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Pakistan Link

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The World Collectively Mourns Mandela Chief Justice Had Been Inconsistent, Says ICJ Islamabad: The chief justice of

Pakistan has strengthened human rights but his inconsistent choice of cases has left the Supreme Court vulnerable to accusations of partisan intervention, a global group of 60 eminent judges and lawyers said on Thursday. Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry — who stepped down on Dec 12 — spearheaded a legal movement that forced out a dictator and established the independence of the judiciary for the first time in Pakistan’s history. But without further reforms, the justice system will continue to destabilize the country, the Genevabased International Commission of Jurists warned in a report. “The Court has often garnered public acclaim for demanding government accountability,” the body said. But many felt “concerns that the Court has sometimes exercised its original jurisdiction in a political and partisan manner”. Justice Chaudhry helped restore some hope in the courts,

ICJ, P29

2014 Declared ‘Year for Production and Quality’

The Largest Circulated Pakistani-American Newspaper in North America

Friday, December 13, 2013



Is Nawaz Gambling on the Military Chief?

Fashion Casts off ‘Dark Cloud’ of Obstacles

CJ Iftikhar Chaudhry Bids Farewell

CEC Justice Nasirul Mulk, Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and Chief Justice-designate Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani at the farewell dinner for Chief Justice Chaudhry on Tuesday

Islamabad: Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry marked the end of his term on Wednesday with a speech at the Supreme Court and ex-

pressed his confidence in the leadership of CJdesignate Tassaduq Hussain Jillani, the next most senior judge in Pakistan. He said Justice Jillani

and future chief justices will continue to support and enhance the work and functionality of the Human Rights Cell also. “The Human Rights

Cell has, in fact, processed thousands of complaints and the court also took many suo motu cases,” he said while addressing FAREWELL, P29

Economy Can Be Restored with EU’s Support

Islamabad: The government has de-

clared 2014 as the ‘Year for Production and Quality’ to boost economic performance of the country, Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal said on Tuesday. He was speaking at the inaugural session of the 16th Sustainable Development Conference (SDC) organized by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI). The conference brought together policy and practice communities to interact and recommend workable solutions to emerging challenges in South Asia. The development minister shared the ‘Vision 2025’ plan in detail and stressed that its implementation will usher true development in Pakistan. He further emphasized the need for regional cooperation in South Asia. SDPI executive director Dr. Abid Suleri said that inaction on part of SAARC member states added to development challenges.

US & Canada $1.00

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif speaks at the luncheon hosted for the European Union (EU) Ambassadors in Islamabad

Islamabad: Prime Minister Nawaz

Sharif said on Tuesday that Pakistan was looking forward to enhancing its cooperation with its European partners in important areas, includ-

ing trade, investment, energy, infrastructure development, education and human resource development. “European countries, as our largest trade and investment partners,

enjoy a unique position in our priorities,” the prime minister said while addressing ambassadors of European countries at a luncheon hosted EU, P29

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

For news, updated round the clock, visit Imran Threatens Street Protests against ‘Vote Rigging’ Islamabad: Pakistan Tehreek-i-In-

saf chairman Imran Khan asked the government on Tuesday not to create hurdles in the way of verification of thumb impression of voters as ordered by election tribunals, otherwise his party would be left with no option but to come out on roads. Speaking at a press conference, Mr Khan said the PTI was watching patiently how the government had hampered the verification of thumb impression in constituencies where PTI candidates have challenged poll results. He said if the practice of changing judges of election tribunals, removing chairman of the National Database and Registration Authority in the dead of night continued, the PTI would protest with a force that would be difficult for the government to control. “I will talk to all like-minded parties and politicians, including Dr Tahirul Qadri, to move the masses against the government.” A PTI leader confirmed to Dawn that his party was working on a plan to launch a movement in February or March.

Pakistan Beats Sri Lanka in First Twenty20

Dubai: Dashing all-rounder Shahid Afridi starred in Pakistan’s exciting three-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the first Twenty20 international at the Dubai Stadium on Wednesday. Afridi scored an unbeaten 20-ball 39, hitting the winning six off the last ball of the final over to give Pakistan a 1-0 lead in the two-match series. In all, Afridi hit three sixes and two boundaries to help Pakistan overcome a tough challenge from world number one Sri Lanka who had taken the match to the final over with Pakistan needing six runs. Set a challenging 146 to get, Pakistan lost Ahmed Shehzad (four) in the third over but Mohammad Hafeez (32) and Sharjeel Khan (34) steadied the innings through their 57-run second wicket stand before they lost three wickets in the space of seven runs. It was left to Afridi to see Pakistan through. Criticized for his recent poor batting form, Afridi hit two towering sixes in Kulasekara’s 16th over to give Pakistan a sniff of victory.







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Killing Kennedy and Liaquat Ali

n By Mowahid Hussain Shah


0 years after the killing of President Kennedy, controversy continues to blaze on.

The officially constituted Warren Commission concluded that the assassination was the solo act of a lone gunman, Lee Harvey Oswald. But most Americans dismiss that as implausible fiction, especially so, when Oswald was himself murdered in a Dallas police station by Jack Ruby, a nightclub owner with Mafia ties. Three major movies have, in effect, debunked the official version, most notably Oliver Stone’s 1991 counterpoint to it, “JFK.” Oliver Stone has received two Oscars for Best Director, and is co-author of the book and documentary series, “The Untold History of the United States.” Other well-regarded movies are “The Parallax View” (1974) and “Executive Action” (1973). Oswald, too, had told the media that he was a “patsy”, meaning a scapegoat. His mother, Marguerite, denied his guilt, and his still-living Russian wife, Marina, recently told the Daily Mail of UK that Oswald didn’t do it. The son of Howard Hunt (CIA officer, personal assistant to ex-CIA head Allen Dulles, and one of the burglars of Democratic Party offices that led to the Watergate scandal in the 1970s and to President Richard Nixon’s resignation in 1974) told Jesse Ventura (former Governor of Minnesota) that, at his death-bed, Howard Hunt confessed to participating

Liaquat Ali Khan shortly before his death in 1951 with actor James Stewart in Hollywood

in the conspiracy to kill Kennedy. A portion of Howard Hunt’s taped re-

the conspiracy to kill Kennedy and was “a benchwarmer on it,” as shown

In the late winter of 1978, I had a long conversation in Manhattan with noted lawyer A.K. Brohi who was there to attend a UN session. He told me that Said Akbar was with his 9-year-old son when he was killed, and then Brohi queried, “Would someone set out to assassinate the Prime Minister of Pakistan and willingly put the life of his young boy in jeopardy?” marks was played for Jesse Ventura, in which Hunt states that he knew of

A Report from Karachi

Sectarian Hate Crimes in Pakistan

in a TV program broadcast on November 19, 2010.

There now seems to be an orchestrated push-back in mainstream US circles pitched at the young generation to show that Oswald acted alone. The lone gunman theory is not impossible, but it is improbable. It requires taking leave of common sense. More clue-worthy is the historic pattern of alleged assassins being quickly disposed of. It controls the narrative. In 1865, the killing of President Abraham Lincoln was followed by the killing of his killer. Killed or silenced. Anti-Marcos Filipino leader Benigno Aquino, was killed at Manila airport in 1983 and his alleged killer was immediately slain by Marcos’ soldiers. The power to cover up remains a crucial element. There are eerie parallels to Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan’s slaying in Rawalpindi on October 16, 1951. His alleged assailant, Said Akbar, was immediately shot dead on the spot. Pakistan continues to suffer its collateral consequences. In the late winter of 1978, I had a long conversation in Manhattan with noted lawyer A.K. Brohi who was there to attend a UN session. He told me that Said Akbar was with his 9-year-old son when he was killed, and then Brohi queried, “Would someone set out to assassinate the Prime Minister of Pakistan and willingly put the life of his young boy in jeopardy?” Both Oswald and Said Akbar were likely decoys. So who did it? Most likely, a cabal. There may have been a sole shooter, but were there other fingers on the trigger? To quote Lincoln, “You cannot fool all of the people all of the time.”

Mandela Knew Prophet Mohammad Had Outlawed Racism and Color Bar n By Qutubuddin Aziz



n By Anila Ali

lthough the root of sectarian violence especially against the Shiites lies in the burgeoning influence of Saudi Wahibism in Pakistan, what adds fuel is the increase in hate-filled content on social media. Although a poor nation, Pakistan has very rapidly adapted to the technological advances in media. From the street peddlers to the servants and sweepers in private homes, cellphones are an item of necessity. For instance, Liaquat Hussain, the servant in my household who was completely illiterate is now texting and speaking good English.

The social media is a tool that Pakistanis are adept at using for financial advantage as well. Home businesses , local businesses all advertise on Facebook and use its array of tools to leverage clients. The Federal Investigation Au-

Karachi, Pakistan

elson Mandela was a peoples’ leader who wanted peace and justice to flourish among the nations of the world. He was a hero unto millions of underprivileged human beings throughout the world. Mandela’s memory is imperishable and he will live in the hearts thority (FIA) of Pakistan acknowl- and minds of the people. edges the surge in hate speech on social media but finds it difficult to take any action in the absence of relevant laws. Most of the hate speech on social media is directed towards sectarian groups or their ideologies. The FIA also stated that this year the complaints have gone up in number. Most of the complaints are passed on for further investigation to the police agencies. The social media activism that has increased tremendously came under attack by many concerned citizens’ groups after the tragic slaying of Shias on 10th of Muharram, a Muslim holy day, and the arson attack on the Rawalpindi seminary. Some analysts say the attacks were fueled by social media. Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Mr. Nawaz Sharif, has expressed sincere concern over the sectarian violence and asked for immediate legislation against ‘electronic media’ but not much action has been taken to find the perpetrators. However, there are many so-

I had the privilege of meeting him in his office in the United Nations in 1948 when I had gone to the United Nations General Assembly as a delegate from Pakistan. Every word that he spoke was for the wellbeing of the oppressed peoples of the world. He wanted peace and amity to reign in the Subcontinent and had great admiration for Quaid-iAzam Mohammad Ali Jinnah and

Mahatama Gandhi. Nelson Mandela had great respect for Islam and he had read parts of the Holy Qur’an. When I met him in his office in the UN he showed me copies of the Qur’an and books on the life of the Holy Prophet and he recalled that it was Prophet Mohammad who had outlawed racism and color bar. The memory of Nelson Mandela will continue to inspire the hearts of men and women throughout the world.

cial media activists who oppose bans on free speech and instead urge that intolerance be eliminated through education. With the explosive population and lack of basic necessities of life, clean water and electricity, and terrorism, education is not the top priority of the law makers. It may be quite a while before intolerance can be combated through education. How many more innocent lives have to be lost before something definite is done against hate crimes in Pakistan?

Views and opinions expressed by authors and contributors in articles, letters, opinion pieces, reports, advertisements, etc appearing in Pakistan Link and Urdu Link are their own. The paper neither shares nor endorses them and thus should not be held responsible for the views/opinions of the writers & advertisers.




P6 – PAKISTAN LINK – DECEMBER 13, 2013 n By Susan Collin Marks


Washington, DC

s we collectively mourn Nelson Mandela’s passing, it is fitting to reflect on his life, and celebrate his greatness as a leader, and a man. His passing is a loss for our planet, but his spirit will live on in the fabric of the world, and in all of us.

At the age of 44, Mandela was imprisoned in a 6 x 9 foot cell on Robben Island by the apartheid regime. He was 71 when he was released on February 2, 1990, and I waited all day with 80,000 other people in the hot sun in Cape Town’s city square. Suddenly, there he was; a tall, strong, smiling, laughing Xhosa man with eyes dancing. We shouted and sang and danced our adulation and love. He dazzled us with his vision of a future where all South Africans, black and white, would live equally in their homeland. His warmth and spirit settled in us, seeping into our hearts and bones. The firebrand had come home to his wise elder self, and now he was going to take the rest of us home to the “new South Africa” with him. As much of North Africa and the Middle East continue to push through the growing pains of the Arab Awakening – including interethnic violence and challenges in governance – Mandela’s truly uncontainable spirit and leadership style can perhaps help light the path forward for other nations, and for all of us. He embodied the core elements of great leadership, even as he remained fully human with flaws and shadows. And he illustrated a profound truth, that we are great

Remembering Mandela

not despite our failings, but including them. We cannot pretend to be someone other than who we are, and

those who imprisoned him, even as he lamented his inability to have a good relationship with some of his

al and professional ethical framework. His inspiration came from a purpose bigger than himself and his

He was 71 when he was released on February 2, 1990, and I waited all day with 80,000 other people in the hot sun in Cape Town’s city square. Suddenly, there he was; a tall, strong, smiling, laughing Xhosa man with eyes dancing. We shouted and sang and danced our adulation and love. He dazzled us with his vision of a future where all South Africans, black and white, would live equally in their homeland much of the controlling, rigid leadership we see in the world today is armor against fear of personal failure and weakness. His authenticity taught us; he was always himself. Despite his hot temper, he was compassionate and empathetic towards

family. He was a leader for all South Africans – never swerving from his vision of a rainbow nation – and a courageous problem solver, with pragmatism built on core values that translated into a deeply held person-

presence, voice and discipline inspired others to be better than they ever imagined. Who he was as a leader at this time of global upheaval matters. As old certainties are uprooted, the challenge is how to create a new

world for the benefit of all, not just for “my” group or faction or party. He showed us not only what to do and how to do it, but also who we need to be as leaders - and citizens. I was recently in Libya, where people hunger for a leader able to unite Libyans through their common humanity. A local leader in Sirte told me wistfully that Mandela had been South Africa’s secret ingredient, and he wished they had one too. Next door in Egypt, people also long for a leader able to save the country from violence and continuing division. And Syrians hope for a peaceful solution that will unite the nation. As we consider Mandela’s life and legacy, we might ponder his favorite poem, Invictus, by Victorian poet William Ernest Henley, and the lines that he said sustained him during 27 years in prison: I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul. Mandela understood that life will throw many things at us, and it is up to us how we respond. He knew the power of forgiveness and took tea with Betsie Verwoerd, widow of Hendrik Verwoerd, the architect of apartheid. He learned that love is the greatest power in the universe, and invited his prison wardens to his inauguration as the first democratic President of South Africa. He taught us how to live with ourselves, and with each other, embracing our common humanity. I am grateful to have been one of the thousands who stood in his shadow that day in 1990 when he came back to us, and showed us how to step into the new democratic future that, together, we would all create.

OPINION n By Dr Mohammad Taqi Florida “Strange all this Difference should be ‘Twixt Tweedle-dum and Tweedle-dee”

— John Byron The third of the four major Pakistani transitions slotted for 2014 is now complete. The new Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif, who, according to the Inter-Service Public Relations (ISPR) press release, “hails from martial stock”, has replaced General (retired) Ashfaq Pervez Kayani. Barring three military dictators, General Kayani — a 1971 graduate of the Pakistan Military Academy (PMA), Kakul — was the longest serving army chief. As noted in this space last month, the panegyrics to General Kayani started right after his decision to hang up his boots. That the outgoing general did not make a coup d’état because he simply could not is submerged in the flood of paeans to him. It was quickly forgotten that General Kayani had taken over as the 14th COAS from the then thoroughly detested dictator General Pervez Musharraf on November 28, 2007 at the height of a popular agitation against the latter. The movement to restore the judges sacked by General Musharraf was at its peak at the time. The late Benazir Bhutto and Mian Nawaz Sharif — both barred from electoral politics at the time — had thrown their weight behind the movement, albeit in a qualified manner. Earlier that year, 52 people had been killed on May 12 when the Musharraf regime’s allies unleashed brute force in Karachi. That evening, the dictator celebrated the regime’s ‘triumph’ in a repulsive display, which further angered the already disgusted masses. Musharraf doffed his uniform the day after General Kayani was sworn in, was quickly abandoned by his political allies, and was history by mid-2008. That Pakistan has never had two coup


‘Twixt Tweedle-dum and Tweedle-dee? d’états back-to-back is not exactly a scientific principle but there just was no room for General Kayani to overtly take power in yet another coup. The international opprobrium for Musharraf ’s — and the military’s — duplicitous games in Afghanistan could have easily turned on the Pakistani state had there been a putsch. The military officers, apparently under a directive, avoided frequenting civilian areas in their uniforms towards the end of the Musharraf era. The people were plain sick of the army’s reign then just as they had been with Generals Ayub Khan, Yahya Khan and Ziaul Haq’s rule. At the end of each one of its pervious stints in direct power, the army was forced to leave the political center-stage but not power. However, like the military takeover drills, the junta also seems to have perfected the manoeuvre to wield power from behind the scenes and it deployed it with great finesse during General Kayani’s tenure. While he is being celebrated as the ‘thinking soldier’, the ‘soldier’s soldier’ and the great benefactor of democracy, the fact is that General Kayani kept the outgoing Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) coalition at bay and away from national security and foreign policies as well as from trying, albeit clumsily, to assert civilian control over the military. General Kayani ostensibly shut down the ISI’s notorious political cell but, in practice, he let his ISI chief General Ahmed Shuja Pasha loose on the civilian government. In fact, General Pasha was the most high profile ISI director since General Hamid Gul and, like him, tried to undermine the PPP government directly as well as through propping up other political and religio-political forces. The agenda was set from the street via military-allied politicians and jihadists in conglomerates like the so-called Defense of Pakistan Council. Together with pro-military television anchors and many in the Urdu press, the

narrative dial was set to the hard right. These same scarecrows riled up anti-US sentiment that was used by the military as an excuse, especially with the international community,

Despite his sporadic speeches about terrorism being the biggest issue faced by Pakistan and its armed forces, and a muchtrumpeted revision of military doctrine, General Kayani did remarkably little to roll back his institution’s reliance on India and Afghanistan-oriented jihadists to not own the fight against terrorism. The civilian government, marred by its own governance issues and a perpetually pugilist Supreme Court (SC), was barely able to keep its

head above water let alone try to wrestle back national security and foreign policies from the establishment. Despite his sporadic speeches about terrorism being the biggest issue faced by Pakistan and its armed forces, and a much-trumpeted revision of military doctrine, General Kayani did remarkably little to roll back his institution’s reliance on India and Afghanistanoriented jihadists. The discovery of Osama bin Laden’s lair in Abbottabad and prior to that the jihadists’ attack on GHQ should have entailed serious introspection about terrorist sympathizers in the retired and active-duty military personnel. However, General Kayani, who trained in the US once, oversaw a pushback, anchored in rabid anti-Americanism, against accountability of his institution. Despite knowing the origins and evolution of the Taliban, many in the military still blame India for that morass too. Writing about a jihadist terrorist clique within the armed forces, which tried to kill him, General Musharraf notes in his book that “if there were terrorists or sympathizers in the air force at Quetta and Peshawar, why not at Chaklala?” One may add, why not the GHQ and why not at Abbottabad near the Pakistan Military Academy (PMA)? Whether General Kayani, who incidentally had supervised the inquiry into the attacks on General Musharraf, found the answer or even tried to look for them, we will never know. General Raheel Sharif is Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif ’s pick for COAS. Mr Sharif has selected a few chiefs before and will get to choose at least one more down the road. The prime minister knows that merely picking the ‘right’ army chief cannot fix the lopsided civil-military relationship. Robust governance, holding his ground firmly and avoiding unforced errors and political tripwires will go a long way towards this end. The change of guard in Rawalpindi does give the civilian leadership a brief window of opportunity to at least set the tone of foreign policy and national KAYANI, P22

P8 – PAKISTAN LINK – DECEMBER 13, 2013 n By Dr Adil Najam


Lahore, Pakistan

s Pakistan prepares to navigate a new round of privatization and as we engage in passionate conversation about what is to be privatized, when, and how, it may be useful to step back and consider why we seek to privatize a wide swath of state-owned enterprises (SoEs).

The premise, quite simply, is that the what, when and how of privatization flow directly from the why. You do not need to be a rabid opponent of British Thacherism of the 1980s to feel circumspect about the roots of modern privatization. The popular belief that the term privatization in its contemporary connotation was coined by management guru Peter Drucker is convincingly debunked by Spanish economist Germà Bel in a short but incisive paper published in the Journal of Economic Perspectives (20:3, 187-94) in 2006, in which he argues that it was the Nazi party in Germany before World War II that really defined the concept and its practice as we know it today. Bel points out that Hitler’s rise to power was widely supported by business and industry and he consolidated this support by initiating a large-scale program of restoring publically controlled monopolies to private hands. Much more interesting, however, is why the Nazis chose to privatize. According to Germà Bel, it was

Privatization: Yes. But, Why?

explicitly “intended to benefit the wealthiest sectors and enhance the economic position and political support of the elite.” Based on the belief that high levels of savings would depend on inequality of income and wealth, the National Socialist Party saw privatization in the 1930s as a way to “stimulate the propensity to save, since a war economy required low levels of private consumption.” The historical irony that Bel highlights is that the arguments made for privatization in the 1930s were strikingly similar to the primary modern argument against it: that privatization “only enriches and entrenches business and political elites, without benefiting consumers or taxpayers.” Why a state chooses to privatize obviously matters. It mattered as much in the mid1950s when, for starkly different reasons, privatization again became such a major defining force in German economic policy that it was described (by Otto Kirchheimer, World Politics, 1954) as “probably the most important single social phenomenon of the post-war German scene.” Just how dramatically the ‘why’ of privatization in Germany had shifted is exemplified best in the case of Volkswagen. Born in the 1930s as a state enterprise that reflected the passions of Adolf Hitler and Ferdinand Porsche, Volkswagen was famously privatized in 1960. A major goal was to propagate broad-based economic participation. By 1966, the Harvard Law

Review was reporting that “the Volkswagen privatization involved some 1,500,000 subscribers, whereas the total number of shareholders in Germany before this time was estimated to be only 500,000 or 600,000.” Why Peter Drucker advocated

The prognosis is disturbing. It suggests that, yes, privatization is needed. But, no, conditions are not good. There are very few jewels to offer, and the crown itself is unstable privatization (or reprivatization, as he called it) was different still. Although the widely-cited story about Drucker having coined the term privatization is wrong, the Austrian-born educator and management scholar has, indeed, been an influen-



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tial voices on this subject. In his 1969 book, The Age of Discontinuity, he provides a different ‘why’ for privatization: because government is “a poor manager,” has “no choice but to be bureaucratic,” and is “not a doer.” The point is that there can be


many reasons for privatization. Ideological assertion – e.g., the Margaret Thatcher thrust in the UK during the 1980s. Ideological shift – e.g., the former Soviet bloc after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Economy-wide transformations – e.g., parts of Latin Amer-

OPINION ica over the last decades. Need for capital investment – e.g., divestment of Britain’s Royal Mail. Rapid technological change requiring knowledge investments – e.g., privatization of major telecommunication companies around the world. Need to plug budgetary and governance leaks – e.g., Japan’s ongoing privatization of Japan Post. And so on. History, as Germà Bel reminds us, “does not prove that privatization is always a sound or an unsound policy.” On the global trail of privatizations one finds blazing glory as well as scorched earth. What you will find depends as much on where you look as on whom you ask. History reminds us here, as in so many other places, that context matters. And so does a polity’s internal theory of why it chooses a path to privatization. So, why should Pakistan be on the road to privatization? The least convincing reason is budgetary injection; the idea that privatization will allow the government to raise easy capital to invest in other priorities. This tends to works best for highly successful SoEs and generally effective governments. Pakistan has neither. There are fairly few successful SoEs to write about and even less reason to be confident of the government’s ability to make ‘better’ investments. The most convincing reason is budgetary drain; the idea that inefficiency and corruption have placed a permanent drag on the exchequer. This case has been best made by Dr Farrukh Saleem in a series of opeds which point out that around 200 SoEs in Pakistan now lose more PRIVATIZATION, P26



n By Karamatullah K. Ghori


Toronto, Canada

on’t blame those who have always suspected Pakistan being a militarycentric nation and infatuated with its generals in shining uniforms. Just look at the fanfare that surrounded the change of military command, last week, in Islamabad and Rawalpindi.

The hour-long ceremony at the Hockey Stadium next to GHQ in Rawalpindi was covered live by television channels with the imprint large on it of a major national event. The grand spectacle was the closest Pakistani version of the inauguration of a new president in Washington. At least my memory runs dry in search of a comparable fanfare surrounding the passing of the baton to a new military chief in any other country, developed or under-developed. But this weird sight of a news media going gaga over what should pass as a normal event in a normal country had a lot of meat in it for pundits to chew on and try come up with a logical rationale for it. However, rationale or logic was quite conspicuous by its absence in this whole episode. The Pakistani news media just seems to be getting completely bowled over by unbridled freedom that has become its staple and thinks it’s its right to sensationalise anything routine or normal. Its infatuation with magnifying the trivia beyond all reasonable limits is becoming its bread and butter; and there is no end to it in sight, sadly. Nawaz Sharif may have, inadvertently, whetted the eager-beaver media’s appetite for ‘ever more’ by not disclosing his hand until there was hardly a day left in the retiring General Kayani’s term at the helm of the military. Nawaz may have had legitimate reasons for taking time—a lot of it—before making up his mind on which horse he should bet on. He’d every reason to be cautious, given the pivotal position of the army in Pakistan’s history and the tragic tale of the brass meddling in the way the state should be fashioned or run. But in Nawaz’ case caution and trepidation was warranted on the basis of his own experience in the past. The last time around when he faced the challenge of selecting a military chief he ventured into a huge blunder. He was soon after made to pay the exorbitant price of his poor judgment in banishment not only from power but from the country, too. Nawaz’ partisans, however, are quick to rise to his defence and argue that past is another country. Once bitten twice shy is understandable but, they insist, that this time around Nawaz has deliberated long and hard on his choice of General Kayani’s successor and that history is not about to repeat itself with the resurrection of Musharraf ’s ghost. Fifteen years ago when he committed the Himalayan blunder of settling on one of the

n By Riaz Haq



rone is now a household word in Pakistan. It outrages many Pakistanis when used by Americans to hunt militants and launch missiles in FATA. At the same time, it inspires a young generation of students to study artificial intelligence at 60 engineering colleges and universities in Pakistan. It has given rise to robotics competitions at engineering universities like National University of Science and Technology (NUST) and my alma mater NED Engineering University. Continuing reports of new civilian uses of drone technology are adding to the growing interest of Pakistanis in robotics. Last week, two indigenously built drones, named Burraq and Shahpar, were inducted into Pakistan Army and Air Force to deal with

Is Nawaz Gambling on the Military Chief?

most notorious generals in the history of Pakistan as military chief, Nawaz was not only relatively inexperienced but also guided by narrow and parochial motives. Nawaz thought he’d come up with an ace in by-passing the two senior-most generals on the list of eligible candidates for the office and selecting the third one on it. General Pervez Musharraf was an outsider in the Punjabcentric army culture. The son of an Urdu-speaking ‘babu’ serving in the Pakistan Foreign Office, Pervez Musharraf, Nawaz thought, was a soldier without a constituency or following. He was, in other words, with the least potential to turn the tables on his mentor and more likely to remain a loyal protégé. But what Nawaz didn’t know—or was too naïve to perceive—was that Pervez Musharraf— with more black spots on his dossier than any other general in the top echelons of the army— was a street-smart operator. It didn’t take him long to create a network of other power-hungry Bonapartes like himself in the GHQ high command. The rest is history. Musharraf found a convenient alibi to do to Nawaz exactly what General Ziaul Haq had done to Bhutto. But the Nawaz defence league argues that this time around he may have, again, chosen the third most senior man on the list of eligible generals but it’s a very safe bet he has made. General Raheel Sharif, Nawaz’ choice as Kayani’s successor is a soldier’s soldier. A scion of a deep-rooted soldiering family he has the perfect pedigree needed for the job. His father retired as an army major and his older brother—who happened to be a course-mate of Musharraf ’s—was none other than Major Shabbir Sharif, who won the most coveted medal of gallantry—the hal-

lowed Nishan-e-Haider. A soldier-to-boot, pundits argue, wouldn’t easily betray his commitment of loyalty to arms and allergy to meddling in politics. That may all be very well. None should begrudge Nawaz accolades for making the right choice, even though it may have taken him longer than necessary. With history of army’s past reckless conduct in regard to its abuse of power so well known to all and sundry, Nawaz should be excused for thinking hard and long over a question of great sensitivity. The old adage—once bitten twice shy—works itself neatly into the equation here. Ends, in this case, should be allowed to justify the means if things should work out exactly the way Nawaz and his partisans may have planned. The task at hand is not to seek to cut the army down to size, much as some hot-heads around Nawaz may argue. The Pakistan army is bloated. It has grown to become a behemoth, which can’t be justified against the scant resources of a country like Pakistan perpetually stranded at the door of international lending agencies— headed by the likes of IMF, with all its notoriety of an anti-people vehicle of economic torture. No, Pakistan isn’t Turkey and shouldn’t even ponder in its wildest dream of emulating the Turkish model. What PM Erdogan has done—in cutting an equally pompous and puffed-up military cabal down to size—is masterly and amazing. But the Turkish model wouldn’t work in Pakistan for a variety of reasons, which can’t be elaborated here. That should be the subject of a separate column. But what Nawaz Sharif can—and should— learn from Erdogan is how to rally the middle

class behind him, and not a pampered few, and then use the power of a galvanized solid middle class to write a new script for the economy and a new agenda for the country. Erdogan is a hero to the vast majority of Turks not because they see in him a generals’ slayer. No, they dote on him because he has turned a sick economy around and morphed it into an economic dynamo worthy of emulation in both East and West. Nawaz’ challenge is a work cut out for him: energise the people, and make them a willing force to rally behind you. Borrowing a famous American catch-phrase, ‘it’s the economy, stupid’ that should become the guiding light—the lode star, proverbially—for Nawaz to chart his course in its light. The new military chief ’s work plan is also clear as crystal or daylight. He has an insurgency to fight and throw back the challenge from a blood-thirsty gang of marauders with the mentality of the Stone Age people. Of course the army will not be fighting the battle alone. This battle belongs to the nation. The direction of it should come from the civilian government; Nawaz Sharif, as PM, should lay down the policy guidelines to be executed by the men in uniform. It shouldn’t even remotely be a game of one-upmanship, for either the PM or his anointed military supremo. It will have to be a team work in order to stand a chance of success. If he’s guided by vision and not naked ambition, Nawaz should count it as a blessing that the years since he made that fatal choice of Pervez Musharraf as his man to run the army the judiciary, which was less than independent or judicious around that time, has emerged as a powerful third force—as it should have been, all the time. A pro-active judiciary independent in the real sense of the term, should be an asset to both the civilian and military arms of the state. It’s there to stand as a referee—an honest broker in the strict sense of the word—between the two executive branches of the state. The system would work, flawlessly, if the high judiciary is allowed to function according to its constitutionallymandated role: a watch-dog standing guard on both the civilian and the military setups and making sure that their lines are not crossed. Nawaz doesn’t have the reputation of a gambler. He isn’t that smart, to be honest. But he may have unconsciously gambled on the right man to succeed an astute and apolitical Kayani. The sensitivity of the times, and fragility of the state exposed by the Taliban’s egregious challenge, demanded a soldier’s soldier to lead the army at this supra-critical juncture in the history of Pakistan. There’s simply too much at stake for either the civilian government or the military brass to err. General Raheel Sharif will have little incentive to become a Bonaparte if Nawaz Sharif doesn’t entertain, or nurture, ambitions of becoming an emperor. - (The writer is a former ambassador and career diplomat)

Drones Anger and Fascinate Pakistanis

both internal and external threats. A press release by the military’s Inter Service Public Relations (ISPR) announced that Pakistan had inducted its first fleet of “indigenously developed Strategic Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), namely Burraq and Shahpar UAV Systems” for the Army and the Air Force. While the press release provided no other information, an photograph released by ISPR showed a model of a canard pusher UAV that appeared to be armed with two under-wing missiles. Shahpar is a tactical UAV capable of carrying 50 Kg payload and stay aloft for 8 hours. Burraq has the capacity for 100 Kg payload with 12 hours endurance, according to Defense News. Initially, both will serve as reconnaissance platforms to gather and transmit real-time operational intelligence. In future, Burraq will likely be deployed as an armed UAV to carry and launch laser-guided

Pakistani UAV Shahpar at IDS 2012 Show

missiles. Here’s an excerpt from Defense News report on Pakistani UAVs: Burraq, based on CH-3 specs, would carry around a 100-kilogram payload and 12 hours endurance,” he (analyst Usman Shabbir of the Pakistan Military Consortium think

tank) said. The given payload of the (Chinese) CH-3 is a pair of AR-1 (laser-guided) missiles, or a pair of FT-5 small diameter bombs. The ability of Pakistan to field an armed UAV has great benefits when faced with time-sensitive targets, he said. “It is important in a sense that it

greatly cuts the gap from detection to shoot,” he said. Adding, “Earlier, once you detected something and wanted it taken out you had to pass on the imagery to higher ups, who had to approve and allocate resources like aircraft and by the time the aircraft got there the bad guys were long gone. Now detect, make decision, shoot and go home — all in same loop.” He does not believe there is any real significance in the systems being named for use with both the Army and the Air Force, however, as “both have been operating their own UAV squadrons for a while now.” “The Army has been using German EMT Luna X-2000 and the British [Meggitt] Banshee UAVs, while PAF as we know has a lot of faith in the Italian [Selex] Falco,” he added. The Luna was also ordered by the Pakistan Navy in June 2012. The new drones represent a significant advance in Pakistani military’s counter-insurgency capacity and battle-readiness for any major conflict in the region.



What Is More Deadly: Denials or Defeatism? - Part I

n By Mohammad Ashraf Chaudhry Pittsburg, CA

Difficult as it is to believe, terrorists don’t see themselves as evil. They see themselves as revolutionaries, and more than that as idealists who are willing to make enormous sacrifices in order to bring about a better world.”

- Deepak Chopra in “Peace is the Way” Both are lethal and toxic because both have the potential to rob humans of their humanity and manliness. Curiously, both have something to do with fear. So add fear and what emerges as a compound is a perfect troika and recipe of disaster and decline. The present as well as the past history presents ample illustration of why nations and individuals fell and licked the dust. They got humbled and humiliated when they ran into a mode of any one of the three. There may have been many causes behind the Black Death pandemic of 1348, but certainly it were not the rats alone that caused the spread of the plague and the elimination of half of the population in Europe between just four years (1348-1352); it were the edicts of the Catholic Church that earlier had declared that cats were “diabolical creatures”, refer to Gregory IX’s papal letter of 1232. In the absence of pesticides and vaccines, cats were the natural first line of defense against the real career of the plague, writes Bill Fawcett in his book, “100 Mistakes That Changed History”. The disease got a free hand once they were taken out. Wars and especially civil wars curiously enough start with similar innocent religious Fatwas, mostly based on superstitions and personal motifs. The question is why did Pope Gregory IX’s wrath fall on this poor creature that in those days lived in every European house? The anger was perhaps misdirected. The real culprits were the “Pagan Egyptians” and they revered cats more than they revered their children, and for a very practical reason. So the onus of anger basically was against the Egyptians, and more specifically against their being pagans, the cats just became the proxy victims. Egyptians stored grain in barns, and rats loved barns. No wonder that

the Egyptians declared the killing of a cat a very serious offence, punishable by death. The poor cats also fell from favor because of their peculiar habits; they love aloofness and tend to be proud and independent by nature, both anti-religious activities. They love humans if humans handle their kittens well; otherwise they act as ferociously as humans do. Once the Pope associated cats with the devil; especially if they were black, they became the incarnation of the devil. Wise Europeans as a precaution did not like

ings, then come India, Israel and America as the main culprits. The country burns, and its PM comes to America to say, “We need to fix our own home first.” As a teacher I have seen students tailoring all kinds of excuses to justify their obvious failures, but never did I find anyone so naïve, telling me, “I think I should have worked hard”. Denial is escapism from reality and from the process of self-correction. It is basically a habit, an attitude in which “one is always innocent; it is others who are at

Genghis Khan (1163-1227) summoned some 280 richest men of the city of Bukhara in the main mosque. Then through interpreters, he lectured them sternly on the sins and misdeeds of their sultans and themselves themselves to be accused of any witchcraft, a crime punishable by being burned alive. So killing a cat was thought of as an easy option. It is left to the wisdom of the readers to elicit conclusions as to who is the cat and who is the rat, and who is the Pope in the pandemic of terrorism, especially infesting Pakistan. Fifty thousand deaths still fail to define what is terrorism? Who is a shaheed/ martyr? Who is a terrorist? Is it our war? The politicians first announce a “dharna”, then their workers start looting and burning, then the workers start implementing their version of religion, then comes the shoot-

fault”. It is a psychological defense mechanism which, according to Freud, a person applies when he wants to evade the uncomfortable truths and realities, and wants to continue to live in his own deceptive world of fantasy and lies. People in this mode never clean their own pots but keep polluting even what they get as clean. Change for such people is risky, but no change is even riskier. This attitude earns people and nations their total rejection because nobody trusts liars and unreliable people. Defeatism is the first cousin of the denial mode. In this state, a person accepts defeat even without giving himself/herself a

fair trial. A person wrapped in this attitude is like a runner who feels no temptation to even go up to the starting line because he feels cock-sure that he is going to lose the race. He is like that lover who keeps burning from inside all the time, but does not pick up the courage to go to his beloved and confess his love because he thinks she is going to say “no” to him. Genghis Khan (1163-1227) summoned some 280 richest men of the city of Bukhara in the main mosque. Then through interpreters, he lectured them sternly on the sins and misdeeds of their sultans and themselves. It was not the common people who were to blame for these failures, rather, “it is the great ones among you who have committed these sins. If you had not committed great sins, God would not have sent a punishment like me upon you.” Then he told the rich not to bother showing his soldiers the wealth above the ground; the Mongols could find that without assistance. He wanted them to guide them only to their hidden or buried treasure. Lest the lovers of the Mongolian disciples forget in Pakistan, it may not be out of context to remind them that one of Genghis Khan’s greatest happiness was to scatter his enemy like husk, to drive them before him as the wind drives the husk, to see their cities reduced to ashes; to those who loved him, then shroud them in tears… Three FACTORS make or mar a nation. If a nation follows THE COURSE OF JUSTICE, it becomes a Utopia. Utopia basically means, “No land”. Thomas Moore was right when he envisaged these three factors because viewing man’s nature, it just seems not possible for man to be without them. They are: GREED, CORRUPTION AND WAR”. No country on earth, now or in the past, has had people who were totally free of them. But rule of justice is the only solution. Greed leads to corruption, and it is the mother evil because it makes people oblivious to the suffering of others, says Justice Michael J. Sandel in his book, “Justice”. The Taliban in Afghanistan and in Pakistan claim that they “live in dirt, are close to dirt and are ready to go under dirt”. Thomas Moore said a similar thing. You control greed, and gold and silver will lose their glitter for you. In those days, DENIALS, P29

Living Together No Crime and No Sin, Says the Indian Supreme Court n By Dr Aslam Abdullah


Las Vegas, CA

he Indian Supreme Court in a recent ruling asked the people of India (parliament) to frame laws protecting the rights of women and children in live-in relationship. It has ruled that such a relationship is neither a crime nor a sin.

One needs to look at the accepted definitions of Live-in, crime and sin before commenting on the Supreme Court ruling. Live-in relationship is defined as a living arrangement in which two individuals who are not legally married live together in a long-term relationship that resembles a marriage but not accepted as a marriage by the society at large. Crime means an act committed or omitted in violation of a law forbidding or commanding it and for which punishment is imposed upon conviction or a serious offense, especially one in violation of morality or an unjust, senseless, or disgraceful act or condition. And sin is described as an immoral act considered to be a trans-

gression against divine law. In Indian law fornication has not been prohibited. A man can have sexual intercourse with an unmarried woman over the age of 16 provided she consents to such a cohabitation. A person can also enter into an adulterous relationship with a married woman provided the husband has no objection. The Indian law intervenes only when a non-consensual intercourse is committed with a married woman or with a minor. The Indian law also says that only a man can be proceeded against and punished for adultery, but the married woman cannot be, even as an abettor. The Supreme Court has suggested that the rights of children born out of living together relations and women involved in such relations should be protected. In reality, rights of men, women and children must be protected regardless of the relationship among them. There is no need to have separate laws to protect the rights of people in these relationship as long as the law respects the equality of all Indians regardless of their background. There are certain inalienable rights that cannot be denied to any individual. Among them are rights to live and to choose one’s own life style. However, no one in society has a right

to weaken or destroy the primary social institution that is the foundation of human civilization, i.e. the family. Long before the emergence of the modern state, it was the family that provided support to its men, women and children, most of the times in a patriarchal arrangement but at times in a matriarchal situation too. Family was and is the human necessity as the life of an individual starts in a condition of total dependence upon others and ends in a situation of total dependence upon others. Family had rules and roles assigned to its members, especially the rules pertaining to conjugation and reproduction. Humans had two options to select rules and roles pertaining to family. Either they draw their own rules based on their likes and dislikes or they accept the rules given to them by a higher authority, God, Almighty, objective and neutral who does not take sides of any gender or ethnicity or race. It was the second option humanity accepted and adopted a definition that ensured the continuity of roles assigned to various members of the family. One of the fundamental rules in the divinely guided definition of family dealt with the relationship with

men and women. It was accepted that the conjugal relationship between a man and a woman should always be within the confine of marriage on the basis of contractual or sacramental ties witnessed by people and approved by the society. The purpose was not only to secure the interests of the couple but also the rights of their children and other relatives. Physical relations established outside these rules were considered illicit and a major sin carrying severe penalties. The purpose was to protect the dignity of both men and women and help them discipline their sexual urges and social responsibility in a meaningful manner. Now, after some 8,000 years of recorded human history, we are back to where we began our human journey. Whose definition should we accept in defining the nature of relationship between a man and a woman, i.e. the definition we as human beings evolve based on our limited knowledge, interests and experiences or the definition received through divine guidance? The Supreme Court is saying that people through their elected representative should define a family. It has also given a verdict on the 8,000-year-old wisdom of humanity that living-in without binding con-

tractual or sacramental relations is neither a sin nor a crime. The Supreme Court is not a law giver, it is a law interpreter and the decision that the live-in is not a sin or a crime is beyond its jurisdiction. It cannot give verdict on issues it is not competent to talk about. The Supreme Court follows the constitution that says that it would respect the religious beliefs of people. Hence, when it says that that live-in relationship is neither a sin nor a crime, it shows disrespect to the people’s belief. One of the definitions of crime describes it as an act in violation of morality or an unjust, senseless, or disgraceful act or condition. In the eyes of the religious community of India or the world, physical relationship not based on a contract or sacrament is unjust, senseless and disgraceful from the perspective of their belief. Hence by giving its verdict in this matter, the Court is again violating the constitutional clause that demands respect to the belief system of the people. One should hope that the religious communities of India, regardless of their denomination, would look into this verdict seriously and assert their right to make laws that would ensure the sanctity of marriage and family.



Hagel Warns over Border Protests

US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel shakes hands with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Islamabad on Monday

Islamabad: Defense Secre-

tary Chuck Hagel warned Pakistani leaders on Monday that if they don’t resolve protests stalling some military shipments across the border with Afghanistan, it could be difficult to maintain political support in Washington for an aid program that has sent billions of dollars to Islamabad, defense officials said. In response, Hagel received assurances from the Pakistanis that they would take ‘’immediate action’’ to resolve the shipment problem. The officials did not provide details on how that might be done. Hagel departed from Pakistan after a brief visit during which he held talks with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the country’s new army chief General Raheel Sharif on Monday. In the first visit by a US defense secretary in nearly four years, Hagel flew from Kabul to Islamabad as Washington seeks to defuse tensions over controversial

US drone strikes and Islamabad’s role in Afghanistan. Ties between Washington and Islamabad have been seriously strained over US drone strikes in Pakistan’s tribal belt as well as Afghan Taliban sanctuaries inside Pakistan’s borders. After greeting Prime Minister Sharif at the start of their talks, Hagel said Pakistan and neighboring Afghanistan had a “lot of common and mutual interests” and that he looked forward to discussing regional issues. The meeting between the US Defense Secretary and Pakistani prime minister was also attended by Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani, Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Federal Defense Minister Khawaja Asif and US special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan James Dobbins. Hagel was in Pakistan “in recognition of the tremendous support that Pakistan has provided in the war on terror”, a senior US defense official told reporters.

The defense secretary wanted “to deepen our defense partnership” and to affirm continued US military assistance, the official said. “There is some friction in the relationship” and Hagel wished to tackle that “head on”, he added. The visit came as Hagel’s deputies withdrew Sunday’s statement that said Nato shipments out of Afghanistan through Pakistan were to resume due to the end of anti-drone protests. Hagel also met with Pakistan’s army chief General Raheel Sharif at the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi. Issues concerning defence relationship, Pak-US bilateral ties and regional stability came under discussion. The US Secretary of Defence was accompanied by US Ambassador in Pakistan Richord Olson and US Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense Dr Peter Lavoy. In recent weeks, activists opposed to the drone raids forcibly searched trucks in northwest Paki-

stan in a campaign to disrupt Nato supply routes through the Torkham gate border crossing. The clubwielding protesters have prompted US officials to halt the shipments to protect the safety of truck drivers ferrying Nato equipment. Contractors were still concerned over anti-drone protests and the suspension had not been lifted, officials travelling with Hagel said. Torkham gate is the main overland route used by the Americans and Nato to withdraw military hardware from Afghanistan as part of the troop pullout set to wrap up by the end of 2014. SHIRIN MAZARI: Shireen Mazari, the information secretary for the political party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, said in a statement on Monday that the government should demand an end to the drone attacks. Over the past year, relations between Washington and Islamabad have improved, and Sharif met President Barack Obama and Hagel in late October in Washington. According to another report, the US has been frustrated by Pakistan’s unwillingness to target the Haqqani terrorist network, which operates along the border and conducts attacks on US and coalition troops in Afghanistan. Defence officials said Hagel was the first highranking US official to meet General Raheel Sharif, who took over as head of Pakistan’s powerful army at the end of last month. Following their meeting in Rawalpindi, Hagel and Sharil echoed each other’s desire to work to strengthen the countries’ relationship.

NATO Countries Urge Reopening of Routes

Imran Khan says supply routes will remain closed till the drone strikes end

Lahore: Representatives of Nato member countries requested Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan to reopen supply routes to Afghanistan via Pakistan, Express News reported on Monday. The Nato countries said that the blockade was causing inconvenience to the Nato forces in Afghanistan. Imran, however, turned down the request and said that the blockade would continue till drone strikes were stopped. On November 24, the PTI blocked the Nato supply route in Peshawar after inviting all political parties to join their protest against the drone attack in which Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) chief Hakimullah Mehsud was killed. Activists in northwest Pakistan, some armed with clubs, have been forcibly searching trucks since late November to try to halt Nato supplies. In response, the US military suspended shipments of equipment out of Afghanistan through the Torkham border crossing in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Torkham is a key transit point used by the Americans and Nato countries to withdraw mili-

tary hardware from Afghanistan, as part of a troop pullout set to end next year. Though Washington downplayed impacts of Nato supply blocked in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa through a statement that the supplies are continuing through other routes, causing disappointment among PTI workers who continue to block the Nato containers meant for Afghanistan, ambassadors of 22 Nato countries have now contacted Imran Khan requesting him to end the protest. Sources in the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf told Geo News that as many as 22 ambassadors from Nato countries urged Khan not to block Nato supplies as they had nothing to do with drone strikes. They said that the US, not Nato, was carrying out drone attacks in Pakistan. PTI protest against US drone attacks entered the 17th day on Monday. PTI chief Imran Khan has taken a firm stand against the drone attacks which mostly take place in Pakistan’s tribal belt. Khan has long been claiming that the attacks are counter-productive and prove detrimental for Pakistan’s efforts to end militancy.

‘No Exit from Pakistan: America’s Tortured Relationship with Islamabad’ n By Saeed Rahman Los Angeles, CA: “Both countries are marked by a sense of mutual vulnerability and are vulnerable to what the other does,” said Daniel Markey, He added that the world now is too small to escape from the reality of a country on the other side of the world. He also mentioned that Pakistan was of great geo-strategic importance to the US. There is a sense of frustration with regards to US-Pakistan relations, said Daniel Markey. Five years ago as President Obama came into office and Pakistan had a civilian leadership after General Pervez Musharraf had been swept out of power, there had been enthusiasm in Washington for future relations between the two countries. Markey, a senior fellow for India, Pakistan, and South Asia at the Council on Foreign Relations, was speaking at The University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) at a talk organized by the UCLA’s Burkle Centre for International Relations. He was speaking about his recently published book, No Exit from Pakistan: America’s Tortured Relationship with Islamabad. The title of his book, he said, referenced Jean Paul Sartre’s play No Exit and this was a meaningful choice. The relationship between

the United States and Pakistan has a very specific comparison with the play that consists of three characters that are pitted against one another in a living room. Markey said that these aspects of the play worked as a useful analogy for US-Pakistan relations. He quoted US Congressman Gary Ackerman as saying that Pakistan was a black hole for American aid out of which nothing good comes out. But he insisted there seemed to be no alternative than to work through this relationship. “War against Pakistan would be too messy, too dangerous and too awful.” The author recounted his time in Pakistan a week after the US raid on Bin Laden’s compound and the sense of humiliation among Pakistanis. He said that some Pakistanis he had spoken with had wondered if they really needed the US and that China was always present as an ally. He remembered responding that his sources in Beijing had told him that they were not interested in being Pakistan’s protectors. Markey said that since then, the sense in Pakistan has been that the country has to work with the US as it wields a large amount of influence in the region, in the global economy, with financial institutions and with Pakistan’s neighbors. Nawaz Sharif ’s government, he added, had decided on a narrower coopera-

tion with the US as opposed to distancing themselves from it. Markey turned to the oft-asked question of why Pakistanis hate the US. He divided the population into three strands. The liberals who are left-of-center and are angry with the US for supporting military leaders. These people, he said, are highly educated and globally aware who sense the hypocrisy in the US’s actions.

The second group, he said, were the nationalists who were politically in the center. These people viewed themselves as patriots and were angry at the US for leaving Pakistan in its time of need. Markey said broken alliances with Pakistan were not just fickle mindedness on the part of the US but much more complicated. And last, he added, were the jihadis who were anti-American in a manner similar to Al-Qaeda. They, he pointed out, were a minority, albeit a vocal, armed one that many fear. Markey then moved on to listing the three options he thought the US had in terms of dealing with Pakistan and also de-bunked all of them. First on his list was defensive insulation whereby Pakistan could be quarantined. This, he said, meant the country could be walled off and alliances developed with its neighbors while drones were increased to manage the threat from a distance. He said such a strategy would be costly and further push Pakistan from the status of ‘frenemy’ to adversary. Markey’s second option was militaryto-military relations. He said this would be a narrow transactional relationship. The US had done this in the past and it had not worked out well. “The Pakistani military will also suffer MARKEY, P29



Balochistan Votes Peacefully in Local Bodies’ Polls

Musharraf Can’t Be Tried in Civilian Courts, Say Defense Lawyers

Government to Press Five Charges against Musharraf

Islamabad: Former military ruler

Voters line up to cast their votes

Quetta: Amid tight security, poll-

ing for local bodies’ elections was held largely in a peaceful manner in Balochistan on Saturday. Acting Chief Election Commissioner Justice Nasir-ul-Mulk visited different polling stations here and expressed satisfaction over the polling process. Around 18,000 candidates were in the run for 4,600 seats of local bodies, including Quetta Metropolitan Corporation, four municipal corporations, 53 municipal committees and 32 district councils. Except for a few incidents of violence -- including firing incidents and clashes between rival groups in different areas -- the polling process remained peaceful across the province. Over 30 people were injured in the incidents. Polling could not be held in Harnai district because some political parties and candidates staged a sit-in against the district returning officer (DRO) and returning officer (RO). The provincial authorities immediately intervened and changed the deputy commissioner and the additional deputy commissioner who had been working as the DRO and the RO. Polling was suspended in some polling stations in Chaman, Qila Abdullah, Pishin, Mastung, Kalat, Zhob and Nasirabad due to minor clashes between the supporters of political parties. Women voters faced problems in Gharibabad area on the outskirts of Nushki town as they were

stopped from casting their votes. Amid protest by the women voters, local administration intervened and allowed them to vote. “Some people stopped women from casting their votes but the local administration resolved the issue after negotiation,” Assistant Commissioner Mohammad Younis Sanjrani told Dawn. A similar situation was reported from Qila Saifullah where local elders decided not to allow women to cast their votes. However, local administration did not confirm the report and said that a large number of women had cast their votes in the district. “There is no tradition of barring women from voting in Balochistan,” Home Secretary Asad Gilani said. Over 54,000 personnel of the army, Frontier Corps, Balochistan Constabulary, police and Levies Force were deployed across the province to ensure peaceful polling. In Quetta, a large number of male and female voters were seen going to polling stations since morning. “Long queues of voters were present at male and female polling stations in different parts of the city and its outskirts,” an official said. Voter turnout was encouraging in Quetta and its suburbs. According to an estimate, around 35 per cent votes were polled in the first four hours in central areas of the city. Official sources said that the overall turnout stood at 45 per cent in Quetta district.

Court Summons Zardari & Witnesses in NAB Cases Islamabad: An accountability court in Islamabad issued summons to witnesses in three of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) references filed against former president Asif Ali Zardari, DawnNews reported. Judge Muhammad Bashir of Islamabad’s accountability court held the hearing of the NAB references case against the PPP chairman and former president. During the court’s hearing, Zardari’s attorney and former law minister Farooq H. Naek informed the court that his client faced security threats due to which he could not appear before the court.

“The former president would appear in the court for the next hearing after getting a security clearance,” added Naek. Naek furthermore said that the former president had been indicted in all the other cases apart from the pologround reference case in which he had not been charged. NAB officials gave copies of the Cotecna reference to Naek. The court summoned the witnesses in Societe Generale Surveillance (SGS), Cotecna, Ursus tractor and assets cases. The court ordered the former president to appear at its next hearing scheduled for Dec 23.

Pervez Musharraf ’s defense lawyers on Sunday claimed that the promulgation of November 3, 2007, emergency could not be challenged in any civilian court as Musharraf took that step as the army chief. “Military act cannot be challenged in any civilian court and this will be one of our key arguments to defend our client before the special court,” said Ahmad Raza Khan Kasuri, one of the members of Gen (retd) Musharraf ’s legal panel. To support his argument, Kasuri cited as precedence the National Logistic Cell (NLC) corruption case in which some senior military officers were not presented before the civilian court and were tried under military court. Kasuri said the October 12, 1999 Act was more serious than November 3 emergency and yet it was covered up by the Supreme Court on the ground that when there was a threat to the state a state of emergency could be preferred over the Constitution. “If the Constitution is preferred over the state during the crucial times, then the consequences are the same as those we faced in 1971 in the fall of Dhaka,” he noted. He said in Nov 2007 only some judges were sacked, but in 1999 the entire government, including both houses of the parliament, were wrapped up. “Why then the government is so selective in invoking the Article 6 of the Constitution?” he asked. “Our stance is that in both cases, the state was under threat,” he added. He further said Musharraf ’s lawyers would challenge composition of the three-member special trial court while defending their client before the special court. “We have not challenged composition of the bench as someone independently challenged the special court in Islamabad High Court. We have still the option to go to the High Court against this composition,” he said. “I think the judiciary and the government both have realized the sensitivity of complications of the matter, that’s why it is yet to initiate the trial”, Kasuri said.

TTP Chief Moves to District Dir Islamabad: Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) chief Mullah Fazlullah has moved from North Waziristan to district Dir of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Sources said there were reports that the fugitive TTP chief first went to Kunar in Afghanistan and then shifted to an undisclosed location in district Dir of KP. Taliban sources have not confirmed the movement of Mullah Fazlullah. Last week, Mullah Fazlullah arrived in North Waziristan for the first time after he was made chief of the TTP. He had presided over a meeting of the Taliban Shura in the Waziristan. Sources said Mullah Fazlullah has decided to use Dir district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as the headquarters of TTP instead of North Waziristan which has been declared insecure by his aides due to the growing incidence of drone attacks.

Islamabad: In the ‘high treason’ case

against former president retired Gen Pervez Musharraf, the government plans to charge him with abrogating, subverting, suspending, holding in abeyance and attempting to conspire against the 1973 Constitution by declaring emergency and overthrowing superior judiciary in November 2007. In a formal complaint to be filed on Monday in a three-judge special court set up to try the former military ruler under Article-6 (1) of the Constitution, the government has not nominated any co-accused in the case. This is despite the fact that clause 2 of Article 6 also holds “any person aiding or abetting or collaborating the acts mentioned in clause (1) shall likewise be guilty of high treason”. The complaint, a copy of which is available with Dawn, does not blame Gen Musharraf for the 1999 military coup. Informed sources said the complaint No 01/2013 would be submitted to special court’s registrar Abdul Ghani Soomro, Sessions Judge of Sindh Judicial Service, through the FIA director general and the interior secretary. It will be filed under Article 6 of the 1973 Constitution, read with Section 5 of the Criminal Law Amendment (Special Court) Act 1976, read with Section 3 of the High Treason (Punishment) Act, 1973. The interior secretary will act as the complainant and authorize the FIA DG to file the complaint. The special court headed by Justice Faisal Arab of the Sindh High Court and comprising Justice Tahira Safdar of the Balochistan High Court and Justice Yawar Ali of Lahore High Court has been constituted by Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry at the request of the government under the Criminal Law Amendment (Special Court) Act 1976. The complaint says that under Section 3(1), read with serial number 14 of the Schedule of the FIA Act 1974 (Act VIII of 1975), the FIA is designated/authorized to prosecute the offences punishable under the high treason act. It pleads that the accused be tried on five heads of charges as mentioned in Article 6 and, if found guilty of any or all the charges, be awarded punishment as mentioned in Section 2(b) of the High Treason (punishment) Act 1973 (Act LXVIII of 1973). Under Section 2(b) of the High Treason Act 1973, a person found guilty of high treason “shall be punishable with death or imprisonment for life”, the complaint reads. Mr Musharraf who ruled the country for 10 years has been accused of committing all the five acts of high treason —

he abrogated, subverted, suspended and held the constitution in abeyance or attempted or conspired to do so. The complaint says Mr Musharraf issued a proclamation of emergency order on Nov 3, 2007, in his capacity as chief of the army staff and in his own name to hold the constitution in abeyance. “The accused in his capacity as commander-in-chief of the Pakistan Army by adopting unconstitutional means abrogated/subverted /suspended/held in abeyance the constitution by the said proclamation and hence committed the offence of high treason as defined in Article 6 of the constitution. A copy of the said proclamation signed by the former military chief in his name is part of the complaint.” The complaint says that on the same day (Nov 3, 2007) the accused vide notification 2-9/2007-Min-1(A) also issued the Provisional Constitution Order 1 of 2007 which in express letter and spirit abrogated, subverted and suspended Parts II, III, IV, VII, XI and XII of the Constitution. This is the second act of high treason. The same day the accused, as self-styled president of Pakistan, issued “Oath of Office (Judges) Order, 2007” to declare that a person who immediately before the issuance of the said order held office as a judge of the Supreme Court, Federal Shariat Court or a high court shall cease to hold office with immediate effect. “This order grossly abrogated and subverted the letter and spirit of Parts I and VIII of the Constitution, and hence the third act of high treason.” The accused who had ‘occupied’ the high office of president in June 2001 had on Nov 14, 2007, issued the “Provisional Constitution (Amendment) Order 2007” to further amend the PCO-1 and hence also abrogated, subverted and suspended the letter and spirit of various provisions of the Constitution, including Parts I and XI, and hence committed the fourth act of high treason. A month later, on Dec 14, 2007, the accused issued “Constitution (Second Amendment) Order 2007 (President Order No 6 of 2007) to further amend Articles 41, 44, 193, 194, 208 and 270-C of the Constitution. The amendment “revealed the real intention and motive for abrogating, subverting and suspending the Parts III, VII, XI and XII of the Constitution to remove the constitutional bars in Articles 44 and 63 against his inadmissible third term in uniform during pendency of his case in the Supreme Court”. This is the fifth act of high treason. The complaint says that all the five counts of offences were intentionally committed by the accused with the sole objective of “perpetuating his illegal occupation of the highest office, warding off any possible adverse verdict which could disrupt his continuous usurpation of power and thwarting the sub-judice case as already conclusively determined and held by the apex court in its judgment PLD 2009 SC 879 in the Sindh High Court Bar versus the federation of Pakistan”. In view of the above grounds, “the complainant seeks trial, conviction and punishment of accused Pervez Musharraf for all five separate offences of high treason” as envisaged in Article 6 of the Constitution of Pakistan, 1973, read with Section 2 of the High Treason (Punishment) Act (Act LXVIII of 1973).



Both Houses of Parliament Pay Tributes to Nelson Mandela

The National Assembly in session. - File photo

Islamabad: Both houses of par-

liament mourned for Nelson Mandela on Friday, but there was apparently unconcern about the South African statesman’s vision of national reconciliation that Pakistan’s two main political parties had once made a pact to pursue. Glowing tributes were paid to the iconic leader and one minute’s silence, followed by a prayer, was observed for him in the Senate, after a quick and haphazard disposal of the event in the National Assembly. Both houses unanimously passed identical resolutions, moved by the prime minister’s adviser on foreign affairs and national security, Sartaj Aziz, recalling Mandela’s struggle for the rights of the deprived and oppressed of his own country and the world over, as well as his visits in 1992 and 1999 to Pakistan. He addressed a joint sitting of the two houses of parliament during the second visit.

But there was no mention of a landmark commitment made by the leaders of the PML-N and PPP in the 2006 Charter of Democracy (CoD) to form a Mandela-model Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The commission had been proposed to reveal the past wrongdoings of governments and non-state actors as a means to resolving leftover internal conflicts. Nor any fresh vows were made to honor Mandela’s memory by implementing that part of the CoD. The opposition leader in the National Assembly, Khursheed Ahmed Shah of the PPP, had demanded in a recent speech to the house that the PML-N make good on the remainder of the CoD while claiming that the previous PPP-led government had implemented most of it. But he did not raise the point again on Friday. While acrimony of Thursday’s debate over the sacking of the

chairman of the National Database and Registration Authority amid a controversy over verification of votes cast in the May 11 election was still fresh, Deputy Speaker Murtaza Javed Abbasi of the PMLN hurriedly put the government’s resolution to vote. Then he adjourned the house until Monday, even without asking the lawmakers to observe a minute’s silence to mourn Mandela .But the tribute was much more dignified and glowing in the Senate afterwards, where Chairman Nayyar Hussain Bokhari of the PPP not only himself spoke but allowed speeches by parliamentary leaders of all parties. A minute’s standing silence was observed, which was also joined by visitors in the galleries. Leader of the House Raja Zafarul Haq of the PML-N even led a prayer for Mandela’s soul before the Senate was adjourned until Monday.

Dar Seeks US, ADB Support to Build Reserves Islamabad: The government is seek-

ing expedited disbursement of funds from the United States and Asian Development Bank (ADB) to rein in fast depleting foreign exchange reserves and currency devaluation. On Thursday, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar had a meeting with US ambassador Richard G. Olson in Islamabad and sought expedited reimbursement of dues on account of Coalition Support Fund (CSF) to help Islamabad improve its foreign exchange reserves position. “The ambassador assured the finance minister that he would convey Pakistan’s position to the United States government”, an official statement said. “An amount of $381 million will be transferred to Pakistan during the current month under CSF”, a senior government official told Dawn. These bills are outstanding against the United States for the services Islamabad provided to Nato forces in Afghanistan for October-December 2012 period, the official said. An amount of about $1.5 billion has since been built up for Jan-Dec 2013 but Pakistan has so far billed the US only for the first two quarters of the current calendar year, i.e. January-June 2013. Moreover, the government is coordinating with the ADB and expect-

ing release of about $40m on account of Benazir Income Support Program (BISP) during the current month. The disbursement is subject to resolution of audit objections on the performance and utilization of BISP funds. Dar and Olson also discussed matters relating to bilateral economic issues, particularly Pakistan’s energy needs. “The United States has a strong sense of the energy crisis in Pakistan and is willing to support Pakistan in overcoming the crisis”, Mr Olson was quoted in an official statement issued by the Ministry of Finance. Pakistan is seeking softer approach from the US administration on Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project to address Islamabad’s growing energy crisis following an initial thaw in relations on nuclear standoff. A Pakistani energy delegation led by Petroleum Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi is scheduled to visit Tehran for fresh negotiations to work out modalities for the implementation of the

strategic pipeline project under revised pricing, financing and implementation schedule. Pakistan and Iran had agreed last month during a visit of Prime Minister’s security and foreign affairs adviser Sartaj Aziz to resume talks on the project that remained suspended for almost six months. An official statement said Mr Dar and Olson also exchanged views on 1,320-MW Jamshoro Coal Power Plant. The ambassador was told that the government was confident about the approval of a loan by the ADB board for the Jamshoro Plant which will accelerate the efforts of the PML-N government to add power to national grid based on cheaper fuel. An official said a meeting of the ADB board of directors, scheduled to meet on December 9, was expected to approve about $900 million for Jamshoro coal project but its disbursement was not expected soon and would follow completion of procedural formalities on project contract and related legal issues. The ADB funding for the Jamshoro plant is part of larger $1.8 billion financing agreed to by international lenders to add 660MW each of two units of coal. Pakistan plans to generate about 9,800-MW of electricity through coal to contain rising electricity generation cost.

Security Threats Force Kayani Not to Move to Retirement House

Islamabad: Former chief of army staff General (retired) Ashfaq Pervez Kayani may have called it a day but he is still in the line of fire. Indeed, security threats have forced the former army chief to abandon his newly built retirement home and opt for living near the heavily guarded army house. While he was still in service, General Kayani planned to spend his retired life in Islamabad’s Defense Housing Authority (DHA) where he constructed a house with a grey stone finish at a scenic location in Phase 1. Perched on a corner plot, the house continues to stand apart in the housing colony. Its terraced gardens slope down to the River Soan. The plot in front remains vacant. However, security experts felt that the house was a security threat because it was impossible to protect the rear end of the house. Although, the house has close circuit television (CCTV) for monitoring the security of the house but this was deemed insufficient. Consequently, Gen Kayani, months before his retirement, started constructing a new house in the heavily guarded and secure neighborhood of the Army House, a retired army officer living in the same area claims. According to him, it was chance that a piece of land was lying vacant near the official residence of the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC). However, the retired officer added that some quarters of low level (Class IV) or conservancy staff were there but after the four kanal of land were allotted to Gen Kayani, these quarters have been relocated. Currently, the house is under construction. It is also being said that Gen Kayani may stay in the army house till the completion of his new house; in case he needs to move, he will shift into the army guest house which is also situated in the same locality. In his newly adopted neighborhood, Gen Kayani will enjoy the company of dozens of retired Generals including two former army chiefs — General (retired) Mirza Aslam Baig and General (retired) Abdul Waheed Kakar. These are not the only properties that the retired COAS is said to own. Sources in the Military Estate Office (MEO) said he also owns a two kanal piece of land in the army’s officer colony of National Stadium Karachi (NSK) where about 100 army officers own property. The value of the NSK plots may be gauged by the fact that soon after this land was allotted in February 2006, former director general of the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) LtGeneral Ahmed Shuja Pasha sold it for Rs23 million. Other military officials who own land here include other big names such as Gen Ehsanul Haq, Nadeem Taj, Gen Syed Ehtasham Zamir, Nadeem Ahmed, and Syed Ather Ali. Dawn has learnt that the land on which the National Stadium Karachi is located was acquired from some local residents for defense purposes during World War II. Brigadier (retired) Amjad Kayani, a brother of Gen Kayani, when contacted said that his brother needed a secure house to live in.

Imran Suggests Secret Talks on Kashmir

New Delhi: Pakistan Tehreek-i-In-

saf leader Imran Khan says he supports secret talks between India and Pakistan to resolve the Kashmir issue because open talks run the risk of being subverted by vested interests he didn’t identify. Mr Khan, who was speaking here on Saturday at an international brainstorming jamboree, ruled out a military conflict as a solution to any dispute between the two countries, not the least because both had nuclear-armed militaries. “Secret talks are the best bet because otherwise there are strong vested interests on both sides to subvert them,” he said with a smile in reply to a question at The Hindustan Times conclave. Mr Khan said cooperation between the two countries on issues like energy and food security was important and both could possibly have a joint civil-nuclear cooperation if his party came to power. Reacting to a question on a reported statement by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that a fourth war between India and Pakistan is a possibility on the issue of Kashmir, Mr Khan said: “I don’t think even Nawaz Sharif believes that because two nations with nuclear weapons do not go to war.” Mr Sharif ’s office subsequently denied he spoke of a fourth war with India. Kashmir remains the “core issue” of dispute between the two countries and once that problem is solved all other problems would go, the former cricket icon said. He claimed that both the countries had almost finalized the details of a deal on Kashmir that could have possibly put an end to the problem in 2008 but the 26/11 terrorist attacks in Mumbai derailed the talks. Mr Khan said both the countries needed to cooperate on major issues like food and energy security. “For India, if it has to achieve growth of 9 to 10 per cent, you need energy and from where will you get energy? All the corridors, it may be oil from Iran or gas from the Caspian Sea, have to pass through Pakistan,” Press Trust of India quoted him as saying. “We are facing a major problem of food security, so we can have cooperation on this. Plus, there are major issues like water security on which both the countries require greater cooperation,” he said. According to the news agency, he said if his party came to power, it would undertake two major programs with India – try to bridge the mistrust and ask for a joint civilnuclear cooperation managed and operated by the two countries on their common borders. Secondly, as a confidence-building measure, his government would look to free prisoners trapped in Pakistani jails, who were arrested for either straying in Pakistani waters or for accidentally crossing the border.





Pakistan Fashion Casts off ‘Dark Cloud’ of Obstacles

The designers — who recently held a catwalk show in Paris — say Pakistan fashion is finally starting to establish itself

Islamabad: Mention the Taleban to Pakistan fashion designer Kamiar Rokni and his irritation is clear. “One of the things we feel diminishes our work is whenever our story is linked to Talebanization and whether we are doing this to fight extremism,” he told AFP in Paris. “We’re not. We’re doing this for the business of fashion!“ Tired of the country’s ‘bombs’ image, Rokni is far from alone in his desire to see fashion for fashion’s sake. Certain precautions are unavoidable however and the locations of fashion shows are never disclosed in advance. “It’s the one thing we do to protect ourselves,” said Rokni who runs his House of Kamiar Rokni label with two cousins. “Apart from that you just have to have faith and carry on.” Fellow designer Hassan Sheheryar Yasin, founder of the HSY label, is equally keen to distance himself from any political motive. “We’ve been lumped up with a very bad dark cloud that’s been over our heads... but this really isn’t our war,” he said. Extremism aside, the designers — who recently held a catwalk show in Paris — say Pakistan fashion is finally starting to establish itself. From an industry made up of just a handful of designers and models in the early 1990s, fashion shows, attracting foreign buyers, are now held regularly in Lahore and Karachi. Its leading figures are gossip column and glossy magazine staples and not afraid to court controversy.

One designer, Safinaz Muneer, sparked outrage last year when she told Hello! magazine that Pakistan employees could spend 1,500 hours on embroidery that “will cost you nothing.” The row failed to dent sales and the designer denounced critics demanding to know what they had contributed to the industry. Rokni and Yasin, both graduates of the couture-focused Pakistan School of Fashion Design in Lahore, are evangelical about what the country has to offer, citing the Zardozi embroidery technique which uses gold thread, beads and seed pearls to embellish fabric. “The world gets their embellishment done from India but when you see the clothes that are hand embellished in Pakistan it’s arguably some of the best in the world,” said Rokni. “It’s generally a South Asian tradition and the skills are very much alive here.” The Lahore school, now known as the Pakistan Institute of Fashion and Design, was established in 1994 with the aim of giving Pakistani textiles a competitive edge in a global market. Textiles contributed 7.4 percent to GDP in 2011 accounting for over half of all exports, worth around $11 billion. “Our fashion school was primarily to develop us into making value added products for the textiles industry but our fashion industry also started to develop and flourish,” Rokni said. Yasin describes his clothes as “uber-masculine with a touch of contemporary,” summing up his sig-

nature style as “rock, royal, gent.” “That’s ‘rock’, for rock star, ‘royal’, all the embellishments, and ‘gent’ meaning very classic so the blazer is 100 percent wool cashmere,” he said. And he dismissed as out of date the image of Pakistan as a place where men only ever dressed in the traditional salwar kameez of long shirt worn over loose trousers. In fact, well off Pakistani men in the 25 to 35 age group were increasingly interested in fashion, he said, irrespective of whether they opted for Western or traditional South Asian styles. “Our clone culture — where we used to seem like clones in white shalwar kameez — has started to fade away very rapidly,” Yasin said. Few would deny that Pakistan fashion still has a long way to go to reach even the majority of the middle class, let alone poorer sections of society. The socially conservative, mainly Muslim South Asian country is among the world’s poorest. But an appreciation of fashion can sometimes be found in unlikely quarters, added Mohsin Ali, a member FASHION, P29

Pakistan Wins to Earn Place in Kabaddi Final

The Pakistan team won all Group B matches against Canada, England, Sierra Leone, Scotland and Denmark

Karachi: Pakistan men’s team stormed into the 4th Kabaddi World Cup final, thrash-

ing USA 51-33 in their semi-final on Wednesday in India. The triumph is another feather in Pakistan’s cap in the ongoing campaign; they are the only team besides the hosts to remain unbeaten in the competition so far. The national team won all five matches in their Group B that had Canada, England, Sierra Leone, Scotland and Denmark. In their opening match, Pakistan had defeated Scotland 63-26 and kept up their winning streak thereafter against Denmark (77-22), Sierra Leone (70-13), Canada (61-29) and England (69-28). Women team defeated in semi-final: Meanwhile, the national women team’s dream run in the World Cup ended in the semi-final. They were beaten 46-16 in a onesided encounter by hosts India and the women in green will now take on Denmark for the third position play-off. The national team was placed in Group B along with England, Mexico and Denmark. The team had showed promise at the start as they were only narrowly beaten by group leaders Denmark 45-39 in the opening match, while they bounced back against England in their second match, winning 41-30. They then overcame Mexico 49-24 in the final group match to qualify for the last-four round. However, Wednesday’s defeat saw them exiting the World Cup in which they had participated for the first time.



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Community Link Friday, December 13, 2013

VOL. 23/50 PAGE 21


PAGE 22 egum PAGE

Dastangoi: A Fascinating Story Narrated in LA

9 Safar 1435 H

Bushra Ansari and the Idol Worship Rage

Young Pakistani American Wins Recognition

For news, updated round the clock, visit

San Francisco International South Asian Film Festival

Some words of appreciation for 3rd i are in order for keeping all of South Asia in mind over the years in their quest to bring alternate cinema from the region to the San Francisco Bay Area


n By Ras H. Siddiqui

he 3rd i organization (www.thirdi. org) has now become a prominent part of the South-Asian culture scene in the San Francisco Bay area. Founded in the year 2002 by Ivan Jaigirdar, Shilpa Mankikar, and Camille Ramani, the focus of this effort has been monthly film screenings and an annual film festival which this time around was its 11th, held between November 6th and 16 at three venues, at the New People Cinema and the Castro Theatre in San Francisco plus the Aquarius Theatre in nearby Palo Alto.

This year the San Francisco International South Asian Film Festival (SFISAFF) featured over 20 films originating from India, Sri Lanka, US, Canada and Pakistan. The spotlight on Pakistan was important here because the feature film industry in that country is slowly and steadily emerging during the last decade from near extinction. It is not possible to focus or even mention the over 20 films screened at the SFISAFF in a single article here but just a few, beginning with The Revolutionary Optimists on November 6th and These Birds Walk on November 7th, both capturing street life in Calcutta and Karachi respectively. I did try to get in to see These Birds Walk but the show was completely sold out, possibly due to this documentary’s deep focus and association with the work of Pakistan’s leading humanitarians Abdul Sattar Edhi and his wife Bilquis. Filmmakers Bassam Tariq and Omar Mullick will have to bring this

film back to audiences here in Northern California soon so more of us can see their work. Peddler from India and Simple Superstar by Wilbur Sagunaraj from Canada mirrored Mumbai and Southern India at the festival on November 8th. Cricket started off November 9th at the Castro as the documentary Beyond All Boundaries highlighted the “religion” associated with the sport. Ladies in pink ushered in their own revolution on screen against gender violence in India via the Gulabi Gang thanks to Nishtha Jain, and Sabiha Sumar’s Good Morning Karachi followed with a screening which we could attend and will focus on here. Sabiha Sumar was here in person at San Francisco’s premiere of Good Morning Karachi and so was one of our favorite performers from Pakistan, Beo Zafar, who plays the role of Aunt Rosie in the movie. Sabiha deserves her past accolades because of her absolutely brilliant partition feature film Khamosh Pani (Silent Waters) released almost 10 years ago and her association with the documentary Saving Face which earned Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy an Oscar and more recently was also awarded an Emmy. Introduced by local film maker Saquib Mausoof, Good Morning Karachi received very mixed reviews. Local film enthusiast Mike K did not like it at all. Another named Ahsan wrote, “The director avoids --- wisely, I think --- any temptation to send out messages, remaining sympathetic to all of the characters. She has a story to tell and she tells it as she envisions it. What you take away from the movie is up to you.” Good Morning Karachi is the new name

given to the original 2011 effort Rafina based on a novella by writer Shandana Minhas. The main character in the movie is Rafina (Amna Ilyas) a young woman from a humble background soon to wed Arif (Yasir Aqueel) a worker for then Benazir Bhutto’s Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP). But Rafina dreams of loftier heights, to be in the limelight in the modeling world of Karachi where extremists lurk to attack billboards. In this quest and against her mother’s wishes (along with resistance from Arif) she, with the help of Rosie Khala (Beo Raana Zafar) heads to Radiance, a beauty salon where women come in to get waxing and massage (and apparently to get discovered as models). Here she becomes an interest for Jamal (Atta Yaqub) and pursues her dream while making some very difficult choices on the way. All the essential ingredients are there in this story to make a powerful film especially in the background of Benazir Bhutto’s assassination. Unfortunately, although the film is watchable it lacks the punching power it could have had. The high expectations one brought to the theatre knowing Sabiha Sumar’s track record were not met as another movie-goer Farah expressed her disappointment. After the movie Sabiha shared the stage with the Director Anusha Rizvi, maker of the immensely successful and troubling movie Peepli Live. They sat down for a chat and to answer some questions from the audience and segment presenter. 3rd i’s Castro Reception with the filmmakers following the stage chat did not reveal much more. The place was packed and full of life (and noisy) so the questions that I asked

Sabiha did not get through correctly. Beo Zafar was as usual in her elements, full of confidence and it was good to see her again, a few years after she floored us with her comedy act (watch out Bollywood) at a fundraiser for The Citizens Foundation. And speaking of comedy, the grand finale of the evening at the Castro Theatre was Shudd Desi Romance, a seriously funny film starring Sushant Singh Rajput, Parineeti Chopra and Vaani Kapoor, with Bollywood veteran Rishi Kapoor also playing an interesting role. Sunday November 10th started with Celluloid Man, a celebration in film of 100 years of Indian Cinema by Shivendra Singh Dungarpur, which interviewed the “Who’s Who” of the industry, including P.K. Nair, the founder of the National Film Archive of India. With You, Without You by Prasanna Vithanage focused on relationships impacted by the Sri Lankan civil war. The documentary Alice Walker, Beauty in Truth by Pratibha Parmar closed the day at the New People Cinema. The last day of the festival was at the Aquarius in Palo Alto which started with the documentary Without Shepherds by Cary McClelland, which focused on six people in Pakistan, including cricketer and now politician Imran Khan and model Vaneeza. Also slated were a short film From Melody Queen to Muslim Madonna by Fawzia Afzal-Khan and repeats of Beyond All Boundaries and Gulabi Gang with the critically acclaimed Ship of Theseus closing the film festival 2013. In closing some words of FESTIVAL, P29



Muslim Groups Join the World in Mourning the Death of Nelson Mandela

Pakistani Immigrant Files Lawsuit for Being Falsely Arrested Orlando: A Pakistani immigrant who

says he was held for more than 10 months in solitary confinement after being falsely arrested on terrorism charges has filed a lawsuit in the federal court in Miami, saying he was a victim of “over zealousness“ in the US war on terrorism. Irfan Khan, a 40-year-old Muslim, emigrated to the United States from Pakistan in 1994 and is a naturalized US citizen. He is the son of a 78-year-old south Florida imam who was sentenced to 25 years in prison by a judge in August for funneling more than $50,000 to the Pakistani Taliban. Hafiz Khan was convicted in March on four counts of providing money and support to the group, which the United States considers a terrorist organization. He had faced a maximum of 60 years in prison, and prosecutors sought a 15-year sentence. The lawsuit, filed on Tuesday in US District Court, says Irfan Khan was arrested in California in May 2011 on charges that included providing material support for terrorism and to the Pakistani Taliban. Subsequently transferred to a prison in Florida, he was also accused of supporting a conspiracy to maim, kidnap or murder persons overseas, according to the lawsuit. All charges against Khan were dropped in June 2012, but only after he had been held for 319 days in solitary confinement, according to the lawsuit. “The conduct the government subjected Irfan to, as a result of his religion, national origin, and its over zealousness in its war on terror was and still is, by all standards, horrendous,” the complaint says. “I couldn’t even imagine myself in this situation,” Khan told Reuters on Thursday evening. “I was shocked at the time. I’m still shocked. I don’t know why it happened, how it happened, and that’s why we are doing this. To get some answers.” He did not elaborate, but the lawsuit accuses the government of false arrest, imprisonment and malicious prosecution. A spokesman for the US Justice Department could not be reached for comment on the lawsuit after Reuters learned of it late on Thursday. The government accused Khan of wiring money in 2008 to a commander of the Pakistani Taliban named Akbar Hussain. But Khan maintains that he was actually sending money to his wife, who was visiting Pakistan, through her uncle who is also named Akbar Hussain but who is a retired college professor. The lawsuit also claims that a neutral translator would have disagreed with the government’s interpretation of two telephone conversations cited by prosecutors that Khan had with his father in the father’s native language of Urdu and Pashto. The lawsuit states that Khan could be heard on the phone calls criticizing the Pakistani government but not advocating violence, as was claimed by government prosecutors. Following his arrest, Khan said he lost his job and his car. He also said his wife had to move with their two children out of concerns for their safety. Since his release, Khan, who is looking for a job in Miami, said one bank refused to allow him a checking account, and his former employer refused to talk to him. Michael Hanna, a discrimination attorney with the Morgan & Morgan law firm in Orlando, said Khan is seeking justice and unspecified damages.

More Employment Opportunities in US for Doctors n By Anwar Iqbal Washington, DC: Foreign physi-

cians who want to work in America should be allowed to do so, argued a senior US lawmaker, Congressman Mike Doyle. Even those who come here “on a J-1 visa should be able to stay if they wish to,” he added as a group of Pakistani physicians applauded. Mr Doyle was one of more than two dozen US lawmakers who spoke at a “Day on the Hill” event arranged by US physicians of Pakistani origin. “It’s unprecedented,” said Dr Nisar Chaudhry, who has participated in hundreds of such events on Capitol Hill, the seat of US legislature. “I have never seen so many lawmakers speaking at a Pakistani event.” An advocacy group associated with APPNA, an organization of Pakistani-American physicians, had arranged this event to support a bill which seeks to create better employment and training opportunities for foreign medical graduates. “This bill is important and that’s why we want it adopted,” said Javed Suleman, a former APPNA president. “There’s a growing shortage of doctors in the United States and this bill addresses this issue by creating more employment opportunities for physicians.” Dr Suleman said that by 2015, the US will need 60,000 additional doctors and this figure will go up to 120,000 by 2025. “So it makes no sense to send those back who come here for further education or training.” “We do need more physicians,” agreed Congressman Ed Royce, who heads the powerful House Committee on Foreign Affairs, “and I will do all I can to create better opportunities for them.” Another congressman, Henry Waxman, while supporting the proposed legislation, urged Pakistani-American physicians to “back those lawmakers who will do what you want them to do.” Congressman Andre Carson, the second Muslim member of the US House of Representatives, said he not only supported the proposed legislation for creating more employment for doctors but was also demanding immediate immigration reforms. “Ingenuity will be impeded if America closes its doors to new immigrants,” he added. “We all need to work for comprehensive immigration reforms.”

The bill H.R.2484, also known as the Physician Access Act, seeks to provide incentives for physicians to practice in rural and medically underserved communities. For achieving this target, it proposes amending the Immigration and Nationality Technical Corrections Act of 1994 to make the J-1 visa waiver program permanent. Those coming to the United States on a J-1 visa need to return home and work there for three years before they can come to this country to seek employment. The proposed legislation excludes alien physicians from this restriction if they complete national interest waiver requirements by working in a health care shortage area. This facility will also be available to those alien physicians who completed such service before the date of enactment of this Act and any spouses or children of such alien physicians. The legislation also sets forth specified employment protections and contract requirements for alien physicians working in underserved areas. It increases the number of alien physicians that a state may be allocated from 30 to 35 per fiscal year in specified circumstances. The bill provides for additional increases or decreases based upon demand. It also provides up to three visa waivers per fiscal year per state for physicians in academic medical centers. The bill permits dual intent for an alien coming to the United States to receive graduate medical education or training, or to take examinations required for graduate medical education or training. It exempts H-1B non-immigrant aliens seeking to enter the United States to pursue graduate medical education or training from specified entry limitations. “This bill will help the people of this country by bringing in more doctors and it will also help those physicians who want to work here,” said Dr Talha Siddiqui, who heads the advocacy group that organized the event. “That’s why we support this.” Courtesy Dawn (An advocacy group associated with APPNA, an organisation of Pakistani-American physicians, had arranged the event to support a bill which seeks to create better employment and training opportunities for foreign medical graduates in the US.)

Muhammad Ali (left) and Nelson Mandela were both global icons when they met in 1990

The Islamic Shura Council has extended its condolences to the family of Nelson Mandela and the people of South Africa as wells as those who were inspired by his legacy and struggle. Affectionately called Madiba by the people of South Africa, Mandela was a man of principles. He fought not only for his freedom, but for the freedom and dignity of all South Africans and, in later years, all people. “He who witnesses oppression against others, and doesn’t feel oppressed, is not a free man,” he once said. On another occasion, he said, “Our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.” Our sincere condolences to the people of South Africa and all those who were inspired by his legacy and struggle. “Nelson Mandela’s life demonstrates that a life lived with purpose and meaning can also leave a lasting imprint on the human history. He embodied the universal principles that all human life is sacrosanct and that all humans have an inherent right to dignity. Mandela’s life of many sacrifices teaches us that real victory and true success belongs to those who practice patience, remain steadfast and forgive their enemies,” said Dr.Muzammil Siddiqi, Chairman of the Islamic Shura Council. Mandela told his epic story in his autobiography, “A Long Walk to Freedom”, which documents how many of his compatriots in the struggle against apartheid included Muslims, including Ahmad Kathrada and Dr. Yusuf Dadoo. Watch Mandela’s speech to the world after 27 years of imprisonment, as well as this touching tribute to Mandela by his dear friend Archbishop Desmond Tutu upon his 90th birthday. The Muslim Public Affairs Council joined the world in mourning the loss of one of the greatest leaders of our time, Nelson Mandela. He was a man of exceptional influence who fought apartheid to become a beacon of hope for his people and the world, says an MPAC message. It adds: It is with a heavy heart that MPAC gives its deepest condolences to the family of a man who broke the boundaries of color and reversed the injustices of racism. Although his personal journey is over, his revolution lives on in the hearts of so many working for change and justice. Aside from the oppression and wrongful imprisonment, Mandela watched his country vote for the first time in a fully representative, multiracial election that gave him his revolutionary presidency from 1994 to 1999. He became the first man of color to serve as President of South Africa. Twenty-seven years in prison could not stop his quest to end apartheid. “Mandela changed South Africa and our world forever,” said Salam AlMarayati, MPAC President. “A standard was set that demanded the dismantlement of racism and all the evils that came with it.” Mandela’s stance on social justice and racial conciliation is a standard that MPAC has set upon itself. For that past few years, MPAC has paired with South African Ambassador to the US Ebrahim Rasool to join in not only the South African struggle, but also for education and inter-faith harmony throughout the world. With a long history of commitment to the anti-apartheid struggle and work in the United Democratic Front and the African National Congress, Rasool is an irreplaceable asset to the MPAC community that embodied Mandela’s spirit and his quest for change. MPAC is proud to be affiliated with the lifelong work of Nelson Mandela, and with respect in our hearts and motivation in our ready hands, the legacy of Mandela has a long way to go for South Africans, Americans and all of humanity that has oppression forced upon them. The Greater LA area chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, has said that the death of Nelson Mandela is a loss for all humanity and that the South African leader will remain an example to those fighting for human rights. In a statement reacting to news of Mandela’s death, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said: “Throughout his life, Nelson Mandela served as an example of strength in adversity to all those fighting for freedom and justice. His legacy of uncompromising perseverance in the face of bigotry and injustice will live on for generations to come. “He was a unique historic figure. From his jail cell, he demonstrated vision and courage, and taught the world the true meaning of steadfastness. Outside his cell, he demonstrated statesmanship, reconciliation and pragmatism. “As the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: ‘For every day on which the sun rises, there is a (reward) for the one who establishes justice among people.’” CAIR cited the famous Mandela quote: “I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.” Former boxing heavyweight champion Mohammad Ali paid tribute to Nelson Mandela as a symbol of forgiveness who inspired others to “reach CONDOLENCES, P29



Dastangoi: The Story Told

Mahmood Farooqui’s immaculate Urdu diction, poise and delivery coupled with one of the most refined texts of the Urdu language, made the performance an unforgettable experience. Pictures by Anwar Khawaja

n By Saman Mahmood


he Pakistan Arts Council of Pacific Asia Museum recently organized an evening of Dastangoi, performed by Mahmood Farooqui. He is a freelance writer, actor and Dastango based in Delhi. The one-and-a-half hour of a single person narration was met with a mesmerized audience. His immaculate Urdu diction, poise and delivery coupled with one of the most refined texts of the Urdu language, made the performance an unforgettable experience. In this feature interview, Mr Farooqui shares the history of this art form, and his own journey as a Dastango, the story teller. SM: What is Dastangoi? MF: The word Dastangoi refers to the art of storytelling, it is a compound of two Persian words Dastan and goi which means to tell a Dastan. Dastans were epics, often oral in nature, which were recited or read aloud and in essence, were like medieval romances everywhere. Telling tales of adventure, magic and warfare, Dastans mapped new worlds and horizons, encountered the unseen and protected the hero through many travails and lovers as he moved on his quest. The hero’s adventures could sometimes parallel the mystic quest, at other times the story narrated a purely profane tale. In the process of telling the story the narrators freely borrowed tropes and themes from other stories, thus it was that Rumi’s Masnavi and Arabian Nights both came to contain many stories from the Panchtantra tradition. While Dastans had many principals and many stories, the story of Hamza began to stand out early on. Beginning with an unknown Arabic version,

the Persian versions of the story narrated the life and adventures of Amir Hamza, supposedly an uncle of the Prophet Mohammed. Marked out by fairies, djinns and prophecies, Hamza travels to different lands in his infancy and even as a young child shows great physical prowess and daring. His fame spreads far and wide and he is called by the chief minister of the King of Persia to aid the latter in his troubles. Encountering many adventures, beings, species and realms Hamza remains triumphant and unvanquished, right to the end. SM: Tell us about the Hamza narrative in India. MF: By the sixteenth century, versions of the Hamza story had begun to circulate in India. Mentioned first in the Deccan courts, the story reached its artistic apogee in the court of Emperor Akbar. By then, specialized tellers of the story, called Dastangos, had emerged. There is very little information on what the ingredients of their art were, but they were sufficiently distinct to merit a separate genre for themselves. Akbar himself was exceedingly fond of the narrative and used to recite it himself. One of the first artistic projects commissioned under him was an illustrated version of the Hamza story which became known to posterity as Hamzanama. It was a mammoth artistic undertaking which consisted of over 1200 folios, each at least a yard and a half by a yard in size, making it an unusual picture project, with the text inscribed at the back. Nothing of that size, ambition or scale was ever attempted again by the Mughal regime, attesting to the importance of the Hamza story in the medieval imagination. Some scholars have conjectured that the large size of the panels indicates their use as a kind of

an audio-visual storytelling, the narrators would stand behind the panels and narrate the story from the text and the panels would be changed as the story progressed, envisaging it as a form of proto-television. For the next two centuries, different Persian versions of the Hamza story circulated in India, with occasional mention of the Dastangos who performed them. There were at the same time other Dastans, sharing tropes and conventions of the Hamza narrative which, in their emphases, begin to differ from the Persian versions of the narrative. Bostan-e Khyal, composed at the end of the eighteenth century, enhances greatly the role of magic in its telling of a fantastical tale. Given primacy too is the art of Aiyyari, trickery, a relatively neglected feature in Persian storytelling. SM: When did Hamza narrative appear in Urdu? MF: The first Urdu version of the Hamza narrative was published at the beginning of the nineteenth century under the aegis of the Fort William College, an institution established by the East India Company at Calcutta which was the first to edit and publish some of the key texts of the North Indian literary tradition. Alongside the ‘Dastan-e Amir Hamza,’ other Dastans were also published by the College, which included Mir Amman’s Bagh-o Bahar, a tale that was reprinted over twenty times in the nineteenth century and one which is taught to this day in the syllabi of Urdu literature. Bagh-o Bahar was selected by the colonial administrators as a text which, with suitable emendations, was used to learn the native languages, a status that was not accorded to the Hamza story. As print came to North India in

the middle of the nineteenth century, stories, fables and Dastans proved to be the most important motor for the print revolution, alongside religious literature. Tales such as Nal Damyanti and qissas such as Qissae Meherafroz-o Dilbar were printed many times over. Until the middle of the nineteenth century, however, the Hamza tradition in Urdu was thriving more as an oral performance tradition rather than as a successful print commodity. While Dastangos at Rampur, many of them migrants from Lucknow, were committing the narrative to paper, it remained in manuscript form. But already, the stories were expanding, while very few Persian versions exceeded a single volume the Urdu manuscripts had begun to extend to several volumes. Acquiring primacy too were new areas in the story, the tricksters and the magical and wondrous worlds created by sorcerers, pretenders to divinity many of them, which in their colorfulness, imagery and fancifulness were like nothing seen in Persian literature. By the middle of the nineteenth century the practice of Dastangoi was sufficiently entrenched in most parts of Northern India. In Sir Syed Ahmed Khan’s ethnographic account of Delhi Asar-us-Sanadid, Dastangos are mentioned prominently. Every Thursday, they are said to gather at the steps of the Jama Masjid where they recite their tales. It is interesting that a mosque should have been the site for a profane storytelling, for the Qur’an specifically mentions poets and storytellers and asks the believers to be wary of them for they mislead with the magic of their words. Mirza Ghalib, the famous Urdu poet, was exceedingly fond of the Hamza Dastan and for a period of two years used

to organize weekly performance sessions at his house in Delhi. He composed a long poem using characters and tropes from the Hamza story and once wrote in a letter to a friend that it was raining and he had just acquired, ‘six chapters of the Hamza Dastan and sixteen casks of wine, what more do I want from life.’ SM: And so Dastangoi and the Hamza narrative reached its prime in Lucknow. MF: The upheaval of 1857 turned out to be a boon for Lucknow as thousands of artists, poets and writers migrated there from Delhi, and this included several Dastangos. The first historian of Lucknow, Abdul Halim Sharar, wrote in Guzishta Lucknow about the proliferation of the art of Dastangoi in the city after the mutiny. Every nobleman, he said, had made it a practice to employ a Dastango in his retinue as chowks or city squares became a favored site for performance of the art. Sharar defined it as the art of ‘extemporaneous composition,’ and said that it rested on descriptions of four phenomena, war, romance, trickery and magical artifices. The Dastangos in Sharar’s time, therefore, were not reciting a story learnt from memory; they were improvising on the bare structures which had been handed down to them. Simultaneously, after the mutiny, the Hamza story began to enjoy great currency in print. While the Fort William version had already been reprinted several times, Munshi Nawal Kishore, the legendary publisher from Lucknow, commissioned another edition of the story one which, with minor changes, continued to be printed for an entire century and was last published in the 1960s. Persian versions of the story were also being printed at the same time. (To be continued)



Young Pakistani American Rewarded for Academic Excellence

Ammar with his principal at the award ceremony in 2011 (left), with paternal grandfather Yousuf Tayyab Pasta (center), and with mom, dad and younger brother (right). Below: Ammar with school mates in the leadership program arranged by Torrance Police Department


young Pakistani American has earned the distinction of being invited to visit Washington and its important landmarks for four consecutive years in recognition of his academic excellence. Ammar Pasta, a sophomore at the North Torrance High School, has visited the White House, Capitol Building, the Pentagon and many historical monuments in recent years under the “People to People” program that accords highest recognition to academic excellence and facilitates the visit of the nation’s brightest minds to the capitol’s historical monuments and other attractions.

Ammar Pasta was born in Karachi, Pakistan on July 11, 1998, and raised in Torrance, California since age 2. “My maternal and paternal grandparents are highly educated and very self- motivated. So am I.” Paternal grandfather, Yousuf Tayyab

Pasta, is a retired civil engineer who made his mark by successfully completing a string of prestigious projects with distinction. He served the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission as Project Director. “Grandpa visits me every year, “ says Ammar. “My maternal grandfather, Dr Abdul Sattar Kasmani, was in the medical

profession for 20 years in Pakistan and is currently living in the USA.” The two served as inspirational examples for young Ammar who has grown fully cognizant that zest and hard work are the unmistaken family hallmarks. Successes have been spontaneous and many. “I received a presiden-

tial award in 5th grade from President Barack Obama, and also again an award in the 8th grade, “ says Ammar in a tone that smacks both of humbleness and pride. “My parents have been my inspiration, my motivation, and source of support. I also thank my family back in my home country Pakistan and in the USA for their support, especially effective duaa because of which I have been able to succeed.” Abdul Rasheed Pasta and Sofia Rasheed Pasta are Ammar’s devoted parents. Ammar is no bookworm or nerd. He plays tennis and participates in the North High School League competitions. He has also been part of the Torrance Explorer Police training program. “I have been a leading part of an extra-curricular program sponsored by the Torrance Police Department called Leadership.”

“S.T.E.M. (science, technical, engineering, mathematics) is what I am looking forward as my major for college. I have been receiving the awards and perfect attendance certificates all these years. I would just appreciate duaa from my fellow Pakistanis for my further education and success. “My advice to my fellow Pakistanis and Americans is to just do what you believe in. I believed I could play tennis, so I taught myself and now Masha-Allah I play in school competitions. If you truly believe you can do something, you certainly can. And finally all these achievements could not have been possible without the support of my family, both here in the US and in Pakistan.” KAYANI FROM P7

security goals but that will take much more vigor than the prime minister and his team have shown on these issues so far. The new COAS, like his predecessor, is being celebrated as a thinking soldier, the architect of the Pakistan army’s counterterrorism doctrine and its answer to India’s Cold Start Doctrine. General Sharif ’s impeccable professional credentials notwithstanding, there is little to suggest that the military establishment will behave any differently than like a monolith, which it always has. When General Yahya Khan replaced General Ayub Khan, The Economist, London, cheekily titled its March 29, 1969 editorial ‘Tweedle Khan takes over’. It remains to be seen whether another change of guard, 44 years on, makes any material difference. (The writer can be reached at and he tweets @ mazdaki)



Was Thomas Jefferson a Muslim? He shared the Muslim belief in a single creator God that demands just conduct from humanity. While he was not a Muslim in the narrow sense of belief in the Prophet and following the Five Pillars, one could argue that he was a Muslim in the broader sense that he submitted to a single God that created us all


bviously, that is an absurd question. Thomas Jefferson was not a Muslim, but he was the author of the American Declaration of Independence, played a big role in the Bill of Rights, and served as the third President of the US. His relationship to Islam though is more intriguing than one would guess.

In the 18thcentury, the common European view of Islam was that it was a false religion, that it was spread by military conquest and forced conversion, and that there was little or nothing about it that could be seen as useful or positive. This European view was the culmination of over 1000 years of conflict, between the Muslims of Spain and the Christians that eventually expelled them, between Arabs and later Turks against the Christian Greeks ruling a shrinking empire from Constantinople, and between the Western Crusaders and the Arabs in Palestine. Thomas Jefferson, as a British subject and educated man, shared these views. However, in 1765, while a law student, he obtained a copy of George Sale’s translation of the Qur’an. This was the first rendering of the Qur’an into English, and Sale

n By Dr Qaisar Abbas US


hanging of the guard in Pakistan army has always been seen with curiosity by world powers as the institution has been a major power broker in the country. As the new Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif takes over, the outgoing General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, also known as the “silent observer,” completes his long tenure with mixed legacies.

His personal traits as a keen listener, keeping the media at a distance and a no-nonsense professional, also brought him the reputation of a pragmatic but lukewarm military leader at the same time. As the first army chief born after independence, he was different from his predecessors in many ways. His first task after assuming leadership was to pull back the serving army officers from civil positions. It was a strong signal that he believed in the separation of military and civil institutions. General Kayani’s era, however, witnessed some of the lowest points in the military history of Pakistan. Benazir Bhutto’s murder was the first crisis during his leadership that shook the whole nation and left a deep scar on his reputation although all fingers were pointed toward his friend President Musharraf. Although it’s an open secret that the army has been nesting some militants under its wings, it became intensely embarrassing for the institution when the US Special Forces sneaking in from Afghanistan captured and killed Osama bin Laden right under the shadows of

was a British scholar who learned Arabic from two Arab Christians that had come to live in London. Sale never visited an Arabic speaking land or Muslim region to observe Islam firsthand as it was practiced then. His translation is decent for the time, but betrays the antiMuslim prejudices of the translator, and the purpose of his translation was to give missionaries a better

understanding of their “competition”. It is not clear how much time and attention the young Jefferson gave to reading the Qur’an, although it would be safe to assume that he did not simply put it on the shelf untouched. Jefferson’s Qur’an is actually now property of the White House, and is usually displayed during the annual White

House iftar during Ramadan. Jefferson did however make some comments about Muslims. He was a strong believer in a secular state that treated all citizens equally, and advocated that there be no discrimination on the basis of religion. On that basis he argued that in the new American republic a Jew or Muslim would be fully equal to

Goodbye General Kayani

Would Change of Command Mean a Paradigm Shift?

the army training camp in Abbottabad in 2011. The incident brought the top military brass to the parliament to explain the humiliating incident and the then ISI chief offered his resignation to the elected representatives. Although a normal procedure in other democratic countries, it was totally unexpected in Pakistan. Throughout his tenure of 6 years as army chief, he not only declared many times that he believed in strengthening democracy in the country but also proved that he was sincere in working with the democratically elected government.

To his credit, he allowed the elected party to complete its political term for the first time in the history of Pakistan besides giving them a hard time on several occasions to prove that the armed forces were still power brokers in the country. It was also during Kayani’s leadership that the army took a ninety degree turn in shifting the strategic focus from being Indiacentric to terrorism-centered. This significant paradigm shift was a pragmatic change in the region realizing the new threat from terrorism which was now directly challenging the army on several fronts. Practically, the army as an in-

stitution, despite its successful operation in the Swat valley in ousting militants, never took strong measures to challenge terrorism seriously and instead continued the failed strategy of supporting some militant groups while opposing others. This strategic distinction between good and bad militants exposed its dualistic and hypocritical strategy to resolving terrorism and invited criticism from world powers who were interested in collaborating with the armed forces in breaking the militants’ power. Kayani also didn’t try to resolve the Baluchistan issue when he

a Christian. It is interesting to note how many right-wing Republicans claim that America is a “Christian” nation, when in fact that was clearly not the intent of the founders of this country. The fact that Muslims in America do have equal standing today before the law, and serve in Congress and the government at all levels is testament to Jefferson’s vision, one based on the political theories of the Englishman John Locke. In later life, Jefferson abandoned most Christian dogma and became a Unitarian. It is here that the question of whether he was a Muslim becomes at least somewhat plausible to ask. Unitarians rejected physical miracles, did not see Jesus as anything more than a very good man and role model but not as the Son of God, and did not believe in the Resurrection of Jesus after being crucified. Jefferson’s views became much more cleanly monotheistic and he dropped the traditional Christian notions of the Trinity and Jesus’s divine status. As such, his theology became very similar to that of Muslims. He shared the Muslim belief in a single creator God that demands just conduct from humanity. While he was not a Muslim in the narrow sense of belief in the Prophet and following the Five Pillars, one could argue that he was a Muslim in the broader sense that he submitted to a single God that created us all. Comments can reach me was in full control of the army as its chief and continued the old policy of handling it as a military issue rather than a political crisis. Besides his support to civil authorities, the state as a whole never developed a vision on how to tackle terrorism and militancy. The clear disagreement between the army and the civil government on terrorism has been the main hurdle in resolving the monumental crisis of violence and militancy. The new army chief General Raheel Sharif will have to face some continuing and some new challenges. The drone issue, considered highly crucial for the Nawaz government who would like to end American strikes, could become a thorny source of tension between the civil and military leadership. There will be a lot on his plate including the Baluchistan issue, dealing with militants, the army’s role in Afghanistan after the NATO forces leave next year, the Indian involvement in Afghanistan and the never-ending Kashmir issue. We have to wait and see if this transition in military leadership will lead to a new era of civil-military collaboration or the new chief will prove a new guard in the old outfit. Although General Kayani terribly failed to improve his institution’s image, he left an incredible legacy of recognizing and respecting the democratic process in the country unlike his predecessors. We hope the legacy continues. (Dr Qaisar Abbas is a freelance journalist, university administrator and media consultant. With a doctorate from University of Wisconsin-Madison, he has been teaching mass communication at several American Universities. He is also an Urdu poet with a published anthology of his poems)



Pakistan Zindabad All the Way

n By Arif Ahmad Verona, Wisconsin


he following are the results from a recent poll and I quote:

“London: Pakistanis have been ranked the fourth most intelligent people across the world in a globally-held survey. “Pakistanis are equal to the people of developed and industrialized countries when it comes to intelligence,” the survey report said. The poll was organized by the Institute of European Business Administration in 125 countries. The survey quantifies various aspects of brilliance and intellectual work in the nations of the surveyed countries. “Pakistanis outshine in the field of intelligence despite a dearth of required resources and opportunities,” the poll inferred.” The first part of this story is how it was narrated to me by my father. The year was 1947. India/Pakistan partition had just taken place, and my father who was the eldest of the siblings in the family had a task on hand. In the midst of senseless and rampant killing going on both sides of the border targeting one of the biggest human migration history has witnessed, he had to move his family from Jullundur India to Lahore Pakistan, and to do it safely. The family consisted of his aging and sick parents and younger siblings. A large truck was acquired to accomplish this feat. The family with all their worldly possessions were loaded up. Father stood on a high platform watching guard with a gun in his hand. He placed the gun strategically with the barrel emerging from under a raincoat clearly visible and as a deterrent. On the way to Lahore, they passed violent mobs and insane scenes of blood and gory which I would rather take a pass on describ-

ing. Their truck with father at watch with his gun at ready was understandably left alone to arrive safely in Lahore and for me to be able to write about this decades later. I witnessed the second part of this story. I was there. It was some year in the 1980s. As a young man and pursuing my family passion I was big into hunting. At any given opportunity and especially the weekends, our party of friends and family would venture out in several different areas around Lahore to enjoy the outdoors and the sport. This was a night hunt for wild boars around the BRB canals near Lahore, Pakistan. We were in an open Willys Jeep. An open Jeep means that the soft top cover has

been removed, and the front screen is laid down on the bonnet. This gives the hunters easy access to see and hunt game. It had to be a fall evening as I remember feeling a little chilly. We were on the mud road by the canal heading deeper into the woods. The canal was to our right and the open crop fields with interspersed patches of tall brown grass to our left. We were probably 6-8 people that night and with a variety of weapons including shotguns, rifles and pistols and ready for action. I sat in one of the rear seats behind the driver. We were cruising at a slow speed approximately 15 mph. One person in the back was standing and shining a spotlight looking for

game. From the corner of my eye, I remember seeing a faint figure of a man in khaki shalwar kameez, the traditional Pakistani dress, along the side of the road some hundred yards up front. This man then jumped right in front of us on to the mud road and started walking towards the jeep. We could see him clearly in our lights while he had to be blinded looking into them. As we slowed down, the man brought up his hands, shouldering his rifle and aiming straight at us. He then yelled in a loud and clear voice, “Halt.” We did stop. The standoff continued for a few tense moments. With a crisp, confident and clear voice the man asked who we were. My uncle in the front seat replied

with our identity and purpose. After what felt like an eternity the man dropped his arms and lowered his weapon. He then walked up to the jeep and by now being comfortable with our identity, introduced himself as an on duty Ranger, a paramilitary force in Pakistan, on his regular nightly patrol. Fast forward to 2013. I was in Pakistan for a family wedding. One of my class fellows and a good friend is the head of the department of cardiac surgery at a local government teaching hospital. He invited me to come and spend some time in their department over a couple of days, and I gladly obliged. It was an eye opener. They are doing off pump, complete arterial graft cardiac bypass surgeries. In plain English, it means the state-of-the art work. These three stories are decades apart and span the life of Pakistan. What is the common link and my point in bringing them up? The cardiac surgery team is doing state-of-the-art work with meager resources, the barest minimum available to them. All that Ranger’s jawan had on him for a weapon that night was a stick which he simulated as a gun to perform his duty in challenging and checking on a jeep load full of hunters with a variety of loaded weapons. Father had no gun on him for that move during partition. He crossed the killing fields and delivered his family safely with the metal end of a folded umbrella drawn out of a rain coat and feigning as a rifle. What all these people have in common is the minimum of resources, but the abundance of ingenuity, self-belief and confidence and the will to take on the world against all odds. All these people are true patriots and my heroes, and I know there are many more like them. It has to be Pakistan Zindabad all the way.

Some Unique Features of Indo-Pakistani Classical Music n By Dr Waheed Siddiqee


ome Unique Features of Indo-Pakistani Classical Music By Dr Waheed Siddiqee

A few unique features of IndoPakistani Classical Music are briefly presented below: 1. Richness in melody. Melodic richness is created by substantial use of micro-notes, called Shrutis, which are produced by gliding from one note to the other in a delicate, complicated, and artful manner. 2. The concept of Ragas. A Raga can be roughly translated as a Melodic Form. These Melodic Forms are primarily defined by a set of selected notes from the well known 12 notes, namely: Sa, Re (flat), Re (sharp), Ga (flat), Ga (sharp), Ma (flat), Ma (sharp), Pa, Dha (flat), Dha (sharp), Ni (flat), Ni (sharp) For example a melody can be composed using only the five notes Sa, Re, Ga, Pa, Dha. Only these selected notes are used to compose a melody spanning lower to higher octaves. This melodic form is referred to as Rag Bhopali. Another aspect of a raga is the primary stressed note and the secondary stressed note called Vadi and Samvadi notes. These stressed notes are

used to give melodic and rhythmic stress in the composition of the melody. Furthermore, the selected notes can be different while descending from lower frequency to higher frequency notes (called Aarohi) and ascending from higher frequency notes to lower frequency

n o t e s (called Avorohi). For example, the Aarohi and Avorohi of Rag Shudh Kalyan are: Aarohi: Sa, Re, Ga, Pa, Dha and Avorohi: Sa, Ni, Dha, Pa, Ma, Ga, Re. Obviously, one can select many combinations of Aarohi and Avorohi using the 12 notes. But,

not all possible combinations will be found to be pleasing to ears. As such only a few select combinations have become a part of classical music over hundreds of years and have withstood the test of time. Selection of notes from 12 notes in composing a melody is like selecting a few colors and using only these colors in painting a picture. The stress note can be compared to using one color in a dominant way. 3. Use of human voice as an Instrument. No poems or words are used in classical singing. Just one or two simple phrases are sung using micro-notes (Shrutis) in creating melodic forms and variations. These compositions and variations are referred to as Khayal. 4. Complex rhythmic cycles and variations. The rhythmic cycles in Indo-Pakistani classical music can consists of several beat cycles. The most popular are 16, 12, and 10 beat cycles known as Teen Tal, Eek Tal, and Jhap Tal. Most of the melodic compositions use 16 beat cycles. Other beat cycles consist of 6, 7, 8, 14, and sometimes include half beats also. In all these rhythmic cycles the first beat is called The Sum or stress beat. The melodic composition comes back to this beat again and again after several variations in between. The specially designed

drums are called Tabla. These are tuned to the pitches matching the voice of a singer or the first (Sa), fourth (Ma) or the fifth note (Pa) of an instrument. Tabla solo performances are also a special aspect of Indo-Pakistani classical music. 5. Jugal-Bandi. This can be roughly translated as a friendly interplay between two or more artists presenting a composition together. For example if a Sitar player, a Sarod Player, and a Tabla Player are presenting a composition together, then as one artist makes a complex variation, the other player responds with another variation complementing it, and the Tabla Player imitates the variation in his own way. 6. Constrained improvisation. There is frequent, on the spot, improvisation both in vocal and instrumental music. But unlike Jazz, these improvisations are done within the strict bounds of the Raga and Rhythmic patterns. The improvisations are not just random but consist of many hours of practice of a set of complicated variations. As a concluding remark, one can say that the Indo-Pakistani Classical music is rich in Melody and Rhythm whereas the Western Classical Music is rich in Orchestration and Vocal Opera music.


Waqar Younis and Gilchrist to be Inducted into ICC Hall of Fame

DUBAI: The International Cricket Council (ICC) recently announced that Waqar Younis and Adam Gilchrist will be inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame later this week. Waqar, a former Pakistan captain, will join the exclusive club during the first Twenty20 International between Pakistan and Sri Lanka at Dubai International Cricket Stadium in Dubai Sports City on 11 December, while two days later in Perth, former Australia wicketkeeper Gilchrist will be honoured during the tea interval of the third Ashes Test match between Australia and England at the WACA. According to a press release issued by the ICC, Waqar and

Gilchrist become the 70th and 71st male members of the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame. Waqar joins countryman Hanif Mohammad as well as his former team-mates Imran Khan, Javed Miandad and Wasim Akram, who were among the first intake of inductees into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame, while Gilchrist is the 19th male Australia player after Richie Benaud, Allan Border, Don Bradman, Greg Chappell, Ian Chappell, Neil Harvey, Dennis Lillee, Ray Lindwall, Rodney Marsh, Keith Miller, Bill O'Reilly, Steve Waugh, Victor Trumper, Clarrie Grimmett, Frederick Spofforth, Alan Davidson, Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne, to

be inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame. Two further ICC Cricket Hall of Fame inductees will be announced later this month. Nicknamed 'The Burewala Express', Waqar is famously known as one half of 'The Two Ws' - a moniker for the fast bowling pair of Wasim Akram and Waqar. A famed exponent of reverse swing, he claimed 373 wickets from 87 Tests and 416 scalps from 262 One-Day Internationals. The 42-year-old, who was born in Vehari, Punjab, also led his country in 17 Tests and 62 ODIs. In a first-class career spanning a decade-and-a-half, he snared 956 wickets from 228 matches with a best of 8-17. Waqar's Test figures bear ample testimony to his brilliance - he registered 22 hauls of five wickets or more in an innings and on five occasions took 10 wickets or more in a match. He also boasted the best strike-rate of any bowler with more than 200 wickets in Tests during his playing days - a record that's been broken by Dale Steyn. His best bowling performance in a Test came almost 20 years ago, when he registered match figures of 13-135 against Zimbabwe in the first Test at Karachi, having taken 7-91 and 6-44. J


Hafeez Praises Afghanistan After Pakistan's T20 Win

SHARJAH: Pakistan captain Mohammad Hafeez applauded minnows Afghanistan for their fighting performance in the first-ever Twenty20 international between the two nations, saying they are improving fast. Pakistan clinched a last-ball thriller by six wickets in Sharjah on Sunday night after chasing a challenging 138-run target. They needed six runs off the last over bowled by Dawlat Zadran and one off the last delivery, initially declared a wide but later deemed to be a no-ball. Hafeez anchored Pakistan´s nervy run-chase, finishing with a 37-ball 42 not out while opener Ahmed Shehzad scored 35 and Umar Akmal a fiery 23-ball 28."Credit goes to them (Afghanistan) for stretching the match to the last over," said Hafeez in his post-match comments. "They have earned their place with hard work which is paying off and I am sure they will learn from their mistakes. "Afghanistan have established their status as one of the best associate sides in the International Cricket Council by qualifying for their third

successive World Twenty20, to be held in Bangladesh next year. They also achieved their first qualification for the 50-over World Cup, to be jointly hosted by Australia and New Zealand in 2015.Hafeez said Afghanistan had improved greatly since they met Pakistan in a one-day international in Sharjah last year - their first against any top side. Pakistan win that game by seven wickets."I can tell you that they have improved a lot and they got the score they wanted and bowled so tight that we couldn´t hit big shots in the last few overs," said Hafeez. He warned that his team must lift their game when they meet Sri Lanka in two Twenty20 matches in Dubai on Wednesday and Friday. "We leaked runs, which we need to overcome against a top side like Sri Lanka," he said. Pakistan will also play five onedayers and three Tests against Sri Lanka - all in the United Arab Emirates. "I am satisfied with my team's performance and it's a great platform for us in the future," said Afghanistan captain Mohammad Nabi, who scored 15 and took one wicket. J

Friendly Foes Await Sri Lanka COLOMBO: In Sri Lanka's fickle cricketing landscape, Pakistan have lately been viewed as one of the team's friendliest foes. Sri Lanka fans' admiration for Pakistan's cricket has been founded on shared ground. Most obviously, there is resemblance in cricketing philosophy; Lasith Malinga and Sohail Tanvir are products of their unique milieu, but it is not difficult to imagine a round-arm slinger from Rawalpindi, or a wrong-footed left armer from Rathgama. No other nation, perhaps, could have easily produced either. ? There is also the rich recent history of spin, shrouded in mystery. Between Pakistan and Sri Lanka, they have owned the progenitor of the doosra in Saqlain Mushtaq, the man who made the ball famous in Muttiah Muralitharan, its best current practitioner in Saeed Ajmal, and a rising bowler with an improving version of the ball, in Sachithra Senanayake. ?Then there are the shambolic administrations, which more often appear to hinder the national sides than support them, while Sri Lanka's newly-formed one-sided rivalry with India has bred another thread of fraternal goodwill. Coincidentally too, the tour will be both Dav Whatmore and Graham Ford's final weeks in charge of their sides. The former was effectively let go, the latter chose to walk. Both sides also have produced alluring players of spin, many of whom have retired or are just about to, and young men are now charged with filling shoes and scoreboards. In that regeneration, though, there are mutual hints of decline. ? Ten months of selection policy focused on grooming the next generation has not future-proofed Sri Lanka's batting unit yet. Dinesh Chandimal and Lahiru Thirimanne have had encouraging returns in Tests, but their limited-overs statistics don't yet suggest they are the next Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara - whom they will

inevitably be compared with. Jayawardene's absence from the limited-overs leg of this series may allow both batsmen to bat higher up in the order, which should suit their abilities better than the finishing roles they had been saddled with. In Tests, both teams will also be fielding young, inexperienced opening pairs. Shan Masood and Khurram Manzoor are at almost identical places in their career as Sri Lanka's likely openers, Dimuth Karunaratne and Kaushal Silva. All four have a shot at embedding themselves in the international arena, on tracks that should not be far from those on which they excel at home.

Though they are at disparate ends of their careers, there are similarities for the teams' main captains too. Misbah-ul-Haq is an unpopular captain for some, and while Angelo Mathews has had moderate success at the helm, he is still treading lightly as a leader and his personal form has been inconsistent. A poor tour for either man might have loosened their grip on the reins, only, there are few viable alternatives. The teams are well-matched on most counts. Pakistan beat Sri Lanka 1-0 in their last Test series in the UAE, but Sri Lanka reversed that scoreline at home, when they dominated the three-match series last year. J

Usman Khan Added to Pak T20 Squad

LAHORE: Pakistan have added the uncapped left-arm seamer Usman Khan to the T20 squad for the two-match series against Sri Lanka in the UAE, beginning on Wednesday. In his maiden season, the 19-year-old took 5 for 9 to help Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL) beat Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited in the final of the Faysal Bank T20 Cup for departments in December. He was also the tournament's leading wicket-taker with 11 wickets in six games. Born in Landi Kotal, a town 1,072m above sea level in the moun-

tain ranges of FATA, Usman was identified by Khan Research Laboratories for their inter-department Under-19 team in 2011. He later joined ZTBL, for which he made his first-class debut. In four first-class matches, Usman has picked up 12 wickets with a best of 4 for 27. He has also taken 16 wickets in 11 T20 games. Usman is the fifth seamer in the T20 squad and third left-armer, including Sohail Tanvir and Junaid Khan. He is expected to join the team on the morning of the first T20 in Dubai on Wednesday. J

Aussie Media Write Off England Ahead of Perth

Sri Lanka's tour of UAE will begin with two Twenty20s under Dinesh Chandimal

SYDNEY: Australia´s media revelled in their team´s humbling of hapless England , writing off the tourists ahead of the third Test in Perth where the Ashes could be decided. Australia took a 2-0 lead in the five-Test series with a 218-run trouncing of England in the Adelaide Test on Monday and will retrieve the urn they lost to their arch rivals in 2009 if they win in Perth. The Sydney Morning Herald splashed a picture of a gravestone on its back page, looking ahead to the game that begins Friday and suggesting that England are dead and buried. "In Affectionate Remembrance of English Cricket, which died at the WACA on 17th December, 2013. RIP," the inscription read, referring to the Perth ground and the date the third Test is due to end. The newspaper´s chief sports

writer Andrew Webster said England´s dismal performance in the Ashes so far was surprising. "Notwithstanding the very fact that Australia might have regained the urn by this time next week, what astonishes most about this Ashes series is how meekly England seem prepared to hand it back," he wrote. The Sydney Daily Telegraph rubbed salt into English wounds, running a picture of a laughing Michael Clarke jokingly asking Shane Watson: "Hey Watto, did you hear the one about the Englishmen who have to face Mitch Johnson at the WACA?" "It´s about to get a whole lot worse for the struggling Poms," the tabloid said. "Down 2-0 in the Ashes series after yesterday´s capitulation in Adelaide, they must now face Aussie firebrand Mitchell Johnson on his blisteringly fast home track in Perth. J



Adding Style to Your Stock Investment Strategy

No Orphan without Education Support an Orphan Today!

value (private market value per-share). In other words, their stock price does not reflect what the company actually would be worth if all its assets were sold. ... Value stocks often have higher dividend yields. These companies can be more oriented toward paying a dividend rather than reinvesting for growth. ... Value stocks may have hidden value such as land, assets, property, patents or other investments that investors may overlook. ... Value stocks often have a lower growth rate than growth stocks. ... Value stocks may be more sensitive to the economy than growth stocks. An improving economy may spur higher earnings and drive up a value stock’s price. Thus, value stocks often outperform growth stocks early in an economic cycle. Growth Investing Growth investing focuses on stocks that experience faster-than-average growth and are expected to continue Irvine, CA such positive trends. Past performance, however, is no (The following information is provided solely to indication of future results. When deciding whether a certain stock is a growth educate the Muslim community about investing and financial planning. It is hoped that the stock, you may want to look for the following characUmmah will benefit from this effort teristics: ... A growth stock usually shows higher revenue and through greater financial empowerment, enabling the community to live in secu- earnings growth potential relative to its industry. ... Growth stocks are often industry leaders in sales rity and dignity and fulfill their religious and moral obligations towards charitable and profits and often have the highest price-to-earnings ratios. activities) ... Growth stocks usually have low or non-existent If you’re just getting your feet wet in the world of investing, stocks may seem to be the best dividend yields because the profits are generally reinvested back into the company as opway to get started. While Financial Adbeing paid out as dividends. visors will likely suggest that a certain Value investing involves posed...toGrowth stock earnings ofportion of your portfolio contain stocks, it is important to realize that there are choosing stocks that may ten compare best when the overall two primary styles of stock investing — have an unappreciated economy’s growth begins to slow. Thus, growth stocks have tended to value and growth. At any given time, one style or the potential — those that may outperform value stocks later in the other may be the best bet for you. Oddly not be the most popular in economic cycle. Before deciding on what style enough, at times you may even be bet- the market at the moment is best suited for you, and to avoid ter off employing both styles. Even if you but that have sound some of the volatility any particular start off with one style, changes in your lifestyle or the market may lead you to fundamentals and might be investment may offer, you may want make a switch to the other or use both poised for a turnaround to use a more defensive technique by combining both these types of instyles at once. vestments. This strategy would allow you to capture blended returns with blended risk. Your Value Investing Value investing involves choosing stocks that may Financial Advisor will also be able to help you decide the have an unappreciated potential — those that may not best investment style for your needs. (Saghir A. Aslam only explains strategies and forbe the most popular in the market at the moment but that have sound fundamentals and might be poised for mulas that he has been using. He is merely providing a turnaround. Value investing involves searching for a information, and NO ADVICE is given. Mr. Aslam does company that appears to have a good financial future, not endorse or recommend any broker, brokerage firm, but that the market either doubts or has not yet noticed. or any investment at all, or does he suggest that anyone It includes buying stock in these companies before the will earn a profit when or if they purchase stocks, bonds market fully recognizes them, and then waiting for the or any other investments. All stocks or investment vehicles mentioned are for illustrative purposes only. Mr. market to see their true value. To help identify a value stock, look for some of these Aslam is not an attorney, accountant, real estate broker, stockbroker, investment advisor, or certified financial characteristics: ... Value stocks generally trade below their intrinsic planner. Mr. Aslam does not have anything for sale.)

n By Saghir Aslam


than Rs500 billion a year, each year; Rs1.5 billion a day, every day; Rs60 million per hour, each hour; Rs1 million per minute, every minute. Another strong reason is that, in many SoEs, endemic political interference has already triggered a chronic inability to attract, or retain, good human resource. This is evident most strikingly in how many SoE leadership slots remain unfilled. This is not about good talent not being available. It is about good talent not having the confidence that they can deliver in the context they will be confronted with. There is, however, also a fairly strong reason to worry about privatization in Pakistan. Our political track record in managing transformations leads to very real fears of process highjack, capture, and rent-seeking. A history of bad experience, low trust in government, and suspicion of an unfair process can make even those who see the logic of privatization highly skeptical. The result is a pervasive cynicism that privatization is likely to leave us no better, and possibly much worse off.

The prognosis is disturbing. It suggests that, yes, privatization is needed. But, no, conditions are not good. There are very few jewels to offer, and the crown itself is unstable. This is not a privatization of choice, it is one of desperation. All the more reason that privatization choices be restricted, strategically planned, and cautiously implemented. The first test for the government is political. To do all it can do to be transparent. To do even more to be seen to be transparent. Innovation is called for. Maybe, consider a ‘voucher’ scheme (as used in Eastern Europe) where the entire population – or just all taxpayers – are given a small part of the ownership. You gain broader economic participation, deeper process ownership, and stronger public accountability. The second challenge is economic: to ensure that the privatized enterprise would provide its services better and, ideally, no more expensively than now. If the argument is that things have become inefficient and expensive under government control, then the citizen justifiably

expects more efficient and less expensive service after privatization. This implies strong post-privatization monitoring and reporting. The third tightrope to cross will be social. Especially when dealing with large SoEs, there is justifiable fear amongst employees about job retention, remuneration, and restructuring. Ordinarily, government pushes for aggressive social safety nets. In the case of many of the SoEs that are on offer – PIA is the obvious example – our options become much more limited because a bloated and politically placed employee force is itself the root problem. One misstep on this tightrope and a messy social problem will turn into a messier political one. The bad news is that the government has a tough job ahead of it and nearly nothing it can do will make people happy. The worse news is that there are many things it could do which will make people not just unhappy, but very, very angry. The good news that the managers of this round of privatization should aim for is to avoid that worse news.

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Exchange Rates for Currency Notes* Countries

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USA S.Arabia UK Japan Euro UAE

Buying Rs.

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For Pakistan, Bangla Desh & India Compiled by: Hasan Chishti


Pakistan/Bangla Desh

1st Unmarried sons & daughters of U.S. Citizens


Nov. 15, 2006

Nov. 15, 2006

2-A Spouses and unmarried children of permanent residents

Sept., 8, 2013

Sept., 8, 2013

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

May 1, 2006

May 1, 2006

3rd Married sons & daughters of U.S. citizens

March 8, 2003

March 8, 2003

4th Brothers & sisters of adult U.S citizens

Sept. 8, 2001

Sept. 8 , 2001




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


Nov. 15, 2004

3rd Skilled workers Other workers

Oct. 1, 2011 Oct/ 1, 2011

Sept. 1, 2003 Sept. 1, 2003

4th Certain special immigrants Certain religious workers

Current Current

Current Current

5th Employment creation Targeted Employment Areas/ Regional centers Pilot Programs



Current Current

Current Current

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.



Islam and Human Development

From the translation by Muhammad Asad (Leopold Weiss)

n By Dr Muzammil H. Siddiqi


About the translator:

e have honored the children of Adam and carried them by land and sea. We have provided them good sustenance; and favored them specially above many of those We created.” (Al-Isra’ 17:70)

What is the main purpose of the Qur’an and what was the mission of Prophet Muhammad? The main theme of the Qur’an is to develop and reform human beings. This was the main mission of Prophet Muhammad – peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. Prophet Muhammad was a human being. He was not God, or half God and half man, or the incarnation of God. He was a human being sent for the sake of human beings. Say, I am only a human being, like you, to whom it is revealed that your God is One. Anyone who fears to meet his Lord should do good deeds and give no one a share in the worship due to his Lord. (Al-Kahf 18:110) The mission of Prophet Muhammad was to care for human being, care for his spiritual, moral, physical health and well being, care for his honor, dignity, freedom and rights, care for the protection of his life, intellect, family and society. Islam is concerned with every aspect of human being and wants a wholesome and balanced development of human being. Islam cares for human body and mind, human intellect and emotions, human individual and society. There is no philosophy or ideology that deals with human life with all its multi-dimensions as fully and as nicely as Islam does. Human being is a unique creation of Allah. The Qur’an tells us that Allah created human being from both earthly as well as heavenly elements. Your Lord said to the angels, “I shall create a mortal out of dried clay, formed from dark mud. When I have fashioned him and breathed My spirit into him, bow down before him.” (Al-Hijr 15:2829) Human beings have both elements: material and spiritual. Human beings have their vegetable side, their animal side but they are neither vegetables nor animals. Similarly they have their angelic side but they are no angels. Allah created them in the best mold (Al-Tin 95:4), gave

Gems from the Holy Qur’an

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 years of devoted study 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, dedicated to li-qawmin yatafakkaroo (people who think).

them pure and good nature (alfitrah, Al-Rum 30:30), He endowed them with knowledge (AlBaqarah 2:31) and then He sent among them many Prophets and Messengers to guide them and to show them the ways of righteousness and virtues. When human beings use their Fitra in the right way and follow Allah’s prophets and messengers they develop their potential. Their goodness enhances. When they ignore their own nature and the teachings of the Prophets of Allah then they hamper their growth and destroy their potential. Prophet Muhammad came to complete the mission of all the Prophets of Allah. Islamic values cover all the necessary dimensions of human life: 1. Spiritual Dimension: worship, devotion, inner peace and harmony 2. Moral Dimension: truth, honesty, decency, kindness and courtesy 3. Intellectual Dimension: learning, knowledge, wisdom 4. Aesthetic Dimension: beauty, art, enhancing balance, moderation and equilibrium 5. Emotional Dimension: management of anger, desires, likes and dislikes 6. Material Dimension: all economic needs and business transactions 7. Social Dimension: family, neighbors, friends, all relations within one’s group and the world

at large All these dimensions are complementary to each other. Islamic values on the individual level work to obtain following objectives: 1. Direct the individuals in their personal behavior

Human beings have both elements: material and spiritual. Human beings have their vegetable side, their animal side but they are neither vegetables nor animals. Similarly, they have their angelic side but they are no angels 2. Help them to achieve what is required from them according to the Shari’ah. 3. Give a person a sense of security with oneself in facing the challenges of life 4. Give the possibilities of self-improvement 5. Give the possibilities of self-expression 6. Control a person’s whims and lusts 7. Raise the individual’s behavior over selfishness and ma-

terialism On the collective level these values Islamic values work to obtain the following objectives: 1. Keep the society together 2. Organize the group in a balanced way 3. Control the group from the egotism of some 4. Guide the group in its dealings with the world and nature 5. Bring balance between various other dimensions of the group’s life such as economic, political etc. Collective level could be peaceful or conflict situation. Under peaceful situations Islamic values work to: 1. Emphasize the continuation of peace 2. Promote dialogue and freedom of expression 3. Prohibit compulsion and coercion 4. Remove and prevent prejudice and hatred 5. Eliminate oppression and corruption in the land 6. Protect those who are neutral and non-combatants 7. Promote good neighborly relations and international contacts in the spirit of justice and peace. In conflict situation Islam has also given us some rules and directions: 1. Do not begin hostilities 2. Respect the sacred time and places 3. Protect the non-combatants and civilians in general 4. Observe the treaties and agreements 5. Fulfill all commitments to the other party 6. Consider human relations 7. Be patient and steadfast in the face of difficulties. In summary, we can say that the objective of Islam is that human beings should know what is good, do what is good, become good and generate good among themselves and in the world.

Chapter 2, Al-Baqarah (The Cow), Verses 155 - 157 And most certainly shall We try you by means of danger, and hunger, and loss of worldly goods, of lives and of [labor’s] fruits. But give glad tidings unto those who are patient in adversity – who, when calamity befalls them, say, “Verily, unto God do we belong and, verily, unto Him we shall return. It is they upon whom their Sustainer’s blessings and grace are bestowed, and it is they, they who are on the right path! Chapter 2, Al-Baqarah (The Cow),Verse 177 True piety does not consist in turning your face towards the east or the west – but truly pious is he who believes in God, and the Last Day, and the angels, and revelation, and the prophets; and spends his substance – however much he himself may cherish it – upon his near of kin, and orphans, and the needy, and the wayfarer, and the beggars, and for the freeing of human beings from bondage; and is constant in prayer, and renders the purifying dues; and [truly pious are] they who keep their promises whenever they promise, and are patient in misfortune and hardship and in time of peril: it is they that have proved themselves true, and it is they, they who are conscious of God. Chapter 2, Al-Baqarah (The Cow) Verse 186 And if My servants ask thee about Me – behold, I am near; I respond to the call of him who calls, whenever he calls unto Me: let them, then, respond unto Me, and believe in Me, so that they might follow the right way. Chapter 2, Al-Baqarah (The Cow),Verse 190 And fight in God’s cause against those who wage war against you, but do not commit aggression – for, verily, God does not love aggressors. Chapter 2, Al-Baqarah (The Cow), Verse 255 (Aayaat-al-Kursee) God – there is no deity save Him, the Ever-Living, the Self-Subsistent Fount of all Being. Neither slumber overtakes Him, nor sleep. His is all that is in the heavens and all that is on earth. Who is there that could intercede with Him, unless it be by His leave? He knows all that lies open before men and all that is hidden from them, whereas they cannot attain to aught of His knowledge save that which He wills [them to attain]. His eternal power overspreads the heavens and the earth, and their upholding wearies Him not. And he alone is truly exalted, tremendous.



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money was minted of these two metals. One values them more highly than their true nature deserves. In utility both are far inferior to iron. People can live without gold and silver, but they cannot live without iron, just as they cannot live without water and fire. It is greed that puts undue value on gold and silver. “In times of trouble, a good society pulls together. Rather than press for maximum advantage, people look out for one another. A society in which people exploit their neighbors for financial gain in times of crisis is not a good society. Excessive greed is therefore a vice that a good society should discourage if it can,” says Michael Sandel. So Talibans have nothing to lose, because they never possessed anything. Their ideal of life is sadly low. Most are illiterate and are completely devoid of understanding what peace means. But they are not as naïve as they are thought of to be. They understood Genghis Khan well. In a justicestarved world, inhabited by callous, corrupt and cruel rulers, they chose what BBC calls, the course of “quick justice”. MARKEY FROM P11

as it will lose respect.” Comprehensive cooperation was Markey’s third option. This meant some of the above two options and more of helping the population by institution building. He said the Obama administration had tried and failed at this strategy. “It is challenging to cultivate relationships and fight terrorists at the same time.” He said that the US would have to pick and choose as no one strategy seemed effective. - Courtesy The Express Tribune, Karachi. FASHION FROM P15

of the targeted minority Hazara community, from Quetta in southern Pakistan. Ali set his sights on a career in fashion after learning about the Lahore school from a television program. There was a positive reaction from Hazaras after media coverage of his designs — described by fellow designers as “ethnicity on speed” — that his father dropped his opposition. “Hazaras are really not given any importance in Pakistan so it was a proud moment for me to represent them because the designs are inspired by the culture,” he said.


appreciation for 3rd i are in order here for keeping all of South Asia in mind over the years in their quest to bring alternate cinema from the region to the San Francisco Bay Area. Indian Bollywood’s success is well known all over the world today and it is movie makers from Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka who need more encouragement. And lest we forget that the celebration of 100 years of the Indian film industry includes the contribution of those who moved across the border at or after partition in 1947. One name that immediately comes to mind is the late singer Melody Queen Noor Jehan and a movie by the name of Anmol Ghadi (1946) directed by Mehboob Khan, featuring the music of Naushad and additionally famous for launching the career of a then little known singer by the name of Mohammad Rafi. CONDOLENCES FROM P20

for what appeared to be impossible,” as he joined in mourning the death of the South African anti-apartheid leader Thursday. The icons who shared a boxing background met twice - once in South Africa and once in North America, said a spokeswoman for the Ali Center in Louisville, Ali’s hometown. “What I will remember most about Mr. Mandela is that he was a man whose heart, soul and spirit could not be contained or restrained by racial and economic injustices, metal bars or the burden of hate and revenge,” Ali said in his statement released by the Ali Center. “He taught us forgiveness on a grand scale.” “He inspired others to reach for what appeared to be impossible and moved them to break through the barriers that held them hostage mentally, physically, socially and economically,” Ali said. “He made us realize, we are our brother’s keeper and that our brothers come in all colors.” Among the exhibits at the Ali Center is a photo of Ali and Mandela, their hands clenched into fists as if they’re boxing. That photo was taken during Ali’s trip to South Africa, said Ronald DiNicola, Ali’s longtime attorney who accompanied the boxing great on the trip. “Mandela was a former fighter, so there was a kindred spirit there,” DiNicola said by phone Thursday evening. “There was always that connection.” Thousands greeted Ali on his arrival in South Africa, he recalled. Ali’s visit came as the country was

mourning the assassination of Chris Hani, another anti-apartheid leader who was killed in 1993. Ali visited Hani’s family and attended the funeral, DiNicola said. “It had a deep emotional impact on the mourners and the country that Muhammad happened to be there at that moment,” he said. “It gave them, I think, a level of comfort.” ICJ FROM P1

the report said, by intervening in individual cases, such as one where police did not intervene in a lynching and another where paramilitary forces were filmed executing a civilian. “Officials who were responsible for the killing and who would have otherwise escaped accountability were investigated and brought to justice,” the Commission said. Such interventions have led to an explosion in the number of rights cases submitted to the court. In 2011, it received more than 150,000 petitions, compared to just 450 in 2004. Sometimes important cases were ignored and some seemingly frivolous ones taken up, the Commission said. “In some cases, the Supreme Court has acted swiftly...facilitating victims’ right to remedy and reparation. In other instances, however, the Court has not responded to urgent human rights issues.” FAREWELL FROM P1

appointed chief justice in 2005 and attracted national prominence two years later, when he was sacked by then-President General (retd) Pervez Musharraf. He was reinstated in 2009 after a protest movement led by the nation’s lawyers. Justice Chaudhry leveraged his prominent position to pressure the government and military on issues such as corruption and illegal detentions. But critics accused him of wading into political areas outside of the judiciary’s domain. In his speech CJ Chaudhry stated that democracy was impossible without free and fair elections all the way from the local government to the national level. “The Court has adjudicated on a number of cases relating to the fair conduct of elections in ensuring that fake ballots and the like are not utilized, and electioneering practices are free and fair,” he said. Commenting on local government polls in the country, the chief justice said the apex court ensured the constitutional command of Article 140-A in that regard. “I am confident and hopeful that the judiciary will continue to support democracy in this vein.” He expressed great pleasure and satisfaction while saying, “The judiciary has realized its duty to ensure the enforcement of the Constitution and the rule of law in the country.” “Through its judgments, the judiciary, after 62 years of independence, has succeeded in making the general public to believe that their welfare exists in the rule of law and constitutionalism.” Chief Justice Iftikhar Muham-

mad Chaudhry maintained that the court always tried its best for ensuring the enforcement of fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution. The Chief Justice stressed upon focusing on ‘white collar crime.’ “White collar crime is a particularly malevolent species of crime. Its effects are wide-ranging and affect the public at large because of the billions that are sapped from the national exchequer.” EU FROM P1

in their honor at the PM House. Mr Sharif said his government was “very satisfied and deeply encouraged” to see the progress being made about grant of GSP+ status to Pakistan, which is going to be voted on by the European Parliament soon. “I know this for a fact that our high hopes about Pakistan winning this status are very strongly founded on the supportive and cooperative role of the resident missions,” he said. The prime minister expressed his deep gratitude to the ambassadors for their support and assistance in this regard. He expressed confidence that given Pakistan’s improving ties with the European countries, the ambassadors’ continued support would enable Islamabad to get the coveted status, thereby stimulating further its economic growth, curbing extremism and promoting social stability. “Pakistan is a country that’s full of potential, but which has yet to be fully exploited. We are looking to working closely with you, both in exploring, exploiting and developing this potential and realizing the opportunities,” he remarked.

the Full Court Reference held in his honor at the Supreme Court building on the eve of his retirement. Besides SC registrar and all judges of the apex court, the Full Court Reference was also attended by the attorney general for Access California Services Pakistan, VC Pakistan Bar Council is providing assistance with (PBC), president and elected members of Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA), all four provincial **All services are supervised by Attorney Akram Abusharar, ESQ** advocate generals and a large number of lawyers from across the country. The AG, vice chairman PBC, CITIZENSHIP APPLICATION ASSISTANCE AND CLASSES president SCBA and CJ-designate Classes will be held every Wednesday evening. paid rich tributes Time: 6:00pm to 9:00pm to the outgoing For more information, appointments, and enrollment in classes, please contact: chief justice of The Immigration Department at Access California Services Pakistan. Phone Number: 714-917-0440 J u s t i c e Address: Access California Services, 2180 West Crescent Avenue Suite C Anaheim, 92801 Chaudhry was

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lashback: A local TV channel buys the rights of and plans to film/air the Pakistani franchise of the hit singing show, American Idol. Gossip circulates about whom the judges will be and eventually when nothing happened, the buzz surrounding the show fizzles out. Fast forward several years and it's finally happening. At the time this issue went into print, Pakistan Idol was due to air its first episode right before the weekend. We caught up with a contestant and the 'Simon, Paula and Randy' of the Pakistani franchise in between the filming of the show to talk about their experience of being a part of Pakistan Idol. Meet the judges: Bushra Ansari, Ali Azmat and Hadiqa Kiani "I find it really hard to be the bearer of bad news," exclaimed Bushra Ansari. "Make me do anything except tell someone that their dream is over!" I tracked down the well-known

TV actor sitting in a room at a club in Karachi where PI is being shot. All decked up for the next shoot with her hair in rollers, Ansari was lounging around with fellow judge Hadiqa Kiani who looked very much like the style icon that she is in a seemingly leather jacket forming a part of her black-and-red ensemble with chunky jewellery. Soon, the third judge, Ali Azmat, popped in and greeted us. While everyone had been on location for a couple of hours, he had only just arrived. "I don't need to get my hair and make-up done!" he joked. Kiani stepped out for a little while when I began talking to Ansari about her PI experience. I later caught up with her outside in the hallway. "I've been singing for a very long time, but I don't think most people, or at least those from the newer generation, remember that," Ansari explained. She mentioned how she'd grown up listening to proper, tasteful music and added that


her own Sufi music album will be out soon. "The show had to be adapted to the cultural sensitivities of the Pakistani people," said Ansari. They (judges) couldn't just simply act like those in the original show. Plus, she pointed out that each of the judges brought something different to the show - they each had their strengths and weaknesses that worked in favour of the contestants. Although the numbers still aren't clear (some say 11 while others say 15), the judges travelled to quite a few cities but due to an unstable security situation, they couldn't hold auditions in all the cities they wanted to. "Like Peshawar, for example," said Azmat. "The contestants from Peshawar and Swat had to come to Islamabad to audition for the show." The determination of the contestants was sometimes ... over the top, says Ali Azmat. One very adamant, overage singer "who was-

n't even good" auditioned almost three times for the show. After his first audition, when he was told he was over the age limit, he went back to his hometown and had his family's priest make him a baptism certificate that showed him to be younger than he was! He then followed PI to the next city and tried again. He was ultimately issued a warning. What kind of an artist makes the perfect Pakistani idol? I asked Azmat. "These guys are looking for the 'whole package' - someone who sings and is presentable, etc.," he said, referring to his fellow judges. "I'm just looking for someone who can sing." "There is some prize money involved, but I'm not sure how much," said Ansari when asked what the contestant will get out of the show. "An album and possibly a car. They will also get the launch pad they need." "The music industry has never had it so bad," said Azmat. "There have been harsh times before but never like this. One has to do other things (such as host TV shows) in order to make ends meet. It's difficult for established musicians to sur-

vive let alone new entrants." Azmat jokes that there is a chance the contestant who wins might just start his own business with the prize money/offering, since that might be the more prudent thing to do. "Most people who came on the show sang semi-classical or classic songs. For them singing pop songs turned out to be hard," said Hadiqa Kiani, adding that as one of the judges, she was looking for someone who was well-rounded and could adapt to various genres of singing. As a judge, Kiani relies on her instincts as well as her ear, mentioning that she would close her eyes to really focus on the song and see whether it managed to move her. She also stressed that they must be original in their rendition of a song, "If someone is singing a cover of my song, I don't want them to sing exactly the way I did. I want them to take my song and make it their own, I don't want another Hadiqa Kiani." Courtesy Dawn






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Pakistan Link - December 13, 2013