Issuu on Google+

Door-to-door Karachi voters verification from Jan 5 STAFF REPORTER ISLAMABAD—The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Friday issued schedule for door-to-door verification of voters in Karachi which will commence from Jan 5. A statement, issued by the commission, said in accordance with the Supreme Court’s directives, special

No casualties on Mayan ‘doomsday’ BUGARACH—Diehard doomsayers hunkered down to await the apocalypse on Friday, but most took a lighthearted view of the Mayan “prophecy” of the world’s destruction, laying on stunts and parties to while away the end. “If you’re in an underground bunker with a lifetime’s supply of baked beans how stupid do you feel now?” asked one person on Twitter, which saw dozens of posts every minute joking Continued on Page 7

Pagaro: Mahmood was in contact with PPP OBSERVER REPORT KARACHI—PML-F chief Sibghatullah Shah Rashdi, Pir Pagaro, Friday said Makhdoom Ahmad Mahmood had been in contact with the PPP for over a couple of months, something that paved the way for his entry into the Governor House of Punjab. Briefing reporters here at his residence, the Hur leader said Mahmood had accepted President Zardari’s offer on

Continued on Page 7

teams, formed to carry out the task, will start their door-to-door visits from Jan 5 and will complete the process in 18 days. Verification of votes will then be completed in next 69 days, the statement added. The ECP further said that Army and FC officials will assist the verification teams. Moreover, sources told that the commission has directed

NADRA to start printing 6.8 million verification forms from Saturday. The task is expected to be completed by Dec 31. Each form carries data for five voters, said the sources adding that the project staff, required to carryout the task, has been notified about cancellation of their vacations in the mean time.

Taliban commander among 5 dead in Wana blast „Three killed, many injured in NWA drone hit TARIQ SAEED PESHAWAR— A deadly suicide explosion reportedly targeting a hardliner Taliban commander in Wana South Waziristan agency resulted in killing of five people and injuries to over ten others. Reports said a suicide bomber blew himself up in a fruit market in Rustam Bazaar Wana killing Commander Abbas Wazir affiliated with Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and his two other accomplices. The blast, as the locals said, was carried out close to the office of Maulvi Abbas’s brother namely Jalil. While two

others succumbed to their injuries, ten or more people sustained wounds. A number of shops in the fruit and vegetable market were also damaged in the blast. A fresh missiles hit by the American planes in the North Waziristan agency Friday morning killed at least three people and injured many others with the officials claiming those killed were probably the Taliban militants. On the other hand a suicide explosion in Wana South Waziristan agency Friday morning left as many as five people dead and around a dozen others seriously wounded. Those killed

Katchi Abadi residents get ownership rights SALIM AHMED LAHORE—Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif made historical announcement of giving ownership rights to the residents of 326,516 residential units in Katchi Abadies across the rural and urban areas of the province. He said 2.2 million, eight thousand and 578 persons will get ownership rights of their houses with this step of Punjab government and this scheme will be applicable to all katchi abadies established before December 31, 2011. He said under this policy

in the Wana blast, include a militant commander whom the officials and the independent sources believe, was the prime target. Reports said a US CIA operated pilot less plane, commonly known as drone, targeted a compound in Mir Ali area of NWA headquarters Miranshah with the hell fire missiles raising the compound to ground. “The American planes fired two missiles on the house which was destroyed completely and many occupants were buried alive”. Locals said adding four bodies were retrieved from the

Continued on Page 7

John Kerry new US Secretary of State

WASHINGTON—US President Barack Obama nominated Senathe ownership rights will be tor John Kerry, a veteran foreign shared by husband and wife. He Continued on Page 7 said the certificates of ownership rights have been prepared and will be distributed among lucky persons soon. Addressing a press conference here at Model Town, the Chief Minister said the development and betterment of the common man is the top priority of PML-N government in Punjab. He said steps have been taken on the instructions of President Pakistan Muslim League-N Muhammad Nawaz Sharif to make the common man empowContinued on Page 7

10 die in Gujranwala road crash of dense fog GUJRANWALA—At least ten persons were killed and several others sustained injuries in a head-on collision between two vehicles due to dense fog here on Friday. The deadly crash took place at GT Road in Dadiwali, the industrial area of Gujranwala where two passenger vans collided due to poor visibility caused by thick fog. As a result of accident both vehicles were completely damaged resulting in death of seven and leaving 10 others seriously injured. Three people expired while being shifted to hospital raising the death toll to 10.—INP

Petrol price down, diesel up STAFF REPORTER

ISLAMABAD: Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira presenting book “Reconciliation, Reforms, Revival — 4 Years of Democratic Government” to Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf during a launching ceremony.

PM asks nation to shun despondency

ISLAMABAD—The Petroleum ISLAMABAD—Prime Minister large gathering. The 378-page projecting things that lead to feelMinistry on the recommendations of the Finance Ministry has approved a change in the prices of petroleum products. The new prices will be applicable from today. The prices of petrol and kerosene oil will be decreased, while the prices of diesel and light diesel will be increased. The new per litre price of petrol is Rs101.42 after a Rs1.23 decrease, while the new price of kerosene oil is Rs98.81 after a Rs0.22 decrease. Meanwhile after a Rs0.36 increase the new per litre price of diesel is Rs110.13. The price of light diesel increased by Rs0.45.

Raja Pervez Ashraf Friday said that Pakistan had a bright future ahead and urged the nation for concerted efforts to make it strong and prosperous. Addressing a gathering here at the PM Secretariat at the launch of a book on four and a half years performance of the government, the Prime Minister asked the nation to shun despondency as desperation and hopelessness were a sin in Islam. “The entire nation must rise together irrespective of their religious and political affiliations, for the solidarity of Pakistan,” Prime Minister Ashraf told the

book, published by the Directorate of Electronic Media and Publications, entitled; “Reconciliation, Reforms and Revival” goes beyond the “official statistics” to include perspectives from external contributors. Prime Minister Ashraf said that the media in Pakistan was fully independent. “We take pride that it is playing an eminent and effective role as a watchdog,” he added. He said that the record of the government bore testimony to the fact that it had in no way tried to influence or restrict media freedom. “The media should avoid

ings of dejection and despair, about the future of Pakistan,” he said. The Prime Minister urged the media to focus on factual reporting and never compromise on accuracy of facts. “The government’s cause of concern arises when facts are compromised and opinions are presented as facts.” He pointed out that in news reporting there was a constant struggle between speed and accuracy. “My advice to the media is that accuracy should never be compromised at the altar of rat-

Continued on Page 7

A silent revolution is creeping in Pakistan Turbulent period will soon be over: Zahid Malik SHABBIR AHMAD MUSCAT—Mr Zahid Malik, Editor-in-Chief, Pakistan Observer, has said that Omanbased Pakistanis as well as other Overseas Pakistanis should shun despondency because Pakistan is heading fast towards all round improvements in the system. Mr. Malik who is here as the guest of the Sultanate of Oman in connection with the Local Bodies elec-

tions was addressing a large gathering of Pakistanis at a reception hosted by them in his honour. Some Pakistanis from as far as Salala and other cities also joined the reception and asked questions to one of the most respected Editors of Pakistan. He pointed out that, unlike some of the Arab countries about which the Arab Spring was talked about, Pakistan being a democratic State does have constitutional openings for responding to

the emerging challenges and new realities. “In fact, a process of silent revolution is already visible to those who can decipher the signs on the horizon,” he said. What was very encouraging, Mr. Malik said, was that the society on the whole stood, willingly or unwillingly, for the continuation of the ongoing democratic system and all stakeholders were supportive of the completion of five years of constitutional period of the incumbent Government.

The people had also totally rejected corruption, nepotism and favourtism and that day was not far off when Pakistan would be free of all such blood-sucking ills which had played havoc in the length and breadth of Pakistan, he explained. Mr. Malik cited the issues of fake degrees of some of the parliamentarians, dual nationality and tax evasion by some law-makers and said in the perspective of indepen-

Continued on Page 7


Community support must for eradication of curse: Shahnaz

Special polio drive Balochistan Govt target I SLAMABAD —Advisor to Prime Minister on Social Sector, Shahnaz Wazir Ali has said that community support is must for the complete eradication of polio disease from the country. “We have a plan to get community support for engaging them in the drive against polio, “ she stated while talking to a private television channel. She said that there is no harm to provide polio drops to the children for the eradication of crippling disease. She said that Islamic world like Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt, Ma-

laysia and Indonesia are using the vaccination for flushing out the polio disease from children. Shahnaz Wazir Ali said that some elements are making false and baseless propaganda against the polio campaign. “We want to protect our next generation from polio disease, which exists in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria” she said. Replying to a question, she said in the past, religious scholars had supported the polio drive. She said “We are expecting more cooperation from the religious scholars in removing

the false propaganda against the polio.” She said that political parties have assured full support for the success of polio campaign. Replying to another question regarding attacks on polio teams, she condemned the killing of the workers performing duties for eradication of polio in different parts of the country. She eulogized the services and sacrifices of the polio workers given for the national cause. She said that central government had also announced the compensation amount for victims’ families.

Quetta: The Balochistan government is firm to launch the special anti-polio drive in the highly polio risk areas of the province. “We are determined to eradicate the menace of polio from Balochistan and devising strategy to launch second round of special campaign against the crippling disease,” provincial coordinator on polio and additional secretary Health Noorul Haq Baloch said. He noted that routine immunization campaign in Balochistan has completed adding however,the deputy commissioners of the polio affected

districts have been directed to review the security arrangements and come up with fool proof security plan for second round to make the drive success. Expressing his satisfaction over the completion of the polio drive,he said that with the cooperation of the local notables, tribal elders and political leaders the drive was made success. About the scheduled second round of special campaigns in the highly polio endemic areas including Pishin, Qilla Abdullah and Quetta, he said that concerted strategy is be-

ing evolved and with thorough consultation, it would be launched within a span of one week. Meanwhile Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Health, Syed Zahir Ali Shah has said that the targeting of polio vaccinating teams in the settled and tribal areas of the province is worst precedents of wildness. In a statement, the provincial minister termed the incidents a conspiracy to defame Pakistan in the comity of the nations. He said that the anti-social elements have started this game to render coming generation as disabled.—APP

STAFF REPORTER

Notorious criminal dies in police encounter

P ESHAWAR —Vice Chancel-

NAZIR SIYAL

KMU to increase nursing seats lor Khyber Medical University Prof Dr. Hafizullah has said that keeping in view the significance of nursing, Khyber Medical University (KMU) is giving special attention to their education and training and has initiated three different educational programmes for the nurses. He said this while distributing scholarship cheques in the BSc and BSc Nursing Post RN students here Friday. The ceremony was organized by Skill Development Programme of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Registrar KMU Dr Fazal Mahmood, Coordinator Nursing Programme, Nasreen Ghani, concerned officials of the KMU and students of nursing were present. Dr Hafiullah said that unfortunately, in the past health sector was restricted to the HYDERABAD: Residents of Matiari hold a protest in favour of their demands. education.

L ARKANA —A

Democracy provides equal opportunities to all citizens SHER GONDAL M ANDI B AHAUDDIN —A HRCP Workshop on “people’s mobilization for democratic rights” held here was participated by a large representatives of NGO and members of civil society. Addressing the workshop, Mahboob Khan Advocate, president Punjab Human Rights Commission said that such workshops were being held at selective cities to educate people to use their democratic rights. He said democracy is the name of attitude to help each other. He said this took start in Greece where people elected their head through direct vote. But now in state with large population it was not possible therefore heads of state are elected through indirect votes. He said democ-

racy is best form of government that provides equal opportunity to all citizens and every citizen participates in business of state affairs. Therefore it is necessary for every citizen to cast vote in favour of honest and competent candidates. Besides, every citizen should check his vote in the lists maintained at election office concerned. The voters should go to polling stations at their own for casting votes. They should not use transport of candidates. He also told the audience that progress was made more in the countries exercising democratic systems. Earlier, Coordinator HRCP Mandi Bahauddin briefed the President Punjab HRCP about their activities with regard to performance and monitoring human rights

in the district. Prof Saleem, Afzal Gondal Advocate, Chaudhry Hameed and Liaqat also addressed the workshop and highlighted importance of exercising democratic right for empowerment of citizens to resolve their problems. They said local government was the best form of government which gives speedy relief to citizens and resolve their problems in an amicable way. It was unfortunate, the incumbent government has dissolved this government, they said with regret. ***** Dr Amjad Iqbal, EDO Health has said that Use of iodized salt prevents Iodine deficiency disorders. He was addressing the Training for Salt processors of Bahauddin District, jointly organized by department of Health and the

Micronutrient Initiative. He emphasized the role of Salt processors in the implementation of Universal salt iodization Programme as severe iodine deficiency causes mental retardation, low mental capability, deafness, muteness, Goiter, still births and abortions. He further added that salt processors have played a vital role in the achievement of the objectives of Universal Salt iodization Programme and hoped that salt processors will continue to contribute in the efforts to make the district Iodine Deficiency Disorders free. Ehtsham-ul-Haq Tariq, Field Officer, the Micronutrient Initiative, briefed the participants that use of iodized salt at households has risen to 69% (NNS 2011) than 17% (NNS 2001) and with better commitment of salt proces-

sors, we would be able to ensure 100% use of iodized salt and sensitized salt processors to follow existing laws regarding the ban on the production and sale of Noniodized salt. ***** A married woman, 28, was slaughtered to death here on Wednesday. The incident took place in a thickly populated mohallah of the city. Reportedly, Sumera Bibi was at home while her husband Muhammad Azam had gone out to work as per daily routine. Some unknown persons, in absence of her husband entered the house and after strangulating her, hit on her neck with some sharp edged weapon and fled away after locking the house from outside. After some time her relatives came and they broke the lock to enter the house.

Mosques, Madaris reject gas flat rate

KP winter vacations

BASHIR AHAMD RAHMANI against the new judicial policy. industry have been rendered education in the institutions.

STAFF REPORTER

H AFIZABAD —Management of different mosques and seminaries have protested against fixation of flat rate of Rs. 3500 per month for the provision of gas. Allama Saeed Ahmad Awan, Manager of Madrasa Ashrafia Qurania, and scores of others have protested against the fixation of flat rate which, they said, was unjust and arbitrary. They demanded withdrawal of the flat rate. ***** Litigants of the district have protested against day-today strike by the lawyers

Hundreds of litigants from far off places visited different courts in the chilly winds but were disappointed and perturbed that the lawyers have again boycotted the courts. ***** Hundreds of powerlooms in the district are on the verge of liquidation partly due to soaring prices of cotton yarn and prolonged and unscheduled loadshedding. Addressing a press conference Mian Yousaf Tihami, president of Small Powerlooms Factories Association, said that thousands of workers and owners engaged in this cottage

jobless. He appealed to the government to reduce duration of loadshedding so as to enable the owners and workers to make their livelihood. ***** DCO Hafizabad has stressed the need for improvement of standard of education and directed the local EDO Education to prepare District Educational Manual so as to implement Punjab Government pro-education policies. Addressing education review meeting she also exhorted for ensuring punctuality and quality

***** Deadbody of a twentyyear-old unidentified girl has been found floating in the Lower Chenab Canal. The villagers informed the police which recovered the body and sent it to the city morgue for autopsy. According to eye-witnesses the body bore torture marks the police are investigating.

P ESHAWAR—The provincial government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has announced winter vacations in the province, said an official notification issued here on Friday. In this connection, all public and private sector educational institutions in plain areas will remain closed from December 25 to December 31, 2012.

notorious criminal was shot dead in an encounter by Larkana CIA police while on patrolling, while two other criminals manged to escape from bypass Akil Peer Sher road Larkana. According to police statement, CIA Inspector Abdul Qadir Chandio was on routine patrolling around Larkana at by-pass of Akil Peer Sher road. Three unknown armed men were going on motorcycle from Peer Sher, police tried to stop them, but they started firing on police. Police in retaliation killed a notorious criminal Nazir Solangi and two others manged to escape from the scene. The police has also recovered SMG gun and 35 bullet rounds from culprit. ***** Several social, political groups and civil society embers celebrated cultural Sindhi Topi and Ajrak Day, organized different activities includingrallies, seminars, gatherings, dance events on “Jeay Sindh Jeay, Sindh Wara Jeyan” traditional song. On the occasion, Gomi Bai Ladies Club, Bhitai Social Welfare Association, Chandka Special Education department, Abbasi Kalhoro Tanzeem, Knowledge Center and several other nationalists and media organizations organized rallies, seminars, Maach Katchehries and different events of cultural dances on the day. A large number of people including men, women and school children dressed in new traditional clothes with Ajrak on their shoulders and Sindhi Topi (cap) on their heads, thronged streets.

PESHAWAR: A girl busy in decorating Christmas tree in Christmas Carnival 2012 programme organized by The Butterfly Events and directorate of Culture at Nishtar Hall.

Cold, dry weather during next few days I SLAMABAD —Pakistan Me- 24 hours. teorological Department (PMD) on Friday 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 Skardu, Parachinar -11øC, Hunza, Gilgit -06øC, Gupis -05øC, Quetta, Drosh, Rawalakot -03øC, Murree and Bunji -02øC. The Karachi Met Office has forecast dry weather with cool night in the city over the next

According to Met office’s weather report issued on Friday the minimum temperature is expected to remain in the range of 12 to 14 degrees centigrade. The Met Office said mainly cold

and dry weather is likely to prevail elsewhere in the region.—APP

ANP slams Imran Khan STAFF REPORTER P ESHAWA R —A spokesman for Awami Naional Party, has strongly condemned the derogatory remarks made by PTI leader, Imran Khan against ANP Chief, Asfandiyar Wali Khan at a public meeting here saying life and achievements of the Pakhtuns leader for the Pakhtun nation are beyond the doubt and crystal clear before the nation. In a statement here he said that legendary struggle

of Baacha Khan’s family is well acclaimed and the allegations of Imran merely reflect his political immaturity. He said that workers are deserting PTI owing to political maneuvers of Imran Khan. He said that Imran Khan has not so far presented a clarification regarding the donation of Shuakat Khanam Memorial Trust nor he has clarified the reason regarding chaos emerged from the previous political affiliation of his party colleagues.

Over 500 villages to be illuminated with solar energy ISLAMABAD—More than 500 villages will be initially electrified though promotion of clean and renewable solar energy through Photovoltaic process. Director General Pakistan Council of Renewable Energy technologies (PCRET) Khalid Islam said this during the inauguration of production of high quality solar panel at (PCRET). The basic objective of this project is up gradation of silicon crystal growing and wafering, cell fabrication and lamination facilities.

It will enhance the indigenous production of solar cells and modules up to 80 kW per anum along with promotion of clean and renewable solar energy through photovoltaic process. Photovoltaic (PV) is a clean and environment friendly technology that converts the sun energy directly into electric power. DG PCRET said during the last five years, the PV sector has seen a growth rate of about 50% per year. There is now awakening realization in Pakistan about

the importance of the use of PV, for providing electric power to the people living in far flung area to improve their socio-economic conditions. Federal Minister for Science and Technology Mir Changez Khan Jamali inaugurated the solar panel, addressing on the occasion, said social and political struggle for economic development cannot be fully realized without active support and cooperation of research and development organizations.—APP

Remembering old pals, Safiruddin Barlas of Loharu, Mazhar Saleem of Jhang

I

T is part of life to face the inevitable and be prepared to mourn the loss of those who were once part of your close circle of friends. As years go by one has lost some dear friends and colleagues whose memory leaves me with a tinge of a cute sadness. It was simply by chance that I came to know about the passing away of two old friends of mine. Coming across Mustafa Kasuri, younger brother of Ahmad Raza Kasuri, who now permanently resides in Karachi, in Lahore Gymkhana. On Thursday, I learnt about the passing away of Safiruddin Barlas, in Islamabad, who happened to be also his uncle. Nawabzada Mirza Safiruddin Barlas was on old colleague of mine from The Pakistan Times days whom I had come across by chance in Bahawalpur during the only official Indo-Pak cricket test played around 1954-5. This blossomed into life long ZHOB: An artisan tunes Chighaka (a traditional musical instrument) at a musical show. relationship when only after

a year later I returned to Bahawalpur as Burean Chief of APP. Safiruddin known as “Sabru Mian” by legion of his friends belonged to a legion of an extended Loharu family of a small princely state once located in Eastern Punjab. He belonged to the ruling family of Loharu, whose tentacles were to be found all over from Rampur, Patudi, Bhopal, Delhi etc, through relationship and match less poet Jameeludin Aalia, being one of the descendents of the last serving former ruler. Safiruddin served Pakistan Times with distinction for many years at Bahawalpur, Multan, Lahore and even Islamabad and once wrote a series of remarkable columns entitled “Denizeus of Lahore”. A charming friend and journalist of utmost integrity who was vastly popular, he had been living for some years in Islamabad with some nieces, as Safru Mamu (uncle) had a

whole legion of nephews and living in the same city. Here shared a unique record with nieces spread all over Paki- is wishing a warm farewell to me. Our fathers were also stan. He had always been in unforgettable Safirudin, for class fellows in Islamia College, Lahore, who pursued different profession later. My father later met Sh. Majeed, a leading Muslim Advocate in Jhang as he started his career is a lecturer at govt. college, Jhang. Both Saleem I myself became class fellows at primary level till 9th class, and remained close friends for the rest of lives. Another close friend and classmate was Vice Admiral Tasnim Ahmad, arguably the most highly decorated naval officer of Pakitouch with me wherever I likes of him one rarely sees stan. Saleem became a diswas. But for some time, I had in a life time. My deep con- tinguished businessman not heard from him. It was dolence also to his vast and industrialist of Jhang through Mustafa Kasuri, an- Loharu family of which he and remained one of the other of his vast tribe of was a distinguished figure. leading lights of that city for nephews, I came to know Remembering Mazhar the rest of his life. God bless about his demise. I am really Saleem of Jhang him and my deep condosurprised that another old Yet another but perhaps lence to his son, brothers colleagues and buddy, one of my oldest childhood and other members of the Shamim Rizvi, too did not in- friends namely Sh. Mazhar distinguished family in form me about Safru. It is hard Saleem, has passed away. Jhang, whose roots had alto believe that even he was Although I came to know ways remained in their anunaware of this happening about it quite late but Saleem cestral city of Chiniot.


Polio eradication priority Ist ISLAMABAD—The PPP-led government will keep striving hard to eradicate polio from the country and cowardly acts of terrorists could not discourage its resolve of rooting out polio from the country. Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani condemned the terrorist attacks on polio workers, and vowed for providing security to them, said a press release. In wake of recent killings of polio workers in Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Bijarani has written letters to the Interior Minister and the Chief Ministers to ensure the security of the polio workers. He directed the Secretary Inter-Provincial Coordination Faridullah Khan to write to Chief Secretaries of Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to take tangible measures for security of the polio workers. Meanwhile, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Health, Syed Zahir Ali Shah has said that the targeting of polio vaccinating teams in the settled and tribal areas of the province is worst precedents of wildness. In a statement, the provincial minister termed the incidents a conspiracy to defame Pakistan in the comity of the nations. He said that the anti-social elements have started this game to render coming generation as disabled. He said that they are fully sharing the grief of the families affected by these attacks and they will be extended all possible assistance. He said that the growing hatred and intolerance in the society is shameful. The provincial minister for health said that the government is determined to purge the society of such elements at any cost and continuation of battle for the eradication of polio. He said that those who have soft corner for such elements were responsible for depriving children of the vaccines. He said that government agencies and members of the society are bound to keep surveillance on elements, which are out to target polio vaccination teams.—APP

Education only way to development Staff Reporter

P ESHAWA R —Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Information and Public Relations Mian Iftikhar Hussein has said education is the only way of national development and nothing is possible without acquiring quality education in this modern era. He said we want pen and books in the hands of our young generation. He expressed these views while addressing as chief guest in the Annual Day function of a private school system here. He said that keeping in view the importance of education to steer the nation towards prosperity, the founders of Awami National Party had started a movement to provide free and quality education to the people of this region by establishing schools, adding that Malala Yousafzai is the new face of that very movement and she became target of the extremist elements who want to keep this nation ignorant and ill-manner but the followers of Bacha Khan would strive to continue and accomplish the cause of Malala even at the cost of their lives. Touching upon the measures taken by the incumbent provincial government for the uplift of education sector, the provincial minister said that first time in the history of the province, four percent of the GDP has been allocated for education sector which has helped a lot to improve the literacy rate in the province. Referring to the issue of polio vaccinators being attacked by terrorists, he was of the view that it was a well planned conspiracy to isolate the country by portraying an image that the people of the country were against polio drops. He categorically said that polio campaign would be carried out at any cost as the government was determined to take all types of measures to make Pakistan a polio free country.

Early arrest of criminals assured HYDERABAD—Advisor to Sindh Chief Minister Nadiya Gabol assured arrest of the criminals within three days who were involved in molestation of Wajanti Mala, the teen age girl of minority community. She was talking to media persons at Bhitshah district Matiari on Thursday. She went there to offer fateha at the mazar of great saint poet Hazrat Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai. During the visit she also reviewed the arrangements being made to facilitate the devotees during three days 269th annual urs celebrations which will be started from December 28, 2012 at Bhitshah. The leaders of MQM Rao Muhammad Ali, Tufail Ahmed and Deputy Commissioner Matiari Shahid Zaffar Leghari and other party workers accompanied the advisor during her visit. Zakat cheques distributed among students: The Chairman Provincial Zakat Council Sindh Justice (Retd) Zahid Qurban Alvi has said that the government is providing financial assistance to deserving students through Zakat Funds so that they could be able to continue their education and play their role for the prosperity of the country. He expressed these remarks at a ceremony here on Friday where he distributed cheques of Mora Scholarship among poor deserving students of Government Girls High School Hussainabad. He said that the talent can not be hidden and those who pay full attention towards their studies could get jobs both in public and private sectors on merit.The future generation should concentrate on their study so that they could be able to share their future responsibilities, he added.—APP

Colleges for labourers’ children Staff Reporter

P ESHAWA R —Khyber

Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Labour, Sher Azam Wazir has said that two degree colleges have been established for the children of workers, first time in the history of the province. Talking to media here Friday, he said that the government has decided converting focus grammars’ schools into top quality education institutions of the province and country as well. He said that Working Focus, Grammars’ Schools have been upgraded from Secondary Level to Higher Secondary Level to enable the children of workers to get quality education from their educational institutions and then continue their education on getting admission in professional institutions on the basis of the merit. He said that PPP has always taken revolutionary measures in all tenures of the government for collective interests of the country and had never hesitate from rendering any kind of sacrifice in this regard. Sher Azam Wazir said that before the present provincial government, education budget was only Rs.50 million while during last four and half years it had been increased by 40 folds to reach it to Rs.2 billion. The popularly elected democratic government, he said with granting provincial autonomy has not only fulfilled the longstanding demand of the province, but has also strengthened the federation. About the performance of his department, he said that education is always to be the foundation of progress and development in any society. Therefore, he said the government is keen in imparting English education to the children of workers to enable to not leave behind the students of other educational institutions in this period of competition.

Pak receives best foreign student army award I SLAMABAD —The Graduation ceremony of Defence Services Command and Staff College Course was held at the Temple Trees Colombo where Pakistan Army Officer Major Muhammad Taimur Ashraf received the best Foreign Student Army award in the course, says a message received here from Colombo. The Minister for External Affairs of Sri Lanka Prof G L Peiris graced the Graduation Ceremony of the Defence Services Command and Staff College as the chief guest. The Chief Guest awarded the Golden Owl award to Major Muhammad Taimur Ashraf in recognition of his talent as the best Foreign Student in the course. It was a unique and singular honour for the Pakistan Army officer who kept the flag of his country high as always. The Defence Services

Command and Staff College Sapugaskanda is one of the most prestigious institutions of the region and highest seat of learning in Sri Lanka. The Course No 6 Commenced on 03 January 2012 and concluded on 20 December 2012. A total of 103 officers, representing 56 officers from the Army, 19 officers from the Navy, 17 officers from the Air Force and 11 officers from Pakistan, Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Nepal, India and Sudan were graduated on this occasion. Since independence, Sri Lanka and Pakistan have consistently maintained close, cordial and mutually supportive relations especially in the field of defense. Both nations have assisted each other during testing times in their history. Pakistan and Sri Lanka have comprehensive.—INP HYDERABAD: A folk singer singing traditional Sindhi song during Sindhi Culture Day.

Islamia College students visit Governor House

Edu improves nation’s life STAFF REPORTER P E S H AWA R —The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor, Barrister Masood Kausar has said that the new generation is lucky for having access to flood of knowledge both in shape of hard and soft copies and they must avail the opportunities not only in their own interests but also with the spirit to serve the country and the nation. “Whenever, I get a chance, I always gift you books”, he added. Addressing a group of more than 200 talented student of Islamia Collegiate School; a subsidiary institution of Islamia College University

Peshawar who were specially invited to visit the Governor’s House. The Governor further realized the students that they are also lucky for being boarders of this historic institution whose graduates have been contributing overwhelmingly even today. A student of 10th class read out his poetry and another presented two beautiful portraits to the Governor while a number of others including girl students of junior classes demonstrated tabloes, sketches and songs and received appreciation. Vice Chancellor of Islamia College University, Prof: Dr. Noor Jehan, Princi-

pal of the school, Mr. Qadir Khan were also present on this occasion besides the faculty members. The Governor also presented a cheque amounting to Rs 1 million to the management to help it in promoting co-curricular activities of the school. It is because of this very institution, the Governor said, this region, from where we all belong, has produced men of great caliber in all fields of life who have earned fame both for themselves and the country and their services for humanity and the country will always be remembered with great pride.

The precious value of this great institution, he added, needs to be maintained. Highlighting the importance of education, the Governor said, the quality life of the developed nations what we witness today, is because of the focus, they have been putting towards promotion of education. Though, he added, we as a nation could not contribute the magnitude of required resources towards this vital sector of life in the past, yet no effort is being spared now to ensure availability of better educational opportunities to the coming generations.

Love marriage dispute claims three lives M UZAFFARGARH —At least including Shazia, her step three persons were killed over love marriage dispute here late Thursday night. According to details, Sarfraz, hailing from Beetmail area, tehsil Jatoi of Muzaffargarh district arranged love marriage with Shazia Bibi, belonging to Sargodha district without taking both families into confidence. The two families refused to accept the marriage and cut the relations with couple. On late Thursday night, unknown armed men stated to be family members of Shazia barged into their house and opened indiscriminate fire at the residents as they were sleeping at the time and fled the scene. As a result of firing three persons

daughter Ayesha and step son Asif were killed on the spot. The police registered a case against the murderers and started search for them. Unidentified armed men killed three people, including two women, and latter set them on fire here in Adda Ghulam Shah area, police said on Friday. Meanwhile according to details, 45-year-old Allah Yar, his 20-year-old daughter Shehnaz Bibi and 60-year-old mother-in-law were asleep in their house on Thursday night when unidentified gunmen entered their house and shot them dead. The attackers also set the house on fire due to which the bodies of the victims were disfigured.—INP

KARCPP constructing houses, installing water filtration plants in flood-hit zones STAFF REPORTER ISLAMABAD—King Abdullah’s Relief Campaign for Pakistani People (KARCPP) is constructing houses, installing water filtration plants and initiating other projects in flood-hit areas of Pakistan. According to Regional Director of KARCPP, Dr Khalid M Othmani that the projects are being completed in flood affected areas including Balochistan, Sind and Punjab. He said that in the Rehabilitation phase, KARCPP had signed agreements for water supply QUETTA: Director General EME Major General Jamshed Aijaz reviewing guard of schemes and installation of water pumps besides conhonour during Recruits Parade organized by Pakistan Army.

Locals protest against TMA corruption NAZIR SIYAL LARKANA—A large number of citizens of Taluka Shahdadkot District staged protest and observed token hunger strike against heavy corruption of officials and local elected representatives for non-provision of development schemes to several areas of city in front of mazar of Benazir Bhutto here at Garhi Khuda Bux Bhutto on Friday. Protesting citizens of Shahdadkot against TMO and others, they were holding the Portrait of Benazir Bhutto and shouting slogans in favor of

their demands in front of Mazar of Benazir Bhutto here at Garhi Khuda Bux Bhutto. Talking to media men, Aslam Sasoli, Abdul Rehman Brohi, Noor Ahmed Khoso, Ghulam Asghar Jamali and others alleged that TMO Shahdadkot Nisar Ahmed Magsi and Engineer Muhammad Younis Pathan have ignored the several parts of Shahdadkot city from development schemes on political ground they added both officials are involved in the corruption of millions rupees during past 18 month. They said that local elected

representatives are reluctant to visit their areas and inquire their problems of citizen after the passage of 4 years. On the occasion Abdul Rehman Bhutto announced to commit the self immolation out side the Mazar of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto at Garhi Khuda Bux on 27thDecember 2012They demanded of President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari, Chief Justice Supreme Court of Pakistan, Chief Minster Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah to take notice of matter and remove the corrupt officials of TMA Shahdadkot.

Fazal elected president of Talash traders’ association M. HALEEM ASAD TIMERGARA—Fazal Qadir of Insaf Anjuman Tajaran group has been elected president of traders’ asssociation in the election held at Talash, Lower Dir, on Thursday and Raz Muhammad of the JUI-F general secretary. The successful panel bagged 216 votes while the PPP and ANP backed candidates got 186 votes out of 402 votes. The traders’ body election had taken complete political shape after the PPP senator Ahmad Hassan Khan and provincial minister for technical education Mahmood Zeb Khan publicly asked traders of Talash to vote to the PPP candidate Sher Muhammad whose panel got 186 votes. Dilawar Khan was elected

as vice president, Sher Zamin as deputy general secretary, Haji Sher Muhammad as finance secretary and Rohullah as information secretary. Tension remained high at Talash as activists of different political parties were backing their favourite candidates. The Fazal Qadir group contested the election from the Insaf Anjuman Tajaran while the rival from Mutahidda Mahaz. After the results the newly elected president Fazal Qadir of JI, addressing his supporters nd activists of the JI, said that traders affiliated with the PPP and ANP had also voted to him due to his committed stand for welfare of the traders. He said his panel had friends from the JI, JUI-F and PPP. He thanked business com-

struction of houses in floodtorn areas of Pakistan. An MoU was signed with UNICEF amounting US$ 1.6 million for 76 water supply schemes for clean drinking water which would be completed in 10 districts of Balochistan. The Project would benefit as many as 84,000 inhabitants of the affected areas. An another MoU was signed with Helping Hand for Relief and Development, amounting US$ 120,000 for installation of 100 water pumps, 24 water purification and filtration plants for hospital, mosques, and local community living in Punjab, and Sindh flood-stricken areas.

This gigantic project would benefit about 25,000 residents of these localities. He said that King Abdullah’s Relief Campaign for Pakistani People is also providing the houses after completion to the people affected by floods that destroyed the infrastructure in many areas of Pakistan. He said more than 5000 houses would be constructed in different floodhit areas of Pakistan. He said that recently, Saudi Ambassador to Pakistan Dr Abdul Aziz Ibrahim AlGhadeer had handed over keys of complete houses among the flood-affected people.

Sindh culture Gifts given to deserving children Khan’s tsunami has become J M day observed “Badnami”. People’s Party has AVED

OAVIA

N ANKANA S AHIB —PLM-N become Zardari League and Q HYDERABAD—Sindh culture leader Senator Kamaran League will become Gujrat

day is being celebrated across the city on Friday like other parts of the province to promote Sindhi culture among the people. A large number of people, dressed in new traditional clothes, ajrak on their shoulders and the Sindhi topi on their heads, thronged the streets of the city to celebrate the day. In this connection, various programmes inclduing rallies, seminars, musical shows and game events are being organized by cultural groups, civil society and the political parties to mark the day under the cultural promotion.—APP

Michale has said that the Christians are as patriot as the Muslims. Charistian love their country from the core of their heart. He said this in his speach at a ceremony of awarding gifts to orphans and deserving children in Martan Pur on Friday. The gifts were arranged by Charistian Fellowship of Pakistan. He said, “We should unite to solve the problems of the country.” Senator Kamran Michale said that in next elections people will caste their vote according to the performance of contesting candidates. He said on a question that Imran

Party after next election. He said Punjab Government has issued salaries and pension to Charistian employees. Punjab Government will arrange Christmas Barzar in all the Districts of Punjab from Dec 22 to 24 under DCO’S supervision. He also said that there will be two holidays for Christian employees. Chief Minister Punjab Mian Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif will annouce common relief for Christian prisners. DCO Nankana Sahib Dr. Usman Ali Khan, DPO Ghulam Mubashar Maken, AC Nabeela Irfan, Tehsildar Shaukat Maseeh Sindhu.

munity for electing him and said his cabinet would never disappoint the community and people of Talash as well. Due to high tension votes were counted at the Talash police station in front of the rival candidates. Supporters of the Insaf group after the result took out a procession and chanted slogans in favour of Fazal Qadir. ***** Prolonged and frequent power outage has made life of the people miserable in many parts of the Dir Lower, residents complain. Talking to local reporters they said that duration of power outage in the district had exceed over 16 hours a day due to which businesses had suffered a lot. They said that after each hour power supply remained dis- CHINIOT: Students of Government Primary School studying in open air and near cows tied in the premises. rupted for three hours.


Evidence goes digital

MEDIA WATCH

D

ESPITE reservations being expressed by some circles that the Fair Trial Bill adopted by the National Assembly on Thursday might infringe upon rights of the people, the fact remains that the new law is step in the right direction as it takes care of modern trends in crime and entrusts the agencies concerned with necessary powers to use digital and electronic evidence against perpetrators of different crimes. The new law might not be ideal as Leader of the Opposition Ch Nisar Ali Khan pointed out during debate on the bill in the lower house of Parliament as some of its provisions can be misused but we must appreciate that it is just a beginning and it can be fine tuned and improved at later stages on the basis of practical experience. But we must realize that there was urgent need to have such a law as terrorists and criminals had been using latest technologies to advance their nefarious designs but the law enforcing agencies were not able to present evidence gathered through modern gadgets as there was no provision for that in the prevailing laws. The Fair Trial Bill would authorize law-enforcing and security agencies to use modern techniques like e-mails, SMS, Internet Protocol Detail Record, Call Detail Record and any form of computer-based or cell phone-based communication. ISI, three services intelligence, IB and Police would now be in a position to use these techniques to investigate scheduled offences and terrorist activities and data would be presented in courts as evidence. It is known to almost everyone that Internet (e-mail) and mobile phone are widely used by terrorists and criminals in planning, coordination and execution of their activities but courts were not entertaining digital evidence because of lacuna in the law. We are sure that the law would both serve as deterrence and a mean to bring the culprits to justice.

Mainstreaming of Baloch youth C

HIEF Justice of Pakistan Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhary, who has all along been making frantic efforts to help the country get out of the quagmire in Balochistan, has once again lamented over inaction of the authorities concerned in initiating corrective measures. On Thursday as well, during hearing of Balochistan law and order case, he observed that if people with powers and authority were placed at the helm of affairs in the province, the situation there would come to normalcy within a day. As the Chief Justice was expressing serious concern about what was happening in Balochistan, an impressive ceremony was underway in Quetta formalizing induction of 1614 recruits in various arms of Pakistan Army. With this the total number of Baloch youth joining Pakistan Army during the last four years has reached to 18300. The induction of thousands of soldiers and over 700 officers from Balochistan would not only help check the chronic problems of poverty and unemployment but would also give people of Balochistan a sense of participation in the affairs of the state and especially in Pakistan Army. This is just one aspect of a comprehensive strategy being implemented by the Army leadership to promote socio-economic welfare of the people in different areas of the province through skill development, provision of free quality education, opening of cadet and medical colleges and development of coal mines. We believe that if other pillars of the state especially the Provincial Government and the Federal Government as well as different corporations and entities take similar interest then we can effectively counter the sense of alienation, which is being exploited by our enemies. People of Balochistan will not have to see anywhere else for resolution of their economic woes if projects like Gwadar Deep Seaport become operational in true sense of the word and Reko Deko gold and copper deposits are exploited justly and properly. Similarly, social progress and awareness would come only if we ensure provision of education to every child and take the road network to every nook and corner of the province. But the question arises whether we can do so with the kind of the provincial set up that we presently have in Quetta?

Unjust perks and quotas I

T is good of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the National Assembly that it is highlighting the unjust and uncalled for perks, privileges and quotas being enjoyed by different elite classes and issuing necessary guidelines to eliminate them. The latest is the directive to abolish lifetime perks and privileges of all former MDs of PIA. PIA, Pakistan Railways, Pakistan Steel, WAPDA and KESC are some of the organizations that have become white elephant for the economy not because they have no potential for profit-making but just because of mismanagement, misuse of powers, corruption, political interference, and inefficiency and over-staffing. Though lifetime perks and privileges of former MDs must be fraction of the losses being incurred by the national carrier but their discontinuation and review of similar other practices would send the right kind of message and demonstrate commitment of its management to rectify wrongs. Unfortunately, similar practices are also in vogue in Pakistan Railways, which is at the verge of virtual collapse, as the Senate was told the other day that right from the Minister down to Division Superintendents all the officers are not only enjoying cosy privileges but are also entitled to issue free-of-cost tickets worth thousands of rupee per month and it is anybody’s guess who the beneficiaries would be. And we know how the facility of free electricity is being misused by WAPDA employees. It is time to say goodbye to such luxuries when the concerned organizations are almost dying.

HURMAT GROUP OF PUBLICATIONS Zahid Malik President & Editor-in-Chief Ph: 051-2256006 Faisal Zahid Malik Gauhar Zahid Malik Editor Ph: 021-32631102

Javed Mahmood

Executive Editor Ph: 051-2853818

Editor Special Initiative Ph:051-2255614

Islamabad Ph Exchange: 051-2852027 Reporting Desk: 051-2852028, News Desk: 051-5879329 Marketing: 051-2262254, 2852029 Fax: 051-2262258 Email: observer@pakobserver.net Website: www.pakobserver.net

Lahore

Karachi Faisal Zahid Malik Editor Ph: 021-32211777, 32635403 Fax: 021-32626902 Email: obskhi@pakobserver.net

Nadeem Syed Resident Editor Ph: 042-37593341, 37566702 Marketing Ph: 37597364 Fax: 042-36300043 Email: obslhr@pakobserver.net

Quetta

Peshawar

Ghulam Tahir

Tariq Saeed

Resident Editor Mobile: 0333-7944760 E-mail:obsqta@pakobserver.net

Resident Editor Mobile: 0321-9001476 E-mail:obspwr@pakobserver.net

Muzaffarabad Abdul Hameed Shaheen Resident Editor Ph: 051-2852028, Mobile: 0315-5010791 Email: obsmzd@pakobserver.net / abdulhameedshaheen@yahoo.com

Sadia Zahid Malik Editor Sunday Magazine

Ph: 2852027-8, Ext: 116 Email: po2@pakobserver.net

Iraq’s failing political balance

T

Israel-US nexus against Pak nukes? ister Benjamin Netanyahu had voiced particularly strong support for Pollard, and in 2002 visited him in the His case Mohammad Jamil prison. was later linked to Email: mjamil1938@hotmail.com that of Ben-ami Kadish, another U.S. national who pleaded guilty to charges of passhere is a perception that there ing classified information to Israel in was nexus between Israel and the same period. He renounced his US with regard to sharing of United States citizenship and is now intelligence about Pakistan and an Israeli citizen. Pollard was emMiddle East countries. But there ployed in Naval Intelligence Support seems to be some contradictions Center (NISC), but was later transthat cropped up when Israel through ferred at NIC/TF-168. He had met its agent tried to dig in America’s Aviem Sella, an Israeli Air Force intelligence information. Jonathan combat veteran who was at the time Pollard, an Israeli spy while work- a graduate student at New York Uniing for the US Navy’s intelligence versity. In June 1984, Pollard started service, was assigned the task of passing classified information to collecting information about Sella and received in exchange Pakistan’s nuclear program. In 1984 $10,000 cash and a very expensive and 1985 Pollard passed on to his diamond and sapphire ring, which Israeli handlers several sets of offi- Pollard later presented to his girlcial US documents about the friend while proposing her for marKahuta plant along with other in- riage. He was to receive $1,500 per formation from American intelli- month for further espionage. gence. In 1987, he was sentenced Declassified documents revealed to life in prison for working as an many more facts. The United States Israeli mole in US intelligence sys- had waged a secret diplomatic camtem. Judge Aubrey Robinson, Jr., paign in late 1970s to prevent Pakiawarded a life sentence after hear- stan from developing nuclear weaping a “damage-assessment memo- ons. Officials in President Jimmy randum” from the Secretary of De- Carter’s administration had expressed fense. The CIA document showed fears about Pakistan’s efforts to go that “Jonathan Pollard focused on nuclear, and had tried both pressure Arab (and Pakistani) nuclear intel- and aid incentives to seek a change ligence; Arab exotic weaponry, in- in its ‘behavior’. In a secret Novemcluding chemical weapons; Soviet ber 1978 memo, then secretary of air-to-air missiles and air-to-surface state Cyrus Vance had instructed US missiles”. diplomats in Western Europe, AusIsraeli activist groups, as well tralia, Canada and Japan to warn their as high-profile Israeli politicians governments that Pakistan or its cohave since 1987 been lobbying for vert agents were seeking nuclear Pollard’s release. Israeli Prime Min- material. Vance admitted that Paki-

News & Views

T

stan was motivated by concerns over historic rival India, which had already detonated a nuclear device in 1974. He had voiced alarm that “Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, before being deposed as prime minister in a coup, had said that Pakistan would share nuclear weapons around the Islamic world”. As regards Pakistan’s nuclear program, American leadership had turned a blind eye to Pakistan’s nuclear program when the Soviet forces had landed in Afghanistan in 1979, and it sought Pakistan’s support to force Soviet Union to withdraw its forces from Afghanistan. The United States had prepared a major assistance package for Pakistan as part of strategic partnership against the Soviets in Afghanistan. This proves that whenever America feels that its interest would be better looked after, it does not feel any qualms in supporting a military dictator. During this period, the close partnership forged between Pakistan and the U.S. helped the Afghans to resist Soviet occupation, eventually leading to the rollback of communism. In the same very year the Soviets were forced to retreat from Afghanistan; the Berlin war crumbled in Europe, which was a prelude to the demise of the Soviet Union. However, after the Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan, Pakistan was left on its own to face the consequences in the form of three million Afghan refugees, Kalashnikov culture and profusion of narcotics which spread from the uncontrolled areas of Afghanistan to parts of Pakistan. With the end of the Cold War, the US reevaluated and downgraded its relationship with Pakistan. The 1985 Pressler Amendment authorized banning most military and economic assistance to Pakistan, if an annual presidential determination was not given that Pakistan did not possess a nuclear device. Since the US needed Pakistan at the time, presidential de-

termination was given and aid continued to flow in. In May 1998, after Pakistan detonated nuclear devices in response to Indian tests, America imposed Nuclear Test Sanctions on Pakistan. President Bill Clinton imposed additional sanctions on Pakistan, invoking the 1994 Glenn Amendment. In October 1999, when Musharraf overthrew Nawaz government, US Congress invoked Section 508 of the Foreign Assistance Act, prohibiting all U.S. economic and military aid to Pakistan. It was only after 9/11 when the US sought Pakistan’s support in the war on terror that sanctions were lifted. In December 2004, Ackerman Amendment related to the Intelligence Authorization Act required the CIA, over a five-year period, to make annual reports to Congress about Pakistan’s nuclear activities, and counter-terror efforts. Last year, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen had expressed serious concerns about the security of Pakistani nuclear facilities amid growing militancy in the country. Indian defence Minister AK Antony had followed it up by saying: “Naturally it is a concern not only for us but for everybody.” What NATO chief had said was indeed reflective of a clearly-defined US policy, articulated by US Generals, think tanks, and some former members of US administration to prove that Pakistan government and the army cannot control the militants and Pakistani nukes, and terrorists might one day control nuclear assets. It is true that terrorists have attacked GHQ, Mehran Naval Base and Kamra Base, but they cannot defeat the most disciplined and strong military. —The writer is Lahore-based senior journalist.

Internal security & counterintelligence ternal security. For unity reasons, the protection of minorities and naintellectual asRana Athar Javed tional sets should be manEmail: ma_javed@hotmail.com aged at permanent basis because great deal of success of Pakistani society has been possible due to n recent decade, as the issues excellent contribution of every comof internal security confronting munity. Hence, coordinating at least Pakistan have become increas- in terms of improved collaboration ingly complex, reaching beyond the among the military, the political govinstability in Afghanistan, the mili- ernment and the people would entant networks in partnership with able respective authorities to realize illegal foreign intelligence entities the conceptual turnaround in this exhave grown greatly and danger- traordinary security situation. ously. Attacks on Pakistan Air A further problem of internal force’s bases located in major Pa- security can be mentioned in terms kistani cities including Karachi and of targeting crucial capacity of Peshawar are cases in point, as are healthcarepersonnel, and thereby the killing of paramedics who were engulfingthe internal social conflict involved in a polio vaccination with additional burden. Strong campaign under the auspices of the opinions about difference inbeliefs UN. On the core issues of internal and practices are being expressed security is the weapnization of Pa- in shape of killing, a trend that kistani society, the sources of which needs to be tackled through attenstill remain smuggling of weapons tion to “soft power” and counterfrom Afghanistan and, illegal weap- ing militant prism. Marshaling ideons factories in the border areas. ologies withnarrow interpretation However, the fundamental be- of religion hardly defends the true lief of general masses and political spirit behind coexistence of differleadership is that their people and ent faiths and sects in historically country are being targeted, and it Pakistani context. It is the weakness could not have happened without of civil society and religious- pothe considerable operational and litical quarters that they fail to profinancial support of major intelli- vide with “fresh” perspective on gence agencies of the tackling the issue of a balance soworld.Cultural, ethnic and religious cial behavior and national characdifferences further accentuate the ter of a Pakistani. “enemy’s objectives” of planning Military forces and other law an offensive intelligence operations enforcement agencies have been at including sabotage and target kill- the forefront of internal security ings of professionals, especially of crises, but based on the ground rethe Shia community has exacer- ality, a political ownership after a bated the ongoing problem of in- military operation is the only pos-

I

sible way to sustain effectiveness of a military operation. Since the current war on terror has greatly stressed the regular intelligence assessment procedures, it is highly important that the basic approach should now become a worst-case approach. From the internal security viewpoint, this means more planning, intra-agency cooperation and scientific approach to make serious inroads into strategic terrain of formulating impact analysis. Consequently, any renewed confrontation with terrorists and counterintelligence operations would provide a better and comprehensive forward approach and better result sheet for future thinking.Conversely, the political echelon often attend security meetings as they are coming for a visit, and therefore risk their credibility as true public leaders. Thus, speaking of a “partnership” between the political and military quarters too can play an important role, while chairing strategic dialogues with the United States, China and other countries. It is however entirely difficult tobuild similar capacity or understanding at every level of bureaucracy and diplomacy because vague approach of different political parties present extreme challenges for the incumbent governments to present realistic policy assessments. Prior to the 9/11 terrorist attacks and Afghan war, it was impossible to imagine that Pakistan would become the sole target of terror, although it advocates peace and stability program with India and other regional powers. In practice, the manufacturing of Pakistan’s image by its opponents holds insufficient evidence to support a conclusion that Pakistan is part of the problem.

Whether it is fighting or reconciliation with the Taliban, Pakistan conversely has been very functional, and thereby fully substantiates the “collective peace” dimension in the post-2014 period. On the other hand, the planning and appropriation of excessive tactical resources to subvert political and economic progress in Pakistan also demonstrates an intolerable level of interference of hostile forces in Pakistan.Hence, it is entirely crucial to strengthen the counterintelligence branch of Pakistan’s security services. Allocation of resources is needed to implement modern operational methods and approach to deactivate cells of terrorists. Despite mounting economic difficulties, preventing subversion and sabotage must become an important policy element of national security because mushroom growth of hardline approaches in dealing with every mundane social issue can hardly be expected to last for a long time, and hence the harming the broader project of national security. Ostensibly,“experts”, who regularly examinethe pattern of violence and its grey shades, realize that only focusing Afghanistan’s stability may well compound the complexities, rather would put more constraints on Pakmilitary and its security services. There is a strong belief, and has even become a legitimate criticism that there are not enough financial resources to install better and more modern team of experts to tackle the issue of internal security and capacity building. —The author is a Denmark-based National Security Expert and Defence Analyst.

he stroke suffered by Iraqi President Jalal Talabani is a cause for serious concern. The Iraqi government of Nuri Al-Maliki, a Shiite, has been sleepwalking back toward chaos and intercommunal strife. Since an arrest warrant was issued for deputy Vice President Tareq Al-Hashimi, a Sunni who then fled abroad, Al-Maliki has led national unity government in name only. As a result of what was seen as an attempt by Al-Maliki, to consolidate the Shiite hold on power, most leading Sunni politicians have been marginalized. The autonomous Kurdish region has meanwhile been going its own way, even to the extent of making exploration and production oil deals with foreign majors, without consulting the central government in Baghdad. A veteran politician, Talabani, as a Kurd, has been a powerful symbol of the aspiration for Iraqi unity. Indeed, some believe that had it not been for his influence, Iraq’s Kurdish region would have gone far further in its quest for greater, if not complete, independence. Had Iraq progressed any reasonable distance along the path of a pluralist democracy, within the constitution that voters backed overwhelmingly in 2005, Jalabani’s stroke would not be a problem. But now, if the president, who is 79, is incapacitated for a long period, as can often happen with strokes, or is even forced to relinquish office, then the prospects for Iraq are suddenly very uncertain. Some radical elements among Shiite politicians may see the aging president’s indisposition as a chance to expand their community’s power. If he has to be replaced, the new president will be chosen by a council made up of legislators. With Sunni politicians increasingly isolated from the political process and Kurdish legislators more interested in the future of their own region, it would seem almost inevitable that a new president would be a Shiite. This would, of course, harden the view among Sunnis that, in truth, the country no longer has a government of all the people. Deepening division will spell more trouble because it will play into the hands of the men of violence, the murderous thugs from Al-Qaeda. Yet ordinary Shiite’s should be just as concerned. A stable and prosperous Iraq can only come through unity, through an all-inclusive political process. It would be unwise to rejoice at Shiite domination, because this will actually imperil unity. Iraq has only taken a few hesitant steps away from the inter-communal bloodbath of the death squads. It will not need much provocation to plunge the country back into the savage chaos that followed the US-led invasion. Al-Maliki and his colleagues will therefore have betrayed the constitution and all Iraqis, because there is no victory if the country is divided. For those Shiites who, with Iranian encouragement, are thinking that payback time is fast approaching, for all the humiliations their community suffered under Saddam Hussein’s Sunni-dominated dictatorship, a terrible reality is waiting. It is probably not too late for the AlMaliki government to avert a new tragedy through a substantial change of direction. However, what is needed is a level of vision and statesmanship that has sadly been lacking so far during his premiership. His first big move would be to organize a pardon for Hashimi who, in September, was found guilty in absentia, of running death squads and sentenced to hang. Because Iraq never went down the route of truth and reconciliation, it may be necessary for a wider pardon to be granted to all those associated with death squads, with the exception of members of Al-Qaeda terrorists and die-hard elements of the old Baathist regime. Odious though this may be to decent Iraqis, it is not Iraq’s past that is the real issue here, but its future. Rehabilitating Hashimi would be a clear signal to the Sunni community and its leaders that they are still part of the political process. If Talabani dies or has to quit the presidency, choosing a Sunni or another Kurdish replacement, would keep balance in the administration. Thereafter there are the more mundane issues of governance that Al-Maliki has so far failed to tackle. Relations with the Kurds, especially over the question of international oil contracts, have to be restored. Meanwhile, the bureaucracy, corruption and tough contractual terms which are driving oil majors away from field in southern Iraq, sorted out. —Arab News The road of excess leads to the palace of Widsom William Blake —British poet


Impacts of US exit from Afghanistan Voice of the People Mohd Ishaq Begh Email: ishaqbeghkullar@gmail.com

T

he Afghanistan which kept bleeding in the deadliest civil war in earlier 90’s and then again in the present era, proved to be very fatal for the Pakistan. War on terror not only altered the ground situation of Afghanistan but also kept Pakistan in chaos. After declaring war on terror the USA found Pakistan as its close ally in the region. Pakistan’s involvement was its unavoidable compulsion besides its first and the last choice. Otherwise such a nuclear state would have been a second line victim. Despite providing support to the USA, Pakistan lost almost 50000 people in its own land. The well moving economy remained stagnant, faced intra provincial disparities, energy shortage etc. After almost a decade, Pakistan now regards USA as one of the major causes of the problem in its neighborhood and indeed within Pakistan. Instability in Afghanistan remained always a concern and head ache for the Pakistan because the internal and external policies got affected. The upcoming event, withdrawal of USA and NATO forces from Afghanistan in 2014 or much earlier as demand arises, will cer-

tainly involve the whole south Asian region in the intricacies, because many states are positioning themselves to attain their national interests. They want to fill the vacuum which will be left behind by the USA and its allies. It is not clear yet that how and up to what extent these regional actors will influence the future of Afghanistan. Conflict itself indicates that six nations other than US and its allies will get themselves engaged in the post withdrawal period and they are Pakistan, India, Iran, China, Saudi Arabia and Russia. By mentioning their hidden agenda and national interests, it will be easier to predict the fate of Afghanistan and the south Asian region. India is on its way to Afghanistan with a clear motto that (i) It has to prevent Afghanistan from becoming a safe heaven of terrorists. (ii) To counter the Pakistani influence in Afghanistan. (iii) Access to the raw material of Afghanistan for its own needs. (iv) Ending the use of militant outfits by Pakistan. (v) It will get engaged with the nationalist insurgency in Balochistan and (vii) definitely India will seek a reach to Gilgit Baltistan. Pakistan’s policy will be against the Indian interests without any doubt, because the stability of later depends upon the implementation of the policies of the former. Despite this Pakistan

has to save its own interests and maintain its stability. China has to enter with its interests and they may be access to Afghanistan’s raw materials, seek and provide a soft challenge to India, emerge as a power and to get rid of the US presence. Iran needs to work for the decrease in the US forces in Afghanistan, its main interests may be to counter the Taliban influence, expanding its economic ties with Afghanistan and India, safe borders with Pakistan, create close ties with Afghan government and to create a stable image in Afghanistan. Russia has to work for the maintenance of functional government in Afghanistan. It may create an environment to counter the US’s economic efforts in Afghanistan, avoiding long term presence of US in Afghanistan which may be a threat to its socialism and to breed the elements which were its obedient in the past. Saudi Arabia being a Muslim nation and a close ally of the USA, will work to promote itself as a unifier of Sunni community, avoiding Iran’s interference in Afghanistan’s affairs, mainly to maintain a status quo in the ongoing situation and to keep the relation with Pakistan as it is. These all national interests of these six nations along with others will predict the fate of Afghanistan and south Asia as their involvement with their agendas may pose a threat

to the regional stability, which is already on the powder keg. Ones interests are the concerns of other. India’s entrance with its interests may make its rivals (Pakistan and China) angry, because its all objectives contain some stiff elements for them. Its prime rival (Pakistan) will notice and feel the unavoidable threat, because Indian presence in may dilute its relations with Afghanistan. History is witness that Kashmir dispute (unresolved from 1947) will be a primary victim again because impending entrance of Pakistan and India in Afghanistan may improve their implacability. So it may not be wrong to mention that Afghanistan will prove itself as an escalator for Indo Pak relations. Being two stiff rivals in this volatile region and their involvement in Afghan crisis may be dangerous to the world peace and any untoward incident will prove disastrous for the humanity especially for the Kashmiris. Any bitterness in their relations has an adverse effect on the Kashmir issue because Kashmir remained the mother of all problems which these both nations are facing. Their involvement in Afghanistan should not create any further havoc as the possibility of a civil war in Afghanistan and a nuclear one in the region cannot be ignored.

Promoting culture of value addition Shafqat Rasool Email:shafqat_1797@yahoo.com

V

alue addition refers to the ad ditional value generated at a specific stage of production and marketing. Furthermore, a value chain is where all the actors in the chain operate in a manner that maximizes the generation of value along the chain. Value added agriculture is a process of increasing the economic value and consumer appeal of an agricultural commodity. It is an alternative production and marketing strategy that needs a better understanding of the rapidly changing food industry and food safety issues, consumer preferences and effective management. It may not be inferred that value addition means only the processing of a raw material in some form of canned foods. There are various ways of adding value to a commodity. In a country like Pakistan, the scope of value addition is astonishing for the reason of availability of raw materials as well as the large market size. In a marketing system of the value chain, farmers are linked to the needs of consumers in close collaboration with suppliers and processors to produce specific goods required by

consumers. Instead of focusing on the benefits of one or two links, players at all levels of the value chain can benefit. Well functioning value chains are said to be more efficient in bringing products to consumers and therefore all actors including small-scale producers and poor consumers should benefit from value chain development. Value chains are providing a good source of employment generation and poverty reduction. The poor people engage with value chains at a number of different nodes of the chain as workers and consumers as well as producers. Food processing involves any type of value addition to the agricultural produce starting at the post harvest level. The size of global processed food industry is estimated to value about US $3.5 trillion and accounts for three-fourth of the global food sales. Most of the the growth is taking place in developing countries viz. Eastern Europe, Asia and Asia-Pacific which are experiencing increase in population. The huge market in ASEAN countries alone with over 550 million people that depicts that there exists a vast potential. Despite its large size, only 6% of processed foods are traded across borders compared to 16% of major bulk agricultural commodities. The abil-

ity of food processors at industrial level depends entirely on the availability of raw materials. Pakistan is a major producer of commodity and industrial crops such as wheat, rice, sugarcane and oilseeds. Livestock and horticultural products are also important in agriculture sector and raw materials for further processing and export. High demand on the international market especially mangoes, apples, dates and citrus have 12% share in the agricultural value addition. Citrus and mango accounted for 48% of all fruits produced in Punjab. Balochistan provides the second largest amount of fruits mainly apples and dates. High post-harvest losses that account for 20-40% and only 3-5% is processed. Value-added products are jams, squashes and syrups etc. Livestock sector accounts for almost 50% of the GDP of agricultural value added and about 9.4% of total GDP. Net foreign exchange earnings from livestock products and by-products account for 11% of total export earnings of the country. Pakistan is probably one of the world least efficient users of livestock resources because of homebased slaughtering mechanism making inefficient use of the byproducts. Pakistan is the fifth largest producer of milk in the world

with annual production of 45 billion liters. Only 4-5% milk is processed. Poultry sector is an organized and vibrant segment of the agricultural industry of Pakistan. This sector generates employment for 11.55 M people. Poultry meat contributes 23.8% of total meat production in the counry. Meat sector is much disorganized in Pakistan although the local export potential exists and value-added products are gelatin and sausages. There are many obstacles to value addition in Pakistan as inadequate supply of inputs, inadequate safety standards, poor financial support, erratic inputs & poor artisan skills, poor technical choices and lack of innovation. In this context, there should be establishment of agro-processing training institutes and small food processing units at district level, revising Pakistani standards for food quality, improving process efficiency and decreasing losses and increasing links between industry and research organizations. So both public and private sectors must cooperate by sharing responsibilities and coordination. This in turn will lead to a situation in the country of prosperity for all stakeholders by ensuring food security and increasing income.

Views From Abroad

Bashar al Assad’s last stand! Hassan Barari

F

or a majority of observers, it is a matter of when and not if President Bashar Assad will fall. The failure of his war on his people cannot be more obvious. Even Farouq Shara, the Syrian vice president, confessed that winning the battle of Damascus militarily is next to impossible. If anything, the regime is moving fast off the cliff. From the get-go, Assad and his cohorts have taken a huge and risky gamble when they resorted to a security approach in dealing with the peaceful demonstrations. Hi bet that his security apparatuses would eventually crush the opposition proved wrong. The security apparatuses developed by his late father and the Russians and Iranian help have been inadequate to deal with this new type

of revolutions. Unsurprisingly, the war of attrition fought by the fighters has taken a huge toll on the regime itself. The army — which is being grounded down by endless battles — looks as if it is about to lose. In fact, it has lost the will to fight back as evident in the battle over the airport and in some neighborhoods in Damascus. There is no question that the fighters are gaining strength in weapons and men. More importantly, the fighters think and feel that a final victory is within reach. The unfolding situation begs the following question: Can the regime do anything to reverse the situation? No, is the answer. Over the months of the battle over Syria, both parties have been locked in a life or death battle. Each side has sought to survive and therefore there is no room for a political settlement that would allow Assad to stay in power even for a while. Some commentators fear

that Assad may resort to using chemical weapons to stave off a certain defeat. The running argument for many is that he has already killed tens of thousands of people thereof killing extra thousands would not be too much for someone who tries to avoid a fatal defeat at all costs. That said, it is clear that Assad will not survive a chemical attack on his opponents, as the international community will not allow this to take place. All in all, Assad is a doomed president. And yet, he is still in denial. He pledged to fight to his last bullet. In his words, “if I go, none of Syrian remains.” But this easier said than done. His close allies — Russia and Iran — are having a second thought about Assad himself. For instance, Iran — who has the staunch ally all along the revolution — has just presented a six-point plan to guarantee at least a future role in Syria. Although the Iranian initiative sug-

gests a political solution to the crisis, it is plagued with ambiguity particularly with regard to Assad himself. But implicit in the initiative is Iran’s readiness to accept the departure of Assad. The question then whether fighters will accept a role for Iran in the first place. This is unlikely to happen due to the widespread impression and perception among Syrian revolutionaries that Iran has helped the regime cracking down on them for almost two years. While Assad is in his last stand, his fraying alliance indicates that he is going to leave the political scene in the months to come. Regional powers and stakeholders in the conflict need to develop plans to identify ways of dealing with a proAssad Syria. The collapse of Assad regime may not lead to an automatic stability and a power vacuum may ensue.—Arab News

Fellowship in the park..!

F

elt a bit lazy this morning and drooled as stared at the adver tisement: A walk machine! All I had to do was place my still lazy feet on the machine without getting off the bed and the apparatus simulated walking movement while I went back to sleep! This was what I had been dreaming about for years, to exercise without effort. No more fighting sleep, as daylight forced its way into another day. No more searching for walking shoes in the dark.

No stretching! No warming up! No trying to keep up with young legs who made a mockery of my aged pair! No ankle ache after the first round! No thigh pain after the second! No sweaty T-shirts, sweaty beards, followed by unwanted cold water bath! Ah! This was ze life! Why had it taken so long for such machine, I thought dreamily. That was Ramesh who sometimes walked with me. I was surprised he was concerned about my tiredness. And then I thought of this morning. The walking down the stairs, the talking to the strays who waited outside with demonstrative greeting, “How was the night you little fellow?” “It was good Bob, there was this fly that bothered me, but then I shifted away from the garbage bin,

and things were fine!” “There you go!” I said and patted him and his other two friends as they scampered away. I walked to the park with a smile, “First round slow!” I told myself sternly, and looked with surprise at tiny new blue flowers that had come up overnight, a koel cried out from a tree, sparrows chirped pretending they were all early birds, “Stop that noise!” I told them sternly, “You’re disturbing the worms!” They chirped louder: Who said birds didn’t have a sense of humour? I felt a wave building up behind, it was the arrival of my dear friend Jose he came like an express and I knew my passenger train walk was over; he just took me along with him. I quickened my pace, my muscles

cried out, my legs murmured in mutiny but I pushed and two rounds later, I felt a calm in those same weary legs as they kept pace with those of my speeding companion. We talked as we did everyday: We argued, debated and were soon joined by the good doctor, a dermatologist; conversation shifted to skin. I passed other friends on the way and walked back home later flushed not just with the toil of walk, but with the joys of friendship, and fellowship with nature and God! I look at machine and turn away: No contraption can bless me with what I receive from my morning walk. It’s fellowship no machine can give..! —Email: bobsbanter@gmail.com

Rigging of elections BRIG (RETD) ASIF HAROON RAJA

G

oing through the political history of Pakistan, one is constrained to learn that till 1956 Pakistan was without a constitution and it banked upon Government of India Act as an interim instrument to govern the country. It cannot be denied that all elections held in Pakistan were rigged. The first ten-year political era suffered from so much of instability because of the miserable performance of the Muslim League, Awami League and NAP politicians that seven prime ministers changed hands and gave rise to bureaucratic-military oligarchy. The first generation politicians are responsible for laying down weak foundations of democracy. They didnt hold elections for they knew they would be bundled out by the electorates. Absence of elections stopped the process of pruning of the unscrupulous politicians and replacement by better ones. As a result, the same lot of base politicians plagued democracy and Pakistani politics. Owing to continually deteriorating conditions, President Iskandar Mirza sacked Feroz Khan Noons government on 7 October 1958, abrogated 1956 constitution, dissolved the parliament and provincial assemblies and declared martial law. Political parties were suspended. He appointed Gen Ayub Khan as prime minister on 27 October. Soldier turned bureaucrat, Mirza was firmly of the view that unless desired level of awareness and mass literacy was achieved whereby the common man could discern the value of his vote, his rights and true meaning of democracy, parliamentary form of government would not bring any tangible results. Gen Ayub Khan and his military colleagues shared his views that the system based on western democracy was ill-suited to the peoples psyche.After sacking Iskandar Mirza on 28 October 1958 and forcing him to fly out to London, Gen Ayub debarred 6000 politicians from taking part in politics or holding any office of responsibility under EBDO and introduced Basic Democracies as an alternative political system. He also promulgated new constitution in 1962, lifted martial law and took oath as president under the new constitution. Ban on political parties was lifted by him the same year. Politicians were unfettered from EBDO on the insistence of his blue eyed Foreign Minister ZA Bhutto who reverently called Ayub Daddy. Ganging up of the morally degenerated politicians, coupled with high ambitions of ZA Bhutto and Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to gain power together with mistakes made by Ayub to sack the two Governors, Nawab of Kalabagh and Lt Gen Azam Khan, and the economic impact of 1965 war cut Ayub Khan to size, led to his fall, thus putting an end to Ayubs golden era. —Via email

Altaf game-plan COL RIAZ JAFRI (R) Altaf Hussain has asked his ‘jialas’ not to throng the apex court on 7th of January and has thus provided them as well as himself with a face saving excuse. January in Islamabad is rather cold for the Karachiites to bear it easily. During the early 1960s when the capital was shifted from Karachi to Islamabad most Karachiites went running back to Karachi saying, “Baap re baap yehan to teen razai ka jada parta hai”. Also with the prevalent rail and air fares not many could have afforded to undertake the travel. Next, where would have the so called Pandra Lakh stayed and who would have paid for their board and lodge? As such there would have been hardly anyone venturing from Karachi to ‘throng’ the SC and it would have exposed badly the potent’s power over the masses. Altaf has, as such, played a master stroke of achieving two in one; avoid the embarrassment to himself of not being able to gather the millions to ‘throng’ the court and (two) yet show ‘benignantly’ to the court and the rulers of his respect for the judiciary but in actuality his ostensible hold over the masses of swaying them in any direction that he wants. Well done Altaf, you know the art of duping the masses and the rulers alike. —Rawalpindi

Apologies! For what? UROOJ RAZA I971 War has the worst calamity that a nation can ever confront. Bangladesh was created out of East Pakistan not by consensuses but through a bloody war. This separation wasn’t solely engineered by RAW, we also have to blame inapt leadership for the debacle. Political mistakes were committed. People were denied their rights and freedom they deserved. Lack of development in then East Pakistan and centralization of control and authority in West Pakistan rightly aggrieved Bengalis. These ills created the environment wherein separatist movement could be launched. To be realistic, though the grievances between the two wings of the country were pretty grave but these could have been bridged if India and her intelligence agency RAW wasn’t out there to accomplish its cherished desire of undoing Pakistan. Mukti Bahini were created through the help of RAW to engage, restrict and if possible neutralize Pakistan Army. In the process they created an unprecedented mayhem by killing West Pakistanis and creating law and order situation that was difficult to manage especially once 50,000 troops available were widely dispersed. In spite of these odds Army did a good job by containing Mukti Bahinis to a great extent. The notion that Bangladesh was created as a result of a popular nationalist movement suits both Bangladesh Government and India. For Bengalis it fosters nationalism and for Indians it conceals the excesses they committed in dismantling Pakistan. This perception has been shattered by Sharmils Bose in her book, “Dead Reckoning: Memories of the 1971 Bengladesh War.” She has categorically negated the myth of Bangladeshi nationalism. The whole movement was spearheaded by Mukti Bahinis and supported by weapons, ammunition and finances provided by RAW. She has written in an article that the dominant part of narrative on the subject provided by India seems to be untrue, “many facts had been exaggerated, fabricated, distorted or concealed.” This also includes

stories of rape and killings associated with Pakistani troops. While deployed on such wide frontages and being engaged in intense combat how it could have been possible for them to commit such heinous crimes and at such a large scale as is ascribed to them. Pakistan is a country with immense potential. It is endowed with enormous amount of natural resources, vast planes of arable land and with industrious, talented and resilient manpower. But unfortunately it is infected by ills like corruption, and nepotism, etc. Long term interests of the country and its people are often relegated for petty and immediate gains. That has eroded the fiber of the nation from within. Today Pakistan in spite of being a reckonable nuclear power and having one of the most dedicated Armed Forces in the world is considered weak. It is our internal weakness that has encouraged Bangladesh to demand apology. History stands testament that truth has always prevailed. Concocted stories and fabricated claims get exposed sooner or later. The same is true for the conduct of Pakistan Armed Forces during 1971 war. Impartial researchers have vindicated Pak-Army of all charges leveled to tarnish its image. So, there is no question of apology. —Via email

New dimension MALIK SHAHAN ASLAM EhsanullahAhsan, Spokesperson TTP while claiming responsibility of attack on KAMRA PAF AIR BASE few months back. said, “Taliban can attack at will and will also target other locations” .Linking same outburst of TTP with recent Peshawar PAF AIRBASE attack its quite different in sense of operation against security forces . The fact remains same the Civil and Military law enforcement agencies have failed to tackle these type of attacks but the imperatives in this recent attack is the involvement of foreign fighters with Pakistan militants. The new dimension here is that TTP today audaciously uses the services of foreign funded fighters to attack the officials and most diligent resources of the state. Today Pakistan after Peshawar attack is experiencing an alarming situation because of the beginning of involvement of foreign militants in attacks of TTP. This was perceived by highlighting the demonic tattoos. These demonic tattoos and infiltration of foreign elements in TTP show that they all are making the concept of TTP’S Jihad in question . Government should emphasize on this situation to save Pakistan. Proper measures should be taken to prevent further such perilous attacks. —Via email

Never ending agony RIZWAN JAMIL JAFFERY Terrorism seems to become a never ending agony for the people of Pakistan. Nobody seems to be safe from its cluches, even those who go out of way to help others. Working on minimum wages per day, polio vaccinators were brutally murdered in different parts of city. Medical practionars who are known as “maseeha” for saving others life cannot even guarantee their own now. Workers who were killed trying to save children from Polio never knew their lives would end in such a trafic way. Polio, a disease which can devastate a person’s life forever is feared globally. High level measures are taken to prevent this disease throughout the world. But here in Pakistan those who take measures to stop this disease get killed. The widespread of terrorism has worsened to the extant that we can’t do business, we can’t do social work, we can’t perform religious cer-

emonies, we can’t live we can’t breathe, we can’t do anything and now we can’t even save others lives. To set an example in order to avoid such heinous acts government should immediately apprehend the criminals and take strict action against them so that one must think thousand times before commiting this crime. May Allah give them strength to bear in this time to those who lost their loved ones. —Karachi

Our blinkered vision S R H HASHMI Reading Col Riaz Jafri’s (R) letter ‘Altaf and Contempt’ (Dec.19) dealing with contempt notice issued by Supreme Court to Altaf Hussain, and asking him to appear before the court in person on the 7th of January, 2013. I thought I may as well place my views on record. In his letter, the writer has clearly indicated that Altaf Hussain won’t come or rather can’t come to Pakistan and he has given his reasons for that. He has also stated right in the beginning “Though the apex court was justified in serving the contempt of court notice to the MQM leader Altaf Hussain, yet it should have taken stock of the potential problem that the potent could create and given him the option to respond to the notice either in person or through an attorney, instead of asking him to appear physically in the court on 7th January 2013.” I remember an incident long time back when I was a young man, working in a private firm. Just before Ramzan, the management was working out timing for the holy month. In fact the General Manager had already worked it out: starting early, closing early, with shortened working hours and no break in between, and he only wanted the Director’s approval for it. I also happened to be sitting there and pointed out that those observing fast will need a prayer break while the other gentry with lesser religious inclinations will require lunch break. The GM said that people will take some time off anyway at which I said that when you know they will take time off, it will be better to provide for it officially instead of leaving the ‘initiative’ with the employees who will suit themselves, selecting their own time and thus create indiscipline and confusion. The Director backed me and asked GM to provide for a break. The morale of the story is that while those in authority have a duty to maintain law and order, they have an even greater duty to ensure avoidance of situations that could give rise to law and order problems. The basic principle involved is that legal directions must be clear-cut, not leaving much to imagination, leading various parties to interpret it their way. Another thing that would not escape any serious observer is that we are much more than a bit confused about our priorities and usually get them wrong, fretting over relatively minor issues while completely ignoring very grave matters. We also seem to have the simplicity and innocence of a child’s mind, busy frolicking, completely oblivious of serious dangers lurking around, and are unprepared to make the slightest of modification in our behaviour despite having faced very serious setbacks in the past due to our, should I say irresponsible conduct, which is about the mildest term I could think of to describe our standard behaviour. —Karachi

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

—Editor Email:editorial@pakobserver.net


Could South Korea “Save” America’s Relations with Pakistan? rea in the 1980s and mushroomed during George W. Bush’s first term, when over 30% of Koreans supported an autonomous national security policy. Opposition to an alliance with the United States was much higher among youth in their 20s and

ARIF RAFIQ

W

ships. Pakistani suspicions of the U.S. go back decades, but opposition to America took on a new, more strident form in the years after 9/11. As in South Korea, urban middle and upper-middle class Pakistanis have felt that Washington has been forc-

gest backers were the urban youth, who today largely support Imran Khan, the nationalist politician who has railed against the war on terror. Khan, much like the Korean unificationists, calls for talks, not continued war, with the Taliban. Like young South Koreans over the past decade, Pakistanis today deeply resent the presence of U.S. security personnel in their country. The case of Raymond Davis, a CIA security officer who killed two Pakistanis and was never punished for his actions, compounded the Pakistani belief that U.S. security forces operate with impunity inside Pakistan. And it was soon followed by the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, not to mention the perpetual drone strikes. The comparison of Pakistan with South Korea is imperfect. Pakistan is riddled with religious extremism, poverty, and corruption, its military remains wedded to using jihadists as an instrument of policy, and it is decades away from achieving the educational, economic, and social progress of South Korea. Nonetheless, there are lessons from America’s South Korean experience that can be applied to improving ties with Pakistan. Washington must internalize the reality of the generational change that is happening in Pakistan and keep in mind the long view. Much like South Korea’s 3-8-6 generation, Pakistan has its own 2-8-9 generation: young men and women in their twenties, born in the 1980s, whose worldview has been shaped by the post-9/11 era as well as the preceding decade, marked by U.S. abandonment of Pakistan and failed governance. Nearly 70% of Pakistanis are below the age of thirty. With a population size of over 176 million people, Pakistani youth number well over 100 million. Given Pakistan’s youth bulge, its 2-8-9 generation will play a pivotal rule in its future. Fulbright scholarships, fellowships for journalists, and networking with social media activists are valuable investments Washington has made in Pakistan in recent years. But these efforts are just drops in the bucket and are overshadowed by the direct and indirect U.S. impact on Pakistan’s security. Pakistanis

HILE imperfect, America’s experi ence with South Korea could provide important lessons on how to develop stronger ties with Pakistan. It might be difficult to overestimate the iniquitousness of Korean pop star Psy’s hit single “Gangnam Style.” From supermarkets in the United States to cricket matches in South Asia, “Gangnam Style” has been played and imitated a countless number of times. In an era of viral media, the song has proved to be a cultural epidemic. “Gangnam Style,” though criticizing materialism in contemporary Korean society, is in many ways the de-facto theme song for Brand Korea, whose exports were once seen as second-rate, but now is giving its Japanese and American competitors a run for their money. Hyundai, Samsung, and K-Pop all signal the emergence of corporate Korea on the world stage. It is a transition that perhaps began with the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, but is reaching new heights today. Americans were shocked to learn this month that Psy took part in anti-U.S. rallies in 2002 and 2004 and, in the latter incident, sang lyrics from another Korean band that exhorted his countrymen to “Kill those Yankees.” Not only is the anti-Americanism virulent, but, more generally, the expressly political nature of the lyrics is glaring. Psy contradicts the American stereotype of the apolitical, business or fun-only Asian. But beyond this stereotype, what the shock in the U.S. points toward is an unfortunate American tone-deafness toward the politics especially the politics at the sub-elite level of other countries. Americans were largely unaware of the context of Psy’s past statements (for which he has since apologized). In the 2002 incident, he sang the antiAmerican lyrics in the midst of an anti-American Could South Korea “Save” America's Relations with Pakistan? phase in South Korea, sparked by the killing of two young Korean girls whom they overran with 30s. Psy, who attended Boston University and the ing Pakistanis to fight one another through the war their armored vehicle. They were later acquitted Berkley College of Music, was representative of on terror. Pakistan too witnessed a democratic by a U.S. military tribunal. This anti-American With an eye on the long term, regional peace and economic prosperity achieved through strong bilateral coopfever was also the byproduct of generational change in South Korea. The so-called 3-8-6 generation might salvage a fledgling partnership and prevent the U.S. from losing an entire generation of Pakistanis. eration in the 1990s resented U.S. support for miliopening in 2007 while Washington was support- tend to see Washington as the principal contributor tary dictators and saw it as the agent behind the this population segment. South Korea’s anti-American spell bears an ing a military ruler. It was precipitated by a civil to Pakistan’s instability and the loss of tens of thouseparation of the two Koreas, keeping two brothers at war. They were angered by the great latitude uncanny resemblance to the current wave of op- society movement led by lawyers and the middle sands of lives since 2001. Those sentiments as reposition to the U.S. in Pakistan, with which class, and enabled the return of its two major ci- ductionist as they are will likely prevail as long as given to U.S. forces during military rule. These sentiments grew as the third wave hit South Ko- America has one of its most problematic partner- vilian politicians. Among the movement’s stron- Pakistan and its next generation of politicians, jour-

Born on the Seventh Floor DOUGLAS BRINKLEY

J

OHN Kerry is about to get the sec retary of state job he was always meant to have. With a little prodding, Sen. John Kerry once reluctantly showed me his childhood passport. It was tattooed with border crossing stamps from almost all the Western European countries. From 1951 to 1954, his father Richard

Kerry, a career Foreign Service officer, worked as an attorney for what was then called the Bureau of United Nations in the State Department. But when John was 10 years old, Richard Kerry was assigned to Berlin to serve as legal advisor at the U.S. mission in the divided German city. From that Cold War outpost base, young John was taken sailing by his father across the vast fjords of Norway. He wandered the beaches of Normandy collecting shell casings from D-Day. He studied history and learned languages in a Swiss boarding school among the sons and daughters of other American diplomats. But young John’s most memorable experiences came as a Cold War kid in a Berlin divided between East and West, split between democracy and communism, watching allied American, British, and French troops guarding their own sectors of the city. On one occasion, Kerry mischievously rode his bicycle into Soviet East Berlin, where he saw starkly just how polarized daily life was on sides of the city, from the fear of those living under the yoke of communist oppression to the gratitude and goodwill toward an America that had liberated a former enemy. Kerry recalled vividly sitting on a train watching an American officer who had the diplomatic pouch handcuffed to his wrist. Along with the crowd deboarding the military train, Kerry stood

at attention as an Army band played patriotic tunes. His heroes back then were — naturally — the names he heard around the dinner table: President Dwight Eisenhower, and diplomats George Kennan, Dean Acheson, and George Marshall. His passport had him at 4 foot 3 inches tall. By the time Kerry enlisted to serve in the Vietnam war in 1966, he was 6 foot four and conversant in five languages. Like

his father, he was attracted to the world of diplomacy. Because he was a student at Yale University, he perhaps could have finagled out of the draft. But Kerry was raised to be a public servant. He and his closest classmates — including future Ambassador David Thorne, the future founder of Federal Express Fred Smith, and the grandson of General “Black Jack”

lieutenant in South Vietnam, Kerry was wounded, awarded three Purple Hearts, while probing enemy strongholds and sanctuaries in and about the river mouths, inlets, caves and canals of coastal Asia. He was awarded both the Silver Star and Bronze Star with Combat V for valor and meritorious action in combat. In 1969, Kerry came back to the United States, where he served as an admiral’s aide in New York. But he continued to be troubled by the war and haunted by the deaths of close friends. He felt compelled to speak out as an activist an activist disillusioned by the widening of the war into Cambodia, questioning the strategy of American military intervention in Southeast Asia in general. For Kerry, it was an at times uneasy plunge into the antiwar movement. He was uncomfortable with the radicalism of some, or the broader agenda others crusaded for. Still shaped by his own childhood experiences, Kerry was not a pacifist or a doubter of America’s ability to make a difference in the world or of the occasional necessity to use force. Diplomat Richard Holbrooke would later describe Kerry as “an eloquent but moderate member of the anti-war movement.” Kerry’s best-known moments came as an eloquent spokesman for Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW), a group whose singular mission was to end U.S. military involvement in Southeast Asia. Famously, he testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on April 22, 1971 asking; “How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?” But

Kerry’s life had come full circle. Inside the Senate, the former outsider at times bristled inside clubby Washington. Unusual for a Senator, let alone a freshman, he gravitated toward difficult foreign-policy assignments. Pershing together pledged to join the military. Pershing would never return from the war. Kerry chose the Navy because of his interest in all things nautical. From 1966 to 1970, he served on the guided-missile frigate USS Gridley, spending time in the Gulf of Tonkin in North Vietnam, at Subic Bay in the Philippines, and in Wellington, New Zealand. Later, he reported for duty to Coastal Squadron 1 of Cam Ranh Bay, South Vietnam, the strategic nerve center for the U.S. Navy’s MarketTime anti-infiltration operations, which since 1965 had searched half a million vessels. He’d been attracted to the squadron’s small boats because they offered a young officer the chance for a command. As a Swift boat

in that very testimony, Kerry offered other powerful observations about a war he felt had gone off course, including his disenchantment over the absurdity that “American lives are lost so that we can ... Vietnamize the Vietnamese.” Many others in VVAW hated the war passionately. Kerry, though, seemed to be probing deeper questions about a foreign- policy strategy he found unsustainable and a poor use of American power and influence. It was Vietnam both his battlefield heroism and anti-war dissent that brought Kerry to the nation’s attention, and it was also Vietnam that doomed his first run for Congress in 1972 in Lowell, Massachusetts. —Courtesy FP

nalists, and military officers witnesses high levels of violence. President Obama has been keen on developing a relationship among equals with Seoul. Toward this, he has visited South Korea three times and is encouraging its leadership to think about big picture issues such as nuclear security and global economy a paradigm he has dubbed “Global Korea.” Similarly, Washington can try to help make Islamabad a responsible actor in its own backyard, yielding dividends for Pakistanis, as well as Americans and Afghans. The White House should give full backing to joint Pakistani and Afghan efforts to achieve a broad-based political settlement with Afghan insurgents. Efforts by some Beltway actors to work around this process or even derail it will only result in greater Pakistani intransigence and greater danger from militants in the region. Washington should exercise strategic patience and wholeheartedly support civilian democracy in Pakistan as it did with South Korea. Pakistan’s democrats must not be abandoned once the U.S. leaves Afghanistan. Next year’s elections could bring in a center-right coalition in Islamabad. It is important for Washington to be able to anticipate a difficult balancing act as a center-right party might have to contend with the United States on the one hand, and more conservative or even Islamist coalition partners on the other. And at the same time, the Obama administration should determine internally the red lines for what it will tolerate. A center-right coalition in Islamabad is more likely than the present government to pursue efforts for economic and governance reform. Washington should give its full moral and technical backing to such efforts by rewarding legitimate anti-corruption measures, improvement in income tax collection, and by extending preferential market access to Pakistani exports. After a disastrous 2011, the U.S.-Pakistan relationship has taken a turn for the better this year. With an eye on the long term, regional peace and economic prosperity achieved through strong bilateral cooperation might salvage a fledgling partnership and prevent the U.S. from losing an entire generation of Pakistanis. Arif Rafiq is an adjunct scholar at the Middle East Institute and president of Vizier Consulting, LLC, which provides strategic guidance on Middle East and South Asian political and security issues. He tweets at: @arifcrafiq. —Courtesy : TD

Buy back guns, boost the economy MATT MILLER

E

VERYONE knows we need to reduce gun violence in America. Everyone knows we still need to boost the economy, too. Usually these goals are debated in completely different policy silos. But what if there was a way to boost the economy and shrink gun violence? Wouldn’t that be the holy grail at this hour? Might that not answer the president’s call for new ideas? Allow me to propose a massive, debt-financed gun buyback program. Here’s the case for it. Critics of fresh gun-safety measures argue that laws pushed at moments like this won’t make a dent in gun violence. Banning assault weapons, limiting magazine capacity or closing backgroundcheck loopholes, we’re told, do nothing about the estimated 250 million guns already in private hands. The gun lobby is surely wrong to suggest that the measures above won’t save some lives. If Aurora shooter James Holmes hadn’t had an assault rifle and high-capacity clips, for example, far fewer people than 70 would have been killed or injured that awful night. But the gun lobby is right about the existing stock of weapons. The 12,000 Americans murdered with guns every year are killed with guns already out there. The right response isn’t to shrug and say we’re powerless. If we’re serious, we need to think bigger. A gun buyback program could be the way. Usually these efforts are local and tiny. Last Saturday, in Oakland and San Francisco, nearly 600 handguns and rifles were collected at $200 each, no questions asked. They’ll be melted down and turned into stop signs, light posts and park benches. The program was funded, the Oakland Tribune reported, by nonprofit groups and a private donor. This past Mother’s Day, a buyback program in Los Angeles brought in 1,650 guns, each in exchange for a prepaid Visa or grocery-store card of up to $200, depending on the gun. Police departments in the District, New York, Detroit, Boston, Baltimore and elsewhere have organized such buybacks, often partnering with churches in communities devastated by gun violence. Each of these buybacks has been small. But the only limit to their scale is our imagination. Australia’s experience shows what it looks like when you aim high. In 1996, after a horrific mass killing of 35 people at a resort in Tasmania,

Australian politicians came together around a major reform. The “National Firearms Agreement,” reached within two weeks of that tragedy, banned semi-automatic and automatic rifles and shotguns, and it created a compulsory buyback program for the outlawed weapons. (To do

achieve public policy goals is a time-honored American tradition; we do it every day with Medicare drug benefits and defense contractors, to name just two. So imagine a $100 billion, one-time program aimed at buying back 200 million firearms at $500 a pop. We issue the

otherwise would have amounted to a taking of property without compensation.) The result? The number of homicides involving firearms has dropped 59 percent in Australia since then, and the number of suicides by firearm fell by 74 percent,

payments in prepaid credit cards that expire in three months (good thinking, Los Angeles!) to be sure the money is spent fast. Presto! So long as the federal money is borrowed, we get an immediate boost to demand, jobs and growth. And with

If we don’t, and this window of opportunity closes, we’ll end up (at best) with symbolic “first steps” that our leaders pretend are serious but which will only doom Americans to more blood and tears. according to the Journal of Law and Economics. The percentage of homes with guns has dropped in half. A Harvard study found that, while Australia experienced 13 gun massacres in the 18 years before 1996, there has been none since. The government purchased and destroyed 700,000 weapons between 1996 and 1998 – about one-fifth of Australia’s estimated stock of firearms. That would be like destroying 50 million guns in America today. The Australian “outlaw and repurchase” option is one approach. But if Congress balks at banning certain weapons entirely, there’s an all-American answer: Make gun owners an offer they can’t refuse. Instead of a measly $200 a gun, Uncle Sam might offer $500. After all, overpaying powerful constituencies to

long-term interest rates at all-time lows, there’s never been a better time for the feds to overpay gun owners and get these weapons out of circulation. The president can even pitch selling a gun to Uncle Sam as a patriotic act part of a national rethinking of our gun culture in the wake of Newtown. If you think a gun buyback stimulus sounds beyond the pale, it’s only because you’ve been conditioned to live with a pinched view of what’s possible. Which is really more outlandish: my gun buyback stimulus, or the self-inflicted recession Washington is working overtime to uninflict? The only idea that is truly bonkers is to think we’re helpless to reverse the carnage that just claimed its most innocent victims yet. —Courtesy - Washington Post

Al-Qaeda grows powerful in Syria

H

AVING seen its star wane in Iraq, al Qaeda has staged a comeback in neighbouring Syria, posing a dilemma for the opposition fighting to remove President Bashar al-Assad and making the West balk at military backing for the revolt. The rise of al Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, al-Nusra Front, which the United States designated a terrorist organisation last week, could usher in a long and deadly confrontation with the West, and perhaps Israel. Inside Syria, the group is exploiting a widening sectarian rift to recruit Sunnis who saw themselves as disenfranchised by Assad’s Alawite minority, an offshoot of Shi’ite Islam that dominates Syria’s power and security structures. Al-Nusra appears to have gained popularity in a country that has turned more religious as the uprising, mainly among Sunni Muslims, has been met with increasing force by authorities. It has claimed responsibility for spectacular and deadly bombings in Damascus and Aleppo, and its fighters have joined other rebel brigades in attacks on

Assad’s forces. According to Site Intelligence group, Nusra claimed responsibility in one day alone last month for 45 attacks in Damascus, Deraa, Hama and Homs provinces that reportedly killed dozens, including 60 in a single suicide bombing. “In 18 communiqués issued on jihadist forums ... most of which contain pictures of the attacks, the alNusra Front claimed ambushes, assassinations, bombings and raids against Syrian security forces and ‘shabbiha’, pro-Bashar al-Assad thugs,” Site said. Members of the group interviewed by Reuters say al-Nusra aims to revive the Islamic Caliphate, which dates back to the Prophet Mohammad’s seventh century companions, forerunners of the large empire that once stretched into Europe. That prospect alarms many in Syria, from minority Christians, Alawites and Shi’ites to traditionally conservative but tolerant Sunni Muslims who are concerned that al-Nusra would try to impose Taliban-style rule. Fear of religion-based repression has already prompted Kurds to barricade

their quarter of Aleppo city and was behind fierce clashes between Kurdish and al-Nusra fighters in the border town of Ras al Ain in November. The ideas of al-Nusra are also at odds with a new Syrian opposition coalition that was recognized last week by dozens of countries as an alternative to Assad and is committed to establishing a democratic alternative to Assad’s rule. Omar, a 25-year-old university graduate and former army conscript, said he deserted and joined al-Nusra in reaction to repression he experienced as a Sunni from Alawite officers who all but monopolize the army’s higher echelons. Prior to the revolt, Omar said he had sympathized quietly with Hizb ut-Tahrir, an Islamic international party with a vision for the restoration of the Islamic caliphate abolished by the secular Turkish strongman Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in 1924. “Prayer in the army is banned, and if they suspected that you pray they would send you to the most remote posts,” Omar said by phone from a rural area near Aleppo city. “Our aim is to depose

Assad, defend our people against the military crackdown and build the caliphate. Many in the Free Syrian Army have ideas like us and want an Islamic state.” “We and other Islamists have gained a reputation as being able to hold our own in battle. Lots of people want to join Nusra, but we do not have enough weapons to supply all of them.” But a woman teacher, who lives in the central Mogambo district of Aleppo, said Nusra’s thinking was abhorrent. “Al-Nusra thinks that by shouting Allahu Akbar (God is Greatest) they can justify anything they do. We did not rise up to move from the humiliation from being under Assad to the humiliation of being under al Qaeda,” she said. Opposition sources said many Syrians who facilitated the transfer of jihadis from Syria to al Qaeda in Iraq at the height of its campaign against U.S. forces there were now fighting for Nusra, while jihadis in Iraq had reversed their roles, arranging for transfer of personnel and bomb-making know-how into Syria. The source of Nusra funding is unclear,

though that, too, may come from Iraq. Ibrahim, another young Nusra member in Idlib province, said he was imprisoned in the notorious Sednaya prison north of Damascus, where 170 mainly Islamist prisoners were killed after the army put down a mutiny in 2007. “We want revenge,” he said. Asked about a U.S. statement that Nusra operations were killing many civilians, Ibrahim said it was an exaggeration. “A bomb goes off in front of a security compound with four cars full of shabbiha in civilian clothes guarding it. The shabbiha die and state media says they were civilian. Only their clothes are civilian,” he said. Several videos have appeared on the Internet in recent weeks purportedly showing al-Nusralinked rebels shooting and in some instances beheading captured Assad soldiers. But al-Nusra still appears to have wide support. Video footage on Friday showed crowds in southern Syria, the birthplace of the revolt, denouncing the U.S. designation of the group as terrorists and shouting “alNusra front protects us”. —Reuters


Pagaro: Mahmood From Page 1 Punjab governorship in line with the will of his late father who wished to see the PML-F dissident become a governor. “He (Mahmood) told me this was his father’s will, so I kept quite,” said Pir Pagaro. Flanked by Jhangir Train of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI), the PML-F leader said Mahmood, his first cousin, had come to him hardly an hour before his scheduled meeting with President Zardari on Thursday. “He came to me just to inform me of the decision he had already made. It was not a consultation,” said the spiritual leader. “He told me about Zardari’s offer and that he had accepted the offer,” the PML-F leader said. Declaring that his anti-PPP stance in Sindh would continue with allied friends, the PML-F

leader said he had tried to persuade his “cousin”, Mahmood, not to ruin his political career by accepting the governorship offer, but in vain. “He said he wanted to retire now as his sons were there to shoulder his political activities,” said Pir Pagaro, who believes that “governorship would be of no use for Mahmood”. “He seemed to have come to me after making his mind. So how can you stop a person who is firm on going,” said Pir Pagaro. Most important, according to the PML-F leader, was the fact that the PPP was making governor of a person who was completely unknown to the ruling party’s workers and vice versa. “He as a Punjab governor would leg behind even Khosa (sitting Punjab governor),” claimed the Hur leader.

A silent revolution From Page 1

Asked if he was seeing more such detractions, Pir Pagaro said how many offices were left with the PPP to be offered to his party workers. “In Sindh they should replace all of their portfolios with us,” he ridiculed. To a question, Jehangir Train of PTI said PMNL-F had emerged as a major political force in Sindh by taking an anti-PPP stand. “No political party would accept any interim set up that could manipulate the elections,” the PTI leader replied when asked if he thought developments like that of Mahmood were aimed by the ruling PPP at introducing a favourable interim setup before general election. Pir Pagaro told a questioner that his party leaders might be in contact with the PPP in personal capacity but not politically.

PM asks From Page 1 ings,” he added. In a candid speech, the Prime Minister asked the media, particularly the news channels, to even cut out parts, in which speakers vent their views against Pakistan. The Prime Minister urged all the political parties to join hands for the progress and prosperity of the country and face the challenges with unity. He said that the government took difficult decisions to face the challenges in 2008 and the country was now making progress in all fields. He said that Pakistan, being a nuclear power and a determined nation, would foil the desperate attempts of a few people to malign the religion and the country. He said that Malala Yousafzai had emerged as a beacon of light against a mindset, which would not be able to succeed in its nefarious designs. The Prime Minister said that Pakistan, which was importing wheat in 2008 when the PPP took over the government, had now become a wheat-exporting country. He said that the PPP-led coalition government had increased the support price of wheat that helped the farmers to grow more crop and today the country had its sufficient stocks. Highlighting the political awareness among the people, the Prime Minister said that the common man was fully aware about the country’s politics and understood the political changes. Referring to various achievements of the government in the last four and a half years, he said that besides taking steps for the welfare of the farmers, workers and peasants, the government increased the salaries of government servants by 150 per cent. Earlier Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira handed over the book to the Prime Minister. —APP

dent judiciary and vibrant media all this was manifestation of a silent revolution. Mr. Zahid Malik disclosed that he was working on a mechanism to ensure that decisionmaking in Islamabad should necessarily take the input of the leadership of Overseas Pakistanis in matters pertaining to their wellbeing. He informed that his newspaper was also doing necessary paperwork for publishing a book on 101 outstanding Overseas Pakistanis who have made Pakistan proud. Mr. Malik paid rich tributes to HM Sultan Qaboos bin Said whom he described as a role model ruler and whose peoplefriendly fast-moving development policies and friction-free Foreign Policy have carved out a position of unique respectability for him in the comity of nations. The visiting Editor was of the view that the real essence of a democratic society was to develop a say of the people in the State matters. In this regard, Mr. Malik explained, Oman was a true and real democratic State. He advised the Pakistani expatriates in Oman to serve Oman having faith in the fact that to serve the Sultanate was tantamount to serving Pakistan.

Christmas security to be beefed up STAFF REPORTER LAHORE—Punjab police will further enhance security and strengthen round-the-clock patrolling in and around all churches on the occasion of Christmas. Inspector General of Police Punjab,Haji Muhammad Habib Ur Rehman told media persons here Friday that he had directed all CCPOs, CPOs RPOs, DPOs and SDPOs throughout the province to remain high alert and ensure foolproof security in their respective areas. He directed police officers to take effective precautionary measures, especially in crowded public places, to prevent incidents of terrorism and subversion and ordered deployment of plain clothes police where necessary. The IG ordered intensified patrolling around railway stations, bus terminals, bus stops, markets, cinema halls, hotels, mosques, Imambargahs and other important places of big cities.Haji Muhammad Habib Ur Rehman urged the people to cooperate with the police in this regard, saying that in case they find any unclaimed object or see a suspicious person or shady activity they must immediately inform police emergency and Rescue 15 to prevent any untoward incident.

Katchi Abadi residents get ownership rights

John Kerry new US Secretary of State

From Page 1

policy hand and former presidential candidate, as his next secretary of state on Friday, a US official told AFP. Kerry, the head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is expected to win easy confirmation from his colleagues in the chamber, and is a well known figure on the world stage. The Massachusetts senator has rehabilitated his career since narrowly losing the 2004 presidential race to president George W. Bush, after a campaign that included savage attacks on his career as a swift boat commander in Vietnam. Kerry’s appointment was seen as almost a certainty after UN ambassador Susan Rice pulled out of the running for the job, over Republican attacks on her role in the aftermath of the assault on the US consulate in Benghazi. The Massachusetts senator played an important role in Obama’s political career, notably by picking him to give the keynote speech in the 2004 Democratic convention, at which the then unknown Illinois lawmaker burst onto the political scene. Kerry also played Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in mock debates staged by the president’s team ahead of Obama’s successful re-election effort in November. Clinton has said she wished to step down after Obama begins his second term in office next month and her replacement is confirmed.—AFP

ered and improve his living standard, and ownership rights to the residents of katchi abadies is a part of this process. He said ownership rights were earlier given only in cities but now first time residents of katchi abadies in rural areas have also been included in this process. He said that the ownership rights of 35 thousand and 640 acres of land will be given to the residents under the Katchi Abadies Regularization Scheme 2012. He said the Katchi Abadies Department is already taking steps for the provision of all necessities of life in the katchi abadies and now the Punjab government will provide more facilities in such

abadies. The Chief Minister also announced that no fee will be taken from widows and orphans during the process of giving ownership rights to katchi abadies and they will be given ownership rights free of cost. He said that from other people Rs.172 per marla fee will be charged. He said that the residents of those katchi abadies who had been given ownership rights earlier and for them, the last date for depositing outstanding dues has been extended till June 30, 2013 so that they could get ownership rights after paying dues. Mentioning the steps taken for providing houses to the people belonging to low income class. He said that besides the comple-

tion of revolutionary projects of the Punjab government like Ashiyana Scsheme, Jinnah Abadies, Labour Colonies, Model Villages, the agriculture land has been distributed among law graduates. He said the purpose of green tractors and yellow cab schemes is to enable the common men to stand on their own feet. He said besides Lahore, the Ashiyana Housing Scheme having modern facilities has been launched in five other districts of the province and the common man is being provided modern residential facilities. He said these schemes have been given legal cover and no government in the future will end these projects.

No casualties on Mayan ‘doomsday’ From Page 1 about the failure of the world to end. In the southern French village of Bugarach — rumoured to be one of the few places that will be spared when the end comes — dozens of journalists from across the world were bitterly disappointed at the lack of New Age fanatics to interview. Police had wrongly anticipated an influx of visitors and blocked access to the village and the nearby Pic de Bugarach, a mountain which some say will open on the last day and aliens will emerge with spaceships to save nearby humans. Hundreds of reporters also wandered aimlessly around the tiny village of Sirince in Turkey, hoping to grab a mystic taking refuge there. Doomsayers identified Sirince — said to be the site from which the Virgin Mary ascended to heaven — as a safe haven that will be spared destruction thanks to the positive energy flowing through it. And in Serbia, a pyramidshaped mountain believed by some to be a source of unusual electromagnetic waves that could shield it from catastrophe, attracted record numbers of visitors. December 21 marks the end of an era that lasted over 5,000 years, according to the Mayan “Long Count” calendar. Some believe the date, which coincides with the December solstice, marks the end of the world as foretold by Mayan

hieroglyphs. But scholars have ridiculed the idea, and say the date simply marks the end of the old Mayan calendar and the beginning of a new one. The central American region where the Mayans lived saw a tourism bonanza in the run-up to the fateful December 21 date, with tourists snapping up all-inclusive excursions to Mayan holy sites. It was also a chance to celebrate the contributions of the Mayan civilisation to mankind, but indigenous groups have accused governments and businesses of profiting from Hollywood-inspired fiction about their culture. Thousands gathered at the majestic Mayan ruins of Tikal in the jungles of present-day Guatemala to await a fiery climax to the ancient civilisation’s calendar. Actors in costumes and head-dresses staged elaborate dances to a mournful pan-pipe tune ahead of the apocalypse supposedly foreseen by the Mayans, who reached their peak of power in modern-day Mexico and parts of Central America between the years 250 and 900 AD. Australia was one of the first countries to see the sun rise on December 21, and Tourism Australia’s Facebook page was bombarded with posts asking if anyone had survived Down Under. “Yes, we’re alive,” the organisation responded to fret-

ting users. Tongue-in-cheek scientists in Taiwan planted an electronic countdown timer atop a twostorey replica of a Mayan pyramid, drawing crowds at the National Museum of Natural Science. Seven-year-old Wang Sishien was unimpressed. “I’m not scared at all,” she said as she visited the museum with her school class. Some argued online that an impending milestone for the “Gangnam Style” video of South Korean rapper Psy — one billion views on YouTube — was itself a harbinger of doom, enlisting a fake Nostradamus verse in their cause. Across Asia, Europe and North America, many planned to party like there’s no tomorrow with apocalypse-themed dinners and pub nights. Hong Kong’s Aqua restaurant promised to pick up the tab for its HK$2,112.12 ($273) sixcourse meal if the end is nigh — though patrons will have to stump up if still alive at midnight. But there has also been a darker side in China, with authorities arresting some 1,000 people in a crackdown on a Christian sect that spread doomsday rumours. If the world does end, Chinese furniture maker Liu Qiyuan has his own safe haven, a fibreglass pod he designed that can carry up to 30 people and withstand towering tsunamis and devastating earthquakes..—AFP

From Page 1

Taliban commander From Page 1 debris while a number of people were also rescued in seriously wounded condition. That could not be ascertained as to who was the target of the Friday’s drone hit though officials claimed the targeted house was under the use of suspected militants, yet the residents said they had no such information. While all the appeals made by the successive Pakistani governments to bring end to the drone strikes always fell on deaf ears of Washington. Drone attacks always fuel widespread anti-American resentment, which is running high in Pakistan since US air strikes inadvertently killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in November and a CIA agent went for a killing spree in the broad day light in Lahore last year and was later released under the US pressure.


Zardari assures nation of fair, free elections on time AMANULLAH KHAN

3 die in CNG cylinder blast CHICHAWATNI—Three people including a woman were killed and several others injured when gas cylinder of a van exploded here on Friday. According to details, substandard CNG cylinder installed in a Lahore-bound passenger van coming from Multan exploded as soon as it reached the Sahiwal Chowk locality of Chichawatni. As a result of blast, three persons including a woman, died on the spot while several others sustained wounds. The injured were rushed to hospital where according to hospital sources condition of few injured persons was also serious.—INP

PML-N worker dies in firing SARGODHA—A young man was killed during festive firing at a PML-N corner meeting here on Friday. According to police, workers fired into the air upon arrival of PML-N leader Chaudhry Hamid Hameed. During the aerial firing, 22-year-old Imran, a worker of the PML-N, was shot and died on the spot. Following the death of the young man, the corner meeting was postponed while his body was shifted to the DHQ Hospital. The police arrested two suspected persons who opened aerial firing on the occasion.—INP

2 injured in firing at NATO container JAMRUD—Two persons including driver and cleaner were injured when unidentified militants attacked NATO container here on early Friday morning. According to details, unknown miscreants targeted a NATO container with heavy fire in Tehsil Jamrud of Khyber Agency and fled the scene. The driver and cleaners of the container were injured in the attack. The injured were immediately shifted to a nearby hospital. On the other hand, militants destroyed a government girls’ primary school in Shabqadar area. The extremists had planted explosives in the school that went off and partially damaged the school building but no human loss was reported.—INP

Bodies recovered BOLAN—The security forces recovered dead bodies of two passengers kidnapped after attack on a bus here on Friday. According to details, three persons identified as Jamshed, Atta and Siddique were killed when unknown miscreants opened fire at Bolan-Quetta passenger bus near Macch area on Thursday evening. The attackers also took away two passengers along with them whose dead bodies were recovered from a mountainous area located near the site of the attack.—INP

PU awards five PhDs Staff Reporter LAHORE—Punjab University has awarded five PhD degrees to scholars, a press release said on Friday. The recepients are: Muhammad Kashif Fida in applied psychology, Tanveer Ahmed Qaiser in molecular biology, Kamran Aziz Khan in history, Amir Hanif in history and Zahida Parveen in special education. Meanwhile, Punjab University’s 121st convocation will be held at Faisal Auditorium, New Campus, on December 29.

who could deliver. Therefore, “let us wait for their verdict”. He pointed out that structural changes had been made in the system to ensure free and fair elections and that the people would be free to exercise their right to elect their own government. Gone were the days when elections were manipulated and the mandate was stolen. “We will not permit the stealing of the mandate of the people,” said the President. Earlier the President inaugurating the “Sea Water Desalination Plants” ceremony for the people of Lyari & Kemari and Phase 1 of “Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Drinking Water Programme of the Sindh Government called for adoption of the state of the art water conservation practices, especially in the agricultural sector, to ensure optimum utilization of the water resources being the scarce and essential commodity for maintaining human life.

“Unlike some other countries, including in the Middle East and Central Asia, Pakistan was bestowed with sufficient water resources that needed optimum utilization and effective management,” President said adding huge amount of water was wasted in the agricultural sector from canal to the agricultural lands and the trend needed to be urgently reversed. “There was an urgent need to focus on installing sewerage water plants in all parts of the country so that the sewerage water could be re-used after its treatment,” he said. He stressed the need for judicious utilization and effective management of water resources. He expressed his confidence that Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Drinking Water Programme would address one of the most serious issues of the people, especially in the rural areas of the province, who would now get safe and clean drinking water.

Turkish RPP firm to sue Pak at US arbitration court

UK judges block legal action over US drone attacks in Pakistan

KARACHI—President Asif Zardari has assured the nation that the next general elections will be transparent and fair elections would be held on time. The President was chairing PPP Sindh core committee meeting here at Chief Minister House where he held consultations with party leaders on the strategy pertaining to next general elections. He said PPP would participate in the polls with allies. He said that it was not going to be too far when the people of country, who were the best judges for measuring the performance of any government, would give their verdict. In a few months time, he KARACHI: Admiral M Asif Sandila, Chief of the Naval Staff witnessing Multiversion Missiles firing demonstration by said, the democratic government Pakistan Navy. would complete its constitutionally mandated term. “Let us not be impatient and wait for the verdict of the people,” President said people were politically mature and wise and that they knew fully well K ARACHI —Pakistan Navy SALIM AHMED test-fired a long-range missile from a warship on Friday. PakiLAHORE —Pakistan Muslim stan Navy Chief Admiral Asif League-N President Mian Nawaz Sharif has said there are I SLAMABAD —The Supreme tice Qureshi and the permanent Sandila along with Chairman three parties in Kashmir issue Court on Friday directed the presi- appointment of Justice Siddiqui Nescom witnessed the firing of and amicable solution of this dent to issue notifications for the of the IHC. In his petition, Ad- the missile. I STANBUL —Turkish power The naval chief on this oc- firm Karadeniz Holding said it outstanding problem could be permanent appointment of Justice vocate Ahmed had argued that found through meaningful talks Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui and for the all constitutional formalities, as casion said that the successful was suing Pakistan at a US aramong India, Pakistan and extension in the tenure of Justice laid down in Article 175A of the firing of the missile was a testi- bitration court for at least $600 mony of the professional acuKashmiris. Constitution, had been com- men and insurmountable capa- million compensation after two Noorul Haq N. Qureshi. He said this while talking to of its electricity-generating ships The ruling was issued by a pleted for extension in the term media after a meeting with four-member bench of the apex of office and for confirmation as bility of the warship. He said were seized in March. Kashmiri leaders who led by All court comprising Justice Khilji Arif judge of the IHC during the past that the officers and soldiers of Karadeniz Holding chief the Pakistan Navy deserve com- commercial officer Nuray Parties Hurriyat Conference Hussain, Justice Asif Saeed Khan one month. pliments. (APHC) Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Khosa, Justice Ijaz Ahmed Atacik told Reuters the ships The court ordered that JusAdmiral Asif Sandila fur- were being kept by Pakistan Farooq called on him at his Chaudhry and Justice Ejaz Afzal tice Siddiqui of the IHC be made Raiwind residence. Punjab Chief Khan over a constitutional petition permanent and directed the presi- ther said that Pakistan Navy was without a reason. Minister Muhammad Shahbaz filed by Advocate Nadeem Ahmed. dent to issue a notification for a ever ready to meet any chalOfficials at Pakistan’s Nalenges. He added that the govSharif and other Kashmiri leaders The petition had sought is- six months’ extension in the ten- ernment was aware of the needs tional Accountability Bureau were also present on the occasion. suance of a notification about a ure of Justice Qureshi, an addi(NAB) did not return calls seekof the Pakistan Navy and efforts six months’ extension for Jus- tional judge at the IHC.—INP are afoot to address them.—INP ing comment, reported Reuters. “Adding it all up together, our total loss so far has reached $600 million. As long as the Reko Diq case Pakistani side keeps the ships this amount is increasing,” Atacik claimed. P ESHAWA R —An al-Qaeda However, last month, the group was involved in one of the I SLAMABAD —The Supreme mulate new guidelines to fix most deadly attacks on Peshawar Court of Pakistan (SC) on Fri- CNG prices following the diairport, which killed at least 19 day announced its verdict in the rectives by the federal people including 10 militants and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) government.The interim order injured several others, security pricing case and declared the stated that the price of CNG was ISLAMABAD—Supreme Court sources said on Friday. pricing formula presented by the not in accordance with the law. on Friday concluded the Reko According to the sources, Oil and Gas Regulatory AuthorThe SC also pointed out that Diq case hearing while the verOBSERVER REPORT Badar Mansoor group, an al- ity (OGRA) null and void. the price of per kilo CNG in- dict to be announced on JanuKARACHI—The leadership of Qaeda group of Punjabi-origin A two-member bench of the creased from Rs33 in 2008 to ary 7, 2013. people, sent 10 fighters to attacks apex court, comprising Justice Rs95 in 2012, adding that pricAccording to a private Muttahida Quami Movement the airport. Qari Hammad of the Jawwad S Khawaja and Justice ing structure included exorbitant television channel, the case (MQM) and Tehreek-i-Minhajgroup planned the attack. Khilji Arif Hussain, had re- additional charges due to which was heard by a three member ul-Quran on Friday agreed that Hammad also threatened served the verdict after hearing millions of people were affected. bench of the SC presided over they would cooperate to change more attacks on the airport just the parties concerned on ThursThe court remarked that by Chief Justice Iftikhar the decaying system and eliminating the archaic feudal system after the attack concluded. Speak- day. While announcing the OGRA has failed in protecting Muhammad Chaudhry. ing from the unidentified loca- judgment on Friday, the SC de- the rights of the customers, and The SC’s three member and corruption from the countion, Hammad threatened to send clared the pricing formula pre- that CNG cartel exploited the bench had been hearing with try. The agreement was made in 10 more suicide bombers to pared by the OGRA as illegal, rights of the people with the help respect to the Reko Diq case a telephonic contact by MQM launch an assault on the airport and ordered the authority to for- of the government.—INP since long. — NNI again within weeks. “The attack was planned in North Waziristan and Khyber agency,” they said adding that a Corolla car having fake number plate was used in the attack. It is to be mentioned here that on February 10, 2012, US missiles killed the most senior Pakistani in al Qaeda, Badar Mansoor in North Waziristan, an area bordering Pakistan and Afghanistan.—NNI

Mirwaiz calls on Nawaz

Al-Qaeda involved in deadly Peshawar airport attack

7 killed as bomb hits police vehicle in Afghanistan ZARANJ, AFGHANISTAN—Five civilians and two policemen were killed when a bomb hit a police mobile in Zaranj, the provincial capital of southwestern Afghan Nimroz province, police said. “A police unit was on routine patrol in police district 3 of Zaranj city at about 3:30 p.m. (local time) when an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) was detonated through a remote control device, killing two policemen and five civilians near the scene,” police chief of the district Abdul Haq said. He said two policemen were also wounded in the attack and the police mobile was destroyed in the incident in the province 790 km southwest of Kabul. The police have rolled out a search operation to find the people behind the attack, the police official added. No group claimed responsibility for the attacks, but Taliban suspects routinely claim responsibility for such attacks. The insurgent group, who ruled the country before they were ousted by a U.S.-led invasion in late 2001, renewed armed insurgency, staging ambush and suicide attacks, killing combatants as well as civilians.—NNI

IHC judges case

SC orders appointment, extension of two judges

SC directs OGRA to craft new CNG pricing formula

Pak Navy test-fires missile from warship

Hearing concludes, verdict on Jan 7

NAB had informed the Pakistani Supreme Court that $120m was outstanding against Karkey Karadeniz Elektrik Uretin AS Turkey plant instead. Atacik said on Friday that Karadeniz Holding sent two ships with 330 megawatts generating capacity to Pakistan in 2009 and both sides signed a 564 million five-year contract. After prices rose, Pakistan did not supply fuel to the ships nor did it make rental payments to Karadeniz Holding, she claimed.The company ended the contract but Pakistan kept the ships which operate 300 metres offshore.Karadeniz Holding’s ships were going to supply the annual electricity need of 5 million people, according to its web site.—Reuters

MQM backs Qadri’s revolution for a just system leader Altaf Hussain with the head Tehreek-i-Minhaj-ulQuran Prof Dr Tahirul Qadri on Friday. “Hussain welcomed the arrival of Dr Qadri in the country and expressed best wishes for him,” said a statement issued by the MQM’s London Secretariat. Hussain told Dr Qadri that he wanted to bring a system based upon justice in which no one was considered above the law.

L ONDON —Judges on Friday blocked a legal action brought by a Pakistani man against Britain over allegations that British intelligence has been used in US drone attacks on Pakistan. Lawyers for Noor Khan, 27, who lives in Pakistan, launched the action at the High Court in London in March after the death of his father Malik Daud Khan last year in a drone strike in North Waziristan. They sought to challenge the lawfulness of the help Britain’s intelligence gathering agency GCHQ reportedly provides to the CIA, such as information targeting militants, which is then used in deadly drone strikes.However, lawyers for British Foreign Secretary William Hague had urged the court to block the legal proceedings, saying the case was unarguable.They said it raised issues relating to sovereign foreign states that cannot be determined by English courts, adding that any ruling would have a “significant” impact on British relations with the United States and Pakistan. Lord Justice Alan Moses refused Khan permission to bring the legal challenge at the High Court on Friday. “The real aim is to persuade this court to make a public pronouncement designed to condemn the activities of the United States in North Waziristan, as a step in persuading them to halt such activity,” he said.—AP


Study shows solo acts at higher risk than bands

A

N ACADEMIC study published Thursday confirms that rock and pop musicians are more likely to die prematurely than the general population, and finds that solo artists are twice as likely to die young as members of bands. Researchers from Liverpool John Moores University and Britain’s Health Department studied 1,489 rock, pop, punk, R&B, rap, electronica and New Age stars who became famous between 1956 and 2006 – from Elvis Presley to the Arctic Monkeys. They found that 137 of the stars, or 9.2 percent, had died, representing “higher levels of mortality than demographically matched individuals in the general population.” The researchers dismissed the “fanciful but unsubstantiated” popular myth that rock stars tend to die at 27 – as Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse all did. The average age of death was 45.2 years for North American stars and 39.6 for European ones. Solo performers had twice the death risk of members of bands. Lead researcher Mark Bellis speculated that could be because bands provide peer support at stressful times. “Solo artists, even though they have huge followings, may be relatively isolated,” said Bellis, director of the Center for Public Health at Liverpool John Moores

University. Music critic John Aizlewood agreed that solo artists receive more attention and adulation – and also more pressure. “And when you are a solo act, irrespective of what they say in interviews, it’s an incredibly egotistical thing,” he said. “So you tend to be dealing with people who are more emotionally extreme. “They have an ego in the way a drummer or even a lead guitarist in a band doesn’t.” In good news for aging rockers, the study found that, after 25 years of fame, stars’ death rates began to return to normal – at least in Europe. A European star still living 36 years after achieving fame faces a similar mortality rate to the European public. But U.S. artists continue to die in greater numbers. Bellis said factors contributing to the difference could include longer careers – and thus longer exposure to rock ‘n’ roll excess – in the U.S., a huge, populous country with greater opportunities for aging stars to stay on the road. Europe’s stronger social safety net and socialized medicine may also play a role, he said. The research, which updates a 2007 study by the same team, was published in the online journal BMJ Open. The study suggests the infamous rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle may not be entirely to blame for rock stars’ death risk.

ISLAMABAD: First Lady Begum Nusrat Pervez cutting ribbon to inaugurate a new block at IMCG, F-10/2.—PO photo by Sultan Bashir

Rights of Working Women’s day today ISLAMABAD—National

Working Women’s Day will be observed today (Saturday) to acknowledge the economic contributions made by women to the country. The day is being observed for the last two years when the former Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani made a decision to this effect. The objective of observing the day is to recognize the contribution made by working women in social uplift and urge policy-makers to uphold their rights. The day was declared on 22nd December 2010 in recognition of the struggle of working women to secure a dignified and respectful working environment. The number of women joining the workforce has increased in the last few years. Women work as human resource managers, police officers, directors, business executives, journalists, lawRAWALPINDI: Different items are being displayed to attract customers in connection yers, and pilots in the pubwith upcoming Christmas celebrations. lic and private sectors.Pakistan is the only Islamic country to give women top government posts.—APP

Christian community throng markets for Christmas shopping

ISLAMABAD—Christian community has started crowding markets of the federal capital with the advent of Christmas ahead. Shopkeepers display decorated Christmas trees, cards, cakes and books in various markets of the capital city including Jinnah Supper Market, Karachi Company, Kohsar Market and others. While, Christians are buying the items along with multi colored lights to embellish their houses and Christmas trees, besides buying new clothes

and shoes for their children. Most of the houses of the Christian colonies in the city are decorated with lights, Christmas trees and other decoration items. Waseem Khokhar, a member of Christian community, talking to INP in Jinnah Super, said that Christmas was a religious duty which they fulfill with fervor and zeal. He said that he had bought the Christmas tree two days ago and was visiting the market to buy

Educated women capable to steer nation out of challenges CITY REPORTER I SLAMABAD —First

Lady Begum Nusrat Pervez Ashraf on Friday said educated and skilled women could play a significant role in steering the nation out of challenges. Addressing students and parents at the investiture ceremony held here at the Islamabad College for Girls (IMCG), F-10/2, the First Lady stressed that education was the only way to eliminate the ignorant mindset from the society. Begum Nusrat highlighted the importance of education in Information Technology (IT) to compete and meet the needs of modern world.

Workshop on mothers and child health ISLAMABAD—A two-day national workshop on Information and Accountability framework for mothers and child health concluded here on Friday. The main objective of the workshop, organized by World Health Organization (WHO) was to orient key country stakeholders about the context and implications of the recommendations of the COIA for women’s and children’s health. The event was organized to share and discuss the results of the assessment of the current situation made during provincial workshops on the implementation of the accountability framework.—APP

other decoration items then, adding they celebrate the birthday of Jesus Christ with dedication. Aashir Manzoor, another member of Christian community, said that they buy new clothes and shoes for their children every year on Christmas. He said that they feel free to express their religious sentiments in the federal capital area, which was commendable otherwise incidents of religious discrimination are common in other parts of the country.—INP

There is light at end of tunnel SANA JAMAL ISLAMABAD —In the backdrop of continued attempts to malign Pakistan that provoked pessimism, a group of proud Pakistanis have step forward to brush off the clouds of chaos and let the sun of inspiration shine on people. Brimming with optimism, the young people announced the launch of ‘Inspire Pakistan’ - a global movement - here at COMSATS Institute in Islamabad. The movement, initiated by like-minded young Pakistanis, encourages countrymen to take pride in their identity, and to be the change they want

to see. “Pakistan is not all about bomb blasts, drone attacks and violence” said Sardar Zaheer, Inspire Pakistan team member. Pakistan is a country, resplendent with talent, rich in culture, and teeming with benevolence and smiles. “This is the face of Pakistan that we aspire to highlight by sharing the success stories and works of brilliant Pakistanis” by developing a culture of collaboration and building a network of volunteers (individuals and organizations). The team of Inspire Pakistan shifted the perspective of audience by showing a bright and brilliant side of

Pakistan, contrary to the gloomy portrayal of traditional media. “The idea is to transform the perception of Pakistan in the eyes of the international community and Pakistanis themselves using integrated mediums of communication” informed Madiha Naseem, an energetic team member. Mir Dost Muhammad Mazari, Minister of State for Communications, was the chief guest on the occasion. The young Minister, sharing his success story, encouraged the youngsters to move forward to attain their goals and make Pakistan proud. Tauseeq Haider, a celebrated TV personality,

shared his life story to motivate the youngsters. Sharing the unpleasant memories of childhood and failures in the most amusing ways, he encouraged the youngsters to come out of self-pity state and make their dreams a reality. “Even poverty can’t break you when you have a passion to do something.” The idea of Inspire Pakistan was the dream of a young idealist, Asim Khan, a Pakistani student at Oxford University who believes in the true potential of Pakistan. And today the campaign has been adopted by different Pakistanis all across the globe. Global Campaign leader Asim Khan and other

representatives, Shehroz Khan, Muhammad Safwan Akram and Shiraz Choudhry, participated through live video conference to share their vision and aspirations. Inspire Pakistan aims to highlight inspirational work being carried out by Pakistanis, in Pakistan as well as abroad by initiating an awareness campaign to connect youth networks and universities who can focus on highlighting positive aspects of Pakistan. The campaign also seeks to create a database of volunteers to support the projects and encourage a culture of collaboration to promote positive image of Pakistan.

She announced to set up an IT Centre at the college. She said though the country was facing numerous challenges however the nation had the resilience to overcome these with courage. She mentioned that the fight against terrorism and extremism had been a success due to courage of the nation. She called for portraying the softer image of the country abroad and make efforts to resolve the problems on their own without any external assistance. The First Lady said Pakistan Peoples Party in line with the vision of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto had taken lead in the empow-

erment of women in the country. She mentioned that the present government had got 24 bills passed by the parliament on women emancipation. She lauded the struggle of Malala Yousufzai who was shot and wounded by militants for her cause to support girls’ education and termed her a beacon of light for all. She urged upon the students to never lose hope in difficult circumstances and continue their efforts to achieve success. Riffat Shaheen, Federal Secretary Ministry of Capital Administration and Development (CADD) urged upon the teachers to inculcate in students the passion

of research to bridge the gap between the real world and the bookish knowledge. Naveed Saeed, Principal of the college in her welcome address said the institution was focusing on the character-building and grooming of girl students besides providing them quality education. She briefed the audience about the performance of the College whose strength had swelled to 5,000 with students getting education from Class Prep to Post-Graduate disciplines. Earlier, the First Lady gave away medals to the distinguished students who in their investiture oath, vowed to contribute positively towards their institution.


PCP approves code of ethics for election coverage C ITY REPORTER

Juma

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

December 24 SPECIAL programme for children in connection with Quaid-i-Azam Day celebrations, organised by the Children’s Art Workshops of the Pakistan National Council of the Arts, at the PNCA Auditorium, Sector F-5/1 at 10 am to 1 pm. ***** LECTURE on ‘Transformation of Shariah into state law in British India,’ organised by the Islamic Research Institute and Department of Law, Faculty of Shariah and Law, International Islamic University, to be delivered by M Zubair Abbasi at the Allama Iqbal Auditorium, IIUI Faisal Mosque Campus, Islamabad at 11 am. Continuing EXHIBITION of realistic paintings by Aqeel Javaid from Rawalpindi and Kamran Ahmed from Karachi, at the Gallery 6, House No 19, Street 10, Sector F-8/3, Islamabad at 11 am to 7 pm, continuing up to December 23.

I S L A M A B A D —The fourth Council meeting of the Press Council of Pakistan was held under the Chairmanship of, Raja Shafqat Abbasi on Friday here at its Secretariat. The members who attended the meeting include Mr.Nasir Zaidi (PFUJ), Mr.Iqbal jafri (PFUJ), Mr.Wamiq A Zubari(APNS) , Mr Bachal Laghari (PFUJ), Ms.Nasreen Aslam Azher (Nation Commission on

the status of w o m e n ) , M s . Ya s m e e n - u rRehman (MNA) and Ms. Ayesha Ikram from higher education Commission. The Council approved the names of the heads of the inquiry commission 1-Ms. Asma Jehangir, Head of Inquiry Commission, Punjab 2- Justice Ali Aslam Jaffri, Head of the Inquiry Commission, Sindh 3- Justice G.N. Kohli, Head of the Commision, Balochistan

4- Justice Fazal-i-Haq Abbasi, Head of the Commission, KPK 5Justice Tariq Mehmood, Head of the Commission, Islamabad The council also considered nomination of APNS and suggested that proprietary demands that Mr. Sadiq Baloch may be replaced by some other suitable nominee as Mr. Sadiq Baloch is already member of the inquiry committee and appellate committee of the PCP.

Power crisis

Inefficiency main cause STAFF REPORTER I SLAMABAD —Professor Dr Khalid Rafique has said that lack of proper policy on research and management is main cause of energy crisis in Pakistan. “The power industry structure in Pakistan having inefficiencies in the transmission and distribution sector and present generation Mix of electricity which is heavily dependent on oil and gas”, Dr Khalid said in a seminar “on Power Energy Crisis in Pakistan” organized by IEEE NU-FAST Islamabad, a local student Chapter National University of Computer & Emerging Sciences (NU-FAST) is an institution with a goal to produce graduates having strong technological skills and lucid vision, in the area of Electrical and Telecommunications Engineering. Professor Dr. Muhammad Saeed

NU-FAST Islamabad, presided over the session while Hannan Ali Khan, Chairperson IEEE local student Chapter arranged the event.. He urged the utilization of abundant potential of alternative energy resources such as coal, wind, solar available in Pakistan and a need for better policy options to a smarter power generation mix. He mentioned the far below world average per capita consumption of 47 watts/ person in Pakistan that requires to be raised at least to the world average consumption level of 313 watts/ person for the better future of Pakistan. Policy research area is a major area of concerns for the country keeping in view the dire situation of Energy crisis in Pakistan let it be Oil supplies, Natural or Compressed Gas, Power energy (Electricity) Crisis, Dr. Khalid said as Guest Speaker in the

seminar and shared the facts and future possible solutions for the ongoing power energy crisis in Pakistan. He stressed the need of encouraging the atmosphere of thought provoking discussions at the university level that can help students understand the real issues and their possible solutions for any specific sector. “The discussion in diversified fields will also encourage the atmosphere of exploring and research among students and pave way for new inventions”, he added He concluded that Short term and long term policy decisions need to be reviewed regularly to ensure the stable and affordable electricity to consumers. The ill planned panic policy decision may further worsen the situation as already circular debt, in-efficient generation mix and power theft are major reason for this crisis today.

***** EXHIBITION of paintings titled ‘Sublime Encounters’ by Qadir Jhatial and Tahir Ali, at the Rohtas Art Gallery, House No 57-B, Street 26, Sector F-6/2, Islamabad, continuing up to December 24. ***** PAINTING exhibition by A Q Arif, at the Tanzara Gallery, House No 14, Street 12, Sector F-7/2, Islamabad, continuing up to December 27. ***** EXHIBITION of paintings by Mashkoor Raza, Mughees Riaz, Ufaq Ehsan and Arjumand Husain, at the Nomad Art Gallery, 22, Justice Abdur Rashid Road, Sector F-6/ 1, Islamabad, continuing up to December 30. ***** GROUP exhibition titled ‘Bend in the Scapes,’ at the Satrang Art Gallery, Serena Hotel, Khayaban-e-Suhrwardy, Islamabad, continuing up to January 8. ***** 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.

Schedule of admission R AWALPINDI —Rawalpindi

ISLAMABAD: Chairperson NCHD Nafeesa Shah giving away certificates to the journalists during concluding session of workshop on ‘Gender and Role of Media’.

Rehabilitation of MW network of PBC

CDA officers’ family gala

The council approved draft code of ethics for election coverage of the forth coming election which will be sent to all newspapers, news agencies, election commission, APNS, CPNE, PFUJ, RIJU, Press clubs, Media houses, Stake holders and civil society. The council also approved three members “fact finding committee” The Committee comprised of Senator (R) Syed Faseih Iqbal, Editor-in-Chief of Daily Zamana and The

Balochistan Times Quetta, Mr. Bachal Laghari, Bureau Chief Daily Mehran and Mr. Salim Shahid, President Quetta Press Club Karachi, to assess the scale of violence committed against journalists’ community in Balochistan. The committee will soon go to Balochistan on a “fact finding mission”. PCP urged the finance division to expedite the matter of the supplementary grants as soon as possible due to which PCP

CITY REPORTER ISLAMABAD—10th convocation of Shifa College of Medicines (SCM) and 6th convocation of Shifa College of Nursing (SCN) will take place today (Saturday). Dr Zafarullah Chaudhry , President College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan (CPSP) will be the chief guest on the occasion. The con- ISLAMABAD: Former Prime Minister of Canada Xenia Dormandy addressing during vocation will be held in media briefing on ‘Pre-Election Assessment Mission’ organized by National DemoBahria university auditorium. cratic Institute at a local hotel.—PO photo by Sultan Bashir

Senators protest against licences to Gulf dignitaries ISLAMABAD —Senators from coalition parties and opposition benches, Friday, protested against awarding hunting licenses to rulers of Gulf countrie as part of foreign policy. The Upper House of the Parliament was informed that 28 hunting licenses were approved by the Prime Minister for the foreign dignitaries from Gulf countries for the hunting season 2010-11. Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Nawabzada Malik Amad Khan while responding to questions in the ‘Question Hour’ in the Senate said that these permissions were issued to help improve relations with the leadership of these countries because has been a practice for the past several years Senators from Opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM), and Awami National Party (ANP) lodged protest, highlighting the flawed and weak foundations of national foreign policy for

getting friends internationally. Minister went on saying that no proposal was under consideration to cancel these permits. However these licenses are issued annually for one season only. “And cancellation of these permits may result in ill will to spoil our relations with friendly countries” he observed. M. Hamza, Col (R) Tahir Hussain Mashhadi and Zahid Khan came forward with strong demand of cancellation of said hunting permits and halting this practice in future. They were unanimous in their viewpoint that foreign policy should not base on weak pillars and foundation, whatsoever, allowing foreigners to kill animals. “But, it is quite clear that our foreign policy does not revolve around the hunting permits” Minister added. However, his explanation did not prove suffice to sooth the sentiments of protesting lawmakers.—Online

Most private schools without playgrounds

I SLAMABAD —A colourful ISLAMABAD—Despite charg- and decision-making. and exciting Family Gala ing heavy tuition fee and

modern‚ state-of-the-art digital equipment. The total cost of the project is over one thousand six hundred forty four million rupees and it will be completed in about twenty months. Of the total cost‚ the Pakistan government would share eighty five point seven six one million rupees to meet local expenses. The new digital transmitter will provide day time coverage in a radius of four hundred kilometer including Khyber Pakhtunkhwa‚ FATA‚ Gilgit Baltistan and parts of Punjab‚ whereas the night time coverage will be approximately one thousand kilometer.On the occasion‚ both the countries also signed an agreement for the improvement of Child Health Institute in Karachi. Japan will provide 1.6 billion rupees for this project.—NNI

Ground of Fatima Jinnah (F9) Park here on Saturday to celebrate the colours of Islamabad. The Family Gala has been organized by the CDA Officer Welfare Association (COWA). Chairman CDA, Syed Tahir Shahbaz would be the chief guests of the celebrations. The marathon one day event would comprise of colourful activities including cricket match between Chairman-XI and CDA Officer-XI followed by Tug Of War, Luddi, DJ, Police Band, Food Court (National & International Cuisine) Musical Chairs, Kite Flying, Magic Show, Cricket, Horse Dancing, Rubab, Badminton, Signing Competition and Folk Dance. The family gala would be characterized by different stalls, shops, food court, game shows, play rides and other festivities designed in a unique manner.—INP

Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (RBISE), among other education boards of the province, has modified the last date of submitting admission forms for Matric examination. According to the new schedule, the candidates have to submit their admission forms with single fee by December 31, by January 7 with double fee, and triple fee would be charged till January 14, while an additional Rs200 fine per day would be charged till January 19 for the submission of admission form for of Matric candidates. Spokesman for the educational board, Arslan Ali Cheema confirming the news said that notification of extension of the dates has also been issued. Meanwhile, on the petition of All Pakistan Schools Management Association against the ban on private candidates to appear for Matric exam with science subjects by the educational board, Justice Ali Baqir Najfi of Rawalpindi bench of Lahore High Court (LHC) has summoned the ISLAMABAD: Ambassador of Japan Hiroshi Oe and Secretary of Economics Affairs Division Javed Iqbal exchanging documents during signing ceremony.—PO photo RBISE officials.—INP

viewed the pending complaint and after hearing the complaints/their reps and directed issues of fresh notices to the respondents for 9/1/2013. Council also decided to constitute a new inquiry committee comprising of Lahore and Islamabad based members. The Council approved the minutes of 3rd meeting held on August 02, 2012 at its regional office “Aiwan-e-Iqbal” Lahore.

Convocation of Shifa Medical College today

Students can also use

I SLAMABAD —Pakistan and House in Islamabad with the would be held at the Cricket other charges from students’ sports as a recreational acJapan have signed an agreement for Rehabilitation of Medium Wave Broadcasting network of Radio Pakistan. The agreement was signed by Secretary Economic Affairs Division Javed Iqbal and Japanese Ambassador to Pakistan Hiroshi Oe in Islamabad. Director General Radio Pakistan Murtaza Solangi was also present on the occasion. Under the agreement‚ Japan would provide Grant Aid worth about 1.56 billion rupees for the replacement of Radio Pakistan’s outlived one thousand kilowatt medium wave transmitter at Faqirabad with digital enabled five hundred kilowatt medium wave transmitter. It also envisages replacement of studio equipment installed in five studios and Master control room at the National Broadcasting

feels handicapped while undertaking its operation. While taking up complaints PCP reviewed suomoto notices pertaining to attacks/threats on the media freedom in various part of the country. The council endorsed the steps taken in this regard. The council reviewed the minutes of appointment committee held on October 11, 2012 and case filed in Islamabad high court. The council also re-

parents, several small and large private schools in the twin cities lack playgrounds. This is affecting the students’ physical and mental fitness. The private school industry has grown and flourished extensively in almost every city, district and even small towns at a very fast rate, especially in the last couple of decades. Sports play an important role in students’ lives by teaching them sportsmanship, physical fitness, team spirit, mental strength, constructive use of time, maintaining health, confidence

tivity to get away from their hectic academic schedules. Due to a low standard of education in state-run schools, people prefer sending their children to private ones. However, a lot of these private schools have been unable to fulfil the expectations of parents. One can go as far as to say that the condition of public schools is somewhat better than private schools as their campuses are built on vast pieces of land unlike private schools operating in small buildings or even houses.—Online

PPAF’s new radio programme on women CITY REPORTER I SLAMABAD —The Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund’s flagship radio program ‘Roshan Raahein’ will hit the airwaves across Pakistan from FM-93 of Radio Pakistan from today at 03:10 PM. Listeners of Balochistan can hear it through MW channel of Radio Pakistan, says a statement issued here on Friday. The main objective of 13 episodes of current series is to ensure social inclusion, political mainstreaming and empowerment of women. It added that the main target is the audience of the radio programme includes poor communities, partner organizations, government, donor agencies, communities and civil society with the purpose of sensitizing them on abovementioned issues.

This 15-minute radio programme in Urdu language will comprise 2 segments; in first segment inspiring stories of successful women belonging to PPAF communities from across the country will be shared in the form of audio documentary, and in the second segment different experts will be interviewed to discuss women focused issues such as health, nutrition, education, awareness raising, property rights, marriage, divorce, etc. The PPAF strives to develop inclusive, representative, transparent and accountable institutions of the poor. The catalytic role of women in program design, delivery and impact is at the core of all interventions. The programme is expected to address womenrelated issues and will go a long way in inspiring women.


Mirwaiz urges world community to shun double standard on Kashmir I SLAMABAD —Chairman of the All-Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) Mirwaiz Umar Farooq Friday urged the world community to shun double standard in solving Kashmir issue which is lingering for the past 65 years and solve it as per Kashmiris aspirations. He expressed these views while delivering a lecture here at National Defence University (NDU) on “Resolution of Kashmir Issue in the new Geo-Political environment”. “When the world community is solving Afghanistan, Middle East and other issues then why there is a double standard on Kashmir which is just cause of Kashmiri people,” he asked. He categorically stated that people of Kashmir were determined to continue their freedom struggle until the

JKPFL pays tributes to Sopore martyrs SRINAGAR—The Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Freedom League (JKPFL) has paid rich tributes to the Kashmiri youth killed by Indian troops in Sopore.A JKPFL delegation led by party’s General Secretary, Ghulam Ahmad Paray and Altaf Ahmad Khan visited Sopore and expressed solidarity with the family members of the 10th class student, Athar Ahmad Dar. Speaking on the occasion, Ghulam Ahmad Paray and Altaf Ahmad Khan reiterated the Kashmiris’ pledge to continue the liberation movement till its logical conclusion. They said that one day the sacrifices of Kashmiris would bring fruit.—Online

Geelani: Key top slots in JK held by Non-Muslims S RINAGAR —Asserting that the National Conference-led coalition government had turned Jammu and Kashmir into a jail, Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman, Syed Ali Shah Geelani has accused the chief minister, Omar Abdullah, of surpassing his father and grandfather in human rights violations in the state. Geelani claimed that the graph of human rights abuses in the state had shown marked upward trend during Omar-led rule. “Turning the state into a jail, Omar has done what his grand-father too had not been able to do,” he said. Geelani alleged attempts were being made as part of a planned conspiracy to change the demographic character of Jammu and Kashmir by converting it into a Hindu majority state. “Most top positions in the civil and police administration are held by nonMuslims. The governor, the director-general of police, five inspectors-general of police, 67 IAS officers and 50 administrative secretaries are Hindus. And, all this is done to perpetuate the occupation,” he said. Accusing National Conference of harming the special status of the state, Geelani said not long ago, the party used to call the Congress workers as “worms of the gutter” and its leaders are not jostling with one another to garland them.—NNI

logical conclusion of Kashmir issue. Mirwaiz made it clear that their struggle was not against the Indian people or the state but the thinking behind the world’s largest democratic country which is not sincere and serious in giving rights to the people of Kashmir. Hurriyat leader appreciated the steps taken by Pakistan in solving the issue and said that Kashmiris being the core stakeholders of the issue should be included in any kind of talks between the two countries. “Pakistan has always talked about Kashmir issue. They are committed for the referendum and dialogue as per Kashmiris aspirations. Pakistan’s support for the Kashmir cause is always unconditional,” Mirwaiz remarked. The vibrant Hurriyat

leader expressed joy over saying that during his visit to Pakistan, every single party and person of Pakistan assured full support to Kashmiris which is very encouraging. He also talked about Kashmiri nationalism emerging from the last twenty years and termed it another option for the Kashmiris. Mirwaiz termed development on Kashmir issue pragmatic and said that in terms of constantly changing geo-political environment, they are optimistic that the problem would definitely be solved as per Kashmiris wishes. Mirwaiz was of the view that there were two main things known as the aspirations of Kashmiris and their grievances adding that India is focusing on the second part and totally ignoring the first

one. “India tried to project elections as an alternative to self- determination but could not succeeded in getting Kashmiris sympathies and attention. He asked the Indian government that if they believe in mitigating the grievances of Kashmiris then what was the logic behind keeping military in Kashmir. “Our struggle is peaceful. We never believe in confrontation but the presence of military in the area changes the scenario,” he remarked adding that violence has come down but still not even single soldier left Kashmir. Mirwaiz Umar Farooq termed the Kashmiris’ struggle as their indigenous and not a spon- ISLAMABAD: Chairman APHC Mirwaiz Umar Farooq delivering a lecture here at National Defence University. sored and expressed the determination that this struggle would soon meet to its logical ending.—APP

AJK born student attains distinction in UK University OUR CORRESPONDENT M IRPUR (AJK)—An AJKborn student Muhammad Majid Hanif Qureshi has attained distinction in a United Kingdom University by passing the world-class post graduation degree in the field of international development studies. Majid, who belongs to village Thothal of Mirpur, Azad Jammu Kashmir, has earned this pride for Pakistan and AJK, by passing this degree with distinction from university of East Anglia, one of the worldfame Universities of United Kingdom. Majid is stated to be the

first student from entire AJK, who won the distinction qualifying this prestigious post graduate degree in International Development studies. Besides he is also considered to be one of the few students hailing from across Pakistan, who secured this unique post graduate degree program in development studies with special significance in the planning of development, a subject with very critical importance for the developing countries in consultancy service, according to the varsity sources. Meanwhile, Majid has been offered the services as

academician in higher I.D studies program as a lecturer by various world-fame universities including those in the United Kingdom. He has already been enrolled in the higher degree program by the University of Cambridge on the basis of his excellent performance in the masters program Majid Hanif belongs to highly reputed family of AJK. He is the younger brother of Muhammad Yasin Qureshi Deputy Inspector General of AJK Police, Rashed Hanif Qureshi Deputy Secretary of AJK government and seasoned legal expert of AJK and PML (N) leader Muhammad Sajid Qureshi.

MLA grills India’s callous attitude towards HR abuses in IHK

Kashmir settlement essential for better Pak, India relations

ISLAMABAD—The Chairman troops to the back burner. I SLAMABAD —Chairman of of United Jehad Council, That would not be acceptJammu and Kashmir Democratic Political Movement (DPM), Firdous Ahmad Shah has said that resolution of the Kashmir dispute is essential for abiding peace in South Asia and cordial relations between Pakistan and India. Firdous Ahmed Shah addressing a meeting of his party leaders in Srinagar said, “There cannot be durable friendly relation between India and Pakistan until Kashmir issue is resolved in accordance with the wishes, sentiments and aspirations of Kashmiri people”,KMS reported. He maintained that the Kashmiris would not accept anything less than their inalienable right to self-determination for which the people of Kashmir had offered supreme sacrifices.—APP

Syed Salahuddin has said that the sacrifices of Kashmiri martyrs would not be allowed to go waste as their mission would be taken to its conclusion at all costs. Syed Salahuddin addressing a session of his party in Muzaffarabad, stressed the resolution of Kashmir dispute in accordance with the aspirations of its people through the UN resolutions, KMS reported. “Issues like trade and tourism are acceptable but they should not overshadow or push the issues of right to self-determination and complete withdrawal of

‘Chillai Kalan’ begins in occupied Kashmir

I S L A M A B A D —Pro-movement leaders and organisations in Indian Occupied Kashmir have paid glowing tributes to the Kashmiri youth, who were recently martyred by Indian troops during a military operation in Sopore. The Chairperson of Dukhtaran-e-Millat, Aasiya Andrabi, along with a party delegation, visited Sopore to express solidarity with the family members a boy, Athar Dar, who was among the

SRINAGAR—”Chillai kalan” ISLAMABAD—Member of so- Kunan-Poshpora mass rape this biased attitude by Indian the coldest 40-day winter peand Tabinda Gani rape and government, media, politicians called legislative Assembly, Engineer Abdur Rasheed, has criticized India’s silence over blatant human rights abuses including mass rape by its troops in the territory. The MLA in a statement in Srinagar referring to the gang rape of a 23-year-old student in New Delhi said, “Who other than the Kashmiris can better understand the pain and the grief as a result of such barbaric incidents as we have seen several such incidents during the past 20 years, including that of

riod, began in occupied Kashmir, to be followed by a 20day-long “chillai khurud” and a 10-day-long “chillai bacha”.The 70-day harsh winter period brings with it maximum chill. Chillai Kalan (which means 40-day-long in Persian) is usually marked by dry cold wave, followed by heavy snowfall and formation of thick layers of ice over water bodies. When the harsh winter period ends, the air, earth and the water tend to be warmer, signalling the arrival of the spring by early March. During this period, the night temperatures stay well below the freezing point. Even if marking of chillai kalan has been customary in practice, meteorological experts do not rule out the possibility of it being the harshest winter period. “We have always observed the arrival of strong western disturbances from the Caspian sea to the Valley through Pakistan and Afghanistan during chillai kalan (December21- January 30) which signals the occurrence of moderate to heavy snowfall in the planes and higher reaches,” a Met Department official said. The tourist resorts of Gulmarg, Pahalgam, Sonamarg and Yusmarg are already experiencing heavy snowfall, which MUZAFFARABAD: Former Prime Minister and President Muslim Conference Sardar is likely to boost winter tourism.—Online Attique Ahmed Khan meeting with Mushtaq Ahmed Janjua Advocate. murder case”, Kashmir Media Service reportred. He said that Indian politicians, print and electronic media, intellectuals, students and human rights activists had protested against the Delhi incident, but they “keep mum if similar incidents take place in Kashmir”. There can be nothing shameful than the fact that New Delhi was adopting double standards regarding the horrific acts against women in Kashmir, he deplored. “And

and civil society deserves full condemnation,” the MLA said. “History bears witness that incidents like KunanPoshpora were ignored in the name of so called national interest or denied as propaganda by anti-national elements,” Rashid said. “I want to ask Sonia Gandhi, Sushma Sawraj, Ambika Soni and Jaya Bachan that if just one incident has shaken the whole India why isn’t the same pain felt for the Kashmiris.—APP

Cross-LoC J&K civil society for early introduction of liberal trade, travel regime

Intra-Kashmir dialogue a steps forward for ultimate settlement RAO ATIQ KHAN M IRPUR (AJK)—The former Chief Justice of Azad Jammu & Kashmir High Court Justice (Retd) Abdul Majeed Mallick has said that marathon session of the delegates of civil society from all the three regions of Jammu & Kashmir, India and Pakistan, assembled at Jammu city of Indian-held Kashmir to deliberate the main issue of Jammu & Kashmir state, regional issues and India, Pakistan relations including trade, tourism, and travel by the people from across the line of control. Justice (Retd) Majeed Mallick, who

attended the intra-Kashmir dialogue, that concluded in Jammu yesterday, was talking to newsmen here late Thursday on return from the meet. Elaborating the salient features of the meet, the Kashmiri leader said hat the consensus developed in the conference pointed out that India and Pakistan may take adequate measures towards the final settlement of Kashmir problem, keeping in view the wishes of the people of the state, major party to the dispute. In the meanwhile, it was proposed that liberal traveling and trade across the LoC may be made convenient for

all citizens of Jammu & Kashmir by opening all rest of the historic traditional routes in the state including SialkotJammu route. He said that the meet further resolved that the traveling may be permitted on a smart card containing the particulars of the state subject. It was also proposed that such like inter-actions of all sections of the civil society of Jammu & Kashmir may be promoted to be organized in all areas of the state, he added To a question Justice Majeed Mallick termed the intra-Kashmir dialogue conducive and a step forward for ultimate settlement of the

Kashmir issue. Responding to another question, Justice (Retd) Majeed Mallick said that participants from Jammu, Leh, Kargil, Kashmir valley, Gilgit / Baltistan and Azad Jammu Kashmir made valuable contributions in the dialogue. He told that the conference themes was Multiple Stake-Holders: Multiple Dialogues, Conflict and Displaced People, Trade and Economic Revival and Building Bridges Through Culture. About 70 participants with experience in judiciary, business, academics, culture, media, development and social fields participated in the conference

Martyrs’ sacrifices will not go waste: Salahuddin

from all regions of Jammu and Kashmir from both sides of LoC. Prominent among those from AJK who attended the conference included Justice (Retd) Abdul Majeed Malik, Justice (Retd) Manzoor Hussain Gilani, Justice (Retd) Sharief Hussain Bhukhari, Mian Khalid Rafiq, President AJK Chamber of Commerce, Amina Bibi-Member Gilgit Baltistan Assembly, Saghir Khan-poet, writer and scholar, Aziz Ahmed Khan- former Pakistan High Commissioner to India, Ershad Ahmed -leading Kashmiri journalist and columnist and others.

able to the freedom-loving people of the territory”, he maintained. He said that the Kashmiris had not offered sacrifices for trade or tourism but for ending occupation of the territory by India. “The sacrifices are going on and have been going on for last 65 years”, Salahuddin said. He termed the killing of six youth in Sopore as yet another episode of sacrifices for the Kashmir cause. He said: “Upholding the honour of sacrifices offered by martyrs is not only the duty but a debt on the people of Kashmir.”—APP

Glowing tributes paid to Sopore martyrs martyred youth, KMS reported. Addressing a gathering on the occasion, she said that the sacrifices of these martyrs reminded us the battles fought by the Muslims of early days of Islam against the forces of falsehood. She said, Mujihideen are the real asset of Umah. Meanwhile, the Jammu and Kashmir Peoples League, the Jammu and Kashmir Salvation Movement and the Jammu and Kashmir Muslim League in their statements also paid rich tributes to Athar Ahmad Dar and other martyrs of Sopore. Reiterating the Kashmiris’ resolve to take the mission of martyrs to its logical end, they said that the ongoing struggle would continue till the people of SRINAGAR—The Indian po- Jammu and Kashmir are lice again arrested senior given their inalienable right leader of the All Parties to self-determination.—APP Hurriyet Conference (APHC), Shabbir Ahmad Shah and other Hurriyet leaders including Muhammad Yousuf Naqash, Javed Ahmad Mir and Raja Waseem Lone to prevent them from addressing a big public gathering at Arihal in Pulwama. Before the arrest, Shabbir Ahmad Shah talking to media persons said that Kashmir was not a territorial dispute between Pakistan and India that could be resolved through bilateral talks but was the issue of political future of the Kashmiri people. He said that the dispute could be settled through the UN resolutions in accordance with the Kashmiris’ aspirations. He deplored that India did not fulfill its promises made with the people of Kashmir despite the passage of over six decades. He said that India was using every tactic to suppress the ongoing liberation movement but would never succeed as Kashmiris had pledged to take the liberation movement to its logical conclusion at all costs. Praising the government and people of Pakistan, the APHC leader said that Pakistan and its people had always morally, politically and diplomatically supported the Kashmir liberation movement and expressed the hope that they in future would also continue their support. He said that the blood of Kashmiri martyrs would not be allowed to go waste and the day was not far away when the oppressed and depressed people of Kashmir would get rid of Indian bondage.—Online

UN resolutions best solution of Kashmir dispute: Shabbir Shah

WC upset over rise in crime against women

JAMMU—The Jammu and Kashmir Women Commission (WC), has described the situation with regard to crime against women in the state as alarming. The chairperson of Women Commission, Shamim Firdous, while commenting on the recent gang rape case in New Delhi said, “In absence of strict law and slow law procedures, it is difficult to curb the crime against women. The perpetrators, particularly rape accused, shall be dealt strictly and slapped with capital punishment by law without allowing a trial” she asserted. Expressing her concern, she said the crime graph against women was fast going up in state as there was hardly any day when news of such horrible incidents is not reported by the newspapers. She urged upon the law agencies to deal strictly with the accused in the recent rape case of a 13 year old girl at Domana in Jammu.—NNI

Indian troops martyr one more youth S RINAGAR —In occupied Kashmir, Indian troops in their fresh act of state terrorism have martyred one more Kashmiri youth in Kishtwar district. The martyred youth identified as Shakir Ahmad was killed by troops of 11 Rashtriya Rifles during a siege and search operation at Navapachi in the district. However, police claimed that the martyred youth was a divisional commander of Hizbul Mujahideen.On the other hand, protest strike continued for the third consecutive day, Friday, in Sopore town against the killing of seven Kashmiri youth.—Online


Exchanging Rs 5 banknote Staff Reporter KARACHI—Ten days are left for exchanging demonetized banknote of Rs 5 denomination from all the field offices of SBP Banking Services Corporation (SBP BSC) and branches of all commercial and microfinance banks (MFBs) operating in the country. The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and SBP BSC will neither exchange nor be liable to pay any value of demonetized Rs. 5 banknote to any person or an organization after December 31, 2012. SBP has already asked all banks to issue necessary instructions to their branches to facilitate the general public in exchanging demonetized Rs 5 banknote by the end of the calendar year. SBP has, therefore, once again advised the general public to exchange banknote of Rs 5 denomination from the field offices of SBP BSC and more than 11,000 branches of banks across the country till the close of banking hours on December 31, 2012.

Transparency Staff Reporter LAHORE—Good corporate governance, for being a key driver of business performance, is not just an essential but a necessity for economic revival of the country and a major tool when it comes to attracting foreign investors. This was stated in the speeches delivered at a Corporate Governance Workshop for Small, Medium and Family Enterprises organized by the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) in collaboration with International Finance Corporation (IFC). Issues came under discussion included: Why Corporate Governance Matters to SMEs, Governance of Family Owned Enterprises 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.

Rates for conversion KARACHI—The following rates will be applicable for conversion into rupees of Foreign Currency Deposits, Dollar Bearer Certificates, Foreign Currency Bearer Certificates, Special U.S.Dollar Bonds and profits thereon by all banks and for providing Forward Cover on Foreign Currency Deposits (excluding F.E.25 deposits) by the State Bank on December 24, 2012. The rates are U.S. Dollar Rs 97.5156, Japanese Yen Rs 1.1599 Pound Sterling Rs 158.4141 and Euro Rs 128.7108.—APP

Pak, UN launch 5-year development initiative TARIQ KHATTAK ISLAMABAD—The Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the United Nations in Pakistan signed the One United Nations five year programme covering period from 2013 to 2017. Led by the Government of Pakistan and building on the expertise of the 18 participating UN agencies, the five year programme will contribute towards the achievement of key national development priorities in six areas: (1) Vulnerable and marginalized populations have equitable access and use of quality services; (2) Inclusive economic growth through the development of sustainable livelihoods; (3) Increased national resilience to disasters, crises and external shocks; (4) Strengthened governance and social cohesion;

(5) Gender equality and social justice; and (6) Food and nutrition security for the most vulnerable groups. The new five year programme has firm basis in the national Framework for Economic Growth and the provincial and regional development plans. In addition, consistent with the spirit of the 18th constitutional amendment, the programme has been developed based on extensive consultations with the provincial, regional and federal UN counterparts, including civil society and other development partners. Javed Iqbal, Secretary, Economic Affairs Division (EAD), Mr. Timo Pakkala, UN Resident Coordinator and the Representatives of UN agencies in Pakistan signed the One UN Programme. At the signing ceremony EAD Secretary Mr. Javed Iqbal said that “Pakistan is one of the

founding members of the United Nations “Delivering as One” reform process that has led to the establishment of the first One UN Programme (2009-12). Signing of this second generation One UN Programme signifies government’s appreciation of the partnership with the United Nations and commitment to UN reform. The new One UN Programme represents an investment in further strengthening the effectiveness of our cooperation with the UN to ensure maximum benefit to the people of Pakistan”. Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf being briefed about the strategic trade policy framework 2012-15 by the Ministry of UN Resident Coordinator Commerce at Prime Minister’s Secretariat. Mr. Timo Pakkala said that “Through the next One UN Programme, UN continues to support social and economic development in Pakistan, including the achievement of the MDGs, poverty reduction, gender equality and reduction of risks from disasters. STAFF REPORTER in Sweden. He said that it’s pity complaints are received every AMANULLAH KHAN that only 700,000 people have year and out of that total 80 perISLAMABAD—The Senate was KARACHI—Federal Tax Om- filed tax returns this year. cent end up in the favour of cominformed Friday that sufficient budsman Dr Shoaib Suddle has Suddle said that the FTO plainants, which represents the amount of Urea Fertilizer is said that if only a few influen- office provides relief against inefficiency of tax machinery. available in the country to meet tial in Pakistan would be pun- unjust taxation by the tax colFTO said that concerted efthe demand of the Rabi season ished for tax evasion, all the lectors. “It is, however, not an forts are needed on the part of 2012-13. evaders would get on track au- office to facilitate tax evaders”, FBR to alleviate the sufferings Advisor for Industries tomatically. he said regretting that tax com- and agony of taxpayers. He said Muhammad Basharat Raja told Speaking to the office bear- pliance in Pakistan is very low. that in order to get rid of widesaid. the House during question hour On the other hand some of that 1.23 million tons of urea ers and members of Korangi Against global tax to GDP ratio spread maladministration a total the CNG owners were of the fertilizer and 0.359 million tons Association of Trade and Indus- of 25-30 percent and this ratio shift is required in the policies, opinion that Dr Asim Hussain of Di-Ammonium Phosphate try (KATI) here today said that in Pakistan is below nine per- as the approach is still based on was deliberately dragging on stock is availale in the country. due to his suo motto action in cent. He said that a web-based old colonial systems and practhe price issue so as to pass the He said 95 percent of the fertil- an effort to redress the genuine Complaint Handling System tices. He said that there is too winter season when gas short- izer is used in the form of urea complaints of taxpayers, the was being set up with the office much concentration of powers in Federal Board of Revenue of Tax Ombudsman soon to ad- FBR, which gives birth to corage is being witnessed and he and DAP. (FBR) provided relief of Rs 8 dress taxpayers’ grievances ef- ruption. There should be separawants to hide his failure to To a question, Minister of meet the energy demand. They State for Foreign Affairs Malik billion to 196,000 taxpayers.” ficiently. He said the misuse of tion of powers and multiple funcIf we have to run this coun- discretion by tax collectors is tions should not be performed. expressed their resentment as Ammad Khan informed the Earlier, Chairman KATI, to why the Advisor on Petro- House that 28 hunting licenses try then everyone should pay tax often not reported. “You should raise your Mohammad Zubair Chhaya said on his income”, Suddle said leum and Natural resources were approved by the Prime was not being removed despite Minister for the foreign digni- pointing out the dismal tax to voice against such malpractices in his welcome address that GDP ratio in Pakistan which is when the services of Tax Om- FTO’s performance has become his failures. taries from Gulf countries for the below 9 per cent as against 16 budsman are available with par excellence since the day Dr hunting season 2010-11. He said per cent in India and 51 per cent you.” He said that 1,500 to 1,600 Continued on Page 14 these permissions were issued to help improve relations with the leadership of these countries as has been a practice for the past several years.

Enough Urea fertilizer available for Rabi season

CNG prices: Chairman Senate reprimands Dr Asim STAFF REPORTER ISLAMABAD—Chairman Senate Nayyar Bukhari Friday reprimanded Petroleum Advisor Dr Asim Hussain over his failure to resolve the CNG price issue. Bukhari said people had been waiting in long lines for fifty days and he (Dr Asim) had not been able to prepare the price formula. The Chairman Senate added that the government

not judiciary was responsible for determining the price of CNG. When Dr Asim tried to present his stance on the issue, Bukhari stopped him from speaking in the Senate. Senator Raza Rabbani also expressed his anger over the CNG price issue and said the CNG cartel was challenging the writ of the government. “If terrorism cases can be registered against workers, why can they not be registered against CNG owners,” Rabbani

Deadline for amnesty schemes extended STAFF REPORTER ISLAMABAD—The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has further extended the deadline for the Companies Regularization Scheme (CRS) and Companies Easy Exit Scheme (CEES) for another month up to December 31, 2012. A Circular No. 40 of 2012 has issued and placed on the SECP’s web-site. Up till now over 3,500 companies have taken benefit under the schemes. The third extension in the two amnesty schemes were

made on high demand of the investor bodies and business associations as the schemes are beneficial for businesses to adjust their statutory returns and annual accounts. The regularization scheme, which is applicable to all unlisted companies, provides defaulting firms an opportunity to file their overdue statutory returns and annual accounts. These schemes were initially operative for a period of two months, from July 2, 2012 to August 31, 2012. Upon receipt of requests for extension in time period of the schemes

Julfar elected to GSMA Board

from relevant quarters, the SECP subsequently extended validity period till December 31, 2012. The purpose of this initiative was to provide both facilities to STAFF REPORTER the companies at the same time, either to get their defaults regu- I SLAMABAD —Chief Execularized under CRS, or benefit from the exit facility under CEES, if the company was defunct, not doing any business or not in operation and intends to cease its existence. The fee structure shall remain the same as was applicable in the month of November 2012 for the schemes.

Business opportunities are like buses, there’s always another one coming. — Richard Branson

Total reshuffle needed to check maladministration: Suddle

Siraj Kassam Teli, Chairman Businessmen Group presenting shield to Rafeeque Ahmed Meccam, President Federation of Indian Export Organizations.

tive Officer, Etisalat Group, Ahmad Abdulkarim Julfar has been elected to the GSM Association (GSMA) Board. Mr. Julfar joins 24 other global CEOs and senior executives reflecting the largest operator groups as well as smaller independent operators with global representation. GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, spanning more than 220 countries and uniting nearly 800 of the world’s mobile operators with more than 230 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset makers, software companies, equipment providers and Internet companies, as well as organisations in

LSE seminar on code of corporate governance SALIM AHMED

LAHORE—For the implementation of revised code of corporate governance as part of listing regulation, an awareness session was held today at the auditorium of the Lahore Stock Exchange. Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of LSE Mr. Aftab Ahmed Chaudhry was the chief guest of this session. Mr. Aftab Ahmed Chaudhry in his welcome speech said that this Revised Code of Corporate Governance awareness session is an interaction with the repre-

sentatives of Listed companies for emphasizing about compliance and enforcement aspects which are necessary in light of its various mandatory provisions to ensure smooth implementation across the Board. A comprehensive presentation given by Mr. Akif Saeed Executive Director of SECP and for compliance of Revised Code of Corporate Governance representative of Lahore Stock Exchange Mr. Salman Bokhari also deliver a presentation. Key speaker Mr. Akif Saeed said that over all structure of the company should be interlink to

the management concerning compliance and stated that it is state of mind set regarding composition of the Board. He also elaborate about key points i.e. limit for the Board of Directors, Responsibility, Power and function of Directors, Appointment of Chief Executive, recording the minutes of the Board Meeting, Directors Training Program, Directors remuneration and non Executive Directors of the Companies. He also talked about establishment of Company Law Commission and mandatory development website of Public Limited companies.

Weekly inflation increases STAFF REPORTER

ISLAMABAD—The Sensitive Price Indicator (SPI) for the week ended on December 20, for the lowest income group up to Rs.8,000, registered a nominal increase of 0.04 percent as compared to the previous week. The SPI for the week under review in the above mentioned group was recorded at 181.54 points against 181.47 points registered in the previous week, according the figures of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS). The weekly SPI has been computed with base 2007Continued on Page 14 2008=100, covering 17 urban

centers and 53 essential items for all income groups and combined. The SPI for the combined group increased by 0.03 per cent as it go up from 187.61 points in the previous week to 187.67 points in the week under review. As compared to the corresponding week of last year, the SPI for the combined group in the week under review witnessed increase of 7.49 percent. As compared to the last week, the SPI for the income groups from Rs.8001-12,000, 12,00118,000, 18001-35,000 and above Rs.35,000 increased by 0.03 percent, 0.03 percent, 0.03 and 0.05 percent respectively.

During the week under review average prices of 13 items registered decrease, while that of 11 items increase with the remaining 29 items’ prices unchanged. The items which registered decrease in their prices during the week under review included chicken live (farm), sugar, red chillies, onion, gur, mash pulse (washed), moong pulse (washed), vegetable ghee (loose), cooking oil (tin), masoor pulse (washed), rice basmati and mustard oil. The items which recorded increase in their average prices included egg hen (farm).

Indo-Pak tycoons want banks, firms basis across the border ISMAIL DILAWAR KARACHI—The traders and businessmen living across the Indo-Pak border Friday urged the two governments to expedite the process of trade liberalisation that, they said, must prioritise the opening of banks and trade firms on two sides of Line of Control (LoC). “We would require presence of local banks on both the sides to give requisite confidence to importers and exporters,” Rafeeque Ahmed Meccam, president Federation of Indian Export Organizations (FIEO), told opening ceremony of the India Expo

2012 Friday. The exhibition was held here at Expo Centre by the FIEO in collaboration with Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI). “I would take this opportunity to request the concerned agencies to expedite the process of opening of branches of Pakistan banks in India and Indian banks in Pakistan,” he said. He said it was quite ironical that all South East Asian economies were striking FTAs with nations across Pacific and Atlantic but not amongst themselves. Improved bilateral ties between India and Pakistan would give the necessary oxygen to South Asia Free Trade Zone

which would open vistas of opportunities for countries of the region, he said. The FIEO president said to enhance Indo-Pak bilateral trade, India Expo 2012 was only beginning of a long journey between FIEO and KCCI. He said he would like to reciprocate to nice gesture of Pakistani side by extending similar privilege to them in India. He apprised that FIEO was an apex trade promotion body set up by the Ministry of Commerce to promote international trade having more than 14 offices in India and organizes more than 50 international exhibitions across the globe. FIEO board comprises Export Promo-

tion Councils and Commodity Boards and represents in various committees of the Government in their decision making. The FIEO president said India–Pakistan bilateral trade for the year 2011-12 was estimated at $ 2 billion. The balance of trade is favourable for the Indian side with $ 1.54 billion exports and imports at $ 400 million. The recent official figure between April-October, 2012 places exports at $ 834 million, exhibiting a growth of about 1pc while imports during the same period increased to $ 333 million, showing a jump of 42pc from the corresponding period in 2011. “We are looking forward

for narrowing trade deficit with Pakistan,” he said adding “We are equally eager to increase our imports for that healthy balance of trade result in win-win situation for both the countries.” The President FIEO stressed upon the need to diversify the trade from both the sides. India’s exports to Pakistan comprise 89 major products which contribute approximately 90% of the total export. The main products exported from India to Pakistan are polymers, industrial chemicals, machinery, polyester fabric and yarn. Capital goods are the strength of India, and Pakistan is importing it from other countries, India should exploit this

opportunity. Most of the items in India are expensive in comparison to Pakistan so cheaper items can be sourced from Pakistan to avoid expensive imports from other countries. Both countries should try and explore to create synergies and not get overly competitive. He highlighted that the infrastructure issues are hindering the growth of the trade between the two countries. The land route is most competitive as carrying a container through Wagah costs $ 391 while the same through Mumbai-Dubai-Karachi cost over $ 1000. “We need to provide better infrastructure to facilitate trade through the clos-

est route,” he said. He opined that multiple city and multiple entry visa regime would be introduced from January, 2013 which would be a big boost for bilateral trade. Ajay Sahai, Director General and CEO of FIEO, proposed that India and Pakistan should give preference to companies in each other’s countries for exports and imports if products can be supplied at competitive prices. For example sugar can be exported from Pakistan to India which would help in softening sugar prices in the country while petroleum exporters from India could reduce the price of petroleum products in Pakistan by $ 14 per barrel giving a saving

close to $ 2 billion for its economy. On the occasion, Siraj Kassam Teli, chairman Businessmen Group and former president KCCI, stressed the need for creating new Indo-Pak trade synergies for regional economic integration. Teli, as a chief guest, said once Indo-Pak business executed in a real sense, both the countries would be not dependent on other countries for economic cooperation. Indo-Pak trade nexus would also activate intraSAARC trade. He said during last one decade business communities of the two countries

Continued on Page 14


KESC, CBC officials meeting OBSERVER REPORT K ARACHI —A delegation of Karachi Electric Supply Corporation had a meeting with the President, Cantonment Board Clifton, Brig. Anis Ahmed at CBC main Office. Executive Officer CBC Mr. Adil Rafi Siddiqui, Director KESC Mr. Qazi Tameezuddin, President, DRS Mr. Zafar Iqbal, were also present in the meeting. PCB discussed to KESC officials on the issues of electrical hazard and load-shedding timing for which the supply of water is affected in CBC area, PCB advised the concerned officials that install electric meter at Kala-pul pumping station and other electrical work should be maintain in all commercial areas and also discussed underground wiring system in DHA. PCB further said that electric poles should be removed from centre of the main roads and streets from the affected areas. PCB directed that in-future planning Defence Authority should make a permanent place for the installation of PMTs and high and low tensions wires at safe and secure places and instructed CBC officials that any loopholes will not be tolerated. In the end, PCB assured the delegation that with the joint efforts and coordination we will solve all issues of CBC residents.

Wateen Telecom sponsors digital marketing conference STAFF REPORTER L AHORE —Wateen Telecom participated in the prestigious Digital Marketing Conference 2012, held in Karachi. The Digital conference was held under the auspices of the Pakistan Advertisers’ Society as a platform to bring together Pakistan’s marketing and advertising communities on the subject of reinventing and reshaping marketing media. The conference, which is EC-Pakistan’s 2nd Digital Marketing Conference, was held under the theme of “Digital Marketing: Today, Tomorrow & Beyond” and was specially designed to keep an eye on present and future digital marketing/social media trends, tools, techniques and approaches, a Wateen media man said here on Thursday. He said as the country’s leading converged communications provider, Wateen Telecom acted as one of the headline sponsors for the event. Naeem Zamindar, CEO Wateen Telecom, also addressed the conference as a keynote speaker. Zamindar spoke of the increasing importance and role of convergence in Pakistan’s telecommunications technologies during his address on Mobile Marketing. Specifically, Zamindar talked about mobile content and measurement, and how brands can work together with telecommunication companies such as Wateen to deliver content.

wins Pakistani exports to USA OGDCL corporate yield $67.758 return philanthropy award STAFF REPORTER I SLAMABAD —Minister for

in year 2010-2011. He added that the country’s exports registered US$ 23.641 during year 2011-2012. He said that the Government has taken steps for promotion of exports. He said that incentives have been given to boost exports such as concessionary financing, duty free import of raw material under temporary importation scheme/Duty, Tax Remission on Exports (DTRE), duty drawback scheme, concessions in duty/taxes on import of machinery and raw material of priority export sectors, development of export clusters.

“Through active trade diplomacy, Government is trying to get better market access for the local businesses in international markets by concluding Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) and Preferential Trade Agreements (PTAs) with different countries. Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) is undertaking various export promotional activities through trade exhibitions and delegations in the new markets vis-àvis China, Hong Kong, Russia, Malaysia, Africa region, America and Eastern Europe, etc.

ISLAMABAD—The Oil and Gas

Development Company Limited (OGDCL) won the Corporate Philanthropy Award 2012 in recognition for philanthropy contribution to social development in the country for the current year under the auspicious Pakistan Centre for Philanthropy. Nisar Ahmed Khuhro, Speaker, Sindh Assembly presented the award to Basharat A. Mirza, Executive Director Strategic Business Planning OGDCL, on behalf of Managing Director OGDCL in a ceremony, says a press release. The award is based on a survey of 490 public listed companies involving interviews and review of annual and financial reports conducted by PCP, which is based on the research reports titled “Corporate Philanthropy in Pakistan: Survey of Public Listed Companies 2011”. This is a research initiative which highlights the contributions of various segments of corporate sector for development of social sector. It estimate the volume, nature and practice of philanthropy in the corporate world, it highlights the areas company preferred to support and various venues they use to contributes funds, times and in kind giving for social causes. The company is engaged in aggressive Corporate Social Welfare Programme (CSR) KARACHI: President Asif Ali Zardari conferred Gold Medal Award to Ishtiag Baig at 36th where its operations are located FPCCI Export Awards function. and is receiving this award for the last several years. Commerce Makhdoom Amin Fahim on Friday informed the Senate that Pakistan had exported goods to the United Stated of America (USA) valuing US$ 67.758 during the last three years. In a written statement during Question Hour, the Minister said that Pakistani exports to the US in year 2009-10 were US$ 19.290. However, the exports increased in the following year and Pakistan exported goods amounting to US$ 24.827

PPAF’s starts new women uplift programme STAFF REPORTER

ISLAMABAD —Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund’s flagship radio program Roshan Raahein will hit the airwaves across Pakistan from FM-93 of Radio Pakistan from Saturday, December 22, 2012 at 03:10 PM. Listeners of Balochistan can hear it through MW channel of Radio Pakistan. Main objective of 13 episodes of current series is to ensure social inclusion, politi-

cal mainstreaming and empowerment of women. Main target audience of the radio program includes poor communities, partner organizations, government, donor agencies, communities and civil society with the purpose of sensitizing them on abovementioned issues. This 15-minute radio program in Urdu language will comprise 2 segments; in first segment inspiring stories of successful women belonging to PPAF communities from

across the country will be shared in the form of audio documentary, and in the second segment different experts will be interviewed to discuss women focused issues such as health, nutrition, education, awareness raising, property rights, marriage, divorce, etc. PPAF strives to develop inclusive, representative, transparent and accountable institutions of the poor. The catalytic role of women in program design, delivery and impact is at the core of all interventions.

Industry closure enters 14th day STAFF CORRESPONDENT MULTAN—The industrial sector of Southern Punjab has come to a halt as gas supply has been suspended for indefinite period. The industries are without gas while the Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL) spokesman said that the supply has been suspended for indefinite period due to winter season. The authorities apprised that the decision to halt gas supply was taken after the difference between demand and supply was widened.

Crises have hit the industrial zone as eight days have already passed without gas and the production process in textile mills has reduced to nil. Some factories have resorted to utilize woods as fuel and are running the boilers by burning them as fuel. However, most of the factories are not functional for the past eight days that has adversely affected the daily-wage workers. The workers as well as the industrialists in the city had strongly resented forced holidays due to week-long suspension of gas supply since Decem-

ber 8. The workers said that they have been thrown out of employment, as the industry cannot run without gas supply, which remains suspended for the last eight days. They have exhausted whatever savings they had and now they and their families are left to face starvation. Industrialists in the other hand complained that they are finding it difficult to meet their export orders as a result of suspension of gas supply that is incurring huge losses, while the country is also losing much needed foreign exchange.

KSBL seminar STAFF REPORTER K ARACHI —December 21, 2012:Dr. Christoph H. Loch, Director (Dean) Cambridge Judge Business School, and Professor of Management Studies, was at KSBL on December 12th and 13th where he was the Key Note Speaker at the first KSBL Executive Education Seminar on Intrapreneurship, Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Professor Loch met with Dean KSBL Dr. Shaukat A. Brah, where they discussed areas of cooperation between Cambridge University Judge Business School (JBS) and the Karachi School for Business & Leadership (KSBL), including long term strategic relationship, cooperation in executive education, faculty and student exchanges, exchange of working papers, research collaboration with industry including Pakistan’s SME sector, and lectures by academic and business leaders through video conferencing, making this relationship beneficial not only for KSBL but for Higher Education in Pakistan as well. Professor Loch and KSBL Board of Trustees showed keen interest in fostering the collaboration further in years ahead for the mutual benefit of the two great institutions saying there are many examples in the Pakistani economy that fly in the face of conventional wisdom, and that the developed world can learn from these.

STAFF REPORTER

KARACHI: A group photo taken on the arrival of delegation from Federation of Indian Export Organisation (FIEO), India, received by Nasir Mehmood, VP, KCCI at Karachi Airport. Rafeque Ahmed Mecca, President - FIEO and members of the delegation, are also seen in the picture.

PRGTI holds fire safety training course STAFF REPORTER K ARACHI —Addressing the crucial industrial needs of fire safety and risk assessment within local industries, ‘WRAP’s Fire Safety Training Course’ held at Pakistan Readymade Garments Training Institute (PRGTI). This is the first time when a series of international training courses are being organised in Pakistan by Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP), in collaboration with Accordia Global Compliance Group. Saifullah Khawaja, Director of WRAP’s Bangladesh Liaison Office, was the lead trainer in the course. The participants were informed that a fire risk assessment in industrial setups

is an organised and methodical look at factory premises, as there is always a likelihood that a fire could start and cause harm to those in and around the premises. “Good management of fire safety is essential to ensure that fire is unlikely to occur, and if it does occur its likely to be controlled or contained quickly, effectively and safely. Also, everyone in the factory knows how to escape to a place of total safety”, Mr. Khawaja explained. The course covered aspects related with fire safety & protection, fire spread & combustion, routine fire prevention measures, effective response during fire, risk assessment, coupled with workable models of evacuation, including fire drills and pre-planning etc.

Julfar elected From Page 13 industry sectors such as financial services, healthcare, media, transport and utilities. The GSMA also produces industry-leading events such as the Mobile World Congress and Mobile Asia Expo. Julfar will work with the GSMA Board and the GSMA to help shape the future of mobile communications and develop a new future for the individuals, organizations and governments throughout the world. Mr. Julfar will serve on the GSMA Board for a two-year term from January 2013 through December 2014. “Group CEO Etisalat, Ahmad AbdulkarimJulfar’s representation on the GSMA Board is a source of great pride for the whole Etisalat family”, said President & CEO PTCL.

Enterprises involvement in TVET inevitable STAFF REPORTER ISLAMABAD—Active involvement of the industry in imparting technical and vocational training is inevitable for provision of required demand-driven skills to Pakistanis as 1.5 million new youth annually enters the labour market. This was the crux of deliberations at a national seminar entitled-Involving Enterprises into Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), jointly organized by National Vocational and Technical Training Commission (NAVTTC) and TVET Reform Support Programme here at local hotel, which is co-funded by the European Union, the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands and the Federal Republic of Germany. TVET experts, officials, employers and training providers participated in the seminar from all over the country. The main purpose of the seminar was to deliberate upon various local and international models of involving the private sector into TVET system and seeking a way forward to replicate them in Pakistan. NAVTTC Executive Director Tariq Shafi Chak opened the seminar and underlined the need for involving the industry into TVET system. He said Pakistan has the biggest potential of youth, which needs to be equipped with demand-driven skills and that cannot be possible without participation of the industry. He invited the private sector to come forward and be part of the TVET delivery system. Chairman Punjab Vocational Training Council (PVTC) Faisal Ijaz Khan gave a presentation on involvement of industry into training delivery mechanism being applied by his organization.

KARACHI: The Consul General of Japan Akira Ouchi hosted a reception to celebrate the birthday of His Majesty the Emperor of Japan. Picture shows Speaker Sindh Assembly Nisar Ahmed Khuro, Minister Haji Muzaffar Shujra, Governor State Bank Yaseen Anwar, Fatma Suraiya Bajya, with other guests.

Steps taken to strengthen rupee value STAFF REPORTER ISLAMABAD—Minister of State for Finance and Chairman Board of Investment, Saleem H. Mandviwalla here on Friday said that government was taking all possible measures to stop speculation and down slide of rupee for strengthening its value against the dollar. The Minister visited the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics after assuming the charge of his office today where he was briefed about the working and data collection process of the bureau. Due to the measures taken by the government rupee value against dollar was getting strengthening adding that it would further improve during the coming days, he added. He said that government was expecting US$ 600-700 million from US under head of Coalition Support Fund (CSF) which

would also help in strengthening rupee value in the country. Salmeem Mandviwalla said that government was also striving to action 3rd Generation Spectrum (3G) license as soon as possible by keeping all transparency measures. Replaying to a question, the minister said that decision to approach International Monitory Fund (IMF), any fresh programme was not taken yet, however any decision in this regard would be taken by observing the international economic situation for the stabilization and development of our economy. He said that government was determined to enhance overseas workers remittances upto US$ 20 billion which was currently stood at US$ 13.5 billion by taking different steps and facilitating them which would help to stabilize current account and trade account of the government.

Total shift From Page 13 Suddle has come into this office. He also praised Dr Suddle’s courageous role in Shoib Suddle Commission to probe Dr Arsalan Case. He agreed to the issues raised by President All Karachi Industrial Alliance, Mian Zahid Hussain and assured that tax-payers woes to be considered especially in adjudications wherein malpractices is prevalent. Mian Zahid Hussain drawn FTO’s attention towards the grim situation of export sector saying that refunds have totally been stopped and claims of billions of rupees have been stuck up. He requested that Dr Shoib Suddle who is proactively performing should take notice of this situation whether it would be a suo moto action or consider his plea as petition. He further pointed out that audit issue has become very serious as notices are being issued to the businessmen even in violation of Lahore High Court’s order.

Session on new code of corporate governance STAFF REPORTER ISLAMABAD—The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), on Thursday conducted an awareness session on Code of Corporate Governance, 2012 (“the Code”) at the Lahore Stock Exchange (LSE). The awareness session held in collaboration with the LSE, was attended by CEOs, CFOs, company secretaries and internal auditors of companies listed at the LSE. The session opened with a presentation by the SECP highlighting the revised Code and implementation schedule followed by presentation by LSE on compliance and enforcement of the Code and concluded by a detailed question and answer session. The Code was launched and implemented as part of the listing regulations of the stock exchanges in April this year. It was

finalized after extensive stakeholder consultation both by the Pakistan Institute of Corporate Governance Task Force and by the SECP. However, this consultation and coverage was more at a policy level, since the implementation of the Code the SECP has been receiving numerous quires - primarily of operational nature. Due to above and the fact that the revised Code has made certain previously optional provisions mandatory and also introduced new concepts and requirements, it was felt that awareness sessions should be held at all the three stock exchanges targeted towards CEOs, CFOs, company secretaries and internal auditors of the listed companies. First of such session was held on October 4, 2012 at Karachi Stock Exchange which was also very well received and attended by

above two hundred participants. This awareness session is part of the SECP’s efforts to raise corporate governance standards in Pakistan and to protect the interest of minority shareholders. Apart from creating awareness, these sessions would also help listed companies to ensure compliance with the provisions of the code that have become effective. At the same time these awareness session would enable them prepare and take measures for timely implementation of these provisions which will become effective at the time of next board election. It is expected that these sessions would not only lead to successful implementation of the Code but also improve the growth of corporate sector by promoting governance regime which strengthens the rights of all stakeholders.

LPG import up STAFF REPORTER

Belal Jabbar, official spokesman of LPG marketing companies when contacted, confirmed that following the Lahore High Court’s directives, Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) was restrained from taking any coercive measures against LPG companies, as import of the product have begun to flow into the country. In order to cater to the gap and to meet the increasing demand for LPG in winter, the JJVL and other companies immediately began import of LPG. The landed cost of the product at Karachi’s Port Qasim is Rs 128,000 per ton, whereas it costs companies approximately Rs 9,000 per ton to transport the product to their respective plants. “Without accounting for any overheads and expenses

other than transportation, the landed cost of the product in mid-country is Rs134,000 per ton, whereas Ogra’s mandated sale price is Rs133,388 per ton,” said Belal. “Companies, which do not want to violate Ogra’s orders, have suspended supplies to the market as they do not want to sell at a loss,” he added. “Import plans, which were previously put on hold have now been put into effect following the orders of the Lahore High Court,” Jabbar maintained. He said the marketing companies were purchasing the product from the international market at international rates, therefore the commodity prices in the local market are on rise. He added that imported LPG costs Rs 128,000 per ton at Port Qasim, Karachi.

ISLAMABAD—The import of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) in the country has witnessed an increase owing to shutdown of Jamshoro Joint Venture Limited (JJVL) along with shortage of natural gas and intensity of winter. A ship carrying one parcel of 3,800 tons berthed the other day at Sui Southern Gas Company’s (SSGC) LPG terminal, while another carrying 2,500 tons is expected to arrive in Karachi next week. Whereas, local production of the commodity has declined from 1,200 ton per day to 8,000 tons due to shutdown of JJVL’s LPG plant, wherein fire erupted From Page 13 last month. The plant is expected had learned a lot and like to im- to become operational in January 2013, sources added. prove trade relations. He viewed that political relations should not affect the positive business developments between business communities of two countries, positive developments should not slowdown and businesses should not sufCOLOMBO—The Sri Lankan fer. government has agreed to send He hoped that the Indo-Pak skilled labourers to contribute business communities would towards rebuilding Afghanistan fairly and sincerely entertain and restoring cultural artifacts in each other. He observed that the country, a joint statement pace of economic growth in said. South Asia was slow and inThis was revealed during a tra-regional trade in SAARC meeting between visiting Afblock was very nominal as ghan Foreign Minister Dr. compared to other regional Zalmai Rassoul and External blocks like ASEAN and the Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. EU. Peiris in Colombo. He said some business Issuing a Joint Communiqué friends may have apprehensions the both the countries said, “two on Indo-Pak trade however, he ministers agreed to harness the personally feel Indo-Pak bilatresources and the skilled labour eral trade would benefit Pakiavailable in Sri Lanka to constan. Increased Indo-Pak private tribute towards rebuilding Afsector business integration is imperative to remove apprehen- ISLAMABAD: Chairman PARC awarding shields to small ghanistan and restoring cultural artifacts in the country”.—INP sions and bureaucratic hurdles. farmers & scientists.

Indo-Pak

SL to send skilled labourers to Afghanistan


Syrian rebels intensify fight for strategic town in Hama province Berlusconi still beloved of Italians!

district of Yarmouk earlier this BEIRUT—Rebels began to push from Maan and al-Tleisia, we sizeable portion of them support- ing to arm themselves and for- of fire.” ROME—They call themselves “the club”. A into a strategic town in Syria’s have taken two checkpoints in the ing the government out of fear of eign fighters - mostly Sunnis President Vladimir Putin of week, which put them within 3

doctor, a business-owner, pensioners and engineers - united by their support for one of Europe’s most controversial politicians, Silvio Berlusconi. “We are all Berlusconiani. We do not want Monti. We don’t want someone who takes orders from Brussels,” said teacher Annalisa Lillo, 49, in the Rome antiques shop where the club meets to discuss politics in the evenings. Outsiders might struggle to understand the continued appeal of the four-time, scandal-ridden prime minister, driven from office a year ago at the height of Italy’s economic crisis. But while support for his People of Freedom party is half what it once was, it still commands 16.5 percent and remains a formidable player as Italy prepares for elections in February. Fuelled by cake and glasses of sparkling wine, members lobby politicians, attend pro-Berlusconi rallies and scrub off anti-Berlusconi graffiti in the neighbourhood where they meet. On one evening, about 20 men and women between 25 and 75 sat in a circle on assorted antique furniture discussing Berlusconi’s return to the leadership of the PDL. “He knows the pulse of Italians,” said 39year old engineer Alessio Brugnoli. “Berlusconi is the obligatory choice.”One poll showed PDL support rose three points in the week after he announced his candidacy, proving there is life in the old man yet and it would be rash to underestimate him. “Berlusconi is an unusual politician. He’s a businessman. He’s not in politics to claim expenses and get an official car. He lives, works to help businesses,” pensioner Augusto Senesi said. “You cannot say he damaged the country.”—Reuters

Japan’s cabinet to make reforms

central Hama province on Thursday and laid siege to at least one town dominated by President Bashar al-Assad’s minority sect, activists said. The operation risks inflaming already raw sectarian tensions as the 21-month-old revolt against four decades of Assad family rule - during which the president’s Alawite sect has dominated leadership of the Sunni Muslim majority rumbles on. Opposition sources said rebels had won some territory in the strategic southern town of Morek and were surrounding the Alawite town of al-Tleisia. They were also planning to take the town of Maan, arguing that the army was present there and in al-Tleisia and was hindering their advance on nearby Morek, a town on the highway that runs from Damascus north to Aleppo, Syria’s largest city and another battleground in the conflict. “The rockets are being fired from there, they are being fired

southern town of Morek. If we want to control it then we need to take Maan,” said a rebel captain in Hama rural area, who asked not to be named. Activists said heavy army shelling had targeted the town of Halfaya, captured by rebels two days earlier. Seven people were killed, 30 were wounded, and dozens of homes were destroyed, said activist Safi al-Hamawi. Hama is home to dozens of Alawite and Christian villages among Sunni towns, and activists said it may be necessary to lay siege to many minority areas to seize Morek. Rebels want to capture Morek to cut off army supply lines into northern Idlib, a province on the northern border with Turkey where rebels hold swathes of territory. From an offshoot of Shi’ite Islam, Alawites have largely stood behind Assad, many out of fear of revenge attacks. Christians and some other minorities have claimed neutrality, with a few joining the rebels and a more

hardline Islamism that has taken root in some rebel groups. Activists in Hama said rebels were also surrounding the Christian town of al-Suqeilabiya and might enter the city to take out army positions as well as those of “shabbiha” - pro-Assad militias, the bulk of whom are usually Alawite but can also include Christians and even Sunnis. “We have been in touch with Christian opposition activists in alSuqeilabiya and we have told them to stay downstairs or on the lowest floor of their building as possible, and not to go outside. The rebels have promised not to hurt anyone who stays at home,” said activist Mousab al-Hamdee, speaking by Skype. He said he was optimistic that potential sectarian tensions with Christians could be resolved but that Sunni-Alawite strife may be harder to suppress. U.N. human rights investigators said on Thursday that Syria’s conflict was becoming more “overtly sectarian”, with more civilians seek-

flocking in from 29 countries. “They come from all over, Europe and America, and especially the neighboring countries,” said Karen Abuzayd, one of the U.N. investigators, told a news conference in Brussels. Deeper sectarian divisions may diminish prospects for post-conflict reconciliation even if Assad is ousted, and the influx of foreigners raises the risk of fighting spilling into neighboring countries riven by similar communal fault lines. Some activists privately voiced concerns of sectarian violence, but the rebel commander in Hama said fighters had been told “violations” would not be tolerated and argued that the move to attack the towns was purely strategic. “If we are fired at from a Sunni village that is loyal to the regime we go in and we liberate it and clean it,” he said. “So should we not do the same when it comes to an Alawite village just because there is a fear of an all-out sectarian war? We respond to the source

Russia, Assad’s main ally and arms supplier, warned that any solution to the conflict must ensure government and rebel forces do not merely swap roles and fight on forever. It appeared to be his first direct comment on the possibility of a post-Assad Syria. The West and some Arab states accuse Russia of shielding Assad after Moscow blocked three U.N. Security Council resolutions intended to increase pressure on Damascus to end the violence, which has killed more than 40,000 people. Putin said the Syrian people would ultimately decide their own fate. Assad’s forces have been hitting back at rebel advances with heavy shelling, particularly along the eastern ring of suburbs outside Damascus, where rebels are dominant. A Syrian security source said the army was planning heavy offensives in northern and central Syria to stem rebel advances, but there was no clear sign of such operations yet. Rebels seized the Palestinian refugee

km (2 miles) of downtown Damascus. Heavy shelling and fighting forced thousands of Palestinian and Syrian residents to flee the Yarmouk area. Rebels said on Thursday they had negotiated to put the camp actually a densely packed urban district - back into the hands of pro-opposition Palestinian fighters. There are some 500,000 Palestinian refugees and their descendants living in Syria, and they have been divided by the uprising. Palestinian factions, some backed by the government and others by the rebels, had begun fighting last week, a development that allowed Syrian insurgents to take the camp. A resident in Damascus said dozens of families were returning to the camp but that the army had erected checkpoints. Many families were still hesitant to return. Elsewhere, Syrian insurgents took over an isolated border post on the western frontier with Lebanon earlier this week, local residents told Reuters on Thursday.—Reutes

TOKYO—Incoming Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s cabinet looks likely to be heavy on close allies, with a few party rivals added to fend off criticism of cronyism, but few see signs that the line-up will produce creative reform policies. Abe, who will be voted in as prime minister on Wednesday following his conservative Liberal Democratic Party’s (LDP) sweeping election win, has made clear his top priority is to slay deflation with a huge dose of monetary easing and spending. To assist with that task, the 58-year-old Abe, who served as premier from 2006-2007, will tap former prime minister Taro Aso as finance minister and ex-trade minister Akira Amari for a new “Economic Revival” portfolio, Japanese media reported this week. Both are close allies who share Abe’s affection for reflationary policies, including heavy pressure on the Bank of Japan to take more drastic action to beat deflation. Bowing to such pressure, the central bank on Thursday delivered its third shot of monetary stimulus in four months and signaled it might set a higher inflation target at its January meeting “It’s deja vu all over again,” said Brad Glosserman, executive director of the Honolulu-based Pacific Forum CSIS think tank. “He (Abe) is a real Japanese economic traditionalist - inflate the economy to try to get growth but don’t try anything that will upset the proverbial apple cart.”—Reuters

Hollande reaffirms 2013 deficit PARIS—French President Francois Hollande reiterated on Friday that his government was targeting a reduction of the public deficit in 2013 to three percent of GDP despite new official data showing economic growth way below forecast. Hollande told Europe 1 radio he also expected that French unemployment would only begin to fall by late 2013 despite what he said would be a “difficult year” for the economy. French President Francois Hollande (C), his companion Valerie Trierweiler and his Algerian counterpart Abdelaziz Bouteflika (2nd R) gesture during a walk in Tlemcen on the second day of Hollande’s two-day official visit. “There’s no recession, not in France,” Hollande said. “But it will be difficult because when we have nearly zero growth in the first half of the year, unemployment will keep rising.” The French economy will eke out growth of only 0.1 percent this year, dropping from 1.7 percent in 2011 and missing the government’s forecast for 0.3 percent, national statistics office INSEE estimated late on Thursday. More worrying, INSEE said the outlook would improve only marginally heading into 2013, estimating growth of 0.1 percent in both the first and second quarters. The weak economic momentum raises the chances the economy will grow less in 2013 than the 0.8 percent forecast the Socialist government has built its budget on.—Reuters

Iraaq PM accused BAGHDAD—Iraq’s Sunni leaders accused Shi’ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki of a political crackdown after troops raided the finance minister’s office and home, threatening to reignite a crisis a year after the last American troops left. The raids and detention of the Sunni minister’s staff came hours after President Jalal Talabani, a Kurd who often mediated among the fractious Sunni, Shi’ite and Kurdish blocs, left for Germany after suffering a stroke that could end his moderating influence in Iraqi politics. Politicians and authorities gave conflicting accounts of the incident, but it was reminiscent of a year ago when Iraqi authorities sought the arrest of Sunni Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi and his bodyguards, accusing them of running death squads just as U.S. troops packed up. Finance Minister Rafie al-Esawi, a member of the Sunni-backed Iraqiya bloc, said late on Thursday that more than 100 bodyguards and staff were snatched illegally by militias, and blamed Maliki for orchestrating the raids to target opponents. Maliki’s office said only six bodyguards were arrested under counter terrorism laws. The Hashemi case plunged the fragile power-sharing deal among Shi’ite and Sunni Muslims and Kurds into turmoil, with Sunni politicians boycotting parliament. Hashemi later fled to Turkey and was sentenced to death in absentia. “This confirms there is continued systematic targeting of the Sunni symbols and leaders participating in the political process,” Iraqiya leaders said in a statement. They called on their supporters to protest peacefully after Friday prayers.—Reuters

Russisa European talks BRUSSELS—Russian President Vladimir Putin and European Union leaders are likely to clash over issues ranging from Syria to trade, energy and human rights on Friday when Putin holds his first talks in Brussels since his re-election as president in May. Relations between the 27-nation bloc and Russia, its main external supplier of energy and a key trading partner, have been soured by rows over gas pipelines and brewing trade disputes over cars and pigs. European leaders have taken issue with the jailing of members of punk band Pussy Riot, prosecutions of opposition figures and laws restricting protests and foreign-funded organisations since Putin was re-elected. EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said in September such moves constituted “a trend that is of very serious concern to the European Union”. Russian and EU officials expect no breakthroughs in Putin’s talks with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy. Some commentators are surprised Putin is bothering to make the trip. “The last few EU-Russia summits have achieved very little and for Putin I think it is really a box-ticking exercise and I am almost surprised he is going at all,” said James Nixey, an expert on Russia at London’s Chatham House thinktank. No meeting of minds is likely over Syria where Russia has been sharply at odds with Western powers over a conflict that has killed more than 40,000 people since an uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began in March 2011.—AP

Tribal violence kills 39 in Kenya M O M B A S A — T h i r t y - n i n e area in August and September. people, including several children, were killed in tribal violence in Kenya’s coastal Tana Delta region on Friday, police said, heightening security concerns ahead of next year’s presidential election. Tribal fighting on the northern coast and deadly riots in the port city of Mombasa have raised fears that the March 2013 election in east Africa’s biggest economy will be marred again by violence and electoral abuses. Police said Friday’s raid on a village appeared to have been a revenge attack after clashes in August between farmers from the Pokomo tribe and semi-nomadic Orma tribesmen, who have fought for years over access to grazing, farmland and water in the coastal region. They said six women and 13 children Members of the Kenya Red Cross carry an injured man after an attack in his village at Tana River district in Kenya’s were among the dead and nine of the attackers were killed. coastal Tana Delta region on Friday. More than 100 people were killed in a series of attacks in the

KNU Elects Military Chief as New Chairman

YANGOB—The Karen National menting peace. Union (KNU) has elected military chief Gen Mutu Say Poe, who is believed to be a pragmatist keen on engagement with central government, as its new chairman to lead the group. Zipporah Sein, who had been general-secretary, was elected as vice-chairwoman. The KNU has been holding its 15th congress in the Lay Wah area of Hlaing Bwe Township, southern Karen State, since Nov. 26. Mutu Say Poe replaced outgoing KNU Chairman Tamla Baw, who voluntarily stepped down on Nov. 26, while Zipporah Sein has taken over from David Takapaw. Karen sources in the Thai town of Mae Sot, Tak Province, by the Burmese border said that the negotiation process between the KNU and government will likely accelerate as Mutu Say Poe is a pragmatic leader keen to build move forward with ce-

Fifty-five people drowned off Somali coast

Similarly, sources close to the government suggest that Naypyidaw officials will be relieved by the appointment as Mutu Say Poe is seen as someone President Thein Sein’s reformist administration can work with. Mutu Say Poe enjoys supported from the KNU’s military wing, Karen National Liberation Army’s Brigades 1, 3, 4, 6 and 7, while Zipporah Sein is supported by Brigades 2, 5 and the majority of the KNU’s central committee. Hla Ngwe, who served as the KNU’s joint-secretary 1, has been replaced by Thaw Thee Bwe. Kwe Htoo Win, formerly chairman of Mergui-Dawei District, Tenasserim Division for the KNU, has now become the group’s new general-secretary. The 1947-founded KNU is one of the major ethnic armed groups in Burma and has fought a civil war for greater autonomy

against the Burmese government for more than 60 years. Recently, rifts have appeared within its leadership over the peace deal that the group is negotiating with a government delegation led by the President Office’s Minister Aung Min. The KNU signed an initial ceasefire agreement with the government on Jan. 12, 2012. Following internal disagreements, the KNU dismissed three leaders including Mutu Say Poe on Oct. 2 for violating the organization’s protocol—opening a liaison office in the Karen capital Pa-an without informing other KNU central committee members. However, the two dismissed members, Mutu Say Poe and Roger Khin, head of the social welfare department at the time, were later reinstated. The third displaced member, former head of the justice department David Htaw, passed away recently and has yet to be replaced.—Mizzima

NRA returns to public debate, to meet with media

WASHINGTON—One week after appear Sunday on NBC’s NAIROBI—Fifty-five people the mass shootings that killed 26 “Meet the Press” program. were drowned, or missing and presumed to have drowned, after an overcrowded boat capsized off the Somali coast, the U.N. refugee agency said on Thursday. The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said in a statement that the accident on Tuesday was the worst such incident in the Gulf of Aden since February 2011 when 57 Somali migrants perished attempting to reach Yemen. The U.N. agency quoted five of the survivors, all young Somali men, as saying the boat was overcrowded and ran into trouble almost immediately after leaving the port of Bosasso in the northern Somali breakaway region of Puntland. It capsized just 15 minutes into its journey, spilling all 60 passengers into the sea. Those on board were Ethiopians and Somalis, the UNHCR said. So far, 23 bodies have been recovered, including those of 14 women, eight men, and a boy said to be less than four years of age. Five of the dead are confirmed to have been Ethiopians.—Reuters

people at a Connecticut elementary school 20 of them children the nation’s largest gun-rights lobby is returning to the spotlight as Congress prepares to consider tighter restrictions on firearms in the new year. The 4.3 million-member National Rifle Association largely disappeared from public debate after the shootings in Newtown, Conn., choosing atypical silence as a strategy as the nation sought answers after the rampage. The NRA took down its Facebook page and kept silent on Twitter. Unlike its actions in the wake of other mass shootings, the group did not put out a statement of condolence for the victims while simultaneously defending the rights of gun owners. That strategy, however, is set to change, starting with a news conference Friday. In the lead-up, the group re-activated its Facebook account it has 1.7 million members and its Twitter feed now warns supporters that “President Obama supports gun control measures, including reinstating an assault weapons ban.” The group also announced that its top lobbyist, Wayne LaPierre, planned to

It’s an about-face from the group that ignored requests for comment and shunned media attention for four days following last week’s shootings. “The National Rifle Association of America is made up of 4 million moms and dads, sons and daughters and we were shocked, saddened and heartbroken by the news of the horrific and senseless murders in Newtown,” the group said in its first public statement since the shootings, released Tuesday. “Out of respect for the families, and as a matter of common decency, we have given time for mourning, prayer and a full investigation of the facts before commenting.” The group also promised “meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again” and announced plans for Friday’s news conference on what is, in reality, the last real work day before Washington scatters for the long Christmas holiday. Obama has already asked Congress to reinstate an assault weapons ban that expired in 2004 and pass legislation that would end a provision that allows people to purchase firearms from private parties without a background

NATO detects more Scud-type missile launches in Syria

“About 150 Pokomo raiders attacked Kipao village which is inhabited by the Ormas early on Friday. The Ormas appeared to have been aware and were prepared,” Robert Kitur, Coast Region deputy police chief, told reporters. He said the raiders used firearms, spears, machetes and arrows, adding: “We have identified where the attackers came from and are pursuing them.” Kenya Red Cross, which has a team on the ground treating the wounded, put the death toll at 30, including several children, with about 45 houses set on fire. Red Cross photographs posted on Twitter showed the injured being treated for serious cuts to the arms and head. One person had lost an arm. Tourist numbers on the coast have tumbled over fears of a repeat of the ethnic violence that rocked Kenya after the disputed 2007 election.—Reuters

UN authorises African force to take on al Qaeda in Mali

BRUSSELS—President Bashar UNITED NATIONS—The 15- and will assist the rebuilt Malian al-Assad’s military has fired more Scud-type missiles inside Syria, NATO officials said on Friday, more than a week after the Western alliance first detected such arms being used on rebel targets. “I can confirm that we have detected the launch of Scudtype missiles. We strongly regret that act,” NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen said, calling the launches “acts of a desperate regime approaching collapse”. A NATO source said there had been multiple launches of Scud-type missiles inside Syria on Thursday morning. Rasmussen used the Scud launches to justify NATO’s decision to dispatch Patriot antimissile systems to NATO ally Turkey - a deployment criticised by Syria, Iran and Russia. “The fact that such missiles are used in Syria emphasises the need for effective defence protection of our ally Turkey,” he told reporters after talks at NATO headquarters with Djibouti Prime Minister Dileita Mohamed Dileita. “The recent launch of missiles has not hit Turkish territory but of course there is a potential threat and this is exactly the reason why NATO allies decided to deploy Patriot missiles in Turkey, for a defensive purpose only,” he said.—Reuters

nation U.N. Security Council on Thursday unanimously authorised the deployment of an African-led military force to help defeat al Qaeda and other Islamist militants in northern Mali. The French-drafted resolution also authorized the 27nation European Union and other U.N. member states to help rebuild the Malian security forces, who are to be assisted by the international African force during an operation in northern Mali that is not expected to begin before September 2013. The adoption of the resolution was the result of a compromise that ended weeks of disagreements between the United States and France over how best to tackle the problem of Mali, where al Qaeda-linked insurgents seized vast swathes of territory in March. The resolution authorizes the deployment for an initial period of one year of an African-led intervention force, to be known as AFISMA, to take “all necessary measures, in compliance with applicable international humanitarian law and human rights law.” The phrase “all necessary measures” is diplomatic code for military force. AFISMA is expected to have up to 3,300 troops

Italy prosecutors wind up Costa Concordia ship investigation

French national kidnapped in northern Nigeria

GROSSETO—Prosecutors have concluded their investigation into the shipwreck of the Costa Concordia cruise liner in which 32 people died and are preparing to seek a trial for its captain and seven other people, a magistrate said on Thursday. Captain Francesco Schettino is accused of manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning the ship, which was carrying some 4,000 passengers and crew when it hit rocks and capsized after he brought it too close to the island of Giglio. Francesco Verusio, who headed the investigation in the Tuscan port city of Grosseto, said he expected to file a request for an indictment at the end of January. He said Schettino faces

security forces “in recovering the areas in the north of its territory under the control of terrorist, extremist and armed groups.” The French text leaves open the question of how the international force will be funded. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has recommended against straight U.N. funding for the operation, suggesting that it be financed through voluntary contributions. The voluntary approach appeals to neither France nor the AU. The resolution calls on Ban to submit a report to the council on funding options. The Security Council does not have to accept Ban’s recommendation, though envoys say it may be difficult for the French to sway the council to support direct U.N. funding. U.N. officials say Ban dislikes the idea of the United Nations providing direct financial and logistical support for the initial operation to dislodge al Qaeda from northern Mali because it will be a messy fight, with a simple goal of killing as many militants as possible. “There could be serious human rights questions raised and I’m not sure it’s a good idea for the U.N. to be directly involved in that,” a diplomat told .—Reuters.

PARIS/ABUJA—A French en- Abubakar said. The kidnapped ergy worker has been kidnapped in northern Nigeria after 30 gunmen attacked a residence and killed a policeman and a security guard protecting the foreign employee, officials said on Thursday. No group claimed credit for the abduction but Islamist groups linked to Boko Haram, which has killed hundreds in an insurgency this year, have been behind similar kidnappings in the past and become the biggest security threat to Africa’s largest oil exporter. Local Nigerian police spokesman Aminu Sadiq Abubakar said the attack took place on Wednesday in the town of Rimi about 20 kilometres (12 miles) north of Katsina, very close to the border with Niger. A police station nearby had also been bombed and some inmates freed from detention,

worker was employed by French renewable energy firm Vergnet, officials said. A Paris-based Vergnet executive confirmed the kidnapping. Vergnet is a French firm specialising in wind power turbines, with 700 globally. The company is currently building Nigeria’s first wind farm based in Katsina state. French President Francois Hollande, on a visit to Algeria, confirmed a French man had been kidnapped and two Nigerians killed during the attack. “We will use all our means to find our national,” he said at a press conference in Tlemcen. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, who was travelling with Hollande in Algeria, told France 2 radio there had been no claims of responsibility for the kidnapping. —Reuters


SCOREBOARD

India vs England, 1st T20I

All-round Yuvraj powers India to victory P UNE —Yuvraj Singh once transformed the game.

ing two wickets and giving Either side of that though, seventh away only two runs. Dhoni’s go-to bowler in Twenty20s, R Ashwin, and debutant fast bowler Parvinder Awana were hit for two sixes in an over each as Jos Buttler’s unbeaten 33 lifted England to 157.Though Tim Bresnan got his first international wickets since September by removing both Rahane and Gautam Gambhir in the fifth over, Yuvraj kept the large crowd cheering with a 21-ball 38. That included an onslaught on left-arm spinner Danny Briggs, who was taken for 18 in his only over of the game. Soon after, Yuvraj topedged a pull off Luke Wright for six and though he connected solidly on the next delivery as well, it soared too high and didn’t clear the rope. India were already 93 for 3 in the 10th over by the time Yuvraj was dismissed, and Suresh Raina and Dhoni weren’t unduly troubled as India knocked off the runs required to confirm victory in the 18th over. Meanwhile, the much-anticipated limited overs cricket series between arch-rivals and India and Pakistan is likely to leave the official broadcasters ESPN STAR Sports richer by more than Indian Rs 140 crore. ESPN STAR Sports will see huge increase in advertising revenue on the series. According to industry sources, the spot rates for the ODIs is Rs 7-7.5 lakh while the T20 between two countries is being sold at a mind boggling Rs 9 lakh per 10 second. The broadcaster, according to industry sources, will earn more than 140 crores of advertising revenue from this PUNE: Yuvraj Singh of Inida hooks during his 38 runs innings against England in 1st T20. mini-series.—AFP again showed his impressive

allround performance against England in the first Twenty20 International here on Thursday.First, his spell of left-arm spin upended England’s innings and then his burst of hitting smoothened India’s path to a comprehensive five-wicket victory. In the first international match at the Subrata Roy Stadium in Pune, Alex Hales and Luke Wright had muscled 68 in seven overs for the second wicket as England rattled along at more than 10 an over. Hales began with two powerful pulls for four in the first over, and then showed off his straight-hitting to sprint to a 26-ball half-century, his fourth for England.Yuvraj’s introduction in the ninth over

Injuries hit South Africa, New Zealand D URBAN (South Africa)— South Africa and New Zealand both announced injury setbacks on Thursday ahead of two Tests between the countries starting on January 2. South African fast bowler Vernon Philander suffered a hamstring injury during a domestic four-day match in Cape Town on Thursday and will not bowl again for the Cape Cobras against the Titans. Team manager and doctor Mohammed Moosajee said it was a grade one injury to his left hamstring and the normal recovery period was ten to 14 days. This could make Philander a doubtful starter for the first Test in Cape Town. New Zealand, meanwhile, will be without leading fast bowler Tim Southee for the two-Test series after Southee injured a thumb during a domestic match between Northern Districts and Wellington. Neither Philander nor Southee was due to play in a three-match Twenty20 series which starts in Durban on Friday.—AFP

He

was

the

bowler MS Dhoni turned to as India desperately searched for ways to stall the runs, and he immediately delivered. Five of the previous six overs had been punished for 10 runs or more, but Yuvraj in his first gave away just five singles. In his next, he had Luke Wright caught at long-off. In his third, Hales was dropped by Dhoni, then bowled before England captain Eoin Morgan gave long-on a catch. The triple-blow sucked out the momentum from the innings, and by the end of his spell the run-rate was down to around seven-and-ahalf.Ashok Dinda, leading India’s pace attack though he himself is fairly new to international cricket , delivered the perfect penultimate over, tak-

SCOREBOARD England innings: Lumb lbw b Ashwin ........ 1 Hales b Yuvraj Singh .... 56 Wright b Yuvraj Singh . 34 Morgan c Rahane b Yuvraj Singh ................. 5 Patel c Rahane b Dinda 24 Buttler not out ............... 33 Bresnan c Kohli b Dinda 0 Tredwell not out .............. 1 Extras: (lb 2, w 1) ............. 3 Total: (6 wickets) ......... 157 Fall of wickets 1-21, 2-89, 399, 4-100, 5-138, 6-139 Bowling: ........... O-M-R-W Dinda .................... 3-0-18-2 R Ashwin .............. 4-1-33-1 P Awana ................ 2-0-29-0 RA Jadeja ............. 3-0-22-0 PP Chawla ............ 3-0-24-0 V Kohli .................. 1-0-10-0

Yuvraj Singh ........ 4-0-19-3 India innings: Gambhir b Bresnan ....... 16 Rahane c Patel b Bresnan ........................ 19 Kohli b Meaker .............. 21 Y Singh b Wright ........... 38 Raina run out (Morgan) 26 Dhoni not out ................ 24 RA Jadeja not out ........... 0 Extras: (lb 4, w 10) ......... 14 Total: (5 wickets) ......... 158 Fall of wickets 1-42, 2-44, 393, 4-110, 5-148 Bowling: ........... O-M-R-W Dernbach .............. 3-0-27-0 Bresnan ................ 3-0-26-2 Meaker ............... 3.5-0-28-1 Tredwell ................ 4-0-31-0 DR Briggs ............. 1-0-18-0 LJ Wright ............. 3-0-24-1

LAHORE: Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif witnesses martial art demonstration at Johar Town Sports Complex.

Pakistan trounce Oman 8-3 in Asian Champions Trophy D OHA —Pakistan started their Asian Hockey Champions Trophy campaign in style, trouncing Oman 8-3 in the opening match on Thursday in Doha, Qatar. Shakeel Abbasi scored three goals while Waqas Sharif scored two and Abdul Haseem, Mohammad Rizwan (Sr) and Mohammad Imran scored one apiece as the Greenshirts overcame Oman with ease. The tournament comprises six top teams from Asia – Pakistan, China, India, Oman, Malaysia and Japan. Meanwhile, defending champions India also got off to a fine start by beating China 4-0 with goals from V Raghunath, SV Sunil and Bimal Lakra.—AFP

PTF names Davis Cup team K ARACHI —Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) Selection Committee Friday named a 4member squad for their AsiaOcenia Group-II Davis Cup Tie being held in Sri Lanka from February 1 to 3. Team was released here by Selection Committee headed by former Pakistan Davis Captain Khawaja Saeed Hai. Both Pakistan top player Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi and Pakistan number one Aqeel Khan were exempted from trials and selected directly in the team.—APP

Australia vs Sri Lanka, 2nd Test

Starc lifted by ‘heart, soul’ Siddle M ELBOURNE —Peter Siddle is taking on the mantle of leadership and example among Australia’s bowlers that - until recently - Ricky Ponting and Michael Hussey held for the batsmen. Mitchell Starc attributed his much improved display on the final day of the Hobart Test against Sri Lanka to being lifted by Siddle’s efforts, which matched his Herculean display against South Africa in Adelaide. A prodigious talent, Starc is pleasing Australia’s selectors, coaches and the captain Michael Clarke by gathering in consistency and nous each time he bowls in a Test, and also by staying fit when so many around him are falling prey to injury. His fiendish burst of reverse swing on an uneven final day surface at Bellerive Oval was arguably Starc’s best display to for his country to date, and he put much of it down to watching Siddle give his all in the spell that preceded it. “Sidds was outstanding again in Hobart and was pretty much the heart and soul

of the attack,” Starc said. “For me just to follow on from him, I played pretty much a supporting role with Sidds there probably deserving 10 wickets. Not just the bowlers [are lifted by Siddle], the whole team is. “Having him around the squad he’s full of energy and he’s always giving 100% whether it be in the nets or in the field and that drags the whole squad along. As he’s shown in Adelaide, though unfortunately not getting over the line there, but again in Hobart pretty similar performances where he’s given absolutely everything he’s had. He’s sat down and had nothing left after the game. It was great for him we got that result after what happened in Adelaide. “When you have guys like Ricky Ponting and Mike Hussey in the squad they bring so much energy and a different feel to the group. I think Sidds is well on the way to being someone like that, who just lifts everyone up. When he’s on bowling you know something most likely is going to happen.”—AFP

IOC threatens action against defiant Indian officials MUMBAI—The International void”. Olympic Committee has asked its recognised Indian members to contemplate taking legal action against officials of the country’s suspended Olympic association for misrepresenting the office. The IOC refused to recognise the results of Indian Olympic Association (IOA) elections held on December 5 due to government interference which led to a tainted official being named as its new secretary general. Lalit Bhanot, who spent 11 months in custody last year following corruption charges and is on bail pending further investigations, was given the senior IOA post despite the IOC deeming the elections “null and

Local media reported that Bhanot has been corresponding with national sports federations using the IOA letterhead, further riling the world governing body.

In a letter sent to Randhir Singh, secretary general of the IOA during the previous regime, the IOC has threatened action against “illegiti-

mate individuals” who claim to represent the suspended Indian body. “These illegal actions which obviously violate all IOC directives and decisions are aggravating the situation of the suspended Indian Olympic Association,” IOC director general Christophe De Kepper wrote. “All individuals involved (directly or by complicity) will be held responsible and the IOC will reserve the right to take any action against them. “We request that you take all necessary measures and, if appropriate, any legal action at national level against these individuals in order to protect all assets and properties of the suspended Indian Olympic Association.”—AFP

Squash: Nicol David storms to 7th squash world final G RAND C AYMAN (Cayman Islands)—Nicol David continued to make nonsense of the idea that a bevy of young challengers might be closing the gap on her as she reached her seventh World Open final in eight years. The six-time champion now looks odds on to extend her record of titles after an increasingly trampling semi-final win over Jenny Duncalf on Thursday in a repeat of last year ’s world final in Rotterdam. The Malaysian heroine’s 11-7, 11-4, 11-2 scoreline against the sixthseeded English woman hints at how she increased her control, initially by moving to the ball so fast and early that she denied Duncalf time to play her creative game. David then found different ways to finish rallies as the match went on and as her confidence and rhythm grew. It all emphasised just how at ease the champion has seemed at the Grand Cayman event - something crucial, given that bouts of tension have occasionally troubled her on big occasions. David attributed her good mood partly to similarities between the island environment and her background. “I was born on an island, Penang,” she said. “I love the beach and that’s why I am so relaxed.” Her relaxed well-being showed itself with one between-the-legs volley which took her to 3-2 in the third game and elicited as loud a roar as last year ’s gravity-defying dive at the same venue during the Cayman Islands Open.

That outrageous winner accelerated a sequence in which David took the last eleven points in row against a tiring opponent whose training opportunities have been limited by niggling injuries this year. “I am very pleased to feel my game (coming) especially in the second game,” David said. “I was finding my feet in the first. I needed to win that and then it carried me through the second and third games better. “When Jenny has time on the ball she’s deadly, so I needed to push a little extra to deny her that, and after that I had my chances.” David now has a final with Laura Massaro, the third-seeded English

woman who saved a match point to survive 5-11, 11-9, 12-14, 11-4, 13-11 against Raneem El Weleily, the gifted young secondseeded Egyptian who won three of their last four meetings. El Weleily might have won again had she capitalised on an 8-6 final game lead but her langorously dangerous strokes were punctuated by moments when she seemed just a bit too relaxed. Massaro by contrast was usually business-like. She was also thrillingly bold in her moment of greatest crisis, risking a low volley under pressure at match point down at 11-10 and guiding it for a full length winner.—Agencies


Study shows solo acts at higher risk than bands

A

N ACADEMIC study published Thursday confirms that rock and pop musicians are more likely to die prematurely than the general population, and finds that solo artists are twice as likely to die young as members of bands. Researchers from Liverpool John Moores University and Britain’s Health Department studied 1,489 rock, pop, punk, R&B, rap, electronica and New Age stars who became famous between 1956 and 2006 – from Elvis Presley to the Arctic Monkeys. They found that 137 of the stars, or 9.2 percent, had died, representing “higher levels of mortality than demographically matched individuals in the general population.” The researchers dismissed the “fanciful but unsubstantiated” popular myth that rock stars tend to die at 27 – as Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse all did. The average age of death was 45.2 years for North American stars and 39.6 for European ones. Solo performers had twice the death risk of members of bands. Lead researcher Mark Bellis speculated that could be because bands provide peer support at stressful times. “Solo artists, even though they have huge followings, may be relatively isolated,” said Bellis, director of the Center for Public Health at Liverpool John Moores University. Music critic John Aizlewood agreed

that solo artists receive more attention and adulation – and also more pressure. “And when you are a solo act, irrespective of what they say in interviews, it’s an incredibly egotistical thing,” he said. “So you tend to be dealing with people who are more emotionally extreme. “They have an ego in the way a drummer or even a lead guitarist in a band doesn’t.” In good news for aging rockers, the study found that, after 25 years of fame, stars’ death rates began to return to normal – at least in Europe. A European star still living 36 years after achieving fame faces a similar mortality rate to the European public. But U.S. artists continue to die in greater numbers. Bellis said factors contributing to the difference could include longer careers – and thus longer exposure to rock ‘n’ roll excess – in the U.S., a huge, populous country with greater opportunities for aging stars to stay on the road. Europe’s stronger social safety net and socialized medicine may also play a role, he said. The research, which updates a 2007 study by the same team, was published in the online journal BMJ Open. The study suggests the infamous rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle may not be entirely to blame for rock stars’ death risk. The researchers looked for the first time at the role of “adverse childhood experiences” such as physical or sexual abuse on stars’ later behavior.

Death of Majeed, Jamshed condoled OBSERVER REPORT K ARACHI —The President and Secretary General of Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) Jamil Ather Qazi and Aamer Mahmood have expressed their deep sorrow and grief over the sad demise of M.A. Majeed, veteran journalist and former Editor (Editorial Page) of Daily Dawn. In an condolence message issued here they said they journalism profession in Pakistan has been deprived of a very experienced and professional journalist. It is mentioned here that M.A. Majeed joined Daily Dawn as “Assistant Editor” in 1955 and after serving for 53 years with this paper he was retired from the service on March 31, 2008. Jamil Ather Qazi and Aamer Mehmood have also expressed their deep sorrow and grief over the murder of KARACHI: President Asif Ali Zardari unveiling the plaque to inaugurate Phase-I of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Drinking Jamshed Kharl veteran jour- Water Programme. Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Governor Ishratul Ebad and Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah also present. nalist and former resident Editor of Daily Tijarat, Quetta. In a press release they have condemned this incident and demanded the government to order inquiry into this matter and to arrest the in all parts of the country so Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto STAFF REPORTER culprits without further delay. that the sewerage water could wanted to empower the K ARACHI —President Asif be re-used after its treatment. people of Pakistan no matter Ali Zardari on Friday called Referring to the geo-strategic where they live, what faith for adoption of the state of location of the country, the they profess and how they the art water conservation President said that optimum look like. In line with her vipractices, especially in the utilization and effective man- sion, the President said that agricultural sector, to ensure agement of the water re- the democratic government optimum utilization of the sources could enable Pakistan had taken a number of steps K A R A C H I — P a k i s t a n water resources being the to meet the water-requirements to provide the same facilities Peoples Party Deputy Cen- scarce and essential com- of the neighbouring countries, to the people in rural areas tral Secretary Information and modity for maintaining hu- which were short of drinking as were available to the people in cities and urban Provincial Information Min- man life. He was addressing water. He said that the inau- areas. ister Sharjeel Memon has the inaugural ceremony of of Shaheed Spokesperson to the said that all Political Parties “Sea Water Desalination guration Senator should show sensible atti- Plants” for the people of Lyari Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto President tude and they should not & Kemari and Phase 1 of Drinking Water Programme Farhatullah Babar, while givplay blame game. It is better “Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir would address one of the ing details of the programme, for them to go to the people Bhutto Drinking Water most serious issues of the said that Phase 1 of Shaheed KARACHI—The University of for elections with appropri- Programme” of the Sindh people, especially in the ru- Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Karachi would award gold medate manifestos. This he said Government here at the Chief ral areas of the province, Drinking Water Programme als to the top position holders who would now get safe would have 500 drinking wa- in BS Honours and Masters in in a statement issued here on Minister House. The President said that and clean drinking water. ter plants spread out across the forthcoming convocation. Friday. He said that Pakistan had unlike some other coun- He said that the women all of Sindh’s 23 districts. The students have been asked already been facing many tries, including in the folk would no longer need These filtration and desalina- to submit the convocation regchallenges and the country Middle East and Central to walk great distances to tion plants will provide safe, istration forms before January clean drinking water daily to 6 at the office of the Deputy could not afford adventure Asia, Pakistan was be- fetch water. He said,”We are follow- 1.5 million people in rural ar- Registrar (Academic). any more. Political Parties stowed with sufficient washould show maturity and ter resources that needed ing the vision of Shaheed eas. Another 750 plants will A University announceharmony. Provincial Minister optimum utilization and ef- Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, be built under Phase 2 of the ment on Friday said that more who wanted to empower the programme, which will serve information in this regard were added the general elections fective management. Pointing out huge people without discrimina- another 2.25 million in rural available at the website of the would be held on time and the elections would be trans- amount of water that was tion.” The President said that areas in Sindh, he added. University of Karachi.—APP wasted in the agricultural parent, impartial and fair. No power would be able sector from canal to the agrito make any rigging in the cultural lands, he emphasized elections. Mr. Memon said that the trend needed to be that the government wanted urgently reversed by adopfrom all political leadership to tion of state of the art techexpress politeness because niques and procedures in the their words had serious ef- agricultural sector. He said that there was an fects on their workers and this situation could also af- urgent need to focus on installing sewerage water plants fect the elections.—NNI

President for adoption of state of art water conservation

Political parties urged to show sensible attitude

Gold medals for position holders

KARACHI: Women looking at jewellery displayed at a stall during India Expo exhibition at Expo Centre.

Sindhi Cultural Day celebrated OBSERVER REPORT K ARACHI —Sindhi Cultural Day has celebrated across the province and also in the world where Sindhi people live, on Friday. Cultural activities are re-

ported from almost every nook and corner of the province including Karachi, Hyderabad, Larkana, Khairpur, Jacobabad, Noshehro feroz, Sukkur and other cities. A special function held at Karachi Press

Club to mark the Day. The Sindhi Cap is regarded as one of the most essential parts of the Sindhi culture and is usually offered to guests, along with a traditional Sindhi Ajrak, as a token of respect.

Grand reception held as Japanese King turns 79 ISMAIL DILAWAR KARACHI—Thursday evening saw Consul General of Japan at Karachi Akira Ouchi and his spouse Junko Ouchi hosting a grand reception to celebrate the birthday of Japanese Emperor Akihito marking the King’s 79th birthday on December 23. Relief and Rehabilitation Minister of Sindh, Muzaffar Ali Shajra, was the chief guest on behalf of the Chief Minister Sindh Qaim Ali Shah at the event. Among other dignitaries the event was attended by Speaker Sindh Assembly Nisar Ahmed Khuro, Governor State Bank of Pakistan Yaseen Anwar, provincial ministers, diplomats, businessmen, parliamentarians, government officials and others. In his remarks, Consul General Akira Ouchi said the Imperial House of Japan was one of the world’s oldest monarchies with the long history of about 2,700 years. And Akihito was the 125th emperor of Japan, the latest in the oldest continuing line of hereditary monarchy in the world. Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress had brought the imperial family even closer to the people of Japan and have traveled many countries promoting friendship and goodwill among the peoples in the world. Their Majesties visited

Pakistan in 1962 as then Crown Prince and Princess. The year 2012 is a very memorable year for Japan and Pakistan, as this year marks the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relationship between Japan and Pakistan. We have carried out a series of commemorative events to further strengthen the friendly relationship between the two countries throughout this year. Japan has extended ODA to Pakistan an amount of about 5.9 billion US dollars from 1954 to 2010. In the area of emergency aid, Japan provided emergency assistance to Paki-

stan at the time of earthquake in 2005 and after floods in 2010 and 2011. This year Japan decided to provide emergency relief goods such as tents and blankets, worth 35 million yen, and food, shelters and water etc., worth 4.7 million US dollars through UN organizations. Pakistan too extended assistance to Japan at the time of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami in March last year. Pakistan provided relief goods to Japan and the Pakistani people in Japan went to Tohoku region to help victims. “I would like to express our

sincere gratitude for the generous support from the Pakistani people. A friend in need is a friend indeed. This proves the cordial and friendly relationship existing between Japan and Pakistan,” he said. Pakistan is a country with great potential for economic growth and Karachi is the key area for such economic growth with the population of 18 million. As you may have noticed, some Japanese companies in Karachi display their products such as cars and bikes at the entrance. I wish you all appreciate the displays of Japanese

KARACHI: The Consul General of Japan Mr.Akira Ouchi, hosted a reception in celebration of the birthday of His Majesty the Emperor of Japan at a local hotel.Picture shows chief guest Speaker Sindh Assembly Nisar Ahmed Khuhro, Minister Haji Muzaffar Shujra, Governor State Bank Yaseen Anwar, Fatima Suraiya Bajya, with other prominent guests.

vehicles and also visit each booth to get to know more about Japan. I have visited the factories of the Japanese companies since my arrival and have recognized how much they are contributing to the economic development of Pakistan. I believe that the key to the promotion of economic relationship is the active interaction in the business sector. I hope you will enjoy Ikebana flower arrangement arranged by Pakistani women. In the corridor, there are also some paintings presented to the Consulate by Pakistani school children after the Great East Japan Earthquake and the documentaries on “The Journey of Their Majesties The Emperor and Empress of Japan to Foster International Goodwill” and on Japan’s recovery from the earthquake are shown on the screen. Please have a look at them. Lastly, he wished that the economic relations, cultural exchange and people-to-people exchange between Japan and Pakistan would be further promoted saying “I, as the Consul-General of Japan in Karachi, will make every effort to achieve that goal”. In his speech, Sindh Minister Muzaffar Ali Shajra congratulated the Japanese king on his birthday and expressed his sincere wish for his good health and prosperity.


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 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 Com-

prehensive Cancer Center, Columbus, and colleagues examined data from a crosssectional 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%).

PU awards five PhDs STAFF REPORTER L AHORE —Punjab University has awarded five PhD degrees to scholars, a press release said on Friday. The recepients are: Muhammad Kashif Fida in applied psychology, Tanveer Ahmed Qaiser in molecular biology, Kamran Aziz Khan in history, Amir Hanif in history and Zahida Parveen in special education. Convocation Meanwhile, Punjab University’s 121st convocation will be held at Faisal Auditorium, New Campus, on December 29. According to a press release, a meeting of the Punjab University (PU) convocation coordination committee was held here (today) on Friday to finalize arrangements for the convocation. Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran presided over the meeting.

Paramedics continue protest outside CM House LAHORE—Paramedical staff on Friday continued their sitin protest outside the Punjab Chief Minister House on third consecutive day in the city for fulfilment of their demands. Paramedics have vowed continue their strike until the provincial government accepts their demands. Chairman of paramedical staff said discussion between paramedics and government representatives have failed. Outdoor patient departments remained shut due to protest. On the other hand, the provincial government has not made any alternative arrangements to facilitate the patients at OPDs.—INP

Lawyers for withdrawing NJPMC’s decision LAHORE—All Pakistan LawLAHORE: Women decorating Christmas tree at reception of a local hotel in the provincial capital.

Sanitary workers reinstated MUZAFFAR ALI L AHORE—Principal Post Graduate Medical Institute (PGMI) and Lahore General Hospital (LGH) Prof. Anjam Habib Vohra has announced to reinstate the services of suspended sanitary workers of the Institution on the eve of Christmas. He has also referred a summary to Punjab Health Depart-

ment recommending the regularization of 200 contract employees. The Principal Prof. Anjam Habib Vohrl told this while addressing a cake cutting ceremony in connection with Christmas held here at PGMI here on Friday. The ceremony was attended by faculty members, office bearers of Medical Teachers Association, Addi-

tional Dean Dr. Bushra Suhail, Principal Nursing School Raeesa Ishtiaq, students of Ameer ud Din Medical college and representatives of Paramedical Staff Association and APCA. Principal Prof. Anjam Habib Vohra said that the staff of grade 1 to 4 would soon start getting increased conveyance allowance.

yers representatives on Friday passed a resolution demanding withdrawal of National Judicial Policy Making Committee’s (NJPMC) decision for disposal of cases pending since 2008. The resolution stated that the NJPMC’s decision was unreasonable and violated principle of due process which would only multiply litigation rather than arrest it. The resolution was passed in a conference held here under the auspices of Pakistan Bar Council wherein elected representatives of bar council and bar associations participated from all over the country.—APP

Position-holder students from across country visit GCU STAFF REPORTER L AHORE —The positionholders from Balochistan, Sindh, Gilgit Baltistan, Azad Jammu Kashmir, Kyber Pakhttun Khwa and Federal Board Islamabad Friday visited the Government College University Lahore and met with Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Muhammad Khaleeq-urRahman. Punjab Director General Protocol and Old Ravian Asjad Ghani Tahir led the 50-member delegation of position-holders and their teachers to the 149year old educational institution. Talking to the positionholders, Prof. Dr. Khaleequr-Rahman said that the greatest strength of any nation is its youth, and the best way to strengthen the youth is to give them right education which makes them innovative, logical, open-minded, cultured, re-

sponsible, honest and patriotic. He said that the education which does not impart these virtues in youth is of no use. The Vice Chancellor said that Pakistan has a great potential and our youth needs to transform that potential into technology and opportunities through hard work and knowledge. He also stressed that sociological grooming of youth was no less significant than scientific education. “If we are to take the genie of extremism by the horns we have to assign equal value to humanities and social sciences,” he added. He shared his personal experiences with the position-holders in a light mood at the GCU Abdus Salam Hall and briefed them about the glorious history and eminent alumni of GC University Lahore which also include Punjab Chief Minister Main

Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif. The position holders visited the Post-Graduate Departments of GCU. Later, GCU Director Sports Khadim Ali Khan took the positionholders to the GCU Sports Complex where they were briefed about the various sports facilities in the university. Watching the pictures gallery, the students asked several questions about the famous Old Ravian cricketers, including Aamir Sohail, Ramiz Raja and Inzamamul Haq. They also asked about the academic performance of these cricketers. Talking to the media, the position-holders said that very few of them had earlier visited Punjab but this visit has totally changed their minds about the people of that province. They laid a stress on establishing educational institutions like GC University

Lahore and King Edward Medical University in other provinces of the country. They believed that Pakistani youth is highly talented and the government should provide scholarships to all position-holders for higher education aboard. “All the big names who have contributed in the development of Pakistan including Allama Muhammad Iqbal, Qauid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Dr. Qadeer Khan and Prof. Dr. Abdus Salam had once studied aboard,” they added. They appreciated the initiative of “Inter-Provincial Tour of Talented Students”, saying that it would broaden their vision. They expressed pleasure that they are being provided special protocol in Punjab. The students also took their photographs standing in front of the GCU Clock Tower.

LAHORE: Men seen bringing firewood collected from the other side of the Ravi River here.

Lord Nazir meets CM

Shahbaz warns of civil strife in case of rigged elections SALIM AHMED L AHORE —Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has warned of civil strife in case the government tried to rig the elections. Addressing a press conference at Model Town and later talking to media persons at Johar Town Sports Complex here on Friday, the chief minister said timely elections were necessary for security and integrity of the country emphasising that timely elections would strengthen Pakistan and democracy. The Punjab chief minister said PML-N was not running away from elections and would emerge as victorious in the elections. He said time has not yet come for the setting up of caretaker government. He pointed out that the caretaker prime minister and chief ministers would take over at the end of the tenure of the assemblies. Shahbaz Sharif expressed hope that the Establishment would not interfere in the coming elections. Meanwhile, Punjab Chief

Christmas security to be beefed up STAFF REPORTER LAHORE—Punjab police will further enhance security and strengthen round-the-clock patrolling in and around all churches on the occasion of Christmas. Inspector General of Police Punjab,Haji Muhammad Habib Ur Rehman told media persons here Friday that he had directed all CCPOs, CPOs RPOs, DPOs and SDPOs throughout the province to remain high alert and ensure foolproof security in their respective areas. He directed police officers to take effective precautionary measures, especially in crowded public places, to prevent incidents of terrorism and subversion and ordered deployment of plain clothes police where necessary. The IG ordered intensified patrolling around railway stations, bus terminals, bus stops, markets, cinema halls, hotels, mosques, Imambargahs and other important places of big cities. Police officers have been directed to utilise all available resources and their best professional skills to maintain vigil over the activities of suspected persons and dubious elements. Haji Muhammad Habib Ur Rehman urged the people to cooperate with the police in this regard, saying that in case they find any unclaimed object or see a suspicious person or shady activity they must immediately inform police emergency and Rescue 15 to prevent any untoward incident.

Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said that Pakistan attaches great importance to its ties with the United Kingdom and his visit to Britain has strengthened bilateral relations. He said that we want trade and not aid, with the UK and want to turn ties into sustainable trade relations. He said that the UK is already providing valuable assistance to Punjab in the education field. He expressed these views while talking to UK Parliamentarian Lord Nazir Ahmed here Friday. Matters of mutual interest and promotion of Pak-UK ties were discussed in the meeting. Barrister Abid Hussain, Rizwan Aslam, Zubair Gill and Rana Wajid were also present. Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif said that PML-N government has set new records of public service by taking revolutionary steps in education,

health, transport, infrastructure and other sectors throughout the province and has promoted merit and transparency in all sectors. He said that the confidence reposed by the people in the candidates of PML-N in bye-elections is a clear proof of our practical performance. He expressed the hope that PML-N will also win general elections with glorious success on the basis of his performance and come up to the expectations of the people. He said that the confidence of the people in performance of PML-N is a significant certificate for us. Lord Nazir Ahmed while appreciating the steps taken by the Chief Minister Punjab for the welfare of the masses said that international institutions have also acknowledged the excellent performance displayed by Shahbaz Sharif in Punjab.

Faizan Peerzada dies STAFF REPORTER L AHORE —Faizan Peerzada, the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Rafi Peer Theatre Workshop‚ has died from a heart attack in Lahore on Friday morning. He was 54-yearold. Faizan’s sister Tasneem Peerzada said her brother never had a heart problem before and that this was his first heart attack. “It happened suddenly,” she said.


E-paper Dec 22, 2012