WHO WILL BAIL OUT MUSHI PG I 03 SUNDAy march 10, 2013
TURF WAR TO CONQUER KARACHI
THE BUSINESS OF GOVERNMENT
– MOHAMMAD JAMIL
– EHSAN KAZI
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Rabi-us-Sani 27, 1434 I Islamabad/Rawalpindi I Vol, V, No. 325 I www.thespokesman.pk
Pages 12 I Price 10/-
Hell let loose on Christians in Lahore
Unruly mob goes berserk in Joseph Colony on alleged blasphemy Church, 178 houses and shops set on fire in front of police CM announces compensation Says ATC to decide case Christians hold protests across the country
(L) Baton-wielding mobsters show their excitment after vandalising the Christian neighbourhood. (C) People not happy even after torching and destroying the building. (R) Christians protest to express solidarity with the Badami Bagh tragedy victims. –STAFF PHOTOS
L AH ORE: A wild and unruly mob, mostly Pathan scrap dealers of Badami Bagh area, vandalized and gutted on Saturday some 178 houses and shops including one church at Joseph colony right in front of police despite the fact that the accused Savan Masih alias Bubby was arrested and an FIR under 295-C PPC. The knee-jerk reaction and capitulation by police and law enforcement agencies was obvious as no serious effort was made to stop the looters and miscreants despite the simmering tensions overnight.
The Sunni Tehreek and other religious organizations had given a strike call against the alleged blasphemy committed by Savan Masih who was already in police custody. The rescue workers did not dare enter the arena as miscreants gutted house after house and shop after shop which were empty as the entire Christian community fled the area last night. Throughout the night and during the day no effort by city police or provincial authorities was made to reassure the terror-stricken communities. The FIR which was registered at 3am early Saturday morning had barber Shahid Imran
SNEAK PEEK PImS employees unite against merger plan, FIR A large number of medical and paramedical staff of the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, during a meeting on Saturday at the conference room, discussed in detail their concerns over the FIR lodge against them and the government’s decision declaring PIMS as an autonomous body under newly-announced Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto University. Page 02
Bars on a collision course with Judicial commission A full house meeting of the Pakistan Bar Council on Saturday finalised a draft, aiming at amendments in the Judicial Commission Rules 2010. The proposed draft was approved unanimously by all PBC members. Page 02
Seasonal labourers – wheat for survival The wheat harvesting is not far away. South Punjab and Sindh are the major producers of the crop. The southernmost administrative divisions of Punjab - Bahawalpur, Multan and DG Khan - are among major wheat cultivation areas. Page 05
as complainant. According to existing law district magistrate has to order the registration of FIR in blasphemy cases registered under 295-C. “The authorities asked me to register an FIR which I did after arresting the accused,” said Hafiz Majid, SHO Badami Bagh. A photo of Savan Masih mailed to newspaper offices by the city police was captioned ‘The blasphemer’. “We can quash the FIR after investigation if the charge proved false,” said the SHO apparently unaware that now after the FIR registration he has to send challan to magistrate within 14 days and only court can dismiss the case
which in blasphemy case is not easy thing for any judge to do. On Saturday evening, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif convened a press conference and announced compensation for the house and shops and vowed that no criminal would be spared. “The case will be tried under Anti-Terrorism Court,” said Sharif. He said the offenders will not be spared. However, the CM did not answer why the police did not stop arson and vandalism at first place. The Incident occurred on Thursday night when Savan Masih who owns a snooker table shop in this rundown slum was drinking with his friend Shahid Imran, a barber of the same
Not the ﬁrst in Punjab LAHORE: In last five years of Sharif tenure the province witnessed some of the most brutal incidents against the minorities like Gojra, Ahmediyah worship place attack in Lahore which left over 100 people massacred in 2010. Two Christian churches were razed to ground in Lahore in 2011 including Gosha-i-Amn and in 1997, the infamous Shanti Nagar mayhem against Christians. At present, Punjab tops in registering the FIRs under Section 295-C with 130 accused languishing in jails, 12 of them death row convicts.
Rs 30b hike likely in defence budget
Raise in pays announced in 2012-13 budget necessitated increase Govt plans to generate Rs 120-150b through amnesty scheme
OUR STAFF REPORTER
ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs Saleem H Mandviwalla Saturday said that the government would review the country's defence budget in April for an increase of Rs 30 billion for the ongoing financial year 2012-2013. Though the minister did not mention it, but since the present government will complete its tenure on March 16, 2013, this increase will be made during the caretaker government. The defence expenditure is likely to increase by Rs 30 billion during the ongoing financial year due to increase in pays announced by the Cabinet at the time of federal budget 2012-13. The government earmarked Rs 545 billion for defence at the time of announcement of annual budget, which would now be increased to Rs 575 billion. Mandviwalla further said the government would present the bill of tax amnesty scheme in National Assembly on Tuesday, as main opposition party PML-N did not oppose it in the standing committee. The government has planned to generate Rs 120 to Rs 150 billion through amnesty scheme in the last quarter (April-June) of the ongoing financial year 2012-2013 in order to achieve the revenue collection target. The amnesty scheme would whiten the black money by paying a nominal tax.
Talking to the media, the finance minister said Pakistan would approach International Monetary Fund (IMF) whenever needed. He further said Pakistan should have foreign reserves enough for six months, which at present are enough only for three months. Talking about the supply of power to agricultural tubewells at a flat rate, the finance minister said that it was the government's decision, though he personally opposed it. The cabinet's decision to approve a summary for the supply of power to agricultural tubewells at a flat rate will cause Rs15 billion loss per year to the national exchequer, he noted. He said the ECC approved the subsidy for tubewells, which would increase the budget deficit. The finance minister said the LNG import project had been referred to the federal cabinet subsequent to divergent views of the participants of the ECC meeting. He said the finance ministry issues funds to ministries, not individuals. He further said that all the decisions during his presidentship of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) were taken with consensus. Saleem H Mandviwalla said Rs 25 billion was needed for Neelum-Jhelum project till June 30, 2013 for which we would divert funds from Diamer Bhasha Dam and remaining would be obtained from banks through borrowing.
‘861 went missing in two years’ ISLAMABAD: The commission probing into forced disappearances Saturday said that it has received complaints about 861 more missing people during the last two years, bringing the tally to 999. The commission said these complaints were received during the period from February, 1, 2011 to February, 28, 2013 while such reports received till January, 1, 2011 ran into 138. In a statement issued by the commission, it was said 378 out of total 999 complaints have been disposed off and investigations were underway about 621 cases. Report said the commission is aided by the security agencies in tracing missing persons and it traced out 19 missing persons including dead bodies of two among them in February, 2013.
locality. An argument broke and Shahid brought Shafiq, his friend, who started shouting that Savan committed blasphemy. The accused family immediately left the locality while local Pathan dealers and some people from religious organizations started pelting stones on Savan’s House. The situation soon got out of control and a local organization issued a strike call. Late in the night, police arrested Savan and registered an FIR. Leader of Sunni Ittehad Council Hafiz Tahir Ashrafi while condemning the incident said it was unfortunate that on accusation, the entire community has been razed and gutted.
Talking to BBC, Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar, advisor to Prime Minister on human rights said only complaints have been filed with the commission and it has yet to investigate if the allegations leveled therein about forced disappearance were correct or otherwise. Dozens of complaints are received by the commission that their near and dear ones have been lifted by the security agencies but it was found later in certain cases that the reported missing persons had left for Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Dubai and other countries of Middle East in connection with their jobs, he pointed out. He said the UN informs Pakistan about correct applications after conducting minute scrutiny of the cases. The UN has informed about 109 missing persons so far, he added. About rise instead of fall in the number of
missing persons witnessed during the five year tenure of the incumbent government, he said positive steps are being pursued in this connection. “Constitution of commission on missing persons, cooperation with the commission, inviting UN working commission on visit to country and presence of standing committees on missing persons in both the houses of parliament are major moves initiated by the government.” He went on: “It was good omen that relatives of the missing People had also been protesting against the disappearance of their near and dear ones and they hold intelligence agencies responsible for such cases. The recent statement has come from the commission on such juncture of time when dead bodies of missing Baloch youths have been recovered from Karachi. –AGENCIES
JAIPUR: Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf shakes hands with India's Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid on Saturday. –STAFF PHOTO
Four dead in Peshawar mosque blast TAHIR ALI
PESHAWAR: At least four people were killed and another 29 sustained injuries on Saturday when a bomb blast took place inside a mosque. The incident took place inside Jamia Masjid Bilal in Mohala Baqir Shah near the Meena Bazaar. It is the second incident of its nature in the area. In October 2009, a bomb blast in Charri Koban Bazaar, which is adjacent to Meena Bazaar, took around 120 lives. At the time of blast around 35 people were offering prayers in the mosque belonging to Ahli Sunnat Wal Jamaat. The blast killed four people including Qari Shah Husain, the prayer leader of the mosque. AIG of bomb disposal unit Shafqat Malik said: “It was a remote control blast and the explosive materials, around 4 kg in weight, were planted inside the mosque.” The injured were taken to nearby Lady Reading Hospital, amongst them four were children. “At least 33 people were brought to the hospital; four out of them expired while 29 are still under treatment. The condition of five are serious”, said a doctor at the hospital. Some local shoppers said the mosque prayer leader received a threatening letter some two months back.
Pm, 40 others make lightning one-day visit
India keeps talks away from table
Lunch in Jaipur, prayers at Ajmer Sharif
JAIPUR/A JMER: Prime Minister to the shrine in Ajmer, 130 Raja Pervez Ashraf on Saturday kilometres from Jaipur. Ashraf and prayed at a 13th-century shrine in his family prayed at the revered northern India on a lightning one- shrine of Sufi saint Hazrat Khwaja day visit in which politics was kept Gharib Nawaz and were slated to return to Islamabad later on off the agenda. Accompanied by a 40-member Saturday. Ashraf was the most delegation, including 20 family senior Pakistani official to visit India members, Mr Ashraf was received at since last April when President Asif the Sanganer Airport in Jaipur by Ali Zardari made a similar Rajasthan government officials and pilgrimage and had lunch with straight drove to the lunch venue, Prime Minister Singh. Some Indians, including Rambagh Palace. RElATED SToRy the symbolic Indian Foreign Minister Salman Zindigi 50-50 for Raja and Veena –Page 3 spiritual head of the Ajmer shrine Khurshid hosted a lunch for Ashraf at the Rambagh Zainul Abedin Ali Khan, objected to Palace, a luxury heritage hotel in Prime Minister Ashraf ’s pilgrimage. Jaipur, and said he was welcoming “I expected the Pakistani prime the PM with “open arms”, despite minister to bring back the head of strained relations between the the Indian martyr, tender an countries over recent border clashes. apology to the people of India and “It’s in our culture to welcome our the family of the soldier,” Khan said. However, his decision did not guests with open arms,” said affect the Pakistani premier’s Khurshid, adding that controversial visit because other topics such as alleged sponsorship shrine members of cross-border militancy by assisted Prime Pakistan, were not discussed at Minister Ashraf, the lunch. “Today it was a private officials at the religious visit. There were no official site said. –AGENCIES talks. We will do it at the appropriate time.” After the luncheon meeting, Ashraf, whose government’s term ends on March 16, flew
CMYK SUNDAY, MARCH 10, 2013
â€˜Children Assemblyâ€™ demands free quality education, more budget ISLAMABAD: The first-ever Children Assembly on Saturday demanded of the government to ensure free quality education, increase in educational budget and special initiatives for the literacy. The assembly presented policy recommendation ensuring free and compulsory education, advocating that children should be involved in decision-making process and consultation regarding issues that affect their future. The debate focused five thematic areas which include access to free and compulsory education, quality education, school management committee and publicprivate partnership and girls education. The event was attended by lawmakers, government official, members of the civil society
organisations and others. Addressing the assembly, National Assembly Member Sidiqul Farooq appreciated efforts of the children and their recommendations as pragmatic in addressing micro-issues that plague education system in Pakistan. He said that the girls should be provided safe access to schools along with scholarships from class one. â€˜We Canâ€™ General Secretary Hajera Pasha said that children would know better about their issues, and this assembly has proven they surely have the ability to solve their problems. The assembly provided an opportunity to children of remote and deprived areas to present not only issues that concern their education, but also gave them the confidence of addressing their issues with key policy recommendations.
Explaining the rationale and philosophy of the event, â€˜We Canâ€™ Programme Manager Muhammad Aashir said that the concept of the Children Assembly rotated around inculcating leadership qualities within children and generating awareness among children about their rights and duty as responsible citizens. Attiya Malik, a student of the Govt Primary School Jagatpur, Muzzafargarh, said, â€œI am so happy and confident now. I was given the confidence of addressing the assembly and making my voice heard.â€? Dr Noreen Khalid said that the girls education should be ensured and given due priority, as women in Pakistan face extreme issues and only through education they can be empowered, having a lasting impact
not only in their household domain but also at the larger society. The Committee on Quality Education emphasised accountability of school administration, surprise visits, introduction of new ideas and modern techniques in curriculum, Urdu as compulsory subject and utilisation of information technology in learning system. The committee stated that the government was responsible for declining standards in public education system. By befitting initiative, standard of public school should be brought in par with private schools. The committee also highlighted the importance of special education, and suggested reviving of school management system. It demanded right of transfer to other school for the students, inclusion of
children in administrative decisionmaking and encouraging cocurricular activities. The committee on public private partnership said all government schools would be
Ministry invalidates outages report
Woman kidnapped from murdered Shahzadi Bibiâ€™s area ISLAMABAD: A few weeks after the brutal murder of Shahzadi Bibi of Bhara Kahu, a woman has been kidnapped from the same area, police said on Wednesday. The 20-year-old married woman (her name not being mentioned upon request) was allegedly kidnapped from her parentsâ€™ house. An FIR has been lodged against the kidnapper. The father of the woman while speaking to The Spokesman said, â€œLast year, the kidnapper (his name also being withheld) who lived in our neighborhood sent some women of his family at our place and proposed for our daughter, but we refused. The man later again sent his family members but we refused again.â€? Her father said that after that incident, he married his daughter. â€œThe kidnapper threatened us that he would get our daughter even after her marriage,â€? he said. â€œOn Wednesday, we invited our daughter at our home. After some time, she went out only not to return.â€? He said he tried to contact the kidnapper on his cell phone for several times but he did not receive the calls. â€œHowever, we somehow contacted his brother, who initially assured us that our daughter will return home very soon. But later he said he has no idea where she or his brother was. He also told us that his brother has left the home and also took away an amount of Rs 100,000.â€? Meanwhile, Sub-Inspector Ghulam Muhammad Shah, the investigating officer, told The Spokesman that According to their probe the kidnapper is a native of Bannu, adding that he is a Hafiz-e-Quran and teaches the Holy Book online. He received his Quranic education from a madrassa in Satra Meel. STAFF REPORT
PPPâ€™s Dr Qayum elected senator ISLAMABAD: Dr Qayum Soomro was on Saturday elected a senator unopposed on a seat that had fallen vacant following former finance minister Abdul Hafeez Sheikhâ€™s resignation. According to Media Reports, President Asif Ali Zardari has felicitated Soomro for becoming member of the upper house of the parliament. ONLINE
10 outlaws arrested I SLAMABAD: The Islamabad Police on Saturday arrested 10 outlaws from various areas and recovered stolen car, weapons, wine and hashish in a large amount from their custody. Sub Inspector Muhammad Ashraf of the Bani Gala Police Station arrested two accused Shakeel and Mooj and recovered 2.150 kg hashish from their possession. ASI Tanveer Ahmad from the Kohsar Police recovered 20 wines of bottles. On the other hand, ASI Main Imran from Bhara Kahu Police arrested Malik Faisal and recovered a 9MM pistol along with five cartridges from him. ASI Javed Iqbal from CIA Police recovered a stolen car bearing registration no LEA-3497 from Muhammad Jamshed. ASI Iqbal Muhammad from Tarnol police arrested Yasir Javed and recovered four wine bottles from his possession. In another incident, ASI Ghulam Mustafa of Golra police along with the team raided at a guest house in Sector G-13/3 and arrested four accused namely Javid Iqbal, Arif Ali, Niala and Mehak involved in immoral activates. However, the police registered cases against the culprits and started investigation. Islamabad IGP Bani Amin Khan deeply appreciated this overall performance and directed all police officials for high vigilance and patrolling in their respective areas to curb activities of anti-social elements. ONLINE
brought at par with private sector institutions, and rehabilitation and renovation of old schools should be preferred over construction of new schools. ONLINE
ISLAMABAD: Ministry of Water and Power has said that the enquiry committee formed for power breakdown has not yet submitted its final report, whereas the interim report about the incident does not include any such conclusion as highlighted in the media. According to a statement issued here on Saturday ministry has invalidated the report published in a section of the press on March 9, 2013, in which the findings of the enquiry committee regarding total system collapse on February 24, 2013 have been stated. The ministryâ€™s officials have also denied the blame in the report regarding influencing the enquiry by WAPDA chairman and underlined that the inquiry committee headed by Member (Power) was constituted by Ministry of Water and Power and is liable to submit its report to the ministry. The committee is carrying out its investigations independently. ONLINE
126 returning officers appointed
ISLAMABAD: Christians demonstrating against Lahore arson, outside National Press Club. ONLINE
PIMS employees unite against merger plan, FIR HOMER BALOCH
ISLAMABAD: A large number of medical and paramedical staff of the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, during a meeting on Saturday at the conference room, discussed in detail their concerns over the FIR lodge against them and the governmentâ€™s decision declaring PIMS as an autonomous body under newly-announced Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto University. The staff including Young Doctors Association President Dr Farooq, Nursing Association President Juliyana, Para-Medical Association General Secretary Arshad Khan, Clerk Association President Mukhtar Khan, All Federal Health Employees Association Chairman Manzar Abbas Naqvi and others, showed their concern over the Health Bill, 2013, in which PIMS along with other two hospitals namely Polyclinic and CDA hospitals was declared autonomous under the â€˜controversialâ€™ Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto University.
The participants of the meeting said that the latest decision about PIMS and other hospitals were neither public nor employees friendly and it only focuses on the promotions and gaining of few people who have political influences. However, the participants could not met Dr Riaz Warraich, the executive director of the PIMS as he excused by saying that he was in Lahore. Manzar Naqvi told The Spokesman that, â€œThe executive director of the hospital had promised us in our previous meeting that the governmentâ€™s decision will not affect the hospitalâ€™s status and its staff and the hospital will not be under SZABU. The main purpose of our meeting is to remind him about his promises.â€? He further said that the bill would be forwarded to the National Assembly soon for further consideration. The staff also raised questions about the FIR lodge against them by the Margalla Police on their protest against the government decisions on March 4. Manzar Naqvi said that
they had a peaceful protest that day in which they marched from PIMS to the Islamabad Press Club and then towards D-Chowk. However, Margala Police SHO Irshad Ali Abro, when approached, stated that the FIR was lodged against the protestors under the Section 144 in which any gathering on the public place is illegal. According to FIR details, the applicant ASI Mumtaz Baig on his duty witnessed the accused namely Manzar Naqvi, Tahir Virk, Malik Tahir Mahmood and Tanveer along with other 70 employees not only blocked the road, but also burned tires during their protest, for which an FIR was lodge against them containing the charges of 188/341. On the other hand, Dr Riaz Warraich told The Spokesman that there was not any issue regarding the autonomous status of the PIMS or the future of its staff. â€œIt has been clearly mentioned in the bill that the hospital will remain under the federal government,â€? he said. However, he showed his complete ignorance over the FIR, when asked.
I SLAMABAD: 126 district returning officers have been appointed to receive and scrutinise nomination papers in connection with the general election on 272 seats of national assembly and 577 seats of provincial assemblies in the country. As many as 425 returning officers have been appointed while the strength of assistant returning officers runs into 709. Two returning officers and 4 assistant retuning officers have been appointed in respect of two seats of national assembly in federal capital. As per election commission, general elections may take place on May 8 or 9 and proposal has been sent to the government in this regard. The final decision has to be made by the president Asif Ali Zardari on this count. According to the Election Commission, the total number of registered voters in the country stands at over 85 million. Total number of registered male voters is 48,259,221 female voters are 37,162,760. Total number of votes in Punjab is 48,838,040; Sindh 18,663,657; KP 12,247,940; Balochistan 3,337,001; Islamabad Capital Territory 609,517; and FATA 1,725,826. The ECP says number of male voters is over 48 million while the female voters stand at over 37 million in the country. ONLINE
Increasing education awareness stressed
Lack of knowledge leading to violations
I SL AM ABAD: PML-N spokesman Siddiqueul Farooq on Saturday said that unfortunately today Muslims live in the darkness of illiteracy, despite being the followers of Islam that has stressed on the importance of acquiring knowledge in its first revelation. Addressing the first-ever â€˜Children Assemblyâ€™ in the Convention Centre, he explained that Islam was not just a religion but a complete code of life, adding that â€˜acquiring knowledge is the duty of every Muslimâ€™. â€œIt is the responsibility of the state to ensure free and quality education to the children.â€? Today, women and girls are not given so much preference to be educated but Islam has made mandatory getting education for both the men and women, Siddiqueul Farooq. All the problems that Pakistan has faced today with are due to the lack of knowledge while breaking and violating the constitution of the country persistently. Oxfam Country Director Arif Jibar Khan pointed out that women and girls education was low in Pakistan that needs to be improved. â€œWe not only have to increase the education budget but its awareness is also necessary,â€? he explained. A huge number of children aged 12-16 participated in the â€˜Children Assemblyâ€™ that aimed to make children parliament for the marginalized class of the society where they could stand as policy-makers to draft their own resolution papers for promotion of education and access to free education as well. ONLINE
ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to PM Shahnaz Wazir Ali speaking during End Polio Summit 2013 organised by Pakistan National Polioplus Committee of Rotary International, at a local hotel. ONLINE
Womenâ€™s Day spirit continues OUR STAFF REPORTER
ISLAMABAD: The second day of the Womenâ€™s Festival held at Lok Virsa witnessed an influx of visitors of all age groups. A large number of female entrepreneurs and artisans from across the country came to the capital to set up stalls, showcase their art and win appreciation. The first day saw the inauguration of the festival by First Lady Begum Nusrat Pervez Ashraf who applauded the female artisans at work which is the main attraction of the festival. Over 50 craftswomen are participating along with their helpers. Some of the prominent artisans were
Fouzia Naheed, Ambreen Fatima in wall hanging, Mehvish in block printing, Tasneem Bibi in embroidery, Gulzar Shireen in gota kinari, Rehana Nigar in embroidery, Shabana Riaz in Rilli, Saadia Nasreen in metal & stone work, Rubina Yasmin in embroidery and Hina Kaleem in mirror mosaic work. Lok Virsa Executive Director Khalid Javed urged the residents of the twin cities to visit the festival to encourage the artisans and promote the art and craft. â€œPakistan is noted for some of the most varied and beautiful handicrafts of the world. The different regions, towns and cities specialise in their own particular handicrafts highlighting diversityâ€?, he added.
POWER ALLEYS |
CMYK SUNDAY, MARCH 10, 2013
Ashraf continues to haunt ZTBL 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 www.thespokesman.pk
Who will bail out Mushy? ill he, won’t he? Doubts persist about General Pervaiz Musharraf ’s arrival “within one week after the expiry of the federal government.” The Commando is desperately trying to create some hype about his visit. He is making calls to his obliged anchors, politicians and generals to help. So far, it is not encouraging. The biggest fear he has is about being arrested at the airport. Among a myriad cases spread all over the country, he is a proclaimed offender in two and his arrest warrants are out. One is the Benazir Bhutto murder case and the second is Nawab Akbar Bugti case. And he thought he was through with them. Before he takes his bails in them, there is a big chance that he might be arrested— that is the legal situation that his lawyers paint for him. Imagine the former Chief of Army Staff being in jail, even if this was for one night. His whole aura of infallibility will be shattered. All right, he said ‘Pakistan First.’ But this does not mean that he should be thrown in jail. He has never seen one but he learnt from Nawaz Sharif ’s story that it could be tough for VIPs, especially the khaki types. Good that he has got the Islamabad police covered, thanks to Malik Riaz. God bless him, at least he remembers the good that I did to him. But what about the ruthless Punjab ‘Pulus’? Hopefully, Shahbaz Sharif will be gone by then. But lots of questions remain: what if there is an equally bad replacement; what if the Supreme Court calls him in a new case; will he be allowed to stay in his great mansion that Sehba built, filled with such grand dreams? He tried to get the khakis’ help but so far nobody has committed. How cruel can Kayani get? After all, he is what he is, all because of him. It’s worse in the case of politicians who are totally aloof. How callous he was to think that they will remain obliged to him forever. Forget about Khurshid Kasuris, Jahangir Tareens, Tariq Azeems; even Sheeda Tulli is not available. Gone is all that ‘cigar-talk’ about how the ordinary people in downtown Rawalpindi felt about him. Musharraf just gets up in the middle of the night, thinking about those sugarcoated compliments that Mohammad Ali Durrani showered on him; how Tariq Aziz told him he was god’s gift on earth; and that fatty, General Hamid Javed compared him with Napoleon. And now, nobody takes his call. He keeps calling all of them, sometimes reminding them of what nice things he did for them. Yet they have so many regrets and complaints about him— the ones that they never shared while they were in government. The small group of a few left over that he had gathered after much effort is torn apart. That old fool but a good person, Dr Sher Afgan is dead; Fawad Chaudhary left for the PPP where, he is happy, he has been ditched again. Even Barrister Saifullah has finally left. And the nerve-wreck Rashid Qureshi is always asking for money. He thinks Musharraf has loads of money that he made through Shaukat Aziz, Malik Riaz and what not. May be he has; why should he throw it out on them. Mush has already been duped of millions, if not more. The generals, bureaucrats and those Haqqis, Naqvis and other members of the Lukhnow-Delhi gang—nobody is willing to pay back for all those favours that he gave them. It really pains him when he learnt that they have found new godfathers. He did not expect anything from the Chaudharies of Gujrat. He knew they had a history of betraying their benefactors but Tariq Aziz convinced him otherwise. But Shaukat Aziz too is unresponsive. How ungrateful. Musharraf is told that Shaukat spends his days and weeks in Monte Carlo Riviera, Swiss resorts and Paris restaurants. But when he asked him to lend some help he refused flatly. What has this world come to? Other friends are trying to make money out of it. They sell $ 2500 chance to travel with him. He thought the whole elite would line up for him but the response has not been so good. He knows it’s a life time opportunity. But then again: Will he, won’t he?
MIRZA KHURRAM SHAHZAD ISL AMABAD: Chaudhry Zaka Ashraf, former chairman of Zari Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL) spent over 850 million rupees from the national exchequer to oblige an exclusive club of his blue eyed officials who were recruited to watch his personal interest in the bank and still working as his core team. According to a list obtained by 'The Spokesman', 37 top executives of the bank, recruited by Zaka Ashraf were paid millions of rupees per year as their high salaries and loans to buy luxury cars. The list shows that the Zari Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL) paid more than 566 million in term of salaries and 284 millions for car loans to these personal associates of Zaka Ashraf during one year. Most of the people, selected for his 'personal force', belonged to his own friendship circle, his brother in law Jaffar Iqbal or of the top guy President Zaradri and his friends. All of these executives were paid a salary and benefits package much higher than the market rates and were considered core team of Zaka Ashraf. Some of them have been retired after their three years contract expired following the exit of Zaka Ashraf, however, majority of these officers are still working in the bank and following Zaka's instructions to outplay the present president Ihsan-ul-Haq Khan.
ZTBL: "Done nothing wrong" TS stands by its news content he Vice President Public Relations of Zarai Tarqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL) has clarified that bank has done nothing wrong, with reference to the news report published in the daily The Spokesman Islamabad dated 08.03.13. The Bank’s spokesperson stated without prejudice that all the Bank’s affairs are run strictly according to the statutes and regulations laid down by the State Bank of Pakistan which is the regulator. Periodic inspections are made in the Bank’s management followed and adhered to the observations made by the regulatory authority. He further stated that Board of Directors of ZTBL constituted by the Federal Government vide Notification dated June 14, 2010 after going through a strict clearance procedure under Fit & Proper Test Criteria carried out by SBP. The Non Executive Directors have not drawn any salary from the Bank. The Board has played vital role in providing necessary support to make ZTBL a robust organization which is evident from the profitability of the Bankfor the last four years aggregating over Rs.11 billion. However, The Spokesman reaffirms that based on the documents of the Statebank, copy of which is available with the TS, many of Bank's officials were out of sorts but still got privileged posts and perks just because of Zaka Ashraf. Therefore, TS stands by its news content and vows to reveal more documented facts for it’s valuable readers in its coming editions.
Zaka Ashraf has managed to get extended the contracts of majority of these officers through some members of Board of Directors, who are also part of his ongoing team which is looking after ZTBL affairs on his behest till today. The officials appointed and facilitated by Zaka were Mrs. Roohi R Khan, Chief Operating Officer drawing a monthly salary of 350,000 rupees and were given a 1,300cc car worth 1.2 million rupees, Brig (R) Anjum Saeed
Akhtar, MD Kissan Support Services Limited (KSSL) getting a salary of 250,000 and a 1,300cc car worth 1.2 million, Brig (R) Sajid Hameed, PSO to President getting a salary of 200,000 and a 1,300 cc car worth 1.2 million, Lt. Col. (R) Maqsood Cheema (SVP) getting a salary of 150,000 and a 1,000 cc car worth 0.9 million, Lt. Col. (R) K B Aleem (SVP) getting a salary of 150,000 and a 1,000 cc car worth 0.9 million, Lt. Col. (R) Ghulam Idrees (VP) getting a salary of
100,000 and a 1,000 cc car worth 0.9 million, Lt. Col. (R) Muhammad Iftikhar (VP) getting a salary of 100,000 and a 1,000 cc car worth 0.9 million, Lt. Col. (R) Shahid Rafique GM KSSL getting a salary of 150,000 and a 1,000 cc car worth 0.9 million, Maj. (R) Mian Ijaz (VP) and getting a salary of 100,000 and a 1,000 cc car worth 0.9 million, Major (R) Tasawar Gujjar (VP) getting a salary of 100,000 and a 1,000cc worth 0.9 million, Maj (R) Muhammad Masood (VP) drawing a salary of 100,000 and a 1,000cc car worth 0.9 million, DIG (R) Tahir Anwar Pasha (Executive Vice President) getting a salary of 200,000 and a 1,300cc car worth 1.2 million, DIG (R) Ghulam Haidar Marth (EVP) getting a salary 200,000 rupees and a 1,300cc car worth 1.2 million, Anees Iqbal (EVP) getting a salary of 200,000 and a 1,300cc car worth 1.2 million, Waheed Raza (EVP) getting a salary of 200,000 and a 1,300cc car worth 1.2 million, Ashfaq Hussain Qureshi (EVP) getting a salary of 200,000 and a 1,300cc car worth 1.2 million, Anwar Hussain Alvi (SVP) getting a salary of 150,000 and a 1,000cc car worth 0.9 million, Abdul Ghafoor Bhatti (SVP) getting a salary of 150,000 and a 1,000 cc car worth 0.9 million, Sanaullah Hanif (SVP) getting a salary of 150,000 and a 1,000cc car worth 0.9 million, Aurangzeb Mohsin (SVP) getting a salary of 150,000 and a 1,000 cc car worth 0.9
Flip side of universities galore in Islamabad
Waqas bypassed HEC to help friends like SASSI, DMIUI and his own MY University TAHIR NIAZ
ISLAMABAD: The mystery behind the nervous haste by the government in carrying out legislation pertaining to the establishment of new universities in Islamabad has partially been resolved. Education sector proves to be one of the most profitable businesses in the country and the lawmakers too are well aware of the same. Say it a pity or something else, but it remains a fact that those in power for the last five years are just concerned about what they could do for themselves in the ‘last hours’ and not for the masses, and that too in violation of the laid down rules and criteria. The government by-passed the Higher Education Commission (HEC) and the concerned standing committee of the house and passed three separate bills in a single day on January 29, to provide for the establishment of three private universities in Islamabad. So much so, even the mover of the bills, PPP female MNA Yasmeen Rehman knew nothing about the ‘driving force’ at the time of introducing the pieces of legislation in the house. The government’s keenness to push the bills to set up new private universities in the federal capital, where 17 already exist, surprised many. But now the mystery has been resolved. According to sources, the incumbent education minister, Sheikh Waqas Akram led the whole campaign while remaining behind the curtains. “MY University Islamabad” belongs to the education minister, “Dar-ul-Madina International University
Islamabad” is owned by one of his close friends and “South Asian Strategic Stability Institute University Islamabad” is owned by Maria Sultan, the director of South Asian Strategic Stability Institute (SASSI), said the sources. The national assembly which is running a race against time, during January 29, 2013 to February 26, 2013 passed at least 5 bills to provide for the establishment of five universities in Islamabad. These include MY University Islamabad, Dar-ul-Madina International University Islamabad, South Asian Strategic Stability Institute University Islamabad, Capital University Islamabad and Capital University of Science and Technology Islamabad. The sources added that the Capital University Islamabad belongs to MAJU Group. The haste on part of the government was evident as it did not take the HEC’s input and approval for establishing the new universities. It also did not
refer the bills to the concerned standing committee, rather the mover of the bills claimed that the requirement of Rule 122, which deals with reference of bills to standing committees, may be dispensed with. All three bills were passed on the same day they were introduced in the house. According to the sources, the mover of the bills, Yasmeen Rehman did not know anything about the people behind such a hasty legislation. “I was asked to move the bill in the house and I did so without knowing who the owners of the proposed universities are”, the sources quoted Rehman as having told to her colleagues. When approached, DG Attestation Higher Education Commission, Dr. Fida Hussain told this scribe that the Commission could know about the establishment of new universities in newspapers only. “It was a mandatory requirement to get the bills approved from the HEC… no body approached us on the subject and we don’t know whether the new universities fulfill the minimum criteria”, he said. He made it clear that the HEC will not allow classes unless the universities fulfill minimum criteria. It is pertinent to mention here that the government, a few days ago, has also amended the rules of procedure and conduct of business in the Senate to help create new standing committees to accommodate the potential ‘job-losers’. More legislation is expected in the National Assembly by March 15 when its last session ends. Let’s see how the lawmakers behave in response to the grievances of the masses.
Khawaja ji maaf Karna…
Zindigi 50-50 for Raja and Veena GHAZANFAR ABBASS wo Pakistani celebrities visited Ajmer Sharif Dargah in the last 48 hours—Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf and actor Veena Malik. The coincidence could not have been more ironic. The actress had earlier visited the dargah with her then boyfriend Ashmit Patel in 2011. Veena Malik came to Dargah ahead of the release of her new movie Zindagi 50-50. The Prime Minister’s political situation may have some relevance to the move title. For the Raja too, we think, it’s Zindigi 50-50. A ‘50-50’ chance exists that he will be spared in the infamous rental power case. It was only yesterday that his council requested the Supreme Court to transfer his case from the NAB to a one-man Commission. Why: Because he will not be able to influence NAB in the days to come. So it’s better to have an independent inquiry than to leave it to the possibly biased NAB. Election again is a ‘Zindigi 50-50’ chance. He may have spent billions in the constituency but his rivals in Gujjar Khan have ganged up and a big chance exists that he might lose to them. Why do you think he went to Ajmer Sharif in the first place? The Foreign Office is upset because he simply put his personal predicament before national honour. India was initially reluctant to even receive him but then, after some effort, Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid had to
No-Holds-Barred When people stand for public office the presumption is that they are better than others. But public figures here expect the same immunity as that of a private citizen. Politicians stall basic queries, even about the number of wives and children they may have, in the name of morality. We want to contest them through innuendo, humour and sarcasm—our best weapon in a society that suppresses information to the hilt. No hard feelings we hope—Editor
come down to Jaipur to host a lunch for him. He had to put up a fake smile while shaking hands with the Prime Minister and then was, visibly bored, forced to say, “it's in our culture to welcome our guests with open arms." India clarified that there would be no "substantive talks" at the meeting. “"India is happy to host a lunch for the Pakistani prime minister. We are just extending our hospitality." What else could they say to an invited guest who did not care about the war of nerves going on after the recent border clashes. The right wing Hindu party Shiv Sena had denounced his visit. Even the Patrons of the revered Dargah announced that he would not receive the Pakistani Prime Minister in solidarity with the Indian protest over the alleged sending of a headless body of a soldier. The Indian government had to vacate the Dargah in the wake of the security threat. More shameless it could not be for the Pakistani Prime Minister to thrust himself on the Indians just like that. And then the Raja had the audacity to relish the luxuries of the Rambagh Palace, a luxury
heritage hotel in the tourist city of Jaipur, with his family. Even a shopping excursion was not missed. At least Veena Malik was more honest, saying that she was there for the movie and the Kannada biopic on southern sensation Silk Smitha. She is also acting in a Punjabi film Eh Dil De Mamla. "Being a die-hard Punjaban, I always had an ardent desire to work in a Punjabi movie which is all about pure Punjabi emotions," Veena said. Veena Malik looked fresh after she entered the Guinness Book of Records by getting maximum kisses in a minute. Her manager, when asked, was quick to reject the rumours that she had timed her tour with the arrival of the Prime Minister. But we know Veena tried to stay back to take the chance to meet the Prime Minister Some thought she was enraged about the fact that she was being targeted by religious extremists. Her manager said she got regular threats. “I know who the people behind those threats are,” she is believed to have said. We think she was referring to Meera who is jealous of her continuous success.
million, Rana Naveed Ahmed (SVP) getting a salary of 150,000 rupees and a 1,000 cc car worth 0.9 million, Riaz Ahmed Chaudhary (SVP) getting a salary of 150,000 rupees and a 1,000cc car worth 0.9 million rupees, Rana Naeem Sarwar (SVP) getting a salary of 150,000 and 1,000cc car worth 0.9 million, Iqtidar Javed (VP) getting a salary of 100,000 and a 1,000 cc car worth 0.9 million, Imran Ehsan (VP) getting a salary of 100,000 and 1,000cc car worth 0.9 million, Syeda Huma Kokab (VP) getting a salary of 100,000 rupees and a 1,000cc car worth 0.9 million, Turab Ahmed (VP) getting a salary of 100,000 rupees and a 1,000cc car worth 0.9 million rupees, Rahat Zafar (VP) getting a salary of 100,000 rupees and a 1,000 cc car worth 0.9 million, Farrukh M Gondal (VP) getting a salary of 100,000 rupees and a 1,000 cc car worth 0.9 million, Ch. Maqbool Sukhera (VP) getting a salary of 100,000 and a 1,000 cc car worth 0.9 million, Asad Ali Chaudhary (VP) getting a salary of 100,000 and a 1,000cc car worth 0.9 million, Agha Hassan Khurshid (AVP) getting a salary of 55,000, Ahmed Qaqass Ghulam (AVP) getting a salary of 55,000 rupees, Humera Rashid (AVP) getting a salary of 55,000, Fauzia Malik senior officer getting a salary of 35,000 rupees, Ramizi Rasheed senior officer and getting a salary of 35,000 rupees and Mian Farrukh Mehtab senior officer and getting a salary of 35,000 rupees.
esterday Lahore witnessed the gruesome consequences of mob violence against the Christian community. Following the tragic event the politicians of Pakistan condemned the violence on social media. Imran Khan lamented the provincial government’s impotence in the face of such crimes and he also questioned the religious legitimacy of the mob’s actions: “Our Prophet PBUH gave total protection 2 minorities.As a Muslim I am shamed by what has happened in Badami Bagh ag r Christian citizens”. Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan mourned the failure of the government regarding Salman Taseer’s mission for minorities. He tweeted: “If Salmaan Taseer sahb's voice was heard earlier about minority rights, things wouldn't have reached where they're now. His stand was right”. PTI leader Hyder Khan Leghari pointed his finger at the Supreme Court’s perceived bias against Sindh. He wrote, “Where is #SouMoto CJ? Ohhh! Sry its Panjab not Sindh otherwise ye fesla hota! "Hukoomat nakam he or IG Police Suspended!#BadaamiBagh” JUI Ameer Syed Munawar Hasan also condemned the actions of the mob, insisting that they had no right to take the law into their own hands: “Strongly condemn burning of Christian community houses in Lahore.If there's any blasphemy, there's a law to deal with it”. Eminent religious leader and head of Pakistan Awami Tehreeek, Dr. Tahir-ul-Qadri, also raised his voice for minorities: “All steps must be taken to protect the life, liberty & property of Christian Community in #Pakistan”. PTI President Javed Hashmi urged the need for a crackdown against the culprits. “#PTI Strongly condemns the attack on Christian localities in Badami Bagh Lahore. Strict action must be taken against the culprits”, he said. While PML-N leaders Shahbaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz and Abid Sher Ali are usually very active on social media, regularly extolling the virtues of their party, they were conspicuous by their absence after this tragedy in their heartland. Prominent media persons were also vocal in their stand against crimes against the minorities of Pakistan. Faisal Sherjan was of the opinion that Pakistan has ironically descended to the lows of the era before the advent of the Holy Prophet (SAW) due to such hate crimes. “We are no longer a nation. Just a bigoted ignorant intolerant mob. True age of #jahiliya. People going berserk #BadamiBagh. No govt!”.\ Dr. Shahid Masood riled against the absent Punjab government officials, saying that “Instead of just asking Police,Elected Parliamentarians from Lahore should come out and play their Role in calming down the situation!” Famous columnist Nadeem Paracha had somewhat similar feelings toward the Punjab authorities: “Only recently Nawaz was shedding crocodile tears over AbbasTown and Sindh govt's failure. As if Punjab was bastion of religious tolerance”.
SUNDAY, MARCH 10, 2013
More uplift packages in my future plan: Zardari Court orders special security for Shahzeb case witnesses KARACHI: An anti-terrorism court on Saturday ordered the authorities to provide commandos security to claimant and witnesses in Shahzeb murder case. Shahrukh Jataoi, the main accused, along with others was presented in the court on Saturday. However, the counsel for the accused prayed to court to adjourn the hearing due to the black day being observed by lawyers’ fraternity over the sacking of CJP by former president Musharraf in 2007. After hearing the arguments, the court adjourned the hearing until Monday. Addressing the media outside the court, Shahzeb’s father said that he appeared in the court along with all witnesses. ONLINE
President inaugurates Hyderabad-Badin Road
HYDERABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari on Saturday said the government has attached priority to establishing an efficient, modern and reliable highways and motorways network in the country. “It is also necessary to ensuring progress and prosperity,” said the president, who was addressing a function here after performing the ground-breaking ceremony of M-9 Motorway and Hyderabad Badin-Mirwah Sanjar Change Road. The president said highways and motorways play a pivotal role for national integration, economic stability and promoting social
bonds. He said the government had undertaken a number of mega projects all over the country to improve road infrastructure. President Zardari said both these projects would usher in a new era of progress and prosperity in the region and generate new opportunities of employment. Referring to Pakistan’s strategically location, the president said due to this location Pakistan can play a pivotal role in regional trade with China and Central Asian States. He said the M-9 project would help promote inter-provincial connectivity as well as
harmony. The Karachi-Hyderabad Super Highway, he said, links Karachi Port and Port Qasim with rest of the country. He said there is need to building more highways and motorways in order to promote regional trade, adding that there was need to encourage private investment in upgrading the communication network. He said many projects like PeshawarTorkham Road, Chakdara Bridge, Khushalgarh Bridge, Faisalabad-Multan Motorway (M-4), upgradation of Karakoram Highway, Southern Punjab Development
Package and Sindh Development Package “are in progress to improve road connectivity”. “All these projects will strengthen the economy and alleviate poverty,” he added. The president congratulated Ministry of Communications, National Highway Authority and Frontier Works Organization on undertaking this project of national importance. The function was attended by Sindh Governor Dr. Ishratul Ebad Khan, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Federal and Provincial Ministers, and parliamentarians. APP
HRW seeks legal action against militant groups
PML-N to distribute tickets on merit, claims Nawaz CHAKWAL: Pakistan Muslim LeagueN president Nawaz Sharif on Saturday said that the PML-N would distribute party tickets absolutely on merit as PML-N aims to change Pakistan so it will give ticket to character full and honest nominees. He was talking to famous Nat Khawan Abdur Razzaq Jami before leaving for Dubai on Saturday. Nawaz said that whole nation was adoringly watching towards PMLN and it will fulfill the expectations of the masses, adding that only strong and character full political leadership can bring the country out from the plethora of problems recently prevailing in the society. The PML-N has opened the doors for every patriotic Pakistani, he added. ONLINE
Zardari calls for report on Lahore arson KARACHI: President Asif Ali Zardari has taken notice of torching of the Christian community houses by a mob in Badami Bagh area of Lahore and has called for a report into this unfortunate incident, President’s Spokesman Senator Farhatullah Babar said on Saturday. According to Babar, the president has also directed the authorities concerned to ensure safety and security of lives and property of the citizens. The president, he said, has demanded safeguarding of the rights of all citizens - Muslims and non-Muslims alike. He said that such acts of vandalism against minorities tarnish image of the country. The president directed the concerned authorities that no one should be allowed to take law into his own hands and that the law & order must be ensured, Babar added.
PM takes notice of Badami Bagh incident ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf on Saturday took notice of the incident happened in Badami Bagh, Lahore showing deep concern. The Prime Minister issued directions for expeditious inquiry of the incident. He directed the concern authorities for taking measures to stop recurrence of such incidents in future. ONLINE
ANF arrest one more accused in ephedrine case RAWALPINDI: The Anti-Narcotics Force has arrested an owner of a pharmaceutical company in a raid at Attock in ephedrine quota smuggling case. Mirza Abdul Rehman, the detained businessman who has charges that he got 500kg of ephedrine and latter sold to narcotics smuggler. He owns Syntex Pharmaceutical Company and vice president of the Pakistan Chamber of Commerce. ONLINE
Salik raps burning of homes ISLAMABAD: World Minorities Alliance Convener J. Salik has expressed his deep grief over the burning of Christian's houses in Joseph colony Lahore. In a statement on Saturday, Salik strongly condemned the incident and said that if the administration could take notice early as they were informed last night then this terrible incident could not be happen. ONLINE
HYDERABAD: Thandi Sarak was closed for traffic before the arrival of President Asif Ali Zardari in Sindh’s second biggest city. ONLINE
Bars on a collision course with Judicial Commission Pakistan Bar Council unanimously approves draft for amendments in JC rules become a judge without taking care of lawyers’ recommendations MUZAMMIL HUSSAIN SYED
IS LA M ABA D: A full house meeting of the Pakistan Bar Council on Saturday finalised a draft, aiming at amendments in the Judicial Commission Rules 2010. The proposed draft was approved unanimously by all PBC members. According to reliable sources, the PBC finalized the draft after its meetings stretching on two days, which were held in the Supreme Court’s Lahore registry building. All 13 members, including Pakistan Bar Council Vice Chairman Syed Qalab-e-Hasan, Supreme Court Bar President Mian Israrul Haq, members from Karachi - Ibrar Hussain, Akhtar Hussain, Yaseen Azad and Zia Awan – and members from Lahore Pir Kaleem Khursheed, Hamid Khan, Ahsan Bhon, Azam Nazeer Tarar and Chaudhry Ramzan, member from Multan Mian Abbas, and member from Dera Ismail Khan Sanaullah Gandapur were present in the meeting. The unanimously approved draft of
amendments will now be presented to the chairman of the Supreme Judicial Commission (Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry) during next week. According to the details, a major amendment in the proposed draft is in Rule 3 of the JCR 2010, which calls for a meaningful consultation with Pakistan Bar Council and all respective bar councils. The ‘meaningful consultation’ has been declared as a compulsory step at the time of nomination of a person as a judge of the superior judiciary. “If the proposed amendment is not taken care of the boycott of the Judicial Commission meeting will continue,” the draft states. The sources also told The Spokesman that the meeting was told that members of the Judicial Commission are not even allowed to retain a copy of the meeting minutes. It also heard that all decisions are made by a core group of the Judicial Commission even prior to their meeting. “This state of affairs is intolerable, unconstitutional and against all norms of a democratic spirit,” the PBC meeting also heard from the participants.
Says no one can
The members viewed with great concern that any wrong choice (of a judge) could seriously undermine the integrity and quality of the judicial system. The bar associations and bar councils are firmly committed to observing the principles of rule of law and will continue their struggle for an independent judiciary. The full house meeting said, “We regret that we had to take the hard decision of not appointing a member to the Judicial Commission by the Pakistan Bar Council and provincial bar councils. We do not wish to take any confrontation but plead that the principles of fairness, inclusion and wider consultation be followed. Judges, unlike other elected offices, have a fixed and long tenure. Earlier, an echo of the confrontation between bench and bar on the issue of the appointment of judges of the superior judiciary was also observed during the full court reference in February 2013, when the chief justice reiterated that there was a dire need for filling the vacant posts of judges.
KARACHI: Human Rights Watch, in the aftermath of devastating attacks on Christians in Lahore, on Saturday demanded of the government to immediately take legal action against militant groups and others responsible for threats and violence against minorities and other vulnerable groups. Human Rights Watch Pakistan Director Ali Dayan Hasan, in a statement issued from New York, said that the Punjab government has spent almost its entire five-year term in office being in denial about threats to minorities. “Unless federal and provincial authorities are following a policy of willful discrimination, law enforcement authorities need to put aside their prejudices and protect religious minorities who are clearly in serious danger,” he said. The HRW has urged the provincial government, controlled by the Pakistan Muslim League-N, to investigate and prosecute as appropriate campaigns of intimidation, threats, and violence against Christians and other vulnerable groups. The watchdog has also urged concerned governments and intergovernmental bodies to press the Pakistan government to repeal Sections 295 and 298 of the Pakistan Penal Code, which includes the blasphemy law and anti-Ahmadiyya laws. “The ugly fact is that the blasphemy law is an enabler of mob violence against vulnerable groups,” said Hasan. “As long as such laws remain on the books and the authorities remain unwilling or unable to rein in mobs playing judge, jury and executioner, Pakistan will remain plagued by abuse in the name of religion,” he added. All national and international human rights groups have long called for the reform or repeal of the blasphemy law, it has come under renewed scrutiny after a mob torched dozens of houses located in a Joseph Colony, forcing hundreds of Christians to flee. An enraged mob attacked the houses following allegations of blasphemy against a young man who was booked under Section 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code. Social persecution and legal discrimination against religious minorities has become particularly widespread in Punjab province. AGENCIES
PTI to clean sweep elections, claims new Lahore president LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf ’s new president for Lahore, Abdul Aleem Khan has said that in the coming general election, the PTI would clean sweep in rural as well as urban areas because political awareness among masses has changed the situation and masses would never allow such persons who could do nothing in their repeated regimes. He said this while talking to the newly elected office bearers of Nankana Sahib who called on him headed by District President Mutasaf Sindhu and exMPA Abid Hussain Chatha while Arshad Sahi, Mehr Asghar Patial, Nasar Ghous Padhiar, Rai Ajmal, Atiqur Rehman Sahi, Syed Muzaffar Shah Engr. Raza Rehman and Rana Arif Saleem were among participants. In this meeting the next intraparty regional elections of PTI came under discussion and strategy was finalised to ensure the victory of the panel.
Meanwhile, Abdul Aleem Khan undertook visit of different districts like Gujrat, Mandi Bahauddin, Sialkot and Hafizabad and held meetings of elected bodies there. He congratulated the newly elected office bearers and asked them to ensure participation of maximum people in the public meeting of 23rd March at Minar-e-Pakistan. He said that this event would be start of electoral campaign of PTI and it would be eye opener for others. Ex-MPA Mian Khalid, Sardar Kamal Umer, Barrister Mansoor Sarwar, Ch. Mansha Sindhu, Dr. Shahid Siddique, Farrukh Javed Moon and Sh. Aamer also addressed the meetings and assured that after party elections, PTI would merge as a largest organized party and produce nice results in the coming elections. They also congratulated Abdul Aleem Khan on his election as President Lahore and playing active role in the party. ONLINE
RAWALPINDI: Students sit in their dilapidated classroom of Government Christian Higher Secondary School. ONLINE
HEC to resist rulers on degree verifications
HYDERABAD: Students of IELP Project demonstrating outside Hyderabad Press Club. ONLINE
Tells all universities to conduct veriﬁcation of degrees in a transparent manner
ISLAMABAD: The High Education Commission has decided not to succumb to any government pressure on the issue of verification of degrees. It has informed all universities to abide by respective laws to ensure transparent verification process. The HEC said law minister was trying to pressurize it on the matter of verification of degrees matter but no flexibility could be shown on this count under government pressure and verification of degrees would be
carried out as per laws, media reported. The HEC, through letters addressed to chancellors and vice chancellors, has warned them that no university could verify degrees on its sweet will and it was binding on all the universities to adhere to the code of conduct evolved by the HEC. All the universities should conduct the verification of degrees in transparent manner rejecting any pressure from any political figure or governor. Former Higher Education
Commission Chairman Dr. Ataur Rehman had said the other day that the HEC is under enormous pressure regarding fake degree case of parliamentarians. He also told a private TV channel that the commission is pressurised regarding fake degrees and the vice chancellors of the universities would also be under pressure in this regard. On the other hand, the Election Commission of Pakistan has almost surrendered to the pressure from parliamentarians on the issue. While there is a wide speculation
quoting the PML-N sources that after Ch Nisar Ali Khan-led parliament’s protest on the issue, the chief election commissioner has withdrawn the a letter issued to some lawmakers. On the contrary, sources in the commission said that the Feb 7 letter was issued to the 249 MPs following the decision of the fivemember Election Commission. These sources also insist that all required approvals were given by the ECP before issuing the said letter. ONLINE
SUNDAY, MARCH 10, 2013
Seasonal labourers – wheat for survival
All family members work for landlords during harvesting to earn food for whole year Many migrate to areas with better prospects
BAHAWALPUR: The wheat harvesting is not far away. South Punjab and Sindh are the major producers of the crop. Every year when the harvesting season comes, the people attached with the wheat crop look happy while hoping for better fortune. In Punjab, the harvesting season starts from April 15. This year’s target of wheat production in the province is more than 18 million tonnes. The southernmost administrative divisions of Punjab - Bahawalpur, Multan and DG Khan are among major wheat cultivation areas, where the majority of people are directly related to the crop. With the harvesting season nearing, the farmers, especially the ‘big guns’, are busy in making arrangements for the purpose. The process in Sindh always starts earlier because of the weather and the harvesting will
commence there on April 1. A large number of manpower is required for harvesting. Although, machinery like harvesters are also used for the purpose, but most farmers still prefer the ‘casual or seasonal labourers’. There are thousands of families, who are waiting for the season throughout the year, as this is time for them to arrange food for the whole year. According to a farmer, his family life depends upon the wheat harvesting season. “I along with my all family members are ready for the wheat harvesting. This is the time when we leave aside every other work to earn food for the whole year.” Ghaus Bakhsh, a labourer, says, “We can say this is the only major crop where a whole family is physically involved, including a newborn. As the harvesting season is approaching fast, many of families are migrating to other places where they will harvest the wheat throughout the month, usually more than a month.”
Like many others, Ghaus’ family is also ready to leave for Cholistan where they stay for their livelihood. “We have a deal with a farmer for the purpose,” Zarina Mai, a female labourer, said. Unfortunately, there is no mechanism for these women and their children to provide them the primary needs. In Pakistan, most women don’t enjoy access to things like basic education. Income generating resources are limited and the poor uneducated people are left out of the mainstream economics. It is even difficult to think about the harsh weather in the months of April and May and the pregnant and lactating women busy in cutting and carrying the big bundles of wheat at noon. “You know, I support my husband in cutting ,threshing and packing of wheat every year in the unbearable weather, because I know my kids will not have enough food the whole year if I miss the season,” a woman Faizoo Mai says. According to Faizoo,
there is no other option for them to earn some food for her family. Apparently, this season is a joyful period for both the farmers and labourers, but there are a long tale of hardships and sorrows behind the episode. But the landlord and wheat farmers have no idea about that. A farmer, who takes ways more than twenty million kilograms of his wheat crop, never agrees to give some extra to these ‘casual labourers’ as they have to remain content with a fixed share. “I think the labourers have enough wheat as a reward of their hard work. The agriculture inputs are very costly; therefore, we are not able to give them anything extra,” Hunain Khan, a farmer with a landholding of 100 acres on which wheat is cultivated. Now, we can see what problems a family depending on seasonal labour face during harvesting season. (To be continued)
Mukhtar doesn’t like kalashnikovs in rallies
BANNU: Although the prices of bricks have increased manyfolds during the last few years but labourers still get meagre reward. The hike has also badly hit the construction industry, while people belonging to low-income groups have even stopped dreaming about their own home. ONLINE
Grant increased for Peshawar Press Club PESHAWAR: Khyber Chief Pakhtunkhwa Minister Amir Haider Khan Hoti on Saturday applauded the services of journalists and announced to increase the annual grant for the Peshawar Press Club from Rs 3 million to Rs 5 million. He expressed these views while addressing as chief guest the oath-taking ceremony of the newlyelected cabinet of the press club. The chief minister said journalists had played a pivotal role in the war against terrorism and acknowledged that there had been an important role of media persons during his five years of successful government. While extending his congratulations to the newly-elected members of the cabinet, the CM hoped that the newly elected president and his team would try their level best to come up to the expectations of the journalist community. The chief minister directed the concerned authorities to process a case to allot residential plots in government residential schemes to those journalists who do not have plots in media colony. Provincial Minister for Information Mian Iftikhar Hussain, Secretary General ANP Arbab Tahir, Secretary Information ANP Malik Mustafa, Secretary Information Azmat Hanif and a large number of journalists were also present on the occasion. ONLINE
Female teachers gunned down in Swabi honoured AMJID ALI
SWABI: The Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) on Saturday has conferred the second ‘Amtul Raqeeb Award (ARA)’ posthumously on five female teachers, a medical technician and a lady health visitor, who were gunned by unidentified assailants when they were on their way homes from Sher Afzal Banda near Swabi Interchange on January 1. Last year the ARA was awarded to seven women of the country for their outstanding contributions to their families and community and working for strengthening women’s position in different fields. A simple ceremony was arranged to mark the International Women’s Day and posthumously confer the award on five teachers – Raheela Naz, Lubna Mehmood, Shohrat Bibi, Jamila Bibi and Hamsiyat Bibi -, lady health visitor Nayla Naz and medical technician Amjad Ali. On this occasion, the PPAF also launched Jab Himat Jawan Ho – a CD in Urdu comprising audio documentaries/case studies of seven PPAF-supported community members from across Pakistan for establishing themselves as successful women playing a significant role in socioeconomic development. The deceased were employees of Support with Working Solutions (SWWS) – a PPAF Partner Organization – and working at Sher Afzal Banda in an educational institution. In order to recognise the meritorious services, PPAF awarded Rs 200,000 to the legal heirs of each of the deceased. As one of the leading proponents of women’s economic and political empowerment, PPAF is particularly focusing on capacity building, skill development
mainstreaming of women so that they could fully avail of development opportunities and improve their quality of life. It was declared on the occasion that social inclusion, political mainstreaming and empowerment of women form the bedrock of change and transformation by PPAF. Access and opportunities for women are enabled through microloans, assets transfer and livelihood development. Business incubation trainings aimed at entrepreneurial and skill development to help poor, especially women, set up and expand their own business are the key to economic integration with private sector markets and value chains. The catalytic role of women in program design, delivery and impact is at the core of all interventions. The PPAF has provided awareness to over 300,000 women on freedoms and constitutional rights enshrined in religion. It also engenders women-only as well as mixed men and women groups’ institutions of the poor at village/community level. Women are 62 percent of the mixed community organizations formed by PPAF across the country. As many as 51 percent are the women among the total beneficiaries of PPAF’s credit and enterprise development component, 49 percent of water, energy and infrastructure, 62 percent of social and community mobilisation, 56 percent of basic health and primary education, 41 percent of institutional development and skill trainings and 47 percent of livelihood enhancement and social protection. The ceremony was attended by close relatives of the deceased, representatives from local government departments, SWWS Chief Executive Javed Akhtar and PPAF members.
BHERA: Federal Minister for Water and Power Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar has said that the PPP would thwart every conspiracy to postpone elections and reiterated his resolve to contest elections from Gujrat at every cost whether the PPP would give him ticket or not. “I am fighting alone against those elements who are making Gujrat their kingdom on the basis of their hooliganism. I do not like to bring hundred of kalashnikovs in the public meeting as guns are a symbol of terror and PPP is the messenger of peace.” He said Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project would be completed at any cost, which would be kicked off by President Asif Ali Zardari on March 12. He was speaking to a public gathering after the inaugural ceremony of power grid station on Saturday. Chairman Public Accounts Committee Nadeem Afzal Chan was also present on the occasion. The federal minister said the decision taken regarding Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project in the best national interest and no intervention or pressure from USA would be tolerated in this regard. He said that Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was the real leader f public who sacrificed his life but never compromised on the interests of Pakistan. He said that government had made many plans to cater the needs of electricity. He said that one of the projects to generate power from the remaining of sugarcane was underway and would be completed within two months that will produce 1000 mega watts of electricity. He said that with the melting of snow on mountains, the availability of water would be increased resulting enhancing of electricity production. ONLINE
‘One-wheeling’ claims another life OUR STAFF REPORTER
ATTOCK: One-wheeling claimed another life in Attock, as one of the ‘acrobats’ was crushed by a truck. As per details, Azmat and Mansoor were busy in one-wheeling and showing stunts on Attock-Rawalpindi Road and were showing stunts. All of a sudden, both of them lost their balance and their bikes collided with each other. They fell on the road and received multiple injuries. Meanwhile, a heavy truck crushed Azmat Khan who dies on the spot while Mansoor was shifted to a hospital in a critical condition. It is to be noted that the fatal accidents because of one wheeling and teenage drivers driving rickshaws and private cars have become order of the day, but police have so for taken no step to control the practice.
Amn lashkars pay a heavy price for their commitment (II) JAVED AZIZ KHAN
ince early 2010, a local politician and district Peshawar president of the Pakistan Muslim League Quaid, Dilawar Khan, was heading the body. Militants killed one of his brothers in Karachi to send him a message. A suicide bomber once targeted his men during a funeral in Matani that killed over 42 people and wounded scores of others. Dilawar Khan complained on a number of occasions that the government and police are not providing them much support as they had promised with the bodies at the time of formation to counter militant attacks. Last year, Dilawar announced disbanding his militia for not getting support from the government. Similar complaints were made by the Bazidkhel Qaumi Lashkar in Badaber after Dilawar Khan took up the issue. Its head and former union council nazim Mohammad Faheemur Rahman complained that they are not getting the promised support. The then Superintendent of Police (SP) Rural, Shafi-ullah, however, held a meeting along with leaders of both the Lashkars and said that not only many members of the two Lashkars have been recruited as special police constables but the bodies are being provided with enough ammunition as well as manpower whenever needed. Though Faheem announced continuing his activities, nothing was heard from Dilawar despite some of his commanders were present in the meeting with the SP Rural. Only a few months after renewing his pledge to continue fighting militancy along with police, Faheem was found dead along with three other leaders of the lashkar in his vehicle near Peshawar’s Ring Road. The Bazidkhel lashkar and members of the family of Faheem blamed his brother and other three persons went missing since he was called by the then senior superintendent of police (SSP) Operations, Peshawar Tahir Ayub and a DSP Shahnawaz. However, police categorically rejected the accusation, saying the four had left the Malik Saad Shaheed Police Lines after a meeting with the SSP, who also provided the lashkar leader two cops as guards. Later, the two cops were recovered during an operation in Nowshera. After the killing of Faheem, his brother Asif Khan was made head of the body but
no one has officially been named to replace Dilawar as head of Adezai Qaumi Lashkar. The fact is that both the Lashkars in Adezai and Bazidkhel are not much active since the last one year. This is probably one of the reasons that southern Peshawar, comprising of Matani, Adezai, Badaber, Bazidkhel, went through much trouble since the month of October. This was during the period when SP Rural Khurshid Khan was killed along with six other of his men in a brazen attack by the militants while SP Investigation Hilal Haider was killed along with eight other people in a suicide attack. The top bomb disposal expert Hukam Khan was also killed during the period in the same rural belt in south of Peshawar when he defused an improvised explosive device but fell victim to another one planted as booby trap. The entire top leadership of the lashkars, whether in Peshawar or other parts of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Fata, is on the hit list of militants. Seventeen people were killed and a large number of others were wounded when a suicide bomber blew himself up in Badaber in March last year to target a funeral. The target of the blast was the deputy speaker of the KP Assembly, Khushdil Khan for supporting the formation of anti-militant lashkar in the area. He survived several other attacks on his life but lost key supporters in such attacks. Over two dozens of the members and leaders of the Qaumi Lashkars in Mohmand Agency have come under attack in Peshawar. They had shifted to the provincial capital along with their families to live a peaceful life but the militants continued chasing them until they managed to hit their target. Many had criticized the raising of lashkars in most parts of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Fata, as some of these bodies have strong presence of criminal elements within their ranks. There were complaints against many of the lashkar heads and members of their being involved in grabbing lands from people, taking extortions, picking up people and involvement in other crimes. “It is a fact that many of the members of these bodies are either criminals or they support outlaws. The local administration makes sure that such elements are not included in these peace committees but their presence cannot be denied,” said a police official of Rural Peshawar. (Concluded)
Sherpao blasts govt over VC affair PESHAWAR: Qaumi Watan Party (QWP) Chairman Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao on Saturday expressed concern over the non-recovery of Ajmal Khan, the vicechancellor of Islamia College University Peshawar. He said Ajmal Khan had been in captivity for over two years but the provincial government did not make efforts to secure his release despite several appeals made to it by the kidnapped ICU VC through video messages.
Aftab Sherpao said KP Governor Shaukatullah should play his role in getting Ajmal Khan released. "This issue should have been resolved by now." He said the provincial govt had failed to make efforts for the release of Ajmal Khan which was deplorable, adding that the government could not give any relief to the people in the last five years. He said the masses would reject the rulers in the coming election. ONLINE
Mangla Dam raising – sacrifices sans rehabilitation Weak incumbent AJK premier succumbed to the Centre’s pressure Water level was increased to 1,210 feet level on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr displacing over 50,000 people MIRPUR (A JK): The bridges at Dhan Gali and Rathoa Hariam had to get completed in 2007 but the one at Dhan Gali was constructed in 2011, while the budget for Rathoa Hariam didn’t ‘prove enough’; that’s why they changed the design of the bridge and it seems that it can’t be completed till 2015. According to the agreement, they have to give a 10-month period to affectees and build a new city and small towns with all facilities before starting the raising project, but the plots haven’t been allotted to the affectees so far. And despite the fact that the Mangla Dam Raising Project has been completed but the settlement of affectees and facilities in the new city Mirpur remain a distant dream. When the PPP government came into power in AJK after 2011 state polls, they had an immense pressure
to raise the dam and the grouping inside the ruling party and a weak PM surrendered to the federal government. On the occasion of Eidul-Fitr, the water level was raised to 1,210 feet which affected more than 50 thousand people (3,300 families). The Mangla dam affectees were infuriated as it was written in the agreement that they should be given a 10-month time for rehabilitation. Around about 10,000 affectees protested at Chowk Shaheedan and offered the Friday prayer on the road. AJK PM Chaudhry Abdul Majeed met with their leadership and convinced them for another sacrifice because of the ongoing Pakistan’s energy crisis. The PM promised that he would provide additional amount for their sacrifice but it also has not been fulfilled.
There are 10,471 affected families. The married couples, living with their parents, are given name of additional family and they were promised to be given free plots for their settlement. 16,000 people have submitted applications of the aforesaid additional families. The Mangla Dam Raising Project made 130,000 people homeless. Last year, WAPDA bitterly violated their own agreement and planned to raise the level of dam to 1,242 feet. Even 70 percent people of affected area were not allotted any place for their settlement. In the agreement it was written that they will be given plots and a 10-month deadline to build their houses. Sardar Sikander Hayat Khan, Sardar Attique Ahmed Khan, Sardar Yaqoob and Raja Farooq Haider played a vital role in preventing the WAPDA
and AJK government to raise water level till the settlement of the affectees. The previous governments strongly condemned WAPDA over violating the agreement terms but the current setup looks like a puppet of the federal government and without any power. The criminal silence of political leadership of Mirpur is also another main reason behind the inaction. Apparently, people’s opinion regarding two of the most senior and prominent local political leaders is that one always stay in his home and the other never visited the Mirpur city. The Kashmiris always sacrificed their wishes for Pakistan and they are always ready to give anything for Pakistan. On one hand, the Kala Bagh Dam project has not been started, but on the other, the people of Kashmir sacrificed their houses and land for Pakistan, but not
even a single resolution has been passed in the appreciation of these priceless gestures. According to the agreement, it was decided that the AJK would be given water for its needs, but three provisional governments refused to accept it. This response not only increased hatred but also forced the Kashmiris to think about their future. The federal government should take notice of the violation of the agreement and appreciate the sacrifices of affectees. The dam affectees filed a petition in Supreme Court of Pakistan against the violation of the agreement but it was dismissed with remarks that the AJK did not fall not under its jurisdiction. The Chief Justice of Pakistan should take notice of the national level project and initiate investigation into violations, malpractices and injustice
as the decision of Supreme Court Azad Kashmir is not acceptable to the federal government and WAPDA. Sardar Attique Sadozai, the secretary general of Young Action Forum says, “If the department responsible for the Mangla Dam affairs and WAPDA fail to accept our demands, we will launch a protest movement. The affectees are living a miserable life because of the problems they are facing by raising the dam and settlement issue.” In past, many organisations jointly protested for their rights and a violent mob had gone out of government’s control, but bureaucracy played their own cards and send them back to their homes without solving their issues. But now, the affectees understand their delay tactics and may go for a final round. (Concluded)
SUNDAY, MARCH 10, 2013
Turf war to conquer Karachi
Chief Editor: Huma Ali Executive Editor: Atif Mateen Resident Editor: Saeed Minhas Consulting Editors: Jalees Hazir Samina Choonara
Why are the crazy power players in their no-holds-barred fight to conquer the port city subjecting the harried residents, who would like to just get on with their lives and make a decent living, to this torture?
Block 11, G-6/1, Aabpara, Islamabad Telephone: 051 260 7153-4 Fax: 051 260 7498 www.thespokesman.pk firstname.lastname@example.org
Raja, RPPs and Ajmer Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf, accompanied by his family members, landed in India on Saturday to visit the shrine of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti in Ajmer. The day before he left, he’d sent a letter to the Chief Justice of Pakistan asking him to set up a commission to investigate the charges of corruption against him in the Rental Power Projects case. He regretted in the letter that a ‘totally unwarranted and unending campaign had been unleashed against him and his family in recent years’ and added that he was making the request to transfer his case from the National Accountability Bureau so that allegations regarding the government using its influence on the Bureau to protect him are put to rest. In the middle of the multiple crises that the country is faced with, the prime minister has gone to the revered saint’s grave in India, perhaps, to pray for some relief in the case that has come to haunt him and his political career. The visit does not make any sense otherwise. People in his position have cancelled important official visits due to developments or disasters in their countries that were insignificant as compared to what Pakistan is going through these days. Though he is on a private visit, the prime minister was received by the Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid who also hosted a lunch in his honour at a hotel later in the afternoon. This is the only hospitality that the prime minister will get in India. The Dewan of the saint’s dargah in Ajmer boycotted his visit in protest against the alleged beheading of two Indian soldiers in January 2013 along the Line of Control. Local lawyers and the Ajmer Dargah market association also joined the protest against the visit. A day before he arrived, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said: ‘There cannot be normalisation of ties with Pakistan unless the terror machine still active there was brought under control’. No substantive bilateral discussion or meeting is expected to take place during his visit. Completely oblivious of his responsibilities as the head of the government, he seems to have undertaken this untimely private yatra in the footsteps of his boss President Zardari, who went praying at the same shrine when he was tormented by the Memo case. Prime Minister Raja Ashraf was arraigned in the infamous Rental Power Projects scam at the time of his appointment, and the Supreme Court expressed its dismay over this controversial appointment more than once. The appointment did not go down well with the public either. The people were shocked to see the man responsible for making a mess of the power sector and under investigation for corruption, elevated to the office of the country’s chief executive. Whatever crooked politics President Zardari wished to play by appointing him, whether it was his desire to have a perfect puppet as prime minister whose strings he could pull without much effort or his eagerness to spite the Supreme Court, the decision has brought a bad name to the country, the PPP-led government and the parliament. The prime minister’s private visit to India confirms the worst about him.
to size. After the dictator was killed in a being relegated to that status very planecrash in 1987, Ghulam Ishaq took rapidly. It is unfortunate that three oath as acting president of Pakistan. political parties, that were part of the Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Elections were held in 1988, the PPP ruling coalition both in the province Chaudhry hit the nail on the head emerged as the single largest party and at the centre for more than four when he said on Friday during court proceedings that the prevailing law and and half years, were pitted against each winning 93 out of 207 seats, and late Benazir Bhutto was invited to form the other in a bloody battle for the order situation in Karachi was the conquest of Karachi. The MQM wants government. Since the PPP did not result of a turf war between different have a clear majority, it formed a vested groups. The court also observed to keep the port city as its exclusive coalition government with the MQM. preserve, the ANP wants a bigger that its orders were not implemented, But within months differences chunk of the power pie and the PPP and that the government must undo emerged and the coalition ended. has its own axe to grind. For their improper police inductions. President Ghulam Ishaq Khan using politics, they have thrown the city into Meanwhile, President Asif Ali Zardari 58-2-b dismissed the PPP government has asked the law enforcing agencies to complete turmoil. and dissolved the assemblies. Elections Karachi, the commercial and carry out a targeted operation in the were held in October 1990, the Islami industrial hub of Pakistan, was a city against criminals, gangsters, symbol of peaceful coexistence among Jamhuri Ittehad led by the PMLkidnappers and proclaimed offenders Nawaz won elections, and the MQM people from all provinces and with the assistance of intelligence agencies. Has the president sprung into action as a result of the meeting the Chief of the Army Staff General The coalition partners cannot be Ashfaq Parvez Kayani’s had with him absolved of their responsibility. the other day, communicating to him the concern of the military high Criminal syndicates all over the command over the deteriorating law world operate through connections and order situation in Karachi? In one of its earlier observations, the in high places apex court had pointedly said that parties in the Sindh government were responsible for the situation in once again joined the coalition communities. Pushtuns, Baloch, and Karachi. Last year, the three parties government. During the 1990s, Punjabis lived in complete harmony had agreed to ensure action against military operations were conducted with Sindhis, Mohajirs, Memons, criminals and miscreants without twice to quell extreme violence and discrimination in Karachi, but such an Bohris, Ismailis and Parsis up to the lawlessness in the country. late 1970s. Karachi had only seen operation is yet to be launched. After the second Nawaz government flashes of turmoil till then; in 1965 Karachi has been burning for some was overthrown by the then COAS time now; killings and criminality of all when the late Fatima Jinnah General Pervez Musharraf, the MQM contested the presidential election sorts has been blighting the economic against Ayub Khan, and in 1972 when joined hands with him and it was given hub of Pakistan. This year being the a free hand in running Karachi. The election year, criminals and all sorts of riots were sparked after the Sindh party posted police and administration assembly passed a bill adopting mafias have become active and officers of its choice in the city and Sindhi as an official language for the plunged the city into fear and gloom. Karachi once again became the party’s province. However, with the Why are the crazy power players in exclusive preserve. Its strong rivals their no-holds-barred fight to conquer formation of the Muhajir Qaumi Jamat-i-Islami and MQM-Haqiqi were Movement, later renamed as the port city subjecting the harried residents, who would like to just get on Muttehida Qaumi Movement to erase knocked out with the support of the government and no-go areas of MQMthe stigma of an ethnic group, the with their lives and make a decent Haqaqi were opened up. During this dynamics of the conflict changed, living, to this torture? period, the MQM got the starting with Mohajirs versus Apparently, the gangs of the constituencies in the city demarcated Pushtuns and Punjabis to Mohajirs underworld, with which all the according to its wishes. That could not versus Sindhis as well. political players have links stop the ANP from winning two seats To understand the reasons for the notwithstanding their unconvincing from Karachi and it remained a present chaos and conflict in Karachi, denials, have become more powerful and they are gaining the upper-hand in one has to analyse the events that have coalition partner with the PPP and MQM in Sindh and at the centre. taken place during the last three the city, reducing their patrons and During their tenure, target killings protectors to irrelevance. If the political decades. It is widely believed that the have continued unabated, and the MQM was formed with the blessings parties are not already playing second coalition government has failed to stop fiddle to these criminal gangs, they are of General Zia-ul-Haq to cut the PPP
those killings. After MQM’s MPA Raza Haider was shot dead in Karachi in August 2010, MQM workers had gone berserk and killed about 100 Pushtuns and torched transport vehicles, vans, trucks and buses owned by them. In August 2010, a code of conduct had been agreed upon between the three parties to rid the port city of Karachi of bloodshed and target killings. It was significant as well as revealing. There was an implicit confession that their hands are not that clean. After all, why did these parties need such a code if their conduct had been above board and unblemished? The coalition partners cannot be absolved of their responsibility even if the mayhem in Karachi is caused by competing mafias as claimed by them; criminal syndicates all over the world operate through connections in high places that guarantee protection to their criminal activities. And Karachi is no exception. Anyhow, the MQM and the ANP must remember that they have no choice but to co-exist, as nobody can throw the other community out of Karachi. The MQM leaders claim that 10 million Urdu-speaking descendents of those who had migrated from India live in Karachi. On the other hand, Pushtun leaders claim the Pushtun population exceeds seven million. As both sides have armed themselves to the teeth, this war will give no decisive victory to any side, and at best it may end up in a shortlived victory, which may not be sustainable for long. Political leaders belonging to ruling parties as well as opposition parties must understand that Pakistan is in dire straits. This is no time for turf wars and politics of power and pelf. To remain in power, the PPP made strange bedfellows. Now that it has completed its term, it should take advantage of the provision in the Constitution and call in the army to aid the civil administration in Karachi. Otherwise, the situation may spin out of control and necessitate an action by the military with or without its consent. THE WRITER IS A FREELANCE COLUMNIST
Malakaan denying education in North Waziristan Local sources from North Waziristan have confirmed that there was no threat to educational institutions from the militants. The threat to education here is posed by tribal chieftains, the custodians of “ghost schools” and “hujra schools” want to educate their children. The continuous crises in the area have ‘educated’ TAHIR ALI them and they are aware about what is going on in the region. Ask a youngster, even if he When someone refers to North Waziristan, does not go to school, about the situation of issues such as terrorism, Taliban, Al-Qaeda, North Waziristan and his answer is simple, ‘It bomb blasts and drone strikes automatically is a game and we are being used’. come to mind. No doubt, North Waziristan An overwhelming majority of the hosts local, national and international militants inhabitants of North Waziristan wants to and extremists roam freely in the area but the educate their children; but the problem is how area is predominantly inhabited by tribesmen who side neither with the militants nor with the to do this. The continuing activities of the militants and the military have paralysed the military, and simply want to live an education system in North Waziristan. The independent life. Unfortunately they are well-off are sending their children to settled destined to suffer both at the hands of the areas to get an education but the majority of militants and the security forces. the people are poor and can’t afford the Due to militancy-related issues, North schooling of their kids outside the area. Waziristan easily finds a place in the In North Waziristan, there is no threat to headlines of the print and electronic media− educational institutions from the militants but both nationally and internationally. But issues related to the common people, even if the social system itself is a big enemy of on serious themes, are hardly ever discussed schooling. Unlike the rest of the tribal agencies and some settled areas of Khyber in the media. Pukhtunkhwa (KP), in North Waziristan there It is a common belief that the tribesmen of is no threat to school buildings by the North Waziristan are ignorant and cannot militants. There are no threats to teachers if differentiate between “evil” and “good”. But this is totally inaccurate. These people are not they want to educate the tribal children. against development work in their areas; they Journalist friends and other local sources from
EDITOR’S MAIL BOX The Chavez legacy Can one man’s hero be another man’s villain? Yes, but it all depends on one’s own perception. Who could have thought of raising the flag of socialism in the post Cold War world where the US was the sole victorious superpower? In a period when socialism was retreating even in its pioneer states, it was Hugo Chavez who stood for the distribution of his
country’s resources to bring millions of his countrymen out of centuries-old poverty. He was a ray of hope for billions of third world people, showing them that their countries could maintain their sovereignty without becoming a satellite state of the US. They could proudly stand on their feet and fight for their position on the world’s stage. Obviously, the Venezuelan opposition, which comprises of only millionaires and billionaires from media houses, large estates and industries are united to take Venezuela to its colonial past but the poor masses must not to give in. Chavez might have been fighting an already lost war of socialism but the war to get equal rights for his countrymen is still raging. There is a long way to go in a world that abolished slavery as late as 1948 because new forms of economic, political and cultural slavery are still emerging. Chavez might be gone but one of his supporters was heard tearfully singing, “Cemetery, cemetery give us Chavez back”. MASOOD KHAN
North Waziristan have confirmed that there was no threat to educational institutions from the militants. The threat to education here is posed by tribal chieftains, the custodians of “ghost schools” and “hujra schools”. On paper, an umbrella of educational institutions exists in North Waziristan. In this particular agency, there are some 872 government-run and private institutions both for males and females. Regarding the number of educational institutions, North Waziristan leads in all seven tribal agencies but the question is how to make these schools and colleges functional. There is no discrimination towards women, as there are 456 institutions for males and 416 for females - the difference is not that great. Apart from a number of primary and high schools, there are postgraduate colleges, degree colleges, a girls’ degree college, an elementary college and a cadet college in North Waziristan. The majority of the educational institutions are ‘ghosts’ which continue to exist only on paper. In the same way, a number of teachers exist only in the records of the government, and receive salaries. In some cases the teachers don’t even meet the required educational
Trade scepticism I have been following your articles from a while now. Regarding Pakistan’s economic policies, although the preferential trade agreement with the EU seems beneficial on the surface, I am skeptical about the amount of difference it can make to Pakistan’s terms of trade. The news item did not specify details of the trade pact, like which items were to be traded and how much tariffs would be lowered. No matter how lenient trade agreements seem, if Pakistan is only exporting primary commodities and in turn purchasing value added goods from the EU, Pakistan’s export will remain vulnerable and low priced. In the global system imposed on third world countries today, and under current IMF regulations, Pakistan has no option but to focus on export led growth. The situation is not extremely bleak though, and there is opportunity in the EU deal waiting to be seized. My suggestion to policy makers is that they should focus on improving
standards but have acquired jobs through unfair means. Many of the schools are constructed over the land of local Malakaan (tribal elders) who have acquired jobs for their own family members and have no interest in the education of children. In far-flung areas some Malakaan use school buildings as guest rooms, as storage for animal feed or as “gojal” (animal pens). A Malak can easily give three jobs to his family members or favourites in a small school if he constructs it on his land, such as the post of a teacher, watchman and peon. In certain areas where the teachers are actually performing their duties the students have other problems like scarcity of stationery, libraries and laboratories. Every year a large amount of money is allocated for the education sector of North Waziristan but these funds are misused as a routine. The allocation of funds in the education sector always causes a disturbance in the area; the Malakaan start fighting with each other to get the maximum share of the funds. They receive an amount for the furniture and the renovation of school buildings in their areas but do not invest the entire amount on the task. The corrupt officials of the Political
terms of trade with the EU, and use the export profits to invest in diversifying future export commodities. The government should also make sure that there are no latent ‘strings attached’ that could harm our already fragile economy. FATIMA LAHORE
TAHIR ALI IS A JOURNALIST BASED IN PESHAWAR AND TRAVELS EXTENSIVELY IN FATA
his leading co-star, Deepika Padukone’s name would appear first in the credits. It is heartwarming to hear Khan extol the status of women: “Women’s position in every field needs to be respected. Right from my mom to all the actresses I work with are the most important women in my life.” TARIQ ALI KARACHI
Praiseworthy move Shahrukh Khan’s pledge on International Women’s Day is commendable. He said that henceforth all the leading heroines’ names would appear before his in the credits and he is beginning the trend with his new release, Chennai Express. At a time when women have been given a raw deal in society and discriminated against in all walks of life, Khan’s gesture is more than symbolic. It is an open acknowledgement of the fact that when it comes to men, their performance is no less important. Khan said that in his new film,
Administration and the education sector never bother to go and check the development work supposed to be undertaken by these local elders. The Malakaan who own “ghost schools” and “hujra school” (schools used as guest houses) are so influential that the FATA Secretariat and Governor’s House do not interfere in their activities. The intellectuals and other experts term lack of education and awareness as a main cause of problems in the tribal areas of Pakistan. These experts always correlate the lack of education with the existence of militants in tribal areas but the Malakaan are hardly blamed for their role in keeping the youngsters away from educational institutions. The Malakaan are aware about the importance of education, as their own children are learning in the leading institutions of the country, but when it comes to the education of poor children, these elders play the role of villains. If illiteracy is one of the main causes of militancy, then the Malakaan should be blamed instead of the Taliban for the growing extremism in the area.
Dam debate It is a pity that some editorials have come out in support of Sindh’s concern that the flow in the Indus will be reduced if Kalabagh dam is built. Dams are built the world over to overcome shortages and not to create them. Mangla dam was built to compensate for the loss of the three eastern rivers and brought about a green revolution in the country. Could it have done this by reducing the flow in the Jhelum? Tarbela dam increased supply to
the canals by 25 percent, could it have done this by reducing the flow in the Indus? Sindh got an additional 7 million acre feet of water from Tarbela dam? As per the Water Accord of 1991, Sindh stands to get 2.2 million acre feet from Kalabagh dam, can it get this if the dam reduces flow in the Indus? Please check with the Sindh irrigation department to see the post-Tarbela increase of 7 maf over the pre-Mangla withdrawals in the canals of Sindh, also the 27 lac acre increase in the area under cultivation. These increases did not come about by reduction in the flow of the Indus. In this day and age of technology, we should speak on the basis of verifiable data and not on the basis of hearsay. KHURSHID ANWER LAHORE Please email your letters to email@example.com or post them to our address in Islamabad.
SUNDAY, MARCH 10, 2013
Mobs have no religion Do you ever wonder who the people in the mob actually are? frustrated and unhappy. They have failed lives and failed marriages. Their kids fear them rather than genuinely respecting them, they have hijabi daughters who keep boyfriends and they are forever bound by the constraints of the sentence RIDA MALIK "khandaan kya kahay ga". They are rarely successful people. They are So I was supposed to write about the failures who have nothing to look impassiveness of our youth towards forward to in their entire lives. They religious extremism but, err…things don’t have unique personalities and didn't go as intellectually as I had they don't believe in talent. planned. I can get a bit overboard at So when they fail to do anything times you see, plus I have Attention Deficit Hypersensitivity Disorder too. productive in their lives, they either enter politics, commerce, trade or So I opened twitter. some might become meek teachers by Scrolling down the tweets, I see profession. Sometimes, they get into wave upon wave of shock, at the the limelight when a Christian/Hindu accusation of blasphemy and the Muslim mob burning down Christian minority unthinkingly proclaims how homes. Was the shock because I think unjust Islam is towards others and how Muslims are destroying the the mob went overboard? Maybe because the accused was not properly peace in their lives. Beware because prosecuted and charged and the case this is their cue. This is their calling. This when they go into gladiator went through the courts and the like rampage. innocent had to suffer the So in short, don't think these people consequences? Nope. Do you ever wonder who the people are acting in the name of religion. They honestly have no clue what in the mob actually are? What their religion means because you see their lives are like, what motivates them, dadi ma and abu ji and molvi sahab what triggers their instincts of violence and what enrages them? The have always reprimanded with: 'aisi baatoun kay baaray main baat nahin conclusion often drawn is that they kartay, Allah knows better’ (There are don't know much about the true essence of their own religion and take some things you don’t question because it is the wisdom of God). law into their own hands. Darling, That is true, but by killing you're deluded. questioning means the elders are Mobs have no religion. These people are not even remotely religious raising confused people who are partially brain dead. in their daily lives nor are acts of Now, did their religion tell them to violence like these done out of respect evacuate a whole colony of Christians for religion. They spawn out of based on a single person being loveless marriages. They grow up in accused of blasphemy? They were frustrated homes. Their parents paying their jazya, right? So, why do rarely let them pursue their dreams. they burn 40 houses for a single They have no educational evolution. accusation? They are taking out their By educational evolution I don't aggression and frustration through mean they never were educated, violence. America kids do that rather they went through a "banking through video games. Some of them system of education". Information is deposited, debited and credited. There do get out of control and there are news of high school shootings once in is no debate involved. Do you think awhile but the media reacts, the there can be any mental evolution in perpetrator is arrested, the the process? I don't think so. Then they are exposed to our highly upbringing is questioned. The parents are actually interrogated on moralistic media. Women portrayed not as individuals but as objects, men why they didn't watch over their kids. Why didn't they treat them with gyrating to show tunes, a little cheap enough love. Then either they get music scene and even the television capital punishment or life epilepsies to the fits of romantic imprisonment. Or, community problems recovers a bit around service. Also they are treated with child abuse, skidding around psychological therapy because they women rights and dies in front are pronounced mentally challenged. of the political mujra that goes In Pakistan though, we garland on every month regardless murderes, announce his status as a of anything. Can you count on your fingers the “ghazi” and make a hero out of him. How romantic is that. number of real crime investigation These are exactly the kind of people stories behind political scandals who revel in abusing women, flourish which reach national television? in controlling the masses to their Any science programmes? Any whims and generally tend to think global interaction? Wildlife photography? Documentary films? they own the world. They can pronounce fatwa on you left, right Inventions? Research Papers? and centre be it music, art or even Anything other than politics? your sexual orientation. Apparently, Oh but of course, we incarcerated one of the brilliant minds behind our living a righteous life yourself is not enough unless you control several nuclear programme for years and hundred other people too. Don't kick out our only Nobel Laureate forget, even if someone else is on the because he wasn't the right kind of worst way of a wrong path, when you Muslim. Sorry, we might have learnt to read and write in return as jazya in die you are going to be questioned about your own deeds not theirs. ancient Arab times but we still haven't really been liberated. THE WRITER IS A FREELANCER Coming to point, these people are
The business of government In a recent talk show, popular media man, Najam Sethi, spoke about how parties are buying and selling candidates. In his view, that was a given fact of how general election was conducted, something he did not consider worth challenging EHSAN KAZI
elections. According to Sethi Sahb, the PPP has reserved around 1.5 billion rupees for purchasing the It is always an enlightening experience to watch the popular talk winning horses after the election, particularly candidates from FATA show (Apas Ki Baat) with Najam and the independents. Instead of Sethi at midnight, thrice a week. going into details, he dismissed this Sethi has got all the right stuff, is quite lightly and said all of us well-connected, and well-informed realise that this is a norm and how about what is happening in the the game of power politics is played corridors of power at home and in Pakistan. abroad. His analysis is often It is understandable that he has to objective and his predictions quite rely on the people who are in power often come true. There is no doubt that he has got a real talent for sharp for his analysis, but rather than and intelligent analysis and to watch analysing this story in detail and commenting upon it, he accepted it and listen to him is quite a feast. Moreover, he may be considered one as a hard fact and hence pushed his viewers to accept it too. He kept of the few journalists in the country who actually laid the foundations of repeating that everyone knew that money is used in election objective analysis in the media and engineering and alliance formation, are bold enough to challenge many but if something wrong becomes a given opinions. norm, does that mean it is to be Having said this, in his recent show on Tuesday (5 March 2013) he accepted? His reasons for not going any discussed some important issues further are obvious: Sethi Sahb has which call for attention. While to keep his connections in high analysing the performance of places to feed his Chirya that various parties in the coming eavesdrops on the tales of kings and election on the basis of a recent rulers. Although it is generally survey, he discussed at length what is happening inside the parties. And considered valid for people in the here lies something quite striking to media to have links with people in power as a requirement of the job, if an admirer of his astute analysis this turns into too close a friendship which he discussed quite casually then something bigger is at stake: and dismissively. objectivity and fairness. And if He told his host that different intellectuals like Sethi start going parties have reserved large sums of money for manipulating the coming with the flow then what is the point for others to make any effort to go elections in their favour. This, he against it? thought, was a given fact known to It is not that people like him are everyone. He discussed in particular unaware of this; the point is that the plans of the Peoples’ Party (yes, they are not ready to go against the the party of the poor), and how confident they are about the coming money-politics nexus. The only
explanation of this tendency is that many people have become too tired of struggling against the odds and have given in to their fears of social insecurity and isolation over time, accepting all manner of indiscrepancy to stay close to the powerful. Consider the facts recounted in this show. According to Najam Sethi, the Peoples’ Party is relying more on this sort of horse trading, throwing money around, as compared to any other party in the fray. A strange thing indeed. Wasn’t this the party of the proletariat whose slogan was “Roti, Kapra aur Makan”( bread, clothes and shelter), and which was once considered to be the only pro-poor party in the county? Now think of the party of the bourgeoisie, The Muslim League (N). Viewers were informed in the show that this party is not as generous with doling out money, so they will be unable to cut such deals. No details, of course, were provided. Najam Sethi could have spent more time detailing the role of money in the general elections and one would have imagined he would be interested in debunking those involved in cutting such deals. But he did not even have a note of sarcasm in his voice or any anger when he said that such things happen in this country during elections. He also said that even in the intra-party elections of PTI, a similar trend was observed and those who had more money to manipulate won over those who did not. In my view, these and other related questions need more
discussion and analysis rather than the counting of seats in the coming elections by any party. The more serious question to ask is, if the counting of seats depends on the counting of coins, then what kind of political change can be expected in the country? All this is happening in the name of democracy, which means a government of the people. According to the revelations of Najam Sethi, we have to revise the definition of democracy in this country. It is a government of the people for the people and by the people who have got more purchasing power when affiliations are for sale. The players in the present dispensation are saying that they have saved democracy and served the people for five years, but what is the business of government when everything has actually become business? Saul Bellow, the Nobel prizewinning novelist of America, wrote in perhaps his most popular book Herzog: ‘Dear Mr. President, the life of every citizen is becoming a business. This, it seems to me, is one of the worst interpretations of the meaning of life history has ever seen. Man’s life is not a business.’ Is there anyone among us who can address the politicians of this country who have become not servants but masters of the citizens? Can we ask them if they are for sale, then does that mean that all aspects of life are a business? Or, at least, of government. THE WRITER IS A DEVELOPMENT CONSULTANT BASED IN ISLAMABAD
Ignoring genocide of Rohingya people in Myanmar RAMZY BAROUD One fails to understand the unperturbed attitude with which regional and international leaders and organizations are treating the unrelenting onslaught against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, formally known as Burma. Numbers speak of atrocities where every violent act is prelude to greater violence and ethnic cleansing. Yet, western governments’ normalization with the Myanmar regime continues unabated, regional leaders are as gutless as ever and even human rights organizations seem compelled by habitual urges to issue statements lacking meaningful, decisive and coordinated calls for action. Meanwhile the ‘boat people’ remain on their own. On February 26, fishermen discovered a rickety wooden boat floating randomly at sea, nearly 25 kilometers (16 miles) off the coast of Indonesia’s northern province of Aceh. The Associated Press and other media reported there were 121 people on board including children who were extremely weak, dehydrated and nearly starved. They were Rohingya refugees who preferred to take their chances at sea rather than stay in Myanmar. To understand the decision of a parent to risk his child’s life in a tumultuous sea would require understanding the greater risks awaiting them at home. Reporting for Voice of America from Jakarta, Kate Lamb cited a moderate estimate of the outcome of communal violence in the Arakan state, which left hundreds of Rohingya Muslims dead, thousands of homes burnt and nearly 115,000 displaced. The number is likely to be higher at all fronts. Many fleeing Rohingya perished at sea or disappeared to never be seen again. Harrowing stories are told and reported of families separating and boats sunk. There are
One fails to understand the unperturbed attitude with which regional and international leaders and organisations are treating the unrelenting onslaught against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar documented events in which various regional navies and border police sent back refugees after they successfully braved the deadly journey to other countries – Thailand, Indonesia, Bangladesh and elsewhere. The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) reported that nearly 13,000 Rohingya refugees attempted to leave Myanmar on smugglers’ boats in the Bay of Bengal in 2012. At least five hundred drowned. But who are the Rohingya people? Myanmar officials and media wish to simply see the Rohingyas as ‘illegal Bengali immigrants’, a credulous reading of history at best. The intentions of this inaccurate classification, however, are truly sinister for it is meant to provide a legal clearance to forcefully deport the Rohingya population. Myanmar President Then Sein had in fact made an ‘offer’ to the UN last year that he was willing to send the Rohingya people “to any other country willing to accept them.” The UN declined. Rohingya Muslims, however, are native to the state of “Rohang”, officially known as Rakhine or Arakan. If one is to seek historical accuracy, not only are the Rohingya people native to Myanmar, it was in fact Burma that occupied Rakhine in the 1700’s. Over the years, especially in the first half of the 20th century, the original inhabitants of Arakan were joined by cheap or forced labor from Bengal and India, who permanently settled there. For decades, tension brewed between Buddhists and Muslims in the region. Naturally, a majority backed by a military junta is likely to prevail over a minority without any serious regional or international backers. Without much balance of power to be mentioned, the Rohingya population of
Arakan, estimated at nearly 800,000, subsisted between the nightmare of having no legal status (as they are still denied citizenship), little or no rights and the occasional ethnic purges carried out by their Buddhist neighbors with the support of their government, army and police. And just when ‘calm’ is reported – as in returning to the status quo of utter discrimination and political alienation of the Rohingyas – violence erupts once more, and every time the diameters of the conflict grow bigger. In late February, an angry Buddhist mob attacked non-Rohingya Muslim schools, shops and homes in the capital Rangoon, regional and international media reported. The cause of the violence was a rumor that the Muslim community is planning to build a mosque. What is taking place in Arakan is most dangerous, not only because of the magnitude of the atrocities and the perpetual suffering of the Rohingya people, which are often described as the world’s most persecuted people. Other layers of danger also exist that threatens to widen the parameters of the conflict throughout the Southeast Asia region, bringing instability to already unstable border areas, and, of course, as was the case recently, take the conflict from an ethnic one to a purely religious one. In a region of a unique mix of ethnicities and religions, the plight of the Rohingyas could become the trigger that would set already fractious parts of the region ablaze. Although the plight of the Rohingya people have in recent months crossed the line from the terrible, but hidden tragedy into a recurring media topic, it is still facing many
hurdles that must be overcome in order for some action to be taken. While the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has been making major economic leaps forward, it remains politically ineffective, with little interest in issues pertaining to human rights. ASEAN leaders were reportedly in agreement that Myanmar should chair their 2014 summit, as a reward for superficial reforms undertaken by Rangoon to ease its political isolation and open up its market beyond China and few other countries. Meanwhile, western countries, led by the United States are clamoring to divide the large Myanmar economic cake amongst themselves, and are saying next to nothing about the current human rights records of Rangoon. The minor democratic reforms in Myanmar seem, after all, a pretext to allow the country back to western arms. And the race to Rangoon has indeed begun, unhindered by the continued persecution of the Rohingya people. On February 26, Myanmar’s President Sein met in Oslo with Norway’s Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg in a ‘landmark’ visit. They spoke economy, of course, for Myanmar has plenty to offer. And regarding the conflict in Arakan, Jens Stoltenberg unambiguously declared it to be an internal Burmese affair, reducing it to most belittling statements. In regards to ‘disagreements’ over citizenship, he said, “we have encouraged dialogue, but we will not demand that Burma’s government give citizenship to the Rohingyas.” Moreover, to reward Sein for his supposedly bold democratic reforms, Norway took the lead by waving off nearly half of its debt and other countries followed suit, including Japan which dropped $3 billion last year.
While one is used to official hypocrisy, whether by ASEAN or western governments, many are still scratching their heads over the unforgivable silence of democracy advocate and Noble Peace Prize recipient Aung San Suu Kyi. Luckily, others are speaking out. Bangladesh’s Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus, along with former Timor-Leste president Ramos-Horta had both recently spoke with decisive terms in support of the persecuted Rohingya people. “The minority Muslim Rohingya continue to suffer unspeakable persecution, with more than 1,000 killed and hundreds of thousands displaced from their homes just in recent months, apparently with the complicity and protection of security forces,” the Nobel laureates wrote in the Huffington Post on February 20. They criticized the prejudicial Citizenship Law of 1982 and called for granting the Rohingya people full citizenship. The perpetual suffering of the Rohingya people must end. They are deserving of rights and dignity. They are weary of crossing unforgiving seas and walking harsh terrains seeking mere survival. More voices must join those who are speaking out in support of their rights. ASEAN must break away from its silence and tediously guarded policies and western countries must be confronted by their own civil societies: no normalization with Rangoon when innocent men, women and children are being burned alive in their own homes. This injustice needs to be known to the world and serious, organized and determined efforts must follow to bring the persecution of the Rohingya people to an end. (COUNTERPUNCH)
SUNDAY, MARCH 10, 2013
Violence escalates in Egypt after soccer riot verdict UN peacekeepers taken to Jordan border: rebels BEIRUT: A group of 21 UN peacekeepers captured by Syrian rebels three days ago have been taken to the border with Jordan to be handed over to Jordanian authorities, a rebel source and a violence monitoring group said on Saturday. It was not immediately clear whether the peacekeepers had crossed into Jordan. They had been held in the village of Jamla, about one mile east of the frontier with the Israelioccupied Golan Heights and six miles north of Jordan. –AGENCIES
PORT SAID: Egyptian protesters tried to disrupt shipping on the Suez Canal, an artery for global trade, after a court confirmed death sentences for 21 soccer fans from the canal city of Port Said on Saturday. However, canal authorities said shipping passing along the canal had been unaffected by the protests in the city, sited at the waterway's northern end, state news agency MENA reported. In Cairo, fans of a rival soccer team set fire to a police social club and the nearby offices of the Egyptian Soccer Federation, sending smoke rising over the capital. They were enraged
by the same court clearing 28 other defendants of blame over the riot, in which more than 70 people were killed. The stadium deaths took place last year at the end of a match between Cairo's Al-Ahly team and Port Said's Al-Masry. Spectators were crushed when panicked crowds tried to escape from the stadium after a pitch invasion by supporters of AlMasry. Others fell or were thrown from terraces. Unrest has plagued Port Said since the death sentences were first handed down to the Al-Masry supporters in January, with locals who want the fans spared fighting
charge of security in central Port Said after police were pulled out on Friday to ease tensions. The canal is a major employer in the city and, until now, protesters had declared it off-limits for the demonstrations apart from on one occasion when red balloons marked "SOS" were floated into the waterway. Some fans of the Cairo side, angry about the acquittals, torched the buildings in the capital on the banks of the Nile. However, others were happy with the confirmation of the death sentences. "This is a just verdict and has calmed us all down. Our martyrs have been vindicated," Said
pitched battles with police. At least eight people have been killed this week, including three policemen. The Cairo court also jailed two senior police officers for 15 years on Saturday for their handling of the riot. Witnesses said youths in Port Said untied moored speedboats used to supply shipping on the waterway, hoping the boats would drift into the path of passing vessels. About 2,000 people also blocked car ferries from crossing the canal. Military police recovered five speedboats and brought them back to shore, but two were still drifting, one witness said. The army has been in
Somali pirates free tanker hijacked a year ago BOSASSO: Somali pirates have released a chemical tanker they hijacked a year ago with about 20 crew on board after receiving a ransom, the pirates and a minister from the semi-autonomous Puntland region said on Saturday. The pirates said they had abandoned the UAE-owned MV Royal Grace, which was seized off Oman on March 2 last year. "We got off the vessel late last night. We happily divided the cash among ourselves," a pirate who identified himself only as Ismail told Reuters by telephone. The European Union's antipiracy taskforce, EU Navfor, said its flagship, ESPS Mendez Nunez, had sighted the Royal Grace during a counter-piracy patrol 20 nautical miles off the northern Somali coast. The tanker was sailing north from its pirate anchorage at a speed of 4 knots. "Shortly afterwards, ESPS Mendez Nunez received a radio call from the master of the MV Royal Grace, who confirmed that his ship was now free of pirates," EU Navfor said. A medical team boarded the tanker with food and water. The crew were checked over, with two being given medical treatment, the taskforce said in a statement. It said the Royal Grace was now sailing to Muscat under escort from another EU Navfor warship, ESPS Rayo. Civil war after the fall of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991 left Somalia without effective central government and full of weapons. –AGENCIES
Obama next visit not to make breakthrough in ME GAZA: The upcoming visit of United States President Barack Obama to the Mideast region on March 20 won't make significant breakthrough in the Palestinian conflict with Israel, a senior Hamas official said on Saturday. Ismail Haneya, the deposed premier of Hamas government, told dozens of prayers in a main mosque in Gaza city that Obama won't focus on resolving the Palestinian conflict with Israel. "He (Obama) would rather focus on hot regional issues related to the situation in Syria, the conflict with Iran and the results of the Arab Spring revolutions," Haneya said at the weekly prayer. Observers and media reports expected that Obama won't propose any new initiative or plan to move forward the Middle East peace process, which had been frozen since October 2010. Hamas, which violently seized control of the Gaza Strip in June 2007, has accused the United States and other international parties of blocking any opportunity to end the internal division and make reconciliation. –AGENCIES
Sayyid, 21, told Reuters. The riot case has highlighted deteriorating law and order since the 2011 revolution as public anger explodes over Islamist President Mohamed Mursi's failure to reform a police force hated for its brutality under deposed leader Hosni Mubarak. Judge Sobhy Abdel Maguid, listing the names of the 21 fans, said the Cairo court had confirmed "the death penalty by hanging". He also sentenced five more people to life imprisonment while others out of a total of 73 defendants received shorter terms. –AGENCIES
Hagel visit to Afghanistan
Suicide bomber kills 9 in Kabul The abandoned widows of India: Widows attend a class at the Meera Sahavagini ashram in the pilgrimage town of Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. –WIRE SERVICE
‘DPRK nuclear test, threats unacceptable’ VI ENNA: North Korea's third nuclear test and threats of military action are "completely unacceptable", UN SecretaryGeneral Ban Ki-moon said in remarks published on Saturday, urging Pyongyang to feed its people and seek peace with South Korea. North Korea threatened the United States on Thursday with a preemptive nuclear strike and has scrapped the armistice with Washington that ended hostilities in the 1950-53 Korean War. That followed its third nuclear test on Feb. 12, in defiance of UN resolutions, drawing further UN Security Council sanctions against the reclusive East Asian state. Asked by Austria's Profil magazine about North Korea's nuclear test, military exercises and threats, Ban, a former South Korean foreign minister, said: "I find this completely unacceptable and it is also a challenge for the international community." He said in an interview with Profil that he had urged the North Korean leadership to focus on the welfare of its own people in the face of serious economic problems. "There is a serious humanitarian crisis in North Korea. Many people suffer from malnutrition," he said, calling for dialogue and peaceful exchanges with South Korea. "(South) Korea has just elected a new
president. That would be good timing for the leadership of the two parties to the conflict to discuss seriously how to encourage national reconciliation and to reduce tensions on the Korean peninsula, also in view of a possible reunification of the country." North Korea formally rejected a UN Security Council resolution on Saturday demanding an end to its nuclear arms programme and China called for calm, saying sanctions were not the "fundamental" way to resolve tensions. Pyongyang said it would pursue its goal of becoming a full-fledged nuclear weapons state, despite the sanctions which were unanimously imposed on Friday by the Security Council. Turning to a separate dispute, Ban said he had urged Iran to address international concerns that its nuclear programme could have a military dimension, something Tehran denies. Ban said he found it positive that talks between Iran and world powers in Kazakhstan last week had produced an agreement to meet again, first at an expert level. "But I have made it clear to the leadership in Iran that the Iranian government must do everything possible to convince the international community and to establish confidence about the nuclear programme," he said. –AGENCIES
Syria Opp leaders delay trip to US WASHINGTON: Leaders of the Syrian opposition have put off a visit to Washington for a series of high-profile meetings, including an expected stop at the White House, administration officials said Thursday, underscoring the challenge the United States faces in cultivating a still-evolving political movement. The Obama administration had invited Moaz al-Khatib, the leader of the Syrian Opposition Council, and Gen. Salim Idriss, the leader of the opposition’s military wing, to make the trip this week, but Mr. Khatib told Secretary of State John Kerry last week at a conference in Rome on the Syria crisis that this was not a good time to visit. No date has been set, but some American officials are hoping the visit might be possible in April. Obama administration officials said the decision appeared to reflect Mr. Khatib’s intention to work on building up his moderate coalition instead of taking long foreign trips. –AGENCIES
KABUL: A suicide bomber blew himself up at a Defence Ministry gate in Kabul on Saturday killing nine civilians during a visit to Afghanistan by US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, underlining the insurgent threat as NATO troops prepare to leave. Hagel was nowhere near the explosion, said a spokesman for Afghanistan's NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). A US defense official said Hagel was in a safe location at an ISAF facility. An Afghan Defence Ministry official said at least nine people, all civilians, were killed. Fourteen people were wounded in the attack, carried out by an insurgent on a bicycle. Roads around the ministry building, which is near the presidential palace, were closed as emergency officials cleared the area of debris and washed blood from the street. A wall surrounding the ministry was pockmarked with shrapnel. The Afghan Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack and said the ministry was the target. They said in a statement the attack "is a kind of message" for Hagel.
The blast underscored the security challenges facing Afghanistan as US-led NATO forces prepare to leave the country by the end of 2014. Some Afghans fear that another civil war could erupt or the Taliban will make a push to take control of the country again after Western combat troops withdraw. In the eastern province of Khost, a suicide bomber attacked a joint Afghan and foreign patrol, killing seven civilians and a policeman, the provincial governor's office said in a statement. After the blast in Kabul, the defense secretary flew to Bagram Air Base near Kabul for meetings with commanders. Hagel, who arrived in Afghanistan on Friday for his first trip abroad as defense secretary, is due to hold talks with President Hamid Karzai, whose recent orders to curtail US military activity highlights an often tense relationship with the 66,000 American forces here. Another contentious issue is a US-run prison at the Bagram base, which had been due to be handed over to full Afghan control on Saturday. But a planned ceremony to mark the final transfer of Afghan prisoners fell through at the last minute. –AGENCIES
Clashes erupt in Syrian area where UN troops held BEIRUT: Syrian rebels and regime forces clashed Saturday near a village where UN peacekeepers are being held hostage, an activist said, complicating efforts to free them. UN officials have said arrangements are in place for the release of the Filipino peacekeepers, but a rescue mission on Friday was aborted because of regime shelling in the area. A UN team was en route to the village Saturday afternoon to retrieve the hostages but stopped several kilometers (miles) away because of the fighting, said a rebel spokesman. Instead, rebels began escorting the captives to the nearby Syrian-Jordanian border, the spokesman said via Skype, insisting on anonymity for fear of reprisals. Jordanian Information Minister Sameeh Maaytah said he was not aware of plans for the peacekeepers to be handed over to Jordan. The UN force has been monitoring an Israeli-Syrian cease-fire for four decades without incident, and the abduction of the 21 men added another destabilizing twist to Syria's civil war. –AGENCIES
US-Saudi funded terrorists attack eastern Malaysian state As seen in Libya and Syria, the use of Saudi Arabia's global Al Qaeda mercenary army serves both Saudi Arabia's interests as well as Western geopolitical ambitions. The West and Saudi Arabia both seek regime change in currently Russo-Iranian-Chinese friendly Malaysia
UNDREDS of heavily armed terrorists have crossed from the Philippines and landed in the eastern Malaysian state of Sabah. Dozens are already dead, and the Malaysian military has brought in aircraft and armor to confront the audacious, bizarre invasion, scattering militants into the jungles of Borneo island. A seemingly headline news event, the invasion has been downplayed and spun by the Western media, many calling militant Al Qaeda-linked terrorists, an "armed Filipino clan." The West's woeful, irresponsible coverage of a burgeoning region-wide destabilization, fits in nicely with its coverage of US-Saudi funded armed terrorism around the world, including in Syria where US-funded terrorists of the so-called "Free Syrian Army" have just taken dozens of UN peacekeepers hostage in the Golan Heights - just days after the US announced it would fund the terrorists further, to the tune of $60 million and the West's Arab partners have just granted the terrorist faction Syria's seat at the "Arab League." While the West pleads ignorance over the identity of the militants held up in the jungles of Malaysia's Sabah state, the
militant organizations themselves have declared thousands more in reinforcements are being arranged in the Philippines to join and exacerbate the conflict. The Philippines' terrorist organizations, located amongst the country's southern islands have long held ties to Al Qaeda and receive funding and support from Saudi Arabia. Overall, the WikiLeaks cables singled out Saudi Arabia as the key source of funding for radical Islamist groups including "Al-Qaeda, the Taliban, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Hamas". Saudi Arabia is of course is the chief financier of Al Qaeda, and is currently leading efforts to fund, arm, and fill the ranks of Al Qaeda's franchises from Mali and Libya, to Syria and Iraq. A multitude of reports from across the West have identified Saudi Arabia as the lynch pin in Al Qaeda's global terror campaign, including the US Army West Point Combating Terrorism Center. Its reports "Al-Qa'ida's Foreign Fighters in Iraq" and "Bombers, Bank Accounts and Bleedout: Al-Qa'ida's Road In and Out of Iraq," identify a vast terrorist network maintained by the Saudis that recruits, arms, and funds terrorists from across the Muslim World, and can funnel a mercenary army into any desired nation. At the time, the desired nation was Iraq. In 2011, it was Libya. Today
it is Syria. The same network that US soldiers fought in Iraq is verifiably in use today, in support of US regimechange operations in Syria. And while it is acknowledged across even the Western mainstream media that Saudi Arabia is a notorious statesponsor of terrorism, including the terrorists allegedly behind the September 11, 2001 attacks that left 3,000 Americans dead, the US has had a decades-long, deep economic and military relationship with the despotic Arabian autocracy. The US maintains permanent military bases inside Saudi Arabia, funds the Saudi military, and has recently concluded the largest arms deal in US history with the Saudis. Additionally, Saudi Arabia's brutally repressive internal security apparatus is a creation of US advisers and operators. The Saudi royal family and the elite amongst the US corporate-financier Fortune 500, have maintained deep financial and political ties as well. Saudi Arabian corporate-financier interests (run by the royal family) are tied directly to Wall Street and London via conglomerations like the US-Saudi Arabian Business Council and representation upon the JP Morgan International Council (Khalid Al-Falih of Saudi Aramco, amongst the highest valued companies on Earth). This also includes the Bin Laden
family, whose multi-billion dollar Saudi Bin Laden Group is an active member of the US-Saudi Arabian Business Council and plays a central role in deciding bilateral policy for the benefit of collective US-Saudi corporate-financier and corresponding geopolitical interests. At one point, the Bin Ladens and the Bush family sat around the same table, as both families were involved in the equity firm, Carlyle. In fact, Bush and Bin Laden family members were clicking champagne glasses together in Washington on 9/11, an event that would make both families immensely rich in the coming decade. It is clear, most acutely in Libya and Syria, that the use of Saudi Arabia's global Al Qaeda mercenary army serves both Saudi Arabia's interests as well as Western geopolitical ambitions, including regime changes around the world. And it just so happens that the West and Saudi Arabia both seek regime change in currently RussoIranian-Chinese friendly Malaysia. The West has been propping up Malaysian opposition candidate Anwar Ibrahim for years. Anwar Ibrahim, head of Malaysia's opposition coalition, which includes the Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS), has spent a lifetime in the service of Western interests. Anwar Ibrahim was Chairman of the Development
Committee of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 1998, held lecturing positions at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, was a consultant to the World Bank, and a panelist at the Neo-Con lined National Endowment for Democracy's "Democracy Award" and a panelist at a NED donation ceremony - the very same US organization whose subsidiaries are funding and supporting Bersih, a faux-pro-democracy Westernfunded street movement that in fact was created by, and in the service of Anwar Ibrahim's political ambitions. Bersih's street activism fits into a global pattern of Western-backed "color revolutions," where meddling in sovereign nation's political processes to install Western-client regimes is disguised as "democracy promotion." Anwar Ibrahim's affiliations with Malaysian "Islamists," the already active political subversion his US State Department-funded Bersih movement is sowing in Malaysia's streets, and his Western backers' habitual support for terrorism internationally as a geopolitical tool, raises the possibility that his opposition movement is complicit in the conveniently timed militant destabilization Malaysia now faces, only months before 2013's general elections.
This may be why the Western media refuses to properly cover an otherwise very noteworthy conflict. The fact that these militants are emanating from long-time US ally, the Philippines, and the Philippines' current role in assisting the US "pivot" towards Asia, and more specifically facilitating a proxy confrontation with China, illustrates the greater regional implications at play. The US intends to install client regimes in Myanmar led by Aung San Suu Kyi, Thailand led by Thaksin Shinawatra's despotic political dynasty, and in Malaysia led by Anwar Ibrahim. Together, this front will then be turned against Chinese interests as part of a long-planned desire to encircle and contain China. The future of Asia hangs in the balance, and therefore conflicts like Malaysia's battle against armed extremists in Sabah may not be covered by the Western press, but it must be covered by the alternative press. The unhinged insanity that is now spilling blood on Malaysia's shores, also represented by the West's proxy Anwar Ibrahim and his attempts to provoke street protests against the ruling government, illustrates just how dangerous the current AngloAmerican international order is, and how far its reach extends. (PressTV.ir)
SUNDAY, MARCH 10, 2013
ADB backs Iran-Pakistan pipeline
Bank’s director castigates US sanctions, toutes gasline as Pakistan’s lifeline
I SL AM ABAD: Brushing aside the treacherous pressure by State Department to disrupt the IranPakistan (IP) pipeline project, Asian Development Bank (ADB) voiced strongly its opposition to sanctions against Pakistan with no reason. A senior official of ADB on condition not to be named informed The Spokesman that ADB’s Pakistan chapter endorsed the IP project keeping in view the ongoing crucial energy crisis in the country. The official quoted ADB’s country director to Pakistan Werner E Liepach as saying: “There is no sense to impose sanctions if Pakistan goes for IP gas pipeline
project, which is the life-line for the country.” The ADB country Director maintained in a statement that Pakistan’s upcoming caretaker government could negotiate with International Monetary Fund (IMF) over loan program, adding that the ADB’s loan was linked to IMF loan. However, he said the upcoming government would receive the fresh loan. The US still continues to put pressure over Pakistan through different cleric means including Ambassador of US to Pakistan Richard Olson, who strongly criticised the IP project during his recent visit of Tarbela Dam and proposed to exchange IP with
another $7.5 billion Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India (TAPI) gas pipeline project. Even the states department also put the pressure over Pakistan through another leading financial institution World Bank (WB), who seemed reluctant to finance 4500MW Diamer Basha hydropower project, however US offer still stood to get-off IP and getin TAPI and Diamer Basha. The IP gas pipeline stretches from Iran-Pakistan border to Nawabshah region in Pakistan and it covers 781 km of the total 1,881 km of the pipeline, while the demand for natural gas in the country has outstripped supply in recent years, putting existing reserves under
immense pressure. According to the project proposal, the pipeline would begin from Iran's Assalouyeh Energy Zone in the south and stretch over 1,100 km through Iran. Speaking at weekly press briefing on Thursday, foreign office’s spokesman Moazzam Ahmad Khan announced that President Asif Ali Zardari would be visiting Iran on March 11 for the groundbreaking of the project and expressed hope that US will show empathy for Iran Pakistan gas pipeline deal. Tehran-based Tadbir Energy Development Group will reportedly undertake all engineering procurement and construction work for the first segment of the project,
which starts from the Iran-Pakistan border and costs around USD250 million. The Iranian firm will also carry out the second segment of the project, and extend the financing later to USD500 million. The remaining amount is expected to be generated through federal government in the name of Gas Infrastructure Development Cess (GIDC). The Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline, projected to cost USD1.2-1.5 billion, would enable the export of 21.5 million cubic meters of Iranian natural gas to Pakistan on a daily basis, while Iran has already constructed more than 900 kilometers of the pipeline on its soil. ADB official further added that Pakistan has received more than
$22.1 billion in loans since joining ADB in 1966, with more than $16.8 billion disbursed. A total of 298 loans were provided from the concessional Asian Development Fund and from ordinary capital resources, with $196 million provided in grants for more than 350 technical assistance projects. ADB maintained a strong lending program to Pakistan in 2011 with about $550 million in disbursement and $1163.24 million in sovereign loans. The public sector portfolio contains 22 active loans amounting to $2.84 billion, 24 ongoing loans of $3.4 billion, and three grants totaling $143.5 million, with most of these supporting initiatives in energy, transport, agriculture and natural resources, and social development.
Analysis Global shares, dollar rise on strong US jobs report NEW YORK: World equity markets rallied and the U.S. dollar strengthened on Friday after an unexpectedly sharp jump in U.S. employment in February reinforced the view that the world's biggest economy is gaining traction. The Dow Jones industrial average posted its fourth consecutive intraday and closing record highs, while European shares and a gauge of global equity markets rose to their highest levels in more than 4-1/2 years. U.S. equities ended the session in a surge that put the benchmark S&P 500 index less than 1 percent away from a record closing high. Advancing stocks outnumbered declines by more than 2 to 1 on both the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq. The Dow is up almost 10 percent so far this year, while the S&P has gained almost 9 percent. The dollar touched a 3-1/2-year high against the yen and a three-month peak against the euro, but U.S. Treasuries sank on the payrolls report, which showed the U.S. unemployment rate fell to a four-year low of 7.7 percent last month. Nonfarm payrolls added 236,000 jobs in February, the Labor Department said, handily beating economists' expectations of a gain of 160,000. "We're seeing growing inflows coming into the asset class. This is sort of a sweet spot, with improving U.S. job data while central banks around the world are pledging to keep printing money," said David Thebault, head of quantitative sales trading at Global Equities in Paris. –AGENCIES
NYSE prepares disaster backup plan: WSJ NEW YORK: The New York Stock Exchange is readying plans to be able to operate without human traders in case another disaster, such as Superstorm Sandy, forces the shutdown of its historic trading floor in downtown Manhattan, The Wall Street Journal reported. NYSE Euronext (NYX.N) is preparing to submit details of the plan to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, according to the report, which cited people involved in the preparations. If activated, the plan would represent the first time the 221-year-old exchange would rely entirely on computer systems, without the oversight of floor-based traders, the paper said. A NYSE spokesman declined to comment on the report. The disaster plan would shift trading entirely to Arca, NYSE's all-electronic sister market. It would replace NYSE's current backup plan that calls for the exchange to remain open in a limited capacity while sending orders to Arca to be filled. –AGENCIES
Tim Cook may have to testify in Apple e-books case WASHINGTON: Apple Inc CEO Tim Cook could be deposed in the government's lawsuit against the company over alleged price-setting in the e-book market. In a one-page order, U.S. District Judge Denise Cote on Friday said she will hold a telephone conference on March 13 to consider the government's request for Cook's testimony. (r.reuters.com/xur56t) Apple is the sole remaining defendant in the lawsuit brought against the iPhone maker and five other publishers last April for allegedly conspiring to raise prices of e-books to challenge the dominance of Amazon.com Inc. All of the accused publishers, including Pearson Plc's Penguin Group, News Corp's HarperCollins Publishers Inc and CBS Corpowned Simon & Schuster Inc, have already settled with Justice Department in the course of the last year. The order follows a March 6 request by the government for Cook's testimony. –AGENCIES
EU parliament goes too far with banker-bonus cap t was plausible until recently to think that the European Parliament, the directly elected arm of the European Union’s system of government, was created mainly for comic effect. Not any longer. The Parliament’s assertion of power over the regulation of bankers’ pay has shown that Europe’s legislature now matters, as it should. Complaints about Europe’s so-called democratic deficit have rung true for years. Policies affecting every aspect of life in the EU’s member nations emanated from the European Commission (the EU’s unelected bureaucracy) and the European Council (which collects the representatives of national governments). At the EU level, unlike within the member states, decision makers had no direct accountability to voters. The European Parliament was directly elected, but few voters paid it much attention, and national political parties tended to send rejects and wannabes to fill it. Real power, even with respect to EU institutions, remained at home. The policy areas in which the Parliament had the right to decide -- competences in the EU’s jargon -- were few. The Lisbon treaty, which came into force at the end of 2009, marked a decisive change. It gave the Parliament new powers, including the final say on the EU’s budget, and greatly increased the areas of competence in which the Parliament would decide EU legislation on an equal footing with the national leaders and ministers in the Council. The Parliament’s 754 legislators have flexed their muscles with increasing confidence ever since. Their victory over capping bankers’ bonuses -- achieved despite strong opposition from British ministers -- sets a new benchmark. It also highlights some dangers. Let’s not dwell on the fact that this notable parliamentary success advanced a bad policy -- one that is unlikely to stop banks from taking excessive risks and that removed focus from a better policy alternative, namely increasing capital-adequacy ratios. Democratic governments don’t always get things right. The main issue is that the policy affects one member of the EU, the U.K., far more than the others, because most bankers in Europe who earn very large bonuses are based in London. The cap is being adopted over that country’s protests. The question this raises is deep and difficult. It has been posed since the European project began and is still waiting to be answered: What is the right division of competences between national governments on one side and the EU on the other? The answer can’t be fixed for all time and depends on how far Europe’s voters consider themselves citizens of the EU as well as of their own countries. Formally, they are already both, but when it comes to vital national interests, cultural and emotional commitments matter more than what it says on an EU passport. Europe’s economic travails have revived antiEU sentiment across the union. The cultural conditions for closer political union aren’t in place. The Parliament’s role in all this is delicate. No longer a sideshow, it is in a position to move integration forward through its actions and by commanding respect. Yet if it chooses to press on issues that divide rather than unite the EU, it may have the opposite effect. That’s why the EU’s parliament should use its newly won powers judiciously. It should listen to voters -- as it rightly claims it has in the case of bankers’ pay -- but also tread carefully on questions that set one government or group of governments against the others. It should strive where possible both to reflect and to shape an EU-wide consensus. Where that can’t be done, it should back off. The Lisbon treaty rightly called for national parliaments to play a bigger role in holding EU institutions to account. That’s an equally valid way to fill the democratic deficit, and one better suited to the current mood. It should be pursued in addition to, not instead of, moves to strengthen the Parliament in Brussels. —BLOOMBERG EDITORIAL
KARACHI: Women doing embroidery during Textile Asia Exhibition at Expo Centre. —ONLINE
Public Sector Companies Rules 2013
Corporate governance rules will eliminate nepotism: SECP STAFF REPORT
I SL AMABAD: The Public Sector Companies (Corporate Governance) Rules, 2013, which was launched on Friday will be helpful to eliminate the nepotism in public sector enterprises that absorbed the financial assistance of more than Rs. 300 billion annually by federal government. A senior official of Security Exchange Commission Pakistan (SECP) informed that mostly public sector enterprises have been running the businesses in downward trend, particularly the eight PSE giants including PIA, Pakistan Steel, Pepco, Pakistan Railways, NHA, Pasco, TCP and Utility Stores Corporation, Who were be injected billions of rupees annually by federal government for survival. He said that the draft regulations have principally been based upon the Code of Corporate Governance, which has been customized in the context of public sector companies (PSCs) in the light of the recommendations contained in the OECD Guidelines on Corporate Governance of state owned enterprises. The finance ministry already suggested restructuring of PIA, Pakistan Steel, Pepco, Pakistan Railways, NHA, Pasco, TCP and Utility Stores Corporation in first phase, while the draft of regulation signifies the public sector enterprises operating in corporate form. The Rules would be applicable, after ninety days of their promulgation, on all public sector companies which are
directly or indirectly controlled, beneficially owned or not less than fifty percent of the voting securities of which are held by the Government, including associations not for profit under section 42 of the Companies Ordinance, 1984. According to regulations, the Board shall have 40% of its total members as independent directors within two years of the notification of the Rules and shall have a majority of independent directors subsequently. No person would be elected or nominated as a director of more than five Public Sector Companies, simultaneously, including listed companies, while a director, once appointed / elected, shall hold office for a period of three years in accordance with the provisions of the Ordinance, unless he resigns or is removed in accordance with the provisions of the Ordinance. It further maintained that the Chairman of the Board shall be elected by the Board from amongst the independent directors; however the Board shall recommend at least three individuals to the Govt. for appointment as chief executive, and shall appoint the chief executive after receiving concurrence of the Govt. in line with the provisions of the Ordinance. The formation of special committees of the board of directors in the PSCs is recommended so as to reinforce the competency of the Board of Directors, and in underpinning their critical responsibility in important matters. These include human resources
committee, nomination committee, procurement committee, risk management committee and audit committee. Separation of the Chair from the CEO: The position of the Chairman and CEO are proposed to be separated to achieve an appropriate balance of power, increasing accountability and improving the board’s capacity for decision making independent of management. Every Public Sector Company shall appoint a chief financial officer, company secretary and chief internal auditor, as per qualification criteria specified in the Rules. Formulation and compliance with a ‘Code of Conduct’ The board shall prepare, circulate and implement a standard of conduct for its directors and employees, that must entail the adoption of the three fundamental principles of probity and propriety; objectivity, integrity and honesty; and relationship with the stakeholders. Capacity building of board of directors: Directors are encouraged to have certification under an appropriate director training/education program offered by any institution, local or foreign. Orientation courses shall be held by all PSCs for the directors. Corporate, financial reporting and accounting framework All PSCs shall adopt International Financial Reporting Standards. Directors’ report to the members shall also include detailed disclosures specific to the PSC operations based on its social mandate.
LNG import project’s fate will be decided tomorrow
Sui Southern Gas Company’s meeting to mull the multibillion dollar project’s future
ISLAMABAD: The fate of multibillion dollars worth 400MCFD Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) import project would be decided by the federal cabinet after the decision of Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) board of directors, which is scheduled to meet on Monday, reliable sources said on Saturday. Sources aware of the matter disclosed to this scribe that Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) board of director is scheduled to meet on Monday to decide the fate of multibillion dollars Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) import project. And, after taking decision from board of directors, a summary would be tabled before Cabinet for final decision on 400 LNG import project. A law firm Vellani & Vellani Advocates, Legal consultants in its legal opinion to be tabled
before board of directors’ meeting scheduled on Monday said that SSGC had informed clearly to all three bidders about the formula specified in the Gas Sales Agreement (GSA) which was fixed formula and stated that the bidders must submit only the base price. According to documents available, GEI had offered a single price of $ 18.16 per mmbtu for 400 LNG import, Pakistan Gas Port $ 17.7074 per mmbtu. However, ETPL offered two formulas to calculate LNG price by linking it with Brent and Henry Hub index. The legal opinion sought by SSGC revealed that two bidders had submitted a single price in terms of $/mmbtu. However, ETPL submitted a formula to determine the base price and the price proposed by ETPL is not in conformity with the requirements of RFO. “Therefore, ETPL bid could be rejected as not conforming to the RFP, legal firm said.
It also said that in order to make proper comparison of the price proposals received from all three bidders, it was necessary to evaluate them on the same base that is on the basis of the base price. However, ETPL has not provided a base price and therefore this comparison is not possible and accordingly the price proposal submitted by ETPL would have to be rejected. The legal firm said that further, since the base price proposed by ETPL is based on a formula, this means that the base price will vary accordingly to time at which the base price is determined and also according to the assumptions made with regard to the variables included in formula. This effectively means that SSGC will not be in a position to work out with any degree of accuracy which base price is being offered by ETPL in its price proposal. As such, the price proposal of ETPL is not at all clear as to what it is offering.
Legal firm said that seeking clarification from ETPL would in effect be unfair the other two bidders who have submitted bids according to RFP. Also one can not allow ETPL to refine its base price on the basis of any information that may now be available to it after opening of the price proposals of all bidders. In this regard, I understand that ETPL has indicated one of the examples given in its price proposal as being its bid. The price determined in this example as the lowest of all bids. However, it would appear that ETPL has opted for this example after having knowledge of the price offered by the other two bidders. Additionally the ETPL price proposal contemplates that the price formula will be negotiated when GSA is negotiated with the selected bidder. This clearly is not what SSGCL has completed in the RFP.RFP does not contemplate negotiation of the price offered.
CMYK SUNDAY, MARCH 10, 2013
Ajay Devgan ﬁghts a tiger again
Sonakshi Sinha plays it cool
NEW DELHI: In his bid to create the real melodrama of the 1980s, Sajid Khan has made Ajay Devgn fight a tiger in his ready-torelease Himmatwala remake. The actor says this is his second stint with a big cat. However, this time he did it with proper safety measures. "This is the second time I have fought a tiger in life after Vijaypath," said Ajay and added: "We took complete safety precautions. And now it is much easier to do such scenes." "In Vijaypath when I fought a tiger, there was no safety. Him and me in the cage, and fighting," he added. Sajid said that on the sets of Himmatwala, the tiger became so friendly with Ajay that he was freely moving on the sets. -SHOWBIZ DESK
GUJRAT: Looks like while the rest of the country is reeling under the scorching heat, Sonakshi Sinha is taking it quite easy. The actress, who has been shooting in Bhuj, Gujarat under extreme temperatures, has to put up with heavy costumes and ornate jewellery. Despite the adverse weather, Sona is trying to stay cool. A source says, “Sonakshi has some heavy-duty and colourful sarees to sport in the heat. Soon after her shots, she rushes to her van to avoid getting tanned. But she seems to be pretty chilled out about it.” The hectic shoot schedule in Bhuj is taking a toll on the rest of the cast. The source adds, “It’s very hot and everyone wants to finish the shoot as quickly as possible and retire to the shades.” Incidentally last year too, Sona was shooting under similar extreme weather in Oman. -SHOWBIZ DESK
‘So Kamal’ Bigger and better on the board Kamal Lawn extends their success story by launching a brand “So Kamal” in collaboration with Zara Shahjahan who has given the brand an aura of feminine aesthetics
Erum and Ahmad Kamal
A classic Zara LAHORE: Leading lifestyle Shahjahan look and textile brand So Kamal launched their much is simple, anticipated collaborative beautiful and venture with fashion designer always in vogue. Zara Shahjahan: Kamal Indeed Zara Lawn by Zara Shahjahan through an exclusive Shahjahan’s exhibition and fashion design showcase featuring their philosophy is to brand ambassador, award winning actress and model, make clothes Aamina Sheikh. A classic relating to a Zara Shahjahan look is feeling which is simple, beautiful and always an ode of in vogue. Indeed Zara Shahjahan’s design individuality, philosophy is to make clothes femininity and relating to a feeling which is sophistication an ode of individuality, femininity and sophistication. The exhibition was attended by a diversity of personalities including Erum Ahmad, Director Kamal Limited and So Kamal, CEO Kamal Limited Ahmad Kamal, the face of Kamal Lawn by Zara Shahjahan Aamina Sheikh. Revealing exclusive collection information, for Kamal Lawn by Zara Shahjahan 2013, the designer draws inspiration from the floral Eastern tradition and vintage Persian aesthetic, to introduce 15 distinct designs, each in two-colour variations with a diverse colour palette consisting of options in vibrant hues as well as more subtle pastel shades. Kamal Lawn
Brand ambassador Aamina Sheikh.
Nooray, Cybil, Zara, Aamina and Nadia Ali.
by Zara Shahjahan will also offer a diversity of design options with fabric uniquely printed to allow for multiple stitching options through the print complete with chiffon dupattas. A customised design kit will also accompany each print with requisite borders, brooches, laces and embroideries for a complete look.Further, the collection also
includes stitched lawn kurtas as tailored by So Kamal available in multiple sizes. The stitched lawn kurtas are priced at PKR 3,000 and unstitched three piece outfits at PKR 4,000 to PKR 5,000. One of the premier home textiles exporters of Pakistan, Kamal Limited has established a niche for itself in the Pakistani retail market, first with the
‘It was a marvelous event and the turnout of people was amazing. Kamal Lawn by Zara Shahjahan will deﬁnitely steal the show this year’. Mahrukh Anwar, brand manger introduction of their debut designer lawn collection in 2012 with Élan, and later by establishing 3 stand-alonelifestyle retail stores by the name of So Kamal, in Lahore, Islamabad and Faisalabad, in the short span of 1 yearwith a fourth store planned in Karachi’s upmarket Dolmen City Mall and another one in Multan for 2013. Fashion designer Zara Shahjahan is
well renowned for her design philosophy focusing on an aesthetic that is feminine and sophisticated with a signature look which is simple, beautiful and always in vogue. With a background in miniature painting, she is one of Pakistan’s few designers who has the expertise to make her own motifs.
Designer collaborations make fashion affordable Guy Ritchie named favourite What happens when two designers team up and create something stylish and affordable? SHOWBIZ DESK
Fashion designers Aleena and Fareena.
Pakistan has two renowned designers, who teamed up to make fashion affordable. It’s no secret that in recent years, high fashion designers have gained a lot of attention from regular folks. “I think that fashion has been gaining more interest from a larger group of people as they’ve gained more voice,” says Aleena. The opportunity for designers and brands to individually interact with consumers and enthusiasts on facebook the world of fashion has entered into a larger conversation.” The average consumer may not be able to afford big brands but they would definitely check out the more moderately priced collection. “A&F is getting popular because there is some genius involved, and people are drawn to good design”. Though measures are taken to make production more cost-efficient, the integrity of design must remain intact. The manufacturer has to find
ways to cut costs, like using less expensive materials, simpler techniques and mass production, but a high quality is usually maintained. By pricing the products a bit higher, they can still maintain a good quality. Most fashion and design fans will admit that labels count. We want the signature print on our handbag to stand out. We want signature label on our wedge heels, even if they are from Payless. “I think that another element of it is simply status. Even though it’s being sold at a giant retailer, there’s still that brand value attached to it,” Fareena says “The biggest benefit to designers is that they get to share their passion for design, and hopefully inspire that passion in others, gaining a bigger base of loyalty.” Right now fashion bloggers and magazines are talking about Target’s collaborations, which hit the shelves just in time for the holiday season. The collection includes many fresh designers, just to name a few.
to direct next Bond ﬁlm SHOWBIZ DESK
LONDON: Director Guy Ritchie has emerged as British bookmakers favourite to take charge of the next James Bond, following news that Sam Mendes ruled himself out for the follow-up to Skyfall, the most successful 007 film in history. Bosses at William Hill have installed the 44-yearold as the 4/1 favourite to lead the cast of Daniel Craig's next outing as the movie superspy. Also in the running are names like Martin Campbell, who has directed past Bond movies Casino Royale and Golden eye, as well as top movie makers Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese. Ritchie was last behind the camera for his sequel Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows which was released in 2011.
21 & Over
Emma Watson goes raunchy in The Bling Ring LONDON: Emma Watson joins a gang of teenage thieves in a one-minute teaser for The Bling Ring. Sofia Coppola's latest film following somewhere, which won a Golden Lion at the Venice film festival, The Bling Ring is based on the true story of a series of burglaries at celebrity homes. Set to Sleigh Bells' Crown on the Ground, the teaser focuses on Emma Watson, whose character finds herself wrapped up with a well-off group of teenagers who steal from the homes of Lindsay Lohan, Megan Fox and Paris Hilton. The Bling Ring is due out worldwide in June, with a premiere possible at the upcoming Cannes film festival. -SHOWBIZ DESK
SHOWBIZ DESK irected by the guys who wrote The Hangover, this film reiterates that it was the X-factor that put that 2009 film apart from the crowd. The Hangover's three friends and a hangers-on entered familiar circumstances and ended up on entirely unexpected grounds. 21 & Over, about one drunkeen spree by three students graduating from an American college, the night before one of them has to appear for a medical school interview, goes nowhere we haven't been before in films about graduating American students. Except, that is, having fun with the stereotypes Americans have of their minorities, be it Asian, Jews, Latinas or even Serbs. All harmless, but all very, very predictable. Astin looks much older than his Jewish Casey, Teller takes his foulmouthed act much too far, while the "Chinese" Chon, who one would like to see
D Shahrukh Khan never diﬀerentiates: Deepika
MUMBAI: Actress Deepik.a Padukone, who made her Bollywood debut opposite Shah Rukh Khan in "Om Shanti Om", says the superstar genuinely considers both genders equal. Shah Rukh recently announced that henceforth all his films will feature the actress' name first in the credits, and that has left Deepika even
more impressed. She is currently working with him in "Chennai Express". "It's a wonderful initiative taken to prove that men and women are equal in all fields and professions. The way he interacts with us during shooting clearly shows that he doesn't differentiate. I've experienced that in 'Om Shanti Om' and now on 'Chennai Express. Thank you Shah," Deepika said in a statement.
more of, conveniently spends more than half the film asleep.
CMYK SUNDAY, MARCH 10, 2013
Proteas face Pakistan seeking ODI improvement BLOEMFONTEIN: Since Gary Kirsten took over as South African coach in June 2011 the country's Test team has risen relentlessly to the top of the International Cricket Council rankings. The performances of the one-day side, though, have been patchy at best. A five-match series against Pakistan, starting at Chevrolet Park here Sunday, marks a change of focus for the Proteas, who have slipped to fourth place in the rankings for the 50-over format. Pakistan are sixth on a tightly-bunched table. Kirsten said South Africa could play as many as 20 one-day internationals before their next Test series, against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates in October and November. "It's nice to have an extended period of one-day internationals," he said. "This is an important period for the ODI team." Of immediate concern for South Africa is the ICC Champions Trophy in England in June, the team's next major engagement after the Pakistan series. The country's consistent failure to win big tournaments is one of the issues that Kirsten has pledged to address. Although South Africa have a less than stellar one-day record of 10 wins and eight losses under Kirsten, the coach is not overconcerned because the international schedule has dictated an emphasis on fiveday cricket. "We have had a lot of Test
cricket," he said. Nor was he concerned about a lop-sided 95-run defeat in a Twenty20 international at Centurion last Sunday, which he dismissed as a "one-off " game, irrelevant to the one-day challenge. South Africa were beaten 2-1 at home by New Zealand in their most recent one-day series after winning both Tests against the Black Caps by an innings. Pakistan shape up as a bigger threat with players such as Shoaib Malik, Shahid Afridi and the Akmal brothers, Kamran and Umar – all of whom missed their side's recent 3-0 Test series defeat – adding experience and skill to the squad. The Pakistanis seem to have most of their bases covered, with a mix of quick-scoring batsmen and a well-balanced bowling attack, while the fielding in the Twenty20 match was of a high standard. South Africa, though, are likely to be a more organised team than that which lost to New Zealand – and a great deal stronger than the T20 side – with stars such as Hashim Amla, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Test captain Graeme Smith returning to the squad. Steyn will be rested for the first match, though, and Morkel is doubtful because of a hamstring injury. Leading all-rounder Jacques Kallis will not be in action as he is being rested as part of a programme to extend the career of the 37-year-old. AGENCIES
Maiden tons give Sri Lanka big lead in first Test GALLE: Lahiru Thirimanne and Dinesh Chandimal scored maiden Test hundreds as Sri Lanka took a strong grip on the first cricket Test against Bangladesh on the second day on Friday. Thirimanne made 155 not out and Chandimal was unbeaten on 116 as they recorded a fifthwicket stand of 203 to take Sri Lanka to a first innings total of 570 for four declared at tea on Saturday. Buoyed up by the batsmen, Sri Lanka's bowlers made an early breakthrough, capturing the wickets of openers Jahurul Islam and Anamul Haque. Bangladesh, though, fought back with an unbeaten half-century from Mohammad Ashraful to end the day on 135-2 at the Galle International Stadium. Jahurul (20) was out as he tried to get out of the way of a delivery from Shaminda Eranga but only succeeded in gloving a catch to
scoreboard SRI LANKA FIRST INNINGS (overnight 361-3) D Karunaratne lbw b Gazi 41 T Dilshan c Mominul b Gazi 54 K Sangakkara c Jahurul b Gazi142 L Thirimanne not out 155 A Mathews c and b Hasan 27 D Chandimal not out 116 EXTRAS: (B 8, LB 17, NB 7, W 3)35 TOTAL: (for 4 wickets dec; 135 overs) 570 FALL OF WICKETS: 1-114, 2-181, 3305, 4-367. BOWLING Hossain 21-2-95-0 Hasan 27-4-112-1 Gazi 50-6-164-3 Sunny 20-0-89-0 Ashraful 4-0-23-0 Mahmudullah 11-1-45-0 Mominul 2-0-17-0
Chandimal. Ajantha Mendis, playing his first Test since May 2011, took a wicket off his first over when he bowled Anamul with a flighted delivery for 13. Ashraful (65 not out) and Mominul Haque (35 not out) stopped Sri Lanka making any further inroads to their batting with an unfinished
BANGLADESH FIRST INNINGS J Islam c Chandimal b Eranga 20 13 Anamul Haque b Mendis Mohammad Ashraful not out 65 Mominul Haque not out 35 EXTRAS: (LB 1, NB 1) 2 TOTAL: (for 2 wkts; 43 overs) 135 FALL OF WICKETS: 1-23, 2-65. BOWLING Kulasekara 8-0-28-0 Eranga 9-3-25-1 Herath 12-2-33-0 Mendis 5-0-28-1 Mathews 3-0-5-0 Dilshan 6-2-15-0 Toss: Sri Lanka Umpires: Richard Illingworth (ENG) and Nigel Llong (ENG) Third umpire: Tyron Wijewardene (SRI) Match referee: David Boon (AUS)
stand of 70. Bangladesh needed a further 236 runs to avoid the follow-on. Earlier, Chandimal brought up his first Test hundred off 136 balls with the aid of 11 fours and two sixes, the 23-yearold making the most of his luck after the tourists had twice dropped him earlier in the innings. AGENCIES
GALLE: Bangladesh’s Mominul Haque (L) is watched by Sri Lankan wicketkeeper Dinesh Chandimal as he plays a shot during the second day of their opening Test on Saturday. AGENCIES
DUNEDIN: England's captain Alastair Cook runs in to safety as New Zealand's BJ Watling tries to run him out during day four of the first Test between New Zealand and Englan d played at the University Oval Park on Saturday. AGENCIES
PCB denies Misbah and Hafeez rift over selection OUR STAFF REPORTER
LAHORE: Pakistan cricket authorities forcefully denied reports of differences between Misbahul Haq and Mohammad Hafeez ahead of the five-match one-day series against South Africa starting on Sunday. Pakistani media reported a serious dispute between one-day captain Misbahul Haq and Twenty20 skipper Mohammad Hafeez over the selection of the team. "Misbah and Hafeez have developed serious differences over the selection of the final eleven and it has come to an extent that both are not on talking terms," leading Urdu newspaper Jang reported, quoting sources in the team. Former paceman Sikander Bakht said Hafeez wants to displace Misbah as one-day captain. "Hafeez scored 86 in the Twenty20 win so he must be flying high and now wants to take over as oneday captain," Bakht said in a television interview, referring to Hafeez's match-winning knock in Pakistan's 95-run win at Centurion last Sunday. But the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said it conducted an inquiry with the team management and found the reports were baseless. "The PCB high-ups launched a thorough inquiry, contacted the team management in South Africa and it was discovered that no such disagreement whatsoever existed amongst the think tank, or between Misbah and Hafeez," the PCB said in a statement. It is therefore stated for the record that all such isolated reports in the media are baseless and an attempt to demoralise the team, said the PCB. Pakistan's national cricket team has a history of in-fighting, dissent and revolts against captains in the past, resulting in poor performances. The PCB said the entire team was motivated to do well on the tour.
England fight back as Cook, Compton hit tons DUNEDIN: A double century stand by Alastair Cook and Nick Compton pulled England off the ropes and into a relatively safe position in the first Test against New Zealand on Saturday. Batting on a placid University Oval wicket in Dunedin, the pair put on 231 for the first wicket before Cook was out for 116 while Compton posted his maiden Test century to be not out 102. At stumps, England were 234 for one, 59 runs short of making New Zealand bat again with only one day remaining in the rain-interrupted Test. After facing 252 deliveries in more than five-and-ahalf hours, Cook, was dismissed 14 balls before stumps when he edged Trent Boult to wicketkeeper BJ Watling. New Zealand had declared their first innings at 460 for nine in the morning session on Saturday; a comprehensive 293 runs ahead of England's first innings 167. But their bowlers were unable to reproduce their first innings domination as Cook and Compton cruised through most of the day. Compton had a scare on 16 when New Zealand appealed for a catch down the leg-side but both the appeal and review were turned down, and both Cook and Compton narrowly made their ground taking cheeky singles late in the day. But other than that their innings were chanceless – easily countering what swing Neil Wagner could muster on the same wicket where he bagged four
scoreboard ENGLAN D FIRST INNINGS 167 (J Trott 45; N Wagner 4-42, B Martin 4-43) NEW ZEALAND FIRST INNINGS (overnight 402-7) P Fulton c Prior b Anderson 55 H Rutherford c sub (Woakes) b Anderson 171 K Williamson b Panesar 24 R Taylor c Trott b Anderson 31 D Brownlie b Anderson 27 B McCullum c Anderson b Broad 74 BJ Watling b Broad 0 T Southee b Broad 25 B Martin c Prior b Finn 41 N Wagner not out 4 Did not bat: T Boult EXTRAS: (LB 8) 8 TOTAL: (9 wkts dec, 116.4 overs) 460 FALL OF WICKETS: 1-158, 2-249, 3-267, 4310, 5-321, 6-326, 7-370, 8-447, 9-460. BOWLING Anderson 33-2-137-4 Finn 26.4-3-102-1
first innings wickets – until Cook fell just before stumps. Until then, Cook and Compton's resistance had been formidable and without fanfare with Compton showing no sign of the pressure he was under to retain his place in the side after a four-ball duck in the first innings. He could not disguise his delight as he jumped in the air and pumped his fists after flicking Tim Southee to midwicket to bring up his hundred knowing he had played a vital role in getting England out of trouble and probably saving his Test career. England's measured approach was in
Broad 28-3-118-3 Panesar 22-2-83-1 Trott 2-0-4-0 Root 5-1-8-0 ENGLAND SECOND INNINGS A Cook c Watling b Boult 116 N Compton not out 102 S Finn not out 0 EXTRAS: (B 6, LB 9, NB 1) 16 TOTAL: (1 wkt; 87.0 overs) 234 FALL OF WICKETS: 1-231. BOWLING Southee 18-2-48-0 Boult 19-5-33-1 Wagner 20-4-64-0 Martin 25-7-61-0 Williamson 5-1-13-0 Toss: New Zealand and chose to bowl Umpires: Asad Rauf (PAK), Paul Reiffel (AUS) Third umpire: Rod Tucker (AUS) Match referee: Roshan Mahanama (SRI)
contrast to the New Zealand onslaught when they resumed the day at 402 for seven and declared at 460 for nine. In a whirlwind opening session, they cracked 58 runs in less than nine overs as Brendon McCullum raced from 44 to 74 and Bruce Martin advanced from 17 to 41. McCullum declared after the dismissal of the overnight pair to give his bowlers more than an hour before lunch to attack the England line-up. But with conditions weighted heavily in favour of the batsmen, the bowlers struggled to make an impact and a draw was looming as the likely outcome. AGENCIES
Sultan Azlan Shah Cup Hockey Tournament
Pakistan, Australia score victories on opening day IPOH: World champion Australia started off their Sultan Azlan Shah Cup campaign in the Malaysian town of Ipoh with a 4-3 win over India as they aim for their seventh cup title. Pakistan too was on the winning side when they edged defending champions New Zealand 4-3, while host Malaysia defeated South Korea 3-2 in a close match. The Australians took a 3-0 lead, but then almost allowed the Indians to come back into the match with a sloppy display in the second half. Still, the world number two prevailed with some good last-minute defending. Matt Gohdes scored a penalty corner and a field goal, while Glenn Simpson was on target with a drag flick from the set piece move. Trent Mitton scored in the 53rd minute. The Indians hit back with two goals through Rupinder Pal Singh, who later produced another penalty corner goal, and Malak Singh. Australian coach Ric Charlesworth blasted his players for the sloppy play in the second half. "Penalty corners are very crucial nowadays," he said. "We need to look at this aspect and learn from it."
Earlier Pakistan turned on the flair in the first half to defeat New Zealand in their opening encounter, which was delayed due to a heavy downpour. And it could all have gone wrong for the Pakistanis when they allowed the Kiwis to fight back in the second half and draw level at 3-3. But skipper Muhammad Imran had other ideas as he scored a hat-trick in the match, including the winner, to get them full points in the six-nation tournament. The other goal came from Abdul Haseem Khan from a field attempt. New Zealand's goals came through Kane Russell and then two quick goals by Blair Tarrant and Andy Wayward. Pakistan chief coach Akhtar Rasool said he felt his team would further improve in the next match as he rebuilds it with four new players. "Opening matches are always difficult, and we came through with a win," he said. New Zealand coach Colin Batch said he was "not disappointed at all" despite the loss. "The players are learning and their ability to comeback is a plus point," he said. AGENCIES
Is there some magic left in Sehwag yet?
HARSHA BHOGLE n many ways, it was inevitable, and yet it hits you like one of his many shots over the years. Looked at coldly, devoid of emotion and without looking at the past, Virender Sehwag's omission was predictable. The runs had dried up, the rope he had been given was long enough. But the realisation that the thrill you felt within as he walked out to bat will be absent creates a longing. Sehwag kept you on the edge of your seat, he made you look forward to the next moment. He was good for cricket and he was good for India, and we don't know if he will play
for India again. He has been a mighty cricketer and he will stroll easily into a room reserved for the greats of Indian cricket. Without a doubt. But hang on, is this starting to look like a retirement tribute? There is a part of me that wishes it isn't, and there is another that fears we may not see him again. There is much stacked against him. Over the next 24 months India visit South Africa, New Zealand and England, against each of whom he averages under 30, and Australia where fifteen months ago he scored 198 in eight innings. India play away more than they do at home in this period. Of not inconsiderable importance is the fact that among the youngsters tried out in recent times, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Umesh Yadav and Bhuvneshwar Kumar have all shown acceptable levels of promise and
performance. Now Murali Vijay has got a big hundred too. The temptation to look at a younger man has been rendered stronger. His chances of being picked for Mohali and Delhi would have resided in the hope that India's selectors wouldn't want to change a winning combination. I have heard that
aren't delivering. Sehwag had to be picked based on his performance and not on that of the rest. I suspect this omission is also an indicator that Sehwag will not be opening the batting in South Africa this November. If he was to, he had to be retained, but quite clearly the thinking is that the next in line must feel at
If he has the will to continue, and the resolve to put in the hard yards, he might yet delight us again thought expressed many times and, quite frankly, have been baffled each time. It suggests that if the team is winning, it should be happy to carry along those that are not good enough anymore. No team should ever be picked on such a basis, for in the course of time everyone will then be entitled to be selected, even if they
home playing for India before playing an away tour. In logic, it is sound. But sadly for Sehwag, it is a tricky time to be dropped because the domestic season is over and there will be little Ranji Trophy cricket by November. To force his way back he needs games and those are not available in India. So if it seems that the opening
berth is now sealed (remember Gautam Gambhir will be in line for a comeback too), is there another option? And here the picture seems a touch rosier. Sehwag hasn't ever held back from saying that he wants a spot in the middle order. A couple of years ago, when he was in peak form, I interviewed him after he received an ESPNcricinfo Award. "Surely you accept that you are now an opener?" I asked. "No, I am No. 4…" he started. "But No. 4 is not leaving in a hurry," I said with a smile, eager to see his reaction. "No problem, I will wait." he said. We don't know how long "No. 4" will play, for fitness will become a concern as time passes, but if for some reason Sachin Tendulkar is not on the flight to Johannesburg, India may not have a single batsman in the top six who will have played more than 20 Tests (on the assumption, of course, that Dhoni will
be No. 7 on those tracks). Sehwag at No. 5, below Pujara and Kohli but above Ajinkya Rahane or Manoj Tiwary or another at No. 6, might be tempting for the selectors. Much, of course, will depend on Sehwag's will to continue; and its translation into a rigorous fitness regime. Players like Ricky Ponting, Rahul Dravid and Michael Hussey were extraordinarily fit as 40 loomed, and VVS Laxman's great discipline and skill kept him going. Can Sehwag recall the hunger, and that extraordinary ability for hard work, again? Age tends to dull ambition. A weary body rebels against being driven again. "The Eye of the Tiger" sounds good in the movies. But if he can summon the desire, there might still be some magic left. I'd love it to be so. (Harsha Bhogle is a commentator, television presenter and writer. He is currently contracted to the BCCI)
THE SPOKESMAN - RAWALPINDI/ISLAMABAD
IP gasline: Governors, cms invited at ceremony ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari would be visiting Iran on Monday to attend the groundbreaking ceremony of $7.5 billion Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project. The mega ceremony will be held at Gabd zero point on the border from where the Pakistan section of the gas pipeline starts and would be attended by the presidents of the two countries besides other world leaders and foreign diplomats posted in Islamabad. Sources said in a bid to promote national consensus over the project, the Chief Ministers and Governors of the four provinces including Punjab CM Shahbaz Sharif have been invited to the event, which is dubbed as a milestone project in the history of the country. “All the CMs and governors have expressed their consent on joining the ceremony with the exception of CM Punjab Shahbaz Sharif and has so far chosen to remain silence. -Online
MARCH 10, 2013
US to speed up ‘slow’ movement at supply routes WASHINGTON: It is the least expensive way to get food and fuel to US troops in Afghanistan. But eight months after Pakistan reopened its ground supply routes for the Nato war effort, hardly any new cargo has taken that path into the landlocked country. Instead, supplies have been moving almost entirely along far more expensive routes, one of several factors that have prompted senior Pentagon officials to warn that Afghan war costs are higher than projected at a time of increasingly tight budgets. In what was hailed as diplomatic breakthrough, the US and Pakistan agreed to reopen the supply lines last July after Washington issued
a reluctant apology for an air attack that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers along the Afghan border in November 2011. Restoring the Pakistani supply routes to full service after a sevenmonth closure has taken time. The US has cleared upward of 5,000 of the 7,000 pieces of backlogged cargo in the supply routes. But data from the US Military’s Transportation Command show that only 40 containers of new cargo have moved across Pakistani ground routes since July. At the same time, about 28,000 20-foot containers came through alternate pathways, known as the Northern Distribution Network, into Afghanistan from July 2012 through
last month. General William Fraser, head of Transcom, said the situation was improving. After months of working to clear a backlog of supplies and deal with procedural issues, cargo movement on the Pakistani supply lines has improved and officials are ready to use them more heavily, he said. “It’s all moving in the right direction,” Fraser said. “Now we’ve just got to up the rate.” He said there were several reasons for the slow start-up. “They included the need to work through a backlog of cargo; reach agreement on how to reexport equipment that was no longer needed; obtain new rates from contractors; and decide on the
Indian Army to react on border violation: chief NEW DELHI: Indian Army Chief Bikram Singh Saturday said the Indian soldiers are not sitting idle and will retaliate if Pakistani Army violates the ceasefire at the Line of Control (LoC). The statement came as Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf is visiting India for a day-long private visit. Although Singh refused to comment on Ashraf ’s Ajmer visit, he sent out a strong message to Pakistan, saying: “Our soldiers are not sitting idle. We won’t remain quiet if they violate the ceasefire. This keeps on happening at the ground. The battalion commanders are the best people to reply.” On the LoC, he said that Indian Army had conveyed its emotions on the issue. “At that time, we showed our concern. We have shown our emotions (to the Centre),” Singh said. –AGENCIES
kashmiris rally in front of Indian Embassy in US WASHINGTON: A group of American and Kashmiri peace activists protested New Delhi’s denial of UN-recognized right to selfdetermination to the people of Occupied Kashmir and demanded their freedom in a demonstration here in front of Indian embassy. The rights activists from New York, Chicago and Washington metro area converged on Washington’s Massachusetts Ave with placards and banners that denounced India’s repression of people in Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. “Kashmiris Demand Right of SelfDetermination,” a banner displayed by the Kashmiri-American Council activists said. Drawing attention to the plight of Kashmiri people, the participants also urged the United States and other members of the international community to help alleviate their decades-long sufferings through resolution of the Kashmir dispute. –APP
Pakistani officials last month were aimed at getting traffic on the supply lines back to the levels they were at before the closure last year – about 30 per cent of all cargo. “That … would mean 50 to 60 pieces crossing daily,” he said. “That’s our goal right now and they understand that. They’re in agreement, so let’s work first to get back to those pre-closure levels of crossings.” Navy Commander Bill Speaks, another Pentagon spokesman, said the US military planned to use the Pakistani ground routes for roughly 50 per cent to 60 per cent of the cargo removed from Afghanistan as part of the US drawdown. –AGENCIES
President inaugurates Darawat Dam Project
Zardari pledges more dams to end energy crisis
Aslam Raisani returns home ISLAMABAD: Suspended Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani returned Saturday after staying abroad for two months. Prime Minister, Raja Pervez Ashraf suspended Raisani’s government and imposed Governor Rule in the province on January 13, 2013 after mass killing of Hazara community in Quetta. Raisani landed from Dubai on Saturday, while parliamentarians met him and exchanged views regarding restoration of provincial government again. It is pertinent to mention that tenure of Governor Rule is going to end on 14th of this month and provincial government would be restored. –ONLINE
process for bringing military cargo out of Afghanistan.” He said that fewer than 2,000 pieces of cargo remained in the backlog left over from the closure. Some of that cargo belonged to military units no longer in Afghanistan, so it will be reexported, which required developing new procedures. Fraser said the Pakistani bureaucracy also had to work out its own procedures for issuing permits at the border to allow equipment to be imported into the country for the purposes of taking it to Karachi to be loaded on ships. “Those are all in place now,” Fraser said. “It just took time to work through that.” Fraser said his discussions with
HYDERABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari presenting papers to a woman during the inaugural ceremony of ‘Behan Benazir Bastis’ from Benazir Bhutto Housing Cell at Hyderabad. –ONLINE
JKLF chief back in India amid SS protest
Challenges India to arrest him
OUR STAFF REPORTER
NEW DELHI: Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) leader Yasin Malik returned from Pakistan on Saturday evening amid protests by Shiv Sena activists at the Delhi airport. He will be spending the night in Delhi. His trip to Pakistan was shrouded in controversy after he was seen sharing the dais with Hafiz Saeed in Islamabad at a protest against Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru's hanging. He is set to travel to Srinagar on Sunday. No case has been made out against him so far - either under the Passport Act or the Indian Penal Code. Malik, who arrived by a Pakistan International Airlines(PIA) flight from Islamabad, faced a volley of questions by newsmen for sharing dais with Saeed, wanted by India in connection with 2008 Mumbai attack. The separatists’ leader said, "If the Indian State wants to arrest me, that is their wish.
If they want to take away my passport or put me in jail, they can go ahead. Jail is my second home." He said he had not invited Saeed, the 26/11 mastermind, at the rally. "What's the crime I have committed? I neither invited him nor was I organising the protest rally. I was an invitee myself," said Malik, who was accompanied by SAR Gilani. Gilani was acquitted in the Parliament attack case. The JKLF leader said the Government was free to act and withdraw his passport, which was due to expire on March 19. "I wonder why am I being targeted now. I had met Saeed in 2006," he said. As he was speaking to reporters, a group of Shiv Sanik activists tried to hit him but the attempt was foiled by the police personnel who had anticipated trouble upon his arrival. Asked what could be his stand in case he was questioned or detained by police, Malik shot back, "Let me rot in jail," and repeated JKLF's stand on Kashmir issue.
US transfer of last Afghan prison put off KABUL: A ceremony to mark the complete transfer of a controversial jail from US to Afghan control was cancelled on Saturday, another setback in a long-running dispute over detainees. The event at Bagram prison had been announced by Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who said it would mark the successful culmination of years of work to decide the fate of suspected militants held by US forces. But the transfer was abruptly cancelled on the same day that a suicide bomber killed nine people outside the defence ministry in central Kabul during a visit to the Afghan capital by new US Defense Secretary, Chuck Hagel. “We intend to proceed with the transfer once we have reached full agreement,” a spokesman for the NATO-led international coalition said in a statement. –AGENCIES
OBL’s friend Abu Qatada held in UK LONDON: Radical cleric, Abu Qatada, once dubbed Osama bin Laden’s right-hand man in Europe, has been arrested in London for allegedly breaching his bail conditions, officials and media said. The arrest by the UK Border Agency came just days ahead of the British government’s latest bid to try to deport Abu Qatada to Jordan, where he was convicted in absentia of involvement in terror attacks in 1998. Lawyers for Home Secretary, Theresa May, will on Monday challenge a November ruling by the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) that Abu Qatada could not BE deported over fears that
evidence obtained through torture could be used against him. The cleric was released on bail following the ruling, causing huge frustration in London, where successive governments have been trying to send him back to Jordan for a decade. “The UK Border Agency arrested a 52-year-old man from north London for alleged breaches of his bail conditions imposed by the Special Immigration Appeals Commission,” a spokesman for the Home Office interior ministry said. He added that the breach will be considered by the commission at the earliest opportunity. The Home Office
did not name the man in line with official policy, but The Sun newspaper published photographs of Abu Qatada being led away by officials on Friday. It also reported that the Islamist cleric’s London home had been raided by police on Thursday. Police confirmed they had carried out a number of searches of addresses in the capital. Under the terms of his release on bail last year, Abu Qatada was placed under a curfew and only allowed to leave his home between 8:00am and 4:00pm. He also had to wear an electronic tag, and restrictions were placed on who he could meet. –AGENCIES
HYDERABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari on Saturday said the present democratically elected government has devised a comprehensive energy policy aimed at meeting the current and future demands of power. Addressing a function here regarding inauguration of the Darawat Dam Project, the president said a number of initiatives have been undertaken by the present government to achieve goals set out in the energy policy. The present government is focusing on the exploration of new resources of water and hydropower, he added. The president said the energy mix is also being improved to cater the needs of the time. He said the government is also developing other alternate resources of energy like coal, wind and solar. As part of the energy policy the government is building a number of small and medium dams throughout the country, he said. President Zardari said over two dozen hydropower projects are in progress, adding that on completion these projects would add 21000MW of low cost hydro power to the national grid. He said these projected will also store 13 million acre feet of water for agriculture. President Zardari said Darawat Dam Project is part of these smalland medium-dams. The dam has been constructed on Nai Baran near Jhangri village in Jamshoro district and it will provide
water to irrigate additional 25,000 acres of land. He appreciated the efforts of Minister for Water and Power Chaudhry Ahmad Mukhtar and WAPDA officials for completing the Darawat Dam Project in time. President Zardari performed the ground breaking ceremony of this Dam three years ago and he inaugurated the completion of the project today. He said although the government had inherited a serious energy crisis but it took a number of steps to resolve the crisis. He said the country is facing the energy crisis due to thoughtless reversal of the energy policies of mid nineties. The president said the thoughtless reversal of economic policies is a root cause of economic setbacks. He said the present government did correct the past wrongs with the support of the political parties. APP Meanwhile, President Asif Ali Zardari on Saturday said alleviation of poverty and emancipation of the poor remained guiding principles of the present democratic government. Addressing a function here at Hyderabad Club to hand over ownership certificates and keys of the newly constructed houses under Behan Benazir Basti (Benazir Housing Programme) the President said provision of houses to the destitute families of Sindh is the fulfillment of yet another promise. –AGENCIES
Rental Power Projects
Sc accepts Pm’s letter as application ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court has accepted the letter written by the Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf to the Chief Justice of Pakistan, requesting formation of a judicial commission over allegations of corruption in Rental Power case, as a petition in the Supreme Court. The apex court will hear the petition tomorrow (Monday). Either the Prime Minister or a counsel authorized to represent him, can appear before the court. According to a press release issued on Saturday, the Supreme Court has registered the letter received from Prime Minister for appointment of independent commission headed by Dr. Shoaib Suddle in Rental Power Projects case as Civil Miscellaneous Application, fixed it for 11.03.2013 in the Court and issued notice to Raja Pervez Ashraf to appear in person or through ASC. In his order, the Chief Justice said the letter received may be registered subject to all just exceptions as Civil Miscellaneous Application. Fix this letter in Court on 11.03.2013. Notice to Raja Pervaiz Ashraf be issued either to appear in person or through duly authorized representatives i.e. ASC who had been appearing on his behalf in earlier proceedings. Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf who is among those accused in the RPP case had written a letter to the Supreme Court requesting it to form a judicial commission to look into the case. –STAFF REPORT
Merit bulldozed in laptops distribution in Muzaffargarh ZEESHAN JAVAID ISLAMABAD: The multi-billion rupee project of distributing more than 100,000 laptops amongst the brilliant students under E-Youth Initiative launched by Punjab Khadim-e-Aala Shahbaz Sharif, showed lack of transparency as there are proofs of ignoring the merit, particularly in the postgraduate college of Muzaffargarh, one of the least developed district of southern Punjab. An investigation conducted by The Spokesman revealed that some officials including Higher Education Deputy Director Muzaffargarh Malik Bashir, Government Postgraduate College Principal Khalil-urRehman Farooqi and office of Colleges Directorate changed the approved list of 114
Inquiry into the issue launched Top position holders too deprived of their right
students and accommodated their favourites, ignoring more than 51 students including the top three position holders. Documents available with The Spokesman revealed that the principal forwarded a list of 114 brilliant students to the Colleges Directorate for placing their names in the database of E-Youth Initiative to deliver laptops during the recent ceremony of distribution held in Dera Ghazi Khan. The Colleges Directorate’s office in Muzaffargarh sent the list back and directed the principal to get it approved first by the DCO (District Coordination Officer) and Deputy Director Colleges (DDC) Malik Bashir. After the necessary action, the said document was forwarded to the Colleges Directorate, which
sent the list back to the principal with a directive to minimise the number of candidates because of shortage of laptops in the stock. The principal, Khalil-ur-Rehman Farooqi, in connivance of Deputy Director (Colleges) Malik Bashir edited the list without keeping the transparency and merit in view and erased the 51 names of students, including the three top position holders. The victims included Umair Ahmed having highest marks (584) with a percentage of 72.8 percent), Uzair Ahmed with 577 marks showing 72.2 percent result and Shahrukh with 574 marks in BA Annual Exams. Interestingly, the college principal, when forwarded the amended list to DCO Abrar Ahmed Mirza, he refused to ink the document.
On contacting the DCO office, it was revealed that the district’s top official expressed his dismay and recommended the already approved list which contained 14 names. According to Punjab Government’s E-Youth Initiative, only those students will be awarded laptops who are already registered or declared eligible. No new name will be added or removed from the existing lists. However, the amended list of 63 students was finalised which received the laptops during the recent distribution ceremony held in DG Khan, while the remaining students filed a complaint with the DCO office. When contacted, the college principal and the deputy director (colleges) shifted the responsibility on the high-ups and
were reluctant to speak on the issue; however, an official of DCO office said an inquiry was being launched on the directives of DCO. The inquiry officer, District Officer Finance and Planning Nawaz Allah Gashkori, summoned the college principal with all record and seek explanation for the criteria adopted during the scrutiny of students. A group of affected students contacted The Spokesman office and informed about the threats they are receiving from the college principal about expelling those who would try further to pursue the inquiry. One of the affectees, a female student, on the condition of not to be name, said that the college principal on Friday addressed in different classes and threatened the students to expel them if they won’t stop the move on said issue, while using abusive language.