commercial: the veteran leader is making a big pitch for the youngsters who have little time for his long speeches. However desperate it may look - Mugabe is an 89-yearold social conservative who prefers choral arias to hip-hop - the video is a sign of the importance given to the generation of Zimbabweans born after the liberation struggle. This year, for the first time since independence from Britain in 1980, more than half the 13 million population are ‘Born Frees’, offspring of the nation that emerged from the shackles of white-minority rule in the thenRhodesia. The median age is 33, according to the National Statistics Office. An election due this year, with youth and technology loosely pitted against history and conservatism, will serve as an important barometer of whether Africa is moving on from an era in which anti-colonialism holds sway over its politics. It also has important lessons for South Africa’s ruling African National Congress, which faces its own demographic day of reckoning in a decade, having only won its struggle against the white-minority apartheid government in 1994. On paper, Morgan Tsvangirai, Mugabe’s 61-year-old rival, appears better placed to tap into a social group desperate for jobs and leadership change to mend a limping economy. A 2000-2008 economic crisis blamed largely on Mugabe’s policies forced a quarter of Zimbaweans to leave the country. HIV/AIDS and malnutrition are among factors contributing to life expectancy that is below the sub-Sahara average - 50 versus 54, according to the World Bank. “The future lies in dumping this grandfatherly generation that came to power before many of us were born,” said 27-yearold engineering graduate Mthulisi Mpofu, warming himself by a fire in a thatched hut near the second city of Bulawayo.—Reuters
Egypt court to hear appeal over vote ruling CAIRO—An Egyptian court will hear an appeal against a ruling that led to the cancellation of parliamentary elections called by President Mohamed Mursi, the latest hurdle in Egypt’s tortuous political transition. The Administrative Court said it had received an appeal from a state judicial body against its ruling last week, which canceled Mursi’s decision to hold the four-stage parliamentary vote from April 22 onwards. The presidency and the election commission separately said they had not lodged the appeal, denying a report by the pan-Arab news channel Al Jazeera saying they were responsible. Mursi and his Islamist backers in the Muslim Brotherhood are keen that the lower house election should go ahead quickly, seeing it as the final stage of the political transition that followed Hosni Mubarak’s removal from power more than two years ago.But the Islamists’ secular-minded opponents, who had planned to boycott the election, have welcomed the prospect of a delay, saying it might allow for consensus around a new election law. They had accused the Islamists of drafting a law to suit themselves. The March 6 ruling canceled Mursi’s decree on technical grounds, saying the upper house of parliament should have returned the amended election law to the Supreme Constitutional Court for approval. Lawmakers in the Islamist-dominated upper house decided this week to draft an entirely new law, seeing this as a potentially faster route to holding the election than waiting for the Supreme Constitutional Court to approve the amended law. “We could be looking at a drawn-out process if the ruling stands,” said Yasser El-Shimy, Egypt analyst for the International Crisis Group. “We could be potentially looking at Egypt not having a parliament for six to eight months.”—Reuters
N-Korea criticises S-Korea prez’s ‘swish of skirt’ SEOUL—North Korea’s first public, seniorlevel mention of South Korea’s first female president ended up being a sexist crack. The body that controls North Korea’s military complained Wednesday about the “venomous swish” of her skirt. But despite that swipe, and a continuing torrent of rhetoric from Pyongyang threatening nuclear war and other mayhem, President Park Geun-hye is sticking by her campaign vow to reach out to North Korea’s young leader, Kim Jong Un, and to send the country much-needed humanitarian aid. Public frustration with the last five years of North-South relations, which saw North Korean nuclear tests, long-range rocket launches and attacks that left dozens of South Koreans dead, is a big part of the reason Park is trying to build trust with Pyongyang, even as she and South Korea’s military promise to respond forcefully to any possible attack from the North. In recent days, North Korea has vowed “merciless” retaliation and said it will no longer abide by the armistice that ended the Korean War. Pyongyang is angry about ongoing U.S.-South Korean military drills and about new U.N. sanctions, issued over the North’s December long-range rocket launch, which the U.N. called a cover for a banned missile test, and its third underground nuclear explosion, conducted Feb. 12. On Wednesday, an unidentified spokesman for the North Korean National Defense Commission’s armed forces ministry repeated those threats while decrying South Korea’s own recent rhetoric, including a warning from Seoul that North Korea’s government will “evaporate from the face of the Earth” if it ever uses a nuclear weapon. “This frenzy kicked up by the South Korean warmongers is in no way irrelevant with the venomous swish of skirt made by the one who again occupies” the presidential Blue House, the North Korean spokesman said in a statement. It was the first government criticism of Park to be reported by major North Korean media since her Dec. 19 election. Park, the daughter of late South Korean dictator President Park Chung-hee, took office Feb 25.—AP
NZ gay marriage bill passes critical test WELLINGTON—New Zealand lawmakers voted overwhelmingly in favor of a bill allowing same-sex marriage Wednesday, all but assuring that it will soon become law. Lawmakers supported the bill 77 to 44 in the second of three votes needed for a bill to be approved. The second vote is typically the most crucial one. The third and final vote is likely to be little more than a formality and could be taken as early as next month. Wednesday’s vote came after a committee of lawmakers considered emails and letters from thousands of New Zealanders. More than 200 people crammed into the Parliament’s public gallery to watch lawmakers debate the bill before they voted at about 10:15 p.m. The mostly young crowd clapped and cheered for lawmakers who spoke in support of the bill, and sat in silence for those who spoke in opposition. “I’m very excited, as excited as the young people,” bill sponsor Louisa Wall said after the vote. “It’s a fantastic result.” The result was little changed from the 80-to-40 result in the first vote in August. There were some minor changes to the bill, including wording to make it clear that clergy can decline to preside over gay marriage ceremonies if they conflict with their beliefs. In her speech supporting the bill, Wall said denying marriage to any person devalues that person’s right to participate fully in all that life offers. “Marriage belongs to society as a whole, and that requires the involvement of the whole of society,” Wall said. “The role of the state in marriage is to issue a license to two people who love each other and want to commit to one another formally. That’s what this bill does.” Wall, who is gay, quoted Seattle singer Macklemore: “And I can’t change, even if I tried, even if I wanted to, I can’t change.”—AP
Black smoke as morning fails to bring new pope VATICAN CITY—Cardinals in Catholics before Wednesday afsecret conclave failed twice on Wednesday morning to elect a new pope, as black smoke over the Sistine Chapel showed ballots on the first full day of voting were inconclusive. After an inconclusive first vote on Tuesday night, the 115 cardinal electors should hold another two ballots later on Wednesday after praying for inspiration from God for a choice that can lead the Roman Catholic Church out of crisis. Having spent the night closeted in a nearby guesthouse, the cardinals attended Mass in the Pauline Chapel in the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace and returned to the Renaissance splendor of the Sistine Chapel to hold the two morning ballots. They face a tough task in finding one of their number capable of facing a string of scandals and internal strife which are thought to have contributed to Pope Benedict’s decision in February to become the first pontiff in 600 years to resign. A chimney above the chapel, where the cardinals are meeting beneath Michelangelo’s luminous fresco of the Last Judgment, will signal a decision with white smoke. More black smoke will indicate no choice has been made. With several leading candidates, or “papabili”, the cardinals are unlikely to reach a decision on who will lead the world’s 1.2 billion Roman
Only one man since the start ternoon, with many experts fore- of the 20th century, Pius XII in casting white smoke to emerge 1939, was elected within three on Thursday. ballots, with seven ballots on av-
Catholic Bishops, who was among hundreds waiting under umbrellas in the square outside the huge church. “It’s very
Black smoke rises from the chimney on the Sistine Chapel, indicating no decision has been made after the first voting session on the second day of the election of a new pope, at the Vatican. “A new pope by tomorrow,” was the headline in Wednesday’s La Stampa newspaper after days of feverish speculation about the most likely new pontiff in Italian media.
erage required over the last nine conclaves. Benedict was clear frontrunner in 2005 and elected after only four ballots. Pilgrims and tourists began arriving in St Peter’s Square early
Malaysia refuses access to Filipinos in violence KUALA LUMPUR—Malaysian of any negotiators. “This is not mortar attacks last week that authorities will not let armed members of a Filipino royal clan who are being hunted in Borneo meet with Philippine officials or family members who might seek to negotiate their safety, the foreign minister said Wednesday. Clashes sparked by the clansmen’s intrusion into Malaysia’s Sabah state have killed 56 Filipinos and nine Malaysian police and army personnel this month, according to Malaysian government estimates. The clan wants to reassert a decades-old territorial claim to the eastern Borneo state, which is a short boat ride from the southern Philippines. One of the clan’s Philippine-based leaders, Esmail Kiram II, said earlier this week that a group of Filipinos could try entering the area to meet the clansmen and discuss how to resolve the crisis if a cease-fire is declared. Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman said Wednesday that authorities could not guarantee the safety
in the morning despite heavy rain, hoping to get a glimpse of history by watching for white smoke from the chapel chimney.
the right time, this is not the right place for any outsiders apart from the security personnel to be in the area,” Anifah told reporters after briefing more than 80 foreign diplomats about the crisis. Anifah reiterated Malaysia’s stance that the Filipino gunmen must surrender unconditionally and face prosecution. Kiram told The Associated Press in Manila on Wednesday that personally meeting his younger brother, who is leading the Filipinos in Sabah, would be crucial in ending the standoff without further casualties. “It will be difficult if we can’t get Malaysia’s cooperation,” Kiram said in response to Anifah’s comments. Malaysian and Philippine authorities had tried to convince the clansmen to leave peacefully after they began occupying a remote village on Sabah’s eastern seaboard last month. The crisis turned violent when the Filipinos killed two policemen March 1, leading to military airstrikes and
drove the clansmen out of the village into hiding in palm oil plantations nearby. Anifah said Malaysian authorities would also not grant legal access for now to dozens of Filipinos detained in Sabah on suspicion of providing help or information to the clansmen. They are being held under a national security law that allows detention without trial for up to 28 days before they must be freed or brought to court. Kiram’s younger brother, Agbimuddin, has said he would rather die than surrender his Philippine sultanate’s rights to Sabah, which he said has belonged to his clan and its followers for centuries. Sabah, which is rich in timber and oil, has been part of Malaysia since 1963. Philippine navy vessels patrolling the sea border with Malaysia have also intercepted Filipino settlers who were leaving following the violence amid concerns about a Malaysian crackdown on Filipino suspects.—AP
When the new pope is elected the bells of St. Peter’s will also ring. “It’s a wonderful time, a historical moment,” said Monsignor Ronny Jenkins, General Secretary of the U.S. Conference of
Zimbabwe election body won’t ease group’s ban HARARE—Zimbabwe’s official election body says it will not back down on its ban preventing a leading human rights group from monitoring a referendum on a new constitution on Saturday. Acting head of the Electoral Commission Joyce Kazembe said Wednesday the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association is facing charges relating to alleged electoral offences and will not be cleared to observe the referendum. ZimRights officials have been accused of the illegal possession of voter registration forms and fraud in obtaining them. The group denies any wrongdoing. Most independent civic groups say they will boycott vote monitoring Saturday if any activists are barred access to observe polling. Police loyal to President Robert Mugabe have intensified raids and arrests targeting activist groups in recent weeks and have seized equipment and documents from their offices.—AP
unique. “It’s an incredible moment, but we want the rain to go away,” he added with a laugh. The cardinals were shut inside late on Tuesday afternoon for the first time, after a day of reli-
gious pomp and prayer to prepare for the task. As expected, black smoke emerged after their first vote, about two hours after they began the conclave. The initial vote was seen as a way of filtering the choice down to frontrunners for discussions among the supporters of the various papabili in the following days. No hint is expected to emerge before the pope is chosen. The Vatican has taken precautions, including electronic jamming devices, to prevent any leaks from inside the conclave. The new pope will take up a burden that Benedict declared in February was beyond his physical capabilities. The Church is reeling from a child abuse scandal and the “Vatileaks” case in which Benedict’s butler revealed documents alleging corruption and infighting inside the Curia, or central bureaucracy. It has also been shaken by rivalry from other churches, the advance of secularism, especially in its European heartland, and problems in the running of the Vatican bank. The former head of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Cardinal Roger Mahony, is attending the conclave despite calls for him to stay away because of a sex abuse scandal that led to his censure by his successor Archbishop Jose Gomez in January. He was stripped of all public and administrative duties as punishment.—Reuters
China to give nonprofits a greater role B EIJING —China
pledged Wednesday to allow charities, industry associations and other nonprofit groups to play a greater role in society in an acknowledgement of the growing importance of independent organizations that the authoritarian government traditionally has treated with suspicion. Civil Affairs Minister Li Liguo said that as part of the Cabinet’s recently announced restructuring plan, the government will expand the scope of functions it will let other groups fulfill. “Overall, from now on, the role that our country’s social organizations will play in economic and social development will be expanded and strengthened,” Li told a news conference on the sidelines of the annual legislative session in Beijing. But the government’s apparent gesture of inclusion appears unlikely to improve working conditions for organizations involved in areas officials deem sensitive, which can range from AIDS prevention to legal activism. Such groups, many of which are not properly registered, are fre-
quently harassed by tax authorities and the police. China calls nonprofit, independent groups “social organizations.” From sheltering abused women to campaigning against smoking, nonprofit organizations have played an increasingly important role in helping underrepresented groups. China’s leaders have only recently become open to the notion that outside help is needed to address deep problems in social welfare, the environment and health, but the government has remained deeply suspicious of independent activist groups, fearing they could turn political. Li said such groups will no longer need to find government sponsors in order to obtain the official registration that grants them nonprofit status. Such groups will now be able to register themselves directly with the Civil Affairs Ministry, he said, though he did not provide details on how the ministry would assess applications. Li said the ministry would set up a mechanism to process registrations and supervise and regulate independent groups.—AP
Dutch Government India agency Kurdish rebels fighting case against raises terror threat level airfilesforce ex-chief Turkey release 8 captives
THE HAGUE—The Dutch gov- Dutch youth at home as key rea- cal upheavals in North Africa and ernment raised its terror threat level Wednesday from “limited” to “substantial,” saying Dutch citizens are traveling to Syria to fight in the civil war and could return battle-hardened, traumatized and further radicalized. “The chance of an attack in the Netherlands or against Dutch interests abroad has risen,” the country’s National Coordinator for Security and Counterterrorism said in a statement. The warning comes just two months before hundreds of thousands of people are expected to descend on Amsterdam for mass celebrations around the abdication of Queen Beatrix and investiture of her son, Crown Prince Willem-Alexander, as the country’s new king. The government cited the threat posed by jihad fighters returning from Syria, where rebels are battling the government forces, and signs of increasing radicalization among
sons for lifting its threat level to substantial, the second-highest level on the four-step scale, just below “critical.” Counter-terror chief Dick Schoof said that nearly 100 people had travelled from the Netherlands to Africa and the Middle East, mainly to Syria to fight in conflicts there, and he warned it is not just a Dutch problem. “From Europe as a whole, hundreds have made the journey, many of whom are joining local armed groups,” the counter-terror watchdog said. “These jihadist travelers can return to the Netherlands highly radicalized, traumatized and with a strong desire to commit violence, thus posing a significant threat to this country,” Schoof said in his statement. He said that several fighters have already returned to the Netherlands. “They are known and they are being monitored,” he told national broadcaster NOS. Government terror experts also say that politi-
the Mideast are giving terror networks room to grow. Schoof said Dutch intelligence and law enforcement agencies are working with other European allies to contain the threat. More intelligence staff are monitoring “jihadist travelers” and police are stepping up efforts to tackle radicalization in Dutch towns and cities. Last month, France also expressed concerns about its citizens heading to Mali to join radical Islamic fighters there, even as the French army was fighting the Muslim rebels in its former colony. French police arrested four youths last month suspected of trying to join radical Islamic fighters in West Africa, and expelled radical imams and others considered risks to public order. Police in the port city of Rotterdam arrested three men in November on suspicion of preparing to travel to Syria to fight alongside rebels.—AP
ANKARA—Kurdish rebels based of thousands of people. Turkey’s NEW DELHI—India’s top in- in northern Iraq freed eight cap- government announced late last vestigative agency filed a criminal case on Wednesday against a former air force chief and 11 other people on charges of cheating and conspiracy in a $750 million helicopter deal marred by bribery. The Central Bureau of Investigation filed the charges under India’s corruption prevention laws against Shashi Tyagi, three of his cousins and officials of four defense companies after an investigation revealed that huge bribes were paid to steer the contract to Italian defense group Finmeccanica’s helicopter division, AgustaWestland. The CBI is India’s equivalent of the FBI. The agency searched the homes and offices of Tyagi and his cousins, who it suspects were among those who received bribes to clinch the purchase of 12 helicopters two years ago.—AP
tured soldiers and officials on Wednesday as part of peace efforts between Turkey and the rebel group aimed at ending a decades-long conflict, a Kurdish legislator said. The rebels handed over six soldiers, a trainee local administrator and a police officer to a group of Kurdish legislators and human rights activists who had traveled to northern Iraq, where the rebels maintain bases, Adil Kurt, one of the lawmakers told The Associated Press by telephone. He said they were on their way back to Turkey. Five of the captives had been held by the rebels for more than a year, while three others were kidnapped in September. The rebel group, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, has been fighting for selfrule in southeastern Turkey since 1984. The conflict has killed tens
year that its intelligence agency was talking to the rebels’ jailed leader Abdullah Ocalan with the aim of persuading the group to disarm. The release follows a call by Ocalan, which was relayed by Kurdish legislators who were allowed to visit him last month on his prison island off Istanbul, as part of the peace process. “We hope that the release will open the way for the peaceful solution to the Kurdish issue,” Kurt said. “It is important that (the captive officials) are returned to their families safely.” Turkish officials welcomed news of their release. “We are happy that our citizens who had been away from their country for so long, and from whom we had not received any news, are returning,” the state-run Anadolu Agency quoted President Abdullah Gul as saying during a visit to Sweden.—AP
‘Grand bargain’ a tough sell in Congress W ASHINGTON—For all the talk of a presidential “charm offensive” and possible thaw in partisanship, ample signs show that Congress is far from reaching a “grand bargain” to shrink the deficit. The Senate’s top Republican, standing just outside the Capitol room where President Barack Obama was meeting with Democratic senators Tuesday, said he will push for trims to Medicare and Social Security without yielding another dollar in new tax revenues. Democrats have long insisted that higher taxes — chiefly on the wealthy — must accompany any reductions in those entitlement programs.
There must be a “balanced approach” to reducing the deficit, they say. But Republicans say Obama used his only bit of tax leverage in December, in the “fiscal cliff” resolution. Now they are pushing Democrats to confront Medicare’s and Social Security’s long-term funding problems without the political sweetener that liberals have always demanded and that Obama called for in his re-election campaign. “The only way to straighten America out is to fix the entitlement issue,” Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell told reporters Tuesday. “There is no revenue solution to that. It has to be done by making the eligibility for
entitlements fit the demographics of America today and tomorrow.” That was an apparent reference to raising the eligibility age for Medicare. McConnell’s office also cited recommendations to reduce entitlement benefits for high earners but stopped short of saying the Kentucky Republican endorses them. McConnell said Republicans will use this summer’s debt-ceiling showdown — when Obama will insist on higher borrowing capacity to pay the government’s bills — as a bargaining tool to push for trimming the costly but popular Medicare and Social Security programs. Democrats who met with Obama said the president will not
entertain such talks. “He will not negotiate on the debt ceiling, period. End of discussion,” said Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, after Tuesday’s closed meeting. Other sounds of partisan discord echoed throughout the Capitol. The top House Republican budget-writer predicated his new 10-year spending plan on repealing “Obamacare,” the president’s signature overhaul of U.S. health care. That’s politically impossible, given Obama’s re-election and the Supreme Court’s upholding of the landmark 2010 legislation. But Rep. Paul Ryan, the GOP’s vice presidential nominee last year, said Republicans will not contemplate a tax-and-spend-
ing plan that includes the health law’s provisions. Americans will reject the new law, which “will collapse under its own weight,” Ryan said. “We will never be able to balance the budget if Obamacare keeps going.” When a reporter reminded Ryan that Obama won re-election, he replied, “That means we surrender our principles?” Republicans retained control of the House in the same election, Ryan noted. Connell, meanwhile, said the first Republican Senate effort to amend a Democratic budget plan will be “to delay the implementation of Obamacare until the economy gets back on track.” The tough talk from Ryan and
McConnell came as Obama expands his efforts to woo members of both parties. He is hoping for compromises to shrink the deficit, overhaul immigration and reduce gun violence, among other things. The president treated 12 Republican senators to dinner last week. And in a rare burst of presidential visits to Capitol Hill, he is meeting separately this week with Senate Democrats, Senate Republicans, House Democrats and House Republicans. Last year’s “fiscal cliff” legislation forced Republicans to swallow $620 billion in new revenues. Some Democrats say Obama should have demanded more.—AP
Messi leads Barca back to oust Milan with 4-0 win
BARCELONA: Barcelona’s forward Lionel Messi, from Argentina scores his second goal past Milan’s defender Philippe Mexes, of France, and Milan’s goalkeeper Christian Abbiati during the Champions League round match. outstanding saves from B ARCELONA —Two goals tion of Barca players were the Camp Nou. Messi, as is customary, Andres Iniesta drives, but from Lionel Messi led a stun- lacking after three leagues, ning Barcelona fight back as two Champions Leagues and got the party started with a despite the possession stats they overturned a 2-0 first- two Copa del Rey titles over sumptuous curling shot into that weighed heavily in the leg deficit against AC Milan the past four seasons was a the top corner after just five hosts favour all night, it with a 4-0 demolition of the historic European comeback. minutes to break his duck from wasn’t all one-way traffic. The murmurings over open play against Italian sides Barca’s insistence to play Italians at the Camp Nou on on the front foot consistently Messi’s record against Ital- at the 10th time of asking. Tuesday night. The crucial period of the left gaps to be exploited. Indeed it was a night so ian sides, the lack of support Stephan El Shaarawy, perfect for the Blaugrana, it for the Argentine when it match then truly began as was almost as if they had comes to goal-scoring and Barca swarmed forward to- Kevin-Prince Boateng and their inability to keep a clean wards Christian Abbiati’s M’Baye Niang, however, planned it all along. After defeat in the San sheet were all answered in goal sensing their prize was weren’t as deadly on the counter-attack as they had Siro three weeks ago, Xavi emphatic style on a night that there for the taking. The Italian ‘keeper halted been in the first-leg and the Hernandez pointed out that will live long in the memory the only thing this genera- of those who savoured it at their momentum with two tie was swung decisively in
New World Cup chairman appointed S YDNEY —Cricket Australia and New Zealand Cricket on Wednesday appointed Ralph Waters as chairman of the organising committee for the 2015 World Cup after the death last week of James Strong. Waters, a prominent New Zealand businessman, was previously deputy chairman and replaces Strong, who died in Sydney aged 68 from complications following surgery. “Like myself, James had lived and worked in Australia and New Zealand and was determined to put on a truly world class tournament in 2015,” said Waters. “I share his vision and will work closely with the ICC (International Cricket Council), Cricket Australia and New Zealand Cricket to deliver a successful tournament for cricket fans around the world.” The World Cup takes place in Australia and New Zealand in February-March 2015.—AFP
Watson denies rift with Clarke S YDNEY —Australian vicecaptain Shane Watson has denied any rift with skipper Michael Clarke and strongly rejected suggestions he is not a team player after being axed for one Test for indiscipline. The 31-year-old returned to Sydney late Tuesday from the tour of India after he was dropped for failing to prepare feedback on how the team could improve and deliver it to management. Three other players received the same punishment. There have been persistent rumblings that Watson and Clarke do not see eye to eye, but the all-rounder said it was nonsense. “I’ve been playing cricket against and with Michael Clarke since I was 12, so we’ve got a lot of history as people,” he said. “Obviously we are quite different people in certain ways and we’re very similar in a lot of ways as well. “Like you do in every relationship, it goes up and down and things are going really well at the mo-
not know him well enough to make such allegations. Howard, a former Wallaby, has only been involved in cricket for 18 months. “Just go round and ask every person that I’ve played cricket with and that will give you the best indication of whether I’m a team man or not,” Watson said.—AFP
W ELLS —Maria Sharapova stepped it up when she had to set up an Indian Wells quarter-final clash with Sara Errani, a rematch of last year’s French Open final. Russia’s Sharapova defeated Errani in straight sets in the championship match at Roland Garros to complete a career Grand Slam. The Russian star, who won Indian Wells in 2006 and finished runner-up last year to Victoria Azarenka, started slowly against Spain’s Lara Arruabarrena-Vecino but turned up the heat to win 75, 6-0. Sharapova dropped her first service game to hand the Spaniard a 2-0 lead. She then broke Arruabarrena-Vecino twice,
but was broken again before winning the last three games of the opening set, from where she never looked back. Sharapova delivered a stellar serving display in the second set, firing four of her five aces and never facing a break point. Errani, who won the women’s clay-court title in Acapulco in the build-up to Indian Wells, advanced with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over ninthseeded Marion Bartoli of France. Top seed and defending champion Victoria Azarenka shrugged off a sore ankle to reach the Indian Wells quarter-finals with a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Urszula Radwanska. Azarenka remained un-
beaten in a 2013 season that has included an Australian Open triumph and a WTA title at Doha. She next faces either former world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark or Russian Nadia Petrova. But the win over Radwanska, ranked 37th in the world, was tougher than the scoreline might suggest. “I think it was pretty obvious that I wasn’t feeling that well,” said Azarenka, who had three double faults in dropping her serve in the fourth game of the opening set. “My ankle was bothering me. It has been bothering me for a while, so it hasn’t been really getting better. “But on the bright side,” she added, “I won the match.”—AFP
Barca’s favour by a twominute passage of play just before half-time. At one end Niang sprinted clear through on goal, set himself ahead of the on-rushing Victor Valdes and rolled the ball past the ‘keeper only to see it agonizingly bounce to safety off the foot of the post. Moments later Messi weaved another opening onto his deadly left-foot and uncorked a rasping low drive that left Abbiati helpless to equal the score on aggregate. Thereafter there seemed only one winner, especially once a trademark Xavi pass had cut the Milan defence wide open 10 minutes after the break and David Villa provided the clinical finish that has been lacking from any Barca player bar Messi all season. With their rustiness in front of goal well and truly mended it was left to a defence that, before Saturday’s 2-0 win over Deportivo de la Coruna, had conceded in 13 straight games to hold firm for the next 35 minutes, which they did valiantly despite the odd scare. And, in true Barca style, they sealed it with a touch of carefree elegance as, with the clock just having ticked into stoppage time and just needing to hold out to qualify, their left-back Jordi Alba galloped the full length of the pitch to clip home Alexis Sanchez’s cross. Within 90 minutes the Catalans had gone from the supposed end of an era back INDIAN WELLS: Maria Sharapova, of Russia, serves against Lara Arruabarrena-Vecino, to Champions League of Spain, during their match at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament. favourites. And, having been resuscitated, it would take a brave punter to bet against them returning to Wembley to win the competition in the British capital.—AFP
Pakistan to host Asian snooker championship
Rugby team leaves for Dubai ISLAMABAD—Pakistan Rugby team leaves for Dubai on Wednesday to take part in the Emirates International Sevens Rugby Tournament. A 12-member Pakistan Rugby team will take part in the Emirates International Sevens Rugby Tournament being played on March 15 and 16, Radio Pakistan reported. Besides Pakistan, Afghanistan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and hosts UAE will take part in the tournament.—APP
ment with me and Michael.” Cricket Australia general manager Pat Howard has made it clear Watson must start toeing the team line if he is to continue playing Test cricket and implied he was not always a team player. But Watson denied this and said Howard, who comes from a rugby background, did
Sharapova sets up QF clash with Sara at Indian Wells
Pak approach in first ODI was not right: Aqib I S L A M A B A D — P a k i s t a n ’s
former fast bowler Aaqib Javed, has said that Pakistan team should have batted first after winning the toss in the first ODI against South Africa. Talking to a private news channel, Former bowling coach expressed his disappointment and said that he was shocked when the Pakistan captain invited the Proteas to bat first. “On a flat track, Misbahul-Haq won the toss and decided to bowl first which was surprising as the Green Shirts are not considered to be very good when it comes to chasing targets, and that is why the hosts took full advantage of the conditions, posting a massive total of 315 runs on the board”,he added. Aaqib thinks that Misbah and company should have batted first as spin was Pakistan’s strength because the visitors included four spin bowling options in the playing eleven who were Saeed Ajmal, Shahid Afridi, Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik. He said that Pakistan played poor and disLARKANA: A view of cricket match between Bahawalpur Stages and Karachi Dolphins teams during Faysal Bank appointing cricket in the 1st Cup one Day Tournament played at Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto International Cricket Stadium. ODI.—APP
K ARACHI —Pakistan will tion,” Shaikh told reporters. due to be the first featuring host the Asian Amateur Snooker Championship next month, officials announced on Wednesday, despite security concerns which forced a recent event with arch-rivals India to be cancelled. The tournament will take place in Karachi between April 27 and May 3, Pakistan Billiards and Snooker Association (PBSA) president Alamgeer Shaikh said, insisting the multi-country event would go ahead without any problems. “We expect around 20-25 countries to take part in the championship with India, Iran and Afghanistan having already sent their participa-
“A one-to-one series was the two countries since 2005. difficult,” he added, referring “When you talk of the to the cancellation earlier this Asian event, it’s a matter of a prestigious title and that matters for all the countries,” he said. Pakistan was forced to put off the bilateral snooker series with India after Indians raised security fears following a blast in Karachi. Next month’s championship will be the fourth time Pakistan has hosted the event. The first was in 1991, followed by 1998 and 2007. Pakistan is considered to be a major force in international snooker with two players from the country having month of a series between won the world amateur title India and Pakistan which was since 1994.—APP
Micky Arthur is the strictest coach, good for team, says Shane Watson’s dad BIPIN DANI OBSERVER CORRESPONDENT M
U M B A I — S h a n e Watson’s father, Bob feels that Micky Arthur the strictest coach his team ever had. Speaking exclusively over telephone from his Brisbane home (Shane and his wife are staying in Sydney) on Wednesday morning, he said, “Arthur is the right man for the job. He is justified in asking the players to be prepared and he did nothing wrong in giving home work to the players like a headmaster does for his pupils”. After Clarke’s team losing the two Tests in succession (Chennai and Hyderabad), the coach suggested players to come with the ideas of improving the game and four players including Shane Watson didn’t meet the dead-line. “The players should
have obeyed the instructions and I don’t know what prompted my son to return home early”, he added. “Yes, his wife is expecting the child anytime or in couple of weeks and Shane should return to India for the final Test if the delivery happens earlier”, Bob watson added. Shane is the only child to father Bob Watson and mother Barbara. They were the guiding force behind Shane’s success. When Watson could not score good enough runs and take wickets his parents were trying to inspire and guiding him to mental fitness. His mother has shown some regular signs of encouragement which also includes the instances like carrying a national flag in every game that he has played. The dad is not ready to believe that there is a split between the captain and the vice captain. “There may be the difference of opinion and both may have their own
views. Both should put them behind and come forward to play for Australia”, he signed off, but not before giving his vote to David Warner as team’s vice captain, if his son doesn’t return to the Test squad. ACA support : Following the recent events with the Australian cricket team in India, Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) Chief Executive Paul Marsh, in a telephonic conversation, read the following statement. “The situation with the Australian team is clearly a difficult one. While opinions will be divided on this issue, what is most important right now is the need for everyone in Australian cricket to rally together and put all their energy into getting the Australian team winning again. As with any issue affecting players, we are in contact with all those involved and will continue to support them.”
What is cocaine? how addictive is cocaine?
OCAINE is a bitter, addictive pain blocker that is extracted from the leaves of Erythroxylon coca, also known as the coca scrub, a plant that comes from the Andean highlands in South America. Cocaine is the most powerful stimulant of natural origin. The name of “cocaine” came from the plant “coca”. When CocaCola first came out it contained nine milligrams of cocaine per glass - in 1903 it was removed, but the drink still has coca flavoring.William S. Halstead (1852-1922), an American surgeon, injected cocaine into nerve trunks and demonstrated its numbing effect. It soon became used as an anesthetic agent. In 1898 August Bier, a German surgeon used cocaine as a spinal anesthetic. Not long afterwards the medical profession became aware of the addictive nature of cocaine and safer anesthetics were developed. Cocaine in its basic form stopped being used clinically as a pain blocker. Recreational cocaine, often termed illicit cocaine, and informally known as “powder, snow, ski, soft, blow, slopes,coca, and nose candy”, is presented as a white crystalline powder or as an off-white chunky substance. In powder form it is usually cocaine hydrochloride (C17H21NO4), which is then diluted with other substances, such as local anesthetic
(lidocaine), sugars (lactose), inositol, and mannitol. By adulterating the cocaine in this way the seller can make more profits. Crack is the street name for a type of cocaine that has had the hydrochloride removed, making it possible to smoke. When the mixture is heated it makes a crackling sound, hence the name. It is processed with baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) or ammonia and water, and heated to remove the hydrochloride. The crack smoker receives large doses of cocaine - the effect is virtually immediate, as with injected cocaine. The extremely intense feelings derived from smoking crack are short-lived. Overdosing on cocaine can lead to seizures, and lifethreatening heart failure, cerebral hemorrhage, stroke and respiratory failure - even regular usage without overdosing raises the risk of detrimental health consequences (see paragraph below). There is no specific medication for cocaine overdose. Some studies have shown that those who inject or smoke cocaine have a greater risk of complications than individuals who snort it. Smokers will typically become compulsive cocaine users more rapidly than those who snort it. Smoking cocaine increases the risk of developing respiratory problems, such as shortness of breath, coughing, and lung trauma (including bleeding).Recreational cocaine users tend to have harder arteries, thicker heart muscle walls,
Ebad-Qaim discuss rehabilitation of Abbas Town affectees STAFF REPORTER K ARACHI — Sindh
Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah called on Sindh Governor Dr Ishrat Ul Ebad Khan Wednesday at the Sindh Governor House. The CM discussed with the Governor the process of the rehabilitation of the affectees of the Abbas Town Bomb Blast. The CM said that the Provincial Government had released necessary funds for the rehabilitation of the affectees while the injured being treated at local hospitals in the city were already given the cheques of the compensation money. KARACHI: Speaker Sindh Assembly Nisar Ahmed Khuhro chairing the provincial assembly sessionon Wednesday. On the occasion, the Governor and the CM directed the authorities concerned to make sure the process of rehabilitation was being carried out on fast track basis and that the affectees that had lost their residences were accommodated in temporary Speaker said that when the People’s party. IRFAN ALIGI residential premises. SCP had given a verdict on He demanded the Federal K ARACHI — The members that case, there should be full Interior Minister Abdul Rehman Malik to ensure full from the treasury benches implementation as well. Sindh Law Minister implementation on the verstaged a walk-out from the Sindh Assembly on Wednes- Muhammad Ayaz Soomro dict of the SCP. He said that the elected day over lack of implementa- assured the Speaker of writtion of orders of the Supreme ing the required letter to the Prime Minister from the PPP K ARACHI — In a targeted Court of Pakistan that was apex Court. was sacked while another operation in Urdu Chowk given on the Asghar Khan Imdad Ali Pitafi from the was compelled to walk and adjoining areas of Case. The case was the epi- treasury benches had raised around the corridors of the Karachi s Orangi Town, center of the opposition in the issue of lack of implemen- apex court. The apex Court Rangers personnel detained the Sindh Assembly from the tation on Asghar Khan Case should ensure full implemenhigh profile target killers treasury benches. on a point of objection. tation on its verdicts as the among 16 suspects along Pitafi said that in 1988, Judges of the SCP had The Sindh Assembly with arms. The Rangers Speaker Nisar Ahmed the Islamic Jamhoori (Demo- claimed that they knew how launched targeted operations Khuhru took notice of the cratic) Ittehad (Alliance) was their verdicts would be implein Urdu Chowk, Faiz-e-Aam issue and the walk-out and formed and the politicians mented. The SCP was yet siSociety and adjoining areas asked Sindh Law Minister to that had held the offices in lent over the lack of implein Orangi Town on Wednes- write a letter to the SCP for the IJI were heavily bribed for mentation hence the protest day morning and closed all reminding it of delay in imple- toppling the then elected was staged to make it a exit and entry points of the mentation of the orders. The government of Pakistan record. area, sources said. Over 500 Rangers men were involved K ARACHI —Human rights in the operation. activist Abdul Sattar Edhi In house to house search visited the “10 years-10 operation the security men days” camp at Karachi Press detained 16 persons and capstan Furniture Exporters As- the furniture was an un- Club (KPC) in connection to STAFF REPORTER tured around 25 weapons. sociation (APFEA) held at a avoidable necessity of ev- raise the issue of Dr Aafia The arrested men included K ARACHI — Sindh Informa- local hotel in the city. ery home especially it had Siddiqui on the completion of high profile target killers, tion Minister Sharjeel Enam The Minister lauded the great attraction for the her first 10 years in the Rangers sources said. —NNI Memon said that making po- efforts of the manufacturers women. Government would American imprisonment. litical statements was the of the quality furniture and extend all support to the furWriting comments in the habit of the Pakistan Muslim said that furniture exhibition niture manufacturers with guest book on the occasion, League –Nawaz Chief Mian was a manifest of skills and regard to facilities so that he said: “I appeal to the US Muhammad Nawaz Sharif expertise of the Pakistani the country could be set to government to release Dr whi,le the fact was that he was workers and the foreign in- export the fine quality fur- Aafia on humanitarian not eligible for contesting vestors should also witness niture to foreign countries grounds.” He said he hoped the quality furniture being and it would help bring the that the American government the elections. foreign investment to the would consider his appeal. He He was talking to the produced in the country. K ARACHI — The Election newsmen at the 3rd All PakiThe Minister said that country as well. said if any imprisonment is Commission of Pakistan necessary he should be put (ECP) has constituted a comin jail instead of Dr Aafia. mittee charged with redrawOn the occasion, Dr Azra ing electoral constituencies and other workers of Aafia in Karachi and Nosheroferoz Movement welcomed Edhi. town of Sindh. The ECP reDr Azra told him that a vealed it in its written reply Christian student Fahar submitted to the Sindh High Amjad had staged a hunger Court on Wednesday. strike camp and demanded of It stated that Justice the US President Obama to (retd) Roshan Esani, a memrelease Dr Aafia as the Christber of the ECP, is heading the mas gift and appealed him to committee, adding that the put him in jail in place of Aafia. body will submit its report On the occasion, Abdul within seven days after Sattar Edhi appealed to Pakiwhich a notification of new stan President Asif Ali electoral constituencies will Zardari and US President be issued. The provincial Obama to release Aafia. election commission submitHe said when the chilted its reply in response to a dren of the nation show constitutional petition persuch a commitment, the futaining to delimitation of conture of the nation would be stituencies for provincial and bright. He hoped that Dr National Assembly seats in KARACHI: PHMA Chairman Javed Bilwani addressing a press conference.—PO Aafia would soon return photo by Sultan Chaki Nosheroferoz.—NNI home.—Online
Soomro asked to write to SC for implementation on Asghar case order
16 including target killers held
Edhi appeals Zardari, Obama for Aafia’s release
Sharjeel inaugurates Furniture Show
KARACHI: Residents of Mowach Goth stage a demonstration against gang war.
Jatoi raises objection on allotment of land for island city project STAFF REPORTER K A R A C H I — An adjournment motion was tabled in the Sindh Provincial Assembly on Wednesday over the issue of creating an Island City on city’s Island. National People’s Party (NPP) leader in the Sindh Provincial assembly Arif Mustafa Jatoi had tabled the adjournment motion. Lawmakers belonging to ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Sindh Cultural Minister Sassui Palejo and Sindh Minister Haji Muzaffar Ali Shujra, Opposition Leader from Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Syed
Sardar Ahmed, lawmakers from Pakistan Muslim League-F and Muslim League (Like minded) had endorsed Jatoi’s point of view. Lawmakers from PML-F and Muslim League (Like minded) and NPP also staged a walk-out. Jatoi demanded the Assembly to debate on the allotment of land and joint venture between the Federal Government and a private company and was aimed at selling the thousands of acres after laying of the basic infrastructure on the land of islands. Jatoi remarked that a deal
was made between Port Qasim Authority, Malik Riaz and a US-based company. He alleged that since Malik Riaz had allotted property in Punjab to the President, hence the President had offered him the land of island in Karachi. Opposition leader in Sindh Assembly from MQM, Syed Sardar Ahmed said the issue was very important. The land of the island was the property of Sindh Government, which was being encroached. The land was allotted a foreign company and it was the responsibility of the Sindh Government to evict the land.
MWM criticizes Commissioner for delay in compensation STAFF REPORTER K ARACHI — The Majlis-e Wahdat-e Muslimeen (MWM) hads criticized the Commissioner and Additional Commissioner of Karachi and Deputy Commissioner Malir for delay in payment of compensatory amounts to the remaining injured and heirs of the martyrs of Abbas Town Tragedy. The MWM Karachi chapter Secretary General Allama Sadiq Raza Taqvi said that not a single heir of the martyrs had been paid compensatory amounts despite
the tall claim of the Commissioner at a news conference that the payment will be made within two or three days. He was addressing a press conference at the Karachi Press Club Wednesday. MWM Central leader Allama Abu Zar Mehdavi, Political Secretary Abdullah Mutehri, Maulana Haider Abbas, Maulana Ali Afzal, Maulana Mohammad Hussain Karimi and Asghar Zaidi were present. The MWM officials denounced the Commissioner and additional commissioner Karachi and deputy
commissioner Malir for failure in payment of the compensation despite passage of 10 days. Instead of hastening the work on immediate payment, these corrupt officials had started threatening the members of the MWM because they were coordinating efforts for the immediate payment, said Taqvi. It was worthy to note that the MWM’s representatives had been included in the committee constituted by the Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah for payment of the compensation.
Redrawing electoral constituencies
SA passes Sindh Coal Act-2012 and Bills STAFF REPORTER K ARACHI — Sindh Provincial Assembly on Wednesday passed a Bill unanimously, which pertained to government’s desire or attracting foreign investors for the development of Coal Projects, Coal Mining and Coal-based Power Production. The Bill thus passed would be called as the “Sindh Coal Act-2012” under which the Sindh Provincial Government would establish an inspectorate for Coal Mining. The proposed Coal Mining Inspectorate would be affiliated to the Coal and Energy Development and would be responsible for Coal Mining, Safety, Rescue and Recov-
ery Operations. The proposed Inspectorate would also function to carry out necessary environmental tests and would train the human workforce and would look after the welfare of the workers. With the passage of the Bill, the Sindh Provincial Government would also establish a high level board, which Chairman would be the Chief Minister of the province. The proposed board would also have 3 Ministers, Planning and Development Additional Chief Secretary, Secretary Finance Department and Environment and Energy Development Secretary as members. The Sindh Provincial Government on the recom-
mendations of the proposed board would provide a Title to the public or private company for Coal Mining and for the assessment of environmental and social impacts of the Coal Mining. The Sindh Provincial Government on the recommendations of the proposed board would devise a policy for Coal Mining, Gasification and power generation and would allow for the investment along with provisioning of the required facilities to the investors. The Sindh Provincial Government, on the other hand, passed the Sindh Finance (Amendment) Bill2013. With the passage of the Bill, Banks, Post Offices and all other private or public in-
stitutions that had been collecting utility bills from the consumers, would be bound to deposit the sum of money collected in terms of Electricity Duty to the Government’s accounts directly. The Bill mentioned that the Electricity Duty collection was the right of the provincial government. The Electricity Duty had in past been deposited directly to the accounts of the deferral government and the federal government had allocated the approved share of the provinces. The provinces had always complained of receiving less sum of money in that context. The Sindh Assembly also passed a Bill unani-
mously for the establishment of Institute of Ophthalmic Diseases and Ophthalmology in Hyderabad. The Bill would be called as the “Sindh Institute of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences Bill-2013”. With the passage of the Bill, the Eye Hospital that was affiliated to the Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences had been made autonomous institute and would be revamped. The new institute would impart postgraduate programmes for the medical fraternity and a board would run the institute as the management. Sindh Secretary Health would be the Chief Patron of the institute.
Nucynta ER approved for moderate to severe chronic pain control
N oral painkiller called Nucynta ER (tapentadol extended-release tab lets), has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced. The medication is designed to be taken twice daily for the control of moderate to severe chronic pain in adults when a continuous, 24hour opioid analgesic is needed for an extended period. The immediate-release version of Nucynta was FDA approved in 2008 for the treatment of acute pain in adults aged at least 18 years. Nucynta ER is available in 50 mg, 100 mg, 150 mg, 200 mg and 250 mg strengths.Data from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention and the American Pain Foundation indicate that over 42 million Americans aged 20 and over suffer from chronic pain, although nobody knows what the exact prevalence is. Chronic pain is the most common cause of long-term disability, and approximately one-third of all Americans will experience severe chronic pain at some stage in their lives. However, a study published by the American Pain Society suggests that despite treatments already available, patients are still in serious need of further therapies to help manage their pain properly and appropriately. Chronic pain means long-term pain, while acute pain is short term.Paul Chang, M.D., Vice Presi-
dent, Medical Affairs, Internal Medicine, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. explained: In clinical trials, Nucynta ER demonstrated proven efficacy for treating moderate to severe chronic pain. We are pleased with the FDA’s decision to approve Nucynta ER as it represents an important new option to help people with chronic pain.” Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development, L.L.C. and Grünenthal GmbH conducted a double-blind, randomized, active-and/or placebo-controlled phase 3 investigation. They also evaluated the safety profile of the drug with over 1,100 participants with moderate to severe chronic (longterm) pain over a 12-month period. Nucynta ER was found to be safe and effective - the trial researchers also reported a favorable tolerability profile as well as discontinuation rates. Sunil J. Panchal, M.D., President, National Institute of Pain, said: Chronic pain is difficult to manage, and even with the treatments available today, it can be a challenge to balance pain relief with a patient’s ability to tolerate the medicine. People with chronic pain will continue to need additional options, so an approval like this is welcome news for this community and the people who suffer from this often debilitating condition.”
Former CS Javed takes oath as Punjab Mohtasib LAHORE—Former chief secretary Javed Mehmood took an oath of Punjab Mohtasib (Ombudsman) here at the Governor’s House on Thursday. Punjab Governor Makhdoom Syed Ahmad Mehmood administered the oath from the newly-appointed ombudsman. Punjab Chief Secretary Nasir Mehmood Khosa loudly read the notification of the appointment of Javed Mehmood. Former ombudsman Punjab Khalid Mehmood, additional chief secretary, home secretary, finance secretary, principal secretary to the governor and other officials attended the ceremony.—APP
Blood banks ordered to register L AHORE —The
LAHORE: Arbab Ghulam Rahim, a former provincial chief minister of Sindh and head of Pakistan Muslim LeagueLikeminded coming out of Allama Iqbal International Airport.
Religious parties assure solidarity to Christian community
Punjab health department has directed all private and public sector blood banks to apply for their registration under blood transfusion bank ordinance by March 31. A spokesman for the health department told APP on Wednesday that all blood banks were ordered to obtain license under the law. The blood banks have STAFF REPORTER been asked to contact Punjab blood transfusion authority to obtain form for their regis- L AHORE —Representatives of all the religious parties extration.—APP pressed complete solidarity with the Christian community in the wake of the Joseph colony tragedy. The religious leaders from various parties during a meeting at Hamdard Centre here termed the incident was yet attempt to undermine LAHORE—City Traffic Police another national unity and to disgrace issued 1,119 learner permit to Islam and Pakistan. people, including governThe meeting held under ment officials and women the aegis of the Jamaat- efrom Arfa Karim IT Tower, Islami, emphasized that Pakiduring the current year. stan is the homeland of the CTO Suhail Chaudhry minorities including the Chrissaid police had issued learner tians like the Muslims as Ispermits to 673 government lam did not allow any discrimiofficials, 146 senior citizens nation on the basis of cast or and 300 women while 181 creed. people had applied for fresh The participants held the driving licenses in which 177 police and the law enforcecandidates were succeeded ment agencies responsible for while four failed. the Joseph colony tragedy He stressed upon people and expressed deep resentto come for learner permit and ment against all those infresh driving license in the IT volved in the ugly incident. Tower on Wednesday and JI Secretary General, Sunday.—APP Liaqat Baloch, in his address,
CTP issues 1,119 learner permits
LAHORE: Folk artists performing during Gypsy Mela at Children Complex.
PPP stalwarts join PML-N SALIM AHMED LAHORE—PPP ticket-holder from PP-204 Shujaabad, Khurram Khan Khakwani, Naib Tehsil Nazim Vehari Amir Khan Khakwani, and former MPA from Vehari Zargham Khan called on Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif at Model Town and expressed complete confidence in the leadership of President Pakistan Muslim League-N Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and joined PMLN unconditionally. Welcoming the PPP leaders in PML-N Chief Minister Punjab Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif said that PML-N is the most popular party of the country and its popularity increasing day by day. He said that PML-N is the only political party which can steer the coun-
try out of crisis. He said that Punjab government has taken various measures for the welfare of the people and it has come up to the expectations of the masses. He said that respect and dignity of the new entrants into the party will be ensured and they will be taken along in the service of the masses. He said that PPP is facing political isolation due to wrong policies of Zardari gang and the incompetent rulers have pushed the country into darkness and quagmire of problems. The new entrants into PML-N strongly criticized antipeople polices of PPP and said that PPP government has done nothing for the betterment of the masses and that is why PPP leaders and workers are fed up with their inefficient leadership.
They said that they had joined PML-N unconditionally. They said that Punjab government of PML-N led by Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has shown exemplary performance and launching of metro bus service in Lahore is a big achievement of the Chief Minister. They said that metro bus service is providing modern, comfortable and affordable transport facilities to the citizens. They said that by serving the people with honesty, sincerity and spirit of patriotism the Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has proved that every target can be achieved with commitment and determination. They said they will work side by side Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif to resolve the problems being faced by the country.
LHC seeks govt report on sub-standard CNG cylinders L AHORE —Lahore
High Court Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial Wednesday sought a report from the federal government on a plea seeking action against sub-standard CNG cylinder manufacturers till April 29. The single bench comprising chief justice passed the orders on a petition filed by petitioner-counsel Rana Mehtab. Earlier, Oil & Gas Regulatory Authority’s (OGRA) counsel submitted a detailed report about steps taken to check sub- standard cylinders after court orders in this regard. The OGRA through re-
port told that many public vehicles were challaned who were not following rules. However, the petitionercounsel contended that only challans were not solution of the problem.He pointed out that many public vehicles had five cylinders which was a dangerous act. However, the OGRA’s counsel mentioned that only two cylinders were being allowed in public vehicles. To a court query, the counsel submitted that OGRA had referred the matter to the federal government for legislation but a meeting could not be taken place yet.
The court directed federal government to co-operate with OGRA and also sought a report by April 29 besides adjourning the matter. The petitioner through his petition submitted that many persons lost their lives due to explosion of sub-standard CNG cylinders but respondent departments were not performing their duty to check it. He pleaded the court that directions be issued to respondents for taking immediate action against sub-standard CNG cylinder manufacturers and sub-standard installation workshops.—APP
said that the Joseph colony tragedy was in continuation with the incidents at Quetta, Karachi and Peshawar and was an attempt to shake the Muslim-Christian unity with a view to sabotaging the elections. The Bishop of Lahore, addressing the moot, said that the Joseph colony incident had created an impression that the Christians were not secure. He however said that a Christian could not commit blasphemy of the Last Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH). He called for setting up peace committees at Union council level to prevent such incidents in the future. The meeting demanded that a committee comprising Ulema and Christian religious scholars be set up to assist the police in the investigation of the blasphemy case against the accused Sawan Masih to ensure investigation strictly on legal lines. Those present at the meeting included Moulana Abdul Khabir Azad ,Moulana
Amjad Khan of JUI-F, Qari Zawar Bahadar JUP, Maulana Usman Noorai, Allama Ibtisam Elahi Zaheer of Jamiat Ahle Hadith, Qari Saif ud Din Saif and others. The Bishop of Lahore, besides Christian leaders Dr Majid Able and Francis Nadeem were also present.
Youm-e-Rawadari on Friday LAHORE—The coming Juma tul Mubarak (Friday) will be observed as ‘Youm-eRawadari’ (Day of Tolerance) in Punjab and the message of religious tolerance, harmony and brotherhood would be disseminated in Juma sermons. The Ulema will highlight the Islamic concept of interfaith, respect, unity, amity and peace in the society. The decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of leading Ulema, held under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif on Tuesday.—APP
Glass art, design works L AHORE —An exhibition ‘Glass Fusion & Stained Glass” by two artists Rukhsana and Saiful Haq will open here at Alhamra Art Gallery on March 18. Glass art pieces created by the two artists, NCA alumni, comprises a wide variety of translucent and transparent glass works. The artists claim to have 22 years experience in stained glass design and work and lend their expertise for design to interior designers, architects and homeowners seeking glass accessories, stated Lahore Arts Council (LAC) organisers. The display would continue till March 25. Meanwhile Punjab Small Industries Corporation (PSIC), in collaboration with Parks & Horticulture Authority (PHA) and Lahore Museum, is organizing three-day crafts exhibitions “Kamal-e-Fun” from Friday onward here at Old Tollinton Market heritage museum. A number of stalls, displaying traditional but waning craft works from Punjab, will be set up, while NGO’s and other organizations working for promotion of crafts and craftsmen will also join the event.—APP
Hindu pilgrims return to India
‘Vaccination can prevent women from cancer’
L AHORE —About 88 Hindu
L AHORE —Women
pilgrims returned to India through the Wagha Border on Wednesday. Officials of the Evacuee Trust Property Board said goodbye to the pilgrims. A group leader of Hindu pilgrims, Shiv Partap Bajaj, appreciated the contributions of Evacuee Trust Proterty Board chairman Syed Asif Hashmi for the renovation of their religious places. “Pakistanis are loving and peaceful,” he added.—APP
Unhygienic food at General Bus Stand LAHORE—Sub-standard eatables are being sold at different stalls in General Bus Stand due to negligence of the city administration. Shahid, a passenger, talking to APP here on Wednesday, said the stallholders were selling unhygienic and substandard commodities, adding that they were playing havoc with health of passengers but authorities concerned did not take action against them. Passengers also said shopkeepers prepared and cooked food items in substandard cooking oil which was prohibited by the department concerned. They said stallholders, hotels and restaurants were not following cleanliness standards.—APP
LAHORE: A man busy in preparing the traditional cane made basket.
Punjab PPP praises performance of federal govt LAHORE—A meeting of Pakistan Peoples Party Punjab executive members and office bearers held at PPP Punjab office here on Wednesday. PPP Punjab Information Secretary Raja Amir Khan gave briefing to the media after the meeting and said participants expressed their satisfaction on the performance of the federal government. Presenting achievements of the PPP-led government during last five years, he said the NFC award, restoration of judiciary, success in war against terrorism, changing the name of NWFP into
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, parliamentary commission for south Punjab and formation of independent the Election Commission were landmark deeds of the PPP-led governments. He said several projects to address energy crisis had been initiated and the PakIran Gas pipeline was also a great achievement of the PPPled government. Lauding PPP Co-chairman President Asif Ali Zardari’s efforts Raja Amir said the PPP had not compromised on the national interests and signed an agreement with China for Gawadar Port.
He said the PPP would win the upcoming general elections on behalf of its performance and it would form the next government not only in the centre but also in provinces. Senior PPP leaders, including PPP information secretary Raja Amir Khan, PPP minority wing president Pervaiz Rafique, PPP executive member Dewan Ghulam Mohyuddin, Syed Hasnat Shah, Mian Abdulwahid, PPP Human Right Wing President Asif Khan, Umar Sharif and Munir Ahmad Khan attended the meeting.—APP
could protect themselves from cervical cancer through vaccination and screening which can help prevent it upto 94%, commented Dr Marriam Mallick Prof & HOD Obstetrician & Gynecologist. She was speaking at an awareness programme commemorating the International Women’s Day arranged by Galxo Smith Kline Pakistan. She said it was an irony that People in Pakistan could spend thousands of rupees for dowry and other petty things but reluctant in guaranteeing a healthier future. The doctor lamented that due to poor health budget and lack of awareness, women were still unaware of the prevalence and burden of the cancer.—APP