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TTP sets conditions for ceasefire Deadlock persists as negotiators call for continuation of peace talks TARIQ SAEED PESHAWAR —While the deadlock over the

India chief minister quits in row over new state NEW DELHI—The chief minister of an Indian state quit on Wednesday in protest at a contentious bill to split his state in two, a plan which triggered chaotic scenes in parliament. Lawmakers in the lower house on Tuesday passed the bill to carve a new state called Telangana out of the existing southern state of Andhra Pradesh, amid uproar from opposing MPs that saw a blackout of televised proceedings. With the bill now set to go to the upper house, Andhra Pradesh chief minister Kiran Kumar Reddy announced he was stepping down “with heavy heart” over the move to create the country’s Continued on Page 7

Afghan Taliban reject Dubai peace talks OBSERVER REPORT I SLAMABAD —Afghan Taliban on Wednesday condemned the ongoing peace efforts launched by one of their Dubai-based leaders as “anti-jihad and a move to favour the US and its puppets”, reports say. President Hamid Karzai had welcomed the peace initiative by Agha Jan Mutasim, a former Taliban cabinet minister and a close aide of Mullah Omar, and had described the move as a good omen for the political setup in Afghanistan.

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Gabol demands imposition of emergency OBSERVER REPORT ISLAMABAD—MNA Nabeel Gabol, belonging to the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, brought forward the demand for the imposition of emergency in the country and termed those who talked of negotiating with the Taliban as ‘fools’ during a meeting of the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Interior on Wednesday. “On one hand talks are being held whereas on the other hand bodies were being sent,” he further said. Meanwhile, an intense argument took place be-

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peace talks between the Government and the Taliban militants to work out a lasting solution to end bloodshed and ensure peace in the region, persists , both the committees are said to have expressed their strong desire for continuity of the parleys. However, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Wednesday came out with new demands to effect ceasefire with the government, a move that is destined to further add to the atmosphere of mistrust between the two. The TTP‘s fresh conditions include “putting an end to the arrest of Taliban members and their deaths in police encounters and dumping of their members bodies”. The coordinator of the Taliban nominated committee, Maulana Yousuf Shah said on Wednesday despite the peace parleys hitting the nags the process must continue and nation should be given good news. “The negotiation process is going towards the

................................................ Iran’s regrettable statement ................................................ US and Kabul too in touch with Taliban

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Institutions strong to tackle difficult situations: PR Even India didn’t slaughter Pak prisoners RAWALPINDI—Minister for cluded in it. Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Senator Pervaiz Rashid Wednesday said national institutions are strong enough to tackle any situation and no one should underestimate country’s defence capabilities. Talking to media after attending an event “Aik Sham Teen Mahman” he said “National institutions are capable enough to tackle any difficult situation and national security agencies are competent to meet any security challenge, confronting the country.” The Minister said whenever a contingent is formed in the world for peacekeeping, Pakistani troops are in-

He said the PML-N government has the desire to achieve peace without any further bloodshed and a peace committee was constituted for this purpose. The formation of committee by the Prime Minister reflected his sincerity and desire to secure peace and end violence in the country, he added. He said when the two committees will give their reports, then the government will decide about its course of action in this regard. The Minister said if Taliban had any complaints, then their committee should have conveyed it to the government committee but they did not do so.

During the talks, terrorist act did take place in Karachi and news received about the martyrdom of Frontier Corps personnel in Mohmand Agency, he added. He referred to three Pakistan-India wars in the past and said in 1971 war, 90,000 troops of Pakistan were taken prisoners. He said nobody cut their heads but those who are demanding Shariah, should tell under which law they committed killings of FC personnel. The Minister said Indian prisoners in custody of the Pakistan were taken care of according to Geneva Convention. If terrorist incidents will continue to take

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Pakistan, US militaries to continue coop

Treason case

Verdict on biased judges issue reserved STAFF REPORTER I SLAMABAD —The special court trying former president Pervez Musharraf under Article 6 for high treason on Wednesday reserved the decision over the issue of the biased judges raised by the counsels of the accused. The threemember bench headed by Justice Faisal Arab was hearing the case here. During the hearing, former president Pervez Musharraf’s counsel Anwar Mansoor completed his arguments relating to the two biased judges in the bench. Later the court reserved its ruling and adjourned the hearing until Friday.

Pakistan, Iran for joint efforts against terrorism STAFF REPORTER Q UETTA —Pakistani and Iranian officials held a meeting on Wednesday underlining the need to make coordinated efforts to curb the menace of terrorism. High level officials, from both sides, met to remove misunderstandings which had developed in the aftermath of abduction of five Iranian border guards on February 6. A Sunni militant group, Jaish-al-Adal (Party of Justice) had claimed the responsibility for kidnapping the Iranian guards. Chief Secretary Balochistan, Babar Yaqoob Fateh Muhammad, led the Pakistani delegation whereas Deputy Governor SistanBalochistan, Ali Asghar Shikari, represented Iran in

the meeting. Home secretary Balochistan, chief of Balochistan police, chief of FC and other high level officials also participated in the meeting. During the meeting, the Pakistani delegation raised the issue of repeated violation by Iranian border guards near bordering areas i.e. Mashkail, Taftan and other areas. “Iran has repeatedly fired rockets in Mashkail in recent”, an insider of the meeting who requested not to be named told while quoting the Pakistani side. However, the Iranian delegation complained that there was an infiltration of militants from Pakistan into Iran. The Iranians claimed that the militant group

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KARACHI—The private sector banks credit doubled in the first half of the current financial year while the cash recovery helped improving non performing loan (NPLS) in the private sector banks. Another positive development for the banking sector has been the increase the strength in private sector credit, has reached Rs299 billion of in seven months of financial year 2014, compared to Rs108bn in the same period last year.

Sign five agreements to bolster cooperation

BEIJING—President Mamnoon Hussain on nese President and people of China on the ISLAMABAD—Chief of Army Wednesday said that China-Pakistan Eco- Chinese New Lunar Year and expressed his Staff General Raheel Sharif and Chairman Joints Chief of Staff Committee General Rashad Mahmood held meetings with General Llyod J Austin, Commander of the United States Central Command (Centcom) here on Wednesday. During the meeting issues pertaining to US withdrawal

Picture on Back Page from Afghanistan and the region were discussed. In a meeting held at Joint Staff Headquarters CJCSC General Rashad Mahmood briefed General Austin on the situation in neighbouring Afghanistan. The Centcom chief later called on COAS General Raheel Sharif and discussed matters relating to the security situation in the region

US bomber mistakenly bombed its troops L ONDON —Shocking video from the mountains of Afghanistan show a 500-pound bomb dropped by U.S. bombers land on a U.S. Army infantry outpost after the bombers mistook the outpost for a Taliban hideout, the Daily Mail reported Wednesday. The dramatic video shows soldiers at the outpost watch as an Air Force bomber flew overhead. Seconds after seeing the bomber, there is a loud explosion, and the soldiers reacting with poise amongst the chaos caused by the explosion. Thankfully, there were no casualties caused by what appears to be a mistake made by pilot of the bomber. According to a website for military veterans, Army mortar teams

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Private sector banks credit demand takes a quantum jump The policies of the Ministry of Finance also played a key role in improving the financial indicators of the banking sector, said financial analysts. However, the decline in sector NPLs was not just owed to changing classifications, as cash recoveries of Rs23.9billion were also made during the quarter, improving on the Rs14.7billion recovered in the previous quarter. Informed sources told Pakistan Observer that banking sector Non Performing Loans (NPLs) fell by

Mamnoon, Xi focus on trade, investment


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AMANULLAH KHAN TTP’s welcome interest in peace talks

deadlock as certain forces are bent on creating an atmosphere that may lead to impasse in the parleys, yet all out efforts should be made to save Govt-Taliban peace talks”. Yousaf Shah told media men in Peshawar adding he made contacts with the government dialogues committee on Wednesday and it also expressed its desire that the peace talks meet the success. It may be recalled that continuous incidents of terrorism with particular reference to announcement by the Mohmand chapter of Taliban on Sunday to have brutally massacred 23 FC personnel in their custody, had forced the government committee to announce following their meeting with the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif suspension of parleys till the time Taliban do not give up BEIJING: President Mamnoon Hussain and Chinese President Xi Jinping shaking hands prior to their meeting at the Great Hall of the People on Wednesday. violence. Taliban committee coordinator said the parleys between the government and the Centcom chief meets Taliban were disrupted as certain forces did not want peace process succeed. “We were COAS, CJCSC

Rs18.6billion in the quarter ending December 2013, as the total NPLs falling to Rs585bn. The bulk of this decline came in local private banks, where NPLs fell by Rs15.8billion quarter on quarter basis. Cash recoveries of Rs23.9billion were also made during the said quarter, improving on the Rs14.7billion recovered in the previous quarter. Net NPLs to Net Loans has fallen to 3.12% in the last quarter of 2013, from 3.79% in the previous quarter. Coverage at

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nomic Corridor, a gigantic development project would prove to be a game changer in transforming the whole region by generating massive trade and economic activity and opening new vistas of progress and prosperity for the people of the two countries and around 3 billion people of the region. President Mamnoon Hussain said this in his one-on-one meeting with President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping followed by delegation level talks in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. The two leaders discussed a whole gamut of bilateral relations and regional and global issues of mutual interest. Giving details of the two rounds of talks, Press Secretary to the President said that discussions between the two sides focused on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, enhancing connectivity and further cementing trade andinvestment ties. At the outset of the meeting, President Mamnoon Hussain congratulated the Chi-

best wishes for a happy and auspicious Year of the Horse. Chinese President Xi Jinping while warmly welcoming President Mamnoon Husssain on his first state visit to China said that choosing China for his first state visit abroad after assuming office of the President of Pakistan demonstrated the depth of time-tested friendship between the two countries. resident Xi Jinping said that President Mamnoon’s visit marks yet another important step forward in reinforcing the strategic partnership between the two countries, adding that it would help opening up new avenues for bilateral cooperation in all fields. Reciprocating the gesture, President Mamnoon said that the Government and the people of Pakistan highly value their relations with China which are unparalleled in the contemporary era of inter-state relations, adding that friendship with China was

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Interior Ministry declares Islamabad extremely dangerous STAFF REPORTER I SLAMABAD —A report prepared by the Interior Ministry has declared the federal capital city as extremely dangerous due to the presence and functioning of banned outfits along with other factors. According to the report, the capital city is at high risk and has become the sleeper cell of the banned organization members including Al-Qaeda, Tehrik-iTaliban Pakistan (TTP) and Lashkar-eJahngvi (LeJ). The report further stated that arms and

terrorists are making their way into the country through Eastern and Western borders which is why cross border terrorists are also conducting terror activities in Pakistan. Moreover, the report stated that Balochistan and Azad Kashmir are plagued by terrorism sponsored by the neighboring India. Banned outfits of TTP and LeJ are a real threat in Punjab while the target killers, Al-Qaeda and LeJ are targeting Sindh. The Interior Ministry report will be presented before the standing committee of National Assembly today.

Non-appointment of CEC

Govt not discharging its obligations: Justice Saqib Nisar ISLAMABAD—Justice Mian Saqib Nisar has tice of non appointment of regular CEC, remarked “ government is not discharging its legal and constitutional obligations due to which regular officers have not been appointed so far on legal and constitutional posts. He further observed “ For want of regular Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Justice Nasir ul Mulk has to go to Election Commission by leaving most important cases of Supreme Court (SC). The appointment of acting CEC is temporary. Regular CEC has not been appointed since the last six months. Thousands of cases are pending owing to non induction of chairman and members in FST. Rush of cases has increased in high courts. He further remarked “ it is better government should discharge its obligations otherwise we will be forced to issue any order. Government should not create difficulties for us and for itself. He gave these remarks during the course of a hearing of a case with reference to appointment of one Ghulam Rasul, an ISI grade-16 employee here Wednesday. A 2-member bench of SC comprising Justice Mian Saqib Nisar and Justice Afzal Khan heard the case. The court while taking no-

chairman Federal Services Tribunals and members has sought report from government within a week in this regard. At the inception of hearing, Attorney General (AG) Suleman Butt, parliamentary secretary and others appeared in the court. Justice Saqib Nisar remarked “ only you can deal with this matter. FST is not functional as per SC 2013 decision. Several cases are pending hearing in high courts and this situation is alarming. It is said that the respective forum which the law has given is not there. Tribunal is not existing under article-212. Ascertain from the government when will these tribunals be constituted. When amendment will be introduced in the constitution. Government is not addressing several important legal matters. It causes embarrassment to us particularly. Fakhar ud Din G Ibrahim resigned from his office in August. Six months have been elapsed but regular CEC has not been appointed. Acting is for a short period. We are giving one month time to the government.

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Tree plantation campaign begins HYDERABAD—The tree plantation campaign has begun in Mehran University of Engineering and Technology Jamshoro from Wednesday after plantation of sapling by the Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Muhamad Aslam Uqaili. The university management has reserved a piece of land declaring it a Fruit Farm, where maximum saplings will be planted during the campaign, the university spokesman informed. The visiting Trade Commissioner of Australia Trade Commission, accompanied the Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Muhammad Aslam Uqaili also planted a sapling. Among the Deans of Faculties, Chairpersons of the Departments, the Registrar Dr. Taha Hussain Ali and Director Finance Munir Ahmed Shaikh were also present on the occasion.—APP

HYDERABAD: Members of Sindh Lecturers Association holding protest demonstration in favour of their demands.

Qaim for expediting regularization of villages in Sindh STAFF REPORTER KARACHI—Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah while expressing his dissatisfaction over the regularization of villages and issuance of title of ownership to the villagers has constituted a 5-members committee under the supervision of Senor Member Board of Revenue to expedite the process of regularization of the villages of the Karachi, and complete the task within 2 months period. This he directed while presiding over the high level meeting to review over the work for regularizations of villages of Karachi Hyderabad and Thatta districts held at CM House Karachi Wednesday. Senior Member Board of Revenue Fazal Rehman the Secretary to CM Rai Sikandar, Member Land Utilization, PD Gothabad BOR, Deputy Commission west, Malir and other officers of lined departments member Gothabad Lal Bux Bhutto, Vice Chairman Haji Qasim Baloch attended the meeting. The CM nominated Deputy Commissioner (DC) district West, DC Malir,

SSC exams commence QUETTA—The annual exams for Secondary School Certificate (SSC) has commenced here under the auspices of Balochistan Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (BBISE). As many as 90,000 students would undertake exams in 277 examination centres established across the province.831 invigilators have been deployed in the centres for the exam.Some 46,966 students would appear for SSC exams in 63 examination centres in the provincial capital of Quetta.—APP

FESCO shutdown schedule

Project Director Gothabad, Member Land Utilization as members of the committee to be assisted by Lal Bux Bhutto and Haji Qasim Baloch in this task. He expressed his grave concern over the slow process of regularizing the villages and said that it to pose threat to local villagers from the Land-Mafia. He said that in case of such a situation the officers concern would be held responsible. He said that when being Chief Executive he himself consider accountable to the Sindh Assembly, his party leadership and particularly to the people of Sindh, then how an officer can is spared from his/ her accountability/ responsibility. He directed the committee to expedite the work, submit progress report on weekly basis and complete the task within two months period. In order to provide shelter to homeless people and protect the rights of ownership of the people was the manifesto of Pakistan People’s Party Parliamentarian (PPPP) and the PPPP leadership would fulfill this commitment to the people at any cost. The CM said that PPPP-led Sindh Government has decided to develop the

Karachi and the villages of Karachi but not at the cost of people, and vowed that the protection of the people’s rights must be made on priority basis. He said that Sindh Government has reserved the land for the development of Malir with establishment of Malir Development Authority and we are also going to reserve the land for the development Lyari as well. He made it clear that the rights of ownership of the villages fallen in the areas of this reserved land would also be protected. He directed the Senior Member Board of Revenue to expedite computerization of record of rights as it to be helpful for protection village ownership titles to the villagers. Earlier, the meeting was informed that as many as 368 villages of district West Karachi have been indentified out of which 200 have been sanctioned, 622 villages indentified in district Malir out of which 391 have been sanctioned, while out of 562 identified villages of Hyderabad, 132 villages have been sanctioned similarly out of 797 indentified villages 587 have been surveyed in District Thatta.

Killing of a couple by stoning in Loralai

28,333 foreign, 1,844,000 local tourists visit NA

Balochistan govt’s swift action lauded ZUBAIR QURESHI ISLAMABAD—Chairperson National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW), Khawar Mumtaz has applauded the Balochistan government for swift action against people blamed for stoning a couple to death in Loralai district of Balochistan. In a letter written to the chief minister Balochistan Dr Abdul Malik Baloch, she said the couple should have been made to face a court of law if an offence was committed and those who took law into their hands having themselves have committed a crime. “The local cleric and people of the village have placed themselves above the law by becoming judge, jury and executioner, “she wrote in the letter, adding, “I firmly believe that without implementation of laws across the length and breadth of the country, we cannot claim to be a civilized society.” A man and a woman were stoned to death in a village in Loralai district on Sunday, Feb 16, 2014 after a cleric issued a fatwa against them. Khawar said the horrific development clearly reflects that such crimes against women have not been appropriately responded to and dealt with by the concerned authorities. In her letter Khawar requested the Balochistan government to keep NCSW abreast of ensuing developments and assured all kind of help from NCSW platform.

FAISALABAD—The Faisalabad Electric Supply Company has issued a shutdown notice for repair, maintenance and expansion of electricity lines.According to the notice issued by the company here on Wednesday, power supply from Barkat Pur-U feeder emanating from 132-KV Sammundri Road grid station will remain suspended from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm while Usman Abad, Rajoa, Muazzam Shah, Aasian, Kot Ahmad Yar, Hinduana, Lahore Road and Jhang Road feeders originating from 132-KV Chiniot Industrial grid station will observe shutdown from 9:00am to 4:00pm on Thursday (Feb 20). Similarly, electricity supply from Kandiwal, TS Mill, Hudda, Mangani, Chak Miana, Ahmadwala, Talibwala, Matela, Gillapur and Bhagtanwala feeders emanating from 66-KV Pathan Kot grid station from 9:00am to 11:30am whereas Hamza Board Mill, Scarp, Mongi Road, Gohar Industrial Mill and Toba Road feeders originating from 132-KV Gojra grid station will observe load shedding from 9:00am to 1:00pm on February 20.—APP MURREE: Scouts during 14th Rover Scout Snow Hike.

I SLAMABAD —As many as 28,333 foreign, 1,844,000 local tourists have visited Northern Areas during 2007-10. An official of PTDC while talking to APP said that the government had increased the tourist friendly countries from two to 26. He said tourists of 26 countries had been granted one month validity and multiple entries for group travel through designated Tour Operators. Pakistani Missions abroad have been authorized to grant tourist/visit visa for three months validity and stay with double entry and other. He said PTDC is making all efforts to boost domestic and foreign tourism in the country. To a question, he said, the country’s tourism industry suffered a lot especially after the 9/11 incident, 2005-earthquake and floods, adding that foreign media also hatched conspiracies and got issued negative advisories for Pakistan from different countries.—APP

Polio eradication committee meets LARKANA—Deputy Commissioner Larkana, Ghanhwar Khan Leghari has urged the officers of the Health Department, Education department, Social Welfare department, elected representatives, PeshImams, NGOs, teachers, scouts, students and social workers to play their role in administering the anti-polio drops to the children. He said this while presiding over a meeting of District EPI & Polio Eradication Committee, here at DC camp office, Wednesday.—APP

LUMHS promotes 109 employees

Law, order situation improves ISLAMABAD—State Minister for Interior and Narcotics Control Balighur Rehman here on Wednesday said law and order situation improved in the country in the second half of last year. Speaking during the meeting of National Assembly Committee on Interior, he said criminal incidents and activities decreased considerably in Karachi, Balochistan and other parts of the country. He said the government took steps to improve law and order situation and coordination among 26 intelligence agencies in the country. He said the Constitution is clear that law and order is a provincial subject and the federal government had been providing complete support to the provinces through civil armed forces and intelligence agencies working under it. Responding to a query of the committee, he said there are 60 proscribed organizations in the country and their activities are being monitored. The state minister said the government has activated the National Alien Registration Authority (NARA) to register millions of people from different nationalities living in Pakistan. The Minister appreciated the role of Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) for improving its performance in the previous months.

He said some shady characters in FIA were removed from key positions and an internal vigilance cell was set up to check irregularities by its officials. Recently, FIA took action against its officials involved in Italy visa case and made recoveries of one billion rupees in various cases in one year. He said cyber crime law had been sent to the Law Ministry for vetting and it would be enacted in an effort to control crimes of hacking, online fraud and grey trafficking used to evade taxes in billions. The committee members took briefing from the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA). Acting Director General Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Ghalib Ali Bandesha told the committee that FIA is facing staff shortage of 25 percent and has backlog of 4000 cases which need to be investigated. Hundreds of cases investigated by it are pending in courts for hearing, he added. The Minister said FIA is also facing budgetary constraints which is affecting its performance. Ten million people pass immigration controls of FIA at airports, he said adding it has updated its red book, which now carries profiles of 141 criminals and proclaimed offenders.—APP

KP Govt implementing pro-poor initiatives: Shaukat PESHAWAR—Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister ernment and said that PTI government accordfor Health, Shaukat Ali Yousafzai Wednesday said present provincial government is not only committed to provide effective services delivery to the poor people but different pro-poor initiatives have also been taken to achieve the goal. This he said while talking to the public delegations from different districts of the province at his office. Members of Provincial Assembly and other concerned authorities of Health Department were also present on the occasion. The Health Minister on this occasion, highlighted the pro-poor initiatives of provincial gov-

ing to its reforms agenda had taken historical initiatives to eradicate poverty and to facilitate people. He stated that due to long term corruption of the past, people were hopeless and did not trust the government department, but PTI government has restored their trust and confidence through its transparent and pro-poor governance. He also urged public to play vital role to discourage the menace of corruption. He said the government would leave no stone unturned to make corruption free Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.— APP

H YDERAHAD —On recommendation of the Departmental Promotion Committee, the management of Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences (LUMHS) Jamshoro promoted/upgraded 109 employees of the university working in different grades from BPS-1 to BPS-15. According to a press release issued here on Wednesday, the Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Noshad A. Shaikh while delivering the promotion letters to the employees said that promotion/up gradation is a reward of any employee as it is recognition of good performance who makes significant and effective work contributions. The Vice Chancellor assured that all possible efforts are being made to develop a new residential colony for the employees of the univerHASSANABDAL: Policemen showing men who were arrested while smuggling liquor at sity.—APP Saddar Police Station, Hassan Abdal.

Sanaullah Abbasi takes charge as Hyderabad DIG

Farmers hold protest rally SHER GONDAL

H Y D E R A B A D —Sanaullah MANDI BAHAUDDIN—The Kisan Board orgaAbbasi has assumed the charge of the office of the Deputy Inspector General of Police Hyderabad Range. According to a police spokesman, Sanaullah Abbasi took over the charge of the DIG Hyderabad on Tuesday in place of Akram Baroka who has been transferred to Karachi.The spokesman said that Senior Superintendent of Police Hyderabad Irfan Ali Bahadur has also been transferred and asked to report CPO. Pir Farid Jan Sarhandi has been appointed as the new SSP Hyderabad.—APP

nized a farmers’ rally against government for lacking efficiency to address their problems. The rally was held at village Mangat on Phalia Mandi Road. The traffic was blocked as rally marched towards Mandi, raising slogans against local administration and Police for their corrupt practices. More than thousand farmers participated in the rally. Police and district administration was either inefficient or it had closed eyes deliberately over the difficulties of farmers. They said farmers were restless over anti farmers’ policies of the government which according to them was busy to benefit industrialists on the cost of public. Irrigations and drainage system was in bad shape due to lack of maintenance and negligence of officials concerned. Revenue officials behave like kings and create hurdles on every step for farmers. Com-

plaints against them are always disposed of with no relief to farmers and as there is no accountability officials get encouraged to follow corrupt practices with impunity. The leaders also accused sugar mills for purchasing sugar cane at low price and not making payment to growers in time. They said sugar mills had polluted the environment as they did not clean poisonous water which drained out from mills. On the other side dealers of pesticides and fertilizers overcharge farmers’ and government when informed fine them a small amount. No trader had been punished severely or awarded imprisonment for indulgence in overcharging and profiteering, they complained. They alleged local administration for misusing sugar cess fund. They also criticized police for failure to control crime in the area. They said police chief never tired to make statements for eradicating corruption from police and ensure protection of life and property of citizens but on ground the situation is opposite.

Hamza: PM determined to provide strong economy, peace to countrymen OUR CORRESPONDENT JHANG—Central leader Pakistan Muslim League-N, Hamza Shahbaz Sharif MNA has said that Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif is determined to provide strong economy and peace to the 190 millions of people of the country and he is ready to sacrifice everything for achieving this goal. He said that without eliminating terrorism neither investment can be brought in the country nor commonman can live peacefully. He expressed these views while addressing a public meeting held in connection with bye election in PP-81 at Ratta Matta, Shah Jewena, Jhang today. Hamza Shahbaz Sharif said that elimination of terrorism and load-shedding are top priorities of PML-N government.

PESCO eight officers transferred P ESHAWAR —The Competent Authority of Peshawar Electric Supply Company (PESCO) has issued the transfer and posting orders of eight officers in the interest of public service. According to Pesco Spokesman here on Wednesday, Muhammad Amjad Khan has been posted as Superintendent Engineer Peshawar Circle while Munir Ullah Khan was directed to assume the charge of Manager M&T Pesco Peshawar. Munir Ahmad was posted as Manager Marketing Pesco Headquarters, Shuaib Anwar (Deputy Manager Tariff Pesco headquarters), Ihsan Ullah (Deputy Manager Tariff Pesco headquarters), Zafar Iqbal (XEN Lakki Division), Ishtiaq Ali Shah ( Deputy Manager Material Inspection) and Muhammad Tahir Farooq was posted as XEN City Division Nowshera. The Chief Executive PESCO has directed the above officers to work with zeal, dedication and discharge their duties with full devotion and honesty so that the consumer’s problems could be addressed.—APP

Norwegian Ambassador donates Rs.8m for water supply

He said that PML-N leadership is working round the clock for overcoming both these problems. He said that the day is not far off when load-shedding will be eliminated from the country forever. Hamza Shahbaz Sharif said that development in industrial and agricultural sectors is important. He said that PML-N leadership believes in practical work and the people cannot be hoodwinked through lip service. He said that people have high hopes of PML-N for resolution of their problems. That is why, they express their confidence in PML-N during bye elections, he added. Hamza Shahbaz Sharif said that service to the masses is the pivot of PML-N leadership. He said that PP-81 faces a number of problems and the problems of people will be resolved on priority basis.

He said that a girls college will be set up in Ratta Matta at 50 kanal land whereas a sports stadium will be constructed for youth. Hamza Shahbaz said that with the construction of bridge at river Jhelum, new avenues of development will open for this area. He said that besides resolving sewerage problem, water filtration plants will also be installed in rural areas. He said that all promises made with the people will be honoured and he will inaugurate the completed development schemes. PML-N leaders Mehr Ghulam Muhammad Lali, Mehr Imtiaz Lali, Najam Sial, Ghulam Bibi Bharwana, Sheikh Akram, Waris Kalu, Malik Riaz, Imran Ali Goraya, local leaders Iftikhar Khan Baloch, Ghanzanfar Shah and PML-N candidate Haji Muhammad Khan Baloch also addressed the public meeting.

Khattak directs secretaries to speed up uplift works STAFF REPORTER PESHAWAR—Chief Minister Pervez Khattak has directed all the administrative secretaries of the province to speed up pace of works and ensure effective and transparent utilization of resources on schemes approved under the ongoing annual development program (ADP). The old system which had a number of gatekeepers should be done away with. The obstacles needed to be settled immediately by the administrative secretaries and the implementation process should be expedited. He made clear that the developmental process should move smoothly in order to get the targets in time. He also cautioned that no delay and no obstacle will be tolerable in implementation of developmental schemes in future and the administrative secretaries must personally pursue all the files and paper work formalities otherwise they will be considered responsible for any delay and will be dealt accordingly. He said that PTI led coalition govt does not believe in red-tapism and such a trend must be a story of the past. He said that development strategies lead to improve the economic outlook, job creation and efficient service delivery while this is also prime objective of our provincial govt. He was chairing a high level meeting mid-year review meeting of ADP at Cabinet Room of Civil Secretariat Peshawar that besides the Senior Minister for Finance Sirajul Haq, Parliamentary Secretary P&D Mian Khaleequr Rehman, Chief Secretary Muhammad Shehzad Arbab, Additional Chief Secretary Khalid Pervez, was largely attended by the Secretaries and Section

Heads of all the departments. The meeting decided that the provincial departments would hold monthly meetings involving the respective secretaries to remove the obstacles hindering the putting on ground of public welfare and overall development as well as a number of other decisions were taken. The meeting was told that a total of 989 projects have been launched under the ADP with cost of Rs.118 billion. It included 378 (38%) new and 611 (62%) ongoing projects in a total of 31 sectors and departments. Chief Minister said that this province needed result oriented efforts in order to generate a matching response to the problems, expectations and complaints of masses. All the government officials should pull their sleeves and meet the emerging challenges. He said ADP must be essential instrument for improving governance and social service delivery, reducing poverty, unemployment, attaining economic and social development. He said issues of delay in PC-1 preparations, low utilization of funds, repeated revisions of projects, poor response to M&E reports and lack of adequate capacity of planning in departments must be settled on priority basis by the heads of the departments to accelerate pace of works. Giving a deadline he said all projects due for completion must be completed by 30th June this year while timely and quality completion of the rest be ensured anyway.Regarding dropping of a project of the establishment of orphanage/ Yateem Khana in Peshawar with cost of Rs.15 million due to some reasons, the Chief Minister directed that a center for looking after the heirs and kids of Shuhada must be setup.

GUL HAMAAD FAROOQI C HITRAL —Women of Bakarab daily have to carry contaminated water from an open stream in pitchers on their head for drinking purposes, as there is no water supply scheme in the area of Bakarabad, Lalmi Lalmi2, Lalmmi3 and Acholgah villages. During the visit of Norwegian Ambassador to Chitral women of the area came on roads and demanded for provision of potable drinking water. Royal Norwegian ambassador Ms Cecilie Landsverk approved rupees 8 million for water supply scheme through CIADP and Creative Approach for Development started work on pipeline having the length of 40000 feet from Jughor goal fountain. Some 210 households are beneficiaries of this plan. Women of the area are compelled to carry drinking water from an open stream its water is contaminated due to putting of leaf, dust and other dirty things being flowing openly. CAD carrying some 40000 feet long pipeline for this area where some 2000 feet pipe is clipped with rock. This water supply schemes is being carrying from Jughor goal spring which will solve water shortage issue. Some 210 houses holds are its beneficiaries of the project. Some local women told this scribe that they have fixed water motor for sucking water to be carried from hundreds of feet beneath for drinking and cooking purposes but electricity supply also have been suspended for the last 20 days and that is why they carrying water in pitches, bucket water pot on their heads climbing on some 1 kilometer on height.

MOHENJO DARO: Advisor to Sindh Chief Minister for Culture Department Ms. Sharmila Farooqui chairing 7th executive board meeting of National Fund for Moenjo Daro.

60 policemen complete professional training policemen of Multan district have completed their training for general guard, picketing and field craft at police lines here on Wednesday. A spokesman of police department, informed that on the special directions of Inspector General Punjab, a training session for general guard, picketing and field craft was organized in all district. He said that all police personnel would get the training step wise and they would be trained to perform duty in emergency like situation and also to control the situation. He added that in first session 60 police personnel have completed their 30-day training at police lines. Haroon maintained that training about physical, picketing, weapon handling and controlling any situation have been given to them. A passing out ceremony of police personnel was organized at police lines which was presided over by City Police Officer (CPO) Sultan Ahmed Chaudhry. SP Headquarters Tahir Masood, PRO police Inspector Yousaf Haroon, Reserve Inspector Muhammad Islam and other senior police officers were also present on the occasion.—APP

FACC preserves verdict after 25 years IRFAN ALIGI

Parents of Major Jahanzeb Adnan Shaheed proud of their brave son

Ayub Medical Complex gets new machinery ABDUL KHALIQ QURESHI

ABBOTTABAD—Professor. Dr. Rehman Ghani Chief ExecuM ULTAN —The mortal re- tive Ayub Medical Complex inaugurated the two newly mains of Major Jahanzeb Adnan,who embraced martyrdom while fighting against terrorists in Peshawar,arrived in city on Wednesday Morning. Major Jahanzeb Adnan was a brave officer serving of Frontier Force Regiment and was serving in Peshawar for the last one year.Two days back when he was chasing a terrorist in Peshawar he embraced martyrdom during exchange of gunfire.However,he shot dead three terrorists, in the gun battle,stated a press release issued by ISPR. He was father of a daughter and two sons. Lt Col (Retd) Malik Noor Muhammad,father of Major Jahanzeb Adnan while talking to mediapersons said that he was proud of his son who embraced martyrdom and sacrificed his life for securing the future of the country.—APP

purchased Chemistry Analyzers for the Pathology Laboratory of Ayub Teaching Hospital and 23 monitors and 7 ventilators for ICU and CCU. CE of Ayub Medical Complex told on Wednesday that majority of the machinery installed in Pathology department has completed its life and after the approval of Management Council on priority basis, new machinery is purchased to conduct the majority of the tests in the lab to facilitate the patients especially poor patients for which he told that as per directive of the provincial health minister, free test facility is provided to the patients. Rehman Ghani further told that Agitator with Incubator was also added in the blood bank which has now been installed and which have the capacity to store Platelets for another 03-days as this machinery was immediate requirement of the Hospital. Another machine The CE further inaugurates the newly installed monitors and Ventilators in the ICU. At the occasion the Medical Superintendent Dr. Iftikhar Ahmed informed that 23 Nos. monitors and 7 Nos of Ventilators are available in ICU. The MC members Col (r) Ghulam Mustafa Jadoon, Riaz Khan Bogar Mang and Rashid Javed also attended the inauguration ceremony. CE told that after the addition of new machinery, the lab service will be improved with the best quality results due to highly sophisticated machinery. Later CE with the members of the Management council took round of the hospital and meet with patients and doctors in different sections.

IGP visits Torghar, Kohistan districts

ISLAMABAD—Partly cloudy weather conditions, in upper P E S H AWA R — I n s p e c t o r parts of the country with light rain (snow over the hills)

General of Police (IGP) KPK

Malakand, Hazara, Peshawar, Islamabad and Rawalpindi divisions, during next 24 hours. According to Met office, a shallow westerly wave is affecting upper parts of the country, while another fresh westerly wave is expected to approach upper parts of the country on Friday. In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, partly cloudy weather conditions is expected in most parts of the province, with light rain and snowfall over the hills is expected in Malakand, Hazara and Peshawar division during next 24 hours. Mainly cold and dry weather is expected in most parts of Sindh and Balochistan during next 24 hours. While in Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan, partly cloudy weather conditions with chances of light rain (snow over the hills) are expected at isolated places during next 24 hours. The Quetta Met Office has forecast partly cloudy weather for the provincial capital for Thursday. The maximum temperature is likely between 12 to 16 degree Centigrade and the minimum is expected between -4 to -2 degree Centigrade. Partly cloudy weather has been forecast for rest of the region. Meanwhile, Peshawar Met Office Wednesday predicted light rain with snowfall over the hills at isolated places in Malakand, Hazara and Peshawar divisions during next 24 hours that would hopefully decrease existing temperature further.—APP

visit to the far flung districts of Torghar and Kohistan on Wednesday. During his visit the IGP visited the police lines, police stations and bordering posts of both the districts and was pleased to witness the morale and operational preparedness of the police personnel performing duties on the border posts. The IGP was however concerned over the slow progress on infrastructural development for Torghar police who, owing to the non-availabilty of proper building infrastructure, are living in makeshift tents which are extremely dangerous from security view point. The IGP directed RPO Hazara to expedite the under construction projects of building infrastructure and to arrange container accommodation for the constabulary till the time the building infrastructure projects are completed. In his visit, the IGP met the elders/respectable of both the districts, heard their grievances & suggestions and issued instant directions on the said grievances/ suggestions. The IGP also paid a surprise visit to the main bazaar in Kohistan, held a khuli katcheri with the public and issued instant directions to concerned police officials on their complaints.—APP

M ULTAN —As many as 60 are expected at isolated places in Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan, Nasir Khan Durrani paid a

155000 stolen NIC case

QUETTA: Balochistan Minister for Women Development Mir Izhaar Hussain Khosa addressing Provincial Consultation of Beijing +20: Progress, Challenges and Future Plan organized by Aurat Foundation.

Light rain predicted in upper parts of country

K ARACHI —The Federal Anti-Corruption Court (FACC) in Karachi had after 25-year long trial of a case of stolen 155,000 national identity cards had preserved its final verdict till March 10, 2014. Three accused and a public prosecutor had breathed their last during that 25-year long trial of the case. One accused had been paralysed while other 4 had reached a stage of senility. The verdict was being preserved in the Federal Anti-Corruption Court in Karachi of the Judge Luqman Memon. Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had registered a case of 155,000 national identity cards that were stolen from the Pakistan Security Printing Press on May 31, 1988. All the cards stolen were for women.After 25 years the verdict was being preserved and during that period the case had been pending for onward hearing for 358 times. However, during that long period, the accused Tariq, Ashraf, Jamshed and the public prosecutor Syed Masoom Ali Shah had died while another accused Malik Sikandar had been paralysed and Maj. (Retd.) Pervez Afzal, Maj. (Retd.) Wilayat Khan, Malik Jan Muhammad and Hayat Awan had reached a severe stage of senility.

PN conference undertakes strategic review of current year’s plans ISLAMABAD—A two-day Command and Staff Conference of Pakistan Navy (PN), held to undertake strategic review of PN policies and plans set for current year, concluded at Naval Headquarters here on Wednesday. The Conference, chaired by Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Mohammad Asif Sandila, was aimed to review operational readiness, developmental plans and infrastructure upgradation of Pakistan Navy. The Chief of the Naval Staff was given detailed briefings on various developmental projects of Pakistan Navy. Being the first conference of the current year, Pakistan Navy’s priorities and projects set for year 2014 were discussed with reiteration of the Naval Chief to achieve the professional pursuits with utmost diligence and dedication. Besides, PN measures aimed at socio-economic uplift of Baloch populace along the Makran Coastal belt, were also presented. While taking stock of occasion of 2014 as the Golden Jubilee Year of Pakistan Navy Submarine Force, the Naval Chief congratulated the Submariners and Submarine Force for rendering meritorious services in maritime defence of the Country since inception in 1964. Admiral Asif Sandila also expressed satisfaction over operational readiness of Pakistan Navy in the face of prevalent Maritime challenges and exhorted upon all to pursue the same with no let-up. The Command and Staff Conference is held every quarter and is the apex decision-making body of PN in which all Principal Staff Officers and Field Commanders participate to undertake strategic review of PN policies and plans.—APP

17 POs arrested in Doaba HANGU—The search operation continues for the second consecutive day in Doaba area of the district as the law enforcers arrested 17 proclaimed offenders. Briefing media about the search operation against miscreants, police said that SHO Doaba and police personnel from Islamabad were jointly conducting search operation in Doaba area for a wanted criminal but on their way their vehicle hit a planted bomb in which both police officers had narrow escape. The vehicle was partially damaged in the terror act, the police official informed media and added that in the wake of the terror act search operation was underway in Doaba area of the district since yesterday.—APP

FAISALABAD: Activists of All Pakistan Clerks Association holding a demonstration in support of their demands.

TTP’s welcome interest in peace talks


Egypt: The jugular vein


S killing of 23 FC personnel derailed the peace process and de mand for operation against militants increased, the terrorists struck again on Tuesday resulting into martyrdom of an Army Major and a soldier in Peshawar. The continued killing spree has dampened hopes for success of the peace talks and strengthened hands of those who have been advocating for use of force to wipe out terrorists and criminals. It was, perhaps, in this backdrop that the Defence Secretary declared the same day that the Pakistan Army was ready to take action against terrorists. He has pointed out that there is significance presence of troops in North Waziristan tribal agency to take care of terrorists. In a related development, leader of the opposition in the National Assembly Syed Khurshid Shah has also demanded of the Government to take bold decisions to address the challenge. All these developments lead one to apprehend that something ominous might take place at any time because of the provocative attitude of TTP. However, there is also silver-lining in that the response of the Government to the situation, as reflected in a statement issued after meeting of the Government negotiating committee with the Prime Minister, indicated that dialogue was still the preferred option for the Government and it only wanted ceasefire first to proceed further. At the same time, a statement issued by TTP also claimed that Taliban were serious in holding peace talks. Though the claim of TTP is contradictory to the ground realities as it continues with the violent activities threatening the peace process but still the claim is welcome and peace should get another opportunity. We hope that Taliban would not resort only to verbal statements which amount to sheer lipservice to peace in the backdrop of targeting of law-enforcing agencies and indulging in the blame game through media. They should realize the urgent need for damage control and that is possible only if an unconditional ceasefire is announced. There should be no insistence on pre-conditions that could mean challenging the writ of the state.

Iran’s regrettable statement M

ANY in Pakistan wished that surprising statement of Iranian Inte rior Minister, threatening to cross the international border to take action against militants who allegedly kidnapped Iranian border guards, would be disowned as they believed it was next to impossible that a senior official of a brotherly country could make such a wild statement. They were expecting a clarification but instead the Iranian side went a step further on Tuesday in demanding Pakistan to extradite the so-called ‘Jaish Al-Adl’, the group they claim abducted Iranian guards. Pakistan Foreign Office has done well in reacting sharply to the unacceptable Iranian statement that has been made disregarding the closeness of relations between the two countries and brotherly sentiments of people of Pakistan for Iranian people. The spokesperson rightly reminded Iran, albeit in a soft manner, that its forces cannot cross the international border and that the two countries should respect the sanctity of the border. It is regrettable that in the past too Iran has been making venomous statements against Pakistan but Islamabad always reacted coolly for the sake of maintaining and safeguarding good neighbourly relations. The demand that Pakistan should hand over militants to Iran is an indirect allegation as if the Government of Pakistan has firm control over the terrorist group or it operates with its sanction. The fact remains that all sorts of illegal immigrants, terrorists, foreign agents and militants are currently operating in Pakistan, which has been turned into a virtual battlefield by powers that be as part of regional and global agenda. Pakistan is a victim of their presence and activities and is taking every possible measure to check their activities. The country is being squeezed by its enemies from all directions and instead of complicating things for the country, Iran should realize and sympathize with Pakistan. We hope that the Iranian leadership especially its new President, who sees the outside world with somewhat different glasses, would take notice of the provocative and misguided statement of the Interior Minister. The two countries would gain from peace, brotherhood and reconciliation and lose if someone spoils their historical ties.

US and Kabul too in touch with Taliban T

HOUGH not officially admitted by Washington, but it is a known fact that the US is in touch with Taliban for the last several months to ensure peaceful exit from Afghanistan. Washington Post gave an indication to this interaction on Monday when it reported that the US was seeking the release of Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl before exit from Afghanistan in return for five Taliban members who would be released from Guantanamo Bay. Earlier this month, the New York Times disclosed that Afghan President Hamid Karzai has been engaged in secret contacts with Taliban about reaching a peace agreement without the involvement of his American and Western allies. The first peace feeler from the Taliban reached Mr. Karzai shortly before the loya jirga, Afghan officials said, and since then the insurgents and the government have exchanged a flurry of messages and contacts. Thus secret contacts between US and Afghan President with Taliban have been going on despite the failure of Qatar dialogue. President Karzai is desperate to reach some understanding with Taliban that would save him and his family massive fortunes in the country as he fully realizes that once the US led foreign troops were out, Taliban would sweep the country. The US intelligence agencies in a classified assessment report to White House in December, 2013 also warned that the insurgents could quickly regain control of key areas and threaten the capital as soon as American troops are fully withdrawn. That is why Karzai is not signing the Bilateral Security Agreement with the US to signal Taliban that he too is against presence of foreign troops. In the coming months, one expects, the secret talks that are now being held through back channels would bring some results. These developments are a clear message and a lesson for Pakistan to follow the saner course of action and Pakistani Taliban too should read writing on the wall.

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Peace talks & Pakistan’s future bystanders has grown not only in Karachi but KP also. Anmilitary operation in the Ali Ashraf Khan other tribal areas would create lions of more displaced when already millions of Pakistani IDP’s are living in camps he announcement by the without drinking water, sanitary arTaliban of Mohmand rangements, food provision and Agency that they executed health care. How big is the probabil23 Frontier Constabulary (FC) men ity that the army can wipe out the who they had kidnapped and kept Taliban that have safe havens across hostage for last almost four years the border in Afghanistan and who now at this point in time when peace are living in the middle of our cities? The killing of 23 FC soldiers is talks were making headway for a ceasefire from both sides resulted in a barbaric act, even enemies don’t an outcry in Pakistan. While nobody commit such atrocities during war can be happy or just neutral about because such acts are treated as genosuch a cruelty this seems to be a cide and fall under war crimes. Those provocation of those members and 23 plus men had been kidnapped as groups among the Taliban who are long back as June 2010 and have been held by the Taliban for almost four against peace talks. They provided a provocation years. Why did the army not recover and the enemies of peace talks on them through an ‘operation’ or the government side dutifully started through negotiations? Look at Iran; crying foul and demanding end of Iranians have threatened to send their talks and the start of a new military forces into Pakistan territory to get operation in tribal areas. It is a pity their nationals released that had been that so many people on both sides kidnapped by Hizbalul Adl. Do our of the fence are boycotting the peace authorities know as to how many talks because as a matter of fact more Pakistanis have been kidnapped Pakistan’s economy is at the fringe and left to their fate with their kidof breaking down, people and nappers by the government? The money are leaving the country and Vice Chancellor of a KP university, the law and order situation is get- the son of former Prime Minister ting worse by the day. Military op- Yousaf Gilani, the son of a former erations that have been going on for Punjab governor Salman Taseer and years have not brought real success. who knows how many more. If army While the army can win most operations are so successful then why of the battles, few days later the ter- are kidnapped people not recovered? ritory they had won is re-occupied The decision for peace talks has been by the Taliban. In Karachi despite taken by the government because an ongoing operation for six months there is no military victory in sight the territorial limits under Taliban and because a new military operacontrol have extended according to tion would cost lives of thousands of informed sources and the daily kill- people and the economy of the couning of teachers, polio workers and try might collapse in between. And


have we ever thought about why are the foreign forces leaving Afghanistan? Because after 12 years of fighting they recognized that they cannot win in Afghanistan. Why do some people in our country think that we can do what the others couldn’t? Former President Musharraf drew the country into the Afghan war that damaged our country beyond recognition. The Lal Masjid operation –another army operation- killed many people among them misguided young Pakistanis and as a result terrorism spread. The PPP government which succeeded to the throne after NRO tainted elections did not take any measure to normalize any grievance if any so that such an ugly incident was not repeated and public opinion was created in favour of state apparatus. No they looted the exchequer and filled their pockets instead resulting in more disgust for the Pakistani state and in more sympathy for an Islamic state. Another thing that has escaped attention of state is complete negligence from requirement of Accountability and Transparency, nobody is bothered to take notice of big blunders that were committed during five years of PPP rule. Pakistan is an unfortunate example of such exploitation where political expediency rules the roost and public is left at the mercy of their fate accompli. Those in power keep themselves busy in loot and plundering the state coffers and common man in the street is bleeding through the nose and these spineless leaders are busy in mending their fences for establishing family dynasty with the full support of their foreign masters. Today Pakistan has been cornered from all sides on our borders including Iran

with whom we have had the best of our relations all along during last many decades. So it is high time that we not only revamp our foreign policy requirements but try to overhaul our civil service stable from the black sheep’s and political cronies of different governments. Merit has been compromised and national security endangered due to large scale inductions from back doors and undue promotions to lackey’s in state institutions. Demon of corruption is having field day unnoticed and politicians who use to pay few hundred rupees as their annual tax have been reported paying in millions during last two years, there is a built-in mechanism in revenue laws to explain and justify such growth in their income but so many holes have been made in statecraft with different amnesty schemes that they claim indemnity whereas a common man has to face coercion and jail sentence at the hands of revenue authorities. Complete lawlessness spread to favour the progeny of exploiters of national wealth. That is how the economy is faltering, inflation is in double digit and the prices for daily necessities have sky rocketed. With new army operations there will be no end to spiraling violence. It is the only right decision to start talks, and to start making peace. Establish authority of the state by inculcating strict discipline in law enforcing agencies. Where the rich and ruling elite are keeping their money in Dubai and elsewhere so that they can leave any time, where do the 180 million go? God bless Pakistan & humanity. —The writer is Karachi-based senior columnist.

Privatisation, a story of disaster oughly inefficient and unaccountable political sysare continuing. In fact Shaukat M Zafar tem privatization is nothing but Email: a brazen act of robbing the poor to settle the rich, and legal looting of public asHEN countries suffer sets by a few capitalist elements and from financial crises or multinational corporations. Overall, 31 enterprises, worth crippling debt, the IMF and World Bank often insist on billions of dollars and belonging to privatization of state-owned enter- extremely profitable sectors such as prises, utilities and social services oil and gas, banking and finance, and market liberalization as a con- power, industries and real estate are dition for financial help. But some- again up for loot sale in the name of times, they push privatization in- privatization under the dictates of directly. Rich countries-working IMF. Nearly everything is being sold through international institutions off, whether it is banks, communilike the World Bank-rarely help cation, roads, mines, electricity, oil poor countries modernize and companies, engineering companies strengthen public services. But or shipping company. But does this they often push them to privatize privatization help to reduce poverty, and commercialize public ser- inequality and unemployment? The vices, a move that they themselves general perception that privatization would never make. The IMF has results in higher level of efficiency the power to declare countries is not true at least in case of Pakicredit worthy – or not. To get the stan. Privatization has caused social seal of approval countries have to development slow down. Employees are opposing the sale accept the conditions of structural of these companies. Corporate elites adjustment programs. The government of Pakistan are pushing privatization to ensure has been raising the banner of that they control all of our means of privatization in spite of its failure subsistence. It is sad how the govglobally. Despite the IMF and ernments have been promoting World Bank claims of Structural nepotism for years in appointing Adjustment Programs (SAPs) suc- heads of these corporations and cesses, it is widely acknowledged overstaffing these entities. The failthat SAPs have failed to achieve ure of incompetent and inefficient their goals. Both the agencies have managements deployed by the pothrown millions of people deeper litical leaders to devastate the pubinto poverty across the world by lic institutions to pave the way for promoting the same harsh rather loot sale of those public assets; a few cruel “economic reforms”—includ- that Pakistan is left with. Behind the ing privatization, budget cuts, and guise of privatization, hidden actulabor “flexibility”—regardless of ally is a plan to sell off huge properlocal culture, resources, or eco- ties of these unlucky entities. The nomic context. Privatization in Pa- sell-offs come at a time of debate kistan began in earnest as part of about private versus public ownerthe conditions set by the IMF and ship of the public entities, amid conWorld Bank. Failed privatizations, cern about soaring costs and poor rampant unemployment and a thor- performance. Pakistan now has the


extremely high level of wealth inequality in the world. Healthcare, transportation, banking, communicational tools are being privatized. Private business owners and high management are seeing the highest profits at the expense of the poor consumers. In reality, most privatizations are a redistribution of public assets to the rich, who get richer, while the public as a whole gets poorer. And that’s the real story: What’s achieved is not higher efficiency, but the transfer of public assets to those influential who can afford to buy them, usually at fire-sale prices. This is exactly what happened here when natural resources were privatized. Despite the IMF and World Bank claims of Structural Adjustment Programs (SAPs) successes, it is widely acknowledged that SAPs have failed to achieve their goals. Both the agencies have thrown millions of people deeper into poverty across the world by promoting the same harsh rather cruel “economic reforms”—including privatization, budget cuts, and labor “flexibility”—regardless of local culture, resources, or economic context. Strapped with heavy debts, Pakistan also accepted these so called reforms, known as SAPs, as a condition for receiving IMF or World Bank loans. . The issue of income inequality is in the news at a time when the Pakistani public believes there is a growing gulf between rich and poor that is likely to continue. The people at the bottom are going to be continually squeezed, and I don’t see this ending anytime soon. Widening inequality is creating a vicious circle where wealth and power are increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few, leaving the rest of us to fight over crumbs from the top table. Analysis of the previous

privatization has shown that it has not been able to achieve the intended goals of privatization. Governments themselves became part of the conspiracy once the politicians realized that looting public assets was an efficient way to reward their private benefactors. The most tragic consequence of privatization was the closure of 20 units after transfer to private owners. The closure of these units has played havoc with the national economy and the first phase of privatization contributed to the lower rate of industrial and economic growth. The GDP growth, which was above 6% in 1980s declined to around 4% in the post privatization period. The buyers were not interested in running the privatized factories but in stripping the assets. This is a frequent bane of privatization. Assets strippers buy, pay one installment, remove the machinery, sell the real state and then walk away. All the engineering units except Millat and Al-Ghazi Tractors were closed after privatization, as their buyers had no intention of running them. Do not allow our government to plunder our most valued assets. We must tell them that we do not want them to divest and/or dilute the assets. The people of Pakistan should not accept the loot sale of these national assets to the crony capitalists because even the profit making Public enterprises like OGDC, power, petroleum and the Banks are also again on the hit list of the government. Instead of going for privatization, the government should take extreme measures to end corruption in these public entities and try all the accountable who looted these institutions.

— The writer is Islamabadbased former banker.

GYPT’S 84 million people, a number set to double by 2050, are crowded along the Nile and the Mediterranean coast, woefully short of land, water, electricity, housing and jobs. Water supplies in Cairo were so bad in 2011 that some described the popular uprising that brought down Hosni Mubarak as a “revolution of the thirsty”. His successor, President Mohamed Morsi, also lost popularity and in the end his office in part due to power cuts and petrol shortages. The country has large natural gas reserves but has failed to develop them, and industry struggles with the resulting power shortages. The military, meanwhile, is only kept going by American money. Egypt is, in other words, a country hanging on to viability by its fingertips. What has traditionally made the difference is tourism, which is why the recent bombing of a tourist bus in North Sinai is such bad news. Even though the minister of tourism, Hisham Zaazou, recently described the country’s tourist towns as “ghost cities”, there were hopes that the industry would soon begin a slow recovery. There had been no terrorist attacks on tourists for three years, and the authorities were trying to revive it in areas far from protest-ridden Cairo. But the deaths of two South Koreans and their Egyptian driver will, rightly or wrongly, send the message abroad that Egypt is still unsafe. The warning by Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, the militant group that claimed responsibility for the bombing, that tourists should leave Egypt by today, is a bluff. It is almost certainly beyond their capacity to cause mayhem across the Sinai tourist zones, let alone in the rest of Egypt. But most people planning to travel do not look at the statistical possibilities of violence. They act instead on the intuitive feeling that holidays and murder do not mix. Field Marshal Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, almost certain to be the country’s next president, is presumably aware that he could face a summer of discontent or worse. The question is what he plans to do about it. The overriding need in Egypt is for a settlement reconciling the military and the Muslim Brotherhood, but he is the last man who could bring that about. It is perhaps beyond anyone’s capacity, so poisoned has the relationship become. Failing that, the institution of reforms that would set the economy on a better track would be wise, although politically difficult in the short term. The Egyptian record unfortunately suggests that a combination of ducking reforms, blaming imaginary foreign and domestic enemies and suppressing protest is the most likely course. That may hold things for a while, but it will not revive the economy and it will leave the jugular vein that is tourism even more open to attack. — The Guardian


Understanding teenagers’ mind


HE suicide of an 18-year-old girl last Sunday in Dubai, af ter she had been scolded by her father for her poor scholastic performance, comes in the wake of another teenage suicide by a boy in Dubai a few weeks ago. This brings to the fore an issue that is, unfortunately, gaining momentum in the UAE — teenage angst that triggers fatal consequences for families. The cause and effect in both these cases is alarmingly disproportionate to each other. Beyond the face value of parental reprimands in the context of poor academic performances by children lies the possibility that needs immediate scrutiny: Do such horrific outcomes result from imbalanced parent-child relationships? Are symptoms pointing to a teenager’s fragile state of mind being ignored by schools and parents? What factors turn their minds so brittle? These questions have acquired an immediacy that can no longer be ignored by those involved in the upbringing and mentoring of a child. This is an era where intense competitiveness victimises even the young and the forces of disruption are non-discerning in their pernicious intent. The sooner we understand how to stop these forces, the faster we can take steps to avert the eventual terrible consequences. — Gulf News Fine feathers make fine birds. —Proverb

Talks with Taliban: What is at stake? Voice of the People Bilal Zubair


MID constant criticism, the peace talks to end the spree of terrorism in Pakistan are underway. Violence yet unabated, bomb blasts and suicide attacks are continuously rampaging havoc across the country. Nevertheless, Premier Nawaz Sharif and his team seem convinced that dialogue is perhaps only way to bring a logical end to violence, the country is deeply embroiled in. After his arrival from Trilateral Summit in Turkey, he got the briefing from government team led by Irfan Siddiqui and Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan. According to reports the Prime Minister observed that the government would keep its doors open for talks and was ready to take the process forward, “but first the TTP will have to demonstrate its seriousness by ensuring that nobody under its umbrella resorts to violence.

It should also take effective measures against those loosely organized militant organizations which are continuously killing people on their own.” Similar views have been reiterated by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan, an ardent supporter of peace talks with the Taliban. Till now both the parties have put forward their initial demands to be considered by the other party. The states demands are aimed towards TTP renouncing violence and adhere to the Constitution of Pakistan. However, the 15-point draft for peace initiated by the Taliban requires a careful analysis. The TTP demands are two-pronged; ideological and political. The political aspect could be settled through peace talks by give and take and has presumably a fair chance of success. However, the militant TTP’s ideological facet requires a complete understanding of its motives and intent. It is important to get a clue that at what expense would the TTP shuns the insurgency. If TTP is in fact an ideologically motivated

militant outfit renouncing the Constitution and vying for imposition of their brand of Shariah as they envision, then dialogue is a futile exercise. Similarly, the demand of withdrawing troops and check posts from tribal areas holds no merit at a time when peace talks are inconclusive. Freeing important Taliban prisoners under government captivity is yet another TTP demand that requires a very careful analysis of the ensuing implications of freeing these fierce Taliban captives. On the political front, both the state and TTP can undertake favourable steps towards confidence building which could lead towards conflict management and perhaps conflict resolution later on. However, the ideological aspect is somewhat worrisome in dealing with the terrorism problem and requires a careful analysis. Though, the government is also not certain about the seriousness of the ideological demands put forth by the TTP, yet they cannot be taken as mere bargaining

chip to get the political demands fulfilled. The TTP insistence on streamlining the Constitution on Shariah lines unfolds the future course of events in the conflict. Talibanization as an ideology has indeed threatened the sociopolitical fiber of the state and society in Pakistan. It challenges the very notion of ideology of Pakistan under which all the communities irrespective of their religious affiliation living are freely in a progressive democratic Islamic state. The sectarian micromanagement of the state has already severely damaged the national cohesion. This damage could only be reversed by an intellectual discourse led by the academia, media and civil society to wrong this ideology. A national effort is thus required to promote Pakistanization, giving people hope to stand united against the menace of Talibanization. —The writer is PhD scholar at National Defence University, Islamabad.

Corruption in education sector Ajmal Hussain


HE curse of corruption is dra matically expanding through out the country since Pakistan emerged on the face of planet. The dictatorship and feudal-oriented country has never been roll backed from this chronic disease despite being establishing various monitoring policies. Government has introduced several proactive measures forming centralized institutions for interrogation to overcome this hegemonic element but failed to tackle it so far. Transparency International (TI) calculated that “Pakistan is gone through with the loss of more than Rs 8.5 trillion (US$ 94 billion) in corruption, tax evasion and bad governance during 2008 to 2013”. While talking about Gilgit Baltistan, the impact of this grave problem has threatened the whole society and ultimately lower class has

been humiliated from front line, abusing the merit and educational standard. The portent of this disease have never been highlighted in the region where corruption wolf is vigorous in almost all public sectors of region especially in education sector which has been deteriorated and sabotaged by some tarnish government orthodox and political figures. Moreover the worst part of this barbaric crime was dropping out those qualified individuals who were unable to pay desire amount to the authorities of education department. The cost of this bribe crime brought out the region into distortion of values, reducing competition, dropping economic growth and mistrust over government policies. Whereas, PPP Government in the region recently announced that it is going to take an action against all those fake and illegal recruiters who are appointed in years back under the umbrella of same Government-PPP which is taking action today. Shouldn’t it call a play with the people of GB? Where the Government was

settled when there were approximately 600 teachers appointed illegally across all district of the GB on payment of PKR 300,000 to 500,000 for each position and promoted from BPS-09 to BPS-14 respectively with no legal grounds. What were the motives of this negligence of accountability? Why NAB and CM inspection commission was pity silent for last three years? Unemployment, energy crises and sectarian crimes have already paralyzed the region into decades back. The only hope left was education to topple down such issues that have been brutally collapsed by mega irregularities and hegemonic authorities. The recent counter act of NAB ought to prompt its role on anti-corruption mechanism while focusing on good governance program. A public announcement of vacancies on newspapers through proper application procedure as per government rules and regulations. There are no simple solutions to this problem but it is necessary to identify major role of gov-

ernment institutions and their responsibilities. Somehow preventive strategies to strengthened and facilitate basic institute of good governance includes role of Judiciary which itself is guardian of laws and honesty. Secondly, improving responsibilities of stakeholders over National integrity system which includes legislature, executives, judiciary, watchdog agencies, public service, media, civil society and private sector. In addition to that strengthen financial accountability, and raise public and official awareness along with conducting high-profile prosecutions to those criminals who are committed in any sort of corruption. The need of hour is to devise sustainable strategies for controlling and promoting principles of zero tolerance against corruption and prioritise this issue as a National agenda. Emphasis should place on efficiency and effectiveness of interinstitutional liaison with fair legislative framework. —The writer is an Assistant Professor.

Views From Abroad

Waging cyberwarfare by the rules Stephen L Carter


T what point does a cyberattack become an act of war? My question is prompted by last week’s news that a highly sophisticated malware program called Mask has spent the last six years stealing valuable intelligence from supposedly secure government and diplomatic computers around the world. Researchers are certain that Mask itself was produced by a government. Intrusions by one country into the networks of another have become so common that it’s reasonable to wonder whether all this cyberwarfare is warfare. The time to think about this is now, when these battles are still in their adolescence. Because how we fire back will depend in part on whether we think we’re at war. Russia’s Kaspersky Labs, which discovered Mask, calls it more sophisticated than Flame, previously considered the gold standard in cyberespionage. (All the world believes that the United States and Israel jointly developed Flame, along with its earlier cousins Stuxnet and Duqu, to attack the Iranian nuclear program, and perhaps other Middle Eastern targets as well.) Mask, like Flame, is principally a surveillance program. It steals files and keystrokes and encryption keys, and it was designed to operate for a long time undetected. So are most malware programs, of course. Mask, however, is in a class of its own; Kaspersky’s detailed report uses adjectives such as “special”

and “elite” in describing its capabilities. The most interesting aspect of the program, also known as Careto, may be its ability to target files with unknown extensions. These, Kaspersky suggests, “could be related to custom military/government-level encryption tools.” Actually that is a relatively benign possibility. These files could also hold the data for surveillance satellites — or details of presidential security. Such grim possibilities help explain why the US has ramped up its ability to engage in both offensive and defensive cyber-operations. According to the Washington Post, President Barack Obama has issued a top-secret directive ordering the creation of the means to undertake cyberattacks in any part of the world “with little or no warning to the adversary.” And we’re not speaking here only of selfdefence or retaliation. Documents released by Edward Snowden show that the US “carried out 231 offensive cyber-operations in 2011.” No doubt one motive behind the frequent leaking of information on US cybersecurity efforts is deterrence. As recently as last year, General Keith B. Alexander, head of the National Security Agency and the United States Cyber Command, repeated the frequent warning that “a devastating attack on the critical infrastructure and population of the United States by cyber means would be correctly traced back to its source and elicit a prompt and proportionate response.” Most international law scholars would say that an unprovoked attack would constitute an act of war. The

Tallinn Manual, produced by academic experts convened by NATO, presents one of the most detailed analyses of the application of the law of armed conflict to hostilities carried out by means of cyberattack. Existing rules should apply, they argued, whether cyberattacks are a small part of a larger conflict (as in the Russia-Georgia confrontation in 2008) or the parties engage each other entirely by using cyberweapons. This would mean that the principle of discrimination applies: A cyberattack, like a kinetic attack, must never intentionally target civilians, no matter what the justification. Therefore, an attack by a state actor on a private factory not producing for the military holds the same legal status whether the attackers use cruise missiles or logic bombs. Similarly, according to the Tallinn Manual, online attacks that cannot discriminate military from civilian targets are prohibited, including the use of malware that will “inevitably, and harmfully, spread into civilian networks.” A corollary would seem to be that a cyberweapon can be considered ethical only when the side that deploys it also retains the ability to stop it. There are many more proposed rules, of course, but one gets the gist. Alas, the entire project, although laudable, suffers from a conceptual difficulty: The Tallinn Manual, in seeking to map the rules developed for kinetic warfare onto cyberspace, winds up making impossible demands. To take a simple example, it is inconceivable that a state could develop a malware package that would

recognize when it had jumped from military to civilian systems and stop automatically at the boundary. It isn’t just that the behavior of software is unpredictable. The behavior of individuals is unpredictable. Country A launches a cyberattack on a military laboratory in Country B, where a researcher, unknowing, takes his infected smartphone home and syncs it to his personal laptop — and, just like that, the infection is in the wild. Yes, the creators of malware of this sophistication often try to retain control (because of a concern over detection, not legal niceties). But this is harder than it sounds. Flame and Mask, for example, enabled operators to wipe their presence from infected machines. But the attempt to shut them off was only partly successful. In the end, the rules of cyberwar will likely be very different from the rules governing kinetic wars. Battles will be fought in the shadows, often by untraceable perpetrators. There will be suspicions and accusations but very few acknowledgments. Absent massive damage or loss of life, there will never be war-crimes trials. But there will be retaliation. Escalation is inevitable. If we go after their centrifuges, one day they’ll go after our power grid. No government is going to stop. That’s why the Obama administration’s approach, if harsh, is probably the most pragmatic: In the future, our only real protection will be to fight in cyberspace better than our adversaries. The writer is professor of law at Yale University. — Courtesy: The Japan Times

Take a risk..!


friend came to me with a brilliant idea which required him resigning from his job and setting up business. The scheme seemed good and it was some years later we met again and I found him still plodding on in his old job. “Well?” I asked, “Thought you’d be a millionaire by now with the idea you’d talked with me about?” “I didn’t do anything about it Bob,”

he said gloomily, “I wish I had, because some one else came up with it later and he’s doing well.” “So why didn’t you do something about it that time?” I asked perplexed. “I thought it was too risky..!” he said sadly. An old poem by Richard Armour makes a good point: The bride, white of hair, is stooped over her cane, Her faltering footsteps need guiding. While down the church aisle, with wan toothless smile, The groom in a wheelchair comes riding. And who is this elderly couple you ask? You’ll find, when you’ve closely explored it, That here is that rare, most conservative pair, Who waited ‘til they could afford it. They didn’t want to

take the risks of married life, of finding a home, of building a family till they could afford it; when it was nearly too late..! Are you also afraid of taking risks? Afraid to commit because of an uncertain future? Afraid of failing? Do you tend to wait until all possible risks are minimized before setting out in a new direction? If so here are lovely words by the late William Arthur Ward, you should read: To laugh is to risk appearing a fool. To weep is to risk appearing sentimental. To reach out for another is to risk involvement. To expose feelings is to risk revealing your true self. To place your ideas, your dreams before a crowd, is to risk rejection. To

love is to risk not being loved in return. To live is to risk dying. To hope is to risk disappointment. To try is to risk failure. But risks must be taken, because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing. Those who risk nothing, do nothing, have nothing, and become nothing. They may avoid present suffering and sorrow, but they will not learn, feel change, grow, love, or live. Chained by their fear, they are slaves who have forfeited their freedom. Only a person who risks is free..! Is fear preventing you from taking a necessary risk today? If so, risk and be free..! —Email:

Patience but how far! MUKHTAR AHMED


our editorial” Even then show more patience”(February 19) is correct advise to both the parties in spite of gruesome killing of 23 FC Soldiers captured in 2010. What forced them to take this brutal action against prisoners needs explanation from TTP. This incident occurred at a time when both sides were reaching close to hold meaningful peace talks. This act should not be seen in isolation because TTP is continuing with their agenda of targeting law enforcement agencies. The fears were expressed that just talking to TTP shall bear no fruits until and unless all factions are made to sit together to settle the issue once for all. Whenever the governments talk to rebels or terrorists, they always talk from position of strength, but in our case we even went step forward to talk to TTP that was banned in 2009. Having compromised on basic principles, it was important to attend to basic pre-requisites that were overlooked. Before entering in to dialogue, TTP should have been made to agree to ceasefire and stop further attacks but it was not done as a result we faced series of major and minor attacks since we started talks. It is again a matter of satisfaction that TTP once again has reiterated and shown desire to enter into dialogue in spite of severe set back on account of their unprovoked, unwanted brutal act of killing 23 FC soldiers. Since the issue is very complicated and sensitive therefore any extreme measure without giving peace a chance may result in major catastrophe. PM genuinely wants to avoid military option but TTP must reciprocate in positive manner and voluntarily announce ceasefire with directions to all factions of TTP to stop their activities. It is certain that government will also reciprocate in the same manner. Since TTP has fired first shot therefore they should take lead. The government, on its part, has shown great patience and have restrained to retaliate against grave provocations and therefore has given another chance to peace. The other side must realise the consequences of failure of talks, and they should also understand that states never surrender but fight till victory —Karachi

Unsafe nationalism FAISAL DAYO Once Philip Randolph said that “Freedom is never given, it is won”. Being a humanist I condemn the brutal and ruthless act of state’s agents who abducted Mr Sahib Khan Ghoto, four days ago when he was coming back to home after court hearing from Sukkur. Few persons in civil dress abducted him. He was a President of JSMM and mostly worked with “Shehri Ittehad Gothki”. It is a social organization combination of more than 25 political parties - and he was also a member of executive committee of this organisation. He was neither a thief nor an assassin. He was just freedom fighter; he fought for freedom of Sindhi people. His dead body was found near Bhari Road Noshero (Sindh). Our government is busy in redundant dialogues with terrorists and on the other hand government is dumping freedom fighters who are either nationalists of Sindh or Balochistan. —Islamabad

The long March for the missing Baloch AKBAR JAN MARWAT The long March, started from Quetta, by the relatives of the missing Baloch, most probably picked up by the security agencies, has reached Lahore. This long March, which has scores of women and children among its participants, is certainly the most genuine and justifiable long March, in the history of Pakistan. The missing Baloch, are citizens of Pakistan, and no agency has any right to detain them without due process of law. They should be released forth with, that is if they have not already been executed extra judicially. It is unfortunate, that our mainstream media has not given as much coverage to this momentous event; as it deserved. The progress of the long march has, however, been covered more effectively by the social media. In the last couple of days, some opinion write-ups and letters to the editor supporting the just cause of the long marchers, did appear in some newspapers; to which I would also like to add my voice. The Baloch are fighting against injustices being meted out to them; in this struggle, some of them may even have gone to the extent of demanding secession from Pakistan, which of course cannot be supported. The Baloch have, however, never threatened to shove down their world view, down the throats of other Pakistanis. If our government can hold talks with purveyors of terror like the Taliban; it should have no problem in dealing with, and accepting the genuine demands of the Baloch, specially the production of their missing persons; which has been ordered by the Supreme Court also. —Via email

Marriage, a game of dowry hunters JAVERIA JABBAR The dowry system has been in practice in Pakistan from time immemorial. Now it has been a curse. IT poses a challenge which seems difficult to meet. The demand for the dowry has become an essential condition for marriage. Middle class people became the main target of the attack. Though Pakistan has a host of social problems to tackle today, yet the biggest, which the country is facing, is dowry. Doctors, Engineers, Lecturers, businessmen, merits and attributes of a girl has nothing to do in the settlement of the mar-

riage proposal. We generally see that ordinary parents find it difficult to select a boy, settled in life, for their girl who is well qualified and wellversed with household activities. Nowadays marriage is a game of dowry hunters. Marriage, which is something sacred, should be made as simple as possible. It would not be out of place to mention one of the saying of the holy prophet (peace be upon him), “The best marriage is that upon which the least trouble and expense is bestowed”. It is sad that we have distanced ourselves from the teachings of the Messengers of Allah. The dowry system has given birth to many evils. Many parents incur huge debts in order to give dowries to their daughters. They work hard during the rest of their lives to pay off the debts; others do not hesitate to earn money by unfair means to meet the demand of dowry. The devils of dowry has put an end to the happiness of many couples. Even after marriage many young married girls commit suicide when they find their domestic life embittered by the daily taunts of their inlaws. The dowry system has been eating the vitals of the society. The rich as well as the poor are now suffering more or less similarly from their social curse. Media can do a lot in moulding the opinion of the people. Now students should come forward to fight this social evil. I do hope that higher authorities will take strict action against dowry hunters and remove the curse of dowry from our society. —Karachi

A shattered dream IQRA NASIR As mother Teressa says “if we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other” and unfortunately in the current scenario, it seems that we no more belong to each other. Peace has turned a nightmare in this part of the world where Pakistan is situated. The first point that comes contrary to peace is talibanization. Talibanization in Pakistan is a strong threat to national security and has cast its gloom all over the country and is rapidly expanding day by day. It is totally unacceptable for a country where these terrorists first resort to the killing of innocent people and then own these killings. In my opinion you can’t stop talibanization unless you curb Americanization in Pakistan but keeping that factor aside one of the biggest cause is our internal divide as well. Nelson Mandela once stated “if you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy; then he becomes your partner”. Fortunately the internal divide was overcome by all political parties in APC and they came on the single agenda of having peace talks. But when these talks started they shattered like a broken mirror because it had certain flaws. One of the biggest flaw in this process was that members that Taliban chose for their committee were not Taliban but they were the people from the political parties and religious leaders from the mainstream Pakistani politics. Taliban have shown such a mistrust on government committee that they have not even exposed their declared representatives to these talks. An analyst Dr Shoaib Ahmed stated in a talk show that “Taliban committee acted as a catalyst in all this peace process” because whenever a peace talk session starts, members from both of the sides go and share their views with their mentors. But this was no way that the Taliban chose members who didn’t share common opinion with them and made those members act as a catalyst. Before the start of the peace talks, both the sides should have decided that there would be a complete ceasefire from both sides. It must had been the first priority of both the committees that

they would have been alert that no “3rd power” could take advantage of the peace talks. But these peace talks shattered due to the continued terrorist attacks. I hope that these negotiations would start again to bring peace without an operation because if operation is launched, we all will have to bear severe consequences. Imagine all the people living their lives in peace. John Lenon says “You may say, I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will be as one”. —Rawalpindi

Talibanisation and peace talks KINZA MALIK It is very unfortunate to say that many people have lost their lives due to the harmful radiations emitted by the cell phones, which have become the most important part of our life in past few decades. People have reached the ultimate extent of misusing this great invention. The people addicted to cell phones are prone to a number of diseases like: blurred vision, earache, heart attack, hypertension and many which are even more deadly and cancerous than these and are even hard to imagine. Cell phones have become a fashion and even the youngsters taking it as a status symbol, purchase and display expensive cell phones and use these deadly gadgets beyond limits. My conclusion may seem humorous since everybody is cell-crazy and foremost mobile has brought convenience and numerous advantages to the world but it is something worth a thought. —Via email

Traffic problems in Model Colony MUHAMMAD OMAR IFTIKHAR I would like to invite the attention of the concerned authorities to an issue that is affecting the residents of Model Colony, Karachi. This is an equally distressing issue for those commuters who use Jinnah Avenue (now renamed to M.M. Alam Road), the road that links Malir Halt with Malir Cantt. The road previously had street lights in working condition; however, due to lack of maintenance, they have become non-operational for a couple of years. After dusk, it becomes difficult to drive as headlights of vehicles from the other side obstruct the view. Moreover, there was a U-turn on the same road, adjacent to Mehran Depot, a prominent bus stop located next to the Model Colony graveyard. However, the U-turn was cemented a few years ago. Drivers, therefore, have been going the wrong way to avoid the U-turn that is available at Model Morr, the next turning after Mehran Depot. Driving on the wrong side is not only unlawful but also dangerous as cars head into incoming traffic. It has been creating traffic congestions as well. It is my humble request to the concerned authorities to repair the street lights at the earliest and if possible, create a U-turn near Mehran Depot, so that drivers don’t have to slither their way into incoming traffic. This additional Uturn will also ease the flow of traffic at the Model Morr U-turn. —Karachi

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


Thai court bans use of violence against protesters

Obama and the quartet of ‘tyrants’

BANGKOK—A Thai court or- officials at the Defense Minis-


dered the government not to use force against protesters who are seeking to oust the prime minister, a day after violent clashes between riot police and demonstrators left five people dead and dozens injured. The Civil Court ruled that some orders issued by the prime minister and a special security command center under an emergency decree were illegal because they violate the protesters’ constitutional rights. The prohibited orders include bans on gatherings of five or more people, on entering certain buildings, and on the use of certain roads by the demonstrators. The court also prohibited the government from using force. The court, however, rejected a protester’s request that it revoke the state of emergency, saying it was within the executive branch’s power to enforce such a law. The Cabinet declared a state of emergency in the Bangkok area on Jan. 21 after the protesters threatened to shut down the capital by blocking key intersections and occupying government offices. Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s elected government has been attempting to avoid violence to keep the powerful military from stepping in. Thailand has been wracked by political unrest since 2006, when Yingluck’s brother, former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, was ousted by a military coup after being accused of corruption and abuse of power. Police have been ordered to exercise restraint and avoid using force, but deadly gunbattles erupted Tuesday after they moved into several locations around the city to remove protesters. Five people were killed and nearly 70 injured, according to Erawan emergency medical services. On Wednesday, thousands of protesters surrounded the prime minister’s temporary office in Bangkok’s northern outskirts to demand her resignation. The demonstrators asked

try complex to prevent Yingluck from using it as her backup office. She has been unable to enter her regular office compound in downtown Bangkok because it is blocked by protesters and some of its gates have been cemented shut. The demonstrators also vowed to target businesses owned by Yingluck’s wealthy family. “Wherever she is, wherever she sleeps, we will go after her,” protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban told the crowd. “(We) must intensify our fight and we will attack Shinawatra businesses and their funding sources.” The prime minister and Cabinet ministers stayed away from their temporary offices on Wednesday to prevent further A Lebanese man helps an injured woman, as they pass the site of an explosion, near the Kuwaiti Embassy and Iran’s tensions, the military said. Pro- cultural centre, in the suburb of Beir Hassan, Beirut. The bombing in southern Beirut killed several people. testers have camped out for a month at major intersections across the capital to press for Yingluck’s resignation. The demonstrators, who mostly draw their support from the urban middle and upper class and people in the south, want Yingluck to step down to make way for an appointed interim government to implement reforms they say are nec- KIEV—Thick, dark smoke rose above the in nearly three months of anti-government Soviet republic. essary to fight corruption and center of the Ukrainian capital amid the boom protests that have paralyzed Ukraine’s The Kremlin said it put the next disremove the Shinawatra family of police stun grenades, as officers in riot capital in a struggle over the identity of a bursement of its bailout on hold amid unfrom politics. gear sought to push demonstrators away from nation divided in loyalties between Rus- certainty over Ukraine’s future and what In its ruling, the Civil Court the city’s main square following deadly sia and the West, and the worst in the it described as a “coup attempt.” President said the government’s orders clashes between police and protesters that country’s post-Soviet history. It prompted Viktor Yanukovych on Wednesday blamed were “violating and affecting left at least 25 people dead and hundreds in- the European Union to threaten sanctions the protesters for the violence and said the the rights of the protesters un- jured and raised fears of a civil war. against Ukrainian officials responsible for opposition leaders “crossed a line when der the constitution.” It noted After several hours of relative calm, con- the violence and triggered angry rebukes they called people to arms.” that Thailand’s Constitutional frontation flared up again Wednesday after- from Moscow, which accused the West of The European Union appears poised to Court earlier ruled that the pro- noon, with hundreds of police amassing on triggering the clashes by backing the op- impose sanctions as it called an extraorditesters were rallying peacefully. the edges of Independence Square, known position. nary meeting of the 28-nation bloc’s foreign It said the prime minister there- as the Maidan, throwing stun grenades and The protests began in late November ministers for Thursday. European Commisfore “cannot use force or arms using water cannons in a bid to disperse pro- after Yanukovych turned away from a sion President Jose Manuel Barroso called in cracking down” on them. testers. Thousands of activists armed with long-anticipated deal with the EU in ex- for “targeted measures against those respon“When the facts show that fire bombs and rocks held their ground, de- change for a $15 billion bailout from Rus- sible for violence and use of excessive force there have been orders to bring fending the square which has been a bastion sia. The political maneuvering continued can be agreed ... as a matter of urgency.” a large number of police offic- and symbol for the demonstrators. ever since, with both Moscow and the West “Today, President Yanukovich has blood on ers into Bangkok to crack down The violence Tuesday was the worst eager to gain influence over this former his hands,” Bildt said.—AP on the protesters, the court, therefore, is ruling to protect the protesters’ rights to rally peacefully and without arms,” it added. It was unclear whether the ruling would affect arrest warrants issued for protest leaders for violating the state of emergency.—AP

Ukraine: 25 killed, 241 injured in Kiev clashes

Russia: UN, Syria aid resolution possible in days

Hacking trial: Blair offered to advise Murdoch LONDON—Jurors at Britain’s phone-hacking trial were told Wednesday that former Prime Minister Tony Blair allegedly offered to work as an unofficial adviser to Rupert Murdoch as revelations of illegal phone hacking engulfed the mogul’s media empire. Prosecutor Andrew Edis read aloud an email sent by Rebekah Brooks, then head of Murdoch’s British newspapers, to Murdoch’s son and deputy James on July 11, 2011. In it, Brooks says she’s asked Blair for advice and been told: “It will pass. Tough up.” She says he told her to “keep strong and definitely (take) sleeping pills.” Brooks also writes that Blair “is available for you, KRM (Rupert Murdoch) and me as an unofficial adviser, but needs to be between us.” She also said Blair told her to set up an external committee into phone hacking, which would “publish a Hutton-style report.” The 2004 Hutton Report cleared Blair’s government of wrongdoing over its handling of intelligence about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction. Less than a week after sending the email, Brooks was arrested and charged with conspiring to hack phones, bribe officials and obstruct a police investigation.

All seven defendants deny charges of wrongdoing at Murdoch’s News of the World and Sun tabloids. The trials stems from 2011 revelations that News of the World employees eavesdropped on the voicemails of celebrities, politicians, sports figures, royalty and even a murdered 13-year-old girl. Murdoch closed the 168-yearold newspaper amid a wave of public outrage, and the scandal expanded to ensnare Britain’s establishment — exposing a cozy web of ties between powerful politicians, senior police and media executives. Judge John Saunders said the defense case at the trial of Brooks and six others would open Thursday after a series of legal arguments Wednesday. The Blair email is the latest twist in a trial that has produced more revelations than a stack of tabloid front pages. The key points: Prosecutors allege that News of the World journalists, with consent from top editors, colluded to hack phones on a vast scale in a frenzy to get scoops. They say this happened when Brooks edited the newspaper from 2000 to 2003, and under Andy Coulson from 2003 to 2007. Coulson, who became Prime Minister David Cameron’s communications chief, is also on trial.—AP

MOSCOW—Russian Foreign Minister Sergei national supporter of Syrian President Bashar Lavrov said a U.N. resolution on humanitarian aid access in Syria could be agreed in days if Security Council members do not try to “politicize” the issue, Interfax news agency reported. Moscow criticized a Western-Arab draft resolution and proposed its own text as well as another one that would condemn acts of “terrorism” in civil war-torn Syria, saying it was ready for negotiations in the council. “If nobody in the Security Council seeks to politicize this issue, to promote one-sided approaches, I am convinced we will be able to reach an agreement in the coming days,” Lavrov told a meeting of Gulf states in Kuwait, Interfax reported. Russia has been the most prominent inter-

al-Assad during a three-year-old conflict that an opposition monitoring group says has killed more than 136,000 people. U.N. aid chief Valerie Amos has urged the Security Council to act to increase humanitarian access in Syria. Moscow dismissed the Western-Arab text as an unjust attempt to put the blame solely on Damascus for the humanitarian crisis in Syria, where the United Nations say some 9.3 million people, or nearly half of the country’s population, need help. That draft has been merged with the Russian text but the council is still trying to find common ground on central points, including a threat of targeted sanctions and cross-border aid access, diplomats said on Tuesday.—Reuters

Anti-government protesters protect themselves with shields during clashes with riot police in Kiev’s Independence Square, the epicentre of the country’s current unrest, Kiev, Ukraine.

Bahraini man sentenced to death over policeman killing

M ANAMA —A court in Bahrain has sentenced one man to death and six others to life imprisonment for the killing of a policeman after a protest last year marking the kingdom’s abortive 2011 pro-democracy uprising, local media reported on Wednesday. Two other defendants were given sentences of five and six years in jail for their role in what state-run media have called a “terrorist attack ... using an incendiary projectile” on the policeman named Mohammed Aasef. The attack last year followed clashes between security forces and demonstrators on the second anniversary of the 2011 uprising by mostly majority Shi’ite Muslims demanding democratic reforms in the Sunni-ruled kingdom, a key U.S. regional ally. In those clashes, security forces killed a teenager and injured dozens more protesters, an opposition website said. Security forces confirmed they had fired warning shots at the crowds and one young man had been killed. At the uprising’s third anniversary last week, a policeman died from his injuries in a bomb explosion a day before tens of thousands of Bahrainis held a peaceful march to mark the uprising inspired by Arab protests elsewhere. Bahrain crushed the demonstrations that began on February 14, 2011 amid the protest wave sweeping other Arab countries, but it has yet to resolve the conflict.—Reuters

The EU and Israel on a course for collision YOSSI MEKELBERG


he world of diplomacy seldom allows raw emotions to be displayed in public, most certainly not on the level seen last week in the Israeli Knesset following a speech by the German European Parliament President Martin Schulz. A festive occasion, to celebrate the close relationship between the European Union and Israel, turned into an unsavory exchange of accusations with no punches pulled. If anyone needed further evidence of the growing tensions between Israel and the EU, the walkout of a number of Israeli MK and members of the cabinet in fury regarding what they had heard from Mr. Schulz provided plenty of such evidence. What the European Parliament president saw as an attempt to embark on a frank dialogue between friends, was described by some among the Israeli leadership as misguided and inaccurate at best and sheer lies or even anti-Semitic at worst.

Delivering his speech in German, caused his critics not only to lose their temper, but also their judgment. Mr. Schulz should have perhaps been more careful with his choice of words, but the general gist of his message to the Israeli legislature was far from new or provoking in its nature. The Europeans have been advocating for peace based on a two state solution for decades, and it became a European platform in the Venice declaration of 1980. Needless to say, condemning the harshness of occupation, criticizing the blockade on Gaza, or describing the expansion of settlements as “a stumbling block to a solution” was not by any stretch of the imagination a departure from what Israeli officials are hearing in any single visit to European capitals. However, Israeli politicians are beginning to grasp that this criticism could eventually lead to international sanctions, hence their leap to discredit whoever is the messenger. Mr. Schulz’s remark that “A Palestinian youth asked me why an Israeli can use 70 cubic

litters of water and a Palestinian just 17,” left him exposed to attack by Israeli leaders, especially because by his own admission he hadn’t checked the exact figures. If the Europeans can be accused of anything, it is mainly of inaction in making their views count. For far too long they have let the U.S. to lead, almost exclusively, the efforts to bring peace to the Middle East. This was exactly what some of the right wing MKs needed in order to go on the attack and seize the occasion to accuse their guest of attempting to delegitimize the Jewish state via the BDS campaign. A campaign, which they accuse the EU of being part of. Mr. Schulz might not have got his figures correct, but nevertheless, there is plenty of evidence of the Jewish settlers using disproportionately more water than their Palestinian neighbors in the occupied West Bank. What the European Union must have realized by now is that unless they support all Israeli policies, its troublesome past with the Jewish people will be dug up and used against them. The burden of history leaves very little room

for an honest dialogue, as criticism of Israeli policies is regarded by the Israeli leadership as a proof, if one is needed, that European anti-Semitism has never died – it has just manifested itself in an attempt to undermine the Jewish state. Israel enjoys preferential economic and cultural agreements with the EU members compared to most other countries outside the union, despite EU discontent with Israeli policies in the region. It would, of course, be foolish to deny that anti-Semitism does exist in Europe, as do other forms of racism, and it should be utterly condemned and eradicated. Nevertheless, it does not make the EU institutionally or its policies antiSemitic. Branding any critic of Israel as antiSemitic has become an obvious means of Israeli emotional blackmail used to divert attention from the criticism itself. Continuing the occupation can only lead to international isolation and confrontation not only with Europe but also with her closest ally, the United States. —Courtesy Alarabiya


ome people will look at this record of unhinged insults on past presidents as the ugly beauty of democracy: The right to criticise public figures regardless of accuracy Perspective is the thing America has least of in its politics. And as the US celebrates Presidents’ Day, it is tempting to lament the lack of respect given to the Oval Office these days — especially its current occupant. Barack Obama has been subjected to what seems like an unusual amount of paranoid projection from high places during his five years in office. In addition to the daily drumbeat from Right-wing talk radio, websites and television, by the end of the 2012 election, no fewer than 89 books had been published with little purpose other that to propagate a monstrous image of the incumbent. Among their titles: The Great Destroyer: Barack Obama’s War on the Republic; Trickle Down Tyranny; To Save America: Stopping Obama’s Secular Socialist Machine; and The Blueprint: Obama’s Plan to Subvert the Constitution and Build an Imperial Presidency. These themes are often eagerly carried forward by conservatives in Congress trying to play to the base. For example, during the State of the Union address last month, Representative Randy Weber tweeted that the president was a “socialist dictator” and Senator Ted Cruz summed up his Wall Street Journal article with this tweet: “In the nation’s history, there is simply no precedent for an American president so wantonly ignoring federal law.” There is, however, plenty of precedent for presidents being accused of tyranny, dictatorship and a determination to destroy the Constitution. It is easy to assume that the original founding father, George Washington, was uniformly loved and respected by his contemporary countrymen. However, when America’s first president presided over the shaky young republic, newspapers like the Aurora called on him to resign the office while declaring that “the mask of political hypocrisy has been alike worn by Caesar, a Cromwell and a Washington”. His one-time ally Thomas Paine turned on him viciously after the Jay Treaty with Britain, writing: “The world will be puzzled to decide whether you are an apostate or an imposter”. Pamphlets published by early partisan opponents such as William Duane denounced Washington’s “tyrannical act”, “monarchical privilege” and “Machiavellian policy”. Thomas Jefferson, one space over on Mount Rushmore, criticised political opponents and was attacked in return with accusations of being an “infidel” and a “howling atheist” in the 1800 election. One advocate for Jefferson’s impeachment proclaimed: “That self-exalted tyrant shall be hurled head-long from his political zenith to dwell with Jacobins and devils in the pit.” The now-sainted Abraham Lincoln was subject to particularly vicious attacks while presiding over the Civil War. “Confederates called Lincoln a ‘tyrant’, a ‘fiend’ and a ‘monster’,” recounts Don E. Fehrenbacher in his essay The Anti-Lincoln Tradition. “In speeches, sermons, songs, books, magazines, newspapers, pamphlets and broadsides, they also portrayed him as a simpleton, a buffoon, a drunkard, a libertine, a physical coward and a pornographic story-teller.” A Wisconsin newspaper editor named Marcus M. Pomeroy wrote that Lincoln was “but the fungus from the corrupt womb of bigotry and fanaticism” and a “worse tyrant and more inhuman butcher than has existed since the days of Nero”. Fast forward to the final member of the Mount Rushmore quartet, Teddy Roosevelt and the accusation of subverting the Constitution was common, at pace with his unprecedented 1,081 executive orders (compared to Obama’s 168 to date). On Wall Street, the famed Trust Buster’s reputation was lower than a stock in freefall — his biographer, Edmund Morris, recounts how “rumours that [T.R.] was an alcoholic had strengthened into reports that he was insane”. And so it goes. In more recent years, we have seen the profitable 1990s cottage industry of hating Bill and Hillary Clinton, which summoned up a vast array of conspiracies including secret communist allegiances, drug-dealing and murder. The Bush Derangement Syndrome of the last decade saw liberal protesters echoing the sentiments expressed by the musician, actor and activist Harry Belafonte who called the president “the greatest tyrant in the world, the greatest terrorist in the world”. Some people will look at this record of unhinged insults and see the ugly beauty of democracy — the right to criticise public figures regardless of accuracy. Freedom of the press and freedom of speech are indeed sacred things, but others will look at the historic record of hate and slander and see convenient excuses for their own vitriol — wrapping partisan bile in highminded historic parallels. The real takeaway consists of this: Today’s hyper-partisan appeals to ancient anxieties will not look any better in the rearview mirror of history than the unhinged attacks on the Mount Rushmore quartet. —Courtesy The Telegraph

Violence in Ukraine shows need for negotiated settlement


he worst violence in Ukraine since it gained independence in 1991 erupted in the center of Kiev on Tuesday. Authori ties reported that at least 20 people were killed after clashes between anti-government demonstrators and police prompted security forces to attack an opposition encampment in Independence Square. The roaring flames from burning tents and barricades, visible on live Internet broadcasts, may destroy the prospect of an early compromise between the Russian-backed government of Viktor Yanukovych and the pro-Western opposition. It’s not clear which side started the violence, which came just days after an amnesty deal had lowered tensions in the capital. But blame for the political breakdown lies with Mr. Yanukovych. Having agreed to negotiate with the opposition on a new prime minister and cabinet acceptable to both sides, he stepped back from the talks after the amnesty agreement last week. On Monday, parliamentary deputies from the president’s party blocked the opposition’s attempt to move reform legislation, including a constitutional change that would reduce the president’s powers. That seemed to trigger a backlash among right-wing opposition militants in the streets of Kiev Tuesday. The government responded by foolishly issuing an ultimatum setting a 6 p.m. deadline for the end of “disturbances,” then dispatching riot police in a violent assault on the Independence Square camp. Russian President Vladi-mir Putin probably will be pleased. He has pushed Mr. Yanukovych not to compromise with the opposition, which he describes as a creation of Western intelligence services. He insists on playing a zero-sum game with the aim of subordinating Ukraine to Russia’s dominion at the expense of its relations with Europe and the United States. Three months of crisis have shown he is unlikely to succeed: Too many Ukrainians are ready to put their lives on the line to defend their country’s sovereignty. But Mr. Putin persists. Mr. Yanukovych’s foot-dragging with the opposition was rewarded by Russia’s purchase of $2 billion of the nearly bankrupt government’s bonds on Monday. As unlikely as it looked in the video footage Tuesday, a political settlement may still be possible — if only because it is the only solution to the crisis. After a phone call from Vice President Biden, Mr. Yanukovych met with opposition leaders early Wednesday. Tuesday’s bloody street battles show again that Ukraine will be ungovernable unless Mr. Yanukovych accepts reasonable opposition demands for political and economic reforms. If he does not now accede to that reality and pull back his security forces, Western governments should be prepared to apply the sanctions they have been threatening. —Courtesy The Washington Post

Haji Mohammad Javed escapes bomb blast

Govt not discharging its obligations: Justice Saqib Nisar


From Page 1

P ESHAWAR — Well known Philanthropist, former provincial minister and Chairman Skill Development council, Haji Mohammad Javed escaped bomb explosion closed to his residence in Javed town Gulbahar here Wednesday evening. However, his house sustained little damage and window panes were smashed badly in the explosion that was carried out with the help of a hand grenade and created harassment in the area. Reports say some unknown miscreants lobbed a hand grenade at the house of Haji Javed who served as provincial minister twice in the past before he left the politics and switched over to social services promotion of Islam in the region. The explosion fortunately remained abortive as no casualty was reported though the bang was heard in the radius of a few kilometers. Haji Javed and his other family members remained unhurt. Besides the rescue teams, the law enforcers also rushed to the site of the explosion and started probe into the incident.

Afghan Taliban From Page 1 However, the Taliban in their first formal reaction disowned the Dubai peace process and said that they have nominated specific negotiators and have a political office in Qatar. “The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan reiterates to all stakeholders that it has neither entrusted Agha Jan Mutasim with a responsible position nor can he represent it,” said Taliban spokesperson, Zabihullah Mujahid. “The Islamic Emirate considers [Mutasim’s] current activities and actions against the principles of sacred jihad and they are benefiting only the invading Americans along with their servants,” the spokesman said. Mujahid said in a statement there has not been any meeting in Dubai of the Afghan Taliban or on its behalf, nor has it been in contact with the Kabul government or the High Peace Council.

Pakistan, US From Page 1 and Afghanistan. Pakistan has assured the US military of every possible cooperation in tracing American soldier Bowe Bergdahl who is allegedly being held captive by the Afghan Taliban in the North Waziristan tribal region. General Lloyd J Austin, chief of the United States Central Command had sought Pakistan’s help in tracing the kidnapped US soldier before any possible military operation was launched in North Waziristan. The US commander assured Pakistan of full military cooperation from the other side of the border to track down fleeing Taliban militants from Waziristan to Afghanistan. General Austin during his meetings also shared credible information about various militant hideouts in North Waziristan with Pakistan’s top military officials. The sources further said that US was desperate to get its soldier back before it began the withdrawal of its forces from Afghanistan.

Gabol demands From Page 1 tween Nabeel Gabol, Pakistan Muslim League-N’s Tehmina Daultana and Pakistan People’s Party’s Yousuf Talpur in National assembly. Daultana said that Gabol’s leader was living outside the country to which he replied that her leader had also left the country. The Chairman of the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Interior, Rana Shamim Ahmad Khan, said that at the moment there was no need of the imposition of an emergency or a Martial law in the country. The Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-F also opposed Nabeel Gabol’s demand for an emergency in the country.

Does the government want to discharge its legal and constitutional obligations or otherwise or we should issue any order. AG told work has been started and appointment will be made soon. Justice Saqib remarked “soon means too much time will be spent on it. We have talked on several constitutional violations. But this is the biggest violation. Give us report and time frame. AG told appointments are being made in line with decision of Khawaja

Asif case. It is our endeavor that problems like this are not created. We will provide details. Justice Saqib Nisar observed “appointments have not been made in how many departments so far. Tell us legal and constitutional problem. Establishment should tell. Secretary parliamentary affairs should tell as to why regular CEC has not been appointed so far. Justice Nasir ul Mulk has to leave bench No 2 and go to election commission. This way

piles of cases are left pending. You please advise your government to make appointments as soon as possible in these institutions. You are chief law officer . You should tell. The court ordered that CEC be appointed as soon as possible. Attorney general should file comprehensive reply on this count. The court further directed that attorney general should contact the respective divisions that why the legal and constitutional posts are lying vacant.—Online

Mamnoon, Xi focus on trade From Page 1 the cornerstone of Pakistan’s foreign policy and there is across-the-board political and public agreement on maintaining strong bilateral ties with China. The two leaders noted with satisfaction that all- weather friendship between Pakistan and China that is based on mutual trust, respect and cooperation transcends the governmental level and has permeated into the level of the people. The two Presidents expressed satisfaction on the current status of bilateral ties, however urged the need for more consistent efforts on both sides to boost bilateral trade from the current over US$ 12 billion to the level commensurate to the huge trade and investment potential existing between the two countries. They underscored the importance of greater connectivity between the two countries and the region at large the two sides urged for expeditious completion of all the projects of China -Pakistan Economic corridor, which they observed would turn the entire region into a vibrant trade, energy and economic corridor besides boosting PakChina bilateral trade to new heights. They expressed hope that the decisions taken during today’s meeting of the Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) would prove instrumental in implementation of the already identified and mutually agreed projects of the Economic corridor on fast track basis. Both the leaders agreed on further enhancing bilateral cooperation encompassing all fields including energy, trade and investment, defense, infrastructure development and people-to-people contacts. President Mamnoon on the occasion appreciated the unwavering support and assistance of the government and people of China to Pakistan in its socio-economic development and expressed hope that it will continue to the mutual benefit of the people of the two countries. Pakistan admires the unprecedented progress China has made under the stewardship of Chinese Communist Party, President Mamnoon said and expressed confidence that under the wise leadership of President Xi Jinping and Mr. Li Keqiang, the Chinese people will add new chapters to their glorious history and attain the “Chi-

nese dream”. The President said that Pakistan was keen to learn from the Chinese economic and development miracle and benefit from its expertise in various areas including energy, irrigation, agriculture, infrastructure, communications and commerce and trade. Discussing regional situation, President Mamnoon reiterated Pakistan’s abiding interest in the stability and peace of the region and expressed firm resolve of the democratic government to continue supporting all efforts aimed at bringing peace and stability in the region. Pakistan believes that China is an important factor of peace and stability in the region. President Mamnoon Hussain cordially invited President Xi Jinping to visit Pakistan this year saying that his visit would add new chapter to the bilateral relations and provide great impetus to further deepen our strategic partnership. The Chinese President accepted the invitation and thanked President Mamnoon for inviting him. President Mamnoon thanked the Chinese President and government of China for the warm welcome and hospitality being extended to him and his delegation during visit to China and said that China was like his second home, adding that he was pleased to be among our “time-tested friends”. Soon after the meeting Pakistan and China inked five agreements of bilateral cooperation in the fields of economy and trade, regional connectivity, energy, and people-to-people contacts. The two Presidents who witnessed the signing of bilateral agreements expressed hope that it would bolster bilateral cooperation and further deepen strategic partnership between Pakistan and China. Earlier on arrival at the Great Hall of the Peoples, the President was received by the Chinese President and accompanied to the dais where the national anthems of the two countries were played. President Mamnoon Hussain also reviewed the ceremonial guard of honour presented to him by the contingents of Chinese Army, Navy and Air Force. The Chinese President later hosted banquet for President Mamnoon Hussain and the accompanying delegation at the Great Hall of Peoples.

TTP sets conditions From Page 1 close to success and announce ceasefire on February seventeen when some unpleasant happenings spoiled everything that eventually led to dead lock in the peace parleys. “The talks are going to face a deadlock; we are waiting for the day when we will give good news to the nation”. Yousaf Shah said. He however, said the peace process must succeed and everybody was required to play a role in this regard. “The country, especially the Khyber Pukhtunkhwa region is burning, so I urge you all to play your role to extinguish this blaze,” the TTP nominated negotiation committee coordinator said adding the issues should be resolved with dialogues rather than use of force. “We can sit together and hold talks, war and the use of force is no solution to the issue.”

Yousaf Shah maintained. Maulana Yousaf Shah told journalists that he established contact with the government’s dialogue team on Wednesday and both were of the firm opinion that the peace process must continue despite all the odds adding he also talked to the interior minister Chaudhry Nisar who wished progress in the peace parleys. In the meanwhile the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) came up with fresh conditions to effect ceasefire with the government and put a halt to their violent acts. The TTP spokesperson Shahid Ullah Shahid phoned media persons from an undisclosed location and gave fresh demand that called for an end to the arrest of Taliban members and their deaths in police encounters.

US bomber mistakenly From Page 1 spotted Taliban forces on a ridge far from their position in the rugged mountains of Afghanistan’s Paktika Province along the Pakistani border. Simultaneously, air strikes were called in to take out the opposition forces. It appears, however, that the pilot mistook the Army outpost for the Taliban fighters and dropped a 500pound bomb on their location, narrowly missing the soldiers at the outpost. ‘Honestly we had dropped so many bombs up to that point that the thought never even crossed my mind that this could even happen, especially with all the checks put into place,’ one of the soldiers tells the website. ‘About a half second before impact you could hear the bomb screaming in like I hadn’t ever heard before, and I definitely knew at that point something was off.’ The soldier says the impact was so powerful that it knocked people to the ground.—INP

Pakistan, Iran for joint efforts From Page 1 which had claimed responsibility for kidnapping five border guards was operating in Pakistan’s Balochistan province. The charge was vehemently denied by Pakistani officials. “We have already ordered law enforcers to carry out a search operation in the bordering area”, the Pakistani delegation assured the Iranians.

Institutions strong to tackle From Page 1 place, then the whole nation will feel the grief, he added. The Minister said case of Pervez Musharraf will be decided by the court as there is rule of law in the country. To a question, he said nobody in public sector will lose his job. “We are in contact with all political parties on national issues, on which we stay above politics.” Earlier, addressing participants at the event, the Minister said the city of Rawalpindi is fortunate as it had big names in literature and arts and it was known for its literary activities. Literary figures and artists have an important role to play in projecting a positive image of the country and for promoting peace and harmony in society.—APP

Private sector banks credit From Page 1 local private banks has improved even further, with net NPLs to Net Loans falling to 2.2%, from 2.84% at the end of Sep 2013. Meanwhile, private sector credit has reached PRs299 billion of seven month of the financial year 2014, compared to PRs108billion in the same period last year. There has been some improvement in the sectors ADR ratio, which is 54.5% in Jan 2014, up 1% in the last four months. With NPL coverage continuing to improve, the provisioning pressure on the sector is also expected to decline in 2014, augmenting bottom lines. The sectors NPL coverage has improved considerably, with Net NPLs to Net Loans falling to 3.12% in 4Q13, from 3.79% in the previous quarter. The real source of improvement came from the private sector banks, where net NPLs to Net Loans fell to 2.2%, from 2.84% at the end of Sep 2013. In terms of actual numbers, net NPLs for local private sector banks have fallen to Rs67billion, from Rs78billion in the previous quarter. Meanwhile, public sector banks offer markedly lower coverage at the moment, with NPLs to Net Loans ratio of 5.58%.

Prominent Pakistanis urge international community From Back Page On 1 February, 2012 a resolution recognizing Khojaly Genocide and calling upon the international community to bring the perpetrators of this crime to the book and on 05 October, 2013 another resolution fully backing territorial integrity of Azerbaijan were passed at the Senate of Pakistan. A number of countries and prestigious international organizations have also adopted resolutions and proclamations condemning the Khojaly Genocide. People of Pakistan condemn continued illegal occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh and other territories of Azerbaijan by Armenia and call for a just and peaceful resolution of the problem on the basis of UN Security Council resolutions. We urge the international community to take notice of the Nagorno-Karabakh issue and help in resolving it in the name of Peace. Pakistani people believe that world peace would remain in danger till such international burning issues as Nagorno-Karabakh, Kashmir and Palestine are resolved justly and peacefully in accordance with relevant United Nations resolutions. Those who have supported the statement include among others the personalities named below: Zahid Malik, Editor-in-Chief, Pakistan Observer; Sabir Ali Baloch, Deputy Chairman Senate; Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, Chairman Defense Committee, Leader of Pakistan Observers Delegation for Azerbaijan Presidential Elections; Senator Haji Muhammad Adeel, Chairman Foreign Relations Committee, Gilgit-Baltistan & Kashmir;Senator Syed Zafar Ali Shah, Chairman, National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination Committee; Senator Syeda Sughra Imam, Chairperson Library Committee; Senator Haji Ghulam Ali, Chairman, Commerce Committee; Senator Tahir Hussain Mashadi, Chairman, Rules of Procedures and Privileges Committee; Senator Talha Mahmood, Chairman, Interior Committee; Senator Raja Mohammad Zafar-ul-Haq; Senator Muhammad Rafique Rajwana; Senator Osman Saifullah Khan; Dr. Abdul Malik Baloch, CM Baluchistan; Mir Jan Jamali, Speaker Baluchistan Assembly; Wazir Baig, Speaker Gilgit Baltistan Assembly; Jamil Ahmad, Deputy Speaker Gilgit- Baltistan Assembly; Gohar Ayub Khan Ex-Speaker NA; Faisal Karim Kundi, Ex-Deputy Speaker NA;Sardar Wazir Ahmad Jogezai, Ex- Deputy Speaker,

NA;Ms. Rubina Qaimkhani, Minister for WDD and Human Rights, Sindh; Prof. Dr. Abdul Basit, Chancellor Preston University; Sardar Attique Ahmed Khan, President, AJK Muslim Conference and former Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir; S.M. Zafar, Chairman Human Rights Society of Pakistan, Ex-Senator and former Federal Minister for Law; Salim Saifullah Khan, former senator, former Federal Minister; Humayun Saifullah Khan, former MNA: Anwar Saifullah Khan, former Federal Minister: Abdul Sattar former Foreign Minister; Senator Razina Alam Khan; Dr. Basharat Jazbi, Former Federal Minister; Col. (Retd) S.K. Tressler, former Federal Minister, Senator Jahangir Badar, Salim Gul Sheikh, former Federal Secretary; Inam-ul-Haq, former Minister of State, Foreign Affairs; Nawabzada Amad Malik, former Minister of State, Foreign Affairs; Mian Muhammad Javed, former Chairman FBR; Iftikharulla Babar, ex-Secretary Senate; Air Marshal (Retd) Ayaz Ahmad; Admiral (R) Abdul Aziz Mirza, former Chief of Naval Staff; Vice Admiral (Retd) Ahmad Tasnim;Maj. Gen. (Retd) Sardar Muhammad Anwar Khan, Former President of Azad Kashmir; General (Retd) Hameed Gul; Lt. General (Retd) Abdul Qayyum; Admiral (Retd) Iftikhar A. Sirohey; Air Cdre (R) Khalid Iqbal; Dr. Naeem Ghani, Chairman Sultana Foundation; M. Bilal, Senior Advocate of Supreme Court of Pakistan; Ms. Farukh Khan, Chairperson Women Wing, PML(Q); Mrs. Qamar Aftab, Member Executive Committee, NPC; Dr. Ayub Sabir, Scholar; Syed Nazir Bokhari, Director, Aiwan-i-Quaid; Mumtaz Liaqat, Editor, Monthly “Nazriya” NPC; Dr. Raja Ikram Azam, scholar, author; Dr. Muhammad Tufail, Director International Seerat Centre, Aiwan-i-Quaid; Sahibzada Dr. Sajid-ur-Rahman, scholar Islamic Studies, former Vice President International Islamic University; Prof Dr. Zia-ul-Haq Yousufzai, Head of Dept., Islamic Studies, NUML; Shamim Rizvi, prominent journalist; Sardar Yasin Malik, Chairman Standing Committee on Religious and Cultural Affairs, Pakistan Federation, Chambers of Cumbrance & Industry and Chairman. Hilton Pharma; Iftikhar Malik, Chairman Guard Group of Industries, Lahore; Khalid Butt, veteran journalist, Lahore; Ghulam Tahir, renowned media person, Quetta; Mian Zahid, Chairman Korangi Association of Trade and Industry (KATI), Karachi.

India chief minister quits From Page 1 29th state. Reddy slammed as shameful lawmakers’ behaviour in pushing through the bill without proper debate, and also attacked the decision to cut the live TV feed during the vote. MPs were “robbers, hiding from people, putting off TV, throwing out those who were objecting”, Reddy was quoted as saying by NDTV in the state capital of Hyderabad. He accused the ruling

Congress party and the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party of supporting the bill merely to win votes in the general election due in May. Analysts say the

Congress-led government has decided to move on Telangana ahead of the polls to try to win crucial support in the tribal and drought-prone districts that will form the new state.

Nisar, Olson discuss security situation I SLAMABAD —Ambassador

Passenger dies of intense cold S KARDU —A large number of people including passengers and heirs held a protest demonstration after a passenger died of intense cold at the airport lounge here on Wednesday. According to details, a passenger hailing from GilgitBaltistan (GB) waiting for PIA flight at Skardu Airport lounge expired of extreme weather at the lounge lacked heating facilities. The passengers present at the lounge, protested against the airport authorities for not providing facilities to passengers in waiting lounge. They demanded the Chief Minister Mehdi Shah and PIA authorities for taking serious notice of incident and compensating the bereaved family. It should be mentioned that in winter temperature in Skardu mostly stands below freezing point. —INP

PO among two killed in firing L AKKI


persons including a proclaimed offender were killed in firing of unknown miscreants here on Wednesday. Police said that unidentified armed men gunned down two people in Zangikhel area of Lakki Marwat. The police took the bodies of the deceased including a proclaimed offender in custody and shifted them to hospital for medico-legal formalities. Police feared that the shooting incident could be outcome of inter gang rivalry. —INP

of United States of America to Pakistan Richard Olson called on the Federal Minister for Interior and Narcotics Control Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan here on Wednesday, and discussed issues pertaining to bilateral relations, particularly security situation in the region. The minister said Pakistan enjoyed good relations with the US, which were spread over all sectors, and he was hopeful that these would be further strengthRAWALPINDI: General Lioyed J. Austin, Commander United States Central Command ened. called on Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif at General Headquarters. He emphasized the need for greater transparency in the relationship and said it was important that people of Pakistan saw for themselves that their interests were being protected and safeguarded at every step. The US Ambassador Civil Hospital. Two children and two said that Pakistan had an OBSERVER REPORT women were in critical condition at the important role to play in the post-2014 scenario in the KARACHI —At least 10 women and chil- hospital, he said. region, which was recogThe women and children of the same dren drowned Wednesday in Lyrai stream after they were thrown from a speeding family lost their lives as the Shehzore truck nized by the international they were travelling in plunged into the community.—APP truck in the city, officials said. At least 12 people, including six chil- Lyari stream within the limits of PIB dren and six women, fell into the stream, Colony police station of Gulshan-e-Iqbal which serves a sewage outlet for the Wednesday evening. Rescue organisations approached the populous city, when the vehicle hit a side site and recovered the bodies and the inrailing on the expressway. The victims died after swallowing sewage water and mud. jured. Following the rescue operation, seven “We received eight bodies of children and women and most of them died of suf- bodies and the injured were taken to the focation,” said Dr Aftab Chunnar, the se- Civil Hospital Karachi where three of the nior medical officer at the government injured succumbed to their injuries.

10 drown in Lyari stream accident

Gas pipeline leakage blast in Ghotki kills 2 G HOTKI —Two persons were killed and two others injured when a gas pipeline exploded here in the wee hours of Wednesday. Police said that near Mir Kosha of Ghotki, a 36-inch diameter gas pipeline from Qadirpur Gas Field caught fire after a huge explosion. Due to blast and blaze two persons stated to be guards were killed while two others sustained injuries. The injured were shifted to a nearby hospital for treatment. Police confirmed that the incident was not an act of terrorism and occurred

due to leakage of gas. Guddu-Kashmore highway was closed for traffic near the road linking Punjab and Sindh as a result of the explosion. The incident resulted in suspension of 500 million cubic feet gas in system as supply from Qadirpur Gas Field was closed. Gas supply was suspended to different areas of Punjab and Sindh after the explosion. Official sources said that gas supply to power plants in Faisalabad and Kabirwala was also suspended after the incident. —INP

India in connivance with Afghanistan has started cold war Interior ministry informs NA Committee I SLAMABAD —Official of Pakhtunkhwa, where as the Interior Ministry disclosed on Wednesday that the India in connivance with Afghanistan have initiated a cold war against Pakistan to take revenge of its support to the Kashmir cause. The official of the interior ministry gave a detailed briefing to the National Assembly Standing Committee on Interior chaired by Rana Shamim Ahmed. The committee was informed that terrorists with weapons sneaking into Pakistan through the eastern and western borders of the country. The committee was informed that foreign agencies are funding the terrorists and insurgents in Balochistan to fulfil their nefarious designs. Thirteen terrorist outfits including BLA and BRA have been slapped with ban. Taliban, al-Qaeda and Lashker-e-Jhangvi are engaged in their subversive activities in Fata and Khyber

Lashker-e-Jhangvi and other sectarian outfits are engaged in fanning sectarianism in Gilgit-Baltistan. Federal Capital, Islamabad has been declared ‘extremely dangerous’ city, reasoning the existence and functioning of banned outfits besides other factors. It was further informed that

US soldier convicted of Iraq rape, murders found dead W ASHINGTON — A former US Army soldier sentenced to life in prison for the 2006 rape and murder of a 14-yearold Iraqi girl and killing of her parents and sister, was found hanged in his cell, The Los Angeles Times reported on Tuesday, citing prison officials. The death on Saturday of Steven Dale Green, 28, at the United States Penitentiary in Tucson, Arizona, was being investigated as a suicide, the paper said.Green had been found hanging in his cell last week, according to the Times report.—AP

Prominent Pakistanis call for resolution of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict Pakistan Observer mobilizes public opinion for peaceful solution ASHRAF ANSARI ISLAMABAD—Top personalities of Pakistan including academia, media personalities, former ministers, law makers and other prominent citizens belonging to various walks of life have called for peaceful resolution of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia. They strongly condemned the 1992 Khojaly Genocide by the Armenian forces in which hundreds of innocent civilians were butchered. Over hundred leading personalities of Pakistan have supported a statement, drafted by Mr. Zahid Malik, Editor-in-Chief, Pakistan Observer in line with consistent policy of the newspaper to support Azerbaijan’s position over Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and condemn Khojaly Genocide. Following is the text of the statement calling for

peaceful and just resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh issue, condemning Khyojaly Genocide . Soon after collapse of the USSR Armenia started open

night from the 25th to 26th of February 1992, Armenian forces with support of infantry regiment of the former Soviet Army stormed Khojaly. In a few hours time

aggression against newly born Azerbaijan Republic and occupied 20% of Azerbaijani lands, including NagornoKarabakh and 7 adjacent districts. The capture of Khojaly town was particularly tragic. The town with no regular Azerbaijani forces in it was entirely surrounded by Armenian troops. Over the

613 civilians, including 83 children and 106 women were killed. 56 of them were killed with outrageous brutality, 8 families were totally exterminated, and 25 children lost both parents while 130 children lost one parent. Thousands of civilians were wounded and taken hostage, many of them remain miss-

ing, while the town was razed to the ground. In its judgment of 22 April 2010, the European Court of Human Rights qualified this massacre as “acts of particular gravity which may amount to war crimes or crimes against humanity”. It is obvious, that given the gravity and scale of the offences committed in Khojaly, criminal prosecution of those who were behind it would be inevitable. The UN Security Council passed 4 resolutions that called for immediate, complete and unconditional withdrawal of forces from all occupied lands of Azerbaijan. The UN General Assembly, OIC, NonAligned Movement, European Union, Council of Europe, NATO and OSCE also passed resolutions on Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. All these resolutions remain unimplemented.

Continued on Page 7

Published by: Zahid Malik from Ali Akbar House Markaz G-8, Islamabad and printed by Gauhar Zahid Malik at Al Umar Printers

Capital city is at high risk and has become the sleeper cell of the banned organization members including ALQaeda, Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Lashkar-eJahngvi (LeJ). Banned outfits of TTP and LeJ are a real threat in Punjab while the target killers, al-Qaeda and LeJ are targeting Sindh. —INP

Smoke-free park policies slow to catch on


ANS on smoking in public parks are still fairly rare in the United States, despite more than half of states having indoor smoking restrictions, researchers say. Just 355 counties out of 3,143 across the nation have smoke-free park policies typically they’re areas where the population is younger, more politically liberal and more well-off, the study team found. But rural and poorer communities should be encouraged to enact them too in the name of public health, they conclude. “Air quality studies have demonstrated that smoking in outdoor areas such as building entrances or city streets is associated with measurable concentrations of secondhand smoke components, including nicotine and particulate matter,” said the study’s senior author Elizabeth G. Klein. “Secondhand smoke exposure can cause cardiovascular damage in as little as 30 minutes, so even small amounts of exposure, indoor or outdoor, could be a health concern,” said Klein, of the Division of Health Behavior and Health Promotion at the College of Public Health at Ohio State University in Columbus. Banning smoking in public parks also helps to “denormalize” smoking, and hopefully leads to fewer young people picking up the habit, she said. Twenty-eight U.S. states have enacted bans on smoking in all indoor public places, including bars and restaurants. In three states, New Jersey, Delaware and California, more than half the counties have a

policy designating city parks as smoke-free. New Jersey leads with more than 80 percent of counties having outdoor smoke-free policies. Seven states, on the other hand, have no such policies: Alaska, Kentucky, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nevada, Virginia and the District of Columbia. Areas with lower incomes and education levels were least likely to have smokefree policies, Klein’s team reports in Nicotine & Tobacco Research. “For some outdoor environments, like a patio, a bus stop, or a crowded beach, protection from exposure to tobacco smoke pollution is a solid rationale,” Ryan David Kennedy said. “For other environments - like parks - where exposure might be more avoidable, the reasons behind bans have had more to do with ‘social protection,’ the idea that we don’t want young people to think smoking is a socially acceptable behavior,” he said. Kennedy is a tobacco control researcher at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore and was not involved in the new study. The cities on the road to having outdoor smoking bans now were also among the first to have indoor bans, and it makes sense that policy would evolve that way, he said. “Communities that face deep economic and health disparities may not have smoke-free outdoor spaces on the top of their list, particularly if indoor restrictions are not in place,” Kennedy said.

Rawalpindi Arts Council celebrates ‘An evening, three guests’

Pervaiz Rashid pays tributes to Pindi’s rich literary traditions ZUBAIR QURESHI R AWALPINDI —Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid Wednesday spoke highly of Rawalpindi city’s rich literary and intellectual traditions saying the city’s literary personalities have always played key role in forming public opinion. “Pindi’s writers, poets and intellectuals are promoting tolerance and mutual co-existence in society which indeed is a service to the nation.” Pervaiz Rashid was speaking at a programme titled “An Evening, Three Guests” organized by Bazm-e-Ahbab-eQalm at the Rawalpindi Arts Council. “An Evening and Three Guests” is Rawalpindi Arts Council’s regular feature in which three eminent personalities are invited to speak and three different persons read papers on them. On Wednesday the guests were Farkhanda Shamim, a noted short story writer, poet and Deputy Controller (Reporting) PTV; Tahir Hanfi, a poet and additional secretary Public Accounts Committee, National Assem- Federal Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage, Senator Pervaiz Rashid addressing on the eve of bly; and Naseem A Sehar, se- a literary ceremony ‘Aik Shaam Teen Mehman’ held under Bazm-e-Ahbab-e-Qalam. nior poet who has recently returned to the country from Saudi said Pervaiz Rashid in a lighter mood. we find the reflection of our age in cient to tell us about the struggle He remembered various places where its pure form, he said. Farkhanda Shamim carried on to Arabia. Hameed Shahid while discuss- carve out her own path in a maleChairman of Pakistan Academy of writers and poets of the olden times Letters (PAL) Abdul Hameed pre- gathered and discussed one another’s ing Farkhanda Shamim’s TV docu- dominated society. Like in her stories, she has never sided over the ceremony. Short story works as well as the challenges con- mentaries and her literary narrative writer Hameed Shahid read Kausar fronting Pakistan. Those meetings called her the representative writer made a compromise at any stage in Samreen’s paper on Farkhanda over a cup of tea were indeed a source of our times. “Farkhanda is not only her life keeping her integrity intact, Shamim, writer Hameed Qaiser in his of knowledge and guidance for the a genius writer, she has also proven he said. Dr Farhat Abbas discussed elepaper discussed poetic merits of Tahir public at large and the rulers of the her talent in her documentaries on Gandhara Civilization, Senior Citi- ment of romance in Naseem A Sehar’s Hanfi and Dr Farhat Abbas read his day as well, said he. Abdul Hameed paying tributes to zens, state of women and children poetry. His short but impressive coupaper on Naseem A Sehar. plets take us to a celestial world where Pervaiz Rashid in a reminiscent the three guest poets/writers individu- in our society,” said he. He mentioned her two books there is no impurity nor hypocrisy. mood recalled the days when he was ally discussed works of each of them. In the end, Ali Asghar Samar of a student of the Gordon College. He particularly mentioned Farkhanda Maa (Mother), which is a collection “Tahir Hanfi was my college fellow Shamim who, according to him, has of poems and Matti aur Pawon (Soil Bazm-e-Ahbab and Waqar Chaudhry, and I had to listen to his poems with done a great contribution to the Urdu and Feet) which is an anthology of on behalf of Rawalpindi Arts Counempty stomach for hours and hours,” afsana (Short Story). In her stories, short stories. The books are suffi- cil thanked the guests.

Khursheed Shah calls on acting president STAFF REPORTER ISLAMABAD—Leader of the Students performing an Urdu drama in connection with Students’ Week celebrations at ICG F-6/2.

Govt gives green signal to Leh Expressway project C ITY R EPORTER R AWALPINDI—Punjab government has given green signal to initiate Leh Expressway project. Rawalpindi divisional and district administration sought details on the progress so far made on this project following the yes nod by the government for launching of this project but the administration could not obtain noteworthy details from Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA) in this respect. Rawalpindi district management has started planning to work out Nullah Leh project afresh. The management is mulling over conducting the survey of Nullah Leh again. Well placed sources said both federal and provincial government has agreed over initiating this project. Government is consider-

ing to build this project on the basis of BOT out of different packages. Proposals are under consideration to construct commercial centers and levy toll tax to generate revenue for this project. Decision to keep the

Nullah Leh covered or open will be taken following the approval of new feasibility report. It has also been decided to get conduct the survey by revenue department to determine the limits of Nullah Leh.

HEC drafts MQS manual for affiliated colleges CITY REPORTER ISLAMABAD—A meeting of experts from universities and principals of affiliated colleges was organized by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan for finalization of draft Minimum Quality Standards (MQS) Manual for affiliated colleges. The Manual contains guidelines for carrying out an objective assessment of affiliated colleges. As many as 10 principals and 18 experts from Quality Enhancement Cells of universities attended the meeting, held at HEC Regional Centre, Lahore. The Manual was finalized after incorporating suggestions and recommendations of experts. Once approved by HEC authorities, the Manual will be used as a tool for performance evaluation of colleges affiliated with universities in Pakistan. The Academics Division of HEC has been mandated to implement a component of World Bank’s Tertiary Education Support Programme (TESP) associated with College Education. The main focus of the initiative is to achieve academic excellence by improving standard of affiliated colleges through quality of teaching and learning in collaboration with HEIs and provincial authorities. The meeting was chaired by Mr. Fida Hussain, Director General (Academics), HEC. He apprised the participants of different steps taken by HEC for uplift of higher education in the country. Dr. Zahid Majeed, Assistant Professor, Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) and Dr. Tahir Ali Shah, Deputy Director (Academics) were resource person and focal person, respectively. Under MQS, different standards have been developed and each one of these articulates a specific dimension of the institutional quality. All of these standards are equally important to be met by affiliated colleges in order to improve their quality and align their undergraduate programmes with those of the affiliating universities.

opposition and chairman Public Accounts Committee in National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah called on acting president of Pakistan Ayaz Sadiq here on Wednesday. Overall situation in the country was discussed during the meeting. Both the leaders had a consensus that all the political parties were on the same page on important national issues of the country and they will never spare any sacrifice for this cause. Syed Khursheed Ahmad Shah briefed the acting president about the progress of Public Accounts Committee. He also congratulated the Ayaz Sadiq on assuming the charge of the acting president.

CDA demolishes 14 illegal bus, van stands C ITY R EPORTER I SLAMABAD —In compliance with the orders of Islamabad High Court, the Capital Develpment Authority (CDA) on Wednesday demolished 14 illegal, bus and wagon stands operating at Faizabad and Mandi Mor. Officials of the Enforcement Directorate of CDA and Islamabad Police participated in the operation against encroachers, while the Senior Superintendent of Islamabad Police and Assistant Commissioner were also present. President of Islamabad Transporters and Passengers Welfare Association, Irfan Khan Niazi alleged that the CDA did not give them any notice prior to launching the operation. He claimed that following the court’s directives the bus and van owners were shifting their stands elsewhere. He said that transporters were facing

the bus stand problem due to the non-implementation of bus the stand project in Sector I-11 by the CDA. He claimed that 164 kanals of land had been allocated in 2003 for shifting of these bus stands. Irfan claimed that CDA had announced to build bus stands in Sector I-11/4 in 2011 and then allot them through open bidding. But that project never materialised, he added. He said that the transpoerters association sent its last reminder to the CDA on January 30, 2013 for implementation of this project. He claimed that only three bus stands in the federal capital possessed no objection certificate: Skyways, Blue Lines and Raja Travels. He said that there was a contradiction between the CDA’s reports and Regional Transport Authority regarding the legality of the many bus stands operating in the federal capital.

TMA launches operation to remove banners STAFF REPORTER RAWALPINDI—Tehsil Municipal Administration of Rawal Town here Wednesday removed all kinds of banners in a bid to clean the city. The administrations of all the towns of the district have started special campaign to remove all political, religious banners and posters, on the special directive of District Coordination Officer Rawalpindi, Sajid Zafar Dal. The Administrator Rawal Town has constituted special teams and he along with the Town Officer visited main roads of the city and issued strict orders that for removing banners and posters of all kind. The administrator said the city would be made clean, he added it is our collective responsibility to ensure a clean environment in our surroundings.

Pakistan shines thru Adventure Diplomacy

Sister, brother conquering seven world peaks A SHRAF A NSARI I S L A M A B A D —It was a unique diplomatic function. The diplomats gracing the occasion were not in pursuit of political diplomacy nor was economic or trade diplomacy the high mark. A new genre of diplomacy was at work. Two young Pakistanis, sister and brother are on world tour to conquer seven main peaks in various parts of the world. Samina has conquered the highest peak of the world Mount Everest and three other peaks. Her brother Mirza has conquered three major peaks but not yet Mount Everest. The two have resolved to complete the tally of seven as soon as possible. Ambassador Rodolfo Martin Saravia of Argentine who is Dean Diplo-

Ambassador of US Richard G. Olson, Ambassador of Argentina Rodolfo Martin Saravia, Wiqarunnisa Boolani and Aziz Boolani- CEO Serena Hotel, , Diana MacArthur, Mountaineer Nazir Sabir,Mirza Ali Baig, Samina and others during the reception to honor Pakistani Mountaineers on their successful Summit of Mount Aconcagua (6962m), Mount Vinson Massif (4892m) and Mount Kilimanjaro (5895m).—PO photo by Sultan Bashir

matic Corps arranged a reception to honour the mountaineering icons, sister and brother. Ambassador Richard Olson of United States, Ambassador Cyrill Nunn of Germany, Swiss Ambassador and ambassadors of several other countries attended the reception. The Serena Hotel collaborated with the Argentine Embassy in holding of the reception. Addressing the reception, Ambassador Saravia highly appreciated the spirit of two young Pakistani mountaineers. He said adventure diplomacy would greatly contribute to promoting understanding and good will at world level. Samina and Mirza also addressed the reception. They said the main purpose of their adventure was to promote soft image of Pakistan.

Students advised to cash their potential, extraordinary qualities to set higher educational goals OBSERVER R EPORT Fajar Zohr Asr

06:10 01:30 04:15

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

February 22 LAUNCHING ceremony of a book titled ‘Josh Malihabadi: Malihabad Se Islamabad Tek Rodad-eSafar, Mulazmaten and Qiyamgahein’ by Farrukh Jamal Malihabadi, the grandson of Josh Malihabadi, to be chaired by Professor Fateh Muhammad Malik, chef guests: Federal Minister Infor-mation, Broadcasting and National Heri-tage Senator Pervaiz Rashid and poet Dr. Maqsood Jafri, at the Rawalpindi Cultural Complex, Shamsabad, Murree road, Rawalpindi, 3 p.m. February 23 Al Basira Islamabad to arrange a book launching Haji Syed Muhammad Abbas Naqvi’s poetry collection “Arooj e Pehan” at Islamabad Hotel. Dr. Ghazanfar Mehdi will chair the ceremony.

Two killed as car veers off flyover in city I SLAMABAD —Two persons were killed when a car veered off a flyover near Rawal Dam spillway in here on Wednesday. Four people were in the car when the accident occurred. Two of them jumped out of the car before it hit the ground and survived the crash. The car fell around 20-feet and caught fire as it made impact with the ground. The two remaining people in the car were burned to death in the fire. Rescue 1122 emergency service employees arrived at the scene.—INP

Imposition of bar tax protested STAFF REPORTER ISLAMABAD —Citizens particularly clients have voiced strong protest over District Bar Association Islamabad (DBAI) decision on imposition of bar tax on every new case to be filed in the courts. DBAI has sent letters to all the district courts that ticket amounting to Rs 100 will be affixed from its side with every new case to be filed from now onwards. The clients said that they have to pay heavy amount on account of court stamps fee and hefty fee of lawyers in every case. The bar tax is a tyrannical levy and is extortion of money in every way, they added. The citizens have appealed to DBAI to withdraw its decision of charging bar tax to them.

ISLAMABAD—The CAS Annual Award Ceremony of Fazaia Schools and Colleges was held at Aftab Auditorium, Fazaia Inter College, Islamabad today. Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt, Chief of the Air Staff, Pakistan Air Force, was the Chief Guest on the occasion. The Chief Guest awarded merit certificates, cash prizes, medals and trophies to students, Headmistresses and Principals in recognition of their outstanding performance in academic pursuits. While addressing the audience, the chief guest expressed his satisfaction over the steps taken by the PAF Training Branch to improve the quality of education and impart the spirit of compassion at Fazaia institutions.

Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt, Chief of the Air Staff with students during annual CAS award ceremony of Fazaia Schools and Colleges at the Air Headquarters.

Baligh pays surprise visit to BECS schools STAFF REPORTER ISLAMABAD—Minister of State for Education, Training and Standards in Higher Education Muhammad Baligh-Ur-Rehman carried out surprise visit of Basic Education Community School (BECS), Trimna village, Chattar and Muslim Colony Kachi Abadi, Islamabad. The minister expressed his satisfaction on running of non-formal schools in backward areas. He asked questions from the students and teachers to assess the educational abilities of the students, said a press release. He also met the community members and sought their feedback on the performance of these schools. Baligh-Ur-Rehman appreciated the commitment and hard work put in by the teachers and

staff of BECS, despite the difficult conditions. He assured the students and teachers of BECS of his support and reiterated that the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) government is fully committed to the cause of education and will leave no stone unturn to provide education particularly to the backward areas to ensure social equity. He directed the ministry officials and Director General BECS to urgently resolve the issues of release of funds and honorarium for teachers from concerned authorities. He expressed the opinion that BECS nonformal schools play a vital role in ensuring that no child remains out of school and noted that BECS has shown marked improvement. He expressed the hope that they will further improve their quality and outreach in close co-ordination with the community.

Beggary-cum-robbery incidents rapidly rising in twin cities

Restriction on overcharging of Atta bags STAFF REPORTER RAWALPINDI—Punjab Food department has imposed restriction on overcharging of 20kg Atta bags in different names like Special Atta and Fine Atta. Punjab govt. has issued an ordinance to sell 25kg Atta bags instead of 20kg in silver grey colour to protect citizens from fraud Deputy Director Food Ch. Muhammad Ajmal has warned the citizens that they should pay Rs.765 rupees per bag if they buy 20kg Atta bag from the flourmill gate as govt. has fixed Rs.765 rupees on special sale points. Special sale points are managed in 3 days of a week where Atta will be sold on fixed price. Citizens should take facility from this opportunity and not pay more than fixed price, he stated.

He urged the teachers to realise their role as mentors of the youth and builders of the nation. He also advised the students that they must cash upon their immense potential and extraordinary qualities to set higher educational goals for themselves. Besides, felicitating the prize winners, the Chief Guest also appreciated the efforts being put in by all concerned to improve the infrastructure and other facilities at Fazaia schools and colleges. Earlier, on his arrival, the Air Chief was received by Air Vice Marshal Saeed Muhammad Khan, Deputy Chief of the Air Staff (Training). The Award Ceremony was followed by a colourful talent show presented by students from various Fazaia Colleges.

Queues at CNG stations causing traffic jams STAFF REPORTER I SLAMABAD —The Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) filling stations in the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi are witnessing queues of vehicles these days which causes jams, thus hampering smooth traffic flow. The queues can be witnessed at certain places especially at filling stations situated on one of the twin cities’ main roads of IJP, causing inconvenience and traffic jams for commuters as the filling stations are operating for three days a week. “Though these vehicles queues cause inconvenience for commuters but we are happy to see reopening of CNG stations as people cannot afford to run vehicle on petrol,” Munwar Hussain a taxi driver said.

The CNG association’s supreme council Chairman Ghyias Paracha told media the court had ordered for reopening of 90 percent of the CNG stations. He said that CNG sector had only one option to run their business with gas while other sectors had other options. Despite priority for domestic consumers in gas supply, residents of twin cities have been facing low pressure at certain localities. “Our life is miserable, we cannot cook anything at homes, our routine is affected badly, how to send our children to schools without breakfast”, said a housewife in Siddiqabad, Ms Zahaanat Bibi. The government should take measure for rectifying the low gas issue on urgent basis, she added.

She said residents had to stand in queues to get food from restaurants and Tandoors during breakfast and dinner times. Similarly, another resident Zahid Kamal of Shamsabad said the low gas pressure had multiplied for people in certain areas, compelling them to use firewood or LPG to fulfill their household chores. “ Our routine is badly affected due to the low pressure of gas, especially at early morning hours and in the evening when the pressure is reduced to minimum,” he observed. Ahmed Ali Khan resident of G7 said it was really annoying when everyone was in hurry to start their daily activities in the morning but could not get the breakfast ready on time due to low gas pressure.

ISLAMABAD—Beggars after becoming a source of Sector G/9-1, Islamabad. irritation for masses have now started applying themselves in anti-state activities as the incidents of beggary-cum-robbery are rapidly growing in the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi. Groups of beggars mostly women, children and old men, are seen in the markets, shopping malls, signals and streets of the twin cities to grab charity by using different tactics. But the matter of concern for locals is the ability of these beggars to do effective spying leading to different incident of thefts and robberies. A number of such incidents have been reported in the twin cities where the beggars forcefully entered into the house while begging and did robbery. “Yes this is a reality that criminal elements have entered into this field not only hijacking the right of deserving ones but also giving a bad name to the whole community,” said Anwar Ali, a resident of

Talking to APP, he said three to four incidents had been reported in his area where the robbers in disguise of beggars,robbed the house while begging. The local administrations need to take further steps to control these incidents or at least have a proper check on the persons associated with the field. “The concept of beggary has now emerged as a business as mostly the general public believes that there is a strong mafia behind the beggars,” said Arshad Javed, a resident of sector G/11-3. He said the city administration had a number of times launched an operation against these beggars but in vain. It is pertinent to mention that two anti-beggar squads had been established to curb this menace arresting a large number of beggars but this problem seemed to be far more stronger than anticipated as the beggars get acquitted within no time due to unknown reasons.—APP

NAB chief for strengthening of SOPs for investigation STAFF REPORTER ISLAMABAD—Qamar Zaman Chaudhry, Chairman NAB instructed that the concept of Combined Investigation Team (CIT) for the important cases should be strengthened and new Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for the investigation and prosecution will be issued to facilitate working and to bring uniformity in carrying out inquires, investigations and prosecution.

With sincerity and integrity of purpose, the revised SOPs will help minimize discretion and ensure transparency, he aid this while interacting with the participants of “Master Trainers Programme” under progress at NAB Headquarters. Chairman exhorted investigators and prosecutors to improve their skills and ensure uniformity of pattern of working across all the Regional Bureaus to help improve efficiency of the premier anti-

corruption watchdog. By making the training a regular feature, the Bureau will be implementing well thought out procedures to boost the efforts against corruption. He emphasized the need for providing better training opportunities to the newly inducted investigators who have been deputed to the Regions after their initial training. The Master Trainers will help them in learning the techniques and skills.

Sanaullah Aman, Member Engineering and Environment, CDA, and others leading a walk held in connection with Authority’s ‘clean and green Islamabad’ drive.

Non-functional traffic signals in Pindi causing roads jams CITY REPORTER R AWALPINDI —Non-func-

Rescue 1122 workers participating in different activities during the mock drill.

tional traffic signals are causing worst traffic jams in Rawalpindi. Most traffic signals in the city, especially at Benazir Bhutto Road, Saidpur Road, Airport Road and Rawal Road are out of order. Worst traffic jams were witnessed on various roads, including Benazir Bhutto Road, Saidpur Road, City Saddar Road, Dhoke Hassu Road, Kashmiri Bazaar, Gawalmandi Road, GTS Chowk, Tipu Road, Bhabra Bazaar, China Market, College Road, Iqbal Road, Ganjmandi Road, Bagh Sardaran Road, Chah Sultan Road, Dingi Khoi Road, Pirwadhai Road, Satellite Town Road, Airport Road, Mall Road, Bank Road, Chungi No. 22 Road, Adiala Road and Waris Khan Road. Most roads were without traffic wardens and wherever they were present they seemed helpless in controlling the traffic mess. The citizens have urged the concerned authorities to take solid steps to avoid traffic jams.

Overflowing drain creating problem for pedestrians R AWALPINDI —The main drain of Rahe turned a blind eye to it. He complained that little Amen linking it to Adiala Road is overflowing for the last several days and repeated requests by the area residents to the Chaklala Cantonment authorities have fallen on deaf ears. The overflowing is not only creating problems for the students who walk down to school but hampering smooth flow of traffic besides breaking up the road. Sardar Ali, a resident talking to APP said it had become a routine affair that the drains in the area kept overflowing and the CCB staff

sweeping was being done upto Khawaja Corporation Chowk and the bazaar area presented a pathetic look. Inviting attention of the CCB high-ups and the residents of Askari 13, 14 and nearby colonies have demanded action against those negligent of their duties. The area motorists have also called upon the authorities concerned to take steps for the timely repair of the road which had broken up at a number of places due to recent rains and the load it bears.—APP

47 lawbreakers, including 13 POs, three court absconders netted RAWALPINDI—Rawalpindi Police on Wednes- Mahroof Shah, Abdul Rehman and Muzhar were day claimed to have arrested 31 outlaws, 13 Proclaimed Offenders (POs) and three court absconders besides recovering 350 grams charras, 268 bottles of liquor, 20 liter wine, seven pistols 30 bore with 36 rounds, dagger, a stolen Honda City car and other items from the possession of the accused. According to details, three accused namely Arshad, Nadeem and Izat were held for having drugs while bootleggers identified as Gul, Shahid, Murad, Zubair, Shahid, Rashid, Raja Khan and Muzhar were sent behind the bars for possessing liquor bottles. Owais Haider, Yasir, Abdul Manan, Kamran Gul, Amir Waqas,

netted for carrying illegal weapons. Meanwhile, Naseerabad police held Sultan and recovered a stolen Honda City car bearing registration number LXN-8651 from his possession. Bunni police apprehended Gul Khan and Fazal Ghani as they were involved in illegal LGP decanting while Civil Line police nabbed Akbar and Afzal for running an illegal petrol agency. Waris Khan police, Naseer Abad, Kotli Sattian, Gular Khan, Bunni, Sadiqabad, Westridge and Rawat Police under search operation conducted raids and held 13 POs and one court absconders. —APP

Protection of martyrs’ sacrifices our responsibility: Mirwaiz S RINAGAR —Paying rich tributes to Muhammad Shafi Sheikh of Seelu, Sopore, who was recently slain, the Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said it was the collective responsibility of the people and leadership to protect the sacrifices of martyrs and take their mission forward to its logical end. “It is important that people should show resolve and complete commitment towards the freedom struggle,” a spokesman of the Hurriyat quoted Mirwaiz as saying. Meanwhile, two senior Hurriyat leaders, Zaffar Akbar Bhat and Hakim Abdul Rashid along with other leaders visited the

ISLAMABAD: AJK President Sardar Yaqoob presenting shield to Lord Mayor of Manchester Naeem Ul Hassan. AJK Women Development Minister Farzana Yaqoob and Deputy Lord Mayor Afzal Khan also present.

LOC trade resumes today SRINAGAR—After remaining suspended for over a month following the arrest of a Pakistani driver, the Cross-Loc Trade between the two divided parts of Kashmir will start from Thursday, officials here said. A high level meeting was conducted at the Kaman Post on the LoC on Tuesday afternoon between the officials of the two sides in which it was decided to resume the cross-LoC trade from Thursday, they said. From the Pak side, the delegation was led by Trade Facilitation Officer Basharat Ahmad. Liaison Officer and Custodian Showkat Ahmad, and Avtar Singh led the delegation from Indian side. The meeting continued for over an hour. “The meeting was held at Zero Point. It was decided that the trade will commence from Thursday,” Liaison Officer, Showkat Ahmad said. In the meeting, he said, it was also decided that the trucks will only be allowed to carry 8 ton of weight. He said two sides decided to take up with higher authorities the issue of installing full body scanners at the TFC for better scrutiny. However, on February 12, the officials of both the sides agreed to allow the stranded drivers to return to their respective destinations ending the standoff.—Agencies

Court grants bail to ‘molester’ Shabir SRINAGAR—A former minister in Jammu and Kashmir accused of molesting a senior woman doctor was granted bail by the high court here. Former MoS Health Shabir Ahmad Khan, who was attended the budget session, had appeared before the police on February 13 after court directed him to get his statement recorded before the investigating officer probing the molestation allegations against him. Khan had submitted his resignation to chief minister Omar Abdullah on February 8. A case was registered by the police under Sec 354 RPC (assault or criminal force on a woman with the intention to outrage her modesty) and Section 509 RPC (word, gesture or act intended to outrage the modesty of a woman).—Agencies

Indian Govt, SC treating Kashmiris differently ISLAMABAD—Noted human rights activist and writer, Gautam Navlakha has said the difference between the secret execution of Muhammad Afzal Guru and the latest verdict of Indian Supreme Court to commute the Rajiv Gandhi assassin’s capital punishment into life imprisonment is that the Kashmiris are a suppressed nationality where as that is not the case with Tamils and Sikhs. Gautam Navlakha in a media interview with a Srinagar-based daily said, in case of Afzal Guru, “It was not Afzal’s religion but assertion of majoritarian Hindu nationalism that predominated,”. He said, “Despite the summer uprisings in Kashmir in 2008 and 2010, it was triumphalism on display from Government of India’s side to hang Afzal Guru to remind the Kashmiri people that New Delhi does not care for their concern, not even for something where there was enough evidence.”—APP

India utilizes misappropriated tactics to silence Kashmir people’s voice JAMMU—People’s Democratic Party president bench headed by Chief Justice P. Sathasivam Mehbooba Mufti has said that there is no doubt in the fact that people of Kashmir have a feeling that India applies different laws to tackle with them. Reacting to the Supreme Court’s verdict on the killers of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, Mehbooba Mufti said the decision has made the people of Kashmir realize that laws were completely different for Kashmir and for the country. “By this decision, the Supreme Court has once again made the people of Jammu and Kashmir realize that there is a separate law for Kashmir and the rest of the country. I think they are now sure that they have always been discriminated against be it on any issue,” said Mufti. She said that the Supreme Court hanged Muhammad Afzal Guroo to ‘satisfy the collective conscience of Indain’. She said that there were many things which were unexplained and unanswered and there were not much evidence against Kashmiri youth Muhammad Afzal Guroo. “The same should have been done in Afzal Guru’s case. Had the same been done in that case, things would have been different in Kashmir today”, she said. Earlier, the Supreme Court of India has commuted the death sentence to the three assassins of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi to life imprisonment, holding that the 11-year long delay in deciding their mercy petition had a dehumanising effect on them. The apex court

said that the delay was not only inordinate but also unreasonable and unexplained. The court said that life imprisonment would mean life in jail till end. Gandhi was killed in 1991. His assassins were convicted by a TADA court in January 1998 and were awarded death sentence, which was confirmed by the apex court May 11, 1999. The three assassins - V. Sriharan alias Murugan, A.G. Perarivlan alias Arivu and T. Suthendraraja alias Santhan - sought the commutation of their death sentence to life imprisonment on account of the inordinate delay of nearly 11-years in deciding their mercy petitions. The court while commuting the death sentence rejected the contentions advanced by Attorney General G.E. Vahanvati on behalf of the central government. The court said that though there is no time limit given in deciding the mercy petition by the president, but it was incumbent upon the government to decide the same at the earliest. The court said this should be included as an additional criteria amongst the several government has already issued. While rejecting the government’s contention that it was incumbent upon the death row convicts to prove that they have suffered torture and dehumanisation during the pendency of the mercy petition, the court said there is nothing in Indian law and international law that puts the burden of proving torture and dehumanising condition on the death row convicts.—NNI

Tufail’s family hopeful yet skeptical about justice SRINAGAR—The recent High Court order of re- gation to conceal certain officials. investigation into the killing of teenager Tufail Matto may have given hope to his family, yet they are skeptical about getting justice. The family, after struggling for justice for four years, has lost faith on the government and its investigation agencies. They say, the incompetent personnel involved in the investigation; giving misleading information to court, has made them cynical about results. “The order of the court has given us hope, but at the same time we are skeptical about the whole investigation process keeping in view our past experience,” said Ashraf Matto, father of Tufail Matto. The investigation of the case was carried by SIT and in November 2012, it filed the final report before High Court, closing the case as “untraced”. On February 15, 2014 the high court ordered fresh investigation into the killing of Tufail Matto that took place in 2010. The court observed that attempt was made during investi-

“The SIT headed by Superintendent of Police has consumed unreasonably good period in concluding the investigation for which no doubt explanation was tendered, but from the status/ closure report now submitted before the court, it appears that the matter has not been investigated in the direction it should have been done,” the court said. Ashraf said there have been several flaws in the previous investigation during which attempt were made to shield officials. “We have incompetent people investigating the case. They give misleading information to court. And court decides on basis of this information.” He says it is the responsibility of the government, more particularly of Chief Minister, to appoint credible people for investigation. Lashing out at Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, he said the former Chief Minister of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal sacrificed his chair for people, “but our CM sacrificed 120 innocents for his chair.”—NNI

Masarrat sent to Baramulla jail ISLAMABAD—The incarcerated Muslim League Jammu Kashmir leader, Masarrat Aalam Butt was shifted back to District Jail, Barmulla in Indian occupied Kashmir on judicial remand. Masarrat Aalam Butt was presented before a court, which granted seven days judicial remand to him in connection with a false case registered against him at police station Nowhatta in Srinagar,. Condemning the continued detention of its leader, Muslim League General Secretary Abdul Ahad Parra said Aalam was implicated in dozens of false cases.

“After the directions of Supreme Court of India to the puppet authorities not to slap (repeated) PSA on Masarrat on similar grounds, the authorities are now framing him in false cases and illegally detaining him in different police stations by ensuring that he does not receive bail in any case framed against him,” Parra added. Earlier, he was lodged in Srinagar Central Jail on judicial remand for 12 days and shifted to Baramulla jail on February 8,” said the Muslim League chief spokesman Muhammad Rafiq Ganai in a statement.—APP

APHC leaders Javaid Ahmad Mir, Syed Bashir Andrabi and others protesting in Srinagar against dichotomy of Indian judicial system and New Delhi’s illegal occupation of Jammu and Kashmir.

Killers of Kashmiris can’t evade punishment

house of the martyr. Meanwhile, Mirwaiz has expressed his deep shock and regret over the loss of lives in a traffic accident on Srinagar-Jammu highway. Stressing upon the need of providing medical treatment to the injured, Mirwaiz prayed for their speedy recovery. On the other hand, Mirwaiz condemned the authorities’ failure to conduct investigation into the disgracing of women by Indian paratroopers during frisking at a gate of Central Jail in Srinagar, has led the detainees to resume strike against the action. The inmates are demanding the removal of Indian Central Reserve Police

Force personnel, deployed at the jail gate. Mirwaiz Sahib usually gets tough times by the hands of Indian Army in the valley but such action committed against him only motivate him to keep people united against Indian Army illegal occupation, Mir Sahib efforts are well acknowledged by not only his colleagues but also people of world. Mirwaiz has also expressed his condolences over the death of Saadudin Geelani of Naran, Baramulla, father of Syed Nazir Geelani, secretary General of Jammu Kashmir Commission for Human Rights.—NNI

UK Border Agency urged to close down bogus colleges

SRINAGAR—The chairman of Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) Muhammad Yasin Malik has said the “killers of Kashmiris cannot evade punishment and will have to face the justice.” “Kashmiri don’t care what Antony (Defence Minister) or anybody else thinks. We will not let our protest rest till the accused in Pathribal are brought to justice,” said Malik. He was reacting to the media reports that Defense Minister A K Antony is against reopening the case against five Indian army officers who have been charged with killing six Kashmiris in fake encounter at Pathribal in 2000. Yasin Malik, who left for Jammu to attend a court case there, said, “The Indian army’s decision of giving clean chit to accused officers in Pathribal massacre and now reports of Defense Minister being against reopening the case is all part of New Delhi’s oppressive attitude towards the people of Jammu Kashmir.” Yasin Malik said JKLF would deliberate upon this issue and soon issue a comprehensive protest programme against New Delhi’s “oppressive behavior.” “After the massacre of Pathribal on March 26, 2000, in which Indian army killed 7 innocents after abducting them from their houses and dubbed them as foreign militants. Even the prime Indian investigation agency CBI told Supreme Court of India that their investigations have revealed it was a fake encounter and cold blooded murders,” said Yasin Malik. This denial of justice and shielding killers and murderers is not new as army and Indian rulers before this also shielded the killers and criminals involved in Gaw Kadal, Sopore, Handwara, Bijbihara, Kawdara, Tengpora, Zakura, Bandipora, Poonch, Baderwah massacres and Kunan Poshpora like crimes,” Malik said.—NNI

175.64 acres under army’s unauthorized occupation at Gulmarg

Pakistan-origin students future at peril RAO ATIQ UL AMIN KHAN MIRPUR—The Pakistan-origin students including those hailing from AJK, getting studies in a college in British Walsal city have demanded of the United Kingdom Border Agency to move for getting certain bogus colleges closed down as they are allegedly playing with the future of the students thus bringing the bad name for UK standard education. Some of the affected students of a Walsal college have accused the management of the College of professional education of exploiting the students mere for the accomplishment of their vested monetary benefits. A message reaching here to the local media from Walsal city on Tuesday from the affected students alleged that a number of foreignorigin students including those hailing from Pakistan and Azad Jammu & Kashmir were being exploited by the management of a Walsal city college mere for meeting their monetary ends. Students, studying in various disciplines including business management, health and care management alleged in the message, with condition of anonymity that it has become a permanent feature of the college’s management that it

use to demand money in form of tuition and other fees after every few months but does not provide the required studies / course and lectures. “The affected foreign students feel themselves much worried and upset as they are also allegedly being forced by the college management to face the inspections on short notices. The students further maintained that since they were not being taught the required education against the courses, in which they had got admission, and resultantly falling unaware of their courses, they do not know what will happen with them as if they will decline to pay money in form of fee in response to the demand of the college which will, indeed, report to the United Kingdom Border Agency”, the message said. “Students are not allowed to work (as part time job under prevalent rules) but still they have to manage money from their parents from concerned home countries to pay to the college for nothing”, they pointed out in the mess sate. The students urged United Kingdom Border Agency to move for getting such bogus / colleges closed down as they are playing with the future of the students thus bringing the bad name for UK standard education.

MUZAFFARABAD: Affectees of Patrind Hydropower Project protesting for acceptance of their demands.

Salah-ud-din pitches for unity among pro freedom groups

New Delhi treats Kashmiris as cattle: Tabassum

SRINAGAR—Hizbul Mujhadeen Supreme Commander Syed ISLAMABAD—The widow of Muhammad Afzal Guru, de-

Wednesday appealed to different separatist groups SRINAGAR—The state gov- Salahudin having same political ideology to get united in the interest of scribing his husband’s hanging ernment has constituted a high level committee to work out modalities for transfer of 175.64 acres of land which is under an unauthorized occupation of army at Gulmarg. In a written response to a query asked by Naeem Akhtar, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) MLC the minister incharge home has said that the land at Gulmarg will be exchanged for Toto ground Batmaloo. “There is no proposal for allotment of more land to defense ministry in Affarwat area for construction of concrete defense road from Gulmarg to Affarwat peak. However, a high level committee has been constituted vide government order number 136-GAD of 2014 dated 3-22014 inter allia to work out the modalities for transfer of 175.64 acres of land which is under the unauthorized occupation of army at Gulmarg in lieu of the land to be exchanged for Tattoo ground Batmaloo,” reads the government response to Akhter’s question. The PDP MLC had asked the government about the area of land allotted to army at Gulmarg to which the government has said that in pursuant to administrative council decision number 139 dated 22-111991, 130 acres of land has been transferred to army at Gulmarg by tourism department vide government order number 107TSH of 1991 dated 11-12-1991 subject to certain terms and conditions.—NNI

Kashmir Freedom struggle against India. In a statement, Hizb spokesperson, Salim Hashmi said that Syed Salahudin while addressing the Hizb Command Council said that unity is the need of the hour and all the groups having same political ideology should get united in the interest of those martyrs who laid down their lives to get rid from Indian occupation. Syed Salahudin said that time has come that black sheep present in different separatist groups should be exposed and shown door. “People have sacrificed their precious lives for this sacred freedom movement while more than seven lakh Army troopers failed to suppress this movement and quell the sentiments of people,” he said. Appealing people of Kashmir to boycott the upcoming Parliament and Assembly elections, Syed Salhaudin said that India is using election card to defame the ongoing freedom movement in Kashmir. He appealed the Pakistani establishment to continue supporting Kashmir cause on political, moral, social and political front. Hizbul Mujhadeen paid rich tributes to Wasim Ahmed son of Muhammad yousuf resident Dugripora Pulwama, Ajaz Ahmed Bhat son of Jalaudin resident of Charsoo Awantipora, Javid Ahmed Mir aka javid Salfi of Bulbal Nowgam, Muhammad Shafi aka Rashid son of Muhammad Maqbool Mir resident of Mirzalora Sopore who laid their lives while fighting with Indian troopers.—Agencies

Indian Army killings trigger violent clashes in Chrar-e-Sharief SRINAGAR—Violent clashes broke out at Dalwan area of Charare-Sharief in central Kashmir’s Budgam district on Wednesday after army claimed to have killed an unidentified militant in an encounter. Officials told that an army party was moving towards village Dalwan in Chrar-e-Sharief this afternoon when it came under fire from the militants. In the retaliatory fire one unidentified gunman got killed. “From his possession, one SLR, one Pouch, 4 magazines, 13 rounds, one grenade and PAN Card was recovered,” Srinagar based, army spokesman in a statement issued late evening said. The spokesman said that the PAN card identifies the slain as Tauseef Ahmad Dar son of Ghulam Hassan of Pulwama. “The police party has taken took the possession of the body and is trying to ascertain the identity of the body,” the spokesman added.—Agencies

as India’s collective shame,in Indian occupied Kashmir The verdict of Indian Supreme Court regarding Rajiv Gandhi’s killers has made it clear that New Delhi is treating Kashmir’s as cattle. Tabasum Guru, the widow of Muhammad Afzal Guru while reacting to the Supreme Court’s verdict on the assassins of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, told media that her husband was a victim of collective conscience of Indian society. She said that hanging of Afzal Guru was a blot on justice because it was done on the basis of conscience rather than available evidences, facts and other considerations. “Today I want to ask to the Supreme Court why it strangulated justice and hurriedly pronounced its biased verdict. Today it has become clear that that India is governed by two different laws and this country is using its self-made and biased laws to punish Kashmiri people for the crime which they never commit,” she said. “Supreme Court, Government of India and its people were satisfied after hanging my husband who was innocent. It is irony that soon after the execution of my husband in Tihar Jail, the India’s highest court commuted the death sentences of many convicts into life term while it also said that there should be no repeat of Afzal Guru like execution,” she deplored.—APP

Pakistan to help Afghanistan in cotton production

ISE-10 index witnessed bearish trend ISLAMABAD —Islamabad Stock Exchange witnessed bearish trend here on Wednesday as the ISE-10 index was down by 39.87 points and closed at 4487.53 points. A total of 375,700 shares were traded, which were up by 209,500 shares when compared with previous day’s trading of 166,200 shares. Out of 150 companies, share prices of 54 companies recorded increase while share prices of 96 companies registered decrease where as no company remained stable in today’s trading. The share price of Blessed Textile increased by Rs. 10.87 per share while the share prices of Murree Brewery decreased by Rs. 31.85 per share. P.I.A, Lafrage Pakistan Cement and Fauji Fertilizer Bin Qasim remained the top trading companies in Wednesday’s trading with 200,000, 95,000 and 78,000 shares respectively.—APP

Rates for conversion 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 February 20, 2014. The rates are U.S. Dollar Rs 104.8845, Japanese Yen Rs 1.0269, Pound Sterling Rs 174.9788 and Euro Rs 144.2267.—APP

Ratings of FHBM KARACHI—JCR-VIS Credit Rating Company Limited has placed the entity ratings of First Habib Bank Modaraba (FHBM) of ‘AA/ A-1+’ (Double A Minus/ A-One Plus) under ‘Rating Watch - Developing status. The rating action has been taken in view of the announcement made by the Board of Directors of Habib Bank Financial Services (Pvt) Limited (HBFSL), managers of FHBM, for voluntary winding up of FHBM, At end- Sep 2013, FHBM had an asset and equity base of Rs 898 million and Rs 675 million, respectively. The modaraba posted net profit of Rs 63 million in FY13 and Rs 16 million in 1QFY14. For further information on this rating announcement, please contact (Ext: 408) or Sobia Maqbool, CFA (Ext: 604) at 021-35311861-70 or fax to 021-35311873.—APP

The superior man understands what is right; the inferior man understands what will sell. —Confucius

ISLAMABAD: Federal Finance Minister, Senator Muhammad Ishaq Dar and Chairperson Prime Minister’s Youth Programme, Maryam Nawaz Sharif chaired a meeting on Prime Minister’s Youth Programme at Prime Minister’s House.

APTMA welcomes restoration of gas supply

Govt decides to restore gas supply to export-oriented industry: Dar I S L A M A B A D —The government has decided to restore the supply of gas to export-oriented industry from February 21 which will be continue for next 15 days. The decision was taken during a meeting, headed by Federal Minister for Finance Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar on Wednesday. The meeting was attended by Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Managing Director SNGPL and senior officials from Ministry of Petroleum and Ministry of Finance. The meeting participants reviewed the existing provision of gas to exportoriented industry and noted that with improved weather conditions, a revised gas load management plan was possible which enabled the SNGPL to restore gas supply to industry from February 21 onward, for fifteen days. The decision was taken to re-address the national economic growth related issues which did have sizeable contribution from export-oriented industry in the country. The SNGPL management briefed the Minister that with improved weather conditions and availability of demand driven savings, it was possible for the company to ensure restoration of gas supply to the export-oriented industry from next Friday.

Meanwhile all Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Punjab) Chairman S.M. Tanveer Wednesday welcomed restoration of gas supply to textile mills from February 21, saying that it would boost industry confidence in government policies. In a media briefing at APTMA House here, he said the Association leadership represented the textile industry case to Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Federal Minister for Petroleum & Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, who took this vital decision. He said restoration of six-hour a day gas supply would bring impaired capacity back to operations. S.M. Tanveer paid special thanks to Prime Minister, Punjab Chief Minister, Finance Minister and Federal Minister Petroleum & Natural Resources for enabling the Punjab-based textile industry to operate smoothly ahead. Already, he said, the textile exports had increased by $220 million in December 2013. He also appreciated the role of MNA Pervez Malik for his coordination and efforts in this regard. He mentioned that gas supply to textile mills was suspended on February 16 till further notice, leading to one shift closure of the mills.—APP

Talks with sugar mills underway for 200mw electricity: Abid Sher M ULTAN —State Minister for Water and alists and said that he had issued direcPower Abid Sher Ali on Wednesday said they were holding talks with 25 sugar mills to add 2,000-megawatt electricity to national grid. Addressing a press conference at MEPCO Headquarters here on Wednesday, he said there were 106 sugar mills in the country and currently talks with 25 sugar mills were in progress to get electricity. He said the incumbent government was taking various initiatives on war footing to overcome energy crisis and added that 1,500 to 2,000 megawatt electricity would be added to the system till the end of this year. The Minister said that drive against “kunda culture” was being launched without any discrimination and urged the Parliamentarians to extend cooperation in this connection for providing electricity on cheaper rates to consumers. He termed power pilferage ‘terrorism’ with domestic consumers and industri-

tions to the officials concerned for transformers removal of the feeders with high losses. The State Minister said the government was providing Rs 300 billion in the shape of subsidy while electricity of about Rs 250 to Rs 300 billion was being pilfered annually across the country. To a question, Abid stated that nonbailable offence, two to three year imprisonment and Rs 1.5 million fine could be imposed to the power pilferers. To another question, he said that 1.1 per cent line loses had reduced across the MEPCO during last two months. Later, the State Minister issued suspension orders of SDO Hassan Parwana sub-division, Arshad Munir on various complaints against him. Present on the occasion were MNA Abdul Rehman Kanju, PML-N leader Shahid-ul-Hassan, CEO MEPCO Abdul Rasheed Tariq and others.—APP

I SLAMABAD —Pakistan will help Afghanistan in cotton production and facilitate it for cotton processing to fulfill its domestic requirements. This was stated by Federal Secretary Ministry of Textile industry Division, Rukhsana Shah while talking to a Afghan delegation who called on her here Wednesday. The six-member delegation comprising officials from the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock Government of Afghanistan and private cotton processors visited Pakistan. The delegation took keen interest in Pakistan cotton crop production technology, value addition, ginning facilities and capacity building for field staff as well as for farmers. The Afghan delegation also showed its in-

Pakistan Energy Forum 2014 on Feb 27 STAFF REPORTER KARACHI —Energy players of global importance will recommend workable solution of energy crisis at the 6Th Pakistan Energy Forum 2014 (formerly Pakistan Oil & Gas Country Forum to be held at Islamabad on Feb 27: Organized by SHAMROCK Conferences Internat i o n a l ( will be inaugurated by Jam Kamal Khan, Minister of State, Petroleum & Natural Resources on Feb 27, 2014 at 9.30 a.m. at the Marriott Hotel, Islamabad. The annual assembly of experts from the energy sector is expected to dilate and resolve on some of the most critical energy issues inflicting the country. Pakistan is facing an acute shortage of electricity, which in turn has compounded social and economic problems. The meeting has been divided into four sessions with the first focusing on exploration and production activities in the oil and gas sector; this session will be chaired by Dr. Gulfaraz Ahmed, one of the country’s luminaries and former Secretary Petroleum. Key decision makers at the CEO level from leading organizations, including OGDCL, Ocean and PSO will be participating in the panel discussion. The session on ‘alternate sources of energy’ will be chaired by prominent physicist Dr. A.H. Nayyar who will moderate the discussion on renewal energy options for Pakistan, along with heads of organizations from the Alternate Energy Development Board, and leading wind-power and solar-energy companies. The power sector session will be chaired by the Chairman of the Independent Power Producers Advisory Council and also former Secretary Petroleum, Mr. Abdullah Yusuf, and will include discussions on how to meet challenges to tackle crippling power shortages in the country. Senior executives from the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC).

terest in coordinating with Pakistan Cotton Standardization Institute, Pakistan Central Cotton Committee and Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association for developing cotton standards, capacity building of field staff in cotton production technology and improving the cotton processing sector. Federal Secretary Textile Industry assured the delegation that every possible facility would be provided to make their visit meaningful and enhance cooperation between both the countries. She said that Pakistan being the 4th largest cotton producing country has 63 years of experience in cotton value chain and will help to promote cotton production in Afghanistan. Briefing the delegation, Cotton

Commissioner explained the entire cotton and textile value chain and discussed the management of procedural details of various components. Pakistan’s expertise in CLCV management and maintenance of cotton Germplasm evinced a great deal of interest, he informed. Head of the Afghan delegation, Munib Abdullah expressed his gratitude for the warm welcome Pakistan has showed and the facilitation provided by the Ministry in making this visit a reality. The delegation also visited Multan where they visited Central Cotton Research Institute, Multan, Ginning Factories and met with different association, scientists and farmers to identify venues of future collaboration.—APP

Banks assure support for ‘LCCI OIC ambassadors’ conference’ STAFF REPORTER L AHORE —All the leading banks on Wednesday assured Governor Punjab of their full support to the second LCCI OIC Ambassadors’ Conference scheduled for April 2014. The Provincial heads of all the banks gave assurance to the Governor Punjab Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar during a meeting held here at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry. LCCI President Engineer Sohail Lashari threw light on the objective of OIC Ambassadors Conference while Vice President Kashif Anwar, former LCCI President Shahid Hassan Sheikh, Chairman LCCI OIC Committee Husnain Reza Mirza, Vice Chairman Mehmood Ghaznvi, Executive Committee Members Iftikhar Bashir Chaudhry and Mudassor Masood Chaudhry also spoke on the occasion. The Governor Punjab, who is also patron-in-chief of Second LCCI OIC Ambassadors Conference, stressed to need for devising short-term, medium-term and longterm strategies to jack up volume of trade with the Islamic world. He said that Pakistan has a huge potential to do business with the Islamic countries but unfortunately the desired results could not be achieved because of lack of communication and awareness. The

Governor said that the OIC countries were doing little business with each other in comparison to what they are doing with the rest of the world. He said that there was a need to bring these countries with each other and the LCCI initiative would go a long way in achieving the goal. Citing the example of surgical goods, the Governor said that their were no two opinions that in quite a few sectors Pakistan was a leader and producing best of the best in the world but the exports of these goods are very little. He said that this makes the point that we would have to redesign our marketing strategy to get our share of the global trade. Speaking on the occasion, the LCCI President Engineer Sohail Lashari said that the current level of trade among the OIC countries was disappointing despite the fact that OIC member countries have religious, cultural ties and similarities and huge potential for trade. He said that the population of OIC Countries is one fourth of the total population of the world while their share in total volume of the trade is less than 10 per cent. The objective of the 2nd LCCI OIC Ambassadors Conference was to identify the impediments to trade and escalate work on dismantling tariff and non-tariff barriers that are stalling growth in trade and investment.

PTC paid over 60 billion tax in 2013 OBSERVER REPORT ISLAMABAD —Pakistan Tobacco Company has announced its yearly results for the year ending December 31, 2013, declaring a final dividend of Rs. 6 per share for the year. According to the financial results released, during the year, the company contributed more than Rs. 60 billion in Government revenues on account of excise duty, sales tax and income tax, depicting a healthy growth of 20% over the same period last year. The growth in tax contribution even surpassed the company’s net turnover growth in 2013. It is worth noting that the company during the same period declared a profit of merely Rs. 3.1 billion. Over the years, tobacco industry has become a significant source of revenue for the government, owing to high taxation on the sector. Currently the prevailing excise and sales tax structure imposes an overall tax of 71 to 81 percent on pack price, in addition to customs duties on imports as well as any income tax payable by the company. The year 2013 has been a harsh year for business in general due to challenging eco-

nomic conditions including high inflation, security concerns, power crisis and rupee devaluation. Besides these challenges, the tobacco industry in particular has also been facing high levels of illicit trade prevalent in the country. According to various international reports, more than a quarter of the market in Pakistan now falls in the illicit category. The cheap illicit brands are widely sold in the market, sometimes at a price much below the minimum tax payable per cigarette pack. The inflationary pressures and wide availability of these brands, consumers are ever willing to down trade to these illegal products putting further pressure on legitimate tobacco sector. According to industry sources, legitimate industry during 2013 has marginally declined versus the preceding year owing to these challenges. According to sources in government, there is an urgent need to enforce against these illicit brands to support the legitimate sector and address any revenue leakages, which according to estimates can be as high as more than 100 billion rupees in the next five years.

Ajman free zone

Closer ties between Pakistan, Ajman to boost trade & industry AMANULLAH KHAN KARACHI—Pakistani businesses should take advantage of endless business opportunities in the Middle East by establishing their presence in Ajman Free Zone, UAE. By now, over 1800 Pakistani businesses are registered in Ajman Free Zone out of total 9 thousand registered businesses that speak volumes about the mutually beneficial business opportunities between the two countries. This was stated by Mr. Ali Hussain Fahmi, Head of Customer Service, Ajman Free Zone Authority while addressing a Media Briefing at Karachi Press Club on Wednesday. He said that investors from around the globe are taking keen interest in setting up their businesses in Ajman Free Zone Authority and the number of investors is still increasing from around the globe. He urged Pakistani manufacturers and traders to establish

their regional presence to tap the opportunities in Middle East. He informed that a twomember high profile delegation from AFZA will meet Pakistani investors in a Seminar onThursday 20th February to further explore the growing inward investments from Pakistan. Mahmood Al Hashemi, Director General of AFZA said ‘We want to enhance business relations, promote trade and strengthen ties with Pakistan’s business community. The road show is aimed at Pakistani businessmen, entrepreneurs and investors that would like to spread their operations internationally especially in the Middle Eastern region whereby the UAE serves as a springboard and a centre point to enter the regional markets, he added. During their visit, AFZA officials aim at meeting investors from various industries, trade and service sector and showcase multiple facilities and business investment op-

portunities available for the Pakistan business community. The convenient set-up solutions, diverse range of licensing options along with a tax free operation are some of the core subjects to be discussed with the prospective investors. Ali Hussain Fahmi said that after UAE won bid for Expo 2020 a staggering 20 million visitors are expected to visit UAE. There would be huge infrastructure development, investment initiatives and business and employment opportunities and Pakistan is well poised to take best advantage of the economic activities in UAE and in Middle East region. Highlighting the incentives for investment at Ajman Free Zone he informed that free zone offers 100% foreign ownership with the facility of 100% repatriation of capital and profit. There is no personal income tax for investors at AFZA. Having a diverse focus,

Ajman Free Zone offers a range of licenses to accommodate all business types, which helps us in accommodating companies form all fields, and we can provide a platform across the board in facilitating their business. He informed that AFZA offers Trading Licenses (Also known as commercial license) for import and export, service licenses, industrial license and national industrial license. Investors can benefit from array of facilities ranging from Smart Office (desk space), offices, Warehouse and Land. Ali Hussain Fahmi said that for large-scale industrial and manufacturing units who intend to build up their own structure to suit their industrial requirements, land area is leased for a period of 20 years. This 20 Years land contact is renewable for another 20 years guaranteeing 40 years tax and customs free operations. He said that with lowest lease

prices Ajman Free Zone Authority is providing world-class infrastructure to the investors from around the world. Talking about advantages of setting up industries in Ajman Free Zone, he informed that continuous supply of cheap energy sources, most economical wage structure and easy access to vast work force, total exemption from all import and export duties, total elimination of all service charges and hidden fees, exceptionally low handling charges, customs free operations are the most attractive features. Situated at the foot of the Arabian Gulf, the Ajman Free Zone is widely regarded as the ideal depot for the supply of goods and services for both domestic and regional markets around UAE. The inexpensive energy and the absence of bureaucratic complications, coupled with the availability of numerous infrastructure facilities, have attracted many investors to base their operations in Ajman.




PM Amnesty Scheme to increase revenues: Rasool














LAHORE—Commissioner Inland Rev-






















Saudi Arabia



Hong Kong
























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

45000.00 702.85

MULTAN: Gold Tezabi (24-Ct) 44580.00 Gold 22 Ct 40750.00 SilverTezabi s695.00 Silver Thobi 635.00

Cool Clay wins Siemens Student Award DUBAI—Siemens has announced that the Cool Clay team from the University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, has won first place in the Siemens Student Award competition. A panel of expert judges chose the winners from among four finalist teams selected for their efforts to tackle critical real-world challenges with innovative and applicable solutions. The winners were announced during an awards ceremony in Abu Dhabi on February 12 in the attendance of His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Social Development. The Cool Clay team was praised for its ingenuity in tackling the Self-Sustained Sensors System challenge, designing an economical, portable and environmentally-friendly cooling system that requires no input energy due to its use of evaporative cooling. The idea was based on using material with high thermal conductivity sandwiched between two layers of pottery clay. The clay is sprayed with measured amounts of water, leaving a length of exposed material protruding to act as the cooling element inside the enclosure that needs temperature control. The first runner-up was the Hydrotech Cleaning Solutions team from New York University Abu Dhabi in the UAE. The team was inspired by the Namib Desert beetle, designing a wiper-like device that harvests water from the air with the help of synthetic material to provide a cleaning solution for dusty solar panels. The team argued their project will minimize cleaning costs for solar panels used in Abu Dhabi and help conserve scarce water resources. Another team from the University of Sharjah was the second runner-up. The Solar Impulse team addressed the Next Generation of Grid Control challenge with a solution to tackle the Gulf region’s increased electricity demand during hot summer months. The project suggests supplying cellular structures with an easily-accessible source of energy during extreme heat periods. To achieve this, solar energy powers an unconventional impulse steam turbine that feeds the grid during peak hours and stores excess energy for use during lowdemand periods. The system uses the mechanical properties of a low density foam-buoy in water tanks to store energy in its optimum form, providing an eco-friendly and cost-efficient solution.—PR

enue FBR Ejaz Asad Rasool has said that the amnesty scheme introduced by the Prime Minister is an effort to increase revenues, broaden the tax net and bring back those who opted out of tax net during last 10 years. The Commissioner was briefing the LCCI members on Prime Minister Amnesty Scheme here at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Wednesday. LCCI Vice President Kashif Anwar presented the address of welcome while former President Mian Anjum Nisar, Executive Committee members Zafar Mehmood, Nasir Hameed, Mian Zahid Javaid, Mohammad Afzal and Ibrar Ahmed also spoke on the occasion. Ejaz Asad Rasool stated that the scheme was not aimed at encouraging the tax evaders but it is for the expansion of tax net and things are moving in right direction therefore government believes that it would be able to draw good results. He said that the tax amnesty scheme had been announced to revive the economy. He said it would also increase job opportunities on big scale and those who would start businesses under this scheme would also come back to tax net. He hoped that this scheme could produce two million more taxpayers. He said that every body would have to play his role to make Pakistan financially strong. Speaking on the occasion, the LCCI Vice President gave a number of

proposals to make the Prime Minister Scheme a big success. He said that availability of cheaper energy through hydle means, end to under-invoicing, smuggling, tax reforms, simplification of taxation procedures and expansion in tax net by bringing untaxed sectors into the tax net, downward revision in rate of taxes, cut in number of taxes would help put economy back on rails. The LCCI Vice President said that the business community was the backbone of the economy as more than 90% revenue is being generated through trade & industry, therefore, the sector should be given due facilitation. He said that it is very unfortunate that a businessman who is registered with Income Tax is not registered with Sales Tax and he has to complete all the formalities to get registered with Sales Tax. So, this is a big anomaly that needs to be rectified. The LCCI Vice President also expressed reservations on clause 9 of Income Tax Circular 15, 2013 and authority given to the Commissioner under section 122(5) and 122(5A) of the Income Tax Ordinance 2001. Kashif Anwar said that the role of Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) should be to educate, guide and facilitate as it would not only expand tax net but would also help FBR implement its policies in a friendly atmosphere. The LCCI Vice President also called for simplification of taxation procedures that are too complicated to understand and because of multiplic-

ity and high rate of taxes. Presently the existing tax-payers are being squeezed that is hitting hard the government’s endeavors aimed at generating required revenues to run the affairs of the government. He was of the view that the private sector was ready to pay taxes provided it was facilitated, taken into confidence and given due breathing space to do their businesses with peace of mind. The LCCI Vice President said that the discrimination among the large business sectors and the small businesses should also be done away with as it happens often the big sectors get favours through SROs while the others are subjected to heavy taxation. If the government wanted to introduce some new tax or a duty, it should be across the board. The government would have to come up with a package of incentives for non-tax payers besides bringing agriculture sector into the tax net. He said that Federal Board of Revenue would not be able to achieve its revenue target without providing a business friendly atmosphere to the business doing people. Presently the government is focusing on foreign investments, while it would have to come up with incentives to encourage local investments that have gone down considerably due to multiple internal factors. Foolproof methodology should be evolved and implemented to control under-invoicing and smuggling that were causing huge damage to the genuine businesses.

Ombudsman directs SMBR to move forward for legislation STAFF REPORTER LAHORE—Ombudsman Punjab Javed Mahmood has said that the Revenue Department is responsible to protect the rights of all landowners but influentials manage to get occupation of valuable land while weakers remain devoid due to difficult and complicated process of shamlaat. Revenue Department must take action to stop such injustice and iniquity. Ombudsman Punjab has directed Senior Member Board of Revue to move forward for legislation to make process of shamlaat easier which will not only save the land owners from the outrage of land mafia but also gratification of revenue staff. He has also directed SMBR to call for report of the Record of Rights (Reg-

ister Haqdaraan) from all the District Collectors of the province as preparation of such record is mandatory for revenue staff, after every for years. SMBR is also directed to take action against revenue staff who remained fail to get prepare the Record of Rights well in stipulated time. Ombudsman Punjab has taken serious note of not preparing Record of Rights in Rawalpindi since 1972 as the same had to be maintained after every 4 years under law and declared that it was the incompetence and inefficiency on the part of Commissioners Rawalpindi, District Collectors Rawalpindi and revue staff, remained posted in Rawalpindi District since 1972. Ombudsman Punjab has ordered District Collector Rawalpindi to update the pending Record of Rights

by June 30, initiate inquiry, take strict action against revenue staff found involved for not preparing Record of Rights on time and stop sale of the shamlaat land till completion of settlement in Tehsil Rawalpindi. According to details, Abdul Jabbar, resident of village Rajarr, Tehsil Rawalpindi, lodged a complaint to Ombudsman Punjab that he is owner of inherited land at Tehsil Rawalpindi but the owners have no valid documents of land due to inefficiency of revenue staff resultantly patwari of the circle is looting innocent owners and sale and purchase of valuable land is going on through fake record. Ombudsman Punjab directed advisor Najam Saeed to probe the issue who served notice to AC Rawalpindi to explain the position.

Pak businesses can take advantage of opportunities in ME through presence in UAE K ARACHI —Pakistani businesses should the opportunities in Middle East. He intake advantage of endless business opportunities in the Middle East by establishing their presence in Ajman Free Zone, UAE. By now, over 1,800 Pakistani businesses have been registered in Ajman Free Zone out of total nine thousand registered businesses that speak volumes about the mutually beneficial business opportunities between the two countries. This was stated by Ali Hussain Fahmi, Head of Customer Service, Ajman Free Zone Authority, while addressing a media briefing at Karachi Press Club on Wednesday. He said that investors from around the globe are taking keen interest in setting up their businesses in Ajman Free Zone Authority and the number of investors is still increasing from around the globe. Fahmi urged Pakistani manufacturers and traders to establish their regional presence to tap

formed that a two-member high profile delegation from AFZA will meet Pakistani investors in a seminar on Thursday to further explore the growing inward investments from Pakistan. Mahmood Al Hashemi, Director General of AFZA in his statement said “We want to enhance business relations, promote trade and strengthen ties with Pakistan’s business community. The road show is aimed at Pakistani businessmen, entrepreneurs and investors that would like to spread their operations internationally especially in the Middle Eastern region whereby the UAE serves as a springboard and a centre point to enter the regional markets, he added. During their visit, AFZA officials aim at meeting investors from various industries, trade and service sector and showcase multiple facilities.—APP

SECP revises list of auditors for insurance industry

KARACHI—Ghulam Qadir Thebo, Additional Inspector General of Traffic Police Sindh has asked various trade associations and Anjumans of small markets across the city to nominate their representatives who could be deployed on various roads to supplement traffic police officers in order to effectively deal with traffic congestions at some of busiest roads of Karachi where traffic jams have become a routine. “Police cannot improve the traffic flow situation alone and we need to work together”, he added while speaking at a meeting during his visit to Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Ghulam Qadir Thebo said that these representatives will also help police identify illegal parking spots at various markets and work in close liaison with traffic police so that illegal parking spots could immediately be cleared with a view to ensure smooth flow of traffic. DIG Traffic Arif Hanif, President KCCI, Abdullah Zaki, Senior Vice President, Muffasar A. Malik, Vice President KCCI, Muhammad Idrees, Former President

KCCI, A. Q. Khalil, Chairman Special Committee for Small Traders - KCCI, Majeed Memon, Chairman Law & Order Sub-Committee - KCCI, Asif Chamdia and others members were also present at the meeting. Ghulam Qadir Thebo was of the view that traffic jams being suffered by the city were mainly due to lack of mass transit facility in the city which if provided, would certainly help in resolving many issues. He informed that Karachi city holds a massive road network of 8,000 kilometers and around 3.2 million vehicles ply in the city, out of which 1.5 million are 4wheelers whereas only 1600 traffic police officers are available in one shift to control the massive traffic which keeps growing day by day. Delays in development works along with sit-ins/ Dharnas in various localities and the ongoing Karachi Operation are also the reasons for severe traffic jams as it has been observed that various areas are usually cordoned off by Police and Rangers during the operation against culprits, he added. Highlighting the liquidity crunch being faced by Traffic police department, Ad-

ISLAMABAD: Minister of State for Information Technology and Telecommunication, Anusha Rahman in a meeting with consultants for spectrum auction at Ministry of IT.

KARACHI: Area Sales Manager Kashif Khalid giving prize to a lucky and performing retailer of Shiwal for Activation Promo Jeet Ki Dhunn.

MoIP actively pursuing process of completion of Boards

I SLAMABAD —The Securi- ISLAMABAD —The Ministry of Industries Rules 2013 of SECP, the Boards of the comties and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has issued the revised list of approved auditors for the insurance/reinsurance/ Takaful entities increasing the list to 18 audit firms, previously the number was 14. The SECP in this regard has issued the revised list of approved auditors for the insurance/reinsurance/ Takaful entities under Section 48 (1) of the 2000 Insurance Ordinance, and has issued a circular No 5/2014 to this effect.—APP

Trade & industry volunteers to help traffic control AMANULLAH KHAN

PESHAWAR: President of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chamber of Commerce, Zahidullah Shinwari presenting a shield to Chief Collector FBR, Nadar Khan Hoti at Chamber House.

ditional IG informed that funds of 200 million rupees have not been released to traffic police department by Sindh government since 2008, which must be released immediately to improve the functioning of the department. Speaking on the occasion, President KCCI Abdullah Zaki highlighted the grievances being faced by the business community particularly small traders due to severe traffic jams being reported from various parts of the city every day. Abdullah, while assuring KCCI’s support to Additional IG Traffic and his team for dealing with traffic congestion on the streets of Karachi city, stressed the need to raise awareness amongst masses about traffic rules and regulations as traffic jams usually occur due to failure of the drivers in obeying traffic rules. Vice President KCCI, Muhammad Idrees, while appreciating some steps taken by traffic police towards ensuring smooth flow of traffic at Electronic Market Saddar, further advised the Additional IG Traffic to issue directives for taking strict action illegal parking in the locality.

and Production (MoIP) is actively pursuing the process of completion of the Boards of the organizations working under it and nomination of their executive heads. The process of appointment of CEOs of organizations started as soon as the government took over and the MoIP sought applications from suitable candidates through an advertisement and the list of applicants was sent to the Commission which was constituted under the directions of the Supreme Court of Pakistan for the appointment of CEOs of the organizations, says a statement issued by the Ministry here Wednesday. The Commission recently became dysfunctional due to which the details of the applicants were forwarded back to the MoIP. According to the Corporate Governance

panies established under Article 42 are mandated with the task of appointment of CEOs of their companies. The MoIP will recommend the names of suitable candidates for appointment as member Board of Governor of the organizations working under the Ministry. In this regard, the Ministry is paying due consideration for the selection of most suitable candidates who have the relevant qualification and experience. The representation of private sector will also be ensured in the Boards to create a liaison between the public and private sector and to bring the modern management practices of the private sector into the public sector. “The Prime Minister will finally nominate the Board members”, the statement said.—APP

Ufone offers additional balance STAFF REPORTER ISLAMABAD—Ufone, an Etisalat group company and one of the leading telecom operators in the country has introduced an incredible offer for its new and port-in customers. Anyone who buys a new Ufone SIM or switches to network will receive balance of Rs.600. In line withthe ‘Customer First’ slogan; this is Ufone’s way of welcoming new members to the Ufone family. Any customer, who buys a new Ufone SIM or switches to the Ufone network, will get additional balance of Rs.100 per month, once every month, on a minimum recharge of Rs. 100. The offer will continue for six months, hence giving the customer a benefit of Rs. 600 in total. Speaking about this exciting offer, General Manager Marketing at Ufone, Taimur Cheema, said, “We consider our customers as the most important members of the Ufone family. Keeping that in mind, we have launched this lucrative offer to reward new customers so that they can benefit from our exceptional services while looking forward to earning more balance each month.” “This offer is to remind our customers that they are a part of a network that believes in giving the best to the consumers.

Free trade with India supported ISLAMABAD—Vice President of the FPCCI Sheikh Imtiaz Ahmed on Wednesday said greater trade is the only way to strengthen bilateral relations with India which can help both neighbours prosper in short span. He said that free trade with India would not eliminate our industry or agriculture rather it would be beneficial for both the countries and their people. The volume of informal trade and trade through third countries must be reduced to ensure persistent growth in the formal trade, said Sheikh Imtiaz Ahmed while talking to various delegations led by President of Chamber of Small Traders

Kamran Abbasi, President of Anjuman-eTajiran Islamabad Sheikh Saleem, President Traders Welfare Association Ajmal Baloch and President IWCCI Samina Fazil. He said that informal trade worth billions of dollars is taking place among the Saarc countries while a sizeable quantity of find their way to Pakistan through third country. A turnaround is possible if India and Pakistan resolve their disputes through ensuring better life for over a billion people who had so far experienced poverty, illiteracy and non-existence of basic facilities, the business leader noted..—Online

Pakistan beat India in first blind ODI KARACHI—Anis Javed hammered a spectacular 163 as Pakistan defeated visiting India by three wickets in the first Blind OneDay International at Southend Club Ground on Wednesday despite centuries by Kathen Patel and Hitesh Patel. Anis looked in a great nick as he blasted as many as 23 boundaries in his 91-ball knock and Muhammad Zafar made 91 as Pakistan romped home for the loss of seven wickets with six balls to spare. Earlier standing-in captain, Ajay Reddy won the toss and batting first Indian team amassed a mammoth 418 all out in their 40

overs. Kathen Patel hits four eights in his 67ball 126 and Hitesh slammed 12 boundaries in his 109. Pakistan which made the clean-sweep in three match Twenty20 series, took 1-0 lead in the 3-match ODI series.The second match will be played at National Stadium on Friday and third on Sunday. Summarised scores: India Blinds 418 all out in 40 (Kathen Patel 126, Hitesh Patel 109, Gamit 62, Haroon Khan 2-76) Pakistan Blinds 421-7 in 39 overs (Anis Javed 163, M.Zafar 90).—APP

Shoaib eagers to play his part in raising Pakistan’s fielding bar K ARACHI —Former Test opener Shoaib among the players in improving the field-

FAISALABAD: A horse rider participating in tent-pegging competition during National Horse Show at University of Agriculture.

Agri, Peshawar University secure victories in Inter-Varsity Hockey P ESHAWAR —Agriculture University and University of Peshawar recorded victories against their respective rivals on the opening day of the Inter-University Boys Hockey Championship (Peshawar Zone) here at Campus ground on Wednesday. Director Sports University of Peshawar and former gold medalist athlete Bahre Karam was chief guest on this occasion who formally inaugurated the Championship in which a total of four teams are taking part comprising University of Peshawar, Agriculture Unviersity, Islamia College Chartered University and Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan. In the opening match Agriculture University Peshawar shocked Islamia College University by 2-1. Islamia Col-

lege University took the lead through center striker Zaman on the field attempt while soon Tahir of Agriculture University tied the tally 1-1 by scoring a beautiful goal. The two teams were tied 1-1 at half-time. It was the second session in which Agriculture University slammed in another goal this time through full-back Muhammad Irfan. Thus Agriculture University won the match by 2-1. In the second match University of Peshawar defeated Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan by a tennis goal margin 7-2. Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan opened the account through Javed Khan in the very 6th minute while Nawab slammed in another through penalty corner to make the tally 2-0. After taking two goals

lead, AWKUM fully dominated the first-half. But it was the second session in which University of Peshawar scored 7 goals. Center forward Adil completed first hat-trick of the Championship by scoring four consecutive goals while full-back Ijaz scored two goals on the penalty corner conversion to make the tally 6-2. It was the dying moment when Adil scored his fifth goal and seventh overall of the team to make the tally 7-2. Thus University of Peshawar will now play against Agriculture University Peshawar to decide the fate of the zone. However, Peshawar and Agriculture University have already qualified for the Higher Education Inter-University Boys Hockey Championship.— APP

GGC Mardan beat Katlang in AWKUM Inter-College Girls Volleyball P E S H AWA R —Government Girls Degree College Mardan secured opening day victory against Government Girls College Katlang by 3-1 in the opening match of the Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan at campus premises on Wednesday. Assistant Director Sports (Female) of the Abdul WaliKhan University Mardan Rozeena Shaheen Marwat was the chief guest on this occasion who formally inaugurated the Championship in which teams from Government Girls College Katlang, GGC Mardan, University Girls College, Sheikh Maltoon, GGC Takhbhai,

Majid, Haris to clash in National Junior Snooker final K ARACHI —Asian Junior number two, Muhammad Majid Ali and Haris Nadeem will clash in Thursday’s final of Jubilee Insurance 6th National Junior Under-21 Snooker Championship after they won their semi-finals at Hotel Movenpick Arcade on Wednesday. Highly talented Majid of Punjab was in dazzling form as he carved out the breaks of 78, 101 and 91 to defeat top seed and former National Senior Champion Hamza Akbar 5-1. Majid demonstrated a superb cue control and breaking building as he kept his experienced opponent Hamza under pressure. After racing to 4-0 lead, Hamza pulled the penultimate frame. But Majid quickly was in his groove as smashed a break of 91 to seal the fate of the match. Sindh Junior Champion Haris registered a fighting victory after being 0-2, 1-3 down to overpower Muhammad Faheem of Punjab. Earlier in the quarter-finals, Majid dethroned defending champion and Punjab province-mate Amir Tariq 4-1 to advance in the last four stage.—APP

Muhammad was eager to play his part in raising Pakistan team’s fielding bar. “My objective is to provide guidance and motivation to the players to excel in fielding department as well,” he told APP in an interview on Wednesday. He said he would be working closely with chief coach Moin Khan, legendary Zaheer Abbas, Muhammad Akram and other members of the management staff in the success of the team. “Its my mission to improve Pakistan team’s fielding. But it cannot be achieved in short span of time. It needed weeks, months and years to take fielding to new heights,” 53-year-old Shoaib, who played 45 Test and 63 One-day Internationals, maintained. Shoaib Muhammad, who was rated highly in the fielding department has replaced Julien Fountain to take the charge of fielding coach. Having just joined the team, Shoaib said he would not be taking any drastic step to disturb the players. “My effort is to infuse energy and spirit

ing in the field as well as through peep talk,” he added. He said he would be holding meeting with departing Fountain to get feedback and data about the players to enhance his personal knowledge. He said everyone playing in Pakistani team is fully aware of his responsibility as a fielder.My job is to inspire and motivate to achieve some thing extra-ordinary with one difficult catch, get one good run out or save some runs with hardwork. Shoaib said due to various reasons, Pakistan was unable to attain very high standard of fielding. “But in this modern era, players are realizing the importance of fielding and thus putting a great deal of effort,” he remarked. He said diving culture to save runs in the outfield was another important factor which he will be looking into. Shoaib Muhammad son of legendary Hanif Muhammad said he would be utilizing all his energies to improve the fielding so that Pakistan could successfully defend their title in Asia Cup.—APP

Hanif felicitates Brendon on equalling his feat K A R A C H I —Pakistan’s cricket legend added. Hanif Muhammad have congratulated New Zealand captain and star batsman Brendon McCullum for equalling his feat of smashing triple century in the second innings of Test match. Hanif Muhammad achieved the unique feat of scoring 337 in the second inn i n g s against West Indies in 1958-59 while playing longest innings of 970 minutes in Test history. “I was feeling lonely with that record and I absolutely that Brendon joined my club with historic distinction,” he commented. “Scoring a triple hundred is always been a great achievement by a means and scoring it under pressure is extra-ordinary,” Little Master Hanif Muhammad

He said it outstanding that Brendon is the first Kiwis batsman to score a triple century. H a n i f Muhammad, the former Pakistan skipper said he watched B r e n d o n ’s innings on television and said he played fearlessly under pressure. “Brendon is n a t u r a l gifted player and it was a fantastic and confident show”, he said. He said there were no pitch-covering and no protecting gears and equipments when he achieved that feat. “Things are very different in this era and due to change conditions many triple centuries and even 400 were scored in the past couple of decades,” he concluded.— APP

PESHAWAR: Players in action during the opening day of the Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan Inter-College Girls Volleyball Championship.

Misbah a source of inspiration for youngsters: Maqsood

FF holds reception for newly elected office-bearers of KPSWA

ISLAMABAD—Middle order batsman Sohaib before me and I think it’s a fantastic gesture PESHAWAR—The Patron-inMaqsood has termed Misbah-ul-Haq an inspiration and a role model for young players saying that Misbah really does help the younger players a lot. “The way he handles pressure, applies himself and sets an example is just exceptional,” Maqsood while talking to Expressing views about the upcoming tournaments including Asia Cup and World T20, he said Pakistan was a strong contender in both the tournaments. “We’ve been playing some excellent cricket in the limited overs formats in recent times as our performances against South Africa and Sri Lanka was very well,” he added. Maqsood further said the team had a good last year in twenty over cricket as we were close to being the number one ranked team in this format. With both tournaments being held in Bangladesh it give Pakistan a real boost as conditions will suit our side, particularly the spinners, he mentioned. The young middle-order batsman said he was happy that the skippers of both the formats trusted him and played him at number four. “Misbah-ul-Haq was batting at the number four position in one- day internationals

from him to let me bat in his position and to move himself down the order to number five,” he added. He said he had made some mistakes some matches throwing away my wicket after a good start but he had now learned from his mistakes. “International cricket is of a totally different standard and one have to learn very quickly to adjust to the highest level,” Maqsood emphasized. Talking about his intentions to play Test cricket, the batsman said he could do well in the longer format as he had done well in that format in first-class cricket. “Once the opportunity will come, I would definitely try to grab it with both hands,” he added. When asked about his comparison with great Inzimam-ul-Haq, Maqsood said comparisons were very flattering and one should be careful not to label a cricketer as the next Inzimam or the next Wasim or Waqar. “When I hear people comparing me to Inzimam, I think that it’s just way too early to compare me with a legend like Inzi bhai,” he said, adding, “If I can end my career with half of the runs and performances that Inzimam had for Pakistan, I’ll be a very happy and satisfied man.”—APP

Chief of the Frontier Foundation Sahibzada Muhammad Haleem Wednesday held reception for the newly elected office-bearers of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Sports Writers Association at its premises here. Besides the newly elected President and General Secretary of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Sports Writers Association Nadir Khawjah and Asim Sheeraz, members of the association, President of Peshawar District Cricket Association Syed Fayyaz Ali Shah, Managing Director Malik Cricket Academy Malik Farman Ali, foundation staff were also present in the reception. Speaking on this occasion, Sahibzada Muhammad Haleem underlined the importance of sports writers’ promotion of sports in the province.—APP

HYDERABAD: Girls taking part in a table tennis contest held at Hyderabad Press Club on Wednesday.

Wild joy at husband-and-wife snowboard medal double

ROSA KHUTOR: Finland’s Iivo Niskanen and teammate Sami Jauhojaervi celebrate their win in the men’s cross country team sprint final during the Sochi Winter Olympics.

Golden Ligety rules in giant slalom

Finland win surprise gold in team sprint R OSA KHUTOR (Russia)—US ski star Ted Ligety proved he is the unbeatable king of the giant sla-

Country ....... G ...... S ..... B Total Norway ......... 8 ...... 4 ...... 7 ..... 19 Germany ....... 8 ...... 3 ...... 4 ..... 15 United States 7 ...... 4 ..... 10 .... 21 Russia ........... 6 ...... 8 ...... 7 ..... 21 Netherlands . 6 ...... 6 ...... 8 ..... 20 Switzerland ... 6 ...... 3 ...... 1 ..... 10 Belarus .......... 5 ...... 0 ...... 1 ....... 6 Canada .......... 4 ...... 9 ...... 4 ..... 17 Poland ........... 4 ...... 0 ...... 0 ....... 4 China ............. 3 ...... 2 ...... 1 ....... 6 France ........... 3 ...... 2 ...... 6 ..... 11 Austria .......... 2 ...... 6 ...... 1 ....... 9 Sweden ......... 2 ...... 5 ...... 3 ..... 10 Slovenia ........ 2 ...... 1 ...... 4 ....... 7 South Korea . 2 ...... 1 ...... 1 ....... 4 Japan ............. 1 ...... 4 ...... 2 ....... 7 Czech ............ 1 ...... 3 ...... 2 ....... 6 Great Britain . 1 ...... 0 ...... 1 ....... 2 Slovakia ........ 1 ...... 0 ...... 0 ....... 1 Finland .......... 0 ...... 3 ...... 0 ....... 3 Italy ............... 0 ...... 2 ...... 4 ....... 6 Australia ....... 0 ...... 2 ...... 1 ....... 3 Latvia ............ 0 ...... 1 ...... 2 ....... 3 Croatia .......... 0 ...... 1 ...... 0 ....... 1 Kazakhstan .. 0 ...... 0 ...... 1 ....... 1 Ukraine ......... 0 ...... 0 ...... 1 ....... 1

Afghanistan pip BD to quarter-finals A FGHANISTAN —Afghanistan added another cricketing achievement to a rapidly growing list when they reached the quarter-finals of the Under-19 World Cup. Afghanistan’s senior team will play their third straight World T20 next month, and will feature in a 50-over World Cup for the first time next year. The Under-19 side’s achievement adds further credibility to the country’s cricketing strength and depth. Afghanistan Under-19s, who had stunned Australia in their previous game, ensured their progress after beating Namibia Under-19s in their last Group B match. The win took Afghanistan to four points, and the fact that they reached their 193-run target in just 25.3 overs moved their net run rate above that of Bangladesh, who lost to Australia in the other Group B match of the day. Namibia, who elected to bat, were in trouble early after Sharafuddin Ashraf struck twice in one over to reduce them to 6 for 2. Their captain Gerhard Erasmus scored 84 off 119 balls, with eight fours, but none of the other batsmen in the side made more than 25.—AFP


lom on Wednesday, sealing the second Olympic gold of his career in convincing fashion. The 29-year-old reigning world champion clocked the fastest time of 2min 45.29sec after two runs down the Rosa Khutor course, finishing ahead of a pair of Frenchmen. Steve Missillier, with only one World Cup podium to his name, was a surprise second at 0.48sec, ahead of Alexis Pinturault who took bronze, 0.64sec off the pace. The 29-year-old Missillier, who was 10th after the first run, put in an impressive second run to take the lead and managed to maintain it as a number of favourites came down the course. But Ligety had a huge 1.50sec lead on the Frenchman after the first run and was never in doubt for gold, even racing in 30th place down a deeply rutted course. For the cool American, this is a second Olympic title after combined gold in Turin in 2006. A four-time world champion— including twice in giant slalom— he has never had much Winter Games success in his preferred discipline, failing to finish in Turin and coming in ninth place in Vancouver in 2010.

Wednesday’s medal also comes after a disappointing 12th place in the super-combined and 14th place in the super-G in Sochi. Meanwhile, Finland on Wednesday stunned their betterfancied rivals to take gold in the men’s team cross country sprint, taking advantage of a fall by Germany on the final descent. The Finnish duo of Sami Jauhojaervi and Iivo Niskanen howled with delight after their victory in the event, where the team of two take it in turns to perform three punishing sprints each. They finished in 23min 14.89sec Germany’s Tim Tscharnke looked certain to win his country a medal but fell after touching skis with Jauhojaervi on the last descent. His fall nearly took out Russia’s Nikita Kriukov but the Russian kept his balance to take silver for his country in 23:15.86. Sweden won the bronze. Meanwhile, US skier Ted Ligety stormed to Olympic giant slalom gold on Wednesday as South Korean figure skating queen Kim Yu-Na prepared to defend her title on her international farewell.

Four-time world champion Ligety, who disappointed in the super-combined and super-G, stamped his authority on the race early, leading by nearly a second after the first run in picture-perfect conditions on the Rosa Khutor slopes. The 29-year-old, who won combined gold at the 2006 Turin Games, did enough on his second ski to beat Frenchman Steve Missillier by nearly half a second in an overall time of 2min 45.29sec. French tyro Alexis Pinturault took bronze. “This is my first gold medal since 2006, but it was easier back then,” said Ligety, who becomes the first US man to win two gold medals in alpine skiing. “I was only 21 and I didn’t have all that struggle before.” “This is the event I wanted the most,” he added. “This is the event I have been putting so much pressure on myself to win, so to pull through is an awesome feeling.” Away from the action on the slopes, Ukraine’s pole vault great Sergei Bubka, who now heads the country’s Olympic Committee, urged talks to end deadly violence in Kiev.—AFP

‘Obnoxious’ Dhoni under fire after new tour flop

Russia counting on ‘fearless warrior’ Lipnitskaia

D ELHI —Beleaguered skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni was put on notice by his predecessors Wednesday after India suffered yet another away series defeat, with one of them calling his leadership “obnoxious”. The 1-0 loss to New Zealand on Tuesday was India´s fourth consecutive series defeat abroad and followed a 4-0 drubbing for Dhoni´s World Cup champions in the preceding one-dayers. India have now lost 10 of their last 12 Tests abroad — the other two were drawn — a record that included two successive 4-0 whitewashes in England and Australia. As the media trained its guns on Dhoni, former captain Sourav Ganguly said his Test captaincy was “obnoxious”, while Rahul Dravid hinted his strategy was too timid to win in the five-day format. Both, however, wanted him to remain Test skipper until next year´s 50 over World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, while another ex-captain Sunil Gavaskar stressed that a leader was only as good as his team.”

If the World Cup was not less than a year away, I would have agreed that Dhoni needed to be removed as captain,” Ganguly told the Headlines Today news channel. “His Test captaincy has been obnoxious. But changing captains now will unsettle the team. His place is not in doubt in Test cricket, but Dhoni needs to set the overseas record right.” Dravid agreed with the perception that Dhoni was a defensive captain, saying he needed to take risks if he wanted to win Test matches abroad. Dhoni was widely derided for his defensive field placements in New Zealand which also followed claims he blew the chance of a rare overseas victory in South Africa in December by failing to go for the jugular. “I think he´s got to realise this very quickly, that if he wants to win Test matches abroad, he´s got to risk it all,” Dravid told the Cricinfo website. “He’s got to take that chance that he´s going to have to lose some Test matches. The only way you can win abroad is to take a few risks, take a few gambles.”—AFP

ROSA KHUTOR—Russian snowboarder Vic Wild was euphoric after winning Olympic gold in the men’s parallel giant slalom on Wednesday — just minutes after his wife Alena Zavarzina took bronze in the women’s event. “It’s incredible to have won a medal along with Alena. If just one of us has success it’s great but it’s not that great,” said Wild, who was granted Russian citizenship in 2012, a year after the couple were married. “For both of us to have success on the same day is just incredible. I don’t know how this happened, it’s too good to be true.” Zavzarina paid tribute to her husband for the sacrifices he had made. “Vic was right about having success when one gets success and the other does not, it’s not really great,” she said. “I’m just very happy that we both did and I’m very happy Vic got gold because this is what he worked for. “He’s so far from his home town. He did an amazing job, he had to switch countries, switch nationality and accept something that some people would not ever accept. “He has to deal with the Russian mentality and stuff he’s not used to and be very flexible with people who don’t understand what he’s saying most of the time. “He deserves it, I’m really happy and I’m going to cry now.” Wild, who was born in the small town of White Salmon in Washington state, said if it wasn’t for his switch to Russia, he would never have won Olympic gold. “Russia’s the country that’s given me the opportunity to win a medal. If I was still

riding for the USA I’d still be back home maybe with some mediocre job doing something mediocre. “That’s not what I wanted to be. I wanted to try to be the best I thought I could be. I’m so stoked to win it for Russia. I live in Russia.” Wild, whose gold was Russia’s first in snowboarding, beat Switzerland’s Nevin Galmarini in the final. Slovenia’s Zan Kosir claimed bronze. In the women’s event, Patrizia Kummer won Switzerland’s 50th Winter Olympic gold medal by beating Tomoka Takeuchi of Japan in the final. Takeuchi’s medal was the first by an Asian woman in snowboarding and followed the men’s halfpipe medals won by Ayumu Hirano (silver) and Taku Hiraoka (bronze), who broke the Asian duck in snowboarding last week. Kummer was 0.30sec down after her first run on the slightly slower blue course but she said she always felt confident of recovering that deficit on her favoured red run. “I still can’t believe it, it’s crazy. I still have the feeling that I have to go up and do another run,” she said. “It was very difficult and bumpy. It wasn’t easy. The red course was better for me so it was good that I could run my first run on the blue course and then go onto the red one.” Takeuchi said her historic medal was just the beginning. “Asia is becoming really strong in snowboarding, not just Japan but all of Asia is becoming stronger and stronger every season,” she said.—AFP

ROSA KHUTOR: Vic Wild and Alena Zavarzina celebrate at the Snowboard Parallel Giant Slalom Flower Ceremony at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park during the Sochi Winter Olympics.

IOC taking ‘firm action’ on unpaid workers wages SOCHI —The International Olympic Committee said Wednesday it is taking “firm” action with the Russian authorities to ensure all the workers who built the Sochi 2014 facilities are paid in full. The failure of the companies contracted to build the sports and hotel facilities to pay thousands of workers millions of dollars in salaries on time has cast a shadow over Russia’s hosting of the Games. IOC spokesman Mark Adams insisted the Olympics body had already pressured the Russian authorities on the issue. He said 500 companies had already been

investigated and it turned out that $8 million of wages had not been paid to workers. Funds have now been paid to 6,175 workers, he told reporters. Adams acknowledged that some workers still had not been paid, although he did not give figures. “I would almost certainly agree that probably not every single person has been paid,” he said. “The IOC is taking some really firm action, working with Sochi 2014, to try and ensure this happens,” he added. “I think we can show quite a lot of action, quite a lot of will to get this done.”—AFP

S OCHI —She may only stand 5ft 2in (1.57m) tall but Russia are looking to “fearless warrior” Julia Lipnitskaia to take gold in the women’s event starting on Wednesday. The 15-year-old starred on the way to taking team gold for Russia along with veteran Yevgeny Plushenko before his shock withdrawal injured before the men’s event threw a damper on the hosts’ celebrations in the Iceberg Skating Palace. “Russian fans have started to regard her as a small fearless warrior called on to save the Olympic honour of a large country,” the Sport Express daily wrote ahead of women’s competition which gets under way with the short programme. “And these feelings have now only strengthened. After the completely ridiculous showbiz scandals (Plushenko) we want something clean, honest and genuine. This is what the ladies competition should be.”—AFP

Jessy Ryder hires new clinical psychologist for his rehabilitation Bipin Dani OBSERVER CORRESPONDENT M UMBAI —Jessy Ryder, the discarded New Zealand all-rounder has sought the services of a new psychologist for his rehabilitation. This was revealed by Karen Nimmo, the Clinical Psychologist with whom the player worked in the past. The 30-year-old Ryder was dropped from the squad for the recently concluded Test series against India after he went on a late-night drinking session before the first Test. He has also been left out of the World Twenty20 squad. Speaking exclusively over telephone from New Zealand, Karen Nimmo said, “I am saddened by these latest developments and concerned for him. I am not currently Jesse’s psychologist. He needed to transfer to another clinical psychologist when he moved to a new city Dunedin”. The Wellington-based Karen Nimmi,

along with Ryder’s manager-friend Aaron Klee accompanied Ryder for India trip during IPL season. Aaron Klee is also no more managing Ryder’s affairs now, it is learnt here. On Wednesday, Ryder was busy playing the 4th day’s play of the Plunket Shield match against Auckland in Dunedin.Ryder is a contacted player with the Otago team. He is set to meet the New Zealand Cricket Players’ Association officials later this week to decide about his future. “The new NZCPA mental wellbeing service provider is an organisation named InStep which will look after the welfare of the players”, Glen Sulzberger, the Commercial and Events Manager of the association said from New Zealand. Ryder who has played 18 Test matches, 48 ODIs, and 22 Twenty20 games, has been in news for disciplinary and personal issues throughout his career.

Smoke-free park policies slow to catch on


ANS on smoking in public parks are still fairly rare in the United States, despite more than half of states having indoor smoking restrictions, researchers say. Just 355 counties out of 3,143 across the nation have smoke-free park policies typically they’re areas where the population is younger, more politically liberal and more well-off, the study team found. But rural and poorer communities should be encouraged to enact them too in the name of public health, they conclude. “Air quality studies have demonstrated that smoking in outdoor areas such as building entrances or city streets is associated with measurable concentrations of secondhand smoke components, including nicotine and particulate matter,” said the study’s senior author Elizabeth G. Klein. “Secondhand smoke exposure can cause cardiovascular damage in as little as 30 minutes, so even small amounts of exposure, indoor or outdoor, could be a health concern,” said Klein, of the Division of Health Behavior and Health Promotion at the College of Public Health at Ohio State University in Columbus. Banning smoking in public parks also helps to “denormalize” smoking, and hopefully leads to fewer young people picking up the habit, she said. Twenty-eight U.S. states have enacted bans on smoking in all indoor public places, including bars and restaurants. In three states, New Jersey, Delaware and California, more than half the counties have a policy designating city parks as smoke-free.

New Jersey leads with more than 80 percent of counties having outdoor smoke-free policies. Seven states, on the other hand, have no such policies: Alaska, Kentucky, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nevada, Virginia and the District of Columbia. Areas with lower incomes and education levels were least likely to have smoke-free policies, Klein’s team reports in Nicotine & Tobacco Research. “For some outdoor environments, like a patio, a bus stop, or a crowded beach, protection from exposure to tobacco smoke pollution is a solid rationale,” Ryan David Kennedy said. “For other environments - like parks - where exposure might be more avoidable, the reasons behind bans have had more to do with ‘social protection,’ the idea that we don’t want young people to think smoking is a socially acceptable behavior,” he said. Kennedy is a tobacco control researcher at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore and was not involved in the new study. In previous research in Minnesota, Klein found that 70 percent of residents favored smoke-free policies in parks, since they would decrease litter, reduce secondhand smoke and keep kids out of harm’s way. She also surveyed park directors: more than 90 percent of those without an outdoor smoking policy worried that enforcing one would be tough, but only 26 percent of directors at parks with a smoke-free policy reported having problems.

CPLC Chief Ahmed Chinoy and others lighting candles to pay tribute to martyred Police officials in city.—PO photo Sultan Chaki

Taxi driver murder case

Accused Rangers personnel lied to police STAFF REPORTER KARACHI—Gulshan-e Iqbal

School children enjoying the dolphin show at Maritime Museum.

MQM urges govt to issue ordinance to ban coverage of Taliban STAFF REPORTER KARACHI—The Central Coordination Committee of Muttahidda Qaumi Movement (MQM) demanded of the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Federal Information Minister Parvez Rasheed and Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Shareef to take extreme and crucial steps for the survival and integrity of the country to deal with the unending terrorism of Taliban. The Central Coordination Committee recommended that one of the extreme steps shall be the notification by the Government in the form of an Ordinance with immediate effect to restrict the print and electronic media and impose a ban on the publication

or broadcast of any form of statement from the Taliban. The Coordination Committee also appealed to the Government to provide security and protection to all the newspaper and electronic media offices so that the media persons can continue to perform their professional journalistic duties without any pressure or threat. It must be noted that Taliban has targeted bomb blast on various media houses and murdered senior journalists. The Coordination Committee also appealed to the owners and senior editors of all print and electronic media, in the name of national duty and fervour, to cooperate with the Government on the imposition of ban on Taliban coverage.

Police station duty officer had recorded his statement in the anti-terrorist court of the Judge Basheer Ahmed in the Taxi Driver Murder Case in which Pakistan Rangers Sindh personnel had been arrested and being tried. Duty officer Afzal Mehmood in his statement said that Pakistan Rangers Sindh personnel had made false statements to Police in the Taxi Driver Murad Ali’s Murder Case. After the taxi driver was shot, police had reached the scene where Rangers personnel stated that on not obeying Rangers for stopping moving, Rangers had fired due to which driver had sustained minor injuries and was shifted to Darul Sehat Hospital for medical treatment. The accused Lance Naek Ghulam Rasool and three other Rangers personnel had made similar statements. However, when Police reached Darul Sehat Hospital, doctors on duty at that time had informed Police that the taxi driver was brought dead to the said hospital. Then, Police had shifted the body of slain taxi driver to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical centre’s mortuary.

Govt determined to eradicate terrorism: Sharjeel IRFAN ALIGI KARACHI—Sindh Minister for Information Sharjeel Innam Memon said that Sindh Government was fully aware of complete threat spectrum for Province of Sindh. Sindh Government had conducted more number of operations against hard core terrorists than any other form of terrorists. The Minister said that the Sindh government was fully determined to eradicate the lawlessness and terrorism from the province and with that determination had conducted the targeted operation against the hardened criminals and terrorist, which any other province had not yet done so far. The elected democratic Sindh government would with the sup-

port of the people of the province and the gallantry of the law enforcement agencies, Pakistan Rangers Sindh and Sindh Police would defeat the terrorist and would cause the peace and tranquility to prevail across the province. He lauded the media for supporting Sindh government with daily publication of action against the perpetrators quite regularly, which had instilled the spirit of encouragement and helped Sindh government maintain its trust the people had laid in it. The Minister said that Police and Rangers had been given free hand to deal with the criminals and terrorists so that they could be taken to task as per law. Sindh government would not make any compromise over the targeted operation.

Conference against national institutions privatisation

Parties’ leaders, people appealed to participate in NLC OBSERVER REPORT KARACHI—The arrangements of National Labour Conference (NLC) against the privatization of national institutions are on full swing. Jamaat-e Islami (JI) Secretary General Liaquat Baloch will preside the conference while PPPP Senator Saeed Ghani, PTI MNA Arif Alvi, President National Labour Federation (NLF), Pakistan Shams-ur-Rehman Swati, leaders of different labour and trade unions including Pakistan Steel Mill (PSM), Pakistan

International Airlines (PIA), Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC), Karachi Port Trust (KPT) and others would also address the conference. President National Labour Federation (NLF), Karachi Khalid Khan has started to contact leaders of different political and religious parties in order to invite them to attend National Labour Conference, which is to be scheduled on 22nd Feb at 3.00 pm at Karachi Press Club.Meanwhile, Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Karachi Chief Hafiz Naeem-ur-Rehman has appealed the people belonging to different walks of life to attend conference in large number.

Danish Ambassador visits DHA city site STAFF REPORTER KARACHI—Danish Ambassador visited DHA City Site Karachi on Tuesday. Project Director DHA City received the Danish Ambassador at DCK Site. Besides Project Director, a significant number of DHA officers, engineers and consultants were present on occasion. Project Director DCK Brig. (Retd.) Muhammad Rafique and the consultant

DCK Engineer Arif Osmani briefed the Ambassador in detail about the ongoing development works at DCK Site. They threw light upon the significant milestones DCK had achieved within the preset timelines and told the ambassador that every effort was being made to make DCK a liveable entity by 2015-16. Briefing the Danish Ambassador, Project Director DCK Brig (R) Muhammad Rafique said that buildings,

roads and infrastructure works under short term development plan were almost complete and the sector development work was in full-swing. Project Director further said that DCK was being developed in accordance with a versatile development strategy and was going to be Pakistan’s first Sustainable & Smart City. Expressing his views, Danish Ambassador said DHA City Karachi has all potential to attract international investors.

Terrorists given a free hand STAFF REPORTER KARACHI—The Founder and Leader of MQM Altaf Hussain has strongly condemned the firing incident at Ice Cream shop at NIPA Chowrangi. He expressed his grief and sorrow over the deaths of two people and the injured person. Expressing his deep sorrow and grief over the incident, He said terrorists and criminals elements in the city are carrying out acts of terrorism and murders despite the ongoing targeted operation in the city. It gives us the impression that they have been given a free hand to do whatever they like. He demanded that the government should take serious notice of the acts of terrorism and murders in the city and the arrest and prosecute the beasts who had been killing people mercilessly.

ATC releases 2 extortionists for lack of evidence STAFF REPORTER KARACHI—The judge of anti-

SIU nabs high profile extortionist; Taliban involved in only 5pc cases of extortion IRFAN ALIGI KARACHI—Special Investigation Unit

Artists Amin Gulgee and Joshinder Chaggar addressing a press conference at Phenomena Art Gallery.—PO photo

of Karachi Police had arrested a high profile extortionist-cum-killer from an area near Hub River Road within the precincts of Mochko Police Station. The accused was wanted to Police for 9 cases of murder, kidnapping for ransom and extortion. A pistol and some bullets were also recovered from his possession. SSP SIU Muhammad Farooq Awan said this to the newsmen in a press conference he had addressed at his office Wednesday.Karachi Police Chief Shahid

Hayat had announced Rs 200, 000 as reward money to the police posses that conducted the raid and arrested the accused. Sindh government had already announced a bounty of Rs 500,000 on his arrest, live or dead. SSP Awan said that the accused was involved in killing of the hostages he had kidnapped for ransom and had killed the hostages for failing to pay the money in demand. The accused had been transporting the traders and wealthy citizens from Karachi to Katcha areas of rural Sindh. The SSP SIU on a question informed the newsmen that Police had traced out the gang that was behind sending e-mails

and calling from aboard to doctors. The gang had been working in close association of employees of private courier company. He said that Karachi police had in that regard contacted the Interpol for the arrest of the extortionist gang operating from abroad and would soon be taken to task. The SSP SIU claimed that the incidents of extortion had declined saliently during past 5 months. He also claimed that investigations had revealed that Taliban were involved in extortion only by 5 percent in Karachi while other hardened criminals had been operating for extortion in the disguise of Taliban by 95 per cent.

terrorist court, Jawaid Alam had ordered for releasing the 2 Lyari gang war members. The accused were arrested on charges of extortion, which the prosecution could not prove. The Lyari gang war members accused, Rizwan Saleem and Saleem Balouch were arrested by Police and a case of extortion was tried in anti-terrorist court. Police had claimed that accused had on Aug 4, 2012 had sent an envelope with a bullet to Dr Haji Saleem, owner of Raheem Hospital located in F B Area block 13. The accused had demanded of Raheem to pay Rs 2 million in extortion. Police had also nominated the 2 accused in other heinous crimes. However the anti-terrorist court Judge had on the basis of lack of evidences ordered for releasing them.

Smoke-free park policies slow to catch on


ANS on smoking in public parks are still fairly rare in the United States, despite more than half of states having indoor smoking restrictions, researchers say. Just 355 counties out of 3,143 across the nation have smoke-free park policies typically they’re areas where the population is younger, more politically liberal and more well-off, the study team found. But rural and poorer communities should be encouraged to enact them too in the name of public health, they conclude. “Air quality studies have demonstrated that smoking in outdoor areas such as building entrances or city streets is associated with measurable concentrations of secondhand smoke components, including nicotine and particulate matter,” said the study’s senior author Elizabeth G. Klein. “Secondhand smoke exposure can cause cardiovascular damage in as little as 30 minutes, so even small amounts of exposure, indoor or outdoor, could be a health concern,” said Klein, of the Division of Health Behavior and Health Promotion at the College of Public Health at Ohio State University in Columbus. Banning smoking in public parks also helps to “denormalize” smoking, and hopefully leads to fewer young people picking up the habit, she said. Twenty-eight U.S. states have enacted bans on smoking in all indoor public places, including bars and restaurants. In three states, New Jersey, Delaware and California, more than half the counties have a policy designating city parks as smoke-free.

New Jersey leads with more than 80 percent of counties having outdoor smoke-free policies. Seven states, on the other hand, have no such policies: Alaska, Kentucky, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nevada, Virginia and the District of Columbia. Areas with lower incomes and education levels were least likely to have smoke-free policies, Klein’s team reports in Nicotine & Tobacco Research. “For some outdoor environments, like a patio, a bus stop, or a crowded beach, protection from exposure to tobacco smoke pollution is a solid rationale,” Ryan David Kennedy said. “For other environments - like parks - where exposure might be more avoidable, the reasons behind bans have had more to do with ‘social protection,’ the idea that we don’t want young people to think smoking is a socially acceptable behavior,” he said. Kennedy is a tobacco control researcher at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore and was not involved in the new study. In previous research in Minnesota, Klein found that 70 percent of residents favored smoke-free policies in parks, since they would decrease litter, reduce secondhand smoke and keep kids out of harm’s way. She also surveyed park directors: more than 90 percent of those without an outdoor smoking policy worried that enforcing one would be tough, but only 26 percent of directors at parks with a smoke-free policy reported having problems.

Students during annual funfair of Fatima Jinnah Medical College.

Hamza for further promoting Pak-China economic cooperation SALIM AHMED LAHORE—Central leader of Pakistan Muslim League-N and Member National Assembly Hamza Shahbaz Sharif has said that there is a need to further promote PakChina economic and strategic cooperation in view of the changing world situation. He said that setting up of Pak-China economic corridor is of vital importance with regard to peace and economic progress in the region. He was talking to a high level Chinese delegation led by Vice Minister of Communist Party of Peoples Republic of China, Ai Ping during a meeting, here on Wednesday. Provincial Minister for Labour Raja Ashfaq Sarwar, Additional Chief Secretary Sohail Aamir, Commissioner Lahore, Secretaries Forests, Transport and Industry departments and officers of concerned departments were also present. Matters of mutual interest and promotion of bilateral relations were dis-

Workers of All Pakistan Clerks Association stage a demonstration in support of their demands near Nasir Bagh.

Salman: Priority to environmental health management SALIM AHMED LAHORE—Advisor to Chief Minister on Health Khawaja Salman Rafique inaugurated two days infection control monitoring training workshop at a local hotel, here on Wednesday. The workshop has been organized by Directorate General Health Services Punjab as part of Environment and Medical Waste Management Plan. Divisional Directors Health Services, Program Managers, District Officers Health and Deputy District Officers Health attended the workshop. In his inaugural address, Khwaja Salman Rafique said that government has accorded priority to environmental health and medical waste management. He said infection control is one of the priority areas in the health sector. He said that effective infection control require regular hand washing, sterilization of surgical equipments, injection safety, waste segregation and proper disposal of hazardous waste.

He stressed the importance of the role of health managers in the implementation of infection control measures and enforcement of hospital waste management rules in letter and spirit. He issued direction to develop comprehensive action plan to scale up infection control and medical waste management plan throughout the Punjab. He also informed that there are 23 hospital waste incinerators installed in the public sector hospitals. Technical Working Group is working to develop strategy to scale up intervention in the rest of the districts, he added. Health Advisor said govt is introducing system reforms to achieve the health standards set by Health Care Commission that capacity building of health managers through organizing specialized courses in collaboration with esteemed universities is under serious consideration. Khwaja Salam passed the directions to develop strategy for inclusion of infection control as compulsory subject for all kinds of medical and paramedical courses.

Retail Conference 2014

cussed in the meeting. Hamza Shahbaz Sharif pointed out energy, infrastructure, transport and other sectors where there is a vast scope of Chinese investment. He thanked Chinese government for the all out cooperation in resolving energy crisis and said that China has helped Pakistan in every hour of need. He said that Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif is implementing apparel industrial city, solar park, coal power generation and other projects of economic development and there are vast opportunities of Chinese investment in these projects. He said that in the wake of granting of GSP Plus status to Pakistan by European Union, Chinese government can help increase national production by imparting technical training to Pakistani workers. Chinese Vice Minister Ai Ping expressed surprise over the rapid progress made in all sectors in Punjab and commended the efforts of Chief Minister

Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif and his team. Earlier, Provincial Minister for Labour Raja Ashfaq Sarwar welcomed Chinese Vice Minister Ai Ping and his delegation at the airport. The Chinese delegation was also given a briefing in Arfa Karim Tower on skills sector. Besides training being given by Punjab Vocational Training Council and other institutions to the youth in various sectors, scope of further training by Chinese government was also considered on the occasion. Chinese Vice Minister was also given a detailed briefing on this occasion on metro bus system while the delegation also visited the control room of metro bus set up at Arfa Karim Tower. Chinese Vice Minister and his delegation also travelled by metro bus from Ittefaq Station to MAO College and termed this project of international standard a splendid gift of Chief Minister Punjab Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif to the people of the province.

LHC takes notice of maid strangulated to death MUZAFFAR ALI

OBSERVER REPORT LAHORE—LUMERSOFT Technologies and UMT (university of Management & Technology) jointly held 2nd Retail Conference at pearl continental hotel in Lahore on Wedneaday. Experts from the prominent retail brands in Pakistan and academia shared insights and experiences pertaining to the retail industry in Pakistan. Four interactive sessions were held to highlight various aspects of retail businesses in Pakistan like branding use of technology, innovations in retail establishment of linkages between academia and industry.

PU CAD students win stamp design competition STAFF REPORTER

LAHORE—Lahore High Court (LHC) Complaint Cell on Wednesday took notice of a press report on administrative side that a 16-year-old maid was strangled to death allegedly after being raped in the Faisal Town. The Cell has directed the District & Sessions Judge, Lahore to look into the matter and submit a detailed report regarding steps taken by police along with his own comments within a week. According to details, the deceased, an orphan minor, resident of Pattoki, was working as a maid for the last three months at a house in the Mochipura area of Faisal Town. The investigation officer said that the maid was found lying on the stairs of the house with a rope around her neck. He said, Shoukat Sheikh, the owner of the house informed the police on the phone that his maid committed suicide over unknown reasons. However, police did not believe the owner’s statement, as there was no hook or other support at the crime scene which the victim allegedly used to hang herself. Police removed the body to the city mortuary for an autopsy and registered a case against three real brothers Asim, Atif and Babar on the complaint of the deceased’s mother, Shamim Bibi, on the charges of murder and rape. However, no arrests could be made. As per press report, Azra’s mother believed that her daughter was raped and then murdered. Police collected evidence from the crime scene and started investigation on different angles.

L AHORE —The students of Punjab University College of Art & Design students have won all the three positions in design competition of commemorative postage stamps organized by Pakistan Post. On twelve themes, 32 designs out of 542 entries of 31 participants were selected for designs of the stamps by the jury and the PU CAD students secured 1st, 2nd and 3rd positions. The students included Taha Shahid, Huma Zahid, Ghulam Aisha, Fatima Rehman, Anqa Salam, Muzdalfa Arfan, Alina Ahmed, Raja Muneeb, Mahnoor Ahmed, Bakhtawar Javaid, Muneeb Ali, Mehmood Nadeem, Amna Amir and Maria Amal. PU Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran has congratulated students on their achievement.

Violence against women OBSERVER REPORT LAHORE—Provincial Minister for Population Welfare, Begum Zakia Shahnawaz has said that there is a need for change in mindset for checking violence against women. Women should also have awareness about their rights, she added. She was addressing a seminar on elimination of violence against women arranged by Girl Guide Association at Guide House, here on Wednesday. The seminar was attended by the women belonging to various walks of life. Begum Zakia Shahnawaz said that women are 52% of country’s population and playing an important role in the development of the country. She said that government has made legislation for women’ rights and now they can get their share from inherited property without any hurdle. She said that women have been given age relaxation in government jobs besides daycare centers and women hostels are being set up for them. Begum Zakia Shahnawaz further said that government will also take steps for imposing a ban on marriage of the girls below the age of 18 years and their working as housemaids. She said that women workers will be encouraged in every field of life.

Annual scientific symposium of PGMI OBSERVER REPORT

LUMERSOFT Technologies and UMT jointly held second Retail Conference in Lahore on Wednesday.

LAHORE—President College of Physicians and Surgeons of Pakistan Prof. Zafar Ullah Chaudhary has said that high quality can be ensured through hard work and efforts for the continuous professional development in the medical field. He said that effective service of ailing humanity is not possible without familiarizing the modern research and technology of treatment. He said that CPSP and PGMI are playing important role for upgrading the knowledge of doctors. He said that the services of Principal Prof. Anjum Habib Vohra, cannot be ignored in ensuring

important place to PGMI. He expressed these views while addressing the inaugural session of scientific symposium on “Quality assurance by continuous professional development” at Lahore General Hospital held under the aegis of Postgraduate Medical Institute today. Later, he also witnessed the exhibition of posters based on modern research and technology in health. Principal Prof. Anjum Habib Vohra, Prof. Khalid Masood Gondal, Prof. Agha Shabbir Ali, Prof. Ghias un Nabi Tayyab, Prof. Israr Ahmed, Prof. Syed Asghar Naqi, Prof. Ahmed Salman Waris, Prof. Khalid Mahmood and Prof. Muhammad

Aslam also addressed the symposium. Former deans of PGMI, faculty members and a large number of doctors all over the country were present on this occasion. Prof. Zafar Ullah Chaudhary said that continuous professional development for quality assurance is the motto of symposium and all people associated with health will have to pay full attention to the research and education for materializing this motto. Prof. Khalid Masood Gondal threw light on the services and role of CPSP for providing modern training to the doctors. He said that PGMI is also playing an important role for providing

quality education and training to the doctors for the last four decades. He stressed the need for holding scientific symposia for enhancing the knowledge and professional skill of young doctors. Earlier, addressing inaugural session Prof. Anjum Habib Vohra said that the revolution in the science and technology has also helped medical sector and latest development in medical field is the result of this technology due to which complicated operations and diagnostic tests can be carried out easily. He stressed upon young doctors to work hard and take active part in research work for meeting new challenges in medical field.

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