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VOL V, NO. 298

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Capital mass transit system biting the dust 

If Shahbaz can do it in record 11 months, why CDA and federal govt failed to even launch the project in several years?

SALMAN ABBAS ISLAMABAD: Launching of metro bus service in the provincial capital of Punjab on Sunday not only showed that such mega projects can be completed within a year but may also raise many questions about the performance of the Capital Development Authority (CDA) and federal government who cannot start a much awaited transport service in the capital city despite lapse of several years. Two years back, former Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani announced to launch a

bus service in federal capital until November 2011. But all his promises have been gone in smoke and the longstanding issue of public transport being faced by the residents of the capital city is still unresolved. On the other hand, during March 2012 Punjab chief minister announced to launch a metro bus service with in short span of time. And the project worth Rs30 billion was inaugurated on February 10th in record period of 11 months. Sources in the CDA told The Spokesman that the financial crunch did not allow the

authority to carry out the work on Metro Bus Service project worth Rs400 million in the capital city. He said that the federal government was also not paying any heed towards the issue. He said that last year, the Asian Development Bank gave its node to sponsor a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system for Islamabad and the CDA had to approve a feasibility report of said project. "But due to the lethargic attitude of some CDA officials this plan has also been thrown on backburner," said the official. Under the plan, fleet of 48 buses will serve around 42,000

commuters a day and the proposed route for the service is IJP road to 9th Avenue to Pak Secretariat via Blue Area. The official told further that during 2008 CDA planned a Rapid Mass Transit System (RMTS) which also includes the fleet of buses but the consultant hired for the said project refused to carry up the work due to security concerns and very next year in 2009, financial crunch crippled the civic body. But the ultimate affectees of all this CDA's negligence are the commuters who travel between the twin cities of Rawalpindi and


So near yet so far

Itʼs a Punjabi bureaucracy

Nawaz gives cold shoulder to Zardari

If you want to judge the Punjabi dominance in Pakistan, the armed forces may not be the best indicator as is generally assumed. It’s the top civil bureaucracy through which Punjab dominates this country, writes Amir Mateen in his column Politically Incorrect. Page 03

PML-N chief not interested in meeting President, to stay in Sindh for next two days  Naek gives briefing on Swiss cases triumph 

ANP workers facing the brunt of terror The ANP is a continuation of Khudai Khidmatgar Tehrik, led by Fakhr-eAfghan Bacha Khan against the British rule, as its members gave great sacrifices in the freedom struggle. At that time, Bacha Khan was against the idea of dividing India, but he accepted Pakistan while addressing the country’s first Constitutional Assembly. Page 05

Saif, Sonakshi romance in Kolkata bylanes Bollywood actress Sonakshi Sinha rode a tram and then a handpulled rickshaw with Saif Ali Khan following her in an unbuttoned shirt to take passers-by in the city's Dalhousie area by surprise. Shooting for their film "Bullet Raja", the stars are these days capturing the old-world charm of Kolkata with its Victorian era heritage structures, hand-pulled rickshaws and signature trams. Page 10

13th NA gave country a new political direction despite odds The 13th National Assembly, which took oath on March 17, 2008, worked to achieve political maturity leading to landmark constitutional changes giving Pakistan a new political direction amid difficult and trying circumstances. Page 04

Yearnings of a perfume seller If you ever visit the Aabpara Sunday Bazaar, you will see a shy girl covered with a shawl, selling perfumes outside the bazaar. At the first glance, she gives a rough and tough look, but conversations with her have revealed a stark similarity with the yearnings of any other girl of her age. Page 02

Australia thrash WI in final contest to sweep ODI series Adam Voges scored his maiden one-day international century as a depleted Australia secured a 5-0 series whitewash by beating West Indies by 17 runs in the final match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday. Page 11

Islamabad for performing their duties on daily basis. Due to the poor transportation system in the city, college girls and working women also have to face harassment from the conductors and van drivers. "Our plights may come to an end if CDA launch a bus service in the city," said Javeria Imdad, a commuter. CDA Member Planning Syed Mustafain Kazmi, when contacted, said that the authority was going through severe financial crunch but even after that the CDA was looking into different aspects to ensure the smooth public transport service in capital city.

MOHAMMED RIZWAN LAHORE: A Metro bus, carrying Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and Turkish deputy prime minister, on inaugural ride in the provincial capital. –ONLINE (STORY AND ANOTHER PICTURE ON PAGE 04)

Clashes, protests in IHK despite curfew 

Electronic, print media blackout in Held Valley

SRINAGAR: One person was killed as protests broke out in many parts of Indian-controlled Kashmir on Sunday despite a strict curfew to prevent violence after the execution of a Kashmiri man convicted in a deadly 2001 attack on India's Parliament. Mohammed Afzal Guru was hanged in New Delhi early Saturday. Ahead of the execution, authorities ordered people in most of the Indian-held part of the disputed Kashmir region to remain indoors indefinitely in anticipation of anti-India protests. Scores of people defied the curfew and clashed with troops who fired tear gas shells to disperse the crowds, a police officer said on customary condition of anonymity. Police said a man died in Sumbal village in northern Kashmir after he jumped into a frigid river while trying to run away from troops who were firing tear gas and using batons to disperse the mob. In Watergam, a village near the town of Sopore, which was Guru's home, at least four people were wounded, one critically, as police and paramilitary troops fired tear gas shells and bullets to disperse an angry crowd, police said. Four policemen were injured in separate clashes. Police said 23 troops and 13 protesters were injured in demonstrations on Saturday. Tens of thousands of security troops were fanned out across the Himalayan region, and metal barricades and razor

wire blocked all major roads in the area. Cable television and mobile Internet services were shut down in most parts of the region, and most local newspapers were not available Sunday. Greater Kashmir, an English language newspaper, said on its website that police went to the printing presses of most local newspapers and asked managers not to publish Sunday editions. Showkat Ahmed Motta, the editor of another English daily, Kashmir Reader, said that his paper published Sunday’s edition, but that police seized the copies. Most of the Indian channels hardly reported the events happening in Held Kashmir and few which reported claimed that there was hardly any report of protests. While Indian government officials said that Guru’s family had been informed of his imminent execution by express mail, the family said it learned of it only through television news. “I wish we were the ones authorized to give the news to the family – we owed him that much,” Omar Abdullah, Indian Kashmir’s top elected official, told CNN-IBN news channel on Sunday. –AGENCIES


AJK PM attends funeral in abstentia ‒Page 5 Picture on Page 12

SC hears Dr Qadri’s plea today STAFF REPORT ISLAMABAD: A threemember Supreme Court bench will take up today (Monday) for preliminary hearing a petition filed by Pakistan Awami Tehreek chief Dr Tahirul Qadri challenging the appointment of Chief Election Commissioner and four members of the Election Commission, besides seeking immediate reconstitution of the Election Commission for holding the upcoming general elections in a free, fair and transparent manner. The bench comprises Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Sh. Azmat Saeed. Dr Qadri will appear inperson to argue his plea. The respondents, petitioner and the Attorney General for Pakistan will appear on notice. The court is likely to seek record from Parliamentary Committee of the National Assembly about the appointment of members of the ECP as well as federation’s stance over the matter as it starts the hearing.

LAHORE: All talks and hopes for a Zardari-Nawaz meeting in Lahore seems dashed and over as the PMLN chief is not particularly keen on receiving the president at Raiwind. Though no meeting was scheduled between the president and Nawaz Sharif but sources in PPP were certain that during his stay in Lahore, President Zardari was expected to travel to Raiwind estate to condole the death of Nawaz’s brother Abbas Sharif. However, till Sunday neither Bilawal House nor Raiwind contacted each other and PML-N sources say that Sharif was not interested in having a political meeting with Zardari as the president had already condoled the death of Abbas Sharif over the phone with Nawaz Sharif. “There is no political agenda at the moment between the two parties and Sharif is not interested in having a meeting with the president,” a top aide of Nawaz Sharif told The Spokesman on Sunday. “PML-N chief is busy in his travel scheduling as on Feb 11 he’ll be addressing a rally in Rahim Yar Khan and on 14 he is travelling to Larkana to address a public meeting there,” said the source. He said it was a mere coincidence that president was in Lahore while PML-N chief was in Larkana. On Sunday, President started the

day with a briefing on Swiss government response to the letter sent by the Pakistan government to open up the graft case against President Zardari. The briefing was conducted by Law Minister Farooq Naik. Naek told Zardari that since the case was time-barred, the Swiss government had refused to entertain the request. Then the president along with son and party chairman Bilawal Bhutto visited the residence of federal minister Samina Khalid Ghurki for a private lunch and condolence on the death of Khalid Ghurki, Samina’s husband. Though there was no official word on that, party sources say that Samina Ghurki wanted to get president’s nod on introducing her son Sufiyan Ghurki on the seat held by Samina in the upcoming general elections. Meanwhile, Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik also called on the president and apprised him on the latest law and order situation in the country. The minister who had travelled to Lahore to attend a marriage ceremony, however, left the city immediately after meeting President Zardari. The details on the meeting were not available as president’s media staff kept silent on the issue. Meanwhile, PPP sources said there was no cut-off date for the president’s visit as he has decided to keep it open-ended.

Experts divided over reopening of Swiss cases STAFF REPORT ISLAMABAD: The legal experts are divided over the question of possible reopening of corruption case against President Asif Ali Zardai in the Swiss court once he leaves the office. After the Swiss authorities formally informed Pakistan government that corruption case involving President Zardari cannot be reopened in their country on legal grounds, the decades-old saga seems all over but, according to

some legal experts, the case could be reopened once President Zardari leaves the office. However, others believed it is all over now. The government is yet to disclose the details of the Swiss response on Pakistan government’s letter written in the first week of November last year in line with the SC order in NRO implementation case. However, it is leaking the details of its choice, certainly for political benefits. Talking to The Spokesman, promi-

nent legal expert Ikram Chaudhary said Pakistan government’s civil liability claim still remains intact. “No matter if the criminal is not prosecuted for some legal reasons but the case is not closed… it can be reopened once Asif Ali Zardari leaves the office of President”, he said. “The government was propagating the Swiss government decision in its favour for political mileage in an election year. Nobody denies moneylaundering and if the case is closed for the time being on technical

grounds, it can be reopened once Zardari leaves President Office.” Another legal expert, Hashmat Ali Habib expressed same kind of views, saying the Government of Pakistan would have to file another application for reopening the case against Zardari. “The government would have to seek legal assistance from Swiss authorities if it wanted reopening of case against President after he leaves the office”, he viewed. He said under the circumstances, the Swiss government decision to

close cases against President Zardari was correct. He was of the view that the government would highlight the Swiss decision to confuse people on the issue for political mileage. However, prominent legal expert, Anwar Mansoor presented different point of view on possible reopening of graft case against Zardari. “The Swiss authorities have disposed of the case on merit and when there is no case pending before the Swiss courts, how it could be reopened in the coming days”, he held.


Half of GB languages fading away, festival hears Pamiri Cultural festival ends at PNCA with cultural songs, dramas, speeches reflecting rich culture of Wakhi tribe NAJEEB ULLAH KHAN ISLAMABAD: A two-day Pamiri arts and culture festival titled “Unity in Diversity” ended at Pakistan National Council of Arts on Sunday. The unique festival had earlier started with diverse cultural songs, dramas and speeches reflecting the rich “Pamir culture” of the Wakhi tribe of the mountainous region of Pakistan, Central Asia and

China. Artists performed their cultural and traditional songs, dramas and folk dance. Gilgit-Baltistan Minister for Youth Affairs, Culture and Women Sadia Danish congratulated the Pamir Art and Culture Organisation for promoting peace and harmony through cultural activities. She assured them her full support and discussed their future activities. Different scholars highlighted

religious extremism in GilgitBaltistan as the root cause for the demise of the rich culture of Pamiri and Gilgit-Baltistan. The area's native artists and singers are ignored and even shunned from practicing their culture whereas the Pamiri culture in China and central Asia continues to thrive. A renowned scholar, Fazal Amin Baig, speaking on the occasion said Pamir Culture is a unique and rich

culture but in the diversified region of Gilgit-Baltistan, it is badly affected due to negligence of media and lack of promotion by society. “Only seven out of 14 languages of Gilgit-Baltistan are in use while the rest are slowly fading away," he said. He called for immediate steps to be taken for preserving the historic languages and culture of Gilgit-Baltistan. Poets entertained the audience with beautiful poetry and the

drama’s showed the norms and ethics of the Pamiri Culture. Shagul Bhai (Aalla Nambardar Gulmit) shared his experience and achievement, advising the Wakhi natives who were in the audience to live in peace and to prove to the world that the literate Pamiri have a rich culture so that the national and international community could invest for the preservation and promotion of the Pamiri culture.

Guests reach Islamabad to attend ECO moot ISLAMABAD: Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO) Secretary General Dr Shamil Aleskerov, National Assembly of Tajikistan Speaker Shukurjon Zuhurov and Afghanistan’s National Assembly (Wolesi Jirga) Deputy Speaker Neamatullah Ghaffari arrived in the federal capital on Sunday through separate flights to attend the first general conference of the Parliamentary Assembly of the ECO member states. MNA Dr Doniya Aziz received the ECO secretary general and the Tajik guest whereas the Afghan deputy speaker was received by senior functionaries of the National Assembly. After their arrival, the visiting dignitaries said that they were privileged to be in Islamabad to attend the conference whose establishment was way forward in institutionalizing closer parliamentary cooperation and enhancing people-to-people contacts between the ECO member states. The National Assembly is hosting the first ever conference of the lawmakers of the ECO states, held in Islamabad from Sunday and to continue until Wednesday. @AGENCIES

AIOUʼS TEFL workshop today ISLAMABAD: Allama Iqbal Open University has scheduled workshop/teaching practice of MA (Education) for the Semester Autumn, 2012 and a 2-week long Diploma TEFL Workshop which are going to be started from today (Monday). Letters for participation in the workshops have already been sent to all the concerned students at their given address. Diploma TEFL Workshop will be held at main campus of the University Islamabad. The workshop is offered as a makeup course to those students of MA TEFL who are given admission on the basis of Diploma TEFL from AIOU with 4 Credits/24 Credit Hours or equivalent qualification from other Universities, since the entry requirement for MA TEFL is Diploma TEFL with 5 credits/30 Credit Hours. @ONLINE

Youth can build a prosperous future: Sattar ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for overseas Pakistanis Dr. Farooq Sattar has expressed that youth of our country possesses all the capabilities to build a prosperous future of Pakistan. Speaking at the Inaugural session of NICE Student Week 2013 by Newports Institute of Communications and Economics, he stressed on the need to channelize their potential in the right direction emphasized upon the importance of educated youth and their responsibilities in uplifting the image of Pakistan at the international arena. He challenged the students to complete their education and contribute towards the national development, while also applauding the efforts of management, faculty, and students for organizing such an event at a time when beloved Pakistan was under severe economical, security threats. @ONLINE

Bid to smuggle 303 kgs hashish foiled ISLAMABAD: The Nilore police on Sunday foiled bid of drug smuggling and recovered 303 kilogrammes of hashish being transported to down parts of the country from Peshawar, a police spokesman said. Following the directives from Islamabad IG Bani Amin Khan and SSP Yaseen Farooq, the Islamabad police started special vigilance and checking at entry as well as exit points of the city to curb activities of anti-social elements. A special team supervised by DSP Khursheed Khan, including SHO Nilore police station Asjad Altaf, Sub-Inspectors Muhammad Shafique, Anar,, ASI Umer Hyat, Arif Hussain, Khalid Mehmud was on patrolling when they got information about the smuggling bid of huge cache of hashish. The accused Zaafran alias Khani has been already involved in drug smuggling activities and several cases have been registered against him. @ONLINE

ISLAMABAD: A woman in traditional Chitrali dress at Lifestyle Funfair. @ONLINE

Rich tributes paid to icon of progressive journalism Govt asked to print late Sindhi writer Sirajul Haq Memon’s work in other language ISLAMABAD: Former National Language Authority chairman, eminent literati and poet Iftikhar Arif has said that the knowledge and learning of different regional languages of Pakistan will promote nationalism and lead to a strong federation. He was speaking at a condolence reference in the memory of Sirajul Haq Memon, a renowned Sindhi intellectual, writer and journalist, who passed away in Karachi at the age of 79. Iftikhar Arif paid rich tributes to the late stalwart and said that Pakistan was enriched with a beautiful language, culture and

society besides presence of the literary personalities. Speaking on the occasion, writer Naseer Memon mentioned that the late personality taught them to explore and research on hidden aspects of the history, geography, language and legacy. He opined that the late Siraj was an icon of progressive literature movement in Pakistan. He said whatever the late writer wrote was based on deep thinking, thorough research and extraordinary referencing of available resources on that topic. Nizam Laghari, a critique of the literature,

said that the late writer wrote vibrant and revolutionary editorials in a widely-circulated newspaper which provided space for the liberal and progressive journalism. Born in Tando Jam in 1933, Siraj Memon was the author of many scholarly works on history and literature and the author of Parado So Ee Saddu, a novel. In their opinions, Mukhtiar Ali Rohila, Zahid Hassan and Ikram Azam, companions of the late writer in literary movement, said that he was an exceptionally high caliber professional. When he joined civil service academy, he

was amongst the best performing officials, they said, adding Siraj never comprised on principles and did not forget friends and family members in any moment of joy or grief. Yousuf Memon, who heads the Sindh Graduates Association, a social organisation, demanded of the government to arrange printing and translation of Siraj’s work in other regional language as well. In addition, the government should name some roads of the capital city on Siraj-ul-Haq Memon, Dr NA Balouch and Tanveer Abbasi. @AGENCIES

Development of social sciences imperative ISLAMABAD: Development of social sciences is imperative for development and progress of any society. This was stated by National Committee on Development of Social Sciences Chairperson and University of Gujrat Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Muhammad Nizamuddin while meeting a group of social scientist in Islamabad. He said that realising the importance of social sciences for the socio-economic development of the country and reformation of society, Higher Education Commission has paid special attention to strengthening the social sciences through a number of new programs; such as establishment of the Committee for Development of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities in Pakistan (CDSSHP). It has regional representation of reputed social scientists under the dynamic leadership of Dr. Najma Najam, Dr. Ishrat Husain, Dr. Nasser Ali Khan and nowadays Prof. Dr. Muhammad Nizamuddin. HEC, he said, has also initiated thematic research grant in social sciences; allocated special quota to the social sciences in human resource development programs; and strengthened institutional capacity through improving existing facilities in social science departments of universities. Close interaction with R & D and civil society organizations working in the fields of social sciences, has been established through undertaking joint academic activities. A culture of national/international conferences and seminars over socio economic problems of Pakistan is being promoted through provision of financial assistance for such useful activities. The annual International Social Sciences conference has become a permanent feature. The recent establishment of inter university consortium for promotion of social sciences by nine leading higher education institutions of Pakistan is another milestone to undertake collaborative efforts at national and international level to promote social sciences in Pakistan. The consortium in a recent meeting decided to take a number of practical steps to improve the state of social sciences in Pakistan including formation of Pakistan Council for Social Sciences Research, establishing social sciences research labs, undertaking inter university and inter disciplinary research projects, preservation of local culture, history and tourism, collaboration with national and international organisations, faculty exchange in the disciplines of social sciences. Prof. Dr. Muhammad Nizamuddin was of the view that inclusion of social sciences in four year bachelor’s programme is the most important step towards long term development of social sciences in Pakistan. He reiterated that HEC was commitment towards improving the state of social sciences in Pakistan. He emphasised that universities should also play leadership role in society by establishing close relationship with their local community. “Universities should also inculcate the values of responsible and effective citizenship, tolerance and peace and respect for human rights among the students.” @ONLINE

Marghazar Zoo will get three lions, three cheetahs soon

ISLAMABAD: President Young Doctors Association in FGSH, Dr. Muhammad Ajmal addressing a press conference at National Press Club Islamabad. @ONLINE

ISLAMABAD: Marghazar Zoo, the wildlife park of Capital Development Authority, is expected to get six new animals — three lions and three cheetahs — in near future. The zoo administration has prepared cages for the new wild animals, which is likely to attract a good number of visitors. Sources said that CDA Environment Member, Dr Kazim Naiz was soon expected to get a lion from a party as a gift apart from buying a lion and a lioness, and three cheetah worth million of rupees would soon be brought in the zoo. It should be mentioned here that zoo is the centre of attraction not only for residents of Islamabad but also for tourists who visit the federal capital but due to inadequate facilities in it animals have been dieing

for various reasons. Indifference, mismanagement, negligence of the zoo administration has dimmed all the beauty and attraction of the most illustrious zoo in the capital. Majority of animals are gradually dying due to mysterious diseases, while one of the major attractions of zoo, the elephant has been chained due to lack of any guard to look after the animal. The discrimination of chaining the hapless beast has caused swellings and infectious wounds in elephant’s feet. Plans have been reported to be afoot to bring more animals to the zoo, while the zoo administration has cited paucity of funds as one of the main hurdles in rehabilitation of zoo back to its original condition. @AGENCIES

Yearnings of a perfume seller who doesn’t know her age Farzana says she has sold thousands of perfumes but the fragrance of her life will come when she gets married to an educated man HOMER BALOCH ISLAMABAD: If you ever visit the Aabpara Sunday Bazaar, you will see a shy girl covered with a shawl, selling perfumes outside the bazaar. At the first glance, she gives a rough and tough look, but conversations with her have revealed a stark similarity with the yearnings of any other girl of her age. Farzana is not even sure about how old she is. Age is not important in the background she has come from. However she is sure that she's not as old as she looks – thanks the hard times she has gone through. Her biggest concern is how to earn enough in a day to support her family consisting of her old parents and a married brother. Her brother, Naimat, is attached with the same business of perfume selling but is much experienced as according to her, he is selling

perfumes since she was an infant. From the beginning of her day until the sunset, she earns almost 500 rupees from this business, which is though not enough to support them, but better enough than nothing. She says several times she tried to put her business inside the Sunday Bazaar area as that is more secure and prominent than the footpath but it costs Rs. 500 per day which almost her total earning. She says if she gets inside and pays the rent then what will be left back to be taken at home, where her poor father and old mother are expecting her to bring enough money that can get them proper food and medicine. Going through the hardness of the day, Farzana rejoices her work, not caring about her health as she was found coughing all the time she was talking. The place where she has placed her stall has no proper shade or covering area to protect her from

sunlight and cold but she has no other free place in view where she can be protected as well as earn. Her eyes were brightened when she began telling about her life. She said she is living in a rural area of Islamabad along with her parents. Her brother is married and living somewhere else with his family, and is running the same business of perfumes in Rawalpindi. She said though her brother is contributing his earning with her family but that is not enough to overcome their expenses. When asked about selling perfumes, instead of garments or jewelry like other women stall holders inside the market, she replied that the main reason is that she has seen her brother selling perfumes since she was born, and secondly her mother did the same business for many years but left when she turned old and is now seriously ill. She had to replace her mother to run the

business and their life circle. Farzana is satisfied with her work, but not with society as according to her working women are not welcome. She said everyday she faces different kind of people, some pretend to be nice but most of the men visit her stall not to buy perfumes but to tease her when they see a girl selling perfumes at the footpath. When she was asked about complaining to the police, she blamed the police for not being concerned about such issues, and she cannot even tell her family about is as they will ban her working and incase they did, it will be very hard for them to live as they do not have enough financial support. She said she has learned how to treat those misbehavers but still, it is very hard for a woman to work outside. She said she has sold thousands of perfumes, but the fragrance of her life will come when she gets married and

that, too, to an educated man, as she herself is illiterate, who will take her out of her misery and help her become successful.





enom Inc. This should not be held against me in a court of law as I solemnly declare that these are absolute lies, dirty whispers and wild speculation that I have heard while crawling in the dark power corridors of the creepy Capital. You will believe them at your own risk Shh...If you have venom to spill please don’t hesitate to share with us on our blog at

Thou shalt not blaspheme sma Jahangir is believed to have refused to sign the review petition to contest the Supreme Court decision regarding a blasphemy case against our Ambassador in the United States,


Sherry Rehman. The Supreme Court has admitted the case on merit but critics argue that the apex court may not have taken into account the danger to the lives of those people who get propagated in such cases—the late Governor Salman Taseer's brutal assassination being a case in point. While a team of lawyers including Salman Akram Raja, Makhdoom Khan and even Aitezaz Ahsan have joined the review petition, the biggest champion of human rights seems to have dithered on principles. Any guesses as to Why? The only logical explanation that her fans can draw is that may be the lure of power is weightier than an individual's principles. Doing so might have blurred her chances for becoming the caretaker Prime Minister. Sheshnag has its fangs crossed. May be she has an explanation. Sheshnag would like to lend its ears to that. Ready to hear your version, Asma. Ssshhh..

Aitezaz̶where art thou? itezaz Ahsan seems totally off the Islamabad scene these days. Not too long ago he was the hero of the people, media and the judiciary. Even Nawaz Sharif offered his a seat from Lahore. Where did he go wrong? Many think that he could have been the country’s Prime Minister if he had carried on the torch during the judicial movement. But then he had to make a choice between the hollow popularity and power or, let’s say, the pubic and the PPP. That he got himself a Senator-ship speaks for the choice he made. But was that not too big a price. What stops him from speaking against things, faults, that he sees in the PPP. Or maybe he does not see anything? Either way, he is losing his touch that everyone was so fond of. Ssshh...


Today's take: Swiss letter Gloating: Big Z over counting the Swiss stash Cheering: Team PPP for having executed the plan with sheer brilliance Glum: Opposition for taking another political blow Elated: Naek for masterminding the whole episode Depressed: Gilani for having been disbarred for nothing Confused: SC wondering what went wrong with the draft Aloof: Public at large for not caring two bits about the whole affair

Hina Khar on head-on collision with ‘Rescue-15’ TAHIR NIAZ ISLAMABAD: As election time draws near, the people of NA-177 (Muzaffargarh-II) constituency have unique reasons to be happy. Some are overjoyed over their luck of getting a golden chance to see their leader Hina Rabbani Khar in the flesh and the rest are glad to be nearing the time when they would get an opportunity to rectify their ‘past mistake’ and vote out someone they found completely ‘inaccessible’ during the last five years. It's not entirely Khar's fault though, being the most actively followed foreign minister she was just too busy with her job trying to fix Pakistan's image for the world's eyes. The other obstacle which kept the voters away from the leader was certainly the veil she used to wear whenever she visited her hometown. Usually, she spends

Hina’s father Noor Rabbani Khar is not at good terms with his elder brother, former Punjab Governor Mustafa Khar and same is the case with Hina.

most of the time in Islamabad or Lahore. The people of the constituency are also to be blamed for the distance between the leader and her ‘followers’. During the 2010 floods, Hina visited her constituency to console with victims but the infuriated people harassed her until she left the venue and never turned around. Some leaders get their position by chance, luck, or being born into it. Like her mother, Sumera Rabbani Khar, circumstances forced Hina to enter into politics. In 2002 and 2008 general elections, she successfully contested and secured the parliamentary constituency her father had held previously, after most members of the family were disqualified due to a new law requiring all candidates to hold a university degree. Hina’s father, Noor Rabbani Khar had addressed rallies as she stayed largely at home, with not even her photo appearing on the election posters. After the last election, Hina worked as Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs from May to October, 2008. She was made Minister of State for foreign affairs on February 13, 2011 and on July 20, 2011, she was made Federal Minister. Having been inaccessible for the voters over the last five years, foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar is facing both ‘domestic’ and ‘foreign’ challenges when it comes to the 2013 elections. BA qualification bar is already lifted and Hina’s father may emerge as one of the domestic threat for her. Noor Rabbani was twice

elected from the constituency NA-177 that she is enjoying now. Having tasted power, Hina is also ambitious to contest elections. The other potential candidates from the constituency include Khalid Gurmani from the PML-N and Zulfiqar Qureshi from PTI. Interestingly, the MQM has also a considerable presence in the constituency as it wooed Punjabi vote bank by labeling them as ‘Mohajir’. Hina’s father Noor Rabbani Khar is not at good terms with his elder brother, former Punjab Governor Mustafa Khar and same is the case with Hina. Captain (Retd) Khaliq Khar, brother of Hina Rabbani Khar did not support his sister in the two previous elections. Hina’s younger sister was her covering candidate in the 2008 elections. Khaliq and Hina are not even on talking terms. Hina’s father remained with PML during his active career in politics. Hina was elected MNA in 2002 on PML-Q ticket but Wajid Shamsul Hassan, Pakistan’s High Commissioner to the UK convinced the family to join PPP in 2008 elections. With almost zero presence in the constituency during the last five years, Hina, if preferred over her father by the party, is likely to face a tough competition to win the seat. The PPP MNA from NA-178 (Muzaffargarh-III), Jamshaid Ahmad Dasti, also known amongst Hina’s constituency voters as ‘Rescue-15’ in recognition of his community service during the 2010 floods, could emerge as a ‘foreign’ threat for the vibrant minister. Hina dominates

the party decisions at district level which is a continuous source of irritation for Dasti. The 2010 floods provided a good opportunity to Dasti, through community service, to make inroads in Hina’s constituency from where he got the label of ‘Rescue-15’. He was more than convinced for contesting 2013 election from Hina’s constituency before he was snubbed by Faryal Talpur. During party meetings, Dasti openly asked the party leadership to consider him as party candidate from NA-177 Muzaffargarh-II but got an unfavourable response.

PPP's power performance-II ZEESHAN JAVAID

ISLAMABAD: In the last reshuffle of the federal cabinet in 2012, the heads of the two most important ministries, namely defense and water & power were swapped amid increasing public back lash owing to the deteriorating energy shortfall and numerous airplane accidents respectively by former premier Yousaf Raza Gilani. Naveed Qamar who was holding the office of ministry water and power was moved to defense because of his failure to overcome the ongoing energy crisis, while Ch. Ahmed Mukhtar, under whose ministry came the airlines' failures was moved to ministry of water and power. Upon entering the new office, a controversy between Ch. Mukhtar and former federal secretary Imtiaz Qazi started over the induction of managing director National Transmission and Dispatch Company (NTDC) Naveed Ismail. Imtiaz Qazi, a close associate of Qamar, was not interested to induct Naveed Ismail, while Mr. Mukhtar in principle decided to remove the former MD NTDC Rasool Khan Mehsood. Controversy between the top guns of the power sector creates reasons for the removal of Imtiaz Qazi who was no favorite of Ch. Sahab and finally to find a solution for the prevailing energy crisis, Premier Raja Pervaiz Ashraf removed Secretary Qazi and appointed former secretary commerce Zaffar Mehmood in his place. Although Mr. Mukhtar remained aloof from official allegations of alleged involvement in misappropriations in hiring and firing in the department, the officers unhappy with Mr. Mukhtar asked why the federal minister could not move shoulder to shoulder with his self inducted secretary Zaffar Mehmood, who was later replaced with the

more powerful bureaucrat Nargis Sethi. Even when the present cabinet tenure is nearing its completion, they don’t seem serious about their future in the upcoming election particularly with regard to controlling the diminishing electricity shortfall. Federal minister Ch. Mukhtar and his team players including the powerful lady in bureaucracy are yet to draft a concrete policy to overcome the ongoing energy crisis. The recoveries of power distribution companies are still static with no visible achievements made by the ministry. The circular debt burden too could not be minimized and remains at an estimated whopping figure of Rs. 685 billion. The inducted MD NTDC by federal minister, Naveed Ismail, who was known as a corporate master, failed to make any headway on the dispute over outstanding dues of Rs31bn of Independent Power Producers (IPPs), while NTDC had already given an undertaking to Supreme Court to settle these issues with the IPPs in accordance with the power purchase agreement. The IPPs claim that the government is yet to start “reconciliation of accounts for power supplies made after July 14″ and has so far only partially paid Rs5.3bn from the total outstanding dues of Rs37.2bn, while the government is continuously defaulting on its sovereign guarantees given to the IPPs.

The IPPs say they are suffering due to the incompetence of the state-controlled power distribution companies, which have failed to recover outstanding bills of over Rs390bn, half of which are owed by private consumers. The industrial sector of the country which has an eight percent share in the national value-added gross domestic product (GDP), 23 percent share in industrial value-added GDP, 58 percent share in total exports, 39 percent share in industrial employment and 41 percent share in banking credit (manufacturing) has reached the situation of total shut down because of the crucial energy crisis. Seven to eight hours long power shortages, even in the lean winters, are pushing the production potential down to an alarming 70 percent. Similarly, Pakistan’s apparel sector is losing its share in the $400 billion global textile market as its share has declined by $1.26 billion or 10 percent to $9.24 billion in fiscal year 2011-12 as against $10.5 billion in fiscal year 2010-11. The reasons for the decline are said to be an increase in cost of production, worsening law and order situation and continuous power and gas load shedding. Textile exports for the first two months of fiscal year 2012-13 recorded a slight decline of $3 million or one percent to $2.20 billion as against $2.17 billion in July to August of fiscal year 2011-12 Exports of textile group amounted to $36.365 billion during 2009-12, breaking down into $10.221 billion in 2009-10, $13.788 billion in 2010-11 and $12.356 billion in 2011-12. It is widely expected that the government will pass on the beast of load shedding on to the next government which will have no choice but to bear the wrath of the energy-starved public.

The fate of Jamshed Dasti is still uncertain as he faces a disqualification sword due to submitting a fake degree in the 2008 general elections. If Dasti is disqualified for the upcoming elections, Hina’s father, Noor Rabbani Khar can be the party candidate from NA-178, the constituency presently being held by Dasti. Similarly, if Dasti decides to directly contest Hina in NA-177, it would prove a tough fight for the Khar clan. Only time will tell if Hina and ‘Rescue-15’ are heading towards a head-on collision.

Imran Khan @ImranKhanPTI Media reports that nearly 80 billion spent on rapid transport while patients dying in hospitals through lack of medicines, schools closing `Shahid Nazir @MShahidNazir I want to open a fish stall there at lahore #PakFirstMetroBus Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan @DrAQ_Khan #YDA isn't killing patients, Shehbaz Sharif is doing so by denying their basic rights, arresting and torturing young dr's Mustafa Azizabadi @azizabadi All ban outfits & extremist elements are destroying the #cultural face of #Karachi through their all means of #terrorism & #extremism.#MQM Craig Zelizer @pcdnetwork One Billion Rising (Powerful Short Film About Ending Violence/Harrasment AgainstWomen) 80588%3AVideo%3A785203#.URebJYe9LCR … Great Minds Quotes @GreatestQuotes "To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom." - Bertrand Russell sudeep @mukhiasudeep Unacceptable that tv, sms and papers blocked in Valley after Afzal hanging. Kashmir not part of India's 'collective conscience', obvously SHARMILAFARUQUI @sharmilafaruqi To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom. Shabbir Hussain Imam @peshavar #ANP Parliamntrian Committe called application to award party tickets for #Elections2013 from Feb 15 to Feb 25 #Peshawar#BachaKhanMarkaz Veengas - Journalist @VeengasJ You can zip your lips but tell me will u be able to zip lips of queen of Time & #history? #Rinkle @FreeAsiaBiBi #Vijanti #Pakistan Taha Siddiqui @TahaSSiddiqui "Agar election shaaf aur safaaf na hoowe toh khoon hoga" Did i hear #ImranKhan say this ?!? Asad Munir @asadmunir38 Zinda He Zia Zinda He- PPP MPA Shaukat Basra trashed by the Punjab Police.

Mojaan hi Mojaan for babus-VI

It’s a Punjabi bureaucracy f you want to judge the Punjabi dominance in Pakistan, the armed forces may not be the best indicator as is generally assumed. It’s the top civil bureaucracy through which Punjab dominates this country. For the starters, the per capita Pashtun representation in the top military hierarchy exceeds that of Amir Mateen Punjabis. In other spheres, the population edge of the Punjabi legislatures in the National Assembly is partially balanced by equal number of members from each province in the Senate. Media and the judiciary may not be the exclusive Punjabi clubs. Even a cursory look at the Club-22 of bureaucrats will tell you that it’s a Punjabi monopoly. Out of the 58 civil officers heading 44 divisions and the President and Prime Minister’s secretariats, there are just six Pashtuns, five sindhis, three of them Muhajirs and just two Baloch, one of them again a Punjabi settler. In Balochistan’s case, the trend is not likely to change as not a single Baloch based in Federal Secretariat is in Grade 21, just one in Grade 20 and then no one even in Grade 19. No question of a Christian,


Politically Incorrect


Hindu, Sikh or an Ahmadi coming 5000 yards close to this exclusively Muslim Club—Alhamdulillah. The list includes Grade-22 officers on contract and the acting heads in Grade 21. This in the socalled Sindh dominated PPP government. Imagine when the overly clannish Lahori Kashmiris takes over. It will be reduced to a re-do of Takht Lahore—Seraiki province be damned. This comes to about 80 percent Punjabi representation. The affirmative action in the shape of quotas allotted to smaller provinces and less developed areas as Azad Kashmir in the competitive selection examinations gets whittled down as the officials go up in promotions. The Punjabi brethren ensure that the ‘martial race’ remains dominant. Another trend that keeps the top official structure lopsided is the sectional monopoly of the DMG Group now called as Pakistan Administrative Service (PAC). Of the 37 regular Grade22 officers based in Islamabad, there are just two from the Customs, one from the Foreign Service (the Foreign Secretary) and the one from Information service stands retired. The three Office Management Group (OMG) members in Grade-22 exist because of an anomaly. The OMG, which remains one of the least-opted services in the competitive examinations, remained suspended for ten years and hence got ‘unusual promotions.’ A ruling from the Federal

Service Tribunal, incidentally given by one officer from the OMG, helped making it mandatory for the other cadres to get the seniority from the time that they will join the Secretariat Group. The DMG/PAC cadres guard the turf watchfully. The Supreme Court asked the government to make some minimum basis for the promotions. This was after 54 officers in Grade 22 were promoted in one go. The ‘rule-framers’ dominated by the GMG/FAS made it mandatory for a minimum of two years service in Grade 21 and a three years service (plus six months training) in Grade 20 for a move-over. This suits the DMG/PAC because they ensure that the promotions in other groups remain slower. This will make the structure even more lopsided in the coming years as only the DMG/PAC officers will fulfill the requirement.

The recent summary by the Establishment Division to remove the condition of three years for the Grade 20 officers, now deferred by the Prime Minister for one year, was an attempt to correct the growing imbalance. But the mighty DMG/PAS, backed by the misunderstood media criticism, stalled what may have been a right step. The primary concern should be to skim the best cream out of the existing government machinery. Amidst this fight over sectional interests, the war over the cadres and turf, the biggest casualty is the quality of officers that come out of it. Of course, the DMG/PAC babus are right that being the most superior service they should be given some precedence. But to the extent that this structure has become lopsided in their favour is maddening if not callous. Officers improve and deteriorate in accordance with their exposure, hard work and circumstances in life. The whole government

Now, how can Islamabad make any policy on Balochistan when it has only three officers in the top three grades from the province. The two in Grade 19 are here on deputation from the provincial service. None of the recommendations was accepted. And as things stand today, there is little chance of this happening in near future also. Long live Takht-i-Lahore.

machinery cannot be held hostage to one examination (on average 35 years ago) in the beginning. No mid-level re-evaluation exists. The results of the two senior management courses in Grade 20 and 21 only make a partial difference in promotions. Former State Bank Governor Ishrat Hussain in a study on official reforms suggested that the cadres should be given another examination at Grade 19 to re-evaluate their capabilities and performance. Some countries borrow talent from private sector at mid-level. But we do it as one-off favour as was given to Dr Waqar Masood. Waqar remains the most hated person among the cadres because of his lateral entry by Benazir Bhutto straight in Grade 21 and later got promoted by Farooq Leghari in Grade 22 in 1997. This makes the longest serving Federal Secretary in the country’s history. Normally, if an officer gets to serve for five years in Grade 22 he or she is lucky. He stays at the top for the last 15 years with another four to go. It may not be a bad idea to include members from the provincial services also. They may not be efficient in paperwork or less articulate in King’s English but they bring a treasure of local exposure. Now, how can Islamabad make any policy on Balochistan when it has only three officers in the top three grades from the province. The two in Grade 19 are here on deputation from the provincial service. None of the recommendations was accepted. And as things stand today, there is little chance of this happening in near future also. Long live Takht-i-Lahore.


One-month free ride as Metro bus launched Punjab CM, Turkish deputy PM and Nawaz Sharif jointly open bus service; Bozdag announces more investment OUR STAFF REPORTER LAHORE: The much-awaited Metro Bus Service, consisting of 27 bus stations, was jointly inaugurated by Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey Bekir Bozdag and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Sunday at a colourful ceremony at Nishtar Colony. Addressing the inauguration ceremony‚ the deputy Turkish prime minister said projects like the Metro Bus Service would help in further strengthening mutual relations between Turkey and Pakistan. He announced that Turk investors and businessmen would further invest in various sectors in Pakistan. “We greatly value our strong brotherly relations with Pakistan,” he said. On the occasion, Shahbaz Sharif thanked the Turkish government for extending its all kind of cooperation for timely completion of this mega project, and said that the Metro Bus Service project would help in providing modern‚ comfortable and affordable transport service

to all segments of society‚ especially for poor people. He said that this project would also help in closing the gap between the modes of transport being used by the rich and poor classes as both would use it to reach their destinations in less time. Announcing that the Pakistan Muslim League-N will launch more mega projects in future, he said that completion of the state-of the-art bus project was a milestone in the history of development works in Pakistan. A high-level Turkish delegation led by the deputy prime minister, diplomats including American consulate Nina Maria, political personalities Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Maryam Nawaz, Hamza Nawaz, Liaquat Baloch, lawmakers and provincial ministers also attended the ceremony. Soon after the inauguration, all special guests along with the chief minister travelled in the bus. Besides dancing Lahoris to drums, the routes and stations were decorated with fresh flowers, balloons and posters representing national culture. For

one month, the Metro Bus will offer services free of cost to all passengers. As soon as the bus service was opened for the public, a large number of people rushed towards the bus stops. At some points, police resorted to batoncharge to disperse the crowd. Shahbaz said that not only factory workers would travel in these buses, but factory owners would also travel in them soon. “Patients will go to hospitals through these buses. Our doctors and nurses will also travel

through them,” he said, adding that he himself would use these buses to travel. He said the buses would save time and money by taking 150 people, who were earlier travelling in 100 cars, in one vehicle. “This will also save fuel and time and avoid traffic jams,” he said. On February 5, last year the ground had broken for the project while work on the 27-kilometre long project – from Gajju Matta to Shahdara – started on March 12, 2012. According to the Punjab

government, the project cost Rs30 billion, however, the figure is disputed by the opposition. Currently, the project is missing a bridge over River Ravi as a result of which the buses will use the existing Ravi bridge. Traffic Engineering and Planning Agency (TEPA) Chief Engineer Muhammad Saeed Akhtar said that the left over work would be completed soon after the inauguration. Lahore Transport Company Chairman Khawaja Ahmad Hasan expects 20,000 to

40,000 people to use the service which he says has the capacity to cater to 112,000 people every day. He also said the long journey from Gajju Matta to Shahdara, which took two hours, would now be covered in just 55 minutes due to the new bus service. The Punjab Metro Bus Authority has been formulated to run the administrative matters of the metro bus system. A modern e-ticketing system has been introduced for the bus project, which would have special

Situation under control in Karachi: Qaim

Driving in twin cities becomes a nightmare ISLAMABAD: Traffic problems have exacerbated in twin cities due to increase in number of vehicles and negligence of departments concerned in proper implementations of the master plan. Traffic problems in the capital have worsened during recent years and departments concerned have been turning a deaf ear to calls of commuters for improving the situation. Many commuters from Rawalpindi, including government servants working in Islamabad comes across traffic problems in morning and evening while traveling between the twin cities. The vans between Express Highway, Blue Area and Peshawar Morr create a traffic jams at Pindora Chowngi as their drivers park the vehicles right in the middle of the road to pick passengers. ONLINE

Gamblers active in Rawalpindi RAWALPINDI: A network of gamblers is active in different localities of the city while the police and authorities concerned have turned a blind eye to this situation. The residents expressed grave concerns over mushroom growth of gambling dens in Sadiqabad, Dhok Hassu, Cannt areas, Azizabad, Saddar, Raja Bazaar, Committee Chowk, Mohan Pura, Arjan Nagar, Pirwadhai, Loharan, Khayaban-e-Sir Syed, Dhok Ratta, Amraal, Akaal Garh, Chamanzar, Sir Syed Intersection, Tench Bhata, Workshop Street, Dhok Khabba, Dhok Matkiyaal, Chohar Harpaal, Misriyaal, Ganjmandi, Kartarpura, Ganjmandi and other areas. Muhammad Wasim, a resident of Dhok Hassu, said existence of gambling dens at such a large scale in city was a proof of negligence and failure of police. ONLINE

PNCA puppet show today ISLAMABAD: Pakistan National Council of the Arts, Ministry of National Heritage & Integration, has scheduled a free puppet show on Monday (today) at 4pm at the PNCA Auditorium in F-5/1, Islamabad. The National Puppet Theatre will showcase the skills of its puppeteers featuring vibrant costumed puppets and present folk tales, skits, regional dances and national songs to provide informative entertainment. Children along with parents are invited to see the show, which will be presented every Monday at the same venue and time. ONLINE

NDMA got $7.7m in 4 years ISLAMABAD: Ministry of Climate Change has announced that during past four years NDMA received $ 7.7 million from various countries and NGOs. Grants worth $7.7 million were also collected, while government did not make any official request for help. Accordingly Turkey donated $1,76,916, Mauritius forwarded $2,99, 980, China gave $50,000, while Turkey Embassy donated $ 55,796. Among others, Kirghizstan Embassy gave $ 1,780, staff of Azerbaijan Embassy donated $ 3140; Asian International (UAE) donated $ 1,731 while Tunisian government donated $ 1million. ONLINE

3 killed in road accident KASUR: At least three people were killed while 18 others injured as a speedy bus and tractor collided here on Sunday morning, officials said. ONLINE

reserved seats for women and disabled. Also, an agreement has also been made with the Lahore Waste Management Company to ensure modern sanitation system at its routes. Under the policy of the Punjab government, the whole process of the construction of the metro bus system has been kept completely transparent. The deputy Turkish prime minister distributed the appreciation certificates among the workers and technicians of the project.

FAISALABAD: Players from foreign countries are ready to participate in International Tent Pegging Competition at University of Agriculture. ONLINE

13th NA gave country a new political direction despite odds Shireen Arshad, Nisar Tanveer, Nuzhat Sadiq, Yasmeen Rehman, Donya Aziz among top performers STAFF REPORT ISLAMABAD: The legislators of the Pakistan Muslim LeagueNawaz (PML-N) actively took part in the parliamentary proceedings during the five years in the 13th National Assembly. They sponsored the most agenda items, including oversight over the executive through the question hour and calling attention notices, and representation by raising issues of public interest through matters of public importance, motions under Rule 259, and resolutions. However, the Pakistan People’s Party Parliamentarians (PPPP) and the Pakistan Muslim League (PML) legislators took lead in legislation, introducing most number of Private Member bills, said a FAFEN report released here on Sunday. Moreover, it said women parliamentarians on reserved seats tabled most number of questions, calling attentions notices, private member bills, resolutions, motions under Rule 259 and matters of public importance. A PML-N legislator Shireen Arshad Khan topped the list by authoring 35 resolutions – 27 individually and eight jointly. Similarly, PML-N’s Nisar Tanveer asked the most number of questions during the question hour 535 – 322 starred and 213 un-starred during 48 sessions of the 13th National Assembly. She was followed by Shireen Arshad Khan who sponsored 527 questions. Again Nisar Tanveer raised the most - 30 - matters of public importance while her party colleague Khalida Mansoor

topped the list of motion under Rule 259 by submitting 31 motions. Leader of Opposition Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan raised the most points of order 287, followed by Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Syed Khurshid Shah. The report said that PPP’s Yasmeen Rehman authored the most number of private member bills either in collaboration with her colleagues or in her individual capacity. She was followed by Donya Aziz (PML-Q), Marvi Memon (ex-PML-Q member), Shakeela Khanam Rashid (PPP) and Naseer Bhutta (PML-N). The 13th National Assembly, which took oath on March 17, 2008, worked to achieve political maturity leading to landmark constitutional changes giving Pakistan a new political direction amid difficult and trying circumstances. According to FAFEN observation, the lower house of the parliament held 48 sessions in the five years meeting for a total of 476 sittings – 100 in the first, 107 in the second, 109 in the third, 103 in the fourth and 57 sittings in the fifth parliamentary year so far. In the five years, the National Assembly passed a total of 115 bills. Though the House passed only five bills in the first parliamentary year, the legislation picked up pace in the second, third and fourth parliamentary years. The lower house passed 32, 31, 30 and 17 bills respectively. These included the historical 18th and 20th constitutional amendment bills ensuring greater provincial autonomy and giving Pakistan a consensus mechanism for transfer of power democratically.

Unlike the past assemblies where the legislation was almost completely dominated by the government-backed bills, the 13th National Assembly witnessed private member bills becoming laws. A total of 176 private bills were introduced in the 13th National Assembly; out of which 10 became laws – one in the first, three in the second, one in the third, three in the fourth and two in the fifth parliamentary year. Additionally, the 13th assembly passed pro-women bills such as the Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection) Bill 2009, the Criminal Law (Third Amendment) Bill 2010, the Protection against Harassment of Women at the Workplace Act 2010, the Criminal Law (Second Amendment) Bill -- earlier tabled as the Acid Control and Acid Crime Prevention Bill 2010 -- and the Prevention of AntiWomen Practices Bill 2011. The legislators asked 15,213 questions during the five years – 3,483 in the first, 4,238 in the second, 3,127 in the third, 2,544

in the fourth and 1,821 in the fifth parliamentary year. The government provided replies to 12,090 questions – 2,911 in the first, 3,477 in the second, 2,494 in the third, 1,918 in the fourth, and 1,290 in the fifth parliamentary year. In other words, 3,123 questions that made to the floor of the House remained unanswered. Out of the 336 resolutions, presented in the House over the five years, 73 were adopted. The National Assembly adopted 15 resolutions each in the first and second parliamentary years out of the 70 and 57 presented in the House. Out of the 51 and 48 resolutions presented in the House in the third and fourth parliamentary years, 13 and 8 were adopted. Twenty-three resolutions were adopted during the fifth parliamentary year. The legislators brought in matters of urgent public importance to the House through calling attentions notices – 108 in the first, 105 in the second, 114 in the third, 122 in the fourth, and 95 in the fifth parliamentary year.

KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah has said that law and order situation in Karachi is under control, however he said that the police force is not sufficient in accordance with the population of the mega city which is a cause of problems for the law enforcing agencies. Talking to media persons after condoling the death of MQM lawmaker Manzar Imam with his family on Sunday, Qaim Ali Shah said that it was a difficult task for insufficient law enforcement personnel to make fool proof security arrangements for the people of highly populated city with a population of about 20 million. He assured that police force in the volatile areas would be increased, besides deploying additional security forces in Orangi Town and another police station would be established in the area. Earlier, the chief minister offered fateha for the departed soul of Manzar Imam and presented Rs 2.5 million cheque to his brother. Later, Qaim Ali Shah also visited the house of former provincial minister for sports, Muhammad Ali Shah and condoled his death with the bereaved family. He termed the death of Dr Muhammad Ali Shah as a great national loss. INP

‘Attention can relieve patients’ KARACHI: Human rights activist Ramzan Chhipa (Sitara-e-Imtiaz) has said that a little attention by the people would help the patients in hospitals and at homes recover from their illness. On the occasion of his visit to public and private healthcare facilities a day earlier to the commemorations of the International Day of the Sick that is celebrated worldwide on February 11 each year, he advised people to deal with patients with affection so that they become part of healthy Pakistan after riddance from sicknesses. “There are several hundred patients lying in hospitals for treatment but they are alone as there is nobody to look after them and meet their needs owing to which their ailment is getting more complicated,” he said stressing for dire need, that these patients should be approached with care and affection they need. Attending the patients, offering them bouquets and fruits, while displaying his cordial affection to them, he advised people to often visit hospitals and attend the helpless patients, sharing their anguish in order to encourage them to recover from their illnesses and start a new healthy life. ONLINE

Ayesha blames Shahbaz, Hamza for firing at house LAHORE: Four armed men allegedly opened fire on the Gulberg residence of Ayesha Ahad Malik, who claims to be the third wife of Hamza Shahbaz, son of Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif. Ayesha Ahad said that the armed men opened fire at her residence. “Luckily we remained unhurt,” she said, adding police found some 86 rounds of bullets. She claimed the firing was ordered by Shahbaz Sharif as he feared that she might reach the inauguration ceremony of the metro bus service. “I want to tell both Shahbaz and Hamza that I cannot be intimidated by their cowardly acts,” she said, and vowed to fight them till end. MONITORING

KARACHI: Birthday of lion, Raja, was celebrated at Karachi Zoo. The visitors were given a chance to touch a snake on this occasion. ONLINE


The jirga game

Pseudo culture – repression or asset! Feudal mindset ensures an ʻunseenʼ bond between two extremes ̶ Left and Right 

he majority in Pakistan is directly or help the fathers control the dissidents. indirectly identifying itself with the It is not surprising to see both past and hesitant or even resistive uneducated and educated liberals, to the idea of social and cultural change. progressives and atheists are the Among the well-read, some brand it as readymade customers of Pirs, as cultural imperialism initiated by capitalist various schools of thought justify these forces while others describe it as an practices under one pretext or the onslaught orchestrated by Jews, other, because brutal patriarchal rule Christians and Hindus to snatch away our must be maintained. Isn’t it confusing? For me, the most important thing is that glorious past. Hence, we come across ‘selfstyled intellectuals’ (TV evangelists) who I was also ‘informed’ - and still repeatedly lecture distorted and selective reminded - that the NGO bosses, mostly ‘information-knowledge’ on a daily basis working for women rights, enjoy and find the ‘Change’ proponents like authority right to regulate female staff ’s Imran Khan - a representative of feudal personal life and that all the NGOs of the country are supposed to protect these and tribal mindset. But adding to the confusion, there so- sacred cows and complicate the affairs. called progressives and liberals who join No one can propose their female the right-wing club in bashing the West – subordinates without ‘formal approval’. modern means of production and the They can fire you if your father or any results – and highlighting the urgency to other family member desires so and use protect the culture, while also censoring all possible means (including threats and certain values and traditions. Again, it is force) so that you either remain the feudal mindset which ensures an unemployed or unable to enter reputed ‘(intentionally) unseen and barely noticed’ organisations. An they are also authorised bond between the two extremes. to use goons to control you. People are like Imran Certainly, it is total and their ideas are a confusion and so are product of a vacuum the option-less people; and the resultant therefore, I request you disorder. One of the to please forgive me if main reasons is that this write-up is too the intelligentsia has found ‘confusing’. no intention to relate This club opposes all itself with ground the ideas and tools at realities. And the only every tier that can thing that is ensue meaningful connecting these ‘wise change in sociomen’ with the society is economic and RAJA ARSALAN KHAN feudal mindset. Hence, socio-political as one of my uncles paradigm. Using culture both as a gizmo and the end had told me that he would make me lick means people are first brainwashed that his feet, I also found a Lahore young NGO culture is a static entity and they are born master – like many other senior and to protest it. They forced junior colleagues – saying , “education to imply every fresh initiative causes psychological problems in ‘these or innovation an intrusion and cheap people’. They should keep the start thinking that their survival depends traditions of their forefathers intact.” upon the rituals and traditions in totality. These guys, who represent Pakistan at Thus, there are many Imran Khan-like international forums and work for advocates of patriarchal society’s main ‘human rights’, also say that “youngsters from rural areas should not challenge weapons - jirga and panchayat. The unending praise of jirga by the PTI traditions as it creates ‘chaos’ and marry chief reminds me about ‘the covert Devil’s only according to their parents’ wishes.” If Advocates’. But before discussing them, accepted, you can use these arguments let’s first talk about a victim of ‘jirga justify honour killings too. When repression is not resisted, when mentality’ - my cousin, who ‘committed suicide’ in June 2001. There was no post- the oppressed opt to remain silent and are mortem and the police neither registered even unable to identify the tools of any FIR nor even visited the scene. oppression, when they stop challenging Perhaps, some of my honourable relatives the pseudo norms and traditions while in civil service were enough to prove that it them considering something ordained was a suicide. Moreover, the tags like Raja, and accept their state of affairs as destiny, Chaudhry and Khan give you immunity it means the repressors are successful in from prosecution and a licence to impose their venture and one way or the other glorified as heroes. your wish list on as many as you can. The depoliticised urbanite intellectuals And what did the other clan members manage to do? Well! She was just another and the Imran Khan lovers may judge it 19-year-old girl, while her father was a nonsense, but it is the real story of headmaster of the local state-run high millions, still facing the scourge of school. And the honour is supreme. After outmoded culture. The current mess giving a familiar example, let’s now talk shouldn’t be a surprise when even intelligentsia is short of ideas and a victim some ‘confusion’, I mean serious things. During my unproductive life, I also of confusion, represents various learned that when a family from influential circles and follows selected the Mansehra seeks ‘social boycott’ of a agenda status quo. To end confusion, the ‘social-developers’ person, it is a sacred duty of people from a varied school of thought to need to answer a simple question. How implement the orders. What it requires can one expect a change in individual is a simple phone call or one-to-one thinking and social relations without first secret meeting. I also learned that you altering means of production? Hasn’t should consult spiritual healers (Pirs your strategy failed to produce any and Aamals), who provide power and positive results?


CHINIOT: Camel remains a mode of transportation even in the 21st century. ONLINE

India killed democracy, justice by executing Guru: AJK PM 

Yasin Malik, Turabi, Hafiz Saeed, other leaders attend absentia prayers  Strike in Azad Kashmir today


ISLAMABAD: Absentia prayers for the executed Kashmiri leader Dr Afzal Guru were offered outside the National Press Club (NPC) on Sunday. AJK Prime Minister Chaudhry Abdul Majeed, JKLF President Yasin Malik, AJK Jamaate-Islami chief Abdul Rasheed Turabi and many other prominent personalities offered prayers, where they jointly termed India as a ‘murderer of democracy and justice’. Speaking on the occasion, the AJK premier announced a public rally in Mirpur and a strike today (Monday) across Kashmir. He said India's actions were violating human rights and against the spirit of democracy. He said the AJK government

would stand with people of Occupied Kashmir and accept all their decisions regarding protests against Guru’s execution. Yasin Malik, who was on a hunger strike for the past 24 hours, said the Indian government announced the news of execution after three hours which was incredibly painful for Guru’s family and loved ones to bear. Afzal Guru was executed for the satisfaction of the Indian Parliament as the Indian apex court had stated that he was not involved in any kind of conspiracy, but only in logistic support, Yasin Malik stressed. He said that Indian Media also criticised the issue and declared the decision immoral and unconstitutional which a big question on the democracy of

India. He also announced to join a really which is going to be held today in Mirpur against the Guru’s hanging. He advised the Pakistani government to carefully treat the issue of Indian prisoner Sarabjeet Singh and said Pakistan should avoid hanging him; otherwise, there would be no difference between the countries. Abdul Rasheed Turabi presented a tribute to Afzal Guru and assured his full support to the movement of Kashmir. JuD chief Hafiz Saeed was also present at the demonstration with dozens of his activists. He said the government should end its silence over the brutal attitude of India and appealed to all Muslims countries to do the same. Hurriyat leader Mehmood Ahmad Asghar demanded that

Pakistani people should protest over the hanging of Guru as Kashmiris were unable to due to imposition of curfew in Indian held Kashmir. AJK Legislative Assembly Deputy Speaker Shaheen Kausar Dar said that the original face of India had been exposed to the world after the brutal execution of Guru. Jamaat-e-Islami leaders Ghulam Nabi Nowshari and Mian Muhammad Aslam, Central Secretary General PPP AJK Nabila Irshad, Member Kashmir Council Sagheer Chughtai, former minister Khawaja Farooq, spokesman of PML-N AJK Abdul Khaliq Wasi and PPP Central Executive Committee Member Raja Fahim Khan also spoke on the occasion and condemned Guru’s execution.

Shrine damaged, cops injured in bombings PESHAWAR: A Sufi shrine was damaged in an explosion at Badaber in the outskirts of the provincial capital on Sunday. In the first incident, the shrine of Akhwan Salaq Baba was targeted. Police said the explosives were planted along the wall of the shrine which damaged the structure. Heavy contingent of police reached scene and started a search operation. It is worth mentioning that militants are targeting the educational institutions and Sufi shrines in the region, as they want to impose their own brand of Sharia. Later in the day, a blast targeting police van left three law enforcers injured along the GT Road near Nishtarabad Bridge. Rescue sources said the vehicle caught fire after the explosion, while police said three cops were injured who had been taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. According to police, the van was targeted by a hand grenade. AGENCIES

KP too goes for laptops

Foreigners asked to provide complete data PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Home Ministry, as a part of the enhanced security measures, has sought the details of foreigners attached with various non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and tourists. The ministry has tasked the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) to collect data of the foreigners and issued three forms to the authority in this regard for compiling of data. Sources in the ministry said foreigners visiting Malakand, Swat, Lower, Upper Dir, Chitral, Buner, Shangla, Tank, Hangu and Dera Ismail Khan districts of province would have to submit complete details including their name, father’s name, address, telephone numbers, purpose of visit and duration of stay. The home ministry has also sought the computerised national identity cards (CNICs) and other documents of Pakistani nationals attached with NGOs. Sources said that the move was a part of security arrangement and to keep a vigil on the activities of the foreign and Pakistanis associated with them roaming in various areas unchecked. AGENCIES

ABBOTTABAD: Childhood lost — Afghan children on their way to the workplace. ONLINE

PESHAWAR: Following the footsteps of Punjab chief minister, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Amir Haider Hoti Sunday announced that his government would distribute free laptops among students of the province. Talking to media at a ceremony, he said more than 30, 000 laptops at an estimated cost of Rs 1 billion would be distributed among the students. To a question, he said, “Although the governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has been changed as per the constitutional requirement; however, I am not sure whether ANP leadership was consulted on the issue.” About installation of a caretaker set-up in the province, he said the opposition would be consulted after the ANP-sponsored All Party Conference on militancy. INP

ANP workers facing the brunt of terror 

Despite the killing of more than 800 comrades, they are ready for more sacrifices


MARDAN: The Awami National Party (ANP) is a continuation of Khudai Khidmatgar Tehrik, led by Fakhr-e-Afghan Bacha khan against the British rule, as its members gave great sacrifices in the freedom struggle. At that time, Bacha Khan was against the idea of dividing India, but he accepted Pakistan while addressing the country’s first Constitutional Assembly. He said, “It is a reality that we were against the division of India, but now we accept this reality.” Unfortunately, both the government of Pakistan and the establishment badly treated Bacha Khan and his companions even after he stated his position in clear terms. Later, Khan Abdul Wali Khan, the son of Bacha

Khan, played a key role in Pakistani politics and he was a pioneer of the 1973 Constitution being an opposition leader. Basically, the ANP, formerly National Awami Party (NAP), was always known as an antiestablishment entity and revolved around principled politics. The ANP contested the 2008 elections under the leadership of Asfandyar Wali Khan. It bagged most number of seats in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and formed a coalition government with the PPP in the province. After coming into power, the ANP government faced a lot of challenges, including the core issue of terrorism and extremism. But despite multiple odds, the ANP is the only party of Pakistan to fulfil its electoral manifesto in the shape of the 18 Amendment, as the major points of its

manifesto - provincial autonomy, removal of concurrent list, renaming the province and power to control provincial resources – were accepted in the amendment. Being the main ruling party in the frontline province of Pakistan, the ANP workers sacrificed a lot, as about 800 of them have so far been killed in terrorist attacks. It includes the likes of senior minster of KP Bashir Ahmed Bilour, Dr Shamsher Ali Khan (an MPA from Swat) and Alamzeb Khan MPA (Peshawar), two tehsil presidents from Mata (Swat) Muzaffar Ali Khan Mukhtiar Khan - and there other relatives and also some other district presidents of the party. ANP chief Asfandyar Wali Khan was also targeted in a suicide attack at his hujra during a meeting with party workers some

years ago. Veteran ANP leader from Swat Afzal Khan Lala had also been targeted many times and he lost some of his close relatives and workers in those attacks, while he was also seriously injured in one of the assassination attempts. In another incident, the sister of Asfandyar, Dr Gullalay, was also injured in an attack in Peshawar when she was leaving her clinic for home. In short, the ANP, being a ruling party, claims to be delivering according the people’s wishes, the its own workers have serious security concerns, as they question why their leaders cannot protect them from terrorism and extremism. However, they are determined to support the leadership and ready for more sacrifices. They feel proud for being liberal and the followers of non-violent philosophy of Bacha Khan.



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Deficit of democracy As Pakistan inches closer to elections, the drama of democracy is becoming more of a farce. The PPP Co-Chairman, who also officiates as the country’s part-time president, has landed in Lahore for the jor tor that is considered the end-all of politics by all major parties. As reported by The Spokesman, he is conducting the political meetings as always but, to hide the unconstitutionality of his activities, he slips out of the frame for the photo-ops that show the party’s novice chairman Bilawal Zardari Bhutto listening intently to party leaders with his father nowhere in the picture. The PML-N is engaged in similar political maneuverings with its government in Punjab working overtime to complete projects so that they could be bandied about in its election campaign. Mudslinging and rhetoric dominates the debate that is yet to focus on any serious policy matter. The PML-Q, MQM, ANP and JUI-F are working out their power calculus. There is no serious effort to restore credibility to the Election Commission of Pakistan so that the election results do not become a victim of controversy. Can we hope for a smooth transfer of power in such a situation? To virtually every power player in the democracy field, it is all about winning elections by hook or by crook. This singular preoccupation with winning elections and a complete disregard of the principles of accountability, transparency and working for the public interest, without which the concept of democracy means nothing, has given democracy a bad name. With the lack of democracy within all established parties, and the first-past-thepost principle that determines the winning candidate, the elections do not fulfill even the basic requirement of representativeness in a democratic system. To make democracy relevant to the people in whose name it is sold, the political parties will have to brush up their act and bring the people back into the democracy equation. The parties in government, which basically means every major political party, will have to do more than bribing the electorate with last-minute development schemes and government jobs to show their love for the people. Traditionally, the military and the political engineering by its intelligence agencies have derailed the democracy project in the country, though not without the help of political leadership. In the present context, however, other than paranoid accusations for political gains voiced by some parties, there is little evidence that the security establishment is still playing the meddlesome role that it has been rightly criticised for. This puts the onus of the success or failure of the democratic system squarely on the shoulders of the political leadership. It is their responsibility to take the process further by sticking to democratic principles and ensuring the credibility of the electoral process. Given the present scenario, we are heading towards another controversial election which will lack credibility and public participation, leading to a political stalemate and another disruption of the democratic process. And this time the political leaders will have no one to blame but themselves for it.

Forging a new relationship ASHRAF TAHIR These are days of chaos and uncertainty in the system over the forthcoming political transition, formation of the interim government, and general elections. Several senior members of the political establishment - Nawaz Sharif, Raza Rabbani and even Shujat Hussain - have hinted at a conspiracy to delay the elections. Most of these doubts reflect an under-confident political leadership that shows its doubts and vulnerabilities instead of working proactively on the necessary preparation for the firstever, civilian-to-civilian government transition. There is much to think about to develop clear plans about how the next government will take Pakistan out of the multiple problems it presently faces. True, Pakistan’s political history has not been conducive to the political process and several martial laws have been sustained and supported by the business elite along with a largely subservient judiciary before Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry. But, equally, political parties have not raised the game either to show they mean business. The GHQ, in most cases willingly, and some time due to complete lack of interest by the present government, has managed most of the foreign, defense and counter-terrorism policies in the past five years. Post the 18th Amendment, the army has been running a full- scale federal government, despite the bravado of the likes of Khajaw Asif and the increasingly resurgent Qamar Zaman Kaira in television talk shows, it is an open secret that democratic development is still quite frail in the country. There are two imperatives for political parties to clean up their act. To begin with, both major parties, the PPP and more so the PML(N), need to become more representative internally. I am not even recommending a radical shake up in the short run due to practical reasons, but only suggesting that these parties take

The military has ceded ground with good intentions but politicians need to move fast to restore law and order, manage the economy better, and reach a political settlement with the Baloch a stock of talent and capability within their own ranks. This alone can increase their capabilities manifold. At present, it is very difficult for an individual to enter a political party unless he or she is extremely wealthy with a lot of time on hand. People from the middle classes and the working classes stand no chance at all in making it to party membership, leave alone to responsible positions within the party to meaningfully influence party policy. To become part of those who go to parliament is next to impossible for these classes of people. But even if you are reasonably affluent and willing to volunteer a substantial amount of time to the party, you need the patience of the saints to reach a stage where you

better in this matter but not far behind and the party has lost some of its best and most capable people. Next, political parties have no clear plans in place to show how they intend to reform Pakistan's failing basic services. Unwilling to broaden their decision-making base, there are no groups of experts informing and guiding each party on new ideas and concepts. Crucial decisions relating to national development, institution-building to develop trade and industry, social policy and law are made without sound technical scrutiny and after weighing different options. There is no consultation on matters of public policy which may be why, most of the time, political parties tend to pursue wrong

There is no consultation on matters of public policy which may be why, most of the time, political parties tend to pursue wrong goalposts, unwanted projects with limited scope, with a complete lack of focus on priorities can claim to have contributed to any policy matter. One good example of this is Anwar Baig, a well-meaning and capable man who spent his life in the PPP when it was in the opposition. He fell from grace with Asif Ali Zardari took command and Baig had to leave a senior party position. The loss was mutual, although the coterie surrounding the presidency would not concede as much. Other people, like Aitzaz Ahsan, were also not well used. The Muslim League is somewhat

goalposts, unwanted projects with limited scope, with a complete lack of focus on priorities. Pakistan has not meaningfully improved the quality of life of its people with the human development index either stagnant or much worse in recent years, while countries similar in size to Pakistan's GDP have delivered much better to the people. In Pakistan, most cities present a graveyard of failed projects. The Army can also play a role in reducing politician’s fears.

Although the Army should not directly engage with the media over Pakistani politics - and certainly not through drab ISPR press releases - they do have to dispel the impression in the popular mind that the military has only tactically ceded ground to the politicians and that this shift is not strategic. Some Pakistani scholars have theorized that the heavy involvement of the military in business should be kept from influencing politics. The Army needs to develop other ways of engaging with society that will help them develop better appreciation of the political process. Other powerful armies around the world work closely with the academia and policyrelated think tanks to reflect their interests and concerns of national security. They also use their public testimonies in parliament as an opportunity to air their views clearly and state their expectations on defense and foreign policy. In the absence of such an engagement, only rumors and speculation of the military’s involvement in politics replace information. This creates an air of uncertainty and distrust all around, in the politicians and in the polity. Finally, at a personal level, I think the military has ceded ground with good intentions but politicians need to move fast to restore law and order, manage the economy better, and reach a political settlement with the Baloch. If another three years of democratic governance cannot deliver on this, we must recognize that there are clear dangers that the Army’s role in politics will increase. That is not a great position for Pakistan to be in and more than ever before we should work hard to prevent it from happening. ASHRAF TAHIR IS A RESEARCH CONSULTANT IN DEVELOPMENT AND PUBLIC POLICY

Banking on technology for the poor Branchless banking and mobile banking services have made it easier for those with small and inconsistent incomes to transfer funds and may even encourage savings banking sector. Having a bank account is a luxury item and maintaining “bank balances” a status symbol. There are special privileges (VIP-OP) for those customers who are filthy AHMED SALEEMI rich and own large deposits with the bank. These rich and influential people use banks for their personal and political interests like loan Surely you must have been to the Gymkhana Club at least once in your lifetime. After all, it is waivers, political funding (for example, the Mehran Bank scandal) or maintaining Swiss a status symbol for the members. In case you bank accounts for their “financial security”. have been a committee member, you were at Meanwhile, the common citizen takes out the right place. Reserved and priority seating almost all his money every payday, kind of with the proper dress code would have been adjusted to your convenience, and, of course, defeating the point of a savings account. Then he makes his journey home, dodging the the ready availability of guestrooms’ would robbers by taking alternative routes every have been guaranteed. Furthermore, those month along with having more secret pockets extra large meals would have been delivered stitched in the lining of his trousers. If he were to your door-step following one command. in the category deserving the VIP-OP, the Let’s dub these perks VIP Operating desired amount could have been delivered Procedures (VIP-OP). home by his personal accountant. On the flip side, if you are, unfortunately, an Unfortunately, that is not the case in reality. ordinary member then all you probably did The introduction of a revolutionary was curse the committee member who hogged technological change in cellular phones and the attention of all the staff employed. The the communication industry has brought as influential few use the club as their personal though divine help to the common people. empire at the cost of the majority’s comfort. Mobile phones are no longer merely devices An analogous situation holds true for the

newspapers and magazines since my teenage, but sometime I am thinking that I should quit reading newspapers (but not magazines) only because of television channels. Approximately all newspapers are trying to follow electronic media in the sense that what is in and what is out. Like news channels, these newspapers are also publishing news with their personal comments. I am avoiding news channels, but only entertainment or sports channels or National Geographic as news channels are creating more disturbances in the society. Now, majority of the papers are also join the course and using the language Distinction between and style of the channels like abusing morality and immorality politicians all time and focusing only disturbed areas and highlighting only I agree with Mehreen Zahra-Malik as negative news with sensationalism. I personally feel that the induction of she accurately pointed out in her the channels ‘in the name of media’ column, “Pakistan’s Murdochian media” published on February 6, 2013 was not a good decision by the policymakers. I believe newspapers that there is no distinction between morality and immorality, only profit or were/are good source of information, as anyone can get news and comments loss. If Pakistan’s media businesses really want to serve the public interest, separately. The media including anchor persons must be accountable they would make this important distinction count. and these people should not be a part I am a regular reader of of any political or religious parties or


that are used to call someone but a radio, television, music player, gaming console, organizer, etc. It has also become a regularly used payment device. This collaboration of the communication industry with the banking sector has lifted the pressure of the small-income customers of commercial banks. Fortunately, the telecom sector of Pakistan has taken up this opportunity by adopting the concept of “branchless banking”. The banking sector at large is not responding at the same pace. The branchless banking systems provide a substitute to the physical banking infrastructure by capitalizing on the ubiquitous mobile communications networks. This technology helps bring everyday banking services to your retail stores. The entire retail banking wheel has been reinvented with a cell phone service providing the company’s recently launched scheme. The scheme offers virtual bank accounts opened for the company’s subscribers to access from their mobile phones at all times. Customers only have to go to an agent of the company, who can be located easily in their neighbourhood, to

group. The writer of the column pointed out that “the timeworn local tradition of a secret government fund to plant official platitudes across media platforms continues without questions or concerns of integrity. There are advertorials. There are potted phoneins on talk shows. There are bribes. There are bribes by other names (foreign tours). There is cheerful disregard for the country’s feeble antidefamation laws.” And also, there is a need to enforce a strict code of conduct besides editorial independence. AMEET KUMAR LAHORE

Strikes leading to psychological impairment As all knows that we people are facing a plethora of problems. On one side, people are in an abysmal condition due to bad governance in all spheres of society and, on the other the striking ‘young’ doctors are adding insult to their injuries. These ‘young’ doctors have been agitating for the last several years intermittently. First, they started an agitation to

deposit or withdraw cash from their mobile account. All other services are also accessible on the user’s mobile phone round the clock. A leading bank’s recently offered product is rapidly becoming a major player in providing financial services to the common customers. Banking for the small income customer improves the economic conditions of the financially marginalized stratum of the society. In January 2011, an international research company surveyed 327 customers of a cell phone company’s scheme at ten locations across rural, semi-urban, and urban Pakistan. The survey found that: • 69 percent of users live on less than $3.75 per day • 41 percent live on less than $2.50 per day; and • 5 percent live on less than $1.25 per day. There has been only one successful mobile money deployment - M-PESA in Kenya - amid a landscape littered with failures. Through MPaisa, rural residents can access microfinance loans without having to visit one of the country's 300 or so banks, located mostly in urban areas.

improve their service structure. Then they threatened the government by relinquishing their work in the emergency departments, the out patients department and others. For a second time, these ‘young’ doctors stirred and decided to start a massive protest, threatening to invade the CM Secretariat in Lahore. However, their demands were accepted on the very first day of their strike. We are sorry to say that the blocking of main roads is affecting daily public activities: traffic becomes blocked due to these strikes. Similarly, ambulances get fenced in long queues making it difficult for patients to get to the hospital on time. Likewise, students cannot reach their institutions on time. People become frustrated, leading to psychological impairment. Due to these strikes, treatment of patients and the health infrastructure are also being affected badly. The wretched and despondent people who come to hospitals for treatment go back without treatment due to the closure of various wards and departments. Most of the people who come to public hospitals are basically poor and economically challenged. Owing to their poverty, they cannot

This financial innovation not only gives the common citizen financial security but also promotes savings – especially for those with little and inconsistent income. You can deposit or withdraw any amount, be it Rs. 100 or Rs.500, with the stated agents/merchants. The seeds of savings are often as simple as convenience and comfort. Corporate money-making machines consider it a means to lower banking costs and make money from untapped markets, but I take it as a vital financial structural change for the poor in terms of savings, money transfer, financial security, and customer convenience. The country has a strong demand for domestic remittances, and the poor quality of available services and a conservative banking regulator has not risen to the occasion. Anticipating the insurgency named “branchless banking” and “ mobile payments”, I wonder how the social elite would react to their status being shared by the masses. Can they even imagine the same services for a committee member and an ordinary member?

afford the high expense of private hospitals or also daily travel to hospitals. They go to public hospitals only to face these strikes. The striking doctors should realise how lucky they are that the lord has given them respect and has chosen them for the noble profession but they are playing with the lives of people. Why are they stigmatizing their holy profession? Maybe they do not know what the reward is for curing a sick patient. If only they knew, they would never have sentiments like the ones they are having. Our country’s situation is so bad that we cannot afford such scuffles with each other. We always blame politicians but we are unable to reform ourselves first. MOHSIN NIAZI ISLAMABAD Feedback from the web

Dear Amir Mateen sahib, You've written very important pieces, and I commend you for bringing these issues to the public because we rarely see the manipulative agendas of the bureaucracy being talked


about openly in any newspapers. However, you do injustice to many. There are many bureaucrats other than the ones you mentioned who've stood up strongly for their principles. I know the PSP quite well. You should look up recent examples such as Aftab Sultan, and Javed Iqbal. There are many others. You also talk about salaries. A grade 21 officer gets a 1,00,000 salary, two cars with fuel, a house and servants. Even if you are very generous, this amounts to around 3,00,000. While this is quite decent, let me remind you that the senior officers in CSP are people who joined it at a time when the private sector didn't offer much. Hence, they were the best and brightest of those days. Can you imagine today’s LUMS graduates earning 3,00,000 after 20/30 years of service? The cries of excess seem a bit too much for those bureaucrats living their lives honestly. ALI LAHORE Please email your letters to or post them to our address in Islamabad.


Blaming the victim Instead of acknowledging the difficulties which the Pakhtuns have been facing because of the counter insurgency operations and its aftermath, they are generally regarded as people having a natural bent for violence MIAN SHAFIQUDDIN KAKA KHAIL

because Islamabad cannot overlook the possibility of negotiation with Taliban in case of US withdrawal. The geo-strategic location of the The “conceptual confusion” in Durand Line has made it a stage for military strategy, the furtherance of the American drama with the script the Musharraf ’s policy by the weak of fighting Al-Qaida and Talibans to PPP government, and the lack of achieve real American objectives: political will replicated the sufferings containing Russia, disturbing China, of the people of Pakistan in general deterring Iran, destabilizing Pakistan and that of the Pakhtuns of Khyber and controlling the energy- rich Pakhtunkhwa in particular. This is Central Asia. The Talibans in because some mainstream political Pakistan are backed by many foreign parties do not regard the rise of forces because the interests of the US, insurgency a real threat when it was India, China and Iran pass through limited to the Pakhtun areas. The the tribal frontiers of Pakistan. conflict between military and The Taliban ideology, which is militants posed a dual challenge to detrimental to Pakhtun culture, is the ordinary Pakhtuns in the form of imposed on Pakhtuns through difficulties they face at the hands of violence and terror mixed with militants and administration which apprehensions of being caused the disruption of social and overpowered by the Hegemon. economic life due to insecurity, According to the estimates of the displacement and the constant fear US Council of Foreign Relations, of violence. the total number of Taliban in The wave of violence in KPk and Pakistan is not more than 30, 000 FATA has adopted a new course of to 35,000. With this estimate, will target killing by targeting barbers, singers, actors and the owners of it be rational to label 27milllion Pakhtuns as Taliban terrorists, just video shops on the ground that their professions are un-Islamic. because a few thousand surrogates Several pro-government people and belong to them and operate from Pakhtun elders have been killed. the Pakhtuns areas? According to a rough estimate, The phenomenal rise of militancy about 1200 elders have been killed on Pakistani side of Durand line is by Talibans because of their support multi-layered, and many factors for the government. Moreover, the contribute to this menace. In political parties’ activists and Pakistan and Afghan, the Pakhtun leaders are on their hit list. heartland is the battlefield. In the No one can gauge the plight of words of Zbigniew Brzezinski, working women in this volatile formerly President Jimmy Carter’s environment and the recent coldNational Security Advisor, Global Hegemon needs local hegemons who blooded killing of six NGO women administering polio vaccine. A school in turn entice jealousies and girl can’t be sure if her school internecine wars. building will be standing the next The tribals represent the ethyl morning with all the bombings of alcohol of Pakhtun culture. They girls’ schools. understand resistance to power, a Instead of acknowledging the worldview that is pan-Islamic. difficulties which the Pakhtuns have Historically, they fought for it, been facing because of the counter acquired it, possessed it, applied it, insurgency operations and its resisted it, and are resisting it. Raj aftermath, they are generally Naiti or state craft is in their blood, regarded as people having a natural but the mixture of Pakhtun ethnicity bent for violence. This line of and Islam is a dangerous one. argument is very weak especially after Unfortunately, he is alienated by being called “too poor to be relevant” the sacrifices the Pakhtuns have made by co-operating with the military and But the narrative is the other way round. In the words of A.E.W. Mason, civil administration, specifically in The Three Gentlemen ‘The gods have successive operations in Swat and Malakand region. The socioordained a riddle worthy of old economic collapse made by the war Oedipus which all Empires must on terror to these areas will take a solve or fall – the riddle of the long time to fix. It is true that most of Northwest Frontier.’ the insurgency was in the Pakhtun It is certainly no exaggeration to describe Pakhtun tribes as the largest belt but these militants and their known potential reservoir of guerrilla ideology did not represent even the fighters in the world as quoted by M. minority of Pakhtuns. On the contrary, the militants have used Hauner in One Man Against the Pakhtun culture and its codes to their Empire: The Faqir of Ipi and The advantage which not only damaged British in Central Asia on the Eve of the image of the Pakhtuns but also and During the Second World War. created a sense of aggravation in In the light of these facts and the growing US-Indian cooperation, it is society to religious organizations. difficult for Pakistan to give up its THE WRITER IS A FREELANCER strategic conception of militancy

Wake-up parents: time to overcome taboos Most parents still find it difficult to talk to their children on important issues. We have to make a beginning somewhere, let’s do it by giving our children the skills to better understand themselves and their bodies ROBINA FELIX

themselves, face emotional turmoil as being treated as children all the time, and experience new My son, a few years back when he awareness of the opposite sex and a was three years old, watched an rapid change in their physical advertisement on television of a appearance. sanitary napkin and started Boys and girls go through different shouting ‘Mama’s pampers’, mama’s changes in their body form and pampers’. To my dismay and function, specific to their genetic embarrassment my kitchen help, who happens to be a male, was also make-up. One such change that the girl child faces is that of the onset of watching the television!! Try as I menarche, or the start of periods, as might to shush my baby, he was so it is commonly called. Similarly boys excited to see the brand that he go through body changes and a wanted to assert his knowledge on major dilemma that they face is of the subject and show-off at how wet-dreams and they keep on feeling well-informed he was. In the end I guilty about it if not adequately and just laughed off the matter. appropriately informed (this is not Later, sitting quietly sipping on a only supported by numerous cup of tea, I realized, how far we research at international and have come since the dawn of 21st national level, but is based on my century. Or have we? It is own experience of working with staff comparatively easier now to talk and students from all of the about some of the issues, government high schools for girls considered taboo and better not talked about at all or left for nature and boys in the district of Kasur for more than 5 years). and peers to unfold on the As said earlier, a lot has changed unsuspecting victims. One such and people can talk or are more area is that of humans passing prepared to talk on certain taboo through various stages of life and issues (depending upon their an important milestone is the “Adolescent Phase” when one starts educational and social to grow out of frocks & shorts and is backgrounds). Thankfully with some advancement in education at the helm of becoming an adult. and more so in print-media and At this stage in life, not only our television and advertisement, brain cells are growing at a rapid children come across certain stage, but our body also keeps pace advertisements that are pertinent to with the mental development and them and the inquisitive ones dare grows over 5-7 years (usually from 13-19yrs of age) from that of a child to ask their parents and the latter to a young boy/ girl. This is a time sees it as an entry point to talk of when children start asserting physical and mental changes

awaiting their children. Here I would like to acknowledge the work of NGOs and Government Education Department that allowed access to NGOs to work with youth, to build knowledge base of children passing through adolescence on various challenges facing them. Some forward thinking NGOs, to support their work with youth, involved the gate-keepers of information such as parents, religious leaders, community leaders and teachers to ensure smooth transfer of knowledge to children and to promote sustainability. However, most parents still find it difficult to talk to their children on such issues. A lot of parents face the issue of what is appropriate for their children? When should they talk to their children? What should they tell them? I feel that parents are the best judge for this, yet some of them delay it to a point that it becomes irrelevant as children by then have absorbed information provided by peers (which in our work experience is usually incomplete, incorrect or full of myths) and or have experienced the body change and dealt with it on emergency basis! I would like to emphasise that age-appropriate information is an important underlying factor that should dictate how much and what information is to be provided to the children. Everything does not have to be an

emergency, nor each action has to be a mere reaction. We as a nation need to be pro-active planners, forward thinkers and should refrain from reactive planning. I appeal to parents to please pay attention to the physical and mental needs of their growing children. Granted that the children will pass through the phase of adolescence even if they are not well-informed or prepared about it. Nonetheless fore-warned is fore-armed and if they are prepared to face the changes well in advance they are better able to cope with the changes and adopt a more responsible behaviour in life. I call upon every sane individual; government and non-government agencies working in social development, especially for youth and young adults to help children and parents bridge this communication gap, so that our children grow-up to be responsible adults and proponents of social change for a better, tolerant, aware and knowledgeable society. Let us lay the foundation of a prosperous Pakistan by building our youth to be responsible in every area of their life, be it personal, professional, religious or spiritual. We have to make a beginning somewhere, let’s do it by giving them skills to better understand themselves and their bodies. ROBINA FELIX IS A SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT AND HEALTH MANAGEMENT SPECIALIST

The Hula Hoop Theory of History MORRIS BERMAN Above all, no zeal.– Talleyrand There is a curious rhythm to human affairs, or perhaps more specifically, to Western history. Some movement or idea comes along, and everyone gets swept up in its wake. This is it, then; this is the Answer we’ve been looking for. All of those previous answers were wrong; now, at long last, we’re on the right track. In the fullness of time, of course, this shiny new idea loses its luster, betrays us, or even results in the death of millions. So apparently, we were deceived. But wait: here’s the true new idea, the one we should have followed all along. This is the Answer we’ve been looking for. Etc. The American writer, Eric Hoffer, described this syndrome roughly sixty years ago in a book that also generated a lot of zeal (for a short time, anyway), The True Believer. People convert quite easily, observed Hoffer; they switch from one ism to another, from Catholicism to Marxism to whatever is next on the horizon. The belief system runs its course, then another one takes its place. What is significant is the energy involved, not the particular target, which could be anything, really. For what drives this engine is the need for psychological reassurance, for Meaning with a capital M–a comprehensive system of belief that explains everything. There is a feeling, largely unacknowledged, that without this we are lost; that life would have no purpose, and history no meaning; that both (as Shakespeare put it) would amount to little more than a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. I call this the Hula Hoop Theory of History, but one could also label it the Pet Rock Theory, or any other craze that grabs our attention for a week or a century. It has a lot in common with the skeptical thinking of the sixteenth-century philosopher Montaigne, who had a great influence on Eric Hoffer, among others. In his Essays, Montaigne pointed out that the new

People switch from one ism to another, from Catholicism to Marxism to whatever is next on the horizon. The belief system runs its course, then another one takes its place. I call this the Hula Hoop Theory of History, but one could also label it the Pet Rock Theory, or any other craze that grabs our attention for a week or a century sciences of Copernicus and Paracelsus claimed that the ancient sciences of Aristotle and Ptolemy were false. But how long, he argued, before some future scientist comes along, and says the same thing about Copernicus and Paracelsus? Do we ever really know the truth once and for all? One might also call this the Drunken Sailor Theory of History, I suppose. Reflecting on the first flush of the French Revolution, William Wordsworth wrote: “Bliss it was in that dawn to be alive.” After Robespierre, the Terror, and the rivers of blood that flowed through the streets of Paris, however, a sober Talleyrand could only comment that what the human race needed, above anything else, was to stay clear of zeal. The path from bliss to barbarism may not be linear, but it does seem to be fairly common, historically speaking. The latest treatise in the Montaigne-Hoffer school of history is that of the British scholar John Gray, Black Mass. Gray draws liberally on the work of the American historian Carl Becker, whose Heavenly City of the Eighteenth-Century Philosophers (1932) has never been surpassed as an analysis of modernity. Becker claimed that the notion of redemption that lay at the heart of Christianity was recast by the philosophers of the French Enlightenment in terms of progress, or secular salvation. Enlightenment utopianism, in a word, was the transformation of Christian eschatology into the belief in the perfectibility of man–heaven on earth, as it were. This would be the Second Coming, the defeat of ignorance and evil (= sin) by means of reliable knowledge, science and technology in particular. In Gray’s view, the modern “secular fundamentalisms”–Jacobinism, Bolshevism,

Fascism, and most recently, globalization– followed directly from this transformation. The result has been satanic–a black or inverted mass (i.e., one recited backwards)–in that these pseudo-religions have all caused a world of harm. The one idea common to all of them is that progress and perfectibility are within our grasp, and can be attained through an historical process whereby true knowledge will defeat ignorance (evil). Thus the world, and our psyches, are saved, no less in the modern secular world than they were claimed to be in the medieval Christian one, because history itself is imbued with Meaning. Sad to say, the first three of these secular religions proved, in the fullness of time, not to be the Answer but rather the God that failed; and globalization (Thomas Friedman and his devotees notwithstanding) is in the process of going the same route, revealing itself to be a “false dawn.” Of course, says Gray, once globalization and neoliberalism are finally exposed for what they are, and take their proper place on the scrap heap of history, it will hardly be the case that we shall abandon notions of progress, utopia, and Meaning in history. Not a chance. We in the West will have to find another hula hoop, another pet rock, because as a Christian civilization we are simply unable to live without the myth of redemption. Hence, he concludes, the “cycle of order and anarchy will never end.” The tragedy is that we “prefer the romance of a meaningless quest to coping with difficulties that can never be finally overcome.” Hence, “the violence of faith looks set to shape the coming century.” At the present time, it’s not clear what the next hula hoop will be; but I’m not sure it matters all that much. If the Montaigne-Hoffer-Gray

school of historical analysis is correct, what is certain is that there will be no derailing the zeal in advance, no stopping the next ideologicalreligious binge at the second martini, so to speak. The word “some” has very little meaning in the world of secular fundamentalism; for us, it’s all or nothing. “Man cannot make a worm,” wrote Montaigne, “yet he will make gods by the dozen.” For it is all a kind of shamanism, in a way, an attempt to become whole through magic. We are all broken, after all; that is why the promise of redemption has such a powerful hold on us. “I am he who puts together,” declared one Mazatec shaman, some years ago. It finally comes down to a (misguided) attempt at healing, which is reinforced by tribal practice (commonly known as groupthink). I recall attending a conference on postmodernism in the 1990s and being struck by how similar the lectures were, in form, to those of Communist Party members of the 1930s. The “holy names” were different–one cited de Man and Derrida instead of Marx and Lenin–but the glazed eyes and the mantra-like repetition of politically approved phrases were very much the same. Truth be told, I have observed the same hypnotic behavior at all types of academic conferences, from feminism to computer science. You watch, you listen, and you wonder: When will we finally wake up? And you know the horrible truth: never. In effect, we shall continue to erect statues to Napoleon, but never, or rarely, to Montaigne. This much is clear. Which brings me to what I consider the bottom line, namely the structure of the brain. The frontal lobes, the large neocortex that governs rational thinking and logical processes, is a relative latecomer on the scene, in

evolutionary terms. The limbic system, which is the center of impulse and emotion, has been around much longer. The conflict between the two is perhaps best illustrated by the case of the alcoholic sitting at a bar, staring at a frosty stein of beer in front of him. The neocortex says No; the limbic system says Go. Statistically, most drunks die of alcohol poisoning or cirrhosis of the liver; very few escape from the siren song of the limbic brain. As Goethe once put it, “the world is not logical; it is psycho-logical.” And that is to put it quite mildly, it seems to me. We will not escape the ravages of climate change; we shall not avoid the economic and ecological disasters that are integral to global capitalism; not be able to avert an oil crisis, an energy crisis, or a food and water crisis that will become extreme when the world population finally arrives at 10 or 11 billion, by midcentury. These things are not going to be resolved by reason, by the neocortex, no matter how many articles are published on these subjects in learned journals or popular magazines. And they certainly can’t be resolved by the limbic brain, whose function is indulgence, not restraint. Hence, it is a fair guess that we shall start doing things differently only when there is no other choice; and even then, we shall undoubtedly cast our efforts in the form of a shiny new and improved hula hoop, the belief system that will finally be the true one, after all of those false starts; the one we should have been following all along. What to call it? Catastrophism, perhaps. You can consider this the founding document. (COUNTERPUNCH)


Rebels, troops battle for key Damascus highway BEIRUT: Activists say Syrian troops and opposition forces are battling for control of a key highway outside Damascus. The fighting is the heaviest in Damascus since the first rebel push into the capital in July. Checkpoints on the main artery into the capital have changed hands several times since Wednesday when the opposition fighters started their campaign for the capital, the seat of President Bashar Assad's power. A rebel fighter told The Associated Press that opposition forces on Sunday overran al-Adnan checkpoint in Jobar, northeast of Damascus. –AGENCIES

US must change attitude before talks: Nejad 

President admits effect of sanctions, says West must ‘pull away the gun from the face of the Iranian nation’

TEHRAN: President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Sunday said the United States must change its attitude if it wants to hold direct nuclear talks with Iran, as he hit out at Washington for imposing sanctions on Tehran. His comments, in a speech marking the 34th anniversary of the Islamic revolution that ousted the US-backed shah in 1979, came just days after Iran’s supreme leader rejected US Vice President Joe Biden’s call for direct talks. They also come at a time when Tehran and six world powers are preparing to resume stalled talks over Iran’s nuclear programme in the Kazakh city of Almaty on February 26. “The change of tone is necessary but not

sufficient,” Ahmadinejad said at Tehran’s landmark Azadi (Freedom) Square amid chants of “Death to America.” “Stop pointing weapons at the Iranian nation and I will myself negotiate with you,” he said, addressing the United States directly. “Talks should be with respect, fairness and not under pressure.” “You have done everything to prevent us from becoming nuclear and you have failed. The best solution is cooperation and understanding.” Last week Biden made a “serious offer” for direct talks in the framework of negotiations between Iran and the so-called P5+1 (the United States, France, Britain, Russia, China and Germany) on Tehran’s nuclear programme which world powers suspect

is aimed at making atomic weapons. Iran vehemently denies the allegation. Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the final say on all national issues, rejected Biden’s offer outright. “I am not a diplomat but a revolutionary and I speak frankly,” Khamenei was quoted as saying on his website on Thursday. “You (Americans) are pointing the gun at Iran and say either negotiate or we will shoot.” On Sunday, Ahmadinejad called on Iranians to remain “united behind” Khamenei, reiterating that “the Iranian nation will not give up an inch of its legitimate rights.” Tehran is currently under a series of international and Western sanctions

Palestine talks end in Cairo without results

Clean-up begins after blizzard causes chaos NEW YORK: The American northeast is slowly digging out from a mammoth blizzard that caused at least seven deaths, cut power to about 650,000 homes and businesses and choked air, road and rail travel. The storm, which hit New York and other areas still scarred by hurricane Sandy in October, dumped almost a metre of snow across New England, with hurricane-strength gusts creating massive drifts. –AGENCIES

Egypt denies presence of US base in Sinai CAIRO: Egypt's armed forces denied Saturday the presence of any US military bases in Sinai as one of the articles of a cease-fire deal between Israel and the Palestinian Gaza Strip brokered by Egypt and the United States in late December 2012. "This information is completely incorrect, and we've repeatedly denied the presence of any US or foreign miliary bases on Egyptian lands," armed forces spokesman, Colonel Ahmed Mohamed Ali, said in a statement Saturday in response to the claims raised by political activist Dalia Ziada on an Egyptian TV channel. –AGENCIES

Second suicide attack targets Malian troops GAO: A suicide bomber has blown himself up at a checkpoint manned by the Malian army, the second such incident in the northern city of Gao in two days, residents and a military official said. Capt. Daouda Diarra said the most recent attack occurred Saturday around 11 p.m. Diarra said the bomber set off the explosive belt he was wearing, killing himself and injuring a Malian soldier. The explosion occurred in the same place in Gao where a suicide bomber killed himself on Friday morning. A column of French tanks stood guard at the spot Sunday morning, preventing journalists and spectators from getting close to the site. –AGENCIES

Egypt to try 26 militants for plotting attacks CAIRO: Twenty-six alleged Islamist militants, including two former military officers, will stand trial on terrorism charges, accused of planning attacks against the Egyptian state, the official news agency MENA said on Saturday. The state security prosecutor said they had formed an extremist organization that advocated sedition against public authorities and called for jihad against public servants employed at state institutions. –AGENCIES

aimed at curbing its nuclear ambitions, mainly the sensitive process of uranium enrichment. The punitive economic measures have led to a severe economic crisis, choking Iran’s banking system and limiting oil exports, its main foreign revenue earner. A banner at Azadi Square on Sunday tried to give a different picture, declaring: “The crippling sanctions have only tickled us.” A recent survey by US polling firm Gallup said that Iran’s nuclear programme is supported by a large majority of its population. Hundreds of thousands of Iranians, chanting anti-US and anti-Israel slogans, marked the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution on Sunday. –AGENCIES

TEHRAN: Iranians attend a rally in Tehran's Azadi Square (Freedom Square) to mark the 34th anniversary of the Islamic revolution on Sunday. –WIRE SERVICE

Over 30m take holy dip in Kumbh Mela ALLAHABAD: Over three crore devotees led by ascetics of Hindu sects on Sunday took a holy dip at Sangam on 'Mauni Amavasya', considered the most auspicious day of bathing during the 12-yearly Kumbh congregation in Allahabad. "As per our estimates, three crore people have taken a holy dip till 3 PM. The influx of visitors has slowed down a bit since then but the turnout has already exceeded our expectations," Kumbh Mela Officer Mani Prasad Mishra told PTI. "No untoward incident has been reported from any part of the Kumbh area so far," he said. The sprawling city of tents, spread across 6,000 acres, may have briefly become the most populous place in the world on account of this unusually high turnout. A sea of devotees kept surging towards the confluence of the holy rivers Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati throughout the day, while the 13 'akharas' took out their processions for the second 'Shahi Snan' during the Maha Kumbh. Amid chants of 'Har Har Gange', devotees including a fair sprinkling of foreigners, watched awestruck as 'naga sadhus' with their matted hair, ash-smeared naked bodies adorned with garlands of marigold and 'rudraksh' moved in processions with their 'Shri Mahants' and 'Mahamandaleshwars' perched

atop decorated chariots, horses and elephants. In fact, the ritual of bathing started from Saturday afternoon itself when 'Mauni Amavasya' began according to the Hindu almanac and reached its crescendo this morning. A steady stream of devotees was seen at railway stations and bus stations where people from nearby as well as far-off places took to roads and pathways all of which seemed to be leading towards the Sangam on this day. Railways ran a number of special trains and bus operators, both private and government, plied hundreds of additional buses for the occasion. However, according to reports received in Allahabad, a railway station in the neighbouring district of Pratapgarh was vandalised on Sunday morning by people angry over non-availability of a special train for a trip to the holy Sangam. Tight security arrangements were in place with more than 15,000 security personnel drawn from central paramilitary forces like ITBP, CRPF, BSF and RAF besides the Uttar Police and its Provincial Armed Constabulary and Anti Terrorist Squad keeping a close vigil. Besides, the Army which has an ordnance depot located close to the Kumbh area, also did its bit by conducting aerial surveys every few minutes. –AGENCIES

Injury toll rises to 216 in Egypt clashes CAIRO: The injury toll rose to 216 in the clashes that erupted Friday between security forces and anti- government protesters across Egypt, health ministry spokesman Ahmed Omar told Xinhua Saturday. "As many as 210 out of the 216 were treated and discharged from hospitals. Only six are still being treated; five were injured outside the presidential palace in Cairo and one in Gharbiya governorate," Omar said, noting that over 160 people were injured in Gharbiya alone, some 80 km north of Cairo. Demonstrations overwhelmed Egypt nationwide as thousands of antigovernment protesters went to main streets and public squares, raising signs and chanting slogans against President Mohamed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood group. Some of the protesters demanded sacking the "unqualified" government, the interior minister and the prosecutorgeneral, amending the newly-drafted controversial constitution and trying those responsible for the death of over 50 protesters in recent clashes with security forces. The demonstrations, dubbed "Friday of Dignity" or "Friday of Departure," also condemned the recent police aggression against a protester who was beaten up and stripped before being dragged to a police vehicle. The most violent clashes were in Gharbiya, Cairo, Alexandria, Kafr el-Sheikh and Sharqiya governorates. –AGENCIES

GAZA: Three days of marathon talks between Palestinian rivals on the internal reconciliation ended in Cairo without achieving any tangible results on substantial issues, a senior Palestinian official said Saturday. Ahmed Majdalani, a member in Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), told Xinhua on the phone that the meetings discussed substantial issues related to achieving reconciliation but ended without any results. "The substantial issues discussed in the meetings held in Cairo are related to the legislation and the arrangements for holding the elections of the Palestinian National Council (PNC)," said Majdalani. Salim Za'noon, Speaker of the PNC, the Palestinian parliament in exile, chaired the meetings of the temporary leading Palestinian body, which includes all factions in the PLO, as well as Hamas and Islamic Jihad movements. The meetings, which were cochaired on Friday by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Za'noon, failed to agree on the election law of the PNC and the implementation of other reconciliation issues. "The meeting

agreed to move up the issues that the Palestinian rivals disagreed upon to the PLO executive committee for more debates and discussions and then another meeting will be held later," said Majdalani. He added that the meetings in Cairo failed to agree upon the formation of the transitional unity government and the date to hold presidential and legislative elections in the Palestinian territories. However, Khalil al-Hayyah, a senior Hamas leader, told the proHamas al-Aqsa TV station that the meetings agreed to start the consultations on forming the transitional unity government next week. "The Palestinian factions agreed in Cairo to decide the date for holding elections when the circumstances are suitable," said alHayya, adding that Hamas wants to form the unity government fist to prepare the ground for a real reconciliation. He added that Fatah "prefers at this stage to create more positive atmosphere for this step (forming the new unity government). Both Fatah and Hamas will keep working together to achieve real reconciliation." –AGENCIES

UN, US flay attack on Iran dissidents in Iraq UNITED NATIONS: The UN secretary-general and the US government condemned a deadly attack on an Iranian dissident camp in the Iraqi capital early on Saturday and urged Iraqi authorities to carry out a full investigation. “(Ban Ki-moon) strongly condemns the mortar attack today on Camp Liberty, the temporary transit facility near Baghdad for former residents of Camp Ashraf,” the secretary-general’s press office said in a statement. At least five people were killed and more than 25 wounded in the rocket attack, police sources said. “The Secretary-General calls on the Government of Iraq, which is responsible for the safety and security of residents of both Camp Liberty

and Camp Ashraf, to promptly and fully investigate the incident and bring perpetrators to justice,” it said. The US State Department condemned “in the strongest terms the vicious and senseless terrorist attack.” “We understand the Government of Iraq has undertaken to promptly investigate the attack,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said in a statement. “We call on it to earnestly and fully carry out that investigation and to take all appropriate measures to enhance the security of the camp consistent with its commitment and obligation to the safety and security of the camp’s residents. “The terrorists responsible for this attack must be brought to justice,” the US statement added. –AGENCIES

Hillaryʼs bloody legacy

Militarising the State Department RALPH NADER Hillary Clinton has completed her four-year tenure as Secretary of State to the accolades of both Democratic and Republican Congressional champions of the budgetbusting “military-industrial complex,” that President Eisenhower warned about in his farewell address. Behind the public relations sheen, the photo-opportunities with groups of poor people in the developing world, an ever more militarized State Department operated under Clinton’s leadership. A militarized State Department is more than a repudiation of the Department’s basic charter of 1789, for the then-named Department of Foreign Affairs, which envisioned diplomacy as its mission. Secretary Clinton reveled in tough, belligerent talk and action on her many trips to more than a hundred countries. She would warn or threaten “consequences” on a regular basis. She supported soldiers in Afghanistan, the use of secret Special Forces in other places and “force projection” in East Asia to contain China. She aggressively supported or attacked resistance movements in dictatorships, depending on whether a regime played to Washington’s tune. Because Defense Secretary Robert Gates was openly cool to the drum beats for war on Libya, Clinton took over and choreographed the NATO ouster of the dictator, Muammar al-

Gaddafi, long after he had given up his mass destruction weaponry and was working to rekindle relations with the U.S. government and global energy corporations. Libya is now in a disastrous warlord state-of-chaos. Many fleeing fighters have moved into Mali, making that vast country into another battlefield drawing U.S. involvement. Blowback! Time and again, Hillary Clinton’s belligerence exceeded that of Obama’s Secretaries of Defense. From her seat on the Senate Armed Services Committee to her tenure at the State Department, Hillary Clinton sought to prove that she could be just as tough as the militaristic civilian men whose circle she entered. Throughout her four years it was Generalissima Clinton, expanding the American Empire at large. Here is some of what the candid camera of history will show about her record: 1. A Yale Law School graduate, she shared with President Obama, a former Harvard Law Review President, a shocking disregard for the law and separation of powers be it the Constitution, federal statues or international treaties. Her legal advisor, former Yale Law Dean Harold Koh, provided cover for her and Obama’s “drone ranger”, John Brennan, Obama’s counterterrorism advisor. Imagine thousands of push-button deaths and injuries of internal resisters and civilian bystanders in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen and elsewhere who presented no threat to the U.S.

The war on Libya, which Clinton spearheaded for Obama, was conducted without a Congressional Declaration of War, without even a War Resolution or a Congressional authorisation or appropriation. She and her boss outdid Cheney and Bush on that score. 2. Although touting “diplomacy” as a priority, Clinton made little attempt to bring the United States into the community of nations by signing or ratifying international treaties already having as signatories over a hundred nations. As a former senator with bi-partisan support, Clinton didn’t use much of her capital on climate change agreements. Human Rights Watch reports that chief among the unratified treaties are “international conventions relating to children, women, persons with disabilities, torture, enforced disappearance, and the use of anti-personal landmines and cluster munitions 3. Secretary Clinton had problems heralding accurate whistleblowers. A 24-year-Foreign Service Officer, Peter Van Buren spent a year in Iraq running two State Department Reconstruction Teams. He exposed State Department waste and mismanagement along with the Pentagon’s “reconstruction” efforts using corporate contractors. Unlistened to, Van Buren, true to his civil service oath of office, went public. Clinton fired him. 4. Possibly the most revealing of Clinton’s character was ordering U.S. officials to spy on

top UN diplomats, including those from our ally, the United Kingdom. Shockingly, she even ordered her emissaries to obtain DNA data, iris scans (known as biometric data) and fingerprints along with credit card and frequent flier numbers. The disclosure of secret State Department cables proved this to be a clear violation of the 1946 UN convention. Clinton included in this crude boomeranging personal espionage, the Secretary General of the UN, Ban Ki-Moon and his top officials all around the world. As befits these lawless times, there were no Congressional hearings, no accountabilities, and no resignation by the selfstyled civil libertarian Secretary of State, not even a public apology. 5. Clinton led a dangerous expansion of the Department’s mission in Iraq. As reported in the Wall Street Journal on December 10, 2011, “In place of the military, the State Department will assume a new role of unprecedented scale, overseeing a massive diplomatic mission through a network of fortified, self-sufficient installations.” To call this a diplomatic mission is a stretch. The State Department has hired thousands of private security contractors for armed details and transportation of personnel. Simply guarding the huge U.S. embassy in Iraq and its personnel costs more than $650 million a year – larger than the entire budget of the Occupational Health and Safety Agency

(OSHA), which is responsible for reducing the yearly loss of about 58,000 lives in workplacerelated traumas and sickness. Another State Department undertaking is to improve the training and capability of Iraq’s police and armed forces. Countless active and retired Foreign Service officers believe expanded militarization of the State Department both sidelines them, their experience and knowledge, in favor of contractors and military people, and endangers them overseas. Blurring the distinction between the Pentagon and the State Department in words and deeds seriously compromises Americans engaged in development and diplomatic endeavors. When people in the developing countries see Americans working to advance public health or clean drinking water systems within their countries, they now wonder if these are front activities for spying or undercover penetrations. Violent actions, fueled by this suspicion, are already jeopardizing public health efforts on the border areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Clinton’s successor, former Senator and war veteran, John Kerry, says he wants to emphasize peace, human rights, and anti-poverty endeavors. He doesn’t have to prove his machismo should he strive to de-militarise the State Department and promote peaceful, deliberative missions in the world, from which true security flows. (Counterpunch)


Ministry had drafted a bill seeking amendments in OGRA Ordinance

Efforts to slash OGRA’s authority misfire 

Challenging our sovereignty inconsistent with court orders: OGRA  Petroleum ministry dubs the regulatory authority ʻthe enemyʼ of the country


ISLAMABAD: Petroleum Ministry’s plan of putting OGRA under its purview has misfired, since the regulatory authority has termed the attempts to question its sovereignty as inconsistent with the orders of apex court and against the interests of masses. After failing to ensure favourable gas tariff, coupled with a hefty collection of Rs 10 billion from overburdened gas consumers on account of stolen gas for state owned gas utilities from Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA), Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Resources (MPNR) were perturbed to such extent that it termed the regulatory authority as the enemy of the country and an unbridled horse. And, the ministry in a bid to clip the powers of regulatory authority wanted to leash the regulator and dispatched a summary to the federal cabinet seeking certain amendments in OGRA Ordinance courtesy fifteen amendments. Upon this, OGRA has now submitted its response in the light of relevant laws and constitutions to the Cabinet Division. With OGRA’s crystal clear stance on the response, it seems that ministry’s plan of putting OGRA under its administrative control is facing hiccups. A copy of OGRA’s response towards certain amendments in OGRA Ordinance available with The Spokesman disclosed that the regulator was entrusted with a mandate to protect the rights and interests of consumers. The ministry’s initiative of ending OGRA’s sovereignty was declared as being contradictory to the orders of Supreme Court (SC) that has expressed its disagreement over all proposed amendments in the ordinance except for one amendment comprising ‘ sale of CNG’

sought by the ministry. The regulator in its response further said that Petroleum Ministry’s objective of introducing amendments in OGRA Ordinance was wrong because the federal cabinet after the 18th Amendment had no power to approve amendments in the ordinance. He further added that amendment in the ordinance necessarily required the approval of Council of Common Interests (CCI) after which the Cabinet Division would be authorised to forward the summary to the Parliament House. OGRA in accordance to its ordinance and further in the light of Supreme Court’s orders was a sovereign body and was not bound to accept anti consumer rights orders of the government, he added. The regulator further made it very clear to the federal government that it would earn irreparable losses by suspending OGRA Ordinance in the name of public emergency because OGRA while being a subordinate body of the federal government would not able to protect the rights and interests of common public and stakeholders as well. It is also learnt from OGRA’s response towards certain amendments in OGRA Ordinance that with certain amendments induction of a word ‘directive’ instead of ‘policy guidelines’ as well as bounding OGRA to act in accordance to the ‘directive’ is inconsistent to the Supreme Court’s order made on 20th December 2005. The apex court in its decision had declared that OGRA was not bound to accept anti consumer right policy guidelines. Regarding the appointment of chairman and members of OGRA, the regulator further said that appointments were made purely on merit and in transparent manner and if Petroleum Ministry would appoint the chairman and members of OGRA then there would be a clash of interests, which

was against the principles of justice because the petroleum ministry itself was a stakeholder in petroleum mid and downstream sector. Similarly, OGRA has also opposed the appointments of Member Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) and Member Law on the ground that OGRA was already facing financial troubles and its funds went to consolidated funds in accordance to Finance Bill 2012. Hence owing to these problems at hand the burden of two new members would be out of regulator’s limits. Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority entrusted with the task of protect the rights of consumers further advocated that gas price would go further up bypassing the cost of imported gas to the consumers and the cost of imported gas should be included through cross subsidy. The regulatory authority with a mission to safeguard public interest through efficient and effective regulation in the midstream and downstream petroleum sector has highlighted that transportation of LPG air mix throughout the country was technically not possible. Further, OGRA in its response has declared that there was no complexity in OGRA Ordinance 2002 and it was not facing difficulties in decision-making. It merits mentioning here that Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Resources (MPNR), in a bid to deprive the independent OGRA from its sovereignty, drafted a bill seeking certain amendments in the OGRA Ordinance, which would first be tabled before federal cabinet and then before the National Assembly for final approval to make it the part of OGRA Ordinance. With draft of trimming the powers of OGRA, the ministry has resolved to restricting its role and responsibilities by clipping its powers to materialise its ‘long pending dreams’. Even the government, by

bodies is functioning under Cabinet Division in the supreme interests of the oil and gas consumers and also in line with international practices. Proposed control of OGRA is tantamount to further increasing government influence in the regulatory regime, which is contrary to the international practices and there is a fear that international donors can raise voices against this move, which as a result would ultimately make the regulator toothless in protecting the rights of consumers. A cabinet member was contacted for his stance on the proposed draft of oil ministry to be sent to the Cabinet first then to the Lower House (NA) for its consent pertaining clipping the powers of OGRA. On the condition of anonymity he said that it was not the right time to consider such proposals as the next general election was approaching fast. The Supreme Court of Pakistan has already advised the regulatory authority to refuse to entertain those instructions and orders, which are against the rights of consumers. Moving with such ambitious and half-baked proposals at this point of time would invite a lot of criticism from the opposition. This kind of naive initiative could also lead to some kind of schism within the federal cabinet, the member maintained. More, the Adviser to the Prime Minister on Petroleum & Natural Resources Dr Asim Hussain and Secretary Petroleum Dr Waqar Masood Khan earlier in a meeting with the Premier had sought his nod to approve three proposals of the ministry. The ministry’s three proposals included dissolution of OGRA, putting the regulator under the ministry’s purview, and last but not the least the proposal of amending the OGRA Ordinance in order to curtail its power, he added.

declaring emergency or war, would be able to set aside the ordinance, background interviews and discussions with energy experts transpired to The Spokesman. Draft copy of said bill available with this newspaper disclosed that the MPNR has proposed certain amendments in the Ogra Ordinance, 2002. These changes are being proposed to bring the regulatory authority direct under petroleum ministry’s administrative control instead of Cabinet Division. And, the federal government, by declaring war or public emergency, would be able to set aside this ordinance completely or any of its part and the decision would remain in full force till termination of such war or public emergency. ‘If any question arises whether a directive issued by the federal government is consistent with the Ordinance or not, the decision of the federal government thereon shall be final.’ Similarly, after getting necessary approval from the concerned corners, OGRA, entrusted with the task to protect rights of consumers, would be bound to accept orders of ministry in letter and spirit and would not be able to reject them at any cost. The draft copy of amendments in OGRA Ordinance also made it clear that appointments and removal of chairman and members of OGRA would be the made by the Prime Minister on the recommendations of a committee chaired by the Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources and Finance Divisions and Member Energy of the Planning Commission. “If at any time when a member is unable to perform his functions, owing to a leave or otherwise, the PM on the recommendations of the committee shall appoint a member for such period of absence,” the draft copy states. At present OGRA like other regulatory


Gohar Ejaz ‒ Punjabʼs real estate giant

New bank licence norms very soon: RBI MUMBAI: Reserve Bank of India is likely to "very soon" come out with the final guidelines on new bank licences as its consultations with the finance ministry on the issue is nearing an end, deputy governor Anand Sinha said on Friday. Sinha also said that the central bank and the finance ministry will arrive at a common position on issues like allowing brokerage firms and realtors into the banking space. "We will come to a mutual position (on issues concerning brokerages, real estate firms to be given banking licences) and then issue the final guidelines," Sinha told reporters on the sidelines of an event. On the issue of the timeline for the final guidelines, Sinha, in-charge of the banking operations and development department at the RBI, said, "very soon" as "consultations with the ministry are nearing an end". –ONLINE


Global shares climb on trade data; yen rallies NEW YORK: Strong economic data buoyed global equity markets on Friday, lifting the Nasdaq to a 12-year closing high and the S&P 500 to a five-year high, while the yen soared after Japan's finance minister said its recent drop had gone too far, too fast. Brent crude oil rose to a nine-month high near $119 a barrel and copper prices advanced for the first time in four days as robust Chinese data boosted the outlook for commodities demand. Data showing stronger international trade in China and Germany, and a report indicating the U.S. trade deficit had narrowed in December, pointed to improving global growth prospects. "That may have sent a ray of optimism," said Fred Dickson, chief market strategist at D.A. Davidson & Co in Lake Oswego, Oregon. MSCI's all-country world equity index. MIWD00000PUS rose 0.5 percent to 355.67, while shares in Europe rebounded 1.2 percent after a fall on Thursday wiped out the year's gains. –AGENCIES

Barclays to close tax unit LONDON: Barclays is to close its controversial tax avoidance unit as one of the landmark measures of Antony Jenkins’ much anticipated strategy review designed to show that “Barclays is changing”. The Sunday Telegraph can reveal that Mr Jenkins, who will deliver the outcome of the review on Tuesday, will say the bank will shut its structured capital markets (SCM) business. In the mid-2000s the unit made profits of as much as £1bn in a single year and became synonymous with Barclays’ aggressive investment banking culture under the stewardship of Bob Diamond, Mr Jenkins’ predecessor as chief executive. –ONLINE

ailing from a usual business setup in Jodia Bazaar Karachi, Gohar Ejaz has achieved a host of groundbreaking successes along his business journey that have merited him a place in the top 100 CEOs of Pakistan. Today he stands as a real estate giant in Punjab, who has projects worth millions such as Lake City to his credit. He has served as the Chairman of APTMA (All Pakistan Textile Mills Association) and was awarded the “Legends of APTMA” award by the President in 2012. For his immense service to the country in the field of business and to honor his philanthropic efforts side by side he was also awarded the highest civilian award “Sitara e Imtiaz” as well. Due to his father’s illness and death, Ejaz Gohar took over his family trading business from a young age and performed fairly well. In 1991, perturbed at Karachi’s law and order situation, he moved to Lahore along with his family to start a new life and to set his feet in the textile industry of Punjab. His business acumen and hard work not only lead him to own an up to date textile mill but also gradually made him a name in the real estate business as well. “With the ups and downs in Pakistan’s economy real estate is no easy business.” However Mr. Ejaz Gohar took up the idea of developing a grand housing project in 2004 on Raiwand Road. Real estate business was experiencing a boom at that time and Lahore, with an ever increasing population, was the most appropriate location to implement this plan. Hence he began work on his “dream” project, Lake City for which Phase I was completed last year. The realization of this project was a daunting task especially with the falling real estate prices in 2006 however his passion and business expertise made him successful in actualizing this dream. However there is more to this man than just giant corporate ventures and money making enterprises. He is also the founder of a trust that funds Jinnah Dialysis Center in Jinnah Hospital Lahore which caters to poor and deserving patients who cannot afford treatment. Mr. Ejaz Gohar set this up in 2006, and it was something he wanted to execute from the time of his father’s illness and tragic death. The trust also runs two schools for underprivileged children.

ISLAMABAD: Vehicles queue up to acquire CNG on Jinnah Avenue. — ONLINE

‘Tax evaders should not be allowed to rule country’ ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday said future of the country cannot be entrusted to politicians who have remained involved in massive tax evasion. Election commission should take concrete steps to stop politicians involved in mass scale tax evasion from contesting parliamentary elections, it said. Around seventy per cent of politicians, many billionaires, don’t pay taxes to discharge their obligations and at the same time ask masses to pay taxes to finance their luxuries, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW. The behaviour of politicians is highly inappropriate which indicates that they take

politics as a profitable business and consider country as their landed estate, he added. Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that masses will never pay taxes voluntarily in the unfair tax system as they know that politicians having billions evade taxes, get exemptions and look for foreign donors for help. The efforts of the FBR to improve tax-to-GDP ratio and other reforms will remain futile as tax compliance in Pakistan will have to start from the top and work its way down, he observed. The salaried class, business community and some professionals are paying taxes to some extent but many industrialists and landed elite are evading tax while feasting on national resources pushing country under unmanageable debt.

He noted that the plunder of national resources and robbing masses has reached to the proportions where the survival of country seems on stake while the ruling as well as opposition parties seem totally unconcerned. Pakistan cannot afford another spell of the democracy by incompetent leaders politically and economically, he said adding that incumbent rulers have proved themselves biggest obstacle in making Pakistan a real democratic country. Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that Pakistan has a chance if Election Commission succeeded in partial implantation of Articles 62 and 63 of the constitution otherwise we will face a crushing defeat without a war. –ONLINE

The tyranny of political economy DANI RODRIK

here was a time when we economists steered clear of politics. We viewed our job as describing how market economies work, when they fail, and how welldesigned policies can enhance efficiency. We analyzed trade-offs between competing objectives (say, equity versus efficiency), and prescribed policies to meet desired economic outcomes, including redistribution. It was up to politicians to take our advice (or not), and to bureaucrats to implement it. Then some of us became more ambitious. Frustrated by the reality that much of our advice went unheeded (so many free-market solutions still waiting to be taken up!), we turned our analytical toolkit on the behavior of politicians and bureaucrats themselves. We began to examine political behavior using the same conceptual framework that we use for consumer and producer


decisions in a market economy. Politicians became income-maximizing suppliers of policy favors; citizens became rent-seeking lobbies and special interests; and political systems became marketplaces in which votes and political influence are traded for economic benefits. Thus was born the field of rational-choice political economy, and a style of theorizing that many political scientists readily emulated. The apparent payoff was that we could now explain why politicians did so many things that violated economic rationality. Indeed, there was no economic malfunction that the two words “vested interests” could not account for. The relationship between political economy and policy analysis is not at all like this. By endogenizing politicians’ behavior, political economy disempowers policy analysts. It is as if physicists came up with theories that explained not only natural phenomena, but also determined which bridges and buildings engineers would

build. There would then scarcely be any need for engineering schools. There are three ways in which ideas shape interests. First, ideas determine how political elites define themselves and the objectives they pursue – money, honor, status, longevity in power, or simply a place in history. These questions of identity are central to how they choose to act. Second, ideas determine political actors’ views about how the world works. Powerful business interests will lobby for different policies when they believe that fiscal stimulus yields only inflation than when they believe that it generates higher aggregate demand. Revenue hungry governments will impose a lower tax when they think that it can be evaded than when they think that it cannot. Indeed, this is what explains some of the most astounding turnarounds in economic performance in recent decades, such as South Korea’s and China’s breakout growth (in the 1960’s

and the late 1970’s, respectively). In both cases, the biggest winners were “vested interests” (Korea’s business establishment and the Chinese Communist Party). What enabled reform was not a reconfiguration of political power, but the emergence of new strategies. Economic change often happens not when vested interests are defeated, but when different strategies are used to pursue those interests. Political economy undoubtedly remains important. Without a clear understanding of who gains and who loses from the status quo, it is difficult to make sense of our existing policies. But an excessive focus on vested interests can easily divert us from the critical contribution that policy analysis and political entrepreneurship can make. The possibilities of economic change are limited not just by the realities of political power, but also by the poverty of our ideas.



Doing romantic scenes were easy: Sara Loren

Imran Khan in gangster moode

NEW DEHLI: Sara Loren, the Pakistani actor who debuted in Bollywood alongside Himesh Reshammiya in Pooja Bhatt’s Kajra Re in 2010, is back on the radar with Bhatts’ Murder 3, and the 27-year-old is all praise for co-star Randeep Hooda. “Randeep is a very good looking man. Clearly the lovemaking scenes were easy to do,” she laughs, adding, “It always helps when your co-star is attractive. But he is also such a fine actor. He was patient and helpful. More than a co-star, he became a good friend on the set. We were very comfortable with each other and that chemistry shows on scene. If there is one thing you would take with you from the film, it is the raw chemistry these two characters share,” says Sara, who is currently single. “Yes I am, but not on purpose. I would love to be in a relationship, but who has the time? And how the hell do people manage to work and be in a relationship at the same time! Those who manage to pull it off, please tell me how. You shoot, dub, train, promote. -SHOWBIZ DESK

MUMBAI: Actor Imran Khan, 30, was spotted shooting for his film, Once Upon a Time in Mumbai 2, at the Mumbai Central Station recently. Last seen on the big screen in Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola, Imran will, for the first time in his career, be seen playing a gangster in this film, a sequel to the 2010 hit film, Once Upon a Time in Mumbai. It also stars Akshay Kumar. -SHOWBIZ DESK

Is SRK saving up his income for Ra.One 2?

First look - Bipasha Basu and Nawazuddin Siddiqui in Aatma



MUMBAI: Considering all the meetings that our favourite superstar has been having and the piles of scripts that he is reportedly ploughing his way through, we had to wonder why is SRK signing on a barrage of movies all of a sudden? Does he have plans to indulge his passion further? Shahrukh Khan has made his films on his own terms, at his own pace, and in the process has maintained an exclusivity that actors crave. Now it seems like the superstar is ready to let go of that snob value, given the number of movies he has been signing on to do. For 2013, Shahrukh was supposed to do only two films: Rohit Shetty’s Chennai Express and Farah Khan’s

Happy New Year. But the actor has now started talks with Rohit for two more scripts that he wants to work on. Besides that, SRK has also started to hold court in Mannat, discussing plans to get set for Don 3 with Farhan Akhtar and producer Ritesh Sidhwani. Besides that there is also the oddly titled A For Apple, B For Billi, C For Cutta by a little known filmmaker called Anil Senior. So, what we want to know now is: why? What is it that SRK wants for which he is sacrificing his exclusivity and making the mistakes that so many newbie actors make? Does he need money for a new house? Is he financing a new production company? Is his cricket team Kolkata Knight Riders going to get

yet another image makeover? Of…and we like this one…does Shahrukh have plans for a sequel to Ra.One? We understand that SRK must be under pressure, considering the fact that every superhero flick is expected to be a franchise of at least three or four sequels.

MUMBAI: Bipasha Basu and Nawazuddin Siddiqui starrer Aatma's first look is out. The two look fairly good in the poster. This is the first time the actors are paired together onscreen. Nawazuddin Siddique is certainly the man of the moment. After impressive performances in films like Paan Singh Tomar and Kahaani, the actor is currently basking in the glory coming his way for his performance in Gangs of Wasseypur. While Gangs of Wasseypur- 2 is yet to release and has Nawaz an even bigger role, the actor is leaving no stone unturned to establish his foothold in Bollywood. The latest is that Nawaz has been signed to play the main lead opposite Bipasha Basu in

the supernatural drama Aatma to be directed by Suparn Verma. The film is being produced by Kumar Mangat and Abhishek Pathak. Confirming the same, Suparn said, "Yes we have signed Nawaz to play the main lead. He is a phenomenal actor and what you will see of him in Aatma is something you've never seen before. Also the film has Bipasha Basu as the female lead in a stellar role. We start shooting from July 18 and it's a straight start to finish 50 day schedule in Mumbai and Panchgani". The film is also said to have some international crew. Suparn confirms, "Yes my DOP is from Denmark - Sophie Winqvise whose mentor is none other than Oscar winning cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle of Slumdog Millionaire

One-shoulder trend is hot SHOWBIZ DESK MUMBAI: The vintage inspired oneshoulder trend is hotting up the red carpet like never before. It seems to be the hot favourite of Bollywood’s divas who are showing off their well toned arms in elegant one-shoulder dresses and gowns. Right from Shilpa Shetty Kundra, Malaika Arora Khan, Sridevi to Dia Mirza have been spotted rocking the super stylish trend. Style gurus give the oneshoulder outfits a big thumbs up. “One shoulder dresses were a rage in

the 1920s. The style has made a comeback and is as popular now as the little black dress”, says designer Nida Mahmood. Designers say that one-shoulder dresses top the list of fashionistas who are a tad conservative when it comes to skin show. “It’s perfect for women who do not like to flaunt cleavage and yet want to look glamourous.” The style also works well for Indian body types, as it draws the gaze upwards, and away from a broad waist line. “It’s flattering for the Indian body types,”

Jessica Chastain hates Jennifer Lawrence! SHOWBIZ DESK

West more important than family: Kim SHOWBIZ DESK LONDON: Kim Kardashian upset her family by telling them that her priorities have changed and boyfriend Kanye West comes before the family for her. In the latest installment of 'Kourtney and Kim Take Miami', Kim is seen making her feelings clear to her family. Kim, 32, had backed out of a family boat racing event as to spend time with West but he had to take a flight and Kim decided to rejoin the event, the Daily Mail reported. After walking into the kitchen where the family are eating breakfast, Bruce starts to poke fun, asking, 'Little Kimmie, what are you gonna back out on today? Anything else you want to get out of?' She tells the family, "I can actually go" - explaining that Kanye had a last-minute flight to take. However, that the family is the back up plan is met with surprise, shock and derision. "So we're you're back-up choice?" mother Kris asked, and Kourtney added, "So we're second priority."

NEW YORK: Zero Dark Thirty star Jessica Chastain is reportedly miffed with young actress Jennifer Lawrence. The 35-year-old actress has left furious when her fellow Oscarnominee Jennifer won at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, reported. "Jessica can't stand the fact that Jennifer is stealing her thunder! What is more, the critics have been gushing over Jennifer's awards show speeches and it has been killing Jessica," a source said. "It was a real blow to Jessica when Jennifer took the SAG Award. Not only did Jessica think she deserved it, she thought she had it in the bag. She

tried to put on a brave face for the cameras, but inside she was seething," it added. And Chastain's ire went into overdrive when her nemesis joked about her during her recent Saturday Night Live gig. "Jessica Chastain more like Jessica Chast-ain't winning no Oscar on my watch. 'In Zero Dark Thirty' you caught Bin Laden. So what? In Winter’s Bone I caught a squirrel and then I ate it. Deal with that," Lawrence had said on the show. "Jessica felt Jennifer trivialised her acting role and didn't see any humor in the bit. She can't stand Jennifer all the more for it," said the source.

says designer Shantanu Mehra. But designers do caution that one shouldn’t overdo the accessories when wearing a one-shoulder dress. Designer Reynu Taandon says, “Big earrings or a bracelet are enough. The idea is to keep the look clean and edgy.” Rock the one shoulder look: Go for a structured silhouette that flatters your body. Avoid layering when wearing a one-shoulder outfit, Keep your makeup subtle and light, Team up your one-shoulder dress with stilettos, peep toes or pumps.

Saif, Sonakshi romance in Kolkata bylanes SHOWBIZ DESK KOLKATA: Bollywood actress Sonakshi Sinha rode a tram and then a hand-pulled rickshaw with Saif Ali Khan following her in an unbuttoned shirt to take passers-by in the city's Dalhousie area by surprise Sunday. Shooting for their film "Bullet Raja", the stars are these days capturing the old-world charm of Kolkata with its Victorian era heritage structures, hand-pulled rickshaws and signature trams. Led by director Tigmanshu Dhulia, the actors today shot in the Dalhousie area of central Kolkata where the 'Dabangg' actress rode a tram and a handpulled rickshaw. Saif sported a rustic look as he plays a kurtaclad gun-toting goon from Lucknow who follows his love to

Winter-spring 2013 collection by Ralli R alli has been one of the newly and just freshly arrived clothing brands in Pakistan. This brand has just put its first step in 2012 and in just few months they are becoming one of the favourite clothing brands for the women. They mainly cater the women with the product lines of casual wear, formal wear, party wear and bridal wear outfits. So far all of their collections have always been loved and huge appreciated by the women. This time Ralli has arrived with the showcase of most surprising and extra latest winter collection 2013 for women. The whole collection has been just captured within the newest fashion trends that are normally finishing the highlight of long shirts with the tunics as well. All the outfits have been matched with trousers and churidar pajamas.

The colors used within the winter dresses have been much alluring soft and even placed with some bright colors as well such as red, green, white, blue and others. The shirts and tunics have been embellished with the embroideries and styling cuts patterns that is making the collection much

energetic fresh looking and huge charming for the women. All the women can make the choice of such outfits for get together functions and party happenings. At the end we would love to share some of the exciting pictures of latest winter collection 2013 by Ralli.

Kolkata. Sonakshi, who wore a bright red salwar, plays a Bengali girl in the thriller. They are also shooting a song sequence in the city, in which Saif serenades Sonakshi in the narrow by-lanes of north Kolkata. Exploring the narrow lanes and bylanes and the grand old mansions of north Kolkata,

the team will shoot in other locations such as Princep Ghat, Kumartuli, flower market and the famous Laha Bari. Saif has shot for films like 'Parineeta' and 'Love Aaj Kal' in Kolkata before. Sonakshi too has been to Bengal before to shoot her other upcoming film 'Lootera' with Ranveer Singh.


Figure Skating: Davis, White win Four Continents dance title TOKYO: The US duo of Meryl Davis and Charlie White came from behind to beat Olympic and world ice dance champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada at the Four Continents championships on Sunday. Davis and White, second in Friday's short dance behind the Canadians with a gap of 0.44 points, topped the free dance on 112.68 points and won the title with a two-day total of 187.36. Virtue and Moir marked the second best free-dance score of 109.20 to finish second overall on 184.32. Another US couple of Madison Chock and Evan Bates came in third on 160.42. Davis and White, the runnersup to the Canadian couple at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics as well as the world championships and the Four Continents last year, also knocked them into second spot at the Grand Prix Final in December. -AGENCIES

Tennis: Gasquet wins second title of the season PARIS: World number 10 Richard Gasquet clinched his second title of the year by easily beating fellow Frenchman Benoit Paire 6-2 6-3 in the Montpellier Open on Sunday. Gasquet, who had already won in Doha last month, took one hour and nine minutes to cruise past the 43th-ranked Paire. The 26-year-old Gasquet, born only 40 miles from Montpellier, now has nine trophies to his name and his win on Sunday was the first time he had landed multiple titles in a single year since 2006. "Three years ago, it was an incredible feeling to know that an event was going to take place in Montpellier, knowing that I would have a few opportunities to win it,” Gasquet said on the court. -AGENCIES

Bolt opens season with solid 400m win KINGSTON: Jamaican sprint hero Usain Bolt won his 400metre heat while Yohan Blake was beaten by Warren Weir on Saturday as the athletes opened their 2013 season at the Camperdown Classic. Weir, the 200m bronze medallist at the London Olympics last year, emerged with the meet's overall 400m title with a time of 46.23sec. Blake, the double Olympic sprint silver medallist, clocked 46.77 in the same heat. In an earlier heat, Bolt trailed Riker Hylton – a genuine quarter-miler – into the last 40m but won the heat in 46.74. "I felt a bit nervous," Bolt, the 100m and 200m world record-holder, said of his season opener. "I just came out here to win and I'm glad I won injury free." Bolt, who spectacularly defended his three gold medals – in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m – at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, said he might run a couple more 400m races this season, and that his time so early in the season "shows that I am in good shape." Blake, who said he started training a little late, was also pleased with his performance. -AGENCIES

Golf: Clarke's team wins IPL-inspired league NEW DELHI (AFP): Former British Open champion Darren Clarke on Sunday led his four-man team to victory in a franchise-based golf tournament inspired by cricket's Indian Premier League. Clarke's Uttarakhand Lions picked up the winner's cheque of $250,000 by a onestroke margin in a dramatic finish to the Golf Premier League at the Aamby Valley course near the western Indian city of Pune. The Lions, co-owned by Indian Test spinner Harbhajan Singh, finished three 14-hole stroke play rounds at 34-under 406, one ahead of the second-placed teams of Punjab Lancers and Delhi Darts. Clarke, who was bought by the Lions for $55,000 at an auction in Mumbai last month, celebrated his victory with team-mates Mukesh Kumar and Shankar Das of India, and Thailand's Chapchai Nirat. "It could have got closer than that," he said. "Just goes to show how exciting golf can be. It's been fun playing here over the last three days. Hope the fans enjoyed it too." The televised $400,000 floodlit tournament featured eight teams battling it out in the shortened format. Each team comprised two international-level players, an Asian Tour star and an upcoming Indian player. —AGENCIES

Australia thrash West Indies in final contest to sweep ODI series MELBOURNE: Adam Voges scored his maiden one-day international century as a depleted Australia secured a 5-0 series whitewash by beating West Indies by 17 runs in the final match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday. The 33-year-old middle order batsman blasted an unbeaten 112 off 106 balls to propel Australia to a commanding total of 274 for five, before the tourists' promising chase stumbled in the final overs with late wickets. Johnson Charles, who replaced injured opener Chris Gayle, also scored a maiden ODI ton to give West Indies hope of hauling in the total, but the innings quickly petered out when allrounder James Faulkner had the hard-hitting Kieron Pollard caught for 45. That left the Caribbeans at 234-7, still needing 41 with less than four overs to spare, and seamer Clint McKay wrapped up the match on the second last ball when tailender Tino Best slogged straight to a man at deep midwicket. Australia completed the victory without injured captain Michael Clarke and several other first-choice players, who were rested to head over to India early to prepare for a fourTest tour. "They were cruising along pretty much without taking too many risks," stand-in captain Shane Watson said pitch-side in a television interview. "I think we held them out really well." Watson scored a century and half-century to set up victory in

SCOREBOARD SCOREBOARD AUSTRALIA INNINGS S Watson b Best 0 A Finch c Narine b Best 1 P Hughes c Pollard b D.J. Bravo 29 S Marsh c Thomas b D.J. Bravo 40 A Voges not out 112 B Haddin c Powell b Roach 43 J Faulkner not out 31 EXTRAS (9 LB, 7 W, 1 NB, 1 B) 18 TOTAL (five wkts; 50 overs) 274 FALL OF WICKETS: 1-0, 2-2, 3-63, 482, 5-193 BOWLING: Best 10-1-71-2 Sammy 10-1-37-0 Roach 10-0-52-1 Narine 10-1-27-0 DJ Bravo 8-0-62-2 Pollard 2-0-15-0 WEST INDIES INNINGS J Charles c Cutting b McKay 100 K Powell c Finch b Johnson 2 DM Bravo c Faulkner b Doherty 33 DJ Bravo b Johnson 13 K Pollard c Finch b Faulkner 45

Australian paceman Mitchell Johnson (L) leaps in the air after bowling West Indies batsman Dwayne Bravo (R) in their one-day international played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Sunday. —AGENCIES the previous two matches, but was bowled for a duck with the first ball of the innings by paceman Best. Best dismissed Watson's fellow opener Aaron Finch for one in his

second over, but finished with an expensive 2-71. Australia's top order crumbled to 82-4, but man-of-thematch Voges and Brad Haddin, recalled to the side in the absence of

regular wicketkeeper Matt Wade, combined for a 111-run stand to steady the ship. After Haddin's dismissal for 43, Faulkner added an unbeaten 31, teaming up with Voges to plunder another 81 runs in less than nine overs to set up the win. After Kieran Powell was out for two in the second over, Charles and number three batsman Darren Bravo (33) added 106 runs before the latter was sharply caught at midoff by Faulkner off the bowling of spinner Xavier Doherty.

Sterne cruises to Joburg Open title GOLF JOHANNESBURG: South African Richard Sterne cruised to a seven-stroke victory over former US Masters champion Charl Schwartzel Sunday in the Joburg Open. Sterne, runner-up behind Stephen Gallacher of Scotland in the Dubai Desert Classic last weekend, fired an eight-under final-round 64 for a total of 260 in overcast conditions at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club. Pre-tournament favourite Schwartzel, who won the

Joburg Open in 2010 and 2011 before relinquishing the title to Branden Grace last year, finished with a 66 for a 267 total over the 6942-metre course. Chilean Felipe Aguilar (67), South African George Coetzee (67) and Portuguese Ricardo Santos (64) shared third place on 268 in the 1.3 million euro ($1,758 million) event cosanctioned by the European Tour and Sunshine Tour. South Africans Thomas Aiken (66), joint overnight leader Trevor Fisher junior (73) and Keith Horne (65) were a shot further

back and Italian Lorenzo Gagli (67) and South African Garth Mulroy (67) ended with 270 totals. The final round at a course in an upscale north-eastern Johannesburg suburb was disappointing with the expected showdown between overnight leaders Sterne and Fisher failing to materialise. Fisher fell away badly after an eagle on the opening hole and a bogey-free eight-under round brought a sixth European Tour title to Sterne, who has been hampered by back problems. "I played really good

golf today and throughout the tournament -- that was probably the best final round of my career," said Sterne, 31, who missed much of the 2010 and 2011 seasons due to a form of arthritis. —AGENCIES

Karachi down Hyederabad in Quaid Trophy Staff Report

achieve by then.

KARACHI: Karachi Blues pacers set up a 114-run win on the last day of their first Super Eight fixture against Hyderabad at Mirpur Cricket Stadium in AJK. Set a target of 394, Hyderabad started the last day on 164 for 4 and the Blues' bowlers took less than 40 overs to dismiss them for 279. Only Sharjeel Khan anchored the innings at the top with an 80ball 101, but the remaining batsmen could not provide much resistance against the Blues pacers. Once Hyderabad chose to field on the first day, leftarm quick Lal Kumar picked five wickets to curb the Blues innings to 205 after Khurram Manzoor made 62. They were struggling at 154 for 9 but 41 runs from No. 10, Tabish Khan, took them past 200. Blues then turned the tables with their bowling, led by Tariq Haroon who finished with 4 for 24, to earn a 64-run lead. In the second innings, Blues piled up 329 with the help of 161 from Rehman and a fifty from Tabish Khan which set the stage for the Blues bowlers to finish the things on the last day. Sialkot Regions play drawn game with Karachi Whites: The Group A fixture in Islamabad, between Sialkot and Karachi Whites, ended in a drab draw after no play was possible on the first day. After Sialkot were put in to bat, their middle order batsmen helped them score 254, even though Atif Maqbool dismissed four of their top five batsmen. Karachi Whites looked set for a first-innings lead, being 132 for 1 at one stage, but Nayyer Abbas, Shoaib Malik and Ali Khan restricted them to 238 which eventually got them three points. Sialkot batted again and Majid Jahangir scored a hundred on the last day but not much was left for them to

Summarised scores: POOL A At Diamond Club Ground in Islamabad: Sialkot Region first innings 254 in 92 overs (Hafiz Majid 57, Mohammad Ayub 41, Zeeshan Mushtaq 44, Atif Maqbool 6-119, Mohammad Ali 2-85) VS Karachi Whites first innings 238 in 80 overs (Shahzaib Hasan 50, 107 balls, 9x4s, Mohtasham Ali 69, 154 balls, 12x4s, Atif Maqbool 29*, Nayyar Abbas 4-79, Shoaib Malik 3-62, Ali Khan 211) Sialkot Region second innings: 184-3 in 45 overs (Hafiz Majid 101*, 146 balls, 12x4s, Shoaib Malik 40*, 33 balls, 4x4s, 2x6s). Result: Mach drawn Toss: Karachi Whites Umpires: Zameer Haider & Akram Raza Referee: Khateeb Rizwan Scorer: Adnan Farooq POOL B At Mirpur Cricket Stadium in AJK: Karachi Blues first innings 205 in 80.4 overs (Khurram Manzoor 62, Tariq Haroon 34, Tabish Khan 41, Lal Kumar 5-49, Nauman Ali 2-46) VS Hyderabad Region first innings 141 in 36 overs (Rizwan Ahmed 48, Lal Kumar 26, Sharjeel Khan 22, Anwar Ali 3-27, Tabish Khan 2-43, Tariq Haroon 4-24) Karachi Blues second innings 329 in 77.5 overs (Akbar-urRehman 161, 24 x4s, 200 balls, Anwar Ali 33, Tabish Khan 53, Rehan Riaz 3-80, Lal Kumar 3-80, Nasir Awais 2-53) Hyderabad Region second innings 279 in 74.4 overs (Sharjeel Khan 101, 80 balls, 15 x4s, 3 x6s, Ghulam Yasin 37, Lal Kumar 41, Nauman Ali 24, Faisal Athar 29, Ruman Raees 2-39, Tabish Khan 2-62, Tariq Haroon 2-65, Akar-ur-Rehman 2-2) Result: Karachi Blues won by 114 runs Toss: Hyderabad Region Umpires: Shozab Raza & Raweed Khan Referee: Musaddaq Rasool Scorer: Shahid Gillani

LIMOGES: Germany tennis players jubilate after Julia Goerges (3L) won the third match of the Fed Cup 2013 between France Pauline Parmentier and Germany's Julia Goerges at the Beaublanc Courts in Limogeson on Sunday. —AGENCIES

MADRID: Barcelona's Lionel Messi shoots the ball next to Getafe's Lopo Garcia during their Spanish First division league match at Camp Nou Stadium on Sunday. —AGENCIES

N Deonarine c Haddin b Cutting 4 D Thomas run out (Marsh) 19 D Sammy c Haddin b McKay 23 S Narine b Johnson 0 K Roach not out 2 T Best c sub (Coulter-Nile) b McKay 0 EXTRAS (6 LB, 9 W, 1 B) 16 TOTAL (10 wickets; 49.5 overs) 257 FALL OF WICKETS: 1-7, 2-113, 3-129, 4182, 5-186, 6-228, 7-234, 8-246, 9-257, 10-257 BOWLING: McKay 9.5-0-52-3 Johnson 10-1-50-3 Cutting 10-0-53-1 Faulkner 10-0-47-1 Doherty 9-0-46-1 Finch 1-0-2-0 Australia won by 17 runs Australia won 5-match series 5-0 Man of the match: A. Voges (AUS) Toss: West Indies Umpires: Asad Rauf (PAK), Paul Reiffel (AUS) TV umpire: Nigel Llong (ENG) Match referee: Ranjan Madugalle (SRI) After bringing up his 100th run, Charles pulled the next ball from McKay straight to Ben Cutting at short fine leg and trudged off the ground ruefully. Pollard belted a six straight into the sight screen but came up short when he attempted another straight slog off the bowling of Faulkner and was caught by Finch at long on. Paceman Mitchell Johnson (3-50) and McKay (3-52) combined to wrap up the tail as the hosts celebrated a dominant series sweep. —AGENCIES

Czechs breeze past Australia to Fed Cup semis PRAGUE: Petra Kvitova led holders Czech Republic into the Fed Cup semi-finals by giving them an unbeatable 3-0 lead with a three-set win over Australia's Samantha Stosur in the eastern Czech city of Ostrava on Sunday. In the clash of the teams' number-one players, Kvitova, the world No.8, needed two hours and five minutes to beat 9th-ranked Stosur 2-6, 76 (7/3), 6-4. On the hardcourt in Ostrava, about 320 kilometres (200 miles) east of Prague, Stosur took the first set easily, then had a match point in the second, but Kvitova fought back to take the set in a tie-break. In the decisive set, she gave up a break leading 5-3 but immediately took it back to give the Czechs a seventh straight Fed Cup win. On Saturday, Kvitova beat Australia's Jarmila Gajdosova 7-6 (7/2), 6-3, before Lucie Safarova handed the Czechs a second point against Stosur in two tie-breaks – 7-6 (8/6), 76 (7/4). Czechs Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka, the world numbers three and four in the format, will now face Australian Open finalists Casey Dellacqua and 16-year-old Ashleigh Barty in a dead doubles rubber. Kvitova and Safarova led the Czechs to Fed Cup victories in 2011 and 2012 and are eyeing a treble, something the former Czechoslovakia – which split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993 – achieved in 1983-1985.

Germany defeat France LIMOGES: Germany completed a 3-0 win over France in a Fed Cup World Group II tie here on Sunday when Julia Goerges defeated Pauline Parmentier 6-4, 6-2. The Germans had already won both of Saturday's opening singles, also in straight sets, and they will now go forward to play one of the losing teams from the top group in a promotion/relegation playoff in April. France on the other hand will need to win a play-off against one of the teams from the lower division which could be Canada, Britain, Poland, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Belgium or the loser in the tie between Argentina and Sweden. The defeat was a bitter blow for Amelie Mauresmo, the former Australian Open and Wimbledon champion, who was captaining the team for the first time but had to do without her top player Marion Bartoli, who had a viral condition. —AGENCIES

Spin could be Australia's Achilles heel in India

Ian Chappell he clash between India and Australia promises to be a classic battle between spin and pace and experience and youth. Australia's great strength is their hit-man squad of fast bowlers, who will be confronted by an experienced Indian batting line-up. How the young quicks cope with the conditions will play a big part in deciding the series, and it could also shape Sachin Tendulkar's immediate future. A good series might see him carry on in Test cricket, but another poor


showing like the one he had against England may prompt him to retire. Australia will be comforted by the success Jimmy Anderson had in India, and they will prefer to play three fast bowlers: Peter Siddle and Mitchell Starc will be the first picks, and James Pattinson, if he is deemed ready, is likely to be preferred over Mitchell Johnson as the third. But that means Australia will be going in with two bowlers – Siddle and Pattinson – who haven't played any long-form cricket in over a month. This summer Starc has had consistent success with late movement into right-hand batsmen at a lively pace - a delivery that the highly dangerous Virender Sehwag is most uncomfortable against. His opening partner Gautam Gambhir is, like most batsmen, vulnerable to the away-swinger early on.

Gambhir will be a prized early wicket, because he can attack spinners. Australia will be flustered if he gets on top of Nathan Lyon, who is a steady offspinner - no Graeme Swann, but tidy nonetheless. However, none of Australia's other spinners has made a mark

medium-fast allrounder Moises Henriques as a third seamer and Xavier Doherty as the second frontline spinner. Other than not having topclass spinners, Australia's most glaring weakness is batting against quality spin. If their batsmen were facing a

Picking a second spinner to partner Nathan Lyon, and how to bat on turning tracks will be the big questions for the side so far. Choosing the second spinner will be crucial. They may look to cover two bases by using Glenn Maxwell as a second spinner who can add some valuable middle-order runs. India should look to attack him from the outset to dent one of his great strengths – confidence. If the Indian pitches for the series are raging turners, the other option would be to use

traditional Indian side, full of wily spinners, it would have spelt trouble for them, but against this team, which is still trying to decide on its best attack, they will feel they have a chance. The Australian batting order contains two areas of contention: who will open and where will Michael Clarke bat? Shane Watson's return to top form in ODIs suggests he'll

open with the ultra-aggressive David Warner. That is Australia's best opening combination and it lines up the batting order correctly, with Clarke at No. 4, where he's best suited. Clarke is the best player of spin in the Australian side, so he can't afford to bat any lower than No. 4, otherwise the Indian spinners could have the upper hand by the time he arrives at the crease. With Watson opening, it's likely Australia will have some runs on the board before Clarke has to face the spinners. That makes him a much more dangerous proposition. That leaves the ungainly but highly effective Phil Hughes at No. 3 and opens up a spot for Usman Khawaja at No. 5. This will be a big test for Khawaja, as he is a bit leaden-footed to start with against spinners, but Australia have to unearth some

young batsmen, especially in the middle order. Matthew Wade will bat at No. 6, with Maxwell coming at 7. The make-up of India's attack will give a clue to how they propose to dismantle the Australian batting. As Australians traditionally play legspin better than the left-arm orthodox variety, I suspect India will choose two left-arm spinners to partner offspinner R Ashwin. The type of surfaces the four Tests will be played on will have a big part in shaping the result. I expect the pitches to favour spin rather than pace. If that's the case, India will be favourites to win, but only if they have mentally recovered from being beaten by England.

(Former Australia captain Ian Chappell is now a cricket commentator for Channel 9, and a columnist)



New ISAF commander takes over to oversee withdrawal

1st phase of NATO withdrawal via Pakistan begins PESHAWAR/KABUL: The first phase of NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan began on Sunday with the journey of 25 containers entering Pakistan from Bagram airbase in Afghanistan. Security sources confirmed that the NATO withdrawal had initiated adding that a convoy of 25 containers with military hardware, was provided with routine security for its journey from Torkham to Karachi via the motorway. Custom officials had also confirmed that several containers of the NATO consignment were examined and cleared after they had crossed into Pakistan from Afghanistan. Meanwhile, US Marine General Joseph Dunford, expected to oversee

the withdrawal of most foreign troops from Afghanistan by the end of next year, took control of the NATO-led mission on Sunday, in an elaborate ceremony which emphasised the country's sovereignty. Dunford takes over from US Marine General John Allen, who ended a 19month tour which was arguably one of the most difficult periods in the war, now in its eleventh year. "Today is not about change, it's about continuity. What has not changed is the will of this coalition," Dunford told a crowd of foreign and Afghan officials in the barricaded headquarters of NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

Afghan President Hamid Karzai was absent from the change of command ceremony despite receiving an invitation from ISAF. A spokesman for Karzai declined to comment. Allen, who directed ISAF's transfer of most security across the country to the Afghan army and police, delivered an emotional speech stressing the nation's sovereignty, an issue that has been a thorn in Karzai's relationship with his Western backers. "Afghanistan is no longer the place between empires," Allen said, referring to a country where "imperial ambition and dynamics have played out for generation after generation". Allen also underlined the role of the 350,000-strong Afghan

security forces, who are expected to take over responsibility for all security by the middle of the year. "Afghan forces (are) defending Afghan people and enabling the government of this country to serve its citizens. This is victory. This is what winning looks like," Allen said from a podium covered in an Afghan rug to enthusiastic applause. Allen also stressed the role education is playing in changing the tide of public opinion in Afghanistan against Taliban insurgents, who banned girls from most schools. He earlier told Reuters that advancing women's rights was key to preventing the Islamist group from regaining support. –AGENCIES

LANDI KOTAL: NATO containers parked at Torkham border for security clearance. –INP

PTI not consulted on caretakers

EC revamp won’t delay polls: Imran

Shaukat takes oath as KP Governor PESHAWAR: Engineer Shaukatullah took oath as Governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Sunday afternoon. Chief Justice of Peshawar High Court Dost Muhammad Khan administered the oath. Chief Minister Amir Haider Khan Hoti was also present while the Chief Secretary, Mr. Ghulam Dastagir Akhtar read out the commission of appointment of the governor. The prestigious oath administering ceremony, held at the lawn of the Governor’s House, was attended by Speaker Karamatullah Khan, Federal Ministers Haji Ghulam Ahmad Bilour and Dr. Arbab Alamgir Khan, some of the provincial ministers, parliamentarians both from the province and FATA, Peshawar-based diplomats and senior government officials. Later on Engineer Shaukatullah mixed with the participants; received greetings and exchanged views with them. –ONLINE

Weapons, Army uniforms recovered from Lower Dir TIMERGARA: Security forces recovered a huge cache of arms and explosives along with uniforms of the Pakistan Army and Afghan National Army during a search operation in Lower Dir on Sunday. Security forces arrested two suspects in Tehsil Maidan who revealed the location of the hidden cache of arms and ammunition. The cache included nine mines, seven hand grenades, three kilogrammes of explosives, 46 fuse, six detonators, four explosive boxes, one AK-47, one 7mm gun and a China-made assault rifle, said the police. The recovered weapons were found dumped in several fields and houses, the colonel said. –ONLINE



ISLAMABAD: AJK Prime Minister Chaudhry Abdul Majeed, chief of Kashmir Liberation Front Yasin Malik and others offering funeral prayers in absentia of Afzal Guru who was hanged in India on Saturday. –ONLINE

PM to hold talks with UK leaders today 

Man commits suicide after killing wife, 4 children FAISALABAD: A man, Amir, committed suicide after killing his wife and four children here Sunday. The shocking incident took place in Yasinabad locality of the city. On the day of the incident, Amir visited his in-laws to bring his disgruntled wife back home. He opened fire after he failed to woo his spouse, killing Farah BB and three children Abu Bakar, 13, Ammar, 10 and Nimra 5 on the spot while Hunzala, 8 scumbed to his injuries at a local hospital. Shortly after wreaking havoc, the assassin shot himself dead with the same gun he used to kill his wife and children. –ONLINE

Asks Zardari to declare source of income Blasts huge spending on Metro Bus project

Addresses Pak community in Bradford

BRADFORD: Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf Sunday said Britain and Pakistan have cordial relations in all fields and its expanding day by day. Addressing Pakistani community here‚ he said the two countries are historically friends of each other. He said that Pakistan and Britain are enjoying good relations and his visit will further strengthen these relations. The Prime Minister said the present governments in both the countries have expanded these relations and further strengthened them. He said British Prime Minister David Cameron has played an important role in gaining access for Pakistani products to the European markets. He said Britain is also playing a

pro-active role on Afghanistan issue. Ashraf said Pakistan is the largest recipient of British assistance in the fields of education and health. He said he will begin his official engagements on Monday (today) and all aspects of bilateral relations will be discussed with the British leadership. He said a large number of Pakistanis are living in Britain. He said we are proud that overseas Pakistanis have deep love for their homeland. He said democracy is the best form of government as people elect their representatives in this system. Ashraf said the PPP led Government believes in serving the masses without any discrimination. Meanwhile, the prime minister also inaugurated Machine Readable Passport office at Bradford. –AGENCIES

The prime minister travelling on a train to Bradford with Hina Khar and Wajid Shamsul Hassan. –ONLINE

Police thrash PPP leader, young doctors LAHORE: Young doctors on protests and PPP leader and Deputy Parliamentary Leader in Punjab Assembly Shaukat Basra were thrashed by the police on Sunday. Police used baton charge against the protesting doctors of the Young Doctors Association (YDA) and arrested several of them. Speaking to reporters, Basra said he was severely beaten up by police at Services Hospital. “I was in the hospital for my father’s treatment when police stormed the medical facility. I was thrashed and batoncharged while trying to stop the police from beating male and female doctors.” He termed the incident as an act of terrorism by police at the behest of Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif. Basra, who suffered wounds, announced that he would lodge an FIR against Shahbaz Sharif. On the other hand, SP Model Town Owais Malik accused Basra of provoking doctors for political gains. –ONLINE

CHAKWAL: Pakistan Tehrik-iInsaf Chairman Imran Khan Sunday said it was essential to eliminate corruption and tax theft in order to steer the country towards the path of prosperity. Addressing the PTI Worker’s Convention in Chakwal, he asked President Asif Zardari to make public his source of income and answer as to how he built a 176canal Bilawal House in Lahore. “Mr Zardari where did you get the money to construct this fortress-like house? Tell me Zardari, did you pay tax for this money?” Imran Khan questioned. He also took to task Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and said the budget of the entire Punjab Province had been spent on the construction of 27-km-long road and the Metro Bus Project. He said that the people of Punjab were fighting a war of life and death while on the other hand the provincial government was busy spending lavishly. “Only Rs 80-to-90 billion were spent on the Metro Bus project just to win the polls as the Sharif government had done nothing to serve the people during the past five years.” Imran Khan also rejected the notion that the reconstitution of the

Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) may delay the general election. He said that the PTI had not been consulted over the caretaker setup. The PTI chief said he would claim wickets of both the PPP and the PML-N simultaneously with one ball. Imran said that he had been advocating for the past nine years that the US-led war on terror should not be fought by Pakistan and the country should hold talks with the Taliban, but he was called “Taliban Khan”. He said that the ruling parties were in consensus to rule the country turn-by-turn, and this time around they would also join hands to contest the election on a single platform in order to counter the PTI. Imran Khan vowed, that the PTI would defeat the PPP and PML-N even if the election was held under the umpires of their choice. “It is vital to eliminate corruption and tax theft from the country, to make Pakistan a prosperous and welfare state,” he stated. Imran Khan said that after coming into power, the PTI would not only collect money from tax theft, but it would make sure to spend it on the welfare of the masses.

7 injured in multiple Quetta blasts QUETTA: At least seven persons including children and women were injured in three separate rocket attacks here. According to initial unconfirmed reports, some unknown attackers fired three rockets from unidentified destination at different areas of Quetta and injured seven persons. First rocket landed outside a mosque on Pir Abul Khair Road but failed to hurt anybody there; second rocket landed in a residential house on Khuda Dad Road, leaving seven persons including three children and two women injured there. The third rocket landed in a street near Prince Road and so far, no causality has been reported from that area, informed the local police. The police and rescue teams rushed to the attacked sites and moved the injured to Civil Hospital of Quetta, after cordoning off all targeted areas. Local administration of Quetta has declared emergency at Civil Hospital. –AGENCIES

Kidnappers are everywhere, even in Capital ASAD SHAH If you get a shalwar kameez, a praying mat, a Peshawari chappal and beads in exchange for Rs. 30 million, one might think that it's from a celebrity auction, but that’s not the case with Akbar, a well-off businessman of Islamabad whose family exchanged this hefty amount with militants to ensure his safe return. A real estate investor, Akbar (fictitious name for security reasons but The Spokesman has all the original names involved in this episode) living and working in the apparently safe havens of Islamabad was abducted on gun point in broad day light from central Islamabad by three bearded armed jawans in a pickup, wearing the uniform of Frontier Corps (FC) and taken with full protocol in a semiconscious condition to D I Khan via

Police, agencies act as negotiators rather than recovering the victims

motorway with police officials saluting them on the way through various check points. Cases of abduction have not only been on the rise in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa but also in major cities of the rest of the country. A number of known influential people have been abducted and subsequently released after the payment of hefty ransoms. Police and intelligence agencies have assumed the role of negotiators rather than those responsible for recovering the victims. Well-off residents of Islamabad, once considered the safest city in the country, are now equally vulnerable as militants out to kidnap for ransom operate at will without any fear of law enforcers. Most of the kidnapped victims are initially abducted by a separate group, one that specializes in

the act, and later after being traded off multiple times, reach the notoriously lawless Tribal Areas. It was the sweltering month of July, 2011 when Akbar, a young well-to-do businessman, rode one of his Mercedeze Benz back home from work, when he was intercepted by a double-cabin pickup from which three men, donning a shalwar kameez uniform of sorts, armed with AK-47's got down and forced him into their vehicle. Akbar remembers that people on the street witnessed the entire thing yet didn't come to his rescue and that the abductors left his cell phone and wallet in his car and sped away. "First thing they did was inject something in my arm which, although scared me at first, strangely failed to completely knock me out and I

remained partially in my senses for almost the entire journey after," recalls Akbar. He clearly remembers the man sitting in front, who didn't get down for the snatching, as the leader. The man later revealed his name as 'Saif '. Akbar remembers taking the motorway to Peshawar and getting off in the middle towards DI Khan. He estimates that he was awake, though dizzy, for around five hours and then fainted. However, he starkly recalls that at one of the roads off the motorway, upon passing a police check post, policemen saluted Saif and let them pass without any hindrance. "When I opened my eyes I was lying flat on a worn out rug in a room with a small window. There were cameras in the room which made me uncomfortable but I later got used to it.

After few hours Saif and another man came in and made me change into a shalwar kameez and chained my hands. They then began to make a video." The video was received by Akbar's family after two days after which videos kept frequenting between the abductors and family to serve as proof of life. Video CDs were left at a specific electricity box near Akbar's house in and his family would be told to collect it accordingly. Resorting to regular prayers and reciting the holy book was the only pastime for Akbar throughout this solitary confinement; a practice that he continues to this day. Akbar's family initially involved the police and intelligence agencies but got frustrated when both of them failed to move an inch after finding out that the abductee is kept somewhere between

Published by Ahmad Waleed from Yasmin Majeed Printing Press, 69-Cricket Stadium, Rawalpindi

D.I.Khan and Waziristan. They were left with no option but to take the matter into their own hands. During the entire period, apart from a servant, only the leader, Saif, came in contact with him. "I could make out from overhearing that I wasn't the only one being held hostage," he says. On multiple occasions, he was assured by Saif that the ransom is 'haraam' on him or his loved ones and that every penny will be devoted to the jihad against United States. "They were bitterly anti-American and did not fear Pakistani forces, saying that 'they are under our control rather than the other way around'." The abductors had initially asked for a ransom of Rs.150 million for release. Three weeks of negotiations ultimately brought the ransom amount to Rs. 30 million which a friend of Akbar took with him to the kidnapper's desired place of exchange.

The Spokesman  

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