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Issue 22

Thursday, 15.12.11

US troops surround Syria on the eve of invasion?

A former official from within the ranks of the Federal Bureau of Investigation is reporting that US and NATO forces have landed outside of Syria and are training militants to overthrow the regime of President Bashar alAssad. Whistleblower Sibel Edmonds, formerly a translator with the FBI, wrote over the weekend that American soldiers are among

the NATO troops that have mysteriously and suddenly landed on the Jordanian and Syrian border. According to her, several sources internationally have confirmed the news, although the US media has been instructed to temporarily censor itself from reporting the news. Additionally, Edmonds says that American and NATO forces are training Turkish troops

as well, to possibly launch a strike from the north of Syria. Edmonds writes that an Iraqi journalist based out of London has confirmed that US forces that vacated the Ain al-Assad Air Base in Iraq last week did in fact leave the country as part of President Obama’s drawdown of troops, but rather than return home, the soldiers were

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Dewani’s lawyers argue health risks if extradited

Day 2 of Shrien Dewani’s High Court appeal against his extradition order saw lawyers for South Africa face a grilling from the judges. They wanted to know about the alleged honeymoon murderer’s treatment for his mental illnesses should he be

Continued on page 2 >>

‘No apology’ for EU treaty veto David Cameron told MPs that he would “make no apology for standing up for Britain” after deploying the veto to block amendments to the Lisbon treaty, proposed in order to help eurozone members save their failing single

Swiss CIA -A Q Khan pages 28 - 29

Delhi 100 years pages 16-17

Saarc News page 9

currency at a summit in Brussels last week. But Mr Cameron was accused of making a “catastrophic mistake” by Labour leader Ed Miliband, who urged him to re-enter negotiations with the other 26 EU states to try to get Continued on page 2 >>

Entertainment page 25

extradicted. The families of Shrien Dewani and Anni Hindocha arrived Wednesday to hear lawyers for the South African government face tough questions from the High Court judges. They wanted to know how and where Dewani would be treated for his depression and post traumatic stress disorder. They questioned assurances about Continued on page 2 >>



South Asia Tribune I Thursday 15 December 2011

US troops surround Syria on Dewani’s lawyers argue the eve of invasion? health risks if extradited

Continued from page 01 >> transferred into Jordan during the late hours of Thursday evening. Another source, writes Edmonds, informs her that “soldiers who speak languages other than Arabic” have been moving through Jordan mere miles from the country’s border with Syria. Troops believed to be NATO/American-affiliated have been spotted between the King Hussein Air Base in al-Mafraq and the Jordanian village of Albaej and its vicinity. Nizar Nayouf, a correspondent for Edmond’s Boiling Frog Post whistleblower site, says an employee of the London-based offices of Royal Jordanian Airlines has further confirmed that at least one US aircraft transporting military personnel has brought American troops into Jordan in recent days. Nayouf, the former editor-inchief of Sawt al-Democratiyya (Democracy’s Vote), had previously been sentenced to a decade behind Publisher Salah Bu Khamas (UAE) Sabha Khan (UK) UK Office 10 Courtenay Road, Wembley, Middlesex, HA9 7ND UK Phone: +44 20 8904 0617 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 Phone +91 2632 222209 / 222211 Fax: +91 2632 222212 Post Box No. 98 /108 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 Art Department UK Ali Ansar (Art Director) Md. Reazul Islam

bars for critiquing the Syrian government. He later won several human rights awards and the 2000 UNISCO prize for press freedom. Since the uprising of rebel forces opposing al-Assad’s regime over Syria nearly a year ago, American officials have been critical of the country’s government but insist that they have otherwise distanced themselves from becoming involved in the protests. Following the deaths of dozens of protesters in the spring of 2011, the United States imposed strict sanctions against the official government of Syria. Navi Pillay, the United Nations’ high commissioner for human rights, revealed this week that the uprising in Syria has caused over 5,000 deaths since it began in early 2011. In the case of the crackdown against former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s regime, NATO involvement began only one month into the uprising. Nine months later, the total death toll of the Libyan Civil War is estimated to be close to 30,000. In her report, Edmonds says that NATO troops have been training soldiers just outside of Syria since as early as May, and that US media

is prohibited from reporting on it until today. The Turkish paper Milliyet also reports that defected Syrian colonel Riad al-Assad is preparing troops to take over the Syrian government as well. Mean while According to first-hand accounts and reports provided by several sources in Jordan, during the last few hours on Wednesday foreign military groups, estimated at hundreds of individuals, began to spread near the villages of the north-Jordan city of “Al-Mafraq”, which is adjacent to the Jordanian and Syrian border. According to one Jordanian military officer who asked to remain anonymous, hundreds of soldiers who speak languages other than Arabic were seen during the past two days in those areas moving back and forth in military vehicles between the King Hussein Air Base of al-Mafraq (10 km from the Syrian border), and the vicinity of Jordanian villages adjacent to the Syrian border, such as village Albaej (5 km from the border), the area around the dam of Sarhan, the villages of Zubaydiah and alNahdah adjacent to the Syrian border.

David Cameron:

‘No apology’ for EU treaty veto Continued from page 01 >>

a better deal for Britain. The clash came in the final session of Prime Minister’s Questions before Christmas, at which Mr Cameron was flanked on the Government frontbench by his Lib Dem deputy Nick Clegg. Labour MPs mocked Mr Clegg for exposing coalition rifts over Europe by staying away from the chamber on Monday for the Prime Minister’s statement on the Brussels summit. Mr Miliband, who welcomed the Deputy Prime Minister back to his seat, said that Mr Cameron had promised the coalition Government would operate in a “collegiate” way, and asked: “What’s gone wrong?” At Prime Minister’s Questions Mr Cameron was accused of making a “catastrophic mistake” by Labour leader Ed Miliband, who urged him to re-enter negotiations with the other 26 EU states to try to get a better deal for Britain. The clash came in the final session before Christmas, at which Mr Cameron was flanked on the Government frontbench by his Liberal Democrat deputy Nick Clegg. Labour MPs mocked Mr Clegg for exposing coalition rifts over Europe by staying away from the chamber on Monday for the Prime Minister’s statement on the Brussels summit. Mr Miliband, who welcomed the Deputy Prime Minister back to his seat, said that Mr Cameron had promised the coalition Government would operate in

a “collegiate” way, and asked: “What’s gone wrong?” The blame game continues in Europe over who is responsible for the high-level split over a new EU fiscal agreement. UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage believes it’s time for the British to decide whether they want to stay in the EU. The British Prime Minister David Cameron, who slapped a firm ‘no’ on the deal, said it lacked sufficient financial safeguards for the UK. However European Commission President, Jose Manuel Barroso, called the decision “unfortunate” and said Britain itself had made compromise impossible by making demands that threatened the entire single market. “The United Kingdom in exchange for giving its agreement asked for a specific protocol on financial services which as presented were a risk to the integrity of the internal market. This made compromise impossible,” he told European lawmakers in Strasbourg on Tuesday. He also remarked that most countries tried hard to reach an accord of all 27 EU states. UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage told RT that British citizens may soon ask for a referendum to get out of the EU. The myth that the UK can be in Europe but not run by Europe has died after the Friday vote over the fiscal deal, he claimed. “We now find ourselves in a position where we are outvoted by 26 to 1. We are in a hopeless minority and yet we still have 75 per cent of our laws that run the United Kingdom made in these institutions.” “Cameron not wishing to do this has now opened up the real debate in the UK about our European future,” he said.

Continued from page 01 >> the quality of care. The judges heard Dewani would be detained in the Valkenberg secure mental health facility with access to a private psychiatrist. One of the judges wondered if the Dewani family could afford such care. Legal experts agree mental health issues are a serious complication to extraditions. The appeal appears to hinge on the state of Shrien Dewani’s mental health. The judges will hear more evidence on that on Friday, that will be a closed hearing. The health and life of British businessman Shrien Dewani will be at risk if he is extradited to South Africa to face allegations of masterminding the murder of his bride during their honeymoon, the London High Court was told on Tuesday. The Press Association reports that care home owner Dewani, from Bristol, who denies any wrongdoing, is accused of arranging the contract killing of his wife Anni in Cape Town in November last year. Britain’s home secretary Theresa May signed an order for his extradition after District Judge Howard Riddle ruled at Belmarsh Magistrate’s Court in south-east London in August that Dewani (31) should be sent back to South Africa to stand trial. On Tuesday, Clare Montgomery QC, appearing for Dewani, asked two judges to block the extradition order on the grounds that his mental health had deteriorated to the point where he was “too ill to be extradited” and was a suicide risk. As family members looked on, Montgomery also argued he was at serious risk of violence if kept in custody in South Africa, including sexual violence, at the hands of other prisoners. Anni Dewani (28) from Sweden, was shot when a taxi the couple were travelling in was hijacked in Gugulethu. She was found dead in the back of the abandoned vehicle with a bullet wound to her neck after taxi driver Zola Tongo drove the newlyweds to the township. Driven away and shot He and Shrien Dewani were ejected by the hijackers before Anni Dewani was driven away and shot. Tongo, who has admitted his part in the crime, claimed in a plea agreement with prosecutors that Dewani ordered the carjacking and paid for a hit on his wife. Dewani, who has been diagnosed with severe post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and severe depression, was not at Tuesday’s hearing. Montgomery argued he was so ill that he would be incapable of giving instructions to his lawyers or following trial proceedings and extradition should be delayed until he had recovered. The QC told Sir John Thomas, presi-

dent of the Queen’s Bench Division and Mr Justice Ouseley, that the businessman had always wished for a fair trial. “However that is, at the moment, on the advice we have been given by those who are treating him, not possible.” His illnesses had begun to develop shortly after the murder of his wife and before he was accused of her murder. In April this year he was sectioned under the 1983 Mental Health Act to a psychiatric unit for his own protection and last month was re-sectioned for a further six months following a deterioration in his condition. All the doctors who had examined him, including the expert instructed by the South African government, agreed that he was suffering from PTSD and depression, said Montgomery. In a hearing expected to last two days, she asked the high court to discharge the extradition order, or adjourn its implementation. She argued that District Judge Riddle had fallen into error when he accepted South African assurances that Shrien Dewani’s life and health would not be endangered if he was sent back to South Africa. Limited assurances She argued the limited assurances that were given were “incapable of fulfilment”. Montgomery told the court Judge Riddle should have ordered Dewani’s discharge under section 91 of the Extradition Act 2003 on the grounds that sending him back would “manifestly endanger his health or risk his life”. Tuesday’s application is being opposed by the South African government. Written statements before the court from Shrien Dewani’s legal team say that his illnesses cannot be treated with anti-depressant medication because he suffers from a life-threatening drug reaction. His recovery is likely to be “slow and unpredictable”. They state he is being visually checked every 15-20 minutes at his psychiatric unit because he is a high suicide risk. Montgomery told the judges that the risk would increase “to an unacceptable level” if he was extradited. The suicide management capacity of the South African prison system was “inadequate”, as had been admitted by the prisons inspector, she contended. Experts also agreed that there was no evidence that the psychiatric hospital available to care for him could adequately treat his complex illnesses. Extradition would be incompatible with articles 2 and 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which protect the right to life and prohibit inhuman and degrading treatment. Montgomery said “explicit public hostility” towards him had been fanned by the South African police and prosecutors, and the authorities would not be able to provide sufficient protection. ‘Excellent job’ Judge Riddle had wrongly relied on

South Asia Tribune I Thursday 15 December 2011



Cameron’s Veto May Isolate Britain From Europe David Cameron’s decision to exercise Britain’s veto and sit out negotiations on a new EU treaty is being seen as a momentous move, even if the ramifications aren’t quite clear yet:

knows what happens now? But Europe, for all its follies and failings, has become a scapegoat for weaknesses that are really our own. We may be about to rediscover that awkward truth.

• Telegraph: “Mr. Cameron was right to reject a deal designed by the French, for the French,” blogs Benedict Brogan. “At the heart of this dispute is France’s desire to see Britain out of the EU, and

the City of London.” - Daily Mail leader • “We asked David Cameron to act like Churchill and stand up for Britain. And he did. The Prime Minister deserves

tax. Well Mr Cameron can rest assured that back in his own country many people – including readers of the Daily Express – will be queueing up to shake his hand. For his conduct of these

• New York Times: The decision “has left Britain as isolated as it has ever been in postwar Europe and effectively left out of future European decisions,” write Sarah Lyall and Julia Werdigier. They add, however, that “there was widespread confusion over what this all actually means.” • Guardian: “I do not hear the sound of champagne corks or celebration among British Eurosceptics,” writes Michael White. “Beware of what you wish for, is a wise saying. Who

It was why we joined in the first place.” • Global Post: “Britain will not be part of the negotiations defining the new fiscal union, setting the stage for a two-tier Europe. Britain’s opt-out is a monumental development for Europe, and a significant defeat” for Cameron, writes Michael Goldfarb. Germany, France, and Britain always found a way to find a deal in the past, but this time there was no leeway “to fudge and play politics with the solutions.”

(London) marginalized. That was why they loaded the package with elements Britain could not accept. Downing Street officials are clear about what the French are up to, and why the Prime Minister had no choice but to say non.”

credit for blocking an EU stitchup over the euro that would have damaged Britain. For once he had fire in his belly. Now he must show he has more. Because, like Churchill, he faces a long war of attrition as 26 of the 27 EU nations go one way and we go another.” - The Sun Says • “Yesterday French President Nicolas Sarkozy declined to shake the hand of David Cameron after he refused to accept a plan to give Brussels the power to levy an EU¬ wide financial transactions

negotiations has been admirable.” - Express leader • “Europe has pushed us to the limits of our national interest, and beyond. In finally making that clear, the Prime Minister has done his country an invaluable service.” - Telegraph leader • The Prime Minister was left with no option but to exercise the British veto in Brussels - Times leader (£) Leaders in the FT (£), Independent and Guardian are negative.

• “In a display of enormous political courage, David Cameron yesterday finally said no to the European elite – vetoing plans for a treaty that included an EUwide tax on financial transactions, which would have badly hobbled

Iran says it won’t return secret CIA spy drone it claims it shot from the sky

Iran summons Afghan ambassador over US drone intrusion Iran triumphantly displayed one of America’s most advanced intelligence-gathering aircraft on Thursday after a spy drone crashed on its territory, leading Russia and China to ask to inspect its technology. Images show Iranian military officials inspecting the RQ-170 Sentinel stealth aircraft which appears to be undamaged. US officials have acknowledged the loss of the unmanned plane, saying it had malfunctioned. However, Iranian officials say its forces electronically hijacked the drone and steered it to the ground. Iran will not return a US surveillance drone captured by its armed forces, a senior commander of the country’s elite Revolutionary Guard said Sunday.

Gen Hossein Salami, deputy head of the Guard, said in remarks broadcast on state television that the violation of Iran’s airspace by the US drone was a ‘hostile act’ and warned of a ‘bigger’ response. He did not elaborate on what Tehran might do. ‘No one returns the symbol of aggression to the party that sought secret and vital intelligence

related to the national security of a country,’ Salami said. American officials have said that US intelligence assessments indicate that Iran neither shot the drone down, nor used electronic or cybertechnology to force it from the sky. They contend the drone malfunctioned. The officials had spoken anonymously in order to

discuss the classified program. Meanwhile Iran has summoned the Afghan ambassador to protest the violation of its airspace by a US surveillance drone that took off from neighboring Afghanistan. The official IRNA news agency says Obeidollah Obeid was called to the Foreign Ministry to receive Iran’s protest and demand explanations from the Afghan government over the pilotless spy plane. Iran’s state TV broadcast video Thursday of Iranian military officials inspecting what it identified as the RQ-170 Sentinel drone, and offered the first evidence that Tehran had captured the aircraft. The beige-colored drone appeared intact and undamaged. Iranian state radio has said the unmanned aircraft was detected over the eastern town of Kashmar, some 140 miles (225 kilometers) from the border with Afghanistan.

US assures Pak of early probe into NATO attack

US ambassador Cameron Munter called on Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar on Friday and discussed current status of bilateral relations between Pakistan and the United States. The Foreign Minister said that relations between the two countries must be based on mutual respect. She added that the recent incidents had led to the re-evaluation of terms of engagement. The US Ambassador assured the Foreign Minister of an early conclusion of the investigation into the tragic incident on November 26 and to work together with the Government of Pakistan to normalize the relationship at the earliest.



EDITORIAL Who tipped off Iran to U.S. drone flight plan? It’s the same drone believed to have been used in the covert CIA operation to kill Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. Was the U.S. operation compromised by intelligence in Pakistan before it even began? Star Wars may have conceptualized the reconnaissance drone or droid but it may be U.S. bungling with these military automatons that may make them catalysts for the next World War. Iran exhibited the top-secret U.S. stealth drone RQ-170 Sentinel captured on Sunday, Dec. 4. Its almost perfect condition confirmed Tehran’s claim that the UAV was downed by a cyber attack, meaning it was not shot down but brought in undamaged by an electronic warfare ambush. This is a major debacle for the stealth technology the U.S. uses in its warplanes and the drone technology developed by the U.S. and Israel. The state of the lost UAV refutes the U.S. military contention that the Sentinel’s systems malfunctioned. If this had happened, it would have crashed and either been wrecked or damaged. The condition of the RQ-170 intact obliges the U.S. and Israel to make major changes in plans for a potential strike against Iran’s nuclear program. The Obama administration’s decision after internal debate not to send U.S. commando or air units into Iran to retrieve or destroy the secret RQ-170 stealth drone which fell into Iranian hands has strengthened the hands of the Israeli faction which argues the case for striking Iran’s nuclear installations without waiting for the Americans to make their move. Senior Israeli diplomatic and security officials who followed the discussion in Washington concluded that, by failing to act, the administration has left Iran not only with the secrets of the Sentinel’s stealth coating, its sensors and cameras, but also with the data stored in its computer cells on targets marked out by the U.S. and/or Israeli for attack. Like every clandestine weapons system, the RQ-170 had a self-destruct mechanism to prevent its secrets spilling out to the enemy in the event of a crash or capture. This did not happen. Tehran was able to claim the spy drone was only slightly damaged when they downed it. The NATO spokesman claimed control was lost of the U.S. UAV and it went missing, a common occurrence for these unmanned aircraft. The enigmas surrounding its capture continue to pile up. How did Iran know the drone had entered its airspace? How was it caused to land? Most of all, why did the craft’s self-destruct mechanism which is programmed to activate automatically fail to work? And if it malfunctioned, why was it not activated by remote control? Thursday, Dec. 8, The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal reported that from Sunday, Dec. 4, when Tehran announced the stealth drone’s capture, the Obama administration weighed sending special commando forces into Iran from bases in Afghanistan to bring the downed aircraft back to Afghanistan or blow it up to destroy the almost intact secret systems – either by a sneak operation or by an air strike. In the end, the paper quoted a U.S. official as explaining that the attack option was ruled out “because of the potential it could become a larger incident.” If an assault team entered the country, the U.S. “could be accused of an act of war” by Tehran.

South Asia Tribune I Thursday 15 December 2011

Nick Clegg warns European veto ‘bad for Britain’ Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg admitted today he was “bitterly disappointed” by the outcome of last week’s European Council, when David Cameron wielded Britain’s veto. He warned that Britain could be left “isolated and marginalised” in the wake of the summit. “I’m bitterly disappointed by the outcome of last week’s summit, precisely because I think now there is a danger that the UK will be isolated and marginalised within the European Union,” Mr Clegg told BBC1’s Andrew Marr Show. “I don’t think that’s good for jobs, in the City or elsewhere. I don’t think it’s good for growth or for families up and down the country.” He said he would now be doing “everything I can to ensure this setback does not become a permanent divide”. Sources close to Mr Clegg have told the BBC he “couldn’t believe it” when he was told the summit in Brussels had “spectacularly unravelled”. ‘Spectacularly misguided’ Mr Clegg spoke by telephone to the prime minister at 4am on Friday, as talks ended in Brussels. The Lib Dem leader said: “I said

this was bad for Britain. I made it clear that it was untenable for me to welcome it.” Now there is a danger that the UK will be isolated and marginalised within the EU. Nick Clegg, deputy prime minister He said Tories welcoming the outcome of the summit were “spectacularly misguided”. At prime minister’s questions last Wednesday, Conservative backbenchers urged David Cameron to show “bulldog spirit” in Brussels. But Mr Clegg said today: “There’s nothing bulldog about Britain hovering somewhere in the mid-Atlantic, not standing tall in Europe, not being taken seriously in Washington.” He warned the UK was “retreating further to the margins of Europe”.

Read more: Will UK be left out in the cold? ‘Not good for Britain’ Earlier, in today’s Independent on Sunday, a source close to Mr Clegg said there had been “a spectacular failure to deliver in the country’s interest” at the Brussels summit. “Nick certainly doesn’t think this is a good deal for Britain, for British jobs or British growth,” the source said. “It leaves us isolated in Europe and that is not in our national interest. Nick’s fear is that we become the lonely man of Europe.” The source said Mr Clegg “couldn’t believe it” when, on Friday morning, he was informed of the course of events and how Mr Cameron had sought to negotiate with fellow

EU leaders. ‘Reasonable requests’ Speaking on BBC Radio Nottingham, Conservative Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke, a pro-European, described the outcome of the summit as “disappointing”. “There will be a big statement made by the prime minister on Monday, where I shall be sitting listening, and I shall be discussing what we are going to do now,” Mr Clarke said. Our requests were moderate, reasonable and relevant. William Hague, foreign secretary Meanwhile, Foreign Secretary William Hague, writing in The Telegraph, gave his backing to Mr Cameron. “Our requests were moderate, reasonable and relevant, given the potential spill-over from fiscal to financial integration,” wrote Mr Hague. “We did not go to Brussels seeking a row. We went in search of agreement. It is a matter of regret that no agreement that was acceptable to all 27 EU countries could be reached. “But it is better to have no change to the EU treaties than a change that did not protect our interests.”

Forced marriages in England could number 8,000 Data puts cases between 5,000 and 8,000 as government considers making coerced unions a criminal offence There are at least 5,000 to 8,000 cases of forced marriage in England every year but it is impossible to know the full scale of the problem, according to the Home Office. The estimate is contained in the official consultation paper published on Monday on whether making forced marriage a specific criminal offence will help better protect victims. David Cameron has already signalled that he wants to strengthen the law against forced marriage by making it a criminal offence to breach a civil forced marriage protection order, but ministers are considering going further by making it a separate criminal offence. The home secretary, Theresa May, said: “Marriage should be one of the happiest events in a person’s life, but shockingly thousands of people

a year are forced into marriage against their will. “It is an appalling form of abuse and perceived cultural sensitivities should not stop us doing more to tackle it.” She said the Home Office wanted to hear from victims of forced marriages and from charities and others supporting them on whether a specific new criminal offence

would help or hinder. The consultation paper says that many if not all the elements of forcing someone to marry against their will are already criminal offences, including kidnapping and abduction, false imprisonment, harassment and assault. It says that creating a specific offence of forced marriage could act as a deterrent, empower young

people to challenge their parents and make it easier for police and health and social services to identify victims. But it also acknowledges concerns that victims may stop asking for help because they fear their families will be prosecuted, that parents may take their children abroad to marry and it may make future reconciliations more difficult. The paper cites official research estimating that there are 5,000 to 8,000 reported cases of forced marriage in England each year. They include cases from Afghanistan, north and east Africa, Bangladesh, India, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan and Turkey. But it adds that while the full scale of the problem is not known, the number of reported cases is rising year on year. The government’s forced marriage unit, which provides direct assistance to victims, dealt with 1,618 cases in 2008, 1,682 in 2009 and 1,735 in 2010.

South Asia Tribune I Thursday 15 December 2011

Leveson Inquiry:


‘Fake sheikh unaware of hacking’ at paper Mazher Mahmood, the News of the World’s former investigations editor, has his identity protected during the hearing. Mazhar Mahmood said “all the fingers were pointing towards the newsdesk” after the NoW’s former royal editor Clive Goodman was arrested in 2006. The journalist was giving evidence to the Leveson Inquiry into media ethics and standards. Mr Mahmood, who He now works for the Sunday Times, where he is understood to have been hired on a salary of £150,000, is known for his “fake sheikh” disguise while reporting undercover and gave evidence off-camera to protect his identity as an undercover reporter. He was behind the News of the World story that resulted in three Pakistan Test cricketers and a corrupt sports agent being jailed in November for spot-fixing. Giving evidence at the inquiry, Mr Mahmood said his work had led to more than 260 “successful criminal prosecutions”. Describing the process of getting his undercover investigations commissioned at the Sunday Times and the News of the World, Mr Mahmood said there was a “regulated” process at both papers. In essence “they had to fulfil the same criteria” - making sure the source was credible, ensuring the story was in the public interest, and that subterfuge was justified. But Mr Mahmood said that at the Sunday Times the process was “a lot more stringent and more formalised”. He said there would be three main reasons that would justify doing a story - “if criminality was a factor, there was moral wrongdoing, or hypocrisy”, but each case was accessed on its own merit. The journalist said he had written about 500

stories for the News of the World and “a small fraction” involved celebrities, but they “never entrapped people”. Mr Mahmood said he had never paid or commissioned a private investigator, although Derek Webb - who has carried out surveillance work for the News of the World had been assigned to some of his stories by the newsdesk. The first time Mr Mahmood was aware of phone hacking at the News of the World was after the arrest of Clive Goodman, he said. He went on to say it had then become the talk of the office, and “all the fingers were pointing towards the newsdesk”. Mahmood tells the inquiry that investigations were very expensive and they tried to check sources as much as they could for “credibility” before embarking on an undercover operation. Mahmood says the majority of his stories came from credible sources who had given him stories in the past. Mahmood says he never paid or commissioned a private investigator. He says Derek Webb was “assigned” to his investigations by the newsdesk but only on “a couple of occasions”. Mr Mahmood told the inquiry he was “proud” that he had jailed paedophiles and drug dealers. “We risk our lives on a daily basis .. I live under a constant death threat. That’s what motivates me.” He said on one occasion he had purchased child pornography, that had led to a conviction and it was “ethical”. “The end justifies the means clearly .. Does that mean we go out to rob a bank to show that banks can be robbed? Clearly not,” he said. He added that he took the PPC “very seriously” and no PCC complaint had been upheld against him in the last 20 years.


Master of the dark arts

Three central players at the News of the World faced the Leveson Inquiry Monday and defended their methods From the going rates for a celebrity "kiss and tell", to buying child pornography to trap paedophiles, to the mechanics of a good old-fashioned Fleet Street sting, the dark arts of the tabloids were laid bare at the Leveson Inquiry yesterday by a trio of their most skilled practitioners.

Mazher Mahmood aka the Fake Sheikh Lord Leveson has begun proceedings explaining that Mazher Mahmood's face will not be broadcast "for good reason". Giving evidence in a courtroom that had been cleared of reporters and members of the public to ensure that the appearance of the high priest of the tabloid ambush would remain known to only a very few, Mr Mahmood insisted it was a fallacy that he had entrapped dozens – from hapless royals to serious criminals – using his elaborate subterfuges. The former NOTW investigator, who now works for the Sunday Times, said his 20year career at the former led to more than 260 "successful criminal prosecutions", including the recent convictions of Pakistani cricketers for match fixing after the publication of a story which saw him named reporter of the year in industry awards. Mr Mahmood, speaking in clear, polished tones, said he always posed two questions when deciding if a story about a potential target was to be pursued: "Are they involved in criminality? Are they involved in moral wrongdoing?" The reporter, whose nickname originates

in his penchant for posing as a monied Arab to claim scalps including the Duchess of York, said the focus for many of his scoops, including the investigation of the model Sophie Anderton for drug dealing, was illegallity. He said: "It is annoying, this myth of entrapment. We don't entrap people." He added: "These are people who are predisposed to commit these crimes anyway. All I am doing is providing a snapshot of what they are doing." Mr Mahmood said he was proud that his work had led to the jailing of paedophiles, arms traders and drug dealers but added that this meant he had had to cross the line. "I have purchased child pornography, for example, which clearly is illegal, and that led to conviction. There are times when we cross the line – but the overriding factor is the public interest." Mazher Mahmood has told the inquiry he does not think MPs have any right to privacy from investigative journalists. “I don’t think there should be if you hold public office you should be open to scrutiny,” he said. But he went on to say that the mere fact of celebrity would not be justification for prying into their private life. Mazher Mahmood has denied ever hacking phones but said that he and his colleagues always suspected the News of The World newsdesk of orchestrating the criminal practice. Asked whether he was aware that phone hacking was going on at any time at the News of The World, he said: “No I was not, the first time I heard about it was after there was an arrest,” referring to that of Clive Goodman.

“Britain’s most notorious undercover reporter.”

Fake Shiekh: Mazher Mahmood? An undercover reporter with The Sunday Times newspaper. He previously spent 20 years working for the defunct British tabloid newspaper News of the World.

The News of the World took court action to stop Mahmood’s possible picture being published after it was distributed by Galloway and asked newspapers not to use it, claiming he was the subject of death threats after playing a role in the jailing of 130 criminals. A temporary injunction stopping publication was lifted and the photo published by the Guardian and on the internet. Mahmood got his first job as a journalist aged 18, exposing family friends who sold pirate videos. This gained him two weeks work at the News of the World, after which he started freelancing at the Sunday People. In 1984, while trying to expose a vicering at the Metropole Hotel at

the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham, while working with fellow journalist Roger Insall, he first used the “Fake Sheikh” disguise to entice prostitutes to a hotel room.

He then worked for The Sunday Times, which according to the International Herald Tribune he joined in 1989. Then managing editor Roy Greenslade reported that Mahmood was dismissed for an attempted cover-up of an error he had made. In September 2004, he posed as a Muslim extremist to “expose” three men who were trying to buy radioactive material for a suspected Muslim terrorist group seeking to carry out attacks in the United Kingdom. The men were later found not guilty following a trial at the Old Bailey, with the judge criticising the News of the World for not checking the credibility of the story before printing. In 2003, Mahmood

was responsible for reporting an alleged plot to kidnap Victoria Beckham to the police. The subsequent trial collapsed after it emerged that Mahmood’s main informant, Florim Gashi had

been paid £10,000 and could not be considered a reliable witness, and was later deported from the UK. Judge Simon Smith referred the News of the World’s role in the affair to the Attorney General. In 2004, Mahmood led an investigation into exposing the creation of a dirty bomb through the supply of the fictitious substance red mercury to three men from a supposed terrorist group. Mahmood was registered as an informant for the Metropolitan Police Anti-Terrorist Branch during the story, which led to a criminal case prosecution by the Crown Prosecution Service. The case, signed off by the Attorney General, collapsed in July 2006.



South Asia Tribune I Thursday 15 December 2011

Saudi woman beheaded for ‘sorcery’ A Saudi woman was beheaded on Monday after being convicted of practising sorcery, which is banned in the ultra-conservative kingdom, the interior ministry said. Amina bin Abdulhalim Nassar was executed in the northern province of Jawf for “practising witchcraft and sorcery,” the ministry said in a statement carried by SPA state news agency. It is not clear how many women have been executed in the desertkingdom, but another woman was beheaded in October for killing her husband by setting his house on fire. The beheading took to 73 the

Iranian man throws shoes at Ahmadinejad Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been attacked by a jobless man wielding a pair of shoes, a local website reported. Although the president ducked and managed to miss being hit by the shoes, those who witnessed the event assaulted the launcher and beat him, Euronews website quoted Ghased News as reporting. “If the police were not present, nobody knows what would have happened,” the site reported. The former textile worker is said to have a track record in presidentthrashing. It is claimed he threw a tomato at ex-President Mohammad Khatami when he was visiting Sari during his presidency. Currently only identified as Rashid Sh., the man has reportedly not received a salary for the past year. Iran officially reports its unemployment rate at about 11 percent, but some experts say it is much higher. Throwing shoes at politicians is a form of protest seen most commonly in the Arab world. George W. Bush was the recipient of such when an Iraqi journalist presented his protest via his footwear. Meanwhile, a member of the Iranian parliament’s National Security Committee said yesterday the military would soon practice closing the Gulf to shipping at the narrow Strait of Hormuz, the most important oil transit channel in the world. The legislator, Parviz Sarvari, told the student news agency ISNA, “Soon we will hold a military maneuver on how to close the Strait of Hormuz. If the world wants to make the region insecure, we will make the world insecure.” Furthermore, the head of Iran’s parliamentary national security committee, Parviz Sorouri, yesterday said Iran will “reverseengineer” the U.S. drone it has in its possession and is in the “final stages” of unlocking the aircraft’s software secrets.

number of executions in Saudi Arabia this year. In September, Amnesty International called on the Muslim kingdom where 140 people were on death row to establish an “immediate moratorium on executions.”

The rights group said Saudi Arabia was one of a minority of states which voted against a UN General Assembly resolution last December calling for a worldwide moratorium on executions. Rape, murder, apostasy, armed

File Picture robbery and drug trafficking are all punishable by death under Saudi Arabia’s strict interpretation of Islamic sharia law.

Amnesty International says Saudi Arabia executed 27 convicts in 2010, compared to 67 executions announced the year before.

Tens of thousands gather for biggest protests of Putin era


p to 50,000 demonstrators gathered in Moscow on Saturday to protest against the disputed results of last weekend’s parliamentary election in a rare show of defiance against Vladimir Putin’s 12-year rule. “The current regime does not know how to behave with dignity,” former cabinet member turned Kremlin critic Boris Nemtsov said as the crowd gathered for the biggest Moscow opposition rally of the Putin era. “All they know is cynicism,” Nemtsov said in reference to the December 4 poll that handed Putin’s United Russia party a slim victory amid widespread reports of fraud and strong concern from both the European Union and Washington. “Putin and (President Dmitry) Medvedev made a shocking discovery today,” opposition veteran Sergei Mitrokhin of the liberal Yabloko party told a crowd that the opposition estimated at 50,000 or even more. “Russia has people,” said Mitrokhin as the mainly young protesters roared back: “We are the people.” Early police estimates put the Moscow turnout at 25,000 about one hour into the event. Another

10,000 had been counted by officials at a rally in Putin’s native city of Saint Petersburg. Putin Blames Clinton for Unrest Prime Minister Vladimir Putin accused U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday of instigating the public protests against the State Duma elections as tens of thousands signed up to rally over the weekend. But Putin and President Dmitry Medvedev made ambiguous remarks about the protesters themselves, conceding that they have the right to rally but calling on the police to crack down on those who break the law. Preparations were under way in Moscow for a new rally against the victory of Putin’s United Russia party on Saturday, with almost 30,000 signed up on Facebook on late Thursday. In what resembled an attempt to distance himself from the party, Putin also said his campaign staff for the presidential election in March would not be centered around United Russia but his All-Russia People’s Front, and be headed by a prominent film director, not a party boss. “I looked at the first reaction

of our American partners. The first thing that the secretary of state did was characterize [the elections] as dishonest and unfair,” Putin said at a meeting with the front’s council on Thursday. He said Clinton made her conclusions without reading reports from election monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and her words “gave a signal” to the Russian opposition. “They heard this signal and started active work with the support of the U.S. Department of State,” he said. Putin said protest organizers were pursuing “selfish political goals,” while most Russians did not want unrest. “People in our country don’t want the situation to develop like in Kyrgyzstan or Ukraine in the recent past. Nobody wants chaos,” he said in reference

to the “color revolutions” that swept several former Soviet republics in the mid-2000s. Protests should not be obstructed as long as they are done within the law, and “we need to have a dialog with those who are opposition-minded and let them speak out,” Putin said. But police must stop any violations, he said. Some 6,000 to 17,000 people protested the elections on Monday and Tuesday in Moscow, and hundreds more took to the streets throughout the country. Up to 1,000 have been arrested in the capital alone. Preliminary results give United Russia 49.3 percent of the vote, but critics say up to half of that amount was gained through fraud, instances of which have been widely reported by individual observers and the country’s sole independent watchdog, Golos.

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South Asia Tribune I Thursday 15 December 2011



Lord Ahmed of Rotherham asked Her Majesty’s Government

what is their assessment of the Human Rights and Political situation in Saudi Arabia Lord Ahmed of Rotherham asked Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of the Human Rights and Political situation in Saudi Arabia. My Lords, I would like to thank everyone taking part in this debate and very much look forward to hearing the front bench’s contribution as well as the noble lord minister’s response. On Saturday 10th December, we celebrated the 63rd Anniversary of universal human rights day, and a few days before we had also received the Amnesty International report on Saudi Arabia “Repression in the name of security”. There have been a number of reports from Human Rights Watch, Islamic Human’s Rights Commission and others in relation to the crackdown and torture with impunity. My Lords I have great love and respect for the 27 million citizens of Saudi Arabia as well as the holy places in both Makkah and Medina. It is for this reason why I believe it is imperative for me to speak out against the oppressive dictatorial and brutal practices exercised by the regime, who interpret their tribal Bedouin culture into religious doctrines, in my view which is quite contrary to the Sharia and the practices of Islam. Over 1400 years ago the prophet Muhammad P.B.U.H, worked for a Noble lady called Kadeejah, who was an entrepreneur and a well respected business woman in Makkah. His daughter Fatima and his wife Ayesha may peace and blessing be upon them all participated fully in life with men at work, war, in community and in businesses. They expressed their views and opinions, even sometimes against the Khalifas (rulers) who were companions of the Prophets without fear of being prosecuted or locked up. Today women are not allowed to drive or vote, women remain subject to discrimination both in law and practice, women are not allowed to travel, engage in paid work, higher education or marry without the permission of a male guardian. I am sure that the Saudi authorities will say that women will be gaining their right to vote even though my Lords, there is no democracy or freedom in the country. The consultative Shura Council is still fully appointed by the King, and women ‘gaining the right to vote’ will merely join their male counterparts in

being able to elect only half of the local municipal seats, the other half of which are also appointed by the King. Women still do not have the same rights as men. 1400 years ago the prophet P.B.U.H said that no Arab is better than a non Arab and vice versa and yet in modern Saudi Arabia the practices of pre- Islam are rampant by treating white Europeans and Americans as more superior than Asian and African workers doing the

over the last decade on security grounds, many of them held without charge or trial for years ; or tried and sentenced in secrecy without any means to challenge their detention. 63 years after the universal declaration of the Human rights and 1400 years after the last sermon of the prophet Muhammad PBUH, guaranteeing rights for men women children, minorities and the weak. It shocks me that there

same job. They justify this by stating that people are paid in accordance with their national salaries in the place of their origin. Asian and African people are treated with pathetic low wages, and are held in overcrowded accommodation with little or no basic facilities. Even the hardworking cleaners of the holy places are paid less than £100 a month in the oil rich county of the world. Islam never practiced sheikdom and kingdom culture of the current Arab countries. It was based on democratic elections for candidates with ability to perform who had the best interest of society. Even Khalifa’s like Omer- , Usman and Ali were elected by the people with consensus According to the latest Amnesty international report, since March 2011 the Saudi Arabian authorities have launched a new wave of repression in the new name of security. They have cracked down on demonstrations, protesting against human rights violations and calling for reforms. The numbers of people arrested are reported from 10,000 to 30,000. According to the Islamic Human Rights Commission there are more political prisoners in Saudi Arabia today than the USSR in its height. The Saudi authorities’ actions are a cause of concern for all as they are a breach of basic human rights. Thousands of People have been detained

are thousands of political prisoners held in Saudi Arabia without being charged or convicted. One of those is an Islamic scholar who was detained because he criticised the ministry for the interiors handling of the detainees. According to the Human Rights Watch Dr Yusuf bin Abdullah Al-Ahmad was detained without charge the day after he published his criticism apparently as a direct result of his internet post. The Islamic teacher who is a Sunni and teaches at Imam Muhammad Bin Saud University in Riyadh, also criticised the arrest of women who went to the ministry on 2nd July and on previous occasions to protest peacefully against the long term detention of their relatives. There are many illegal imprisonments including British citizens like Abdul Hakim Gilani, who was recently realised from prison due to the campaign run by Al Karama a human rights organisation after 6 years of terrible ordeal due to his political beliefs. Political prisoners include Human rights activist, Lawyers, political parties, religious scholars, bloggers and individual protesters. My Lords, I can list many names which are all available on the internet and have been circulated by the human rights organisations to expose the reign of terror in Saudi Arabia. Since 2001 abusive counter terrorism methods have been used against political opponents

against the regime and anyone expressing concerns in relation to their right to be able to express freely without fear of prosecution, right to vote and right to live in accordance with their traditions. You may be aware that Amnesty International has expressed deep concerns in relation to a new anti terror law which has been formulated. Which will be used to silence discontent in the kingdom, for example it will be an act of terrorist crime if you are said to have harmed the reputation of the state or its position; “questioning the integrity of the king or the crown prince “- would be punishable by a minimum of a 10 year imprisonment; holding a placard could result in a three year prison sentence Already people are tried and held in secret; people are sent to prison for “reeducation” or ‘positive brainwash’ torture and other ill-treatment remain rife, confessions are forced out of detainees using beatings and electric shocks and other forms of torture. My Lords I am fully aware that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has more Oil than any other country and we depend on oil. I am fully aware of their financial and political influence in the West and I have occasionally been told by colleagues about our interest but in my view the principle of defending human rights is and will remain at the very highest level than any other issue. The Saudi authorities claim that they are now the ”Arab Moderate camp” and should be supported by the west without much reform or changes to their way of governance, just because they claim that they provide consistency and security in the region. But my Lords we have supported the Tunisian people, rightly so , we have just spent over $200 million dollars as well as killing thousands of people in Libya to get rid of a Tyrant Muammar Gaddafi, we have supported the people of Egypt even though Hosni Mubarak was a safer bet, we are supporting the people of Syria because of the oppressive tactics of Bashar Al Assad and we must not stay silent in the abuses of human rights and lack of political rights in Saudi Arabia against the AlSaud family. Britain along with other Countries should stand up and support the human

rights and equality movements which are our basic principles. Our values of defending civil, political, social and economic rights should be universal and one. Finally my Lords I would like to ask the Noble minister how many British citizens are held in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and what representation has Her Majesty’s Government made to the Saudi Authorities regarding this matter. Would he be prepared to support isolation of those countries that use torture with impunity? Will her majesty’s government support the following requests from Amnesty international which I support. Immediately release all prisoners of conscience, such as those held solely for the peaceful exercise of their rights to freedom of opinion, expression, peaceful assembly or association; end all arbitrary arrests and detentions; provide prompt and public trials meeting international standards of fairness without recourse to the death penalty to all detainees charged or held, including on suspicion of terrorismrelated offences, or else release them; investigate thoroughly and independently all allegations of torture and other ill-treatment and bring those found responsible to justice; My Lords its important that we ask for considerably amend the draft Penal Law for Terrorism Crimes and Financing of Terrorism and bring all of Saudi Arabia’s terrorism-related laws and practices into line with International human rights law and standards. I believe my Lords we have a duty to upholding the international law regardless of the perpetrators and their influences in the western society. The people of the Middles east will say Britain has a double standard in relation to human rights if we remain silent over our friend’s actions. I believe that Saudi Arabia has an important role in the Muslim world and if we fail to encourage wide ranging reforms and respect for international norms, we will be failing in our long term duty in creating a peaceful world.



South Asia Tribune I Thursday 15 December 2011

Israeli lawmaker proposes ban on mosque loudspeakers ‘There’s no need to be more liberal than Europe,’ PM says of move that would ban loudspeakers in calls to prayer. The latest installment in a series of controversial legislative efforts in Israel is a proposal to restrict use of loudspeakers in houses of worship, which really means mosques as the other main religions don’t use them. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday voiced support for a law that would ban mosques from using loudspeaker systems to call people to prayer. Israel’s a small, crowded place and more Jews hear the Muslim call to prayer meant for the country’s 20% Arab population than don’t, including the one before dawn. Loud music, fire-crackers and occasional festive shooting from late-night weddings and celebrations in Arab communities don’t discriminate between Jewish

and Arab ears either and in recent years, the noise level is straining

relations between neighboring or mixed towns.

The so-called Muezzin Law, propsed by MK Anastassia

Michaeli (Yisrael Beiteinu ) applies to all houses of worship but the practice is prevalent only in mosques. “There’s no need to be more liberal than Europe,” Netanyahu said in reference to the law during a meeting of his Likud ministers. Michaeli has said hundreds of thousands of Israeli citizens routinely suffer from the noise caused by the muezzin’s calls to prayer. “The bill comes from a worldview whereby freedom of religion should not be a factor in undermining quality of life,” she said. Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor said there was no need for such a law and that it would only escalate tensions.

Palestinians are an ‘invented’ people: Newt Gingrich

U.S. Republican presidential candidate differs with official U.S. policy that respects the Palestinians as a people deserving of their own state based on negotiations with Israel. The former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives predictably sided with Israel in its decades-old dispute with the Palestinians but took it a step further in an interview with the Jewish Channel. “Remember, there was no Palestine as a state. It was part of the Ottoman Empire” until the early 20th century, Gingrich said. “I think that we’ve had an invented Palestinian people who are in fact Arabs, and who were historically part of the Arab community. Gingrich sharply criticized the Obama administration’s approach to Middle East diplomacy, saying it is “so out of touch with reality that it would be like taking your child to the zoo and explaining that a lion was a bunny rabbit.”


Saarc international I Thursday 15 December 2011

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Thursday, 15.12.11

Pakistan-US relationship

US promised India help ‘We do not trust if China attacked during each other’ 1971 Indo-Pak war Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yousef Raza Gilani has said his country does not trust the United States, and the feeling is mutual. He told the BBC it could be weeks before a blockade of Nato convoys carrying supplies to Afghanistan is lifted, following two US air strikes

NEW DELHI, December 14 : Despite its intense animosity towards India during the 1971 war, the US promised New Delhi “all out” support in case China carried out any unprovoked attack on India, recently declassified documents reveal 40 years after the historic war that created Bangladesh, Indian media reported on Wednesday. The revelations add fresh twist to the narrative of the Indo-Pak war of 1971. Based on a set of freshly declassified documents of Indian ministry of external affairs, “Times of India” had in early November reported that the US hostility towards India during the 1971 war was far beyond what was publicly known. And that the US had probably also prepared a few Marine battalions for operations against the Indian military. Communications of the Indian embassy in Washington and of the government in New Delhi show that US offered “all out” help if China were to enter the Indo-Pak standoff to favour its allweather friend. After a meeting with Henry Kissinger, then adviser to President Richard Nixon, on August 25, 1971, Indian ambassador to the US L K Jha reported to New Delhi, “He said that in a 1962 type of situation, US will not hesitate to give all out help to India against China, and there is no change of position on this.” Kissinger was referring to the military conflict between India and China in 1962

in which India was humiliated. A few weeks before this meeting, during a visit to New Delhi, Kissinger told then defence minister Jagjivan Ram, “I might tell you that we would take a very grave view of any Chinese move against India.” Ambassador Jha had spent three hours with Kissinger in San Clemente White House, the vacation home of Nixon, on August 25, as tension mounted in South Asia. They discussed details of issues that could crop up in an upcoming meeting between then PM Indira Gandhi and Nixon. But “in this one (letter to foreign secretary T N Kaul), I am dealing with one specific point relating to the US attitude in the event of China joining on the side of Pakistan in a conflict with us”, the ambassador wrote. Discussions with Kissinger on possible Chinese aggression were prompted Continued on page 10 >>

which killed 24 Pakistani soldiers on the Afghan border last month. Mr Gilani said it was vital to improve the relationship. “We are working together and still we don’t trust each other... we should have more confidence in each other,” he said. Pakistan may continue its blocking of Nato convoys into Afghanistan for several weeks, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has told the BBC. Pakistan stopped the convoys in protest at US air strikes which killed 24 of its troops at two checkpoints

on the Afghan border last month. Mr Gilani refused to rule out closing Pakistan’s airspace to the US. Asked about the state of health of Mr Zardari, Mr Gilani denied that the president had written a letter of resignation, as claimed by a source in Dubai.

“Why should he write?” asked Mr Gilani. “He has the backing and support of the entire parliament.” Dismissing speculation about a quiet Continued on page 27 >>

Zardari to leave Dubai hospital Thursday Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari listens to a reporter at a press conference in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari’s associate said Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2011 that the leader suffered a ‘mini-stroke. Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari is to be discharged from a Dubai hospital on Thursday after

more than a week, but will remain in the Gulf emirate to rest with no date fixed for his return home. The government made the announcement eight days after the president flew suddenly to the United Arab Emirates in the midst of a political scandal, forcing aides to deny that he was Continued on page 27 >>



Saarc international I Thursday 15 December 2011

Manmohan allays fears over attack by China Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has refuted views that China is planning to attack India and maintained that the policy of both the countries is to engage in dialogue on the border issues though there has not been much progress in recent times. Dr. Singh assured the Lok Sabha during Question Hour that India’s borders with China “by and large remain peaceful”. “Our government does not share the view that China plans to attack India,” Dr. Singh said. The Prime Minister’s response came after Samajwadi Party Chief Mulayam Singh Yadav claimed in

the House that he has information that China has made preparations to attack India and has marked out areas near the borders for this purpose. He said the attacks were imminent. Mr. Yadav maintained that the neighbouring country has also stopped flow of Brahmaputra river water to India. The Prime Minister, however, maintained that he had assurance from the highest quarters that China has not stopped flow of Brahmaputra waters to India. Dr. Singh accepted that there were intrusions from China into areas which India considers to be

a part of its territory. However, China differs from India’s claim

on this issue. “These matters are sorted out by

the area commanders of the two countries,” Dr. Singh said. The Prime Minister stated that India has followed the policy of engaging in dialogue and good relations with China and underlined that the erstwhile NDA government had also continued with this policy. India and China have been engaged in dialogue through its representatives on the border issue. Dr. Singh said both countries had made some progress in talks in 2005 and thereafter, but in recent times not much has been made.

Bangladesh tops South Gilani, Naik vow to scuttle moves to destabilise democracy Asia in taxation services The prime minister, during the meeting, said that the political opponents who were playing to the gallery would not get political mileage they were hoping for. Acting President Farooq H. Naik met Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani at the Prime Minister House on Tuesday and discussed with him the prevailing situation in the country. The prime minister said that democracy and its dynamics were strong enough to withstand the pressures unleashed by those who did not believe in democratic ways and rather preferred backdoor channels. The prime minister said that memo case was launched by the man who was a foreign national and whose track record was well known because

he had been engaged in maligning the state institutions of Pakistan in the past through media. The acting president shared the observations of the prime minister and said that the present democratic government was strong and would face no difficulty in scuttling the

moves orchestrated by those who are known as believers in the political shenanigan. But people of Pakistan are sensible and understand their tactics and would certainly support democracy as way of their political life, the acting president said.

More than 50 pc of South Asians have Indian ancestry: study

Bangladesh ranks first among the South-Asian countries in taxation services and 12th among the 19 AsiaPacific countries, according to a latest study report. A report on “Good Governance for International Business Asia Pacific 2011” revealed the findings. Singapore-based corporate advisory firm, Vriens & Partners PTE LTD, unveiled the study. “Taxation assesses the tax environment in terms of the administrative transparency and efficiency in tax collection, along with local taxation rates -- particularly the corporate tax rate,” the report said. The firm has collected information from World Bank, International Finance Corporation (IFC) and business executives of Asia-Pacific countries for its study. The report has followed six pillars to assess 19 Asia-pacific countries. The indicators are -- rule of law, openness to international trade & business,

US promised India help if China attacked during 1971 Indo-Pak war Continued from page 9 >>

A new genetics study has found that more than 50 per cent of the South Asian populations have Indian ancestry. The study, conducted by scientists of the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) in collaboration with the University of Tartu, Estonia, the Chettinad Academy of Research and Education, Chennai and Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, has been

published in the prestigious American Journal of Human Genetics. Led by Dr. Kumarasamy Thangaraj of CCMB, it found that South Asia harbours two major ancestry components, one of which is spread at comparable frequency and genetic diversity in populations of South and West Asia, Middle East, Near East and the Caucasus; the other component is more restricted to

South Asia. Both the ancestry components that dominate genetic variation in South Asia demonstrate much greater genetic diversity than those that predominate in West Eurasia. The genetic affinities of both the ancestry components are incompatible with substantial gene flow into the region during Max Mueller’s purported IndoAryan invasion 3,500 years ago.

political stability, taxation and corruption, The 19 countries are: Bangladesh, Myanmar Singapore, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Australia, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, China, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, India, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Cambodia and Laos. Among the 19 countries, Bangladesh ranked eighth on rule of law, 17th on openness to international trade & business, 18th on political stability and corruption and 16th on fiscal & monetary administration. Bangladesh scored 37.3 and its overall rank is 18th while Singapore ranked first scoring 90.2. Myanmar is in the last position with 30.1 score. Among the South-Asian countries, Bangladesh ranked first on taxation pillar while India second and Sri Lanka third. The report has appreciated the taxation part of Bangladesh in its study.

by queries from New Delhi, the letter shows. New Delhi was worried that China could open a second front against India, even as it fought Pakistan. Such a collaboration between China and Pakistan still remains a worry for the Indian security establishment. “Then I asked that in order to be quite clear and free from any ambiguity or doubt, I would welcome a fuller formulation from him of the US position in case we are involved in any kind of a conflict with China.” In response, Kissinger offered “all out” help in case of a 1962 type situation. Then he went on to discuss other possible scenarios. “If it was a 1965 type of Pakistani attack, then even without Chinese

involvement, US would take the toughest measures against Pakistan, and if China came to its help, it would not hesitate to help us with arms, though not with men,” Jha wrote. The situation Kissinger referred was an unprovoked Pakistani aggression. “However, the chances were that if the present situation escalates into a conflict, it would be very hard to tell who is to blame. Thus, if India sent two divisions of irregulars into East Bengal and Pakistanis sent four such divisions into Kashmir, it would not be a situation in which the US could possibly help even if China threw its weight on the side of Pakistan,” Kissinger told Jha, according to the ambassador’s letter. This letter from the Indian ambassador was seen by the foreign minister, the secretary to the prime minister and most other senior officials.


Saarc international I Thursday 15 December 2011


Panetta in Kabul as US ties with Pakistan erode His visit to Afghanistan is the second stop on a holiday tour that began in Africa and will also take him to Iraq, Libya and Turkey. He will be the first US defense chief to visit Libya, which is emerging from an eight-month civil war. US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta arrived in Afghanistan Tuesday to meet with commanders, as the US grapples with an eroding relationship with Pakistan that has complicated supply routes and helped fuel insurgents in the east. While he was upbeat about security progress in Afghanistan, Panetta was also likely to hear some somber news from commanders as they wrestle with the withdrawal of 23,000 more troops in the coming year, the transition of security to Afghan forces and the near collapse of coordination

with Islamabad along critical portions of the border. In Iraq, he will participate in a ceremony that will shut down the US military mission there after nearly nine years of war. Panetta’s arrival in Kabul comes on the heels of Pakistan’s decision to move air defense systems to the border with Afghanistan, part of its response to the Nato airstrikes last month that killed two dozen Pakistani forces. Pakistan has also closed two border crossings that are part of key supply routes into Afghanistan and recalled its troops from two border coordination posts. The supply routes carry roughly 30 per cent of the fuel, food and other items needed for troops in Afghanistan. While Panetta said US troops in Afghanistan will get the supplies they need, the plummeting

relationship with Pakistan complicates an already difficult war just as the Obama administration is trying to boast of security gains across broad swaths of the country. ”I think 2011 will make a turning point with regards to the effort in Afghanistan,” Panetta told reporters traveling with him to Kabul. He

Hasty Afghan withdrawal would be a disaster, US military warns

The blunt assessment of a security situation balanced on a knife edge is in a document seen by The Independent, and it comes as Barack Obama and David Cameron face intense pressure to bring troops home as quickly as possible from the decade-long war. Any large-scale withdrawal of international forces from Afghanistan would help the enemy and undermine gains, according to a confidential US military report. The drawdown should instead, the report says, be avoided until as late as possible before the 2014 deadline for an end of the combat operations. The study highlights the need for about 2,000 more battlehardened veterans to be brought for deployment alongside Afghan forces. Although providing the

reinforcements is a decision for the US Central Command, the British military, with its extensive experience of serving in Helmand, is likely to receive a request for help. Yesterday, the UK’s National Security Council (NSC) met to consider the scale and pace of the British pullout, with some ministers in the Coalition Government apparently demanding that the size of the 9,500-strong contingent be cut by almost a half in the next 18 months. Senior commanders, led by the Chief of Defence Staff, General Sir David Richards, have stressed that too precipitous a withdrawal could rebound, undermining the exit strategy. The NSC recommendations will be sent to Downing Street. A senior British general said: “We hope the

Prime Minister is content to take military advice. But everyone is really watching to see what the Americans do. If they go for a faster drawdown, then David Cameron may feel he cannot expose his political flanks. But we all know the problems getting out too fast would lead to.” The Pentagon document is said to have taken on board the views of the US General John Allen, the head of international forces in Afghanistan. It states that taking out additional troops next year – excluding the 33,000 troops sent by President Obama in the recent “surge” – would make it difficult to hold ground captured from insurgents. The Pentagon analysts concluded that, even with an accelerated training programme, the Afghan army and police would not be in a position to take over a workable level of responsibility for security until 2014. This is one of the reasons given for the 2,000 extra mentors to be embedded with designated Afghan units in the intervening period. An official familiar with the report said: “This may not be as easy as it sounds. We are looking at experienced personnel, senior noncommissioned officers, captains, majors, prepared to do some hard tasking. “This is where the Brits can come in. They have done a great mentoring job in Helmand and can provide the right qualities. Another option would be private military contractors, but that is not a path we want to go down.”

cited lower levels of violence and the successful turnover of portions of the country to Afghan control. ”Clearly I think Afghanistan is on a much better track in terms of our ability to eventually transition to an Afghanistan that can govern and secure itself.” Panetta said he has been reassured by Marine Gen. John Allen, the top overall commander of US and Nato forces in Afghanistan, that military operations are continuing along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. He said Allen has reached out to Pakistani commanders to try to rebuild relations and cross-border communications that are vital in the rugged, mountainous region. ”I think it’s been said a number of times,” said Panetta. ”Ultimately we can’t win the war in Afghanistan without being able to win in our relationship with Pakistan as well.” Panetta was also likely to hear more about Allen’s plans to take forces from the south, where the US hopes Afghan forces can cling to security gains made in the past year, and send them to the east to try and reverse

gains by insurgents who have been launching high-profile attacks in Kabul. Allen was ordered by Obama last summer to pull out 10,000 US forces by the end of this year and 23,000 more by the end of September 2012. There have been some rumblings that the administration may want to accelerate that drawdown, with an eye toward handing more control to the Afghans and shifting US troops into more of an advise-and-assist role. The battlefield decisions are also complicated by the budget showdown in Washington. The Pentagon could face as much as $1 trillion in cuts over the next 10 years if lawmakers can’t come to an agreement on the budget. For Allen, however, the most immediate challenge will be getting fuel and other supplies to the troops now that Pakistan has closed two Afghan crossings in Chaman and Torkham, in the northwest Khyber tribal area. Bringing supplies in across the northern routes is more costly and time-consuming, but officials have not said how much more money it may cost, particularly if the Pakistan crossings are closed for months. During previous cross-border incidents, Pakistan has closed border crossings for about a week or two. This time, however, US officials are worried the closings could drag on for months. Right now, said Panetta, the troops have the supplies they need, and he said he is confident that as the US continues to work with Pakistan, the other routes will be restored.

NATO forces detain Haqqani Leader in Ghazni province NATO-led International Security Assistance Force officials following a statement on Monday said, a Haqqani leader during an operation in Ghazni district, Ghazni province following a combined Afghan and coalition security force operation. The leader operated a bomb making cell and conducted both roadside bomb and direct attacks against Afghan forces. The security force seized multiple firearms and detained seven additional suspected insurgents during the operation. The press release further added Afghan and coalition security force conducted an operation in search of a Taliban facilitator in the Musa Qal’ah district, Helmand province, today. The facilitator distributes weapons, supplies and finances for area Taliban networks. Multiple suspected insurgents were

detained during the operation. NATO officials also said, during an operation in Bati Kot district, Nangarhar province, a combined Afghan and coalition security force captured a Taliban leader. The leader conducted roadside bomb attacks against coalition forces in the Bati Kot district. Two additional suspected insurgents were detained during the operation. Combined Afghan and coalition security force conducted an operation in search of a Taliban leader in Bati Kot district, Nangarhar province, ISAF officials said. According to ISAF officials, the leader is involved in roadside bomb attacks against coalition forces in Bati Kot district. The security force detained one suspected insurgent during the operation.


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7 Jamaat leaders sent to jail Two Dhaka courts yesterday sent seven Jamaate-Islami leaders and activists to jail, hours after their surrender, in connection with two cases filed for damaging vehicles, assaulting police. Two Dhaka courts yesterday sent seven Jamaate-Islami leaders and activists to jail, hours after their surrender, in connection with two cases filed for damaging vehicles, assaulting police and obstructing them from discharging their duties on September 19. Metropolitan Magistrate Keshob Roy Chowdhury sent them to jail rejecting their bail prayers in a case filed with Paltan Police Station while Metropolitan Magistrate Shahriar

Mahmud Adnan passed a similar order after refusing their bail petition in the other case filed with Ramna Police Station.

The accused are Dhaka city unit Jamaat Nayebe-Ameer Prof AKM Nazir Ahmad, lawmaker Hamidur Rahman Azad, executive members--

Maulana Rafiuddin Ahmed and Maulana ATM Masum and the party activists Rafiqunnabi, Abdur Rahman and Maulana Abdul Mannan. Meanwhile, police picked up 12 more leaders of Jamaat and Shibir from the court premises yesterday. Mahmudul Haque, operation officer of Kotwali Police Station, told The Daily Star that police picked them up as they gathered at court premises with ‘ill motives’. On September 19, several hundred Jamaat activists clashed with police in the capital, torched and vandalised vehicles and shops, leaving at least 100 people injured.

Lawmakers slammed Rab copters to fight PM returns after for keeping mum crime, militancy 2-nation tour

Gono Forum President Dr Kamal Hossain has blasted lawmakers for keeping mum in parliament during the passage of the bill splitting Dhaka City Corporation into two and amendment to the constitution scrapping the caretaker government system. Dr Kamal Hossain blasted lawmakers for keeping mum in parliament during the passage of the bill splitting Dhaka City Corporation

into two and amendment to the constitution scrapping the caretaker government system and retaining Islam as state religion. Dr Kamal, one of the framers of the country’s constitution, came down heavily on the two major political parties -- ruling Awami League and oppsition BNP-- for what he said was treating people as their subject although they are the owners of the country.

The government has procured two copters for Rapid Action Battalion so the force can perform better in fighting crime and militancy. This is the first time a Bangladeshi law enforcement agency is getting choppers of its own. Commander M Sohail, director of Rab’s legal and media wing, said the police authorities signed a contract with Bell Helicopter Asia (Pvt) Ltd on June 23 for purchase of two Bell407 single engine helicopters. Bought for Tk 57 crore, the copters are now being assembled in Singapore and may be delivered two to three months ahead of the deadline, which is December 2012. Each of the copters can carry seven people including its pilot and copilot, and fly for three hours at a stretch after being fuelled once. The manufacturer gave two-and-a half-year warranty on most of the

parts of the copters. A team of eight Rab personnel having aviation background will go to Singapore to receive training for about two months in operating the copters, Sohail said. Nazimuddin Chowdhury, joint secretary of the home ministry, said the air force will be in charge of operation, maintenance and safety of the aircraft. Rab sources said once they get the choppers, they will be able to use airways to carry out their job in coordination with ground forces. Earlier, their operation was restricted to land and water ways.

‘Govt filing cases to keep Khaleda from polls’ B NP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said on Friday the government is filing cases against their leader Khaleda Zia aiming to implement a conspiracy to keep her from the next general election. “Zia Orphanage Trust is a private organisation. The government has no link with it. But the prime minister ordered to sue Khaleda Zia for buying land for the organisation. This is nothing but a conspiracy to declare her disqualified for the upcoming elections,” he said. The BNP leader was addressing a rally organised to protest against splitting Dhaka city and attack on former mayor Sadeque Hossain Khoka during a last week hartal. Dhaka city BNP joint convener Sahabuddin presided over the meeting at Tejgaon truck stand

in the capital. He said even the government linked Tarique Rahman with a case which was filed at least eight years ago. “People are not fool. They understand everything. No conspiracy will be allowed to be implemented.” Alamgir said the government knows that it (ruling party leaders) will even lose deposits

if a free and fair election is held and that is why the fifteenth amendment has been brought to hold the next election under the present government. “But no election will be held in the country without the caretaker government.” Alamgir said ministers are involved in corruption though the prime minister is trying to save

them. “World Bank suspended fund for Padma bridge due to the minister’s corruption. Even, Canada is also conducting an investigation in this regard.” He said livelihood of three crore people will be affected if the Indian plan to build Tipaimukh dam is implement but surprisingly the government is not protesting properly to force India to stop the project. Meanwhile, at a press conference at its central office, BNP joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi Alleged that the government opted the path of repression to stop the movement against slicing the Dhaka City Corporation. He said police foiled BNP’s rally at Mohammadpur on Thursday which cleared that government wants to stop the movement through repression.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina returned home Friday afternoon wrapping up her five-day official visit to Indonesia and neighbouring Myanmar. A special flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines (BG-087) carrying the premier and members of her entourage landed at Shahjalal International Airport at 4:50pm. Deputy Leader of the House Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury, Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury, LGRD Minister Syed Ashraful Islam, the chiefs of three services and Dean of diplomatic corps and Ambassador of Palestine Shaher Mohammad received the PM at the airport. She left Dhaka on December 5 for Myanmar on a three-day official visit. In her first ever visit to Myanmar, she embarked on a new phase of bilateral ties with the next door neighbour. During the visit Myanmar and Bangladesh agreed to resolve the outstanding problems between the two countries including repatriation of the Rohingya refugees. They also agreed for enhancing cooperation in various fields including energy, trade and investment, and regional connectivity. In the second leg of her two-nation tour, the premier went to Indonesia on December 7 to attend the fourth annual meeting of the Bali Democracy Forum, a platform of the Asian countries, regarded as democratic or are aspiring to be more democratic. She co-chaired the Forum and delivered address on the theme “Enhancing Democratic Participation in a Changing World: Responding to Democratic Voices”.


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Source at Sangmare running dry Apart from farming, a regular activity for farmers in Bikhar, Thramloo and Woongkhar villages is fetching drinking water. With the only source drying up, at least one member in each family is occupied carrying water every day. “We’ve been doing this for a few years now,” a villager, Sherub Zangmo, said, as

she crams the jerry cans into a cane basket for another trip. The nearest and the only source is about half an hour’s walk uphill at a place called Dheychang Marang. Their own source, beyond Dheychang Marang, at Sangmare is drying up fast, according to villagers, who said that they have planned the source at Sangmare in

summer when there was plenty of water. The water from Sangmare was connected through a rural water supply schem of the government. “But now, even during summer, we’re facing shortage,” said Tshering Dhendup, another villager. There are 49 households in the three villages in Drametse gewog, Mongar.

Elderly citizens ask to open Senior government doors for repatriation officials appointed Senior Citizens Group and the Bhutanese Refugee Representative Repatriation Committee (BRRRC) asked the Government of Nepal and United Nations Organizations to press for opening doors for dignified repatriation. Observing the 63th World Democracy Day on Saturday, both the groups said the third country resettlement is not a permanent solution of the refugee imbroglio, and the concerned authority should exercise enough measures to repatriate exiled Bhutanese at the earliest. “We are not against the resettlement.

However, this must go on the choice of individual refugee,” told Dr Bhampa Rai, Chairperson of the BRRRC. According to Dr Rai, the international community and resettlement countries have major role in

Bhutan has lost 22% of its glaciers in last decade

Three reports published by International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) on December 4 coinciding with the Mountain Day in Durban, South Africa, provide latest information on status of climate change in the Hindu Kush Himalayan region. It is the first comprehensive account of glacier cover and pattern of snowfall in the region. The report titled ‘The Status of Glaciers in the HKH Region’ says the glaciers appear to be shrinking in both the central and eastern Himalayas.

The glaciers in the Himalayas have shrunk by as much as a fifth in the last 30 years. Country-specific studies have found that depletion of glacial area over the past 30 years was 22 percent in Bhutan and 21 percent in Nepal. The clean glaciers of the Tibetan plateau are retreating at a faster rate than those of the rugged central Himalayas, which have higher debris cover. The HKH region, which is home to 30 percent of the world’s glaciers, has more than 54,000 glaciers covering an area of 60,000 sq km.

convincing Bhutan to accept exiled Bhutanese back home with dignity and honour. He also informed the community that discussion to begin Satyagraha campaign from December 17 was underway.

(L to R) Home Secretary, Dasho Penden Wangchuk as Cabinet Secretary, Cabinet Secretary, Dasho Tashi Phuntshog as Ambassador to Kuwait and Finance director general, Nima Wangdi His Majesty the king yesterday appointed three senior government officials. Finance director general, Nima Wangdi is the new health secretary.

The appointment comes five months after the post went vacant following the voluntarily resignation of Dasho (Dr) Gado Tshering on moral grounds. Nima Wangdi, will join the health ministry on December 10. “It’s a technical ministry and being a non medical person, I see it as a big



Saarc international I Thursday 15 December 2011

Indian army soldier jailed for leaking info to Pakistan A Delhi court has sentenced an army jawan to seven years in jail for doubling as a Pakistan intelligence agent and supplying sensitive defence-related information to the neighbouring country. District and Additional Sessions Judge O. P. Gupta jailed Anil Kumar Dubey, 39, convicting him under Section 3 of the Official Secrets Act for passing on secret information to Pakistan about the movement and deployment of army troops in India. According to the prosecution, the Special Cell of Delhi Police had arrested Dubey from his home at Mahipalpur on October 20, 2006 on a tip-off that an alleged Pakistan High Commission employee would be visiting him to procure some sensitive information. Police had caught Dubey while he was handing over a bag, containing some CDs and other documents, including some notifications pertaining to

army’s anti-insurgency operations, to the alleged Pakistan High Commission employee, Mohd Farooq. Raids at Dubey’s house led to recovery of three cheque books, two of which belonged to Farooq and one to

India, Pakistan mutual fund bodies look at cross-border investment

In what promises to be a landmark first step, the mutual fund industries of India and Pakistan have agreed to explore the possibility of promoting each other as investible asset classes in the two countries. This unanimity of views was arrived at after a group of top officials from Pakistan’s capital market met with top office bearers of the Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI), the fund industry trade body, here on Monday. The group from Pakistan is being led by Imtiaz Haider, commissioner , securities market division , Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), and is being coordinated by the South Asian Federation of Exchanges (SAFE). Over the next three days, the delegates from Pakistan are expected to

meet with top officials at Sebi, NSE, BSE, MCX and other market intermediaries. Haider said that he was encouraged to witness the spirit of cooperation between both the markets, which underscores the need for expanding them beyond the borders. This was the first time leaders from the Pakistani capital market were directly engaging with their counterparts in India, and the objectives were “to create common linkages between the two markets and also to build on the spirit of peace and harmony in South Asia” . The Pakistan delegation also briefed AMFI officialsincluding H N Sinor, CEO, AMFI; Sandesh Kirkire, CEO, Kotak MF; and Sandeep Sikka, CEO, Reliance MF about the fund industry in Pakistan and the performance of the its markets.

Shamshad Hussain, another alleged Pakistan Embassy official. Police in its search of Dubey’s desk at Army Group Insurance Bhawan also recovered documents pertaining to new dialling system and AGI journal

of the year 2005, the prosecution said. As Farooq enjoyed diplomatic immunity, he was handed over to Pakistan High Commission through Ministry of External Affairs, while Dubey was arrested, it said. Dubey, in his defence, contended he was falsely implicated to ‘settle scores with Pakistan and that he had been made a scapegoat’. The court, however, said he failed to disclose any motive as to why police would implicate him and that ‘simply suggesting that he was made scapegoat is not enough.’ It also rejected his contention that the prosecution had failed to show any heavy bank transaction for the secret information that he had been passing. “It is a matter of common knowledge that most of the offences are committed in the darkness of night and under the table. A culprit would not deposit

the amount received by him as illegal gratification in his bank account,” the court said. “Recovery of cheque book of Mohd Farooq from house of accused shows that accused had some links with him. The same strengthens the case of prosecution that the two indulged in passing of some secret information,” the judge said. On Dubey’s submission that the papers alleged to be passed on to Farooq in 2006 were of 2003 and were outdated from the angle of espionage, the court said, “The documents may be old for one and new for other. It depends upon the degree of progress with which two countries are proceeding.” “The dialling system adopted in 2003 in India may be unknown to Pakistan till 2006. Question is as to what justification the accused had to supply the said information?,” the judge pointed.

US keeping close eye on TTP-Pak talks: White House

After reports emerged of peace negotiations between the Pakistani Taliban and Pakistan government, the US said that they would not like to see recent gains made by the Pakistani military against the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan to be lost. After reports emerged of peace negotiations between the Pakistani Taliban and Pakistan government, the US said that they would not like to see recent gains made by the Pakistani military against the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan to be lost. Speaking to The Express Tribune, White House spokesperson Caitlin Hayden on Saturday said that the White House had seen reports of the TTP entering into negotiations with Pakistan, however, she added,

they “do not appear definitive at this point.” Earlier on Saturday, Reuters reported that Maulvi Faqir Mohammad, the TTP commander of the Bajaur faction, had confirmed that they were in negotiations with Pakistan. Reuters quoted the militant commander as

saying, “If negotiations succeed and we are able to sign a peace agreement in Bajaur, then the government and the Taliban of other areas such as Swat, Mohmand, Orakzai and South Waziristan tribal region will sign an agreement. Bajaur will be a role model for other areas.”

Anna Hazare begins third fast for strong Lokpal Bill Raising the pitch on the Lokpal issue, social activist Anna Hazare on Sunday sat on a day-long fast in New Delhi protesting against “watereddown” proposals of Parliamentary Standing Committee on the antigraft measure. Mr Hazare began his fast at around 10:15 am at Jantar Mantar, the protest hotspot in the capital, surrounded by a number of supporters who waved the tricolour, sporadically shouting slogans like ‘Vande Mataram’ and ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’. “My fast has begun. I will not speak much now,” he told his supporters as he also chanted ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ and ’Vande Mataram’.

Clad in his trademark white kurta and Gandhi cap, Mr. Hazare was received at the protest venue

with a thunderous applause and sloganeering by his supporters who had gathered at the venue braving

the morning chill. Along with Mr. Hazare, prominent members of Team Anna like Arvind Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia, Sanjay Singh and Kumar Vishwas also joined the fast. Before heading to Jantar Mantar, Mr. Hazare went to Rajghat and spend around 30 minutes meditating there. “I am fine and healthy,” he told reporters. This is Mr. Hazare’s third protest on the issue and second at Jantar Mantar. The first one, which was a five-day fast from April 5 at Jantar Mantar, had drawn huge crowds. The government had then set up a joint committee comprising official

representatives and activists to draft the Lokpal Bill. The activist, who had gone on his second fast that lasted 13 days at Ramlila Maidan in August on the same issue, has been demanding bringing lower bureaucracy within the ambit of the Lokpal besides provisions for Citizen’s Charter and setting up of Lokayuktas under a central law. The government as well as Standing Committee have rejected it. Mr. Hazare has also threatened to go on an indefinite fast from December 27 at Ramlila Maidan if a strong Lokpal bill is not passed in the ongoing Winter Session of Parliament.


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On back foot, PM calls meeting with UPA allies

As a united Opposition joined hands with Team Anna on the Lokpal issue, a jittery UPA government rushed to line up a series of consultations over the next few days for the smooth passage of the Lokpal Bill during the ongoing session of Parliament. In addition, it is also set to approve three key anti-corruption legislations — the Whistleblower’s Bill, the Judicial Accountability Bill and the Citizens’ Redress Bill — at the Union Cabinet meeting tomorrow in keeping with its promise to put in place a

comprehensive framework for tackling corruption. Forced by key allies Trinamool Congress and the DMK to suspend its decision on allowing foreign investment in retail trade, the government is not taking any chances with the Lokpal Bill. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has, therefore, convened a meeting with UPA partners tomorrow for their suggestions on some of the key provisions of the legislation before it is brought before the Cabinet for final approval. This is the first time that the

Japan commits $20m to S Asia Clean Energy Fund The Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) has committed to contributing $20 million to the South Asia Clean Energy Fund, a fund created by the Global Environment Fund of the World Bank and the Yes Bank. This is the second major contribution that the South Asia Clean Energy Fund (SACEF) is receiving, after OPIC’s $100 million. The SACEF, which intends to create a corpus of $300 million, plans to invest in green energy projects in South Asia, with focus on India. In its evaluation, OPIC had noted that the SACEF would have “a high development impact” on Asia. The Fund, it said, would invest in equity, mezzanine debt and convertible debt of small and medium enterprises

across Asia in solar, wind, hydro, biofuels, natural gas, batteries and green information technology. The SACEF generally seeks “significant minority equity positions and prefers to share a majority or controlling position in combination with another financial or strategic minority investor,” OPIC papers say.

UPA II government has undertaken such an exercise.

by 2015. She said of the BASIC quartet, Brazil and South Africa had agreed to the EU’s proposal while China had shown some flexibility, but India was maintaining a “relatively tough stand”. ‘Within reach’ “As of today, the agreement is within reach on the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol — the only existing legal regime — roadmap for negotiations and the future regime that would be global and legally binding,” said Ms. Hedegaard. She said the EU’s roadmap had been accepted by the majority of countries — small island states, least-developed

at the Jantar Mantar yesterday where they aligned themselves with the anti-corruption crusader’s views on the Lokpal Bill and flayed the Parliamentary Standing Committee’s report on the legislation. The government will give final shape to the Lokpal Bill on the basis of inputs it receives from its allies and the Opposition parties and place it on the agenda of the next Cabinet meeting which may be convened either on December 18 or 19 after the Prime Minister’s return from a trip to Russia.

‘Mayawati, kin hiding Noida land-deal money in 125 firms’ Continuing its attack on Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati over corruption, BJP on Saturday accused the BSP supremo and her kin of “hiding” money amassed through Noida land allotments in more than 100 companies. BJP leaders Kalraj Mishra and Kirit Somaiya claimed, in a press conference, that the party has found over 125 companies connected with Mayawati’s “friends and family”. These entities have been used to “hide” money amassed through “scams” and funds collected through land allotments made in Noida, they alleged. BJP blamed Congress for protecting Mayawati, despite having

EU raises heat on India over climate deal

The European Union (EU) on Friday blamed India for blocking a new legally-binding agreement, saying New Delhi was maintaining a “relatively tough stand”, preventing countries from arriving at a conclusion in Durban. India said it was open to discussions if issues of equity — the right to grow — were taken into account. EU climate commissioner Connie Hedegaard said there were two sticking points with India — the future of the legal form of the agreement and the timeframe in which countries should make the emission cuts. The EU has proposed a “roadmap” for a single, legally-binding framework

These deliberations will be followed by an all-party meeting on Wednesday. The UPA government is keen to forge a consensus with the Opposition on the final contours of the Lokpal Bill so that it does not run into problems when it comes up for debate in Parliament. It has become imperative for the ruling coalition to get the Opposition on board as the UPA does not have a majority in the Rajya Sabha. The consultations follow the participation of eight opposition parties in Anna Hazare’s token protest

countries and the African Union. “But the success and failure of Durban depends on some countries which are not committed to the roadmap, so we have to get them on board,” she said. Ms. Hedegaard said: “India wants to continue on two tracks — legal and voluntary — while more and more countries have realised that we sh ould not for all eternity keep two tracks.” “Of course, we should not all commit the same but we have to find a formula that recognise the reality of 21st century. The second point is about the timeline — when should the legal agreement enter into force,” she said. Minister of Environment and Forests Jayanthi Natarajan, leader of the Indian delegation, refuted the EU’s allegation, saying she was here with an open mind as long as issues raised by the country were addressed. “I had a meeting with the BASIC this morning and our stand has been the same. I have come here with an open mind but we want to know the content of the legally binding [agreement]. We want to know if they are going to give us a ratifiable Kyoto in return,” she told IANS.

evidence against the BSP chief. “Both the parties are defending each other in their scams...the government has all the documentary evidence and it should take action,” Somaiya said. He said a letter written by the Enforcement Directorate to Noida Authority was proof that the Centre was aware of the goings-on in Uttar Pradesh. The party also released a list of 26

companies, in which, it claimed, Mayawati’s brother Anand Kumar and his wife Vichitralata have stakes. Earlier, it had released a list of 25 such entities. “We will give details of the entities to the ten main investigative agencies like ED and CBI seeking action, besides handing over a memorandum to the UP Governor. If no action is taken, we will be forced to move court,” Somaiya said.

India, Pakistan to smoothen trade and train travel

Customs officials of India and Pakistan are to clear the backlog of trucks stranded on both sides of the land border by allowing trading activities to start on Sundays. They have also operationalized a hotline between Attari and Wagah railway stations. The decision for opening cargo movement was taken on Sunday in a meeting of officials of two departments at Lahore, said deputy commissioner (customs) R K Duggal upon his return from Pakistan. “This was done keeping in view problems faced by traders due to long queues

of trucks and to promote trade,” he added. Truck operators are relieved as at present they have to wait two or three days for unloading goods at the border. Gurnam Singh, a driver from Ludhiana, who has been waiting for clearance of his truck for past two days, said, “It is an admirable decision which would benefit both drivers and traders.” Talking about the railway hotline, Duggal said, “The telephone connect would help smoothen movement of Samjhauta Express.”


South Asia Tribune I Thursday 15 December 2011

South Asia Tribune I Thursday 15 December 2011

Delhi, India royal reception in Delhi durbar 1911. 40 kings photo


George V and Queen Mary in Delhi, India, 1911, (1935). The King and Queen travelled to India to attend the Delhi Durbar, held to celebrate their coronation. A print from “King Emperor’s Jubilee, 1910-1935”,

While the British sealed it as the capital of modern India, Delhi has for centuries been the power and nerve centre of the regimes that ruled the country, each one of them leaving behind an imprint on the heritage of the historic city. So, while the British brought back the capital to Delhi only 100 years ago, the city’s role as the political pivot dates right back to over 3000 years, much before the trace of recorded history can be found. In December 1911, when Lilah Wingfield was 23, she traveled to India by invitation of King George V to attend the Durbar, a royal assembly that marked the king’s visit. This was the first time a British monarch visited India. In Delhi, the young British lady stayed in the tented city set up to accommodate the 250,000 visitors attending the Durbar, many of whom were rulers of India’s princely states. She took the opportunity to travel around India, including to Mumbai and Bhopal, where she stayed with the Begum of Bhopal, a powerful princess. Ms. Wingfield, an avid photographer, captured her journey with her camera. Jessica Douglas-Home, Ms. Wingfield’s granddaughter, recently brought many of the pictures to Delhi for an exhibition at the city’s Imperial Hotel that marks 100 years of New Delhi as India’s capital 1911 Queen Mary Delhi Durbar tiara with Cambridge emeralds The ceremony recognizing imperial rule of India was the Durbar held in (old) Delhi. Previous Durbars were not attended by the UK sovereign. That changes with George V and Mary who went to India for the Durbar. With a staggering population of 1.68 crore, New Delhi

completed 100 years today since it’s birth on December 12, 1911. Being the dhadkan of India, Delhi is celebrating it’s 100th year of existence. This is definitely a pride moments for all Delhiites. Delhi, the political and cultural capital of several empires including the Mughals, today added yet another chapter to its glorious history as it marked 100 years of its re-emergence as modern India’s Capital. Delhi was proclaimed as the capital of British Raj on 12 December, 1911, shifting from Kolkata, by then Emperor of India George V thereby returning to the historic city its lost glory. As it turned a century, the Delhi government and other cultural agencies like the Indian Council for Cultural Relations have lined up a series of celebrations to mark the occasion. To begin with, chief minister Mrs Sheila Dikshit will release a book on the history of seven cities of Delhi which details the account of how the present city was constructed this evening. Special souvenirs will be released, and specially planned exhibitions showcase the rich and diverse heritage and culture of the city. A photo exhibition on the city of monuments will be among a series of events that the government agencies have lined up to mark the centenary year. ‘Dastann-e-Dilli’ ~ an exhibition on the city, will be also inaugurated by Mrs Dikshit and Lt-Governor Tejendra Khanna on Wednesday. The exhibition will chronicle the culture of Delhi ~ right from its ancient days to the modern period ~ where both the heritage sites and modern-day

buildings co-exist. The year-long celebrations will actually kick off in January when the ministry of culture has lined up a number of events that will showcase the rich cultural heritage of the city. Not to be left behind, Delhiites have already began celebrating the centenary year of their beloved city, thronging in large numbers to a food festival at Baba Kharag Singh Marg. The ‘Delhi Ke Pakwan Festival’ brings the very soul of Delhi’s culture, street food to the people with a variety of ‘kebabs’, ‘kulfi’ and other mouth-watering delicacies. The foundation stone for the building of a new city in Delhi was laid by King George V and Queen Mary at the site of the Delhi Durbar at Kingsway Camp on 15 December, 1911 and New Delhi, as it is called, came out of the architectural brilliance of Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker. Delhi has traditionally been the seat of a series of empires and regimes that have ruled India since over 3,000 years back. Each of the empire has left behind an indelible imprint on the heritage of Delhi, that has housed no less than eight cities over the centuries, and the 100 years of the latest city marks an opportunity to celebrate the continuity of this rich habitation. How New Delhi was Born? After 1857 revolt, the British wanted to move the capital to less volatile than Kolkata, So they picked Delhi, which was closer to Shimla, the summer capital and was well connected by rail. Then viceroy Lord Hardinge wanted the

New Delhi to be built similar to old Delhi. But Sir Edwin Landseer Lutyens, the greatest British Architect who is the brain child of New Delhi opposed the idea. He is also the one behind the national monument India Gate and magnificent Rashtrapati Bhavan. Recently Delhi has been voted as the best city for Social Infrastructure and commuting by Times Poll. We hope that Delhi becomes the safe city for Women in the future. Hundred years ago, on December 12, a grand congregation of royalty and British soldiers assembled at the Delhi Durbar as King George V proclaimed Delhi as the new Capital of Imperial India. Celebrating the centenary, are a series of exhibitions across town and even a special conclave with leaders organised by Hindustan Times. One such event is the exhibition, Delhi: Red Fort To Raisina, curated by Pramod Kapoor of Roli Books. The exhibition, which kicks off at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts on December 15, brings together over four centuries of visual history, from the time of Mughal emperors to more recent images of Lutyens Delhi covered in scaffolding. “It’s the 100th anniversary of the Capital and we always knew that we wanted to do something, and thought a seminal pictorial exhibition like this has never really been done before. 80% of the exhibition is based on our book Red Fort to Raisina, which launches tonight, and about 20% has been sourced just for the show,” says Kapoor, who has spent the last two months putting the exhibition together.




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India, Pakistan urged to work for prosperity

TIME has come for India and Pakistan to take bold actions to move forward for economic and social development of the people and stability of the region, South Asia as a whole and free media of both the countries could play a vital role to make it possible. It was opined by the speakers at a seminar on “Role of media for stable and prosper South Asia” held in connection with the 26th anniversary of SAARC which was organised by the Media and Communication Department of a private university on Friday. According to a press statement, SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry former Secretary General Rahmatullah Javed was the chief guest on the occasion. The university Rector Prof Dr Hassan Sohaib Murad presided over the seminar. The university’s Department of Media and Communication Chairman Prof Dr Mujahid

Mansoori, noted political scholar of Canada and Pakistan Prof Mian Muhammad Asif and a large number of media students attended the event. Rahmatullah Javed briefed the students about the SAARC history, objectives and its functioning. He said that trustful ties between India and Pakistan were crucial to utilise maximum potential of the SAARC member states for the collective wellbeing of the people of South Asian region. He was

of the view that the media could play a greater role in promoting people-to-people contact and trade ventures among the SAARC countries. He said if Germany, France and other countries even after fighting against one another in the Second World War could come close with each other in the form of European Union, why not Pakistan and India which had lived with one and other for around 800 years before separation of the Sub-

Continent. Dr Hassan Sohaib Murad said that Pakistan and India needed to learn lesson from other regional blocs and associations like European Union, NAFTA, ASEAN, GCC (Gulf Cooperative Council) and ECO (Economic Cooperation Organization) etc. He said Pakistan must take advantage of its geopolitical position by working as an active member to get maximum advantages from the upcoming developments.

Prof Dr Mujahid Mansoori said that unfortunately SAARC was not that successful, however, it had very favourable environment to promote regional stability and transform it into the prosperity of the member states. About media role, Dr Mansoori said it was an era of internationalism and the media was not merely meant for propaganda it was also playing its new role as a peace-maker. Prof Dr Mian Muhammad Asif while presenting a comparative study of SAARC and European Union said that European nations had set an example of supernatural nations without caring of their sovereignty and borders to improve the values and life of their people. He said that Pakistan and India must realise the problems of their people and in the greater interest of the people of South Asia, they badly needed to activate and strengthen SAARC forum.

National conference in Leicester looked at the threat of terrorism in the UK.

“The Roots of Violent Radicalisation Conference” Tuesday Dec 13th Home Affairs Select Committee at De Montfort University US civil rights leader Jesse Jackson honoured with degree at De Montfort University

Keith Vaz nominated Rev Jesse Jackson for the Nobel Peace prize Rt Hon Keith Vaz MP on his announcement in Leicester said that he is nominating the Reverend Jesse Jackson for the Nobel Peace prize further he said : “I am delighted to be nominating the Reverend Jesse Jackson for the Nobel Peace Prize. The Reverend Jackson is one of the most influential black leaders in the world. For 50 years he has fought for the rights of the disadvantaged and disenfranchised in society. Reverend Jackson is a vital part of

the thread of freedom that has run through the past two centuries, in the civil rights movement and in bringing down apartheid. Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and President Barack Obama have been recognised for the roles they have played. Now it is the Reverend’s turn.” Reverend Jackson was a key speaker at De Montfort University’s conference on terrorism and radicalism, organised by the Parliamentary Home Affairs Select Committee, chaired by

Leicester East MP Keith Vaz. Reverend Jackson, 70, gave a speech at a conference organised by the Parliamentary Home Affairs Select Committee about radicalisation The committee is looking at why people become extremists and will report its findings in a government paper. “When Jesus kicked over the tables in the temple because the house of prayer had become a house of commerce and thievery, he was radical,” he said. “But it was radical love not radical

hate and that becomes our challenge, to teach the science of non violence. A violent reaction to violence just spreads.” Mr Jackson said other cities could look to Leicester for tips on multicultural and racial harmony. He said: “This is a multicultural city and it shows that when people work alongside each other, together as a team, things can work. “Here is Leicester there are many races and many faces from many places.” The conference has been organised by Parliament’s powerful Home Affairs Select Committee, chaired by city MP Keith Vaz, which is looking at the causes of terrorism and radicalisation in the UK. The university’s vice-chancellor Professor Dominic Shellard said: “We share Rev Jackson’s values throughout our university community. We are very pleased to welcome Jesse Jackson to DMU and honour his numerous achievements as an inspirational advocate and campaigner for civil rights in the USA and around the world.” Mr Vaz, who represents Leicester East, said: “This conference is set to contribute significantly to the

conversation on radicalization. “The roots of violent radicalisation remains a subject of great national interest and this prestigious institution, with its reputation for hosting and furthering national debates, is the perfect location.” Other speakers at the conference included minister for crime and security James Brokenshire and Ian Paisley Jr MP from Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party. Home Office security minister James Brokenshire and Dr Dipu Moni, the Foreign Minister for Bangladesh. The conference’s findings will be passed to the Government as it creates its Prevent Strategy, which is designed to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism. The threat from the far right as well as religious fanaticism will also be considered. After the conference, he received his honorary degree at a ceremony at the St Mary De Castro Church, adjacent to the university campus, in front of hundreds of invited guests.

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94 people die as private hospital in India burns AMRI Hospital directors sent to police custody till Dec 20th Nearly all victims choked to death on the upper floors; 6 directors of the hospital arrested All seven directors of the fireravaged AMRI Hospital have been sent to police custody till December 20. The directors were produced in court earlier today. The directors, Radhe Shyam Goenka, Prashant Goenka, Manish Goenka, Shrawan Kumar Todi, Ravi Todi, Dayanand Aggarwal and Radhe Ahyam Aggarwal, had voluntarily surrendered to the police yesterday and were later arrested for culpable homicide and negligence. Civic authorities on Saturday also sealed two blocks of the hospital. Meanwhile, a small

fire was also reported from the basement of the hospital. A fire engine stationed at the hospital doused the fire.

To all appearances, the Advanced Medical Research Institute hospital in Kolkata was state of the art. It had some of the latest, most precise radiation therapy equipment for patients in its cancer center. It offered special deluxe suites for its wealthiest patients. Its trauma surgery unit was said to be one of

the best in eastern India, as well as its highly efficient emergency room. But early on Friday the hospital, known as Amri, confronted an emergency for which it seemed to have no plan: an inferno in its

Ineptitude, poor equipment and bad information helped compound what initially seemed like a minor blaze. The doctors on duty fled the hospital almost immediately, leaving patients stuck in their

blaze, Fire Department officials said. The hospital’s fire detection and suppression system did not function, Fire Department officials said. The blaze is sure to raise fresh questions about safety in India’s

basement that transformed the entire hermetically sealed and air-conditioned building into a giant chimney for a searing, smoky fire. When the smoke cleared, 94 people were dead, scores more were injured and a nation was left asking: Is nowhere, even an expensive, privately run hospital designed for the country’s upwardly mobile classes, safe from the disaster that seems to lurk on every railway line, highway on-ramp and festival ground? Omar Abdullah, the chief minister of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, summed up the mood when he sent this message on Twitter: “Every time I see incidents like #AMRI I’m convinced we really are a 3rd world nation with delusions of greatness.” There appeared to be many reasons why the fire in the plush 180-bed hospital in Kolkata, formerly Calcutta, which started in the basement early on Friday morning, roared out of control for many hours and produced such catastrophic results.

wards and at the mercy of the billowing black smoke, witnesses and patients told reporters. Local people who tried to get inside the hospital to help rescue patients said they were turned away by security guards who assured them it was only a small kitchen fire. Hospital officials were slow to call the Fire Department, and then fire trucks were slow to arrive, hospital officials said. In fact, it took firefighters more than 12 hours to subdue the

booming private hospital business, which, like much else in India, is poorly regulated. The hospital had recently been named one of the city’s best by The Week, an Indian magazine that regularly ranks hospitals. Like many such hospitals in India, the Advanced Medical Research Institute offered expensive Western-style facilities to middle- and upper-middleclass Indians who have shunned government hospitals, which are crowded and less well equipped.

Firhad Hakim, West Bengal State’s minister of urban development, arrived at the scene at 5 a.m. to find dozens of firefighters standing around, unable to get inside. “The smoke was so thick and black that it was not possible to enter into the hospital,” Mr. Hakim said. Witnesses and patients described a chaotic scene of underequipped firefighters struggling to rescue patients trapped in the building. The hospital was storing diesel and motor oil in the basement, he said. Fueled by these volatile elements, the fire sent plumes of searing, pitch-black smoke into the upper floors via the elevator ducts, Mr. Hakim said. Patients, many of them bedridden, had no way to escape. The mirrored glass windows did not open. The facade of the building was made of thick glass, which firefighters struggled to break. Finally, they used a ladder to reach an upper floor, where they were able to break the glass and vent some of the smoke. But by then it was 7:30 a.m., and the fire had been pouring smoke into the hospital for almost four hours. “Whoever they brought out, most of them were dead,” Mr. Hakim said.


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Pakistan to redraw key pacts with US

Pakistan will renegotiate two key agreements signed with the United States and its Western allies nine years ago as part of a wider policy review following last month’s deadly Nato air raids on Pakistani border posts. The agreements – both signed in 2002 during former military ruler General Pervez Musharraf’s regime to allow transit of supplies and logistics support for the US-led Nato forces – were considered crucial for the decade-long battle against the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan.

The decision to reconfigure those arrangements was taken at the end of a two-day envoys’ conference convened to revisit the country’s foreign policy against the backdrop of a deadly Nato incursion. The conference was attended by over two dozen ambassadors and high commissioners serving in key world capitals. A senior foreign ministry official said that a set of recommendations had been finalised for the government to reevaluate and review cooperation with the US and Nato.

SC issues detailed NRO verdict, addresses govt objections Court issues detailed judgement on NRO

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court issued a detailed verdict on the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) on Thursday night, saying that the federation had failed to establish that it was aggrieved by the court’s decision against the controversial ordinance. Following the detailed judgment, the government will face renewed pressure from the country’s highest court to reopen Swiss money laundering cases against President Asif Ali Zardari, who is currently hospitalised in Dubai for medical treatment. On November 24, a 17-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, dismissed a review petition of the federation against the NRO and directed it to comply with its decision without any delay. “Before parting with this judgment, we may like to observe that the Court was conscious of the fact that although neither the Parliament approved the NRO as an act nor defended the law and rather did not oppose revival of criminal cases, this petition for review was filed on behalf of the federation; that despite repeated queries of the Court, learned counsel did not elaborate as to how the federation was an ‘aggrieved person’ or disclose any

other ‘sufficient cause’ to fall within the parameters of the law regulating the review jurisdiction,” said the detailed judgment. It further addressed objections raised on every single paragraph of the NRO decision by the federation. The judgment also stated that it had given permission to former law minister Dr Babar Awan to represent the federation “so that if we find that a case for review is made, we will allow the application seeking permission to argue, which could only have been argued under the Supreme Court rules by the counsel who appeared for the federation in the main case.” “The court in Para 178 of the judgment merely held that the communications addressed by the then attorney general were unauthorised and the federal government was directed to take steps to seek the revival of the request in that context. Neither during the hearing of the main case, learned counsel for the federal government placed on record any instructions of the federation in this context nor during the hearing of this review petition, any such material was laid before this court which could persuade us to hold that the said communication by the then attorney general was duly authorised to warrant its review,” the judgment said.

Recommendations include fresh agreements for Nato supplies and logistics support to the US, minimising the ‘CIA footprint’ in the country, seeking an honourable return of Afghan

refugees and pursuing efforts to stabilise Afghanistan irrespective of Washington’s approach, according to the official, who was part of the consultations. The conference also decided to seek

a formal public apology from the US over the November 26 incident and firm guarantees that there would be no violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty in the future, added the official, who asked to remain anonymous. The envoys, according to the participant, were of the view that the US appears to be uninterested in the Afghan reconciliation process. However, irrespective of Washington’s approach, Islamabad must redouble its efforts to facilitate the Afghan reconciliation process, he added.

US determined to recover ‘essential’ Pakistan ties

Describing the US-Pakistan relationship as “complicated but essential,” the US State Department on Saturday has said it is working hard to get back to cooperative work with the South Asian country. Following last month’s deadly Nato strike which killed 24 Pakistani soldiers and led to a sharp decline in bilateral ties between both countries. “This relationship is complicated, but it’s also essential to both the United States and Pakistan. And we are working very hard to keep open channels and to get back to work together,” Victoria Nuland, the State Department spokesperson, said. On efforts towards repairing the relationship, the spokesperson referred to ongoing US-Pakistani contacts including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s call to Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani as well as the latest meeting between US Ambassador in Islamabad Cameron Muner and Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar.

“We are continuing our intensive engagement, including through the recent meeting between Ambassador Munter and Foreign Minister Khar. Obviously, we are both trying to roll up our sleeves and get back to work together,” said Nuland. “With regard to what might emerge from any internal review, I would refer you to the Government of Pakistan on that.

Nawaz vows to unveil Benazir’s killers NAUDERO: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif on Saturday vowed to unveil those behind the murder of Benazir Bhutto, DawnNews reported. Talking to media, after laying floral wreath and offering prayers at the grave of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairperson Benazir Bhutto in Garhi Khuda Bux, Nawaz said that he had finished ‘no-go-area’ of Larkana today and the next to end was in Karachi. He said government had failed to unveil the culprits behind the murder and vowed to bring the murders of his ‘sister’ to justice once he was in power. He said no political statements would be issued here, otherwise his opponents would blame him for making political mileage. “I have not used Sindh card by holding gathering in Larkana as I have only one card that is Pakistani card,” he added. The party chief also offered condolences with Ahmed Ali

Mirani, elder brother of Major Mujahid Ali Mirani, who was killed during November 26 Nato strike in Mohmand agency. Sharif frowned over Pakistan’s airbases being used to attack its own people in northern areas. He said that he did not trust government-constituted commissions as the commission constituted to probe PNS Mehran base attack had done nothing so far. Nawaz Sharif further said his party firmly support army’s principled stance of declaring the Nato strike a deliberate act. To a question whether President

Zardari was suffering from political disease or real disease, he said ‘some disease’ and declined to offer more comments. Earlier speaking at a public gathering in Larkana, the PML-N chief said “Sindh is changing, Pakistan is changing and Larkana is also changing.” Nawaz also said those who ran away leaving behind the dead body of Benazir Bhutto had now become ministers. He said he had promised Benazir to work with her for Pakistan’s prosperity but the current government did not implement the Charter of Democracy.


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MDP officials refuses to protest on 23 Dec S

ome officials of the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) have refused to participate in the protest organized by the party against the “To Protect Islam” mass protest. Speaking against the protest organized by MDP, the Deputy President of the party, Feydhoo MP, Alhan Fahmy said that the party should consider the consequences that might result from going against a protest that is organized under the slogan to defend Islam. Alhan Fahmy stressed that

those organizing the mass protest have the right to stage the protest under the constitution. “MDP should consider the number they are facing when protesting against such religious protests. Their number is apparent from the lectures of Sheikh Ilyas,” he said. Alhan said that the alleged death threats on the official website of the protest was posted by mistake and the administrator of the website has acknowledged the mistake. He said that they are just organizing a peaceful protest calling to

protect the religion of Islam in Maldives. He said that there is no need to go out against them.

Alhan said that he believes that there are plausible reasons why the Civil Society Coalition is

staging such a protest. “The issue of the idols placed in Addu City. The issue of the speech of UN Human Rights High Commissioner given in Maldives,” he said. Many members of the MDP National congress praised Alhan Fahmy for his stance regarding the protest. Some members raised questions on the reasons why MDP Chairperson is insisting to go out against the protest when the Police and Armed Forces are there to protect the people if the protest turns violent.

No salary increments in 2012: FM Sharia rules are not The government will not increase salaries of any state institution in 2012, Finance Minister Ahmed Inaz said today, denying reports of a 40 percent salary increment for armed forces and police next year. Speaking at today’s parliamentary budget review committee meeting, Inaz said he met with Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) and police yesterday after he came to know of the media reports. The reports came after Mulaku MP Abdulla Yamin claimed on Tuesday that a 40 percent increase in salaries of Maldives Police Service employees and MNDF officers

inhumane: President

was included in the proposed Rf14 billion budget. Refuting the claim, Inaz stressed that the government proposed to increase the funds allocated for the salaries of police and armed forces

by 9.51 percent but not to increase their salaries. “It was to cover the salary increment for officers who receive promotion and salaries of those who are to be employed next year,” he said.

HRCM failed to probe torture against inmates: President Human Rights Commission of the Maldives (HRCM) has so far failed to conduct a full investigation of torture faced at prisons in the Maldives, President Mohamed Nasheed said yesterday. Speaking in

his weekly radio address about the World Human Rights Day being marked today, the President expressed his hopes for a full-fledged investigation of torture against inmates, by the commission.

Protecting Islam an obligation upon all Maldivians: Ilyas Protecting Islam, the foundation of the independence and sovereignty of Maldives, is an individual obligation upon all Maldives, says Sheikh Ilyas. Ilyas said that it is not permissible to stay silent without doing anything to defend the religion of Islam at a time when wicked plans are being carried out to demolish Islam. Ilyas said that the people should not be deterred by the hypocrites who in statement say that everyone should stand firm to protect in Islam while their actions say otherwise. He said that they try to lure the people in to their traps

by spreading doubts claiming that there is nothing wrong with placing idols and that it is similar to keeping pictures and giving the children to play with toys. He said that the people should be well prepared to face these challenges. Ilyas said that no opportunity

would be given to the disbelievers and apostates to propagate anti-Islamic beliefs. He said that even if the hypocrites challenge the Muslims to establish polytheism, the power and might belongs to Allah. He urged all Islamophobes to openly repent sincerely seeking forgiveness from Allah. Ilyas noted that the some of the hypocrites have been giving death threats to intimidate those who are voicing against the anti Islamic policies of the current government. He said that the people are not the least worried regarding these warnings.

President Mohamed Nasheed has said that he does not believe that the rulings and punishments prescribed in the Islamic Sharia are not inhumane. Speaking in regard to the World Human Rights Day, President Nasheed said that human beings are most exalted creation of Allah and that he does not believe that any punishment prescribed in the religion would be inhumane and barbaric. The president said that the Maldivian government wanted to discuss the beauty of Islam with the UN Chief of

Human Rights, Navi Pillay, but this opportunity was wasted by some people with their “Jihadi spirit.” He said that the government would always uphold Islam and would strive to show the world how noble and beautiful Islam is.


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House diktat to amend Police Act

The Legislature-Parliament’s State Affairs Committee (SAC) directed Home Minister Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar to take necessary steps to amend the half-a-century-old Police Act within a month to deal with present-day security threats. The Police Act 1955 is obsolete and lacks provisions necessary to deal with crime in today’s context, members of the committee said. Lawmakers sought clarification from Home Minister Gachhadar about the security scenario in the country and criticised him for failing to provide security even in the capital, which has witnessed 15 murders in the last five months. Home Minister Gachhadar

accepted that the security situation in the country was not up to the mark. Political intervention in the security sector is the major evil plaguing law enforcement agencies, he said and pledged to table a proposal at the

EU urges Nepal to ensure human rights The EU mission together with Norway, Switzerland, USA, Canada, Australia and Japan have called on Nepal to quickly agree on the transitional justice mechanisms foreseen in the Comprehensive Peace Accord. Issuing a press statement today, the EU mission has urged the Government of Nepal to make additional strong efforts to protect and promote fundamental human rights and to meet its obligations under international law in order to consolidate peace and democracy. “International Human Rights

Day on December 10 recalls that respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law and democracy constitute the prerequisites for peace, development and security in any society,” reads the press statement. They have also urged that the Bill on the National Human Rights Commission shall secure a sound legal base that guarantees its independence. The EU delegation has reaffirmed their continued support to Nepal at this pivotal moment in its history.

Parliament to amend the Police Act within a month. Gachhadar informed the lawmakers that the Home Ministry will launch a campaign to improve the security situation in the country. “The drive will include

suggested dissolution of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA); and signing of the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement with India were all against the interest of the country. He also accused party Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal of taking the side of feudal landlords while returning the seized land in Bardiya. “But we will never accept

The Special Committee (for the supervision, integration and rehabilitation of Maoist combatants) today studied the statistical details of regrouping of the combatants. The Special Committee (for the supervision, integration and rehabilitation of Maoist combatants) today studied the statistical details of regrouping of the combatants and directed the secretariat to come up with a time table and work plan for the integration in the next meeting scheduled for December 16.

Let’s not reopen old wounds: PM

Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai said that nobody would benefit by opening wounds dating back to the conflict period and that Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and Commission on Enforced Disappearances would be formed for reconciliation. Addressing a programme organised by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to mark the International Human Rights Day in Lalitpur on Saturday, Bhattarai said the

Gajurel comes down heavily on PM, Dahal Addressing a press meet at Nawalpur in Sarlahi, Gajurel claimed that present Maoist leadership and the government headed by the party’s Vicechairman Baburam Bhattarai had “dissolved” the PLA in the name of peace and constitution writing. UCPN (Maoist) Secretary CP Gajurel has accused the party leadership and the prime minister of working against the spirit of the “People’s War”. . “Unscientific army integration cannot ensure peace and constitution. The political situation of the country will continue to be as complex as ever,” he said. He said that taking back plots of land from farmers and returning them to feudal landlords; integration of former Maoist combatants in a manner that

issues of infrastructure development, programmes to encourage security personnel and hone their professional skills,” the minister said. During the meet, Home Secretary Sushil Jung Bahadur Rana, Inspector General of Police Rabindra Pratap Shah, IGP of the Armed Police Force Sailendra Kumar Shrestha and Chief of the National Investigation Department Moti Gurung emphasised the need to develop infrastructure to make effective policing possible. The meeting also directed the government to revise security arrangements for VIPs after the recent Supreme Court verdict stripped them of state facilities.

Integration time table on Dec 16

decisions that are against the party’s line and let the authorities return the properties,” he said. Gajurel said the ideological differences that started affecting the party soon after the party leadership decided to hand over the keys to arms containers to the Special Committee had widened as the establishment side continued working against the party’s line. He, however, said the party will not split over the internal differences, no matter how bad. The Maoist secretary said the current government will not last long and that Bhattarai will not be around to lead the national consensus government. “Should the Maoists get a chance to head the national consensus government, it should be led by somone from the Mohan Baidya faction,” he said.

process of forming two commissions has reached a final stage and that the two mechanisms were integral part of the peace process. Reiterating the Maoist argument on non-extension of the OHCHR’s term,

he said the national institutions have to be strengthened and pledged his support to do so. “The government is working towards making the NHRC and the National Women’s Commission more capable and resourceful to guarantee human rights to the general public,” the PM said. At the programme, NHRC Chairman Kedar Nath Upadhyaya said although the government is in the process of implementing the Commission’s recommendations, the action taken against the culprits responsible for serious human rights violations was not encouraging.


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LLRC report to be tabled in parliament

Economic Development Minister of Sri Lanka Basil Rajapaksa says that the final report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) would be tabled in parliament in its entirety and not just the observations made by the Commission. Minister Rajapaksa has told reporters that presenting the full report to parliament would prevent any misunderstandings or misrepresentations. It was earlier speculated that the government would submit only the observations made by the LLRC. However,

Rajapaksa has observed that the full LLRC report is currently being translated. President Mahinda Rajapaksa is expected

to submit the report to the parliament along with an oral statement on the government’s actions on the recommendations made by

the Commission. However, the government has not yet announced a date when the President may present the report to the parliament. The eight-member Commission, appointed by the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa to probe the three-decade long armed conflict with the Tamil Tiger terrorists, handed over its final report to the President on November 20th. The President has said that the government will take actions without shielding anyone if the LLRC found any human rights violations during the war that ended in May 2009.

Lanka to strengthen Sri Lanka to release all detained bilateral ties with Qatar ex-LTTE cadres by mid-2012

Sri Lanka is preparing to receive the Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabr Al-Thani on Monday when he arrives in Lanka on a twoday official visit to strengthen the bilateral relations. The Qatari Prime Minister visiting Sri Lanka on an invitation from the Sri Lankan government will lead a high level delegation that will consist of Minister of Economy and Finance and senior officials

together with that country’s business leaders. His Sri Lankan counterpart Prime Minister D. M. Jayaratne and External Affairs Minister, Prof. G.L. Peiris will receive the Qatari Premier and his delegation at the Bandaranaike International Airport. Sheikh Hamad will meet Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa during his two- day visit.

Sri Lankan authorities expect to release all remaining former Tamil Tiger rebels by the middle of next year following the completion of their training program, a government official said. The last remaining group of 700 former Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) cadres will be released by mid-2012 after providing them the mandatory 12 months training Secretary for the Ministry of Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms, Mr. A. Dissanayaka said yesterday. The official made this claim following the visit of 104 former LTTE female cadres to the Sri Lankan parliament Friday before being reintegrated into society after their one year rehabilitation program. The rehabilitated female combatants visited the

parliament during the committee stage debate of the Ministry of Prison and rehabilitation. They were the members of the last group of around 700 remaining ex terrorists.

Sri Lanka secures President holds talks with Lankans display solidarity with $1 bn foreign Qatari Prime Minister Pakistan against NATO attack discussions in Bali on the sidelines of the investment in 2011 Bali democratic Forum IV.

Sri Lanka has received the highest quantum of foreign investment amounting to over US $ 1,070 million by November this year towards development projects, Economic Development Deputy Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said. Speaking at the Government Information Department yesterday, he said there is a misconception in the country that foreign investment coming into the country has reduced but it is not so. In 2009 it was US $ 602 million and in 2010 it was US $ 516 million. He said 58 projects have been implemented from these investments and another 131 projects have been approved and 138 projects are awaiting approval. He said all projects of over US $ 3 million are considered as foreign investments. The minister said although the Opposition accuses the government of considering sale of land as an investment, the funds received from sale of lands are also part of investment. Referring to the progress of the tourism industry, he said in 2012, the country will receive Rs one billion as investment for tourism.

The Prime Minister of Qatar Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabr Al-Thani, who arrived in Sri Lanka Monday for a two day official visit, has met with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday evening, the President’s Media unit said. According to the President’s Media the two leaders have held private discussions while the delegates from the two countries held bilateral discussions on trade and other matters. The President has apprised the Qatari leader on the progress of development projects in Sri Lanka, especially in the Northern and Eastern provinces, following the end of the war against terrorism in May 2009. Commending the massive progress Sri Lanka has achieved in a short time, the Prime Minister has told the President that Qatar is willing to invest in several fields in Sri Lanka. The two leaders recently held bilateral

The Premier has told the President that Qatar investors are interested in opening super luxury hotels in Colombo and other tourist hotspots outside capital and several Qatari investors are to visit Sri Lanka soon. The Prime Minister has reiterated his country’s commitment towards strengthening bilateral relations as well as economic cooperation with Sri Lanka.

During the Prime Minister’s visit a MoU is expected to be signed to establish a Joint Committee with the Government of Qatar and also agreements on Economic, Commercial and Technical Cooperation, and cultural cooperation will be signed between the two governments.

Thousands of Sri Lankans gathered in Colombo on Friday after the Jumma prayers to condemn the actions of NATO/US-ISAF coalition and to denounce the unprovoked attacks of last month that resulted in the deaths of over two-dozen Pakistani soldiers. The Sri Lanka Pakistan Friendship Association along with Pakistani community in Sri Lanka organized a peaceful demonstration today outside the Devatagagha Mosque in Town Hall, Colombo to protest against the recent NATO attack on Pakistan’s military check posts on Afghanistan border. The Governor of Western Province Alevi Maulana, several Sri Lankan government ministers including Minister Mervyn De Silva, Deputy Mayor of Colombo Municipal Council and several high profile personalities participated in the peaceful protest against the attack, which Pakistan says

a blatant violation of its air and ground space. Protesters including journalists, government employees, lawyers and members of civil society gathered near the Colombo Municipal Council building complex and asked the US and NATO to “Stop terrorizing Pakistan”. A heavy contingent of police was present to provide security to the protesters and to ensure peaceful demonstration. No unwanted incidents took place throughout the protest. The organizers of the demonstration, Pakistan Sri Lanka Friendship Association, ministers and representatives of political parties addressed protesters and called for a resolute stand against the aggression. They termed the NATO attack as blatant aggression and terrorism, and appealed to the international community to stop such violations.



training in Indian classical music, Najma taught herself the harmonium, learnt basic vocal technique with Ustad Naeem Solaria and received guidance from other prominent South Asian classical artists. Najma emerged as a musician when world music was gaining popularity and had the opportunity of performing at Peter Gabriel’s ‘WOMAD’ and Jazz stages at the Glastonbury, Reading and other European festivals. Najma is one of the very first artists to have created a place in musical history in terms of world music by having given birth to a new genre fusion of Jazz and Indian Ghazal. Her work and presence on the World music scene had led to a new wave of inspired Asian artists of Indian decent following in her footsteps. Najma Akhtar is regarded as a pioneer of this fusion sound with respect to Indian Semi Classical, Ghazal and Jazz. In 1987, Najma released her first recording in the UK with Triple Earth, “Qareeb” (Closeness). Universally acclaimed “Qareeb”

Najma Akhtar

vocalist, composer and actor Some truly wonderful world music fusions have come from the melding of the South Asian vocal tradition with western influence (or vice versa). It’s been going on for years, with many fine artists, and pioneers like Najma Akhtar, who with her groundbreaking CD “Qareeb” entranced me as far back as 1987. I love the purity of the tone production and the haunting ornamentation of the vocal style, and the addition of western elements -- particularly those that support and enhance the strength of the melodic line -- can make for a truly rich experience. Najma Akhtar born in the UK, also known as Najma, is a British singer of Asian ancestry. She was born in 1964 Chelmsford, England. I met het with Col. Zahid (her uncle) at her resident in Baker Street. She was not in to music then, but she was glamarous and telented. Najma studied chemical engineering at Aston University, Birmingham: her father, brother and sister are also engineers. In 1984 she won the Birmingham Asian Song Contest, and in 1987 produced her first album. Najma Akhtar, vocalist, composer and actor, has been at the forefront of the World Music scene for the last two decades. Even though born and raised in England and a graduate in Chemical

Engineering, Najma has remained rooted in the music of India, her ancestral home. Najma has proved to be a successful

and versatile artist and is renowned for using modern jazz influences with Indian vocals creating a beautiful fusion of eastern and western styles. Najma always brings her own musical heritage into the spotlight while eliminating all musical boundaries. This has led to the release of 7 solo albums and also the opportunity to have artistic collaborations with some of the worlds most influential and credible musicians. Throughout her career, Najma has made numerous radio and TV appearances all over the world. Although she did not receive formal

was a groundbreaking and first of its kind recording in World Music, as it was a fusion of Jazz and Indian Ghazals based on Urdu poems. Najma’s follow up to “Qareeb”, “Atish” (Fire), released in 1989, reached #4 on Billboard’s World Music Chart and combines a number of musical styles, including Qawwali. Najma’s third recording, “Pukar” (Calling You), was released in 1992 and includes a mix of Persian, Indian and African instruments. The title track was used in a Fuji Bank television commercial in Japan, where sales of “Pukar” reached upwards of 50,000 copies. In 1996, Najma released “Forbidden Kiss” which is a beautiful tribute to legendary Indian composer S.D. Burman, equivalent in South Asia to George Gershwin or Irving Berlin. On this tribute, Najma collaborated with Chris Rael from the New York City group Church of Betty. In 2002 Najma released “Vivid”, which was described by Najma as “Indian Gothic.” “Vivid” combined elements of Indian, Arabic and Western classical music to deliver a hypnotic cutting edge album. Najma’s 7th album released in 2009, “Fariyaad” translated as “A plea to the creator” was recorded and

Saarc international I Thursday 15 December 2011 produced at G - Point Studios in Paris by Serge Glanzberg. Musicians from very diverse cultures and backgrounds were used, adding even more multiculturalism to the flavour of Najma’s past works. With Fariyaad, Najma continues to cross over into the jazz world; this time she incorporated Mediterranean influences and instruments. Summer 2009 sees the release of ‘RISHTE’ (Relationships). ‘Rishte’,

is on the Harmonia Mundi /World Village label. Najma appeared with Plant and Page on their MTV unplugged special which was recorded and released as a DVD and an album titled “No Quarter”, and later toured with Robert Plant and Jimmy Page. Najma has also collaborated with many of the world’s most influential musical artists including, Basement Jaxx, Jah Wobble, “Take me to God”; Andy Summers, “The Golden Wire”; Philip Glass, “Liquid Days”; Steve Coleman, “Black Science”; Jethro Tull, “Dot Com” and Stan Harrison “The

Optimist”. Najma’s earlier live performances were described as brilliant as, when she was part of Peter Gabriel’s WOMAD tour. Najma has toured extensively in Europe, North America and Asia, and has headlined on the jazz stages at numerous festivals including Reading, Glastonbury, Lille and The Palestinian Jazz Festival in Jerusalem. Najma has had many incredible highlights in her career, but one that is most special to her, is being asked by Nina Simone’s management to perform with her at the London Dominion Theatre for a two-night engagement. Najma’s voice can be heard on numerous motion picture soundtracks including Hanif Kureishi’s film, “Sammy and Rosie get Laid”, “People I Know” starring Al Pacino and Kim Bassinger and Robert Altman’s film, “Prêt a Porter”. In 2002 Najma collaborated with composer and musician Steve Beresford to write the thirteen song soundtrack of “Bollywood Queen”, the British-Bollywood film directed by Jeremy Wooding and in 2008 also co-wrote a track for the sound track of the film ‘Brick Lane’ As an actor, Najma made her debut at London’s prestigious National Theatre in their production of “Haroon and The Sea of Stories”, adapted from the Salman Rushdie book and directed by Tim Supple. In 2002 Najma was brought in by the Group to help coach the London West End musical cast of “Bombay Dreams”.

Pakistani Life Style and Culture TV channel on Sky Media News Network is launching an All English Language Pakistani Life Style and Culture TV channel on Sky, presenting “The Emerging Face of a Modern New Pakistan”. It will broadcast exciting positive programmes on Pakistan’s Culture, Traditions, Music, Fashion, Business, Wildlife, Sports, Social, Political and Community Affairs in an engaging, modern way. We are conducting a special survey of the Overseas and British Pakistani community in the UK and Europe to get feed back on your views as to what you want to watch, and the trends on when you watch, how you watch, and where you watch television. We will be extremely grateful, if you will kindly spare a few minutes of your time, get on the Internet and fill the Survey link Survey Report will be published in January 2012.

Saarc international I Thursday 15 December 2011


‘The stress added ten years to my age’ FHM India’s ‘naked’ covergirl claims she was threatened after claiming shoot was doctored • ‘I was wearing hotpants, claims Veena Malik • Disowned by father, suing magazine for millions • ‘doesn’t rule out a naked shoot in the future’ Mumbai: For over a week, a huge controversy has been going on between India and Pakistani and surprisingly not on political issue this time. Pakistani actress Veena Malik, who went topless for a magazine cover in India, raised debate across borders. To the point that she got warned by Pakistans minister Rahman Malik for misconduct. Even her father went all out to tell the media that he has disowned her. Veena Malik is suing the publishers of the magazine claims cover was doctored to make her appear nude when she actually posed

in clothes. But she revealed Saturday that since launching her lawsuit, she has been threatened in an attempt to get her to drop it. The 33-year-old told the Mail Online: ‘I feel completely cheated. They’ve added ten years to my age. ‘They threatened to sue me if I don’t keep quiet.’ Since then, Malik says she has received a legal notice from FHM India which she claims was ‘aggressive’ in tone, and she says threatened her with character defamation if she did not retract her allegations.

Malik said: ‘I did not sign any contract and refused to until I was given final approval of the images. I was never sent the pictures but I was assured they were the same shots taken on the shoot in November. ‘I was cool with those pictures because I felt they were artistic and beautiful. They should have waited for my authorisation but they didn’t. ‘There was only one week between the shoot and publication - they were obviously in a rush to print them without my consent.’

Defending a controversial nude photo shoot Magazine editor insists Veena wanted her picture taken for the cover and she was happy with it He sets the record straight in an exclusive interview to Gulf News.

GULF NEWS: What was the thought process while deciding to approach Veena Malek for FHM? KABEER SHARMA: It wasn’t us. Veena approached us. She had done a shoot with photographer Vishal Saxena (who later did the FHM shoot) and sent us those photos, probably to show that she was in good shape. They both pursued us from October 22 to November 14. We conversed and until then we were very clear about not shooting a cover with her. But she was very pushy and willing to do pictures that would get people talking. So, finally, FHM gave in to her insistence? We do 12 covers a year and have shot big celebrities including Katrina Kaif, Deepika Padukone, Neha Dhupia and Vidya Balan. They have all been happy and attended our parties. It’s important to understand that yes, there has been a certain amount of interest in Veena in India and to some extent she does personify the new woman and has not been scared to speak her mind. But it would be wrong to imply that we were dying to shoot her. For us, it was at par with any other cover. Have you done any such nude covers in the past? Some celebrities have posed topless for the cover. They include Yana Gupta and Mallika Sherawat. Vidya Balan has been shot in a saree with a bare back. And all these have been enormously acclaimed. What kind of negotiations and details were discussed with Veena as a story and the cover? Negotiations happen only when the other person is not happy for some reason. In this case, she exchanged emails saying she was extremely happy about shooting for us, so the question of negotiations did not arise. She was happy to go to a level to be on the cover and from November 19 onwards the concept was discussed with her. The shoot took place on November 23 in Mumbai in the presence of the make-up artist, the stylist and the production team. Throughout the shoot she kept insisting she loved the concept.

What was the real deal about the use of ISI initials on her arm? When the make-up artist made the ISI initials on her arm and made the I’s look like exclamation marks, Veena pitched in with her suggestion. She wanted the initials to be made bolder so that they could be seen on the camera. She was actively taking part in everything. And was she okay to doing nude photos? Yes, when we became clear about the concept, she had no hesitation. If she had any apprehensions or was unhappy, she could have said so and told us not to go ahead with printing the pictures when we emailed those to her after the shoot. She was ecstatic about them and wrote back saying she was “looking forward” to the issue. Even when I did an interview with her on November 27, she said she was thrilled for being considered for a cover. So what happened after that? The magazine came out on December 2 and from then till December 5 she gave a series of interviews with contradictory statements. Initially, she said she had not done the shoot and the pictures were morphed and later said she did the shoot but it wasn’t that bold. In the interview, she has spoken her mind on issues including burqas, match fixing in cricket and nightlife in Lahore. But imagine after the controversy, she did a total turnaround saying she was unaware that ISI stood for Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence and thought it was the name of companies in India. This is ridiculous. She can’t be so ignorant. She says something, denies it and continues doing so and remains in the news for 6-7 days. And finally, sends us a legal notice (for defaming her reputation).

You think Veena did it all for publicity? I begin to suspect the motive of it because she has timed it all making the right contradictory noises. She loves the media, so let her give at least one evid-ence to them that proves she was either coerced into doing the shoot or was at anytime unhappy about it. Did you at any point of time see what was coming? No, how can you expect any such thing when a person is all along talking about “looking forward” to seeing the pictures in print. She even kept asking if we would throw a party to launch the cover. How are you treating this controversy? Doesn’t it obviously benefit the magazine because notoriety gets more readers? I don’t think it benefits the magazine because it has created a bigger controversy in Pakistan and we do not sell there or in other territories. Our reader base is in India. And if people attribute any commercial motive to it, then it is completely baseless. We do not want such fame. It’s not good for the magazine. And that’s why we are pursuing the legal matter seriously. What is the prime motivator for doing cover stories that carry the label of sensationalism? It has nothing to do with sensationalism. We have done covers in the past that have been accepted very well. The readers we look at are intelligent men. They are grown up, talk and understand the kind of women with strong minds that we portray. They don’t see covers like these as that of a “naked woman”. Unfortunately, people are talking only about a certain thing now. Have you been in conversation with Veena since the controversy started? She called up on December 3 to say that there was a controversy in Pakistan about the cover and she was having problems. I assured her that we were with her, but since the magazine was out there was nothing that could be done in that regard. She sent us a legal notice the next day.


Aamir Khan names son after Maulana Azad Bollywood couple Aamir Khan and Kiran Rao have named their newborn son Azad Rao Khan after scholar and freedom fighter Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Aamir’s “great grand uncle”. “Hey guys, most excited to share with y’all that we have finally chosen a name for our baby boy...Azad. Azad Rao Khan. I left the final choice to Kiran, and she has named him after my great grand uncle Maulana Azad, the great freedom fighter, whom the family is most proud of,” Aamir revealed on social networking site Facebook. “Azad means free or liberated. We want to thank everyone for their warm wishes and blessings, and needless to say we are absolutely overjoyed and feel most blessed. Much love,” added the actorproducer. Aamir-Kiran’s son was born Dec 1 through IVF to a surrogate mother at a private clinic in Mumbai. The couple resorted to IVF due to medical complications.

This is Kiran’s first baby, but Aamir has a son, Junaid, and a daughter, Ira, from his first wife Reena. Aamir ended his 15-year-old marriage with Reena in 2002, and during the shooting of Ashutosh Gowariker’s “Lagaan”, he and the film’s assistant director Kiran ended up together. They tied the knot in 2005. In 2009, Kiran got pregnant, but she had a miscarriage. However, the duo now feel “blessed” with the newborn.

‘DAM 999’ director seeks police protection Sohan Roy, director of controversial film “ DAM 999” which was barred from screening in Tamil Nadu, has asked for police protection to attend the hearing against the ban to be held in Chennai Dec 12, a release said here Saturday. “I would be able to attend the hearing of the case, if and only if the government of Tamil Nadu provides me with police protection as I fear threats against my life from members of various political parties in Tamil Nadu,” said Roy. The film, released last month, was banned in Tamil Nadu for supposedly

taking a pro-Kerala stand in the Mullaperiyar dam row. Roy had approached the apex court to lift the ban. “The hearing of the plea to lift the ban on the movie has been rescheduled for Dec 12. The hearing is scheduled to be held in the Office of Principal Secretary Home, Prohibition and Excise Department, Chennai,” said Roy. “Dam 999”, a $10 million film, deals with the miseries of people following the collapse of a dam. Its critics say it tries to portray the dispute over the century-old Mullaperiyar Dam, which is situated in Kerala and supplies

Vidya Balan hikes her fee to Rs 7 crore! Mumbai: After tasting success with Milan Luthria’s ‘The Dirty Picture’, Vidya Balan is acting pricey. Buzz has it that the thinking man’s muse, Vidya, has hiked her price and filmmakers have to shell a whopping sum of Rs 7 crore to sign the actress. Apparently, ‘The Dirty Picture’ has catapulted Vidya in the league of Bollywood A-list actresses, which includes Kareena Kapoor, Katrina Kaif and Priyanka Chopra. Even Vidya has made it loud and clear that she will not sign any project until she is paid her due.



South Asia Tribune I Thursday 15 December 2011

Heading towards World War III?

With nuclear missile technology what it is today, the next war could very well be the world’s last. As it becomes clear that the Pentagon/ NATO is intrinsically linked to the AIPAC/State Department axis, as it becomes clear that the USA and its allies have long since ceased to follow the law, it would appear that we are sliding towards disaster. The tell-tale signs are all there. The former status quo which was achieved by a Soviet Bloc able and willing to counteract the more aggressive and belligerent tendencies of those who had been imperialist powers and their allies, gaining riches as they held populations down under the yoke of colonialism, stealing their riches and committing massacres as they civilised the planet with the Bible and the Bullet approach to international relations, disappeared at the beginning of the 1990s. For once and for all, let us get the story straight. The Soviet Union did not “collapse”, it dissolved voluntarily, as catered for in its constitution because a new political, economic and social cycle had begun with different players and vectors and those in Government considered that the old model had succeeded in achieving what it set out to do, namely bring medieval societies into the front line of social, industrial and economic development, providing excellent public services free of charge. However, a major consequence of this dissolution was the vacuum in international relations caused by the absence of the counterweight against the sinister plans of Washington and her NATO allies, which are only too plain to see. Before the decade was up, in 1998, we had Afghanistan’s

Mullah Omar being approached with a bribe to set up a pipeline across his country from Central Asia to Pakistan and the game was then on. The flashpoint was 9/11 and with the Bush regime in place, the game swung into action. Afghanistan was invaded in retaliation, although the link between Kabul and Kandahar and the Twin Towers has yet to be proven, and we now discover that Afghanistan itself is rich in mineral resources, apart from presenting a strategic bridge deep into Central Asia together with a billionaire drugs trade in heroin production and smuggling. World War Three is not about containing hegemonic ideals, it is not about defeating ideology. This time around, it is based upon greed, the desire to control the world’s resources and it therefore comes as no surprise that all the pieces of the puzzle are centred around the epicentre of these resources - the Middle East and Central Asia, removing those powers who would constitute a block. It began after Kosovo, a test of forces, an arm-wrestling contest to see which side would blink first while under the table empty promises were traded, as

they have been all along. It continued with Iraq, invaded illegally and virtually destroyed in the most blatant disregard for international law the world had seen, before Libya confirmed what is going on. It has nothing to do with freedom and democracy, if so then why did NATO refuse to allow the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya to hold a democratic election for the people to choose between the NATO/NTC Terrorists and the Jamahiriya Government? It has already begun in Iran, with cyber terrorist attacks against Iran’s nuclear power capacity, with violations of Iran’s airspace and with terrorist attacks inside the country aimed at Revolutionary Guard Officers, military centres and equipment. And for those who doubt who lies at the end of the railway line, the deployment of a part of the Missile Defence System in Turkey will cover a large swathe of the Russian Federation. Remember Washington’s hysteria during the Cuban Missile Crisis? What the West (USA/NATO) is capable of, we have seen very clearly. What we have not seen yet is what exists to counter this Axis of Evil.

Pakistan beat Bangladesh in first Test A double for those not here Pakistan batsman Younis Khan acknowledges the cheers from the dressing room after reaching his double century during the third day of the first Test against Bangladesh at the Zohur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong Younis Khan dedicated his third double hundred to his family that had to deal with a number of deaths in the last few years. “I’m very happy with the double century. Credit goes to the coaches and management of the Pakistan team. I dedicate this ton to my family. I want to contribute something for my family and country, especially when my country needs me,” said a delighted Younis while speaking at the press conference after making the unbeaten 200 at the Zohur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium yesterday. When was asked whether the number of deaths in his family made him a tougher batsman, Younis said: “It’s not possible that this kind of thing makes you stronger. If you lose your family

member how can you become stronger? But as a Muslim I must deal with that. You know Allah gives us everything and if he wants He can take it back.” “I just play for my country and especially for my family. If I continue performing like this and coming to every single press conference, you people will ask about my family, about my brother and sister who have passed away. This is good for me, every time I realise that they are not with me. But if I do anything good, I’ll do it for myself and for them as well,” he continued. The seasoned right-hander resumed the day four runs short of his hundred and said that his first target was to complete the ton. The double hundred was not in his mind at the start of the day. “I was planning for the first four runs this morning. I was just lucky to have it maybe in the second or third ball. And then suddenly we changed the plan with the captain and the coach. They told me to go for the two-hundred and it changed my mind,” he admitted. Younis had a record of missing double

Washington’s position, smiling to the face yet wielding a knife behind the back, runs counter to the goodwill demonstrated by the Russian Federation when the Cold War ended and when political discourse centred on what the two former foes had in common, rather than differences. How is it possible to have anything in common with a back-stabbing, warmongering murderous group of criminals whose intention is to control the world’s resources and whose modus operandi is closer to skulduggery through Colour Revolutions than it is to the norms of diplomacy? The recent intrusion into the internal affairs of the Russian Federation, funding activists to create problems after the recent Parliamentary election (DUMA) and the insolence and arrogance demonstrated by Washington’s Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, leave it perfectly clear as to the measure of the monster we are facing. There are, nevertheless, two powerful vectors working against Washington, vectors it has not yet begun to understand. One is the military might of the CSTO and SCO Organizations,

Continued from page 32 >>

hundreds thrice in his career for just a few runs but he was sure about his third one once he completed the hundred. “I think I missed a double hundred against India in Pakistan, once on 194 and another time on 197 but this time I was sure that I will get my 200,” he said. It was Younis’s 19th Test hundred in 72 Test matches and he is now five centuries shy of achieving the feat of Javed Miandad, but the 34-year-old was not thinking about this record. Rather he was looking to play 100 Test matches for Pakistan. “It’s a dream to play 100 Test matches. If I am lucky enough to play 100 Test match may be I will be close to him or may be past him. My main target is to play 100 test matches,” Younis said about his future target. When asked about Bangladesh’s pathetic batting in the series, Younis suggested that the Tigers need more international cricket, especially more Test matches to improve their performance.

covering the Russian Federation, the PR China and Central Asia, essentially defensive organizations, the former of which Iran could join as the first non-(ex) Soviet member. The other is the collective willpower of humankind which is very much more in tandem with Moscow these days than with Washington, more and more exposed and isolated as a hypocrite and a pariah of the international community, associated more with torture and sodomy than with freedom and democracy, synonymous with massacres and intrusion, arrogance, belligerence, blackmail and bullying rather than with diplomacy, discussion and dialogue. Moscow stands for the rule of law, Washington stands for breaching it. Moscow stands for world peace and brotherly relations, Washington stands for hegemony at any cost. It is imperative that the members of the world community stand together, close ranks and appeal to those inside the United States of America who stand for collective human values to make sure their leadership, apparently as near to a sinister clique of Satanists and Devil worshippers as it gets, do not manage to bring Armageddon down to Earth. In the forthcoming election in the USA, the people have a choice to vet out those who pose a direct threat to the future of humankind by bringing foreign policy and clear commitments towards this, into the political agenda. One thing is certain: Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are not fit to serve. They are a danger to their country, they are a danger to humankind.

Shahid Afridi

Majeed, who along with Pakistan players Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir were sent to jail for spot-fixing against England, had attempted to lure Afridi into his web. “Majeed wanted to talk to me but I had heard rumours about this guy, I didn’t talk to him,” Afridi said yesterday upon arriving to Melbourne for the Big Bash. “My God has given me everything, my father worked hard so I could have everything, why would I need to do these things?” Afridi said he never suspected that his former teammates could be involved in fixing and added that nobody has ever asked him to fix results. In August last year, the now defunct News Of The World newspaper published an article and video of Majeed accepting money from an undercover journalist to manipulate the game by having his clients Amir and Asif bowl deliberate no-balls in a Test match at Lord’s, under the watchful eye of Test captain Butt.

Thieves leave Harbhajan stumped police for help. Incidentally, Harbhajan is himself employed as a DSP with Punjab Police. He was driving to New Delhi from Chandigarh with his friend when the incident happened. The cricketer told the police that he, along with his friend, had gone inside the cafe for just over five minutes and when they returned to their SUV the vehicle had been broken into and the bag was missing. Harbhajan was scheduled to fly to Dubai yesterday, but was unable to do so after he lost his passport and other documents. A police official investigating the theft said that Harbhajan had appealed for the return of his passport and other documents which were of no use to anyone. He has already frozen about 10 credit and ATM cards that were stolen with the bag.


South Asia Tribune I Thursday 15 December 2011


Ten things you didn’t know about Dev Anand Rubina A Khan I’ve had the rare honor of knowing a legend like Dev Anand personally over the years, way before I was a journalist. I have spent many an early evening with him at his office on Pali Hill, listening to the glorious history of his life, first hand. As I would walk up the hardwood stairs leading up into his office, he would say, “Come in Rubina! The door is open” even before I’d reached the door. It was surreal sometimes that Dev Saab knew my name and addressed me by it! My grandparents, huge fans of Dev Saab, were suitably impressed that the great actor gave me an audience, not once, but on many occasions. My grandfather would actually think I was pulling a bluff when I’d say I was going across to meet him. Had there been Twitter and Facebook back then, I would have been spared some of the sardonic wit of my grandfather, with my pictures and status updates doing all the talking. He would often wonder, aloud mostly, what in the world Dev Saab would want to meet me for. It was simple – Dev Saab’s desire to feel and see the world through younger people and interact with the real world outside was insatiable. He was not one of those stars who liked to live in their own world, without an inkling of outside realities. He would ask questions

about the Internet, the way we communicate, write, think, what we read… everything about a

world, aside from a very talented actor and super star. I learnt a lot from him. RIP Dev Saab!

once he’d met and interacted with them. 3. Birthday flowers along with a

generation he didn’t belong to biologically, but in spirit, was younger than most teenagers at the time. His optimism, enthusiasm and zest for life was awe-inspiring, and I remember leaving his office feeling invincible every single time. Also, the fact that I’d just had a conversation over popcorn and sookha bhel with one of the greatest actors in Indian cinema left an indelible high on my soul each time. Our ages never came in the way of our life exchanges, if anything, it was comforting to think of him as a friend, even though he was closer to my grandparents age than mine. I met Dev Saab as a star, completely struck by his charm and polite demeanour and got to know him as a person subsequently – one that I would like to describe as one of the most honest and clean souls in the

Some things I observed about him, which are not known to many, are listed here:

personal note was protocol for his friends and family. 4. He liked soft lights in his office,

1. He picked up his office phone himself and greeted you with the most charming Hello. 2. He never forgot anyone’s name

which was a penthouse on 42, Pali Hill, Bandra, situated above his dubbing studio, Anand Recording Studio.

Zardari to leave hospital

Continued from page 09 >> seriously ill or about to step down. “All tests are clear and the doctors plan to discharge the president from hospital tomorrow to take rest at home and continue the heart medication,” presidency spokesman Farhatullah Babar said to reporters. “The president is recovering and the doctors have advised him complete rest,” Babar said. Zardari would leave hospital for his house in Dubai, but Babar declined to comment on when the 56-yearold head of state would return to Pakistan. Nor has any definitive diagnosis of Zardari’s condition been made public. Last week, a senior member of his Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) said to reporters that Zardari had probably suffered a transient ischemic attack, or ministroke. His Doctor Khaldoun Taha issued a statement from the American Hospital saying that Zardari was admitted on December 6 with “left arm numbness and twitching” after losing consciousness for a few seconds. Zardari has a long-standing heart condition, but was admitted “fully awake and conscious with stable vital signs”, Taha said.

Cardiac and neurological tests were conducted, including a brain scan, but “all investigations were within normal range”, the doctor said. He was now advised to rest at home and continue “regular heart medications”. Zardari is technically a figurehead president, whose loyal prime minister is responsible for the day-to-day running of the government. The military largely controls foreign and security policy, such as the latest crisis in US relations caused by NATO’s killing of 24 Pakistani soldiers in crossborder strikes on November 26. Zardari has been under considerable pressure over alleged attempts by a close aide to seek US help to limit the power of Pakistan’s military. The aide, Pakistan’s ambassador to Washington Husain Haqqani, was forced to resign over the allegations and Zardari’s flight to Dubai sparked a flood of speculation that he too may step down. The memo sent in May to the then US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, sought help to prevent a feared coup following the secret US raid that killed Osama bin Laden on May 2. Zardari is recognised as an astute politician who has survived numerous crises and calls for his resignation since he took office in 2008. If he remains in office until 2013 and elections are held it would be the first democratic transition of power in Pakistan, where the military has staged four coups and ruled for more than half the country’s existence. Largely unpopular, he became president only as cochairman of the PPP after his wife, former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, was assassinated.

Dev Anand never forgot someone once he had met and interacted

with them - AFP 5. The penthouse was covered from floor to ceiling with a vast collection of books and scripts with just enough space for his couch, which incidentally was his favourite spot in the room. 6. Soup was his preferred dinner as he was a very spartan eater and his favourite snack was a bowl of unsalted and unbuttered popcorn. 7. He never gossiped about people – always analysed things and deconstructed them, never degrading anyone in the process. 8. He wasn’t a big spender. 9. He always invited people to his parties personally over the telephone, which was then followed by a formal invite. 10. He was an extremely well read and articulate man and could converse on any subject with as much ease as films and filmmaking.

Pakistan-US relationship Continued from page 09 >> coup, he said: “Rumours are rumours.” The Pakistani prime minister also denied a Pakistani Taliban claim that it was engaged in peace talks with his government. But he added: “Whosoever surrenders and denounces violence, they are acceptable to us.” He also denied rumours President Asif Ali Zardari had suffered a stroke and the army was trying to oust him. Mr Gilani said Mr Zardari was making a rapid improvement in hospital in Dubai, but would need two weeks’ rest before returning home.

Credibility gap The air strikes on 26 November marked a low point in relations between Washington and Islamabad, which have long been strained by the US-led military campaign against militants in Afghanistan. In a wide-ranging interview with the BBC, Mr Gilani said Pakistan and the US needed to trust each other better. “Yes there is a credibility gap, we are working together and still we don’t trust each other,” Mr Gilani said. “I think we have to improve our relationship so that... we should have more confidence in each other.”

Parties agree on mixed polling Political parties today agreed, in principle, to adopt mixed election system — a combine of first-past-the-post and proportional representation — as practiced during the Constituent Assembly elections held in 2008. A meeting of the Problem Resolution SubCommittee of Constitutional Committee held at Singha Durbar today also agreed upon universal adult franchise which is 18 years of age, ruling out Unified CPN-Maoist call for granting suffrage to 16-year-old citizens. The parties are yet to settle the issue of percentage to be allotted under the first-pastthe-post and proportional representation systems, although the taskforce formed under the sub-committee has already recommended 50 per cent each for both systems. “We are discussing whether it should be 60/40

or 50/50 for the first-past-the-post and proportional representation. A decision will be taken after further discussions,” said Nepali Congress Parliamentary Party leader Ramchandra Paudel. Majority of sub-committee members were for allotting more percentage for the first-pastthe-post system than that for proportional system. “The sub-committee today decided to adopt mixed election system by guaranteeing inclusive representation. Other issues, including the nature and modality of proportional representation, will be discussed later,” said Maoist lawmaker Khimlal Devkota. The leaders today failed to arrive at consensus on forms of governance.



South Asia Tribune I Thursday 15 December 2011

The Swiss CIA - Nuke Connection

Swiss nuclear engineers admit involvement in global nuclear weapons trade A.Q. Khan link to Israeli smuggler: Designed to speed up Iranian nuclear development to justify U.S./Israeli attack on Iran. Friedrich Tinner and his sons investigated over several years on suspicion of doing business with Pakistani nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan, who supplied Iran, Libya and North Korea. GENEVA -- Three Swiss engineers – a father and his two sons – have been charged with breaking arms export laws by aiding a Pakistaniled nuclear smuggling ring that supplied Libya’s atomic weapons program, prosecutors said Tuesday. In a statement released on Tuesday, prosecutors said they had agreed on a plea bargain with the defendants that covers sentencing, costs and the forfeiting of assets. Breaking Swiss laws banning the export of nuclear material normally carries a penalty of up to ten years imprisonment. The formal indictment follows almost a decade of politically charged investigation by Swiss authorities that lifted the veil on one of the most successful international intelligence operations to stop nuclear proliferation to rogue states. Urs Tinner, 46, his brother Marco,

43, and their father Friedrich, 74, are accused of providing technology and know-how to the nuclear smuggling network of Abdul Qadeer Khan,

the architect of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program, the federal prosecutors office in Bern said in a

A.Q. Khan link to Israeli smuggler: Designed to speed up Iranian nuclear development to justify U.S./Israeli attack on Iran.

statement. The A.Q. Khan smuggling ring sold key equipment such as centrifuges

for uranium enrichment to various countries until its operations were disrupted in 2003. Prosecutors said the Tinners have agreed to ask for a shortened legal procedure, under which defendants admit the basic charges against them but face no more than five years in prison. If judges at the Federal Criminal Tribunal agree, politically sensitive aspects of the investigation likely won’t be publicly aired as further evidence gathering – and therefore cross-examination – would be excluded in court. An unidentified fourth defendant who prosecutors said played a subordinate role will be charged in a separate legal proceeding with breaking Swiss arms exports laws. Prosecutors said in their statement the question of the Tinners’ cooperation with the CIA remains unresolved, because the Swiss government has denied a request to open a criminal investigation into the issue. Lawyers representing the Tinners didn’t immediately respond to emails and telephone calls requesting comment. Urs Tinner, who was released on bail in December 2008 after almost five years in investigative detention,

claimed in a 2009 interview with Swiss TV station SF1 that he had tipped off U.S. intelligence about a delivery of centrifuge parts meant for Libya’s nuclear weapons program. The shipment was seized at the Italian port of Taranto in 2003, forcing Libya to admit and eventually renounce its efforts to acquire nuclear weapons. The CIA has declined to comment on the Tinner case. But the agency has said in the past that “the disruption of the A.Q. Khan network was a genuine intelligence success, one in which the CIA played a key role.” A book by U.S. investigative reporters Douglas Frantz and Catherine Collins backs Urs Tinner’s claim that he was recruited by the CIA as early as 2000. In 2007, the Swiss government ordered evidence in the case destroyed, citing national security concerns. The decision prompted outrage in Switzerland and accusations that the government had acted under pressure from Washington. Prosecutors said they were able to recover copies of some of the files, but others – including all electronic records – have been “definitively lost.”

How do we combat Riba? “There are two forms of Riba that must be recognised. One is lending of money on interest. And the other would be a transaction based on deception which delivers a gain or a profit to which,... one is not justly entitled. That is the elegant way of describing a rip-off. The greatest rip off that has ever occurred in human history is the rip off of the monetary system that we now have, of bogus and fraudulent and utterly Haram paper currencies and the electronic currency which is now taking over from the paper currency. What do you do? Answer, when you have abandoned the Qur’an and Sunnah, make Tauba and return to the Qur’an and Sunnah. Meaning return to the Gold Dinar and the Silver Dirham. Do you know that Israel tomorrow is going to mint... In fact I think they have already minted the Gold Dinar and Silver Dirham. And Israel would be using that. Why would Israel have to do it? If you study ‘Ilmu Akhir-Az-Zaman

(Islamic Eschatology) you can answer these questions. ...Every Jew knows, only that money can be used in the temple which does not have any human

Shiekh Imran Hossein

Tribune Comment figure on it. The Roman coins at the time of Nabi Isa (A) were Haram to be used in the Temple; because they had graven images... And so the Temple (at that time) used to mint its own coins, gold and silver. And the people came to the temple if they wanted an animal to be Zabiha (sacrificed); you got to pay for it.

And no one could sacrifice the animal except the Rabbi. Therefore the temple got some revenue. So you had to pay the temple in this money which was Halal (gold and silver coins). So when Dajjal stands up in Jerusalem tomorrow, and he has not brought back that Halal money, no Jew will accept him as the Messiah. This is why I believe that Israel has already minted her gold and silver coins so that these can be introduced before Dajjal makes his appearance. So that’s the first thing you can do; bring back the Gold Dinar and the Silver Dirham as money. Can you do it in downtown KLCC? I’m not stopping you. If you want to try, go ahead. It is my opinion based on my study on Surah Kahf of the Qur’an that the only place you can bring back the Gold Dinar and Silver Dirham as money in the market, is in the remote country side. And in those micro markets we will not accept your paper money.

In so far as money lent on interest is concerned; make Tauba if you have borrowed money on interest to buy your car, or to buy your house. Make Tauba because if you die with that Riba, there is no way you can enter into Jannah. Why? Because the curse of the Prophet (SA) is upon you. Get out of that Riba. Sell the car. Sell the house. Pay the bank. When you try do to that... you will know what kind of snake there is in the bank. Make Tauba and never again borrow or lend money on interest.” Islam, Murabaha and Fixed Deposits Islam has declared war on the moneylender who demands interest. It did so in the very last divine revelation (al-Baqarah, 2:279) to come down in the Holy Qur’an. Here is that last revelation: “O ye who believe! Fear Allah, and give up what remains of your demand for usury (i.e., the interest due on a fixed deposit, or on any other loan on interest), if ye are

indeed believers.” If ye do it not (i.e. if you persist in your claim or demand for the interest due to you), then take notice of (a declaration of) war from Allah and His Messenger: but if ye turn away (from such claim or demand), then you are entitled to the return of your capital sum (placed in the fixed deposit or otherwise lent); do not enter into (such) unjust transactions, nor allow yourselves to be subjected to such. If (you forgo the interest due to you and then find) the debtor in a difficulty (in respect of returning the capital sum that was lent to him on interest), grant him time till it is easy for him to repay. But if ye remit it by way of charity, that is best for you if ye only knew. And (in this matter in particular, i.e., lending money on interest) fear the Day when ye shall be brought back to Allah. Then shall every soul be paid what it earned, and none shall be dealt with unjustly.’ (Qur’an, al-Baqarah, 2:278-281)

South Asia Tribune I Thursday 15 December 2011



The Swiss CIA - Nuke Connection Wayne Madsen - Plame leak damaged a major CIA investigation linking senior Bush administration officials to WMD proliferation. U.S. intelligence insiders have pointed out that the White House is using “Rovegate” and “Who in the White House said what to whom?” as a smoke screen to divert attention away from the actual counter-proliferation work Mrs. Wilson and her Brewster Jennings & Associates team were engaged in. The arrival of Timothy Flanigan as Patrick J. Fitzgerald’s boss is likely related to the mountains of evidence Fitzgerald has now collected to indict senior White House officials, particularly, Lewis “Scooter” Libby, for criminal conspiracy in exposing a sensitive U.S. intelligence operation that was targeting some of their closest political and business associates. Libby, it will be recalled, was the attorney for fugitive global smuggler and Clinton-pardoned multi-billionaire Marc Rich, someone who has close ties to the Sharon government and Israeli intelligence. Lewis “Scooter” Libby It is no coincidence that FBI translator-turned-whistleblower Sibel Edmonds uncovered nuclear material and narcotics trafficking involving Turkish intermediaries with ties to Israel at the same time Brewster Jennings and the CIA’s Counter Proliferation Division was hot on the trail of nuclear proliferators tied to the Israeli government of Ariel Sharon and the A. Q. Khan network of Pakistan. Feith and Libby: Ultimate targets of CIA counter-proliferation team? An arrest in early 2004 points to the links between Israeli agents and Islamist groups bent on producing weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons. According to intelligence sources, this was a network that was a major focus of Edmonds’ and Valerie Plame Wilson’s work. The South Africa Connection In January 2004, FBI and U.S. Customs agents arrested Asher Karni, a Hungarian-born Orthodox Jew, Israeli citizen, and resident of Cape Town, South Africa, at Denver International Airport for illegally exporting 200 electrically triggered spark gaps -- devices that send synchronized electrical pulses and are used in nuclear weapons -- to Pakistan via a New Jersey export company named Giza Technologies of Secaucus (owned by Zeki Bilmen -- whom the FBI has identified as a Turkish Jew who was already under surveillance by the CIA team). The cargo manifest listed the equipment as electronics gear [lithotripters used to break up kidney stones] for the Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto, South Africa. However, the initial shipment of 66 triggers did not

Khan network of prohibited nuclear material to countries like Iran, thereby justifying a pre-emptive U.S. (and Israeli-supported) attack on Iranian nuclear installations. It was this network that attracted the attention of the CIA and when it realized some of the “men behind the curtain” were in the Pentagon, they had their smoking gun evidence of double dealing by Bush administration officials and their compatriots in the Sharon government. Although AJKMC, the Pakistani company, said it merely printed copies of the Koran, U.S. investigators pointed out the initials also stand for the All Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference, an Islamist opposition party that supports groups allied to Al Qaeda in Kashmir. Some anti-terrorism experts believe that Osama Bin laden may be hiding in Kashmir.

go to the hospital but to Karni’s TopCape Technology of Cape Town, South Africa. Top Cape, in turn, sent the triggers to AJKMC Lithography Aid Society in Islamabad, Pakistan through Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Top-Cape “officially” traded in military and aviation electronics equipment. It was during the summer of 2003, when Valerie Plame and her team -- at a critical stage of their investigation of the A. Q. Khan network -- were outed by White House officials Karl Rove, Scooter Libby, and at least one other individual (possibly Elliot Abrams), that Karni received an e-mail from his long time Pakistani associate Humayun Khan (no relation to A. Q. Khan) asking for 200 triggers to be sent to his Islamabad-based company, Pakland PME.

office, U.S. and South African intelligence were already closely monitoring the transaction and the key players involved. It is also noteworthy that Karni previously worked for a Cape Town electronic import firm called Eagle Technology but was fired after it was discovered by his boss that he was making secret deals to ship nuclear components to Israel, India, Pakistan, and possibly, North Korea. A.Q. Khan link to Israeli smuggler: Designed to speed up Iranian nuclear development to justify U.S./Israeli attack on Iran. Karni had been in South Africa for 20 years after arriving from Israel. His time in South Africa coincided with the apartheid government’s rapid development of its own (since disestablished) nuclear weapons program and very

Swiss Connection A Malaysian link was also discovered in Karni’s network, which is significant in light of developments involving Brewster Jennings’ exposure by Rove and Libby. A Swiss citizen named Urs Tinner was arrested by German authorities in October 2004. Tinner was accused of supervising the manfucture of centrifuge components in Malaysia. The United States demanded Tinner’s release, which led to speculation that Tinner was a U.S. intelligence asset who

After initially attempting to purchase the devices from a sale agent in France -- an attempt that proved unsuccessful when the French agent demanded a U.S. export license for the triggers because the end destination was Pakistan -- Karni managed to obtain the triggers from Perkin-Elmer’s manufacturing plant in Massachusetts through Giza Technologies. Karni’s e-mail traffic to and from Khan was being intercepted by a covert agent in South Africa and being forwarded to U.S. authorities.

close military ties between South Africa and Israel. As for Humayun Khan, the Los Angeles Times discovered that the Pakistani “businessman” had been involved in nuclear weapons smuggling since 1975 when he was engaged in business with a former Nazi named Alfred Hempel, who was the kingpin in a global nuclear smuggling network active throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Hempel died in 1989. In an interview aired by PBS’s Frontline on July 26, Humayun Khan said he never realized Karni was Jewish, stating that the Israeli masqueraded as a Muslim. However, what is clear is that an Israeli-based network, involving key neo-conservatives in the Bush adminstration, were attempting to speed up the clock on the delivery by the A. Q.

penetrated the A.Q. Khan network and may have been part of the Brewster Jennings operation. Tinners Swiss Passport. The Swiss Authority destroyed Documents proofing the link between the CIA and Tinner According to FBI insiders, wiretaps of phone calls in the Giza-Bilmen-Karni smuggling ring yielded the name Douglas Feith, the Undersecretary of Defense for Plans and Policy and one of Donald Rumsfeld’s chief advisers, and Turkish MIT intelligence members of the American Turkish Council, a lobbying group which represents some of America’s largest defense and private military contractors. In May 2005, Der Spiegel magazine reported that Tinner was, in fact, a CIA agent. Germany announced that Tinner would be extradited to Switzerland,

It is not known whether the covert agent was a Brewster Jennings’ asset but it would not be surprising considering Karni was an important link in the A. Q. Khan nuclear smuggling network. By the time the initital shipment of 66 triggers were sent to Karni’s Cape Town

something that Der Spiegel reported was the result of a “deal” cut between Germany and the United States. A February 2004 Malaysian police report named both Urs Tinner and his father, Friedrich, as principal engineers in overseeing the machining of uraniumenrichment centrifuge components at a Scomi Precision Engineering (Scope) plant in Malaysia. Friedrich Tinner, owner of a Swiss firm named PhiTec AG, was named in an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report as one of many Swiss individuals involved in shipping nuclear components to Libya and Iran. Swiss authorities had previously cleared Friedrich Tinner of charges that he shipped centrifuges to Iraq. Friedrich Tinner’s other son, Marco, owned a firm called Traco that was also reported as a supplier of equipment and services to Scomi. If the Tinners were working for the CIA, one subject of interest for them was a Sri Lankan businessman named B.S.A. Tahir who arrived in Malaysia via Dubai in the mid-1990s. In a February 2004 speech at the National Defense University in Washington, DC, President Bush stated that Tahir was A. Q. Khan’s “chief financial officer and money launderer.” Investigators discovered that Tahir made several trips to Germany and Turkey, the native country of Karni’s spark trigger supplier Bilmen, to meet with suppliers for the Khan network. Israeli nuclear arms smuggler Asher Karni: His links to Bush administration and Israeli officials may have been the real reason Valerie Plame and Brewster Jennings & Associates operations were exposed. A Federal Judge in Denver said Karni could be released on $75,000 bail but the government appealed the decision to Judge Thomas Hogan of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, DC. Hogan is the judge who ordered New York Times reporter Judith Miller to prison for her failure to testify before the Grand Jury. The federal prosecutors’ appeal failed and Karni was released on bail into the custody of Rabbi Herzel Kranz. Karni was ordered to wear an electronic monitor and was ordered to remain at the Hebrew Sheltering Home in Maryland. “ I think this is saying the REAL REASON Plame was leaked was to stop the investigation of US and Israeli complicity in selling nuclear detonators to Iran, then using that fact they had them, would be another false reason to attak Iran! Like the false WMDs of Iraq. The recent Central Asian news also points out that US Special operations are supporting Islamic extremists in order to overthrow regimes that do not wish to cooperate with US corporation oil dealings. Wayne Madsen is a Washington, D.C.-based investigative journalist, author, and syndicated columnist. His articles have appeared in The Village Voice and Wired.

Special Feature


South Asia Tribune I Thursday 15 December 2011

Christmas In South Asia

There is a considerable Christian population residing in the South Asian region. The community awaits and enjoys the annual festival with great enthusiasm and vigor. The celebrations also bear similarity with the western way of celebrating the festive occasion. Elaborate decorations, Christmas carols and feasting is seen in the

They celebrate the festival with much fun and enthusiasm every year.

whole of South Asia and it is also common to see people dressed like Santa Claus on Christmas, especially in India, as the country has witnessed an impact of European traditions during the colonial era. Read on to know more about Christmas celebrations and traditions in South Asia.

for them. Christian families visit the local churches on the night of 24th December, to attend the midnight mass. The churches are decorated with Poinsettia flowers and candles on this festive occasion. After the mass is over, celebrators enjoy a lavish feast, consisting of varied Christmas delicacies. Gifts are also exchanged among celebrators. Being a multi-linguistic and multicultural nation, ‘Merry Christmas’ in India is wished in many native languages.

Christmas Celebrations In South Asia A large numbers of Christians reside in the South Asian countries, including India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

India In India, Christians account for nearly 2.3% of the population. Indian Christians, especially the Catholics, attach immense importance to Midnight mass on Christmas Eve. The service has great religious significance

Pakistan In the South Asian country of Pakistan, the small population of Christians celebrates the festival with great enthusiasm. A big procession takes place in Lahore. The procession begins from St. Anthony’s Church and ends at the Cathedral. The services take hours to reach the Cathedral. Spiritual seminars are held before and

during the Advent. These seminars are intended to help people in preparing for ‘Bara Din’ (meaning the ‘Big Day’). Christmas carols are sung in predominantly Christian areas during the last week of Advent. Singers go door-to-door and the families give them something in return. Usually, the money collected from these carols is donated to charities. Bishop Theotonius (2nd L) of Kakrail church conducts

a prayer for the Bangladeshi Christian community Bangladesh In Bangladesh, another prominent South Asian country, Christmas is identified as ‘Bara Din’ (Bangladesh was earlier a part of Pakistan). The country has its own unique way of celebrating the festival. The St. Mary’s Church in the state capital, Dhaka, hosts religious gathering, which continues for days. Other churches invite the community to join

them in decorating Christmas tree and singing carols. Some churches also organize a feast after the services. The festival is largely associated with giving and receiving the love of god. Most families spend the Christmas Eve together, even as Christmas songs are played in the background. The festival is usually a busy day for entire Christian community in Bangladesh

South Asia Tribune I Thursday 15 December 2011


King Khan dethroned


Split decision loss to Peterson Calls decision ‘disgusting’ after Peterson defeat ready for rematch Briton suffers second loss just two days after his 25th birthday

Amir Khan lost his WBA and IBF light-welterweight titles in a gruelling and hard-fought battle with Lamont Peterson in Washington DC. • Khan loses title Peterson in controversial split decision • Khan docked two points by referee for ‘pushing’ • Judges score fight 113-112, 113-112, 110-115

Amir Khan lost his WBA superlightweight and IBF lightwelterweight titles after he was deducted two points and lost a split decision to American Lamont Peterson. Referee Joseph Cooper deducted a point from Khan for pushing at the end of the seventh, and a second point in the 12th when Khan hit Peterson on the break. “We all know who won the fight. Even a few of the comissioners came over to me and said that was a disgusting decision.” “I knew straight after the 12th round that we won that fight. The ref wasn’t on my side. Every time Lamont kept putting his head down, I kept looking at the ref and saying ‘Come on ref, do something’. “I had to hold him down because I didn’t want him to come back up and head but me. The referee kept penalising me, I mean, like I said I was up against the referee and him but people who were watching on HBO and Sky TV, they all know what the fight was all about. They know I’m a warrior. I’ll come back

stronger.” Peterson was asked for his opinion of the points that were taken from Khan. “I’m a fighter not a referee. Like I said I wasn’t really caught up into that. I was focused on Khan, winning the fight and executing my game plan so that’s what I was focused on. Talk to me a week from now and I’ll watch the tape and give you a better answer.” Peterson did not rule out a rematch in England and agreed that sooner would be better. “I wouldn’t mind doing it (in England),” Peterson said. “The deal would be right. Everything would have to be right. I would do it. “If it’s left up to me I would fight him tomorrow. It doesn’t matter when. I’m always ready to fight.” Khan also complained that he was not awarded a first-round knockdown that Cooper judged a slip. Khan answered with a clear knockdown later in the round but every point turned out to be critical. “In the first round I got two

Could Judan Ali become the Premier League’s first British Asian manager? ‘The colour of my skin has held me back for years but I aim to be the Prem’s first British-Asian boss’

Racism in football has been the hot topic of the moment, with plenty of stories and incidents which indicate that discrimination in the sport, just as in society has not been fully eradicate The aspiring coach

has set his sights on becoming the Premier League’s first British Asian manager, something which seems to be far-fetched considering the number of Black managers in the professional leagues stands at just two. Ali was bitten by the football bug from a young age and worked hard towards getting in the game. Having spent two years at Arsenal as an YTS trainee, Ali, who was born in east London, was met with a wall of prejudice. d. Ali suffered racist abuse and discrimination when he tried to make a career as a professional as a teenager in the late 80s and early 90s after two years at Arsenal as an YTS trainee.

knockdowns,” Khan said. “Then he took the points straight away without any warning. I was shocked I got that point off in the 12th round. But I’ll get my chance back to show the world.”

Khan did not begrudge Peterson for enjoying his triumph in what all agreed was an electrifying fight. “I can’t take anything away from him. He wasn’t the ref. He wasn’t a judge. He did what he had to do in

the fight,” Khan said. “I have to go back to the drawing board. “Sometimes you get these bad decisions. You come back stronger. I’m strong. I have got a lot left in me.”

The city of Dubai is built on foundations that are steeped in history and tradition. From the evocative Dubai Museum to the spectacular Jumeirah Mosque, and from the breathtaking Bastakiya to the imperious Heritage Village. There are many mysteries waiting to be unravelled. Explore Dubai at your pace and relive great traditions from day gone by.



South Asia Tribune I Thursday 15 December 2011


Sri Lanka Cricket gets Rs. 50 million from the Treasury


The cash-strapped Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has received Rs. 50 million from the Treasury to bail out the institution from its current crisis. Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage told reporters that the Treasury has granted Rs. 50 million to SLC to help overcome the current financial crisis in the institution. He said the International

Cricket Council (ICC) is to give US$ 2 million to SLC by tomorrow (12) to pay the salaries of the Sri Lanka cricketers. The monies allocated by the Treasury is to be utilized to pay the November and December salaries of the SLC staff while the ICC monies are to be used to pay a major portion of the cricketers’ salaries.

Cool & Cool Cup

Pakistan beat Bangladesh in first Test

Requiring just six wickets for victory in the first of the two-Test series, Pakistan took just over a session to claim the win as they dismissed Bangladesh for 275. Nazimuddin briefly frustrated the tourists with a career-best 78 and Shakib Al-Hasan (51) registered his ninth Test half-century before Abdur Rehman dismissed both en route to figures of 4-88. Having resumed on 134-4 on the fourth morning, Bangladesh moved the score to 158 before losing Shakib (51), trapped lbw by Rehman moments after completing his ninth Test 50. Captain Mushfiqur Rahim came in to help Nazimuddin

move the score past 200 before the opener became Rehman’s second victim of the morning, out for 78 when he was caught at mid-off by Saeed Ajmal. Moments later, Mahmudullah was bowled by Ajmal (2-74) for a duck as Pakistan began to turn up the heat but Mushfiqur made it to lunch on 34 in company with Elias Sunny. The spinner had got off the mark with an adventurous six and edged the third ball after lunch for four before settling down. Mushfiqur took two boundaries off Ajmal but fell one short of a half-century when he was trapped

Shahid Afridi refused to be drawn into match-fix web

SHAHID Afridi has revealed that he refused to meet with convicted match-fixer Mazhar Majeed after

hearing rumours about the agent’s rogue operations. Continued on page 26 >>

plumb in front by Rehman’s arm ball, giving the left-arm spinner figures of 4-88 to add to his 3-9 in Bangladesh’s first innings of 135. A Shahadat Hossain boundary took the deficit below 200 and he found the ropes twice more before spooning a leading edge to Umar Gul at cover off Aizaz Cheema (2-40) eight deliveries after the new ball was taken. With Rubel Hossain absent, that spelled Bangladesh’s 35th innings defeat in 73 Tests, with Sunny left 20 not out. Continued on page 26 >>

Thieves leave Harbhajan stumped Karnal, Haryana: The Haryana police have failed to make any breakthrough in recovering the bag of international cricketer Harbhajan Singh which was stolen from his SUV outside a cafe here on Monday evening. The off-spinner’s bag contained his passport, ATM and credit cards and a laptop. Some unidentified thieves broke into Harbhajan’s Ford Endeavour by smashing the window pane of the rear door on the busy National Highway No 1 (NH-1) near Karnal town in Haryana, police said. “In his complaint, Harbhajan has

superintendent of police. The break-in took place around 6pm outside the Cafe Coffee Day outlet at Madhuban. Sources said the cricketer immediately called the Continued on page 26 >>

said that the thieves have taken away his laptop, passport and a bag containing credit cards and other documents,” said the deputy

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South Asia Tribune  

Weekly Publication for South Asians in Europe.The South Asia Tribune weekly is independent of political parties, private interests and gover...

South Asia Tribune  

Weekly Publication for South Asians in Europe.The South Asia Tribune weekly is independent of political parties, private interests and gover...