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Thursday, 17.05.12


Ex-Spain PM: Putin told me ‘Israel will take care of Iran’ Also Khameini told me Iran will win ‘inevitable’ conflict with Israel and US Israel would “take care of it.” Aznar, who was the president of Spain’s center-right government from 1996 to 2004, has spoken out on Israel’s behalf on many occasions. He has also discussed his meeting with Khameini in the past, but during Wednesday’s presentation at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, he made an effort to specify the Iranian leader’s exact phrasing and to interpret his intentions.

Jose Maria Aznar says Russian leader made comments when justifying sale of S300 missiles to Tehran; Aznar also recounts meeting with Khamenei, who allegedly said an open confrontation with Israel, US “inevitable.” Spain’s former prime minister said Wednesday that Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khameini, told him in 2001 that he considered Israel a “cancer condemned to disappear” and that an “open confrontation” with Israel and the US in which Iran will prevail was inevitable. “Israel to him was a kind of historical cancer and anomaly, a country … condemned to disappear,” Jose Maria Aznar said, recalling a rare meeting with Khameini in Tehran. “At some point he said very clearly, though softly as he spoke, that an open confrontation against the US and Israel was inevitable, and that he was working for Iran to prevail in such

a confrontation. It was his duty as the ultimate stalwart of the Islamic global revolution.” Since then, Iran has been pursuing a nuclear program which it insists is for peaceful purposes and which Israel, the US and others believe is intended to provide

it with military nuclear capability. Speaking to journalists and diplomats in Jerusalem, Aznar also recalled a discussion he had with Russian President Vladimir Putin, in which the Russian leader allegedly told him not to worry about an Iranian nuclear bomb since

Khameini said Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution sought to rid the world of Continued on page 02 >>

Britons to brace Ratko Mladic’s genocide themselves for two more trial gets under way Former Serb general gives truculent display at Hague court as prosecution outlines case including 1995 Srebrenica massacre Ratko Mladic taunts Srebrenica survivors at start of trial

Facing 11 charges including two counts of genocide, the 70 yearold former general appeared

unrepentant on Wednesday. Bosnian Serb general Ratko Mladic taunted Srebrenica

survivors at the start of his trial for genocide, running his hand Continued on page 26 >>

years of economic pain. Bank Governor warns of eurozone crisis ‘storm’

THE Bank of England today told Britons to brace themselves for two more years of economic pain. And that is without the effects of any possible collapse of the euro. Governor Sir Mervyn King said the UK economy will not return to pre-financial crisis levels before

2014, as the Bank cut its growth forecasts for the next two years. The UK’s recovery from recession will be hampered by people taking time off work during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations, the Bank of England has said. Continued on page 26 >>



South Asia Tribune I Thursday 17 May 2012

Francois Hollande takes oath as France’s President

Francois Hollande has been sworn in as the 24th president of France and the country’s first socialist leader for nearly two decades. According to French tradition, he was welcomed to the Elysee Palace by outgoing president Nicolas Sarkozy. Hollande, 57, was elected to a fiveyear term earlier this month after voters ousted incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy after only one term. Voters were disappointed over Sarkozy’s handling of France’s economy — which has high unemployment and low growth — and recoiled at his aggressive personality. Hollande plans to leave shortly on his first diplomatic foray — to Berlin, where he is meeting German Chancellor Angela Merkel for a critical meeting on austerity Publisher Salah Bu Khamas (UAE) Sabha Khan (UK) UK Office 10 Courtenay Road, Wembley, Middlesex, HA9 7ND UK Phone: +44 20 8904 0619 Fax: +44 20 8181 7575 India Office Satya Infomedia Pvt. Ltd. C/O Satya Group. 1st Floor, Avenue Appt., Near Sheth. R. J. J. High School, Tithal Road, Valsad - 396001 Gujarat, India United Arab Emirates Office S.K. Group of Companies P.O. Box 9021, Karama Dubai, United Arab Emirates Tel: +971 4 2659970, 3359929; Fax: +971 4 2659971, 3341609 Managing Editor & CEO Mohammad Shahid Khan Group Editorial Managers Gulzar Khan (India) Abdul Khalique (Pakistan) Editorial Board UK Frances Brunner FYI Tribune team Adrian Fellar Misbah Khan Reema Shah Rohma Khan Keziah-Ann Abakah Marketing & Sales Andrew Klugman (Manager) Art Department UK Ali Ansar (Art Director) Md. Reazul Islam

and growth in Europe. Arriving Tuesday morning at the 18th-century palace that is the traditional residence of French presidents, Hollande was greeted by Sarkozy on the Elysee’s redcarpeted steps. Following a fortyminute private meeting with Sarkozy, Hollande was declared president after the head of the constitutional court read out the final results of the May 6 election. In his first presidential speech, Hollande promised to fight financial speculation and “open a new path” in Europe but acknowledged that he inherits huge government debt. He has pushed back against austerity measures championed by Germany amid Europe’s debt crisis and wants government stimulus instead. Hollande also pledged to

bring “dignity” to the presidential role — something voters felt that Sarkozy did not always do.

Muslim organizations, France’s chief rabbi, , the daughter of late President Francois Mitterrand’s mistress and a host of cultural figures. Hollande received the insignia of the Grand Croix from the hands of Gen. Jean-Louis Georgelin, who heads the prestigious Legion of Honor, and the necklace of the Great Master of the Order of the Legion of Honor. Each linked medallion of the necklace bears the name of a president, with Hollande’s name recently added. Sarkozy left the palace handin-hand with wife Carla BruniSarkozy, had a last handshake on the palace steps with Hollande, then

Guests at the ceremony included France’s leftist political elite, the head of an umbrella group of French

was driven away. Former staffers gathered in the palace courtyard applauded loudly as Sarkozy left.

Hollande was due to fly to Berlin later in the day for his first meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. According to a survey of 10,000 voters conducted by Opinionway for Le Figaro (not online), 93 percent of French Muslims voted for Francois Hollande in the second round of the French election, La Vie reports. Another poll put Muslim support for Hollande at 85 percent. A prior Opinionway survey showed that 59 percent of Muslim voters (numbering about two million in total) voted for Hollande in the first round of the French elections, with Sarkozy only managing four percent. “It is the mark of a true rejection of Nicolas Sarkozy” said Julien Goarant, research director at Opinionway. Sarkozy’s attempts to woo Far-right voters and question the role of Islam (especially Halal meat) in France also did not go unnoticed. On the flip side, a poll for La Vie showed that 79 percent of practicing Catholics voted for Sarkozy, with Hollande cornering only 21 percent of their vote. But 70 percent of those considering themselves “without religion” went with Hollande, according to Le Figaro.

Ex-Spain PM: Putin told me ‘Israel will take care of Iran’ Continued from page 01 >> two evils, the US and Israel, “and to preserve unhurt the virtues of the religious regime of the ayatollahs,” according to Aznar. The existence of Israel and the US seriously threatened to pervert the religious society the Supreme Leader envisioned for Iran, and that is something he could not allow to happen, Aznar continued. Pressed by members of the audience to specify whether Khameini explicitly called for Israel’s destruction, Aznar said the Iranian leader told him it was necessary to eliminate the threat that Israeli poses. “And that means obviously the elimination of Israel,” said Aznar. “If Israel is alive the threat survives. They’re trying to eliminate the threat. The elimination of the threat means Israel must be eliminated.” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (photo credit: CC-BY Wikipedia/ Asked whether Khameini actually used to word “eliminate,” Aznar responded affirmatively. He noted, however, that he spoke to the Iranian leader through an interpreter. Commenting on the current debate over Iran’s nuclear ambitions, Aznar said next week’s talks in Baghdad between the Islamic

Republic and the P5+1 countries should be Tehran’s “last chance to come clean and be cooperative.” He demanded Iran stop all enrichment, remove all previously enriched uranium and dismantle its nuclear facilities,

echoing the Israeli government’s position. “The Iranians must say whether they agree or not,” Aznar said. “A simple yes or no. Other than that, the risk of entering endless negotiations is too high.” Aznar, who in 2010 founded the Friends of Israel initiative together with other international leaders, also recalled a meeting with Putin, in which he raised the risk of Moscow’s plan to sell Tehran air defense missiles. “He came closer to me and whispered, ‘Jose Maria, don’t worry. I, you — we can sell everything, even if we are worried by an Iranian nuclear bomb. Because at the end of the day, the Israelis will take care of it,’” Aznar remembered. Russia in 2007 pledged to provide Iran with at least five S-300 surface-to-air missile systems but in 2010 backtracked. “I don’t think it’s fair putting all the burden of solving the global problems on the shoulders of Israel. But given the current environment, the decision makers here in Jerusalem must face the question of how to deal with an impending nuclear Iran,” Aznar said. “In any case, we should accept that Israel has the right to defend itself, by itself.”

South Asia Tribune I Thursday 17 May 2012



Assange Episode 5: Surviving Guantanamo The latest episode of The World Tomorrow takes us to the very heart of America’s War on Terror: Guantanamo Bay. Julian Assange sat down with a former Gitmo prisoner and a rights campaigner fighting for those still trapped behind the wire. Ten years ago the war on terror prompted the opening of the facility. Now, more than three years after President Obama ordered its closure, the Guantanamo Bay detention camp, like the war in Afghanistan, remains with us. Over a year ago, Wikileaks blew the lid on Gitmo by releasing a

cache of files that exposed the inner workings of the infamous prison where 169 remain without

suspect. He amazingly managed to secure his release in 2005 after lobbying his government.

the plight of prisoners who remain in Guantanamo Bay. Begg signed a confession admitting

hope of trial or release. Moazzam Begg, born and raised in the UK, was imprisoned for years in Guantanamo as an Al Qaeda

Asim Qureshi is a former corporate lawyer, whose human rights organization Cageprisoners Ltd exists solely to raise awareness of

he “was armed and prepared to fight alongside the Taliban and Al Qaeda against the US,” but only after being hog-tied and beaten

as he listened “to the sound of a woman screaming next door I’m told or am led to believe is my wife.” Together, both men discuss the plight of Muslims in the post 9/11 world, the thin line between terror and self-defense, and how Begg believes Obama has ushered in an era where “extra-judicial killing” has replaced “extra-judicial detention.” Stay tuned and watch the new episode of Assange’s “The World Tomorrow” exclusively on RT, Tuesday, 11:30 GMT.

Vaz welcomes visa Gas prices to rocket by 15%, centre success for city millions of families warned

Leicester East MP, Keith Vaz, has welcomed the successful conclusion of the campaign to secure a biometric visa centre in the city to allow people to register for biometric residence permits. Mr Vaz started the campaign in January this year by urging residents to sign a petition calling for the service to be provided. By April the petition had been signed by almost 1000 residents. Mr Vaz presented the petition on behalf of his constituents to the House of Commons on the 26thApril. He also met with Damian Green MP, the Immigration Minister, Rob Whiteman, Head of UKBA, and Paula Vennells, the ManagingDirector of the Post Office Ltd. Following these meetings Ms Vennells agreed to provide a biometric visa centre in Leicester. The changes to immigration laws concerning non-EU/EEA nationals came into force on the 1st March meaning those who want to stay here for longer than six months have to have facial recognition and fingerprints taken at a specialised

centre. The new rules will also include students and refugees. There isn’t a centre in Leicestershire, with the nearest being in Beeston, Nottinghamshire and in Derby, even though Leicester is a prime candidate for the service. Mr Vaz was disappointed that constituents wanting the permits would have to travel, incurring unnecessary expense and time to get them. Keith Vaz says: “This is a brilliant outcome for the people of Leicester. The campaign has provided for a service that many residents will need and use Leicester is known internationally as a hub for business and study and also for our great diversity. It is of the upmost importance that we continue to be seen as a welcoming city. With provision for the service in the city centre we will save many people unnecessary travelling time and expenses travelling out of the county. I am delighted that the campaign has at last secured this important facility.”

HOUSEHOLDS face the prospect of more price hikes after British Gas owner Centrica warned a 15 per cent rise in the wholesale cost of gas could be passed on to consumers. The company, which is the UK’s biggest energy supplier, said it was also facing increased transport and other costs, which could add £50 a year to average bills. If the 15 per cent increase is passed on to consumers, it could mean a £128 a year increase, taking average bills to £1,388. British Gas, which trades as Scottish Gas north of the Border and has 15.9 million residential customers, increased gas bills by 18 per cent and electricity by 16 per cent in August. Yesterday’s price warning was greeted with dismay by industry commentators, who said consumers were already stretched to the limit. Audrey Gallacher, director of energy at Consumer Focus, said: “Consumers will need clear evidence that price rises are warranted if they are to stomach further increases to their bills. “People simply don’t know whether what they are asked to pay is fair – the perception is that suppliers are quick to pass on high price rises and slow to pass on small price cuts. “Much greater transparency on costs, pricing and profits is needed for customers to know whether they’re getting a fair deal.” She called for the extra revenue the UK government receives from carbon taxes to be used to help the millions of people who are being hit hardest by rising costs. Tom Lyon, energy expert at, said: “This is deeply worrying as consumers are still

struggling to come to terms with the £224 or 21 per cent increase in bills from the end of 2010 and only enjoyed a £41 or 3.2 per cent reduction at the beginning of this year. “Any further increases will see even more people seriously struggling to afford their bills. We would urge all suppliers to hold fire for as long as possible and to ensure that if they do move, it is only in response to a sustained upward trend. “It’s also important that they recognise the impact it will have on their customers.” Tom Pering, an energy analyst at Inenco, said cost hikes were caused by a combination of issues, including supply security and the increasing cost of government legislation. He said: “This increased cost will inevitably be passed on to residential and business customers in the form of higher bills.

“However, the big six energy companies are still not doing enough to inform UK households of their cheapest tariffs and helping them reduce bills.” Centrica’s shares were up 1 per cent after it said it was trading in line with expectations. In its statement, the firm said: “Noncommodity costs – which are largely outside of our control – are expected to add a further £50 to the cost of supplying the average household this year. The trend for retail energy costs therefore remains upwards.” Centrica, which is midway through a drive to cut 2,300 jobs as part of a push to save £500m, said its residential energy customer base edged down year on year to 15.9m, compared with 16m a year ago. Last month Centrica threatened to pull out of the running to build a new generation of atomic power plants because of uncertainty over the government’s energy policy.

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UK Secret courts

The British government’s argument for secret courts is flawed in both moral and practical terms – and should be resisted. UK government plans to end centuries of open justice by allowing some court evidence to be heard behind closed doors are “dangerous”, Amnesty International said. The proposal submitted by the British government, confirmed in the British Queen’s speech during last Wednesday’s state opening of the UK Parliament, allows certain court evidence to be heard from behind closed doors. In the Queen’s speech it announced plans to transform hearings of some civil law cases against the government into, effectively, secret courts. The primary justification for this is that US intelligence agencies would cease to share information with the UK if British courts were allowed to continue disclosing data obtained from American sources .the American system leaks far more than the British ever could. This leak happened not in the pursuit of justice but as a casually irresponsible piece of political spin. In the coming year, the government, at the behest of the intelligence agencies, is going to ask us to introduce a secret procedure into our civil courts for the first time in our history. It will allow the covering up of crimes – such as complicity in torture – that may have been carried out in our name. It is being justified as a way of protecting secrets from a country that makes a virtue of being even more open than we are, and which as a result lets slip more classified data in a day than our courts do in a decade. Plans to expand secret hearings into civil courts have been accelerated by the government. Rather than moving to the preparatory white paper stage, a justice and security bill will be put through parliament this session. The government has come under severe pressure from MI5 and MI6 to impose a system of secret hearings in courts ever since disclosures that the security and intelligence agencies had been involved in the brutal treatment,

and knew of the torture, of UK residents and citizens detained by the CIA. The government’s central argument for the creation of new generation of secret courts has been “blown out of the water” by the leak of highly sensitive British intelligence in the US, according to former shadow home secretary David Davis. Amnesty International has described the proposed legal changes as “dangerous,” saying they would allow the British government to keep secret any evidence of human rights violations.’ David Cameron has defended plans to create a new generation of secret courts and to extend powers to monitor the public’s emails, phone calls and social media communications, saying the government needed to take every step to keep the country safe. The deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, raised concerns about the plans in a letter to ministers on the national Security Council. Clegg said the courts should only be used in exceptional cases where there are national security concerns. But Mr. Clegg has reportedly told the prime minister, ministers and security chiefs on the National Security Council that, without changes to the current proposals, his party would not back the legislation. Contrary to what the government appears to anticipate, many of the measures in the green paper appear to undermine the “human rights, justice and fairness” that this government claims to respect. Closed evidence, which has been creeping into the judicial system over the past decade, runs contrary to democratic values and the established, healthy tradition of open and fair trials. Commenting on the decision, David Davis, the former shadow home secretary who is a fierce critic of proposals to extend the secret justice system said: “The government doesn’t like it when it can’t itself challenge evidence, as unchallenged evidence is unreliable evidence. This shows that one-sided justice eventually delivers no justice.”

Restoring Nato supply ”will be attacked by 400 Suiciders”

Sheikh Rasheed threatens to launch anti-govt movement by attack on NATO supply by 300 -400 Suiciders !!! Former Minister and a leader of Difa-e-pakistan Council, AML chief Sheikh Rashid Ahmed has revealed on TV, that 300 to 400 Suiciders are ready to explode if Pakistani government resumes the NATO supply . In the same Interview he also said “we are ready to be martyred and the Government cannot stop “ . He empahsised that it is on record as what he is saying that 300 to 400 suiciders are ready for the coming Thursday and Friday or the day Pakistani government announce regarding NATO supply. We will go to the Capital Islamabad for attack. Earlier back on 6th April, talking to the media at the Jinnah International Airport Karachi Sheikh Rashid Ahmad claimed that as many as 300 suicide attackers are present in Pakistan and if they are not controlled, large-scale disaster may hit the country. He also said that Pakistan was in the grip of suicide attacks and the whole nation would have to rise against them. Lord Nazir Ahmed who was suspended from the party after a Pakistani newspaper reported, that he allegedly offered cash for the capture of Mr. Obama (Lord Ahmed firmly denied offering a bounty), invited Sheikh Rashid leader of the Pakistan Awami Muslim League as guest, at the House of Lords on Wednesday 28th March 2012 at6 pm Committee Room 3 . Sheikh Rashid is one of the leader of recently formed Difa e Pakistan including Hafiz Saeed , whose JuD is believed to be linked to anti-India militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba. Should Lord Nazir Ahmed who is a great defender of Pakistan and Muslims cause, avoid people like Shiekh Rasheed Ahmed who are not only demonisers of Islam also a threat with 300 – 400 suiciders for the Pakistan?

South Asia Tribune I Thursday 17 May 2012

61,000 NHS jobs ‘at risk’

Health Secretary heckled after claiming NHS staffing levels have increased as nursing study reveals 61,000 frontline jobs to go • Jobs ‘at risk’ because of spending cuts, according to Royal College of Nursing study • Community nurses among those facing the chop • A total of 26,000 jobs already gone in last two years • Lansley receives frosty reception at nursing conference Nurses heckled and laughed at Health Secretary Andrew Lansley today after he claimed clinical staffing levels in the NHS had increased. Mr Lansley was speaking in the wake of a Royal College of Nursing (RCN) study that warned more than 60,000 frontline jobs in the NHS, including those of nurses, were at risk because of spending cuts, with almost half already gone. The Royal College of Nursing say the Government has shown ‘weakness’ over pledges to protect frontline NHS services. A study has shown that 61,000 posts could be lost because of spending cuts and almost half of those jobs have

already gone in the last two years. The RCN have also been critical of government plans to move care from acute hospitals to community sites, calling it a ‘facade’. Dr Peter Carter, general secretary of the RCN said: “Nurses are being stretched too thin, and many are approaching breaking point. Inevitably patient care is going to suffer.” Ahead of their annual conference in Harrogate this week they have said that underinvestement could mean patients will have ‘nowhere to turn’ if services in the hospitals and in the community are cut. This would create a ‘revolving door ‘for patients who may be discharged from hospital too quickly into community care where there is not enough

support. Carter said: “The community is struggling to cope with the workload it has now, let alone the one it faces in the future.” Fewer than one in 10 of the 2,600 community nurses polled by RCN said they had enough time to meet the needs of their patients. Health Minister Simon Burns said: “We do not recognise these figures, we are giving nurses in hospital and in the community more time to care.” The government believe that helping patients to return home quickly with support is better than a long spell in hospital. They say they are investing £300million to do this and that they are training double the number of community nurses and health visitors than were trained last year.

Ravi to Be Sentenced on May 21, Indian-Americans Rally in Support He was convicted after a threeweek trial in March for spying on the sexual encounter of Clementi, who later committed suicide. Ravi is now facing up to 10 years in prison and possible deportation to his native India. In the mean time, Indian-Americans have come forward in support of Ravi rallying in New Jersey and protesting against the conviction. Indian-Americans believe that the former Rutgers student has been made a “scapegoat” and should not be jailed. Anil Kappa, an organiser of the rally, as saying: “The charges levied on Ravi are wrong. He should never have been brought to court.

He did not do anything out of bias or hate.” However he said that there is “outrage” among people that Ravi was found guilty of hate crime even though he is not a homophobic and there is no proof he hated gays or had bias towards them. Kappa said further: “The case has destroyed Ravi’s life and there

should not be any further injustice to him. Ravi is not (keeping) very well. What would you expect.” Earlier on Tuesday, nearly 600 Ravi’s supporters gathered and shouted slogans at the steps of the New Jersey State House. They held placards that read ‘Set Dharun free’, ‘Drop all charges’, ‘Justice not vengeance’ and ‘Grant Ravi bail.’ Jurors found Ravi guilty of all 15 counts associated with using his webcam to spy on Tyler Clementi in September 2010. Clementi killed himself days later. His death triggered a massive debate to cyberbullying and the treatment of young gays in the United States.

South Asia Tribune I Thursday 17 May 2012



MI5 warned Scotland Yard that some of its officers had attended terrorist training camps • A number of police officers are believed to have lost their jobs after checks were carried out • One of the police officers suspected of being at a terrorist training camp in Pakistan is Abdul Rahman • The father-of-four resigned from the force and is suing Scotland Yard for compensation British intelligence agency MI5 has warned the British Police that some police officers were suspected of attending terrorist training camps.

Following the warning, the police officers lost their jobs after checks were carried out because of concerns that potential terrorists had infiltrated the police. The Telegraph revealed that some police officers have lost

terrorist groups. “There was concern that these people had come into the force under false pretences. There were two or three cases at the same time that were of a similar nature, where there were concerns about potential terrorist links”, the newspaper quoted a senior Metropolitan Police source. Rahman, the father-offour, has maintained that he has never been to a terrorist camp and is now suing Scotland Yard for compensation. His lawyers say Rahman, who is Muslim and was raised in London, has never been

their jobs after Scotland Yard was warned by the MI5. The newspaper also disclosed the identity of one of the officers who resigned over the allegations that he had attended a terrorist camp in 2001. Abdul Rahman, who had been a constable for almost three years, resigned from Scotland Yard when MI5 warned the force that he was suspected of being at a terrorist training camp in Pakistan in 2001. The Telegraph also reported that one or two other officers had lost their jobs as a result of MI5’s suspicion that they might have links with

questioned, arrested, or charged under terrorism legislation. Mr Rahman has declined to comment on the case. But his lawyer, Jasmine van Loggerenberg, said it’s important to stress that this is a case being brought by Mr Rahman, not by the Metropolitan Police. There are no criminal proceedings against him. She confirmed he has never been arrested, questioned or charged under terrorism legislation. Mr Rahman’s case is due to be taken up in secret by an Employment Appeal Tribunal. He is claiming to be the victim of racial and religious discrimination. A spokesman for Scotland Yard confirmed he was bringing two employment tribunal claims against the Metropolitan Police.

Racially sensitive UK sex ring case

Muslim leaders warn of far right exploitation of Rochdale child sex case Muslim groups report upsurge in hate mail and abusive phone calls since conviction of nine men over child sex ring daily Guardian reports. Far-right groups are exploiting the conviction of nine men who were part of a gang that groomed girls for sex to create a “climate of hate” against Muslims, community leaders have warned. The vast majority of the Muslim community is as horrified by the behavior of the nine men convicted at Liverpool Crown Court of sexual offences as everyone else – no doubt they will now be fearful of an increase in racist attacks on themselves. Muslim leaders condemned the crime and praised the bravery of the victims for coming forward. “These criminals have brought shame on themselves, their families and our community,” said Mohammed Shafiq of the Ramadhan Foundation, one of Britain’s largest Muslim organizations. Muslim groups say they have seen an upsurge in hate mail and abusive phone calls since the trial ended this week and community leaders are bracing themselves for more

Islamophobic attacks on individual Muslims and mosques across the UK. “We are already receiving hate mail and hate phone calls even though we issued a very strong statement condemning those involved,” said a spokesman for the Muslim Council of Britain. “If it can happen to MCB, you can just imagine what ordinary Muslims are facing as they go about their dayto-day business.” Fiyaz Mughal, from Faith Matters, which has set up a new helpline to monitor antiMuslim attacks, said the Islamophobic hatred prompted by the case had added to the “poison” against Muslims. “This is dangerous for community relations,” he said. “There’s lots of discussion about ‘Muslim paedos’, like saying the prophet married a young girl. All of this disgusting talk is adding to the poison against Muslims.”

The helpline, Tell Mama, was launched at the same time as the trial began in February and is the UK’s first for those wanting to report Islamophobia and record antiMuslim attacks. About 20% of the cases so far are linked to the EDL, Mughal said,

adding: “About half of those cases are online activity where there is invariably a mention of ‘Muslim paedos’.” Suleman Nagdi, spokesman for the Leicestershire Federation of Muslim Organisations, who has held talks with EDL representatives in the past, said: “There’s a climate of hate in

relation to this … We need to tackle the problem, but people within the BNP, the EDL are increasing the rhetoric … It does have an adverse effect within the city … I am sure it will build within the next few weeks.” Security outside Liverpool crown court, where the nine men were tried, was stepped up after hundreds of EDL and BNP protesters picketed the building. The trial was almost derailed when the BNP leader, Nick Griffin, tweeted that seven verdicts had been reached. One of the defendants has now launched an appeal claiming Griffin’s tweet showed jury confidentiality was breached. The beginning of the trial was also delayed for a fortnight in February when two Asian defence barristers were attacked outside the courtroom. The latest surge in Islamophobic abuse comes amid concern that the failure of the BNP in recent elections will see some smaller groups turning

to more violent street action. There have been a growing number of attacks on anti-racists and trade unionists as well as rising hostility to Muslims. The MCB spokesman said Muslims were used to “low-level hatred”. “People expect that nowadays, from their fellow travellers on the underground or buses,” he said. “That sort of thing happens all the time.” But he said communities were preparing themselves for more serious attacks following the publicity surrounding the grooming trial. “The graffiti on the door of a home, mosques and community centres attacked, a pig’s head through the door … it is bound to increase because the racist are waiting for opportunities like this.” The BNP lost every seat it was contesting in last week’s local council election and it is now left with just three councillors from a high of 57 three years ago. In a separate move, the EDL leader Stephen Lennon has announced that he is to become deputy leader of the small British Freedom party, which some analysts fear could replace the BNP as the main far-right party.



South Asia Tribune I Thursday 17 May 2012

New Rochdale ‘Sex Grooming’ Inquiry Police uncover ‘second child sex ring’ in Rochdale after woman says she was abused over six years

• Nine men have been arrested in what officers are treating as separate from that of the group of men jailed this week for similar offences • The alleged victim is thought to be one of 47 girls questioned in relation to the original child sex ring • Men arrested in latest inquiry are not thought to have known members from other grooming trial • Arrests come as police continue to hunt other suspected members of original case • Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk believes sexual exploitation is a ‘wider problem’ in the area In total nine men have been arrested aged between 24 and 38-years-old, on suspicion of sexual activity with a child. They have been bailed pending further inquiries.” Last week a gang of men were jailed for the sexual exploitation of young girls in the town. Now more arrests have come to light, with the alleged victim understood to be one of 47 girls questioned by police in relation to the child sexual exploitation ring previously uncovered. The most recent arrests took place on Friday. Two men, aged 24 and 26, were held on suspicion of sexual activity with a child. A Greater Manchester Police (GMP) spokesman said the arrests were the result of an inquiry into the sexual exploitation of a teenage girl by men since 2005. He added: “In total nine men, aged between 24 and 38-years-old, have been arrested, on suspicion of sexual activity with a child. They have been bailed pending further inquiries.” A police spokesman described the victim as “vulnerable” and said the men arrested in the latest inquiry

are not thought to have known each other. It has been reported the alleged abuse is believed to have taken place over a six-year period when the girl was in her teens. It is thought detectives are exploring possible links between the men, although none have been established so far. Mr Hemming, a Lib Dem MP who chairs the Justice for Families campaign, said such a broad category can prevent officials from sounding alerts. He analysed figures for 2011 and found that of the 25,000 children who left care last year, 5,950 were listed in the “other reasons” category.

Most of these, 4,360, were aged between 16 and 18, Mr Hemming pointed out, while 630 were 10 to 15-year-olds. He said he was “not really happy about teenagers leaving care” without any clear idea about what is happening to them. He added: “Have they run away, are they being abducted? With the 10 to 15-year-olds there is a good chance some are being trafficked and this could be the case with the younger ones. “They are happy to count the money and make sure they know where the money is, but they are unwilling to check where the children are.” Last week, nine Asian men

received jail sentences of between four and 19 years from a judge who said they treated their five white victims “as though they were worthless and beyond any respect”. The case concluded on Wednesday.

Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk said yesterday: “There have been

some who’ve said this is a one-off case but I have consistently said I believe it to be a wider problem and that’s why I am pleased to see the police acting. “We’ve seen inspiring bravery shown by victims in the recent trial. “I hope the heavy sentences imposed will encourage other victims to speak out because this crime is being taken very seriously and we need to send out the clearest message that this behaviour will not be tolerated in Rochdale or anywhere else.” The recent trial, at Liverpool Crown Court, heard that five girls aged between 13 and 15 were given alcohol, food and money in return for sex but there were times when violence was used. The offences happened in and around Rochdale in 2008 and 2009. In comments which appeared to conflict with police insistence that there was no “racial or cultural” element to the crimes, Judge Gerald Clifton told the defendants: “One of the factors leading to that was the fact that they were not part of your community or religion.”

Nasrallah: Hizbullah can Pakistan has to cooperate hit every target in Tel Aviv more, says Kerry

Hizbullah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said Friday his organization is capable of striking very specific targets in Tel Aviv and in every part of occupied Palestine as well. "For every building in Dahiyeh, several buildings will be destroyed in Tel Aviv in return. The time when we were displaced and they don't has gone. The time when our homes were destroyed and theirs remain has gone," Nasrallah said, adding that the time when "we will stay and they disappear has definitely come." He was talking in a ceremony on the occasion of the conclusion of Waed (promise) project to rebuild Beirut's southern suburbs (Dahiyeh) which was destroyed by Israel during the July 2006 war.

Nasrallah also condemned the terrorist attacks that hit Damascus on Thursday. "It's funny that some accused the Syrian regime of being behind the terrorist attacks. How come a security system sends suicide bombers - if it has suicide bombers - and boobytrapped cars to destroy its intelligence and security centers. It's illogical." "We are becoming increasingly

convinced that there are some who want the downfall of Syria and that only because they want to get rid of the main supporter of Palestine and the resistance in Lebanon," he conveyed. Nasrallah warned that the same hand that destroyed Iraq and committed massacres there is now seeking to destroy Syria and drag it to descend into Iraq-like abyss.

US Senator John Kerry, a leading proponent of US aid for Pakistan, has said called for Pakistan to be more cooperative in eliminating alleged sanctuaries of Afghan militants in Pakistan. The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee raised the issue of the continued danger of a sanctuary war being prosecuted against the forces in Afghanistan at a congressional hearing on the upcoming Nato summit in Chicago. “I am a veteran of a sanctuary war and I know how insidious it can be, and I personally think that it is unacceptable to have a zone of immunity for acts of war against armed forces and against the collective community that is trying to accomplish what it is trying to accomplish,” the Democratic senator said in a statement. “That means Pakistan has to become more assertive and more cooperative, and we may have to resort to other kinds of self-help depending on what they decide to do,” the influential lawmaker added. The US has been accusing Pakistan of offering assistance to militants from the so-called Haqqani network and of providing the group’s leadership a sanctuary in the North Waziristan tribal region.

South Asia Tribune I Thursday 17 May 2012



Saudi king removes senior cleric from Royal Court post

Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah has fired an ultraconservative adviser who publicly criticized the easing of some restrictions on women as an attempt to Westernize the country. The decision to relieve Sheikh Abdulmohsen al-Obeikan of his position as royal adviser was made in a decree issued on the recommendation of Crown Prince Nayef, himself a reputed conservative. The agency didn’t say why King Abdullah fired the conservative cleric from his post. King Abdullah has upset some hardline clerics by easing some restrictions related to women, including allowing them to vote and run in 2015 municipal elections. The move fits a pattern of recent years in which senior clerics who oppose the government’s cautious social reforms too openly have lost their jobs.

columnist, told Reuters. Under King Abdullah, the Kingdom has made it easier for women to work and study alongside men,

Although Obeikan has previously backed government positions on reforms including gender mixing at university, he recently gave a radio interview attacking the government for changing the position of women in society. “He’s taken a lot of positions in the past against the royal family and this is another one,” Hossein Shobokshi, a Saudi newspaper

for a ruling that a man could spend time unsupervised with an unrelated woman if he drank some of her breastmilk.

Sheikh Abdul Mohsen al-Obeikanstirred controversy for a 2010 ruling that a man could spend time unsupervised with an unrelated woman if he drank some of her breastmilk. (File photo)

and tried to promote more tolerant views of other religions. In 2010 Obeikan stirred controversy

Earlier this year, the head of the religious police was replaced by a cleric who was seen to be

more liberal, and in 2010 King Abdullah fired the judiciary head, Sheikh Saleh al-Lohaidan, for attacking a new university that was the centerpiece of government education reforms. Most senior religious jobs in the kingdom are government appointments, including the positions of Grand Mufti and imam of the great mosques at Mecca and Medina, Islam’s holiest sites. The government started trying to rein in what it saw as extremist viewpoints in the clergy after Islamist militant attacks inside the kingdom began in 2003, pushing hardline clerics to renounce alQaeda and violent tactics. In 2010, King Abdullah also restricted the ability to pass fatwas, or religious edicts, to a small group of senior clerics, an important step in a country ruled by sharia, or Islamic law.

Pentagon instructor Muslim Americans challenge urged total war US ‘no fly’ list in appeals court with Islam For years, students at a US military college could take an elective course that advocated total war on Islam. Although the class has been suspended, the teacher remains on staff at the college. The Pentagon has suspended a class at a US military war college that advocated “near total war” against Islam and the destruction of the holy cities of Mecca and Medina. But Army Lt. Col. Matthew Dooley, who taught the elective course “Perspectives on Islam and Islamic Radicalism,” remains on staff at the Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Virginia. The college teaches midlevel officers and government civilians on subjects relating to the planning and execution of war. The news website published class materials from the course in detail on Thursday ‘Totally objectionable’ The course was suspended in late April after a student objected to its content. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, has ordered an inquiry into how the course become part of the college’s curriculum.

“It was totally objectionable, against our values and it wasn’t academically sound,” Dempsey said. The general went on to say that the course ran counter to American “appreciation for religious freedom and cultural awareness.” Direct confrontation The course identified Islam in general, not terrorists, as the enemy of the United States and called for a “direct ideological and philosophical confrontation” with the religion of 1.5 billion people. Dooley’s course argued that the Geneva Conventions were “no longer relevant” and proposed “targeting civilians whenever necessary.” Dooley used what he called the “historical precedents of Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Tokyo and Dresden” to justify the destruction of the Islamic holy cities of Mecca and Medina. Class materials called Islam a “barbaric ideology” and presented outcomes such as “Saudi Arabia threatened with starvation…Islam reduced to cult status.” The elective course, taught since 2004, was offered five times a year with around 20 students each time. Around 800 students took the course over the years.

Lawyers for the 15 Muslims in the United States barred from boarding commercial flights because they were on the US “nofly” list will on Friday ask a federal appeals court to reinstate their constitutional challenge of the anti-terrorism measure. The plaintiffs, who are US citizens or permanent legal residents, said they learned they were on the list when they were prohibited, without advance warning, from boarding a commercial airliner, and were later denied any means of petitioning the government to be removed from the roster. “The government has created this secret list, and the people on the list have no way of defending themselves,” said Nusrat Choudhury, a lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), who is representing the group, which filed a lawsuit against the US government in June 2010. The “no-fly” list, established in 2003 and administered by the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Center, includes some 20,000 people identified by the agency as known to have or reasonably suspected of having ties to terrorism. About 500 of them are US citizens, according to an agency spokesman. The plaintiffs, who are residents of Oregon and other states and include four veterans of the US armed forces, deny any links to terrorism. “None of the plaintiffs pose any threat to airline security,” Choudhury said. Their suit argues that the government violated their constitutional rights to due process and the US Administrative Procedures Act by failing to provide notice of the reasons for their inclusion on the list

and an effective means of contesting that status. The ACLU is seeking to either remove the plaintiffs’ names from the list immediately, or allow them an opportunity to contest their inclusion on the roster. A US district court judge in Portland, Oregon, dismissed their suit, ruling the court lacked jurisdiction over the matter. The ACLU appealed that decision to the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals, where a three-judge panel will be asked on Friday to decide the proper legal venue for the case. The restriction has kept the 15 plaintiffs in this case from visiting family and traveling for work or study, the suit said. Several said they apparently were added to the list while traveling abroad, where the ended up stranded as a result. The suit was originally filed in Portland because only one plaintiff - Mohamed Kariye, an imam at a large Portland mosque - was in the United States at the time. He has been prevented from leaving the country to visit his daughter in Dubai or other relatives in Somalia. US Attorney General Eric Holder, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Robert Mueller and Timothy Healy, director of the Terrorist Screening Center, are named as defendants in the suit. The government argues that there is already an adequate process in place for contesting an individual’s inclusion on the list, and that all the plaintiffs have used it. The government also has said none were permanently stranded in a foreign country.



South Asia Tribune I Thursday 17 May 2012

Earthquake measuring 5.4 hits North-East India, tremors felt in Guwahati, Kolkata

An earthquake measuring 5.4 on the Richter scale shook Guwahati in Assam and Shillong in Meghalaya at about 6.15 this evening. Tremors were felt in other parts of the North East and some mild ones even in Kolkata. The epicenter of the quake is Nagaon in Assam. Some minor cracks have been reported in buildings in Nagaon, but no major damage has been reported yet from Guwahati or Shillong. People in Guwahati, however, rushed out on to the roads when it happened and many said they had not felt such a major quake in a long time. There were reports that tremors were felt in Kohima in Nagaland too. “I was sitting in my room and was working on a laptop. Suddenly I felt the tremors and I immediately got down,” said a resident of Guwahati. In Kolkata, the tremors felt were mild, but some people in high-rise buildings rushed out. Pakistan team to play in Champions League: BCCI chief More than three years after the

Mumbai terror attacks resulted in the snapping of Indo-Pak cricket ties, the BCCI on Saturday said it has no objection to a team from Pakistan participating in the Champions League Twenty20 for the first time. The November 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai had not only led to a freeze on bilateral cricket ties between the two neighbours but had also resulted in Pakistani players being left out of the lucrative Indian Premier League. “The Working Committee has decided to invite a team from Pakistan to play in Champions League Twenty20 to be held in October,” BCCI President N Srinivasan told

reporters after the Board’s Working Committee meeting here. ( Other developments: Sri Lanka not to host Pakistan-Australia series) The decision means that Sialkot Stallions led by

Shoaib Malik would be Pakistan’s representatives in the October event as it had won the domestic T20 title. ( Also read: Stadiums in Pakistan remain isolated) “This is a recommendation that

the BCCI will make to Governing Council. CLT20 is owned by BCCI, Cricket Australia, and Cricket South Africa. So we will recommend to the GC that the BCCI has no objection and is prepared to invite a Pakistan team in the Champions League,” he added. “CLT20 will be played in India. As fat as inviting a Pakistani team is concerned, it will be done by the Governing Council. The BCCI will make the recommendation to the Governing Council which will decide on the matter.” The move is expected to be received with much applause from across the border as the Pakistan Cricket Board had been pushing for the inclusion of its sides since the inaugural edition of the Champions League in 2009.

Apart from this, the BCCI decided that former cricketers will get onetime benefit from the proceeds of the IPL. The Board has also decided to set up an anti-corruption unit which will have “strict rules” besides having a pitch curators committee. Sri Lanka will not host PakistanAustralia series Pakistan are searching for alternate venues for their limited-overs series against Australia later this year after Sri Lanka backed out of hosting it. The Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL) is scheduled to be held in August, clashing with the dates of the proposed Pakistan-Australia series. “We are looking for other venues to host Australia,” Subhan Ahmed, the PCB’s chief operating officer, told ESPNcricinfo. “We were in negotiations to finalise Australia series in Sri Lanka but due to their Premier League which is to be held in August directly clashing with our plan, we have to find another venue.”

Top U.S. Officer: Sarkozy committed crimes Stop This ‘Total against Arabs: Galloway War’ on Islam Talk

America’s top military officer condemned in the strongest possible terms a Defense Department course that taught troops to prep for a “total war” on Islam using “Hiroshima”-style tactics. “It was totally objectionable, against our values and it wasn’t academically sound,” Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters at a Pentagon press conference on Thursday. The instructor responsible for the course, Army Lt. Col. Matthew A. Dooley, is “no longer in a teaching status,” Dempsey added — but he is still employed at the Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Va. Dempsey’s comments were prompted by a Danger Room report on Thursday that described

Dooley’s course in detail. For at least a year, Dooley taught an optional course at the college for lieutenant colonels, colonels, commanders and Navy captains that proposed taking a war on Islam “to the civilian population wherever necessary,” which he likened to the bombardment of Dresden and nuclear destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Guest lecturers in the course encouraged those senior officers to think of themselves as a “resistance movement” to Islam. Dempsey and his deputy for military education, Marine Lt. Gen. George Flynn, pulled the plug on the course last month. The general said he was “quite thankful” for an unnamed military officer who brought word of the anti-Islam material to his attention. Dempsey and his staff launched an investigation into “what motivated that elective to being part of the curriculum,” as he put it on Thursday, and the general also sent a letter to the heads of every military service and regional command instructing them to jettison any similar material, as per a White House directive issued last fall.

BEIRUT: Speaker Nabih Berri met Tuesday with British MP George Galloway, who said outgoing French President Nicholas Sarkozy had been defeated in the country’s recent election in part

because he “committed many crimes against the Arab people.” According to the National News Agency, Galloway and Berri discussed regional and international developments, especially the election of a new French president. “I expressed my opinion on the defeat of former President Sarkozy, who committed many crimes against the Arab people and the region and ignored the aspirations of the French people, which is why he was defeated,” Galloway said. The MP also informed Berri of the humanitarian convoy he had sent from England to Gaza two weeks ago through the Turkish-Syrian borders. “We believe Palestine is above all causes and Arab domestic political issues and we call on the Syrian people to welcome and allow the convoy to pass through Syria to Jordan and then Gaza,” Galloway said.

Facebook ponders charging for popular posts: Report Facebook is considering to charge users for highlighting their important posts, as it is testing a new feature in New Zealand that would make comments more prominent on a user’s newsfeed, The Sun reported. Users in the New Zealand thought they were being scammed after they were presented with an option to “highlight” their posts for $2.

Facebook later confirmed that they were trialling the feature, and

charging was one of the options they were considering. Spokeswoman Mia Garlick said: “We’re constantly testing new features across the site... this particular test is simply to gauge people’s interest in this method of sharing with their friends.” Users who clicked on the option were offered the options to pay through Paypal or by credit card.


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Saarc international I Thursday 17 May 2012

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Thursday, 17.05.12

Iraq Replaces Iran as India’s Second-Largest Crude Oil Supplier

Iraq replaced Iran as India’s second-largest crude oil supplier in the recently ended financial year, preliminary government data showed Wednesday, as New Delhi cut shipments from Tehran ahead of impending sanctions from the U.S. and the European Union. Saudi Arabia remained the largest oil supplier, while Iran slid to fourth spot in the year ended March 31, according to the data compiled by India’s oil ministry. India, which meets four-fifths of its crude oil needs through imports, has expedited its diplomatic efforts to increase purchases from countries such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and Iraq to compensate for lower imports from Iran. Globally, Iranian oil exports are declining as importers are cutting shipments ahead of U.S. sanctions that come into effect on June 28. Sanctions by the EU will start on July 1. The U.S. has asked major oil importers such as India, Turkey, China, South Korea and Japan to drastically trim their purchases of Iranian oil or face sanctions on financial institutions that do business with Iran’s central bank. Access to Iranian oil has been complicated by

insurance and bank settlement obstacles set up by the West as part of efforts to block the Islamic Republic’s sales networks and force it to abandon an alleged program to develop nuclear weapons. Tehran, however, says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes. Shipments to India from Iran fell 5.7% in the last financial year to 17.44 million metric tons, or 349,300 barrels a day, the oil ministry data showed. Imports from Iraq, meanwhile, surged 43% to 24.51 million tons, or 490,900 barrels a day. Purchases from Saudi Arabia rose 19% to 32.63 million tons, or 653,500 barrels a day, and from

Kuwait climbed 54% to 17.67 million tons, or 353,900 barrels a day. India insists that raising imports from other countries doesn’t signal it is bowing to U.S. pressure. It says it is trying to diversify its oil sources and reduce dependence on any one country. Indian refiners have targeted to import about 15.5 million tons of crude oil from Iran in the current Continued on page 27 >>

Dr Chishti arrives from India

After spending 20 years in an Indian jail in a murder case, Pakistani scientist Dr Khalil Chishti returned to the country on Tuesday.

Dr Chishti was sentenced for life on Jan 31 last year by a trial court for a murder that took place in Ajmer in 1992.

a very low voice. The 85-year-old microbiologist will join his family in Karachi on Wednesday. Before leaving for

He landed at Benazir International Airport at 11:30pm amid unruly scenes brought on by mismanagement on the part of Interior Minister Rehman Malik and misbehaviour by PPP workers. Clad in a beige safari suit and wearing a Jinnah cap, Dr Chishti looked haggard and weak. He came out of the airport in a wheelchair and spoke to newsmen in

Karachi, he will meet President Asif Ali Zardari at the presidency. He was taken straight to Marriott Hotel from the airport by the interior minister to spend a night there. There was a perception that he was first taken to Islamabad, instead of Karachi, so that the government and the president could claim credit for Continued on page 27 >>

Pakistan’s price: US to pay $365 million more a year to reopen supply lines

Relations with Nato, US at critical juncture: Gilani Country’s interest top priority: PM

A US-Pakistan deal to reopen a key NATO supply route through Pakistan, closed for nearly six months, would raise the cost of the war effort in Afghanistan by about $365 million annually.

The cost of the US-led war effort in Afghanistan is about to rise by $365 million annually under an agreement that would reopen a key NATO supply route through Pakistan that’s been closed for Continued on page 24 >>



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Relations between CIA and ISI are ‘good’: Gilani

Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani highlighting the importance of Pakistan in the war against terror, urged the international community, especially the United States, to share information to ensure success. In an interview with SkyTV in London, where he is on an official visit to review Pak-UK Strategic Dialogue Partnership, the Prime Minister said, “we know the importance of the United States. We really want to improve our relations. We are in the middle of discussions and I am sure that better things will come out.” Pakistan’s relations with US have been on the slide ever since Osama bin Laden was discovered in Pakistan and subsequently killed during a unilateral raid by the US. The Prime Minister conceded that their relation has been one fraught with complications, “there have been lots of ups and downs in our relationship.” Despite the strained ties, he described the relationship between their respective intelligence services, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), as “good”, as evidenced by the results garnered.

“All high-value targets of al Qaeda – have been achieved with the support and with the help of ISI, with the CIA.” Hence, he was of the view that given past results, the US should be more trusting of its chief ally in the war on terror, vis a vis the latest

Cross worker Khalil Dale, who was kidnapped at gunpoint in Pakistan in January and found dead last month, the Prime Minister condemned the incident and expressed his sorrow and grief with his family. Gilani, however clarified that Dale’s visa had expired and that he did not

exhortations from the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that al Qaeda chief Ayman al Zawahiri was hiding in Pakistan. “Therefore, when we are working together so closely, I think there should be no hesitation in sharing information with Pakistan.” Red Cross worker ignored government warning Commenting on the murder of Red

follow government’s advice of not travelling to Balochistan. Replying to a question about popularity of Imran Khan, the Prime Minister said, Khan is “a good cricketer”, but “politics is another ball game”. Democratic system will be strengthened after two elections Gilani said he has always stressed that the system would be

strengthened, once two elected governments complete their terms. The Prime Minister said it was for the first time that a democratically elected government in Pakistan would present its fifth budget. He said it was also for the first time that the President addressed the Parliament. Gilani said certain people are now part of politics, who have absolutely no role in protecting the country or democracy. He said it was Shaheed Benazir Bhutto who despite the threats to her life, remained determined to reach out to the people of Pakistan, and even lost her life for the sake of democracy. PPP strove for democracy, strengthening judiciary Gilani, whose Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has recently come under pressure from Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), said those speaking of a long march are not even capable of a short march. Gilani said it was the Benazir Bhutto who led the march for restoration of democracy. He said it was again the PPP that strove for the freedom and strengthening of judiciary. Brushing aside political rhetoric,

Gilani said it goes to the credit of PPP, who had agreed to Sharif’s desire to become a prime minister for a record third term, making the necessary adjustments in the constitution. He said if the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) and the PPP decide to join hands in Punjab, they could easily form a government. He said the people of Pakistan have given the PPP the right to rule and it has been successfully running a government with the full support of its coalition partners. The Prime Minister said the credit goes to his party for restoring the 1973 Constitution to its original form, as created by the founder of the party Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. He recalled a letter by Benazir Bhutto who wanted him to restore the 1973 Constitution to its original form. Gilani said those who once had two-third majority on the occasion of golden jubilee in 1997 gave a go ahead to a law against terrorism. He said unfortunately it was Sharif who himself fell victim to the same law and was prosecuted for attempting to hijack an aircraft.

India may move troops to peacetime locations

Indian defence ministry denies report

The Indian defence ministry denied a report published in a Pakistan-based newspaper saying that the country had agreed to pull back troops from the India-Pakistan border as part of an agreement between the two countries, The Economic Times said in a report published Tuesday.

The ministry referred to the report quoting unnamed diplomatic and military officials as “propaganda”. A statement issued from the ministry

The report had claimed that the agreement for troop withdrawal was struck during President Asif Ali Zardari’s visit to India on April 8. The report moreover stated that an announcement on troop withdrawal was “likely” to be made when Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visits Islamabad later this year. According to the Express Tribune (Islamabad edition) on May 14 the Indian government is likely to pull back troops from wartime positions, deployed at the working boundary with Pakistan after the 2008 Mumbai

triggered a full-scale war. Military and diplomatic officials told The Express Tribune on Sunday that the two nuclear-armed nations had reached an understanding on this during last month’s visit to New Delhi by President Asif Ali Zardari.

said: “The report published in The Express Tribune (Islamabad edition) on May 14 that ‘India may move troops to peacetime locations’ is completely incorrect and without any basis. There are no such plans.”

terrorist attacks. Troop withdrawal to peacetime positions is among the first substantial overtures since India and Pakistan resumed peace talks following the terror strike in 2008 that had almost

A formal announcement in this regard, they added, was likely when the Indian premier visits Islamabad possibly during the later half of this year. “It is going to happen in September or October,” one of them

remarked. Political figures privy to the president’s daylong visit to India on April 8 said the major development was a result of backdoor channels, which had been active between the two countries for the past couple of years. Officials said that in July 2008, the Indian government had immediately mobilized troops to take wartime positions at the working boundary with Pakistan immediately after terrorists launched commandostyle attacks in the heart of Indian

commercial capital of Mumbai. The term working boundary relates to disputed border particularly in Kashmir. New Delhi blamed the attacks on

Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), a group based in Pakistan. More than 160 people, including foreigners, were killed in the strikes at multiple locations across the port city. According to experts, in wartime scenario, regular army starts manning border instead of special-forces meant for protecting boundaries. India has Border Security Forces and Pakistan has rangers for this purpose. Officials said Pakistan responded to Indian move in 2008 by sending troops to concentration areas— forward basis—along with the working boundary at Sialkot and some other locations. A senior military official said that though troops were mobilised by India, there wasn’t any serious tension at the border like in 2002 after an attack on Indian parliament also blamed on a group based in Pakistan. “There has never been an alert. Neither on our side nor on the other,” said the military official. Defence experts argue the move will provide Pakistan a space to deploy more troops in the north of the country where the military is busy fighting al Qaeda and homegrown Taliban.


Saarc international I Thursday 17 May 2012


Afghans to take more control from NATO: Karzai

Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Sunday announced a new transfer of security control from NATO that will see local forces take responsibility for 75 percent of Afghanistan’s population. Kapisa province, where French troops are based, will be among 11 provinces to come under Afghan control, a statement from the Afghan president’s office said. It is the third phase of the transition of military control in the war-torn country and another step towards the withdrawal of 130,000 US-led NATO troops by the end of 2014. NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen welcomed the move. “The completion of transition at the end of 2014 will mark the end of NATO’s combat role, but not the end of our engagement,” he said in a statement. “NATO is committed to an enduring partnership with Afghanistan, and to providing the training which the Afghan forces will still need, beyond 2014.” The commander of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), US General John Allen, also voiced support for the latest stage of the five-phase transition process. “President Karzai’s announcement of the third group of areas to enter transition is a testament to the capacity and capability of the Afghan National Security Force (ANSF),” he said. “Afghanistan continues to move forward in securing the sovereign future of their country and the security of its borders, and this is another step in bringing the hope of greater prosperity to the Afghan people.” ISAF noted that the complete process of transition in an area could take 12-18 months. Government officials said the third phase would start immediately. The list of areas intended for the third tranche covers 122 districts, bringing the total number of districts to 260 in all 34 provinces. The inclusion of Kapisa province was significant as French president-elect Francois Hollande has pledged to pull out France’s 3,400 troops this year. “In today’s national security council meeting it was decided 11 provinces will be transitioned in the handover, including

Kapisa, Uruzgan and Parwan,” Afghan presidential spokesman Aimal Faizi told a news conference. “Seventy-five percent of the population will come under local security control.” Australian forces currently operate in Uruzgan province. The first two phases – the first in July last year – have already put 50 percent of the population under Afghan control. NATO forces are in Afghanistan helping Karzai’s government fight a decade-long insurgency by hardline Taliban who were ousted from power in a US-led invasion shortly after the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States. But the war is increasingly unpopular in the US and other contributing nations, with opinion polls showing a desire to get out as soon as possible. NATO has been training a 350,000-strong Afghan security force to take over and is quick to praise their growing skills in coping with Taliban, but officials acknowledge that challenges remain in the transition process. Among them are Afghan government corruption, a weak state and the lack of a properly functioning justice system – giving rise to widespread fears of a new civil war when the Western forces leave. Karzai has made moves towards peace talks with Taliban, but the insurgents reject his administration as puppets of the United States.


UN donates 60 vehicles to Ministries of Justice & Labour

The United Nations in Afghanistan today donated the first series of more than 60 cars and vans to support Government efforts to strengthen rule of law, justice and wellbeing of workers. In a donation ceremony held today at the UN Compound on Jalalabad

show in a concrete way the close cooperation between UNAMA and the Ministries given their interlocking mandates. The Ministry of Justice received four Toyota 4-Runner SR5 vehicles. The Ministry of Labour, Social

Road, Ján Kubiš, the Special Representative of the SecretaryGeneral for Afghanistan, handed over certificates of ownership and keys for the UNAMA vehicles to Minister of Justice, Mr. Habibullah Ghalib, and the Minister of Labour, Social Affairs, Martyrs and Disabled, Ms. Amena Safi Afzali. “I am very happy to announce that as part of our forthcoming donation of around 60 vehicles, we are starting the first round with our crucial partners of the Ministry of Labour and Ministry of Justice,” Mr. Kubiš said. He noted that the donation will bring the UN closer to its Afghan partners and

Affairs, Martyrs and Disabled received three Toyota Hiace minibuses and two Toyota 4-Runner SR5 vehicles. “It is my expectation that this very small donation will serve both the administration of justice and work for the betterment of lives of all workers and disabled, and will allow these two Ministries to deliver even better service to the people of Afghanistan,” Mr. Kubiš said speaking on behalf of UNAMA and the International Labour Organization (ILO). Thanking Mr. Kubiš, Minister Ghalib said the donation is a moral boost for the Ministry.

As troops leave, poverty rises in Afghanistan UN and aid groups worry that resources for growing number of refugees will dry up Gulam recalls the evening she fled her home in northern Afghanistan on foot, running with her teen daughters under the cloak of darkness to avoid cooking a dinner for 20 Taliban insurgents. “This Talib burst through my door and demanded I cook for them. But I had no money, and I was scared they would take my daughters,” Gulam said, pulling a stripey shawl tightly around her gaunt and wrinkled face. That night six months ago, Gulam and her family joined the half a million Afghans who are internally displaced, mostly from conflict but also natural disasters, a number which has been steadily increasing since 2008. Intensifying violence as NATO combat troops prepare to leave by end-2014 and a poor economic outlook in the face of shrinking aid could spell a humanitarian

disaster for Afghanistan, where a third already live beneath the poverty line. “Security in the country is terrible. Day by day there are more of us,” Gulam told Reuters while visiting the UN compound in Mazar-e-Sharif, the capital of northern Balkh province. She left her mountainous village for a district on Afghanistan’s border with Uzbekistan, where she now lives in rented accommodations. Unable to find work, the widow receives meagrely handouts from male relatives. She says her husband was killed in an insurgent attack. UN Humanitarian Affairs chief Valerie Amos, meeting internal refugees in the country’s north late last week, warned that their plight could worsen when the enormous sums being poured into the country as part of the U.S.-led war and nation-building effort disappear. “We are worried that people will be forgotten. We are worried that the sort of resources we need on the financial side

are not going to be available,” Amos told Reuters. She cited a recent World Bank report, which says that up to 10 per cent of the Afghan workforce has benefited from aid. “Thousands are at risk of losing their

and the organization predicts this number will swell. “It will be like when the Russians left all over again,” said Delbar, who left her home in northern Jowzjan province eight months ago after insurgents threatened

jobs,” she warned, saying that once the aid dries up, there will be more unemployed or even internally displaced. “We are going to need more assistance to avoid a disaster,” Director of Public Health for Balkh, Mirwais Rabi, told Amos at a meeting of Balkh officials. Amnesty International says 400 Afghans become internally displaced every day,

her sons with violence when they refused to join them. After the Soviets’ humiliating defeat in their decade-long war against mujahedeen fighters in 1989, Moscow continued to prop up the Communist government of Mohammad Najibullah. But when the Soviet Union collapsed two years later, the aid vanished, Najibullah

was ousted in 1992 and civil war engulfed Afghanistan. The first six months of 2011 – a year that saw civilian casualties rise for a fifth straight year – saw tremendous upheaval. The UN Refugee Agency estimates nearly 100,000 people became internal refugees in that period alone. Applications by Afghans seeking asylum also reached their highest number in a decade, UN figures showed in January. Most were from those seeking work abroad. Even in the capital Kabul, often the first point of call for foreign aid and where the Afghan rich boast palatial homes, there are 35,000 internal refugees living in 30 makeshift camps. “We can’t go home as the fighting is so bad, but on the other hand we have no way to make a living here,” said Abdul Samad, an elder from eastern Laghman province at the Parwan-e-Se camp near the centre of Kabul.



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Bangladesh political leader indicted over 1971 war Former Jamaat-e-Islami leader Ghulam Azam has been indicted for genocide, murder and other atrocities during Bangladesh’s 1971 liberation war. The government claims up to three million people were killed by Pakistan’s army and pro-Pakistan militias during the struggle. A Bangladeshi special court on Sunday indicted a former opposition leader for alleged atrocities including genocide and murder during the nation’s 1971 liberation struggle against Pakistan. Ghulam Azam, 89, the former

head of the Jamaat-e-Islami party, is accused of creating and leading pro-Pakistan militias

which carried out many killings and rapes during the ninemonth war.

Bangladesh wants India to simplify visa rules

Bangladesh wants speedy resolution of the visa problems being faced by its nationals who travel to India for medical treatment or to visit their relatives. Urging India to ease the visa rules, Bangladesh Liberation War Affairs Minister Capt (Retd) AB Tazul Islam on Sunday said the issue had been discussed at the foreign secretary level of the two countries. “The issue of visa rules simplification has been discussed at the foreign secretary level”, Islam said on the sidelines of a seminar at Dakshineswar on the outskirts of the city.

On the sharing of Teesta river waters, the Minister said experts of the Indo-Bangla Joint River Commission were at present determining how much water could be shared between the two countries as per international laws. Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dipu Moni met Prime Minister

Manmohan Singh on May eight in Delhi to discuss the Teesta issue and said Singh had assured her that India would deliver on its commitment to sign the Teesta waters agreement. Islam addressed a seminar organised by the Dakshineswar amakrishna Sangha on universal brotherhood on the 152nd birth celebration of poet Rabindranath Tagore and Swami Vivekananda. Invoking the need to spread the messages of Tagore and Swami Vivekananda, he said, “We have to strengthen universal brotherhood. Our youths can achieve it through the ideals of Swami Vivekananda and Tagore”.

Wheelchair-bound Azam pleaded not guilty after the charges were read out to him for two hours by Judge Nizamul Huq, who set June 5 as the start of the trial. “The International Crimes Tribunal charged him with crimes against humanity, genocide, murder, rape, abduction, arson and other crimes under international law,” state prosecutor Ziad Al Malum told AFP. Azam is the third and most high profile opposition figure to have been charged since the government set up the tribunal in 2010 to try suspects.

Both Jamaat and the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party have dismissed the court as a “show trial”, while Human Rights Watch has said procedures used by the tribunal fall short of international standards. Muslim-majority Bangladesh, which was called East Pakistan until 1971, has struggled to come to terms with its violent birth. The government says up to three million people were killed in the war by the Pakistani army and local pro-Pakistan militias -- a figure disputed by independent historians.

ADB to give $50m loan The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide $50 million in loan to help improve the environment by financing more energy-efficient brick kilns in Bangladesh. ADB’s Board of Directors approved the “Financing Brick Kiln Efficiency Improvement Project” on May 10. Under the project, the ADB will provide $50 million in local currency to the Bangladesh Bank which will re-lend the funds to participating financial institutions, said a press release.

These financial institutions will then provide loans to brick makers seeking to upgrade their existing kilns to cleaner kinds of kilns or to those looking to build the cleaner kilns for the first time.

Dhaka under pressure to sign US military co-op deal Dhaka is under pressure from Washington to sign a military cooperation deal aimed at enhancing the rapid deployment capability of the US forces far away from their bases, officials said on Wednesday. The proposed deal called the Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement was first put forward by the United States to Bangladesh’s Armed Forces Division in 2006. But there has been no significant development in the following years as Dhaka showed less interest in the deal. The US embassy in Dhaka has intensified its diplomatic efforts since 2011 to make the Armed Forces Division agree to sign the proposed deal. According to a US news release issued on April 24, the United States is aware of a plan of Bangladesh on military modernisation. The US assistant secretary for Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, Andrew J Shapiro, at Carnegie Endowment Roundtable discussion in Washington

on April 24 said, ‘The modernisation efforts provide an opportunity for us to expand our security cooperation, especially through our Excess Defence Articles programme, which makes US equipment that is surplus to our requirements available to our partners.’ Shapiro, who led an 11-member US delegation to a dialogue in Dhaka on April 19, also discussed the potential for US security cooperation with India and Bangladesh. The recent visit by the US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, in the capital expedited the US efforts. A team of US military officials is

scheduled to visit the capital in the next week to discuss with the local military officials the proposed deal, the officials said. The officials said the US military officials would be in Dhaka in May 14-18 for detailed discussion on the proposed deal. The Armed Forces Division, meanwhile on May 7, held an inter-ministerial meeting before the official talks on the proposed Acquisition and Cross-

Servicing Agreement. The Armed Forced Division is expected to hold another meeting in a couple of the days for further discussion on the proposed deal, draft of which has already been sent to the division. Sri Lanka was the 90th country to sign the ACSA with the United States in 2007. According to WikiLeaks, the US Embassy in the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo wrote in a message that the

US Pacific Command had sought to enter into the deal with Sri Lanka since 2002. Sri Lanka, positioned astride major sea lanes and at the doorstep to India, can play a significant role in military readiness as political and military efforts shift focus on Asia in the new millennium, it said. ‘The signing will expand DoD’s capacity and capability to conduct global operations by adding another logistical option in South Asia, which ultimately reduces cost and provides flexibility to US forces moving through the region,’ it added. Dhaka and Washington on May 5 signed a joint declaration on a ‘partnership dialogue’ to hold annual consultations to give strategic direction to bilateral relations. The joint declaration is a first major deal between Bangladesh and the United States that had for long discussed the signing of a deal on trade and investment-related issues, but failed.

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The vegetable reversal It’s exactly a month since the prime minister made a televised address on national TV about the Rupee crunch. In that address, he implored the Bhutanese public to prepare changing their economic habits and consumption patterns to achieve economic self-reliance. Numbers were rattled off, to indicate the amount of money spent in importing food and vegetables from outside, which could be produced at home. A specific mention was also made about stopping vegetables imports from May, and encouraging local production where possible. In the weeks that followed, the media did several stories based on the announcement. The central bank came up with another date, May 19, when it would

stop providing Indian Rupee to the vegetable wholesalers in the capital, who need about a million rupees for imports every week. The idea was clear. It was another measure to rein in Rupee spending, and it was coming at a time when the vegetable season in Bhutan begins. No one would feel the import restriction. Vegetable prices started to rise almost instantly, even as groundwork was being done to link local vegetable growers to demand

To get a fresh perspective from beyond the government, a new committee is being formed, comprising mainly people outside the bureaucracy, to evaluate, study and make recommendations to the government on addressing the Rupee crunch. The move was one of the recommendations the economic affairs ministry made to the government recently and it comes after a report was submitted to the government by a taskforce, drawn mainly from the bureaucracy, to study the crunch. Members in the committee comprise SAARC development fund’s chief executive officer Karma, DHI Infra CEO Kuenga Tshering, BCCI vice-president Thinley Palden Dorji, trade

director general Sonam P Wangdi, and Tenzin Yonten, a private sector representative. Prime Minister Jigmi Y Thinley said the committee would basically review the impact of actions taken so far by the government, the central bank and the financial institutions in tackling the rupee shortage. Works and human settlement minister Yeshey Zimba said members of the committee were selected, based on their expertise, and that they do not represent any sectors. “The issue of rupee shortage is a serious one, and we wanted a fresh new perspective to look at it,” lyonpo said. “So far, the issue was being looked at only from the government lens, now we want to hear from people outside the government, and listen to their opinions. That’s why we’ve deliberately left out representation from the central bank and the finance ministry.” He said the rupee situation is expected to improve this month, and the government might as well be able to lift some restrictions it has imposed.

centres by relevant agencies. Schools and other educational institutes in the central and eastern region with boarding students began to worry on how they would cope, because the east does not produce a lot of greens and depends on imports to feed students. There were concerns on how they would manage with the fixed stipend to buy veggies, being transported from the western region. When government officials were asked to clarify, many said that no written order was issued, saying

imports of vegetables would be stopped. Some even claimed not to be aware of it. Yesterday, the prime minister said that his statements were being misinterpreted, and he did not mean stopping imports. The agriculture ministry, on its website, stated that word about stopping vegetable imports from India by the middle of this month is not true. While this should bring relief to a number of schools and institutes in the central and eastern regions, who were confused over what to do, the clarification comes almost a month after the statement was made. In the meantime, it has created enough confusion, and added

to the already high inflationary pressures that will hit those with the least resources. It is clear that no matter what is said and done, Bhutan cannot start producing greens throughout the year and replace imports overnight, even as pressure continues to build to turn agricultural land into construction plots. Everyone agrees the Rupee crunch is a wake up call to be less dependent and more self-reliant. Yet the control measures put in place are stifling efforts of many, who are taking risks to make the economy less dependent on imports. Policy makers need to take a step back, and look at what is happening on the ground.

a week, FCB is estimated to import 76.22MT of tomato, garlic, onion, chili and assorted fruits worth Nu 2M. Bhutanese farmers today grow 31 types of vegetables in the country, show records with the horticulture division’s vegetable

program, which functions out of a small office amid the lines of single storied structures. During the “production season” from May to October, Bhutan produces 2,400MT (100MT a week) of local vegetables worth Nu 12M. In these six months, vendors

Rupee issue last date Rupee Crunch now first week of June

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Following directives from the cabinet and, in consultation with the finance ministry, the Royal Monetary Authority yesterday agreed to extend the issue of Rupee to vegetable vendors until June first week. The central bank would however issue INR in a demand draft for all 14 wholesale vendors together, until the vegetable season begins in the country. On May 13, vegetable wholesale agents had requested the agriculture minister that the INR be issued to them until the end of this month. The RMA had earlier said that from May 19, it would issue INR to the Food Corporation of Bhutan (FCB), and not to vegetable vendors, to import vegetables that cannot be met from home production. After June first week, FCB will take over the imports of those vegetables and fruits that cannot be met from local production. In

More than 50 designers participated in the national design competition, 2012 this week at the fashion show that was organised by the Royal Textile Academy and the Textile Museum. The designers were judged in three categories – kira, gho and embroidery. In each category, the winners was awarded a cash prize of Nu 50,000, Nu 30,000 and Nu 10,000. Ten weavers were awarded the Royal Patron’s meritorious award.



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A Raja granted bail after 15 months in jail Raja has to pay 2 surieties of Rs 20 lakh each

Former telecom minister Andimuthu Raja was on Tuesday granted bail by a special court in the 2G case, television reports said. Raja has spent the last 15 months in prison. The court granted bail to the DMK MP on a personal bond of Rs 20 lakh and two sureties of the like amount. Raja has been directed not to visit Tamil Nadu without the court’s prior permission. The court, in its 14-page bail order, also said that Raja would not try to influence any witnesses while on bail. The scandal was over the alleged below-market-price sale of telecom permits bundled with airwaves, which the Comptroller and Auditor General of India estimated to have cost the government as much as $34

billion in lost revenue. The Central Bureau of Investigation had charged 19 people, including Raja who had presided over the permit sale, and six companies in the case and their trial is ongoing. The court, while granting bail to 49year-old Raja, said all the co-accused in the case have already been granted bail and his further detention would not serve any purpose. “In the end considering the progress of the trial, period of the custody of the accused and the fact that all other accused have been released on bail, I am of the opinion that further detention of the accused would not serve any purpose and for these reasons, I am inclined to admit the applicant/ accused (Raja) to bail,” the special judge said.

Air India strike: Grievances will be heard unconditionally, govt tells pilots

Issuing yet another appeal to the striking Air India pilots to return to work, government on Tuesday promised to hear their grievances unconditionally without any vindictive action, as it noted that the stir had cost an “almost bankrupt” airline Rs 150 crore. “Strike is not an answer to solve your grievances .... All the grievances will be heard unconditionally. You come to talks unconditionally ... please go back to work,” civil aviation minister Ajit Singh said, appealing to the pilots while replying to a debate in the Lok Sabha on the civil aviation sector and Air India. “Air India management will in no way be vindictive towards any employee .... a lot of young people have just joined (as pilots). But the first priority should be that passengers are not inconvenienced,” he said. His response came as members, cutting across party lines, wanted an immediate end to the pilots’ agitation and expressed concern over the health of Air India, while questioning the decision of merging the two erstwhile state-run carriers -- Air

India and Indian Airlines. Singh told the House that Air India, which was already “almost bankrupt”, had lost Rs 150 crore due to the strike which completed eight days. Its credibility was also affected. Regretting that pilots had resorted to strike during peak season, he said the government had announced Rs 30,000 crore as bailout package over eight years. “This is bailout is not without strings. They have to meet strict standards. If they meet these standards, then we will release public money. We can’t keep pouring public money. This is the last chance for them to perform,” the Minister said, seeking cooperation of all employees in this regard.

On the apprehension of the CBI that if granted bail Raja may influence witnesses and tamper with evidence, the court said it addressed them by imposing conditions and restrictions on the accused. The court noted that entire evidence in the case was documentary and was in its custody. “Moreover, this apprehension of the prosecution (that Raja may influence

the witnesses and tamper with the evidence) can be addressed by imposing conditions and restrictions on the accused. “Furthermore, almost entire evidence in the case is documentary in nature and the same is in the custody of the court,” the judge said. The court also directed Raja to surrender his passport as a prerequisite for bail.

Raja, who has remained in judicial custody for over 15 months since his arrest, had sought bail on the ground of parity as other 13 co-accused have already secured bail either from the Supreme Court, the Delhi High Court or the trial court. Raja has alleged the case against him is “false and fabricated” and “not sustainable in law.” The CBI had vehemently opposed Raja’s bail, saying he could not be released on the ground of parity as the charges levelled against him were of serious nature. The agency has alleged that DMK-run Kalaignar TV had received Rs 200 crore as bribe from Shahid Balwa’s DB Group through a circuitous route as a quid pro quo for favours shown by Raja in spectrum allocation.

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Doubts fly as US envoy to Pakistan quits Amir Mir

United States ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter’s alleged meeting with one of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation’s most wanted men - Jamaat-ulDaawa (JuD) amir Professor Hafiz Mohammad Saeed - seems to be the principal reason for his premature exit from Islamabad, after having served just over 18 months since his appointment in October 2010. Munter, a career diplomat, abruptly quit his job last week, hardly 24 hours after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared Saeed responsible for the 26/11 Mumbai carnage and announced that the US was prepared to work with India to bring the JuD amir to justice. The November 2008 attacks were 11 coordinated shooting and bombing incidents across Mumbai by terrorists who allegedly came from Pakistan. The three-day rampage cost 166 lives, including six Americans, with at least 308 people injured. Munter’s decision to quit the ambassadorship prematurely has been confirmed by Mark Stroh, an embassy spokesman, who said, “He will be leaving this summer at the conclusion of his two years in the job. The ambassador had been weighing the option of continuing for a third year, but decided against it.” No replacement has been named. However, well-placed diplomatic officials in the federal capital claim that Munter’s decision has more to do with behind-the-scenes developments that took place in Islamabad following the April 1, 2012, decision of the Barack Obama administration to put a price of US$10 million on information and evidence leading to the arrest and conviction of the JuD’s Saeed. Saeed is also the founder of the pro-Kashmir proscribed jihadi organization Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT). The bounty was announced

for his alleged role in the Mumbai attacks. Just hours after the US State Department announced the bounty, Saeed appeared on Pakistan’s Geo TV. He said he was a free man - living in Pakistan and was ready to speak with US officials at any time. While some high-ups in the Pakistani Foreign Office claim that Munter has taken the decision to quit on his own for not being kept in the loop by the US State Department, there are those in diplomatic circles who maintain that the envoy is being made to resign by his seniors because of his seemingly soft line over Saeed’s bounty issue, which has not gone down well with the Obama administration. According to a report in the Indian Express, Munter had informed Washington that an apology “was in order” after a cross-border North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) air strike killed 24 Pakistani soldiers last year, but his advice was overruled by the Pentagon. “Pakistan’s insistence on an apology for the NATO attack has emerged as a key irritant in moves to reset its relationship with the US after a year of crises that took ties to a new low,” the paper reported. However, the instant cause of Munter’s exit is believed to be his

According to the sources, Saeed presented solid evidence to Munter, showing that he had no links to the Mumbai carnage. The US envoy subsequently sent a detailed report to the US administration on Saeed’s viewpoint, but the State Department reportedly made it clear to Munter that it would not be responsible for any assurances given by him to the JuD chief. To recall, following the bounty announcement, Saeed addressed a press conference in Rawalpindi on April 4 and dared the US to carry

bounty decision for someone who lives so openly in Pakistan. “These Americans seriously lack information. Don’t they know where I go and where I live and what I do? These rewards are usually announced for people who are hiding in mountains or caves. I wish the Americans would give this reward money to me.” Munter, who is known for his conciliatory approach, decided to pacify Saeed in a one-on-one meeting in Islamabad that was kept secret and which is still not

out a military raid against him like the one that killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad a year ago. Taunting the US to give him the head money offered for information leading to his arrest under the Rewards for Justice

being confirmed officially by either side as it is perceived to be damaging for both parties. The US Embassy spokesman in Islamabad has categorically refuted that any meeting between Munter and Saeed took place. “Ambassador Munter has never met with Hafiz Saeed and no US official has made any promises to, or agreements with, Hafiz Mohammad Saeed who is a wanted terrorist responsible for the deadly attack on Mumbai in November 2008 that killed 166 people, including six Americans. The JuD amir is subject to UN Security Council Resolution 1267/1989 sanctions and there is an international responsibility on the member states to bring the perpetrators of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks to justice,” the US embassy spokesperson said in an official press release. Approached for comments, JuD spokesman Mohammad Yahya Mujahid too denied reports of a meeting between Saeed and Munter, saying his amir was not at all interested in holding secret meetings with someone who represented the enemy of Islam and Pakistan. “[The United States] has butchered millions of Muslims in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere.” But the fact remains that Munter had declared in Lahore (soon after

Diplomatic circles in Islamabad say these developments were brought to the knowledge of Clinton, who apparently did not appreciate Munter’s actions as they could be perceived as rolling back the tough stance that was later spelled out by Clinton during her Indian tour, when she bluntly reprimanded Pakistan for not taking any action against Saeed as the alleged mastermind of the Mumbai attacks. clandestine meeting with Saeed that took place in Islamabad almost a month ago, after the US announced the bounty. Diplomatic circles say the Munter-Saeed meeting was intended to remove misunderstandings created by the bounty announcement, which had prompted the JuD amir to step up his anti-US public campaign by laughing off the American action against him.

Program, Saeed said he would inform the US authorities about his whereabouts so he could claim the cash. “I am not hiding in caves and mountains, I am here in Rawalpindi. If the Americans want to contact me, I am present here, they can contact me. I am also ready to face any US court, or wherever there is proof against me or my group’s involvement in terrorist activities.” Saeed then mocked the US


his alleged meeting with Saeed) on April 28, that the US government did not announce any bounty or head money specifically for the JuD amir and that the matter had been misreported in the Pakistani media. “The Pakistani media is very active and responsible but it misreported the issue of Hafiz Mohammad Saeed,” Munter said in reply to queries after the annual dinner of the American Business Forum at the Royal Palm Golf and Country Club in Lahore. “Though Hafiz Saeed is a suspected accused of the Mumbai terror attacks, the US government didn’t place either a bounty or head money for him,” he said. Diplomatic circles in Islamabad say these developments were brought to the knowledge of Clinton, who apparently did not appreciate Munter’s actions as they could be perceived as rolling back the tough stance that was later spelled out by Clinton during her Indian tour, when she bluntly reprimanded Pakistan for not taking any action against Saeed as the alleged mastermind of the Mumbai attacks. Delivering a speech in Kolkata on May 8, and lending support to India to fight terrorism, Clinton confirmed the bounty on Saeed. Calling the amir one of the principal architects of the Mumbai attacks, she said the bounty was meant to show solidarity with the people of India. “I am well aware that the Pakistani government had not yet taken steps to help secure Hafiz Saeed’s conviction. We’re going to be pushing that. So it’s a way of raising the visibility and pointing out to those who are associated with him that there is a cost for that,” Clinton said, adding that Pakistan should do more to ensure that its territory is not used as a launching pad for carrying out more terrorist attacks. Hardly 24 hours after Clinton’s Kolkata speech, which clearly negated Munter’s earlier stance on the Saeed head money issue, the US ambassador made public his decision to quit. Amir Mir is a senior Pakistani journalist and the author of several books on the subject of militant Islam and terrorism, the latest being The Bhutto murder trail: From Waziristan to GHQ.



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UK jails man for inciting child prostitution JUDGE has blasted cops for not arresting a takeaway boss for three years while he ran a child prostitute ring.

A British judge on Tuesday sentenced a Bangladeshi man to 15 years in prison for paying young girls for sex and trying to recruit some as young as 12 years old into prostitution in northern England. In his sentencing on Tuesday, Judge Peter Hughes chastised Azad Miah for preying on girls from troubled backgrounds and trying to draw them into “a life of drug dependency and sleazy sex for money.” “Your conduct corrodes the foundations of decency and respect by which all right-thinking people live their lives whatever their ethnic or religious background,” the judge said. Miah, 44, was convicted of trying to lure four young girls into prostitution, paying for the sexual services of two teenage girls, and running a brothel from his business, the Spice of India restaurant in the town of Carlisle. He had denied the charges, claiming that his accusers conspired to concoct fake stories because he stopped giving them money “out of kindness.” On Tuesday, Miah’s lawyer, Stephen Meadowcroft, said that his client had expressed “very, very great shame” over his actions. The conviction was the second case in recent weeks that raised questions about how police respond to complaints from vulnerable girls, as one of the victims testified to the court that she had initially spoken to officers about Miah three years before his arrest. The court heard that the 12-yearold complained to police on three occasions about Miah harassing her in 2008, three years before his eventual arrest. He would send her up to 50 text messages a day, demanding sex and telling her that

“in his country it didn’t matter about age,” she said, adding that she eventually stopped complaining to police because nothing was done about it. Hughes said police needed to learn lessons from not heeding her

Many of the girls in the case were addicted to drugs or came from troubled backgrounds. Prostitutes at his brothel were also asked to find young girls, who he described as “fresh meat.” The judge noted that “parallels are

complaint and that there were a number of “missed opportunities” to stop Miah. “There are lessons to be learned by the police to be ever vigilant to detect signs of the possible exploitation and abuse of vulnerable people, and to take seriously what they say, however chaotic and difficult their lives may be,” he said.

bound to be drawn” between this case and the sentencing last week in northwest England of nine men for luring girls as young as 13 into sex using alcohol and drugs. In that racially-charged case, one of the victims first spoke out in 2008, but prosecutors failed to press charges amid concerns that a jury might have questioned the girl’s

credibility. Police and prosecutors have since apologized and the Independent Police Complaints Commission is investigating. Miah was jailed for a total of nine years for four counts of paying for the sexual services of a child between 2006 and 2009, one year for keeping a brothel between 2005 and 2011, and five years for five counts of inciting child prostitution. He was cleared of child prostitution allegations relating to two other girls. VICTIM ONE She was 14 when she was introduced to Miah by a mutual friend who was much older than her. The woman, who was paid to find vulnerable girls Miah could exploit, had taken her to his takeaway in Carlisle city centre. The girl was addicted to heroin, cannabis and alcohol from the age of 12, and her life was in chaos. She was desperate to fund her £60-aday habit and instantly agreed to prostitute herself. She was paid £100-a-time by Miah for sex. The girl, who caught chlamydia and gonorrhoea from Miah, told the

30,000 police march through London in protest over cuts

More than 30,000 officers from all over the country marched through the capital in the only action they are legally entitled to take, in a show of defiance against police reforms and budget cuts. To reflect the number of officer numbers expected to be cut, 16,000 of the marchers wore black baseball caps as they walked from Millbank, past the Home Office to Parliament Square and onto Waterloo Place. The Police Federation, which represents rank-andfile officers, said the sea of black caps showed the number of officers the public will lose over four years as a result of the cuts. Cuts to the police budget outlined in the government’s spending review will mean 10,190 fewer police officers in England and Wales within two years, according to research by the Labour party released in 2011. The figure was based on the government’s spending review, which has set police budget cuts at 20 per cent by 2014-15. Carrying banners stating “Police for public not for profit”, the demonstration passed the Home Office,

where thousands of officers began to boo and slow hand clap. Others chanted: “Theresa May, Theresa May leave our pensions and our pay.” ‘Privatise by stealth’ The Federation estimated that more than 30,000 officers had taken part – all of whom had taken a day off to travel to London. Home Secretary Theresa May, who asked former

rail regulator Tom Winsor to carry out the most wide-ranging review of police pay and conditions in 30 years, will address the officers at their annual conference in Bournemouth next week. Police will pass both the Home Office and Downing Street in a protest billed as opposition to “the unprecedented attack on policing by this government and the consequences that these cuts will have for public safety”. £14bn a year police budget “As a service spending some £14bn a year it is right for the police to make their contribution to reducing the record budget deficit. Existing police pay and conditions were designed more than 30 years ago which is why we asked Tom Winsor to carry out his independent review,” a Home Office spokesperson said. “We will continue to ensure that police officers are rewarded for doing an exceptional job.” The marches were held separately from the public sector workers’ strike over pensions, in which tens of thousands of civil servants will also strike in a dispute over pension reforms.

court she went on to have sex with him nearly every day – ‘hundreds of times’. VICTIM TWO It began with hundreds of text messages, all of them of a sexual nature and aggressive in tone. The girl replied to the first text by telling Miah she was only 12 years old. Undeterred, he told her that he ‘wasn’t bothered’ about her age and would give her money for sex. More messages followed, including a picture he had taken as she walked down Botchergate, the main road in Carlisle city centre. She was terrified. In one message he told her: ‘In my country it doesn’t matter about age.’ He offered her £40 to have sex with her and told her that her resistance was futile as he knew where she lived. She refused to have sex with him. VICTIM THREE The 15-year-old girl was introduced to him by a much older woman. The girl wanted to earn money to buy cannabis. She met Miah in the shop and he asked her: ‘Do you want to make love to me for £80?’ He knew she was only 15 yet he saw it as no obstacle and had sex with her. VICTIM FOUR The 16-year-old met Miah at his restaurant. Hours later he began texting her and it soon became persistent. He asked her to marry his cousin to keep him in the country and then asked her to sleep with him for money, but she refused. VICTIM FIVE She was 16 when she was introduced to Miah at his takeaway. Within a week he had begun texting her. He offered her £70-£90 for sex, but she refused.

Police Officer Held On Child Sex Charge

AN elite Scotland Yard officer has been charged with trying to groom a child for sex on the web. Christopher Exley, 32, will appear in court on Wednesday accused of planning to meet a child on the internet for sex. He has been suspended from duties but will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on bail. Scotland Yard said he was charged with “attempting to arrange the commission of a child sex offence, contrary to the Sexual Offences Act 2003”. The arrest is understood to have resulted from a covert operation at the force.

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Bollywood superstar and India’s first Miss Universe, Sushmita Sen, will sprinkle stardust over Leicester when she comes to support diabetes charity Silver Star. She has been invited to Leicester by the charity’s founder-patron Leicester East MP Keith Vaz who was diagnosed with diabetes 5 years ago. In a whirlwind visit she will launch Mr Vaz’s anniversary appeal for Silver Star, which will mark his twenty five years as the Member of Parliament for Leicester East. The appeal is designed to raise funds for further mobile diabetes testing units in Mumbai and the Midlands. So far Silver Star units have tested 25,000 people in schools, communities, businesses and villages for free resulting in diabetes caught early and many lives and limbs saved. Her visit will culminate in the hotlyanticipated launch of Silver Star’s raffle prize, a new Kia Picanto at the Sandicliff Kia’s Red Cube dealership in Leicester. For just £1, participants will have the

chance to take delivery of the £8,000 car in October this year. The unique car will be signed by Ms Sen and by Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan when he visits the city in June. Ms Sen will also launch the inaugural Silver Star Fun Run. The fun run will take place on 25th July and will raise awareness of the importance of an active and healthy

Keith Vaz MP said: “I am delighted to be marking my 25 years as Leicester East’s representative in Parliament with an appeal for this extremely important cause. Sushmita is the first of a number of special guests who will be visiting Leicester to support the appeal. If only I was aware of what could be done with diet and exercise to prevent

lifestyle in preventing obesity and linked conditions such as diabetes. Thousands are expected to take part.

diabetes, I might never have developed it. With 850,000 people in the UK living with undiagnosed diabetes, Silver Star’s work is vital.”

Hundreds of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel agree to end hunger strike Striking Deal With Israel, Palestinian Prisoners

The deal will reduce the Israeli practice of keeping prisoners in solitary confinement and increase family visits. Hundreds of Palestinian prisoners agreed to end a hunger strike, today. In exchange, Israel agreed to end solitary confinement for the detainees. NPR’s Lourdes Garcia Navarro filed this report for our Newscast unit: “Some of the hunger strikers have not been eating for more than 70 days, making this the longest hunger strike ever by Palestinians and certainly the largest. “At least 1,200 Palestinians have participated in the protest and it’s had an effect. The deal signed at an Israeli prison will see increased family visitations rights for prisoners from the Gaza strip and the end to solitary confinement. Among the initial demands were an end

to the use of administrative detention in which palestinian prisoners can be held indefinitely without charge. Israel will continue the controversial practice. Apart from helping to end the srike and improve the lives of palestinian prisoners, The deal, say activists, shows that the Palestinian push towards non-violent

resistance is having an effect.” The New York Times reports that Israel’s internal security agency said they agreed to the deal after prisoners said the would “completely halt terrorist activity inside Israeli prisons,” and “refrain from all activity that constitutes practical support for terrorism, including recruiting people for terrorist activity, guidance, financing, coordinating among recruits, aiding recruits.” Israel, reports the Times, also agreed to resume family visits for prisoners from Gaza. The Christian Science Monitor adds that the deal was mediated by Egypt, which also mediated the prisoner swap that freed Sgt. Gilad Shalit.

Dr Modhwadia, Chairman of Silver Star said: “It is a privilege for us to have Sushmita give up her valuable time to our worthy cause. It is only through celebrities like her that we are able to remind people of the importance of being tested for diabetes. From its small beginnings in

Leicester, the Silver Star operation now spans 3 continents and has tested tens of thousands of people.”

Yemen’s Tawakkul Karman On Being a Proud Muslim Wearing The Hijab

Nobel Peace Prize winner “Tawakkul Karman,” ‘The mother of Yemen’s revolution,’ when asked about her Hijab by journalists and how it is not proportionate with her level of intellect and education, replied: “Man in early times was almost naked, and as his intellect evolved he started wearing clothes. What I am today and what I’m wearing represents the highest level of thought and civilization that man has achieved, and is not regressive. It’s the removal of clothes again that is a regression back to the ancient times.



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Cotton export to Bangladesh may hit 13.5 mn bales The first session of discussion over cotton trade between Bangladesh’s Ministry of Commerce officials, Bangladesh Tariff Commission and Trading Corporation Bangladesh (TCB) personnel and other stakeholders of an Indian delegation concluded on May 14. With this, the authorities in Dhaka are rather hopeful that a five-year long agreement for an annual import of 1.5 million bales of cotton from India will be signed between the two countries soon. The agreement once signed can be worth over $359 million per year, according to international cotton prices that fell to $500.4 per candy (355 kilograms) as of May 11, 2012. With the US Department of Agriculture predicting a lower import of cotton by China in 201213, striking a deal with Bangladesh on cotton exports maybe a feasible alternative for India, which reinitiated restricted cotton exports this month, after a ban in March. In the two-day long session, the Bangladesh delegation was led by Bangladesh Commerce Ministry’s additional secretary Ruhul Amin Sarkar [ Images ] while Indian Textile Ministry Joint Secretary V Srinivas led the Indian side. “The talks have initiated,” said a Bangladesh Tariff Commission official to on May

14. “Although nothing has been finalised yet, we are hopeful that we will sign the deal after some more meetings,” he added while mentioning that the target for Bangladesh is to attain the agreement for annual import of 1.5 million bales (170 kilograms per bale) of cotton. While both the countries have agreed to sign a contract, New Age in Bangladesh quoted a member of the Bangladesh delegation as saying, “We have to decide on how the assured quantity of cotton will be supplied to Bangladesh and what will be the procedures”. Through the session, officials of both countries have exchanged ideas on the draft contract prepared by Bangladesh Tariff Commission.

Although the proposed agreement will be signed between Cotton Corporation of India and TCB, private sector businesses of the two countries will trade cotton and not the governments. However, the two governments will expedite the implementation of the agreement. According to the draft, any party can cancel the agreement after a threemonth prior notice. Bangladesh is currently seeking India’s assurance that, following the agreement, at least 1.5million bales of cotton at market price will be supplied even if India imposes a ban on global cotton exports from India. The Indian side has assured that they will finalise the draft contract following discussion with the CCI. After this, the agreement may be

signed. Bangladesh imported more than 3.94 million bales of cotton in the previous fiscal year of 20102011, according to latest data from Bangladesh’s commerce ministry. Of the total amount, 41.82 per cent was imported from India, 35.31 per cent from Uzbekistan and other members of the Commonwealth of Independent States, 7.68 per cent from Africa (East and West) and 15.19 per cent from US, Australia [ Images ], Pakistan, China and other countries. In May this year, Bangladesh initiated talks with Uzbekistan to import more cotton, after India imposed a ban on cotton exports on March 5. India decided to impose the ban

after exports surged 9.5 million bales, exceeding the Indian government’s estimates of 8.4 million bales, set in January this year. The ban was lifted on May 1 after India considered the interests of farmers, industry and trade in India. However, this is the second time that India has imposed a ban in the past two years, driving most cottonbuying countries like Bangladesh to think of alternatives. The deal between Bangladesh and India will also prove fruitful for India as a recent USDA report titled ‘Cotton: World market and trade’ forecasted lower import by China in 2012-13. The report forecasted on assumptions that China is likely to buy more cotton from its domestic sources than import while also being expected to release cotton from its own reserves besides restricting imports. In Inter-Continental Exchange (ICE), the cotton for May delivery traded down 2.81 cents to 79.01 cents per bushel on May 11 while in India’s National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange (NCDEX), the commodity for February delivery traded down 3.74 per cent to Rs 1,027.5 per quintal on the same day.

U.S. moves WTO Maldives looks to India to against India repair floundering economy

The U.S. has approached the World Trade Organization (WTO), seeking a dispute settlement panel to decide American claims that Indian restrictions on imports of various U.S. agricultural products, including poultry meat and chicken eggs, were discriminatory The U.S. has approached the WTO after its talks with India failed to resolve the dispute between the two countries. “It is essential that U.S. farmers obtain the reliable market access that India agreed to,” U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk said. “The United States holds its agriculture industry to the highest standards of safety and is confident the WTO will agree that there is no justification for India’s restrictions on U.S. exports,” Mr. Kirk said. India asserts that its measures are aimed at preventing entry of avian influenza, but U.S. officials argue that the measures are inconsistent with the relevant science, international guidelines, and the standards India has set for its own domestic industry. The U.S. requested formal consultations with India on March 7. The two countries and India held consultations on April 16-17, without resolution of the matter.

USTR officials said India was asserting that it had the right to impose import restrictions on countries whenever they reported outbreaks of low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI), the only kind of avian influenza found in the United States since 2004. The relevant international guidelines as well as the relevant science did not support the imposition of measures of the type India was maintaining on account of LPAI, they said. The WTO’s Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS Agreement) explicitly recognises that WTO Members have the right to adopt measures to protect human, animal, or plant life or health, they note. However, to ensure that SPS measures do not restrict imports unfairly, WTO Members agreed in the SPS Agreement to disciplines on such measures, U.S. officials say. USTR officials argue that India appears to have acted inconsistently with its obligations under the SPS Agreement.

“Maldives remains one of India’s closest friends,” said Waheed Hassan, president of the island nation, who took over power after a controversial resignation by Mohamed Nasheed in February. In his first visit to India, Waheed, who met the Indian leadership, said he had sought, and received commitment of India’s continued support to Maldives and its stability. With Nasheed having given his point of view to India only a few weeks ago, Waheed’s visit is intended to put forward the views of the current government, the state of its economy and the way forward, as he tries to rebuild a fractured policy and weakened economy. In a conversation with TOI, Waheed said, “I have requested cooperation to help us craft better economic policies. I have also asked for support for Maldives’ tight budgetary situation and I have been assured by PM Manmohan Singh that Maldives will receive

this support.” Waheed said Maldives was embarking on an ambitious programme to attract both Indian tourists and Indian investment, especially in tourism and IT. “We need job creation programmes to improve the socio-economic condition of the youth in Maldives. We have increasing drug problems among the youth. A section of the population is also turning to conservative Islam. That has been a concern to India. This issue kept coming up in my meetings in India,” he said. However, the biggest Indian investment in Maldives -- a GMRbuilt international airport in Maldives -- appears to have run into problems which might affect

investor sentiment in the country. Waheed said, “There are some issues that need to be resolved. We’re in talks with the company. One of the difficulties is that when the contract was signed, some of the issues that should have been cleared through parliament, like the airport tax, were not cleared. We can always take this to parliament after it returns from recess. I am confident this will be resolved amicably.” GMR representatives said they would like the present regime to honour the sovereign commitment made by Nasheed’s government. Business and government officials said they would be watching closely to see how the GMR issue was resolved.

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Gilani briefs Zardari on UK visit Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani called on President Asif Ali Zardari Islamabad Monday at the President House, report.

Gilani briefs Zardari on UK visit Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani called on President Asif Ali Zardari Islamabad Monday at the President House, report.

Prime Minister Gilani apprised President Zardari about his recent visit to the United Kingdom. The president felicitated the premier over the successful UK visit. The president expressed confidence that PM’s visit will help further strengthen bilateral relations between Pakistan and the UK. Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani on Sunday left London for Pakistan after concluding his five-day official visit to the United Kingdom. The prime minister was seen off by senior officials of the British government at the Heathrow Airport. High Commissioner to the UK Wajid Shamsul Hassan and his counterpart in Islamabad Adam Thomson were also present.

during Gilani’s visit a welcome initiative and said it will help energise the Pakistani community to participate more actively in the British politics.

Gilani during his stay in London held enhanced strategic dialogue with his British counterpart and attended the state opening of the British parliament by the Queen. He met the members of the British Cabinet and the foreign minister besides interacting with Pakistani community in the UK.

PM Gilani’s UK visit with a large entourage

Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani, who was in UK on official 5-day visit, and British Prime Minister David Cameron reviewed the progress made under the Enhanced Strategic Dialogue between the two sides. They

the five areas covered by dialogue including trade, economic growth and development, cultural co-operation, security and education. Trade and Investment roadmap, agreed by the two Prime Ministers would spell out the steps both the governments would take to promote investment, support business and achieve the target of increasing bilateral trade to £2.5 billion by 2015. Pakistan and the UK reaffirmed that they would work together to combat the menace of terrorism and extremism which threatens the people of both countries. Prime Minister Cameron appreciated the huge sacrifices being made by the people of Pakistan. Both Prime Ministers committed to enhance the already strong cooperation on countering improvised explosive devices, which have caused a huge human toll. The two Prime Minsters showed common understanding of the importance of peace, stability and security in Afghanistan and reaffirmed their support for an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned reconciliation process. Premier Cameron told his Pakistani counterpart that Pakistan’s future matters greatly to the UK and Britain would be an enduring friend to the government and people of Pakistan. Both countries are committed to working together as equal partners to create the conditions for greater

by President Asif Ali Zardari. It is expected that the British Premier would use his good offices to persuade leaders of the European Union to allow access to Pakistani products in their markets. It was very encouraging to note Prime Minister Cameron pledging his support for the return to international cricket of Pakistan and offered to share the UK’s experience in protecting large sporting events. The members of the Pakistani delegation were briefed on the UK’s preparations for the Olympics. On the whole, the visit has proved to be fruitful in giving a boost to the already existing bilateral relations and paving the way for greater and closer cooperation that would benefit the two people.

Churchill Hotel during his UK visit with a large entourage of more than 70 people.

Gilani’s UK visit ? Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani satyed at UK’s expensive

Sources said that the UK government will only bear expenses of six people out of 80.

30 Limousine cars booked: 500,000 Pounds spent on

According to reports the visit may have cost up to 600,000 pounds. Six rooms have also been reserved for more than a dozen people, who could not accompany the prime minister due to visa problems. According a report Prime Minister Gilani was not even invited at The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee - celebrations and events, Prime minster went on High- Commissioner Wajid Shamsul Hassan’s personal invitation. The reports said a fleet of 30 Limousine cars has also been booked for the visiting dignitaries, adding that Gilani has been staying in Presidential suite while others are resting in VIP suites.

Hyatt Regency London - The Churchill,

Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira who is part of the Gilani’s entourage, told APP prior to departure that Prime Minister Gilani’s visit on the invitation of British Prime Minister David Cameron would yield positive outcome in view of bilateral relations between the two countries. Kaira said the warm response by both the British government and the Royal family extended to Gilani showed their level of interest and confidence in Pakistan’s democratic government. He quoted Prime Minister Cameron stating that Pakistan’s friend is UK’s friend and Pakistan’s enemy is UK’s enemy, and said such expression of support had added another feather to Gilani’s successful visit. Kaira termed the launch of Conservative Friends of Pakistan

were of the view that the dialogue has become deeper and broader. At the summit, held at 10 Downing Street, the two leaders reviewed the co-operation on shared interests in

prosperity and security in both the countries. During his discussion with his British host, Prime Minister Gilani acted in line with the policy of trade not aid as had been envisaged

Continued on page 28 >>



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PM sentencing against the law, claims Aitzaz

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani’s counsel in the contempt of court case, Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan, on Tuesday said that the prime minister’s sentencing was against the law, DawnNews reported. Speaking to media representatives, Ahsan said the premier could not have been sentenced in the absence of a detailed verdict. He said short orders were not issued in criminal cases and that the prime minister’s sentencing was against the law. Ahsan said an appeal would be filed challenging the Supreme Court’s verdict against the premier. He further said that objections to the judgment were based on constitutional and legal grounds. Saying “we do not accept the verdict” of April 26, the counsel reiterated that President Asif

Ali Zardari enjoyed immunity from prosecution in Pakistan and abroad.

Ahsan moreover said that the prime minister was sentenced in violation of Article 10-A of the Constitution. The counsel urged that it was the duty of all Pakistani citizens to abide by the laws and the Constitution of the country. “The prime minister has a number of options to choose from, including one of filing an appeal challenging the verdict,” Ahsan said. Regarding the appeal, the counsel said that the judges who convicted the prime minister should not hear it. Moreover, on the role of Speaker National Assembly in the process of a possible disqualification of the premier, Ahsan said the speaker was given the authority by the Constitution and not the Supreme Court. He said it was up to the speaker’s discretion whether or not to send a reference in this case.

‘Murdered by husband’: Woman returns after 5 years

A woman, who was allegedly murdered by her husband, appeared before the Lahore High Court on Monday and appealed for the release of her husband, report. Shazia, a resident of Sangla Hill tehsil in Nankana Sahib district, went missing in 2006, after which her father had filed a case against Shazia’s husband Nazeer. Nazeer was termed a criminal by a court and he was awarded a life-term sentence. Shazia appeared before the Lahore High Court on Monday along with her family and told the court that she had left home because she was upset with her husband, but was kidnapped by some unknown people. She added that she ran away from her captors after being in their detention for a few years.

Tripartite commission: NA speaker consulting Top commanders discuss constitutional experts Salala raid, NATO routes The Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr Fehmida Mirza, is consulting constitutional experts, to seek their opinion about her role after the Supreme Court (SC) judgment against Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.

After hearing a detailed briefing on the court ruling from Law Minister Senator Farooq H. Naek, Dr Mirza met veteran constitutional expert and politician, former Chairman of the Senate, Wasim Sajjad, on Sunday. “Yes, I have met Madam Speaker here on Sunday and discussed the legal issues that arise from the court ruling against the prime minister – and the possible role of the speaker’s office,” said Mr Sajjad, in an interview with Dawn. However, he refused to share details of his meeting with the speaker, saying, “From my end, this was a confidential meeting. Therefore, can’t tell you what legal issues were discussed, and what my opinion was.” After the release of the detailed SC judgment on May 8 (which remained unclear on the prime minister’s legal status: i.e. whether he was automatically disqualified), the speaker’s office is in the limelight, with questions about its constitutional role.Moreover, on Friday, after the Islamabad High Court Judge, Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui, said that the SC had not disqualified Mr Gilani as prime minister, the apex court “referred the matter to other constitutional forums”. Now everybody is looking to the Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr Mirza. Dawn approached a senior PPP office-bearer with this information, and was informed that the party was working on a multi-pronged strategy

to defend its convicted prime minister. Besides preparing a review petition against the decision that will be finalised after the prime minister’s arrival from the UK late on Sunday night, the speaker’s powers are also being explored.The PPP official said a favourable opinion on the issue of the speaker’s office would turn out to be an added advantage for the prime minister. The PPP official said the case had all the ingredients to become a long-drawn legal battle, which suited the ruling party. Talking to Dawn, Chief Defence Counsel for the Prime Minister, Senator Aitzaz Ahsan, said he had until June 8 to file an appeal against the contempt decision, since its detailed ruling was released only on May 8. Reiterating his earlier position, Mr Ahsan said that since the bench, in its short order, convicted the prime minister for criminal charges that were never framed he ”considers the short order as a zero order”. Explaining the role of the speaker’s

office after the SC’s detailed judgment, another seasoned politician and constitutional expert, former Senator S.M. Zafar said that Dr Mirza had to give her opinion in the event that someone approached her and ask for her legal opinion. Otherwise, the matter would automatically be transferred to the election commission. “She can say that no question arises of the prime minister’s disqualification as a member of the house after the SC ruling, and forward her opinion to the election commission. In this case, the election commission will not have to proceed any further. But her opinion can be challenged in the SC,” said Mr Zafar. Otherwise, if she believes a question of Mr Gilani’s disqualification arises following his conviction, she can ask the election commission for its judgment, which can lead to his de-seating from the house. But whatever she would note down, she would have to back it up with legal reasoning according to Mr Zafar.

Top military commanders from Pakistan, Afghanistan and NATO met on Sunday to discuss contentious issues, almost six months after a deadly US air raid killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in Mohmand Agency which had put the

Isaf statement. Detailed discussions A Pakistan military official requesting anonymity described the talks held in the garrison city of Rawalpindi as significant, adding that the discussions

Pak-US ties in a tailspin. The Rawalpindi huddle was significant as it came only days before a key Nato summit in Chicago where Pakistan’s invitation, according to Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, hinges on its decision on the Nato supply routes which it has blocked since the air raid. Gen John Allen, Army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and Afghan military commander Gen Sher Muhammad Karimi led their respective delegations at a meeting of the Tripartite Commission. “Talks focused on border control measures, and mechanisms put in place to avoid untoward incidents on both sides of the Pak-Afghan border,” said a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR). Gen Allen said he was ‘very encouraged’ by the talks. “There was agreement these meetings are important to achieving continued progress towards … a peaceful Afghanistan so that Afghanistan can no longer be a safe haven for terrorists,” Allen said, according to an

lasted for ‘several hours’. The official told The Express Tribune that Gen Allen discussed the Salala incident in detail and also discussed steps to ensure that such incidents do not take place in the future. The issue of Nato supply routes also came up for discussion. The official maintained that the US wanted Pakistan to take an early decision to lift the six-month-old blockade on vital land routes for western forces stationed in Afghanistan. “The impact of the continued suspension is now taking its toll on the foreign forces in Afghanistan,” said another official, who also claimed that the US had now threatened to block all financial aid if supplies were not reopened. The official acknowledged that Pakistan might succumb to intense pressure on the reopening of Nato supply lines without receiving an unconditional public apology from the US for last year’s Nato attack.

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Maldives President Rules Out Early Elections The president of the Maldives ruled out early elections during an official visit to India on Monday, citing the constitution, and declared that the soonest that a vote could take place was July 2013. Mohamed Waheed Hassan replaced Mohamed Nasheed, the first democratically elected president of the Maldives, in February after Mr. Nasheed resigned, but the former president has said that he was forced to step down in what he called a coup. “I am all for free and fair elections in the Maldives as early as the constitution of the Maldives allows,” said Mr. Hassan at a news conference following official meetings in New Delhi. “There is no provision in the Maldives constitution to hold elections earlier than July next year.” Masood Imad, Mr. Hassan’s spokesman, added that under the constitution, the president can

government control.” “There is no turning back,” he said. “We are not willing to live in autocracy anymore.” He also disputed reports of unrest. “No school was closed, no resort was closed, no airport was closed. Demonstrations are there, but it does not mean that there is a major problem,” he said. Mr. Hassan’s party, the National Unity Party, has no representatives in the 77-member Parliament. push up the elections only by four months. The next presidential elections are scheduled for October 2013. Mr. Hassan defended his government’s commitment to democracy, saying: “The Maldives is more democratic today than ever before. We have a functioning Parliament, basic rights like assembly, speech are in place. Radio and TV are not in

President welcomes Commonwealth Special Envoy visit to Maldives

Mr. Nasheed’s party, the Maldives Democratic Party, which is also the largest party, has 32 members in the Parliament. In New Delhi, Mr. Hassan met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India and other senior officials to talk about cooperation and investment between the two countries. After spending three days in New Delhi, Mr. Hassan will go to Mumbai to encourage Indian businesses to invest in the Maldives.

Maldives keen on trade and economic tie-ups with Maharashtra

Maldives President Mohamed Waheed Hassan tuesday evinced keen interest in forging trade and economic relations with Maharashtra. The visiting dignitary, who is on a five-day tour of India, met Maharashtra Governor K Sankaranarayanan and Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan at the Raj Bhavan this morning. As electricity was a major problem in Maldives, Waheed told the Governor that power companies from India could help Maldives to tide over its energy deficiency. Mentioning that Maharashtra’s relationship with Maldives dates back to ancient times, he invited the Governor and the Chief Minister

to bring a business and ministerial delegation to Maldives. The two sides also discussed ideas to enhance cooperation in tourism, health, education, business and trade. The Governor told Waheed that India attaches the highest

importance to its relations with Maldives, a close and friendly neighbouring country. “Our time-tested multidimensional bilateral relationship can be further strengthened by such high level visits,” Sankaranarayanan said.

Maldives in a dire economic state: Governor

President welcomes Commonwealth Special Envoy, for constructive talks concerning the Maldives commitment to their membership, the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) and any outstanding issues since his previous visit. President Waheed welcomes Sir Don McKinnon, the Commonwealth Special Envoy, to the Maldives to Male tomorrow, at the invitation of the government, for constructive talks concerning the Maldives commitment to their membership of the Commonwealth, the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) and any outstanding issues since his previous visit. Miadhu Daily was informed that President Dr. Waheed will confirm in the talks that the future of the Maldives lies in the Commonwealth and that this would be made clear to Sir Don and the

wider Commonwealth family. According to the information, the Maldives Government wants to make progress with the Committee of National Inquiry following previous discussions with the Commonwealth about its composition. The CNI, was established by President Waheed to investigate the transition of leadership that took place in February 2012. The Government has worked closely with the Commonwealth since President Dr Waheed assumed Presidency in February 2012. Speaking in advance of the meeting with Sir Don, President Waheed said: “I look forward to constructive talks with Sir Don McKinnon. I will be telling Sir Don that as a government, we are completely committed to the Commonwealth and I look forward to resolving any outstanding issues involving CMAG.”

Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA) Governor Dr Fazeel Najeeb said yesterday that the Maldives has never been in such a dire economic state before. Speaking during the ‘Finance Forum’ held by the Pension Administration office in Bandos Island Resort yesterday, Governor claimed that the flailing economic situation in the country was due to expenditure exceeding revenue. “The Maldives is now in a dangerous economic situation never before seen in recent history. Expenditure in the country has exceeded its income; as a result budget deficit is increasing. From November 2010 inflation has also been going up,” he said. He revealed that 63.1 percent of the total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 2011 was spent as State expenses. Governor further noted that the percentage was the fifth lowest in the world and hence prompted a rethink about the whole situation. Fazeel further stressed that though Cuba and Zimbabwe were below Maldives in the list, it was something the country should be hardly proud of and noted that the value of the Maldivian currency remaining low for extended periods of time was also something that had various economic consequences. Speaking with regard to the pension fund, Governor stressed on the importance of utilizing the funds in ways that would maximize the economic benefit of the country.

To that end, the various experts who spoke in the ‘Finance Forum’ had noted that means of investing over MVR50 million received to the pension fund every month must be identified that would shape the economy of the country. The experts further called on legislators in Parliament to pass bills while considering the economic advantages that can be sought for the country. Pension office revealed that the forum scheduled to be held annually, would identify the various financial issues faced by the country while possible solutions would also be discussed in resolving such issues.



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Six survive Nepal Nepal Army Chief extends help to plane crash women Everest expedition team Child Bollywood star killed in Nepal air crash Leading Bollywood actor Abhishek Bachchan paid tribute on Tuesday to a child actress and one-time co-star who was among 15 people killed in a plane crash in Nepal. Taruni Sachdev, 14, was travelling with her sister and mother , all three of them were killed. A small plane crashed near a treacherous high-altitude airport in northern Nepal yesterday, killing 15 people while six others miraculously survived, police said. The aircraft suddenly ascended and its left wing hit something

The aircraft belonging to local carrier Agni Air ploughed into the ground just outside Jomsom airport, a gateway to the Annapurna mountain range, shortly after the pilot reported a fault.

“Fifteen people have been killed. Thirteen of them were Indian tourists and the other two were Nepali pilots,” police spokesman Binod Singh said. He said there were six survivors, among them a Nepali air hostess and an Indian man who is being treated for head injuries. The Danish foreign ministry in Copenhagen said two Danes had also been rescued and were being treated in the city of Pokhara, 60 kilometres from Jomsom. Basanta Dawadi, of the Pokhara tourism council, said he had spoken to the pair, a man and woman in their early 30s who were both trekkers. “They told me the plane was about to land and suddenly it ascended and its left wing hit something. The plane rolled and then plunged into the ground. The emergency door opened and they crawled out of the aircraft. “They told me they lost consciousness and then they were rescued.” The man had foot injuries while the

woman had a cut on her throat, Mr Dawadi said. The Indian Embassy in Kathmandu said two Indian children aged nine and six had been pulled out alive from the wreckage. It released no details about their injuries but said they had been taken to hospital.

The Indian group had chartered the flight from Pokhara for a pilgrimage to Muktinath, a sacred place for Hindus and Buddhists at the foot of the Thorong La pass in the Himalayas, local police spokesman Rajendra Singh Bhandari said. “A Nepal army barracks is near the accident site which made the rescue of survivors easier,” he added, saying they had been airlifted to Pokhara, a city popular with foreign trekkers and tourists. Dozens of army and police personnel scoured the steep hillside where the plane had come to rest, picking through the wreckage and scattered personal effects. Bimlesh Lal Karna, head of Nepal’s national rescue department, said the pilot had reported a warning light flashing in the cockpit as he descended to Jomsom. Nepalese rescue workers and officials inspect the site of a plane crash near Jomson, 200 kilometers (125 miles) northwest of the capital, Katmandu, Nepal. Unidentified people comfort each other as bodies of relatives, victims of a plane crash, are brought in to the nearby city of Pokhara, Nepal. List of Indian passengers on board the Agni Air plane that crashed: K Mamanya, SK Arora, M Handa, M Arora, R Handa, K Arora, T Sachdev, G Sachdev, Sanaim Sudhar, G Raman, Kidambi Tirumala, Latha Echambade, Sreeva Kidambi Tirumala, Sreepada Kidambi Tirumala, Mr Kumar and Mrs Kumar.

In a goodwill gesture, Nepalese Army Chief General C M S Gurung today met Indian Army’s women Everest expedition team and promised to extend all help to its members in their attempt to summit the world’s highest peak. Exhorting the team to perform at its best, the Nepalese Army Chief, who holds an honorary rank of the General of Indian Army, revealed plans to undertake joint expeditions by the two countries in 2013. “I bring greetings from the Nepal Army, the Indian people and the Indian Army,” he told the team members.

Gen Gurung was accompanied by the Indian Ambassador to Nepal Jayant Prasad and the Indian Defence Attaché to Kathmandu Col Ajay Pasbola. Motivating the team, which has been training at Everest Base Camp in Nepal for the past two months, he said, “Physical fitness can get you here, but it is mental strength, drive and determination that will get you to the summit of Everest.” As a display of magnanimity towards the team, he extended all help to them and said that a helicopter is available to the team and a smaller aircraft is on standby at all times for

any exigencies that may arise during the expedition. Citing the 2003 Joint Indo-Nepal Everest Expedition and the recentlyconcluded Eco-Annapurna Trek 2011, the Army Chief recalled the past joint expeditions between the armies of the two nations. He also revealed the plans of holding joint expeditions between the two armies in India and Nepal in 2013. The 22-member Indian team comprising seven women officers had left Delhi for Kathmandu on Mar 22 and are making summit attempts between 15-20 May. It is being led by Colonel Ajay Kothiyal.

Madhesi, Janjati lawmakers unite for identity-based federalism

Following the decision by the major parties to resolve the contentious issues of constitution writing through voting in the Constituent Assembly. A group of lawmakers from the Madhesi parties and the Janajati caucus reached a formal understanding Thursday to stand united to press for identity-based federalism for each of the major ethnic groups. While signing the four-point understanding, they said federal provinces should be determined on the basis of the reports prepared by majority members of the State Restructuring Commission (SRC) and the Constituent Assembly´s thematic committee on state restructuring. Both the reports say the country should be federalized on the basis of single ethnic identity. Maoist lawmakers Barshaman Pun, Dev Gurung, Madhesi lawmaker Bijaya Kumar Gachachhadar, Rajendra Mahato, Anil Jha, Mahendra Yadav and Hridayesh Tripathi, CPN-UML lawmakers Prtihvi Subba Gurung and Kiran Gurung are some of those who signed the understanding. They have decided to ask the CA chairman to initiate the process of voting on the unresolved issues as per the CA regulations. According to Vice-chairman of Sadbhawana Party Laxmanlal Karna, the meeting also formed a four-member taskforce to oversee the questionnaire

to be prepared for voting. The taskforce comprises lawmakers Karna, Gurung, Bishwendra Paswan and Rukmini Chaudhari. “The taskforce has been entrusted with the responsibility of making suggestion and holding discussion on the questionnaire,” Karna told Republica. CPN-UML lawmaker Dal Bahadur Rana said they would exert pressure on major political parties to address the concerns of the indigenous nationalities, Madhesis, minorities and other groups in the new constitution. “On the one hand the leaders [from major political parties] are afraid of the possibility of floor-crossing by their lawmakers during the voting and on the other hand they have failed to resolve the thorny issues through consensus,” said Rana, adding, “So, we all decided to exert pressure to address our minimum demand, formation of federal provinces based on single identity, in the new constitution.” In a separate context, the meeting expressed concerns over the burning

down of a Tharu museum during a recent stir in the western Tarai region and urged all agitating groups to maintain restraint for communal harmony. MPRF-D Chairman Bijay Kumar Gachchhadar, Tarai-Madhes Democratic Party Vice-chairman Hridayash Tripathi, MPRF-R Acting Chairman Rajkishor Yadav, UCPN (Maoist) leaders Gurung and Barshaman Pun, CPN-UML lawmaker Prithvi Subba Gurung, Nepali Congress lawmakers Jip Tshering Lama Sherpa and independent lawmaker Sadrul Miyan Haq among other lawmakers were present at the meeting. Meanwhile, the Broader Madhesi Front (BMF), a cross-party alliance of Madhesi lawmakers, has formed a seven-member sub-committee to hold talks with lawmakers from indigenous, Muslim, Dalit and other backward communities in order to forge common stance during the CA voting on the contentious issues of the new constitution.


Saarc international I Thursday 10 May 2012



‘Sri Lankans uniting against division’ National unity is being cemented in Sri Lanka and its communities are for resolving their issues within the country on the basis of their collective efforts. Separatist and divisive politics have received a resounding slap in the face. These are some of the views which emerged when the Daily News sought the opinions of some ministers on Opposition Leader of the Indian Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj’s recent criticism of some Tamil Nadu political parties’ demand that a state of ‘Tamil Eelam’ be created in Northern Sri Lanka. Addressing the fifth State Conference of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday she said TNA leader, R. Sampanthan, whom she met as leader of a parliamentary delegation that went to Sri Lanka recently to study the Tamils’ issue, emphasised that he wanted the Tamils to remain within a united Sri Lanka. He insisted only on a genuine political settlement, The Hindu reported. ‘When such a respected leader of the Tamils was for a political

solution within a united Sri Lanka, why are some parties here raising the separatist issue?, she asked. She insisted that the unity and integrity of Sri Lanka be respected

there was no room for divisions. He said that solutions to national issues would be found from within the country and this was the desire of the Tamil people

the way India’s unity and integrity were respected. Acting Media Minister and Deputy Minister for Economic Development, Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene while welcoming Swaraj’s comments said Sri Lanka now stands united and

and their political leaders as well. Also Swaraj who visited Sri Lanka recently with her delegation has given an example to others on how political parties should conduct themselves when dealing with nationally important issues while in opposition, he added. He noted

A Mother is a mother wherever she may be

event was emotional since this was the first time mothers in prisons were accorded such an honour. On the advice of Minister Gajadeera, the Prisons Department had taken steps to have family members meet their mothers who are in jail. Following a brief anusasana, the children worshipped their mothers. Addressing the mothers and their family members, the minister said mothers form the core of the family unit.

a slap in the face of extremist elements who use the issue of Eelam only as a political tool. He said that there is added significance in the fact that the Indian Opposition Leader made these comments after having gained first hand information and experience on the current situation in Sri Lanka after an extensive tour of the country with her delegation recently. Meanwhile, Deputy Minister for Environment Abdul Cader said that all communities in the country were enjoying peace and harmony since the defeat of terrorism. However, he said that there are yet some groups with vested interests who try to create divisions among communities for petty political gain. Swaraj’s comment he added, was an eye opener for such people and groups. He said that irrespective off differences people should rally round the government led by President Rajapaksa to preserve and further expand the unity and progress the country has achieved in the post-conflict era.

Over 90 treasure hunts in 4 months Thefts of artifacts & pillaging of Sri Lanka’s historical & cultural sites have recorded a steep rise, prompting Archaeology Department to take additional security measures to protect the country’s archaeological treasures, Archaeology Department DG said.

Around 800 women prisoners were united with their offspring at a function at Magazine Prison yesterday in an event to mark International Mothers’ Day. The ceremony was held to strengthen family unity and bonds and highlight the unique role of the mother. The mothers were felicitated under the theme Maathru Wandana. Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms Minister Chandrasiri Gajadeera was present along with ministry officials. The

that Swaraj by her comment’s has demonstrated that she has clearly understood the needs of the Tamil people in Sri Lanka and has risen to give it voice without seeking petty political mileage. Deputy Minister for Resettlement Vinyagamoorthy Muralideran stated that Tamils in Sri Lanka do not desire Eelam and questioned why outsiders want to promote such a concept. He hailed Swaraj’s comments on the matter. He said that the government headed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa has taken steps to rebuild the conflict affected areas, resettle the displaced people and bring peace, harmony and prosperity to the country. In this backdrop, he said, it was the responsibility of all politicians including Tamil political representatives to get together in strengthening this unity and prosperity. Water Supply and Drainage Minister Dinesh Gunawardene said Swaraj in her comments has denounced extremist politics. He said that her comments was

He told the Daily News 93 artifact thefts and treasure hunts were reported during the first four months of this year . The National Heritage Ministry in coordination with the Archaeology Department has planned a series of programmes with special emphasis on the protection of archaeological monuments and artifacts in the wake of recent treasure hunts and artifacts robberies which are on the

rise in the country, Dr Dissanayake said. He said a special programme will be launched with the coordination of the Police shortly to curb these

illegal activities. National Heritage Ministry Additional Secretary Vijitha Nanda Kumara said the ministry had requested the Inspector General of Police to assist the department to provide adequate security for heritage sites, museums and

archeology reserves, adding the department’s human resources alone were insufficient for this task. Archeology Department Director (Public) Deepal Wijethilake said a National Archaeology Day has been declared on July 9 and parallel to that a National Archaeological Week has been organized from July 7 to 13 under the theme ‘Let’s prevent the destruction of archaeological monuments’. He said public awareness programmes would be carried out throughout July aiming to increase public participation and contribution for the conservation of archaeological monuments and artifacts. Three treasure hunters nabbed Ariyapala Wansathilaka, Kurunegala spl cor Alawwa Police arrested a watcher of an estate and two others hunting for treasure at the historical Raja Maha Viharaya. Police took into custody a back hoe, iron bars, mammoties, lime and red cloth. The suspects are residents of Narammala and Giriulla, the police said. The suspects produced before Polgahawela magistrate Buddhika Ragala were remanded.

Manto Centenary 1912-2012


Saarc international I Thursday 17 May 2012

He wrote what he saw – and took no sides “How can a society that is already naked be stripped of its blouse?” remarked Dr Ayesha Jalal dismissing the allegation that some of Manto’s writings were ‘obscene’. She was speaking at the launch of Manto Centenary 1912-2012 at Alhamra Hall of the Punjab Arts Council on Friday. The book launch was scheduled to mark Manto’s 100th birth anniversary. Dr Ayesha Jalal, professor of history at the Tufts University and visiting faculty at the Lahore University of Management Sciences, said it was ironic that people attributed negativity and vulgarity to his writings. “While Saadat Hassan has died, Manto lives on,” she said adding, “Manto wrote mostly about ordinary people, but with empathy and had refused to accept the social limitations of race and religion to impinge upon his choice of friends.” Manto Centenary, a bilingual book in Urdu and English, has been edited by Dr Ayesha Jalal and Nusrat Jalal. Priced at Rs2,000, it was available for Rs1,500 at the launch. The book is divided into four parts: the first is Manto’s autobiography, the second and third deal with Manto’s works and the fourth has several essays on Manto by various authors. Speaking at the event, poet Kishwar Naheed said that the women depicted in Manto’s works were ordinary women. Reading an essay addressed to Manto, Naheed painted a dark picture of the society today. “The red light areas have closed down, but we have ‘red zones’,” she said, apparently hinting to urban violence prevalent in the cities. Referring to cases like Mukhtaran Mai, Naheed said, “Had Manto been alive, he would have seen how women are paraded naked on the streets by men for what they call honour.” She also talked about gender discrimination and religious and sectarian violence in the Pakistani society. Naheed concluded by saying: “Khoon safaid naheen kaala hogaya

hai Manto sahib” Columnist Mujahid Eshai said, “We need to understand Manto’s work and teach it to the younger generation.” For students to relate to the literary culture of the land, he said, it was vital to read and relate to Manto’s writing. Asghar Nadeem Syed said Manto was the “epitome of innocence”. He said Manto observed the society through

Shaheed Saaz. Manto’s brilliance In an extremely well crafted account of Saadat Hasan Manto’s contemporary relevance to the subcontinent and his place in its intellectual history, “Curator of a hollowed conscience,” (May 11), Ayesha Jalal makes a very significant methodological and political point. We are at a çrossroads of an animated

the eyes of an “innocent child” and revealed its reality in all its ugliness and beauty. He called Manto’s work “secular fiction” and said it had helped bridge the gap between India and Pakistan after partition. He said Manto was in a continuous

debate on the crisis in the social sciences. Inter-disciplinarity across the social sciences and humanities is increasingly seen as critical to the reinvention of these disciplines. Politically, at a time of increasing polarisation and war-talk, speaking

history of contemporary philosophy in this region? What are the ways in which we may dip into this history to understand our present? And what are the other works and creative forms that might help us excavate and better understand other realities and histories on the Indian subcontinent? Ayesha Jalal’s article on Manto was a feast. Kalpana Kannabiran, Hyderabad The article offered an insight into the religious fanaticism that marked Partition. Incidents of communal violence still take place but we have no firm law to curtail such mindless acts. Ayesha Jalal must be thanked for reminding us who we truly are. Mahesh Jada, Nellore Such articles enable youngsters like me to visualise the violence that accompanied Partition. The details in Manto’s riveting stories clearly send a strong message to religious fanatics that knives, daggers and bullets cannot destroy religion. Mohit Goyal, Sriganganagar The article was moving. Partition, a blot on the subcontinent, continues to haunt us to this day. When people

conflict with the society’s hollow values. Several readings of Manto’s work followed including Samia Mumtaz’s reading of Sarrak Kay Kinaray and Salman Shahid’s

of historical and methodological possibilities that arise from the common builds new pathways for critical intellectual endeavour. What is Manto’s place in the intellectual

living together for generations succumbed to a divisive tendency and wrought havoc on one another in the name of religion, writers like Manto stood out. The catholicity of

his outlook and his dispassionate views, rising above all parochial considerations, need to be lauded. His writings on the happenings during Partition with neutrality and impartiality should be read by all to understand things in the proper perspective. R. Ramanathan, Coimbatore Manto’s unprejudiced effort to create a parallel history of Partition through fictional narratives is excellent because his writing was not affected or manipulated by any stream of social, political, religious or communal associations. His characters — perpetrators and victims — generally came from the lower strata of society. Toba Tek Singh, a mentally challenged farmer, Mangu Kochwan, sex workers, labourers, fanatics, etc., give a strong message that Manto was a writer of the common man, for the common man. Bhavesh Kumar, Hyderabad Manto’s lines in Sahai “Don’t say that a hundred thousand Hindus and a hundred thousand Muslims died. Say two hundred thousand people died. The tragedy, in truth, is that those who killed and those who were killed, both have nothing to show for it” are immortal. Such humanist is rare to come by these days. S.K. Abdul Matin, Hyderabad I wish the article hadn’t reduced Manto to being a chronicler of events during Partition. Manto was as much a recorder of basic emotions like adolescent infatuation, lust, racial discrimination and gender bias in stories like Blouse, Odour, The

Kingdom End and A Woman’s Life, as he was of the cataclysmic after-effects of Partition in his masterpieces like Toba Tek Singh and Cold Flesh. Mohd. Junaid Ansari, Meerut

Relations with Nato, US at critical juncture: Gilani Continued from page 9 >> nearly six months. The accord, which the Pakistani government announced late Tuesday, would revive the transport of vital supplies of food and equipment from Pakistani ports overland to land-locked Afghanistan. In return, the US-led coalition will pay Pakistan a still-to-be-fixed fee of $1,500 to $1,800 for each truck carrying supplies, a tab that officials familiar with negotiations estimated would run nearly $1 million a day. The officials requested anonymity because they weren’t authorized to reveal details of the agreement. PM Gilani said that the national interests would not be compromised while reviewing NATO supply. The Pakistani premier has said that his government would make all crucial decisions, including one of a possible resumption of Nato supplies, keeping the

“nation’s strategic interests” into account. Addressing a session of the federal cabinet in Islamabad on Wednesday, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said that the country’s tense relationship with the United States and Nato was currently going through a critical juncture. However, the government would neither bargain on its principled stance nor would it take any hasty, undesired steps based solely on emotion, said Gilani. Pakistan last year had closed ground supply routes to coalition forces in Afghanistan after a US air raid killed 24 Pakistani soldiers at the Salala checkpost on Nov 26, when ties between the two allies hit their lowest. The prime minister’s words come after a meeting of the Cabinet’s Defence Committee (DCC) on Tuesday, which not only gave a nod to the conclusion of an agreement for reopening supply routes after

a deadlock of almost six months, but also cleared the way for President Asif Ali Zardari to attend the upcoming Nato summit in Chicago. Nato Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen telephoned President Zardari on Tuesday, inviting him for the Nato summit in Chicago. The conference, scheduled to be held on May 20-21, is considered to be a crucial summit for the future of Afghanistan after coalition forces pull out of the war-torn nation by 2014. Upcoming budget Apart from Pak-US ties, the upcoming budget also made an appearance during the PM’s Wednesday address to the federal cabinet. The prime minister said that providing relief to the common man would be the government’s top priority in the upcoming budget, adding that over 100,000 jobs would be created in the economic plan. The

premier instructed the finance ministry to ensure that relief to the masses would be the central focus in drafting the budget. Gilani ordered the country’s finance managers to make efforts to bring down prices and keep inflation minimal. He also instructed them to issue as much funds for development as possible. On the issue of loadshedding and the country’s energy crisis, the prime minister ordered the government to work on the recommendations of the National Energy Conference recently held in Lahore. Moreover, Gilani also instructed the finance ministry to announce the tax policy and recent revisions and reforms in taxation in the upcoming national budget. Gilani is the longest-serving prime minister in the country’s history. The upcoming budget will be the fifth budget to be presented since the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) came into power in 2008.

Saarc international I Thursday 17 May 2012


BBC Asian Network presents ‘Asian Music Stars’ on BBC Red Button

BBC Asian Network presents an up close and personal experience of three of the world’s most celebrated Asian Music Stars in a special programme due to be broadcast on the BBC Red Button. The digital station honours the

Bollywood music industry’s finest in an insightful and entertaining TV programme. It explores and celebrates the lives of internationally renowned artists Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Adnan Sami and Kailash Kher as they embark on concert tours across the UK. From Monday 14th May at 6am on Sky, Freesat and Virgin and daily from 7.10pm on Freeview, the Red Button programme will offer viewers an exclusive and

intimate insight into each of these three artists, their background

and personal life experiences. Through interviews, musical

demonstrations, behind the scenes footage and multi camera concert coverage, we find out about their journeys and the magic behind their music, with the help of BBC Asian Network presenters Bobby Friction, Noreen Khan and Tommy Sandhu. Mark Strippel, Acting Head of Programmes, BBC Asian Network, says: “BBC Asian Network’s programming on the BBC Red Button has flourished to become a successful part of our multiplatform strategy. The Asian Music Stars programme is an important part of our summer campaign and we are proud to be able to share some really unique content with our audience. With highquality coverage of big events, concerts, melas and special BBC live sessions, we have something for everyone.”

Gangs Of Wasseypur Will Be First Commercial Indian Film To Be Screened At Directors Fortnight At The Star-Studded Cannes Film Festival 2012

The Indian cinematic masterpiece Gangs Of Wasseypur, is set to make film history as the first commerical Bollywood film to be part of the 65th Cannes Film Festival’s Directors’ Fortnight segment. Produced and presented by one of India’s leading integrated film companies, Viacom 18 Motion Pictures, with the young, cuttingedge film director Anurag Kashyap at the helm, Gangs Of Wasseypur is a mainstream commercial Indian film, which tells an epic tale, spanning 60 years of a feuding family’s life set against the backdriop of the rural coal communities in Dhanbad, Jharkhand,

India. Gangs Of Wasseypur combines clever filmmaking with a powerful, highconcept and entertaining plot, with revenge at its core. Accentuated by

esteemed performances by a talented and eclectic cast comprising of Hindi cinemas finest, Manoj Bajpayee, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Richa Chadda, the film is cleverly told in two separate films. Generating widespread

interest from critics and audiences alike, Gangs Of Wasseypur breaks with Indian cinema conventions in the same mould as the Academy Award winning film Slumdog Millionaire, and other acclaimed films such as Bandit Queen. Anurag Kashyap is renowned for his work in creating a niche in Indian cinema’s ‘avant-garde’ space. He is also the mastermind behind Indian cinematic directorials as Black Friday, a controversial and award-winning film about the 1993 Mumbai bombings, and the award-winning screenwriter of such international cinematic successes as Satya and Water. Viacom 18 Motion Pictures and the Cannes Film Festival will hold special media and trade screenings of Gangs Of Wasseypur on the 22nd of May 2012. Other highlights for the film during the festival week will include cocktails hosted by Viacom18 Motion Pictures at the NFDC India Pavilion, and a debate forum on Bollywood’s changing place within Indian cinema. Viacom 18 Motion Pictures’ presence at the Cannes Film Festival 2012 will be a holistic celebration of Indian cinema’s vast contribution to the world of entertainment.





Life is imitating art for leading man Raza Jaffrey, as CHICAGO producer, Barry Weissler spotted him in the new Steven Spielberg TV series Smash, and immediately offered him the role of Billy Flynn in the West End production of the musical. He will star in CHICAGO at the Garrick Theatre from 16 May to 14 July, playing the role between present Billy, David Bedella, who leaves the cast on 12 May, and Olympian Robin Cousins, who joins on 17 July. Raza can be seen playing the role of Dev Sundaram in Smash, which began on Sky Atlantic this Saturday 21 April. Smash is the fictional drama behind the making of a Broadway musical. Raza’s other TV roles include Zaf Younis in Spooks and Hari Dhillon in Mistresses. Recent films include Sex and the City 2, Harry Brown

and Eastern Promises. Raza’s other leading roles on the West End stage include Sky in Mamma Mia!, Akaash in the original production of Bombay Dreams and Orsino in Twelfth Night. Now the most successful Broadway export ever and the world’s longest running American musical, as well as the West End’s longest running revival, the multi award-winning musical CHICAGO opened at the Garrick Theatre on 7 November 2011. CHICAGO originally opened at the Adelphi Theatre on 18 November 1997 to rave reviews and immediately became a sell-out hit. CHICAGO won the 1998 Laurence Olivier Award for ‘Outstanding Musical Production’ as well as the 1998 Critics Circle Drama Award for ‘Best Musical’. CHICAGO transferred from the Adelphi Theatre to the Cambridge Theatre in April 2006, where it ran for five years until 27 August 2011. CHICAGO, which is based on the play by Maurine Dallas Watkins, has a book by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse, music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb. CHICAGO is choreographed by Ann Reinking in the style of Bob Fosse and directed by Walter Bobbie. The West End production of CHICAGO is staged by the entire original Broadway creative team. CHICAGO is produced in London by the Broadway producers Barry and Fran Weissler.

Salman roars in Ek Tha Tiger, teaser gets roaring response Salman Khan jumps, punches and kicks like never before in Ek Tha Tiger. The teaser of Kabir Khan’s film has just been released and it has received a positive response from the film fraternity as well as the fans. The teaser went online Thursday and it has also been released with the film Ishaqzaade on Friday. Anurag Kashyap describes it as “intriguing”, while Preity Zinta says Salman “rocks” in it. The trailer suggests the Yash Raj Films (YRF) production is about intelligence agencies of India and Pakistan, and narrates the story of an agent named Tiger, essayed by Salman. The trailer is purely action based, and hints at the core idea of the film. However, the romance bit of the film is not shown in the teaser as there is not a single footage of

Salman with his co-star Katrina Kaif in it. Nevertheless, it has hit the right chords with industry members, critics and trade analysts, who have lauded the teaser, which has Salman firing guns, jumping from quite a height, fighting ruthlessly and ultimately, walking with an intense look on his face.



South Asia Tribune I Thursday 10 May 2012

Rochdale sex grooming case

David Cameron tells MPs of ‘particular problems in particular communities’ The Rochdale sex grooming scandal was a “truly dreadful case” which must be investigated further, David Cameron said today. The Prime Minister spoke out a week after nine Asian men were jailed for plying white girls as young as 13 with drink and drugs so they could “pass them around” and use them for sex. He told MPs: “There are particular problems in particular communities ... and we need to face up to these problems if we are going to deal with them.” Mr Cameron said England’s

Britons to brace themselves for two more years of economic pain. Continued from page 01 >> The four-day holiday weekend may encourage businesses to arrange extended closures, or working to take extended breaks. The Bank currently believes the Olympics will have a “slightly” positive impact on the economy in the third quarter but warned its effects are difficult to predict. The Bank of England has cut its growth forecast for this year to 0.8% from 1.2%, saying the eurozone “storm” is still the main threat to UK recovery. The eurozone was “tearing itself apart” and the UK would not be “unscathed”, said Bank governor Sir Mervyn King. The rate of inflation will not fall as quickly as previously thought, he said, and will remain above the government’s 2% target “for the next year or so”. Sir Mervyn was presenting the Bank’s quarterly inflation report. He told a news conference that the euro area posed the greatest threat to the UK recovery, and there was a “risk of a storm heading our way from the continent”. London’s leading shares index, the FTSE 100 Index, lost nearly 1% at one stage Wednesday as troubles in Greece threatened to take the eurozone crisis to even more serious levels. The country could be denied further EU bailout funds if a party opposing necessary austerity measures comes to power, which could in turn lead to Greece exiting the euro. Separately, Treasury sources told the BBC that the time had come for eurozone leaders to “make a decision” on whether Greece remains in the euro. The Bank’s report said, however, that the eurozone crisis was not the only issue weighing on the UK economy, with volatile energy and commodity costs, and the squeeze on household earnings also having an impact. It all meant that the UK economy would not return to pre-financial crisis levels before 2014, Sir Mervyn said. The pound fell to a four-week low against the dollar after the Bank of England cut its growth forecasts for the year and warned that the economic recovery in the UK remained at risk from events in the eurozone. Sterling dropped 0.6 per cent against the US dollar to $1.5887 as expectations that the Bank could reintroduce its programme of monetary easing rose following the publication of its quarterly inflation report. Surprise fall in UK unemployment Data suggest wage restraint is helping to protect jobs Unemployment falls by 45,000 to 2.63 million as a result of a rise in part-time workers. But the Bank of England cuts its growth forecast as the governor warns the eurozone is “tearing itself apart”. The jobless total in the quarter to March was the lowest since last summer, while the number of people claiming jobseeker’s allowance last month was down by 13,700 to 1.59 million. The UK’s unemployment rate fell by 0.2 per cent to 8.2 per cent, lower than the European average of 10.2 per cent.

Children Commissioner Maggie Atkinson would investigate the girls’ plight and he would consider launching a serious case review. Speaking at Prime Minister’s questions, he told the Commons: “It is a truly shocking case and we need to look very carefully at what went wrong. “We need to look at why information wasn’t passed more rapidly from children’s homes to police, why action wasn’t taken more rapidly.” He added: “It’s very important we get to the bottom of a

truly, truly, dreadful case.” Mr Cameron said England’s Children Commissioner Maggie Atkinson would investigate the girls’ plight and he would consider launching a serious case review. Rochdale’s Labour MP Simon Danczuk said the victims “went to hell and back” to relive their ordeal through giving evidence to convict the men. He said politicians rarely listened to such girls, who he said were denied access to power and influence.

Ratko Mladic’s genocide trial gets under way Continued from page 01 >> Muslim Sudbin Music, who represents a group of wartime prisoners. “Even if Mladic lives until the verdict, it will bring only mild satisfaction for the victims of Srebrenica and hundreds of other places in the Serb Republic. Mladic has been angry and defiant during pre-trial hearings, heckling the judge, shouting and interrupting the proceedings. “The whole world knows who I am,” he

said was intended to “spread terror among the civilian population”. The horrors of the siege, together with the Srebrenica massacre, eventually galvanised world opinion in support of the campaign of Western air strikes on Bosnian Serb targets that brought the conflict to an end shortly after. Mladic was indicted in 1995 along with Radovan Karadzic, the Bosnian Serbs’ political leader.

told a hearing last year. “I am General Ratko Mladic. I defended my people, my country ... now I am defending myself.” Mladic was in charge of the Bosnian Serb army when, over several days in July 1995, Serb fighters overran the Srebrenica enclave in eastern Bosnia, theoretically under the protection of Dutch U.N. peacekeepers. Video footage shot at the time showed Mladic mingling with Muslim prisoners. Shortly afterwards, the men and boys were separated from the women, stripped of identification, and shot. BULLDOZED INTO GRAVES The dead were bulldozed into mass graves, then later dug up with excavators and hauled away in trucks to be better hidden from the world, in dozens of remote mass graves. Prosecutors say Mladic was part of a “joint criminal enterprise to eliminate the Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica by killing the men and boys ... and forcibly removing the women, young children and some elderly men”. Mladic is also held responsible for the siege and bombardment of the Bosnian capital Sarajevo, which prosecutors

Yet both remained free in Serbia for more than a decade before being tracked down and sent to The Hague. Karadzic’s trial is already under way. Defence lawyers say they have not had have enough time to review the huge case file prepared by prosecutors and asked for the trial to be postponed, but the request was denied. Serge Brammertz, the court’s chief prosecutor, has dismissed Mladic’s assertion that he is too frail to sit through a 200-hour prosecution case involving testimony from 411 witnesses. His appearance in The Hague is testament to the work of the tribunal, which has defied sceptics by managing, in the course of 19 years, to arrest all its 161 indictees. But some victims still fear that Mladic, who has received physical therapy for a possible stroke, could escape judgment by dying in mid-trial. Mladic’s mentor, former Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic, the architect of the Balkan wars, died in detention in 2006, a few months before a verdict in his trial for genocide and other war crimes in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo.

across his throat in a gesture of defiance to relatives of the worst massacre in Europe since World War Two. Mladic, now 70, flashed a thumbsup and clapped his hands as he entered the courtroom in The Hague, where he faces possible life imprisonment for allegedly leading the slaughter of 8,000 unarmed Muslim boys and men in Srebrenica in 1995. Later, Mladic made eye contact with one of the Muslim women in the audience, running a hand across his throat, in a gesture that led Presiding judge Alphons Orie to hold a brief recess and order an end to “inappropriate interactions.” He is accused of orchestrating not only the week-long massacre in Srebrenica, at the time a U.N. “safe haven”, but also the 43-month siege of the Bosnian capital Sarajevo, in which more than 10,000 people were killed by snipers, machineguns and heavy artillery. The list of charges stemming from his actions as the Serb military commander in the Bosnian war of 1992-95 ranges from genocide to murder, acts of terror and other crimes against humanity. But Mladic, who was arrested last May after 16 years on the run, has dismissed the charges as “monstrous” and says he is too ill to stand trial. The court entered a “not guilty” plea on his behalf. STRONG EMOTIONS The case has stirred up deep emotions in the Balkans and Wednesday’s proceedings were broadcast live on big screens in Sarajevo, where thousands died between 1992 and 1995. “I hope that many of those who are disillusioned and believe that Mladic is a Serb hero will change their minds, and that the trial will demonstrate that he was just a criminal and a coward,” Fikret Grabovica, president of the association of parents and children killed in the siege of Sarajevo, told reporters. “My father is gone and the agony continues for the victims,” said Bosnian

South Asia Tribune I Thursday 17 May 2012



Basu fears global financial crisis in 2014

India to grow at 7.5 percent according to UNESCAP While the world has not recovered from the second financial crisis since 2008, Kaushik Basu, the chief economic advisor to the prime minister, anticipates another tanking of global economy in 2014. “The world has a risk of a major crisis in 2014. If it happens, it will be a triple downturn since 2008 when the first financial crisis happened. Then in 2011, the world economy again dipped,” he said at the launching of the UN Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2012 (UNESCAP) in New Delhi today. He said that the possible crisis is likely to happen because of distinct European economic crisis in 2014

because of debts worth 1.3 trillion euro comes up for repayment around December 2014 and February 2015. However, he cautioned, “We have to be aware of such risk.”

“You have to be aware of that otherwise some of these may backfire,” he told reporters. He also predicted India will play a major role in the global economic affairs in 2014.

“The European Union is a major trading partner. The Eurozone breakup will have a great impact on us,” added Basu. “India’s economy will likely grow 7.6 percent in the fiscal year 2012-13.” However, UNESCAP forecasts that India is likely to grow at 7.5 percent in 2012. “The economy of India is expected to expand by 7.5 percent in 2012, an improvement from 6.9 percent in the previous year. There are indications that the economy is turning around as core sectors, manufacturing, show signs of recovery,” said the report. “The UNESCAP survey is not an optimistic forecast. We are on a path

Special Feature

Aliens are unlikely to resemble Earthlings

If aliens exist, it is likely to be very difficult for us to come into contact with them, according to astrophysicists. Recent studies of the so-called “habitable zone” around red dwarfs, the most common type of stars in the Milky

Way, have shown that if there is life, it probably bears no resemblance to the one on Earth. Eighty percent of the stars in our galaxy are red dwarfs. Of these, only 40 percent are Earth-like planets. Life on the Earth depends on the sun. What forms can it take on the planets orbiting around other stars? First of all, the “habitable zone” around these low-mass stars must be very small - even smaller than the distance from the Sun to Mercury, the planet closest to the solar system. Can developed forms of life be formed in these conditions? The level of cosmic radiation there must be very high, and even the magnetic field of the hypothetical

planets would not help. Another danger to life is the effect of “tidal Venus.” It lies in the fact that the gravitational effects of the massive red dwarf can make the nearby celestial bodies very warm, denying them the chance

of origin of life. In addition, due to the powerful gravitation of the star, a planet can always be turned one side to it, while the other side is turned towards space. As a result, one hemisphere is overheating, while the other one is freezing. Clearly, this also is not conducive to creating favorable conditions for the emergence of living organisms. Meanwhile, the famous astronomer Seth Shostak, a head of SETI project searching for extraterrestrial life, drew attention of the researchers to the fact that on Earth there are microbes that can operate and thrive in conditions similar to those that hypothetically could arise on the planets orbiting red dwarfs. Life can adapt to extreme

low or high temperatures or a fair amount of radiation. As suggested by Shostak, individual organisms can survive even on too “hot” or radioactive planets, and not only terrestrial analogs of extremophiles. Due to the inflow

of warm currents into the “cold” hemisphere, the temperature on the illuminated and un-illuminated sides of the planet can be aligned. The “dark side,” however, can be covered with ice like our North Pole during polar nights, while the “light” side is cooled off by underground currents. All this, however, means that in the first place marine life forms will develop, as the ocean currents would have little effect on the temperature on land. Therefore, terrestrial life on these planets is unlikely to achieve complex shapes. In all likelihood, land organisms “settle” at great depths where they are less vulnerable to external factors. However, they are

unlikely to be even remotely like humans. On Earth, these creatures from a group of Archean bacteria are found in geothermal sources. Sea creatures on such planets will certainly have more opportunities for development, but even if they emit the signal, SETI is unlikely to be able to catch it because nearly no water medium transmits radio waves. They are not accessible by very powerful telescopes either. One cannot observe the life in Earth’s oceans from the lunar orbit, although the moon is not too far away from the Earth. Even if these underwater inhabitants are intelligent, they will not be able to get in touch with us. In any case, it will not happen in the foreseeable future - until the Earthlings learn to fly to the distant planets. According to Seth Shostak, planets with a weak cosmic radiation constantly rotated to the parent star give hope for the possible discovery of life. The scientist believes that if one side is too cold, but the other is too hot, somewhere in the middle there may be the zone of Goldilocks (habitable zone). Even in the polar regions of Mercury, there are areas with low water temperatures and ice. If Mercury had an atmosphere, it would be possible that there could be life there. Shostak notes that it will not be easy to find life on Earth-like planets of the habitable zone of the Galaxy. Yet, this does not mean that it is not there. Irina Shlionskaya

of slow recovery,” said Basu. The rating agency Standard & Poor has predicted India to grow by 6.8 percent in current fiscal year while the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has pared India’s economic growth projection to 6.9 per cent in 2012 from its January estimate of 7 per cent. Recently, Philippines based the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said the country will grow at 7 percent in 2012-13 from 6.9 percent a year ago. The UNESCAP report also noted that widespread poverty continues to be a challenge in South Asia despite notable success in reducing it over time. Continued from page 09 >>

Iraq Replaces Iran as India’s SecondLargest Crude Oil Supplier financial year, junior Oil Minister R.P.N. Singh said Tuesday. New Delhi expects to boost shipments from Saudi Arabia by up to 100,000 barrels each year over the next few years, Oil Minister Jaipal Reddy said in February. Oil imports by India are growing each year as the country’s refiners expand capacity to meet rising demand at home. India’s refining capacity is set to grow 46% to 6.23 million barrels a day by March 2017, Oil Secretary G.C. Chaturvedi said on April 16.

Dr Chishti arrives from India

his release. However, the interior minister told newsmen that “it was Dr Chishti’s desire to first arrive in Islamabad so that he can thank the president”. President Zardari had sent a special plane to bring Dr Chishti from New Delhi. Dr Chishti said he had no words to express gratitude to the nation and the government. “After 20 years of imprisonment, I had lost hopes for a return to my country, but today I have no words how to express my feelings,” he said. He said he was also thankful to the Indian government for allowing him to meet his family even though his case was still pending before the Indian Supreme Court. “I want to celebrate these happy moments in the twilight of my life with my family,” he said. The scientist said he was implicated in a fake case because he had nothing to do with the murder. The Indian Supreme Court has granted interim bail to Dr Chishti during the pendency of his appeal against a Rajasthan High Court order upholding his conviction.



South Asia Tribune I Thursday 17 May 2012

Islamic Republic without morality Ali Ashraf Khan

Islam lays stress on fair dealings in financial matters, but Pakistanisespecially the influential onesseem to have lost this part of Islam. But this has not always been like this: in our Archives we can find the papers of M.A.Jinnah, the Founder of Pakistan who was meticulously correct in money matters and he himself wrote expenditure details on even small expenditures like postage fees and other household needs in his own hand and signed it. Today plundering of public money has reached the status of normality not only in state affairs but in all offices. The boss uses the office naib-qasid (peon) to clean his private house; he uses the office car and driver to pick and drop children and take the wife shopping. While these seem to be small things this is a wrong impression - from here starts the misuse of position at much larger scale. Pakistani rulers and senior bureaucrats now don’t even write in their own hand writings specific orders on official files, they attach a chit on file with their orders written with pencil, to be typed on his/her behalf to be signed as orders by Principal Secretaries or others, this shows weakness of character in a leader and power of bureaucratic mafia. There are so many examples of political figures misuse of power being hand-in glove with bureaucrats, the ephedrine case being one of the recent. While Privatization of state silver, IPP’s and Rental power projects have sealed the fate of economic development and national prosperity. Making money by abusing rules and regulations and

disregarding national interest and health care and control of drug abuse is national interest- has become a minor affair and is being pushed under the carpet. Nobody is concerned over the spiral rise in cost of daily essential items, which is snatching two square meals from the poverty stricken people. While the Prime Minister is

sleeping’. There are a thousand other examples inside the privacy of homes where the first steps for ruining and suppressing the natural gift of God to every human - to know right and wrong- are taken. This is perpetuated in school and college where lying and cheating is daily practice mostly covered up by the teachers and administration.

be brave enough to act accordingly even if this brings disadvantage to us. My experience tells that in most cases people know that they are doing something wrong when they are doing it, because they know they can just suppress the knowledge and would never admit it. I firmly believe that knowing right and wrong intuitively is

as Shehriyet a subject which was taught in our schools and colleges and was then enlarged as political science, which was developing living character and responsibility in our youth and grown-ups. Now this is not visible any more. Print media policy appears to be regulated and governed at the whims of multinational and strong

declaring to raise minimum wages to Rs. 8,000/- the Chief Minister in Punjab province has declared it as Rs. 9,000/-, which according to price index evaluation is still not sufficient to make workers both ends meet. Accountability is another victim of this approach. It has been reduced to an instrument to keep allies in line and fight political enemies. The ideas of right and wrong have been separated from what Islam teaches; these days might is right only and the boss decides about right and wrong. And the problem is not only present in politics or in running of state affairs or institutions; it has crept into private business and into family lives also. Children grow up and first thing they learn in early age is that lying is no problem everybody including mummy and daddy does it. How do they know? The phone rings and the father (or mother) tells the servant to say ‘sahib is

How can we expect children grown up in such surroundings to be true, honest and upright? And this brings us to the most important question: How can we address the problem of missing morality in our society? Only by addressing and solving it at this broad and basic level we will be able to address the problem of corruption, misuse of power, plundering of public wealth in all spheres of public and private life in Pakistan. There is no easy answer to this. And keeping in mind that it took a long time, several generations to erode morality to this point, it will clearly take as much time to pull back and restore the feeling of right and wrong in the minds and deeds of Pakistanis. I think the beginning has to be made by an honest and open discussion. Admitting a mistake is the first step to eradication. There is a need to activate for all of us our inner consciousness and

God’s gift to humans but this gift has to be guarded and developed and applied to our daily lives. Religion could play an important role and imams and religious scholars could contribute to it - if they are honest and apply the same rules to themselves as to others. Islam is very clear on economic and financial discipline, Interest is forbidden then what is the Islamic Banking growing fast by these foreign banks in Muslim countries, and why no scholar has ever thrown light on this issue, and it seems they have also compromised on it. Print and electronic media could have played a positive role but intellectual corruption spreading everywhere has not spared (our) this branch in society and business interest first has become their hallmark. A news becomes news only if it sells. Our politicians have forgotten that politics has taken its roots from civics, known

advertising groups interest. While in electronic media some are openly telecasting foreign channels’ recorded programmes, others show US sponsored advertisement in between the peak hour telecast. Publicity campaigns not only overshadow the viewers understanding process some are dominated with neighbouring countries actresses for promotion in sales of consumer items. Thereby promoting Indian & Western culture to allure our youth and adults, a fact that is destroying our national fabric, and creates the present chaos all around. Time is running against us, an already divided nation is being further divided in the name of additional provinces resolutions without any sincerity to the cause, just for political wrangling and point scoring. How long this will continue with all impunity. The nation has now pinned hope in a Messiah to drive this rudderless ship out of the present morass. God bless Pakistan. Ali Ashraf Khan

Gilani briefs Zardari on UK visit

Continued from page 01 >>

Pakistani Journalists visiting UK With Convicted PM Yousuf Raza Gilani A delegation of 80 people accompanying PM.

Jabran Peshimam, Shakeel Anjum, Tanveer Qaiser Shahid, Asma Chaudhry, Khushnood Ali Khan, Jabbar Khattak, Rauf Klasra, Sardar Khan Niyazi, Fareeha Idrees & Mujahid

on to fly on the official flight - but their separate flights into London and the expenditures will be paid for by the national exchequer. All these expenditures excluded what was

Bralvi. Among other those accompanied the Prime Minister were Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, Awami National Party leader Asfandyar Wali Khan, Commerce Minister Makhdoom Ameen Faheem, Minister of Finance Dr Hafeez Sheikh, Minister of Investment Saleem Mandiwala, parliamentarians from PML-Q, MQM and PPP lawmakers and senior officials. The privileged wives and children of some of the delegates also joined the joy ride but not

spent on the Azad Kashmir’s Prime Minister Chaudhry Abdul Majeed who was dispatched to the UK on a special mission to mobilise their tens of thousands of clan and baradri members to welcome the Pakistani premier when he addresses a PPP gathering. According to a report one of AJK PM team member confirmed that the AJK government was fully paying for the expenses. He also confirmed that the AJK PM has no official engagements in the UK. Despite all Prime Minister of Pakistan has been

Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani, has a budgetary allocation of Rs.1.2 billion for foreign trips in the current budgetary allocation alone.

According to an estimate of economist Dr. Farrukh Saleem, an amount of Rs. 100 million spent on the one-week visit of the PM to UK where he had only a one-hour official engagement. Name of Jornalists visiting United Kingdom with Convicted Prime Minister of Pakistan: All expenses paid by the Government of Pakistan. Arif Nizami, Rameeza Nizami, Umar Mujeeb Shami, PJ Mir, Khalid Qayyum, Imtinan Shahid, Farooq Faisal Khan, Salim Safi, Saleh Zaafir, Jamshaid Rizwani, Khalique Kiyani,

forced to cancel a visit to rally in Birmingham over security fears. The “community meeting” was suddenly scrapped for fears of a “serious security breach by protesters,” according to a Pakistani official who helped organise the PM’s UK visit. The unnamed official said: “It was left to the High Commission of Pakistan in London to make the necessary security arrangements but it was decided the rally had too many risks attached to it. Management of the International Convention Centre said that “The booking has been cancelled but obviously we will charge the cancellations fees.” Meanwhile the Azad Kashmir’s Prime Minister Chaudhry Abdul Majeed who was invited for Meet The Press as Chief Guest by Pakistan Journalists Association UK at IQ Studios on Saturday 12 May 2012 but for some un known reasons he ran away from the program as some journalist later said that he was going to be questioned regarding Prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani visit to UK and to avoid all he gave an excuse for smoking and ran away.

South Asia Tribune I Thursday 17 May 2012



Planning Commission okays electricity line for Thar coal project

Thar Coal project most viable, says Sindh CM German companies showing interest to explore Thar Coal

Head of Economic Section, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, Samy Saadi said Monday that some German companies were interested to help Pakistan explore and take benefit of Thar Coal. According to FPCCI press statement issued here, Saadi said that Pakistan has great potential in renewable therefore some German renewable energy companies have visited Pakistan to sign deals while some are scheduled to arrive soon. Sindh Chief Minister (CM) Syed Qaim Ali Shah on Monday held a meeting at the CM House here to discuss provincial issues regarding forthcoming NEC meeting. The meeting was attended among others by Deputy Chairman. Planning Commission of Pakistan, Dr Nadeem Haq; Secretary Planning, Government of Pakistan, Asif Bajwa; Chairman Board of Investment (BoI), Zubair Motiwala; Additional Chief Secretary (P&D), Israr Malik; Secretary BoI, Naheed S Durrani; Secretary Coal Sindh, Sohail Rajput and others. The chief minister said that it would be the endeavour of present government to pay full attention towards development with emphasis to meet the needs of every province. He said that the government intends to complete some of the important schemes up to December 2012 aimed to provide relief and facilities to poor and common men. Shah added that there shall be some mega projects, visible to common people. He further said that to meet the challenge of shortage of power the Thar Coal is a prestigious project of Pakistan. The chief minister said that all provinces and the prime minister have agreed about importance of Thar Coal and Energy Project and have termed it beneficial to the country. He said that about 50,000 MW electricity would be generated through Thar Coal project. After long discussion, the team of federal government headed by Deputy Chairman Planning Commission, agreed that the issue of transmission line from site of Thar Coal project to Matiari will be resolved and will be got approved from ECNEC. With regard to completion of HyderabadMirpurkhas dual road on Public-Private partnership basis with Korean firm, Deputy Chairman Planning Commission appreciated the efforts and said that other similar projects in sectors of health, education and roads etc will be encouraged by the federal government. Earlier, the ACS (P&D) highlighted proposed development schemes of the province of Sindh.

Planning Commission wants to scuttle vital Thar coal project: Dr Samar

Thar Coal Project chief Dr Samar Mubarakmand alleged on Sunday that Planning Commission started opposing his project declaring it ‘unfeasible’ and stopped financial assistance at a time when his team had successfully gasified coal and was about to enter the power generation phase.However, in an interview , he said the project was still on and his team was determined to provide cheap electricity to the energy-starved country.Prolonged loadshedding is being faced by people across the country and outages of up to 18 hours a day have badly hit the industrial sector. The problem will persist unless the government solves the circular debt problem.Dr Mubarakmand, who was an important member of the scientists’ team that made Pakistan a nuclear power in 1998, is now trying to produce electricity from the Thar coal, whose reserves have been estimated at 175 billion tonnes. They are sufficient to generate 50,000MW electricity and 100 million barrel of diesel for 500 years.Since using coal directly for power generation is costlier ($1.6 per watt) and will also have adverse impact on environment, Dr Mubarakmand is trying to convert the coal into gas before using it as a source for electricity.An indigenously-developed technology is being used for the purpose, which is being regarded as a great achievement even by scientists and technologists of other countries.Dr Mubarakmand’s project needs $6 billion to complete. But since the resource-starved country cannot afford to spare so much money, the scientist says he will run the project even if he is given the initial cost. “I will meet the rest of the requirements by earning profit from the project”.It has been estimated that the country would get the cheapest electricity if his project was allowed to continue working. This will cost a dollar a watt, compared to $2.3 for hydel, $2.7 for wind, $3.2 for solar and $3.5 for nuclear energy. Power generated through coal

gas would cost Rs4 per unit.Dr Mubarakmand thinks that he needs six years to generate 6,000MW electricity from Thar coal. Answering a question, he said the country was facing energy crisis because power projects had not been planned

in time to meet the growing requirements of all sectors.He regretted that Kalabagh Dam project had been politicised because of provincial prejudices. In his opinion reservations expressed by the opponents of the gigantic project should be addressed. It’s still a feasible project, the scientist said, adding that international agencies were prepared to finance it if there was consensus at home.Replying to another question, he said when agreements with IPPs and RPPs were being signed nobody had the idea that oil prices would shoot up and gas reserves dwindle. The increased dependence on furnace oil had pushed up the cost of electricity, he remarked. The government, Dr Mubarakmand said, was purchasing electricity for up to Rs16 per unit and was selling it to consumers at subsidised rates, because of which economic problems were going up. He said the National Bank of Pakistan had not released funds to him despite the fact that the president himself had issued directions for the purpose.



South Asia Tribune I Thursday 17 May 2012

Hackers ‘targeted Diana’s lover’ Dr Hasnat Khan

PRINCESS Diana’s former heart surgeon lover has told of his fury at finding out from police that his phone may have been hacked just months before the inquest into her death. Dr Hasnat Khan, nicknamed “Mr Wonderful” by the Princess, said the disclosure by detectives involved in the Operation Weeting phone hacking inquiry left him feeling “robbed”. Dr Khan, 53, is understood to have used the phone until late 2007, when speculation over whether he would “tell all” at her inquest in March the following year was at its highest. Dr Khan, a heart surgeon, says he was contacted by detectives after his name and mobile telephone number were found in paperwork uncovered during their investigations into phone-hacking. In an interview with London’s Daily Mail, Dr Khan says he felt violated to discover his voicemails may have been intercepted ahead of the belated inquest in 2008. Last year Scotland Yard reopened an inquiry into phone hacking codenamed Operation Weeting amid a steady flow of new revelations about the practice of intercepting the voice messages of high-profile people. Dr Khan says any potential compensation he may receive would be donated to a heart unit he is setting up for children in Pakistan, which he and Diana had dreamed of building.

The Love Story Dr. Hasnat Khan—”Natty” to his friends than —a 39-year-old heart surgeon from Pakistan Diana met him while visiting one of his patients at the Royal Brompton Hospital in September 1995. Because of Khan’s aversion to publicity, Diana took to wearing disguises, including custom-made wigs and glasses with nonoptical lenses. The couple went undetected to jazz clubs and restaurants in Soho or Camden Town. But they spent most of their time together at Kensington Palace and she considered him a vital anchor in her life. “She was emotionally more stable when she was with him,” said a friend of Diana’s. “He taught her that she could be loved.” Diana told friends she was especially pleased that Khan admired her empathy for

cause was an article in the Sunday Mirror alleging that Diana and Khan had become “unofficially engaged” after what the tabloid characterized as the “amazing ‘summit meeting’ with his family” in Pakistan. “He accused Diana of leaking the story, although she tearfully denied it,” said hairstylist Natalie Symons,

the sick. As Diana confessed to her friend Elsa Bowker, “I found my peace. He has given me all the things I need.” But Diana’s love was characteristically accompanied by possessiveness. This time, she tried to advance Khan’s career and, in the process, the prospects for their life together. She asked South African heart surgeon Dr. Christiaan Barnard if he could help find Khan a position in South Africa. Diana revealed that she wanted to marry Khan and, said Barnard, “have a pair of girls...She wanted to move away from London with him. South Africa was her first choice because her brother was there.” As she had with Prince Charles and her other lovers, Diana tried to control Khan, fearing he would reject her. Her energy healer (a kind of alternative psychotherapist) Simone Simmons remembered that Diana “was so impatient to have Hasnat’s

undivided attention that if he used the Kensington Palace telephones to speak to his family or friends in Pakistan for more than 10 minutes, Diana would turn her music up or dance before him to distract his attention.” Diana also frequently phoned Khan at the hospital and “was often upset if he was in the operating theater and couldn’t talk to her,” Simone Simmons said. For nearly 18 months, Diana persistently misled the press about Hasnat Khan. Her motive for lying was to protect him as she sought to make their relationship work. “She would have converted to Islam, she would have done anything,” said Elsa Bowker. But Diana miscalculated when she made a spur-of-themoment visit to Pakistan in May 1997. Her unstated purpose for the trip was to meet Khan’s family

and “convince them that she was a nice girl,” said Bowker. “wearing a traditional shalwar kameez of pale blue, she spent 90 minutes with a dozen of Khan’s relatives, including

his parents and grandmother. When Diana returned to London several days later, she told friends she had made a good impression

and that marriage was now possible. But Diana had not informed Khan beforehand of her visit with his relatives. He was dismayed that she had gone so far and rebuked her for disclosing details to the press. The following week Hello! magazine quoted Hasnat’s father expressing doubts that Hasnat and Diana would marry. Diana and Khan continued to see each other, still in secrecy. Perhaps to protect herself from

further rebuffs, Diana’s comments about Khan took on a critical edge. “She said he was more scared of his family and religion and background

than he was in love with her,” said historian and friend Paul Johnson. In July, Khan broke off the relationship for good. The proximate

who witnessed the drama. “Diana was very sore and hurting,” recalled a friend she turned to for consolation. “It was the day before the trip with [controversial Egyptian-born businessman] Mohamed Al Fayed,

and Diana told me it was over with Hasnat. He couldn’t live with the pressure of the press, so he decided that was that.” Said another friend: “I think he loved her, and I think he was the love of Diana’s life after Charles.” The morning after the breakup, Friday, July 11, as Diana packed for her vacation in the South of France, she “was sobbing her heart out,” Symons said.

South Asia Tribune I Thursday 17 May 2012



Player says video ‘doctored’, BCCI promises strict action

IPL spot-fixing jolts cricket world, MP’s demand probe

BCCI suspends five cricketers over spot-fixing claims The BCCI has suspended T.P. Sudhindra, Mohnish Mishra, Shalabh Srivastava, Amit Yadav and Abhinav Bali after their alleged involvement in spot-fixing was exposed in a TV sting. The BCCI on Tuesday termed the alleged spot-fixing scandal in the Indian Premier League and other domestic competitions as “disturbing” and said it would take strict action against those found guilty of indulging in corrupt practices. “The footage that was shown by the television channel was very disturbing,” BCCI chief administrative officer Ratnakar Shetty said. Five domestic players have been suspended from all forms of cricket over spot-fixing charges “There has been an immediate action proposed by the BCCI president and strong action will be taken against those found to be guilty,” he added. The alleged spot-fixing scandal in the IPL had its echo in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday with members seeking a high-level probe into match fixing charges and the way in which blackmoney was coming into play in it. The matter was raised during Zero Hour by Samajwadi Party member Shailendra Kumar and supported by former cricketer Kirti Azad of the BJP. Kumar said when there was a demand to check the flow of blackmoney and bringing it back

confessed on hidden camera they get much more than their prescribed auction under the table. According to the channel, its operation also revealed that spot-fixing is not only prevalent in IPL but also that first class matches are fixed

The BCCI will fully inquire into the issue,” he insisted. The IPL’s governing council will have a teleconference this afternoon to discuss the television sting operation which claims to have blown the lid off “murky deals” in the cash-rich

and women played an important role in matchfixing. Asked about the sting operation, BCCI chief N Srinivasan had said, “We will ensure that the integrity of the game is protected. BCCI believes in the integrity of the game. We will take the strictest possible action. We will have to have the tapes and the moment we see it, whoever is the player, we will take very very strict action.” “If there is any truth in it... It is a fact that we will take strictest action. Even if it means suspending the player immediately. But (that has to be) based on some evidence and fact, for which I have asked the COO of IPL Sundar Raman to request for the tape,” Srinivasan said.

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from foreign banks, “blackmoney is being turned into white through the IPL.” The channel, India TV, claimed it had done a sting operation in which many IPL players confessed on hidden camera that they get much more than their prescribed auction under the table. According to the channel, its operation also revealed that spot-fixing is not only prevalent in IPL but also that first class matches are fixed and women played an important role in matchfixing. “We will not tolerate any such thing. BCCI has zero tolerance when it comes to corruption and dope related issues. These footage are very disturbing for the BCCI,” said Shetty. Shetty also informed that BCCI president N Srinivasan has asked the television channel for the CD to see the “complete footage” of the ‘sting operation’ and examine it thoroughly. “The Board has written a letter to the channel and has asked for the CD and get an access to whatever was displayed.

T20 league. IPL chairman Rajiv Shukla said strict action would be taken if any player is found to be involved in spot-fixing. However, Shalabh Srivastava has denied the spot-fixing charge and said that the audio clip a TV channel is playing is doctored and also threatened to sue the channel. “I fail to understand whatever is being said about spot-fixing. The voice in that telephonic conversation is not mine. It is very easy to frame anyone with a doctored audio clip,” Shalabh Srivastav said. Top BCCI officials have already started discussing the issue among themselves amid indications that stern action could be taken against a few players who are shown in the TV sting operation. “The IPL Governing Council will discuss the issue. We have asked for the tapes. We will study the tapes and then take a decision”, a top BCCI source said. The channel, India TV, claimed it had done a sting operation in which many players


South Asia Tribune I Thursday 17 May 2012

London 2012: David Beckham to collect Olympic flame David Beckham will bring the Olympic flame back to the UK from the Greek capital Athens along with Princess Anne, Olympic organisers have said. The footballer and Team GB hopeful will be at a ceremony where the flame is passed to London on Thursday evening, after a week-long relay around Greece. The delegation, including five young people, will fly back on BA2012. They land at a Cornish air base on Friday evening, ahead of the start of

the torch relay on Saturday morning. The flame, which was lit from the rays of the sun at Olympia on 10 May, will be passed on to London in a ceremony at the Panathenaic Stadium. London 2012 chairman Seb Coe, British Olympic Association President and Locog Board Member the Princess Royal, Olympics minister Hugh Robertson and London Mayor Boris Johnson are part of the delegation in Greece to receive the flame.



After historic entry, Maria Toor exits British Open Women’s squash world number one Nicol David had little trouble moving past Pakistan’s Maria Toor Pakay in her first-round match at the British Open late Tuesday. The legendary Malaysian beat Pakay, who became the first Pakistan-born woman ever to reach a British Open main draw after upsetting the seedings in the qualifying competition, in straight sets. Pakay was unable to pose much resistence against the world’s leading player and lost the match in 20 minutes, with a 11-2, 11-3, 11-6 scoreline. Earlier, the 21-year-old left-hander from Peshawar overcame Emily Whitlock, the European junior champion, by 11-5, 4-11, 8-11, 11-6, 11-7 in a 46-minute struggle which ended in the English player’s first defeat in any competition since January. It followed another lengthy Pakay tussle on Sunday when she also went the full distance, on that occasion with Lucie Fialova of the Czech republic, before squeezing through 11-6, 6-11, 8-11, 11-3,

11-4. Pakay, who was named as the young player of the year on the women’s tour in 2007 and received the Salaam Pakistan Award from the President Pervez Musharraf in the same year, will now play the biggest match of her life in the O2 arena, the world’s most

popular entertainment venue. Carla Khan, another Pakistan international, also played in the British Open main draw, but unlike Pakay, was born in England and earlier represented England. The grand-daughter of the legendary Azam Khan, four times British

Open champion, Khan changed loyalties to Pakistan in 1999. Earlier three of the Egyptian frontrunners, Amr Shabana, the four-times former world champion, Ramy Ashour, another former world champion, and Mohamed El Shorbagy, the former world junior champion, all came through after hard first round tussles in the men’s event. Shabana, who attributes his revitalised attitude and desire to delay retirement to his three- and four-year-old daughters, fought back with guts and discipline to win 11-7, 7-11, 6-11, 11-3, 11-6 against his brilliantly fast-moving compatriot Tarek Momen. Ashour claimed he “had learned about me” during the long drawn out recovery from injury which continued with a 8-11, 11-7, 11-5, 16-14 win over Daryl Selby, the former British national champion. He had to save four game points to avoid a deciding game.

New corruption scandal engulfs Indian cricketers

Punjab captain David Hussey defends IPL after spot-fixing claims

Now to the latest corruption scandal that’s tainting the sport that was once seen as the bastion of sportsmanship and fair play. India’s cricket board has suspended five players on suspicion of match-fixing or salary cap breaches. One of the cricketers is allegedly on tape discussing payments for bowling wides and no balls. It’s another blow to the lucrative Indian Premier League, a competition that involves some of Australia’s best cricketers, Amit Yadav and Shalabh Srivastava, two of the five players suspended by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) following a television sting, are contracted to the Punjab IPL team, but have not played in the ongoing tournament. Hussey, leading the team in the absence

of injured fellow Australian Adam Gilchrist, said he would be disappointed if fingers were pointed at any of his players. “Everyone in my team, everyone in Kings XI Punjab as a brand, plays with utmost integrity and if any print or TV

media tries to write differently or say something differently about my team, then I will be very disappointed,” Hussey told reporters. “I can’t really comment on the sting,” he added. Reporters from the Hindi-language

India TV, posing as sports agents, recorded the low-profile players as saying that spot-fixing and black money was prevalent in the Twenty20 league. TP Sudhindra, Mohnish Mishra and Abhinav Bali were the other first-class cricketers suspended from the game yesterday by the BCCI until preliminary investigations were completed. The probe will be carried out by former police officer Ravi Sawani, who has previously served on the International Cricket Council’s Anti-Corruption and Security Unit. Sudhindra has played in three IPL matches for the Deccan Chargers this year and Mishra played one game for Pune Warriors. Bali has not featured in the tournament. India TV showed Sudhindra allegedly agreeing to bowl pre-arranged no-balls in a local amateur match, while Srivastava

was reportedly heard boasting he could do the same in the IPL. Mishra was filmed as saying he was paid a major part of his IPL salary by Pune Warriors in “black” (illegal) money, while Yadav and Bali alleged spot-fixing existed in the tournament. Srivastava has denied that the voice in the audio was his, and Mishra apologised, saying he made the comment “casually for personal gain”. The Hindu newspaper said corruption rumours had swirled around the IPL for a long time. “Since millions ride on IPL, this ‘domestic’ tournament has not escaped the talk of fixed matches,” the paper said. The IPL, a mix of glamour, rich purses for world-class players and the excitement of T20 cricket, has endured a difficult ride over the past four years.

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