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Pakistan pitched against amorphous enemy

Conventional threat grows manifold: Gen Kayani day said that Pakistan today was passing through a very K ARACHI —Chief of the critical phase of its history. Army Staff (COAS) General “Increasingly complex Ashfaq Parvez Kayani Satur- external environment and our

STAFF REPORTER

rather precarious internal dynamics have created a myriad of security challenges,” Gen Kayani said

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PM orders blockage of YouTube again ISLAMABAD—Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf Saturday ordered the closure of YouTube once again due to failure of Pakistan Telecommunication Authority to remove the un-Islamic material from the YouTube. Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) on Saturday had directed Internet service providers and information technology (IT) companies to immediately reopen YouTube, a video sharing website, across Pakistan. The video sharing website reopened within minutes in the country after

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5 more fall prey to deadly cough syrup GUJRANWALA—At least 5 more people died on Saturday after taking toxic cough syrup in Gujranwala and Toba Tek Singh, raising the death toll to 38, officials said. Several people were taken to the District Headquarters Hospital in faint condition on Saturday morning; three of them could not survive in Gujranwala. Their family members told that they drank ‘Tyno’ named cough syrup and then fainted. Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has taken notice of the issue and summoned a report.On the other hand, raids are being conducted on several medicines’ stores.—Online

Pakistan reopens Torkham border on Afghan assurances I SLAMABAD —Pakistan reopened its border with Afghanistan at Torkham on Saturday after it was closed earlier in a protest over incidents of torture to Pakistani truck drivers by Afghan forces. Afghanistan ambassador to Pakistan Mohammad Omar Daudzai was summoned to the Foreign Office regarding the incidents where the Afghan envoy assured Pakistan that its government would investigate the matter and the culprits would be punished.—INP

KARACHI: Chief of Army Staff Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani awarding Commandant Gold Medal to Cadet Hina Mujeeb during the 98th Midshipmen and 7th SSC class passing-out parade at Pakistan Naval Academy.

No delay in elections: PM STAFF REPORTER K ARACHI —Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf has assured that the next general elections would be conducted on time adding that law and order situation would be resolved by bringing a strong democratic government. Addressing a function of Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Karachi on Saturday, the Prime Minister said if we think in isolation and continue to complain, it would ultimately not be in favour of the country. He said instead of transferring responsibili-

‘Hindu fanatics had carried out Malegaon blast’

ties we all should play our roles in individual capacities in building the country. Prime Minister said that within the next few months we are moving towards a democratic transition by holding elections and it is the resolve

Another story on Page 13 of the government to set the best example to go for it in a peaceful manner. He said it is the duty of each of us whatever he does in profession to create a conducive atmosphere in our country and then hopefully we would excel in all the mat-

ters and we will march on the road of progress. He said the key to a peaceful and democratic and sovereign parliament and government is with the people of Pakistan. He said the law and order situation would be resolved by bringing a strong democratic government. He said the democratic process is flourishing naturally and globally in Pakistan and it would be a leap forward towards a peaceful and developed country within the next five years.He said the base of all development and democracy is smooth transition of the democratic process.

Cold wave to continue for two more days

at the Allama Iqbal InterNEW DELHI—Now, it is of- L AHORE —Dense fog de- ing scended on Lahore and other national Airport to extend

ficial that 2006 Malegaon blast that killed 37 people and injured over 100 was not perpetrated by Muslim but Hindu fanatics. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Friday officially declared the Samjhauta Express blast accused Rajender Chaudhary as an accused in the 2006 Malegaon blast case. An NIA special court on Friday issued production remand for Chaudhary alias Samunder in connection with the case.—INP

parts of Northern Punjab, plunging visibility to zero and forcing closure of the Allama Iqbal International Airport and Motorways on Saturday. According to reports, several flights were delayed and some others diverted to Islamabad due to low visibility in Lahore. A flight bringing players of the Pakistan’s national hockey team home from Doha was diverted to Karachi and later flown back to Doha, leaving many people disappointed, who were wait-

warm welcome to the national players upon their arrival in Lahore for defeating archrival India to annex the Asian Champions Trophy on Thursday. Severe cold weather accompanied by dense fog caused multiple problems for travellers in Lahore, Faisalabad and areas around the Motorways. The northern half of the country is in the grip of severe cold wave following the day-long drizzle and snowfall over the hills.—INP

No card will work for PPP in next elections: Nawaz L AHORE —The

Pakistan Muslim League-N chief Nawaz Sharif has said no card would work for the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) in the upcoming general elections and public would reject corrupt rulers and their cronies. “The PPP is using one card after other to deceive the masses, but this time around, no card is going to work for the rulers,” the PML-N chief said during a meeting with the PML-N Sindh workers delegation led by Sardar Abdur Rahim here on Saturday.—INP

Gunmen kill four policemen STAFF REPORTER Q UETTA —Gunmen, riding motorcycles, shot dead four policemen in Quetta on Saturday, police said. The attackers sprayed bullets at police on a routine vehicle patrol in the capital of the oil and gas rich province, which is plagued by sectarian violence, a tribal insurgency and attacks by Taliban militants. “Three policemen died on the spot, while one expired at hospital,” senior police official Zubair Mehmood.

Delhi gang-rape victim passes away ‘peacefully’ in Singapore SINGAPORE/NEW DELHI— away peacefully at 4.45 am,” and are in Delhi’s Tihar CenA young woman who was flown to Singapore after her brutal gang-rape and torture in the Indian capital died here early Saturday, the Mount Elizabeth Hospital announced. The victim, whose name has not been revealed, passed away “peacefully” at 4.45 am with her distraught family and Indian diplomats by her side, hospital official Kelvin Loh said in a statement. “We are very sad to report that the patient passed

Chief Executive Loh said. “Her family and officials from the high commission of India were by her side.” The 23-year-old woman suffered multiple-organ failure after she was raped by six men in a moving bus in Delhi for about 40 minutes on December 16 and dumped her by a roadside. Her male friend was also badly beaten up and thrown out of the bus. All six accused, including one who is said to be juvenile, have been arrested

tral Jail. Authorities in India shifted the woman, who had been on ventilator support since her rape, to Singapore on Thursday in last ditch attempt to save her life. “Despite all efforts by a team of eight specialists in Mount Elizabeth Hospital to keep her stable, her condition continued to deteriorate over these two days,” Loh said. “She had suffered from severe organ failure following serious injuries to her body and brain.”

“She was courageous in fighting for her life for so long against the odds but the trauma to her body was too severe for her to overcome.” BD Athani, the medical superintendent of Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital, said the woman had been speaking to her mother and other family members earlier, giving the impression that she would somehow survive.But her condition deteriorated rapidly after the operation, with a fatal infection spreading to her chest, lungs and intestine, he said.—Online

Six killed in Karachi bus blast Women, children among 48 injured STAFF REPORTER K ARACHI —At least six people were killed while 48 others including women and children were injured in a huge explosion that took place near the Cantt Railway Station, here on Saturday. The explosion occurred in a Sargodha-bound passen-

ger bus which caught fire. Nearby vehicles and a hotel were also damaged in the explosion. Eight of those injured are said to be in critical condition and emergency has been declared at JPMC. Sindh police spokesman Imran Shaukhat said the cause of the explosion was

not yet known. Interior Minister Rehman Malik has taken notice of the explosion and summoned a report from IG Sindh Fayyaz Leghari. However, SSP CID Chaudhry Aslam said no ball bearings were recovered from the bus, which indicated

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Shahbaz orders confiscation of imported raw material, Tyno syrup SALIM AHMED/M.ZAFAR ANSARI LAHORE/TOBA TEK SINGH— Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif while expressing deep sense of sorrow and grief over the loss of precious human lives due to syrup, has ordered that all the stock of imported raw material being used for the preparation of syrup and the manufactured syrup should immediately be seized and action be taken as per law against the responsible persons. The Chief Minister directed to immediately send the samples of seized syrup for test abroad and said that further action will be taken after the report of the renowned lab of UK. The Chief Minister issued these directions while

Mechanized agri farming arrangements finalised STAFF REPORTER P ESHAWAR —The

Khyber Pakthunkhwa Minister for Agriculture, Arbab Ayub Jan said Saturday that all arrangements have been finalized to start formal working on Rs.500 million mechanized farming project at Tarnab Farm Peshawar. The minister directed the officials of his department to complete the process of purchasing 25 bulldozers and 150 tractors and other agriculture machinery in a transparent manner, adding any irregularity if found in this process, the concerned official taken to tasks. He expressed these views while charing a meeting of his department at the committee room of Agriculture Department. Chief Planning officer, Ahmad Syed Khan briefed the meeting about the mechanized farming. The minister in his briefed address on the occasion said that agriculture seeds and machinery to the farmers was provided from the 25 model farm centers on subsidized rates besides free counseling. The process to bring the barren lands under cultivations was under way in the province; he said adding that all the genuine demands of the needed farmers should be fulfilled.

DCO warns traders against overcharging RAZA NAQVI ATTOCK—District Coordination Officer Attock Usman Chaudhry has emphasised upon all the traders to sell quality edibles at the prices fixed by District Price Control Committee. He said this while was chairing a meeting which was attended by the representatives of the traders. During the meeting prices of different edibles were fixed. The DCO said that all the traders must display the price lists at prominent points in their shops and strictly adhere to it. He said that any trader found selling any edible dearer than the fixed price will be dealt with as per the rules and heavy fine will be imposed.

presiding over a high level meeting at Model Town today in which the causes of deaths due to cough syrup in Gujranwala and Lahore were reviewed in detail. Special Assistant on Health Khawaja Salman Rafique, Member Provincial Assembly Rana Muhammad Iqbal, Chief Secretary, Inspector General Police, Secretary Health, DG Forensic Lab and Health, Commissioner Gujranwala Division, Additional IG Special Branch and officers concerned attended the meeting. Chairman Chief Minister ’s Inspection Team presented a report regarding deaths in Lahore. Addressing the meeting, Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif said that the samples of syrup obtained from the patients are immediately

being sent abroad for analysis so that real facts could be surfaced and the responsible be determined. The Chief Minister directed the Chief Secretary that all the stock of the imported raw material being used for the preparation of syrup and the manufactured syrup should immediately be confiscated and he should personally monitor the lifting of the stock of imported raw material and syrup. He said that calamities are but natural however, adopting preventive measures for the eradication of such incidents is our responsibility. He said that an effective mechanism of checking of raw material and medicines is essential. He said that the Health Department will have to play

its effective role for checking of such tragic incidents in future. Meanwhile it is reported that two persons died after taking Tyno syrup here on Saturday in Bakshi Mohallah. According to reports two persons including Ali Nawaz, 15-year-old and Abdul rasheed, 28, of Sarfraz Town used Tyno syrup. Later their condition worsoned and were shifted to District Headquarters Hospital in Toba Tek Singh. Doctors tried their best to save their lives but the medicine proved fatal. Doctors said it was intoxicating syrup, commonly known as Tyno syrup. It is worth mentioning here that more tha 22 people have already died of this fatal syrup. Abdul Rasheed was father of three QUETTA: Governor Balochistan Zulfiqar Ali Magsi distributing certificates among the participants during the children. convocation of Sardar Bahadur Khan Women University.

Snow, rainfall continue, Lowari Tunnel closed for traffic CHITRA—The first snowfall children have stuck due to rainfall lasting 12 hours.

Almost 14 millimetres of rainfall was recorded in Peshawar while snow could also be seen on mountain tops. “This is again western disturbance that has hit the province, resulting in rain and snowfall,” said Meteorological Office (Met) Peshawar ’s Director Mushtaq Ali Shah. “People should get prepared to enjoy the coldest days of winter.” The minimum temperature dropped to nine degrees centigrade while the maximum temperature stood at 14 degrees. Humidity level re-

mained above 90%. The Lowari Tunnel which is the only link connecting Chitral to rest of the province, was blocked by accumulated snow as army engineers worked on clearing internal routes in the area. While the weather left many distraught, it also attracted tourists from Peshawar, Jamrud, Bara and other areas towards Landi Kotal, where people thronged to enjoy snowfall. According to locals, the snowfall put an end to the prevailing dry weather and will be suitable for better crop production. —APP

Teachers, students participate in recreational activities

76 children die of measles across Sindh

of the winter continues on mountain tops of Chitral since Friday night, as lowari tunnel is closed down for all types of vehicular transportation. Due to heavy snowfall and rain freezing cold grips the scenic district besides traffic remains suspended in Torkahu, Mastooj, Morkaho, Garam Chashama and Kalash areas of the district. Moreover, Lowari tunnel has been closed for vehicles as three feet snow has been recorded in the tunnel so far. Hundreds of passengers including women and

NAZIR SIYAL LARKANA—An international humanitarian organization Right To Play (RTP) organized Sports Mella and Inter Community Tournament healthy sports activities in the intervention of (RTP) in 50 schools of KamberShahdadkot district. Speaking on the occasion the civil society and education department officials and NGO participants said that such activities are as a source of inspiration for other children to engage them in various healthy learning activities. They also said that the vol-

the closure of the tunnel and were facing great problems. It is reported that Army engineers have started to remove the snow from the tunnel. Meanwhile, life becomes standstill as people are stuck inside their houses due to harsh weather conditions. As the demand for firewood and fuel increases due to freezing cold, the commodity has become rare and the prices have soared manifold. Temperature in Peshawar is expected to fall as low as one degree, the season’s lowest so far, after the city experienced heavy

unteers’ activities boost the talent of children in different sports and other extra curricular activities they said. A huge number of children, teachers participated along with parents also, they were praised the services by the organization. The objectives of RTP is to highlight problems of children in order to provide opportunities to young students to develop their life skills and enhance their confidence level to be an active participant in curriculum and extra curriculum activities, RTP is working to promote and development of basic life skills in children

through sports and games especially in the remote areas. RTP has been working in Kamber district flood affect hit areas since February 2012 and performs various sportssocial activities relating to health and education, where HCs perform their learning activities with children. On the occasion, District Officers and other Education Department female Teachers attended the Sport Mela, which is one of those event to provide platform to young students to share their experiences, skills and knowledge with their fellows and peers.

BADIN —At least three more

Isolated rain likely at hilly areas

2 girl students killed, 12 hurt in road mishap

I SLAMABAD —Severe cold Hunza -04C, Drosh, Skardu,

FAISAL KHAWER BUTT

conditions will continue to prevail in different parts of the country and more isolated rain with snowfall over the hills is likely at Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan, Hazara Division and adjoining hilly areas during the next 24 hours. According to the synoptic situation, a shallow trough of westerly wave is prevailing over northern areas of the country and likely to persist during next 36 hours. According to the Pakistan Meteorologcial Department (PMD), mainly cold and dry weather is expected in most parts of Punjab and Islamabad during next 24 hours. Foggy conditions likely to prevail over plain areas of Punjab during night/ morning hours. In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, mainly cold to very cold and dry weather is expected in most parts and shallow foggy conditions are likely to prevail over Peshawar division during late night /morning hours. Mainly cold and dry weather is expected in most parts of Sindh and Balochistan. Shallow Foggy conditions will prevail over Sukkur division during night/ morning hours. The lowest minimum temperatures recorded during the last 24 hours were Kalat -13C, Parachinar -11C, Quetta -10C, Murree -05C, Gupis and

Astore and Malamjabba 03C. The rainfall recorded during last 24 hours was Risalpur 61mm, Garidupatta 60, Rawalakot 49, Murree 45, Islamabad 43, Chirat 42, Rawalpindi 32, Muzaffarabad and Kotli 31, Pattan and Abbotabad 26, Saidusharif 24, Lower Dir and Balakot 22, Peshawar 20, Dir, Mangla and

Skardu 15, Kalam 10, Jehlum, Chakwal, Mianwali, Bannu and Bunji 08, Lahore, Sialkot, Gujranwala, Noorpurthal 07, Mandi Bahuddin 06, Joharabad 05, Chillas 04, Drosh 03 and Gilgit 02 mm. The snowfall recorded was Murree and Malamjabba 1.5ft, Chirat 10 inch, Skardu 08 inch, Kalam 05 inch and Rawalakot 02 inch). Dry weather with cold night is expected in the Karachi over next 24 hours. According to local Met Office here on Saturday, other areas of the province will have cold and dry weather. The most areas of Balochistan will experience cold and dry weather with gusty winds over this period.—APP

S I A L K O T —Two girl students of a local private college were killed and 12 others sustained injuries in a road mishap on Saturday. According to details, an overspeeding van, carrying girl students, had a severe collision with the divider in the middle of road at Khawaja Safder Road in the limits of Cantt Police Station on Saturday morning, as a result the wind screen and one of the side doors of the van were smashed due to which many girls were thrown out of van on the road and two of them Musaddaqa (18) daughter of Amanullah and Naureen (17) daughter of Muhammad Boota killed at the spot. 12 other girls sustained injuries, which included, Farah (16), Laiba (15), Javeria (18), Maryam Irshad (18), Ayesha (18), Sidra (22), Iqra (17), Ridah (17), Urooj (18), Komal (18), Sanam Shehzadi (17) and Sajida (18). The Rescue 1122 rushed to the spot and shifted the dead bodies and the injured girls to Govt. Allama Iqbal Hospital. Police arrest driver, Abbas and started investigations. It is told that both the deceased students belonged to Chawind in tehsil Pasroor of Sialkot District.

children have died of measles in Tando Bago area here on Saturday. As many as 76 children have died of the disease in the current month across Sindh. Affected families blamed the health department of negligence saying no team of the department came to vaccinate the children. On the other hand, the government has said that over 5 million children below 9 years in 29 districts of Sindh & Balochistan will be vaccinated against measles during on-going campaign. Measles is caused by the measles virus, a singlestranded, negative-sense enveloped RNA virus of the genus Morbillivirus within the family Paramyxoviridae. Huincluding 785 in Baluchistan, mans are the natural hosts of 380 FATA, 314 Sindh, 275 the virus; no animal reservoirs Khyber Pukhtunkhwa are known to exist.—Online (KP),227 Punjab, 201 Azad Jammu Kashmir out of 100,000 per annum. Globally more than 350,000 women die every year from preventable com- Q UETTA —Police has foiled plications related to preg- a terrorism bid in the area of nancy and child birth. Dera Murad Jamali and dePakistan’s rank is third high- fused a 5 kg bomb. In the area est in the world with esti- of Dera Murad Jamali some mated 276 out of 100000 unknown miscreants have numbers of maternal deaths, planted explosive material behind India and Nigeria. outside the government ofOne mother dies every 20 fice. On getting secret informinutes which indicate that mation, the bomb disposal 3 mothers die in every hour squad reached on the spot while 350,000 mothers annu- and defused 5 kg explosive FAISALABAD: Famous Human Rights activist Sonia Naz distributing ration among needy persons. ally bear the burden of ma- material.—Online ternal ill and disability.

Call to develop misoprostol medicine STAFF REPORTER P ESHAWAR —Participants in a meeting stressed for developing of Misoprostol and proper training to health care providers in order to save the women dying from PostPartum Hemorrhage (PPH) and other related diseases during childbirth. “More than eighty percent of deliveries occur at home in rural communities and 70 percent being conducted by unskilled birth attendants in the country,” the participants were informed during the 2nd meeting of MNH, steering committee Khyber Pukhtunkhwa (KP) organized by Khendo Kor held

here at Directorate General Health Services (DGHS) supported by MercyCorps and Research and Advocacy Fund (RAF) on Saturday. Those spoke in the meeting include Ms Nazra Saeed, Hafeezullah Khattak and Wali-ur-Rahman of Khendo Kor, Dr Kamran from UNICEF, Dil Nawaz, Dr Noor, Dr Ameen, Dr Iqbal and others while DG health Sharif presided over the meeting. Dr Hafeezullah Khattak in his presentation said that according to demographic and household survey 2006-7 (2008) and multiple indicators cluster survey, FATA 2009, there were figures of Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR)

Terror bid foiled

Pak-China friendship to achieve new heights in 2013: scholars

ISLAMABAD—A group of Chi- Pervez Ashraf who visited said, is one of the priority ar- sented various proposals to nese scholars, academicians, ex-diplomats including a former ambassador reviewed Pakistan-China relations and the way to take this friendship to new heights in future, at a seminar held in Peking University. Addressing the participants of the seminar at a reception, held at the Pakistan Embassy, Acting Ambassador, Zahoor Ahmed said that the year 2012 saw a busy schedule of activities and productive meetings were held between the two sides in various areas including economy, defence, culture and people to people contacts, said a message received here from Beijing. He said that President PESHAWAR: A view of Lady Reading Hospital OPD due to strike on the call of Young Doctors Association for Asif Ali Zardari and incumacceptance of their demands. bent Prime Minister Raja

China this year held constructive meetings with the Chinese leadership. President Zardari, he said, had a meeting with Vice President, Xi Jinping, during his visit to China for attending the Beijing SCO summit in June this year. Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf also had a wide ranging discussion with the Chinese leadership including Premier Wen Jiabao when he visited Tianjin for attending the World Economic Forum New Champions meeting. Appreciating, China’s investment in Pakistan, Zahoor said that Chinese enterprises, especially those working in energy sector were making huge investment in the country to overcome the power shortage. Clean energy, he

eas of investment. Besides, we have seen a great amount of cooperation in economic and banking sectors, in this regard he pointed out that this year the central banks of both the countries have signed an agreement for investment in bond market. On future relations, Zahoor expressed the confidence that Pakistan-China relations will always remain strong. Referring to the large participation of youth in the Seminar, Zahoor Ahmed said it illustrated China’s young generation’s keen interest in Pakistan-China relations. Earliter, Professor Teng Meng Sheng, Director Pakistan Study Centre, terming the seminar very productive, said that participants pre-

deepen people to people contacts and strengthen economic ties between Pakistan and China to commensurate with political and defence relations. He said the Centre has chalked out a number of activities for the next year including writing articles in newspapers aimed at promoting friendship between the two countries. Talking to APP, Professor Teng said that he has been organizing such seminars since 2007. China’s former Ambassador to Pakistan, Lu Shulin on behalf of the participants of the Seminar also mentioned that there is a dire need to make efforts to expand economic and trade relations between the two countries.—APP


7.62 mm re-furbished small arms making plant commissioned OUR CORRESPONDENT

Kausar felicitates PPC cabinet Staff Reporter

P ESHAWAR —Khyber

Pakhtunkhwa Governor, Barrister Masood Kausar congratulated the newly elected cabinet of the Peshawar Press Club on Saturday. The Governor, while felicitating the newly elected President, Nasir Hussain and his colleagues, said that it speaks the volume of confidence, which they enjoy amongst the comity of journalists of the provincial metropolitan and their leadership qualities as well. He has also wished success to the newly elected office bearers of the Peshawar Press Club in fulfillment of their responsibilities and assured support and cooperation in making this possible. Asfandyar congrats newly elected body of Peshawar Press Club: President of Awami National Party, Asfandyar Wali Khan has congratulated newly elected President of Peshawar Press Club, Nasir Hussain, General Secretary, Yusuf Ali and other cabinet members . He said the new cabinet would uphold the tradition of impartial journalism and would continue to work for the progress and prosperity of their province and establishment of peace. The ANP leader said that impartial journalism in fact present the true picture of the nation, adding that journalist community always supported the righteous forces. The journalist community played shoul positive role in the promotion of democracy and democratic culture and their sacrifices for independent journalism. Asfandyar said that the ANP always protected and supported the genuine rights of the journalist community and in future the party would continue to raise the voice for the rights of journalist community.

Bashir Bilour remembered Staff Reporter

PESHAWAR —Quran Khwani for Eisale-Swab of Shaheed Bashir Ahmad Bilour held here at Bacha Khan Markaz who was assassinated in a suicide blast on Saturday last. Those were attended included female legislature of ANP including Shagufta Malik, Munawara Farman, Tabasum Yunus and Zubaida Ehsan, Vice President ANP District Peshawar Shabana Saifullah and Joint Secretary City District Sakina Rehman. After the Quran Khwani, prayer was offered for late Bashir Ahmad Bilour. The MPAs in their briefed addresses to paid tribute to the unprecedented sacrifices of late Bashir Ahmad Bilour and said that he was a brave son of the soil and an outstanding courageous and national politician who embraced martyrdom valiantly while fighting against the terrorist. They said that ANP was in the forefront in war against terror and would continue to nurture the philosophy of peace propagated by Khudai Khidmatgar Bacha Khan by shedding their blood. The women MPAs said that terrorists were wrong if they think that by silencing the voice of Bashir Ahmed Bilour, they would suppress the peace movement. ANP would win the upcoming election with thumping majority and will take forward the mission of Bashir Ahmad Bilour, the MPAs concluded. ANP to take mission of Shaheed Bilour:: Provincial spokesman of ANP, Malik Ghulam Mustufa said on Saturday that the ANP will take the mission of Shaheed Bashir Ahmad Bilour by establishing lasting peace in the province. In a statement issued here, he said that the terrorists were mistaken by assuming that after killing Bashir Bilour they would salient the peace movement, adding the ANP would emerge victorious with thumping majority in the upcoming general elections. He said that ANP played the role of forerunner in was against terror and would continue to protect the philosophy of peace of Bacha Khan by their blood.

New province proceedings hailed MULTAN—Pakistan Seraiki Party (PST) president Barrister Taaj Ahmad Langah said that they were satisfied with proceedings of the commission formed for the establishment of new province in south Punjab. Holding a press conference here at the Multan Press Club, he said seriaki province issue had reached at the Parliamentary forum due to more than 25 years peaceful and democratic struggle of Pakistan Seriaki Party. Taaj Langah hoped that the commission would send its report to parliament soon. He said the Pakistan Seraiki Party would soon announce its manifesto and added that they supported holding of the next general elections on time. He rejected the undemocratic demands of Dr Tahirul Qadri about electoral process and said that his (Qadri) demands were worthless. “Historically, Bahawalpur was a part of South Punjab. Its independent history is not too old compared to its lifespan in the Seraiki region,” said a member of the committee, asking not to be named, quoting a local Seraiki intellectual who argued in favour of a single Seraiki province in south Punjab with the inclusion of Bahawalpur. He was invited among others by the commission to give their views regarding the fate of Bahawalpur in the creation of the new Seraiki province in the southern belt of Punjab during a meeting on Tuesday. In the last two meetings of the commission, at least seven experts have voted for a single Seraiki province while two have demanded a separate province for Bahawalpur, said the official, adding that so far a majority was in favour of Bahawalpur being included and integrated with the Seraiki province. “In fact, then ruler of Multan gave Bahawalpur independent status in reward for its Nawabs’ obedience.—APP

Bhutto democratic services lauded ISLAMABAD —Adviser to Prime Minister on Interfaith Harmony, Dr Paul Bhatti said that Bhutto family rendered great sacrifices for democracy and political stability in the country. Talking to Pakistan Television, he said that Shaheed Benazir Bhutto was the brave leader, who struggled for the rights of the common man. He said that assassination of Benazir Bhutto on 27 December was the black day in the political history of the country. He said that Benazir Bhutto challenged the antidemocratic forces and sacrificed her life for smooth functioning of democracy. Replying to a question, he said that President Asif Ali Zardari dedicated his beloved son for strengthening democracy, economic and political stability in the country. He said that Bilawal Bhutto is representing youth of the country who acquired modern education and political training from his mother. He said that extremism and terrorism jolted our society, adding “we need such high visionary leader for fighting against extremist forces.” “Bilawal give message to the international community for modern and progressive Pakistan,” he added. Earlier, Federal Minister for Communication Dr. Arbab Alamgir Khan said Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto lives in the heart of the people and PPP leadership and workers. Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) would continue pursuing her mission, ideology of strong democracy in the country and welfare of poor people of the country, he said in a press statement issued here. The Minister said that work is in full swing on Larkana package and under construction Sukkar, Shikarpur, Jaccobabad road and all the development projects throughout the country would timely be completed.—APP

W A H C A N T T —Pakistan Ordnance Factories, the largest defence industrial complex of the country, has added another feather to its cap by commissioning a refurbished plant for manufacturing of 7.62 mm small arms ammunition, a part of BMRE Plan. Lt Gen (Retd) Shahid Iqbal, Secretary MoDP inaugurated the plant here on Saturday morning. Jin Ryu, Chairman M/s. Poongsan South Korea, Lt Gen Muhammad Ahsan Mahmood, HI (M), Chairman POF Board, Board Members, Senior diplomats of South Korea, Officers of

POF and military officials attended the inauguration ceremony. The refurbished plant was one of the oldest unit of POF and its re-commissioning is seen as a key addition to the strategic potential of the POF. POF, reckoned as the force behind the forces is vital part of Pakistan military narrative and has a sizeable potential to expand its exports potential as a manufacturer of high quality precision Arms and ammunition. Lt Gen (Retd) Shahid Iqbal, Secretary MoDP, addressing the ceremony, congratulated both POF and Poongsan on this special occasion and sin-

cerely hoped that such exchanges will continue to grow to the advantage of both sides. It may be mentioned that

pared to invest in future by forging such conducive partnership and harnessing the power of technology and innovation. Lt Gen

the present era. A number of commercial ventures in shape of public private partnership are in the pipeline under the BMRE plan (Bal-

M/s Poongsan while addressing the ceremony said that Poongsan and Pakistan Army have strong business relations since the last 40

Two dacoits killed in encounter

Couple, son die of gas leakage Q U E T TA —A couple and mit of Police Station Kot their son have died due to gas leakage in their room in Musa Colony at night between Friday and Saturday. Police sources said that a family did not switch off gas heater in their room after the city was experiencing bitter cold weather due to minus 10 Celsius temperature.The couple and their son died after the room was filled with gas. The dead were identified as Javed, his wife Shaista Bibi and their son Raheel. The police shifted the bodies to hospital for autopsy those later were handed over to the heirs. Kasur: Atleast two unidentified armed dacoits were killed in a police encounter in the re-

Radha Kishan here on Saturday. According to police sources, two unknown armed outlaws took the advantage of poor eye shot in fog were looting the wayfarers in the jurisdiction of Police Station Kot Radha Kishan. The police party rushed to the incident as a result of cross firing two unknown dacoits died at the spot. The police took hold of weapons and bodies were shifted to hospital for autopsy. The investigation is underway. Three killed, one injured in Panjgur firing: At least three people including a police personnel were killed and another was injured in an accident of firing in Panjgur on late Friday.—APP

WAH CANTT: Lt Gen (Retd) Shahid Iqbal, Secretary MoDP alongwith Mr. Jin Ryu, Chairman M/s. Poongsan, South Korea inaugurating refurbishment plant for manufacturing of 7.62mm small arms ammunition at POF Wah Cantt. Chairman POF Board Lt Gen Muhammad Ahsan Mahmood, HI(M) is also seen in the picture. the re-furbished plant will pay back its cost within ten years and POF would be saving worth approx Rs. 0.5 billion per year due to commissioning of this plant. The execution of the contract valuing over US$ 7 million between POF and Poongsan South Korea is also an emblem of growing defence and commercial ties between Pakistan and South Korea, which, in all probability are poised to grow further. The POF is ever pre-

PML-N public meeting arrangements reviewed SHER GONDAL MANDI BAHAUDDIN—PMLN District President Devan Mushtaq and DCO Tariq Chaudhry held a meeting here at DCO office with local PML-N leaders and workers and reviewed preparations to welcome Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif tomorrow and arrangements made for public meeting at Rose Cinema Ground. Later the District Coordination Officer along with Devan Mushtaq and his staff inspected arrangements on the ground. At the same time social

circles have appealed to the Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif that he should visit the broken roads across the district and remove encroachments in the city that had made the life of citizens miserable. They said Shahbaz Sharif Park and new district hospital were constructed using substandard material. The Chief Minister should also visit these projects to take action against all those responsible for substandard construction work. The Chief Minister was also requested to seek progress report about criminal proceedings against

about 200 revenue officers found involved in mega scandal corruption case. ***** Chairman Public Accounts Committee MNA Nadeem Afzal Chun and Federal Minister Tasneem Qureshi have condoled the death of PPP District President Devan Shameem’s wife and expressed their sympathies with Devan Shameem at his residence. They also conveyed condolence on behalf of President Asif Zardari, saying that he was deeply grieved over untimely death of Shameem’ spouse.

President visits graves of his parents N AWA B S H A H — P r e s i d e n t Asif Ali Zardari on Saturday visited Ballu Ja Qubba graveyard and laid wreaths on the graves of his father Hakim Ali Zardari and mother Bilqees Begum. The President also offered Fateha at the graves of his parents and prayed for the departed souls. NAUDERO, Dec. 28 (APP): President Asif Ali Zardari on Friday performed groundbreaking of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Campus of University of Sindh Jamshoro at Dadu. Ms. Bakhtawar Bhutto Zardari and Ms. Aseefa Bhutto Zardari were also present on the occasion. The estimated cost of the project is Rs 1000 million and it will be completed in three years time and the PC-I have been sent to Sindh Government for approval. President Asif Ali Zardari also inaugurated Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Campus of Sindh University at th BHITSHAH: Folk dancers performing during 269 Urs Ustad Bukhari Government celebrations of Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai (RA). Boys College, Dadu.—APP

Muhammad Ahsan Mehmood, HI(M) Chairman POF Board said that survival of defence industry lies in cost effectiveness and quality. POF has been mandated to meet the requirements of Pakistan armed forces as such POF presently has been producing as many as 60 defence products for the armed forces of Pakistan. He said that diversification and re-structuring of the products was the need of

Mepco resolved 1,381 complaints

ancing Modernization Replacement and Expansion). He congratulated the engineers of Poongsan and POF who completed this gigantic project within a short span of time about 18 months. Jin Ryu, Chairman

Rangeland policy formulation

FIP to hold day-long workshop tomorrow STAFF REPORTER

ESHAWAR —Pakistan Forest M ULTAN —Multan Electric P Institute Peshawar will hold a Power Company resolved

1,381 complaints during November. According to Mepco sources, staff performed duty round the clock at customer service centres, divisional and sub-divisional complaint centres to address grievances of consumers. The complaints included 77 at Mepco Cantt division, 160 at Mumtazabad division, 102 at city division, 159 at Khanewal first division, 116 at Khanewal second division, 220 at Mianchannu division, 120 at Shujaabad division and 427 complaints at Musa Pak division. Meanwhile, Multan Electric Power Company (MEPCO) imposed a fine of over Rs. 53 million on 6,474 power pilferers during December.— APP

years, whereas POF and Poongsan are the partner for the last five years in the field of defence production. Jin Ryu assured the POF management that they will continue to cooperate with POF in future as well.

day long workshop on formulation of draft rangeland policy for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa tomorrow at its premises. This was stated by Deputy Conservative Peshawar Mian Muhammad Shafique while talking to reporters here on Saturday. He said the daylong workshop would discuss status and problems of Rangelands in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He said Dr. Faizul Bari, FAO will highlight the ways and means related to the problems of Rangelands in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa while Anwar Ali, PFI will present a draft Rangeland Policy, followed by discussion on the draft and comments of the participants to be recorded.

It was earlier reported that the successful forests strategy of the present elected government to bring maximum arid and semi arid lands of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) under plantation for economic development of tribesmen and improvement of environment, has helped increased its total forests areas up to 0.53 million hectares. According to Landcover Atlas of Pakistan 2012 study conducted by Pakistan Forests Institute (PFI) Government of Khyber Pakthunkhwa, the total covered area of FATA is 534579 million hectares showing a significant increase in the forest covered areas of FATA, owing to massive plantations campaigns, education of tribesmen and advocacy programs with regular intervals.

Power loadshedding renders hundreds of loom workers jobless BASHIR AHMAD RAHMANI contest PP-105 election and tee staff, attendance of

former Chairman Municipal teachers has improved to a

H AFIZABAD —Hundreds of Committee Dr. Habib Ullah great extent. He further said workers engaged in small powerloom factories have been rendered jobless due to ever-increasing duration of load sheddings during the past two weeks. Muhammad Zaman Ansari President Powerloom Workers Union has protested against the prolonged and unscheduled load shedding which has deprived the workers of 2-time meal. He has appealed to the GEPCO Chief to take pity on the poor and reduce the duration of load shedding. ***** District Ameer Jamat-iIslami Dr. Muhammad Yaseen Ansari, candidate of JI to

Cheema have said that conspiracy being hatched by some self-styled politicians would not be tolerated by the political parties. ***** District Education Officer (Male) Syed Muhammad Sabtain Shah has imposed a fine of Rs. 5,000 each to five PST teachers, forfeited two increments of Farhat Batool and one increment of Tahir Raza for their willful absence from duty. He said that due to effective surprise visits to the schools and stern action against the habitual absen-

that 68 teachers including 25 of grade 9 to 12 and 43 from 12 to 14 were being awarded Teachers Package and Merit List has been displayed on the notice board of his office and if anyone has any objection he/she can file his objections by January 4. **** Dr. Muhammad Tahir-ulQadri, Chief of the Minhajul-Quran will make a telephonic address to the citizens of Hafizabad at 10 am today, Sunday, in the Jinnah Hall-cum-Press Club, Hafizabad, says a press release issued by the local chapter of Minhaj-ul-Quran.

One dies as three fall in river M HALEEM ASAD T IMERGARA —A man was killed and two others injured when a pick-up they were travelling in went out of driver ’s control at Zawal Baba on Khall Timergara road on Saturday and hit a roadside protection structure due to over speed. As a result three passengers fell into the river Panjkora. One of them Hamidullah, son of Muhammad Zada, a resident of Munjai was killed on the spot while Farooq, son of Shamshad and Rahmatullah, son of Alif Gul were injured. The injured were rushed to the District Headquarters

hospital, Timergara. Driver of the pick-up escaped the scene. The Timergara police has registered a case and started investigation. ***** Elders of the Swatis tribe belonging to Maidan, Dir Lower, on Saturday announced to quit the Jamaatt-Islami and join the Pakistan People’s Party. Flanked by dozens of relatives and friends, the president of Swatis Tribe in Maidan Sultan Zarin, general secretary Bahadar Khan and Attaullah, addressing a news conference, said that the tribe had been supporting the JI in the district for the last decade.

They accused the JI for supporting property dealers and land grabbers. They said the JI had been using Islam for its personal interest. The Swatis elders announced to join the PPP and said they would support it in next general elections. They claimed that thousands of Swatis had been residing in different parts of Dir Lower and all of them would now vote to the PPP. The PPP lawmaker and chairman of district development advisory committee advocate Muhammad Zamin was also present on the occasion. He thanked elders of the Swatis tribe and assured them HAFIZABAD: Maria Toheed, a courageous girls, sells milk to educate herself, sibfull cooperation in the area. lings; demands of CM Punjab Shahbaz Sharif for financial assistance.


Pak N-Programme remains US target

MEDIA WATCH

Towards a safer world?

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HOUGH it is an open secret but still the statement of Defence Secretary Lt. General (Rtd) Asif Yasin Malik that the United States and the United Kingdom are against Pakistan’s nuclear programme should be an eye-opener to our policy and decision-makers. Talking to newsmen in Rawalpindi on Friday, he also disclosed that the United States had also used networks of other intelligence agencies against Pakistan. Pakistan’s nuclear programme has remained an eye sore for the West especially the United States since its very inception but it is unfortunate that policy and approach of Washington has not changed despite the fact that Pakistan has become a nuclear power in every sense of the word and it has conducted itself responsibly over the years. Nuclear weapons are as dangerous or as safe in the hands of Pakistan as they are in the case of the United States and any other nuclear power; rather these are more secure as Pakistan has a robust and multi-layered command and control system that is so perfect that even the United States with best of intelligence gathering gadgets and resources has declared on more than one occasions that it was unaware of the whereabouts of Pakistani nuclear arsenal. In this backdrop, there should be absolutely no justification for negative and biased propaganda against the country’s nuclear programme and especially when it is purely in reaction to the Indian nuclear moves that posed serious threats to its security and survival. It is also ironical that India, which is also not member of the NPT, is not only spared of such propaganda and pressure but in practice encouraged to develop, refine and strengthen its nuclear programme further, courtesy strategic accords concluded between the United and India and several other Western countries and New Delhi. This oneeyed approach is indicative of the US-led Western world’s double standards and prejudice towards Pakistan and therefore, we must exercise extra-vigilance to safeguard our interests.

Textile industry gets more power starved P

RESIDENT Asif Ali Zardari deserves appreciation for taking notice of the power and gas load-shedding in major cities of Punjab including Lahore and Faisalabad and directing Minister for Water and Power to resolve the issue at the earliest but one can hardly expect any improvement in the situation as such interventions in the past brought almost no relief to energy starved Punjab, where there is justifiable feeling of discrimination in this regard. There is serious energy crisis in major cities of the province and suspension of electricity and gas has resulted into closure of industries for the last six days. Though Minister Ch. Ahmad Mukhtar has pledged to restore power from Monday but the question remains whether this discrimination would surely end. Suspension of electricity to industries during tenure of a Minister who himself is a leading industrialist speaks volumes about intentions, compulsions and competence of the Government to address a grave crisis and that too on equitable basis. We have been hearing since last year that power shortage is being distributed justly but nowhere except in Punjab, industry is closed and workers are laid off. Textile industry is the worst sufferer and APTMA has been forced to make calls for strike and according to reports thousands of people have already been laid off due to closure of textile units. Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry has also announced province-wise protest against gas suspension from January 2. One fails to understand how we can increase our exports when we are suspending electricity and gas supplies to our industries and at the same time also hiking their rates. The country has tremendous power potential but unfortunately we made no worthwhile attempt to generate electricity from hydel, solar and wind sources. A beginning has been made with the inauguration of 50-MW wind power plant but there is need to make a quantum jump by ensuring needful investment in the sector.

These drug related deaths I

T was indeed painful to hear the anguish in the voices of the relatives of so many people who lost their lives due to use of toxic cough syrup in Gujranwala in the past couple of days. Though reportedly most of the victims were young drug addicts and consumed the syrup to get intoxicated but it is the result of policy in Pakistan that one can buy any type of drug off the shelf without prescription from a qualified doctor. Earlier, more than 15 people died in November in Lahore after taking a toxic cough syrup ‘known as Tyno’. These incidents coupled with acts of terrorism and target killings reflect that life has become too cheap and every day many people are losing their lives, which could be saved if appropriate measures are implemented by the concerned authorities. Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has taken a very serious notice of this second incident of drug related deaths but it is the prime responsibility of the provincial health departments and the drug regulatory authority to ensure that the drugs in Pakistan are manufactured according to laid down standard. Drugs addiction is harmful not only for the addicted but also has negative impact on the fabric of the society. Young people are increasingly becoming addicted to all kinds of drugs including street drugs and those freely available at the drug stores. Unless serious measures are taken now, the very future of a large chunk of today’s youth will be severely compromised. The governments needs to involve communities and media in highlighting the perils associated with the drug addiction. Therefore we would urge the Drug Control Authority to devise a system and if need be get the required legislation to ban the sale of drugs having elements of intoxication without prescription.

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Economic consequences of corruption structure is destroyed. The arbitrary aspect of this Dr Zafar Altaf is that those that have and can pedal influence and they then Email:dr_altaf@hotmail.com try and meddle with the rules and regulations so that their preference would hold. In industry akistan’s functionaries the forex exchange earning industries [elected as well as bureau have a whip hand on the others. The cratic and the henchmen that contractor experience is also differcome with both the categories them] ent. If contracts are awarded in vioappropriate to themselves the use lation of PEPRA rules then the powof power instruments normally used erful in that institution are siphoning to bring about efficiency, equity and of resources. Infant industry argufair play but what they have actu- ment is a good one and textiles have ally done is to reduce state power been an industry where the infantile and make it innocuous. The state industry view was held for over five loses its ability to play a corrective decades. The consumer suffered and role in the functioning of the mar- the efficiency of the textile industry ket as well as non-market situations. in the long run suffered. It has been Power structure is used to making in turmoil ever since despite the many these decisions whether political or subsidies that the industry has rethe military system. The end result ceived. The industry never learned to be of such actions is one of distorting the existing shortcomings even competitive. They continue to be afmore. The allocative role distortion ter sixty years an infant industry is just one minor action for this sort seeking crutches all the time. They of activity in a developing country. can open any door of the government This has a negative demonstrative high ups and have their way. Initially they had a Joint Secretary Textiles effect. The allocative role is distorted in the Industries ministry, then a in several ways. The first is obvi- separate cell and then a textile city ously tax evasion where the power- and then a separate minus=try and ful are able to take special and ex- then a separate the quality control ceptional treatment as they are ob- organization was linked to them. viously able to manipulate the sys- This is just one instance of a mafia tem. Pakistan’s bureaucracy does in total control of the economy. They pay as the tax is cut at source. But play their cards well since they are then there may be and there are 70% of the forex earners. Tax evamany moonlighters who simply do sion may or may not be there but the not declare. The corporate and the fact is that what they earn they rarely elected representatives have a spe- bring back to the country in time. Even within the sector there are cial responsibility as they have to set an example. Unfortunately the favorites and there is selective benasset list of all the powerful is quite efits that are given leading to the contrary. Corruption of this sort de- contention that some are more equal stroys neutrality as the competitive than others. Pakistan has not been

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able to develop instruments for the industrial sector that can allow them to play the local as well as the international markets. What these industries than do they cling on to the bootstraps of the govt and make up by their financial stability through govt hand outs. There is no earthly reason for some textiles [the better ones] to have their stocks at a substantially high pitch where as almost 60% are operating below par [Rs.10]. Some are even at 75 Paisas per share. Now why have these. When I enquired they said that these katchra shares [waste shares] have a purpose and respond to govt need s when required. Shaukat Aziz had nm much to do with the way that these share market operated. Had the sector operated our industry would not have been transferred to Bangla desh. In matters where the public works are to be done and where the criticality of the work is required to be done in an impeccable manner the procurement of the ports and the dams need to be determined. We also have a public sector-almost-industry that is on a cruise from NY to Rio de Janeiro and are holding their board meeting. The poor farmers who use their products are flabbergasted at the day light robbery that is going on. Rules and regulations are meant for the menial in the society. The stinkers of the economic system are not the menials. Come to the arbitrary hiring and selection of job hunters. Do you think that is an option that they follow meticulously? Is merit in vogue? The selection of such individuals and the promotions of individuals on the basis of no or non criteria can have horrendous consequences for the organization. Just imagine what can

happen to an organization that selects people of inconsequential ability and they have to remain in the organization for 35 to 40 years? Day in and day out there will be a massive degree of inefficiency and corruption. Although there is no study to determine whether the inefficient are corrupt but one can safely say that the potentially corrupt could be the inefficient ones. The selection of such individuals will damage the economy. The selection of such individuals will damage the economy not only lowering the quality of decisions but also by increasing the frequency of mistakes. This will also lead to discouragement of such individuals as are more competent since they know that the cards are stacked against them. Look at the provinces and the federal govt and all are guilty of able and competent persons from applying for the jobs. The TV stations, PIA, PSM and all the institutions of the government are full of appointees of powerfully connected people. The political as well as the bureaucratic system is unable to have an arms length policy so far as govt recruitment is concerned. No wonder that the current state of inefficiency and poor decision making is creating the problem of policing, of managing economic decision making. Punjab and Sindh along with Balochistan are no better. Balochistan package is a disaster as people recruited for the various jobs are connections of the powerful. For the time being this is enough but there is more to it if the government is to sustain itself and the country has to prosper.

Drones traumatising tribal people Shumaila Raja Email: schuma.raja@yahoo.com

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ne of the leading English newspapers carried a re port on Dec 19 that the American drone attacks are leaving irremovable marks on the health and psyche of the people in Pakis tan. The US claims, says the report, that its no-more-covert drone campaign is effective in fighting al Qaeda and their cohorts, but it has unleashed a reign of terror in the tribal region. “Nabeela and Naeema, below 10, survived a recent drone attack in Tappi, 15 km from Miramshah. Eight members of her family were wounded. Shrapnel from the missiles also hit Nabeela and Naeema. Subsequently, the family fled from their village, perhaps for good. According to a September 2012 US study, US drone strikes in Pakistan have killed far more civilians than the US has acknowledged, traumatised innocent tribesmen. The study by Stanford Law School and New York University’s School of Law called for re-evaluation of the strategy, saying the number of “highlevel” targets killed as a percentage of total casualties was extremely low – about 2%, according to CNN. The same paper that carried this report wrote in its editorial the same day on the similar issue, referring to the Kashmiri women’s plight. The editorial says tt seems that while our country is trapped in a myriad of problems in all corners, we have forgotten about the women of Kashmir and the problems they have faced as a result of Indian repression. Unfortunately, in the war-trodden region, women are now experiencing extra hardships due to the stress and after-effects of war and infertility as well as stress due to cultural pressure. The Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Science, based in

Srinagar, conducted a study finding that of 112 young and adolescent women who suffered from polycystic ovarian syndrome — a condition that can cause infertility along with a host of other reproductive symptoms — roughly 65 to 70 per cent of them suffered from psychiatric illnesses such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. These women who were once forced to face war should not be neglected and the state of Jammu and Kashmir is requested to provide them the necessary psychological and medical support, such as counselling and fertility treatments. Perhaps, the major source of psychological trauma is caused by a woman’s own family. Whether it is pressure from in-laws or a husband for not being able to bear a child or from the girl’s own parents due to their fear of the stigma surrounding childlessness, the aspect of familyinduced stress is truly shameful. As if medical stressors are not enough, we spin unnecessary cultural stressors on our women. In a vicious cycle, this stress only contributes to the women’s overall health. These issues are very real and certainly have physiological effects — they are not merely ‘in one’s head’ as some ignorant people in our country might believe. The state is requested to take care of not only the women of Indian Kashmir, but also men and children who suffer from the psychological effects of warfare and other traumatic events in the region. Perhaps what is needed is a broader dialogue on mental health as Kashmiri men, women and children continue to face daily trauma in the face of several hundred thousand Indian soldiers deployed in the Valley. This is the obvious reason. These effects are not only inflicted on women and children in Kashmir, tribal areas or elsewhere, but the graph of psychological problems is much higher in Afghanistan, amongst

the US-NATO soldiers, the Afghan population and in the United States where the incidents like those of gunmen opening firing at school children are occurring. Gillespie, R.D.M.D’s “Psychological Effects of War on Citizen and Soldier” is a must read book that dilates upon these issues. Renowned scientists Rachel Kimerling, PhD, Amy E. Street, PhD, Joanne Pavao, MPH, Mark W. Smith, PhD, Ruth C. Cronkite, PhD, Tyson H. Holmes, PhD, and Susan M. Frayne, MD, MPH, have recently compiled a study, and examined military-related sexual trauma among deployed Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom veterans. Of 125 729 veterans who received Veterans Health Administration primary care or mental health services, 15.1% of the women and 0.7% of the men reported military sexual trauma when screened. Military sexual trauma was associated with increased odds of a mental disorder diagnosis, including posttraumatic stress disorder. While enumerating causes of mental stress among the NATOISAF-US forces, especially female troops, deployed in Afghanistan, Ehsan M Khan, a scholar from the NDU Washington, writes in his wellread paper: “The anatomy of Greenon-Blue attacks”, the number of casualties suffered by a force is proportional to the intensity and magnitude of operations conducted by it. With lower intensity of operations in the first nine years of employment in Afghanistan, 1,000 American soldiers were killed. “The second 1,000,” noted James Dao and Andrew W. Lehren, “came just 27 months later, a testament to the intensity of fighting prompted by President Obama’s decision to send 33,000 additional troops to Afghanistan in 2010, a policy known as the surge.” According to the Times analysis, three out of four were White, nine out

of 10 were enlisted service members, and one out of two died in either Kandahar province or Helmand Province in the Taliban-dominated southern Afghanistan. Their average age was 26. Thus, American youth is serving as a means to attain the geopolitical ends even though their families are told that they are out to ensure security of the American Homeland. Anyway, strategic ends on both sides apart, it is youth-for-youth, dead-for-dead and wounded-forwounded contest underway in Afghanistan at tactical level, wherein the green segment has, now, started complementing the efforts of the red, and is acting as an auxiliary effort in support of the main effort launched by the Taliban.” According to AFP’s Dec 18 report, thousands of poorly paid and discriminated Afghans are deserting the Afghan army in a worrying trend two years before NATO troops leave. It is not that they have joined the Taliban. They simply got fed up with life in the army, fighting a war. Those hailing from Pushtun belt complain of being discriminated against for coming from the same ethnic group as the majority of the Taliban. “Our commander was Tajik. All the Pashtuns were always blamed. So I left,” Mushtaq told AFP. Gen Olivier de Bavinchove, ISAF’s number three commander, says around 50,000 soldiers, or around 26 per cent, of the 190,000-strong Afghan army desert the force each year. Gen Zahir Azimi, spokesman for the Afghan defence ministry, says the desertion rate is significantly lower but still 10 to 15 per cent. Desertion is also a problem in the police, if at the lower level of around eight percent a year. It is a mortal risk for a country and an institution which will encounter considerable financial difficulties; desertions cost $850m of the $4.1bn stumped up by the international community each year to finance the army.

NTIL a certain murder in Sarajevo in June 1914, Brit ons could afford to ignore crises in the Balkans. The year that is now ending might be the last when we could safely live in ignorance of lonely island chains in the East China Sea. Judging by the open anxiety of countries as diverse as Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines, 2013 could be a year when China’s rise leads to actual military confrontation, probably centred on the hotly contested archipelagos that line the country’s eastern seaboard. Improbable as it might sound, the uninhabited Senkaku Islands – or the Diaoyus, as Beijing calls them – could yet become household names. Desolate and worthless they might appear, but these specks of land happen to lie across key shipping lanes and possible oil deposits. Most vitally of all, they stand between an awakening giant and its nervous neighbours, who fear that America, their superpower protector, has yet to wrench itself off the path of decline. Little wonder that some of the world’s most powerful navies already circle the remote Senkakus and other similarly sensitive outcrops. This raises what are likely to be the central themes of 2013: Xi Jinping, who will formally become China’s president in March, will have to decide whether to abandon his regime’s traditional caution and exert his country’s new strength. Meanwhile, Barack Obama and his opponents will discover whether they have the collective resolve to secure America’s pre-eminence. The latter question will be partially answered on day one of 2013. Unless harmony breaks out in Washington in the next 48 hours, America will fall off its “fiscal cliff” on New Year’s Day and, by law, adopt a raft of policies that would, if sustained, hurl it straight back into recession. While the spectacle of a superpower preparing publicly to shoot itself in the foot may be unprecedented, the good news is that Congress and the White House are unlikely to stay on the road to self-destruction for long. There may be no deal in time to avoid the cliff-edge on Tuesday, but the possible reaction of the financial markets, not to mention the American public, should be enough to force agreement soon thereafter. Then President Obama and the Republicans will have to confront the reality that America’s national debt of $16.3 trillion (£10.2 trillion) – 103 per cent of gross domestic product – poses the single greatest threat to US national power. That is made doubly true by China’s ironic status as America’s biggest creditor, a fact that led Hillary Clinton, the outgoing secretary of state, to rue the impossibility of getting “tough with your banker”. Anyone who values American leadership will hope that Mr Obama and the Republicans in Congress can agree the necessary combination of tax increases and spending cuts. The focus of our diplomacy must remain on containing the most pressing threats. As ever, they will probably emerge from the Middle East and North Africa: in Mali, al-Qaeda still controls an area three times bigger than Britain and a plan to break its grip is steadily unravelling. Syria’s bloodshed has become a sectarian civil war with the awful consequence that President Bashar alAssad’s richly deserved downfall will not, of itself, restore peace. Meanwhile, the most poisonous and intractable conflict of all is nearing the point where resolution will become effectively impossible. By relentlessly expanding Jewish settlements on Palestinian land, Israel is rendering the “two-state solution” unachievable. Mr Obama should make the quest for an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement a key priority of his second term; after all, the option may not be open to his successors. Behind everything will be the unresolved crisis over Iran’s nuclear ambitions: again, 2013 will offer what is probably the last chance for a settlement. As the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War approaches, the parallels between the world of 1914 and of 2013 are striking. Then, Wilhelmine Germany was the rising power and Britain the flagging supremo. A failure to manage and contain Germany’s ascent led ultimately to tragedy. Mr Xi is not the Kaiser and there is no reason why the Senkakus should become the Sarajevo of our era. But the world would be less dangerous if America used this year to guarantee its leadership. — The Telegraph

It’s an ill wind that blows nobody any good. —Proverb


Polio campaign at turning point holds. The health authorities immediately halted the antiShaukat M Zafar polio campaign in all the districts after repeated attacks. Email: smzafar101@gmail.com UNICEF has also suspended polio activities in the all the provinces of the country till our female polio workers further order. Along with Nigeria and were recently killed while Afghanistan, Pakistan is one of only some wounded as a result of three countries where polio is still enfiring at the women health workers demic. It has come on second numin Orangi Town and Landhi area in ber in the world regarding the polio Karachi. Meanwhile, three polio disease so it is necessary to eradicate workers came under attack in this killing disease from the country. Charsadda, Nowshehra, and International community has conPeshawar. All of the victims were demned the killing of Polio workers. Pakistanis who are among the tens Major barriers to outreach inof thousands working with a UN- clude misconceptions associated backed program to eradicate polio, with the vaccination. Taliban of Penwhich can be prevented but not cured, tagon militants have repeatedly and can cause permanent paralysis threatened anti-polio workers, exwithin hours of infection. National cusing the vaccination drive are a health workers received the help of plot to sterilize Muslims or spy on the UN’ UNICEF and the WHO them, claiming the health workers (World Health Organization) to fight are acting as spies for the US and the extremely contagious paralyzing the vaccine itself causes harm. These epidemic. terrorists and murderers who are creThe health workers and volun- ated, backed and protected by CIA teers across Sindh and Khyber and RAW, are trying their utmost to Pakhtunkhwa are being threatened destabilize the country. However no either to leave the areas or face dire one immediately claimed responsiconsequences raising fears for the bility for the attack, the latest in a future of efforts to eradicate the crip- string of assaults in recent days that pling disease in one of its last strong- illustrate the continued challenge Pa-

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kistan faces from militants despite military operations against the Pakistani Taliban and their supporters. Some Islamists also have reservations who consider it a Western plot while other religious leaders have taken part in campaigns aimed at debunking that myth. Dr Afridi, former Surgeon General of the Khyber agency, carried out the CIA-led fake vaccination drive used to confirm the presence of Osama bin Laden in his compound in Abbottabad. There must have been a better, more ethical, way. This choice of action has jeopardized people’s trust in vaccines, and in particular the polioeradication campaign, now so close to success – broken trust that will take years to restore. Was this strategy worth this sacrifice of trust and the loss of opportunity for the final eradication of a disease scourge – another threat to human security? Pakistan that was declared major non-NATO ally by the US way back in 2004 in the so-called war on terror is today facing serious threat. Pakistan finds itself in an astoundingly difficult and dangerous situation. The dual policy of the US has weakened the ties between both countries. Unfortunately PPP govt could not redress problems faced by

the people and they rather increased. US is now cheating and playing double-game against Pakistan. Hundreds of pro-India and pro-Israel CIA agents are operating in the big cities of Pakistan, including in Quetta, Peshawar, Lahore, Karachi and to fuel militancy in the country. It is duty of the sitting Govt Public order must be maintained at all cost and the government should not allow a group of few people to disturb peace and tranquility. Govt must take necessary steps against such people. Borders need to be managed to control infiltration of militants, illegal migrants and arms into the country. Why should we fight others’ war? Pakistan should review its policy about the war on terror in the light of the resolutions of parliament and recommendations of the all parties conference. The challenge of militancy and extremism must be met through developing a consensus and dialogue with all genuine stakeholders. Pakistan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity must be safeguarded. The nation should stand united against any incursions and invasions of the homeland, and should call upon the government to deal with it effectively.

Growth indicators Rashid A Mughal Email: mughal_rashid@hotmail.com

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he financing of budget deficit of over Rs.1,648 billion has be come a major challenge for the incumbent regime in the wake of rapidly decreasing foreign inflows especially for budgetary support that paved the way for increased reliance on domestic avenues.Reckless borrowing from commercial banks continues unabated and un-checked coupled with un-precedented lavish government expenditure for political expediency. Official data available disclosed that for financing the budget deficit, the share of bank borrowing was standing at 0.3 percent of GDP, non bank borrowing 2.8 percent of GDP and external financing of 2.4 percent of GDP in fiscal year 2001-2 that touched the level of 1 percent of GDP borrowing through banks, 5.1 percent of GDP through non bank borrowing and 1.5 percent of GDP through external borrowing in fiscal year 2007-08. The current account deficit reached 1.7 percent of the GDP during the first 10 months of the current fiscal year against a surplus of 0.3 percent of the GDP in the same period last year. The GDP is estimated

at $198.13 billion for the period as against $175.64 billion in July –April 2010-11. Analysts said that a large trade gap and lack of external inflows due to global and local economic weaknesses are behind the widening current account deficit. They said that the IMF repayment during the current fiscal year would incur more pressure on the balance of payment position. The trade deficit grew significantly during the period owing to shrinking exports and growing imports.It widened by 45 percent to $17.65b during July – April 2011-12 as against $12.17b in the corresponding period last year, according to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics. The exports eased to $19.39 billion during the period under review as against $20b in the same period of last year, depicting a 3.48 percent decline. On the other hand, imports posted a sharp growth of 14.81 percent to $37 billion as against $32.26 billion last year. The security issues at home and global economic crisis have hampered inflows of foreign investments, which is another major component of the balance of payment. Net inflow of foreign investment in Pakistan fell by $1.031b or 64.7 percent to $563 million during July – April 2011/2012 as against $1.5595b in the corresponding period last year.The benchmark foreign direct investment reg-

istered massive decline of 48.8 percent to $666.7m as against $1.293b in July – April 2011/2012. According to an official documents, economic managers had advised to create non-debt flows to avoid pressure on balance of payment as financial and capital inflows had already touched alarming lowlevel.They had also raised concerns over large servicing of external debt in coming years, which also included the repayment of IMF in medium term. The country is scheduled to pay a sum of $8.994 billion by Fy16 as repayment to IMF loans, which included $1.339 billion in FY12 and further $2,979 billion in the later fiscal year. After revision of GDP growth estimates upto 3.7 percent by National Accounts Committee by abandoning re-basing exercise and deciding to use the previous base year of 1999-2000, the size of the economy increased by Rs.2t and went upto Rs.20t from earlier estimates of falling around Rs.18t. The rise in size of the economy has helped the government to restrict its budget deficit in the range of 6.7% to 7% of GDP for the outgoing fiscal year. The one percent of GDP, equivalent to Rs.206b, means that the budget deficit in rupee terms will be standing at Rs.1,442b in case of deficit of 7 per-

cent of the GDP. However there are some positive indicators as well prominent among which is the growth and potential in agriculture sector. According to a survey, emerging markets, including Pakistan, will drive the growth of the dairy industry as global demand for liquid dairy products is set to accelerate in 2011-2014. The challenge for the dairy industry in Pakistan has been to reach DiP consumers, especially in a country where 94 percent of the population consumes unpackaged milk and 70 percent of the population lives in rural areas. Food processors in Pakistan are coming up with innovative affordable products to reach this market. One such product is affordable tea creamers, which has a huge potential among DIP consumers as drinking milk with tea accounts for 32 percent of total milk consumption in Pakistan, according to the Tetra Pak research. We must, therefore,re-define our priorities and focus on sectors of economy which have growth potential.We must offer incentives and government help in preparing feasibilities for the projects and give a direction and road map for the business community. If they prosper,Pakistan prospers too. —Writer is former Director Emigration & Consultant ILO & IOM.

Views From Abroad

Hard questions about US nuke arsenal Walter Pincus

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HE United States is mov ing ahead with plans to spend hundreds of billions of dollars on nuclear weapons — an even more destructive force — with no serious public discussion. Twenty years from now, how many nuclear warheads on strategic submarines will the US need? That’s not an abstract question. The country is engaged in a costly, ambitious modernization of its nuclear weapons complex and development of a new generation of delivery systems — new strategic submarines, bombers and intercontinental ballistic missiles that will be operating more than 50 years from now. Start with the navy’s plan for 12 new SSBN-X strategic submarines to replace the 14 Ohio-class subs now in service. A Congressional Research Service report on the program, released Dec. 10, asks whether

the navy can stay within the cost targets for their procurement ($4.9 billion each) and whether each sub should carry 16 or 20 missiles. But shouldn’t the questions be more basic, such as who is the enemy and how many subs would be needed to deter that enemy? It’s agreed that nuclear weapons don’t deter terrorist groups. And if history is any guide, the more the US and other nuclear-armed countries modernize their weapons, the more tempting it is for other countries to want nuclear arsenals. So how many warheads does the US need over the next 40 years to deter others? That’s a multibillion-dollar question, and among those President Barack Obama and his new national security team will have to wrestle with as they try to tighten defence spending. I have written before that it’s time to get a rational, long-range nuclear strategy because the cost of replacing the nation’s three nuclear delivery systems will top $100 billion and require another $300 billion

over the next 10 years to keep them operational. The Cold War created a mindless US-Soviet Union nuclear arms race in which both sides forgot the power of the weapons they were building and believed that whoever had the largest number was the strongest. Numbers on both sides went close to 20,000 bombs and warheads. It took just two to end World War II in the Pacific, and the threat of using one ended the 1962 Cuban missile crisis. Since 1991, when the Iron Curtain fell, both the US and Russia have sharply reduced not just their overall stockpiles but also their deployed weapons. According to a study released recently by Hans Kristensen of the Federation of American Scientists, both sides are down to roughly 4,500 strategic warheads and bombs apiece, and by 2018 will have just 1,550 operationally deployed as required by the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, which took effect Feb. 5, 2011. Ironically, after signing the treaty, the two countries began modernizing their

nuclear forces. By the end of the decade, the deployed US force may be 400 single-warhead, land-based ICBMs; 240 submarine-launched ballistic missiles with three to five warheads each; and 60 strategic bombers, which each count for only one warhead though they carry more than one bomb. Beyond that, there are to be some 1,600 stockpiled warheads or bombs, Kristensen says. Why do we need that size of a nuclear arsenal for the next 50 years? A new Presidential Policy Directive is due to be presented to the military shortly, a paper in which Obama will set nuclear force planning for the rest of his administration. In his April 2009 speech in Prague, the president said he wanted to “put an end to Cold War thinking ... reduce the role of nuclear weapons in our national security strategy and urge others to do the same.” The country should be watching to see how he implements that promise. The writer reports on intelligence, defence and foreign policy for The Washington Post. — Courtesy: The Japan Times

Looking at ourselves..!

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s I watch the funeral that is a winding through Mumbai at the moment, I realise that quite a few of us think we are the greatest people on earth: We strut around, swagger and feel we are indispensable to home or company. “What would my family ever do without me?” we wonder, little realizing that they could manage pretty well without us. Here’s a story of a little boy who went into a drug store. He reached for a soda carton and pulled it over to the telephone. He climbed onto the carton

so that he could reach the buttons on the phone and proceeded to punch in seven digits. The storeowner observed and listened to the conversation on the extension: The boy asked, “Lady, Can you give me the job of cutting your lawn? The woman replied, “I already have someone to cut my lawn.” “Lady, I will cut your lawn for half the price of the person who cuts your lawn now,” replied boy. The woman responded that she was very satisfied with the person who was presently cutting her lawn. The little boy found more perseverance and offered, “Lady, I’ll even sweep your curb and your sidewalk, so on Sunday you will have the prettiest lawn in all of North Palm beach, Florida.” Again the woman answered in the negative. With a smile on his face,

the little boy replaced the receiver. The store-owner, who was listening to all this, walked over to the boy and said, “Son I couldn’t help overhearing your conversation. I like your attitude; I like that positive spirit and would like to offer you a job.” The little boy replied, “No thanks, I was just checking my performance and the job I already have. I am the one who is working for that lady, I was talking to !” Ha! That must have been one happy boy! Two things struck me with this little story: One, that he must have obviously put in a lot of hard work to get that kind of response from his employer and two, that here was a little fellow who was ready to learn about himself. It must take a lot of guts to put your neck on the line and do what the lil’ boy did.

Do we have the courage to make an appraisal of ourselves? To really ask ourselves how much we contribute to home or job or community? The other day in my neighbourhood an old Sardar passed away. We spent the whole of a conversation the next day, trying to figure out who he was. He had hardly made any impact to anyone around and was hardly known though I was told he had been living here for more than a decade! What about you when your time of death comes? Will your neighbours wonder who you were? Or will men and women from all over come and tell your family what a good, great person you were? Have you the guts to stop a moment and look at yourself now? —Email:bobsbanter@gmail.com

Voice of the People Accountable leaders HASHIM ABRO Indeed, Leadership is not a static state. Doubtlessly, One can become a better leader if they choose to. But as long as someone thinks that they will always be elected because they come form Pakistan Peoples Party, then there is no incentive for them to become good leaders or improve on their performances. The fact of coming from Pakistan Peoples Party has given present provincial rulers in Sindh province- Syed Qaim Ali Shah and company a sense of security without vulnerability. Leaders need to feel vulnerable to perform better and be accountable. We therefore need to withdraw any blanket support to our leaders simply because they come from the Shaheed’s party. —Islamabad

COAS assuring fair elections COL RIAZ JAFRI (R) A chance meeting between the CEC and the COAS in NADRA HQs is being projected by the media as a welcome gesture on the part of the COAS to have assured the CEC of army’s assistance in holding free and fair elections. I just don’t understand how the two can come to such an understanding all by themselves? The normal institutionalised course of action should have been that the CEC should have moved the case to the PM who in a cabinet meeting would have asked the MINDEF to do the needful who in turn would have ordered the COAS to carry out a given task. As simple as that. Where does come in the assurances by the COAS or any kind of appreciation by CEC for the army rendering any assistance, for, it is just a task given to the army by the appropriate authority and the army HAS to carry it out. Incidentally, the COAS cannot and should not use the army on the request of any govt. department/ official unless ordered by the MINDEF or as allowed under the constitution such as by the Supreme Court. —Rawalpindi

12 billion corruption DR IRFAN ZAFAR According to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman Admiral (retd) Fasih Bukhari , it is estimated that Rs12 billion are siphoned off on daily basis because of corrupt practices while tax revenues worth Rs7 billion are evaded per day. Is the corruption amount pocketed by NAB included in this figure? —Islamabad

An exemplary leader lost KHAWAJA UMER FAROOQ At the time when corruption and selfishness is becoming part and parcel of lives of Pakistani politicians and country political parties are losing trust in general public country is also losing honest and respectful political personalities which is very unfortunate. According to media news veteran politician and vice Amir of Jamat e Islami Pakistan Professor Ghafoor Ahmed passed away in local hospital after some days of illness. Due to his neat and clean political career Professor Ghafoor Ahmed was respected and acceptable for all political circles in Pakistan. Jamat Islami strong rival MQM Altaf high ranking delegation immediately visited his home after his tragic death. Prime Minister, President and heads of all political parties also shown their grief and emotions after his tragic death and large number of people also attended his funeral. Professor Ghafoor Ahmed. During his political career he always enjoyed high ranking positions in all political alliances with big parties. He was secretary general of PNA or Pakistan National Alliance and played a important role in struggle against former Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. He was also a Secretary General of IJI or Islamic Democratic Alliance. IJI later won elections against PPP of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. Professor Ghafoor Ahmed was also a part of team who drafted the 1973 constitution. 1973 constitution considered great achievement of political parties because it was acceptable for all

Son PM & father President IQBAL HADI ZAIDI

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hair is after all a chair which doesn’t shun in any case but if it tinged with absolute power then everyone wants to get that chair and once if someone gets it then none wants to quit the chair and instead on the contra he invents different new ways and means both fair and unfair to stick to the chair for as long as possible if not till his death. Pakistanis have been found doing alike and our history pages tell us that most of those who occupied the chair to rule the country have resorted to both direct and indirect methods and actions by putting in their best possible efforts to prolong their stay and some of them did succeed as well. 27th December, 2012 Bilawal Zardari (I cannot add Bhutto with his name) son of President Asif Ali Zardai has announced publicly entering into politics of Pakistan whereby it goes without saying that Bilawal will contest elections in 2013 and I can very well predict that he will win like PPP will win so Bilawal will be chosen as Prime Minister of Pakistan while father continues as President of Pakistan. Am I wrong in seeing son as PM and father as President? —Kuwait

factions of Pakistan political circles. Several times he was elected member of Parliament he was also appointed federal minister during era of former General Zia. Despite enjoying high ranking positions he spent simple life without any luxuries and every time he set great example of honesty in politics. Ghafoor wrote several books and share his long years political experience with the nation. Professor Ghafoor neat and clean political career is worth following for present political parties of Pakistan. —Jeddah, KSA

Pakistan green energy SYED IRFAN ALI There is no shortage of natural resources in Pakistan. In recent years, however, with ecological scarcities plaguing the planet, and energy consumption continuously on the rise, Pakistan has sought to considerably reduce its dependency on oil. Instead, it has focused on the sustainable development approach, which encourages the use of renewable resources that can be naturally replenished and create pure ‘clean green energy’ that can supply electricity. Indeed, with global energy demand set to double or even triple by 2050, Pakistan has demonstrated an unyielding commitment to a renewable green energy future, launching a host of initiatives which aim to significantly reduce its carbon footprint. One company that stands out is Fauji Fertilizer (FFC) which has truly emerged as a leader in the green energy sector. Fauji Fertilizer Company Limited (FFC) is the largest urea manufacturer in Pakistan. It was incorporated in 1978 as a joint venture between Fauji Foundation (a leading charitable trust in Pakistan) and HaldorTopsoe A/S of Denmark. The Company operates three worldscale urea plants with an aggregate design capacity of over 2 million metric tons per annum as a result FFC supplies a broad portfolio of nutrition products and services that include fertilizers. The organization’s all-encompassing commitment to alternative sources of energy is especially epitomized by The FFCEL wind power project, announced in 2011, which symbolizes a true milestone for Pakistan, especially as it intends to meet the energy demands of Pakistan’s fast growing population. This important step, which comes within a global movement to create energy using renewable resources, will further preserve natural resources and curb CO2 emissions as well as help establish a clean and healthy environment to live in. The FFCEL wind power project also shows how Pakistan is taking up the collective approach of nations around the world to create a sustainable future for the world. In the past decade, Pakistan has certainly undergone an ecological awakening, implementing myriad eco-plans and placing the use of renewable energy high on the country’s political, social and economic agenda. Today, Pakistan seeks an even greater role to mend the ecological crisis and continues to take strategic leaps — in the form of policies, events, partnerships or projects — towards a greener environment and economy. The cornerstone of ecological sustainability, renewable sources will not solely help meet the power demands of the future, but also guarantee the health and wellbeing of generations to come. —Lahore

Pakistan: Found and lost NIGHAT LEGHARI I don’t take Quaid-i-Azam as a departed soul because beau ideal leader like him always live alive in hearts of its people whom they win over. This is the historical fact that a few individuals a significantly alter the course of history, a few modify

the maps of the globe and hardly someone can be credited with creating a full flagged state. Quid-i-Azam did so, this lanky leader worked miracles. Unminded with the environmental agents, his own health and happy domestic life he single handedly encountered with a powerful power and succeeded in snatching a full-fledged state from its iron clutches for his people. While assuming the office of Governor General he said in his speech, “The Pakistan which I envision will have democratic system based on consciousness and righteousness of its rulers. I want to clear to you that in a democratic system a head of the state wields the power but the polity is served as an instrument of service and a ruler is more of a father of the Nation than the ruler. It is my belief that our salvation lies in adopting the true democratic setup. All decisions in the affairs of state shall be guided by the discussions and consultations. The activities of the rulers must be monitored by the people. The Supreme Command of the country shall have to spend his life strictly according to the Islamic Law because we have achieved this on basis of Islam. Addressing the army on one occasion he said, “You will have to fight many battles on the battlefields but stand guard over the development and maintenance of the democracy on your native soil. Once when Col Burnny suggested that the walls of the Governor House should be raised for the security purpose the Quaid said, “I don’t feel any need of this extravaganza, I am among my people I feel no danger. Now sir, on the contrary description of a British journalist Ms. Christina Lamb brings an awful negation to his visions. She writes, “When I entered the Prime Minister House to interview Mrs. Benazir Bhutto the Prime Minister of a poor country, a golden uniformed foot man in a hush tones as if there was some invalid inside took me to entrance hall dominated by vast chandelier leading into a reception room gild sofas in the style of Lois XV. Most sorrowfully the Quaid’s country has been converted into a country of crimes, corruption and crises. His successors are not prepared to rise any sense of responsibility in them. They are indulged to expand their own private empires and a war of succession. Your Muslim league was a keepsake for us from you but now it has been divided into innumerable leagues. All immoral values are flourishing in his country. The down trodden people are in such a state and conditions that they are deprived of the basic food and facilities. The poor families are selling to off their own children and body parts, they are not in a position to purchase medicines for them. The pharmacies are selling obituaries in shape of adulterated and fake medicines. How he bravely and confidently you snatched a flagged country from the powerful clutches of Britain and now his successors have become subordinate before US high handedness. Jobs have been put on the market table as an object of bidding, this mockery of merit has forced the Full Bright scholars to commit suicides. The August Houses of Parliament have become excursion places where nearly pleasantries and sarcastic remarks are exchanged and no work or debates on public problems. Ruling class and politicians are above law and accountability. The development funds are dished out to the favorites. The ruling class is also admittedly responsible of constitutional abrogation and supportive to the military intervention. —Via email

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

—Editor Email:editorial@pakobserver.net


Stability and security first

ALI BLUWI

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HOSE who think that the Gulf states are not aware of their people’s aspirations cannot be more wrong. And those who cannot see realities on the ground such as economic, social, and cultural changes are committing another mistake too. A quick look reveals the key changes are ubiquitous. For instance, the number of TV satellite stations has mushroomed, many worldclass universities have come up and new ideas have spread. If anything, this has broadened the vision of the citizens and officials alike. Nonetheless, it is the way Muslim Brotherhood has run things in both Egypt and Tunisia that has forced Arabs in the Gulf countries to renounce chaos and to think of reforms within the system as the best way forward. For this reason, some of the Gulf countries are geared up to present a package of political reforms such as parliamentary elections, increasing the representation of people, transparency in financial institutions and increasing the scope of freedom of expression. Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah’s speech addressing the leaders of the GCC in the recently held summit in Manama, Bahrain, was very transparent. King Abdullah admitted that the accomplishments that had been realized are suboptimal and do not meet the aspirations and ambitions of people. The brief message was eloquent and had some

political connotations. The big ambitions include huge economic capabilities, stability, qualitative education, socioeconomic unity, and common defense system. At the Gulf level, observers see that the external pressure whether in public and in private will not yield any benefit to speak of. There is a rejection of any interference in internal affairs. The common view is that reforms can only take root if they come from within. This is the only way where societies can agree on interim agreements to develop the system in such a way that could protect the economies form collapse and anarchy. At the Saudi level, there is a social awareness that the country is witnessing reforms that are consistent with the need of the country. Some even goes far to say that the regime is considering election for the Shoura Council. The king himself said previously that the state had the intention to empower women to be active in the Shoura Council. This move, if it materializes, is a smart political step that will help break the monopoly of the

ists by introducing more institutionalization and internal accountability. This measure brought back the commission to its original educational objectives. There were those who tried to impede the work of the commission but its head succeeded in his new job. Saudi Arabia as well as the rest of the Gulf states realize that the rearrangement of the internal house is a source of strength which can help face any external challenge. Also, these countries see that economic and social development and spreading education would pave the way for new social transformations. First and foremost, it will wipe out violence, extremism and terrorism. Furthermore, these countries think that the speed of technology and management of small businesses will contribute in realizing security and internal stability. It also helps qualify the society to move from the traditional authority to the rational and legal authority. It seems that the Gulf societies have learned the lessons of other countries. In 1960s and 1970s, these countries shunned away all

some Western press that tried to stir some security misgivings in the region. Interestingly, Saudi Arabia and the rest countries in the Gulf region have their own reform plans that suit their internal need. In Saudi Arabia, there is no dearth of literary works and intellectual elites. There are some 18 literary clubs. The administrations of these clubs are elected directly by members. The intention is there to restore some civil practices in university administrations too. Needless to say, there are some human rights and consumer rights associations in the country too. Additionally, people are put on trial publicly and the level of criticism and freedom of expression is high in the Saudi press. When Jeffrey Feltman said that the Gulf countries will face real challenges if they do not expedite the reform process, he is totally wrong. Indeed, Saudis — Shiites or Sunnis – are aware of these challenges despite the futile attempts on the part of Iran to interfere. The Shiites in Saudi Arabia are loyal citizens and they will strongly defend their

The vision of the Gulf states was obvious and they supported legitimacy of Yemen and urged it to implement the Gulf’s initiatives. They also supported the restoration of all institutions hijacked by individuals. It also affirmed its support for stability in Yemen, its fight against Al-Qaeda and rejection of any regional interference in the Yemeni affairs. conservative view that still rejects any political presence for Saudi women. This step was mooted after a series of calculated moves to keep the conservative view at bay which is also reflected in the appointment of Abdul Latif Al-Asheikh as president of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice. Al-Asheikh is well known for his moderation and tolerance. He rejects extremism regardless of its nature. His policy was clear from the get-go when he restructured the commission and purged the extrem-

contending ideologies and instead set up some independent, intellectual and cultural projects. This has produced more realistic elite to deal with the other. These countries were vindicated when the USSR collapsed and the communists transformed into some orphans begging for foreign fund. Today, Saudi Arabia is on the verge of a new era that will lead to a new social and political contract based on realities on the ground. Just a few days ago, I read some odd analysis in

country to the extent that pushes others to do some recalculations. That said, there are some calls for reform as evident in the daily newspapers in the country. These articles call for revising policies, reconstruction, and economic challenges such as unemployment, housing and reinforcing the relationship between the ruler and the ruled. As far as the sources of external threats are concerned, the Gulf countries are conducting themselves wisely. They are aware of the Iranian role and

Tehran’s interests in destabilizing the region, and yet, they act swiftly and wisely. Not only the Gulf countries ceased to support the Iranian revolution but also they no longer take the Iranian threat seriously. Interestingly, the mere announcement of Gulf support for the conference of friends of Iranian people enraged Tehran and made it feel vulnerable. The internal weakness is evident and Iran has always created troubles externally to stifle internal pressure. Iran does not pose a genuine threat to the Arab region despite of what has been taking place in Iraq. Iran is begging the Kurds of Iraq to keep Al-Maliki in power and is trying to control the Shiite politics. And yet, the south of Iraq is rejecting Iran and is trying to emasculate Iran especially after they discovered that Iran stood behind much of the acts that targeted people and shrines. Just a few years ago, we had a meeting in Damascus with some experts and politicians and they told us that some of them refused to have a relationship with Tehran. It is obvious that Iran deals with Syrian as if the latter is a satellite state for the former. Take Bahrain for instance, a heavy weight Shiite intellectual said that the Shiites are Arabs and therefore they refused to be outpost for Iran. He argued that the Shiites, on the whole, were against Iranian intervention in Bahrain. He also mentioned that the percentage of those who identify with Iran among the Shiites does not exceed 5 percent. Nonetheless, they were for citizenship and freedom and definitely against Iranian project in the region. Yemen was present in the Gulf summit. It should be noted that Yemen is in its way out from the tunnel toward stability. Also the unity of Yemen is cemented through reinforcing the state of law, institutions, fighting corruption and building an interim plan to fight poverty and unemployment. This is very important as Yemen is overseeing a very important strategic waterway and therefore Yemen deserves the support of the international community to safeguard the security and stability of the routes for energy and the world economy. —Courtesy Arab News

The risks of a US drawdown in Afghanistan A package deal on Iran and Syria MAX BOOT

T

HE Obama administration ap pears determined to vacate Af ghanistan as fast as possible. If the latest leaks are to be believed, officials are willing to leave as few as 6,000 U.S. troops behind after 2014, concentrated at the Bagram air base and a few other installations around Kabul. The mind boggles at what this would mean in military terms. Consider one simple fact: Kandahar, the city where the Taliban movement started, is 500 km southwest of Kabul. Imagine that intel-

gence. How would the CIA or the Defense Intelligence Agency run agents or even operate drones? Even assuming that the intelligence could be garnered, it would be exceedingly hard to act on the information. A SEAL or Delta Force team typically reaches its target by helicopter. But Kandahar is a two-hour helicopter flight from Kabul and a fully loaded Blackhawk would need to refuel to make the round trip. Assuming there is no U.S. base in Kandahar, this would require aerial refueling, which is difficult and costly and would not necessarily be available 24-7. Given the long flight time, there

... risk in drawing down the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan. ligence analysts have identified a “highvalue target” say, a terrorist facilitator with links to both al-Qaida and the Taliban in Kandahar. How would the U.S. military

is a good chance that by the time the commandos arrived, the target would have moved on. It is doubtful that such a force would be dispatched in the first place, how-

It is hard to imagine how anyone in the Obama administration could conclude that a force of just 6,000 personnel would be sufficient after 2014 when, even with 68,000 troops today, the United States cannot prevent the Taliban and Haqqanis from operating openly an hour’s drive from Kabul. Such a precipitous drawdown vastly increases the risk of a Taliban takeover. capture or kill him without a secure base in Kandahar? This scenario is, on some level, fanciful, because the lack of a U.S. presence on the ground around Kandahar would make it very difficult to generate useful intelli-

ever, because commanders would be reluctant to send special operators into high-risk situations without having quick-reaction forces standing by to rescue them in the event of trouble. U.S. generals would not feel comfortable entrusting the lives of these elite

ANDERS ASLUND

A

cold and snowy December week in Moscow is always more interesting than pleasant, but I have not found the mood in the Russian capital so depressed since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Growing repression has made President Vladimir Putin more feared, but respect for him has plunged deeply as well. People who used to compare Putin with the stern Tsar Nicholas I, who ruled from 1825-1855 and built up the Russian secret police, now deride him as Paul I, the foolish and ineffective tsar who reigned for just five years before being murdered by his exasperated advisers in 1801, much to the relief of his subjects. Moscow is boiling with aggression and anger, but everybody is unhappy in their own way. A standard statement is: “We are in a dead end.” Muscovites refer to Vladimir Lenin’s definition of a revolutionary situation: “when the upper classes can no longer govern, and the lower classes no longer accept living in the old way.” The mood is reminiscent of the late Brezhnev period, when nobody thought the system was sustainable, but nobody could see how things could change. Although discontent remains great, opposition protests have ebbed because people see no alternative, leader, or program. In the upper middle class, the dominant theme of conversation is when and where to emigrate. The future is abroad. Paradoxically, Russia is doing very well economically. The wealth in Moscow is just astounding, not only with its 100 billionaires but also a vast middle class. Macroeconomic data are stellar. The consensus expected 2012 growth rate is 3.6 percent, while neighboring Europe is mired in recession. Russia has a budget surplus and almost no public debt, a huge current account surplus, and bulging international currency reserves. Admittedly, Russia thrives

operators to local Afghan Army forces, especially in light of the well-advertised problem of Taliban infiltrators, so they would probably not order the mission in the first place. That would leave only one way to attack a terrorist kingpin in Kandahar: from the air, with either an armed Predator or a manned aircraft such as an F-16. Yet the ability to keep either kind of aerial platform over Kandahar would be severely limited by the need to fly 1,000 km round-trip from Bagram simply to arrive on station. So there would probably be a considerable time lag simply to drop a bomb, which again raises the risk of missing the target. Relying on air power carries other risks, such as the potential for collateral damage, which can create more enemies than missions eliminate. Aerial attacks on wedding parties and the like were especially common in Afghanistan before the troop surge started in 2009. Without forward air controllers to call in air strikes, the possibility of errors goes up. Another problem with air power is that it precludes the possibility of interrogating suspects and examining their computers and paperwork — one of the best sources of intelligence about terrorist machinations. The Joint Special Operations Command, composed of the top-tier special operators, has become such an effective manhunting machine precisely because it has become so proficient at “sensitive site exploitation” and interrogation of detainees, sometimes leading to fresh missions being launched the night before a detainee’s confederates are even aware that he has been taken into custody. That will become impossible under the planned drawdown. All in all, limiting the U.S. presence to 6,000 or so troops in Bagram and Kabul would be a major counterterrorism setback. It would also have a deleterious impact on the combat effectiveness of the Afghan army and police. The Afghan National Security Forces, now 352,000 strong, have made considerable strides, but they remain heavily reliant on U.S. help for air support, logistics, intelligence, route clearance and other key “enablers.” The Defense Department’s new Report on Progress Toward Security and Stability in Afghanistan noted that only one of 23 Afghan Army brigades is able to operate without coalition help. The report also “anticipates that the [Afghan Army] will continue to require assistance with logistics and acquisition processes beyond December 2014.” Afghanistan is not expected to have a functioning air force before 2017, so Afghan forces will remain especially dependent on U.S. help for air support and aerial medevac. —Courtesy: The Japan Times.

JIM HOAGLAND

S

YRIA’S Alawite regime collapses from within and without. Highlevel defections march in step with rebel gains through the Sunni heartland. The Obama administration’s signature regional strategy described in a Freudian slip by a French career diplomat here as “waiting from behind” now badly trails events. That would not constitute a disaster for Washington if the fate of Bashar al-Assad’s clan-dictated rule was an isolated affair. But there are moments when timing is everything in statecraft. Syria’s impending implosion is coming to a head just as President Obama runs out of time on his promise to keep nuclear weapons out of Iran’s hands. His last best hope may now lie in linking the two crises in bargaining with Russia and Iran, Assad’s two most important foreign backers. They risk losing everything they have invested in that country by continuing to bet that Assad and the Syrian state can survive this war. That gives Obama leverage to use in countering Iran’s accelerating nuclear enrichment program. “Iran has responded to the toughening of sanctions by speeding up its work on a bomb, not slowing it down,” says Jean-David Levitte, former French ambassador to Washington and, until May, then-President Nicolas Sarkozy’s diplomatic adviser. “We now have only a relatively few months to act before Iran’s nuclear effort becomes irreversible.” Levitte believes that the six powers conducting nuclear negotiations with Iran have to make a final comprehensive offer. Failing Tehran’s quick agreement to such a proposal, the only courses left open will be acceptance of an Iranian bomb or military action to prevent it, he argues. This is where Syria comes in. It is stomach-churning for me to suggest that Americans should work to salvage any part of Assad’s regime, which has slaughtered tens of thousands of Syrians. But the least bad option available may be for all powers to pursue two overriding, interlocking goals: Syria’s descent into a total bloodbath must be stopped. And Iran must agree to live up to its nuclear NonProliferation Treaty obligations by forswearing atomic weapons. This does not mean protecting Assad and those close to him. They have to go. But there are generals and other offi-

cials from Assad’s Alawite minority who could credibly stay on in a transitional government. U.N. officials have identified a number of them in private contacts with the U.S., French, Russian and other governments, diplomatic sources tell me. A Syrian coalition that provides physical and political protection for the Alawites and Syria’s other minorities, while reflecting the Sunni majority’s new power, could convince Russia and Iran that they could maintain some influence however reduced that influence

Iran is helping its ally Syria defy Western sanctions by providing a vessel ... should and would be. (Paradoxically, such a coalition might also quiet Israel’s apprehensions about the strong presence of Islamic jihadists in the rebel movement and exert moderating influence on Egypt’s growing derogation of minority rights.) These are substantial, if difficult to achieve, carrots. But the alternatives are extraordinarily grim, as Levitte pointed out when he went public with his negotiating proposal this month here at the World Policy Conference, an annual gathering of

himself as a convinced democrat, stating in his state of the union address: “For Russia there is no and can be no other political choice than democracy... We share the democratic principles adopted in the whole world.” Yet, he quickly betrays his true feelings: “For Russia, the tradition of a strong state is characteristic.” And “Control is without doubt the most important function of the state.” Such talk is reminiscent of fascism. Step by step, Putin is systematically increasing repression of the opposition with new antidemocratic laws — for example, against foreign funding of non-governmental organizations — and the jailing of opposition activists. Still, Putin states many truths, even this key one: “It is obvious to all that our main problems are the low efficiency of state power and corruption.” Corrup-

foreign policy officials, scholars and other experts organized by IFRI, a leading French think tank. Levitte suggests that the international community must now go either/ or on Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatol-

Never mind that Putin has launched an anticorruption campaign against senior officials, and Russia’s state-controlled television devotes substantial news time to all the gory details. The opening salvo was an investigation of embezzlement of $100 million against the then Minister of Defense Anatoly Serdyukov. Former minister of agriculture Elena Skrynnik has been accused of being involved in fraud of $1.2 billion. Neither has been formally charged or arrested, only called as witnesses (though a deputy economic minister has been arrested for kickbacks of $500 million). Other open fraud cases of about $200 million each involve city officials in St. Petersburg, the space agency, the state telecommunication company, and the Federal Property Management Agency, re-

The families of thousands of top officials and businessmen are already abroad, and many senior people are preparing their own departure. Putin seems to welcome their emigration. In November, his press secretary Dmitri Peskov noted publicly that “90 years ago, a philosophical steamship took 225 leading philosophers together with Ivan Ilyin out of the country,” referring to when the early Soviet government encouraged bourgeois intellectuals to emigrate (rather than being sent to the Gulag). paign against corruption, an anti-American crusade, and obscurantist appeals to Russian nationalism and the Russian Orthodox Church. In a populist vein, he agitates the poorest two-thirds of the population against the wealthy, well-educated, and cosmopolitan. His fundamental problem is that he represents no real values and therefore lacks any source of legitimacy other than stability and economic growth that will not last forever. Like many authoritarian leaders, Putin presents

tion in Russia is certainly out of control. Investment analysts privately estimate standard kickbacks on government procurement at 70 percent for pipelines, 50 percent for roads, and 35 percent for medical equipment. But for all his tough talk, Putin is widely seen as the main protector and beneficiary of corruption. Opposition leaders Boris Nemtsov and Vladimir Milov and his former junior business partner Sergei Kolesnikov have accused him of embezzling tens of billions of dollars.

constructive settlement in either nation. They must be treated together if they are to be treated at all. Until recently, I had been relatively comfortable with Obama’s assertions that there is time to reach a peaceful resolution with Iran. But the president’s other, more menacing statements on Iran weigh more heavily now. He has declared an Iranian bomb “unacceptable” and said that he was prepared to use military force as a last resort to stop it. Bibi Netanyahu’s likely reelection as

This is where Syria comes in. It is stomach-churning for me to suggest that Americans should work to salvage any part of Assad’s regime, which has slaughtered tens of thousands of Syrians.

You’re a Mean One, Mr. Putin on large energy exports, but oil prices are high and likely to stay there. So why the sour mood? The popular protests against Putin after the rigged parliamentary elections on Dec. 4, 2011, seem to have pushed him out of balance. His strength has always been tactical improvisation rather than strategy, but that requires self-confidence and inspiration, which now seem to be lacking. His state of the union speech on Dec. 12 was strangely backward-looking. At his rambling, marathon press conference on Dec. 20, he hardly answered any questions over the course of four and a half hours. Rather than being a guarantor of stability, Putin has suddenly become a source of destabilization. His defensive actions include increased repression against political opposition, a faux cam-

lah Ali Khamenei: Iran finally agrees to restrict nuclear enrichment to 5 percent or less and exports its stockpile of higher-grade enriched uranium. Or the United States, having made this high-profile final effort, will gain broader international acceptance of an American-led military strike to destroy Iran’s nuclear capability at some point in 2013. Since Levitte spoke, Iran’s accelerated enrichment program and the sharp deterioration in Syria have convinced me that time is rapidly running out for a

spectively. For any other country, such revelations would be big news, but not to the placid Russian elite. They comment privately that hundreds of billions of dollars have been stolen, and the biggest culprits are much higher up in the Putin hierarchy. In each case, the real reason for a corruption investigation appears to be that one member of the elite is attacking a weaker culprit for the sake of revenge, power, or material benefit. Few think the former ministers will end up in prison.

prime minister of Israel on Jan. 22 adds additional urgency to Levitte’s last-ditch effort to avoid military strikes that threaten disastrous political and economic consequences for the world. Levitte, now retired, made clear that he was not speaking for President Francois Hollande’s government. Butstate under Hollande and Sarkozy, In his of the union address, PutinFrance started has manifested over a new crusade, coiningits thegrave term concern “de-offshoreand Syria. Obama canthe count ization.”Iran He called for a law “limiting rightsonof activeand French support inforeign making a civil servants politicians to hold bank high-profile negotiating effort. But accounts, securities, and stocks.” All real estate leadership necessary if such holdingsU.S. abroad have to beisdeclared. an effort is to me have anythatchance to He concluded: “Let stress the state’s succeed. moral authority is a fundamental prerequisite for —CourtesyTherefore Washington Russia’s development. the Post policy of cleansing and renewal of the state will be carried out firmly and consistently.” (“Cleansing” is a diminutive term for the Stalinist concept of “purge.”) Two days earlier, when discussing his anti-corruption campaign, Putin commented that “otherwise we would return to 1937,” referring to Stalin’s great terror. That is hardly reassuring. Given that Putin is widely considered immensely corrupt and that he has tolerated ballooning corruption for years, it is somewhat surprising that he himself has started this campaign. Some argue that he has been forced to do something because corruption has reached a point at which the state no longer can be managed. Others suspect that Putin has lost control, and that his top aides are pursuing personal vendettas. His own words suggest that he is planning a purge of the government. A major elite struggle is certainly taking place. Putin has engaged the Russian Orthodox Church in his anti-Western campaign. On Nov. 4, the newly invented day of Russian National Unity, the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia warned Russians against a return to the “Time of Troubles,” the era of chaos in the early 17th century. He stated: “We were a hair’s breadth from a tragedy of historic proportions, from the destruction of the country, from losing our sovereignty, from the assimilation of Orthodoxy into Catholicism, from the destruction of our national identity.” —Courtesy FP


Living fearless in America

PM orders blockage of YouTube again From Page 1 the PTA directives. Talking to media on Saturday, DG, PTA had assured that the access to the blasphemous material would be blocked in the country instead of closing the website. He further said that the talks were continuing with Google officials to remove the blasphemous content from the site.—Online

KHURRAM SHAHZAD

I

T IS “Little Miss Jihad” on a t-shirt, “My Jihad is to build friendship” on Chicago metro bus or an advertisement sign against Jihad on DC Metro; one can feel the direction of these events i.e. “make this thing so horrible that people wouldn’t have courage to discuss it in public or develop a common sense that it is obviously wrong”. During the last decade when ten years old turned to 20 years and 20 years got into his 30’s while listening to government campaign on terrorism, terror alert red, green or yellow, buying duck tapes to avoid a terror attack, now we have a solid number of population among us who have no knowledge of Islam, Muslim or Jihad but they just hate it to the core. How does all this feel to us, the Muslims, who love this country just like any other citizen, living here for decades, grew up their families here and then died and buried in a local Muslim graveyard but labeled as traitors or a misfit in civilized society? How a school going guy who is born and raised here should handle a situation when one of his class mate yell at him “You all are terrorists, go back to your own country”? How we see Freedom of speech is obvious choice for everyone but when a Muslim raises his voice it marked him“individual with extremist thoughts” and then put him in high alert list. I agree on the fact that all the Muslims are not terrorists but all terrorists are Muslims and this misfortunate situation pulls us on a gray area.Today we the Muslims are practicing our work cut out just like during the African-American civil rights moments era when they had to join together to address the issues of discrimination and hatred towards them. The ramifications of the attacks of September 11, 2001 are felt throughout the United States.Media stereotypes and government legislation continually exacerbate

these human rights abuses and entrench institutional, social, and economic discrimination deeper in American society. We are six million out of 30 million population of United States but if you see

for example, in October 2001; the U.S. Patriot Act was signed into law with almost no Congressional debate. Additionally, in July 2003, the Clear Law Enforcement for Criminal Alien Removal Act (CLEAR) was passed to give

tions. While this program is no longer active, the U.S. Patriot Act and the CLEAR Act have both been reauthorized and are used by law enforcement. Looking into economic side of this challenge, as re-

discrimination complaints in 2010 they are quarter of all complaints. Sometime I wonder myself why it is so uneasy relationship between Americans and Islam, is it Islamophobiawhich many Americans relate to stereotypes that are perpetuated through popular media and literature or it is something else. If we look into surveys and research conducted by different organization we find an incline in racism and discrimination. In 2009 a survey indicated that 36 percent of Americans could not recall basic facts about Islam. The fear of Islam is so palpable that during the 2010 elections, Oklahoma voted to ban sharia law from being used in judicial matters. Americans continue to see Islam and Muslims as one-dimensional caricatures. Statistically, Muslim Americans always lean towards Republican. If we see statistics before 2000, all over the US Muslim Americans are affiliated with Republican Party but in 2008 and 2012 elections majority of Muslims voted for Obama because they were so frustrated of Bush’s policies and practices against them. There were series of incidents applied by previous administration which corner Muslims,

local law enforcement the power to enforce federal immigration laws. If we look into facts it is as clear as day light out today that the combined implementation of the Patriot Act and the CLEAR Act resulted in increased surveillance of Muslims. Muslims (citizens and noncitizens) have been denied council and formal charges while being detained for extended periods of time. According to the Office of Inspector General (OIG), the average time from arrest to clearance was 80 days. Surveillance of Muslims is ongoing in mosques, on the Internet, and through library records, bank accounts, and places of employment. After one year of September 11, the Attorney General announced the introduction of the National Security ExitEntry Registration System (NSEERS). The “special registration” program applied to men ages 16 to 45 who were predominantly from Arab/ Muslim countries residing in the United States on temporary visas. The men were required to report to INS offices for multi-phase registration that included fingerprinting, photographing, and questioning. It is clear that this program resulted in mistreatment and rights viola-

cent as September 2012, a big number of Muslim working populations has complaint about being a victim of employment discrimination. Majority of workers complaint about name being called by co-workers such as “terrorist”, “Osama” or “Jihadist” and other complains that employers bar them from wearing the headscarf or participating in prayer times. According to the official numbers, complaints like these in 2010 are up nearly 60 percent from 2005. Mary Jo O’Neill, regional attorney of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, remarked, “There’s a level of hatred and animosity that is shocking” (Greenhouse 2010). All these bad things happened because few Muslims did a brutal act which labeled the whole community but I do see a HUGE and positive improvement in the community i.e. aggressive role of Islamic organizations protecting Muslim civil liberties. These organizations have become leading mediators between the American “mainstream,” the government, and

Gen Kayani From Page 1

the Muslim community. Leading Islamic and human rights organizations lobby and actively raise awareness about the abuses suffered by Muslims. Organizations like Amnesty International, CAIR, and Muslim American Society (MAS) have provided Muslims with education on civil rights.These organizations have also coordinated with various law enforcement groups in order to encourage conflict resolution. Additionally, many of these organizations have fostered conversations within the Muslim community about the challenges of assimilating into American culture while still remaining a faithful Muslim. Most Islamic organizations in America have reached out to the public in an effort to foster a greater understanding about Islam. There are clear methods that can help to alleviate some of the hatred and misunderstanding of Islam. Islamic organizations can provide a forum for education on Islam and invite outside participants to Islamic conventions and meetings to develop better relations with the external community. They can also create an American narrative of Islam, similar to the African-American story. While none of these suggestions can completely fix the relationships that developed in America, these can help expand the average American’s knowledge of Islam and its basic tenets. With an increase in knowledge, discrimination and abuses are more likely to be alleviated.

while addressing the 98th Midshipmen Commissioning term and 7th SSC Officers class, comprising a total of 118 officers who got commissioned at Pakistan Naval Academy PNS Rahbar, upon completion of rigorous training.The COAS said,” Today, we are pitched against an amorphous enemy when the conventional threat has also grown manifold.” This spectrum of threats can be defeated through collective national efforts in which the Armed Forces indeed have a pivotal role to play in harmony with other instruments of the state, he added. General Kayani added that under the prevailing scenario, a potent and modern navy was indispensable to thwart the challenges to the country’s sovereignty in the maritime domain. It is becoming increasingly important to build up and rely on our own strength. It is heartening to see that Pakistan Navy is rapidly developing its indigenous capability and pursuing it with greater vigour than ever before, he added. He urged the commissioning officers to keep the interests of the State and the Service on top priority and never let their personal feelings stand in the way to their commitment to the national duty bestowed upon them.He also felicitated the officers upon successful completion of their training and wished them exciting, challenging and sacred career ahead. Earlier on his arrival, the COAS guest was received by Chief of the Naval Staff Ad-

TENDER NOTICE 608 Regional workshop EME Bahawalpur requires sealed Tenders for Signal Equipment of Spare Parts from Army Registered Contractors till 14 Jan 2013. Detail of these parts cab be obtained from PPRA Website (www.ppra.org.pk) or by visiting 608 Regional Workshop EME Bahawalpur on any working day. All Contracts have to submit Rs. 1000/- (Rupees One Thousand Only) as none refundable with each quotation. Advertiser:Commandant-608 Regional Workshop EME Bahawalpur Cantonment Ph. 062-891-35725 & 35723

miral Mohammad Asif Sandila. In his welcome address, Commandant Pakistan Naval Academy highlighted salient features of the officers training at Pakistan Naval Academy.He apprised the audience that commissioning term comprises of 78 officers, including those of three from Republic of Sudan whereas, the SSC officers class comprises 40 cadets which also includes six female officers. They would then embark upon the next phase of training in their respective branches leading to award of Bachelors degrees in Management Information System, Marine Engineering, Electronic Engineering and Supply Chain Management. Later the chief guest gave away prizes to the officers, who had distinguished themselves with their outstanding performance. Midshipmen Syed Sohail Kazim was awarded the Sword of Honour for his overall best performance. Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Gold Medal, CNS Gold Medal, Quaid-e-Azam Gold Medal and Commandant Gold Medal were awarded to Cadet Muhammad Sayyaf Pasha, Cadet Belal Mohammad Saif, Lieut Shahnawaz Abbasi and to Cadet Hina Mujeeb r e s p e c t i v e l y. M i d s h i p m a n Naeem Ahmed received Pakistan Naval Academy, Dirk. The Proficiency Banner was presented to Main Top Squadron.

Six killed From Page 1 that a cylinder might have exploded.Meanwhile, the conductor of the bus said there was no CNG cylinder and it operated on diesel.The huge blast completely ripped opened the roof of the bus, which caught fire following the explosion. The rescue teams and heavy contingents of police and rangers rushed to the blast site and started moving the injured to hospital. The police and rangers cordoned off the entire area.


4 dead in Moscow airliner crash Plane breaks into pieces after landing

Traffic arrangements finalised Staff Reporter L AHORE —City Traffic Police finalized traffic diversion plan for Chehlum of Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA) and urs of Hazrat Data Gunj Bakhush to facilitate visitors. Giving briefing to traffic officials on Saturday. Chief Traffic Police Officer Lahore Sohail Chaudhry said 360 traffic wardens, 13 inspectors and three DSPs would perform duty under the supervision of an SP to maintain smooth flow of traffic on alternate routes. Fiver parking stands have been set up at Attiq Stadium, Ghora Hospital, Nsir Bagh, Saleem Model High School No 2 and Darbar Hospital for vehicles of participants.

PEC’s century celebrations LAHORE—Century celebrations

LARKANA: PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari listening to the problems of party workers at President House at Naudero. Central Chairperson PPP Women Wing MNA Faryal Talpur is also present on the occasion.

China advises children to visit their parents or face lawsuits BEIJING—China has passed a law that requires adult children to visit their elderly parents or risk facing lawsuit. The law does not specify how frequently such visits should occur, but warns that neglect could risk legal action. Reports suggest a growing number of elderly Chinese have been abandoned or neglected by their offspring. Newspapers in the country are full of such stories, or of tales of children trying to seize their parents’’ assets, or of old people dying unnoticed in their homes. —Online

(1912-2012) of Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC) will begin here on Monday. A ceremony was organized at a local hotel on the occasion, Engr Akhtar Abbas Khawaja, the secretary Pakistan Engineering Congress, stated this here on Saturday. Inaugural session of the event will be held at 10:00am on December 31, 2012. Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Qaira have been invited as the chief guest on the occasion, he ISLAMABAD—The government has still not decided to grant India added.—APP the status of MFN and the matter is likely to be delayed. The counFC recovers try is set to miss the target of grantIndia the MFN status by De150kg explosives ing cember 31, 2012 due to vested inQUETTA—The Frontier Con- terests. The government had anstabulary (FC) has recovered nounced in October 2011 that it huge quantity of explosives near will grant MFN status to India Pak-Afghan border on Friday from January 1, 2013. Meanwhile, night. According to FC spokes- trade relations improved signifiman, two motorcyclists cantly between the two countries. dropped two bags full of explo- India had granted MFN status to sives as FC personnel tried to Pakistan in 1996. However, nonstop them for routine checking. tariff barriers remained intact on The officials took the bags into exports from Pakistan and both custody containing explosives sides did not make much of nearly 150kg. The bikers, how- progress towards trade ever, managed to flee, the liberalisation.—INP spokesman said. —INP

MFN status to India likely to be delayed

Qadri not entitled to become caretaker PM: Memon

CAIRO—Egypt’s Islamist presiKARACHI—PPP Deputy Secre- international level , he under- dent warned against any unrest lined. Bilawal Bhutto is ray of tary Information Sharjeel Memon has said Tahir ul Qadri can neither become caretaker prime minister nor can contest polls till he retains dual citizenship. He said this in a statement issued here Saturday. He observed that Tahir ul Qadri should have staged long march and given ultimatum during Musharraf regime. He held people have given verdict in favour of PPP and negative propaganda has died down. The historical address delivered by Bilawal Bhutto had won appreciation at national and

LAHORE—Pakistan Tehreek-eInsaf expressing severe concern over the rising death toll from toxic cough syrup in Gujranwala has slammed the indifferent attitude of the provincial government of Punjab, saying that the rulers in Punjab are focused on politically motivated projects. Previously in Lahore the same syrup resulted in loss of many precious lives. PTI spokesperson in a statement issued on Saturday slammed the indifferent attitude of the provincial government of Punjab, saying that the rulers in Punjab are focused on politically motivated projects but a common man’s life and health is the least of their priorities. The incident reflects sheer

Staff Reporter LAHORE—Pakistan People’s Party Lahore President and Federal Minister Samina Khalid Ghurki has said workers are a real asset to the party. In a press statement here on Saturday, she said the PPP was the party of all sections of life including students, labourers and deprived class. She said the PPP was flourishing because of consistent efforts for democracy. “Workers will counter all conspiracies against the party under the leadership of President Asif Ali Zardari and Chairman Bilawal Bhutto. She said the PPP-led government had already resolved several issues of the country and the rest would be resolved soon. Meanwhile, PPP leader Faiza Malik has said the PPP is the most popular party of the country.

lack of responsibility by the provincial government as the scandal comes after over 150 heart patients died earlier this year in Lahore after taking faulty medicine made locally, PTI spokesperson said. Shahbaz Sharif holds the health portfolio and is ultimately responsible for the tragic deaths. In any “democratic country” the minister would have resigned rather than making pathetic attempts to deflect blame on other authorities, he said. Another important fact is that the provincial government of Punjab enjoys the services of 450 Drug Inspectors. With such a hefty staff it is ridiculous that the health department failed to check supply of contaminated medicine to pharmacies.—Online

that could harm the drive to repair the country’s battered economy in his first address before the newly convened upper house of parliament on Saturday, urging the opposition to work with his government. In the nationally televised speech, Mohammed Morsi said the nation’s entire efforts should be focused on “production, work, seriousness and effort,” now that a new constitution came into effect this week, blaming protests and violence the last month for causing further damage to an economy already in crisis since the fall of autocrat Hosni Mubarak. Citing the economy, Morsi pressed the opposition to drop its refusals to deal with his government, repeating his invitation for it to join a national dialogue he has been holding — and adding a warning that appeared directed at the opposition not to turn to protests that might cause unrest. All sides must “realize the needs of the moment” and work only through “mature democracy while avoiding violence,” he told the 270-member Shura Council. “We condemn and reject all forms of violence by individuals, groups, institutions and even from the nation and its government. This is completely rejected.” Opponents fear that Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, from which he hails, are monopolizing rule and that the new constitution will consecrate their power.—AP

RIA Novosti cited an unidentified official at the Russian Aviation Agency as saying another Red Wings Tu-204 had gone off the runway at the international airport in Novosibirsk in Siberia on Dec. 20. The agency said that incident, in which no one was injured, was due to the failure of the plane’s engines to go into reverse upon landing and that its brake system malfunctioned. On Friday, the Aviation Agency sent a directive to the Tupolev company’s president calling for it to take urgent preventive measures.

Vnukovo airport spokeswoman Yelena Krylova said it had enough personnel and equipment to keep the runway fully functional Saturday. The airport resumed receiving planes after a break of several hours. Prior to Saturday’s crash, there had been no fatal accidents reported for Tu-204s, which entered commercial service in 1995. The plane is a twin-engine midrange jet with a capacity of about 210 passengers. Vnukovo, on the southern outskirts of Moscow, is one of the Russian capital’s three international airports.—AP

Time to lift mist enveloping political system: Sattar MQM formally invited to Qadri’s long march STAFF REPORTER KARACHI —A

delegation of Tehreek-i-Minhaj-ul-Quran headed by Dr Raheeq Abbasi visited Nine Zero and extended a formal invitation to the Coordination Committee of the MQM to participate in long march being organized by the Pakistan Awami Tehreek in Islamabad on 14th January. The delegation met Deputy Conveners of the Co-ordination Committee Dr Farooq Sattar and Senator Mrs Nasrin Jalil. Other members of the committee were also present on the occasion. The invitation was received by Dr Sattar who assured the delegation that the Co-ordination Committee would inform PAT after holding a joint meeting of the committee in London

and Pakistan. Speaking to the journalists and media persons after holding a meeting with the delegation Dr Sattar said that the vision and programme of Dr Qadri is the same which has been preached by Mr Hussain for the past 35 years. Mr Hussain has announced unqualified support to the programme of basic reforms presented by Dr Qadri because the elimination of corruption from the political system of the country is wanted by everyone in the country.” “Dr Qadri has embarked on a noble cause and Mr Hussain has prayed for his success because it would ultimately empower the 98 per cent of the people belonging to the poor and middle classes and free

them from the tyranny of 2 per cent ruling elite.” “The political system of the country is enveloped in heavy mist and time is coming when this mist would be lifted.” Talking to the journalists Dr Abbasi said that a formal invitation has been given to the MQM and 14th January would be a historic day when foundation for a new Pakistan would be laid. He said, “Oppression, injustice and exploitation would be removed and foundation would be laid for a truly democratic and welfare state.” “We hope that your invitation would be accepted as our unity and co-operation is the national security and integrity. It will be the march of the Pakistan nation who will make a new history on 14th January.”

NPC Seminar

NASIRABAD—Police on Satur-

Workers are real party asset

hope for the youths of the country, he added. He went on to say Nawaz Sharif should return the money received by him in the name of IJI. The elements who had fled from the country after brokering deal with the dictators could provide what guarantee to the people that they would not deceive them again , he held. He was of the view that PPP would rule in the Punjab in future and it would ensure return of money to the country looted by Sharif brothers. —Online

PTI concerned over rising cough syrup deaths

Abducted trader released day claimed to have released a trader from custody of kidnappers and arrested three accused during raid at a house. According to Police sources, a businessman named Muhammad Ameen was kidnapped by some armed men a week ago in the limits of Mengo Showra police station. On direction of DPO Nasirabad Muhammad Saleem, police raided a house for releasing the man and succeed to release him from the custody of kidnappers. Police also arrested three accused and investigation from them was underway. —INP

Morsi warns against new unrest

MOSCOW—A passenger airliner careered off the runway at Russia’s third-busiest airport and partly onto a highway while landing on Saturday, broke into pieces and caught fire, killing at least four people. Officials said there were eight people aboard the Tu-204 belonging to Russian airline Red Wings that was flying back from the Czech Republic without passengers to its home at Vnukovo Airport. Emergency officials said in a televised news conference that four people were killed and another four severely injured when the plane rolled off the runway into a snowy field and partly onto an adjacent highway, then disintegrated. No collisions with vehicles on the major, multilane highway were reported. The plane’s cockpit area was sheared off from the fuselage and a large chunk gashed out near the tail. The crash occurred amid light snow and winds gusting up to 15 meters a second (30 mph), but other details were not immediately known. A spokesman for Russia’s top investigative agency, Vladimir Markin, said initial indications were that pilot error was the cause. The state news agency

Harmony among followers of various faiths stressed Pakistan needs to fulfil Quaid’s vision for progress: Attique ASHRAF ANSARI ISLAMABAD—Speakers at a seminar at Aiwan-e-Quaid, unanimously expressed their conviction that there was urgent need to promote harmony among followers of various faiths in the country. They said, Pakistan would reach great heights of progress in an environment of peace and harmony that were largely dependent on understanding and mutual respect among the followers of various religions The seminar marked conclusion of week long Quaid-iAzam’s birthday celebrations by Nazriya Pakistan Council(NPC). Chairman NPC Zahid Malik presided over the seminar. Former Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir, Muslim Conference leader, Sardar Attique Ahmed Khan in his keynote address quoted from the Holy Quran and Hadith of Prophet Muhammad (MPBUH) to highlight Islam’s message of peace and human unity. He said, there was nothing in teachings of Islam that could tempt anyone to indulge in any kind of prejudice on the basis of creed, colour and geography.

Sardar Attique Ahmed Khan said, the problem of disharmony among the people does not result from difference in faiths but the real cause was that the followers of various faiths ignore teachings of their own religions. He said there was no conflict among religions. The conflicts

All religions focus on goodness, humanity

In Pakistan religions should co-exist: Zahid Malik LIAQAT TOOR ISLAMABAD—Having

established a sustainable contact with the Christian community in Pakistan, the Nazriya Pakistan Council (NPC) would now focus on building confidence among believers of other religious communities in Pakistan. This was stated by Mr. Zahid Malik, Editor-in-Chief, Pakistan Observer, who is also Chairman of the Council at a function organized by the NPC at Aiwan-i-Quaid, as part of

Continued on Page 2

among the followers of various faiths was not based on teachings of the religions. “Prejudice among the people stems from ignorance of the religious teachings. He said it is not a question of inter-faith harmony, it is a problem among followers of various faiths. He stressed the need to promote harmony among followers of all faiths in the country by making people aware of real teachings of Islam and other religions. Sardar Attique Ahmed Khan said, all civilizations emerged to promote human dignity and social welfare. “There is no clash among civilizations as they share common objectives. “The prejudices existing among inheritors of various civilizations result from deviation not from allegiance “he observed. He said, there was no Hindu-Muslim clash in Kashmir valley ever since great Sufi Shah-i-Hamadan preached real teachings of Islam in that religion. He said, Father of the Nation, Quaid-i-Azam ISLAMABAD—Former Prime Minister of Azad Jammu & Kashmir Sardar Attique Ahmad Khan speaks during a function Mohammad Ali Jinnah wanted “Interfaith Harmony in Pakistan, in the view of Quaid-e-Azam” organized by Nazriya Pakistan Council at Aiwan-eMuslims of Pakistan to follow Quaid. Representative of Christian Community Father Rehmat Hakim, Editor-in-Chief Pakistan Observer & Chairman real message of Islam so that NPC Zahid Malik, Representative of Sikh Community Sardar Anok Singh Advocate and Executive Secretary NPC Kanwar Continued on Page 2 Muhammad Dilshad are also seen sitting on the stage. —PO photo by Sultan Bashir


Oral HPV rates higher in men than women

A

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

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

ISLAMABAD: People buying flowers from a stall at F-7 flower market.

3 new degree colleges approved RAWALPINDI—Punjab government has approved 3 new degree colleges for Rawalpindi. Approval has been accorded for one boy’s degree college and two girls college each at Dhamial. A boy’s degree college is being set up in Dhok Ratta and classes are likely to start therein from September. A girl’s college is being established in Gujar Khan. Funds have also been released for launching classes in these colleges immediately. Director Colleges Rawalpindi has confirmed the reports of approval of these colleges.—Online

AIOU’s practical exams I SLAMABAD —Allama Iqbal

RAWALPINDI: Lt Gen Azhar Rasheed, Surgeon General visiting a stall displaying components for Upper & Lower Limb Amputees after National Seminar on Amputee Rehabilitation at Armed Forces Institute of Rehabilitation.

National seminar on Amputee Rehabilitation R AWALPINDI —A national seminar on Amputee Rehabilitation - 2012 was held at Armed Forces Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine (AFIRM) here. Surgeon General Lieutenant General Azhar Rasheed was the chief guest. Presenters delivered lectures on different topics related to the amputee rehabilitation. The chief guest along with the participants from AFIRM, PIPOS, Isra Institute of Rehabilitation Sciences (IIRS), ZUIS Pharmaland, Fauji Foundation Hospital (Artificial Limbs Centre) and Dow University of Health Sciences Karachi visited different stalls displaying components related to upper and lower limb amputees.

4 Sheesha centres fined ISLAMABAD—An operation has been launched against Sheesha Smoking Center in F-11 Markaz and F-11/3. Assistant Commissioner Islamabad Waqas Rashid launched operation and taking action against 4 Sheesha Smoking centres imposed fine of Rs 38000 against them for violating anti smoking laws. AC also warned the owners that if they try to reopen the Sheesha smoking corners than action would be taken against them It merits mentioning here that action has been taken against 20 Sheesha centres during this year. Meanwhile, AC also demanded from traders and public that they should cooperate with concern authority against Sheesha centre that are also open in hotels and cafes.—Online

The AFIRM had presented the latest Bebionic hand which has the capacity of various types of grips used by the amputees, said a press release issued by ISPR here. The AFIRM also presented and showed the sports prosthesis used by the lower limb amputees for running. A workshop on ice cast anatomy was also arranged by the AFIRM. It is the only tertiary care

rehabilitation centre in Pakistan which has all the disciplines related to physical medicines and rehabilitation under one roof. Patients received from all over the country are being provided with the latest prostheses. AFIRM is also equipped with ALAC (Artificial Limb and Appliances Centre) which has the capability of fabricating Prostheses and Orthoses.

Open University (AIOU) has scheduled practical examinations of F.Sc programmes for the Semester Spring from January 1. The exams will be held in Government College of Science, Wahdat Road Lahore, Government Islamia College Sargodha Road, Faisalabad and in AIOU lab, Block No.4, Main Campus of the University in Sector H-8, Islamabad, said Arshad Khan Baloch, Deputy Controller of Exams (C&S), AIOU here on Saturday. The students have been distributed into four groups, he said adding, duration of the practical exams of group 1 and 3 is from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon while the practical exams of group 2 and 4 will start from 2:00 p.m. and will be ended at 5:00 p.m.—APP

Bhutto family rendered sacrifices for democracy I SLAMABAD —Adviser to 27 December was the black day Bilawal Bhutto is representing Prime Minister on Interfaith Harmony, Dr Paul Bhatti has said that Bhutto family rendered great sacrifices for democracy and political stability in the country. In an interview here, he said that Shaheed Benazir Bhutto was the brave leader, who struggled for the rights of the common man. He said that assassination of Benazir Bhutto on

in the political history of the country. He said that Benazir Bhutto challenged the antidemocratic forces and sacrificed her life for smooth functioning of democracy. Replying to a question, he said that President Asif Ali Zardari dedicated his beloved son for strengthening democracy, economic and political stability in the country. He said that

Lok Virsa Mela from Jan 1

youth of the country who acquired modern education and political training from his mother. He said that extremism and terrorism jolted our society, adding “we need such high visionary leader for fighting against extremist forces.” “Bilawal give message to the international community for modern and progressive Pakistan, “ he added.—APP

Traffic plan for Journalists Panel new year night sweeps election I —Inspector GenSLAMABAD

ISLAMABAD—The Journalists ISLAMABAD—The National In- sented . Exhibition of cultural Panel on Saturday sweeped the stitute of Folk and Traditional Heritage (Lok Virsa) in collaboration with the Ministry of National Heritage and Integration will organize the ‘Pakistan Week Mela’ to integrate Pakistan’s rich culture and heritage among the masses from January 1 to 7. The week-long activities would be arranged with the objective to save the national heritage for future generations and also to project the soft image of Pakistan across the border while giving a message of peace, unity and harmony. The major features of the’ Pakistan Week Mela’ stalls inculding art and handy craft, handy craft and cultural veriety of all the four provinces, AJK and Gilgit Baltistan would be pre-

heritage, folklore songs and dance performances, cultural evenings, traditional floats and stage plays would also be arranged. According to an official of Lok Virsa ,the purpose of Week Mela Pakistan is to highlight and promote the culture of the country. As no nation can thrive without promoting its culture, the objective of long Week Mela is to involve and bring the youth closer to the cultural activities. He further said that the cultural heritage of the country is its asset, we want the youth to take pride in their own culture, and such festivals provide them a forum so that they get better understanding of their rich culture and heritage.—APP

annual election of the Press Association of the Supreme Court (PAS). According to the final results announced by election chairman Nasir Iqbal, following candidates from the Journalists Panel were elected: Javed Soomor as president, Rashid Habib senior vice president, Masood ur Rehman vice president, Aijaz Hussain Shahid general secretary, Allah Dad Siddiqui joint secretary, Amjad Nazir Bhatti finance secretary and Zaheed Alam as information secretary. Ali Gohar Ghanghro, Akhtar Siddiqui, Majid Jarral and Abid Ali from the Journalists Panel elected as memebers of the executive body. —APP

Riphah University’s convocation

550 graduates, post-graduates awarded degrees CITY REPORTER

Research Institute of Chemistry, Atta ur Rahman congratulated the Riphah International UniverUniversity of Karachi, Prof Dr the graduating students and sity for maintaining high stanISLAMABAD—As many as 550 Atta ur Rahman was the chief prayed for their success in prac- dards of education and for holdtical life. He also congratulated ing regular convocations. graduates and post-graduates guest. Speaking on the occasion Dr the management and faculty of He said Pakistan needed were awarded degrees at the 7th convocation of Riphah International University held here Saturday. The graduates belong to various faculties, including Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Management Sciences, Engineering and Applied Sciences, Computing, Social Sciences and Humanities, Basic Sciences and Media Sciences. Thirteen Zulfiqar Gold Medals and 16 Chancellor’s Gold Medals were awarded to the graduates and post-graduates for obtaining top positions in the examinations and securing distinction for their best performance in the academic field in various disciplines. Patron-in-Chief of the International Centre for Chemical ISLAMABAD: Dr Attaur Rehman distributing degrees among successful students during and Biological Sciences, HEJ 7th convocation of Riphah University at Jinnah Convention Centre.

highly educated youth with a commitment to transform society into a knowledge-based society. He said higher educational institutions had to play a vital role in social development and educational transformation of the people. The Riphah International University was making a great contribution in this regard. Rector University of Management and Technology, Lahore, Hasan Sohaib Murad, in his speech, said public sector as well as private sector had to play a responsible role in building future of knowledge economies. He said the Riphah University had set an example for other institutions in imparting standard professional education with focus on character building of the students. Pro-Chancellor of Riphah International University Hassan Muhammad Khan, in his remarks, highlighted the future plans of the university and said Ras-al-Khaima, College of Dental Sciences had already started

functioning in the UAE. He said the university was now planning to establish its campus in Mauritius. He also apprised about the finalization of the plan for construction of new campus of the university in Islamabad. He said an agreement had been signed for the purpose with a consortium of world renowned architectural companies led by John R Harris and Partners (JHRP). Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Anis Ahmad, in his address, said that this was an age of globalization with challenges in strategic areas of economy, education, security and culture. He said Riphah International University was imparting knowledge and skills to the graduates with leadership qualities to meet the challenges effectively and successfully. New logo of Riphah International University was also launched at the convocation.

eral of Police, Islamabad Bani Amin Khan has issued directions to deploy police contingents at important places,shopping centers, main markets for the safety of public on the eve of New Year Night. On the special instructions of IG Police Bani Amin Khan, SSP Islamabad Yaseen Farooq and SSP (Traffic) Islamabad Dr. Moeen Masood issued security and traffic plan deputing police contingents at all important places, shopping centers, main markets for the safety of the public during the night. Police Commandos have been deployed at different places apart from patrolling by ASPs, DSPs, Inspectors and provision of more strength to police stations. All the Police Stations have been directed to ensure fool proof security arrangements in their respective areas while over 500 cops will perform duties in various areas. SSP (Traffic) Dr. Moeen Masood has also constituted special squads to maintain traffic flow in the capital and a detailed deployment plan has been made to control the traffic in the city. He has also directed the staffers to take strict action against one wheeling, racing and those running bikes and vehicles without silences. More than 400 traffic policemen in form of various teams headed by Zonal DSPs, Inspectors, beat officers will be deployed in the whole district. Special traffic police squads will also keep patrolling to curb one-wheeling and racing practices.—APP

2 crushed to death I SLAMABAD —Two persons were crushed to death by a speeding truck on Islamabad Expressway near Zia Masjid here in the area of Shehzad Town police station. According to a police source, Ali Raza son of Muhammad Ali and Rizwan Hussain son of Nasir Hussain, residents of Rawalpindi were standing near their out of car, when they were crushed to death by the truck. The truck driver managed to escape and the police impounded the truck.—APP


Govt all set to pay additional pension to retired employees Zohr

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

December 31 PAKISTAN National Council of the Arts, has scheduled free puppet show at 4:00 pm at PNCA Auditorium, F-5/1, Islamabad. National Puppet Theatre will present Folk Tales, Skits to provide entertainment and education about social problems like Health, Education and Environment etc. Children along with parents are invited to see the show. January 01 HAMDARD Thinker’s Forum will hold a seminar on destructive political, social and effects of corruption 4pm at Hamdard Centre Rawalpindi. Continuing EXHIBITION of paintings by Mashkoor Raza, Mughees Riaz, Ufaq Ehsan and Arjumand Husain, at the Nomad Art Gallery, 22, Justice Abdur Rashid Road, Sector F-6/1, Islamabad, continuing up to December 30.

I S L A M A B A D —Despite depressive economic situation of the country, the government is yet again all set to pay special additional pension to BPS 20 and above retired officers from Jan 01. According to a notification issued by the ministry of Finance on the basis of principle of equity and fairness, the competent authority has been pleases to approved that retired officers in BPS 20 and above shall be paid special additional pension. According to the notification whenever the government will revise the rates of orderly allowance in future, the same increase

shall be made applicable to the special additional pension of the retired officers. It further said the recommendation of pay and pension commission 2009, establishment division and request of retired government officers in BPS 20 in the above matter has been examined in finance divisions intensely. It is pertinent to mention here that federal government has also approved 35 percent increase in the salaries and allowances of officers I management positions. The basic salary for MP-1 scale has now been fixed at

Rs263, 000 per month, up by Rs68, 000 per month from Rs195, 000. The maximum salary for MP-1 officers has been fixed at Rs324, 000 per month. Other perks like medical facilities, traveling and daily allowances, leave encashment and gratuity for all MP Officers will remain unchanged. Before tax salary package of officers in MP-II has now been fixed at a maximum of Rs372, 230 per month. The basic pay for MP-II officers has been increased to Rs176, 000 per month from Rs130, 400 per month.—Online

Allotees annoyed over slow pace of uplift work in G-14 CITY REPORTER ISLAMABAD—Frustrated allotees have complained that the development work in Sector G-14 is going on at very slow pace due to slackness of Federal Government Employees Housing Foundation (FGEHF) and the district administration, and lack of interest of the commission to investigate fake houses in the sector despite passage of eight years. Allotees have expressed serious concerns over delay of the development project by mafia of Housing Department, saying

that since eight years this mafia was still using delaying tactics to withhold the work on the project. Some of the allotees while talking to INP complained that land mafia people had constructed rooms and small structures in the sector to get compensation money and started blackmailing. Islamabad High Court (IHC) constituted a commission of Retired District and Sessions Judge Choudhry Mazhar Minhas to investigate the issue and fix November 30 deadline to submit the report. The commission has still not

completed the report. The housing foundation paid the mobilization advance to the construction company but the deputy commissioner Islamabad has not constituted police post or deployed Rangers in the sector to stop the fake affectees from hindering the construction work. Moreover, even survey of the houses could not be started yet. The allotees demanded of the federal minister for housing and works to take notice of the situation and issue orders to accelerate the development work in Sector G-14.

***** GROUP exhibition titled ‘Bend in the Scapes,’ at the Satrang Art Gallery, Serena Hotel, Khayaban-eSuhrwardy, Islamabad, continuing up to January 8.

AIOU’s admissions STAFF REPORTER ISLAMABAD—Admissions of M.Sc (Hons), MS/M.Phill and Ph.D programmes in different disciplines for the Semester Spring, 2013 of the Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) continue simultaneously across the country. Prospectus and admission forms can be obtained from the university’s website www.aiou.edu.pk. Admissions of Ph.D Programmes (on MS/M.Phil Basis) is being offered in Distance, Non-Formal and Continuing Education, Secondary Teacher Education, Education Planning and Management(EPM), Special Education, Science Education and Agricultural Extension. The admissions of MS/M.Phil Programmes are offered in Distance, Non-Fiormal and Continuing Education, Secondary Teacher Education, Educational Planning and Management (EPM), Special Education, Science Education, Computer Science, Statistics, Physics, Environmental Design, Urdu, Economics, Management Sciences and Pakistani Languages and Literature. The admissions of MSc (Hons) are also being offered in rural Development, Live Stock Management and Agricultural Extension, said Director Admissions, Syed Zia-ul-Hasnain Naqvi.

RAWALPINDI: Motorcycle rickshaws are parked outside City Police Station using area as an illegal rickshaw stand.

Escalating prices of poultry products protested

PR decreases fares of RawalpindiLahore car rail

R AWA L P I N D I —Escalating can only see this product dan- ISLAMABAD—Pakistan Railprices of poultry fowls and products have triggered grave concern among the citizens. The live poultry fowls were available at the rate below Rs 100 per kilogram two weeks before but now it has gone upto Rs 180 per kilogram and the middleman seems to be standing behind fueling prices. The middleman has deprived us of catering to our food needs as he has increased the prices blatantly in connivance with the district management, said a group of citizens. The prices have skyrocketed to Rs 180 per kilogram of live shaver, which has spiraled out of our reach, they added. The mutton and beef is a rarity for us and our children as we

gling in butchers’ shops but can neither touch it what to speak of buying due to nerve wrecking prices. We were catering to our food needs through chicken meat but it has also gone out of our day to day eroding purchasing power as its price has gone upto Rs 180 per kilogram, said Nazir Ahmad , a school teacher. The main reason behind increasing prices of chicken is that the middleman fixes its prices on his own and not the district price control committee. The citizens have demanded of the district administration to maintain check and balance on the prices besides initiating action against the middleman and directing the price control committee to set the prices. —Online

ways (PR) has decided to decrease fares of AC parlour and AC standard of car rail plying between Rawalpindi and Lahore. Meanwhile, three new stops have also been approved for the Margalla Express plying between Rawalpindi and Islamabad. Divisional Superintendent Rawalpindi, Syed Munawar Shah said that fare of AC parlour has been decreased from Rs910 to Rs800, while fare of AC standard has been decreased from Rs690 to Rs600. Jehlum, Gujrat and Gujranwala have been added to the list of approved stations for Margalla Express where that train would stop for two minutes each, he added.—INP

RAWALPINDI: A view of muddy track at Sunday Bazaar, Shamsabad causing inconvenience to visitors.

Female drug pusher arrested, 1.100 kg heroin seized

Low gas pressure dilemma continue CITY REPORTER

ISLAMABAD—The residents of ISLAMABAD—Islamabad Po- twin cities of Islamabad and lice have arrested three outlaws including a female from various areas of the city and recovered 1.100 kilogram heroin and weapons from their possession, a police spokesman said on Saturday. Golra police have arrested a female drug pusher Rifat and recovered 1.100 kilogram hashish from her possession. Meanwhile Sub-Inspector Muhammad Aslam arrested Alamgir in possession of 30 bore pistol while ASI Qasim Zia from Shehzad town police arrested Khalid Mehmud for having 30 bore pistol. Cases have been registered against the accused and further investigation is underway. SSP Islamabad Yaseen Farooq has appreciated the performance and directed all police officials for effective vigilance and patrolling in their respective areas, he added.—APP

Rawalpindi have been facing severe problem of low gas pressure, which has made their lives miserable. Many areas of the twin cities have been under tight grip of low gas pressure and load-shedding including I-8, F-11/1-3, G7/2-3, G-10, Morgah, Adyala Road, Dhok Syedian, Muslim Town, Sadiqabad, Shah Khalid Colony, Muslim Town, Fazal Town Phase 2 and Tench Bhatta. Talking to INP, on Saturday residents of twin cities said that they were unable to cook anything at home. They said that they have to stand in long queues outside restaurants and tandoors for meal. Residents of G-7/2 said that low gas pressure multiply the miseries of domestic consumers in most parts of the city, compelling them to use alternate methods to fulfill their household chores. “Our daily routine has also been badly affected due to

the low pressure of gas especially at early morning hours and in the evening when the pressure is reduced to zero and it becomes too difficult for the people to cook,” said Shazia Khan, a house wife in Sector I-8. A resident of Dhoke Syedaan, Sohail Arshad said that they had been facing severe problem of low gas pressure for the last two weeks. An official of Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL) said that usually gas pressure reduced in the winter season due to considerable gap between the demand and supply. They said that load-shedding and low gas pressure is the only gift of the incumbent government, adding that people are forced to live in Stone Age despite living in the federal capital. Citizens demanded Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf to take notice of the gruesome situation and direct concerned official to ensure provision of adequate gas supply to domestic consumer.

Completion of Pir Wadhai flyover RAWALPINDI—Slow construction work on Pir Wadhai flyover has piled up woes for residents of the area. Lease of the shops, petrol pumps and workshops operating around the flyover was terminated to ensure completion of work on a fast-track basis. Orders were also issued for demolition of these installations but they are still functioning therein impeding the construction work of flyover. This is an ideal project launched by the Punjab government for the convenience of the common man. But it seems the project will not be completed within stipulated period due to certain bottlenecks and irritants. Inordinate delay in completion of work has driven residents of vicinities close to flyover to a perpetual state of anguish as they have to bear the brunt of respiratory diseases caused by dust the project site. Residents have called for early completion of construction work of flyover to allay their problems. —Online


Firing on civilians in Pulwama denounced Geelani calls for shutdown SRINAGAR—The Chairman of lution of the Kashmir dispute. leader, Syed Ali Gilani, in a Ashraf Sehrai, Farooq Ahmed All Parties Hurriyet Conference, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, has strongly denounced the indiscriminate firing on peaceful civilians by Indian troops in Pulwama that resulted in the injuring of fifteen people, yesterday. Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was addressing a press conference after a meeting of the APHC’s Executive and General Councils in Srinagar, today. He said that India should realise the fact that it would not succeed to suppress the Kashmiris’ aspirations through use of force. He said that during the recent visit to Pakistan, the APHC leaders felt that there was complete coordination among the people and the government of Pakistan on the resoMUZAFFARABAD: Police officer Habibullah and Project Coordinator Raja Naeem Ahmed Khan holding performance shields awarded to them by China.

Baramulla youth being harassed by police: Nayeem SRINAGAR — Chairman National Front Nayeem Ahmad Khan has said that youth in Baramulla were subjected to harassment by police. “Men in uniform are using such a tactics so that youth are made to surrender. I was told by a number of senior citizens of district Baramulla that police has compiled the lists of youth and their lives are being made miserable,” Khan said. Khan was speaking during his meeting with Master Muhammad Ahsan Dar, who is among the first militant commanders. Dar was recently released from long detention. Khan termed his release as positive for the ongoing resistance movement. He praised the efforts and endeavors of Master Muhammad Ahsan Dar in the field of the movement.—NNI

Bhutto Memorial Trust chief writing book on Benazir SRINAGAR—“First America engineered the killing of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and then its intelligence agency eliminated his daughter Benazir Bhutto,” claims a local activist who runs Bhutto Memorial Trust. A Joint meeting of Bhutto Memorial Trust (BMT) and People’s Political Party (PPP) was held to commemorate the fifth death anniversary of slain PPP Chairperson Benazir Bhutto at party headquarters in Rajbagh and the meeting was presided over by Hilal Ahmad War. The PPP and BMT leaders paid rich tribute to the great leader in recognition of her lifelong struggle for the stability, integrity and democracy of Pakistan and her contribution for the Kashmir cause. War said that ‘Benazir Bhutto was killed at the behest of American CIA’. He said there were some black sheep in PPP leadership who hatched conspiracy with American CIA to kill her. He further said that she and her father Zulfikar Ali Bhutto vehemently opposed American policy of making Pakistan a satellite state for its future plans. “First America engineered the killing of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and then its intelligence agency killed Benazir Bhutto. The assassination of Benazir Bhutto was part of the ploy to create instability in Pakistan in order to the takeover the control of nuclear weapons of Pakistan by United States”, claimed War. PPP Chief, War, said that he is writing a book entitled ‘The Man Who Assassinated Benazir Bhutto ‘in order to expose the killers of the ‘Daughter of the East’.—NNI

JKLF to Pakistan visit adds new dimension to Kashmir resolution organize seminar on prisoners

Mirwaiz stresses 5-point demand for talks with Delhi

SRINAGAR—Claiming that the chairman insisted that for initi- nian laws like the AFSPA, the Hurriyat (M)’s visit to Pakistan had brought a “new dimension” to efforts on resolving the Kashmir issue, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has reiterated the need for tripartite talks over the question, and underlined his five-point demands as the basis for starting a dialogue with New Delhi. “They (New Delhi) have been reluctant to address the demands which I think could have set the stage for dialogue to take off,” the Mirwaiz, said, voicing satisfaction on talks in Pakistan. He said he had no knowledge of reports suggesting that the prime minister of India intended to invite the alliance for talks, but maintained that the Hurriyat (M) was not averse to dialogue. The Hurriyat (M)

ating a serious dialogue process, the union government would have to bring “a visible change on the ground which would be noticeable to Kashmiris.” “You can’t expect dialogue to flourish unless there is a change on the ground,” the Mirwaiz was quoted by the KNS as having said. “Dialogue shouldn’t be for the sake of dialogue, you have to be serious in the engagement and give Kashmiris the confidence that something concrete will come out of it,” he said, adding that a visible change in the ground situation was imperative to move forward on the issue. The Mirwaiz was referring to five demands the Hurriyat (M) has outlined over two years ago, involving repeal of draco-

release of detainees, moving troops back to barracks, halt to human rights violations and probes into excesses against civilians. Upbeat on the outcome of the faction’s Pakistan visit, the Mirwaiz stressed that it had brought a new dimension to the efforts in resolving the Kashmir issue, but stressed that stressed that nothing could be achieved by keeping the Kashmiris away from the negotiating table. He refused to accept that the visit was ‘futile,’ saying that it should be seen as the beginning of a solution. “We understand that a solution won’t come overnight, or with just one or two visits, but this visit has paved way for a comprehensive process to reach to the final settlement—NNI

LoC traders boycott meetings on ‘Zero Line’ JAMMU–The Line of Control (LoC) traders have boycotted their meeting with the counterparts of Azad Kashmir following ‘cold response’ from the State and Central governments to boost the trade. “Both the governments, State and Central government, have shown cold response in promoting the LoC trade which they started with much pomp and show,” Pawan Anand, President, Cross LoC Traders Association told Rising Kashmir. Anand said Union Home Minister Shushil Kumar Shinde and Union Secretary Home RK Singh had recently visited the Chakan-da-Bagh trade centre

and held a meeting with the traders from this side. “During the meeting, they assured us that the demands including increasing the number of tradable goods, providing banking facility, telephone facility, proper sitting arrangement on Zero Line for the meetings of the traders of both sides, etc., would be fulfilled. However nothing was done,” he alleged. Sheraz Khan said government had allowed 21 goods to be traded but gradually the tradable items have been reduced to three only. “It has badly hit the trade and its motive for which it was started by the governments of India and Pakistan. These days

SRINAGAR—Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front is organizing a seminar titled “Prisoners of Kashmir and our responsibilities” on Sunday (December 30) to mark the martyrdom anniversary of Shaheed Prof Abdul Ahad Wani. “Besides paying tributes to Shaheed Prof Wani, deliberations will be held on the plight, recent judgments and torture of Kashmiri prisoners who are languishing in various jails. The seminar will be attended by various scholars, intellectuals and leaders etc,” said the Front chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik while addressing a meeting of JKLF leaders and activists held in connection with the martyrdom anniversary of Shaheed Wani at Maqbool Manzil here. Paying tributes to Shaheed Prof Wani, Malik said, “He was a man who believed in work and only work. He remained steadfast and worked day in and out for highlighting the issue of Kashmir on the diplomatic and political front. He was a genius and the world leaders who met him were impressed by his wisdom and diplomatic skills. Prof Wani and other people like him are pride of nations and Kashmiris too own them as a pride and reward.” Malik said the best way to pay tributes to legends like Professor Wani was to keep struggling in the way they sacrificed their lives for. “JKLF will surely keep the flame of struggle burning and take it to the desired goal of Azadi,” he said. Yasin Malik also paid rich tributes to senior leader of Jama’at-i- Islami Pakistan Prof Gafoor Ahmad who passed away and prayed for the departed soul.—NNI

only two trucks cross LoC to exchange the goods.” “The trade has also failed as most of the traders on both sides avoid sending items on the other side,” Khan said. The traders said that two weeks back the traders from this side had not sent any truck while only one truck loaded with goods was sent to this side. “Recently, we trucks loaded with ‘coconut’ had reached the Chakka-da-Bagh but the custom officials did not allow the trucks to cross the border. We had sent the trucks loaded with coconut after we had got assurance from the Home Minister,” he S RINAGAR — The chairman added.—NNI of Hurriyat Conference (G) Syed Ali Shah Geelani has expressed profound grief and sorrow over the demise of the senior leader of Jama’at-eaggressive and spreads to other Islami, Pakistan, Prof parts of the body, including Ghafoor Ahmad, describing it lungs. an irreparable loss to Islamic The rural population is Movement in the subcontimore affected by Kangri cancer nent. Prof Ghafoor, (85), due to more usage of Kangri and who was naib amir of absence of modern means of Jama’at-e-Islami, Pakistan, heating appliances in rural ar- passed away following proeas. About the precautions to be tracted illness. taken to prevent Kangri cancer, Geelani, in a statement Bhat suggested reduced usage from New Delhi, said Prof of Kangri. Ghafoor was a great intellec“The use of Kangri has to tual and religious scholar who be minimized. It should not be had devoted his whole life to used excessively. Exposing any the service of Islam and part of the body to Kangri for strived throughout his life for long time should be avoided,” the establishment of Islamic he said. “When burns are devel- rule in Pakistan. oped due to Kangri, it must be “Prof. Ghafoor was one of treated in time so that it does not the senior and close companions develop ulcer. Ulcer is what of Moulana Syed Abul Alla leads to cancer.”—NNI Maddodi (RA)..—NNI

Geelani grieved at Prof Ghafoor’s demise

Kashmiris have a new enemy: Kangri SRINAGAR—As the usage of Kangri cancer report at SKIMS,” Kangri continues unabated in Kashmir, Kangri cancer is persistently affecting Valley’s population. Though there has neither been increase nor decrease in its prevalence, the unique kind of cancer affects both rural and urban population of Kashmir. Kangri cancer caused by the use of Kangri is prevalent only in Kashmir and is not found in any other part of the world. Dr Gul Muhmmad Bhat, oncologist at SKIMS, Soura told Rising Kashmir that on an average, 10 persons affected by Kangri cancer visit SKIMS each year. “The cancer has neither shown an increase nor decrease. Every year about 10 patients of

Bhat said. He said Kangri cancer was caused by the excessive use and misuse of Kangri. “Prolong heating of any specific area with this fire pot gives way to Kangri cancer,” Bhat said.“When Kangri is used near any part of the body for prolonged period, it causes burns which are reddish,” he said. “When these burns remain untreated and exposed to Kangri heat, it develops ulcers and it is this ulcer which develops cancer.” Bhat said since Kangri is most used between the thighs and near abdomen, these two areas were mostly affected by this unique kind of cancer. He said that this cancer was very

The APHC Chairman pointed out that the confidence building measures between Pakistan and India could not sustain without settling the Kashmir dispute. He maintained that the lingering dispute could be resolved through tripartite talks in line with the relevant UN resolutions. Earlier, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq briefed the meeting about the visit of the APHC delegation. The meeting was attended among others by Professor Abdul Ghani Butt, Agha Syed Hassan Al-Moosvi AlSafvi, Bilal Ghani Lone, Yasmeen Raja, Mukhtar Ahmed Waza, Masroor Abbas, Zafar Akbar Butt and Musaddiq Aadil. On the other hand, the veteran Kashmiri Hurriyet

statement issued in Srinagar, today, termed the indiscriminate firing on people in Pulwama as an attempt of mass murder. He gave a call for complete shutdown in the occupied territory on Monday to protest against the incident. He said that the shutdown was also aimed at denouncing the innocent killings in 2012 and the awarding of life imprisonment to the innocent youth. APHC leader, Zafar Akbar Butt, visited Filpora Lasipora area of Pulwama and expressed solidarity with the family of a youth who was martyred by the troops on Friday. Liberation leaders, Muhammad Yasin Malik, Shabbir Ahmed Shah, Nayeem Ahmed Khan, Muhammad

Dar, Javed Ahmed Mir and Jamaat-e-Islami of the occupied territory in their statements termed the firing on innocent civilians in Pulwama as the worst kind of Indian state terrorism. Lawyers in the territory boycotted the court proceedings in protest against the troops’ action in Pulwama. The occupation authorities continued to impose stringent restrictions in Pulwama town for the second consecutive day, today, to prevent people from holding anti-India demonstrations. The authorities placed the APHC leaders, Shabbir Ahmed Shah and Nayeem Ahmed Khan, under house arrest to prevent them from visiting Pulwama.—KMS

Massive allegations of rape against Army in IHK: Wajahat NEW DELHI—National Mi- such a situation. norities Commission Chairman Wajahat Habibullah has criticized former Army Chief V K Singh for taking to streets against the gang rape of a girl in Delhi, asking whether allegations of rape against personnel of the force in Jammu and Kashmir have ever been enquired into. A former IAS officer of the Jammu and Kashmir cadre, who was also the first Chief Information Commissioner of the country, said a productive way would have been if people like Gen Singh would have advised the government on dealing with

“In his (Gen Singh’s) case, I am sorry to say so, he was Commander-in-Chief of the Army. There are, at least in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, massive allegations of rape against Army. Were they ever enquired into? Was an effort made to bring justice? Here was a case of rape. Regrettable, yes. But if he wants to join in condemnation of the government against that, has he taken into account various ramifications of that,” Habibullah told PTI in an interview. He said it could be possible when Singh was the Army Chief

Waza urges Kashmir settlement through talks S RINAGAR — APHC leader logue process between Pakiand the Jammu and Kashmir Peoples League (JKPL) Chairman, Mukhtar Ahmad Waza has urged India and Pakistan to start tripartite talks for resolution of the Kashmir dispute. Mukhtar Ahmad Waza addressing a gathering at NaiBasti in Islamabad town hailed the efforts of Pakistan towards settlement of the dispute and thanked the country for its continued support to the Kashmiris’ struggle for their right to self-determination. He termed the APHC delegation’s recent visit to Pakistan as a milestone adding that it would pave the way for resolution of the lingering dispute. Waza said that inclusion of the Kashmiris in the dia-

stan and India was imperative as they were the basic party to the dispute. He said that India should shun its unrealistic approach and come forward to resolve the Kashmir problem for insuring permanent peace in South Asia. He also appealed to the world human rights organizations to take cognizance of gross human rights violations being perpetrated by Indian troops in the occupied territory. Meanwhile, the JKPL spokesman in a statement condemned the use of brute force on peaceful protesters by Indian troops in Pulwama that resulted in the injuring of several persons, the other day.—KMS

he was not able to remedy the cases although he may have wanted to. But that was even more reason to go to the Prime Minister, the Home Minister and tell them how to handle it, he added. Habibullah said that things have changed during the last two decades and Army had tried to reach out to people of Jammu and Kashmir but there exists a basic mistrust. “The basic mistrust is because general transparency and accountability is not there. If something goes wrong, if there is rape then machinery should come into automatic activation.—NNI

Martyrs’ mission will be taken to logical end: JKSM SRINAGAR—The All Parties Hurriyet Conference (APHC) leader and the Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Salvation Movement, Zafar Akbar Butt has said that the martyrs have highlighted the Kashmir dispute at the global level and their mission will be accomplished at all costs. Zafar Akbar Butt addressing mourners in the native village of a martyred youth, Imtiyaz Ahmad, in Filpora Lasipora, said that the martyrs had kept the Kashmir dispute alive and their blood would not be allowed to go waste. “We will continue the mission of martyrs till its logical conclu-

How are malnutritious Kashmiri women treated? S RINAGAR — Jammu and Kashmir High Court has directed Mission Director National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) J&K to file compliance report indicating as to how and in which manner at village, block and district level were women suffering from malnutrition being treated. A division bench comprising of Justice Virender Singh and Justice Muzaffar Hussain Attar passed the direction on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) ‘Dr Rouf Mohideen Malik and others versus State’ seeking directions for better medical care in G B Pant Hospital. After thoroughly reading the status report filed by Mission Director NRHM J&K Dr Yash Pal Sharma, the court observed that it had not given details about the scheme to cope up with problems of malnutrition. The court asked the Mission Director to file a status report

stating if there was any such scheme available in the State and if there was any, how it was being implemented at the ground level. The court directed Medical Superintendent G B Panth Hospital Muneer Ahmed Masoodi to file a status report indicating the problem causes of malnutrition of pregnant women. “The status report should also indicate remedies for the malnutrition of pregnant women, “the court said. The Medical Superintendent G B Panth Hospital Muneer Ahmed Masoodi said in the court that nutritional rehabilitation centers would be made operational by January 31, 2013. He also said that Principal Government Medical College, Srinagar had to provide the manpower for making the centers operational. Masoodi said that an amount of Rs 2 crore under NRHM scheme had been re-

ceived by the hospital administration for upgradation of G B Panth Hospital. Following the submission of the compliance report, the court directed Principal GMC Srinagar to complete the selection process in respect of providing manpower to nutritional rehabilitation centers before January 31, 2013. The court made it clear that the necessary staff for the centre should be made available to the Medical Superintendent G B Panth Children Hospital before January 31, 2013. The counsel for the petitioner Muhammad Ashraf Wani submitted that the Health department and Social Welfare department were not working in tandem vis-à-vis implementation of Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme. The court included Director Social Welfare Department Jammu and Srinagar as party respondents in the petition.—NNI

Hold DNA tests in unmarked graves first: APDP demands Delhi gropes, Pulwama judge SRINAGAR—Countering the SHRC to investigate whether ment said. chief minister, the Association of the Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) has said that the government should first carry out DNA profiling in Kashmir’s unmarked graves and only then ask claimants to submit samples with the SHRC for matching and verification. In a statement issued here, APDP said on August 30, 2012 the association submitted 507 cases of enforced disappearances from Baramulla and Bandipora districts to the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) for investigations into the causes and circumstances which led to their disappearances. APDP said it had urged

these people were dead or alive and if they had been killed, then it should be ascertained whether these people had been buried in unmarked graves and mass graves in entire Jammu and Kashmir through DNA tests. “Initially, the state government and SHRC showed reluctance to admit these 507 cases of enforced disappearances, but finally on December 24, 2012 the case has been admitted and the notices have been issued to the Director General of Jammu and Kashmir Police and the Deputy Commissioners of Baramulla and Bandipora districts to furnish their reports regarding the disappearance of these 507 persons,” the state-

Earlier on December 10, 2011, APDP had submitted 132 cases of enforced disappearances from Banihal to the SHRC. APDP had urged SHRC to investigate the causes and circumstances which led to the disappearance of these 132 persons from Banihal. APDP also had expressed that the family members of these victims were willing to cooperate for DNA tests. “Given the fact that so far 639 cases of enforced disappearances have been submitted to the SHRC for investigations and for possible DNA tests, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has chosen to lie and confuse the issue of enforced disappear-

ances and unmarked graves,” the statement said. “The chief minister recently said to some newspapers that so far no one has approached the government for carrying out DNA tests. He also mentioned that the SP of the Human Rights Cell of the CID has been made nodal officer for the DNA tests. The government vide its Action Taken Report submitted to the SHRC has laid out the procedure for the families to approach this SP of CID for DNA tests.” The APDP statement said it was also reiterated by the chief minister recently when he said that family members of the disappeared while approaching the nodal officer for the DNA tests should identify the grave-

yard and the particular grave in which they suspect that their loved ones have been buried. “This is a bizarre statement. How would the family members of the disappeared know whether their relatives are dead or alive and also if they are dead, where they have been buried,” APDP said in the statement.m It said that this policy of the present government suggests that the chief minister was not just callous but also cruel and crude in his understanding about the issue of enforced disappearances in Jammu and Kashmir. “Omar Abdullah’s statement is not a surprise for the family members of the disappeared. National Conference

has a legacy of siding with tyranny and injustice,” APDP statement said. APDP quoted the former chief minister Farooq Abdullah on January 13, 2001as saying: “My orders to the police are wherever you find a militant, dispatch him as I do not want to fill jails.”APDP said this only further empowered the armed forces to continue their policy of extra-judicial killings. “We urge government to end this policy of lies and obduracy and adopt the principles of justice and fairness, while dealing with issue of enforced disappearances and unmarked graves in Jammu and Kashmir,” the statement said.—NNI

takes lead on women’s safety SRINAGAR—Even as authorities in New Delhi blunder about over women’s safety after a horrific gang-rape in the national capital, a judge in Kashmir appears to have taken the lead in some concrete action to avert sexual harassment, particularly in public transport. The principal district and sessions judge in Pulwama has ordered all public transport operators to register their vehicles with the police, maintain strict records of movement in the evening hours, identify drivers and conductors in bold script, and remove all suggestive images and

graffiti from passenger cabins, besides enhancing police vigil in vulnerable places. The orders came after the judge chaired a meeting of his district’s legal service authority in Pulwama. “Transport operators shall maintain the record of all types of vehicles carrying women after 5 p.m., including departure timing, destination, vehicle number and name of driver. These registers shall be checked frequently by the assistant regional transport officer and police,” the judge said in a statement after the meeting.—NNI


Electricity shortage due to demand, supply gap Urea shortage Staff Reporter LAHORE—Punjab agriculture minister Malik Ahmad Ali has said that the black marketers of fertilizers would be dealt with iron hands. Talking to media after holding a meeting, he blamed federal government for creating ‘artificial shortage’ which, he said, increased the prices by its hoarding. A statement said that the minister issued special instructions to concerned authorities to take action against hoarders without any discrimination. “707 FIRs have been registered against the illegal hoarders of fertilizers and imposed fine on them of worth Rs.16.773 million,” said Malik, regretting that increase in the prices of fertilizers had ruined the farmers.

Economic relations KARACHI—Sheikh Haroon Rashid, Vice President FPCCI stated that FPCCI wants to further promote and strengthen the economic relationship particularly through developing trade ties with Canada. He said this during a meeting with Mr. Jawad Qureshi, Analyst, South Asia, Government of Canada, Privy Council Office and Mr. Uday Sequeira, First Secretary (Political), Canadian High Commission Islamabad, held at FPCCI in Karachi. The meeting was also attended by Sheikh Shakil Ahmed Dhingra, Vice President FPCCI, Mr. Zahid Umer, Chairman PakistanCanada Business Council of FPCCI and Mr. Maher Alam Khan, Acting Secretary General FPCCI. Replying to a question, Sheikh Haroon Rashid said Pakistan and India are members of the Agreement on South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA). By January 2013, the applicable tariff under SAFTA for all the items except those included in the SAFTA sensitive list will be reduced to 0-5% by both India and Pakistan.—NNI

FFC set to acquire Askari Bank Staff Correspondent LAHORE—The Fauji Fertilizer Company Limited’s plan of acquisition Askari Bank (AKBL) is almost final as FFC, in its board of directors’ meeting scheduled to be held on Friday (today), will discuss and approve the business plan for 2013 including Askari Bank (AKBL) acquisition. Financial market experts from AHL stated that Army Welfare Trust (AWT) desires to finalise deal of its entire stake on mutually agreed price of around Rs10 billion, which turns out to be Rs24.32 per share. However, the deal is expected to be struck around Rs24/share, they added. As notified earlier to the KSE, FFC showed its intention to acquire AKBL.

The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency. — Bill Gates

Several new power generation projects underway: PM AMANULLAH KHAN KARACHI—Prime Minister of Pakistan Raja Pervez Ashraf has said that the Parliament is the mother of all institution, strengthening the democracy means strengthening of the parliament. Addressing the leadership, President/Office Bearers and members of Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) here today, the Prime Minister said that energy crisis was due to increasing demand and supply gap while the electricity was also provided to the villages. The government inorder to enhance energy production is working on Jhelum-Neelum, Diamir Bhasha and Thar Coal

was in progress. He stated that Judiciary was playing its role and media was free and strong democracy will prevail in the days to come. Provinces have been empowered with transfer of Rs 1000 Billion, he stated The business and industrial community of Karachi contributes largest chunk of revenue in the national exchequer and holds a distinction in Pakistan as well as the region. He stated that the KCCI is the role model and trendsetter of the business community. He said that the businesspersons are chosen ones to provide employment to the people, he complimented. To make Pakistan strong, the business community has to be strengthened, he maintained. He ordered the Chief Secretary

Sindh to revisit the case of factory fire incident as an accident and rectify the charges under proper sections of Pakistan Penal Code referring accident instead of PPC-302. For prosperous Pakistan, he emphasized on the collective efforts by all the segments of the society. Highlighting some achievements of the government, Raja Pervez Ashraf said that many challenges were converted to opportunities by the Government as the forex reserves and exports increased, inflation reduced to single digit. PM was accompanied by Makhdoom Amin Faheem Commerce Minister, Abbas Khan Afridi Minister of State for Commerce, Syed Naveed Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf is being presented memento by President Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industries.

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Over 150 CNG stations forced to shut operations STAFF REPORTER K ARACHI —Following the unending CNG crisis, over 150 CNG conversion stations established in the metropolis have shut its operations. Amongst over 300 CNG conversion stations, over 150 stations have suspended its operations, owing to unfriendly business environment. During brief visit to the city’s markets, some prominent conversion stations owners said that they were facing hardships to meet their running expenditures, forcing them to wind up businesses. They said that over 150 conversion stations had been closed and many more were in pipeline because of unsuitable

business condition. They said the owners of conversion stations in order to revive the CNG sector had cut their profit margins, despite facing strict ban of the import of CNG kits and cylinders, but all their efforts after what they said ‘a fabricated CNG shortage’ went in vain, they lamented. They alleged the authority for creating an artificial gas crisis in Sindh to discourage the use of CNG as alternate fuel, leaving the stakeholders of CNG sector in an uncertain state. They said the business of conversion stations had drastically declined as the consumers after CNG crisis were now reluctant to install conversion kits in their vehicles. Moreover, they said the av-

erage sales of an ordinary station was 10 CNG kits per day but after import ban on CNG kits and unprecedented gas loadshedding, they were unable to meet the same ratio in whole month. They said that after cylinder blasts, the concerned government officials conducted surprise raids, which were solely aimed at getting bribes and added that those officers after examining all legal documents used to threaten them for high penalties, if they refused to grease their palms. Replying to a question, they said that no new investors were keen to pour investment in this sector because of unabated CNG crisis and feared

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Bureaucracy blamed for sluggish growth STAFF REPORTER

ninth in wheat, and tenth in oranges. Yet, they said the country at one time or the other faces shortages of all these commodities, as the bureaucracy has no control over hoarders, black marketers or smugglers. They said the dairy potential of the country remains unexploited as the planners promote higher growth by increasing the milking animals instead of making efforts to increase the productivity of the livestock to bring it at par with developed countries. They said the mindset of the government to increase agricul-

Energy shortage causes Rs 200b annual loss to textile sector STAFF REPORTER ISLAMABAD—Power and gas outages in the country have yielded into Rs 200 billion annual losses to the textile sector during last four years. According to letter written from the ministry of Textile Industry to the ministry of Water and power, Petroleum and Natural Resources, textile sector has been termed as export oriented sector that not only contributes in billion of rupees to the national economy but also provided jobs to millions of people in the country. Sources revealed that though export of raw cotton, cotton yarn and export of low value-added textiles had increased, yet the value-added apparel and home textile exports declined considerably during the last four years. Bumper cotton production was recorded in the country during this period of time, however due to gas and power shortage, the industry was unable to consume the crop for value-added production. Due to tariff concession, easy market access, improved law and order situation and good energy supply in Bangladesh, Turkey and Sri Lanka, some textile units have relocated there.

ture output by three to four percent every year would provide no relief to the consumers. This proLAHORE—Economists point ductivity, they added, is naturally out public and private sectors achieved every year subject to have failed to exploit the potenfavorable weather. The governtial resources of the country, ment makes no contingency while bureaucracy and entrepreplans to take measures that could neurs are becoming rich at the minimise any adverse impact of expense of public. the weather. Moreover, in view They said Pakistan is the of huge unexploited agricultural world’s largest producer of ghee. potential the productivity should The country is second in be increased by 15 per cent anchickpeas production, fourth in nually for next five years in orSTAFF REPORTER production of cotton, apricot, der to take advantage of high glosugarcane, and milk, fifth in bal commodity rates, they I SLAMABAD —Chairman Oil onions, sixth in date palm, sevopined. and Gas Regulatory Authority enth in mango, eighth in tangerContinued on Page 14 (OGRA) Saeed Ahmad Khan ines, mandarin orange and rice, has said CNG prices will finally be decided in the meeting of special committee likely to be convened in next week. Talking to a private TV channel here Saturday he said all the stakeholders including OGRA had filed their proposals with reference to CNG price fixation formula. The meeting of the special committee with reference to fixation of prices is likely to be held next week under law minister Farooq H Naik. All the stakeholders are looking forward to the committee meeting being convened by its chairman, he added. “I hope this will be final meeting and CNG prices will be Chairman EPZA M Saadat S Cheema meeting with MD Sui Northern Gas Company Arif finally decided therein”, he Hameed. added.

CNG prices to be decided next week

Leather exports to get new push STAFF REPORTER L AHORE —Pakistan Federal Minister of Commerce Makhdoom Amin Fahim said that the government had decided principally formation of the Export Promotion Leather Council under the Strategic Trade Policy Framework 2012-2015. The decision has been made with a view to double leather exports in next three years to $3 billion. The Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, on the recommendations of commerce ministry, conferred the leather sector with priority status. The formal approval of this leather council, on the pattern of the Indian Leather Council, will be given in the upcoming cabinet meeting. The commerce minister was talking to a delegation of Paki-

stan Tanners Association (PTA) led by its central chairman Agha Saiddain that met him to chalk out future plan for the second largest exporting sector of Pakistan. The decision was conveyed to the PTA members by the minister in the meeting. Agha Saiddain said that Amin Fahim also told the PTA team that accepting the demand of industry, the commerce ministry had also proposed in the framework to hand over the control of export development surcharge (EDS) to the commerce ministry, which is presently controlled by the finance ministry. It is to be noted that the government has stopped funding local industry through EDS to participate in international industry fairs. The minister informed the

delegation that PM had principally agreed to transfer the total EDS fund to the commerce ministry so that it could be used for the development of exports, which is the real purpose of this fund. The Secretary Commerce Munir Qurashi, who was also present in the meeting, agreed to problems mentions by the PTA as genuine. He promised that the duty drawback rates pending with Input Output Coefficient Organization (IOCO) would also be decided very soon. He further said that after formation of the leather council, all the demands of PTA would be addressed. He further promised that PTA may help the ministry to identify people involved in miss-declaration so that they are made example for others.

MPBC lauded for enhancing bilateral trade STAFF REPORTER KARACHI—Outgoing Pakistan High Commissioner to Malaysia Mr. Masood Khalid has lauded the role played by the Malaysia-Pakistan Business Council (MPBC) in enhancing bilateral trade relations, saying the Council formed in March last year was serving as an ideal platform for tapping into business opportunities in both countries. After almost 30-month-long stint as head of Pakistan Mission in Malaysia, Mr. Masood Khalid whose next posting is to Beijing, said the MPBC had already

made a very good start by organising various activities, including organizing three wellattended cross country business forums, sending business delegations to Pakistan to attend trade exhibitions and conducting business matchmaking sessions for entrepreneurs from both sides. He said that with the establishment of the council, Malaysian businessmen now had a platform to make further inroads into Pakistan. “We can now talk about economic and social issues and other matters that were not previously discussed by businessmen in both countries. The coun-

cil is a vital platform to spearhead more business interactions as well as social and cultural exchanges,” he said in an interview with Malaysia’s state-owned news agency Bernama. He also lauded the services rendered by MPBC Chairman Datuk Mohamad Salim Fateh Din and announced that in recognition of Datuk’s contribution and role in enhancing economic cooperation between the two countries, the Pakistani government was awarding him a medal of distinction, which will be formally presented to him on Pakistan Day, March 23 next year.

Indians plan to export rice to Oil slips slightly central Asia via Pakistan Nslipped slightly Y —Oil prices Friday as tradEW

STAFF REPORTER

ISLAMABAD—Indian rice exporters are eyeing re-export of the Indian commodity to Central Asian states. In the present price of rice which is slightly higher than the Indian commodity, the visiting Indian exporters are found searching more for ways to tap other markets in the region, said a Pakistani rice exporter. Being competitive in the international market, Indian rice especially Basmati could capture more markets in Central Asian and Middle Eastern countries. “As the price of Pakistani commodity is comparatively higher than the same of India, our products face stiff competition in the international market,”

he said. Many exporters of rice from India, who visited Pakistan during the last few months, have, however, not stuck any deal with Pakistani firms except inspecting and making survey of the local market. “This is because of the sense of uncertainty/fear which still exists between the two neighbours,” he added. “Export of rice to India from Pakistan was presently unlikely because of the difference in prices amidst the subsidy/other incentives the growers in India enjoy from government,” he said adding the facility for growers here, however, was in terms of exemption from taxes as the Indian growers pay taxes to their government.

ORK

ers eyed an 11th-hour “fiscal cliff” meeting at the White House ahead of a New Year’s Eve deadline. New York’s main contract, West Texas Intermediate light sweet crude for February delivery, edged seven cents lower to settle at $90.80 a barrel. Brent North Sea crude for February delivery dipped 18 cents a barrel in London trade down to $110.62. After opening in positive territory in New York trade, prices turned lower following a weekly US Energy Department report that said the country’s crude supplies fell by 600,000 barrels in the week ended December 21—less than analysts had expected.—APP

Amnesty schemes not for super rich: Hakim STAFF REPORTER ISLAMABAD—Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Chairman Ali Arshad Hakim has said that the ‘super rich’ 200,000 individuals won’t be allowed to avail the Tax Registration Enforcement Initiative 2012 (TREI 2012) and Investment Tax Scheme 2012, as they would be served legal notices by January 2-3, 2013. Hakim informed reporters about the plan to document the

economy and strategy to implement the plan on national level. He was upbeat about registering 200,000 ‘super rich’ persons with the help of available data and applicability of existing tax laws. With full commitment, he shared with the media that a legal team of the FBR was actively working on strategy to document these ‘super rich’ 200,000 individuals. Astonishingly, these super rich 200,000 individuals have no National

Tax Numbers (NTNs). The FBR cannot permit these super rich persons to pay only Rs 40,000 and come within the tax net. These persons have to pay their due amount of taxes as they are making highest expenditures in Pakistan, but not ready to even obtain the NTN. The FBR has separated these super rich persons from the total identified individuals. Ali Arshad Hakim said that notices would be served on them under the existing tax laws. FBR

Legal Wing has informed tax authorities that the entire legal process would be completed in 90 days. However, we cannot bypass the legal provisions of the Income Tax Ordinance 2001. FBR Legal Wing is reviewing different legal notices in this regard. These ‘super rich’ 200,000 individuals would have to pay due amount of taxes. This would give a clear and loud message across the country that if the FBR can register 200,000 ‘super rich’ persons, the remaining

rich and middle class persons cannot escape from the FBR’s documentation drive. It would be better for them to avail the amnesty scheme and voluntarily come within the tax net. After bringing these persons into the tax net, the FBR would ensure filing of returns in future. Responding to a query, FBR Chairman said that top 200,000 tax evaders would not be able to avail the scheme because of their higher revenue potential. Due to capacity constraints, the

remaining 2.7 million un-registered persons would be offered amnesty scheme. The FBR Chairman admitted that the FBR also wanted to generate additional revenue without delay. In this regard, the amnesty scheme would not only increase collection, but also expand the tax base. To a question, he explained that secrecy of data is very important during this whole exercise. There are changes of harassment or blackmailing in case

the data has been gone to wrong persons. The misuse of data would be prevented by offering schemes to the unregistered persons. About the applicability of customs electronic system at ports, FBR Chairman said that new customs clearance system would be launched across the country from January 25, 2013. Responding to a question on International Monetary Fund (IMF) reservations over the amnesty scheme, Ali Arshad

Hakim said that the IMF has its own viewpoint. The IMF has also asked the FBR to remove distortions in the sales tax regime, abolish zero-rating, review SROs and improve taxation system in Pakistan. We have to take decisions in view of our tax culture, business environment and circumstances of the country, he added. About withdrawal of section 153A of the Income Tax

Continued on Page 14


Rs 75b road infrastructure being developed I SLAMABAD —Minister for Communications Arbab Alamgir has said road infrastructure is being developed at the cost of Rs 75 billion in Sindh. In an interview, Altaf Pirzado he said all the road projects carried out by National Highway Authority are being constructed on international standards. He said construction work on 210-km Ratodero-Sehwan road is underway at a cost of Rs 14 billion. Whereas the mega project of the Qazi Ahmed- Aamri Bridge on river Indus will be completed next month. He said construction work on Sukkur-Shikarpur is also continuing at the cost of Rs 8 billion. The Minister said seven road projects were started at a cost of Rs 22 billion in Larkana‚ out of which three projects have been completed while the remaining four will be completed next month.—NNI

PQ remains active KARACHI—One ship carrying palm oil arrived at Port Qasim (PQ) on Friday. Berth occupancy was maintained at 50% at the Port on Saturday where a total of seven ships namely M.V KPS Alican Bey, M.T Zao Galaxy, M.V Hamonia Pacificum, M.V Beautiful Rena, M.V Dogan Bey, M.T Argent Aster and M.T AlSalam-II, are occupying berths to load/offload Wheat, Phos Acid Containers, Diesel oil, Palm oil, Rice daring last 24 hours. Cargo handling operations were carried out smoothly at the Port where a cargo volume 36419 tonnes, comprising 33405 tonnes Import and 3014 tonnes Export 145 TUES was handled at the Port during last 24 hours. M.V Hamonia Pacificum, M.T Al-Salam-II sailed on Friday afternoon. M.T Zao Galaxy, sailed on Saturday morning. M.T SC Hai Kou at LCT, M.T Al-Marzoqah at FOTCO, M.T Sigloo HAV at EVTLM.T Global Peace, arrived on Saturday (December 29).—APP

Over 150 CNG From Page 13 that consumers might deprive from this cheaper and environmental friendly fuel, if no solution was made to resolve CNG issue. They said the concept of pocket-friendly fuel had completely been destroyed after inconsistence government policies, forcing motorists to revert to petroleum products again. Moreover, they said although the government saved over two billion dollars foreign exchange per annum and generated revenue to the tune of over Rs 32 billion from CNG sector, some unscrupulous elements in the government were keen to promote LPG sector just to mint undue gains on account of commission. They said the Ogra despite several meeting with the stakeholders remained unable to draft the formula of CNG price, creating immense difficulties for the motorists and the CNG sector as well. They said the authority concerned instead of encouraging the use of LPG should chalk out comprehensive plan to protect one of its major revenue sources.

Ex-banker arrested over Olympus fraud

Officials asked to start work on Tarbela unit STAFF REPORTER ISLAMABAD—Ministry of Water and Power Secretary Mrs. Nargis Sethi along with senior officials paid visit to Tarbela Dam and Power Generation Units to assess hydel generation situation and take stock of the preparation made for the Tarbela Fourth Power Generation unit of 1,400 MW. The Secretary directed all concerned officials both at the Ministry, Water and Power Development Authority and Project management of Tarbela 4 to take extra measures and utilise their energies to start work on the project by early next year.

General Manager Terbela to complete all type maintenance of generation units during low water season to increase their generation efficiency for the coming months. She also urged them to focus on using modern techniques of regulating water releases to produce maximum power with less water wastage. Regarding starting of work on Tarbela 4 project of 1,400 MW, the meeting was apprised that it would be started by early next year as all formalities for its financing are at final stage. The World Bank finances it and it would be built by employing state-of-the-art excavators and other high-tech machinery.

Restoration of power supply to industry sought SALIM AHMED LAHORE—The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) has urged the government to immediately restore power supply to industry failing which the businessmen would not hesitate to besiege the parliament. While addressing a press conference here on Saturday, the FPCCI Regional Chairman Sheikh Abdul Waheed Sandal and Vice President Azhar Majeed Sheikh said that suspension of electricity supply to the industry has destroyed the economy completely.

They termed the suspension of gas as well as electricity to industry as black day in the economic history of Pakistan. The power supply was suspended to the industry across the province for indefinite period while 80 percent of the industrial units are already deprived of gas for the last many days, they said. Only in Faisalabad, electricity supply was suspended to 450 factories, they added. They said that the government had made dozens of commitments to the industry during last one month but none was fulfilled, they said and urged the government to take concrete

steps to bring the industry out of the crisis. Bangladesh is presently exporting textile goods worth US $30 billion annually without producing a single bale of cotton. Despite producing 16 million cotton bales, Pakistan’s textile exports which are about US $12 billion are in danger owing to energy crisis, they said. They added the country has potential of exporting up to $32b textile goods, as it is producing around 16 million cotton bales he pointed out. They said the province might turn to be a graveyard of industry due to unavailability of energy, mismanagement and bad governance.

OBSERVER REPORT K ARACHI —Lucky Holding Limited has completed the acquisition of shares of ICI Omicron BV in ICI Pakistan Limited. Consequent to this the Board of Directors of ICI Pakistan Limited has been reconstituted with Muhammad Yunus Tabba appointed as the Chairman of the Board and Muhammad Ali Tabba appointed as the Vice Chairman of the Board. Furthermore Ali A Aga has been appointed as the Chief Executive of ICI Pakistan Limited on a temporary basis till February 24, 2013 or as deter- Haji Fazal Kadir Khan Sherani, President FPCCI presenting crest to President Asif Ali mined by the Board. Zardari.

Interim dividend for JS Cash Fund STAFF REPORTER

of the Board of Directors of JS Investments Limited has announced interim dividend for JS Cash Fund for the second quarter of Financial Year 2013, ending on December 31, 2012 with a payout of Rs. 2.50 per unit which was approved for the Unit Holders of JS Cash Fund. Unit Holders who have opted for cash payout will receive cash payment while Unit Holders who have opted for bonus units were allocated units at the ex-dividend net asset value at the close of business on December 27, 2012. The above entitlement will be paid to the Unit Holders, whose names appeared in the register of Unit Holders at the close of business on December 27, 2012.

N EW Y ORK —World stocks declined, the dollar gained and U.S. shares fell for a fifth day on Friday as the White House and U.S. lawmakers closed in on the “fiscal cliff” deadline with no deal in place. President Barack Obama and Democratic and Republican lawmakers met Friday as they faced just days to reach a budget deal to avert massive tax increases and spending cuts that could drag the U.S. economy, the world’s biggest, into recesDirector HR Tetra Pak Pakistan’s Maira Ahmed and BNU Vice Chancellor Sartaj Aziz at sion. BNU’s First Career Fair 2012. The two sides are attempting to smooth over sharp differences on raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans and cutting spending on politically sensitive social welfare programs such as Medicare and Medicaid.—APP

Mismanagement causes country’s econo-collapse

STAFF REPORTER ISLAMABAD—Dr Ashfaque H Khan, eminent economist and former economic advisor to the finance ministry, has termed the incumbent government’s bad governance and the non-serious attitude of its economic team to be responsible for the country’s economic collapse. He stated this during a seminar titled ‘Audit 2012: perspectives on economy, energy, rule of law and democratisation’ organised by the Center for Research and Security Studies. He said that a great threat has been posed to the country’s survival due to the way the economy had been managed in the last four and half years. “The economy has never been on the present government’s radar and without a strong economy, neither democracy

can flourish nor can the country’s defence be ensured,” he said. During the last four and half years, four finance ministers, six secretaries of finance ministry, four governors of the central bank and six Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) chairmen were changed. “When there is no stability in the economic management team then how can we have a stable economy?” he added. According to Khan, Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves depleted to $8.6 billion by end-June 2012 from $14.8 billion in June 2011. “The reserves of commercial banks are on the rise as compared to the central bank’s foreign exchange reserves,” he said. “When the commercial banks’ reserves start increasing, it means that dollarisation has picked momentum.”

Egg prices hit record high STAFF REPORTER prices have reached record level in Karachi and elsewhere in the country on the back of growing demand during winter, traders said. Farm eggs are available at Rs 130 to Rs 140 per dozen while Desi brand are pricing at Rs 240 per dozen in Karachi, hampering buying powers of overwhelming segment of the population. Controller General of Price in major cities of the country who is controlling authority of keeping sway over prices of essential kitchen item have squarely failed to take cognisance of this arbitrary increase in price of eggs. Ironically eggs and chicken meat prices are fixed by wholesalers and poultry farmers as they are given free hand by the authorities concerned to charge whimsical rates of their products since long and the authorities are silent spectators to the exploita-

tion of consumers rights. Major beneficiary of the increased rates of eggs are bakery owners and wholesalers, which are minting money following record rates of the one of the most desired breakfast item of all seasons. One of the major reasons attributed by the wholesalers and poultry farm owners regarding abnormal rates of eggs was its extraordinary demand by the consumers claiming with the commencement of the winter season, its demand always surges creating vast demand and supply gap. Poultry farm owners unable to cater sudden increase in the demand have no choice but to make upward revision in its price thus pushing it beyond the purchasing capacity of large segment of the population. A leading poultry farm owner claimed before the start of the winter season, farm eggs were generally available in the open market at Rs 80 to Rs 90 per dozen while Desi eggs are available at around Rs 180 per dozen.

He added that Pakistan’s public debt swelled to Rs6 trillion only in 60 years, which increased to Rs13 trillion in the last four years and is likely to further increase up to Rs14.5 trillion by end of June 2013. He believes that the economy has never been in such a bad shape as it is today. He dispelled the present government’s stance that it had inherited a shattered economy through facts and figures compiled by the government itself and global financial institutions. “Pakistan’s total GDP increased from $60 billion in 2000-01 to $170 billion in 2007-08. Real GDP growth was seven percent with low inflation during the same period. The government policies contributed towards reduction in poverty and improvement of social indicators,” he underlined.

Bureaucracy blamed From Page 13 The performance in the industrial production is equally pathetic. They said Pakistani textile industry consumes 16 million bales of cotton every year, out of which 85 per cent is exported. Thus, only 4 million cotton bales are consumed for local needs, while 12 million are used for exports. India, they added, on the other hand, consumes 28 million cotton bales every year out of which only 60 per cent is exported and 40 per cent consumed locally. The Indian’s exports consume 16.5 million bales and 12.5 million bales are consumed locally. The Indians earn over $33 billion from textile exports as compared to $12.5 billion Pakistan earns from textile exports. If Pakistan’s textile industry matches the value addition attained by India, local textile exports would be over $25 billion.

Tycoons felicitate Sindh Governor on Nishan-e-Pakistan ISMAIL DILAWAR

KARACHI—The Chief Execu- K A R A C H I —Dr. Arshad A tive Officer under the authority

Stocks drop, dollar up

L OS A NGELES —A former KARACHI—Farm and Desi egg Singapore banker was arrested in Los Angeles and accused of helping “liquidate” hundreds of millions of dollars in the Olympus Corp accounting scandal, one of the biggest corporate frauds in Japan’s history. Chan Ming Fon, who resides in Singapore and is a citizen of Taiwan, is the latest former executive to become ensnared in the $1.7 billion accounting cover-up at the camera and medical equipment maker. Three former Olympus executives pleaded guilty over charges related to the fraud in September, and the company has also admitted it used improper accounting to conceal massive investment losses under a scheme that began in the 1990s. Court papers said Chan was paid $10 million by Olympus or entities controlled by Olympus for his role in the decade-long fraud.—Newswire

“After the successful operation of energy conservation drive and power distribution management phases, time has come when medium and longterm measures are taken to increase the affordable hydel generation capacity of the country”, Nargis said while talking to the officials at the project site. She emphasised the authorities concerned with hydel generation to start survey of other hydel projects and identify additional power generation prospects. This, she said would add additional mega watts to the national grid at affordable cost. The Secretary also directed

Lucky Group acquires ICI Pakistan

Amnesty schemes From Page 13 Ordinance 2001, FBR Chairman said that it was the right decision to temporarily suspend the applicability of section 153A of the Income Tax Ordinance 2001. The enforcement of this provision of law was not possible in view of prevailing tax culture in the country. The business community and trade have out rightly rejected this section 153A which was practically not possible to enforce. If one thing cannot be enforced, there is no justification to continue with the scheme which made it mandatory for manufacturers to collect withholding tax from distributor, dealers and wholesalers at the time of sale. It is impossible to demand CNICs from small retailers and shopkeepers in a business environment where elite class enjoys extraordinary tax exemptions and concessions.

Haier ranked No. 1 appliances brand for 4th year OBSERVER REPORT KARACHI—Haier continues to extend its global brand market share to 8.6%, gaining the top spot in Euromonitor’s Global Major Appliances 2012 Brand rankings for the fourth consecutive year. Haier announced today that Euromonitor International, the global leader in consumer market strategy research, has again ranked Haier as the number one major appliance brand in the world with 8.6% retail volume share in 2012 marking the fourth consecutive year Haier has been given this honor. According to the report from Euromonitor, in terms of retail volume share, Haier gained the top position again in several product categories, and the top product rankings.

Vohra ,Chairman, Mr. Naseem Anwar, Senior Vice Chairman, Dr. Qazi Ahmad Kamal, Vice Chairman and Members Executive Committee of S.I.T.E. Association of Industry congratulates Dr. Ishratul-Ibad Khan Governor Sindh upon conferring with the Nishan-e-Pakistan by His Excellency Asif Ali Zardari President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in recogni-

tion of his commendable services as youngest and longest serving Governor of the Province of Sindh. They said that it is Indeed a matter of rejoice and satisfaction for the people of the Province particularly member of the business community that Dr. Ishratul-Ibad Khan has been awarded with this honour which is indeed due recognition of his meritorious services to the people of the Province. The Honorable Governor of Sindh always given due consid-

eration on the problems of trade and industry pointed out by the business community of the Province in general and by the business community of the SITE, Karachi, the oldest and the largest industrial estate of the country contributing about 38% of the National Income of the country. They further said that, businessmen are the bread earner for the nation of the country and only that country can remain happy prosperous and peaceful who facilitate their bread earners.

Rains to help growers save Rs10 billion STAFF REPORTER LAHORE—Agri Forum Pakistan (AFP) Chairman Muhammad Ibrahim Mughal has said that recent spell of rains will help growers a lot to save up to Rs. 10 billion, which otherwise they have to spend on diesel or electricity to irrigate their crops. While talking to media, Mughal said that at present wheat is standing over 20 million acres of land, gram on 2.5 million acres, mustard on one

million acres, fodders on one million acres. While the present spell of rain will also benefit orchards standing on 1.3 million acres across the country, he added. “Recent rain spell will benefit these crops and orchards a lot and production may increase by five to eight percent”, AFP chairman hoped. Ibrahim Mughal advised the growers that if they had not used phosphorus based fertilizer while sowing Rabi season crops then they must apply one bag

Several new From Page 13 Qamar Minister for Defence, Syed Khursheed Shah Minister for Religious Affairs, Qamar Zaman Qaira Minister for Information & Broadcast, Moula Bukhsh Chandio Minister for Political Affairs, Saleem H. Mandviwalla Minister of State for Finance, Dr Asim Hussain Advisor to Prime Minister on Petroleum & Natural Resources. Siraj Kassam Teli Chairman Businessmen Group along with Vice Chairmen BMG & former Presidents Tahir Khaliq, Zubair Motiwala, Haroon Farooki, Anjum Nisar, President KCCI Haroon Agar, Sr Vice President Shamim Firpo, Vice President Nasir Mehmood, Managing Committee Members of KCCI & BMGians gave a warm welcome to Prime Minister and his cabinet ministers. Speaking on the occasion Siraj Kassam Teli Chairman Businessmen Group, speaking on this occasion, congratulated the

Prime Minister and the Government on completion of their 5years term and their achievements during tenure. He apprised the Prime Minister that Karachi Chamber and Businessmen Group represent over 85% of the Karachi’s Business & Industrial Community, Businessmen Group was formed in 1998 and have since continuously won all the 15 elections with increasing support and the last six being unopposed is an endorsement of our policies of representing Karachi with a motto of public service. He said, “Karachi contributes over 68% to the Government Exchequer and is a business and industrial hub from where the economy of the country flows, some people say, Karachi is mini Pakistan but I always say that Karachi is Pakistan. We are staunch supporters of democracy and any change through the democratic process will always be welcomed.”

DAP per acre taking advantage of rain water plus half bag Urea per acre. He said that growers should also take well care of fodder crops for livestock while taking advantage of present spell of rain start sowing sunflower and maize crops. In his opinion, sunflower should be sown over one million acres and maize on 1.5 million acres of land during the current season so as to save Rs. 300 billion being spent on import of edible oil.

Cotton market stable STAFF REPORTER KARACHI—Trading remained firm with strong physical prices amid firm spot rate, traders at the Karachi Cotton Association (KCA) said. The KCA kept the spot unchanged at Rs 6,000 per maund, floor brokers said. During the trading session, leading buyers in Sindh and Punjab stations remained eager for fine lint while general buyers with lesser liquidity bought all grades on competitive prices, floor brokers said. The spinners bought fine lint at Rs 6,100 per maund to Rs 6,050 per maund while some spinning units in Punjab stations bought all grades for producing blending-grade yarn to cater to the local demand. Mills made deals for fine grades at around Rs 6,075 per maund to Rs 6,100 per maund in Punjab stations.

Progress cannot be achieved sans trained manpower son TEVTA disclosed. A number of local and foreign delegates including Dr. Surjit LAHORE—While addressing at Wadhwa from India, Akram a Centurial Award Ceremony of Minhas from Belguim, Shahid Govt. College of Technology, Nawaz Shaheen from South AfChairperson Technical Educarica, Industrialists, TEVTA Oftion and Vocational Training ficers, Members of District Authority (TEVTA) Arif Saeed Board of Management and othsaid that goals of individual or ers were also present to witness national development and the award ceremony. progress cannot be achieved I am sure, Arif Saeed said, without availability and continuthat no TEVTA trained person ous provision of trained manis job less and new trainees power as per demand of local would definitely be able to market. make their share in the local and foreign job market. China, Japan, Germany, India, Malaysia and other developed countries are expanding their influence on the world economic landscape due to their superiority in technology and availability of dependable skilled manpower. Pakistan is leading in textile, agriculture and manpower export owing to provision of technical and skilled manpower. Chairperson TEVTA further said that Govt. College of Technology is our pride and its pass LAHORE: Chairman TEVTA Arif Saeed addressing the outs are serving local, national Centurial Award Ceremony at Govt College of Technology. and international markets.

STAFF REPORTER

Currently scores of thousands of job opportunities are lying vacant for trained manpower in industrial and agriculture sector in Pakistan. Millions of jobs opportunities are available in the international job market. Keeping in view the local and global job market scenario, TEVTA is striving hard to fill the gap. Centers of Excellence at selected TEVTA Technology Colleges across the Province would shortly be established, Chairper-


Monti to lead centrists alliance ROME—Outgoing Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti said on Saturday he would lead a centrist alliance in an election in February, ending weeks of speculation over his political future and confirming his bid for a second term. The announcement clears up some of the uncertainty hanging over election and puts Monti in a three-way contest for power with the centre-left Democratic Party (PD), which is leading in the polls, and Silvio Berlusconi’s People of Freedom (PDL) party. The former European Commissioner, appointed at the head of a technocrat government last year to save Italy from financial crisis after Berlusconi stepped down as prime minister, said he was willing to accept “being named as leader of the coalition”. Monti said the alliance would try to go beyond traditional political boundaries and unite a broad coalition of political factions and groups from civil society around a reform agenda aimed at repairing the deep problems in the Italian economy. “The traditional left-right split has historic and symbolic value” for the country, but “it does not highlight the real alliance that Italy needs - one that focuses on Europe and reforms”, Monti said after a meeting with centrist politicians. Monti, a favourite with international investors, the Catholic church and the business establishment, has been widely credited with restoring Italy’s credibility after the scandal-plagued Berlusconi years. The centreleft PD, which unveiled Italy’s chief anti-mafia prosecutor Piero Grasso as its latest candidate on Thursday, has indicated it would be willing to consider an alliance with Monti’s centrists.—Reuters

Ghana polls reversal demanded ACCRA—Ghana’s main opposition party on Saturday asked the West African nation’s top court to overturn the result of a December 7 presidential election won by incumbent President John Dramani Mahama over what the party’s leader called irregularities. The poll, which passed peacefully despite technical problems that forced voting into a second day, was seen as a test of stability for one of Africa’s most mature democracies and fastest growing economies. New Patriotic Party (NPP) leader Nana Akufo-Addo, who came second in the closely fought contest that observers said appeared fair, said his party had evidence to show there were enough irregularities to affect the outcome. “A few minutes ago a petition was filed at the registry of the Supreme Court, challenging the validity of the result of the presidential election,” Akufo-Addo told a news conference in Accra. “This case is not about candidate Mahama or candidate Akufo-Addo. There is a much more important issue at stake which goes to the heart of our democracy and the future of our nation,” he said. The Electoral Commission declared Mahama winner with 50.7 percent of valid ballots to Akufo-Addo’s 47.7 percent. After the poll, Mahama urged Akufo-Addo and other opposition figures to join him “as partners” in improving Ghana, but said his rivals had a right to take their grievances to court. Mahama, who initially took over from former President John Atta Mills after his death in July, is expected to be sworn in on January 7 to begin a full four-year mandate. The gold, cocoa and oil exporting country has managed more than 30 years of democratic transfers of power, making it an anomaly in West Africa’s so called “coup belt” of countries plagued by instability.—Reuters

Sudan president ready to meet Bashir JUBA—South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir is willing to meet his Sudanese counterpart Omar Hassan al-Bashir to sort out conflicts and resume vital oil flows, a South Sudanese minister said on Saturday after Bashir agreed to hold a summit. The neighbours agreed in September to set up a demilitarised border zone and resume oil exports from landlocked South Sudan through Sudan. Oil is the lifeline of both economies. Neither country has yet withdrawn its army from either side of the border, a precondition to resume oil flows. Both sides accuse each other of supporting rebels on the other’s territory. South Sudan initially had planned to resume exports by year-end after shutting down its output of 350,000 barrels a day in January after failing to agree an export fee with Sudan. On Wednesday, Bashir said he was ready to meet Kiir after the African Union had urged both to hold a summit as soon as possible. Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn visited Khartoum and Juba this week to mediate between the presidents. “Our president had sent him (Bashir) an invitation before which is still open and we believe our president has all along been open to a serious and meaningful meeting with the president of Sudan,” South Sudan’s Information Minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin told Reuters. “Since the message was brought to us by His Excellency the Prime Minister of Ethiopia...we believe that President Omar al-Bashir will honour the meeting,” Benjamin said. He did not say when a meeting could take place. Delegations from both countries are scheduled to resume talks in Ethiopia in mid-January.—Reuters

Hunger strike pressures Canada PM OTTAWA—A Canadian aboriginal chief in the third week of a hunger strike is urging Prime Minister Stephen Harper to “open his heart” and meet with native leaders angered by his policies as small impromptu protests spread beyond Canada’s borders. Chief Theresa Spence from the remote northern Ontario community of Attawapiskat has been fasting since December 11 and has vowed to continue until Harper commits to talks on a litany of complaints, including new legislation that she says will harm native lands. “He’s a person with a heart but he needs to open his heart. I’m sure he has faith in the Creator himself and for him to delay this, it’s very disrespectful, I feel, to not even meet with us,” she said in an interview in Ottawa. Spence is at the centre of an unprecedented Canadian aboriginal protest movement called “Idle No More” that began with four women in the province of Saskatchewan raising awareness about the Conservative government’s budget legislation passed earlier this month. The legislation, which has also been criticized by opposition politicians, reduces environmental protections for lakes and rivers and makes it easier to sell reserve lands. Aided by Facebook and Twitter, their protest proliferated and is now drawing comparisons to the “Occupy Wall Street” movement. “Flash mob” protests with traditional dancing and drumming have erupted in dozens of shopping malls across North America.—Reuters

Moscow’s invitation rejected ALEPPO PROVINCE—Syria’s opposition leader has rejected an invitation from Russia for peace talks, dealing another blow to international hopes that diplomacy can be resurrected to end a 21-month civil war. Russia, President Bashar al-Assad’s main international protector, said on Saturday it had sent an invitation for a visit to Moaz Alkhatib, whose six-week-old National Coalition opposition group has been recognised by most Western and Arab states as the legitimate voice of the Syrian people. But in an interview on Al Jazeera television, Alkhatib said he had already ruled out such a trip and wanted an apology from Moscow for its support for Assad. “We have clearly said we will not go to Moscow. We could meet in an Arab country if there was a clear agenda,” he said. “Now we also want an apology from (Russian Foreign Minister Sergei) Lavrov because all this time he said that the people will decide their destiny, without foreign intervention. Russia is intervening and meanwhile all these massacres of the Syrian people have happened, treated as if they were a picnic.”—Reuters

Residents flee Bangui as rebels halt for talks BANGUI—Residents of Central the city shooting. “We are hop- Gabon later on Saturday to dis- could provide additional troops miles) of Bangui by late Wednes- - France’s biggest commercial African Republic’s riverside capital Bangui fled in overloaded cars and boats on Saturday or stockpiled food and water as rebel forces paused at the city gates for ceasefire talks. An insurgency has swept across much of the poverty-stricken but resource-rich former French colony since December 10, posing the biggest threat yet to President Francois Bozize’s nearly 10 years in power and threatening a humanitarian crisis. The government on Thursday urged Western powers France and the United States to help push back the rebels, though Paris said it would not use soldiers to defend Bozize’s government and Washington evacuated its embassy. The Central African Republic is one of a number of nations in the region where U.S. Special Forces are helping local forces try to track down the Lords Resistance Army, a rebel group responsible for killing thousands of civilians across four African nations. “Our last chance, our only chance, is dialogue with the rebels,” bus driver Jerome Lega said as he weaved through traffic in the centre of Bangui. Scores of wooden boats piled high with baggage and people crossed the Oubangui River toward Democratic Republic of Congo on the other side, while the main road south away from rebel lines was choked with overloaded vehicles. Those remaining said they were stockpiling food and water and praying international mediation efforts would convince the insurgents not to enter

ing that Bangui will not be attacked,” said Eugenie Bosso, a woman running a market stall. In a sign of rising tensions, the government announced a ban

cuss the crisis. African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security Ramtane Lamamra said regional leaders were seeking to convince

to reinforce CAR’s army against the rebels. A spokesman for the SELEKA rebel coalition - which said it will oust Bozize unless he

day, and a diplomatic source said they had since moved closer to the capital, effectively surrounding it. The rebel advance has high-

Women march to protest against the conflict in their country in the streets of Bangui. on motorcycle taxis in Bangui the rebels to send a delegation to honours a previous rebel peace after nightfall, amid suspicions Gabon’s capital Libreville to hash agreement that provided payrebels were using them to infil- out a peace deal and end the cri- ments and jobs to former fighttrate the city unnoticed. Envoys sis. ers - said on Thursday it would from across central Africa arrived “If that is not successful, of halt its advance short of Bangui in Bangui on Thursday to lay the course other options will be con- to allow for the mediation efforts. groundwork for peace talks with sidered,” he told reporters in the A military source and an aid the rebels, and regional foreign Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, worker said the rebels had administers were due to meet in adding central African states vanced to within 75 km (45

lighted the instability of a country that has remained poor since independence from France in 1960 despite rich deposits of uranium, gold and diamonds. Average income is barely $2 a day. French nuclear energy group Areva mines the Bakouma uranium deposit in the CAR’s south

Suu Kyi knit sweaters sell for $123,000 YANGON—Myanmar’s cash- needs a lot of cash to carry out strapped opposition party is tapping into the prestige of its leader: Two sweaters hand-knit by Aung San Suu Kyi have been auctioned for $123,000. A green-and-white sweater with a floral design sold at a Friday night auction to an anonymous bidder for 63 million kyat, or $74,120. On Thursday, a Myanmarbased radio station won a bidding war for a multicolored Vneck that fetched $49,000. Suu Kyi has not publicly reacted to the success of her party’s twoday fundraiser, but aides said she was pleased with the results. “Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is satisfied with the auction and the donations received,” close aide Ko Ni said Saturday. “She

projects for the welfare of the people.” Daw is a term of respect in Myanmar. The auction was part of a fundraising event organized by Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party to raise money for education of poor children and health projects in Myanmar, an impoverished Southeast Asian nation also known as Burma. Both sweaters were knitted by Suu Kyi at least 25 years ago when she was living in England and raising her two children, Ko Ni told The Associated Press. “She made them when she was busy working, studying and taking care of her children,” Ko Ni said. “She wants to send the message that people should not stay idle but be diligent.”

Suu Kyi, a 67-year-old former political prisoner and winner of the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize, has become Myanmar’s biggest celebrity as the country transitions from a half-century of military rule. She is generally guarded about the family she left behind in England — but the auction indicates a new willingness to share her family history with an adoring public. Ahead of the auction, Suu Kyi asked her brother-in-law in England to ship some of her personal belongings, which arrived in nine boxes on Wednesday just in time for the auction, Ko Ni said. The Oxford graduate was raising two young sons with her late British husband when she returned to Myanmar in 1988 to nurse her dying mother.—AP

Arab officials visit cashstrapped Palestinian territory RAMALLAH—Top Arab offi- a strong majority in the United month, disappointing West Bank cials paid a rare visit to the Israeli-occupied West Bank on Saturday to discuss a Palestinian financial crisis that President Mahmoud Abbas hopes will be eased by Arab donations. Arab League Chief Nabil Elaraby and Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr congratulated the Palestinians on a successful United Nations status upgrade last month, but stopped short of promising the badlyneeded funds. “Palestine is in need of material and political support,” Elaraby told a news conference in the Palestinians’ de facto capital of Ramallah. “Arab countries agreed at their Baghdad summit (in March) for an Arab safety net of $100 million dollars each month, but unfortunately none of this has been achieved yet,” he said. Palestinian were cheered by

Nations recognising them as an “observer state” on November 29 but have struggled to get Arab support to make up $100 million in shortfalls left by Israeli sanctions following the U.N. move. Elaraby is the first Arab League Chief to visit Ramallah, but he and other prominent Arab and Islamic leaders, including the Egyptian prime minister, met Abbas’s Palestinian Hamas rivals in Gaza during their brief war with Israel last month. Hamas, which split from the West Bank after it seized control of the Gaza Strip in 2007, also won a diplomatic coup by receiving Emir Hamad bin Khalifa alThani, ruler of the oil-rich Gulf state of Qatar, who pledged $400 million in aid for the impoverished territory in October. The emir postponed a visit to Ramallah he had announced this

officials who had hoped he would arrive bearing gifts of cash. The Gaza visits broke years of diplomatic quarantine for the Islamist Hamas group, which refuses to recognise Israel or relinquish its arms, and increased the isolation of the dovish, Westernbacked Ramallah government. West Bank officials have watched with worry as uprisings in the Arab world divert attention from their diplomatic strategy, which has failed to achieve an independent Palestinian state. Hamas militants, by contrast, have been heartened as fellowIslamists rise to power in Egypt and elsewhere. Abbas has accused Israel of “piracy” after it withheld customs revenues it collects on the Palestinians’ behalf, citing months of utilities bills Ramallah owes Israeli companies.”—Reuters

Rebels driven out from Homs zone BEIRUT—Syrian government province, Homs has strategic the military base of Wadi Deif, forces have pushed rebels from a district in Homs after several days of fierce fighting in the strategically important city, opposition activists said on Saturday. The army moved into Deir Ba’alba, a neighborhood on the northeastern edge of Homs, they said, leaving the rebels controlling just the central neighborhoods around the old city and the district of Khalidiyah, immediately to the north. Homs, in central Syria, was the scene earlier this year of some of the heaviest fighting in the 21-month uprising against President Bashar al-Assad which has killed at least 45,000 people, according to activist tallies. On the junction of roads linking Assad’s power base in Damascus to the heartlands of his Alawite minority in the port city of Tartous and Latakia

value in his battle with the mainly Sunni Muslim rebels. There were unconfirmed reports that dozens of fighters had been killed in the battle for Deir Ba’alba, the director of the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Rami Abdelrahman, said. Rebels have been gaining ground in recent mont, particularly in the northern provinces of Aleppo and Idlib, and launched an offensive in the central Hama province which would extend their control south towards Homs and Damascus. But an activist in Hama province said on Saturday that the army had reinforced its positions in the town of Morek, which lies on the main northsouth highway linking Damascus to Aleppo, to push back rebels who were running low on ammunition. A rebel attack on

further north on the same highway, had also slowed as rebels struggled to maintain supplies, the activist who used the name Ali al-Idlibi told Reuters by Skype. He also said Assad’s forces had bombarded the provincial town of Karnaz in Hama on Saturday, killing 10 people. Other activists said 12 people were wounded, with no fatalities. It is not possible to verify reports from Syria because authorities restrict media operations in the country. Activists also said a Palestinian fighter who had been a prominent figure in the armed wing of the Palestinian militant group Hamas was killed in Aleppo province on Friday. Mohammed Qanita was killed in fighting around Aleppo airport where he had been helping to train Arab and Muslim fighters, a rebel said.—AP

Scores feared dead after boat sinks off Bissau

interest in its former colony. The U.N. Security Council on Thursday condemned the rebel advance. Regional and Western powers have been pushing for a negotiated solution. Neighbouring Chad has sent troops to bolster CAR’s weak army though it is unclear whether they would be enough to halt a renewed rebel assault on the capital. The International Committee of the Red Cross said it was working to provide displaced people with water, sanitary facilities, and other necessities, and called on rebel and government forces to spare civilians. It said it had withdrawn eight staff for security reasons, but that 14 foreign staff remained in the country. The SELEKA coalition brings together three former rebel groups that had largely been contained in CAR’s northwest by government forces in recent years, but with foreign backing. Paris in 2006 defended Bozize’s government from a rebel advance using air strikes. President Francois Hollande on Thursday poured cold water on the latest request for help. Government soldiers were deployed at strategic sites and French troops reinforced security at the French Embassy after protesters threw rocks at the building on Wednesday. With a government that holds little sway outside the capital, some parts of the country have long endured the consequences of conflicts spilling over from troubled neighbours Chad, Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.—Reuters

Russia hopeful of negotiated Syria crisis

MOSCOW—Russia said on Sat- settlement remains and it is our BISSAU—Twenty-two people urday that a negotiated solution obligation to make maximal use died and more than 75 were missing after an overloaded boat sank off the coast of GuineaBissau on Friday, hospital and port officials said. The narrow wooden boat was ferrying 97 passengers and their luggage to the West African nation’s capital Bissau from the island of Bolama when it began taking on water and sank around 11 a.m. (1100 GMT), Bissau Port Director Mario Domingos Gomes said. Hospital sources said 22 bodies had arrived at the morgue in Bissau. Domingos Gomes said rescuers were searching for survivors from the pirogue, a hand-built vessel most often used for fishing across West Africa. Tiny Guinea-Bissau is among the world’s least developed nations and has been plagued by political turmoil since independence from Portugal in 1974. As in much of the region, travel by land and sea is difficult and dangerous due to poor infrastructure and weak regulatory oversight.—Reuters

Myanmar Muslims recall Buddhist assault MYANMAR—Stranded beside their decrepit flotilla of wooden boats, on a muddy beach far from home, the Muslim refugees tell story after terrifying story of their exodus from a once-peaceful town on Myanmar’s western coast. They were attacked one quiet evening, they say, by Buddhist mobs determined to expel them from the island port of Kyaukphyu. There were chaotic clashes and gruesome killings, and a wave of arson strikes so intense that flames eventually engulfed their entire neighborhood. So they piled into 70 or 80 fishing boats some 4,000 souls in all and fled into the sea. In those final moments, many caught one last dizzying glimpse of the town they grew up in of a sky darkened by smoke billowing from a horizon of burning homes, of beaches filled with seething Buddhist throngs who had spent the day pelting their departing boats with slingshotfired iron darts. For Myanmar, also called Burma, the town symbolizes the country’s hopes of scoring a piece of the Asian economic surge. China is building a deepwater port and an oil pipeline terminal there. The unrest in Rakhine state was triggered by the rape and murder of a Buddhist woman in late May, allegedly by three Rohingya men. But the crisis stems from something that goes back much further: a dispute over when Muslims first settled here, and who among them qualifies for citizenship. Buddhists say the Muslims are foreigners who came to seize land and spread the Islamic faith—Reuters

to the conflict in Syria is still possible but the international mediator struggling to end 21 months of bloodshed warned of “hell” unless a deal is struck. Sergei Lavrov and Lakhdar Brahimi announced no major new initiatives after talks in Moscow and their remarks underscored the obstacles the U.N.-Arab League envoy faces in bringing about a solution. “If the only alternative is hell or a political process, then all of us have to work continuously toward the political process,” said Brahimi, adding it was still possible to reach “a solution that would work” but that the barriers were daunting. “The chance for a political

of that chance,” Lavrov told reporters in a joint appearance after his talks with Brahimi, who met Syrian President Bashar alAssad earlier in the week. Lavrov, whose country has blocked Western and Arab efforts in the U.N. Security Council to put pressure on Assad, repeated that Assad’s exit must not be a precondition for a political process, saying such demands were “wrong” and counterproductive. He said the refusal of the Syrian opposition National Coalition to talk to the Syrian leadership was a “dead-end position”, and criticised the coalition leader for rebuffing an invitation for talks with Russia.— Reuters

Pre-peace talks CAS troops level to be upped LIBREVILLE—Central African many soldiers would be deRepublic’s neighbors have agreed to increase the number of troops stationed there to help defend against rebels threatening to overthrow the government. The Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) - which already has more than 500 peacekeepers in CAR - announced its decision overnight in Gabon’s capital Libreville, ahead of peace talks planned between the SELEKA rebels and the government in early January. The insurgency poses the biggest threat yet to President Francois Bozize’s nearly ten years in charge of the nation, which has remained poor since independence from France in 1960 despite rich deposits of uranium, gold and diamonds. “We are thinking of a way to deploy this mission as quickly as possible,” Gabon Foreign Minister Emmanuel Issoze Ngondet told reporters after a meeting with his regional counterparts. He did not say how

ployed. The ECCAS troops, mostly from Chad, are part of the MICOPAX (Mission for the consolidation of peace in Central African Republic) peacekeeping force, but have been unable to prevent a rebel advance to within 75 km (45 miles) of the capital Bangui since early December. The SELEKA rebels have threatened to overthrow Bozize if he does not live up to a previous peace deal offering former fighters pay and jobs, but they have agreed to stay out of Bangui to allow for peace talks. Officials in Bangui on Friday said rebels had agreed to send delegates to Libreville in early January. A rebel spokesman was not immediately available to comment. Some clashes between government troops and rebel fighters were reported on the outskirts of Damara, 75 km north of Bangui, on Friday, and some residents of the capital were fleeing the city, fearing a fresh rebel push.—Reuters

Big Greece tourism scam uncovered ATHENS—Three Greeks were arrested on suspicion of trying to defraud the national tourism board, police said on Saturday, and the finance ministry is investigating a suspected 12-million-euro hole in the state agency’s books. Tourism is one of cashstrapped Greece’s few remaining money-spinners and the EOT tourism board is in charge of funding several promotion campaigns and subsidy programs for the industry. A police statement said a former EOT adviser colluded with at least two accomplices to cash in a forged cheque of 147,000 euros ($194,400) made out to a hotel on the Aegean island of Syros. The three, ar-

rested earlier this week, were put in pre-trial detention after appearing before a prosecutor on Friday. They are charged with forming and participating in a criminal organization,” the statement said. The tourism ministry said it was investigating why an EOT chequebook was handled by the 39-year old adviser, who was not a career EOT official but rather an aide to the board’s outgoing secretary general, who resigned last week. Separately, the finance ministry appointed on Thursday a team to investigate what the EOT’s new secretary general has called “accounting irregularities” of 12 million euros in the EOT’s books.—Reuters


Malik, Irfan included in Pakistan ODI squad

Weather holds key in India, Pakistan series opener C H E N N A I —India’s win in be playing a one-dayer at position seemed to work for T20 against England in squad after the axe for the the second T20 in Ahmedabad is good for the context of the tour; the 1-1 scoreline sets up the threematch one-day series nicely. The T20 was closely fought, but some improved death bowling helped India save face after two consecutive T20 losses. The two teams haven’t seen much of each other in the last two years, with India winning all three onedayers in that period - their most recent meeting was in Mirpur this March for the Asia Cup. This short one-day series promises to be just as competitive, provided the weather doesn’t stand in the way. It has been raining in Chennai since Friday and more rain is forecast for Sunday. A 9am start means there’s less time for the outfield to dry up. Bizarrely, this is the first time India will

home in 2012, having played games in Australia, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. If the wet weather persists, there’s a chance this series may only properly start in 2013, which is just a few days away. Pakistan have fond memories of Chepauk, where Saeed Anwar scored his iconic unbeaten 194 in a one-dayer in 1997 and where they staged one of Test cricket’s most remarkable comebacks. Pakistan can do with the happy vibes, because despite the Asia Cup win they haven’t had the happiest year in one-day internationals, winning six and losing ten. The series defeats to Sri Lanka and Australia, following the Asia Cup, would have hurt.

him in the T20s. In both games, he compiled halfcenturies, playing a crucial role in Pakistan’s successful chase in the first T20 and nearly repeating it in the second. It was the quality of his shots that stood out. In Ahmedabad, his first scoring shot was an audacious scoop that nearly carried over the fineleg rope. His knock featured late cuts, the drive over extra cover, consecutive slogged sixes over deep midwicket and a booming straight drive to bring up his fifty. In his last three ODIs, Hafeez has scores of 78, 23 and 4 - all as an opener - and with Ahmed Shehzad not in the one-day squad it remains to be seen if he will open with Nasir Jamshed.

Mumbai with 3 for 36 in Ahmedabad against Pakistan. Death bowling has been an issue for India of late, and Dinda’s late spell set a good example. A slower ball, bowled from the back of the hand, knocked down Umar Akmal’s middle stump, and his final two overs went for just six runs each. His wickets of Hafeez and Kamran Akmal, both caught in the deep, ensured the game was India’s.

Team news: Pakistan have retained the allrounder Shoaib Malik and left-arm seamer Mohammad Irfan for the one-dayers, in recognition of their good performances in the T20s. There was talk of retaining Shahid Afridi as well, but he hadn’t done enough to merit selection, thereby Players to watch: putting his one-day future Mohammad Hafeez’s Ashok Dinda shrugged demotion from the opening off a horror final over in the in doubt. Younis Khan and Umar Gul return to the

series against Australia in August. Pakistan (likely): 1 Nasir Jamshed, 2 Mohammad Hafeez, 3 Azhar Ali, 4 Misbah-ul-Haq (capt.), 5 Younis Khan, 6 Umar Akmal, 7 Shoaib Malik, 8 Kamran Akmal (wk), 9 Umar Gul, 10 Saeed Ajmal, 11 Junaid Khan/Mohammad Irfan Virender Sehwag returns to the ODI squad after being dropped for the T20s. Yuvraj Singh will play his first one-dayer since returning from illness while Bhuvneshwar Kumar could be in line for an ODI debut after an impressive performance in Bangalore. India (likely): 1 Gautam Gambhir, 2 Virender Sehwag, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 Yuvraj Singh, 5 Suresh Raina, 6 Rohit Sharma/ Ravindra Jadeja, 7 MS Dhoni (capt. & wk), 8 R Ashwin, 9 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 10 Ishant Sharma, 11 Ashok Dinda

Stats and Trivia: Virat Kohli, with 1026 runs in 2012, needs to score another 159 to beat Kumar Sangakkara’s tally of 1184 runs. Kohli is currently placed third, behind Sangakkara and Tillakaratne Dilshan (1119). Kohli has only one match to try to move up the list. India have won nine ODIs and lost six in 2012. India last played a day ODI at home two years ago, in Vadodara against New Zealand.

Quotes: “Even before the series we were banking on our pacers to put pressure on the Indian batsmen and they succeeded in doing this in the first T20. I hope they continue in the same spirit and rhythm for the one-day series as well.” Pakistan one-day captain Misbah-ul-Haq “A lot depends on the youngsters bowling the last overs. I think they held their nerve nicely. They were feeling the pressure, but they responded really well and executed the yorkers. When they wanted to bowl slower ones, they did that.” MS Dhoni.—Agencies

Li sees off World No. 1 Azarenka in Thailand

HEC sports team Former England greeted for securing captain Tony Greig dies 2nd position in

HUA HIN, Thailand—China’s S YDNEY —Former England commentary team, of which Li Na beat World Number 1 Victoria Azarenka Saturday 106 in a play-off after the pair shared a set each in a see-sawing invitation match in the Thai resort of Hua Hin. Li, who became China’s first superstar tennis player after winning the 2011 French Open, took the first set 3-6, dominating the World Number One Azarenka on the hard court with her serving and groundstrokes. Azarenka sprung to life as the hot Thai sun faded and the flood lights came on, belting a series of winners as she claimed the second set at a canter 6-2. But the Australian Open champion, who secured the top ranking when she beat Li in October at the WTA Championships in Istanbul, stumbled in the play-off making a costly series of unforced errors while Li plugged away, probing from the baseline. Azarenka has experienced a huge reversal of fortunes in the last year or so, banishing doubts over her future in the sport with a crushing win over Maria Sharapova in Australia to kick-start a season in which she topped the world rankings. Li has struggled with consistency since becoming Asia’s first Grand Slam-winner at the French Open last year, but finished the season strongly after changing coaches following a disappointing first-round exit at the London Olympics.—AFP

captain and television com- he was a member, during mentator Tony Greig has their coverage of the first died at the age of 66 after Test between Australia and South Africa in Brisbane. “It’s not good. The truth is I’ve got lung cancer. Now it’s a case of what they can do,” he said at the time. He had an operation later that month. South African-born Greig played 58 Tests for England between 1972 and 1977, scoring 3,599 runs with eight centuries at 40.43 and captured 141 wickets at 32.20. He captained England in 14 Tests. He also played 22 oneday internationals for England. Greig was instrumental in the formation of late Australian media tycoon being diagnosed with lung Kerry Packer ’s breakaway cancer, Australia’s Nine World Series Cricket conNetwork said Saturday. test staged from 1977-79 Greig, who worked for the which sent shockwaves broadcaster, first became through the sport. He helped secure the aware of his illness during Australia’s one-day series signings of a number of Enagainst Pakistan in Dubai in glish and other foreign players to the rebel cricket August and September. On his return to Austra- series, launched in relia, he had fluid removed sponse to the Australian from the right lung and test- Cricket Board’s refusal to ing revealed he had cancer, give Packer’s Nine Network exclusive Test broadcast the network said. “Beloved Tony Greig rights. The World Series feahas passed away today, tured stars such as Dennis aged 66. To his family and Lillee, Imran Khan, Greg and friends we pass on our best Ian Chappell, Viv Richards wishes,” Channel Nine and Clive Lloyd and left a lasting legacy on the game, tweeted. Last month, Grieg spoke including improved rewards to the network’s cricket for players.—AFP

National Games

I SLAMABAD —Chairperson Higher Education Commission Dr. Javaid Laghari has congratulated HEC sport team for securing second position in 32nd National Games held at Lahore. HEC grabbed the second position with 29 gold, 62 silver 74 bronze with total 165 medals and 2935 points during mega national event which continued for the consecutive seven days in the various venues of Lahore city. The HEC players played comparatively much better and helped their department to gain positions in the national event. The Chairperson HEC said that HEC team includes best sport players from universities and set a new record of success by securing second position. It is proof that in addition to improvement of quality of higher education and research, HEC is also focusing on extra-curricular activities including debates, sports etc. It is also outcome of HEC sport friendly initiatives and support of vice chancellors and university administration. Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) president Lt Gen (Retd) Syed Arif Hassan and Member international Olympic Committee (IOC) in Pakistan Syed Shahid Ali also lauded the excellent performance of HEC players.—APP

Australia’s Hussey to retire from Test cricket S YDNEY —Australian veteran Mike Hussey announced Saturday he will retire from Test cricket after next week’s third and final match against Sri Lanka in Sydney. The evergreen Hussey, who continues to flourish at 37, just months younger than Ricky Ponting who called it quits earlier this month, said he wanted to spend more time with his four young children, who are all aged under eight. “The Sydney Test against Sri Lanka will be my last Test match for Australia and I’m going to retire from international cricket at the end of the Australian summer,” he told the Nine Network. Hussey’s retirement will leave a huge hole in Australia’s lower batting order ahead of next year’s backto-back Ashes away and home series against England preceded by a tour to India in February-March. Hussey has scored 19 hundreds in 78 Tests and averages 51.52. Hussey’s recent form has been outstanding and he has been averaging 180.00 after two Tests in the current series against Sri Lanka. Australia have already clinched the three-match series against Sri Lanka with huge wins in Hobart and Melbourne. Hussey, who made his Test debut at the late age of 30 in 2005, has become Australia’s 12th-lead-

ing runscorer with 6183 runs at 51.52. Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said Hussey would be a huge loss on and off the field for Australia. Western Australia Cricket Association (WACA) president and former Australian fast bowling great Dennis Lillee said Hussey was

an ornament to the game. “He is a great exponent of all forms of the game, but it is his Test cricket skills that excited me as he could play with his back to the wall and be aggressive or a combination of both at the flick of a switch. He will go down as one of the all-time greats for WA and Australia.”—Agencies

Dedicating knock or MoM award to gang-rape victim not enough: Yuvi’s dad BIPIN DANI OBSERVER CORRESPONDENT M UMBAI —Several members of the Indian team have come forward to show sympathy towards the family of gang-rape victim, who died in Singapre hospital early morning on Saturday. The team members have been using social netowrking sites and posting their messages on their twitter pages. Indian all-rounder, Yuvraj Singh even had dedicated his Man-of-theMatch award (won against England in Twenty20 played at Pune on Dec. 20)

to the victim girl. Yuvraj’s father, Yograj Singh believes it is a wake up call for every one. “Be it my son or anyone, dedicating the knock or MoM award to the victim is not enough. The nation should be ashamed of with such incidents. It is a wake up call for politicians and everyone. We must protect the women of this country. The attitude towards the women should change and we should respect them and everyone should after themselves to avoid such incidents”. Yograj Singh was neither present at Pune, nor at Ahmedabad, where Yuvi again, claimed the Man of the

Match against Pakistan on Friday night. “It is not the first time my son has played the super innings for the nation. He has played many match winnings games and I don’t go to watch his all matches. He is wise enough to look after himself. I am busy in my own shooting career”, he signed off. Incidentally, Yuvraj Singh’s mother, Shabnam, who has been his backbone to fight against cancer, was not present at Ahmedabad. She has been with Yuvraj at most centres, especially after the 31-yearold all-rounder has won the battle against cancer. Sadly, the parents have separated.

Tennis: Spain win opener at Hopman Cup P ERTH —The Spanish pair- bers were split in the Group eight-nation ing of Anabel Medina Garrigues and Fernando Verdasco won their opening tie at the $1 million mixed teams Hopman Cup with a 21 win over South Africa in sweltering heat in Perth on Saturday. The singles rub-

B tie, with Medina Garrigues beating Chanelle Scheepers and Kevin Anderson upsetting Verdasco before the Spaniards proved too strong in the deciding mixed doubles. The fourth seeds for the

tournament, Verdasco and Medina Garrigues won the doubles in a match tiebreak, 6-4, 6-7 (3/ 7), 10-8 on a day where the mercury reached 40C (104F). The South Africans were just two points from an upset win when they led 8-5 in

the match tiebreak before the Spaniards reeled off the last five points of the match. Anderson notched his first win over Verdasco in three attempts in the opening men’s singles match, despite being ranked 13 places below the Spaniard at 37.—AFP

BHITSHAH: players of traditional wrestling ‘MALH’ compete on second day of 269th Urs celebrations of Hazrat Shah Abdul Lateef Bhatai (RA) at Malh ground.


Oral HPV rates higher in men than women

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

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

KARACHI: Rescue workers are busy in their work after an explosion in a bus near Cantt railway Station.

Woman dies as huts catch fire K ARACHI — A woman was burnt to death while two others received burn injuries as fire swept through a slum area in Korangi locality of the city. According to rescue sources, the incident took place at a slum area located near Mehran Town in Korangi. The sources said that a woman was burnt to death while two men sustained burn injuries as a blaze gutted at least 10 huts. The injured were taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. The reason of the incident has not been reported. Sources told that the deceased woman was expecting a baby.—NNI

Altaf: Time to free country from clutches of thieves STAFF REPORTER KARACHI—The Founder and

KARACHI: People gather at the site after fire erupted in the slums in Mehran Town, Korangi.

APNS condemns Multan hawkers strike the Chairmanship of its Presi- Union. Mr. Hameed Haroon, STAFF REPORTER dent, Mr. Sarmad Ali. former President of APNS, also KARACHI — The Executive The meeting was called to spoke at length about his discus-

Committee of APNS unanimously condemned unilateral strike by the Multan Hawkers Union and extended unreserved support to the Daily Jang here on Friday while negotiations were continuing with the Hawkers Federation. The APNS extends unreserved support to the Daily Jang and resolves to stand with it in this arbitrary and unjustified action of Multan Hawkers. According to the details a meeting of the Executive Committee of APNS was held under

discuss the action of the Multan Hawkers Union against Daily Jang and its coercive attempts to increase commission to hawkers. The President, APNS, briefed members about discussions with the General Secretary of the Hawkers Federation and the agreement reached to try and resolve issues through dialogue by 5th January 2013. The representative of the Daily Jang apprised members of the ultimatum received, discussions held and the unilateral strike by the Multan Hawkers

sions with the General Secretary of the Hawkers Federation, the Multan situation and how the APNS should collectively counter the situation in the short term as well as long term. After a great deal of discussion between all members, a resolution was passed according to which the Executive Committee of the APNS was unanimous in condemning the unilateral strike by the Multan Hawkers Union while negotiations were continuing with the Hawkers Federation.

Leader of Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) Altaf Hussain say’s a revolution of the people belonging to the poor and middle classes has become destiny of the country and no one can stop the advent of this revolution. He said this while talking to a delegation of the Minhajul-Quran at the MQM Head Office Nine Zero. Hussain welcomed the delegation at Nine Zero and thanked the Chairman Minhajul-Quran for sending the delegation to Nine Zero. He prayed for the delegation to succeed in its noble cause. “Both the MQM and Dr Qadri are working for the noble cause of eliminating feudal system and corruption, introduction of a uniform system of education, establishment of equality in every sphere of life and bringing equitable rule.

Opponents panicked after Bilawal’s speech: Sharjeel STAFF REPORTER KARACHI—Deputy Information Secretary of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Memon said on Saturday that the negative propaganda of the opponents against the PPP has been failed and people of the country have given their verdict in favour of the party. Talking to media persons here, Sharjeel said those who made an agreement with a dictator will also deceive the masses. He said the opponents are panicked after the tremendous speech of PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari in Garhi Khuda Bakhsh, which is

highly appreciated by the people and international media. He said Bilawal is a ray of hope for the youth of the country. He said Bilawal is the one to look forward to by the masses for resolution of their problems. He said the PPP will form the next government in Punjab and will retrieve the looted money. Meanwhile according to another statement issued here on Saturday, Sharjeel Memon said that the historic address of Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on December 27 on the occasion of the fifth death anniversary of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto has made the opponents ‘sleepless’. He said that the address of Bilawal Bhutto was a real

voice of masses and the country, adding young generation had got a ray of hope in shape of Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. Sharjeel said that the negative propaganda by anti democratic elements had faced its logical death. He added that the presence of millions of people in the public gathering has given decision in favour of democracy and Pakistan Peoples Party. Sharjeel in his statement further stated that “the real face of Sharif Brothers had been exposed before the people of Punjab”. He said that by the grace of Allah the Pakistan Peoples Party will win elections in Punjab too with a heavy KARACHI—Inspector General of Police Fayyaz Ahmed Leghari on mandate. Saturday directed all the police departments to make a joint comprehensive strategy to maintain law and order in the province on eve of new year. He also directed the police to exchange of information with other law enforcing and intelligence agencies in this regard, said an official statement here. The IGP ordered to enhance Lithotripsy and other medical/ police patrolling and snap checksurgical services. ing especially at and around pubUnder this current batch, lic places and other important pri129 students from various vate and public properties. —APP schools participated and to date total 3546 students have been trained. Chairperson RGO Madam Kishwer Zehra conveyed her KARACHI—Karachi University message that these children are has extended up last date for obthe leaders of the future from taining the forms for open merit whom several Abdul Sattar admissions in its evening Edhis and numerous Adib programme to Jan 3, 2013 . According to KU announcement here Rizvis shall rise. She added that human be- on Saturday, the interested students havior is a true reflection of a can obtain and submit the forms from United Bank Limited (UBL) society’s virtues and vices. Community service not only at KU Silver Jubilee gate from refines the person but also pro- 0930 to 1700 hours till coming vides solace and peace in life. Thursday. Whereas , these forms can also Though voluntary work, love and empathy are God gifted; be obtained and submitted from training polishes the entire per- 1700 to 1900 hours from UBL, University Campus branch.—APP sonality.—APP

Comprehensive security plan for new year eve

Participants of SIUT’s student volunteer program get certificates K ARACHI — The Resource to do, this generation will acGeneration and Outreach Department (RGO) of Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT) organized the certificate awarding ceremony for the 31st batch of student volunteer program. On this occasion Prof. Adibul Hasan Rizvi commented that proper training of the volunteers is integral for the bright future of Pakistan. Prof Adib Rizvi said that during the training these students were taught the basic core principles of community service and at this phase of life if they have learned to understand the problems, plight and ailments of others then definitely they will make the dream of a prosperous Pakistan come true.He expressed confidence that what we have not been able

complish. “I am proud of these students and appeal to the society to encourage the philanthropic work done by them.” Dr. Anwar Naqvi highlighted the importance and the impact generated by the program. A healthy society is conducive and imperative for the success and progress of a nation. In the program he said the volunteers were detailed about various medical departments by the respective doctors and were also imparted patient care and first aid training. The students were advised to conform to the guidelines set out for patient medical care and were informed about the facilities offered by SIUT OPDS, Radiology, Clinical Laboratory, Dialysis, Transplantation,

KU admissions

Rind receives approvals of five building plan STAFF REPORTER KARACHI—Federal Secretary G. M. Rind has officially received the approvals of five building plan from CEO Cantonment Board Korangi Creek Rana Khawar. The approved industrial units include the consumer, food & pharmaceutical, garments/textile, light engineering & packaging & printing. Construction of these industrial units is all set to commence at Korangi Creek Industrial Park (KCIP), taking the city of Karachi in to a new era of economic prosperity by contributing Rs. 40 billion annually to GDP and providing approximately 30,000 direct and 180,000 indirect employments. The project designed by Jurong Singapore, renowned internationally for their expertise is being developed at an estimated

cost of Rs. 3.3 billion which will have an investment opportunity of Rs. 20 billion. The project launched by National Industrial Parks Development & Management Company (NIP) through its own window operation system offers entrepreneurs with guaranteed uninterrupted power supply through 48 MW captive power plant and all essential utilities like water, gas and telecommunication at their doorstep. The main attraction of this industrial zone is perimeter wall with controlled entry and exit to the complex spreading over an area of 250 acres at Korangi Creek offering a safe and secure environment to the industrialists. To date approximately 75 per cent of the total available plots have been sold-out while a number of applications are still in the pipeline. This shows the confidence that NIP has earned over the years

through its hard work, transparent policies and efficient teamwork. The infrastructure work completed in all respect includes water supply and waste water connection networks both external and internal, 600 meters access road and entrance gate constructed with complete sewerage network dedicated manholes for each plot, construction of main arterial roads and Storm Water Drainage System Phase-1, construction of external and internal Industrial Distribution Gas Network, construction of 2.8 million gallons underground and 50,000 gallons overhead water reservoirs, construction of pumping station along with back-up- generator. On the other hand 14.7 mmcfd gas for its 48 MW captive power plant and industrial use has already KARACHI: Federal Secretary G. M. Rind receiving the approvals of building plan from been sanctioned by SSGC CEO Cantonment Board Korangi Creek Rana Khawar.

while KWSB has sanctioned water supply of 3.5mgd.A full fledged site office is operational to provide all the information and assist the visitors and entrepreneurs for a detailed brief on the project. The Park has zones namely Low Density and High Density zones. The Low density zones cater for industrial sectors including garments, consumer food, pharmaceutical, vale-added garments/textiles, printing/packaging and light engineering. The High density zone is reserved for high-rise flattened factories, multi-story commercial complex including banks, multinationals, corporate offices, besides a dedicated Gems and Jewelry workshops and sales center and Information Technology Centre. The Company will establish its own Estate Management for the upkeep & maintenance of the

park under the control of Board of Management of resident industrialists. Provision of all utilities, compliance to environment standards, and security of the park will be responsibility of its management team with assistance of the KCIP customers. NIP is fortunate to have the assistance & guidance of PIDC & Ministry of Production and co-operation from the office of the CEO, Cantonment Board Korangi Creek, Director General & Director, Military Lands & Cantonments, Board of Revenue, Government of Sindh, Karachi Water & Sewerage Board, Sui Southern Gas Company, Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) and City District Government Karachi, all of whom have given their whole hearted support to NIP in making this project a reality.


What is normal blood pressure?

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LOOD pressure is primarily pro duced when the heart muscle con tracts - it is the pressure of blood upon the walls of the blood vessels. There are two recordings, a high one (systolic) and a lower one (diastolic). The systolic pressure is measured when the heart contracts, while the diastolic one is gauged just before the heart contracts. The heart is the muscle that pumps blood throughout the body during every second of our lives. Low-oxygen blood is pumped towards the lungs, where it becomes oxygen-rich again. Oxygen-rich blood is pumped by the heart around to body to supply tissue, muscle, organs and cells. This pumping generates blood pressure. According to Medilexicon’s medical dictionary, Blood Pressure is: “The pressure or tension of the blood within the systemic arteries, maintained by the contraction of the left ventricle, the resistance of the arterioles and capillaries, the elasticity of the arterial walls, as well as the viscosity and volume of the blood; expressed as relative to the ambient atmospheric pressure.” Hypertension is when our blood pressure is too high, while hypotension is the opposite; it is when our blood pressure is too low. Most of us have had our blood pressure taken at some time in our lives. The procedure is straightforward and provides the doctor or other health care professional with vital data regarding the condition of the patient’s blood vessels and heart. As mentioned above, two blood pres-

sure readings are measured: The Systolic Pressure - this is the maximum pressure in an artery. It occurs when the heart contracts; when it is beating, and blood is being pumped through. The Diastolic Pressure - this is the minimum pressure in an artery. It occurs just before the heart contracts; in between heartbeats. It occurs when the heart is resting. If either the systolic or diastolic pressure is too high, the patient has hypertension (high blood pressure). So, both readings are important. The patient needs to be relaxed and seated or lying down comfortably when their blood pressure is taken. Their arm must be well supported. What happens when somebody’s blood pressure is taken? Digital Blood Pressure Monitor - A 122/65 mmHg blood pressure reading, using an electronic sphygmomanometer A cuff is wrapped around the upper arm and is inflated. Velcro keeps it in place. With an electronic sphygmomanometer, the patient just relaxes and waits and the device does everything. A Clinical mercury Manometer has a cuff, a tube that leads to a rubber bulb, and another tube which leads to a reservoir of mercury. The doctor wraps the cuff around the patient’s upper arm. The cuff is inflated by compressing the rubber bulb repeatedly. The doctor places a stethoscope on the patient’s arm and listens to his/her pulse. When the doctor first hears the pulse, the systolic pressure is measured. Gradually the pressure on the cuff is released.

Workers are real party asset: Ghurki STAFF REPORTER LAHORE—Pakistan People’s Party Lahore President and Federal Minister Samina Khalid Ghurki has said workers are a real asset to the party. In a press statement here on Saturday, she said the PPP was the party of all sections of life including students, labourers and deprived class. She said the PPP was flourishing because of consistent efforts for democracy. “Workers will counter all conspiracies against the party under the leadership of President Asif Ali Zardari and Chairman Bilawal Bhutto. She said the PPP-led government had already resolved several issues of the country and the rest would be resolved soon. Meanwhile, Pakistan Peoples’ Party Women Wing Lahore President Faiza Malik has said the PPP is the most popular party of the country and it is as popular in Lahore as it is in other districts of Punjab. Talking to a delegation of workers here on Saturday, she said people would reject the PML-N leadership in the next general elections and the PPP would form the next government with the support of the masses by winning the next general elections. She said the politics of reconciliation of President Asif Ali Zardari had strengthened democracy in the country and Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf was following the mission of Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Shaheed for the rule of the constitution and democracy. She said the PML-N was politically dead and upcoming general elections would seal its fate.

Hazrat Data Ganj Bakhsh Urs from Jan 1 STAFF REPORTER

LAHORE: Traffic warden joins labourers sitting around fire to keep themselves warm in cold foggy weather.

Chehlum of Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA)

Traffic arrangements finalised STAFF REPORTER L AHORE —City Traffic Police finalized traffic diversion plan for Chehlum of Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA) and urs of Hazrat Data Gunj Bakhush to facilitate visitors. Giving briefing to traffic officials on Saturday. Chief Traffic Police Officer Lahore Sohail Chaudhry said 360 traffic wardens, 13 inspectors and three DSPs would perform duty under the supervision

of an SP to maintain smooth flow of traffic on alternate routes. Fiver parking stands have been set up at Attiq Stadium, Ghora Hospital, Nsir Bagh, Saleem Model High School No 2 and Darbar Hospital for vehicles of participants. He directed traffic officials to perform duty carefully and keep vigil on suspicious things. Meanwhile, City Traffic Police Lahore has introduced a cellphone service

for people to keep them aware of traffic situation on roads. Every one may write “traffic” and send the message to 8001 and within seconds the citizen will receive a message regarding traffic situation on the city roads. Chief Traffic Police Officer Captain (Retd) Sohail Chaudhary announced it. Earlier, traffic helpline on phone No 0421915 and FM88.6 Radio is also being run by traffic police to help citizens in the city.

LAHORE—The 969th annual three-day Urs celebrations of Hazrat Ali bin Usman Alhajveri popularly known as Data Ganj Bakhsh will start at his shrine from January 1. The celebrations will start with laying a traditional chadar on the grave of the great sufi saint of the subcontinent, said Punjab Minister for Auqaf Haji Ehsanuddin Qureshi while addressing a press conference at Data Darbar Complex here on Saturday. Secretary Auqaf Tariq Pasha was also present. He said the Auqaf Department had allocated Rs. 8 million to provide facilities to devotees. The minister said 400 security guards besides 170 ‘Razacars’ of the Auqaf Department would perform security duties. He said the department had installed cameras on the Darbar premises to monitor the Urs celebrations. Camp offices of WAPDA, WASA, Civil Defence and first aid have also been set up to facilitate pilgrims, he added.

LAHORE: Workers are busy in decorating the plants and flowers outside Chief Minister House.

Promotion of IT sector is need of hour: Shahbaz SALIM AHMED L AHORE —Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said that the development in the IT sector is the need of the hour and Punjab government has launched revolutionary programmes for the promotion of information technology. He said that promotion of IT education is his mission and he wants to make Punjab a “Silicon Valley”. The Chief Minister said this while talking to Chief Technical Officer of world-renowned IT Company Teradata Corporation, Stephen Brobst, here today. Chairman Punjab

Information Technology Board Dr. Umar Saif and other IT experts were also present. The Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif said that Punjab government is providing facilities and incentives to international IT companies for investment in the province and due to this reason, renowned international companies are making huge investment in Punjab. Citing the steps taken by the provincial government, he said that Punjab government has established IT labs in 4300 high schools at a cost of Rs. 5 billion. He said that modern education is being imparted to girl and boy stu-

Four held with arms L AHORE —Punjab Highway Patroling Police arrested four accused with two pistols and bullets. PHP officials handed over accused Nasir Mehmood of Gujranwala, Sakawat, Naseer and Faheem Shahzad r/o Attock to local police for interrogation. Meanwhile, PHP also reunited a missing child, Qadir Ahmad with his parents and handed a deaf and dumb child over to Edhi Centre in Rahim Yar Khan.—APP

dents in Daanish Schools through Smart Board. The Chief Minister said that more than two lakh laptops are being distributed among girl and boy students purely on merit. He said that an IT university of international standard has been set up in Lahore from where the youth is getting facilities of modern education. Chief Technical Officer of Teradata Corporation, Stephen Brobst said that his company will increase its cooperation with the Punjab government in IT sector. He said that a centre of Teradata is successfully working in the Arfa Karim L AHORE —Century celebraSoftware Technology Park. tions (1912-2012) of Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC) will begin here on Monday. A ceremony was organized at a local hotel on the occasion, Engr Akhtar Abbas Khawaja, the secretary Pakistan Engineering Congress, stated this here on Saturday. political parties are weak while Inaugural session of the its leaders are powerful. Par- event will be held at 10:00am ties lack democracy within it, on December 31, 2012. as their chiefs are just like civil Federal Minister for Indictators. The main parities of formation and Broadcasting the country have turned to be Qamar Zaman Qaira have family groups. He pointed out been invited as the chief that the checking of door to guest on the occasion, he door voters list should be added. Technical papers will made not only in Karachi but be presented by scientists, also all over Pakistan, besides water and power resources restructuring of electorates. experts, environmentalists, He observed that effective educationists etc at the electoral reforms are must for event. free and fair polls in the counThe PEC will release retry. The reforms should also ports of engineering orgaconsist of necessary internal nizational plans and party elections and the par- achievements on the occaties which fail to conduct in- sion. The congress will ternal polls, should be banned also release number of pubto contest general elections so lications, book of proceedthat middle class should also ing papers, book of symhave a chance to participate posium on the topic of in polls. Emerging Phenomenon of The participants of the Untimely Rains-Floods in meeting suggested the gov- Pakistan, book of history ernment to constitute the pro- of the congress covering vincial electorate, consisting of the period (1912-2012) and only 50,000 voters while na- book of summaries of gold tional assembly voters should medal papers to mark the not exceed 100,000 figure. celebrations.—APP

PEC’s century celebrations

Present electoral system has failed: APAT STAFF REPORTER L AHORE —The All Pakistan Anjuman-e-Tajiran (APAT) has said that present constituency-based electoral system has failed to deliver, as it is hurdle in election of common man, including small traders- the true representatives of 180 million population. This was observed by the city’s major market representatives of APAT in a meeting held on Saturday. The meeting was attended by Abdul Wadud Alvi, Imtiaz Ahmed, Farooq Azad, Javed Khan, Hafiz Asim, Kh Khalid, Hassan Baloch, Ahmed Raza and Khalid Butt while presided over by central general secretary Naeem Mir. The participants of the meeting appreciated the Election Commission of Pakistan reminder to the political parties asking them to file intraparty poll documents and statements of their accounts, failing which they won’t be

allotted symbols to contest the general elections. The trade leaders of the provincial capital also called for restructuring of the electoral system in the country and contended that the current constituency-wise polls grant too much power to party leaders, leaving politicians to answer to the political elite and not voters at large. Reformers advocate a political system with multiple constituencies to address these problems and improve the quality of Pakistan governance. Addressing the meeting, APAT general secretary Naeem Mir, said that constituencies are established according to the wish with a view to get particular groups and favorite parties elected while provincial and national assemblies electorates are so large that no person from middle class even thinks of contesting polls, as millions of rupees have to be spent for this. He observed that today,

PU sets record, over 200 PhDs produced in a year STAFF REPORTER L AHORE —Punjab University vice-chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran has said that PU has set another record in academic history of Pakistan by producing more than 200 PhDs in a year. He said that probably no university in Pakistan had produced even 150 PhDs in a year but Punjab University was far better than all others and that difference would grow longer. He was addressing 121st Convocation of Punjab University held at Faisal Auditorium here on Saturday. PU Registrar Prof Dr Khan Raas Masood, Controller Examinations Prof Dr Liaqat Ali, Chairman Convocation Committee Prof Dr Haris Rashid, Dean Faculty of Oriental Learning Dr

Mazhar Moeen, heads of variHe said that the average ous departments, members of spending of the world was Syndicate and Senate, adminaround 4-5 percent of GDP on istrative officers, people from education but on the convarious walks of life and a trary, we were reducing our large number of students were spending on education. He present on the occasion. For said that Pakistan’s populathe first time in the history of tion was around 180 million Punjab University, the proand our GDP was between ceedings of convocation 170 to 180 billion dollars. He were held in Urdu language. said that our population was Addressing the ceremony, Dr increasing but unfortunately, Kamran said that around 750 our rulers had cut educational verses of Holy Quran, which budget from 2 percent to is 1/8th of the Holy Book, around 1.5 percent of GDP. He stressed to focus on resolvsaid that knowledge had no ing mysteries of the universe value in Pakistan because our while the verses related to rulers did not realize that how legislation were around 225, knowledge was important for which reflected that how respectable survival in the much important the knowlworld. He said that we were edge was before Allah. He said independent only because of that knowledge was the atom bomb. He urged the govsource of power and respect ernment to eliminate corrupbut no nation could become tion and extra expenses and knowledgeable without the LAHORE: Punjab University VC Prof Dr. Mujahid Kamran with senior faculty mem- allocate more money to edubers cutting the cake of Punjab University’s 121st Convocation. strength of character. cation.

He advised the students not to be hopeful of rulers in this regard and spread knowledge on their own. He advised them to be expert of their subject, keep an eye on their own shortcomings, praise qualities of others and help each other. Earlier, degrees, medals and prizes were distributed among PhD, M Phil, Master’s and BS Honor degree holder students. In Punjab University’s 121st Convocation, 206 PhD, 345 M Phil, 339 Master’s and 180 undergraduate degrees while 211 medals among 155 medal holders were distributed. As many as 84 medals were distributed among 71 undergraduate students while 127 medals were distributed among 84 Master’s students. A total of 1225 degrees were distributed in the convocation. In Punjab University’s

121st Convocation, there were two couples and two sisters who did their PhDs this year. Dr Akmal Rahim did his PhD in Botany while his wife Dr Farkhunda Jameel did her PhD in Molecular Biology and Molecular Genetics. Dr Saadat Ali and his wife Dr Ishrat Aziz did their PhDs in biological sciences. Dr Ans Nazar did his PhD in Islamic Studies. They are ten brothers and sisters and all are Hafiz-e-Quran. Six out of the ten are PhDs. Two special persons proved that if they are provided with a chance, they would show skills equal to the normal human beings do with their undefeated efforts. Dr Amir Hanif, a blind, did his PhD in History while Dr Taimur Hasan, a blind, did his PhD in Urdu language this year.

e-Paper Dec 30, 2012  

e-Paper Dec 30, 2012

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