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Quetta carnage

DIG among 38 killed in blast Suicide explosion in SHO City funeral

QUETTA: Police officials gather at the site of the suicide bomb attack on Thursday. Inset a man comforts a mourner.

Pak-India flare-up

Pak, India should not allow situation to escalate: PM Obama felicitates Muslims on Eid-ul Fitr

Mixed signals coming from Delhi about Pak-India engagement; Anthony accuses Pak army for attack


Firing injures Pakistani civilian at LoC

AMMAN—Syrian rebels said on Thursday they targeted PresiBarack Obama on Thursday dent Bashar al-Assad’s motorwarmly greeted the Muslims in cade heading to a Damascus the United States and around mosque to mark the Muslim the world on the occasion of holiday of Eid al-Fitr, but state Eid al-Fitr. television showed him un“For millions of Ameriharmed and the government decans, Eid is part of a great nied he had been attacked. tapestry of America’s many The Tahrir al-Sham rebel traditions, and I wish all brigade, a unit of the Free SyrMuslims a blessed and joyful ian Army, said it fired several Continued on Page 6 artillery shells towards Assad’s

ISLAMABAD—Pakistan military officials on Thursday said Indian troops opened fire and seriously wounded a civilian

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convoy in the heart of the capital and that at least some hit their target. If confirmed, the attack would be one of the most direct against Assad in two years of conflict which have pitched mainly Sunni Muslim rebels against the Alawite president. Rebels have targeted Assad’s residences in Damascus and a bombing in the capital last

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Nation celebrates Eid-ul Fitr ASHRAF ANSARI ISLAMABAD—Eid-ul Fitr is being celebrated across the country today with religious fervour and reverence coupled with renewed pledge to strengthen the national cohesion and solidarity. However lives losses in terror attacks marred festivity The believers will throng mosques and Eid Gahs to offer Eid prayers in all cities and other places. The Shawal moon was sighted in different parts of the country on Thursday. The formal announcement was made by Central Ruet-eHilal Committee chairman

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Assad survives rebels presidential convoy attack AMMAN—Syrian rebels said on Thursday they targeted President Bashar al-Assad’s motorcade heading to a Damascus mosque to mark the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr, but state television showed him unharmed and the government denied he had been attacked. The Tahrir al-Sham rebel brigade, a unit of the Free Syrian Army, said it fired several artillery shells towards Assad’s convoy in the heart of the capital and that at least some hit their target. If confirmed, the attack would be one of the most direct against Assad in two years of conflict which have pitched mainly Sunni Muslim rebels

against the Alawite president. Rebels have targeted Assad’s residences in Damascus and a bombing in the capital last year killed four of his inner circle, but there have been no reports of Assad himself coming under fire. Video footage distributed by the Tahrir al-Sham rebels showed smoke rising from what it said was the Malki district, where Assad and his close aides have homes. Other activists also reported rocket fire into the area. Syria’s government denied the reports. “The news is wholly untrue,” Information Minister Omran Zoabi said.Firas al-Bitar,

Cameron calls for Pak-India talks

Delhi HC releases Pak woman

LONDON—British Prime Minis-

NEW DELHI—New Delhi High

ter David Cameron has called for India-Pakistan talks to resolve their bilateral issues, including the killing of five Indian soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir, a British daily said Thursday. “Talks can resolve any is-

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The offices of Pakistan Observer will remain closed today and tomorrow (August 9 and 10) on account of Eidul Fitr. Therefore, there would be no issue of Pakistan Observer on Aug 10 and 11.

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Court has ordered for the release of Nuzhat Jahan, a Pakistani national who married an Indian national Gulfam in 1983 and was living in India without a visa. According to The Hindu, Nuzhat was lodged in a beggar’s home since May because of visa violation. In 1996, Nuzhat had applied for Indian citizenship however no decision was given. Gulfam said the court’s decision to allow his wife to stay and seek citizenship is the best gift of this Eid. “The Court has restored my

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QUETTA—The death toll in a suicide bomb blast at the Police Lines rose to 38 and more than 50 were injured on Thursday afternoon. According to official sources, the DIG Operations Fayyaz Sumbal, SP Headquarters, Mehar Ali and DSP Headquarters embraced Shahadat in the incident. Emergency was imposed in CMH and Civil Hospital Quetta. According to hospitals sources condition of many of injured people was serious and the death figures might go up. According to bomb disposal squad the 8 to 10 kilograms explosive material was used in the suicidal attack. The explosion

occurred during funeral prayer of SHO City Mohibullah. He was martyred in a firing incident at Killi Alamo in the outskirts of Quetta this morning. Meanwhile, President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif have strongly condemned the Quetta blast. The President termed it an abhorrent act that targeted a funeral and said the people of Pakistan stands firm in their resolve against terrorism and would not yield to such acts of violence. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif strongly condemned the blast and expressed sorrow and grief over the deaths. In a statement he directed to

provide best medical facilities to the injured. He said the services of martyred DIG and other police personnel will never be forgotten. The blast was the second targeted attack on Thursday on police personnel in the provincial capital, which has been under high security the entire day. SHO Mohibullah was shot dead by unknown gunmen earlier this morning in Killi Almo area while he was reportedly taking his family for Eid shopping. No militant group has yet claimed responsibility for the bombing, one of the worst attacks on police personnel in the violence-hit provincial capital.—Agencies

High rate of silt reduces life of Tarbela Dam

Drifting sand dune endangers main structure Mangla Dam becomes largest water reservoir LIAQAT TOOR ISLAMABAD—Pakistan is urgently needed a mega dam to save wastage of 30 % water annually as high rate of silt being deposited in Tarbela lake has reduced its life drastically, an official of Tarbela dam said. Since its commissioning in

1976, the storage capacity of 2. 2 million acre feet (MAF) has been curtailed so far and a sand dune created due to deposits in the lake is also gradually drifting towards the main structure posing a great threat to it. There is no solution in sight to remove this dune which is expanding day by day, the official said.

A water expert in Islamabad said, despite enjoying best slope from Himalayan region down to Arabian Sea, the successive governments failed to build required number of dams in the Indus Basin system. Only two mega dams—

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Democratic transition completion important achievement

Zardari urges nation to share Eid celebrations with terror victims ISLAMABAD—President Asif “We should also try to com- Allah Almighty on this Aameen,” President Zardari Ali Zardari Thursday felicitated the nation on Eid-ulFitr and urged the people to feel and share the pains of the victims of terrorism and sectarianism on the festive occasion. The President in a message said “we must not forget the pains of those brothers and sisters who have fallen a victim to terrorism.” “Lets also share our joys with those who have suffered at the cost of sectarianism,” President Zardari said. The President exhorted the nation, not to put aside at any cost the spirit of mutual affinity, sharing of pain, tolerance, respect for humanity and well being of others.

pletely eradicate sectarianism and intolerance,” he said. The President felicitated all countrymen on the festive occasion of Eid ul Fitr and prayed that may this eid prove to be a source of abundant joy for all. He said the occasion this year comes at a time, when the nation has achieved a milestone in its journey towards democracy. He said a new democratic era has dawned after the completion of a term of a government. The President said the completion of democratic transition was an important achievement of the nation and it deserves to be felicitated on both these counts. “Lets bow our heads before

blessed and joyous occasion and offer our gratitude for granting us the gift of Eid ul Fitr.” The President asked the nation to share the happiness of Eid with families, friends, neighbours and those deserving people, who due to some reason were unable to fully enjoy the festivity. He said “we must resolve to share our happiness with the needy, deserving, poor and the deprived, and to carry forward this tradition.” “I pray to Allah Almighty that he protects us all with His benevolence and showers His blessings on us and makes this country a centre of peace and security.

Flood: Relief operation continues I SLAMABAD —Relief operations are continuing in floodhit areas across the country and tents, food, medicines, and blankets are being distributed among the affected people. National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has so far distributed 25,898 tents in different parts of the country. According to data released by NDMA, 2330 tents have been distributed in Balochistan flood hit areas, 8800 in Sindh, 728 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 14,040 in Punjab. NDMA has also distributed 2800 food packs among the flood-hit people of Balochistan, 66 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 1430 in Punjab. The authority has distrib-

uted 300 blankets in Balochistan and 200 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. It has distributed ten thousand mosquito nets in Sindh and four thousand in Balochistan. The NDMA has said 84 people have died and 44 injured in floods in various areas of the country. It said fifteen people have died in Punjab, fourteen in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, twenty-two in Sindh, eighteen in Balochistan, twelve in FATA and three in Azad Jammu and Kashmir. Meanwhile, Federal Minister for States and Frontier Region, Lt Gen. (Rtd) Abdul Qadir Baloch said the federal government would take all possible steps to ensure immediate relief for the flood

victims of Balochistan. Talking to newsmen after visiting the flood hit areas of District Jhal Magsi at Gandawah he said that Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has directed him to visit the areas and assess aftermaths of the calamity in the province. Qadir Baloch said that the federal government is aware of the challenges and ready to help coping with the difficulties at the hour of need. He said that immediate steps will be taken to ensure provision of basic facilities to the victims of the flood. On the occasion the federal minister announced 70 lakh rupees for flood hit areas of District Jhal Magsi and Gandawah.—Online

said. Meanwhile, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Engineer Shaukatullah has urged the people of country in general and of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA in particular, to work tirelessly for a secure and prosperous Pakistan. The Governor, in his message on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr, also asked the people to continue with the spirit of tolerance, accommodation and patience and share the miseries and difficulties of the affected ones, especially those whose near and dear ones have embraced martyrdom on the auspicious occasion of Eidul-Fitr.—APP

Eid gifts distributed

K ARACHI —Pakistan Peace had taken the initiative of the dence Day celebration is held in New Delhi or any other MANDI BAHAUDDIN—District Coalition (PPC) and Peoples celebrations of Pakistani and organised at the Wagah- city in India (to be decided by and Sessions Judge Sohail Akram visited District Jail Thursday and distributed Eid gifts and sweets among the juvenile prisoners and patients admitted to the jail hospital in order to share the joys and delights of the Eid with them. Speaking on the occasion, he said that it was duty of our society to help poor and deserving patients and prisoners away from their homes and families on the eve of Eid. He appreciated the affluent and philanthropists for their fiscal cooperation. The judge talked with the prisoners and asked them to seek forgiveness from God over their delinquency.

Inter-ministerial committee to review YouTube saga: Anusha I SLAMABAD —Minister of has taken stringent mea- (PTA) should block YouTube blasphemous content. In resures to demand its removal and limit its access on the Internet in Pakistan. The sacrilegious videos stirred violent protests and public outcry in Pakistan and the Arab world. The Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) for Web Evaluation, constituted by the Prime Minister of Pakistan in 2006, has the mandate to evaluate and restrict offensive online content in Pakistan. This committee, headed by the Secretary of IT, has representation from different Government of Pakistan Ministries, entities and agencies. The Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) last September evaluated the circumstances and concluded that Pakistan Telecom Authority

and Facebook in Pakistan on 17 September, 2012 till further orders. In accordance, the Ministry of IT (MoIT) ordered PTA to block the websites. A Policy Directive was also issued by the Ministry in May, 2012 to PTA to deploy a state of the art technical solution to proactively and independently block blasphemous and pornographic websites. So far, PTA has not been able to implement this Policy Directive. PTA falls under the Cabinet Division and not come under the administrative control of Ministry of Information Technology. The Ministry of IT also took matters up with the management of YouTube and Facebook for blocking the

Joint Pak-India Aug 14 peace celebrations at border delayed


FAISALABAD: A large number of people return to their native towns to celebrate Eid with their loved ones.

State for Information Technology Anusha Rahman has directed to convene Inter Ministerial Committee (IMC) for Web Evaluation, which will be presented with the findings on YouTube situation in a meeting in August after Eid ul Fitr for deliberation and discussion. The Inter Ministerial committee shall then make recommendations accordingly whether or not to review the restriction of the YouTube website in Pakistan, and this recommendation shall thereafter be placed for approval of the Prime Minister. According to a press release, since the release of the blasphemous movie on YouTube in September 2012, the Government of Pakistan

HYDERABAD: Girls applying henna on the hands of each other ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr.

sponse, Facebook restricted the access and upload of the video. However, Google Inc., management of YouTube, did not remove the content stating that YouTube complies with International laws of principles subject to the laws of United States that do not comply with Pakistan-specific content removal request. After the new government was sworn in, the issue was taken up and the Minister of State for IT invited all relevant stakeholders to find a solution. Henceforth, the Ministry of IT and pertinent stakeholders under the directions of the Minister of State for Information Technology, Anusha Rahman.—APP

SAARC (Pakistan Process) on Thursday announced to postpone Pakistan-India Joint Independence Day Peace Celebrations at the Sindh-Rajhastan border, scheduled to be held at Khokhrapar in Umerkot district, Pakistan on August 14, 2013. The Peoples SAARC

Indian independence days (August 14-15) as a peace event by the people at Sindh and Rajhastan border, said a statement issued here on Thursday. It was the first time such an initiative has been taken on the soil of Sindh province. Every year a joint Indepen-

Attari border in Punjab by the civil society of Pakistan and India. PPC and Pakistan Process of Peoples SAARC have decided to convert the event into a Pak-India Peace Conference simultaneously in both India and Pakistan on August 24. These conferences can be

Indian Process of Peoples SAARC) and in Pakistan in Karachi/ Hyderabad/ Umerkot (to be decided by the Organising Committee). “We pledge to continue our efforts for bringing peace loving people of both India and Pakistan much closer,” the statement said.—APP

Shahbaz to open Rs 1.9b enrollment campaign Pak Brazil ties


I SLAMABAD —The historic diplomatic L AHORE —Punjab governrelations between Pakistan and Brazil could be translated into strong military relations in future, said Minister for Defence Production, Rana Tanvir Hussain. Talking to Brazilian Ambassador to Pakistan, Alfredo Leoni the minister lauded the effort of Brazil in providing support to the agriculture sector of Pakistan. The ambassador said the scope of relations between Pakistan and Brazil is quite vast and the need is to collaborate, extend support and enhance relations in areas of defence production. The ambassador congratulated the minister assuming the charge of such vital ministry. The ambassador said that the cooperation in other fields also the priority of the Brazilian Govt. In the last years, there has been a significant increase in the military relations. Both sides have exchanged the visits in this regard. At the end the Ambassador thanked the Minister for a detailed and candid briefing. He extended the invitation to the Minister to visit Brazil for strengthening and continuity of relations between the two countries. Secretary Ministry of Defence Production Lt Gen (Retd) Tanvir Tahir said Pakistan and Brazil enjoy good relations, therefore visits and exchanges between the two countries can prove beneficial in understanding the work mechanics of both countries. The secretary said that Brazil is a hub of interaction and Pakistan welcomes Brazilian interest in our defence market. More frequent interaction between Brazil and Pakistan can draw meaningful contacts which can be beneficial for both countries. He said that some contracts of the past needs to pace up and materialize. Pakistan’s Defence Industry can offer a wide variety quantity of defence equipment having key features of low cost, high quality, sophistication and precision.— APP

Energy issue ISLAMABAD—Member National Assembly (MNA) Tariq Fazal said that the government is making different policies to meet the challenges confronting the nation. Talking to media, he said that the government was taking measures to bring improvement in the energy sector. Tariq Fazal said that the government would resolve energy issue as soon as possible. He said that government had to take loan from IMF to strengthen country’s economy. The MNA said that the government would show better management, good governance for betterment of the country. The government would make policy on national issues including law and order situation to provide relief to the people of the country, he added. He said that consensus would be developed among different political parties on national issues for prosperity of the country. He said that government was committed to bring economic stability in the country as steps were being taken to bring maximum people in tax-net. Punjab government is committed to resolve energy crisis and facilitate smooth growth of business and industrial activities in the province, said Tanvir Aslam Malik, Provincial Minister for Housing Urban Development and Public Health Engineering while addressing an Iftar dinner hosted by Zafar Bakhtawari, President Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry at a local hotel. Presidents of Chakwal, Jhelum and Attock Chambers of Commerce & Industry, large number of business community and some prominent media personalities attended the dinner. Tanvir Aslam Malik said the Chief Minister Punjab has decided to set up a small energy secretariat for ensuring investment in energy projects, provision of facilities to the investors.—APP

India’s double standards I SLAMABAD —The veteran Hurriyet leader, Syed Ali Gilani grilled Indian authorities and media for raising hue and cry over alleged killing of five of its troops and maintaining silence over massacre of civilians in the territory. Syed Ali Gilani in a statement issued in Srinagar renewed call for peaceful demonstrations against the brutal killings of Tahir Ahmad Sofi, Mudasir Kamran, Ubair Mushtaq, Tariq Ahmad Bhat, Abdul Rashid Sheikh, Mohammud Yusuf Sofi, Hajra Begum, Riyaz Ahmad khanday and Altaf Ahmad Wani by Indian forces, Markundal Sumbal episode, desecration of Holy Quran in Gool Ramban, the secret execution of Mohammad Afzal Guru and detention of political prisoners. He announced to offer Eid prayers at Hazratbal in case the authorities did not interfere in his religious obligation, Kashmir Media Service reported. He said that the killing of innocent people continued unabated and state terrorism was at its peak. Commenting over uproar in Indian Parliament and rhetoric created by Indian media over the alleged killing of five Indian troops on the Line of Control (LoC), he criticized New Delhi’s criminal silence over killing of innocent civilians by Indian army and police in occupied Kashmir. “I am being denied the right to offer prayers and forcibly confined to my residence,” said Gilani. “This type of lawlessness though being formulated in Delhi, is practiced by Omar Abdullah.” Syed Ali Gilani said that people in occupied Kashmir were being killed with bullets and pellets for throwing stones while in entire civilized world, angry mobs were controlled by harmless measure and techniques. “Hundreds of youth were killed in 2008, 2009 and 2010 and none of them had gun in their hands.—APP

Jammu Muslims supported ISLAMABAD—Senior APHC leader and

ment has decided to release immediately a huge amount of Rs 1.9 billion regarding practical preparation for admission of children in schools in large numbers during ‘Enrollment Emergency Campaign’ to be continued for 3 months from August 14 to October 21. This amount will be spent for providing missing facilities in government schools while the concerned DCOs have been directed to provide the amount issued during the last fiscal year which could not be used at

the district level for construction of new rooms, boundary walls, provision of electricity and clean drinking water in government schools and these amounts would not be lapsed. This was decided in a meeting of Commissioners, District Coordination Officers and educationists of the province presided over by Provincial Minister for Education Rana Mashhood Ahmad Khan at Civil Secretariat. Chief Secretary Punjab Javed Aslam, Secretary Information & Culture Momin Agha, Secretary Higher Education Farhan

Aziz Khawaja, Secretary Schools Education Abdul Jabbar Shaheen, Secretary Environment Anwar Rasheed, Vice Chancellor LCW University Dr. Sabiha, Vice Chancellor University of Gujrat Dr. Nizam ud Din, Principal Queen Marry College Lahore Dr. Irfana Maryam, Chairman Punjab Examination Commission Dr. Zafar Iqbal Qureshi and other concerned senior officials presented their proposals for making Punjab Enrollment Emergency Campaign a success. Rana Mashhood Ahmed Khan disclosed that Punjab

Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif will inaugurate Punjab Enrollment Emergency Campaign on August 14 during a colourful function of the students at Hazoori Bagh. Divisional commissioners, vice chancellors of the universities or principals of big government colleges situated in the divisions will also attend the function. Similarly, DCOs along with all elected representatives of people of the districts will launch this campaign. At tehsil level, concerned Assistant Commissioners along with officers of Education Depart-

ment, headmasters of schools and principals of colleges will hold gatherings of students, boy scouts and girl guides and will inaugurate this campaign. Master trainers will impart training to all schoolteachers on August 15 and 16 in each district in this regard and after it, various teams will visit each mohallah and village till October 21 to motivate the parents to send their children to school continuously. Informative brochures and pamphlets have been published with the cooperation of UNICEF, which will be distributed at every house.

Unhygienic food: 8 of same family fall unconscious GUJRANWALA—At least eight persons of a same family including seven children were unconscious due to intake of contaminated meal here on Thursday. In the area of Gujranwala, the inhabitants of Dhalle namely Nadeem wife Samina along with her sever children consume Dhie Bhale and rice. Suddenly, after eating they felt unconscious. Upon receiving information, the Rescue teams reached on the spot and shifted the affected family into District headquarters hospital (DHQ) for medical aid..—Online

NH&MP launches special Eid campaign ISLAMABAD—The National Eid ul Fitr rush. The officHighways & Motorway Police (NH&MP) launched special “Public Friendly Soft Policing Campaign” for three days under the direct supervision of IG, NH&MP on the special eve of Eid ul Fitr. As per directions of IG Motorway Police Zulfiqar Ahmad Cheema, all Zonal Commanders of Motorway Police distributed ‘Iftar’ packets containing juices, biscuits, dates, flowers and Eid felicitation pamphlets among the commuters on all Toll Plaza’s on National Highways and Motorways. All the SSPs and DSPs remained on the road to supervise the campaign. Special duties were arranged and extra patrolling vehicles were deployed on patrolling to lend maximum help to the road users especially in the context of

ers were asked to extend maximum help to the distress road users and make a prompt response to Helpline 130 calls. IG, NH&MP directed the officers of Motorway Police to make special arrangements in order to cope with the extraordinary rush of vehicles due to Eid ul Fitr. The officers were asked to check the overloading and overcharging by the Public Service Vehicles and to ensure that the passengers do not jeopardize their safety by traveling on the roof of the buses. He asked the officers to treat the commuters by upholding high standards of morals, exchange Eid greetings with them and take a lenient view of their minor violations on this special SIALKOT: Commuters wading through the sewerage water accumulated on Saidpur Road. eve.—Online

Man loses life while saving boy from drowning

3 killed, 5 injured in accidents

Action against confectioners, butchers

P ESHAWAR —On the direcRAHIM YAR KHAN—Three Asad and Mushtaq was nearby village on Thursday. tives of Deputy Commis-

personnel of elite force were killed and five others injured when their vehicle crashed into a tree near Harappa on Thursday morning. According to a spokesman of Rahim Yar Khan police, the police officials by an official vehicle were returning Rahim Yar Khan from Lahore when their vehicle met accident near Harappa due to overspeed. As a result, constable driver Allah Bukhsh, head constable Abdul Ghaffar and constable Bashir Hussain died on the spot while five others injured. The injured were identified as ASI Asad Ali, head constable Atta Muhammad, constable Naeem Akram, Saeed Randhawa and Mushtaq. The injured were shifted to hospital where the condition of

stated to be critical. Khanpur: A man drowned in a canal while rescuing a boy, in a nearby village on Wednesday evening. According to police, Mushtaq Ahmed was taking a dip in 3/ R canal near chak 29/A when Zohaib, son of a landlord fell into the canal. Mushtaq plunged into the canal to rescue the boy when his head struck on a stone lying in the canal. He suffered critical head injury and drowned. Some women present on the occasion rescued the boy while the body of Mushtaq was fished out after hectic efforts of one and a half hours. The body of Mushtaq has been handed over to the heirs. Arifwala: A trader was shot dead by robbers in a

According to police, Hashim of Bahawalnagar district while riding a motorcycle, was intercepted by some robbers near Chak 30/EB. The robbers shot at when he put up resistance. He was shifted to a hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. **** Meanwhile, it is also reported that Speaker, National Assembly, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq here on Thursday visited residence of Tahir Hanfi, Director General, National Assembly to condole sad demise of his wife Rehana Tahir who passed away fighting liver cancer. The Speaker prayed for the departed soul and courage to his family to bear this irreparable loss.—APP

Rs 50m recovered, 2032 illegal power connections disconnected H YDERABAD —An amount FIRs at the concerned police 2012-13. Talking about the of Rs 50.332 million have so far been recovered with discontinuation of 2032 illegal (Kunda) connections during joint operation of Hyderabad Electric Supply Company (HESCO) and Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in 12 districts of HESCO Region. A HESCO spokesman informed here on Wednesday that joint teams of HESCO and FIA conducted surprise raids in different areas of HESCO region and detected 2032 illegal connections. The teams arrested three power thieves, registered 12

stations and recovered detection amount of Rs 50.332 millions from power thieves, the spokesman said. As many as eight HESCO employees have also been placed under suspension on charge of negligence in duty. However, he regretted that the line losses still stood at 27.33 percent. “We have set a target of further bringing down the losses by eight percent by the end of this year,” he added. According to him, the line losses sustained by HESCO dropped from 28.58 percent in 2010-11 to 27.33 percent in

receivables of HESCO from both the public sector and private sector consumers, he said that Rs 39.2 billion were outstanding against them. Earlier, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) along with officials from the Peshawar Electric Supply Company and Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited continued raids all over the provincial capital and disconnected several illegal connections on Sunday. A party of the FIA raided Jadoon Hostel on the Warsak Road and disconnected illegal gas connection.—APP

Democratic Freedom Party Chairman, Shabbir Ahmad Shah has said that the people of Jammu would never be left at the mercy of communal elements and members of Indian army-backed socalled village defence committees. Shabbir Ahmad Shah in a statement issued in Srinagar expressed deep anguish and grief over the reports that the VDC members were forcibly preventing Muslims of Doda, Bhaderwah and Kishtwar from offering prayers and were damaging their properties, Kashmir Media Service reported. He warned that such kind of inhuman, immoral and undemocratic acts would have serious repercussions. He paid glowing tributes to 12th-class student Farah Bukhari, who laid down his life on 11th August in 2010. Commenting over the Gool, Ramban incident, Shabir Ahmad Shah said that BSF and Police murdered the people there, and “the so-called Chief Minister instead of acting against culprits and murderers is advocating on their behalf.” He said that government has formulated rupees one lakh for one life and now, “under SRO Act, the family of victim will get rupees one lakh to put an end to issue.” Shah said it is the fate of subjugated nations that neither their lives nor their honor and dignity are secured under slavery. “The price of their life and property has low value than cattle. The killing of wild animals is strictly banned in India but there is no ban or prohibition of killing innocent Muslims of Jammu Kashmir,” Shah lamented. The Freedom Party Chairman strongly condemned the curbing of people’s protests against unjustified arrest of a shopkeeper at Palhallan. “If the force on masses and arrests are not stopped at earliest, the people from other areas of Valley DERA GHAZI KHAN: Policemen showing bottles of substandard liquor, which was seized in a raid in Block E Area. will throng to Palhallan for their support.”—APP

sioner (D.C), Peshawar, district administration conducted raids on sweet shops and arrested three confectioners and 12 butchers for lack of cleanliness. According to details, Deputy Commissioner, Peshawar Syed Zaheer-ul-Islam had received a complaint about selling of poor quality confectionary items and overcharging by the butchers. The Deputy Commissioner directed Additional Assistant Commissioner (AAC)-VI, Mehmood Ahmad who raided a confectionary shop in Hashtnagri, where he found the selling of substandard confectionary.—APP

Hot weather predicted I SLAMABAD —Pakistan Me- humid weather is expected in teorological Department (PMD) on Thursday forecast mainly hot and humid weather in most parts of the country during next 24 hours. However, rain with thundershower is expected at isolated places of Northeast Punjab (Islamabad/ Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, Lahore divisions), D.G Khan, Bahawalpur, Malakand, Hazara, Peshawar, Kalat divisions, while at few places of lower/Southeastern Sindh during next 24 hours According to synoptic situation, seasonal low lies over northwest Balochistan and adjoining areas. Monsoonal currents from Arabian sea are penetrating into upper/eastern parts of the country. In Punjab including Islamabad, mainly hot and

most parts of the province, however rain-thundershower is expected at isolated places of capital. In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, scattered rain with thundershower is expected in hazara division,

whereas, isolated rain with thundershower is likely to occur in Malakand, Peshawar divisions during next 24 hours. Mainly hot and humid and partly cloudy weather is expected in most parts of the Sindh and Balochistan.—APP

Outrageous engineered attack on Pak HC


Petersburg talks on track


EDNESDAY’S attack on Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi is yet another manifestation of the fact that India was deliberately raising tension with Pakistan on flimsy grounds. The ransacking of the High Commission by about two hundred members of the ruling party’s youth wing was surely a preposterous and engineered plan and Pakistan rightly summoned the Indian Deputy High Commissioner in Islamabad to lodge protest and remind New Delhi of its obligations to protect diplomatic staff and facilities. It is very significant to observe how come the select group of young people representing ruling Congress Party could go to the extent of mounting an attack right in the heart of the capital without a nod from above on the pretext of killing of Indian soldiers by Pakistani troops. It is also strange that on the one side Indian Defence Minister AK Antony himself told lawmakers on Tuesday that the attack was carried out by ‘terrorists along with persons dressed in Pakistani army uniform’, which clearly meant that Pakistan Army had nothing to do with the incident but on the other side the ruling party is encouraging its own men to indulge in such tactics. It is understood that the attack plan was motivated by domestic political compulsions as the opposition BJP has adopted extreme posture on the issue but the Indian leadership must realize that peace talks always become casualty in such circumstances. What Indians are doing these days should serve as an eye-opener for all those in Pakistan, who are unduly obsessed with the idea of seeking normalization of relations with India ‘at all costs’. No doubt, majority of Pakistani people want resumption of peace process and its successful culmination so that scant resources of the two countries are exploited for betterment of the two peoples but obviously that can’t be onesided or at the cost of national honour and interests.

Is Tunis following Egyptian episode? T

HE Islamist party heading Tunisia’s coalition said on Wednesday it accepted a decision to suspend the work of the National Constituent Assembly and urged talks to form a national unity government. This followed demonstrations a day earlier demanding resignation of the Government. Deadlock persisted with opposition refusing talks with the Government until it steps down while the ruling coalition is ruling out any dialogue conditional on its ouster. Tunisia is in turmoil ever since Constituent Assembly’s elections in 2011 because of lack of consensus on the new Constitution following a revolution that ousted long-time president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali the same year. The ruling coalition has offered major concessions and hopefully the opposition would adopt a cooperative approach to take the country out of the quagmire and instability, which is understandably being fuelled by some vested internal and external forces. If this was not done, then there are apprehensions of military takeover or intervention as has been done in Egypt but that could trigger a new era of instability and chaos. In fact, the Arabian peninsula is in turmoil ever since eruption of sudden and dramatic movements dubbed by the West as Arab Spring but much to the chagrin of the West and the United States the so-called Spring has led to assumption of power by Islamists in democratically conducted elections and this reality is not being swallowed by forces inimical to Islam. This is despite the fact that the outcome of the elections reflected will of the people and it should be respected but secular and pro-West opposition forces are being encouraged to destabilize the popularly elected Governments. The enemy is pitting one section of the population against the other so that the Middle East keeps on boiling and remains destabilized to the advantage of the Jewish state. We hope people of Tunisia and other states of the region would understand the game plan and seize opportunities for promoting national solidarity.

Limbs of innocents continue to fly A

CTS of terrorism across the country continue to claim many lives almost on daily basis and in several cases the explosions are so strong that the limbs of body of innocent people fly far away. Two bomb explosions in Sindh on Wednesday, one in Lyari area of Karachi and the other in Kashmore killed 13 innocent kids for no fault of theirs as they had gone to watch a football match and to enjoy with friends. The tragic incidents not only saddened the families of the deceased on the eve of Eid but also vast majority of Pakistanis who consider and love the children of the nation like their own. While celebrating Eid, we expect that people would visit those families who have lost their dear ones during the year in bomb explosions and other acts of terrorism to share their sorrows. Also on Eid day, we all should seek Allah Almighty’s help as stated in dozens of verses in Holy Qur’an “ for God is with those who patiently persevere”. The ongoing wave of terrorism is a phase, which will pass in due course of time because history proves that such foreign funded movements have never succeeded. As an example, people of Sri Lanka fought the Tamil Tigers for twenty long years but ultimately the State succeeded. Pakistan too is fighting the phenomenon of terrorism and people should not get too much perturbed, as such difficult moments come in the history of nations, and it has all the potential to defeat this scourge. The entire nation is united and steadfast against the menace and we are confident that Pakistan will foil the designs of enemies who are funding militancy and emerge successful to play its due role in the comity of nations.

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Defence Minister Antony & ‘Indian way’ Gandhi, Ahmled Patel, A K Antony and Ambika Soni, another favourite of mother and son. Indeed, Ambika Soni has been a formidable presence in M D Nalapat Delhi for the past thirty years. During 1976-80,she Email: was the confidant of then PM Indira Gandhi and son Sanjay Gandhi, exactly the n her wisdom, Congress Presi way she is so very close to Sonia dent Sonia Gandhi chose a and Rahul these days, together with known pacifist, Arecaparambil A K Antony, who spends almost as Kurian Antony, to be the Defense much time on political matters as Minister of India. Throughout his in the running of the Defense Minlife, Antony has been a voluble vo- istry. Indeed, so busy was Antony tary of non-violence, and it is no with politics as usual that neither secret that he shares with Prime he or any of his ministerial colMinister Manmohan Singh a de- leagues spared the time needed to sire to avoid war. Interestingly, attend the solemn function in Delhi after then Finance Minister Pranab airport when the bodies of the solMukherjee was elected the Presi- diers were sent to their homes in dent of India a year ago, it is different states’ Antony who was chosen by Sonia Since the period when she was Gandhi to be the Number Two in in the UK as a young lady. Sonia the Union Cabinet. Gandhi has always had friends from The mild-mannered Defense Pakistan, whose charm and wit Minister is also known to be a have ensured that some of these Pafavourite of Congress Vice- kistani friends remained close for Preesident and Heir Apparent decades. Rahul Gandhi. Both mother and She knew that in Manmohan son have chosen Antony to be one Singh she had chosen a PM who of their top two political advisers would be ready to walk an extra as well, together with the Politi- hundred miles in order to try and cal Advisor to the Congress Presi- ensure peace with Pakistan. Theredent, Ahmed Patel (who is consid- after, by choosing a Defense Minered in Delhi to be much more ister who has been a 100% powerful than Manmohan Singh in Gandhian ( following both Mathat when the PM asks a minister hatma Gandhi and Indira Gandhi to get something done,the request with zeal, except during 1977-80 may or may not get complied with. when he opposed the latter) all his On the other hand, when Ahmed life, both the Congress PresiPatel asks a minister to get some- dent as well as the Prime Minister thing done, it almost always is. In knew that Antony would fully back all matters relating to the working their policy of seeking peace with of the Congress Party, decisions Pakistan. It is clear from the events get taken by Sonia Gandhi, Rahul of August 6 that Antony has sought

Geopolitical notes from India


to fulfill their wishes. The Defense Minister has in effect destroyed his own political career by stating publicly that the killing of five Indian soldiers that day in a region near the Line of Control was done by individuals “in the uniform of the Pakistan army”, which is very different from saying that the action was carried out by the army itself. So strong is the public anger at the killings that the Defense Minister’s mild statement (and the complete lack of a statement from the PM) has resulted in public opinion turning against him as an individual who lacks the fire needed to head the Defense Ministry. Several commentators have placed the blame for Antony’s statement on the killings on the PM. However, others say that the mildness of the response was because of signals from Washington. Experience has shown that no matter how grave the terror attack or the number of soldiers killed, each US administration has always called on India to “show restraint”, a course of action exactly the opposite of what they themselves do in such instances. Indeed, the only instance when the US had responded in what may be described as an “Indian manner” to a provocation was its complete lack of an effective response to the murder at Benghazi of its ambassador. Ironically, Christopher Stevens was killed by the same groups that he had empowered and backed just two years previously to bring down the Kaddafy regime. That Washington has as much influence over Delhi since Manmohan Singh became PM in 2004 as London had over India’s capital city during the British Raj is a perception widely

shared within the country. The Obama administration is very particular that there should be talks between India and Pakistan. The killing of five soldiers has the potential to create an ugly public mood sufficient to make it politically hazardous for Manmohan Singh to listen to the Obama administration and enter into detailed talks with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. The fierce reaction to the Defense Minister’s low-key statement has probably been responsible for Prime Minister Singh to keep silent about the episode rather than stand by his minister. Apart from statements or the temporary suspension of talks, the Manmohan Singh government has no other way of responding to actions seen as provocative. Fortunately for the Congress Party, the BJP-led government of Atal Behari Vajpayee had the same policy as Manmohan Singh, of symbolic (and futile) gestures rather than military action. The swirl of anger that this longstanding “Indian Way” of responding has created within the country opens the way for a future government to respond in a manner that the US administration disapproves of. Both within the military as well as in the public, there has been a hardening of views regarding talks with Pakistan. Should Manmohan Singh ignore these trends and meet Nawaz Sharif in New York, his party is likely to face a very hostile reaction back home. —The writer is Vice-Chair, Manipal Advanced Research Group, UNESCO Peace Chair & Professor of Geopolitics, Manipal University, Haryana State, India.

Restoring Baloch pride located province of Balochistan, are continuing to on propaganda themes Sultan M Hali harp and a smear campaign against Email: the government and its organs like the law enforcing agencies, the armed forces and sehe strife torn province of curity apparatus. The rationale of Balochistan has had its fair the detractors, however abhorrent it share of problems but it is may appear, is understandable since high time that serious efforts are they have an axe to grind. made to bring the Balochis back The regrettable aspect of this into the mainstream. It is hearten- sordid misinformation scheme is ing to note that the newly elected that some elements of our own megovernment in Balochistan appears dia, comprising a few TV anchor to be making concerted efforts to persons and columnists, are swayed the effect and seems determined to by the disinformation campaign restore peace and maintain law and and contribute their two cents’ order situation in the disturbed worth to endorsing the negative province while its people are look- themes to reinforce divisive arguing forward to a positive change. ment which creates a sense of conIt cannot be conceived that all flict and promotes the cause of Balochis are criminals or evil. In militants and separatists. Whereas fact their sense of deprivation ow- the tirade of criticism by internaing to myopic policies of previ- tional players and detractors can be ous regimes and the exploitation dismissed as propaganda, when by external forces and internal own media subscribes to the scathvested interests caused unrest ing criticism, the damage caused is and mayhem in the past. Such more dangerous than that by the forces are still active and are criminal elements. feeling disturbed at the apparent Secondly, media coverage to the failure of the fruition of their criminal elements provides oxygen machinations and have gone into to the miscreants and enables them overdrive to continue the chaos to send their message across to the and bloodletting. masses, which may build confusion In addition to the resolve of the and at times create sympathy for the new political dispensation in terror mongers. In the case of Balochistan, the constructive role Balochistan, enormous media powof the Armed Forces in the uplift ers enable them to build of Balochistan has been duly taken misperceptions in the minds of docognizance of by the serious and mestic and foreign audience that all pragmatic citizens of Balochistan. is not well in the province. ObviIn fact the unprecedented sacrifices ously angry Baloch leaders have rendered by the Armed Forces in their grievances which need to be the line of duty have also been ac- addressed, but it is incorrect to beknowledged by positive minded lieve that state of anarchic disorder observers. prevails in Balochistan. International players, who The majority of the people of want to have a stake in the min- Balochistan are bona fide citizens eral rich as well as strategically of Pakistan. There are disgruntled


elements, but with the endeavours of the new government, they are gradually returning to the fold of the state. Surely new government will steer the province in the right direction. Soon Baloch pride will also be restored and peace will return to the province. We need to appreciate that the people of Balochistan are loyal Pakistanis having well entrenched compassion for the state of Pakistan. They cannot be detached from vital decision making process as related to Pakistan / Balochistan. The establishment of a newly elected / democratic government is a good step forward to resolve all issues faced by the province. Healing is a process that requires time and patience but since the pride of the Baloch people has been hurt, there is a dire need to restore the same at priority. Empowering Baloch leaders to manage the affairs of their own province will prove creditable, while the installation of a democratically elected governing mechanism with consensus while overlooking party interests has not only set a new precedence but will also help end militancy in Balochistan. The capacity building of the Baloch nation has already commenced and the newly elected government in Balochistan is progressing well. The number of violent incidents including target killing, kidnapping for ransom, terrorist attacks and missing persons have reduced, while the government is showing its firm resolve to bring all parties including disgruntled elements / separatists to the negotiating table to bring peace and tranquility in Balochistan. It must also be appreciated that encouraging and enlightening trends of present provincial government in Balochistan, espe-

cially their decision to show 4% increase in Education Budget will go a long way in boosting their morale. The province is being governed by its own political representatives and political will to bring peace, address the grievances of annoyed leaders, end militancy, is encouraging. The initial goodwill attained by the provincial government in Balochistan merits dissemination to all. In these trying and testing time, we the media should avoid creating unnecessary sense of dissent by projecting fictitious stories of human rights violence and anti state narratives covering emotional ordeals of missing persons. True, the conditions in Balochistan are far from ideal but there is hope that the murky situation is taking a turn for the better. A positive push and nudge will work wonders. While the initiatives of the new civilian government should be lauded, the role of the Armed Forces in the development program of Balochistan also deserves appreciation Uplift of Baloch youth through education, establishment of technical institution, development of mineral resources, creation of jobs for Baloch youth and many other projects are not merely shots in the dark. They are part of a well thought out strategy to restore the pride of the Baloch nation and are aimed at not just creating goodwill but will create confidence in them to take charge of their own future with dignity and ownership, which will lead to prosperity. The key is to enhance Baloch pride, compassion and loyalty to Pakistan. To dismiss them and incarcerate the Balochis is not the answer. The prudent course of action is integration and assimilation in the whole.

t is a good sign that the United States is keeping its cool with Russia. The White House decision to go ahead with the talks with Moscow on Friday — on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit — is a positive development. The asylum issue of National Security Agency contractor, Edward Snowden, had strained relations between the two countries. It was widely believed that the favour done to the fugitive whistleblower would lead to a rupture of diplomatic relations, and President Barack Obama would call off talks with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. Now with the talks on track, all that they need to do is to buoy the state-tostate understanding and leave Snowden out of any discussion. Obama has already exhibited his magnanimity by calling upon the Kremlin to look at the bigger picture. Speaking on a local television show, Obama — disappointed over the Snowden issue with Putin — accused Moscow of occasionally adopting a Cold War mentality. He is right in saying that as Putin has, time and again, played to the gallery in eulogizing his country’s pride during the hey days of the Soviet Union, and the latest recourse was when he contested for another term of presidency. What Obama told the NBC network is worth pondering. He said, “… we’ve to got to think about the future. And there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be able to cooperate more effectively than we do…” In fact, the US has laid down the hallmarks of interaction for his St Petersburg’s summit, and Russia could do well by formally kick-starting the composite dialogue that has been in wings for long. Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary Defence Chuck Hagel are also likely to further the agenda by making their respective counterparts realise the strength and intensity behind a dialogue over tricky issues of Iran’s nuclear programme and the mess in Syria. Russia should realise that the buck doesn’t stop with Snowden. —Khaleej Times


Indian rupee is at the mercy of market


or some it will be the best of times, for others the worse. The Indian rupee has reached unprecedented lows against the dollar as investment into the country slows due to the strengthening of the US economy and concerns about India’s economic and fiscal policies. In a move that provided a boost to the rupee, the government has appointed Raghuram Rajan, a former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), to head the Reserve Bank of India from September. The appointment of an outside technocrat, especially one who has indicated that he is aware of the limits of the influence of central banks, will strengthen investor confidence. While there will be many calls for action, the fall of the rupee is the result of international market trades and any intervention by the reserve bank is likely to have very little effect and be prohibitively expensive. As many other countries have learnt, often the best course of action is simply to ride out currency volatility. India now faces the danger of inflation from higher prices on vital imports. At the same time, its exports will become more competitive on international markets, which could bring in much needed foreign earnings. Those Indians working outside the country will also see the value of their foreign savings increase. If they choose to repatriate their funds now, this will also help strengthen the rupee.—Gulf News

Oh, live is real enough, you will find it some day, but it has one archenemy — and that is life. —Jean Anouilh French dramatist

The significance of Eid festival T

he end of Ramadan marks the Eid festivity. There are two Eids. The first Eid is called Eidul-Fitr. It falls on the first day of shawaal, the tenth month of the Muslim year, following the month of Ramadan in which the Qur’an was revealed and which is the month of fasting. The second is called Eid-ulAdha (the festival of sacrifice). It falls on the tenth day of Zil-Hijjah, the last month of the Muslim year. The Islamic Eids are unique in every way. To them, there can be nothing similar in any other religion or any other socio-political system. Besides their highly spiritual and moral characteristics, they have matched qualities. Each Eid is a wholesome celebration of a remarkable achievement of the individual Muslim in the service of Allah. The first Eid comes after an entire month of ‘absolute’ fasting during the days of the month. The second Eid marks the completion of Hadj (pilgrimage) to Mecca, a course in which the Muslim handsomely demonstrates his renouncement of the mundane concerns and hearkens only to the Eternal voice of Allah. The festival of Eid is also a thanksgiving day where the muslims assemble in a brotherly and joyful atmosphere to offer their gratitude to Allah for helping them to fulfill their spiritual obligations prior to the Eid.

This form of thanksgiving is not con- needy by extending a hand of help, fined to spiritual devotion and ver- the grieved by showing them sympabal expressions. It goes far beyond thy and consolation, the sick by cheerthat to manifest itful visits and utterself in a handsome The Spirit Of Islam ances of good shape of social huwishes, the absenmanitarian spirit. tees by cordial The Muslims greetings and sinwho have comcere considerations pleted fasting of etc... Thus the Ramadan express meaning of retheir thanks to Allah membrance on the by means of distribday transcends all uting alms among limits and expands the poor and needy over far reaching on the first Eid. dimensions of huSimilarly, the Musman life. lims who have comEach Eid is a Ahmad Macky day of victory. The pleted the course of Hadj at Mecca, as individual who well as those who are at home, offer succeeds in securing his spiritual their sacrifices by slaughtering obla- rights and growth receives the Eid tions to be distributed among the poor with a victorious spirit. Those who and needy. The distribution of alms faithfully observe the duties, which and oblations constitutes a mayor part are associated with Eid are the triumof the Eids highlights. This Islamic phant ones. form of combination cannot be found When Muslims assemble in the except in Islam. Eid is a day of re- congregation of Eid day, they all membrance. Even in the most joyful whole-heartedly pray for forgiveness times the Muslims make a fresh start and strength in faith. And Allah has of the day by a plural session of wor- assured those who approach Him ship to Allah. They pray to Allah and with sincerity of His mercy and forglorify His name to demonstrate their giveness. In that pure assembly and remembrance of His favours. Along highly spiritual congregation any true with that course, they remember the Muslim would feel ashamed of himdeceased by prayer for their souls, the self before Allah to hold any enmity

or ill-feelings towards his brethren. A true Muslim would be deeply impressed by this brotherly and spiritual assembly, and would overcome hid feting if he has been exposed to any. Consequently, he would find himself moving along with others responding to the spirit of the day to purify his heart and soul. In any case, he would forgive those who might have wronged him, because he himself would be praying for Allah’s forgiveness, and would do his best to acquire it. The spirit of this highly devotional assembly would teach him that if he forgives he would be forgiven. And when he forgives, the virtue of forgiveness will be mercifully exercised by Allah and widely exchanged between the Muslims. And that marks the day as a day of forgiveness. When a Muslim establishes peace within his heart by obeying the law of Allah and leading a disciplinary life, he has certainly concluded a most sacred treaty of peace with Allah. Once a person is at peace with Allah, he is at peace with himself and, consequently, with the rest of the Universe. So when he celebrates the Eid in the right manner, he is actually celebrating the conclusion of a peace treaty between himself and Allah, and this marks the Eid as a day of Peace

Kerry’s success worse than his failure Nicola Nasser Email:


he critical issue of the ever ex panding illegal Israeli colonial settlements on the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) in the West Bank (WB), which are peace killing in eastern Jerusalem in particular, will make or break the newly resumed Palestinian – Israeli negotiations. On July 29, 2013, those negotiations were resumed in Washington, DC; they are scheduled to begin in earnest in mid-August. President Barak Obama hailed them as a “promising step forward.” However, in view of more than twenty years of failed U.S. – sponsored peace making, the new talks “promise” nothing more than being a new round of failure and “conflict management,” in spite of Obama’s belief that “peace is both possible and necessary.” According to Albert Einstein, “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results” is “insanity,” but that is exactly what John Kerry seems to have achieved after six tours of shuttle diplomacy in the Middle East since he was sworn in as the U.S. Secretary of State. Unless the issue of settlements is addressed in accordance with international and humanitarian law as well as in compliance with the resolutions of the United Nations, Kerry will be shooting himself in the legs and his success in his peace mission would be worse than his failure. However, Kerry seems and sounds determined to pursue his mission on the basis of contradictory terms of reference, laid down by the official letter sent by the former U.S. president George W. Bush to former Israeli premier Ariel Sharon in April

2004, whereby the United States pledged to annex the major Jewish settlements to Israel, to redraw its borders accordingly and to exclude the right of return of Palestinian refugees from any agreement in the future on solving the Arab – Israeli conflict in Palestine peacefully. Top on the agenda of the resumed negotiations are borders and security; Israel has never defined its borders nor respected the borders set by the United Nations resolution No. 181 of 1947; in the name of security, it demands borders that compromise the viability of any independent Palestinian state on the WB. From U.S. and Israeli perspectives, “the resumption of negotiations is seen as an objective in itself,” in words of Ghassan al-Khatib, the former spokesman of the Palestinian Authority. David Ignatius on August 2 described kerry’s efforts as a “mission impossible,” which if it fails “this time, it will cost the parties dearly;” he described the ensuing negotiations as “a kind of a benign trap, once the prey have been lured inside, it’s difficult for them to escape without either accomplishing .. peace or damaging themselves.” Indeed in the long run, success of the resumed negotiations warn of creating a political environment that would give “legitimacy” to a new Israeli military assault on the Gaza Strip to remove the “armed resistance” there to their outcome, with the overt blessing of the U,S. sponsor of the negotiations and the discreet blessing of the Arab “peace partners.” However, the expected failure of kerry’s efforts could be worse than the failure of the Camp David summit meeting in September 2000 of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak and U.S. former president Bill

Clinton. By sending his negotiators to Washington, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is again compromising his personal credibility, but worse still he risks a Palestinian implosion in the case of success, but in case the negotiations fail he risks a Palestinian explosion in rebellion against both his PA and the Israeli occupation. Abbas has already antagonized his old allies among the members of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) - including the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), which is considered the third influential Palestinian power after the two rivals of Fatah and Hamas - who accuse him of reneging on their consensus not to resume negotiations without a stop to the expansion of Israeli colonial settlements first. National reconciliation between the PLO and Hamas will be put on hold for at least the nine months which the negotiators set as the time frame for their negotiations. His decision put on hold as well any Palestinian new attempt to join international organizations to build on the UN General Assembly’s recognition of Palestine as a non-member state in September 2012. The new talks are merely “the beginning of the beginning” of “a long process” in which “there is no guarantee” for success, according to former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. All this boils down to winning Israel more time to dictate whatever borders it deems “secured,” by creating more facts on the OPT. For Palestinians, this is a waste of time that makes their dream of a national homeland in an independent state more remote. No surprise then Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu on July 27 saw in resumption of negotiations “a vital strategic interest of state of Israel.” Kerry’s per-

sonal success seems to have pressured Palestinians into being fooled again into jumping to “final status” negotiations as best way to absolve Israel from honouring its commitments in compliance with “interim” accords it had signed with PLO. The Palestinian wide –spread opposition to the resumption of talks is accusing Abbas of being a “believer” in peace who is about to get “stung from the same hole twice,” in reference to the bloody outcome of the U.S. – hosted Camp David summit in September 2000. Then, the U.S. administration of Clinton pressured Arafat into “final status” negotiations. Barak, then the Israeli prime minister, found in the Camp David final status talks a golden pretext not to implement the third stage of the Oslo accords, namely to withdraw the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) from about 95% of the West Bank area and hand it over to the PA. Linking the WB and Gaza by a “corridor” that allows free movement of people and goods between them was another commitment that has yet to be honored by Israel. The critical issue of the illegal Israeli colonial settlements on the WB will make or break the new Kerry – sponsored talks. On July 29, James M. Wall wrote: “Israel plays the peace process game not to give away ill-gotten gains, but to protect them;” settlements come on top of those “gains;” they were “gained” under the umbrella of the “peace process,” with the tacit blessing of well - intentioned Palestinian negotiator who did not make their removal a precondition to the resumption of peace talks right from start. —The writer is a veteran Arab journalist based in Bir Zeit, West Bank of the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories.

Views From Abroad

Helping people of Syria in their time of need Justine Greening


know Muslims all over the re gion will have spent the month of Ramadan fasting, so I would like to take the chance to wish “Eid Mubarak” to everyone celebrating this weekend. Ramadan is a time of reflection, when Muslims think of those less fortunate than themselves the world over. I’m sure many of you will have been thinking, in particular, of the suffering of those caught up in the Syria crisis, with many zakat donations going to help Syrians in need. My thoughts at this time have also been very much with the millions of ordinary Syrians who have been injured or driven out of their homes by the continuing violence. I think, as well, of those people in neighboring countries who have been so generous in opening their homes and communities, often to total strangers. At the start of Ramadan, I went to Lebanon to see for myself the effect that more than two years of fighting has had, not only on Syria but on the region as a whole. I spoke to families who had fled their homes with nothing and heard some truly harrowing stories of suffering and hardship. The numbers are shocking and continue to mount. The UN estimates that over 100,000 people have now died and over 4.25 million have fled

their homes inside Syria. Refugee numbers in neighboring countries are now close to 2 million, which also creates pressures on host communities. I am particularly worried about what the fighting means for girls and women, many of whom now find themselves at greater risk of violence and exploitation. An estimated one in 10 female refugees has experienced some form of violence. Children are among the most at risk, with over 50 percent of refugees under 18 years of age. As I saw, both in Lebanon, and earlier this year when I met Syrian refugees in Jordan, behind each one of those numbers is an individual human tragedy. That is why I am determined that the UK’s immediate priority in this conflict has got to remain squarely on providing humanitarian assistance. Since the start of the fighting, the UK has been at the forefront of the humanitarian response. Our funding has helped to provide food, water, medicine and shelter to hundreds of thousands of people. Just over a month ago, David Cameron stood up at the meeting of G8 leaders in Ireland and announced that the UK will be providing a further £175 million for the Syrian crisis. That is the largest single funding commitment ever made by the UK in response to a humanitarian disaster. It more than doubled our funding, bringing the UK’s total commitment to £348 million. This is the

UK’s biggest response to a single humanitarian crisis. This reflects the size of the crisis — and the scale of the suffering. It is a signal of just how serious this Government is about doing everything we can to alleviate the suffering. We have also consistently pushed other donor countries to ensure that they have stepped up and played their part, and we will continue to call on them to honor the funding promises they have made. UK support has provided over 285,000 people a month are getting food. Our support is helping to get water for almost 1 million people and almost 300,000 medical consultations, helping people across Syria and in neighboring countries. Our support is also providing school materials and training teachers to ensure that refugee children don’t miss out on an education. And we are providing support kits for new mothers, reproductive health services for refugee women and financial support to vulnerable women at risk of coerced marriage. So we know that help is getting through, that it is saving lives. But we must also recognize that it isn’t reaching all those who need it, all of the time. The Syrian government continues to impose bureaucratic hurdles on humanitarian agencies which must be lifted. Humanitarian workers are also facing interference and threat of violence. This has to stop. All sides to

the conflict must recognize and respect that. We must also start thinking about meeting long term needs. At the June launch of the new UNled Appeal, Baroness Amos, who leads the UN’s Syria response, estimated that two years of conflict have set back Syria’s development by two decades. Increasingly, we are providing long term funding to help aid agencies plan better and maintain existing key infrastructure and services. That means ensuring things like health and education services keep running and water and sewage infrastructure doesn’t fail. Ultimately, the international community must do more to end the crisis in Syria and move toward a political resolution. Until then, humanitarian workers must have free access to get to where they are needed and get on with the job they are there to do, without threat to life, while the international community must provide them with the funding they need to do it. The UK will keep pushing for this on the international stage. The support being given to the charities and organizations doing such vital work in and around Syria is making a real difference. Together, we will continue to stand alongside the people of Syria during their time of need. —The author is the British secretary of state for international development. Courtesy Arab News

Voice of the People Let Imran apologise ALI HASHIM Imran Khan needs to apologies unconditionally to the Supreme Court and promise not to behave in the same manner again. We may recall George W Bush’s first election, when he had run against Al Gore. The latter got the majority of popular votes but lost the election due to vote counting irregularities in Florida. The US Supreme Court ruled in favour of Bush and, despite much criticism of the judgement, Al Gore told his supporters that he would accept the decision – no ifs or buts. This is how you build real respect for the judiciary – by accepting and obeying its decisions even though they may be against you. —Fairfax, US

***** HAMEED AKHTAR NIAZI It takes a brave man to accept his mistake. Imran Khan is definitely a brave man. I am sure he will realise his folly of castigating the Supreme Court for whose independence he has even been to jail. He certainly would not like to be dubbed as stubborn by unnecessarily persisting in his folly. He should quickly wind up this show by apologising to the Supreme Court. By so doing he will enhance his already high stature. It is time he concentrated on the burning question of terrorism that severely affects Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the province where his party rules. He must ready himself to contribute his input to the all-parties conference that was seemingly postponed till his return from Britain. Lastly, he shouldn’t claim exclusivity by demanding a separate meeting with the PM and the COAS. —Islamabad

Torturous taxation IFTIKHAR KHAN This refers to Dr Nisar’s letter ‘Techsavvy taxation’ (Aug 1). I own a sixyear-old Toyota car with Punjab’s number plate and pay an annual token tax of Rs8,700 on it. I have been depositing the tax at the GPO Islamabad for the last three years. This year, when I went to the same post office, I found a notice stating that it had stopped taking token tax of vehicles with Punjab number plate. The next day, I went to Rawalpindi, and showed my registration at a post office there. I was shocked when the post office employee told me that I had to pay Rs26,100 as arrears for the past three years although I had paid the tax at the GPO Islamabad. I checked my car’s record at the Punjab Excise and Taxation Department’s website and according to it I hadn’t paid any tax for the last three years. I’m sure many others must have gone through the same torture. The FBR needs to bring changes in the revenue collection system to save people from double taxation. —Islamabad

Floods, an eye-opener KHALID IDREES The devastation caused by the recent heavy rains in Karachi should serve as an eye opener for the CDA which, over the years, has allowed encroachments on, and along, the nullahs and natural water courses located in Islamabad. What is more unfortunate is that the residents of the capital have been using these nullahs and water courses to dump sewage and industrial waste. As a consequence, their drainage capacity has significantly decreased, affecting the natural drainage system of the city. Islamabad is thus susceptible to flooding if a heavy downpour hits the city. This demands that all the civic agencies equip themselves to cope with all kinds of eventualities that heavy rains might cause since the met department has already forecast heavy rains in September. The CDA must undertake the cleaning and dredging of nullahs and natural watercourses on an urgent basis. —Islamabad

Petrol & power price hike ASHFAQ SHARIF I want to ask simple question from the PML-N President Mr. Nawaz Sharif what message your Govt wants to convey by increasing the prices of petrol and electricity which have evoted strong reaction

The change has come FATIMA HASAN ZAIDI


he slogan of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) said that “Change has come.” Oh yes it came. Countless people speak against PTI just because it did not win the overall elections 2013, but if we think as a nation the change has really come. As it was beyond our imagination that Ramadan in all over Pakistan will begin on same date and festivity of Eid will be observed equally in KPK and other provinces. This ensued after years in the history of Pakistan one Eid will be celebrated and for this we must be thankful to the government of KPK for upholding the nation together. How many of critics will refute this accomplished truth. Imran Khan, the lumber house of knowledge proved his words into ultimate reality. Still if people blab about him then we can’t turn haters into lovers. —Rawalpindi from all groups of people who have protested and condemned recent increase. Hike in price of Petrol and electricity badly hit our existence. Price rise will lead to more and more inflation. Why not think how to eliminate inflation. Due to hike in petrol and electricity all leading trade bodes specially FPCCI, SITE and KCCI should register a protest and condemn and ask the Govt to immediate withdraw the recent hike AND further reduce the prices of electricity and petrol if our newly Govt wants to run economy cycle without any hurdle. —Karachi

Coal-based power plants HUMAYUN ZAFAR Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has declared that 10 power plants with a total generation capacity of 6,600MW will be established at Gadani. This is good news but there is one concern. The Pakistan Steel Mills was first planned in that area but it was later changed to Port Qasim after it was discovered that polluted wind-flowing from the Steel Mills in an easterly direction would reach Karachi and pollute its atmosphere. Coal-based power generation emits substantial pollution and that is one of the reasons why power generators in the US are being switched from coal to gas. Pollution from gasfired power generators is much less. Environmentalists’ advice should be sought first before deciding the location of the proposed power park. —Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Agriculture & water allocation AIJAZ A NIZAMANI A press reporter, has recently written a good piece about water below the Kotri barrage (July 14). The piece extensively got opinions from irrigation experts and farmers of Sindh and Punjab. The farmers, particularly feudal, of Sindh and Punjab are in perpetual quarrel to get more and more water and use it for an outdated irrigation management system. Prior to the modern canal and barrage-based irrigation, almost the entire water used to flow its natural course through riverine forest areas (southern Punjab and Sindh) into the delta. Agriculture was practiced through inundation canals with limited cultivation in low-lying areas. Since the cotton-based agricultural economy suited colonial rulers they changed the agricultural pattern to supply cotton raw material to textile mills in Manchester. There was a British Cotton Growers Association which lobbied for this change in the cropping pattern. This needed a new class and new economy based on the “desert bloom syndrome”, i.e. bringing as much area under canal irrigation as possible and diverting as much water as technology allowed from its natural course. With every diversion in the form of a barrage, the people in riverine and delta areas (which at one time used to be the richest in the subcontinent) were deprived of their natural access to fresh water which had been with them for hundreds of thousands of years. A dam is not harmful to riverine and delta areas if it does not have a diversion design. Compared to it, barrages are solely meant for diversion and it has a significant negative impact on nature and the people living in delta and riverine areas of both Sindh and southern Punjab. People (and experts) often debate and estimate how much Indus water should be allocated for a delta. The answer, depending on schools of thought, ranges from none (as some feudal lords tend to think in Punjab) to 10MAF under the 1991 water accord to 27MAF by IUCN. Some local experts put the figure at 35MAF. I think the question should be the other way around. How much is fresh water actually needed by agriculture in Indus command areas (where over a 41m-acre area is commanded in 19 barrage areas), and not how much is required by riverine areas or delta? The argument would

be that water belongs to nature and it should be calculated how much water is needed for agriculture to achieve current and future levels of agricultural output. The water allocation estimate should be based on current technologies and should involve a full-cost recovery for irrigation supplies. Water withdrawals for agriculture are based on the technologies or systems of the late 19th century or early 20th century while the farmers (the lot of them certainly feudal) continue to waste water provided to them at 99pc subsidy! For this, my favourite analogy is that petrol allocation for your car today is based on fuel needs of a Prius (a high-efficiency hybrid car) and not on a 1930s Cadillac. Despite this ‘powerful’ argument, our economy is elitist. The poor people in delta and riverine areas are economically a very weak segment in the political economy of Pakistan where a water policy ‘expert’ invariably means an irrigation (civil) engineering professional and water ‘stakeholder’ means a feudal lord. To add further woe to the misery, those feudal lords may now be sitting in the National Assembly or the Senate of Pakistan. —Karachi

Building Waran Canal INAYAT ATTA Located in the South Waziristan area of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the multipurpose Gomal Zam Dam is Pakistan’s first roller compact concrete (RCC) dam. It will not only irrigate 191,000 acres barren land of Tank district and Kulachi tehsil of D.I.Khan, but will also generate 17.5 MW of low-cost hydel power. According to a report by the Planning Commission, D.I. Khan and Tank are among the 25 poorest districts of the country. The agricultural land either remains ‘barani’ (rain-fed) or the farmers are dependent on indigenous irrigation system known as ‘rod kohi’ (hill torrent). But the commencement of the project will help store the water for irrigation, mitigate floods, and provide the employment opportunities for youth and also bolster the income of poor segments of society. One integral part of the project plan, when it was first conceived in 1880, is the construction of 164km-long Waran Canal system. Last year when Wapda complained about the shortage of funds for the Waran Canal, the USAID came forward and opined in its favour after thoroughly assessing its historical importance and current relevance. It is pertinent to note that in September 2012 the USAID, in addition to the provision of $80m to help complete the main dam, further provided $12m for the construction of the Waran Canal system. The tender of Waran Canal system took place in January this year, but the too high bidding competition led to its cancellation. Now the retendering is taking an unnecessarily long time despite 10 months after the allocation of funds by the USAID. What the authorities concerned are failing to realise is that long delays are not only adding to the misery of the people but are also discriminatory and against the basic vision of the dam of bringing the benefits to all the communities. The residents of D.I. Khan and Tank districts strongly support the Waran Canal project and request the prime minister to look into the matter. The PTI’s provincial government -– with its holistic economic and social vision – should also take interest in the construction of the Waran Canal system. This calls for immediate re-tendering of the project so that work on it should begin as soon as possible. The authorities concerned are expected to take special measures to complete the Waran Canal system on time. —D I Khan

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


Pak, India should not allow situation to escalate: PM

Nation celebrates Eid-ul Fitr

year killed four of his inner circle, but there have been no reports of Assad himself coming under fire. Video footage distributed by the Tahrir al-Sham rebels showed smoke rising from what it said was the Malki district, where Assad and his close aides have homes. Other activists also reported rocket fire into the area. Syria’s government denied the reports. “The news is wholly untrue,” Information Minister Omran Zoabi said.Firas al-Bitar, head of the Tahrir al-Sham brigade, said his fighters had carried out reconnaissance of the route of Assad’s motorcade and fired 120 mm artillery towards

From Page 1 Mufti Munib-ur-Rehman in a press conference at Met Complex Karachi after convening meeting of the body for sighting the moon and gathering evidences. The body gathered evidences about moon sighting from all the four provinces of the country and meeting of Zonal moon-sighting committees were held simultaneously in their respective headquarters. Eidul Fitr was celebrated in tribal areas on Thursday in view of Eid celebration in Saudi Arabia. Eid prayers were offered in Peshawar’s Afghan refugee camps, Bannu, Khyber Agency and various tribal areas after local Ulema decided to mark the Eid day with Saudi Arabia. Eid-ul Fitr was celebrated in Saudi Arabia and parts of Gulf countries, Europe and the United States on Thursday with religious zeal and enthusiasm. The biggest Eid congregation was held at Masjid-eHaram. Hundreds of thousands of Muslims offered Eid-ul Fitr prayers and prayed for the progress and prosperity of Muslim ummah. Bangladesh and India also celebrate Eid-ul Fitr today. In Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation, throngs of believers made their way to Eid congregations yesterday. In the Vietnamese capital, Hanoi, about 100 Muslims braved a stormy morning to pray at the city’s sole mosque on the edge of the city’s old quarter. The Vietnamese imam gave a sermon in Arabic and then English to the congregation, most of whom were expatriates. Vietnam is also home to some 60,000 indigenous Muslims, most of them in the south. Meanwhile, in the Philippines, government troops and police strengthened security in the southern province of Maguindanao and outlying regions due to a spate of deadly bombings and other attacks during Ramadan that were blamed on a breakaway Muslim group called the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Movement. Thailand’s security agencies had warned about more frequent, escalated insurgency attacks at the end of the Ramadan period in the three Muslim-dominated southernmost provinces that border with Malaysia, despite the ongoing peace talks with Muslim separatists facilitated by its southern neighbour.

Firing injures Pakistani civilian at LoC From Page 1 along the Line of Control in Kashmir. Officials said Indian troops opened fire at around 8:30 am in the Tatta Pani sector, “seriously” wounding one civilian who was evacuated to a military hospital. “Today (in the) morning at about 0830 hours, Indian troops resorted to unprovoked firing at the LoC (Line of Control) ... One civilian Kaka Sana Muhammad ... was seriously wounded due to the unprovoked firing by Indian troops,” the official said. “The injured Kaka Sana was evacuated to a military hospital,” said the source who spoke on condition of anonymity. The incident comes amid a recent spike in tension across the heavily militarised border as India accused Pakistani forces of being involved in an attack on one of its army posts in which five of its soldiers were killed. Under the Nov 25, 2003 ceasefire agreement, Pakistan and India are committed not to target each other’s posts and personnel. The agreement has largely held and was considered as one of the main successes in the peace process. However, violations increased in January this year and have been holding up the third round of the resumed peace dialogue between the two countries. The two sides are now preparing to restart the round and dates for talks on Wullar Barrage and Sir Creek have been proposed by Pakistan. Analysts say the attack has also complicated efforts to arrange a meeting between India’s veteran Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Pakistani premier Nawaz Sharif.

From Page 1 the president’s convoy early on Thursday.”The attack rattled the regime, even if Assad was not hit,” he told Reuters from an undisclosed location in the capital. “There were two motorcades, one containing Assad and a decoy. We targeted the correct one.” Bitar’s brigade operates mainly in the Ghouta region on the eastern outskirts of the capital. Another official in Tahrir alSham said Assad’s forces fired rockets and artillery “like rain” on the region in response to the reported attack. Following the statement, Syrian state television showed footage of Assad praying alongside ministers and other top of-

ficials. It said the footage was from Thursday’s Eid prayers at the Anas bin Malek Mosque in Malki. Assad appeared unharmed and smiled at the worshippers as he entered the mosque. Islam Alloush of the Liwa al-Islam, another rebel brigade, told Reuters earlier on Thursday that rebels fired rockets which struck Assad’s motorcade. “Assad was not hit but the information we have based from sources within the regime is that there were casualties within his entourage,” Allooush said. Other activists also reported rockets were fired into the Malki area, which was sealed off by security forces.—Reuters

Drifting sand dune endangers main structure ISLAMABAD: Ladies are busy in buying bangles from Jinnah Super Market for Eid-ul Fitr on Thursday.

Altaf, Bilawal condemn Quetta suicide blast STAFF REPORTER KARACHI—Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) leader Altaf Hussain strongly condemned the bomb explosion during funeral prayer of SHO Quetta City in police line, Quetta. Expressing his profound grief and sorrow over the killing and wounding of several people including DIG Operations, SP Headquarters, DSP Headquarters and many police officers and personnel. In a condolence message He termed the Quetta blast as a brutal act of absolute terrorism and said “merciless terrorists targeting mosques, imam Bargahs, school, playgrounds and even funeral gatherings were the enemies of humanity and spilling innocent blood for their nefarious designs in the holy month of ‘Ramadan’, and such terrorists deserves no sym-

pathy. He demanded of President, Prime Minister, Federal Interior Minister, Governor and Chief Minister’s Balochistan to immediately arrest and give exemplary punishment to the barbaric terrorists and their supporters involved in this outrageous attack. He called upon steps to provide the sense of security to the people and demanded that effective measures had to be taken to safeguard the lives and properties of the innocent people. He extended his sympathies to the aggrieved families. Pakistan People’s Party Parliamentarian (PPPP) Patron-inChief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari strongly condemned the bomb blast at Police civil lines in Quetta, which resulted into loss of precious human lives including DIG Operations Quetta Fayyaz Ahmed Sumbal while

injuring many others. While expressing profound grief and shock over the incident, Bilawal said that the elements spilling the blood of innocent people by carrying out acts of terrorism were open enemies of democracy and the country. He said that anti-democratic and extremist mindset was behind such barbaric acts of terrorism, which needs to be stopped with firmness and unity. “We will not be intimidated by such cowardly acts and such acts will not deter our resolve to fight terrorism,” he added. He offered condolences to the grieving families and prayed for the eternal peace of the departed souls and grant courage to the bereaved families to bear this irreparable loss with fortitude. He also prayed for the speedy recovery of the injured.

Former Balkan guerrillas join Syria rebels PRISTINA — Some fought as war,” Kulla said. A classified prayer from a nearby mosque, guerrillas during the bloody Balkans wars of the 1990s, battling powerful tanks and artillery. Others grew up under the influence of radical Islam that has gained ground in poverty-hit areas in the Balkan countries and regions populated by Muslims. Today, both experienced fighters and their younger followers are leaving the Balkans to join Syrian rebels on the front line. Many return home in body bags with their families often unaware they had even joined the fight. Migena Maliqaj, an Albanian, had not heard from her husband Halil since November, when he told her he was leaving their home in Prush, outside the capital Tirana, to try to find work in Turkey. In June, she received a text message from an unknown number saying that Halil had been killed in Syria. Maliqaj was reluctant to talk to AFP. “Leave me alone, I do not know anything,” she said in a trembling voice, pushing her three children inside a two-storey house. The first Ermal Xhelo’s mother knew of her son’s involvement in Syria was when the 35-yearold’s remains were brought home to her in Albania’s southern city of Vlora. He too had said he was going to work in Turkey. The Xhelo family also refused to talk. “My son had nothing to do with extremists,” the mother told AFP, abruptly ending the phone call. Illir Kulla, a security expert from Albania, estimates that “at least 300 Albanians from Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia have left for Syria to fight in the name of a ‘sacred war ’” over the past months. Their conviction comes from their Islamic faith, Kulla stressed. “They are not mercenaries, but volunteers convinced that they are fighting for a good cause... prone to religious manipulation that the war in Syria is truly a sacred

Delhi HC From Page 1 faith in my country, its judicial system and in humanity. My wife has been allowed to stay in India. Having her back at home is the best gift ever,’’ Gulfam said.—Agencies

intelligence report by Kosovan security services described “Islamic extremists” going to Syria in small groups “claiming they are helping out their brothers”. They travel in “small groups of two or three, in order not to look suspicious”, said the report seen by AFP. In May, street signs in Novi Pazar, the main town in Serbia’s Muslim-majority southern region of Sandzak, were covered with obituaries for Eldar Kudakovic, a 27year-old killed in Syria during a raid by rebels on a prison near the key city of Aleppo, reportedly with another man from the area. “All of us are with them. And all of us are Mujahideen,” read a message posted on a Sandzak radical Islam web portal, praising the victims as “martyrs”. Since the start of hostilities 28 months ago, more than 100,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in Syria, the UN says. Millions more have been forced by violence to flee their homes. Thousands of foreign fighters have flocked to Syria to join rebels fighting to bring down Bashar al-Assad’s regime, travelling across the Turkish, Iraqi, Jordanian and Lebanese borders into the strife-torn country. While many of Syria’s rebels started off as inexperienced fighters, they have to an extent benefited from the experience of radical Islamists, many of who had already fought in other wars. Jihadists have travelled to Syria mainly from Arab states — Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Libya and Iraq in particular — but also from across Europe, the Caucasus and south Asia. Reports of jihadists dying in Syria have not deterred Balkans fighters. One father-of-three from Podujevo, a small town in northern Kosovo, was making the final preparations for his journey to Syria, which he was to enter illegally. “If Russia, Iran and Hezbollah do not hesitate to defend (President Bashar) al-Assad’s regime which murders its own citizens, even children, why should we hesitate to help the Syrians?” argued the 40-yearold, a jobless construction worker who wanted to remain anonymous. His words muffled by the call for noon

he was nevertheless adamant his decision was final. “Once I am gone, I will not return until the end of the war,” he told AFP, adding that his wife and young children would be taken care of by his two brothers. Also planning to depart for Syria was a former sniper in the ethnic Albanian Kosovo Liberation Army, the separatist guerillas which fought against then Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic’s forces in the 19981999 war. After spending two weeks in Aleppo to “assess the situation”, he now planned to join the rebels along “with about a dozen war comrades, experts in different weaponry if peace talks fail”. Religious expert Visar Duriqi said recruitment of future fighters has been taking place in Kosovo through a set-up allegedly run by a Salafi sect known for its strict approach to Islam. Recruitment is voluntary, experts agree, with Salafists meeting far from the eyes of the community, and often late at night. The Islamic Community of Kosovo, a body representing Muslims, denies any involvement in the Syria recruitment. “I am all for helping the (Syrian) people to escape from this bloody mess, not individually, but as it was done in Libya” with help from the international community, its representative Resul Rexhepi said. Observers say that the worsening economic crisis in the Balkans — compounded by an unemployment rate that tops 20 percent in most countries in the region — has contributed to the radicalisation of youth. Experts believe that the Salafist presence is strongest in Bosnia, as many foreign fighters joined Muslim forces against Bosnian Serb troops and settled there after the bloody 1992-1995 war. Esad Hecimovic, a Bosnian security expert, told AFP that volunteers for the war in Syria said they were motivated by the fight for what they describe as a single “Islamic homeland”. “This is the original motive, the same one which motivated some foreigners to come and fight in Bosnia, and now motivates Bosnians to go to Syria,” Hecimovic said.— AFP

Obama felicitates Muslims From Page 1 celebration. Eid Mubarak,” President Obama said in a message, released here by the US embassy. President Obama recalled that at this year’s White House Iftar, he was proud to spend time with some of the many American Muslims whose contributions enrich the US democracy and strengthen its economy. He said during the past month, Muslims have honoured their faith through prayer and service, fasting and time spent with loved ones. “Many of us have had the opportunity to break fast with our Muslim friends and colleagues - a tradition that reminds us to be grateful for our blessings and to show compassion to the less fortunate among us, including millions of Syrians who spent Ramadan displaced from their homes, their families, and their loved ones.” President Obama said to help the many Syrians in need this Eid ul-Fitr, the United States was providing an additional $195 million in food aid and other humanitarian aid, bringing its humanitarian contribution to the Syrian people to over $1 billion since the crisis began.—APP

Cameron calls From Page 1 sues in a democratic system,” Cameron was quoted as saying by Manchester’s Asian Lite newspaper. “As leaders of two great democracies, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will soon launch bilateral talks to resolve all the issues in between the nuclear armed countries for the welfare of the billion plus people,” the British prime minister said. Cameron said Manmohan Singh was an example for other world leaders to emulate for his determination and knowledge to turn India an economic global power. He also praised Nawaz Sharif as a seasoned politician who would definitely bring remarkable changes to Pakistan’s democratic system. “I met Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif just after the Pakistan elections, and I am sure the new leader of Pakistan will ensure peace and stability in the region,” the British prime minister said.—Online

Tarbela and Mangla are quite insufficient to save wastage of 30 % water annually valuing $ 10 billion. The raising of 30 feet Mangla dam which was provided in its original design has indeed enlarged its storage capacity to 7.392 MAF from 6.7 million acre feet (MAF) making it the largest water reservoir in the country as compared to Tarbela dam having capacity of 6.581 MAF which is reducing drastically due to high rate of silt deposit. According to WAPDA , for

From Page 1 the first time after raising it to 30 feet, water in Mangla Dam has reached a historic high at 1,213 feet above mean sea level a few days ago. With this, water storage has increased to 5.21 MAF. Previously, Mangla Dam reached the maximum level of 1,210 feet two years ago in 2011.This year Mangla Dam will be filled to its maximum level of 1,242 feet. This decision will increase water storage by 2.88 MAF and power generation by about 110 megawatts.

Additional benefits of the project have been estimated at Rs18 billion per year. Despite this fresh addition, Pakistan requires big reservoirs to prevent wastage of an estimated 30 % of the total water available in the country, particularly during Monsoon season, which goes down to the Arabian Sea. An expert said with the passage of time, building of dams have become a cumbersome affair as scores of NOCs will be required by the donor countries including environmental certificate to build water reservoirs.

Assad survives rebels presidential convoy attack head of the Tahrir al-Sham brigade, said his fighters had carried out reconnaissance of the route of Assad’s motorcade and fired 120 mm artillery towards the president’s convoy early on Thursday.” The attack rattled the regime, even if Assad was not hit,” he told Reuters from an undisclosed location in the capital. “There were two motorcades, one containing Assad and a decoy. We targeted the correct one.” Bitar’s brigade operates mainly in the Ghouta region on the east-

From Page 1 ern outskirts of the capital. Another official in Tahrir al-Sham said Assad’s forces fired rockets and artillery “like rain” on the region in response to the reported attack. Following the statement, Syrian state television showed footage of Assad praying alongside ministers and other top officials. It said the footage was from Thursday’s Eid prayers at the Anas bin Malek Mosque in Malki. Assad appeared unharmed

and smiled at the worshippers as he entered the mosque. Islam Alloush of the Liwa al-Islam, another rebel brigade, told Reuters earlier on Thursday that rebels fired rockets which struck Assad’s motorcade. “Assad was not hit but the information we have based from sources within the regime is that there were casualties within his entourage,” Allooush said. Other activists also reported rockets were fired into the Malki area, which was sealed off by security forces.—Reuters

Japan protests to China over ships overstay in isles TOKYO—Four Chinese ships any conditions on talks. spent more than 24 hours in what Japan sees as its territorial waters, prompting a Japanese protest to China on Thursday at a time when Japan has been signaling its desire for a summit. Relations between the world’s second- and third-largest economies have been strained for months, largely because of a dispute over a group of islands in the East China Sea. But Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, fresh from an election victory last month that strengthened his hold on power, is keen to improve relations and has called for dialogue with China, although he has rejected

Chinese ships have previously been in waters near the uninhabited East China Sea islands that are controlled by Japan but claimed by both countries, but they have usually left after several hours. “This is extremely regrettable and totally unacceptable,” Japan’s chief cabinet secretary, Yoshihide Suga, told a news conference. He said Japan had summoned an envoy from the Chinese embassy early on Thursday to protest “strongly” and demand the ships immediately leave. The ships withdrew at around noon, Japan’s coastguard

said. It was the longest stay by Chinese ships in waters near the islands since the dispute flared anew last September, after Japan bought several of the islands from a private owner, angering China. China’s Foreign Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment. However, the country’s State Oceanic Administration said in a statement posted on its website on Wednesday that four coastguard ships were conducting a patrol around the islands. The ships had spotted Japanese ships “infringing China’s sovereignty” and told them to leave, the Chinese agency said.—Reuters

Floodwater destroys crops, inundates villages SIALKOT/ ROJHAN— 45 villages have been inundated while standing crops on hundreds of acres of land were destroyed owing to an increase in the water level of Nullah Dek. A young boy drowned in the fast flow of floodwater of Nullah Dek. 2 children were injured when a wall of a house collapsed in village Gadyala Garbi in Tehsil Sambrial. According to details 16 year old Ali Raza, resident of village Gadala, slipped down and washed away in the fast flow of floodwater. Search for his body was underway. The standing crops on hundreds of acres of land were destroyed by flood water. Five feet deep floodwater was also playing havoc in these villages. Villagers complained that there was no rescue effort in the KARACHI: Ladies busy in selecting artificial jewelery for the preparation to celebrate Eid-ul Fitr on Thursday. affected villages.—INP

Sharapova tops Forbes Ashes batsmen under investigation rich list of women athletes

S YDNEY —Cricket officials to see if a batsman has hit for other players but I’ve a batsman has made contact are investigating whether players in the Ashes series have been using silicone tape on their bats to avoid nicks being detected by “Hot Spot” technology, an Australian TV station reported Wednesday. Australian skipper Michael Clarke and England batsman Kevin Pietersen both denied any knowledge of the use of silicone-based tape, saying such a practice would amount to cheating. Australia’s Channel Nine said the International Cricket Council (ICC) general manager of cricket, Geoff Allardice, would be investigating the matter in Durham, where the fourth Test begins on Friday. An ICC spokesman confirmed that Allardice would be arriving in Durham on Thursday to meet the two teams to address their concerns on the controversial Decision Review System (DRS) but declined to comment on the alleged use of siliconebased tape. Nine did not provide sources and gave no details of whether the Australian or England batsmen may have been using the tape to fool Hot Spot, which uses thermal cameras

Office-bearers of Punjab cycling elected

the ball, either with his bat or pad. But it suggested both sides were under suspicion. Australian skipper Michael Clarke told the

never heard any conversation about that in the Australian change room and I can guarantee you my bat manufacturer (doesn’t do that). I didn’t know there was such

Sydney Morning Herald he had no knowledge of tape being used to fox the technology, which is often used to review dismissals. “If that’s the case, then we’re talking about cheating and I can guarantee there is not one person in the Australian change room that will cheat,” Clarke said. “That’s not the way we play cricket. “It’s hard for me to talk

a thing you could do to hide nicking the ball on Hot Spot.” Controversy has raged over the effectiveness of the Decision Review System during the five-match series, in which England retained the Ashes after winning the first two games and drawing the third. Hot Spot technology uses an infra-red imaging system to determine whether

with a ball—with a bright mark often detected on the bat where the ball has hit. Channel Nine said there was concern regarding Pietersen’s dismissal in the second innings of the third Test, when a noise was heard indicating a nick but no Hot Spot was detected on the bat. Pietersen described the report as “horrible journalism” and “hurtful lies”. “I am never afraid of getting out! If I nick it, I’ll walk. To suggest I cheat by covering my bat with silicon infuriates me,” he tweeted. “How stupid would I be to try & hide a nick when it could save me on an LBW appeal, like in 1st innings where hotspot showed I nicked it,” he added. The Australian newspaper said Nine sources had indicated that the coating on modern bats could have been the reason that some faint edges were not detected by Hot Spot. Cricket Australia said it had no immediate comment on the report. “Until such time as we have clarification from the ICC and further details, then we are not in a position to make any further comment,” a spokesman told AFP.—AFP

Del Potro beats Isner to win Washington title

LAHORE—Chaudhary Kamran Amin and Waqar Ali were elected the President and Secretary of the Punjab Cycling Association here at the general council meeting. The representatives of all the affiliated units of PCA attended the meeting which elected the fresh office bearers for a next term of four years. Following were elected, Muhammad Saleem Butt, Patron,Ch.Kamran Amin, President, (Lahore), Idris Haider Khawaja, Sr.Vice President, (Lahore), (Vice Presidents) Shaukat Ali Prizada, (Bahawalpur), Khadim Ali Khadim, (Gujrat) Ashiq Kanju, (Rahim Yar Khan), Ayman Mushtaq Ali, Lady Vice President, (Coaches Association), Akbar Murad, Vice President, (Kasur), Waqar Ali, Secretary (Coaches Assn). Mohammad, Yousaf Chishti, Associate Secretary (Gujranwala) Syed Abbas Ali Shah, Associate Secretary, (Sialkot) Fayyaz Ahmed, Associate Secretary, (Sargodha), Dawood Ahmed, Associate Secretary, (Gujrat), Qaisar Siddique Bhatti, Associate Secretary, (Technical Assn), Khalid Mahmood, Treasurer, (Lahore), Malik Muhammad Aslam, Legal Advisor, Ismail-ul-Rehman, Press Secretary.—APP

P ARIS —Tennis stars dominated the list of the world’s 10 best-paid female athletes, Forbes magazine said on Tuesday, but highlighted the yawning earnings gap with their male counterparts in most sports. Russia’s Maria Sharapova headed the list, published on, earning a total of $29 million (#18.9 million, 21.9 million euros) between June 2012 and June this year. Tennis took the top four positions, with world number one Serena Williams of the United States second ($20.5 million), China’s Li Na third ($18.2 million) and Victoria Azarenka of Belarus fourth ($15.7 million). Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark was in seventh ($13.6 million), followed by Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland ($7.4 million) and Serbia’s Ana Ivanovic ($7 million). US Nascar driver Danica Patrick (fifth with $15 million), South Korean figure skater Kim Yuna (sixth with $14 million)and American golfer Paula Creamer (10th with $5.5 million), were the only non-tennis stars in the top 10. But the business magazine said disparities remained between men and women in terms of earnings in sport. World number one golfer Tiger Woods, for example, was the highest-paid athlete on the planet with earnings of $78 million in the 12 months between June 1, 2012 and June 1 this year. Los Angeles Laker basketball star Kobe Bryant will earn $30.5 million next season but the highest salary in the women’s equivalent of the NBA is $107,000. Park Inbee of South Korea won $585,000 for winning the women’s US Open but men’s winner Justin Rose was awarded $1.4 million, the magazine noted. Forbes said that there was

Centurion Imam, pacer Aftab excel in Pak U-19 win in tri series

PARIS: Tennis stars dominated the list of the world’s 10 best-paid women athletes according to Forbes magazine. increasing parity in terms of highest-paid athletes, multiple 1. Maria Sharapova (RUS), tenpay in tennis, after moves in tennis Grand Slam winner nis, $29 million recent years to put prize money Roger Federer of Switzerland 2. Serena Williams (USA), tenon a more equal footing. earned $71.5 million, second nis, $20.5 million Endorsements that come only to Woods. 3. Li Na (CHN), tennis, $18.2 on the back of Grand Slam wins Sharapova, number 22 in million such as Sharapova’s 2012 the top 100 list, earned more 4. Victoria Azarenka (BLR), tenFrench Open title dwarf most than the current men’s num- nis, $15.7 million players’ winnings. ber one Novak Djokovic of 5. Danica Patrick (USA), The 26-year-old, for ex- Serbia ($26.9 million) and Nascar, $15 million ample, earned $23 million in Spain’s Rafael Nadal ($26.4 6. Kim Yuna (KOR), figure skatendorsements with sportswear million). ing, $14 million manufacturers Head and Nike But in a sign of the ground 7. Caroline Wozniacki (DEN), after her victory at Roland to be made up, Williams’ earn- tennis, $13.6 million Garros. ings were only enough to place 8. Agnieszka Radwanska She has also launched her her 68th in the top 100, while (POL), tennis, $7.4 million own brand of sweets, Li Na was 85th—and all three 9. Ana Ivanovic (SRB), tennis, Sugarpova. were the only women in the list. $7 million Nevertheless, in Forbes’ Forbes list of the world’s high- 10. Paula Creamer (USA), golf, June 24 list of the world’s 100 est-paid female athletes 2013: $5.5 million.—AFP

Jesus Soto Karass stops Andre Berto in 12th round

SAN A NTONIO —Jesus Soto out with the left hand 48 sec- rights and moved in for a seK A R A C H I —Imam-ul-Haq Karass stopped Andre Berto onds into the final round. The ries of strong punches. Prior

WASHINGTON: Juan Martin del Potro kissing the trophy after beating John Isner in final of the Washington Open. all-time against Isner, the W ASHINGTON —Juan Mar- Meadows. In his first event since an ATP season aces leader, detin del Potro showed he deserves to be among the fa- epic five-set loss to Djokovic spite not getting to sleep vorites to win the US Open in the longest semi-final in until 3 am after a rain-interby rallying to beat John Isner Wimbledon history, del rupted semi-final. Isner, ranked 20th, in final of the Washington Potro showed his left knee was fine after an injury at missed out on his third Open. crown of the year after title The 24-year-old top seed Wimbledon. Del Potro stretched his runs last week in Atlanta and from Argentina shook off a sluggish start to beat the US Washington win streak to 14 in April at Houston. Del Potro broke Isner in eighth seed 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 for matches by adding to the his third title in six years at titles he won in the US capi- the fourth and sixth games of the $1.76 million ATP and tal in 2008 and 2009. The last the second set, in each takWTA hardcourt event, a time he won in Washington ing an Isner overhead smash tuneup for the year’s final he went on to win the US and firing back a lightningGrand Slam event beginning Open, the only Grand Slam like forehand winner. Isner netted a forehand in New York in three weeks. title since the 2005 AustraWorld number one lian Open not taken by to surrender a break in the Novak Djokovic, defending Federer, Nadal, Djokovic or seventh game of the third set and del Potro saved champion Andy Murray, Murray. Seventh-ranked del three break points in the fifive-time US Open winner Roger Federer and 2010 US Potro won his 15th career nal game before taking the title, his second of the title after 89 minutes on a H ARARE —The Zimbabwe Open champion Rafael Nadal ATP year after Rotterdam in Feb- backhand cross-court winCricket Board has issued the were del Potro’s picks as the ruary, and improved to 4-0 ner.—AFP schedule for the series players to beat at Flushing against Pakistan. The teams will play two T20s, three One

Zimbabwe Cricket Board issues Pak series schedule

smashed a superb hundred and pacer Muhammad Aftab snapped-up four wickets to lead Pakistan Under-19 to 46 runs victory over England by in the second match of the tri-series played at London Road Sleaford (England) on Tuesday. Left handed Imam, a nephew of former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq, played a brilliant knock of 120 off 142-ball with 10 fours and two sixes. Imam gave his team innings an impetus by sharing 145 runs for the second wicket with captain Sami Aslam, who made 60 with half a dozen boundaries and one six. Lately Farhan Nazir banged 22-ball cameo of 46 studded with three fours and four sixes to steer Pakistan to healthy total of 288-5 in their 50 overs after sent to bat first. England’s top order struggled and they slipped to 60 for 4. But Harry Finch stood firm and found a partner in Will Rhodes. The pair added 134 but slipped behind the rate.—APP

with a left hook in the 12th round of their welterweight fight Thursday night, possibly ending Berto’s once-promising career. Soto Karass (28-8-3, 18 KOs) surged in the fight from the fourth round as Berto began to lose effectiveness from his dominant right side. Though Berto (28-3) floored Soto Karass with a left-hand body shot in the 11th, Berto couldn’t sustain the rally. ‘’In the fourth round I tore (something) in my shoulder,’’ Berto said. ‘’I’m a warrior. I don’t quit. I’m always going to put it all on the line.’’ By the end of the 11th, Soto Karass recovered from the knockdown and bloodied Berto’s lip, and the Mexican ended it on a technical knock-

referee stopped the fight immediately when Berto hit the mat - to Berto’s dismay. Soto Karass led on one card, Berto on another, and the third judge had it even. ‘’I thought I was winning the fight,’’ Soto Karass said. ‘’But my corner told me to go with everything. I had to go with the knockout to avoid any problems with the judges.’’ Berto, who won his first 27 professional fights, has lost three of his last four bouts. At one time, enjoying his status as WBC and IBF welterweight champion, he was mentioned as a possible opponent for Floyd Mayweather. Soto Karass used a strong fourth round, when he switched from long overhand

to that, Berto was scoring with short rights to the head that stunned Soto Karass. But that attacked ended quickly. He appeared to lose effectiveness with his right hand. He counted on his left so much that when he swung a wild overhand from that side in the fifth round, he missed Soto Karass and fell off balance and slipped to the mat. Just a few moments earlier, Berto has cringed as he was leading with his right shoulder while he had Soto Karass on the ropes. On the undercard, Omar Figueroa Jr. of Weslaco (22-01) became the interim WBC lightweight champion in a unanimous decision over Japan’s Nihito Arakawa (243-1).

New captain needs to be groomed: Sarfraz

Day Internationals (ODI) and two test matches. The Pakistan team will arrive in Zimbabwe on August 19 and the T20 matches will be played on August 23 and 24. The ODI matches will be played on August 27, 29 and 31 while the team will play their test matches on September 3 and 10.—AFP

I SLAMABAD —Former Test Cricketer Sarfraz Nawaz Wednesday said the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) should have rested captain Misbah ul haq for Zimbabwe tour and instead had named a new young captain as to prepare for the 2015 World Cup. Talking to APP, Sarfraz Nawaz said the PCB must have kept in mind that series against Zimbabwe is a lowprofile series against in mind, therefore they should have picked up a squad comprising of new faces with a new captain in order to groom the team for the 2015 World Cup.

Responding to a question, he said it is upto the PCB to whomever they want to give the captaincy in future. “I am just saying that the board should start preparing for the 2015 mega event with new young faces so that they a new captain can be groomed till then,” he said. Sarfraz recalled that the Indian Cricket Board had rested captain MS Dhoni in their series against Zimbabwe and picked a squad comprising of new faces led by Virat Kohli. “PCB should have done the same as the planning for the mega event has to start right now. The

selectors need to think about who is going to be playing at the 2015 World Cup,” he said. Sarfraz said bringing Younis Khan, Faisal Iqbal and Imran Farhat in the test squad was not a good decision by PCB. “If you keep picking players, then dropping them, then bringing them back that is not going to work. Pakistan needs to have a settled squad going into the World Cup rather than going into the tournament with rookies and untried players,” he added. He further said the PCB should show confidence in

the youngsters as this is the only way we can groom a new formidable team for future. Young all-rounder Hammad Azam is omitted from the Twenty20 squad and the Test squad, however, sees opening batsman Nasir Jamshed and tall fast bowler Mohammad Irfan left out with Mohammad Hafeez, Khurram Manzoor and Imran Farhat preferred at the top of the order. Pakistan will play two Twenty20, three ODI and two Test matches. Two years ago, Pakistan toured Zimbabwe and won every SAN ANTONIO: Diego Chaves of Argentina and Keith Thurman exchange punches match.—APP during a welterweight title boxing match.

Egyptians stage Morsi restoration Eid protests

NATIONAL BRIE Imran to meet AG ISLAMABAD—Chief, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI), Imran Khan is likely to meet AG Munir A. Malik prior to preparation of his reply in contempt of court case. Imran will begin consultative process with PTA Lawyers’ Wing next week to discuss legal and constitutional aspects in connection with preparation of his reply in contempt of court case. The final reply is expected to be filed in Supreme Court (SC) after August, 25. Sources said Imran Khan intends to start legal and constitutional consultation with lawyers’ wing and senior lawyers next week in the perspective of filing final reply to the contempt of court notice in SC. —Online

CAIRO—Islamist supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi began marching to demand his restoration on Thursday after the military-led authorities that removed him held off from carrying out a threat to clear protest sit-ins by force. Interim President Adly Mansour declared on Wednesday that international diplomatic efforts to resolve the political crisis had failed and the government warned protesters to leave their protest camps, saying the decision to remove them was final. U.S. and European Union envoys left Cairo on Wednesday after the breakdown of their attempts to broker a solution, which had also involved Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. However, a person involved in the mediation effort said the authorities and Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood might yet step back from confrontation and implement mutual confidence building steps that could lead to a negotiated settlement. “It’s not over yet,” the diplomat said. “It could work but we don’t have any guarantees. Everything is very fragile.” Egyptian government and military sources also said the talks

were not finished for good but had been frozen to assuage public anger over perceived foreign interference in Egypt’s affairs and among some at the authorities’ willingness to negotiate with the Brotherhood after months of demonizing them. A military source said the authorities were holding back from using force to clear the protest camps partly due to fear that liberal Vice President Mohamed ElBaradei would resign, removing a key source of political legitimacy for army rule. Interim Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi visited the Central Security Forces with the interior minister in an apparent effort to calm hardliners impatient for tougher action. “He assured them that the government places security at the top of its priorities and that there is no stable society without security that is founded on the law, and that protects the sovereignty of the state and the lives of its citizens and their possessions,” a statement from Beblawi’s office said. Thousands of demonstrators converged on a Brotherhood protest camp in northeastern Cairo in a festive atmosphere to attend prayers and a rally on the first

day of the Eid al-Fitr holiday after the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. “I came here because I want to make a small difference,” said Ghada Idriss, 35, who travelled from the rural province of Minya by car with her husband, two young sons, and twomonth-old daughter Lougine. “By sitting here peacefully, they will understand and know that we refuse the return of the system of Hosni (Mubarak).” Secular and leftist groups have also called for mass demonstrations and public prayers across Egypt to support what they see as a popular revolution that led to the overthrow of Mursi by the military on July 3 after just a year in office. In one apparent conciliatory gesture, prosecutors dropped the main charge against the head of the Brotherhood’s political wing, Saad El-Katatni, on Wednesday in a possible prelude to releasing him. The Brotherhood allowed a human rights organization and a European Parliament delegation to visit the main Rabaa al-Adawiya sit-in, where anti-Mursi media have alleged that weapons had been stockpiled.—Reuters

Demilitarize Nawaz to celebrate Eid at LOC, ensure home, Musharraf in sub-jail Kashmiris Minister tional Assembly (NA) Syed safety: Mirwaiz INawaz Sharif—Prime will celebrate Khurshid Shah will celebrate SLAMABAD

Eid at his residence in Raiwind his Eid in Karachi. Governor Punjab Musharraf will observe the oc- Chaudhry Sarwar, chief mincasion in sub-jail Chak ister Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif and railway minister Shahzad Islamabad. President Asif Ali Zardari Khawaja Saad Rafiq will celwill celebrate Eid in Aiwan-e- ebrate Eid in Lahore. Majority of political leadSadr while the newly elected president Mamnoon Hussain in ers, federal and provincial ministers will celebrate Eid at Karachi. Opposition leader in Na- their ancestral villages.—INP

SRINAGAR—Hurriyat Confer- while former president Pervez ence leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq Wednesday said the recent flare -up on the LOC between India and Pakistan has the potential to harm the improving relations between the two countries. Addressing a gathering in Srinagar, Mirwaiz urged both countries to demilitarize the borders and ensure safety of Kashmiris living along the LOC on both sides of the divided Kashmir. He said that killing of Indian or Pakistani soldiers during border tension has always remained a cause of concern for Kashmiris as they have to face the brunt. Hence, Mirwaiz, said Kashmiris have repeatedly stressed upon both nations to solve Kashmir dispute to stop the wastage of lives. APHC leader said a conducive atmosphere was needed to solve the Kashmir issue. He said that till basic issue of Kashmir was not solved, all other steps to stabilize the relations would prove to be a futile exercise. Mirwaiz said that improving trade relations, water, Sir Creek, and Siachen issues can’t be solved till creation of a favourable atmosphere. He said lasting solution of Kashmir issue would create a conducive atmosphere for addressing other problems existing between the two countries. He said the Kashmiris are the worst victims of tense relations between India and Pakistan.—KO

12 drown as boats capsize OUR CORRESPONDENT HYDERABAD/D ERA G HAZI K HAN—At least 12 persons were drowned in two boat sinking incidents in Tando Allahyar and Dera Ghazi Khan on Thursday. In the first incident eight members of a family, including two women and two children, drowned when the fishing-boat they were travelling in sank in a lake near Tando Allahyar area of Sindh. Reports say a family, from Tando Allahyar district of Sindh province, was aboard a small boat on a fishing trip in Tando Soomro lake when the boat lost balance and capsized. Eight members of the family, including two women and two children, lost their lives as there were no safety measures available at the spot. Area locals reached the spot

and recovered the bodies of eight victims on a self-help basis. Deputy Commissioner of Tando Allahyar, Agha Rahim Pathan, reached the site and instructed for the shifting of the bodies to Tando Adam for conducting autopsy under his own supervision. Rescuers said that two persons managed to save their lives during the incident. In the second incident four persons were drowned in Dera Ghazi Khan when a boat they were traveling capsized in floodwater on Thursday. According to reports, a hill torrent passed through Taunsa Tehsil of Dera Ghazi Khan district, swamping nearby villages and forcing residents to migrate to higher ground. These unfor-tunate people were moving to a safer places through a boat when the boat capsized in the water.

PESHAWAR: Afghan refugees exchanging greeting after Eid-ul-Fitr prayers at a refugee camp on Kacha Garhi.

Iran has built rocket launch site: Report

DUBAI—Iran has constructed KABUL—A bomb planted in victims were mainly from one ing innocent civilians. a rocket-launching site that could be used for testing ballistic missiles, a report from a military intelligence publication said on Thursday. Satellite imagery analyzed by Jane’s Intelligence Review showed extensive construction over the last three years at a site of what Jane’s says is a launch tower and pad, an area to prepare rockets for launch and an administration and support section. The Islamic Republic has pursued ambitious goals to develop its space program in recent years. In January this year it demonstrated its missile delivery systems by launching a live monkey into space and returning it safely, officials said. Western countries are concerned that long-range ballistic technology used to propel Iranian satellites into orbit could be put to delivering nuclear warheads. Assertions about the site, near the town of Shahrud some 100 km (62 miles) northeast of Tehran, come weeks after Iranian officials said they would inaugurate a new space centre to launch satellites. Jane’s says the Shahrud site is one of three that will ultimately serve Iran’s space program. “Imagery analysis of the Shahrud site suggests it will be a strategic facility used to test ballistic missiles, leaving the other two sites free to handle Iran’s ambitious program of satellite launches,” said Jane’s editor Matthew Clements. Iranian officials were not immediately available for comment. Iran’s efforts to develop and test ballistic missiles and build a space launch capability have contributed to Israeli calls for pre-emptive strikes on Iranian nuclear sites and billions of dollars of U.S. ballistic missile defense spending.—Reuters

Zawahiri fails to rebuild Al-Qaeda core leadership in Pak: UN UNITED NATIONS—Osama Bin Laden’s successor as the leader of Al Qaeda has struggled to unite its various factions, a UN report said Wednesday, but the group remains an evolving threat. The report, delivered to the UN Security Council by a group of experts, said Al Qaeda’s Egyptian leader Ayman AlZawahiri had failed to rebuild the group’s core leadership in Pakistan. But it said various groups

affiliated with Al Qaeda are still adapting their tactics and seeking new targets, while retaining the ability to conduct deadly strikes. And, while the Frenchled military operation in Mali and an African Union campaign in Somalia have pushed back Al Qaeda militants, the Syrian civil war has seen hundreds of foreign volunteers join the cause there.“Al Qaeda and its affiliates are more diverse and differentiated than before, united only by a loose ideology and a commit-

ment to terrorist violence,” the report said. “A fragmented and weakened Al Qaeda has not been extinguished,” it said, adding: “the reality of Al Qaeda’s diminished capabilities and limited appeal does not mean that the threat of Al-Qaeda attacks has passed. “Individuals and cells associated with Al Qaeda and its affiliates continue to innovate with regard to targets, tactics and technology.” The UN report tallies with

Afghan graveyard picnic bomb kills 14 women, children

claims made by US officials, including President Barack Obama, that so-called “core AlQaeda” has been weakened since Bin Laden’s death in May 2011, while its regional wings continue to fight. But it also flies in the face of reports on Wednesday that a security alert declared for US missions in the Middle East was triggered when Zawahiri contacted Al Qaeda’s regional commanders and ordered an attack.—INP

an Afghan graveyard killed 14 women and children on Thursday, many of them picnicking at the graveside of a family member during the Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday, officials said. The bomb exploded in a rural district of eastern Nangarhar province, said the provincial governor’s spokesman, Ahmad Zia Abdulzai. Nangarhar and its capital, Jalalabad, have been racked by a series of bombings and suicide attacks over the last week. It is common in Afghanistan on the first day of Eid for people to pay their respects at the graves of loved ones. The

family, Abdulzai said. Three women and one child were wounded, he added. Three Afghan bodyguards for the Helmand province police chief, Mohammad Hakim Angaar, were killed on Wednesday in a suicide bombing, the provincial governor’s spokesman, Omar Zwak, said. In June, a suicide bomber rammed an explosives-laden car into the former Helmand police chief’s convoy, wounding three. In a speech for the start of a Eid holiday, the Afghan president has urged the Taliban to lay down their arms, join the political process and stop kill-

Hamid Karzai spoke Thursday after prayers for the Eid al-Fitr holiday that marks the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. He thanked the Afghan security forces for their sacrifices in the war against the insurgency. He says too many Afghans have lost their lives to roadside bombs during this year ’s Ramadan and that the violence should end. He says the Taliban should, instead of opening an office in the Gulf state of Qatar, open one in Afghanistan, just like any other political party.—Agencies

Knee pain common in older women


T APPEARS that knee pain of some kind is a common complaint in middle-aged and mature women, with varying possible causes leading to varying types of pain. A new study on knee-pain patterns assessed periodically over 12 years in a representative UK population finds that nearly two-thirds (63%) of women aged 50 and over experience knee pain at least once, persistently, or intermittently over such a period. The authors found these patterns were more likely in women with higher BMI, with a previous knee injury, or whose scans showed they had osteoarthritis (OA). They write about their findings in the 19 December online issue of the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism. Senior author Dr Nigel Arden, a Professor of Rheumatology at the University of Oxford in the UK, told the media that this was the first study involving communitybased participants that investigates patterns of knee pain using “multiple assessment points” over a period of 12 years: “Understanding the prevalence and predictors of knee pain is the first step in developing comprehensive pain assessment plans that could lead to more targeted treatment options for those burdened by OA.” For their analysis, Arden and colleagues used data gathered in the Chingford Study, a prospective population-based study of OA and osteoporosis established in 1989. This started with more than 1,000 women aged from 44

to 57 (median 52) years. The cohort is described as representative of women in the UK in general in terms of height, weight, and smoking status. At four times over the 12 years of the study, the participants completed questionnaires about their knee pain. From their responses the researchers classed the 489 participants who were still in the study at the end into one of four groups, depending on their pain characteristics: asymptomatic, persistent, incident, and intermittent. 44% of women reported experiencing “any days of pain”. 23% reported experiencing “pain on most days of the previous month”. Of those experiencing “any pain”, 9% had persistent pain, 24% had incident pain, and 29% had intermittent pain. Of those experiencing “pain on most days”, these figures were 2%, 16% and 18% respectively. A higher BMI predicted persistent and incident patterns of pain, while radiographic OA predicted persistent pain. Those who reported a previous knee injury were more likely to have persistent or intermittent patterns of pain.The researchers conclude the results show a “significant variability” in patterns of knee pain over time in this representative population, with few participants “consistently reporting knee pain at each time point”.

Islamabad roads presenting a deserted look as most of the people have already left for their hometowns to celebrate Eid.—PO photo by Sultan Bashir

Railway station Eid security RAWALPINDI—Railway police Rawalpindi has issued special security plan to ward off any terror incident on Rawalpindi railway station on the occasion of Eid. Under this plan the Eid holidays of the Railway police has been cancelled and Shaford dogs have been hired from the army to ensure fool proof security of the passengers on railway station. A special railway police counter has been established on the railway station under the directives of IG Railway police. Additional strength of railway police has also been deployed on railway station as part of security plan for the security of the passengers.—Online

ITP to perform special duties CDA Chairman Mr. Nadeem Hassan Asif is being informed about Field Survey Force estab- ISLAMABAD—Prioritizing serlished to redress grievances of Islamabad’s citizens. vice to people and accomplishment of their responsibilities, cops of Islamabad Traffic Police (ITP) will perform special duties on Eid day to maintain traffic discipline in the city especially for religious congregations and at public places. A special traffic plan has been chalked out by SSP ISLAMABAD—Islamabad Elecalso be provided to staff de- (Traffic) Dr. Moeen Masood for tric Supply Company (IESCO) CITY REPORTER Eid day following which over ployed in the said force. has finalized the special arrangeI SLAMABAD —Chairman Capi250 traffic cops will perform their Member Engineering, ments regarding the provision of electricity during Eid holidays. tal Development Authority Sanaullah Aman briefed the duties at religious congregations To ensure electricity unin- (CDA), Nadeem Hassan Asif Chairman CDA about the re- and public places to ensure terruptedly, staff is being de- directed for constitution of Field sponsibilities and functions of smooth flow of traffic there. SSP (Traffic) has also conployed on duties in this regard Survey Force, which would en- the force. He apprised the Chairwho will take notice of con- sure quick disposal of com- man CDA that Field Survey stituted special teams to check sumer complaints and try to re- plaints of citizens of the federal Force would carry out survey of one-wheeling and driving motorcapital. The force would enter- the city and would entertain bikes without silencers by youngsolve it immediately. Meanwhile, they also said to tain complaints about sewerage complaints of the citizens after sters on the boulevards of the city. consumers that in case of any system, water supply, road coordinating the concerned for- He said special vigilance would be maintained against vehicles complaint they would contact maintenance and street lights in mations of the authority. Chairman CDA examined having non-pattern number with Consumer distribution cen- a quick and efficient manner. Shafiullah Marwat, Deputy the facilities provided to the en- plates, tinted glasses as well nonter Islamabad and dial following number 0300-9860192, Director has been designated as tire staff of Field Survey Force registered vehicles so as to avoid 0333-0055300 and 0332- Incharge of the Field Survey and said that force would serve any untoward incident. In these 8502872 while they also estab- Force, while headquarter of the residents of the federal capi- efforts, Islamabad Police (Operalished complaint-monitoring Field Survey Force would be tal with their best professional tions) would also assist ITP and cell in IESCO Head office in this established in Enquiry Office in abilities, enthusiasm and hard to ensure action as per law against Sector G-9. Motorcycles would work. the violators.—INP regard.—Online

Provision of electricity during Eid

Quick disposal of citizens’ complaints

Strict action against one-wheeling, car skating on Eid CITY REPORTER RAWALPINDI—Traffic wardens have been directed to take strict action against the youngsters found indulged in one-wheeling, rash, dangerous driving and car skating on Eid ul Fitr. Chief Traffic Officer (CTO) Rawalpindi, Superintendent Police (SP) Syed Ishtiaq Hussain Shah told that cases would also be registered and the violators will be sent behind the bars. Syed Ishtiaq Hussain Shah said that special arrangements have been made

to control one-wheeling and car skating on Eid-ul-Fitr while special squads consist of traffic wardens and inspectors have been constituted to cover Murree Road, Committee Chowk underpass, Chandni Chowk flyover, Sixth Road flyover, Airport Road, Peshawar Road, Jhelum Road near Ayub Park and other areas. Special operations will be conducted to curb the activity and the traffic officers, specially those performing point duties on roads and chowks, have been directed that no relaxation should be given to anyone while under section 99/A, cases should

also be registered against the violators. The youngsters found indulged in one-wheeling, rash and dangerous driving will be booked. The CTO said the activity was being checked by special squads of traffic officials deputed on the city roads but now special arrangements have also been made to check the activity. He said the motorcycles and vehicles of the violators would be impounded during special campaign. The SP informed that traffic police officers have been directed to keep a vigilant eye on

the one-wheelers so that action in accordance with the law could be taken against them. The traffic officers and circle heads have been directed to take stern action against the one-wheelers without discrimination and no one should be spared if found involved in this dangerous act, which is a cause of deaths and severe injuries for the riders. He said the citizens particularly parents should come forward and play an active role to curb the activity as one wheeling, rash and negligent driving are the main causes for fatal accidents.

Police, CTP, Rescue 1122 finalize arrangements for Eid

Special squad set up to check overcharging

RAWALPINDI—Rawalpindi po- ers to guard public on Eid day, against one-wheeling and ve- RAWALPINDI—Secretary Relice, City Traffic Police (CTP) and Rescue 1122 have finalized all the arrangements for Eid-ulFitr while as many as 3200 policemen to guard the lives and properties of the public on the eve of Eid ul Fitr. Police holidays have been cancelled to ensure the security of the citizens in the city while additional forces will be deployed for sensitive areas, grave yards, mosques, Eidgahs, Imam Bargahs and picnic points as part of a special security plan for Eid. All out efforts would be made to avoid any untoward incident on the eve of Eid ul Fitr, said police spokesman. He further informed that police’s prime responsibility is to protect the lives and property of pubic. He said that as many as 2300 police officers and Jawans were deployed in all the sensitive places including bazaars and shopping malls to maintain law and order situation. Similarly, 3200 law enforc-

Eid Day EID-ul-Fitr prayer will be offered at Faisal Mosque, Islamabad at 08:00 am. Prof. Dr. Tahir Hakeem of Faculty of Shariah and Law, International Islamic University, Islamabad shall deliver Khutaba-e-Eid-ul-Fitr. The citizens are advised to reach the mosque in time. August 12-13 PAKISTAN National Council of the Arts, Ministry of Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage in connection with Independence Day celebrations has scheduled screening of film ‘Jinnah’ on August 12-13 at 3 pm at PNCA Auditorium, F-5/1, Islamabad.

he added. Officials of Special Branch, Elite Force Commandoes, Ladies Police, Muhafiz Force and Police Qaumi Razkars would also perform security duty. The security plan will continue throughout the days of Eid al-Fitr under the supervision of City Police Officer (CPO) Israr Ahmed Khan Abbasi said the spookesman. He said the citizens should cooperate with the security forces by informing them about any suspicious situation. City Traffic Police (CTP) have also made special arrangements for Eid and traffic wardens would be deployed to control traffic near Eidgahs, mosques and Imam Bargahs. CTO ordered strict action

hicles moving with tainted glasses. In Rawalpindi, the Rescue 1122 staff would also remain on special duties in the district control room, emergency rescue stations with 14 equipped emergency ambulances, 10 fire vehicles, two rescue vehicles, two water bowzers and two special vehicles. Rescue posts would be established at Ayub Park, Nawaz Sharif Park, Jinnah Park, GPO Chowk Saddar and whereas key points to cover Eid prayer would be established at Children Park Gawalmandi, Liaquat Bagh Park, Rawal Chowk and 22 Number Chungi Tench Bhatta. In Murree, 150 rescuers would remain on high alert with eight fully equipped ambulances and three fire vehicles.—APP

gional Transport Authority (RTA) Rawalpindi has set up special squad to take action against the transporters found involved in overcharging the commuters on the eve of Eid ul Fitr. The squad has been established under the special directives of chief minister Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif. The squad will conduct surprise raids on the bus and wagon terminals and will charge on the spot fine on the complaint from any commuter in connection with overcharging by the transporters and drivers on urban and inter-city routes. The transporters start charging the commuters particularly on inter city routes four fold than the original fare in their lust for money minting on the eve of Eid.—Online

Briefs Traders for army control in Karachi Staff Reporter KARACHI—The Korangi Association of Trade and Industry (Kati) has demanded army intervention to deal with the law and order situation in Karachi. In a statement issued by its top officials, Kati condemned the bomb blast in Lyari that claimed several precious lives. They expressed serious concern over rapid deteriorating of the law-andorder situation in Karachi, in spite of efforts by the police and the Rangers. They demanded that Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah should immediately call the Army for a few weeks to control law and order in Karachi. Otherwise the business community will have no choice but to close their businesses, they added. Referring to extortion and kidnapping for ransom, 12 persons were kidnapped only on Wednesday. In this scenario, meeting of export targets and revenue generation are impossible tasks. Karachi is the hub of Pakistan’s business activities and then the entire Pakistan would suffer if the situation in the city did not improve.

Steel prices to go up by Rs5,000 per tonne after power tariff increase AMANULLAH KHAN KARACHI—Steel consumers in Pakistan are going to feel the maximum heat of power tariff hike announced by the Government as steel prices would go up by Rs. 5,000 per ton. Over 90% Pakistani steel melters and re-rollers are B3 category electricity consumers and according to revised tariff the B-3 TOD peak rate has been increased by 48% to Rs18.81 from Rs12.68 while its off-peak rate would rise by 68% to Rs13 per unit from previous Rs7.75. Pakistan Steel Manufacturer Association said that the weighted average unit tariff in-

crease for peak and off peak is Rs 5.4/unit. The off peak hours are 20 hours per day, whereas peak hours are 4 hours per day. PSMA spokesman said that as per S.R.O. 862(I)/2008, “(c) the production subject to sales tax liability shall be determined at one metric ton of billets or ingots per 800 KWH of electricity consumed for steel melters and at one metric ton of mild steel products per 130 KWH of electricity consumed for steel rerollers”. He said that a billet consumes 800KWH/ton electricity which means the cost of billet would increase by Rs 4320 (800kwh X Rs5.4/unit). He said that as per SRO the

cost of manufacturing deformed rebars/wire, rods, girders, angles, T-iron and sections consumes 930 KWH of electricity (800kwh billet and 130kwh re-rolled product). This means the cost of Rebars and Wire Rods are to be increased by at least Rs. 5022/ton. He said that this is just the direct cost of the rerolled product that does not account for value of falling dollar by over 4% in the last few months. All raw materials for rebar and wire rods are imported such as scrap, ferroalloys and other goods hence manufacturers would be forced to increase the price of their steel products further. The Rs 5,000/ton increment

Pakistan asked to improve disaster management STAFF REPORTER ISLAMABAD—A World Bank

Powers of Chief Collectors revised Staff Reporter ISLAMABAD—The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has revised the administrative powers of the Chief Collectors of Customs North and South for inter-Collectorate postings of tax officers for smooth functioning of the department. The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has issued a customs general order 8 of 2013. The Chief Collectors of Customs North and South would have the legal authority and powers of inter-Collectorate postings of personnel up to Grade-16 within their jurisdiction. According to the CGO, Chief Collectors of Customs North and South shall have the powers of inter-Collectorate postings of personnel up to Grade-16 within their jurisdiction. The placements within the Collectorates will stay with the Collectors. However, Inter-regional transfer/posting of BS-16 and above officers would continue to be made by the Board, CGO added.

Prices of Eidspecific items rise Staff Reporter ISLAMABAD—Traders have increased the prices of essential kitchen items as well as Eid-specific items such as clothes, shoes, hosiery, toys, etc, saying that the manufacturers and suppliers have increased the prices with the plea that the government has massively raised electricity tariff. The retailers have not only increased the prices of food items on their own, but have also jacked up the prices of Eid-specific items. For instance, onions, potatoes, tomatoes, ginger and garlic are selling at Rs 50 per kg, Rs 30 per kg, Rs 100 per kg, Rs 120 per kg and Rs 110 per kg in the fruit and vegetable markets of the twin cities, which also supply fruits and vegetables to entire Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), GilgitBaltistan, Azad Kashmir and Tribal Areas. In the retail markets potatoes are selling at Rs 40 per kg, onions at Rs 60 per kg, tomatoes at Rs 120 per kg (which earlier were available at Rs 90 per kg), ginger at Rs 160 per kg and garlic at Rs 180 per kg. The difference between the prices of wholesale and retail markets show that the traders are fleecing the poor consumers.

When you really want to do something, the entire Universe conspires in helping you to achieve it…” — Paulo Coelho

in the steel prices would be a minimum cost pass over that the consumers are to feel after the unit tariff increment, he added. The historic rise in power tariff would also promote electricity theft among the steel sector that is already plagued with numerous small to medium size companies stealing electricity. He said that gas load shedding had also increased the cost of production and this further increase of power tariff would badly affect the steel manufacturing industry in Pakistan, and consumers at large would be burdened, especially construction cost would increase substantially in the country.

President FPCCI Zubair Ahmed Malik with diplomats and leaders of business community at a reception.

Live stock sector needs improvement to enrich economy STAFF REPORTER ISLAMABAD—The government is needed to give better exposure to Pakistan’s exports by fulfilling requirements of the global “Halal” market. “Pakistan has great potential to become the “Halal” hub of the South Asia region due to its geo-economic position” said Chief Executive Officer Harvest Tradings, Ahmad Jawad while talking to media here on Thursday. He said about 30-35 million rural population is engaged with the sector, as it contributes approximately 55.1 per cent to the agriculture value added and 11.6 per cent to the national GDP during 2010-12. Jawad briefed that Pakistan is still developing its own

‘Halal’ standards and there is no official ‘halal’ certification body in Pakistan despite the fact that the country animal population is around 159 million. The countries with a Muslim majority are the most obvious target markets for halal products, especially for meat products. However Muslims living outside the sub-continent and Middle East are more in need of halal products and services, which creates a big opportunity for suppliers of halal products, he said. As Meat industry in Pakistan is developing these days. The export of meat (beef, mutton, and camel) has increased from $ 08.54 million (2010-11) to $123.61 million in 2011-12 showing an increase of

13.9 per cent. The country can fulfil the ever increasing meat demand inside the country and can earn a handful foreign exchange by exporting the meat as free of disease. Similarly poultry is the second largest industry of Pakistan. This sector generates employment direct,indirect and income for about 1.5 million people. The poultry sector is one of the most organized and vibrant segments of the agriculture industry of the country. Value Added of the livestock sector at constant factor cost has increased from Rs 672 billion (2010-11) to Rs 700 billion (2011- 12) showing an increase of 4.0 per cent as compared to previous year.

Govt to sell 34 enterprises during 2013-14 STAFF REPORTER I SLAMABAD —The Pakistan Muslim League-led government has reportedly prepared a list of loss making Public Sector Enterprises (PSEs) for privatisation including Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) as committed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Sources said that government is likely to privatise 34 public sector entities during the current financial year 2013-14 mainly included banking, petroleum and energy sector companies. Sources further said that

government would privatise key entities like PIA and PSM in the second stage of privatization, as government would first bring reforms in these two corporations. Similarly, privatisation of insurance companies, Utilities Stores Corporation, Power Distribution Companies and National Insurance Companies are also on top of the privatisation priority list, sources added. However, sources in finance ministry informed The Nation that government has planned to privatise 64 PSEs in which 34 entities would be privatised during the current financial year 2013-14. “Privatisation of SOEs

will be carried out on fast track basis without compromising on rules and regulations and in a transparent manner”, he noted. The economic experts are of the view that the several key stateowned institutions like PIA, Railways, Pakistan Steel Mills, WAPDA and other institutions are a major drag on Pakistan’s economy. These loss-making entities are presently bleeding to the tune of Rs 400 billion per annum. Therefore, reforming these state-owned institutions through a combination of privatisation and restructuring is fundamental, they added.

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policy note has asked the government to improve the national disaster management fund and create city emergency centres in major urban centres. The policy note also recommends establishing linkages between city emergency centres and current disaster management structures at federal, provincial and district levels to ensure timely response in case of any natural disasters such as floods, earthquake, excess rainfalls, cyclones, tsunamis etc. Heavy rains last week resulted in the death of more than 50 lives in different parts of the country. According to WB’s policy note, there has been lack of coordination and clarity of roles in disaster risk management work undertaken by relevant departments. The World Bank also asked the government to undertake a national rapid risk assessment using existing data and tools. “There is also a need to ensure systematic methods are in place for collecting disaster risk information in future,” said the note. The policy note titled “Managing Natural Disaster” written by Haris Khan and Marc Forni, a copy of which is exclusively available with The News, asked the newly elected PML-N-led government to support the PDMAs.

PQ handles 100,927 tons of cargo STAFF CORRESPONDENT K ARACHI —Port Qasim handled a cargo volume of 100,927 tons during the last 24 hours that included 66,385 tons of imports and 34,542 tons of exports, the Port Qasim Authority reported. Accordingly, the port handled imports, including furnace oil (21,674 tons), palm oil (14,000 tons), urea (3,750 tons) and containerised cargo (26,961 tons). It handled exports, including containerised cargo (34,542 tons). Berth occupancy was measured at 50 percent at the port on Tuesday, the Port Qasim Authority reported. It said that it moored four ships during the last 24 hours, which were carrying containers, furnace oil and palm oil. With this, a total of seven ships loaded and offloaded containers, wheat, urea, furnace oil and palm oil.

Delays hang over Pakistan 3G lifeline STAFF REPORTER ISLAMABAD—Pakistan’s cashstrapped government has promised to sell 3G mobile telephone licences to raise revenue, match regional rivals and drive prosperity, but the process has been beset by delays. Even Afghanistan, Pakistan’s far less developed western neighbour with a weaker economy and more fragile state, has the technology. But Pakistani consumers struggle to transfer data by phone, video streaming is often interrupted — although technically YouTube is banned — and video calls problematic. Two months after the new government took office, there is little sign that the process will start soon. Pakistan’s state minister for information technology Anusha Rehman told AFP that

the auction alone could take six to eight months. “The base price for 3G licences is not set yet. Only once it is done will I be able to give a figure on how much revenue will be generated by the licences sale,” she said. But first the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) needs to be constituted and Rehman conceded there could be substantial delays. “I am not sure how long it is going to take because the appointment of members have to be made by the cabinet,” she said. A senior civil servant initially told AFP that key appointments to the PTA were expected to be finalised in July. The first half of August in Pakistan is dominated by religious and national holidays. Prime Minister Nawaz

Sharif, elected for a historic third term in May, faces the daunting challenge of bringing down an 8.8 percent budget deficit, yet his first budget was conservative. He offered no major tax reforms and within weeks, his government was forced to seek a $5.3 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund: enough only to keep on top of old loan repayments. Finance Minister Ishaq Dar sought to fend off some criticism about the lack of tax reform by saying that a 3G auction would fetch a “considerable amount of foreign exchange”. Cheap mobile phone telephony took Pakistan by storm in the early 2000s and according to the PTA there are more than 122 million mobile phone subscribers — or 68.6 percent of the

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Planning Commission gives Rs14.51b for various projects STAFF REPORTER ISLAMABAD —The Planning Commission of Pakistan has so far released Rs 14.508 billion under its Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) against the total allocations of Rs 540 billion for the fiscal year 2013-14. According the latest data of Planning Commission of Pakistan, out of the total allocations Rs 13.008 million have

been released for various projects of federal ministries. Similarly, the commission released Rs 1.5 billion for Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (ERRA). The government has earmarked allocations of Rs 362.427 billion for federal ministries during the current fiscal year where as the funds for ERRA have been fixed as Rs 10 billion for the year.

Dollar edges up against rupee STAFF REPORTER KARACHI—The dollar edged up against the rupee in the interbank market, dealers said. It opened the day’s trading at Rs 102.26 for buying, rose two paisas and closed at Rs 102.28 for buying and Rs 102.33 for selling. The euro retreated against the local currency as it initiated the day’s trading at Rs 135.77 for buying, fell six paisas and closed at Rs 135.71 for buying and Rs 135.91 for selling. Similarly, the British pound depreciated versus the rupee as it started the day’s trading at Rs 157.22 for buying, lost 79 paisas and closed at Rs 156.43 for buying and Rs

157.63 for selling. Open market: The dollar gained profits against the rupee, dealers said. It began the day’s trading at Rs 102.30 for buying, gained 15 paisas and closed at Rs 102.45 for buying and Rs 102.70 for selling. The European currency continued to appreciate against the rupee as it started the day’s trading at Rs 134.50 for buying, increased by 20 paisas and closed at Rs 134.70 for buying and Rs 134.95 for selling. The pound sterling rebounded versus the local currency as it opened the day’s trading at Rs 155.50, surged 10 paisas and closed at Rs 155.60 for buying and Rs 155.85 for selling.

Among the federal ministries, an amount of Rs 13,433 million have been released for Interior Division where as Rs 264.762 million have been released for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Division. The total allocations for Interior Division for the FY 2013-14 have been fixed at Rs 6,259 million whereas Rs 2,363.974 has been earmarked for, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Division for the year.

Fatima Fertilizer posts profit STAFF REPORTER KARACHI—Fatima Fertilizer (FATIMA) posted net earnings of Rs3.4 billion, translating into earning per share (eps) at Rs1.6 for the first half of 2013 against Rs2.6 billion (earnings per share of Rs1.24) in the same period last year, up almost 30 percent. During the period, FATIMA earned revenue of Rs1.5 billion against Rs1.2 billion during the same period last year, up 25 percent. Although company’s gross profitability rose by eight percent to Rs8.8 billion, its gross margins remained depressed during the first half of 2013, mostly due to the seven percent rupee depreciation against the US dollar.

ATMs malfunctioning at various places STAFF REPORTER KARACHI—The commercial banks customers complained about the poor performance of online banking and malfunctioning of Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) at several commercial banks. Despite instructions by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to all commercial banks to keep their online banking and ATM systems in order during Ramazan and Eid holidays, many complaints of malfunctioning of ATMs and poor online banking system have been re-

ported. Claims of commercial banks that they would make special arrangements to ensure availability of currency through their ATMs across the country during Eid days have proved fruitless. Banks usually assure this on every Eid that the ATM network’s availability was ensured to facilitate the customers. The inefficient ATM network of several commercial banks for money transactions through ATM network has created panic among the customers, as Eidul Fitr is only a day

away. Around 180,000 customers per day are expected to visit ATMs during Eid holidays, a senior executive of a commercial bank said. The SBP has set up Consumer Facility Centres after it received many complaints from customers. These centres aim to ensure the ATMs work properly across the country. The Consumer Facility Centre will also remain open on Eidul Fitr and the consumers can also contact the SBP officials in their respective towns if they have further complaints.

USAID sets up hostel for Technical Training College Daharki STAFF REPORTER I SLAMABAD —The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has collaborated in establishing a furnished accommodation facility for the students of only technical training college situated in one of the largest oil and gas clusters of Pakistan, comprising 14 projects areas in Daharki, Sindh. Despite having rich potential for jobs in energy sector and industries, the residents of these areas were deprived of

technical education until the Technical Training College Daharki was established to improve their employability in energy sector, local industries as well as in international market, said a press release on Thursday. The TTC and a vocational training center was established by Pakistan Chemical and Energy Sector Skill Development Company with the support of key players in Pakistan’s chemical and energy sector including Engro Foundation, Pakistan Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC), Mari Petroleum,

STEVTA, ENI-Saipem of Itlay, DEG of Germany and DesconEnginering. The students coming from far flung areas had been facing issues of accommodations and could not afford to hire their own. The hostel facility has been developed under US Ambassador’s Fund Programme through National Rural Support Programme in collaboration with local partner Pakistan Chemical and Energy Sector Skill Development Company for the students of Technical Train-

ing College, Daharki. Programme has awarded USD Since its inception in Sep- 7.4 million in funding to 84 local community-based and non-governmental organizations all across Pakistan including AJK and GilgitBaltistan working with communities facing issues of health, hygiene, economic growth, cultural preservation, gender entrepreneurship and stabilization. The hostel facility has been completed within six months tember 2010 to March 2013, against the cost of Rs12.47 milthe fiveyear U.S. lion with Rs.8.9 million borne Ambassador ’s Fund by USAID and Rs.3.9 million

by the PCESSDC. Having the capacity to accommodate 50 students, the hostel building features six hostel rooms, two instructor’s rooms, eight bathrooms, and a corridor and lobby area. “After having hostel accommodation, I feel comfortable as now I will not have to travel long way to reach my remote village. This facility will also improve my concentration on studies,” said Sohail Kamran, a TTC student hailing from remote locality of Ghotki district. In his comments, Chief Ex-

ecutive Officer PCESSDC Brig. (R) Raja Muhammad Ali SI(M) said the Technical Training College was the first degree awarding institution in Daharki district and was a nationally and internationally accredited institute offering three- year diplomas to young people in skills needed in mechanical and chemical industries. He said the TTC provides excellent infrastructural facilities including laboratories, digital library, dedicated and competent faculty and technical staff.


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Bullion Rates KARACHI—Following were the bullion rates in major cities yesterday. RS PER 10 GRAMS 45000.00 737.14

MULTAN: Gold Tezabi (24-Ct) Gold 22 Ct SilverTezabi Silver Thobi

AMANULLAH KHAN KARACHI—The value-added textile sector has shown its sheer concern over the indifferent attitude by the government for not appointing Commerce Minister even after the government is near to complete its 100 days. The Acting Chairman Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA) Irfan Ali said it’s really surprising that the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has yet to name commerce minister or even decide the fate of textile ministry despite that fact that he is known as pro-business leader of PLM-N. The economic revival

44580.00 40750.00 690.00 630.00

Unisame lodges complaint against cartel STAFF REPORTER KARACHI—The Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (Unisame) has lodged a complaint with the Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) against the cartel of middlemen operating more as money lenders than as professional middlemen or facilitators in the commodities market. The cartel is dominating rice, wheat, maize, spices and sugar supply chains and controlling prices by manipulating the markets. President Unisame Zulfikar Thaver pointed out that the SME farmers are fleeced by the middlemen who take huge profits from the SME farmers and control their activities by subduing them with advance money for purchase of seeds, fumigation and fertilizers and dictate them at the time of harvesting by compelling them to hand over the produce at deliberately lowered rates. Unfortunately only National Bank of Pakistan and Zaria Tarakiyati Bank are financing the farmers and in many cases the banks are financing landlords under agricultural loans quota but the money is used to buy big vehicles rather than farm machinery or modernization, he added. He informed the CCP that Unisame to overcome the harsh treatment of the middlemen is in contact with a collateral management company of international repute and is in the process of signing memorandum of understanding with them to liberate the SME farmers and processors from the clutches of the middlemen. The union requested support of the CCP to liberate the SME farmers and urged CCP to conduct an inquiry and confirm the malpractice to the ministries of commerce, finance and agriculture to enable them formulate rules and regulations to discourage the tendency.

should be the first priority after law and order of any newly formed government but there is no commerce minister or textile minister has been appointed so far while the export sector particularly textile sector has been left to suffer and all the macro and micro issues of the trade and commerce are not being addressed. Irfan further stated that the government has appointed staunch bureaucrats as secretary commerce and secretary of Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) who are oblivious of the issues and problems being faced by the exports sector. “At this juncture when the country’s exports are at the lowest ebb, industries are

closing down, exports target has become impossible to achieve and rulers are negotiating with the IMF once again, the trade and industry has been left to suffer which was already battling for its survival”, Irfan said adding that the priorities of the government which is not new anymore, are unknown. He said the pathetic attitude by the PML-N government also reflects from the sorry state of government’s several organizations that are lying idle due to non-appointment of their heads. He demanded of the government to immediately name commerce and textile minister instead of abolishing the textile ministry.

PML-N led govt can steer country out of economic mess: PEW STAFF REPORTER

KARACHI: Gold Tezab Silver Tezabi

Finance of Concern over non-appointment Director Punjab Beverages Company convicted of commerce minister

L A H O R E —The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Thursday said Pakistan cannot afford the luxury of wasting Rs500 billion annually on inefficient state-run-enterprises (SOEs). “Successive governments have been mixing politics with business which have transformed state-run corporations into most unproductive segment wasting almost Rs 1.5 billion daily, said Dr Murtaza Mughal,” President PEW in a statement. Almost all the entities created by the government in order to partake in commercial activities on the government’s behalf have proved to be white elephants in absence of a proper accountability mechanism, he

said. Dr Murtaza Mughal said the government should bring an end to political interference in the corporations or privatize them on fast pace if it cannot shield them from unnecessary interventions. He said that the environment of majority of corporation has deteriorated to an extent that reputed professionals from private sector would fail to give positive results when entrusted for top slots. Time has come when we should admit that these valuable assets have become burdensome possession while the cost of upkeep has surpassed its worth, he added. He said that PML-N led government can steer the country out of economic mess to put it on the path of sus-

tainable economic growth for which bold decisions are needed. Lauding the difficult decisions like upward revision of electricity tariff and petroleum prices, he said that more meaningful reforms are needed like that announced for the ailing energy sector. He said the government should also revisit policies regarding taxation, exemptions and subsidies which have eroded its ability to initiate mega projects without foreign aid. He said good governance, true accountability and just taxes on all sectors including agricultural income can help government earn reputation which is essential to push reforms agenda without opposition from masses.

Oil prices up on China trade data H ONG K ONG —Oil prices plus fell 29.6 percent in July fell 1.3 million barrels in the turned higher in Asian trade Thursday on upbeat trade data from China which bolstered the outlook for the world’s second largest economy, analysts said. New York’s main contract, West Texas Intermediate for delivery in September, rose 44 cents to $104.81 a barrel in afternoon Asian trade and Brent North Sea crude for September was up 27 cents at $107.71. “It’s a positive response to China’s balance of trade numbers,” Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets in Sydney, told AFP. China’s monthly trade sur-

year-on-year to $17.8 billion, government data showed Thursday as imports and exports both rose. Imports rose 10.9 percent to $168.2 billion while exports increased 5.1 percent to $186.0 billion year on year. The numbers “generally suggest that there has been a reasonable amount of commodities importing during the month as well”, Spooner said, adding that the numbers were “encouraging” for Chinese growth. On Wednesday the US Energy Information Administration reported US oil stockpiles

week ended Friday. The decline was in line with a survey of analysts by Dow Jones Newswires. Overall US stockpiles have dropped sharply in recent weeks, with the country still in the peakdemand summer driving season when Americans take to the roads for their holidays. Oil prices had rallied last week on the back of strong manufacturing data from oil guzzlers the US and China, with Brent crude reaching a near four-month high above $110 a barrel before giving way in the wake of last Friday’s US employment data.—APP

Lint trading stays dull STAFF REPORTER KARACHI—Lint trading activity in Sindh and Punjab stations remained dull, as majority of the workforce of the ginneries left for their respective native places to celebrate Eidul Fitr. Lack of interest by leading and general buyers kept the trading dull in all stations and traders at the Karachi Cotton Association (KCA) also did not conduct active business. Shrinking stocks in Punjab and Sindh stations kept the prices of all grades at the lower side while KCA kept the spot rate unchanged at Rs 6,550 per maund in order to provide support to raw grade sellers for getting better prices, floor brokers said. During the trading session, spinners in Punjab stations bought selective lots with limited number of bales besides

mills also purchased fewer stocks of all grades, floor brokers said. Grade issue remained a major hurdle in firm trading as sellers and buyers were entangled in price war on back of shrinking stocks, floor brokers said. General buyers made limited deals for all grades on competitive prices at around Rs 5,475 per maund to Rs 6,100 per maund while buyers with less liquidity made deals in all grades in Punjab stations at around Rs 5,400 per maund, traders said. Sellers withholding fine grades asked slightly higher prices for their stocks on back of shrinking fine grades, as some deals changed hands at around Rs 6,975 per maund in Punjab stations, floor brokers said. Private sector commercial exporters bought lint of all grades in Punjab stations at around Rs 5,825 per maund to

Rs 5,875 per maund in order to fortify their long positions in anticipation of increase in prices in the next coming trading sessions. More than 1,000 bales changed hands with more than 75 percent of Punjab’s share in trading. “The domestic fine lint stocks are on depletion and the New York Futures market’s sentiments are still under a correctional phase,” said an analyst. “In this scenario domestic lint prices remained under pressure on dry export orders besides grade issue.” Transport for goods is also not available as majority of the vehicles staff went for Eid holidays. New York October 2013 Futures stood at around 84 cents per pound and December 2013 Futures at around 83.70 cents per pound. Cotlook A index was hovering around 92 cents per pound.


LAHORE—The Lahore High Court has convicted Director Finance of Punjab Beverages Company Limited under Contempt of Court Ordinance 2003 over the charges of impersonating himself as a Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) official in a case. Justice Mansoor Ali Shah also imposed fine of Rs100,000 and directed him to deposit the amount to the treasure of the court. When hearing resumed, Director Finance Fayyaz Hussain admitted his guilt of impersonating himself as Dr. Ashfaq Ahmed Tunio, Chief Tax of FBR and thrown himself at the mercy of the court. Some senior lawyers including Abdul Hafeez Peerzada, Shahid Pervez Jami and Khawaja Tariq Raheem while sitting in the courtroom also requested the court to accept his mercy plea and grant him pardon. Rejecting the pleas of senior lawyers and unconditional apology of Fayyaz Hussain and convicted him for contempt of court under Section 5(1) of the ordinance and sentenced him to a punishment till the rising of the court. The court order said that the action of the contemnor in impersonating as Chief Tax, PBR was a brazen display of deception in the face of the Court and amounted to diverting to the course of justice. The action of the contemnor, therefore, constituted criminal contempt under Section 6(1)(c) of the Contempt of Count Ordinance, 2003, the court order added. The court also directed the ministry of interior to remove the name of the contemnor from the Exit Control List as the punishment had been served.

Govt may sell From Page 10 The IMF also has stressed the country for privatisation of loss making institutions. IMF Mission chief Jeffery Franks during his visit to Pakistan has said restructuring and privatisation of public enterprises - including those in energy sector - are intended to help restore fiscal stability as well as boosting investors confidence in Pakistan’s future economic prospects and opportunities leading to higher growth and job creation. The country also has a programme to restructure and even privatise public sector enterprises, which would generate significant revenues, he added.

ISLAMABAD: Zafar Bakhtawari President ICCI and others at a reception.—PO photo by Sultan Bashir

Rana Tanveer lauds Brazilian support in agriculture sector STAFF REPORTER ISLAMABAD—The historic diplomatic relations between Pakistan and Brazil could be translated into strong military relations in future, said Minister for Defence Production, Rana Tanvir Hussain. Talking to Brazilian Ambassador to Pakistan, Alfredo Leoni the minister lauded the effort of Brazil in providing support to the agriculture sector of Pakistan. The ambassador said the scope of relations between Pakistan and Brazil is quite vast and the need is to collaborate, extend support and enhance relations in areas of defence production. The ambassador congratu-

lated the minister assuming the charge of such vital ministry. The ambassador said that the cooperation in other fields also the priority of the Brazilian Govt. In the last years, there has been a significant increase in the military relations. Both sides have exchanged the visits in this regard. At the end the Ambassador thanked the Minister for a detailed and candid briefing. He extended the invitation to the Minister to visit Brazil for strengthening and continuity of relations between the two countries. Secretary Ministry of Defence Production Lt Gen (Retd) Tanvir Tahir said Pakistan and Brazil enjoy good relations, therefore visits and exchanges

Yen weakens as BoJ sticks to easing policy TOKYO—The yen weakened in Asia Thursday as the Bank of Japan opted to keep its huge monetary easing scheme in place. In Tokyo midday trading, the dollar fetched 96.76 yen from 96.39 yen in New York Wednesday, while the euro also strengthened to 129.07 yen from 128.55 yen in US trading. The European single currency was flat at $1.3334. In a widely expected move, Japan’s central bank said its board voted unanimously to keep the existing policy in place after a two-day policy meeting.

Investors are also keeping a close eye on the US Federal Reserve, with growing speculation it would soon start tapering its own huge stimulus programme. A pull-back on the Fed’s monetary easing would shrink the number of dollars in the financial system, boosting demand and the greenback’s value. The Bank of Japan, which unveiled its own gigantic bond-buying scheme in April, said the outlook for the world’s third-biggest economy was looking

Strong iPhone Governor’s support sales buoy Apple’s for KBD lauded third quarter, STAFF CORRESPONDENT

shares climb

LAHORE—As Britain’s first Muslim


S AN F RANCISCO—Sales of Mohammad Sarwar’s, recent Apple Inc’s iPhone trumped Wall Street estimates after U.S. shipments soared 51 percent in the third quarter, lifting its stock 5 percent even as profit fell. The world’s largest technology company said that profit fell 22 percent as gross margins slid below 37 percent from more than 42 percent in the year-ago quarter. The iPhone’s solid showing eased concerns that growing competition is hurting demand for Apple’s top-selling product as the global smartphone market matures. Rival Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, which overtook Apple to become the world’s largest smartphone maker in 2012, fueled those fears when it issued a disappointing earnings forecast earlier this month.—Newswire

between the two countries can prove beneficial in understanding the work mechanics of both countries. The secretary said that Brazil is a hub of interaction and Pakistan welcomes Brazilian interest in our defence market. More frequent interaction between Brazil and Pakistan can draw meaningful contacts which can be beneficial for both countries. He said that some contracts of the past needs to pace up and materialize. Pakistan’s Defence Industry can offer a wide variety quantity of defence equipment having key features of low cost, high quality, sophistication and precision. Therefore, strengthening of contacts between the two countries will help gain future collaborations.

appointment as the Punjab Governor has widely been hailed, the Institute of Engineers Pakistan, Lahore Centre Chairman Syed Khalid Sajjad has also welcomed his appointment and wished him luck. Khalid Sajjad welcomed the support committed by the newly-appointed Punjab governor for construction of Kalabagh Dam, saying that PTI Chairman Imran Khan whose party is in power in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, is also in favour of the multi-billion dollar project. He said it was regrettable that such an important project had been politicised, although KPK and Sindh would have been its major beneficiaries. He said that he hopes that Mohammad Sarwar will rise to the challenges of the role

and he will also help in building upon the strong relationship between the UK and Pakistan. He said that the new governor career in public life has been distinguished by his long-term commitment to social justice. He will now be able to make his mark in Punjab province, home to 100 million people. At a time when most people are willing to give up their Pakistan passports to come to the UK, we have an individual who is willing to give up his British passport to go to Pakistan and to play a role in its development, observed Khalid Sajjad. IEP Lahore centre chief maintained that Sarwar has the integrity, skills, experience and vision to make a real difference to the lives of people in Pakistan. The governor will be a bridge between Pakistan and the UK and we look forward to support the government to build stronger Pakistan.

brighter, while early signs of rising prices were good news for its efforts to hit a two-percent inflation target in as many years. Easing tends to weigh on a currency so the BoJ’s decision to keep its policy in place dragged the yen lower. Currency markets were also keeping a close eye on better-than-expected Chinese trade data. Investors are also keeping a close eye on the United State Federal Reserve, with growing speculation it would soon start tapering its own huge stimulus programme.—APP

Delays hang From Page 10 population. PTA officials estimate that a 3G auction could raise $1 billion in annual licence fees, which could be ploughed back into reducing the crippling $5 billion circular debt in the energy sector. But delays are not the only problem. “The previous government could not auction 3G licences because it wanted to bypass the standard tendering practices,” the official said on condition of anonymity. “There was infighting within the PTA over the auctioning of licences as the previous government wanted to bypass standard procedures and there was resistance by the members which delayed the process,” the official said. Raza Rabbani, a leading senator from the opposition Pakistan People’s Party, has criticised the inclusion of 3G licence sale proceeds in the first budget of the Sharif government.

Ministry of Finance releases Rs19.5b to PEPCO STAFF REPORT ISLAMABAD—The Ministry of Finance has released Rs 19.5 billion power tariff subsidy to Pakistan Electric Power Company (PEPCO) to bridge the gap between power purchase and power sale price to the consumers during the month of July 2013, being first month of this fiscal year 201314. To bring the power tariff subsidy for the industrial and commercial consumers of the country to zero, the federal government has recently increased the electricity tariff for industrial consumers by 25 percent to 98.42 percent and commercial consumers up to 22 percent.

The federal government has set a target of generating Rs 137 billion during the current financial year through a two-phase tariff rationalisation plan. According to officials of the Ministry of Water and Power, the tariff for industrial and commercial sectors has been increased by up to 99 percent from August 1. In the second phase, the rates for domestic and agricultural consumers will be raised by up to 117 percent from October 1. This tariff increase will take the total revenue of all distribution companies (excluding KESC) to over Rs 1 trillion from Rs 875 billion under the existing tariff. Three basic principles have been adopted in the plan. The industrial tariff has been

increased by between 25 percent and 98.42 percent depending on various slabs and categories so that there is ‘zero subsidy on budget’ for the industrial sector. To achieve this, the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) has approved the minimum determined tariff (MDT) of the best performing distribution company plus 81 paisas penalty in the name of equalisation charge on each unit of electricity to cross-subsidies inefficient power companies. The tariff for commercial, bulk and other consumers has been jacked up to the level of MDT for the best distribution company (generally the Islamabad Electric Supply Company) so that the overall budgeted subsidy in these sectors

comes down, but not completely eliminated as in the case of industry. Citing example, the official explained that Azad Kashmir will see the highest gross tariff increase of about 117 percent, although a part of it will be settled through a special arrangement with the federal government. Azad Kashmir’s peak time-of-day (TOD) will be increased by 35 percent to Rs 18 per unit, and off-peak rate by 51.5 percent to Rs 12 per unit. The commercial tariff has been increased between 22 percent and 65 percent. The tariff for agricultural and domestic consumers will remain unchanged, but in some cases will go up by more than 72 percent in October. Despite

the massive jump in rates, the domestic sector will still get around Rs 50 billion subsidy. Commercial: The tariff for commercial consumers has been increased to Rs 18 per unit from the current notified tariff of Rs 14.77, up 22 percent. Regular 20 KW commercial rates have been increased by almost 65 percent to Rs 16 per unit from Rs 9.72. The TOD rate for commercial consumers has been increased to Rs 18 per unit from Rs 13.20 for peak consumption while off-peak rates have been increased to Rs 12.50 per unit from Rs 8.01. Temporary commercial rates will remain unchanged at Rs 15 per unit. Industrial: With the addition of 81 paisas per unit equalisation surcharge for all industrial con-

sumers, the tariff for B-1 consumers will increase to Rs 15.31 per unit from Rs 10.51. The B1 TOD peak rate will increase to Rs 18.81 per unit from Rs 13.99 while off-peak rate will jump to Rs 16.31 per unit from Rs 8.22. The B-2 tariff will go up to Rs 14.81 per unit from Rs 9.14; B-2 TOD peak rate to Rs 18.81 per unit from Rs 12.77 and off-peak rate to Rs 13.11 per unit from Rs 8.01. The B-3 TOD peak rate will increase to Rs 18.81 per unit from Rs 12.68 and off-peak rate to Rs 10 per unit from Rs 7.75. The B-4 TOD peak rate will increase to Rs 15.31 per unit from Rs 12.37 and off-peak rate to Rs 9.91 per unit from Rs 7.46. Single-point bulk: The C-1 (A) tariff has been increased to

Rs 13 per unit from Rs 11.50 and C-1 (B) rate to Rs 11.50 per unit. Its TOD peak rate will increase to Rs 15 per unit and off-peak rate to Rs 9.30. The highest increase in this category has been made for C-3 of 60/132kv supply by 24 percent to Rs 9.10 per unit and C-2 of 11/33kv will be increased by 17 percent to Rs 14.70. The implementation of the plan will reduce subsidy to Rs 252 billion from Rs 396 billion (estimated without tariff increase), the official explained. In the second phase, the rates for domestic and agricultural consumers will be raised by up to 117 percent from October 1. Residential: Although power rates for domestic con-

sumers will be increased from October 1, the highest hike of 73 percent will be for consumption of more than 200 and 300 units per month – the tariff will go up from Rs 8.11 per unit to Rs 14. For consumers using less than 200 units the tariff will remain unchanged, but this will require an amendment in rules and hence a delay of two months. For consumers using 301 to 700 units the tariff will be increased by about 30 percent to Rs 16 per unit from Rs 12.33. Those using more than 700 units will face an increase of 20 percent to Rs 18 per unit from Rs 15.07. The rate for peak load exceeding 20KW will increase by 52 percent to Rs 12.50 per unit from Rs 8.22.

Knee pain common in older women


T appears that knee pain of some kind is a common complaint in middle-aged and mature women, with varying possible causes leading to varying types of pain. A new study on knee-pain patterns assessed periodically over 12 years in a representative UK population finds that nearly two-thirds (63%) of women aged 50 and over experience knee pain at least once, persistently, or intermittently over such a period. The authors found these patterns were more likely in women with higher BMI, with a previous knee injury, or whose scans showed they had osteoarthritis (OA). They write about their findings in the 19 December online issue of the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism. Senior author Dr Nigel Arden, a Professor of Rheumatology at the University of Oxford in the UK, told the media that this was the first study involving communitybased participants that investigates patterns of knee pain using “multiple assessment points” over a period of 12 years: “Understanding the prevalence and predictors of knee pain is the first step in developing comprehensive pain assessment plans that could lead to more targeted treatment options for those burdened by OA.” For their analysis, Arden and colleagues used data gathered in the Chingford Study, a prospective population-based study of OA and osteoporo-

sis established in 1989. This started with more than 1,000 women aged from 44 to 57 (median 52) years. The cohort is described as representative of women in the UK in general in terms of height, weight, and smoking status. At four times over the 12 years of the study, the participants completed questionnaires about their knee pain. From their responses the researchers classed the 489 participants who were still in the study at the end into one of four groups, depending on their pain characteristics: asymptomatic, persistent, incident, and intermittent. 44% of women reported experiencing “any days of pain”. 23% reported experiencing “pain on most days of the previous month”. Of those experiencing “any pain”, 9% had persistent pain, 24% had incident pain, and 29% had intermittent pain. Of those experiencing “pain on most days”, these figures were 2%, 16% and 18% respectively. A higher BMI predicted persistent and incident patterns of pain, while radiographic OA predicted persistent pain. Those who reported a previous knee injury were more likely to have persistent or intermittent patterns of pain. The researchers conclude the results show a “significant variability” in patterns of knee pain over time in this representative population, with few participants “consistently reporting knee pain at each time point”.

KARACHI: People board a train as they leave for their home towns for Eid-ul-Fitr which marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

Two Eid prayers at Masjid Masoomin KARACHI—Two Eid prayers will be offered at Masjid-eMasoomin Block-14 Federal B Area on Eid day. The first prayer will be offerd at 8.30 a.m. while the second will follow soon after to be led by Maulana Akbar Vilayeti, a press release of Anjuman-eMuhibban-e-Masoomin here Thursday said.—APP

IGP reviews Eid-ul-Fitr contingency plan K ARACHI —Inspector Gen-

eral of Sindh Police, Shahid Nadeem Baloch has observed that the deployment of policemen at main mosques, open venues of Namaz-e-Eid and eidgahs be made visible and briefed about the security duties. He also said that no policeman should leave his spot of deployment while concerned SSPs will be responsible to ensure availability of the SHOs in their respective constituencies and continuously K ARACHI —An alleged ex- check deployment. tortionist identified as Majid, son of Gul Nabi was arrested by the Station House Officer, Police Station Mominabad, Ahmed Butt on Thursday. The accused was arrested when he was allegedly collecting extortion from a trans- K ARACHI —Deputy Conporter in the area near route vener of Muttahida Qaumi N-4 bus stop Pareshan Movement’s Rabita CommitChowk, Orangi Town here. tee, Dr Khalid Maqbool A T.T. pistol along with Siddiqui said that the KhidmatKARACHI: A girl showing henna applied on her hands ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr. bullets were also recovered e-Khalaq Foundation (KKF) being a purely non-political from the accused.—APP welfare organization had been distributing relief goods each year among needy, handicapped, widows and orphans since long in cooperation with Haq Parast people, particularly with the assistance of philanKARACHI—The head of the thropists. KARACHI—Eid is in the air shoppers and vehicles. Haidery market North Shirazi Group, Shafqat Shah He was speaking to the as shoppers including from Charged parking arrange- Nazimabad, Karimabad’s Shirazi along with a notable participants of annual relief all age groups throng to mar- ments have also been made Meena Bazaar, Bazaar-e- of Shirazi family, Syed Ayaz goods distribution programme kets in hunt of good bargains to manage the parking of the Faisal, Anarkali market FB Shah Shirazi called on the held here on Wednesday unPresident-elect der the aegis of KKF at for Eid related stuff to cel- vehicles because unorga- Area, Liaquat Market Malir, country’s ebrate Eid-ul-Fitr, in befitting nized parking obstructing Babar Market Landhi, K-Area Mamnoon Hussain at the Azizabad’s Jinnah ground, said manner. Families are fre- smooth flow of traffic result- market Korangi, Nishan-i- State Guest House here on a statement issued on quently visiting shopping ing in frequent traffic jam Haider Chowk Orangi and Thursday. Chairman Pakistan Wednesday evening. centers and enquiring about around the city’s busy mar- New Karachi market. The law Board of Investment, Zubair He said that the MQM was prices of different items and kets, especially in front of the enforcement agencies have Umer also called on the the brainchild of Altaf Hussain also adopted strict security country’s President-elect. bargaining with shopkeepers shopping malls. while Khidmat-i-Khalq FounMajor shopping centres measures to avoid any untoA delegation comprising dation (KKF) which was esdespite scorching heat. notables from district Malir tablished prior to the party Though ladies and chil- and markets which are wit- ward incident. The complain centers led by a representative of came into being was an ample dren stuff is in great demand nessing a big attendance, inbut the price hike has created clude main Tariq Road shop- have also been set up out- business community, Javed proof of Altaf Hussain’s selfa certain gap between the ping centre, Jamia Cloth Mar- side the shopping markets by Arsala also called on the less services towards the ailbuyers and Eid related stuff ket, Bohri Bazaar Saddar, the local administrations, country’s President-elect. ing humanity. and many items have gone Zamzama market, Shon Circle welfare organizations and lo- They felicitated Mamnoon The relief goods worth milbeyond their purchasing Clifton, Boultan Market, Ju- cal police to facilitate the Hussain on his election as lions of rupees distributed President of Pakistan.—APP among thousands of poor, power as many of the cus- bilee Cinema, Hoti Market, masses. —APP tomers leaving after asking widows, orphans, and other the price of various proddeserving people included ucts. sewing machines, grocery, All lanes, roads and cycle, fans, blankets, wheelstreets situated in the surchairs, clothes, pushcarts roundings of the shopping loaded with fruits and vegcenters are packed with etables and even the cash. Expressing his satisfaction that the KKP keeping its tradition alive had organized its annual relief goods programme as per its schedule, Dr Siddiqui, who is also Member of the National Assembly, said that the relief goods distributed on Wednesday was not even 5 per cent of what MQM had been doing under its humanitarian services throughout the year. He said that MQM did not believe in publicizing its humanitarian services merely of its faith that there should not be any exhibition of such welfareoriented programmes. In fact, the purpose of organizing this program was to tell the philanKARACHI: Relatives of the prisoners are perturbed after ban on meeting them in thropists that whatever they Central Jail, before Eid. had donated to the KKF was

Police arrest alleged extortionist

The IG Sindh directed this while reviewing the security arrangements adopted by the police in view of the Eid contingency plan, said a statement on Thursday. The Sindh Police chief was informed in the contingency plan that the police will remain on high-alert in view of law and order situation in the city. The police will also perform snap checking and patrolling in the sensitive areas to ensure protection of life and property of the masses. The law enforcers will put

strict watch on suspected activities and will also take steps for checking on entry and exit points of the city besides, police picketing, snap checking and patrolling by the police van and motorcycle riders. Arrangements will also be made for monitoring of the law and order situation from the Command and Control Surveillance Centers set up at the Central Police Officer. The technical sweeping clearance and availability of bomb disposal squad at main venues of Namaz-e-Eid, mosques and imambargahs will also be ensured. It added that the steps were also being taken to launch targeted operation against criminal elements in different areas of carrying out the gigantic its the city to control law and task of distributing relief goods order and to maintain peace among needy people.—APP in the metropolis.—APP

KKF distributes relief goods among needy people

People throng markets for brisk Eid shopping

Shafqat calls on Mamnoon

DMCs finalize Eid arrangements K ARACHI —The Districts Municipal Corporations (DMCs) have made necessary arrangements to facilitate people and promptly respond to complaints regarding civic services on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr. Besides cleaning, lighting arrangements and fumigation in the surroundings of mosques, Imambargahs and eidgahs, cutting of bushes has also been performed. Administrator East, Manzoor Abbasi and Administrator West, Imran Aslam along with officials concerned visited different areas in their respective DMCs to review the Eid arrangements. They directed the officials concerned that no negligence will be tolerated regarding provision of civic services. They also directed to maintain cleanliness in the surroundings of mosques, imambargahs and eidgahs, particularly, on the eve of Namaz-e- Eid.—APP

Knee pain common in older women


T APPEARS that knee pain of some kind is a common complaint in middle-aged and mature women, with varying possible causes leading to varying types of pain. A new study on knee-pain patterns assessed periodically over 12 years in a representative UK population finds that nearly two-thirds (63%) of women aged 50 and over experience knee pain at least once, persistently, or intermittently over such a period. The authors found these patterns were more likely in women with higher BMI, with a previous knee injury, or whose scans showed they had osteoarthritis (OA). They write about their findings in the 19 December online issue of the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism. Senior author Dr Nigel Arden, a Professor of Rheumatology at the University of Oxford in the UK, told the media that this was the first study involving community-based participants that investigates patterns of knee pain using “multiple assessment points” over a period of 12 years: “Understanding the prevalence and predictors of knee pain is the first step in developing comprehensive pain assessment plans that could lead to more targeted treatment options for those burdened by OA.” For their analysis, Arden and col-

leagues used data gathered in the Chingford Study, a prospective population-based study of OA and osteoporosis established in 1989. This started with more than 1,000 women aged from 44 to 57 (median 52) years. The cohort is described as representative of women in the UK in general in terms of height, weight, and smoking status. At four times over the 12 years of the study, the participants completed questionnaires about their knee pain. From their responses the researchers classed the 489 participants who were still in the study at the end into one of four groups, depending on their pain characteristics: asymptomatic, persistent, incident, and intermittent. 44% of women reported experiencing “any days of pain”. 23% reported experiencing “pain on most days of the previous month”. Of those experiencing “any pain”, 9% had persistent pain, 24% had incident pain, and 29% had intermittent pain. Of those experiencing “pain on most days”, these figures were 2%, 16% and 18% respectively. A higher BMI predicted persistent and incident patterns of pain, while radiographic OA predicted persistent pain.

IT University gets grant from WB STAFF REPORTER L AHORE —The Information Technology University (ITU) of the Punjab has received a grant from the World Bank (WB), the largest ever made to a public university, to establish the Centre for Technology in Governance. This centre focuses on three projects, Government Innovation Workspace (GIW)-Incubator, Mobile Governance Framework and an Open Government Initiative in Punjab. The project will be executed by ITU’s newly hired team of worldclass researchers, entrepreneurs, government sector participants, academics and policy-makers. The project duration is 18 months. ITU’s research philosophy aims at integrating computer science education and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) research to foster multidisciplinary innovation and entrepreneurship. The team of technologists will be working closely with Punjab Information Technology Board(PITB) and other government bodies to roll out diverse mobile governance platforms and frameworks to facilitate effective service delivery. ITU is also working with additional donor agencies to kick-start complementary projects.

Building collapse injures 7 labourers L AHORE —At least seven labourers were injured when an under-construction building collapsed near Mozan Adda here. According to details, laboures were busy removing the lift from the upper storey of an under-construction building near Mozan Adda when the building collapsed, burying seven labourers under the debris. Rescue teams reached the spot and shifted the injured labourers to Mayo Hospital. According to hospital sources, condition of one injured person is stated to be critical while four were LAHORE: Girls showing their hands decorated with henna at a beauty parlor ahead of discharged from hospital afEid-ul-Fitr. ter initial treatment.—INP

HCC starts taking action on public complaints STAFF REPORTER L AHORE —Chief Operating Officer of the Punjab Healthcare Commission (HCC) Dr. Ajmal Khan has said that the Commission in pursuance of its mission to raise the standards of healthcare delivery throughout Punjab has been working to foster a culture of fairness in the partnership between patients and professionals. The commission acts as a specialized tribunal for receiving and investigating complaints and pronouncing arising from alleged maladministration, malpractice, or medical negligence. While our paramount concern is to ensure the safety of the patient, we are also mindful of the need to preserve the confidence of the healthcare professional, a goal that we hope to achieve through demonstrable impar-

tiality. He said that the Directorate of Patient Rights and Complaints, Punjab Healthcare Commission has received many complaints since the inception of the Commission, and has dealt with them with all possible expediency without compromising the integrity of the investigation process. Out of these, certain complaints have been dismissed on account of being time barred, or having been instituted without insufficient grounds, or due to a failure on the part of complainant to follow up on the complaint and provide us with proper documentation. Decisions have been

taken on a number of other complaints instituted against both public and private sector healthcare establishments, after due investigation of the competing claims. These include, inter alia, a decision regarding a major public sector hospital in Lahore, for manifest negligence in the surgical treatment of a female patient, whereby names of the doctors involved in the treatment have been referred to the Health Department for disciplinary action. The hospital administration has been instructed to implement the Minimum Service Delivery Standards (MSDS) recommended by PHC in letter and spirit.

LAHORE—City traffic police have deployed 2677 Wardens, 121 Inspectors and 11 DSPs under the supervision of divisional SPs to regulate traffic at routes leading to Eid congregations, public places, commercial centres and during the eid holidays. Chief Traffic Officer Capt (retd) Sohail Ch on Thursday issued instructions to the Circle Incharges to ensure smooth flow of traffic during Eid days. On the first day of Eid, 1520 Wardens alongwith 9 Emergency squads would perform duty at different locations under the supervision of 72 Inspectors and 13 DSPs.—APP

Govt decides to revive ‘Heer Recitation’ competition: Mashhood L AHORE —Punjab Government has decided to revive “Heer Recitation” competition in Jandiala Sher Khan, the birth place of Legendry poet of Punjab on the occasion of the coming Urs of Pir Waris Shah. It has also been decided to convene Basant Bahar Kite Flying competition at Changa Manga forest in the coming season of Basant i.e. end of March 2014. However, the prohibition on kite flying in Lahore and other urban areas of the province will be strictly

followed and implemented. This was disclosed by Provincial Minister for Education, Sports and Tourism Punjab Rana Mashhood Ahmad Khan while presiding over a high level meeting held at Punjab Tourism Complex, Lahore. The Minister informed the meeting that the beautiful kites and string made of harmless yarn material will be provided by the TDCP to the kite flyers and the tourists with the financial assistance by various corporate companies. Managing Director Tourism Development Corporation Punjab (TDCP) Habib

Vector surveillance, larvaeciding activities to continue during Eid holidays

20 confirmed dengue cases reported SALIM AHMED L AHORE —As many as 20 confirmed dengue cases have been reported throughout the province during the last six months, while the provincial government has decided to continue vector surveillance and larvaeciding activities during Eid holidays. Due to the heavy rains, the chances of dengue mosquito breeding have increased and during the vector surveillance, dengue larvae are being detected. The government has asked the concerned department to enhance their vector surveillance activities apart from intensifying disease surveillance. Health professionals have advised people to prevent themselves from mosquito bite and use anti-mosquito spray, mat in their houses and wear full clothes while going outside the house.

Khosa welcomes 2,677 Wardens ECP army deployment deployed for move Eid duty

Urs of Pir Waris Shah


LAHORE: A large number of people travelling on the rooftop of the buses as they return to their native towns to celebrate Eid relatives.

ur Rehman Gillani apprised the meeting of the changes incorporated in the syllabi of primary and elementary level which would help familiarize the new generation with the worth seeing places of Pakistan particularly that of the province of Punjab in a novel manner. Rana Mashhood Ahmad Khan while presiding over the meeting said every nook and corner of Pakistan is worth seeing provided we glorify it in a way that the foreign tourists would come to see our civilization which is no doubt our pride.

STAFF REPORTER LAHORE—Secretary General Pakistan People’s Party and former Punjab governor Sardar Latif Khosa has welcomed the Election Commission of Pakistan(ECP)’s decision of army deployment at sensitive polling stations during forthcoming by-elections. He said the Commission should have decided so in May elections 2013 as well, as all political parties have reservations over credibility of May 11 elections. He said after the enforcement of the judicial policy all the Session Judges and the Additional Session Judges holding administrative posts were recalled by the Supreme Court to resume their judicial responsibilities as per the judicial policy. He pointed out that the Judicial Policy given by the Supreme Court contained that no judicial officer will hold administrative post as it was critical for the sake of upholding the cause of administration of justice, fair application of law and above all the independence of judiciary. He recalled that the Justice Khawja Sharif could not be appointed as provincial Ombudsman because Judicial Policy prohibited the judge of the Supreme Court to accept any subservient position. He expressed his surprise and shock over the deployment of the judicial officers as the Returning Officers to conduct the May 2013 elections in the country.

Punjab Minister for Health Khalil Tahir Sindhu chaired a meeting of cabinet committee to review the dengue situation in Punjab and steps taken by the various departments for its control here Wednesday. Addressing the meeting, the minister directed that vector surveillance and larvaeciding activities should continue during Eid holidays for which Eid holidays of dengue staff have been cancelled. Special Secretary Health Babar Hayyat Tarrar, Secretaries, Addl. Secretaries of concerned departments, Convener Dengue Experts Advisory Group (DEAG) and VC KEMU Prof. Dr. Faisal Masood and elected representatives attended the meeting. The senior officers of Local Government, Higher Education, School Education, Food Department, Forests and Fisheries, Cooperative, Information, Culture Depart-

ment, Additional Commissioner Lahore, Special Branch and other officers briefed the meeting about the activities regarding dengue eradication campaign. The meeting was informed that spray and fogging machines in all the districts are fully functional and sufficient stock of medicines/ chemicals for spray and fogging is available and as per directions of the experts, spray would be carried-out. While briefing the participants of the meeting, Special Secretary Health informed that so far during the last six months, only 20 confirmed dengue cases have been reported throughout the province. Prof. Faisal Masood disclosed that more than 500 dengue cases have been reported only in Karachi and in order to control dengue fever it is necessary that people should refrain from travelling during Eid holi-

days, especially people suffering from any kind of fever should avoid from intercity travelling so that dengue could not spread. Health Minister directed that all DCOs should arrange awareness campaign regarding dengue through cable operators in their respective districts for sensitization of the masses. DCO Lahore informed that special instructions for cleanliness and solid waste management have been issued during Eid holidays and all sanitary staff is already on duty. He disclosed that services of civil defense staff has also been included in anti-dengue activities. Minister Health said that all departments are discharging their anti-dengue duties with full zeal and commitment. He said that these efforts and steps should be further intensified so that dengue could be controlled in this season.