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70pc MPs paid no taxes in 2011 ECP lifts jobs ban on Govt’s request STAFF REPORTER

ISLAMABAD—Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Fakhruddin G Ebrahim was informed on Wednesday that 70 per cent of parliamentarians had not paid their taxes for 2011. Ebrahim was provided the information in a letter from federal tax ombudsman secretary Dr Nazir Saeed during a meet-

Death toll in rainy incidents mounts to 41 PESHAWAR—The death toll in week-long rain and snowfall on Wednesday mounted to 41 as the cold weather across the country broke a 30-year record. The snowfall paralyzed life in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit, Chitral, Swat, Dir, Malakand, Skardu and Kashmir, disconnecting road links with the upper parts. Thousands of people remained inside their homes for the last few days amid shortage of edible items, medical facilities and lack of inappropriate rain management measures. Some 37 people were reported killed across the country. Electrocution, landslides and cave-ins of mud-houses and rooftops are the major causes of these deaths.

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Asian Ombudsmen elect Faruqui to represent in IOI STAFF REPORTER ISLAMABAD–Acting Wafaqi Mohtasib, M. Salman Faruqui has been elected as Asian representative to the International Ombudsman Institute (IOI) Board of Directors. The voting was conducted through secret ballot held by the IOI’s General Secretariat in Vienna, said a press release issued here on Wednesday. The International Ombudsman Institute, established in 1978, is the only global organization for the cooperation of more than 150 Ombudsman Institutions all over the world. The IOI is organized in regional chapters in Africa,

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Shahrukh Jatoi adult, medical report confirms KARACHI—The medical report has confirmed that Shahrukh Jatoi, accused of Shahzeb murder case is an adult. Six X-rays of Shahrukh Jatoi were taken by the medical board on Wednesday, which was tasked to determine his real age. After medical examination of his teeth, it was proved that he is at least 18 years old as he possesses all 32 teeth, including four wisdom teeth. An individual is at least of 18 years of age if he has a complete set of 32 teeth, Medical experts said. Shahrukh Jatoi is the main accused in Shahzeb Khan Murder case, who was killed in Defence area in Karachi on Dec 25.—Online

ing of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Wednesday. The letter which had earlier been sent to the election commission recommends that the ECP should declare the submission of tax details mandatory for candidates seeking to contest elections, along with their nomination papers. The commission’s meeting lifted ban on the government’s

request to remove the recently imposed ban on fresh administrative appointments in the run-up to the upcoming general elections. In addition, the meeting also discussed the process of scrutinising nomination papers, the issue of bogus degrees, door-todoor voter verification in Karachi and fresh delimitation of the city’s constituencies. The meeting was also expected to discuss demands made

by 13 opposition parties, an official of the ECP had told Dawn on Tuesday. Moreover, the commission is scheduled to meet representatives of opposition parties today (Thursday) to discuss concerns raised by them in a charter of demands. The parties, led by the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz, had held a token sit-

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PTI, PAT unite on ECP reconstitution MUZAFFAR ALI LAHORE—Pakistan Tehreek-eInsaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehrik (PAT) top leaders expressed their strong reservations over the performance of Election Commission of Pakistan, and both the parties demanded to dissolve and form a new Election Commission to hold free and fair elections in the coun-

try. Sources said the two parties, which are apparently on the same page as regards the issue of reconstitution of the Election Commission of Pakistan, also

weighting the options to enter an electoral alliance. Meanwhile, Dr Tahirul Qadri announced that he would challenge the formation of the Election Commission of Paki-

stan in the Supreme Court. Dr Qadri said that government has failed to fulfill its duties. Addressing a press conference after meeting with a del-

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Elahi also demands EC restructuring ISLAMABAD —Deputy Prime Minister Chaudhry Pervez Elahi Wednesday demanded the restructuring of Election Commission. Talking Chaudhry Pervez Elahi said that he has full confidence on Chief Election Commissioner, however, he added that the other members of the election commission Continued on Page 7

Challenging ECP part of conspiracies: PML-N SALIM AHMED

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Taliban reject London conference KABUL—An Afghan Taliban spokesman on Wednesday dismissed the outcome of a conference in London between the leaders of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Britain which aimed to work towards a peace deal within six months. The conference and other “horse trading” were “the real obstacles of effective and fruitful negotiations between the factual sides,” Zabihullah Mujahid wrote on the Taliban’s website. Following talks hosted by Britain, Afghan, Pakistani and British leaders on Monday had vowed to achieve a peace settlement for Afghanistan within six months. The three leaders also said they supported the opening of an office in Qatar for the Afghan Taliban to hold talks. “President Karzai, president Zardari and the prime minister affirmed that they supported the opening of an office Continued on Page 7

LAHORE: PTI leaders Javed Hashmi and Shah Mahmood Qureshi meeting with PAT leader Dr Tahirul Qadri on Wednesday.—NNI photo

US drone strike kills five in NWA Dozen terrorists mowed down in Kurram blitz TARIQ SAEED P ESHAWAR —The American

in a fresh missiles hit in LAHORE —Pakistan Muslim planes North Waziristan Agency on

League-Nawaz (PML-N) Wednesday declared that acts like challenging the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) are part of conspiracies aimed at postponing the general elections in the country. Reacting to reservations expressed by Pakistan Tehreek-iInsaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) over the performance of Election Commission of Pakistan, the PML-N senior

ISLAMABAD: Chief Election Commissioner Justice (Retd) Fakharuddin G Ibrahim chairing a meeting of the Commission on Wednesday.—Inp photo

Wednesday killed at least five people with the unconfirmed reports saying a fugitive was also among the dead. On the other hand the PAF warplanes coming hard on the miscreants positions in Upper Kurram Agency on Wednesday mowed down around a dozen trouble makers while equal number of others sustained injuries in the incessant bombings. Reports reaching here said the American CIA operated pi-

lotless planes commonly known as drones, targeted a compound in Tehsil Ghulam Khan area some 25 kilometers from NWA headquarters Miran Shah razing the building to ground. The predator planes, as the sources say, fired six projectiles on the compound in Bangi Darra area close to Pak-Afghan borders. Initial reports say at least five people were killed in the Wednesday’s strikes with the officials claiming that a foreign militant whose identity could not be ascertained was also among the dead. “The American planes hovering for some time in Bangi

Darra area hit a house that was destroyed completely and almost all the inmates ,may be five or six, were killed”. The independent sources said there were some reports about the occupation of militants on that compound for some time. These sources, however, denied to confirm if any foreign militant was also included killed in the drone attack. The American drones that have been launching missile attacks in the tribal belt since August 2008; have killed more than three thousand people in over 300 hits mostly in North

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PPP discusses seat adjustment with allies STAFF REPORTER ISLAMABAD—Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf is presiding over a special meeting of senior leaders of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) here on Wednesday. Sources said that those who were attending the meeting included Nazar Gondal, Rana Farooq, Qamar Zaman Kaira, Khurshid Shah and Manzoor Wattoo. The sources said that the meeting discussed political situation prevailing in the country, seat adjustment with the allied parties in the upcoming general elections and situation emerging after the imposition of governor rule in Balochistan. The meeting also discussed issues related to installing caretaker setup and contacts with other political parties in this regard.

Bugti murder

Dual office case

President to give up soon political office, LHC told STAFF REPORTER LAHORE—The Lahore High Court (LHC) has welcomed President Asif Ali Zardari’s decision to voluntarily quit political activities in the Presidency after the federation’s lawyer informed the five-judge bench that he would soon relinquish the post of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) co-chairperson. The five-member bench, headed by Chief Justice LHC Umar Ata Bandial, was hear-

ing the contempt of court petition against President Zardari for not relinquishing the political office of PPP co-chairperson. On January 22, the LHC had called for an assurance from President Zardari to voluntarily quit political activities in the Presidency, directing federation’s counsel to come up with a clear stance of the president by February 6 about implementation of the May 12 judgment against him for his political activities and holding dual

office (PPP co-chairperson). During today’s proceedings, counsel for the federation, Advocate Wasim Sajjad, told the court in writing that the president would soon relinquish the said post and assured it that the Presidency would not be used for any political activities. The counsel further pleaded to the bench that the President had not committed contempt of the court, and that no political activity of any sort was happening in the Presidency.

Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah enquired from the counsel whether the political activities would not be held only in Islamabad President House or in Karachi also? Wasim Sajjad in reply said that the President House is located in Islamabad, while the rest are the President’s residences. Thereafter, LHC CJ Umar Ata Bandial said that the federation counsel’s pledge to stop political activities in the Presi-

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SC rejects Aftab Sherpao bail plea ISLAMABAD—Supreme Court (SC) has rejected bail plea of former interior minister Aftab Ahmad Sherpao in Akbar Bugti murder case and has directed him to resort to subordinate court on this count. A 3-member bench of SC presided over by the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry took up Akbar Bugti assassination case for hearing Wednesday. Iftikhar Gilani appeared in the court on behalf of the petitioner, Aftab Sherpao and expressed mistrust over trial court. CJP remarked “ cursing

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SC: Over 22,000 criminals roaming free in Karachi KARACHI—Supreme Court on Justice Hani said that only 169 Wednesday heard a case regarding Karachi law and order situation and scolded high police officials who produced reports on law-enforcement agencies’ performance in dealing with criminals. Additional IG police Iqbal Mehmood appeared before a four-judge bench, headed by Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja, at the court’s Karachi Registry and submitted a rejoinder about investigation of various cases. Mehmood told the court that 630 criminals were arrested in different police raids over the past few months. He told the court that 2,300 people lost their lives in targeted attacks last year. Justice Amir Hani enquired about the number of investigation officers in Karachi. To which, the AIG replied “I think 250 officers are working.” The reply irked the court as

officers have submitted their reports so far. At which, the AIG said some 250 investigation officers are working in Karachi. Justice Khilji Arif Hussain said that the police department has confessed in its report that over 22,000 absconding offenders are roaming free in the city. “Then how life of a common citizen can be saved? How can free elections be ensured in worst law and order conditions? Who should we blame to? We see no hope of peace in the city,” Justice Khilji said. Justice Khawaja asked how the police can deal with 22,000 criminals with an insufficient manpower. “This task is impossible for police while the Rangers are not proving effective in Karachi despite consuming a heavy budget.” The bench later adjourned the hearing of the case till today (Thursday).—INP

India ‘concerned’ over China running Gwadar port BANGALORE—India’s defence Arabian Sea from a Singapore minister said Wednesday that New Delhi was concerned by Pakistan’s decision last month to transfer management of a strategically located deep-sea port to China. “In one sentence, it is a matter of concern for us,” AK Antony told reporters in Bangalore where he inaugurated the Indian air show. “My answer is very straightforward and simple.” On January 30, Pakistan approved a deal transferring management of Gwadar port on the

company to China, which provided most of the funding to build the facility in the province of Balochistan. Beijing also funded a port in Sri Lanka and has been approached to help build a similar facility in Bangladesh. A high-level Chinese delegation from Beijing is attending the Aero India show for the first time in a sign of improving relations between Asia’s two biggest countries, which renewed their military cooperation last September.— AP

Ashraf for greater coord to end terrorism ISLAMABAD—Prime Minister state of investigation‚ he said Raja Pervez Ashraf has underlined the need of greater coordination and cooperation among the law enforcement agencies to cope with the menace of terrorism. Addressing the passing out parade of ASPs here on Wednesday‚ he said “the menace of terrorism threatens the very fabric of our society and its nexus with the crime makes the task of police more challenging. This calls for proactive role by the police to rise to the occasion to nip this evil in the bud.” He urged police to maintain close relationship with the local community as interaction with the community would not only provide police information about anti-national and anti-social elements but also deny criminals refuge. This is only possible if they are not feared but respected, he said. The Prime Minister said policing is a dynamic and demanding profession. Keeping in view the challenges‚ old concepts must give way to innovative approach for crime management, he said. Voicing concerns over poor

those accused of crime are not convicted by courts due to lack of investigation. “We cannot allow criminals and terrorists to get away due to lack of our failure to gather information”, he said. He said outdated methods of investigation should be replaced with scientific approach. We need to strengthen forensic capabilities and modernize the investigation process. Referring to the passage of fair trial bill recently the parliament‚ he expressed the confidence that this will help bring culprits of crime to justice. He said under the bill‚ law enforcement agencies will be further empowered but in no way it will be a license to suppress human rights and human dignity. The prime minister expressed the confidence that the newly inducted police officials will play their due role in changing the negative perception about police. Earlier‚ the Prime Minister gave away awards to the outstanding passing out ASPs.— NNI


Police autonomy order 2002 to be maintained: Hoti STAFF REPORTER P ESHAWAR —Chief Minister Khyber Pukhtunkhwa Amir Haider Khan Hoti has termed the conception of conclusion of Police Order with issuance of new local government system and has clarified that autonomy to police under Police Order 2002 will be maintained at all cost and efforts will be undertaken for its further improvement which was demand of current circumstances. He said that sacrifices of police against terrorism were part of history that demand fulfillment of needs of the police. He was addressing the

launching ceremony of book titled, “Police Martyrs Mardan Region” at DIG House Mardan. Additional IG Masood Afridi, DIG Mardan Abdullah, DPO Danishwar Khan, police officers, personnel and heirs of shuhadas were also present on the occasion. The CM said that publication of this book on behalf of police was commendable from all aspects in presenting glowing tributes to martyrs of police, added, that will not only boost morals of police officers and jawans but will always remind the unmatched sacrifices of their parents and elders to

new generations of martyrs. He said that we were proud of those police officers and jawans who had rendered sacrifices of their lives for revival of peace, battle against terrorism and protection to lives and properties of the people. He said that meeting with heirs of martyrs was an honour for him. He said that a martyr has a distinguished place and respect to its heirs was binding on us and we have to prove it by practice. He offered sitting to a child of martyr on presiding chair and said that it was responsibility of the society to term children of

shuhadas as one’s own children and elders as one’s own elders. He said that we must not only feel their sufferings but provide a proof of it. He said that all these matters must be beyond politics. The CM said that even billion rupees can’t substitute a human life because these martyrs have rendered sacrifices of their lives for the sake of country, nation and people and not for their sake, property or business. He said that Khyber pakhtunkhwa police was established for law and order matters and control on routine crimes but for the first time in history, the

police force was stood against terrorism due to situation in the region regardless of training, equipments and number. He said that in spite of all this, the police force has recorded history of sacrifices, courage and bravery with their blood. He said that bearing these in mind, police force of the province has been equipped with modern training and weapons and its number has been enhanced despite meager financial resources. He said that earlier to this, the police force has nominal guns for battling trained.

FESCO shutdown FAISALABAD—The

Jan for enhanced FATA educational facilities STAFF REPORTER ISLAMABAD—Chairman IPOPakistan and Member National Assembly from FATA Hameed Ullah Jan Afridi has said that there is need to enhance educational facilities in tribal areas and huge funds have been allocated for establishment and upgradation of schools and collages in annual budget for FATA. Hameed Ullah Jan Afridi said this while talking to a delegation of students and teachers from FATA here on Wednesday. He said young generation should focus on its education. Record projects of billion rupees are being initiated in FATA so that literacy rate may increase. Efforts are being made to solve the problems of teachers and students to establish peaceful environment for the students and teachers, he said. He said that education

Faisalabad Electric Supply Company (FESCO) has issued shutdown programme for necessary repair, maintenance and expansion of electricity lines. According to the programme issued here on Wednesday, power supply from Johal, F-4, BB Jan feeders emanating from 132-KV I SLAMABAD —The Pakistan Bandala grid station will reMeteorological Department main suspended from 9:00 (PMD) on Wednesday forea.m. to 3:00 p.m. while F-5 cast mainly cold and dry feeder originating from 132weather for most parts of the KV Sitara Energy grid station country with possibility of will observe shutdown from light rain at a few places in 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan Thursday (February 7). during next during next 24 Similarly, electricity suphours. Mainly cold and dry ply from Shadman feeder weather is expected in most emanating from 132-KV OTP parts of Punjab, Islamabad, grid station will remain susKhyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh pended from 9:00 a.m. to and Balochistan during the 1:00pm whereas Fateh Abad, next 24 hours. Canal Road, Farooq Abad, The lowest minimum temMansoor Abad, Jubilee, New peratures recorded during the Madina Town, Rafhan and last 24 hours were: Parachinar Saeed Colony feeders originating from 132-KV OTP grid BAHAWALPUR: Prof Dr Muhammad Mukhtar, VC Islamia University and guests viewing the paintings of a local -12 C, Skardu -9 C, Astore -8, Malamjabba -6, Murree -5, station, Marafco, Koh-e-Noor artist Humayun Azam during the paintings exhibition. Quetta, Drosh and Gupis -4 C, City and Mobilink feeders Mirkhani and Rawalakot -3 C, emanating from 66-KV OTP and Dir and Dalbandin -2C. grid station and Five Star The chief amounts of rainfall feeder originating from 132recorded during the last 24 KV Phalahi Wala grid station hours were: Rawalakot 68 mm, will observe load shedding Rawalpindi 56 mm, Islamabad from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on 54mm, Garridupatta 50mm, February 07, 2013.—APP Murree 45mm, Chirat, Saidusharif and Risalpur 43mm, Peshawar 37mm, Kakul 35mm, Sialkot and Dir 34mm, Muzaffarabad and Kotli 32mm, no traffic is visible on the Mangla 31mm, Pattan 28mm, Supply of electricity has their relatives. GUL HAMAAD FAROOQI also been suspended from The people opened the roads. Patients are facing Chakwal 26mm, Balakot and S ARGODHA —Anti CorrupC HITRAL —Heavy snowfall national grid station, Dir be- roads on self help basis by great hardships due to non- M.B.Ding 25mm, D.I.Khan tion police on Wednesday 24mm, Noorpurthal 23mm, arrested an Assistant Sub has paralyzed life in Chitral cause of damage to poles and removing snow while C&W availability of transport facil- Jhelum 22mm, Mianwali 21mm, ity and no electricity is availwire. As well as electricity department staff did nothas main road of Chitral has Inspecter (ASI) for allegedly Bhakkar 20mm, Joharabad accepting illegal gratification. been blocked at Ziarat near has also suspended from lo- ing. There is acute short- able in hospitals. Mostly pa- 18mm, Kalam 16mm, Dir and tients are shifted by their relacal hydro power station age of edible things, fireLawari tunnel. The tunnel is Muammad Amir resident of Drosh 15mm, Gujranwala Laluwali said in his applica- opened only for 3 days a Singor because of apathy of wood and gas cylinders in tives as no transport is avail- 14mm, Gupis and Kohat 13mm, able. Social and political Pesco Chitral staff who could the market as well as no poulweek for passengers but it tion to the Anti Corruption Faisalabad 12mm, T.T. Singh Eestablishment authorities remained closed for more not restore and repair dam- try is available in Chitral circles of Chitral have de- 11mm, Multan nd Sargodha Bazar. manded Federal as well as aged line. Further people also than 7 days due to snowfall that ASI Muhammad Afzal People of Chitral have provincial government to rehad taken Rs 14000 as bribe and thousands of Chitral faced great hardship after have been rain and heavy snowfall hit been besieged inside their store electricity, open Lawari in connection with investiga- passengers tion of a criminal case of stranded at both sides of PTCL and VPTCl services as houses due to severe cold tunnel and rehabilitate comthey had lost contact with weather, rain, snowfall and munication network. Phagtanwala police station. Lawari tunnel. The anti corruption police have arrested the said police officer by recovering marked notes.—APP

is imperative for progress and prosperity, youth of FATA has potential to meet the challenges of growing development trends. Afridi said all out efforts have been made for taking admissions and availing scholarsips in different colleges and universities of the country. Hameed Ullah Jan Afridi said that literacy rate is being increased with the completion of development projects in Khyber Agency, Bara and awareness about importance of education is increasing among the people of tribal areas. Young generation of tribal areas, is hardworking, dedicated and having vast potential to show great abilities through education. He urged the students to focus on their studies and serve the country. The Chairman IPO, also informed the delegation about role of IPO-Pakistan.

Cold, dry weather likely in most parts of country

Heavy snowfall paralyzes Chitral communication network

ASI booked on graft

64 sheep die in shed collapse

Power supply suspended for 3 days, severe shortage of edibles

Balochistan seeks PR surplus land to meet shortage

PTI, PML-N, ANP workers join PPP STAFF REPORTER P ESHAWAR —Several senior workers of Pakistan Tehrike-Insaf (PTI), PML-N and ANP in Mandrakhel, Pajgi Road along with dozens of associates quit their respective parties and announced joining PPP. The announcement in this regard was made during a public meeting in the Hujra of Malik Sameen Jan Khan at Pajgi. Those present on the occasion are President, PPP, district Peshawar, Malik Tehmash Khan MPA, office secretary, Haji Malik Mohammad Iqbal, president, PPP Special Force, Mlaik Firdous Khan Daudzai and presidents and office bearers of the different wards of the party. Those who announced joining PPP were included Malik Baitullah Khan, Asif Khan, Malik Sameen Khan, Malik Liaquat Ali Khan, Malik Khalil Khan, Haji Ghafoor Khan, Haji Misson Khan and Rohullah Khan. President, PPP district, Peshawar Malik Tehmash Khan MPA welcomed them in the party fold.

Rain stops but city areas still inundated

10mm. The snowfall recorded was Mallamjabba 2ft, Murree 1.5ft and Kalam 8 inch. According to the Met Office, record breaking snowfalls STAFF REPORTER have occurred in the northern areas of the country during the current wet spell. The P E S H AWA R —Though the three-day rainy spell has subsided in provincial metropolis of Khyber Pakhtunkwa, low lying area of the city were still inundate with rainwater creating multiple hardships for the dwellers. The three-day rainfall left behind its signs widespread rainfall in differ- in shape of accumulated ent parts of the country will water in low lying areas contribute positively to- that has added miseries to wards the water resources the people of these areas and agriculture. The prevail- and they were restricted to ing weather system has al- their houses due to accuready ceased in Sindh and mulated rain water in Balochistan and is likely to streets. Due to imperfect water continue in upper Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, north-east sewerage system the areas Punjab, Kashmir and Gilgit- of Saeed Abad, Miskeen Baltistan till Wednesday Abad, Pagagi Road, Board morning. Night temperatures Bazaar, Nishter Abad, Bilal are likely to fall by 2-4 C in Town, Gulbahar and its adsouthern Balochistan, Sindh joining areas were inundated and south Punjab and by 4-6 with rainwater that has also C in upper Punjab, GB and badly affected the traffic system as at some place veKashmir. The local Met office has hicles were unable to cross forecast cold and dry weather the rainwater. In some of the for the city and its suburbs areas including Dalazak during the next 24 hours. On Road, Sikandar Town and Wednesday, the maximum Gulbahar the rainwater has and minimum temperature entered in many houses was recorded as 17C and 9C causing financial loss to the residents. respectively.—APP

Action against building mafia sought

Q UETTA —Social circles of Q UETTA —Balochistan gov- ways in parts of Balochistan which if given would enable Quetta demanded of the gov-

be given under the Balochistan government to ernment to take action against B HAKKAR —As a result of ernment has asked the Paki- should stan Railways authorities to control of provincial govern- effectively resolve the issue building mafia involved in continuous rains, at least 64 sheep died when a shed of a livestock farm collapsed in Ghulama area of Kallur Kot. According to details, total of 800 sheep were kept in the farm and number of animals were also injured in the incident. The farm management claimed the shed was in good condition but collapsed due to fast storm and rain. DG livestock has formed a committee to inquire the incident.—APP

handover its surplus land in Balochistan to the provincial government so that it could meet the issue of land shortage. Official sources told APP here on Tuesday that Chief Executive and Governor Balochistan Nawab Zulfiqar Ali Magsi during a meeting of Council of Common Interest held in Islamabad contended that additional land leased by the Kalat state to Pakistan Rail-

ment. “The provincial government was facing shortage of land to construct its office in various parts of Balochistan so surplus land with PR may be handed over to Balochistan government. the Governor highlighted that there is huge swath of surplus land lying unoccupied in the areas including Quetta, Chaman, Jaffarabad, Kolpur and Dera Murad Jamali

of construction of office of the provincial departments. It may be mentioned here that the CCI, in its meeting on May 29, 1997, had authrorized the Pakistan Railways’ to sell the surplus land to improve its financial position. The National Security Council and cabinet also supported the council in 1999, authorising the Railway Board to sell the surplus land.—APP

violation of building code in the provincial capital. According to statement issued here on Wednesday, they including former Nazim Haji Umar Quresh said that buildings are being constructed violating building code at Kansi Road near Qalandar Makan. It became alarm for the local people, one of them said. Muhammad Iqbal urged the government CHAMAN: District President Truck Union Haji Masoom Khan and others addressing a to take action against violat- press conference supporting security forces operation against criminals in Killah ing of building code.—APP Abdullah area.

Teachers need to prove true architects of nation

Boy kidnapped for ransom recovered BASHIR AHMAD RAHMANI DPO immediately who consti- house in Lakhi Shah village teachers should prepare their tuted a special team which caved in during rain on Tues- students to become true

HAFIZABAD—A 12-year-old chased the accused. The ac- day night. According to Ijaz Muslim to shoulder the future

HYDERABAD: Activists of Interactive Educational Learning programme hold a rally to save Rural Education.

boy, Ameer Hamza, student of 7th class of Jagganwala village who was kidnapped for ransom on Wednesday morning was recovered after a few hours due to timely chase by the District as well as Motorway Police. According to police source, accused Abdul Jabbar of Jagganwala, the ring leader of the gang, planned to kidnap the boy for ransom by his accomplices, Nadeem and Yasir of Lahore, who kidnapped Ameer Hamza, son of Manzoor Hussain (who is in Saudi Arabia), while he was on way to school. The accused bundled him in their car No. LEH-9458 and sped away. However, victim’s relatives informed the Acting

cused who were going towards Lahore on the motorway at a high speed were stopped by the motorway police, headed by DSP and others near Kot Abdul Malik Interchange. When the accused stopped the vehicle the victim started hue and cry. In the meantime the Hafizabad police also reached the spot and arrested Nadeem and Yasir, recovered the victim and impounded the vehicle. However, Abdul Jabbar, the ring leader of the gang managed to escape from the village. ***** A minor girl was killed while her mother seriously injured when the roof of their

Ahmad, he alongwith his wife Asima and 5-year-old daughter Sobia were asleep in his house when suddenly its roof caved in and all were buried under the debris. ***** Central President of Anjuman Asataza, Pakistan, has advised the teachers to perform their duties with commitment to prove themselves as real architects of nation. While administering oath of office to the newly-elected office-bearers of Anjuman Asataza, Hafizabad chapter, he said that they should concentrate on character building of the students and they themselves should desist from materialism. Being Muslim the

responsibilities. Later, he administered oath of office to the newly-elected office-bearers and urged them to struggle for protecting the genuine rights of teachers. ***** As many as 259 shopkeepers were challaned for violating Price Control Act by the Special Price Magistrates in the district during January last. The SPMs have imposed total fine of Rs. 1,95,300 on the profiteers. Meanwhile, the DCO Farah Masood has advised the SPMs to continue crackdown on the profiteers, hoarders and adulterators to provide some sort of relief to the consumers.


Stone crushers predict ecological doom for Margalla hills CPEIC extension on back burner M ULTAN —Punjab Government put on back burner the extension of Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi Institute of Cardiology (CPEIC), said a reliable source on Wednesday. The source told APP on the condition of anonymity that high ups of the hospital tried their level best to get the facility extended by beseeching Pakistan Muslim LeagueNawaz local parliamentarians including Rana Mehmood-ul-Hassan, Sheikh Tarique Rasheed, Haji Ehsan-uddin Qureshi and Aamir Saeed Ansari, but all their efforts ended in smoke so far. “Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif had announced the extension of CPEIC during his visit to Mango Pulp Plant visit in 2009 but he has not honoured his promise so far,” they said. “Bahawalpur has been in special focus of Punjab Government as it has made a new 400-bed hospital while Multan has totally been ignored in health sector.” An application was submitted to the provincial government for releasing funds, the source said and added that if the required funds were not released timely, the patients would not be able to get medicines free of cost after 6 months. “It is simply impossible to operate 1800 patients with a grant of 1000 patients from the government, the source said. It is worth mentioning here that the patients, from Sindh, Balochistan, Khyber Pukhtunkhwa visit EPEIC for treatment of cardiac diseases besides South Punjab.—APP

Bulldozers shifted to Malamjabba, Kalam Staff Reporter

PESHAWAR—The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

Thousands falling prey to contagious diseases DR M. RAMZAN RANA T AXILA —A

large-scale quarrying and blasting in the stone crushing area in Taxila has not only been causing an irreparable loss to the natural ecological settings of the area as well residents of the adjacent areas fall prey to different diseases. Stone crushers have spelled doom for the environment – rendering horizons ugly and contributing to irreversible environmental degeneration. Consistent quarrying and crushing activities in the Margallas have led to concerns for potential environmental damage in the area. The digging and crushing activities in these hills are damaging the environment, which has become a cause for grave concern for the residents of the area. It has been observed that hundreds and thousands of residents of the area located near Margalla hills in Union council Thatta Khalil, especially Dhoke Hakam Dad, Baseera, Jandou, Chokkar

and other are falling prey to different diseases especially skin, water borne and respiantyory diseases due to alarming increase in the pollution and dust in the air due to day and night functioning of these stone crushers which is squeezing the actual core habitat in the area. According to a social worker from the area, Mohammad Nazakat the destruction of the hills has caused severe health problems in the area, such as hepatitis, TB and skin infections. The residents of the area also face other issues such as noise pollution caused by dynamite explosions and heavy machinery. Official sources said that the Punjab Industries and Mineral Development Department were responsible for monitoring of the crushing units, but none of the departments was ready to accept its responsibility. According to official data, the Punjab government issued notices to 188 stone crushing units last year but ironically the activity contin-

ued to increase with each passing day as the concerned agencies have stopped to take action against these stone crushers which the inside sources attribute to political pressure from some powerful politicians of the area. The inside sources told this scribe that some 22 leases were granted to owners but now half of the leases have expired. Approximately 70 stone-crushing units are being operated on expired leases and have no legal status. According to the Punjab Mines and Minerals Department, 1,000 to 1,500 trucks carry gravels out of the Margalla hills to as far destinations right from Peshawar to Lahore. If this trend continues, Margalla Hills would be wiped off completely and Islamabad would not be called a hill station. Ironically, contractors put blame on the government departments for increasing stone crushing in the Margalla area because according to them depart-

ments including Pak-PWD, National Highway Authority (NHA) and Rawalpindi District Government have directed them to use gravels from this area for construction as its sandstone is quite suitable for this purpose. It may be mentioned here that Punjab government officials consistently claimed that they have served notices to owners of stone crushing plants operating in Taxila and their cases have been sent to Environment Protection Tribunal Punjab but ground situation shows that allegedly ‘go-slow’ policy is helping stone crushers to increase their activities day by day. It has also been observed these stone crushing units are not only polluting the environment of the city, but also leading to the formation of new slums in the area, as labourers prefer to live near their places of work to save money and time. According to law enforcement agencies, these slums are also becoming the dens of the anti-social elements and potential

Minister for Environment and Forests, Wajid Ali Khan Wednesday said bulldozers have been shifted to Madyan, Malamjabba and Kalam areas to remove snow and other land-slidings from roads. The Minister directed the district administration of Swat to expedite removal of snow and avalanches from link roads and highways connecting KalamMalam Jabba, Mingora City for facilitation of people, tourists and smooth flow of traffic. He told reported on Wednesday, Malam Jabba and Kalam has received record snowfall in last three days torrential rain. The Minister said relief activities were underway in Kalam and Malam Jabba roads where officials of district administration with the support of people are busy in removal of snow and small avalanches from roads. Bulldozers and other machines have been shifted to these areas and doing its job well, he remarked. He said snowfall has also affected electricity system in Malamjabba that needs immediate repair work. The Khyber Pakthunkhwa Government on Wednesday sought the financial support of Asian Development Bank (ADB) and World Bank (WB) for the construction of Swat Expressway to provide fast communication facilities to the militancy and flood affected people of Malakand division. KP Minister for Environment and Forests, Wajid Ali Khan told APP that Rs.10 billion was required for construction of Swat Expressway and we will highly welcome the support of ADB and WB to materialize this mega project. He said preliminary work including its lining work has been completed and soon the funds was available the government would start work on it. It would be connected with Peshawar-Islamabad (M-I) and will make Malakand Division an economic and investment hub, he added. The expressway would be constructed up to Chakdara Malakand as people of Malakand Agency, Dir Upper, Dir Lower, Chitral, Shangla and Buner districts would MULTAN: Young doctors stage hunger strike during protest in front of Nishtar Hospital for acceptance of their demands. be largely benefited from this mega project, he maintained. “Work on the gigantic project would start soon as the paper work has been completed in this regard,” he remarked.

Sit-ins misleading H Y D E R A B A D —Defence

Minister Syed Naveed Qamar said the political parties, which were trying to mislead the people by means of protests, and sit-ins would not be successful in the upcoming general election. He was talking to reporters in Tando Muhammad Khan district at the inauguration of an electrification scheme in village Haji Khan Rind. “The people judge political parties through their performance and not by which party staged the most protests,” he said. The Minister expressed confidence that no political party or other group could deter the government from holding the elections on time. “All obstacles and conspiracies being hatched in the way of holding elections will be foiled,” he said. He said the government of Pakistan Peoples Party had carried out record development works during the last five years. “The people know that if there is democracy in the country today, it is owing to the dauntless struggle and sacrifices of the PPP leaders and workers,” he observed. The Minister also mentioned the development works he had carried out in Tando Muhammad Khan district by providing gas and electricity connections to hundreds of villages. The Minister was accompanied by local PPP leaders, Deputy Commissioner Asif Memon and SSP Amjad Shaikh.—APP

Computer labs in 13 schools Staff Reporter

Criminals form organisation against me: Iftikhar STAFF REPORTER P ESHAWAR —The Khyber Pukhtunkhwa Minister for Information, Public Relations and Parliamentary Leader of ANP Mian Iftikhar Husain has said that he was against all types of crimes and he has raised voice against it on all forums. He added that the criminals for that had formed an organization against him in his home town Pabbi. The criminal, he said had launched a special campaign against him in the previous elections. This he stated while addressing a grand Jirga of “Khattak Nama” of his constituency PK-12 which called on him regarding the law and order situation in their area at Peshawar the other day. Besides, Commissioner

Peshawar Division Tariq Jameel, Deputy Commissioner Peshawar Muhammad Javed Marwat, DPO Nowshera Muhammad Husain, elites of the area Iqbal Husain Khattak, Jehan Zeb Khan and Noor Bahadur also addressed on the occasion. Mian Iftikhar maintained that kidnapping for ransom was heinous crime and it could not be tolerated at any cost. He assured that the government would do all its best to eradicate crimes from the province. He appealed the masses to help the government in eradicating crimes abstain from taking law in their own hands. The Minister continued, the problem of law and order in Khattak Nama was due to its borders with FATA, therefore the administration and

elites of the tribal as well as settled areas would be taken on board for durable peace in the area. He however declared that the criminals were criminals and they have no particular tribe or caste, assuring that whosoever was involved in crimes would be dealt harshly. The Information minister was of the view that criminals from outside could not come for crimes without the support of locals, therefore, people should keep vigil on locals having contacts with the criminals. He on this occasion strictly directed the divisional, district and FATA administration to take immediate steps for maintaining law and order in the settled areas adjacent to FATA and keep the elites of both areas into full confidence.

Torrential rains halt: People get relief

PESHAWAR—Inauguration Ceremony of M INGORA —The residents ceived 2ft, Murree 1.5ft and family to enjoy snowfall,”

computer labs established in 13 Bacha Khan Schools run by Bacha Khan Trust Educational Foundation held in Peshawar today. The Minister for Science and Technology Mr. Ayub Khan Ashari formally inaugurated the computer labs. Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Ayub Khan Ashari said that the present government had planned to support education of the new generation through introduction of modern technology at the schools level. He said that Information Technology is the need of the present century. He further said that Bacha Khan Trust Educational Foundation (BKTEF) is named after the great reformer of the 20thcentury which explains the motto of the BKTEF. He said that the present government, despite all odds, has made it sure that modern education reaches every child of the province on priority basis. He said that it is important that our new generation gets useful and productive education at par with technologically advanced countries. He concluded that the BKTEF shall go a long way to create models of education that are beneficial for the children of Pukhtunkhwa. Speaking on the occasion, Managing Director of the BKTEF Dr. Khadim Husain said that the Bacha Khan Trust Educational Foundation is struggling to continue the legacy of the Khudai Khidmatgaar Movement, hence working hard to provide free and quality education to the underserved communities of Khyber Pukhtunkhwa and FATA. He said that the BKTEF has developed models of Critical Education, Peace Education and Culture Education that would help prepare a land friendly, nature-friendly, nation friendly and human friendly generation. He further said that the BKTEF strives to develop Critical Thinking, Multiple Skills, Aesthetic Sense, Indigenous Identity and Environmental Sense among the coming generation of Khyber Pukhtunkhwa.

of Swat valley took sigh of relief after sun peeped through the heavy clouds on Wednesday morning following three days heavy rain in Swat valley and homestranded people thronged to business centers and vegetable markets for purchasing of daily use items. Great rush of buyers was witnessed in Mingora bazaars where people were seen busy in buying vegetables and others daily use items besides attendance of students in schools was also enhanced after bright sunny day in Swat valley. Despite bright sunny day in Swat, the weather remained cold after scenic Malamjabba and Kalam valleys received two feet and eight inch snowfall respectively during last 24 hours, forcing the people to wear additional warm clothes and sweet to fight the chilly air and women were seen busy in selecting warm garments for their children in different bazaars of the city. According to the spokesman of Met Office here, Mallamjabba re-

Kalam 08 Inches of snow during last 24 hours, which has turned the weather even more chiller in these areas. The weather of Saidu Sharif also remained chilly after receiving 43 millimeter rain during last 24 hours. However, the spell of heavy rain and snowfall has subsided last night and people took sigh of relief after bright sunny shinning on Wednesday morning. The Met Office predicted cold and dry weather for Swat during next 24 hours. Meanwhile, the district administration has accelerated relief operation by removing snow, landslides and avalanches from links roads leading to Malamjabba, Madyan and Kalam road for facilitation of people and tourists. Tourists were coming back to their hometowns after enjoying snowfall and great rush of passengers was seen on transport terminals in Mingora here. However, the people complained about high fares charged by the local transporters. “I came to Swat last Sunday with my

Building of Nankana Press Club inaugurated

threat to various defense industrial complex located in this garrison city as most of the inhabitants of these areas belong to FATA, FANA as well as Afghan nationals. It has been learnt that a summary was presented to the chief minister of Punjab urging him to give regular status to the stone crushers operating in the buffer zone keeping in view that over 10,000 livelihoods were involved. But the chief minister rejected it outright. He will not extend licenses nor issue new ones. The chief minister desires zero tolerance in this respect and has constituted a committee under the chief secretary to implement his decision, said an official in the Punjab Mines and Minerals Department on customary condition that his name would not be revealed. He said that section 133 of the PPC should be imposed in the areas of crushers but it was not done allegedly due to political pressure. It may be recalled here that some few months back,

the Islamabad capital administration (ICT) on the directives of President Asif Ali Zardari acted swiftly and dismantled 16 stone crushing units in Margalla Hills on the federal capital side but the Punjab government still weighs various options to make an end to this practice in the limits of tehsil Taxila area. The provincial departments concerned have been generating billions of rupees from the owners of stone crushing plants in the Taxila area despite the fact that Taxila is a Unesco World Heritage Site and has been protected under Pakistani Federal law since 1982. An official of the Environment Protection Department said that the area environment would be adversely affected if illegal stonecrushing activities is not stopped. He called upon the concerned departments to take timely steps before stone crushers destroy precious greenery of hills and polluting the environment.

Sajida Kathia to contest elections from PP-88 area people to open crafts schools in all union councils K AMALIA —Sajida Asif of PP-88 for women because Kathia has announced to if provided training poor contest elections for provin- women could be able to lead cial assembly from PP-88 as independent candidate in the approaching national elections this year. Talking to Daily Pakistan Observer, Sajida Kathia said that she wanted to serve the poor segment of society, especially women and children. She said if she was given a chance by the area people she would try her best to come upto their expectations. Sajida said that people in her constituency were facing a lot of problems which were increasing day by day instead their lives comfortably. Talkof their solution. She further ing about children she said said that it seems that no seri- they were national asset and ous efforts are being made to she would try to provide resolve the people’s problems educational and recreational by the elected representatives facilities to the children. which means these elected Sajida said that doors of her representatives want people house would always remain to remain dependent on them open for all voters of her constituency. She would try to even for their survival. She promised with the eliminate unemployment.

M.ZAFAR ANSARI

Pesco promotes 17 officials

JAVED MOAVIA

Ahmad Account Officer Office STAFF REPORTER Pesco city D I Khan 11. N ANKANA S AHIB —Chair- P ESHAWAR —In connection RO Aftab Ali Account Officer City man ETPB Pakistan Sayyed Asif Hashmi has said that democracy in Pakistan is due to the sacrifices of Bhutto family and the workers of Pakistan People’s Party. He was addressing a cermoney of inauguration of the building of Nankana Press Club here on wednesday. He said Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto respected the media and according to their action he also respects the media. He annouced Rs. 10 lakh for Nankana Press Club and promised that he would ask for more grant from Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf. President Nankana Press Club Ch. Afzal Haq, General Secretary Ch. Naeem Ahmad, President District Bar Association Ch. Anwar Zahid and ex-President Ameen Bhatti also adressed the cermoney and thanked the Chairman ETPB Sayyed Asif Hashmi for donating land for Nankana Press Club.

of rewarding Pesco employees, Pesco has announced promotion of 17 Account Assistants to Accounts Officers who have passed their departmental promotion examination and are on top of seniority list and had shown good performance. According to notification issued the following 17 Accounts Assistants BPS-14 have been promoted in BPS-16 as Accounts Officers. They are: 1. Muhammad Hanif Accounts Officer D I Khan Rural Division. 2. Wasi ur Rehman Account Officer GC Division Bannu 3. Shakeel Ahmad Account Officer RO office Hangu 4. Sami ul Haq Account Officer RO office City Division Abbotabad 5. Muhammad Arif Account Officer Hangu Division 6. Khurshid Alam RO Dir Division 7. Khurshid Anwar Account Officer Kohat Division 8. Muhammad Farooq Account Officer Lakki Division 9. Gul Rehman Account Officer office RO Pesco Lakki 10. Nazir

Division Peshawar 12. Rehmat Ullah Account Officer Manager M&T Pesco Peshawar 13. Muhammad Waseem Account Officer office T&I GC Division 14. Hamza Ali Account Officer office RO Pesco Karak 15. Gul Noor Shah Account Officer office Karak Division 16. Sher Ali Account Officer office SS&TL Division Mardan 17. Khabir Ahmad Account Officer office RO Pesco Nowshera-I Chief Executive Pesco has directed the newly promoted officials to work with zeal and sense of responsibilities. He stressed them to work hard and bring a good name for the company. Excellence & efficiency is the key to success and the officials who show excellent performance are rewarded accordingly. He said adding Pesco management was committed to implement the policy of merit and transparency and is making all out efforts to facilitate its employees enabling them to discharge their responsibilities efficiently

Misal Khan, a retired Govt employee told APP. “I am very happy that peace has returned to Swat valley and appeal to foreign and local tourists to come to Malamjabba and Kalam to enjoy mountaineering, waterfalls and tracking besides warm hospitality of residents of Swat people,” he said. The Met Office has forecasts mainly cold and dry weather in most parts of the country, however, light rain/snowfall was expected at few places of Kashmir and GilgitBaltistan during next 24 hours. The weather of KP and Fata will likely to remain cold and dry during next 48 hours. During last 24 hours, widespread rain/thunderstorm with snowfall over the hills occurred in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Upper/Central Punjab including Islamabad, Kashmir/Gilgit-Baltistan. The maximum rain was received by Rawalakot 68mm, Rawalpindi 56, Islamabad 54, Garridupatta 50, Murree 45, Chirat, Saidusharif & Risalpur 43, Pesahawar 37, DERA ALLAH YAR: Motor grader being used for carpeting of road from Sohbatpur to Kakul 35, Sialkot.—APP Austa Muhammad.


PTI’s harassment of ECP

MEDIA WATCH

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S general elections are fast approaching, some individuals and political parties are making demands that effectively amount to seeking delay of the polls. After Dr Tahirul Qadri, the Strategy Committee of the PTI has also demanded, among other things, reconstitution of the Election Commission of Pakistan accusing it of failure to implement the Supreme Court judgement on electoral reforms. Any individual or entities are well within their right to express their views or make demands but while doing so they must consider their rationale otherwise they are bound to lose credibility. The demand for dissolution of the incumbent ECP was originally made by Dr Qadri but it was universally rejected just because it was supra-constitutional and there was no justification to disband the Commission when electoral process is already underway. It is strange that the PTI has chosen to pursue a demand that already stands discredited, which is reflective of its political immaturity. In fact, there are reasons to believe that the demand, at this point of time, is nothing but an attempt to harass the ECP whereas there is need to provide full backing to the Commission in fulfilment of its Constitutional obligation of holding elections in a free, fair and transparent manner. The PTI should bear in mind that Qadri’s tirade against the Commission was rejected by an overwhelming majority of people simply because the ECP has been formed strictly in accordance with the Constitutional scheme of things. If you accept Constitutional amendments and laws enacted by the Parliament then how can you oppose the Commission, members of which were nominated by a Parliamentary panel, just because you were out of the Parliament and not part of the process? Those demanding dissolution of the ECP have also failed to tell the nation how can the ECP be dissolved and what procedure would be adopted to appoint a new one. As per existing procedure, the same parties would appoint CEC and members of the Commission and you can’t imagine to amend the Constitution at the moment to provide for any other mechanism for the purpose. Therefore, instead of pressurizing and harassing the Commission, we should listen to demand made by different circles including Ch. Shujaat Hussain that ECP should have powers like that of Indian Election Commission.

Tax evaders under fire in UK as well T

HE United Kingdom’s parliamentary committee on international de velopment has demanded of its Government to confront Pakistani politicians on their mass scale tax evasion and check if any political party has included tax reforms in their election manifestos. The Minister concerned assured the Committee that she would take up the issue during her visit to Pakistan. The reverberation of the issue of tax evasion by Pakistani parliamentarians in UK’s parliament shows that the volume and nature of the problem has caused alarm bells even among the world community. This is because in other countries representatives of the people are supposed to be role model but in our case majority of them is not only evading taxes but also not paying utility bills. Some of them have even indulged in electricity and gas theft besides contesting elections on fake degrees. It was in this backdrop that the demand of Minhajul Quran chief about scrutiny of the candidates for elections under articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution found acceptability with the people and there are expectations that such elements would be purged from the electoral field in the coming elections. It seems odd on the part of UK parliamentarians to have raised concern about tax evasion by their counterparts in Pakistan but donors are fully entitled to ensure that their tax-payers’ money doesn’t go into wrong hands and that those seeking aid should themselves pay their due taxes.

Unregistered Afghan refugees in Pakistan A

FGHAN refugees issue has become a pain in the neck in Pakistan as more people cross into Pakistan illegally than those repatriated with the cooperation of UNHCR. They mix with the local population, move freely across the country and indulge in all types of crimes and other illegal activities. In order to check their activities, Balochistan Home Department in consultation with the UN Agency and other concerned institutions has taken a principled decision to arrest all illegal and unregistered Afghan refugees living in the province. Not just in Balochistan but Afghan refugees have spread in the far flung areas across the country, many of them have set up their own businesses, purchased properties and even got computerized national identity cards. Nowhere in the world, refugee are allowed to carry out businesses or move out of the refugees camps but in Pakistan due to corrupt practices in the concerned departments and in the absence of necessary instructions from the government, illegal immigrants are free to move any where. Not only Afghan refugees but millions of other illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, India, Burma, Central Asian Republics and other countries could be seen roaming in every city and town and Pakistan has become a country where every one can come without proper documentation. As a result, arms and narcotics smuggling and target killings are on the rise. At a time when there is talk of bringing in enduring peace between Pakistan and Afghanistan, there is need that the issue of refugees be settled instead of repeated extensions in date for their repatriation. Till that time we would plead the federal and provincial governments to launch an operation and all Afghan and other refugees, legal or illegal be shifted to refugee camps or repatriated and we hope it would bring some semblance to peace and stability in the country.

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Iran & US

Who said dinosaurs are extinct? mankind. One notable lesson that readily comes to mind is that it hardly ever pays in life to be “outsize”. And if, for some reason or the other, a cannot help growing Khalid Saleem creature beyond a reasonable limit then Email: binwakeel@yahoo.com prudence demands that it be ensured that the growth takes place in a balanced fashion. In he demise of dinosaurs of the particular case of dinosaurs, for yore has remained one of the instance, one learns that the growth greatest ecological mysteries of these monstrosities was anything of all time. There was a longish pe- but balanced. The development of riod in natural history when these their brain apparently failed to keep fearsome creatures were the undis- up with that of the rest of the body. puted lords of all they surveyed. As a consequence, the resultant They presumably struck terror in the product turned out to be lopsided in hearts of all the other species that more senses than one. Now, by hindbeheld them. And yet, came the day sight, every Tom, Dick and Harry when these awe-inspiring monsters can hazard a guess as to what nature that roamed the wilds at their will would have in store for such an abjust vanished off the face of the good erration. Ecologists naturally would earth without so much as a ‘by your hardly deign to differ. The ‘dinosaur model’, thereby, leave’. There is no shortage of theories in explanation of this major eco- lends itself to another equally weighty moral. This is that, given that a crealogical upheaval. For one, there is the generally ture happens to start developing in a accepted theory that the crash of a disorganized manner, it would be in giant meteorite onto the Earth led its own better interest to stick to a to the extinction of the dinosaurs. nature that is benign rather than agOther minor theories exist too, but gressive. If it so happens that its inthe how and why still remain tentions are anything but honorable largely unexplained like so much and it intends to adopt a threatening else in the ecological past of the posture towards other species or even planet. If one were a chap like its own ilk, then the state of affairs Aesop, though, one would not let can only lead to trouble. In simple go of the opportunity to draw pow- language, it would never pay for such erful morals out of this ecological a creature to throw its weight around. But are dinosaurs really extinct upheaval for the general good of all

Friendly Fire

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or have they just made way for other similar entities? Much like the ecological monstrosities of yore, these entities too took to presenting bloated and aggressive exteriors to the world around themselves. True to form, they started throwing their weight around and bullying all those within reach. The odious concept of “sphere of influence” evolved by these outsize monsters as an instrument of policy made life virtually unlivable for those entities as were condemned to be their neighbors. History does not fail to record that such arrangements never quite worked out to the satisfaction of the outsize monstrosities in question. Much like the dinosaurs of yore, they too in due course collapsed under their own weight in accordance with what can by now be readily accepted as an immutable law of nature. At the risk of making a somewhat crude attempt at generalization, then, it may be stated that the history of this blessed planet is replete with instances of the emergence of ‘dinosaurs’ of all ilks, breeds and complexions. Several empires, fiefdoms and conglomerates have made their appearance, held sway and went the way of dinosaurs - unheralded and unsung. The trouble with humankind is that it makes no effort to learn from past mistakes. As we all should know by now, those that refuse to learn from the past are condemned to re-live it. “Virtual dinosaurs”, consequently, have continued to spawn and – in-

evitably – go extinct with a regularity that is sickening to contemplate. What gives the common man a fit of shivers is the fact that history appears all set to repeat itself. Apparently, there is to be a re-birth of the concept of “empire building”. Were one to be a bit facetious, one would deign to inquire into how long does it normally take for man to forget the lessons of history? From all indications the par period would appear to hover around the half century. At least that is the period that has elapsed since the formal disintegration of the British Empire. It would appear that the powers that be have set sights on the creation of a brand new “empire” and there is little that the small fry can do about it. If it is an empire the powers that be want, an empire they will get. “Think tanks” in the rarefied atmosphere of Wall Street have long worked overtime to conceptualize the empire to come. One learns on reliable authority that a brand new imperial concept has been evolved through the upgrading of the existing one, to adapt it to the demands of the twenty-first century. Hoary figures have worked on sensitive maps that have been drawn (and re-drawn) in several high-rise structures, all in the interest of ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy’. One can only hope – and pray - that the powers that be have thought the whole thing through.

All elections rigged Minister ZA Bhutto who reverently called Ayub ‘Daddy’. Asif Haroon Raja Ganging up of the morally degenerated politicians, Email: asifharoon7751@yahoo.com coupled with high ambitions of ZA Bhutto and Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to gain t cannot be denied that all elec power together with mistakes made tions held in Pakistan were by Ayub to sack the two Governors, rigged. The first ten-year politi- Nawab of Kalabagh and Lt Gen cal era suffered from so much of Azam Khan, and the economic iminstability because of the miserable pact of 1965 war which cut Ayub performance of the Muslim Khan to size, led to his fall, thus League, Awami League and NAP putting an end to Ayub’s golden era. Gen Yahya Khan on taking over politicians that seven prime ministers changed hands and gave rise declared martial law. December to bureaucratic-military oligarchy. 1970 general elections were the first They didn’t hold elections for they ever held since birth of Pakistan. It knew they would be bundled out was widely opined that elections by the electorates. Absence of elec- were the most transparent and fairtions stopped the process of prun- est elections ever taken place. Howing of the unscrupulous politicians ever, the fact is that Awami League and replacement by better ones. As had carried out massive rigging prior a result, the same lot of base politi- to and during polling through high cians plagued democracy and Pa- handed tactics. Throughout the yearlong election campaign, Awami kistani politics. Owing to continually deterio- League activists together with RAW rating conditions, President agents terrorized the people of East Iskandar Mirza sacked Feroz Khan Pakistan and prevented all other poNoon’s government on 7 October litical parties belonging to West Pa1958, abrogated 1956 constitution, kistan to hold public meetings. Both dissolved the parliament and pro- the Governor and Corps Comvincial assemblies and declared mander overlooked hooliganism of martial law. Political parties were Awami League thugs because of suspended. He appointed Gen Ayub overall policy of appeasement of Khan as prime minister on 27 Oc- Bengalis. As a consequence Awami tober who was of the opinion that League swept the polls. When power was not handed the system based on western democracy was ill-suited to the over to Sheikh Mujibur Rahman people’s psyche. He felt that unless because of Bhutto’s obduracy, desired level of awareness and mass Mujib’s small heartedness and literacy was achieved parliamen- Yahya Khan’s bumbling, Yahya in tary form of government would not his earnestness to save the situation launched a military operation on 25 bring any tangible results. After sacking Iskandar Mirza March 1971. It however proved to on 28 October 1958, Gen Ayub de- be the beginning of breakup of Pabarred 6000 politicians from tak- kistan and triggered a civil war ing part in politics or holding any which ultimately led to disintegraoffice of responsibility under tion of Pakistan into two and creEBDO and introduced Basic De- ation of Bangladesh. Had he not mocracies as an alternative politi- taken the fatal decisions of abrogatcal system. He also promulgated ing 1962 constitution, dissolving new constitution in 1962, lifted one-unit and undoing consensus martial law and took oath as presi- parity formula, and had he revived dent under the new constitution. 1956 constitution, Pakistan would Ban on political parties was lifted have stayed intact! Elections rather by him the same year. Politicians than integrating the nation disintewere unfettered from EBDO on the grated the country. 1977 general insistence of his blue eyed Foreign elections were again rigged by ZA

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Bhutto’s administration since Bhutto was keen to win two-thirds majority. It led to formation of seven-party alliance called Pakistan National Alliance. Complete deadlock created by the irreconcilable politicians led by late Nawabzada Nasrullah, Asghar Khan and Mufti Mahmood resulted in military takeover by Gen Ziaul Haq in July 1977. Less PPP, all other politicians got adjusted in Zia created Majlis Shura and later took part in partyless elections to become members of parliament under Zia-picked Muhammad Khan Junejo in March 1985. Martial Law was lifted in December 1985 but after getting 8th amendment passed which transferred greater powers to president. For the November 1988 elections, IJI was formed by the then DG ISI Lt Gen Hamid Gul to prevent Benazir Bhutto from winning. Money was used to win over 30 independents. When she won with thin majority, she was asked to accept Ghulam Ishaq Khan as President and retired Lt Gen Sahibzada Yaqub as Foreign Minister since she was viewed as a security risk by the military establishment under Gen Mirza Aslam Beg. In the 1990 elections, President Ishaq, Gen Beg and the then DG ISI Lt Gen Asad Durrani were involved in bribing political party leaders to ensure success of IJI under Nawaz Sharif. In the 2002 elections organized by Gen Pervez Musharraf regime, pre-poll rigging was undertaken to browbeat politicians and make them join hands with King’s Party. NAB, ISI, Rangers and ANF were used to coerce those unwilling to tow the given dictates. Patriots belonging to PPP were created by NAB. Even after so much of manipulations and two mainstream leaders in exile, Zafarullah Jamali could manage to win vote of confidence by one vote only. Former head of ISI’s political cell Maj Gen Ehtesham Zameer Jaffery confessed that the 2002 elections were rigged in favor of King’s Party. In the 2008 elections, although the new Army chief Gen Ashfaq Pervez Kayani recalled all Army officers serving in government de-

partments and prohibited Army institutions from interfering in elections, yet the caretaker government, PML-Q, MQM and USA used their influence to manipulate the outcome of results in their favour. While the Army is holding on to FATA and Swat with dogged determination, Karachi and Balochistan are on fire and out of control of provincial governments where target killings and kidnapping for ransom have become a norm. 8000 people have been killed in Karachi by target killers in last four years but not a single killer has been convicted and hanged since the ruling coalition of three parties patronizes armed militant wings and are deeply engaged in turf war. In contravention to SC orders, MQM, PPP and ANP have not abolished their militant wings. Delimitation of five districts of Karachi is being vehemently resisted by MQM for it sees it as an attempt to diminish its prospects of gaining total control over Karachi. In order to accommodate legal and mostly illegal demands of its coalition partners, the PPP has been pursuing policy of reconciliation, which means compromising on wrongdoings. Nepotism and cronyism has flourished under the garb of national reconciliation. As a consequence, merit has been sidelined and corruption, inflation, price hike, joblessness, poverty, and crimes have scaled new heights. The PPP government oblivious of miseries of the people is solely interested in completing its five-year term. It is confident that it will once again win the elections by buying the voters. Although the new chief election commissioner is a man of high integrity and acceptable to all parties, it is to be seen whether he succeeds in closing the past unholy practice of rigging and holding free and fair elections. The onus of electing the right candidates is on the voters; otherwise one will have to admit that Gen Ayub’s assessment was right. —The writer is a retired Brig, and a defence analyst.

irst, the good news. A date and a venue has been set for the next round of talks between the six nations negotiating with Tehran about its nuclear enrichment programme and Iran itself. Joe Biden, the US vice-president, and Ali Akbar Salehi, the Iranian foreign minister, have both said they are prepared to hold direct talks, although each clothed his offer in caveats. Mr Biden said the two countries could talk as long as Iran was serious, and Mr Salehi said the two sides should only engage “on an equal footing”, which implies when sanctions are lifted. Still, Iranian public opinion has been softened up by a series of television debates about the utility of talking to the Great Satan. The bad news is that all this has to happen in an increasingly long shadow cast by a presidential election in Iran in June, which – if the last two days are anything to go by – could be dramatic. The outgoing president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is not going quietly. Defying instructions by the supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to lay off feuding publicly with the speaker of the Iranian parliament, Ali Larijani, a potential frontrunner in the forthcoming election, Mr Ahmadinejad accused the Larijanis of becoming “a family institution” at a hearing broadcast live on state radio. In a speech meant to defend one of his ministers from impeachment (it failed), Mr Ahmadinejad played a recording of a meeting between Mr Larijani’s brother Fazel and a former Iran prosecutor, Saeed Mortazavi, which implied that the former tried to use the family’s prominence for financial gain. Both Larijani brothers, Fazel and Ali, have filed a legal complaint against Mr Ahmadinejad and Mr Mortazavi, and the former prosecutor was duly arrested the day after. The supreme leader pulls all the strings of the nuclear talks, but the open war that has broken out between two wings of his ruling elite hardly fosters the atmosphere for bold moves in Kazakhstan, the venue of the next round. At any juncture a concession could be interpreted as an act of treason. To complicate matters further, a forthcoming report by the International Atomic Energy Agency may provide evidence of Iran’s plan to speed up uranium enrichment. The installation of advanced centrifuges could lessen the time it needs to increase its stockpile of mediumenriched uranium. The biggest obstacle, however, remains the sanctions themselves, the latest round of which bars Iran from repatriating the profits of its exported oil. Ensuring they are liftable, and can be sequenced to measures to unwind this crisis, will be a key part of the process. — The Guardian

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Talks with Taliban

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fghanistan needs a political solution to end violence and that cannot be forced on the Afghans by Nato soldiers. That vital recognition means that it is important that all Afghans should be part of a solution, even though the final form of that solution is not yet clear. This means that talking to the Taliban is an important part of moving forward and detaching those Pashtuns who want to be part of such a general solution from the very small minority who are active friends of Al-Qaeda. This is why this week’s talks between the Afghan President, Hamid Karzai, and the Pakistani President, Asif Ali Zardari, hosted by British Prime Minister David Cameron were a step in the right direction. A solution in Afghanistan needs the active cooperation of its neighbours, most importantly Pakistan and also Iran. Pakistan has a history of supporting the Taliban in Afghanistan and even today, the Taliban are operating out of safe havens in Pakistani territory. The Afghans should continue to work on their existing contacts with some sections of the Taliban, as well as work with the new process established by opening an office in Doha to support the negotiations. These should start immediately as Afghans continue to die every day and they should not have to wait for the 2014 Afghan presidential elections, as Cameron seemed to imply. — Gulf News I will have nothing to do with a man who can blow hot and cold with the same breath. —Aesop Greek writer


America’s Pacific Century — I Voice of the People

is busy forming the ‘Coalition of the WillGen Mirza Aslam Beg ing’ – India, Japan, South Korea and AusEmail: friendsfoundation @live.co.uk tralia, to herald the onset of the “American Pacific Century”, uring the 1970’s, Brzezinski, against rising China. the US strategist, forecasting Obama’s Defence Strategic the break-up of the Soviet Guidance, envisages about 15% cut Union, expounded the concept of US in the defense budget, and a two Unipolarity: “How America man- track mode of employment of the ages Eurasia is critical, Eurasia is the military power. One. There will be globe’s largest continent and is geo- no direct intervention, like Iraq and politically axial. A power that domi- Afghanistan. Allies and coalition nates Eurasia would almost auto- partners will do the needful, as in matically gain Africa’s subordina- Somalia, Libya, Bahrain, Syria and tion, rendering the western Hemi- elsewhere. The regional surrogates, sphere and Ocean, geopolitically pe- like Israel and India, would help ripheral to the world’s central conti- project American power and internent. Pre-eminence in Eurasia – and ests. Two. A number of Combat America’s Global Primacy is di- Groups comprising heliborne Sperectly dependent on how long and cial Forces, supported by strike how effectively its preponderance on aircrafts, will be deployed around the Eurasian continent is sustained,” the world to carryout surgical operaand suggested the use of military tions, similar to the one launched in power in the Euro-Asian region to Abbottabad in May 2011. Drones establish the “Western Front” in will be used extensively for intelliEurope, and the “Southern Front” in gence gathering and engagement of Asia. The Western Front was estab- opportunity targets. lished, by assimilating the Eastern The strategic shift from EuroEuropean countries into the Euro- Asia to the Asia-Pacific is very sigpean Union. NATO was retained, to nificant for Pakistan and the counmaintain the integrity of the West- tries in the region. Afghanistan ern Front, and to support the estab- would be the main beneficiary, as the lishment of the Southern Front – “mother of all evil – foreign aggresIraq, Afghanistan. sion was vacated.” Now, US has no The 2001, 9/11 episode provided choice, but to knock on Taliban doorthe excuse to occupy Afghanistan, steps, seeking help for a safe exit, followed by Iraq in 2003. The which is also a challenge for Barack ‘Southern Front,” thus was estab- Obama “to concede for the Afghan lished supported by NATO and In- people the very minimum privileges dia also ventured beyond their bor- of an Arab Spring, so that Islamism ders to join the Great Game of Glo- could reconcile with democracy – bal Primacy. For the consolidation quintessentially, expecting the US to of the Southern Front, a “scorched be on the right side of history.” M.K. earth policy, rather a scorched soul Bhadra Kumar. “Islamism, there, is policy” was followed which, now winning out because, it is the deephas recoiled back and Iraq is falling est and widest channel into which apart. In Afghanistan, America went discontent can flow.” John M. Oven. full-circle seeking different options The world has to reconcile with but failed to obtain guarantee for a Taliban rule in Afghanistan, and their safe exit. The Afghan front is also broad-based government, to ensure collapsing while ‘the American peace and stability. There is no other economy is suffering $16 trillion in viable option. debt and $ 14 trillion wiped-out in Iran’s Strategic Defiance since household wealth. There is mass un- 1979 has added new dimensions of employment, foreclosures and in- resilience and self-reliance to the nacreasing poverty, causing a ‘crimi- tion. Iranians have developed “an nal culture.’ The ambitions of uni- asymmetric hybrid strategy, suppolarity now have turned into the ported by advanced technology decline of the American empire. weapons.” Iran also “has levers, ex“The emperor and the empire have ploiting their interior lines of operation. Their anti-access and anti-deno clothes.” – Kirkpatric Sole. The collapse of the Southern nial capabilities are proven. We Front, has forced the US to shift the (America) would have a difficult Strategic Pivot to the South East, as time” Cronin. Therefore, war is not conceptualized by Henry Kissinger: the option any more. The recent “Tectonic international upheavals sanctions imposed on Iran, restrictmark our period. The center of grav- ing sale of oil has been blown into ity of world affairs is moving to the the faces of the European importers. Pacific and almost all major actors China, India and Pakistan would benon the international stage are defin- efit and continue to trade with Iran, ing new roles for themselves. That at a premium, while Saudi Arabia and transformation is about concept as Russia will sell oil to the European much as about power.” Therefore, buyers at $ 130-150 a barrel, putting Obama defined the need for this shift greater burden on the fledging Euroin his Defense Strategic Guidance in- pean economy. Geo-strategically, tending to establish the “Strategic “Iran lies between Mesopotamia, Pivot” in the Asia Pacific region, be- Anatolia, the Caucasus the Caspian cause “US economic and security Sea, Central and South Asia, the Perinterests are inextricably linked to de- sian Gulf and the Arabian Sea, a velopments in the arc extending from broader network of trade is nearly the Western Pacific and East Asia into impossible without it.” In particular the Indian Ocean region and South it has the potential to reshape Asia, creating a mix of evolving chal- Afghanistan’s strategic future. It’s lenges and opportunities.” It is not not possible to build a new security difficult to draw the inference from and economic structure in South and this concept, that, Asia-Pacific is the Central Asia, without Iran. Sanctions main theatre and the US military is would serve no purpose. going to equip itself for an Ocean war Pakistan has suffered immensely over there. The United States thus has since 1979, due to foreign invasion decided to strengthen its naval pres- and occupation of Afghanistan. Now ence over the long term by “building its woes and sufferings would gradutowards a 346-ship fleet rather than ally wane, with the departure of the retreating to 250-ship mark that the occupation forces from Afghanistan. US faces due to budget cuts and the Geo-strategically, Pakistan is as imdecommissioning of aging warships portant if not more, than Iran, for a in the next decade. Diplomatic and broader network of trade and comeconomic engagement with China merce, between South and Central and others will work better when Asia, East and West Asia. Pakistan backed by a credible military pos- can contribute significantly, reshapture.” Hillary Clinton calls this ma- ing lives in a free and independent jor shift as triumph of US diplomacy Afghanistan and build a new secu– “American Pacific Century”, as the rity paradigm in the region. Howbest bet, after “disengaging from two ever, it carries the burden of “Amerifutile, polarizing and massively ex- can bear hug” - demanding a footpensive land wars.” Obama, therefore hold in Pakistan after exit from Af-

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ghanistan. Therefore, Pakistan has to adopt skillful diplomacy to shakeoff this burden without jeopardizing national security interests. The shifting of the ‘Strategic Pivot’ to the Asia-Pacific is of special interest to Pakistan, as the geopolitical play begins between the Emerging Regional Centres of Power. China, Russia, Pakistan and Iran, constitute the first regional power base. The second is Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan triangle, emerging as the power base of the Muslim world, meeting the much needed ‘Strategic Depth’ of security. And the third is China – India – Japan, Korea and Australia, to ensure balance, under the American umbrella, in the Asia Pacific region. In this complex geo-political game, America’s role would be important, as the dominating power and would become more meaningful if it draws on the interests and wisdom of ascending Asia and engages constructively with them. This is a period of great opportunity for Pakistan, as the geo-strategic shift is taking place, defining new contours of balance between the Emerging Centres of Power, from Euro-Asia to Asia-Pacific. Pakistan has to find its rightful place, playing the role of a ‘facilitator, i.e., consolidating a regional cooperative relationship regime, based on the Chinese principles of Peace, Cooperation and Engagement.

Part — II

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fter disengaging from two futile and expensive wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, America has shifted its Strategic Pivot to the Asia-Pacific region. The objective of this shift has been defined under the Defence Strategic Guidance: • The US will equip itself for an Ocean War “in the arc extending from the Western Pacific and East Asia into the Indian Ocean Region and South Asia.” • US will support a quasi-alliance of Japan, India and Australia, to dilute Chinese influence and make China face the pressure of economic and trade hegemony of the Alliance. Thus one of the most important tasks of “American statecraft, over the next decade will be to lockin a substantially increased Chinese investment-diplomatic, economic and strategic.”• US will forge the TransPacific-Partnership to restrict China, through a deal for a free trade bloc, linking the Pacific Rim States. • US will rebalance its posture in the region, through a more balanced distribution of its military resources, which had long been concentrated on North East Asia.• There will be no direct intervention, like Iraq and Afghanistan. The coalition partners will do the needful as in Somalia, Libya, Bahrain, Syria and elsewhere. • “The future of politics will be decided in the Asia Pacific region, and the US will be right at the centre of the action,” Hillary Clinton – “and will intervene militarily on Senkakus Islands conflict with China.” Thus US will allow increase in the role of Japan’s Self Defence Forces, with an aim to bolster regional military cooperation.• The ‘Swing Players’ must endeavour to balance the interests of US, while taking sides of either, in order to maximize their own national interests. The Defence Strategic Guidance is conceptualized around three premises. First, the belief that US will be able to restore its military and economic prowess, to play the role in the new world order, as they did during the 20th century. Second, the US will be able to draw China into the open, to play the cold war game of the last century. Third, that the regional powers as well as the “Coalition of the Wiling” would help to implement the strategy. These lofty objectives are difficult to achieve, because during the last thirty years, the US ambition to play a dominant role in the new world order has remained subdued

and suppressed due to opposition by the Islamic Resistance, rising from the soil of Afghanistan-Pakistan. The global order also has turned multi-polar, with the emergence of new regional powers. The strategy to draw China into the open, is not going to work either, because China’s priorities are different and it is no mood to play the game on American terms. The policy to contain and curb China’s rising power, therefore “will generate dynamics that would increasingly threaten to undermine America’s primacy goals. This strategy is also in danger of enhancing rather than reducing bad security outcomes.” China is a rising power and is the biggest holder of hard currency, with a reserve that exceeds US$ 2.7 trillion, whereas US with a fledging economy after the two expensive wars, owes over US$ 4.0 trillion to China in debt. The economic compulsions, therefore do not promote the strategy of Asia Pacific Pivot. Historically China has been a proselytizing power. They have been subjected to aggression over the centuries forcing them to build the protective Great Wall. China does not seek influence and domination over others land. They do not impose their ideology on others. They pose no existential threat to US either. China’s main concern is, search for oil and energy and mineral wealth, to raise the living standards of their people, equal to one fifth of the humanity. Thus during the last two decades, China has entered into long term deals, committing over a trillion US$, with countries of the world, who could offer oil, gas or minerals, creating economic linkages through diplomacy and not through the use of military power “China plays the role of a facilitator, consolidating a regional cooperative relationship regime,” based on the principles of Peace, Cooperation and Engagement. Therefore, the interest of America and their allies would be better served by developing ‘regional cooperative relationship regimes’, using the ‘soft power’ and reducing global military commitments. The new geo-strategic realities that have emerged from three decades of wars, conflicts, revolutions and upheavals, demand an entirely new approach to world affairs. The times have changed and “the US policy makers, ruefully, now have to change their mental outlook towards the so called Islamic Extremism.” If one continues calling the freedom fighters of Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine, Kashmir, Somalia and Yemen, etc as “AlQaida terrorists”, one becomes the very victim of such self-inflicted clichés, as of now. We have been cursing ourselves for the Kargil blunder of 1999, but gets little consolation either analyzing the two futile and expensive wars of Afghanistan and Iraq where the US and the allies had been chasing Al-Qaeda, blamed for causing 9/11, yet this “powerful enemy” has not retaliated even once, during the last twelve years of this bloody struggle. Jonathan Power rightly comments: “We must look at the lessons of history. Since 9/11 there has not been one successful attack on US. Not one of the (so-called radical Islamic) countries has produced one militant with a foreign agenda. By bombing the militants in their violence, post transition has been made most difficult. Military intervention rarely works.” PS. As the US disengages from this region and shifts the Strategic Pivot to the Asia-Pacific, the decision by the Pakistan government, to handover Gawadar port to China and accelerate the work on Pak-Iran gas pipeline, is timely and diplomatically very appropriate. Indeed it is a befitting parting-gift for the next government in power in Pakistan. —The writer is former Chief of Army Staff .

Airline solutions..!

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was quite irritated by the tiny seat space I was made to sit in when I just flew out of the country. According to a survey by a British holiday company, passengers are finding airline seats an increasingly tight squeeze. Two-thirds of men are too broad-shouldered for their neighbours’ liking in plane seats, which are 16in wide. Women, meanwhile, have their own size problems, having put on an average of 1.5in around the hips between 1951 and 2002, and becoming broader across the shoulders! The survey has caused aviation heads worried as they try to figure

out what to do: “We have to do something!” I imagined the worried President of a well known airline saying to his colleagues as they sat together to solve the problem in the new year, “it’s bad enough economy is called cattle class, we don’t want it known as prison class or just jail!” “I’ve an idea!” said a bright young executive as he tried to catch his boss’ eye, “we could ask all the passengers to strip when they board the plane; without clothes, there would be more room in the seats!” “And where would we store all those shirts and trousers, dresses, and suits?” asked the president with a withered look, “or do you think we could ask them to leave it outside with security along with their penknives, scissors, feeding bottles and other stuff we’ve becoming so good at confiscating?” “I’m sorry sir!” said the young fellow growing all red in the face.

“No my young fellow, nothing to feel sorry about,” said the bearded owner of another airline company known for his unusual ways of attracting business, “maybe we could have ‘all nude’ flights! Fly Bare with Maiden Air! Excellent! I must tell my publicity fellers to get cracking on this!” “That’s fine with your airline!” said the CEO of a conservative airline, “what about the rest of us, we’ll be stripped of our jobs if we strip passengers!” The owners of the different airlines, their CEO’s and presidents looked at each other glumly as the head of Maiden Air continued talking to his publicity people, they then watched as he smiled at them, “Yeah, I can’t let you guys down after such a brilliant idea, come on lets ask Mr Smart Pants here; you’re going to work fer me after this meeting boy, what’s yer name by the way?” “Charlie!” “You got any other ideas

for these guys before we leave Charlie?” “Yeah!” said the young executive glowing he had a new job, “Fly skin or Fly thin!” “What d’you mean?” asked his former boss angrily. “He means, if you fly Maiden you fly with jes yer skin fer company and with yer airlines you fly thin!” “You mean our passengers should go on a diet before boarding the plane?” “You got it!” said the bearded owner of Maiden Air, “give all yer frequent fliers a diet plan when they book their tickets, so they’ll fly thin and have more room. Come on boy lets go, I don’t want you to give my competitors any more ideas, you’re a brilliant feller and Maiden Air needs you. I’m putting you in charge of Nude Class..!” Happy New Year dear readers, and let’s hope it won’t come to this. —Email: bobsbanter@gmail.com

Double standard again? ALI ASHRAF KHAN

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nly two days after the summit in Chequers where British Prime Minister David Cameron tried to get Afghanistan and Pakistan into a commitment for a peace deal with Afghan Taliban so as to allow the Western troops a more or less orderly withdrawal from the scene of their defeat we read in the Pakistani newspapers that US is threatening Pakistan NOT to have a peace deal with the Pakistani Taliban otherwise they would stop all military and economic support. We ask: what is this? Once it has been established that peace in Afghanistan and peace in Pakistan are interrelated as Foreign Minister Khar has also been highlighting in the summit why should Pakistan support a peace deal in Afghanistan but not be allowed to have one in Pakistan? Does the US want us to fight their war alone now on Pakistani territory while they are going home quietly? We have been all along saying that there is no coincidence between US and Pakistani national interests. That is why involvement with the US in this Afghan war has proved counterproductive for Pakistan and should be given up immediately; in fact it should have been given up long ago or never started. Any alliance with the US is harmful for our national interest, our security and survival. Pakistan can still survive without depending on US peanuts without compromising our sovereignty. —Karachi

TTP’s peace talk offer We are grateful to the Tehreek-eTaliban Pakistan (TTP) for officially stating what has been known for a long time: where the fault line is — they have nominated three politicians as guarantors for any peace talk with the army. The three guarantors are Nawaz Sharif of the PMLN, Munawar Hasan of the Jamaate-Islami and Fazlur Rehman of the Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Islam. The Taliban’s desire to talk to the army only and not with the government shows who the real power in the country is. They have renewed their threats against the political parties that are ideologically not in line with the Taliban. Consequently, the ANP, PPP and MQM are on the Taliban’s hit list. Their recent, daring attacks on civilians and security agencies in Karachi and the tribal areas prove the point that the Taliban are offering a peace deal from a position of strength. Those leaders who have been chosen as guarantors by the Taliban should think twice if they are pushing the country towards the dark ages. Governance by the Taliban and al Qaeda nexus in Afghanistan, Swat, Somalia and Mali should be enough for us to imagine what lies in store for Pakistan in surrendering its sovereignty to a brutal force from medieval times. —Jubail, Saudi Arabia

It is very encouraging that this 27 km-long project, has been completed with a minimum cost of around Rs 30 billion, an amount 9 times less than the underground project as planned by previous provincial Government. It is to be noted that the feasibility study of the underground, Lahore Rapid Mass Transit System (LRMTS), as suggested by the previous provincial government, estimated the cost at Rs 250 billion. Certainly, the current economic situation did not allow such huge expenditure for the much-hyped project; therefore, the PML-N government, which believes in optimum use of available resources, selected the MBS which is easy to supervise, maintain & repair when necessary. The early completion of this project within a shortest span of just one year has beaten the record of even its mother country Turkey where 42 km of Metro System took 3 years to complete. MBS is, no doubt, a matter of pride for the millions of citizens of Lahore and for coming generations too. It will be the only n unique service of its kind where a VVIP will be a common man and all car drivers will have to stop at every red light signal and an ordinary person will be granted with a VIP Protocol through Air Conditioning Travelling from one part of the city to the other. Metro Bus Project will change the lives of the ordinary people who may rush towards their work places in the minimum possible time and hence will be able to perform well and, of course, more efficiently. —Via email

Orthodox thinking

Learning from mishaps

KHADIJA KHAN

MUHAMMAD ASIF

According to some interesting news reports and what one hears from the shocked mouths of others, musicianturned-religious preacher Junaid Jamshed apparently said some very orthodox things on a morning television talk show recently. He spoke of how a happily married life can only be achieved if a woman is not taught how or be allowed to drive a car or motorcycle. It is hilarious that this man, someone who in a past life was a pop star in whose videos beautiful young women appeared, can say such things and that too with such determination. In this day and age of equal rights, progress and technological advances, he thinks keeping one half of the population indoors can amount to something more substantial and ‘pious’. Such men, with such backward views, should not be allowed to rant and rave on national television. —Lahore

A lot of accidents occur every year in Pakistan in which numerous precious lives, property and assets are lost. The authorities either do not seem to take such incidents very seriously or they are not competent enough to investigate them properly. I feel that this is primarily due to the fact that there are no professional investigators in the government to find out the reason behind accidents such as fire eruptions in houses, shops, plazas, shopping centres, public places and government installations. Hence they cannot really suggest any preventive measures for future security. However, in the Pakistan Air Force, there is an extremely good system of accident investigation, especially in case of an aircraft-related incident like a plane crash, engine or structural problem/failure in the air or on the ground in which the accident is investigated by dedicated and trained professionals who later suggest solutions or advice to the concerned on how to avoid such mishaps in the future. That is why our air force has remarkably maintained one of the lowest accident rates in the world despite its limited resources in which it has to defend its aerial/geographical boundaries along with the safekeeping of its personnel and equipment. Therefore, I suggest that the government learn from our air force and have a proper accident investigation system so that such accidents can be avoided to save the precious lives and assets of the people in this country. —Karachi

MASOOD KHAN

Road to progress open ATHER ALI KHAN Hats off to Shehbaz Sharif, the Chief Minister of Punjab, who has spearheaded the execution of the biggest ever development project in the three thousand year’s history of Lahore. Unlike the forts and gardens of Mughals, which had a limited use, Metro Bus System of Shehbaz Sharif is now ready to benefit the millions of residents of this great city and bringing them a revolutionary change in their life styles. With the inauguration of Metro Bus System today, road to progress is now open. Construction of this 27 Kilometers long track from Gajju Matta to Shahdra has not only connected the two far-flung destination points with one single thoroughfare, it has also accomplished the biggest, longest and a cost effective development project in the history of this great metropolis, Lahore. Plying of articulated buses under this system has provided not only a safe and swift mode of transport to the commuters, it has also given them a sense of being honoured and respected. Indeed the completion of this land-mark project will usher in a new era in Pakistan, especially in Lahore and will become a big leap towards the provision of civic facilities of international standard in the provincial metropolis.

Western media licks the spit MARYA MUFTY After a series of gang-rape related incidents across India, President Pranab Mukherjee has approved the Ordinance on Sexual Assault, which has the provision of the death penalty for cases of rape that lead to the victim’s death or push her into a persistent vegetative state. The ordinance sought to treat such a case as a crime belonging to the ‘rarest-of-rare’ category for which courts can award the death penalty if they so decide. For such cases, the ordinance proposes a minimum sentence of 20 years, which can be extended to imprisonment until natural life of the convict, or death. The changed law will now treat voyeurism, stalking, disrobing of women and acid attacks as specific offences

under the Indian Penal Code. The change will raise ‘eve-teasing’ from being considered a minor offence to a serious crime attracting enhanced punishment. Human rights activists in almost all countries plead the death penalty for rapists and most countries, like India, have already included capital punishment in their criminal procedural laws. Of late there has been critical debate in the western media questioning the death penalty to a rapist in Islam, calling it cruel and against human rights. However, given the intensity of this crime, the same human rightists have now come to the similar conclusion that even one count of capital punishment is not enough. Unfortunately, for the last five years, there have been no executions despite courts awarding the death sentence. Hundreds of criminals have not been hanged, including those involved in acts of terrorism. There has been a campaign by the world’s HR bodies for abolition of the death penalty, in sharp contrast to a rising demand that the Pakistan parliament and subsequently the president of Pakistan approve a law emulating the Indian amendment in their penal laws so that women as well as their honour and dignity are protected. —Lahore

These unfortunate Muslims HAFIZ MUHAMMAD NOMAN On Tuesday evening, I heard some men and women reciting naats (hymns) on a loud speaker near my street. In the meantime, the time for Namaz-e-Maghrib started and azaans (call for prayer) began ringing out in many mosques of my area. However, the thing that captured my attention was the naat recitation that was still being done on a loudspeaker. It was amazing that the men and women were so busy in reciting their naats that they did not even remember to perform their prayers! If they are such good Muslims, why did they not perform the evening prayer even though that is the first and foremost responsibility? It is very unfortunate that Muslims today are leaving behind all that is their duty and adopting what is an extra thing but is not necessary. They should perform their real duties or responsibilities, those that Allah has given to Muslims. —Via email

ATM’s needed ASIF HAMEED Faisal Mosque, which is one of the biggest and most beautiful mosques in the entire world, is situated in the capital city of Pakistan. Around Faisal Masjid the old campus of the International Islamic University is situated, adding to the ambiance of the entire structure. Thousands of viewers and visitors come from all across Pakistan and other places just to look at the beautiful mosque. Hundreds of students also live in the hostel near Faisal Masjid. One must have noticed that, despite the presence of so many people at or around the mosque, there is a real dearth of a bank or ATM machine in the area. There is only one ATM, made for students of the university but the ATM is usually out of order every day. The students and visitors to Faisal Masjid are facing many problems regarding the unavailability of banks and ATMs. Students have to go to Jinnah Super and Karachi Company for these banking services. Bankers should be interested in opening banks near Faisal Masjid so that students and others are conveniently able to avail their facilities. —Turbat

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

—Editor Email:editorial@pakobserver.net


Getting to the Endgame With Iran ROBERT DREYFUSS

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FTER all, in the weeks before the presidential election in November, it was reported that the United States and Iran had already tactically agreed to convene private, one-on-one talks. And since then the United States, the European powers, Russia, and China, all sought to arrange another round of negotiations, first in December and then in January. It now appears that Iran, which is about to enter its presidential election season, has finally agreed to what will be the first round of negotiations with the P5+1 since the last round in Moscow seven months ago. On Tuesday, Tehran announced that it will join talks on February 26 in Kazakhstan. The negotiations will be a serious test for the Obama administration and for John Kerry, the new secretary of state. Previous rounds have all faltered because neither side was willing to make concessions to the other, and so far there is little sign that the United States and the P5+1 have improved their offer to Iran very much. As the talks were announced, the Washington Post reported: “The P5+1 powers have made only mild revisions to a proposal that Iran flatly rejected last June.” Until now, the United States has been unwilling to acknowledge Iran’s right to enrich uranium on its own soil and to suggest that some economic sanctions might be lifted as part of a deal, and Iran has refused to agree even to a limited deal called “stop, ship, and shut” – involving the suspension of its enrichment to 20 percent purity, shipping its existing stockpiles of 20% uranium to a third country for processing, and shutting down its underground facility at Fordo, near Qom – without an agreement to lift sanctions. After the reelection of Barack Obama in November, there were great hopes that the president would have greater political freedom of offer conces-

sions to Iran. Yet, publicly at least, the White House isn’t signaling that it is ready to make a more generous offer to Iran, and in fact Obama in January signed into law yet another round of draconian economic sanctions. Perhaps as a result, Iran allegedly dragged its feet on setting a date for talks. Despite prodding from the P5+1 – including urgent efforts by Russia — in January Iran reportedly went silent about talks. Russia, increasingly frustrated by the inability of Tehran and the West to negotiate seriously, vented its frustration. “Some of our partners in the six powers and the Iranian side cannot come to an agreement about where to meet,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told a news conference. “We are ready to meet at any location as soon as possible. We believe the essence of our talks is far more important (than the site), and we hope that common sense will prevail and we will stop behaving like little children.” According to analysts in Washington, reinforced by comments from Iran itself, a big reason for Tehran’s recalcitrance is that Iran wants to prove to the United States that its vaunted sanctions regime will not force Iran to make unilateral concessions at the bargaining table. In addition, Iran is concerned that it won’t get much in return in talks with the West, and that it will be asked to make unilateral concessions on uranium enrichment without getting sanctions relief in return. Combined with Iranian internal divisions, as its own presidential election season gets underway, that could mean that for the next six months or so Ayatollah Ali Khamenei simply won’t be ready to talk seriously, despite scheduling the Kazakhstan round. Others suspect that Iran is waiting to see how President Obama’s new national security team – with Kerry as secretary of state, Chuck Hagel as secretary of defense, and John Brennan at the Central Intelli-

gence Agency – will shape Obama’s stance at any talks. In Washington, some would argue there’s a growing consensus, at the level of think tanks,

modities such as oil and gold to pay for imports. The Washington Post paraphrased U.S. officials as saying that, “the new policies are closer to a true trade embargo,

members of the pro-Israel lobby in Washington have slammed Hagel for his past comments and positions on Iran. In conjunction with Israel-friendly members of

Iran and the P5+1 powers have scheduled talks. Now the hard part begins. Iran experts, and other analysts, that a preliminary, first-round deal, including “shop, ship, and shut,” might work, if in response the P5+1 could lift some of the economic sanctions on Iran and agree to limited Iranian enrichment. In fact, of course, any sanctions relief for Iran will occur slowly and step-by-step, not all at once, in parallel with steps taken by Iran and openness to more intrusive inspections and oversight by the IAEA. But it’s certainly not helpful that in early January yet another round of unilateral sanctions was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama. The complex set of new measures targets key industrial sectors, including shipping and imports of products such as aluminum, steel and coal, and seeks to block Iran from using barter com-

designed to systematically attack and undercut Iran’s major financial pillars and threaten the country with economic collapse.” Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that contained the sanctions provisions despite having hinted earlier that he might veto the NDAA over a host of measures contained in the bill. If the Obama administration believes that ever-tougher sanctions will cause Iran to cave in at the talks, it’s likely that they are badly misreading Iranian politics. For many observers, however, and for Iran, too, the nomination of Hagel for secretary of defense may be a sign that the White House is beginning to realize that sanctions, and threats of military action, won’t force Iran’s hand. As has been widely reported, hawks, neoconservatives, and

Congress, they’ve warned Obama to rein Hagel in so as not to send a dovish signal to Tehran. Robert Satloff, executive direction of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), a pro-Israel think tank, warned bluntly that the White House should act quickly to make sure that Hagel backs away from his previous views on Iran and at least toes the administration’s tougher line. “If the White House does not take steps soon to correct that impression, the chances for a negotiated resolution of the Iran nuclear crisis will fall nearly to zero and the likelihood of Israeli military action will rise dramatically,” he wrote. Indeed, within days of his nomination as secretary of defense, Hagel was already backing away from his earlier views, meeting with senior Pentagon officials and influential senators

who’ll vote on his confirmation to clarify his views on Iran, asserting that he supports broad international sanctions against Iran and that he believes that the military option ought to be “on the table.” Several Democratic senators who met with Hagel announced with satisfaction that the former senator from Nebraska had sufficiently backtracked or “clarified” his views on Iran. Consequently, they announced that he had earned their support – and their vote. Then, during his confirmation hearings on January 31, Hagel – under hostile questioning from several Republican senators – backed away from earlier-held positions on Iran, including the role of sanctions. And, though he previously been a sharp critic of a military attack on Iran, in his opening statement Hagel said: “I am fully committed to the President’s goal of preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, and—as I’ve said in the past—all options must be on the table to achieve that goal. My policy is one of prevention, and not one of containment—and the President has made clear that is the policy of our government. As Secretary of Defense, I will make sure the Department is prepared for any contingency.” Satloff’s views were echoed by another tough-talking official at WINEP, former Ambassador Dennis Ross, a pro-Israel hawk who served as Obama’s top adviser on Iran during much of the president’s first term. “I think 2013 is going to be decisive,” Ross told the Los Angeles Times, expressing concern about Hagel’s previous comments. “Time really is running out. For diplomacy to have a chance of success, the Iranians need to understand that if diplomacy fails, force is going to be the result. We still have a challenge to convince the Iranians that we’re quite serious about the use of force,” he said. “In the first term, the administration didn’t always speak with one voice on

this issue. So what Hagel says can make a difference.” Despite his poorly receieved performance at his confirmation hearings, it’s widely believed in Washington that Hagel will be confirmed as secretary of defense and that his private advice to Obama will more closely hew to his long-held beliefs about the futility of sanctions and the grave downside to a military strike. Partly for that reason, it remains very unlikely that the Obama administration will resort to force to resolve the dispute with Iran. In fact, in remarks that Iranian officials cited as promising, Vice President Joe

really seeking this time to at least divert from its previous traditional approach vis-a-vis my country.” But if Washington remains committed to ever-tougher sanctions – and without promising Iran that sanctions will be lifted as part of a deal – then negotiations are unlikely to succeed. Vali Nasr, another former Obama administration official with expertise on Iran, suggested recently that there’s not much more the world can do to sanction Iran, and that such penalties could drive Tehran to take radical action. The regime of sanctions against Iran over its nuclear activity “really has

After all, in the weeks before the presidential election in November, it was reported that the United States and Iran had already tactically agreed to convene private, one-on-one talks. And since then the United States, the European powers, Russia, and China, all sought to arrange another round of negotiations, first in December and then in January. It now appears that Iran, which is about to enter its presidential election season, has finally agreed to what will be the first round of negotiations with the P5+1 since the last round in Moscow seven months ago. Biden expressed the administration’s willingness to hold bilateral talks with the Iranians. In response to a question at the Munich Security Conference Biden said, “We have made it clear at the outset that…we would be prepared to meet bilaterally with the Iranian leadership” when Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is serious about negotiations. Iran’s Foreign Minister, Ali Akbar Salehi responded favorably and said, “I am optimistic, I feel this new administration is

reached its end,” Nasr, dean of the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, said during the World Economic Forum in Davos. And he warned that unless there is a diplomatic breakthrough — or, alternatively, an attack on Iran — “you really are looking at a scenario where Iran is going to rush very quickly towards nuclear power, because they also think, like North Korea, that (then) you have much more leverage to get rid of these sanctions.” —Courtesy Diplomat

US immigration reform plan is a farce The US interest in an Asian island dispute RACHEL MARSDEN

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bipartisan group of senators has just lit a soggy fuse under the immigration debate. The statement of principles tabled by four senators from each

it illegally? Maybe ¯ and I speak from personal experience ¯ it’s because the system has become so complex that only a highly paid immigration lawyer or consultant can navigate it. Why isn’t there anything in this new proposal (or anywhere

the bank on legal and processing fees. At one point, I felt as if I was working just to pay my immigration costs. In France, it was a snap to do all the paperwork myself, and the cost of the initial application and subsequent renewals is reasonable. Here’s the French ra-

WASHINGTON: Senators Robert Menendez and Marco Rubio attend a news conference on comprehensive immigration reform. party is such an impotent byproduct of compromise that calling it bipartisan is redundant. This manifesto of mediocrity fails to address the biggest immigration problems facing America ¯ starting with the question of “Why?” Does anyone ever ask WHY there are so many illegal immigrants in America? While it’s understandable that foreign citizens want to come to America for the great opportunities, why do so many of them insist on doing

else) acknowledging that one of the reasons why people circumvent proper procedure and instead take their chances by overstaying a visitor’s visa or jumping the border is because doing things legally is cost-prohibitive and far too complex? What should be just a process has grown into an entire industry. I have immigrated to both the U.S. and France. In moving to America as a professional with a job offer in hand (and later in renewing my status), I almost broke

tionale: If we make the process easy and inexpensive, then almost everyone will willingly do things legally. The entire application process for immigration to France takes place at your local police detachment, which is part of the Interior Ministry (the French equivalent of the Department of Homeland Security). Therefore, there isn’t a good excuse for someone to neglect to immigrate legally ¯ unless you’re a criminal who has a natural aversion to police detachments. France certainly has its

own immigration problems, but they’re tied primarily to official policy being too lenient, as well as to France being at the behest of the immigration policies of other eurozone countries. The regularization of illegal immigrants living in the U.S. should start with the simplification and streamlining of a ridiculously bloated bureaucratic maze that serves no purpose beyond acting as a life-support system for immigration lawyers. Then you’ll see who’s really a criminal and who simply doesn’t have the resources to afford the costly and complex paperwork. Various other countries have begun to realize that immigration reform is significant in shaping the sort of country you want. So it’s a mystery why the new Senate proposal recommends clearing family reunification immigration backlogs or facilitating an unskilled worker program when it should be focused on building America’s competitive advantage. In this highly competitive economic climate, why would America want to import immigrants whose sole qualification is being related to other people already in America? Why focus on filling low-skill jobs that teenagers could be doing to pay for their college education instead of tweeting and Facebooking all day? Here’s another idea the Senate committee might want to consider before foisting another masterpiece of uselessness on the American people —Courtesy Korea Herald [Rachel Marsden is a columnist, political strategist and former Fox News host based in Paris.

JOHN POMFRET

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HE tension in the East China Sea between China and Japan is America’s problem. Sure, there are all sorts of reasons war will “never” break out — from “it just wouldn’t make sense” to “everybody is making too much money to fight.” But given the history of the region and the lack of rules for handling such crises, the reality is that one stupid mistake could start a war. Since the United States is obligated by treaty to defend Japan if it is attacked, it falls to Washington to make sure a conflict does not erupt. Over the past several months, Tokyo and Beijing have played a game of chicken, in the streets, on the seas, in the air and through the airwaves over a cluster of three uninhabited islands and two big rocks called the Senkakus by the Japanese and the Diaoyu Islands by the Chinese. Japan seized them in January 1895, during its first modern war with China (which Japan won). Tensions began escalating last year and have grown from anti-Japanese protests in Chinese cities to a war of words to the present situation, in which an increasing number of Chinese and Japanese ships and planes are frequenting a very small area in the East China Sea. The Japanese government announced Tuesday that twice in the past three weeks Chinese warships have upped the ante even further by “painting” a Japanese warship and helicopter with the same type of radar used to aim missiles.

In a region devoid of rules like those that existed between the United States and the Soviet Union when their ships and planes crossed paths, the possibility of a deadly accident is high. In addition to the radar scares, the two sides have exchanged threats, with Japan stating that its fighter jets would fire tracer bullets near Chinese aircraft if they strayed too near the rocks. A retired but influential Chinese army general responded that such an act would constitute a “first shot.” The new chief of China’s Communist Party, Xi Jinping, has

at Nanjing University. A speaker just outside our window would erupt at 6 each morning with a tinny call to “increase vigilance, protect the motherland and prepare for war!” (The enemy then alternated between the Soviet Union and the United States.) Xi’s call was echoed Jan. 15 by the army’s official daily. “Bad habits” occur in the military, one article said, when “there is a lengthy period without war.” In China, there is an element of bread and circuses going on. The Communist Party is ginning up nationalist resentment against

they are not happy about a slew of issues, including endemic corruption, polluted air, lack of press freedom, an opaque legal system and sketchy food safety. Diverting the people’s gaze toward a hated neighbor is an easy, if shortterm, fix. Chinese tactics toward Japan, dispatching planes and ships to the Senkakus, also mirror Beijing’s behavior toward the Philippines and Vietnam in recent months — actions designed to humiliate and to make the point that the disputed territories are not really under the control of any single country.

CHENGDU: Chinese nationalists in the southern province of Sichuan, protest against Japanese claims to disputed islands in the East China Sea. even taken to urging the People’s Liberation Army to “prepare for war.” The last time I heard an official Chinese outlet use that expression was 1980, when I was sleeping in my dormitory room

Japan and its ally, the United States, as a way to deflect attention from China’s significant social challenges. While many people here are justifiably proud of their country’s economic rise,

—Courtesy Washington Post John Pomfret, a longtime Post correspondent, is the author of “Chinese Lessons: Five Classmates and the Story of the New China.”

For Myanmar’s people, more courage is needed this year THAN HTUT AUNG Reconciliation means working together to correct the legacy of past injustice. Nelson Mandela (December 16, 1995). In the days before his passing, prominent writer and social critic Ludu U Sein Win told opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, Nobel laureate and chair of the National League for Democracy, that “Criticising means that we [journalists] are, in a way, helping”. He directed his comment to the NLD because it is almost certain that the main opposition party will win the 2015 general election, given the current sentiment among the general public. If the then State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC), previously the highest decision-making body in the military regime, had permitted the formation of a government in

line with the 1990 election result, the NLD, which won 81 per cent of the votes, would have had no problem forming a government. History more or less repeated itself in the 2012 by-elections, with the NLD winning 95 per cent of the votes. If the current sentiment continues, the NLD could very well take as much as 75 per cent of the vote in the 2015 general election. But whether Aung San Suu Kyi becomes president or not depends upon the ruling party and the armed forces. But are the MPs and political parties prepared to work with a dynamic leader of the NLD? Regardless of who takes up the presidency, enormous problems await that person. Against a backdrop of high living costs combined with cheap labour costs, wriggling out of this predicament will be a great challenge for Myanmar. Land, facto-

ries, mills, banking and investment institutions, power and authority are all in the hands of a very few cronies. The rental cost of houses and apartments has shot up recently. Leasing rates for restaurants, shops and other busi-

whole country will eventually fall apart. Some people utter the words, “There are now job opportunities due to investment”, but those words are quite bitter to listen to. That sentiment is tantamount to

nies would not be allowed. But at this moment, even the socalled “build, operate and transfer” (BOT) businesses are in the hands of these cronies. At this juncture, I would like to submit a request to the presi-

Shwedagon Pagoda, a monument to which Buddhists across the world pay highest respect. Moreover, the structure must not be higher than 20-storeys. Buddhists must come to protest in support of this cause. I would like to re-

When the previous regime handed over state power to the present government, prominent persons distanced themselves from bribery and corruption, like the incumbent president, the commander-in-chief of the Defence Services and the vice-commander-in-chief of the Defence Services. They have reflected the democratisation process. During two years of changes, over 70 per cent of the army brass above the rank of colonel have refrained from bribery and corruption. ness premises are also going up sharply. However, incomes, whether salaries or daily wages, remain the same. This phenomenon has placed residents of Yangon in a chokehold. And when the commercial hub is choking, the economy of the

a serious message that there is no future for workers, and a certain number of starving slaves are likely to get paid jobs. I was happy when the president promised, at the time he assumed his duties, that manipulation by political and business cro-

dent to stop the building a 34storey structure at the site of the open-air bazaar in downtown Yangon, undertaken by Shwe Taung Company. A sincere request is made to the effect of not allowing high structures within a five-kilometre radius of

quest political and business cronies do not tarnish the Shwedagon Pagoda and leave this most respected monument alone. Critics, including myself, have been attacked unfairly. Take the Myanmar Express, for ex-

ample, a publication that colluded with intelligence units and agencies for the purpose of discrediting the opposition and critics, including myself. It is a cheap ploy by some people in power who believe that mudslinging and tarnishing people will get them to stop voicing their opinions about irregularities. When the previous regime handed over state power to the present government, prominent persons distanced themselves from bribery and corruption, like the incumbent president, the commander-in-chief of the Defence Services and the vice-commander-in-chief of the Defence Services. They have reflected the democratisation process. During two years of changes, over 70 per cent of the army brass above the rank of colonel have refrained from bribery and corruption. I earnestly hope that the incumbent

commander-in-chief and the deputy commander-in-chief will be able to pull the defence forces up from the vicious cycle of muddy and chaotic politics. The armed forces must change their mindset towards the national ethnic races, which they consider to be enemies of the state. The concept of a genuine federal union is, in other words, “non-disintegration of the Union”. These days, the national ethnic races are pledging that they will never break away from the Union. The political dilemma must be addressed in a spirit of cooperation between politicians and the armed forces. Military matters must be resolved and settled among those that bear arms. Dr Than Htut Aung is chairman and CEO of Eleven Media Group. —Courtesy Nation Thailand


President to give up soon political office, LHC told

Death toll From Page 1 In Jauhar Town area of Lahore, roof of a cattle barn, being unable to withstand the winds coupled with showers, collapsed killing a man under its rubble and injuring five others. Another man died after his house fell on him in Rajanpur area of Chowk Allahabad. In Okara’s village Dharmay Wala, man and his son were killed after being trapped under the debris of a house. A child lost his life when a seminary’s wall fell on him in Pindi Bhattian area of Hafizabad Road. As many as seven people of the same family were injured when their house crumpled on them in Khanewal. Five shops and two schools in Murree area of Ser Baglagoi were damaged in landslide incidents. Three female students received electric shock in Jheeka Gali, as they touched the snapped electric wires. They have been transported to CMH. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has some of the most ravaged areas. Two small girls lost their lives when rooftop of a vegetable vendor’s house crashed on them in Peshawar. In different districts of the province, at least 24 people perished in rain-related incidents. In Khyber Agency area also, lashing rains caused a house to break down, killing four people. Driving rains caused a rooftop to plummet in Azad Kashmir’s Lipa Valley. Two houses were destroyed in Tariqabad. Two vehicles were stuck in a landslide on Neelam Highway. In Hyderabad area of Kali Moree, a 12-year girl died as she was hit by crashing wall of a house.—INP

Challenging ECP part of conspiracies From Page 1 leader Ahsan Iqbal told reporters here today that Pervez Musharraf, Imran Khan and Dr Tahir ul Qadri are playing the game of “brother, brother.” The demands of PTI-led Imran Khan and PAT-led Tahir ul Qadri may cause hurdles in holding of general elections in the country. “Only the PPP would be real beneficiary if general elections are delayed,” he said, adding, ”Election Commission of Pakistan is an independent and sovereign institution like judiciary.” Ahsan said the PML-N would continue to exert pressure on the government to hold elections on time and we would not allow any conspiracy aimed at delaying the polls. He said that postponing the 2013 general polls was against the interests of the nation. He said his party would not allow such a delay take place, and that the elections would take place as per the schedule. The PML-N leader maintained that the PPP-led coalition government was not showing seriousness on caretaker set up, as it wants to linger on it till last week. He hoped that the opposition would reach consensus with the government for caretaker set up. Answering a question, Ahsan urged the State Bank of Pakistan not to release more loans to the government. He expressed concern over state of economy. To another query, he expressed concern over harassment to investigation officers of Ogra.

From Page 1 dent House augured well. Wasim Sajjad taking a sigh of relief said that now the matter has ended. President would soon give up the political office. Wasim Sajjad told the court that the president is not the chief of the party and added, in fact, Makhdoom Amin Faheem is the chief of PPP. Then, Justice Mansoor enquired if the president is not the chief of the ruling party, whether the party which president is heading is functional? Wasim Sajjad replied that no, it’s not functional, but it may get functional, in coming elections. The bench appreciated the written assurance by the Presi-

activities in the presidency. It had stated that the president had neither disassociated himself from the political office nor had he stopped ‘misusing’ the President House despite a verdict by the Lahore High Court’s full bench against the dual office. The petitioner had also contended that the use of Presidency for political activities was illegal and tantamount to committing contempt of the court’s orders issued on May 12, 2011. He had also requested the court to issue a show-cause notice to the president and punish him under Contempt of Court Ordinance, 2003, read with Article 204 of the Constitution.

SC rejects Aftab Sherpao bail plea From Page 1 courts is becoming habit. In future mistrust will be expressed LAHORE: Members of Young Doctors Association are being given glucose during their hunger strike at a protest camp over SC. Every one against whom outside Services Hospital. case is registered says injustice is being done to him”. Giving arguments, Iftikhar

PTI, PAT unite on ECP reconstitution

egation of PTI, Dr Qadri said that they want free and transparent polls in the country. He added that for free and fair polls reformation of the Election Commission was necessary. The PTI delegation comprised its central president Makhdoom Javed Hashmi, Vice Chairman Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi and others. Qadri said that after a long time, two institutions in the country – the judiciary and the army – were working in favour of democracy. “If these two institutions can work for these causes, then the political leadership should also show maturity.” He said that he was going to the Supreme Court because there was no winning or losing there. “Only the law wins there… Our right is to go the court, taking a decision is their job. We will implement whatever decision the court takes.” Qadri also clarified that the petition was only being filed by his party Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT). PTI leader Javed Hashmi on the occasion said that plot-

From Page 1 ting being made to lift the upcoming elections. He told the media that the reservations were only discussed during the meeting, but the final decision will be taken by his party regarding the petition being filed in the Supreme Court by Qadri for the reconstitution of the election commission. He said their stance was similar to that of Qadri’s. Hashmi added that electoral alliance along with other issues was discussed during the meeting. According to Hashmi, the PTI was not satisfied on the issue of the caretaker government and Election Commission. PTI President said that Tahir ul Qadri had contacted Tehreeke-Insaf before the long march. “We have realized the struggle of Tahirul Qadri. He wants to bring about a real change in the country,” he said. PTI vice chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that a transparent ECP is crucial for the upcoming elections, “but the government claims that it cannot dissolve the election com-

Taliban reject London Asian Ombudsmen conference elect Faruqui to From Page 1 mission as it is against Article represent in IOI 209”. He said that Qadri ex- in Doha for the purpose of neplained to his party leaders that his argument is not about dissolving the commission, but he considers the constitution of the commission as “unlawful”. “We will raise the question of composition and constitution of the election commission,” he added. He also denied giving comments against Qadri’s long march in Islamabad and said that it was the party’s democratic right for as long as the protest remained peaceful and under the ambit of the law. He said if a neutral caretaker government was not formed, free and fair elections could not be held. Qureshi further said the PTI did not require the crutch of the establishment. He reiterated his early stance said that his party was not satisfied with the functioning of the ECP. “Attempts are being made to curb the voice of people,” he added. He said that his party doesn’t want the postponement of elections and reiterated that PTI would not take any extra-constitutional step.

US drone strike kills five in NWA and South Waziristan agencies. Out of those strikes, 33 were conducted in 2008 and 53 in 2009. However, the notorious drones struck 118 times in 2010 and more than two dozen attacks were launched in 2011. Likewise scores of drone attacks were conducted in the year 2012 killing hundreds of people. Meanwhile, as many as eleven militants were killed and

From Page 1 several others injured in fighter jets attack on the hideouts of militants in the Upper Kurram Agency on Wednesday. Reports reaching here said the PAF jets heavily bombed the miscreant’s positions in Arghanjo and Lando Qamar areas of the Upper Kurram Agency killing around a dozen people and injuring more than ten others. Bed-

sides, a number of militant hideouts were also destroyed in the bombardment. “The air-strikes were carried out on the hideouts of the militants in Arghanjo and Lando Qamar areas of the Upper Kurram Agency by the security forces which left at least eleven miscreants dead and several others wounded. Three important hideouts of the militants were also destroyed in the attack”, sources said.

3 DDos suspended for poor performance STAFF REPORTER LAHORE—District Coordination Officer (DCO) Lahore Noor-ul-Amin Mengal has surrendered three Deputy District Officers Lahore on poor and unsatisfactory performance in education sector. Deputy District Officer Wahga Muhammad Ajmal, Deputy District Officer Iqbal Town Fazal Elahi, Deputy District Officer Wahga Parveen Akhtar have been surrendered. DCO Lahore Noor-ul-Amin Mengal also urged on teachers to work whole heartedly and take steps to take student ahead in education field. He expressed these views while chairing a meeting of District Review Committee at Town Hall on Wednesday. DO (C) Sahibzadi Waseema Umer, DMO Mushtaq Tiwana, EDO (Education) Dr. Pervaiz and other were present on this occasion. Noor-ul-Amin Mengal has also granted the permission of 61 million for the repair of twenty dangerous school buildings, boundary walls of six schools, and for the construction of new additional class room, Examination halls.

dent and called it a positive step. Sajjad requested the bench to dispose of the contempt petition against President Zardari. The hearing was subsequently adjourned to February 15. On September 5, 2012, the bench had issued a fresh notice to President Zardari through his principal secretary and had sought a reply to the petition pleading contempt proceedings against him for not abiding the court’s order to relinquish his political office. The petition that had been filed by Munir Ahmad through lawyers A K Dogar and Azhar Siddique had accused President Zardari of indulging in political

LAHORE: Heart shape balloons are being sold ahead of Valentine’s Day in provincial capital.

Rapid Bus Service Project completion termed as marvel of the year SALIM AHMED LAHORE—Rapid Bus Service Project is a marvellous achievement of the Punjab government that would not only cut the cost of doing business but would also help highlight the country as a good destination for investment. This was stated by the Chairman PIAF Engr. Sohail Lashari and LCCI former President Mian Anjum Nisar here on Wednesday. They said that the business community appreciates the Chief Minister Punjab Mian

Shahbaz Sharif for completing this huge project in only eleven months time. They said that the project is going to be a huge relief. It means a farewell to overloaded decrepit mini-vans and ramshackle buses often driven by drivers without either road sense or safety. A special road, most of which is an overhead bridge would enable the people to commute from one corner of the city and around, quickly and comfortably. They said that the new road built alongside, would also ease

traffic congestion on one of the city’s busiest roads. While the Lahorites will begin to heave a sigh of relief. They said that the project has many facets as on the one hand it would made available transport facility to all while on the other hand it would cut the cost of doing business besides timely delivery of goods at marketplace. They said that the RBS also provided much-needed support to not only the construction sector but steel, cement industries and other allied sectors were the direct beneficiary of this eight kilometer long project. They said that the business community also expects of Chief Minister Punjab that he

gotiations between the Taliban From Page 1 and the High Peace Council of Afghanistan as part of an Af- Asia, Australasia and Pacific, ghan-led peace process,” a joint Europe, Caribbean and Latin statement had said following the America and North America. Hundreds of ombudsmen trilateral summit Monday. —AP through the world deal with complaints from the public regarding decisions, actions or omissions of public administration. The role of the ombudsmen is to protect the people against violation of rights, abuse of From Page 1 power, error, negligence, unfair should be changed. decisions and maladministration Elahi said that his party was and to improve public administhe first to demand the restruc- tration while making the turing of Election Commission government’s actions more open and now all political parties are and its administrations more acagreeing to the same demand. countable to the public. He said that spending developIn Pakistan, the Institution ment funds in Punjab is not pro- of Wafqai Mohtasib started hibited.—Online functioning on 8 August, 1983. The Wafaqi Mohtasib has headquarters in Islamabad and regional offices in Lahore, Sukkur, Quetta, Faisalabad, Multan, Dera Ismail Khan, From Page 1 in and a march to express soli- Peshawar and Karachi. darity with the commission and After assuming the responto press their demands, includ- sibilities of Acting Wafaqi ing resignation of governors and Mohtsaib Mr. Faruqui has been transfer of all high-level offic- striving to revamp the institution ers in the federal and provincial with the view to making it more government as soon as the care- responsive for timely redress of taker set-up was put in place. public grievances, it said.

Elahi also demands EC restructuring

70pc MPs paid no taxes

Gilani took the plea Aftab Sherpao did not appear before the trial court of Sibi due to looming life threat to him. Therefore, high court transferred his case from Sibi to Quetta on his request, he added. But high court while giving interim relief to him has left him at the mercy of trial court and he is now being dragged in the courts and harassed, Gilani further argued. CJP remarked “ Harassment plea taken by the petitioner is a sheer notion on his part despite the fact he is on bail. Barrister Iftikhar Gilani ar-

gued he has no trust on the trial court and he has already challenged its jurisdiction. Gilani said high court had granted bail to Aftab Sherpao till the decision of anti terrorism court. “I am sure that trial court will cancel bail plea of my client”, he added. Justice Gulzar Ahmad observed “ how can you say before time that bail of your client will be cancelled. Iftikhar Gilani said he had already challenged jurisdiction of trial court therefore, he was sure of cancellation of bail plea.—Online


Anger, protests as Tunisian opposition leader shot dead T U N I S —Prominent Tuni- Sidi Bouzid itself, birthplace rest.

PTI flays beating by MNA’s son Muzaffar Ali LAHORE—The present populist “democratic” civil political government took to power and started defying the pre-requisites of democracy the first and the foremost of which is rule of law. A very recent example is the brutal beating of a PIA employee at Jinnah International Airport, Karachi by PPP MNA Sher Mohammad Baloch’s son. Nauroz ended up beating the national flagship carrier’s reservation supervisor, Allah Dino Jatoi which caused panic among PIA staff members, who closed down the reservation office in protest.

Doctors hunger strike continues LAHORE—The hunger strike of Young Doctors Association continued on the third consecutive day on Wednesday to press for the acceptance of their demands. Five hunger striking doctors were shifted to emergency of Services Hospital on Wednesday after their sugar level fell down and they became unconscious. Eleven doctors had been shifted to emergency in the same condition on Tuesday. Hundreds of doctors from different government hospitals on Wednesday reached the venue of hunger strike in front of Services Hospital and expressed solidarity with hunger strikers by staging a sit-in on the road. Due to sitin, traffic blocked on road for over three hours.—APP

Killed in roof collapse Staff Reporter N OWSHERA —A man was killed and his grandson injured in a roof collapse incident at Nizampur area, here Wednesday. According to Police, owner of the house Turaz Gul along with his grandson were sleeping when roof of their house caved in due to heavy torrential rain. Turaz Gul died on the spot while his eight years old grandson Said Muhammad received minor injuries and was recovered by the locals from the rubble of the house.

Low intensity blast Q UETTA —A low intensity

SHANGLA: A view of heavy snowfall at Alpuri, headquarters of the district. Vehicles can be seen stuck on the road.

No plan for privatisation of Pak Steel: Kaira KARACHI—Federal Minister minister Shaheed Zulfikar Ali ter PSM management and the for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira Wednesday categorically rejected the reports about privatisation of Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM). Kaira said there was not even a plan to run it under public-private partnership. The PPP will foil all the conspiracies against this very important organisation, which is a gift from Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto to the nation, he added. The minister said in the past as well, the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) had resisted all the attempts to sell the Pakistan Steel because it had special attachment with it. He said he also felt at home here.“The Pakistan Steel can be privatised only at the cost of our lives. We will stand guard to the PSM and not allow anyone to harm the sapling planted by the PPP founder and first elected prime

Bhutto. who had a great dream of industrial revolution behind this mill,” he added. Kaira was addressing a gathering of PSM workers here at the mills main plant where “Jehez” cheques were distributed among them. The “Jehez” fund is a part of the charter of demands signed between the CBA and the management. Minister of State for Water and Power Tasneem Ahmed Qureshi, Chief Executive Officer PSM Major Gen. (Retd) Muhammad Jawed, Chairman Pakistan Steel Peoples Workers Union (CBA) Shamshad Qureshi and other office-bearers of the union were also present. The Federal Information Minister hoped that the PSM would soon become a profitable organisation as a result of policies and support from the PPP-led government, bet-

Mushahidullah’s remarks enrage PPP Senators

Forensic agency has limited role in Kamran Faisal case: Police

STAFF REPORTER I SLAMABAD —The Senate saw a state of commotion after Pakistan Muslim LeagueNawaz lawmaker Mushahidullah Khan took a jibe at the Pakistan People’s Party questioning loyalty of the ruling party with what he said blood of Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto. Sources said on Wednesday that the PML-N Senator said Nawaz Sharif and the PMLN workers were present at the hospital where BB was shifted after being attacked at Liaquat Bagh on December 27 2007. He said the PPP betrayed Benazir’s blood. Khan’s remarks sparked anger among the PPP Senators with Islamuddin Sheikh demanding him to withdraw his comments.

STAFF REPORTER ISLAMABAD—Federal Police have sent a letter to Punjab Forensic Agency, saying the latter has a limited role towards investigation into the mysterious death of Kamran Faisal, a NAB Assistant Director probing Rs82 billion RPPs graft case involving prime minister Raja Pervez Ashraf. In the letter, the Federal Police have expressed reservations in connection with the limited jurisdiction of the Forensic Agency, which is examining Kamran Faisal’s room in the Federal Lodges, where the deceased was found hanging

commitment and hardwork of the employees. He, however, added that a big organisation like Pakistan Steel would take some time to revive. To a demand from Chairman PSM Peoples Workers Union (CBA) Shamshad Qureshi, the Information Minister assured that he would take up the issues of Pakistan Steel, especially the release of balance amount of the bail-out package, with the Federal Government. He hoped Rs one billion would be released very soon.He said that the bail-out package was not only aimed at reviving the Pakistan Steel but also ensuring the welfare of its workers and their families. He said the PPP had always supported and protected the rights of workers. The PPP government wanted to hand over all public sector organizations to their workers. —APP

by a ceiling fan. The Federal Police argued that the Forensic Agency had a mandate to only run chemical examinations and not to carry out an interrogation. But, the Chemical Examiner’s Report has not been prepared since January 19. “The interrogation and scanning of the crime scene is not your job but of the police,” the letter stressed. The F e d e r a l P o l i c e have asked the Forensic Team to get the forensic report ready in the next couple of days, as the same is required to be presented before the court on February 12.

Dr Asim to send legal notice to Paracha STAFF REPORTER I SLAMABAD —Advisor for Petroleum, Dr Asim Hussain Wednesday clarified that he had no stake in the business of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) and that he was in the process of having a legal notice served on Ghiyas Paracha, Chairman Supreme Council All Pakistan CNG Association. “He (Ghiyas Paracha) will have to prove the allegations (in the court of law),” Dr Asim said while talking to private channel. He expressed a resolve to continue fighting against the CNG cartels and gas pilferers, adding the country was confronting a genuine shortage of gas.

4 held in Egypt after shoe thrown at Iranian President

sian opposition leader Chokri Belaid was shot dead outside his home in Tunis on Wednesday, sparking angry protests by his supporters and attacks on offices of the ruling Islamist Ennahda party. An outspoken critic of his government, President Moncef Marzouki denounced the killing of Belaid, calling it an “odious assassination”, while Ennahda chief Rached Ghannouchi told AFP, the killers wanted a “bloodbath” in Tunisia. As the news of the coldblooded killing spread, it sparked outrage, with some 2,000 people gathering outside the interior ministry in Tunis. Shouting abuses and cursing Ennahda, protestors accused him of orchestrating the assassination of the 48-year-old leftist leader. Soon after, protesters torched the Ennahda party office in Mezzouna, near the central town of Sidi Bouzid, and ransacked another in the mining town of Gafsa, where they tore up Ennahda flags, AFP journalists and witnesses said. Some 2,000 protesters also took to the streets of

“We have arrested the accused. A case of assault and attempt to murder has been registered.” The victim underwent surgery but is stable now,” the officer added. Police say the suspect came to the house on the pretext of collecting the monthly electricity charge and then tried to rape the woman on finding her alone. She sustained severe injuries in her mouth and was left with bruises all around her neck, Chaudhry said. In another incident of sexual assault which was reported in the local media on Wednesday, a 22-year-old woman was left with a damaged uterus after an alleged

gang-rape in northern Uttarakhand state. Meanwhile, defence lawyers began cross-examining on Wednesday the male companion of a student who was gang-raped on a bus in New Delhi at the trial of five adults accused of her murder, the man’s father said. “The cross-examination has begun,” said the father of the 28-year-old IT specialist, who cannot be named for legal reasons. “Three defence lawyers will cross-examine and question him based on the statement that he gave to the police and the court,” he added. The cross-examination

“We refuse this message and we will continue to unmask the enemies of the revolution,” he said.Tunisia’s path was “paved with hurdles,” including “orchestrated verbal violence, burnt preachers” and the murder of Belaid. A presidential aide said Marzouki had scrapped plans to head from Strasbourg to Cairo to join a summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and instead would fly home immediately to deal with the crisis.—AP

Khar calls upon India to stop killing of Kashmiris C AIRO —Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar has called upon India to exercise restraint and stop killing of innocent Kashmiris in Occupied Kashmir. Addressing the meeting of OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir in Cairo, she said those responsible for such crimes should be brought to justice. India must also take steps for early release of political prisoners and repeal the draconian laws. She said Paki-

stan has entered into dialogue with India in good faith to amicably resolve the Kashmir dispute. We are earnestly implementing the Cross-LoC confidence building measures to bring relief to the divided families and reduce the sufferings of the Kashmiris on both sides of the LoC.She said resolution of Kashmir dispute is imperative for peace and stability to South Asia and ameliorating the sufferings of the Kashmiri people.The foreign

Minister said Pakistan is committed to finding a just and peaceful resolution of the dispute in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions and aspirations of the Kashmiri people. Kashmiris should be associated with the dialogue process. We hope that the Government of India would reciprocate Pakistan’s principled approach and initiate appropriate measures for an early resolution of Jammu and Kashmir dispute.—Online

CAIRO —Egypt’s security arrested four men who were protesting outside a Cairo mosque, where the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was praying. The men, including a Syrian, belong to the ultra-conservative Sunni Salafist movement.One man threw a shoe at Ahmadinejad, a Shiite, who was never in any danger. The Al-Hussein Mosque is revered by Shiite Muslims, who are widely disliked by conservative Sunni Muslims, including members of the Muslim Brotherhood. E g y p t ’ s President Mohammed Morsi was previously a member of the Brotherhood. Many Sunni Muslim groups have denounced the Iranian president’s visit to Cairo and have called on Egypt’s government to prevent Ahmadinejad from visiting any religious sites CAIRO: Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar representing Pakistan at the OIC Conthat are significant to Shia tact Group meeting on Kashmir during 12th OIC Summit.—APP photo Muslim.—Online

Another Indian woman attacked with metal bar in rape bid

blast rocked areas adjacent to Baruri Road in the provincial capital on Wednesday. Rescue workers and police rushed to the spot. However, the rescue sources told media that the blast took place on Baruri Road and no loss of life occurred in the explosion. They said that window- N EW D ELHI —Indian popanes of nearby buildings were shattered due to the ex- lice arrested a man for allegedly shoving a metal rod plosion.—Online down the throat of a 22year-old woman during an attempted rape at her home PPP committed in New Delhi, detectives to make new said on Wednesday. The attack, which happrovince LAHORE—Pakistan People’s pened on Monday night, Party will make Bahawalpur comes only weeks after a Janoobi Punjab province by fatal attack on a 23-year-old removing all hindrances. student who was gangThese views were expressed raped and violated with a by PPP leader Arshad Ali rusty iron bar on a bus in Bhatti in a meeting with party Delhi on December 16. “The accused tried to workers at his residence here rape the girl and when she on Wednesday. He alleged that PML-N was the major ob- resisted his move, he stacle in the way of new prov- shoved a rod inside her ince, adding that it would be mouth,” Ajay Chaudhry, a responsible if democracy in senior police officer investhe country derailed.—APP tigating the case, told AFP.

of the 2011 revolution that toppled ex-dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, where they were met by police tear gas, witnesses said. Marzouki deplored the killing in an impassioned speech before the European Parliament in Strasbourg that brought tears to the eyes of politicians. “This odious assassination of a political leader who I knew well and who was my friend … is a threat, it is a letter sent that will not be received,”the president said, insisting the murder would not tip Tunisia to un-

comes after the companion, who is the chief prosecution witness, had on Tuesday identified the bus on which the fatal attack took place on December 16. The bus had been brought to the court compound. The five adult defendants have all denied murder, rape and robbery charges for which they are being tried at a special fast-track court in the Saket district of the Indian capital. A sixth defendant is being tried separately as a juvenile. The 23-year-old medical student died in a Singapore hospital on December 29 from massive internal injuries she sustained during the

savage bus assault a fortnight earlier, which caused outrage across India. She and her companion had spent the evening at the cinema and were lured onto the off-duty bus after failing to flag down a rickshaw to take them home. As well as taking turns to rape the woman and violating her with a rusty iron bar, the group attacked her companion so badly that he is still unable to walk properly. He again appeared at the court on Wednesday in a wheelchair. The judge has banned all reporting of proceedings inside the courtroom and ordered lawyers not to speak to journalists. —AP

16 defence installations attacked since 2009: Secy STAFF REPORTER I SLAMABAD—The National Assembly’s standing committee on defence was informed that defence installations have been attacked sixteen times in the country since 2009. The meeting of the standing committee was chaired by Azra Fazal Pechuho here on Wednesday. Defence Secretary Lieutenant General (retired) Asif Yasin Malik informed the committee that defence installations have been attacked sixteen times since 2009, adding that the last attacks were in Peshawar

and the Kamra airbase. The Defence Secretary said that in the attack on the Kamra airbase an Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) plane was destroyed, while ten attackers were also killed. Asif Yasin further said that all four sides were attacked in Peshawar but fortunately all installations remained safe. In his briefing, the defence secretary informed the committee that quick response forces had been deployed at all defence installations while action had been taken against army personnel involved in these attacks.

Muhammad Ali Durrani joins PML-F KARACHI —Former Federal Minister Muhammad Ali Durrani has joined Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F).

According to PML-F spokesman, Pir Pagaro has nominated Durrani as senior vice president of the party.—INP


Medical abbreviations ‘pose risk’ D OCTORS are being warned that using abbreviations in medical notes is put ting patients’ lives at risk. The UK’s Medical Defence Union said difficulties often arose because abbreviations can have more than one meaning or might be misread. Some patients have had the wrong limb removed or operated on and others have been given deadly drug doses, it said. A recent US study of 30,000 medication errors, some fatal, showed 5% were linked to abbreviations in notes. Common errors included abbreviating drug names and dosages, the Joint Commission found. An example involved a 62-year-old patient on haemodialysis who was treated for a viral infection with the drug acyclovir. The order for acyclovir was written as “acyclovir (unknown dose) with HD”, meaning haemodialysis. Acyclovir should be adjusted for renal impairment and given only once daily. However, the order was misread as TID (three times daily) and the patient died as a result. A UK audit by the paediatric department at Birmingham Heartlands Hospital, published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood in November, found instances where abbreviations used had caused confusion because they had multiple interpretations. For example, “TOF” could be taken to mean “tetralogy of fallot” or “tracheo-oesophageal fistula” - two completely different conditions. When presented with a selection of abbreviations, the study authors found paediatric doctors agreed on the interpretation of

56-94%, while other healthcare professionals recognised only 31-63%. The authors also found that the use of abbreviations was inconsistent - 15% of the abbreviations used in medical notes appeared in the hospital’s intranet dictionary while 17% appeared in a medical dictionary used by paediatric secretaries. The MDU, which defends members’ reputations when their clinical performance is called into question, advises doctors to use only the abbreviations or acronyms that are unambiguous and approved in their practice or hospital. Dr Sally Old, MDU medico-legal adviser, said: “Abbreviations can cause confusion and risk patient safety. “In one instance a diabetic patient was given a dose of 61 units of insulin because the notes say six international units - 6IU - were misinterpreted. “Thankfully, the error was spotted and the patient was treated.” She said clear, concise communication was essential, particularly when care was provided by multi-disciplinary teams. Kevin Cleary, of the National Patient Safety Agency, said: “Abbreviations in clinical notes, prescriptions and treatment charts should be kept to an absolute minimum. They cause confusion and present a risk to patients. “The NPSA is aware of at least one patient death in the last 12 months where abbreviations were a contributory factor. “In response to this incident, involving chemotherapy, we will be issuing guidance later this month on clear communication of treatment protocols.”

RAWALPINDI: Poets reciting naats during a natia mushaira, held at Arts Council on Wednesday.

Natia mushaira at RAC CITY REPORTER ISLAMABAD—Rawalpindi Arts Council(RAC) in collaboration with a renowned literary society Sukhanwar here on Wednesday organized a naatia mushaira in connection with the month of Rabi-ul-Awal. Poet Sharf-ud-Din presided over the Mushaira while Qayyum Tahir was the special guest on the occasion. Senior vice president of Suhanwar,,Naseem-e-Sehar wel-

comed the guests and thanked them for attending the mushaira. In the first part of the mushaira, Aftab Zia, Babar Zuhrab, Zeeshan Muztar, Fahim Qureshi, Zakir Rehman Naveed Malik, Saima Batool, Dilawar Ali Aazar, Nida Rizvi, Saeed Zaigham, Nighat Seema, Ahmed Raza Raja, Muhammad Gul Nazik, Ilyas Babar Awan, Arshad Malik, Tabbasm Ikhlaq, Shaukat Mehdi, Abdul Qadir Tabban, Ziauddin Naeem, Naseem-e-Sehar,

Iranian cultural week starts at PNCA STAFF REPORTER I SLAMABAD —‘Iran Cultural Week has started here Wednesday at Pakistan National Council of Arts (PNCA) with a number of colorful activities to mark the 34th year of Islamic Revolution in Iran. A large number of art lovers, students and from Iranian community attended the inaugural event that is being organized by Iranian embassy in association with ministry of National Heritage and Integration at PNCA, National Art Gallery. The 5-day long event comprised a number of Iranian art and craft pieces, rugs, decoration pieces, mosaic work, samples of holy Quran, a wide range of books, embroideries exhibition, photographic exhibition, miniature, paintings and calligraphic workshop. Federal Minister for Culture Samina Khalid Ghurki inaugurated the cultural week, speaking on the occasion after visiting a number of art and crafts stalls, Ghurki said, “I congratulate Iranian people and

its leadership on the eve of celebrations of Iranian Revolution (also known as the Islamic Revolution or 1979 Revolution),” This exhibition is indeed a step forward not only in celebration of Iranian Revolution but to promote cultural ties between the two brethren countries-Pakistan and Iran, she added. Ambassador to Pakistan Ali Raza Haqeeqan was also present on the occasion.Speaking on the accession he said the weeklong festival was a part of Iranian Revolution in which the artists from Iran had shown the development of Iran through diversified means. Pakistan and Iran, he added, share common tradition, cultural heritage and religious values and both countries are striving to safeguard these common values through art and culture. Pakistan and Iran’s friendship will further strengthen through people to people contact and both sides will surely face all challenges including the menace of terrorism to make both place safe and prosperous, he said.

Qayyum Tahir and Sharf-udDin Shami presented their naatia poetry. While in second part of the mushaira Aftab Ahmed Zia, Naveed Malik, Saima Batool, Ilyas Babar Awan, Naveed Malik, Naseem-e-Sehar, Qayyum Tahir and Sharf-ud-Din Shami presented poems in connection with Kashmir Solidarity Day. Speakers also appreciated the role of RAC for providing a platform for such healthy activities.

ISLAMABAD: A view of Islamabad Highway during sunny day after 3-day of continuous raining on Wednesday.

CNG crisis keeps public transport off roads ISLAMABAD—Due to the CNG crisis public transport in the twin cities have kept off roads while cab drivers have increased their fares. Crowd on roads can be seen because the public transport vehicles fail to complete their routes.Bilal Ahmed, a passenger told that 21 passengers were being hauled into one wagon, which had the capacity to seat no more than 14 commuters. Only those passengers were seated in a public transport vehicle that had to go to nearby stops, a passenger added. However, there are a lot of areas where public transport is not available at all and people have to travel on taxis which neither have a meter system nor any specific rate per kilometre. Meanwhile, cab drivers in the twin cities are charging double fares.“I used to pay Rs 70 from G7 to Margalla Road at my office but now the same cab drivers are taking not less than Rs 100 from me, some of them do not even agree on this amount and demand more,” said Salman Ahmed. He added that they make this excuse even if their vehicle is on CNG and it had become a permanent lie to mint extra money from the citizens.“We also feel sorry for asking more fare than we were taking before, but what should we do as it is not our fault,” said Zaka Chaudhry. He added, “When we are on petrol we cannot take the same fare we used to take while using CNG.” He also said that first they faced the shortage of CNG and now the government had increased the price of petrol, which forced them into increasing their fares, as they also had a family to feed. agencies.—Online

Rains expose Prophet (PBUH) pathetic condition of capital’s roads introduced modernity in a dark era

I SLAMABAD —Several roads

damaged and deteriorated due to the recent spell of winter rains in the Federal Capital need urgent maintenance by the Capital Development Authority (CDA). towards all mankind, and all re- Different roads have been broSTAFF REPORTER ken developing cracks and holes, ligions. ISLAMABAD—Chairman Senate Bukhari said that Islam which posed risks to motorists. and Acting President Syed gives the lesson of peace, har- The road from NDC to 7-Up Nayyer Hussain Bukhari has mony and love, adding that Chowk being used by heavy trafsaid that the Prophet (PBUH) Islam respects all religions fic, which was already in deteintroduced modernity in a dark of the world and other reli- riorated condition, has been furera and his entire life is a beacon gions should also respect Is- ther damaged due the the rains. “The entire road, especially of light for the whole musilm lam. umma. The prominent Ulema and near the Islamabad Railway StaHe said this while address- scholars from all across the coun- tion and I-10/3 Industrial Area, ing the National Milad Confer- try attended the conference and is in a very bad shape, where ence 2013, in connection with the presented their articles and many vehicles have met acciEid Milad-un-Nabi here on thoughts while highlighting dif- dents,” said Talha Nadeem, a Wednesday. ferent aspects of the life of motorist who lives in Sector I21 He said the Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) as 10/2 and uses this road for trav- R AWALPINDI —Some (PBUH) provided a model of the last messenger of Allah Al- elling to his office in Blue measles suspects have so far visited Holy Family Hospital Area.—APP tolerance, goodwill and patience mighty. (HFH) here, said HFH Deputy Medical Superintendent Dr Javed Hayat Wednesday.“Thirteen patients have been discharged after recovering from the disease while eight are still under treatment,” Dr Javed Hayat told APP. He said the hospital was fully ready to meet any situation arising due to the outbreak of seasonal disease as all arrngements had been made as per the directives of Punjab government in the wake its outbreak in Sindh. Meanwhile, District Health Officer Dr Javaid Chaudhry informed APP that an anti-measles vaccination campaign had been launched in the district to prevent the epidemic. He said prevention of the ISLAMABAD: Chairman Senate and Acting President Syed Nayyar Hussain Bokhari disease was priority of the govaddressing during National Milad-un-Nabi (PBUH) Conference organized by National ernment and the district health Seerat Council at Jinnah Convention Centre. administration was making allout efforts for the purpose. He claimed that the situation was still under control and hoped that the desease would not become an epidemic in the district. He said arrangements had been made at all all the city hospitals for the treatment of measles patients. “All possible preventive measures are in place Raza Rumi said that, “MeTasneem Ahmar said that ented interaction with their au- to meet any eventuality,” he dia should not glorify negative bringing a gender perspective diences via their media. added.—APP elements; it should focus on and sensitivity to media content Male and female radio positive segments of our soci- is a skill and requires a focused broadcasters from Radio Pakiety. There is strong need of me- commitment: “There is a huge stan and private FM stations dia regulation and their imple- difference between messaging from 26 districts of all federatmentation, while self-regulation that you think will work and ing units of Pakistan, including of media is equally important. It messaging that is effective. Re- Gilgit-Baltistan and FATA, is also responsibility of the gov- member: the buzzword is gen- participated in the training. ISLAMABAD—Islamabad Elecernment to end institutional mo- der sensitivity.” Leading trainers and subject tric Supply (IESCO) has renopoly in media.” The Common Ground Me- specialists provided thematic stored power supply to various Fozia Shahid said, “The per- dia Workshop was held as part training and assisted building areas of its region which was formance of women parliamen- of SFCG|Pakistan’s national the capacity of the presenters affected due to heavy rains. tarians’ has improved as com- “Strengthening Women Parlia- on women and gender issues. According to the IESCO pared to their male counterparts mentarians for Effective GovUks Research Center is a spokesman, power supply to during last five years but there is ernment” project that is work- research, resource and publica- various areas was disrupted on great need to change our ing with the current and poten- tion center dedicated to the various grounds including technibehaviour towards women poli- tial political and social women cause of gender equality and cal faults, trippings of feeders and ticians.” leaders of Pakistan, as well as women’s development, fo- outage of transformers due to Ammara Durrani said, “A providing guidelines to media cuses on the women-media re- heavy rain. He said that electricconscious and responsible use for engaging with audiences on lationship. ity of most effected areas has been of language and appropriate specific issues identified by About Search for Common restored while the rest of areas portrayal of messages on Ra- elected women parliamentar- Ground|Pakistan: Search for will be cleared shortly as maintedio will provide listeners with ians. Common Ground works to nance working is being carried out. greater accuracy about the The training incorporated transform the way the world Federal Secretary of Water and leadership role of women and various techniques to sensitize deals with disagreement – away Power, Nargis Sethi has cancelled their contributions for Paki- and raise awareness amongst from adversarial approaches the leaves of line staff with the instan. We are all partners in the participants on gender and and towards collaborative structions to restore the electricity doing that. engaged them on solutions-ori- problem solving. of the effected areas.—APP

21 measles suspects

Media must create space for women parliamentarians’ better performance and leadership STAFF REPORTER ISLAMABAD—Women parliamentarians’ performance is better than male parliamentarians in terms of business, questioning and legislation, while negative portrayal of women in media is archaic, said prominent journalists and experts during a panel discussion held here today, adding that women’s stereotypes have been hindering the development and empowerment of women in our society. Entitled “Portrayal of Women’s Leadership in Media”, the panel discussion was held on the concluding day of a three-day training workshop conducted on ‘Common Ground Media’ for 30 producers and presenters from 30 radio stations at district and provincial level, by Uks Research Center in collaboration with Search for Common Ground|Pakistan (SFCG).

DG Radio Pakistan, Murtaza Solangi; Director Policy & Programs Jinnah Institute, Raza Rumi; PTV Special Correspondent, Fozia Shahid; SFCG|Pakistan Country Director, Ammara Durrani; and Executive Director Uks, Tasneem Ahmar participated in a lively discussion with participating journalists. During discussion, Murtaza Solangi DG PBC said: “We live in a male dominant society; where women have been deliberately portrayed negatively, from Fatima Jinnah to Benazir Bhutto Shaheed, from Bushra Gohar to Sherry Rehman - this anti women behaviour continues. Instead of questioning women’s quota in National Assembly, we should encourage maximum participation of women in national politics. Women parliamentarians have made enormous contribution in national politics and they should be given due credit for it.”

Power supply restored


Peace building workshop

Zohr

06:20 01:30 04:15

Participants vow to prevent violence peace S TAFF REPORTER

07:30

February 07 FEDERAL Minister for Science & Technology, Mir Changez Khan Jamali will be a chief guest at the ‘Seminar on National Consultation on Breast Cancer’ at Shesh Mahal-II, Serena Hotel at 11:00 am. ***** THE International Islamic University is holding the 4th Annual Seerat Conference at its Auditorium. It will be addressed by prominent intellectuals and scholar.

Police arrest 12 outlaws ISLAMABAD—Capital Territory Police (ICTP) Wednesday apprehended 12 outlaws including two proclaimed offenders involved in heinous crimes including liquor business, recovered 126 bottles and looted booty from their possession. According to spokesman of ICTP separate cases have been registered against the culprits and relevant police officers are probing the registered cases. SSP Islamabad has issued directives to SHOs to enhance vigil at barricades, ensure persistent patrolling across the city, so that the anti-social elements could not have any room of striking anywhere in the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT). On the directions of Inspector General of Police Bani Amin Khan, SSP Islamabad Yasin Farooq had directed police officials to enhance vigilance at exit and entry points of the ICT to avoid any untoward incident. On the directions the police in various actions arrested 12 outlaws. CIA police inspector Muhammad Ashrif along-with team arrested two accused Arshid Mehmood and Muhammad Saleem involved in various theft activities and recovered electronic articles worth Rs. 0.6 million.CIA ASI police Muhammad Altaf Hussain along-with team on tip of arrested Raza Mashi, Sameel Mashi and recovered 118 bottles of wine.Police station of Margalla, sub inspector Abdur Sattar Baig on tip searched a car LHX-8881 Mehran and recovered 8 bottles of wine.Police station of Ramna ASIs Muhammad Iqbal and Noor Elahi arrested five accused Muhammad Arif, Muhammad Usman, Muhammed Zaheer, Ghulam Shabeer, and Naqash Ali involved in various thefts activities.—NNI

Treatment of AIDS patients starts in Adiala Jail RAWALPINDI—The treatment of four inmates diagnosed with AIDS including a foreign woman has started in Adiala Jail. The doctor of central Adiala jail Muhammad Asif told that the AIDS patients were being kept in isolated rooms where the treatment has been started under Punjab Aids control programme. However, three more inmates who have been affected with diabetes and Kidney diseases have also been admitted to District Headquarters and PIMS for treatment.—Online

I SLAMABAD —Local leaders hailing from various districts across Azad Jammu & Kashmir, Khyber Pakhtunkhawa and Punjab vowed to prevent violence and promote peace in their communities through collaborative, solution-oriented approaches during a five-day training workshop on peacebuilding jointly organized by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) and Search for Common Ground|Pakistan (SFCG). Conducted as part of SFCG|Pakistan’s national “Pakistan Peace Initiative”, a project supported by the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA), the training aimed to enhance the capacity of Pakistan’s local leaders to explore issues affecting them through a constructive approach that is

geared towards reconciliation and peacebuilding. Held on February 1-5, the workshop was attended by 16 participants comprising local political leaders, tribal elders, religious scholars, Jirga members, district government officials, representatives from civil society organizations and the private sector. These trained leaders for peace will also participate in forthcoming district-level dialogue forums where they will engage in constructive discussions on peacebuilding and democratization processes. “We are standing at a poin in Pakistan’s history when there is an urgent need to localize the concepts of peace and security,” said SFCG|Pakistan Country Director, Ammara Durrani while addressing the workshop’s concluding session. “Our local communities have indig-

enous solutions and a genuine social will to resolve conflicts through creative collaborations. We need to explore and harness this tremendous social capital.” Executive Director SDPI, Dr. Abid Suleri stated that: “Conflict transformation implies finding a common ground between conflicting parties, which essentially creates a win-win situation for all.” During the workshop, participants learned successful negotiation skills including establishing common goals, focusing on interests not positions, separation of people from the problem, inventing options for mutual gain, and openness to third-party assistance. At its conclusion, Country Director SFCG| Pakistan and RAWALPINDI: A view of models of horse installed at a square for the beautification of the city. Executive Director SDPI distributed certificates amongst the participants.

RAC expresses unity with people of occupied Kashmir ISLAMABAD —In connection with Kashmir Solidarity Day, a tableau and Kashmiri songs competition among school students was held at Rawalpindi Arts Council (RAC) on Wednesday to express unity with the innocent people of occupied Kashmir.

Chairman Green Task Force Dr Jamal Nasir was chief guest, while with Naheed Manzoor and Resident Director RAC Waqar Ahmed also present on the occassion. More than 20 schools from Rawalpindi/Islamabad participated while Iqbal Tabasum,

Salman Tahir and Muhammad Awais adjudged the competition. In the category of group Kashmiri songs, Sringle House School secured first, Woods Montessori got second, FG Girls Secondary School Lalazar achieved third while DPS Girls branch remained fourth.—APP

Seminar on media ethics, court reporting today STAFF REPORTER

ISLAMABAD—The Press Council of Pakistan (PCP) will hold a seminar on media ethics and court reporting on Thursday. The seminar is being organized in collaboration with the Islamabad High Court Bar Association (IHCBA), said a PCP spokesman in a statement on Wednesday. PCP Chairman Raja Shafqat Abbasi will be the chief guest and IHCBA President Syed Nayab Hussain Gardazi will deliver a lecture on court reporting. The function will be addressed by some prominent editors of the twin-cities.

Contaminated water leaves people at risk of diseases RAWALPINDI— Around 80 per-

RAWALPINDI: Ladies handbags are being displayed to attract the customers at a roadside set-up.

Broken water pipeline irks residents RAWALPINDI—The main street of Satellite Town has been submerged after a 16-inch main pipeline broke down, leading to the wastage of drinking water and inconvenience for the residents. Residents told Online that they had filed several complaints with the Water and Sanitary Authority (WASA) office to repair the pipeline but the WASA did not take any action. Worshippers at alFurqan Mosque said that they were facing difficulties during their prayer time due to the accumulation of filthy water. The residents demanded the authorities concerned to repair the pipeline immediately, otherwise they would stage a protest against WASA and a sitin at the authority’s office.— Online

Dual nationality

MPAs to appear before EC I SLAMABAD —The Election Commission (EC) has issued notices to 23 Members of Punjab Assembly and summoned them today (Thursday) for allegedly holding dual nationalities According to Election Commission sources, 21 current and 2 former members of provincial assembly (MPAs) have been summoned on Thursday. Former ambassador Asif Aizdi had sent reference to Election Commission against the MPAs holding dual nationalities in which he has adopted the stance that these MPAs despite submitting an affidavit have not relinquished their dual nationality, 15 of MPAs who have been served notice belong to PML-N, 4 from PPP and 1 from MQM.

The notices have been issued to former MPAs Jameel Ashraf and Tahir Ali Javed and current MPAs Zaeem Qadri, Shaukat Aziz Bhatti, Rana Babar Hussain, Farrukh Javed, Raza Ali Gilani, Pir Kashif Chishti, Imran Shaukat, Muhammad Yar Hiraj, Tahir Khalil Sindhu, Makhdoom Muhammad Irtiqa, Arfa Khalid Pervez, Maira Malik, Ghulam Sarwar, Imran Khalid, Shahjahan Ahmed Wattoo, Ali Haider Noor, Hafiz Mian Noman, Mohsin Lateef, Mian Tariq Mehmood and Shamsheer Haider Wattoo. These members would appear before the EC and would prove that they only have Pakistani nationality otherwise they would have to face disqualification.—Online

Allotment of plots to CDA officers ISLAMABAD—Matter related to allotment of plots to the officers of Capital Development Authority (CDA) still stands shelved. The officers who were allotted plots had approached Islamabad High Court (IHC) and the learned judge had directed CDA to receive bank drafts from these officers in respect of allotted plots while another judge had issued stay order in this matter. Chairman CDA had directed Member Environment Kazim Niaz to hold inquiry into the matter of allotment of these plots but he has not presented his inquiry report so far in this re- ISLAMABAD: Visitors taking keen interest in books displayed during Cultural Week celebraspect.—Online tions in connection with 34th anniversary of Islamic Revolution of Iran at National Art sGallery.

Sherpao asks early election announcement

ISLAMABAD—Former Interior Minister Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao has expressed trust over election commission and called upon the government to announce election schedule soon. “The existing election commission has been constituted in consonance with the constitution. We express full trust on it. Government should announce election schedule soon to remove the ambiguity. Constitution does not allow any extension in the tenure of interim government”, he said this while talking to the media men after dismissal of his bail plea in Supreme Court in Akbar Bugti assassination case Wednesday. “Musharraf is real culprit in this case. Who has to initiate proceedings against him, this is known to the courts and institutions. Convicting Musharraf is job of the court”, he remarked. He went on to say he was having apprehensions that lest trial court should issue orders for his arrest despite the fact he was on the interim bail. Trial court cannot issue his arrest warrants as long as he remains

on bail. Earlier Iftikhar Gilani, counsel of Sherpao told the journalists high court had granted Sherpao interim bail. “Who has filed application in the police station seeking arrest and registration of case against his client says that military conducted operation against Nawab Akbar Bugti and due to this reason the case be tried in anti terrorism court. On the other hand our stance was this the case be not tried in anti terrorism court as operation launched by military was not terrorism. As interior minister, my client was fully unaware of this operation. These were direct matters between the provincial government and the military and the federal government could not interfere in them.”, he held. “We also admit that Nawab Akbar Bugti was killed wrongly. But it will have to be resolved first against whom action has to be taken. We had filed application seeking permanent bail but this plea had been rejected by Supreme Court”, he stated.—Online

Construction of 12-storey complex for RCB offices approved

RAWALPINDI—Director General Military Land and Cantonments (DGMLC) Maj Gen Tahir Masud has accorded formal approval to construction of a 12strorey complex for new offices of Rawalpindi Cantt Board (RCB). Cantt Executive Officer (CEO) Rana Manzoor will give briefing to Corps commander Lt Gen Khalid Nawaz Khan on this project in next week. No Objection Certificate (NOC) will be obtained on this count from 10 Corps after this briefing is declared satisfactory. Work on this project will start after briefing is given to the Chief of Army Staff Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani. RCB sources said Cantt Executive Officer Rana Manzoor briefed Director General MLC Maj Gen Tahir Masood about construction of 12-storey complex in place of Odeon Cinema. DGMCL was told offices, residential flats, community center, marriage hall, car parking and Sunni pack cinema would be built in this complex.—Online

cent water supply schemes in Rawalpindi region are providing contaminated water, thus leaving the people at the risk of serious diseases like hepatitis, jaundice and diarrhoea. The outcome of the Technical Assessment Survey of water supply schemes, conducted in the domains of seven tehsils of Rawalpindi district, has revealed that water supply schemes are supplying piped water for drinking and household needs to a population of 1.496 million. The survey, conducted by Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR), has summed up that the performance of these schemes in terms of providing water in an adequate quantity and of safe quality is extremely poor. Around 38 percent of the schemes are presently not functioning. As a result, nearly 60 percent of the total population remains unserved by the water supply schemes. Talking to APP, official of PCRWR said lack of proper management, operation and RAWALPINDI: ATI activists burn Indian flag during protest demonstration outside Press Club. maintenance of the water systems is one of the critical issues of the water supply schemes in the district. Overall, 68 percent of the total 148 non-functional schemes have been found as temporarily closed, while 32 percent are permanently ISLAMABAD—The Capital Declosed.—APP velopment Authority (CDA), ISLAMABAD—More than 200 National Education Foundation, cancelling earlier permit, has Supervisors of the Basic Educa- Shahab Ullah assured the protest- decided to award the contract of tion community school, who had ing supervisors that their issue shuttle service of the Diplomatic gathered from across the coun- would be solved within a month. Enclave through open auction. try, on Wednesday staged a pro- He said that they have sent a sum- According to CDA officials, the test against their illegal termina- mary of their demands to the civic authority board directed to tion in front of National Educa- Planning Commission and devel- audit the record of the shuttle sertion Foundation, in Islamabad. opment after approval from the vice and submit a report of the inThe union President of the Secreatray Education and train- come of the contractor and the auRAWALPINDI—Punjab Examination Commission (PEC) has terminated teachers, Wahid ing Choudry Qameer Zeman. dit to the board as soon as possible. “There is not a single allegaordered to cancel 16 examina- Gouhar said that it has been eight The decision was taken in a tion centres in Rawalpindi dis- months since they have been fired tion on any of our colleagues. meeting of the CDA board preThis project of basic education is trict formed for annual exami- without a single allegation on any sided over by Chairman Syed incomplete without us (Supervi- Tahir Shahbaz. The board also of the teacher or supervisor. nation of 5th grade. 273 supervisors who were sor). The orders were issued due appointed Director Environment If a monitor and supervisor of Dr Kazim Niaz as inquiry officer to less number of candidates in running the project across the country were terminated on 30 any project is stopped from work- of the investigations into the scanthe centres. An investigation has also June 2012. On 21,12,2012 the ing so how can a project could be dal of alleged corruption in instalbeen started into the matter of court gave decision in the favour run smoothly,” Aneel Javed, a su- lation of water pumps and motors suggestion of the Education of supervisor that they should be pervisor from Naroval explained in tube-wells in the federal capiDepartment Rawalpindi of mak- restored within a month but it has while talking to this news tal provided by USAID. Three agencyMuhammad Jaffer khan, a vendors installed the pumps and not been implemented. ing the examination centre. The basic education commu- supervisor from Loralai, motors and embezzled millions of It is pertinent to mention here that Education Department nity school teachers were termi- Balochistan said that it has been rupees in connivance with some Rawalpindi sent a list of pro- nated on 30 Jun, 2012 without eight months that we visiting the CDA officials. posed schools for the formation being given any prior notice. The provincial offices for our demands The meeting also directed to of examination centres to the court had also said in its decision but no one is moved to hear our complete computerization of law PEC prior to the 5th grade an- that the teachers should be re- grievances. “After the termination wing and estate management wing nual examination and the exami- stored within a month but so far I am unable to fulfill the basic of the civic body, and prepare a needs of my families so I am re- PC-I of the project of saving nation commission made 273 it has not been implemented. Later the Director Admin of ally in bad situation.—Online centres in the district.—INP Rawal Dam from pollution.—INP

Protest against illegal terminations

PEC cancels 16 centres for 5th grade exams

Contract of Diplomatic Enclave shuttle service


Indian authorities refuse travel documents to Mirwaiz KASHMIR —Indian authorities have refused travel documents to the All Parties Hurriyet Conference Chairman, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq preventing him from attending the 12th OIC summit that started, on Wendnesday in the Egyptian capital, Cairo. The Government of Egypt and the Secretary General of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, Ekmeleddin Ýhsanoðlu, jointly invited the APHC Chairman to the conference. He was scheduled to meet heads of Islamic states and apprise the Muslim world about the latest situation of occupied Kashmir. ISLAMABAD: AJK Prime Minister Ch Abdul Majeed briefing the president of Old Mangla effectees Haji Zulfiqar about AJK Govt’s steps for rehabilitation.

Hurriyat (M) condemns prosecution of leaders

‘UN must fulfil it’s obligation by keeping UNMOGIP on LoC’

SRINAGAR—Condemning the

OBSERVER REPORT

steps of the government to reopen past cases for prosecution of Hurriyat leaders Nayeem Ahmad Khan, Moulana Tari and others, Hurriyat (M) has termed the decision of authorities as “dictatorial” and “an act of political retribution”. The Hurriyat (M) spokesman in a statement issued here said the government was scared of the popular appeal of profreedom leaders. “Hence it’s using every repressive measure to prevent them from performing their activities,” the spokesman said. He said house arrests, preventing leaders from performing religious duties, and arbitrary detentions were some of the undemocratic measures taken by the government against the leaders of separatist camp. Asserting that Kashmiri people and Hurriyat leadership would continue to fight for freedom, the spokesman said Hurriyat (M) had been entrusted with the responsibility by the people to fight on their behalf. The spokesman said: “Hurriyat (M) is resisting internal and external pressures, and other hurdles while fighting for the birth right of Kashmiris right to self-determination- on local and international level.” He said the Hurriyat (M) would continue do so in future as well.—NNI

OSLO—Reacting to the recent statement by Government of India (GOI) about removal of UN Military Observers from Kashmir, President, Kashmir European Alliance, Sardar Perver Mehmood staited that presence of UNMOGIP on LoC in Kashmir is a must. “Kashmir is an internationally-acknowledged political issue over which the UN has passed several resolutions, and role of UN only ends when Kashmir issue will be resolved according to the wishes of Kashmiri people as per UN resolution” Sardar said from Oslo. Stating that presence of UN Observers on LoC of Kashmir has a symbolic importance, as it’s represent that Kashmir is a disputed territory. “I believe that UN Observers have done everything in their capacity as monitors to keep UN and it’s con-

cerned wings aware about the volatile situation in Kashmir since it’s inception” He added. ‘Ridiculing’ India’s stance on removal of UN Observers he said “Kashmir conflict is a boiling point between two nuclear rivals, and woes of such war loom large on both countries”. “The nuclear conflict may not just stop here, it’s quite possible for it to escalate and turn in to a full fledged nuclear world war, which can bring catastrophic consequences for the whole world” he added concerned. Sardar in a furious attack on the Indian demand of bilateral talks on Kashmir issue said, “Kashmir is a nation of 12 million people with a right to decide their own future, Kashmir is not a border dispute between India and Pakistan. The only acceptable solution to Kashmir is tri-patriate talks which should include Kashmiris. It’s time that UN reso-

lutions should be implemented in Kashmir” He suggested that UN should send more observers to Kashmir, as India is and has been blocking International Media and human rights agencies’ access to Kashmir. “Human right violations done in the form of forced disappearances, custodial killings, rape and torture by Indian security forces go unaccounted for as India has influenced world powers with business interests interests and cheap labour market” he said. Stressing on the role of United Nation, he said UN or World Powers should not be influenced on the cost of peace and harmony, as United Nations was incepted to create peace and harmony in world and if UN Observers leaves LoC unattended, world could see a large scale armed conflict, in the region. It’s important for UN to fulfil it’s obligations towards the region as per it’s own resolutions.

Mehbooba demands security for Pragaash girls

ANANTNAG—The opposition convention in Achabal area, here. ud-din Ahmad. “These are reliTerming Kashmir society as gious matters and I don’t know People’s Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti has a very tolerant, she said Kashmir the context in which the fatwa has asked government to provide se- has a history of producing won- been issued. So I will better not curity to Kashmir’s first all-girls derful female Sufi singers, which comment on that,” said in itself is proof enough of “our Mehbooba. rock band. The Grand Mufti had issued “The immense talent of these tolerance and progressive young girls should not go waste. mindset”. “A handful of regres- a fatwa against the girls. “Girls The onus lies on Chief Minister sive elements in the society and womenfolk can change the Omar Abdullah. He should take should not be allowed to hijack outlook of the society. But when the responsibility and make sure the show. Let us not forget that girls indulge in indecency, immothat the fringe elements respon- we have produced Padma Shree rality and are chained in the sible for creating problems for Awardee Shameema Azad and clutches of music and singing, it these young girls are dealt with the likes of Raj Begum,” PDP is unfortunate for the society,” he had said.He had said music is not strictly. The government should president said. She, however, refused to good for society and they (the provide security to the all girls band,” Mehbooba told reporters comment on the fatwa issued by girls) should inculcate “better valSRINAGAR—The representa- on sidelines of a party workers Kashmir’s Grand Mufti Basheer- ues” in themselves.—NNI tives of trade and industry has sought VAT exemption on handicrafts, handmade walnut wood carved furniture, madeups of chain stitch and raw pashmina wool. Speaking at a pre-budget meeting with Finance Minister, Abdul Rahim Rather, the traders said Kashmir should be declared “a free economic zone.” They demanded budgetary intervention for promotion of MSME sector, handlooms, food processing, tourism and horticulture sectors on modern lines, establishment of marketing HAATS under SGSY and food streets, creating lank bank for development of Industrial Estates at District levels, solid waste management, construction of mini power projects under PPP mode and setting up of a single Toll plaza at Lower Munda for MUZAFFARABAD: Group photo of women who participated in workshop to tackle energy crises under USAID. general trade.—NNI

Declare Kashmir a free economic zone: Traders

I

N the modern era, various forms of state terrorism continue by the Israeli armed forces on the Palestinians. While with the backing of Burmese military regime and the covert assistance of Hindus, recent bloodshed of the minority Rohingya Muslim community at the hands of the Rakhine extremist Buddhists in Burma (Myanmar) presents another such example. Similarly, during the Bosnian War (1992-1995), Serb forces slaughtered more than 10,000 Muslims in Bosnia and Herzegovina and buried them in the unnamed mass graves. That genocide was repeated in Kosovo where several men and women were murdered. While these atrocities are still fresh in the minds of every Muslim, with the official backing of the government, massacre and harassment of Muslims by the Indian military including paramilitary troops in the Indian-held Kashmir has become a permanent feature. In this regard, instead of granting the people their genuine right of self-determination and holding plebiscite in the con-

Army plotting to split AJK on Bangladesh pattern: Dr Kamal

An APHC spokesman in a statement in Srinagar said that the APHC leaders were continuously being denied their basic human rights of travel, free movement and freedom of expression. On the other hand, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq in a media interview urged India to give up its intransigence and reciprocate Pakistan’s efforts to resolve the Kashmir dispute amicably. Senior APHC leader, Shabbir Ahmad Shah in a statement hailed the leadership and the people of Pakistan for showing their solidarity with the suppressed people of Jammu and Kashmir.

Hurriyet leaders Nayeem Ahmad Khan, Yasmeen Raja, Zafar Akbar Butt, Javed Ahmad Mir and Muhammad Farooq Rehmani paying rich tributes to the Kashmiri martyrs said that the sacrifices of the Kashmiri people would not go waste and the day was not far off when they would achieve their objective. Dr Mustafa Kamal, the National Conference leader and the brother of party’s patron, Dr Farooq Abdullah, in a media interview in Srinagar said that the Indian Army and Intelligence Bureau were conspiring to disintegrate Azad Kashmir on the pattern of

Fazl: India must stop atrocities, give right to self-determination to Kashmiris ISLAMABAD—Briefing the for- tury, the Kashmiri took up arms. rights violations perpetrated by

media in connection with Now they are waging a peace- the Indian security forces. SRINAGAR—The National Con- eign Fazlur Rahman said, Kashthe Solidarity Day, Chairman ful struggle in which mass ference leader and uncle of puppet Chief Minister of occupied Kashmir, Dr Mustafa Kamal has said that the Indian Army and Intelligence Bureau (IB) are conspiring to disintegrate Azad Kashmir on the pattern of Bangladesh for a complete merger of Jammu and Kashmir with India. Dr Shiekh Mustafa Kamal in a media interview in Srinagar said that “Army and IB are repressing the people of Kashmir and they want to enslave people of Kashmir completely.” “Let me tell you that IB and Army are not sincere. They have wicked designs and want to wage a war to secede Azad Kashmir from Pakistan on the pattern of Bangladesh. They want to have complete control over Kashmir and want to enslave the Kashmiris by hook or crook,” he said. “Both Indian Army and IB are meddling in politics of the territory and …they want to see merger of Kashmir with India. They are igniting atmosphere here and want to disintegrate Azad Kashmir on the pattern of Bangladesh,” he added. He said, Kashmir is today a headache and a drain on New Delhi’s resources only because it was not given a fair deal and the constitutional arrangement between New Delhi and Srinagar was tampered with. Hitting out at Congress high Command, Dr Kamal said that from last 60 years, the Congress party in the territory was exploiting people of Kashmir.—KMS

Special Committee of the Parliament on Kashmir Maulana Fazlur Rahman has said that the struggle of Kashmiris was genuine. They are struggling for their right to self-determination. Therefore, India should stop inflicting atrocities on them and give them their right to self-determination. He said that the Kashmir issue was not a territorial dispute. It is a human problem, relating to the right of self-determination of 16 million Kashmiris, enshrined in the U.N. resolution on Kashmir. He said, the struggle in the Occupied Kashmir is indigenous, which changes its shape and form according to the circumstances. At the end of the last cen-

movement, involving hundreds of thousands of people, was staged. The Chairman Kashmir Committee observed that India was using all possible means to crush the struggle of Kashmiris. Over 700,000 Indian security forces have been deployed in the occupied territory, where draconian laws have also been enforced, because of which the Indian troops are free to do anything. They have made the life of Kashmiris miserable. Neither their life nor honour, nor property is secure. Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and other international human rights organisations as well as Indian organizations and activists have confirmed the human

Indian occupied Kashmir. In its previous report, Amnesty International has pointed out: “The Indian government’s disregard for human rights in Jammu and Kashmir means that in practice, people reportedly died in custody and that the whereabouts of the disappeared persons continue to be unknown, the government forces continue to commit serious violations of human rights. The Muslim majority population in the Kashmir Valley suffers from the repressive tactics of the security forces. Under the Jammu and Kashmir Disturbed Areas Act, the Armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special Powers Act and Public Safety Act, security forces personnel have extraordinary powers to shoot suspected lawbreakers, and to destroy structures suspected of harboring militants or arms.” Notably, after visiting more than

mir is a serious issue, which needs to resolve urgently. Its gravity has been acknowledged by Former US President Bill Clinton, President Obama and other world leaders. He said that the United Nations had accepted Pakistan a party to the dispute. We therefore, cannot be silent on the state terrorism unleashed against the Kashmiris and will continue to extend moral, political and diplomatic support to the Kashmiris until the issue is resolved. Syed Sumsam Ali S. Bukhari, Minister of State for Information, Dr. Attiya Inayatullah and Munir Khan Orakzai Members Kashmir Committee were also present at the briefing.—NNI

Bhat symbol of resistance: JKLF MUZAFFARABAD: PP AJK media advisor Shoukat Javed listening to public complaints in

S RINAGAR — Jammu and his office. Kashmir Liberation Front acting Chairman Bashir Ahmad Bhat has described late Maqbool Bhat as a symbol of resistance movement. “He (Bhat) had enlightened the candle of freedom when Kashmiri nation was in deep slumber of Slavery,” Bhat said while addressing separate meetings of the front workers and leaders at Pulwama and Shopian. “On February 11 1984 our beloved and sincere leader was hanged and was buried within the premises of Dehli’s Tihar jail,” he added. A JKLF spokesman said that a meeting of JKLF leaders in connection with the Maqbool Day was held at party headquarters at Maisuma here. The meeting was presided over by the acting JKLF chairman Bashir Ahmed Bhat it was attended by senior leaders Javaid Ahmed Zargar, Noor Muhammad Kalwal, Showkat Ahmed Bakhshi, Muhammad Sidiq, Bashir Kashmiri, Javid Ahmad Bhat and Showkat Dar.—NNI

We don’t recognize so-called Amarnath Shrine Board: Inqilabi S RINAGAR — Chief Patron Jammu Kashmir Mahaz-eAzadi (MeA) Muhammad Azam Inqilabi has said India’s Kashmir policy is based on “hypocrisy and political deceit”. In a statement here, Inqilabi said India talks of peace with Pakistan and solving Kashmir issue peacefully, “but on other Indian leaders with imperialist mindset want to further their military occupation using cultural and religious aggression.” “We don’t recognize so called Amarnath Shrine Board. The recent statement of board shows India treats Kashmir as it’s is colony,” he said. MeA patron said “Indian leaders don’t understand that due to lingering Kashmir dispute entire South Asia is sitting on a powder keg.” “We are not against

Amarnath pilgrimage. It was a simple religious activity. But Delhi darbar politicized the pilgrimage so as to browbeat Kashmiris,” he added. “Indian leaders don’t understand the sensitive Kashmir situation,” said Inqilabi adding neither they take the fragile environment here into consideration.” He said extending Amarnath cave yatra duration will badly Kashmir environment, ecology and bio-diversity. “Pahalgam glaciers provide drinking water to entire valley. Ecological imbalance in the area will severely affect its glaciers and deprive people of drinking water,” he said. MeA patron said environmental experts should take “serious note of it and aware people of its fallout.”—NNI

Massacre and harassment in Kashmir trolled territories of Kashmir in accordance with the UN resolutions, various sorts of state terrorism have become part of a deliberate campaign by the Indian Army against Muslim Kashmiris, especially since 1989. It has manifested in brutal tactics such as crackdowns, curfews, illegal detentions, massacre, targeted killings, sieges, burning the houses, torture, disappearances, rape, breaking the legs, molestation of women and killing of persons through fake encounter. In this respect, in its report released on October 13, 2012, about detentions under the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act (PSA) 1978, Amnesty International disclosed under the title, PSA ‘Still a Lawless Law’, that despite pressure on Indian government, the PSA has not been reviewed and amended. Therefore, new records are being made by Indian law-enforcing agencies and security forces in human rights violations in the

Bangladesh for a complete merger of Jammu and Kashmir with India. In Brussels, the European Kashmiris with their supporters held a candlelight vigil outside the residence of the Prime Minister of Belgium that was led by Ms Shameem Shawl. In a written statement on the occasion, the Chairman of Kashmir Centre Brussels, Barrister Abdul Majeed Tramboo stressed the countries, people and governments of the European Union and the Kingdom of Belgium to stand in solidarity with the people of Jammu & Kashmir in realising their right to self-determination.—KMS

50 villages, Citizens Council of Justice (CCJ) published a report in Srinagar in September 2012, on human rights violations in the Indian controlled Kashmir. On the basis of its survey, research and analysis, the CCJ report under the caption ‘Atrocity and Suffering’ revealed that a total of 502 people were either murdered or enforcedly disappeared, 2,048 individuals were physically tortured, 6,888 were subjected to forced labour and 40 people were killed in custody by Indian security forces. 234 Mosques and 700 civilian properties worth 103.8 crores were destroyed in the garb of anti-Mujahideen operations, while after being released from jails freedom fighters, faced different detention periods. But it was a limited survey, as All Parties Hurriyet Conference Azad Jammu and Kashmir disclosed that from 1989 to 15 October 2012, there have been deaths of 93,274 innocent Kashmiris, 6,969 custo-

dial killings, 117,345 arrests and destruction of 105,861 houses. Indian brutal security forces have orphaned over 107, 351 children, widowed 22,728 women and gang raped 9,920 women in the Indian held Kashmir. Over two decades of violence in Jammu and Kashmir, Human Rights Watch has documented several failures to ensure protection of human rights. It has called for the repeal of those laws, which provide the armed forces with extraordinary powers to search, detain, and use lethal force, leading to numerous human rights violations. They also provide immunity for security forces. Their prosecutions, even where the facts are well established, are rare. In the recent past, Kashmir Quarterly also reported, Indian forces killed a number of citizens, torched mosques, shops and houses in various parts of the Valley. As a result, there were protest demon-

Tributes paid to martyred Muhammad Hussain SRINAGAR—The Jammu and Kashmir People’s Freedom League has paid rich tributes to martyr liberation activist, Sheikh Muhammad Hussain of Manchowa Budgam on his 17th martyrdom anniversary. he Jammu and Kashmir People’s Freedom League at a meeting in Srinagar presided over by its Secretary General Ghulam Ahmed Paray, described Sheikh Muhammad Hussain a great son of soil. The meeting offered special prayers for Muhammad Hussain and other Kashmiri martyrs. Speakers highlighted the work of martyr Muhammad Hussain in People’s League history and Kashmir struggle. The speakers vowed to continue the struggle against occupation of Kashmir by India.—KMS

strations in many cities. Troops desecrated the central Srinagar mosque and tortured worshippers whom they found inside.It is of particular attention that in 2008, a rights group reported unmarked graves in 55 villages across the northern regions of Baramulla, Bandipore and Handwara. Then researchers and other groups reported finding thousands of single and mass graves without markers. In this context, in the last few years, rights groups discovered nearly 3,000 unnamed graves in various districts of Kashmir. It is mentionable that in August 2011, Indian Jammu and Kashmir State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) officially acknowledged in its report that innocent civilians killed in the twodecade conflict have been buried in unmarked graves. The report indicated 2,156 unidentified bodies, which were found in mass graves in various regions of the Indian held Kashmir..—KMS


SBP accepts bids for T-Bills KARACHI—The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has accepted bids with a face value of Rs 223.162 billion from primary dealers against the tender for sale of Market Treasury Bills (MTBs) for three, six and 12 months from Feb 4 to 6. According to SBP here Wednesday, the cut-off yield for three months stood to 9.0942 %, 6-month 9.1645% and 12-month 9.2553%. SBP obtained Rs 69.198 billion for 3-month TBills, Rs 141.863 billion for 6-month T-Bills and Rs 12.100 billion for 12-months. The offered amount was Rs 315.162 billion.—APP

PM for simplification of procedures Foreign buying up by $3.92m in local bourse to attract foreign investment STAFF REPORTER ISLAMABAD—Prime Minister

The Prime Minister said that the present process of approval of projects was cumbersome and involved a large number of departments before a project could see the light of the day. This, he said, was discouraging investors and needed to be simplified. “We need to work on a one window system where the investor can be provided all necessary information and facilities”, remarked the Prime Minister. He directed the bureaucracy to work on simplification of procedures by revisiting the existing processes without compromising on transparency so that the investors were comforted. Representatives of the private sector assured the Prime Minister that they were prepared to share their experi-

ence and expertise to ensure implementation of government’s investmentfriendly policies. The minutes of the 5th BOI Board meeting, appointment of professionals and details of expenditures incurred from Board of Investment fund so far were confirmed during the Board meeting. The new members from the private sector, who participated in the Board meeting, included Haroon Rasheed Shaikh, Vice President FPCCI, Atif Bajwa, CEO Bank Alfalah, Syed Faisal Hussain Naqvi, Advocate Supreme Court of Pakistan, Capt. Ijaz Ali Faizi, CEO Vision Air, Muhammad Abdullah, Chairman Sapphire Group, Javed Saifullah Khan, Chairman Saif Group of Companies, Agha Shahid, Chairman Pakistan Mining Explo-

Raja Pervez Ashraf on Wednesday directed the Board of Investment (BOI) to evolve a mechanism to become more effective in facilitating investments in the country. Presiding over the 6th BOI Board meeting here at the PM Secretariat, the Prime Minister said the BOI should be further strengthened. He said that it was ironic that Pakistan, which had one of the best investment policies on paper, failed to attract Rain to benefit crops foreign investment. The BOI Board in its M ULTAN —Widespread meeting held an in-depth disrains would benefit wheat cussion on ways and means crop, orchards,vegetables and other cultivation in the to attract investment in the district, observed Executive country which is critical to the growth of economy. District Officer, Agriculture,Sardar Akbar Khan. While talking to APP,he stated that 11 mm rain in the region would serve all the crops very well. He added that the crops were facing shortage of water due to closure of canals in the region. It may be noted that wheat has been cultivated on 4,33,000 acres in the district. Rains washed the crops and these would absorb more heat of the Sun.”Impact of rain on per acre yield was equal to two bags of urea fertilizers”, stated the official. EDO agriculture also observed that the rain offered relief to livestock animals suffering cold and flu due to dry winter. Progressive farmer Iftikharul Hassan informed that the rain saved precious KARACHI: Consul General of Germany Tilo Klinner posing for a group photo with MD Karachi Stock Exchange Nadeem Naqvi and others during his visit at KSE. money of farmers which they would have otherwise spent on securing water for crops.—APP

Monetary policy on Friday

Return of Ufone Offer STAFF REPORTER

KARACHI—Governor, State ISLAMABAD—Ufone has once Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Yaseen Anwar will announce Monetary Policy Statement on Feb 8, said SBP spokesman here Wednesday. The monetary policy will be for two months.—APP

Conversion rates KARACHI—The following rates will be applicable for conversion into rupees of Foreign Currency Deposits, Dollar Bearer Certificates, Foreign Currency Bearer Certificates, Special U.S. Dollar Bonds and profits thereon by all banks and for providing Forward Cover on Foreign Currency Deposits (excluding F.E.25 deposits) by the State Bank on February 7, 2013. The rates are U.S. Dollar Rs 97.0551, Japanese Yen Rs 1.0430, Pound Sterling Rs 153.2705 and Euro Rs 132.3882.—APP

Shipping activity KARACHI—4 ships carrying containers and chemicals were allotted berth at Qasim International Containers Terminal and Engro Vopak Terminal during the last 24 hours, port sources said Wednesday. Meanwhile three more ships scheduled to load/ offload containers, cement and iron ore also arrived at the outer anchorage of Port Qasim during the last 24 hours. Berth occupancy was 75% at the Port on Wednesday where total number of eight ships namely Hanjin Losangeles, CGM Debussy, Nedlloyed Drake, Dynamic Ocean, HR Margarita, Thelisis, Harsanadi and Chem Road Journey are currently occupying berths to load/ offload containers.—APP

Above all things, we wish to avoid having a dissatisfied customer.

again launched its renowned ShahCar Offer for its valued customers. Ufone customers, this time, have a chance to win one of twenty brand new Toyota Corolla cars via a lucky draw. Ufone customers can take part in the lucky draw by consuming a minimum balance of Rs.300. The more a customer consumes a balance Rs.300 he/ she will multiply their entries for the lucky draw, hence increasing the probability to win. The offer is valid from 7th Feb till 31st March. Both existing and new prepaid and postpaid Ufone customers can participate in the offer and try their luck. In the past, a total of 30 customers benefitted from the two previous Shar Car Offers. ShahCar Offer 2013 is being introduced after the remarkable success of the same offer. Ufone has been in the lead to offer such deals to their customers. Akbar Khan, Chief Marketing Officer at Ufone said that, “the success of the ShahCar offer has actually fulfilled dreams of so many of our customers that we are encouraged to launch it again.” Like last year this offer is a ray of hope for our customers to win brand new Toyota Corolla cars and we look forward to share many more exciting offers with our valued customers”.

Burj Bank Islamic banking solution

STAFF REPORTER KARACHI—Burj Bank Limited successfully went live with the iMAL Islamic Core Banking Solution, one of the most advanced Shari’ah compliant IT systems. iMAL is a new generation of comprehensive enterprise Islamic Banking and Investment System addressing the indepth business functionality, and the state-of-the-art technology in a single highly integrated front. It provides an effective Straight Through Processing (STP) functionality while meeting the Shari’ah rules and regulations. On the successful launch of the new system, Mr. Ahmed Khizer Khan – P&CEO Burj Bank

said, that “We are making our IT system fit for the future by introducing iMAL. Enhancing security and expanding customer benefits are key criteria for the introduction of the new IT platform. Our vision is to become the Islamic Bank of Choice, and this transformation has bought us another step closer to achieving this customer centric vision.” Along with the new solution, Burj Bank limited also launched its internet banking. The new internet banking allows customers to enjoy an array of new services including: Interbank funds transfer, utility bill payments, Email alerts, online statements, secure registration and much more.

ration Corporation and Munir Kamal, Chairman Karachi Stock Exchange Board. The Board also discussed Investment Policy 2013 which was drafted by the Board of Investment in consultation with all stakeholders. Similarly, the Board also discussed a draft Strategic Policy 2013-2017. It was also resolved during the Board meeting after detailed discussion that the draft Investment Policy 2013 and Investment Strategy 2013-2017 would be sent to the Cabinet. The meeting was also attended by Minister for Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Dr Nadeem ul Haq, BOI Chairman Saleem H Mandviwala and other senior officials.

Cheema chairs 98th board meeting STAFF REPORTER ISLAMABAD—Federal Minister for Production Ch. Anwar Ali Cheema, chaired 98th Board meeting. In the meeting, the performance of all the subsidiary companies has been reviewed. Recently approved projects by the Board of Aik Hunar Aik Nagar (AHAN) including Central Punjab Craft Development and Northern Punjab Craft Development were appreciated by the Board. Secretary Gul Muhammad Rind, emphasized the potential in the emerging sector and appreciated the efforts of Pakistan Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC) to its subsidiary companies in promoting production sector in Pakistan. Moreover, CEO, PIDC, Khalid Mehmood Chadda explained in detail the future projects of the corporation and pledged the continuous support to upcoming projects of the subsidiary companies. The Minister appreciated the consistent efforts of PIDC in facilitating the production sector in Pakistan. It is need of the hour to strengthen the Industrial sector as it would contribute towards not only the employment generation, but towards the national development in the times to come.

I SLAMABAD —The foreign buying has witnessed an increase of US$3.92 million as compared to previous day’s trading during the session of local market held on Wednesday. Of total buying by Foreign Investors Portfolio Investments (FIPI), the foreign corporate sector has taken positions worth US$3.74 million in the market. In the same way, the positions taken by Overseas Pakistani stood at US$0.12

ISLAMABAD—Misters of the 10 Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Programme nations have agreed on a plan to implement more than $23 billion in new regional transport infrastructure projects, together with energy and trade initiatives, aimed at creating seamless connectivity and greater prosperity in the region. “Regional cooperation is essential to promote inclusive and environmentally sustainable growth,” Asian Development Bank (ADB) President

especially banking and oil had attracted the foreign buying in the local stock market. “The investment is being done in the capital market because the investors are getting more returns than in other sector of investment”, he added. Besides, the Pakistani stock market is performing better than other region stock markets due to improving the positions of economic activities in the country, he added.—APP

Largest crude oil consignment discharged at Byco’s facility STAFF REPORTER K ARACHI —The

largest consignment of crude oil ever to be brought into Pakistan through a single oil tanker, was discharged through the Byco’s deep sea Single Point Mooring (SPM) facility and into the Byco Oil Refining Complex. The crude oil parcel was brought by the M.T. Quetta which moored at the Floating terminal with a cargo of around 79,000 metric tons of Crude Oil from the UAE. It also marked the 2nd ship to off-load its cargo through the SPM, set up on the coast of Arabian Sea at a distance of approximately 14km from the Byco’s Mouza

Kund Site. The SPM was tested on December 26, 2012 when the first crude oil tanker, M.T. Arietis, successfully completed the discharge of around 70,000 tons of crude oil. With a draft of 25 meters, the Byco Single Point Mooring can accommodate vessels carrying Crude/ Petroleum products of over 100,000 metric tons. Presently smaller parcel sixes of petroleum products are being imported through Karachi Port and Port Qasim due to the draft limitations of both these ports. M.T. Quetta will discharge this crude oil parcel to the Byco Oil Refining Complex Storage Tanks, which are also the single largest capacity storage tanks for Crude

Oil in the Country and will feed the 35,000 bpsd Refinery as well as the currently undergoing pre-commissioning of Pakistan’s largest oil Refinery rated at 120,000 bpsd. Speaking on the occasion, Imran Farookhi, CEO Byco Terminals Pakistan Ltd, the company that owns and operates the Single Point Mooring, said, “With the blessings of the Almighty Allah, this is yet another milestone that we’ve achieved. As per our business plan, we are gradually increasing the cargo size of each incoming ship and soon the SPM will be catering to vessels carrying more than 100,000 tons of crude oil.”

USC hikes cooking oil price STAFF REPORTER K A R A C H I —In pursuance of its policy to make frequent upward revision in prices of almost essential commodities, Utility Stores Corporation (USC) of Pakistan once again made upward revision in price of Utility brand cooking oil at more than its 150 outlets operating in Karachi. The decision to enhance price of one of the most essential kitchen item at a ratio of Rs 9 per kilogramme (kg) thus pushing its rate at Rs 164 per kg compared to previous rate of Rs 155 of the same weight. In January USC had made upward revision in prices of

flour and sugar, which spelled financial hardship for majority of consumers hailing from lower segment of the population. USC has been making upward revision in prices of essential commodities without taking pros and cons of the decision on the meager financial resources of its regular general buyers, complained a buyer at a USC outlet in Gulshan-e-Iqbal. He blamed the Corporation for making whooping increase in rates of all essential commodities with the sole objective to make overnight financial gains. In view of money minting design of the Corporation, now hardly any difference

can be pointed out between retailers and USC outlets as the rates of essential commodities at both outlets have become at par with each other. Another buyer at the same USC outlet said the USC was established with the sole objective to provide subsidised items to general consumers belonging to lower segment of the population but it has fast turned into a money minting organisation. It’s sole objective now appears to be earning whooping financial gains at the cost of interest of poor and helpless buyers majority of which have stopped visiting USC outlets in search of subsidised items, he added.

LSE up by 48.08 points LAHORE—Lahore Stock Ex- moved up, 52 remained equal change on Wednesday witnessed bullish trend by gaining 48.08 points as the LSE25 Index opened with 4222.20 and closed at 4270.28 points. The market’s overall situation also corresponded to an upward trend as it remained at 6.643 million shares to close against previous turnover of 5.666 million shares, showing an upward move of 976,700 shares. While, out of the total 100 active scrips, 28

with 20 down values. Millat Tractors Limited, Attock Refinery Limited and Engro Foods Limited were Major Gainers of the day by recording increase in their per share value by Rs 7.01, Rs 6.79 and Rs 3.26 respectively. EFU General Insurance Limited, Netsol Technologies Limited and Maple Leaf Cement Factory lost their per share value by Rs 1.57, Federal Minister for Production Chaudhry Anwar Ali Cheema chairing 98th BoD’s meeting of Pakistan Industrial Re 0.43 and Re 0.22.—APP Development Corporation.

CAREC to implement $23b projects STAFF REPORTER

million while the buying by foreign individuals recorded at US$0.04 million. Meanwhile, the buying by Local Investors Portfolio Investments (LIPI) has registered a decline during the session of market. However, of total LIPI, the buying by local companies was up by US$1.77 million. Stock Analyst, Ibrahim told APP that the expectation of positive results to be announced by corporate sector

Haruhiko Kuroda said in a keynote address to the 11th CAREC Ministerial Conference in Wuhan, People’s Republic of China on “Poor connectivity arising from inadequate transport and communications infrastructure can impede trade expansion and investment attraction.”, says a statement of the ADB issued here today. The Wuhan Action Plan, unveiled at the ministers’ meeting, prioritized 68 transport projects that will contribute to six major corridors linking the ports in eastern People’s Republic of China (PRC) with the Caucasus and

beyond, and connecting northern Kazakhstan to the trading hubs in Karachi and Gwadar in Pakistan. This will be complemented by efforts to improve border and customs services to allow people and goods to move easily between nations. In addition, CAREC nations aim to raise funds to build and improve energy assets. Representatives from CAREC multilateral institution partners - ADB, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the International Monetary Fund, the Islamic Development Bank, the United Na-

tions Development Programme, and the World Bank - and bilateral donor agencies from France, Japan, United Kingdom, and the United States - pledged support for the Wuhan Action Plan. The Ministers, representing Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, the PRC, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, also agreed to establish a base for the CAREC Institute in the region by 2014 to support strategic projects through analytical work, training, and knowledge

management. Since 2001, the CAREC region has seen over $ 19 billion in investments in just over 120 projects, including almost 4,000 kilometers of roads, 3,200 kilometers of railways, and more than 2,300 kilometers of power transmission lines. The CAREC ministers met in Baku, Azerbaijan in November 2011 where they endorsed the CAREC 2020 framework for the region for the subsequent decade. They will next meet in late 2013 in Kazakhstan. ADB has acted as the CAREC Secretariat since the grouping was formed in 2001.

Auto parts: SMEs have no access to bank credit STAFF CORRESPONDENT L AHORE —Pakistan Association of Automotive Parts and Accessories Manufacturers (PAAPAM) has appealed the government to declare auto industry as a ‘Key Industry’. This industry provides livelihood to over 5 percent of the country’s population and contributes 3 percent of GDP. PAAPAM Chairman Munir Bana said the auto industry was comprised of assemblers of various vehicles (i.e cars, motorcycles, tractors, buses and trucks) as

well as the Auto Parts Manufacturers (APMs), who produce the entire spectrum of engineering technologies necessary for assembling an automobile. He said a majority of the APM are small and medium Enterprises (SMEs) and this category unfortunately has no access to traditional bank credit. “Governments in the west offer bailout packages for the auto industry in times of crisis, but unfortunately our government does not have the resources to support auto industries in Pakistan.


USA

97.60

97.40

UK

153.20

152.88

EURO

133.02

132.75

Canada

97.82

97.62

Switzerland

107.41

107.19

Australia

101.74

101.53

Sweden

15.44

15.41

Japan

1.0524

1.0502

Norway

17.88

17.84

Singapore

78.78

78.62

Denmark

17.83

17.79

Omani Riyal

255.00

245.55

Saudi Arabia

26.03

25.97

Hong Kong

12.58

12.56

Kuwait

347.39

346.68

Malaysia

31.47

31.41

Newzeland

82.54

82.37

Qatar

26.81

26.76

UAE

26.57

26.52

KR WON

0.0897

0.0895

Thailand

3.281

3.274

Gold Tezab Silver Tezabi

48,642.00 810.00

Gold Tezabi (24-Ct) 48000.00 Gold 22 Ct 43890.00 SilverTezabi 830.00 Silver Thobi 800.00

China Dec industrial profits up 17.3 pc B EIJING —Profits earned by China’s industrial companies rose 17.3 percent in December from a year earlier to 895.2 billion yuan ($143.91 billion), official data showed, as a fourthquarter recovery helped offset poorer corporate results in the third. The data from the National Bureau of Statistics is the latest sign of a gathering rebound in activity in the world’s second-largest economy. The December rise moderated from November’s 22.8 percent increase but still marked the third-fastest growth last year. Industrial profits totaled 5.56 trillion yuan in 2012, up 5.3 percent from a year earlier, China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on its website, strengthening from a 3.0 percent increase in profits in the first 11 months of 2012 versus 2011. China’s economy grew at 7.9 percent in the fourth quarter, snapping a streak of seven consecutive quarters of slowdown.—Newswire

Major European stock markets fall LONDON—European stock markets mostly fell on Wednesday but London’s FTSE gained as Royal Bank of Scotland shares rose even though the bank said that it faced big fines over the Libor rate-rigging crisis. In foreign exchange deals, the European single currency slid to $1.3535 from $1.3582 late in New York on Tuesday. London’s FTSE 100 index of top companies rose by 0.37 percent to 6,306.06 points in late morning deals. However, Frankfurt’s DAX dropped 0.21 percent to 7,648.57 points and in Paris the CAC shed 0.55 percent to 3,674.38. Madrid’s IBEX 35 slipped 0.46 percent lower in value and Milan’s FTSEMIB index lost 0.65 percent. “With no major economic data published today markets are lacking impulses for direction,” said Anita Paluch, a trader at Gekko Global Markets. “The overall focus on earnings did not yield the much hoped for boost for equities,” she added. Gold prices dipped to $1,671.30 an ounce from $1,673.50 on the London Bullion Market on Tuesday. Shares in Royal Bank of Scotland rose 1.0 percent to 341 pence after the lender said it expected to pay “significant penalties” and face other sanctions from British and US financial regulators over its role in the Libor raterigging scandal.—AFP

Exports to China increase by 219 pc in four years STAFF REPORTER ISLAMABAD—Pakistan’s exports to China increased to over 219 per cent in last four years (2007-08-2011-12), minister for commerce Makhdoom Amin Fahim told Senate Wednesday. The commerce minister, in a written reply to the question of Muhammad Talha Mehmood, said the imports had also registered 43 per cent increase in last four years. Following the implementation of Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in 2009, the Pakistan’s exports to China significantly increased as compared to imports. Against a growth of 90 percent in imports from China between 2006-07 and 201112, Pakistan’s exports to that country had registered 279 percent. Giving year wise breakup

of country’s last four years exports to China, he said the country had exported items worth $ 684.8 million from China during 2007-08. $701 million in 2008-09, $ 1153.9 million in 2009-10, $ 1633.8 million in 2010-11 and the exports from China had jumped to $ 2183.7 million in financial year 2011-12. Regarding year wise details of country’s imports from China, he said, the country had imported goods worth $ 4696.358 million in 2007, $4085.742 million in 2008-09, $4410.55 million in 2009-10, $5789.452 million in 2010-11 and $ 6717.25 million in 2011-12. He said Chinese government has been asked to facilitate Pakistan’s participation in exhibition/trade fairs in China. As a result China is offering free of charge space in all fairs/ exhibitions in China. During 2011-12 Trade Devel-

opment Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) had participated in six major trade fair/exhibitions in China. Responding to a question of Heman Das, Makhdoom Amin Fahim said the country has signed separate trade agreements with Indonesia, Afghanistan, D-8 and Saarc countries in last four years. Giving details he said Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) had been inked with Indonesia in Feb 2012. In October 2010, the country had inked Afghanistan-Pakistan Trade Agreement (APTTA) with Afghanistan. He said a Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) was inked with D-8 countries in May 2006, which had been ratified in Feb 2012. Yet another SAARC Agreement on Trade in Services was inked with South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries in April 2010.

ISLAMABAD: Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, MNA Convener chairing the Special Committee on delay of PIA flights, at Parliament House.

Online registration for ADB’s annual meeting open till April 20

NA body wants PIA’s restructuring plan STAFF REPORTER

I SLAMABAD —The online ISLAMABAD—Pakistan Intermedia registration for the 46th Annual Meeting of Asian Development Bank’s Board of Governors will remain open till April 20. The bank had opened the online media registration in January 2 for its Board of Governers meeting that would be held at the India Expo Mart Limited in Greater Noida, about 50 km outside Delhi, India from May 2-5. According to ADB newsletter, the theme of the 2013 Annual Meeting is development through empowerment. Seminars will discuss ideas for financing Asia’s cities; innovations in generating “good” jobs; disaster risk reduction; promoting public services; emphasizing the role of science, technology and innovation in Asia’s growth; financing infrastructure; and building greater south-south cooperation. About 4,000 participants including finance ministers, central bank governors, senior government officials, and representatives from the private sector, academia, media, and civil society are expected to attend. Accredited media will have access to all major Annual Meeting events, including seminars. Accreditation is extended solely for covering the Annual Meeting. ADB’s Annual Meetings allow Governors from ADB member countries to provide guidance on ADB administrative, financial, and operational directions. The meeting also provides opportunities for member governments to interact with ADB staff, nongovernment organizations, media, and representatives of observer countries, international organizations, academe, and the private sector.—APP

national Airline (PIA) on Wednesday was directed to furnish the latest report regarding delay in all flights, causes of grounding of its aircraft, defective operations of aircraft, existing strength of fleet including aircraft on lease and on going and proposed restructuring of the airline. The decision to this effect was taken in a meeting of the Special Committee on ‘Delay in All Flights including Hajj flights and Grounding of the Aircraft of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) held under the Chairmanship of Syed Sumsam Ali Bukhari

LCCI wants regionally competitive interest rates

RBS faces over $600m fine for rate rigging

ISLAMABAD—Xpress Money,

versification plans. The LCCI office-bearers said that the interest rate should not be higher than 8 per cent for the sake of expansion in investment activities and for creating jobs for the millions of young people entering the job market every year. They said that availability of cheaper money is absolutely necessary for bringing down the cost of production as it is like any other industrial input. If its price is raised, the cost of production also goes up. The LCCI office-bearers said that Pakistani goods had already lost their due place in the global market for being uncompetitive. They said that

L ONDON —Royal Bank of Scotland will be hit with fines of almost 400 million pounds ($627 million) on Wednesday for its role in a global interest-rate rigging scandal, sources familiar with the situation said. That will be the second-largest penalty so far in an international investigation involving over a dozen banks, and will heap embarrassment on a lender that had to be bailed out by British taxpayers at the height of the 2008 financial crisis. British finance minister George Osborne has already said RBS, which is 82-percent owned by the state, must pay the fines out of bankers’ bonuses rather than from the pockets of taxpayers, while critics say the scandal shows banks’ riskier activities should be separated from basic lending functions. Banks across the world are struggling to rebuild their reputations after the financial crisis, and many have been engulfed in a series of investigations into their past misdemeanours, including fixing benchmark interest rates, money laundering and mis-selling products to customers. Britain’s Barclays has already paid $450 million for its part in the manipulation of the London interbank offered rate (Libor), a benchmark used for trillions of dollars of financial instruments ranging from home loans to complex derivatives. Some $1.5 billion of fines have also been handed out to Swiss bank UBS for interest-rate rigging.—APP

Market potential reports can boost exports to Sweden STAFF REPORTER ISLAMABAD—The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) Wednesday urged Pakistani ambassadordesignate to Sweden Sajjad Kamran for sending market study reports to the Chambers for helping it know the market potential there. During a meeting with the ambassador who visited the Chamber House here on Wednesday, Zafar Bakhtawari, President ICCI said also suggested ambassador to visit Swedish companies’ i.e Ikea, H&M and Lindex which could become strong trading partner with Pakistan. Swedish businessmen needed to be briefed about the oppor-

tunities available here for promoting economic and trade ties between the two cdountries. Congratulating Sajjad Kamran,Bakhtawari said that his posting as ambassador of Pakistan to Sweden would usher in a new era of cooperation between the two countries. He said that Sweden was a developed Scandinavian country and a member state of European Union and the two countries had huge potential to work together in the sectors of agriculture, mining, tourism, education, infrastructure building and alternative energy solutions. Bakhtawari termed the annual bilateral trade between the two countries was very low and was diminishing instead

of increasing, therefore, he underlined the need to further improve it by increasing the number of counsellors in each others’ countries. Sajjad Kamran, on the occasion said that he would ensure to pass on information to Pakistani business community regarding trade opportunities available in Sweden so they could take benefit and enhance trade ties with Sweden. He also emphasized on exploring new avenues of cooperation in the areas of trade and economy. Sajjad Kamran said that overseas Pakistanis needed to unite as it could help them achieve socio-economic targets to ensure national prosperity.

ISLAMABAD: Zafar Bakhtawari, President ICCI, presenting insignia to Sajjad Kamran, Pakistan’s Ambassador designate to Sweden.

SALIM AHMED L AHORE —The

Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) on Wednesday called for regionally competitive interest rates and urged the State Bank to bring its key policy rate down to 8 per cent to counter weak growth and revive fresh, private investment in the economy to create jobs. The LCCI President Farooq Iftikhar, Senior Vice President Irfan Iqbal Sheikh and Vice President Mian Abuzar Shad said that the current discount rate at 9.5 per cent is still very high and discouraging investment, upgradation and product di-

high interest rate also keeps the manufacturers from investing money in capacity expansion, in technological upgradation and product diversification therefore the SBP should bring it down so that the target set in the recently announced three-year Strategic Trade Policy Framework could be achieved. The LCCI office-bearers said that the availability of liquidity to the business community is need of the hour as the SBP tight monetary policy in the name of financial discipline had already caused irreparable dent to the private sector growth and brought in an unusual surge in unemployment.

Smeda initiates work on academia, industry linkage for energy saving PESHAWAR—Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (Smeda) held a training seminar on Energy Management System and Renewable Energy in Sarhad University of Science and Information Technology here with Manager, Smeda, Rashid Aman Khan as chief guest on the occasion. Those present on the occasion were included Vice Chancellor, Sarhad University, Dr. Saleemur-Rehman, Management Associate, Industry Support and Environment & Business Sustainability Cell (IS&EBSC), Smeda, faculty members and students at large.

Speaking on the occasion, Manager, Smeda, Rashid Aman Khan said they are taking first step regarding linking academia and industries. In this connection, the authority will involve some students of the university with industries for capacity building on energy. He elaborated the concept of the energy audit management campaign and said that though project is industries specific, but academia has to play major role in this regard. He said that the project will go a milestone in the development of academia and industry linkages in the prov-

ince. IS&EBSC, Smeda Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had launched energy audit management campaign and has joined hands with various universities on matters relating to efficiency and renewable of energy. He assured the students that the final year engineers will be given priority wherever any such project initiated in future. He said that the university concerned will give recommendations to involve them in future projects. The initiative, he said will not only help in capacity building of young engineers, but will also generate employment opportunities for them.—APP

here in the Parliament House. The committee was briefed by the Managing Director, PIA regarding the causes of delay and grounding of PIA aircraft. He informed the committee that PIA was currently operating a fleet of 38 aircraft, four aircraft were currently in dormant state and were under financial/technical evaluation for future operation. He added that two aircrafts were under scheduled maintenance and awaited for spares and engines. The Managing Director informed that delay in PIA flights were due to the delay in maintenances of aircraft.

ISE-10 gains 25 points I S L A M A B A D — I s l a m a b a d with 10 per cent of bonus on Stock Exchange (ISE-10) here on Wednesday witnessed bullish trend as the index was up by 25.27 points to close at 3358.73 as compared to previous day’s trading. While talking to APP, Stock Analyst of Aba Ali Habib Pvt Ltd, Zaheer Ahmed said that the result session had created the positive sentiments in the local stock market which helped it to close at green area. “The market is expecting the better returns from corporate sector specially from banking and oil sector”, he said adding that already Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) had declared its result with cash dividend of Rs.5 per share. Besides, the MCB Bank is expected to announce the result with Rs.24 earning per share (EPS) and Rs.6 cash dividend along-

February 7 (Thursday), he added. Aside from this, the performance of economic indicators are also satisfactory in the country which helped to build the confidence in the investors, Ahmed said. Total volume of shares traded was 33,500, which was down by 37,500 when compared it with a day earlier’s closing. Out of 143 companies’ shares traded, the price of 92 was increased while the price of 51 decreased. The price of top gainer Unilever Pakistan was increased by Rs.75.00 while the price of top loser Gatron Industries decreased by Rs.9.62. Bank of Punjab, Arif Habib Corporation and Fauji Cement remained volume leaders, with volume of 15,000, 10,000 and 5,000 shares respectively.—APP

Xpress Money announces cash prizes for remittance receivers STAFF REPORTER one of the most dependable global money transfer brands, has launched an exclusive 95 day long promotional bundle in Pakistan offering customers an array of freebies to be won every month. The promotion is valid from January 26 to April 30 2013 during which period customers using the Xpress Money network will be awarded a guaranteed cash prize of PKR 100 on every cash-pickup from any of the 285 branches of Telenor across the country. Apart from this, customers also stand a chance to win prizes from a bouquet of over 125 mobile phones, five motor cycles and one free Umrah ticket in monthly raffle draws. “Pakistan is a significant for Xpress Money, which in the last few years has developed manifold due to the large

number of remittances sent in by thousands of hardworking Pakistani expatriates who work abroad. It is due to their support that today Xpress Money is the leader in the money transfer business in Pakistan. This initiative is our way of rewarding the customers and conveying our gratitude to their continuing patronage of Xpress Money,” said Mr. Rizwan Ali - Country Manager, Business Development, Xpress Money. With over 4725 agent locations in Pakistan, Xpress Money accounts for nearly 10% of the total annual remittances to Pakistan. A prominent receive market, with an impressive 16.29% year on year growth, Pakistan remains a focus market for Xpress Money that provides cash-to-home, cash-to-mobile, cash-to-account along with instant cash remittance services in the country.

He also informed the committee that PIA has decided to build two maintenance hanger at Karachi airport and one at Lahore. He stated that so many aircraft will be ready during month of February, 2013. The committee showed its observation regarding the selection criteria of the Board Members of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA). The committee was informed by the Additional Secretary, Ministry of Defence that restructuring of PIA board was purposed through legislative amendments and were forwarded to Ministry of Law and Justice, however the reply of Ministry of Law is awaited.

UBL Omni nominated for award STAFF REPORTER K ARACHI —UBL Omni has been recognized at a global level yet again, with a nomination for the 18th GSMA Global Mobile Awards 2013 to be held in Barcelona, Spain on 26th February. This is the single largest annual event in the mobile industry organized by GSMA spanning over 220 countries and uniting nearly 800 of the world’s mobile operators, as well as more than 200 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem. UBL Omni has been short-listed at the GSMA in the category of “GSMA mWomen Best Mobile Product or Service for Women in Emerging Markets” for transparent and efficient loan repayment & cash grant disbursement services. UBL Omni is one of the pioneering players of Pakistan’s Branchless Banking sector that offers G2P disbursements, corporate cash collections, salary disbursements, mobile accounts, money transfer and bill payment services. Omni also caters to financial needs of underprivileged women by facilitating the government and other international donor agencies in providing loan repayment and cash grant facility aimed at the underserved. The competition this year was of an exceptionally high quality, breaking all previous records,” said Michael O’Hara, Chief Marketing Officer, GSMA. “Our judging panel has assessed well over 600 entries and nominations for the 37 awards, the largest ever number of honours to be presented at the Global Mobile Awards. It is a tremendous achievement to have been shortlisted and we look forward to recognising the winners at Mobile World Congress this month.”

Subodh Bhargava, Chairman, Tata Communications, Muhammad Azfar Ahsan, CEO, Nutshell Forum, Amin Hashwani, President, Pakistan India CEOs Forum and Rajiv Kaul, Chairman, Nicco Corporation India at the partnership Summit in Agra, India hosted by Confederation of Indian Industry and Ministry of Commerce India.


Islamic party leader gets jail term

Congress considers putting limits on drone strikes

but now think may be too about the deadly operations. And specific and imminent plots are April, called the strikes legal, decade since the attacks, U.S. DHAKA —A Bangladeshi tribunal sentenced W ASHINGTON —Uncomfort- attacks broad. earlier this week, a group of 11 being planned against the United ethical and wise and said they are intelligence officials say, alable with the Obama

a leader of the country’s main Islamic party to life in jail for his role during the independence war against Pakistan in 1971. Judge Obaidul Hasan pronounced the verdict against Abdul Quader Mollah in a packed courtroom at the High Court in Dhaka. His Jamaat-eIslami party had already ordered a nationwide general strike to denounce the trial, shutting down schools and shops and halting most traffic in Dhaka. Jamaat supporters exploded homemade bombs and clashed with police in parts of the capital, leaving several people injured, ATN News said. After the verdict was announced, the party denounced it and said it was extending the strike through Wednesday. Mollah and five other leaders of the Jamaat-e-Islami party have been on trial before Dhaka’s International Crimes Tribunal. They have been accused of committing atrocities during the nine-month war against Pakistan more than 40 years ago. A former party member was sentenced to death last month. The government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in 2010 initiated the process of trying those accused of committing crimes against humanity during the war, under an amended 1973 law. Jamaat-e-Islami — a key partner in a former Bangladeshi government — says the charges are politically motivated. Authorities deny the claim. Though the sentence was the most serious the tribunal could have issued short of execution, a government official expressed disappointment. “It did not reflect the people’s expectation. We are frustrated,” Junior Law Minister Qamrul Islam said. Until it gained independence in 1971, Bangladesh was the eastern wing of Pakistan. Jamaat campaigned against Bangladesh’s independence war and has been accused of forming several groups to help Pakistani troops in killing, rape and arson. The government says Pakistani troops aided by local collaborators killed 3 million people and raped 200,000 women. Mollah was tried on six counts, including playing a role in the killing of 381 unarmed civilians, the prosecution says.—AP

administration’s use of deadly drones, a growing number in Congress is looking to limit America’s authority to kill suspected terrorists, even U.S. citizens. The Democratic-led outcry was emboldened by the revelation in a newly surfaced Justice Department memo that shows drones can strike against a wider range of threats, with less evidence, than previously believed. The drone program, which has been used from Pakistan across the Middle East and into North Africa to find and kill an unknown number of suspected terrorists, is expected to be a top topic of debate when the Senate Intelligence Committee grills John Brennan, the White House’s pick for CIA chief, at a hearing Thursday. The White House on Tuesday defended its lethal drone program by citing the very laws that some in Congress once believed were appropriate in the years immediately after the Sept. 11

“It has to be in the agenda of this Congress to reconsider the scope of action of drones and use of deadly force by the United States around the world because the original authorization of use of force, I think, is being strained to its limits,” Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., said in a recent interview. Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the No. 2 Democrat in the House, said Tuesday that “it deserves a serious look at how we make the decisions in government to take out, kill, eliminate, whatever word you want to use, not just American citizens but other citizens as well.” Hoyer added: “We ought to carefully review our policies as a country.” The Senate Foreign Relations Committee likely will hold hearings on U.S. drone policy, an aide said Tuesday, and Chairman Robert Menendez, D-N.J., and the panel’s top Republican, Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, both have quietly expressed concerns

Democratic and Republican senators urged President Barack Obama to release a classified Justice Department legal opinion justifying when U.S. counterterror missions, including drone strikes, can be used to kill American citizens abroad. Without those documents, it’s impossible for Congress and the public to decide “whether this authority has been properly defined, and whether the president’s power to deliberately kill Americans is subject to appropriate limitations and safeguards,” the senators wrote. It was a repeated request after receiving last June an unclassified Justice Department memo, which fell short of giving the senators all the information they requested. First detailed publicly by NBC News late Monday, the memo for the first time outlines the Obama administration’s decision to kill al-Qaida terror suspects without any evidence that

States. “The threat posed by alQaida and its associated forces demands a broader concept of imminence in judging when a person continually planning terror attacks presents an imminent threat,” concluded the document. The memo was immediately decried by civil liberties groups as “flawed” and “profoundly disturbing” — especially in light of 2011 U.S. drone strikes in Yemen that killed three American citizens: Anwar al-Awlaki, his 16year-old-son and Samir Khan. Al-Awlaki was linked to the planning and execution of several attacks targeting U.S. and Western interests, including the attempt to down a Detroit-bound airliner in 2009 and the plot to bomb cargo planes in 2010. His son was killed in a separate strike on a suspected al-Qaida den. Khan was an alQaida propagandist. White House spokesman Jay Carney, echoing comments Brennan made in a speech last

M IDLAND C ITY—The Ala- email. The devices found were

VATICAN CITY—The Vatican’s new sex crimes prosecutor has insisted on the need for transparency about the church’s failures to protect children from sex abuse by priests. In his first public comments since taking office, the Rev. Robert Oliver quoted Pope Benedict XVI in saying the church must recognize the “grave errors in judgment that were often committed by the church’s leadership.” For decades, bishops around the globe actively covered up abuse by priests in their care, while Vatican officials in Rome often turned a blind eye. Oliver, previously a canon lawyer in the Boston archdiocese - ground zero of the U.S. abuse scandal - spoke days after thousands of pages of personnel files of abusive priests were released by court order in Los Angeles. They showed how retired Cardinal Roger Mahony and other top archdiocese officials protected the church by shielding priests and not reporting child sex abuse to authorities. The archdiocese agreed to release the files as part of a $660 million settlement with abuse victims in 2007. Attorneys for individual priests fought for five years to prevent the papers from being made public and the archdiocese tried to blot out large sections of the files, including the names of hierarchy involved in decision-making. The Associated Press and Los Angeles Times fought successfully to have the names of Mahony and top church officials made public. Without citing Los Ange- ALA: FBI agents and Dale County negotiators used pipe to communicate with Jimmy Lee Dykes while he held a 5-year-old les by name, Oliver said Tuesday that the pope had spoken clearly boy hostage in a bunker on his Midland City. about the need for transparency and justice in order to regain the trust of the faithful. “We must confront the current situation, including our failures, with courage and determination, carried out with honesty and transparency,” he said, citing Benedict. He added that bishops must follow civil laws and report abusive priests to police, where such laws require it. The Vatican released his remarks Wednesday.—AP

BEIRUT —Heavy fighting between rebels and President Bashar Assad’s forces broke out in parts of Damascus on Wednesday in some of the worst violence to hit the Syrian capital in weeks. Activists said the clashes were focused in the city’s western districts, and residents in the heart of Damascus said the heavy thud of shelling emanating from the neighborhoods under attack was louder than in recent months, when government forces tried to dislodge rebels from the capital’s suburbs. Damascus has not seen the scale of violence that has destroyed whole neighborhoods in Syria’s other urban centers like Aleppo and Homs. While the government has lost control of parts of those cities, it has kept a tight grip on the capital despite the rebels’ attempts to storm the city center from their enclaves in its outskirts. Rami Abdul-Rahman, director of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights activist group, said Wednesday’s shelling of Jobar and Qaboun is part of a wider government offensive on the towns and villages on the capital’s doorstep that have been opposition strongholds since the beginning of the uprising against Assad in March 2011. A government official said army troops are chasing rebels in the suburbs of Harasta, Sbeineh, and Jober. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief the media. Fighting also erupted in the central province of Homs, where a blast targeting a military complex early Wednesday killed an unknown number people, the SANA state news and activists said. There were conflicting reports about the nature of the explosion in the city of Palmyra. The Observatory said a car bomb blew up near a compound that houses a military intelligence branch and a state security agency, killing several regime troops. SANA said two suicide bombers detonated cars packed with explosives near a garage in a residential area of the city, killing a number of people, wounding dozens and causing significant material damage in the area.—AP

Loud but not so clear DUBAI—In years past, keeping track of Iran’s claims of military and technological advances was relatively easy: Wait until early February and watch the parades and announcements in the buildup to celebrations marking the Islamic Revolution. Now, with the strategic stakes ever higher, Iranian officials are boasting louder, pressing harder and leaving questions about how much is real. The reasons for the flood of self-described achievements touch on the various pressures bearing down on Iran, including Western sanctions and the threats of possible military action if diplomacy cannot solve the standoff over Tehran’s nuclear program. It also highlights the learning curve of Internet-age showmanship from a country that acknowledges the economic pain inflicted by sanctions — which could tighten further on Wednesday — but claims it has the tools to bounce back stronger. Since January alone, Iran has showcased a steady stream of purported advances that have been met with varying degrees of skepticism. They include another domestically made surveillance drone, claims of a monkey sent into space on a successful roundtrip mission, a supersonic air tunnel and a compact, single-seat warplane described as a radar-evading jet fighter. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the aircraft shows Iran can “conquer scientific peaks.” As if those headlines weren’t enough, Ahmadinejad on Monday volunteered himself to be country’s first astronaut aboard an Iranian-launched rocket if its space program eventually moves to manned flight. The reaction included a mocking quip by U.S. Sen. John McCain. Meanwhile, aerospace experts and others, including the State Department, have raised doubts about last week’s claim of the monkey flight because of apparent inconsistencies in the Iranian photos of the animal before and after flight. Despite the questions, there are elements of serious statecraft behind the increasing scope and speed of the Iranian announcements of progress in science and defense.—AP

Qaida has splintered into a number of affiliates and allied sympathizers. That means the current laws could allow military force against thousands of extremists across the Mideast and North Africa who have limited or no ability to strike the United States. Currently, both the CIA and the U.S. military are authorized to remotely pilot unmanned, missile-carrying drones against terror suspects. It’s unknown exactly how many strikes have been carried out, but experts say that drone attacks in Pakistan are conducted by the CIA, while those in Yemen and Somalia, for example, are by military forces. The drones have strained diplomacy between the U.S. and the nations where the strikes are carried out, as civilians have been killed alongside the targeted terrorists, even though most nations have given Washington at least tacit agreement to carry out the attacks.—AP

FBI: Ala man was in ‘firefight’ with SWAT agents

Seeks transparency

Heavy clashes erupt in Damascus

covered by a law that Congress approved allowing the use of military force against al-Qaida. “And certainly, under that authority, the president acts in the United States’ interest to protect the United States and its citizens from al-Qaida,” Carney said Tuesday. “It is a matter of fact that Congress authorized the use of military force against al-Qaida,” Carney said. “It is a matter of fact that al-Qaida is in a state of war against us and that senior leaders, operational leaders of alQaida are continually plotting to attack the United States, plotting to kill American citizens as they did most horrifically on September 11th of 2001.” Three days after 9/11, Congress approved a law authorizing the military to use “all necessary and appropriate force” against alQaida and other groups believed to be helping or harboring the global terror network, including the use of drone strikes. In the

US: Obama peace agenda ‘urgent’ on Israel visit

Armed gang rapes 6 Spanish tourists in Mexico

bama man who held a 5-yearold boy captive for nearly a week engaged in a firefight with SWAT agents storming his underground bunker before he was killed during the rescue operation, the FBI said Tuesday night. Also, bomb technicians scouring his rural property found two explosive devices, one in the bunker, one in a plastic pipe that negotiators used to communicate with the man. Officers killed 65-year-old Jimmy Lee Dykes Monday, said an official in Midland City, speaking on condition of anonymity. The bunker raid came six days after Dykes boarded a school bus, fatally shot the driver and abducted the boy, who by all accounts was unharmed. Dykes “reinforced the bunker against any attempted entry by law enforcement,” FBI Special Agent Jason Pack said in an

“disrupted,” Pack said, though he did not say whether that meant they were detonated or disarmed. Officers will continue Wednesday to sweep the 100-acre property and, when they finish, investigators can more thoroughly investigate, Pack said. For days, officers passed food, medicine, toys and other items into the bunker, which was similar to a tornado shelter and apparently had running water, heat and cable television. On Monday, authorities said, Dykes had a gun and appeared increasingly agitated, though it’s unclear exactly how his behavior changed. Negotiations — the details of which have not been made public — were deteriorating. The Midland City official said law enforcement agents had been viewing Dykes with some sort of camera, which is how they saw that he had a gun.—AP

Power problems came up during rehearsals NEW YORK—Power fluctua- ted with each other and waited

tions during rehearsals for the patiently for the lights to return.

JERUSALEM—President Barack tinians back to the negotiating told Israel radio. He said that ACAPULCO— Six Spanish tour- Super Bowl led organizers to use The 49ers, who had been Obama will bring an “urgent” peacemaking agenda to Israel on his upcoming visit, focusing on the region and the resumption of talks between Israel and the Palestinians, U.S. Ambassador Dan Shapiro said Wednesday. Shapiro spoke a day after the White House announced Obama will visit Israel, the West Bank and Jordan in the spring, at the beginning of both his second term in office and also at the start of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s third term. Obama’s previous term in office saw relations with Netanyahu deteriorate in part over failed talks with the Palestinians but also due to the two leaders’ different world views. The visit will be Obama’s first as president to the staunch U.S. ally. Shapiro gave several interviews to Israeli media Wednesday morning with the same message. “We have a very urgent agenda,” Shapiro told Army radio. “We have a very complex agenda about Iran, Syria and the need to get Israel and the Pales-

Iran releases Ahmadinejad ally linked to deaths TEHRAN—Iran’s official news agency is reporting that authorities have released a close ally of the president from custody, a day after he was arrested over an alleged role in the torture and killing of prisoners. The Wednesday report by IRNA quotes an unnamed official as saying Saeed Mortazavi, a senior official who once served as Tehran’s prosecutor general, has been released. Mortazavi has been at the center of an escalating confrontation between President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his conservative rivals in parliament ahead of the June presidential election. A parliament probe two years ago found Mortazavi responsible for deaths by torture of at least three jailed anti-government protesters in 2009. On Tuesday Ahmadinejad strongly denounced Mortazavi’s arrest, saying he would pursue the case after his return from a visit to Egypt.—AP

table, so it’s important to begin as fast as possible,” he said. The White House has not released the date of Obama’s trip or details about Obama’s itinerary, but Israel’s Channel 10 reported it had been scheduled for March 20. The visit raises expectations that peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, which collapsed about four years ago, can be rekindled. Palestinians refuse to resume the talks unless Israel stops building in areas they claim for a future state. Israel says all issues, including territorial disputes, must be resolved through negotiations. It has frequently called for talks to be restarted. Shapiro said that Obama will meet with the Palestinian leadership in the West Bank along with the King of Jordan, who has had a role in peacemaking efforts, during his visit. “President Obama is not coming with conditions or demands. He is coming to confer with all our partners about problems and challenges we are dealing with in the region,” Shapiro

Obama isn’t “seeking a specific result” but wants to confer about ways of “bringing Israel and the Palestinians back to the negotiation table.” Although Obama visited Israel and Jordan while running for president in 2008, he hasn’t been back since, drawing intense criticism from some pro-Israel groups who have claimed he is insufficiently supportive of the United States’ closest Mideast ally. Other top administration officials, including former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, have visited, and Clinton’s replacement, John Kerry, is expected to travel to Israel on his first Mideast trip. Shapiro shrugged off questions about relations between Obama and Netanyahu. “The personal chemistry between them is excellent. They know how to work together,” he said. Obama will also discuss Iran’s nuclear program, the danger of Syrian chemical weapons reaching militants and other regional issues, Shapiro said.—AP

Tsunami hits Solomons, other warnings end SYDNEY—A powerful earth- ing in a dugout canoe when the quake off the Solomon Islands generated a tsunami of up to 1.5 meters (about 5 feet) that damaged dozens of homes and likely killed several people in the South Pacific island chain Wednesday. Authorities canceled warnings for tsunamis on more distant coasts. Solomons officials reported two 1.5-meter (4 foot, 11-inch) waves hit the western side of Santa Cruz Island, damaging between 70 and 80 homes and properties, said George Herming, a spokesman for the prime minister. Many villagers had headed to higher ground as a precaution, Herming said. Solomon Islands Police Commissioner John Lansley said local police patrols had reported that several people were presumed dead, though the reports were still being verified. “Sadly, we believe some people have lost their lives,” he said. “At the moment we potentially know of four, but there may of course be more.” One of the people presumed dead was fish-

first wave hit, sweeping him out to sea, Herming said. Officials were searching for his body. Another woman was believed to have drowned when the water rushed into her village, Herming said. Four villages on Santa Cruz were impacted by the waves, with two facing severe damage, Lansley said. Other areas of the Solomons did not appear to have been seriously affected. Disaster officials were struggling to reach the remote area after the tsunami flooded the airstrip at the nearest airport and left it littered with debris. The tsunami formed after an 8.0-magnitude earthquake struck near the town of Lata, on Santa Cruz in Temotu province, the easternmost province of the Solomons, about a 3-hour flight from the capital, Honiara. Temotu has a population of around 30,000 people. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said a tsunami of about a meter (3 feet) was measured in Lata wharf. —AP

ists were raped by a gang of armed, masked men in the Mexican resort of Acapulco, the latest chapter of violence that has tarnished the once-glamorous Pacific coast resort. The vicious, hours-long attack occurred before dawn Monday at a house that six Spanish men, six Spanish women and a Mexican woman had rented on a quiet, idyllic stretch of beach on the outskirts of Acapulco. The attackers gained access to the house because two of the Spaniards were in the yard and apparently were forced to open the door, Acapulco Mayor Luis Walton told a news conference late Monday. The five attackers burst into the house and held the group at gunpoint, he said. They tied up the six men with phone cords and bathing suit straps and then raped the six Spanish women. The Mexican woman was not raped. Guerrero state Attorney General Martha Garzon said the Mexican woman begged the men not to rape her and the assailants told her they would spare her because she is Mexican. “Fortunately we have strong evidence to lead us to those responsible for this reprehensible act,” Garzon told Radio Formula.—AP

Killer of 2 NYC officers impregnated guard NEW YORK—A federal prison guard was charged Tuesday with having an illegal affair with an inmate convicted in one of New York’s most notorious police killings, later becoming pregnant with his child. Nancy Gonzalez, 29, was arrested on charges she intentionally engaged in a sex act with Ronell Wilson while working the night shift at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn. She became pregnant in June, a few months into the affair, according to court papers. Gonzalez appeared in court Tuesday visibly pregnant and crying, her hair pulled back in a ponytail, and was released on $150,000 bond. “She’s had a very tragic life,” said her attorney, Anthony Rico. “She has long-term issues that affected her life and judgment.”—AP

generators at Sunday’s game, which was then interrupted for 35 minutes by a partial blackout, a National Football League official said. About half of the Superdome in New Orleans went dark early in the second half of the contest between the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers, creating a huge embarrassment for the NFL. Eric Grubman, the league’s executive vice president of business operations, said officials noticed “fluctuations in the frequency of the power supply” during rehearsals, and feared the issue would pose problems for high-definition television cameras. “Since we did not want any issues at halftime with TV cameras or other gear related to the frequency fluctuations, we decided it would be best to use generators designed for the type of power demand presented by the show,” Grubman said in a statement released. During the disruption, players stretched and chat-

outplayed to that point, scored 17 consecutive points after the game restarted but came up just short, losing 34-31. Grubman said it was unlikely the outage had anything to do with the halftime spectacular by pop star Beyonce, whose show featured a dramatic pyrotechnics display. “The power outage occurred well after the halftime show and well after any of its unique demands on power supply or power quality had ended,” Grubman said. Entergy Corp, the utility providing power to the Superdome, said its distribution and transmission feeders were serving the Superdome at all times. Equipment designed to monitor electrical load sensed an abnormality in the system where the Superdome equipment intersects with Entergy’s feed into the building, triggering an automatic cut in power, Entergy said in a joint statement on Monday with the Superdome’s management company, SMG.—Reuters

Ministry of Justice slammed for shambolic commissioning LONDON—British government MOJ did not have a sufficient plans to contract out billions of pounds worth of public services to private companies have been called into question in a parliamentary committee report published on Wednesday. The Ministry of Justice plans, which have been criticised by the Labour party, include allowing firms to run criminal probation services, and are part of a wider drive across government to cut spending by outsourcing. The chair of the justice select committee said that the MOJ’s handling of a 90 millionpound contract to run court translation services was “shambolic” after translators failed to turn up at court and others mistranslated hearings to defendants. The report also said that weaknesses in the MOJ’s due diligence and risk mitigation procedures were a “cause for concern” ahead of its ambitious plans to contract out more public services, and repeated a call made in a previous report for an independent review into the department’s ability to commission services. It added that the

understanding of the complexities of the work it was contracting out when it started the procurement process. The committee said that services firm Capita, which inherited a five-year translation services contract when it bought Applied Language Solutions for 7.5 million pounds in late 2011, had improved the service markedly but it had taken a long time, even with Capita’s “considerable” resources. The service is also still largely boycotted by qualified interpreters who previously worked in the public sector. Capita acknowledged there had been issues regarding the delivery of the contract but said it had invested in improving its performance. Analysts at Jefferies said in a note afterwards that they estimated business opportunities for firms with the MOJ amounted to 300-400 million pounds worth of prison facilities management, 100-150 million in electronic tagging and 60-100 million of criminal fines compliance work.—Reuters


Australia vs West Indies 3rd ODI

Watson, Faulkner star in Australia’s ODI series win

Pak beat Nepal 1-0 in a football friendly match L A H O R E —Pakistan football team opened its tour of Nepal on a victorious note beating the home side 1-0 in its first friendly match at Dasarath Rangasala Stadium, Kathmandu on We d n e s d a y. Pak team is on a tour of Neal and Maldives to gain useful practice for its coming international assignments, said the message received here . Striker Hassan Bashir scored the all important goal in the last minute of the game after crowing solo efforts. Pakistan were made to work hard by the hosts who enjoyed the home conditions and the large supporting crowd, whilst Pakistan took their time to settle into the game. Pakistan team showed

its expertise in the game of the Pakistani team under football by exhibiting a for- the expert coaching of midable offensive and de- Zavisa. fensive line. This match Meanwhile President PFF, Faisal Saleh Hayat has expressed his delight on the success of the team in the beginning of its tour. He attributed teams win to collective team efforts and planning of the team management. “Similar united and dedicated efforts must be maintained to maintain the flow of success,” he asserted. This was Nepal’s first international match after Jack Stefanowski took over was equally important for as Nepal’s head coach in Nepal whose team stuck to January. the defensive formation. The second friendly Though Nepal team is match is slated for Februconsider a favorite team but ary 9 Nepal and Pakistan was bulldozed in this had played a 1-1 draw durmatch by a better planning ing the SAFF championand offensive strategy of ship in 2011.—APP

Hamza spin Afghanistan ‘A’ to big win over Karachi, Hyderabad Combined XI

CANBERRA: Kieron Pollard was run out during Australia vs West Indies 3rd ODI on Wednesday.

C ANBERRA —Shane Watson hit a century on his return from injury and James Faulkner claimed four wickets as Australia beat the West Indies by 39 runs to claim their one-day international series on Wednesday. Watson, opening the innings after four weeks out with a calf injury, smashed 122 off 111 balls. Supported by 86 from Phil Hughes, he helped Australia reach 329 for seven after winning the toss in the third ODI of the five-game series. The home side then dismissed the West Indies for 290 off 47.3 overs with leftarm medium pacer Faulkner claiming four for 48 — all bowled — to achieve another emphatic victory after wins by nine wickets and 54 runs in Perth. Watson reached his seventh ODI century off 102 balls and then set about Kemar Roach, clubbing a huge six logged at 114 metres (374 feet) into the stands. This was followed by a four as he threatened to go on for a big ton on the batfriendly Manuka Oval pitch.

But two balls later Watson holed out to Kieron Pollard, one of four catches to the athletic West Indian, top-edging to deep backward square leg as he went after Roach’s second-last ball of his eighth over. It was a welcome return to form for Watson before this month’s four-Test tour to India. Hughes, who gave a chance cutting through slip on six, lost the opportunity to make his third ODI century this season when he was caught behind off Darren Sammy for 86. He scored his runs off 93 balls with 10 fours and a six. The West Indies would have had to make history to overhaul the Australian total, with their biggest previous ODI run chase 324 for eight against India at Nagpur in 2006-07. Brothers Darren and Dwayne Bravo gave the tourists early hope with a fighting 114-run partnership for the third wicket before Mitchell Starc bowled Dwayne Bravo middle stump

for 51 off 50 balls. The wickets began to tumble, with Faulkner claiming two of them in his sixth over. He bowled Chris Gayle for two with the first ball after drinks, and was given a warning by the umpire for his over-zealous sending off of the batsman, before removing the dangerous Darren Bravo three balls later. Faulkner bowled him for 86 off 96 balls to put the skids under the West Indians. He finished with two more wickets, clean-bowling spinner Sunil Narine (1) and skipper Sammy (8) to wrap up the Australian victory. Pollard, who was run out for nine by Mitchell Johnson, earlier put in a sensational performance in the field with two stupendous catches on the boundary ropes. Glenn Maxwell was left shaking his head when he was out to a brilliant onehanded catch for four by a leaping Pollard on the boundary as he looked to smash spinner Narine for six. Pollard then plucked another near-replica one-

handed leaping catch on the rope to end George Bailey’s cameo of 44 off 22 balls and give Narine his second wicket.

The series moves to Sydney for the fourth ODI on Friday before the fifth and final match in Melbourne on Sunday.—AFP

Australia innings: S. Watson c Pollard b Roach ........................ 122 A. Finch c Thomas b Sammy ......................... 38 P. Hughes c Thomas b Sammy ......................... 86 Clarke c and b Pollard ... 15 Bailey c Pollard b Narine .......................... 44 Maxwell c Pollard b Narine 4 M. Wade not out ............. 4 J. Faulkner b Bravo ......... 2 M. Johnson not out ........ 8 Extras: (b1, w3, nb2) ........ 6 Total: (7 wkts) .............. 329 Fall of wickets: 1-89, 2-201, 3-242, 4-284, 5-299, 6-317, 7321 Bowling: ........... O-M-R-W Roach .................... 9-1-72-1 Russell .................. 5-0-41-0 Sammy .................. 8-0-49-2 DJ Bravo ............... 7-0-39-1 Narine ................. 10-0-55-2 Gayle ..................... 5-0-36-0 Pollard ................... 6-0-36-1

West Indies innings: K. Powell c Wade b Maxwell ....................... 47 D. Thomas c Hughes b McKay ........................ 19 D.M. Bravo b Faulkner . 86 D.J. Bravo b Starc ......... 51 Gayle b Faulkner ............. 2 K. Pollard run out ............ 9 A. Russell c Wade b McKay ........................ 43 R. Sarwan b Johnson .... 12 D. Sammy b Faulkner ...... 8 S. Narine b Faulkner ....... 1 K. Roach not out ............. 1 Extras: (lb4, w6, nb1) ..... 11 Total: (all out) .............. 290 Fall of wickets: 1-54, 2-81, 3195, 4-214, 5-215, 6-234, 7264, 8-281, 9-289, 10-290 Bowling: ........... O-M-R-W McKay ................ 10-1-62-2 Starc ...................... 7-0-50-1 Johnson ................ 9-1-59-1 Faulkner ............. 8.3-1-48-4 Maxwell .............. 10-0-44-1 Clarke .................... 3-0-23-0

India, Pakistan knocked out of WC

M UMBAI —India

were knocked out of the ICC Women’s World Cup after suffering an upset 138-run drubbing at the hands of Sri Lanka in a crucial Group ‘A’ encounter here on Tuesday night. Chasing a challenging total of 283, the hosts put up a pathetic show to be bowled out for 144 in 42.2 overs at the Brabourne Stadium. Incidentally, this was India’s first defeat to Sri Lanka in 18 matches, having won their previous 16 encounters with one ending in no result. India lost three wickets for 38 runs in the 13th over, which included opener Poonam Raut, skipper Mithali Raj and last match centurion Harmanpreet Kaur. Kaur failed to score a run, while Raut (5), Raj (20) were trapped leg before by Eshani Kaushalya and Udeshika Prabodani, respectively. The hosts reached 50 in 17 overs and it was always going to be an uphill task from there on. India’s best partnership was for the sixth wicket between Jhulan Goswami and Reema Malhotra, who added

37 runs. Malhotra was the top scorer for India with her 38 coming off 51 balls, and which included two fours. India needed at least 251 runs to edge out the West Indies by virtue of having a better net run-rate and enter the Super Six stage. Sri Lankan skipper Shashikala Siriwardene and Chamani Seneviratna bagged two wickets each. Earlier, Sri Lanka’s batting fired in unison as they posted a competitive 282-5. Deepika Rasangika led the way with a knock of 84 while Kaushalya provided the late impetus with a breezy, unbeaten 31-ball 56 to propel the visitors. Yashoda Mendis (55) and Siriwardene (56) were the other contributors for Sri Lanka. Kaushalya’s blinder of a knock that lifted the Lankans. Her innings was studded with six fours and three sixes. India will play Pakistan for

the seventh position in Cuttack on Thursday after Pakistan lost to South Africa by 126 runs in Cuttack earlier on Tuesday. A fine all-round performance from Marizanne Kapp set up South Africa’s clinical victory at the Barabati Stadium to qualify for the Super Six stage. South Africa rode on M a r i z a n n e ’s unbeaten 150ball 102 to post 207-5 after electing to bat and then shot out Pakistan for 81 in 29.4 overs to finish the league with two points. Pakistan remained winless in the tournament after having lost their other two Group ‘B’ games to Australia and New Zealand. Marizanne also contributed with the ball, picking up three key Pakistani wickets for 18 runs to help the Proteas register their first win in this World Cup. Marizanne was involved in a record century-plus stand for the unconquered sixth wicket

partnership of 128 with Dane van Niekerk (77-ball 55 not out) after the South Africans were left tottering at 79-5 in the 24th over. Pakistan started off their run-chase on a shaky note and kept losing wickets at regular intervals. Their ploy to promote Qanita Jalil up the batting order and bringing skipper Sana Mir lower down the order did not pay off. Only four Pakistani batswomen managed the double-digit figures with the highest score of 15 by Sidra Ameen. Sana Mir was once against disappointed with the side’s batting performance. “If I had to take any positives from this event it would be our bowling because we really tested Australia and the other teams in the group but when it came to our batting it just was not up to scratch,” she said. Defending champions England had become the first team to enter the Super Six stage from Group ‘A’ when they beat the West Indies by six wickets at Bandra Kurla Complex in Mumbai.—AP

Boxing icon Ali in critical condition N E W O RLEANS —Boxing

H Y D E R A B A D —Slow left arm spinner Hamza Hotuk captured five wickets to spin Afghanistan “A” to an emphatic nine wickets victory over Karachi/ Hyderabad Combined XI in a One-day match at Niaz Stadium here on Wednesday. Talented Hamza finished with an excellent figures of five wickets for 15 runs in ten overs as Karachi/Hyderabad Combined XI crumbled out for 112 in 36th over after captain Shahid Afridi won the toss and batted. Opener Muhammad Shahzad hit a sparkling 58

off 35 balls striking eight boundaries and two sixes and Karim Sadiq slammed an unbeaten 36 in 62 deliveries and it included five hits to the ropes as touring team reached the winning target in the 19th over. Afridi, who bowled the second over of the innings conceded 18 runs in his opening over as Shahzad went on attack. Former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi bidding a comeback in Pakistan team for One-day and Twenty series against South Africa, finished the match on a disappointing note, scoring just 16 runs and conceded

29 runs in his two overs. Mohtashim Ali made 21 off 45 balls with one boundary and Muhammad Sami hoisted one six and one four in his 21 off 39 ball when combined XI batted. Summarized scores: Karachi/Hyderabad Combined XI 112 all out in 37.5 (Mohtashim 21, Muhammad Sami 21, Aqeel Anjum 18, Shahid Afridi 16, Zafar Ali 15, Hamza Hotak 5-15, Daulat Zadran 2-24) Afghanistan “A” 1161 in 18.4 over (Muhammad Shahzad 58, Karim Sadiq 36 not out, Muhammad Javed Ahmedi 15 not out and Atif Maqbool 1-13).—APP

HYDERABAD: Afghan player receives man of the match cheque of cricket match between Sindh Regional XI and Afghanistan at Niaz Stadium.

legend Muhammad Ali has been admitted to a hospital

Haroon Lorgat trying to convince CSA for players’ participation in PSL BIPIN DANI OBSERVER CORRESPONDENT

in United States as brother of the former heavyweight champion fears Ali could be dead in days. Ali celebrated his 71st birthday last month. He has been suffering from Parkinson disease for the last 30 years. It’s a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system characterized by tremor and impaired muscular coordination. Ali’s brother Rahman Ali told a UK magazine that Ali’s condition has declined rapidly in recent days.—APP

MUMBAI—Haroon Lorgat, the PCB’s consultant for the Pakistan Super League (PSL) is trying to convince the Cricket South Africa (CSA) board members to issue “No Objection Certificates” to their players to play in Pakistan, it is learnt here. It was believed that Cricket Australia and CSA have denied their players to participate in PSL for the security reason. However, according to the new CSA president, Chris Nenzani, no decision has been taken in this regard yet. Speaking exclusively over telephone from SA, he said, “at this stage I

am not aware of any approach / request by Pakistan Cricket Board to Cricket South Africa regarding the possibility of South African players playing in Pakistan . When such a request is received we will deal with it having due regard to all relevant factors”. Haroon Lorgat, the former ICC CEO is believed to be one of the candidates for the similar post with CSA board. “The process of the appointment of a CEO for CSA is at its infancy stage and the closing date was 5 February 2013. Whether or not Haroon Lorgat is one of the applicants is something I cannot confirm at this stage”. “The new Board will apply its mind and make the necessary announcements

at the appropriate time”, Nenzani added. There seems to be a possibility of shifting the PSL out of Pakistan. Though no official word has been out in this regard, however, one of the venues in UAE (Sharjah, Dubai or Abu Dhabi) is not ruled out either. UAE has been a most-common hunting venue for the PCB as international matches have not been played in Pakistan after the Lahore Test attack on Sri Lankan players four years ago. Syed B. Refaie, the executive director and the man behind the show for the PSL has been approaching players all over the world and is also hopeful of signing IPL’s nonsold players soon.


Medical abbreviations ‘pose risk’ D

OCTORS are being warned that using abbreviations in medical notes is put ting patients’ lives at risk. The UK’s Medical Defence Union said difficulties often arose because abbreviations can have more than one meaning or might be misread. Some patients have had the wrong limb removed or operated on and others have been given deadly drug doses, it said. A recent US study of 30,000 medication errors, some fatal, showed 5% were linked to abbreviations in notes. Common errors included abbreviating drug names and dosages, the Joint Commission found. An example involved a 62-year-old patient on haemodialysis who was treated for a viral infection with the drug acyclovir. The order for acyclovir was written as “acyclovir (unknown dose) with HD”, meaning haemodialysis. Acyclovir should be adjusted for renal impairment and given only once daily. However, the order was misread as TID (three times daily) and the patient died as a result. A UK audit by the paediatric department at Birmingham Heartlands Hospital, published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood in November, found instances where abbreviations used had caused confusion because they had multiple interpretations. For example, “TOF” could be taken to mean “tetralogy of fallot” or “tracheo-oesophageal fistula” - two completely different conditions. When presented with a selection of ab-

breviations, the study authors found paediatric doctors agreed on the interpretation of 56-94%, while other healthcare professionals recognised only 31-63%. The authors also found that the use of abbreviations was inconsistent - 15% of the abbreviations used in medical notes appeared in the hospital’s intranet dictionary while 17% appeared in a medical dictionary used by paediatric secretaries. The MDU, which defends members’ reputations when their clinical performance is called into question, advises doctors to use only the abbreviations or acronyms that are unambiguous and approved in their practice or hospital. Dr Sally Old, MDU medico-legal adviser, said: “Abbreviations can cause confusion and risk patient safety. “In one instance a diabetic patient was given a dose of 61 units of insulin because the notes say six international units - 6IU - were misinterpreted. “Thankfully, the error was spotted and the patient was treated.” She said clear, concise communication was essential, particularly when care was provided by multi-disciplinary teams. Kevin Cleary, of the National Patient Safety Agency, said: “Abbreviations in clinical notes, prescriptions and treatment charts should be kept to an absolute minimum. They cause confusion and present a risk to patients. “The NPSA is aware of at least one patient death in the last 12 months where abbreviations were a contributory factor.

KARACHI: Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira addressing the Pakistan Steel workers during Jehez Fund cheques distribution ceremony.

SSUET wins third position HEC’s Urdu debate KARACHI—Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology debator won the third position in Urdu debate for 15th Allama Iqbal Shield. An official of the institution said here on Wednesday that the debate was held at Ojha Campus of Dow University under the auspices of HEC and this position was won by SSUET’s Umer Khan of Computer Engineering Department in a contest among 100 participants of 72 institutions of Sindh. This was the second round of the competition in which Umer Khan along with another colleague Adnan Akhtar of BioMedical Engineering Department had represented SSUET after having been selected in the first round held at SSUET.—APP

Minister for promotion of routine immunisation culture KARACHI—Sindh Minister for Health, Dr. Saghir Ahmed has urged health department officials and the masses in general to play their role in promotion of routine immunisation culture in the country. Chairing a meeting on Wednesday, he said strong routine immunisation is prerequisite for protection of children against vaccine preventable diseases, with particular reference to polio, measles and others. “It is therefore extremely important to develop a strong culture of routine immunisation in the country, particularly at rural and sub-urban centres,” he said. Health minister said he was cognizant of public complaints about non availability of concerned staff in the centres and

also inadequate availability of vaccines. The minister in context of Sindh said he has personally ensured that each of the EPI centres and clinic may not have any shortage of vaccines coupled with necessary provision for their efficacy. He on the occasion warned of stringent action against EDOs- Health pertaining to districts with below 95% routine immunisation coverage of children. Dr. Saghir Ahmed said that public complaints of any failure of vaccinators’ teams in reaching their homes in door to door vaccination campaigns, during special immunisation days, will also result in action against the concerned officials.—APP

Sassui lays foundation of Sindh Cultural Heritage Institute STAFF REPORTER K ARACHI — Sindh Culture Minister Ms Sassui Palijo Wednesday performed the foundation stone laying ceremony of the Sindh cultural & heritage Institute at National museum Karachi with a cost of Rs 200 million in 03 years. While addressing the ceremony, Ms Sassui Palijo has said that the culture department within 5 years largely worked for the promotion, projection and protection of the cultural heritage, civilization and to set the unique trends by initiated various mega projects during the present

peoples Government. She said that establishments of the cultural centres, public libraries and many development projects under the department are on going throughout the province. Work on Such institute was a dream of us which now going to be fulfilled. Though problems are there for which the project has been delayed but now we set the new trend of development , promoting Sindh at every level. Karachi & Sindh are one, Amar Jaleel had correctly pointed/depicted the past of the Karachi, under the light of the Sindh ‘s back ground. Which is very difficult

and sorrowful? This Institute was more importance for Karachi, no one could separate the Karachi from Sindh, Karachi is all of the linguistic people. No one could deny the importance of Karachi in Art & Culture fields, it should be our political & social responsibility to promote our cultural heritage, civilization, and culture too. Lot of space for Improvement, it would balanced in the society, though Government had many challenges which would be resolved , difficulties were also there but gradually improved the situation at every level by collective wisdom of the leadership.

KARACHI: A view of massive traffic jam on Neety Cheety bridge.

Consul General of China calls on CM KARACHI—The Consul General of the Peoples Republic of China in Karachi, Zhang Jianxin on Wednesday had a farewell meeting with Chief Minister (CM) Sindh, Syed Qaim Ali Shah at the CM House here. Chief Minister appreciated the efforts and role of outgoing Consul General of China who worked for furtherance and enhancement of relations between both countries. He said that there have been very old and historical relations with China and even at crucial times, Chinese government and people had extended their assistance to the government and people of Pakistan. The Consul General in his views thanked the Chief Minister Sindh for full support to him and the Consulate and hoped that Pakistan and China will always support each other in various sectors particularly the development projects. Principal Secretary to CM, Muhammad Siddique Memon and staff of Consulate were present in the meeting.— APP

3-day Karachi Literature Festival from Feb 15 KARACHI—The Karachi Literature Festival (KLF) will be held at a hotel here from February 15. The three-day event would be held under the auspices of the Oxford University Press (OUP), Pakistan. his was announced by the Managing Director of OUP Pakistan, Ms. Ameena Saiyid. She was addressing a news conference along with the President of the Arts Council of Pakistan, Karachi, Ahmed Shah, and literary critic, Asif Farrukhi. Through dialogue and discussion, readings and renderings, we intend to create an intellectual space in which the diversity and pluralism in Pakistan’s society is expressed by authors from traditions both within and beyond Pakistan’s borders” Ameena said. It was pointed out that the celebrated novelist, Nadeem Aslam and the poet, Gulzar, will be the keynote speakers at the inauguration of the festival. The closing speech will be by the well-known British politician and journalist, George Galloway MP. The Festival will feature a stellar cast of literary luminaries, writers, poets, scholars, academics, and intellectuals. Ameena Saiyid observed that “based on age-old literary and cultural histories as well as the creative opportunities of the moment, the Karachi Literature Festival draws upon this dynamism by bringing together writers and poets, scholars and academics from a diversity of cultures, languages, academic disciplines and intellectual traditions to create an opportunity for cultural dialogue and exchange through celebration of writing and books.”—APP

Qaim directs early completion of development schemes K ARACHI — Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah has directed the departments concerned to fully concentrate on completion of maximum development schemes in the province particularly in the sectors of health, education, Communication and Works and Services. This he stated while presiding over a joint meeting of Finance and P&D Departments at Chief Minister House here on Wednesday. The meeting was attended among others by Minis-

ter Fiance Syed Murad Ali Shah, Minister Information Sharjeel Enam Memon, Additional Chief Secretary (P&D) Arif Ahmed Khan, ACS (Finance) Naveed Kamran Baloch, Principal Secretary to CM Muhammad Siddique Memon, Special Secretary (P&D) Dr.Noorul Haq and other relevant officers. He said that a separate meeting of heads of those department will be held tomorrow to finalize the schemes nearing

completion. The chief minister while attending detailed briefing of P&D department, directed to prioritize the schemes particularly belonging to health, education, communication and works and coal and energy. He also called emergency meeting of important departments for rationalization of those schemes which can be completed within a period of one month, while efforts will be made to complete ongoing important schemes.—APP

Training of policemen on modern lines must to combat crimes K A R A C H I — The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Sindh, Fayyaz Ahmed Leghari has emphasised the need of training of police officers and jawans on modern lines to effectively combat crimes and acts of terrorism. He said here on Wednesday that such a training has become inevitable. The IGP

said that the reforms in the training manual have also become essential. He also pointed out that the forensic science has an important role towards the investigation of cases. Leghari stressed that police should take advantage of the Forensic Lab for taking the cases to logical conclu-

sion and for the arrest of the accused involved. A police statement said that the IGP was reviewing the recommendations of the police training manual. It said that these recommendations would soon be given the final shape and after necessary approval would be publish in the form of booklets.—APP

101 accused including 54 absconders arrested KARACHI—The Karachi Police arrested total 101 accused including 12 alleged robbers, four vehicle lifters and recovered 25 illicit weapons during 95 raids conducted on Tuesday, said a report issued by the Sindh Police spokesman on Wednesday. According to details, the arrested accused included 12 robbers for having five illegal pistols, five allegedly snatched cellular phones and one motorcycle. The Anti Car Lifting Cell of the Karachi Police arrested four alleged vehicle-lifters and recovered two motorcycles, one truck from them. It said the Police held nine accused and recovered seven illegal weapons, one kilogramme charas, four bottles of liquor from the accused during six encounters in different areas of the city.—APP

Rangers apprehend nine Afghans KARACHI—Pakistan Rangers, Sindh, on Wednesday apprehended nine Afghans without legal documents at Hub from a bus heading from Quetta to Karachi. A spokesman of Pakistan Rangers said that these AfKARACHI: Members of Baldia Town Garment Factory Incident Workers action Commit- ghans were without any legal tee demanding compensation as announced by the government outside Sindh Assembly. documents. The apprehended Afghans were handed over to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).—APP

People’s positive efforts must be appreciated: Tauqeer Fatma OBSERVER REPORT

KARACHI—The Sindh Provincial Minister for Woman Development Mrs. Tauqeer Fatma Bhutto, who was the Chief Guest on the occasion of 3rd CA Awards, addressed the audience and added grace to the ceremony by giving practical examples and useful advice. Expressing her views on the occasion, she said, “We must fight cancer collectively as a nation and society. We want to see Pakistan prospering and developing rapidly and successfully. We must appreciate all the institutions as well as the individu-

als who are making efforts and plans for the social welfare. So, it is a very positive step on behalf of the institution to acknowledge the people’s exploits and achievements in different fields of life and professions.” The vibrant event commenced with the recitation of holy Quran by Mrs. Huma Amir. Former Miss Pakistan Roomi Syed and Educationist and Writer Muttahir Ahmed Khan rendered their services as hosts of the proceedings. Later on, the Chief Guest gave away the awards and the shields to the recipients of the Third CA Awards. The orga-

nizations and the persons who were graced with the awards included National Bank of Pakistan; Essa Lab and Diagnostic Center; Sindh Archives Department; Former Miss Pakistan Roomi Syed, Umair Siddiqui and Sultan-uz-Zaman Xaigham Shaykh, a 5-year old youngest author and the best swimmer. Mrs. Huma Amir, Journalist and Writer Muttahir A. Khan and Producer and Director Mr. Talal Farhat received the shields of honour from the Sindh Minister. In the end, the group photo sessions were conducted and Hitea was served.

Dr. Shah’s burial today KARACHI—Pakistan’s legendary sports organizer and adminstrator Dr. Syed Muhammad Ali Shah, who died in Houston (USA) on Monday will be laid to rest at Paposhnagar graveyard here on Thursday afternoon. The body of Dr. Shah will be arriving here at 4.00 a.m. on Thursday and will be taken to home for a last view, family sources said on Wednesday. The wife of the deceased, Asma Shah, his two sons Dr. Junaid Ali Shah and Dr. Imran Ali Shah will also be returning with the body.—NNI


Vitamin C supplements tied to men’s kidney stones

M

EN who take vitamin C supple ments are at higher-than-average risk of developing kidney stones, a new study from Sweden suggests. The findings don’t prove the vitamin itself triggers stones to form. But researchers said that because there are no clear benefits tied to taking high-dose vitamin C, people who have had stones in the past might want to think before taking extra supplements. “I don’t think I would hold this up and say, ‘You shouldn’t take vitamin C, and here’s the evidence,’” said Dr. Brian Matlaga, a urologist who studies kidney stones at Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore.But, “When you talk to patients, a lot of times you’ll find patients are taking non-prescribed medications, like vitamin supplements… and there may not be great evidence that there’s an actual health benefit associated with these,” he told Reuters Health. The new finding “suggests that stone formers who take regular vitamin C may actually place themselves at increased risk,” said Matlaga, who wasn’t involved in the study. Researchers led by Laura Thomas of the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm used data from a large study of middleaged and elderly Swedish men who answered a series of questions on their diet and lifestyle, then were tracked for an av-

erage of 11 years. The current analysis included 907 of those men who said they took regular vitamin C tablets and more than 22,000 who didn’t use any nutritional supplements. Of the vitamin C users, 3.4 percent developed kidney stones for the first time during the study, compared to 1.8 percent of nonsupplement users. Men who took vitamin C supplements at least once a day had the highest risk of kidney stones, researchers reported Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine. “It has long been suspected that high doses of vitamin C may increase the risk of kidney stones as some of the vitamin C absorbed by the body is excreted in urine as oxalate one of the key components of kidney stones,” Thomas told Reuters Health by email. Stones are made up of tiny crystals, which can be formed by calcium combining with oxalate. They usually pass on their own, but can cause severe pain in the process. Larger stones occasionally require surgery.Men are more likely to form stones than women. The findings don’t mean people shouldn’t get plenty of vitamin C through fruits and vegetables, researchers said. The antioxidant is important for bone and muscle health - and severe deficiency can cause scurvy.

LAHORE: Heart shape balloons are being sold ahead of Valentine’s Day in provincial capital.

PTI flays thrashing of PIA employee by MNA’s son MUZAFFAR ALI L AHORE —The

present populist “democratic” civil political government took to power and started defying the pre-requisites of democracy the first and the foremost of which is rule of law. A very recent example is the brutal beating of a PIA employee at Jinnah International Airport, Karachi by PPP MNA Sher Mohammad Baloch’s son. Nauroz ended up beating the national flagship carrier’s reservation supervisor, Allah Dino Jatoi which caused panic among PIA staff members, who closed down the reservation office in protest. PTI strongly condemns such misuse of power by the children of those in office.

How can the government make claims to ensure rule of law when its own MPs and their children are not abiding by law? Previously there have been many cases like Shahzeb Murder Case, Nafeesah Shah Case, PMLN MPA brutally beating a junior clerk, Shahbaz Sharif ’s son in law torturing a boy at the bakery in Lahore and many more cases which were also reported on the media and are examples of both the federal and provincial government’s insensitivity towards the law. It is not new or unique that any political party basing its politics on populism and claiming to be democratic resorts to such tactics which the ruling parties have been using since the day it

won general elections in February 2008. PTI strongly believes in ensuring equal rights and justice for all citizens of Pakistan regardless of their cast, creed or office they hold. A democracy which ridicules and disobeys rules, laws and the constitution is but a criminal democracy, like the one we have in Pakistan. The sitting government’s tenure of 5 years is marred by mega corruption scams, sky-rocketing inflation, dismal governance, court defiance, terrorism, worsening law and order, grave energy crisis and ailing economy. PTI once in power will take all the steps necessary to uphold the rule of law and maintain law and order in the country.

3 Deputy District Officers suspended for poor performance STAFF REPORTER L AHORE —District Coordination Officer (DCO) Lahore Noor-ul-Amin Mengal has surrendered three Deputy District Officers Lahore on poor and unsatisfactory performance in education sector. Deputy District Officer Wahga Muhammad Ajmal, Deputy District Officer Iqbal Town Fazal Elahi, Deputy District Officer Wahga Parveen Akhtar have been surrendered. DCO Lahore Noor-ulAmin Mengal also urged on

teachers to work whole heartedly and take steps to take student ahead in education field. He expressed these views while chairing a meeting of District Review Committee at Town Hall on Wednesday. DO (C) Sahibzadi Waseema Umer, DMO Mushtaq Tiwana, EDO (Education) Dr. Pervaiz and other were present on this occasion. Noor-ul-Amin Mengal has also granted the permission of 61 million for the repair of twenty dangerous

school buildings, boundary walls of six schools, and for the construction of new additional class room, Examination halls. While briefing DCO Lahore DMO Mushtaq Tiwana said that Education Officers visits are 91%, student presence was 93%. Cleanliness arrangements in all schools are 92%, on the Mengal showed his satisfaction. However he said that careless and poor performance had not place in any school of City District Government Lahore.

Doctors hunger strike continues LAHORE—The hunger strike of Young Doctors Association continued on the third consecutive day on Wednesday to press for the acceptance of their demands. Five hunger striking doctors were shifted to emergency of Services Hospital on Wednesday after their sugar level fell down and they became unconscious. Eleven doctors had been shifted to emergency in the same condition on Tuesday. Hundreds of doctors from different government hospitals on Wednesday reached the venue of hunger strike in front of Services Hospital and expressed solidarity with hunger strikers by staging a sit-in on the road. Due to sit-in, traffic blocked on road for over three hours. For the first time, a large number of lady doctors LAHORE: Members of Young Doctors Association are being given glucose during their hunger strike at a protest joined the protest in front of camp outside Services Hospital. hunger strike camp. Secretary General of Jamat-eIslami, Liaqat Baloch and Farid Piracha and Tehrik-eInsaaf leaders Abdul Aleem Khan and Mahmood ur Rasheed visited the hunger strike camp and assured doctors for their full support.— LAHORE—Official activities APP of Lahore Police are being affected as Punjab government has yet to appoint CCPO Lahore despite pasThey said that the project one hand it would made sage of about one week, neiSALIM AHMED is going to be a huge relief. It available transport facility to ther any acting officer has L AHORE —Rapid Bus Ser- means a farewell to over- all while on the other hand it been nominated. According to details, vice Project is a marvellous loaded decrepit mini-vans would cut the cost of doing achievement of the Punjab and ramshackle buses often business besides timely de- CCPO Lahore Aslam Tareen STAFF REPORTER government that would not driven by drivers without ei- livery of goods at market- retired following completion of his term after which three only cut the cost of doing ther road sense or safety. A place. L AHORE —Pakistan Society business but would also help special road, most of which including They said that the RBS names of Anesthesiologists Lahore highlight the country as a is an overhead bridge would also provided much-needed Naseemuzaman, Ahmed and Society for Treatment good destination for invest- enable the people to commute support to not only the con- Mubarik and Ameen Venus and Study of Pain are orga- ment. from one corner of the city struction sector but steel, were under suggestion for nizing a joint conference on This was stated by the and around, quickly and cement industries and other the slot. anesthesia, critical care and Chairman PIAF Engr. Sohail comfortably. However, despite sevallied sectors were the direct pain management on 15th to Lashari and LCCI former They said that the new beneficiary of this eight kilo- eral days passage, provin17th February, 2013 at a local President Mian Anjum Nisar road built alongside, would meter long project. cial authorities have not fihotel. also ease traffic congestion They said that the busi- nalized the name for aphere on Wednesday. Eminent experts of the They said that the busi- on one of the city’s busiest ness community also expects pointing as CCPO and subject and distinguished ness community appreciates roads. While the Lahorites of Chief Minister Punjab that temporary charge of the anesthesiologists from all the Chief Minister Punjab will begin to heave a sigh of he would expedite compen- office has also not been over Pakistan and abroad will Mian Shahbaz Sharif for com- relief. sation to all the businesses given to any senior officer participate in the conference. pleting this huge project in They said that the project that were affected during the due to which the official President of the society Prof. only eleven months time. work is getting affected a has many facets as on the construction work. Khalid Bashir told in this relot.—INP gard that the conference would provide a unique plate-form of learning and sharing experiences for the participants. He said that three pre conference training workshops would also be arranged. He stressed that the L AHORE —Mujahid squad anesthesiologists at thesil have arrested 149 accused and district level must attend and registered 129 cases the conference to update and against them during crackshare their knowledge and down against proclaimed ofskills with others. fenders, robbers and criminals involved in heinous crimes last month. During crackdown against illegal weapons holders, the force recovered eight pump actions/rifles, 43 L AHORE —National Highpistols and hundreds of ways & Motorway Police rounds, spokesman (NH&MP) M-2 South have Mujahid Squad said on arrested two kidnappers and Wednesday. recovered a boy near Kala Mujahid Squad have Shah Kaku on Wednesday. seized a huge quantity of The NH&MP officers narcotics including 8 Kg were on Speed Checking near hashish and 512 bottles of liKala Shah Kaku when they LAHORE: School children pushing an out of order school van. quor from drug pushers. saw a suspicious car (LEH The force have also ar9458) and tried to stop it but rested nine proclaimed ofthe driver fled away. Police fenders and seven court succeeded to arrest two perabsconders during the same sons Nadeem and Yasir resiperiod. dents of Lahore. SP Mujahid Squad During interrogation the Romail Akram directed the accused admitted that they sector inharges to remain had kidnapped a boy, Hamza LAHORE—New Ravi Bridge ers staged protest on the occaalert during duty to elimiManzoor, for ransom and has been closed for heavy sion and chanted slogans nate crime from the society. were shifting him out of the vehicles as well as motorcycle against the city government LAHORE—Pakistan People’s The officials have been dicity for another party. rickshaws in the favour of and traffic police. Talking to APP on Party will make Bahawalpur rected to take immediate The motorway police ap- unhindered river crossing by passengers Janoobi Punjab province by action when they receive 15 proached his family and later buses of Metro Bus Service. Wednesday, call.—APP the boy was handed over to Metro Bus Service is go- complained that peace of citi- removing all hindrances. These views were exhis family in presence of lo- ing to be inaugurated on zens was being destroyed for cal police.—APP Feb 13 and all the depart- the success of Metro Bus pressed by PPP leader Arshad Ali Bhatti in a meetments are completing their Service. Transporters complained ing with party workers at his tasks before the announced date. Only cars, small vans, that they had to use extra fuel residence here on Wednesmotorcycles and other light and it was time consuming to day. He alleged that PML-N L AHORE —A seminar titled vehicles can use New Ravi go to alternative route as was the major obstacle in the ‘Elections-2013 speculations Bridge while trucks, buses, Saggian Bridge was far from way of new province, adding and possibilities’ will be held mini buses, and all other the City Bus Stand. Passen- that it would be responsible here on Saturday. slow moving vehicles, par- gers and transporters have if democracy in the country Former federal minister ticularly motorcycles rick- appealed to the government derailed. SM Zafar will preside over shaws are being diverted to to take notice of the situation The PPP is the largest poand urged practical measures litical party of the country the seminar while politician Saggian Bridge. Dr Farid Paracha and senior Traffic Police has started to ease passengers’ and which was struggling for denews analyst Iftikhar Ahmed working in this regard, and more transporters’ miseries. mocracy, he said and vowed On the other hand, a to continue struggle in this rewill be guests on the occa- constablery has been deployed sion. The speakers include at Saggian Bridge to controll the spokesman of traffic police gard. senior news analyst Taseer traffic. On the first day,traffic said that extra wardens had He said that Sharif BrothMustafa, MPA Mohtarma jams were witnessed at Old Ravi been appointed at Saggian ers had not learnt any lesson Uzma Bukhari, former Direc- Bridge (Saggian Bridge) and Bridge and New Ravi Bridge, from the past and the people tor News PTV Sarwar Munir traffic wardens seemed help- adding the situation would of their party were leaving Rao.—APP less. Passengers and transport- improve in days ahead.—APP them as a result.—APP

Anesthesiologists joint meeting on Feb 15

Rapid Bus Service Project completion termed as marvel of the year

Vacant CCPO post affecting routine work

Mujahid squad arrest 149 criminals

Kidnappers arrested

New Ravi bridge closed for heavy vehicles

Seminar

‘PPP to make new province by removing hindrances’


e-Paper Feb 07, 2013