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International Karachi, Sunday, April 17, 2011, Jumadi-ul-Awwal 13, Price Rs12 Pages 8

Dr Asim selected Senator unopposed from Sindh See Page 2 Economic Indicators $17.31bn Forex Reserves (9-Apr-11) 14.20% Inflation CPI% (Jul 10-Mar 11) $17.80bn Exports (Jul 10-Mar 11) $29.02bn Imports (Jul 10 - Mar 11) Trade Balance (Jul 10 - Mar 11) $(11.22)bn $(98)mn Current A/C (Jul 10- Feb 11) $8.02bn Remittances (Jul 10 - Mar 11) $1.32bn Foreign Invest (Jul 10-Mar 11) Rs 875bn Revenue (Jul 10 Feb 11) $58.39bn Foreign Debt (Dec 10) Rs 5497.4bn Domestic Debt (Dec 10) Repatriated Profit (Jul- Feb 11) $386.3mn 0.83% LSM Growth (Jan 11) 4.10% GDP Growth FY10E $1,051 Per Capita Income FY10 175.76mn Population

Portfolio Investment SCRA(U.S $ in million)

Yearly(Jul, 2010 up to 14-Apr-2011)

211.48 Monthly(Apr, 2011 up to 14-Apr-2011) 35.40 Daily (14-Apr-2011) 0.52 2793

Total Portfolio Invest (9-Apr-2011)

NCCPL (U.S $ in million) FIPI (15-Apr-2011)

-0.35 -1.46 1.23 0.36 0.14 -0.05 0.14

Local Companies (15-Apr-2011) Banks / DFI (15-Apr-2011) Mutual Funds (15-Apr-2011) NBFC (15-Apr-2011) Local Investors (15-Apr-2011) Other Organization (15-Apr-2011)

Global Indices Index KSE 100

Close

Change

11,684.23

31.69

Nikkei 225 9,591.52

62.40

Hang Seng 24,008.07

5.93

Sensex 30 19,386.82

310.04

SSE COMP. 3,050.53

7.89

FTSE 100

5,996.01

32.21

*Dow Jones12,341.83

56.68

GDR update Symbols

$.Price PKR/Shares 109.47 15.99 134.64 2.00 42.10 1.70 35.79 11.03 37.15

MCB (1 GDR= 2 Shares) 2.60 OGDC (1 GDR= 10 Shares) UBL (1 GDR= 4 Shares) LUCK (1 GDR= 4 Shares) HUBC (1 GDR= 25 Shares)

Money Market Update T-Bills (3 Mths) T-Bills (6 Mths) T-Bills (12 Mths) Discount Rate Kibor (1 Mth) Kibor (3 Mths) Kibor (6 Mths) Kibor ( 9 Mths) Kibor (1Yr) P.I.B ( 3 Yrs) P.I.B (5 Yrs) P.I.B (10 Yrs) P.I.B (15 Yrs) P.I.B (20 Yrs) P.I.B (30 Yrs)

06-Apr-2011 13.25% 06-Apr-2011 13.66% 06-Apr-2011 13.83% 29-Nov-2010 14.00% 16-Apr-2011 13.44% 16-Apr-2011 13.47% 16-Apr-2011 13.75% 16-Apr-2011 14.11% 16-Apr-2011 14.21% 16-Apr-2011 13.99% 16-Apr-2011 14.02% 16-Apr-2011 14.10% 16-Apr-2011 14.44% 16-Apr-2011 14.69% 16-Apr-2011 14.90%

Commodities Crude Oil (brent)$/bbl Crude Oil (WTI)$/bbl

123.45 109.66

Cotton $/lb

177.40

Gold $/ozs

1,486.00

Silver $/ozs

42.57

Malaysian Palm $

1,070

GOLD (NCEL) PKR

40,003

KHI Cotton 40Kg PKR

12,860

Open Mkt Currency Rates Symbols

Buy (Rs)

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Australian $

88.30

89.30

Canadian $

87.10

Danish Krone

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16.60

Euro

121.00

122.30

88.10

Hong Kong $

10.75

11.35

Japanese Yen

0.995

1.021

Saudi Riyal

22.35

22.55

Singapore $

67.00

68.10

Swedish Korona

13.60

14.00

Swiss Franc

92.80

94.00

U.A.E Dirham

22.38

22.58

UK Pound

137.00

138.30

US $

84.25

84.55

Inter-Bank Currency Rates Symbols

Buying

Australian $ Canadian $ Danish Krone Euro Hong Kong $ Japanese Yen Saudi Riyal Singapore $ Swedish Korona Swiss Franc U.A.E Dirham UK Pound US $

Selling

TT Clean

TT & OD

88.85 87.58 16.27 121.35 10.82 1.008 22.43 67.64 13.62 94.19 22.90 137.09 84.21

89.06 87.79 16.31 121.64 10.84 1.010 22.48 67.80 13.65 94.42 22.95 137.41 84.39

Weather Forecast CITIES

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Libyan govt forces bombard Misrata

See Page 8

EU to reevaluate Pak financial aid

See Page 8

Regularising prize bond sale advised

See Page 8

Pakistan endorses reconciliation process in Afghanistan: PM Gilani; Says Isb favors Kabul efforts to reintegrate local groups

Pak-Afghan peace commission set up KABUL: Pakistan and Afghanistan on Saturday agreed on the formation of a joint commission to carry forward the reconciliation process, following the withdrawal of foreign troops from the insurgency-torn country. Prime Minister Gilani and Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who held exhaustive talks here at the Presidential Palace, described the parleys as "historic", saying that "the two countries stand together as they have shared destinies". Prime Minister Gilani said that he in consultation with President Karzai, Chairman Professor Burhanuddin Rabbani and members of the High Peace Council, had agreed to establish the twotier Afghanistan-Pakistan Joint Commission for facilitating and promoting reconciliation and peace. The first tier of commission will include the chief executives, foreign ministers along with chiefs of the military and intelli-

gence services of the two countries while the second tier will comprise senior officials of foreign ministries, military and intelligence services. "I have assured President Karzai that Pakistan strongly supports an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process for reconciliation and peace," Gilani said. He also extended Pakistan's full support to the efforts of President Karzai and the High Peace Council, for initiating an inclusive process of grand national reconciliation in which all Afghans not only have a stake but the process also promises the future peace and stability in their country. "We firmly believe that this process must have full Afghan ownership," Prime Minister Gilani said and added that it was for the Afghan nation to determine the parameters on which a reconciliation and peace process would be shaped.

Judges naming affair deferred ISLAMABAD: The Judicial Commission of Pakistan on Saturday deferred the issue of confirmation / appointment of additional judges of the Lahore High Court and the High Court of Balochistan till April 23. Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry presided over the meeting of the Commission, which apparently deferred the consideration of the issue till composition of the Commission was completed as newly nominated Minister for Law and Justice Maula Baksh Chandio had to take oath of the office. The Judicial Commission, the highest forum in the country has been functional to make appointments to superior judiciary under the 18th Amendment. Maula Baksh Chandio has been nominated as the Law Minister after the resignation of Dr Babar Awan. Chandio told newsmen at the Supreme Court building that he could not attend the meeting because he had not taken the oath. See # 9 Page 7

Pak Board contacts BCCI to resume ties KARACHI: Officials of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) have contacted their Indian counterparts as they seek a resumption of cricket ties with their neighbors, reports on Saturday said. There have been reports that both countries are set to resume bilateral ties following last month's World Cup semi-final meeting at Mohali. PCB's Chief Operating Officer Subhan Ahmed revealed that the board has been in touch with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) over e-mail, according cricket website Cricinfo. "We sent them an email and they replied but as they are busy with the Indian Premier League (IPL) currently, talks will begin after the IPL is over," Subhan was quoted as saying. While recent reports in the Indian media suggested a bilateral series could be planned soon, the International Cricket Council's Future Tours Program (FTP) shows there is no window for either team to play a full-fledged series before early 2012. See # 10 Page 7

"Conditions, qualifications or demands at this stage, in our view, may not be helpful," he added. He said that the restoration of stability and peace in Afghanistan was essential for peace, security and well-being of the people of Pakistan. To a question about President Asif Ali Zardari's recent statement wherein he warned that a destabilised Afghanistan could have a negative impact on Pakistan, Gilani said he fully endorsed the views. He said his visit was particularly aimed at working out a common strategy to jointly fight terrorism that was a threat to both the nations. Asked whether the United States (US) was on board regarding the Pak-Afghan talks, Prime Minister Gilani said "the US is on-board. That's our core group and whatever will be decided, will be among Pakistan, Afghanistan and the US." See # 6 Page 7

Shaikh addresses Pak-US Business Council

US urged to chip in energy sector WASHINGTON: Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh has sought American private sector's investment in energy sector to overcome grueling electricity shortages as he identified a number of opportunities existing in the key field. Dr Shaikh, who is in Washington to attend the IMFWorld Bank meetings, told members of Pakistan-US Business Council that Islamabad is carrying out economic reforms and remains committed to facilitating foreign investment. Pakistan, he said, looks forward to investment for development of massive Thar coal reserves, completion of Diamer Bhasha Dam and other hydroelectricity projects as part of efforts to meet its expanding energy requirements, boost

industrial growth and step up the process of economic development. In the field of agriculture, he said, Pakistan seeks to increase productivity while investment in infrastructure projects would help raise the standard of living in the country. "We expect good results from the interaction," Shaikh said after his discussions with representatives of major American companies at the US Chamber of Commerce. The finance minister also hinted at discussions on new projects with the World Bank. Hafeez Shaikh spoke about the Pakistani government's efforts to contain inflation, bolster revenue generation and achieve better growth prospects despite catastrophic floods last year. See # 7 Page 7

G20 reach deal on global imbalances Backs early-warning plan against future crisis WASHINGTON: The world's major nations have put together a new monitoring process that they hope will halt the types of destabilising economic imbalances that contributed to the worst global downturn since World War II. Finance officials in the United States and other members of the Group of 20 major economies said the new program will closely follow key measurements of economic health such as government budget and trade deficits, personal savings levels and investment flows between nations. The hope is that the monitoring process will highlight problems before they become so big that they pose a threat to global growth. But the deal announced by the G-20 left many questions unanswered about just how effective the new procedures will be. Global financial reform will continue on Saturday to be the focus of meetings of the policysetting committees of the 187-

nation International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke were representing the United States at the talks. Geithner also had a round of one-on-one meetings scheduled Saturday with finance officials from Portugal and Greece, two nations facing serious debt troubles, and officials from the European Union and Germany who have been involved in the efforts to deal with Europe's debt problems. Geithner was also scheduled to meet with Egyptian Finance Minister Samir Radwan for talks likely to focus on the types of financial support that Egypt needs during its governmental transition. After the day-long G-20 talks ended, French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde told reporters Friday that the monitoring agreement was a significant achievement in efforts to See # 8 Page 7

KABUL: Afghan President Hamid Karzai shaking hand with Chief of Army Staff of Pakistan, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, during the introduction of the members of Pakistan’s delegation led by Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani at Presidential Palace.-Online

Qamar to represent Pakistan at energy moot ISLAMABAD: Due to absence of Federal Minister for Petroleum, Federal Minister Water and Power and Privatization Syed Naveed Qamar would lead the Pakistani delegation in Asian Ministerial Roundtable Conference. Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani has also approved the nomination of Naveed Qamar for participation in a See # 4 Page 7

Ogra head degree turns out bogus KARACHI: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) declared the degree of Chairman Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) Tauqir Sadiq as fake, media reported Saturday. However, Chairman Ogra claimed that he earned his degree from London, but no record has been found either in America or England regarding that. Prior to this, his degree was challenged in the High Court, whereas Islamabad High Court ordered an investigation into the authenticity of his degree. Earlier, Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani approved the appointment of Tauqir Sadiq as chairman of the authority and issued a notification about his appointment for a four-year term. See # 5 Page 7

PPP, MQM agree on action against outlaws KARACHI: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) have agreed to take indiscriminate action against extortionists and target killers. The decision was taken during a meeting of PPP-MQM peace committee at Chief Minister House in Karachi. Provincial ministers including Agha Siraj Durrani, Mir Nadir Magsi, Raza Haroon and Dr Sagheer Ahmed attended the session. On the other hand, the PPPMQM Core Committee meeting discussed the issue of target killings and extortion and the security situation of Karachi. The MQM delegation expressed concern over the killing of its workers and presented a list of the victims. -Agencies

Military interventions weakened institutions

Law spells Army role clearly: CJP ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has said that the role of Armed forces has been clearly defined in Article 245 of the Constitution of Pakistan which envisages that the Armed Forces shall, under the directions of the federal government, defend Pakistan against external aggression or threat of war, and, subject to law, act in aid of civil power when called upon to do so. Addressing to visiting officers of Command and Staff College Quetta, he said that the Supreme Court (SC) in its various judgments held that the solider and the citizen stand alike under the law. "Both must obey the command of Constitution and show obedience to its mandate. The Armed Forces have to act within the scope of their jurisdiction as defined under the Constitution. The Government may call the Armed Forces "subject to law" to "act in aid of civil power", he said. He said that a government elected by the constitution could only perform its functions and ensure observance of the provisions of the constitution by making the civil power

superior to and not subordinate to the Armed Forces during peace and war. He said that this was the foundation stone of constitution of Pakistan as reflected in article 2A that sovereignty over the entire universe belongs to Almighty Allah alone and the authority to be exercised by the people of Pakistan within the limits prescribed by Him is sacred trust and that the State shall exercise its powers and authority through the chosen representatives of the people. Therefore, he added, the prime duty of defending Pakistan against any external aggression or threat of war lies upon the Armed Forces of Pakistan; likewise the prime duty of defending the supremacy of the Constitution lies upon the Supreme Court of Pakistan. He said that the defence forces were, a very important organization and heavy responsibility rests on their shoulders. He further said that in the event of foreign aggression or threat of invasion, the nation looks forward to its defence forces for protection and security. See # 3 Page 7

FY12 targets

SECP chalks out things-to-do-list ISLAMABAD: The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) Saturday finalised the framework for its three year strategic objectives besides setting annual targets for the upcoming fiscal year 2011-12. The SECP had organised a three-day off-site program to frame its strategic objectives, set annual targets for the commission and its departments, outline values and competencies and revisit its vision and mission statements. "The theme for the way forward agreed by the senior management of SECP is accountability, teamwork, target driven approach and to lead by example," said a statement of the commission. The strategic plan and yearly targets determined by the top management will focus on the development of the capital markets and corporate sector, it added. The annual targets will serve as milestones for the organized growth and development of the markets while addressing issues faced by the market intermediaries and partici-

pants. The annual targets for 2011 broadly focus on measures for increasing market depth, liquidity and outreach, development of a vibrant debt and commodities market, promote growth of the insurance and corporate sector and growth of mutual fund industry. While following efficient and fair regulatory practices, the SECP would put in place processes and policies to inculcate improved compliance culture and effective enforcement. Measures have been planned to amend existing and frame new legislations for introduction of new products, strengthening of capital base market of intermediaries and encourage new listings. The SECP aims to strengthen processes, capabilities and IT & Communications systems, both internally and externally to improve efficiency and reduce turnaround time. The SECP will introduce various measures in close consultation with the stakeholders concerned, to ensure effective implementation of the plan and targets. -APP


2

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Senate body seeks details of target killings in Khi ISLAMABAD: Senate Standing Committee on Interior has said that the incident of target killings Karachi is more serious matter, even bigger than

over death sentence awarded to three citizens by Saudi Arabia court on murder and adultery charges, despite paying blood money (diyat) in the

Mehmood. Additional Secretary Interior Asif Nawaz has refused to give details with regard to incidents of target killings in Karachi, say-

Five more persons killed in Karachi KARACHI: Five persons including a political party activist were killed and four others injured in separate incidents in different localities of the city on Saturday. Two youngsters were crushed to death by a speedy trailer in Korangi Industrial on Saturday. According to details two motorcyclists hailing from Korangi area were on their way to office when a reckless driven trailer hit them near Vita Chowrangi of Korangi Industrial area resultantly critically injuring them. Both the injured died while being shifted to

hospital. They were identified as Noor and Ayub. The police took the vehicle into its custody and arrested the driver. One person whose identity has not been ascertained was killed in firing of unidentified assailants near Malir Golden Ground. In Khokhra Par area of Malir unidentified armed men opened fire at people present at a Departmental Store killing Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) activist and also former councilor Noman Bukhari on the spot and fled away from the scene.

Two people sustained injuries in firing of armed assailants in Korangi area. A police cop Shaukat Khan was injured after armed men opened fire at him in Shah Latif Town area. The injured was shifted to Jinnah Hospital. In yet another incident, unidentified assailants opened fire at Najeeb 40, in Sherpao Colony area of Landhi injuring him critically. Meanwhile tension gripped different areas of the city and protest demonstrations were held against lawlessness and targeted killing.-Agencies

US drone attacks in country's tribal areas. The committee has sought detailed report of those people who lost their lives in Karachi target killing. The committee has expressed serious concern

case. The committee directed foreign office to call Saudi envoy in Pakistan and take up the issue with him. The committee meeting was held under the chairmanship of Senator Talah

ing the issue was not included in the agenda of committee. The committee directed the additional secretary interior to table complete report of those people who lost their lives in Karachi

target killing in committee next meeting. The committee also sought report of such Pakistani and foreign nationals, who have travelled between Karachi and South Africa during last two years. The committee expressed annoyance over absence of secretary interior and commandant FC in the meeting. Colonel Ijaz of FC informed the committee that operation against militants and extremists is underway in Mohmand Agency. 367 operations, he said, have been carried out in country's tribal areas since 2002. At least 2479 terrorists have been killed and 5587 arrested in these operation, he said. Round about 954 terrorists have surrendered so far themselves before the forces, he said. The committee also took up the issue of three Pakistan nationals, languishing in Saudi Arabia jail and directed Foreign Secretary to take up the issue before Saudi Envoy on immediate basis. The committee made it clear that it would protest before embassy of Saudi Arabia if detained Pakistan were not released. The committee also sought details of report with regard to purchasing in FC during last two years. -Online

ICCI for developing Isb markets on modern lines ISLAMABAD: President Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI), Mahfooz Elahi said Saturday that markets have been operated under traditional mechanisms, which need to be developed on modern lines. ICCI head along with Chairman Capital Development Authority (CDA), Imtiaz Inayat visited the Farooqia Market here. He said that upgradation of markets and removing of all the encroachments should be the top priority of CDA. All future developmental projects should be executed in collaboration with the stakeholders particularly the traders. Speaking on the occasion, Chairman CDA Imtiaz Inayat Elahi, said that upgrading of the roads' infrastructure, provision of basic facilities at public places, development of parking areas and improvements in the sewerage system of markets were being given top priority.-APP

Job Fair organised at ZSABIST Staff Reporter KARACHI: The Executive Development Center (EDC) of Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology (SZABIST) hosted a Job Fair 2011 at its campus here on Saturday. An official of the SZABIST said that the top employers and human resource consultants such as those from the State Bank of Pakistan, Meezan Bank, EFU, Sanofi Aventis, Herboin, Shan Foods, Rozeepk, TRG, Avanza Solutions, CRPL, Express Group, Hum TV, Junctionz Limited and Zulfiqar Industries were provided with an opportunity to directly interact with around 800 potential interns and fresh recruits from various degree programmes at both graduate and post-graduate levels.

LAHORE: Students arranging flowers during exhibition at Racecourse Park.-Online

Sharmila swears to solve SPLA’s spats KARACHI: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Sindh Women Wing Information Secretary Sharmila Farooqui said on Saturday that the Sindh government under the dynamic leadership of Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah was fully determined to resolve SPLA issue and regularise lower education staff amicably. "We should give due respect to teachers community because they play greater role in national progress. They are the teachers who create cream of experts in every sector of life, including education, information technology, agriculture, business, science and economy," she said in a statement. She said that the government has always encouraged the SPLA for serving education department; however, its leaders should adopt peaceful way in view of their demands. She said that the PPP Women Wing leader recalled that the government had appointed 575 lecturers in 2009 and 615 in 2010 through the Sindh Public Service Commission, which was a remarkable achievement.

She also recalled that it was also the good omen of the present regime that services of 452 male and female lecturers, appointed on an ad hoc basis by the previous government, were regularised. She said that the time scale issue of primary and secondary teachers had already been resolved, while the government was considering SPLA's demand of time scale besides resolving its other issues. Hence there was need that the teachers must shun violent attitude because the government is with them, she asserted. Sharmila said that Sindh Assembly had recently passed a resolution endorsing permanent status to the lower cadre contractual employees of the Sindh Education Department. In view of the assembly resolution, the government was committed to regularise the lower staff of education in a peaceful way, she assured. She said that the government had also appointed primary teachers on pure merit under the World Bank program. "Our government is in touch with the World

Bank to bring revolutionary educational reforms and ensure pure merit in education sector of the country", she said. She informed the World Bank in March 2011 also approved $400 million assistance package to help Pakistan improve access, quality and relevance of education. She said that the package was aimed at improving conditions for teaching and research at the tertiary level besides increasing enrollment rates and reducing gender and ruralurban disparities in primary education in Sindh and Punjab. "The government is also committed to eliminating gender gap at all levels of education by the year 2015. The allocation of substantial funds as scholarships to girl students has encouraged the girls towards getting education," she said. The Sindh government had also raised the education development budget from Rs 5.9 billion to Rs 7 billion in fiscal year 2010-11 and it was also willing to raise it this fiscal year too, Sharmila concluded. -NNI

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Religious Affairs, Labour & Manpower Syed Khurshid Shah being given presentation at Old Age Benefits Institute office.-APP

Weekly inflation increases 0.25pc Staff Reporter KARACHI: The Sensitive Price Indicator (SPI), for the week ended on April 14 for the lowest income group up to Rs3000, has registered an increase of 0.25 per cent over the previous week. The SPI for the week under review in the above mentioned group was recorded at 300.90 points as against 300.16 points registered in the previous week. According to the provisional figures released by the Federal Bureau of Statistics (FBS), the weekly SPI has been computed with base 2000 2001=100 covering 17 urban centers and 53 essential items for all income groups and combined. The SPI for the combined group registered increase of 0.33 per cent as it went up from 286.51 points in the previous week to 287.45 points in the week under review. As compared to the corresponding week of last year, the SPI for the combined group in the week under review witnessed increase of 15.67 percent. As compared to the last week, the SPI for the income groups from Rs.3001-5000, Rs.500112000 and above Rs.12,000, increased by 0.27 percent, 0.32 percent and 0.31 percent respectively. During the week under review average prices of 13 items registered decrease, while that of 18 items increase with the remaining 22 items' prices unchanged.

All aim to give relief to masses: Dr Asim

Asim elected unopposed as Senator Staff Reporter KARACHI: Dr Asim Hussain, the candidate of the PPP and allied parties, has been elected as Senator from Sindh unopposed. The Election Commission of Pakistan, Sindh issued notification of success of Dr Asim as senator on Saturday. The Election Commission scrutinised the nomination papers of Dr Asim Hussain. No other candidate submitted the nomination papers. After scrutiny of the papers, the Election Commission, Sindh issued notification of the unopposed success of Dr Asim Hussain. It is to be mentioned here that the senate seat was vacated by Dr Khatumal Jeewan.

Employees' Old Age Benefit Institutions

Khurshid fixes Rs10bn target

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Religious Affairs and Labour and Manpower Syed Khurshid Ahmed Shah has given a target of Rs10 bn collection contribution for the financial year 2010-2011 to the Employees' Old Age Benefit Institutions (EOBI). This he stated during a briefing of EOBI given to him at the EOBI Guest House in Karachi on Saturday. A detailed briefing on the EOBI performance evaluation for the three quarters of the financial year 2010-201 was given to the Federal Minister by the EOBI Chairman Zafar Iqbal Gondal. Khurshid Shah had appreciated the work of the EOBI Officers in achieving the collection contribution targets and further directed to Civil collect Rs3.9 bn in the next

CAA spends Rs439bn on protection of airports

ISLAMABAD: Aviation Authority (CAA) has spent a total amount of Rs. 439,129 million on the protection of its airports in the country during the last three years. According to official sources in the Defence Ministry, Rs3793 million was incurred by CCA on repair and maintenancefences, Rs32,630 million on rental and hiring charges security guards, Rs 121,514 million on salaries of vigilance officer and staff and Rs281,192 million on capital expenditure including maintenance. At present, 12 international airports of CCA and one airport of private sector are operational in the country. These airports are Islamabad, Karachi, Faisalabad, Lahore, Peshawar, Quetta, Multan, DG Khan, Bahawalpur, R.Y. Khan , Sailkot (private airport) , Turbat and Gawadar. The sources also informed that at present , there is no proposal under consideration by the government to purchase new aircraft for PIA. However, PIA is in process of preparing a business plan.-Agencies

Un-opposed elected Senator Dr Asim Hussain said all efforts will be made to provide relief to the masses regarding petroleum prices. "We will do our best to give relief to the people," he said here Saturday while talking to the media after the announcement his election as Senator by the Provincial Election Commissioner here. He has been elected unopposed on a vacant seat of the Senate from the province after resignation of Khattu Mal Jeewan. "PPP leadership will definitely endeavour to provide relief to the masses," he added. Sindh Chief Minister, Syed Qaim Ali Shah and members of provincial cabinet members were also present on the occasion.

three months of the current financial year to achieve the current year target of Rs10 bn. Minter said that the benefits of the various EOBI schemes be delivered to the labourers. On the occasion the Federal Minister congratulated the newly promoted Officers of the EOBI and said that promotions was a motivation factor and hoped that they would extend the benefits of EOBI to the maximum number of the workers. Khurshid Shah also advised the EOBI to invest in the real estates and other profitable projects which shall strengthen and extend the viability of the EOBI Schemes. The meeting was also attended by the Federal Labour and Manpower Secretary Arif Azeem. -NNI

12 Indian fishermen arrested AHMEDABAD: A dozen Indian fishermen were apprehended and their four boats seized by the Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA) from near the Indo-Pak maritime border in the Arabian Sea off Jhakhau coast in Kutch district of Gujarat. The incident took place yesterday when the fishermen were fishing in Indian waters near the International Maritime Border in Arabian Sea, National Fishermen Forum (NFF) secretary Manish Lodhari said Saturday while talking to PTI. Initially the Pakistan agency had apprehended 26 fishermen with five boats but later released one boat and 14 fishermen comprising mainly old and juvenile persons, he said. They took along with them four boats Neeldeep, Badrinath, Shree Annapurna and Jay Shree Krishna, and 12 fishermen to Karachi in Pakistan. Two days ago an Indian fisherman was injured in firing by the PMSA, while he was fishing along with other fishermen near the Indo-Pak maritime border in Arabian sea off Jhakau coast in Kutch. Earlier in the month, the Pakistani agency had caught 21 Indian fishermen and seized six boats. Also, last month, 51 fishermen and 12 boats were seized by the PMSA from near the Indo-Pak maritime border in three different incidents, Porbander Boat Association (PBA) president Hiralal Siyar said. According to Siyar, last year PMSA had seized 56 Indian boats from the Arabian sea and apprehended 263 Indian fishermen. -Online

Zardari convenes PPP core meeting on Apr 18 ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari has convened the meeting of core commitee of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) at Awan-e-Sadr on April 18. The meeting would be presided over by President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani. Sources in the PPP informed Online informed

Online that overall country's political situation including talks with coalition partners, expansion in federal cabinet and matters related to Presidential reference filed in the Supreme Court of Pakistan to reopen case of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto would be discussed in the meeting. Former Law Minister Dr Babar Awan would brief

the meeting about progress on hearing of the reference, besides taking it into confidence over his future strategy in the case, sources said. Opinions would also be taken from participants either to include Pakistan Muslim League (Q) and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) in cabinet or not.-Agencies

KARACHI: Ranger personnel standing avert to avert untoward incident near Mianwali Colony during search operation conducted by the rangers at Jahan Abad.-Online


International

3

Sunday, April 17, 2011

WESTERN POWERS DIG IN FOR LONG WAR IN LIBYA * COALITION LEADERS SIGNAL RESOLVE FOR LONG WAR * WEST SEEKS REGIME IMPLOSION * NEITHER SIDE THINKS IT WILL LOSE

W

estern powers spearheading air strikes against Libya have vowed to oust Muammar Gaddafi come what may, but it is far from clear the wider coalition can stomach a long war or even that his rule is under mortal threat. A joint article by leaders of the United States, France and Britain said they would strike loyalist forces until Gaddafi quits, lending support to a widely held view that the time for peace talks is not yet and more bloodshed lies ahead. "They are digging in for a long conflict," said Firas Abi Ali, senior forecaster for the Middle East and North Africa at Exclusive Analysis. "They are saying (to Gaddafi) 'We can play the long game as well'," saidAlex Warren of Frontier, a Middle East and North Africa research firm. "These three countries don't want dialogue yet. They are trying to play for time to encourage an internal collapse in Tripoli by defections or by an internal coup." The message published in three leading newspapers by US PresidentBarack Obama, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister David Cameron appeared intended to boost the morale of the militarily fragile rebels and send an intimidating message of resolve to close aides of Gaddafi. A mention in the article of The Hague war crimes court also appeared to be a veiled threat to pursue cases against any Gaddafi aides with blood on their hands who decide to stay loyal. But Gaddafi, for one, was giving no sign this week that his morale

was under a cloud. Libyan state television on Thursday broadcast footage of the veteran leader, ever the showman, driving around Tripoli in an opentop vehicle. The broadcaster said he went on the outing while the Libyan capital was being bombed by Nato. His daughter Aisha told a rally in the capital that demanding his removal was an insult. "Gaddafi isn't even considering departing," said Abi Ali. ITALIANS WON'T OPEN FIRE It is not only Gaddafi loyalists coalition leaders have to convince of the wisdom of their goals. It is their own allies. British Foreign Secretary William Hague said, Britain had made progress in persuading other countries to supply more strike aircraft for Nato operations in Libya. But Italian Defence Minister Ignazio La Russa said Italy would not order its aircraft taking part in operations over Libya to open fire, despite pressure from Britain and France. France and Britain, the Nato hawks on Libya, have led the air campaign but are growing impatient with lack of commitment and provision of ground strike aircraft from other members. Article restated, in more forceful terms, an April 13 statement by a much larger group of coalition countries meeting in Qatar that called for Gaddafi to step aside. But the fact that the leaders of only France, Britain and the United Statesput their names to Friday's commentary seemed to underline an impression of disarray in coalition ranks.

Exclusive Analysis's Abi Ali said he expected that Libya was facing another six months of stalemate at the very least. Jon Marks, chairman of UK political risk consultancy Crossborder Information, agreed that the standoff in Libya had the makings of a lengthy conflict. MEDIATION WOULDN'T HAVE A CHANCE "The situation in Misrata and Ajdabiya is terrible, as it is in the Berber towns of the Jebel Nefousa where there are signs of an ethnic cleansing policy at work, but otherwise the fighting broadly around the country is actually at a low level, to judge by the casualty figures and the extent that people are travelling around." "In this context, the standoff looks like it could go on for a painfully protracted period." An African mission failed last week to secure a ceasefire after Gaddafi's forces continued to shell a besieged city and the rebels rejected any deal not including Gaddafi's removal. Richard Dalton, a former British ambassador to Libya, said the West hoped that over time the rebel-held east would grow stronger and Gaddafi-controlled parts of the west would grow weaker, prompting at some point a renewed popular uprising against him. "But for now, neither side thinks it is going to lose: No mediator has an earthly chance in such circumstances," he said. Others have disagreed. In an article on British policy, analyst Shashank Joshi of the Royal United Services Institute argued that Britain's insistence on

Gaddafi's ousting was a mistake and Gaddafi family members should be allowed to take part in an interim government. "Goals must be commensurate with (limited) resources and resolve," he wrote. "The objective ought to be regime modifica-

tion rather than regime destruction. Unless we wish to invite a horrific siege of Tripoli..." For now there is little sign this argument holds sway. Asked by Reuters whether there were any moves afoot to encourage talks between one of

Gaddafi's sons and the rebel interim National Council, Hague replied: "I'm not aware of any new effort in that regard ... We do not have the basis yet for a political process to take place." -Reuters

INTEREST RATES BACK TO FIXATE INVESTORS F

inancial markets have swung back into a new but familiar phase -- worrying about interest rates -- and, not coincidently, the eurozone debt crisis is also bubbling after a brief hiatus. It all points to a couple of weeks ahead that are likely to be volatile -- risk-on, risk-off -- with a particular focus on the US Federal Reserve's meeting on April 26. The interest rate issue is at its most obvious on the foreign exchange market, where carry trading has returned. Investors are borrowing in low-yielding currencies to invest in higher-yielding ones. The euro, for example, is at its highest in 15 months against the dollar. This is being driven by yield differentials now available after the European Central Bank raised interest rates (with more likely to

come) while Japankeeps monetary conditions ultra-loose following its devastating earthquake and tsunami. A sort of middle ground is being held by the Fed, which is not likely to raise rates until next year, but which has to decide on the future of its asset-buying quantative easing (QE) programme, due to end in June. It is at this point that equity investors come into the picture. QE has produced a flood of liquidity into markets that has essentially driven investors into stocks, in part because it has made a lot of fixed income unattractive. Equity markets have been remarkably resilient, shrugging off just about everything that is being thrown at them, from rocketing oil prices, wobbly eurozone debt, a big blow to Japan's economy, and a revolt in the Arab world.

Gary Baker, head of European equity strategy for Bank of America-Merrill Lynch, says equity investors are actually "reluctant bulls" who can't fight Fed-driven liquidity. "They see very little alternative to equities," he said. It all makes markets highly vulnerable to sudden, surprising change. So any comments from the various factions in the US central bank hierarchy over the next few weeks may be even more market-moving than usual. Flash PMIs from across the euro zone may also be signposts to the ECB's next move. SPILLOVER Interest rate speculation is also playing into the eurozone debt crisis, with the tighter ECB policy and strong euro doing few favours for the struggling peripheral economies. This is most evident in Greece, where

the spread between 10-year bonds and German equivalents is now more than 1,000 basis points and talk is rife of restructuring being needed. Prime Minister George Papandreou said that Greece would present details of fresh austerity and privatisation plans after Easter. They are an attempt to convince markets it can tidy up its finances and avoid restructuring. Investors, however, continue to pressure peripheral debt, despite various plans to draw a line under the problem. Papandreou's announcement that details would come later did little to ease concerns. Differing interest rate prospects, in the meantime, have been a major catalyst behind the recent shift of investment flows into emerging markets. Fears of tightening in red-hot

emerging economies put some investors off at the beginning of the year, but a belief that the rate cycle was peaking opened the door to aggressive new flows. Again, this makes markets particularly vulnerable to surprises, epitomised by the risk-averse reaction to China's increasing growth and higher consumer price inflation reported in the past week. India also reported higher than expected inflation. The coming week brings central bank meetings in a number of major emerging markets, notably Hungary, Brazil, Turkey, Israel and Thailand. Turkey may be the most interesting as it will feature a newly appointed central bank governor, Erdem Basci, widely seen as the main architect of the country's unorthodox monetary policy, which twins rate cuts with rises

inbank reserve ratios in order to tighten policy. MORE EARNINGS The remarkable performance of world equities, meanwhile, will be tested in the coming week by the latest earnings season, this time with Europejoining in with Wall Street. The US reports will be dominated by banks, including Goldman Sachs,Citigroup and Wells Fargo. Europe will hear from the likes of Novartis, LVMH and Peugeot. Europe may disappoint. Thomson Reuters StarMine data suggests STOXXEurope 600 companies may post first-quarter figures that will be on average 1 percent below expectations. Sentiment on the equity market nonetheless remains constructive as seen in commodity trader Glencore's planned $12 billion initial public offering next month. -Reuters

European Refiners Cut Runs to Save Margins * Refiners likely to delay restarts after spring maintenance * Expected to run at under 80 percent all year-analysts

E

uropean refiners are likely to keep runs at an unusually low level even after the spring maintenance period due to shrinking profitability as rises in crude oil prices outpace those in refined products. The European refining industry has already been forced to mothball roughly 3 million barrels of crude oil processing capacity since the first wave of demand destruction in 2008. Even so, demand in Europe is falling more quickly than the pace of refinery shutdowns, and refinery utilisation rates have averaged just under 83 percent over the past 12 months, based on Reuters calculations using revised

data from Euroilstock. Analysts expect the rate to remain low for the rest of the year. David Wech, an analyst at JBC Energy in Vienna, predicted that European refiners will continue to run at under 80 percent of capacity for 2011. "In the Mediterranean and northwest Europe, we can't see more than a marginal uptick in runs (after maintenance)," he told Reuters. "Crude is very, very expensive. I would expect the rate to remain below 80 percent." According to Euroilstock data, the March utilisation rate averaged 77.34 percent due partly to planned maintenance works. Wech said utilisation rates

should not exceed 78 percent in April and May. That level is unusually low under normal circumstances. Only October's reading came below last month's level, at 76.94 percent, as a monthlong strike in French refineries and key oil ports choked production. WEAK DEMAND, INCREASED COMPETITION Although oil demand is likely to remain robust in emerging markets such asChina, demand in developed countries has peaked, with a fall in Europeanoil consumption outpacing other areas. The weak demand is likely to squeeze margins and force

European refiners to keep runs low. Even though pump prices are near record highs in Europe, government taxes account for about half the money consumers here pay. Oil firms such as Royal Dutch Shell and BP therefore make little profit from selling petrol and diesel. "It is likely that refiners will delay ramping up their runs," said Olivier Jakob,oil analyst at Petromatrix. "We are still in an environment where demand is not strong enough. It is also starting to be impacted by prices." He pointed to numbers released from Italy on Wednesday for March, which showed a 9.1 percent drop

year-on-year in gasoline sales and a 3.8 percent drop for diesel. "Combined that makes a 5.2 percent drop in road fuel demand versus a year ago. I also think the French numbers will be relatively poor." European refiners, with typically less complex plants than their Asian or American counterparts, saw gasoline margins collapse to 26-month lows of minus $5.87 a barrel in mid-March as the Libyan conflict prevented the distribution of its easier to process light, sweet crude. JBC's Wech said European refiners were also being hit by increasingly fierce competition from their U.S. counterparts, which are exporting

more oilproducts to the traditional export markets of European oil companies. "The considerably more complex and flexible U.S. units allow for significant and timely shifts in production, enabling American refiners to adjust to any upcoming export opportunities," he said. Data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) shows that U.S. refiners cut their processing rates by 3 percent to 81.4 percent last week, compared with analyst expectations for a 0.4 percent rise. However, U.S. refining margins have been relatively robust, protected by the weakness of U.S. light crude compared with Brent and healthi-

er demand. Front month Brent crude futures for June were trading at $121.80 a barrel on Friday while U.S. light crude futures for May were at $107.72 a barrel. "The implicit subsidy to U.S. refiners from WTI's Cushing squeeze ensures competitively priced U.S. exports," said Wech. "Our estimates put the implied subsidy at around $3-$4 a barrel in the first quarter of the year." This would cover clean freight to Africa, a traditional outlet for European gasoline, he said. "Under these conditions European refiners will find it increasingly difficult to bring their units back from maintenance." -Reuters


4 Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Financial Daily International

China Three Trillion Dollar Reserves

Vol 4, Issue 159

Publisher & Editor-in-Chief: Amir A. Ashary Editor: Shakil H. Jafri Executive Editor: Manzar Naqvi

Bane or Boon

Honorary Advisory Board Haseeb Khan, FCA

S. Muneer Hussain Rizvi

Asim Abbas Ashary, CPA

Khurram Shehzad, CFA

Akhtar M. Zaidi, FCA

Prof. Zakaria Sajid (KU)

Dr. A. Hadi Shahid, FCA

Zahid Bukhari SVP HBL (retd)

Muhammad Arif

Ismat Sabir Head office

111-C, Jami Commercial Street 11, Phase VII, DHA Karachi Telephone: 92-21-35311893-6 Fax: 92-21-35388428 URL: www.thefinancialdaily.com Email Address: editor@thefinancialdaily.com

Lahore office 24- Peshawar Block, Fortress Stadium, Lahore Telephone: 92-42-6675595 Fax: 92-42-6664349 Email Address: editor@thefinancialdaily.com

Fertilizer price goes up again SNGPL, citing lower gas production, has temporarily suspended gas supply to four fertilizer plants, Engro Enven, Dawood Hercules, Pak-American and Pak-Arab from 12th April. To offset enhanced sector gas curtailment, Engro was the first to increased urea price by Rs70/bag (including GST) to Rs1200/bag and other manufacturers are likely to follow suit. It is on record that Engro was also the first to increased price of urea by Rs190/bag back in December 2010 and that time others also followed it. Gas marketing companies are proving totally incapable of ensuring smooth supply of gas to the fertiliser manufacturing units. It seems some outsiders are controlling gas load management program. It also seems that other consumers i.e. power plants, textile-mills and even CNG stations are being supplied gas by curtailing supply of urea manufacturing units. However, none seems to understand the adverse impact of curtailing gas of fertiliser units. To begin with, power plants can be run on alternate fuel, furnace oil but fertilizer plants can't. Running power plants on gas is a better option is a complete fallacy. It may be true that gas is cheaper than furnace oil but on the basis of opportunity cost, the point becomes crystal clear. On top of this, unless transmission and distribution losses hovering around 40 per cent are reduced, running power plants is totally meaningless. As it has been pointed out repeatedly the current shortfall of gas is not because of shortage but gross mismanagement. According to some experts gas pilferage is estimated around 300mmcfd and added to this are huge UFG, particularly reported by SNGPL. Experts also say that while SSGC has been rather selective in granting new connections, SNGPL has not. Consumers from Punjab have been talking about discrimination because consumers in Sindh are not enduring similar level of gas load shedding. However, no one realises that SNGPL is getting its full allocations and load shedding is due to granting connections indiscriminately. It is also necessary to reiterate that if ongoing litigations of some of the gas fields are resolved gas supply can be increased by 1000mmcfd, enough to bridge the gap between demand and supply. The Honorable Chief Justice is requested to please ask the judges to complete the hearing on top priority and decide the cases at the earliest in the largest interest. Lately, some precious lives were lost when the laid-off workers came out on streets and peaceful demonstrations turned violent. Load shedding of electricity and gas is not allowing running of manufacturing facilities at optimum capacity utilisation. Not only output of the factories is on the decline, growing unemployment is pushing more and more people below the poverty line. The whisper about revolution is getting louder and there are growing fears that this country is inching towards anarchy. Let every one remember that Pakistan has enemies within who are waiting for the opportunity to begin their dirty game.

Disclaimer:

All reports and recommendations have been prepared for your information only. Summary and Analysis are not recommendation to buy or sell. This information should only be used by investors who are aware of the risk inherent in securities trading. The facts, information, data, indicators and charts presented have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but their accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed. The Financial Daily International and its employees are not responsible for any loss arising from use of these reports and recommendations.

C

hina's foreign exchange reserves have topped $3-trillion-and-counting, stoking inflation, knocking the economy off kilter and leaving the country's money managers with an impossible assignment. At first glance, the eye-watering stockpile appears to be a symbol of China's fast-growing wealth. But on deeper inspection, the vast cash holdings are an unflattering testament to much that is wrong in the world's second-largest economy. They reveal how undervalued the yuan is, how inflation could soar in the future and how much more the government could be investing at home to engender sustainable growth, analysts say. The People's Bank of China said Thursday that its foreign exchange holdings, already the world's biggest, increased by $197 billion in the first quarter to $3.05 trillion. They are now nearly triple Japan's holdings, the world's second-biggest official currency reserves. "It's clearly too much, it's clearly excess to needs, and more importantly, it's damaging to the economy," said Stephen Green, an economist at Standard Chartered. In the last decade, China's gaping trade surpluses and its incessant buying of dollars to suppress the yuan's value have led the reserves to balloon 17-fold. For every dollar that goes into reserves, China prints about 6.5 yuan, adding even more cash to its economy. This is worrying since China is already at pains to drain excess money, with inflation running near its fastest in three years. "Every new dollar of foreign exchange reserves is every new dollar of base money. And that drives up inflation," Green said. "TOO HIGH A COST" To neutralise all the money that has been created, China has conducted what are known as "sterilisation operations". Its primary weapon has been to increase banks' reserve requirements, forcing them to lock up cash that they would otherwise lend.

Required reserves are already at a record 20 percent of deposits for China's biggest banks, denting their profitability, and analysts believe that the room for further increases is limited. By most estimates, China only needs about $780 billion of reserves. That would be sufficient to pay for three months of imports and to cover all of China's short-term foreign debt -- the standard metrics of how much countries should hold in reserves as a form of insurance in case of a financial crisis. Yet the stockpile has grown so big because China refuses to let the yuan rise faster for fear of hurting its exports, much to the frustration of its trading partners, especially the United States. But it is also a problem domestically. It runs directly counter to China's need to boost consumption to cope with tepid growth in its major export markets, said Li Jie, a researcher at the Central University of Finance and Economics. "It is too high a cost to pay to let the whole domestic economy suffer from high inflation just to protect exporters," he said. "China cannot afford to sacrifice its internal economy as it has a vast domestic market." China's net exports accounted for just 4 percent of the country's total output in 2009; consumption and investment were 48 percent each. WHERE TO PUT IT? Then there is the perennial problem of finding a safe place to invest $3 trillion. Its monstrous size precludes China from most markets except US Treasuries, leaving Beijing vulnerable to a struggling dollar. Efforts to boost China's returns on its reserves by spinning off state investment arms misses the point, said Li. "Any fund manager in the world would find it difficult to look after such a huge pile of reserves," he said. "The point is not how successful they were in their investments. The real failure is the lack of an exchange rate regime that is fully dictated by market

forces." China's accumulation of foreign exchange reserves also represents an opportunity cost. Given China's high savings rate over the past decade, it was bound to have a high rate of investment. Had China let its currency rise, that investment could have taken place at home with the building of sorely needed schools and hospitals. Instead, much of that investment ended up parked in assets like US Treasuries. China is the biggest foreign holder of Treasuries, with $1.15 trillion at the end of January. NOT FAST ENOUGH Yet China's strident rhetoric about how the yuan is not undervalued and how it needs to rise slowly belies a growing belief at home that the currency is simply not strong enough. Increasingly, the Chinese realise that a firmer yuan can help them fight imported inflation and give them more bang for buck when they invest abroad. "The government is moving too slowly towards a more flexible yuan exchange rate. They should definitely quicken the pace o appreciation," said Zhang Bin, an economist at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Some economists say that concerns about exporters are overdone. They, too, would benefit from cheaper imports of raw materials and other components. "We know that the foreign exchange reserves accumulate because of the exchange rate regime. It's not because we absolutely need it," said Tao Wang, an analyst at UBS. "The fundamental thing is to adjust the economic structure so that we don't accumulate so much. We need to consumer more and reduce the savings rate." In a sign that China might finally be starting to move more aggressively on the yuan -- potentially capping the rise in reserves -- the central bank has steered the currency to a succession of record highs against the dollar in recent days. -Reuters

Murder & Mayhem in Gaza P

alestinians in the Gaza Strip are used to violence, but not the brutal murder of a foreign sympathiser shown blindfolded in the hours before his execution. Hamas, which runs the enclave, espouses an Islamist agenda focused on the Palestinian nationalist conflict with Israel. So, unlike Islamists in Iraq, Afghanistan or Saudi Arabia who have kidnapped and killed Westerners, Hamas's leadership has sought to build support and sympathy for its cause in the West. A British journalist kidnapped by a fringe Islamist group in Gaza four years ago was released unharmed days after Hamas won a brief civil war and took control. An Israeli soldier captured by Hamas and its Palestinian allies during a border raid in 2006 is still believed to be alive in captivity. There is genuine outrage here over the cold-blooded killing of Vittorio Arrigoni, an Italian activist who lived in the enclave for two years helping Gaza fishermen deal with Israel's tight maritime blockade. "I was about to cry when I heard the news. That man quit his family for us, for Gaza, and now Gazans killed him. That was so bad," said supermarket owner Abu Ahmed. Samira Ali, a teacher, said: "Those who killed him are not Muslims and certainly not Palestinians." Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum denounced the crime as an attempt "to harm international solidarity with besieged Gaza and to damage the

image of the Palestinian people". But there was also a shiver of fear that extremists who want Gaza to be an Islamic theocracy are bold enough to challenge Hamas over what they consider its lack of religious fervour. INFIDELS Friends and fellow pro-Palestinian activists said Arrigoni, a blogger, was well known in Gaza and well liked. His captors, calling themselves Jihadist Salafi, saw him as an infidel who "entered our land only to spread corruption". They seized the 36-year-old to force Hamas to release their leader, Hesham al-Sa'eedni, who was arrested last month and identified by Gaza sources as an Egyptian senior member of the Tawheed and Jihad group linked to al Qaeda. This group denied responsibility, but observers said the message of the kidnappers bore all the hallmarks of the Jihadist Salafi and could be an autonomous cell of this movement. "They knew Hamas was not going to agree to their demands and so they killed him in order to send a message," said political analyst Hani Habib. "It is a sign of doubts over the security situation in Gaza and whether it is stable as Hamas says." Hamas security forces arrested two men and were seeking others suspected of involvement, as senior figures in the movement scrambled to condemn an "ugly crime" totally alien to their beliefs and insist that Hamas's grip remains intact. Hamas, which has run the enclave

since 2007, said Arrigoni's abductors "had the intention to kill the Italian from the beginning, and the proof was that they had killed him hours after the announcement of their demands". Interrogation of one of the group disclosed the location where he was being held, but he was already dead. Habib believes radical splinter groups ready to defy Hamas are now competing to demonstrate who is the more extreme. Hamas itself is an Islamist political movement which places religion at the centre of its mission to end Israeli occupation of Palestinian land. Hamas was founded in 1987 as an offshoot of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. An Israeli security official, who did not wish to be named, said: "We've been watching these kind of challenges to Hamas for a while. The obvious relevance to us is the question of whether Hamas is still in charge." But for Israel, Hamas was still answerable for any violence from Gaza, and recent fighting in which at least 36 Palestinians were killed in Israeli strikes in response to rocket fire "made clear that it was in Hamas's interest to assert order". HAMAS'S RIVALS There are half a dozen radical Islamist groups in Gaza with membership numbering in the hundreds. The differences between them are unclear. Some analysts believe they work in cells to evade Hamas pressure. All want to end Western influence and establish an Islamic state

across the Middle East. Hamas wants a Palestinian state, albeit an Islamic one. It has largely refrained from imposing Islamic law since taking control of Gaza in 2007 and has also condemned al Qaeda attacks in Western cities. Hamas, with some 25,000 men under arms, has said its more radical rivals are simply misguided offered them "re-education". Palestinian analyst Hani Masri said it was premature to say Hamas has lost control of Gaza. "Such incidents can happen anywhere," he said. But this would have an impact on Hamas. "If Hamas is trying to show an image of moderation and could not get something in return from the international community, this will leave a vacuum for more radical groups, even within Hamas itself," Masri said. George Giacaman, political analyst at Birzeit University in the West Bank, saw Arrigoni's murder as "a tremendous challenge for the authority of Hamas,. a huge embarrassment for them". The movement, armed by Iran and shunned as a terrorist organisation by the West, is trying "to make their authority in Gaza acceptable for the Arabs and foreign countries", he said. It had succeeded to a certain extent in stopping the firing of rockets and mortars into Israel over the past two years, and it would now be most intent on restoring control with rigour. But there were risks attached to that course, he said. -Reuters

SAVED BY THE BELL Wajeeha Mazhar

A

cool statement which can lead to state of heavenly feeling almost any one if it is really expected. I want to share a happening of a person (based on an interview with him) who got this feeling at highest level and just escaped a net scam. "Some time ago I got an email from one of prestigious hospital of Middle East. In which a person 'Saleem' shared his sad side of life and told me that his all relatives have left him alone in miserable condition at the hospital due to his prolong illness. He also shared that he is in trouble and wanted to reveal a fact that no one knew that he hold about $200 million bank account which he earned through his own IT company, which was hidden from his wife and son. Later one day he also informed me that although doctors are hopeful as per his last discussion with them but he knew he would not be survived more than 1-2 months. So in that scenario he shared that he liked to gave

the huge amount to any one who can help me in this last period of his life. I was embarrassed after receiving of above emails and initially didn't notice as usual and treat this as other internet scam but one day I think why not I took chance and dig out more evidence of this claim. I wrote back to Saleem after about 15 days and asked him to produce some evidence of this which I can believe on. He sent me few snaps of his current condition at hospital and also sent me his lawyer's contact of UK who according to him was taken care of his financial affairs. I called to lawyer in UK and really amazed the story was so genuine. For confirmation I also took lawyers land line numbers and office address which he gave me without any hesitation. Now I really smelled huge amount of USD and got dreams that I will became rich in instance. After I contacted many time with Saleem and gave hopes and pray for him. He was too pleased with my attitude and time which I was giving to him.

Through this discussion Saleem informed me that he has come to know that disease in his last stage and only a month is remaining of his life. Time passed away and after a month I received a call from his lawyer, in which he told me that the money is just ready to dispatch to me as proposed by Saleem. I was really shocked to hear this and really got out of my mind as $200 million is a big amount for me. Lawyer also asked me to send my original identity documents to him so he can prepare money disbursement to my account. On this request I got little confused for the first time and thought why he is asking for my original documents of identification and even passport. I called the lawyer on his land line number and told that I can't send required documents. Initially he got angry but asked me to send documents in full to him, which I did. After one week, he send me a scanned-bank advice in which instructed me to submit about $3000 as processing and disbarment fees to release the amount. Then my eye-

brows went up on the goings-on? I called to the lawyer that I can't give money and if necessary just ask bank to debit it from my expected money but he refused to help and pressed me to send money immediately. I also contacted Saleem and he told me that follow lawyer's instruction. I was so much confused and then decided to wait and see. His lawyer called me many times but mostly I ignored. After two days I also tried to contact with Saleem but surprisingly no one has picked my call, I tried many time but every time ended in vain. Then I contacted through hospital others official number and shocked to here that no person with name and condition of Saleem ever admitted in the hospital. I was so much stunned with the situation. I was really shocked at that time but at least happy that I didn't send original passport and other documents otherwise I don't know what will be happened to me. So please be careful for all such scam through which they inform to give you instant money without efforts.


5

Sunday, April 17, 2011

DIET SODA DOESN'T RAISE DIABETES RISK D

iet soda and other artificially-sweetened drinks - previously implicated in raising the chance of developing diabetes - are not guilty, suggests a new study from Harvard University researchers. In a large group of men followed for 20 years, drinking regular soda and other sugary drinks often meant a person was more likely to get diabetes, but that was not true of artificially-sweetened soft drinks, or coffee or tea. Replacing sugary drinks with diet versions seems to be a safe and healthy alternative, the authors said in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. "There are multiple alternatives to regular soda," Dr. Frank Hu, one of the study's authors, told Reuters Health. "Diet soda is perhaps not the best alternative, but moderate consumption is not going to have appreciable harmful effects," he said.

Prior studies have suggested that people who drink diet soda regularly might be more likely to get diabetes than those who stay away from artificially-sweetened drinks. But this study indicates that the link is a result of other factors common to both diet soda drinkers and people with diabetes, including that they are more likely to be overweight. In other words, people who are already diabetic or overweight are drinking more diet soda for those very reasons. Hu and his colleagues analyzed data from more than 40,000 men who were followed between 1986 and 2006. During that time, participants regularly filled out questionnaires on their medical status and dietary habits, including how many servings of regular and diet sodas and other drinks they consumed every week. About 7 percent of men reported that they were diagnosed with diabetes at some

point during the study. The researchers found that men who drank the most sugar-sweetened beverages about one serving a day on average - were 16 percent more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes than men who never drank those beverages. The link was mostly due to soda and other carbonated beverages, and drinking noncarbonated sugar-sweetened fruit drinks such as lemonade was not linked with a higher risk of diabetes. When nothing else was accounted for, men who drank a lot of diet soda and other diet drinks were also more likely to get diabetes. But once researchers took into account men's weight, blood pressure, and cholesterol, those drinks were not related to diabetes risk. That finding is "confirming the idea that it's really these differences between people who choose to, versus don't choose to, drink artificially-

sweetened beverages" that is related to diabetes, Dr. Rebecca Brown, an endocri-

DOCTORS OVERUSING oo many patients are getting a thyroid cancer treatment that kills thyroid tissue but can also harm other tissues in the process, according to a new study. The research, published in Cancer, finds that doctors are treating patients with earlystage, low-risk thyroid cancer using radioactive iodine, which doesn't increase their chances of surviving but may put them at risk for a secondary cancer. "Our study shows that these low-risk patients do not need" radioactive iodine, Dr Ian Ganly, one of the study's authors from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, told Reuters Health. "Therefore there is no need to expose these patients to any risk from (radioactive iodine) treatment," he said in an email. Guidelines from the American Thyroid Association say that radioactive iodine, taken as a pill or in a drink, should be used selectively and in patients with intermediate and highrisk thyroid tumors. In those patients, the treatment helps prevent the cancer from coming back after surgery, Ganly said. But there is no evidence that radioactive iodine helps patients with very small, low-risk tumors, the authors say, and these types of tumors are being diagnosed more frequently in the U.S. as cancer detection improves. Surgery to remove part of

the thyroid or the entire thyroid is usually enough to cure patients with low-risk tumors, according to the American Cancer Society. To study the way doctors prescribe radioactive iodine and the treatment's effects in low-risk patients, the authors consulted a nation-wide database of about 37,000 cases of thyroid cancer diagnosed between 1973 and 2007. In total, close to 15,000 of those patients were treated with radioactive iodine, and just over 3,000 patients developed secondary cancers over an average follow-up period of 11 years. Radioactive iodine became more popular in patients with low-risk tumors over the course of the study period. Early on, only about 3 percent of those with small tumors were treated with radioactive iodine, compared to 38 percent in recent years. The authors calculated that the radioactive iodine was not responsible for any secondary cancers at the beginning of the study, but was to blame for about 14 extra cancers per 10,000 patients in a given year by the end of the study. Cancer of the salivary gland - where radioactive iodine may accumulate - as well as leukemia were more common in patients who had been treated with radioactive iodine. Ganly said the risk of leukemia may increase because radioactive iodine circulates in the blood, thus exposing bone marrow to its tissue-killing effects.

Because the treatment hasn't been shown to benefit patients with low-risk thyroid cancer, any extra risk, even a tiny one, isn't worth it, Ganly said. He said that more doctors need to be aware of guidelines that limit the use of radioactive iodine to those patients for whom the benefits clearly outweigh the risks. "I think this is due to lack of knowledge or lack of understanding from treating physicians," Ganly said. Dr James Sisson, who studies thyroid disease at the University of Michigan, said that the guidelines on radioactive iodine may not be specific enough, leading too many doctors to decide that their patients might qualify for the treatment. And with more and more tiny cancers being diagnosed, he said, "If you start treating patients with this microscopic evidence of thyroid cancer, you don't know where to stop." Sisson, who was not involved in the current study, said that while the findings illustrate a real problem in the treatment of thyroid cancer, it's not clear that problem is going to be fixed anytime soon. "It's an important paper, but I would believe that it would have a modest impact," he told Reuters Health. "There's been a great reluctance on the part of practitioners to change their practice." Recently, Sisson said, "there is some change in attitude, but not much." -Reuters

"People who are at risk for diabetes or obesity ... those may be the people who are

J&J in talks to buy Synthes for $20bn

THYROID CANCER TREATMEN

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nologist at the National Institutes of Health, told Reuters Health.

more likely to choose artificial sweeteners because they may be more likely to be dieting," said Brown, who has studied artificial sweeteners but was not involved in the current research. The study also found that drinking coffee on a daily basis - both regular and decaffeinated - was linked to a lower risk of diabetes. Researchers aren't sure why that is, but it could be due to antioxidants or vitamins and minerals in cofee, Hu said. Brown said that while there are still some health concerns about artificial sweeteners, none have been proven. "I certainly think that we have better evidence that drinking sugar-sweetened beverages increases health risks," Brown said. "Certainly reducing sugarsweetened beverage consumption by any means (including substitution with diet drinks) is probably a good thing," she added. -Reuters

J

ohnson & Johnson is in talks to buy Swiss medical device maker Synthes for $20 billion, according to a report on the Wall Street Journal website, citing people familiar with the matter. A deal at that price would mark an 11 percent premium over Synthes' current market capitalization of around $18 billion. However, the talks were characterized as fragile and could fall apart at any time, one person told the Journal. Synthes shares closed up 6.2 percent in Switzerland, with traders citing market talk that the diversified healthcare company or U.S. medical device maker Medtronic Inc could be interested in buying the company. J&J, which holds about $19 billion in cash, declined to comment on the report. "As a matter of policy we don't comment on speculation," J&J spokesman Bill Price said. A Synthes spokesman in the United States was not immediately available to comment. J&J owns some 250 separate companies under its corporate umbrella and a Synthes purchase would be its largest ever acquisition. The company attempted to acquire U.S. medical device maker Guidant several years ago, but was outbid by Boston Scientific Corp. J&J's biggest previous deal to date was its 2006 acquisition of Pfizer Inc's consumer health business for $16 billion. "J&J has developed a strong

war chest of cash. They have the ability to do a deal like this from a size and strategy standpoint," Morningstar analyst Damien Conover said. "This is an area where J&J would like to build strength," Conover said of Synthes, which makes spinal products and screws and plates to repair broken bones. Medical devices and diagnostics accounted for 40 percent of J&J's $61.6 billion in 2010 sales. But the business has been hit by competition and recalls. "An acquisition of Synthes makes sense, but not necessarily by J&J and not at this price," said a banker not involved in with the deal. "There's other companies it would fit better with. J&J has been looking at acquisitions for a while. It's odd that they settled on this target. I'm not sure the deal gets done." J&J's Cypher, the first drug-

coated stent to reach the U.S. market, has been eclipsed by Abbott Laboratories Xience, which is by far the market leader in the devices used to prop open arteries cleared of blockages. The company's hip and knee replacement division has been hampered by product recalls. J&J has also been plagued by a series of recalls in its consumer health division with hundreds of millions of bottles and packages of Tylenol, Rolaids, Motrin and other widely used products being pulled from store shelves. Its consumer products manufacturing practices were deemed to be such a shambles that some of its plants have been placed under government supervision. Prior to the Synthes report, there had been recent speculation that J&J was interested in buying British orthopedics company Smith & Nephew.

"There have been rumors before that J&J might have been interested in other orthopedic companies," Conover said. "Synthes is more involved in trauma so the overlap might not be as much as with other companies, like those more focused on hips and knees," Conover said, adding that such a deal would raise fewer antitrust issues. The potential deal is the latest in a string of international mergers in the healthcare sector, which recently saw France's Sanofi Aventis. acquire U.S. biotech company Genzyme and Canada's Valeant Pharmaceuticals International make a hostile bid for Cephalon Inc. Synthes' chairman Hansjorg Wyss is the secondrichest person in Switzerland with a net worth of $6.4 billion, according to Forbes. Reuters

Recession cuts US, Russia 2009 greenhouse emissions US and Russian greenhouse gas emissions fell in 2009, according to data submitted to the United Nations, as economic decline cut the use of fossil fuels. Other rich countries including Australia, Italy, Spain and France have also reported falls in emissions to the UN Climate Change Secretariat, in final data on Friday that is used to judge compliance with UN treaties. "A large driver of these declines is the recession. It has made a lot of climate targets easier to achieve," said Shane Tomlinson of the E3G thinktank in London. Many industrialised nations have yet to issue emissions data for 2009 but the signs are of a bigger overall slide than a 2.2 percent decline in 2008.

US emissions fell by 6.1 percent in 2009 year-on-year to the equivalent of 6.6 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide, the biggest yearly US change since the UN baseline year for rating emissions of 1990, the data showed. And greenhouse gas emissions by Russia, the No 2 industrialized emitter behind the United States, fell by 3.2 percent in 2009 to 2.2 billion tonnes. Tomlinson said revived economic growth was likely to drive up emissions in many nations. Emissions, however, were probably lagging gross domestic product (GDP) growth, meaning a lingering benefit for fighting climate change. OBAMA The US decline makes a goal

set by President Barack Obama, but not approved by a hostile Senate, of cutting emissions by 17 per cent below 2005 levels by 2020 easier to reach. From 2009, that planned cut now works out at 9.7 per cent by 2020. The US fall was due to "a decrease in economic output resulting in a decrease in energy consumption across all sectors," according to a related statement by the US Environmental Protection Agency. It also linked the decline to a "decrease in the carbon intensity of fuels used to generate electricity due to fuel switching as the price of coal increased, and the price of natural gas decreased significantly." US GDP contracted by 2.6

percent in 2009 before growing 2.9 percent in 2010. Russia's GDP fell 7.8 per cent in 2009. Its emissions that year were 35.5 per cent below the baseline year of 1990, before the collapse of smokestack Soviet industries. The United Nations says that promised cuts in greenhouse gases so far are too weak to meet UN targets for averting the projected effects of climate change such as heatwaves, floods, droughts, mudslides and rising sea levels. In November, research groups in the Global Carbon Project estimated that world emissions, also comprising poor nations led by China and India which do not report annual emissions, fell by 1.3 per cent in 2009 but would rebound in 2010. -Reuters


Austria's Jurgen Melzer hits a return to his opponent, Spain's David Ferrer, during the Monte-Carlo ATP Masters Series Tournament tennis match semi-final

Ferrer trounces Melzer to reach Monte Carlo final MONACO: Fourth seed David Ferrer roared back from a shaky start to cruise into the Monte Carlo Masters final with a 6-3 6-2 win over Juergen Melzer on Saturday. Austria's Melzer was inspired when beating Roger Federer on Friday to prevent the top four seeds all reaching the semi-finals at the beachside Monte Carlo Country Club but he was only half as potent against the dogged Spaniard. Melzer broke early for 2-1 as Ferrer struggled with his first serve but the Austrian inexplicably let his opponent back in by losing his serve twice, with a double fault effectively sealing his fate in the first set. Bandana-wearing Ferrer, bidding for a 12th career title and third this year, extended his record over Melzer to four wins in six meetings after the seventh seed was broken to love in the fifth game of the second set before losing his serve again. The world number six produced a succession of powerful winners to delight the crowd and the latecomers, who clambered up the galleries looking for rare empty seats as Friday's windy conditions were quickly forgotten thanks to bright sunshine. Top seed and world number one Rafa Nadal, aiming to extend his record and win the same tournament for a seventh straight time, meets British third seed Andy Murray in the second semifinal.

Sri Lanka's new captain to be named next week COLOMBO: Sri Lanka is all set to get a new cricket captain next week, days after Kumar Sangakkara stepped down following the team`s runners-up finish at the World Cup. "The selectors need to discuss the issue with the interim committee members of Sri Lanka Cricket. This meeting will take place next week after the current New Year holiday period," Chairman of selectors Duleep Mendis, who took over after the resignation of Aravinda de Silva, told the local media here. Sangakkara, currently leading the Deccan Chargers in the IPL, resigned from the captaincy in the aftermath of the loss to India in the April 2 World Cup final. His resignation was followed by that of his deputy Mahela Jayawardene and the chairman of selectors de Silva. Sangakkara said he was giving Sri Lankan selectors the chance to name a captain who would lead the team in the next World Cup to be held in Australia and New Zealand in 2015. Tillakaratne Dilshan is tipped to succeed Sangakkara. Dilshan is a year older than Sangakkara at 34. Sangakkara, it is understood, is willing to captain the Test team in the next two international commitments, the tour of England in May and the visit of Australia in August. Online

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Pakistan ready to host India at neutral venue NEW DELHI: While several Indian cricketers may have strong reservations against playing Pakistan on their soil, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) does not mind hosting India at a neutral venue. Pakistan have been playing most of their home games at neutral venues and if the Indian cricketers and even BCCI are opposed to the idea of playing in Pakistan, PCB is okay with it as long as the cricket resumes. "We hope to host India sooner than later. If the Indians have problem with the security situation in Pakistan, we are also ready to host them at neutral venues. But cricket should resume at any cost. At least, we are getting positive signals from the government. Though it's too early to comment, we have been told to get ready," a top PCB official told TOI.

CHENNAI: Chennai Super Kings' cricketer Suresh Raina plays a shot during the Indian premier League cricket match against Royal Challengers Bangalore.-Reuters

Summer Cricket League kicks off Tuesday LAHORE: The inaugural Punjab Chief Minister Summer Cricket League will go into action from April 18 at fifteen (15) grounds of the city simultaneously. According to press release issued here on Saturday a rare-guard effort by Lahore City Cricket Association to revive club cricket on the pattern of summer leagues organized in the past. President, Lahore City Cricket Association, Khawaja Nadim Ahmad said that National Gymkhana will meet Pindi Gymkhana in the opening match at LCCA ground. He said a heavy activity programme of matches will go through in the league and in all 550 matches will be played during three to five month's time. " The main objective of this league is to revive club cricket and to motivate youth to take up cricket as sport ", he said adding " Lahore was once known as the hub of cricket activities at grass root level and the league is being revived after a lapse of 28 years to reestablish Lahore's status as the nursery of cricket ". Kh Nadim was of the view that the league will help in identifying talented player besides formulating performance-based criteria for the selection of Lahore's team to take part in PCB domestic tournaments. He said the affiliated three Zone of LCCA have different pools to accommodate their respective teams in the league. East Zone teams have been placed in six pools, West in six pools and North in five. " From each Zone six top teams will qualify to play in the super league of the event and forty players will be selected to

form two Lahore's teams to get LCCA central contracts for which PCB will extend financial assistance in three categories of Rs 20 thousands, Rs 15thousands and and Rs 10 thousands. LCCA Chief said Rs three million are required to organize CM summer league and they will be approaching the Punjab Government to extend financial assistance besides seeking sponsorship from private sector on the same pattern of organizing recently concluded Lahore premier league. Kh Nadim observed that Lahore's club cricket was badly neglected in the past owing to various reasons and they have come forward to lift it out of present gloom. " In our so far one year performance we have done a lot to put Lahore's cricket at the track of success and due to sheer hard work and planning Lahore made an impression by winning three national level tournaments. He said the league is an ideal opportunity for the young talent to show its talent and potential. " Our sole objective is to launch collective effortsfor the betterment of Lahore cricket and I am delighted that all the three zones are extending full support and cooperation in this regard", said LCCA President who will also inaugurate the summer league. He said LCCA has announced a panel of umpires to supervise the matches and has barred the umpires of their respective zones to supervise their own zone matches. " We will be maintaining the performance record of the players to consider them for selection in Lahore teams to feature in domestic tournaments. -Online

Pak likely to play India in a blind cricket tournament ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's blind cricket team is likely to host a series against India in Dubai at the end of this year, an official said here on Saturday. According to PTI, "We will be playing three ODIs and three Twenty-20 games in the series," said Pakistan's Blind Cricket Council secretary Bilal Satti. The series will be discussed at a meeting of the World Blind Cricket Council on May 12, he said. "As the nation is working to improve Pakistan-India relations, we too are not lagging behind...we want India and all other countries to tour Pakistan and revive international cricket here," Satti added. Pakistan has the most successful blind cricket team and is the only country that spends the most on the sport, he emphasized. "We get a grant of Rs 1. -Online

Abid shines OSCC win in Dawood Memorial cricket KARACHI: Off-break bowler Muhammad Abid captured four wickets to bowl Orangi Star Cricket Club (OSCC) to 42 runs victory over Northern Gymkhana by 42 runs in the inaugural match of KCCA Zone-VI Dawood Khan Memorial Cricket Tournament at KCCA stadium on Friday. Abid claimed four wickets for 20 runs as Northern Gymkhana chasing 207 for victory were bowled for 164 in 34.4 overs. Muhammad Shahzad (34), Rameez Ahmed (34),Ibadullah (20) showed some resistance, Muhammad Adnan took 2/27 to extent good support to Abid. Earlier batting first, OSCC all out for 206 in 40 overs, Muhammad Mehtab topscored with 42. Muhammad Farhan (34), Adil Ali (25) also batted well.J.Ishaq, Arshad Ullah, Ibadullah took 2 wickets each. -APP

According to the sources, PCB chairman Ijaz Butt is keen to host India in lieu of the 2009 series, which got cancelled due to 26/11. PCB is keen that the Indian team plays first in Pakistan or at a neutral centre before Pakistan come and play in India. But with the BCCI making it clear that there wasn't any window available for an Indo-Pak series till next year March, the PCB may not mind playing in India first. PCB also claimed that it has been advocating an Indo-Pak series for a long time, but the Indians were reluctant to resume ties. "Even during the World Cup match in Mohali, the prime ministers discussed it and this is something which augurs well for fans from either side of the borders," the official added. Surprisingly, the BCCI top brass is claiming ignorance

over any government directive on the resumption of Indo-Pak cricket. But as of now, the board is firm on not sending its team to Pakistan. Sources said that some of the senior cricketers are completely against traveling to the country till the perpetrators of 26/11 are brought to book. "No team is willing to play in Pakistan, why should we play there. If we play them at neutral venues, we don't mind?" an Indian cricketer made a point. The World Cup winners exuded confidence that the board would support them on the issue. "We can host them if the government is willing, but going to Pakistan is completely out of question. The board members will have to meet before taking further call on Indo-Pak cricket resumption," a BCCI official said.-Online

Mechanic’s illness puts Ferrari woes in shade

Zvonareva gives Russia the Fed Cup lead over Italy

form. The German world champion has won the last four races, two of them at the end of last year, and started the last four on pole as well. Ferrari have not been on the podium since Brazil in November, with Domenicali making a flying visit back to Maranello after last weekend's race in Malaysia to help speed up developments and assess the situation. "Fifth and sixth places represent the maximum we can aspire to in our current situation," said Alonso who is fifth in the championship and already 30 points behind Vettel after two races. Massa is sixth overall. "We already knew all about Red Bull and McLaren but here we saw an improvement from Mercedes so the situation is now even more difficult." Mercedes's German driver Nico Rosberg, who has yet to win a race after five seasons, qualified fourth on Saturday. "Yesterday we tried some new components but it is still too early to use them in a race. We hope to make a significant step forward in Turkey (the next race after China)," added the Spaniard.-Reuters

MOSCOW: World number three Vera Zvonareva put Russia 1-0 up against Italy in their Fed Cup semi-final clash here Saturday, beating Sara Errani 6-0, 6-2. The 26-year-old Zvonareva notched her fourth win over Errani in as many meetings, winning in 56 minutes on the hardcourts of Moscow's Megasport indoor arena. Last year's Wimbledon and US Open runner-up looked in complete command from the start breaking her opponent's serve three times to take the opening set at love in just 25 minutes. In the second set Errani fought back hard but failed to save the match as Zvonareva produced two more breaks to underline her domination and to win the set and the match. The rubber between twotime Grand Slam winner Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia and Italy's Roberta Vinci will complete Sunday's schedule of the semi-final tie. The reverse singles and the doubles clash will complete the match programme on Sunday. -APP

SHANGHAI: Ferrari put their Formula One track troubles into perspective on Saturday with news that one of their mechanics was recovering from emergency surgery in hospital. Double world champion Fernando Alonso qualified fifth and Brazilian Felipe Massa sixth at the Chinese Grand Prix after another difficult afternoon. Team principal Stefano Domenicali announced other preoccupations afterwards, however. "I want to express our delight at the positive progress in the condition of Paolo Santarsiero, one of our mechanics who fell ill on Thursday with an aneurism in his head," he said in a team release. "I wish to thank the entire medical team who acted so promptly and efficiently in carrying out the procedure. Incidents like this make one realise what the priorities really are in life and put everything else into perspective." Ferrari were battling for the drivers' championship right to the final round last season, with Alonso winning five races, but victory looks a long way off now with Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel in dominant

WOLFSBURG: VfL Wolfsburg's Grafite (R) competes for the ball with FC St. Pauli's Fabian Boll during their German Bundesliga first division soccer match in Wolfsburg.-Reuters


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No check on increasing use of antibiotic medicines ISLAMABAD: Citizens have demanded the concerned health authorities to take concrete measures to check inappropriate use of antibiotic medicines, causing harmful effects on the health. They have urged the authorities to ensure implementing relevant laws and make necessary amendments to eliminate this fatal practice. They have also asked them to create awareness among the general public about hazards of misuse of antibiotics on the advice of medical practitioners. They complained that the sales of antibiotic medicines without the prescription of a registered physician are prevalent but the authorities concerned are reluctant to take any action. They said doctors and pharmacists should prescribe and dispense only the drugs that are required to treat a patient, rather than automatically giving either the newest or bestknown medicines. "It seems that pharmaceutical

companies and some of doctors have an unholy alliance and the physicians unnecessarily recommend antibiotics to boost sales of companies," they said. They said that drugs sellers should be restricted not to sell antibiotic medicines without prescription and the general public,on the other hand, should be made aware that buying antibiotic medicines unnecessarily without the advice of an experienced physician could provide them temporary relief, but this practice could lead to catastrophic consequences. Executive Coordinator of The Network for Consumer Protection Dr Arif Azad told APP that in Pakistani society relevant drugs rules were not properly being implemented. "From registration of medicines and their manufacturing to the sale of medicines, relevant rules and procedures are blatantly flouted," he said, adding monitoring mechanism was so fragile that it seemed helpless before the powerful drugs mafia.

"If we fail to take rapid and drastic measures to eliminate misuse of medicines and implement relevant laws, our future generations will ultimately suffer". He said there was a need to develop national policy to combat drug resistance with the contribution of health professionals, civil society and other groups. Dr Wasim Khawaja, a gastroenterologist at Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS), said antibiotics fight bacteria, but they cannot fight viruses, adding, many people consume antibiotics unnecessarily even in case of viral diseases that is not only useless, but also dangerous. "Patients should stop demanding that doctors give them antibiotics when they may not be appropriate." He said serious infections acquired in hospitals can become fatal because they are so difficult to treat and drug-resistant strains of microorganism are spread from one geographical location to another.-APP

Sun Pharma, US Merck in generics joint venture MUMBAI: US drugmaker Merck & Co has formed a joint venture with India's Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd to develop and manufacture branded generic drugs for emerging markets, the two companies said.. The companies did not disclose financial details of the deal. "It will leverage Merck's market presence (and) regulatory competence across emerging markets," Sun's chairman and managing director, Dilip Shanghvi, said at a media briefing. "This will help us optimize the potential for JV products." Faced with stalling sales in mature Western markets, rising competition and loss of patent protection on several of their drugs, Western drugmakers are increasingly looking at emerging markets for growth. "The joint venture will help to further strengthen our position for leadership in some of the world's fastest growing geographies," said Kevin Ali, president of emerging markets at Merck. Last year, Anglo-Swedish drug maker AstraZeneca struck its first branded generics supply deal with India's Torrent Pharmaceuticals , a year after rival British drug maker GlaxoSmithKline tied a similar branded generics deal with India's Dr Reddy's Laboratories Ltd .-Reuters

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Roche seen kicking off 1Q season with sales drop ZURICH: Roche is poised to kick off the Big Pharma reporting season with a drop in sales due to weaker demand for topselling Avastin and flu drug Tamiflu and governments' drive to cut drug prices. US regulators revoked Avastin's approval for use in treating breast cancer late last year after trials showed the drug failed to help patients live longer. European authorities have also limited use of the drug to treat this disease. "What everyone would like to know is how badly Avastin is affected by the label withdrawal. This will be the key question," said Helvea analyst KarlHeinz Koch. Analysts polled by Reuters are on average forecasting a 10 percent slump in quarterly Avastin sales, while pharmaceutical sales at the group are seen sliding 9.2 percent to 8.836 billion Swiss francs ($9.86 billion) as Roche also grapples with the strong franc. Roche only gives sales figures at the quarterly stage. Investors will also focus during the reporting season on how Roche and its rivals are coping with a healthcare reform in the United States and a push from cash-strapped governments in Europe to slash the prices of drugs. Roche's top line is also likely to be hit by a 76 percent drop in sales of Tamiflu, a pill used to treat flu. The absence of last year's windfall profits from drugs and vaccines to tackle the H1N1 swine flu pandemic will be a common theme for several European drugmakers during the earnings season. Investors will next week eye full results from other large drugmakers, including Eli Lilly , Novartis, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) and Abbott (ABT.N), for more insight into the health of the industry.-Reuters

will participate in the moot. The roundtable conference would discuss energy related issues pertaining to the region. The ministers would also talk about the increasing oil prices in international market due to turmoil in African state including Libya and natural disaster at Japan. -Agencies

GENEVA: Gerard Le Fur, Chief Executive Officer of Sanofi-Aventis pharmaceutical group delivers a speech during a press conference. Reuters

Deal to boost flu pandemic preparedness agreed: WHO GENEVA: Virus samples will be shared globally in exchange for vaccines produced from them under a landmark deal to improve preparedness for a flu pandemic, diplomats at the World Health Organization said Saturday. Negotiators ended an all-night session with a draft agreement accepted by all countries, including the United States, which was the last to join the consensus, they said. Health ministers were expected to adopt the framework deal, which lays down participation by the drug industry, at the WHO's annual meeting being held May 16-24. "The negotiations are finished. The framework was agreed," an aide to Mexico's

ambassador Juan Jose Gomez Camacho, co-chairman of the closed-door talks, told Reuters. Countries would share virus samples with the WHO's network of laboratories in return for affordable vaccines derived from them. The industry has pledged to donate drugs and know-how, covering half of the $58 million annual cost of boosting defenses in the poorest nations, according to senior envoys. Negotiations began four years ago among the WHO's 193 members after the deadly H5N1 bird flu virus emerged in southeast Asia. A year later, Indonesia stopped sharing flu virus samples with the WHO's network, demanding its share of vaccines.

Indonesia's delegation supported the consensus reached in the round of talks this week, diplomats said. During the H1N1 swine flu pandemic in 2009-2010, many developing countries complained that they had no lifesaving antivirals or vaccines to combat the new virus. The WHO helped distribute 78 million vaccines, donated by rich nations and drug makers, to 77 developing countries, but regulatory and other hurdles slowed the process. The pharmaceutical industry has pledged to step up its role. "Industry agreed what its role will be. They will be able to choose between donations and intellectual property," a diplomatic source told Reuters.

prosperity, stability and peace in our region," Gilani added. He said several important mega projects, including trans-regional projects, such as the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India Gas Pipeline; building of electricity transmission lines; enhancing physical connectivity by building or upgrading requisite infrastructure, as well as expediting the implementation mechanisms for the Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement, needed to be fast-tracked. Gilani said it was Pakistan's considered view that only by working a social and economic transformation the two peoples would be able to realize the legitimate aspirations for staContinued from page 1 No #5 The post of chairman had been lying vacant since the retirement of bility, peace and prosperity. -Agencies Ogra's first chairman Munir Ahmad who retired in October last year. Continued from page 1 No #7 It may be mentioned that Tauqir Sadiq is brother-in-law of PPP He was upbeat on substantial growth in exports this year, reflecting a 26 per cent increase over last Continued from page 8 No #2 secretary-general Jehangir Badar. year. Pakistan's ambassador to the United States Husain Haqqani drew attention of the forum to the investing in foreign countries and UBL is committed to be a He was recently employed in the Wah Ordnance Factories and "trusted partner" to Chinese out-bound business as the two neigh- also served as registrar of the authority a few years ago. -Agencies importance of strengthening economic and trade ties between the two countries. Jay Collins, chairman of Pakistan-US Business Council, said economic ties are a vital aspect of bors celebrate the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations. -APP the strategic relationship between two countries and praised Ambassador Haqqani's dedication to Continued from page 1 No #6 Continued from page 1 No #3 President Karzai, while speaking on the tripartite arrangement, promoting economic relations. During the visit, the finance minister is scheduled to have a meeting It was heartening to note that the morale and spirit of the said that his country welcomed consultations with the United with World Bank and IMF leaders. The finance minister will also hold bilateral dialogue with US Pakistani Armed Forces was high and it was very gratifying to States in this regard. He said Pakistan's role as a facilitator was also government on advancing economic ties and meet representatives belonging to the departments of note that every officer and Jawan, no matter what his ethnic back- important and added that whatever Prime Minister Gilani said was State and Treasury, as well as USAID and White House officials. Dr Shaikh will also meet with his counterparts from China, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Afghanistan, Iran and Britain's Minister of ground or rank, was working as a committed defender of national a "fundamental shift" of Pakistan from its views in the past. frontiers, he said. "We today have clarity, which never existed earlier," Karzai International Development. -APP CJ said that the Supreme Court was the apex Court of the land. said. Gilani when asked about al-Qaeda's presence in Pakistan, Continued from page 1 No #8 "It is the final arbiter of law and protector of the Constitution. said "it is your country's problem and you have to decide and set restore confidence and prevent future financial crises. "We have made huge progress in relation to The Supreme Court was established under 1956 Constitution, parameters." About the role of the United States in Afghanistan, the framework for growth," she said. "This is a major step in the right direction." replacing the Federal Court. It is the Court of ultimate jurisdiction Prime Minister Gilani said "whatever is the policy of the US on Lagarde said that all G-20 nations will take part in the monitoring process but in the beginning the and all the courts sub-ordinate to it, follow its precedents", he Afghanistan, Pakistan will support Afghanistan." focus would be on seven of the world's largest economies. She declined to name all of those countries said. Gilani also strongly dispelled the notion that terrorists were but the group is expected to include the United States, China, Japan, Germany, France, Britain and India. He said that all the institutions including legislature, executive entering into Afghanistan from Pakistan and said the two counMuch about the monitoring process, however, is still to be determined including whether countries and judiciary, were the creation of the Constitution itself, which tries were already interacting at political, intelligence and defence found to have dangerous imbalances will be identified publicly. China in the past has blocked pubwas the supreme law of the land, therefore, it was incumbent upon levels and this cooperation would enhance in the days ahead. lic release of criticism it has received from the International Monetary Fund. The initial monitoring them to work for the protection of this sacred document. Gilani said that he held in-depth consultations with President effort will be reviewed at an October meeting of the G-20 finance officials who will report on how Moreover, he said that the Constitution itself manifestly pro- Karzai on the situation prevailing in the region and various initiathe process is working to G-20 leaders who are scheduled to meet in Cannes, France, in November. vides that all the executive and judicial authorities shall act in aid tives that were being talked about for promoting reconciliation Since there is no enforcement mechanism, it was unclear what pressure can be brought to bear on of the Supreme Court. and peace. "I would like to laud the efforts of our Afghan broth- countries found with dangerous imbalances. He said that the founder of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, ers and sisters across length and breadth of Afghanistan to realize However, officials sought to portray the agreement as a major step forward in addressing the types while addressing the Officers of Staff College Quetta in 1948 their legitimate aspirations for peace and stability." of problems that were uncovered by the financial crisis that erupted in the United States in the fall stressed the need to understand the implications of Oath taken by President Karzai described the message from Prime Minister of 2008 and contributed to pushing the global economy into the worst downturn since the Great the personnel of Armed Forces and to acquaint themselves with Gilani on the reconciliation process as very "clear" and "imporDepression of the 1930s. "The subprime crisis in the United States - that's exactly the kind of acciConstitutional norms. tant" and added that the two sides held detailed talks on all dent we want to avoid in the future," Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty told reporters. He said that the Constitution of 1973 for the first time intro- aspects, including the situation in the region and bilateral politiBritish Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said he expected Britain would be cited in duced a new chapter for the Armed Forces containing provisions cal, economic and trade relations. the first report next fall for its sizable government deficit. Others suggested that the United States Prime Minister Gilani termed the drone attacks "counterproducpertaining to the command, oath and functions of the Armed tive" and added that loss of precious human lives could not be just would also be cited for its government deficit, which is projected to hit $1.5 trillion this year. China Forces. could be cited for its trade surplus. Every member of the Armed Forces, he added, according to the dismissed as "collateral damage". G-20 leaders meeting in Pittsburgh in September 2009 agreed to a goal of rebalancing global Gilani said similarly, suicide attacks, resulting in loss of innooath, was bound to bear true faith and allegiance to Pakistan and growth. But China in particular has resisted the rebalancing program, seeing it as a backdoor to bring cent lives as well as attacks on places of worship, were not only uphold the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan which inhuman and barbaric but evidently designed to denigrate Islam greater pressure on Beijing to allow its currency to rise in value against the dollar. Critics contend embodies the would of the people. China is unfairly manipulating its currency for trade advantages. Furthermore, he said, he would not engage himself in any polit- and to sow discord among Muslims, communities and societies. In addition to global imbalances, the finance discussions have focused on ways to help poor Prime Minister Gilani said his visit to Afghanistan was aimed at ical activities whatsoever, and would honestly and faithfully serve nations deal with soaring food and energy costs and the dangers of rising inflationary pressures in Pakistan. He said that in the constitutional history of Pakistan, it reaching out to the Afghani people. He said in his opening China and other emerging economies. -Agencies was also for the first time that in the Constitution of 1973 the oath remarks that he was here to convey respect and admiration for the great Afghan nation and to renew "deep-rooted bonds of fraternal of the members of the Armed Forces has been incorporated. Continued from page 1 No #9 "Earlier to this provision, they took oath prescribed in Pakistan solidarity." He recalled his conversation with President Karzai Other members of the Commission are Justice Javed Iqbal, Justice Mian Shakirullah Jan, Justice Army Act, 1952 and the rules there under. By this measure, con- and said he particularly mentioned that "friendship with Tassadduq Hussain Jillani and Justice Nasir ul Mulk ,senior judges of the apex Court, Attorney Afghanistan is a cornerstone of Pakistan's foreign policy; this scious effort was made, by the framers of the Constitution to General Maulvi Anwar-ul Haq, Pakistan Bar Council member Dr Khalid Ranjha and Justice (Retd) clearly delineate role for the Armed Forces, responsible for its friendship is age old, timeless and abiding." Gilani said the two Ijaz Ahmed Chaudhry besides high court chief justices, including Chief Justice Ejaz Ahmed defence, security and to safeguard the Constitution from any countries were connected by geography, shared faith, culture and Chaudhry of the Lahore High Court (LHC), Chief Justice Sindh High Court Musheer Alam, adventurism", he said. He said that armed Forces of the country traditions. "But it is more than that. Friendship with Afghanistan Peshawar High Court Chief Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan and Balochistan High Court Chief Justice Qazi besides performing basic task of defending the motherland have is in our blood. A sense of shared destiny beckons us to join hands Faiz Isa. -Agencies also played a significant role in various other nation building proj- in not only overcoming the immediate issues but also in forging and marching 'instep' towards realizing a peaceful and prosperous Continued from page 1 No #10 ects and specially disaster management. "Both sides are very busy with FTP requirements in the near future so finding a window will be Under the Constitution and law, CJ added, the services of the future for our peoples." Prime Minister said the two sides have agreed to give high pri- the first thing. Then we'll talk about the matches themselves and what kind they will be, a three Armed Forces can be acquired to act in aid of the civil power and ority and to work jointly on the development track. match ODI series or whatever." for maintaining law and order situation. -Agencies "This means optimally utilizing our natural economic compleIf such a series is planned, it will most likely be played at a neutral venue, although PCB Chairman Continued from page 1 mentarities and that of the region as a whole, for socioeconomic Ijaz Butt ruled out the option, saying Pakistan wants to host India on its soil. No #4 three day 4th Asian Ministerial Roundtable Conference being development and prosperity." Prime Minister Gilani said given "Prime Minister has directed us to host this series in Pakistan so we are not looking at the option held under the auspices of International Energy Forum (IEF) from the enormous resources - both human and natural - the collective of a neutral venue," Butt told reporters. economic potential of the two countries was phenomenal. April 17 to 19, 2011 at Kuwait. Primer ministers of both countries met and held talks at the Mohali semi-final, showing signs of "Together, we will, Inshallah, write a new chapter of progress, He will lead three-member delegation Ministers of Oil & Gas revival of ties between the arch-rivals. -Agencies

On al Qaeda, he said that though the terror network's "core has become weaker it retains the capability to conduct regional and transnational attacks." In addition, he said, its "affiliates have grown stronger." Benjamin said Pakistan, particularly its Federally Administered Tribal Area and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province in the northwest, continues to be used as a base for terrorist organisations operating in Pakistan and Afghanistan. -Online


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WASHINGTON: Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh addressing in a informal meeting with the Pakistan origin staff of the World Bank and IMF at The World Bank Building. APP

EU to reevaluate Pak financial aid Rebukes Isb for going slow against militants BRUSSELS: European Parliament has rebuked Pakistan for the slow progress in the fight against militancy in the country and directed the European Commission to appropriate financial aid to Islamabad based on its sincere efforts to eradicate terrorist groups. European Parliament issued two declarations here reprimanding Pakistan about the dangers posed by the militants and calling for urgent measures for the security of the European Union (EU). Noting that Pakistani-militants area a major threat to Europe and the world, it instructed the Commission to "re-evaluate the size and objectives of its financial aid, depending on the sincere efforts of the Pakistani government to eradicate terrorist groups". It expressed concern about Taliban sympathizers infiltrating into Pakistani military, intelligence and other security establishments. Concerns were growing following the murder of Punjab provincial governor Salman Taseer by one of his bodyguards in January this year. "Taliban militants

are continuously attempting to gain control over nuclear warheads, which clearly poses a threat for Europe and the world," it said. The parliament sought appointment of senior security experts to undertake a thorough study of the present security situation in the region. All EU operations and missions in the region must be manned by trained personnel equipped with handling chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear terrorism, it said. Terrorism and extremism are not just threats to the stability of Pakistan, but also to the rest of the world, it said noting "elements of the Pakistani intelligence and security services are suspected of giving practical and financial support to terrorist groups". It called on the Pakistani government to do more to tackle extremism, and the EU member-states to assist in preventing extremist indoctrination, rooting out extremist infiltration of security services and closing the training centers used by groups for terrorist missions abroad. -Reuters

UBL to help China firms explore ME BEIJING: Pakistan leading private sector bank, United Bank Limited (UBL), is offering to help Chinese enterprises explore the international markets in Pakistan and middle-east countries. UBL has witnessed robust growth and closer cooperation with Chinese business partners since establishing an office in Beijing in 2007, according to a bank announcement on Saturday. It facilitates Chinese companies in contracting, trade and treasury services by taking advantage of its long experience operating in Pakistan and Middle East countries. Wajahat Husain, the company's Group Executive and Head of International said at a reception in Beijing the other day that "We have provided background support, such as the environment, policy and social customs, for Chinese investors in four countries - Pakistan, United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Yemen." The trade between the United Arab

Emirates and China has reached around $24 billion, and UBL, which has its international headquarters based in the UAE and strong relationships with government as well as top tier business groups, can be seen as making a positive contribution to the trade growth, said Wajahat Husain. He also said Chinese investors show a growing, new interest in Bahrain, although the trade volume between the two holds at $0.77 billion. UBL's Bahrain branch mainly participates in infrastructure, manufacturing, trading and retail. Tianjin Pipe International Economic and Trading Cooperation has been in cooperation with UBL for about 20 years, and Xu Xiuqing, the Chinese company's Middle East and Former Soviet Regional Manager, said she is very satisfied with the high quality and good service of UBL. In Wajahat Husain's view, Chinese investors "research well" before See # 2 Page 7

Regularising prize bond sale advised ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on Law, Justice Saturday unanimously approved legal practitioners and bar council amendment bill 2011. The committee has also sent back the Criminal Law Amendment Bill 2010 to Parliament with some amendments. Senator Muhammad Kazim Khan chaired the meeting at the Parliament house to review Criminal Law Amendment Bill 2010, which seeks legislation against counterfeiting as well as regulating the business of prize bonds. Under the criminal law amendment bill, any individual or company if found involved in illegal business of prize bounds would be imprisoned for 5 years, besides getting hefty plenty. Under the legislation, only State Bank of Pakistan, National Saving

Certificates and authorised branches of banks would be allowed to sale and purchase of prize bonds. The committee also approved legal Practitioners and Bar Council amendment bill 2011. Under the bill, every government is bound to release funds for bar councils around the country, irrespective of their affiliation from any political party or group. The committee chairman and members were of the view that national assembly is not paying attention to important legislation and we are not bound to accept the recommendation of NA. We will review every bill in details, he said, adding we are not in favor in providing unlimited discretionary power to judiciary in any matter. -Agencies

Pak CG meets Aafia in Texas ISLAMABAD/ WASHINGTON: On the instructions of Pakistani ambassador to the United States Husain Haqqani, Pakistani Consul General in Houston Aqil Nadeem visited detained Pakistani scientist Dr Aafia Siddiqui in Carswell detention facility in Texas. In a two-hour meeting, Dr Aafia Siddiqui informed the consul general that she was medically fine and was pleased to speak by phone to her mother and children in Karachi on Thursday. A private TV channel quoted a Pakistani embassy official as saying; Dr Aafia will also be able to meet her brother at her request. The consul general informed Dr Aafia Siddiqui that the Pakistani embassy in Washington had coordinated consular access for her through the concerned authorities. Dr Aafia Siddiqui asked the diplomat to convey her thanks to Ambassador Haqqani for his concern for her welfare, the official said. -Online

MISRATA: Loud explosions Saturday rocked the besieged rebelheld western Libyan city of Misrata, where the death toll mounted, as a rights watchdog said Moamer Kadhafi's forces were using cluster bombs. In the east, heavy fighting was reported as rebel fighters, bolstered by Nato air strikes, pushed on from the crossroads town of Ajdabiya towards the strategic oil town of Brega. And even further west, Nato air strikes targeted Kadhafi's hometown of Sirte, state news agency JANA reported, without giving details. Nato warplanes had already struck Sirte on Friday, JANA reported at the time. The blasts in Misrata were accompanied by bursts of gunfire heard coming from the city centre, after Nato flyovers and possible air raids were followed by a lull in shelling and shooting, a correspondent said. Officials at Misrata's main Hikma hospital said overnight it had

received five dead bodies and 31 wounded. US-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) said its researchers reported the use of internationally banned cluster munitions against Misrata, the rebels' last major bastion in western Libya. Insurgents said Kadhafi loyalists were using cluster bombs, which explode in the air and scatter deadly, armour-piercing submunitions over a wide area. "Last night it was like rain," said Hazam Abu Zaid, a local resident who has taken up arms to defend his neighbourhood, describing the cluster bombings. The use of the munitions was first reported by The New York Times. A reporting team for the daily photographed MAT-120 mortar rounds which it said were produced in Spain. "It's appalling that Libya is using this weapon, especially in a residential area," said Steve Goose, HRW's arms division director. "They pose a huge risk to civilians, both during attacks because of their indiscriminate nature and

afterwards because of the still-dangerous unexploded duds scattered about," he said. A spokesman for the Libyan regime denied the accusations. "Absolutely no. We can't do this. Morally, legally we can't do this," Mussa Ibrahim told journalists. "We never do it. We challenge them to prove it." In Paris, aid organisation Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said it had evacuated 99 people, including 64 war-wounded, by boat from Misrata on Friday to Tunisia. Speaking of the dire conditions in the city, under siege for weeks, MSF Doctor Morten Rostrup said in a statement that "health structures have been struggling to cope with the influx of patients". "With the latest heavy bombardments in Mistrata, the situation is worsening, as hospitals have to discharge patients before their treatment is completed in order to treat the new wounded from fighting. Many injured cannot even access medical facilities without further risking their life."-Agencies

US seeks increased action against militants in Fata

More push urged against Taliban WASHINGTON: Describing Pakistan's lawless tribal belt as a terrorist safe haven, a top US counterterrorism official has said the Obama administration continues to press Islamabad for "increased action" against militant groups like LeT, which is responsible for the Mumbai attacks. "While Pakistan has made progress

on the counterterrorism front, specifically against Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, the challenge remains to make these gains durable and sustainable," Daniel Benjamin, Coordinator for Counter-terrorism Office in State Department said in his testimony before a Congressional Committee. According to PTI, Benjamin said

Pakistan must sustain its efforts to deny al Qaeda safe haven in the tribal areas of its western territory. He also said the US continues to ask Pakistan to take action against LeT. "We continue to press Pakistan for increased action against Lashkar-eTaiba and other terrorist groups." See # 1 Page 7

Pak panel to visit India on May 15 NEW DELHI: A Pakistani Judicial Commission will visit India on May 15 to interview key witnesses in connection with the trial of seven Pakistani suspects in 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks case. During the visit, Judicial Commission would take statements of Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate R V Sawant Waghule, Investigating Officer Ramesh Mahale, who recorded Mumbai attack convict Ajmal Kasab's statement, and the doctor who carried out the post-mortem of the alleged terrorists, an Indian TV channel reported on Saturday. Pakistan's contention is that the charges against the seven Lashkar-e-Taiba activists, including its operations commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi are based on Kasab's statement in Mumbai and hence the magistrate and the IO's statements were absolutely necessary to submit before the anti-terror court there.-Online

Qaim concerned over timely completion of census KARACHI: Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah, voicing grave concerns over the progress in the process of population census, has directed the authorities concerned to expedite the process, media reported Saturday. Qaim Ali Shah told media that unopposed election of Dr Asim Hussain as Senator speaks volume for the unity in coalition government. To a question, he expressed concerns over completion of population counting process on time. -Agencies

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TheFinancialDaily-Epaper-17-04-2011  

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