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Pakistan Link

VOL. 25/5 - 10 Rabi ‘u-thani 1436 H PAGE 11

Senators Shown Destroyed Haqqani Network Bar Council to Challenge 21st Amendment

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Friday, January 30, 2015



King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz alSaud Dies

First Female Federal Minister Passes away

Military Courts: Supreme Court Issues Notices

Islamabad: Pakistan Bar Council

(PBC) has decided to challenge the controversial 21st constitutional amendment in the Supreme Court and would hold a country-wide strike and a day of mourning on Jan 29 against the legislation. The apex court has already admitted for hearing petitions against the amendment, recently passed by Parliament to give legal cover to military courts for trying terrorism suspects. Lawyers would appear with black arm bands in the courts of law across the country on the strike day, said a statement issued by the council on Tuesday. “With the decision of establishing military courts, an attempt has been made to undermine the importance of judiciary in the country” said the statement. A three-member bench, headed by Chief Justice SC Nasirul Mulk, is scheduled to hear the petitions on January 28. The other two judges on the bench are Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Mushir Alam.


Rise of Pakistan Just a Matter of Time: Morgan Stanley


For news, updated round the clock, visit India’s Inclusion in Nuclear Suppliers Group Criticized Islamabad: In an unusually criti-

A view of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, Islamabad

Islamabad: During the hearing of a case pertaining to the establishment of military courts in the country, the Supreme Court on Wednesday issued notices to the attor-

ney general and the advocates general of all four provinces. A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Nasirul Mulk, heard a petition filed by the

Lahore High Court Bar Association (LHCBA) challenging the establishment of military courts under the 21st constitutional amendment. The petition was filed by LHCBA President Advocate

Shafqat Chauhan along with Advocate Hamid Khan. The petition contends that military courts violate rights of citizens listed in Article 8 of the COURTS, P29

Bill Gates & Aziz Memon Talk about Fighting Polio

Karachi: Pakistan is located in a re-

gion that will bring major changes in the world economy in coming decades primarily due to its demographics. With over 100 million people below the age of 30 aspiring to change their lives, the rise of Pakistan is just a matter of time, Morgan Stanley Chief Investment Strategist David M Darst said on Tuesday. “Demographics will play a major role in coming decades. Pakistan is among those nine countries in Asia that will add another China in the next 35 years and the impact of this change will be phenomenal on the world economy,” he said while giving a lecture on “The World Economic Environment: Where’s the Global Capital Going”. It was part of a special series of lectures that was organised by The Aga Khan University here at its auditorium. With a young population of

US & Canada $1.00

Aziz recently met Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates whose Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) is currently amongst the most influential on our planet focusing on humanitarian causes including the fight against disease

n By Ras H. Siddiqui Sacramento, CA: Aziz Memon is a Pakistani who makes things move

positively in our country of origin. If one ventured here into even briefly mentioning all of his credentials in the world of

business, philanthropy or fighting for causes, it would exceed the upper word length limit of our publication guidelines.

So for the purpose of this article we will limit his introduction to just that of a Rotarian and within that role as the Chairman, Pakistan National Polio Plus Committee of Rotary International. Aziz was recently in Seattle where he had the opportunity to meet the wealthiest man in the world, Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates whose Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) is currently amongst the most influential on our planet focusing on humanitarian causes including the fight against disease. And one of these which Bill recently talked about on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon recently was a quest POLIO, P20

Periodical postage paid at Newport Beach, CA and additional mailing offices

cal statement, a senior Pakistani official said that Pakistan remained opposed to India’s inclusion in the Nuclear Suppliers Group and feared that the country’s growing nuclear cooperation with the United States could harm deterrence efforts in South Asia. The statement by Sartaj Aziz, the Pakistani national security adviser, came after President Obama wound up his visit to India, during which the United States and India announced an array of trade and strategic agreements. “Pakistan is opposed to yet another country-specific exemption from NSG rules to grant membership to India, as this would further compound the already fragile strategic stability environment in South Asia,” Mr. Aziz said Tuesday in the statement. The Nuclear Suppliers Group is a 48-nation body established 40 years ago to ensure that civilian trade in nuclear materials is not diverted for military purposes. In addition to opposing INDIA, P29

Karachi Shuts down as Missing MQM Worker Is Found Dead Karachi: Parts of Karachi shut

down hours after the body of a Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) worker was found from the Mochko area on Wednesday. Sohail Ahmed, MQM unit incharge for society sector 64, had been kidnapped from outside a mosque on December 15 from Bahadurabad. His body was identified at the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital Wednesday, following which MQM workers gathered at the hospital in large numbers. Shops and petrol pumps were shut in Bahadurabad, Liaquatabad, Tariq Road, Mehmoodabad and other neighborhoods soon after. MQM chief Altaf Hussain condemned the killing of Sohail and called on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif and Director General Inter-Services Intelligence Rizwan Akhtar to take notice of

MQM, P29



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The Last Straw on the People’s Back?

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uestion: what’s the litmus test of a clueless, gutless and shameless government?

Answer: It’d never accept any responsibility for its jarring failures and look, instead, for scapegoats and excuses to cover up its ugly foot-prints of crass cupidity. Take, for example, the ongoing petrol crisis in Punjab, in its 9th day as of the writing of these lines, but still showing no signs of easing up, much less being overcome. It’s heart breaking for this scribe currently sojourned in Dubai—where gas stations, or petrol pumps in the Pakistani parlance, are perennially over-crowded with long queues of cars waiting to have their tanks filled up—to see the poor and harried people of Pakistan scrambling for a lite of petrol at stations with no gas. Punjab’s empty gas stations and their milling crowds of petrol-seeking harried citizens on their scooters, motor cycles and cars, are telling a million stories of the Nawaz government’s horrendous incompetence. As if determined to make the lives of the people of Pakistan worse than ever before, this government of carpet-baggers and bounty-hunters has heaped on them one crisis after another. Be that power, or water or gas for cooking, or CNG, the name of the game under Nawaz’ clueless cronies-in-power has been never-ending shortages. The people of Pakistan have been starved of the basic amenities of life taken for granted in civilised democratic societies as their people’s inalienable right. But, not certainly, so for the people of Pakistan under Nawaz and his robberbarons. The three-time-lucky Nawaz obviously thinks of himself as a born-again Mughal emperor who must emulate his illustrious forebears and create a legacy of his own worthy of them. So he might think that his Metro Bus monstrosity in the city where Emperor Shah Jehan built his fabulous Shalimar Gardens and Emperor Auragzeb his monumental Badshahi Mosque is the 21st century parallel to those grandiose landmarks. The man is infatuated with metro bus, motorways and their likes. Fine; none would begrudge him these developments that have their own utility and value in any developing or developed country, provided he first built the basic infrastructure justifying these later-day innovations. But the clueless man, surrounded by cronies whose sole pursuit in life is to have his shelter over their heads so they make amass as much wealth as possible in the time available to them, can’t have it in his head that a pyramid can’t be built on its pinnacle. An inverted pyramid, if it could be built, would still be a very unstable thing. Alas, the man with a fetish for fatty, greasy, food can’t get it through the umpteen layers of fat in his head. This massive crisis of petrol shortages is a case of monumental incompetence on the part of Nawaz and his kitchen cabinet. But neither the chief nor his minions are prepared to have any blame on them. Their only response is to seek scapegoats and find excuses to pass the buck on to others. Nawaz had no problem singling out a clutch of senior bureaucrats—who may or may not have had anything to do with precipitating the crisis—as the fall-guys to take all blame for it. Many of these bureaucrats had been appointed by him, personally, to head positions in the departments concerned. But scapegoats he must have to mount on the gallows. Nawaz’ alter-ego—his major domo and bumbling buffoon—Finance ‘wizard’ Ishaq Dar, proved, yet again, why he’s so indispensable to his master and mentor. True to his salt, Dar had an easy explanation when cornered by the news men to say who was responsible for triggering the crisis. It was a ‘conspiracy’ against the government. End of the debate. The innocents of Nawaz government are

being conspired against by ‘the enemies of Pakistan’ who don’t want this country to progress under the ‘dynamic’ leadership of the born-again modern-day Mughal, Emperor Nawaz Sharif. It’s obvious that the buck in Pakistan doesn’t stop at Nawaz’ desk, but at any other Tom, Dick or Harry’s. Credit for anything good should, of course, belong to the visionary Prime Minister. But blame for shortfalls and deficiencies—of appalling proportions, no doubt—belongs neither to him nor his confidants, most of whom are either his blood relatives or bonded to him in familial chords. So it’s unthinkable that the business tycoon, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, ruling the roost in the Petroleum Ministry, be expected to step down and accept responsibility for the appalling failure on his watch. Abbasi is as shameless as anybody else in the kitchen cabinet. Ministries are the milking cows for these dishonourable men and they must hang on to them as long as possible. Shame is an attribute of men of honesty and

True to his salt, Dar had an easy explanation when cornered by the newsmen to say who was responsible for triggering the crisis. It was a ‘conspiracy’ against the government. End of the debate. The innocents of Nawaz government are being conspired against by ‘the enemies of Pakistan’ who don’t want this country to progress under the ‘dynamic’ leadership of the bornagain modern-day Mughal, Emperor Nawaz Sharif integrity, and you can’t think of anyone among Nawaz’ cronies suffering from this syndrome. Besides chopping off a few symbolic heads in the bureaucracy, OGRA (Oil & Gas Regulatory Authority) has been blamed for failing to anticipate the situation that has degenerated into the current crisis. OGRA has come back with the disclosure that its executive board has been without its Oil member for more than six months. Any guesses who’s supposed to appoint the official concerned? Don’t strain your faculties; it’s the prerogative of the Prime Minister, who hasn’t found the right ‘yes man’ for the job, yet. The businessman PM can’t help himself. Old habits are hard to die in this age. He’s used to putting his family’s business interests ahead of the country he’s expected to serve. So what should the poor man do if his business interests dictate to him to make the many-times-over billionaire tycoon, Mohammad Mansha—who lords over the independent power producers (IPPs) as uncrowned king—happier at the expense of ordinary consumers of petrol and gas. Let the people of Pakistan wallow in misery; they must get used to it by now. So, what should be the end of it, if there’s an end in sight? If logic has its way—rare though this phe-


nomenon is in the Pakistani context—this incompetent and dishonest government ought to go. It has been teetering on the verge of collapse for a long time. But it has somehow dodged its tryst with ignominy. Circumstances have favoured it more than once. The latest stroke of fortune in its favour was, ironically, the ghastly massacre of innocent school children of Peshawar, last December 16, which plunged the nation in such a deep gloom that it forgot all about politics. Will this filching regime have lady luck smiling for it this time around too, is a question that should be agitating every mind concerned with the welfare of Pakistan. Come to think of it, this monumental folly of a habitually-erring gang of robber-barons should, logically, be the last nail in its coffin. The people of Pakistan have had it up to their eyeballs. No further evidence is needed to condemn this failed government and throw it into the dustbin of history where it should rest in infamy. But at this crucial juncture, Imran Khan— the last hope of Pakistan’s civil society for redemption of a terminally-sick political culture— has, for reasons of his own, elected to cut his losses and refocus on his little patch of Khyber Pakhtoonkwa. According to his revised priorities, he’d like to make the PTI-governed KPK a model of development and a paragon of multifaceted progress. Good luck to Imran in his latest venture. But what about his resolve to craft a New Pakistan? Why has Kaptan shifted gears to slow down just before the finish line? Is it his deliberated decision to give the tottering Nawaz regime another lease of life just when he was so close to administering it the coup de grace? Why has Kaptan done so, why? Jaded pundits have more than one explanation making sense for Kaptan’s intriguing volte face. The army, now into the thick of things as never before in recent years, has leaned on him to hold his horses, for the moment at least. It makes a lot of sense for politicians keeping the political front unheated while the army is engaged heavily in rooting out the scourge of terrorism from the country. Imran can’t say no to this sane and sensible advice even if his political sense tells him to pull the rug from under the abysmally incompetent and corrupt Nawaz cabal. But Nawaz and cronies would be doing themselves disservice if they were to take it for granted that rival politicians would give them all the time in the world. Tactically it makes sense for Imran to give Nawaz a long rope so he may bind himself into knots that ultimately hang the poltroon. But it’d be poor strategy to not put an expiry date on the lease. It appears that conscious of the fact that Nawaz shouldn’t be given an open-ended license to go on piling misery upon suffering of the people, Imran and the magician from Canada—the bombastic Tahir-ul Qadri—are reportedly getting together in Saudi Arabia this week. Both have the Umra camouflage to shelter their rendezvous. Hopefully, the two who’ve cooperated with each other before will come up with a more sanctimonious plan to deal Nawaz the knock-out punch he so richly deserves. Keep your fingers crossed, folks. The plot is just getting thicker and juicier. - (The author is a former ambassador and career diplomat)

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A Letter to General Raheel Shareef

n By Syed Kamran Hashmi


Westfield, IN

ear Sir,

Through this letter, I want to thank you in particular and acknowledge the role of Pakistani Army in general for showing an extraordinary resolve against the terrorists who shot down over one hundred innocent children in Peshawar last month. Your immediate response with coordinated air strikes in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and prompt execution of the terrorists who had been found guilty by the courts reassured us that Military has got our backs, a gesture that both calmed us down and lifted our spirits to fight this war in which the enemy follows no rules, shows no sympathy and relies upon pure savagery to spread terror. Sir, I can affirm that the whole nation stands behind the Armed Forces today, fully aware that the cost of this war, both in the form of civilian casualties and military sacrifices, can run high. However, we also believe that the dawn of a new and safe Pakistan will eventually set in liberating us from our fears. Sir, since you have sworn in as the new Chief of the Army Staff (COAS), we find that every organ of the state - political parties, judiciary, bureaucracy and the media outlets - has finally united to take on the ‘existential threat to our nation.’ And for the first time, all of

them have realized that the terrorists on our soil, like the parasites chewing down their own hosts, act as our enemies and not friends, irrespective of their religion or political ambitions in the neighboring countries. Although we still mourn the death of our children, but we celebrate the clarity in thought which may have been the essential ingredient missing to defeat this menace once and for all. Sir, after passing the 21st constitutional amendment, politicians cannot back out from their commitment. Whether they understood the limitations and inefficiencies of the civilian judicial structure; they were convinced it was the right thing to do; or they gave in after a little ‘arm twisting,’ whatever the case may have been; they still have put their trust in you by establishing the military courts and agreeing to prosecute the criminals by your officers. Sure, this step has irked some liberals, but Sir, most members of the Parliament have supported it, nevertheless. As far as the ordinary Pakistanis are concerned, they do not understand the real difference between the military and the civilian courts, what they do understand is that terrorism and Pakistan cannot go hand in hand any more. One will have to crush another for its own survival. And who do they trust to get the job done? Only you. In the end, through the recent visit of John Kerry, the US Secretary of State, to Pakistan and by releasing the

F m

funds for IDPs, America too has pledged its support in your favor. From a practical standpoint in

In the end I am writing this letter to you instead of the Prime Minister of Pakistan, because I want to set the record straight that the ultimate responsibility for the outcome of this war, whether we win it or lose it, lays in the hands of the Pakistan Army the current circumstances, you can’t ask for better support than this. Now Sir, with all the power in your hands - military courts,


Friends Of Humanity

political backup, public sympathy and the American assistance - let us be clear that there is absolutely no room left for failure. As always Sir, through an organized campaign, we are being fed with conspiracy theories yet again, theories that almost exonerate Taliban from incidents like the Peshawar massacre and put the major blame on India and other countries. It may very well be true; however, even if it were true, we still have to consider it as the failure of our leading spy agency, ISI, for its inability to uncover the plot and catch the miscreants before they had executed their plan. Yes Sir, I agree that CIA, RAW, MI 6 and French intelligence, all of them failed to preempt such an attack on their soil. But, each one of them only failed once. We, on the other hand, have failed on numerous occasions, including but not limited to, the GHQ attack, assault on Karachi Airport, Wagha Border massacre and raids on PNS Mehran. The time for such excuses like foreign involvement and international agenda has passed. We do not want unfounded theories, cooked-up explanations or unnecessary blame games. Now, we want results. Sir, if some of the terrorists get illegal financing, even then I have to say it still falls in your domain. The agencies need to track down the money trail and block the process while prosecuting the culprits in military courts. Non-military institutions for the reasons well

known to you, do not have the capacity nor the understanding to handle these complex issues. Notwithstanding their ineptitude, ISI, with its experience in dealing with such matters, should detect and prevent such transections at all costs. If it needs assistance, you know it can be obtained in a heart beat. However, in case of its failure to stop such funding, we must not blame the powerless and unskillful civilian institutions. You must know that terrorism is not the only war we need to win. Our struggle has to be directed at extremism and sectarianism too. And without taking action against the sectarian organizations, neither we can win the war against terror nor we can attain durable peace. That action is the litmus test Sir; we have to evaluate our Army’s capability and resolve based on its success against the banned outfits like Sipah e Sahaba Pakistan (SSP), Lashakr Jhangvey (LeJ) and Lashkar e Tayeeba (LeT). In the end I am writing this letter to you instead of the Prime Minister of Pakistan, because I want to set the record straight that the ultimate responsibility for the outcome of this war, whether we win it or lose it, lays in the hands of the Pakistan Army. We cannot blame the civilian leadership for their alleged incapacity or dishonesty anymore. In case of failure, we must realize that this is not Kargil. We can’t afford another scapegoat for sacrifice. People of Pakistan have done their job, it’s time for you to do yours. Thank you, Concerned Citizens

OPINION n By Dr Mohammad Taqi


Pakistan’s Paradigm Shift: Too Good to Be True?


Een keh mi-beenam ba baidaareest ya Rabb, ya ba khwab?

Khaishtan raa dar chuneen nai’mat pas az chundeen azaab!” Pakistan’s national security paradigm has changed, or so they say. Perhaps my Afghan readers, who would be the major beneficiaries of such a tectonic shift, may be able to appreciate the above quoted Persian verse, in which the classic poet Anvari says: “O my Lord, am I seeing this all while I am awake or is it a dream? Such bounties for this poor soul after such prolonged misery!” After the decades of the death and destruction it unleashed, the Jalaluddin Haqqani terrorist network, run currently by his son Sirajuddin Haqqani, has reportedly been banned by Pakistan. Additionally, Hafiz Muhammad Saeed’s Jamatud-Dawa (JuD), which effectively is the political front for the proscribed terrorist group Lashkar-e-Tayyaba (LeT), has ostensibly been banned too. Amen to that! There, however, is a slight problem before one goes to town on the news: it is not official and might actually not become official for several weeks or, perhaps, ever. The US State Department’s spokesperson, Ms Marie Harf, was quick to celebrate what is more of a rumor or feeler at this stage. In her January 15, 2015 news briefing, Ms

Harf said: “So we welcome reports that the government of Pakistan plans to outlaw the Haqqani network, I think 10 or 11 additional organizations linked to violent extremism. This is an important step toward eliminating terrorist activity in Pakistan. Obviously, the Secretary (of State, John Kerry) was just there and had a wide-ranging conversation with the Pakistanis about counterterrorism, certainly...and obviously had many conversations with Prime Minister Sharif and others.” The reports that the State Department was welcoming cite unnamed Pakistani officials and are mute on what exactly such a ban would mean in practical terms. Without actually going after the leadership and operational commanders of the Haqqani network, any ban would mean diddlysquat. Where due diligence was in order, the State Department spokesperson jumped the gun. We have argued in this column since the start of Operation Zarb-eAzb in North Waziristan last summer that not a single Haqqani network ringleader has been captured or killed there while their cadres have been relocated to the adjoining Kurram and Orakzai agencies. There is no evidence to suggest that this has changed since the rumors of the ban have been going around. The Haqqani network cadres continue to lay low and its leadership remains at large. Addressing a media briefing jointly with Secretary John Kerry over a week ago, the prime minister’s national security advi-

sor, Mr Sartaj Aziz, said, “As far as the Haqqani network is concerned, since after the North Waziristan operation their infrastructure is totally destroyed. Our commitment to Afghanistan not to allow our territory to be used against any country would not have been possible unless

doubts about whether the Pakistani security establishment would actually take on the Haqqanis, who have been its oldest jihadist asset. The Pakistan-Haqqani ties date back to the mid-1970s, long before any Soviets, the US, mujahideen, Taliban or al Qaeda popped onto the scene,

The present Chief of Army Staff (COAS), General Raheel Sharif, certainly comes across as a sober person compared to General Pervez Musharraf and a much more proactive one than General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani we had undertaken this operation in North Waziristan.” Mr Aziz skillfully skirted the question about whether there has been or will be any direct action against the Haqqanis. That all the Haqqani network operatives have gone scot-free raises serious

and are unlikely to be severed so abruptly. The same goes for the JuD, which truly is the top-drawer ‘good’ jihadist outfit that hardly ever bucks its handlers. Despite the US’s jubilation about the paradigm shift, we have

been there, done that. In the immediate post-9/11 phase, the military dictator, General Pervez Musharraf, had banned a slew of jihadist organizations, ostensibly frozen their funds and jailed some of their leaders too. Similar to the current announcement via news reports, of a potential ban, the JuD’s forbearer, i.e. the Markaz Dawa-wal-Irshad was given enough lead time by the Musharraf regime to change its name to JuD in December 2001. Similarly, the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani network melted away, rather than facing international forces, and were retracted into Pakistan to regroup. It was a matter of time before they resurfaced in Afghanistan in 2004. Musharraf had even promulgated the deeni madaris (religious seminaries) Voluntary Registration and Regulation Ordinance in June 2002, which was not much different from the madrassa reforms being touted by the present government. What is so exciting about the current mantra of change then? We are led to believe that the security establishment has learnt its lesson, jettisoned its good/ bad jihadist distinction and taken a fresh start under new management. The present Chief of Army Staff (COAS), General Raheel Sharif, certainly comes across as a sober person compared to General Pervez Musharraf and a much more proactive one than General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani. However, if his recent talk at the International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS) London is anything to go by, General Sharif seems no less India-centric



P8 – PAKISTAN LINK – JANUARY 30, 2015 n By Dr Mahjabeen Islam


Toledo, Ohio

he Charlie Hebdo magazine killings have had an immediate fallout and promise to make many serious and enduring changes, none of which will be positive for anyone.

I remember the time that the Satanic Verses came out and how deeply hurt and offended I was. A liberal Muslim friend, in full condescension and pity mode, told me to read the Satanic Verses for I would realize how much “a work of art” the book was. I politely declined; reading the excerpts in my local paper was enough to make my stomach turn. And trash cannot be a work of art and I wasn’t contributing to Rushdie’s millions. And then came the Danish cartoons. I protested by writing a letter to the editor of The Toledo Blade and explained how Muslims love God and Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) more than their parents. And satirizing Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is like slugging someone in the solar plexus and worse. NonMuslim American friends appreciated the elucidation and empathized with my distress. I am certain I was a whole lot more effective with that one letter than the many threats that I could have sent to Jyllands-Posten magazine. People respond to persuasion not intimidation. Muslims on the extreme right as well as the ignorant ones forget that respect for God and Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is enjoined

Rigidity of the Two Extremes upon Muslims. Non-Muslims are free to do what they desire: “there is no compulsion in religion” (Qur’an 2:256). But we got provoked and instead of Rushdie and the Danish cartoons dying their natural deaths, they rocketed to persistent fame. The reason that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was created human was for us to emulate him in everything we do. And understand what perfection in a human being looks like. In every arena of living, especially in difficult times, Muslims should pause and reflect and use Prophet Muhammad’s life and sayings as a guide. “What would Muhammad (PBUH) have done?” is a vital question that we must articulate within and it is amazing how the answer is immediate, unequivocal and deeply comforting. We must also go with stories of Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) life that have a strong chain of narration. Even the ones that we grew up with that are well established. How the old lady would throw garbage at him every day and when the garbage didn’t come he went to find out what had happened and found her ill. His kindness totally won her over. He could have killed her on day one. Or the story of the man who decided to urinate in the mosque. The companions of the Prophet (PBUH) rushed toward the man but Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) stopped them and advised them to let him finish. He then without cursing or scolding the man, told him that the mosque was a place for the remembrance of

God and asked his companions to clean the area the man had defiled. Justice and its accurate dispensation is a vital concept in Islam. Evidence is mandated in all contentious issues. Vigilantism and unilaterally taking the law into one’s hands is not accepted.

The innocents between the two extremes take the brunt from both sides. Muslims all over the world have to apologize for what they have nothing to do with, and reiterate that satire does not deserve death. If Muslims unequivocally condemn the killings per their understanding of Islam, they risk being targeted by the handlers of the Kouachi brothers Undoubtedly Charlie Hebdo crossed many lines and offended Muslims, Christians, Jews and pretty much anyone whenever they wanted to. But Muslims should have taken the “dogs bark and the caravan moves on” tack. Prior to the killing of the 17 people at Char-

lie Hebdo, the magazine had a circulation of 30,000. In the printing after the attack five million copies of the magazine were printed and swooped up the same day. People who might have been neutral or inclined toward Muslims previously, despise us now. The most tragic part is that, again, Islam has been pulled into a situation that has little to do with it. Columnist Gwynne Dyer writes that the Charlie Hebdo killings are representative of a larger Muslim civil war. Thirsting for power, political extremists who call themselves Muslim, mess with the hearts and minds of economically and socially marginalized Muslims, get them to injure, kill and maim and fool them into believing that this madness is mandated by Islam. Destabilizing Muslim governments and gaining power is their aim. This is borne out by the fact that most of the victims of this kind of terrorism have been Muslim. Columnist Robert Fisk also has a captivating take on this. The French colonization of Algeria and the subsequent massacre of protesting Algerians has bred a seething anger in French-Algerians, whose lot is worsened by their economic situation. The French Prime Minister alluded to this when he said that there was social, economic and ethnic apartheid in France. Young people marginalized this way are fertile breeding grounds for the planting of extremist ideology and hang it on Islam.

All this is not to say that the sickening disrespect by the Charlie Hebdo magazine is condoned. What I found even more offensive was the printing of a front page cartoon after the killings. And this displays the madness of the ultra-left. As though satire toward the sacred personalities of all major religions was like oxygen to them and without these hits in very poor taste, the satirists could not go on. The Pope encouraged respect toward all religions and alluded to the sentiment of Muslims who love Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) more than their parents: “If my assistant curses my mother, he can expect a punch in return”. The loss of one million Iraqi civilians in a war that found no weapons of mass destruction and the decimation of Baghdad, the seat of Islamic civilization, most certainly fuel deep resentment in the Muslim psyche. But more violence is not vindication. The innocents between the two extremes take the brunt from both sides. Muslims all over the world have to apologize for what they have nothing to do with, and reiterate that satire does not deserve death. If Muslims unequivocally condemn the killings per their understanding of Islam, they risk being targeted by the handlers of the Kouachi brothers. Charlie Hebdo remains undeterred by the killings and will serve insult after insult and the Kouachi types will continue to kill. No wonder Islam promotes taking the middle path and avoiding extremes (Qur’an 2:143). Whenever a EXTREMES, P26



The Best Place in the World to Be a Muslim: America or Europe? - 2 n By Dr Akbar Ahmed Washington, DC


ho is doing better?

To return to our initial question, which community, the American or the European Muslims, is doing better? In the US, we can give examples of two Muslim congressmen, many Muslim mayors, councilors, prominent comedians such as Dave Chappelle and Aasif Mandvi, musicians and Hollywood actors. Europe can boast a similar number of prominent figures, such as members of parliament in countries such as Germany, major television presenters, and famous soccer stars. In the UK, there are a dozen Muslim members of the House of Commons and House of Lords. The captains of the national cricket team of the UK as well as the national soccer team of France have been Muslim. In terms of identity, the US has an advantage. American identity is rooted in the vision of its Founding Fathers. This ideal is of a genuinely pluralist society rooted in human rights, civil liberties and democracy. European societies, in contrast, are often based in an ethnic vision. Germany is a country for Germans as defined by its very name and they speak the German language, while Denmark is the land of the Danes and England the land of the English. This is why a Pakistani or someone from Trinidad in the UK will say they are British — a broad identity based on citizenship similar to American identity — but rarely will they claim to be English, nor will they be defined as such by the English themselves. A third-generation Muslim immigrant may say “I am English, I do everything English people do. So why am I still considered a foreigner?” The US, in contrast, is not the land of the white people or brown people or any other kind of people alone. However, 9/11 spoiled things for Muslims in the US and Europe. But Islam is also challenging American and European identity in profoundly political and philosophic ways. For

Americans, the unfair treatment of the Muslim community challenges notions of being a liberal democracy in the vision of the Founding Fathers. Europeans also commonly define themselves as a civilization of the enlightenment promoting democracy, human rights and liberal values. Yet there cannot be a situation, in either the US or Europe, in which everyone is equal except for one particular community, which is targeted for discrimination on the basis of religion. The way forward We have to ask ourselves, as people of good faith, what should we be doing to improve relations between Muslims and non-Muslims and promote genuine pluralism in society? It is precisely to answer this question that I embarked on a series of projects, along with a research team, to examine the relationship between the Islamic world and the West after 9/11 and how those relations might be improved. The studies are: Journey into Islam: The Crisis of Globalization (2007), which involved me traveling across the Muslim world and examining what Muslims thought of the West; Journey into America: The Challenge of Islam (2010), for which I traveled to 75 US cities and 100 mosques to examine how Americans perceived Islam and Muslims and the relationship between Islam and the American identity; The Thistle and the Drone: How America’s War on Terror Became a Global War on Tribal

Islam (2013), a study of Muslim tribal societies on the periphery of nations where so much of the violence associated with the “war on terrorism” is taking place; and my forthcoming study, Journey into Europe: Islam, Immigration, and Empire, which has involved travel to 30 European cities and 40 mosques to study the Muslim experience in Europe. On the basis of these studies, I have concluded that Muslim leaders have to play a greater role in fostering unity and cohesion in the Muslim community. The Muslim community is divided — there are sectarian differences such as Shias and Sunnis and Deobandis and Barelvis, then there are ethnic divisions between Arabs, Iranians, Bangladeshis and so on. The communities often lead separate lives and are sometimes even antagonistic toward each other. They must instead come together and be able to create platforms where they can speak to each other and form a united front. They need leaders who can represent them. Americans and Europeans often ask me who represents the Muslim community. I find it difficult to answer. The Muslim community also must build alliances that stretch across religious and political boundaries. They must reach out to Jews, Christians, atheists and others. They have to learn from other minorities. There are so many rabbis, for example, who are eager to work with Muslims and help build bridges. Muslims should be

asking them for advice and strategies that religious minorities can utilize to improve their situation. Young Muslims also have to be more involved in the Muslim community as well as the wider society. Many important Muslim organizations in the US and Europe are still headed by people who were born in Muslim countries, whose experience is different from their children and grandchildren growing up in the West. Muslim parents often want their children to be professionals, like doctors and lawyers, to secure their income, but the young also need to be part of the larger debate about Islam in the media. They need to be involved in politics. They need to be on television, to improve the visibility of the community in society and put forth their point of view. They must be seen and heard to be considered American or European. Muslims must also write books and studies and ask hard questions about themselves. I have seen very few selfanalytic books from the Muslim community. Muslims also need to participate in local cultural events. In the US , for example, I have heard debates about the 4th of July celebrations in the Muslim community. I tell them that the 4th of July is an important event in American cultural life. Some Muslims simply do not understand its significance and have told me that, as it does not have anything to do with Islam, they would not participate. But the Muslim leadership should tell people that they

are part of this culture and society and cannot be isolated and thus inadvertently cause offense to the majority population. Non-Muslim Americans would not tell Muslims to violate their religious principles and drink alcohol, so it is possible to participate in cultural events without compromising their religion and identity. All countries have these cultural events. Right now it is hit or miss whether members of the Muslim community will participate in these events. I return to my point about immigrant imams in the US who may have no idea what the 4th of July means. The reality is that Muslims have to be involved in the local culture and these are ways they can participate. If they do not, and if Islamophobia worsens, the results can be dangerous. History has established that a minority that is living under a shadow, that is isolated, afraid and unsure of its place, and is the target of violent attacks will have a bleak future. While the targeting of a minority is currently focused on Muslims in the West, there is a larger social point to be made. To attack a minority is to travel on a slippery slope. Muslims may be the target today, but in the future, it could be another minority and then another. Either equality and rights for all citizens are upheld or the notion of equality and rights are compromised. This is why Muslims must join other groups in society to work for equal rights for all citizens. If they can do this, the US and Europe will truly emerge as ideal places where Muslims can thrive and contribute so much to their nations. Muslims, and indeed all US and European citizens, must work to make that a reality, not just for the sake of Muslims, but for the health and prosperity of the countries in which they live. It is at that point that the ideals of Islam and those of Western civilization meet. (Ambassador Akbar Ahmed is the Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies at American University and the former High Commissioner from Pakistan to the United Kingdom. He is currently working on the forthcoming book and documentary film project Journey into Europe: Islam, Immigration, and Empire)

President Obama Can Help Bring Peace in South Asia

n By Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai

Washington, DC

We should probably try to facilitate a better understanding between Pakistan and India and try to resolve the Kashmir crisis…” President Obama, October 30, 2008

Your planned visit to India has inspired hopes, in the hearts of Americans of Kashmiri origin, that your global statesmanship may move the frozen dispute over the status of Kashmir towards a settlement based on justice and rationality. We would hasten to add that while we are fully aware of the multiplicity of issues that you will be devoting your time and attention during your forthcoming visit to India, you may perhaps like to remember that Kashmir is not a new issue, having been on the agenda of and in the cognizance of the United Nations for nearly 68 years. Ironically, it is the only entity in the region of South Asia which has so far been denied the opportunity to determine its political future. It has been most unfortunate that throughout the pendency of the dispute and especially since the uprising in 1989, India has taken full

advantage of the United States policy, regardless of the intent of that policy. Pronouncements emanating from the highest levels of the US government to the effect that India and Pakistan must settle the dispute bilaterally have been taken by Indian policy-makers as endorsement of their stand. They may not like the balancing statement that the United States regards the whole of Kashmir as disputed territory but they consider it as immaterial. Equally distressing has been the reported canvassing by some Indian officials of the idea of autonomy for Kashmir within the Indian Union. Kashmiri leadership has the support of mass opinion for its stand that this idea is totally unacceptable as, in addition to its inherent defects, it would be liable to revision or repeal by the Indian legislature. Unless a settlement of the Kashmir dispute, other than what is embodied in the jointly accepted resolutions of the Security Council, is incorporated in an international treaty or agreement with the expressed support of all states neighboring Kashmir, it will amount only to redesigning the dispute rather than settling it. Also in order for resolution of Kashmir dispute to be credible and lasting, the genuine leadership of the people of Jammu & Kashmir must be included in all future negotiations between India and Pakistan.

We also believe that an appointment of a special envoy on Kashmir will go a long way to hasten the process of peace and stability in the region of South Asia – home to one-fifth of total human race.

Our plea is based on confidence that the United States is sensitive to human rights situations regardless of the location of their occurrence . We have been deeply moved by reports of almost the entire population of major towns in Kashmir coming out on the streets demanding the fulfillment by the world community of the pledge embodied in the resolutions of the Security Council that they will be enabled to determine their own future. This massive, indigenous and peaceful upsurge defying suppression cannot be seen other than unmistakable expression of resentment by Kashmiris of the neglect of the human tragedy caused by the international community’s failure to resolve the dispute. We also view this as yet another indication of the yearning by Kashmiris for an amicable settlement of dispute so they can live in peace and prosperity. Our hope that the Kashmir dispute will not be allowed to lead to a massive tragedy has been strengthened by statements you made in October, 2008. It underscored the United States interest in working with Pakistan and India to try to resolve the Kashmir issue in a “serious way” and as a result, remove the basis of militant extremism in South Asia, and also the cause of the arms race between India and PEACE, P26



The Battle of Words: Why Terminology Matters

Did the Prophet or the Qur’an Say So? n By Dr Aslam Abdullah Los Vegas, Nevada


e love the Prophet. We try to follow him in every aspect of our lives. We adore him. We sing praises in his glory. We recite his name in every prayer that we offer. We regard him dearest to us. We give preference to him over our own lives.

But should we kill or insult those who insult him or who are critical of him or who ridicule him? Should we tell the world that if our sentiments are not respected, we would be at war and we would destroy or try to silence everyone who stands in our way? If murder is the answer to every word of criticism, then no one is safe, because we all are critical of each other in one way or the other. We all are disrespectful to each other in one way or the other. We cannot impose our love for our Prophet upon others. We will have to earn that respect for our Prophet through our actions patterned after his life. We cannot expect people to give him the same regard as we do. If some do, we are thankful to them; but if they do not, we cannot complain. Despite all the efforts to project a positive image of our Prophet or Islam, if some people still choose to reject him or insult him, we have to accept the right of the people to do so, because this is the right that has been given to them by the divine. Among Muslims especially among many of their scholars and intellectuals prevails a criticism of

the United States, Europe and what they term as Western thinkers and policy makers that they have double standards towards the principle of free speech. When it comes to criticism of the state of Israel, the West unanimously, prefers to remain silent while when it comes to Islam, the West purses a path of ecstasy. This is a weak and meaningless argument. We follow a principle because we believe in its divine origin and its supremacy. Thus, we respect free speech because it is an essential right in Islam. It is a right that no government or establishment can ever take away. In the Qur’anic phraseology, it is considered one of the worst sins against God. The right to dissent or have a different perspective other than the one that is popular or dominant or acceptable by Muslims is the right that is the essence of Islamic thinking. It is a right that the Prophet secured and stood for. During the endorsement proceedings of the constitution of Medina in the initial stages of the formation of a state in the newly adopted city, four Muslim tribes of Aws refused to sign the treaty. The Prophet never retaliated against them or used violence to bring them in line with his ideals. The Prophet defended the rights of non-Muslims to reject him. He never retaliated against those who were his harshest critics. Many members of the early Arabian society were his worst critics. They were his sworn enemies. They hurled abuses at him. They called him by different derogatory names. They even plotted to kill him. Yet he did not retaliate against them. Rather, he forgave them. What better example of forgiveness one can find than to quote his exemplary behavior after

the opening of Makkah, the city that had persecuted him for 13 years. Did he ask people to slaughter the people of Makkah? No, he offered them general amnesty and embraced his critics. Freedom should not be measured by the behavior and attitude of the West or the East. Freedom, in itself, is the essence of faith. Freedom is absolute and it cannot be sliced by special interest groups. Muslims cannot expect others to respect their freedom without defending the rights of others. Yes, freedom means that people have a right to be critical of Islam and the Prophet. Our love to our Prophet should not prevent others from entertaining their own ideas. It would hurt us, but we cannot silence them using coercion. If we want them to show respect to our Prophet, then we should demonstrate the essential traits of the Prophet’s character in our lives. Those traits are: forgiveness, controlling one’s anger, showing love and respect to others and defending life. When we show these characteristics in our lives, we become the true followers of the Prophet, When we respect the freedom of others to be critical of Islam and its Prophet, we show our highest commitment to him. His personality is powerful. It would not crumble under any criticism of his critics. It would shine in all situations and circumstances. It is through respecting this right of others to practice free speech that we would promote the real dignity of our Prophet. (Dr Aslam Abdullah is the editor of the Muslim Observer and director of the Islamic Society of Nevada)


ecently, the White House defended its rejection of terms like “radical Islam,” for better and more specific terminology like “violent extremism.” The reason, explained White House spokesman Josh Earnest, is twofold:

1. Accuracy. What is said at the bully pulpit matters, and as such, if something can be properly and specifically addressed, it should. Those

vague and misleading on ethnic- and religion-based reporting. The AP announced the change in order to provide a more balanced approach without relying on negative generalizations. Terminology is key especially when it comes to countering violent extremism (CVE). In light of the White House’s recent announcement that it will convene a “Summit on Countering Violent Extremism”

We look forward to the White House including the importance of terminology as part of its summit on CVE next month. The conversation around Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) is taking place amongst policy-makers and the media. American Muslims must be an integral part of this conversation who have access to the bully pulpit have the power to change public perceptions and attitudes. For example, in 2013, the Associated Press (AP) announced that it would no longer use certain terminology like Islamist when describing “an advocate or supporter of a political movement.” The AP’s decision to modify its guidelines on the use of the highly charged term is part of a broader effort to rid the AP Stylebook of labels that can be

next month, it is all the more imperative that we understand the nuances of words and how they affect our national security and national resiliency. Furthermore, if we use terms like “radical Islam, Islamic jihad, or jihadists” we make enemies out of an entire faith, rather than a minority group of people who practice a perverted ideology. American Muslims are the WORDS, P29

Pakistan’s Official GDP Figures Exclude Fast Growing Sectors n By Riaz Haq CA

In terms of LSM growth, a number of sectors that are showing strong performance; (for example, fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) sector; plastic products; buses and trucks; and even textiles), are either under reported, or not even covered. The omission of such important sectors from official data coverage, probably explains the apparent disconnect between overall economic activity in the country and the hard numbers in LSM.” State Bank of Pakistan Annual Report 2014

Economists have long argued that Pakistan’s official GDP figures significantly understate real economic activity in terms of both production and consumption. M. Ali Kemal and Ahmed Waqar Qasim, economists at Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE), explored several published different approaches for sizing Pakistan’s underground economy and settled on a combination of PSLM (Pakistan Social and Living Standards Measurement) consumption data and mis-invoicing of exports and imports to conclude that the country’s “informal economy was 91% of the formal economy in 2007-08”. And now the State Bank of Pakistan has focused on the production side of the economy in its annual report for Fiscal Year 2014. The nation’s central bankers have singled out the economic activity large scale manufacturing sector as its focus. They say that the existing LSM (Large Scale Manufacturing)

Pakistan’s Processed Foods and FMCG Sector Source: BMA Capital

index was based on Census of Manufacturing Industries (CMI) that was conducted in 2006 which included only those sectors which had significant value addition to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at the time of census.

It’s one of several major new sectors whose growth is not reflected in the official GDP figures. According to a report by analysts at Pakistan’s Topline Securities that examined 25 con-

Pakistan has changed a lot since 2006 in terms of its economy and demographics. The World Bank moved Pakistan from a lowincome to middle-income country in 2007. Pakistan is much more urbanized and more middle class now than it was in 2006 In the years since 2006 CMI (Census of Manufacturing Industries) census, Pakistan has seen a significant expansion of its middle class along with the rapidly growing consumer demand in sectors such as processed foods and fast-moving-consumer goods (FMCG).

sumer firms in various sectors, the 2012 sales of the FMCG firms increased by 17% to Rs. 334 billion while profits grew by 40% to Rs. 24 billion. In the five years between 2008 and 2012, sales of these companies showed a compounded average growth rate (CAGR) of 18%,

while profits grew at a CAGR of 20%. Engro Foods, a star performer in the sector, reported 191% increase in profit in 2012 alone, led by the dairy and beverages segment. Other players such as Nestle, Proctor & Gamble and Unilever, have also seen explosive growth with many new plants in production to meet demand. The growth in this sector is not reflected in the LSM component of GDP. The SBP report further explained that the LSM data was not being reported in Pakistan in accordance with the International Standard Industrial Classification (ISIC) of United Nations Statistics Division’s defined 22 broad categories of manufacturing. The reporting of LSM is limited to only 15 sectors identified by the ISIC while data pertaining to manufactures of apparels, publishing, printing products and recorded media, fabricated metal products (except machinery and equipment), office and accounting machinery and computers, medical precision and optical instruments and recycling of metal and non-metal waste scrap, is not included as part of Pakistan’s LSM. Pakistan has changed a lot since 2006 in terms of its economy and demographics. The World Bank moved Pakistan from a low-income to middle-income country in 2007. Pakistan is much more urbanized and more middle class now than it was in 2006. Pakistan’s large scale manufacturing (LSM) sector has changed to respond to the rising new product demands of the country’s growing middle class consumers. It’s time for Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) to conduct a new manufacturing census and Pakistan Census Bureau to do a population census to paint a more accurate picture of the country’s demographics and economy now.



Pakistan an ‘Irreplaceable’ Friend, Chinese Foreign Minister Tells Army Chief

General Raheel Sharif held meetings with senior Chinese leaders on Monday, January 26, 2015


Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, during a meeting with army chief General Raheel Sharif, said that Pakistan is China’s irreplaceable, all-weather friend, and that both the countries are part of a community of shared heritage.

According to Director-General Inter Services Public Relations Major General Asim Bajwa, army chief General Raheel Sharif met senior Chinese leaders, including Chairman People’s Conference Mr Yu Zhengsheng, State Leader

Yu Zhengsheng and the Chinese foreign minister, among others, on Monday. Meng Jianzhu, member Politburo, the second highest council within the Communist Party, assured the army chief that China has a consistent

policy on Pakistan that is beyond individuals, adding that Pakistan’s concern is China’s concern. Zhengsheng said that Pakistan has always stood by China, terming it as its “most reliable partner.” The Chinese government, and the people will help Pakistan in all respects, added the state leader. General Raheel thanked the Chinese leaders for inviting him, saying the world must understand the evolving environment. “Greater international focus, coordination is needed to end the fight against terrorism.” Earlier on Sunday, General Raheel held an extensive meeting with his Chinese counterpart, General Qi Jianguo, and discussed regional security and defense-related issues. The army chief is on a two-day official visit at the invitation of Chinese officials to meet the political and military leadership.

Senators Shown Destroyed Haqqani Network Infrastructure

Pakistan Formally Inducts JF-17 Thunder Into PAF Combat School

Islamabad: The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) on Monday formally inducted the JF-17 Thunder fighter jets into its combat school. In a special ceremony held at the Combat Commanders’ School at PAF Base Mushaf, the JF-17 Thunder fighter jets — often called the ‘Pride of Pakistan’ by military men — were formally inducted in the country’s defense force. The jets carried out a display that was met with applause by a jubilant crowd that had gathered for the ceremony. The pilots were later greeted by children who presented them bouquets of flowers. Air Marshal Sohail Aman, Deputy Chief of the Air Staff (Operations) who was the Chief Guest on the occasion, also met the air and ground crew.

The induction of the JF-17 Thunder fighter jets had begun in 2007 and has been continuing since then. The PAF currently has two JF-17 Squadrons that are actively engaged in different operations. The inclusion of the aircraft is being termed a major milestone towards self-reliance and enhancement of operational capability. The JF-17 Thunder — an indigenous war fighting machine codeveloped by Pakistan and China — is a light weight, all weather multirole fighter jet. It is equipped with a modern state-of-the-art avionics suite and an advanced cockpit layout. The fighter jet has the capability to carry out air-to-air and air-toground strikes, and can be fitted with beyond-visual-range (BVR) missiles.

National Action Plan: Nearly 9,000 Terrorists, 1,710 Clerics Arrested Islamabad: Security officials have

Islamabad: The army is not making any distinction in taking the fight to militants in North Waziristan and has destroyed the infrastructure of the Haqqani network as well as other militant groups operating in the restive agency, members of the Senate Defence Committee who returned from a tour of North Waziristan told Dawn. Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, who is also chairman of the Senate Defense Committee, said General Officer Commanding Maj Gen Zafarullah Khan showed them the Haqqanis’ destroyed infrastructure, including their living quarters and staging grounds. “The purpose of showing us this was to demonstrate that the army is not distinguishing between ‘good and bad Taliban’ in carrying out this operation,” he said. According to the briefing the senators received from the military authorities, 1,300 terrorists have been killed, 600 surrendered and 233 have been arrested since the launch of

Zarb-i-Azb operation in June last year. On the army’s side, 63 soldiers have laid down their lives and 238 have been wounded in the line of duty. The delegation, which went to the restive tribal area at the invitation of Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif, was the first-ever parliamentary committee to visit the newly cleared parts of North Waziristan. Senator Mushahid said the delegation stayed in North Waziristan for over four hours. They were accompanied by the GOC in jeeps through war-torn Miramshah. They visited bazaars, streets and residential areas in Miranshah and were shown the terrorists’ destroyed infrastructure, he said. He said the GOC had told the senators that 40 factories producing illicit arms, ammunition and IEDs had been demolished and 137 tons of explosives recovered. They were also shown bunkers and basements where ammunition, explosives and hate literature had been hidden.

Before heading to North Waziristan, the committee members first went to Peshawar to pay their respects at the Army Public School and Corps Headquarters. In Peshawar, the senators were briefed by Corps Commander Lt Gen Hidayatur Rehman. On the way back, the delegation was also taken to the Bakka Khel camp for IDPs on the outskirts of Bannu, where nearly 20,000 refugees from North Waziristan are living with their families. They were briefed by Maj Gen Akhtar Jamil Rao, who oversees the rehabilitation and reconstruction operation. He told the senators that nearly Rs90 billion would be required for the return of IDPs and rehabilitation and reconstruction of their destroyed properties. Committee members included PML-Q chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, PML-N Chairman Raja Zafarul Haq, ANP’s Haji Adeel, Farhatullah Babar and Sehar Kamran of the PPP and Abdul Rauf of PkMAP.

rounded up at least 9,000 suspected terrorists and 1,710 clerics as part of a massive crackdown launched in the wake of the execution of the National Action Plan (NAP). The crackdown – mounted after a new anti-terror strategy was drawn up to eradicate militancy from the country – has also targeted people promoting hate speech. Up to 3,100 prayer leaders of various seminaries/ mosques in Punjab, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) and Islamabad have been picked up so far. Over 3,650 Afghan refugees suspected of involvement in terrorrelated activities, were also arrested by the police, Rangers and Frontier Constabulary (FC) across the country, according to the latest figures obtained by The Express Tribune. Another 490 and 400 suspected militants have been picked up in Sindh and Balochistan, respectively. Law enforcement agencies, in coordination with intelligence operators, have conducted around 9,912 search operations in Punjab and K-P, according to the figures shared by senior officials of provincial home departments and the National Counter Terrorism Authority (Nacta). Some 5,510 terror suspects of an estimated 9,000 have been put on a new watch list under the 4th schedule of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997.

Officials say K-P is at the forefront of the battle having arrested some 6,702 suspected militants – a majority of whom had soft corners for banned organizations. The K-P police and the FC jointly arrested 2,700 Afghan refugees in a fresh crackdown in several cities. Around 217 prayer leaders were also booked for violating loudspeakers’ laws. The Punjab police nabbed 1,087 suspected militants in more than 5, 501 search operations while 950 suspected Afghan refugees were also held under the Foreign Act to root out terrorism from the province. Punjab arrested 1,471 clerics for violating the ban on loudspeakers. Gujranwala police, with the cooperation of Punjab Rangers, arrested over 370 Afghan refugees in this campaign. At the same time, Islamabad police arrested 150 suspected militants and the Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) government has named 37 militants to the new terror watch list. More than 70 prayer leaders were arrested for violating loudspeakers’ laws in the federal capital while 127 were booked for hate speech in Islamabad. Cases of ‘jet-black terrorists’ The provinces have identified some 267 cases of ‘jet-black terrorists’, revealed a senior official monitoring progress over the NAP.



Prime Minister Saves Ministers, Alienates Civil Servants

Islamabad: By asking the

National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to go after the former managing director of Pakistan State Oil for “misappropriation, mismanagement, incompetence and corruption”, and suspending top officials of the Petroleum Ministry in the wake of the recent crippling shortage of petrol, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif might have been able to save his ministers from embarrassment. But he has ended up alienating the federal bureaucracy on which the PML-N government is known to have been relying heavily. Over the past week, at least two serving secretaries have asked the PM for reassignment. The reason, sources privy to the development say, is that they didn’t want to be penalized for the sins of their ministers. In addition, bureaucrats on several second

and third-tier level postings have also started looking for assignments in departments where they won’t have to face major challenges that may land them in hot water. The aftershocks of the crisis have been felt by officers of three key ministries: planning and development, petroleum and natural resources and water & power. Incidentally, things are only likely to get more challenging for officers working in these departments, because all three have important and difficult targets to achieve in the coming months. At the Ministry of Water and Power, the government’s promise to add around 3000MW to the national grid before summer looms ominously overhead. While this measure will be vastly popular — because the general pub-

lic will have to face less load-shedding — failure to meet the target in time may have serious ramifications. “If that doesn’t happen, for whatever reason, we know that somebody from the ministry will be held responsible. Being a senior PML-N leader, Water & Power Minister Khawaja Asif is virtually untouchable, even for the PM,” an official from the ministry told Dawn, hinting at the rocky road ahead. Another official said that Mr Asif had been pushing for shortterm rental power projects (RPPs) to meet the summer deadline. This is surprising, because it was Mr Asif who led the opposition to RPPs when the previous PPP government opted for them, and even obtained a Supreme Court verdict in his favor on the matter.

There is no respite for the embattled Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources either. Here, officials face the immediate task of importing liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Qatar at competitive rates. The government has set March 31 as the deadline for this project in a bid to provide the people affordable fuel in coming summer months. “If Petroleum Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi can deflect responsibility for the recent fuel crisis and the PM can let him go off the hook without so much as a slap on the wrist, we shouldn’t expect anything different to happen in the future. Eventually, some officer will be made a scapegoat,” vented a ruling party office-bearer who wants the ministers responsible to take the fall for the recent oil shortage. The Planning Commission, headed by Mr Ahsan Iqbal, faces the daunting task of bringing the much-touted Pak-China Economic Corridor to fruition. But already, the project is feeling the heat due to shortage of funds. A source close to the Planning and Development Ministry said the government was reviewing many of the projects covered under the corridor. “Given the paucity of funds, I don’t see the government meeting the Oct 2017 deadline for completing its MINISTERS, P29

Govt.-PTI Talks Seem to Have Reached a Dead End .Islamabad: Talks between the government and the Pakistan Tehreeki-Insaf (PTI) seem to be at a dead end after the latter rejected the latest draft suggesting a new ‘scope of inquiry’ for the proposed judicial commission on alleged poll rigging, which was sent to the party by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar. Speaking at a news conference here on Saturday, the finance minister claimed that he had emailed PTI leader Asad Umar, suggesting a one-point ‘scope of inquiry’ for the commission. The minister said that Mr Umar, who is a member of the PTI’s negotiating team, had assured him that he would respond after discussing the suggestion with his party’s leadership. But Mr Umar told Dawn that they had rejected the proposed change, saying that he had already told Mr Dar over the phone that the new document was not acceptable to the PTI. “This is a non-starter. We have been going around in circles and are heading nowhere,” Mr Umar said, adding that he had conveyed this to Mr Dar as well before the

minister was going to address a news conference. The PTI leader quoted Mr Dar as saying that now the matter would only be resolved between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and PTI chairman Imran Khan as things had gone beyond the scope of the negotiators from both sides. Flanked by Minister of State Anusha Rehman, Mr Dar also distributed copies of the drafts that had been exchanged between the two sides on Dec 30 and 31, containing the three controversial points and a copy of the email he had sent to Mr Umar. He said, “We want the commission to come out with a simple ‘Yes or No’ answer, otherwise things may get complicated.” But hours after Mr Dar’s news conference, the PTI chief threatened to use the party’s street power once again if the government did not constitute the judicial commission on its terms. “I want to make it clear to the government that the PTI is giving them time. Don’t be mistaken. We have the street power and we will use it. The day we give the call to

shut down the country, you will not be able to continue running the government,” Mr Khan said in a brief chat with reporters outside his Bani Gala residence after his return from Saudi Arabia, where he had gone to perform Umrah with his wife Reham Khan. Mr Khan once again accused former chief justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, former Supreme Court judge Khalilur Rehman Ramday and former caretaker Punjab chief minister Najam Sethi of rigging the elections with the help of returning officers (ROs). Commenting on a Rs20 billion defamation notice served on him by the former chief justice, the PTI chairman said that he couldn’t wait to face Mr Chaudhry in court. “I will prove before the judicial commission how Iftikhar Chaudhry and Ramday controlled the ROs and hatched a conspiracy against democracy,” he said, demanding that the two ex-judges be tried for treason under Article 6 of the Constitution. Mr Khan asked why the PMLN was afraid of the PTI’s draft TALKS, P29

Widespread Blackout in Pakistan Deals another Blow to Government

Blackout in Karachi. While power was restored in the city by Sunday evening, 80 percent of the country remained in darkness for a considerable period of time


Towns and cities across Pakistan plunged into darkness early Sunday when an attack by militants on a transmission line short-circuited the national electricity grid, presenting a new indictment of the government’s faltering efforts to solve the country’s chronic power crisis. Emergency efforts to end the blackout, widely described as Pakistan’s worst ever, resulted in a partial restoration of power in the capital, Islamabad, and the most populous city, Karachi, by Sunday evening. Even so, 80 percent of the country remained without power, including the provincial capitals of Lahore, Peshawar and Quetta, an official said. The minister for water and power, Khawaja Muhammad Asif, blamed separatist rebels in the western province of Baluchistan who, he said, had blown up a critical transmission line. But experts said the attack only highlighted the growing vulnerability of Pakistan’s power grid, which has come under severe strain since the electricity crisis began about seven years ago. The blackout was also another blow for Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, whose government had already spent much of the week grappling with a severe fuel shortage that closed gasoline stations across Punjab, the country’s most politically powerful province. A hastily convened government inquiry into the gasoline shortages, which lasted several days, laid the blame on the state oil regulatory authority. But the sight of lines miles long for gasoline at a time of low global oil prices only deepened public impatience with Mr Sharif, who was faced with the crisis on his return from a visit to Saudi Arabia. Separatist rebels in Baluchistan, a vast but sparsely populated province, have been fighting for independence for almost a decade. The military has quelled the uprising with harsh tactics, including the abduction and torture of hundreds of suspected separatists, and there is little open fighting. Instead, the rebels mostly carry out guerrilla attacks on government installations such as rail lines, gas pipelines and electrical towers. The rebels have attacked the electricity grid in Baluchistan three times since Jan. 13, said Muhammad Younas Dhaga, a senior official at the water and power ministry,

during a briefing to journalists on Sunday. The third assault, which took place just before midnight on Saturday, blew up two important towers near the Uch power station, tripping the national grid. Mr Dhaga said that Pakistan’s national grid was generating 7,000 megawatts of power but needed about 4,500 megawatts more to meet national demand. Power plants that are currently closed will be brought online, and the crisis is expected to significantly ease by Monday, he hoped. Fixing Pakistan’s dilapidated electricity system was a central campaign promise of Mr Sharif ’s Pakistan Muslim League-N party when it won a landslide victory in the May 2013 general election. But his government has failed to deliver on those promises, with regular blackouts of up to 10 hours per day in the major cities and 20 hours in rural areas. The sheer scale of the crisis accounts for part of the problem, experts say. The national power system is afflicted by complex debt issues, political interference, crumbling transmission lines and widespread electricity theft. Those problems are compounded by the refusal of many government departments and military bases to pay their electricity bills, which has starved regional power companies of the funds needed to upgrade the power infrastructure. Last year, Mr Sharif signed agreements with the Chinese government to help build four new power stations. But it will be many years before those projects come online, and the government has made little visible progress toward their completion since announcing the initiatives. Pakistan’s political tumult has also played a role in the crisis. Since August, Mr Sharif has been under political assault by the opposition politician Imran Khan, who led a sit-in outside Parliament for four months over accusations that Mr Sharif ’s party had rigged the last election. Although that protest ended recently, Mr Sharif ’s administration still appears beleaguered, while the emergence of an increasingly assertive military led by Gen. Raheel Sharif (who is not related to the prime minister) has further eroded his authority.



King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz alSaud Dies, Pakistan Loses a Genuine Friend

Supreme Court Gives Time to AGP to Inform about Repatriation of Stranded Pakistanis

n By Lt Gen (retd) Talat Masood Islamabad: The passing away of Saudi King Abdullah bin

Abdulaziz alSaud will be mourned throughout the Muslim Ummah. In Pakistan, his loss will be felt even greater for he was a steadfast friend and well-wisher of Pakistan and its people. For Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and its ruler has a special place for being the guardians of the holiest places of Islam. Pakistan and Saudi Arabia share the closest relations. This cordial and mutually beneficial relationship is deep rooted in common faith and broad-based mutuality of interest. Pakistan and Saudi Arabia share the closest relations and it is a strategic ally on which Pakistan relies heavily. It is equally true that Riyadh has similar strong feelings for Islamabad. Saudi support to Pakistan, whether in the field of diplomacy or financial assistance, has always been generous and readily forthcoming. It was during the rule of King Abdullah that Riyadh and Islamabad experienced an expansion of their security ties that further reinforced the strong bonds and trust that has been the hallmark of our relationship. The deep rooted and multifaceted relationship was given a new direction and impetus during his reign. King Abdullah was a steadfast and genuine friend of Pakistan whose piety and wisdom was a source of strategic strength for Pakistan. It has been a loss of a friend, guide and a benevolent Muslim leader. Abdullah was a king gifted with leadership attributes that during tumultuous times steered his country and ensured its stability. He believed in evolutionary changes in the political and social structure of the kingdom. For the first time he added women to the Shura Council, with some restricted powers and introduced new laws that eased restrictions on women driving cars. He navigated these openings despite the opposition from highly conservative clerics. He was highly astute in maintaining good relations with the West, and especially with the US. At the same time, he knew that any tilt toward the US had to be balanced by appeasing opinion at home and keeping the clergy on the right side. He was a great supporter of Pan-Arab solidarity and that of the Muslim Ummah. King Abdullah united forces against terrorism and was a bastion of stability. He made an honest attempt to resolve the intractable Palestinian-Israeli conflict. He was convinced that a major contributory factor to radicalism in the Muslim world, especially in the Middle

East, was the injustice to the people of Palestine. But due to Israel’s intransigence his proposal did not succeed. It is, however, reassuring that his 79-year-old halfbrother Salman who has vast administrative experience and commands great respect has taken over as the new king. With his solid background he is well equipped to counter the forces that have emerged in the Middle East countries due to the emergence of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and militants in Yemen. King Salman is equally a steadfast friend and supporter of Pakistan. We in Pakistan wish the new Saudi monarch all the success and hope that he will continue to work for the solidarity and progress of the Ummah.

Airports Placed on Red Alert Rawalpindi: Security at all major airports in the country was alerted after an intelligence report indicated a threat to airport security, sources told Dawn on Sunday. A security official said the security level at airports had been raised from ‘high alert’ to ‘red alert’ after reports that terrorists may attack a major international airport. Extra security personnel have been deployed around airports area and members of the Elite Force patrolling squad have taken up positions along the perimeter, he said.

Surprise Searches Conducted on Two PIA Planes in London London: Two planes belonging to

national carrier Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) were searched by British authorities as they landed in London on Monday. Customs and immigration authorities searched the two PIA planes without disclosing details regarding the reason for the search. Sources said passengers and flight crew were thoroughly searched along with luggage after flights PK 785 from Islamabad and PK 787 from Karachi landed in London. Aircraft equipment was also searched by custom authorities, with the raid lasting approximately one hour. Sources added that the British authorities were in search of a specific person or item, but did not divulge details regarding the identity. PIA spokesperson Rana Hanif told Dawn the spontaneous search of PIA passengers and aircraft by British authorities is ‘routine’. “These searches have become the norm. They check us whenever they want, even after the passengers have gone through their security checks. They offload passengers from the plane too. When they find nothing, they allow them to board and the plane to take off, “ he said. He added that the last such incident occurred about a month ago. “PIA has taken this up with British authorities through the Home Ministry,” Hanif said. “Our country

The stranded Pakistanis were citizens of Pakistan and despite the sub-human conditions they had been subjected to, proudly hoisted the Pakistani flag. They were offered Bangladeshi citizenship, but they refused to accept it

Islamabad: The Supreme Court on Wednesday allowed the government’s top attorney more time to submit a reply regarding the repatriation of 300,000 Pakistanis stranded in some 70 camps in Bangladesh. Hearing a petition filed by the Stranded Pakistanis General Repatriation Committee of Bangladesh, a three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice Nasirul Mulk, gave Attorney General of Pakistan (AGP) Salman Aslam Butt till February 18 to submit a reply. In a previous hearing, the chief justice had questioned whether the top court had the jurisdiction for asking concerned parties about the implementation of the 1974 Tripartite Agreement between India, Bangladesh and Pakistan on Normalization of Relations in the Subcontinent. “Who is restraining them [stranded Pakistanis] from coming to Pakistan?” he had asked. During Wednesday’s proceedings, AGP Butt sought more time from the court to file a reply saying he was unaware of the notice issued

in this regard. On the other hand, counsel for the petitioner Rashidul Qazi highlighted the conditions the stranded Pakistanis, most of who are of Bihari descent, were facing in Bangladesh. “They were thrown out of employment and their properties and assets were either frozen by the [Bangladeshi] government or looted by miscreants,” he said. He added that the conditions in the camps they now live in are ‘wretched’. “Most of them live with their entire families in rooms no larger than six feet by six feet. They have no privacy at all.” Qazi said, “The attitude of Pakistani rulers, political stalwarts and army generals has been deplorable towards the issue of stranded Pakistanis.” He stressed that they were still citizens of Pakistan and despite the ‘sub-human’ conditions they had been subjected to, still proudly hoisted the Pakistani flag. “They were offered Bangladeshi citizenship, but they refused to accept it,” he said.

Pakistan Sneaks into US-India Strategic Vision

New Delhi: President Barack Obama

manager has also complained and a letter has been sent asking why these searches happen when the passengers have already gone through security checks at the airport. He added: “As a nation we are humiliated, but we cannot put pressure on them.... look at the state of our country’s security.” Once a source of pride for the country, PIA’s decay has made it the butt of jokes, one of which goes that its initials actually stand for ‘Perhaps I’ll Arrive’. Flights are regularly cancelled and engineers say they have to cannibalize some planes to keep others flying. Last year a PIA pilot was jailed in the United Kingdom for being

three times over the alcohol limit before he was due to fly. Pakistani media reported that another pilot delayed a New York-bound flight for more than two hours as he waited for a sandwich delivery. Over the years, critics say, governments have manipulated state corporations like PIA for political and financial gain, giving jobs to so many supporters that the size of the workforce has become unsustainable in the face of mounting losses. In September last year, customs authorities in Lahore detained most of the cabin crew members of a London-Lahore PIA flight, including its captain, for allegedly carrying unlawfully 24 iPhones worth about Rs2.5 million as well as foreign currency.

and Prime Minister Narendra Modi agreed on a joint strategic vision for regions straddling Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean on Sunday, but a close reading of the pact indicates a crucial role for Pakistan, though it was not named, as a conduit for carrying the proposed cooperation into Central Asia. “To support regional economic integration, we will promote accelerated infrastructure connectivity and economic development in a manner that links South, Southeast and Central Asia, including by enhancing energy transmission and encouraging free trade and greater people-to-people linkages,” the USIndia Joint Strategic Vision for the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean Region said. Analysts said reference to people-to-people linkages in the Obama-Modi document was lifted from the standard formulae used for years in Indo-Pakistan dialogues. Moreover, the mention of Central Asia as a destination for all round connectivity was a clear give away for Pakistan’s role since neither China, nor Russia or Iran could be

in the minds of the signatories. “As the leaders of the world’s two largest democracies that bridge the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean region and reflecting our agreement that a closer partnership between the United States and India is indispensable to promoting peace, prosperity and stability in those regions, we have agreed on a Joint Strategic Vision for the region,” the statement said.





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Technology Entrepreneurship: Pakistani Startups on Way to Join Billion-Dollar Club n By Farooq Baloch/Creative: Omer Asim Karachi: Be it social networking giant, Facebook, video chat and voice calls application, Skype or mobile game developer, Supercell, all have one thing in common: once tiny startups, they are worth billions of dollars today. One great idea – Facebook, for example – has literally changed the way today’s businesses market their products and reach customers. That’s how technology can affect our lives – not to mention Mark Zuckerberg, the entrepreneur behind the social networking giant, is now worth well over $30 billion. Can a similar idea emerge out of Pakistan? Can the country produce the next billion-dollar startup? Maybe, it can. Industry experts, such as Lahore University of Management Sciences Center for Entrepreneurship’s Executive Director Khurram Zafar, believe some Pakistani startups have the potential to join the BillionDollar Startup Club – companies that are valued by venture capitalists (VCs) at $1 billion or more as described by The Wall Street Journal. One of the founding board members of Plan9 – a technology incubator of the Punjab Information Technology Board, Zafar says technology entrepreneurship ecosystem in Pakistan is at a tipping point and investment in the country’s startups at this point will be a smart bet. Despite lack of access to capital, the single largest hurdle facing Pakistani startups, many entrepreneurs have already earned rave reviews in the technology world. This young pool of talent reflects the country’s potential in the field of information technology. Take for example, Convo Founder and CEO Faizan Buzdar, a multi-platform social network enterprise. The company raised $5 million from a top-tier VC firm, Morgenthaler Ventures, in 2013 and earned a lot of appreciation from technology focused publications. President of the United States Barack Obama also praised Buzdar, stating people like him could help promote innovation in America’s technology industry. Farhan Masood, Founder of

Investment in country’s startups at this point a smart bet. DESIGN: OMER ASIM

SoloMetrics, is another talented entrepreneur who earned international recognition for producing the world’s fastest retina and face scanner algorithm. In 2014, Masood signed a joint venture with Mace Security International, an American company that manufactures personal defense, safety and security products. Lahore’s Mindstorm Studios, according to experts, is another startup that has the potential to make it big. In 2010, its gaming app Whacksy Taxi hit the top spot on App Store in more than 25 countries. The company had developed the official game for 2011 Cricket World Cup, which was previously made by leading game developers Electronic Arts United States and Codemasters of the UK. Its latest app, War Inc: Nations Fury already has installs ranging between 500,000 and 1 million – one of its users spends up to $5,000 a month on the games, indicating the potential the company has. With access to capital, Zafar says they can market their games on a big scale and become a global player like Supercell – the Finnish mobile gaming company, which earns Rs46 billion in profits before tax and

was founded in a country that has half the population of Lahore, according to Zafar. When it comes to discussing the country’s IT workforce, one can’t rule out Rafay Baloch. The 21-yearold computer science student of Bahria University was recognized as the world’s top security researcher in 2014. Baloch, who aspires to run his own information security company, clearly reflects the kind of talent and potential the country produces. These are only a handful of examples of the large pool of talented IT workforce that is shaping the future of Pakistan’s small IT industry ($2 to $3 billion). Almost all of these entrepreneurs have made the headlines well before the recent wave of technology incubators and other startup support initiatives. Plan9 was the only technology incubator for local entrepreneurs that had some kind of official backing but it was limited to Lahore only. However, more programs have been launched recently to boost the country’s startup ecosystem. For example, The Founder Institute, a leading entrepreneur training and startup launch program, recently launched its Karachi chapter. It promises to create a Silicon Valley-like startup ecosystem in Pakistan and launch over 30 meaningful and enduring technology companies per year in the city. The Nest I/O, a technology incubator of Pakistan Software Houses Association, is the latest addition to this growing segment. Given this incubator has the official backing of the country’s IT industry and partners with over 30 startup hubs around the world, it can certainly provide a much-needed platform for the country to produce the next billion-dollar startup. (The writer is a staff correspondent. The Express Tribune)

First Female Federal Minister Begum Kulsoom Saifullah Khan Passes away

Peshawar: Prominent political figure,

social activist and Pakistan’s first female federal minister Begum Kulsoom Saifullah Khan passed away on Monday. Begum Kulsoom was the patron of Saif Group and Chairperson Saifullah Foundation for Sustainable Development. She is survived by five sons, Humayun Saifullah Khan, Anwar Saifullah Khan, Salim Saifullah Khan, Javed Saifullah Khan and Iqbal Saifullah Khan. She was commended for her distinguished services to Pakistan in a career spanning the corporate, social and political spectrum. An active worker, a participant in the Pakistan Independence Movement and a founding member of the All Pakistan Women’s Association (APWA) since 1947, Begum Kulsoom served as an advisor to the founder of APWA

Begum Ra’ana Liaquat Ali Khan till 1951. The first woman federal minister in Pakistan’s history, she served as the Minister for Population Welfare and Organisation and Methods (Management Services Division). She had also served as the Minister of State for Commerce. During a glittering ceremony held at the Aiwan-i-Sadr on the occasion of Pakistan Day in 2008, former President Pervez Musharaf had conferred the prestigious Hilal-i-Imtiaz civilian award upon Begum Kulsoom for her meritorious and distinguished services to Pakistan. She was a founding member of the Sarhad Handicapped Children’s Association and also served as the NWFP (now Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) president of the craft council and as a member of the National Council for Population Planning. From 1964 till 1990, besides being the Chairperson Saif Group of Companies, Begum Kulsoom was a founding member of the Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (WCCI), a founding Member of the Pakistan Association of Women Entrepreneurs and the NWFP (now KP) President of the Pakistan Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Association. She represented Pakistan as a delegate at the annual session of the United Nations General Assembly, the United Nations International Council on Population and at the World Conference to review and appraise the achievements of the United Nations Decade for Women: Equality, Development and Peace.

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S: I always keep one lipstick, one perfume, a hand cream and sanitizer. You! Do you go to the salon regularly for your facials? S: Yes. You! Your favourite local stylist or beautician... S: Nabila. You! Your preferred spa or salon. S: For pedicure/manicure I go to Nabila's. And for facials I go to Sabs or Peng. You! Your favourite perfume S: 'Very Sexy Now' by Victoria Secret. You! Your beauty regimen S: Cleansing is a part of my daily routine before going to sleep. I add rose water to my moisturiser in the morning; it keeps my skin fresh and supple. You! Do you use anti-ageing creams? F: No. I don't think I need them at this age. You! Do you believe in treatments like Botox? S: No. But I don't mind if others go for it. I think it's a matter of personal choice. I would rather go for uplifting.

whole concept. Now every Tom, Dick and Harry can become a photographer with the help of Photoshp as it hides all your flaws and gives an impeccable image of yours. Sometimes after Photoshop one cannot even recognise oneself. It looks quite artificial. You! What is your best feature? S: My eyes. You! What is one cosmetic you cannot do without? S: Mascara. You! Do you emphasise on using foundation? S: Yes. But I do not use heavy foundation. I use very light foundation by MAC.


heerful, confident and charming Saima Azhar has been modelling since four years. Saima came into the limelight when she was crowned Miss Photogenic at the Veet Miss Supermodel Contest in 2011. That beauty contest gave her a major breakthrough and she became the darling of fashion designers and photographers in no time. Today, Saima is busy doing modelling shoots for key fashion magazines and commercials. She has also participated in international and major fashion weeks of the country - be it Bridal Couture Week or Fashion Pakistan Week. This week this sensuous dame has unveiled her beauty secrets and regimen to You! readers. You! What is beauty in your eyes? Saima: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. For me beauty is within. One should be beautiful from

inside. You! Do you follow trends in hair and makeup? Do you apply them in your daily life? S: Yes, I do. You! What beauty regimen should women adopt to take care of their skin in this weather? S: I strongly believe in keeping one's skin hydrated during winters. A moisturiser is a must during cold weather. You! Your favourite photographer who captures your features beautifully... S: Photography is an art. I think some of our senior photographers are very good with lightening like Khawar Riaz and Tapu Javeri. Photography used to be a difficult skill but not any more. 'Photoshop', a modern technique, has changed the

You! Any makeup tip or beauty secret you would like to share with your readers? S: Never go to sleep without cleansing. You! When stepping out, do you wear makeup all the time? S: No. I mostly go out with a clean face and a high ponytail. Normally people don't even recognise me without makeup. You! When it comes to cosmetics, which brands do you usually use? S: MAC and Bobby Brown. You! Your makeup bag consists of...

You! The biggest misconception about you... S: People think that I am highheaded. Actually I am very down-toearth, my friends know that. You! Do you hit the gym regularly to keep yourself fit? S: I go to the gym thrice a week. Since I am a model I need to be in shape. Sometimes I just crave 'parathas' and 'nihari' but I have to control myself. There is so much pressure on us (models) to be fit. You! Do you use whitening creams? Are they any good? S: I am totally against whitening creams. I think one should go for good moisturising creams rather than whitening creams. You! The best thing that's been said about you? F: 'You look like Angelina Jolie'!


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Friday, January 30, 2015

VOL. 25/5 PAGE 21


egum PAGE 22

Irvine Activist Launches Moderate Muslim Effort

10 Rabi ‘u-thani 1436 H

A Small Business Solution - Hire Seniors

Manto Knew What Pakistan Was in for Today

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Rumi Forum – Advocating Dialogue and Countering Vitriol

Emre Celik, President and CEO, assisted by Dr Rasit Telbisoglu has made the Rumi Forum an effective organization that actively promotes a pleasant and progressive image of Muslims and their faith

n By C. Naseer Ahmad Washington, DC: In these troubled

times, vitriol is often spewing like an untapped gusher from places near and far. “Where is the outrage?” This is a question often asked of Muslims when few demented commit cruelty and atrocious behavior. Fortunately there is a healthy forum actively engaged in promoting dialogue in Washington. “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I’ll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass the world is too full to talk about.” The Rumi Forum draws its inspiration from Maulana Jalal Uddin Rumi and is based on the concept of – hizmet - service to humanity. The intellectual foundation for this orga-

nization is Fethullah Gulen who is profiled in an interesting book “Advocate of Dialogue – Fethullah Gulen” by Ali Unal and Alphonse Williams. Emre Celik, President and CEO, assisted by Dr Rasit Telbisoglu has made the Rumi Forum an effective organization that actively promotes a pleasant and progressive image of Muslims and their faith – Islam. For instance, a visitor to Rumi Forum’s website will notice the unequivocal statement. “The Rumi Forum condemns, in the strongest terms, the heinous attack on the French magazine Charlie Hebdo that left 12 people dead and several others injured. This despicable crime is committed against freedom of expression, democracy, peace and humanity. “In these hard times we stand by the people of France and extend our

heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of the deceased while wishing a quick recovery to those who are injured.” But it is not just the statements. They go beyond the headlines and have a very effective outreach program. As an example, the Rumi Forum held a breakfast “suhoor” during the Ramadan in 2014. About 70 VIPs attended this special event on a Saturday at 3am in Washington. The Annual Rumi Peace and Dialogue Awards traditionally held at the National Press Club is a very effective vehicle for promoting interfaith dialogue and harmony. These are well attended events where exceptional leaders - such as Dr Azizah al-Hibri, Founder, Muslim Women Lawyers for Human Rights, Dr Rebecca Winthrop, Director, Center for Universal Education, the Brook-

ing Institutions and Reverend David Beckmann, Bread for the World – are recognized for their outstanding contributions. Last year, an Eid Reception with the Rumi Forum was held at the White House and an Education Conference was held at the Georgetown University. In 2011, a Ramadan Iftar Tent was held at a church – in cooperation with the American Turkish Friendship Association (ATFA). To give a personal touch, the Rumi Forum in cooperation with ATFA has facilitated iftars with individual families so that one gets a better understanding of the faith and the people. To provide deeper intercultural understanding, the Rumi Forum organizes study trips to Turkey every year and actively engages the community. In these trips, while in Turkey,

the participants have the opportunity to visit civic, educational, governmental and private organizations. This is in addition to visiting historical sites as well enjoying meals in the homes of Turkish families. “This hands-on immersive experience of Turkey breaks down any previously held stereotypes,” is the motivation of the Rumi Forum and its leaders. The Rumi Forum in Washington is a hub of activity year around with its speaker series – the Luncheon Speaker Series, the Ambassadorial Speaker Series and the Author Speaker Series. The distinguished speakers who come to these events provide valuable insight into contemporary issues surrounding faith, politics, diplomacy and environment for example. In doing so, the Rumi Forum promotes dialogue where vitriolic language does not find any space.




Sajjad Yacoob Is One of the Top 25 Chief Medical Information Officers in the United States

ajjad Yacoob, MD was named one of the top 25 Chief Medical Information Officers (CMIO) in the United States by Becker’s Hospital Review published by Becker’s Healthcare, the leading source for providing the legal information for healthcare leaders. It conducted a survey in 2014 about the high-level hospital leaders in hospitals and healthcare system and announced the 25 top CMIOs whose responsibilities and strategies helped in bridging the gap between the Medical and Information Technology departments.

It said, “Sajjad Yacoob, MD, is a CMIO of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. After six years as the director of medical informatics at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Dr Yacoob became the hospital’s first CMIO in 2007. His tenure has been marked by efforts to bring more clinical information to the point of care. Dr Yacoob is also the assistant dean for innovation and technology and the assistant dean for student affairs at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine in Los Angeles.” In 2012, Sajjad Yacoob’s contributions in the medical field were also recognized at USC where he is an assistant professor of clini-

From left: Elizabeth Garrett, Sandra Chrystal, Susan Metros and Sajjad Yacoob

cal pediatrics at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. He was awarded the Provost’s Prize for Teaching With Technology at the sixth annual Teaching With Technology conference held on May 1, 2012 at the Davidson Continuing Education Center. Each year, two awards of $5,000 are granted to faculty mem-

bers who have found dynamic and innovative ways to integrate technology into their curricula. USC provost and senior vice president for academic affairs Elizabeth Garrett presented the awards. “Technology has become a key component of our efforts to ensure that USC students engage with a challenging, multifaceted curricu-

lum that encourages intellectual inquiry, reflection and scholarship with consequence,” Garrett said. “Yacoob, who also serves as the Keck School’s assistant dean of student affairs, was recognized for his work deploying technology to enhance clinical reasoning. Since 1997, Yacoob has accumulated a multimedia archive of more than 1,000 case studies and lectures, incorporating digital images, as well as video and audio clips. His archive is based on patients treated at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA), and it also has been used to help train more than 3,000 Keck Medical School students to generate differential diagnoses in real-world scenarios. This archive has been utilized as the foundation for multimediabased small-group mentoring sessions and large-group lectures. Yacoob also played a key role in the development of CHLA’s electronic medical records system. He designed a curriculum around it that addresses issues of quality, safety, ethics and professionalism. Yacoob travels frequently as a consultant to medical centers in the United States and abroad.” USC provost Garrett said. More than 180 faculty, staff and students from 26 USC schools and departments attended this year’s conference. chrystal-and-yacoob-awardedtechnology-prize/


to eradicate polio, a disease which strangely still lingers on in three countries, Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan even though a cure is readily available. Aziz also traveled through San Francisco on this trip where he met Dr Larry Brilliant of the Skoll Global Threat Fund along with Ms Carol Pandak, Director Rotary International for Polio Project, on January 20th. He also attended a dinner meeting with a small group of local Pakistanis arranged by Erfan Ibrahim in San Francisco to which this writer (RS) was invited. Since I could not attend, the decision was taken to interview Aziz Memon (AM) via email. He obliged us and that interview is presented below: RS: Before we get to the topic at hand, what was it like meeting Microsoft Co-Founder Bill Gates on January 12th and how do you see his role in global polio eradication? AM: It was a privilege meeting Bill Gates in Seattle, Washington. He is a keen supporter and maintains an avid interest in health, poverty, disease and hunger. The Rotary Foundation has contributed more than $1.3 billion to fight polio. Through 2018, the BMGF will match two-to-one every dollar Rotary commits to polio eradication (up to $35 million a year). The Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) that works on behalf of international donor agencies and issues reports regarding the performance of countries in combating the poliovirus after every six months recommended that Pakistan establish an Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) for Polio in 2014. The BMGF has provided funding for an

Aziz Memon in San Francisco (left) and with Ms Aseefa Bhutto Zardari and others (right)

EOC in all four provinces of Pakistan to accommodate representatives from BMGF, WHO, UNICEF and Rotary International. The high risk unit will have representative officers of the Pakistan Army and the United Arab Emirates Pakistan Assistance Program (UAE-PAP) as well to monitor the campaigns. The EOC is the Rapid Response Unit to handle emergencies. RS: Was this meeting with Mr Gates a part of an old and continuing relationship with his foundation or is it something new due to the reemergence of polio cases on a much larger scale in Pakistan? AM: Bill Gate’s relationship with Rotary is an old and continuing one. In 2007, the Gates Foundation gave The Rotary Foundation a $100 million challenge grant for polio eradication, and in 2009 increased it to $355 million. Rotary agreed to raise $200 million in matching funds by 30 June 2012, but Rotarians in fact raised $228.7 million toward the challenge. The Gates Foundation first made its donation to the United Nations Fund toward polio eradication in the Indian Sub-Continent and Sub Saha-

ran Africa in 1999 contributing $50 million, for a period of seven years. RS: What is the main difficulty that is faced on the ground in Pakistan today in the fight against a disease that the world once thought was almost eradicated? AM: Pakistan is faced with myriad challenges in the war against polio. While Pakistan did exceedingly well in 2012, with only 58 cases and 93 in 2013, the year 2014 was the worst in more than a decade, where the count for polio stood at 303 (Type-1) cases. Faced with an on-going war on terror, the children of North Waziristan in the Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA) have suffered badly due to no vaccination for any vaccine preventable diseases for almost three years when a self-imposed ban was implemented by the militant chief Hafiz Gul Bahadur. It is only after the Pakistan Army launched the operation Zarb-e Azb, to clear militants from FATA did the polio teams gain access to over 300,000 children badly deprived of vaccines and health care facilities. Children are missed: when in transit; not administered polio drops due to

misconceptions on polio virus or refuse polio vaccine on account of religious beliefs. Other challenges are inaccessibility to remote areas and security compromised regions making it difficult for teams to take part in the door to door campaign. RS: How has the Rotary Club which you are a part of been able to assist in the polio eradication campaign there? AM: Rotary has 1.2 million members in more than 34,000 Rotary Clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas. Their work improves lives at both local and international levels. In Pakistan, Rotary’s National Polio Plus Committee (PNPPC) has several projects on the ground to combat polio. The Permanent Transit Posts (PTPs) target transient population and IDPs; Permanent Immunization Centers (PIC) improve routine immunization, Resource Centers connect with the surrounding population building confidence and creating advocacy and Health Camps held by Rotary Clubs in needy and impoverished areas. The PNPPC also conducts workshops for Ulemas or religious leaders

IAMC’s Letter Points to Deteriorating Religious Freedom in India


he Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC - www.iamc. com), an advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos has marked India’s Republic Day with celebrations in four US cities, while pledging to safeguard India’s secular and pluralist Constitution from attacks by divisive forces.

IAMC organized two events during the weekend of January 24th, one each in Minnesota and Florida. Two more events are scheduled to be held next weekend, one each in New Jersey and Chicago (Illinois). Attendees at each event include representatives of various faiths, elected officials and prominent members of the Diaspora. Consul General of India Dr. Ausaf Sayeed will be the keynote speaker at the event in Chicago. Congresswoman Betty McCollum (D-MN) was honored in Minneapolis by the “Champion of Human Rights and Social Justice Award” in an event that was also attended by Ms. Amy Bergquist, Assistant Director of “Advocates for Human Rights.” In a letter accepting the award, Congresswoman McCollum expressed her commitment to continue to work “to advance human rights at home and abroad.” “With our collective voice, we can make a difference in the lives of others,” the letter stated. “The Republic Day celebrations remind us yet again, that the foundations of the Indian Republic are based on the ideals of justice, pluralism and democracy,” said Mr Umar LETTER, P29

and creates awareness campaigns in schools, colleges, health centers and clinics. Polio mobilization items are distributed widely to create awareness. The Speaking Book ‘A Story of Health’ educates communities with low literacy. And a cell phone project in Sindh, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa tabulates data via cell phones provided to Lady Health Workers to improve routine immunization in new born and infants.. RS: Do we have some figures on the number of people already crippled by this disease in Pakistan? AM: In 2014 the number of people crippled in Pakistan is 303, which contribute to almost 90% of the cases in polio endemic countries. Newborn children are most vulnerable, and Pakistan must improve routine immunization to build immunity against the polio virus.. RS: We had heard that you had teamed up with cricket star Shahid Afridi to spread the word about the need to get preventive treatment. Who else in Pakistan has been really supportive of your effort? AM: Besides Shahid Afridi, Ms Aseefa Bhutto Zardari, Maulana Sattar Edhi and the most recent supporter is Salman Ahmed (Junoon fame) all have joined in support of the cause which is polioeradication. RS: Thank You. To conclude here, decades after the Salk polio vaccine was introduced from America to the world, it is highly regrettable that we still hear about this disease crippling children. But if Bill Gates and Aziz Memon and many more continue with their efforts, we may not hear about polio much longer, at least in Pakistan.



Irvine Activist Launches Moderate Muslim Effort

n By Martin Wisckol


nila Ali’s life is threaded with efforts to bring together the cultures of her Islamic, Pakistani birthplace and her adopted homeland of the US, where she’s lived for nearly 20 years.

The Irvine resident’s latest endeavor is a simple Facebook page with a big goal: bring together a million American Muslims to champion the moderate, non-violent mainstream of Islam and counter extremists who taint the religion. “A lot of my friends who are pastors and rabbis say, ‘We don’t hear from the moderate Muslims,’” said Ali, a 48-year-old middle school English teacher. “There’s a vacuum of good Muslim voices.” She launched her Million American Muslims March Against Violent Extremism page (#ReclaimIslam) on Facebook in the wake of the Dec. 16 shooting by Taliban gunmen at a Pakistani school that left 145 dead and the Jan. 7 killing spree at the Charlie Hebdo magazine offices in Paris. Her target is twofold: non-Muslims’ impression of her religion and extremists gaining influence in the world of Islam. “My biggest fear is that the US Muslim community will become like the UK Muslim community, where clerics preach hate and are calling for Sharia law,” said Ali, who spent eight years in the United Kingdom while her father was a diplomat at the Pakistani Embassy there.

“The Muslim leadership in this country is not taking action,” she said. “They should be standing outside mosques saying, ‘We condemn the violence against Jews. We condemn the violence against Charlie Hebdo.’ ” A different view Folks at the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the country’s most prominent group advocating for Muslims’ civil rights, don’t see the void described by Ali. “I don’t know if she’s really paying attention,” said Ibrahim Hooper, CAIR’s national communication director. “Nearly every Muslim organization in the United States has spoken out against the Charlie Hebdo shootings, against the Pakistan shootings, against ISIS.” Not that the group is thrilled about the magazine’s caricatures. Islam discourages depictions of religious leaders because it can lead to idolatry. “The norm in Muslim society is that there should be no depictions of religious figures, and when it’s negative, we’re particularly concerned,” Hooper said. But free speech prevails over all else, he said. That means the right to draw caricatures and the right to criticize them. Like Ali, Hooper says violence is not an acceptable response. “Our position is that Mohammed himself did not react violently to attacks and neither should we,” he said.

She launched her Million American Muslims March Against Violent Extremism page (#ReclaimIslam) on Facebook in the wake of the Dec. 16 shooting by Taliban gunmen at a Pakistani school that left 145 dead and the Jan. 7 killing spree at the Charlie Hebdo magazine offices in Paris

‘Ideological war’ A review of newspaper coverage in the wake of the Pakistan and Paris shootings shows that CAIR and other Muslim groups did indeed speak out against the acts. But most stories featured those comments toward the end, if at all. “It’s not heard enough,” Ali said. “It’s not reaching mainstream America. Most Muslims want a good life, a good job, a good family. They don’t want to get involved with this. But we need to speak out.” Ali’s activism reaches back to her teen years in England when she was a youth leader for the All Pakistan Women’s Association, a cultural exchange group. Following 9-11, she worked with the Council of Pakistan American Affairs. And she’s founded the American Muslim Women’s Empowerment Council, which will hold its third conference in April in Buena Park, and the Irvine Pakistani Parents Association. She also was a delegate to the 2012 Democratic National Convention and ran unsuccessfully for Assembly last year. Her abortion-rights and pro-gay marriage stances have alienated some Muslims, but she marches on. “The terrorists want to own the narrative of Islam,” she said. “They want Muslims to oppress women and discriminate against all people who don’t follow their perverted dogma. ... It’s an ideological war (within Islam) and it must be fought with words and action.” - Orange County Register

American Forensics Big Shot Goes Home to Help Pakistan

Lahore: As one of America’s top fo-

rensic scientists, Mohammad Tahir uncovered evidence that helped jail boxer Mike Tyson for rape, convict serial killer John Wayne Gacy and clear doctor Sam Sheppard of murdering his wife. Then Tahir took on his toughest assignment yet, applying his skills in Pakistan, a nation of 180 million people beset by crime and militancy. But catching criminals is not Tahir’s biggest problem. It’s working with the country’s antiquated criminal justice system. The very notion of producing evidence is a newfangled concept for many involved in law enforcement in Pakistan. Cases often rely on witnesses who are easily bribed or intimidated. Terrorism and murder suspects usually walk free. So Tahir, a soft spoken man whose passions are reading and gardening, set out on a quest: to promote forensic science. “Physical evidence does not lie, it does not perjure itself as humans do,” said the dapper 65-year-old. “It

is a silent witness ... We make it speak in a court of law.” Tahir, a dual Pakistani and US citizen, has his own forensics lab in the Unites States. He spent 36 years working with US police and helped write the FBI handbook on forensics. In 2008, with militant attacks rising in Pakistan, Punjab’s chief minister called Tahir and asked for help: to design a new $31 million forensics lab in the city of Lahore, handpick its scientists and try to enforce new standards of crime solving. The lab was finished in 2012 and at first, business was slow. But now the lab, which is funded by Punjab province, takes around 600 cases a day, Tahir said. It could easily handle twice that if more police start sending in evidence or suspects. “The police are not educated, they don’t know our capabilities. We have to teach them,” he said. Problems with police The gleaming new lab quickly discovered only a tiny fraction of police knew how to secure crime scenes

and collect evidence. DNA samples were mouldy. Guns arrived for analysis, smeared with officers’ fingerprints. “If garbage comes in, garbage goes out,” explained one scientist at the lab during a recent Reuters visit, as his masked colleague unwrapped a bone from a woman’s body found in a canal. To change that, Tahir set up localized crime scene investigation units and began training police. Now the DNA department says around half the samples they receive

are packaged correctly. “They are getting better,” Tahir said. So far 3,100 police out of a force of 185,000 have been trained. But progress is slow. Punjab Police Inspector General Mushtaq Sukhera said police still secure “very few” crime scenes. One detective was even found fingerprinting himself instead of the suspects for dozens of cases, an official working with the judicial system said. Some police try to game the sys-

tem. A prosecutor and a scientist told Reuters that police sometimes plant bullets at the crime scene and the gun on the suspect. Courts usually treat police as unreliable. Any confession made to them is legally inadmissible because suspects are frequently tortured. Police argue they are becoming better at playing by the book. “It used to be, you can say, a quick method of getting disclosure from the accused,” said Sukhera. “(But now) I think very rarely the police torture.” Tahir has banned police from entering the lab to make sure they do not interfere with the process. When Reuters visited the lab, police waited patiently in the basement, some clutching white cloth packages sealed with twine and red wax. A dozen of them held bottles that were to be tested for alcohol, which is illegal in Pakistan. One had brought a pistol. Another held a box of body parts. Once the lab makes a HOME, P29

Islamophobic Bus Ads in US Revamped with Marvel’s Kamala Khan San Francisco: Disparaging adver-

tisements targeting Muslims are being covered with pictures of Marvel’s famed Muslim superhero on San Francisco buses, a report published on ToyBox said. Advertisement campaigns promoting hatred against certain groups or a particular gender category are not news to the majority in the United States, but those who were under the impression that comics have no social or empirical advantage should think twice. Posters carrying slogans about “Islamic-Jew Hatred” have been plastered with messages of acceptance and courtesy on behalf of Marvel’s signature Muslim superhero character, Ms Marvel. The original posters put up on

buses focus on what their campaigners consider “Muslim hatred” . One of the ads equated Muslims with the Nazis as a photo on a poster showing Adolf Hitler in discussion with former Arab leader Haj Amin alHusseini indicated. The aid given to Muslims countries is also firmly condemned in one of the posters with text reading: “Two- thirds of all US aid goes to Islamic countries. Stop Racism. End all aid to Islamic countries.” The group behind the adverts is the American division of the Freedom Defence Initiative who are notoriously labeled as a “Hate Group” especially in the United Kingdom. One of the posters reveals blatant support of the group for Israel in its war against Palestine with the

punchline of a poster reading in bold words: “Support Israel, Defeat Jihad”. In San Francisco, a city celebrated for its liberal values and tolerance

towards minorities, hate campaigns are rarely successful. This particular campaign saw its end with the arrival of Kamala Khan.

Kamala Khan is a Marvel character who came in the limelight for being the American publishing giant’s debut Muslim superhero and one who was titled “Ms Marvel” in 2013. Writer of Ms.Marvel, G. Willow Wilson, also saw the advertisements: Campaigns promoting intolerance against Muslims are on the rise, especially in Europe, after terrorists attacked the office of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, killing 12 people, mostly cartoonists. The Charlie Hebdo massacre has triggered fresh debates on global freedom of speech and the right to ridicule religious figures. Correspondingly, an overlay message on a hateful advert on a San- Francisco bus read: “Free Speech isn’t a license to spread hate.”



A Small Business Solution to Shrinking Workforce - Hire Seniors


n By Mark Taylor Washington, DC

s the US economy heats up and successful companies consider expansion and new hiring, competition for reliable, experienced and skilled employees will grow more intense, labor market experts predict.

They caution small businesses against ignoring one source of potential employees: older Americans.

Older Americans Millions of seniors who have retired or are approaching retirement from lengthy careers still need to work to maintain their families and lifestyles. Others crave the social interaction and sense of purpose employment delivers. Peter Cappelli, professor of management and the director of the Center for Human Resources at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, said increased life expectancy and the maturing of the largest generation in American history—-the Baby Boomers—- will account for increased numbers of older Americans in the workplace. Cappelli, the co-author of Managing The Older Worker, (Harvard Business Review Press, 2010) said today’s seniors are staying older longer. “If we think of old age as a period when people are no longer able to work, that group is shrinking,” he said. “Today’s seniors don’t want to just sit around. They want to work and they have a lot to offer. This trend is not going away.” He said that small businesses should consider hiring seniors for a variety of reasons validated by research. “They don’t need much training. Business owners don’t have to worry about their conscientiousness and they’re less likely to switch jobs,” he explained. He said studies confirm that seniors score higher on reliability and interpersonal skills and experience lower rates of tardiness and absenteeism. And he said research dispels several myths: that seniors incur higher healthcare costs and are more prone to accidents. “Because they are older, don’t have babies anymore and have fewer dependents, they have lower healthcare costs. Besides, most are on Medicare.” And Cappelli said seniors also suffer fewer safety incidents because they are more careful. Greg O’Neill, director of the Washington, DC-based National Academy on an Aging Society, said research lags behind on some trends surrounding the employment of seniors. “We know anecdotally that turnover is lower among senior workers and that some jobs are performed better by people with experience,” O’Neill said. He pointed out that changing ergonomics in workplace and to accommodate older workers has shown increases in production.


he impact of financial decisions people make today can carry on even after they die, and not always in a good way. Failing to make the right decision – or failing to make a decision at all – can have repercussions for loved ones, whether it’s because they aren’t left with the money they need or they are left with more money than they know how to handle, says Rodger Alan Friedman, a financial advisor and author of “Forging Bonds of Steel” (www.forgingbondsofsteel. com). It’s especially important for those at or near retirement age to engage in an honest discussion with a financial advisor to help them feel more confident. “A seasoned, trusted advisor can steer them from common mistakes,” Friedman says. That word “trusted” is especially key. Friedman advocates that people build a strong relationship with their financial advisor so that important decisions can be discussed frankly. “Those who have a trusted relationship with their advisors are con-

“Someone transitioning out working with new engineers and sharing knowledge can be very effective,” he said. Most companies don’t think about all the knowledge walking out their doors. But they should.” Experience O’Neill said that one of the benefits of older age is that people move into positions using crystallized versus fluid intelligence. “That’s code for experience,” he said. He added that small businesses can benefit from hiring seniors in customer contact positions. “People don’t get as angry at older people,” he said. “They’re less likely to shoplift around them.” And in sectors like financial services, he pointed out, high wealth clients are more likely to trust someone with experience closer to their age. Ken Rone, 65, a retired vice president of manufacturing who lives in Vancouver, Wash., said he’s hired and worked with hundreds of older employees in his nearly 40 years in industry. Rone said a 2014 US Bureau of Labor Statistics report found the median tenure of all US employees is 4.6 years. He noted that employee tenure was generally higher among older workers than younger ones, with the median tenure of workers ages 55 to 64 (10.4 years) more than triple that of workers ages 25 to 34 years (3.0 years). So senior workers are more likely to stay longer and not jump ship as quickly. In addition, Rone noted that seniors have longer track records for prospective employers to review. He said it’s easier to check references and the document trail for older employees is more robust. Small businesses can reference previous employers and contact more colleagues to gain a better view of senior employees in the interview process than their younger

counterparts. And older employees know what it required to be a viable, stable employee. He continued, “They’ve seen the slackers and unreliable employees and understand what to avoid and how to succeed: Be neat, respectful, don’t gossip, keep your nose to the ground and do the job.” Michael Sarka, 70, agreed. He is a retired small businessman and now a counselor in Santa Cruz, Calif., for the national nonprofit SCORE, which helps small business. Sarka works for a small business tourism attraction, the Roaring Camp Railroad, in nearby Felton. The railroad is a steam engine that takes tourists into the mountains and to the beach.

Peter Cappelli, professor of management and the director of the Center for Human Resources at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, said increased life expectancy and the maturing of the largest generation in American history—-the Baby Boomers—- will account for increased numbers of older Americans in the workplace “We find we have very good and reliable older employees who show up early, get the task done and exceed our employer’s expectations.” Sarka, who grew up on a farm, said most seniors were raised with a strong work ethic. “I think that’s something that benefits our company and most of all, the consumer, because we’ve lived in this community and are knowledgeable about what’ going on and are able to communicate that to the tourists who visit us.”

He owned a small tourism consulting company with his wife and previously launched an outdoors adventure firm, hiring many seniors. He said older employees bring patience to their jobs. “They take the time to listen and act on what they’ve heard,” he explained. “That makes a strong connection to customers.” Ann Fishman, president of Generational Targeted Marketing, consults with companies on issues of aging. Fishman advised small business owners against calling older Americans “seniors.” “Call them experienced people. They like to think of themselves in the prime of lives,” Fishman said. “Baby Boomers in particular need the money. Many have not saved appropriately for retirement and some may have to work till the day they die. Though they may need the work, they appreciate flexibility. That gives them the freedom they want and some extra money.” A Mix Fishman said many younger people have lost the ability to read facial and word cues. “They’ve been looking at screens and not people’s’ faces,” she said. “But Baby Boomers are really good at reading facial expressions and vocal cues. They’re really good at listening. The best thing is when you can achieve a generational mix. Young people usually have stronger technology skills and Baby Boomers have strong people skills, crave social interaction and are very work-oriented.” Laura Bos, manager of education and outreach and financial security for the advocacy organization, AARP, said many AARP members are still working, want to work and may even need to work. “So they want to remain in the work force and we think they are a great asset for employers large and small,” Bos said. “Older workers have a certain level of maturity, and especially with companies needing strong customer service, they tend to be ranked and valued highly. They bring professionalism and great work ethic and are often lauded for critical thinking and problem-solving skills.” Bos said that older workers tend to have higher levels of engagement—-emotional and intellectual involvement with their company—and are motivated to do their best work. “You could say they’re more loyal and involved with their company and invested in wanting their company to do well, which can lead to less turnover,” she said. “And turnover costs employers money.” (Mark Taylor wrote this article through a John J. Curley Journalism in Aging and Health Fellowship of the John A. Hartford Foundation, a project of New America Media and the Gerontological Society of America”)

Three Financial Mistakes That Can Haunt Your Family after You Die fident they could rely on them to do what they say they will do, when they say they will do it,” Friedman says. With that strong bond, he says, the advisor can lay out strategies to help clients avoid mistakes such as these: • Lack of adequate life insurance. Families may believe their finances are in order, but everything could come crashing down if a spouse whose income was counted on dies. Friedman tells the story of Jack and Diane, a couple with twin daughters and a combined annual income of $115,000 who believed their life insurance was sufficient. Then their financial advisor ran numbers that showed how the family would struggle if Jack died. They upped their coverage. That was a good thing because four years later Jack was killed in a traffic accident. The prudent lifeinsurance decision provided for the

needs of Diane and the girls. “If your advisor points out a problem with your planning, listen closely and determine if you feel the same after you have all the facts,” Friedman says. • Failing to provide important information to adult children. Many

older parents exclude their adult children from their financial lives. “I understand and respect this,” Friedman says. “Perhaps the parents feel it is none of their kids’ business. Or they do not wish them to know how much they have accumulated.” Withholding important information might do more harm than good, though, Friedman says. If the parents die, those adult children would be thrust into the position of coordinating the financial affairs without any preparation. At the least, it would be prudent to share with them where important documents are kept and the names of your attorney, financial advisor and CPA, Friedman says. • Failing to set limits on irresponsible heirs. Sometimes sons and daughters who inherit a large amount of money don’t know how to handle that sudden bulge in the bank account. They quickly and frivolously

blow through what took their parents so long to acquire. Parents worried about that can work with a financial advisor and, ultimately, an attorney and estate planning professional to set up trusts and other tools to control how the money is spent, Friedman says. This one is controversial, he says. Some people think setting restrictions is wise. Others take the view: When I’m gone, I’m gone and the kids can do what they please with their inheritance. “You will make your own determination about how you feel and what’s right for your situation,” he says. “Above all, discuss it with your advisors and arrive at a well-thoughtout decision.” About Rodger Alan Friedman: Rodger Alan Friedman, author of “Forging Bonds of Steel,” (, advises affluent retirees and near-retirees in structuring their planning and investments for the next phase of their lives. He is a managing director, founding partner and wealth manager at Steward Partners Global Advisory in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area.



SORRY FOR EVERYTHING A Muslim Finally Has the Apology the World Has Been Waiting for

n By Shehzad Ghias Shaikh


fter the tragic Charlie Hebdo shootings, there has been a call by some people to make all Muslims all over the world apologize for the incident. I completely agree with the sentiment. It is the only way to root out terrorism for once and for all.

Nothing could make all the victims of terrorist attacks all over the world happier than watching every single Muslim in the world say “sorry.” To really drive the point home, we can even send them greeting cards with our heartfelt apologies. I am sure the world would reciprocate in kind. We can start an apology trend. Once every single Muslim in the world apologizes for Charlie Hebdo then we can move on to making every single Christian in the world apologize for Hitler. Hitler’s moustache is for the Christians what an unkempt beard is for the Muslims. I have no idea why mass murderers are so keen on making fashion statements too. The British can fly all Brits to all their previous colonies and make them all apologize to every single member of those countries. It might be much harder for the Americans to do the same considering the amount of things they have to apologize for. They can make a world tour out of it: Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Vietnam, Palestine, Cuba, Mexico, Spain, England. At this stage it is easier to just name the countries America does not need to apologize for. “Sorry” should be the first word we should teach all future Muslim kids. We should roam around wearing shirts which say “sorry”, better yet maybe even permanently tattoo “sorry” on our foreheads. I personally feel responsible for every single person of my faith who does anything. While I am at it, I want to say sorry to every person who got his slippers stolen at the masjid but if and only if you can confirm that the person who stole your slipper was a Muslim. He must have been shouting “Allah o Akbar” while stealing them for you to be sure. I now fully comprehend why our justice system has such a huge bottleneck of cases. If every single Muslim is responsible for every single thing done by any Muslim, I do not blame the judges for all the delays. The entire Muslim population of the world has to be included as defendants in every case. I hope Pakistan’s military courts are much more effective. I hope they can follow the efficient model of North Korea, who use the

n By Siraj Khan


Boston, MA

y mother, who turns 82 this month, had to be relocated to a nursing facility in April. I try to take the opportunity to also meet the many elders and senior residents, when I visit her. This is the place where reality stares at your face. A plaque on the wall bears Muhammad Ali’s quote: “Don’t count the days, make the days count.” A soul-searching stirs within. Remember the poet and novelist Michael Ondaatje’s Booker Prize-winning best-seller made into an Academy Award motion picture, sometime in the mid-1990s? I thought I would look at English and the Patient, by wearing a historical lens. An interesting connection unfolded and needs to be shared. The word patient is both a noun and an adjective. The meaning is different but I have attempted to draw a connection and parallel between the two. The word patient first appeared in English as an ad-

“three generations of punishment” rule. It is the only way to ensure the collective responsibility for one’s actions. Clearly if a person commits a crime, then people who brought that person into the world must be guilty too. And any person a criminal brings to the world is obviously a criminal too. Pakistan believes in having family businesses: an engineer’s son is an engineer, a politician’s son is a politician ergo a terrorist’s son must be a terrorist. Why should the unborn not suffer just because they do not exist yet? Every single Muslim that is yet to be born should be brought up being taught to apologize for everything. Why just limit it to Charlie Hebdo? Muslims should apologize for all the ills caused by Muslims to the world. To make life easier for all parents, I am drafting a generic apology that they can make their kids memorize. “My name is (Insert Islamically acceptable name here) and I was born into a Muslim family so that makes me guilty of all the things Muslims have ever done. Before you put me in Guantanamo Bay, I just want to say I am deeply sorry. I would like to apologize for inventing astronomy. The guilt of Al-Sufi naming all the visible stars in 10th century and Abu-Mahmud Khojandi calculating the tilt of the Earth’s axis in 994 AD is something that I still carry with me. It was because if their crimes against humanity that these terrorists are able to accurately calculate the dates for their attacks. I would like to apologize for Ibn al-Haytham’s contribution to optical science. Had he not discovered all human beings actually see, how would these terrorists be able to see who

they were killing? Clearly these Muslim terrorist organizations have been active since the 10th century. Had Al-Haytham not figured out that light travels in straight lines, we would not have the cameras of today that terrorists use to promote their organizations. Al-Haytham was basically the first member of ISIS. I would like to apologize for Al-Jazari’s water-raising machines, his use of cranks to push water up helped agriculture and in turn fed all these terrorists: While I am on the subject, sorry about creating hospitals too. They are just a needless obstacle in the way of killing terrorists. I have no idea what 10th century Muslim civilizations were thinking providing free 24-hour universal health care to people. At least I am happy they were self-conscious of this insanity and also created the first hospitals for the mentally ill in the world. The use of the Al Jazari’s ideas lead to the creation of the bicycle giving the world the horrible form of terrorism called the Tour de France. If watching grown men cycling across a country wearing yellow jerseys is not torture, I do not know what is. I would like to apologize for the invention of windmills, guitars, the hookah and coffee. I would like to apologize for the role of Muhammad Ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi in the development of algebra and algorithms. If he was alive, I am sure he would be selected for a random spot check in an airport relying on his work for their daily calculations. I would like to apologize for Al-Jahiz’s theory of the “struggle for existence”. I am sorry for even mentioning it. I realize it is completely contrary to the Science and Islam binary narrative perpetuated freely by networks

such as Fox News. How dare I mention that the theory of natural selection actually has roots in a 9th century book of animals called Kitab al-Hayawan. I would like to apologize for the University of Al Karaouine, recognised as the world’s oldest university that granted degrees to individuals, way back in 859. I am sure they were just handing out degrees in terrorism anyway. Sorry about the Caliph Harun al-Rashid founding the House of Wisdom in the 9th century. It was his ill intentions that led to the west being exposed to the works of the Greek philosophers. If it wasn’t for him kids in the west would not be terrorized by the works of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle throughout their school lives. I feel their pain. Sorry for all the art also. And the architecture. All the mosques were meant to be terrorist headquarters anyway so I am glad you took all the inspiration from them and took the techniques out of the religious context. I am not even interested in anything that happened before the Renaissance in Europe. If you tell me it happened out of nowhere then I have no need to trace the traditions back anyway. It is not like things happen in a historical context relying on all the traditions gone by. I sound like a crazy person even attempting to compare Andy Warhol’s techniques to the repetition of patterns and pictures prevalent in mosques and Islamic architecture so I am going to shut up about it. We all know Muslims hate art anyway. Trying to read calligraphy is also terrorism, so sorry about that too. Lastly, I would also like to apologize for the Arabs discovering how to distil water and create alcohol out of fermented fruits. All the Muslims should definitely apologize for all the drunk driving accidents caused around the world I could go on but I think you realize how sorry I am about everything. I hope you would be able to accept me as one of your own in a way that would make you feel that you are celebrating diversity but in reality you are promoting uniformity. Thank you for letting me retain my token identity while robbing me of my historical traditions. I hope all the future Muslim generations never get to learn about those traditions so that they find it much easier than me to simply associate all things Islam with merely terrorism. It would make it easier to apologize for them. Apologetically yours, (English name I have taken up to make you like me more.)” This post first appeared on

The English Patient

jective in the 14th century from the French and ultimately Latin in which it expressed the idea of enduring hardship. The word developed and started being used in a broader and expanded sense, also associated with virtues such as being tolerant, obedient and enduring. Somewhere the word patient spun around and took a new shape also evolving as a noun, meaning a person bearing difficulties without complaint. Once it got to that use, it did not take much for it to be pulled in by the medical profession to describe somebody with an injury or disease, who is undergoing medical treatment – patiently, of course. By the 18th century, medical (as a noun) and the non-medical (as an adjective) meanings were coexisting and being used freely. But as doctors appropriated and narrowed the meaning of patient, the word’s reference to someone suffering in any sense other than medical,

somehow vanished. This phasing out was almost complete by the end of the 19th century. The final demise can be attributable almost entirely to the institution called the hospital. Although hospitals have existed since antiquity, the idea that they were the best places to treat the sick, only took hold towards the end of the 19th century. After that,

hospitals became the accepted site for any serious medical treatment. The hospital inmates were now known as patients and hospital management made rules regulating the behavior of these people, who were meant to respond cheerfully to their treatment. By the 20th century, the comprehension of patients had proliferated to include such

terms as inpatients and outpatients. Nevertheless, the word patient still largely implied a grateful recipient of medical care. Over the last 50 years or so, most evident after World War II, the continuity of the word as a nonmedical adjective, has made a highly energized return. As life became more complex, the old established virtues of behaving patiently, being tolerant and obedient, also resurfaced visibly in a broader needbased sense. Today, irrespective of the use of the word, whether as a noun or an adjective, for a clinical encounter or waiting in a long line at the security check at the airport, the spirit that the word signifies is still of endurance, bearing difficulty and exhibiting calm without complaint. It is at this meeting point, when the patient – the noun and the adjective – join hands and echo a single voice, reflecting a common spirit. Thank you Mom, for the continuing knowledge you still provide. This is also when Patient truly becomes English.



60 Years Ago Saadat Hasan Manto Knew What Pakistan Was in for Today n By Raza Naeem

Lahore, Pakistan

I have seen him;

On the cleanest roads, in a dust-covered amazement; In the gathering storm of blind, overturned cups; Tossing the empty bottle he shouts, ‘Oh world! Your beauty is your ugliness.’ Booms becoming the noise of chains, The world stares back at him, Their bloodshot eyes rattle with the question, ‘Who nabs the pillar of time, By the noose of his drunken breath? Who dares to break into dim corridors, Of twisted conscience? Who intrudes upon poisonous dens, Of demonised souls? Through icy glasses his rude glance, Chases us like a footfall, Foul monster! Bang! Bang!” (A poem for Manto - Majeed Amjad) The man who saw beauty in the world’s ugliness and for whom this poem was written shortly before his untimely death was none other than Saadat Hasan Manto, the rebel and one of Pakistan’s greatest writers and social critics. Manto died 60 years ago today. Manto’s own life mirrored the characters he portrayed in his famous short-stories, sketches and his powerful non-fiction. He was a writer with a deeply political vision, and this vision was reflected uncompromisingly in his work. It also reflected the contradictions of Pakistani society because he himself hated hypocrisy and refused to partake in them. For example, he foresaw presciently many of the patterns our state and society forged with religion, India and the United States as early as the 1950s, with devastating wit and satire; take Manto’s ‘Letter to Uncle Sam’. These letters were written in the early 1950s, when the contours of Pakistan’s foreign policy were just beginning to be shaped by an unconstitutional government. Though written in a bitingly satirical vein, they contain a remarkable overview of the history, politics, culture and international relations of the period as it affected not only Pakistan and India, but the wider world as well. This could be witnessed from the prime minister’s tour of Washington two years ago, where an overgenerous aid package of $1.6 billion was rolled out while the prime minister’s plane was still in mid-flight. What Manto cautioned against was not just dependence on American kiss-proof lipstick – an appellation which Manto found disappointingly inaccurate – but also economic dependence, and its less savory aspects like Americanarmed jihadis in Manto’s time, and Saudi and Canadian ones in our own. In his fourth letter ‘posted’ in 1954, he wrote, “India may grovel before you a million times but you will definitely make a military aid pact

with Pakistan because you are really worried about the integrity of this largest Islamic sultanate of the world and why not, as our mullahs are the best antidote to Russia’s communism. If the military aid starts flowing, you should begin by arming the mullahs and dispatch vintage American (dry cleaning) stones, vintage American rosaries and vintage American prayer mats, with special attention to razors and scissors, and if you bless them with the miraculous prescription of vintage American hair dye as well then do understand that the cat is in the bag. The purpose of military aid as far as I understand it is to arm these mullahs, I’m your Pakistani nephew but I am aware of all your machinations but this heightened intelligence is all thanks to your politics (God save it from the evil eye). If this sect of mullahs is armed American-style, then the Soviet Union will have to pick up its spittoon from here, even whose gargles are mixed up in communism and socialism.” Satire apart, Manto was probably the first observer who foresaw early America’s disastrous foreign policy in various parts of the Muslim world in the 1950s and 1960s leading right up to the war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, of assisting Islamic fundamentalist parties against the threat of rising communist and secular-nationalist forces, a process which has now come full-circle with the unannounced execution of one of their own armed mullahs Osama bin Laden, in Abbottabad. He thus accurately foretold the contradiction in the poisonous US-Pakistan relationship and one only need look at the headlines screaming at us from the newspapers today to confirm this. In Save India from Its Leaders, here is an evocative passage which serves to highlight his foresight in predicting the rise of such opportunists and time-servers as newly-elected Narendra Modi and re-elected Nawaz Sharif, Anna Hazare, Asif Zardari, Tahirul Qadri and even the mercurial Imran Khan: “These people who are commonly known as leaders, view politics and religion as that crippled,

lame and injured man, displaying whom our beggars normally beg for money. These so-called leaders go about carrying the carcasses of politics and religion on their shoulders and to simple-minded people who are in the habit of accepting every word uttered to them in high-sounding vocabulary, they bandy about that they will breathe new life into this carcass. Religion is the same as it has always been and will always remain so. The religious spirit is a concrete reality which can never change. Religion is a rock which cannot be affected by even powerful waves of the sea. When these leaders cry their hearts

Manto’s own life mirrored the characters he portrayed in his famous shortstories, sketches and his powerful non-fiction out telling people that religion is in danger there’s no reality to it. Religion is not something which can be endangered. If there is a danger, it is to these leaders who endanger religion to achieve their own ends.” Significantly, Manto wrote this powerful indictment in 1942 in pre-partition India. In Manto’s arguably most prescient essay, By the Grace of Allah, he envisages a future where everything, from music and art to literature, newspapers and even the poetry of the country’s national poet, poor Allama Iqbal, would be censored and banned, to create, literally, a ‘Pakistan’ (the land of the pure): “Sirs, I forgot to mention science. It was literature’s maternal aunt. May Allah save us from this calamity, God forbid. They were concerned with making this finite world into paradise, these people who called themselves scientists. Accursed people, they used to

claim the act of creation in competition with Allah, that we will create an artificial sun which will illuminate the whole world at night. Whenever we want, we would extract rain from the clouds. ..Attempts were made to find a cure for an untreatable and dangerous disease like cancer, albeit throwing the gauntlet to Gabriel. One sahib holding binoculars, and claiming that he will reach the moon, another producing children in bottles and containers. They had lost all fear of God, these lowlifes. By the grace of Allah, all these devils have been raised from us.” Now, 50 years later, we would have no problem recognizing the malaise Manto so ably diagnosed then, as United Nations teams administering polio drops to beleaguered infants in the country’s north-western areas are attacked and murdered in cold blood by militants emboldened by fatwas outlawing vaccination. A section of clerics declared voting in the May 2013 elections un-Islamic! Literature may not change societies, as it’s often sentimentally believed, but it can show the mirror to the latter by speaking truth to power. It stops being a mirror for societies when censorship intervenes and is used by the powerful to stifle dissenting alternatives. Manto’s life and work mirrored the contradictions of Pakistani state and society in the 1950s and the ruling elite used its courts and critics to silence him, but they could not silence his readers or the contradictions which today seem sharper than when Manto wrote and lived. I became interested in translating Manto after noting with disgust and alarm that he had been exclusively pigeonholed as a realist of sex and partition, and at best as a great writer without an agenda, not as a social critic with a prescient vision. This trend continued in his birth centenary year in 2012. Approaching his works from a social scientist’s angle undoubtedly helped, as did not having a formal training as a ‘literary critic’. Literary critics certainly had their share in Manto’s tortured existence in his final years and premature death. And I thought translating Manto’s

non-fiction would set the mirror right and put Manto into proper context since it is in his essays that he reflects the future of Pakistan. In this sense, translation can sometimes act as a mirror to reflect the real man in ways a bird’s eye view cannot. Secondly, Manto attracted me because his life, work and personality as a rebel unconsciously put me in touch with myself. It was first during my teenage years wrestling with issues of sexuality and teen angst while refusing to break any boundaries unlike my peers, who were more adventurous. Later, I became more mature and self-conscious, as a rebel who, while not really sharing Manto’s class background, circumstances or experiences in any way, rebelled from my middle-class origins and milieu in my college years, as a political activist shaped by Marxism not unlike Manto in his early years, as well as Pakistan’s special circumstances, firmly on the side of the poor and oppressed, in a secular and anti-imperialist narrative like Manto, in a society which still does not accept rebels and mavericks. In dangerous times such as the one we are living in at the moment, even an act seemingly trivial as publicly reading extracts from Manto’s Letters to Uncle Sam in a packed auditorium during a conference at one of Pakistan’s most obscurantist universities becomes an insurgent act as does translating such intransigence into one of the world’s great imperialist languages. I also surmised that it might take a rebel to interpret another (more illustrious) rebel, which hasn’t been the case with Manto’s various other translators and interpreters so far. The final act of Manto’s rebellion resulted in a rather creative form of suicide – drinking himself to death at the age of 42 and writing his own epitaph in 1954, just a year before he died: “Here lies buried Saadat Hasan Manto, with all the secrets of the art of short story-telling buried in his chest. He is still thinking, buried under tons of earth who is the greater short story-writer: he or God?” I’m mercifully still seven years short of that mark, and my rebellion is fortunately still going on…” Speaking of rebels and rebellion, it would be apt perhaps to conclude with the last word from Manto himself: “How could I bare a culture, civilization and society that is already naked. I don’t even try to clothe it, because that’s not my job, but of the tailors. People call me black-penned but I don’t write on the blackboard with black chalk; I use white chalk so that the blackness of the board becomes even more evident…” It is this extraordinary foresight, rebellion and rude glance at the future that make Saadat Hasan Manto a mirror for man, 60 years on. (Raza Naeem is a social scientist, translator, book critic and a prize-winning dramatic reader based in Lahore. He is working on a translation of Saadat Hasan Manto’s nonfiction and was awarded the 2013-2014 Charles Wallace Trust Fellowship for his translation and interpretive work on Manto. The Express Tribune)



Three's the Charm: Players Want Pakistan Suffer back-to-Back Losses to Start NZ Tour Contracts Extended By a Year CHRISTCHURCH: Despite Misbah-ul-Haq and Umar Akmal showing some batting form ahead of next month's World Cup, Pakistan suffered back-to-back losses to a President's XI at the start of their New Zealand tour. Misbah scored 107 and Akmal 68 as Pakistan lost recently match by six wickets at the Bert Sutcliffe Oval. Pakistan made 313 batting first and the President's XI chased down the total

with four balls to spare. Misbah scored 88 not out and Akmal 77 as Pakistan lost Tuesday's second match by one wicket with one ball remaining. Pakistan scored 267 for 7 and the President's XI surpassed that total from the fifth ball of the last over, Michael Pollard scoring 153 not out. The Pakistan bowlers showed improvement with Mohammad Irfan taking 3 for 39 and Bliawal Bhatti 3 for 42. J

Afridi Set for English T20 Stint

KARACHI: Some of the senior members of the team are trying to pressurise the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) into reviewing its decision of extending central contracts by three months and instead want the extension to run till the end of 2015. The PCB had recently announced that it will be extending the existing central contracts till March 31, which meant that new contracts would be given after the 2015 World Cup. But the board is standing its ground as it believes there is no point in giving a 12-month contract right now and the decision of a threemonth extension is right. One of the reasons for the board's adamance is that two of Pakistan's senior players skipper Misbahul Haq and Shahid Afridi - have already announced their decision to retire from ODIs after the World Cup. The PCB feels that Afridi and Misbah will not be playing in two formats after the World Cup - with Afridi to focus only on T20s and Misbah on Tests - thus there is no point in giving

such players a full year contract. "There is already a clause present in central contracts that allows the PCB to extend by up to six months and we have used that to extend the contracts by three months," a PCB official told The Express Tribune. "We've made a cut-off date of March 31, which gives us a chance to have fair look at where our team stands once the likes of Afridi and Misbah depart." The official went on to add that the board has also kept the team's unity and motivation in mind when making the decision. "Changes to the current contracts would cause both positive and negative impact on the players," he said. "Promotion can provide motivation but at the same time a demotion can shake confidence as well." Players want change in incentives policy The players are also trying to convince the board to reactivate the clause in which they are given incentives for each match won, rather than

for only winning a series. The board officials, however, claim that incentives on series wins were included so that the team's performances and ranking can go up. "We've included the series win incentive so that the players fight in all matches, which would result in improvement of our ranking and performances," said the official. "It would be stupid to once again activate the clause and give incentives to players even if we lose a series." Board wants quick resolution The official added that the matter will soon be resolved so that the team can focus on the cricket and the World Cup ahead. "We don't want a deadlock with the World Cup so near," he said. "The matter will be put to bed amicably in order to avoid turmoil or a situation like the one faced by the West Indies." The players are also urging the PCB to devise new contracts on the basis of their performances of 2014 instead of just focusing on the New Zealand series and the World Cup. J

LONDON: Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi is to play for Northamptonshire in the first six rounds of English cricket's 2015 T20 Blast competition, the Midlands county announced recently. One of the most spectacular hitters of a cricket ball the game has know, the 34-year-old Afridi - nicknamed 'Boom Boom' for his dynamism with the bat - holds the record for the most sixes in one-day internationals with 342 to his credit. Renowned for his rapid run-scoring, Afridi - also an effective leg -spinner - has a strike-rate of 116.29 from 389 ODIs and 145.29 from 77 T20 games for Pakistan. "He doesn't need a big introduction. He is one of the top one-day cricketers of the last decade," Northamptonshire coach David Ripley told BBC Radio Northampton. "I think we were in the right place at the right time to get a bit of dialogue going," the former Northamptonshire wicketkeeper added.

"It's a very exciting signing. It's for the start of the competition so hopefully we can come out of the blocks quickly. "We might not be able to finance another player further down the line, but we haven't given up hope on that." Afridi, who has also played county cricket for Leicestershire, Derbyshire, Kent and Hampshire, has said he will retire from ODI cricket following this year's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, which starts next month. Northamptonshire, who won English county cricket's T20 title in 2013, hope to have Afridi available in time for their opening match of this season's competition, away to Durham on May 15. Afridi, who has also played county cricket for Leicestershire, Derbyshire, Kent and Hampshire, has said he will retire from ODI cricket following this year's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, which starts next month. J

FA Cup Shocks Warning for Arsenal: Wenger BRIGHTON: Arsene Wenger believes the weekend's series of FA Cup shocks represent a 'warning' for his Arsenal side. The Cup-holders avoided joining several other Premier League clubs in making a surprise fourthround exit with a 3-2 win away to second-tier Brighton and Hove Albion on Sunday that booked their place in the last 16.

Theo Walcott, Mesut Ozil and Tomas Rosicky all scored for Arsenal, ensuring strikes from Brighton's Chris O'Grady and Sam Baldock to make it 2-1 and then 3-2 respectively did little more than cause a few extra nerves for the visitors. Arsenal are now one of just a handful of elite Premier League teams in Monday's fifth-round draw,

after Chelsea amazingly lost 4-2 to third-tier Bradford City and Manchester City were eliminated following a 2-0 defeat by Brighton's divisional rivals Middlesbrough. Wenger said he 'couldn't believe' those results and had to check them twice, but acknowledged they made his side favourites for the trophy alongside Manchester United, who have still to overcome fourth division Cambridge United in a replay. "I think the results were a bit of subconscious warning for us," said Wenger. "What you want to do now is to focus on the next round and go through. We have good experience from last season to know that every round is difficult. The most difficult games weren't the expected ones. We will fight and we want to retain our Cup." Meanwhile, Wenger was optimistic Arsenal would sign defender Gabriel Paulista from Villarreal, expressing confidence the deal would go through despite the Brazilian's work permit issues. Arsenal could maybe have done with a bit more protection at the back against Brighton, except for the fact the North London club's attack was so scintillating. J

Sharapova Happy to be Able to 'Lift' Her Game

MELBOURNE: Second seed Maria Sharapova sent rising star Eugenie Bouchard into a tailspin with an imperious display recently, setting up an Australian Open women's semi-final with enigmatic fellow Russian Ekaterina Makarova. Five-time Grand Slam champion Sharapova, 27, flicked aside the Canadian seventh seed 6-3, 6-2 in their glamour quarter-final clash as her quest for a second Australian title gathers pace. But she faces an unknown quantity in dark horse Makarova, seeded 10th, who humiliated third seed Simona Halep in a 6-4, 6-0 mauling that crushed the Romanian's renowned fighting spirit. Sharapova won the Australian title in 2008 and can seize the world number one ranking off arch-rival Serena Williams if she repeats the feat this year.

She was expected to face a tough battle against Bouchard, the photogenic 20-year-old constantly compared to Sharapova and hyped as the leading light in a group of young guns destined for Grand Slam success. But the reigning French Open champion was never troubled, taking her career record against Bouchard to 4-0, including a semi-final at Roland Garros last year. Sharapova said she was steadily improving after surviving a major scare in the second round, when she was one point away from an early exit. "Am I happy that I was able to lift my game after having a couple of matches where I wasn't satisfied? Yeah, absolutely," she said. Bouchard made too many mistakes going for big winners, resulting in an early break that Sharapova never relinquished. J



Looking for Price Appreciation? Look into Growth Stocks

n By Saghir Aslam

Rawalpindi, Pakistan (The following information is provided solely to educate the Muslim community about investing and financial planning. It is hoped that the Ummah will benefit from this effort through greater financial empowerment, enabling the community to live in security and dignity and fulfill their religious and moral obligations towards charitable activities)

Growth stocks provide a way to invest now in companies that may be poised for future success. While investors seeking regular dividend payments may wish to invest in income stocks, growth stock investing is a good choice for investors seeking share price appreciation. Rather than pay out sizable dividends, growth companies typically reinvest their earnings back into the business. Thus, growth companies’ revenues and earnings are expected to increase more rapidly, which generally leads to share price appreciation. For a growth investor, current income is less important than a company’s continued growth. I would like to share three examples with you, McDonald’s, Motorola, and Apple. Here are three stocks that I bought months ago and at times it seemed like a long, long wait. As a matter of fact, I had to wait so long for GILD as most of you are aware gold has been in slumps for almost three years, it has done nothing but go down, down and some more down. I personally being a patient long term investor held my gold stock positions including physical gold with Morgan Stanley. Now the reward time comes, in the last few weeks, gold has jumped from $1150 to $ 1300 and it looks good for the long term. But I reminded myself that in order to succeed I must stick to the plan. Believe me it wasn’t easy. The wait was very, very long but as always with Allah’s blessing patience Emerging-growth companies are smaller and less well capitalized than the average growth company. PEACE FROM P9

Pakistan. We place our trust in the statesmanship of our President. It is not imaginable to us that you will in any way countenance any attempt to ignore or bypass the wishes of the people of the State of Jammu and Kashmir. Their determination has to be made by giving the people the right to self-determination. It is obvious, that, if the people of any region of Jammu & Kashmir wish to stay either with India or with Pakistan or to choose to be independent of both, their will has to be fully respected. (Dr Fai can be reached at; EXTREMES FROM P8

discussion became contentious or futile, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) would leave it and say, “Wa khairun salama” (upon you be the best of peace). I am certain he would have treated all of this with peace. (Dr Mahjabeen Islam is an addiction and family medicine specialist. Her email is mahjabeen.islam@

As they become larger, many emerging growth companies can be found in the high-technology sector. Investors in emerging growth companies must have a high tolerance and be willing to accept greater portfolio volatility than those who invest in income stocks or regular growth stocks. Some examples are, I bought face book $10 per share from a private angel investor. I discussed with my long time with lots of experience representative with Morgan Stanley Tom Kleinbuer he discouraged me and told me you probably blend up losing your money. Though I value his opinion as he has been in the market for decades, However in this case I decided to follow my belief and bought face book 10 $ a share. All of us know today with Allah (S.T)’s blessing face book is trading over 70 $ a share. Growth stocks frequently trade at price-to-earnings ratios that are significantly higher than those of the market as a whole. In other words, investors pay a substantial premium for stocks considered to offer above-average earnings growth potential. One of the challenges faced by growth stock investors is that it is often difficult to forecast earnings accurately. As a result, growth stocks tend to have extreme up-and-down price fluctuations if projected earnings are exceeded or if earnings are disappointed versus estimates. Monitoring Growth Stocks Investors usually want to review their growth stock holdings regularly to make sure the companies’ prospects continue to justify premium price-earnings ratios. Often, by the time growth opportunities are recognized by the general public, stock SHIFT FROM P7

than his predecessors. That the COAS zeroed-in on Pakistan’s dispute with India over Kashmir in his talk is understandable but the way the Line of Control (LoC) has lit up since he assumed office is a matter of concern. The Kashmir-oriented jihadists like Maulana Masud Azhar and Hafiz Saeed have become increasingly vocal and visible over the last several months, which raises the question whether Pakistan intends to decommission these India-oriented jihadists anytime soon. The answer is a cautiously pessimistic no. And therein lies the rub. One can reform and regulate the madrassas all one wants but so long as there is a demand for the jihadists, they will keep churning out more. Moreover, the Pakistani establishment’s arrangement with new Afghan President Mr Ashraf Ghani also seems geared more towards neutralizing the perceived Indian influence in Afghanistan than actually finding a permanent solution to the menace of terror-

prices have been drive up and priceto-earnings ratios are no longer as attractive. As a result, the potential for further appreciation decreases. In general, you should only consider growth stock investing if you are more interested in share price appreciation than income. If you are a conservative equity investor, you can participate in growth stocks by staying with high quality blue-chip names. If you are an aggressive investor, you can seek out opportunities among the smaller emerginggrowth companies. I have written many times before about the stop losses as soon as I buy a stock, immediately I put a stop loss depending on the stock volatility 5 % to 10 % which basically means that the amount of money I am willing to loose on this particular stock., as the stock goes up, I raise the stop loss with same percentage. Good news is sometime I hold the stock with raising stop losses for years. Key point to remember is if the stock goes down, you do not change the stop loss. Simply once it hits the stop loss, sell the stock. These types of companies are extremely volatile. You need a very strong stomach. They are not for everyone and can be very risky. Before you invest in any of these types of companies, please keep the following in mind: volatility, risk, and time frame. You should only invest your risk money into these types of companies. As always before investing do your homework thoroughly. (Saghir A. Aslam only explains strategies and formulas that he has been using. He is merely providing information, and NO ADVICE is given. Mr Aslam does not endorse or recommend any broker, brokerage firm, or any investment at all, nor does he suggest that anyone will earn a profit when or if they purchase stocks, bonds or any other investments. All stocks or investment vehicles mentioned are for illustrative purposes only. Mr Aslam is not an attorney, accountant, real estate broker, stockbroker, investment advisor, or certified financial planner. Mr Aslam does not have anything for sale.)

ism. The Pakistani establishment is conveying that it has successfully pried away Mr Ghani from India and now Pakistan will help secure peace in Afghanistan. Never mind that by inference then, there was war and terrorism in Afghanistan thus far because Pakistan did not approve of its relationship with India. Mr Ghani is on a clock at home. He will have to show tangible results in the next three months before the whole shebang falls apart. So far, the Pakistani security establishment has not induced a single Afghan Taliban leader from the Quetta or the Peshawar Shura to make peace with Mr Ghani’s administration, which will tell whether Pakistan’s strategic calculus has truly undergone a paradigm shift or we are just daydreaming. As the Americanism goes: if it sounds too good to be true it probably is. The onus is on Pakistan to prove the bona fides of its claim. (The writer can be reached at and he tweets @mazdaki)

Marriage Support Hidaya Foundation supports impoverished families who are trying to get their daughters married by providing basic items necessary for newlywed girls, including dresses, shoes, utensils, bedding, fans, sewing machines, and more, along with some financial assistance to offset marriage expenses. Depending on the region, it costs approximately $200 to $300 to support the marriage of one young woman.

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Hidaya Foundation 866.2.HIDAYA | Hidaya Foundation is a non-profit 501 (c)(3) charitable organization with Tax ID # 77-0502583

Exchange Rates for Currency Notes* Countries

Buying Rs.

USA UK S.Arabia Japan Euro UAE

Selling Rs.

100.60 151.87 26.77 0.8509 113.05 27.39

100.80 152.17 26.82 0.8526 113.27 27.44

(*27 Jan, 2015) US VISA AVAILABILITY JANUARY 2015 For Pakistan, Bangladesh & India Compiled by Hasan Chishti FAMILY SPONSORED PREFERENCES




1 Unmarried sons & daughters of U.S. Citizens

July 8, 2007

July 8, 2007

2-A Spouses and unmarried children of permanent residents

April 15, 2013

April 15, 2013

2-B Unmarried sons & daughters (21 years of age or older) of permanent residents

April 1, 2008

April 1, 2008

3rd Married sons & daughters of US citizens Dec., 22, 2003 4


Brothers & sisters of adult U.S. citizens

March 22, 2002

Dec., 22, 2003 March 22, 2002




2nd Members of the professions holding advanced degree or persons of exceptional ability


Feb., 15, 2005

3rd Skilled workers Other workers

June 1, 2013 June 1, 2013

Dec., 15, 2003 Dec., 15, 2003

4th Certain special immigrants Certain religious workers

Current Current

Current Current



5th Employment creation Targeted Employment Areas/ Regional Centers and Pilot Programs UNLIMITED FAMILY-BASED

Immediate Relatives of U.S. Citizens (IR): The spouse, widow(er) and unmarried children under 21 of a U.S citizen, and the parent of a U.S. citizen who is 21 or older. Returning Residents (SB): Immigrants who lived in the United States previously as lawful permanent residents and are returning to live in the U.S. after a temporary visit of more than one year abroad.



Ten Principles of Success in the Light of Sirah n By Dr Muzammil H. Siddiqi

Gems from the Holy Qur’an


e have indeed in the Messenger of Allah a beautiful pattern (of conduct) for any one whose hope is in Allah and the Final Day, and who engages much in the praise of Allah. (Al-Ahzab 33:21) Prophet Muhammad – peace and blessings of Allah be upon him - was Allah’s messenger. He came to guide all humanity to the right path. His mission was to show the way of success in this world and salvation in the hereafter. He gave us the best example in his own life and those who followed him truly and sincerely were the most successful people. By studying his life (Sirah) we can learn many important principles for living a successful life here and achieving the eternal success in the life to come. Few years ago in one of our Sirah Conferences Maulana Waheeduddin Khan, a prominent Muslim thinker and writer from India, spoke and gave us ten principles of success in the light of Sirah. Today I would like to remind us these principles. They are useful in all situations and should be kept in mind always.

1. First Principle: To begin from the possible: This principle is well explained in a saying of Sayyidah A’ishah – may Allah be pleased with her. She said: “Whenever the Prophet had to choose between two options, he always opted for the easier choice.” (Al-Bukhari) To choose the easiest option means to begin from the possible; and one who begins from the possible will surely reach his goal. 2. Second Principle: To see advantage in disadvantage: In the early days of Mecca, there were many problems and difficulties. At that time, a guiding verse in the Qur’an was revealed. It said: “With every hardship there is ease, with every hardship there is ease.” (94:5-6). This means that if there are some problems, there are also opportunities at the same time. And the way to success is to know the problems but also to avail the

From the translation by Muhammad Asad (Leopold Weiss) (Recently, a media talk show host, well known for his anti-Muslim bias, saw it fit to make scornful remarks against the Qur’an on TV. In these columns, selections from this Holy Book will be published, so that unacquainted readers of the Pakistan Link may be able to judge for themselves.)

opportunities. 3. Third Principle: To change the place of action: This principle is derived from the Hijrah. Hijrah was not just a migration from Mecca to Medina. It was to find a more suitable place for Islamic work, as history proved later on. 4. Fourth Principle: To make a friend out of an enemy: The Prophet – peace be upon him - was repeatedly subjected to practices of antagonism by the unbelievers. At that time the Qur’an enjoined upon him the return of good for evil. And then, as the Qur’an added, “You will see your direst enemy has become your closest friend” (41:34). It means that a good deed in return of a bad deed has a conquering effect over your enemies. And the life of the Prophet is a historical proof of this principle. 5. Fifth Principle: To turn minus into plus After the Battle of Badr, about 70 of the unbelievers were taken as prisoners of war. Some of them were educated people. The Prophet (saw) announced that if any one of them would teach ten Muslim children how to read and write he would

be freed. This was the first school in the history of Islam in which all of the students were Muslims, and all of the teachers were from the enemy rank. A British Orientalist remarked about the Prophet, “He faced adversity with the determination to wring success out of failure.” 6. Sixth Principle: The power of peace is stronger than the power of violence: When Mecca was conquered, all of the Prophet’s direst opponents were brought before him. They were war criminals, in every sense of the word. But the Prophet did not order to kill them. He simply said: “Go, you are free.” The result of this kind of behavior was miraculous. They immediately accepted Islam. 7. Seventh Principle: Not to be a dichotomous thinker: In the famous Ghazwa of Mu’ta, Khalid ibn al-Walid decided to withdraw Muslim forces from the battlefield because he discovered that his army was disproportionately outnumbered. When they reached Medina, some of the Muslims received them by the word “Furrarun (O deserters!)” The Prophet said, “No. They are Kurrarun (those who will return and advance).” Those people of Madinah were thinking dichotomously, either fighting or retreating. The Prophet said no. There is also a third option, and that is to avoid war and find a time to strengthen yourself. Now history tells us that the Muslims, after three years of preparation, advanced again towards the Roman border and this time they achieved a re-

sounding victory. 8. Eighth Principle: To bring the battle in one’s own favorable field: This principle is derived from the incident of Hudaibiyya. At that time, the unbelievers were determined to engage Muslims in fighting, because obviously they were in an advantageous position. But the Prophet, by accepting their conditions unilaterally, entered into a pact. It was a ten-year peace treaty. Until then, the meeting ground between Muslims and non- Muslims had been on the battlefield. Now the area of conflict became that of an ideological debate. Within two years, Islam emerged victorious because of the simple reason of its ideological superiority. 9. Ninth Principle: Gradualism instead of radicalism: This principle is well established by a Hadith of Al-Bukhari. Sayyidah Aishah – may Allah be pleased with her - says that the first verses of the Qur’an were related mostly to faith, to heaven and hell. And then after a long time when people’s hearts had softened, the specific commands to desist from adultery and drinking were revealed in the Qur’an. This is a clear proof that for social changes, Islam advocates the evolutionary method, rather than the revolutionary method. 10. Tenth Principle: To be pragmatic in controversial matters: During the writing of Hudaibiyya treaty, the Prophet – peace be upon him - dictated these words: “This is from Muhammad, the Messenger of God.” The Quraysh delegate raised objections over these words. The Prophet promptly changed the word and ordered to write simply Muhammad, son of Abdullah. These were the principles through which the Prophet – peace be upon him - gained success and if we follow them today seriously and sincerely, we can also achieve success. (Taken from a talk of Maulana Waheeduddin Khan)

About the translator: Muhammad Asad, Leopold Weiss, was born of Jewish parents in Livow, Austria (later Poland) in 1900, and at the age of 22 made his first visit to the Middle East. He later became an outstanding foreign correspondent for the Franfurter Zeitung, and after his conversion to Islam travelled and worked throughout the Muslim world, from North Africa to as far East as Afghanistan, India and Pakistan. After years of devoted study he became one of the leading Muslim scholars of our age. His translation of the Holy Qur’an is one of the most lucid and well-referenced works in this category. Chapter 22, Verses 3 – 6 And yet, among men there is many a one who argues about God without having any knowledge [of Him], and follows every rebellious satanic force about which it has been decreed that whoever entrusts himself to it, him will it lead astray and guide towards the suffering of the blazing flame! O men! If you are in doubt as to the [truth of] resurrection, [remember that], verily, We have created [every one of] you out of dust, then out of a drop of sperm, then out of a germ-cell, then out of an embryonic lump complete [in itself] and yet incomplete, so that We might make [your origin] clear unto you. And whatever We will [to be born] We cause to rest in the [mothers’] wombs for a term set [by Us], and then We bring you forth as infants and [allow you to live] so that [some of] you might attain to maturity: for among you are such as are caused to die [in childhood], just as many a one of you is reduced in old age to a most abject state, ceasing to know anything of what he once knew so well. And [if, O man, thou art still in doubt as to resurrection, consider this:] thou canst see the earth dry and lifeless – and [suddenly,] when We send down waters upon it, it stirs and swells and puts forth every kind of lovely plant! And this [happens] because God alone is the Ultimate Truth, and because He alone brings the dead to life, and because He has the power to will anything. Chapter 22, Verse 11 And there is, too, among men many a one who worships God on the border line [of faith]: thus, if good befalls him, he is satisfied with Him: but if a trial assails him, he turns away utterly, losing [thereby both] this world and the life to come: [and] this, GEMS, P29



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indeed, is a loss beyond compare! Chapter 22, Verses 13 [And sometimes] he invokes [another human being -] one that is far more likely to cause harm than benefit: vile, indeed, is such a patron, and vile the follower! __________ WORDS FROM P10

most valuable resource in defeating the twisted ideology of extremists who seek to use Islamic justification for their criminal actions. Being accurate with terminology, especially when it comes to the CVE and national security contexts, divorces the perception of religion and terrorism, and focuses our national security resources on any and all potential threats, thereby making our strategy more effective and precise. “All forms of violent extremism would certainly be discussed in the context of the Summit,” stated Earnest. “Including the threat from people who invoke the name of Islam, there are other forms” of violent extremism that will be addressed. 2. Delegitimizing baseless justifications. The second reason Earnest highlighted the importance of terminology is the fact that when we use terms that violent extremists use, we essentially validate their baseless religious claims. Avoiding religious terminology in our efforts to counter violent extremism denies these criminals the religious affiliation they severely lack and so desperately seek. Groups like ISIS and AlQaeda and their affiliates justify their criminal actions through distorted justifications of Islamic teachings. Taking away these religious labels in our national conversations is a strategic move in fighting these groups, not just with military might, but with powerful counter-messaging. The worst thing we can do is unknowingly find ourselves in a situation where we are legitimizing illegitimate justifications for acts of violence. Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) seeks to clear ambiguity by defining appropriate terminology in a more substantive manner through our fellowship program with a full policy report to be released later this year. Using accurate terminology will not only empower and embolden valuable resources in the partnership to counter violent extremism, it furthers America’s strategic interests in securing our nation while being mindful of building a resilient and cohesive citizenry. We look forward to the White House including the importance of terminology as part of its summit on CVE next month. The conversation around Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) is taking place amongst policy-makers and the media. American Muslims must be an integral part of this conversation. Our approach at MPAC has been clear since day one on this topic: American Muslims must be seen as partners, not suspects. - MPAC MINISTERS FROM P12

dream project; the Karachi-MultanLahore motorway project within the Rs259.353 billion that have been earmarked for it,” an official privy to the project’s workings told Dawn. Another top official, conveying the mood of the bureaucracy, said, “It’s an open secret that the oil crisis was caused by mismanagement at the top and the government failed to pre-empt the drying up of fuel stations, which was imminent.”

JANUARY 30, 2015 – PAKISTAN LINK – P29 The fact that PSO was defaulting on its payments, which has been identified as the root cause of the problem, was something that had been raised at the cabinet committee level quite regularly. These meetings on energy were chaired by the PM himself, so how come the only people held responsible were the PSO MD and petroleum officials, the government official asked, rhetorically. On the other hand, all three ministers; Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Ishaq Dar and Khawaja Asif, are key members of the energy committee and are eventually responsible for ensuring the uninterrupted provision of fuel in the country. “But the government’s actions thus far give the impression that the ministers have absolutely no control over officials in their ministries. In either case, the responsibility should have been shared at the political level too,” the official said. TALKS FROM P12

law for the judicial commission if it had done nothing wrong in the elections. He said the PML-N did not want the commission to take up cases which had already been decided by election tribunals or were pending before them, whereas the PTI wanted the commission to take up all of them. The PTI chief ruled out the possibility of returning to the national, Punjab and Sindh assemblies, terming them “disputed”. He said if any PTI member returned to the assemblies, he would be thrown out of the party. In reply to a question, he said the PTI would take part in the Senate elections from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly alone, terming it a “legitimate assembly”. He said he was ready to form a judicial commission in KP and open all constituencies if anyone had doubts about the fairness of the elections in the province. Earlier, at his press conference, Finance Minister Dar blamed the PTI for the delay in the formation of the commission, saying the government could form it through an ordinance within seven working days if the opposition party agreed to any one of the two drafts that his team had proposed to it. The minister was of the opinion that the matter could be resolved in half an hour, if the PTI chairman sat calmly and thought it over. He said there could be “systematic flaws” in the elections due to negligence of the polling staff and it was not right to accuse any political party of rigging on that basis. HOME FROM P21

report, it goes to the prosecutor. But judges, lawyers and witnesses are often threatened or killed. Courts have a backlog of more than a million cases. As a result, conviction rates are low. Anti-terrorism courts convict around a third of cases, about half of those are overturned on appeal. Fewer than a quarter of murder suspects are convicted. But Tahir said that the lab has had some notable successes. One man confessed he poisoned his Scottish wife thanks to evidence from the toxicology and polygraph departments. Two men claimed police plant-

ed suicide vests on them, but they were jailed after the lab’s computer section recovered deleted videos from their phones confirming their wrongdoing. A man who raped and killed a five-year-old in a mosque was identified by his DNA; seven other suspects were freed. “On one hand, you have exonerated a man,” said Tahir. “On the other you have found someone who has actually committed a crime. Nothing makes you happier.” LETTER FROM P20

Malick, President of IAMC. “Unfortunately, the Constitution is under threat, by the onslaught of a relentlessly divisive and hateful agenda, espoused by narrow, sectarian interests,” added Mr Malick. This year’s Republic Day has a special significance, with President Obama visiting India as the Chief Guest for the celebrations in New Delhi. In a letter, delivered to the White House before President Obama’s departure for India, IAMC called the President’s trip an opportunity for the two countries to “come closer not only in matters of common strategic interests, but also on issues related to our common values.” “As signatories to the UN Declaration of Human rights, both India and the US have a shared commitment to religious freedom and human rights. It is in this context we wish to bring to your attention deeply disturbing developments in the world’s largest democracy, that are having a profoundly negative impact on millions of religious minorities in India, including Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists and Parsis,” the letter stated. The series of attacks on churches in New Delhi, the campaign to forcibly convert Christians and Muslims to Hinduism undertaken by Hindu supremacist organizations and the incendiary rhetoric adopted by ministers and members of Parliament belonging to the ruling dispensation have created a sense of siege among the religious minorities, and were mentioned in the letter to President Obama. The letter urged the President to express concern over the rapidly deteriorating situation of minorities, to direct the State Department to include human rights and religious freedom within the framework of the US-India Strategic Dialogue and to call on India’s administration to pursue policies that are “equitable and representative of India’s secular constitution and its longstanding tradition of pluralism.” “Without international concern over the plight of minorities in India, a population of over 200 million representing India’s religious minorities would be faced with heightened persecution, constricted freedom of religion and diminishing civil liberties,” the letter added. IAMC has consistently marked Annual Republic Day celebrations in different cities across the US for over 8 years. For more information, please visit http://www.iamc. com


The petition, filed by the Lahore High Court (LHC) Bar Association at the Supreme Court’s Lahore registry, challenges the establishment of military courts and disapproves the 21st Constitutional Amendment. Six similar petitions were filed in the apex court challenging the formation of military courts and the 21st Amendment. The petitioners maintain that the Constitution does not provide any room for military courts, and that the 21st Amendment deviates from the basic structure of the Constitution. The petitions also argue that forming of military courts establishes a parallel judicial system. The petitions state the 21st amendment affects clauses in the Constitution pertaining to basic human rights, and plead to the apex court to strike down the legislation. COURTS FROM P1

Constitution and were therefore unconstitutional. After hearing the arguments, the court issued notices to the attorney general and the advocates general of the four provinces and adjourned the case to Feb 12. The LHCBA is of the view that the 21st Amendment is against the basic structure and features of the Constitution and that the amendment abrogates the fundamental rights of the people of Pakistan guaranteed in the Constitution. The petition argues that the very concept of citizens being tried by special military courts was shocking, absurd and an invasion of the judiciary’s remit, adding that such a procedure could not be allowed to sustain. INDIA FROM P1

India’s membership in the group, Mr. Aziz also criticized American support for granting a seat to India on the United Nations Security Council. “A country, in violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions on matters of international peace and security, such as the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, by no means qualifies for a special status in the Security Council,” the statement read, referring to the Himalayan region of Kashmir, over which Pakistan and India have fought three wars. PAKISTAN FROM P1

an average age of 22 years, “I believe the opportunities that the young entrepreneurs from Pakistan have are going to make an exceptional

contribution to the economy of the region,” he added. Darst, who is the author of 11 books and has a PhD in economics from Yale, said it is wrong to believe that Pakistan is lagging behind due to its proximity with Afghanistan, Iran and India. “In fact, I believe Pakistan is in the centre of Asian countries like Iran, Bangladesh, Vietnam and Indonesia that will significantly contribute in the world economy in coming decades.” Speaking about the strong fundamentals of Pakistan’s stocks, he said, with 31% returns in dollar terms Pakistan led the world markets in 2014. “What is important is that the stocks in Pakistan are still very cheap compared to the markets in the industrialized world and they are performing better than many markets in terms of returns,” he added. “I am surprised to see low number of investors in the bourses of Pakistan. This must change considering the strong fundamentals of Pakistani stocks.” MQM FROM P1

“extrajudicial killings” of MQM workers in the city. Talking to reporters, MQM leader Khwaja Izharul Hasan said that Sohail was taken in a van by men introducing themselves as law enforcement agencies’ personnel. Rabita Committee had time and again reported missing of Sohail Ahmed but to no avail, the MQM leader said. “Continuation of such incidents is the failure of the provincial government ... there are elements within police, Rangers and law enforcers conspiring against MQM. “More than 35 of MQM workers have been extra-judicially killed. We raised our voice on every forum, but the law has failed to protect us,” he added. “Government does not respond to us; we appeal to COAS, DG ISI and DG Rangers to please save us, protect our lives,” Hasan said. MQM would continue registering its protest through democratic means, he said while announcing to observe a day of mourning on Sohail’s killing on Thursday. Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar took notice of the killing of MQM worker, and sought report from DG Rangers Sindh and IG Sindh about the incident, Radio Pakistan reported. He condoled with the MQM over the incident, assuring that no action beyond limit of law will be allowed.






any are stubborn in the pursuit of the path they have chosen, few in pursuit of the goal." With due respect to Nietzsche, (who is probably turning in his grave to be quoted for a drama

serial no less), Zid's main protagonist, as the title suggests, seems to be stubbornly stuck on the path to freedom paved by others rather than any self-examination of her end goal. Meet Saman (Maya Ali), a head

strong, ill-mannered, temperamental career-driven Pakistani woman whom dare I say is a misguided idea of a feminist. Her history of two broken engagements casts gloom and doom on her household, as her family frets and fumes: Aisi larki se kaun shaadi karega? All the talk about presentations and projects notwithstanding, we are sucker punched back into the field of the nation's national sport - marriage. That, as well as the other fallouts thereof namely the first wife, divorce and naturally, the doosri biwi. Written by Bee Gul and directed by Ahsan Wai Qureshi, Zid is the latest offering from Hum TV. From a writer who presented gems such asTalkhiyan and Pehchan, she seems to have taken a leaf out of the commercial playbook to explore these well-worn themes. Though her past work is commendable, she does end up inverting these very ideas and is more interested in showing a mirror to society and asking difficult questions than creating neat endings. The story so far The twice engaged Saman and her rude and rebellious ways are the things that parental nightmares are made of. Through a lot of hand wringing, head holding, laadpyaar, blame and other machinations her family conspires to get her married to Omar, once married but 100% American. While Saman's main gripe with her ex-fiance was incompatibility, she now merely nods her head in assent to get married to Omar though not before creating a spectacle to include a khula in her nikahnama. Her own little subterfuge of using Omar as a oneway ticket to freedom backfires to the larger duplicity of her family withholding the fact that this is Omar's second marriage. With all the deceptions laid bare, there are scars to be healed all around. Saman's family bids her farewell with clear expectations on how to be a good wife. Saman, hurt and betrayed is still smarting. Omar, actually seems like a decent male trying to do the right thing. In the US, we are introduced to his cousin Rukhi (Rabab Hashim), a mirror image of Saman in more ways than one and her father Qasim (Imran Peerzada) as well as the (so far) mysterious Zainab (Nausheen Shah). The highs Though Zid is peddling the TRP triumvirate of the marriage, divorce and the other wife, hopefully with a writer like Bee Gul, we are in good hands. Her ability to combine multiple perspectives and sympathise with each charac-

ters point of view, and her use of stand-ins for society who tow the status quo as well as those who challenge these very ideas can make for riveting viewing. Who better to represent all that the zalim zamaana stands for than Appo? Played with relish and the right amount of nosiness mixed with good will by Sultana Zafar created a funny interlude (ploy really) to keep the bride and groom at a respectable 12 feet distance. For now, Saman's parents despair to see their child well-settled despite her stubborn ways, her

can the audience really be expected to take her aspirations seriously? Rude, bull-headed and selfabsorbed she may well be but where is her internal conflict? Of hurting the people she loves, of understanding some of her parents despair, of perhaps getting to America the hard way - on her own steam, only to cave to the realisation that marriage might in fact be the easier way out for her. The glaring inconsistencies in her character - rejecting one suitor for being too similar to her and recognising that incompatibility as

exasperated brother's (Humayun Ashraf) annoyance, his fiancé's (Hina Javed) obsessions with the clothes and arrangements, Omar's parents' level-headedness, and Rukhi's singlehood banter about the strange ways marrying strangers all are true to life and situate them appropriately. All the actors are staying true to their characters and this sets the stage for the story to unfold. Also for a change we have a likable male character in Omar (Ahsan Khan) who tries to do what he can to break the ice and give his new bride a good start to a lifelong journey. Ahsan Khan has a natural ability to infuse Omar with warmth and a certain maturity. The lows Unfortunately, Saman has the depth of an eight-year-old. When writing a commercial project such as this one, is it enough to give a glimmer of a modern, independent, office mein kaam karne wali larki? If the writer has no interest in telling us anything about Saman's professional life, (and no, throwing about words like presentation, project and office do not count)

a recipe for disaster, to leaping into the unknown to accept a suitor merely for his citizenship status -seem too easy a set up. As was the easily resolvable matter of her coming clean for which there are many a technology to bypass Appo's pehredari. While the need for young girls to understand and include stipulations such as the khula in their contract can be applauded, this sort of marching up and demanding these rights made Saman look like she had the intelligence of a raisin since she needed to have drawn up her stipulations in advance. Her hubby's verbal agreement doesn't equal a written contract and then signing the said contract minus that all-important clause just send her back to behaving like an eight-year-old being placated. While Maya Ali has grown as an actor, there is an element of direction absent here. Also missing is any sign of visual storytelling or flair. For now, Zid is a mixed bag. Whether it will go the way of hackneyed plots or be able to carve out something inventive remains to be seen.



Sponsored By: Pakistan American Chamber of Commerce (PACC)



Pakistan Link - January 30, 2015  
Pakistan Link - January 30, 2015