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Pervez Musharraf delays return without setting new date
India to be granted MFN with limited negative trade list
rs15.00 Vol ii no 212 28 pages islamabad — peshawar edition
If Pakistan fails Husain Haqqani...
PROFIT | PAGE 01
Saturday, 28 January, 2012 rabi-ul-awal 4, 1433
PPP will foil all conspiracies: Zardari president says ‘Bhutto-ism will prevail’ g launches small loans scheme to create new middle class in Sindh g
RESIDENT Asif Ali Zardari said on Friday that conspirators were busy hatching schemes and came up with new plots every day, but the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) would foil all their schemes and “Bhutto-ism will prevail”. The president was speaking at the inauguration ceremony of the Waseela-eHaq Sindh scheme, which is aimed at creating a new middle class in the province, by providing self-employment opportunities to 35,000 people aged between 19 to 35 years who have at least passed secondary school examinations and are unemployed. “Let those who merely boast of bringing change and raise hollow slogans witness
today how change is brought about through the creation of a new middle class, breaking the generational cycle of poverty and to power national growth and economy,” President Zardari told the ceremony. The president launched the innovative programme by pressing a computer button at Bilawal House here, which made huge computer screens display the names of lucky winners of Rs 300,000 interest-free loans each so they can establish their own businesses ranging from transport to cattle raising, from auto workshops to pharmaceuticals, regardless of their religion, political affiliation or the urban/rural divide. Presidential Spokesman Farhatullah Babar told reporters another condition that entitled people to be included in the draw was that their family must score between 16 and 30 on the poverty scale devised by the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP),
KARACHI: President Asif Zardari hands over a cheque to a woman on Friday. PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari is also seen in the picture. online in accordance with the internationally accepted standards of measuring poverty. Babar said the special scheme was devised under the directions of President Zardari and powered by contributions from the Sindh government from its own budget. A large number of jobless people having education up to matric in the province had qualified for inclusion in the draw, out of which 35,000 were picked by the computer randomly on Friday, he added. Pakistan
People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari also pressed another computer button to randomly select another batch of over 13,700 beneficiaries under the normal BISP programme of draws held after regular intervals. The beneficiaries of the normal programme were also given Rs 300,000 interest-free loan to start their own businesses, but it was meant for even poorer segments of society who scored no more than 16-17 on the poverty scale.
Petrol price to go up by Rs 5 per litre from Feb 1 ISLAMABAD: Petroleum Minister Dr Asim Hussain told reporters on Friday that the price of petrol would be increased by Rs 5 per litre and the price of diesel by Rs 2.50 per litre on February 1. He said the increase in POL prices would be made because of the increase in prices in the international market. About his recent visit to India, the minister said he discussed with his Indian counterpart Jaipal Reddy the security and transportation issues on the TurkmenistanAfghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline. He said the United States had assured security for the pipeline and gas delivery. Pakistan and India were both considering helping Turkmenistan develop its upstream sector, he added. In reply to a question on transit fees, he said Pakistan was likely to get $1/mmBTU in transport fee and $0.5/mmBTU in transit fee for the supply of TAPI gas to India. However, he said the final agreement was yet to be signed. On the Iran Pakistan gas pipeline, he said there was no pressure from the US on the project. He said the Indian petroleum minister had shown interest in rejoining the project and India had also offered to provide POL products to Pakistan. STAFF RepoRT
Nine rockets fired at Pakistan Military Academy
ABBOTTABAD: An elderly man shows reporters the damage caused to his house by rockets targeting the Pakistan Military Academy early on Friday. inp
Unidentified attackers on Friday fired rockets at the country’s top military training facility, the Pakistan Military Academy, damaging its outer wall in a major security breach near the place where Osama bin Laden lived for years, officials said. No one was hurt in the pre-dawn attack and it was unclear who fired the nine rockets from behind a mosque in mountains overlooking the Kakul academy, Pakistan’s equivalent of West Point, 50 kilometres from the capital. Abbottabad was considered one of the safest parts of nuclear-armed Pakistan until American Special Forces on May 2 found and killed the al Qaeda founder in a compound where he apparently lived for five years. The bin Laden raid humiliated Pakistan’s powerful military, exposing it to charges of complicity or incompetence after it emerged that the world’s most wanted man had lived on the doorstep of its premier academy for years. Three rockets on Friday damaged the outer wall of the academy, which is just 500 metres from the site of the US Navy SEALs raid that seriously damaged already turbulent relations between Pakistan and the United States. “Nine rockets were fired. Three rockets hit the boundary wall of the military academy and damaged it. No one was hurt in the attack,” Imtiaz Hussain Shah, a top local government official in Abbottabad told AFP. “We have launched a search operation,” Shah added. Mohammad Karim Khan, Abbottabad police chief, confirmed the attack. “Three rockets hit the boundary wall. Three others landed in an open area and three others landed in a field,” he said. Officials blamed terrorists for the attack, which came one day after Pakistan’s army chief, General Ashfaq Kayani, visited Abbottabad. Shah later confirmed to AFP no arrests had yet been made and that a rooftop room had also been damaged in the attack. “We have a security system and checkpoints on the roads, but the place they used as a launch pad is accessible from all sides and there are mountains at the back of this place,” he told a private TV channel. “At this stage we cannot say who was involved, but they are terrorists and we are investigating how they managed to reach this place.” Taliban and other Islamist militants are fighting an insurgency against the army, although there has been a marked decline in violence in recent months.
Rasool fraud case may give rise to sensitive matters: SC g
Accused says petitioner threatening his family, falsely implicating prime minister in the matter ISLAMABAD MASOOD REHMAN
Hearing the Rs 630 million fraud case of Mian Khurram Rasool on Friday, Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry observed that the case had become a high-profile one and would give rise to sensitive matters. He was heading a three-member bench comprising Justice Khilji Arif Hussain and Justice Tariq Parvez, which was hearing a petition filed by Parvez Hussain and others against Rasool, who allegedly swindled a Karachi-based business out of more than Rs 630 million on the pretext of managing a petroleum export licence for it to supply NATO troops in Afghanistan and get a contract for Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG). In compliance with the court’s Jan-
uary 25 orders, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) officials produced Rasool in court handcuffed. The chief justice admonished the officials for producing him handcuffed, noting that he had been moving freely outside but was handcuffed before being brought in, so it was all just a drama. Rasool told the court that he had been adviser to the prime minister. He said he had not committed any fraud but it was a business deal with the petitioner, Pervez Hassan of Afghan Carpets. He said he had paid around 80 percent of the outstanding sum and he was ready to pay back the remaining, which was not more than Rs 100 or 110 million. He said the petitioner was threatening his family members and falsely implicating the prime minister in the matter. “Basi-
cally, I am a businessman, however I had quit my business when I was appointed the PM’s media coordinator,” Khurram said. He said he had full trust in the court, thus he handed himself over to the FIA in its office. Justice Hussain noted that Rasool was not arrested despite repeated orders of the court so the credit for his arrest could not be given to the FIA. Rasheed A Rizvi, counsel for the petitioner, contended that no payment was made by the accused and the cheques he had given had bounced. He said all the deals involving billions of rupees were drawn up when Rasool was sitting at PM’s House, adding that the FIA only arrested him after the matter was referred to the apex court. He requested the court to take up the entire matter, but the chief justice re-
marked that the case should be prosecuted at the relevant forum, adding that the Supreme Court had nothing to do with it, as the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) should have been approached for the purpose. Earlier, FIA officials told the court that Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) Gas Member Muzaffar Manzoor had also been arrested for his alleged involvement in the matter. The chief justice enquired whether the statement of PM’s Principal Secretary Khushnood Akhtar Lashari would be recorded as the petitioner had also named him among the respondents. “It feels as if nobody is trying to understand the case,” the chief justice said, adding that the case could have far-reaching effects. FIA Law Director Muhammad Azam Khan, however, contended that the accused
had never been adviser to the prime minister. He said Rasool was nabbed by the FIA after a chase. FIA Director Inam Ghani Khan told the court that there was yet another case registered on January 26, 2012 against the accused and currently he was under arrest in that case. The court asked whether in compliance with its January 25 order the statements of Nargis Sethi - erstwhile principal secretary to the prime minister who had filed a first information report (FIR) against Rasool on January 26 under Sections 409/419/420/467/468/489(F)/109 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) read with Section 5(2), 1947, PCA with the Continued on page 04
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02 News Today’s
Saturday, 28 January, 2012
Drug money fuelling terror: Rehman
Advertisers cash in on campaign fever
Story on Page 07
Story on Page 05
Chemical twine slits open boy’s throat GUJRANWALA: Chemical twine hanging from a falling kite cut through a boy’s throat and injured his friend in the Khiali area on Friday. The 16-year-old Umair, son of Liaquat, was returning home on a motorcycle along with his friend Ameer Hamza, when the razor sharp string sliced through his throat and critically wounded his friend sitting behind him. Ameer Hamza is being treated at the Civil Hospital, Gujranwala. The victim’s father told Pakistan Today that Umair was a matriculation student and his sister’s wedding was only three days ahead. He said the chemically-laced threat was banned but the government had failed to implement the law and curb blatant violations. He said the authorities should take serious steps to stop deaths by chemical twines. Meanwhile, Station House Officer (SHO) Abdul Razzaq has been suspended from his job for failing to impose the ban.
11 militants killed, 2 hideouts destroyed in Kurram, Orakzai PESHAWAR: At least 11 militants were killed and two hideouts destroyed by security forces in Kurram and Orakzai agencies on Friday. According to details, the security forces attacked suspected militant hideouts in Murghan area of central Kurram Agency, destroying two and reportedly killing six militants. Sources said the death toll might rise as several extremists were said to be buried under the rubble of the destroyed hideouts. Meanwhile, the security forces continued search operation in Orakzai Agency. Clashes erupted in which five militants were killed. The security forces have intensified search operations and actions against militants in Kurram and Orakzai agencies and more than 100 militants have been killed and several hideouts destroyed in the recent weeks. INP
Nine miners recovered, two still missing ABBOTTABAD: Rescue personnel on Friday recovered bodies of nine of the 11 labourers in Abbottabad’s mountainous region who were buried in a landslide on Wednesday. The labourers working at a phosphate mine in Abbottabad were buried when a big land mass fell over them while they were having meal. Rescue work could not be started on the day of the accident as the site where the miners were working was at too remote an area. However, rescue personnel remained busy pulling out bodies on Thursday. They had to face a lot of problems as the operation needed heavy machinery. Two miners still remain trapped and search for them was going on until the filing of this report. Abbottabad District Coordination Officer (DCO) Imtiaz Hussain Shah called the army for to seek its help in the rescue efforts. Meanwhile, the DCO has also formed a committee to probe the incident and to identify those who were managing the illegal phosphate mine. INP
Malik calls Shahbaz’s statement contempt of court ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Friday called the statement of Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif regarding provision of security to US national Mansoor Ijaz in Punjab tantamount to a contempt of court. Talking to reporters after addressing a report launching ceremony, the interior minister said it was tantamount to contempt of court, as there was a clear court order to provide security to the US citizen. He said chief minister had attempted to divert the public’s attention from the fake drugs case by issuing this statement. Malik hinted at setting up a judicial commission to probe into the spurious drugs case, which has claimed the life of over a 100 people in Punjab. He was of the view that Shahbaz, who was also holding the portfolio of the health minister, should at least have resigned from the minister’s slot. “I will discuss the matter with the top leadership and suggest setting up a judicial commission to bring the real culprits to task. I will recommend including a representative of media as a member of the commission,” he said. He said clear directives had been given to the Federal Investigation Agency to arrest whosoever was found involved in the fake drugs case, whether it be the Punjab health secretary or medical superintendent of Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC). STAFF REPORT
SUKKUR: Supporters of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement raise party flags during a public meeting on Friday. online
Unemployment to end if Sindh gets its due share, says Altaf KARACHI STAFF REPORT
Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain on Friday said that no one in Sindh would be left unemployed if the province which generates the country’s 70 percent revenue was given its due share. Addressing a party rally in Sukkur via telephone, Altaf said the MQM was the country’s only party which had not signed the National Finance Commission (NFC) Award. He said the MQM was opposed to the Kalabagh hydropower project because the people of Sindh had rejected it. “It is time for the people of Sindh to decide if they will elect MQM’s candidates selected from the poor and middle class, and inflict a crushing defeat on the feudal lords,” he said. Speaking to the Sindhi nationalists, the MQM chief said, “Your politics of divide and rule have come to an end. The Urdu-speaking Sindhis and the Sindhi-speaking Sindhis have united.” “Sindh contributes over 70 percent to the national exchequer. If given its share according to its population and contribution, unemployment will end and feudalism will be uprooted. Schools will be opened, centres for women’s development will be built, and technical universities would be set up. The people of Sindh will
work hard and provide a life of dignity and honour for their children,” Altaf said. “How long will the people of Sindh continue to lead a life of helplessness before the feudal lords and not think about changing their circumstances? Today Sindh needs a genuine leadership instead of thieves and robbers,” he added. “We should remove the distinction of new Sindhi and old Sindhi by embracing each other. We are all Sindhis.” The MQM chief said that Sukkur had always been a neglected district, and urged the federal and provincial governments, of which the MQM is a coalition partner, to allocate addition funds for development projects in Sukkur. He said the government should build a university and a medical college in Sukkur to provide higher and technical education to local students. “Electricity and gas supply in Sukkur and its adjoining areas should be ensured,” he added. Altaf announced a grant of Rs 1 million for Sukkur Press Club, and called for establishing an institution to provide training to journalists. Talking about the recent sectarian killings in Karachi, he said that Shia and Sunni lawyers and doctors had been under a conspiracy to destabilise the Pakistani society. He sympathised with the bereaved family members of the victims.
Shahbaz reiterates security protection for Mansoor Ijaz
Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has once again offered to provide full security to Mansoor Ijaz if he comes to Pakistan for his statement before the judicial commission probing the “memogate’ scam. In an interview with a private TV channel on Friday, the chief minister said the nation wanted to know the real characters behind the memo scam. He said he would request the Supreme Court to allow the Punjab Police to provide security to Mansoor Ijaz. Shahbaz said if Ijaz was concerned about his security in Islamabad, he would be welcomed in Lahore where the provincial government would extend full protection to him, provided the judicial commission was ready to record his statement in the provincial capital.
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Saturday, 28 January, 2012
ARtS & eNteRtAINMeNt
Suicide car bomb outside Baghdad hospital kills 31
‘Agneepath’ becomes biggest first day opener
Pakistan fight hard as England chase win
News 03 COMMeNt Brave fronts All is not well.
Preparation for polls The time is now.
Arif Nizami says: Method in the madness?: Pakistan’s civil-military imbalance.
White lies: Apparently every parliamentarian has some guidelines or simply a survival plan by which he operates. A VVIP in Islamabad who seems to ride every storm with just a scratch or two has been generous enough to share his successful formula with a party loyalist and his pleader.
Story on Page 14
Story on Page 16
land occupied by military returned to its owner, SC told
Journalist denies getting ISI funds for polls Altaf Hasan Qureshee, chief editor of the monthly Urdu Digest, has clarified that he had never been associated with politics, and was surprised to find his name on a list of politicians that allegedly received funds in 1990 from former director general of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) General (r) Asad Durrani. In a press release issued on Friday, Qureshee expressed his surprise over the inclusion of his name in the list, saying he had never been associated with a political party or contested an election. PRESS RElEASE
Story on Page 18
Pakistan committed to ending polio this year: PM g
Gilani tells bill Gates he’s personally supervising polio eradication efforts
A revenue official from Swat on Friday told the Supreme Court that the fields and orchards of a local resident allegedly occupied by the military for last three years had been returned to him. The Swat district officer (Revenue and Estates) told a three-member bench comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Khilji Arif Hussain and Justice Tariq Parvez that the physical possession of the vacant land had been handed over to Ejaz Ahmed Khan and Aurangzeb – legal heairs of late Abdul Ghaffar Khan – on January 25 through their attorneys. Sanaullah Zahid, counsel for the petitioners, confirmed the peaceful transfer of the property to his clients. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa additional advocate general also confirmed the transfer. The deputy attorney general also appeared and submitted comments on behalf of the Defence Ministry. He said the petitioner’s land had been occupied temporarily when they were away as internallydisplaced persons (IDPs) of the Swat military operation. After hearing the confirmation from both sides, the court disposed of the petition.
Articles on Page 12-13
RIME Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on Friday said Pakistan was committed to eradicating polio by the end of 2012 and would use all resources to rid the country of the crippling disease. He was talking to Microsoft Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Bill Gates, who contributes $1 billion annually to the eradication of polio globally, and has made it a top priority of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Gates, whose foundation has spent more than $85 million on the polio eradication programme in Pakistan, had stressed the need to expand the Polio Eradication Programme in Pakistan. He was keen to hear the ways Gilani’s government was surmounting the difficulties in this effort and to reach out to remote areas of the country. Gilani said he was personally supervising the polio eradication efforts and had also asked the provinces to double their efforts towards making Pakistan a polio-free country. The prime minister said he had spelt it out that all measures be taken to eradicate the crippling disease from the country by end of 2012. He also praised Gates for his efforts to provide medical treatment to Arfa Karim Randhawa, the youngest Microsoft Certified Professional in the world. He said Pakistan has named IT educational institutions after her and invited
Gates to help set up high quality education houses for the youth in the country. The prime minister recalled his joint press interaction on the issue with prime ministers of Britain, Canada, Australia and the president of Nigeria at the Commonwealth Summit in Perth, and said Pakistan was among the few countries, still confronting the deadly disease. Gilani said he informed the world leaders that Pakistan was taking all measures and employing innovative strategies to stop the spread of the virus. He said the world leaders ha pledged $122 million in new funds towards a polio-free world. He said surveillance officers had been appointed in high-risk areas to strengthen
the implementation process, and a polio monitoring cell had also been set up in his Secretariat which was providing regular updates to him. Briefing the reporters after the meeting, Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said the prime minister praised the Gates Foundation for its very active role in Pakistan and the efforts focused to help rid the country of the disease. He said Bill expressed resolve to continuing with his support to Pakistan for eradication of polio from the country. He said the issue of potential collaboration in the fields of health sciences and agriculture productivity also came under discussion.
Musharraf delays return without setting new date DUBAI AFP
Former president and All Pakistan Muslim League chief Pervez Musharraf has delayed his return home, party Secretary General Muhammad Ali Saif announced on Friday. “He finally decided today that he would accept the recommendations” of the executive committee of the All Pakistan Muslim League to delay his return, Saif told reporters. “This decision (of returning) will be deliberated by the core committee of
the party,” he said. Friends and supporters had urged Musharraf to put off an imminent homecoming after Islamabad said he would be arrested if he returned from more than three years of self-imposed exile in London and Dubai. Speaking to CNN in Davos, Switzerland, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani said Musharraf would “certainly” be arrested if he set foot back in Pakistan. Musharraf had promised to fly home to contest general elections. He faces two court warrants for his arrest in connection with the 2006 death of
Akbar Bugti, and the 2007 assassination of ex-prime minister Benazir Bhutto. In an interview broadcast on BBC radio earlier this month, Musharraf acknowledged he would be in danger in Pakistan. “I do feel endangered. There is a danger certainly, but you take your own protection and then leave things to destiny. Nobody can ensure you 100 percent protection,” he said. He admitted that his arrest in Pakistan was possible but said he would “like to remain out” of the crisis engulfing the government, army and judiciary.
FiA granted Khurram Rasool’s three-day physical remand ISLAMABAD SAlMAN ABBAS
Senior Civil Judge Mehmood Haroon on Friday granted three-day physical remand of the prime minister’s ex-media adviser, Khurram Rasool, to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) for his alleged involvement in a fraud of Rs 71 million. The PM’s ex-media adviser was produced before the court with handcuffs in a case registered against him under sections 481 and 420 by the FIA on the complaint of one Sohail Rabbani. According to the complaint, Khurram Rasool had opened a fake account and Rabbani had given him Rs 71
million for getting sugar quota, but he could not manage it and gave him a fake cheque of Rs 71 million. However, Khurram Rasool contended before the court that the FIA had registered a false case against him. During hearing of the case, the judge expressed his anger when the FIA prosecutor told him that they had not verified the dishonored cheques from the bank concerned. “You have presented a long charge sheet but have not provided enough evidence against him,” the judge asked the prosecutor. The prosecutor said: “We want to probe allegations mentioned in the FIR.” He added the FIA would get all the record of the said case within a short span of time. The judge asked
him why they had come to the court without record. The judge also asked the FIA why they had registered a case against the accused merely on a complaint and without collecting record of allegations. The judge issued a show-cause notice to the FIA prosecutor for arresting Khurram Rasool in the absence of evidences and sought his immediate reply. The FIA prosecutor submitted his reply and sought sevenday physical remand of Kurram, but the court granted three-day remand and directed the FIA to produce him on Monday. Later, talking to reporters outside the courtroom, Khurram said he had been a businessman since 1990 and had committed no fraud.
Khurram Rasool’s wife also implicated ISLAMABAD: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has also implicated Samina Khurram Rasool, wife of prime minister’s ex-media coordinator Khurram Rasool, in a Rs 630 million corruption case. An official source of FIA told Pakistan Today on Friday that a case had been registered against Samina Khurram with the FIA Commercial Banking Circle. He said during preliminary interrogation, it was noticed that Khurram had transferred the black money in the account of his wife. “It was found that Khurram had transferred Rs 2.5 million to his wife’s account. The FIA is now also trying to trace out other accounts in which the PM’s ex media adviser had transferred his black money,” the official added. During the year 2009-10, Khurram Rasool misused his official post of PM’s Media Coordinator in PTV and had fraudulently extorted money through fake bank accounts. On disclosure of fraud, the accused issued four cheques of his account at the City Bank amounting to Rs 630 Million in favour of Pervaiz Hussain in return of defrauded money, including the loss caused due to the same; but these cheques were dishonour. STAFF REPORT
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Establishment should not play a role in polls: Fazl KARACHI STAFF REPORT
AMIAT Ulema-eIslam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Fazlur Rehman told a party public gathering in Karachi on Friday that the establishment should stay out of politics “and then let’s see who wins in the next general elections”. “Why are institutions not accepting that they have failed? The nation is still a beggar and the institutions should accept their failure. US supremacy in Pakistani foreign policy is not acceptable. Implementation of Sharia through guns is not the right way,” Fazl told thousands of supporters at the public meeting. He said if there was independent foreign policy in Pakistan, the country would not be facing the current situation it was in. He said Pakistan had incurred losses of $70 billion
dollars in the war on terror but had only received $4 billion in aid. “No ruler has the right to commit via verbal agreement to any other country,” said Fazl, referring to the alleged agreements made with the US by former president Pervez Musharraf. The JUI-F chief said if a change could be brought in Egypt, it could be brought in Pakistan too. Pakistan had rendered sacrifices but re-
Pakistani arrested at Manchester airport MANCHESTER: The British Police on Friday arrested a Pakistani national boarding a PIA flight due to unknown reasons. According to details, British police called back Islamabad-bound PIA flight PK-702 from takeoff point at Manchester Airport and arrested the man, identified as Fazal. The reasons of taking him into custody are not known yet. INP
ceived a bad name in the response and that there was a need to build confidence in the nation, he added. Fazl said his party was against the implementation of Sharia by use of force. He said the recommendations of the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) were not being implemented. “The religious factions are being push to war. Those who are getting an education in madrassas are not
extremists but liberals. We are not the enemy of negotiations but it should be done on an equal basis,” he said, adding that there should be not be a relationship of master and slave between the US and Pakistan. He said those who were not implementing the CII’s recommendations were bigger terrorists than militants. The JUI-F had arranged a large politico-religious rally entitled ‘Islam Zindabad’ at Quaid-e-Azam’s mausoleum in Karachi, attended by hundreds of thousands of people from across the province, possibly exceeding the number of participants at the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI)’s public meeting at the same venue. The format and appearance of the public meeting closely resembled that of the PTI’s, with a similar stage and decoration but without chairs. All JUI-F leaders sat on the stage without chairs.
FC soldier killed in militant attack in Dera Bugti QUETTA STAFF REPORT
A soldier of Frontier Corps Balochistan was killed and five others injured in two attacks and a land mine explosion in Dera Bugti region, 500kms southeast of Quetta on Friday. Per reports, Baloch militants belonging to the Bugti tribe attacked a checkpost in Uchh gas field using light weapons, forcing security personnel to return fire. As a result, an FC soldier was killed and four others got injured. The deceased was identified as
Naik Haider Zaman. In another incident, a minesweeper of Frontier Corps Balochistan received injuries when he stepped on an anti-personnel mine. He was taken to Sui hospital for medical treatment. Meanwhile, a body bearing torture marks was found in Naseerabad district. However the cause of the murder could not immediately ascertained. Separately, Munzoor Ahmad Bizenjo, a Baloch missing youth, reached home safe and sound after an absence of three months. He had gone missing in Khuzdar.
india-pakistan judicial body calls for consular access to prisoners ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT
The India-Pakistan Judicial Committee on Prisoners asked for a complete implementation of the bilateral Consular Access Agreement signed in May 2008 while concluding its visit to Indian prisons on Friday. “Members of the IndiaPakistan Judicial Committee on Prisoners visited Indian jails in Delhi, Jaipur and Amritsar from January 23 to 27, 2012,” said a joint press statement issued by the Foreign Office. “The members of the committee, Justice (r) AS Gill and Justice (r) MA Khan from the Indian side, and Justice (r) Nasir Aslam Zahid and Justice (r) Mian Muhammad Ajmal from the Pakistani side visited the jails,” it said. The Indian authorities presented 46 Pakistani prison-
GUJRANWALA The psychopath, Maulvi Muhammad Sarwar, who shocked the country in 2007 by killing sitting provincial minister for social welfare Zille Huma Usman, died of tuberculosis at Kot Lakhpat Jail Lahore on Friday. He had been awarded death sentence on two counts by a court in Gujranwala within 22 days of the incident, but it could not be implemented due to judicial hindrances as well as stoppage of hanging by the federal government.
Maulvi Muhammad Sarwar was diagnosed with TB a couple of years ago in Kot Lakhpat Jail, but he could not be treated properly inside the prison. Sarwar gunned down provincial minister Zille
passionate and humanitarian consideration to be given to women, juvenile, mentally challenged, old aged and all those prisoners suffering from serious illness or permanent physical disability. The committee also recommended that seriously sick and mentally challenged prisoners must be kept in hospitals irrespective of confirmation of their national status and offence. It added that prisoners involved in minor offences like violation of Foreigners’ Act, visa violation and inadvertent border crossing deserve compassion from both the sides. The committee noted that the respective courts must be requested for expeditious trial of all “under trial” prisoners. “Provision of legal aid and attorneys to prisoners must be ensured at all stages of their cases,” it said.
widow sells land Despite tensions, govt’s to recover from control over military up PIC’s poison SIALKOT STAFF REPORT
Sharifan Bibi, a 53-year-old widow, has sold her only piece of land to get expensive medical treatment for the reaction she developed from the fatal medicines provided by the Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC). Faced with a choice of life and death, the only option available for the victim of PIC’s deadly dose was to sell all her possessions to get treatment at the private Idrees Hospital in Sialkot Cantonment. Talking to reporters from her hospital bed, she cursed the Sialkot health department officials for completely ignoring her in the face of monstrous medical bills. Sharifan is one of the hundreds of heart patients who became the victim of a toxic batch of medicines distributed by the PIC, with over a hundred already dead.
Former MpA Zille Huma’s killer passes away at Kot lakhpat Jail STAFF REPORT
ers at Central Jail Tihar, New Delhi, 98 at Central Jail, Jaipur and 45 at Central Jail, Amritsar before the committee, according to the statement. While concluding the visit, the committee recommended that the Consular Access Agreement of 2008 must be fully implemented. The committee said that consular access must be provided within three months of the arrest, and repatriation must take place within one month of confirmation of national status and completion of sentences. It also recommended that consular access must be provided immediately to all those prisoners who have not been given consular access so far and the process of nationality confirmation should start immediately after consular access is provided. It said that a mechanism should be developed for com-
Huma Usman on February 20, 2007 when she was about to chair an open court at the PML House Gujranwala. Earlier, he got nationwide exposure in the 1990s when Gujranwala Police, after months of hectic efforts, arrested him following the continuous killings of six call girls and injuring score of women with alleged dubious character. After killing eight women, Sarwar was released from jail after a couple of years as most of the cases were either registered by police or had no complainants from the deceased women’s families.
by 20% in 2011: report LAHORE STAFF REPORT
Despite estrangement in civilmilitary relations on various controversial issues such as the memogate, the civilian government succeeded to strengthen its control over the armed forces by 20 percent, while the democratic role of political parties improved only slightly (two percent) over the last year in comparison to 2010, a report said. “Credit goes to the military establishment for extending cooperation towards the civilian government, as the military diminished its involvement in the political system by 35 percent during the previous year,” the Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency (PILDAT) said in its report annual report titled “Assessment of the Quality of Democracy in Pakistan”. The report said that public accountability over the activities of the security forces raised by 13 percent, while the operations of paramilitary units, private armies, warlords and criminal mafias was reduced by about 10 percent. The media’s role fell below zero on the index to negative four percent, but journalists enjoyed six percent more freedom from the restrictive laws, harassment and intimidation. The media’s intrusion in the lives of private citizens increased by 5.77 percent in 2011, the report said. The report further said the percentage of civil society and popular participation remained intact in 2011, as their role did not pick any momentum. However, the support of public and political parties for
democracy despite poor governance by the executive, increased mainly due to the desire to continue the democratic process. The report said that the judicial courts of the country enjoyed 12 percent more freedom in 2011 as compared to 2010. People’s confidence in judiciary increased by 18 percent because their access to justice improved by five percent. Negative public perception about the federal government increased because of its tactics to delay implementation of several court orders. The report said the members of the parliament had enhanced their professional competence to legislate despite the general perception about their limited abilities in statecraft. However the parliament remained an ineffective forum for the resolution of major crises, the report said, adding that the parliamentarians’ ability to express their opinion fell by 1.75 percent in 2011 as compared to 2010. The elected representatives made themselves just only one percent more accessible to their constituents during the whole previous year, it said. According to the report, 2011 improved the prospects of a free and fair election through a non-partisan, transparent and competent body. The report also praised the Election Commission’s efforts to make comprehensive electoral rolls and its attempts to ensure a single vote against each computerised national identity card to overcome duplicity. The fair and free election’s procedure got positive improvement of 16 percent within one year.
Rasool fraud case may give rise to sensitive matters: SC Continued from page 1 FIA - where the alleged victims were the petitioner or his sons, were preserved in view of the importance of the case. The court was told, however, that their statements had only been recorded under Section 161, Cr.PC. The court had directed the FIA authorities to proceed to protect the statements of both Sethi and the
petitioner in view of the allegations contained in the FIR and other documents available on record. The FIA told the court that the statements of Pervez and Sameer Hussain had been recorded under Section 164, Cr.PC. The court noted that despite registration of the case as far back as March 11, 2011, the FIA had failed to arrest the accused, which was evi-
dent from the impugned order of the Islamabad High Court (IHC). The IHC had disposed of the case on July 19, 2011 holding that the FIA had failed to arrest the accused despite repeated directions to its director general. The petitioner had then filed a contempt petition under Article 204 of the constitution on the failure of
the FIA chief to cause the arrest, which was also disposed of on July 24, 2011 by the IHC. The petitioner then challenged the IHC order under Article 185(3) of the constitution before the apex court. The court noted that the FIA had an obligation to proceed with the case in accordance with law and cause the arrest of the accused if
any incriminating evidence was available against them. Later, the court adjourned until February 10 on the question arising out of the main petition wherein the IHC judgement was challenged and the FIA chief did not comply with the court’s directions. The court directed the FIA chief to personally appear on the next hearing.
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Pakistan not sidelined in taliban peace talks: US WASHINGTON INP
The United States has termed “untrue” sentiments inside Pakistan that it was being sidelined by the Obama administration in peace talks with the Taliban. “Absolutely untrue,” state department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said, when asked there was a feeling inside Pakistan that they are being sidelined in these talks with Taliban. “We have at every opportunity been clear that we think that Pakistan has a very important role to play in supporting this reconciliation process. The secretary (Hillary Clinton) talked about it quite extensively when she was there,” she said. “As you know, Pakistan was part of the Istanbul process, part of the Bonn process, supporting this reconciliation effort. As we’ve said a number of times, Ambassador Grossman was ready to go to Pakistan during his recent trip. The Pakistani government, very much involved in an internal review of its relations with the United States, thought that this trip was not the best time, but they welcome him at a future time. So we very much want Pakistan to be part of this, as do the Afghans,” Nuland said. The US official said the “message that came to us from the Pakistani government was we want to be involved in this, but right now is not the moment”. To a question, Nuland said the US had number of NATO supply routes that were being used despite the closure of Pakistani routes.
UNICEF appeals for $1.28 billion to feed children in Africa, Pakistan GENEVA
H E United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on Friday launched an appeal for $1.28 billion (947 million euros) this year, with a third of the cash needed to help children in the drought-stricken Horn of Africa, the agency said. UNICEF said it was seeking nine percent less than in 2011, linked to lower needs in Pakistan and Haiti, but that its needs for fighting hunger had jumped by nearly 50 percent. The East Africa and Southern Africa regions show the largest increase in funding needs, mainly due to the humanitarian crisis in the Horn of Africa.
In 2012 UNICEF expects to help about 97 million people in 25 countries and territories, it said. “The list of countries includes many long standing or socalled ‘silent’ emergencies, but the crisis in Somalia and in other countries in the Horn of Africa accounts for nearly onethird of the total amount,” a UNICEF report said. The Horn of Africa countries are Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia. The second highest funding priority is the Democratic Republic of Congo, representing 11 percent of the total, while the amount sought for Sudan makes up eight percent, with Pakistan at seven percent. “Although the distribution of funding required between the various sectors has been fairly constant over the last five
years,” the needs for nutrition in 2012 are up 47 percent and “now represent 30 percent of all of these needs compared to 19 percent in 2011,” said the organisation. UNICEF Spokesman Patrick McCormick attributed the increase to “the situation in Somalia and the Sahel,” a zone that stretches across Africa with the Sahara Desert to its north. Drought and famine afflicted that area in 2011. The organisation said that in countries such as Chad, Niger and Mauritania, more than one million children were at risk of severe malnutrition, far from the public eye. “While much of the world’s attention focuses on the humanitarian needs in the Horn of Africa, we must not forget those in the many longstanding emergencies around the globe,
the silent emergencies,” said Rima Salah, UNICEF deputy executive director, at a press briefing. The agency highlighted the need for assistance in newly-created South Sudan where up to 80 percent of the population lives on under two dollars a day. “South Sudan is a country with one of the lowest levels of human development indicators,” said UNICEF director of South Sudan Yasmin Ali Haque. “It has 12 trained midwives for 400,000 births that take place every year.” Women and children there are impacted by early marriage, abductions and the consequences of violence, where communities have limited access to water, Haque said. “In 2011, we had 347,000 people who had been displaced due to one form of crisis or another.”
Power generation from tarbela comes down to 320Mw TARBELA INP
The increase in outflow of water from Tarbela Dam has led to the closure of ten electricity generating units, while only four units are left functioning that are producing only 320MW of electricity, contributing to the increase in electricity shortfall in the country. The sources said 14,900 cusecs of water was coming to the dam while the outflow was recorded at 25,000 cusecs and the water level at present was 1,468.66 feet at present. “Ten power generating units were closed due to the low inflow of water in the dam,” sources said. They said the outflow of water from the dam was increased on the demand of IRSA that required water for irrigation.
KARACHI: City courts wear a deserted look on Friday due to a strike called by lawyers against the targeted killing of three colleagues two days ago. online
Advertisers cash in on campaign fever g
banner printers, painters see major profit in election season LAHORE AFP
Spurred by a lull in Taliban attacks and the prospect of general elections within months, the country’s politicians are consumed by campaign fever, spelling boom times for the advertising industry. The feudal landlords and billionaire industrialists, who have dominated politics for decades, were shocked to the core when retired cricketer Imran Khan managed to attract a crowd of 100,000 in Lahore. His call for a new kind of politics, fervent nationalism and an end to the war on terror resonates widely among the emerging urban, middle-class in the country of 174 million well versed in the corruption of their leaders. Anxious to halt Khan in his tracks, other political and religious parties have followed suit, organising public rallies with an eye on an election, which most now predict will be held either by April or in September or October. The relative decline in attacks – 132 people killed in the last four months compared to more than 454 from May 1 to August 31 – have made rallies a lucrative spin off business for advertising and publicity
agents. Red placards shrieking in bold black “Sit-In Against Corruption” from the largest religious party Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) greet those turning off the motorway into Lahore. Billboards scream out Khan’s hopes for change while multi-coloured banners from the ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and opposition Pakistan Muslim League
Nawaz (PML-N) competed in wishing minority Christians a happy Christmas. Those in the trade say there has not been such a boom since the 2008 elections swept the PPP to power after nine years of military rule. “Political activities have started and attacks have stopped. There will be a boom in our business now,” says 60-year-old
Muhammad Mushtaq, who prints banners in Lahore’s Royal Park market. Sitting on the ground in the winter sunshine outside his small shop, Mushtaq said the last few years had been the worst in his life. “I earned good money in the past but terrorism spoilt everything. I hope the fresh campaigns and upcoming elections will enhance our business,” he said. He said he made $300 in profit from running off 400 banners for Khan’s rally in October, has paid off his debts and is now hoping to make Rs 500,000 from the election season. Mass outpourings over issues other than gas and electricity cuts are rare in the country, so election seasons see a big uptake in rallies. “Generally the economy goes up one percent in election years,” said Farooq Hassan, secretary general of the Advertising Association of Pakistan, who is this year predicting a growth of three percent in the advertising industry. “We have seen some rallies so far... As the elections come closer, TV and radio advertisements will also start,” he added. Iftikhar Ahmed, a printer who makes banners for PML-N and Jamaat-ud-Dawa
in Lahore, is also looking forward to major profits in 2012. “We cut half our staff in previous months because business was very bad. Now we’re planning to re-employ them all because we expect business worth at least Rs 1 million,” he said. But Ahmed said the trick was to get clients to pay up front, warning that after the polls it could be a different story. “If they win the elections, it’s very difficult to get our money because they become powerful... and if they lose, they simply say ‘we’ve got huge losses and can’t pay’.” AB Nadeem, a senior member of the Punjab Outdoor Publicity Association, said he expected political parties to sink Rs 7 billion into advertising ahead of the next elections. “Imran Khan’s rallies in Lahore and Karachi, and his promotion strategy have set new precedents,” he told AFP. “We expect the major parties to hire top advertising and PR firms for their campaigns, so we expect to see a major increase in the advertising budget.” Khan’s Tehreek-e-Insaf and PML-N refused to divulge numbers, but said they would plough everything into convincing the electorate before polling day.
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Parents urged to get children vaccinated against polio PESHAWAR STAFF REPORT
Participants of a conference urged to parents get their children below five years vaccinated against polio to completely eradicate the incurable disease from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the country. The polio immunisation campaign is going to start on January 30 for three days in 36 “sensitive” union councils (UCs) of FR Peshawar. National Research and Development Foundation (NRDF) Peshawar Field Coordinator Shahab Khan said it was likely that more cases of polio were discovered in the short-listed UCs. The polio campaign would begin in medium-risk UCs from February 7 to 9 and religious scholars were playing their role in removing the negative propaganda against polio vaccination, Khan said. He said efforts by clerics to convince the masses had enabled thousands of children to get vaccinated, while in the last two months, 25 percent of parents who earlier refused had agreed to get their children immunised.
SRINAgAR: Activists of rightwing all-women Dukhtaran-E-Milat (Daughters of the Faith) shout anti-American slogans during a protest against the detention of Aafia Sidiqqui and reported sexual harrasment of the Pakistani woman in the US. AFp
Over 72MAF of water escaped below Kotri in four years, NA told ISLAMABAD
V E R 72 million acre feet (MAF) of water escaped below Kotri during the last four monsoon seasons in the country, Minister for Water and Power Syed Naveed Qamar told the Senate in a written reply on Friday. He said 5.67MAF of water escaped below Kotri in 2008, 4MAF in 2009, 50.50MAF in 2010 and 11.96MAF in 2011. Qamar said a number of storages,
including Diamer Basha Dam, Munda Dam, Kurram Tangi Dam would be constructed in the near future to store water. He said the appointment of a consultant for Munda Dam would be made within a week, adding that the construction work on the dam would start soon and would be completed within due course of time. The Senate was informed that of Rs 2 billion budgeted allocation for Pakistan Baitul Maal, Rs 800 million had been released. Minister for Vocational and Professional Training Riaz Hussain Pirzada informed the House that depending on the actual need and
availability of funds, supplementary allocations were also considered positively. He said work was underway for the release of remaining budgetary allocation of Rs 1.2 billion for baitul maal. The Senate was informed that a total of 5,430 plots had been allotted under the Federal Government Employees Housing Foundation, but the handing over of possession of plots to the allottees was yet to start. To a question, Minister for Religious Affairs Khurshid Ahmad Shah said since its inception, the Council of Islamic Ideology had released 80 re-
ports. He said of these, one was a tenyear report from 1962 to 1973, one a three-year report from 1974 to 1977, twenty-five were annual reports and the rest were subject reports on various topics. The minister said sixteen annual reports on various topics, including “Final Report 1996”, had been laid before parliament by 1996. He said 12 Annual Reports from 1997 to 2009 were yet to be laid before parliament. The Senate chairman gave ruled that reports of the council from 1997 to-date must also be laid before the House in the next session.
Indian troops use brute force against protesters in IHK ISLAMABAD APP
The troops of Indian Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) damaged several vehicles, including that of a senior reporter of an English daily, without any justification after failing to disperse an anti-India demonstration in Habba Kadal area of Srinagar. Per reports, a group of youth defying restrictions took to the streets at Main Chowk in Habba Kadal and chanted pro-liberation and anti-India slogans. The CRPF and police personnel used brute force to disperse the protesters. The troops broke the windowpanes of vehicles including that of chief reporter of daily Rising Kashmir, Abid Bashir. Residents of the area strongly condemned the incident and the damage caused to public property by the forces. The media fraternity, editors, photographers, videographers and reporters also expressed serious concern over the troops’ action.
pakistan regrets G-4 rigidity on UnSC seats claim UNITED NATIONS ONlINE
Pakistan has expressed deep disappointment over the inflexibility shown on Thursday by the Group of Four (G-4) countries – India, Brazil, Germany and Japan – seeking permanent seats in the UN Security Council when the deadlocked negotiations to reform the 15-member body resumed. “Simple narration of known positions without flexibility, as done today by the G-4, flies in the face of objectivity and stultifies negotiations,” Ambassador Abdullah Hussain Haroon, the Pakistan permanent representative to the UN, told the eighth round of intergovernmental negotiations aimed at restructuring the Security Council to make it more effective, accountable and representative. The Pakistani envoy spoke after India’s UN Ambassador Hardeep Singh Puri read out a statement on behalf the G-4 reiterating its stand for expansion in both membership categories – permanent and non-permanent. While Pakistan and several other countries in the Uniting for Consensus (UfC) group strongly oppose adding more permanent members, they support an expansion in the non-permanent category, with longer tenure. The Security Council is currently composed of five permanent members – Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States, and 10 non-permanent members that are elected in groups of five to two-year terms on the council. Most countries have argued that the Security
Council’s structure does not represent the realities of today’s world. Five key issues under discussion at intergovernmental negotiations are the category of membership, the question of veto, regional representation, the size of an enlarged Council, and the Council’s working methods and its relationship with the General Assembly.
“Despite long deliberation, we remain far from being constructive and the format of the eighth round reflects shortage of ideas on how to take the reform process forward,” Ambassador Haroon said. “By picking a single issue of choice – ‘categories’ and also mentioning ‘working methods’ bythe-way, the principle of comprehensive negotiations on all the five issues, as enshrined in the General Assembly decision 62/557, has been breached,” he said in a sharply-worded speech. “This explains the recent deadlock in the intergovernmental negotiations,” Haroon pointed out. The G-4 countries have already circulated a draft resolution seeking Council’s expansion in both categories, and their Thursday’s statement claimed that it had the support of nearly 80 members. “Despite nearly a year-long intense campaign, the G-4 has not been able to muster significant support for its draft resolution,” the Pakistan ambassador said, adding, “This is not even a simple majority”. There are 193 members in the General Assembly and two-thirds majority is required for the passage of the resolution... This amounts to categorical rejection of the draft resolution. It is, therefore, time to move on. The process cannot remain hostage to individual desires and aspirations. “We cannot have a negotiation process, where one group seeks a vote on a single subset of issues. Seeking vote means abandoning negotiations. The idea of piecemeal reform, as propounded in the G-
4’s draft and the intergovernmental negotiation process are mutually exclusive,” Haroon said. “It is clear that by adopting a piecemeal approach, question of the ‘veto’ and the ‘size’ are being avoided,” he pointed out. “We have heard varying interpretations of this ambiguity, like surrendering the veto right or periodic review. The idea of permanent members without veto adds a third category of membership and contradicts the claim of balancing the Permanent-5 in the Security Council.” “Similarly, given the idea of limited expansion, adding four to six new permanent members will create imbalance between the elected and nonelected members, thereby impacting working methods and relationship of the Security Council with wider UN membership. It will enlarge the ‘club of the privileged’ who will have a vested interest in addressing most issues in the Security Council, further draining the oxygen out of the General Assembly, and enhancing the domination of the Security Council,” the Pakistani envoy said. “It ( the G-4 proposal) will increase divisions and tensions, not only within the United Nations, but within various regions, contradicting the objective of promoting peace and security. Lacking space for compromise, the G-4 proposal is zerosum in nature, with 4 winners and 184 losers (out of 193 members, minus India, Brazil, Germany and Japan plus give permanent members. “Therefore, it has neither garnered meaningful support nor allowed progress in the reform process. These important issues cannot be side-stepped”.
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Delay in Kashmir Highway construction poses threats to commuters PAGe 09
NA deputy secretary faces contempt of court notice ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT
ISlAMABAD: People wait for public transport at a bus stop. Owing to the three-day CNg load shedding in the capital, most of public vehicles remained unavailable. STAFF pHoTo
Drug money fuelling terror: Rehman g g
Interior minister urges world community to deal with menace collectively Senator Haji Adeel says Pakistan hit badly by terrorism ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT
NDORSING the findings of a joint report of Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) and (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime), Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Friday said illegal money earned through drugs and arms trafficking was being used by terrorists. Therefore, global cooperation was a must to curb organised trans-national crimes. He was speaking at the launching of the study launch on illegal economy of Pakistan “Examining the Dimensions, Scale and Dynamics of the Illegal Economy: A Study of Pakistan in the Region” at a local hotel. Senator Haji Adeel of ANP, UNODC Representative Jeremy Douglas, SDPI Director Programme Development Qasim Ali Shah and Dr Abid Qayyum Sulehri also spoke on the occasion. Rehman Malik spoke on different dimensions of organized crime, regional and global dimensions of their networks, funding and more importantly absence of international cooperation on these heinous crimes. He urged the Western countries to
help Pakistan to improve its law enforcement agencies through sharing of expertise, equipments and training. He also suggested forming an international body on investigating and taking actions against illicit money which is one of the primary sources of funding for terrorist organizations. He said evidences suggested that terrorist organisations used sophisticated methods to strengthen their networks and to swiftly mobilise resources across the globe generated through smuggling of drugs and illegal economy. He said Pakistan was a direct victim of global war on terror and its mainstream economy and social fabric had been destroyed. He called for the need of a united action on overflow of problems from Afghanistan. He lamented NATO and US had failed to stop cultivation of poppy in Afghanistan, adding that the money generated through the practice directly fuelled terrorism in the region and the globe, as it was widely used for weapons, trainings and other needs by terrorist organisations. He said Pakistan had also lodged complaints to NATO but they avoided action against poppy cultivation ostensibly due to their limited mandate. Malik lauded security institutions and
law enforcement agencies for their sacrifices and successes against crimes despite being short of modern equipments and training. Qasim Ali Shah, while sharing the findings of study, recommended mainstreaming of efforts to curb illegal economy into development agenda framework, capacity-building of law enforcement agencies, international cooperation, education to address demand-side aspects, and further research. He said illegal economy was a subset of the informal economy and its size and scale in Pakistan had not been investigated so far, adding that Pakistan’s informal economy was estimated at $34 billion whereas illegal economy had grown up to $1.2 to 1.5 billion. He said Pakistan’s location next to Afghanistan, the world’s largest producer of opiates, made it vulnerable to drug and precursors trafficking, adding that around 44 percent of the heroin produced in Afghanistan transited through Pakistan, whose destination value was estimated at approximately US$ 27 billion. Dr Abid said it was a shared responsibility of international community to collectively deal with this menace as no country or region cannot alone control this deep rooted. “The world has also to pay immedi-
ate attention to growing poverty and inequality, and ensure alternative sources of livelihoods to communities to stop the culture of illegal economy,” he added. Senator Haji Adeel said illegal economy and trade in FATA stemmed from the poor socio-economic conditions in FATA, adding that the locals had no other option of livelihood but to resort to illegal economy. He added militant outfits received money from Afghanistan and that the allied forces must take actions. He said Pakistan was dragged into War against terrorism and as long as this war continued, the illegal economy would also prosper. Jeremy Douglas noted that illegal economy was unfortunately a neglected area within the mainstream development discourse despite its impact on human security at various levels. He said the study had been conducted first time in Pakistan and its primary aim was to estimate the scale and size, understand its dynamics which was subsequently undermining the prosperity of states and citizens. He said value of global illegal economy in 2009 was estimated at US$1.3 trillion, which was growing now and thought to be 7 to 10 percent of global economy.
BISP signs MoU with Sindh government g
Programme to benefit 35,000 youths of the province ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT
THE Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) and the Sindh government have inked an agreement to launch the Waseelae-Haq Sindh Programme. BISP Secretary Sher Khan and Finance Special Secretary for Sindh, Sohail Rajput signed the agreement on behalf of the BISP and the Sindh government respectively. Under the agreement, the BISP would provide technical assistance to the Sindh gov-
ernment by providing it detailed information about the deserving youth of the province. It will also assist in designing and implementing the programme and training the beneficiaries. The Sindh Government will provide interest free financial assistance worth Rs 300,000 to each of the beneficiaries to initiate their own businesses. The scheme will be executed in cooperation with the Sindh Bank. BISP Chairperson Farzana Raja, while addressing a press conference after the signing ceremony, said the scheme was initiated on President Asif Ali Zardari’s
directions. It would provide financial assistance to people aged between 19 and 35 who had at least been educated till matriculation. She added that the beneficiaries would be trained to run and execute their business before being provided financial assistance. The chairperson said currently more than 6 million families or 4 crore individuals were benefiting from the BISP’s projects. She stated that the eligibility for Waseela-e-Haq was ascertained on the basis of the data collected through BISP’s nationwide poverty survey. She added that union council mem-
bers will be involved in the programme to benefit 35,000 young people. She said: “The BISP is a national asset and a comprehensive poverty alleviation programme. Philanthropists should come forward and support the cause.” Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah called Waseela-e-Haq a revolutionary step to curb unemployment and poverty in the province. He said 25 lakh families from Sindh had benefitted from BISP. He appreciated the BISP’s performance and said its transparency was acknowledged globally.
The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday issued contempt of court notice to the National Assembly deputy secretary for violating the orders, in which the court stayed the recruitment of section officers. Justice Azim Khan Afridi resumed the hearing of a petition filed by around 40 superintendents of the Lower House of the Parliament. On January 13, the IHC had restrained the recruitment of around 37 section officers, but the deputy secretary issued call letters. The petitioners in their petition submitted before the court that the authorities had advertised 37 vacant posts of section officers in national press which were traditionally promotional positions that could be filled through departmental promotion, adding that the process had been initiated to fill the vacancies directly. The direct appointments would deprive the existing staff of their right of promotion who were waiting for it for a long time, they said and prayed the court to declare the process of recruitment as illegal and to direct the authorities to promote the existing staff in accordance with the rules and regulations. Deputy Attorney General Mohammad Abid Raja appeared on behalf of the federation and said that the authorities could hire fresh eligible candidates for the posts of section officers. However, the IHC stayed the recruitment of section officers till the final decision, but deputy secretary did not comply with the court orders and issued call letters, due to which the IHC, while adjourning the case, issued contempt of court notices to him.
‘CdA asked to adopt result-oriented approach’ ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT
The Prime Minister’s Task Force on Islamabad has asked the Capital Development Authority (CDA) to adopt result-oriented approach for resolving the chronic issues regarding development and provision of quality civic amenities to the residents and sought a timeline on the issued. In a meeting with CDA Chairman Engineer Farkhand Iqbal, board members and senior officers on Friday, the task force headed by Faisal Sakhi Butt assured its full support to achieve the targets given by the prime minister for welfare of the people and development of federal capital as a modern metropolitan. Members of the task force Nargis Faiz Malik and Asad Mumtaz Khan were also present in the meeting. Faisal But said the development of the stalled sectors was a chronic issue with multi-dimensional implications not only for future development of Islamabad but for CDA in the light of the grooming competition among real estate developers in and around Islamabad. “The plight and miseries of the affectees and those of the allotees of the stalled sectors must end now, as it is their third generation waiting for the compensation on account of the land acquisition and the dream houses,” he noted. He directed that development of the stalled and new sectors including D-13, E-13 F-13, I-17 and diffident C Series must be initiated with out any further delay and schedule of the development be announced. Butt said the charismatic beauty of the nullahs and ravines flowing through Islamabad was once the hallmark of the federal capital, but these ravines had been badly polluted with the passage of time. The task force chairman said the mushroom growth of encroachments in the markets was painting an ugly picture of the city, adding that coordinated efforts should be made for removal of the encroachment in collaboration with traders and market associations.
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Delay in Kashmir Highway
14 °C High
construction poses threats to commuters
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Deep holes have been dug along the main highway, but no warning signs have been erected to warn motorits of potential risks
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HE Capital Development Authority (CDA) chairman seems least interested in ensuring the timely completion of the Kashmir Highway project, which has almost come to a halt due to non provision of funds by the authority, Pakistan Today learnt. The delay in construction of the Kashmir Highway has also been posing threats to the lives of those people who routinely travel on the under-construction Kashmir Highway. According to sources, CDA has discontinued the funds for the construction project so the contractors have also slowed down the pace of the work. According to official CDA sources, less than half of the Kashmir Highway construction work has been done so far due to the lack of funds. Moreover, the developers have also been reluctant in continuing the work, causing delay in the mega project and nuisance to the commuters. “Last week I was going to my home in Taxila when suddenly my cab went into a ditch on Kashmir highway, after which I lost control of my ve-
hicle, which further hit a rock lying on the edge of the highway, resulting in great damage to my taxi,” said Ghulam Mahmood, a taxi driver. He said that his taxi was at the workshop and he had been unable to earn a livelihood for some days now , however what disturbed Mahmood the most was who was responsible for his loss. Like the taxi driver, Ghulam Mahmood, there are many others who have been involved in similar incidents on the under-construction road, where many people have been injured and their vehicles damaged. However, the CDA has not taken any steps for the safety of the commuters and seems least bothered in expediting the construction work also. Therefore, the civic body’s negligence has been a cause of trouble to many commuters. On Thursday night, another car faced a similar situation when the driver lost control of the vehicle and it hit a rock when passing by a CNG station on the highway. The police and emergency vehicles rushed to the spot. Fortunately, the driver’s life was safe, however the car was completely damaged. Deep holes have been dug on the Kashmir Highway as part of the construction process, however the management has not placed any
warning signs around such places, posing great risk to the commuters’ lives. The Rs 3 billion dual carriageway project, under which the road will have five lanes on either side from Golra Mor to Peshawar Mor, is being constructed under the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP). The Kashmir Highway is being widened mainly to provide fast access to the new airport being established in Fateh Jang, around 30 kilometres from the capital. Nevertheless, the negligence of some concerned officials of the authority has created a number of hurdles in the timely completion of the project. The officials of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and the CDA have dubbed the highway project the “future lifeline” of Islamabad as it will provide new links between the capital and the new airport and the Lahore and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa motorways. A wholesale market has also been proposed in Sangjani, near the new airport, for trade activities in the northern region and Punjab. Under the plan, an interchange will be constructed at the Kashmir Highway – GT Road junction to divert traffic from the Kashmir Highway to the motorway and GT Road.
COlleGeS / UNIVeRSItIeS INteRNAtIONAl ISlAMIC UNIVeRSIty 9260765 bAHRIA UNIVeRSIty 9260002 NUMl 9257677 QUAId-e-AzAM UNIVeRSIty 90642098 ARId AGRICUltURe UNIVeRSIty 9290151 FJwU 9273235 RIPHA INteRNAtIONAl UNIVeRSIty 111510510 NCA RAwAlPINdI 5770423 PUNJAb lAw COlleGe 4421347
dAte: JAN 26 — 29, 2012 VeNUe: NUSt, H12 OPPOSIte tO POlICe lINe
dAte: JAN 18 — 28, 2012 VeNUe: JHAROKA ARt GAlleRy
After two highly successful Intra-NUSt episodes, NUSt now invites you to its first ever All Pakistan event- NUMUN 2012. this January, we'd like to welcome you here at H-12 and change all that you know about this place for the better.
Our legacy - the history of Mughal empire water Color Paintings by MUHAMMAd SHAFIQ Mr. tAQI SAdeGHI, Cultural Council, Islamic Republic of Iran will inaugurate the exhibiti ...
dAte: JAN 23 — 29, 2012 VeNUe: teHzeeb eXHIbItING CHARCOAl, PeNCIl ANd ACRylIC ARt dONe FOR tHe VeRy FIRSt tIMe
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ANP observes bacha Khan’s death anniversary RAWALPINDI ARSHAD AlI
The Rawalpindi and Islamabad chapters of the Awami National Party (ANP) observed the death anniversaries, on Friday, of their leader Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, popularly known as Bacha Khan and his son Khan Abdul Wali Khan. The party members aimed to continue fighting for the survival of the Pukhtun nation. The ANP members, led by the party’s central leaders, including Railways Minister Haji Ghulam Ahmad Bilour, Senator Haji Adeel and MNA Bushra Gohar, gathered at the Rawalpindi Press Club. The party leaders paid rich tribute to the struggle of their veteran leaders and said they ruled the hearts and minds of many people. They stated that as Bacha Khan’s supporters, their party would fight violence with nonviolence. Senator Bilour said his party had sacrificed hundreds of its workers for peace for Pukhtun land and will continue to do so in the future. He also paid tribute to Bacha Khan and Wali Khan and said both the leaders were remembered throughout the world. The senator added: “Identification for Pukhtun land, control over its resources and the Kalabagh dam issue were the main objectives of his party which have been achieved during the present rule.” Senator Adeel said Bacha Khan and Wali Khan played a pivotal role in guiding Pakhtuns in their fight for independence from the British Raj. He said that both the leaders also struggled for democracy in Pakistan and suffered due to their beliefs. Senator Gohar said the ANP had always backed democracy and struggled against the un-constitutional forces: “Both the leaders stood firm for the rights of all the people and raised their voices against militancy and religious extremism,” she added. ANP Punjab chapter president Arif Azhar, ANP Islamabad chapter president Riaz Bangash, ANP Rawalpindi chapter president Jehangir Khan, Gul Nasir and other party leaders and workers attended the meeting in large numbers.
IIUI to spread Seerah message during Rabi-ul-Awwal ISLAMABAD
HE Da’wah Academy of the International Islamic University, Islamabad (IIUI) decided on Friday to dedicate the entire month of Rabi-al-Awwal to creating awareness among people about the message of the Seerat-un-Nabi (PBUH). IIUI Vice President Professor Dr Sajidur-Rehman called a meeting of the heads of the various sections of the Da’wah Academy and formed committees. These committees will organise different programmes to highlight the various aspects of the Seerat-unNabi. Dr Sajid-ur-Rehman said that creating awareness regarding the Seerat-
un-Nabi in educational institutions was a tradition of the Da’wah Academy, adding that the message of Seerat must be a hallmark of all the activities of Muslims. The Da’wah academy has chalked out a comprehensive programme to commemorate the Rabi-ul-Awwal, the birth month of the Holy Prophet in a befitting manner, he added. He said that the academy shall hold a series of lectures, Mahafil-e-Husn-e-Qira’t, Hamd-o-Na’at and a book fair, both at the Faisal Mosque and the New Campus of the university. All Friday khutbas at the Faisal Mosque in this month would be dedicated to Seerah message, Dr Sajid said. Meanwhile, the fifth Shariah Orientation Course for the lawyers of Chatral District Bar concluded on Friday at the Shariah Academy,
IIUI. Shariah Academy Director General Prof Dr Tahir Mansoori presided over the concluding ceremony. The university faculty members, officers and twenty seven practicing lawyers from Chitral District Bar Court and Booni and Drosh Tehsil Bar Courts participated in the course. GERMAN NATIONAL ARRESTED: Islamabad Police arrested a German national from Sector G/7 of federal capital after receiving information that he was residing illegally in Pakistan. On Friday, Aabpara police produced Baham before Judicial Magistrate Kashif Qayyum Sheikh after which the court sent him on judicial remand. Police submitted before the court that the foreigner was residing in Pakistan even after the expiration of his visa due to
which they took action against him. MALIK RESCUES MOTORCYCLIST: Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Friday took serious notice of an accident outside the Pak secretariat, in which a speedy vehicle hit a motorcyclist, and ordered police to take strict action against the accused car driver. According to the sources, the squad of interior minister was passing through Pak Secretariat where a motorcyclist was lying injured after a speedy vehicle hit him. Malik stopped his car and rescued the injured motorcyclist and sent him to hospital immediately for treatment through a joint secretary of his ministry. “The minister also apprehended the driver of the said car and handed over to police and ordered to take action against him,” the source added.
‘youngsters are future of Pakistan’ ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT
“Allah has endowed us immense qualities and great potential to strive for knowledge and skills. The young generation is the future of Pakistan and we could not achieve the target of national progress and prosperity without providing sufficient opportunities to the youngsters to come forward and explore their talents in different fields.” This was stated by Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Nazir Ahmed Sangi at the concluding ceremony of four-day Science Exhibition, which was arranged by AIOU in collaboration with Intel-Pakistan. Almost 250 youngsters from different public and private sector educational institutions across the country participated in the event. Different items prepared by the students in the field of Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics and Computer Science were exhibited. During exhibition, the AIOU had arranged boarding and lodging for the participants. Dr Sangi said that he had set up a committee comprising three members (Dr Naumana Rashid and Dr Syed Zafar Ilyas under the supervision of Prof Faculty of Science Dean Dr Nowshad Khan), which selected ten topics in the field of Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Agriculture for the students of different public and private sector educational institutions on which the Allama Iqbal Open University would arrange a Summer Camp. About thirty students would participate in the event designed for research work, he added. During the camp, services of the faculty of Science academicians and laboratories with equipment and chemicals would be provided to the students for research work in free of cost, he said , adding that the university would arrange boarding and lodging facilities for the students.
ISlAMABAD: Human rights activist J Salik addresses a press conference at a local hotel. STAFF pHoTo
Roots olympiad 2012 draws participants from across the country ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT
The Roots School System National Olympiad 2012 kicked-off at Roots College International Millennium
Campus on Friday. The four day mega event saw more than 1000 participants from across Pakistan taking part in 20 exciting competitions. The competitions offered the participants the opportunity
to interact with their peers in a funfilled, competitive environment as from the artist to the chess whiz, from the actor to the geek, from the musician to the orator; the Olympiad 2012 had something for everyone. The competitions included battle of the bands, chess, click flick, mind quest, debates, creative writing competitions and much more. The Argentinian Ambassador, Rodolfo J. Martin, the chief guest at the opening ceremony, appreciated the efforts of the school’s management and faculty and said it was a driving force for the institution’s success and was nurturing Pakistan’s future. He also praised the vision of Chaudhry Faisal Mushtaq, who he considered the idea sponsor of the initiative. The event organisers said the Olympiad gave students the chance to show off their talents, to interact with renowned celebrities and enjoy the social events. They added that this year’s Olympiad featured professionals regarded best in their respective fields. Concerts, stage performances and a myriad of other exciting extravaganzas were planned for the three days of the event.
Pakistan, US celebrate decade of police partnership ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT
The US and Pakistani law enforcement officials celebrated 10 years of partnership and cooperation on Friday with the inauguration of a new classroom at the Islamabad Police Lines. “More than 15,000 Pakistani law enforcement officers have been trained as part of the US Department of Justice International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program (ICITAP) in the past decade,” said an American embassy’s press release. ICITAP Director R. Carr Trevillian travelled to Pakistan to meet senior Pakistani police officials and to review the ongoing assistance programmes. Trevillian toured the National Police Academy, Islamabad Capitol Territory Police Office, Islamabad Police Lines, Islamabad Traffic Police, and the National Forensics Science Agency where he met with the officials concerned. ICITAP has a worldwide mission to work with foreign governments to develop professional and transparent law enforcement institutions that protect human rights, combat corruption, and reduce the threat of transnational crime and terrorism. ICITAP is situated in the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division and is funded primarily by the Department of State.
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RAC holds music competition RAWALPINDI STAFF REPORT
A music competition was among the students of music class of Rawalpindi Arts Council (RAC) on Friday with an aim to promote the art in the country. Rawalpindi Arts Council (RAC) Resident Director Waqar Ahmed was the chief guest on the occasion, while a large number of students participated in the competition. According to judges’ decision, Musarrat Jabeen succeeded in securing first position while Muhammad Bilal stood second with third slot obtained by Muhammad Rizwan. Waqar Ahmed distributed shields among the winners. Speaking on the occasion, he said the RAC would organise grand music competition among the young singers very soon, adding that the council was utilising all the available sources to unearth the talent. “RAC is paying special attention in the field of fine arts, music, literature and drama,” Waqar Ahmed said. He added that the services of music instructor Ishaq Saqi would be remembered forever in the field of music. At the end, a team from Jhang presented cultural traditional folk dance and the old students from music class also gave wonderful performance on the occasion.
COMSAtS awards degrees to students ISlAMABAD: Activists of PTI protest against drone attacks at Aabpara. STAFF pHoTo
Pakistani media is a source of confusion: Anwar Sun Rai ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Academy of Letters (PAL) invited prominent short story writer, novelist, poet and journalist Anwar Sun Rai as the chief guest in the programme “Writer in Town” on Friday. Speaking at the occasion, Anwar said that Pakistani media was a source of confusion among the people as it was confused itself. However, the international media was in a position to influence people’s minds and mould their opinion, he added. He said that the western media was as biased as the media in many of the developing countries. Discussing the trends in literature with the writers of the twin cities, he said that the Latin America holds the honour to produce best literature in the world in the modern time. However, India was also among the countries, which have major contribution in forming the world literary scene. Anwar Sun Rai also shared his literary career with the audience and presented his story to them as well. PAL Director and writer Muhammad Asim Butt, while opening the ceremony, briefed the audience about the literary achievements of Anwar Sun Rai, adding that he was a very competent journalist with a career in journalism of 35 years. Anwar Sun Rai’s novel “Cheekh”, which appeared in 1980’s, earned him a prominent place in the Urdu literary scenario. Other writers, including Ali Muhammad Farshi, Muhammad Hameed Shahid, Fareeda Hafeez, Jalil Aali, Dr Arshad Waheed, Dr Salah-ud-Din Darvaish, Idrees Babar and Ravish Nadeem, also expressed their appreciation of Anwar Sun Rai’s work. STAFF REPORT
Award winner movie ‘Scent of a Woman’ screened at SAFMA ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT
EATURING a triumphant performance from the king of braggadocio, Al Pacino, Martin Brest’s comedy-inflected movie ‘Scent of a Woman’ is a minor masterpiece of cinematic storytelling screened at the South Asian Free Media Association (SAFMA) office here on Friday. ‘Scent of a Woman’ is an Academy Award winner 2.36 hours’ movie, directed by Martin Brest, starring Al Pacino and Chris O’Donnell. The film is about Charles Simms (Chris O’Donnell), a Boston prep school senior, and the thanksgiving weekend he spends working as the aide and companion of Lt-Colonel Frank Slade (Al Pacino), an embittered, lonely, blind veteran. The job, which begins as an onerous task performed principally for money, becomes a tour of self-discovery when Slade decides to make an unexpected visit to New York City. There, amidst all the holiday hoopla, the lieutenant’s actions force Charlie into making an emotionally painful and potentially, physically dangerous decision. There are certain actors that, when they appear in a film, are almost invariably indicators that the produc-
tion is of high quality. They are an elite few, with names like Nicholson, Hoffman, Hackman and Pacino. Considering some of the roles that Al Pacino has played during his celebrated career (in The Godfather trilogy, for example), it would be hyperbole to say that he gives the ‘performance of a lifetime’ in ‘Scent of a Woman’ or would it? For two hours, he brings Frank Slade to life in a way that few others in Hollywood could. As portrayed by Pacino, there is far more to this man that a rancorous outlook on life and a couple of hearty hoohas. Chris O’Donnell, a fresh-but-notunknown face, is solid, if somewhat obscured in the more experienced man’s shadow. Although the role of Charlie is understated by O’Donnell, he nevertheless manages to fashion a rapport with the audience. This is necessary for the film to succeed, since it’s through his eyes that the story unfolds. In essence, ‘Scent of a Woman’ is another in a never-ending series of bonding pictures where each person has something unique to offer to the other. If there’s anything special about the film, it’s that on this occasion, the emotional realism of the characters, especially Slade, is heart wrenchingly believable. His relation-
ship with Charlie works because Pacino won’t let it fail. There are numerous dynamic scenes in ‘Scent of a Woman’, along with a surprising amount of comedy. Director/Producer Martin Brest knows how to blend humour with a drama to good effect. His mix is nearly flawless, and he manages to do almost (and I emphasise almost) the entire film without resorting to manipulative tricks. Pacino’s tango scene with Gabrielle Anwar is one such magical moment –unfettered, unforced, and highly enjoyable. Unfortunately, considering how sound the bulk of the picture is, the final moments, with their overt pandering to a Hollywood-style ending, are a severe liability. Certainly, such triumphs are fun to watch, but they cheapen ‘Scent of a Woman’. Would it have cost the production team that much to inject a little realism into the film’s last reel? The movie is as long as its storyline demands. It doesn’t seem like two and one-half hours and less time with these characters would have cheated the audience. Aided by an emotive score from Thomas Newman, the picture has opportunities to soar. Hampered by the script’s limitations, ‘Scent of a Woman’ however, falls short of being a masterful production.
ISLAMABAD KASHIF ABBASI
Over 1,200 graduates and post-graduates of COMSATS Institute of Information Technology (CIIT) were conferred degrees in different disciplines on Thursday. The CIIT held its 39th and 40th convocation at Convocation Centre and awarded degrees to the 1,241 graduates and postgraduate students in two different ceremonies, which were attended by a large number of students and their parents. Federal Minister for Science and Technology Mir Changez Khan Jamali (also the chancellor of CIIT) awarded degrees and medals to successful students in the presence of faculty members and parents. Speaking on the occasion, the minister said the CIIT, while recognising its duties, was committed to provide the best opportunities for learning and personal development within a caring and supportive environment. The chancellor’s, campus and patron medals were awarded to the position holding students from different campuses of the CIIT. The students bagged campus and chancellor’s gold medals with 3.75 CGPA, while the patron medal was given to Bushra Qadir and Maria Mukhtar Dar with 4 CGPA.
Army Medical College holds 29th undergraduates’ convocation RAWALPINDI STAFF REPORT
The 29 Undergraduate Convocation of the Rawalpindi Army Medical College was held on Friday. Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman awarded degrees to 175 graduates of 30th MBBS and 9th BDS Courses. While congratulating the graduates, Suleman said the tireless efforts of the teachers in the undergraduate and postgraduate training programmes and in research were commendable and he was confident that the faculty would continue grooming young minds into well-rounded human beings and doctors par excellence. He also rendered sincere tribute to the Army Medical College.
The medical college is an elite medical institute of the country and has on board qualified and experienced teachers for all subjects. Affiliated with the Quaide-Azam University, the college was established in 1977 and was recognised by the UK General Medical Council in 1982. The fellowship programme commenced in 1996 and it became a constituent college of the National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST) in 1998. The BDS Course, M.Phil and PhD programmes were started in 1998 and 2001 respectively. Every year nearly 200 medical and dental cadets graduate from the college. Students achieving distinction are awarded medals and certificates in the convocation ceremony.
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Editor’s mail 11
US and the Iran bogeyman This is with reference to European Union’s decision to impose sanctions on Iranian oil. This after the American President had already barred foreign firms from dealing with Central Bank of Iran (31 Dec) as part of American sanctions on Iranian oil. If Iran earns 80% of its revenue from oil exports then why can’t it develop nuclear energy to release more oil for export and earn more revenue? What proof does the US have about Iranian plans of diverting nuclear energy towards creation of nuclear weapons? The world learnt that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq; yet the US spent $800 billion and lost 4500 American soldiers’ lives for a war fought on a fallacious premise.
Is imposing sanctions on Iran a costly mistake that the US will commit? Iran can survive US and EU sanctions and still achieve in two years time what the US and Israel dread most: ‘a nuclear weapon’. It can do this by continuing to export oil to China and India - both being huge markets and both having their own fixed positions about the imposition of sanctions on Iran. India does not want to become part of any sanctions that are not UN-sponsored and China needs cheap oil for its energy requirements. The only way the US can force the two countries to toe its line is to deny them access to US markets for exports. But the US would not want to lose its access to the huge markets of these coun-
Swiss cases tries either which could happen as a result of the aforementioned measure. Chances are that Iran will continue to remain defiant and survive US sanctions and may even escalate its process of achieving nuclear capability specifically in response to imperialist US aggression. Where does this leave Iran and regional security? Will the US and Israel consider carrying out military strikes on Iranian nuclear installations? ‘If the ability of enemy to harm you is related to your ability to defend yourself’ then Iran has shown the world with its military preparedness that it will not submit/capitulate in face of a US-Israel combined military effort as easily as Iraq did. Besides military preparedness, Hizbullah in Lebanon and Hamas in
Gaza (both under Iranian influence) can pose a substantial threat to Israel. Iran also has insurgent groups in Afghanistan that can hurt American interests in that country. Considering that one fifth of all oil tankers involved in world trade pass through the Strait of Hormuz, the security of supply route more than the effect of sanctions on Iran may become a matter of concern in the coming days. This being an election year both in Iran and the US, any misadventure by either side to gain public approval may plunge the region yet again into an unwanted conflict. Something that this region and the world can ill afford. LT COL(R)MUHAMMAD ALI EHSAN Karachi
PIA commended This is with reference to the news item that appeared in your esteemed paper (25 Jan) that Saudi Arabian government has given certificate of appreciation to our national carrier during its Hajj operation 2011. This is a matter of pride for the nation. As we all know, the Saudi Arabian government is very strict in enforcing proper discipline during Hajj season and heavy fines are imposed on airlines for violating rules at the airport. In this backdrop, the appreciation by the Saudi government should be taken as a gift to the nation. This single factor should help PIA management to tie its loose ends at home also. This certificate has nothing to do with delays and cancellation of flights during Hajj season as it is a regular feature with all the airlines due to poor handling by Hajj operators that ultimately cause delays etc. Under ICAO and CAA rules, no aircraft can take off unless it is 100 percent operational as airlines cannot compromise on safety of aircraft and security of passengers. Let us congratulate the management of our national flag carrier being highly commended for its Hajj operations in 2011. It is hoped that PIA shall make all endeavours to come up to the expectations of the people who own this airline. Instead of being complacent, PIA should speed up the process of the induction of new aircrafts into its fleet. Six million Pakistani's living abroad still prefer their own airline and this is a point that the PIA should capitalise on and PIA should come up to their expectations. Irrespective of the recent criticism on our national airline, these remarks by the Saudi government (appreciating regularity, arrangements, flight information and passengers handling) may be taken as a sign that the state of affairs in the airline is improving. LT COL (R) MUKHTAR AHMED BUTT Karachi
Confused opposition I’m confused at the role the opposition, especially the PML(N), is playing. They do not miss even a single opportunity to ridicule the government and their wish is to force the PPP government to announce early elections as they have no other options left to derail the government. I request other readers as well to offer their comments and convey to the opposition as to why they don't realise that the PPP is the largest party and what the opposition is doing today, it will come back to them like homing pigeons and they will not be able to face the PPP in opposition even for a few days. It is humbly requested that for God’s sake show some maturity and tolerance; otherwise, no government will be able to complete even one year of their rule from the next elections. SAMI ULLAH KHAN Rawalpindi
Fixers abound ‘Match-fixing’ is a phenomenon not just restricted to the game of cricket. In all economic deals in Pakistan, are not things matched before the bounties are fixated? As far as Pakistan is concerned, cricket has recovered what it lost without any mentionable difficulties but the economy has gone deep down an abyss. Z A KAZMI Karachi
It is a blemish on our judicial system that we are not able to prosecute powerful and influential but accused people. The Supreme Court verdicts are flouted and dishonoured in the form of noncompliance. A letter has got to be written for opening the Swiss cases. This matter has been overly sensitised and made controversial. The executive is adamant not to implement the verdict. It is a simple matter of honest and decent conduct. This is yet another example of federal government’s attitude. How can we eliminate and eradicate corruption from our society, if we cannot open the Swiss cases pertaining to corruption and money laundering by the head of the state? NAB has also failed to prosecute scandalous cases involving corruption of millions of rupees by government officials. We need to appoint a neutral and honest chairman. The government should expedite this matter. JAVAID BASHIR Lahore
Petition taken up
At the beginning of the 20th century, all Muslim countries were under colonial rule. By the middle of the century, almost all were free. By the end of the century, the first wave of radical Muslim forces emerged, giving rise to militants, such as the Taliban in Afghanistan, and al-Qaeda and allied organisations everywhere else. The beginning of this century saw the second wave of Muslim forces that are moderate and liberal, especially in Turkey, Malaysia, and now in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. It was a natural consequence because Islam is in our hearts,
not in our arms. The Arab Spring was actually the beginning of the second wave in a peaceful and democratic manner. The third wave will see the acceptance of Islamic teachings in all spheres of life, replacing the Western concept of the separation of religion and politics. An article Why Islamism is winning by John M Owen in The New York Times notes that “the Arab Spring is producing flowers of a decidedly Islamist hue.” It adds, “Today, rural and urban Arabs with widely varying cultures and histories are showing that they share more than a deep frustration with despots and a demand for dignity. Most, whether moderate or radical, or living in a monarchy or a republic, share a common inherited language of dissent: Islamism.” MUHAMMAD ABDUL HAMEED Lahore
Retired Air Marshal Asghar Khan, now aged 91, shall feel pleased that his 15-years old petition is going to be heard by Pakistan’ Supreme Court in his life time. However, he shall not be much optimistic about its outcome. Asghar Khan’ petition, filed in 1996, asks the court to look into the allegation that in 1990 an intelligence agency (read ISI) distributed millions of rupees (read tax payers’ money) among religious and right-wing politicians, including Nawaz Sharif, to cobble an alliance against Pakistan People’s Party (PPP). Though today most of the recipients deny receiving of sacks or briefcases of cash, however, the then army chief and DG ISI never denied this act. Instead, they justified it in the name of ‘national interest’ and said it was done as per the instructions of President Ghulam Ishaq Khan. This petition covers two important groups – politicians who play into the hands of intelligence agencies for petty benefits, and the agencies themselves who play the role of kingmakers in the name of ‘national interest’. It’s a Pandora’s Box which is going to be opened. Will they go for real facts to be tabled and the culprits, whether in khaki or civilian dress, to be punished? I have doubts about the petition’s outcome. We have witnessed courts’ open inclination towards the military and right-wing parties’ view point. They may run the case for some time in a try to reverse this impression. But nothing will come out of petition’ hearings, things will be buried under the doctrine of ‘national interest’. It’s the same national interest and ghairat which allows Americans to operate on Pakistani soil to catch Aimal Kansi and Ramzi Yousaf but gets injured when marines take away Bin Laden’s dead body. Morover, in our hapless republic, conspiracies such as Memogate are hatched wherein a serving DG ISI sides with a shady character –Mansoor Ijaz who has spent all his life writing against the Pakistan army and ISI. In short, Asghar Khan shall limit himself to the fact that at least his petition has been set for hearing, but nothing else. MASOOD KHAN Saudi Arabia
years that PIA rose from a fledgling airline to one of the topmost national airlines of the world, recognised internationally for overall excellence of performance and service. PIA’s many achievements under Nur Khan’s dynamic and farsighted leadership included the following: In 1961, PIA initiated its first TransAtlantic operation, with the initiation of flights from Karachi to New York. In 1962, a PIA flight recorded the fastest travel time between London and Karachi, a record that remains unbroken to this day. In 1964, PIA became the first noncommunist national flag carrier to operate flights to China. Similarly, under Nur Khan’s administration, PIA became the first Asian airline to introduce jet aircraft into operation, inducting Boeing 720Bs
into its fast-growing fleet. Owing to these enterprising innovations, and because of a transparent and efficient administration under Nur Khan, PIA enjoyed tremendous commercial success as a profit-making corporation during those pioneering years. It was under Nur Khan’s leadership that PIA acquired new aircrafts like Fokker F-27s, Boeing 720Bs, and Sikorsky helicopters, which operated with great success in East Pakistan, servicing 70,000 passengers in their first year of operation. In 1973, Nur Khan was again asked by the government of Pakistan to head PIA. During his second term as well, Nur Khan succeeded in operating the airline on a commercially viable basis, and it was during this term that PIA acquired the wide body DC-10s and Boeing 747s.
As this brief synopsis of Air Marshall Nur Khan’s services to PIA amply demonstrates, as a highly motivated, committed, and dedicated administrator, Nur Khan was able to raise a young airline to a stature where it merited comparisons with the world’s top airlines. Under Nur Khan’s spotless leadership, PIA functioned as a de-politicised, responsible, and commercially viable corporation, showcasing professionalism and commercial success due to his singular vision and exemplary zeal and commitment. In these days and times, when PIA is battling with many potential difficulties, it is heartening to look back at that successful chapter in its history, and to take inspiration from it. YASMIN HAROON Incharge PR, PIA, Lahore
Dealing with the backlash Pakistan’s society and economy has been badly affected by terrorism. During the past three years, more than 3,000 incidents have taken place across the country and the economy has suffered $68bn since 2010. The so-called war on terror is the main cause of terrorism in the country. Our past rulers have made faulty policies in this regard without estimating the extent of the losses they would lead to. Since the military offensive against the militants has not yielded any significant result but has led to a severe backlash of acts of terrorism, it is time we considered the option of talking
Power corrupts? If there is even an iota of truth in the allegations levelled against Mian Khurram Rasool and the meeting which took place in the PM House, where none other than the elected chief executive of the country was present, it reflects the intellectual and moral deprivation that dominates the so called elite of this country. This act befits a common crook or thug. Defrauding Rs 630 Million with the aid of not just an elected public office holder but also a bank owned by none other than the welfare trust of our khakis is despicable. Has power blinded our ruling elites, be they civil or military, and greed has overridden their sense of propriety or honour and shame. God Almighty help us if this is the state of affairs in this country, where criminals, thugs and crooks
to the militants. Pakistan is a developing country and can’t afford such losses, whether they be the direct military costs of military operation or the indirect economic costs of the fallout of said operations. The rulers should get rid of imperialist American policies which are detrimental to our national interest and devise policies that are based on the ground realities rather than on the foreign policy imperatives of a superpower. TARIQ HUSSAIN KHAN Karachi
have access to the highest echelons of power. GULL ZAMAN Peshawar
Remembering Nur Khan I am writing this letter in response to letters on Air Marshall Nur Khan in these columns. Air Marshall Nur Khan’s role as Managing Director Pakistan International Airlines is testament to his dynamic personality and meritorious contributions to the national flag carrier in its early formative years. In Nur Khan’s passing, the nation has lost a remarkable and distinguished son of the soil, and among his many stellar achievements for the nation, his contribution to establishing PIA as one of the world’s leading airlines in the 1960s needs to be fully celebrated and recognised. Air Marshall Nur Khan assumed the position of Managing Director of PIA in 1959, and served the organisation with exemplary dedication and professionalism until 1964. It was during those six
Send your letters to: Letters to Editor, Pakistan Today, 4-Shaarey Fatima Jinnah, Lahore, Pakistan. Fax: +92-42-36298302. E-mail: email@example.com. Letters should be addressed to Pakistan Today exclusively.
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12 Comment brave fronts Shaky innards
e was minding the store; the prime minister was, at Davos, doing what heads of government are supposed to do during visits abroad: put up a good show. He exuded confidence in his interview with the BBC there and gave the all-is-well spiel that was his duty to give. All is not well, however, and no one should fault the premier for pretending otherwise at an international forum. "The people, the army and the judiciary are with the government," he said in the interview. Even the most casual of Pakistani observers abroad will testify to the fact that the judiciary is clearly not on the same page with the government. Adventurous judicial activism from the courts and a sluggishness bordering on defiance from the government define the dysfunctional relationship between the two institutions ever since the judiciary deposed by former president Musharraf was restored. With the military, there is an institutional battle of a different sort but one that is based, again, on the whole issue of limits and mandate. The present government all but gave certain key areas to the purview of the military. These included the operational aspects of the war on terror, the foreign policy and, as usual, the quantum of defence spending. All this was augmented strategically by service extensions to certain key officials in the military. That, apparently, wasn't enough. The pound of flesh isn't what it used to be; an exasperated prime minister made some statements, first to a Chinese daily and then in parliament, only retracting them when the other "guy" blinked a bit. But the fences are far from mended, the tension between Islamabad and Pindi still palpable. Last come the people, the category that finds many champions. Though the military can swear it will protect them, the judiciary that it has only their best interests in mind, it is the parliament and parliament alone that can speak on their behalf. What parliament says is what the people say. But now, towards the end of the tenure, the assumption the people are with parliament and, hence, the government, has only legal validity, not factual veracity. Respect for this legal validity is a cause worth dying for, yes, but it would do the government a whole lot of good to see what its performance or lack thereof has done to the trust that the people would repose in them during its tenure. It is this piece of the jigsaw, the most difficult one to find, that will ensure that all actually is well, regardless of the tribulations on the other two fronts.
Preparations for polls too important a matter for dawdling
s the government enters the fag end of its tenure, it has to ensure that the elections are seen to be fair for this alone can ensure an orderly transition of power. There is a need to start talks with the opposition on a neutral interim setup and the appointment of a new chief election commissioner. As things stand, the government has yet to tackle the issues. The choice of a new CEC is the most urgent matter as the incumbent official is set to retire on March 16. Since the office of the CEC is a constitutional post, it cannot remain vacant. In case of a vacancy, an acting chief election commissioner – a serving judge of the Supreme Court – is appointed by the chief justice for a temporary period. Ch Nisar has warned the government that unless the process for setting up a parliamentary committee for the appointment of the CEC is immediately started, his party would not support the 20th amendment bill which has to be passed before February 6 to avoid the disqualification of 29 parliamentarians elected under an incomplete Election Commission. With the relations between the government and PML(N) continuing to worsen, the agreement on a new CEC has become a highly tricky matter. After the 18th amendment, the PM and the leader of the opposition have to agree on three names and send the joint list to a parliamentary committee having equal representation from the government and opposition. In case, the leaders of the house and opposition fail to agree on three names, they have to send their respective lists to the committee. The committee would then choose the person it considers suitable for the post. Differences inside the committee could eventually lead to horse trading and generate bad blood. Opposition parties have been pressing the government to make the EC a truly independent body and the appointment of a CEC widely seen to be neutral is the first step in the direction. There is a likelihood of the entire opposition including Imran Khan getting united in case they witness a foul play. The country cannot afford political turmoil, including strikes and marches. There is a need for the government to start the process for the creation of the parliamentary committee and seek inputs from all stakeholders to agree on a name acceptable to all.
Dedicated to the legacy of the late Hameed Nizami
Arif Nizami Editor
Lahore – Ph: 042-36298305-10 Fax: 042-36298302 Karachi – Ph: 021-34330811-3 Fax: 021-34330900 Islamabad – Ph: 051-2287414-6 Fax: 051-2287417 Web: www.pakistantoday.com.pk Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, 28 January, 2012
Method in the madness? The mess that is civil-military relations
By Arif Nizami
he prime minister of late has developed a penchant for first making statements critical of the military establishment and subsequently backtracking. Is it pure humbug or is there a method in this madness? If seen in proper context, this brinkmanship by Gilani epitomises the tenuous nature of civil-military relations in the Islamic Republic. Nonetheless, this carefully crafted strategy is good politics. The prime minister retracting his earlier statement that the COAS’ and the DG ISI’s replies on the memo case were unconstitutional has clarified that the statement was given under “certain circumstances”. What exactly were the special circumstances that forced Gilani to do the unthinkable i.e. baiting the military hierarchy? Apparently, the situation has exponentially changed in the past week or so. Back-channel diplomacy between the military and civilian leadership conducted by certain important players has cleared the air. Albeit the army is unhappy over the Memogate issue, it has become clearer now that it is not about to, or perhaps is not able to, boot out the PPP-led coalition. An equally if not more pressing issue at hand is the continuing stalemate with the US over NATO air strikes. Gilani, on the eve of his departure for Davos, held a meeting with General Kayani and Pasha with foreign minister Khar in tow, to discuss the future role of Pakistan in talks between Washington and the Taliban. With internal stability absent and the standoff with Washington simply not going away, Islamabad is in no position to play a pivotal role in the impending negotiations. But there are still those who argue that Pakistan can continue to play hard to get owing to its strategic importance. Considering our tenuous and fragmented polity and the dire economic straits we are in, there are hardly any trump cards up our sleeve. In the long run, a single dimensional rela-
tionship between the GHQ and the Pentagon is simply not sustainable. Our foreign ministry has to look up to the GHQ for guidance on policy options. This is not equally true for Washington where the generals do give crucial input on strategic and tactical matters, but are ultimately accountable to the administration. If unwilling to fall in line, they are simply shown the door. Diplomacy has to come in play for a better understanding between Pakistan and the US. Poor Husain Haqqani was mistrusted by the army from day one and ultimately had to fall on his sword. Unfortunately, the good press that he is getting in the US will strengthen the perception of his detractors that he is not our but their man. With President Obama keen to bring troops home in an election year, we can rub the sole superpower the wrong way only to an extent. Sherry Rehman, our new envoy in Washington, has an extremely tough job cut out for her under the circumstances. The virtual collapse of the memo case before it even nears closure has boosted the sagging morale of the PPP-led government. The no show by Mansoor Ijaz, the key witness around whose testimony hinges the decision about the authenticity or otherwise of the memo allegedly written to thwart a military coup in Pakistan, is a setback for those who thought that they had a smoking gun to nail Zardari. The judicial commission investigating the scandal has given all kinds of blandishments to Ijaz to testify. The Pakistani American businessman, no fool, is surely privy to good legal advice. He must have been told that a memo dictated or texted over a mobile phone cannot stand the scrutiny of an independent court. Even the ISI, whose chief surreptitiously flew to London to interview him, should be wary of Mansoor. Being a traditional bull in a china shop, he has boasted that he would have exposed the premier spy agency as well if he had visited Pakistan. Mansoor Ijaz’s counsel has bitterly complained that Nawaz Sharif, the main petitioner in the memo case, for all practical purposes has abandoned the case. Better late than never. It was a folly on the part of the PML(N) supremo to lend his name to the petition after having almost lost his government in a somewhat simi-
lar situation back in 1997. The Parliamentary Committee on National Security (PCNS) while expressing satisfaction at the security arrangements has decided to provide Mansoor another opportunity to appear before the committee on February 10. This is not going to happen. The Pakistani American businessman out to damage Pakistan in every way possible wants to keep the issue alive by simply not showing up by making flimsy excuses about security concerns. Smelling a nexus between the ubiquitous establishment and the judiciary, the jiyalas were overtly worried that there was a diabolical conspiracy to oust the PPP-led government before the Senate elections. They need to relax now. As things stand, elections to the Upper House will be held as scheduled on the PPP’s watch. It seems that even Sharif has reconciled to the holding of these elections in early March in which he also stands to gain. As for the general elections, the prime minister, inan interview with the BBC, has confidently ruled out holding them earlier. But given the state of affairs, it will be difficult for the ruling coalition not to hold them later this year. The prime minister in the same interview has claimed that all is well now with the military and the judiciary. Whatever the basis of his optimism, the next few weeks are crucial for the government. It is evident from the first hearing of the contempt proceedings against Prime Minister Gilani that the apex court is all set to re-interpret Article 248 of the constitution under which the office of the president enjoys immunity from prosecution. It is precisely this Article that forms the basis of Prime Minister Gilani’s defence for not writing to the Swiss authorities. Unfortunately, an unsavoury debate has been initiated on the issue with a recently retired judge of the Supreme Court taking issue with those who claim that the president enjoys automatic immunity under the constitution. The government has embroiled itself into a labyrinth of legal issues - most of them of its own making. However, the apex court needs to be cautious regarding the president and prime minister lest it lays itself open to the criticism of engaging in a witch-hunt. The writer is Editor, Pakistan Today
whitelIES H by ess Aich
umphrey of “ Yes, Prime Minister” is a character that stays in our minds but this super bureaucrat that rises to the position of cabinet secretary and manipulates a blundering PM in Her Majesty’s government to his own advantage, has created an illusion outside the small screen. That all such mandarins are always males. Not any more and certainly not in Pakistan. We hear that every high bureaucrat that gets into trouble finds that this position and strength is passed on temporarily or permanently to a particular female bureaucrat. It happened in the cabinet division, in the health ministry, in the info ministry (ask Ms Awan) and recently in the defence ministry. They say that the PM does not as much as lift his
e hear that investment bankers in the “free world” have hit upon a new avenue of investment. It is “high value divorces”. And there are plenty of them around with spouses getting anything from three to fifteen million dollars and even more. These bankers put up financing for the party that hopes to profit from a break up but does not have the funds to hire the equivalent of a “devil’s advocate” for the job. Apparently, these money wizards also deal with the “recovery” option where they invest with those trying to
finger without his cabinet secretary and that has ruffled a lot of feathers in Islamabad. What a female Humphrey in our ranks? Well why not. Pakistan is known to be the first in many things so why not this as well.
recover dirty money deposited in off shore companies and Swiss banks. We hear that this option has been discussed by NAB but merely as an intellectual exercise. Not surprisingly it has been rejected as “unadvisable.” ************* pparently every parliamentarian has some guidelines or simply a survival plan by which he operates. A VVIP in Islamabad who seems to ride every storm with just a scratch or two has been generous enough to share his successful formula with a party loyalist and his pleader.
It is a simple four point plan which we recommend should be shaped into a hand book and passed to his party serfs. And so it goes. One: have no principles Two: do not resist an irresistible force. Three: resist till it becomes an irresistible force. Four: if nothing works, throw your money at them. To this we would like to add two more points. Step five: take a trip abroad and if that does not melt their wicked hearts there is step six: throw a doctor’s certificate at them, never mind what it says.
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Saturday, 28 January, 2012
Civil-military tensions Merely sound and fury The elephant never forgets
By Aziz-ud-Din Ahmad
ith the COAS and DG ISI meeting the prime minister together and the latter retracting his statement, the civil-military tensions – which are a permanent feature of Pakistan’s politics – have subsided for the time being. With reports of a caretaker setup being in place sometime in the second half of the year, the government it seems will be able to complete its tenure. This would, thus, become the first elected government ever to have ruled for a full term of five years. The going was by no means easy for the PPP government. WikiLeaks reports tell of the army-Zardari relations worsening soon after the new government’s takeover and the COAS telling the US ambassador that despite his desire for democracy to stay, Zardari might have to be relieved. The PPP-led government has, thus, just scraped through by the skin of its teeth. The PM’s statement only manages to paper over the cracks. His statement at Davos regarding his government’s good relations with the army is equally facile. The elephant never forgets. While the PM, being the weaker party, has gone back on his stand, the two army leaders still stand by their position that the memo is a reality. Even if those who matter fail to produce Mansoor Ijaz before the commission, the incident will be quoted as another example of politicians compromising on the ‘sovereignty of the country’ whenever a list of charges is framed to remove any subsequent civilian government. This is now a widely accepted reality that the army
leadership accepts elected governments only on sufferance and that too for short periods. Even during the civilian rules, the grin remains despite the cat having disappeared. Important policy matters continue be the sole domain of the army leadership. As if it was a compulsory subject in the army schools’ curriculum, any fresh graduate would rattle off the all too familiar charge sheet: Politicians are corrupt, incapable of running the country, untrustworthy and pose a security threat because of their ‘links’ with Pakistan’s enemies. Who these enemies are is only for the army leadership to decide. Politicians must not rush into an area which angels alone can tread. During military rule, the politicians blame the successive coups for keeping democracy unstable. They routinely declare that if elections are held regularly, this would create a political environment conducive to civilian rule. The army would gradually accept the supremacy of the civilian authority and work obediently under it. This amounts to a refusal to realise the vulnerabilities in the political parties that help the army to take over. There is a reluctance to accept and remove serious drawbacks that characterise mainstream parties in Pakistan. Why is it that there are no spontaneous and powerful expressions of public resentment whenever an elected government is removed through a coup? The answer is simple. The performance of the ruling party is generally so dismal and frustrating that most of the people consider its dismissal good riddance. The entire cabinet led by the PM is seen to be busy in minting money directly or through middlemen. Every MNA is keen to extract the price for his cooperation with the government at the expense of the national exchequer and at the common man’s expense. Development work is undertaken only if a fairly large portion of the public funds can be diverted to the MNA’s bank ac-
The times we are enduring count by the civil contractor. The way funds meant for the rehabilitation of the flood affected population in Sindh were misappropriated is an eye opener. Instead of considering themselves responsible to the people, public representatives prefer to lord it over the people. They consider themselves beholden only to those who award them the tickets. Most of them think they have got elected on account of their charismatic leadership and can get away with ignoring the masses. Bad governance has become endemic. Not that military rules are free from corruption or bad governance. They have, in fact, institutionalised the first. They claim they have a foolproof system of internal accountability, a claim proved false again and again. They want to be treated like holy cows. Political leaders have yet to imbibe democratic culture. They are intolerant of their political rivals. They are even willing to seek the army’s help to bring down their opponents’ government. They do not practice democracy within their parties where none outside the royal family is considered fit to lead. Important decisions are taken by the top leadership. There is no attempt to groom new leaders capable of leading the party in case of the party supremo going to jail, falling ill or being sent into exile. The parties are thus totally paralysed when eventualities of the type occur. Despite Nawabzada Nasrullah Khan’s utmost effort, he failed to mobilise the PPP and PML(N) workers because they had not learnt to act in the absence of BB and Nawaz. Unless the political leaders learn to serve the masses instead of serving themselves, practice good governance and develop a democratic mindset, army intervention cannot be simply wished away. The writer is a former academic and a political analyst.
f ever a doubt lingered with regard to us having regressed beyond redemption, it should go away with the ongoing Mansoor Ijaz saga and the manner in which the government has handled it. Any government professing innocence in the face of serious allegations about its culpability in an effort to weaken the security institutions of the country by conspiring with a foreign power would have gone the distance to clear itself. But, in reality, it has done just about everything to thwart the accuser’s plans of coming to Pakistan to appear before the investigating commission including a threat to arrest him for treason and putting his name on the ECL. No less a person than the prime minister has used sarcastic language to ridicule Mansoor’s intentions stating that he is no viceroy and billions cannot be spent on providing him the security he desires. What is it that the government and its numerous functionaries are so mortally afraid of that they are using every trick to stop Mansoor Ijaz from coming to Pakistan? Let’s go chronologically to re-enact a real-life prognosis. Mansoor Ijaz wrote in a US paper implicating Hussain Haqqani. He stated that a contentious memo was dictated by Haqqani that, subsequently, was delivered to Mike Mullen for onward transmittal to the US leadership. The commitments contained in the alleged memo would have paved the way for unbridled cooperation with the US regarding operations against the militants including the use of Pakistani soil by the US troops. This would have come in exchange for support to the government to contain the influence of the security and intelligence institutions of the country through making structural and operational changes in their manner of working as well as by inBy Raoof Hasan stalling people who would be more inclined to supporting the civilian government in its bid fulfil US objectives. Pregnant with treasonous intentions, these allegations needed to be investigated. After meeting Mansoor Ijaz in London, the DG ISI reported the findings to the military brass which were subsequently communicated to the political leadership. Thereafter, Pakistan’s ambassador to the US was summoned and made to appear before a panel comprising the president, the prime minister, the COAS and the DG ISI where his resignation was secured by the prime minister. The government believed that the matter would rest there, but it did not. With speculation linking the memo to the May 2 US operation near Abbottabad, a petition was moved before the Supreme Court which, after the initial hearing encompassing the submission of conflicting affidavits by the government on the one hand and the COAS and the DG ISI on the other hand, constituted a judicial commission to investigate the memo further. To bury the matter, the government constituted an innocuous parliamentary committee of its own. The submission of separate af-
fidavits by the military leadership prompted the prime minister to engage the People’s Daily for an interview when the COAS was on an official visit to China terming them “unconstitutional”. Upon the COAS’s return, the ISPR issued a terse one-liner stating there was nothing unconstitutional about the affidavits. The tension kept mounting and, at one stage, the environment was ripe with speculation of a military intervention. The sacking of the defence secretary for creating “misunderstanding” between the state institutions further aggravated the civil-military tensions. The sacked general has, since, taken the matter to the court. The judicial commission served notices to various respondents including Mansoor Ijaz to appear before it who agreed to do so demanding provision of adequate security. The commission instructed that the same should be ensured using civil and military resources. It was as if all hell had broken loose and the entire government sprang into action trying to block his entry into Pakistan. There were demands by senior functionaries of the PPP to institute a treason case against him and place his name on the ECL. Obviously, he didn’t come. Meanwhile, Hussain Haqqani has remained confined to the PM House and his wife, after fleeing Pakistan, has reportedly given a statement that she had to do so because of fear of arrest by the ISI. The judicial commission has now asked Mansoor Ijaz to appear before it on February 9. In case he does not, as the government and its errant functionaries would desire, there is a prospect that the case is quashed. The head of the commission has also showed apparent disinclination to travel abroad for recording his statement or using the facility of teleconferencing for the purpose. One thought that the quest for truth which was the principal purpose for constituting this commission would demand a more pro-active approach that would transcend trivial formalities and petty ego-trips. It is becoming increasingly clear that the judicial independence is all about a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing. The NRO review petition was kept pending for almost two years. The Asghar Khan petition has been dug out after two decades. The countless contempt of court instances have either been overlooked, or allowed to die out. Political leaders, government officials and a host of errant personnel – all have escaped punishment for multiple serious transgressions. For this continuing surge in trampling the constitutional parameters and a blatant disregard for the observance of law, the judiciary would be held equally if not more accountable than the rest. The pursuit of truth is the sole motive why the judicial commission has been constituted and, irrespective of the consequences, that’s what it should do transparently, relentlessly and comprehensively to discover the perpetrators, if any, and the motives thereof. On the face of it, and without the judicial probe having been completed, the government has started looking like the arch-criminal leaving little prospect for it to wash away the blood stains. The writer is a political analyst and a member of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Saturday, 28 January, 2012
‘Agneepath’ becomes biggest first day opener:
LAHORE: QYT events arranged Cara Bridal Collection’s launch. PHOTOS BY MURTAZA ALI
weekend shows in Pakistan
IGHLY anticipated remake of 1990’s classic, Agneepath, is all set to take box office by storm. The Taran Malhotra directed, Agneepath has been in theatres for just a day and already raked in over 20 crore approximately. Critics and fans that have seen the film are all praises for Karan Johar’s remake. Not even one of the critics have rated the movie below 3.5 stars hinting it’s a sureshot hit. Response of the movie in Pakistan has been similarly overwhelming. Distributed by IMGC Global, this movie saw overbooked shows on its Thursday opening. A representative of the sub-distributor, IMGC Global said that all the shows in major cinemas are pre-booked.
Humaima, Taimur, Mustafa, QYT, Mehreen, Natasha and Nadia
Trade analyst Taran Adarsh said, “Agneepath opening: Not just Hrithik’s biggest opener, but also amongst the biggest opener of all times. It should have a record day one collection.” His verdict says that Agneepath is a fitting tribute to the masterwork. The movie has all the potential to scale dizzy heights of victory and catapult Hrithik Roshan as the newest mem-
ber of the 100 cr club, besides providing the Hindi film industry with the first blockbuster of 2012. The first three weeks of January 2012 has not been good for the theatre owners with all the previous releases flopping at the box office. Some trade pundits say it is neckto-neck with Salman Khan’s Bodguard, which had collected Rs 21 crore on the first day of its release.
Sony music acquires
Anas, Mohsin, Taimur and Adil
Kamran, Nasir, Rashid and Husnain
Athar Shahzad and Nadia Malik
‘london paris new York’s music rights NEWS DESK The music rights of ‘London Paris New York’ have been reserved by Sony Music. All seven songs in the album have been written, composed and sung by Ali Zafar. The album, which will be digitally available starting Jan 30, will also have the movie's actor, Aditi Rao Hydari lending her voice to a song called ‘Voh Dekhane Mein’. The release of the album will be in the first week of February across key retail outlets. “The freshness quotient of the music will be loved by all music fans whether young or those who are young at heart,” said Sanujeet Bhujabal, marketing director, Sony Music India, said in a press statement. The soundtrack also features voices
from Sunidhi Chauhan, Haldika Kiani and Pakistani Sufi singer Sanam Marvi. The film, directed by Anu Menon, will release March 2. Ali Zafar was also set to perform live at the music launch of LPNY. But the plan has been scrapped after the actorsinger hurt his right hand while shooting for David Dhawan’s ‘Chashme Buddoor’. “Since Ali has sung all the songs, he agreed to come on stage and was ready to perform despite his injury. But the makers have told him to rest,” says an insider from the film unit. The filmmakers had planned an elaborate event, high on the musical quotient, given that Ali is a popular singer, who has several successful stage shows to his credit. Now, they have to think of other options. LPNY, produced by Goldie Behl and Shrishti Arya will open on March 2.
Ranbir praises his father’s
Shoaib, Ainy and Mariam
QYT, Humaima Malik with a friend
Bablu, Toba and Asim
Sana, Aqsa and Sadaf
Humaima Malik and Mustafa
Filmfare Awards: It is
performance ‘ZNMD’ vs ‘Rockstar’!
MUMBAI: bollywood heartthrob Ranbir Kapoor is all praise for his father Rishi Kapoor's performance in Karan Johar's ‘Agneepath’ and says it is the latter’s passion for work that inspires him to do better. Rishi Kapoor has essayed a negative role in the film that released yesterday. the veteran actor has also experimented with his looks in the film with his kohleyed character donning a kurta-pajama, and sporting a karakul cap. “I am hearing such amazing stuff about my father's performance in ‘Agneepath’. He is a brilliant actor. If a person is a good actor then the person will continue to work lifelong and keep giving good performances. He is 55 plus but he is still getting so of much of work to do,” says Ranbir. “there is some sort of childishness (in him) when he gets offers for any movie or any new character. His passion for work...for cinema inspires me to do better work,” he adds. the father-son duo will be seen together for the first time in a commercial for a soft-drink brand. On the possibility of them being seen together on the big screen, Ranbir says, “No one has really offered us a script that both of us liked. we both are individual actors and if a good script, good characters come our way and we both like it then we will definitely work together.” Ranbir, who has already bagged two ‘best actor’ awards for his performance in Imtiaz Ali's ‘Rockstar’', is happy that the hard work he put in for the film has paid off. “I have worked hard in ‘Rockstar’ and I feel I’m lucky to get an opportunity to work with Imtiaz Ali, Shammi Kapoor, A R Rahman and others,” he adds. AgENCIES
MUMBAI: the nominations for the 57th Filmfare Awards 2012 are out. Hrithik Roshan and Farhan Akhtar's ‘zindagi Na Milegi dobara’ and Ranbir Kapoor's ‘Rockstar’ have received the maximum number of nominations this year. this year's event will be co-hosted by bollywood actors Shah Rukh Khan and Ranbir Kapoor. the Filmfare Awards ceremony will be held on January 29. Have a look at some of the nominees: best Film: ‘delhi belly’; ‘don 2’; ‘No One Killed Jessica’; ‘Rockstar’; ‘the dirty Picture’; ‘zindagi Na Milegi dobara’. best Actor Male: Ajay devgn- ‘Singham’; Amitabh bachchan – ‘Aarakshan’; Hrithik Roshan – ‘zindagi Na Milegi dobara’; Ranbir Kapoor – ‘Rockstar’; Salman Khan – ‘bodyguard’; Shahrukh Khan ‘don2’. best Actress Female: Katrina Kaif -‘Mere brother Ki dulhan’; Mahie Gill-‘Saheb biwi Aur Gangster’; Priyanka Chopra -‘7 Khoon Maaf’; Vidya balan -‘No One Killed Jessica’; Vidya balan - ‘the dirty Picture’. best Actor In A Supporting Role Male: Abhay deol – ‘zindagi Na Milegi dobara’; Farhan Akhtar – ‘zindagi Na Milegi dobara’; Naseeruddin Shah – ‘the dirty Picture’; Pitobash tripathy – ‘Shor In the City’; Vir das
– ‘delhi belly’. best Actress In A Supporting Role Female: Juhi Chawla – ‘I Am’; Kalki Koechlin – ‘zindagi Na Milegi dobara’; Parineeti Chopra – ‘ladies Vs Ricky bahl’; Rani Mukerji – ‘No One Killed Jessica’; Swara bhaskar – ‘tanu weds Manu’. AgENCIES
MUMBAI: bollywood star Kareena Kapoor has always maintained that she loves romantic and glamorous roles but she has apparently shed her feminine image and done some real action sequences for upcoming film Agent Vinod, produced by her beau Saif Ali Khan. Saif, the central character in the spy thriller, has said his leading lady was initially hesitant to do stunts but later agreed and she has done a commendable job. Since Agent Vinod is an action flick, stunts are bound to be an integral part of it. even the promos show hard core action and chasing sequences of car and bikes. “She (Kareena) had said she does not like doing action but she is very good at it,” Saif maintained. last year, Kareena had injured herself while shooting in New delhi for a high-octane stunt sequence for the film. Interestingly, even Saif had a tough time doing action and ended hurting himself quite often. “As far as me doing action, I thought it would be fun but every inch of my body was bruised and coloured in some amazing purple, yellow blotches...I had not seen something like this ever. I have done everything myself which I am excited about,” the National Award winning actor said. “In love stories you need proper timing, I thought action would be easy, but it is not...it is physically very demanding,” the 41-year-old actor stated. Usually, in spy thrillers heroines are often used as a prop and do not have proper characters, but Saif insists his leading lady has a strong role. AgENCIES
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15 Bieber watches as Jackson’s kids cement his legacy
ICHAEL Jackson the man wasn't invincible. But his legacy is now solid as a rock. The late pop icon's children imprinted some of their father's most famous accessories—his sparkly glove and shiny black shoes-in the cement in the forecourt of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre today on Hollywood Boulevard. Well over a
hundred fans of the King of Pop and celebrities including Justin Bieber and Jackson family members watched the song and dance spectacle performance by the cast of Cirque du Soleil’s ‘Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour.’ “It's a very good celebration and I know if Michael was here he would agree, to see all the friends and loved ones and especially his fans here to celebrate this with him,” Katherine Jackson told the assembled crowd. Jackson’s daughter Paris, 13, imprinted her father’s iconic silver sequined glove and
scrawled his name into the cement, adding a heart in between Michael and Jackson. Prince Michael and his brother Blanket, 9, put their father's shoe into the cement, and all three left their own handprints next to dad’s. Canadian pop sensation Bieber called him “an inspiration.” “People are going to remember him for his dancing and his singing, but people need to remember him for who he was,” said Bieber. “Everything I do, I look at Michael and I want to be as good as he was,” said Bieber, 17, whose rise to fame was compared to the
late singer by Paris as she introduced him. “Just left the Michael Jackson ceremony...I don’t get nervous usually but I was really nervous. To be with his family. He was the greatest!” Bieber tweeted afterward. “Make it trend. All of us should give him the tribute he deserved. To THE KING OF POP. Michael thank you. #MJ FOREVER.” In addition to Jackson, Grauman’s contains hand, shoe and object-prints belonging to luminaries ranging from Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint to Marilyn Monroe and Humphrey Bogart.
Winehouse father upset with
Amy-inspired fashion show Taimur and Natasha
gets huge gift from Beyonce LOS ANGELES AgENCIES
Amna, Maliha and Ahmad
Mr & Mrs Asad with Dr Nabeel
Saif impressed by Kareena’s
Maybe it was the trunk full of books that did it? Beyonce and Jay-Z have reportedly chosen to make Oprah the godmother of their inevitable planetruling daughter Blue Ivy Carter. Media TakeOut says that the couple chose the other most powerful person in the world because they've grown close to Oprah over the years. The talk show legend sent along the aforementioned trunk as a baby present for little Blue, cementing a clear tradition of gift-giving between herself and the Knowles/Carter clan.
Designer Jean Paul Gaultier’s latest collection, which was inspired by the late Amy Winehouse, was presented in a fashion show that featured models with huge, beehive hairdos, exposed bra straps and pencil skirts. Mitch Winehouse, the father of the late pop star, has criticised Gaultier, calling his catwalk show “in bad taste”. Speaking to The Sun newspaper, the taxi driver-turned-singer said: “The family were upset to see those pictures, they were a total shock. We’re still grieving for her loss, and we’ve had a difficult week with the six-month anniversary of Amy’s death. To see her image lifted wholesale to sell clothes was a wrench we were not expecting or consulted on.” Gaultier unveiled the collection during Paris Fashion Week. Speaking backstage the French fashion designer admitted that
although he had never met the star, their styles “had always been similar.” The 59-year-old told the New York Times that he thought it was a “scandal” that Winehouse had never featured on the front cover of any fashion magazines. The heavily tattooed star became known for mixing 1950 dresses with contemporary blouses and stilettos. In November, a polka dot chiffon dress, which she wore on the cover of her hit album Back to Black, sold for £43,200 at an auction. Last year, clothing brand Fred Perry released a collection of clothes which Winehouse herself had helped design. The singer favoured the tennis brand, often teaming polo shirts with tight pencil skirts. Fashion critics delivered mixed reviews of the show, with some calling it “not his most accomplished collection by any stretch of the imagination”. Others praised the collection, calling it an “exceptional” show.
Ashton Kutcher worried about
Demi Moore’s health stunts lOS ANgElES: Actor Ashton Kutcher is concerned about his estranged wife demi Moore's recent hospitalisation. 49-yearold Moore was reportedly “acting crazy” and “pretty hyper” at a birthday dinner party she hosted for her friend, Hollywood socialite Heather Perry the night she was hopitalised. later that night, Moore reportedly began to convulse “like she was having a seizure,” prompting a guest that had stayed behind to dial 911. She entered a treatment facility for exhaustion and health issues and Kutcher, who filed for divorce from her last year, wished her a speedy recovery as she returned home from the hospital. “Ashton is deeply concerned for demi. He still cares about her and wants the best for her. but their marriage is ending and they are both moving on with their lives,” a source told People. AgENCIES
MUMBAI: If you love Robert Pattinson-esque Imran Khan, we are sure you’d want to know him closely. Get ready for few things about Imran made us raise our eyebrows and we thus thought of sharing this fun trivia about the actor with you. the actor, who will be seen next in ‘ek Main Aur ekk tu’, revealed, “I never watch television. I hate it. I can't stand it, reason being the advertisements. Not that I like watching daily soaps or reality shows. I don't like that either but worse are ads. they are loud and why would someone force me to buy something when I am not interested. I feel that highly annoying and interfering. So I only watch movies on dVd as there are no ads there.” So next time you see Imran gracing a tV show, you must know he knows nothing about it. what say Imran? AgENCIES
not in line for Taylor role LOS ANGELES AgENCIES
Actor Megan Fox has shot down reports that she is in talks to take up the lead role in late actress Elizabeth Taylor’s biopic. The ‘Transformers’ star was said to be the frontrunner to play Taylor in Lifetime network’s forthcoming TV biopic ‘Liz and Dick’ about Taylor's love affair with Richard Burton. However, Fox has denied it, reports contactmusic.com. “Contrary to recent media reports I am not, and have never been in discussions to star in the lifetime biopic Liz and Dick. I do however wish the project well in its television debut,” Fox wrote on her official Facebook page.
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Kidnapped Norwegian UN worker freed in yemen SANAA AFP
A Norwegian UN employee kidnapped by tribesmen in Yemen earlier this month was back in the capital Sanaa on Friday after being freed by his captors in the restive east. “I am very pleased and relieved that the Norwegian who was kidnapped in Yemen has been released and that he is unharmed,” Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere said in a statement. The 34-year-old, identified by Norwegian media as Gert Danielsen, was “freed around midnight (2200 GMT) on Thursday following tribal mediation,” said Sheikh Sultan al-Arada, a tribal chief in Marib province, who was involved in the negotiations. The Sanaa office of the United Nations Development Programme said in a statement that the staffer arrived on Friday in a “UN safe haven” in the capital. “I am happy to be free again and I wish to thank all those who have worked hard for my release,” commented the freed staffer in the statement. “I am relieved that this experience is over,” he added. UN resident coordinator in Yemen Jens Toyberg-Frandzen said the team was delighted to have their colleague back “unharmed.” The UNDP statement said Danielsen, who has worked as a governance team leader, will travel home for a short holiday before resuming his duties. Interior Minister Abdulqader Qahtan welcomed the freed hostage at his home in Sanaa early on Friday, after the tribal mediators brought him to the capital from Marib, ministry staff said. The hostage had been seized off the street in Sanaa nearly two weeks ago by armed men aiming to put pressure on the Yemeni government to release members of their tribe being held for, among other things, killing four soldiers.
4 Russians, 5 rebels killed in dagestan MOSCOW AFP
Four Russian servicemen and five Islamist rebels were killed Friday in a clash in the North Caucasus region of Dagestan, one of the deadliest outbreaks of violence there in months, officials said. “The active phase of the battle is over,” a local security official told the Interfax news agency, adding that three Russian servicemen had also been injured in the fighting. Russia has been keen to contain violence along its restless southern periphery since concluding the second of two post-Soviet wars in Dagestan’s neighbour Chechnya a decade ago. But attacks continue throughout the region, with gunmen cutting the throat of a Russian serviceman in a rare night time attack on a grammar school in the nearby region of Kabardino-Balkaria on Thursday.
Another tibetan shot dead by China police CHENGDU AFP
Chinese police shot dead another Tibetan protester in the restive Sichuan province, rights groups said Friday, bringing to at least three the number killed in deadly clashes this week. Urgen, a 20-year-old Tibetan, died Thursday in Sichuan’s Rangtang county when police fired into a crowd trying to stop them from detaining another man, the US-based International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) and India-based TCHRD said. It was the third reported deadly clash this week in western Sichuan — which has big populations of ethnic Tibetans, many of whom complain of repression — in the worst unrest in Tibetan-inhabited regions in years. Security forces also fired into two separate crowds of protesters in Luhuo and Seda towns on Monday and Tuesday — also in Sichuan, a province in China’s southwest that borders Tibet — killing at least two.
BAgHDAD: An Iraqi woman watches men sort through the debris after a suicide bomber set off an explosives-packed car near a funeral procession in the predominately Shia neighborhoud of Zafraniyah on Friday. AFp
Suicide car bomb outside Baghdad hospital kills 31
Rebel Syrian army claims capture of Iranian officers BEIRUT AFP
A suicide bomber set off an explosives-packed car outside a Baghdad hospital on Friday, killing 31 people in the capital’s deadliest day in a month, amid a political crisis that has stoked tensions. The attack in a predominantly Shiite neighbourhood, which also left 60 people wounded, came days after Al-Qaeda warned it would continue targeting Shiite Muslims and barely a month after US troops completed their withdrawal, raising fresh concerns about the capabilities of domestic security forces. The 11:00 am (0800 GMT) attack struck outside Zafraniyah hospital in east Baghdad as a funeral procession was transporting the bodies of a family who had been killed in the capital on Thursday. Medical and security officials put the toll at at least 31 dead and 60 wounded. Eight security force officers and four women were among those killed. Helicopters flew overhead as a
heavy security presence cordoned off the site of the explosion, while distraught witnesses screamed in anguish, surrounded by the remains of the dead, their clothes and shoes, and chunks of twisted metal. Outside the hospital, groups of men called out names, searching for missing relatives. Inside, people crowded around medics to ask about their loved ones, but one nurse said simply: “I cannot tell you anything — there are only arms and legs, we do not know who they belong to.” Abu Jassim, who was outside the hospital when the bomber struck laid the blame for the attack with the security forces, telling AFP: “They are responsible for this, there were a large number of policemen and they did not stop the car or check it. “All this reminds me exactly of what was happening in 2006 and 2007, when all of our days were bloody,” the 57-year-old said, referring to the height of Iraq’s sectarian bloodletting. Several nearby shops and houses
were burned or destroyed, with many of their windows shattered, while an ambulance and multiple cars were completely burned out. “I saw a yellow taxi going in the direction of the funeral procession, and then it exploded,” said Ayman Rabiyah, an employee of the Baghdad municipality. “The funeral corpses went flying into the air. I carried the dead body of a young girl, and the corpse of a man whose head had been blown off, to the hospital.” The blast hit the funeral procession of Mohammed al-Maliki, a real estate agent who was killed along with his wife and son in west Baghdad on Thursday. Maliki and his family were killed by gunmen in Yarmuk, although there have been differing accounts of the attack itself. A doctor at Yarmuk hospital said the attackers burst into a real estate agency and killed three people, while a security official said four people, including two real estate agents, died when gunmen opened fire on their car.
The rebel Free Syrian Army claimed on Friday to have captured five Iranian military officers in the restive city of Homs and urged Tehran to “immediately” withdraw any additional troops it may have in Syria. In a statement, the FSA said the Iranians captured “were working under the orders of the intelligence services of the Syrian air force” and had no valid papers to reside or work in Syria. It did not specify when the officers were arrested and FSA officials could not be immediately reached for comment. The statement urged Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to admit that members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, or Pasdaran, were in Syria to assist the regime of Bashar al-Assad in its bid to crush a 10-month popular revolt. “The (Iranian) officers must immediately leave Syrian territory, more specifically by Saturday morning,” the statement said. It added that two Iranian civilians also captured by the FSA would be released as they were employed at a power plant in the central region of Homs, which has become a flashpoint of the revolt against Assad.
Syria raids opposition strongholds as diplomacy heats up DAMASCUS AFP
Syrian forces launched a pre-dawn raid on Friday against the rebellious city of Homs where dozens have been killed as Western and Arab nations rush to unveil a draft UN resolution that would condemn the deadly crackdown. The assault on Homs, and reports of similar offensives against Hama and other cities, came hours after the UN said it could no longer keep track of the death toll in the Syrian unrest, which it had put at more than 5,400 over a month ago. The Homs raid began late on Thursday in the Karm al-Zeitoun neighbourhood with the Syrian Human Rights Observatory reporting 33 people killed in Syria’s third-largest city, 160 km (100 miles) north of the capital, bringing the day’s total to 62 dead across the country.
The Local Coordination Committees, which organise protests on the ground, said that by Friday regime forces had pounded the Bab Seba neighbourhood with heavy artillery and rocket fire. Sounds of intense fighting were also heard from the Baba Amro neighbourhood. The LCC said three people were killed early Friday in Homs and said two more were killed in Idlib province in the northwest and one in the Damascus suburbs. The Observatory said another flashpoint central city, Hama, also came under assault in the early hours of Friday, with intense firing from heavy machine guns and loud explosions heard. The Syrian National Council, the country’s biggest opposition umbrella group, on Friday condemned the offensives against opposition strongholds and said the group was in contact with mem-
bers of the UN Security Council to press for strong condemnation of Syria. The latest wave of the government’s crackdown, now in its 11th month, comes as the West tries to ride diplomatic momentum sparked by last weekend’s surprise call by the Arab League for President Bashar al-Assad to step down. The UN Security Council was to discuss the Syria crisis later Friday when Western and Arab nations were to hold talks on a draft resolution denouncing the Assad regime that has been blocked by strong resistance from Damascus allies Beijing and Moscow. The council’s five permanent members — Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States — held talks Thursday on the new resolution and, in a sign that some sort of breakthrough took place, a meeting for later Friday was announced by French diplomats.
“A draft resolution could be sent to all members of the council tomorrow (Friday),” a Security Council diplomat said. A new resolution, that supporters hope can be put to a vote next week, would give strong backing to the Arab League’s initiative to end the Syria crisis and was drawn up by Britain, France, Germany and Arab nations, including Morocco and Qatar. With diplomacy intensifying, Arab League secretary general Nabil al-Arabi and Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim Al-Thani, who has been especially vocal in denouncing Syria, are to brief the council on Monday or Tuesday. UN chief Ban Ki-moon urged the Security Council to speak with one voice on Syria. “We have to seize this moment, we have to help these people. They have been oppressed for so long,” Ban said.
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Nigeria’s Islamists threaten new attacks KANO
IGERIAN security forces searched for a kidnapped German engineer on Friday as the Boko Haram Islamist group threatened new attacks in Africa’s most populous nation and top oil producer. In an audio recording posted on YouTube, Abubakar Shekau said he ordered the coordinated attacks that killed at least 185 people in Kano on January 20 and vowed that the group would strike again. “We were responsible,” said Shekau of the January 20 assaults, the deadliest ever attributed to the shadowy group.
“I ordered it and I will give that order again and again. God gave us victory,” he said. The authenticity of the Hausa language message, which played above a picture of Shekau with a Kalashnikov set in the background could not be independently verified. But the photo appeared to match with previous ones said to be of Shekau and the voice sounded similar to earlier recordings. “We attacked the security formations because our members were arrested and tortured. Our women and children have also been arrested,” he said. “They should know that they also have wives and children. We can also abduct them. It is not beyond our powers.”
Boko Haram has previously said that it wants to create an Islamic state in Nigeria’s deeply-impoverished mainly Muslim north, charging the government with harassing Muslims and raiding Islamic schools. “Soldiers raided an Islamic seminary in (the northern city) of Maiduguri and desecrated the Koran. They should bear in mind that they also have primary and secondary schools and universities, and we can also attack them.” But after a meeting with governors from 19 northern Nigerian states early Friday, Nigeria’s Vice President Namadi Sambo denied that religious tensions were fuelling the Boko Haram menace in the country whose population is roughly divided between a mainly Mus-
lim north and a mainly Christian south. “It is very clear that there is no religious problem, religious fighting in northern Nigeria,” Sambo told journalists. Shekau was seen as Boko Haram’s second-in-command at the time of a 2009 uprising put down by a brutal military assault, after which the group went dormant for about a year before re-emerging in 2010 with increasingly sophisticated attacks. There has been intense speculation about Boko Haram’s links to foreign Islamist groups, specifically Al-Qaeda’s north Africa franchise, known as AlQaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). Speaking to AFP a western diplomat downplayed the strength of those ties.
“I think there’s evidence of contact (with foreign groups), but in terms of operationally linking up with AQIM or extremist groups elsewhere, we don’t see Boko Haram as an Al-Qaeda franchise,” said the diplomat who requested anonymity. In Kano, hit by a fresh blast on Thursday after armed men stormed a police station two days earlier, gunmen kidnapped a German engineer working with a Nigerian construction company Dantata and Sawoe. Edgar Raupach was seized by men who “came and handcuffed him and put him in the boot and zoomed away,” said Kano police spokesman Magaji Majia. Regional police immediately sent out an alert.
Russia bars Putin critic from presidential poll MOSCOW AFP
Russia on Friday disqualified the sole liberal challenger to Vladimir Putin in March 4 presidential elections, in a move slammed by his supporters as undermining the legitimacy of the polls. Russia’s central elections commission said it could not accept nearly a quarter of the registration signatures gathered by Grigory Yavlinsky because they were either photocopies of originals or fakes. “I am sad to announce that we will not able to register Yavlinsky as a candidate,” election commission member Sergei Danilenko told a special hearing. Russia’s strict presidential election rules require all independent candidates whose parties fail to win seats in parliament to collect two million signatures to win registration. The restriction has been heavily criticised by the candidates as well as the growing protest movement against Putin, who will be standing for a third Kremlin term in the polls after his four year stint as prime minister.
thousands pray in Cairo’s tahrir ahead of mass rally CAIRO AFP
Thousands of protesters gathered for prayers in Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Friday ahead of a mass rally to demand democratic change, a year after the uprising that toppled veteran president Hosni Mubarak. Marches were to leave Cairo mosques after noon prayers towards Tahrir, on a day dubbed “the Friday of Pride and Dignity” by the dozens of prodemocracy groups organising the rallies. In Tahrir, protesters, who joined hundreds already camped out since Wednesday’s anniversary of the uprising, gathered in prayer amid the tents that marked the sit-in. Waving flags and holding up banners, the protesters are demanding the implementation of the goals of the revolution, including an end to military trials of civilians, the restructuring of the interior ministry and a guarantee of freedoms and social justice. “Come on Egyptians, hand in hand, we will see a new dawn!” the protesters chanted. Demonstrations were also expected in other parts of the country, including the Mediterranean city of Alexandria and the canal city of Suez. Friday’s rallies mark a year since the army was deployed to control the deadly protests calling for an end to Mubarak’s regime. The military took power when Mubarak resigned on February 11, in a dramatic turn of events for the Arab world’s most populous nation who had known the same president for 30 years. But a year later, many are disenchanted and even angry at the ruling military, who protesters accuse of human rights abuses and of reneging on promises of reform.
CAIRO: Egyptian protesters shout slogans during a rally to demand democratic change at Cairo’s landmark Tahrir Square on Friday, a year after a popular uprising. AFp
iAeA chief urges iran to cooperate with inspectors DAVOS AFP
The head of the UN’s atomic watchdog urged Iran on Friday to cooperate with a team of inspectors heading to Tehran, after a recent damning report on the Iranian nuclear programme. International Atomic Energy Agency chief Yukiya Amano told AFP that the organisation’s previous efforts to check Iran’s claim its nuclear programme has only peaceful purposes had been hampered by “a lack of cooperation”. “We hope they will take a constructive approach. We hope that there will be substantial cooperation,” Amano said. An IAEA report in November highlighted a range of areas which had raised suspicions that Iran was pursuing the development of nuclear weapons, despite its repeated denials. It detailed 12 suspicious areas such
as testing explosives in a steel container at a military base and studies on Shahab-3 ballistic missile warheads. Amano said it was too early to say definitively that Iran was pursuing a nuclear weapons programme. But he added: “We have information that indicates that Iran has engaged in activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device.” “We are requesting that Iran clarifies the situation. We proposed to make a mission and they agreed to accept the mission. “The preparations have gone well but we need to see what actually happens when the mission arrives.” UN chief Ban Ki-moon said the onus was on Tehran to prove its good intentions to the inspectors, who will be visiting Iran from Sunday to Tuesday. “There is no other alternative to addressing this crisis than peaceful resolution through dialogue,” Ban told reporters in Davos.
Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has insisted that Tehran is not dodging negotiations and was ready to sit down with world powers Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States, and Germany for talks. The six powers are waiting for Tehran to reply to an October letter sent by EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton that stresses that discussions should focus on the “key question” of the Iranian nuclear issue. Previous talks held a year ago in Istanbul ended without progress. “Iran should comply with the relevant Security Council resolutions. They have to prove themselves, that their nuclear development programme is genuinely for peaceful purposes which they have not done yet,” Ban said. Also in Davos, US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said that more major countries, perhaps including China, were coming round to the idea of sanctions.
“China wants to be part of that effort. We’re still at the early stage of the next wave of intensified financial pressure on oil and the financial side ... Europe has been excellent on this,” he said. “We are all engaged, it’s an international effort ... trying ... to deter them from their nuclear ambitions. That’s the most important thing.” China is a major importer of Iranian oil and has so far been reluctant to impose sanctions. Ehud Barak, the defence minister of Iran’s arch foe Israel, said that he did not expect Tehran to suddenly come clean about its nuclear programme. “We have a high trust in the IAEA, especially under Amano,” Barak told AFP in Davos, praising the November report. “But I have no illusions about the Iranian regime... Iran has been defyying and deceiving the whole world to get a nuclear capability.”
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Kuznetsova, zvonareva win doubles title Page 21
broad, Azhar expect tight finish ABU DHABI AFP
England paceman Stuart Broad and Pakistan batsman Azhar Ali Friday expect a tight finish to the second Test between their teams, saying even a 150-run target will be tricky to chase. Pakistan, stuttering at 54-4 in their second innings after conceding a 70-run lead, finished the third day at 125-4. They lead by 55 runs with six wickets intact, setting the scene for an intriguing fourth day's play. Left-arm spinner Monty Panesar took 3-44 to spark a top order collapse before Ali (46) and Asad Shafiq (35) shared an unbroken 71-run stand for the fifth wicket to lead Pakistan's fight back. Broad, who earlier in the day hit an aggressive unbeaten 58 to help England to 327 in their first knock, said Saturday's first hour will be crucial. "In Test cricket you expect partnerships," said Broad. "We just stayed patient and with 19 overs to the new ball, with only a lead of 50, we’re delighted with our position." Pakistan lead the three-Test series on account of their ten wicket win in last week's Dubai Test, and will hope to thwart England who are aiming for a series-levelling win. "I think its going to be a tight Test either way. You've always got the scoreboard pressure. We don't want to be chasing much more than 250 I would have thought, even 150-200 is going to be a bit tricky," said Broad. Broad revealed that a Pakistani taxi driver sledged that his team will be thrashed. "He (taxi driver) was pretty confident that they were going to destroy us but I had different views. I keep thinking when I leave the ground at the end of the day that tomorrow (Saturday) is a huge day. "Tomorrow evening I will know what the result will be. Whereas I keep getting to the end of the day and I'm no clearer. It really can go either way again going into the fourth day." Broad also had praise for Panesar, who is playing his first match since the Cardiff Test in the 2009 Ashes. "I think Monty bowled really well. He's going to be important in holding them tomorrow and then attacking them.”
MObILINK JAzz cUp
Pakistan fight hard as England chase win ABU DHABI
AKISTAN were left with a battle to avoid conceding England a series-levelling win after Monty Panesar proved threatening with three wickets in the second Test here on Friday. After Panesar had taken 3-44, it was left to Azhar Ali (46) and Asad Shafiq (35) to put on a 71-run stand for the fifth wicket to lift Pakistan to 125-4 at the close on the third day on a weary Abu Dhabi Stadium pitch. Ali joined Shafiq with Pakistan reeling at 544, as Panesar dismissed Mohammad Hafeez (22), Younis Khan (one) and Misbah-ul Haq (12) in his sustained 20-over spell on either side of the tea interval. But both youngsters helped Pakistan erase the 70-run lead and promised to steer their team around the trouble on a spin-assisted pitch on Saturday. Pakistan lead by 55 runs with six wickets intact. Pakistan will look to their remaining batsmen to help produce a formidable target for England to maintain their chances in the series, which they lead by 1-0 on account of a tenwicket win in the first Test at Dubai. Stuart Broad gave England a crucial 70-run lead with an unbeaten 58 which took England to 327 in the morning session. Both Ali and Shafiq defied England's mixed pace and spin attack in the last session much to the delight of a near 5,000 holiday crowd. Ali has so far hit seven boundaries to Shafiq's three. As expected, Panesar came on to bowl as early as the sixth over and struck in his fourth when he spun across Hafeez's bat to hit him on the knees, right in front of the stumps. Panesar's spin partner Graeme Swann made it 29-2 when he beat Umar's forward push with a delivery that came straight with the arm. Umar made seven. It became 36-3 when Panesar spun one across Younis's bat and hit the off-stump, and Pensar struck again in the second over
ENglAND, 1st innings: (overnight 207-5) A. Strauss c Shafiq b Hafeez 11 94 A. Cook lbw b Ajmal 74 J. Trott b Rehman 14 K. Pietersen c Hafeez b Ajmal 29 I. Bell lbw b gul E. Morgan c Hafeez b Ajmal 3 M. Prior lbw b Ajmal 3 S. Broad not out 58 15 g. Swann lbw b Rehman J. Anderson b Hafeez 13 0 M. Panesar lbw b Hafeez 13 EXTRAS: (b5, lb7, nb1) TOTAl: 327 Fall of wickets: 1-27 (Strauss), 2-166 (Trott), 3-198 (Cook), 4203 (Pietersen), 5-207 (Morgan), 6-227 (Prior), 7-268 (Bell), 8-291 (Swann), 9-327 (Anderson). Bowling: gul 13-1-53-1, Khan 8-0-33-0, Hafeez 22-4-54-3, Ajmal 40-6-108-4 (nb1), Rehman 29-9-67-2 Overs: 112 PAKISTAN, 2nd innings: 22 Mohammad Hafeez lbw b Panesar 7 Taufiq Umar b Swann Azhar Ali not out 46 1 Younis Khan b Panesar 12 Misbah-ul Haq lbw b Panesar Asad Shafiq not out 35 EXTRAS: (lb2) 2 125 TOTAl: (for four wkts) Fall of wickets: 1-29 (Hafeez), 2-29 (Umar), 3-36 (Younis), 454 (Misbah). BOWlINg: Anderson 10-2-31-0, Broad 11-6-16-0, Panesar 2513-44-3, Swann 15-4-32-1 Overs: 61, Toss: Pakistan, Umpires: Steve Davis (AUS) and Bruce Oxenford (AUS), TV umpire: Billy Bowden (NZl), Match referee: Javagal Srinath (IND).
after resumption, catching Misbah in front of the wicket for 12. The Pakistani skipper's challenge against Australian umpire Bruce Oxenford's decision proved unsuccessful. Ali said a 150-160 target would be fighting. "It was nice to build a partnership and if we take the target to 150 it would be great. I prayed that Shafiq didn't lose his wicket when Kevin Pietersen failed to run him out," said Ali of his partner's survival on 26. Broad said England were still in a "decent position". "The first hour (on Saturday) will be crucial as after 19 overs we can take the second new ball," Broad said. Earlier, Broad added an invaluable 41 for the seventh wicket with Ian Bell (29) and 36 for the ninth wicket with James An-
ABU DHABI: Pakistan’s Azhar Ali (R) plays a shot as wicketkeeper Matt Prior (l) fields. AFp derson (13) to boost England after they resumed at 207-5, 50 runs behind on Pakistan's first innings total. Pakistan fared poorly in the field as Matt Prior was dropped on two by Junaid Khan in just the second over of the day, while Bell was let off on nine by Abdul Rehman off his own bowling. But Prior's lapse didn't prove costly as a threatening Saeed Ajmal trapped him legbefore in his next over for three. Broad suc-
cessfully attacked the bowling, hitting two boundaries each off Ajmal and then off Umar Gul -- after Pakistan took the second new ball with the score at 250-6 -- to take England past Pakistan's total. Gul struck in his next over when he trapped Bell leg-before and Rehman accounted for Swann (15). Broad hit six boundaries and a six off just 62-balls. Ajmal finished with 4-108, while Hafeez took three wickets.
India face defeat and series wipeout ADELAIDE AFP
India were lurching towards defeat and a 40 series humiliation against Australia after another batting collapse in the fourth Test in Adelaide on Friday. The beleaguered tourists, chasing a record 500 runs for an unlikely win, took the Test into a fifth day for
the first time in their ill-fated tour but only after losing their top six batsmen, including Sachin Tendulkar. VVS Laxman and first innings century-maker Virat Kohli stalled Australia's charge for almost 90 minutes before Laxman fell to a poor shot two overs from stumps. Laxman, struggling for form in Australia, played spinner Nathan Lyon off the back foot straight to short mid-wicket for
35 leaving nightwatchman Ishant Sharma surrounded by nine close infielders. But in the day's penultimate over Kohli was run out on a chancy single by a brilliant side-on throw by Ben Hilfenhaus for 22 to leave the tourists in tatters. Australia will expect to mop up India's tail on Saturday with only forecasted storms likely to save the visitors from another embarrassing capitula-
tion. At the close on the fourth day, India were 166 for six, trailing by 333 runs with Sharma on two and Wriddhiman Saha yet to score. Lyon ended the day with three for 57 off 19 overs. "We are extremely disappointed but there is no need for the word 'embarrassment'," India spinner Ravi Ashwin said. "It's a sport and at the end of the day we have all competed hard at the ground, it's
SCOREBOARD AUSTRAlIA, 1st innings: 604 for 7 declared (R. Ponting 221, M. Clarke 210; R. Ashwin 3-194) INDIA, 1st innings: 272 (V. Kohli 116; P. Siddle 5-49) AUSTRAlIA, 2nd innings: (50 for 3 overnight) D. Warner c and b Ashwin 28 E. Cowan lbw b Ashwin 10 S. Marsh lbw b Zaheer 0 R. Ponting not out 60 M. Clarke c Saha b Yadav 37 M. Hussey lbw b Sharma 15 B. Haddin not out 11 EXTRAS: (lb6) 6 TOTAl: (5 wickets declared for; 43 overs) 167 Fall of wickets: 1-39 (Warner), 2-40 (Marsh), 3-40 (Cowan), 4111 (Clarke), 5-147 (Hussey) BOWlINg: Zaheer 13-1-38-1, Ashwin 20-2-73-2, Sharma 8-027-1, Yadav 5-0-23-1 INDIA, 2nd innings: g. gambhir c Haddin b Harris 3 V. Sehwag c Ponting b lyon 62 R. Dravid c Hussey b Harris 25 S. Tendulkar c Cowan b lyon 13 VVS laxman c Marsh b lyon 35 V Kohli run out (Hilfenhaus) 22 I. Sharma not out 2 W. Saha not out 0 EXTRAS: (lb3, w1) 4 TOTAl: (6 wickets for; 56 overs) 166 Fall of wickets: 1-14 (gambhir), 2-80 (Sehwag), 3-100 (Dravid), 4-110 (Tendulkar), 5-162 (laxman), 6-166 (Kohli) BOWlINg: Harris 14-4-25-2 (1w), Hilfenhaus 9-2-33-0, Siddle 10-3-36-0, lyon 19-3-57-3, Hussey 2-0-3-0, Clarke 2-0-9-0 Toss: Australia, Crowd: 17,408, Umpires: Aleem Dar (PAK), Kumar Dharmasena (SRI), Video umpire: Simon Fry (AUS), Match referee: Ranjan Madugalle (SRI).
ADElAIDE: Australian teammates rush to spin bowler Nathan lyon (C hatless) to congratulate him for taking the wicket of Indian batsman Sachin tendulkar. AFp
ADElAIDE: Gautam Gambhir leans in the air to escape a rising ball. AFp
not like we've chucked it away. "We've given it everything we had. Yes, we've come up short on occasions. We have not seized the initiatives and we've not enough reserves in the bank to do it." The tourists were left with 146 overs to reach their improbable target after Australia declared their second innings at 167 for five shortly after lunch. But they were soon in trouble, losing Gautam Gambhir for 13 in the fifth over, caught behind off Ryan Harris. Stand-in skipper Virender Sehwag blasted 12 fours in a rollicking 62 off 53 balls before he skied a full toss from spinner Lyon only to Ricky Ponting in the covers. Rahul Dravid lasted 71 balls before he edged to Mike Hussey in the gully off Harris for 25 to complete a poor series in which he was bowled six times and scored just 194 runs at 24.25. Tendulkar again missed out on his elusive 100th international hundred when he was caught close to the wicket by Ed Cowan off Lyon for 13. "It's been an absolute privilege to get him (Tendulkar) out," Lyon said. "Having said that, the job's not done, we've got another four wickets to get and we'll have to turn up tomorrow and be on our game and hopefully get these four wickets." Tendulkar's latest failure stretched Test cricket's all-time leading runscorer's barren run without a century to 25 Test and one-day innings since his last hundred (111) in the World Cup last March. The highest winning chase at the Adelaide Oval is Australia's 315 against England in 1902, while India's highestever run hunt was 406 against the West Indies in Trinidad in 1976.
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Rain halts Nz charge against zimbabwe
Torrential rain dashed New Zealand's hopes of building an imposing first-innings lead in the one-off Test against Zimbabwe on Friday, with an injury to captain Ross Taylor further frustrating the home side. The New Zealanders began the day at 331 for five and looked to be comfortably approaching Taylor's stated target of 450-plus as they advanced to 392 without further loss. But a downpour ended play mid-way through the first session and officials abandoned play late in the afternoon when it became apparent the weather would not clear. In a further setback for the Black Caps, Taylor was forced to retire hurt early in the day after taking his overnight score of 111 to 122. He took off for a quick single but pulled up midwicket clutching his right calf and limped to the non-striker's end, unable to continue despite on-field treatment from the team physio. Under rule changes introduced in October, Taylor was unable to call for a runner, bringing tail-ender Doug Bracewell to the crease. Bracewell should have been dismissed two overs later but was given a life when Forster Mutizwa grounded an easy catch at extra cover. BJ Watling, shouldering responsibility as the last established batsman, upped the tempo after previously contenting himself with a support role and brought up his half century just before the heavens opened. Watling ended the day on 52 not out, with Bracewell on 11. With fine weather forecast for Saturday, New Zealand will be looking to add runs early and hoping an attack that includes four seamers can find the penetration that has so far eluded Zimbabwe's bowlers. There have only been two results in nine Tests at Napier and New Zealand have never won at the venue.
Afridi plans double-wicket event in pakistan LAHORE STAFF REPORT
Desperate to get international cricket back to Pakistan, former captain Shahid Afridi is thinking of organising a doublewicket competition, involving players from different countries, in the country. "When I was in Australia playing in the Big Bash tournament, I spoke to number of top players from different countries to get their feedback on whether they would be interested in traveling to Pakistan for a double wicket competition," Afridi said. The flamboyant all-rounder said he had tried to convince the players that why it was so important for international cricket to be played in Pakistan and the response he had got from many players was positive. "That is why now I am seriously planning to organise a double wicket
competition with foreign players in a befitting manner but dates and venues will be decided later," he said. "New Zealand's former captain Daniel Vettori, West Indian Chris Gayle and some Australian players were among those with whom I discussed this proposal and they expressed great interest in it and in playing in Pakistan," Afridi added. No Test playing nation has visited Pakistan since March, 2009 when militants attacked the Sri Lankan team in Lahore killing six Pakistani policemen and a van driver and wounding some of the visiting players. The Pakistan board recently officially invited the Bangladesh Cricket Board to send its team to Pakistan for a scheduled FTP series in April and is waiting for a visit by the Bangladesh security delegation to move things ahead. Afridi said the impression he had
got in his personal interactions with players from other countries was that they all wanted to help out Pakistan cricket and wanted to see international back in Pakistan. "I am hopeful something good will come out of it because it is very important we get back international cricket in the country. I am delighted that the PCB has taken the initiative of inviting Bangladesh to send its team to Pakistan," Afridi said. A PCB official when contacted said Afridi had not spoken to them as yet about the double wicket competition but if was planning such an even the board would support him. "We ourselves have written letters to the ICC and all Test playing nations, including India, to help us revive international cricket in Pakistan and this is part of our new initiative to take steps to bring some teams to the country," the official said.
England series last away from home: Zaka LAHORE STAFF REPORT
AKA Ashraf, chairman Pakistan Cricket Board is full of hope that the current Test rubber against England at Abu Dhabi will be their last home series at an off-shore venue. It is nearly three years since international cricket was last played in Pakistan and PCB is desperate to bring back cricket to home venues, he maintained. "This England series could be our last series to be held at an off-shore venue. We are keen to host international teams just like other member boards are doing," Ashraf was quoted by a cricket website. "We are already engaged with the Bangladesh board and I am sure their tour to Pakistan in April will break the ice." "We are in contact with the [Pakistan] government as well and they have given their consent to us hosting Bangladesh to start with. They have given us their full support," he said. But a spokesman for the Bangladesh cricket Board created doubts over the tour
on Thursday, when he said that final decision has not been taken yet on playing in Pakistan. "The government has told us to form a security delegation to visit Pakistan but we have nothing in writing as yet from the government and it is yet to be decided when it is the best time for them to go to Pakistan," the spokesman said. He made it clear that it was only after the security delegation's visit to Pakistan that the Bangladesh board would take a decision on touring Pakistan in April. A PCB official said that even they realised that a final decision on the tour would be taken based on the feedback given by the Bangladesh security delegation that would include officials of the police, interior ministry and government. "But we are hopeful that Bangladesh will tour Pakistan because they have agreed to review our invitation to them and are sending their security delegation for this purpose." "We are confident that the briefing that will be given to their security officials should put to rest any doubts they have in their minds about international cricket being played in Pakistan," he said.
Ashwin says India not embarrassed by performances ADELAIDE AFP
India were "extremely disappointed", but not embarrassed, by their inept performances against Australia, spinner Ravi Ashwin said on Friday. The Indians face a humiliating 4-0 series wipeout and their eighth consecutive away Test defeat in the fourth Test in Adelaide, where they were trailing by 333 runs at 166 for six. India have been thrashed by an innings in two Tests and lost the opening Test in Melbourne by 122 runs in a miserable tour of Australia. Australia will expect to mop up India's tail on Saturday with only forecasted storms likely to save the visitors from another embarrassing capitulation. Ashwin, who once again was delegated by the team to face the media after another wretched day for the tourists, said: "We are extremely disappointed but there is no need for embarrassment.
Hopkins, dawson set for April rematch ATLANTIC CITY AFP
Gerrard appeals for calm ahead of United clash LIVERPOOL AFP
Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard has urged the club's fans to be on their best behaviour when Manchester United visit Anfield for Saturday's powder-keg FA Cup tie. Saturday's fourth round showdown is the first time the bitter rivals have met since Liverpool striker Luis Suarez was banned for eight games for racially abusing United defender Patrice Evra. Although Suarez is still serving his ban, Evra is likely to start for United and Gerrard wants supporters to focus all their attention on backing Kenny Dalglish's team. "We do all have a responsibility," said Gerrard, who was sent off when the sides met in the FA Cup last season in Dalglish's first game back in charge, United winning 1-0 at Old Trafford. "With Fair Play going on, and the campaigns that have been going on for a long time, we all have a responsibility to ensure that this game is remembered for the football. "Liverpool and Manchester United is a massive rivalry and of course there is going to be stuff in the newspapers and banter between fans. "But it would be
fantastic if after the weekend it is remembered for being a top game and obviously, from our point of view, a Liverpool win. "We don't want any front page stories from this game or any stories besides a football match between two top sides and may the best team win." With confidence sky-high after overcoming Manchester City 3-2 on aggregate in midweek to book a place in next month's League Cup final at Wembley, Liverpool are determined to carry on the good work against Sir Alex Ferguson's side. Gerrard has dismissed suggestions United are favourites as they will be fresher after a free midweek. "The lads are more than ready for the weekend," added the England midfielder. "It will be great to not only knock City out of the (League) Cup, but to then knock United out of the FA Cup. "We set a benchmark against City. We have to make sure we play with the same effort and I'm sure we will be fine." Craig Bellamy, who scored the decisive goal in midweek, could start on the substitutes bench after the energy-sapping City tie. Meanwhile, Wayne Rooney has warned Liverpool that United are arriving at Anfield bang in form. Rooney insists Ferguson's team are over their new year blip which saw them lose back-to-back league games against Blackburn and Newcastle. They have responded by defeating Bolton and Arsenal in the league - as well as eliminating Manchester City from the
FA Cup. And Rooney is confident United can carry on their good form at Anfield. "We relish this part of the season," said the England striker. "Once we get into the new year we can see a bit of light at the end of the tunnel. Every game is massive and we don't want to be dropping points. "But I always feel we are at our best around now because we can see the end of the season and that there are trophies there to be won. "That's why we stay focused and, more often than not, we're always there at the end." PLATINI RENEWS CALL fOR 2022 WORLD CUP IN WINTER: European football chief Michel Platini has renewed his calls for the 2022 World Cup to be staged in the middle of the European winter to avoid the searing summer heat of Qatar. UEFA supremo Platini, widely regarded as the heir apparent to FIFA President Sepp Blatter, indicated in an interview with The Daily Telegraph he plans to push for the tournament to be moved from its traditional slot in June and July. Any move to reschedule the World Cup is likely to meet with strong resistance from top leagues across Europe, which have estimated it will bring scheduling problems for three years leading into the tournament. Platini remains adamant that the tournament in Qatar can be slotted into a mid-winter date with a minimum of disruption. "The World Cup is the most important moment for the game every four years, but where does it say we always have to play in June? I donâ€™t see the problem of playing in December," Platini told The Telegraph. "What is the problem for the Premier League
to finish at the end of May instead of the beginning, and recuperate the time in December? We have to put the World Cup and the fans first." Platini also defended his decision to support Qatar at the controversial World Cup ballot in December 2010, insisting there was no contradiction between his vote for the Gulf state and his desire to move the date. He also denied his support for Qatar had been influenced by French President Nicolas Sarkozy. "The vote and the summer are two different things," argued Platini. "I voted for a region that never received the World Cup, that was my philosophy, not because Sarkozy had lunch with me. "I have enough personality to decide what is good for football, not for the president of France or the prime minister of Great Britain, who also wanted my vote. "But I thought, after South Africa 2010, where it was zero degrees at 5pm and there was no life for the fans, how can we ask the fans and players to go to this country when it is 50 or 60 degrees in July? I think the best time to play is winter."
Bernard Hopkins, the oldest champion in boxing history, is set to make a historic title defense at age 47 in a rematch against fellow American Chad Dawson on April 28 at Atlantic City. Hopkins will defend his World Boxing Council lightheavyweight crown against Dawson in a rematch of a fight last October in Los Angeles that ended in round two when lifted Hopkins by the leg and slammed him into the canvas. Hopkins suffered a dislocated joint connecting his left shoulder and collarbone and has yet to resume full training. Referee Pat Russell awarded the fight to Dawson, saying no foul had been committed, but the result was overturned to no-decision at a December hearing and the WBC ordered a title rematch. "Attn: fanz & of course HATERZ April 28 AC im getting my revenge/victory on @OfficialBadChad 4 that BS," Hopkins posted on his Twitter page. "Haters make sure y'all watch me beat dawson once n 4 all!" Last May, Hopkins defeated Canadian Jean Pascal by unanimous decision to take the title. The two had fought to a controversial draw in December of 2010.
tunisia snatch last-gasp victory LIBREVILLE AFP
Substitute Issam Jemaa scored in the final minute to snatch a 2-1 victory for Tunisia over Niger Friday in Group C of the Africa Cup of Nations. Youssef Msakni put the Carthage Eagles ahead after only three minutes with a solo goal at Stade l'Amitie and Ngounou Tonji headed the Gazelles level within five minutes.
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5th National Junior Cycle Race paddles off LAHORE STAFF REPORT
The 5th National Junior Cycle Race paddled off here at the Cycling Velodrome on Friday under the auspices of the Punjab cycling ad hoc committee and in collaboration with the Pakistan Cycling Federation. According to Syed Azhar, secretary PCF, all the four provinces, Fata and Railways teams are taking part in the championship and its formal inaugural ceremony will be held on Saturday at 10 am. He informed that two road and six track events will be contested in the championship. He said that the winner will be awarded medals during the opening ceremony. On the opening day 25 kilometres road race was held and Majeed of Punjab won the title with a time of 42 minutes 40.85 seconds while Ahsan Abbas of Punjab was second and Abid Ali of Sindh was third. In the second event of the day, which was 25 kilometres road team trial, Punjab took the title while Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa got the second and third places respectively. He further informed that Nusrat Khan is performing the duties of judges along with Nazaqat Ali, Ali Mohammad, Sardar Nazaqat and Nasir.
lahore-Sahiwal International Road Cycle Race on 23rd LAHORE STAFF REPORT
An Open International Road Cycle Race from Lahore to Sahiwal (154 KM) will be organized on March 23 to celebrate the Pakistan Day. According to Idris Haider Khawaja, former secretary Pakistan Cycling Federation, all the affiliated units including provincial cycling associations will take part in this race. The cyclists other than the affiliated units of the federation can participate in the race. For further details contact Waqar Ali, Secretary Punjab Cycling Association, Punjab Stadium Lahore to Register their names one day before the start of the race. The race will start from Punjab Stadium Lahore at 9 am. Chief Minister Punjab have been requested to be the Chief Guest to grace the closing Ceremony either at Sahiwal or Lahore. Cash prize amounting to Rs 100,000 will be awarded to the winners of the first four positions winners.
Djokovic beats Murray in five-set thriller MELBOURNE AFP
EFENDING champion Novak Djokovic dug deep Friday to see off Britain's Andy Murray in a thrilling five-set semi-final at the Australian Open. In a rollercoaster match lasting nearly five hours the Serbian top seed, trailing two sets to one, stormed back to win 6-3, 3-6, 6-7 (4/7), 6-1, 7-5 to set up a title match with Rafael Nadal. "There's not any words that can describe the feeling I have now," Djokovic said. "Andy deserves the credit to come back into the match after 2-5 down. He was fighting, I was fighting." Djokovic now gets a shot at his third Australian Open title while Murray's quest for Britain's first male grand slam title in 76 years goes on. Djokovic, who enjoyed a stellar season in 2011, winning 10 titles including the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the US Open, drew first blood on Rod Laver Arena, breaking in the fourth game when the Scot double-faulted. He took the opening set and broke again early in the second but Murray cut out the errors and began to dictate the points, levelling the match and taking the third set on a tie-break. But there was a sudden momentum shift at the start of the fourth set as errors crept back into Murray's game and Djokovic raced through the gears to take it 6-1 in just 25 minutes. He made a crucial break in the sixth game of the final set and although Murray broke back, he won the match by breaking the Scot in the 12th game. "It was one of the best matches I've played, but emotionally and mentally it was hard," Djokovic said. "I felt like we were breaking each other's serves easier than serving it out." After Djokovic broke in the first set Murray broke back with a powerful backhand winner down the line, but the fourth seed was immediately under pressure on his own serve, broken to love as Djokovic took take the first set. Djokovic broke Murray for the third time in the match at the start of the second set as the Scot struggled to gain a foothold in the match. But in a statement of intent Murray, an Australian Open finalist in 2010 and 2011, produced a leaping overhead at the start of game four and stepped up a gear, levelling the set at 2-2. It proved a turning point as the fired-up Scot found his best form, holding easily and then breaking again as he turned the screw in only the second grand slam meeting between the two players. However, Djokovic broke Murray's sequence of four straight games with a break of his own to stay alive.
EPL CRYSTAL BALL
KUNWAR KHULDUNE SHAHID
RSENE Wenger’s relationship with Arsenal fans reached an alltime low against United on Sunday. When 60,000 fans boo one of your decisions, it’s a calamitous moment of truth for any manager; however, when the manager under the spotlight is an acclaimed alltime great and the architect of the very dynasty that those fans take pride in, the aforementioned calamity takes a whole new significance. On paper taking off an 18-year old youngster old starting his first EPL game and bringing on the captain of Russia to replace him is a judicious substitution; however, considering the fact that the former was easily the best player on the pitch for Wenger’s side and had set up the equaliser a few moments earlier, and the latter gives the impression that he’d rather be any other place but the Emirates Stadium, the skeptics do have a point. All the same, blaming the defeat on that particular substitution would be extremely unreasonable; for, there were scores of other deficiencies that rallied together to undo Arsenal. A clumsy excuse for a defence, for example, and a complete lack of mental fortitude; plus there is that dim-witted 100 meter sprinter on the right flank who couldn’t cross a ball even if his life depended on it. What the rise of Oxlade-Chamberlain has also done has that it has further elucidated Theo Walcott’s shortcomings and the fact that the former was taken off while the latter was still on the pitch exhibiting his nuggets of profligacy is another reason why the Arsenal fans in the stands pointed their fingers at Wenger and shouted, “You don’t know what you’re doing!”
Arsene knows…or does he?
ArsenAl fAithful turn their bAck on Wenger, bAlotelli gets into trouble AgAin And liverpool Are off to Wembley Apart from the Arsenal fans turning their back on Wenger, there were two other verdicts on the substitution that are undoubtedly more damning than the chants in the stands. First of all there was Van Persie’s reaction – which he has been endeavouring to downplay ever since – when he saw the fourth official raising the board with the squad numbers of Oxlade-Chamberlain and Arshavin. The fans can be classified as fickle and impulsive but when the club captain doesn’t trust his manager’s decision in such an unambiguous manner then the gaffer clearly doesn’t have the backing of the dressing room. Also, Sir Alex taking off Rafael soon after Oxlade-Chamberlain went off and bringing on Paul Scholes, and moving Valencia to the right fullback position showcased the Scott’s wariness with regards to the English prodigy and the lack of it for the Russian. While, one bad decision doesn’t make a bad manager, the fact that Wenger’s poor decision making was met with overt scorn, is the corollary of years of underachievement and monotonous capitulation. Wenger is running out of time in his quest of winning over the dressing room and the fans again, as the sword of divorce hangs over Emirates Stadium.
WHY AlWAYS BAlOTEllI? The English F.A demonstrated another example of blatant bias and absurdity in the last few days. Mario Balotelli’s stamp on Scott Parker was deemed deliberate – and rightly so – hence, the Italian has been given a four-match ban. However, F.A’s inconsistency comes into play via conveniently overlooking Lescott’s elbow in Kaboul’s face in the same match against Spurs. F.A’s dou-
ble standards have penetrated beyond the realm of nonsensicality. An English International gets away with an offense that was clearly worse than that of the Italian, while the latter, possibly the easiest target of any array of bans that a sporting body can sermon, gets a four match sentence – if this doesn’t border on discriminating bigotry then what does? Staying on the same front, has there ever been a bigger oddball within the EPL ranks than Mario Balotelli? You just can’t keep him out of the headlines – for the right, wrong, eccentric, ludicrous; any kind of reasons. While he shouldn’t have been on the pitch at the time when he won the spot kick and then nonchalantly converted it; there he was making the biggest difference on the game. He is undoubtedly a manager’s nightmare, and the gaffer would rather prefer that the Italian purges out his nut-headedness – or hot-headedness if you will – and focuses on his footballing brilliance. Nevertheless, one feels that if Balotelli were to curb his eccentricity, he’d not be the same player that he is.
CUP glORY IN lIVERPOOl’S SIgHT Liverpool edged out Manchester City in the Carling Cup semifinal to qualify for the final where they’d be facing Cardiff City as the first silverware of the year would be up for grabs. The 1-0 win in the first leg at the Etihad Stadium laid the foundation for Liverpool’s qualification, knowing that all they needed was a draw at Anfield to qualify – and that is exactly what they conjured up. The 2-2 draw on Wednesday was a closely fought affair, and the foundation of Liverpool getting the desired result was laid courtesy a robust show in the middle of the park. Steven Gerrard and
Charlie Adam ensured that the likes of Nasri, Silva and Johnson weren’t given enough room to maneuver and watching the Liverpool skipper so deep is intriguing to say the least – is this the position that Kenny has earmarked for Gerrard or is he merely covering up the massive gap that Lucas’ injury enforced absence has left? Either way he is doing a formidable job. Craig Bellamy was huge in his return to the central striker’s position and after the match Kenny took a little jibe at City by saying, “If Man City have anyone else that they don’t want to keep…”Now with the Carling Cup well within their sight, Liverpool need to ensure that they bag their first piece of silverware for five years, and that would lay the foundation for bigger and better things in the near future on superior fronts.
FA CUP PREVIEW: l’POOl V MAN U Whenever Liverpool and United go head to head it’s a special occasion with so much historical animosity encompassing the game. However, even if we refuse to travel down the lane to times gone by, today’s fixture provides a pivotal moment in the current season for both teams who have underachieved at a varying scale throughout the season. Liverpool could make up for their league disappointments by decent cup showings, and while they are on the brink of Carling Cup glory, an F.A Cup triumph would be more meaningful and would instigate more buoyancy with regards to the future. And toppling United en route to glory in the fourth round would be the icing on this cake of buoyancy. United, on the other hand, are traversing a tricky run of fixtures and with the primary goal – after the Champions League exit – of retaining their league title, still well within their sights, they should not overlook the fact that winning the F.A Cup for the first time since 2004 would be a noteworthy return from a mediocre season, should they fail in their main goal. Nonetheless it’s difficult to see United doing one over Liverpool at Anfield, and a replay just might be their best bet; however, it was difficult to see Sir Alex’s side outdo City at the Etihad as well.
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MELBOURNE: Novak Djokovic of Serbia reaches for a return against Andy Murray of Britain in their men’s semi-final match. AFp
Earplugs ready, it’s scream queen final MELBOURNE AFP
djokoVic 11 6 49 69 11/26 184
aceS doUBLe FaULtS WinnerS UnForced errorS Break point conVerSionS totaL pointS Won
MUrray 9 10 47 86 7/24 161
Victoria azarenka (BLr x3) V Maria SharapoVa (rUS x4) SerieS tied 3-3 2007 Moscow, carpet, round of 16, azarenka 7-6 (11/9), 6-2 2009 Los angeles, hard, round of 32, Sharapova 6-7 (4/7), 6-4, 6-2 2009 Beijing, hard, round of 32, Sharapova 6-3, 6-7 (5/7), 7-5 2010 Stanford, hard, final, azarenka 6-4, 6-1 2011 Miami, hard, final, azarenka 6-1, 6-4 2011 rome, clay, quarter-final, Sharapova 4-6, 3-0 - retired
N one side is the 'haaah', and on the other is the 'aaagh', and in between, a bit of tennis. Welcome to the Scream Queen final, where every shot will be heard around the world. In a match-up dreaded by the Women's Tennis Association (WTA), Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka, two of the game's most notorious shriekers, will contest the Australian Open trophy on Saturday. The timing is unfortunate, coming just days after the WTA launched a crackdown on the unladylike grunting which has long been a source of debate and innuendo. And stereo screaming from either side of the net may prove too much for the jocular Australian crowd, which joined in en masse with Azarenka's distinctive exclamations during her late-night win over Casey Dellacqua. Australia's Channel Seven TV will be at hand with its Whoo! Meter, which has already clocked Azarenka at 91.4 decibels -- the equivalent of a passing truck. Headline writers have gone to town, with the Herald Sun calling the pair the "squeal deal" and Britain's Independent saying they are vying to be crowned "princess of wails". Tennis website www.thetennisspace.com listed a compendium of descriptions, with highlights including "the mating call of a peacock", "a balloon being deflated" or "a woman about to give birth to triplets". The Age's Richard Hinds recalled Peter Ustinov's famous quip about Monica Seles: "I would hate to be in the next room on her wedding night." "The genesis of the tennis grunt is disputed," wrote Hinds. "Some say the grunt was invented in Nick Bollettieri's tennis laboratory where, convinced a noisy expulsion would help a player hit the ball harder, the famed coach played soundtracks from pornographic movies near the test tubes in which his 'Deci-belles' were incubating. "Others are adamant the shriek was secretly encouraged by the WTA Tour marketing department, which hoped to keep spectators awake during early-round matches." The WTA was concerned enough to take action, admitting that "some
Unseeded Svetlana Kuznetsova and Vera Zvonareva won the Australian Open women's doubles crown on Friday, coming from behind to beat Italian pair Roberta Vinci and Sara Errani in three sets. The Russians overcame a poor start from Zvonareva in particular to win the title 5-7, 64, 6-3 on Rod Laver Arena, but were quick to downplay any implications for the Olympic Games later this year. Vinci and Errani are Fed Cup stalwarts for Italy and have won all five Fed Cup doubles matches they have played. Kuznetsova and Zvonareva rarely play together and only decided to team up for Melbourne at the last moment. "I think we decided the night before sign-in was closing," Kuznetsova said. "Because we focus on singles, sometimes I go to a grand slam and I don't know if I'm going to play or not in the doubles." Zvonareva insisted they weren't thinking of the Olympics when they opted to play doubles in Melbourne. "It's not our main focus," she said. "Longterm, you know, we don't know. It depends because we have so many great players that can play good in singles and doubles. "And I think both of us, we will try to make it to the Olympics in singles. That's the most important thing. If we get chosen for doubles, we get chosen. " The Russians started slowly with the Italians looking far
more comfortable early on with superior movement and better teamwork. Vinci and Errani were deadly at the net, intercepting the powerful ground strokes of the Russians and winning points with deft volleys. Kuznetsova had to work overtime to keep the Russians in touch as her partner struggled in the face of aggressive play from the Italians. The Italians grabbed the first set in almost an hour, but were unable to capitalise on Zvonareva's serving woes in the second and the Russians equalised after Errani was broken serving at 4-5. Vinci and Errani suddenly looked flat and struggled to cope with the relentless power of their opponents. They went down an early break as Zvonareva finally began to find some form and were unable to peg it back, Kuznetsova serving out for the win on their third match point. The title is the second grand slam doubles crown for both Kuznetsova and Zvonareva, although with different partners. Zvonareva also has two mixed doubles titles. Kuznetsova won in Melbourne in 2005 with Australian Alicia Molik, while Zvonareva captured the US Open a year later alongside Frenchwoman Nathalie Dechy. Meanwhile, American-Romanian duo Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Horia Tecau beat India's Sania Mirza and Mahesh Bhupathi to reach the mixed doubles final, where they will face Russian Elena Vesnina and India's Leander Paes.
TEN SPORTS Pakistan V England Test 4th Day 11:00AM
STAR SPORTS Australia V India Test 5th Day 05:30AM
Sl chief defends Marsh sacking COLOMBO AFP
AZARENKA, SHARAPOVA PENPIX PeNPIX OF VICtORIA AzAReNKA ANd MARIA SHARAPOVA AHeAd OF tHeIR AUStRAlIAN OPeN FINAl ON SAtURdAy (X deNOteS SeedING):
VICTORIA AZARENKA (BlR X3) born: July 31, 1989, birthplace: Minsk, belarus, Residence: Monte Carlo, Height: 6ft (1.83m), weight: 66 kg (145 lbs), Career singles titles: 9, Grand slam titles: 0, Career prize money: US$9,040,357, best Australian Open result: Quarter-finals (2010) – the powerful belarusian will be searching for her first grand slam title in her debut final. She made the semi-finals at wimbledon in 2011, falling in three sets to eventual champion Petra Kvitova. the 22-year-old right-hander won her ninth title in Sydney in the lead-up to the Australian Open and remains unbeaten in 2012.
MARIA SHARAPOVA (RUS X4) born: April 19, 1987, birthplace: Nyagan, Russia, Residence: bradenton, Florida, USA, Height: 6ft 2 inches (1.88m), weight: 59 kg (130 lbs), Career singles titles: 24, Grand slam titles: 3, Career prize money: $US16,643,327, best Australian Open result: Champion (2008) – the glamorous Russian burst onto the scene as a 17-year-old in 2004 when she won wimbledon. She claimed the US Open two years later and won her third grand slam title in 2008 at the Australian Open. Sharapova has battled back from a series of injuries to reclaim her place among the sport's elite. fans find it bothersome". "Everyone who watches tennis knows grunting is a part of the game, and we are aware that some fans find it bothersome," the body said. "We are currently in the process of exploring how to reduce excessive grunting, especially for younger players just starting out." Azarenka, 22, has greeted all the fuss with good humour, patiently admitting that, yes,
she will be well aware of Sharapova's squeals on Saturday evening. "Well, I'm not deaf. Of course I hear her. I'm sure she hears me. And about another 15,000 people hear us maybe even further away," she said. "I guess some people are just bored, you know. They created that machine that can measure it. So I mean, money well spent, huh?"
Kuznetsova, Zvonareva win doubles title MELBOURNE
wAtCh It LIve
Sri Lanka's cricket chief Friday defended the sacking of Australian coach Geoff Marsh and the selection of a new team captain, saying the changes would help usher in a new era of "cricketing excellence". "We will reap the benefits of these changes in the fullness of time," Sri Lanka Cricket president Upali Dharmadasa said in statement. The sacking of Marsh on Wednesday -- just three months into a two-year contract -- was widely criticised, with former team skipper Arjuna Ranatunga calling the move "disgraceful" and "unprofessional". Marsh was replaced by South African Graham Ford, who becomes Sri Lanka's fourth coach since Australian Trevor Bayliss stepped aside after the World Cup final in April 2011. While voicing gratitude for Marsh's efforts, Dharmadasa said it was time for Sri Lankan cricket to "move on". The appointment of Ford was "based on the fact that he can cope with the demands a 21st Century coach has to cope with in the international arena", the statement said. The change in coaches came two days after Tillakaratne Dilshan quit as team captain, to be replaced by former skipper Mahela Jayawardene. "This change will also help Dilshan to concentrate more on his game," Dharmadasa said. "We strongly believe Dilshan's contribution will be much more if he is relived of additional responsibility. This will help the teams overhaul performance." Sri Lanka's sports minister last week named a four-member selection panel and gave them one year to put the team in order after the side lost Test and one-day series to England, Australia, Pakistan and South Africa.
20th National Rugby begins today LAHORE STAFF REPORT
The 20th National Rugby Championship is being hosted by the Fata Rugby Association played at Qayyum Stadium Peshawar. Fata, the new member of the Pakistan Rugby Family is creating history by holding this tournament. Teams of Army , Police, HEC, Punjab, Baluchistan, Khyber Pakhutankha, Fata and Punjab whites are taking part in the championship. The opening ceremony will take place at 11 am on today (Saturday) and chief guest of the ceremony will be Sports minister KPK Syed Aqil Shah and the closing ceremony will be held on Sunday while chief guest of closing ceremony will be federal minister Sefran and Fata Olympic Association president Eng. Shokat ALLAh khan.
HK Players’ Coaching Program at NCA LAHORE STAFF REPORT
MElBOURNE: Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia (l) and Vera zvonareva of Russia (R) pose with their winner's trophy. AFp
A Specialized High Performance Coaching and Training Program of Hong Kong National Team Elite members will be conducted at National Cricket Academy from January 29 to February 3 here. The program has been designed on special request of the Hong Kong National Team Officials since the Hong Kong Team had a similar kind of High Performance Camp at NCA in the past as well. The Hong Kong players and Coach will prepare here for their upcoming ICC Cricket Tournaments with the professional expertise of NCA Elite Coaches/Support Staff.
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Saturday, 28 January, 2012
Senators absolve punjab government of blame in spurious drugs chaos Ask govt to deal with issue as a humanitarian one instead of a political one g
REASURY and opposition members of the Senate on Friday absolved the Punjab government of any blame in the deaths caused by spurious drugs in the province, saying it was due to weak infrastructure and lack of legal mechanism that the manufacturers of sub-standard drugs continued with their business. They asked the respective governments not to start a blame-game but deal with the issue as a humanitarian one instead of a political one. Petroleum Minister Dr Asim Hussain said it would not be appropriate to term the deaths murder or
blame anybody for the negligence. He said it was due to wrong policies that so many people lost their lives. “After the 18th Amendment, drug regulation was also devolved to the provinces but none of them established drug regulatory bodies,” he said. He added that never ever in the whole world did regulatory authority rest with the provinces. He proposed a resolution to support the formation of a drug regulatory authority at the federal level and also criticised the doctors who prescribe substandard medicines to patients. Senator Raza Rabbani told the House that it was because of the federal government’s unwillingness for hand over Sheikh Zayed Hospital to the Punjab government that the latter did not respond swiftly to the formation of the proposed federal drug regulatory authority, which collectively led to a poor regulatory system and resulted in so many deaths in Lahore. Speaking on a point of order, he said it was agreed during
consultations on the 18th Amendment that an independent drug regulatory authority comprising representatives of all four provinces would be set up at the federal level to regulate drug manufacturing across the country. However, he added, during the last phase of the devolution process, the federal government declined to hand over Sheikh Zayed Hospital to the Punjab government and subsequently Punjab also did not cooperate on the issue. He told the House further it was agreed that until such time that a final agreement was reached between the provinces, the current system would continue under which the Cabinet Division was responsible for dealing with such matters. He said now the provinces would have to raise the issue at the Council of Common Interest (CCI) and bring a unanimous resolution under Article 142 of the constitution so as to pave the way for the formation of the regulatory authority. He said further if that if the government was establishing a
new ministry comprising departments of the devolved ministries, it would be unconstitutional. However, Senator Wasim Sajjad differed with Rabbani, saying there was no need to bring a resolution under Article 142. Senator Haroon Akhtar endorsed Rabbani’s point of view saying the Cabinet Division was responsible for dealing with health issues at the federal level. Senator Ishaq Dar said if the federal government handed over Sheikh Zayed Hospital to the Punjab government, the Punjab Assembly would pass a resolution to establish the drug regulatory authority. Earlier, some of the senators, including Tahir Mashhadi and Kazim Khan, held the Punjab government responsible for the deaths from spurious drugs in Lahore. The Senate chairman referred the matter to the Standing Committee on Cabinet and also referred a calling-attention notice about reported import of millions of automatic weapons to the country during the last many years to the Finance Ministry.
SC seeks ISI’s report on law and order in balochistan ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT
The Supreme Court rejected and expressed dissatisfaction with the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and Special Branch reports over the worsening law and order situation in Balochistan on Friday and directed the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) to submit its detailed report on the issue by February 6. A three-member bench comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Khilji Arif Hussain and Justice Tariq Parvez was hearing a petition filed by Balochistan High Court Bar Association President Hadi Shakeel Ahmad against incidents of targeted killing, kidnapping for ransom and the deteriorating law and order situation in the province in general. The chief justice observed that no one was taking measures to control killings in Quetta, adding that the court was considering hearing the case in Balochistan. In response to court orders, Balochistan additional advocate general submitted a report to the court on law and order in Balochistan on behalf of the IB, saying that it was a classified document, thus it should not be shared with the petitioners. “If you say then we may consider it classified, otherwise the information given in the report has already been published in the newspapers,” Justice Hussain said. The court, however, directed the IB’s counsel to submit the report to the apex court’s Registrar Office. The additional advocate general also submitted a report on the matter on behalf of the Special Branch. Justice Hussain said things did not become classified upon someone’s request, on which the chief justice remarked that the report could be considered ‘classified’ if the agencies said so, but the court was not satisfied with it. The petitioner has made Balochistan Police inspector general (IG), Frontier Corps Balochistan IG and Levis Force IG, heads of three top intelligence agencies, the federal government through the Interior Ministry and the provincial government through the chief secretary and home secretary the respondents. The case was later adjourned until February 6.
ISlAMABAD: Former adviser to the prime minister, Khurram Rasool flashes the victory sign as he returns after a hearing at the Supreme Court on Friday. online
Taliban willing to compromise, Afghan negotiators say KABUL REUTERS
Senior Afghan peace negotiators believe the Taliban are willing to significantly soften past hardline ideologies, with its leaders already laying the ground for possible peace talks in the Gulf state of Qatar. Former Taliban minister Maulvi Arsala Rahmani, a member of the High Peace Council set up by President Hamid Karzai two years ago to liaise with insurgents, said after a decade of fighting with NATO, the Taliban were ready to moderate on reimposition of fundamentalist positions. And despite the assassination only last September of former president and leader of the peace process Burhanuddin Rabbani, secret discussions that began in Ger-
many in November 2010 between US, Taliban, German and Qatari representatives had a good chance of success, Rahmani said. “The Taliban are not back to govern the same way as the old Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. When they are back, they will be back as Afghans,” Rahmani, a Taliban defector but with strong ties to the movement, said. “For Taliban members with the talent and skills, they will be election candidates for parliament, the presidency or the cabinet. The Taliban are not back to take over Afghanistan,” he said. Martine van Bijlert, of respected independent think-tank Afghanistan Analysts Network in Kabul, said no one could assume that talks with the Taliban would not work. “But at the same time, we can’t get ahead of ourselves,”
she said. “There seems to be a real chance at the moment. The high council has an interest in optimism of course, given their role in the process. But whether it can work is a fine balance. There is not an option not to try.” Rahmani said preparations in Qatar were underway, with a team of senior aides to Mullah Omar already in Doha. “I think the (Qatar) office is operational, but media are strictly banned,” he said, looking frail with age and swathed in a heavy, fur-lined coat against the winter cold. “People are already there like Shahabuddin Delawar (a former Taliban envoy to Saudi Arabia), Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai (a former Taliban deputy foreign minister) and Tayeb Agha (said to be a close aid and former secretary to Mullah Omar).”
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Musharraf will ‘certainly’ be arrested: Gilani MONITORING DESK/AGENCIES Former president Pervez Musharraf will “certainly” be arrested if he returns to Pakistan, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani said on Friday. “In fact there have been murder charges against him, and there have even been some very grave charges against him, and the Supreme Court has already given a verdict against him,” Gilani told CNN from the Global Economic Forum in Davos. “Certainly when he’ll come back, he has to face those charges and certainly be arrested,” he said. Musharraf announced plans to return from exile in late January and to run in upcoming elections, but his party said he was reassessing those plans when Pakistan’s elected government warned that if he returned, he faced arrest. Gilani also admitted “a lot of challenges” in the war on terrorism, including militancy in the country’s northwest. “We are fighting for our own selves, for our own survival, because these militants, they have killed 30,000 innocent people, 5,000 brave soldiers,” he said. The fight against terrorism has caused a “loss of economy”, Gilani said, but investment in the country remains. “Yes, we are fighting a war on extremism and terrorism, and we’re a frontline state, yes, there are a lot of challenges,” he said. “But it doesn’t mean that there is no investment coming to Pakistan. We have offered very lucrative incentives for investment in Pakistan and there is a lot of investment coming to Pakistan.” Gilani said the people in Pakistan were “bitter” over the attack by NATO forces last November that killed two dozen Pakistani soldiers near the Afghan border. NATO has said the attack was “unintended”. “We have paid so much price for the war on terrorism,” Gilani said. “People should appreciate our struggle.” The prime minister also met Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Friday on the margins of the World Economic Forum meeting, telling her that Pakistan was keen to move towards a free trade agreement with Thailand and stressed focused talks for increased bilateral trade between the two countries. Congratulating Yingluck on becoming the first female prime minister of Thailand, Gilani said trade between the two countries was increasing progressively and had touched one billion dollars. He added that there was a huge potential to increase it further.
eCP revises byelection schedules ISLAMABAD ONlINE
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has changed the by-election schedule for 2012 in accordance with the orders of the Supreme Court. The ECP has now set February 25 as polling day for vacant National Assembly seats instead of February 20, and February 15 as polling day for vacant provincial assembly seats. The apex court had ordered the commission to hold the byelections on the basis of new electoral lists instead of the old ones. The ECP therefore delayed the dates of byelections for 10 seats of the National Assembly and provincial assemblies as it completes the electoral lists.