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NA passes ‘fair trial’ bill „State authorised to intercept private communications STAFF REPORTER ISLAMABAD—National Assembly passed a controversial ‘fair trial’ legislative bill on Thursday while authorising the state to intercept private communications in order to catch terrorists, may also pose a threat to people’s privacy. The bill was tabled by Law Minister Farooq Naek despite opposition from the MQM and PML-N. The bill has formally paved the way for the government to STAFF REPORTER LAHORE—It has been decided tap phones and use e-mails and text messages as proof in trials. to remove Punjab Governor The legislation provides the Sardar Latif Khan Khosa and replace him with Makhdoom authority to the government that Ahmed Mehmood, MPA from it can access “data, information or material in any documented Rahim Yar Khan. form . through audio visual deThe new Governor is likely to take oath of his office vice, CCTV, still photography, on Saturday (tomorrow). Decision to this effect was taken during Makhdoom Ahmed Mehmood’s meeting with President Asif Ali Zardari. Former Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani and Musa Gilani were also present TARIQ SAEED during the meeting. It may be mentioned here PESHAWAR—Another victim of the attacks on the Polio teams in that Makhdoom Ahmed Mehmood is the first cousin of Khyber Pukhtunkhwa, succumbed to his injuries here raisYusuf Raza Gilani. ing the death toll to nine of those killed while engaged in anti-polio campaign. Earlier six persons mostly female Polio volunteers were brutally gunned down in Karachi

Ahmed Mehmood to be new Punjab Governor

bugging, observation or any mode of modern devices or techniques obtained under the Act . documents, papers, pamphlets, booklets” for surveillance. The government can also

PM lauds MPs for their role in legislation ISLAMABAD—Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf on Thursday said that the present Parliament had carried out historic legislation and the contribution of its members would be written in golden words. He was addressing the Continued on Page 7

intercept “emails, SMS, internet protocol detail record, call detail record and any form of computer based or cell phone based communication. It also includes any means of communication using wired/ wireless/ internet protocol-based media/ gadgetry.” The government argues that the ‘Investigation for Fair Trial Act, 2012’, which had already been approved by the NA Standing Committee on Law and Justice last week, will allow for investigations by lawenforcement agencies and security agencies “by modern techniques and devices” in cases related to terrorism. The bill had become controversial because certain quarters feel that it will pose a serious

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Death toll in polio attacks rises to 9 Two workers escape life attempt in Multan

Afghan govt holds talks with Taliban in France

and Peshawar on Tuesday while a lady supervisor of the Polio team along with a driver of official vehicle were killed. Many others sustained injuries in incidents of firings on Polio vaccination teams in Peshawar, Charsadda and Nowshehra districts sending a wave of anxiety and insecurity among tens of thousands of volunteers administering Polio drops to children.

20-year-old Hilal Khan, polio volunteer who was gunned down in Peshawar by the unknown terrorists on Wednesday breathed his last in the lady Reading Hospital Thursday morning. He was shot in the head and was admitted to hospital in critical condition. The medics in the hospital as well as senior officials of the

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KARACHI: President Asif Ali Zardari in a meeting with delegation of All Parties Hurriyat Conference led by its Chairman Mirwaiz Umer Farooq at Bilawal House on Thursday.

Kashmir solution imperative: President

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IHC judges’ case

SC to issue judgment today ISLAMABAD—Supreme Court will issue its judgment on Friday (today) on the reference filed by President Asif Ali Zardari seeking a court advice to resolve a controversy over the appointment of Islamabad High Court judges and a petition filed by Advocate Nadeem Ahmad. A 5-member special bench of the apex court headed by Justice Khilji Arif Hussain concluded its proceedings of the case on December 14 and had reserved its verdict.

continued moral, diplomatic and political support for the just cause of the Kashmiri people. He was talking to a seven member APHC delegation led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq which called on him in Karachi on Thursday. Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari was also present in the meeting. The President said the Kashmir issue should be resolved according to aspirations of Kashmir people and UN resolutions. He said there can’t be durable peace in the region without just settlement of the dispute. During the meeting, Asif Zardari assured the visiting delegation that the Kashmir issue would be resolved as per aspirations of the people of Kashmir.—Online

26/11 incident

The Presidential reference, which included 13 questions for the court, was filed in the Islamabad High Court judges’ appointment case.—Online

Indian legal experts’ team arrives ISLAMABAD—A four-member team of Indian legal experts has arrived in Pakistan to finalise the terms of reference of a judicial commission that is expected to visit India next year to gather evidence on the 2008 Mumbai attacks. The delegation, led by a Joint Secretary of the Indian Home Ministry, includes legal experts from the Home and External Affairs Ministries. Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam — who handled the prosecution of Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving terrorist involved in RAWALPINDI: A Lady Health Worker giving polio vaccination to a child while an armed the Mumbai incident — is also policeman stands guard due to security concerns after killing of polio workers in different part of the team. The team will parts of country. Continued on Page 7

Omanis evince immense interest in MC elections Homegrown democracy takes roots ZAHID MALIK

a fuller empowerment of the a visiting journalist put it, a people of Oman,” said a local democratic system which has MUSCAT—One can witness businessman. It was certainly, as grown from the soil of Oman and it was taking deep roots. deep interest all around in the Omani Interior Minister first-ever Municipal Council Sayyid Hamoud bin Faisal al elections starting on 22 DeBusaidi had earlier announced cember and the initiative of that the country’s first ever elecHM Sultan Qaboos bin Said is tions to Oman’s 11 municipal being described as yet another councils will take place on Destep towards democratization cember 22. of the system. The Sultan’s According to the Municipal people-friendly policies and Election Law issued last year, his direct contact with the elany Omani citizen, aged 30 is ders of various tribes coupled eligible to stand as a candidate. with Majlis-e-Daula and Members of the State Council Majlis Ash’Shura are being and Majlis Ash’shura and govconsidered as a form of deernment employees and security mocracy which suits the genpersonnel are not allowed to esis of the people of the Sulcontest. 192 seats are available. tanate. “It will be now almost Sultan Qaboos

ECP to go ahead

SC bars acting chairman PEMRA from function

PML-Q, MQM, JI, Sunni KARACHI —President Asif Ali ISLAMABAD—Chief Election N, Tehrik, JUI-F, JUP and PTI dis- I SLAMABAD —The Supreme Commissioner Fakhruddin G Zardari has reaffirmed Pakistan’s

PARIS—Representatives of Afghanistan’s warring factions met here Thursday for two days of landmark talks that diplomats hope will bolster a fledgling peace process in the war-torn country. For the first time since a US-led bombing campaign drove the Taliban from power in 2001, senior figures in the Islamist movement sat down with officials from the government and other opposition forces for a round table discussion on the country’s future that was brokered by a French think tank. The organisers, the Foundation for Strategic Research (FRS), confirmed the closed-door talks had got

Delimitation in Karachi

Of the 1,636 candidates, 49 are women. Approximately 546,000 Omanis are eligible to vote. “Municipal council elections will be another step in the direction of establishing real democratic action in the country,” said Omani journalist Aziza Al Hasbi. A senior official of the Information Ministry in an interaction with this scribe explained that in many respects the democratic process launched by HM Sultan bin Qaboos bin Said was better in many ways compared with democratic process in some of the Arab States.

Ibrahim has said that the Supreme Court’s order will be implemented with regard to the delimitation of constituencies in Karachi and everything will be done as per the constitution. He added that the Supreme Court had directed that the process should be completed by visiting door to door with the help of the army as well as FC. Ibrahim chaired a consultative meeting of Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) which reviewed issues of dual nationalities, correction of electoral rolls as well as delimitation of Karachi in the light of judgment of Supreme Court. In the meeting, representatives of 15 political parties, including PPP, PML-

cussed various important administrative matters pertaining to upcoming general elections. The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), however, expressed strong reservations over new constituencies in Karachi. Ebrahim said that new constituencies would be made by keeping laws in mind. Concerning over the decision, MQM requested to defer work on new constituencies till the Supreme Court ruled its decision on review petition. MQM leader Farooq Sattar while talking to media said that Constitution tells them that new constituencies were impossible

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Court (SC) on Thursday barred the acting Chairman of Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) Dr Abdul Jabbar from discharging his duties. The SC was hearing the petition filed by senior anchorperson and journalist Hamid Mir regarding the formation of judicial commission. During the hearing, Justice Jawwad S Khawaja remarked that PEMRA has been unable to appoint a permanent chairman for the past one and a half year. Dr Abdul Jabbar was appointed as a caretaker but he had been passing orders in abundance. Therefore, he cannot continue any further as the acting chairman.—INP

Balochistan Govt has no constitutional authority: SC Court issues written order STAFF REPORTER I SLAMABAD —The Supreme Court in its written order reiterated that the Balochistan government had no constitutional authority. A three-member bench of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry heard the Balochistan law and order case on Thursday. In its written order, the apex court stated that the law and order situation was clear from the reports submitted by the federal, provincial governments and the

3 dead as gunmen attack buses in Balochistan STAFF REPORTER Q UETTA —Unknown armed men opened fire on two passenger buses in Mach area of Bolan district in Balochistan on Thursday, killing three and injuring six others. Security sources said that the buses were heading towards Lahore and Sadiqabad in Punjab from Quetta. Sources further said that the attackers also abducted two passengers travelling in the buses. Law enforcement agencies rushed to the spot and launched investigation into the incident. Identities of the deceased were yet to be ascertained. The dead and injured were taken to a nearby hospital.

Balochistan Bar. Those kidnapped in the province were being released after the payment of ransom, while those behind the kidnappings were not being apprehended. The apex court further stated that those involved in sectarian killings were not being arrested and only the levies had made two arrests. The court expressed dissatisfaction over the report submitted by the provincial home secretary and referred to its judgement of October 12 that the protection of citizens was the responsibility of the government. The court also asked in its

order if the doctors who observed a strike against the kidnapping of Dr Saeed were suspended or if their salaries were stopped. The counsel for the provincial government said he would raise this matter with the chief minister on Friday. The court adjourned the hearing of the case till January 14 and said if the case could not be heard in Islamabad it would be heard in Quetta. The bench also directed the lawyer for the provincial government to inform them as to how the government was being run and the case would be dismissed.

Polls must for strong Pakistan: Nawaz SALIM AHMED LAHORE—President Pakistan Muslim League (N) Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, has said that elections are indispensible for a strong and stable Pakistan. He said that fair and transparent elections are the only way to steer the country out of problems and crisis. He said that the in time holding of elections will help resolve the crises facing the country. He expressed these views, while talking to renowned politician of Sindh, Sardar Ali Gohar Mehar, who called on him at Raiwind accompanied by PML(N) Sindh chapter president Syed Ghaus Ali Shah. Ahsan Iqbal was also present in the meeting. Nawaz said that Karachi is the economic hub of the country and overcoming the deteriorating law and order situ-

ation there is necessary for the economic development and progress of the country. He said anti-polio workers are discharging the obligation of saving our future generations from becoming crippled and handicapped. He said that providing protection to anti-polio workers is the top responsibility of the government and Ulema belonging to all schools of thought should come forward to play their due role in this regard. Nawaz said that his party is keeping an eye on the situation in Sindh, and will deal with lawbreakers sternly and return the title of “Bride of Cities” to Karachi after coming into the power so that people could spend their routine life without any danger like before. Sardar Ali Gohar Mehar briefed Nawaz Sharif about the political situation in Sindh.


Japanese diplomat meets Elahi SALIM AHMED L AHORE—Japanese Ambassador in Pakistan Hiroshi OE held a meeting with Pakistan Muslim League senior leader and Deputy Prime Minister Ch Parvez Elahi at his residence here today. During the meeting, views were exchanged regarding future strategy to boost trade and industrial cooperation between the two countries and it was reiterated that trade would be taken to new heights. Ch Parvez Elahi said that in Asia, Japan’s technical growth is paralleled whereas in international economy also Japan has an important place, Japan is extending technical assistance to Pakistan for its development projects for which people of Pakistan are grateful to the Japanese Government. He further said that Japan can make investment in Pakistan in the fields of auto industry, infrastructure, heavy industry and computer hardware industry and also take advantage of our trained manpower. Pakistani universities and technical institutions are preparing highly capable engineers and technicians who can be very useful in Japanese projects in Pakistan. The Deputy Prime Minister praised JICA for its projects in Pakistan.

Roads, education vital for development

Admin alert to handle situation: DC

Schools destroyers enemies of nation: Hoti

Ban on light vehicles lifted in Gilgit

P ESHAWAR —Chief Minister 24 constituency Mardan. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Amir Haider Khan Hoti has said that terrorists destroying schools were enemy to development and brighter future of Pakhtuns generation. He said that only educated nations could touch the apex of development. He said that economic and business development without roads were not possible. He said that development and welfare of people of the province was my prior responsibility and he didn’t believe in personal criticism. He was addressing a gathering in Sokaikalay, union council Ghaladher PK-

MPA Haji Ahmad Khan Bahader, and ANP District General Secretary Imran Mandori also addressed the gathering. ANP Provincial Vice President Eng. Abbas, Haji Ata Ullah Khan, Javed Yousuf Zai, Haji Shah Nawaz Khan, other office bearers and workers were also present on the occasion. Senior office bearers and workers from other parties including Peoples Party announced association to ANP on the occasion. The CM offered them party red caps and termed their decision a timely and important decision.

The CM said that terrorists burning our schools were enemy to our development and brighter future, added, we were committed to foil their evil designs. He said that importance of promotion of education and roads was undoubted for long-lasting development and prosperity and that was the reason why both these sectors were given prior importance in Mardan. He said that education of girls was of great importance in current situation because an educated mother was the guarantee of developed society. He said that Sokai was centre of Khudai Khdmatgar, Ghala

Dher was the biggest union council on area basis, but no attention was paid to the area earlier to this government. He said that though he has no relation of votermember with this constituency but thoughts of Bacha Khan, land of Mardan, history and sacrifices of Red Flag and leadership of Asfandyar wali were our common ethos which was the most durable and strong relation. On development of the area, the CM said that repair and reconstruction of canal roads in Ghala Union Council costing Rs. 8 million and construction of funeral

UET organises exhibition on DICE T AXILA —University of En-

Teachers’ call off strike SHER GONDAL M ANDI B AHAUDDIN — Schoolteachers called off their strike and education activities were restored after their successful negotiations with DCO Tariq Chaudhry. Students were informed about reopening of schools on loud speakers and asked to attend the classes. It may be mentioned that a day earlier school teachers across the district closed schools and held a rally outside press club to protest against PMLN leader Pir Tariq Rizvi for his insulting attitude towards EDO Education and threatening him (EDO) of dire consequences. Reportedly, Tariq Rizvi insulted the EDO and threatened him of dire consequences when the EDO flatly refused to transfer a few teachers on his intercession. This caused anger among the teachers and they on the call of United Front of Teachers Organizations closed the schools and held a rally in front of press club. The participants of the rally raised slogans against Tariq Rizvi and demanded registration of FIR against him for threatening the EDO on telephone. Later the teachers held a meeting in premises of District Education Office and pledged to continue closure of schools till their demand was met. G.M. SHAH

T

HERE is a great hullaballoo over the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), also known Metro Bus System (MBS), a project launched by the Punjab government in Lahore. The critics are accusing the provincial government of wasting resources and focusing Lahore at the cost of other parts of the province. They are ‘questioning the rationale’ behind the venture, but it is very much clear that all the noise is politicallymotivated and aimed at creating misconceptions. Given the baseless reporting and statements issued about the project, it is necessary to share the reality with people. Lahore is the second largest city of Pakistan with a population of around 10 million, but like other cities of the country, there is no organised modern transport system to serve the citizens. Ever-increasing population and congested roads necessitated innovative thinking and a project like BRT. That’s why the Punjab government decided to address the problem through investing in a project which ensures mobility besides providing easy access to masses, supporting urban life and making the city liveable. A question may be asked: Wasn’t there any other options? Why BRT? The an-

place in Kharo Kalay have been completed. He said that apart from MPA fund Rs.21.5 million have been spent on other small schemes. The CM said that road and education play a vital role in development of any area and development without it can’t be imagined. He said that construction of bridges and roads costing Rs.180 million in the constituency has been completed. He said that in connection with education Rs.25 million has been spent on construction and up gradation of Primary, middle and high school.—Online

QUETTA: Governor Balochistan Nawab Zulfiqar Ali Magsi giving souvenir to soldier of Pakistan Army on his performance during a passing-out parade of recruits from Balochistan.

NYA launches countrywide Youth Councilors campaign

Ihtesham gets best feature writer award

I SLAMABAD —The National National Youth Assembly. structive and positive activi-

STAFF REPORTER

Youth Assembly (NYA) has launched a Youth Councilors’ Campaign across the country to scoop a talented youth at grass-roots level in line with the local government system. While talking to the APP, the President National Youth Assembly Hanan Ali Abbasi, who is recently nominated for “Sitar-e-Imtiaz” by the Government of Pakistan, said, “In order to enlarge NYA’s circle of humanitarian activities, we engage a broad numbers of youth as Youth-Councilors from more than 100 districts of the country”. He said NYA has, so far, appointed 10,000 youth councilors at union council level, and is intended to achieve the target of 25,000 youth councilors by March 23, 2013. These Councilors are actually a team of volunteers, who take active part in philanthropic activities carried out by the

The purpose of this campaign is to provide opportunity to maximize the youth representation at grassroots level in decision making process”, President said. He further said, “The Councilors will carry out table talks, sessions, and different other activities performed by other members of the National Youth Assembly. They will work under the direct guidance and consultation of Local Member of National Youth Assembly.” Reflecting about the goals of NYA, he said, “The National Youth Assembly aims at providing such practical environment to the young segment of the society that can encourage them to realize their responsibilities towards humanity. The concept of converging youth Councilors from all parts and parcels of the country is to involve youth in con-

ties. We give high regards to our youth Councilors for their dedication and commitment to serve the humanity and nation.” He also informed that the membership of the NYA was open for New Year, and any of the interested young adults could apply online through www.nya.com.pk Hanan said, “The National Youth Assembly during its two year terms has carried out many national and International activities including a visit to the National Assembly Pakistan, Provincial Assemblies of Punjab & Khyber Pakhtunkhawa, Supreme Court of Pakistan, Election Commission Pakistan, sessions with the leaders of different political parties, motivational lectures at Islamia College University Peshawar, International Islamic University Islamabad, National Defence University.—APP

For the people swer is the BRT is most efficient and cost-effective. Among other options, the average per kilometre cost of ‘Metro Rail’ and ‘Mono Rail’ is Rs6 billion and Rs3 billion respectively. But the expenditure on ‘Elevated BRT’ is Rs1.5 billion, while ‘At-Grade BRT’ costs Rs0.5 billion. Hence, the total estimated cost on the 26.71km-long first phase of BRT (from Gajjumatta to Shahdra) is around Rs26 billion. It is important to note that the government has planned to launch two more phases of BRT - Thokar Niaz Beg to Jallo More (Canal Road) and Thokar Niaz Beg to Anarkali (Multan Road) in next financial year to ensure that the service covers maximum area of metropolis. On the other hand, the feasibility study of the Lahore Rapid Mass Transit System (LRMTS), suggested by the previous PML-Q government estimated the cost at US$2.4 billion. Certainly, the current economic situation did not allow to for the muchhyped project; therefore, the PMLN government, which believes in optimum use of available resources, selected the BRT. It is astonishing politicking that former CM Pervaiz Elahi and others are blaming the PMLN of focusing Lahore when they were

planning to spend US$2.4 billion on an expensive venture, without considering the alternatives. One must also remember that one dollar is now equal to Rs97. Another reason for choosing the BRT is its success in various metropolises around the world. The system is currently functioning in 146 cities in the world with a total length of 3,658 kilometres and moving 24 million passengers daily. The number of passengers benefitting daily from the BRT in Latin America and Asia is 15 million and 6.3 million respectively. Cities like Tehran, Ahmedabad and Istanbul many others have opted for BRT during the last 10 to 15 years on high demand corridors to reduce congestion, travel time as well as pollution mainly because it is relatively cheap, flexible, fast, efficient and easier to implement. It also realises equitable democratic distribution of urban road space amongst people, as a car lane carries a maximum of 3,000 people per hour, while a BRT lane can serve up to 24,000 people like in Istanbul where the bus speed in highest – 40 kilometres per hour. A brief look at the BRT in various cities from around the globe will help in understand-

ing its efficiency and benefits. In the Columbian capital of Bogotá, a four-lane system serves 1.8 million passengers per day, the number for Chinese city of Ginangzhon is 0.8 million. With a two-lane, the BRT in Istanbul caters 0.6 million passengers and 0.2 million in Ahmedabad. And just to list more positives, the BRT in Lahore will serve for next 12-15 years, while its physical Infrastructure is largely compatible to metro and mono systems (LRT). It will also maximize economic benefits because of scale and serve affluent as well as poor people. At the start of operations, it will cater 30,000 to 40,000 passengers per day. In short, the detractors should keep in mind that the BRT is an affordable initiative, which will go a long way in reducing emissions and traffic volume. It offers safe, reliable and comfortable transport while saving time and fuel. It will also help attracting investment, and more importantly, create a new culture of public transport and land use in a congested city. The PMLN government deserves the credit for being the first in Pakistan in revolutionising the concept of public transport, a first step towards modern town

P E S H AWA R —Ihtesham-ulHaq Toru, Senior Journalist from Peshawar has got the Award of Best Feature Writer on Disaster and Natural Calamity from National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA). Associated with daily Jang, Ihtesham-ul-Haq Toru’s feature on 2010 Floods was declared best. The NDMA recently announced the results. Besides Ihtesham, journalists associated with both Print and Electronic media from all over the country, submitted entries in the contest. Federal Information Minister, Qamar Zaman Kaira has given the award in a simple but impressive ceremony at National Press Club Islamabad. Qamar Zaman Kaira has appreciated Ihtesham for such achievement. planning and urban development. Given an opportunity, the PMLN will introduce the system in other cities of the province and the country. But an entity like PPP, claiming to be a progressive political force, has no development plan even to cite an example. It started as a political force with slogans claiming that it was a ‘genuine left’, but it never bothered following any of their socialist models like Moscow, Calcutta, Delhi or any other former East European communist city. And in the post-1986 era, which pulled it towards the capitalist West, it didn’t shun its ‘antidevelopment credentials’ and ‘refrained’ from copying the models from the democratic secular world’s underground transit system of New York and London. And yet PPP tries to brand PMLN as conservative and rightist political force. If rightist or conservative means initiating and completing developmental projects for public then shame on PPP and its socalled secularism and leftist sloganeering. To inform the PPP and its allies’ feudal hierarchy, BRT will be the only service of its kind where a VVIP will be a common man and all car drivers will have to stop at every red light signal. A huge change in a society dominated by Zardaris, Wattoos and Chaudhries!

gineering and Technology Taxila has organized a twoday exhibition-cum-symposium (19-20 December, on distinguished innovations, collaborations and entrepreneurship (DICE). The annual event aimed at promoting the environment of knowledgebased revolution in country by motivating people from both academia as well as industry to utilize state-of-theart and high end technologies for the rapid development of innovative products. Objectives of DICE are to establish a strong linkage between Academia and Industry, to provide a common platform for both academia and industry to interact, collaborate, and share innovative ideas and concepts. Its other objectives include to expedite the process of technology revolution in country by motivating both academia and industry to acquire, promote and utilize state-of-art technologies and softwares for the rapid development of innovative products, to create an image of Pakistan in international community as a nation rich in high tech workforce, fully capable of developing innovative products and providing high-tech services to the rest of the world. Teams consisting of students from all HEC recognized degree awarding universities/institutes are eligible to apply. DICE has been devised to bring the academia and industries at a platform where they can present their creations/ discoveries and to have collaboration through innovations and fresh ideas that definitely shall play a pivotal role in creating.—APP

OUR CORRESPONDENT H U N Z A —All

necessary steps would be taken to avoid any unpleasant situation while strict action to be taken for better administration. Deputy Commissioner District Hunza Nagar Shabez Tahir Nadeem said while talking to APP that internal situation in the area is under control and local administration is fully alert to handle any unpleasant situation. He said that the all departments are working well, I have instructed to all department heads to improve their performance while development work in the area has been stopped due to the cold weather. He said that the district administration is providing relief to Atta abad affectees and we are fully aware of their problems. Meanwhile, the situation has returned to normal in Gilgit after two days of tension in the city while the government has lifted the ban from driving pickup, a local news channel reported Thursday. According to

sources, markets and trade centers resumed their regular business activities. The Gilgit-Rawalpindi section of Karakoram highway has also been opened for traffic. However, the ban on motorcycles is still intact due to deteriorating security situation in the area. The city faced commotion three days ago due to firing that left two persons dead and four injured. Govt plans to explore gems: The government of Gilgit-Baltistan has planned to explore precious and semi-precious gem stones in the region. Provincial Minister for Excise and Taxation GB, Muhammad Nasser Khan told APP here on Thursday that provincial government is taking steps to utilize this treasure. “We are making positive policies for proper utilization and revenue generation”, he said. Nasser Khan said that many departments of gems & minerals sector are conducting different cutting & polishing courses which would prove beneficial for the region.

Cold, dry weather during next few days I SLAMABAD —Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) on Thursday forecast mainly cold and dry weather for most parts of the country during the next few days. According to the synoptic situation, continental air is prevailing over most parts of the country. The lowest minimum temperatures recorded during the next 24 hours were Astore -10øC, Skardu -09øC, Malamjabba 06øC, Gilgit -05øC, Gupis, Hunza & Dir -04øC, Quetta 03øC, Murree -02øC and Chitral -01øC. The Karachi Met Office has forecast fair/ partly cloudy weather with cool night in the city over the next 24 hours. According to Met office’s weather report issued on Thursday the minimum temperature is expected to remain in the range of 12 to 14 degree centigrade. The Met Office said mainly cold and dry weather is likely to prevail elsewhere in the region. The Multan Met office has forecast cold and dry weather with chances of mist in the morning for the city and its suburbs during the next 24 hours.

On Thursday, the maximum and minimum temperatures were recorded as 23.2 and 07.6 degrees centigrade, respectively. Humidity was recorded 86 per cent at 8am and 43 percent at 5:pm. According to Met

office’s weather report issued the minimum temperature is expected to remain in the range of 12 to 14 degree centigrade.The Met office said mainly cold and dry weather is expected elsewhere in the region. The local Met Office Wednesday forecast dry weather with chances of mist in the morning for the city and its suburbs during the next 24 hours. The maximum and minimum temperature was recorded 24.2C and 7.7C respectively. The humidity was recorded 93 per cent at 8.00 am and 40 per cent at 5.00 pm. —APP


Police registers FIRs against polio vaccinators’ attackers PPP to bag full vote Staff Reporter

MPs, religious elders condemn polio teams attacks

P ESHAWAR —Provincial president PPP Q UETTA \P ESHAWAR —The Hashmi expressing his con- the cause is commendable. in the targeted attacks on the Batagram police station has will be brought to justice. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, has urged the people to vote for their party in the upcoming elections to further accelerate the going development process in the country. Addressing separate public meetings in Khairo Khal, Pagha and Abdul Khel in Lakki Marwat district, he said that ballot paper is not a simple piece of paper, but the fate of nation. The wrong use of the vote could plunge the country into backwardness, poverty and employment for five years more, he added. Member National Assembly, Hamayun Saifullah Khan was also present on the occasion. He said that after coming into power in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the party will put the province on the track of progress and development. He said that Saifullah Brothers have fulfilled all electoral pledges with the people and have always raised voice for the development of district and improvement in the lives of the people. General elections to be held on schedule: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Labour, Sher Azam Wazir has said that upcoming general elections will be held on schedule, adding the completion of the constitutional period by the government will help strengthen democracy in the country. Talking to media here Thursday, he said that the completion of the constitutional period will also help strengthen democratic institutions.

Balochistan lawmakers and religious leaders in strong terms, flayed the attack on the polio teams terming it massive loss of the entire nation here. “Attacks on the health teams working against the menace of the polio virus were beyond justification”, said Balochistan minister and PPP provincial president Mir Sadiq Umrani. He said that elements who are hampering the anti polio drive launched in parts of the country were putting our next generation in the jeopardy. “Killing women nither represents neither our religion nor our customs”, he added. Balochistan minister for interprovincial coordination Ruqaya Saeed

cern over the unabated incidents of violence against the health teams said that a typical mindset was opposing anti polio drive, which aimed at eradiate, dreaded polio virus and safe our children from disabilities. She, however, called for putting all-out security arrangements in place to secure health teams from any eventuality and urged the parents to cooperate with the visiting health teams. Balochistan Excise and Taxation minister Mohammad Amin Umrani said that there is dire need to sensitize the masses about the crippling disease of polio. The service of the health teams who on the risk of their lives working for

MPA Jan Ali Changezi condemned the killing in Sindh and Khaiber Pakhtunkhwa as saying who so ever were behind this act of violence were not serving to their own areas and country as a whole. Renowned religious scholars including Qari Abdul Rasheed, Maulana Hasan said that Islam does not allow killing human beings. Hindrance for health teams would cause huge loss to the children that may get victimized to the polio virus in Balochistan and other parts of the country. Peshawar: The Khyber Pakthunkhwa police have registered First Information Reports (FIR) against unidentified assailants involved

polio vaccinators in the province. The spokesman of Police Department here Thursday informed APP that FIR of deadly attack on polio worker, Hilal Khan, who succumbed to his injures in Lady Reading Hospital was registered in Khazana police station against unknown outlaws. The 22-year-old Hilal has lost battle for life in Lady Reading Hospital Peshawar after he was hit in the head by unknown attackers in UC Larama of Peshawar during wall chalking on doors during anti polio campaign. The spokesman said the FIR has been registered against unknown outlaws under section 302 (murder) case. Similarly, the

Rahmatullah Khan

STAFF REPORTER

PESHAWAR—Criticizing the government for its failure in restoration of peace in the country, the central vice president Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PMLQ) Ajmal Khan Wazir said that the situation was deteriorating day by day particularly in FATA. “The government could not curb militancy within tenure of five years in the country especially in tribal areas and that’s why FATA is not favorable for forthcoming General Elections,” he said while speaking at a press conference here Press Club on Thursday. “Militancy can’t be uprooted unless drone attacks are halted in tribal areas. If any terrorist attack occurred in the country, government starts consideration over military operation in Waziristan agency,” he lamented and continued, “There is no militant in the concerned agency, media should be allowed to confirm it,” he claimed. Mr Wazir further said that despite the Supreme Court orders that Karachi should be de weaponnised and peace be ensured in Baluchistan, the government is unable to meet the task due to its flawed policies. He alleged that the Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was not taking interest in the developments of Federally Administered Tribal areas (FATA) as he added that being a high representative of FATA he was not aware of his responsibili- HYDERABAD: Activists of Sindhyani Tehreek hold a protest against killings of polio vaccinators. ties. “FATA parliamentarians should resign as they failed to provide relief to their people against drone attacks.

ISLAMABAD—Minister of State for Interior, Imtiaz Safdar Warraich has condemned the terrorist attacks on anti-polio vaccination teams. The terrorists are trying to create an impression that people are against the anti-polio vaccination, which is totally wrong and unfortunate, he said in a statement issued here on Thursday. He categorically said that people of Pakistan are in full favour of anti-polio vaccination and the international community is helping Pakistan in this regard. The Minister extended his deepest sympathies to the aggrieved families and expressed his resolve that government would take all necessary actions to complete anti-polio vaccination campaign successfully and the culprits will be brought to justice. Earlier, Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani Wednesday condemned terrorist attacks on polio workers, killings and vowed providing security to them. In a statement he said despite such heinous killings of the polio workers and other tactics to undermine the polio campaign in country, the Government’s resolve to root out polio will never be compromised. Bijarani said, “Such cowardly acts of the terrorists will never discourage us and that the Government will keep striving hard to eradicate polio from Pakistan”. Bijarani has written letters to the Interior Minister and the Chief Ministers to ensure the security of the polio workers, and directed the Secretary Inter-Provincial Coordination Faridullah Khan to write to Chief Secretaries of Sindh.—APP

Matta Irrigation Channel pace quickens Staff Reporter

PESHAWAR—The Khyber Pakthunkhwa Minister for Information Technology and Science, Muhammad Ayub Khan on Thursday directed the Irrigation Department to expedite work on the Matta Irrigation Channel to ensure smooth water supply to the tail end fields. He also directed early completion of the ongoing projects pertaining to flood protection walls to safeguard soil erosion and offsets threats of floods in future. These directives were passed by him during a high level meeting held in Matta Swat district. Politics is a sacred job and financial grant allocated for welfare projects would be utilized on quick and early completion of the schemes, he added. He directed the officials concerned to complete the ongoing projects on time without compromising on quality. The Minister said the government, security forces and local people had given countless sacrifices in restoring peace in Swat and it was the duty of people to maintain it now and make close eyes on their localities. He said ANP had compensated people and finished the deprivation of the area during its tenure, adding ANP would be re-elected in the upcoming polls on the basis of better performance. He asked workers to boost efforts in election campaign for success of party in upcoming polls and create awareness among masses about achievements of ANP. He handed over key of tractor to Tehsil Municipal Administrator Matta with direction to ensure cleanliness in the area and perform duty with devotion. Popularization of Science and Technology plays a central role in the socioeconomics, culture, and environmental development of the countries.

Governor has also expressed deep sympathies with members of the bereaved families and said that the government is fully conscious of the state of agony which they have suffered and no effort will be spared to provide them justice. Polio teams, he added, are engaged in a sacred mission of not only protecting the new generation from this fatal disease, but, also get the nation rid of the stigma, which we carry because of being numbered amongst few countries of the world where the polio virus still exists. He prayed for eternal peace of the departed souls and courage to the bereaved families to bear the irreparable loss with patience.—APP

Consumers help for energy conservation sought

Peace deteriorating situation

Culprits to be brought to justice

registered a criminal case against unknown attackers on the killing of Lady Health Supervisor Zakia and her driver Muhammad Ayaz shot dead at Tarkha area in Union council Maazara in Tehsil Shabqadar Charsadda. The cases were registered under Sections 302/324 of Pakistan Penal Code (PPC). The spokesman said circle of investigation has been increased and culprits involved in these cowardice acts would soon be brought under clutches of law. Meanwhile, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor, Barrister Masood Kausar has taken strong exception to the killing of polio team workers and has said that the involved elements

Forensic reports failure to stop Punjab medicine production MUZAFFAR ALI

L AHORE —Demanding the Punjab government to publish forensic reports on the causes of deaths in Tyno Syrup tragedy, Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (PPMA) on Thursday announced complete strike in Punjab with closure of factories and medicine production from December 24 (Monday) due to unfair treatment by Punjab government. This was announced by the Vice Chairman of PPMA Nasir Qureshi

in a press conference held here at Lahore Press Club. Chairman Export Committee and Former Chairman PPMA Dr Riaz Ahmed, Chairman North Zone Saleem Iqbal, Amjad Java former PPMA Chairman and Managing Director Rekho Pharma Mrs Khalid Salim were also present on the occasion. Addressing the media men, Nasir Qureshi said according to the forensic report by the central drug laboratory, Tyno Syrup was not the cause of deaths. “Also these persons were already drug addicts

while there was no problem with the syrup itself but the Punjab government has not made public the forensic reports from the drug laboratories,” adding he demanded the Punjab government to immediately make these reports public otherwise they would extend their shutdown strike from other provinces too. He said that the unfair behavior and oversight to the facts is affecting the pharmaceutical industry all over the country. He said that the mishandling of Tyno syrup incident by the Punjab govern-

Fake TB drugs sale worsens healthcare in Balochistan Q UETTA —Counter sale of anti-Tuberculoses drugs at private medical stores just on the prescription of nonspecialist doctors and quacks has been worsening the situation in Balochistan due to non-existing of law to check it. In an exclusive interview with reporter here Dr Munir Ahmed Raisani, Provincial Manager National TB Control Program disclosed this and said that there was no law existing to check the counter sale of these medicines in open market. “It was observed that several untrained doctors and quacks have also been prescribing anti-TB drugs

and the patients purchase these medicines from private medical stores, making them vulnerable to resistant TB, a dangerous stage of the disease,” he said adding that TB is a fatal and epidemic disease and the patient could not be allowed for self-medication to cure it. He said that a remarkable number of people in Balochistan are suffering from TB and they are deprived of proper medical treatment due to illiteracy, lack of awareness, scattered population, lack of road network for access to hospitals and non-availability of basic health service. They said that women were more vulnerable to TB disease

in Balochistan as most of patients suffering from TB brought to hospitals comprised of women. Dr Raisani further said that high ratio of TB was being reported in several areas where doctors could not access patients liked that floodstricken districts of Nasirabad, Jaffarabad and Jhal Magsi. He, however, said that efforts afoot to move a bill in the Balochistan Assembly for legislation to stop the counter sale of anti-TB drugs. Dr Sultan Baloch, Chief Drug Inspector, Government of Balochistan told this scribe that they were authorized to check sale of fake.—APP

ment has forced us to close down our units all over Punjab and stop production of medicines. “We deeply regret the loss of lives in the incident but it would be unfair and unjust to blame the pharmaceutical company”, he added. He also urged the government to think about the occurrence of all these incidents in Lahore only, as huge quantities of medicine is being smuggled into the country from neighboring India but concerned authorities are not paying any heed to it.

PESHAWAR—Keeping in view the present power situation, Peshawar Electric Supply Company (PESCO) has requested consumers to conserve maximum energy. We can overcome the current energy crisis only with the help of consumers’ cooperation. PESCO is taking all possible steps to overcome the energy crisis, however, public is requested to conserve energy especially during the peak hours i.e from 5.00 pm to 10.00 pm. The domestic consumers are also requested to use energy savers and tube lights instead of bulbs and must iron their clothes in day time so that energy could be saved. Likewise, power theft also creates power shortage and power distribution system is hence severely over loaded. Tube well operators are required to operate tube wells in accordance with loadshedding schedule, so that customers do not face difficulties in getting water. PESCO Chief Executive PESCO said that in order to keep uninterruptible power supply, the consumers should adopt following proposals so that they may not face inconvenience. He said that we can overcome the current energy crisis only with the help of consumers. The domestic con-

sumers are also requested to use Energy Savers and tube lights instead of bulbs and iron their clothes in day time so that energy could be saved. Sometimes the distribution system is badly overloaded and in such situation in some areas power trips down automatically which cannot be anticipated. Power Shut Down at Peshawar: Due to maintenance and repair work, power supply will remained suspended from 132 KV Sakhi Chashma Grid Station on December 22 from 09:00 am to 03:00 pm affecting consumers of 11 KV Nishat and Chaghar Matte feeders. Power supply will be suspended from 132 KV Shahi Bagh Grid Station on December 22 from 09:00 am to 03:00 pm affecting consumers of 11 KV Old Naguman, DaudzaiI,II, KSM, Old Haryana, Khazana, New Naguman, Thakhtabad feeders. Meanwhile, it was reported earlier that Hyderabad Electric Supply Company HESCO has disconnected power supply to over one hundred government offices and schools of Shahdadpur subdivision to recover electricity arrears amounting Rs.185 million. The electric supply was disconnected during an overnight operation, SDO Haji Bin Yameen told.

56 officials declared POs S ARGODHA —Regional Director, Anti Corruption Establishment (ACE) Babar Aman Babar has declared 56 officials of various government departments of the region as Proclaimed Offenders (POs) in corruption cases. According to a handout issued here Thursday, the 56 officials of different departments were wanted to the Anti Corruption Police in cases of embezzlement, fabrication in officials record, illegal allotment of government land and other corruption cases. The declared POs include Food Inspector Tasdaq Hussain, Sub-Inspector Muhammad Shafi, PESHAWAR: Girls students of a local school march past Patwari Kaif ul Islam.—APP during inaugural ceremony of Annul Sport Day.

Pakistan to streamline reporting obligation on ILO Conventions I SLAMABAD —Pakistan is ers’ and workers’ organiza- labour standards and its retaking steps to streamline its reporting obligation on ratified International Labour Conventions to the ILO’s Supervisory Bodies. A joint action plan was agreed by four Provincial Labour Departments in this regard at a two-day workshop, jointly organized by Ministry of Human Resource Development (MoHRD) and ILO at Bhurban. This action plan will enable Ministry of Human Resource Development to seek timely reports from provincial Labour Departments on the reporting against ILO Conventions, BANNU: Chief of Mamandkhel tribe Malik Mer Shamad Khan addressing the grand discuss the reports with the representatives of employJirga regarding police attitude.

tions before submitting it to ILO’s Supervisory Bodies. In his address, Federal Secretary, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Muhammad Ahsan Raja said with passage of 18th constitutional amendment, labour has become a provincial subject. However, the ministry still has the responsibility to report on ratified ILO Conventions to ILO’s Supervisory mechanism. He assured that the government would continue to fulfil its commitments under the ratified ILO Conventions and coordinate with provincial labour departments to ensure for the application of international

porting to the ILO. He thanked the ILO for its support to Pakistan to help improve reporting on the international labour standards and to promote decent work in the country. On this occasion, Francesco d’Ovidio, ILO Country Director said in post 18th constitutional amendment, for the purpose of reporting on the International Labour Standards, the vertical link between the provincial labour departments and the Ministry of Human Resource Development needs to be strengthened for timely reporting. Pakistan has ratified 34 ILO Conventions including 8 core conventions.—APP


Don’t postpone elections on any pretext

MEDIA WATCH

Losing battle

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he country seems to be moving towards general elections but despite that there are strong rumours about possibility of their postponement on some excuse, raising concern among those who want the democratic process to proceed ahead uninterrupted. It is, perhaps, in this backdrop that PML-N leader and Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif has warned that there would be unrest in the country if general elections were delayed. It is quite enigmatic that some people have started talking about postponement of the polls so close to the completion of the term of the incumbent Government and expected announcement of the poll date anytime. The Election Commission too is all geared to undertake the exercise and has already announced that it can effectively fulfil the task when entrusted. The proponents of the delay must have their own cogent reasons but under the Constitution the polls can be delayed only in an emergent situation. There are also apprehensions that the deteriorating security environment, successful culmination of the war on terror and weeding out of corruption would be used or misused to advance the objective of delaying the polls. But saner elements firmly believe that postponement on any pretext would be a serious setback to the democratic process and it would be, in fact, an acknowledgement that the democratic system was unable to deliver or address the challenges facing the country. This would also be a virtual no-confidence in the incumbent leadership and the alternative one as well. Reforms, as needed, must be initiated and implemented by remaining strictly within the framework of the democratic dispensation. Expectations for a drastic overnight change never materialized in the past nor would it in future. Therefore, it would be a folly to derail the system once again in any manner and for any reason. Elections must be held on time allowing people to exercise their democratic right to choose their representative and it is for the parties and candidates how they win support of the masses.

Now follow education bill in letter and in spirit W

ITH the presidential assent, ‘The right to Free and Compulsory Education Bill, 2012’ envisaging the provision of free-of-cost education to children from 5 to 16 years of age has become a law. On this occasion, Asif Ali Zardari expressed the confidence that the law would ensure that no child remains out of school hence realizing country’s international commitments. Despite the fact that it is a belated initiative that comes at the fag end of the tenure of the present Government, the enactment of a law to ensure free and compulsory education would surely go a long way in realizing the dream of a literate Pakistan. For this, the Government and the lawmakers really deserve appreciation but the real test is in its implementation and we hope they would now focus on this aspect. There are no two opinions that education is key to progress and development but unfortunately we have so far paid only lip service to its promotion. The unfortunate reality is that the expenditure on education remains almost static for decades notwithstanding repeated claims by successive governments to allocate more for the purpose. The situation is so pathetic that there are out-of-school children even in the comparatively much smaller Islamabad Capital Territory for reasons of poverty or non-availability of educational facilities. Now the Federal Government is legally bound to take measures to ensure free and compulsory education for all and we hope it would make Islamabad education-wise a model city. It is, however, a very small beginning in that it is applicable to the Federal Capital territory alone leaving provinces, FATA, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir out of its ambit as education is now a provincial subject. Now a model law is before us and the provinces should waste no time in replicating the exercise.

Ladies spread their wings in Seoul I

T appears that time is not far off when women would be ruling most parts of the world. Already this trend is being witnessed in several countries and the latest one is the election of Park Geun-hye as first female President of South Korea, a landmark victory that could mean a new drive to start talks with rival North Korea. Park Geun-hye has created an image as a selfless daughter of Korea, never married, and a female lawmaker in a male-dominated political world. Park is considered by the South Koreans as good-hearted, calm and trustworthy and expect that under her wings, the country would be better able to handle domestic issue and relations with North Korea. In fact women are taking the centre stage in almost all countries at the political level and in key institutions. In Pakistan, Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto became the first Prime Minister of a Muslim country while in other South Asian countries including India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, Indira Gandhi, Sheikh Hasina Wajid, Khalida Zia, Sirimavo Bandaranaike and Chandrike Kumaratunga led their countries admirably. In several European countries female are holding key political positions, representing their people in parliaments in good numbers and heading important institutions thus contributing in important spheres of life. Though Hillary Clinton has opted to leave the office of US Secretary of State during second term of Obama Administration but there are strong vibes that she would be preparing for the 2016 Presidential elections. So the focus is shifting from male domination to gender equality and people are pinning hopes that the world would be more peaceful and prosperous as women leaders are more considerate and understand the sufferings of the poor.

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Going down fighting

Will Etihad lower airfares? lio, that of Industry, where too he is presiding over declines in performance. However, now that civil aviation is finally rid of the multi-billionaire there is a M D Nalapat minister, chance that airline Email: mgnalapat@gmail.com ticket prices may once again begin to fall, rather than constantly rise. This is if Etihad f a prize were to be awarded for Airlines buys into Kingfisher, the airthe worst-performing minister in line which is now in life support in India, former Civil Aviation the ICU. The withdrawal of the KingMinister Praful Patel would stand a fisher fleet from domestic operations good chance of qualifying. Under has been a major factor behind the his stewardship, the state-owned Air high prices being charged by the surIndia has become terminally sick, viving airlines, and its re-entry into being kept alive only by bigger and the market may be expected to probigger infusions of taxpayer cash. mote competition within the sector. It’s debt has reached $10 billion, This is, of course, if Etihad chooses while morale is low. Delhi airport Kingfisher Airlines rather than Jet Airwas handed over to a private com- ways as its partner of choice in India. pany that did not take long to raise Etihad is in talks with Jet Airways and — and raise, and raise - charges for Kingfisher to acquire a stake in one of airlines and passengers, so that it has the two, so as to enter the fast-growbecome one of the most expensive ing air transportation market in India. Although media accounts speak of Jet in the world. Bangalore airport resembles a as the front-runner, aviation sources crowded shed, while in the rest of in Abu Dhabi, London and Bangalore India, only Hyderabad airport pro- say that on the contrary, Kingfisher vides a pleasant experience. When may be the better bet for Etihad. The main reason for this is that Praful Patel took charge of the Civil Aviation portfolio in 2004, air the flamboyant promoter of Kingfares were coming down, thanks fisher, Vijay Mallya, may be willing mainly to low-cost airlines such as to hand over control of his dying airAir Deccan. Soon afterwards, they line to the Abu Dhabi carrier, whereas began to skyrocket, so that these Jet Airways will give only a much days, it is much more expensive to smaller stake, about 24%. In India, it fly within India than it is to fly is easy to use Foreign Financial Inwithin much richer countries. Of stitutions (FIIs) to boost control in course, despite his poor record in domestic companies over and above safeguarding the interests of the air the limits sanctioned by law, and passenger, Praful Patel has been re- Etihad can use the FII channel to - in warded with another prize portfo- effect - boost its stake in Kingfisher

Geopolitical notes from India

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to much more than the 49% it is legally entitled to buy. There is a world of difference between holding a minority stake – and being in the passenger seat - as opposed to having control, and thereby being firmly in the driver’s seat. Another advantage for Etihad, should it decide on taking control of Kingfisher, would be that the Indian carrier has by now lost the bulk of its fleet. Leased aircraft have been re-possessed for non-payment of dues, while other aircraft have been pledged to lenders. Given its aggressive modernisation drive, the Abu Dhabi airline is likely to have a substantial fleet of surplus aircraft which can be leased to Kingfisher, thereby earning immediate revenue. The entry of the Etihad aircraft into the Indian skies ought to lower fares, which is the factor which is most important to the traveller, after years of having higher and higher fares and deteriorating service by carriers eager to cut costs by short-changing passengers. Should Etihad buy into Jet Airways, the lease market for its surplus aircraft would be much less. Add to that the fact that 49% of Kingfisher Airlines is probably worth $1,if that. The airline has been run to the ground and by now has a growing negative net worth. Jet Airways, on the other hand, would - justifiably - demand a much higher price for the 24% stake that promoter Naresh Goyal may be willing to cede to Etihad. Over the years, Goyal has developed Jet Airways into an efficient airline. About two years ago, this columnist took its DelhiLondon flight, and found the standard of passenger comfort far better than that of European carriers . Ironically, the effect of the near collapse of Kingfisher Airlines may make it an attractive option. For example, while Jet Airways has about 20,000 employees, Kingfisher by now has much less, because of the

fact that much of the staff have resigned in disgust at not having been paid for months at a time. This has made the airline leaner. Should Vijay Mallya succeed in getting Etihad to buy a controlling stake in his airline, he would be freed of responsibility for the nearly $2 billion that the company owes to financial institutions and to others. Also, what stake remains with him can be expected to rise sharply in value, given the fact that Etihad is a wellrun airline, despite its fascination with Europe, including a sizeable Euro-expat managerial group eager to ensure that as much benefit as possible flow to their financially stricken continent from the airline. However, high reliance on European brainpower is a trait which Etihad shares with several GCC entities, including Al Jazeera. Coming to the luxury brands of Europe, these have two huge pools of customers eager to pay absurdly high prices simply because of a label, and these are in the GCC and in China, where too European labels enjoy a huge premium to this day. Those banks which trusted Vijay Mallya and handed over huge loans to Kingfisher are going to be the only losers in such a deal. The chances are that more than half the loan will need to be written off, if a viable White Knight is to come forward. Only the management of Etihad can decide as to whether Jet Airways or Kingfisher is the better buy. However, for the air traveller in India, the re-entry of Kingfisher into the market ought to result in a lowering of fares. In these inflationary times, any relief is welcome! —The writer is Vice-Chair, Manipal Advanced Research Group, UNESCO Peace Chair & Professor of Geopolitics, Manipal University, Haryana State, India.

Airbases: Terror attack targets American and Europeans with some hailing from China, Indonesia, Myanmar, Sultan M Hali Bangladesh and even Australia Email: sm_hali@yahoo.com and New Zealand. Many of them had burnt their boats and akistan is in the eleventh year had nowhere to return after the war of participating in the war on was over. Various tribes and alliance terror (WoT), which has ex- brought the foreign elements in their posed it, to becoming a target of the fold to join in the civil war that folterror attacks itself. The ongoing lowed. Osama bin Laden (OBL), the WoT has caused tremendous loss to Saudi billionaire, who was banished Pakistan; nearly thirty nine thousand from his home country, temporarily precious lives including five thou- set up camp in Sudan, which he was sand five hundred security person- forced to leave but found sanctuary nel, in addition to over twenty thou- in strife torn Afghanistan. Meanwhile sand injured and about sixty-eight the Taliban organized themselves as billion dollars worth of property de- a force to reckon with and conquered stroyed or lost. Most of the terror- most of Afghanistan. ists wreaking havoc in Pakistan and It was in this background that across the Durand Line in Afghani- OBL’s Al-Qaeda became responsible stan are former Mujahideen, who for international terrorism, which perwere recruited, indoctrinated and meated into terror attacks like the trained to launch jihad against the ones on US Embassies in the major Soviet Union, which had invaded East African cities of Dar-es-Salaam, Afghanistan in 1979. Tanzania and Nairobi, Kenya, the In 1989, after the defeat of the American Naval vessel, the USS USSR, the international forces sup- Cole and culminated in the 9/11 atporting the Mujahideen, also with- tack in USA on the Twin Towers and drew posthaste, leaving the armed Pentagon. US retaliated along with militia in a lurch, which turned into the international coalition forces overwarlords and internecine wars to throwing the Taliban regime in Afsnatch control of Afghanistan, ghanistan after a swift military attack. erupted. The motley crowd compris- The US-led alliance made two grave ing Afghan society, is Pashtuns, errors, one it failed to decimate AlUzbeks, Tajiks, Turkmen, Hazaras Qaeda by not committing enough and a number of other smaller but ground troops to hunt OBL after the equally ferocious tribes. The assort- air strikes on Tora Bora where OBL ment was muddled by thousands of was holed up and secondly it provided international jihadists, who had the Taliban reprieve, when it opened reached Afghanistan to participate in a second front by attacking Iraq in the war to liberate Afghanistan. A 2003. The Taliban and Al-Qaeda, majority of them was Arabs, Paki- who were defeated but not annihistanis, Uzbeks, Chechens, Muslim lated, managed to regroup. They had

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found sanctuary in the rugged and treacherous terrain bordering the PakAfghan divide. Pakistan had chosen to ally itself with the international coalition forces, providing its air bases, ground lines of communication and essential intelligence to its allies. This helped tighten the noose around the Al-Qaeda, many of whom were rounded up from Pakistani cities. This turned the wrath of the AlQaeda upon Pakistan but the attack on Pakistani cities and military installations only peaked after the Taliban/ Al-Qaeda occupied Swat, South Waziristan and portions of North Waziristan. The Pakistani military launched major campaigns to oust them from Swat and South Waziristan. A fresh group surfaced, calling itself the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). In order to eliminate the wily, treacherous and faceless enemy, operating from precipitous terrain, airpower was brought into use. The US added a new dimension to the war on terror, the unmanned drones, equipped with air to surface missiles. The drone attacks bore results but also caused collateral damage to innocent civilians. However, being operated from Langley, the Al-Qaeda/Taliban combo could do little to retaliate except intensify attacks on the NATO/ ISAF troops in Afghanistan. Instead, they turned their attention to the sources of air power in Pakistan. Cobra gunship helicopters are being used by the Pakistan Army, while the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) is employing surveillance platforms to locate terrorist hideouts and is targeting them with air-launched Precision Guided Munitions to reduce the chances of collateral damage. The terror mongers redirected the attacks by TTP towards the Pakistan military and airbases. The handlers of TTP reindoctrinated them, identifying the

Pakistani Armed Forces as the enemy, projecting them as allies of the West. It was impressed on the minds of the jihadists that the Pakistani Armed Forces had sold their souls to the enemy, thus it was imperative to target and eliminate them. Attacks on the Pakistan Army’s General Headquarters at Rawalpindi, PAF Bases at Sargodha, Kamra, Karachi, Kohat and Risalpur are links of the same chain. In the bargain, external enemies of Pakistan tried to fish in troubled waters and pointed towards the Pakistan Navy’s multi-million dollars asset, the maritime surveillance aircraft the P3C-Orions, thus the attack on PN airbase Mehran, which took a toll of two of the three high value assets. The August 16, 2012 attack on PAF Base at Kamra, targeted the Saab 2000 Airborne Early Warning & Control System aircraft fitted with the Erieye radar. In the December 15 attack on Peshawar, the targets were the Cobra gunship helicopters and Fighter jets. It has now been identified that the terrorists want to eliminate the sources of air power thus the airbases have been targeted. This calls for renewed preparedness, learn lessons from the attacks so far and make it extremely difficult for the determined enemy to reach its target. It has also been observed that the enemy takes shelter in the residential areas, which have mushroomed in the vicinity of the airbases. A concerted effort is required to push back the private housings from the vicinity of the airbases to defend them effectively. —The author, a retired PAF Group Captain, served as Air & Naval attaché at Riyadh and is currently a columnist, analyst and TV talk show host.

AKISTAN is actually one of the last places in the world where polio continues to thrive. Over 115 fresh cases of polio, mainly in the restive northwestern region and Sindh, have been reported so far this year — a moment of utter shame for the country, which has pumped considerable resources in tackling the disease. While polio is nothing but a distant memory in most of the developed world, the disease is still endemic in South Asia and Nigeria. In Pakistan, the water-borne virus has been particular difficult to control in recent years. The rampant militancy and war on terrorism is to blame for the scourge of polio. Recently, the country’s polio workers, who are entrusted with the Herculean task of traversing a difficult terrain and convincing a largely illiterate population to let their children be immunised, are facing attacks by militants. Recently, vaccinators in Peshawar, Charsadda and Karachi— mainly females — have been shot dead. A student volunteer in Karachi has also been gunned down. While the Taliban have not taken responsibility for the act, many are pointing fingers at militant groups. The Taleban have been especially wary of the polio immunisation programme, after reports that the CIA collected intelligence on Obama bin Laden’s whereabouts in Pakistan through the polio programme. They have also forced people to reject the anti-polio programme, on the pretext that it supposedly causes infertility is an anti-Muslim propaganda. Responding to these dastardly attacks on health workers, the UN has scaled down its polio immunisation programme. Quite expectedly, this move will prove to be a disastrous blow to the plan for polio eradication. Earlier this year, the strain of polio responsible for cases in China’s western Xinjiang province that borders Pakistan, were traced back to the latter. Pakistan’s citizens face the risk of a travel ban by the international community if the authorities fail to control polio beyond 2013. As the country continues to battle a raging militancy, its leaders should know that there’s one war that they have already lost — the one against polio.—Khaleej Times

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Iraq’s leadership has failed its people

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HERE is an urgent need in Iraq to discuss the direction in which the country is moving. The nation has witnessed conflict for many years and the time is apt to look at the ground reality with a fresh approach. Just recently, the World Bank has pledged $900 million to Iraq over the next four years. The allocated amount is aimed at creating jobs, building stronger institutions, as well as improving the social aspects of the daily lives of Iraqis. This strategy has been agreed on with the cooperation of various parties, including the World Bank, the Iraqi government, the private sector as well as others. The most important factor in this programme is that it is looking at devising a better management plan for the wealth that is being generated by Iraq’s oil production. Almost 95 per cent of the country’s budget is derived from its oil revenue. Yet, despite being a country with large oil reserves wealthy enough to guarantee a steady income for its people, Iraq has failed to utilise this resource efficiently. As a matter of fact, the political changes in the country have only brought about an increase in corruption and an alarming misuse of public funds. If anything, this is indicative of a weak check and balance system as much as a failure of the country’s leadership and the government to set the goal right for the future of Iraq. There is no question that how the government handles its budget is critical to the rebuilding process. There are no excuses as to why such a structure has not been in place. Neither is it acceptable that the Iraqi people are still falling victim to endless bombings and violence. The bloodshed in Iraq has to stop and the process of rebuilding has to commence. Otherwise the spiral of destruction will never come to an end. —Gulf News It is better to be born lucky than rich. —Proverb


Pak-China ties under strain Voice of the People

an epicenter of world terrorism, blaming it for its alleged double role in war on terror hurtCol M Hanif (R) iningAfghanistan NATO’s interests Email: hanifsardar@hotmail.com and highlighting that Pakistan is proving sanctuaries to the terrorists and Afghan Taliban. t is obvious that India has never Through such a propaganda reconciled with all weather friend whereas India is trying to exploit senship between Pakistan and China. sitivities of the US and other western For its South, Central and West Asia countries on Pakistan’s role in war on specific strategic interests, while In- terror it is also trying to prove to dia is constantly struggling to isolate China that Pakistan’s alleged support Pakistan in South Asia it is also mak- to Afghan Taliban and other terroring efforts to disturb China’s relations ists is also hurting China’s commerwith Pakistan. India’s objective is to cial interests in Afghanistan and creestablish its primacy in South Asia ating instability in its Xinjiang Provby weakening Pakistan economically ince. US and western policy makers, and eroding South Asian strategic media persons and think tanks have balance. This is mainly being done also started reflecting negatively on by India by using its soft power and Pakistan on the issues of fighting war well orchestrated finely tuned propa- on terror and its alleged double role ganda campaign, while apparently in Afghanistan. In this context since showing that it wants to expand its the US wants to give primacy to Intrade and economic relations with dia under its obligations of having Pakistan. India’s propaganda themes signed the agreement of strategic are related to criticism of Pakistan’s partnership with it, the US and its role in war on terror as non NATO western friends are also undermining ally being fought in Afghanistan. For Pakistan’s role in Afghanistan’s peace this purpose Indian leaders’ state- process, are creating apprehensions ments, its print media write ups, elec- about safety of Pakistan’s nuclear tronic media projections and articles weapons, showing no concern on and research papers written by its resolution of Kashmir dispute and are think tanks are branding Pakistan as even closing their eyes on wide scale

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violation of human rights in Indian held Kashmir. Instead of acknowledging Pakistan’s spectacular achievements in fighting war on terror and immense human and financial losses suffered in the process, it is being propagated that due to terrorist attacks happening in Pakistan it is going to be internally destabilized and ultimately its nuclear weapons will not be safe from terrorist attacks. In this context Indian and some western policy makers and scholars are trying to negatively influence China regarding Pakistan’s capacity of keeping its nuclear assets safe from terrorist attacks. In this context there is a strong perception prevailing in Pakistan that to make their argument logical some foreign intelligence agencies based in Afghanistan might be tacitly facilitating terrorist attacks inside Pakistan by financing some terrorist groups in FATA. Also, instead of economically assisting Pakistan in making up its colossal war losses it is being widely commented that Pakistan’s economy is going to collapse ultimately which might put its existence in danger. By propagating such theories, while foreign investments in Pakistan are being discouraged, efforts are also underway to mislead China that its efforts to assist its close friend Pakistan financially and its investments in this country will go waste. India has also recently attracted large Chi-

nese investments in its infrastructure and real estate projects. Under the discussed scenario, to neutralize strains being brought in Pakistan-China relations and to further advance this partnership it is necessary for Pakistan to take appropriate foreign policy measures with respect to China. While Pakistan should continuously remain in touch with Chinese leadership for making them aware about these engineered strains, it should also make special efforts for wider engagement of Chinese media persons, scholars community, business community, civil society segments and enhance people to people contacts to apprise them of the negative propaganda. Pakistan should offer special incentives to Chinese investors to attract their investments in major developmental projects like management of Gawader port, energy projects and building of communication infrastructure. For this purpose Pakistan Government should make special security arrangements for Chinese investors, engineers and entrepreneurs who come to Pakistan for business. These measures are necessary for creating stakes for Chinese businessmen in Pakistan. Pakistan should also make concerted efforts for peace in Afghanistan in coordination with China so that its commercial interests in Afghanistan are made safe.

Revenge, clench & trench partments). Sources said that the vacancy was arranged upon political pressure and AzeemAyesha Zee Khan Muhammad ul-Haq Minhas had Email:ayeshazeekhan@live.com been appointed as senior joint secretary in PM Secretariat on grade 21 (grade 21 in just two years on poccording to media reports, the litical pressure). Soon after his fatherPM appointed his son-in-law in-law got elevated as the PM of Pato the post of Executive Di- kistan; he was automatically uprector of World Bank by using his dis- graded as Additional Secretary Intercretionary powers. Suo motu notice nal Affairs in the PM Secretariat was taken by the Supreme Court which is a grade 21 post. This report by media about the over these media reports. A threemember bench of SC headed by Jus- appointment of Raja Azeem-ul-Haq, tice Anwar Zaheer Jamali has been the son-in-law of Prime Minister Raja constituted to hear this case on 19th Ashraf was no big surprise. It only revealed that such out of merit apDecember 2012. Previously, Azeem-ul-Haque’s pointments are blatant audacity and rise to the altar is unheard of as just a misuse of powers and public trust! few years ago he was serving as grade The finance ministry had opposed Mr. 18 in the Income Tax Group. He was Azeem Haque’s nomination even also hired by Employees Old-age though the summary for his appointBenefit Institution (EOBI) in BPS- ment was moved by the Economic 20, (It merits mentioning here that Affairs Division. In due course, the EOBI is a subsidiary of Ministry of finance ministry had to bend down Resources for Human Development to the wishes and Herculean asser(RHD) while earlier it was of Minis- tions of the Prime Minister Secretry of Manpower and scales of semi- tariat, said the reports. In today’s Pagovernment organizations are alto- kistan specially, it seems wherever gether different from government de- they go as the heads they always pre-

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fer their own children over the deserving people of Pakistan. Nothing fresh, this old news has been reported many times before, not about the above entity, but concerning various others who formulated this “Successful five year old Government.” This wasn’t a case which was “a first” of its kind, previously reports came of Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhary’s son, then Mr. Gilani’s two “able” sons, then Pervez Elahi’s son, so on and so forth. This “Heir to my Throne” mentality of Pakistani power holders & politicians is the poison that has spoiled the infrastructure of every department. Each and every misplaced appointment has cost the downfall of various National Organizations be it Railway, PIA, Pakistan Steel Mill, Police, the Health Department, the Education, the HEC etc. Not a single organization in the land today has been spared deliberately from disrupt, disorganize, demoralize, or destroy! One wonders; Does Democracy of this kind mean a total collapse of anything good we ever had? How long would this mindset of “you scratch my back and I scratch yours” last Pakistan? Mr. Prime Minister, why didn’t you think about promoting any young man from your constituency of

Gujar Khan, the poor masses who gave their precious vote & trust to you? Why did you alienate the young deserving officers of Pakistan? Or should one understand by your actions that “Blood is thicker than water.” Mind you Sir, this is a country, not a private property that must only be inherited by your next of Kin! In the dynastic world of Pakistani politics, only a few things are Kosher, so it comes as no surprise that politicians of all the ruling parties are lining up their children and relatives for the upcoming elections of 2013, as well as promoting “Openly usurp & visibly swim in corruption”! (A famous Urdu phrase; Khula Khao aur Nangay Nahao). Their blood might be young, but the dynasties remain the same, so the faces might change, but it’s only superficial. A reflection of our Politicians of ruling parties that shows they nurture and patronize nepotism. The democracy that has been touted as the savior for the people of Pakistan is pretty much a sham, where all parties follow their own beat up unique agenda. From the looks of it, democracy really is the best revenge, to clench and throw the masses in the Trench!

Views From Abroad

Playing politics over the nuclear issue Francis Matthew

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ran and the US will need to come to some agreement on Iran’s nuclear programme, and the installation of a new Iranian president after elections in June 2013 may offer Obama’s administration a chance to find a way to talk to the Iranians. The making of a deal have been around for some time, but so far neither side sees any domestic political advantage to ending their dispute. Basically, the US has to be willing to recognise that Iran has a right to a nuclear programme to generate power, and that this programme includes the right to enrich its own fuel. From the Iranian side they need to prove to the world that they are not enriching fuel beyond the level required by nuclear power stations to generate electricity, and that they do not have secret sites developing

nuclear weapons. A major difficulty is that the US has persuaded the international community that the deliberate lack of transparency by the Iranian government is to hide a nuclear weapons programme, and therefore the burden of proof that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), should insist on should be higher for Iran than for other states. The Iranians will naturally resent this and use it as a major stumbling block to any solution. It is the case that secret nuclear sites in Iran have been discovered by intelligence agencies, and these raise real doubts about what Iran is doing. But these international doubts have not harmed President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad politically inside Iran, since he has been able to stand up to the Americans and pose as one of the leaders of the Third World. This notoriety has been a huge advantage to him. If it wants, the US can find plenty of wiggle room since it has a

long history of working with new nuclear powers that are illegal under the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The US has not had a problem with Israel’s nuclear technology and its weapons programme. And when India set off its test weapons in 1998 followed by Pakistan, the Bush administration destroyed any lingering credibility that the NPT had by first persuading the existing nuclear nations under the NPT that India and Pakistan’s acts were not a problem and the working on the 40 nations in the Nuclear Group so that they also ignored the provisions of the NPT. So it is clear that the international community’s working with nuclear nations does not depend on anyone observing international treaties, but on a political decision in Washington. In addition, there is a long history of the US working with nations that have nuclear weapons. The red lines that the State Department has laid down

for the Iranians have been crossed many times by the US itself. The present position is that the US does not want the Iranians to have the technology that would lead to building nuclear weapons. Almost certainly this red line will be crossed as it has by many other states around with world. The technology to build a bomb is widely available and has not been a problem for Washington in many places. The consequent red lines will be first if the Iranians start to use this technology to build the parts of a weapon; then assemble them into a weapon. The next red line would be if they put the nuclear weapon on a delivery mechanism like a missile; then conduct a test explosion, Finally, if they have nuclear weapons, the red lines become a matter of how large the arsenal of weaponised nuclear missiles might be. —Khaleej Times

Relocating our people..!

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s I read day in day out of the terrible things happen ing in the country, rapes, murder and criminal politicians who care a hoot about what happens I remember what British physicist and mathematician Stephen Hawking said once; that the human race should consider relocating to other parts of the cosmos. I cannot agree with him more, and feel we should follow what the English did a few centuries ago when they started relocating to Aus-

tralia: First they sent their criminals. We should do the same. As soon as a culprit, rapist, terrorist or murderer’s been convicted he should be put on a space ship and sent to Mars, Venus or Jupiter or even the moon; whichever planet farthest away from us. As Mr Hawking rightly said this is the only way society can survive, especially our society, for if there is delay in sending the fellow off into space, and instead allow him to languish in jail, he will come out a hero in the eyes of our people and land with a seat in Parliament! Decades have passed since our freedom fighters landed in jail and came out leaders and we still believe solitary confinement make statesmen of them! The next lot of people who should be sent to colonies in outer

space should be our politicians; men and women who have not done our country any service, but still continue poking their noses into places their noses shouldn’t be. There in the new colonies they should be allowed to wander, writing poetry, throwing mikes at each other and falling asleep while their PA’s and relatives make money. Small microphones should be given to them with no amplifiers into which they can practice the art of rhetoric with long pauses as they again sip their chotta pegs. Moon buggies should be given to others so that they may traverse the colony planet and continue with their different hate yatras! Calculators also to help them calculate a quota system for a stay in jail, to make

them feel at home! Learning from what England of yore did to Australia, it is important that we teach this new colony some sport like cricket so that matches can be organized between the colony and the home country with the prize being an urn containing ‘ashes’ of memoirs written by ageing politicians! Many suggestions have been received as to who will head this plan; the general consensus is to give the job to the leader of the opposition who without doubt will convert this scheme into a money making venture, and with his marketing skills be able to make this new venture attractive! Stephen Hawking’s idea gives hope to our country..! —Email: bobsbanter@gmail.com

Anti-polio campaign IQBAL HADI ZAIDI What a shame that some of us are anti to administration of polio drops which is a terrible disease and handicaps the person if not taken care at the right age and at right time. For quite many months it has been opposed tooth and nail in PK but sadly its anti feelings have been planted in Karachi as well which is believed to be the most enlightened city of the country. Very shockingly I read that 4 ladies attached with polio scheme have been gunned down in Karachi while another girl, a volunteer was doing the same work in KP has also been killed. I wonder who could be those who are anti to humanity and that too none but against their own compatriots unless the killers are imported foreign nationals. Now when both in Karachi and KP official authorities have stopped administering polio drops the question is how such action will save physical disability in those who will be crippled because they were not administered the polio drops. I think we must be quite prudent and judicious in our actions so that we are not working against the interest of our own people. Police, rangers and even army be deployed to catch those who killed these 5 women and the culprits be hanged in public at some round about or crossing so that none dares to even think to oppose polio scheme but if we do not take such drastic or even barbaric action then there will be more such attacks and then there would be so many crippled children in the country. This is very serious and explosive situation if one realizes. It must be kept in mind that this could spread to other provinces also because polio drops are given to all the children throughout the country so it cannot be limited to just Sindh and KP as one may be mistaken. —Kuwait

**** MALIK ATIF M MAJOKA Killings of anti polio drive staff in Karachi, KPK is a matter of grave concern for everyone. It is not less than a tragedy that those who dedicated themselves to see future generations of Pakistan polio free have become victim of narrow mindedness of present. Until recent past such incidents were confined to relatively remote and less educated areas of Pakistan but this detestable trend has now manifested itself in the largest Pakistani metropolis of Karachi. The killings must be condemned and should be a wakeup call to all educated moderate forces in Karachi and beyond. We all know about the ideological tug of war between right and left in the city so one may think that it could be a challenge to the forces of moderation. The timing of these incidents is also important. The country is heading towards elections and Karachi due to its cultural, economic significance could well be a battle ground for ideological dominance between the rival forces of right and left. By looking at the incidents in recent past we can easily see the rising influence of anti thesis in a city which has long been dominated by traditional urban culture mixed with accommodating version of Islam. Any blend of strictest form of religion coupled with conservative cultural values would certainly be in direct confrontation with the mainstream welcoming nature of the city. All one can see is the alliance of left forces to counter the rising influence of anti thesis of right, to gain ground in coming elections. One may wish that sanity prevails on all sides and city is made safe. —Melbourne, Australia

Floating fence at Sir Creek AFIA AMBREEN Apropos to the report published in ‘Hindustan Times’ that India will soon erect a ‘floating fence’ anchored by submerged metallic mashes along the disputed Sir Creek border area with Pakistan. Sir Creek is a 96km strip of water that is disputed between India and Pakistan in the Rann of Kutch marshlands. The creek, which opens up into the Arabian Sea, divides the Kutch region of the Indian state of Gujarat with the Sindh province of Pakistan. Reportedly, two Indian agencies; National Building Construction Cooperation (NBCC) and Central Public Works department have started ‘gabion box’ fencing the area that will have all weather concertina wires and poles. It is important to mention that Sir Creek is a disputed area, thus, any unilateral step would infuriate the real claimant of the Creek; Pa-

Kashmir hamara hai! ABU HASAN

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sn’t it unfortunate and callous on our part that the high-profile visit of top Kashmiri leader, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, is not getting sufficiently required coverage in both print and electronic media? The front and even inner pages are missing the reports of Mirwaiz’s meetings with the mainstream political leadership in the country. It seems we have abandoned Kashmir, and the nation has succeeded in resolving it by the slogan “Kashmir hamara hei”, only specific to edible oil. Indian argument that instead of sticking to UN Kashmir resolutions stance, both the countries must solve other issues first, seems to be working. This does not however mean that our official stance, our support to Kashmiris and our efforts to highlight this issue on the international forums should not remain our priority number one tasks. —Rawalakot, Azad Kashmir

I have also seen he corruption of minds and hearts here in the Federal Capital, Islamabad, in the pursuit of an ignoble effort to perpetrate a veritable crime against humanity. I also see concrete expression of the denial of the dignity of a human being emanating from the conscious, and systematic oppressive and repressive activities of other human beings. There the victims parade with no mask to hide the brutish reality – the beggars, the prostitutes, the street children, those who seek solace in substance abuse, those who have to steal to assuage hunger, those who have to lose their sanity because to S K AURAKZAI be sane is to invite pain. The captain, who led national blind —Islamabad side in Twenty-20 World Cup Cricket Tournament for the blind at Bangalore, was apparently made to drink the hazardous liquid as the acid glass was served during breakfast right in MUHAMMAD UZAIR NIAZI front of partially blind Zeeshan Abbasi. One can’t accept that it could have been done by fault. The persons The term violence against women has who put that liquid on the table had deeply penetrated in our society, and ensured that to be placed right in front is resulting in creating different probof the captain of the team. The inci- lems at the societal level. The term dent happened a day after the Paki- violence against women must be unstan cricket team defeated Indian derstood as any act of gender based violence, which results in physical, blinds team. The security of the Pakistan sexual and psychological harm to blinds cricketers was responsibility of women. Violence against women the govt of India. If India can’t en- prevails in different practices such as sure the security of the guests it violence occurring in the family, inshould stop hosting such tourna- cluding physical and mental aggresments. Indian govt should seek apol- sion, emotional and physiological abuse, threats, rape and sexual abuse, ogy for this incident. crimes committed in the name of —Peshawar honour and other traditional practices that are harmful to the women such as forced marriages, vanni, karo kari etc. The violence against women is also mounting with in the general JAWED AHMED KHURSHEED community including rape, sexual abuse, sexual harassment, and terrorI was really disappointed to learn the ization at work, in institutions etc. The discriminatory behavior of the admin- statistics of violence against women istrations of the English schools to- in the first six months of 2012 are wards their staff of Urdu teachers. quite frightening with 4,585 cases They think that every Tom, Dick and across Pakistan. By average, the freHarry can teach Urdu subject at a quency of reported cases of violence school level. They prefer to employ against women in Pakistan has inthose who ask meager salaries no creased by 7% as compared to the matter even their pronunciation is not year January to June 2011. The cases of suicide in Pakistan up to the mark let alone having a degree of graduation or masters in Urdu. have also gained momentum, and The parents of the children also give women in most of the far flung arlittle attention to what their children eas of Pakistan are suffering from are learning and by whom they are such practice. The main reason for taught on account of their Urdu sub- such practice is that the women are ject. This is for the simple reason that not in a position to report about the such school administrations are not violence they are suffering with. fulfilling their duties towards the na- The media has also a less access to such areas, and as a result most of tional language. The Urdu teachers feel also hu- the women go for suicidal practices. Suicide was also reported fremiliated and their monthly salaries quently with 349 such cases reported are not incremented at the year-end in proportion to their counterparts. from all over Pakistan in past six When asked for the meager salary months. Only in Baluchistan 17 raised, the administrations are of the women reportedly committed suicide view that the raise they offer is quite from Jan-June 2012. In Islamabad enough to their utility as the Urdu Capital Territory 44 violence against teachers are found in every nook and women cases have been reported. cranny. The administration of such Abduction and kidnapping was the school should avoid taking the Urdu most extensive crime against women subject and its language for granted in Islamabad and 33% of the reported and encourage as much the Urdu cases were of abduction or kidnapteachers as they do to any teachers ping. Abduction and kidnapping was of other subjects. Discrimination the most frequently reported incident against Urdu by the ruling elites has of violence against women from all been proverbial. The administrations over the country. A total of 1,086 inof such schools also seem to follow cidents of abduction and kidnapping the path of their ruling elites. A re- were reported which amounts to search must be carried out to know nearly one fourth of all crime rehow much these administrations are ported during the monitored period. A total of 435 rape and gang rape biased against Urdu. cases were reported in the first six —Karachi months of 2012, Honor killings were the fifth most repeatedly reported category of violence against women (346 cases) and there were total 289 cases of domestic violence reported in last six months. HASHIM ABRO By keeping in view all these Unfortunately, I see my country to- alarming statistics it is important that day torn asunder. My people and my the society as whole must unite toinstitutions are at odds with each gether for eradiating the uncivilized other. I have seen what happens when practice of violence against women. one person has superiority of force Women are an important constituover another, when the stronger ap- ent of our society and it is important propriate to themselves the preroga- to equip them with their given rights, tive even to annul the injunction that so that our future generations must God created all men and women in be safeguarded. His image. I know what it signifies —Mianwali when ethnicity, caste, creed and sect are used to determine who is human and who, sub-human. I see the deEADERS struction of all sense of self-esteem, are requested to type the consequent striving to be what one their letters legibly with is not, simply to acquire some of the benefits which those who had imdouble spacing and only on proved themselves as masters had one side of the paper. ensured that they enjoy. I have expe—Editor rience of the situation in which Email:editorial@pakobserver.net ethnicity and sect is used to enrich some and impoverish the rest. kistan. Pakistan and India have the history of failed dialogue due to the intransigence of Indian leadership. India and Pakistan are continuously in talks with regard to the maritime boundary dispute in this area; thus India’s act of erecting floating fence in Sir Creek can prove counter productive. It will negate the spirit of confidence building measures and the efforts to resolve the disputes through dialogue. —Rawalpindi

What a host!

Rising violence against women

Discriminated Urdu teachers

Miseries everywhere

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Peace in Afghanistan: Will Pakistan Play Ball? ROBERT DREYFUSS

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leaked peace plan sees Pakistan re placing the United States as kingmaker. Can the different sides come together? As the war in Afghanistan winds down, with the withdrawal of American combat troops scheduled to be completed by the end of 2014, there’s a modest ratcheting up of movement towards a reconciliation with the Taliban. Though many analysts are skeptical a deal can be reached within the limited amount of time before the withdrawal, and though the Taliban has plenty of incentives to forestall real talks and wait out the United States, many agree that Pakistan still holds the key to an accord. In light of this, Afghanistan’s High Peace Council’s (HPC) leaked, five-step plan for reaching an accord, called the Peace Process Road Map to 2015, begins with “a focus on securing the cooperation of Pakistan.” The document says that was to have begun in earnest with a visit to Pakistan in November by Salahuddin Rabbani, the HPC’s chairman, who after meeting with high Pakistani officials, was to attempt to secure Islamabad’s agreement for the progressive release of imprisoned Taliban officials held in Pakistan. The plan proposes that in the first half of 2013, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the United States work together “to agree on terms and conditions for delisting, safe passage, and other requirements of Taliban leaders willing to engage in peace talks.” Formal talks, beginning with efforts to proclaim a ceasefire, will take place in the second half of next year, and, according to the plan, will pave the way for the ”transformation of the Taliban and other armed groups from militant groups to political movements.” The goal of the five-step plan to have a final peace accord and expanded regional cooperation in place by 2014. According to the McClatchy news service, which first reported the peace plan, Af-

ghan leaders want Pakistan to play the leading role in the peace negotiations, supplanting that of the United States. Last week, meet-

Afghanistan’s staunchly anti-Pakistan chief of intelligence, Asadullah Khalid. After the attack, Karzai blamed Pakistan for the attack,

ated with the old Northern Alliance don’t want the Taliban to have any role in a rebalanced government, and they’re reportedly rearming

The plan proposes that in the first half of 2013, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the United States work together “to agree on terms and conditions for delisting, safe passage, and other requirements of Taliban leaders willing to engage in peace talks.” Formal talks, beginning with efforts to proclaim a ceasefire, will take place in the second half of next year, and, according to the plan, will pave the way for the ”transformation of the Taliban and other armed groups from militant groups to political movements.” ing in Turkey, President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan met Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari to discuss the provisions of the accord that had been worked out last month by

and it’s entirely possible that elements of Pakistan’s security establishment opposed to an accord may have ordered it in order to disrupt any reconciliation. That’s why a peace

Peace in Afghanistan: Will Pakistan Play Ball? lower-ranking officials. High on the agenda of the meeting in Ankara was the December 6th assassination attempt against

plan’s success will be exceedingly difficult. Political factions on all sides bitterly oppose an agreement. In Afghanistan, forces associ-

for a civil war after the United States departs. Hardliners in Pakistan don’t want to make any concessions that could undermine what they see as Islamabad’s necessary primacy in Afghanistan. The Taliban itself is divided over whether or not to take part in negotiations, and it chafes under what many Taliban leaders and foot soldiers see as the groups dependence on Pakistan’s ISI, the military’s powerful intelligence service. In their talks in Ankara, however, Karzai and Zardari insisted that the peace process move forward and pledged to open a joint investigation of this month’s assassination attempt. “They (terrorists) don’t want us, the governments, to get together and to be able to lead the nations to peace,” said Zardari after the two men met. Although leaders in Afghanistan and Pakistan might want the United States to stay in the background as they pursue an accord, it’s unlikely that any agreement could be accomplished without the support of Washington and the international community. Still, perhaps to create additional political space at home, the leaders of both Afghanistan and Pakistan have recently indicated increasing unhappiness with the American role in the region. Karzai, for instance, told NBC that the United States is greatly to blame for Afghanistan’s lack of security and Pakistan’s prime minister complained to the American ambassador that drone attacks are counterproductive. Terrorism, said Karzai, would not be de-

feated “by attacking Afghan villages and Afghan homes.” Karzai also suggested that unless the United States changed its ways in Afghanistan, he would refuse to cooperate on a long-term security accord that could allow U.S. counterterrorism forces and advisers to be stationed in the country long beyond 2014. In Washington, such talk is seen as bravado, but Obama administration officials recall that Iraq’s Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, in a similar situation, ultimately shocked the United States by rejecting an extension of the American presence. Even so, the United States is certain to play a leading role in reconciliation talks. According to the Washington Post, the Obama administration has “launched a post-election push to restart moribund peace talks with the Taliban,” despite skepticism that Pakistan will cooperate. One American official told the Post, “We’d like [Pakistan] to go to the Taliban and say, ‘Hey, you guys need to go back and get talks started again. But the question continues to be whether [Pakistan] has both the willingness and the ability to do so.” Toward that end, the United States is seeking to quietly rebuild ties with Pakistan, which were strained almost to the breaking point in 2011 after the raid that killed Osama bin Laden and a subsequent border incident that left many Pakistan troops dead, after which Pakistan shut down transit routes for U.S. supplies into Afghanistan. A hopeful sign that U.S.-Pakistan ties are improving is the Pentagon’s decision this month to release U.S. $688 million in military aid to Pakistan. And many in Washington hope that Senator John Kerry (D-MA), reportedly slated to become secretary of state next year, will use his close ties to Pakistan and President Karzai to nudge Islamabad and Kabul toward an Afghan accord. —Courtesy Diplomat

Is Chuck Hagel the right fit for the Pentagon? Israeli Arabs unenthusiastic about DAVID IGNATIUS

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HE debate over whether Chuck Hagel should be ap pointed defense secretary has centered on his sometimes critical views of Israel. But that’s the wrong issue. The question

stan will be ending, and the services will be fighting over how to divide a shrinking budget. Hagel brings some obvious pluses on both counts: As a Republican and a genuine military hero when he served as an enlisted man in Vietnam, he can give President

big decisions himself. He was effective partly because people were scared of him. They knew that if they crossed the secretary, they would get fired. This brought a rare accountability. Hagel could do the tough, no-nonsense-boss part of the job. But Gates had another essential talent that will

Hagel’s military record is surely one big reason why the president wants him. He’s a guy who, as Reed says, knows how to talk to the troops and has walked in their boots. He’s blunt, direct and impatient with pettifogging. In these traits, he’s similar to the current secretary, Leon Panetta, and his predecessor, Bob Gates. is whether Hagel is the right person to run the Pentagon at a delicate moment of transition in defense policy and spending. Hagel has been unusually blunt in resisting political pressure from pro-Israel groups, which led Abraham Foxman, head of the Anti-Defamation League, to charge that his past comments “bor-

der on anti-Semitism.” This allegation isn’t supported by anything I’ve heard or seen. Moreover, the defense secretary doesn’t set U.S. policy in the Middle East; the U.S.-Israeli alliance will remain solid regardless of who runs the Pentagon. “Chuck is someone who is committed to our allies, and one of our strongest allies worldwide is Israel,” argues Sen. Jack Reed, a Rhode Island Democrat, adding a comment that surely would be endorsed by other former colleagues: “I’ve known him for years, and there’s no evidence to support the suggestion that he’s anti-Semitic.” The harder puzzle for the White House is whether Hagel would be the best manager during an important inflection point in Pentagon history. The U.S. combat role in Afghani-

Obama cover as he executes the withdrawal from Afghanistan. Hagel is angry about what he sees as the misconceived wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as perhaps only a combat veteran can be. If he had his way, the troops probably would have come home yesterday. But this impatience

is also slightly worrying. The withdrawal will succeed only if our military leaves an Afghanistan that can hold together. Hagel’s military record is surely one big reason why the president wants him. He’s a guy who, as Reed says, knows how to talk to the troops and has walked in their boots. He’s blunt, direct and impatient with pettifogging. In these traits, he’s similar to the current secretary, Leon Panetta, and his predecessor, Bob Gates. And like both of them, Hagel has a temper. Gates was the most successful defense secretary in modern times, for reasons worth considering now. He understood how to manage the Pentagon and did it not by getting down in the weeds but by staying above them. He delegated the busywork to Pentagon bureaucrats and made the

be harder to match. He was a genuine national-security intellectual, who had studied how to manage and motivate huge institutions when he was director of the CIA and at the National Security Council. He knew the big strategic things about defense policy, but he also knew the little technical things. Gates was such a sawed-off shotgun of a guy that it was easy to miss that he was also a subtle thinker. Nobody who knows Hagel would describe him as a defense intellectual. He’s more blunt than nuanced. How would he steer Pentagon procurement decisions in this age of new technologies and strategic matrices? I’m not sure. How would he manage the chiefs in their knife fights over the budget? Again, I’m not sure. In terms of pure experience and expertise in managing the Pentagon, the best choice might be John Hamre, who served as Pentagon comptroller and deputy secretary under President Bill Clinton and has been studying these problems since 2000 as president of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Obama asked him to come back as deputy secretary in 2009, but he’s had little contact with the president since he declined that offer, and he evidently isn’t on the list now. If Hagel gets the job, he will need two things: First is a willingness to say no to the chiefs and their logrolling allies on Capitol Hill. I suspect he would do fine with that part. Second, he will need a partner on the order of Hamre, or former undersecretary Michèle Flournoy, who can serve as his deputy and chief operating officer and help him manage the immensely complex decisions about defense spending and strategy. Without such a partner, it would be hard for Hagel to succeed. Read more from Opinions on Chuck Hagel The Post’s View: Chuck Hagel is not the right choice for defense secretary Dana Milbank: Neocons push against Chuck Hagel Jennifer Rubin: Hagel to the Cabinet? —Courtesy Washington Post

parliamentary election LAUREN E BOHN

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SRAELI Arab activist Rasool Saada is crisscrossing the coun try to encourage fellow Arab citi zens to vote in Jan. 22 parliamentary elections, convinced they can make a difference. Numerically, he’s right. Historically, it hasn’t worked out that way. Arabs make up about a fifth of Israel’s population, but their voter turnout has been much lower than that of the Jewish majority. Many Arabs are disillusioned with politics, feeling alienated as a minority in a Jewish state and dissatisfied with their own squabbling, ineffective representatives. On the Jewish side, suspicion over the loyalty and ultimate goals of Israeli Arabs, always in the background, has grown in recent years with the deadlock in Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking and more overt identification with the Palestinians by Israeli Arab leaders. “It’s a daily identity crisis living as an Arab in Israel, because your Palestinian identity is your core,” said Saada, 23, the only Arab in his law school class at Israel’s Bar-Ilan University. “Many throw their hands up and don’t want to participate in politics, but because we’re a minority, we need to have our voices heard.” Israeli Arabs hold citizenship rights that, in contrast to their Palestinian brethren in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, give them access to Israeli social services and the right to vote. They tend to be poorer and less educated than Israeli Jews and often suffer discrimination in the job and housing markets. “We’re second-class citizens, and Israeli politicians will only talk to us behind closed doors,” said Bashaer Fahoum-Jayoussi, a lawyer in Nazareth, the largest Arab city in Israel. “For us, integration isn’t an option, it’s mandatory. We speak Hebrew, we live with Israeli flags everywhere. But on the other end, they never extend a hand,” she said. The disillusionment works both ways. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s main coalition partner, Yisrael Beitenu, made a strong showing in 2009 elections with a message that questioned the loyalty of Israeli Arabs. In 2010, Arab lawmaker Hanin Zoabi, whose campaign posters are plastered all over Nazareth, infuriated many Israelis when she joined proPalestinian activists on an interna-

tional flotilla that tried to break through Israel’s naval blockade of the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. Israel considered the flotilla a dangerous propaganda exercise. Zoabi was nearly as-

as in the past. In this combustible atmosphere, many Israeli Arabs are expected to stay home on election day. A recent survey by the Abraham Fund Initiatives, an advocacy group that

saulted in Parliament and subsequently stripped of some parliamentary privileges. In 2010, Amir Makhoul, a leading community activist, pleaded guilty to handing sensitive information to the Lebanese guerrilla group Hezbollah. He was sentenced to nine years in prison. Another lawmaker, Azmi Bishara, fled the country five years ago to avoid facing espionage

promotes coexistence, found that about half of Israeli Arab voters are expected to cast ballots, compared to about 70 percent of Jewish voters. A study released this week illustrated the gaps that Arabs have long complained about. The College of Management Academic Studies found that native-born Israeli Jews earn 41 percent higher wages than their Arab counterparts in high-paying profes-

He also believes Arabs should serve in the Israeli military, a recommendation that most Arabs reject. Although many surveys indicate that civic issues eclipse the Palestinian issue as main concerns among Arabs, Krinawi’s party isn’t finding much traction. charges. Four years of deadlock in Middle East peace efforts and last month’s conflict with Palestinian militants in Gaza have added to mutual mistrust. Jamal Zahalka, an Arab lawmaker who has served in Parliament since 2003, said the atmosphere there has grown considerably more hostile. “We’re trying to encourage Arabs to vote because it’s important, but you can’t blame them when they see how little power we have in parliament,” he said. “Not only do (Jewish lawmakers) refuse to hear us, but they also want to ban us from running.” A motion to ban the Arab parties is on the table again, as it is before every election, and it is likely to be rejected

sions. The gap widens to a 64 percent difference after 10 years in the workplace. Many Arabs are also frustrated by infighting among Arab politicians. In theory, the Arab population could deliver enough seats in the 120-member Parliament to influence the makeup of a coalition government. But Arab parties have been divided by ideological differences and personal rivalries, leaving them on the margins of Israeli politics. In the outgoing Parliament, Arab parties held just 11 of the 120 seats. Hoping to reverse this trend, a Bedouin Arab politician, Atef Krinawi, has founded what he calls the first “pro-Israel” Arab political party. —Courtesy Arab News

Modi: Is This Hindu Hard-Liner the Next Leader of India? SADANAND DHUME

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ODI is still banned from the United States for his involvement in deadly anti-Muslim riots. Could he be the next leader of India? On Thursday, Dec. 20, as results come in from this week’s elections in Gujarat, Indians will learn the outcome of a state poll that has taken on the flavor of a national referendum. If, as widely expected, Chief Minister Narendra Modi cruises to a third successive victory, he will cement his position as India’s leading opposition politician and its top contender to succeed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh after national elections that will come no later than the middle of 2014. By contrast, an unlikely defeat, or even a narrow victory, will set back the controversial leader’s national ambitions. Love him or hate him, there’s no denying that 62-year-old Modi is India’s most polariz-

ing politician. For his legion of supporters including many of his 1.1 million followers on Twitter Modi is the messiah who will rid Indian politics of sloth, corruption, and petty identity politics. With his no-nonsense management style and inspirational leadership, only he can deliver the economic development Indians

India’s tradition of pluralism and tolerance toward all faiths. They also pooh-pooh his economic management as hype, the product of good fortune and a well-oiled public relations machine. No matter which argument you prefer, the heightened passions Modi evokes have elevated the Gujarat election voting was held in

And with the possibility looming that an enfeebled and scandal-plagued Singh government won’t serve out its full term the ruling coalition lost its parliamentary majority with a key partner’s exit in September the long-standing question of Modi’s national prospects also acquires a new salience.

A poll by India Today this year declared Modi the country’s top pick for prime minister: 24 percent of respondents chose him, compared to 17 percent who preferred Rahul Gandhi. If you criticize Modi on the Internet, you’re sure to encounter what Business Standard’s Mihir Sharma calls the chief minister’s “army of crazed amateur defenders.” crave, say his fans. For his equally vocal detractors, Modi is forever tarred by anti-Muslim riots that occurred 10 years ago, early in his first term as chief minister. Enraged by the burning alive of a group of Hindu pilgrims on a train, mobs went on a three-day rampage that killed about 1,000 people, nearly four-fifths of them Muslim. To Modi’s critics, he represents a dangerous Hindu majoritarianism that threatens

two phases on Dec. 13 and 17 to a status way above just another provincial poll in one of India’s 28 states. On the outcome hinges the immediate future of India’s main opposition party, the Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which rules 10 states alone or with partners and commands about one-fifth of the national vote. (The ruling Congress party draws between 25 and 30 percent in national elections.)

Simply put, those clamoring for Modi’s elevation as the BJP’s candidate to lead India underestimate the downsides for the party and the country. Despite his reputation as the country’s best economic administrator and most business-friendly politician, Modi’s association with anti-Muslim sentiment makes him ill-suited to lead his party’s evolution toward a moderate Indian conservatism, a right-of-center alterna-

tive to the left-of-center Congress. Nor is it clear that Modi’s top-down management style perfected in a state where he holds unquestioned sway will work in India’s fractured national polity. And finally, given India’s tough neighborhood and growing international engagement, the last thing the country needs is a leader who diminishes one of its greatest assets a well-deserved reputation for pluralism. In an era of staggering corruption, Modi also stands for personal austerity. He’s one of India’s few politicians Singh is another whose declaration of a meager net worth (about $245,000) doesn’t evoke guffaws of disbelief. So widely held is the idea of Modi as a paragon of probity that the national media mostly ignored anti-corruption activist Arvind Kejriwal’s allegations this month that the Modi government gave sweetheart gas, land, and power deals to businesses considered close to the chief minister.—Courtesy FP


NA passes ‘fair trial’ bill From Page 1 threat to people’s privacy. The legislation allows security agencies to tap people’s phone calls and intercept other private communications in order to catch terrorists. But the government claims that “existing laws neither comprehensively provide for nor specifically regulate use of advanced and modern investigative techniques such as covert surveillance and human intelligence, property interference, wire tapping and communication interception that are used extensively in other countries, including the US, the UK and India”. Earlier, the Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N) and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) had objected to the bill and had proposed a number of amendments in the draft. The MQM had proposed 31 amendments to the draft whereas the PML-N had reportedly proposed 33 amendments to it. Moreover, the MQM had argued that the bill could be misused by security and intelligence agencies for political purposes. Minister for Water and Power Chaudhry Ahmad Mukhtar informed the House that work on twelve hydel projects is in various stages of completion which will add 7000 MW of electricity to the national grid by 2020.

Death toll in polio

ECP to go ahead

From Page 1

without census. The CEC vowed that the task of drawing up new constituency boundaries in Karachi would be completed in the light of the Supreme Court orders despite reservations of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement. On the other hand, the leader of Muttahida Qaumi Movement expressing severe concerns over the expected new delimitation in Karachi has said that delimitation is unfair, unconstitutional and synonymous to pre-poll rigging. The MQM was also of the view that new delimitation of constituencies in Karachi is not possible without census. According to sources, PPP leader Taj Hyder received a phone call after which he favoured the reservations of the MQM regarding new limitations in Karachi. Talking to media outside the Election Commission, MQM Sattar said delimitation in Karachi is a conspiracy to launch a conflict between different communities living in the metropolis. “Why Karachi is being singled out for delimitation? If it’s necessary for free and fair elections, we demand that new constituency boundaries be made across the country,” the MQM lawmaker said. “There is no need of delimitation in Karachi,” he added. Meanwhile, Pakistan Muslim League-N leader Zafar Iqbal Jhagra said that his party supports new delimitation in Karachi.—NNI

Polio Eradication Program in Peshawar said the ill-fated Hilal was not stable even at the time of his admission to hospital and he was kept on artificial breathing and was declared clinically dead. It may be mentioned that in the wake of brazen attacks on the Polio volunteers the UN had announced withdrawal its staff facilitating Polio vaccination in Pakistan. The field staffers of World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF were directed on Wednesday to suspend their activities with regard to

Polio campaign till further orders. Pakistan is unfortunately one of the only three countries where Polio could not be eradicated as yet. Suspension of the Polio eradication campaign, being run with the support of United Nations, is a big blow to the attempts to root out the crippling disease. Meanwhile, two women polio workers who had to rush for cover to save their lives remained unhurt when unidentified persons opened firing on them in Shah Faisal colony Multan on Thursday.

Indian legal experts’ From Page 1 hold talks with Attorney General Irfan Qadir and other Pakistani officials to finalise the terms of reference for the second judicial commission that will go to India to investigate the Mumbai attacks. Pakistani authorities decided to send another panel to Mumbai as the findings of the first judicial commission were rejected by an anti-terrorism court as its members were not allowed to cross-examine four key witnesses - the police officer who led the probe into the attacks, the magistrate who recorded Kasab’s confessional statement and two doctors who conducted autopsies

of nine terrorists killed during the attacks. An agreement was reached on the visit by a second judicial commission when Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rehman Malik met his Indian counterpart Shushilkumar Shinde in Delhi recently. Malik said on his return to Islamabad that if the terms of reference are finalised this week, the panel will visit India on January 2 or 3.—Online

Afghan govt holds talks with Taliban From Page 1 underway at an undisclosed location near Paris but would not divulge the agenda or other details for fear of compromising a potentially significant confidence-building exercise. The French hosts say the secretive, rare meeting among the rival Afghans in Chantilly – known partly for its equine training grounds – Thursday and Friday isn’t expected to involve any horse-trading toward a possible peace and reconciliation deal, reported the Associated Press. About 20 Afghans from President Hamid Karzai’s government, the Taliban, as well as the political opposition and the Islamist Hezb-e-Islami militant group are trying to foster a conversation after 11 years of war, reported AP.—AP

From Page 1

PM lauds MPs for their role From Page 1 meeting of joint parliamentary group, comprising members of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and its allies, here at the Parliament House.—APP

ANF foils bid to smuggle heroin ISLAMABAD—Anti Narcotics Force (ANF) recovered 5.800 kg of fine quality heroin during the search of the consignments here Thursday. According to details, heroin was very tactfully concealed in different items i.e. marble pieces, spoons, and knives, machinery parts and wooden box. Sources said that Pakistanis booked the consignments for United Kingdom. ANF registered a case against the involved persons and started investigation. Names of the accused have been kept in secret for further arrests in the case. In another operation, Anti Narcotics Force recovered 880 kg of charas from a truck bearing registration number TKZ038. The truck was carrying apples, coming from Quetta and proceeding towards Karachi. Charas was concealed in wooden crates of apples.—Online


PTI to hold Zardari, Nawaz accountable: Imran Reign of corrupt, inept over PESHAWAR—Pakistan Tehreek- and Malaysia illegally. I would ning away. He said both the poli-

Supreme Court verdict on CNG pricing today ISLAMABAD—Supreme Court (SC) has reserved judgment in CNG pricing formula case, which will be announced today (Friday). A 2-member bench of SC led by Justice Jawad S Khawaja took up the case for hearing Thursday. Justice Jawad S Khawaja remarked during the course of hearing that five years have been elapsed but CNG owners have not fulfilled the conditions. Any order will be issued today, he added. Secretary petroleum told the court that a committee had been constituted under law minister during the meeting of ECC adding the government was also concerned over the prices of CNG. Justice Jawad S Khawaja said the court had not issued any stay order in respect of CNG and directed OGRA to do its job and court would not interfere in its working. —Online

Gilgit limping to normalcy GILGIT—The violence-hit city is limping back to normalcy after remaining under the grip of tension and fear for three days. Most of the markets were open on Thursday and public transport was available on roads. Security was on high alert in the city, especially at Shahrah-eKaraqoram. The government has imposed Section-144 in the city banning the use of motorcycles. It should be mentioned here that tension prevailed in the city ever since the clashes broke out between students and police in which two people died on December 12.—INP

e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan Thursday said that the reign of corrupt and inept politicians was over and the PTI would recover the plundered national wealth if voted to power. “There would no chance for Asif Zardari and Nawaz Sharif to rule this country in future as times have changed and the people have also changed. They would have to face accountability. We would also recover the looted money which was transferred out of Pakistan illegally and has been kept in off-shore accounts,” said Imran Khan while addressing Youth Convention here at Tehmash Football Stadium under the banner of PESHAWAR: Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, Imran Khan addressing ISF Tsunami Convention at Tamash Khan Insaf Students Federation (ISF). Football Stadium. “I would ask my old friend Asfandyar as to Wali how his wealth was transferred to Dubai

India tests N capable missile

NEW DELHI—India Thursday test-fired another its indigenously developed nuclear capable Prithvi-II missile with a strike range of 350 km from a test range near Chandipur. The surface-tosurface missile was test fired from a mobile launcher in salvo mode, defence sources said. The launch of the sophisticated missile, conducted as part of operational exercise by the strategic force command (SFC) of the defence services, was successful, they said. “The missile was randomly chosen from the production stock and the total launch activities were carried out by the specially formed SFC and monitored by the scientists of DRDO as part of practice drill,” sources said. The Prithvi-II missile, developed by the DRDO, is already inducted into the Indian Armed forces. Prithvi, the first missile developed under India’s Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP), is capable of carrying 500kg to 1000kg of warheads and thrusted by liquid propulsion twine engines, uses advanced inertial guidance system with manoeuvring trajectory. The last trial of Prithvi-II was carried out from the same base on October 4, 2012.—AP

Original Reko Diq pact tampered: CJ

President announces compensation for polio campaigners

I S L A M A B A D — D u r i n g Canadian and Chilean consor-

STAFF REPORTER

Thursday’s hearing of the Reko Diq case, Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry said additional documents were used to tamper with the original form of the Reko Diq agreement. A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar, was hearing the case consisting of identical petitions filed against the federal government’s decision to lease out gold and copper mines in Reko Diq in Balochistan’s Chagai district to the Tethyan Copper Company (TCC) — a

tium of Barrick Gold and Antofagasta Minerals. Reko Diq sits over the popular Tethyan copper belt and is known to have the fifth largest deposits of gold and copper in the world. The chief justice moreover inquired as to what issues sprang up after the passing of several years that new documents had to be released. Counsel for the TCC, Khalid Anwar, in his arguments stated that the BHP company had not done anything unlawful, nor had it pressurised anyone into signing the joint agreement. —INP

Pak-Iran gas pipeline project to be implemented: Hina ISLAMABAD—Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar has said that Pak-Iran gas pipeline project will be implemented at all cost. Talking to media in Islamabad Thursday‚ she said President Asif Ali Zardari will visit Tehran shortly. To a question‚ she said there are differences with the United States on the issue of drone attacks. The Foreign Minister said Pakistan strictly stands by its

ISLAMABAD—President Asif Ali Zardari has announced compensation of Rs. 500,000 (five hundred thousand) each for the families of anti-Polio field workers who were attacked in Karachi & Peshawar and lost their lives while Rs. 200,000 (two hundred thousand) each would be paid to those who were injured during the vaccination campaign. Spokesperson, Senator Farhatullah Babar said that the President while strongly condemning the attack on anti-Polio campaigners has directed the law enforcing authorities to ensure safety and security of the field workers. The President while reiterating the commitment of the Government to undertake every effort for the eradication of the disease, paid rich tributes to the field workers and volunteers who were complementing the Government’s efforts for eradication of this crippling disease.

principled position on Kashmir. Hina Rabbani Khar also said Pakistan wants good relations with all neighbouring countries including India and Afghanistan. She said that that blaming each other will cause instability in the region. “There are differences with the United States on the issue of drone attacks but the ties between the countries are better now,” she ARUSHA, TANZANIA—The UN added.—NNI tribunal for Rwanda on Thursday handed a 35-year jail term to a former minister found guilty of genocide, in the court’s final trial ruling. Augustin Ngirabatware, planning minister at the time of the 1994 genocide, was found of genocide, incitement to ISLAMABAD—Liquefied Petro- guilty commit genocide and rape as a leum Gas (LPG) marketing com- crime against humanity. “For panies on Thursday once again these crimes the court sen-tences increased commodity prices by you to 35 years in prison,” the Rs10 per kg. Chairman LPG dis- judge, William Hussein Se-kule, tributors association Irfan told Ngirabatware. —AP Khokhar said marketing companies have raised the price by Rs10 per kg. After this new hike, price of domestic and commercial cylinders was increased by Rs100 and Rs400 respectively. It may be noted here that this fresh hike in LPG price is third in a month against the notification of OGRA, which has fixed it at Rs125 per kg on December 08.—INP

UN tribunal gives 35-year jail to Rwanda ex-minister

LPG price goes up by Rs10 per kg

MQM backs Kashmir solution as per Kashmiris wishes STAFF REPORTER KARACHI—The Founder and Leader of Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) Altaf Hussain has said that the Kashmir dispute should be resolved according to the wishes and aspirations of the people of Kashmir. He said that the Kashmiri people should also be represented in all the dialogues for finding a solution of the Kashmir dispute. He said that the MQM would cooperate unconditionally with the Kashmiri people. He was talking to the Chairman of the All-Parties Hurriyat Conference Mirwaiz Umar Farooq during his visit to Nine Zero today. Talking to Umar Farooqon telephone, he said that the people of Kashmir must get united for their rights. He said that unity and consensus leadership were the basic ingredients for the success of any movement.

also inquire from Maulana Fazlur Rehman how he took his money abroad. I ask Altaf Hussain to return to his homeland and he would be let off. He has been ruling Pakistan from abroad,” remarked Imran Khan. He said that a special cell was collecting data of all civil servants who were obeying illegal orders of the government ignoring clear orders by the Supreme Court that no civil servant should abide by illegal orders of the government. He said that one of the socalled leader of a major political party had been groomed by the ISI while the other claims to have become chief of his party as wished by his late wife. He said he had asked both fake leaders to come for a live television debate with him but both were run-

ticians were now grooming their children to pass on their legacies of corruption to the upcoming generations.He urged the students to go door-to-door and convey the much-needed PTI message of change to the people at large. He called upon the people not to vote for those who have off-shore accounts in foreign banks because they were responsible for the untold problems being faced by the masses. Imran Khan maintained that both Pakistan Muslim LeagueNawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) had betrayed the peoples’ mandate time and again and said that the PTI tsunami would defeat all the corrupt politicians in the upcoming general elections with the support of the youth which was the real strength of his party.—INP

US-Pak ties have weathered another storm: Sherry WASHINGTON—In the wake of improved relation with US, Pakistan Ambassador Sherry Rehman has said both the countries have ‘ramped up’ their cooperation in the past few months which indicates their bi-lateral ties have “clearly weathered” another storm. “The Pak-US Relationship has clearly weathered another storm. In the past six to eight

weeks both the governments have ramped up their cooperation as well conversations.” “Five working groups that have recently concluded intensive engagement in either Washington or Islamabad include Defense, Economic cooperation, Energy security, CT (counter terrorism) and Law and Order, Strategic Security,” Rehman said in Washington yesterday responding to a

Pak reaffirms support to Afghan-led peace process UNITED NATIONS—Pakistan has reaffirmed its support for Afghan-led peace process. Taking part in the debate on United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan‚ Ambassador Masood Khan emphasized that efforts in this regard need to be sustained and based on solid commitments and tangible steps by all stakeholders. He told the 15-member body that Islamabad fully backs efforts of the Afghan High Peace Council under the leadership of Salahuddin Rabbani for peace in Afghanistan. Pakistan urges tangible steps by all towards Afghan peace Pakistan has reaffirmed its support for Afghan-led peace process but emphasized that efforts in this regard need to be sustained and based on solid commitments and tangible steps by all stakeholders. “We have always highlighted the value of dialogue and reconciliation to address the

question of Afghan security and to change the underlying dynamics of conflict in Afghanistan,” Pakistan’s Permanent Representative told the UN Security Council. Pakistan supports an Afghanled peace process, he reiterated. He told the 15-member body that Islamabad fully backs efforts of the Afghan High Peace Council under the able leadership of Salahuddin Rabbani. “His recent visit to Islamabad was productive and successful.” “Pakistan will continue to contribute in the peace process. Efforts, in this regard, should be sustained; and based on solid commitments and tangible steps by all stakeholders. We hope that unanimous adoption of Security Council resolution 2082 (2012) will energize the peace process.” Continuing, Ambassador Khan stressed, “Sustainability of our efforts could be ensured if all stakeholders share the goals of reconciliation.”—NNI

question on the state of Pak-US relationship. “High level meetings in Brussels have been productive,” she said referring to the meeting between the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar. “In London USTR (US Trade Representatives) and Pakistan Government ran a successful Business Opportunities in Pakistan.—Online

Police can raid Governor’s House to arrest Tauqir Sadiq: IG MUZAFFAR ALI LAHORE—Inspector General Police (IGP) Punjab Haji Habibur-Rehman on Thursday said the police could raid anywhere including at the Governor’s House Punjab to arrest Tauqir Sadiq. He said Tauqir Sadiq is a national criminal who has embezzled a huge sum of Rs 83 billion and he ordered a special police squad comprising of 21 best police officials with the clear directions to cooperate with National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to nab Tauqir Sadiq. He was talking to media after attending the meeting of NAB officials, IG Motorway, IG Special Branch, Islamabad Police and officers of other departments here in Police club. Haji Habib-ur-Rehman said police would move to every where to arrest Tauqir Sadiq, adding that the governor house will also be raided if needed.


Oral HPV rates higher in men than women

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study published in JAMA reveals that among men and women between the ages 14 to 69 years in the U.S., the overall prevalence of oral human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is around 7%. In addition, the researchers found that the prevalence of HPV is higher among men than women. The study is being published early online in order to accompany its presentation at the Multidisciplinary Head and Neck Cancer Symposium. “Oral HPV infection is the cause of a subset of oropharyngeal [relating to the mouth and pharynx] squamous cell carcinomas (OSCC). Human papillomavirus - positive OSCC are associated with sexual behavior in contrast to HPV-negative OSCC that are associated with chronic tobacco and alcohol use. At least 90 percent of HPV-positive OSCC are caused by high-risk (or oncogenic) HPV type 16 (HPV-16), and oral infection confers an approximate 50-fold increase in risk for HPV-positive OSCC. The incidence of OSCC has significantly increased over the last 3 decades in several countries, and HPV has been directly implicated as the underlying cause. Although oral HPV infection is the cause of a cancer that is increasing in incidence in the United States, little is known regarding the epidemiology of infection.” In order to analyze the prevalence of oral HPV in the U.S., Maura L. Gillison, M.D., Ph.D., of the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Cen-

ter, Columbus, and colleagues examined data from a cross-sectional study as part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2009-2010, a statistically representative sample of the U.S. population. The 5,579 participants, aged between 14 to 69 years old, provided a 30-second oral rinse and gargle with mouthwash. In order to detect HPV types, the researchers assessed DNA purified from oral exfoliated cells through testing methods. Results revealed that the most prevalent HPV type detected was HPV-16 (1.0%) and the overall prevalence of oral HPV infection was 6.9%. The researchers discovered peaks in the prevalence of oral HPV infection in different age ranges: The first peak was found among participants aged between 30 to 34 years old (7.3%). The second among participants aged between 60 to 64 years old (11.4%). The overall prevalence of oral HPV infection was considerably lower among women (3.6%) than men (10.1%). The prevalence was also higher among cigarette smokers, former and current marijuana users, and heavy alcohol drinkers. In addition, the team discovered that the prevalence of oral HPV was linked to numerous measures of sexual behavior. They found that the prevalence was higher among participants who reported ever having sex (7.5%) than those who did not (0.9%). Lifetime or recent number of sexual partners for any kind of sex, oral or vaginal, increased the prevalence of HPV.

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf unveiling the plaque to launch O&A level classes.

Quiz programme on Quaid-i-Azam CITY REPORTER ISLAMABAD—Nazriya-i-Paki-

stan Council (NPC) arranged a beautifully managed, thought provoking quiz programme with collaboration of the Private Schools Network Pakistan encompassing various aspects on the life of father of the nation Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah at Aiwan-i-Quaid, in connection with Quaid’s birth anniversary celebrations. Professor Dr. Bsharat Jazbi in his address as chief guest said that he was highly satisfied with the interest of the participating youth reflected in the zeal and love they have shown in learning about every minute detail of Quaid’s life. Kanwar Muhammad Dilshad, Executive Secretary NPC said that it was a contractual duty of NPC to abreast the younger generation with authentic knowledge about the two nation theory and the Pakistan movement. The first prize went to Islamabad Model ISLAMABAD: Executive Secretary Nazriya Pakistan Council (Trust) Kanwar School, G-6-1/3 the second to Muhammad Dilshad addressing on the occasion of quiz programme on life of Quaid-I- the IMCG I-8/1 and the third to PAEC Nelor. Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.—PO photo

Govt striving to impart quality education: PM SHARAFAT KAZMI ISLAMABAD—Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf has said government strives to impart quality education to make our economy stronger. Inaugurating O and A level classes at a college in Islamabad on Thursday he said the advanced countries economy is dependant on the education. The Prime Minister urged for full focus towards seeking technology and said in this connection all policies should be framed while keeping in mind our available resources. Raja said our nation can achieve success if we improve our health and education sectors which are the key to the students mental, physical and intellectual levels. He said now we have challenges which in fact have opportunities for the nation and we must transform our traditional educational systems with the new knowl-

edge based. Prime Minister announced establishment of a computer centre, one million rupees for library and provision of yellow buases for students. The Prime Minister compliment CA&D for encouraging the educational institutions of Islamabad to take a lead to move towards modern education. Raja said earlier today he inaugurated state of the art Cardiac and Organ Transplant Centres at PIMS. With the operationalization of these Centres, the people of Islamabad would have access to better and improved health services. He said in today’s world, nations can progress and achieve socio-economic development if investments are made in the sectors of health and education, which are a key to their mental, physical and intellectual wellbeing. He said we are living in a

world, which is undergoing transformation. The process of globalization has accelerated this pace of transformation and presented new challenges as well as opportunities. The shifts are taking place in global economic and political structures. The buzz-word in today’s world is knowledgebased economies. He said knowledge has come to be identified as a factor of production and an engine of socioeconomic development. The balance of power is slowly but steadily shifting towards Asia. Minister for Capital Administration and Development, Nazar Mohammad Gondal speaking on occasion said that education and health are top priority of the PPP government. He said that the government is trying the best level to provide high quality education to the poor peoples in the country and it is started from the federal capital.

Polluted water causing health hazards I SLAMABAD —Residents of the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad are facing great threats to their health as the water being supplied them from Rawal Dam has become heavily polluted by dropping of sewage and wastewater in it. The residents of the federal capital have no option except to drink filthy and contaminated water.—Online

Kenyan National Day

Pak-Kenya trade volume doubled in seven years ‘Look Africa policy’ to benefit Pakistan tremendously; Pakistan has potential to become role model for other nations: Mishi Masika Mwatsahu; Warmth of Africa erupts in grand show of celebrations LIAQAT TOOR ISLAMABAD—Kenya, an important country in East Africa is waiting Pakistani entrepreneurs and other classes of Pakistani society to exploit its tremendous opportunities to galvanize both the countries in spheres of human activities. Republic of Kenya, after forming an economic bloc with its neighbouring states including Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi, is scaling up to become one of the leading economies in the African Continent. At present, it is the fifth largest economy in African Continent. Having opening on India Ocean, Kenya with its other land locked neighbours is well placed to become hub of economic activities. Pak-Kenyan economic and commercial relations have grown to new heights. The trade volume has almost doubled from $ 202.70 million in 2005 to $ 450 .19 million in 2011, thanks to the relentless efforts of Mrs. Mishi Masika Mwatsahu MBS, Kenyan High Commissioner to Pakistan, who landed here in 2005. The Kenyan envoy who is also Dean of African

Group with eleven countries representing in Pakistan did excellent job for her country as her frequent visits to chambers of commerce, educational institutions and developing rapport with private and official eminent person-

alities paid dividends. With rich experience in administration and social services, Mishi Masika Mwatsahu, having a long career span was successful in raising a beautiful structure for her High commission in the Dip-

lomatic Enclave which is being given final touches now. When she threw a gala reception to celebrate National Day of her country, over 450 guests thronged the festivity in a local hotel in a beautiful evening of

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for SAFRON Engr Shaukatullah, High Commissioner of Kenya Mishi Masika Mwatsahu, Ambassador of Algeria Dr Ahmad Benflis, Ambassador of Morocco Mohammed Rida El Fassi, Ambassador of Egypt Said Hindam and others cutting the cake on the occasion of the National Day of the Republic of Kenya at a local hotel.—PO photo by Sultan Bashir

Islamabad, a large number of ambassadors and High Commissioners, businessmen, students, ex-diplomats and civil servants and friends of Kenya. The gala ball was reflecting the true magic of Africa. The warmth of Africa flared the celebrations. On arrival of the Chief Guest, Minister for SAFRON, Engineer Shaukatullah, national anthems of both the countries were played followed by cake cutting ceremony which was jointly performed by the High Commissioner with other eminent personalities. The moving spirit behind the grand show was the High Commissioner, who is known in Pakistan as friend of Pakistan. She greeted her guests and extended warm hospitality. Kenyan culture was reflecting on the screens installed in the hall which were continuing showing Kenya as a country with rich legacy. Kenyan dishes known as Mukimo and Mandazi were a treat to taste and watch. In a brief chat with Pakistan Observer, the Kenyan envoy having good wishes for Pa-

kistan said Pakistan has so much talents in shape of trained manpower, organised institutions, strong army and great economic potential which are enough to become a role model state in the world. She said ‘Look Africa’ policy can benefit this country and its people tremendously as her country offers great opportunities for Pakistani entrepreneurs. She said more than one h u n d r e d Kenyan students are studying in professional institutions of Pakistan while Pakistani prestigious institutions such as Comsat and Faisalabad Agriculture University have signed MOUs with Kenyan prestigious institutions under exchange programme. This will help to bring closer the people of both the countries, she said. Pak-Kenya Business Association has already covering a lot of ground. With all these developments, one can say with certainty that the future of Pak-Kenya relationship is very bright.


Timely measures stressed to tackle energy challenges CITY REPORTER

Juma

06:20 01:30 03:45 07:00

December 21 BEACONHOUSE IntraRegion O level Athletics Championship 2012-2013 at 9:00 a.m. at Jinnah Stadium, Kashmir Highway.

ISLAMABAD—Speakers at a conference on Thursday underlined the need for taking solid steps to effectively tackle energy challenges confronting the country. “If action is not taken now the economy would face serious consequences plunging the country into a crisis of untold dimensions”, the speakers said while addressing at a conference titled, “Water and Energy Security in Pa-

SHARAFAT KAZMI

FESTIVAL Christmas and New Year’s exhibition at Ottoman Jewels with a sale upto 70% on your favourite Turkish jewellery up to 25 th December, at 44, Street No. 29, F-8/1 Islamabad.

I SLAMABAD — Love, peace

R AWALPINDI —The thickly populated, New Lalazar area of Chaklala Cantonment Board (CCB) has been facing water shortage for last few years which causes inconvenience and problems to the residents. Raja Sajjad, Imtiaz Ali, Raja Sohial, Raja Ijaz including many other residents talking to INP deplored the CCB authorities for failing to ensure provision of water supply to the area, saying, “We are deprived of basic right despite living in 21st century”. “We are forced to bring water from distant areas in buckets while those who can afford get water through Cantt Board’s water tankers at Rs1200,” they added. They said that a tube well was approved for over 4,500 families residing in New Lalazar but the same could not be installed so far to ensure provision of water. Residents demanded concerned authorities to take steps to ensure water supply and upgrade sanitation system besides installation of street lights as its absence provide criminals with environment conducive to loot people.—INP

Two die in road accidents, man commits suicide R AWALPINDI —Two people were killed in road accidents while a man committed suicide over a property issue in Laal Kurti area of the city. Rescue sources said that two road accidents claimed two lives on Thursday at different parts of the city. In the first incident, a 40year-old man Muhammad Din died when a speedy vehicle hit him near Sawan Bridge. In another incident, a 45year-old man, Halafuddin was crushed by a bus at Pir Wadhai Road. On the other hand, a 46-year-old man Khalid Mehmood shot himself dead over a property issue in Laal Kurti area. The deceased was father of four children.—INP

Pendency of cases increases in IHC ISLAMABAD—The number of cases in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) increased to 10,000 on 18th December, 2012 when compared to 8902 at the beginning of the calendar year. According to details released by the IHC at the start of 2012, total pendency in the court was 8902 where as 6903 cases were instituted from first January, 2012 to 18th December. Of these 5803 cases were disposed of. The ratio between institution and disposal of cases was 83%. Such a huge number of cases were decided by the IHC despite shortage of Judges especially after 20th November, 2012 when the strength of the Judges was reduced to half due to non confirmation of three Additional Judges.—INP

of issues with regard to the energy sector. He said that energy governance was the most crucial aspect which included Independence of governing boards, induction of professional management, strengthening of regulatory bodies’ oversight and appropriate legislative changes to allow deregulation. In addition to that, energy pricing was another aspect which included phasing out subsidies, rationale for pricing i.e. producer and consumer pric-

Peace, harmony, basic teachings of all religions

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Adequate water supply

kistan: the Way Forward” organized by Islamabad Policy Research Institute (IPRI). Dr. Vaqar Ahmed, Deputy Executive Director, Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), Islamabad speaking on the occasion said that primary energy consumption had grown by 80 percent and poor system of policy framework had further worsened the situation. He said that cost of not taking action now would badly affect the economy and necessitated effective management

and harmony are the basic teachings of all religions, and in Islam there is no concept of terrorism and violence. The terrorism is an evil which is against the philosophy of Islam and teaching of our Holly Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Federal Minister for climate change Rana Farooq Saeed said this while addressing on the eve of Christmas dinner arranged by Full Gospel Assembly Church. He said that the welfare and prosperity of the minorities is the priority of the Pakistan People Party manifesto and for the same reason PPP has increased their representation in the National assembly and senate. Mr. Saeed commended the efforts of the organizers and congratulated Christian community on their holly eve and assured them full co-

operation of the government in this regard. Member Planning and Design ,CDA, Syed Mustafain Kazmi, Member Administration, CDA, Chaudhary Munir Ahmed, General Secretary CDA Mazdoor Union, Chaudhary Muhammad Yasin were also present on the eve. Member Planning and Design CDA, Syed Mustafain Kazmi felicitated Christian community on their holly eve of Christmas. He also congratulated them for the approval of lay out design of church plot measuring around 3.5 kanals which was earlier allotted by CDA. He said that Christian community had played a vital role in development and beautification of Islamabad. CDA not only took several initiatives for the welfare of this community but also remains the part the community through every thick and thin.

Member Administration, CDA Munir Ahmed said that he has very close affiliations with the Christian community as he studied in a Missionary School in early days of his education. He said that he remained the student of bible as well and knows the real values of Christianity, because the message of Christianity is a message of love and harmony for the whole universe. The only need is implementation of this message in our practical life which will not only help in the uplift of institutions but will also help make country prosperous. He said that though CDA is facing financial constraints even then CDA will utilize all available resources to raise the delights of our christian community. Pastor incharge Barnabas Younis thanked the guests for being the part of the celebrations and presented Christmas cakes to distinguished guest.

ing, economic basis for all sectoral pricing and full cost recovery of service provided. Highlighting the long term solutions, he said that energy crisis could be dealt by developing national consensus on hydro and coal sources (e.g. dams and Thar coal), multi-buyer and multiseller private sector energy market, insulating gas sector from security threats, incentives oil exploration (removal of subsidies on other sources) and vision and capacity for renewable. He also

tional Military awards were conferred upon the Officers, Junior Commissioned Officers, Senior Non Commissioned Officers and Civilians of Pakistan Air Force for their distinguished services in an impressive Investiture Ceremony held at Air Headquarters. Air Marshal Farhat Hussain Khan, Vice Chief of the Air Staff, Pakistan Air Force was the chief guest on the occasion, says a press release. In the ceremony, Chief of the Air Staff Commendation Certificates were conferred upon 86 Officers, JCOs/Airmen and Civilians. 13 Proficiency Excellence Badges to PAF Officers, 20 Tamgha-iKhidmat (Military) Class-II and 06 Tamgha-i-Khidmat (Military) Class-III were conferred to Junior Commissioned Officers. These awards are in recognition of the acts of extreme devotion to duty rendered by the Officers, JCOs/Airmen and Civilians of Pakistan Air Force, hence contributing towards the improvement of the overall efficiency of the service.—APP

ISLAMABAD—Nadeem

STAFF REPORTER I SLAMABAD —A number of prominent speakers advocated the need for providing a boost to public-private participation concept to promote the cause of country’s greater progress. They advocated the concept of public-private partnership at a seminar on Public Private Partnership (PPP), jointly organized by Riphah Institute of Public Policy (RIPP) and Infrastructure Project Development Facility (IPDF) here Thursday at a local hotel. Senior government officials from different ministries participated in the one day policy seminar and discussed the possibilities of involving the private sector in infrastructure projects. Muhammed Ishfaq Khattak, Director of RIPP in

his opening remarks welcomed the participants from different ministries and highlighted the fiscal limitations currently faced by the government, the unsatisfactory working of the Public Sector Enterprises and ever-increasing need for investment in the infrastructure projects. As a result PPP is considered a viable option to meet infrastructure requirements, he remarked. Prof. Dr. Anis Ahmed, Vice Chancellor of Riphah International University emphasized the importance of the role of private sector and said that such seminars would go a long way in developing connectivity between the academia and government sector. Such interactions, he observed, are common in the developed world and the government benefits from the

research and new knowledge created in universities. The Riphah University , he said, had established RIPP for this purpose, and it would endeavor to maintain the linkages between the government and academia through RIPP. He said the recommendations of the seminar would be shared with the stake holders. Adil Anwar, CEO of IPDF stressed the importance of the PPP’s in Pakistan and mentioned the shrinking PSDP budget for infrastructure projects. He said in order to spur economic growth Pakistan should promote private sector participation through PPPs. He also gave an overview of Pakistan ’s PPP program and project pipeline. The current project pipeline at various stages of completion exceeds US$ 3 billion.

abandoned but it would require high standard of security for energy production. Mr Mustansar said, “we could benefit from technological advancements in the renewable energy i.e. solar and wind.” As India, China and European countries were getting benefitted from these sources.” Similarly, Pakistan should step up its efforts to accord with Iran on TAPI gas pipeline in order to meet the challenge of energy shortage.

I SLAMABAD —Non Opera-

CITY REPORTER

Public-private partnership needed for country’s progress

as huge amount of water was consumed in agricultural sector and overpumping and inefficient irrigation techniques had led to sharply declining groundwater levels, loss of wetlands and salinization of agricultural lands. Mustansar. H. Billah, researcher at IPRI said that among traditional renewables- nuclear and hydro, Pakistan should focus on hydroelectricity generation. Though nuclear potential should not be completely

Non-operational military awards

Holy Quran nourishes our souls

ISLAMABAD: Chairman Khubaib Foundation, Nadeem Ahmed Khan with Hafiz Muhammad Anas during the ceremony of “Quran Memorization by Heart”.

suggested that there should be only one ministry for the energy sector so that things could be aligned under one authority. A Researcher Dr. Shaheen Akhtar highlighted that no scientific study had been done on the Indus Basin, saying that Pakistan needed to follow a holistic water resource management strategy to deal with internal and transboundary water issues. She said that Pakistan must address its domestic water resource management

Ahmed Khan Chairman Khubaib Foundation has congratulated the brilliant students of Madrassatul Khubaib Tehfeezul Quran ul Kareem at the ceremony held for the successful memorization of the Holy Quran Majeed by the students held at the Head Office. Islamic teachings are the real food of our heart and soul and the great significance of the Quran Majeed is that it has removed the darkness from the entire world, Khan said. Formal education is more important than informal, as Muslims it’s our duty to equip our youth with religious teachings to secure future; Islam is the divine religion that focuses on religious, socio- cultural and economic affairs. Hafiz Muhammad Shoaib, Hafiz Muhammad Hamid and Hafiz Muhammad Hanif received gifts on the occasion of memorization of the holy Quran by heart. It is pertinent to mention here that Hafiz Muhammad Anas Naveed and Hafiz Muhammad Hamid Naveed have been selected for All Pakistan Qirat Competition 2013.

Factories in residential areas R AWALPINDI —Despite tall

claims of the City District Government Rawalpindi (CDGR) to remove industrial units from residential areas, over 180 illegal factories in residential areas have been allowed to operate only after adopting fire safety measures. It should be mentioned here that under the Local Government Ordinance 2001, no industrial unit can be established or commercial activity carried out in residential areas. After Karachi’s inferno that killed at least 300 people and another fire accident in Lahore, the Punjab government had asked the district administrations across the province to remove illegal factories from residential areas. Rawalpindi committee in this connection met the other day and it was informed by the members that 90 per cent owners of over 180 illegal factories had adopted fire safety measures and action against the reISLAMABAD: Students taking keen interest in books during Jinnah Business Expo maining would be launched held at Muhammad Ali Jinnah University.—PO photo by Sultan Bashir soon.—INP

ISLAMABAD: Saudi Ambassador Abdul Aziz Ibrahim Al-Ghadeer visiting Al-Farabi Centre for Special Children. MD Pakistan Bait-ul-Mall Zammurd Khan is also seen in the picture.—PO Photo

Graffiti art competition ‘juice up to win big’ STAFF REPORTER I SLAMABAD —Tetra Pak, a leading processing and packaging company, has announced the winners of its month long Graffiti Art competition. More than 200 young artists from 7 cities across Pakistan participated in the packaged juice awareness campaign, creating graffiti based works of art on a wide range of subjects such as health, nature, food safety and happiness. Students from Rawalpindi Institute of Art & Design, COMSATS, Hunnar Kada Institute, The Paragon Secondary School & College and The Educators among others participated in the competition, using their creativity to emblazon their unique graffiti designs on portable wall murals and lifesized packaged juice cartons. Renowned graffiti artist

Abdullah Ahmed Khan, professionally known as Sanki King, was the head of the Judging panel, which comprised of representatives from Islamabad’s leading Art and Design Institutions, who collectively adjudged the works of art and determined the winning entries. Rabbiay Kaif from Huner Kada Institute took first place in the wall canvass category of the competition, with Afaq Ishfaq from St. Mary’s School Rawalpindi securing first place in the life-sized juice carton category. Winning artists were awarded with a Rs 25,000 cash prize and a commemorative shield for their achievements. Runners-up and other entrants were also awarded cash prizes and mementoes for their participation in the event. Sanki King, a pioneer of

Grafitti and Hip Hop culture in Pakistan, commented “It is heartening to see so many talented young artists participating in this unique competition. Grafitti has always been a modern and challenging form of artistic expression and these students have excelled in bringing their creations to life. I am confident that these young stars will go far in their artistic pursuits.” Speaking of the campaign, Kashif Bhatti, Marketing Director Tetra Pak Pakistan said, “At Tetra Pak, we have always sought innovative ways to enhance awareness of the nutritional and health benefits of packaged products and are delighted at the level of response generated by this campaign. We congratulate all students who participated in this competition and contributed to making this activity a resounding success.”

ISLAMABAD: Visitors looking at the pictures of flood affected people during Excellence Awards Ceremony organized by EU and Internews Europe at PNCA. —PO photo

Accurate population data vital for national development: Speakers STAFF REPORTER R AWA L P I N D I — S p e a k e r s here at a seminar on Thursday highlighted importance of accurate and reliable population data for devising economic policies and achieving sustainable progress and prosperity in the country. They said there should be updated and credible number of existing population and it could only be possible through timely registration of vital events like birth, death, marriage and divorce. They expressed these views at the seminar titled “Civil Registration Management System CRMS),” which was jointly organized by the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). The CRMS is a project for computerized registration

and issuance of birth, death, marriage and divorce certificates to maintain upgraded data of the citizens like the developed nations. Director General of CRMS Tanzeem-ud-Din underlined the need for creating awareness among masses about NADRA’s more than 6,297 centers operating at Union Council, Tehsil Municipal Administration and Cantonment board level across the country to facilitate general public. He said the CRMS project was initially started in Punjab in collaboration with local government in 2004, adding “It is going on at a good pace, however, there is still need to accelerate the efforts for getting the required task.” The DG said provision of real-time information to future-planners was necessary so that national level policies could be formulated keeping

in view the exact number of population. He said all CRMS centers were fully computerized and had been connected with the NADRA headquarters to process the applications in an efficient and error-free manner. UNFPA representative Muqaddir Shah appreciated the efforts of NADRA for executing the CRMS project in a well-organized manner. He said last census was carried out in the country in 1998 and since then no accurate and reliable data was available with the government organizations and international donor agencies. He said UNFPA was operating in 170 countries and extending support to them in solving problems pertaining to population. “No planning or policy can succeed without reliable and accurate population data,” he added.


Sopore strike continues for second day Shabbir Shah, other Hurriyet leaders held S R I N A G A R — C o m p l e t e dia processions against the kill- ternational human rights shutdown was observed in Sopore for the second consecutive day, today, against the killing of seven Kashmiri youth including a 10th class student, Aatir Dar during Indian military operations in the town. The situation remained tense in the town throughout the day and the personnel of Indian paramilitary and police had been deployed to prevent people from taking out anti-In-

German woman MUZAFFARABAD: President Azad Kashmir Sardar Muhammad Yaqoob Khan photo-grouped with staff and students at brings Christmas gifts 17 AJK University Convocation. AJK President awards Shabbir welcomes for Kashmiri kids Hurriyat (G) S —Gifts from a GerPak Premier’s alleges man woman ahead of Christmas degrees to 5,000 students brought cheers for a group of statement suspicious M schoolchildren whom she Sat—The 10th ment in this regard. took for a trip to Sri He expressed satisfaction that S — The chairman of Convocation of the University of photographing Azad Jammu & Kashmir was university was discharging its Muslim Conference Kashmir urday Pratap Singh Museum in the th

RINAGAR

UZAFFARABAD

RINAGAR

City. “Christmas makes De-

Thursday at Chela Campus, duties in a befitting manner un- Shabir Ahmad Dar has welcomed cember a month for giving, and S RINAGAR — The Hurriyat held here wherein more than 5000 der the able guidance of Vice the statement of the prime minis- that’s just what I did,” said Conference (G) led by Syed Ali Geelani has accused the army of suspiciously and clandestinely photographing and surveying the surroundings of the residence cum office of the octogenarian leaders at Hyderpora here. Hurriyat (G) spokesperson Ayaz Akbar said a contingent of army appeared near the residence of Geelani and surveyed the area in a suspicious manner. He said the policemen deputed there did not bother to inquire about the army’s purpose of conducting survey of the area and taking photographs. The Hurriyat spokesperson rejected the idea that police deployed at Geelani’s residence was for providing security to the octogenarian leader. “If they were meant for security, why did they act as mute spectators. There have been attacks and rocket fires in past. Panic has spread among the residents of the area”, he added.—NNI

Speakers ask for Kashmir settlement in time-bound manner SRINAGAR–In occupied Kashmir, speakers at a seminar stressing finding out the political settlement of the Kashmir dispute at the centre of Pak-India dialogue process have called for addressing the issue in a time-bound manner. The demand was made at the cross-LoC Civil Society dialogue, organized by New Delhi-based Centre for Dialogue and Reconciliation (CDR) in Jammu. “There were three days of intense deliberations in which 60 people participated from both sides of the LoC, according to a statement released by the CDR. At the concluding session, the conference in a joint statement welcomed the ongoing Pak-India dialogue. “The political resolution of the Kashmir issue remains central to this process, and should be addressed in a time-bound manner,” the statement says. The conference besides urging rehabilitation of all displaced people, with special focus on those who were forced to move after 1989, called for the upholding of the sanctity of human rights, civil liberties and tolerance for political dissent and ensuring speedy justice for victims of human rights violations, the joint statement adds.—KMS

graduating students of Ph.D., M.Phil., M.A./M.Sc., B.A./B.Sc./ B.Ed., M.Sc. Agriculture, B.Sc. Agriculture, M.Sc. Engineering, B.Sc. Engineering, BS Applied Geology, B.Sc. Home Economics, BBA, MBA, M.Com./MPA, BFA, BS.Ed. and B.Com were awarded degrees. Thirty seven students were decorated with gold medals. While addressing the convocation, President AJ&K/ Chancellor University Sardar Muhammad Yaqoob Khan said that “if we are to progress, we will have to give top priority to higher education”. Our peoples’ government has taken several measures to promote higher education. The establishment of three medical colleges and a number of universities is clearly indicative of our commit-

Chancellor Prof. Dr. Syed Dilnawaz Ahmad Gardezi. Due to conducive atmosphere prevailing in the university, academic and research activities are flourishing which have enabled this university attain a respectable position. He said he was aware that university was facing space problems due to lack of proper infrastructure and promised to resolve the issue by asking the concerned authorities to expedite the construction of King Abdullah Campus, Chatter Klass. The AK President said he was against political intervention into educational institutions. While addressing on the occasion, the Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Dilnawaz Ahmad Gardezi congratulated the graduates.—INP

ter of Pakistan that Kashmir issue should be resolved through the implementation of UN Resolutions. “This should serve as an eyeopener for those who recently termed these Resolutions as obsolete and impracticable. The most unfortunate state of affairs is that these people are calling themselves the representatives of Kashmiris,” said Dar in a statement. “The current visit of these people to Pakistan, according to noted journalist Hamid Mir, is tantamount to rubbing salt on the wounds of Kashmiris as the real leaders of the freedom movement including Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Muhamamd Yasin Malik and Shabir Ahmad Shah are not included in the tour,” he added.—NNI

Karen Klug, a “cultural activist” from Germany, who organized the “gift sharing” event at the museum. Klug gave away gifts to around 40 schoolchildren. “These gifts are from German kids to Kashmiri kids with love. It also gives a message of peace and teaches children the importance of sharing in life,” she added. After having a round up of the historic museum, the kids were excited to grab gifts delicately wrapped for them in red cloth bags. She plans to give away more gifts to children in the coming days as she says: “It’s better to give than to receive.” “Everyone should learn to play Santa to the little children especially to those in need. It gives them hope and strength to be satisfied in life,” Klug said. The German woman has received a lot of gifts for the children in Kashmir. “I am planning a similar event in Valley close to Christmas day. It would be possible only when S RINAGAR — In occupied to take cognizance of any con- S R I N A G A R — In occupied the container holding gift items Kashmir, the forum patronized spiracy against the Kashmir Kashmir, police authority is cleared from the Customs by veteran Kashmiri Hurriyet dispute. “New Delhi is bent have said that at least 2400 Department,” she said.—NNI leader, Syed Ali Geelani term- upon violating the interna- people lost their lives in acciing terming the fencing along tional agreements and direc- dents in the territory during the Line of Control (LoC) by tions of international bodies last three years. India a conspiracy to maintain with regard to the present geoInspector General of Police permanent status quo on the graphical status and ceasefire (IGP) Jammu Zone Dilbagh Kashmir dispute, has vowed to between India and Pakistan,” Singh talking to media men in oppose the move tooth and said the Hurriyet spokesman, Jammu said “At least 2400 nail.The forum in its executive Ayaz Akbar in a statement af- people have died in road acci- S RINAGAR — In occupied council meeting, presided over ter the meeting. dents in last three years in the Kashmir, the leader of IttehadHe appealed to the interna- territory.” by General Secretary Ghulam ul-Muslimeen Jammu and Nabi Sumjhi in Srinagar as- tional community for intervention He said 90 percent of the serted that the proposed fencing to urge New Delhi to stop the LoC mishaps take place due to hu- Kashmir, Masroor Abbas Ansari would “have a damaging effect fencing move. The meeting paid man errors. The police officer has said that the people of Kashon the disputed status of Jammu rich tributes to the martyrs of expressed concern over care- mir have rendered unprecSopore and said the stubborn ap- lessness of people while driv- edented sacrifices for Kashmir Kashmir.” The forum threatened to proach adopted by New Delhi had ing. “Thousands of new ve- cause and would continue the organize protests to impress resulted in the human loss in the hicles are added to roads each martyrs’ mission till its logical conclusion.Masroor Abbas the international community territory.—KMS year..—KMS Ansari addressing a party meeting in Srinagar said that Kashmiris had been struggling for securing right to self-determination for last several decades and would never compromise on it. He also welcomed the remarks of the Pakistan Prime Minister, Raja Pervez Ashraf and other leaders that the Kashmir dispute should be resolved in accordance with the Kashmiris’ aspirations through the UN resolutions. The participants of the meeting also condemned the loss of property and blasting of houses by the Indian forces at Saidapora in Sopore. The meeting said the black laws imposed in the territory have become the main cause of sufferings for Kashmiris and it give a licence to Indian forces to kill and destroy the properties of Kashmiris.—KMS MUZAFFARABAD: Protests against illegal university appointment.

Geelani’s forum threatens agitation against LoC fencing

ings. Incidents of clashes between protesters and the Indian armed forces personnel were also reported in the area. Strike was observed in Pattan against the Indian state terrorism. The veteran Kashmiri Hurriyet leader, Syed Ali Gilani in a statement said that Indian troops had committed war crimes by indulging in the razing of houses and destruction of civilian properties in Sopore. He appealed to the in-

organisations to take serious notice of the matter and prevail upon India to stop brutalities in the territory. On the other hand, police arrested senior APHC leader, Shabbir Ahmad Shah and other Hurriyet leaders including Javed Ahmad Mir and Muhammad Yousuf Naqash to prevent them from going to Sopore to express solidarity with the victim families of the Indian military operation.

In Jammu, speakers at the cross-LoC Civil Society dialogue, organized by New Delhi-based Centre for Dialogue and Reconciliation called for addressing the Kashmir dispute in a timebound manner. They called for the upholding of the sanctity of human rights, civil liberties and tolerance for political dissent and ensuring speedy justice for victims of human rights violations in the territory.—KMS

Gujjars, Bakarwals demand ‘primitive tribal group’ status J AMMU – The Gujjars and marginalized among Scheduled education, health and employBakerwals of Jammu and Kashmir have demanded the status of “Primitive Tribal group” in the state with a separate share of reservation in the category. The demand has been projected in a memorandum, signed by majority of dignitaries of community, sent to the Prime Minister of India Dr Manmohan Singh through ‘Tribal Research and Cultural Foundation’ –a frontal organization of Gujjars. The community pleaded that it should be given more special rights and extra constitutional safeguards in the state. Dr Javaid Rahi, Secretary Tribal Foundation said, “We have pleaded that the Gujjars and Bakerwals who constitute 80 percent of tribal population of Jammu and Kashmir, being

Tribes (STs), deserve special attention and a fair deal from the Centre and state.” In memorandum, the community members vigorously pushed for bifurcation of their separate share of 8 percent out of total 10 percent reservation available to 12 Scheduled Tribe (ST) groups with the plea that Gujjars and Bakerwals were not as forward as to compete with other tribes especially those eight tribes lives in different districts including the Ladakh region. The memorandum mentioned that the Gujjars, Bakerwals got ST status in J&K in 1991 and were sharing 10 percent reservations under ST category with other 10 communities of State but they were still on the margin in all field like

ment sector as they were facing hard competition among Tribal groups of the State. It added that the Gujjars and Bakerwals were getting less than 30 percent share of total employment provided by the State to Schedule Tribes as the other ten tribes were socially alert, economically sound and educationally far ahead of Gujjars and Bakerwals. The community members pointed out that as per the Constitution of India, under the Scheduled Tribe (ST) category those were identified as more backward communities among the tribal population groups were categorized as ‘Primitive Tribal Groups’ (PTGs) by the government at the Centre.—NNI

2,400 killed in IHK accidents in three years: Police

Martyrs’ mission to continue till success: Masroor

MUZAFFARABAD: AJK Minister Sardar Javed Ayub and others coming to participate in a public meeting.

Pakistan, India interaction to bring lot of changes: Kamal SRINAGAR— Endorsing the two countries should be opened PDP, Kamal said “In-fact statement of Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah about opening more cross-border routes and making Line of Control (LoC) irrelevant for free movement of people and trade, the National Conference additional general secretary, Dr. Mustafa Kamal has said that more interaction between the two neighboring countries will bring lot of changes in not only the mindset of the people but will also help in giving an impetus to the trade between the two countries. In a statement issued to Global News Service, Kamal while addressing a meeting of Panches and Sarpanches at Beerwah, Badgam said “Our party stands clear and have been reiterating that borders between

for more people to people contact”. He said the party is committed for a vibrant 3-tier Panchayati Raj system in the state and vowed to ensure maximum empowerment of Panchayati Raj institutions (PRIs). “The J&K Panchayati Raj Act will be further broad based to give a boost to the socio-economic scenario in rural areas,” Kamal said adding “we must be cautioned about the false and mischievous propaganda of the opposition which is desperately trying to create misunderstanding and disillusionment regarding empowerment of Panches and Sarpanches”. Attacking opposition

they (PDP) never wanted empowerment of PRIs in the state, neither when they were in power nor today and are only relying on falsehood and lies”, he said adding that “people are wise enough to see their political bankruptcy and ulterior motive to grab power by hook or by crook”. Meanwhile, the newly elected MLC and provincial president, Ali Mohammad Dar while addressing the Panchayat members asked them to jointly work to ensure that Panchayat Raj is made strong and vibrant. Dar also released rupees10 lakhs as promised for the Panches and Sarpanches for works relating to the Panchayats.—NNI

Global pressure mounts on India for Kashmir resolution SHEFFIELD—Speakers at a seminar and exhibition ‘Humans Without Human Rights And Lawless Law’ in Sheffield Town Hall, United Kingdom, stressed the need of international pressure on India for resolution of Kashmir issue.Kashmir Centre London along with other sponsors, GMB Trade Union, Thompson Solicitors and ILM News organized the seminar and exhibition on December 14, 2012. Councillor Mohammad Maroof chaired the event while Paul Blomfield, MP for Sheffield Central Constituency, inaugurated the exhibition. Barrister Abdul Majeed Tramboo, the Chairman Kashmir Centre Brussels, addressing the seminar said that he was recently

attending a debate in European Parliament where Indian Ambassador was also present. MEP Oxford, Graham Watson asked a simple question that if there was democracy and peace in India then why were Public Safety Act and AFSPA in vogue. “It prohibits all judicial processes just for one motive is impunity to kill.” Barrister Tramboo appealed to the Sheffield City Council and other councils to pass a resolution for human rights and for the right of self-determination for the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Barrister Tramboo asked Kashmiri Diaspora to interact with the respective parliament members and ask them what steps they have taken for reducing the suffering of the Kashmiri people.

“European parliament has taken accept that we failed to make an some practical measures to adissue of urgency. David Bowe a dress the issue,” he said. former MEP and a Member of Paul Blomfield, MP for India Pakistan Delegation Sheffield Central Constituency, pleaded for self-determination of while inaugurating the exhibition people of Kashmir and said that referred to the long denial of selfthe dialogue is key for the fordetermination to the people of ward movement. Professor Nazir Jammu and Kashmir and later on Ahmed Shawl said it was high speaking at the seminar he said time that a united voice was that international pressure is very raised for the world’s dis-emimportant for Kashmir resolupowered, persecuted and suption. He referred to the great trapressed small nations. “As for dition that Sheffield has had in the state of Jammu and Kashmir strengthening the solidarity is concerned the so called Indian movement of the oppressed democracy can be classified as a people. Clive Betts, MP, said beautiful prison Public Safety that the Kashmiris have the right Act and Armed forces Special to decide their future through refpowers act gives unbridled imerendum. munity to the armed forces and Linda McAvan MEP exit becomes a consequence for tortolled that Kashmir needs a SHEFFIELD: Panellists at an exhibition ‘Humans Without Human Rights and Law- ture, disappearances. Councilor peaceful resolution and we must less Law’ in Town Hall. Mohammed Maroof the Chair-

man of the seminar thanked the panelists for their presentations and hoped that this seminar will create the required awareness to highlight the trauma, pain, and agony suffered by the people of occupied Jammu & Kashmir. custodial deaths and mass graves,” he added. Maxine Bowler, Dr Ishtiaq Ahmed from the University of Oxford, Raja Mohammed Ayub the president of the advisory council, London, Councilor Ibrar Hussain, Cabinet Assistant Sheffield City Council, Councilor Jahangir Akhtar, Deputy Leader Rotherham Council and Rashad Khan spokesperson for the President University of Sheffield Students Union also spoke on the occasion.—KMS


FCCI to organize Expo in Chandigarh F A I S A L A B A D —Faisalabad

KARACHI: President Asif Ali Zardari giving award to Chairman Coordination FPCCI Capital Office Atif Ikram Sheikh during 36th FPCCI Exports ceremony in the category of Young Entrepreneurs on record exports of vegetable ghee and cooking oil. Commerce Minister, Governor and Chief Minister Sindh, Governor SBP and President FPCCI also present on the occasion.

Farmers fare concludes STAFF REPORTER I SLAMABAD —Dr. Iftikhar Ahmad, Chairman PARC while addressing the concluding ceremony of PARC FAO-AAN Farmers Share Mela at NARC said that farmer’s role is basic and important for agriculture development. He stressed the agricultural scientists to closely work with farmers and take the research in their field to technically guide them to adopt new innovations and practices. He said that rural women farmers’ participation also ensure to achieve maximum target in agro-livestock development activities. He said that PARC & FAO provided a platform Alumni Association Network (AAN) in Pakistan to farming community to keep a link between FAO, leading farmers and national & international R&D organizations. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO-UN) and Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) jointly arranged a two day AAN Farmers Share Mela from 19-20 December, 2012 at National Agricultural Research Centre (NARC) Chak Shahzad, Islamabad.

FPCCI official awarded STAFF REPORTER KARACHI—Atif Ikram Sheikh, Chairman Coordination FPCCI Capital Office and Senior Vice Chairman Pakistan Vanaspati Manufacturers Association bagged best export award. The award was given to him in recognition of record exports of edible oil by his group of companies with processing and manufacturing facilities across Pakistan. His companies have been serving people in country while earning valuable foreign exchange for country since long. Atif Ikram Sheikh received Young Entrepreneurs Export Award from President Asif Ali Zardari during 36th FPCCI Export Awards (2011-2012). Commerce Minister Makhdoom Amin Fahim, Governor Sindh Ishratul Ibad, Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qiam Ali Shah, Governor SBP Yasin Anwar, President FPCCI Haji Ghulam Kadir Sherani, other top government officials and leaders of the business community were also present on the occasion. Later, Atif said that the presence of President and other ministers is very encouraging which will not only give a very positive message to the business community but also infuse confidence in us to strive more for the well-being of country. It may be mentioned that Mr. Atif also received same award in 2009.

HSBC to pay $1.9b money laundering fine HONG KONG—HSBC said it will pay a fine of $1.92 billion in a deferred prosecution agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice over the Londonbased bank’s inadequate compliance with anti-money laundering laws. “We accept responsibility for our past mistakes. We have said we are profoundly sorry for them, and we do so again,” said Chief Executive Stuart Gulliver in a statement.— Newswire

ISE, PIA coop symbolizes effective forward progress ISMAIL DILAWAR I SLAMABAD —The National Flag Carrier and Islamabad Stock Exchange Limited (ISE) join hands for mutual cooperation. Pakistan International Airlines Company Limited (PIA) held an event at ISE to have its existence through model display of its latest bus Boeing-777 at ISE Towers. A formal ceremony was held at ISE Secretariat which was attended by the brokers and Management of the ISE. Mian Ayyaz Afzal, Manag-

ing Director of ISE stated at the occasion that although the PIA was passing through a tough time, however, it had the potential to be competitive and viable. The symbolic existence of PIA at ISE Towers was reflective of corporate social responsibility policy of the Exchange. He said that ISE has been facilitating corporate entities to interact with other entities for mutual interests. Replying to some queries about demutualization in context of listing of new companies, Mian Ayyaz Afzal said that the

ISE could review its listing fees for further attraction on new listings. Agha Ali Akbar Pathan District Manager Islamabad of PIA said that the Management was making its best efforts to streamline the affairs of the National Flag Carrier and he was quite optimistic that PIA will soon regain its status of most preferred airline. A appreciated the CSR policy of the Exchange and thanked Management of ISE for facilitating ceremony and display of model display at prestigious building of ISE Towers.

Used cars prices up by 14 pc STAFF REPORTER KARACHI—Failing to checkmate the ECC decision on the age limit of used cars, the dealers have increased the prices of five-yearold imported used junk cars up to 14 percent. A market survey of more than 10 used car dealers, including the auction price at Sohrab Goth during last two weeks, reveals that the used car dealers have increased the price of Mira/Suzuki Kei up to Rs 55,000. The price of Vitz/Passo has also been increased up to Rs 80,000; Axio’s price increased up to Rs 110,000; and Premio has a price increase of up to Rs 160,000. It is worth adding that these old used cars are already being sold at higher prices than locally made new cars. “This price increase in old used cars shows that the dealers don’t pay any heed on the concerns of the consumer and completely bent upon fleecing the consumer,” said Iqbal Hussain Shah, Vice President Pakistan Automo-

bile Manufacturer Assemblers Dealers Association (PAMADA). He further said, “Interestingly All Pakistan Motor Dealers Association (APMDA) always portray themselves as one of the well wishers of Pakistani nation, seems quite busy in making profit from their imported used cars stocks/ investment. This clarifies how much they love common man of Pakistan” What is more important to mention that local car prices are constant from last 6 months and only Honda Civic price was revised due to new model launch with additional accessories and features. While US $ has touched new record, high and local car assemblers are absorbing most of the cost impact. He said that the local auto sector of the country urges the government to consider the strengthening of Japan’s Yen against US dollar in the last few years and must revise used car duty slabs which were fixed in 2005. Today, the disparity between Japan’s Yen and US dollar is much

low. One US dollar was of 120 Japanese Yen in 2005, but since then the Yen has strengthened and now in November 2012 its value is 79 against one US dollar. ‘This calls for a revision of used car duty slabs which were fixed in 2005, so that the consumer can know how they are being fleeced by the used cars dealer mafia,’ reasoned the official. The local auto industry said that based on today’s value of the Yen, the proposed duty slabs for vehicles up to 800c is $6650 against the current fixed duty of $4400 on a used car which was fixed on the value of Yen in 2005. Similarly, for vehicles of 8001-1000cc, the proposed duty is $8312 against the fixed current duty of $5500; for 1001-1300cc the proposed duty is $16625 against current fixed $11000; for 1301-1500cc the proposed duty is $23275 against fixed current duty of $15400; for 1500-1600cc proposed duty slab is $28262 against fixed current duty $18700; and for 1601-1800cc the proposed slab is $26184 against the current fixed duty of $23100.

Familiarisation workshop

Good corporate governance vital for economic revival STAFF REPORTER L AHORE —Good corporate governance, for being a key driver of business performance, is not just an essential but vital for economic revival of the country and a major tool when it comes to attracting foreign investors. This was the upshot of the speeches delivered at a Corporate Governance Workshop for Small, Medium and Family Enterprises organized by the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Collaboration with Interna-

tional Finance Corporation (IFC) at the LCCI on Thursday. LCCI President Farooq Iftikhar, Vice President Mian Abuzar Shad, IFC Project Officer Mohsin Ali, Associate Operations Officer Mehwish Bilal Khan, Convener LCCI Standing Committee on Code of Corporate Governance Altaf H Turab, Dr Shehla Javaid Akram and former LCCI Senior Vice President Ejaz A Mumtaz were the prominent speakers. Issues came under discussion included: Why Corporate Governance Matters to SMEs, Governance of Family Owned Enter-

prises and Role of Women Entrepreneurs. There was a consensus among the speakers that the businesses need strive for implementation of sound corporate governance practices to improve performance individually and boost investors’ confidence in a bid to improve the economy that has been facing multiple internal and external challenges. They said corporate governance is also essential in ensuring transparency, strong and balanced economic development as well as in minimising wastages.

Chamber of Commerce (FCCI) expo named ‘Made in Faisalabad’ will be organized in Chandigarh, India as well as three trade delegations from Faisalabad are planned to visit India, said President Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FCCI) Mian Zahid Aslam here Thursday. Giving details he said that first trade delegation is planned in February 2013, second in March, 2013 and third one in September 2013 along with exclusive ‘Made in Faisalabad’ exhibition in Chandigarh India next year. He continued that cooperation and assistance in this context was promised by Mr. Sharat Sabharwal, High Commissioner of India in Pakistan during his visit at FCCI on 17th Dec, 2013. He told that 60% trade in the world was through regional trade. Hence, regional trade was the best option to enhance trade with India being the bigger economy and a market of 1.2 billion consumers would be available to Pakistani manufactures. The trade volume could be enhanced to US$ 4-5 billion per annum from currently around US$ 2 billion by formalizing the informal trade of US$ 3 billion going on through third country, smuggling and personal baggage, he added. He was confidence that with the New Visa Agreement and minimizing the quantitative restrictions as well as Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs), Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) and providing level playing field to Pakistan Industries by India, mutual trade would be increased manifold in a short period of two to three years.— INP

PSO-PNSC shipping deal set to save $175m ISMAIL DILAWAR

KARACHI—Having contacted with the Pakistan National Shipping Corporation (PNSC) for the import of POL products, the Pakistan State Oil (PSO) would start importing motor gasoline through the national flag-carrier from March next year. The PSO Thursday said its ECC-backed partnership with the national shipping line, PNSC, would save around $ 175 million for the dollar-hungry country over a period of five years. In a statement issue here, the state-run energy giant said being the nation’s leading public sector organization it had always followed a strict policy of implementing the decisions of the government in both letter and spirit. “PSO is proud to be the first

national company to start bringing in imported POL products through the Pakistan National Shipping Corporation,” it added. This, it said, has been done in light of the directives of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) which clearly state that all government organizations should designate the national shipping line, the PNSC, as their shipping partner of choice. The national energy giant had recently signed a Contract of Affreightment (CoA) with the PNSC to transport furnace oil from foreign ports to Pakistan’s shores. Already this COA is bearing fruit and expected savings in one year are estimated to be approximately $ 25 million which shall translate into savings of $ 125 million in five years time span. “Furthermore, from March

2013, the company would start importing Motor Gasoline through PNSC on FOB basis,” the PSO said. This, it said, would save another $ 10 million on an annual basis and in next five years estimated savings due to this arrangement are expected to be $ 50 million. The PSO’s partnership with PNSC shall result in total savings of approximately $ 175 million over a time period of five years. This partnership between two national companies would not only save precious foreign exchange as outlined above but will also help in creating employment opportunities in the oil shipping business. Committed to providing quality products and customer services, PSO, the national energy giant, remains committed to providing the best for the public at large.

KESC clears IFC, ADB as shareholders with $50m investment ISMAIL DILAWAR KARACHI—The Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) has confirmed receiving the investment of $ 25 million each from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Asian Development Bank (ADB). The investment now makes these two multilateral agencies equity holders in the privatelyrun utility. The IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and ADB have subscribed to additional share capital by converting $ 50 million of their original $ 275 million financing facility

to the power utility. As per the loan financing agreement signed by the IFC and ADB with KESC in 2010, the two international institutions had the right to convert up to $ 50 million of their debt into equity before Dec 31, 2012. This debt financing was provided by the two institutions to partly finance the KESC’s stateof-the-art and one of the most efficient power plants, the 560 MW BQPS-II. This 560 MW plant has successfully been installed and commissioned mid of this year 2012, ahead of its planned schedule. This encouraging en-

dorsement by IFC and ADB is being hailed by the KESC as a positive sign paving the way for international investor confidence not only in the utility but also in the Pakistan economy. In a statement issued Thursday, the KESC said the development was reflective of the confidence these two leading international financial institutions reposed in the turnaround progress of the company. It would go a long way in providing greater financial leverage to the KESC and also create savings in terms of reduction in the servicing of financial charges, the KESC said.

USC reduces sugar price by Rs 3 per kg STAFF REPORTER I SLAMABAD —The Utility Stores Corporation of Pakistan (USC) has reduced sugar price by Rs. 3 per kg at its all outlets across the country as compared the open market in order to provide relief to the people. The Spokesman of the Corporation told media here on Thursday that sugar prices were reduced from Rs. 48 per kg and was fixed at Rs. 45 per kg as the commodity was being sold at Rs. 50-52 per Kg in the open market. The USC has directed its all regional head quarters to implement the decision immediately on the existing stocks of sugar laying with the stores across the country. He further informed that abundant stocks of sugar are available in Utility Stores outlets across the country as all the store outlets were provided sugar as they required keep supply on smooth mode. The spokesman further said that USC was also preparing a mechanism to bring down the prices of other essential commodities including ghee, cooking oil, flour and pluses of different varieties to give more relief to the people. He said that the Corporation was striving to provide quality daily use items on affordable rates through USC outlets across the country and planning to further expend its outreach to more areas. It may be recalled that bumper sugar output expected this year besides a huge quantity of the last year’s produce was also laying with the local sugar mills. The Economic Coordination Committee of Cabinet has also allowed the sugar mills to export sugar where as sugarcane crushing was in full swing to produce the commodity for domestic requirements as well as for exports.

ISLAMABAD: Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Federal Minister for Finance, meeting with Nadeem Lodhi Country Officer Citybank.

PTCL striving to attain new targets STAFF REPORTER ISLAMABAD —To portray its leading role in the telecommunications sector of the country, Pakistan Telecommunications Company Limited (PTCL) has launched a new strategic ‘PTCL Your Window to the future’ corporate TV campaign. The campaign depicts scenes from various geographical areas of the country where PTCL provides round the clock converge and innovative communications solutions. All this is possible now through plugging PTCL 3G EVO Wingle or EVO Wi-Fi while travelling; making calls with Vfone wireless from a remote location; video-chatting with family on Video Con or watching missed episodes of a

favorite show in high-definition on PTCL Smart TV. PTCL is offering its customers a wide range of products and services needed to support and compliment today’s busy life. As the only integrated telecommunications company of Pakistan, PTCL is providing a broad range of services that include basic voice telephony, wire-line and wireless data services, Broadband Internet, video-conferencing and carrier services to consumers and businesses alike. These services are being offered through PTCL’s innovative products like 3G EVO Wingle 9.3Mbps, 3G EVO Dongle, 3G EVO Wi-Fi Cloud, 3G EVO Tab, Vfone wireless, landline, Broadband Pakistan, Smart TV and Video Phone.

Emirates announces operations enhancement STAFF REPORTER ISLAMABAD—With an already well established position in Pakistan, Emirates, one of the fastest growing international airlines, has announced an enhancement to its operations in the country. From 1st February 2013 the airline will operate an additional two frequencies to its present three weekly flights to Peshawar, to further facilitate and assist its growing customer base in the northern region of the country and add additional cargo capacity to the route. The introduction of the additional flights will increase the weekly number of services to five, and will raise the total number of Emirates weekly flights to Pakistan to 56.

Air cargo industry to expand soon MUZAFFAR ALI L AHORE —Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Aero Aviation and General Sales Agent of Ittehad Cargo Pakistan Maqsood Latifi said air Cargo industry has huge potential of expansion that could be achieved by patronage of the government in shortest possible time. He was speaking at the award distribution ceremony of Ittehad Cargo held here at a local hotel

on the other day where excellence awards were given to the cargo agents on best performance. Regional Cargo Manager Jony Robino, General Manager Cargo Adeeb ur Rehman, Cargo Manager Jaffer Hussain, CEO of Trefco Tahir Malik, Adeel Khan and Shahzad Hafeez were also present on the occasion. Maqsood Latifi said that world is fast coming out of recession and days are not very far when a number of frequent trav-

elers would increase manifold. He said that Pakistan is no exception therefore the people attached with Air Cargo Industry should adopt modern technique and latest methodologies to serve their customers to the best of their abilities. He said that appreciation always plays a key role in boosting the performance of an individual therefore; Ittehad Cargo is distribution awards on best performance.

Win-win situation desirable

PAAPAM wants phasing out negative list for trade with India SALIM AHMED LAHORE—Pakistan Association of Automotive Parts Accessories Manufacturers (PAAPAM) has asked the government to fulfill its promise of phasing out negative list for trade with India only after removal of Non Tariff Barriers (NTBs). Islamabad had made a commitment to the local industry that if India fails to remove trade barriers, negative list will not be abolished, said Munir Bana, Chairman, Pakistan Association of Automotive Parts and Accessories

Manufacturers (PAAPAM) in a statement on Thursday. He urged the government to review its decision of granting MFN status to India, as opening of trade will inundate our smaller and fragile markets, ruining an industry which is already hit by our inconsistent policies as well as energy crisis. PAAPAM Chairman suggested that negative list should not be abolished and all 65 items of auto parts should also remain in Pakistan’s Sensitive List for trade with India. Moreover, sensitive list needs to be maintained for at least next 10 years, before

we can consider any reduction in tariff lines, he added. He said that ending of Negative List, before providing level playing field to the Pakistani auto parts manufacturers, will cause grievous harm to the local industry, which is hit by declining volumes, devaluation of rupee, electricity loadshedding, gas shortages and skyrocketing inflation. There is no clarity on the issue of phasing out of negative list. The Pakistan Cabinet had clearly decided that negative list will not be phased out by December 31, 2012, unless India removes all NTBs to our satisfaction, he said.

PAAPAM Vice Chairman, Usman Malik, said that Pakistan’s auto industry is not prepared for phasing out of negative list, as government has still not implemented capacity building measures in their respective departments, for gearing up to the onslaught of Indian products. He said the Ministry of Industries had also admitted that Pakistan’s domestic industry was in a gross comparative disadvantage position in terms of energy and access to credit. Usman Malik said that numerous industrial zones in India offer concessions to promote the industry while in Pa-

kistan there are frequent and prolonged energy outages, and the production capacities remain un-utilized across the board increasing the production costs for the majority of those SMEs who do not have resources to set up captive plants. He said that PAAPAM will always welcome manufacturing and technology based investments from India. Further all trade openings should be two ways rather than one way. ‘In spite of this clear advantage for the Pakistani businesses and obvious disadvantage to Indian goods, the official trade figures display huge trade surplus

for the Indian economy. Even after discounting the size of the Indian economy, the trade deficit is far too large, considering the restrictive regime Pakistan is accused of maintaining against Indian goods and services,’ said a local parts manufacturer. Therefore, he added, our economy managers need to examine these figures and also take into consideration the historical picture of Pak-India trade relations, before they go for the final review of this critical decision i.e. giving MFN status to India. He said that our industry believes that trade should be a

step-by-step approach, creating a win-win situation for both trading partners and this is only possible when India allows export of raw materials to the Pakistani businesses. He said the government should realize that granting MFN status to India is our negotiating chip, and they cannot negotiate anything substantial once they have lost this leverage. ‘Unhindered flow of Indian goods and services has a major repercussion for the local industry because whatever little foreign investment Pakistan has will gradually go to India.


Putin tough on US rights law

SKorea’s president-elect faces N’s uncertainty

SEOUL, S OUTH K OREA — it sees as necessary defense South Korean transitions” af- humanitarian aid, including have to be her top priority for were more worried about their M OSCOW —President Vladimir Putin Park Geun-hye promises to and leverage against Wash- ter presidential elections, food, medicine and daily her to be a game-changing economic futures and a host

supported a ban on Americans adopting Russian children on Thursday in a feud over a U.S. human rights law which he said was poisoning relations. Putin, 60, struck a hawkish tone in his first annual news conference since he began a new six-year term in May but denied that tough measures against his opponents since his return to the Kremlin meant he was an authoritarian leader. He used the marathon live broadcast to dismiss speculation about his health, underline the strength of the economy and portray himself as the guarantor of stability in a country that was under Soviet communist rule two decades ago. “This is by no means the least successful period in Russia’s history,” he said, adding: “Because I love Russia.” “Without irony, I look forward to any future president being more successful.” Sitting behind a large desk in front of 1,200 journalists in a Moscow conference centre, Putin remained calm, rarely smiled and was still going after three hours. But he became particularly animated when asked about the spat with Washington. He described as “unfriendly” the legislation signed by President Barack Obama last week that will punish Russians accused of violating human rights by refusing them visas and freezing their assets in the United States. “This, of course, poisons our relationship,” he said of the measures, drawn up because of concern over the death in a Russian prison of anti-corruption lawyer Sergei Magnitsky in 2009. —Reuters

Talabani to be treated in Germany B AGHDAD — Iraqi

President Jalal Talabani has arrived in Germany for medical treatment, the German government confirmed on Thursday, after he suffered a stroke earlier in the week. German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle issued a statement saying that Talabani, the 79-year-old Kurdish statesman who has acted as a mediator between Iraq’s Shi’ites, Sunnis and Kurds, was in Germany. Sources told Reuters that Talabani was being treated at Berlin’s Charite hospital. A black Mercedes with Iraqi diplomatic license plates was seen leaving the Virchow campus of Charite on Thursday morning. “I can confirm that the Iraqi President Talabani is in Germany for medical treatment,” Westerwelle said. “I wish him a rapid and full recovery.” Talabani was admitted to hospital in Iraq on Monday night and his office said earlier that his health had improved and he was being transferred outside the country. It was uncertain whether he would be able to return to his post, and his potential exit from politics is raising concerns about what could be a messy succession battle. Talabani has acted as a mediator in a growing dispute over oil between Baghdad and the country’s autonomous Kurdistan region. A year after the last U.S. troops left Iraq, the Arab-led central government and the Kurdish region are increasingly divided over oil and land in a rift that threatens to escalate into open conflict.—Reuters

Irish PM to return debt in 2013 DUBLIN—Ireland expects to return fully to bond markets late next year but needs a deal on easing its bank debt to make sure it can successfully exit its international bailout, Prime Minister Enda Kenny said. Speaking days before the country takes over the EU presidency, Kenny told Reuters he was confident an easing of repayment terms on the promissory notes, or IOUs, that Dublin pumped mainly into the failed Anglo Irish Bank would be agreed by a March deadline. He also called on European leaders to stick to a separate promise to look at improving Ireland’s costly bank rescue. “We would hope to be the first country to actually exit (a bailout) in 2013 but that level of support that has been committed to Ireland is very necessary to be carried through,” Kenny said in an interview late on Wednesday. “This assistance and this support is very necessary for Ireland to exit the programme,” he said, adding that Dublin would not need to seek a second bailout. Ireland takes over the rotating EU presidency in January for a six-month period in which it hopes to strike the bank debt deal with the European Central Bank and pave the way to exit its EU/IMF rescue programme on schedule at the end of 2013.—Reuters

Israeli PM to continue settlemants JERUSALEM—Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday his government would press ahead with expanding Jewish settlements around Jerusalem despite Western criticism of its plan to build 6,000 more homes in territory Palestinians seek for a state. In addition to several thousand housing units approved earlier this month, Israeli media reported that initial approval was granted on Wednesday for construction of another 3,400 units in Jerusalem and in the West Bank. Israel captured east Jerusalem in a 1967 war and annexed it as part of its capital in a move never recognised internationally. Palestinians want the area to be capital of a state they seek to establish in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, land also captured by Israel. “We are going to build in Jerusalem for all its residents, this is something that has been done by all previous governments and this is something that my government will continue to do,” Netanyahu said in a meeting with foreign ambassadors. “Jerusalem has been the capital of the Jewish people for 3,000 years,” Netanyahu said. “Imagine that you would limit construction in your own capital, it doesn’t make sense.” Netanyahu launched his latest settlement expansion push after Palestinians won de facto recognition as a state in a United Nations vote last month.—Reuters

Modi cherish to become PM N EW D ELHI —Narendra Modi looked set to win a fourth successive term as the chief minister of India’s Gujarat state on Thursday, a victory that could launch the prime ministerial ambitions of one of the country’s most popular but controversial leaders. Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was leading in 118 out of 182 seats, against 58 seats for the Congress party, which heads India’s national government, according to the Election Commission website at 7:59 a.m. British time. The final result is likely to have repercussions far beyond the borders of the prosperous western state of 60 million people. The BJP won 117 seats in 2007 and analysts say Modi needs a convincing victory to present himself as the party’s presumptive candidate for prime minister in national elections due by 2014. A big win for Modi could fire up the ailing main opposition BJP, giving it a leader who inspires euphoric support for the high growth, uninterrupted power supply and safe streets he is credited with providing in Gujarat. But the 62-year-old Modi, portrayed by his critics as a closet Hindu zealot, could prove too divisive a figure to become a nationally acceptable leader who would also need to win over enough allies to form a coalition government.—Reuters

reach out to North Korea with more humanitarian aid and deeper engagement after she moves into South Korea’s presidential Blue House on Feb. 25. Pyongyang, however, may be in no mood to talk anytime soon. Park’s declarations ahead of Wednesday’s election that she will soften five years of hard-line policy rang true with voters, even as they rejected her opponent’s calls for a more aggressive pursuit of reconciliation with the North. A skeptical North Korea may quickly test the sincerity of Park’s offer to engage possibly even before she takes office. She is both a leading member of the conservative ruling party and the daughter of the late anticommunist dictator Park Chung-hee, and Pyongyang has repeatedly called her dialogue offers “tricks.” Outgoing President Lee Myungbak’s tough approach on North Korea including his demand that engagement be accompanied by nuclear disarmament progress has been deemed a failure by many South Koreans. During his five years in office, North Korea has conducted nuclear and rocket tests including a rocket launch last week and it was blamed for two incidents that left 50 South Koreans dead in 2010. But reaching out to North Korea’s authoritarian government also has failed to pay off. Before Lee, landmark summits under a decade of liberal governments resulted in lofty statements and photo ops in Pyongyang between thenleader Kim Jong Il and South Korean presidents, but the North continued to develop its nuclear weapons, which

goods meant for infants, the sick and other vulnerable people, will flow. She says none of the aid will be anything that North Korea’s military could use. She’s open to

kind of leader on the issue,” said John Delury, an analyst at Seoul’s Yonsei University. He added that Park is more likely to take a passive, moderate approach.

SEONL: Newly elected South Korean President Park Geun-hyewaving winning hands which Washington and Moo-hyun, a champion of conditional talks with North Seoul have demanded for true no-strings-attached aid to Korean leader Kim Jong Un. reconciliation to begin. To re- Pyongyang, faced a North The aid won’t be as much verse the antipathy North Korean short-range missile as North Korea will want, to Korea has so far shown her, launch on the eve of his 2003 be sure, and it won’t be as Park may need to go further inauguration. much as her liberal challenger than either her deeply conNorth Korea put its first in Wednesday’s election, servative supporters and po- satellite into space with last Moon Jae-in, would have litical allies or a cautious week’s rocket launch, which sent. Park’s conditions on aid Obama administration will the U.N. and others called a and talks also could doom want. cover for a test of banned talks before they begin. Pur“North Korea is good at ballistic missile technology. suing engagement with applying pressure during Despite the launch, Park says North Korea “really would

towards her supporters here. “In the inter-Korean context, there’s not a big difference between a passive approach and a hostile approach,” Delury said, “because if you don’t take the initiative with North Korea, they’ll take the initiative” in the form of provocations meant to raise their profile. North Korea was not a particularly pressing issue for South Korean voters, who

ington and Seoul. Analysts said Park’s vague promises of aid and engagement are not likely to be enough to push Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons ambitions,

said Yoo Ho-yeol, a professor at Korea University in South Korea. “North Korea will do something to try to test, and tame, Park.” Even the last liberal president, Roh

Singapore institutionalises personal data protection

Nepal parties name national unity govt

of social issues. But it is of deep interest to Washington, Beijing and Tokyo, which had been holding off on pursuing their North Korea policies until South Korean voters chose their new leader. The next Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe, is a hawk on North Korea matters who has supported tighter sanctions because of the rocket launch. The U.S. had attempted to warm relations with North Korea with an aidfor-nuclear-freeze deal reached with Pyongyang in February, but that collapsed in April when the North conducted a failed rocket launch. Washington could use a new thaw on the Korean Peninsula as a cover to pursue more nuclear disarmament talks, analysts say, but the Obama administration will also likely want a carefully coordinated approach with Seoul toward Pyongyang. Park’s North Korea policy aims to hold talks meant to build trust and resolve key issues, like the nuclear problem and other security challenges. Humanitarian assistance to the North won’t be tied to ongoing political circumstances, though her camp hasn’t settled details, including the amount. Park also plans to restart joint economic initiatives that were put on hold during the Lee administration as progress occurs on the nuclear issue and after reviewing the projects with lawmakers. Park’s statement that she’s willing to talk with Kim Jong Un “practically means she’s willing to give more money to North Korea,” which is Pyongyang’s typical demand for dialogue, said Andrei Lankov, a scholar on the North at Seoul’s Kookmin University.—Reuters

UN warns Syria against sectarian fighting

BRUSSELS—The war in Syria ate”, they said. The conduct KATHMANDU—A meeting of has become divided across of hostilities by both sides is

in breach of inSINGAPORE—The Ministry Data Protection Commission, tration and enforcement of Federal Democratic Republi- sectarian lines, increasingly “increasingly said: “The Personal Data Pro- the Act. The eight-member can Alliance (FDRA ), a coali- pitting the ruling Alawite com- ternational law”, they added. of Communications and Information (MCI) is setting up a Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC) to administer and enforce the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA). The commission will undertake education and outreach programmes to help organisations and the public understand the law. It will issue advisory guidelines for organisations to comply with the Act. It will also set up a “Do Not Call” registry in early 2014 for public registration. The commission, appointed for a threeyear term, will be helmed by the deputy CEO of the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, Leong Keng Thai. Mr Leong Keng Thai, chairman of the Personal

tection Act addresses the growing concerns regarding potential misuse of personal data while allowing organisations to collect and use such data for legitimate purposes. “During the transition period, the commission will work closely with sectoral regulators and associations to help organisations comply with the Act to adjust their data protection practices, and embark on public education and engagement programmes to help consumers better understand how they may protect their own personal data from misuse.” MCI is also setting up a Data Protection Advisory Committee to advise the commission on matters relating to its key roles, adminis-

committee, appointed for a two-year term, will be chaired by the director and former director-general of the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore, Ms Liew Woon Yin. Ms Liew said: “I am excited to be chairing the advisory committee. I look forward to working with the commission and assisting the commission in bringing about greater awareness of data protection and ensuring better protection of personal data and individuals’ interests. “This will ultimately enhance Singapore’s overall economic competitiveness and strengthen trust in Singapore as a choice location for data management activities.”—Singapore News

US to have military ties with Myanmar YANGON—“We’re looking at nascent steps on the US-Burmese military-military relationship. We generally support the proposition that carefully calibrated, appropriately targeted and scoped military-tomilitary contact is effective in advancing overall reform efforts in Burma,” said the senior defense official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The official added that the military cooperation would take place in the form of “non-lethal” training for Myanmar’s officers aimed at humanitarian aid, military medicine and defense “reform.”

“The bottom line is we’re interested, we’re looking at ways to move forward and I think you’ll see appropriately calibrated steps in the near future.” In November, US President Barack Obama called for deeper reforms in Myanmar and efforts to push the country out of decades of military rule. Obama made the remarks during a meeting with Myanmar’s President Thein Sein in the capital city of Yangon. Obama, who is the first serving US president to have visited Myanmar, pledged more US help to Myanmar if the Asian country would keep making true

reforms. “We will do everything we can to ensure success,” Obama told Myanmar’s opposition politician Aung San Suu Kyi. “Instead of being repressed, the right of people to assemble together must now be fully respected,” the US president said in an address to students at Yangon University. According to UN statistics, nearly 115,000 people have been forced out of their homes as a result of escalating sectarian violence between Muslim communities and Buddhist extremists in Myanmar’s western state of Rakhine.—AP

Miss USA crowned as Miss Universe LAS VEGAS—A 20-year-old picked on her siblings. Miss and pranked hotel guests by beauty queen from Rhode Island was crowned the new Miss Universe on Thursday, beating out 88 other women during a televised competition at the Planet Hollywood casino on the Las Vegas Strip. Olivia Culpo took the crown from Leila Lopes of Angola after strutting in a purple and blue bikini and a red velvet gown. In the final stages of the competition, she answered a question about her regrets by saying she wished she hadn’t

USA Olivia Culpo steps out as she is named one of the final 16 contestants during the Miss Universe pageant, Thursday, Dec. 19, 2012, in Las Vegas. Miss Philippines, Janine Tugonon, came in second, while Miss Venezuela, Irene Sofia Esser Quintero, placed third. Contestants from 89 countries on six continents spent the past two weeks in Sin City, where they posed in hardhats at a hotel groundbr eaking, took a painting lesson,

hiding in their rooms. For the third elimination round, they strutted in evening gowns as band Train and Australian singer Timomatic performed. Miss Venezuela’s straight-cut, emerald-colored gown was perhaps the most distinct, its long sleeves virtually invisible but for the navy blue, garland-like trim encircling them. Miss USA’s red velvet number was full-skirted and wintery, except for the deep, plunging neckline.—Reuters

tion of ruling UCPN-Maoist and United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF) on Thursday echoed to morph the incumbent government into national unity government. The FDRA meet held at the Prime Minister’s official residence in Baluwatar also concluded that an optional candidate for national unity government should be within the alliance. “ We are firm on our earlier decisions on morphing the incumbent government into national unity government, and seeking alternative within the coalition if failed to do”, said Prem Bahadur Singh, the spokesperson of FRDA after the meet. “We will meet again on Saturday,” added Singh. He further claimed that any other government cannot be legitimate according to the interim constitution.— Reuters

French national kidnapped in northern Nigeria P ARIS —A French national working for Paris-listed renewable energy firm Vergnet has been kidnapped in northern Nigeria, a company executive and police official said on Thursday. Radical Islamist groups such as Boko Haram hold increasing sway in the region and in recent months have become the biggest security threat to Africa’s largest oil exporter. Asked by telephone if a French worker for the company had been kidnapped in the west African country, a Paris-based executive for the firm said: “Yes”. Separately, local Nigerian police spokesman Aminu Sadiq Abubakar said a French national was kidnapped in Katsina state when around 30 gunmen attacked a residence used by the company. A policeman and a security guard protecting the French national were killed, the police spokesman said. A police station nearby was also bombed and some inmates were freed from detention. Vergnet is a French firm specialised in wind power turbines, with 700 globally. The French Foreign Ministry said it could not immediately confirm the kidnapping and was making checks.—Reuters

munity against the majority Sunnis, with foreign fighters assisting both sides, United Nations human rights investigators said on Thursday. “As battles between government forces and anti-government armed groups approach the end of their second year, the conflict has become overtly sectarian in nature,” the independent investigators led by Brazilian expert Paulo Pinheiro said in their latest 10-page report. Syrian government forces have increased their use of aerial bombardments, including shelling of hospitals, and evidence suggests that such attacks are “disproportion-

“Feeling threatened and under attack, ethnic and religious minority groups have increasingly aligned themselves with parties to the conflict, deepening sectarian divides,” the report said. Most of the “foreign fighters” filtering into Syria to join rebel groups, or fight independently alongside them, are Sunnis from other countries in the Middle East and North Africa, the U.N. investigators said, reporting on their findings after their latest interviews conducted in the region. The U.N. report covers the period between September 28 and December 16.—Reuters

Indian teachers to teach English to Malay students KAULA LUMPUR—Najib and Manmohan discussing issues at the Asean-India Commemorative Summit, India Najib and Manmohan discussing issues at the AseanIndia Commemorative Summit, India “One of the suggestions I raised for the consideration of the Indian Prime Minister is for us to receive teachers in India who are fluent in English to teach our students in Malaysia. “He welcomed the idea and will instruct the relevant ministry to hold discussions with the (Malaysian) Education Ministry to realise this,” said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to the Malaysian media delegation after meeting his counterpart Manmohan

Singh here. Najib is in New Delhi to attend the two-day AseanIndia Commemorative Summit, which celebrates 20 years of Asean-India relationship. Najib said the move would enhance the Government’s efforts to alleviate the shortage of English teachers and improve proficiency in the language. Malaysia has a similar arrangement with the United States, where 75 American teachers are currently teaching English in Malaysia. When asked how many Indian teachers would come to Malaysia, Najib said the Education Ministry would look into the details and discuss the matter with their Indian counterparts.—MN

Senegal parliament approves law on trial of ex-Chad leader D AKAR —Senegal’s parlia- dent Abdoulaye Wade, the ment on Thursday adopted a law that paves the way for a criminal case to be brought against former Chadian leader Hissene Habre in the country, where he has spent over two decades in exile. The law highlights progress to try Habre, accused of torture and thousands of political killings while running Chad during the 1980s, since President Macky Sall took over as president of Senegal in April. Habre has been in exile in Senegal for 22 years and, under former presi-

West African state repeatedly stalled on international requests to try Habre or extradite him to a country that would. Senegalese lawmakers passed a law to create a special chamber that will operate within the country’s existing legal system and run investigations, the trial and appeals. However, Senegal and the African Union reached an agreement this year for the trial to be heard by two Senegalese and another African judge.—Reuters


Pak players receive lucrative BPL contracts I SLAMABAD —Shakib Al Hasan has been the most expensive buy in this year’s Bangladesh Premier League auction. He was bought for $365,000 by Dhaka, after six teams showed interest in the allrounder. Pakistani players received lucrative contracts to play in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL), a private news channel reported on Thursday. During the auction, Paki-

$101,500 contract to Saeed Ajmal. Shoaib Malik was given a $85,000 contract from the Khulna Royal Bengals. Bangladeshi star allrounder Shakib ul Hasan received the highest contract of $365,000 to play for the Dhaka Gladiators. The Sylhet Royals selected Bangladeshi Captain Mushfiqur Rahim by offering him a $280,000 contract.

Sylhet Fidel Edwards $75,000 – Rangpur; Brad Hodge - $125,000 – Barisal; Tillakaratne Dilshan (After Jan 30) - $75,000 – Dhaka; Marlon Samuels - $115,000 – Rajshahi; Shoaib Malik $85,000 – Khulna; Azhar Mahmood - $206,000 – Barisal;

Local category golden Mahmudullah - $125,000 – Chittagong; Shakib - $365,000 – Dhaka; Mushfiqur Rahim $205,000 – Sylhet; Tamim Iqbal

LAHORE: Players of Diamond Paints and Wi-Tribe polo teams struggling to get hold on the ball during The Bank of Punjab Open Polo Championship 2012.

Management to decide combination of openers: Hafeez

stani players Shahid Afridi and Imran Nazir were included in the golden category which led to them receiving some of the highest paid contracts. Imran Nazir received a $280,000 contract from the Chittagong Kings while Shahid Afridi received a $275,000 contract from the Dhaka Gladiators. Former Pakistani cricketer Azhar Mehmood was given a $206,000 contract and will represent the Barisal Burners who also offered a

PIA thrash Wohaib FC 4-0 in PPL Football K ARACHI —PIA thrashed Wohaib Club 4-0 in the Pakistan Premier League (PPL) Football to maintain their second spot in the laddar here on Thursday. Airlines took the control of the match by securing 3-0 led by the interval at Korangi Football Stadium. Midfielders Shakir Lashari and Nadeem Tariq scored the opening two goals in 8th and 17th minutes. Striker Zeeshan Ali netted the third goal in 32nd minutes. Muhammad Ishtiaq completed the tally in 60th minutes. Navy battled hard to defeat PMC Football Club 2-1 at PN Karsaz Ground. Striker Adnan and Mohsin scored the goals for Navy while Usman Aslam scored the lone goal for the PMC.—APP

Foreign category golden

- $165,000 – Rajshahi;

Shahid Afridi - $275,000 – Dhaka; Saeed Ajmal - (available till January 20) - $115,000 – Barisal; Imran Nazir $280,000 – Chittagong; Luke Wright - (after BBL, also likely to leave early) $75,000 – Dhaka; Owais Shah (after BBL) - $75,000 - Dhaka; Tino Best - Sylhet - $75,000; Sunil Narine - (Jan 22-24) - $75,000 – Barisal; Dwayne Bravo $115,000 – Chittagong; Andre Russell - $115,000 –

Foreigner category A Umar Gul (till January 20) $60,000 – Barisal; Abdul Razzaq - $91,000 – Rajshahi; Wahab Riaz-$60,000–Chittagong; Kamran Akmal-$75,000– Barisal; Umar Akmal-$60,000– Khulna; Ravi Bopara - $125,000– Chittagong; Phil Mustard$50,000– Barisal; Dwayne Smith$70,000Sylhet;Ryan Doeschate$100,000 – Chittagong; Jacob Oram$111,000 – Chittagong.—APP

PHF recommends Sohail Abbas for Pride of Performance Award L AHORE —Pakistan Hockey Federation has recommended the name of Olympian Sohail Abbas for President’s Award for Pride of Performance 2013. “He has played hockey for almost 18 years in the national team, which is a great honour and we have recommended his name to recognize his meritorious services as a player for the cause of hockey “,said Secretary, PHF, Mohammad Asif Bajwa here on Thursday. He scored 348 goals and maintaining ‘world record’ for maximum goals in the world hockey, out of which he scored 80 goals in a single calendar year, which is another record in itself. He was declared the top scorer in various Tournaments having

surpassed the record of Paul Litjen of Netherlands (267 goals). He was the top scorer in 8 international events and second top scorer in the Sydney Olympic Games. In the Athens Olympic Games, he was the highest scorer.—APP

L AHORE —Pakistan T-20 cricket captain, Mohammad Hafeez has said the team management will decide a combination of openers during the two T20 matches in the tour of India on December 25 and 28. “I cannot say who will be opening the innings, there are four to five options ahead of the team management which will be deciding a best combination to sustain the pressure of innings opening “,he told reporters here on Thursday after a specialized training session meant for T20 training at the Gadaffi stadium. He said it is the responsibility of the team management to come up with a match winning combination keeping in view the might of their opponents. To a question he said opener Ahmed Shahzad who is a contender in the opening pair , has made his place in the T20 squad after displaying good stint of form in the domestic premier event of the shortest version of the game. Hafeez said every match , no matter, it is being played against a weaker or stronger opponent has its own pressure and playing India brings in a lot of pressure but efforts would be made to put an impressive show to defy Indian challenge. “Hard work and higher display of commitment on part of players will be the key to success against India and I am confident that “We will giving tough time to India”, he said adding “one thing is very clear that we have a defined role for every player so that he should give his one hundred percent to enhance teams performance”.—APP

Squash: David marches into world semis G RAND C AYMAN (Cayman Islands)—Six-times champion Nicol David’s slight hiccup en route to the World Open semi-finals only served to highlight how extraordinary has been her dominance of the women’s tour. The superbly consistent Malaysian’s dropped game during a 11-3, 11-7, 9-11, 11-3 victory over Ireland’s Madeline Perry on Wednesday was only the second that she has allowed to get away from her in four years and 18 matches at this venue. Hurtling into the fourth game, she ramped up her intensity, stemmed a trickle of errors on the backhand side, and closed out the match with a whirl. “I know that Madeline can come back from two-love down and I had to do something about it,” she said. “I didn’t want that to happen. So I had to adjust my shots in the fourth and I’m pleased with that.” Perry may take comfort in having suddenly made a match of it, engineering a brief but passionate recovery during which she once hurled her racket away in frustration, a misdemeanour bringing mild admonishment from the referee. To reach the final David now has to win a repeat of last year’s final in Rotterdam. That is because Jenny Duncalf upset the seedings with her best win of the year, by 7-11,17-19, 11-5, 11-4, 119 against her English compatriot Alison Waters. Duncalf was behind for almost all the match, failing with three game balls in a monster second game and somehow taking strength from the setback. “I felt it affected her more physically, which gave me confidence,” Duncalf explained. “I felt physically

okay and, in a weird way, positive. I was starting to find my way and keen to push on.” She and Waters are rooming together but there will

Clarke in race to be fit for 2nd Test

M UMBAI —It may not be right in spirit of the game, but according to the third generation of P. C. Sorcar magician, India can win toss in all matches played on home soil. “Following the footsteps of my late grandfather Padmasree Jadusamrat PC Sorcar and my father Magician PC Sorcar Young, I also call myself Magician PC Sorcar (Pouroosh) but unlike my ancestors here I have developed a new Magic trick by which I can make Indian Cricket captain win tosses before the match”, he said exclusively. Magic is divided into several parts: Stunts, close up, conjuring, illusion, mathemagic, metal magic, mindreading. Close up magic is the kind of magic in which the magician shows magic from very close distance – across the table or shake hand distance and in close up magic, “coins” play a big role in the performance. Ma-

SYDNEY—Australian captain Michael Clarke is confident he will be fit for the second Test against Sri Lanka and has started an intensive physio campaign Thursday to overcome a hamstring strain. The world’s leading Test batsman suffered the twinge in his team’s 137-run win over the tourists in Hobart this week and he is racing the clock to recover in time for the next encounter in Melbourne from December 26. “I know I’m in great hands with (team physio) Alex (Kountouris) and I know how great a physio he is,” Clarke said. “Obviously my preparation will be a little bit different to the lead-up to this Test match but I’ve done a fair bit of batting throughSYDNEY: Chris Rogers tumbles onto the ground after missing a catch during Sydney Thunder vs Adelaide Strikers, out the summer so I’m confiBig Bash League match on Thursday. dent.”—AFP

apparently be no antagonism.”There’s no bad blood. We’re still friends after matches,” claimed Duncalf. “We’ve grown up together.”—AFP

Thumb injury rules Southee out of South Africa tour WELLINGTON—Fast bowler Tim Southee has been ruled out of New Zealand’s tour of South Africa due to a thumb injury which is expected to keep him off the field for up to two months, the country’s cricket board said on Thursday. Southee, who was the most impressive bowler for New Zealand during their drawn test series in Sri Lanka, suffered the injury while diving in the field during a domestic match. “Tim Southee has unfortunately been ruled out of the Test series against South Africa,” a New Zealand Cricket (NZC) statement quoted physiotherapist Paul Close as saying ahead of Friday’s opening Twenty20 game in Durban. “He landed heavily on his thumb while fielding, with scans indicating the ligament has fully ruptured and retracted. “After consultation with NZC medical staff and a hand specialist it was decided the best course of action is for him to have surgery.” The right-arm paceman, 24, took eight wickets in the second Test in Sri Lanka which New Zealand won to level the two-Test series 11.—AFP

India can win toss in all matches played on home soil, says third generation PC Sorcar magician BIPIN DANI OBSERVER CORRESPONDENT

gician can disappear/ appear a coin in front of his spectator, can bend the coin with his magical power, can bite the coin and break it into two pieces, can make the coin levitate and go high up in the air and ...... can really toss the coin up high in the air and when it falls down can really make it come head or tail whatever however times he wants”, he said. So here I have got a one rupee coin, now I toss it up and before it lands on ground, I can whether it would be – head or tail ? I call this magic “the PC SORCAR Pouroosh’s mega TOSS” ...... yes as many time I want I can make it come head”. “Magic is divided into two parts: White Magic & Black Magic. White Magic is Magic for entertainment, people come inside the auditorium, pay for the ticket, enjoy seeing magic, gets entertained and go away ..... and this is 100% white magic. Now, Black Magic is something which is not for entertainment, which deals with voodoo, healing of disease, hypnotism, mesmerism etc”.

“When Magic is used to cure or to hurt into someone’s internal life problem or to make something happen which is not for entertaining purpose then only we call it black magic. We the PC SORCARs therefore declare that we only deal with white magic. I myself has studied a lot of Black Magic but do not use it”. “PC SORCAR Pouroosh’s mega TOSS” can make India win tosses I am sure but as I told, it falls in the black magic zone and so please do not tell me to train the Team India captain so that he can win tosses constantly. We want India to play a fair game where “PC SORCAR Pouroosh’s mega TOSS” is not really required”, he further added. “If the massive Taj Mahal can disappear for 5 seonds, if someone puts handcuff to me and throwsme to the Pacefic Ocean and I reappear then “PC SORCAR Pouroosh’s mega TOSS” is a simple magic and is just a easy sleight of hand”, he signed off.


Oral HPV rates higher in men than women

A

STUDY published in JAMA reveals that among men and women between the ages 14 to 69 years in the U.S., the overall prevalence of oral human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is around 7%. In addition, the researchers found that the prevalence of HPV is higher among men than women. The study is being published early online in order to accompany its presentation at the Multidisciplinary Head and Neck Cancer Symposium. “Oral HPV infection is the cause of a subset of oropharyngeal [relating to the mouth and pharynx] squamous cell carcinomas (OSCC). Human papillomavirus - positive OSCC are associated with sexual behavior in contrast to HPV-negative OSCC that are associated with chronic tobacco and alcohol use. At least 90 percent of HPV-positive OSCC are caused by high-risk (or oncogenic) HPV type 16 (HPV-16), and oral infection confers an approximate 50-fold increase in risk for HPVpositive OSCC. The incidence of OSCC has significantly increased over the last 3 decades in several countries, and HPV has been directly implicated as the underlying cause. Although oral HPV infection is the cause of a cancer that is increasing in incidence in the United States, little is known regarding the epidemiology of infection.” In order to analyze the prevalence of oral HPV in the U.S., Maura L. Gillison, M.D., Ph.D., of the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Cen-

ter, Columbus, and colleagues examined data from a cross-sectional study as part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2009-2010, a statistically representative sample of the U.S. population. The 5,579 participants, aged between 14 to 69 years old, provided a 30-second oral rinse and gargle with mouthwash. In order to detect HPV types, the researchers assessed DNA purified from oral exfoliated cells through testing methods. Results revealed that the most prevalent HPV type detected was HPV16 (1.0%) and the overall prevalence of oral HPV infection was 6.9%. The researchers discovered peaks in the prevalence of oral HPV infection in different age ranges: The first peak was found among participants aged between 30 to 34 years old (7.3%). The second among participants aged between 60 to 64 years old (11.4%). The overall prevalence of oral HPV infection was considerably lower among women (3.6%) than men (10.1%). The prevalence was also higher among cigarette smokers, former and current marijuana users, and heavy alcohol drinkers. In addition, the team discovered that the prevalence of oral HPV was linked to numerous measures of sexual behavior. They found that the prevalence was higher among participants who reported ever having sex (7.5%) than those who did not (0.9%). Lifetime or recent number of sexual partners for any kind of sex, oral or vaginal, increased the prevalence of HPV.

KARACHI: Chairman Hurriyat Conference Mirwaiz Umar Farooq with his delegation offers Fateha at Mazar-i-Quaid.

Qaim, Khuhro co-chair PPP ministers meeting

K ARACHI — Chief Minister Sindh, Syed Qaim Ali Shah, and Speaker Provincial Assembly, Nisar Ahmed Khuhro, cochaired meeting of ministers of Sindh Cabinet belonging to Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) at CM House here on Thursday. The meeting was attended among others by Senior Minister Education Pir Mazharul Haq, Agha Siraj Durrani, Muhammad Ayaz Soomro, Sharjeel Enam Memon, Haji Muzaffar Shujra, Mir Nadir Magsi, Jam Mehtab Dahar, Jam Saifullah Dharejo, Begum Nargis N.D Khan, Manzoor Hussain Wasan, Syed Murad Ali Shah, Akhtar Hussain Jadoon, Mukesh Kumar Chawala, Dr. Mohan Lal, Rafique Engineer, Syed Ali Mardan Shah, Zahid Hussain Bhurgari, Agha Taimoor Khan, Nadeem Ahmed Bhutto. The overall arrangements for commemoration of 5th death Anniversary of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto to be observed on December 27 at Garhi Khuda Bux. Various matters were disKARACHI: Speaker National Assembly, Dr Fehmida Mirza visited Sindh Institute of Urol- cussed in detail.—APP ogy and Transplant. She is distributing sweets among the children.

Fehmida announces cash assistance for sick children STAFF REPORTER K ARACHI — Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr.Fehmida Mirza has announced a donation of Rs 30,000, each for all deserving child patients of kidney at Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT). The donations would be made through Sindh Bait ul Maal. The national assembly speaker during her visit to the institute on Thursday took round of the children wards and personally enquired well being of these young patients. Dr. Fehmida Mirza who was also accompanied by Di-

rector of Bait ul Maal, Sindh, Adnan Majeed talking to the media on the occasion expressed her concern about kidney related ailments, including renal failure among the people in the province. She regretted that even children were suffering from the condition. “We as a nation have to promote the culture of posthumous organ donation culture in the province as well as in the country,” she said. The NA speaker said that she herself has signed the pledge for her organs to be posthumously (after death) donated to people in need.

In reply to a question she said these donations have been endorsed by all sects of our religious and by all religious schools of repute include Jamia Al Azhar, Egypt etc. Dr. Fehmida Mirza in answer to another query said the next session of the national assembly would be chaired by her. On the occasion the child patients, doctors and staff members of SIUT celebrated Dr. Fehmida Mirza’s birthday, that falls on December 20, by cutting cake in a simple ceremony. Prof. Anwar Naqvi, Prof. Altaf Hashmi and Prof. Zafar Hasan were also present on the occasion.

Former Dawn staffer M.A Majid passes away OBSERVER REPORT

K ARACHI — M. A. Majid, former op-ed editor of Dawn, who served the organisation for over fifty years, died in Karachi on Thursday after a brief illness. Born in Sylhet, Bangladesh in 1933, Mr Majid started his journalism career in 1955 by joining the Illustrated Weekly of Pakistan, owned by the Dawn group of newspapers. After ten years, he was transferred to Dawn, where he served until his retirement in 2008 due to failing eyesight. He leaves behind a dedicated wife, a daughter and two sons. His funeral will be held after Friday prayers on Dec 21 at Sultan Masjid, DHA Karachi.

Mirwaiz urges Pak, India to resume Kashmir dialogue Visits Mazar-i-Quaid, MQM headquarters K A R A C H I — Chairman All Kashmiri leaders in talks with ters, Nine Zero, and addressed Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Thursday arrived in Karachi to meet leaders of various political parties during his weeklong visit. “We are in favor of resumption of dialogue process between India and Pakistan but the struggle of Kashmiri people should not go into the backdrop,” the Kashmiri leader spoke to reporters at Karachi airport and after visiting the mausoleum of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. He hailed Pakistan’s role for resolution of Kashmir issue and urged political leadership of the country to take onboard

KARACHI—Religious scholars have taken strong exception to the recent spate of serious threats to the polio eradication efforts in the country. Talking to APP on Thursday, the scholars from different schools of thought were unanimous that the efforts to eradicate polio virus and protecting children from being crippled was the joint responsibility of all sections of the society. “Islam has ordained upon all the believers to make opti-

mum use of the blessings of Almighty Allah within permissible lim-its,” said Maulana Raghib Hussain Naimi. “Protecting our children from deformity and impairment is among the foremost religious responsibilities ,” he added. Mufti Mohammad Naeem, Mohtamim, Jamia Binoria, Al Aaalami endorsing the view point of Mualana Raghib Hussain, termed the killing of polio workers acts of terrorism. “No Muslim can endorse killing of innocent people,” he said. Mufti Naeem urged the authorities concerned to ensure that

doctors and workers involved in the polio eradication exercise must belong to the areas where the campaigns are conducted. “A large majority of people have their serious reservations about the HGOs and their workers,” said the Mohtamim of Jamia BinoriaAl-Alaami. Replying to a question, he said that as a religious teacher and a person who has been actively engaged in “Ijtehad,” he was a strong supporter of oral polio vaccine (OPV). “I with absolute responsi-

bility can say that the vaccine being administered to the children in the country is not against Shariah,” he said. Mufti Naeem also referred to his efforts to address the misconceptions about the OPV. “We also got it tested in different laboratories of high repute in the country and found that it did not contain any element affecting reproductive health of children being administered with it,” he said. He said that the children could not be left from being crippled. People from different walks of life, including members of business

a small gathering besides meeting the party leadership. MQM’s Nasreen Jaleel, Haider Abbas Rizvi and others met Kashmiri leaders, pledging to support the Kashmir cause and right of self determination of people of the valley. Mirwaiz arrived in Islamabad on Saturday night to meet top Pakistani leadership reportedly to bring the Kashmir resolution at the centre of Indo-Pak co-operation in the region and to ascertain as to how Pakistan politicians think about bringing Kashmiri leadership in its otherwise bilateral engagement with New Delhi.—NNI

Best health care for injured polio workers KARACHI—Sindh Health Min- Pakhtunkhwa and are now be- government has compenister, Dr. Saghir Ahmed has directed the health department officials to ensure best health care facilities for workers injured during the recent oral polio vaccination campaign. Chairing a meeting on Thursday, he said due care must also be taken of the families of the injured and killed health workers in Karachi. Condemning the unfortunate incidents, the minister said these were meant to push back the country to medieval ages when nothing was done to prevent diseases and least attention was paid towards respect and sanctity of human lives. “We have stopped the OPV campaigns for the safety of our workers and have duly informed about it to WHO and UNICEF officials,” he said. Dr. Saghir Ahmed said attacks on workers were reflective of ignorant mindset that were first witnessed in Khyber

Religious scholars concerned over threats to anti-polio campaign STAFF REPORTER

India, saying that “Pakistani dialogues with Indian are incomplete without inclusion of Kashmiris.” “Pakistan should ensure that it will take us onboard at any forum of dialogues meant for the rights of Kashmiri people…Mass movements in Kashmir could not be oppressed now. India should realize that aspirations of Kashmiri people are could not be subjugated by tanks and guns.” Meanwhile, leading a seven-member Hurriyat delegation, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq reached Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) headquar-

ing replicated in other parts of the country. “Intention is to turn the future of our children dark,” he said. On the occasion health officers from Landhi, Baldia and Orangi towns informed the minister about the details of the attacks in their respective areas of jurisdiction. Participants of the meeting offered fateha for the departed souls and for early recovery of the injured. The meeting was also attended by Sindh Secretary for Health, Aftab Khatri, Special Secretary, Dr. Suresh Kumar, Additional Secretary, Taha Farooqui, Director General for Health, Dr. Feroz Memon, EDO Health, Karachi, Imdadullah and others. Meanwhile, Special Assistant to Sindh Chief Minister for Media Affairs and Auqaf, Ms. Sharmila Faruqi, has said that

sated the families of those lady polio workers who have been martyred two days back by terrorists in Karachi and that the government will also take care of injured workers. This she said while talking to media here on Thursday while visiting a private hospital where injured Muhammad Israr admitted and she also visited Orangi Town the home of Naseem Akhter who was martyred in the attack. She said that she had come on the special directives of MNA Faryal Talpur and Aseefa Bhutto Zardari to console the victim families and she assured them the full support of Sindh Government. Sharmila said that such heinous attacks were committed by those anti state elements who wanted to drag Pakistan into stone age and them were the enemies of healthy Pakistan.—APP

Role of teacher highlighted KARACHI — Dr. Mohammad Ali Shaikh, Vice Chancellor of Sindh Madrasa-tul-Islam University (SMIU), has said that the role of a teacher should be like a mother, who is nurturing and caring her child without wishing any reward from him in the future. Addressing the faculty members of Sindh Madrasa-tulIslam Boys Model School and Sindh Madrasa-tuI-Islam Girls Model School on Thursday, he said a good teacher always thinks about good education of students and not for his/her own personal benefits. It has also been observed that the good and dedicated teachers have always received rewards and benefits without any demand. Dr. Mohammad Ali while congratulating the 20 teachers of SMIU’s model schools,who received promotions, on the basis of the Time Scale policy, a few days ago, said that these teachers were deserving the promotions, but due to the shortage of funds, the institution failed to take decision in this regard. However,when SMIU received some amount after its upgradation to the level of university this year, we decided to promote our teachers, who have rendered their countable services for the quality education and betterment of the institution.—APP

community, teachers and activists condemning the unfortunate incidents in Karachi and Peshawar said these hold multipronged implications. “These may severely hamper our efforts to contain the virus and simultaneously subscribe emerging impression of our society being gender insensitive,” said Mehnaz Rehman of Aurat Foundation. National Association of Business, Professional and Agriculture Women, Shamim Kazmi feared that attacks on polio workers might have its negative impact on the national KARACHI: Leader of Aafia Movement Dr Fauzia Siddiqui and relatives of missing persons sitting in protest camp demanding recovery of missing persons.


Regular aspirin use may boost risk of eye problem

T

AKING aspirin regularly appears to slightly raise the risk of the eye con dition known as age-related macular degeneration or AMD, new research suggests. The increased risk only occurred with people who had taken aspirin regularly 10 years before they were diagnosed with the potentially blinding eye disease. They had taken aspirin at least twice a week for more than three months, says researcher Barbara E.K. Klein, MD, MPH. The risk was for the type of macular degeneration known as wet or neovascular AMD, says Klein, professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine, Madison. Wet macular degeneration is generally more severe than another version, known as dry macular degeneration. Although people taking aspirin regularly were two times more likely to get the condition, Klein says the absolute risk is still low because the condition is not common. About 1% of people aged mid-40s and older get wet macular degeneration, she says.Klein studied nearly 5,000 men and women, ages 43 and older. She followed them for 20 years, although not all of them stayed in the study that long. The research is published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Previous research findings about aspirin use and macular degeneration risk have been mixed. As aspirin use and macular degeneration are increasing, Klein decided to follow men and women over many years to see if she could find a link. Nearly 20% of adults, or 1 in 5, take aspirin regularly. Some use it for temporary relief of pain or fever. Others take it daily to prevent heart attacks. The macula is a small area of the retina, the tissue lining the back of the eye, that is responsible for central vision.Klein looked at wet (late) and dry (early) macular degeneration for the study. Both are potentially blinding conditions. Over the course of the study, 512 people were diagnosed with early AMD and 117 with late AMD. Although regular use of aspirin 10 years before the diagnosis was linked with late macular degeneration, aspirin use five years before the diagnosis was not linked with an increased risk of either form of AMD. Klein can’t explain the link and says it requires more study. “The absolute risk of this is small,” she says. “There are so many folks who have been put on aspirin for [heart disease] prevention. ... The [heart] protective effect is still primo.” One co-author, Ronald Klein, MD, MPH, has served as a consultant for Pfizer, which makes AMD medicine.

LAHORE: People from different walks of life participating in awareness walk against drugs outside Press Club.

Qadri establishment pawn: Sanaullah MUZAFFAR ALI L AHORE —Law

Minister Punjab Rana Sanaullah said the establishment moved a pawn in political chess in form of Minhaj-ul-Quran International (MQI) chief Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri to accomplish their unfinished agenda. Talking to media in the premises of the Punjab Assembly here on Thursday, he said the hidden forces of the establishment are supporting MQI to organize a public gathering at Minar-e-Pakistan on December 23 as they supported PTI to hold public gathering in Lahore on October 30. He said Imran Khan was a failed pawn that had no potential to checkmate in the political chess so Tahir-ulQadri had been moved to ex-

ecute the uncompleted agenda of the establishment. He said the reason behind the introduction of Tahir-ul-Qadri at this crucial juncture was that the establishment was not digesting the increasing popularity of Pakistan Muslim League (N) in Punjab and they wanted to bring “the hung parliament” in the country but after getting simple majority in the upcoming general elections, Mian Nawaz Sharif would end the role of the establishment in the politics of the country forever. He said the upcoming general elections would be contested between democratic and non-democratic forces. Answering a question about MQM’s support to Tahir-ul-Qadri, the law minister said Altaf Hussain once supported the PTI public gath-

ering and now he is supporting MQI gathering in Lahore. “This is the traditional style of MQM that usually shows at the behest of the establishment,” he added. He said it was the responsibility of the Punjab government to ensure security at public gatherings and the government would provide all kinds of the security to MQI gathering at Minor-ePakistan on December 23. Answering the question about recent attacks on Polio workers in Pakistan, he said behind these attacks were involved those terrorists that attacked Malala and hid explosion in the car of journalist Hamid Mir. Answering another question, he said PML-N did not close its doors for any one and any one could join them.

Lawyers’ observe partial strike STAFF REPORTER LAHORE—The legal fraternity on Thursday observed partial strike in Lahore to protest against a National Judicial Reforms Policy Making Committee (NJRPMC) order that says all pending cases filed in or before 2008 “must be decided before December 31, 2012. A very small number of lawyers went on strike as almost all the courtrooms in the LHC were found full of black coats pleading cases. Pakistan Bar Council had appealed to lawyers across the country to

observe the strike on December 20 to register a protest against the deadline. The PBC executive committee was of the view that the deadline fixed by the NJPMC for disposal of pending cases was not feasible and courts being under tremendous pressure were compelled to speed up the disposal of cases by adopting short cuts prejudice to the basic requirements of dispensation of justice. “The disposal of cases on technical grounds and that, too, with undue haste is violation of Article 10-A of the Con-

stitution,” said a striking lawyer. The president of Lahore High Court Association along with other office bearers visited all the courts and requested the judges to not hold proceedings in light of the strike announced by the lawyers’ top body, Pakistan Bar Council. The judges did not accept the request. Litigants faced hardships due to strikes as they had to go back. The NJRPMC had directed the district judiciary of country to decide all old cases by December 31 and bar councils.

LHC transfers six judicial officers LAHORE—The Lahore High Court on Thursday posted and transferred six judicial officers,including four additional district & sessions judges ( AD&SJs) and two civil judges-cum-judicial magistrates. According to a LHC notification, the AD&SJs who were transferred include Muhammad Younis Aziz from Lahore to Liaqatpur, Muhammad Rafat Sultan Sheikh from Lahore to DG Khan, Malik Riaz Ahmad Khokhar from Lahore to RY Khan and Ch Muhammad Tariq Javed from Rawalipindi to Lahore. The civil judges who were transferred include Ms Saira Chaudhry from Khushab to Faisalabad and Najeeb Ullah Khan from Faisalabad to Khushab.— APP LAHORE: Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif meeting with former provincial minister Gul Hamid Khan Rokhari.

Office bearers of SJAL elected STAFF REPORTER

L AHORE —The election of Sports Journalists Association of Lahore (SJAL) were held here on Thursday and Syed Ali Hashmi was elected as President and Ashraf Chaudhry and Aftab Tabi as Secretary and Treasurer for the next term of two years. The election meeting was chaired by senior journalist Sarfaraz Ahmad while former Secretary SJAL Asher Butt briefed all the members of the body about the amendments in the constitution which were finalized with consensus. The elections were observed by Sports Writers Association of Pakistan (SWAP) Vice President and representative of Sports Board Punjab, Sohail Ali. Syed Ali Hashmi of Samaa News was elected as President, Ashraf Chaudhry of Nawa-i-Waqt as Secretary, Aftab Ahmad Tabi of News One as Treasurer for the twoyear term while the other newly-elected members are Mona Rana of BBC Urdu, M Ali of Daily Times (Senior Vice Presidents), Shaikh Ijaz of Waqt Tv, Musa Warraich of Apna TV, Zulqarnain Shaikh of ARY and Hafiz M Imran of Waqt TV (Vice Presidents), Afzaal Chaudhry of Daily Khabrein, Abdul Qayyum of Insaaf (Joint Secretaries) and Azhar Masood Khan of The Nation Press Secretary. The executive committee comprises Sohail Ali (APP), Amir Raza Khan (City42), Shahid Shaikh (Daily Jung), Shahzad Malik (ARY), Farrukh Ata Butt (Jahan-ePakistan), Mansoor Ahmad Khan (Frontier Post), Ghalib Bajwa (The News), Asher Butt (Pakistan Today), Abdur Rauf Khan (Nai Baat), Fawad Asghar (Daily Insaaf) and Hafiz Shahbaz (Nai Baat).

Kalma Chowk closure

Shahbaz orders alternate traffic flow facility SALIM AHMED L AHORE —Punjab Chief Minister, Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said that alternate traffic arrangements should be made during the closure of Kalma Chowk and additional traffic wardens should be deployed at alternate routes round the clock. Presiding over a meeting regarding alternate traffic arrangements during the construction of Kalma Chowk underpass, he said all resources should be utilized to keep the traffic flowing smoothly at alternate routes and traffic wardens should be deployed at every point for the guidance of the citizens. He said an officer of SP rank should monitor every shift. Chairman Lahore Transport Company Kh. Ahmed

Hassaan, Parliamentarians Mehr Ishtiaq Ahmed and Hafiz Mian Muhammad Nauman, Managing Director Punjab Metro Bus Authority, Additional IG Traffic, Commissioner Lahore Division, DG LDA, Chief Traffic Officer, Chairman Punjab IT Board and other concerning officials attended the meeting. Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif said that the Kalma Chowk underpass project has been started to improve the traffic flow and the masses will get facility of signal free movement after the completion of public welfare project. He said that he is aware that the people are facing temporary problems due to the closure of Kalma Chowk. He said that the Punjab government is not only mak-

ing every possible steps to ensure the completion of this project in the scheduled time but a coordinated strategy is being implemented to keep the traffic flowing. He said that the two sides of the Kalma Chowk underpass will be opened for the traffic in the first week of January. He said the traffic officials should discharge their duties with diligence and should guide the public to keep the traffic flowing smoothly. The Chief Minister has set up a committee headed by Kh. Ahmed Hassaan to review the traffic arrangements. The committee will hold its meeting at 10:00pm daily and present a report to the Chief Minister. Chief Traffic Officer Lahore briefed the Chief Minister on the traffic management.

L AHORE —Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said that the Metro Bus Project, which is unique in the transport history of Pakistan, is being completed at a fast pace and that metro buses will soon start operating for the convenience of the masses. He said that labourers, farmers, students, as well as people of all walks of life will directly benefit from the project. He said that he is fully aware of the problems of the people but these are temporary. He said that he is thankful to the affectees of Metro Bus Project for their patience and sacrifices in the larger interest of the

STAFF REPORTER L AHORE —Denouncing the Punjab government’s decision to oust All Pakistan Kite Flying Association (APKFA) deliberately from Basant Festival Committee, Vice President of All Pakistan Paper Merchants Association (APPMA) and founder of Kite Flying Festival Khawaja Nadeem Saeed Wayeen demanded the government to give due participation to APKFA in “Observing Kite-Flying Day Committee”. Khawaja Nadeem Saeed Wayeen, in a statement issued here on Thursday, said that the Dilkash Lahore Project Committee (DLPC) in its recent meeting had constituted a sub-committee by name “Observing Kite-Flying Day Committee” to submit recommendations to City District Government Lahore (CDGL) as well as the main committee but no representation had been given to the All Pakistan Kite Flying Association (AKFA). He said that until and unless representation of all stake-holders is not ensured, committee would not be able to give true results.

Singing competition LAHORE—A singing compe-

LAHORE: A lady Health Worker giving polio vaccination to a child in the provincial capital.

Metro Bus Project being completed at fast pace STAFF REPORTER

AKFA seeks role in Basant events

masses. He expressed these views while presiding over a meeting held regarding the payment of compensation to the Metro Bus Project affectees. Deputy Speaker Punjab Assembly Rana Mashhood Ahmed Khan, Members Provincial Assembly Hafiz Mian Nauman, Ajasam Shairf, Ramzan Siddique Bhatti, Dr. Saeed Elahi, Chairman Lahore Transport Company Kh. Ahmed Hassan, Senior Member Board of Revenue, Secretary Excise, Commissioner Lahore Division, Director General LDA, concerning officers and affectees were present. Addressing the meeting, the Chief Minister said a one-window facility has been set up at the Town Hall

where compensation will be paid to the affectees for three days (on Thursday, Friday and Saturday). The Chief Minister ordered Assembly Members, Senior Member Board of Revenue, Commissioner Lahore Division and concerning officers to ensure their presence at the Town Hall during these three days so that payment of compensation to the affectees of the Metro Bus Project could be ensured. He said payments should be made by taking prompt action on the claims of the affectees and the demands of justice should be upheld. He said 80% cost of the building structure is also being paid to the affectees alongwith the cost of the land. He said the business

class affected due to the Metro Bus Project has been given tax exemption for this period so that it does not face additional burden. The Chief Minister said a committee set up under the Commissioner Lahore Division is reviewing matters regarding ownership of the affected property and the Punjab government has taken every possible step for the payment of cost of land, shop or house to the people affected by the project. The Commissioner briefed the Chief Minister on the method of payment of compensation to the affectees. The affectees praised the steps taken by the Chief Minister for in time payment of compensation.

tition was held here under the auspices of Rangila Foundation. The daughter of late film artist Rangila, Farrah Deba MPA, was the organizer of the competition. Students of the Punjab University, GC University and Engineering University participated in the competition. Prominent singers, Sanam Marvi and Adeel Burki were judges in the competition and they also entertained the audience by singing famous songs. Provincial Minister Nadeem Kamran, Punjab University Vice Chancellor Mujahid Kamran and film director Syed Noor also attended the function.—APP


e-paper Dec 21, 2012