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Killing of labourers in IHK fake encounter

Indian Col among 6 faces court martial SRINAGAR—The Indian Army in Machil Village of northern quoting Indian army spokesman Indian Occupied Kashmir since on Wednesday decided to indict six army personnel including two officers for killing three labourers in a ‘fake encounter with militants’ three years ago in Indian-held Kashmir. According to Indian media reports, the decision of launching the case in a military court against six Indian officials, including a colonel, has been taken after completion of a military-level probe of the fake clash in Kashmir. Three labourers were killed KABUL—Two rockets fired by the Taliban struck the United States Embassy in Kabul shortly before dawn on Wednesday, sending hundreds of American diplomats and aid workers based at the mission scrambling into fortified bunkers to start their Christmas Day, the embassy said. I SLAMABAD —The Election There were no reports of casualties at the embassy. But Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Wednesday released details Afghan officials said that of assets declared by members another two rockets hit other parts of the city and that three of the National Assembly, with police officers were wounded Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif when one of the rockets, which being the richest lawmaker having declared assets worth had not exploded on impact, detonated as they were trying Rs.1.824 billion. Mehmood to defuse it. The other rocket, Khan Achakzai, the chairman of which did explode on impact, Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami did not cause any casualties or Party, takes the last place in the inflict significant damage, said category of party heads, having the least amount of assets, with Gen. Zaher Zaher, the police only Rs.0.5 million cash. Acchief of Kabul.

Two rockets hit US embassy in Kabul

Kashmir’s Kapwara district in April, 2010. A case was registered by the local police against nine Indian army personnel and two local residents, who claimed that three ‘Pakistani terrorists’ were killed in the encounter. Colonel DK Pathania, Major Upinder and four other personnel would face court martial for the fake encounter that took place along the heavily militarised Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan, reports

said. The incident at the time triggered riots across the Indian Occupied Kashmir leading to the deaths of 123 people. Hundreds were reportedly wounded in the riots while thousands of Kashmiri youth were detained as well. Brigadier Sanga, a senior army officer, led a separate military-level investigation into the incident. Pro-liberation groups have been fighting Indian forces in

Nawaz richest parliamentarian, ECP releases details of assets cording to details issued by the ECP, the prime minister also owns 1,754 kanal land and four vehicles. The PTI chairman Imran Khan owns assets amounting to Rs.20.96 million. The total assets declared by JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman are worth Rs29.06 million. While the assets declared by PML-Q leader Ch Pervaiz Elahi stand at 197.09 million. AML chief Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed has assets worth Rs41.8 million. Opposition

leader in the National Assembly Syed Khurshid Shah has Rs26.09 million worth of assets. The assets declared by Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Amin Fahim include 306 acres of agricultural land held by his wife and children in Hala, five bungalows in Defence Karachi worth Rs63 million, a farmhouse in Rawal Town Rawalpindi worth Rs13.6 million, jewellery Rs4.8 million and furniture worth Rs3.8 million.

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Shujaat for APC on country’s economic crisis

Muslim Brotherhood declared terrorist group

CAIRO—Egypt’s military-installed government declared the Muslim Brotherhood of ousted president Mohamed Morsi a League-Quaid (PML-Q) “terrorist” group Wednesday, President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain Wednesday urged the banning all its activities, including demonstrations, ministers prime minister to call an all parties conference to deal with said after a cabinet meeting. Deputy prime minister country’s economic crisis. Hossam Eissa said the move“We have become economically frail,” Chaudhry ment has been declared a “terrorist” group and social solidarShujaat Hussain noted while addressing a ceremony held on ity minister Ahmed al-Borei said the government would ban all its the occasion of Quaid - e Azam’s birth anniversary here. The PML-Q chief said that Christians celebrate polls were rigged in the past Christmas amid and feared that it would happen in the future too. He tight security termed the holding of protests and sit-ins as the democratic ISLAMABAD—Like other parts right of everyone. Shujaat said that his party of the globe, the Christian comis the one founded by Quaid e munity in Pakistan celebrated Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. the holy festival of Christmas with religious zeal and enthusiasm amidst tight security. Christians started their celebrations at midnight by singing hymns and offering prayers. The day started with special prayers at Churches. They also prayed for peace and harmony in the country. ABU DHABI—Mohammad Continued on Page 7 Hafeez notched his third hundred of the series while off-spinner Saeed Ajmal grabbed four wickets to help Pakistan beat Sri Lanka by eight wickets in the fourth one-day international on Wednesday. Hafeez finished with 113 ZUBAIR QURESHI not out for his ninth one-day hundred as Pakistan knocked ISLAMABAD—On the strong off their modest 226-run target protest registered by the police group, the government has Earlier story on Sports Page temporarily shelved the proposals to bring three key poin the 42nd over to take an lice forces under the adminisunbeatable 3-1 lead ahead of trative control of the District Friday’s fifth and final match. Management Group (DMG). Pakistan had restricted Sri Officers of the Police SerLanka to 225 all out in 48.5 vice of Pakistan (PSP) had reovers with Ajmal (4-39) and cently warned the government paceman Umar Gul (3-37) against any such move. Acsharing the spoils. Hafeez, who hit hundreds in cording to details, the provincial government of the Punjab Continued on Page 7 STAFF REPORTER LAHORE—Pakistan Muslim

4th ODI: Hafeez, Ajmal steer Pakistan to series clinching win

activities, including “protests.” The decision is likely to accelerate a crackdown on the movement that has killed more than 1,000 people, mostly Islamists, in street clashes and imprisoned thousands since Morsi’s overthrow by the military in July. It comes a day after a suicide car bombing of a police station killed 15 people, in an attack condemned by the Brotherhood and claimed by an al Qaeda-inspired group based in

the restive Sinai Peninsula. Morsi’s supporters, who continue to organise near-daily demonstrations demanding his reinstatement, insist they are committed to peaceful protest. Eissa said the government decided to “punish according to the law whoever belongs to this group or remains its member” after the decision was adopted. Egypt will notify Arab countries who signed a 1998 anti-terrorism treaty of the decision, he added. —AP

Govt to overcome power shortage: Shahbaz LAHORE—Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has regretted that due to energy crisis, economic and trade activities have slowed down in the country. He was talking to a delegation of Indian energy experts, here Wednesday

led by Pawind Parweet Badal. He said, government was determined to overcome shortage of electricity and measures are being taken for this purpose. He said that special incentives were being offered to local and foreign investors to invest in energy sector. The Chief Minister said that there were vast opportunities of setting up biomass, biogas and small hydel projects for genera-

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1989 for the region’s independence or incorporation with Pakistan, in a conflict that has claimed tens of thousands of lives. Rights groups claim that at least 10,000 people have gone missing in the 24-year-old unrest. More than 6,000 unnamed graves have also been discovered in Occupied Kashmir, which according to rights groups ISLAMABAD: President Mamnoon Hussain along with Federal Minister for Information used by Indian troops to dump Pervaiz Rashid cutting the cake to mark 137th birthday celebrations of Quaid-e-Azam dead bodies of Kashmiris killed Mohammad Ali Jinnah at Aiwan-e-Sadr on Wednesday.—APP photo in fake encounters.—AP

Kakul cadets assume duty at Quaid’s mazar IRFAN ALIGI KARACHI—The 138th birth anniversary of Founder of Pakistan, the Great Leader (Quaid-i Azam) Mohammad Ali Jinnah was commemorated with national fervour. An impressive ceremony of change of ‘Guards’ was held at the mausoleum of Great Leader. Thousands of citizens from four provinces, Gilgi-Baltistan and Azad Kashmere witnessed that prestigious change of guards ceremony. A smartly turned out contingent of Cadets from the Pakistan Military Academy (PMA), Kakul mounted ceremonial guard at the Quaid’s mauso-

Quaid’s birth anniversary at Aiwan-e-Sadr

Let us renew pledge to work for Quaid’s vision: Mamnoon Commitment of nation to overcome challenges; Students enthral audience with national songs LIAQAT TOOR ISLAMABAD—Great resilience of the people of Pakistan and unfaltering commitment to vision of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah will put the country on path of stability and progress. “Let us pledge that we will work, individually as well as collectively, to make Pakistan a peaceful, progressive and prosperous state”, said President

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Pak wants First-ever birthday celebration of Quaid at Aiwan-e-Sadr cooperation, not PM, UN chief confrontation

discuss South Sudan’s security situation UNITED NATIONS—The UN

Secretary General Ban Ki Moon in a telephonic conversation with Prime Minister Mohammad Nawaz Sharif has discussed the overall security situation in South Sudan. The conversation was part of UN Secretary General’s contacts with world leaders, seeking their support to bolster the capacity of UN peace-keeping mission in South Sudan. The UN peacekeeping mission in that country is assigned to protect civilians from the worsening violence which has so far displaced tens of thousand of people. Some forty five thousand people are now seeking protection at the United Nations Mission in South Sudan. The UN Secretary General is endeavoring to add five thou-

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Highest seat to be made with India S R centre for national activities: President I TAFF

LIAQAT TOOR ISLAMABAD—A first- ever celebration of birthday of Quaid-iAzam Mohammad Ali Jinnah was held at Aiwan-e-Sadr on Wednesday to pay great tributes to the founder of the nation and to radiate a message to the nation that the Quaid and his teachings should be held in high esteem, admiration and reverence at the highest level of the government.

wing i.e. to place them with the ministers for security duties, said the official. According to the police officials the third proposal which was all the more agonizing and took the entire force by surprise, was that the Prime Minister’s proposed Counter-Terrorism Force be given an independent status and retired army officers should be inducted in this force instead of the police officers. The Home department of the respected province would control the special force.

Talking to mediapersons after the birthday function of the Quaid, President Mamnoon Hussain said Aiwan-e-Sadr will be made a centre of national level activities on literature, education, health, inter-faith harmony and socio- economic development. Such programmes are being held and will further be planned, he said. Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid was present on the occasion.

Actress Veena Malik ties the knot DUBAI—Actress Veena Malik and businessman Asad Bashir Khan Khattak tied the knot on Wednesday. The couple had their Nikah ceremony in Dubai.

Proposals to clip police powers temporarily shelved tion, in other words the District Management Group. Another proposal has also been moved suggesting the provincial government should place an important police wing, Elite Force under the administrative control of the respective district. If approved, the police chief of the respective district, the DPO, will not be able to move this important force in any emergent situation. Besides, the district government has only one utility for this important

ism and extremism, he said. “His thought and vision is as relevant to us as it was some six decades ago. Indeed, the need for following his path and to adhere to the principles of Unity, Faith and Discipline was never as great as it is today”, he added. Mamnoon Hussain said it was an occasion to rejoice and to reaffirm the commitment to

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DMG-police standoff prevented is considering to set up a special force for the newly constructed Ring Road. The 85-km long, 6-lane Ring Road is a mega project which is half complete and the provincial government is mulling a separate police force to streamline traffic on this giant road. According to a source in Punjab Police, the Punjab Home Department had sent a proposal to the Chief Minister secretariat suggesting that the force created for the project should be brought under the control of the District Administra-

Mamnoon Hussain while addressing a first- ever ceremony on birthday celebration of the Quaid at Aiwan-e-Sadr on Wednesday. Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid, senior officials from ministries, students from various institutions, writers and artists attended the festivity. By following Quaid‘s message of “Unity , Faith and Discipline”, Pakistan can be rid of different issues including terror-

“According to our information the Punjab government had advised the Prime Minister Secretariat to keep the conventional police force out of the affairs of the proposed counterterrorism force. The proposal went on to say the retired army officers would independently run the force and police was not allowed even to investigate,” said the official. These proposals amounted not only to clip the powers of the police force but also meant

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Asad Bashir Khan Khattak, who runs businesses in Dubai and US, is the son of Veena M a l i k ’ s father’s friend. “I’m more than happy today, I think I’m the happiest girl in the world,” Veena Malik briefly told a private news channel outside the court, claiming that this is an arranged marriage. “Destiny just plays its part, we were destined to be there on this particular day,” she said. Veena Malik avoided sharing further details, but said “you will just get to know the details very soon.” The actress further said that Asad had promised her a white wedding in the US. Asad said their parents wanted them to get married as soon as possible. He added that wedding functions would be held in Dubai, US and Pakistan. —INP

PR

EPORTER

SLAMABAD—Shunning confrontational policies, Information Minister Senator Pervaiz Rashid said on Wednesday Pakistan wants an atmosphere of peace and stability in the region for development and wellbeing of the people. Talking to mediapersons after birthday function of the Quaid at Aiwan-e-Sadr, the Minister while responding to a question on the recent meeting of DGMOs of Pakistan and India in Lahore, the Minister said

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Armed men kidnap eight coal miners QUETTA—A group of armed men kidnapped eight coal miners from Shahrag area of Harnai district, about 167 kilometers from Quetta, in the early hours of Wednesday. They were sleeping in their makeshift camp near the coalfield when a group of armed men besieged their camp and kidnapped them at gun point. “Initial investigation suggests that one of the Baloch separatist groups had kidnapped these coalminers. “The coalminers belonged to Khyber-Pakhtunkwa and a manhunt has been initiated in the area,” a senior official said. He added that Baloch separatist groups often kidnap coal miners in order to bar mining companies from extracting coal and other resources. A couple of years ago, Baloch separatist groups had warned the companies not to carry out any project in Balochistan, threatening to target the companies if they engaged in such activities.—Online


Christmas celebrations SHER GONDAL M ANDI B AHAUDDIN / PESHAWAR—Chrismas celebrations started in Mandi Bahauddin district on Wednesday. In this connection a function was held at TMA Hall. Besides members of Christian Community government officials including TMO Tahir Sandu, Revenue Officer TMA Mirza Ashraf Beg, and Media persons participated in the function. To start with Chrismas cake was cut that was followed by collective prayer for prosperity, peace and stability in the country. Addressing the function Christians pastors and local leaders stressed the need to create harmony among followers of all the religions. They said minorities in our country were being made target of terrorism and discrimination against them was

Arrangements for Shaheed BB’s death anniversary LARKANA—Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Women Wing Larkana Division will set up a reception camp in Garhi Khuda Bakhsh on the occasion of the 6th death anniversary of assassinated chairperson of PPP and former premier Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto. This was decided in PPPP Women Wing meeting, held here Wednesday, in connection with the sixth death anniversary of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto. Divisional President PPP (Women Wing) Larkana and former Sindh minister for Women Development Department Ms Tauqeer Fatima Bhutto, presided over the meeting. The meeting discussed and finalised the arrangements for the 6th death anniversary of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto. It was also decided that the party leaders and workers from various parts of the country will participate in the death anniversary programmes. Ms Tauqeer Fatima said that the workers of PPP Women Wing from Larkana Division will perform their duties as volunteers in Garhi Khuda Bakhsh Bhutto on December 27, 2013.—APP

Man killed as car hits motorcycle

on rise. They said people belonging to minorities were not safe in the country. This trend, he said could be controlled with forging brotherhood among people belonging to different religions. The true spirits of Christmas lies in the fact that you forgive those who have done you harm and help those who are less fortunate. While celebrating Christmas we should not forget the less privileged ones, they added. The speakers included Pastor Yaqoob, Chriatian local leaders Shamoul, Taj Mahmud, William Sajid, Munawar Gill, and Atif Rafique. Speaking on the occasion the TMO said Christians are our brothers and we congratulate them on the eve of Chrismas. He said Muslims join them in celebrations of Chrismas and wish them happiness. He said Government under leadership of Nawaz Sharif was striving for their welfare and

providing them equal opportunities in walk of life. APP adds: The Christians community in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) on Wednesday celebrated Christmas with a pledge to work for progress, development of Pakistan and peace in the society. Main congregations were held in Saint John Cathedral and Michel Catholic, Peshawar where need of tolerance, inter faith harmony and co-existence in society was emphasised in the Christmas sermon. The churches were decorated with lighting and buntings looking very festive look. Christmas trees were also decorated in the Christian households and gifts were also exchanged. Christmas packages were also distributed among poor Christians on this occasion. Special security arrangements were made at the churches where close circuit cameras and

walk through gates were installed. Special services were also offered for victims of All Saints Church bombing at Peshawar. Interim President of Awami National Party while congratulating the Christian community on their holy occasion, said sacrifices and struggle of the Christians community for progress and development of country is not hide from any one eye. He said Christian community had rendered outstanding performance in every sectors especially in health and education and worked hard for establishment of peace and non violence in the society. The KP Governor and Chief Minister also congratulated the Christian community on their holy occasion of Christmas and expressed the hope that they would continue their role for progress and development of Pakistan.

HYDERABAD: Christian performing their religious rituals at Saint Jan Arif Church during the Christmas celebrations.

seize huge Parveen Shakir’s 19th Participation of women LEAs weapons cache from Karachi death anniversary today in LB polls urged bound vehicle GUL HAMAAD FAROOQI CHITRAL—A day long seminar on mobilization of maximum participation of women in local government election held was at Rural Community Development Program (RCDP) Chitral in collaboration with Strengthening Participatory Organization (SPO). Former director information Yousuf Shahzad was chief guest on the occasion while the ceremony was presided over by M.I. Khan Sarhadi advocate former district Zakat Chairman. Engineer Temour Shah Coordinator RCDP briefed the participants about importance of participation of women in local government election and how they can change the system. He stressed upon the minority women participants from

Kalash community to must participate in upcoming local government election and play vital role in development of your areas. Highlighting objectives of the seminar Temour Shah said that most of our women folk are barred from casting their vote but you must raise voice against it because this is your constitutional right to cast your vote in favor of suitable candidate as well as you also can participate as woman candidate. Director information Yousuf Shahzad highlighted importance of women participation in local government system. He emphasized on women folk to must contest upcoming election on women seat as general councilor. Women have 33% quota in any election he added. Brining positive changes in

the country women must should to come forward whose population is more than half of total population. Muhammad Ismail Khan Sarhadi advocate briefed the women folk on legal point of view that this is their legal right to participate in any election. The speakers highly hailed this informative seminar and stressed upon for its continuation for creating awareness among the women folk especially women from minority (Kalash). Kashmala Afroz a small baby presented poem. Those who spoke on the occasion were FazalAhmad, Bibi Nasreen, Nadia Gul , Amina Bibi, Tasmia Iqbal and Kowaki Kalash. A large number of women folk from all segments and different valleys participated in the seminar.

Three QDA officials suspended QUETTA—The Quetta Devel- ity were removed from their authority sources said. Meanopment Authority (QDA) Wednesday suspended its three officials including two directors over charges of corruption. According to QDA sources, the three officials of the author-

positions for alleged involvement in issuing fake allotment letters in Hazar Gunji scheme. The cases of the suspended officials will be referred to anticorruption court for probe, the

while, QDA has also decided to take action against is former director state commercial for misappropriation in development projects during his time in office.—INP

SWAT—A man was killed and another injured when an over speeding vehicle hit a motorcycle here on Wednesday. Police said that the accident took place at Saidu Sharif Road of Swat where an over speeding car rammed a motorcycle carrying two persons. One of the motorcyclists was killed on the spot while the other sustained serious wounds who was rushed to local hospital for treatment. The driver responsible for accident managed to escape from the scene and police registering a case, started search for him.—INP HYDERABAD: PPP workers attending condolence reference for Shaheed BB.

MASTUNG—Law enforcement agencies recovered a huge cache of arms and ammunition from a Karachi-bound pickup during checking at Kirdgap area of Mastung district on Wednesday. Deputy Commissioner Mastung Mehrab Shah said that LEAs officials stopped a Toyota pickup at the check post and recovered as many as 62 AK 47 rifles (Kalashnikov), 30 pistols, bullets, two telescopes and two silencers from its hidden cavities. He said the seized weapons were being smuggles to Karachi. However, driver of the vehicle managed to escape. Mastung Levies registered a case after taking the vehicle into custody.—APP

many with 75.8 %,Sweden with 63.7 %, Norway with 60.7 %, Finland with 60.4%, Japan with 56.9 %, Switzerland with 48.8 %, Belgium with 48 % and China with 37 % are the leading countries in use of bicycle by citizens. The first bicycle was used by German citizen Karl Von Drais in 1818. Karl Drasis worked on device which he named as “Laufmaschine” which means a running machine. It was made of wood. An individual have to push feet on ground to ensure the movement of the machine. Later on, after 40 years, Pierre and Ernest Michaux, the father and son, introduced pedals in the machine and this machine resembled the today’s bicycle.

In Pakistan, there was a time when presence of bicycle was inevitable in any house but now the situation has changed because of use of motorcycles. Though, motorcycles raised citizens’ expenses but also deprived them of a healthy physical activity. In America, citizens use bicycles for keeping them fit while Pakistani citizens have entirely ignored its benefits for health. Muhammad Faisal, a dealer of bicycle at Shaheen Market (Multan) talking to APP said there was nearly 60 percent decrease in sale of bicycles. He informed that he used to sell nearly 700 bicycles in a month on average but now the sale has reduced to nearly 300 bicycles. He informed that a large

number of bicycle-mechanics have switched to other business as they found no future in repairing of bicycles. Talking about cause of low sales of bicycles, Faisal said that motorcycles were being provided to citizens by different dealers on easy instalments which attracted the users. He however added that the sale of kids’ bicycles was good still but the adults were reluctant to use bicycles because of low status symbol. According to sources in bicycle industrial units, the sale of bicycles had dropped significantly. However they are reluctant to share production figures. Dr Fakharul Islam of Nishtar Hospital told that that one hour cycling burned 600 calories and the users felt posi-

ISLAMABAD—19th death anni- Service, where she served in the She is survived by her son, Syed

versary of noted Urdu poetess Parveen Shakir’s death anniversary will be observed on Thursday. Parveen Shakir, 42, was killed in a road accident on December 26, in 1994. Quran Khawani will be held on the occasion and prayers will be offered for peace and eternal joy of the departed soul. Prominent literary figures will also lay floral wreaths on the grave of late poetess at the H-8 Graveyard. Thereafter a function will be held in Lahore at 4 p.m.bythe Pakistan Post Office to inaugurate the commemorative stamp being brought out by the Pakistan Post. Born on November 24, 1952 in Karachi, she was a noted Urdu poetess, teacher and a civil servant. She did her master in English Literature and Linguistics from Karachi University. She was a professor at Karachi University and Trinity College, Connecticut, USA, for HANGU—Political Administra- 9 years before joining the Civil tion in collaboration with Orakzai Scouts here Wednesday organized free medical camps to ensure provision of free mediOUR CORRESPONDENT cal camps to people of far flung areas at their doorsteps. Assistant Political Agent M ANDI B AHAUDDIN : DisLower Orakzai Agency, Mowaz trict Officer Coordination Ch Khan told that these camps were Muhammad Afzal Warriach in held at Mushti Mela, Jhalka, a meeting with fertilizers dealers and shopkeepers fixed Mailaa and Kalaya. He said that highly qualified prices of fertilizers under Secteam of medical professionals tion 3 of Punjab Essential Arexamined 2100 patients of chest ticles Control Act 1973. On this occasion DO Agand ophthalmic diseases. riculture and Deputy ControlHe said that diagnostic tests were conducted besides giving ler Agriculture was also free medicines to deserving and present. Renewed rates were poor patients while serious pa- fixed as under: Local Urea tients were referred to Kohat and fifty KG bag for Rs 1800, Imported NFML 50 KG bag for Peshawar hospitals. Locals of the area appreci- Rs 1650. The DOC directed shopated the endeavours of political keepers to display the rates in administration and suggested more camps in future. Comman- bold letters at vantage points dant Orakzai Scouts, Col. in front of their shops. PurRizwan Maqbool was also chasers should be given present on the occasion.—APP proper receipts and no one should violate fixed rates. He said these rates would be implemented from today and any one found involved

Free medical camps held in Orakzai Agency

Customs department. In 1986, Murad Ali. she was appointed second secHer unique honor was that retary, CBR in Islamabad. when she appeared in the CenIn 1990, she taught at Trin- tral Superior Services Examination in 1982, there was a question on her poetry in Urdu literature paper. Her poetry was a breath of fresh air in Urdu poetry. She used the first person feminine pronoun, which is rarely used in Urdu poetry even by female poets. The feminine perspective of love and the associated social problems were her theme. Critics compare her poetry to that of Iranian poet Forough Farrokhzad. Her first book, Khushboo, won the Adamjee Award. Later she was awarded the Pride of Performance. Upon her death, the Parveen Shakir Trust was established by ity College, Connecticut, USA, her close friend, Parveen Qadir and then did her masters in pub- Agha. lic administration at Harvard The Parveen Shakir Trust University in 1991. She married organizes a yearly function and Naseer Ali, a doctor by profes- gives out the Aks-e-Khushbo sion, whom she later divorced. award.—Online

Fertilizers prices fixed

Bicycles losing ground; depriving public of physical exercise in daily life MULTAN—With remarkable changes in lifestyle, advancement in technology and faster means of communication for transport purposes, the use of individual’s eco-friendly cheaper transport “bicycle” is on rapid decline. The declining use of bicycles in our lives have not only increased intra-city transport congestion but also deprived citizens of a healthier physical activity. There are more than one billion bicycles in use in the world. Netherlands is called the country of cyclists as 99 percent population use it and the average distance cycled by per person is nearly 2.5 kilometre in a day. After Netherlands, Denmark with 80.1 percent, Ger-

Commemorative stamp to be brought out

tive about themselves. Noted local journalist Hameedul Hassan, using bicycle for last 25 years, stated that mystery of his fitness was continous use to bicycle. He added that he used to cover nearly 20 kilometre distance a day. He added that he has not fallen prey to problems related to blood pressure, diabetes or other diseases.Now his friends are convincing him to start using motorcycle. Civil society worker Jameel Ahmed (Chairman TPO), who is concerned about the rising pollution, wants people to return back to use of bicycle, which will evidently save precious foreign exchange spent on import of petrol.—APP

overcharging would be punished, he warned. Meanwhile, District and Sessions Judge Ikram Suhail visited District Jail and released 11 under trial prisoners involved in minor criminal cases on personal surety bonds. Senior Civil Judge Ahmed Kamran and Superintendent Jail Muhammad Akram accompanied him. He inspected prisoners’ barracks and checked cleanliness. He met prisoners and inquired their problems. He visited jail cook house and tested food and expressed satisfaction over its standard. He then went of jail hospital and checked availability of medicines and other medical facilities in the hospital. He enquired patients about their health and prayed for their speedy recovery.

Ban lifted on edu of class-four employees P ESHAWAR —The Peshawar University lifted the ban on education of serving class four employees on Wednesday. The Peshawar University administration had imposed ban on education of the employees of low grades serving in the university some three months ago. A statement released by the university administration said that all employees of grade three and four are free to get education along with duty which will help in enhancing their professional skills besides institutional promotion. The university employees working in and under grade four have lauded the administration for its decision and said that it will help them to move ahead instead of remaining on same post and position.—INP

CHINIOT: A view of long queue of vehicles at CNG station for refuelling.


Strengthening Pak-UAE ties ISLAMABAD —Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq Wednesday said that frequent parliamentary exchanges between Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates would help further strengthening ties between the two countries. In a meeting with Mohammad Ahmad Al Mur, Speaker of Majlis Watani Itihadi, House of the Federal National Council UAE at Dubai, the Speaker NA said Pakistan and United Arab Emirates enjoyed close fraternal relations which were deep rooted in shared history, culture, and heritage, said a press release. He said Pakistani leadership and its people valued its bond of fraternity and look forward to expand cooperation with UAE in all fields. The Speaker of the National Assembly invited the Speaker of Majlis Watani Itihadi to visit Pakistan along with some parliamentarians which was accepted. Mohammad Ahmad Al Mur said that visit of Pakistan was always a pleasing moment for him. Paying tribute to the founding father of Pakistan, the Speaker said that Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah was a great visionary leader who envisioned Pakistan to be a moderate, democratic, peaceful and prosperous country. He said that the present government was moving in the right direction and would succeed in restoring peace and tranquility in the country. Commenting on the radicalism, Mohammad Ahmad Al Mur said that no Muslim was better than the other. “When Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) himself said “I do not know how Allah will receive me, then how can someone make judgment about others,” he added. He said that difference of opinion was `sunna’ and moderation is spirit of Islam. The Speaker of Majlis Watani Itihadi said that Pakistan held bright future keeping in view its vast natural and human potential. He opined that Pakistan would become one of the leading countries in the Muslim World by introducing reforms according to the world’s best practices. Sardar Ayaz Sadiq said the Pakistani leadership and its people acknowledged UAE’s contributions and cooperation for the development of Pakistan.—APP

Rich potential I SLAMABAD —Governor

Punjab Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar on Tuesday said that rich potential is available in Pakistan to make progress in every field of life. He said that there is no dearth of talent in this country, adding that there is only need to utilize the potential in a proper manner. He said that Pakistan had gained the Generalized Scheme of Preferences (GSP) plus status due the support of the European members of the Parliament and Inta Committee. He said that Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and Chief Minister Punjab are very keen to take this country forward in every field of life. Governor Punjab said that every parliamentarian should develop communication with the members of the European Parliament so that better image of the country could be promoted in a befitting manner. He urged philanthropists and Overseas Pakistanis to come forward and play role for the people of this country. Replying to a question he said that water filtration plants had constructed in different parts of the Punjab to provide clean drinking water facility to the masses. Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar urged philanthropists and Overseas Pakistanis to spend the money on the welfare schemes so that the common man could avail the benefit and make the progress for this country. He said that Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif had initiated several development projects including clean drinking water so that the people could avail basic necessities of life at their doorsteps. To another question he said that there is need to develop national consensus to construct dams in the country. He said, “It is the responsibility of all the think-tank and provincial governments to take measures for the construction of dams to meet the water requirement and produce cheap electricity for the country.”—APP

Minorities enjoy rights ISLAMABAD—Federal Minister for Ports and Shipping, Kamran Michael on Wednesday said that minorities are enjoying their rights in Pakistan and performing due role in the society. He lauded the steps of the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) government for providing foolproof security to the minorities so that they could celebrate their traditional festival in a befitting manner. He said that Punjab government had started a scheme of “Sasta Bazar” to provide commodities at affordable prices on Christmas day. Federal Minister appreciated the PML-N government for helping the deserving and poor people. Expressing his heartfelt greetings on the happy occasion, he said that Pakistan had made special arrangements for the people belonging to minorities to celebrate the day with zeal and fervor. Kamran Michael said that Founder of Pakistan Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah had also worked for the rights of the minorities. Replying to a question he said that minorities had special quota for obtaining jobs in Pakistan. It is pertinent to mention here that addressing a ceremony held to celebrate Christmas on another day, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said that the minority groups are enjoying equal rights in Pakistan. He said that some misguided people are creating a chaos in the country at the pretext of religion. PM said that the minorities have rendered laudable services for the country’s prosperity and defense. He commended the role and services of minority communities in Pakistan Army, bureaucracy, judiciary and parliament. The prime minister said misleading people do not attach any importance to the mosque, temple or church.—APP

Ex-servicemen pay homage to Quaid SHER GONDAL M ANDI B AHAUDDIN —Exservicemen paid homage to Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah on his 137th birth anniversary for creating Pakistan as homeland for Muslims of South Asia where citizens belonging to all religions could lead their lives with peace and enjoy equal rights. They held a meeting in this connection under arrangement of Pakistan exservicemen Society. Veterans said it was a long struggle for freedom that led to emergence of Pakistan. They regretted that after creation of Pakistan aspirations of Pakistanis were not fulfilled. Referring to going on turmoil’s they said all major parties are in power but they were battling for more powers and strength to promote their self interests. For this they were using tactics of holding sit-in, pro-

tests that engage all security forces for their protection. They public is left on the mercy of God. They are busy in causing division among the public on the basis of religion, provinces, cast etc which had resulted into terrorism and suicidal attack which are main reasons for insecurity in the country. The rulers are getting rich and their bank accounts inside and outside the country are swelling. They had virtually forgotten the vision of our Quaid and their self centered policies were bringing hunger to the public. Only two classes of the people that are rich and the poor are left and middle class had been eliminated. They said they were part of armed forces and they would defend Quaid, s Pakistan on the perils of their lives. They urged the rulers to follow the vision of the Quid and bring prosperity and sta- HYDERABAD: Relatives of missing persons march to Press Club as they participate in a rally organized by Voice of bility in the country. Baloch Missing Persons taking them to Islamabad.

Govt to improve quality of socio-economic uplift services STAFF REPORTER P ESHAWA R —The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor, Engineer Shaukatullah has said that the government is actively engaged in improving quality of socio-economic uplift services both in the province and FATA. “Whether it is education or health sector or economic development activities, there is tremendous scope for making useful contribution to serve the humanity”, he added. Addressing annual dinner of the Rotary Club International; a non government organization at Governor ’s House, Peshawar on the Governor appreciated the organization for its support which it has been rendering from time to time to the government in its efforts to help the people in their hour of needs. The ceremony was also

addressed by provincial minister for Health, Mr. Shaukat Yousafzai, Vice Chancellor of Khyber Medical University, Prof. Dr. Hafeezullah and exPresident of the Club, Prof. Dr. Zafar Iqbal while USA based renowned heart physician, Prof. Dr. Naeem Khan; a member of the club introduced a new initiative titled; “Association of Pakistani Descent (origin) Cardiologists of North America”. The Governor while appreciating the humanitarian services which the Rotary Club International has been rendering especially mentioned its role and services towards eradication of the curse of “Polio” and congratulated the members for being part of this worthwhile organization. He also lauded the role which the organization had been rendering towards taking care of the IDPs and the flood affected people of the

province in particular. He also extended special felicitations to Dr. Naeem Khan for his spirit and thrust to make more useful contribution towards well being of the suffering humanity in his home country, Pakistan. Provincial Minister for Health, Mr. Shaukat Yousafzai while addressing the ceremony especially mentioned the importance of the role and contribution of overseas Pakistanis towards economic well being of the people and the country and wished them to be more efficient and generous in future as well. “A number of overseas Pakistani doctors are already in contact with the government who are desirous to help in strengthening the health system in the province and we would provide them ample opportunities to contribute purposefully”, he said.

Jam Mehtab suspends 7 food inspectors G H O T K I —Sindh

Food Minister Jam Mehtab Hussain on Wednesday suspended seven food inspectors over misappropriation charges. Talking to media persons here, Jam Mehtab Hussain said that the seven food inspectors were removed from their posts after they were

found guilty in corruption in the department. He said that cases of suspended corrupt officials have been referred to National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and anti-corruption department. Jam Mehtab said that investigation against a deputy director, a district food controller and 23 food

inspectors allegedly involved in corruption, was underway. The provincial minister claimed that out of Rs6.6 million plundered amount of the food ministry, Rs40 million have been recovered while the remaining will also be recollected from the accused.—INP

Commissioner B’pur reviews BB bridge’s work

Cold‚ dry weather expected in most parts of country

I SLAMABAD —Mainly cold lier, Pakistan Meteorological K HANPUR —Commissioner and dry weather is expected Department (PMD) forecast Bahawalpur Capt (R) Asadullah Khan on Wednesday visited Chachran Sharif and reviewed the pace of under construction Benazir Shaheed bridge over River Indus. Project Director NHA Husnain Ali briefed the Commissioner about the bridge project at FWO camp office. He said that work on two phases of bridge project was in progress which include N5 Chachran approach road and shuttering of bridge on River Indus while tenders for phase-III of the project has been invited which would be opened on December 31. The Commissioner expressed satisfaction over the pace of construction work on bridge and said that he would present a report in this regard to the Chief Minister Punjab.—APP

SCBA president calls on CS Q UETTA —President

Supreme Court Bar Association, Kamran Murtaza called on Chief Secretary Balochistan Babar Yaqoob Fateh Mohammad here at Civil secretariat on Wednesday. CS facilitated Advocate Kamran Murtaza for assuming office of SCBA president and hoped he would work for the welfare of lawyers’ fraternity and work for early disposal of the case of people in courts. SCBA president on the occasion said that judiciary was playing its pivotal role for the prompt justice to the litigants knocking the door of courts for resolution of the legal issues.—APP

Women shot dead BASHIR AHMAD REHMANI HAFIZABAD—A young married woman was shot at and killed on-the-spot by her cousin in Garhi Awan Hafizabad today. According to police source, deceased Khadija D/ o Malik Muhammad Younis was married to Faisal in Nowshera Virkan recently but ISLAMABAD: PML (N) Leaders Raja Zafar-ul-Haq, Zafar Ali Shah, Tariq Azeem, Siddiq- due to her strained relations ul-Farooq and others cutting the cake during a ceremony to celebrate the birthday of with her in-laws she returned Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at PML (N) to her parents house about Secretariat.—PO photo by Sultan Bashir fifteen days back.

in most parts of the country during the next 24 hours. However‚ upper parts of the country will remain under the grip of cold for next two to three days. Light rain with chances of light snowfall over the hills is expected at isolated places of Malakand division and Gilgit-Baltistan. Cold and dry weather is expected in most parts of Khyber- Pakhtunkhwa during next 24 hrs, however light rain with snowfall over the hills is expected at isolated places of Hazara divisions. Dry weather likely over most parts however light rain/ snow is expected in GilgitBaltistan and Kashmir. Ear-

isolated rain with snowfall over the hills in Malakand, Hazara, Rawalpindi divisions, Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan. The Karachi Met Office on Wednesday forecast a dry weather with cool or cold night and hazy morning in the metropolis during the next 24 hours. It said the minimum temperature is expected to remain in the range between 09 and 11 degrees centigrade.—APP

Qaim reviews programme for BB’s anniversary NAZIR SIYAL L ARKANA —Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah presided over a high level meeting to review the arrangements and finalized the program for 6th Martyrdom anniversary of slain Chairperson PPP Shaheed Benazir Bhutto to be observed on 27th December 2013 here at Circuit House Larkana on Wednesday. Chief Minster Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah also visited the Garhi Khuda Bux Bhutto and laid floral wreath on mazar of founder PPP Shaheed Zulifqar Ali Bhutto and offered Fateha for the peace of departed soul. He was accompanied by Speaker Sindh Assembly Agha Siraj Durani, Provincial Minster Manzoor Hussain Wassan, MNA Muhammad Ayaz Soomro, MPA Muhammad Ali Bhutto , MPA Khursheed Ahmed Junejo and other local PPP leaders. Syed Qaim Ali Shah visited the mazar of former Prime Minster of Pakistan and Slain Chairperson PPP Shaheed Benazir Bhutto, late Begum Nusrat Bhutto, Shaheed Mir Murtaza Bhutto and Shaheed Shahnawaz Bhutto and placed floral wreaths on their graves and offered the fateha for the peace of departed souls. Talking to media men

Syed Qaim Ali Shah said that all set to hold local bodies election in time in Sindh, nomination papers for upcoming local bodies election will be provided from 26th December 2013 in Sindh, it will cause the disturbances due to death anniversary of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto to be held on 27TH December 2013, adding that election commission should have changed date of nomination forms however Sindh government has taken preventive measures to avoid the rigging. He said that Local Bodies election will be held on parties bases on transparent and fair manner, in this regard PPP has prepared it self for the forthcoming election. While, CM Sindh Shah said law and order situation is better as compared to past, adding l bodies election will be carried out in Sindh in time with free, fair and transparent manner so that masses could exercise the vote of vote to elect their representatives. Chief Minster Sindh directed to concerned officials complete ongoing development works at Garhi Khuda Bux Bhutto and ensures the availability of all required facilities to masses thronging at mausoleum of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto to pay her glowing tribute on her great sacrifice for sack of democracy and country.

KP, FATA people celebrate Quaid’s birthday with national enthusiasm PESHAWAR—The people of Khyber Pakthunkhwa and Fata like elsewhere in the country, celebrated the 137th birth anniversary of Father of the Nation, Quaide-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah with national spirit and enthusiasm on Wednesday. On this occasion, people renewed their pledge to strictly adhere to Quaid e Azam’s golden principles of Unity, Faith and Discipline and will tirelessly in their respective professions to make Pakistan a stronger, developed and democratic welfare-state. Today is a public holiday and national flag is being hoisted at all the government buildings in all ma-

jor cities of Khyber Pakthunkhwa and Fata as mark of respect and to pay homage to the great leader who had changed the course of history and world geography through purely constitutional and peaceful struggle. The day dawned with special prayers in mosques for eternal peace of the departed soul of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and prosperity, peace and development of Pakistan and liberation of muslims occupied territories. In his message on this important occasion, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor, Engineer Shaukatullah while conveying the Quaide-Azam’s message of hope,

courage and confidence to the nation has stressed to reiterate the commitment to adhere to his principles of unity, faith and discipline; maintain unflinching unity in their ranks and make more productive, constructive and fruitful contributions for ensuring overall national integrity, security, development and prosperity of the country. Meanwhile, a number of political, social, cultural and educational organisations have organized different programmes to mark this momentous occasion in a befitting manner. In this connection, a declamation contest on topic of the personality and struggle of Quaid e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah

for the creation of Pakistan was held at Greenwich Public School Charsdda Road Peshawar where speakers threw light on the life and political struggle of Father of the Nation. The function was presided over by Principal Nasir Ahmed Khan and was attended by students and parents besides elites of the City in large number. Paras Ejaz, a 9th grade student said that Quaid e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah was a great statesman who created a separate homeland for the Muslims of South Asia through a peaceful and constitutional struggle. “Quaid-e-Azam stood for constitutionalism, rule of law, respect for human rights, and equality and his slogan of

‘Unity, Faith and Discipline’ had inspired the Muslims of the subcontinent to achieve Pakistan.” He said Mr. Jinnah had desired that all citizen should have equal opportunities of education, health, progress, freedom, justice and fair play and it a high time to strictly follow his principles to address issues faced by the country’s today. Haris Khan, a 5th class student said Quaid e Azam was a principled and farsighted statesman and even his opponents had acknowledged his flawless and exemplary character. “Our beloved Quaid had not only led the freedom struggle to its successful completion but also took practical steps to determine

basic contours of polity and good governance.” His thoughts and ideas are still beacon of light for the nation, Khan added. The other speakers paid homage to Father of the Nation’s constant and unbendable courage that had resulted the creation of Pakistan on world map on August 14, 1947. They said the best tributes to Quaid e Azam on his 137th birth anniversary are that every person should work hard in their own selected fields and professions to make Pakistan a progressive and developed mulsims welfare state. The PAF Fazaia Degree College Peshawar also celebrated the birthday of Quaid e Azam with national

enthusiasm. A function was held in this connection at PAF Fazaia College Peshawar where headmistress of the Junior Section, Maimoona was the chief guest on the occasion. Principal of the College Air Commodore (retd) Shakeel Pervez and Headmistress of Senior School Section Mrs Saba Mansoor were also present on the occasion. Students from Junior and Senior school sections and college all participated. National songs and tableaus were presented which were applauded by the audience. Musawir of Class 9th, Walid of 10th and boys from the college sung national songs. Students of junior school also presented tab-

leaus based on the life of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. TV and Radio channels are presenting special programmes on the life, struggle and achievements of the Quaid-e-Azam, while the newspapers have brought out special supplements to highlight this momentous day. Similarly, special functions were also held at all the agency headquarters of Fata where national songs and debate competitions among students held. The befitting way to pay tribute to Quaid-e- Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah is to forge unity, work hard for progress and prosperity of the country.—APP


Dar to benefit from private sector input

MEDIA WATCH

Death of an armsmaker

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FTER taking a number of bold steps for reforming the ailing economy, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has restructured the Eco nomic Advisory Council with a view to getting private sector input in policy formulation and implementation. The composition of the Council is broad-based as it includes towering personalities from different fields with relevant background and knowledge, which means that they would be in a position to make meaningful contribution to address economic woes of the people and the process of economic development. It is unfortunate that even after 67 years of independence, Pakistan is still confronted with problems and crises of fundamental nature and could not achieve the desired pace of growth because of lack of interest and commitment on the part of successive governments and inconsistency in policies. No doubt, in the past too, some Governments and leaders initiated prudent policies but regrettably these were abandoned as soon as they departed from the scene. There is also a legitimate perception that policies are generally framed by bureaucrats while sitting in cozy offices and these are mostly detached from the ground realities and therefore, do not produce the desired or intended results. Policies are directed at different segments of the society and they can yield positive results only if input from people of varied background is sought. The kinds of problems facing the economy at the moment demand out-of-box solutions so as to addressing the ills and make a quantum jump but for understandable reasons bureaucracy is not ready to go for innovations and prefer hackneyed approach. Therefore, constitution of Advisory Council consisting of people of repute and integrity would surely make a difference but for this to happen the Government will have to allow the Council to play a proactive role. Advisory committees, councils and consultants are there almost in every sphere of life / Ministries but they are seldom allowed to play their role. We would, therefore, urge the Government and especially the Finance Minister to hold regular consultative brainstorming sessions with members of the Council on economic issues. Every member should know well in advance what is the agenda so that he can make his contribution and once there is consensus the policies should be pursued in letter and spirit, ignoring ifs and buts from vested interests.

Give peace a chance in the Subcontinent D

GMOs of Pakistan and India on Tuesday reiterated the resolve and commitment of both sides to revitalize existing mechanisms for ensuring ceasefire, peace and tranquillity on the Line of Control [LoC]. Coming at the end of a year that saw an unprecedented number of crossborder violations since the 2003 ceasefire agreement came into place, the meeting between the two senior officers is a positive development and would help in overcoming issues that lead to exchange of fire and tension between the two armies. At the end of the meeting, a joint statement emphasised their commitment to maintain the sanctity and ceasefire on the LoC and agreed to reenergise existing mechanisms. It was a step forward that the two sides developed a consensus to make Hotline Contact between the two DGMOs more effective and result oriented and that two flag meetings between Brigade commanders will be held on the LoC in the near future to sort out the issues at the local level. On the face of it, the agreement may be seen as a small step but it reflects the mindset and input of the armies and political leadership who are serious to overcome misunderstandings. The atmosphere in which the meeting took place after fourteen years shows that in the days to come similar more initiatives may come to build trust. We are sure that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif whose priority is to bring peace in the subcontinent will be satisfied because it was he who proposed the DGMOs face to face meeting to his Indian counterpart Dr. Manmohan Singh in New York. Because of animosity between the two major neighbours, lot of blood has been shed and time has come to give peace a chance in the subcontinent. No doubt there are a number of outstanding issues between the two countries and it is the foremost responsibility of the political leadership to resolve them on the negotiating table instead of suspending dialogue under one pretext or the other. Therefore, we would impress upon the leadership in both the countries to build trust, resolve the lingering issues and cooperate with each other to fight poverty, which is our real enemy.

Rising number of rapes of minors P

UNJAB Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif Tuesday took notice of the alleged rape of a minor girl in Lahore, seeking a report from Police while ordering for the immediate arrest of the culprit. According to reports, a drunken landlord allegedly raped the five year old daughter of his tenant and escaped from the scene after committing the crime. Media reports suggest an increase in the number of rape of minors in different parts of the country especially in areas of Wadera culture. The reported incidents are just tip of the iceberg as most of the poor people never dare to lodge a report for fear of life and other reprisals as well as because of issues of honour and reputation. Ironically, even the reported cases are not taken to the logical conclusion by the corrupt and inefficient police and judicial system. In September, a five year old girl was repeatedly molested and thrown outside Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in Lahore but police is still clueless about perpetrators of the crime. Such an attitude on the part of the administration, police and the judiciary discourages people especially victims and their families and encourages mentally sick people to commit such crimes. Therefore, while appreciating the Punjab CM for taking notice of the incident, we would urge him to ensure that these cases are probed thoroughly and culprits not only apprehended but meted out exemplary punishments. The Government as well as the civil society should also ponder over the causes of such a phenomenon and take remedial steps. We believe that the culture of Westernisation, erosion of Islamic and oriental culture and overall brutalisation of the society have much to do with this deteriorating state of affairs. Strengthening of our cultural moorings, quick and inexpensive dispensation of justice and award of deterrent punishments can surely make a difference.

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A weak Pakistan suits India inces of Pakistan and subtly convinced them that their cullinks were with West Asif Haroon Raja tural Bengal and not with West PaEmail: asifharoon7751@yahoo.com kistan. They took 24 years to wean away the people of East Pakistan from the concept of HARAT detested the ‘’two- united Pakistan and to make them nation theory” ever since its look towards India – their erstwhile conception and was bent tormentors - to help them gain indeupon disproving it, as this theory ul- pendence. The agitation in East Pakistan timately gave birth to Pakistan. India took advantage of the absurd provided a fertile ground for India to shape of moth eaten Pakistan, in launch a well-orchestrated propawhich East Pakistan was separated ganda to weaken and break up the from the western wing by 1000 province from West Pakistan. They miles of Indian Territory and with established early links with Bengalis, no land corridor to link the two prov- trained them and used them as caninces. There were plans as old as non fodder to wear down the Paki1947 to agitate the minds of the stani troops. The nine months insurBengalis so that the first blow to the gency was fully supported by the In“two-nation theory” could be deliv- dian Army and their support to the ered in the form of severing rebels was well known to the world Pakistan’s eastern wing in a matter powers. Having failed to realise their of one generation from the time of objective through the Mukti Bahini, independence. A strong Pakistan - the Indian Army decided to step in at the envisioned fort of Islam - did not a time when the small contingent of suit India, former Soviet Union and Pakistan Army had been exhausted Israel, which viewed Pakistan as a and suffered from immense tactical, operational and logistic problems. future threat to their ideologies. East Pakistan grew up as a misIn order to hide their crimes against the Muslims of Bengal dur- led nation easily swayed by the ing the British rule in India, Indians Hindu brainwashing. Their emoworked upon a systematic plan to tional nature saw Indian Hindus as wash off the memories of the pre- their saviours against their pre-suppartition days and to put the entire posed ‘West Pakistani Masters’. This responsibility of impoverishment of is where they blundered and demonEast Pakistan on the rulers of West strated political naivety and unawarePakistan. They took full advantage ness. The misled emotional Bengali of their geographical contiguity and political leaders exploited the povsucceeded in winning over promi- erty and illiteracy of the masses of nent Bengali figures of their choice East Pakistan. Matiur Rehman in his and also made good use of the af- book “Bangladesh Today, An Indictfluent Hindu population in that prov- ment and a Lament, aptly puts across ince. They exploited East Pakistan’s the point. ‘What made both external differences in language, dress, hab- conspiracy and aggression possible its, food and culture from other prov- was the existence within of a group

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of people led by Mujibur Rehman who were prepared to sell their country’s independence’. India and the Hindus residing in former East Pakistan sowed the seeds of destruction of East Pakistan and the self-serving politicians of Pakistan nurtured the crop. The circumstances between 1948 and 1971 appearing on the political canvas of Pakistan placed a shallow political and military leadership in the saddle during the 1971 crisis, which could not save the sinking ship. While the sinking could be delayed but the final outcome was inevitable. It is generally believed that prolonging the war by another fortnight or so and allowing the United Nations to find some workable solution could avoid the premature surrender and thus save the honour of Pakistan Army. Unfortunately, we as a nation have failed to carry out true and objective analysis of losing East Pakistan. Hamoodur Rehman Commission Report that had ascertained the military causes of the debacle remained a hidden document till as late as 31 December 2000. General Yahya Khan’s ill-fated two and a half-year rule from March 1969 to December 1971 hastened the process of fragmentation of Pakistan. Sheikh Mujibur Rehman and ZA Bhutto worked hard to make the Indian game plan of amputating Pakistan succeed. Mujib duly patronised by India misled the otherwise loyal people of East Pakistan from the concept of united Pakistan. Bengali nationalism that had peaked in the wake of postponement of National Assembly inaugural session scheduled for 3rd March 1971 could not be reined in despite concerted efforts by the military regime to assuage their ag-

gravated feelings. Sowing of seeds of conspiracy to its final flowering in 1971 had been leavened by the creed of Bengali nationalism. The military crackdown on 25 March led to parting of ways and from that time onwards; the gulf between the two wings kept widening till the tenuous chord snapped in December 1971. It was irony of fate that the very people who were in the vanguard of Pakistan Movement took up arms to destroy the very country, which they themselves had helped to create. The people of East Bengal accepted India, from whose shackles freedom was achieved in August 1947 after such a long struggle, as a saviour and a mentor. Mujib started a witch-hunt against so-called collaborators. It didn’t take long for the people of Bangladesh to realize that they were duped. A military coup led by Maj Farooq and Maj Rashid killed Mujib and his 23 family members and dumped their bodies in a mass grave in August 1975. Instead of taking revenge from those who had killed her father and family members, Hasina Wajid chose to persecute Jamaat-e-Islami members who had remained loyal to the concept of one Pakistan till the very end. Hanging aged Jamaat chief Abdul Quader Molla on dubious charges of rape and mass murder after 42 years has saddened everyone in Pakistan and brought the rampaging Islamists in Bangladesh on the streets. They assert that it was a political murder and will be avenged. Hasina’s days in power are numbered and the countdown has begun. —The writer, a retired Brig, is defence analyst and researcher.

Profit vs people’s health sources which are needed to feed ever growing world Ali Ashraf Khan population. What a shame, this is what Email:balti@super.net.pk we call emancipation of people where democracy and capitalism flourishes hand in TV advertisement campaign glove to promote loot and plunder of is dinned in our mind these state coffers. Now the world knows days that says ‘Use Safe Milk that it was corruption that motivated free from all kinds of adulterations’ the 9/11 plot that was launched to by multinational companies estab- colonize oil and mineral resources of lished with the sole purpose of mo- Middle East and Central and South nopolizing the milk market for mint- Asia by George W. Bush & coterie ing money, which is the purpose of that led to an unending war on terror capitalism through democratic due to which the US defense budget corporatecracy. The entire world has has multiplied three times what it was become victim of this malice of food in 1999. The people have no say to adulteration; morality and honesty stop all this in their own country have been thrown to winds, corrup- while US claims to be a Tarzan of tion is ruling the roost and nobody the world and keeps pushing its own people into bondage again. is that clean as they are stating. An Urdu daily reported the other Today all the ills and curses that afflict human degeneration are an day that another case of tempering undesirable gift forced upon man- with food stuff in Pakistan. Governkind by the capitalist world market. ment officials raided one of leading Open market economy, global vil- dairy food company milk plant in lage and WTO have been the won- Lahore and found that Vanaspati Ghee der throwing their tentacles into our was used in milk production. So they food by launched GM technology in sealed the factory and strangely the food production, substituting natu- management when asked about this ral food items by synthetic ones. incident came out owning this fact Whatever agro-based food items are saying that they use this oil and fertilproduced and marketed from GM izer to develop fat into milk obviously linked seeds is harmful for certain without public having a clue about the areas due to environmental reason procedures for the production of milk and hazardous in its impact on hu- in Pakistan that is causing a number man organism. Laws exist to pun- of diseases. This is by far not the first ish the food adulterators but enforce- case and the practice of Pakistani milk ment of law has been compromised producers of tampering with widely advertised brands of milk, which has due to glittering dollar. Take for example recent case of been reported before. Previously there have been reports public uproar in US and West against extraction of fossil earth deposits that some of these big names procured that are harming the ecology of the milk from vendors who mix 80% waworld. RT TV program disclosed ter plus 20% milk and add urea and a that many honourable particular brand of Vanaspati Ghee and Congressmen’s pockets have been then stir this to make a liquid which filled by the vested interest groups becomes yellowish; then they put to win favour and sabotage move- chemical used in nails polish remover ment to legislate and block this (Rangkaat) to make it white again and harmful business of exploiting re- that is then transported to factories

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where it is chilled by these producers to further process and sell it under there brand name. The company immediately refuted that its product was banned and that if it was supposed to be milk. They stated that it has never been marketed under the name of “milk” while on the contrary is packed and marketed like other tetrapak milk products. This is another case that shows how important and strict regulations of the food market is starting from a clear definition of what ‘Milk’ is and taking care that consumers are not fooled by confusing marketing tricks. It won’t be out of place to mention that many years back a case was filed in Lahore High Court by a ice cream making company against another multinational ice cream maker as not produced from milk and fats as defined in pure food rules 1965, rather made from vegetable oil. The Single bench of High Court order banned the sale of Ice Cream, the multinational company chose to go in appeal before a division bench of Lahore High Court that amended this order and allowed both companies to use vegetable oil in ice cream. Former challenged the decision before Supreme Court which suspended the order of the division bench of High Court in 1999. It can only happen in Pakistan I think that latter is openly selling and advertising their various kinds of products and selling in millions without any check by law enforcement departments against the Supreme Court judgment. When in a similar case of infant milk from China was found adulterated in US containing ingredients of Melamine powder in 2007, the US cancelled the import of milk powder from China. The Chinese government held an inquiry and in 3 days found out the facts and owner of company was put before firing squad to avoid future bad name for Chinese products. Will this ever happen in Paki-

stan where already a large amount of population is suffering from malnutrition and bad healthcare? In Pakistan we don’t care for the health of our people or the name of our country or our products. In a globalised world and globalised market with all kinds of experiments like genetically produced food, synthetic food and so on there is dire need to define what a product has to be like and how the parameters of health care have to be observed. Once this is defined its implementation has to be checked and Chinese example of executing the one who is tempering with food stuff is an option that surely works. But even 30 years before people were there who did not apply the strict rules. An effort at that time was protecting organisations, civil society to protect the interests of consumers in Pakistan. Pakistan has a fast growing population that is characterized by growing poverty and because of this by malnutrition and food insecurity. Children die or are imparted in their physical and intellectual development because they don’t get enough food, the wrong food or food that is hazardous for their health. Adulterated milk and other food items are, therefore, endangering the health of the Pakistani population even that part of the population that is not poor but is sold hazardous food for high prices. It is the responsibility of the government to prevent food adulteration and it is the responsibility of the civil society and media to pressurize the government to fulfill its responsibility, but media is ignoring this in frenzy of receiving commercial advertisement. Food adulteration is a crime and should be prosecuted and punished as such, as the Chinese example has shown. God bless Pakistan. —The writer is Karachi-based senior columnist.

VERYTHING that is com plicated is useless; every thing useful is simple.” That was the motto of a man who designed one of the most popular ‘gadgets’ of the modern world, a philosophy that would heartily have been endorsed by many contemporary innovators. But Mikhail Timofeyevich Kalashnikov was no Steve Jobs or Eric Schmidt. His invention, the Avtomat Kalashnikova model 1947, the notorious AK-47, has killed more people than any other firearm in human history. Born in a collective farm in Siberia in 1919, the Russian arms enthusiast, who passed away on Monday, invented the assault rifle for the protection of his motherland. “I have no regrets and bear no responsibility for how politicians have used it,” he once remarked. “I am sad that it is used by terrorists. I would prefer to have invented a machine that people like farmers could use, like a lawnmower.” Kalashnikov designed the weapon towards the end of World War II, but it was rarely ever used for the protection of the former Soviet Union. The authorities outsourced production of the weapon to franchises in its satellite states in Eastern Europe and to regimes in China and North Korea. During the Cold War, AK-47s were exported to guerrillas waging war against colonial regimes and later even to terrorists taking on established governments. Fans and users of the deadly weapon have venerated it over the years. Osama bin Laden was photographed with the assault rifle, Afghans have weaved its designs in their carpets, the Mozambique national flag features an AK-47 with a bayonet attached to the barrel, and American rap singers have glorified the weapon. Kalashnikov once claimed that even American soldiers dumped their M16 rifles in Vietnam, picking up AK-47s from opponents felled in skirmishes. The inventor of the deadliest and most popular weapon in human history, however, never gained financially from his rifle. Though he was bestowed with many prestigious awards by the erstwhile Soviet rulers and the present Russian regime, Kalashnikov led a simple life in the Urals. The weapons designer, who also wrote poems, always aspired to be a poet; perhaps modern history would have been different had he pursued his literary ambitions. — Khaleej Times

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Growing number of obese children

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HERE is a serious need for parents in the UAE to weigh the benefits of providing their children with gadgets against the long-term damage they cause. The latest findings by Unicef regarding the rising levels of obesity in children in the UAE validate this approach. With one in three children being found to be obese due to an inactive lifestyle, the cause for concern cannot be ignored. Irrespective of the modern concepts of parenting — from helicopter to snowplough and all other styles in between — the fact is that modern parents take an inordinate and misplaced pride in their children’s ability to master the workings of ipads and smartphones. While technology and digital nativisation have their place in a child’s life, they cannot replace the importance of the fundamental building blocks of growth and allround development — active lifestyle, outdoor activities, healthy food and a robust spirit of inquiry about the world around them. As such, the efforts of Unicef, in collaborating with the Ministry of Education, to launch a pilot phase with public schools in Dubai to monitor and improve the lifestyles of children is a great start to stem the tide of obesity. With the unflattering distinction of being the eighth most inactive country in the world, the UAE should embark on vigorous, as well as rigorous, campaigns to tackle obesity, inactivity and junk food indulgences in children. After all, today’s poor statistics of the young are tomorrow’s unwanted problems. — Gulf News Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies. — Nelson Mandela S African statesman


Let there be peace S R H Hashmi Email:srhhashmi@hotmail.com

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N his article titled ‘Saudi Arabia will go it alone’ published under ‘Views from Abroad’ in Pakistan Observer, Dec. 19, Mohammed Bin Nawaf Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, presently serving as Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to United Kingdom and Ireland, has expressed his utter disappointment over the conduct of Western partners in relation to Syria and Iran. Saudi Arabia had expected tough action including punitive strikes by its strategic partners, the western countries, on Syrian government forces as well as substantial increase in aid to the opponents of the regime. As a matter of fact, because of crossing of red lines set by US President Barack Obama by way of alleged use of chemical weapons by Syrian regime, France, Britain and the United States seemed all set to launch punitive strikes against Syria, with France even announcing the probable date of attack. However, defeat of resolution at the British parliament in line with the public sentiment which was against foreign interventions by British forces, and remembering the ouster of Tony Blair from 10, Downing Street because of invasion of Iraq on fabricated grounds, the British Prime Minister did not dare pursue his plans of attacking Syria and this put a dampener on France which cancelled its attack plans and US President Barack Obama, who had been doing some tough talking against Syria, also sort of came back from the brink and shelved his plans to launch punitive strikes against Syria. Also due to opposition by Russia and China, the Western powers could not manage to get a UN Security Council resolution paving the way for the attack. While the use of chemical weapons in Syria on a limited scale was proved, it could not be established with certainty that this was the work of the Syrian regime. It was also argued that Syrian regime, which seemed to be winning the war against the rebels simply by using conventional weapons had no reason to use chemical weapons and

thus invite wrath of the international community. Even the use of common sense would suggest that it would most likely be the work of the Syrian opposition which would resort to chemical attacks in order to drag the international community into the conflict and it would not be too difficult for the resourceful supporters of the Syrian opposition to stage-manage such an incident. In the meantime, through Russian persuasion, the Syrian regime agreed to surrender its chemical weapons arsenal for destruction and this also sort of deflated the attack plans against Syria. Alongside the above development, Western countries are also getting worried about Jihadis and al Qaeda elements gaining strength in Syria. They are fearful of the the possibility of weapons and other aid supplied to Syrian opposition ending up in the hands of these extremists; hence they do not seem to be too keen any more to continue their military and other aid to the Syrian opposition. Another reason for this stance could be the desire of the Western countries to keep the two sides evenly-matched so as to prolong the conflict, creating a situation where both sides do maximum damage to each other, much like what is happening in Iraq. Obviously, Saudis are as furious over this development because they were anticipating a quick unseating of Bashar al Assad and takeover of Syria by the opposition, thus expanding Saudi (Sunni) influence in the region. On the Iran front as well, there is a huge disappointment for Saudi Arabia, the main financier for anti-Shia forces, as well as Israel, in seeing a destructive war on Iran snatched from their hands, so to speak. The writer has categorically declared the shift in the West’s policies - from one of outright hostility to that of accommodation - towards Iran and Syria, as being a risk to the stability and security of Middle East and has vowed not to remain idle. He also accused Iran of sending soldiers to help the Syrian regime, training and helping militias in Iraq as well as aiding Hezbollah described by him as terrorists, and supporting militants in Yemen and Bahrain. Naturally, he

refrained from detailing the mischief done by Sunnis to Shia community. The writer went on to say “Saudi Arabia has enormous responsibilities within the region, as the cradle of Islam and one of the Arab world’s most significant political powers. We have global responsibilities — economic and political — as the world’s de facto central banker for energy. And we have a humanitarian responsibility to do what we can to end the suffering in Syria.” I think all Muslims know the devotion demonstrated by Saudi rulers to improving facilities for pilgrims to Mecca and Medina. We also know of vast sums spent by Saudi rulers for the welfare of Muslims worldwide. Saudi rulers’ brotherly feelings and affection for us in Pakistan are exemplary, and they have always helped us generously in our times of need. Unfortunately, in recent times, Saudi role has become somewhat controversial for which the entire responsibility does not rest with it because Iran also holds fair share of responsibility for this state of affairs. I am of course referring to the SunniShia divide and the proxy wars that the two states have been fighting all over the Muslim world to increase their influence. This needless competition and the resultant violence is proving extremely harmful for the Ummah because irrespective of which sides wins in a particular conflict, these are Muslims who end up as losers, further weakened and divided, to the glee of the enemies of Muslims who occasionally add fuel to the fire and enjoy the show. The problem with such an approach is that all contestants end up losers and those, like Saudi Arabia and some other Middle-Eastern states, which might be feeling safe at the moment may also end up facing the same situation in the not-too-distant future. We know sometime back, Saudi Arabia had to offer a hundredbillion-package to pacify its nationals but this way, it has only bought some time, and the problem is sure to return later, with even more intensity and ferocity and eventually, it may not be possible to solve it merely by dishing out more money and benefits. The policy of interventions and proxy wars has not helped Muslims at all because, comparing our situa-

tion now with that prevailing a few decades back, we find that more and more Muslim states are heading towards anarchy if not already destabilized, and nearly whole Middle East is in a state of turmoil. Pakistan has not been spared either and is facing the worst form of terrorism and sectarian violence. I believe it is time now for us to make a fundamental change in the way we treat each other. Coming to power of a moderate leadership in Iran has resulted in the softening of the Western attitude towards it as against threats of imminent attacks on its nuclear sites, and also to weaken it generally. Instead of trying to find new ways to weaken Syrian and Iranian governments, I think Saudi rulers would do well to embrace Iran, which is showing keen interest in improving its relations with the Arab world and other Muslim states, and then jointly try to solve various problems in Muslim states. With peaceful alternatives available, why go for confrontation? Doesn’t make sense to me. Surely, it does not sound too good for Saudi Arabia, described by Mohammed Bin Nawaf Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud as a cradle of Islam - which in fact it is - to be enlisting the support of nonMuslims against fellow Muslims and relying on them for making peace, as in the case of Palestine, or for waging wars, especially after seeing what their intervention did to Iraq and is now doing to Afghanistan and Pakistan, with the entire act not played yet. A nation of one and a half billion strong, with over fifty states and owning plentiful resources should be able to sort out problems within its fold without having to seek outside help. If it can’t do that, there is something terribly wrong and needs to be set right and being the cradle of Islam, duty of setting Muslims on the right path falls on Saudi shoulders, naturally. But that does not mean we have to seek confrontation with the rest of the world. The earth belongs to us all and we have to live here in a spirit of goodwill and mutual respect, and this is possible, if only we try. —The writer is Karachi-based political analyst.

Views From Abroad

The Mideast’s unlikely allies Ben Fishman

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N Dec. 15, Prince Turki alFaisal, the former Saudi in telligence chief, drew a harsh portrait of American weakness, unreliability and poor judgment in the Middle East. His speech was likely cheered as vigorously in Jerusalem as it was in Riyadh and Abu Dhabi. Although neither side will say so publicly, these Middle Eastern rivals seem to agree more with each other than with Washington these days. Israel and the Gulf states share a deep suspicion about the interim nuclear deal with Iran. Both tend to believe that the United States has lost influence in the Middle East and abandoned its willingness to use force. As a result they increasingly doubt America’s commitment to their security. While Israel and the Gulf states may be equally unhappy with American policy, they should not expect to impact the next phase of negotiations with Iran just by bemoaning President Obama. Unless Israel and its Gulf neighbours start talking — and more importantly — working together, they will continue to miss an opportunity to offer a viable alternative. The Obama administration has tried to match this criticism by reaffirming its commitment to the security of its allies (this was a consistent focus during my four years working on the president’s national security staff). On Dec. 7, Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel itemized American’s long-term defence commitments in

the Gulf at the Manama Dialogue, a regional security forum attended by many Gulf leaders. The same day in Washington, at the Brookings Institution’s Saban Forum, Mr. Obama reasserted that security cooperation between the United States and Israel “has never been stronger.” These statements reflect a five-year record of close military collaboration. So why aren’t Israel and the Gulf states convinced? For Israel, no level of security assistance seems capable of overcoming its anxiety that the United States will ultimately accept a nuclear Iran rather than initiate a military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities if the diplomatic process falls apart or Iran develops the capability and knowhow to produce nuclear weapons in short order. Mr. Obama has acknowledged that Israel should not be expected to contract out its security. And yet he is hoping Mr. Netanyahu will do just that by foregoing a military strike and trusting America to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon through sanctions-backed diplomacy and force, if necessary. The Gulf states have long feared being sold out by America to their Persian rivals, especially since the president first proposed engagement with Iran in 2009. The interim nuclear agreement with Iran has only inflamed those anxieties. They worry the West will accept a long-term deal that only addresses Iran’s nuclear program but ignores Iran’s ability to sponsor terrorism and sow sectarian violence from Lebanon and Syria to Bahrain, Iraq and Yemen — threats

the Gulf states view as existential. In the eyes of both Israel and the Gulf states, the United States is a country thousands of miles away, where the people are weary of war, legislators are cutting defence budgets and leaders regularly expound a shift toward Asia. But Iran and its proxies are on their doorstep. American military deployments, exercises and sales cannot overcome this fundamental imbalance of proximity and vulnerability. They also seem to realize that America’s regional partners have few options available now that Mr. Obama has called his play and the broader international community supports the diplomatic track with Iran. Would Israel really risk international isolation through a dangerous military strike at the moment the West seems ready to embrace Iran? Would the Gulf states really start buying Chinese military hardware and relying on the Russian Navy to protect their ports? There is another way out of this impasse for leaders in Jerusalem, Riyadh and Abu Dhabi: start working together to lay an alternative foundation for security in the Middle East. As unnatural as it may seem, they should sit down together and develop a series of actions that they will undertake jointly, take the proposal to Washington and offer it in exchange for firmer commitments from the United States. For example, the Gulf states could advance IsraeliPalestinian negotiations by spelling out a process for normalizing relations with Israel, publicly embracing the outcome of Secretary of State

John Kerry’s peace diplomacy, and committing to underwrite a compensation package for Palestinian refugees who forego their “right of return” to Israel. They could undertake joint actions to isolate Hezbollah and Hamas and shore up the moderate Palestinian Authority and Lebanese government; mutual commitments to insulate Jordan from the spillover from Syria’s civil war; and coordinated outreach to potential violators of anti-Iran sanctions. A joint proposal along these lines made to the White House could pave the way toward a regional security framework that benefits Washington’s traditional partners more than their Iranian rivals. This will not be easy, and it would require a degree of cooperation and trust among actors programmed to do the opposite. Any dealings with Israel would be denied by the Gulf states until they had something to show their publics for it, such as an agreement on Palestinian statehood. But if Israel and the Gulf states truly fear the outcome of a “bad” deal with Iran, working together may be the only alternative they have left to shape its terms. Otherwise, they will have to sit tight and hope the Iran negotiations break down on their own — an outcome largely beyond their control. The writer, a consulting senior fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, served on the United States national security council from 2009 to 2013. — Courtesy: The New York Times

Terror in the backyard..!

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N a colony in Mumbai, lives the brother of a terrorist. He was be hind one of the bomb blasts that took place where hundreds died. The brother of the terrorist was initially taken to jail, because in this country beating the confessions out of people is the easiest way to solve crime, but he was let out and the people in his colony let him be. But he did not let them be. He built structures on land that did not

belong to him. Encroached on ground that belonged to the common area, and the people left him alone. Why did they leave him alone? Because a brother of a terrorist is normally left alone. But what people don’t know is that he lives in fear. He is scared that the people outside will know that the brother of a terrorist lives with his family in a normal society. He feels and maybe rightly so, that someone whose loved or dear one died in the bomb attack may take a pot shot at him or his family in revenge. So he lives in fear. The people around him however don’t know that they are his shield. They don’t know that because they have given him anonymity he has been able to get

away with his connection with his brother for so long. But what does the brother of the terrorist do? He built structures on land that did not belong to him. Encroached on ground that belonged to the common area, and the people left him alone. Why did they leave him alone? Because a brother of a terrorist is normally left alone. Most of the residents living around him, look at his encroachment, talk about it, but leave him alone, because of his blood connection, little knowing that in leaving him alone, they have given him power. What needs to be done is for people to know who he is. That they come to know that hundreds who died in the bomb blast died because of the

wicked thoughts of an evil and wicked man. What people living around him need to know is that stealing land worth millions is another form of terror. His brother murdered many, while this man has robbed and stolen. There is only one form of justice and that justice is for the people of his society to tell the world that they are being terrorized in their own back yard. What he needs is for his own shield of anonymity to be withdrawn, and his terror will cease to exist, but till people have the courage to expose such men, there will be terror in the backyard of that colony..! —Email:bobsbanter@gmail.com

Voice of the People Mend the polarized society MALIK ATIF MAHMOOD MAJOKA

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urge in sectarianism has caused great concern among all sections of Pakistani society including the overseas Pakistanis. Any division in the name of religion in a country, which was founded on ideological basis, may hit its very foundation. The incident in Rawalpindi reflects the inefficiency and incapacity of weakened state institutions. Political and religious leaders are playing the part of fire fighters yet no one is seriously making any effort to know cause of the fire. Steps like imposition of curfew, suspension and transfer of police officers have been taken to cool down the situation for sometime. The response is a typical eyewash strategy that has been the favourite of ruling classes in a security state. Another worn out strategy is to seek help from religious elements to curb sectarianism. Codes of conducts are being formalized and getting signed from all sides and schools of thought. This apologetic attitude of state reveals inability and incapacity of institutions of the State. Political parties are bewildered over the situation as to what course of action might be taken in order to put things back on track. The matter is of rule of law for which states determination and commitment is required; whereas the state is depending on the same myopic religious leaders who in one way or the other are actually responsible for sectarianism. State policy of denial and apathy has led the country to a stage where places of worship are being desecrated; people are being killed in broad day light in the name of faith. Once a very inclusive and tolerant society has now been transformed into a highly volatile and intolerant one. The very fabric of Pakistani society is at stake and Nero’s of present day are playing flutes. Pakistani state negotiates and seeks peace through supplications. Matters of law and order and state authority are left to the patrons of militants. Party Political interests are prevailing over national interests. Political loyalties are often preferred over competence; cracks in state institutions are evident. Phenomenon of religiosity has fractured the society on ideological lines. What were said to be routine religious events in the past, now bring every thing to a halt. Shrinking writ of the state is openly challenged by banned outfits. Proscribed organizations have been emboldened by the lack of effective response from the concerned state institutions. Any armed conflict between rival factions in a country, which is a haven for illegal arm trade, may cast serious consequences for the very existence of state. Situation is a result of long denial on the part of state. Media has a very strong role to play by educating masses. Education system may also be cleansed from exclusivist thoughts. Pakistan needs to concrete on practical action to curb the menace of sectarianism, which must come in shape of multi-pronged strategy to contain and eliminate it. It would therefore be the foremost requirement of the day to take difficult extraordinary decisions to cope with the extraordinarily overgrown polarization in the Pakistani society. —Melbourne, Australia

Havocs of Sheesha smoking SARA RIZVI Initially, sheesha was banned in Lahore as per health issues, now it is the turn and time for Karachites to get rid of their hazardous habit. It has been seen that after passing strict law and orders against promotion and sale of sheesha in Karachi; some cafes of Defence, Tariq Road and M. Ali Society etc. are still involved in the same business. Even though, raids were done by Media and caught people red handed. It didn’t work too. According to the sheesha sellers, it’s their business; it’s their way of earning, it is demand of the people, especially youngsters. We should nor forget that there is always a moral and ethical and legal base to start any business; and a business which spoils the health and future not only of some unwise youngsters but that of the whole nation, should not only be discouraged but completely banned. It is also the responsibility of the government and its law enforcing agencies. —Via email

***** SAGHER ARBAB Sheesha smoking is banned throughout the country but it is easily accessible to youth. The use of Sheesha in youth is most common in Pakistan. Owing to its health hazardousness, it was banned by the government and therefore, all Sheesha Clubs were closed down in Pakistan. However, with the passage of time, casual attitude of the law enforcing agencies and with weakening of the writ of the government, the miscreants and anti Pakistan forces re-started the deadly game and the youth were attracted to it in the name of fashion at the cost of their heath and future prospects. The Sheesha Clubs have been opened again in some areas of Islamabad, Rawalpindi and many other big cities of the country. The menace is on its way to the small towns and even the rural areas. Oblivious of the future of their own generations, some corrupt and unmindful of the havocs of the evil spreading due to their sheer negligence or corrupt deeds, the leaders and the law enforcers are instrumental in the promotion of the menace. Police is involved in this crime and take bribes from the owners of Sheesha Clubs. They do not take prompt action against these Clubs. The concerned government departments, local administrations and the men in authority are requested to take action against the club owners and the police official involved in that crime. —Via email

Pinning hope with DGMOs meeting ABU HASAN The people of Azad Kashmir welcome the DGMOs meeting of Pakistan and India. The skirmishes at the Line of Control are a source of concern and one of the major problems they are facing. The UNMOGIP officials are witness to it. Frequent uprooting and displacements of local population because of cross-border shelling halts life and pace of work amongst residents which affects children’s schooling, patients cure and business activity round clock.

If something concrete comes out, which is expected, from the DGMOs talks, it would certainly help the locals to stabilizing settlements to continue with the pace of work without the fear of violence and shelling from across the LoC. At the same time it is proposed that a strategy be worked out to facilitate the people to people exchange and interaction, as the erecting of fencing along the Line of Control has almost ended its chances. The people on both sides have blood relations with each other and the families cannot depart. —Azad Kashmir

***** FARUK ADIL It is a welcome step that Pakistan, India DGMOs’ meeting has taken place at Wagah Border. After 1991, it is the first visit of Indian DGMO and it is hoped that something concrete will come out. A month ago, the Indian frustration was visible. It was not going to stop violations at the LoC despite various commitments made by Manmohan Singh, the Indian PM, who met with Nawaz Sharif in New York on the sidelines of UN General Assembly session. They agreed to solve the issue through DGMOs meeting. But this did not happen and the shelling continued from across the border. The meeting kept pending unless President Hamid Karzai’s visit, followed by PM’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz’s visit to New Delhi. Prime Minister Sharif had promised to go extra miles in his way towards forging peace with India for the purpose of bringing economic prosperity in the region. Has Nawaz Sharif and the new army chief something “off the way” big in store to cherish that goal? DGMOs’ meeting reflects the peoples’ desire on both sides. Both the countries, especially India must set the rhetoric aside; eschew the path of winning elections through anti-Pakistan euphoria, and leave tactics of coercion and intimidation. It is now clear that Nawaz Sharif and Raheel Sharif mean business. Let’s live together, in peace. —Lahore

***** F Z KHAN The DGMOs meeting is being regarded as an extraordinarily rare event “in the chronicle of the fractured relationship” between Pakistan and India. This has not happened during Gen Kayani’s tenure probably because of the level of mistrust. This has never happened during the past over 12 years. Only Lt Gen Satish Nambiar, then DGMO of India, visited Pakistan in 1991. Today Lt Gen Vinod Bhatia is coming to formally take up the issue of tensions on the Line of Control. Observers expect a breakthrough on the LoC and it is expected that a permanent ceasefire would be agreed. If it happens, it would go a long way and determine the future economic prospects of the region that has been facing worst economic crisis. This DGMOs meeting was decided, on the invitation of Pakistan, soon after Afghan Karzai’s Islamabad and Sartaj Aziz’s New Delhi visits. It seems as if both sides have new set of proposals that may lead to the kick-start of a high level dialogue between Pakistan and India. Maybe the meeting of Prime Ministers of both countries that has not so been held would be finalized as a result. An understanding between the two countries and reaching subsequently to an agreement before the US and allied forces withdraw from

Afghanistan is need of the hour. The Pakistan-India thaw can turn the corners. Let’s hope a positive outcome of the DGMO’ meeting. Welcome Gen Vinod Bhatia. —Islamabad

Child mortality rate in Pakistan M FAZAL ELAHI Children who deserve the most attention, are victims of utter neglect, particularly in the underdeveloped and developing societies of the world. The figures of child mortality are indeed astounding. One would be shocked to know that everyday 18,000 children under the age of five die of avoidable causes and 216 million children have already died since 1990. The situation particularly in the rural areas of Pakistan is worse. In fact, as per some reports published by non-government organizations (NGOs), Pakistan has now become the most dangerous country for children under five. Primarily, poverty, lack of training, lack of proper health facilities being provided by the government are the factors contributing towards this grave issue. Lack of education and lack of awareness among the parents are also two significant contributing factors. Diseases that could be cured, if properly dealt with, are causing deaths among the poor children. Some NGOs report that every hour, per day, 40 children die in Pakistan, thus making it one of the highest child mortality rates in the world. The difference in child mortality rates between Pakistan and its neighbors is glaring. In fact, the figures for Pakistan are shockingly high. When the ratio in Pakistan is 86 out of every 1000 children, the number is only 41 in Bangladesh and 56 in India. Predictably, India is one of the top ten nations of the region that has made significant strides in cutting down the child mortality rate since 1990. One truly stands perplexed by the above statistics. While the rest of the world is taking strong and apt measures to overcome the menace of child mortality, the rate has gone higher in Pakistan. It is reported that it has risen from 41 percent in 2001 to 43.7 percent in 2012. Undoubtedly, the lives of thousands of children could have been saved had they been provided proper health and medical facilities and proper nourishment. The situation with regard to child mortality in the country is indeed alarming. Concerted and dedicated endeavors must be made by the relevant bodies of the government, the NGOs and philanthropic organizations blessed with huge resources to eradicate poverty from the country. Endeavors must also be made by these organizations to provide easy and continuous access particularly to the down-trodden rural populace of the country to proper basic health and medical facilities and food and clean drinking water. —Via email

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

—Editor Email:editorial@pakobserver.net


Christmas Day bombings in Iraq’s capital kill 37

Edward Snowden as the electronic age Santa Claus ABDALLAH SCHLEIFER

BAGHDAD—Militants in Iraq tar- 400,000 to 600,000 people, ofgeted Christians in three separate Christmas Day bombings in Baghdad, killing at least 37 people, officials said Wednesday. In one attack, a car bomb went off near a church in the capital’s southern Dora neighborhood, killing at least 26 people and wounding 38, a police officer said. Earlier, two bombs ripped through a nearby outdoor market simultaneously in the Christian section of Athorien, killing 11 people and wounding 21, the officer said. The Iraq-based leader of the Chaldean Catholic Church, Louis Sako, said the parked car bomb exploded after Christmas Mass and that none of the worshippers were hurt. Sako said he didn’t believe the church was the target. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks, but Iraq’s dwindling Christian community, which is estimated to number about

ten has been targeted by alQaida and other insurgents who see the Christians as heretics. Along with Christians, other targets include civilians in restaurants, cafes or crowded public areas, as well as Shiites and members of the Iraqi security forces, attacked in an attempt to undermine confidence in the Shiite-led government and stir up Iraq’s already simmering sectarian tensions. A medical official confirmed the casualty figures. Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to talk to the media. Wednesday’s bombings came amid a massive military operation in Iraq’s western desert as authorities try to hunt down insurgents who have stepped up attacks across Iraq in the past months, sending violence to levels not seen An awakening council member stands guard while women walk through the site of a bombing in a Christian since 2008.—AP section of Baghdad.

China unveils antigraft plans, focus on protests, reforms BEIJING—China’s ruling Communist Party unveiled a fiveyear plan to fight pervasive graft, with particular attention on corruption that triggers protests or happens in the course of economic reforms. President Xi Jinping has launched a sweeping crackdown on corruption since taking power, pursuing high-flying “tigers” as well as lowly “flies” in the government, military, stateowned enterprises and universities. The party’s anti-graft watchdog, the Central Commission for Discipline and Inspection, said in November it would target all senior officials as part of a deeper war on graft, a problem so serious Xi has said it threatens the party’s survival. The five-year plan was approved in late August but has only now been released in full, by the official Xinhua news agency. The commission said the party faced tests in governing, in reform and opening up and danger from being too distant from the people as well as the danger of corruption.

The party must “deepen the struggle for party governance and clean government and fighting corruption to ensure that it always maintains the firmness of its core leadership”. The lengthy statement was full of jargon but short on specific steps the party would take, only outlining areas that would get particular focus, such as protests and accidents like mine disasters which happen because of corrupt officials. “Sternly probe and handle corruption incidents which are behind mass incidents and major accidents where responsibility can be laid,” it said. About 90,000 “mass incidents” - a euphemism for protests - occur each year in China, of which some two-thirds are triggered by disputes over land. The government has vowed repeatedly to crack down on illegal land grabs, but to little apparent effect. Forced evictions and land requisitions are widely thought to enrich officials at the expense of residents, as the land is often sold off for huge profit to developers.—Reuters

Thai PM unveils reform plan but protesters still threaten poll BANGKOK—Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra unveiled a plan on Wednesday to create an independent reform council to try to appease opponents who, angered by her billionaire family’s political dominance, are calling for her resignation. The proposal, which comes after weeks of anti-government protests that have rallied more than 200,000 people at their peak, could be put into play soon and would be free of government interference, Yingluck said in a televised address. Yingluck is caretaker premier after calling a snap election for February 2 in a bid to deflate the protests. Her compromise offer was immediately rejected by the protesters, who draw strength from Bangkok’s middle class and elite and who dismiss her as a puppet of her self-exiled brother, Thaksin Shinawatra. Thaksin and Yingluck have their power bases among the vote-rich north and northeast but

their opponents accuse former premier Thaksin of manipulating the rural poor in those areas to entrench his power. Yingluck’s plan calls for a council of 499 eminent Thais, chosen by a wider group of 2,000, to examine reform of Thailand’s political system. It looks similar to the unelected “people’s council” protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban has proposed to replace the government, with one crucial difference. Under Yingluck’s proposal, the reform council would operate alongside an elected government, not an appointed one. “This council is not the government agency ... it would let it run on its own and would not be overshadowed or influenced by the government,” Yingluck said. “I insist that the new elected government will take this and implement what the council decides on how to reform the nation.”—Reuters

UN sends more peacekeepers to South Sudan as violence worsenss J UBA — The U.N. Security merely say it’s hundreds of people locked country of 10.8 million ter Stephen Dhieu Dau said outCouncil approved plans to almost double the number of peacekeepers in South Sudan in an effort to protect civilians as reports of mass graves fueled fears of a worsening of ethnic bloodletting in the world’s newest state. The move came as the United Nations humanitarian coordinator in the country said the death toll from the past 10 days of violence was likely now in the thousands, rather than the hundreds the world body had previously estimated. “I think it’s undeniable at this stage that there must have been thousands of people who have lost their lives,” Toby Lanzer told the BBC’s Newshour program. “When I’ve looked at the hospitals in key towns and I’ve looked at the hospitals in the capital itself, the range of injuries, this is no longer a situation where we can

who’ve lost their lives,” he said. Lanzer was speaking from a U.N. compound in the rebel-held city of Bentiu, capital of Unity state. With some 45,000 civilians seeking protection at U.N. bases, the 15-member Security Council unanimously authorized a plan by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Kimoon to boost the strength of the peacekeeping force in South Sudan to 12,500 troops and 1,323 police. The additional personnel will reinforce U.N. bases where civilians are seeking shelter. However Ban warned that “even with additional capabilities, we will not be able to protect every civilian in need in South Sudan.” Violence erupted in the capital Juba on December 15 and quickly spread, dividing the land-

along ethnic lines of Nuer and Dinka. South Sudan seceded from Sudan in 2011 under a peace agreement to end decades of war. Western powers and east African states, keen to prevent more chaos in a fragile region, have tried to mediate between President Salva Kiir, a Dinka, and rebel leader Riek Machar, a Nuer, who was vice president until Kiir sacked him in July. “Whatever the differences, nothing can justify the violence that has engulfed their young nation,” Ban told the council after the vote. “There is no military solution to this conflict. This is a political crisis which requires a peaceful, political solution.” The fighting is affecting oil production in South Sudan, which accounts for 98 percent of government revenue. Petroleum Minis-

Egypt: Suicide bomber behind deadly blast CAIRO—A suicide car bomber is suspected to have been behind the deadly explosion that targeted police headquarters in a Nile Delta city, an Egyptian security official said, as the death toll from the attack the previous day rose to 16. The explosion in Mansoura, 110 kilometers (70 miles) north of Cairo, was the deadliest bombing yet in a months-long wave of violence blamed on Islamic militants. The blast was so powerful, it collapsed an entire section and side wall of the five-floor building, incinerating dozens of cars outside and damaging several nearby buildings. More than 100 people were wounded. Although there was no immediate claim of responsibility, hours after Tuesday’s blast Egypt’s interim government blamed the Muslim Brotherhood, the country’s largest Islamist group and the organization from which ousted President Mohammed Morsi hails. The attack took place as top security officials were meeting in the Mansoura headquarters to work out arrangements for the Jan. 14-15 constitutional referendum. The vote is a key step in the

country’s political transition after the military’s ouster of Morsi in July, but it has further stoked political tensions, with Morsi’s Brotherhood protesting against the new charter. His group has also staged continued protests since the July coup, demanding Morsi’s release from jail and reinstatement. According to the security official, the investigation into the Mansoura attack has shown that a bomber drove a pickup truck laden with explosives close to the police headquarters, then detonated it. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the investigation with the media, provided no further details on the suspected suicide bomber. But he said that Cairo airport authorities arrested a Brotherhood member late Tuesday on suspicions that he was linked to the attack. The suspect identified as 22year-old Adel Younis Rashid who runs a computer shop in Mansoura was taken into custody as he was trying to fly to Turkey with his mother and a friend. The suspect is the son of a leading Brotherhood member and former lawmaker from

Mansoura, the official said, adding that authorities have also confiscated Rashid’s computers and telephones. Earlier, senior Egyptian military and security officials said the Mansoura attack carried the fingerprints of Ansar Beit alMaqdis, or the Champions of Jerusalem, which has emerged as the main Sinai-based militant group that has staged attacks against Egyptian troops. The group has claimed most of the major attacks in the volatile Sinai Peninsula and the Suez Canal-area cities recent months, as well as a failed attempt to assassinate the interior minister in Cairo in September. In one of its video messages posted online in October, the group said it was retaliating for the security forces’ ruthless attacks on Islamists, a reference to the crackdown on Brotherhood members and Morsi’s supporters, which has claimed hundreds of lives. On Monday, Ansar Beit alMaqdis came out with a message threatening more attacks against Egyptian troops, saying it considers them to be infidels because they answer to the secular-leaning military-backed government.—AP

put had fallen by 45,000 barrels per day to 200,000 bpd after Unity state oilfields shut down. Dau said production in Upper Nile state, where most of South Sudan’s oil is extracted, was safe and outside the reach of rebels. Kiir said on Tuesday that government troops had retaken control of the Jonglei state capital Bor, a key town that last week fell to rebels loyal to Machar. Ban said three U.N. personnel were injured at a U.N. base in Bor on Tuesday. Most fighting has involved Dinka and Nuer factions of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army, with militias and marauding youths also reported to be attacking rival ethnic groups. Kiir and Machar both have said the conflict is political, not tribal.—Reuters

Ukrainian journalist beaten up and left in ditch KIEV—A Ukrainian opposition activist and journalist known for her investigations into corruption among senior state officials was beaten up by unknown attackers. Tetyana Chornovil was assaulted near the capital Kiev hours after an article she wrote on the assets of top government officials was published. The 34-year-old, a prominent activist who has given speeches at recent anti-government protests, told police her car was stopped by a vehicle just after midnight. A group of unidentified men got out and broke the rear window of her car. “They then pulled her from the car, beat her and left her in a ditch,” police said in a statement. The statement did not say whether she had been robbed. The freelance journalist was left with a broken nose, concussion and numerous bruises, online newspaper Ukrainska Pravda reported. Opposition activists said she was in intensive care in hospital. Kiev has been gripped by street protests since late November when President Viktor Yanukovich’s government refused to sign an association agreement with the European Union. Weekend rallies have sometimes drawing hundreds of thousands people.—Reuters

Y

ES children, there is a Santa Claus. He doesn’t live in the North Pole and instead of coming down your chimney he will be on the UK’s Channel 4 later today, delivering the “Alternative Christmas Message.” Alternative to whom? If Only TIME had known in time it could have put Snowden up as “The Alternative Pope.” But like Santa he does have good cheer to spread about. His mission has been accomplished, he told the Washington Post. He is actually working to improve the NSA; he is, in his mind, “still working for the NSA right now.” Snowden is hailed by many as a whistle blower in the cause of personal freedom and as such he first took refuge in one of the three countries left in the world that are still ruled by a Communist Party. Now whistle blowers can claim the moral duty to call a public’s attention to the misdeeds of their employers. When their employer is a national security agency, that agency has a professional duty, not to hopelessly seek extradition from countries with whom the United States has little leverage, but to track the whistle blowers down and do them in. From any reasonable perspective that is murder, but from another perspective which seems to be widely ignored, to violate one’s oath to serve an agency devoted to one’s country’s national security, however misguided its mode of operation may be – and that is debatable, is treason. I have been harboring this aversion to Snowden and before that, to Bradley Manning yet I must admit I have been adverse to swim against such a strong currents of sympathy for both. But I have taken courage now that Israeli Prime Minister Prime Minister has denounced the NSA. If even Netanyahu attacks the NSA, America’s national security agency can’t be all that bad. Netanyahu attacked the NSA for targeting the email of former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. According to Agence FrancePresse, Netanyahu only complained about the monitoring of fellow Likudist Olmert’s email and not the NSA’s monitoring email traffic of then Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak and his chief of staff , neither of whom are members of the Likud. But that reflects Netanyahu’s overall sense of always operating upon higher ground. The same day Netanyahu complained about the NSA spying on Israel, he met with the wife of former U.S. Navy analyst Jonathan Pollard, who is serving a life sentence for turning over to Israel thousands of secret documents about American intelligence operations in the Arab world and assured her Israel would continue to press for Pollard’s release . Pollard was arrested in 1985 and one of the reasons for the extraordinarily vigorous prosecution of Pollard, and the repeated refusal of every American president since then to pardon Pollard despite efforts by Israel on his behalf, was the Cold War concern that the Russians had penetrated Israeli intelligence. If the public now has “the right to know” whatever, which is a guiding principle for investigative journalism - why not the state? One difference between Pollard who got life, or the Rosenbergs who got the death penalty, and Snowden is that Pollard betrayed the U.S. Navy for Israel, and the Rosenbergs spied for the Russians. Snowden, for his part, betrayed the NSA for global media. Of course I am being unfair to Snowden, who now says he has done this all for the good of the NSA. Indeed earlier this month, a reporter for the New York Times wrote with great sympathy for newspapers like his own as well as for the three papers first in line for Snowden’s leaks –The Guardian, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal – that have been compelled to set up counter-espionage technologies to protect their computers holding what are –quite frankly – stolen documents, and teaching their reporters how to evade detection when meeting with potential whistle blowers, because, according to the NY Times, they must be able to deter their own governments “from aggressively investigating leaks of sensitive material.” The most upsetting aspect of the Snowden affair in America appears to be the news that the NSA has been electronically cycling all American telephone communications and conceivably all email traffic for key words that might, with human follow-up, lead the NSA to potential terrorists or actual spies. But Americans might also be concerned about people blowing up buildings like the World Trade Center or blowing off the legs of some fans watching the Boston Marathon. In that case one just might criticize the program for not being sufficiently capable of spotting the email traffic between the Boston Marathon bombers and a jihadist leader via email, or the jihadist website that provided them with the design of their kitchen pressure cooker bombs. Empires, states and tribes have been running informationseeking intelligence operations of one sort or another, including on their own allies, since time immemorial. If the public now has “the right to know” whatever, which is a guiding principle for investigative journalism - why not the state? Why is it that no one seems to seriously complain that Google runs the same sort of electronic sorting out on all of us using Gmail. When I put this column up as an attachment and send it by email to Al Arabiya News, I will be rewarded for mentioning “Boston” in this piece with a guide to some great budget hotels in that city . Have we reached that point where we accept whatever is done for private profit and get livid when it is done, at least in principle, for public safety? That is quite possible when one considers that there is so little concern that Snowden, like tens of thousands of other people working in the vast American security apparatus are private contractors, not public servants. In fact, the security of American diplomats in Iraq was not provided by the American armed forces, but outsourced to a private corporation whose mercenaries, not subject to either military discipline or the Geneva conventions, gunned down, if I recall correctly, about a dozen Iraqi civilians because they were impeding traffic. It may just be that the promiscuous practice of outsourcing, which for the sake of profit in the private sector has led to the loss of a couple million jobs in America over the past decade or so, and the outsourcing of public service to private contractors is the path increasingly taken. In addition, the failure of the federal government to indict the bankers and hedge fund managers who brought down the global economy in 2008, might just be far more dangerous to humanity than all the electronic espionage that every country, if they had the resources or capacity, would be doing. Indeed, several other countries, besides America and the United Kingdom, are already involved in such electronic espionage. —Courtesy Alarabiya

Help Syrians: It’s now or never! AYLIN K OCAMAN

W

HEN we were young, visits to our grandmother used to be great fun. One thing that was very strange about the place was that guests always frequented it. People, we had never met or seen before, used to have breakfast or dinner with us. She was one of those selfless characters who became restless on seeing human sufferings. She could not even think of dining alone when there were people hungry outside. Grandmother would always feed the hungry and helped those in need. In retrospect, I think her actions were fully in accordance with the teachings of Islam. Later in my life, I re-

alized that it was the duty of well-off Muslims to help those in need. We have been “commanded” and “encouraged” to do so. However, times have changed. People have become self-centered. Even if our nextdoor neighbor is sleeping hungry, it is no longer “our problem,” as we already have so many personal problems to attend to. The main reason behind this attitude is our growing detachment from the teachings of Islam. We as a people have stooped so low that upon seeing children dying, instead of reaching out to help them, we tend to protect our loved ones or ourselves. To many this reaction might appear natural but if this indifference goes beyond a cer-

tain limit, it becomes un-Islamic. This negative attitude has pervaded the Muslim community all across the globe. We as a nation have stopped caring for those who are being oppressed or wronged. It is due to this attitude that elements or groups professing deviant ideologies in the name of Islam are having a field day. We are to be blamed for giving them a chance to fill the vacuum that has been created mainly because we failed in performing our religious duties. We were the ones who had abandoned our suffering brothers and sisters. It was us who perhaps unintentionally made room for extremist elements to emerge as the so-called protectors of Islam and Muslims. Imagine the plight of a

mother on the street with nothing to protect her child and survive subzero temperatures. Just try to feel her helplessness, when she sees her child drifting away from life leaving behind nothing but crushed dreams. Imagine people who are forced to consume sewagemixed water or children lining up for a loaf of bread in the snow with plastic bags wrapped around their tiny feet or people trying to keep warm by burning their shoes in the ruins of their homes. This is the sorry state of Syria. It is difficult to say who is killing whom in Syria? Assad’s wickedness is obvious; but on the other side the opposition groups are fighting each other and it is impossible to distinguish friends from

foes. Everyone appears to be jockeying for power and prestige. But what about those innocent people caught in the crossfire. Syria is now in ruins. It has become a battleground of different forces fighting for their vested interests. People striving to acquire a share of Syrian territory have infiltrated those who had begun a struggle to save their countrymen from the clutches of a tyrant. Syrians are dying, not just from shelling, but also from diseases and cold. We need to take action on a war footing to save them. The United Nations and the world powers must swing into action to stop the bloodshed. Most importantly, arrangements should be made to transport people whether they

are pro- or anti-regime to safety. Efforts should be made to get them settled in neighboring countries till the conflict ends. Of course, assistance must also be provided to the countries hosting Syrian refugees. Understandably, many neighboring countries cannot afford to cope with the influx of refugees. The United Nations must declare a state of emergency and motivate affluent countries to donate generously and push the stakeholders to end this bloody mess at the earliest. There may be many people who do not care about the poor, the wretched and those in difficulties; however, there are exceptions. We must not allow the callousness of the world deceive us. In matters of conscience, the law

of majority has no place. People may make mistakes by following the majority, but never by heeding the voice of their conscience. The majority is ever distracted, and their desires are largely short-lived. But communities that have come together around a righteous aim even if they are in the minority always emerge strong and victorious. For that reason, rational and enlightened Muslims must speak out unanimously on the sad events taking place in Syria. They must raise the matter by using all possible means to prevent it from being forgotten and to attract the attention of the world. Muslims must act for the protection of Syrians. Syrians should be allowed entry to neighboring countries as

guests until the regime changes, until the radicals depart, and until schools and hospitals are rebuilt. If they wish, let them never go back. Allah’s guests bring prosperity with them. No matter what measures they take, people, communities and countries that think only of their own interests can never progress. That includes certain European countries that are unwilling to accept Syrian refugees, despite their vast resources. They may regard that as being in their own interests. Our world works according to Allah’s laws, it has nothing to do with historic experiences or political maneuvering. Allah is always on the side of those who help the weak. —Courtesy Arab News


Nawaz richest parliamentarian, ECP releases details of assets From Page 1 The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Dr Farooq Sattar stands at Rs3.64 million. Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq has assets worth Rs172.03 million. Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif possesses assets worth Rs424.07 million. He is named richest chief minister. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervaiz Khattak has assets amounting to Rs232.03 million whereas Balochistan Chief Minister Abdul Malik’s assets are worth Rs40.04 million. Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah has assets worth Rs16.02 million. On the other hand, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar has not provided the details regarding amount of this property. —INP

Pak wants cooperation, not confrontation with India PR From Page 1 peace and stability are in the interest of every country. It is a first step in that direction. Whosoever comes in the governments in the region, there is realisation that peace and tranquility is in the interest of everybody. The nation should be united. Peace and stability are essential for progress and development and to fight against poverty and ignorance, he added. He said further of the Nation wished for a change through vote and he succeeded in getting a separate homeland for the Muslims of India through ballot.

Govt to provide more subsidy of Rs 30b to domestic consumers ISLAMABAD—Government has decided to provide subsidy amounting to Rs 30 billion to domestic consumers. As per ministry of finance a sum of Rs 101 billion have been released from July to December under the head of subsidy and release of more Rs 30 billion will bring the tally of subsidy to Rs 131 billion. Ministry of finance officials said electricity tariff has not been enhanced for the domestic consumers using electricity upto 200 units; therefore, government is providing this subsidy to offset the loss. It may be recalled that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had directed ministry of finance not to scale up tariff for domestic consumers falling in the slab from 1 to 200 units consumption of electricity. On the other hand ministry of finance had proposed to grant this concession to the domestic consumers consuming electricity upto 100 units but the PM had rejected this proposal. —Online

Suo motu notices brought relief to people: Qaim Ali Shah K ARACHI —Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah has said judiciary has resolved several problems of people by taking suo suo notice. He said this while talking to media here after paying visit to Quaid-i-Azam mausoleum Wednesday. He said “it is our endeavour to take Pakistan forward in consonance with the vision of Quaid-i-Azam and to serve the people and alleviate poverty”. —Online

Let us renew pledge to work for Quaid’s vision From Page 1 those ideals of democracy, egalitarianism, constitutionalism and rule of law that were upheld by the great leader throughout his life. It is also an occasion to “ponder and to reflect as to how far we as a nation have been successful in achieving those ideals that motivated our Father of the Nation to struggle for a separate homeland for the Muslims.” The President said even after the passage of 66 years of Pakistan’s creation, the country was facing various socio-economic and other challenges, adding, the people had to render great sacrifices to promote and strengthen democracy. “Our economy not only faced the brunt of wars but also of the natural calamities. Owing to our geographical location, we have been affected by the international situation directly or indirectly.” The present democratic government was engaged in sincere efforts to achieve socioeconomic development, creation

of job opportunities, ensure access of our products to international market, and the betterment of energy, security and the law and order situation. The President said he was very encouraged by the fact that our children had the understanding and realization of the life and ideals of the founder of nation. “I am confident that if the thoughts and ideals of Quaid are truly promoted and imbibed among our future leaders (youth), we will be able to turn the country in accordance with the true vision of the founder of nation”, he added. The President appreciated all those parents and teachers, who were playing their due role in transferring the true vision and ideals of Quaid-i-Azam to the younger generation. The President said, “Today, as we pay our tributes to Quaidi-Azam, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, let us reaffirm our commitment to the vision of our great leader and to re-dedicate ourselves to

achieve those ideals that were espoused by our forefathers.” “Let us pledge that we will work, individually as well as collectively, to make Pakistan a peaceful, progressive and prosperous state”, he added. Later, students attired in traditional dresses representing regions of Pakistan enthralled the audience with national songs and speeches highlighting life and teachings of the great Quaid. The President distributed prizes among them The cake cutting ceremony to celebrate birth anniversary of the Quaid was also held amidst applause by the audience. The President further said the recent visit of Turkish Prime Minister was highly successful. “We should benefit from each other’s experiences. “Turkish Prime Minister told me that Turkey produces high quality products at competitive prices. We should promote our products at international level,” Mamnoon Hussain said.

Kakul cadets assume duty at Quaid’s mazar leum. Maj. Gen. Nazir Ahmed Butt, Commandant Pakistan Military Academy reviewed the parade, laid floral wreath, presented salute and offered prayers to the departed soul of the Quaid-e Azam. He also noted his comments in the book of guest on the occasion. The Pakistan Military Academy had the singular honour of being the only military institution designated, as “Quaid-eAzam’s Own” by the Quaid-e Azam as the Colonel-in-Chief of the Academy. The guard mounting ceremony by PMA Cadets was a regular feature to pay homage to the Father of the Nation. Later, the representatives of 3 services and Pakistan Rangers (Sindh) laid floral wreaths and offered prayers. Sindh Governor Dr Ishrat Ul Ebad Khan and Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah visited the Quaid’s mausoleum. They were accompanied by Karachi Commissioner, Sindh ministers and advisers. The Governor and the CM laid floral wreath and offered prayers and had noted their comments in the book of guest. On the occasion, the CM while talking to the newsmen said that the country could only prosper when the democratic institutions of the country would

From Page 1 grow stronger and attain strength. He said that he was at the Quaid’s mausoleum to pay homage to the Great Leader. The vision of the Quaid was that the country should make advancement in all aspects of life and the people of the country should become prosperous and the country should be selfreliant, he said adding that Pakistan was a country that was lagging behind to none of the country in the world regarding freedom to the citizens in all aspects and that the country was making improvement in the section of respecting and protecting the human rights. Henceforth, the government wanted to serve the people with unity and sincerity. The democracy was being strengthened in the country and the judiciary had resolved many issues through the Suo Motto actions, which gained momentum. He said that Sindh provincial government always consulted all the stakeholders and took the political parties in the assembly into confidence prior to passing any law for the betterment of the common people. He said that the issue of Sindh Local Government Act2013 was in the court and the Sindh provincial government

would not only accept the court’s orders but would implement it in letter and spirit. He said that the Sindh government had appealed to the apex court to give more time for the conduction of the local body polls but we were told in return that since we had taken a lead in promulgating the SLGO so should also take a lead to conduct the local government polls. It was not know as if it was a crime to take a lead in passing the SLGO or not, the CM remarked. The CM also defended his government’s decision for imposing ban on pillion riding and said that the ban was in the interest of the people of the city. While speaking on the occasion, Sindh Governor Dr Ishrat Ul Ebad Khan said “ we as Pakistanis could only be transformed into a united nation if we follow the teachings of the Quaid-e Azam. He said that the commemoration of the Quaid’s anniversary was a special moment to new our commitment that we will adhere to the teaching of the Quaid-i Azam. Qur’an Khwani was held at the Mazar-e-Quaid. Various organizations and educational institutions held programmes to highlight the life and political achievements of the great leader.

4th ODI: Hafeez, Ajmal steer Pakistan to series win From Page 1 Pakistan’s two wins in the first and third matches in Sharjah, pushed Tillakaratne Dilshan for his 12th boundary to complete three figures, raising his bat and blowing a kiss to his wife in the stands. Hafeez became the sixth batsman in all one-day cricket to hit three tons in one bilateral series. In all Hafeez hit two sixes and 12 boundaries off 119 balls, while Sohaib Maqsood finished with a 56-ball 46 not out with a six and four boundaries. Hafeez and Ahmed Shehzad (44) put Pakistan on track during a solid 84-run stand after opener Sharjeel Khan was dismissed for 13. Shehzad, who hit a career best 124 in Pakistan’s twowicket loss in the second match in Dubai, started off well with three boundaries in Nuwan Kulasekara’s third over while Hafeez matched his partner with as many boundaries in Suranga

Lakmal’s seventh. The stand set up victory and even after Shehzad’s dismissal, caught in the slips off Lakmal, Pakistan wiped off the target with consummate ease. Shehzad hit five boundaries during his 56-ball knock as Sri Lanka’s bowlers were rendered ineffective. Maqsood and Hafeez shared an unbroken 111-run stand for the third wicket. This becomes Pakistan’s seventh one-day series win in the year, their best-ever in a calendar year, beating the six series win record achieved in 2011. Earlier, Sri Lanka failed to post a big total after Angelo Mathews opted to bat after winning the toss on a flat Sheikh Zayed Stadium pitch. Gul removed openers Kusal Perera (eight), Tillakaratne Dilshan (eight) and Dinesh Chandimal (five) to reduce Sri Lanka to 36-3 before Ajmal

tightened the screws at the end of the innings. Ashan Priyanjan fought hard during his 93-ball 74, which included ten boundaries, to register the highest score for a one-day debutant for Sri Lanka, beating Chamara Silva’s 55 made against Australia in Colombo in 1999. Priyanjan shared two useful stands of 89 with Kumar Sangakkara (51) for the fourth wicket and then added another 40 with skipper Angelo Mathews (38) to keep Sri Lanka on course for a respectable total. But Sangakkara’s run out, off a brilliant piece of fielding by substitute fielder Anwar Ali at point, derailed Sri Lanka. Sangakkara had looked good duing his 78-ball knock, featuring three boundaries. Priyanjan had looked solid until he tried an unusual shot off paceman Junaid Khan and was bowled just three balls into the batting power-play. Ajmal then bowled Nuwan Kulasekara (one), trapped a dangerous looking Mathews and Sachitra Senanayake (nought). Kithuruwan Vithanage chipped in with a useful 27 before he became one of Junaid’s two wickets. After the conclusion of the one-day series, Pakistan and Sri Lanka will play three Tests, starting in Abu Dhabi on December 31.—AFP

Christians celebrate From Page 1 Christmas trees were decorated with lights and colourful balls in Christian colonies, outside shopping malls and alongside the important roads. The Christian community in the country renewed their commitments to follow the teachings of their religion in letter and spirit. In Islamabad prayers were held at Catholic Church F-8. Large numbers of Christians from various areas of the federal capital participated in the services. Prosperous people including the people from diplomatic circles delivered food items before the celebrations in the evening to facilitate poor Christians in celebrating the spirit of Christmas to the fullest. In Peshawar Christmas was not celebrated with the same fervour as in past years as the devastating double suicide attack at All Saints Church three months ago still haunted the Christians. The church service started at the Saddar Bazaar Church and was attended by Christians from around the city. In Karachi Prayers were held in various churches of the city including St Peter’s Church which is the largest Catholic church in Pakistan. The Christian community celebrated this joyous occasion by singing Christmas carols. Police mobiles were stationed outside the churches to avoid any untoward situation. No one was allowed to enter the church without proper checking.—Online

Govt to overcome From Page 1 tion of electricity. Citing various successful projects of power generation from biomass, biogas and small hydel projects running in Indian Punjab, besides the experience and skill of East Punjab, the Chief Minister directed provincial authorities to finalize consultative and technical process immediately to leader from India’s experience. Urging full benefit to be taken from Indian expertise in setting up biogas plants, the Chief Minister directed that setting up biomass projects of 15 megawatt each be considered while work should be started without any delay on setting up small hydel projects on canals. He said that every moment of the nation was precious and concerned officials should finalize viable projects without wasting any time. The head of Indian delegation Pawind Parweet Badal said that all out cooperation would be extended to Punjab government in establishing biogas, biomass and small hydel projects of power generation.—Online

Pakistan Police Narcotics team in Sri Lanka COLOMBO—A team of three officials of the Pakistan Police Narcotics Bureau has arrived in Sri Lanka to help the investigations carried out by the Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB) following the discovery of the largest ever heroin haul of 261 kg detected in Sri Lanka recently. Police spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana said the visiting Pakistani police team would carry out extensive investigations into the incident together with the PNB. —INP

Two rockets hit US embassy in Kabul The Taliban quickly claimed responsibility for the attack. Zabiullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the insurgents, posted a message on his Twitter feed saying the Taliban had hit the American Embassy with four rockets and inflicted heavy casualties. But the Taliban routinely exaggerate the effectiveness of their attacks, and the embassy said no one there had been killed or wounded. Mr. Mujahid made no reference in his Twitter post to the attack’s occurring on Christmas Day. The holiday carries little significance in Afghanistan, where there are almost no Christians, and the Taliban more commonly try to time headline-grabbing attacks to Islamic holidays. The embassy said it was assessing any damage that might have been caused by the rockets. It was not immediately clear which part of the sprawling and well-fortified compound in the center of the city had been hit or if any part of the embassy had been damaged. Staff members at the embassy were given the allclear to move around the compound about two hours after the

From Page 1 attack, which took place around 6:40 a.m. Whether the Taliban had actually intended to strike the embassy was also an open question. Though rocket attacks on Kabul have been relatively infrequent in recent years, they were once more common - and they rarely appeared well targeted. A number of rockets fired in advance of the presidential election in 2009, for instance, appeared to be aimed at the presidential palace. Most ended up striking areas in the general vicinity of the palace compound, which covers dozens of acres in the middle of Kabul. Few caused serious casualties or significant damage. Meanwhile, 16 militants were killed and 7 others injured while 10 others arrested within 24 hours as Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) carried out several operations, the country’s Interior Ministry said Wednesday. “Afghan National Police conducted several anti-terrorism joint operations with Afghan National Army and National

Directorate for Security (NDS) in Nangarhar, Laghman, Kunduz, Balkh, Wardak and Helmand provinces, killing 16 armed Taliban members, wounding seven and 10 other militants were arrested by the ANSF in the past 24 hours,” the ministry said in a statement providing daily operational updates. The ANSF also found and seized weapons and ammunition besides defusing nine improvised explosive devices (IEDs) during the raids, the statement noted. The Taliban insurgent group has yet to make comments. The ANSF has intensified operations against the militants in recent months particularly after it took the lead in military operations from NATO and U.S. forces in June. The militants retaliated by armed attacks and bombings. Earlier on Wednesday, a police officer named Mohibullah was killed in an insurgent ambush in Imam Shaib district of northern Kunduz province, district governor Aman Quraishi said, adding that at least two militants were killed or injured in the exchange of fire following the attack. — Online/ INP

Proposals to clip police powers From Page 1 to demoralize them, he said. The police group officials felt betrayed by their DMG colleagues and last week more than 150 police officers held a meeting with the IG Punjab Khan Baig and registered strong protest. In the said meeting, they made it clear that any move to shear the police force off its powers would be strongly resisted. The officers also considered various options including en mass resignation, transfer and long leave in that meeting. Some

40 senior officers had threatened to stop work or go on long leave in the said meeting. A three-member committee with Lahore DIG Investigation Zulfiqar Hameed as president, SSP Imtiaz Habib Vice-President and SSP Sohail Sukhera as General Secretary, conveyed the police officers grievances to the Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and for the time being the proposals have been shelved. The chief minister has assured the provincial police

Nisar intervenes for release of PML-N Sindh JS IRFAN ALIGI KARACHI—After intervention of Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, the law enforcement agency (LEA) released Pakistan Muslim league-Nawaz Sindh chapter Joint Secretary Razzaque Bajwah, who was arrested 5 days ago during search and arrest raid conducted by Pakistan Rangers Sind in Old Sabzi Mandi area in Karachi. During search operation, Rangers had recovered weapon from Bajwah’s residence and hence he was taken into custody. According to PMLN Sindh chapter Senior Vice President Muhammad Anwar Gujjar, the weapon was licensed but the LEA did not release him at the behest of Sindh provincial government. While talking to Pakistan Observer, Gujjar said that

Bajwah held a senior position in PMLN and was a dedicated worker. He had held a rifle under license, which was recovered during a search operation of the area and Rangers arrested him. He was kept in Rangers custody for 5 days and no charge was proven against him but still he was not released at the behest of the Sindh provincial government, which had compelled the PMLN Sindh leadership to hold a besieging protest of the CM House. However, with the intervention of the Federal Minister, Bajwah was released. Gujjar said that the Sindh provincial government had been victimizing the workers and office-bearers of PMLN against which Sardar Mumtaz Ali Bhutto had time and again warned the government to refrain from politically victimizing the workers and office-bearers.

Taliban-designated governor detained in Afghanistan KABUL—A Taliban-designated governor for Afghanistan’s central Zabul province was detained along with 19 rebels in two separate operations by Afghan soldiers, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said on Wednesday. The operation was conducted in the Arghandab district of Zabul province on Tuesday. A number of weapons and am-

munitions were seized, a statement from the ministry said. But another source said the detainee was Taliban’s deputy governor for Zabul. Separately, a dozen insurgents were arrested during an operation in the Arghandab district of southern Kandahar province, said the governor’s spokesman, Javed Faisal.—INP

force that they will not be shorn of their powers and the government would not make any move which could generate heart burning in them. An officer of the police force revealed to Pakistan Observer that the Elite Force commandoes who are part of a highly trained force and supposed to fight terrorists are performing duties with the ministers. “In this way”, we are spoiling their training and talent, he said.

Govt pursuing double policy on terrorism: Khursheed SUKKUR—Leader of the opposition Khursheed Shah has said Imran Khan should contain price hike in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) first and then talk of Punjab. Leader of the opposition was talking to media here Wednesday after inaugurating Mustafa Eye Test hospital. He said PPP had curtailed inflation during its tenure. “ We will have to abandon the path of clash and focus on sorting out the problems and parliament is potential platform for this purpose “, he added. He said that suspending or scrapping Pak-Iran gas pipeline project will be sheer injustice with the people. He went on to say that 6 months were given to the government to correct the affairs but government performance has not remained good. Therefore, we are giving three months more to the government. If the government does not satisfy us despite it, then we will take decisive stand, he held. However he said , opposition does not say that government has failed and people should come to streets, he underlined. In his interview with a private TV channel, Khursheed Shah said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is holding key ministries himself and he has no time to come to assembly.—Online

PM, UN chief discuss From Page 1 sand five hundred troops to the seven thousand-strong UN force in South Sudan and to step up efforts for a political solution to the crisis. Pakistan is the largest troop contributor to the UN peacekeeping operation around the DUBAI: Sardar Ayaz Sadiq Speaker National Assembly meeting with Mohammad Ahmad Al-Mur Speaker of Majlis Watani Itihadi, House of Federal National Council UAE. world.—Online


Ice storm cripples US, Canada, 17 killed A U G U S TA —More

than 500,000 homes and businesses were still without power on Tuesday in parts of the central and northeastern United States and into Canada after a weekend ice and snow storm rolled across the region. At least 17 people have been killed in the storm. Service said more snow was expected to move into the Northern High Plains and Central Rockies on Tuesday before rolling into the Great Lakes and Midwest by Wednesday mornPM office ing. In Canada, five people confirms report are reported dead from apISLAMABAD—Prime Minister parent carbon monoxide poi(PM) House has confirmed soning. Police said two reports on constitution of people in Ontario died after high level committee for re- KARACHI: Pakistan Military Academy Kakul cadets marching at Mazar of the Father of the Nation Quaid-i-Azam using a gas generator to heat covery of missing persons Mohammad Ali Jinnah on the occasion of 137th birth anniversary. their blacked-out home and implementation of Sunortheast of Toronto. preme Court’s orders on Police in Quebec said this count. PM spokesman carbon monoxide poisoning told the media Wednesday was believed to be the cause that this committee has of three deaths in a chalet been set up under defence minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif. Secretaries of ministry of defence, I SLAMABAD —Indus River interior ministry and minisSystem Authority (IRSA) try of law and justice, attorhas rejected recommendaprivate NTV television. “I beBayraktar was the sole A NKARA —Turkey’s environney general and other senior tion of National Assembly’s official will be the members ment minister stepped down lieve the prime minister should minister to call on Prime Min- standing committee for wa- NEW DEHLI—Indian Minister for External Affairs Salman also resign.” The move ister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to on Wednesday, the third in the of this committee. —Online ter and power to induct a Khurshid has said that there cabinet to resign over an anti- comes shortly after Economy follow suit. is no alternate option than dia“There is nothing in the FATA member in IRSA. graft probe that has roiled the Minister Zafer Caglayan and Spokesman of IRSA, 2 mortar shells government, and called on the Interior Minister Muammer investigation file that hurts me Khalid Idrees Rana Wednes- logue with Pakistan because minister to follow suit. Guler announced their resig- or that I cannot explain,” he day told media that entry of both countries cannot face the found in Quetta primeMoreover, situation of war. Turkey’s main nations. The sons of Guler and said. In an interview Indian minQUETTA—Two mortar shells stock index fell three per cent Caglayan are among the two “It’s prime minister’s natu- any new member can only be were found in a drainage on after the third Turkish minister dozen people who have been ral right to work with or remove made by approval of Parlia- ister said on Wednesda, “Pakistan and India must choose Saeed Ahmed Khan Road in resigned on Wednesday over charged as part of a high-level whichever minister he would ment. According to Parliamen- the way of dialogue to resolve Quetta on Wednesday. Se- a high-level corruption scan- bribery and corruption probe like to,” he added. curity forces have reached dal saying that Prime Minister that has ensnared close gov“But I don’t accept any tary act, provincial represen- the issues because in both and cordoned off the area. Tayyip Erdogan should follow ernment allies and top busi- pressure to resign over an op- tatives have been assigned situations of ‘war’ or ‘peace’ The Bomb Disposal Squad suit. nessmen. eration involving bribery and in IRSA and entry of new they will live in neighbours.” (BDS) was called in as well. They are currently in de- corruption. I don’t accept it member can only be made He said relations between The lira weaked to 2.0855 Further investigation was against the dollar, from 2.0650 tention. because a big majority of con- after making an amendment Indo-Pak should be made betunderway.—Online The son of Bayraktar was struction plans laid down and through Parliament, he ter for the assurance of ‘Peace earlier after the minister’s redetained last week as part of approved in the investigation said.—Online marks. “I am stepping down as the probe, but has not been dossier were carried out with Missing fishermen minister and lawmaker,” formally charged and has been the approval of the prime minnot recovered ister.”—AP Erdogan Bayraktar told the released pending trial. K ARACHI —The rescue teams have not succeeded to NOWSHERA—The police artrace out fishermen despite rested two top commanders passage of 17 days. Pakistan of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan Fisher Folk Forum sources (TTP) Darra Adamkhel besaid that the 13 fishermen sides recovering arms and hailing from Thatta district of Sindh went in deep sea for M OSCOW —Russia on activists – who spent two hand grenades from their fishing on Dec 08 and went B ARA —A man was killed Wednesday formally months in detention and possession during a crackmissing along with their and few others sustained dropped criminal charges had faced hooliganism down here on Wednesday. Police sources said that boats. The rescue teams were wounds in a blast inside a against Greenpeace activists charges punishable by busy in efforts to trace the residential house here on arrested in a protest against seven years in jail – had on a tip-off heavy contingent missing fishermen but haven’t Wednesday. Arctic oil drilling on Wednes- drawn heavy criticism from of police conducted operaOfficial sources said the day and was expected to Western nations and celeb- tion in Fazil Korona area of succeeded to get any inforblast took place in a house shortly do the same for all 30, rities. Nowshera. During crackmation about them. —INP located in Nari Baba area of the environmental group Their amnesty will re- down two key-commanders tehsil Bara of Khyber said. move an irritant in relations of TTP Darra Adamkhel, Case registered Agency. By 0700 ET Greenpeace in what Kremlin critics say namely, Saleem and Tariq The explosion partially said it knew of the dropping is a move timed to improve were arrested. KARACHI—A case was regPolice claimed to have istered for the Orangi Town damaged the house result- of charges against 19 of the Russia’s image ahead of the blasts in Karachi against uni- ing in death of one person group, who are currently still Sochi Olympics. “This is the recovered three hand gredentified terrorists under the and leaving three others in- in Russia on bail. The move day we’ve been waiting for nades and two pistols from anti-terrorism act. Four jured. followed the announcement since our ship was boarded the possession of the deThe security had per- of a Kremlin amnesty. by armed commandos almost tained accused. The accused people were killed and 21 injured in the The Orangi sonnel started the investigaThe activists will now be three months ago,” Peter during initial investigation Town blasts that had took tion whether the blast took free to leave Russia and Willcox, who captained the have confessed their inplace on December 24 on the place during any terror plan travel home to their families, Greenpeace vessel used in the volvement in destroying Chehlum of Hazrat Imam or there were some other rea- once they secure exit visas. protest, the Arctic Sunrise, public property and targetkilling incidents. —INP sons for the explosion. —INP Hussain (RA). —Online Russia’s treatment of the said in a statement. —AP

Third Turkish minister steps down

Blast in Khyber Agency kills one person

Russia drops charges against Greenpeace activists

IRSA rejects NA’s body recommendation

Two TTP commanders held

India may seek compensation from US U.S. dollars to the United States. However, even though the funds were not from U.S. taxpayers, Washington decided to compensate only the American passengers and abandoned the Indians and those of other nationalities. The families of the Indian victims have approached the government urging New Delhi to take up the issue with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, if not President Barack Obama, saying the Indian crew on board the flight

saved the lives of Americans, and yet Washington chose to “discriminate” against the Indians, The Times of India reported. Earlier this month, the United States had released a list of names who could claim compensation but this did not include any Indian. “The all-Indian cabin crew saved the lives of 41 Americans on board by hiding their passports from the hijackers at the risk of their own lives. They did this fully knowing that the terrorists would immediately kill them

as they were primarily looking for American targets,” an unnamed source was quoted by the newspaper as saying. The aircraft, with 360 passengers on board, was hijacked on Sept. 5, 1986 at Karachi airport by four armed men of the ANO, after it arrived from Sahar International Airport in Mumbai and was preparing to depart Jinnah International Airport in Karachi for Frankfurt Airport en route to New York. The motivation for the hijacking was to attack the

Quebec, 31,700 customers remained without power as of early Tuesday. In New Brunswick, more than 40,000 customers were still in the dark. The region was under a cold alert, with temperatures expected to be well below freezing Tuesday.—Online

No other option than dialogue 8 kg bomb defused in Quetta with Pakistan: Salman

Indians killed in aircraft hijacking N E W D ELHI —India may soon seek compensation from the United States for 12 of its nationals killed during the hijacking of Pan Am 73 in Pakistan more than 27 years ago, local media reported Wednesday. The 12 Indians were on board the American flight when terrorists belonging to Abu Nidal Organization (ANO) hijacked it in Karachi way back in 1986. The attack was carried out with cover from Libyan authorities and Tripoli in 2008 had paid a compensation of 1.5 billion

on the province’s North Shore. Toronto officials said 85,000 customers were still without power Tuesday. While that was down from 300,000 people at the height of the weekend outages, some were likely to be in the dark until after Christmas. In

Israeli Defense Ministry, using the aircraft as a missile. But, it ended after 17 hours, with the terrorists hurling grenades and firing from their assault guns at the passengers. Some 20 passengers were killed during the hijacking, of which 12 were from India and the rest from the United States, Pakistan and Mexico. All the hijackers were arrested and sentenced to death in Pakistan. However, the sentences were later commuted to life in prison —Online

Published by: Zahid Malik, Printed by Gauhar Zahid Malik,33-Queens Road, Lahore at Barex Printers.

Situation’ and dialog should be continued on every level in this regard. Salman Khurshid said, “There are some ‘powers’ which do not want peace between two countries and if such powers succeeded then both countries will become toy in the hands of terrorists.” Further, he said India should talk with Pakistan in a decisive way that weather it is ready to end the concerns of India on terrorism issue or not, however both countries cannot afford war. —Online

OBSERVER REPORT

Q UETTA —Bomb Disposal Squad personnel defused a bomb, weighing eight kilograms here on Wednesday. Police sources said that two mortar bombs were found, wired up together and connected to a detonator, in a trash bin located on Saeed Ahmed Khan Road in central Quetta.Area residents informed the security personnel of the presence of explosives. The disposal squad personnel reached the site and defused the bomb.


When it comes to walking, more is better

P

EOPLE who walk enough to meet or ex ceed physical activity recommendations may be less likely to die early than those who only walk a little, new research shows. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends adults be physically active for at least two and a half hours per week. Previous research has shown exercising more than that may bring extra benefits. “An important question left to be answered is how much walking is beneficial,” study author Paul Williams, from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, California, said. He analyzed data from 42,000 mostly middle-aged people who enrolled in the National Walkers’ Health Study between 1998 and 2001. They had all subscribed to a walking magazine or attended walking events before the study. Walkers filled out questionnaires about their health and lifestyle, including exercise and eating habits. Williams then used death records to track who in the study was still alive at the end of 2008. Based on their questionnaire responses, 23 percent of participants didn’t walk enough to meet physical activity guidelines. Another 16 percent met the guidelines, and the rest exceeded them. Over an average of nine and a half years, 2,448 people died - almost 6 percent. Compared to people who didn’t meet the guidelines, those who walked more than the basic recommendation had a one-third lower chance of dying during the study period. Those who met but didn’t exceed the recommendation had an 11 percent

lower chance. That was after taking into account other differences between people who walked various amounts, like diet and education levels. Participants who walked more had a reduced risk of dying from a stroke, diabetes and heart disease, in particular. Walking provides plenty of health benefits. But it’s important to note that people who walk more may do so because they are healthier and therefore more able to be active, Williams said. So the new study doesn’t prove walking will extend a person’s life. “There is always the question of the chicken and the egg whether people who are healthier are able to walk farther or, conversely, whether the longer distance they walk may translate into better health benefits,” Williams told Reuters Health. Based on the results, he suggested changing current guidelines by bumping up the minimum amount of physical activity to five hours per week and developing a two-tiered recommendation system that encourages people to exercise more than they do currently. One tier would aim to get people active, and the other to add to the activity people are already doing, Williams said. That would underscore the point that for couch potatoes, starting to exercise is a healthy move - but the benefits don’t stop there. “Achieving the weekly exercise guidelines is good,” Williams said, “but exceeding them is even better.” “When it comes to walking, more is obviously better,” María Simón agreed.

Editor-in-Chief Pakistan Observer and Chairman Nazriya Pakistan Council Zahid Malik, Father Rehmat Michael Hakim, Senior Members of Majlis-eAamla NPC Mian Muhammad Javed, Mrs Farrukh Khan, Prof Dr Basharat Jazbi and M Bilal Advocate cutting the cake during a ceremony to celebrate Christmas at Khatoon Fatima Church.—PO Photo by Sultan Bashir

Senator Razina to preside over special event for ladies at Aiwan-i-Quaid OBSERVER REPORT

A group photo of the guests during a reception hosted by the High Commissioner of Mauritius Mohammad Rashad Daureeawo in the honor of Deputy Prime Minister of Mauritius Ahmed Rashid Beebeejaun in Islamabad. Minister of State for Education, Training and Reforms Baleegh-ur-Rehman and Ambassadors/High Commissioners of different countries were among the guests.—PO photo

‘Yeh Mojza Hay’ launched

Poet discovered in Nawab Kaifi ZUBAIR QURESHI ISLAMABAD—Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Pervaiz Rashid Wednesday commended Nawab Kaifi, a versatile media personality, for having written his maiden poetry collection ‘Yeh Mojza Hay’ (This is a Miracle). The Minister was the chief guest at the book launching ceremony. Former Vice Chancellor Karachi University Dr Pirzada Qasim presided over the ceremony while eminent poet Amjad Islam Amjad, senior intellectual Agha Nasir, noted journalist Hamid Mir and CEO of an advertising agency

and a personal friend of Kaifi, Tahir A Khan spoke on the occasion. They discussed Nawab Kaifi’s poetic talent in different ways. Senator Pervaiz Rashid reminisced the previous term of the Nawaz government when one year after conducting nuclear tests in Chaghi, the government announced a prize for the best written poetic anthem to celebrate Chaghi’s first anniversary. “I was PTV chairman at that time and Nawab Kaifi brought his poem ‘Yeh Mojza Hay” to me,” the minister said. The poem was subsequently selected and was aired by the PTV to celebrate the

first anniversary of the nuclear blasts. Dr Pirzada Qasim stressed the positive aspect of the poems. He said Kaifi’s poems indicate he is going to become a great poet of Urdu in the coming days. Amjad Islam Amjad said he would only speak about the merits of the book as “it is customary in our society that on the wedding day no one points out shortcomings of the bride”. Tahir A Khan said love is the central point of Kaifi’s poems. He is a man of versatile talent. Hamid Mir in light humorous way commended Kaifi’s work.

ISLAMABAD—During the ongoing weak long celebrations of the birth anniversary of Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, a special event has been arranged for ladies at Aiwan-i-Quaid on 26 December (Thursday) at 3:00 p.m. Senator Razina Aalam Khan will preside over the event wherein eminent speakers and scholars including Dr. Amina Nasir, Mrs. Aqeela Jamil Khatak, Mrs. Kanwal Naseer, Mrs. Quraat-ul-Ain Ali, and Mrs. Farheen Chaudhry will express views on the topic of “Brought up of new generation in line with the Quaid’s concepts”. The basic idea of this discussion is to induce a true spirit among the mothers to be to inculcate love devotion and patriotism in the coming generation for the country as well as the humanity on the whole as desired and wished by father of nation.

“Jesus Christ would have himself marched to the Cross”

NPC celebrates Christmas Day with Christian Community L IAQAT T OOR I S L A M A B A D —If the Jesus Christ had been physically present on this planet today he, after having witnessed gory scenes of bloodshed and decaying dead bodies scattered all around the world, might have himself marched towards the Cross. This was stated by Mr. Zahid Malik, Editor-in-Chief, Pakistan Observer, while addressing a big gathering of the Christian community at the Fatima Church, Islamabad, where the Nazriya Pakistan Council, Islamabad, joined

hands with members of Christian community to cut a Christmas cake. Mr. Zahid Malik who is also Chairman of the NPC said that the Jesus had visualized and struggled for a miseries-free world but quite contrary to that the world today was saddled with nothing else but grief, torture, anguish and tears. However, he was optimistic that in Pakistan a genuine urge of harmony among various faiths had emerged and everyone who matters was keen to take the minorities along. “Every one who lives

within the boundaries of Pakistan is equal in all respects and it is incumbent upon the State and the Government to treat everyone as enshrined in the Constitution,” he said. Mr. Malik announced that early next year the NPC will convene an All Pakistan Interfaith Conference to carry forward the message of better understanding among all religions. This is what the founder of Pakistan, Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah had perceived, he said. The members of the Executive Committee of the

Council who participated in the ceremony included Mian Muhammad Javed, Dr. Basharat Jazbi, Mrs. Farukh Khan and M Bilal. Father Rehmat Michael Hakim welcoming the NPC delegation said NPC is working vigorously for promoting inter-faith harmony. Pakistan has great future as Muslims and Christians moving hand in hand can achieve goals as envisioned by the Quaid. It was always a great occasion when Muslims including NPC members visit our church and share greetings with us on Christmas.

Air Chief joins Christmas celebrations STAFF R EPORTER

and exchanged good wishes. Christian community that are will have always been at priThere is a reasonable serving in Pakistan Air Force. ority on the agenda of PakiTheir happiness and good stan Air Force. I S L A M A B A D —Air Chief number of personnel from Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt, Chief of the Air Staff, Pakistan Air Force joined the celebrations of Christmas with the Christian community here at Air Headquarters, Islamabad on Wednesday. In line with the vision of Quaid-e-Azam,” irrespective of cast, creed and religion, we are one nation”, the Air Chief met with the Christian community of Pakistan Air Force (PAF) and exchanged good wishes. Similar activities were arranged at all Regional Commands and Bases of Pakistan Air Force where Air Officers Commanding and Base Commanders joined Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt, Chief of the Air Staff, Pakistan Air Force joined with Christian community the celebrations of Christmas with the Christian community at Air Headquarters.

NPC organizes walk to highlight Quaid’s message A SHRAF A NSARI ISLAMABAD—Nazriya Pakistan Council (NPC) organized a walk at Fatima Jinnah Park here Wednesday, marking birth anniversary of Father of the Nation, Quaid-iAzam Mohammad Ali Jinnah. A large number of students and teachers of Ayesha Lasani Model School were among the participants of the walk. Senior Vice Chairman NPC Mian Mohammad Javaid, Dr. Basharat Jazbi, NPC Executive Committee member, Dr. Naeem Ghani, Chairman Sultana Foundation and Mohtarma Noor Chairperson Ayesha Lasani Model School led the walk

that started at one point of the Fatima Jinnah Park and terminated at the door steps of Aiwan-i-Quaid. The students participating in the walk also including small children were nicely dressed in school uniforms. They were holding miniature national flag and banners bearing sayings of the Quaid. They raised slogans Long Live Pakistan, Long Live Quaid-i-Azam. A band accompanying the walk played national songs. At the end of the walk, Mian Mohammad Javaid addressed the participants of the walk. He said, Pakistan’s future was bright as the upcoming generation Senior Member of Nazariya Pakistan Council Trust and Former Federal Minister Prof Dr Basharat Jazbi, Mian Muhammad was fully committed to the Javed, Dr Naeem Ghani, Mrs Farrukh Khan, Principal Ayesha Lasani Model School Noor Qureshi and students posing for ideals of Father of the Nation. a group photo during a ceremony organized by NPC to celebrate Quaid-e-Azam Day, at Aiwan-e-Quaid.—PO photo

After the walk, glowing tributes were paid to the Quaid-i-Azam at a function held at the auditorium of Aiwan-i-Quaid. It was jointly organized by Ayesha Lasani Model School and NPC. Dr. Basharat Jazbi in his presidential address said, the nation needs to follow teachings of the Quaid and abide by his motto UNITY, FAITH, DISCIPLINE. He said, the Quaid greatly valued education of younger generation and believed that it was key to progress of the country. Dr. Naeem Ghani, who was the chief guest on the occasion, in his speech asked the students to take inspiration from the life and achievement of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad

Ali Jinnah. He said, Pakistan has the potential to achieve greatness provided education is given its due importance in the society. Chairperson Ayesha Lasani Model School Mohtarma Noor in her address cited examples from the life of Father of the Nation to point out that Pakistan was achieved as a result of commitment of the Quaid to the national cause and his belief in the destiny of the nation. She said, our younger generation will follow the teachings of the Quaid and will make the country strong and prosperous. The school children presented interesting items to highlight the lives and achievements of the Quaid-iAzam and Allam Iqbal.


Pak contribution towards Mauritian healthcare acknowledged C ITY REPORTER

Zohr

06:10 01:30 03:45 07:00

Brothers in Islam establish regular prayers and charity

December 26 NATIONAL Press Club (NPC) has announced to conduct the polls for different designations of club on December 26, 2013. List of candidates will be displayed on December 20, 2013. **** THE nineteenth Death Anniversary of the poet, Perveen Shakir falls on Thursday, 26th December 2013. Quran Khwani will be held on that day and a Floral wreath will be placed on her grave at the H-8 Graveyard. Islamabad. Poets, members of the literary world and of civil society will attend. Thereafter a function will be held in Lahore at 4 p.m.bythe Pakistan Post Office to inaugurate the commemorative stamp being brought out by the Pakistan Post. **** THE Institute of Strategic Studies, Islamabad will hold a seminar on “Rethinking National Security of Pakistan: Challenges and Opportunities” Thursday (today), December 26, at 1100 hrs, sector F-5/2. Continuing PAINTING exhibition titled: ‘Four Seasons’ by Swedenbased artist Ubaid Syed, at Tanzara Gallery, House No 14, Street 12, F7/2, Islamabad, continuing up to December 27.

R AWALPINDI —The Deputy Prime Minister of Mauritius Dr Ahmed Rashid Beebeejaun has asked the administration of Al-Shifa Trust Eye Hospital to organise free eye camps twice a year and help improve the skills and services of eyecare staff in the island. This he said during a visit to the hospital where he was received by President of the trust Lt. Gen (Retd) Hamid Javaid and others. The visiting dignitary lauded the healthcare cooperation by Pakistan as the trust has been sending teams of senior doctors comprising Dean Prof Wajid Ali Khan, Chief Consultant Nadeem Qureshi and others to Mauritius for the last six years. The Deputy Prime Minis-

ter of Mauritius Dr Ahmed Rashid Beebeejaun called for enhanced cooperation between medical fraternities of both countries to help suffering humanity. He also visited different departments of the hospital, inquired after health of patients, appreciated quality of service, took keen interest in latest equipment and inaugurated the newly completed Children Block where almost 200 children will be treated daily. It may be mentioned that Al-Shifa teams have conducted over 300 complicated operations and examined over 2500 patients besides training large number of eye specialists and nurses at Mauritian hospitals. Al-Shifa and Ministry of Deputy Prime Minister of Mauritius Dr. Ahmed Rashid Beebeejaun offering Dua after inaugurating newly constructed Health and Quality of Life in Mauritius have also signed a Children Block at Al Shifa Trust Eye Hospital.

Effective steps to curb crimes in capital CITY REPORTER ISLAMABAD—Islamabad Police emerged successfully against criminal elements involved in crimes of various nature and arrested a total of 7729 criminals this year besides recovering looted items worth Rs. 375 millions, huge cache of contraband and weapons from their possession. IGP Islamabad Sikandar Hayat has said that effective steps are being taken to curb crime and addressing the citizens’ problems on immediate basis. He said this success story of Islamabad police is really appreciable as policemen perform their duties in tough circumstances. He said support from community would further encourage us and our performance will further improve. According to details, investigation on 4553 cases was completed and their challans were submitted in relevant courts. Police arrested 183 assassins for their alleged involvement in 134 murder cases. Out of these cases, 37 cases were of blind murders which were also traced successfully besides arrest of 80 alleged killers. Thirty-eight (38) dacoits were

arrested during efforts of Islamabad police to curb criminal activities who confessed their involvement in 53 dacoity incidents and a recovery of Rs. 19.6 million was also made from them. Two hundred and twenty two e (222) gangsters were arrested who had been involved in 452 cases of snatching valuables at gun point and a recovery of Rs. 24.7 million was also made from them. Similarly, 128 burglars were apprehended for their involvement in 292 cases besides recovery of Rs. 11.5 million from them while 275 thieves were arrested in connection with 385 theft cases and stolen items worth Rs. 48.6 million were recovered from them. Expediting the efforts against auto-thieves and car jackers, Islamabad police apprehended 249 car and motorbikes thieves and recovered 175 stolen and 165 tempered cars (worth Rs. 321.4 million) from them. The recovered tempered cars were stolen from other districts and forty (40) recovered motorbikes were of worth Rs. 1.4 million. It has been further disclosed in the report that 427 pro-

CDA decides to link Margalla Avenue to motor way STAFF REPORTER

RISEB stops collecting advance fee STAFF REPORTER RAWALPINDI—Rawalpindi Intermediate and Secondary Education Board (RISEB) has stopped receiving advance certificate (sanad) fee from matric candidates at the time of filing admission form. RISEB has suspended charging sanad fee amounting to Rs 550 in compliance with orders of high court. The RISEB has started collecting admission forms from private matric candidates in science subjects.

R AWALPINDI —Police in its drive against anti-social elements on Wednesday arrested eight accused from different localities and recovered illegal arms and drugs from their possession. Police seized 105 grams charas, 60 bottles of liquor and two pistols from the arrested accused. According to details, Mandra Police apprehended Irfan with charas, while Cantt Police recovered 60 bottles of liquor from Sajid and Shahab. Gujjar Khan Police held Tanvir for carrying four liters wine, whereas Gangmandi Police netted drunkard Yasir. Waris Khan and Gujjar Khan Police recovered two 30-bore pistols from Hameed and Naveed each from them respectively.-—APP

R AWALPINDI —Rawalpindi Arts Council held a photographic exhibition wherein pictures and historical documents pertaining to Quaid-eAzam were put on display to highlight different aspects of the life of Quaid-e-Azam who united the Muslims of the Subcontinent for acquiring a separate homeland. More than 100 rare pictures of great leader were exhibited in connection with Quaid’s birthday celebrations. Resident Director RAC Waqar Ahmed flanked by Dr Fauzia Moghees inaugurated the

of pension to the retired sanitary workers of city district government Rawalpindi and TMA has added to economic woes of this community and their families. The sanitary workers including men and women have not been paid pension since the last two months. Their pension amount is already meager but it is only the ray of hope for them in their old age. “We have spent 30 years of life in keeping the city neat and clean but what doom we are meeting in return for our services is shocking as we have been deprived of pension and our home burners stand extinguished now”, said a group of retired lady sanitary workers. Municipal labor union has voiced grave concern over non disbursement of pension among the retired sanitary workers and announced to hold protest rallies against this exploitation of poor sanitary workers.—Online

Gas consumers advised not to use rubber pipes ISLAMABAD—The domestic consumers have been asked to take special care while using gas appliances and not to use rubber pipes for gas heaters and stoves. An official of the Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL), Rawalpindi-Islamabad Region also advised the consumers only to use natural gas heaters and geysers as and when required in order to maintain pressure for all the consumers in view of gap in demand and supply of the gas.

While, warning the consumers about possible gas related accidents owing to leakage of rubber gas pipes, he said that consumers at homes, offices, educational institutions and trading centers should not use rubber pipes for gas heaters and stoves. Suggesting special safety measure, he said the consumers should take special care while using gas appliances to avoid untoward incidents during the winter season. The gas appliances of good

quality should be used and a trained plumber should be engaged to rectify gas leakage in houses. The official also asked the people to keep at least one window in a room open while using gas heaters. The consumers should desist from using electric fan or exhaust fan in case of leakage of gas and keep windows open. He said the domestic consumers should switch off their heaters and geysers before going to bed to save gas and their precious lives.—APP

Prisoner dies in jail hospital

Quaid’s pictures exhibited at RAC

C ITY REPORTER

RAWALPINDI—Non payment

claimed offenders wanted to police in crime cases of heinous nature and 512 court absconders were also nabbed during this period. In crackdown against drug pushers, bootleggers and those possessing illegal weapons, Islamabad police arrested 1800 accused and recovered over 805 kilogram hashish, 29 kilogram heroin, 16 kilogram opium, 23,706 wine bottles, 35 Kalashnikovs,53rifles, 113 guns, 801 pistol and 18,329 rounds. During search operation in various areas of Islamabad, 3491 suspects were also held and prompt action was taken against 11,281 beggars. Islamabad police also nabbed 139 male and 108 females for their alleged involvement in immoral activities. With an objective to ensure improvement in policing affairs, the IGP Sikandar Hayat said Islamabad police took several steps to come up to the expectations of the people and enhance output. He said Islamabad police force is cognizant of challenges and every problem will be countered through capacity building of the force and RAWALPINDI—A prisoner of cooperation of the community. Adiala jail Yasim Iftitkhar admitted in the jail hospital has passed away after protracted illness. Details said, accused Yasim Iftitkar s/o Mohammad Iftitkhar war arrested and sent on judicial remand in Adiala Jail by Kahuta Police on the recovery of drugs and liquor from him. In jail, Yasim fell ill and was admitted to jail hospital for treatment where he lost his life after protracted illness. Dead body of the prisoner has been handed over to the family members by police.—Online

ISLAMABAD—Capital Development Authority (CDA) has decided to link Margalla Avenue to third avenue on one side and to motor way on other side. Decision was taken in a meeting held under chairman CDA here He was told during the meeting that construction work on Margalla avenue from sector D-12 to sector B-17 was underway. Chairman CDA directed that pace of work on this avenue be accelerated and it be expanded from GT road to Motorway. Margalla Avenue be carpeted from Pak Secretariat to third Visitors witnessing photographic exhibition at RAC on the occasion of Quaid Azam Day. avenue. He also issued directives for installation of road lights on Islamabad Highway.

Police arrest 8 outlaws

Non payment of pension

MOU aimed at training of doctors and paramedics from Mauritius and facilitating Mauritian patients to come to Pakistan for treatment of complicated cases. Lt. Gen (Retd) Hamid Javaid told Mr. Beebeejaun that so far Al-Shifa has treated over six million patients and conducted over 600,000 operations. Seventy per cent of all patients were treated free of cost. He said that the trust would further enhance cooperation with Mauritius. He informed that Children Block would be transformed into a full-fledged eye hospital for children which would be first ever eye-care facility of its kind in Pakistan. Beebeejaun thanked government, people and philanthropists of Pakistan for their warm hospitality.

exhibition which was also attended by a large number of people from different walk of life. Addressing after inaugural ceremony, he said work, work and work this was the message of great leader and he succeeded in achieving a separate homeland, Pakistan for the Muslims of sub continent by adhering to this philosophy. “He laid out the principles of unity, organization and faith for the nation to make headway on the path to progress and development,” Waqar Ahmed added. The cake was also cut at the occasion. The exhibition will continue at RAC till December 28.

Free education to children of Christian staff

Chairman PakTurk Unal Tosur and Director Kamil Ture handing over cheque of Rs one million, raised by the students, to representative of an international Turkish NGO to provide relief to the children affected by the recent typhoon in the Philippines.

Christians celebrate Xmas with traditional zeal CITY REPORTER

1,000 police personnel around all churches of the city. Big gatherings of Christians were held at the Cathedral Church, Lalkurti; Protestant Church, Mall Road; Saint Anthony Church, Satellite Town; Saint Joseph’s Cathedral Church, Dhoke Syedan and Saint Mary’s Church, Sher Zaman Colony where priests

delivered sermons and led special prayers. They also offered special prayers for peace, progress and prosperity of the country. All churches were decorated with lights and buntings where most attractive aspect for children was Santa Clause replicas, while Christmas trees were installed in major city hotels.

RAWALPINDI—Christian community celebrated Xmas with traditional zeal and religious fervour on Wednesday amid elaborate security arrangements. City District Government CITY REPORTER Rawalpindi (CDGR) had made foolproof security arrangements I SLAMABAD —Allama Iqbal with deployment of more than Open University (AIOU) is planning to provide free educational opportunities to the children of its Christians staff under ‘earnto-learn scheme’, ensuring equal access to all segment of society. Vice-Chancellor, AIOU Prof. Dr. Nazir Ahmed Sangi announced this while addressing a Christmas function held at AIOU’s main campus, where all Christian’s employees of the University, Registrar, Director, Students’ Affairs, Mian Muhammad Aslam, and others attended the function. Dr. Sangi said that sufficient fund has already been allocated for providing free education to the children of its Christians staff under “Earn-to-Learn Scheme”, while university is preparing the list of its senior Christians employees mainly of the sanitary-workers for their promotion to next grade similar Christian girls singing songs during a ceremony to celebrate Christmas in Islamabad.—PO photo by Sultan Bashir to hardship cases.

Current Challenges and vision of Quaid-e-Azam STAFF REPORTER ISLAMABAD—The research think tank MUSLIM Institute organized a seminar titled “Current Challenges of Pakistan and Vision of Quaid-eAzam” in International Islamic University, Islamabad. Federal Minister for Kashmir, Gilgit and Baltistan, Chaudhary Barjees Tahir was the chief guest on the occasion. Vice President IIUI Dr. Mumtaz Ahmed welcomed the participants and said that we have made great progress since creation of Pakistan but still great

efforts are required to realize the dream of Quaid e Azam. Dr. Noor Fatima, HOD IR Department IIUI, underscored the need for vibrant role of women in transforming Pakistan into the kind of state envisaged by Quaid e Azam as Muslim women played an active role in freedom movement of Pakistan. She mentioned that Quaid also gave equal importance to women as to men in every walk of life. Rector IIUI Ahmed Yousaf Darweish expressing his views said that Quaid had no personal thoughts but Islamic thoughts; he had in-depth understanding of

Islam. Muslim Ummah can make tremendous progress based upon his vision. Federal Minister for Kashmir, Gilgit and Baltistan, Chaudhary Barjees Tahir paid tribute to the founding father of Pakistan for making our individual and collective lives independent. He said that now it is our responsibility and duty to show gratitude to Quaid-eAzam by running the country according to his vision. Our founding father saw the dream of welfare and prosperous state but we have deviated from his vision and dream. We should

follow his lesson of ‘Unity, Faith and Discipline’ to make Pakistan a strong and respected country in the world. We can live without foreign support if we implement his vision to make the country as he desired. Research Associate MUSLIM Institute S.H. Qadri analyzed the speech of Quaid-eAzam on 11th August, 1947 in perspective of Meesaq-eMadina. He explained that according to the same, all citizens of the state have equal rights and duties regardless of their religion, creed or caste, while first and foremost duty of state is to

so create a system based upon social, economic and political justice. Analyst and columnist Rana Abdul Baqi said that there was no discrepancy in words and deeds of Quaid. After Aurangzeb Alamgir, Quaid was the only great leader who brought Muslims out of darkness and won freedom for them. We can bring social stability in our country by implementing Quaid’s vision. Columnist and Former Ambassador Asif Eizdi said that at the time of partition Mountbatten suggested imple-

mentation of the same judicial system in Pakistan as implemented by Mughal Emperor Akbar. However, Quaid-e Azam replied that we derive the complete code of life and judicial system form Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) instead from anyone else. In present scenario, we should find solutions to problems in Tribal Areas as well as Kashmir dispute in the light of Quaid’s vision. Former Secretary Election Commission Kanwar Dilshad said that many NGOs today are making negative portrayal of Quaid e Azam’s personality and

vision. These institutions want to create secular version of Pakistan and we should raise voice against them. Former Secretary General for Foreign Affairs Akram Zaki said that Quaid-e-Azam was against all sorts of discrimination; he would have made every effort to give equal rights to all citizens regardless of their status, gender, belief, creed or caste. According to his vision, we ought to provide social justice to every citizen so that our country can progress and become Islamic welfare state. Chairman Muslim Institute Sahibzada Sultan Ahmed Ali thanked honorable chief guest,

distinguished speakers and respected guests. He further stated that our Quaid wanted implementation of Islam’s golden principles like justice, equality, rule of law and social welfare so that Pakistan emerges as true Islamic welfare state. However, we have, regrettably, deviated from the same and got entangled in issues that have derailed the nation from path of progress and prosperity that Quaid wanted Pakistan to achieve. He concluded that following Quaid’s vision is the only solution to all our problems.


Kashmir issue root cause of Indo-Pak tension: Geelani Dialogue process needs to be carried on with sincerity SRINAGAR—While stating that Kashmir was the core issue between India and Pakistan, Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman, Syed Ali Geelani has said that no breakthrough was expected from Indo-Pak DGMO level meeting. “Kashmir issue is the main cause of detestable border skirmishes between India and Pakistan,” Geelani said according to a statement by the spokesman of the pro-freedom amalgam. “If the leadership of both the countries show sincerity and are desirous to establish good relations then it is desirable and in their interest to honor the yearning of people of Kashmir and resolve the pending dispute as per their aspirations,” Geelani said. “Strained relations, mistrust and border skirmishes are all

Machchil Case: Colonel, Major among six to face court martial

offshoots of the Kashmir issue and unless it is resolved, the chances for any improvement between the two are bleak,” he added. “Unless Kashmir dispute is resolved, the chances for any improvement between the two are bleak,” Geelani said, adding “though the DGMO level talks are being held after 14 years, no significant change is expected.” The octogenarian pro-freedom leader said that the strained relations, mistrust, and border skirmishes “were all off-shoots of the Kashmir issue.” “There are least chances of any breakthrough in the present situation while both the countries ignore the core issue,” Geelani said. “They are simply wasting their time,” he added. Geelani said that “both the

countries were adopting cosmetic approach to ease out their strained relations as they are engaged and focus on irrelevant issues.” “Both the countries are engaged in negotiations and signed several such agreements but to no avail and on ground there is no change,” Geelani said. Geelani said that protraction of Kashmir dispute was not affecting the people of Kashmir but “is affecting the economy of both the countries.” “India and Pakistan are spending a big chunk of their budget over defense,’ he said. Geelani, according to the statement, urged upon “rulers in New Delhi to face reality and historical facts and give up stubborn and obstinate approach while asking the authorities in

Pakistan to focus on Kashmir issue and shun their unrealistic approach.” “In principle we are not opposed to dialogue process between the two countries, however, it should not be wastage of time and merely to score points but the process needs to be carried on with sincerity,” Geelani said. Geelani asked Indian authorities to be realistic towards historical facts and give up ‘stubborn and obstinate’ approach visà-vis Kashmir issue. He also asked the Pakistan authorities to focus on Kashmir issue and shun their unrealistic approach. Geelani further said: “If Kashmir issue is resolved, all other pending issues between the two countries will become easier MUZAFFARABAD: AJK Finance Minister and Pakistan People Party Secretary General Chaudhry Lateef Akbar adto resolve.”—NNI dressing the crowd of a school on Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah birthday.

Kashmiris India should respond to Pakistan celebrate Gujjars demand law to Quaid-eAzam birthday protect ‘Jirga system’ in J&K PM’s peace efforts: Shah

STAFF REPORTER added. SRINAGAR—India should show dispute’. JAMMU—Urging for a distinct ranges of North-Western mir and other North-Western JAMMU—Indian Army Wednes- positive response to the efforts of He said the 21st century is the Shabir said, “Those who im- I S L A M A B A D — P a k i s t a n ’s law to protect centuries old tribal Himalaya, these time tested and States of India where Gujjars day ordered court martial proera of upholding human and demo- part people the lessons of taking Founder Quaid-e-Azam Mohceedings against six of its men, including two officers, for their alleged involvement in the 2010 Machchil fake encounter case that had triggered a two monthlong agitation in the Indian Occupied Kashmir Valley. Court martial proceedings have been initiated against the accused personnel, the Indian Army said. Sources said those who will face proceedings include Col DK Pathania, Commanding Officer (CO) of 4 Rajput Regiment, Major Upinder and four of its men. On April 30, 2010, the Army had claimed that they had killed three infiltrators in the Machchil sector along the Line of Control. It had later claimed that they were Pakistani terrorists. However, they were later identified as Mohamad Shafi, Shehzad Ahmed and Riyaz Ahmed, all residents of Nadihal in Baramulla district.—INP

Pakistan Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif for finding a peaceful resolution to Kashmir dispute so as to ensure peace in South Asia. This was stated by senior profreedom leader and chairman Democratic Freedom Party Shabir Ahmad Shah while addressing party representatives in South Kashmir’s Bijbehara area. Shah said the escalating tensions at the Line of Control (LoC) and allegations and counter allegations leveled against each other by India and Pakistan at international level is the outcome of ‘Kashmir

cratic rights of people. “The conflict between two nuclear neighbors over right to self determination of Kashmiris is quite contrary to the spirit of democracy,” he said. DFP chairman stressed on party workers to improve their relationship with masses and to join them in their joys and sorrows. “You should aware people about the machinations of election politics and how these politicians exploit people with false promises for their petty interests and play with the sacred blood of our people,” he

part in elections are anti-people as they exploit the sacred blood of our people who laid their precious lives for the honor and dignity of our nation.” He also warned people of not ‘falling prey’ to the hollow slogans of ‘autonomy”’ and ‘self-rule’. DFP statement said that soon after the meeting, Shah visited Sarnal, Islamabad to express solidarity with the bereaved family of Khawaja Khazir Muhammad Sheikh on Khawaja’s demise.—NNI

Split in cross LoC traders body

Coherent JK strategy to resolve Kashmir urged JAMMU—The participants at the discussion on ‘Conflict Early Warning: Regional Security and Implications for J&K’ has suggested that while New Delhi had been blaming Islamabad for its intervention in J&K, not much had been done about pursuing a coherent strategy in addressing the issue. The discussion was organised by the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS) New Delhi, J&K Regional Branch of the Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA) and Central University of Jammu (CUJ). The speakers and participants also discussed regional environment involving Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan and its implications for the future security on J&K. Prof P R Chari, Ambassador Ranjit Gupta, Dr D Suba Chandran and Sushant Sareen discussed the regional security developments in Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and their implications for J&K while Dr S S Bloeria, Dr Ashok Bhan, Prof Rekha Choudhry and Dr Shujaat Bukhari discussed the recent developments within J&K and their future implications. The importance of recent developments in Iran, withdrawal of NATO troops in Afghanistan and the change of guard in Pakistan military were discussed first.—NNI

ammad Ali Jinnah’s 137th birthday was celebrated Wednesday by the Kashmiri community settled in various cities of Pakistan besides AJK, renewing their pledge to continue Kashmir struggle till securing right to self-determine their future destiny. Speakers in various celebrative functions said that Kashmiri strugglers would continue drawing inspiration from the mode of South Asian movement spearheaded by the Quaid to achieve Pakistan. In Mujahid Manzil here special Quran Khwani sitting was held arranged by Muslim Conference chief ex-Premier Sardar Attique Ahmed Khan. He led the special prayers for the solidarity of Pakistan, its continued progress and prosperity and early liberation of India-occupied parts of Jammu and Kashmir.

Women protesters arguing with Indian police officer at Bemin in Srinagar.

Mir to head awareness campaign, to step up political, diplomatic efforts SRINAGAR—After Hurriyat Conference led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq deliberated upon to increase the conglomerates effort on political and diplomatic level in connection with solution of Kashmir issue, the Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) and the senior Hurriyat leader Javaid Ahmad Mir was appointed as Head of Peoples Awareness Campaign. Javiad Ahmad Mir has credit to hold a record more than 550 protest demonstrations against the Human Rights Violations by Indian Forces.

Ever since the armed struggle started in Kashmir Javaid Ahmad Mir remained in news many of the international news agencies of world like BBC, AFP, Reuters, AP and others. Javaid Ahmad Mir a house hold name in Kashmir in respect to demonstrations remained chief commander as well as Chairman of JKLF. As a part of APHC Javaid Ahmad Mir remained active with Pro Freedom Struggle from 1993 to 2003. Being a part of APHC and JKLF, Mir under Public Awareness Campaign held various Demonstrations; Hunger Strikes, Protests

against the Human Rights Abuses in which he was detained about 200 times and lodged in different Police Stations and Jails. Born on 08 Feb 1961, Javaid Ahmad Mir a former Amnesty International prisoner of conscience remained the part of various organizations like, Tulla Party (1980-87), Peoples Conference, Islamic Students League, Muslim United Front (MUF) and others. Currently Javaid Ahmad Mir is a leading member of All Parties Hurriyat Conference led by Mirwaiz Dr Umar Farooq and chairman of Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front.—NNI

judicial system ‘Jirga’ popular in Gujjars-Bakerwals of Jammu and Kashmir, the community appealed to law makers of country to provide legal safeguards to hundreds of “tribal courts” by making them constitutionally valid through an Act at national and state levels. In a fresh letter to Union Minister for Law and Justice Kapil Sibal sent through Tribal Research and Cultural Foundation-a Frontal organization of Gujjars, the tribal dignitaries apprehended if timely steps were not taken by the union government for the preservation and protection of tribal courts “Jirgas” active in mountainous

aged old traditional law institutions, would become extinct. Secretary Tribal Foundation Dr Javaid Rahi, while giving details about the communication, said, “The Foundation wrote to Union Law Ministry and Justice that this oldest popular system of justice is facing multi-dimensional threats from all sides and this tradition needs immediate legal recognitions otherwise this tradition will go extinct in next few decades.” In the letter an appeal was made to Union Law and Justice Minister for an enactment of an Act for protection of Jirgas to be extended to Jammu and Kash-

reside. The letter further reads that lakhs of Gujjar-Bakerwals in Jammu and Kashmir and other North-Western states still believed and practiced traditional Jirga system which is headed by “Muqadams” an elderly tribal who takes decisions on various issues by consensus. Some Gujjar women called “Mahries” also head Jirgas in some remotest pockets of the state, it was stated in the letter. It was stated that these tribal courts are very much effective, powerful, prompt, inexpensive and available at doorsteps but lack legal sanctity. —NNI

AJK-based Christians celebrate Xmas with traditional, religious zeal M IRPUR —Like rest of the (Mirpur) under the auspices of Jesus Christ (AS) gave the mesworld and Pakistan, Christmas, the religious festival of Christian fraternity, was also celebrated in Azad Jammu Kashmir on Wednesday with traditional religious fervor and zeal. The Christian community in the area held special prayer services to mark the day They prayed for the unity, solidarity, progress and prosperity of Pakistan, coupled with the renewal of the pledge to play an active role for the stability and development of the country. A special Christmas function was held at Mangla

Christian Welfare Trust, the central organization of local Christian community in Mirpur district to celebrate the Christmas with great enthusiasm and devotion and religious zeal and fervor. The venue of the ceremony was beautifully decorated with colorful buntings and banners and special gifts were distributed among the children and the social workers. Addressing the ceremony, speakers the leaders of Christian Welfare Trust including Salik Gill and others said that the

sage of love and affection and tolerance, which, should be observed by all classes to ensure peace and harmony across the globe. They said that different segments of the society shall have to work collectively for safety and progress of the humanity. Speakers vowed to employ full potential and capabilities for the speedy progress and prosperity of the country besides promoting harmony and brotherhood among all classes of the society.—APP

POONCH—Cross Line of Control (LoC) Traders Association split into two factions with the second group electing Pawan Anand as its president after a membership drive. Earlier on April 30, 2013, Shehzad Khan a senior PDP leader declared himself as president of Cross LoC Traders Association and announced his whole team. Another group conducted elections and unanimously announced Pawan Anand as its president even as the whole team was not constituted yet. Krishan Singh General Secretary of Association said that the body was dissolved earlier this year and they have launched membership drive in the month of April which concluded last month. More than 150 traders registered themselves with them and they organized a meeting in which the members unanimously elected Pawan Anand as president. He said that traders unanimously elected its president as elections will creates a split among the traders. A clear cut split was seen in Cross LoC Traders Association with both the groups declaring their stand as genuine and their respective leader as president of Association. As reported on April 30 Shehzad Khan declared himself as president of Cross LoC Traders Association and he declared his team. The other group then launched membership drive and said that after completion of membership process they will conduct MUZAFFARABAD: AJK Prime Minister Sardar Abdul Majeed talking with Minister for Transports Muhammad Tahir Khokhar. election.—NNI

Kashmiri women claim their rights ATHAR PARVAIZ

M

EHNAZ Bano (not her real name), a 37year-old woman in a hamlet in Indian Kashmir, is living a “satisfied and peaceful” life ever since she secured her daughter’s property rights before her remarriage though not without a long and tedious struggle following her first husband’s death. When her first husband died in 2003, she was just 27 years old. But her in-laws stood in the way of her second marriage. According to Bano, they argued that since they had invested money in their son’s wedding, they

couldn’t let that money go to waste by allowing her to remarry. “Initially, I took it as my fate and lived with it for six years. And I also wanted my daughter to grow up a bit. She was just a year old at the time of her father’s death,” Bano told IPS. But, she added, as time went by, she started getting the feeling that she was no more than a slave in their household, given that she had no legal right to the family’s property. “I asked them to leave me alone with my daughter or to allow me to remarry, in which case I would leave my daughter with them provided they

registered one-third of the property in her name. But they agreed to neither of these two options,” said Bano, who has a master’s degree in history and teaches at a government school. “I could easily provide my daughter with a quality education given that I had a steady monthly income, but they refused it vehemently.” She said that if her in-laws had allowed her to take her daughter with her, she wouldn’t have remarried, for the sake of her daughter. But her in-laws’ “stubborn stance” compelled her to wage a legal battle against them. And once the case went to

court, her in-laws approached her with a “compromise,” agreeing to register property in the name of Bano’s daughter on the condition that the girl would live with them. “When I saw them budging, I was happy to settle out of court. So I withdrew the case,” she said. Bano now has two children – a daughter and a son – with the new husband she married in 2009. “I am glad that I pushed for my rights, and my daughter’s,” she said. Women are just starting to become aware of their rights in the region of Kashmir in northwest India. “It was mainly because of

illiteracy. Women’s education used to be considered against the norms of Kashmiri society,” Bashir Dabla, a leading sociologist at Kashmir University in Srinagar, told IPS. Women’s employment has also long been looked down upon, he added. But this trend, said Dabla, has been changing in the past few years. “Now women are not only seen in good numbers in educational institutions, but also in workplaces,” he said. According to the 2011 census, female literacy in the state of Jammu and Kashmir increased from 20 percent in 1981 to 58 percent in 2011, compared to 44 and 78 percent

for males in the same period. The result gazettes at Kashmir’s school board examination reveal that girls have topped the 10th standard annual exams six times in the past ten years. In Kashmir University a number of departments have an almost 50:50 male to female ratio. Results have begun to be seen on the ground. Tasaduq Ahmad, assistant divisional commissioner of Kashmir, said his office received 917 complaints this year from women who were denied their share of the family property. “We straightaway asked the concerned revenue officials to cancel the land registration

of all the households where women had filed complaints,” Ahmad told IPS. According to Ahmad, legislation passed by the Jammu and Kashmir legislative assembly in 2007 made it easier for women to claim their share of the family property. Earlier laws were not clear on women’s property rights. Ahmad said women have increasingly filed complaints since the legislation was approved. “This was not the case 10 years back, but now such numbers go up each passing year,” said the assistant divisional commissioner, who has been serving in Kashmir’s revenue department for 23 years. But social activists say

women in Kashmir have a long way to go in fighting social prejudices against them. “For example, when it comes to decision-making in a household, men continue to call the shots. Women are not yet in a position to assert themselves,” said Abdul Rashid Hanjoora, a prominent rights activist. The 2011 census reflected the continued preference for boys over girls among Kashmiris, with the child sex ratio falling from 964 girls per 1000 boys in 2001 to 862 girls per 1000 boys in 2011. The national average in India is 940 girls per 1000 boys. —Courtesy Inter Press Service


Reconstruction of EAC approved Staff Reporter ISLAMABAD—Federal Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar has given the approval for the reconstitution of the Economic Advisory Council. With the Finance Minister in its chair the Council shall have 19 members. They are Dr. Ishrat Husain, Dr. Ijaz Nabi, Abid Hasan, Farooq Rahmatullah, Zubair Soomro, Shafqat Ali Jamoot, Arshad Zubairi, Farrakh Qayyum, Dr. Sania Nishtar, Dr. Ashfaq Hassan Khan, Akbar Zaidi, Muslahuddin, Furrukh Saleem, Dr. Abid Qayyum Suleri, Saqib Sherani, Qazi Azmat Essa, Chairman BoI, SBP Governor and FBR Chairman.

Thar coal use must for energy Staff Reporter I SLAMABAD —Scientist Dr. Samar Mubarakmand has said that Pakistan must utilize coal of Thar which is the third largest reserve of its kind in the world. Dr Samar said that it was complained that use of coal creates environmental pollution but according to latest method coal is first converted into coals gas and then used. He said that it was a good news that China has reiterated its commitment to provide continuous support to Pakistan in terms of manufacturing nuclear power plant in Karachi and he hoped that the support of China in this field would continue. He further said that Government should go forward for hydro power projects because it is very cheap as compared to nuclear electricity.

Rupee recovers Staff Reporter ISLAMABAD —The rupee recovered against the US dollar after the transfer of IMF’s second tranche worth $553.5 million. The rupee gained 61 paisas to end at 105.56 against the greenback in the interbank market against the previous day’s closing of 106.17. Dealers said that the market witnessed positive sentiments over the inflow of IMF’s second tranche. They said that the inflows would help build up the country’s foreign exchange reserves and at the same time, further appreciate the value of the local currency. The country’s total foreign exchange reserves slipped to $8.5 billion by the week ended December 13 from $11.344 billion by the week ended June 27 due to scheduled repayments to international lending agencies.

“My father taught me to always do more than you get paid for as an investment in your future.” —Jim Rohn

Railways starts freight trains to generate revenue STAFF REPORTER L AHORE —Aiming to enhance revenue generation, Pakistan Railways has started the service of five freight trains from Karachi. The Railways spokesperson said the induction of new trains in freight sector was a big achievement and it would be helpful in generating more revenue. Few months before, the Railways minister Khawaja Saad Rafique had hinted to increase the freight traffic of the Railways. “The Pakistan Railways will now focus on freight sector by strengthening the existing links and opening up new ones,” said the Railways minister. “The Railways has earned 75 per cent more revenue in freight sector than the target,” said the spokesper-

son, adding the department earned Rs1588 million against the target of Rs910m in the current fiscal year so far. Meanwhile, Pakistan Railways has earned around Rs. 4.35b through leasing out its land for commercial purposes during the last five years. The year-wise figures showed that during 2008-09, Pakistan Railways earned Rs. 1090.782m through leasing out its land which reduced to Rs. 890.273m in 2009-10 and Rs. 722.844m in 2010-11. During year 2011-12, the leasing out of land for commercial purposes fetched Rs. 722.755m which increased to Rs. 921.716m in 2012-13. Around 167,690 acres are presently owned by Railways which include 126,426 acres, 11,948 acres reserved for future operation, 5,234

acres residential land, 22,377 acres agri land and 1705 acres of land is commercial. The valuation of surplus railway land is carried out by engaging independent evaluators only for the purpose of commercial exploitation. Therefore, current market value of whole land owned by Pakistan Railways is not available. Meanwhile, when contacted, railways officials said the department has also retrieved its land from illegal occupant under anti-encroachment campaign and retrieved 2537.166 acres land out of total 5662.667 acres encroached land. As result of a fresh campaign started in June this year, another 172.350 acres land has been retrieved while efforts were underway to retrieve the remaining encroached land.

Pak-Turk PTA to enhance prosperity STAFF CORRESPONDENT FAISALABAD—“Pakistan can enhance economic prosperity by signing Preferential Treatment Agreement (PTA) with Turkey to attract direct investment,” said Eng Suhail Bin Rashid, President Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI). He welcomed the recent visit of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip to Pakistan and hoped that it will pave way to explore more economic opportunities for the benefit of two brotherly countries. He said Pakistani leadership was already taking elaborated measures to bring foreign investment into the country. In this connection, the visit of Turkish investors was a healthy sign as it will provide them an opportunity

to have direct link with their Pakistani counterparts. He said trade volume between Pakistan and Turkey crossed one billion dollar mark in 2010-11, which was declined to 50 percent in 2012 only due to the economic safeguards imposed by Turkish government to protect its domestic industry. “Prime Minister of Pakistan and Commerce Ministry should convince Turkish government for PTA so that Pakistani textile exporters could have direct access at reduced rate to Turkish markets. This will also provide opportunity to the Turkish investors to exploit full benefit of the economic opportunities available in Pakistan in the field of energy, textile, telecommunication, construction of motorways, highways, air-

ports, agriculture and tourism,” he mentioned. FCCI chief said after China, Turkey was the main economic opportunity for Pakistani exporters and importers and hoped that Pakistan and Turkish governments would take diplomatic, economic and administrative measures to strengthen bilateral trade relations between the entrepreneurs of the two countries. He said Turkey was already keen to invest in energy sector that will help Pakistan to overcome power crisis. He also appreciated the efforts of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who was making strenuous efforts to bring much needed foreign investment that will generate economic activities and bring economic prosperity to the people of this country.

WHT collection from phones increasing STAFF REPORTER ISLAMABAD—Withholding tax (WHT) collection from telephone including landline and mobile phone has phenomenal grown 431.3 percent mainly due to increasing 10-15 percent tax rates. According to the collection details contained in first quarterly review of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), withholding tax collection from telephone including landline and mobile phones have been recorded at Rs 10.174 billion in first quarter of 2013-14 as compared with collection of Rs 1.915 billion in same period last fiscal 2012-13, showing a growth of 431.3 percent. Withholding tax collection from contracts have been recorded at Rs 24.744 billion in first quarter of 2013-14 as compared with collection of Rs 21.992 billion in same period

last fiscal 2012-13, showing a growth of 12.5 percent. Similarly, more than 44.1 percent growth was recorded in WHT on imports due to increase in rates through rationalisation of tariff and introduction of WeBoc which is a more automated and transparent system and better monitoring by directorate of withholding taxes. According to the collection details, withholding tax collection from imports has been Rs 31.185 billion in first quarter of 2013-14 as compared with collection of Rs 21.556 billion in same period last fiscal 2012-13, showing a growth of 44.7 percent. Withholding tax collection from salary have been recorded at Rs 12.137 billion in first quarter of 2013-14 as compared with collection of Rs 9.989 billion in same period last fiscal 2012-13, show-

ing a growth of 21.5 percent. The increase of 21.5 percent from salary has been attributed to revision of salary slabs and increase in the salaries of the government servants and better monitoring of the private salary persons. Withholding tax collection from Bank Interests have been recorded at Rs 10.120 billion in first quarter of 2013-14 as compared with collection of Rs 7.599 billion in same period last fiscal 2012-13, showing a growth of 33.2 percent. Growth of 33.2 percent in bank interest was due to the consistent good performance by the banking sector, the report added. Withholding tax collection from exports have shown a marginal increase of 19.3 percent in first quarter of ongoing fiscal year 2013-14 with total collection of Rs 5.782 billion as compared.

Rs392b bids accepted in MTBs auction STAFF REPORTER K ARACHI—The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has accepted bids worth Rs 392 billion for sale of government of Pakistan Market Treasury Bills against the target of Rs 300 billion for last auction of this quarter. Tender for the sale of 3-Month, 6-Month and 12-Months Government of Pakistan Market Treasury Bills (MTBs) were invited by the State Bank through Primary Dealers on December 24, 2013. Bids were opened at 12:00 hours on December 24, 2013 and overall the SBP received bids worth Rs 393.676 billion with realised amount of Rs 384.877 billion for sale of 3-month and 6-month Market Treasury Bills. However, no bid was received for the sale of 12-month MTBs, while 6-month bills fetched bids amounting to Rs 1.25 billion. Bankers said following higher inflation, industry is expecting further increase in the policy rate in upcoming monetary policy, therefore they are reluctant to invest in the long-term government papers and preferring short-term investment.

Pakistan to explore gas in SL C OLOMBO —Pakistan has expressed its interest in oil and gas exploration in the seas off Sri Lanka, the Daily Mirror of Sri Lanka reported Wednesday. At present Cairn Lanka (Private) Limited, a subsidiary of Cairn India, is engaged in oil and gas exploration work in the Mannar basin at the moment. Following the success of two gas discoveries under the initial stage of exploration, Cairn also completed drilling of a fourth exploration. However, studies are underway to ascertain whether the gas discoveries are commercially viable or not at the moment. Meanwhile, Speaker of National Assembly of Pakistan Sardar Ayaz Sadiq told the Daily Mirror during his two day visit to Sri Lanka last week that there was scope for further co-operation between the two countries in oil exploration and sugar processing— two areas where Pakistan has the expertise. “We have brotherly relations. Yet, there is scope for further cooperation especially in sugar processing and gas exploration,” he said. Already, Pakistan has teamed up with Sri Lankan authorities to invest in sugar processing. The visiting speaker held talks with Sugar Industries Development Minister Lakshman Seneviratne in this regard. The Speaker held talks with Sugar Industries Development Minister Lakshman Seneviratne in this regard.—INP

Meezan Capital Preservation Fund launched STAFF REPORTER K ARACHI —As per of our strategy to introduce new and innovative shariah compliant solutions for investors, Al Meezan Investment Management limited is pleased to announce launch of Meezan Capital Preservation Fund (MCPF). The subscription of the fund will be open for limited period from Dec 26, 2013. CEO of Al Meezan Investments, Mr. Mohammad Shoaib said, “Meezan Capital Preservation Fund is ideal for investors seeking attractive Riba- Free returns while at the same time not willing to risk their principal investment”. The objective of MCPF is to earn potentially high return through dynamic asset allocation between Shariah Compliant Equities and Shariah Compliant Income/Money Market based Collective Investment Schemes, while providing capital preservation of

STAFF REPORTER LAHORE—The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) decided to step up efforts to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) through enhanced interaction with regional chambers of commerce and industry. LCCI President Sohail Lashari said the LCCI has evolved an elaborate plan to attract much needed FDI by sharing investment opportunities available in the province of Punjab with its regional counterparts. He said it is a threepronged strategy that would work wonders as far as investment is concerned. He said on the first leg of its proposed plan, the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry will

KARACHI—The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) on Wednesday asked the government to use all possible resources to tame energy crisis lest the GSP plus facility go in vain. Government needs to initiate serious efforts on all fronts so that long-delayed Iran gas pipeline project and Kalabagh dam (KBD) could be constructed otherwise energy security in Pakistan will remain a pipedream, said Zubair Ahmed Malik, President FPCCI. Speaking to the business community, he said that Pakistan is the only country where power plants

can help transform Pakistan that Tarbela dam will com- when there would be no natuinto a desert, he said adding plete its life in sixteen years ral gas in the country. The storage capacity of the biggest source of hydel power generation in the country has reduced to 6.77 million-acre feet which make it necessary to urgently construct KBD which will have 450 years of life. He said that political disagreement on the KBD is a great threat to industry, agriculture, masses and future of the country. Mr. Malik said that after completion of Tarbela, province of Sindh start getting 7 million-acre feet additional water while after KBD completion it will get extra President D-8 Federation of Chambers of Commerce and 2.2 million-acre feet of waIndustry Zubair Ahmed Malik presenting a souvenir to Dr ter while it would trigger a green revolution in Khyber Eshrah, Advisor to Egyptian Federal Chamber.

take all investment promotion public sector entities and local chambers of commerce and industry on board for compilation of set of available opportunities. Secondly, it would invite diplomats of regional counties at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry where these opportunities would be shared with them to enable them to get them published in their respective countries. Thirdly, the LCCI would send sector-specific delegations to all the chambers of commerce and industry in the regional countries where the delegates would give presentations to their counterparts with a sole objective to invite them for investment or Joint Ventures in

the field of their choice. Lashari said the plan is devised to supplement the government initiatives aimed at attracting foreign direct investment that presently is far below satisfaction. He said Pakistan needed a growth rate of 7 percent or more for the next two to three decades to ensure that its GDP doubles every 10 years; therefore, the country must look for a growth driver that can deliver sustained high growth for several decades. “Given Pakistan’s abundant and young work force and a policy regime that promotes international competitiveness, the regional growth will be the precursors to the subregions becoming dynamic manufacturing hubs.

TUSDEC trains solar technicians I S L A M A A B D —Technology Upgradation and Skill Development Company (TUSDEC) organized a ceremony at its head office to award the certificates to the first two batches of solar technicians trained by TUSDEC. In the pursuit of enabling technological sophistication to uplift the industry, TUSDEC has joined hands with Giz Pakistan to foster the solar power industry with the provision of technically trained manpower in the specialized areas of Photovoltaics and Solar Water Heating. The training programme being implemented under GiZ FIT (Funds for Innovative Trainings) initiatives where TUSDEC aims to train 125 students as solar technicians by March 2014. The programme is co-funded by the European Union, the Embassay of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Federal Republic of

Germany and implemented through Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH in collaboration with National Vocational and Technical Training Commission (NAVTTC). A meticulous display of candidates assignments on solar equipment has also been arranged at the high tech solar lab that the company has established with the cost of 3 million to impart the practical training sessions. Speaking on this occasion TUSDEC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Basit Maqsood Abbasi shared that a solar lab with most modern equipment was established in the Company premises to punctuate more focus on the practical and industry driven trainings in solar technologies so that the graduates would be absorbed by the job market right away. The graduates at

the ceremony asserted that they have been imparted with comprehensive theoretical and practical trainings in the testing, installation and trouble shooting of numerous kinds of solar panels which are currently in demand by the solar industry in the country. The company’s representative shared that experts from various enterprises and solar engineers were engaged to contrive the curricula for the trainings so that the industry’s call for the technical manpower would be effectively consummated. Essentially the programme is focused at rearing the renewable energy sector in Pakistan pertaining to its dire indigence in the running energy crisis, the source further shared. Skilled manpower is the requisite for a successful technological intervention in any industrial sector.

MP&NR all set to give 0.5m new gas connections I SLAMABAD —The ministry ready facing one billion cu-

National security, difficult sans KBD, Iran gas: Malik Zubair are being run on natural gas despite its deficiency. He said that Musharraf took the decision to use clean fuel for producing electricity which must be reversed immediately and power plants should be converted on coal or furnace oil. He said that Pakistan’s future is tied to Iranian gas and KBD but many intellectuals and politicians haven’t realised it yet which is unfortunate. “We should stop digging own grave before it is too late,” he warned. The FPCCI chief said that politicians have decided to remain undecided on critical issues of national importance which is leading us nowhere. Construction of KBD will not hurt any province but delay

ing the principal investment. The Karachi Stock Exchange index (KSE100 index) has given an average annual return of 28.94% in the last three years; outperforming other publically available in-

vestment avenues. By investing in MCPF, investors would have an opportunity to take exposure in the stock market in order to get attractive returns, while at the same time be able to get preservation of their principal investment in case of market volatility. The fund is suitable for all types of investors including both institutional and individual clients as it meets their requirements. All the investments of the funds will be made as per the guidelines laid down by Shariah Advisory Board of Meezan Bank Ltd. Al Meezan Investments has been in operation since 1995 and has one of the longest track records of managing mutual funds in the private sector in Pakistan. The total assets under management of Al Meezan Investments are currently over Rs.50 billion in 10 different funds making it the Largest Asset management company in the private sector in Pakistan.

LCCI plans to attract FDI

Reliable energy can help Pakistan benefit from GSP-+ STAFF REPORTER

the principal investment at completion of the duration of fund. Based on this methodology, the allocation of funds to equities will largely increase in case of a rise in the stock market. While exposure to Income/Money Market will increase in case of fall in the stock market; hence preserv-

Pakhtoonkhwa and save it from devastation of floods. The FPCCI chief said that dams are not tools of destruction, as considered by many, otherwise China, Iran, India and other countries would have not been constructing hundreds of dams and reservoirs with an amazing pace. In the last 23 years the share of water for every Pakistan has come down by 80 per cent therefore time has come for stakeholders to shun differences for the sake of country or be prepared for insoluble problems in the near future, warned Zubair Ahmed Malik. Unlike, Iran pipeline, no country or international institution is against the KBD, he said.

of Petroleum and Natural Resources has decided to give 500,000 new gas connections to the duo gas utilities in the country. An official of the ministry of Petroleum told this scribe that the decision has been taken after repeated requests from Sui Northern Gas Company Limited (SNGPL) and Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGCL) and in this regard the ministry would soon ask the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) to allow the gas companies to give connections to the consumers. The source informed that these connections would be given to three categories which are domestic, commercial and industrial. The source further appraised that the energy deficient system which is al-

bic feet (BCFD) gas shortfall would have to give additional 125-150 mmcfd gas for the new connection to both gas companies. The official further added that government is busy in political point scoring as gas supply to the industrial sector is more necessary than domestic sector. In the wake of GSP plus status to Pakistan it was necessary to complete the gas requirement of industries to enable them to meet their orders and to create new job opportunities in the country, the source said. It is pertinent to mention here that news gas connections were stopped in previous regime due to severe gas shortfall and it was a big challenge to get new gas connection for any category.—Online


Punjab Govt to set up hydropower units Selling

Buying

STAFF REPORTER

USA

106.00

105.80

GUJRANWALA—The Punjab

UK

173.51

173.18

Euro

144.63

144.35

Canada

99.36

99.18

Switzerland

117.99

117.76

Australia

94.04

93.87

government has decided to establish small hydropower units at newly constructed barrages including New Khanki Barrage being funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB). The ADB is extending $ 270 million loan (87 per cent) for New Khanki Barrage (NKB) whereas the share of the Punjab government is $ 39 million (13 per cent). Total cost of the project has been estimated at Rs 23.442 billion. The Punjab government has planned to establish two small hydropower units of 27 MW. This was disclosed by Project Director Syed Mehmood ul Hasan during a visit to New Khanki Barrage which was at very initial stage. The visit was arranged by the ADB Mission, Islamabad. The Khanki Headworks is 120-year-old headworks of Pakistan located at river Chenab in Tehsil Wazirabad. The new barrage is being constructed

Currency

Sweden

16.09

16.06

Japan

1.0152

1.0133

Norway

17.22

17.19

Singapore

83.67

83.51

Denmark

19.39

19.35

Saudi Arabia

28.26

28.21

Hong Kong

13.67

13.64

Kuwait

374.76

374.05

Malaysia

32.29

32.23

Newzealand

87.00

86.84

Qatar

29.11

29.06

UAE

28.86

28.80

KR. WON

0.0999

0.0997

Thailand

3.262

3.255

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

at Chenab River approximately at 900 feet downstream of existing headworks and will replace the obsolete water distribution system at the barrage. The Project Director claimed that the new barrage would have the canal network of 2,925 channels(4,680 km) irrigating more than 3.301 million acres of eight districts of central Punjab i.e. Gujranwala, Hafizabad, Chiniot, Faisalabad, Sheikhupura, Nankana Sahib, Jhang, and Toba Tek Singh and also save agriculture and fisheries in these districts. He also claimed that with the replacement of old Khanki Barrage, 10 per cent more land in eight districts would be irrigated which implied that it would have better impact on the life of the farmers. He was of the view that the existing Khanki Headworks was running at high risk and could cause loss of several crop seasons if it failed. The New Khanki Barrage would reliably divert 11,653 cusecs of irrigation supplies to the downstream

Lower Chenan Canal (LCC) irrigating 1.2 million hectares. The NKB will have an increase in safe flood capacity from 800,000 cusecs to 11,000,00 cusecs. In reply to a question, Syed Mehmood ul Hasan said that they were following the ADB’s procurement rules which had preference over domestic rules as these were more comprehensive than Pakistan’s procurement rules. “It was agreed between the ADB and Punjab government that process will be completed as per international standards. Even selection of engineering firm and contractors are in accordance with the ADB rules to ensure transparency in the process,” he added. He was of the view that in case of financial mismanagement, the official of ADB’s anti corruption unit would visit the project to probe the matter in detail. Answering another question, he said that the development work was ahead of schedule and M/s Descon, the contracting firm, was go-

ing forward as per plan. “We took timely decision to save more than 100 years old barrage with better planning,” he continued. Replying to a question, he said that water flows would increase till 2030 due to melting of glaciers but thereafter the situation would not be better. He expressed disappointment over wastage of 35 MAF water per year due to ill planning and disclosed that the policymakers faced questions from international community on wastage of precious water. It is pertinent to mention here M/s PBC had proposed replacement of existing Khanki Headworks with new barrage of 900 feet down steam of existing weir on the following basis: (i) aging effect; (ii) capacity constraints; (iii) lack of effective control on river regulation; (iv) inefficient and insufficient physical communication between the two banks; (v) incapability of existing weir for gates installation and (vi) inadequacy for existing weir for automation.

KARACHI: Gold Tezabi Silver Tezabi

44,485.00 702.85

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

Bio-safety bills to be introduced in parliament STAFF REPORTER ISLAMABAD—Dissolution of climate change ministry and more than 60 per cent slash in its development budget has failed to dampen the passion of its officials as they continue to take practical steps to mitigate and adapt to worsening impacts of climate change. After winning laurels for $3.8 million World Bank funding for preservation of fast-degrading forests, the ministry is now planning to introduce two bills in the parliament to broaden its scope and to effectively deal with issues pertaining to climate change. The two bills - Climate Change and Bio-safety Act – were formulated by taking a cue from some developed countries like Australia to strengthen the climate change division. At the moment, the climate change division is running its functions under the Environmental Protection Act 1997 that needs to be changed after passage of the 18th amendment in the constitution. Under the present act, the division has limited scope and powers as the subject of environment is devolved to the provinces. The provinces have now been doing their own legislation to deal with the threat of climate change. As for the climate change division, its scope and authority is limited to federal areas only while all international protocols and conventions come under the purview of the federal government. Raja Hasan Abbas, Secretary Climate Change Division, told said that the division was discharging its functions under the act that was environment specific and had limited scope and strength to deal with the issues relating to climate change. “We need to be more forward looking to cope with the threats of climate change through adaptation and mitigation measures,” he said. Being oblivious to emerging threat of the climate change, the government dissolved the ministry into a division and allocated a total of Rs 58.8 million to combat climate change in the Public Sector Development Programme for 201314, as compared to Rs 168.1 million allocated to the climate change ministry in 2012-13. Pakistan is one of the countries that are being hit hard by the effects of climate change. According to the 2006 Pakistan Strategic Country Environmental Assessment Report, the annual cost of environmental degradation in the country has been estimated at Rs 365 billion.

Former LTBA chief opposes FBR’s policy

Former finance ministers WCCI’s organises of KP to mull hydel profit S exhibition C TAFF

STAFF REPORTER STAFF REPORTER

PESHAWAR—The provincial

L AHORE —Lahore Tax Bar government Association (LTBA) former president Zahid Attique Chaudhry opposing the ‘first come first serve’ policy of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) with regard to sales tax refunds said that it is violation of the 10th clause of the Sales Tax Act 1990. Zahid Attique said that under section 10 of the Sales Tax Act 1990, FBR was bound to process the refund claim within 60 days. He said that taxpayers submit their returns by 15th of every month and after it they should submit their claim within 120 days with supporting documents while department is bound to clear the refund within sixty days after maturity. He said that the FBR had introduced ‘first come first served’ policy under which refunds are cleared as the claims are filed.

of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has decided to convene a meeting of former provincial finance ministers to seek the support of all former ruling parties in the resolution of economic problems of the province. In this connection KP finance minister has contacted the interim president of ANP, Haji Mohammad Adeel, Hamayun Khan of PPP, Nawabzada Mohsin Ali Khan, Farid-ur-Rehman, Saleem Saifullah, Rauf Khattak and Shah Raz to set together and sort out solution to bring the province out of economic stress including poverty and unemployment. Talking to media men Siraj-ul-Haq said that currently Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is facing severe economic hardships, whose basic reason is not payment of net profit on hidel generation by the federal government. He

said that federal government is intentionally depriving the province of rights guaranteed in the Constitution of Pakistan and its residents are even deprived of the basic amenities like gas and water and no mega project was initiated in this province. He said the issue is not related to any single political party or government, but it is the problem of 20 million people. Therefore, he stressed need for joining hands by all political parties for waging collective efforts in this regard. For this purpose, he said a meeting of all former provincial finance ministers belong to different political parties has been convened in the Cabinet Room of the Provincial Secretariat on Friday (December 27, 2014) to evolve a joint strategy for the resolution of the problems faced by the province. The senior minister, who also holds the portfolio of finance, said that in past the bureaucracy.

Minimum wages impede job creation, frustrate workers STAFF REPORTER L AHORE —Minimum wages impede job creation and cause resentment among workers, said market analyst Benish Toor. She said it is a simple solution for the politicians who try to gain support from masses; but for the documented industries facing high cost of doing business, it is an additional cost that erodes their competitiveness. She said in economies like Pakistan where the unregulated and non-documented sector is the main supplier of employment, it is tantamount to additional tax on the regulated sectors of the economy. “Moreover, it discourages the documented sector from in-house training of unskilled workers at low cost, as there remains acute shortage of skilled workforce in the country.” Unfortunately, she added, minimum wage is a

bad idea, not only for the economy, but for the low wage workers who forced to have low wages in undocumented sector without any chance of improving their skills during their career. They are thus deprived of higher wages a skilled worker can get, she added. She said when the economy is slowly recovering from recession it is unwise to raise the cost of labour. She said a cashstrapped entrepreneur then prefers to slow down and freeze hiring. M I Khurram, who operates two large composite knitwear units employing over 12,000 workers, said economic truth should not be ignored, while fixing minimum wage. He said when the price of a product is raised, the consumers reduce its purchase; in the same way an employer may be tempted to hire a new worker when the cost is low but

would refrain from it if the hiring cost goes high. He said he had stopped recruiting apprentice unskilled workers for in-house skill training ever since the minimum wages started rising. He said the present government declared in its manifesto to raise the minimum wages to Rs15,000 per month during its tenure from the current level of Rs9,000 per month. He said skilled workforce by that time might be earning much higher, but paying nonskilled workers Rs15,000 would be nightmare for manufacturers when a person with similar skills is employed by non-taxpaying sector at Rs5,000-6,000 per month. “I have no choice but to make my other employees work harder and pay them overtime instead of hiring new hand,” he said, adding the government planners do not realise that as the skill level increases.

ORRESPONDENT

FBR to enforce restaurant monitoring ISLAMABAD—In an apparent bid to bring the big restaurants into tax net, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has decided to enforce Restaurant Invoice monitoring system (RIMS). The source told here on Wednesday that this decision has been taken when tax authority learnt that hundreds of big hotels in the federal capital are not paying tax on their income. Therefore a new mechanism has been adopted by the FBR and authority has categorized these hotels into four categories for their registration with FBR. The source said that there are 444 restaurants in the jurisdiction of regional tax office Islamabad and out of these only 115 are tax payers while rest are least bothered to file their sales tax returns. The tax authority has decided to check the income of these hotels.—Online

ISLAMABAD—The Asian De- the ADB approved climate velopment Ban (ADB) approved $43billion in 2011-12 for creation and expansion of economic opportunities in the region. According to Asian Development Bank sustainability report, investing in Asia and the pacific’s future it said that the bank approved amount was ten percent higher than previous two years. During the period, ADB approved 112 projects with an environmental sustainability focus totaling more than $ 13 billion which is 50 percent higher then previous years. The Bank invested $ 4.4 billion for clean energy initiatives eventually lead to additional 2,125 megawatt renewable energy generation across the region. The report further revealed

related finance of $3.4 billion

in 2012 alone. Transport investments including low-carbon projects , in 2012 totaled nearly $ 4 billion while substantial support was given to help urban centers to become greener and more sustainable.—Online

Sales Tax collection stands at Rs61.8 billion STAFF REPORTER

P ESHAWAR—The Youth Fo- I SLAMABAD —The provirum of Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry Peshawar organized a women handicraft exhibition. A variety of hand-made outfits and other female accessories of young entrepreneurs, including designs and broidery clothes, ladies hand bags, decorations pieces, and others, were put on display at various stalls during the exhibition. The trade-show was formally opened by WCCI Peshawar President Ms Rohi Zahir Shah in a ceremony held, at local shopping mall at University Road Peshawar. The Youth Forum WCCI, Chairperson Maryam Arshad, vice president Afsheen, Fringes, Sundas along with other members were attended the ceremony. Addressing at the opening ceremony, WCCI president Ms Rohi Zahir Shah said the holding of exhibition was aimed at to provide an opportunity to women entrepreneurs to show-case their handmade work, while also marketing their products and development of linkages. She viewed that there were rare such arrangements for promotion of women-business, due to unfavourable environment for businesses and investments in the province. She, however, said that the participation of a large number women in the exhibition, was a encouraging sign, which need further support and financial assistance to them at government and private level, to market their handmade stuff in more better way. She said women are contributing their equal share in national economic, by taking parts in all field of life, despite the prevailing unviable circumstances. She praised the efforts of Youth Forum, which according to her, playing vital role for economic development of the province. Earlier, speaking at the ceremony, the Chairperson of Youth Forum WCCI, Maryam Arshad highlighted the basic purpose behind the establishment of the forum. She said the Forum has been playing role creation of opportunities for illiterate and lesseducated young girls in the province.

ADB approves $ 43b for economic development of Pakistan

sional sales tax collection stood at Rs 61.834 billion during first 24 days of December 2013 against Rs 47.233 billion in the same period last year, reflecting a handsome increase of 31 percent. The sales tax collection at the import stage was Rs 28.456 billion during the period against Rs 22.418 billion, depicting an increase of 26.9 percent. Sales tax collection on domestic consumption amounted to Rs 33.377 billion during the first 24 days of December 2013 against Rs 24.816 billion during the corresponding period of last fiscal year, showing an increase

of 34.5 percent. The collection of domestic taxes (direct taxes, sales tax and the FED) was Rs 101.551 billion during December 2013 against Rs 80.385 billion in the same period last fiscal, reflecting an increase of 26.3 percent. The provisional direct taxes collection amounted to Rs 31.650 billion in December 2013 against Rs 26.366 billion during the same period of last fiscal year, showing an improvement of 20 percent. Out of direct taxes collection, withholding tax at the import stage was Rs 6.014 billion during December 2013 against Rs 4.423 billion in the same period last fiscal year. The customs duty collec-

LSE begins structured programme STAFF REPORTER LAHORE—The Lahore Stock Exchange has been the first exchange to introduce a structured programme that associates it to the potential unlisted enterprises across Pakistan. This initiative has been inducted under the Department of Corporate Communications, titled as The Capital Raising Programme that targets the unlisted sector on scheduled basis as part of its core functions. LSE upon the launch of this programme has successfully positioned itself as a valued brand. LSE believes it is imperative to educate the benefits of listing to the growing business community of Pakistan, said a spokesman of the LSE. As socially observed, Stock Exchanges in Pakistan are least integrated or utilised as means to mobilize investment and savings as compared to other parts of the world. In changing this trend, LSE recognizes the need to educate the two key players of the capital markets–-the listed companies and the investors, under two different wings such as the Investors Awareness Programme and Capital Rais-

ing-–Listing promotion. It has been learnt that the meetings held with the sponsors of the unlisted companies have been a valuable source of learning at both ends. LSE upon the visits to the enterprises has unearthed the concerns of the sponsors pertaining to the listing at the stock exchange. To ensure that the business community perceives capital markets as comfortable as at home; LSE has been simultaneously working on the listing shyness communicated by the sponsors of the enterprises during the meetings. It is noteworthy to state that besides educating the business community on the benefits of listing, LSE has also positioned itself as a socially responsible exchange that carries a promising approach in making endless efforts towards the wealth creation in the economy as well as the society. As a result to this initiative, LSE may also share the acknowledgment of being the only exchange to have made an attempt to formulate a well-documented economy and a favourable liquid capital market in time to come.

tion stood at Rs 12.421 billion during first 24 days of December 2013 against Rs 11.210 billion in the same period of last fiscal year, reflecting an increase of 10.8 percent. The provisional collection of the Federal Excise Duty (FED) was 8.067 billion during the period under review against Rs 6.787 billion, depicting an increase of 19 percent. The FBR Chairman had reportedly informed the Finance Minister that revenue collected stood at Rs.91.5 billion in December 2013 whereas an amount of Rs.114 billion has been collected in the corresponding period this year, which shows an increase of 25 percent.

Heavy borrowing continues STAFF REPORTER K ARACHI —Banks continued to invest heavily in government papers as the cut-off yield on the three-month treasury bills was again increased by four basis points to 9.95 per cent in the auction. The cut-off yield reached close to prevailing discount rate of 10pc per annum. It was the third T-bill auction since November 27, 2013 and the government raised Rs392 billion. Commercial banks parked Rs391bn, which was 97 per cent of the total bid amount, in three-month papers. A meagre sum of Rs1.2bn was invested in six-month papers at the cut-off yield 9.97 per cent. No bids were received for 12month bills. The government has been increasing the cut-off yield on this short-term treasury bills. In the last auction, cut-off yield on three-month papers was increased by 5 basis points to 9.91pc. While inflationary pressure mounted to give a push to the interest rate, the sudden increase in government borrowings from commercial banks is also going to set new records. Since November 27, the government collectively borrowed about Rs1.4 trillion from the commercial banks and mostly for three-month maturity.

Economic turnaround expected in the next year STAFF REPORTER KARACHI—The market in the broader sense has high hopes with the upcoming year and some of them consider 2014 to be the year when the country’s economy will witness a turnaround. Khurram Schehzad, Member Board of Investment (BoI) and Vice President at Arif Habib Limited, said that the foreign investors were quite interested in doing business in Pakistan but the only thing hampering this huge investment is the political as well as security uncertainty of the country. According to Schehzad, the issues in the Northern Pakistan in connection to drone attacks and Nato supply has to be resolved amicably, as if this ‘threat’ remains, the economy will not stabilise. “The year 2014 could prove to be a year when the turnaround was

initiated,” he said. “The economy needs funds to grow and the government is pursuing plans in this regard; particularly two international bond issues have been finalised including one in rupee terms and one in dollar terms, which would generate around $1 billion; stateowned enterprises (SOEs) are being re-structured and privatised while 3G auction is in its final stages and would generate reasonable funds,” he said. Schehzad considers GSPPlus status to Pakistan a welcome development but the $800 million estimated to be generated additionally because of this duty advantage is not going to bring a quantum leap given the fiscal condition of the economy. “The government should consider GSP-Plus status as the first step towards increasing the exports and all energies should

be invested in exploring and developing new destinations for Pakistani products along with expanding product line”. Political harmony i.e. interprovincial harmony as well as federation-provinces harmony is direly required at this point of time. “The federal government and provincial government have to be on same page while devising policies and strategies.” The opinion leaders are divided over the outcome of the amnesty/incentive package announced by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Schehzad opined that the economy did not have hopes with this scheme as historically the incentive/amnesty schemes did not any significant results in past. Zubair Ahmed Malik, President Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) said that Industrial Sector is worst affected by the present law

& order situation as such insecurity hampered the overall economic activities. Business leaders are of the view that the lawlessness was prevailing in the entire country and the business hub of Pakistan i.e. Karachi was the worst effected. An industrialist representing a trade body said that a large number of local as well as foreign agencies and groups were operating in Karachi alone adding that all the criminal elements and gangs were patronized by certain influential quarters, which was the reason the situation could not come under control. Javed Bilwani, an office bearer of Pakistan Apparel Forum, said that the local investors and industrialists were leaving the country, let alone the foreign investors. Mohammad Ali Tabba, Chairman All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association

(APCMA) said that the geopolitical developments in relation to Iran nuclear deal and relationship with US would impact the investment and industrial growth in the country. Tabba also considers the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif incentive/amnesty scheme as a ‘no event’ for the country’s economy. According to Asian Development Bank (ADB), structural reforms hope to strengthen the financial system and improve the business climate. Fiscal consolidation is expected to limit GDP growth in FY2014 to 3.0 percent. The current account deficit forecast remains at 0.8 percent of GDP, as the foreign reserve position strengthens. The monetary program is likely to limit average inflation to 8.0 percent for the year. Sayem Ali, an economist at Standard Chartered Bank, is optimistic on

growth outlook for 2014. “Investor confidence has improved due to a smooth political transition in the May 2013 general elections and a new IMF loan to support the balance of payment position. The KSE 100 index has rallied 50 percent in 2013, as inflows from Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPI) increased to $372 million in 2013, compared to $114 million in 2012. While growth is likely to remain subdued at 3.5 percent in FY14 (ending June 2014), a stronger pickup is expected in the second half of 2014 on improved energy supply and higher private sector investment spending”. Growth is led by higher manufacturing sector output, which posted a strong 8.4 percent year-on-year growth in the second half of 2013, led by stronger growth in textile and leather exports. Improved energy supplies have led to

higher output in the petroleum, fertiliser and food and beverages sectors. Private sector credit growth has also picked up, rising Rs82 billion during the second half of 2013, after declining by Rs20 billion in FY13. Credit growth will pick up in 2014 as government reins in large fiscal deficit under the IMF stabilization program. Pakistan has potential for higher growth, which is necessary to accommodate a rapidly growing workingage population. The country has considerable natural resources, and ample scope exists to improve agricultural productivity and a ready market for an expanded manufacturing and service sector. However, a stable political environment and a conducive security situation are direly needed to improve investment and industrialisation.


Aqil Shah calls on Chief Minister Pervez Khattak

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Peace Games to be held in Feb P ESHAWAR —Former Sports tional Championship along in the province. He said the Minister Syed Aqil Shah called on Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pervez Khattak and discussed with him matter related to the promotion of sports in the province. The 50-minute long meeting between the two was also attended by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Sports Minister Mehmood Khan, Advisor to the Chief Minister on transport Yaseen Khan Khalil, Advisor to the Chief Minister on Investment and Industries Rafaqat Ullah Babar, Secretary Sports Ahmad Hassan, sports secretaries of various associations affiliated with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Olympic Association. Syed Aqil Shah informed the Chief Minister about holding of the forthcoming Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Peace Games scheduled to be held from February 16-18, 2014. He also offered the Chief Minister for accepting the Patronin-Chief of the Games and in response the Chief Minister thoroughly accepted it. Aqil Shah on this occasion, disclosed that during the last fiscal year, 21 Na-

with four international events have been organized successfully in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa besides 31st National Games and 3rd Inter-Provincial Games. Aqil Shah informed the Chief Minister that the Olympic family did their hard work for the promotion of sports in the province. He said despite insurgency and militancy they had organized different sports events by involving both male and female in healthy sort of activities. He said it is a record at the international level that out of 24 National Championships, 21 organized by this province without any fear. He also sorted the help of the Chief Minister for successful holding of the Peace Games. Aqil Shah also assured the Chief Minister for his full support to make the government successful while holding sports activities for the youth in the province. The Chief Minister in response assured Aqil Shah that he would be looked after at all level. He said the 40year of experience of Syed Aqil Shah would be utilized for the betterment of youth

PTI led by its Chairman legendary Imran Khan whose vision is to promote and involve the youth in healthy activities. He directed Secretary Sports Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to include Aqil Shah in board working for the promotion of sports, culture, and tourism. Chief Minister Pervez Khattak assured Aqil Shah his full support. “We will work together so that to involve our youth in healthy activities,” the Chief Minister added. He said the provincial government has purchased 78 percent of land for the construction of Sports Stadia to fulfill the promise being made by its Chairman Imran Khan to have playing fields in every Union Council and District levels. The Chief Minister promised that Imran Khan would grace the occasion as chief guest at the opening cer- MARDAN: Education Minister KP Muhammad Atif giving away trophy to winning team captain on the eve of District Sports Festival. emony of the forthcoming Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Peace Games. He also promised Aqil Shah that whatever demand put in by you for the promotion sports in the province would be fulfilled.— APP

An evening with World Bridge legend Zia Mahmood on Jan 3

K ARACHI —Lady Dufferin

LARKANA: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim ali Shah giving away winning shield to first position holder of 3rd Nawab Shabbir Ahmed Chandio long range shooting competition to Ghulam Mustafa Chandio.

Abbas to face Israr in NBP Jr U-19 Squash Championship final P E S H A W A R — A b b a s pressure and got the second final showdown with Abbas Shoukat and Israr Khan will clash in the Under-19 final of the NBP Junior Age Group Squash Championship being played here at PAF Hashim Khan Squash Complex on Wednesday. Abbas Shoukat recorded first semi-final victory against Ismail Ruaf in the thrilling 3-1 battle. Ismail Rauf in a quick succession won the first set by 10-12 after facing tough resistance at the hands of Abbas Shoukat. Ismail opened the account by reaching at 1-5 and then at 2-7 but Abbas Shoukat came from behind and tied the tally 7-7, 8-8, 9-9, 10-10 and at the end Ismail got the set by 10-12. After a marathon first set battle, Abbas Shoukat was in great confidence putting Ismail under tremendous

set by 11-9, the set was once tied at 9-9 before Abbas taken the set. It was the third set wherein both Abbas Shoukat and Ismail Ruaf went all out but Abbas took the set by 12-10 before leveling it at 55, 6-6, 7-7, 8-8, and 10-10. The third set was an easy one for Abbas Shoukat who fully dominated and marched into victory at 11-7. In the second semi-final Israr Khan recorded victory against Adil Faqir in the straight sets, the score was 11-9, 11-4 and 11-8. Israr Khan fully dominated the proceedings and did not allow Adil Faqir to strike back. Israr Khan right from the start succeeded in putting Adil Faqir with his forceful length and some perfect smashing and nick short. Thus Israr setup

Shoukat in the Under-19 category. In the Under-17 category top seed Ali Kiramat and second seed Kashif Asif recorded victories against their respective rivals in the semifinals. In the first semi-final Kashif Asif of Punjab defeated Iqtidar Ali Khan in a marathon five sets battle, the score was 10-12, 11-9, 6-11, 11-7 and 12-10. Both Kashif Asif and Iqtidar Ali Khan gave each other very tough fight in the 3-2 battle fought on rattling pace. Kashif Asif failed to take the first set and lost it to Iqtidar Ali Khan at 10-12, the score was thrice tied at 7-7, 99 and 10-10 before Iqtidar taken it. It was the second set in which Kashif Asif of Punjab showed great skills and got the second set 11-9.—APP

Hospital (LDH) is holding an evening with World Bridge Legend Zia Mahmood on January 3, organizers announced here. An bridge event has been arranged on the occasion to raise funds for the renovation of Dr Shaukat Haroon Block (SHB) named after late mother of Zia Mahmood, who led USA to win the Bermuda Bowl World Bridge Championship a couple of years ago. Zia Mahmood with late Masood Salim and other fellow Pakistan players became the only country outside Europe and America to reach the final of Bermuda Bowl in its maiden appearance near New York (USA) in 1981 before losing to host America. Top bridge players of the country will be featuring in the one-day event to raise funds for renovation of SHB. Dr Shaukat Haroon was the Medical Superintendent of Lady Dufferin Hospital from 1961-1968. Her tenure was cut short when she died tragically, of massive heartattack at the age of 50. Dr Haroon dedicated her life for with missionary zeal to help reduce the appalling maternal mortality even in tertiary care hospital of Pakistan. According to the letter issued by Dr Faridon Sethna, Member Management Committee LDH, said evening with Zia Mahmood and event is being conducted to generate funds for renovation of SHB which has delivered 9000 babies since it inauguration in 1983. Entrance fee for the tournament is Rs.10,000. Donations for this worthy cause will be further better the facilities and services at LDH. For any further detail can be had on ladydufferin@hotmail.com or from Zia Mahmood at ziamah@ googlemail.com.—APP

12 wickets Imad bowls Islamabad to win in Quaid Trophy

Wapda wins 26th National Handball

F AISALABAD —Wapda has K ARACHI —Captain Imad Zeeshan 51 Ali, Muhammad 104-run for the fifth wicket won 26th National Handball Rameez 458) Multan 296 with Nadeem Shad, who 51 Wasim led from the front and captured 12 wickets in the match to bowl Islamabad to 99 runs victory in their 4-day Quaid-e-Azam Cricket Trophy match against Multan at Southend Club. Imad, who took eight 81 runs with his left arm spin in Multan’s first innings, grabbed four wickets for 21 in 11.4 overs as their opponents crashed 90 all out in 11.4 overs. 25-year-old former Pakistan Under19 captain, Imad ended the match with 12 wickets for 102 runs in the match. Pacer Shehzad Alam snapped-up four wickets for nine runs in eight overs to extend good support to Imad Wasim in the second innings. Islamabad secured six points for the win after conceding first innings raised their tally to 25 points from six games. Summarized scores: Islamabad 237 all out in 86.1 overs (Imad Wasim 53, Muhammad Rameez 5-75) & 248 (Ali Sarfraz 90, Syed

HEC, Wapda qualify for final of National Handball C’ship F AISALABAD —On the third day of the National Handball Championship being played at University of Agriculture Faisalabad, two (2) semi final matches were held on Tuesday. In the first semi final, WAPDA beat Punjab 42-16 while in the second semi final Higher Education Commission (HEC), win by 33-30 after defeating Pakistan Police after an interesting contest. Final will be held between WAPDA and HEC on Dec. 25th (Wednesday). Vice Chancellor University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Professor Dr. Iqrar Ahmad Khan and Syed Muhammad Abid Qadri, Additional IG will be the chief guests.—APP

Davis Cup Tie to start from Feb 14 ISLAMABAD—Davis Cup Tie which was scheduled to be held from February 1 to 3, will now be played from 14 to 16 of the same month, said Vice President Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) Arif Qureshi on Wednesday. Talking to APP, he said there were eight teams in a group while Pakistan was placed in Asia Oceania Zone Group Two. Pakistan’s top player Aisam-ul-Haq’s participation in the team is doubtful due to his busy international schedule and changes in Davis Cup schedule. However, Qureshi was optimistic that the problem would be sorted out and that every possible effort would be made to include HYDERABAD: A view of cricket match between Lahore region and Hydrabad region during Quaid-e-Azam Trophy Aisam in the national team for the event.—APP Cricket Tournament at Niaz Stadium.

(Kashif Naveed 86, Rehman Muzamill 60, Imad Wasim 881) & 90 all out in 41.4 overs (Muhammad Waris 37, Shehzad Azam Rana 4-9, Imad Wasim 4-21). Meanwhile, Spectacular Saad Ali smashed a career best 156 to help Karachi Whites hold an honorable draw against Faisalabad Region after the follow-on in their Quaid-e-Azam Cricket Trophy match at National Stadium. Karachi Whites was facing possible defeat when they started the play on the fourth and final-day at 167-4. But fighting batting by Saad, Amit and Nadeem Shad saved their from defeat. 20-year-old Saad, batted for 375 minutes, faced 275ball and his fighting knock was studded with 23 boundaries and shared two century stands. Saad with keeper Amit Ravi 114 runs for the fifth wicket. Amit hit eight boundaries in his 49 while he shared

was spiced with seven boundaries. Karachi Whites which was shot out for 191 in their first innings declared their second innings at 419-8. Faisalabad had scored 42 without loss when match was called off early with no chance of result. Despite a draw and conceding first innings lead, Karachi Whites maintained their top position in group-II with 43 points after six matches while Faisalabad are got 18 points same number of matches. Summarized scores: Faisalabad 359 (Imran Ahmed 154, Mir Hamza 5-98) & 42-0 in 8 overs, Karachi Whites 191 (Junaid Ilyas 46, Faheem Ahmed 5-53, Ikramullah 3-64) & 419-8 dec in 134 overs (Saad Ali 156, Nadeem Shad 51, Amit Ravi 49, Yasir Mushtaq 32, Daniyal Mansoor 25, Asif Zakir 24, Babar Rehman 22 not out, Faheem Ashraf 2-86, Salman Ali 2-112).—APP

Championship by defeating Higher Education Commission (HEC) in a final match at University of Agriculture Faisalabad here on Wednesday. The HEC team scored 15 points whereas the Wapda team knocked it out by scoring 26 points. Member National Assembly Hajji Muhammad Akram Ansari witnessed the final as a chief guest whereas District Coordination Officer (DCO) Noorul Amin, Divisional Sports Officer (DSO) Mian Zubair Anwar, District Sports Officer (DSO) Chaudhary Tariq Nazir, President Pakistan Handball Association Hajji Shafique were also present. MNA Hajji Akram Ansari addressed the prize distribution ceremony and appreciated the performance of hand ball players. Later, MNA Hajji Akram Ansari distributed trophies and prizes among the winner and runner-up teams.—APP

Third Day of Punjab Youth Festival 2013-14

120,000 youngsters participate in various sports events SPORTS REPORTER L AHORE —On third day of sports festival, a glittering list of sports events continued to take place under the Punjab Youth Festival 2013-14 Village Level competitions in Punjab. Throughout the province more than 1, 20,000 youngsters participated in numerous thrilling sports activities. Out of them, 13,000 clinched the victory in their respective games. Competitions of Cricket Tape Ball, Tug Of War, Athletics, Billiard, Badminton, Volleyball, and Arm Wrestling were held in 10,000 grounds of Punjab. In city of Lahore, 1821 players from 16 Union Councils of 7 different towns including Gulberg Town, Samanabad Town, Shalamar Town, Aziz Bhatti Town, Nishter Town, Data GanjBakhsh Town and Wahgah Town, took part in 129

sports competitions. 1109 of them stood victorious. In Sheikhopura District, 5710 players from 120 Union councils took part in 1080 events, 3335 of them were declared winners. In Gujranwala Division, 7588 players from 230 Union councils participated in 470 events, 3477 of them were declared winners. In Multan Division, 2300 players from 142 Union councils joined in 492 events, 1086 of them won convincingly. In Bhawalpur, 868 players from 58 union councils clashed in 62 events, 429 of them were declared as winners.In DG khan Division, 1122 participants from 48 union councils took part in 48 events, 540 of them clinched victory in their respective sports competitions. Talking on inaugural ceremony of Punjab Youth Festi-

val 2013-14 in Aziz Bhatti Town, convener Divisional Sports Council MianNaseer Ahmed felicitated DCO’s, Assistant Commissioners and TMO’s of all towns on successfully organizing the sports events in Punjab. Thick attendance of spectators was witnessed at the sporting events on third day of Punjab youth festival. Festive atmosphere prevailed in the Sports grounds of Punjab as the whole nation celebrates Quaid-e-Azam day and Christmas celebrations begins on the same day. Earlier, MPA Saif-ulMalookKhokhar played Cricket Tape ball on the eve of Punjab Youth Festival 2014 the previous day. Mr. WaseemQadir, and other sports loving personalities graced the events as Chief Guests.

3rd Phase of Inter-School Games begins in DIKhan PESHAWAR—The 3rd phase of Directorate of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Inter-School Games got under way at Sports Complex Dera Ismail Khan. Additional Commission Bannu Ahmad Khan was the chief guest on this occasion who formally inaugurated the Games including football and volleyball. Assistant Director Sports Mir Bashar Khan, Jamshed Balochi, Syed Saqlain Shah and elite, officials and players of the area were also present during the inauguration ceremony.

In the opening match Bannu defeated District Tank by 6-5 and took berth into the semi-finals. The match was locked 1-1 in the stipulated time wherein for Bannu Murad Khan opened the account in the 17th minute while Wisal Khan tied the tally in the 69th minute through field attempt. After 1-1, the match was later on decided on penalty shoot-out in which Bannu converted all five attempts but Tank missed a target and thus Bannu won the match by 6-5. It was the second semi-final in which District Kohat

outclassed host Dera Ismail Khan by 2-0 in a one-sided affair. Kohat scored both the goals through Muhammad Adil Khan on the field attempts in the 14th and 34th minute. On the other hands, Dera Ismail Khan, having cheering support, tried their hard to reduce the margin but they were failed due to tight marking, thus Kohat reached to the final. Hangu and Bannu took berth into final after recording victories against their respective rivals in the semi-finals.—APP


Kallis to quit Tests after Durban D URBAN —Jacques Kallis, one of the game’s greatest allrounders, will retire from Test cricket after the Boxing Day match against India. Kallis announced his decision on Wednesday, on the eve of the second Test against India, but stated that he would still like to play the 2015 World Cup for South Africa. In a statement, Kallis said: “It wasn’t an easy decision, with Australia around the corner and the success this team is enjoying, but I feel the time is right. I don’t see it as goodbye, I still have a lot of hunger to push South Africa to that World Cup in 2015 if I am fit and performing. The last two years specifically have been a memorable journey with an exceptional group of cricketers. I am fortunate enough to have ended my Test career amongst a group of talented cricketers but, more importantly, friends whom I will cherish for years to come.” Kallis, who made his Test debut against England in December 1995, and has played 165 Tests, scoring 13174 runs at an average of 55.12, with 44 centuries and 58 half-centuries. He is currently fourth on the list of leading run-getters in Test cricket, and is also second on the list of batsmen with most Test centuries, apart from having scored the most runs for South Africa in Tests. Kallis’ status as the pre-eminent allrounder of his era stemmed from his contributions as a bowler - 292 Test wickets at an average of 32.53 - and fielder, whose 199 catches ranks him only behind Rahul Dravid in the Test list. He has one more match to add to those numbers. Batting has been the reason for questions surrounding Kallis’ form. He last scored a century more than a year ago, in November 2012, against Australia in Brisbane.

Kiwis coach wants curators to show no mercy to India A UCKLAND—New Zealand cricket coach Mike Hesson has called on the country’s curators to serve up green pitches when India tour for their twotest series in February. New Zealand were belted 2-0 on India’s dry wickets last year and Hesson said it was only fair to prepare bouncy tracks for the Auckland and Wellington tests which might trouble the visitors’ batsmen and blunt their spinners. “I think everyone is aware of the type of surfaces we like,” Hesson said in comments published by New Zealand media on Wednesday. “We’ve been in India before and they’ve changed the pitch the day before a game because it wasn’t as dry as they’d like. We certainly don’t get any favours when we travel overseas, so I’d be disappointed if we provide any at home.” New Zealand have not beaten India in a test series since their 2-0 win in 2002-03, when the visitors’ star-studded batting lineup, which included Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman, crumbled on two fast, green pitches presented at Wellington’s Basin Reserve and Seddon Park in Hamilton. In the next home series in 2008-09, New Zealand’s curators were slammed for preparing more docile pitches as the hosts lost 1-0. New Zealand thrashed West Indies 2-0 in their recent three-test series, with their seamers Trent Boult and Tim Southee taking most of the wickets, and Hesson backed the pair to prosper against India on Eden Park’s drop-in wicket and at the pace-friendly Basin Reserve. “We’ll back our seamers over anyone’s at the moment, to be fair,” he said. “We know they’ve got good seamers who will challenge us, but we back our seamers to put any order under pressure.”—AFP

Champions Trophy, withdrew from the squad citing personal reasons. He had not played fifty-over cricket for South Africa for 15 months at that stage, because of his workload management. He also played no part in the tour of Sri Lanka in August, in keeping with the policy of leaving him out of bilateral limited-overs series. Kallis’ wish to win a World Cup medal had not dimmed. So at the end of that month, after a meeting with new coach Russell Domingo, Kallis recommitted to the ODI squad. Domingo announced that Kallis would play in most of South Africa’s ODIs in the lead-up to 2015, starting with the home series against India. He played in the hastily organised home series against Pakistan and celebrated his comeback with a half-century. Kallis has turned out in three ODIs since then, sitting out of the deadrubbers against both Pakistan and India, scoring 26 runs and claiming three wickets. South Africa do not play any one-day cricket until next July against Zimbabwe, which means Kallis will disappear from the international arena for at least seven months after this Test. Following that, they have a fivematch series against AustraIn 2013, he has scored just how much longer Kallis lia and another five matches 194 runs with no hundreds - would play, Graeme Smith against West Indies at home a first for Kallis in a calendar had dismissed them. “He still before the 2015 World Cup. If Kallis plays in all those year - and only two half-cen- has a great desire to play for matches, he will turn out 13 turies. He has been dismissed South Africa,” he said. in single figures in five of his Kallis’ struggles were more times for South Africa last seven innings, twice for brushed off as nothing more before the tournament. That ABU DHABI: Umar Gul celebrates after dismissing Kusal Perera of Sri Lanka in 4th ODI on Wednesday. a duck, and on four occa- than rustiness after a long lay scarcity is something Russell sions playing across the line off. While most of the team Domingo, South Africa’s and being struck lbw. hadn’t played competitively coach, said the team would On South Africa’s recent for three months, Kallis was take some getting used to visit to the UAE, Kallis had coming in from a much because Kallis has been a the leanest series of his ca- longer break that started constant in the dressing reer. He did not get into when the IPL ended in May. room. “The impact Jacques double figures once and did South Africa did not play has made on South African not take a single wicket ei- Test cricket in that time and cricket has been immense, A BU D HABI —Ashan delivery, short and wide, but four off his eighth ball, he was ther. Asked then whether Kallis, who initially made not just as a player but as a Priyanjan’s debut half-cen- Kusal Perera smashed it to a transformed batsman. A pull human being,” Domingo there were concerns about himself available for the MELBOURNE—England cap- tury, and Kumar Sangakkara’s short cover, where Misbah-ul- and a back-foot punch made tain Alastair Cook marked his 83rd, propped up a stumbling Haq took a sharp catch. Gul had it three fours in the Gul 29th birthday — and Christ- Sri Lanka to 225, which everything to with the second over.—AFP seemed quite insufficient on wicket, though, in the fourth a docile pitch in a must-win over. He beat Tillakaratne will take greater satisfaction to maintain his hold over the LONDON—A fixture billed as ODI against Pakistan. The Dilshan on the drive with an a pre-Christmas cracker was from a spirit-dampening en- Frenchman. duo revived Sri Lanka after outswinger, and then moved Sri Lanka innings: “We controlled the game more ‘In the Bleak Midwin- counter. Umar Gul had reduced them the next one in. Dilshan shoul- Perera b Umar Gul ........... 8 Both sides moved up a very well. There was one big ter’ than ‘Jingle Bell Rock’ as to 36 for 3, but the innings dered arms, and saw the ball hit Dilshan b Umar Gul ......... 8 Arsenal’s hopes of regaining place in the table, Arsenal to chance for us and lots of half derailed again after top of off. In the eighth over, Sangakkara run out ....... 51 second with 36 points, bechances and for them one big top spot in the Premier Sangakkara’s run-out made it Dinesh Chandimal could not Chandimal c Misbah b Gul5 League fizzled out in a turgid hind leaders Liverpool on chance and no half chances,” keep a drive down, and Misbah 125 for 4 in the 29th over. goal difference, while Mourinho told reporters. 0-0 draw with Chelsea. snapped up a harder chance at Priyanjan b Junaid Khan 74 Priyanjan hit a sparkling Chelsea returned to the top “It was a tactical match. Nine days after losing 6Mathews lbw b Saeed .. 38 74 laced with aggressive short cover, one-handed this Kulasekara c & b Saeed . 1 3 at Manchester City and four with 34 points, above A match that Arsenal wants time. shots, but fell off the third having seen their title rivals Everton also on goal differ- to win but doesn’t want to Vithanage b Junaid ....... 27 With two debutant bats- Senanayake b Saeed ....... 0 ball of the batting Powerplay, lose and Chelsea wants to steal a march on them at the ence. men in the XI, Sri Lanka missing an adventurous It could have been even win but doesn’t want to weekend, Arsenal found Lakmal not out ................. 2 scoop to fine leg off Junaid needed Sangakkara to hang Malinga b Saeed Ajmal .. 0 themselves stifled by a de- better for Chelsea had Frank lose,” Mourinho told Sky Khan. That was the final blow around. He did that, looking Extras: (lb 1, w 9, nb 1) .. 11 fensive Chelsea side and Lampard’s first-half volley hit Sports. for Sri Lanka, and though in no discomfort as he picked Total: (all out) .............. 225 “The (Chelsea) goalhardly managed a shot on the back of the net rather Angelo Mathews and an- away the singles off his pads Fall of wickets: 1-15, 2-22, 3than the underside of the keeper (Petr Cech) was not target. other debutant Kithuruwan and drove elegantly on the 36, 4-125, 5-165, 6-170, 7-210, in the game, we controlled the The home fans chanted crossbar. Vithanage tried, Saeed off side. Chelsea manager Jose game defensively. We let (Ar“Boring, Boring Chelsea” on It was the way Priyanjan 8-210, 9-225, 10-225 Ajmal’s control meant there Mourinho, who has never senal midfielder) Mikel Arteta a rain-lashed night in north batted, though, that would Bowling: ........... O-M-R-W London but the visitors ac- lost to Arsene Wenger in 10 play the ball from side to side, mas Day — on Wednesday was no late release. Junaid Khan ......... 9-0-42-2 Gul continued a productive have pleased Sri Lanka even Umar Gul ............... 7-1-37-3 tually had the better of what meetings after Monday’s we were completely under yet found little cause for celebration on the eve of the comeback after a long injury more. The 24-year old was a Afridi ..................... 7-0-37-0 few chances there were and draw, appeared quite content control.”—AP fourth Test against Australia. layoff, dismissing the first three bit nervous at the start, play- Bilawal .................. 7-1-23-0 Trailing 3-0 in the series batsmen. Gul had little to do ing everything off the back Saeed Ajmal ...... 9.5-1-39-4 and with the Ashes already with the first wicket, off his foot. But as soon as he drove Hafeez ................... 9-0-46-0 gone, Cook has lost veteran fourth ball. It was a put-away Gul through extra cover for spinner Graeme Swann to a surprise early retirement since the previous Test in Perth. Pace bowler Jimmy Anderson appears out of form, fellow quick Stuart Broad has a right foot injury and wicketkeeper/batsman Matt Prior´s place in the team is in doubt. Spinner Monty Panesar is expected to return to the side for Swann. “Losing the Ashes and with Swannie going as well, it has been a different week,” Melbourne Cricket Club (West Indies) will turn 78 Cook said. “When you lose BIPIN DANI (MCC) and the Australian on Friday. “The birth on games of cricket, naturally your OBSERVER Cricket Board (ACB then, Boxing Day is no fault of confidence does slip. We´re CORRESPONDENT now known as Cricket Aus- mine but it was destiny”, he desperate to turn it around and you don´t often get the MUMBAI —Despite having tralia), secured the rights to said over telephone from chance to play a Boxing Day a very cold wave in the begin the Test match annu- England, where Guyanaborn Kanhai is settled now, Test match at the MCG.” capitol city of India, the ally on this day. “I shall watch both Tests said. While few foresaw former off-spinner Nikhil “I remember having Swann´s sudden retirement, Chopra will wake up early (Australia-England and SACook was not surprised as he morning on Friday to wit- India in Durban) beginning played against Australia in felt the spinner had nothing ness the Ashes Test on on this day”, he added. Inter- 1968 on Boxing Day”, he estingly, New Zealand is also added. Kanhai could only left to give. Cook said he was Boxing Day. “I consider myself for- scheduled to host the first score 5 and 4 runs in this encouraged by Broad´s bowling in the nets. Broad was hit tunate enough to be born ODI against West Indies at Test. Sri Lanka’s Muthiah in the right foot by a Mitchell on this day. It was God’s Auckland on this day this Muralitharan has no happy Johnson yorker in the third wish”, he said over tele- year. “I have no specific memories of the Boxing test but scans showed no phone from Delhi on the memory of this day in my life Day (though he was not eve of his 40th birthday. fracture. “The importance of this but I can tell you that I have born on this day). The England: Alastair Cook (captain), Michael Carberry, day is very important in my never played any interna- world’s highest Test wicket Joe Root, Kevin Pietersen, Ian life as at least the beginning tional match on my birthday”, taker was called for throwBell, Ben Stokes, Jonny of one Test match is guar- he added. Chopra played one ing by Australia umpire Test and 39 ODIs for India. (Darrell Hair) not once or LONDON: Chelsea’s Czech goalkeeper Petr Cech challenges Arsenal’s German Bairstow, Tim Bresnan, Stuart anteed on Boxing Day”, he Rohan Kanhai, the an- twice, but seven times in added. midfielder Mesut Ozil during the English Premier League football match between Arse- Broad, Monty Panesar, James In the year 1980, the other international player 1995. Anderson.—AP nal and Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium

Not much fun as captain Cook marks 29th birthday

Ajmal, Gul give Pakistan chance of sealing ODI series

Arsenal, Chelsea draw in Premier League

Beginning of Test match is guaranteed on my Boxing Day birthday: Nikhil Chopra


When it comes to walking, more is better

P

EOPLE who walk enough to meet or ex ceed physical activity recommendations may be less likely to die early than those who only walk a little, new research shows. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends adults be physically active for at least two and a half hours per week. Previous research has shown exercising more than that may bring extra benefits. “An important question left to be answered is how much walking is beneficial,” study author Paul Williams, from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, California, said. He analyzed data from 42,000 mostly middle-aged people who enrolled in the National Walkers’ Health Study between 1998 and 2001. They had all subscribed to a walking magazine or attended walking events before the study. Walkers filled out questionnaires about their health and lifestyle, including exercise and eating habits. Williams then used death records to track who in the study was still alive at the end of 2008. Based on their questionnaire responses, 23 percent of participants didn’t walk enough to meet physical activity guidelines. Another 16 percent met the guidelines, and the rest exceeded them. Over an average of nine and a half years, 2,448 people died - almost 6 percent. Compared to people who didn’t meet the guidelines, those who walked more than the basic recommendation had a one-third lower chance of dying during the study period. Those who met but didn’t

exceed the recommendation had an 11 percent lower chance. That was after taking into account other differences between people who walked various amounts, like diet and education levels. Participants who walked more had a reduced risk of dying from a stroke, diabetes and heart disease, in particular. Walking provides plenty of health benefits. But it’s important to note that people who walk more may do so because they are healthier and therefore more able to be active, Williams said. So the new study doesn’t prove walking will extend a person’s life. “There is always the question of the chicken and the egg - whether people who are healthier are able to walk farther or, conversely, whether the longer distance they walk may translate into better health benefits,” Williams told Reuters Health. Based on the results, he suggested changing current guidelines by bumping up the minimum amount of physical activity to five hours per week and developing a two-tiered recommendation system that encourages people to exercise more than they do currently. One tier would aim to get people active, and the other to add to the activity people are already doing, Williams said. That would underscore the point that for couch potatoes, starting to exercise is a healthy move - but the benefits don’t stop there. “Achieving the weekly exercise guidelines is good,” Williams said, “but exceeding them is even better.” “When it comes to walking, more is obviously better,”

Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad Khan and Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah offering Fateha after laying wreath at the Mazar of Quaid-i-Azam on the occasion of 137th birth anniversary.

Administrator KMC visits Mazar-e-Quaid K A R A C H I —Administrator Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC), Rauf Akhter Farooqi visited the mausoleum of Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah to pay homage to the father of the nation on his 137th birth anniversary here on Wednesday. The Administrator KMC laid wreath and offered fateha on behalf of the Karachiites, said a statement. Metropolitan Commissioner Samiuddin Siddiqi, Senior Director Municipal Services, Masood Alam, Senior Director Sports, Culture and Recreation Muhammad Rehan Khan and other notables were also present.—APP

Christian performing their religious rituals at Trinity Church during the Christmas celebrations.

Cake cutting at Quaid’s birthplace

KARACHI—A cake cutting ceremony was organised at the birthplace ‘Wazir Mansion’ of Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah to mark the 137th birth anniversary of the Father of the Nation, at Kharadar here. Special Assistant to Sindh Chief Minister, Ms Sharmila Farooqui, Commissioner Karachi, Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqi and Karachi Police Chief Shahid not levy any accusation on the that it was not the MQM alone Hayat cut the cake.—APP IRFAN ALIGI MQM for criticizing the SLGA- but all other political parties were KARACHI—The Deputy Parlia- 2013 without concrete reasons, on protest against the passage of mentary Leader in Sindh Assem- he said adding that it would not the SLGA-2013 and had unanibly Khawaja Izhar Ul Hassan only be the MQM but all other mously rejected that law. She alleged the Sindh prosaid that the Pakistan People’s political parties had rejected the Party Parliamentarian (PPPP) passage of that ‘Black Law’, the vincial government had not only had totally failed to realize why SLGA-2013, which was done carved out self-desired delimitathe Muttahida Qaumi Movement with sheer manifest of state tions in the port city but did such (MQM) opted to take to street power and was based on tyranny, unconstitutional drawings in the over the ‘Black Law’, the Sindh injustice, lies and stubbornness. whole of province. In his address, He was addressing a large member of the Coordination Local Government Act-2013. The PPPP should get to protest rally at Malir Press Club Committee of the MQM, Ashfaq know that it was the MQM that Wednesday. The protest rally was mangi said that the MQM would had supported the PPPP during organized by the MQM Muzafati foil all conspiracies to dissect its previous tenure as real blood committee. Speaking on the oc- Karachi from Sindh province, LIAQAT TOOR brother only for the sake of rec- casion, member provincial as- while the PPPP was hatching onciliation so the PPPP should sembly Heer Ismail Sohu said conspiracy to divide Sindh. F the Jesus Christ had been physically present on this planet today he, after having witnessed gory scenes of bloodshed and decaying dead bodies scattered all around the world, might have himself marched towards the Cross. This was stated by Mr Zahid Malik, Editor-in-Chief, Pakistan Observer, while addressing a big gathering of the Christian community at the Fatima Church, Islamabad, where the Nazriya Pakistan Council, Islamabad, joined hands with members of Christian community to cut a Christmas cake. Mr Zahid Malik who is also Chairman of the NPC said that the Jesus had visualized and struggled for a miseriesfree world but quite contrary to that the world today was saddled with nothing else but grief, torture, anguish and A view of Wazir Mansion, the birthplace of Quaid-i-Azam which is decorated with lights on tears. However, he was optithe occasion of his birth anniversary.

MQM protest rally

LB polls under SLGA-2013, waste of country’s wealth

LG bill

Qaim vows to comply with court orders KARACHI—Sindh Chief Minis- the decision of the court would ter Qaim Ali Shah said the provincial government will comply with court orders over the Local Government Amended Bill 2013, adding that the government wasn’t given time to convince the opposition parties. Addressing the media after visiting the mausoleum of Quaide-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah on Wednesday, Qaim Ali Shah said that the matter relating to the Sindh Local Government Bill was in the court and whatever be

be accepted. He said that the legislations in Sindh Assembly being done in consultations with the opposition and efforts were afoot to serve the people with consensus and unity. Sindh CM said the constitution exists in the country and the judiciary has played a key role, suo moto became very popular as the people got relief. The freedom in the country was no less than any other, he said.

Black water active in sectarian violence: Baloch STAFF REPORTER K ARACHI —The network of Black Water and other foreign agencies was being activated in Pakistan for hatching conspiracy and spreading sectarian violence in the country. It was a misery to note that despite ongoing targeted operation in the metropolis, the government had failed to restore peace in the port city. On the other hand, inflation, lawlessness, poverty and unemployment were the factors that deteriorated lives of the people and the government had failed to

overcome such issues and provide relief to the masses. The year 2014 will similar to the calendar year of 1947, as 1947 was the year of independence and the year 2014 will prove the year of getting rid from evil forces. Jamaat-e Islami (JI) Secretary General Liaquat Baloch said this while addressing public gatherings at Orangi Town and Malir Wednesday. Baloch on the occasion also reminded people of JI’s contribution to development of port city and said that people had witnessed tremendous and record development.

Syed Qaim Ali Shah said that the democracy and the institutions have gained strength in the country, the human rights stand restored and now poverty has to be eradicated and the people should get their rights. Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah was accompanied by Sindh Governor Dr. Ishratul Ebad Khan while he visited mausoleum to pay homage to the great leader on his 137th birthday being celebrated across the country.—NNI

Strict security on BB’s death anniversary KARACHI—Inspector General Sindh Police, Shahid Nadeem Baloch has directed the Sindh Police to adopt extra-ordinary integrated security arrangements across the Sindh province on the occasion of death anniversary of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto. He directed that effective checking be ensured at all entry points of Garhi Khuda Bakhsh and others areas of Sindh, said a statement on Wednesday. He has directed Sindh Police to deploy police personnel at check posts which have been established on highways.—APP

84 shopkeepers fined STAFF REPORTER K ARACHI —As many as 84 shopkeepers were challaned and a fine of Rs 75600 were imposed for overcharging in violation to the price list of essential commodities. The shopkeepers were challaned by the assistant commissioners of sub-divisions, deputy commissioners of five districts of the city, on the directives of Commissioner Karachi Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqi during the crackdown against violators of price lists of daily commodities, said a statement on Wednesday. It said 21 milk sellers, six fruits vendors, 11 vegetable merchants, 20 food items grocers, 23 chicken sellers and 15 flour sellers were challaned for violating price list.

“Jesus Christ would have himself marched to the Cross”

NPC celebrates Christmas Day with Christian Community

I

mistic that in Pakistan a genuine urge of harmony among various faiths had emerged and everyone who matters was keen to take the

minorities along. “Every one the State and the Government to who lives within the boundaries treat everyone as enshrined in of Pakistan is equal in all re- the Constitution,” he said. spects and it is incumbent upon Mr Malik announced that

early next year the NPC will convene an All Pakistan Interfaith Conference to carry forward the message of better understanding among all religions. This is what the founder of Pakistan, Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah had perceived, he said. The members of the Executive Committee of the Council who participated in the ceremony included Mian Muhammad Javed, Dr Basharat Jazbi, Mrs Farukh Khan and M Bilal. Father Rehmat Michael Hakim welcoming the NPC delegation said NPC is working vigorously for promoting inter-faith harmony. Pakistan has great future as Muslims and Christians moving hand in hand can achieve goals as envisioned by the Quaid. It was always a great occasion when Muslims inEditor-in-Chief Pakistan Observer and Chairman Nazriya Pakistan Council Zahid Malik, cluding NPC members visit our Father Rehmat Michael Hakim, Senior Members of Majlis-e-Aamla NPC Mian Muhammad church and share greetings with Javed, Mrs Farrukh Khan, Prof Dr Basharat Jazbi and M Bilal Advocate cutting the cake us on Christmas. during a ceremony to celebrate Christmas at Khatoon Fatima Church.—PO photo Sultan Bashir


When it comes to walking, more is better

P

EOPLE who walk enough to meet or ex ceed physical activity recommendations may be less likely to die early than those who only walk a little, new research shows. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends adults be physically active for at least two and a half hours per week. Previous research has shown exercising more than that may bring extra benefits. “An important question left to be answered is how much walking is beneficial,” study author Paul Williams, from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, California, said. He analyzed data from 42,000 mostly middle-aged people who enrolled in the National Walkers’ Health Study between 1998 and 2001. They had all subscribed to a walking magazine or attended walking events before the study. Walkers filled out questionnaires about their health and lifestyle, including exercise and eating habits. Williams then used death records to track who in the study was still alive at the end of 2008. Based on their questionnaire responses, 23 percent of participants didn’t walk enough to meet physical activity guidelines. Another 16 percent met the guidelines, and the rest exceeded them. Over an average of nine and a half years, 2,448 people died - almost 6 percent. Compared to people who didn’t meet the guidelines, those who walked more than the basic recommendation had a one-third lower chance of dying during the study period. Those who met but didn’t

exceed the recommendation had an 11 percent lower chance. That was after taking into account other differences between people who walked various amounts, like diet and education levels. Participants who walked more had a reduced risk of dying from a stroke, diabetes and heart disease, in particular. Walking provides plenty of health benefits. But it’s important to note that people who walk more may do so because they are healthier and therefore more able to be active, Williams said. So the new study doesn’t prove walking will extend a person’s life. “There is always the question of the chicken and the egg - whether people who are healthier are able to walk farther or, conversely, whether the longer distance they walk may translate into better health benefits,” Williams told Reuters Health. Based on the results, he suggested changing current guidelines by bumping up the minimum amount of physical activity to five hours per week and developing a two-tiered recommendation system that encourages people to exercise more than they do currently. One tier would aim to get people active, and the other to add to the activity people are already doing, Williams said. That would underscore the point that for couch potatoes, starting to exercise is a healthy move - but the benefits don’t stop there. “Achieving the weekly exercise guidelines is good,” Williams said, “but exceeding them is even better.” “When it comes to walking, more is obviously better,”

A delegation of Chinese Norinco Company having meeting with Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif on Wednesday.

Delegation of Norinco meets Shahbaz LAHORE—A delegation of Chinese company Norinco on Wednesday met Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif. Matters pertaining to infrastructure sector, especially expanding the scope of metro bus project, were discussed during the meeting. Talking to the delegation, the chief minister said there were historic relations between Pakistan and China. Shahbaz Sharif said China had supported Pakistan in every hour of need. He said a number of mega projects had been completed in Pakistan with the cooperation of China. He said the project of construction of economic corridor from Kashgar to Gwadar was of vital importance.—APP

Son shots dead mother

Members of Christian community taking part in a ceremony to celebrate Christmas at a local Church in the provincial capital.

Assault on Anti-polio campaign in minor girl: LHC disposes high risk Union Councils Town, Ravi Town, Gunj Baksh Town and some off the notice L O —AdvisorR to Punjab Samanabad union councils of Allama Iqbal BSERVER

EPORT

AHORE

MUZAFFAR ALI LAHORE—Lahore High Court (LHC) has disposed of a notice “12-year-old gipsy girl was assaulted in Tandalianwala” as complete police report of the case has been submitted in the court of competent jurisdiction and no further directions are required by the Complaint Cell of the LHC on administrative side because legal proceedings have been initiated in the matter. According to details, daughter of a nomad was scavenging on Kanjani Station when four vagabonds took her in the fields. They molested and left her at a deserted place.

Chief Minister on Health, Khawaja Salman Rafiq has said that after detection of polio virus in sewers of Lahore, a special action plan has been evolved for 66 high risk union councils of the city and a special 3-day anti-polio campaign is being launched from December 26 to 28. He stated this while inaugurating the campaign by administering polio drops to the children at a gypsy settlement at the bank of River Ravi. Director General Health Punjab Dr Zahid Pervaiz, EDO Health Lahore Dr Zulfiqar Ali and other officers of Health Department were present on the occasion. Khawaja Salman Rafique informed that

Town have been declared high risk areas. He said that 1050 teams have been constituted to administer polio vaccine to five lakh four thousand children in 66 union councils out of which 930 teams are mobile while 120 are stationary. He said that planning has been made for the campaign against polio from January 1820, 2014 in Punjab and special teams would be constituted for 42 entry points into the province. He said that there is a greater risk of polio in children coming from KPK and the virus found in the sewage of Lahore is from outside Punjab.

A large number of journalists during election of Lahore Press Club waiting to cost their votes at Aiwan-e-Iqbal.

LAHORE—A depraved youngster shot dead his annoyed mother for refusing to return back to home from her parents’ house on Wednesday. Police said that Nasreen hailing from Hinjrwal area of Lahore due to domestic disputes was staying at parents’ house for last eight years due to differences with her husband. The children of Nasreen tried several times to take their mother back to their home but in vain. On Wednesday, elder son of Nasreen came to meet her and asked her to go back with him but she refused after which he opened fire killing her on the spot and fled the scene.— INP

Govt determined to overcome problems: CM LAHORE—Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif Wednesday said special incentives are being offered to local and foreign investors and companies for investment in energy sector. He expressed these views while talking to a delegation of Indian energy experts. The delegation was led by Pawind Parweet Badal. The chief minister said the government was determined to overcome shortage of electricity and measures were being taken for this purpose on an emergent basis. He said India especially East Punjab had set up biomass, biogas and small hydle projects for generation of electricity and the Punjab government wanted to benefit from the successful

projects set up in East Punjab. He said there were vast opportunities of setting up biomass, biogas and small hydle projects for generation of electricity in the province. He said the Punjab government was also working on various projects of production of electricity from solar, hylde, coal, bagasse, wind and other resources. He said projects of power generation from biomass, biogas and small hydle projects were running successfully in Indian Punjab and the experience and skill of East Punjab would be fully utilized for expeditious completion of energy projects. The chief minister directed provincial authorities to finalize consultative and technical pro-

Fine arts competitions help polish talent of youth OBSERVER REPORT LAHORE—Punjab Minister for Excise & Taxation, Mian Mujtaba Shuja ur Rehman has said that paintings, photography and fine arts competitions help polish talent of the youth. He said that Punjab government is utilizing all out resources for the promotion of education and maintenance of discipline in educational institutions and an amount of Rs.244 billion has

been allocated which is 26% of the budget for education sector. He said that tough decisions have been taken for ensuring respect of teachers and provision of a peaceful atmosphere in educational institutions. He expressed these views while distributing prizes among successful students at the conclusion of “Artathon” arranged by College of Art & Design at Alhamra, here today.

cess immediately for benefiting from India’s experience. He said every moment of the nation was precious and concerned officials should finalize viable projects without wasting the time. The head of Indian delegation Pawind Parweet Badal said all-out cooperation would be extended to the Punjab government in establishing biogas, biomass and small hydle projects of power generation. He said that cooperation with Pakistani Punjab in energy sector would be a matter of pleasure. Provincial Minister for Agriculture Dr Farrukh Javed, Chairman Planning and Development, the secretary agriculture and other concerned officers L AHORE —Health experts Wednesday advised the people to were present.—APP switch off gas room heaters before going to bed to avoid high risks of death and fire. Medical Superintendent Government Lady Aitchison Hospital Dr.Suhail Saqlain APP here today that public must observe safety measures while using gas room heaters to avoid STAFF REPORTER mishaps which may lead to death as its treatment is very compliLAHORE—An inauguration cer- cated one. emony of newly constructed He said that before going to building of Punjab University bed people should ensure that Office of Research Innovation & room heaters are properly Commercialization (ORIC) and switched off and gas supply must Quality Enhancement Cell be closed at source to avoid leak(QEC) at 1st Floor of Institute of ages. He said that declined levChemical Engg. & Tech. will be els of blood oxygen adversely efheld on Thursday (today) in the fect entire human body, specially seminar hall of Institute of brain, liver, kidney, muscles and Chemical Engg. & Tech. living tissues.—APP

Gas heater users warned of life risks

PU ORIC & QEC new building to be inaugurated

“Jesus Christ would have himself marched to the Cross”

NPC celebrates Christmas Day with Christian Community LIAQAT TOOR

mistic that in Pakistan a genuine minorities along. “Every one the State and the Government to urge of harmony among various who lives within the boundaries treat everyone as enshrined in F the Jesus Christ had been faiths had emerged and everyone of Pakistan is equal in all re- the Constitution,” he said. Mr Malik announced that physically present on this who matters was keen to take the spects and it is incumbent upon planet today he, after having witnessed gory scenes of bloodshed and decaying dead bodies scattered all around the world, might have himself marched towards the Cross. This was stated by Mr Zahid Malik, Editor-in-Chief, Pakistan Observer, while addressing a big gathering of the Christian community at the Fatima Church, Islamabad, where the Nazriya Pakistan Council, Islamabad, joined hands with members of Christian community to cut a Christmas cake. Mr Zahid Malik who is also Chairman of the NPC said that the Jesus had visualized and struggled for a miseriesfree world but quite contrary to that the world today was Editor-in-Chief Pakistan Observer and Chairman Nazriya Pakistan Council Zahid Malik, saddled with nothing else but Father Rehmat Michael Hakim, Senior Members of Majlis-e-Aamla NPC Mian Muhammad grief, torture, anguish and Javed, Mrs Farrukh Khan, Prof Dr Basharat Jazbi and M Bilal Advocate cutting the cake tears. However, he was opti- during a ceremony to celebrate Christmas at Khatoon Fatima Church.—PO photo Sultan Bashir

I

early next year the NPC will convene an All Pakistan Interfaith Conference to carry forward the message of better understanding among all religions. This is what the founder of Pakistan, Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah had perceived, he said. The members of the Executive Committee of the Council who participated in the ceremony included Mian Muhammad Javed, Dr Basharat Jazbi, Mrs Farukh Khan and M Bilal. Father Rehmat Michael Hakim welcoming the NPC delegation said NPC is working vigorously for promoting inter-faith harmony. Pakistan has great future as Muslims and Christians moving hand in hand can achieve goals as envisioned by the Quaid. It was always a great occasion when Muslims including NPC members visit our church and share greetings with us on Christmas.


Ep26december2013