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Non-bailable arrest warrants for Gilani, Faheem

El-Sissi sweeps Egypt’s election CAIRO—With nearly all the ballots counted, Egypt’s former military chief has won a crushing victory over his sole opponent with more than 92 per cent of the votes, according to results

STAFF REPORTER K ARACHI —An anti-corruption court in Karachi on Thursday issued non-bailable arrest warrants for former prime minister Yusuf Raza Gilani and senior Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Makhdoom Amin Faheem. The warrants against the two were issued in a case relating to financial irreguYusuf Raza Gilani larities in the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP). Subsequently, the court adjourned the

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Ghusl-e-Kaaba ceremony held MAKKAH —A ceremonial washing of the Holy Kaaba was performed on Thursday led by Emir Prince Mishal Bin Abdullah on behalf of the Continued on Page 7

Modi invites Chinese president to visit India N EW DELHI —Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi invited Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday to visit, seeking greater engagement Continued on Page 7

Pak 9th most obese country STAFF REPORTER KARACHI—One third of adults in Pakistan are overweight or obese, and the gender gap in excess weight is widening, with more women gaining Continued on Page 7

Today’s issue of Pakistan Observer carries a 2Page Special Report on National Day of Argentiana on Page 10 & Page 11.

Don’t re-visit politics of 80s and 90s

................................................ Even then engage good Taliban ................................................ India to further strangulate IHK

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Muhammmad Nawaz Sharif in a group photo with Punjab CM Shahbaz Sharif, Sindh CM Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Balochistan CM Abdul Malik Baloch and KP CM Pervez Khattak prior to the CCI meeting at PM’s Office, on Thursday.

Vision 2025 okayed

CCI approves cuts at source to recover provinces power dues SHARAFAT KAZAMI I SLAMABAD —The Council of Common Interests Thursday approved a mechanism for at-source deduction of outstanding power sector payables of the provinces. The CCI met here under

the chairmanship of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif at the PM Office. Finance Minister Ishaq Dar informed the meeting that the process for atsource deduction would be in place from July 1, 2014 through federal adjuster.

The participants of the meeting also stressed the need to reconcile old dues. The meeting decided that the representatives of provinces should sit together to sort out the issue of old dues within 30 days and its report should

Govt to wipe out mounting circular debt in two weeks AMANULLAH KHAN K ARACHI—The circular debt mounted to over Rs298 billion early this month would be cleared next two weeks by the government, informed sources told Pakistan Observer here Thursday.

Sources said that the government understands the importance of IPPs in meeting the shortfall of power generation and has been working vigorously to ensure their overdue payments are taken care of. Federal Government is on it and would

SHC reserves ruling on Musharraf’s ECL plea IRFAN ALIGI

See Page 04

K ARACHI —Sindh

High Court (SHC) reserved verdict on a petition seeking court’s order for removing

name of former President General (retd) Pervez Musharraf from the exit control list (ECL). The court directed the respondents to

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Malik Ishaq acquitted STAFF REPORTER R AWALPIND —An anti-terrorist court on Thursday acquitted Malik Ishaq, chief of proscribed Lashkar-iJhangvi (LJ) militant group, Continued on Page 7

be presented in the next CCI meeting. The Council approved

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Woman stoning to death

PM directs Punjab to submit report STAFF REPORTER ISLAMABAD—Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has taken notice of the murder of 25year-old pregnant woman Farzana Parveen who was stoned to death near the Lahore High Court on TuesContinued on Page 7

hearing to June 17. The case in this regard had been registered by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) when Faheem was the commerce minister. Also, the court had previously issued three notices to Gilani and Faheem, requiring them to appear before it. The notices went ignored after which a bailable arrest warrants was issued against Makhdoom Amin Faheem both leaders. However, the court issued non-bailable warrants and adjourned the hearing to June 17.

Four soldiers among 8 killed in NWA blasts TARIQ SAEED P ESHAWAR —Militants’ attacks on the security forces and tribesmen in North Waziristan and Orakzai agencies on Thursday left as many as eight people including four men in uniform martyred and two soldiers seriously wounded. Injured include a captain of the Pakistan Army. In North Waziristan

agency, as the reports reaching here said, a couple of roadside explosions resulted in the Shahadat of three Army men while two others received serious injuries. The unknown miscreants, as the reports said had planted two locally made bombs at road side near Nosher Fort some 26 kilometers east of Miran Shah at the converge of North

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Fee Reimbursement Scheme to help hunt talent in remote areas

Balochistan on road to academic progress; budget spirals from 14 to 22pc: Baligh P ESHAWA R —Federal Government was committed to providing appropriate and congenial environment to all provinces for strengthen education sector and bringing further improvement in educational curriculum to cater to the modern days’ needs. Minister of State for Education, Trainings and Standards in Higher Education and Interior, Engr Baligh-ur-Rehman expressed these views while talking to journalists after addressing first convocation of Abasyn University 2014 here at local hotel on Thursday. Around 214 passed students of bachelor and master programs were decorated with gold medals and certificates. The Minister of State said education was the top most priority of the Government and it was committed to providing enabling environment to all provinces for bolstering educational activities and bring further improvement in existing curriculum. Following the devolution of education sector to the provinces in 2011, he said the provincial governments were now authorized to work for uplift of education and curriculum. In most of the countries, he said preparation of curriculum came under the domain of Federation keeping in view of its paramount importance in progress of a nation. The Minister made it clear that the Federal Government had no plan to draft new legislation for taking the subject of curriculum back from the provinces but instead it would provide congenial and enabling environment to the federating units in order to make it result-oriented. He said “we have recommended to the provinces for formation of National Curriculum Council (NCC) with equal representation to all provinces in its body where all the stakeholders would present their valuable input to make the curriculum more comprehensive, promoting patriotism, integrity, national cohesion and promotion of peace and highlighting the achievements of our

Six school kids hospitalised after receiving measles vaccines

national heroes.” He said members of the private schools would also be included in the council to present suggestions and recommendations in this regard, adding the Inter Provincial

Minister said Federal Government and all provinces had increased the budget of education manifold whereas Balochistan Government increased its education budget from 14 percent to record 22 percent, show-

cation and economic policies of PML-N Government. He said the Prime Ministers’ Fee Reimbursement Scheme has been launched, focusing on enhancing opportunities for access to higher education especially to talented but financially constrained students belonging to remote and far-flung areas of the country who despite possessing academic merit, were unable to finance their education. He said the fee disbursement would be ensured through a transparent and welldefined mechanism. The Minister said the Government was striving to bring out-of-schoolchildren to enrolment, adding that 20000 non-formal education schools were working in the country by imparting quality education to such students. Earlier in his address, the Minister while congratulating the passed out students and gold medalists urged them to take full advantage of their expertise and skills in practical life and play key role in development of the nation. He said 21st century was an age of globalization geo-economic and economic competition and “we need to build our human resource by equipping them with quality education, vocational education training and research. PESHAWAR: Minister of State for Education and Interior, Engr Balighur Rehman He said the Government wanted that awarding degrees to students during 1st Convocation of Abasyn University. every child should be enrolled in school Conference (IPC) would supervise the NCC. ing its sincerity for uplift of education sec- and get education. He said “we need qualEngr. Balighur Rehman said the next tor. ity engineers, doctors, architects, teachers, meeting of an Inter Provincial Education Before the elected Govt of PMLN, he professors and professionals and that could Ministers Conference would be held in July said, Higher Education Commission had only be achieved through primarily having next wherein matters pertaining to curricu- been facing economic issues and financial excellent curriculum and quality education lum would also be discussed and impor- releases were not regular, adding when this institutes with outstanding faculty.” tant decision would be taken. Government took over, not only funds of Earlier, the vice chancellor of the He said Federal Government’s policy HEC were increased but its financial release Abasyn University highlighted achievewas pro-education and research, adding the installments were made regular. ments of the university. Later, the Minister Government under leadership of Prime MinHe said Ph.D scholars whose numbers gave away degrees and gold medals to the ister Nawaz Sharif had planned to spend in year 2002 were 2000, has now been in- students for academic year 2014. Later, the four percent of its GDP on education. The creased to 8000 in 2014 due to prudent edu- VC presented shield to the Minister.—APP

Tribals support forces in flushing out militants

Targeted operations to continue: Minister HYDERABAD—Sindh Minister for Information and Local Government Sharjil Inam Memon while dispelling the impressions of any compromise on targeted operations in Karachi and Hyderabad maintained that the same will continue at any cost. Shahid Hayat is an honest and brave Police officer his replacement does not mean that the government will compromise on targeted operation, he said while talking to newsmen after presiding over a meeting with the officers of the district administration here at local circuit house regarding arrangements of meeting eventuality during expected monsoon rains. He said that the issue of terrorist activities in Karachi is long standing and the government fully committed to restore peace in Karachi. The target killings have been controlled by the government, he said and maintained that targeted operation against outlaws in Karachi and Hyderabad will continue at any cost. He admitted that facts of involvement of some activists of political parties and banned organizations among land mafia and extortionists. However, he said that indiscriminate action is being taken against the outlaws. The armed attacks on policemen in Hyderabad are an act of demoralizing the police, but the terrorists will not succeed in their nefarious designs, he added.Replying to a question, he agreed of conducting population census in Sindh, but demanded the completion of other required procedures before this. Responding to another question, the minister maintained that his party is not in favor of closing any media house including GEO despite the fact of media trail of the PPP government in its five years tenure by the said channel.Talking about the arrangements for meeting the challenges of expected heavy rains, the minister informed that the provincial government has finalized all preparations in this direction and his visit to Hyderabad was also the part of these precautionary arrangements. The required machinery is being provided to district administration while encroachments are also being removed from the drain nullas and drain lines in Hyderabad, he added, he said.Among others, Deputy Commissioner Hyderabad Muhammad Nawaz Soho, Administrator Hyderabad Municipal Corporation Qamar Shaikh, President PPP Hyderabad District Zahid Bhurgari, Special Assistant to Sindh Chief Minister Abdul Jabbar Khan, Syed Fayaz Shah and Aftab Khanzada were also present on the occasion.—APP

Action against FATA Sectt staff ordered

Taliban could pose challenge to post-NATO Afghanistan

STAFF REPORTER

ISLAMABAD—Former Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff Com-

Govt aware of masses problems SHER GONDAL

mittee, General (Retired) Ehsan ul Haq, Thursday said the M A N D I K ARAK —At least six chil- in Bajaur Agency on Thursday assured the mandant Bajaur Scouts Col Mir Ameer Ali P ESHAWAR —The authori- Taliban may not return to power in Afghanistan but could Punjab continue to harass the government in areas where the ISAF Women dren of a private school fell local administration and the security forces were present in the jirga. ties in the FATA Secretariat unconscious and shifted to hospital after being administered measles vaccine in Karak district on Thursday. According to sources in DHQ Karak, a team of health officials administered measles’ dots to students in a private school after which the children fell dizzy and were rushed to District Headquarter Hospital for medical treatment. Earlier on Wednesday, three children including twoyear-old Mazhar, a resident of Shabqadar, Charsadda, two-year-old Hilal of Mandrakhel area and twoyear-old Rida of the same village had died in Peshawar hospital after the administration of the measles vaccine. The parents were now seemed reluctant to administer measles vaccine to their children after such cases reported in Swat, Charsadda, Kohat, Peshawar and now in Karak.The KP government on May 19 had launched a twoweek campaign to vaccinate 9.6 million children against measles in the province. The provincial government has launched an inquiry to find out real cause behind occurrence of such incidents.—APP

B AJAUR —The tribesmen of Salarzai tribe Agent Syed Abdul Jabar Shah and Com-

of continuing their support and decided to step up their efforts to prevent cross border aggression in the area. The tribesmen of Salarzai tribe decided this during a grand jirga called by the local administration here, in which large number of elders and members of village defence committees of various sub areas of Salarzai participated. Senior officials of the administration and the security forces including Political

Law and order situation, anti militant’s activities of the tribesmen and strategy to prevent possible cross border militant’s attacks and matters related to peace in the area were discussed in the jirga. Addressing the jirga Bajaur Agency political agent lauded the tribesmen of Salarzai tribe for their tremendous efforts in elimination of militants and restoration of peace in the area.—APP

have ordered punitive actions against the employees involved in various irregularities including embezzlement of funds as well absenteeism from their duty places. This is in line with the instructions issued by the Additional Chief secretary FATA to dispose off the pending inquiries pertaining to various departments with major being the Health and Education departments, within shortest possible time. The Secretary Administration, Infrastructure and Coordination has acceded to the recommendations of the Enquiry Committee and directed the agency Education Officer to recover the entire amount from an accused employee of a school with in thirty days besides asking the Headmaster of the concerned school to explain the reason for non submission of arrival report of the accused concerned and submission of pay bills to the account office concerned without verification of the MULTAN: Children lending helping hand to their father in construction work of a road documents of the deduring the scorching heat near Qasim Fort at Old Khanewal Road. faulter, with in fifteen days.

Sharif-led government is set to stay SALAHUDDIN HAIDER

D

ESPITE mounting criticism from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf Chief Imran Khan and all kinds of rumors about the “uncertain” future of the civilian government, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is moving ahead unfazed. Rumors about differences between Sharif, the army and the ISI are doing the rounds in the country. It is said that Khan has been pushed by intelligence agencies to start a crusade against the Sharif-led government. However, no tangible evidence is available to support such theories. Khan is demanding a recount of votes in four Lahore constituencies. After a passage

of one year, his party has once again gained momentum and has successfully held impressive rallies in major cities of the Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa and Punjab provinces to mobilize people against the government. Some insiders claim that those rallies were the result of the tacit support extended by former ISI Chief Gen. Shuja Pasha. Although Pasha is no longer in office, it is still said that some “other” forces are still pulling the PTI’s strings. Not much importance could be attached to veteran politician Sheikh Rashid who sees the government’s exit in the next three months, but the latest statement from seasoned politician Chaudhry Shujaat that the government is on its way out, does ring the bell. However, talks about some change or a possible military takeover at this stage can

only be termed as wishful thinking. Except for peace and security, the government is taking all possible steps to address public issues and has succeeded to some extent. A misadventure, which has often halted progress in Pakistan, is out of question at this point in time. Sharif feels relaxed because of backing from international donors and rapid developments in most parts of the country. His India’s visit and 50-minute talks with Narender Modi, may not have yielded the desired results. But the main opposition Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) is backing Sharif, saying results should not be expected after one meeting or so. However, Sharif is being accused of ignoring the opposition parties and failing to take the Parliament into confidence on his sensitive visit.

had not been able to subdue them. “The fall out of the drawdown was to be closely watched,” he said at a conference in Islamabad. He referred to US strategic partnership with India and the talk of Asia pivot and China’s Asia centric policy, a climate in which Pakistan needed to adjust its seasons. Speaking at the international conference on “Pakistan’s Strategic Environment :Post 2014” emphasized that all efforts should be directed towards the sole goal of achieving good governance and revival of the economy. Summing up the proceedings of the second day of eminent journalist and former ambassador to USA and High commissioner to UK, Dr. Maliha Lodhi said that the region of South Asia was in a state of flux with competing economic visions being offered for its future. For Pakistan the critical choices were mostly internal. The stress on geoeconomics was for the good but peace and prosperity that were being offered as the panacea needed some strategy to be realized. Referring to the Prime Minister’s visit to Delhi and the hopes it inspired she said good neighbourly relations were a must but neighbours had their limitations and strategies could not be based on hopes. She discounted the assertion by a scholar that the time of military solutions was over. She said that despite what President Obama had said in his important policy statement at the West Point academy the other day, military component in external policy will continue to play its role. “We shall have to be vary in this fast changing world.” In Pakistan we needed to align all our powers to put our own house in order. For this we needed a business model based on leadership, an effective team, a plan and institutional support.—NNI

BAHAUDDIN—

Minister for Development Hamida Waheed has said PML-N government in Punjab was fully aware of people problems and was working hard to fulfill promises its leaders made during last year elections. She was talking to media persons here at her office on Thursday. She said since forming government, several development schemes were started in this districts that comprise construction of highway from Miana Gondal to King Road, laying sewerage in city and villages, cleaning of salinity drains, water drainage schemes, repairing and road maintenance, construction of new schools and renovation of old schools. She said development work did not end with above scheme rather it was a continuous process. Recently, she informed the media persons that the government had approved new schemes and funds had been allocated for each scheme.


Rs.12893m development schemes for KP okayed STAFF REPORTER

HYDERABAD: Member Sindh Assembly Sabir Kaimkhani is giving cash to the poor resident of Kotri Town who wanted to sell his children due to poverty on Thursday.

HESCO cuts power to Lal Shahbaz Qalandar shrine D A D U —Hyderabad Electric Supply Company (HESCO) halted power supply to Hazrat Lal Shahbaz Qalandar’s shrine on Wednesday. The HESCO officials said the power supply to the shrine was shut down as the Auqaf Department had not paid arrears of Rs20 million. The shrine’s administrator Masood Ahmed Mangi said that the delay in payment was due to huge amount of bill. He further said that HESCO authorities were requested to review the bills so that payment can be made. He hoped that power supply to the shrine will be restored soon to facilitate the visitors. HESCO Sub-Divisional Officer Nazir Solangi said the Auqaf Department officials had contacted the electricity department and assured to pay the bill. Meanwhile, power shortfall on Thursday reached to 3,100 megawatt in the country due to rise of temperature, mounting duration of load shedding to six to eight hours. According to Water and Power Ministry sources, 13,200 megawatt electricity is being generated form all resources available in the country while demand of the power stands at 16,300MW. The massive gap between supply and demand has reached to 3,l00MW in the country due to increasing hot weather. Power loadshedding of six to eight hours daily in urban and rural areas of the country has been taking place subsequently due to increase of power shortfall.—INP

Denmark provides $11m for FATA, Balochistan dev mark will provide USD 11 million to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to support its ongoing fiveyear Country Programme (2013-17) in Pakistan. This was announced by the Ambassador of Denmark, Mr. Jesper Moller Sorensen, during a ceremony held Thursday at the Government Higher Secondary School for Boys in Peshawar. The Chief Guest on the occasion, Minister for Elementary and Secondary Education, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Muhammad Atif said that primary education, especially for girls, is the priority for the provincial government and it is committed to reduce the gender gap in current enrolment which stands at 70 percent boys and 30 per cent girls. He further said that education is the only thing that can bring a positive change in the society and it is also the solution to many of the problems we face. Thanking the Government and people of Denmark for their generous contribution to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA through

minister said that the KP government is focused on increasing enrolment, retention, teacher training, Information Technology and establishing a system which would reward teachers who show outstanding performance. Speaking at the ceremony, Ambassador Sorensen stated that Denmark has been providing development assistance to Pakistan since 2010 with a strong emphasis on promoting primary education - especially girls’ education – in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, and FATA. Highlighting the importance of education for social and economic progress, Ambassador Sorensen said, “It is estimated that if all children in developing countries could read, global poverty would drop by 12 percent and more significantly, every time a girl receives just one additional year of education, her wage would increase by 15-20 percent. This has a huge socio-economic impact for families and for the whole society.” The Danish grant will help UNICEF

water, sanitation and hygiene in schools; health and nutrition; and child protection programmes in mainly Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. “We are grateful to the Government and people of Demark for this critical support to the Country Programme which could not have come at a more appropriate time,” said Dan Rohrmann, UNICEF Representative in Pakistan. The UNICEF Common Country programme with support of the Government of Denmark is being implemented through a human-rights based approach, aiming to advance inclusive and sustainable growth - ensuring equity in access to quality basic services and social protection. Addressing New and emerging challenges facing Pakistan, UNICEF aims to strengthen programming for adolescents, incorporate Disaster Risk Reduction, tackle urbanisation, and focus on upstream advocacy.—INP

Summer vacations schedule

Some areas to receive rain

GUL HAMAAD FAROOQI

ISLAMABAD—Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) on Thursday forecast rain with thunderstorm at few places while other areas would bear hot and dry weather during next 24 hours. Rain with thunderstorm has been forecast in Rawalpindi, Islamabad Malakand, Peshawar divisions and Gilgit-Baltistan during next 24 hours. According to Met Office, a seasonal low lies over Northwest Balochistan and adjoining areas. Mainly hot and dry weather is expected in most parts of the Punjab province during next 24 hours. In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa hot and dry weather has been forecast, however, light rain with thunderstorm is expected at a few places in Malakand and Peshawar divisions at night. Very hot and dry weather would prevail in most parts of the Sindh and Balochistan provinces. In Kashmir, dry weather is expected in most parts of the valley while rain with thunderstorm is expected at few places of Gilgit-Baltistan whereas dry and partly cloudy weather would engulf other parts of the area. The highest maximum temperatures recorded during the last 24 hours were Moenjodaro, Jaccobabad 49øC, Dadu, Shaheed Benazirabad 48øC. The temperatures recorded in the other cities were Islamabad 38øC, Lahore 43øC, Karachi 36 øC, Peshawar 41øC, Quetta 35øC, Skardu 28øC, Murree 27øC, Muzaffarabad 39øC, Gilgit 36øC, Faisalabad 42øC,Multan 44øC, Hyderabad 45øC.—APP

Community Board extended their housing schemes at Shotkoh (Singor area ) of Chitral. Major M. Peerzada of Pakistan Army Engineering Corp was chief guest on the opening ceremony who cut ribbon and inaugurated housing scheme. The chief guest also handed over legal documents and key of the house to its owner. Talking to this scribe Shahzada Ibrahim Peerzada Managing Director said that NCCB already working in Rawalpindi Sial Motorway) where they allot plots to IDPs (Internal Disturbed persons), flood victims as well as victimized of terrorism of Waziristan and other tense areas on 50% discount rate under IDPs rehabilitation scheme.

Rotavirus vaccine in EPI can save 1.4 infants every year

STAFF REPORTER P ESHAWAR —The Govern-

PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Sardar Mehtab Ahmad Khan talking to Ambassador of Royal Danish Embassy Jesper Moller Sorensen who called on him at Governor House.

Calling

Muhammad Ali Sattar Email:malisattar@hotmail.com

T

Cheap housing schemes open

PESHAWAR—The Government of Den- UNICEF’s country programme, the support activities related to education; CHITRAL—Northern Citizen

ment of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has notified the schedule of summer vacations for the academic year 2014 for all the government and private sector schools in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. According to details in plain areas, primary schools will remain closed from Ist June to 31st August 2014 (3 months) while Middle / High & Higher Secondary School will observe summer vacations from 15th June to 31st August 2014 (2 months & 15 days).

Waiting for the rain! Dhaka

P ESHAWAR —The Provincial Development Working Party (PDWP) under the Chairmanship of Mr. Khalid Pervez, the Additional Chief Secretary Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Thursday approved 22 development projects with an estimated cost of Rs. 12892.735 million. The meeting was attended by the Administrative Secretaries and Senior Staff of P&D, Finance, Environment, C&W, LG&RD, Agriculture, Health, Higher Education, Industries, Relief Rehabilitation Social Welfare& Irrigation Departments. The approved projects included Construction of Residences & Bachelor Hostel in all District head Quarters for Government servants in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (Revised) at a cost of Rs. 869.178 million, Retrofitting of City Hospital, Lakki Marwat at a cost of Rs. 113.544 million, Purchase of equipment for 1 Category-A, 4 Category-C and 4 Category-D Hospitals of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (DIK, Kalabat,Dargai, Lahor Swabi, Sarai Naurang, Jani Khel Bannu, Havelian, Totakan, Thana Malakand ) at a cost of Rs. 482.364 million, Purchase of additional land for University of Malakand(Revised) at a cost of Rs. 160.655 million, Feasibility and Establishment of two GGDC in district Nowshera one each at Jalozai & Tarkha at a cost of Rs. 525.00 million, Feasibility and establishment of two Home Economic Colleges in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa one each Nowshera and Abbottabad at a cost of Rs.600.00 million, Establishment of Small Industrial Estate Abbottabad-2,PC-II at a cost of Rs. 200.000 million, Establishment of Small Industrial Estate at Hatar , PC-II at a cost of Rs. 220.00 million, Priority Projects in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa SH: Repair/Rehabilitation of road from Ziarat kaka Sahib to Tangi Khattak village in Distt: Nowshera at accost of Rs. 104.824 million, Pri-

ority Projects in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa SH: Repair/Rehabilitation in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa of road from GT road to Walai village in Distt: Nowshera.(Pk-13) at a cost of Rs. 79.498 million, Social Protection & Poverty Alleviation Programme in KP on need basis at a cost of Rs. 2000.00 million , Provision for contractor’s decretal/accrued liabilities and uncashed cheques at a cost of Rs.200.00 million, Restoration of Flood affected roads and bridges in Tehsil Drosh, Chitral & Boni in District Chitral at a cost of Rs.150.00 million, Rehabilitation of 17 KMs Roads in PK-48 District Abbottabad(2nd Revised) at a cost of Rs. 157.892 million, Construction of Pre Stressed RCC Bridge over Indus River from KKH to Seo village at Dassu Kohistan ( Balance funds of PSDP scheme) at a cost of Rs. 322.534 million, Improvement & Widening of Ama Khel Mulazai Road (6 km) District Tank at a cost of Rs. 79.036 million, Land acquisition for Swat Express Way at a cost of Rs. 2300.00 million, Imp.& Rehabilitation Barian to Nathiagali Road District Abbottabad at a cost of Rs. 614.00 million, Emergency Rural roads Rehabilitation project (JICA Assisted) Loan,P-62 ADP No.359 Sh:- Reh & imp of Chitral Garam Chashma road in District Chitral having a total length of 13.34 kms at a cost of Rs. 297.236 million, Provision of grant-In Aid to Dost welfare foundation Khyber Pakhtunkhwa at a cost of Rs. 150.00 million, Construction of Northern section of ring road (missing link)Peshawar from Warsak road to Jamrud road (land Component ) at a cost of Rs. 2827.00 million, Revised PC-I for PSDP scheme “construction of Mardan Khel Dam Project District Karak” at a cost of Rs. 439.974 million. Some of the above mentioned schemes were approved subject to cost rationalization and physical inspection/enquiry by DG, M&E.

HE heat is really on! It is the summer heat which is sapping the vitality of the humans! Temperature is hovering at nearly 40, sometimes touching the 40 degrees mark giving us the touch of Arabian desert furnace! Bangladeshi people are used to summer, dry and heat conditions! But certainly not the one we are experiencing now. For some weeks we are hosting dry, sultry and the scorching sun. Since ours is a tropical belt and winter is only a short-lived guest for two months (read one month), we are actually inhabitants of hot conditions! When things go skewed with the heat, you can imagine the physical affect! People cannot remain indoors in the working days! They will have to hit the streets and go on

with their business as usual! Shuttling to and from the work place is yet another exercise that one finds hard to carry out! The scenario: Bustling and chaotic crowd (all drenched in humidity) shuffling and elbowing each other to create a comfortable space for him in the bus or in the corroders of the public offices, almost all of them out of their wits, swearing at each other at the slightest slip of tongued or limbs, fighting with the bus conductor or the salesmen in the street stalls, yelling or slapping the rickshaw puller, who in his turn of opportunity would demand a long fare for a short distance! And there you have summer Romeos strolling in parched pavements of the broad roads, teasing the perspiring eves and puffing endlessly! One would detest at their body language and gestures! They roam with such vigor and twisted smile on their irritating faces as though they get charged up from the afternoon sun! The heat doesn’t sap their energy rather it injects new life in them! Indoors, mothers and old members of the family are not in comfort either. The load shed-

ding is the accompanying bane along with the heat. They are twins now! Although the power supply conditions have slightly improved, but remains far from satisfactory! Sitting in the yard of my home, I think of the times when summer was indeed pleasant! The daily rise in temperature was never on our agenda any time of the year! The rural scene was greener and affluent and the atmosphere was dearest thing that the villagers loved! Seldom were seen the parched scenes of paddy or sugarcane fields! Lakes were filled to the brim, ponds and tanks were so cool that you really felt a quiver when dipping in it! It was cool, tranquil and peaceful all the time of the year! We did not know the rise of water level or the menacing global warming! Where do we go from here? Every morning when I prepare to set out for work, I am tormented by the same thought, same hunger inside me. I yearn for the days gone by, because it was more peace as it was always cool! Postscript: As I write this, I look outside the window, the distant horizon looks better with dark clouds hanging! May be it will rain today. God willing!

AMANULLAH KHAN K ARACHI —Health Experts stressed upon the need of incorporating rotavirus vaccine in Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) as 1.4m infants in Pakistan fall prey to Rotavirus diarrhea every year. Effectively rooting out Rotavirus will reduce the hospitalization cost and help the country to achieve the health related Millennium development goals (MDGs) by 2015. Dr. Musarrat Hussain, Diplomate American Board of Pediatrics, Chief of Pediatrics Shifa International Hospital Islamabad, said, “As nearly 100 children lose battle of their lives every day due to Rotavirus diarrhea, it is essential to recognize Rotavirus as one of the highest public health priorities. People should realize that their children are at high risk, and they need to get vaccinated against this disease.” This disease has no class restriction and is known as “democratic” disease that affects all, both rich and poor. It can be lifethreatening for the children, especially in infants and young children who frequently

put their hands and toys into their mouths, he added. He explained that symptoms include profuse diarrhea, vomiting and fever that can lead to severe dehydration. In countries like Pakistan, where access to urgent care that can rehydrate children is limited, the acute dehydration can result in shock, Cardiac arrhythmia and death. “The younger the child the higher the risk of severe disease and hospitalization,” he further explained and added that the most ‘favorable’ season for rotavirus-related outbreaks is from spring and continues throughout summer as most cases are recorded in this period. Health Experts regretted that general masses are also unaware that such a preventive measure exist and that there is difference between diarrhea and rotavirus diarrhea which is more lethal and dangerous than the latter one. It is worthy to mention here that WHO strategic advisory group of experts (SAGE) on immunization advised to incorporate rotavirus vaccination in every country’s national immunization program.

LARKANA: Labourers covers the head and face with cloth to protect them from sizzling heat while travelling on tractor-trolley during hot day in city.


Don’t re-visit politics of 80s and 90s

MEDIA WATCH

Obama’s risky Afghanistan exit

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DDRESSING a function in connection with ‘Youm-e-Takbeer’ in Lahore on Wednesday, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif recounted problems and challenges confronting nuclear Pakistan and its potential to grow. He rightly pointed out that peace within and without was pre-requisite for successful advancement on the road to progress and prosperity and in this connection he emphasized the need to leave behind the politics of 1980s and 90s. Politics of 80s and 90s has become proverbial in the Pakistani context as the governments in power could not complete their constitutionally mandated tenures mainly because of lack of vision and maturity on the part of political leaders and parties, which did not see beyond their narrow personal or party interests and undermined the other even at the cost of the system itself. The differences among politicians were fully exploited by undemocratic elements, system was destabilized to the extent that ultimately extra-constitutional steps were resorted to by these elements. It is good to observe that there is realization among major political parties that they should play the game strictly within the set parameters and not to go to the extent of destabilizing the party in power. This is what Mian Nawaz Sharif did during five years of PPP rule and appreciably it is being reciprocated by PPP of Asif Ali Zardari. Some other important and influential political parties are also conveying the same impression that they too understand the ground realities and are giving the democratic system the required space to work. However, there are some parties and politicians that seem to be impatient as they have started a campaign to dislodge the Government just one year after general elections when the party in power has hardly settled in and started implementing its ambitious economic agenda. Criticism keeps the Government vigilant and therefore, there is no harm in exercising your democratic right to take the rulers to task when they go astray but all this should be within the democratic norms as is done in other democracies. This is because the country is facing serious problems like economic slow down, poverty, unemployment, illiteracy, disease and insecurity and the Government must get free hand to take measures to address these challenges. It is duty of other leaders and parties to extend a helping hand to the Government in resolving issues confronting the nation.

Even then engage good Taliban T

HERE is a major split in the ranks of TTP as its powerful faction con sisting of militants belonging to Mehsud tribe, which was centre of gravity for Taliban, parted ways with the mainstream to form its own independent organization. The group led by Khalid Sajna accused others of engaging in un-Islamic acts and hence disassociated itself from them. The rift is understandable as for quite some time there were reports of serious differences among different factions of TTP. The motivating force behind formation of TTP was to assist Afghan Taliban mount a struggle against foreign occupation of Afghanistan. However, with the passage of time and under influence of some foreign powers and enemies of Pakistan, some factions prevailed over others in convincing them to launch attack against Pakistani forces also considering them as working for the foreign invaders. Afterwards, these factions also started targeting innocent people and even mosques and Imambargahs were not spared. There were also issues pertaining to dominance of the organization that caused further rift among the ranks of TTP. With Mehsuds saying goodbye to TTP, its strength has weakened significantly as practically its leadership is now in the hands of fugitives taking refuge in neighbouring Afghanistan. They have practically no worthwhile base in Pakistan and if the United States, ISAF and Afghan Government cooperate, the menace of terrorism can be wiped out successfully. Islamabad might have taken a sigh of relief over appearance of strong dents among TTP but we would still emphasize that with a view to accelerating the process of normalization and restoration of peace, the dialogue option should be pursued firmly. Talks should be held with those who are willing to talk and return to the mainstream and targeted action should be carried out against those opting for violence and bloodshed.

India to further strangulate IHK Q

UITE contrary to expectations that BJP after obtaining a massive man date and installation of its government in New Delhi would realize the necessity of resolution of outstanding disputes with Pakistan including Kashmir, it appears that the party is all set to further strangulate Occupied Kashmir by repealing Article 370 of the Constitution that provides special status to Jammu and Kashmir in entire India. The objective is to make Kashmir an integral part of India despite the fact that UN resolutions clearly declared it a disputed territory, the future of which will be decided by a plebiscite. In our view even article 370 was abhorable because Kashmir was an independent State before India occupied it through its machinations with the Maharaja. Not content with that, on the very first day of taking over, Indian Minister of State Jitendra Singh called for a debate on Article 370 saying that the territory should be treated like any other Indian State. This statement by a member of the BJP government on the delicate matter has sparked an outcry, triggering condemnation and vocal objections from political parties in occupied and Azad Kashmir. Even puppet Chief Minister Omar Abdullah tweeted that Jammu and Kashmir would not be part of India if Article 370, which grants special status to the state, is revoked. Among other issues, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi raised the Kashmir issue and emphasised the necessity for its resolution in line with the aspirations of the people. This was confirmed by Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz during his press conference the other day. The statement of the Indian Minister of State Jitendra Singh indicates that BJP is in a hurry and its agenda is turning the country into a “ mini super power”. We wish the Indian MoS should not have given such controversial statement but the cat is now out of the bag. We will therefore appeal the UN to act against the disrespect shown to its resolutions and similarly ask all those who are for human rights in the world to see what is happening with the poor and hapless people in Indian held Kashmir.

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Narendra Modi’s test begins now decided by the Wahabbis, who claimed to represent “true” Muslims and who considered all other groups of Believers as either heretic or at best, misinformed M D Nalapat and misled in their beliefs. Arif Mohammad Khan, Email: mgnalapat@gmail.com who was at the time a close friend of Rajiv Gandhi and a Union Minister in the N 1984, Rajiv Ratan Birjees Rajiv Gandhi Cabinet, took the lead Gandhi secured for the Con in welcoming the Supreme Court gress Party a huge majority of verdict, pointing out that Muslim men nearly four-fifths in the Lok Sabha, were also “fathers of daughters, sons the lower house of Parliament. Vot- of mothers and brothers of sisters”, ers saw in the youthful PM the and hence should ensure that Muspromise of change, but Rajiv con- lim women should be given the same tinued with the policies of his protection as afforded to those of mother Indira Gandhi, and formed other faiths. However, Rajiv Gandhi a Union Cabinet dominated by was of a different view. He saw the those who had been a prominent fundamentalists as representative of part of previous cabinets. the Muslim Ummah, an error that has In 1985, a frail Muslim divor- repeatedly been made across the cee named Shah Bano won a case world, thereby failing to appreciate in the Supreme Court of India that that the Muslim community is exactly ensured alimony at the same level the same as Hindus, Buddhists, Chrisas that given to women of other tians or those of other faiths. While faiths. The BJP, which has never being devout followers of the Word concealed the fact that it represents of God, they are as concerned about mainly the perceived interests of matters such as housing, education, the Hindu population in India, had health and employment as those from just two seats in the Lok Sabha, and other religions. was widely seen as a spent force. Had Rajiv Gandhi chosen to igWhile the overwhelming majority nore the vociferous protests of a few of India’s Muslims - who are as Wahabbis, and instead stood by the moderate as their Hindu brothers Moderate Majority in the Muslim and sisters - welcomed the Su- community, the history of India preme Court verdict ensuring equal would have been different. Instead, alimony to the 62-year old divorcee, he bowed to Wahabbi dictates and got a small group of Wahabbi clerics passed a law in 1986 that placed were livid at what they said was “ju- Muslim women at the mercy of a dicial interference in Muslim per- personal law decided for them by the sonal law”. They demanded that Wahabbi element in the clerical esMuslims in India should be gov- tablishment. From the time that Muserned in matters such as marriage lim Womens Law got passed, the and divorce (initially) not by laws goodwill for Rajiv Gandhi began to applicable to the entire population, disappear, and as a consequence of but by laws specific to the Muslim the perception that he had pandered community. These laws would be to Wahabbi interests, the BJP began

Geopolitical notes from India

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to rise rapidly in public esteem. By the time General Elections rolled by in 1989,Rajiv Gandhi was a vilified and discredited figure, whose policies were responsible for the sharp polarisation between different communities that has been a feature of political life in India since that year. While Narendra Damodardas Modi has indeed won big in 2014,the fact remains that those who in their hundreds of millions supported him expect the new Prime Minister to fulfil the promises made in his campaign, of clean and transparent governance. The UPA under Sonia Gandhi was the “dukaan” (shop) of Big Business, and it is expected that Team Modi will be different, placing the Aam Aadmi over the Amir (rich) Aadmi. On May 26th,the day he was sworn in, several of his ministers were seen waiting in the anteroom of a pair of suites in one of Delhi’s 5-star hotels, waiting to be summoned in for a chat by a top businessman. Others were seen having dinner with other Big Business figures. All this was recorded by citizens who were in the vicinity when such meetings took place. This columnist is an admirer of Narendra Modi and would like him to enjoy ten to fifteen years of uninterrupted rule. He is hopeful that Modi will ensure the kind of governance he has assured the people of India will be theirs, once they elect him. In such a context, seeing so many ministers waiting on Big Business figures was a trifle disconcerting, as is the fact that hardly a single individual among the handful who challenged Sonia Gandhi during the entire decade of her rule has been included in Team Modi at any level. Instead, the ranks of the new “power people” have got filled with those who believed in compromise with Sonia Gandhi, or in the “live and let

live” philosophy which permeates Delhi and which has made the city a cesspool of corruption. The goodwill for Narendra Modi grew exponentially and can decline equally rapidly, unless the new Prime Minister makes good on his promise to (a) enforce accountability for the misdeeds of the top figures in the previous government and (b) ensures that each of his ministers follow his example of working on behalf of the Aam Aadmi rather than the Amir Aadmi. Should any of them resume the old habit of seeing their ministries as milch cows waiting to get milked for cash, very soon Team Modi will come under scrutiny and attack. Both the Congress Party as well as the Aam Aadmi Party can be expected to launch an attack on the Prime Minister at the earliest. They are both aware that he is a man of formidable skills, and that if he settles down in Delhi the way he did in Gandhinagar after a few setbacks, then it will be Narendra Modi in 2019 and even 2024. Modi’s admirers expect that the Prime Minister will in the weeks ahead ensure a better balance in his team, and will unveil policies and processes which bring India into the fast track of economic growth. Those who have for long years supported Narendra Damodardas Modi trust and pray that he will avoid going the way of Rajiv Gandhi in making compromises that will destroy his support among the people. Should Modi remain firm to the principles that have guided his life for nearly fifty years, he will emerge as the greatest PM that India has had. —The writer is Vice-Chair, Manipal Advanced Research Group, UNESCO Peace Chair & Professor of Geopolitics, Manipal University, Haryana State, India.

‘Lawfare’ new form of warfare the case rather than ensuring that justice has been done. It more important to see how Sultan M Hali issmartly the case has been preEmail: sm_hali@yahoo.com sented and how strong were the support arguments to influence the honorable Judge. HE history of law indicates Resultantly, a slick lawyer ensures that the legal process has his/her client to walk free even if he been closely connected to the or she is guilty of the crime; simuldevelopment of civilizations. Vari- taneously, a smart prosecutor can ous societies developed legal pro- persecute the innocent and punishcesses to deal with social issues and ment is meted out to those who are bring a balance in relations to avoid not guilty of the crime while glib chaos and conflict. Islamic jurispru- tongued advocacy can even overturn dence, developed in the sixth cen- a guilty verdict. tury had a great influence on the proTo make matters worse, at politicess of legislature in the west. cal level, the law is used as a weapon Resultantly, the name of the Holy in which Western laws and judicial Prophet of Islam (PBUH) is in- system is abused to achieve strategic, scribed on the North Wall Frieze of military, politico-social and economic the US Supreme Court building as objectives. This has given rise to a one of the greatest lawgivers for new terminology, ‘’Iawfare’’, which is rapidly becoming an alternate for mankind. The judicial systems depict the “warfare”, where the law is used in lifeline of every nation, providing place of lethal weapons. The arsenal breathing space and concrete foun- of “lawfare” comprises negative madations for prospects of sustenance nipulation of international as well as for the weak who have suffered national human rights laws to accomabuse. Fairness of Judicial System plish purposes other than, or contrary resuscitates the entire national edi- to, those for which they are originally fice through distinguished and eq- enacted i.e. ensuring humanitarian uitable verdicts while maintaining practices. At the domestic level, the symmetrical impartiality. The sys- legal system is negatively maniputem ensures provision of justice at lated by the state or political parties the door steps of every citizen ir- to implement laws inconsistent with respective of their color, creed, general principles of freedom and caste, political affiliation, socio- democratic norms. In certain cases war crime trials economic status, prestige and degree of influence. The social or- are held against individuals whose der gets reinforced by excellence conduct was absolutely according to of judicial system and so is the the existing laws. During the historic Nuremberg Trials, an international case of moral values. It is a transgression that the le- tribunal was facilitated to conduct trigal system of the Occident based als and punish captured Nazi officials on manipulative finesse and ex- for commissions, which were perploitative abilities of the lawyers. fectly legal in Fascist Germany. ExThe emphasis is more on winning tending the same logic, the War

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Crime Tribunal in Bangladesh is persecuting Jamaat-e-Islami leaders and awarding the death penalty to leaders of the ilk of Molla Abdul Quader, who was hanged to death. Other leaders of the Jamaat-e-Islami are also facing this farcical trial and are likely to be branded as war criminals and executed summarily. The preposterous charge of aiding and abetting the Government of Pakistan is frivolous. These leaders of the Jamaat-e-Islami were bona fide citizens of Pakistan and supported a legitimate government. If the mutiny had failed, the perpetrators of the hate trials would be facing charges of rebellion, revolt and treason. South Asia has a rich tradition of jurisprudence, based on the laws of Islam and Manusmriti but the influence of western judicial systems with all their negative connotation of manipulation has crept into South Asia including India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, where sometimes, laws are selectively applied, court cases are managed and efforts are made to win the case under all circumstances. When own cronies become liable to be tried under the law, the laws are either amended or court verdicts are obtained to thwart the case for further hearing. The advent of ‘Lawfare’ appears to be the substitution of warfare which is based on the misuse of national and international laws. Practical manifestation of “Iawfare” becomes obvious as the West and USA continue to misuse law and wield it as a weapon, where own in-groups are exempted from acts of human rights violations, illegal occupation and torturing the prisoners in jails like it was done in Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and the torture, torment and slaughter of Afghans carried out by

the “Kill Teams” of the US troops. Unfortunately, it’s a quirk of fate or misuse of justice that the perpetrators of the hate crimes have been exempted from any war crime trial for their misdeeds in Afghanistan. “Lawfare” presents the ugly but the real face of Western powers who achieve their politico-military objectives by using law as a weapon. Such practices need to be condemned and input be provided to ‘Lawfare Project’ - an internet based organization raising a humanitarian voice against “Iawfare” and its grave implications for humanity, in its most draconian form hurting the very factor that legal systems were created to protect. It is abhorrent to learn that international secret agencies have prepared conspiracies and heinous machinations to target Pakistan through this latest devious weapon of “Iawfare”. Bangladesh is using “lawfare” to settle old political scores, knowing full well that the victims simply sided with and supported their own legitimate Federal Government in 1971. In Pakistan too ‘judicial activism’ and the employment of “lawfare” is being used by the judiciary’s suo moto cases and anti army assertions. We need to take cognizance of the fact that War Crime Trials and castigating the Pakistan Army and ISI is the worst form of “lawfare”. We should take a leaf from Abraham Lincoln’s famous speech after the US Civil War: “With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds…” —The writer is retired PAF Group Captain and a TV talk show host.

HEN the US invaded Af ghanistan 13 years ago, the war didn’t look like the muddled mess it eventually became. The goals were clear, and the cause was just. US troops would wipe out the camps where the 9/11 hijackers were trained, and kill or capture the men who orchestrated the attacks. The nation was united. But from the moment, just weeks later, that Osama bin Laden and his henchmen escaped over the mountains into Pakistan — and President Bush elected to stay on and fight — the war morphed into something else: a complex exercise in nation-building with no chance of unequivocal victory. In that light, President Obama’s announcement Tuesday that he will bring virtually all the troops home before he leaves office — regardless of facts on the ground — is simply an acknowledgment of the obvious. If there is no good ending to be had, why would it make sense to sacrifice more American lives, particularly when the president has promised since his first campaign to end the wars that his predecessor began? Nonetheless, there is a difference between an ending that falls short of total victory and one that comes with a very high risk of defeat, as this plan does. By committing to withdraw a specific number of US troops at a specific time, Obama gives the enemy the opportunity to adjust its own timetables. The administration stressed Tuesday that Afghans have successfully taken the lead in combat operations, which is true. The Afghan security force now does nearly all the fighting. It also has a huge size advantage over the Taliban — more than 300,000 troops vs. about 25,000. It should be able to prevail. But Afghan military leaders wasted no time Tuesday pointing to their weaknesses. The transition is not yet complete. They still rely heavily on US air support and battlefield medical care, and they fear that neither can build up sufficiently in the short time remaining. If they’re right, the stage would be set for a rerun of events in Iraq, where sectarian tensions stoked by President Nouri alMaliki have given fresh life to an al-Qaeda franchise that US forces and diplomats had neutered. It now controls Fallujah, a key city liberated by US troops, and it has metastasized across the border into Syria. Blame for that failure lies not with Obama but with Maliki, who refused to sign a security agreement that would have protected US troops from prosecution, leaving Obama no choice but to withdraw. The situation in Afghanistan is different because there is a choice. A new president will take office this summer, replacing the unreliable Hamid Karzai, and both leading candidates have agreed to sign a comparable agreement. Obama could as easily have set up a results-based timetable and still wind the war down. Instead, he is relying on the pressure of deadlines to force the Afghans to step up their game. This, the administration argues, will free up assets for a broader shift of strategy to combat a terrorist threat that now stretches “from South Asia to the Sahel (region of Africa),” as one administration official put it. In announcing his plans, the president said this is just the way that wars in the 21st century end, and indeed, he has no perfect choices. But by abandoning the original battlefields of the war on terrorism prematurely in order to fight on other fronts, the administration risks trapping itself in a game of Whac-A-Mole. — USA Today

When you meet someone better than yourself, turn your thoughts to becoming his equal. When you meet someone not as good as you are, look within and examine your own self. — Confucius Chinese philosopher


Role of Masjid M

ASJID literally means “place for prostration (sajdah),” a humbling position before Allah and an essential part of salat (formal prayer). Even though salat can be performed anywhere, for the Holy Prophet (PBUH) said, “The whole Earth is made as a place of worship (masjid) and a means of cleansing for me (PBUH).” Muslims come to the masjid to offer salat, for it is preferable to pray with others, even if only two persons. A hadith says that one receives as 25fold reward for praying in congregation. Also, the Friday noon prayer must be offered in a congregation. People learn, teach, and study the Qur’an and other Islamic literature, as well as discuss community issues, in the masjid. This was the Prophet’s (PBUH) practice, for he conducted his meetings and most of his duties as Islamic community’s leader at the masjid. The young Muslim community used to gather there for a variety of reasons, even to lead expeditions. Thus, we should use the masjid to educate and create awareness and political activism. Some Muslims, especially secularized ones, mistakenly think that Islam and the masjid should be limited to acts of worship. However, Islam

means complete submission, commitment, and obedience to Allah, for only the Creator knows what is best for us and the universe? We exist only to serve Him- “ I have only created jinns and human beings only to serve me” (Surat adh-Dhariyat, 51-56). Our salvation in the next life, as well as our success here, lie in serving Him. Islam tells us that mere belief, despite its essentiality, cannot save usgood works must accompany it. When our actions correspond with our belief, we are at rest and our conscience is satisfied. Otherwise, we are “grievously odious in Allah’s sight” (Surat as-Saff, 61-3) and thus experience spiritual conflict. If we sincerely believe in Allah and Islam, we must end this situation, for- “Indeed, the way of life with Allah is that of Islam (submission to His will)” (Surat Al-e ‘Imran, 3-19) and “If anyone desires other than Islam as his way of life, never will it be accepted from him” (Surat Al-e ‘Imran, 3-85). Another mistaken idea is that politics is a dirty game to be avoided by good and pious Muslims. If it is dirty, it is because of the people involved in it. And, it will remain dirty as long as good people do not participate and manage their own affairs. Politics, in essence, is dealing with the country’s

or nation’s collective internal and external affairs, and it is these collective affairs that must be set on a righteous course through good conduct. Similarly, some think that Muslims should not participate in a non-Islamic sys-

The Spirit Of Islam

Atif Noor Khan tem. This is rather naïve, for there is no established Islamic system in which we can participate. But, more importantly, how can we have an Islamic system if we do not work to establish it? All prominent Islamic political parties within the Muslim world generally acknowledge this and are committed to change through democratic and nonviolent means, canvassing the people, and asking for their sup-

Voice of the People port. Muslim minorities must abide by laws of the countries in which they live, participate fully in the democratic process, and use the available means to empower and better their communities. Attending to community’s collective affairs is an obligatory duty, and our neglect of it is the major source of our problems, regardless of where we are living. This situation must change if any improvement is to be expected. A masjid is place for Muslims to study and educate themselves on current issues, discuss and consult with others, and determine the issues’ relevance to our community. Islam requires that all of our affairs be decided through consultation (shura)“Their affairs are decided by consultation between them” (Surat ashShura, 42-38). Even the Prophet (PBUH) was told to- “Consult them in affairs (of moment)” (Surat Al-e ‘Imran, 3-159). Indeed, the masjid is the best place in which sincere Muslims can discuss current issues thoroughly and insightfully. Everyone should participate in a free and open manner while, of course, observing the Islamic adab (manners and etiquette) of decency and consideration. —The writer is Islamabad-based columnist.

BJP’s landslide victory Fazal Hakeem Email:ddsaarc22@yahoo.com

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N the aftermath of BJP’s land slide victory, Hindu suprema cist Narender Damodarda Modi took his oath as the 15th Prime Minister of the Republic of India. His election campaign was a red alert for Pakistan. After winning elections he softened his rhetoric, notwithstanding. As a good will gesture and Pakistan’s desire to put things in right direction, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif sent message of congratulations to Premierelect Modi and also invited him to visit Pakistan. The Indian Foreign Secretary Ms. Sujatha Singh in a press conference on 27 May confirmed acceptance of invitation about Modi Ji’s visit to Pakistan. Dates for the visit have to be worked out. Prime Minister Nawaz also attended the wearing in ceremony along with other 8 heads of state and government. During his stay on Delhi’s turf, Premier Nawaz held 50 minutes meeting with Prime Minister Modi. The Pakistani head of government stated that both the countries should carry forward the common agenda of development and economic revival. And it can be made possible in an environment of peace and stability. BJP’s decisive win after 30 years is a message that Indians did not satisfy with Congress decade’s long performance which the rabid Hindus junta exploited very astutely.

After sweeping success winning 350 Loke Sabah seats, Mr. Modi who preferred celibacy as a volunteer of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), adopted a conciliatory statement, favoring inclusive policies to help out the revival of slumping economy. At the moment, Indian economy growth rate is estimated as the lowest under the stewardship of economic expert ex-Premier Dr. Manmohan Singh. Mr. Modi, scion of vegetable producing Ghanchi Caste of Gujarat stated before cheering supporters that “I have always said that to govern the nation it is our responsibility to take every one with us”. And sought people’s blessing to govern the country. Mr. Modi has always remained a divisive figure in the country of 1.2 billion people. Since his assumption of Gujarat Chief Minister ship and its continuation for around a decade, Modi has become a byname for religious tensions, after Godhra Railway station pogrom in 2002 in which 2000 innocent Muslims were martyred. Subsequently, the US government banned Modi from visiting to the USA in 2005 under a 1998 US Law that bars entry to foreigners for violations of religious freedom. Ban on his visit to USA is lifted after his electoral success. During election campaign, Congress tried to highlight communal violence in Gujarat. Nevertheless, BJP focused on ailing economy but the opinion makers were not expecting that much thumping majority. Around 1000 Indian academics, artists, film makers and writers had appealed in New Delhi to stop BJP’s

access to the English era built Pardhan Mantri Bhavan. The goddess of fate remained benign upon the kid from the poor village Vadnagar that left every one with an opened mouth. After elections, Premier Modi has changed his tone and has termed cultural diversity as the different threads that weave Indian national fabrics. Thousands of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) campaign for BJP. And the extremist Hindu group-RSS with 4.5 million members may expect that affairs should run according to its deep rooted religious prejudice. RSS General Secretary Suresh Joshi though hinted only at an advisory role but its fallout on Modi’s pledges of growth and development cannot be ruled out. RSS was banned after assassination of Mahatama Gandhi in 1948 and in 1992 after martyrs of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya. Head of RSS Madhav Golwalkar had stated back in 1938 “India’s non-Hindus must adopt Hindu culture language and religionthey must cease to be foreigners, or may stay in the country, wholly subordinated to the Hindu nation, claiming nothing deserving no privileges or any preferential treatment”. With regard to improvement in relations with Pakistan, Modi after his election success, in an interview with The Times of India had stated, he would not let the failures of the past between Pakistan and India in improved relations but rather looks for new possibilities in bilateral relations based on economic cooperation in terms of solutions. BJP’s first ever Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpaee who ruled India during

1998-2004 rode a bus across border to Pakistan in February 1999 to mend ties with Pakistan. Inviting SAARC leaders to the oath taking ceremony was a good gesture. Though India is not on good terms with its immediate neighbors. Kashmir dispute is the bone of contention between Pakistan and India and the former wants its lasting solution through dialogues. Similarly India has problems with Nepal and Bangladesh over trade, immigration and river sharing. Pakistan is ready to resolve all outstanding differences and disputes through result-oriented dialogues. Both the countries have the democratic setup. It is the time that the two neighbors should bury the hatches and say adieu to the policy of “to be at daggers drawn position”, to realize the regional potential through productive engagements than containment. Only time will be tell as to whether BJP government will focus on fundamentalist agenda i.e uniform civil code, promotion of religious intolerance, protection of cows, building of temple on the disputed Ayudhya site and opposition to special constitutional status of Muslim majority Kashmir or will facilitate the flame-shaped memorial as the flames of reformation and peaceful regional environment. Although Congress claiming to hold secular credentials but never bothered during its decade’s long rule to have good relations, taking refuge behind so-called issue of terrorism. —The writer is Islamabad-based political analyst.

Views From Abroad

America is tired of Afghan war Paul Kawika Martin

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RESIDENT Obama an nounced on Tuesday that the US would extend the Afghanistan War, the longest in American history, an additional two-anda-half year. What will that get us? For most Americans, the answer is unclear. Despite polls saying that a majority of Americans think the Afghanistan War was a mistake and not worth the blood and treasure, the US will leave 9,800 troops and an untold number of contractors in the country after the end of this year.

Economists estimate that the long-term costs of being at war in Afghanistan for nearly 13 years will exceed a few trillion dollars. That’s enough tax dollars to take care of all our woefully needed infrastructure investments through 2020. So why spend more taxpayer dollars on the Afghanistan War? The president claims that we need the troops to continue training Afghan forces for stability and to continue our fight against terrorists such as al-Qaeda. Yet, the surge of troops in 2009 and 2010 into the country failed to quell the violence, showing that large troop numbers neglect to lead to stability or lead

to a democratic or even a well-governed Afghanistan. Historically, political solutions are the best solutions to produce stability, even if difficult to obtain. Also, history teaches us that local policing, working with the local populace, is far more likely to reduce terrorists than foreign forces that may increase recruitment by killing innocents and arousing resentments. In 2009, senior US military intelligence officials claimed that fewer than 100 members of al-Qaeda remained in Afghanistan. In contrast, nearly 15,000 operate in Syria. And remember that Osama bin

Laden was found in Pakistan, where experts think that al-Qaeda is led in the tribal regions. While it’s unlikely that the Obama administration will change its mind on wasting two more years with a military presence in Afghanistan, Congress should take its war powers back and force the president to listen to Americans. Bring the troops home as soon and as safely as possible. The writer is the policy and political director for Peace Action — the nation’s largest grassroots peace group. He travelled to Afghanistan in 2010. — Courtesy: The USA Today

Just relocating..!

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RITISH physicist and mathematician Stephen Hawking said some time ago that the human race should consider relocating to other parts of the cosmos to survive. I cannot agree with him more, and feel in India we should follow what the English did a few centuries ago when they started relocating to Australia: First they sent their criminals. We should do the same. As soon as a culprit’s been convicted he should be put on a space ship and sent to Mars, Venus or Jupiter or even the moon; whichever

planet India has taken over. As Mr Hawking rightly said this is the only way society can survive, especially Indian society, for if there is delay in sending the fellow off into space, and instead allow him to languish in jail, he will come out a hero in the eyes of our people and land with a seat in Parliament! Fifty years have passed since our freedom fighters landed in jail and came out leaders and we still believe solitary confinement made statesmen of them! The next lot of people who should be sent to colonies in outer space should be aged, ancient, doddering politicians; men and women who have finished doing the country service, but still continue poking their noses into places their noses shouldn’t be. There in the new colonies they

should be allowed to wander, writing poetry, having their chotta pegs, digging those same noses, and falling asleep while their PA’s brief them to what is happening back home. Small microphones should be given to them with no amplifiers into which they can practice the art of rhetoric with long pauses as they again sip their chotta pegs. Moon buggies should be given to others so that they may traverse the colony planet and continue with their different yatras! Walking sticks also to poke criminals and reserve quotas for them in jails! Learning from what England of yore did to Australia, it is important that we teach this new colony some sport like cricket so that matches can be organized between the colony and

the home country with the prize being an urn containing ‘ashes’ of memoirs written by ageing politicians! Many suggestions have been received as to who will head this plan; the general consensus is to give the job to, the minister of railways who without doubt will convert this scheme into a money making venture, and with his marketing skills be able to make this new venture attractive not just for aged politicians and criminals but for their sons and daughters who will be able to spend their ill gotten seventy thousand rupees a day and more in developing the planet into another Australia..! Stephen Hawking’s idea gives hope to our country..! —Email:bobsbanter@gmail.com

Enjoy the new technology… IFLA ZAFAR

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n the world of today, media has become as necessary as food and clothing. It has played significant role in strengthening the society. Media is considered as “mirror” of the modern society. In fact, it is media which shapes our lives. The purpose of media is to inform people about current affairs and to tell about the latest gossip and fashion. It tells about the people who are geographically divided. The role of media has become one way of trading and marketing of products and prejudices. Media which should have been governed by righteousness and equity is synonymous for greed and self-aggrandizement. Media is in charge of information, education, entertainment, advertising, correlation of different segments of society. Society is influenced by media in so many ways. It is the media for the masses that helps them to get information about a lot of things and also to form opinions and make judgments regarding various issues; it is the media which keeps the people updated and informed about what is happening around them and the world. Everyone can draw something from it. Media has had a bad effect on a generation, mainly because; youth is strongly influenced by media. Teenagers and children wish to follow the people, who get recognized and do what they do to get noticed. Sometimes, they focus on bad part of the media and strive to be a part of it. However, many are not succumbed to a life of crime! These are the things which get into young innocent minds. Media affects people’s perspective. Too much intervention of media in everything is a matter of concern. Media can be considered as “watch dog” of political democracy. I believe, if the media identifies its responsibility and work sincerely and honestly, and then it can serve as a great force in building the nation. —Via email

Hazards of social networking SANA ASHRAF Social Networking might be having many advantages, but it also has multiple disadvantages. Time spent on social networking increases the risk of teens smoking, drinking and using drugs, according to a national survey of American attitudes on substance abuse. On a typical day, 70 percent of teens aged 12 to 17 — 17 million teenagers — spend from a minute to hours on Facebook, Myspace and other social networking sites. Healthy relationships and communication are necessary in life, and they should not start or be kept up online. Also, sites such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter are highly addictive; the average teen spends about nine hours per week on them. Some feel compelled to post news about themselves multiple times a day. At such a tender age, sleeping, studying and exercising should be more important, but sadly, those are not most kids’ priorities. Call me old-fashioned, but I strongly believe technology and social networking are undermining our society. —Karachi

Islamic Windows: An illusion AWAIS SALEEM, BASSAM SABRI It was a pleasant Sunday morning and I went to the Sunday Bazar to purchase some fruit, vegetables, grocery and kitchen items. It was my first experience to visit this weekly bazar. There I saw a vendor who was selling apples and I intended to purchase some apples. I suddenly stopped him when I observed him putting rotten apples alongwith the good ones, the polythene shopping bag. I started to think that in our life there are many things which are somewhat similar to this incident where people try to deceive others with every possible way. We have heard about Islamic windows in conventional banking system, which resemble this incident I experienced in the Sunday bazar. An Islamic window is simply an aperture within a conventional bank through which customers can conduct business utilizing only Shar’iah compatible instruments. In these Islamic windows, the products typically offered are safety deposits and Islamic trade finance products for small and medium enterprises. In order to open an Islamic window, a conventional bank has to establish the appropriate firewalls so the Islamic and conventional funds can be segregated. According to a number of researches, Islamic windows in conventional banks are not working as per requirements of Islamic banking system. In recent days many Islamic countries have revised their policy in terms of Islamic windows. The Islamic financing formally started in Qatar in 1983 and Islamic windows were allowed to be established in 2005. The Islamic financial market in Qatar was in constant growth over the last 20 years, many conventional banks took advantage of this opportunity and started offering Islamic financial services as well as conventional financing to their clientele. Fortunately this dual-regime period came to an end in 2011 due to specific directives issued by the Qatar Central Bank (QCB) to each of the concerned conventional banks having Islamic windows; as the windows were overlapping with non-Islamic activities of the conventional banks and blending of the activities and services. Moreover, these windows were not in compliance with the Shar’iah laws and the standards of Accounting, Auditing Organization of Islamic financial institutions (AAOIFI). In Pakistan there are approximately 441 Islamic branches and 96 sub-branches of conventional banks, according to

the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). We can say that situation here is not much different from Qatar. The conventional banks started opening Islamic windows in order to save their existing customers as well as to attract new ones. It is due to the fact that they saw Islamic banks providing better banking solutions to the customers. However, the conventional banks are unable to segregate the funds generated through the Islamic activities and services from the conventional funds. And also the operations of Islamic windows are the same as those of the conventional banking. No matter what other people say but we must know that there are still many issues which are needed to be addressed because the activities of conventional banks in this regard are not Shar’iah compliant. This sort of approach has caused a low trust environment for the completely Shar’iah compliant Islamic financial institutions. Thanks to the State Bank of Pakistan, which has issued new rules for the operation of Islamic banking windows. The aim is to strengthen the role of Islamic banking windows in country and to prevent the misuse of people’s funds under a cover of Islamic windows. Pakistan is putting efforts to develop Islamic finance, encouraging several banks to expand their operations in this sector. The conventional banks who wish to open Islamic windows, will have to obtain a written approval from the SBP as well as providing the regulator with additional details on staffing, training and marketing arrangements. Islamic windows allow conventional lenders to offer Islamic financial services but they will have to ensure that the clients’ money is segregated from the rest of the bank transactions. As Mufti Taqi Usmani has become the Shar’iah advisor to State Bank of Pakistan, the rules regarding the Islamic financial system is expected to be hardened by the time. In Islam there is no space for ambiguity, one can eat haram when his life is at stake because of hunger. But what about those banks which have already earned enough and are looking at the stomach of poor which is already filled with hunger? About the time when SBP is ready to enforce new shar’iah laws for the existing Islamic banks, is it not unfair to avoid disguising Islamic windows? State bank should focus on the enforcement of new shar’iah laws for the present Islamic banks as a lot of time has long gone by now. It also should pave a way for the conventional banks to enter into Islamic financial system, which is legitimate as well as the opening of separate Islamic banks of conventional banks which are having Islamic windows. We would like to pay special thanks to our respected supervisor Mr. Lutfullah Saqib who really helped us in completing this writeup. May Allah bring him more success throughout his life. —Via email

Call them child stars UMAIR IQBAL KHAN God has given human beings the boon of wisdom and discretion to think upon the signs of the universe and to draw conclusions. That is the reason why they disclose the hidden facts of it and its structure and have made remarkable progress in many walks of life. Children are the flowers of heaven. They are the most beautiful and purest creation of God. They are innocent both inwardly and outwardly. No doubt, they are the beauty of this world. Early in the morning when the children put on different kinds of clothes and begin to go to schools, we get inspired by their innocence and reinforce our faith in the Creator. But there are also the children, who cannot go to schools due to financial problems, they only watch others go to schools and can merely wish to seek knowledge. It is due to many hindrances, difficulties and desperate conditions that they face

in life. Having been forced to kill their aspirations, dreams and other wishes, they are pressed to earn a living for themselves and for their families. It is also a fact that there are many children who play a key role in sustaining the economic life of their family without which, their families would not be able to make both ends meet. These are also part of our society; they have forgotten the pleasures of their childhood. When a child in addition to getting education, earns his livelihood, this act of earning a livelihood is called as child Labour. The concept of Child Labour got much attention during the 1990s when European countries announced a ban on the goods of the less-developed countries because of child Labour. In Pakistan children aged 5-14 are above 40 million. During the last year, the Federal Bureau of Statistics released the results of its survey funded by ILO’s IPEC (International Program on the Elimination of Child Labour). The findings were that 3.8 million children age group of 5-14 years are working in Pakistan out of total 40 million children in this age group; fifty percent of these economically active children are in age group of 5 to 9 years. Even out of these 3.8 million economically active children, 2.7 million were claimed to be working in the agriculture sector. Two million and four hundred thousand (73%) of them were said to be boys. During the year 2001 and 2002 the Government of Pakistan carried out a series of consultation of tripartite partners and stakeholders (Labour Department, trade unions, employers and NGOs) in all the Provinces. The objective was to identify the occupations and the categories of work, which may be considered as hazardous under the provisions of ILO Convention 182. The present government in Pakistan has made elementary education compulsory. Along with this, the government is distributing free books in primary schools so that parents, who cannot afford their children’s school expenses, send their children to schools. The major point is that this decision must be acted upon at all levels. There is strict need to stop child Labour in this country. Awareness must be raised and the attention of parents ought to be diverted to the education of their children. Child Labour laws should be put into practice strictly. In addition, the educational system of the countrymust be reshaped and restructured according to national development goals. The orphans and other deserving children must be patronized and supported. The agreement that has recently been concluded by Pakistan, Norway and ILO to eradicate child Labour must be given importance and we hope that our rulers shall put this agreement into practice using all means at their disposal. —Via email

A point to ponder over! HASHIM ABRO Man is the source, the focus and the aim of all socio-economic life but man is not safe and secure anywhere in our society, be it Karachi or Federal Capital Islamabad so what is the utility of such socio-economic life and development where life, safety, security, respect and honour of the human beings are at stake? It is a point to ponder over. —Islamabad

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

—Editor Email:editorial@pakobserver.net


Afghan anti-terror planning still underway: US JOINT BASE ELMENDORF- U.S. would leave 9,800 U.S. RICHARDSON, (ALASKA)— troops in Afghanistan at the end Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Wednesday it was not clear yet how many troops the U.S. will use to battle terrorists in Afghanistan in the coming two years, but he expressed some confidence that the Afghan forces will improve enough to secure and govern their own country. In his first public comments about the draw down plans unveiled by President Barack Obama this week, Hagel acknowledged there still were a lot of unanswered questions about how many of the nearly 10,000 U.S. forces remaining in the Afghanistan next year will be devoted to the counter terrorism mission. He said it also was unclear how many troops NATO and other international partners would contribute and what exactly those forces would do. But he said he expected allies would make their decisions about the number and type of troops they would commit to the post-2014 mission in Afghanistan by the end of June. Hagel, who spoke to reporters travelling with him on a 12-day trip to Asia and Europe, expects to meet with NATO defence ministers next week. Speaking in a hangar to a crowd of U.S. troops, Hagel also said he will be travelling to Afghanistan during this overseas trip. President Barack Obama announced Tuesday that the

of this year to continue training the Afghans and conduct counter terrorism missions. That number would be cut in half by the end of 2015, and most of the remainder would leave by the end of 2016. Hagel said U.S. military commanders believe those numbers are adequate to train and advise the Afghans and fight terrorists. And while he said “there are no guarantees,” he suggested the plans laid out by Obama were enough to keep Afghanistan from backsliding into more terrorist violence like what has happened in Iraq since U.S. troops left there. The Afghan forces “are not yet where they need to be but the tremendous progress that has been made is significant,” Hagel said. Saying that the U.S. will be “living with terrorism for many years,” Hagel added that terrorist networks are getting smarter, more sophisticated and interconnected around the world. The two-year withdrawal plan for Afghanistan is contingent on the next Afghan president signing a security agreement with the U.S. Both candidates have said they would sign it. The U.S. has said its troops would be located largely in the southern and eastern sections of Afghanistan, while German troops would take the lead in the north and Italian troops in the west.—AP

Amid Asian feuds, Japan seeks strong security role TOKYO—China’s moves to assert its territorial claims in the South China Sea are giving fresh impetus to Japanese plans to play a bigger role in regional security, adding to the growing strains between the two Asian rivals. Japan said this week it is exploring whether it can accelerate a proposal to supply patrol boats for Vietnam, which is embroiled in a tense standoff at sea with China after Beijing moved an oil rig into disputed waters. In a similar deal, Japan agreed in December to lend 18.7 billion yen ($183 million) to the Philippines to purchase 10 Japanesemade boats. The vessels are a tangible sign of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s effort to deepen ties with Southeast Asia in the face of China’s expanding maritime ambitions. He is likely to stress Japan’s commitment to regional stability in a speech to Asia-Pacific defense ministers in Singapore on Friday night. “China’s recent behavior has enabled Abe to push cooperation in a much more conspicuous way,” said Corey Wallace, a Japan and maritime security expert at the University of Auckland in New Zealand. China claims nearly all of the South China Sea, bringing it into conflict with others in the region. The Philippines accused China in May of reclaiming land around a reef that both countries say is their own. The feuds mirror the dispute in the East China Sea over a group of uninhabited islands known as

the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyu in China. “What Japan is doing is being sympathetic to us, at the same time it’s also protecting its own interests, which is the Senkaku islands,” Philippine Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said in an interview in Manila. The Philippines welcomes Japan’s expanded role, though the legacy of Japan’s brutal occupation of much of Asia before and during World War II make Gazmin wary of Japan going too far. “We have to see,” he said. “We will have to follow it up so the direction would not be toward what happened before.” Japan’s pacifist constitution limits what it can do beyond its own self-defense, but the patrol boats for coast guards technically fall under policing, not military assistance. Japan is also playing a larger role in a U.S.-led disaster relief exercise in Southeast Asia. A Japanese military ship, the Kunisaki, is the lead vessel for the exercise for the first time. It departed the U.S. naval base in Yokosuka, Japan, on Thursday with 10 Australian and 130 U.S. troops aboard, headed for Vietnam, the Philippines and Cambodia. Also, preparations are underway for a first-ever meeting between defense ministers from Japan and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said this week. ASEAN leaders were noncommittal when Abe first proposed the meeting in December, wary of angering China.—AP

Thai junta wants ‘right conditions’ before polls BANGKOK—Thailand’s military rulers held out little hope for early elections on Thursday, a week after the army seized power, saying conditions had to be right and divisions healed before there could be a return to civilian rule. Army chief General Prayuth Chanocha ousted the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on May 22 to end months of protests that had depressed Southeast Asia’s second-biggest economy and raised fears of enduring chaos. “It is the council’s intention to create the right conditions ... to put Thailand on the path to free and fair elections,” Lieutenant General Chatchalerm Chalermsukh, deputy army chief of staff, told reporters, referring to the junta. Thailand has become polarised between supporters of Yingluck and her influential brother, deposed premier Thaksin Shinawatra, and the royalist establishment that sees Thaksin and his pro-business, populist ways as a threat to the old order. Chatchalerm did not elaborate on what conditions were needed for an election, but said the military wanted to see reconciliation and an end to the political rift that emerged after Thaksin won his first elec-

tion in 2001. “I want to ask you how long it takes to heal divisions between two groups that has been going on for 10 years?” Chatchalerm said. “The two sides do not have to love each other but we want the situation to stay calm and peaceful. We need a period of time for all sides to cool down.” The United States and other allies have criticised the coup and called for a quick return to democracy. Chatchalerm said the army had been forced to step in reluctantly because of six months of debilitating anti-government protests, organised by a pro-establishment politician, Suthep Thaugsuban. “Administrative paralysis has been devastating for Thailand. It put a strain on Thailand’s GDP which became negative for the first time in many years,” he said. Gross domestic product shrank 2.1 percent in the first quarter of 2014, as the anti-government protesters damaged confidence and scared off tourists. Data on Wednesday showed Thailand’s trade shrank in April and factory output fell for the 13th straight month, underscoring the tough job the military government faces in averting recession. The military has moved quickly to tackle

economic problems, notably preparing payments for hundreds of thousands of rice farmers that the ousted government was unable to make. General Prayuth met a team of advisers for the first time on Thursday to map out a strategy for securing the country and propping up the stumbling economy. Among his advisers are two powerful establishment figures hostile towards Thaksin, who remains central to the political turmoil despite being ousted in a 2006 coup and now living in self-exile. The two, a former defence minister, General Prawit Wongsuwan, and former army chief General Anupong Paochinda have close ties to Prayuth. All three are staunch monarchists and helped overthrow Thaksin in 2006. A Reuters report in December revealed Prawit and Anupong had secretly backed the anti-government protests that undermined Yingluck’s government. A court removed her on May 7 for abuse of power and the coup ousted the remaining ministers from her administration. It is not clear what powers Prayuth’s advisers will have, but their appointment would suggest little prospect of compromise with the Shinawatras.—Reuters

UN warns against new European, Arab extremist networks UNITED NATIONS—New extremist networks in Europe and the Middle East may emerge from the war in Syria as thousands of foreigners fight alongside local militants, the UN Security Council heard Thursday. A report from the UN’s Al-Qaeda sanctions committee raised specific fears of large numbers of A1-Qaeda affiliated foreign fighters teaming up with Syria’s branch of Al-Qaeda, AlNusra Front. “Ties are established that the monitoring team predicts could lead to new pan-Arab and pan-European networks of extremists,” said the head of the committee, Gary Quinlan. “Furthermore, the return of these battle hardened foreign fighters to their countries of origin, or to third countries, with new ideas and skills is a cause for concern,” said Quinlan. He told the Security Council that AlQaeda is getting younger, with men in their 30s and 40s taking up leadership positions, increasingly shaped by contemporary events rather than the 1990s. For example, a new generation in Nigeria’s Boko Haram are more disposed towards violence and less tolerant of local religious leaders, said Quinlan, also Australia’s ambassador to the UN.

Mid-level commanders in Al-Qaeda affiliates in Africa and Asia bring “technological knowledge and a focus on innovative attack planning,” he said. Younger leaders are also more adept at connecting with the next generation of recruits through “sophisticated use of social media,” he added. If Al-Qaeda is organizationally more splintered, a more diverse and localized recruitment makes it more durable, Quinlan said. He described improvised-explosive devices as Al-Qaeda’s weapon of choice and said affiliates disseminated step-by-step guides “in a deliberate attempt to arm ‘lonewolf’ terrorists.” US President Barack Obama on Wednesday promised to ramp up support for rebels fighting in Syria’s more than three-year civil war, in which more than 160,000 people have been killed. The Wall Street Journal said Obama was ready to approve training missions for select rebel groups in a bid to counter the rising power of Al-Qaeda-linked extremists. The UN Al-Qaeda sanctions committee last week blacklisted and imposed sanctions on Boko Haram, a month after it claimed the mass kidnapping of more than 200 schoolgirls.—AFP

Africa needs huge infrastructure investment MAPUTO—Africa’s fast growing economies need to spend $93 billion a year just to bring infrastructure up to speed, the head of the IMF said on Thursday, sketching out the daunting challenges still faced by the continent. Opening a major meeting for finance ministers and central bankers in Maputo to plot Africa’s rise, Christine Lagarde said the continent still faced massive challenges. “Only 16 percent of all roads are paved, compared with 85 percent in South Asia. These shortfalls represent huge costs to business — and to people.” Sub-Saharan African economies, some of the fastest growing in the world, are expected to expand by more than five percent this year. But poor infrastructure, including a lack of capacity in electricity production and poor roads, is seen as curbing growth..—AFP

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week, it is said, is a long time in poli tics. But events in Asia over the past week may define the region for decades to come. Thailand, one of Asia’s most prosperous countries, seems determined to render itself a basket case. A military coup, imposed following the Thai Constitutional Court’s ouster of an elected government on spurious legal grounds, can lead only to an artificial peace. Unless Thailand’s military is prepared to serve as a truly honest broker between deposed Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra (and her supporters) and the antidemocratic Bangkok elite, which has sought a right to permanent minority rule, today’s calm may give way to a new and more dangerous storm. To Thailand’s east, Vietnam is the latest Asian country to feel pinched by China’s policy of creating facts on the ground, or at sea, to enhance its sovereignty claims on disputed territory. Vietnam’s government reacted vigorously to China’s placement of a huge, exploratory oil-drilling rig near the disputed Paracel Islands in the South China Sea. Ordinary Vietnamese, taking matters into their own hands, reacted even more vigorously by rioting and targeting Chinese industrial property for attack. China’s unilateral behavior has exposed a strain of virulent anti-Chinese sentiment bubbling beneath the surface in many Asian countries. Renewed protests over China’s mining investments in Myanmar this past week con-

DAVID IGNATIUS

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etting the former spy chiefs of Israel and Saudi Arabia to talk together about peace is hardly a breakthrough, but it at least helps keep alive the idea of an eventual IsraeliPalestinian settlement. Sharing a public stage here Monday were Prince Turki al-Faisal, former Saudi intelligence chief, and retired Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin, former head of Israeli military intelligence. The gathering was sponsored by the German Marshall Fund, of which I’m a trustee. It was streamed live on the Internet around the world, including to Muslim countries where the very idea of such an open discussion is heresy. There aren’t records kept of such things, but this appeared to be among the highest-level public conversations ever between senior members of the Israeli and Saudi establishments. It came about because Turki asked at a conference in Munich four months ago for an Israeli response to Saudi King Abdullah’s Arab Peace Initiative. Yadlin said he wanted to deliver a public answer, and when I asked Turki to join the dialogue, he agreed. I wish real peace negotiations were as easy as these back-channel discussions. And even in this 90-minute conversation there were significant disagreements. But the two agreed that Abdullah’s peace initiative should be seen as a framework for discussions, rather than a diktat to the Israelis, and that issues such as borders, the status of refugees and Jerusalem must be negotiated between the parties. A similar framework approach was attempted by Secretary of State John Kerry until it imploded last month after the Israeli announcement of new apartments for settlers and the Palestinians’ refusal to bargain. You could argue that returning to the peace train is a waste of time, given such intransigence on both sides. And yet the dialogue continues, as in the conversation Monday, and the reason is obvious: Even Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Mahmoud Abbas recognize that they have terrible options if hope for peace really disappears. Meanwhile, the international community continues to push the parties to settle this conflict. The latest evidence is Pope Francis’ statement during his visit to the West Bank last weekend that the stalemate is “increasingly unacceptable” ? and the agreement of Abbas and Israeli President Shimon Peres to meet him next month in Rome. Pope Francis could even propose the Saudi peace initiative as one framework for his talks. As expressed here by Turki, it would include a promise of Arab recognition of Israel and an end of the conflict, if workable compromises can be found on the hard issues of borders, refugees and Jerusalem. Yadlin feels so strongly that Israel needs a settlement that he proposed a “Plan B” if other negotiating options fail. He wants Israel to open the way for a Palestinian state by withdrawing unilaterally to defensible borders. He would offer financial and other incentives to coax resettlement inside Israel by what he estimates to be 60,000 to 100,000 Israeli West Bank settlers who would be on the other side of the new declared boundary. Such unilateral moves have a history of backfiring (think Gaza), but many thousands of Israelis agree with Yadlin that some version of Plan B makes more sense than continued occupation. What the Brussels meeting showed me, finally, is that Israel and Saudi Arabia agree on most other major security issues in the region, if they could just broker a Palestinian settlement. On Syria, for example, Turki outlined a plan for aiding the moderate opposition and Yadlin said he “agreed with every word” of Turki’s answer, and then went even further by proposing steps to dismantle Syrian air power. On Iran, too, the two countries have a similar view of the need for negotiations to halt any Iranian bomb-making capacity. Turki again went further, proposing that Israel should forswear the bomb in a nuclear-weapons-free Middle East that would be guaranteed by the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council. Given that the U.N. couldn’t agree on even the mildest sanctions against Syria after it used chemical weapons, Yadlin explained why Israelis wouldn’t trust such a plan. But it was good to hear the two discuss the usually un-discussable. The Brussels conversation was just so much talk, a cynic might say. And it will undoubtedly take more pain to convince Abbas and Netanyahu that the benefits of a peace agreement are worth the political price. But listening to this discussion was a reminder that the status quo really isn’t tenable. Several weeks after Kerry’s negotiations broke down, sensible people are already talking about how to get them started again. —Courtesy: Korea Herald

European dream may be among dead in political earthquake JOHN LLOYD

P Members of jihadist group Al-Nusra Front in Aleppo.

Recent events in Asia could be tipping points YURIKO KOIKE

A Hopeful Dialogue on Mideast

firmed this trend, one that China’s leaders seem either to dismiss as trivial, or to regard as somehow unrelated to their bullying. Indeed, like Russian President Vladimir Putin, who faces widespread public antipathy in Ukraine, China’s leaders appear to believe that popular protests against them can only be the product of an American plot. Yet, despite their shared contempt for expressions of the popular will, China’s President Xi Jinping and Putin struggled, during Putin’s two-day visit to Shanghai, to agree on a new gas deal that the Kremlin desperately needs. Putin had viewed China as his backup option should the West seek to isolate Russia following its annexation of Crimea. Putin’s idea was that he could pivot Russia’s economy into a partnership with China. But Xi balked, signing the gas agreement only after Putin offered a steep, long-term discount. Xi’s self-confidence reflected not only the Chinese leadership’s contempt for Putin’s mismanagement of the Russian economy, but also the fact that China’s energy worries have lessened considerably of late. Successful deployment of hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) technology in Xinjiang suggests that China, like America, will soon be able to draw on its own reserves of shale energy. Moreover, plentiful gas supplies from Myanmar and Central Asia will provide China with sufficient supplies of energy for at least a decade. China’s hard bargaining with Russia has exposed the limits of the two countries’ bilateral cooperation, which has important geostrategic consequences for Asia and the world. China, it now seems, is happy to see Putin

poke his finger into the West’s eye and challenge America’s global leadership. But it is not willing to underwrite with hard cash Russian pretensions to world power status. Instead, China appears interested in turning Russia into the sort of vassal state that Putin is seeking to create in Ukraine. But the most epochal events of the last week took place in two of Asia’s great democracies: India and Japan. Narendra Modi’s landslide victory in India’s general election was not only a huge personal triumph for the son of a tea-seller, but may well mark a decisive break with India’s traditional inward-looking policies. Modi is determined to reform India’s economy and lead the country into the front rank of world powers. Here, Modi will find no stauncher ally than Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was among the first Asian leaders to embrace him in his bid to lead India. Given that both countries have almost perfectly aligned regional security interests, there should be plenty of scope for the two to act in tandem to improve regional security and mutual prosperity. Thailand’s crisis might well mark a good early test of their ability to work together, because both countries have strong interests in Thailand’s rapid return to democracy and the credibility needed to act as an honest broker in ending the country’s crisis. In the past week, Abe created for himself considerably more political space to act as a strategic partner, not only to India but also to Japan’s other allies, particularly the United States. Quietly a panel appointed by Abe’s government this week proposed a reinterpretation of a key element of Article 9 of Japan’s Constitution. Under the reinterpretation,

Japanese forces, for the first time since the Pacific War ended in 1945, would be able to participate in “collective self-defense” — meaning that Japan could come to the aid of allies that come under attack. Of course, China and others in Asia have tried to muddy this change with the alarmist charge of a return to Japanese militarism. But the new interpretation of Article 9 augurs just the opposite: It embeds Japan’s military within an alliance system that has been, and will remain, the backbone of Asia’s prevailing structure of peace. Abe will make this clear when he delivers the keynote address in Singapore at this year’s Shangri La Dialogue, the annual meeting of Asian military and civilian military leaders. Modi’s victory and Abe’s increased ability to stand by Japan’s allies can help to forge deeper bilateral ties and, if properly understood by China, foster a greater strategic equilibrium in the region. It is now possible for Asia’s greatest powers — China, India, Japan and the U.S. — to form something akin to the concert system that provided Europe with almost complete peace during the 19th century. Of course, such a system would require China to set aside its goal of regional hegemony. Clearsighted Chinese must already see that, short of a victorious war, such dominance is impossible. Now is the moment for China to anchor its rise within a stable and mutually acceptable Asian regional order. Indeed, for China, this may be the ultimate tipping point in its modernization. —Courtesy: Japan Times

arties on both the left and the right wanting to loosen ties to the European Union had notable victories in the UK, France, Spain and several other nations. The results have gravely wounded the European project, which is to move the 28 EU member nations to an “ever-closer union.” The project may, indeed, have been killed. Here’s why: 1. Britain may leave the EU. Prime Minister David Cameron has promised a referendum on the issue if the Conservatives win the next election. The UK may see a vote for an exit if he fails to assure the electorate that he can deliver a reform plan for the EU that returns substantial powers to national capitals. It isn’t a hopeless quest. Repatriating political power to the nation-states may be more appealing than an “ever closer union” in nations where anti-EU forces are growing. But if Cameron can’t convince the European government to reform and Europe remains weak, with sluggish growth, an exit from Europe would be the likely answer. 2. The members of the European Parliament elected by euroskeptic parties range from the mild members of the Alternativ für Deutschland party, who think the euro currency is bad for Germany, to the fascists of the Hungarian Jobbik and the Greek Golden Dawn. But they are united in that they go the EU’s capital in Brussels to do something radical. In many countries, a seat in Brussels is a kind of sinecure for a politician who wishes to retire or has failed to get into his or her national parliament. There are many hard workers: but there are as many absentees. Debates are tedious affairs, slowed by translation into 24 official languages, the words absorbed by rows of often empty seats. This will no longer be the case. The wrecking crews have come, and those who believe in the EU for its real potential will have to fight them. If they cannot summon enough courage and the antis’ message continues to ring around Europe, the union is in trouble. 3. The adoption of the euro in 2000 was premature. Even Paul Krugman, friendly to Europe’s social democratic welfare states, believes so. It has been stabilized, but not yet saved. The anti-austerity forces might, by attacking Germany, wreck the agreements that have kept the worst-hit states – Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece and Ireland – from default and an exit from the euro. Germany is the linchpin of the European Union. It has done enough to guarantee a fragile stability, but reluctantly and with internal turmoil that so far Chancellor Angela Merkel has been able to quell. If Germany — “a colonial power,” as leftwing Greeks, Spaniards and many more appear to think — loses the will to sustain these economies, another crisis may result, and it would perhaps this time be fatal to the euro and the European Union. The true scale of the change wrought by the election results will become evident in the days ahead. It will be a test for traditional EU politicians whose mantra has ever been “more Europe” and whose job descriptions have not included doing the hard, dirty politics that are now required. —Courtesy: Reuters


Four soldiers among 8 killed in NWA blasts

PM directs From Page 1

From Page 1 Waziristan agency and FR Bannu, that were detonated closed to a security forces party. “At least three soldiers were martyred and another two wounded in a roadside bomb blast in North Waziristan area on Thursday”. Well placed official sources said adding a patrolling team was inspecting the Bannu-Miranshah road to build a military check post when they stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED). He said the incident occurred around 16 miles (26 kilometers) east of Miranshah. “It´s a standard operating procedure that a patrolling team on foot inspects the area before setting up a temporary checkpoint”, officials said. “Two soldiers embraced martyrdom and three were injured early in morning in two IED blasts planted by terrorists on roadside near Nosher Fort, bordering North Waziristan”. A statement issued by the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) said adding later another soldier suc-

Malik Ishaq From Page 1 in three cases relating to terrorism. Judge Rana Masood Akhtar issued acquittal orders for Ishaq in the cases, saying the evidence against Ishaq was not sufficient for further proceedings. The cases were registered against Ishaq at police stations in Attock, Hazro and Talagang and he was also previously arrested over charges relating hate-speech and inciting violence. Having faced charges relating to killing of more than 100 people, most of them Shia Muslims, and the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in March 2009, Ishaq has spent around 15 years in Pakistani jails. He was initially a member of Sipah-i-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP), a banned Sunni extremist group but later dissociated himself from it for his alleged ‘violent policies’ and formed his own outfit. The LJ was proscribed by the Pakistan government as a terror group soon after its inception in early 1990s. After reaching an agreement with Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ) chief Ahmed Ludhianvi, Ishaq joined as second-in-command of the former SSP in 2012. In Feb 2014, the United States added Ishaq to its list of most wanted international terrorists along with keeping the LJ on a list of international terrorist organisations.

SHC reserves From Page 1 submit necessary documents before the higher court by May 31. A2-member bench headed by Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar heard the petition. While giving arguments in opposition to removing name of Musharraf from the ECL, the Attorney General of Pakistan Salman Aslam Butt apprised the court that on the footsteps of former Ambassador of Pakistan in United States Hussain Haqqani, there was a strong likelihood that Musharraf would also not come back once he was allowed to travel abroad. He claimed that Musharraf did not have any trust on existing judicial system of the country as he believed the Judiciary had personal grudges against him. Musharraf was currently facing a trial of treason and was on bail while there were rumours about his departure from Pakistan. He said that Musharraf had formally been implicated in high treason case and hence the court could not facilitate him with any sort of relaxation. He said that though Pakistan had signed an agreement with the government of United Arab Emirates but that agreement did not cover those involved in political crimes. None of the accused would take risk of returning to the country when he could be awarded capital sentence for the crimes he had committed. Hence the government was not ready to take responsibility of his return to the country. The high court reserved the verdict, which would be given on Saturday.

cumbed to his injuries taking the death toll to three. A military official in Peshawar told Observer the two wounded men in uniform include a captain of the Pak Army yet both are stable. In the meanwhile, at least five people including a Levies official were killed when the militants attacked them in Spai area of Lower Orakzai Agency on Thursday. The locals of the area said that five local tribesmen from Landaghari and Kharkhwashta villages were taking bath in a river at Damkhwara, when militants in army uniformed opened indiscriminate fire at them. All the five people including a Levies official Shahnawaz Ali from Landaghari village were killed on the sport. The tribesmen also retaliated to the attack and killed one militant. The locals later took the dead body of the militant into their custody. The KP Chief Minister Pervez Khattak has strongly condemned the IED attack on an army vehicle in

Nosher Qila area of North Waziristan Agency adjacent to Bannu district that claimed lives of three Army Jawaans and injuring two others including a captain. In a message the Chief Minister while expressing concern on this tragic incident said that the Jawaans of Pak army are the custodians of our geographical frontiers and precious asset of the country and nation. He said that presence of Pak Army on our borders always ensured and strengthened the defense of the country and maintaining peace in our cities. He said that we could no longer afford such fatal attacks and losing precious lives of our Army Jawaans due to the prevailing critical situation and challenges faced by the country and nation. He recalled that Pak Army always rendered sacrifices to defend each and every inch of the country and protect the people from enemies and hence Pakistani nation was ready to stand by its valiant security forces and provide them all out support.

Govt to wipe out mounting From Page 1 finalize strategy to clear the debt of Independent Power Producers (IPPs) within next two weeks, the assurance was given by Federal Minister water and power Khawaja Asif in a meeting with representatives of IPPs informed sources told Pakistan Observer. Federal Minister for Water & Power Khawaja Asif ensured government’s resolve in a meeting with representatives of IPPs that was held in backdrop of mounting debt payments. Water and Power Secretary Saifullah Chattha and Minister of State for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali were also present in the meeting. He said a strategy will be devised in consultation with Finance Minister Ishaq Dar under the direction of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to clear the dues. The IPPs representatives appreciated

government’s efforts to resolve the issue of nonpayment of their due amount and expressed hope that this strategy will help the present government to clear the entire circular debt like it did in June last year. Amajor component of electricity generation cost. IPPs operating under 1994 policy and GENCOs do not pay the state owned fuel suppliers any money if they do not get payment from the government for the power supplied but the 2002 power policy based IPPs cannot do that and they have to either procure oil on cash or stop production. As of 1st May the government had to pay Rs 141 billion to the IPPs under 1994 policy while the dues of the IPPs under 2002 power policy are Rs 59 billion while the total dues of GENCOs, Chashma Power, and Hydel are Rs 98 billion.

Pak 9th most obese country From Page 1 weight than men, according to a new, firstof-its-kind analysis of trend data from 188 countries, published in The Lancet. “These global findings underscore the double burden of malnutrition in Pakistan with high rates of under-nutrition among children, and adolescents/young women and rising rates of obesity among adults”, said Dr Zulfiqar Bhutta, Founding Director of the Centre for Excellence in Women and Child Health at Aga Khan University, and one of the study’s co-authors. “Some of these issues may be related to rapid health transitions with changes in lifestyle, dietary patterns and limited physical activity”. The study conducted by an international consortium of researchers led by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington shows that rates of adult overweight and obesity have grown globally from 30 percent in 1980 to 37 percent in 2013. The results show that South Asia has seen a steady increase in overweight and obesity since 1980, with the rate of overweight or obese adults rising from 16 per cent to 21 per cent in 2013. However, 21 per cent is the second lowest adult prevalence among all regions globally. South Asia also has the lowest child overweight/obesity prevalence among all regions (six per cent) and the lowest child obesity prevalence (three per cent). Pakistan has seen rates increase from 26 per cent to 33 per cent over the same period, and by gender the differences are striking. In 1980, 24 per cent of men and 29 per cent of women were overweight or obese, a five percentage point difference, but, in 2013, the rates were 28 per cent for men and 38 per cent for women, the largest

gap in the region. India, by comparison, had one per cent difference between men and women. In Pakistan, children and adolescents of both sexes were found to have lower overweight or obesity rates than the global average of 14 per cent for both boys and girls. Pakistani children had overweight and obesity rates of six per cent for boys and 10 per cent for girls in 2013. Boys in Pakistan saw a two per cent reduction in these rates over 33 years, while girls saw one per cent reduction. Within the region, Pakistan has the highest obesity rate for adults (14 per cent), and Bhutan has the highest obesity rate for children (six per cent). South Asia also has the smallest gender gap in adult obesity among all regions (4.8 per cent male, 5.2 per cent female). Overweight is defined as having a Body Mass Index (BMI), or weight-toheight ratio, greater than or equal to 25 and lower than 30, while obesity is defined as having a BMI equal to or greater than 30. Globally, 37 per cent of male and female adults are considered to be overweight or obese, while 10 per cent of men and 14 per cent of females are obese. In Pakistan, 14 per cent of both men and women are obese. Health risks such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, osteoarthritis, and chronic kidney disease increase when a person’s BMI exceeds 23. In 2010, obesity and overweight were estimated to have caused 3.4 million deaths globally, most of which were from cardiovascular causes. Research indicates that if left unchecked, the rise in obesity could lead to future declines in life expectancy.

day morning by members of her family allegedly for marrying a man of her choice. The premier on Thursday directed Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif to submit a report on the incident by the evening. The prime minister has said that those involved in the murder which took place in broad daylight in Punjab’s provincial capital of Lahore should be brought to book. Moreover, on Wednesday, police teams raided a number of residences and other places to arrest those suspected of involvement in the brutal killing. Farzana was attacked with bricks when the attackers intercepted on her way to the LHC. Police booked her father Azeem, brothers Zahid and Ghulam Ali, cousins and some other relatives. The brutal act took place on Fane Road, one of the busiest roads in Lahore, when Farzana, of Nankana Sahib, her husband Mohammad Iqbal and in-laws, left the office of her counsel for going to the court. Her father and brothers had got an abduction case registered against her husband and she had filed a petition in the LHC to get the case quashed. She was to appear before the court on Tuesday to record her statement in favour of her husband.

Ghusl-e-Kaaba From Page 1 custodian of the two holy mosques King Abdullah. According Saudi media reports, Sheikh Abdurahman Al-Sudais, head of the Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, Sheikh Muhammad Al-Khozaim, deputy head of the presidency, several ministers, Islamic scholars, Muslim diplomats accredited to the Kingdom, as well as citizens and visitors to the Grand Mosque, took part in the washing ceremony. The washing ritual of the Kaaba, which is carried out before the beginning of the fasting month of Ramadan, begins with offering of two raka’a of voluntary prayers inside the Kaaba.—Agencies

KESC From Back Page dire need to look into the performance of the NPCC as it is inflicting loss to Pakistan. The members of the committee also demanded that the frequent transfers and postings in the power sector be stopped immediately as these are detrimental to the power sector in terms of the performance of the sector. The meeting was apprised that four federal secretaries in ministry of water and power had been transferred just in 201213. The committee has showed its dismay over the absence of Wapda chairman Mr Zafar Mehmood and warned of using its special powers to ensure his presence in the next meeting.

Journey towards light has started From Back Page Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif cannot be described in words. He said that Pak-China friendship is indeed higher than Himalayas, sweeter than honey, deeper than oceans and stronger than steel. He said that the project of Ruyi Masood Textile Park in Faisalabad is a very important step towards strengthening of Pak-China friendship and according to an estimate, an investment of two hundred billion rupees will be made in the textile park. The Chief Minister said that foundation stone of 1320 megawatt coal power plant will be laid tomorrow in Sahiwal with the cooperation of China and it will start production of electricity in December 2016. He said that the Chinese group is making total investment in the coal power plant. Similarly, he said, Nandipur power project will be inaugurated on May 31 due to which 100 megawatts more electricity will be available and it is a matter of great pleasure for the people of Pakistan who are thankful to Chinese leadership and companies. He said that Pakistan Muslim League-N government led by Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif is working speedily on energy projects and its efforts to remove darkness from the country are yielding positive results. He said that

investment of billions of dollars by Chinese investors in Pakistan is a big gift for which Pakistani nation is grateful to Chinese investors. He said that Chinese investors have taken a lead by making investment in development projects in Pakistan which is a proof of their deep love and affection for the Pakistani nation. He said it is high time for Pakistani investors to come forward and make maximum investment in the interest of the nation. He said that Pakistan and China are bound together in strong ties of friendship and their relations cannot be described in words. He said that due to the agreements signed between industrial groups of Pakistan and the Chinese group today, economic and trade cooperation between the two countries will further improve. Chairman Shandong Ruyi group, Yafu Qiu while speaking on the occasion said that Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif is a very dynamic and practical person and his deep love and sincerity has motivated Chinese investors to invest in Pakistan. He said that his group will try its best to complete energy projects even before the timeframe in accordance with the vision of Chief Minister Punjab. Earlier, four memorandums of un-

derstanding were signed between Shandong Ruyi group and different industrial groups of the Punjab. Chief Minister Punjab Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif was the chief guest on the occasion. On behalf of Shandong Ruyi Group, Masood Textile Mills and JK Spinning Mills, Chairman Shandong Ruyi Technology Group Limited Yafu Qiu, Chief Executive Officer Masood Textile Mills, Shahid Nazir and Director JK Spinning Mills Faiq Javed signed the document. Under a joint venture, Shandong Ruyi Group and JK Spinning Mills will set up a fabric printing unit of 200 million meter annually at Ruyi Masood Industrial Park. With regard to MoU between Shandong Ruyi Group, Masood Textile Mills and Crescent Sugar Mills, Chairman Shandong Ruyi Technology Group Ltd. Yafu Qiu, Chief Executive Officer Masood Textile Mills Shahid Nazir and Naveed Gulzar of Crescent Sugar Mills signed the document. Crescent Sugar Mills as a joint venture with Chinese group will establish weaving unit of 20000 power looms at Ruyi Masood Industrial Park. Shandong Ruyi Science and Technology Group Company Ltd and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd, Karachi Branch also signed an MoU.

CCI approves cuts at source From Page 1 the Pakistan Energy Efficiency and Conservation Bill-2014 for placing it before the Parliament. The bill provides for forming a national policy on energy conservation and suggesting measures on the matter. It would also create awareness about energy conservation. The meeting also approved amendment in Criminal Procedure Code 1898 for restoration of executive magistracy. While discussing the agenda item on inquiry into Kachi Canal, the Prime Minister expressed displeasure over the delay of inquiry and directed to hold it through international auditors to fix the responsibility. He further directed to hold technical as well as financial audit of the scheme. The agenda of the sixth population census was deferred till next meeting. The Prime Minister directed that the concerns, raised by Chief Minister Balochistan, should be discussed with the Balochistan government and report be submitted within two weeks. The CCI also approved the amendments in Gwadar Port Authority Act. It was decided that the Chairman of the Gwadar Port Authority would be a nominee of

Chief Minister Balochistan. Regarding the matter of 50% membership of the Board of Governors of Gwadar Port Authority, it was decided that amendments in the Act would be made. The CCI also approved the permanent absorption of federal employees transferred to provincial governments after devolution through 18th Amendment. The meeting also decided to expedite the absorption process. Finance Minister Ishaq Dar briefed the CCI on public debt management and supervision policy. He told the meeting that in order to improve the debt management operation, the government has initiated a process of preparing a comprehensive medium-term debt strategy in consultation with all stakeholders. The strategy will facilitate in making strategic decisions for new borrowing including the appropriate mix between domestic and external loans to finance the budget deficit, he added. The meeting also endorsed the Framework for 11th Five-Year Plan (2013-18) and Pakistan Vision-2025.

El-Sissi sweeps Egypt’s election From Page 1 announced by his campaign early Thursday. The campaign of retired Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi said he won 23.38 million votes, with left-wing politician Hamdeen Sabahi taking 735,285. Invalid votes were 1.07 million, or nearly 350,000 more than the number of votes for the 59-yearold Sabahi. El-Sissi’s win was never in doubt, but the career infantry officer, also 59, had hoped for a strong turnout to bestow legitimacy on his ouster last July of Egypt’s first freely elected president Mohammed Morsi. However, el-Sissi’s campaign said turnout nationwide was around 44 per cent, even after voting was extended for a third day Wednesday — well below the nearly 52 per cent won by Morsi in June 2012. In his final campaign TV interview last week, el-Sissi set the bar even higher, say-

ing he wanted more than 40 million voters — there are nearly 54 million registered voters — to cast ballots to ‘’show the world’’ the extent of his popular backing. El-Sissi supporters held all-night celebrations in Cairo, with several thousands gathered at the central Tahrir square, birthplace of the 2011 uprising that toppled longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak. They waved Egyptian flags, elSissi posters and danced. There were similar celebrations in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria and a string of other cities north of the capital and in the Oasis province of Fayoum southwest of Cairo. Critics said the lack of enthusiasm at the polls was in part due to apathy among even el-Sissi supporters, knowing that his victory was a foregone conclusion. Others said it showed discontent with el-Sissi, not

just among his Islamist foes but also among a broader section of the public that believes he has no concrete plans for Egypt’s woes and fears he will return Egypt to the autocratic ways of Hosni Mubarak. The tepid turnout was particularly embarrassing because the government and media had been whipping up adulation for el-Sissi over the past 10 months, depicting him as a warrior against terrorism and the only person able to tackle Egypt’s economic problems, high unemployment, inflation and instability. El-Sissi’s supporters in the Egyptian media have been in a panic the past two days. Political talk show hosts and newscasters urged people to vote, warning that otherwise the Brotherhood will be encouraged to step up its challenge to the new government.—AP

Modi invites Chinese president From Page 1 between the world’s two most populous nations on trade and regional security. Modi extended the invitation when he spoke by telephone with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, who had called to congratulate him on his victory in India’s general election, the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement. The Hindu nationalist won election by a landslide, ending a decade of rule by the Congress party that for most of the time since Indian independence in 1947 has been associated with a policy of non-alignment. Li “conveyed the Chinese government’s desire to establish robust partnership” with India’s new government, the statement said. Modi said he was keen to work closely with the Chinese leadership to deal with any outstanding issues, adding that he “welcomed greater economic engagement between the two countries”. No official statement was issued in Beijing. The last Chinese head of state to visit India was Hu Jintao in 2012. Modi invited South Asian leaders to his inauguration on Monday, turning the event into an informal regional summit. He is keen to rebalance relations

between New Delhi and Beijing that have long been marked by suspicion. China’s closest ally in the region is India’s traditional foe, Pakistan, whose prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, attended the inauguration. China and India fought a brief Himalayan war in 1962 that India lost. Tensions have occasionally flared on their common

border, which runs for a total of nearly 3,400 km (2,100 miles) and is still partly in dispute. India runs a $40 billion bilateral trade deficit with China, and Modi is expected to seek greater market access to reduce that gap. China’s own embrace of an export-led model has helped its economy outgrow India’s fourfold since 1980.—Reuters


Budget will be transparent: PR Imran will again face defeat in 2019 ISLAMABAD —A few days before the gov- ernment to court anywhere in the world

SM Zafar takes off robe Zubair Qureshi I SLAMABAD — Former law minister, eminent lawyer, intellectual and constitutional expert of the country SM Zafar has decided to quit legal practice. In a letter, addressed to the Chief Justice of Pakistan, the senior lawyer mentioned his decision. “The profession gave me whatever anybody could achieve and I had the privilege of conducting many important cases,” says SM Zafar.

Asif relates Imran statements with no-balls Staff Reporter ISLAMABAD —Federal Minister for Defence Khwaja Asif has said that the statements of Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan are no balls which does not even count as statements. Referring to the statement of PTI chairman regarding the separation of North Waziristan Agency from Pakistan, Khawaja Asif said that Imran Khan should adopt a positive approach to politics rather than getting cheap popularity through propaganda.

PML-N’s MPA Salma misbehaved Staff Reporter H AFIZABAD— Incidents of clashes partially disrupted polling for by-elections at PP-107 (Pindi Bhattian) in Punjab on Thursday. An untoward incident took place here when scores of PTI workers surrounded PMLN’s female MPA Salma Butt and pushed her when she arrived at a polling station. However, she managed to leave the scene in her car.

Meera appeals PM for security DUBAI— Pakistani film actress, Meera, who seems to have exiled herself to Dubai since an armed attack on her house in Lahore, says she will not return to Pakistan until the state provided her with foolproof security, Samaa reported. On May 17, unidentified gunmen opened fire outside her residence in Lahore and fled from the scene. She had termed the incident as doubly deplorable. “It is utterly shocking. I just cannot believe it actually happened”, she had said then.

ernment unveils the budget for fiscal year 2014-15, Information Minister Senator Pervaiz Rashid has said the upcoming budget will be transparent. “The money will be visible therefore we can be held accountable,” Pervaiz Rashid said during a press conference here Thursday. Senator Pervaiz Rashid also spoke about agreements signed in the 90s which provided power companies sovereign guarantees by the government of Pakistan. “These agreements were not made by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government,” he said. “These agreements LAHORE: Chinese Group and Punjab Industrial Groups signing MoUs at a ceremony on Thursday. Punjab Chief are causing conflicts because if the government does not pay these power compaMinister Shahbaz Sharif looks on. nies, the power companies can take the gov-

Journey towards light has started: Shahbaz

Chinese Group, Punjab Industrial Groups sign 4 MoUs SALIM AHMED L AHORE —Punjab

Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said that Pak-China friendship has turned into useful economic contacts and energy projects of 20 thousand megawatts will be set up in the country including Punjab under PakChina Economic Corridor. He said that journey towards light and elimination of darkness has started and within a few years, agriculture will develop, economy will strengthen while industrial sector will flourish and Pakistan will be able to stand on its own feet. The Chief Minister expressed these views at the signing ceremony of memo-

randums of understanding between a prominent Chinese group Shandong Ruyi and different industrial groups of Punjab at Chief Minister’s Office, here today. Chairman Shandong Ruyi group Yafu Qiu, senior officials of Huang Shang Dong, China, Provincial Ministers, Chief Secretary, prominent industrialists and notable from different walks of life were present on the occasion. The Chief Minister said that the bond of friendship between Pakistan and China are strengthening with the passage of time and China has supported Pakistan in every hour of need. He said that the confidence reposed by Chinese government, leadership and people in Prime

Continued on Page 7

UN chief welcomes India-Pakistan leaders talks

Prime witness of Arshad Pappu case gunned down

the discussion held between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi in India, a spokesperson for U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon has said that the U.N. is supportive of all efforts towards constructive dialogue. “We are always for thaws. We always welcome countries that have had issues with each other engaging in a positive and constructive dialogue,” Mr. Ban’s spokesperson Stephane Dujarric told reporters on Wednesday when asked about the meeting between Mr. Modi and Mr. Sharif and the thaw in bilateral relationship. Mr. Sharif was among the eight regional leaders invited by Mr. Modi for his swearing-in ceremony on May 26. —INP

gunned down by unidentified armed men in limits of Eidgah police station on Thursday. Muhammad Pervez Abbasi son of Riaz Abbasi was on his way to Police Headquarter Garden from his house in Bakra Peri Lyari when some unidentified armed men resorted to firing on him in Ranchore Line. The eyewitnesses told police that armed pillion riders stopped him and fled away by firing a single bullet in his head. The policeman was deployed in Kalakot police station and was prime witness of Arshad Pappu murder case. He was also witness of murder cases of Lyari gangsters belonging to Uzair Jan Baloch, Taju and Baba Ladla groups. He was receiving threats from Lyari gangsters and he had filed an application and requested police high-ups for security. Responding to his application, he was transferred to Police Headquarter Garden but the police have failed to ensure security to him. He had also applied for residence in quarters of Police Headquarter Garden but his demand was turned down. A case has been registered in Eidgah police station against unidentified armed men. Funereal prayer was held in Police Headquarter Garden which was attended by Inspector General (IG) Sindh Iqbal Mehmood and Additional Inspector General Karachi (AIG) Karachi Ghulam Qadir Thebo and others. IG Sindh announced Rs 2.5 million for widow of the deceased.

STAFF REPORTER

K ARACHI —A police constable and prime witness of N E W Y ORK —Welcoming Arshad Pappu, a renowned gangster, murder case was

Karzai speaks to Nawaz about crossborder shelling K ABUL—Afghan President Hamid Karzai in a phone conversation with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif raised his serious concerns over the alleged “Pakistan cross-border shelling” on eastern Kunar province, his office has said. During the conversation, President Karzai said “terrorists have been crossing the Durand Line into Afghanistan for years, but the Afghan forces have never fired on civilians across the Durand Line”. “Pakistan continuously fire artillery shells on the eastern parts of Afghanistan,” Karrzai alleged. Pakistan’s Prime Minister Sharif said “terrorists come from Afghanistan to Pakistan and conduct terrorist activities”. However, Sharif promised to discus the cross-border shelling with responsible institutions.—NNI

Husband throws acid on wife OUR CORRESPONDENT M UZAFFARGARH —A man threw acid on his wife over an issue of separation here on Thursday. According to reports, the incident took place at Jatoi area of the city where the woman, Sumera, asked her husband for separation due to continuous domestic conflicts. She left the husband’s house and came back to her parents. Later, Sumera’s husband came to her parents’ house and threw acid on her and fled from the scene. She was shifted to a hospital in a critical condition where doctors said that 40% of her body was burnt.

Mazari concerned over spread of violence I SLAMABAD —Central Information Secretary PTI, Shireen Mazari, on Thursday expressed concern over the way the Punjab government and legislators are propagating a culture of violence across the province. In a statement issued here, she said, it took provincial government three days to take note of the killing of a woman, Farzana Perveen, outside a courtroom in full view of the Punjab police. The police by their inaction against the murderers stand complicit in this murder. The fact that the guilty simply walked away without being arrested raises serious questions about the Punjab police. Mazari said this is just one of many crimes against women being committed across Punjab ranging from rape to acid throwing - the latest acid throwing incident happening in Muzzafargarh where earlier there was the rape case of a student in

NEW DELHI—Indian police have arrested one man and are looking for four other suspects after two teenage girls were gang-raped and then hanged from a tree in a village in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, police said on Thursday. The two cousins, who were from a low-caste Dalit community and aged 14 and 15, went missing from their village home in Uttar Pradesh’s Budaun district when they went out to go to the toilet on Tuesday evening.

KESC, federal govt legal battle worsens I SLAMABAD —The legal battle between Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) and federal government has worsened as the ministry of water and power has decided to move Supreme Court against the stay order extended by Sindh High country over the ‘additional’ 350 MW of electricity being ‘illegally’ used by K-Electric from the system of Pakistan Electric Power Company (Pepco). Secretary Water and Power Mr Saifullah Chattha stated here on Wednesday in a meeting of Senate

Committee on Water and Power. The Committee headed by Senator Zahid Khan, however, asked the relevant authorities to suspend the Managing Director of NTDC (National Transmission Dispatch Company) and hand him over to NAB if he fails to lay down the transmission line meant for Baluchistan province by July 31 this year. In the meeting, the participants from the Senate were briefed over the current production of electricity in the country, Neelum-Jehlum project, coal power projects and matters about NTDC.

In the meeting secretary water and Power Mr Saifullah Chattha told that K-Electric was using additional 350 MW electricity from Pepco system for which it managed to get stay from f the Sindh high court. Now the federal government has decided to move Supreme Court against the stay as it is the view of the Center that K-Eletrci is currently using additional 350 MW of electricity from Pepco’s system. In the meeting, top mandarins of the National Power Construction Company (NPCC) told in the meeting that the company has paid up capital of Rs 6.40 billion saying the

which the police again were openly complicit. More recently a poor farmer was also reportedly killed with impunity by Bilal Khar. Instead of pushing for a halt to such crimes, especially against the poor and women, Punjab police are supportive of such crimes either actively abetting the guilty or remaining inactive in proceeding against them. As for the Punjab PMLN legislators, they are actively propagating a culture of violence by using physical violence including slapping anyone who disagrees with them - be it a doctor or a fellow MPA belonging to another party. Such condemnable behaviour by its legislators should be subject to action by the PMLN leadership. Mazari felt it was hardly surprising to see the Punjab police turning a blind eye to acts of blatant violence against the poor and the helpless. This is what Punjab police culture is.— NNI

Indian teen girls gangraped, hanged from a tree

Use of 350MW electricity ALI SYED

based on these sovereign guarantees.” He added that this would diminish Pakistan’s status in the international community. The minister also spoke about positive developments that have taken place under Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s government, particularly in the telecommunication and banking sectors. Earlier, addressing a seminar here, Pervaiz Rashid said that Pakistan “Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan will also face defeat in the 2019 elections, he claimed. “Your actions will lead you to defeat in 2019,” he said. He added that if a TV channel makes a mistake shutting it down is not the solution.

annual profit is just hovering around Rs 250 million. Mr Hamayun Mandokhel, member of the senate committee expressed his dismay saying that NPCC is currently working in many projects abroad, but its profit is just at 3 percent which is very measure if compared with the projects it is working in abroad. He informed that apart from working in Pakistan, in the Middle East and S Arabia where in NPCC is working, the construction profit hovers in the range of 35-50 percent. He suggested that there is

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The following morning, villagers found the bodies of the two teenagers hanging from a mango tree in a nearby orchard. “We have registered a case under various sections, including that of rape, and one of the accused has been taken into custody. There were five people involved, one has been arrested and we are looking for the others,” Budaun’s Superintendent of Police Man Singh Chouhan told reporters. Chouhan said a postmortem confirmed the two minors were raped and died from the hanging. DNA samples have been also been taken to help identity the perpetrators, he added. The victim’s families say the girls were gang-raped and then hanged by five men from the village. They allege that local police were shielding the attackers as they refused to take action when the girls were first reported missing. It was only after angry villagers found the hanging corpses and took the bodies to a nearby highway and blocked it in protest, say the families, that police registered a case of rape and murder. A case of conspiracy has also been registered against two constables, said Chouhan, adding that

Registration of orphans

SC directs chief secretaries to assist NADRA STAFF REPORTER I S L A M A B A D —The

Supreme Court has directed all the chief secretaries to assist National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) to implement its policy regarding the registration of orphans and abandoned children in the country. The three judge bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Tassaduq Hussain Jillani on Thursday disposed off a threeyear-old application filed by philanthropist Abdul Sattar Edhi wherein he requested a legal strategy for the registration of children abandoned by their parents. The application further said that the National Database Registration Authority (NADRA) had refused to register a minor, saying the process could not be initiated in the absence of the child’s guardian or if the child is illegitimate. The bench has observed that the grievance of applicant has been redressed in view of NADRA’s new policy and now NADRA is directed to ensure that such application be properly dealt with. A member of the bench Justice Azmat Saeed Sheikh observed that if people abandon their kids than what is the mistake of the children, adding that it is the responsibility of state to look after of such children.

‘Altaf Hussain’s ID card, passport issue resolved’ STAFF REPORTER I S L A M A B A D —Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Senator Tahir Mushadi has said that issue of Altaf Hussain’s passport and ID card has been resolved. The MQM Senator told a Senate Standing Committee on Interior that Altaf Hussain would soon be issued his passport and ID card as the government has given assurance in this regard. Acting NADRA chief told the Senate body that the process of ID card and passport of Altaf Hussain was in final stage.


Top scientists warn WHO not to stub out e-cigarettes

A

GROUP of 53 leading scientists has warned the World Health Organization not to classify e-cigarettes as tobacco products, arguing that doing so would jeopardize a major opportunity to slash disease and deaths caused by smoking. The UN agency, which is currently assessing its position on the matter, has previously indicated it would favor applying similar restrictions to all nicotine-containing products. In an open letter to WHO Director General Margaret Chan, the scientists from Europe, North America, Asia and Australia argued that low-risk products like e-cigarettes were “part of the solution” in the fight against smoking, not part of the problem. “These products could be among the most significant health innovations of the 21st century – perhaps saving hundreds of millions of lives. The urge to control and suppress them as tobacco products should be resisted,” the experts wrote. Leaked documents from a meeting last November suggest the WHO views e-cigarettes as a “threat” and wants them classified the same way as regular tobacco products under the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). That has set alarm bells ringing among a number of medical experts - and in the booming e-cigarette industry. A total of 178 countries are parties to the international convention and are obliged to implement its measures, with the United States the one notable non-signatory.

A move to classify e-cigarettes alongside regular cigarettes would push countries into taking similar tough measures to restrict demand, including raising taxes, banning advertising, introducing health warnings and curbing use in public places. Uptake of electronic cigarettes, which use battery-powered cartridges to produce a nicotine-laced inhalable vapor, has rocketed in the last two years and analysts estimate the industry had worldwide sales of some $3 billion in 2013. But the devices are controversial. Because they are so new there is a lack of long-term scientific evidence to support their safety and some fear they could be “gateway” products to nicotine addiction and tobacco smoking - though the scientists said they were “unaware of any credible evidence that supports this conjecture”. In response to the scientists’ letter, Penny Woods, chief executive of the British Lung Foundation, said: “The overall impact of e-cigarette use on public health is currently unclear. While they could prove to be an important tool to help people stop smoking, the unregulated status of e-cigarettes is problematic.” For tobacco companies seeking to offset the decline in traditional smoking, investment in e-cigarettes was an obvious choice and all the major players now have a presence, prompting Big Tobacco to line up behind scientists on this occasion. Kingsley Wheaton, director of corporate and regulatory affairs at British American Tobacco, said classifying e-cigarettes as tobacco products would mean smokers find it harder to access a less risky alternative.

Nisar performs groundbreaking ceremonies of Wah General Hospital, boys high school, girls middle school

Clouds of skepticism will disappear from country forever STAFF REPORTER WAH CANTT—Federal Minister for Interior and Narcotics Control Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Thursday performed ground breaking of three development schemes including a 500 bed Wah General Hospital to be built at a cost of Rs. 6.5 billion. The minister also performed ground breaking of a Boys High School and a Girls Middle School that would cost Rs. 150 million and would be completed in an year. Addressing a big public gathering here, Nisar said Pakistan Ordnance Factories (POF) Wah generously provided 96 kanal land free of cost for the establishment of the hospital. The minister said after completion, the hospital would be the biggest and the best hospital of not only Wah and Taxila but also of Rawalpindi division. Giving details of the project, Chaudhry Nisar stated, “in the first phase, 100 bed hospital would be completed in one and a half year, while in the second and third phase it would be extended to 500 beds.” Federal Minister for Interior and Narcotics Control, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan unveiling the plaque at the ground breaking cerHe added one portion of the emony of a school in Wah Cantt. Federal Minister for Defence Production, Rana Tanveer Hussain is also present on the occasion. hospital would be reserved for the treatment of poor and laborers. The minister thanked Kashmir, Gilgit Baltistan, DG Rangers of Sindh and strengthen hands of Pakistan Muslim League (N)’s leadChairman POF for providing 20 kanal land for the es- Punjab, DG Gilgit Baltistan Scouts and DG FC ership for development and betterment of the country. tablishment of the boys and girls schools. The minister Balochistan attended the meetings. Speaking high of the “You should join hands with Mian Nawaz Sharif and I announced two month bonus worth Rs. 380 million for Pakistan Ordinance Factories, Chaudhry Nisar expressed assure you that the clouds of skepticism will disappear the resolve that it would be made the best institution of from the country forever,” he assured. the employees of Pakistan Ordinance Factories. He said when the PML-N took over power, the govHe said he along with heads of law enforcement not only Pakistan but of the whole region. “We will make agencies held day long meeting with the officials of POF. POF an institution about which every Pakistani feels ernment was left with meagre resources. He assured that The heads of law enforcement agencies were given brief- proud,” the minister remarked. Chaudhry Nisar urged the patriotic leadership of PML-N would leave no stone ings and encouraged to buy weapons and ammunition upon the people to beware of the politicians who keep unturned in raising standards of living of the people. Federal Minister for Defence Production Rana Tanvir said made in POF so that the organization earns more rev- on changing parties for their vested interests. He said people should ignore those who are con- the government would meet the challenges of terrorism, enue and become financially viable. Inspectors General Police of Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Azad stantly changing their loyalties. He asked people to energy and revival of economy.

Ex-cabinet body under Khurshid Shah had no legal authority President Mamnoon Hussain in a meeting with a delegation of Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Medical University Islamabad.

Govt accords top priority to promotion of higher education STAFF REPORTER ISLAMABAD—President Mamnoon Hussain Thursday reiterated that the present government accords top priority to the promotion of higher education in all disciplines including medical sciences. He called upon the universities to focus on bringing out latest and quality research in all fields, especially in the disciplines like medical and allied health sciences and other sectors. The President said this during his meeting with a delegation of the Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Medical University Islamabad, that called on him here at the Aiwan-e-Sadr. Those present during the meeting included among others Vice Chancellor Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Medical University, Prof Javed Akram, Prof Dr. Khaliq uz Zaman, Dr. Rao Sohail Yasir Khan and Prof Dr. Tanvir Khaliq. Highlighting the critical role of the universities, the President urged to focus on the evaluation of the performance of universities as per international standards. He also stressed upon greater collaboration

between the universities and industry to promote research, job creation and preparing the young generation of country to efficiently meet the requirements of market besides being able to compete at global level in various fields including medical and allied health sciences. The President also emphasized the need for developing and strengthening linkages of the Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Medical University with the reputed international universities and health institutes so as to benefit from the global experiences and expertise in medical sciences. The delegation thanked the President for meeting and his keen interest in the promotion of education in the country. The Vice Chancellor apprised the President about academic activities, research development and other achievements, ongoing and future projects and plans and different issues of the Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Medical University, Islamabad. The President assured all out support and patronage to the University in its educational pursuits and plans and the promotion of health education in Pakistan.

ZUBAIR QURESHI ISLAMABAD—Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday declared regularization of thousands of contract/daily wage employees by the former government’s cabinet subcommittee illegal, null and void. Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui of IHC announced the decision in a writ petition filed by a number of employees of the National Highway Authority who were represented by senior counsels of Supreme Court Tariq Mehmood Jehangiri and Abdul Rehman Siddiqui. The petitioners had submitted before the court that Yousuf Raza Gilani-led government of Pakistan’s People’s Party had inducted thousands of employees in various departments, divisions and ministries without any regard for merit. A bulk of political appointments, around 20,000 were made in the former government’s tenure, first on contract basis or on daily wages. Later, a sub-committee was constituted under the chairmanship of former senior

federal minister Syed Khurshid Shah that regularized all of them without recommending any competitive process for them. On the other hand, Supreme Court of Pakistan in March 2014 declared 238 such postings in Employees Old Benefit Institution illegal. Justice Siddiqui directed the relevant authorities to conduct thorough scrutiny of all such employees before confirmation and see that all the legal requirements are fulfilled in this regard like eligibility, merit, competitive process etc. The federal government’s sub-committee that regularized the non-qualifying employees has no legal power to do so, the court held. It may be mentioned here the court had clubbed a number of petitions and conducted hearing into the case for almost a year. On Thursday, however the court directing all such postings illegal directed the federal government to review them. Talking to Pakistan Observer Advocate Jehangiri said former Cabinet Committee on Regularization had decided to regularize the services of 3,595 employees of different government departments in the country working on Contract, Daily Wages and Special Service Agreement (SSA) which in the light of Justice Siddiqui’s decision now stand cancelled.

Child marriage, HR violation ZUBAIR QURESHI ISLAMABAD—Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA) in collaboration with Rutgers WPF, Pakistan and Preston University organized a seminar to address and highlight adverse effects of child marriages in Pakistan. The seminar was conducted under Access, Service and Knowledge (ASK) programme the seminar aims to contribute towards strengthen efforts to make ‘Pakistan a Child Marriage Free Zone.’ Memona Sarwar, Dr Azhar Naeem, Waqas Bajwa and Ghulam Mujtaba, noted child rights workers spoke on the occasion and shared with the audience their findings. They were of the view child marriage is a crime and a worst form of injustice indeed. It leads to social isolation, and robs the educational opportunities from a child. Child marriage should be prohibited and the legal age of marriage should be raised from 16 to 18, they said. Pakistan is signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Children which defines child marriage below the

age of 18 but the country allows marriages at age 16. Dr Munazza Haris from Rutgers WPF, Pakistan in her presentation discussed the young people’s reproductive health issues arising from child marriages. “Unfortunately, early marriage has adverse effect on child and it leaves them physically and socially vulnerable to illness, poverty, and gender inequality. It increases the risk for depression, sexually transmitted infection, cervical cancer, malaria, obstetric fistulas, and maternal mortality,” she said. The ASK programme is the culmination of long-term collaboration among seven pioneers of SRHR. Rutgers WPF, Simavi, AMREF Flying Doctors, CHOICE for Youth and Sexuality, dance4life, STOP AIDS NOW!; International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) and Child Helpline International (CHI) is engaged in the programme as a technical partner. This seminar is a step in the positive direction but we hope that our lawmakers also take notice and amend child marriage laws, said of the participants.

Call for effective local government system in Capital CITY R EPORTER I SLAMABAD —It was the consensus view of the participants of the workshop on Thursday that Federal Capital area should be brought under the local government system and the government should also announce an early date for holding local government elections in the country as well as in Federal Capital to empower and facilitate Urban & Rural population of Islamabad Capital Territory. The workshop titled “Citizens’” Engagement and Accountability for an Effective Local Government System” in Islamabad, for identification of citizens’ demands for an effective implemen-

tation of Article140-A under 18th Amendment. Was organized by Devolution Trust for Community Empowerment with the support by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through Citizens’ Voice Project. The open discussion among participants created an opportunity for the citizens by providing them a platform to share their ideas and experiences, and voice their suggestions and demands related to the LG Systems in general and ICT Local Government bill 2013 in particular. Mr. Ijaz Chaudhary highlighted the importance of LG System in Pakistan he admitted the fact that the LG Elections had been delayed by the provincial governments on

one pretext or the other. He also reiterated the fact that

direct elections of Chairman’s/Nazims at met-

ropolitan/ district/ tehsil levels should be held. He appre-

ciated the efforts of DTCE for providing advocacy and gathering citizens’ demands in this respect. Mr. Ali Mohammad Khan admitted the fact that local development work is not the responsibility of MNA/MPA and their main role is legislation. He said that PTI government is working hard to bring accountable systems and structures before the start of major development work in KP. He emphasised the need of Biometric Voting System for the upcoming LG Elections. Barrister Shahzad Akber gave historical perspective of LGs and provided information on the proposed LG Act 2013. He said that monitoring mechanisms under the proposed legislation are weak and the election rigging

penalties are nominal. Mr. Azhar Bashir Malik presented the citizen demands from Punjab and KP. He highlighted that Election Commission should return the Punjab LG Contestants fees in case of postponement/ delay in LG elections. He also highlighted the requirement for increased number of women seats on all tiers of LGs and revival of Union Councils in New LGA of KP. Mr. Kanwar Dilshad explained in detail the LGAs and informed that for biometric voting system amendments in the legislation is required and said that no LG System will be successful unless we follow the constitution in true letter and spirit. He appreciated the efforts of Mr. Daniyal Aziz for promot-

ing LGs in Pakistan. Mr. Shaukat Paracha gave a critical analysis of LG Systems and said that there is a thin line between Military Dictators and Civil Dictators. The Military Dictators wants inroads to the public by avoiding National and Provincial level politicians whereas the Civil Dictators do not want to devolve powers to the grass roots democratic structures. Mushir Naqvi provided an insight on LG Systems he said that without grass roots democracy Pakistan cannot prosper. The LGs can provide services according to the local needs and this tier is more close to the citizens. In the end he thanked all the speakers and the participants.


PML-N completes one year in power Pak moving to industrial revolution Staff Reporter LAHORE—Provincial Minister for Industries, Commerce & Investment Punjab Chaudhry Muhammad Shafique has said that Pakistan is advancing on the path of industrial revolution and a day will come when, after attaining self-reliance, the province of Punjab will emerge as an attractive hub of investment for the foreign investors. He expressed these views during his meeting with journalists in his office. He said that today’s Pakistan is headed by Muhammad Nawaz Sharif who has given us a true patriotic and a visionary leadership. Punjab, the largest province of Pakistan is undergoing a historic journey of progress and development under the able leadership of public friendly, honest and untiring Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif.

Port Qasim shipping activity KARACHI—One ship carrying containers was berthed at Qasim International Containers Terminal. Meanwhile six more ships carrying containers, steel coil, furnace oil and edible oil also arrived at outer anchorage of Port Qasim during last 24 hours. Berth occupancy was 35% at the port on Thursday where four ships namely CGM Corneille, Ikan Perang, RBD Anima e Core and Donga Peneus are currently occupying berths to load/offload containers, cement, furnace oil and edible oil respectively during last 24 hours.—APP

Biz community expects more industry-friendly policies AMANULLAH KHAN K ARACHI —With the completion of one year in power of the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PMLN) the business community is anxiously expecting business friendly policies and their prompt implementation for stimulation of the economy. The PML-N government is faced with challenges to reduce inflation, provide energy for production, create employment, attract investment and offer a conducive environment to investors. President Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME) Zulfikar Thaver said the PMLN government has done fairly well comparatively but the SME sector expects the business friendly PML-N government to take bold positive measures in the forthcoming budget to remove or considerably reduce the import duties and sales tax on farm machinery and inputs and impose income tax on agricultural income. All alternate energy devices

need to be exempted from duties and sales tax to encourage solar, wind and biomass equipments and devices. UNISAME urged the PML-N government to fulfill its promise to the common man by increasing the income tax exemption limit to Rs 600000 for individuals and accordingly for family businesses. The government needs to focus on the requirements of the common man and facilitate the common man to survive in the midst of high inflation, as the common man cannot eat one square meal. A policy is required to offer subsidized ration for kitchen items to the under privileged, petrol on lower rates for their two wheelers, medicines and low cost housing under special schemes. Thaver said the SME sector, which is the backbone of the economy, needs bridge finance and finance under pay as you earn schemes for purchase of premises and raw material and facilities for discounting of bills. The government needs to accom-

Peaceful society emerges from economic prosperity: Mujtaba STAFF REPORTER L AHORE —Provincial Minister for Excise & Taxation and Finance Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman has said that there is need to utilize national resources equitably for setting up of a peaceful society and economic prosperity of the masses. He said that basic purpose of welfare programmes of Punjab government is to mitigate the hardships and sufferings of extremely poor families and provide them maximum relief. He expressed these views while presiding over a meeting regarding Punjab Rozgar Bank (PRB) to finalize the structure/institutional framework for launching of PRB. The Chief Minister Punjab has constituted a committee under the chairmanship of Fi-

nance Minister Punjab whereas high-ranking officials of Finance, Industries departments and President Bank of Punjab, President Silk Bank attended the meeting besides chairman Akhuwat Dr. Amjad Saqib. He said that in order to provide quality health facilities to poor families, health insurance scheme was being launched in four districts, Chakwal, Hafizabad, Layyah and Rajanpur, initially. He said that under health insurance scheme, insurance cards will be issued to poor families and modern treatment facilities will be available to them in hospitals free of cost. The Minister maintained that Finance Department and Bank of Punjab will play a lead role in setting up “Punjab Islamic Rozgar Bank” according to timeline given by Chief Minister Punjab.

KARACHI—The following

Nokia XL launches in Pak LAHORE —Microsoft

Devices launched their flagship Android-based device, Nokia XL in Pakistan. Nokia XL brings an exciting mix of Android apps and Nokia experiences and is an on-ramp to Microsoft services such as Skype, OneDrive and Outlook.com. Speaking on the occasion, Arif Shafique, Country General Manager, Microsoft Devices Pakistan & Afghanistan said: “Microsoft Devices has connected billions of people around the world through remarkable mobile devices and innovative technology.—PR

Really, I have to laugh because there was a whole set of stories that made me sound like the Dragon Lady, you know, ‘tough this and tough that.’ Then there is this business about ‘gooey.’ The bottom line is I am a pragmatic idealist. —Madeleine Albright

HYDERABAD: Federal Minister for Commerce Engineer Khurram Dastgir addressing the ceremony orgnized by Sindh Abadgar Board at local hotel.

Vast opportunities exist for major agri exports HYDERABAD —Federal Minister for Commerce, Engineer Khurram Dastgir Khan Thursday said there were many opportunities across the world for exporting agriculture products which could help increase exports, if exploited in a better way. Addressing the gathering of growers and members Sindh Abadgar Board (SAB) held here at local hotel on Thursday, he said “Like Afghanistan and Iran, there are many exports opportunities in Gulf countries where fruits, vegetables and other products could be easily exported and in return, huge revenue could be earned”, he said.

He further said that all stakeholders had to work together to exploit such opportunities which could help the country to grow rapidly. Besides, the commerce ministry is also focusing on agriculture sector and any kind of barrier in exporting agriculture products would be resolved after identifying them, he said. “Moreover, we have to focus on the issues of sorting, packaging, quality of products and standard of marketing which could help us to increase quantity of exports,” he said adding “still many exporters are using old and informal techniques in exporting the products”.—APP

breeding and feed industries. The farm sector needs the focused attention of the government for modernized farming due to lack of water for crops, fruits, vegetables, flowers and also finance and facilitate dehydration and cold storage systems. There is urgent need for green house farming and the farmers need education on the subject to benefit from innovative systems. Whilst appreciating the efforts of the planning ministry to bring about reforms and a better Pakistan vision of Prof. Ahsan Iqbal the federal minister for planning and reforms, the union experts believe the planning ministry is focused but urged the ministry to expedite the recommendations and plans for speedy implementation to catch with the opportunities and meet the challenges which Pakistan is facing due to Indian competition. Pakistan needs to regain lost global markets and remain competitive. The sector needs the support, encouragement, facilities and environment from the government.

Orient introduces 3 series of smart AC K ARACHI —Orient Electronics (Pvt.) Ltd., has introduced three new series of Smart air conditioners, which are extremely powerful and efficient as compared to other brands, and are engineered for Pakistan’s extreme summers. The Invertech Series offers the next generation air conditioners with revolutionary DC inverter technology and variable-speed compressors and consumes power equivalent to that of an 80 Watt LED light.—PR

Shahid Ghaffar gets charge as MD-NITL STAFF REPORTER

Conversion rates rates will be applicable for conversion into rupees of Foreign Currency Deposits, Dollar Bearer Certificates, Foreign Currency Bearer Certificates, Special U.S. Dollar Bonds and profits thereon by all banks and for providing Forward Cover on Foreign Currency Deposits (excluding F.E- 25 deposits) by the State Bank on May 30, 2014. The rates are U.S. Dollar Rs. 98.6944, Japanese Yen Rs. 0.9718, Pound Sterling Rs. 165.0171 and Euro Rs. 134.4514. —APP

modate the sector in special economic zones on soft terms. Thaver said the upcoming Trade, Industrial, Agricultural, Auto policies need to come up with business friendly policies to support the export sector and facilitate the import of technology, raw material, import substitution industries and the agricultural industries based on indigenous raw materials. The sector also needs its own export house, ombudsman, chamber of commerce, an SME specific bank, technical institute and the much-awaited Exim bank. The SME policy 2007 needs to be implemented in letter and spirit and every effort must be made to expedite matters. The union chief urged the government to reconstitute the board of directors of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) without loss of time and strengthen the authority to upgrade the agricultural based industries based on primary sector raw material resources vigorously and modernize dairy farming, poultry, salt, fish farming, sheep

KARACHI—Shahid Ghaffar has taken over the charge as Managing Director, National Investment Trust Limited (NITL). According to NITL release issued here on Thursday, Shahid Ghaffar possessed vast experience of holding top positions in financial sector. Prior to joining NIT, he was working as head of investor relations and corporate representation as well as member of management forum at Habib Bank Limited (HBL). Prior to that he had also served as Chief Executive Officer of HBL Asset Management Limited for over six years (2005-2012) and was instrumental in the establishment and growth of the company. Ghaffar has held key positions in the areas of asset management, capital market regulation and governance. At Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), he served as executive director/commissioner from 2000 to 2005. He played a vital role towards implementation of wide ranging reforms in the capital market and capacity building of securities market Division in Securities And Exchange Commission of Pakistan.

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Textile Industry, Abbas Khan Afridi in a meeting with Sherali S Jononov, Ambassador to Tajikistan for Pakistan.

Sector-specific approach to boost Pak-Swedish trade: Envoy SALIM AHMED L AHORE —The Ambassador of Belgium Peter CLAES has said that sector-specific efforts could start a new era of trade & economic relations between the two countries urging the private sector of Belgium & Pakistan to come forward and play a crucial role to this regard. He expressed these views while talking to the LCCI Vice President Kashif Anwar at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry here on Thursday. Former LCCI Senior Vice President Malik Tahir Javed, Former Executive Committee Members Rehmatullah Javed, Sheikh Muhammad Ayub, Khamis Saeed Butt, Dr. Shahid Raza and Ghulam Sarwar Malik were also present on the occasion. Ambassador said that joint ventures and B-2-B contacts could help avail huge potential exists in the both countries. He assured his full cooperation to the Lahore Chamber of Commerce for strengthening the existing business relations between Belgium and Pakistan. While applauding the efforts of the LCCI for promotion of trade & economic activities, Belgian Ambassador said that exchange of trade delegations; trade fairs and single country exhibitions could play a significant role to achieve the desired goals. He said that being a hub business activities in European Union, Belgium could offer a lot of business opportunities to the Pakistani entrepreneurs. However, he said, Pakistani exporters have to comply with the high quality standards set by the members states of European Union. He said that the exchange of trade delegations and trade fairs are the most effective marketing tool in this fast changing global scenario. Speaking on the occasion, the LCCI Vice Presi-

dent Kashif Anwar said that Pakistan has always given importance to the economic ties with Belgium. He stressed the need to find ways to enhance the current level of trade through identifying more items of trade. There are better prospects of increasing trade and investment relations on the basis of GSP plus status recently awarded to Pakistan by the European Union Commission. It is worth mentioning that Belgium comes at 7th place among the top importing countries for Pakistan and at 6thplace among the top exporting countries in European Union. He said that there is a dire need to take sector specific measures to increase the volume of mutual trade. He said that expertise of Belgium in engineering, automobile sector, chemicals industry, crystal & glass products, electrical and electronic sector is well known around the globe. Therefore, there are good prospects for undertaking joint ventures in Pakistan with the help of Belgian experience and technical know how in a number of fields. He said that the growing importance of Belgium in the wake of its central position and location in the European Union calls for more integrated efforts focusing on exchange of trade delegations, institutional contacts between the Chambers of Commerce, participation in international trade fairs etc. He said that Pakistani business community is thankful to Belgium for supporting Pakistan to attain GSP plus status. Major items of exports to Belgium are textiles products, cotton, articles of leather, cereals, sport goods etc. The items that are imported from Belgium include iron & steel, machinery, pharmaceutical products, chemical products, electrical and electronic equipment etc.

Pak business delegation to visit France for trade options ISLAMABAD—Top Pakistani businessmen will be visiting Paris next week in a bid to explore avenues of cooperation with their French counterparts in key areas like energy, sanitation, water and agrobased business for tapping the existing potential between two countries. The delegation of around 30 top Pakistani businessmen from across the country will be led by Federal Minister for Water and Power Khawaj Muhammad Asif while Special Assistant to Prime Minister and Chairman Board of Investment Dr. Miftah Ismail would be accompanying it, said French ambassador to Pakistan Philippe THIEBAUD at a briefing to a group of journalists along with Eric NOITAKIS, head of the Economic Department at the embassy here Thursday. “The objective of the trade delegation is to provide opportunities to Pakistan entrepreneurs in search of equipment, technologies and expertise and explore possibilities of setting up joint ventures with French companies in the backdrop of GSP Plus status recently granted to Pakistan by EU,” said the ambassador. He said at least 40 to 50

French companies would be meeting Pakistani businessmen visiting France form June 2-5, to discuss possibilities of cooperation in areas like energy, water, sanitation and agro-based business. Their visit is being organized in cooperation with Pakistan Business Council, Pakistan France Business Alliance and Pakistan-France Business Council. The Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and French President on the sidelines of the Nuclear Summit in Hague this year, he said, had agreed to strengthen economic cooperation between the two countries. THIEBAUD said visit of the delegation was “a step in the process,” adding he was working on a follow-up visit by German business delegation in mid of this year. This will provide French businessmen an occasion to see for themselves investment opportunities in Pakistan. The bilateral trade between Islamabad and Paris at present stood at $1.5 billion. After Pakistan had been granted GSP Plus status from January this year, he said, trade between Pakistan and 28 EU members would get a further fillip. The volume of trade be-

tween Pakistan and EU members following GSP Plus status to Islamabad, is likely to touch $1 billion, he said, adding Islamabad at present exports more to EU than it imports. The ambassador said French companies until now had invested $1.5 billion in Pakistan in different fields, including helping it produce 1500MW electricity. The Uch power plant is generating 1000MW and is being run on local gas. French Development Agency (FDA) in close cooperation with WAPDA was focusing on small hydropower generation projects - a few of them were coalsupported. The envoy said his focus was to go for small projects, which could be completed within two to three years. However FDA was also involved in Munda dam - renamed as Momand Dam, over the River Swat and it would be financing preliminary studies on it. To a question on nuclear cooperation with Pakistan, the envoy said, Islamabad had “involved itself in cooperation with China,” and both the countries had entered into an agreement on KANUPP Two and Three. Fielding a question on cooperation between two countries in agro-based

business, Eric NOITAKIS said, it would focus on processing of agricultural products like milk processing, baby milk and yogurt. Similarly, two Pakistani companies were looking to acquire French expertise in mineral water, as France was the biggest producer of the product in the world. Similarly, a Pakistani company since long had been importing One-Day chick from France and was supplying to others and had captured 60 per cent share of the poultry market in the country. Some Pakistani companies were exploring ways to export mangoes, strawberries and cherries to France, he added. The envoy said at least 40 big French companies in cosmetics, cement, pharmaceuticals, lubricants and in other fields were operating in Pakistan. They were confident about future of Pakistan and saw it as a big market for their goods. French ambassador said according to many opinion polls, Pakistan had, had ‘business-friendly, legal environment’ adding the France was appreciative of the recent deal struck between Pakistan and IMF and thought it a positive development.—APP


Currency

Selling

Buying

Punjab govt, Mckinsey jointly to reform tax system

USA

98.60

98.40

UK

164.93

164.59

Euro

134.16

133.88

L AHORE —A delegation of a promi-

Canada

90.75

90.57

Switzerland

109.85

109.63

nent management consultant company, Mckinsey, led by its head for Asia Region, Gordon Orr met Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif. It was decided in the meeting that Punjab government and Mckinsey will cooperate in the reformation of tax system, controlling line losses of electricity and promotion of livestock. The Chief Minister said that national resources are a sacred trust and Punjab government is utilizing every penny on the welfare of the masses. He said that there is a need for immediate measures for increasing resources and simplification of tax re-

Australia

91.47

91.28

Sweden

14.86

14.83

Japan

0.9693

0.9674

Norway

16.55

16.51

Singapore

78.56

78.40

Denmark

17.97

17.94

Saudi Arabia 26.29

26.24

Hong Kong

12.72

12.69

Kuwait

349.64

348.93

Malaysia

30.61

30.54

Newzealand

83.66

83.49

Qatar

27.08

27.03

UAE

26.84

26.79

Kr. Won

0.0965

0.0963

Thailand

3.011

3.005

JWT gets PAS awards K ARACHI —JWT swept away the competition at the Pakistan Advertisers Society Awards, clinching six awards for campaigns for Advance TelecomNokia in the Telecom Hardware category, Orient Electronics in Consumer Electronics, Olper’s-New Design in Breakfast Food & Dairy, Shell Rimula in Petroleum & Lubricants, Vaseline in Cosmetics & Personal Care, and for the fourth year in a row, for Sunsilk - Unilever Pakistan Ltd for the Hair Care category. This marks the most awards won by any agency at this year’s PAS Awards, which recognizes one winning campaign in each of the 31 categories. The event is Pakistan’s largest advertising award show. JWT Pakistan’s mission is to celebrate outstanding, groundbreaking work, which pushes the boundaries of creativity and paves the way for new talent. “We are driven by our passion, as we continue to celebrate, honor and nurture creativity,” said Mansoor Karim, CEO of JWT Pakistan.—PR

Oil prices up in Asian trade S INGAPORE —Oil prices rose in Asia Thursday as dealers await the latest US supply report for clues about demand in the world’s biggest crude consumer, while supply concerns also provided support. US benchmark, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for delivery in July, climbed 14 cents to $102.86 a barrel, while Brent North Sea crude for July gained two cents to $109.83. The Department of Energy will release the latest US stockpiles report later Thursday, a day later than usual because of the Memorial Day holiday on Monday. Stockpiles are expected to have risen 100,000 in the week ended May 23, according to a Wall Street Journal survey. In last week saw an unexpected 7.2 million barrel fall, signalling improved demand. Sanjeev Gupta, head of the Asia-Pacific oil and gas practice at consultancy firm EY, said apart from US stockpiles data, “oil markets will be following developments in Ukraine and Libya closely”. Ukrainian forces Wednesday saw fresh losses following a rebel raid in the separatist east, even as president-elect Petro Poroshenko vowed to hold talks with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to ease the crisis. The West has accused Russia of formenting unrest in its neighbour since the ousting of pro-Kremlin president Viktor Yanukovych in February. Moscow denies the allegation. Investors fear a fullblown conflict in the exSoviet state, a conduit for a quarter of European gas imports from Russia, will disrupt supplies and send energy prices soaring. There are also mounting concerns about a possible supply disruption in Libya, a member of oil cartel OPEC, as it faces increasing political and security turmoil.—APP

STAFF REPORTER

covery system can help in this regard. He said that stringent measures will have to be taken for curbing tax evasion. He said that reforms are being introduced in tax system in Punjab and it is being improved with the help of information technology. He said that additional resources generated through improvement in tax collection system will also be spent on the betterment of the masses. He said that there is also a need to impart modern training to the officials of tax collection departments. He said that cooperation of Mckinsey in minimizing line losses of electricity will be welcomed. He said that installation of smart meters can help control line losses and power theft. He said that Mckinsey can also cooperate in the development

of livestock and dairy farming sector as its development can help strengthen national economy. Leader of the delegation, Gordon Orr said that Mckinsey will continue to cooperate with Punjab government in the reformation of tax system and minizing line losses. He said that final recommendation regarding development of livestock sector will soon be submitted. Provincial Minister for Finance, Excise & Taxation Mujtaba Shuja ur Rehman, Special Assistant on Livestock Arshad Jatt, Chief Secretary, Chairman Planning & Development, Senior Member Board of Revenue, MPA Dr. Ayesha Ghaus Pasha, Additional Chief Secretary Energy, Secretary Excise & Taxation besides other concerned officials were also present on the occasion.

Sports goods’ exports increase 6.57pc in ten months ISLAMABAD—Exports of sports goods from the country increased by 6.57 percent during the first ten months of the current financial year compared to the exports of the same period of last year. The exports of sports good during July-April (2013-14) was recorded at $286.129 million compared to the exports of $269.498 million during July-April (2012-13), according to the data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS). Among the sports products, the major increase of 33.67 percent was recorded in the trade of footballs, exports of which increased from $115.805 million last year to $154.792 million this year. However, the exports of gloves decreased by 15.09 percent by falling from the trade of $99.085 million last year to $85.821 million, this year, the data revealed. Similarly, the exports of all other sports goods also decreased from $53.608 million to $45.516 million, showing downfall of 15.09 percent. On year-on-year basis, the exports of sports good increased by 33.90 percent.

The exports of sports goods in the month of April 2014 were recorded at 39.039 million compared to the exports of 29.155 million. During the month, the exports of footballs increased 67.74 percent, gloves 35.10 percent whereas the exports of other sports goods decreased by 37.20 percent. On month-on-month basis, the exports of sports products increased by 8.99 percent during April 2014 compared to the exports of $35.818 million in March 2014. As compared to March 2014, the exports of footballs in April 2014 increased by 14.84 compared whereas exports of gloves decreased by 0.32 percent. However, the exports of all other sports products increased by 4.27 percent in April 2014 compared to March 2014, the data revealed. It is pertinent to mention here that the country’s trade deficit narrowed by 2.51 percent during first 10 months of current fiscal year as exports expanded by 12.21 percent while imports witnessing a growth of 8.81 percent as compared to the same period of last year.—APP

Public private partnership to enhance TEVTA performance MUZAFFAR ALI L AHORE —“Industrial linkage drive of TEVTA under the government’s policy of public private partnership would definitely boost the efficiency of TVET sector in the shape of better understanding and quality out-put and hence availability of better trained manpower for industry. TEVTA is committed for the development of TVET sector in the province of the Punjab,” Chief Operating Officer of TEVTA Jawad Ahmed Qureshi expressed these views while addressing a meeting in regard of sensitization & TVET Networking events with Industry here on Thursday at TEVTA Secretariat. Sr. Technical Coordinator of GIZ Hans Bruns, Sr. Communication Advisor of GIZ Muhammad Ali, Liaison Officer of GIZ Ms. Hina Fouzia, senior officers of TEVTA, District Managers, Principals of GCT’s and Project Directors of Service Centers were also present on this occasion. Chief Operating Officer TEVTA also said that as per policy of the Govt. of the Punjab to implement the Public Private Partnership (PPP), TEVTA in collaboration with TVET Reform Support Program is organizing a one-day Sensitization & TVET Networking event with the selected Chambers of Commerce

& Industries ten districts of across the Province of the Punjab. The said exercise is a step forward in line with the awareness initiative (TVET – Sensitization Program) recently organized at selected TEVTA Institutes in 12 districts of the Province of the Punjab. Representatives of Chambers, local industry and public representatives would be the major stakeholders in these seminars. It would be in the interest of TVET sector to have an organized round of awareness and networking dialogue in the form of well thought and planned seminars at identified Industrial hubs across the Province of the Punjab, Jawad Ahmed Qureshi further said that the purpose of these sensitization sessions is to create awareness about TVET sector among the local industrialists and public representatives. All concerned District Managers, Principals and Project Directors (Service Centers) have been conveyed the concept at length. Through this exercise, business sector and parliamentarians would be facilitated with first-hand knowledge of TVET training being offered at TEVTA Institutes. This initiative would increase their knowledge regarding TVET system, TEVTA institutions, its trades and training procedure, he concluded.

Easy taxi services start K ARACHI —After successfully launching its operations in Lahore and Islamabad, Easy Taxi, the largest taxi-booking app in the world, has now launched in Karachi. Pakistan’s public transportation system as a whole is less than satisfactory and same goes for Pakistan’s business hub. Commenting on the launch of Easy Taxi in Karachi, Country Manager Adam Ghaznavi said, “At Easy Taxi we aim to provide hassle free and reliable transportation services. In Karachi, arguable the busiest city of the country, our service will provide a much needed solution for commuters from all segments of the society.” The launch of 3G services in Pakistan will help Easy Taxi further expand its operations and will allow them to provide unparalleled services.—PR

KARACHI: Stockbroker watching the share prices on an electronic display board, showing the ongoing development of various stock shares at Karachi Stock Exchange. The Karachi Stock market benchmark KSE-100 share index increased by 556 points to an all-time high of 29,556 points.

KARACHI: Marketing Manger, Total Oil Pakistan, Mr. Khuram Malik addressing a Press conference.

DIBPL hosts prize distribution ceremony K ARACHI —Dubai Islamic Bank Pakistan Limited (DIBPL) hosted a prize distribution ceremony for their Home Remittance campaign at its Head office. The event was inaugurated by the CEO of DIBPL, Mr. Junaid Ahmed. The top management; including senior executives of remittance partners and the Bank were also present at the occasion. Speaking at the occasion the CEO, Mr. Junaid Ahmed said that he is very pleased to award the gifts to the winners as the campaign was focused primarily on promoting legalized channel of sending money to Pakistan. Home remittances are lifeline to our economy as it generates substantial FCY for the country. In order to support this noble cause we are committed to invest in people, technology and infrastructure.—PR

KARACHI: Junaid Ahmed, CEO, Dubai Islamic Bank Pakistan Limited with other members of management; including senior executives of remittance partners and the Bank distributing gifts to the winners.

Poor law & order hampering businesses growth in Karachi AMANULLAH KHAN KARACHI —The worsening law and order situation and rising rate of street crime hitting hard the business environment besides scaring the investors specially in Karachi. The Leadership of Businessmen Group, the President Abdullah Zaki and Office Bearers of Karachi Chamber in a press statement have shown their reservations on the Karachi Operation as it started in September 2013, was showing improvements but since last 2-3 months it is on the reverse i.e. instead the Law & Order situation is getting worse day by day. While expressing sheer discontent over various measures adopted by Law Enforcing Agencies (LEAs) to deal with rising lawlessness in Karachi, they said, it seems that various strategies adopted by Federal and Sindh Governments to restore peace in Karachi have failed to yield positive results. Business & Industrial Community are the real stakeholders of Karachi, they provide bread and butter to the masses as well as for the government, law enforcing agencies etc. through their revenue participation to the tune of 67% but regretfully we are not taken on Board with regards to Karachi’s law and order situation and are not even invited in the review meetings of this operation. We demand from the Prime Minister to invite Karachi Chamber in the

next review meeting as we would like to know if the real picture is provided to him as we believe that a lot of compromises are taking place which in effect are not helping to improve the law & order situation. “We are the real victims of Karachi’s lawlessness, our lives are at stake all the time and businesses are suffering terribly due to discrimination with Karachi on Gas, Electric, Water and development of Infrastructure and above all the outlaws are constantly threatening us to either fulfill their demands or face the consequence”, said Chairman Businessmen Group and Former President KCCI, Siraj Kassam Teli, adding that the Business Community is striving hard to promote the positive image of Karachi but all efforts become futile when LEAs fail to maintain peace. BMG leadership and KCCI Office Bearers said that the ongoing operation by Pakistan Rangers Sindh in association with Sindh Police sometimes resulted in providing temporary relief but the overall law and order situation remains volatile which clearly indicates that LEAs responsible for acting against outlaws are unable to control lawlessness. The decision makers must now review the entire situation. BMG Leadership and KCCI Office Bearers pointed out that incidents of street crimes, kidnapping for ransom, activities of bhatta mafia, robberies and target killings have resurfaced in many areas of the city whereas the LEAs seem helpless.

“We the Business & Industrial Community of Karachi are supporters of democracy in the country and do not want the Army to take over but at the same time we demand from the government immediate action against criminals irrespective of cast, colour and creed or any political affiliations whatsoever and to do that the government must use all resources at its disposal, Police, Rangers, Frontier Core or even if need be Army as it is the duty of the state to provide security and safety to the life and property of its citizen, otherwise the Business & Industrial Community may retaliate in any way they deem fit”. Touching upon the shortcomings of Police department and lack of necessary powers to Pakistan Rangers Sindh, they opined that Pakistan Rangers Sindh and police department are not in a position to restore peace as it will be requiring stringent strategy to fully restore peace in this city. Since Police and Rangers have been tried the government must move to the next step and use its constitutional authority to call in the Army in aid of Civil Government under the Constitution of Pakistan to bring peace to the city of Karachi. They warned that all pro-business policies and measures being initiated by the present government to attract investments in this region will be wasted if Karachi city remains insecure, as we at Karachi Chamber believe that Karachi is not the Business & Industrial Hub of Pakistan but Karachi is Pakistan.

LAHORE: Officials of Nokia showing the new Nokia XL during the launching ceremony.

Daily opening & closing rates PMEX Index Total Volume (Lots): Traded Value (Rs):

14,166 3,009,376,595

Commodity .......................... Price Quotation ................... Open CRUDE OIL ......................... $ Per Barrel ............................ 104.28 SILVER ................................. $ Per Ounce ........................... 19.092 GOLD ................................... $ Per Ounce ........................... 1,266.1 GOLD ................................... Rs Per 10 gms ........................ 40,624 MTOLAGOLD .................... Rs Per Tola ............................ 48,616 GOLD ................................... Rs Per Tola ............................ 48,616 RICEIRRI6 ........................... Rs Per 100 kg ......................... 3,669 PALMOLEIN ...................... Rs Per Maund ....................... 4,459 SUGAR ................................ Rs Per kg ................................ 45.27 ICOTTON ............................ US Cents per pound ............ 85.42 WHEAT ............................... Rs Per 100 kg ......................... 3,370

Close 103.00 18.880 1,253.7 40,276 48,282 48,282 3,668 4,447 45.25 85.00 3,369

The total value traded increased by 28.7 percent to PRK 3,009m from PKR 2,338m. Number of lots traded were reported at 14,166 and PMEX Commodity Index closed at 3,010. Major business was contributed by gold amounting to PKR 1,451m, followed by crude oil (PKR 1,444m) and silver (PKR 112m). There was 108 percent increase in crude oil volume to PKR 1,444m from PKR 694m.


‘PHF gets govt clearance for bilateral series against India’ K ARACHI —The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) is planning to host the country for a bilateral Test series against India, and has received the government’s clearance in this regard even though the dates are yet to be finalised. “The government has given us clearance for the series [against Induia] and also agreed to provide funds for the series,” PHF president Akhtar Rasool said. The PHF has planned a home-andaway bilateral series against India this year and Akhtar said he was now awaiting a response from the Indian authorities. “We are keen to have this series with India this year but now we are waiting to see the response from the Indian hockey federation as they also

have to get clearance for the series,” he added. Once dominant teams in the international hockey arena, Pakistan and India are struggling to remain among the top nations. Pakistan even failed to qualify for this year’s World Cup, a new low for the sport in the country. The PHF chief said it was necessary to bring more funds into the sport in Pakistan and also revive people’s interest in hockey. “That is why we see this planned series with India as very important. We are happy that our government is supporting us because. If this series goes through it will serve both purposes for us,” he said. The former Olympian said he was confident that with the formation of a

new government in India some ice will melt between the two countries allowing for the hockey ties to be revived this year. “If this happens it will benefit both teams,” Akhtar stated. Meanwhile, on one hand the PHF is trying its best to restart bilateral series with India this year, on the other, Hockey India is hardly optimistic about the timing and reckons it would be better to hold the series between the two countries in 2015. “We will try our best to organise the series this year but it’s doubtful,” a top HI official was quoted as saying. “I feel whatever happens will happen next year, as the new government needs time to settle down before taking such important decisions.”—Agencies

Saudi national cricket team to be trained at ASCC

PESHAWAR: Sports Minister Amjad Afridi giving away trophy of the KHUJ Cricket Tournament to the skipper of winning team at Arbab Niaz Cricket Stadium.

FL&ES win UoP Employees Twenty20 Cricket title PESHAWAR—Faculty of Life and Environmental Sciences (FL&ES) clinched the trophy after defeating PROVOST Department by two wickets in the thrilling final of the fourth University of Peshawar Employees Twenty20 Cricket Tournament played here at University Campus ground on Thursday. Director Admission Professor Dr. Hizbullah Khan was the chief guest on this occasion. Organizing Secretary and Director Sports University of Peshawar Bahre Karam, President PUTA Professor Dr. Nasir, General Secretary Fayyaz Ali, Deputy Registrar Noorzada, Technical Official Sajjad Ali Khan, players and officials were also present. A total of 10 teams comprising of all University employees including Faculty of Life and Environment Sciences, Director Works, PROVOST, Administration BlockB, Control of Examination in pool-A, Director of Administration, Administration BlockA, National Central of Excellence, Univer-

sity of Peshawar Teachers Association, Directorate of Sports. Earlier, in the final PROVOST Department won the toss and elected to bat first by setting up 146 runs in which Shakeel made 49 runs including three sixes, Riaz scored 27 runs with four boundaries, Maqsood scored 22 runs. For FoL&ES Tuheed, Atta Ullah, Tanveer got one wicket each. In reply, FoL&ES chased the target for the loss of eight wickets in which Azeem struck an elegant knock of 64 runs including six boundaries and four sixes, Atta Ullah (33) with three boundaries and one six, Tanveer made 19 runs. For PROVOST Department Riaz claimed three wickets, Fazal-e-Rabi took two wickets and Ishtiaq and Maqsood got one wicket each. Thus FoL&ES won the match by two wickets. At the end, the chief guest gave away trophies and cash prizes. He also announced a joyride tour of Baragali for both the teams besides cash incentives and uniform.—APP

Green-shirts ouster from HWC lies on the nation: Mansoor Ahmed I S L A M A B A D —Former ace goal-keeper watch our matches regularly with pasMansoor Ahmed feels disappointed for the green-shirts, being not a part of the 2014 Hockey World Cup, but still has some of his own old memories to cherish for the mega event saying the responsibility of the four-time winner Pakistan’s ouster from the extravaganza lies on the nation more than the Federation. The 2014 Men’s Hockey World Cup will be the 13th edition of the Hockey World Cup and will be staged from May 31 to June 15 at the Netherlands. This will be the first time that Pakistan has not qualified for the mega event. Talking to APP, Mansoor, who was declared the World’s best goalkeeper by FIH in 1994, said he remembers the final of the 1994 Hockey World Cup at Australia against Holland when it was decided that each team hits the other’s net five times will be the winner. “I remember when I saved two penalty hits from the Dutchmen and chants of “Hockey Power, Paki Power” filled the air of the Sydney stadium. It was the best moment of my life,” he said. Mansoor said the Pakistan nation has a lot to do with the decline of the national game from the past few years. “At our times Pakistani nation used to

sion but nowadays the people have stopped taking interest in the game,” he said. Mansoor said now he didn’t see any crowd coming to the hockey matches or watching them on television. “When our cricket team loses the whole nation criticizes them and when they win the same praise them,” he said adding “but the people don’t bother and take no interest if our national hockey team loses or wins.” Speaking of the national team’s chances in the Asian Games to be held in South Korea in September, Mansoor who had been awarded President Award in 1988 and Pride of Performance, the Highest civil award in 1994, said teams of India and Malaysia will give Pakistan a tough competition in the event. Responding to a question, Mansoor said when Shahnaz Sheikh has accepted the responsibility of being the national coach, then he should fulfill it rather than saying that it would take 3 to 4 years to bring the national team on track. “Our team is the defending champions of Asian Games and if in this event the team performs below par, then the responsibility lies on the coach,” he said.—APP

K ARACHI —The national cricket team from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is due to arrive here in the early hours of Friday to hold a five-day training camp at the Arabian Sea Country Club (ASCC) cricket ground before leaving for Kuala Lumpur to play in an event of the Asian Cricket Council. This is the second time in quick succession that a foreign team has selected ASCC with its first class cricket facility. Recently the Afghanistan national team came to the ASCC to train for an ACC event held in Malaysia. The Afghans have qualified to play next year’s ICC World Cup co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand. Foreign teams have preferred to train at the ASCC because of its facilities, both for playing and boarding. Practice matches are also arranged for the visitors. State of the art day/night cricket facilities are provided. Recently the Pakistan Cricket Board awarded Patrons Cricket Trophy matches to ASCC. The club on its own organized an event in which zonal teams of the KCCA took part which included night matches.—APP

U-14 football reaches to semi final stage L AHORE —Sports Board Punjab (SBP), Azad Kashmir, Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) football teams qualified for the semifinals of Inter-Provincial U14 Boys Football Championship at Boys Degree College ground, Rawalakot, Azad Kashmir on Thursday. According to information made available here, after the league round matches, SBP and Sindh topped the A and B pools respectively. SBP U-14 soccer team will face either KP in the first semifinal while the second semifinal will be played between Sindh and Azad Kashmir tomorrow, Friday. Two matches were played on the third day of the event. In the first match, KP defeated GB by 2-1 while the second match remained a goal-less draw between Punjab and Azad Kashmir.—APP

PESHAWAR: Mohammad Amir hosting National Flag during the inaugural ceremony of National Paralympics Games at Qayum Sports Complex on Thursday.

Sibling Yasir, Jalil to clash in Anti-Tobacco Tennis singles final KARACHI—Brothers Yasir Khan and by wrapping the second set 6-3 to setJalil Khan will clash in men’s singles final of Anti Tobacco Day Tennis Tournament after they won their semi-finals in a contrasting fashions at the Karachi Club hard courts here on Thursday. Pakistan’s Davis Cup star Yasir faced a stiff challenge from veteran Davis Cupper Nomi Qamar before cruising into the final after winning on super tie-breaker. Yasir youngest of Aqeel and Jalil siblings, got off to a superb start by grabbing the first set 6-3 with a brilliant powerful services combined with attacking ground strokes. Despite being outplayed in the opening set, Nomi showed great fighting qualities and demonstrating consistent display he levelled the terms

Football tournament kicks off today RENALA KHURD—The 15th Sajid Hafeez Shaheed All Punjab Football tournament will start from May 30 at nearby village 4/1RA here. The tournament will continue till June 8. Former state minister for Information and Broadcasting Syed Sumsam Ali Bukhrari will be the chief guest at inauguration ceremony while Federal Parliamentary Secretary Ashiq Hussain Kirmani will be chief guest on concluding ceremony of the tournament. Prominent teams, including Pakistan Railway, Wapda, Punjab University, Lahore, Multan, Rawalpindi and Faisalabad are participating.—APP

up an exciting finish. However Yasir ’s strong service proved took hot for Nomi Qamar to handle and he almost conceded 10-0 without winning a single points in the tie-breaker. Yasir ’s elder brother Jalil faced strong challenge from teenager Hasan Farooq before chalking straight sets victory. Demonstrating brilliant all-round court craft and attacking game, Jalil raced to 6-1 victory in the first set. Hasan, who the other day shocked own coach Vinod Das fought hard before going down fighting having lost the second set 6-4. But Hasan Farooq advanced in the semi-finals of Juniors U18 with a hardfought 7-5, 7-5 win.

The men’s singles final will be played on Friday while remaining finals of the tournament will be held on Saturday at 5.30 p.m. Sindh Minister for Women’s Development Ms. Rubina Qaimkhani will be the chief guest at the presentation ceremony. Following are results: Men’s singles Semi-finals: Yasir Khan bt Nomi Qamar 6-3, 3-6, 10-0, Jalil Khan bt Hasan Farooq 6-1, 6-4 U18 quarterfinals: Hasan Farooq by Saad Muhammad Ali 7-5, 7-5, Nazif Ahmed walkover Marib Malik, Talha Zubair bt Aqeel Shabbir 6-3, 6-1. U14 Quarter-finals: Nauman Aftab bt Rayyan Imran 6-3, 6-0, Fahad Haider bt Shazil Malik 4-6, 6-2, 10-2, Ebad Ahmed walkover Rayyan Jawad, Muhammad Ahmed walkover Amin Shafi.—APP

Fifteen sportspersons short listed for awards KARACHI—The scrutiny committee for the months but the attitude of provincial sports Karachi Commissioner Sportspersons of the Year awards for 2013 short listed 15 candidates on Thursday after scrutinising their credentials. However, the committee which met at the Karachi Commissioner office expressed its dismay over non-cooperation and not submission of complete documents by sports bodies and athletes for consideration of the awards and lamented the poor response from sports associations and sportspersons in this regard. The committee unanimously decided not to extend the time anymore and went ahead by verifying nominations and certificates that have already been received for the awards. Much hype had been created in media for the lucrative awards for the last three

associations and the sportspersons has been disappointing to say the least. There are scores of talented athletes who have come out with shining performances in the domestic events last year but they will not be able to get their reward due to non-submission of documents. Only domestic performances of a Karachi-domiciled sportsperson during the period of Jan 1 to Dec 31 2013 are taken into consideration for four main and six special awards. The four main awards are open man and woman and under-19 man and woman. The players who have travelled abroad will not be considered at all. The date for conferring the awards will be announced soon in consultation with the Karachi Commissioner Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui.—Agencies

All Pakistan hockey from June 8 RAHIM YAR KHAN—First All Pakistan Quaid- matches would be played at Khawja Fareed e-Azam gold cup hockey tournaent will commence here in the district from June 8 with the participation of 15 teams from the country. Organising secretary of the event Rana Arif Qayyum said this while talking to APP here on Thursday.He dilated that 15 teams including Pak Steel, Pak police, MEPCO and others would contest for the trophy. All the

Government college ground. Meanwhile,other tournament organisers commended the contribution of Federal parliamentary secretary port & shipping Mian Imtiaz Ahmed, Senator Ch Jaffer Iqbal,district sports committee and distt hockey association alongwith TMA RYK for holding the event in RYK district.—APP

LAHORE: Sportspersons riding bicycles in HEC Inter-Universities Women’s Cycling Championship 2013-14 at Velodrome Punjab Stadium.


Nigeria begin build-up with draw against Scotland L ONDON —An experimental Nigeria side featuring mainly fringe players and hopefuls began their World Cup warmups with a 2-2 draw with Scotland on Wednesday in a hugely entertaining game at Craven Cottage. Although the African champions only rescued a draw with a 90th minute strike from substitute Uche Nwofor, they deserved it as they showed plenty of ambition, drive and attacking flair to encourage coach Stephen Keshi. His side face Iran, Bosnia and Argentina in World Cup Group F next month. Scotland, went ahead through Charlie Mulgrew after 10 minutes before Michael Uchebo equalised for Nigeria four minutes before the break. Scotland regained the lead when Azubuike Egwuekwe put through his own net af-

ter 52 minutes before Nwofor struck just before the end. There was a superb atmosphere outside Fulham’s ground next to the River Thames prior to kickoff and an even better one inside with Scottish bagpipes swirling in the air to the beat of Nigerian drums. Scotland, who have not qualified for the World Cup but are now unbeaten in their last six matches, still had plenty to play for with coach Gordon Strachan honing his team for the Euro 2016 qualifiers that start later this year. Meanwhile, with two weeks to go to the finals of the soccer World Cup in Brazil, small German start-up company GoalControl has the technology ready make the calls cheered and challenged around the globe: goal or no goal. This

year’s World Cup will be the first when ‘goal-line technology’ will be used, years after the concept was introduced to sports such as cricket, rugby and tennis. The system, which costs 100,000170,000 euros ($136,000-$2 31,200) a year, makes use of 14 cameras. They send digitalised pictures to a data room, sitting in the top of the soccer stadium. After analysing the data, the message will be sent to a special watch, worn by the referee with the word “GOAL” if the balls is over the line. The process takes less than a second. “Clearly, the world cup is very important to us. We hope to convince some sceptics about the technology,” said Dirk Broichhausen, managing director and co-founder of Goal Control.—APP

Saker salutes Jordan’s Sri Lanka rout M ANCHESTER , United Kingdom—England bowling coach David Saker hailed Chris Jordan as the “ultimate professional” after the all-rounder spearheaded a stunning 10-wicket defeat of Sri Lanka in the third one-day international. Sussex paceman Jordan took a career-best five wickets for 29 runs as England dismissed Sri Lanka for just 67 at Old Trafford on Wednesday. “The way he prepares for every game, the way he looks after himself, he’s the ultimate professional,” Saker said of Jordan. Saker, himself a former Victoria and Tasmania seam bowler, added Jordan’s attitude was equalled only by his talent. “He always wants to get better and he is getting better every game,” the 47year-old bowling guru insisted. “He fields really well. He bowls well and when he gets the ball in his area he hits it out of the park so he’s been a fantastic find for us,” Saker added of the Barbados-born Jordan, who came to England after being scouted for a sports scholarship at London school Dulwich College by former Test batsman Bill Athey. Sri Lanka’s total was the lowest score made by any Test nation against England in a one-day international and second only to minnows Canada’s 45, also at Old Trafford, during the 1979 World Cup.—AFP

VITTORIO VENETO: Finnish Jussi Veikkanen reacts, believing in victory, at the finish line of the 17th stage of the 97th Giro d´Italia, Tour of Italy, cycling race from Sarnonico to Vittorio Veneto.

Germany keeper Neuer, Lahm start training

LONDON: Nigeria’s Uche Nwofor scores against Scotland during their international friendly soccer match at Craven Cottage.

S T M ARTIN , Italy—Germany keeper Manuel Neuer and captain Philipp Lahm kicked off their belated World Cup preparations on Thursday with light training after missing the start of the camp through injury. Neuer did not do any goalkeeping training and only some light running as he races to recover from his shoulder injury in time for the

Palestine, Philippines fight for Asian Cup berth MALE, Maldives—Palestine and the Philippines are looking to make history when they clash in the AFC Challenge Cup final on Friday to book a place in next year’s Asian Cup in Australia. Neither team has ever played in the continent’s showpiece, adding extra edge to the title clash under lights at the national stadium in Male which earns the champions a journey down under. Palestine upset fancied Afghanistan 2-0 and the Philippines ousted hosts Maldives 3-2 in extra-time in Tuesday’s semi-finals, leaving both the winning coaches excited. Philippines coach Thomas Dooley said his team, ranked 140 in the world and 21st in Asia, were confident of facing the challenge successfully to show the world they belonged to a higher grade in football. “We want to play at the next level, that is not a secret,” said Dooley. “We came to the Maldives to win the Chal-

lenge Cup and are one step away from doing that. “But our biggest goal is to step up and play with the big guys in the Asian Cup. When you play, and believe in it, you will be successful so that’s why we are going step-by-step. “And right now the biggest thing we can do is prepare the team to write history.” Palestine coach Jamal Mahmoud said beating Afghanistan in the semi-finals had brought his team closer to realising their dream of performing on the big stage. “It is not enough to be playing in the final, we have to win it too,” said Mahmoud, whose 34th-ranked side in Asia have not conceded a goal in four games so far in the tournament. The winners will join defending champions Japan, Jordan and Iraq in group D of the Asian Cup in January.— APP/AFP

games, Chennai Super Kings held on to all their catches, after which Mumbai Indians fumbled in the field to clear the qualifier passage for the most consistent team in the IPL history. The game was won and lost in the final few overs of Mumbai’s innings when they went from 140 for 2 in 16 overs to 173 for 8 in 20. Lendl Simmons’ half-century had set them up beautifully, but Mumbai’s batsmen fell one after the other as Super Kings bowlers remained accurate and stifled them with changes of pace. An edgy but quick start to the chase was driven home by Suresh Raina, who earlier in the day made his India comeback as the ODI captain. Mumbai wouldn’t have excepted such a facile defeat after a rollicking start provided by former Super Kings opener Michael Hussey and Simmons. They added 76 in 9.4 overs, finding gaps regularly and using the quick outfield and the slope of the Brabourne Stadium. A big, fighting total looked on the cards when Corey Anderson raced away to 20 off 10. R Ashwin, who had bowled well without success until then, drew a top edge to send Anderson back with the first ball of the 13th over.

A platform had been set nonetheless, and Super Kings were still looking at a stiff target. And Mumbai seemed well on their way, with 41 runs off the next 23 balls, but like he had done earlier, Ravindra Jadeja provided another breakthrough with Simmons’ wicket. The ball had been turning, but this one didn’t, and the Super Kings spinners did their job with just 57 runs in their eight overs. Their contribution was crucial because Brendon McCullum’s comeback had meant Super Kings had no overseas bowlers. Mohit Sharma and Ashish Nehra ended well as Mumbai kept mis-hitting the big ones and kept finding the deep fielders. Quite opposite was the start of the Super Kings innings. Praveen Kumar looked more incisive than any of the Super Kings quicks, but he was denied by Umpire Bruce Oxenford, who let Dwayne Smith get away with possibly the plumbest lbw of the IPL season. Oxenford suggested the ball was going down; it was Mumbai that were going down after this decision. Corey Anderson suffered at the hand of his fielders, when Harbhajan Singh and Ambati Rayudu converged to attempt Faf du Plessis’ catch, with neither going for it.—Agencies

VITTORIO VENETO—Italian Stefano Pirazzi ply said a motorbike rider would be placed (Bardiani-CSF) has held off a small group of chasers in the home straight to claim his maiden Giro d’Italia victory from the race’s 17th stage. Race leader Nairo Quintana (Movistar) crossed the finish line with the main peloton and his closest rivals nearly 15 minutes later following a 208km trek from Sarnonico to Vittorio Veneto that saw a breakaway go unchallenged all the way to the finish. Quintana, the runner-up on last year’s Tour de France, spent his first day in the race’s fabled ‘maglia rosa’ (pink jersey) to retain his 1 minute 41 second lead on Rigoberto Uran (Omega-Pharma) and 3:21 cushion on Australian Cadel Evans (BMC). But it was a tense day in the saddle for the 24-year-old Colombian, who was accused of foul play following his victory on stage 16 when he took the jersey from Uran, last year’s runner-up. Organisers later claimed they had sim-

at the front of the race to warn of any dangers on the road ahead. As some teams and riders heeded the organisers’ ‘advice’, others, like Quintana, forged on ahead regardless. With moods tense, there was little reaction from the main bunch when an early breakaway formed and went on to build a healthy lead that stood at 12 minutes with a little over 50km remaining. After a series of attacks and counterattacks in the closing kilometres, Pirazzi broke free in the final 1.3km and just thwarted a small chasing group from ending his bid metres before the line. On Thursday the race moves back into the mountains on the 18th stage from Belluno to Panarotta Refuge. Two mountain passes, the San Pellegrino and the Redebus, will be crossed before the peloton tackle the 16.8km rise to the finish.—AFP

Aisam, Bopanna prevail in tough opener PARIS—The sixth-seeded duo of Pakistan’s Mikhail Elgin. tournament start next month. There was more good news for coach Joachim Loew at their northern Italian training camp with Lahm training in part with the team for the first time on Thursday as he also recovers from a foot injury picked up in the German Cup final two weeks ago. “At the moment they cannot be fully fit with us but it looks good for both of them,” defender Jerome Boateng told reporters. “For Manuel it may take a bit longer but it will all work out.”—APP

Efficient CSK enter another qualifier M UMBAI —After a few off

Stefano Pirazzi sprints to Giro 17th stage win

Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi and Rohan Bopanna of India overcame a stiff challenge from Divij Sharan and Rameez Junaid in their men’s doubles first round match at the French Open. The ‘Indo-Pak Express’ scraped past India’s Sharan and Australian Junaid who is of Pakistani origin 7-5, 6-7 (4-7), 7-5 in a match lasting a little over two hours. The seasoned pair next take on either the team of Jonathan Erlich and Marcelo Melo or the pairing of Frantisek Cermak and

Lara, Umar Gul to feature in Lord’s bicentenary game M ANCHESTER —West Indies batting leg-

MUMBAI: Praveen Kumar is bowled during Mumbai Indians vs Chennai Super Kings IPL 2014 match.

The experience of playing close matches bailed Bopanna and Aisam out of trouble. Under pressure after losing the second set tie-break, the duo stepped up its game in the decider, converting all three break points and serving well consistently. Overall, Aisam and Bopanna won five out of their 10 break points while Sharan and Junaid made use of three of the five opportunities they got. They hit 10 winners to their opponents’ two.—APP

end Brian Lara has been added to the starstudded list of players who will take part in the MCC v Rest of the World Lord’s Bicentenary match scheduled to be staged on July 5, it was announced. The 45-year-old Lara, a veteran of 131 Tests and 299 ODIs, will play alongside fellow all-time batting great Sachin Tendulkar for MCC, with Australia’s Aaron Finch, currently the world’s leading Twenty20 batsman, also in the hosts line-up. Australia paceman Peter Siddle, a thorn in England’s side during the Ashes, will join Nottinghamshire teammate and former Test wicketkeeper Chris Read in the MCC side. Pakistan’s fast bowler Umar Gul and West Indies’ Tino Best are the final names to be added to the MCC and Rest of the World sides respectively. Tendulkar will captain an MCC XI that also includes another retired India batting star in Rahul Dravid, Pakistan’s off-spin wizard Saeed Ajmal and former Australia Test fast bowler Brett Lee. Meanwhile, Shane Warne, arguably cricket’s greatest leg-spinner, will captain a Rest of the World XI that includes his former Hampshire team-mate Kevin Pietersen, now in England ‘exile’, as well as Sri Lanka’s record-breaking off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan and Pakistan’s fiery allrounder Shahid Afridi. “Lord’s always holds a very special place in any cricketer’s heart, and I am very much looking forward to helping celebrate its Bicentenary with MCC,” Lara, whose 400 not out against England in 2004 at St John’s, Antigua remains the highest ever individual score in a Test, said in a statement.

“It was an honour to be asked to be involved and it will be fantastic to play at such an iconic place on such a special oc-

casion,” the left-handed genius added. Umar Gul, meanwhile, said: “Playing at Lord’s is different to playing at any other ground in the world. “There is something magical about it and it will be a pleasure to come back and help MCC mark the current ground’s 200th year in this match.” Lord’s Bicentenary match teams: MCC: Sachin Tendulkar (India, captain), Saeed Ajmal (Pakistan), Shivnarine Chanderpaul (West Indies), Rahul Dravid (India), Aaron Finch (Australia), Umar Gul (Pakistan), Brian Lara (West Indies), Brett Lee (Australia), Chris Read (England, wicket-keeper), Shaun Tait (Australia), Daniel Vettori (New Zealand). REST OF THE WORLD: Shane Warne (Australia, captain), Shahid Afridi (Pakistan), Tino Best (West Indies), Paul Collingwood (England), Adam Gilchrist (Australia, wicket-keeper), Tamim Iqbal (Bangladesh), Muttiah Muralitharan (Sri Lanka), Kevin Pietersen (England), Virender Sehwag (India), Peter Siddle (Australia), Yuvraj Singh (India).—Agencies


Top scientists warn WHO not to stub out e-cigarettes

A

GROUP of 53 leading scientists has warned the World Health Organization not to classify e-cigarettes as tobacco products, arguing that doing so would jeopardize a major opportunity to slash disease and deaths caused by smoking. The UN agency, which is currently assessing its position on the matter, has previously indicated it would favor applying similar restrictions to all nicotine-containing products. In an open letter to WHO Director General Margaret Chan, the scientists from Europe, North America, Asia and Australia argued that low-risk products like e-cigarettes were “part of the solution” in the fight against smoking, not part of the problem. “These products could be among the most significant health innovations of the 21st century – perhaps saving hundreds of millions of lives. The urge to control and suppress them as tobacco products should be resisted,” the experts wrote. Leaked documents from a meeting last November suggest the WHO views e-cigarettes as a “threat” and wants them classified the same way as regular tobacco products under the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). That has set alarm bells ringing among a number of medical experts - and in the booming e-cigarette industry. A total of 178 countries are parties to the international convention and are obliged to implement its measures, with the United States the one notable non-signatory. A move to classify e-cigarettes alongside

regular cigarettes would push countries into taking similar tough measures to restrict demand, including raising taxes, banning advertising, introducing health warnings and curbing use in public places. Uptake of electronic cigarettes, which use batterypowered cartridges to produce a nicotine-laced inhalable vapor, has rocketed in the last two years and analysts estimate the industry had worldwide sales of some $3 billion in 2013. But the devices are controversial. Because they are so new there is a lack of long-term scientific evidence to support their safety and some fear they could be “gateway” products to nicotine addiction and tobacco smoking - though the scientists said they were “unaware of any credible evidence that supports this conjecture”. In response to the scientists’ letter, Penny Woods, chief executive of the British Lung Foundation, said: “The overall impact of e-cigarette use on public health is currently unclear. While they could prove to be an important tool to help people stop smoking, the unregulated status of e-cigarettes is problematic.”For tobacco companies seeking to offset the decline in traditional smoking, investment in e-cigarettes was an obvious choice and all the major players now have a presence, prompting Big Tobacco to line up behind scientists on this occasion. Kingsley Wheaton, director of corporate and regulatory affairs at British American Tobacco, said classifying e-cigarettes as tobacco products would mean smokers find it harder to access a less risky alternative.

Education Minister and Patron KCFR Nisar Khuhru speaking at an interactive session on ‘KCFR rule from 2003 to 2014’. Ahsan Akhter Zubairi Secretary General Karachi Council of Foreign Relations, Lt Gen Rtd Moin Uddin Haider, Justice Rtd Said-uz-Zaman Siddiqui and others are also seen in the picture.—PO photo Sultan Chaki

CS suspends Patwari for demanding bribe STAFF REPORTER KARACHI—Sindh Chief Secretary (CS) Sajjad Saleem Hotiana has suspended Umerkot based Mukhtiarkar Muhammad Moosa Rind and Patwari Habibullah on the complaint of Umerkot’s resident Rajesh Kumar, who submitted his documents for verification by Mukhtiarkar Umerkot, in respect of Prime Minister Youth Business Loan Scheme. It was reported that officials above named demanded bribery, to this effect. Hotiana got conducted enquiry, and finding the report authentic, issued suspension order, formerly communicated by Board of Revenue, Sindh, as well departmental proceeding has also been initiated.

BBSUL signs MoU with NTS

Target killers continue criminal activities in provincial capital STAFF REPORTER KARACHI —Encounter-fame Police officer, SHO Aurangzeb had Thursday executed 2 robbers allegedly involved in robbing some passerby in Gulshan-e Iqbal block 7 near Sunday Bachat Bazaar. The deceased looked as they were of Afghan origin. SHO Aurangzeb claimed to also have recov-ered 2 pistols and stolen motorcycle form the possession of the deceased. SHO Aurabgzeb had so far executed more than 80 suspects in Police encounters since his posting in the area. On the other hand, target killers continued with their vested criminal activities and manifested a free show of their guns and ability to flee from the scene like jinni. In this regard, armed assailants on a motorcycle chased and gunned down a cop Pervez Abbasi 30 son of Riaz Abbasi in Ranchore Lines near Manilla

Street Park. The slain cop was heading toward his place of posting at Police headquarters in Garden East and was resident of Police Line in Kalakot. In another incident of violence, Farhan Qureshi 35 son of Saleem Qureshi were injured after some unidentified armed assailants shot them at their meat shop. Both were rushed to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital but Farhan Qureshi succumbed to his injuries on the way to hospital. Police had found a body from a bushy area in Sur-jani Town. On the other hand, Pakistan Rangers Sindh had in a raid held 3 political activists, Sohail Jamil, Khurram Bashir and Adnan Zaidi from Nazimabad No 6. Meanwhile, SDP Khawaja Ajmer Nagri Police Sta-tion, DSP Altaf Jawaid had along with a Police posse arrested Noor Khan, Shahzad and Kashif dur-ing snap checking near Power House Chowrangi. A pistol a

stolen motorcycle was also recovered from their possession. Khawaja Ajmer Nagri Police also nabbed Zeeshan, allegedly involved in more than 70 crimes of rob-bing citizens returning from ATM after drawing sums of money. Police claimed to have recovered a grenade, a pistol and a motorcycle from his posses-sion. SHO Hyderi Market Arif Razzaq arrested Shafaat Waheed from North Nazimabad block F near Sajjadia Imambargah and recovered weapon and a stolen motorcycle from his possession. The Anti-Violent Crime Cell (AVCC) headed by SSP Nasir Aftab executed 2 Lyari gang war mili-tants Adil Khan and Babar Khan in Gulshane Iqbal. The deceased Lyari gang war militants were wanted to Police for number of heinous crimes including attack on Police and cops’ killings, murder, extor-tion, attempt to murder and kidnapping for ransom.

SIU busts inter-province car lifter gang

STAFF REPORTER Muhammad Asif Marghoob Siddiqui Director Directorate General of Intelligence & Investigation-FBR addressing a Press conference.—PO photo

Easy Taxi service launched in city KARACHI—After successfully launching its operations in Lahore and Islamabad, Easy Taxi, the largest taxi booking network in the world, has now launched its service in Karachi. Pakistan’s public transportation system as a whole is not satisfactory and same goes for Pakistan’s business hub, said a release here on Thursday. Commenting on the launch of Easy Taxi service in Karachi, its Country Manager in Pakistan, Adam Ghaznavi said : “ At Easy Taxi, we aim to provide hassle free and reliable transportation services.” In Karachi, the busiest city of the country, Easy Taxi service will provide a much needed solution for commuters from all segments of the society, he said. The launch of 3G services in Pakistan will help Easy Taxi further expand its op-

IRFAN ALIGI KARACHI—The Registrar of Benazir Bhutto Shaheed University, Lyari (BBSUL), has announced that a MoU has been signed between BBSUL and National Testing Service, Pakistan to avail the salient advantages for the students of BBSUL.

erations and will allow them to provide unparalleled services. For instance, with 3G connections, Easy Taxi users will be able to track their ordered taxi in real time on their smartphone. The GPS tracking system installed in the cabs ensures security of users at all times. Easy Taxi’s drivers are chosen after a careful screening process which guarantees that a cab ride through the company’s services is safe and convenient. The Easy Taxi service is the first of its kind in Pakistan. He said that keeping in mind the limited users of smartphones in the country, Easy Taxi also has a phone number and a 24/7 functional customer service center. In addition, customers can also through SMS the word ‘TAXI’ to 9900 to order their taxi.—APP

KARACHI—Special Investigation Unit (SIU) of Police in Karachi had busted an inter-province car lifting gang in Gulshan-e Maymar. SIU SSP Muhammad Farooq Awan shared this information in a press briefing he addressed at his office Thursday. SSP said that on a tip off, a raid was conducted at the identified location from where leader of inter-province car lifting gang Aftab Dahar alias Ustad and his aides Anwar Domki and Zaheer Ud Din were arrested.

SSP said that the accused were involved in snatching cars and motorcycles from Punjab while oil tankers and heavy vehicles form Karachi for collecting heavy sums of money in extortion form the owners of vehicles. He said that the accused had received Rs 3.3 million in ransom from family of Peelaj, who was kidnapped from the limits of Darakhshan Police Station in DHA in 2013. The accused kidnapped Atta Muhammad Katchi from DHA in 2013 and released him after receiving Rs 4 million as ransom while they kidnapped the owner of United Marriage hall in Gulistane Jauhar and released him for Rs 5 million as ransom.

SHC seeks reasons for killings STAFF REPORTER KARACHI—Sindh High Court (SHC) had directed the Attorney General of Pakistan to submit a detailed report on extrajudicial murders of workers of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) on Jun 11. On a petition filed by MQM member national assembly Syed Asif Hasnain, the SHC directed the AGP Salman Aslam Butt to meet Inspector General of Police, Sindh,

Pakistan Rangers Sindh Director general Maj. Gen. Rizwan Akhtar and Sindh Home Secretary and get the information from them whether the killings pertained to political basis or were part of sectarian violence in the city. The SHC further directed the AGP to proceed to call on Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah to learn what measures his government had so far taken to prevent such killings and submit a detailed report in the SHC on Jun 11.

Seminar to mark World Digestive Health Day OBSERVER REPORT K ARACHI —Variety of gastroenterological disorders and prevailing related ailments were discussed in depth by medical experts in a seminar organized to mark the World Digestive Health Day Thursday. The day long proceedings were organized by the department of Hepatogastroenterology of SIUT in collaboration with world body of gastroenterology. The medical experts taking part in the discussion highlighted the gravity

of the problem and said that approximately there are some 100,000 billion bacteria in human gut which are far greater than total number of human cell in the human body. Endorsing the call given by World Gastroenterology Organization they experts underlined the need of awareness about the ailments and the need to bring latest knowledge to practicing gastroenterologists in providing relief to the patients. They said due to diverse ecosystem of microbial communities, habi-

tat and nutrition there is a prevalence of various kinds of gastrointestinal disorders. However the experts maintained that there is need to undertake the challenges of translating medical sciences for the relief of societies by providing education, awareness. Those who addressed the seminar included Dr Zaigham Abbas, Dr Osama Butt, Dr Rajesh Kumar, Dr Farina Hanif,Dr Manzur, Dr Mudasar Laeeq. Dr Mujahid Hussan and Dr Nasir Luck of SIUT conducted the seminar.

Dr Alan Male speaking during two-day workshop on National Vocational and Qualification Framework.


Top scientists warn WHO not to stub out e-cigarettes

A

GROUP of 53 leading scientists has warned the World Health Organization not to classify e-cigarettes as tobacco products, arguing that doing so would jeopardize a major opportunity to slash disease and deaths caused by smoking. The UN agency, which is currently assessing its position on the matter, has previously indicated it would favor applying similar restrictions to all nicotine-containing products. In an open letter to WHO Director General Margaret Chan, the scientists from Europe, North America, Asia and Australia argued that low-risk products like e-cigarettes were “part of the solution” in the fight against smoking, not part of the problem. “These products could be among the most significant health innovations of the 21st century – perhaps saving hundreds of millions of lives. The urge to control and suppress them as tobacco products should be resisted,” the experts wrote. Leaked documents from a meeting last November suggest the WHO views e-cigarettes as a “threat” and wants them classified the same way as regular tobacco products under the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). That has set alarm bells ringing among a number of medical experts - and in the booming e-cigarette industry. A total of 178 countries are parties to the international convention and are obliged to implement its measures, with the United States the one notable non-signatory. A move to classify e-cigarettes alongside

regular cigarettes would push countries into taking similar tough measures to restrict demand, including raising taxes, banning advertising, introducing health warnings and curbing use in public places. Uptake of electronic cigarettes, which use batterypowered cartridges to produce a nicotine-laced inhalable vapor, has rocketed in the last two years and analysts estimate the industry had worldwide sales of some $3 billion in 2013. But the devices are controversial. Because they are so new there is a lack of long-term scientific evidence to support their safety and some fear they could be “gateway” products to nicotine addiction and tobacco smoking - though the scientists said they were “unaware of any credible evidence that supports this conjecture”. In response to the scientists’ letter, Penny Woods, chief executive of the British Lung Foundation, said: “The overall impact of e-cigarette use on public health is currently unclear. While they could prove to be an important tool to help people stop smoking, the unregulated status of e-cigarettes is problematic.”For tobacco companies seeking to offset the decline in traditional smoking, investment in e-cigarettes was an obvious choice and all the major players now have a presence, prompting Big Tobacco to line up behind scientists on this occasion. Kingsley Wheaton, director of corporate and regulatory affairs at British American Tobacco, said classifying e-cigarettes as tobacco products would mean smokers find it harder to access a less risky alternative.

Labour Minister Raja Ashfaq Sarwar cutting cake at a ceremony by PML-N Labour Wing to celebrate Youm-e-Takbeer.

Sudani Ambassador meets PU VC MUZAFFAR ALI LAHORE—Sudani ambassador Mr Alshafie Ahmed Mohamed el Tahir called on Punjab University Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran at his office here on Thursday. Dean Prof Dr Mubashar Ahmed Butt, Director External Linkages Dr Maria Maldonado, Controller of Examinations Prof Dr Liaqat Ali, Dr Shoukat Ali, Mian Aslam Masood and Hafeez ullah Niazi were also present on the occasion. The meeting discussed various issues of mutual interest and the Vice Chancellor briefed the ambassador regarding progress of the university. Later, PU VC Dr Mujahid Kamran gave a gift of his books to Mr Alshafie Ahmed Mohamed el Tahir.

LHC takes notice of vani a minor girl STAFF REPORTER PU VC Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran giving gift of books to Sudani Ambassador Alshafie Ahmed Mohamed el Tahir after meeting.

Govt endeavouring to provide relief to poor families OBSERVER REPORT LAHORE—Provincial Minister for Excise & Taxation and Finance Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman has said that there is need to utilize national resources equitably for setting up of a peaceful society and economic prosperity of the masses. He said that basic purpose of welfare programmes of Punjab government is to mitigate the hardships and sufferings of extremely poor families and provide them maximum relief. He expressed these views while presiding over a meeting regarding Punjab Rozgar Bank (PRB) to finalize the structure/institutional framework for launching of PRB. The Chief Minister Punjab has constituted a committee under the chairmanship of Finance Minister Punjab whereas high ranking officials of Finance, Industries departments and President Bank of Punjab, President Silk Bank attended the meeting besides chairman Akhuwat D. Amjad Saqib.

He said that in order to provide quality health facilities to poor families, health insurance scheme was being launched in four districts, Chakwal, Hafizabad, Layyah and Rajanpur, initially. He said that under health insurance scheme, insurance cards will be issued to poor families and modern treatment facilities will be available to them in hospitals free of cost. The Minister maintained that Finance Department and Bank of Punjab will play a lead role in setting up “Punjab Islamic Rozgar Bank” according to timeline given by Chief Minister Punjab. Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman said that Punjab government has started special programmes for the welfare of the common man including provision of soft term loans to the youth and unemployed youth are being given interest free loans of five billion rupees under self-employment scheme while various skills are being imparted to the youth, whereas, unemployed can be made self-reliant through micro financing.

LAHORE—Lahore High Court (LHC) Complaint Cell on Thursday took notice of a press report on administrative side on vani of an 8-year-old girl to a thirteen-year-old boy. The Cell has directed the District & Sessions Judge, Bhakkar to look into the matter and submit detailed report regarding steps taken by police along with his own comments within a week.

Effective measures being taken to control drug trafficking OBSERVER REPORT LAHORE—Director General Anti-Narcotics Force, Maj Gen Khawar Hanif met Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, here Thursday. Matters regarding curbing of narcotics and measures against the elements involved in this nefarious trade were discussed in the meeting. The Chief Minister said that every segment of the

society will have to play an active role for saving youth from drug abuse and promotion of positive activities is essential for this purpose. He said that elements involved in this nefarious trade are enemies of the nation and deserve no leniency. He said that effective measures are being taken for controlling drug trafficking at the entry and exit points of the province. The Chief Minister further said that

there is a need for promoting awareness about hazardous affects of narcotics and their negative impact on the society. He said that Punjab government will continue to extend all out cooperation to Anti-Narcotics Force for making Punjab a drug-free province. Provincial Minister Col (Retd) Shuja Khanzada, Secretary Home, Additional IG and concerned officials of ANF were also present on the occasion.

Call for acting upon school education roadmap SALIM AHMED LAHORE—Punjab Education Minister Punjab Rana Mashhood Ahmed Khan has emphasized the need to act upon the school education reforms roadmap effectively because education helps disseminate social awareness among the masses and the development packages devised for these areas having social awareness also yield in a better way. While addressing a briefing session about implementation strategy for Punjab Education Sector Reforms Roadmap here today, the Minister said, almost all the developed countries have achieved progress and prosperity due to their bet-

ter educational system. He said, we have identified the short comings in our education system and the required solutions have also been ascertained with the active collaboration of world famous educational organizations like DFID, British Council, UKTI, McKenzie and German International Support Programme GIG which include merit based teachers recruitment, transfer and rationalization policies, decentralized resource management, performance incentives for teachers, strengthening school councils, provision and use of school performance information through report cards, private school vouchers through Punjab Education

Foundation, Stipend for girls students, provision of free textbooks, provision of missing facilities, upgradation of schools, establishment of Daanish schools and Centres for Excellence, provision of IT labs, construction of additional class rooms to accommodate newly enrolled students, E-learning and Digitalization of curricular books, provision solar lamps, provision of Tablets to monitoring staff, teachers licensing and certification along with provision and improvement of curricula, the Minister added. Rana Mashhood Khan stressed the need to implement all these reforms in a coordinated manner in the field.

Pakistan advancing on path of industrial revolution OBSERVER REPORT LAHORE—Provincial Minister for Industries, Commerce & Investment Punjab Chaudhry Muhammad Shafique has said that Pakistan is advancing on the path of industrial revolution and a day will come when, after attaining self-reliance, the province of Punjab will emerge as an attractive hub of investment for the foreign investors. He expressed these views during his meeting with journalists in his office here Thursday. Punjab Industries Minister said that today’s Pakistan is headed by Muhammad Nawaz

Sharif who has given us a true patriotic and a visionary leadership. Punjab, the largest province of Pakistan is undergoing a historic journey of progress and development under the able leadership of public friendly, honest and untiring Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, he added. The Minister said that following the vision of Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, the Punjab government is pursuing a comprehensive strategy in education, health, energy, infrastructure, investment, commerce and industries sectors under the revolutionary leadership of Chief Minister Punjab and its results would start appearing very soon.

Collaboration between forensic scientists, law enforcing agencies stressed MUZAFFAR ALI LAHORE—A closer collaboration between forensic scientists and the criminal justice system is the only way to put our investigation procedures on a solid scientific footing, thus helping convict the guilty and protect the innocent. This was stated by experts during an international symposium, held here at the University of Health Sciences (UHS) on Thursday. The theme of the symposium, which was attended by more than 400 students and faculty members from around 50 universities of the country, besides international experts from Australia, Spain

and the Netherlands, was “Emerging Trends in Molecular Forensic”. The symposium was organized by UHS Department of Forensic Sciences, in collaboration with Higher Education Commission (HEC) Pakistan. Addressing the symposium, noted criminal justice, counter terrorism, police reforms expert and former I.G. Police Sindh, Dr Muhammad Shoaib Suddle said that collection of forensic evidence and the application of forensic sciences had become essential to criminal investigations and prosecutions. “DNA analysis has become the new form of scientific evidence and more and more counts now admit DNA-based evi-

dence”, he said adding that DNA could be recovered from blood, semen, saliva, hair and other body tissues. Dr Shoaib Suddle further said that in the development world, from crime scene to the courtroom, forensic science services were an integral part of investigation. “Pakistani police, however, is still in the 19th century mode. They are just serving the rulers and unless they change themselves into the ‘servants of law’ nothing would change as far as the deteriorating law and order situation is concerned”, he noted. Dr Shoaib also stressed the need to start programmes in forensic sciences and criminology in universities.

Activists of All Pakistan Clerks Association staging a protest demonstration outside Punjab Assembly on Thursday.


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