Malik Riaz strikes back – as PML-N partner?
Raising salaries not job of Centre, says minister
Laila arrested for dishonoured cheque
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Rs 40b to be saved by taking austerity measures
GDP growth to be raised to 7pc: Dar
Announces Rs 2 billion package for Ramazan Says reforms will be introduced in FBR Number of people living below the poverty line doubled during the last five years Talks with IMF on June 19 OUR STAFF REPORTER
ISLAMABAD: Federal Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar on Thursday highlighted the details of the government’s mediumterm macroeconomic framework which envisages lifting the GDP growth from the current 3.6 per cent to 7 per cent by 2015-16. “If we are serious in putting the economy of the country on the path of stability, we will have to raise our GDP growth up to 7-8 per cent,” Dar said while addressing a postbudget press conference. He announced a Rs 2 billion package for Ramazanul Mubarak to provide relief to the people during the holy month. He said essential commodities including food items at utility stores would be provided to the people at subsidized rates during Ramazan. He was flanked by Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal, Secretary Finance Waqar Masood and other officials of the ministry. Dar said that for conserving precious resources, the budget of Prime Minister’s Office has been reduced from Rs 725 million during 2012-13 to Rs 396 million, showing a decrease of 45%. From the budget of the Prime
Minister’s House, excluding salaries and allowances, 44% budget has been cut. Other than the obligatory expenditures of debt servicing, defence, pay and allowances of civil servants and grants, there will be a 30% cut that would save Rs 40 billion. He said that under the medium-term framework from 2013-14 to 2015-16, inflation will be maintained in single digit throughout the medium term while investment to the GDP ratio will rise to 20% at the end of the medium term. He said fiscal deficit will be brought to 4% of the GDP by 2015-16 while the country’s foreign exchange reserves will be increased to more than $20 billion at the end of the medium term. He said these targets are ambitious but are imperative for the revival of the economy and quite consistent with its potential. Replying to a question, he said in the budget 2013-14, no taxes had been imposed on essential food items. The finance minister said the increase in sales tax from 16 to 17 per cent would not affect the prices. “Besides, we have the determination to turn around the destiny of this nation and for this reason people have given us this
mandate,” Dar said. Talking about the austerity measures of the government, the federal minister said that as much as Rs 40 billion would be saved by taking austerity measures. The finance minister rejected the impression of heavy taxation, saying that increase of one percent in General Sales Tax is not a big deal. He said: “We have tried not to put burden on the people. He said reforms will be introduced in the FBR and leakages will be stopped to enhance revenue collections.” He said that ratio of income tax has been increased only on those having more than seven million rupees annual income. The number of such people is 3114. He said Rs 40 billion would be generated through austerity measures. The finance minister said that the number of people living below the poverty line has doubled during the last five years. The revenue to be collected from the increase in income tax would be spent on the welfare of the poor people. To another question‚ Ishaq Dar said loans will be taken to repay the loans taken by the previous government. He said talks with the IMF will be held in Pakistan on June 19.
MQM calls for strike over activist’s murder
ECP in a fix over bye-elections date
KARACHI: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Thursday announced to observe a country-wide strike on Friday following murder of one of its activist, who they claim was abducted before being murdered in Karachi. Speaking to a press conference at MQM’s headquarters Nine-Zero in the city’s Azizabad neighbourhood, Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui – member of the party’s Rabita (coordination) Committee – said the political worker from Landhi sector was abducted from near the local railway station before being murdered. He disclosed details of other kidnapped, missing and murdered party activists and announced to observe a ‘peaceful protest day’ across the country on Friday. Siddiqui feared that other missing party workers might have also been murdered. –MONITORING DESK
Bye-poll day coinciding with Eid-ul-Fitr Schedule likely to stretch around Eid Day
ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) is in a fix over setting a date for the byeelections, to be held on 38 national assembly and provincial assemblies’ seats, as the constitution requires the ECP to hold bye-elections by August 10, which coincides with the Eid-ul-Fitr. According to Article 224 of the constitution: “When, except by dissolution of the National Assembly or a Provincial Assembly, a seat in any such Assembly has become vacant not later than one hundred and twenty days before the term of that Assembly is due to expire, an election to fill the seat shall be held within sixty days from the occurrence of the vacancy”. Sources in the ECP told ‘The Spokesman’ on Thursday that the ECP would announce the 45-day schedule for bye-elections within next few days and the election process starts much before August 10 but the polling day would be fixed
following the Eid-ul-Fitr, likely to be celebrated on August 8, 2013. The sources further said that the ECP would be relying upon Article 254 of the constitution to cover this anomaly as the said Article states: “When any act or thing is required by the Constitution to be done within a particular period and it is not done within that period, the doing of the act or thing shall not be invalid or otherwise ineffective by reason only that it was not done within that period”. The bye-elections would be held on 38 seats including 16 for national assembly and 22 for provincial assemblies. 14 seats are vacant in Punjab Assembly, 2 in Sindh Assembly, 3 in KPK Assembly and Balochistan Assembly each. Out of 334 national assembly seats the results of which has so far been announced by the ECP, the PML-N holds 185, PPP-P 41, PTI 35, MQM 23, JUI-F 14, PML-F 6, PMAP 4, JI 4, NPP 3, PML-Q 2, ANP 1, BNP 1, QWP-S 1, PML-Z 1, NP 1, AMLP 1, AJIP 1, APML 1 and 9 independents.
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif having a meeting with Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani. –ONLINE (STORY ON PAGE 8)
Achakzai takes oath as Balochistan governor QUETTA: Muhammad Khan Achakzai took oath as Governor Balochistan in Quetta on Thursday. Chief Justice‚ Balochistan High Court‚ Qazi Faiz Isa administered the oath to him. The new governor is from one of the most prominent Pashtoon political families of the province. His father, Abdul Samad Khan Achakzai, was an eminent personality of the province. He is the elder brother of the Chairman of Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP), Mehmood Khan Achakzai. Muhammad Khan Achakzai has served as a senior bureaucrat and economist in the federal government. He is considered to be an upright person. He got his early education at his hometown Gulistan and later moved to Quetta from where he got secondary education from the St Francis Grammar School (Senior Cambridge). Later, he got his higher education from Howard Kennedy School (Master in Public Administration), USA, and University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland (M.Sc Economics). He is also the member of the Pakistan Red Crescent Society. He is fluent in Pashto, Persian, Urdu besides English. His appointment as governor has been a part of the power-sharing formula among the Pakistan Muslim League-N, National Party and PkMAP under which the provincial government was formed and announcement to that effect had been made by the PML-N chief Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif in Murree. –ONLINE
PM seeks Chinese help in energy crisis
Says there are vast areas in Balochistan and South Punjab with ample sunshine for installation of solar power plants
OUR STAFF REPORTER
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is determined to fight against the most crucial challenge of energy crisis and has sought technical assistance and investment resources from China to enhance the power generation capacity through alternative energy means. A five-member delegation led by Wang Yitong, chairman, China North Industries Corporation (NORINCO), called on the prime minister at the PM’s Office on Thursday. The chairman, NORINCO congratulated Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on assumption of the office of prime minister. He told the prime minister that his company was one of the 500 largest state-owned enterprises in terms of assets and revenue and deals with various areas including petroleum, mining, engineering
and infrastructure projects. Nawaz Sharif recalled that during the recent visit of the Chinese premier to Pakistan, he had very fruitful talks with him and termed the NORINCO delegation’s visit a testimony that these relations were being further solidified. While talking to the chairman, NORINCO, the prime minister said that Pakistan is experiencing a severe power shortage. He invited NORINCO, which is engaged in production of solar power plants, to install solar power plants in Pakistan. The prime minister said: “We have vast areas in Balochistan and South Punjab, which have sunshine round the year and there is ample land available for installation of solar power plants in Pakistan.” The chairman, NORINCO, informed the prime minister that after the successful visit of the
Chinese Premier Mr Li Keqiang to Pakistan, they have enjoyed special support of the Chinese government and leadership to boost business relations between the two friendly countries and undertake projects in Pakistan. They discussed the possibility of installation of solar energy plants in Balochistan where population is thin. This, he said, would help save lying of transmission lines. The prime minister also offered the NORINCO to look into mining and setting up of coal power plants at sites in Thar, Balochistan and Punjab where coal is available. The work on the mining and setting up of thermal power plants, the prime minister said, can be carried out simultaneously so that power could be produced as quickly as possible. The prime minister also offered the NORINCO to look into the exploration of iron ore in the country.
CNG, POL prices hiked after increase in GST ISLAMABAD: Petroleum Ministry on Thursday approved an increase in prices of petroleum products following an increase the General Sales Tax (GST) by the new government of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). Although the budget is yet to be approved, the price of petrol has been raised to Rs100.63 from an earlier price of Rs 99.77. The price of diesel has been increased by 90 paisas to Rs 105.50, earlier it was Rs 104.60. The price of light diesel was raised by 65 paisas and Kerosene oil was raised to Rs 94.49 from Rs 93.79. Similarly the Ministry of
Petroleum and Natural Resources has also increased prices of CNG in the wake of increase in Sales tax,. In region 1 including Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh and Potohar price of CNG has been increased by 46 paisa and new price in region 1 will be Rs 74.90 per kg. In Sindh and Punjab excluding Pothohar new price of CNG will be Rs 74.90 per kg with increase of 39 paisa. It is pertinent to mention here that prices of petroleum products and compressed natural Gas (CNG) have been increased after imposition of GST by 1 percent in the federal budget 2013-14. –ONLINE
Musharraf arrested in Bugti case IS L A M A B A D : Former military ruler Pervez Musharraf was formally arrested by a police team from Balochistan in the Akbar Bugti murder case. An anti-terrorist court has ordered a two-weeklong judicial remand of the former military ruler. Former military ruler Pervez Musharraf is to remain at his farmhouse for the duration of the remand. The farmhouse at Chak Shahzad had earlier been declared a sub-jail. –ONLINE
Economy continues to face fiscal and external challenges: SBP KARACHI: State Bank of Pakistan released its Third Quarterly Report for FY13 on the State of Economy Thursday envisaging that economy would continue to face fiscal and external challenges in Q3-FY13. The Report says that key challenges to macroeconomic management emanated from fiscal as well as external sectors. After a surplus during the first half of FY13, the current account position deteriorated to a deficit in the third quarter, creating some pressure on the country’s foreign exchange reserves. On the domestic front, the growth in FBR tax revenues remained sluggish, while expenditures on power subsidies and debt servicing increased
sharply. The government had to resort increasingly to borrowing from SBP to finance its fiscal deficit. The Report also notes some positive developments including a significant decline in inflation and some signs of recovery in large-scale manufacturing. Revival in large scale manufacturing was supported by loans disbursed by banks to the private sector businesses, and higher production of sugar, POL, cement, fertilizer, and cotton yarn. However, agriculture was adversely affected by heavy rains and localized floods during the Kharif season, and services sector also remained subdued. In overall terms, growth in real GDP is
estimated at 3.6 percent in FY13 compared with 4.4 percent last year (this is at rebased GDP data). The Report highlights that while inflation has continued to decline and registered a recent low, deterioration on the external front, or an increase in administered prices (to minimize subsidies and arrest the size of the circular debt required for fiscal consolidation), pose main risks to inflation in the medium term. In the absence of these risks, inflation is likely to remain subdued. According to the Report, the fiscal situation has worsened because of subsidies and rising interest payments. The amount of subsidies paid during the first three quarters of FY13,
significantly exceeded the full year target. Furthermore, debt servicing has surpassed development expenditures. These two heads (i.e., subsidies and debt servicing) together constitute around 40 percent of total current expenditures. On the revenue side, growth in FBR tax collection during Jul-Mar FY13 was the lowest since FY02. However, the availability of US$ 1.8 billion of Coalition Support Fund (CSF) and surpluses generated by the provinces helped the government contain its 9-month deficit. Nevertheless, SBP projects the full year budget deficit in the range of 7 – 7.5 percent of GDP, due to continuing pressure of subsidies and interest
payments, and sluggish revenue collection by FBR. The Report also points out difficulties faced by the government in financing the fiscal deficit. As external financing dried up completely, the government continued to rely on the domestic banking system to finance its fiscal deficit. More worryingly, domestic borrowing was skewed towards short-term financing, which raises concerns about the sustainability of Pakistan’s public debt, which has already reached Rs 13.9 trillion as of end-March 2013. According to the FRDL Act (2005), the government must achieve a public debt-to-GDP ratio of 60 percent by end FY13. However, given the pace of
recent increase in the fiscal deficit (and resulting rise in public debt), the government is unlikely to achieve this target. The Report states that SBP has been flagging this fact that the rise in the debt stock accompanied by debt servicing, directly adds to subsequent fiscal deficits – this shows the increased risk of entering a debt-deficit spiral. In addition to the challenges on the fiscal front, the SBP Report also notes pressure on Pakistan’s external account after the first half of FY13, with a current account deficit of US$ 1.3 billion in Q3-FY13 alone. Also for rest of FY13, the external outlook remains a source of concern with scheduled repayments to the IMF. –ONLINE
CMYK FRIDAY, JUNE 14, 2013
Post Budget Press Briefing Review enom Inc. This should not be held against me in a court of law aˇ I solemnly declare that these a˘e 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 aˆ your own risk Shh...If you have venom to spill please don’ˆ hesitate to share with ˙ˇ on our blog aˆ ˛˛˛ .thespokesman.pk
Malik Riaz strikes back̶ as PML(N) partner? alik Riaz, it seems, is back again—this time as the PML (N) sponsor. Many may have missed the intricacies of Ishaq Dar’s budget announcement about making 1000 housing colonies with 500 houses each. The punch line was: “in the pattern of Punjab Ashiana scheme.” This begs lots of questions. Does this mean that Malik Riaz is going to, once again, sponsor the new Ashaiana colonies on a much larger scale? Does this make him a partner with Nawaz/Shahbaz Sharif ? What will he get as quid pro quo ? Will he be given the special privileges and protection that he enjoyed under Asif Zardari? Does this make him the go-between between the Zardaris and the Sharifs? Whatever the case, if this has an iota of truth in it, this will make Nawaz Sharif and Asif Zardari partners. The real friendly opposition indeed! This will also resurrect his crumbling empire as this will be the biggest real estate project in Pakistan. All he needs is government patronage to fleece the public as he has done in most of his other projects. Now, we all know that Malik Riaz is on record having claimed that he contributed Rs 800 million for Ashiana scheme (by the way he never showed that amount in his tax returns). We also know that this was the scheme that opened doors for him in the Sharif camp. He showed his affection for Shahbaz Sharif ’s now active son, Salman in the infamous TV programme that exposed his hold on media. This also caused some rancor in Chaudhary Nisar. We all hoped that with Chaudhary Nisar’s becoming the Interior Minister, the reign of Malik Riaz will finish. WE were hoping to see the IG Police and Commissioner in Islamabad, not to mention the SHOs and Tehsildars, who could say ‘No’ to Malik Riaz. This does not seem to be happening. Is Nisar also part of the plan. Have they reached a truce? Sheshnag is carefully watching this development because this is crucial to cartelization of Pakistan. Malik Riaz is the lynchpin among the shady politicians, babus, businessmen and, of course, the khakis.
FM compares UK and Pakistan while defending his budget SAEED MINHAS
ISLAMABAD: Federal finance minister,
Ishaq Dar was completely unmoved during his post budget press briefing with regard to the plight of the common man because of one per cent increase in sales tax and crippling power crisis. Rather thumping his chest he said that people should be grateful that we did not increase the sales tax by four or five per cent as is the case in UK and many of the developed countries. As the question regarding increase in sales tax kept bouncing back from the hall on him, the federal minister reminded them all that common man should not worry about this increase because this tax would be taken from the traders and investors and not from the common man. Examples from UK and developed world remained pouring in so frequently that it was hard to imagine that budget 2013-14 was presented in the House of Commons or the parliament of Pakistan. Since it was hard to pose a question to the federal minister because of the especially gathered journalists to pose pre-fabricated questions, therefore, I could not ask the federal minister that how many people in UK live under the poverty line as compared to over 40 per cent in Pakistan. The mention of UK was also obvious because one cannot forget that the federal minister has spent good time during the exile of his party leadership doing business and recreation in London and its suburbs throughout the past decade. What, however, was heard from the federal minister was that he was telling the journos that the average per capita income would be raised from 1200 dollars to nearly 1300 dollars. There hardly were any journalists of stature amongst the audience who themselves were earning that much through legal means, yet they all heard it, consumed it and were asked by the minister to publicize it through their respective publications and electronic outlets. That’s what you all might have heard throughout the rest of the day.
Nevertheless, the federal minister posed the budget as the pro poor, the federal minister made the captive audience realize that a special Ramadan package worth two billion rupees and 200 rupees additional payment to around five million poverty stricken families across the country under BISP program will help the poor. Defending his action of not giving any raise to federal employees, federal minister promised to compensate them during the next year’s budget. In the same vein, the federal minister was protecting his decision to allow the duty free import of hybrid cars under 1200 cc. It remains another fact that there are hardly any hybrid cars available currently in the market which ranges between 800 cc and 1200 CC. All available options in the market are over 1299 cc, on which the minister has announced to slash the customs and other taxes by 50 per cent. Insiders, however, believe that an insider deal has already been reached with Korean, Japanese and Chinese manufacturers to prepare special under-powered cars for Pakistani market, just like yellow cab scheme of the 1990s.
Dishing out ambitious plans to increase the revenue targets by using FBR, the federal minister ably defended a cut of five per cent for the businessmen by telling the inquisitive journalists that businessmen will be ultimately brought into the tax network. However, he plainly avoided answering that how many of the potential 3.5 million will be brought into the tax network as per his medium term projections. Presenting a medium term vision to improve the economy, Ishaq Dar kept playing with the facts and figures in front of a jam-packed hall of journalists gathered by PID from across the country. Regardless of the content of the press conference, one has to admit that Dar kept his cool in front of a hostile media by turning the tables on them very expertly. Sitting on the dice with the entire bureaucracy from finance ministry, FBR and planning division, federal finance minister kept pressing on the point that neither the budget presented is pro business community nor it has got anything to do with the IMF dictates. Hinting again at the possibility of taking out a kashkool (begging bowl) and luring in the IMF to bail the newly elected government out of his miserably low foreign reserves and balance of payment, Ishaq Dar reiterated that he would not rule out any option at this point in time. He, however, said categorically that his government would do that in an honorable way in the best of national interests. Regarding the fiscal deficit, federal minister very tactfully maneuvered the figures by telling the journalists that it will be cut by 2.5 per cent in the coming fiscal year. How can we forget that the same finance minister during his 2008 tenure with the PPP government had signed an agreement of US $ 7.5 billion with IMF promising them to keep the fiscal deficit 4 per cent. It was because of the same IMF dictates that promise was made to increase the tax net work in the country and erase the subsidies.
Aleema Khan @AleemakhanPTI
If the Pak Govt cut its military budget by 55% it would still have the third largest military budget in the world !
Iftikhar Firdous @IftikharFirdous
Its very ironic, despite everybody talking about Fata when it comes to terrorism, theres hardly anything in the #Budget2013 for the area.
SHAHEEN SEHBAI @SSEHBAI11
WHAT A FRIEND: New RailwaysMinister confirmed today what I'hv been writing: The Chinese extort and exploit Pak, Chinese Rail Engines R trash
Husain Haqqani @husainhaqqani
Good to know @ImranKhanPTI is back on his feet. I pray for his health while vehemently disagreeing with his views.
Nusrat Javeed @javeednusrat
Now the shoe is pinching the other foot; PML-N ministers desperately defending their budget on various channels.
Riaz Ali Turi @RiazToori
A poor needs bread not car, duty on cars decreased on bread increased. #GhareebDushmanBudget
Murtaza Solangi @murtazasolangi
During PPP govt. each time OGRA increased petroleum prices, our media played it as petrol bomb? Will we use the same lingo now? Should we?
Murtaza Solangi @murtazasolangi
First they mix Taliban with tribals, now they say men can represent women in KP cabinet. Tomorrow they will say men can deliver babies!
Yesterday's pathetically planned budget badly exposed #PMLN's anti-poor policies. It's a shame how govt servants were utterly neglected
Babar Awan @DrBabarAwan
Election season:- "We will bring back prices of 90s." Budget season:- Prices up, taxes up, salaries down, relief down.
Adeel Hashmi @AdeelHashmi
A further increase (10 %) in the defense budget is enough reason for a decent person to NOT pay tax.
jasmeen manzoor @jasmeenmanzoor
The amendment in the in tax ordinance 2001 is the most controversial as no one is safe now every account holder will be at mercy of FBR
The popular government presents its first unpopular budget NAJEEB ULLAH KHAN
The first federal budget dimmed hopes of a quick relief for the masses and received a cold response in hot summer. The federal budget presented by the Federal Minister for Economics and Finance Ishaq Dar was termed as an unpopular budget by the lay man interviewed by The Spokesman. Most of the people termed it an unpopular budget that has very little to offer to the working class while some of the respondents termed it as a ‘budget of the businessman for the businessman’. Haji Rafique, who runs a general store at Aabpara market, said he was disappointed by the budget speech. “The budget has nothing to offer to the common man and it seems a continuation of the policies of the previous government” he added. He said the common masses will face the
brunt of the budget. Mehak Asad, a housewife in her late forties who was shopping in Aabpara market, said she was disappointed by the budget speech. “We had not voted for another bout of inflation” she added. She said the budget had nothing to offer to the common masses adding that the government had disappointed the common citizens of the country. Arshad Khan, a green grocer at G-9 markaz complained that the budget was
too complex to understand. “Whenever the minister talked about the common masses he always added ifs and buts” he added. He termed the budget as a defensive one. When asked about the defensive tune of the budget, he said the minister used the excuse of wrongdoings by the previous government whenever he talked about giving relief to the common masses. Moiz Karim, a student of Quaid Azam University, said the budget offered no immediate relief to the common people. “The business community and the elite will gain benefits from the budget as most of the ruling elite is business class” he added. He said the government was aiming to privatize the national assets. The price of cosmetics, cigarettes, pulses and other daily usage items will be increased in the budget that will have its impact on the working class.
FAISALABAD: Activists of Labour Qaumi Movement chant slogans during a demonstration in support of their demands at Faisalabad Press Club Road. — ONLINE
Power sector to get peanuts from foreign donors ZEESHAN JAVAID
The amount of Rs. 618.518 billion rupees has been estimated against the foreign financial assistance by International Financial Institutions (IFIs) during the upcoming financial year 2013-14, while the amount of Rs.61.689 billion has been projected for power sector to overcome the energy crisis. According to the budget document, more than 24 leading financial institutions pledged amount of Rs. 576.418 billion for different development and non-development projects, however, according to economic affairs division (EAD) the amount of Rs. 42.099 billion out of total estimates for fiscal year 2013-14 under head of foreign assistances has yet to mature. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has pledged amount of Rs. 98.182 billion, Australia Rs. 1 billion, China 135.183 billion, Canada Rs. 35.5 million, Euro Bonds Rs. 49.5 billion, and European Union (EU) Rs. 70 million, France Rs. 2.5 billion, Germany Rs. 6.124 billion, Switzerland based non-profit organization GAVI Rs. 477 million, International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) Rs. 64.596 billion, International Development
Association (IDA) Rs. 46.681 billion, International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) Rs. 1.9 billion, Italy Rs. 6.104 billion, Japan Rs. 32.256 billion, Kerry Lugar Rs. 1.006
billion, Korea Rs. 2.165 billion, Kuwait Rs. 1.930 billion, Norway Rs. 739.881 million, Oman Rs. 700 million, Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Rs. 926
million, Saudi Arabia Rs. 1.965 billion, Tokyo Pledges Rs. 1.118 billion, United Kingdom (UK) Rs. 5.157 billion, United Nation Development Programme (UNDP)
Rs. 2.467 billion and United Sates of America (USA) has pledged the amount of Rs. 10.148 billion for upcoming FY 2013-14. Foreign financial assistance countries and leading financial institutions pledge the amount of Rs. 61.68 billion for power sector, which shows upward trend of approximately 43% than the estimates projected for ongoing FY 2012-13 as Rs.23.9 billion. The major chunk of foreign loans for power sector is grabbed by Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA), an amount of Rs. 21.755 billion for FY 2013-14. OPEC pledges the amount of Rs. 735 million for Golan Gol hydropower project and Rs. 270 million for 969MW Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Project (NJHP); Germany pledges the amount of Rs. 50 million for Harpo Hydropower and 1.5 billion for Keyal Khawar hydropower; Kuwait would like to grant a loan of Rs. 500 million for Golan Gol hydropower and Rs. 930 million for NJHP, while Rs. 9.340 billion has been estimated by IDA to assist WAPDA against 4th extension of Tarbela Dam. Duber Khawar hydropower project will likely be financed by IDB with financial assistance of Rs. 583 million, Rs. 930 million for Khan Khawar hydropower, 2.255 billion for NJHP
and Rs. 1332 million for Aliai Khawar hydropower project. Similarly, WAPDA seeks financial assistance of Rs. 1.265 billion from Saudi Arabia including Rs. 465 million for NJHP and Rs. 800 million for Golan Gol, while France is likely to provide financial assistance in the shape of loan Rs. 850 million to WAPDA including Rs. 150 million for Harpo hydropower and Rs. 700 million for Jabban hydropower project during upcoming FY 2013-14. The amount of Rs. 11.951 billion has been estimated for Pakistan Electric Power Company (PEPCO) under the head of foreign financial assistance during upcoming FY 2013-14, which shows an increase of 43% as compared to previous estimates amounting to Rs. 6.54 billion. Japan will likely provide a loan of Rs. 2.865 billion to PEPCO for different power transmission projects including 220kv Dadu Khuzdar Transmission line, upgradation of National Power Control Center (NPCC), ADB is likely to issue loans of Rs. 8.27 billion to PEPCO for installation of new coal fired power plants, conversion of Furnace Oil (FO)/gas fired boilers to coal of 450MW and upgradation of Jamshoro Thermal Power Station.
FRIDAY, JUNE 14, 2013
Budget ‘best possible’ in prevailing circumstances: ICCI ISLAMABAD: The Budget 2013-14 announced by the newly elected government is the best possible budget in the prevailing circumstances as it envisages many positive measures for business and industry. This was said by Zafar Bakhtawari, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry while commenting on Budget 2013-14. He said budget has addressed many immediate concerns of the trade and industry prominent of which are clearing circular debt within 60 days,
completing Nandipur Power project, allocating sufficient funds to power sector and hoped that these measures would contribute positively to solving the energy crisis. He said elimination of circular debt within two months would immediately add sufficient electricity in the power system, which is currently lying idle due to non-availability of funds and thus greatly benefit the industry. However, he said Pakistan is endowed with rich coal reserves that have the potential to make Pakistan self-
sufficient in energy. But nothing tangible has been announced in the budget to exploit coal reserves for energy generation. He said coal is a cheap source of energy and is getting priority attention at global level. He said India is producing 62% and China 70% of energy through coal while Pakistan is producing less than 1% energy through coal, which is unfortunate. He said power generation through coal would create multiple benefits as it will provide cheap electricity, lower production cost, make
our products more competitive in international market and provide good relief to common man. He stressed upon the government to give priority attention to exploiting indigenous coal reserves for overcoming energy crisis. Mr. Bakhtawari said decisions to restructure commercial institutions, end SRO culture, extend tax holiday to Special Economic Zones for 10 years, set-up Special Economic Zone in Gawadar and establish new industrial estates in provinces are also laudable measures that would help in
promoting industrialization and creating more jobs. He said extended tax holiday for SEZs would go a long way in attracting local and foreign investment in the country. He was of the view that construction of Express Way from Gawadar to Kashgar and Rail linkage from Gwadar to Afghanistan, if implemented, could make Pakistan a trade corridor of the word. ICCI President appreciated the austerity measures announced in the budget like bringing down Prime
Pakistan Corner established at Thai university
CDA to impose ban on purchase of new vehicles ISLAMABAD: Capital Development Authority has decided to ban purchase of new vehicles in pursuance of the federal government decision for curtailment in unnecessary expenses. Sources said decision has been taken not only to impose ban on purchasing new vehicles but also traveling expenses of senior officers to other cities and foreign visits, publicity expenses, stationery and vehicle repair expenses have been reduced by 20 percent. ONLINE
Kabaddi Cup tournament to be held tomorrow ISLAMABAD: All Pakistan CDA Kabaddi Cup 2013, organized by Sports and Culture Directorate of CDA will commence on June 15, at F-9 Park Cricket ground. Kabaddi tournament will continue for two days. Sports and Culture Directorate has finalized all arrangements of CDA Kabaddi Cup 2013. Teams of Pakistan Army, Pakistan Air Force, Punjab (WAPDA) and Kabaddi Team of Islamabad Navy will participate in this tournament. ONLINE
Continuous tripping of transformer irks residents ISLAMABAD: The electricity consumers of the sector G 11/2, Farooqe-Azam Chowk, main double road have expressed their grave concern over the continuous tripping of the transformer of the area planted on the corner of the lane leading to the Ghaforia Mosque. They have appealed to the concern authorities to take the notice of the unbearable situation and redressed their grievances. They have complained that apart from the schedule loadshedding they are suffering from burning and continuous tripping of the transformer. In spite of bringing the situation into the notice several times the relevant staff has failed to rectify the fault. The residents have also complained that the burden of a damaged transformer of the neighboring area has been put on their transformer which is resulting in the tripping of their transformer and they remain deprived of electricity almost 24 hours. Innocent children are grumbling in scorching heat, besides the non availability of the water is adding to their miseries. When the Wapda staff is told that they will bring the situation in the notice of their superiors, they request not to do so, they will rectify the fault. In spite of their routine visits no permanent solution has been made, the residents complained. ONLINE
A man eating grapes after plucking them in the federal capital. ONLINE
Minister Office expenditure by 45 per cent, abolition of discretionary and secret funds of federal ministers, ban on purchase of vehicles for government functionaries and ban on duty free import of luxury vehicles for VVIPs as these would help in saving sufficient amount of taxpayers’ money. He emphasized upon the government that it must ensure full implementation of all these positive measures to turn around the economy and put the country on a path of sustainable economic development. ONLINE
Clouds hovering over the federal capital on Thursday. ONLINE
CJ asks NPF to bring facts about land scam
Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry says Supreme Court wants to dig out authenticity of agreement
ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has said that the management of National Police Foundation is hiding facts from the court in the land scam. He gave the remarks during the hearing of Police Foundation land scandal case. Threemember bench headed by the CJP restarted the hearing on Thursday. The Chief Justice said that those plots who were sold for thousands rupees in the past, now has worth of millions of rupees. He said that court wants to dig out the authenticity of the agreement signed between former MNA Anjum Aqeel Khan and National Police Foundation, it seems that contract was not written, but the deal took place verbally. Police and FIA did not play their due rule in the case. The Inspector General of Islamabad Police Bani Amin Khan as the member of National Police Foundation told the court that the case filed by ex MD NPF Zafar Qureshi was transferred to FIA.
AIOU declares CT, ATTC results ISLAMABAD: Allama Iqbal Open University Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Nazir Ahmed Sangi has declared the results of final exams of CT and ATTC programmes for the Semester Autumn 2012. After announcement the results, Dr. Sangi said that declaration of these results is forty days before the commencement of new admissions and the credit of this success goes to the team-work. The ViceChancellor advised the workers of examination department to work-hard and make it sure to complete the process of dispatching the result cards to students within a period of week-long. The Vice-Chancellor said that all available potential and resources are being used for expending the Students Support Services and facilities. Computer education, the VC said is the need of time because computers are being used in our daily life, so it is much necessary to know the basic knowledge of computer. University. ONLINE
Lawyers meet chief justice ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has said that the legal fraternity had made great contribution in the cause of justice as well as for the institution of judiciary. He was talking to a 21-member delegation of Azad Kashmir District Bar Association headed by its President Sardar Ijaz Nazir. The CJP said that the judiciary of AJK is also functioning independently and delivering justice to people. He apprised the delegation that the Chief Justice Azad Kashmir has desired to sign MoU with the Judiciary of Pakistan. ONLINE Lawyer of Anjum Aqeel Khan, Makhdoom Ali Khan said during argument that his client is ready to do every thing on the order of the court to save his fame. He has returned the amount, more than the price of plots. The lawyer said that his client did not commit any fraud as 1365 kanals of land is present at site , which is according to the agreement. The report submitted in the court also
states the same quantity of land which is under possession of NPF. He said his client showed willingness to compensate 59 plot affectees. Behroz Sabazwari Advocate said that he accepts the agreement between Anjum Aqeel Khan and NPF which was signed on 22 March 2013. He also read out the entire contract in front of the court. ONLINE
MPs vacate additional seats ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan on Thursday issued list of the parliamentarians who vacated additional seats in the national and provincial assemblies. According to the ECP, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif vacated NA-68 Sargodha seat, PTI Chief Imran Khan vacated NA-1 Peshawar and NA-71 Mianwali seats, Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif vacted NA129 Lahore, PP-161 Lahore and PP-247 Rajanpur seats, JUI-F head Maulana Fazlur Rehman vacated NA-25 D.I Khan, NA-27 Laki Marwat seats, Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtukhwa Parvez Khattak vacated NA-5 Noshehra seat and former CM KPK Ameer Haider Hoti vacated PK-23 Mardan seat. While Speaker KPK Assembly Asad Qaiser vacated NA-13 Swabi seat, President PTI Makhdoom Javed Hashmi vacated NA48 Islamabad seat, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan vacated PP-6 Rawalpindi seat, Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif vacated
PP-123 Sialkot seat, PML-N leader Hamza Shahbaz vacated PP-142 Lahore seat and PML-Q leader Chaudhry Moonis Elahi vacated PP-118 Mandi Bahauddin seat. Further, Jamshed Dasti vacated NA-117 Muzaffargarh seat. The ECP stated that bypolls on these seats will be held after Eid ul Fitr. By-elections will be held on 16 NA and 22 provincial assembly seats. Quite a few politicians, including Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif, PTI Chief Imran Khan, JUI-F head Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Parvez Khattak, former CM KPK Ameer Haider Hoti, Speaker KP Assembly Asad Qaiser, President PTI Makhdoom Javed Hashmi, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif, Chaudhry Moonis Elahi, PML-N leader Hamza Shahbaz and Jamshed Dasti, were elected to more than one seat in results of 11th May polls. ONLINE
Imran visits murdered PTI worker’s family in Pindi
A woman colouring a screen as others look on at a stall at Education Expo at Pak China Friendship Centre. ONLINE
RAWALPINDI : After doctors allowed Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan to travel, the cricket-turnedpolitician reached Islamabad on Wednesday. After landing at Benazir International Airport, Khan visited the family of Usman Mirza, the PTI worker who was shot dead during election campaign in Rawalpindi. Imran offered Fateha for deceased worker and conveyed his sympathies and condolence to victim’s family. Later talking to media Imran Khan said the murderer of Usman Mirza must be brought to book
vowed to continue his struggle until killers are arrested and punished. PTI chairman said he kept Rawalpindi seat just because of Usman Mirza to give him honour and obliged deceased worker. Khan said it was his first ever visit after recovery of his injuries which reflects his concern for deceased Usman Mirza. He said whole family was dependent on Usman Mirza and his wife was pregnant when he was shot dead in Rawalpindi. Imran Khan is likely to attend the next National Assembly session to take oath of his National Assembly membership. injuries. ONLINE
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Corner has been established at the Thammasat University in Bangkok, Thailand, with an aim to highlight the country's history, geography, civilizational heritage and its political and constitutional development. The Pakistan Corner was set up during an impressive ceremony in collaboration with the Pakistan Embassy. The ceremony's thematic focus was 'Building Bridges, Bringing People Together,' says a message received here from Bangkok. The opening ceremony was presided over by Thai Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education Phongthep Thepkanjana. The Ambassador of Pakistan to Thailand Sohail Mahmood, and Thammasat University's Rector Dr. Somkit Lertpaithoon were present. Thammasat is one of the oldest and premier institutions of higher learning in Thailand. The "Pakistan Corner" has been established at Thammasat's Pridi Banomyong Library, which is named after the University's founder who also served as Prime Minister of Thailand at one juncture. In his welcoming remarks, Rector Somkit appreciated the initiative of the Pakistan Embassy in proposing to establish the "Pakistan Corner" and providing print, audio-video materials and other resources. He expressed confidence that the materials contained at the Pakistan Corner will help the students and academic community enhance their understanding of Pakistan. Ambassador Sohail Mahmood in his remarks, highlighted the steady progress in Pakistan-Thailand relations and the particular emphasis being placed on strengthening people-to-people exchanges. Thanking Thammasat for hosting the "Pakistan Corner," the Ambassador expressed the hope that it would serve as another platform to widen the knowledge base about Pakistan and promote further mutual understanding and goodwill between the two nations. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education Phongthep congratulated Thammasat University and Pakistan Embassy on their collaborative effort. Highlighting the cultural connection between the two countries in the shape of Gandhara civilization, he appreciated the steady growth of bilateral cooperation in fields of education, culture and people-topeople exchanges. APP
FRIDAY, JUNE 14, 2013
Sectarianism and the irrational new discourse
Chief Editor: Huma Ali Resident Editor: Saeed Minhas
Why Arabs must worry
Block 11, G-6/1, Aabpara, Islamabad Telephone: 051 260 7153-4
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Federal Budget 2013-14 Federal Minister Ishaq Dar unveiled business-friendly budget, as corporate income tax has been reduced from 35 per cent to 30 per cent, and big farmers have been left out of the tax net, despite the fact that they have had windfall profits from increase in the support price of wheat and subsidized inputs. By every reckoning, it appears to be an anti-poor budget, as the General Sales Tax (GST) has been increased from 16 per cent to 17, which will further raise the prices of essential commodities to further erode their incomes. The downtrodden rather wretched of the earth have been demanding some relief in the form of reduction in prices of essential commodities, which has been denied to them. With stock market boom that has resulted in capitalization of hundreds of billions of rupees, the elite are in a joyful binge, whereas no increase has been given in the salaries of federal government employees, and the provinces are likely to follow suit as has been happening in the past. Anyhow, the total outlay of the budget for the financial year 2013-14 is Rs. 3.591 trillion. The budget envisages fiscal deficit at 6.3 per cent (Rs.1651), GDP growth rate at 4.4 per cent, inflation 9.5 per cent while revenue target has been set at Rs. 2.475 trillion. A sum of Rs1.155 trillion has been allocated for national development, Rs.926 billion for debt servicing, Rs.225 billion for energy sector development and Rs.75 billion each for Income Support Fund and human resource development. A 100% exemption from all duties and taxes has been granted on import of eco-friendly hybrid cars of up to 1200cc and generous concessions given to importers of more than 1200cc hybrid cars. It appears that the government subscribes to the flawed perception that when a lot of money is generated at the top, it will have trickle down effect and masses would benefit. It never happened in the past and is unlikely to happen in future. Unfortunately, one does not see any serious effort to implement PML-N manifesto, which promised relief for the common man. Ishaq Dar said that the government was hoping to save Rs 40 billion through an austerity drive that entails freezing of secrets funds for all ministries and departments, and by discouraging the VVIP Culture, which is commendable. But that saving should have been diverted to provide relief for the masses. When Mian Nawaz Sharif himself says that energy sector is the top priority, and committed to give relief to the people, why a huge amount has been allocated for construction of roads and for other populist steps like distribution of laptops and grant of loans up to Rs. 500000 per individual. Finance Minister said that doing business was not the job of the government, but privatization of prime assets at throw away prices is also not the right thing to do. One fails to understand that when all citizens whether businessmen, industrialists, doctors, engineers, professionals and salaried class are paying tax on taxable income, why income from agricultural land should be exempted. It would be sheer injustice if all sections of society are taxed but landlords remain out of the tax net.
My friend Hanna is Syrian and also happens to be Christian. The latter fact was rarely of consequence, except whenever he wished to boast about the contributions of Arab Christians to Middle Eastern cultures. Of course, he is right. The modern Arab identity has been formulated through a fascinating mix of religions, sects and races. Christianity, as well as Islam, is deeply-rooted in many aspects of Arab life. Needless to say, the bond between Islam and Christianity is simply unbreakable. “I am Christian, but, in terms of culture, I am equally a Muslim,” he told me by way of introduction to a daunting realization. “But now, I am very worried.” Hanna’s list of worries is long. Lead amongst them is the fact that Christian Arabs in some Arab societies are increasingly viewed as ‘foreigners’ or ‘guests’ in their own countries. At times, as was the case in Iraq, they are punished by one extremist group or another for embracing the same religion that US-western zealots claim to represent. Churches were blown up in brutal retribution for a savage war that President George W. Bush and many of his ilk maintained to be between good and evil, using the most brazen religious references as they savaged Iraq, sparing neither Muslims nor Christians. During the early years of the war, many Arab intellectuals seemed wary of the sinister divide that the US was erecting between religions, sects and communities. Many in Arab media referenced past historical experiences when other imperial powers – namely Britain and France – resorted to the ‘divide and conquer’ stratagem. Those attempts in the first half of the 20th century resulted in much bloodshed and lasting scars in many communities. Lebanon is the obvious example with Iraq prevailing. In response to the colonial attempts at busying the Arabs with internal conflicts, Arab nationalists had then wrangled with a discourse that proved of immense value to modern Arab identity. To escape the
pitfalls of religious and sectarian divides, and to unleash the untapped energies of Arab societies, there was an urgent need to articulate a new language expressing a unifying panArab political discourse. In post-World War II, the rise of Arab nationalism was the force to be contended with, from Egypt, to Iraq and to Syria. It was a battle of wills involving imperialist powers, later joined by the United States. It was also local, tribal elites fighting for their own survival. The nationalists’ discourse was meant to inspire, from Gamal Abdel Nasser’s thundering speeches in Egypt, to Michel Aflaq’s eloquent thoughts in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere. At least then, it seemed to matter little that Nasser was an Egyptian Sunni Muslim, and that Aflaq was a Greek Orthodox Christian. Aflaq was profound, and his
philosophers. While Arab nationalist movements eventually fragmented, were weakened or defeated, an Arab identity survived. Long after Nasser died, and even Anwar Saddat signed the Camp David accords, thus breaking with Arab consensus, school children continued to sing “Arab homelands are my home, from the Levant to Baghdad, from Najd to Yemen and from Egypt to Morocco.” The war over Arab identify however never ceased, as it continued to manifest itself in actual and figurative ways. Israel and western powers, vying for military dominance, regional influence and ultimately resources, did the best they could to shatter the few semblances that sustained a sense of unity among Arab nations that survived despite numerous and perhaps insurmountable odds. The Lebanese civil war (1975-
The war over Arab identify however never ceased, as it continued to manifest itself in actual and ﬁgurative ways. Israel and western powers, vying for military dominance, regional inﬂuence and ultimately resources, did the best they could to shatter the few semblances that sustained a sense of unity among Arab nations that survived despite numerous and perhaps insurmountable odds insistence on the vitality of the Muslim character to Arabs was a testament to a generation of nationalists that since then, has all but completely faded. He spoke of Arab unity, not as a distant dream, but a practical mechanism to snatch liberty from many sinister hands. “What liberty could be wider and greater than binding oneself to the renaissance of one’s nation and its revolution?” he said during a speech. “It is a new and strict liberty which stands against pressure and confusion. Dictatorship is a precarious, unsuitable and selfcontradictory system which does not allow the consciousness of the people to grow.” Many voices echoed that sentiment in Arab nations near and far. Poets recited the will of freedom fighters and artists rendered the language of
1990) left deep wounds that continue to fester. The Iraq war was particularly painful. While Lebanon civil strife involved well-demarcated sects, the alliances were in constant influx. But Iraq’s civil war, encouraged and sustained with direct American involvement to weaken Iraqi resistance to USBritish occupation, was well-defined and brutal. Muslim Shia and Sunni engaged in a bitter struggle as US troops wreaked havoc in Baghdad. Members of all sects paid a heavy price for the fighting, which also damaged the national identity of Iraq and made a mockery of its flag and national anthem. The sociopolitical impact of that war was so severe, it resuscitated a reactionary discourse that forced many communities to see themselves as members of one group or another,
each fighting for its own being. Soon after the Egyptian revolution, I walked the streets of Cairo, reminiscing, with much giddiness – about the past and the encouraging future. A ‘new Egypt’ was being born, one with ample room for all of its children. An Egypt where the poor are giving their fair share, and where Muslims and Christians and the rest would march forward, hand in hand, as equals, compelled by the vision of a new generation and the hopes and dreams of many more. It was not a romantic idea, but thoughts inspired by millions of Egyptians, by bearded Muslim men protecting churches in Cairo against government plots to stir religious tensions, by Christian youth guarding the Tahrir square as Muslim youth prayed, before they all resumed their fight for freedom. Despite my insistence on optimism, I find the current political discourse hateful, polarizing and unprecedentedly defeatist. While Muslim political elites are sharply divided between Shia and Sunni, assigning layers of meaning to the fact that one is born this way or that, this wrangling has been weaved into a power play that has destroyed Syria, awakened past animosities in Lebanon and revitalized existing conflict in Iraq, further devastating the very Arab identity. Iraq’s historical dilemma, exploited by the US for immediate gains, has now become a pan-Arab dilemma. Arab and Middle Eastern media is fomenting that conflict using terminology loaded with sectarianism and obsessed with erecting the kind of divides that will bring nothing but mistrust, misery and war. Resurrecting Nasser’s and Aflaq’s Arab nationalism might no longer be possible, but there is a compelling need for an alternative discourse to the type of intellectual extremism that justifies with disturbing lucidity the butchering of the inhabitants of an entire village in Syria because of their sect or religion. My friend Hanna has every reason to worry, as all Arabs should. COUNTERPUNCH
Of deepening fault lines and a messy leadership row
Advani’s open and vitriolic anti-Modi posture is one reality that India’s principal opposition party had to confront sooner than later
SANJIB KUMAR DAS
So the chickens have finally come home to roost for Lal Krishna Advani — the patriarch of India’s principal opposition entity, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Coming close on the heels of the anointing of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as the BJP’s prime ministerial hopeful for the 2014 general elections, Advani’s resignation from all party positions on Monday has thrown the saffron brigade in a tailspin, bringing the hitherto hush-hush Modi vs Advani debate within Bharatiya Janata Party circles out into public domain like never before. Truth is stranger than fiction, goes the saying, and how! Way back in 1984, when the BJP was reduced to a mere twomember outfit in the parliament of the world’s largest democracy, it was Advani’s fervent pitch for hardline Hindutva (seeking to establish hegemony of Hindus) that gave the Bharatiya Janata Party a strong foothold, primarily in northern India, thereby catapulting the party to 182 seats in the 1999 Lok Sabha polls. That marked the pinnacle of success for
Remove the barricades The nation is witnessing the worst kind of road blocks and barricades on the Sikander Road, and side lanes running parallel to Mall Road near Rangers headquarters and IB office. These two organizations have erected these blocs effectively creating bottle necks for people. The pedestrians can hardly walk through these roads. These blockades are creating perils for all kind of traffic. The safety of petty officials is
the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-L.K. Advani combination, with Vajpayee as premier and Advani his trusted general. However, Vajpayee’s moderate stance and inclusive political agenda often came into direct conflict with Advani’s carefully cultivated gung-ho, street-smart, high-pitched rhetoric that was aimed at pandering to the radical elements within the Bharatiya Janata Party. No wonder it was Advani who was the darling of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh — the core Hindu outfits to which the Bharatiya Janata Party owes its allegiance right from the cradle. And in the aftermath of the 2002 antiMuslim pogrom in Gujarat — the worst instance of communal violence in independent India’s history — when Vajpayee was just a step away from sacking Modi, the Gujarat CM, it was Advani’s clout within the party and his staunch backing that granted Modi’s political career a fresh lease of life. Ironically, today the same Advani finds his own political future practically scuppered by none other than Modi. And for that, Advani has only himself to blame.
more important than anybody else. Immense problems are being faced by us due to this barricading. The roads are blocked for any traffic. No one can enter Skinder Road at any time by orders of DG IB. NO one can stop on the Anand Road for any reason because the rangers start abusing the people who stop over there. Even the pedestrians are harassed by them. The barricades have increased the flow of heavy traffic for all concerned. We are sick of their high handed Anand Road. No traffic is allowed to pass through the side lanes. They have also increased tactics and treatment of the public. They can be held liable for the contempt of court due to violation of Lahore High Court orders to remove road blocks and such concrete structures impeding the flow of traffic and the congestion on the Mall Road. All these measures have directly affected the area residents and pedestrians on this busy section. The risk to human lives has increased manifold. The traffic influx has created dangerous situation and a constant threat to the safety of the public. These two organisations are flouting laws and incurring immense problems.
Of late, there were attempts by Advani to try and rein in Modi’s growing stature within the party and beyond by belittling the Gujarat CM at the drop of a hat — in party meetings as well as at public forum. The former deputy prime minister tried to compare Modi’s Gujarat with the governments in other Bharatiya Janata Party-run states like Madhya Pradesh and Chhatisgarh. This was done deliberately, keeping in mind that Modi would never be an automatic choice as prime minister for many of the allies of the National Democratic Alliance led by the Bharatiya Janata Party. So Advani’s ploy was to rock Modi’s boat and prevent every attempt at presenting the Gujarat CM as the future face of the party. But the problem is that Advani trying to show Modi in a poor light is like the pot calling the kettle black. Who will ever forget Advani’s muchtouted Rath Yatra (chariot run) in October 1990 that left a trail of blood all through its course across India. It was Advani who indeed was the standard-bearer of the BJP’s strident proHindu pitch when the Ram
According to FBR rampant tax evasion has been carried on by the businesses in Pakistan. They have perfected techniques to avoid taxes. This is the way to steel, millions of rupees from exchequer. This way they live lavishly spending tax-payers money. There are legal lacunas who help them to avoid taxes without ever caught by the authorities. Some of the officials are involved in these schemes and get bribes for their part. Income from all sources is taxable. It does not matter how it is earned. Even prostitute's or a thief 's income is also taxable. The ratio of tax evasion is extremely high in Pakistan as compared to other countries of the world. The traders and exporters indulge freely in over and under invoicing practice to avoid millions of rupees tax. The process of recovering taxes is slow. The Board of Revenue must plug in this kind of evasion of taxes. Everybody should pay their due share in taxes. The deduction at source is a good thing. This is in JB the hands of revenue collectors. LAHORE The tax evasion is considered a
Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid issue was searing through the heart of India’s political and social fabric? Advani had done it for petty political gains. So today, when there is a groundswell of support for Modi within the Bharatiya Janata Party rank and file, Advani finds his own agenda and his brand of politics practically hijacked by the Frankenstein that he himself had helped create. Fear factor: The problem with the Bharatiya Janata Party is that Modi himself is such a controversial figure that having him as the prime ministerial candidate speaks volumes about the kind of leadership vacuum that has engulfed the party in the post-Vajpayee era. True, there has been not a single incident of communal violence in Gujarat since the dark days of 2002, but the fact remains that for a vast section of the minority community in India, Modi continues to evoke a fear factor that is best reserved for celluloid fare. Having said that, Modi’s astuteness as a politician and his popularity within Gujarat as an entrepreneur-friendly administrator have endeared him to a
great crime. We must plug in this avoidance of taxes The evaders must be caught and heavily punished. This also happens in other countries but the ratio is quite less there. In America it is a serious crime and evaders are heavily punished. We must cut the burden down on hard earning persons. JAVAID BASHIR ISLAMABAD
American way or no way The USA has got what it wanted from Pakistan on its own terms and conditions. Pakistan has become subservient after 9/11 and watches American interests in the region. The NATO supply has been restored after the reluctant apology of American administration that was the only hitch and bone of contention in the restoration of the supply. After the unprovoked attack on the Silial Post, the containers remained parked in the tracks for months. It was for the first time that Pakistan took a strong stand on this important national issue. We did not bow to tremendous
sizeable section of voters in his own state and his success in ensuring an investorfriendly atmosphere in Gujarat has seen his popularity soar with India Inc. These are precisely the reasons why the Bharatiya Janata Party is so desperate to try out the success of its Gujarat model on a Pan-India platform, cashing in on Modi’s prodevelopment image. But to what extent the Gujarat wounds have healed, to be able to ensure Modi’s success with a countrywide electorate, is still open to question. The inability to find a suitable successor to Vajpayee and the good-but-not-goodenough tag sticking perennially to leaders such as Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley have made it easier for Modi supporters to build a case. Advani’s open and almost vitriolic antiModi posture is one reality that the Bharatiya Janata Party had to confront sooner than later. That way, perhaps the silver lining for the party is that it will get to sort out this messy row now, rather than in a murky post-poll scenario.
pressure and carrot and stick policy of America. Our opposition and resistance paid off. We must exercise such tactics for our national cause, interest, integrity and sovereignty. Now both the countries have made up and resumed negotiations. Pakistan Defence Council, a united front of the religious groups, strongly protested over restoration of supply line. The protests have died down and the things are back to normal. Recent tour of ISI Chief to USA did not secure any assistance regarding drone attacks as USA is not ready to change its policy. The talks between the two spy chiefs were held in a cordial atmosphere. The outcome of the talk was the demand to take stern action against Haqqani group. Our Foreign Office has failed to achieve the national interest thus surrendering to the American will and way. A relatively young and inexperienced person has been chosen to lead this vital and important ministry. A lady who fancies herself as a fashion model of some kind has taken the reins of foreign office in her delicate hands. She has no background, academic training or experience in
international affairs. She has a degree in hospitality and restaurant management. Is she going to run a kitchen in the foreign office. Well guess, she owns a restaurant business as well. Her only qualification is a stint as state finance minister during President General Musharraf ’s regime. She belongs to feudal clan of Khars of Muzzafar Garh. She is a dove not a hawk like Mr Khrushid Kasuri. She does not have good communication skills or negotiating abilities. This has further weakened our position and we have become lesser player in the world affairs. We must consider appointing an experienced person in her place. At last a little sorry too late was uttered by American administration reluctantly. It has been eagerly accepted by us without any regrets and shame. It is indeed, ‘American way or no way’ policy which has won again.
JAVAID BASHIR LAHORE Please email your letters to firstname.lastname@example.org or post them to our address in Islamabad.
FRIDAY, JUNE 14, 2013
European Commission to seek privacy guarantees from US Israel plans massive construction in West Bank JERUSALEM/GAZA: Israel is putting forward a plan to build 500 new housing units in the Jewish settlement of Bruchin in the West Bank, a move Palestinian officials blamed for "destroying U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's efforts to revive peace talks." The plan was submitted this week to the Civil Administration, an Israeli governmental body controlling the West Bank territories, as part of its formal approval process, according to an official document of the Civil Administration obtained by Xinhua Thursday. Under the plan, 500 new housing units will be built in Bruchin, established in 1999, near the Palestinian town of Salfit and 50 existing houses in the settlement will be approved retrospectively. Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, slammed the move Thursday, saying "The Israeli government is fully responsible for destroying (U.S.) Secretary of State John Kerry's mission by imposing new facts on the ground." In addition to continuing the settlement construction, the settlers step up their attacks against Palestinian residents in the West Bank, Erekat told Xinhua. –AGENCIES
GENEVA: The European Commission has raised concerns directly with the US administration about the threat posed to the privacy of EU citizens from the sort of data monitoring highlighted by the leaking of NSA documents to the Guardian by the whistleblower Edward Snowden. Viviane Reding, the vice-president of the commission who is in charge of justice, challenged the US attorney general, Eric Holder, at a meeting in Washington last month and will raise the matter again at an EU-US meeting on Thursday in Dublin. Mina Andreeva, the commissioner's spokeswoman, told
The World at One on BBC Radio 4: "The European commission is concerned about the possible consequences on EU citizens' privacy. "The commission has raised this systematically in its dialogue with the US authorities, especially in the context of the negotiations of the EUUSdata protection agreement in the field of police and judicial cooperation, where the draft text has been on the table now for two years. "This was also raised, by the way, by Vice-President Reding at her last meeting with US attorney general Holder in Washington in April. The vice-president will again raise this with her American counterparts at
Europe … There will be growing resistance against an agreement with the US unless there are some clear guarantees from their side that our European principles of data protection are respected." Reding's spokeswoman was critical of some EU member states, believed to include Britain, which she said showed little appetite for protecting privacy, and were pressing ahead with introducing new powers to give states greater access to data. Andreeva said: "National security is a matter for the member states, but this case goes to show that a clear legal framework for the protection of personal data is not a luxury or not a constraint: it is a
the upcoming EU-US ministerial meeting on 13-14 June in Dublin." The intervention by the commission follows a warning by a senior member of the European parliament that the EU would redouble its efforts to strengthen the proposed EU-US agreement, in the light of the Guardian disclosures. Hannes Swoboda, leader of the socialist group in the parliament, told the FT: "With all the information we've found out in recent days about how easily the US spies on people's private data I think it will be difficult for the Americans to oppose a strong data protection agreement. "This issue is very critical for us in
DPRK criticizes South Korea for aborted talks
Afghan children casualties spike in war: UN KABUL: The number of children killed and injured in Afghanistan's war has risen sharply this year, the U.N. Children's Fund, said, calling the trend "unacceptable" and "very worrying." At least 414 children were killed or injured in the first four months of this year, up 27 percent over the same period the previous year, UNICEF said. Of those, 121 children were killed and 293 were injured through April 30, UNICEF said in figures released Thursday. Roadside bombs and suicide attacks accounted for the largest number of casualties -37 percent -- and the U.N. has particularly criticized the Taliban's use of indiscriminate weapons triggered by victims' stepping on or driving over a pressure plate as a possible war crime. Violence is increasing overall in Afghanistan as the Taliban and other militants press an intense offensive against government targets as international troops hand over security to Afghans. The international coalition is set to end its military mission by the end of 2014. The escalating attacks have caused civilian casualties to soar, including children. –AGENCIES
Georgia shuts 2 bases in Afghanistan after attacks KABUL: Georgia said Thursday that the country has closed two of its bases in Afghanistan after 10 of its soldiers were killed by militant attacks within the last four weeks, but it will not reduce the number of troops serving there. The announcement by Defense Minister Irakli Alasania came five days after he visited Afghanistan to meet with his country's contingent in the U.S-led coalition in the aftermath of the attacks. A massive truck bomb killed seven Georgians at their base in Helmand province's Now-e-Zad district on June 6, while three other Georgian soldiers died May 13 in a bomb attack on another base in Helmand's Musa Qala district. The bombings were part of a wave of militant attacks in recent weeks, pushing violence to some of the highest levels of the 12-year war as Afghan forces take over most security responsibility from international troops set to withdraw next year. Alasania said on television station Rustavi-2 that Georgia will maintain its current level of troops in Afghanistan but did not say where they would work from. Georgia, a former Soviet republic with aspirations of joining NATO, has 1,545 troops serving in Afghanistan. "It's a contribution made by Georgia to the international mission that is fighting terrorism and ensuring global security," he said. –AGENCIES
fundamental right. This is exactly the spirit of the EU's data protection reform that has been on the table for 18 months and where we see that some member states are not moving very enthusiastically towards adopting this reform swiftly. "But in turn they give a lot of priority to legislation – notably the data retention directive that was negotiated in a record time of six months, which allows you to limit civil liberty rights of consumers. So I think it is high time that we move up a gear, that member states move up a gear and show their commitment in protecting EU citizens' fundamental rights and privacy rights in the 21st century." –AGENCIES
SYDNEY: Finalists from 12 countries and regions pose at the airport in Sydney. A total of 18 fifinnalists arrived here on Thursday, competing for ‘the Best Jobs in the World’ including the chief funster in New South Wales, lifestyle photographer in Melbourne, outback adventurer in Northern Territory, park ranger in Queensland, taste master in Western Australia and wildlife caretaker in South Australia. — WIRE SERVICE
Turkish PM issues ‘last warning’ ANKARA: Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday issued a "last warning" to thousands of protesters occupying Gezi Park of Istanbul, calling on them to evacuate the center of the nationwide demonstrations. "Our patience is at an end. I'm making my last warning: mothers, fathers please withdraw your kids from there," Erdogan said while addressing his party members in Ankara. Authorities would clear the site from "troublemakers" within 24 hours, the prime minister stated. His warning came after the government proposed to hold a referendum in Istanbul to decide the future of Gezi Park. The protests started a week ago when a group of environmentalists gathered in Gezi Park in Istanbul to protest against the government's plans to build a replica of Topcu Barracks over the park as part of a Taksim urban renewal project. Hundreds joined the group later after the police used pepper spray and teargas to disperse them. After that, thousands of protesters took to the streets in Istanbul and several provinces nationwide to show support for the demonstrators and to protest against policies of Erdogan's government. Erdogan defended the use of tear gas by police. The demonstrations continued Thursday despite the referendum proposal by the government. The clashes between police and protesters have killed at least five people, including a policeman, and injured 5,000 people, according to local media. Erdogan, who has accused foreign forces, international media and market speculators of stoking the unrest and
trying to undermine the Turkish economy, said he would "share with the nation" at another AKP meeting on Friday details of what he termed a "game being played with Turkey". "It is as if the whole of Turkey is on fire, as if the whole of Turkey is collapsing," he said of some media coverage, describing it as "deceptive and unethical". Riot police looked on from the fringes of Taksim Square, the epicenter of the protests, overnight as crowds mingled, some chanting and dancing, others applauding a concert pianist who took up residence with a grand piano on the square. It was a contrast to the scene 24 hours earlier, when tear gas sent thousands scurrying into side streets before authorities bulldozed barricades and reopened the square to traffic for the first time since the troubles began. Police fired tear gas and water cannon day after day in cities including Ankara last week while youths threw stones and petrol bombs. Three people, one a policeman, died and about 5,000 thousand people were injured, according to the Turkish Medical Association. Erdogan met a group of academics, artists and students who support the Gezi Park protests on Wednesday and AK Party deputy chairman Huseyin Celik said they had discussed the possibility of a referendum on the plans to build on the park. The offer is one of the only concessions the authorities have publicly floated after days of firm rhetoric from Erdogan refusing to back down. Celik gave few details of how a referendum would be carried out, saying it could either be held across Istanbul, or just in the district near Taksim. –AGENCIES
Syria rebels seize key army position in Hama: NGO BEIRUT: Syrian rebels seized on Thursday a key army position in the central province of Hama, which lies on the road linking Damascus to Aleppo in the north, a monitoring group said Thursday. The military responded by deploying en masse to try to take back the position at Morek and began shelling it, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights added. "Rebel fighters took control of an army position situated at the northern edges of Morek village in the north of Hama province, capturing ammunition and weapons from the military after fierce clashes," said the Britainbased Observatory. Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman said the position is strategically important because it lies on the main road linking the capital to Aleppo, large swathes of which are under rebel control. The road is the military's main supply route to Aleppo and to Khan Sheykhoun in the northwestern province of Idlib. It also leads to Maaret al-Noman, which the army has been trying to take back from rebel hands since its capture in October. The capture of the Morek position comes days after proregime media announced an upcoming campaign to take back Aleppo from rebel hands. Meanwhile, the Observatory reported shelling on the Qaboun suburb northeast of Damascus at dawn, as well as fierce clashes on the edges of Barzeh in the north of the capital. –AGENCIES
PYONGYANG: The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Thursday criticized South Korea for the aborted plans to hold highlevel talks between the two sides, indicating it would not seek dialogue for the time being. South Korea and the DPRK agreed on Monday on working-level talks in the border village of Panmunjom to hold their first high-level talks in six years, but the talks were called off Tuesday due to disagreement over the level of chief delegates. "The south side insisted on ministerial-level talks from the beginning, but right before the start of the talks, it downgraded the level of its chief delegate. This is the height of discourtesy and disrespect unprecedented in the history of north-south dialogue," a spokesman of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea (CPRK) said in a statement. "This fully proves that the south side had no intent to hold dialogue from the beginning. It only sought to create an obstacle to the talks and to delay and torpedo them after reluctantly taking part in the talks, far from solving issues at the negotiating table," the spokesman said, adding that "we have nothing to expect from the talks between authorities of the two sides." It was the first time that Pyongyang made a response since
the talks were called off. "The problem raised this time is not a simple issue related to the level of the delegation head, but a manifestation of its sinister intention to make the talks abortive as it found it hard to realize its scenario for abusing the talks for the purpose of confrontation," a report of the official KCNA news agency said. The DPRK on Tuesday unilaterally notified South Korea of its decision to delay the dispatch of its delegation, as it was upset by Seoul's notification that it would be represented by a vice minister in talks scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday in Seoul. South Korea's delegation was expected to be led by Vice Unification Minister Kim Nam-shik, but the DPRK lashed out at such nomination of a low-level official. Pyongyang nominated CPRK Director Kang Ji-young as chief delegate. Seoul originally planned to send Unification Minister Ryoo to the meeting as chief negotiator and expected Kim Yang Gon, secretary of the Central Committee of Workers'Party of Korea, at the talks. The DPRK last Thursday proposed holding inter-governmental meetings with South Korea on interKorean issues. The latter accepted the proposal on the same day, hoping the talks will become an opportunity to help forge trust. –AGENCIES
Maoists attack passenger train in Bihar NEW DELHI: Maoist rebels in one of India’s poorest states on Thursday stopped a train crammed with 1,500 passengers and killed a soldier and a passenger and injured at least one other person before melting back into the forest, an official said. More than 100 attackers surrounded the train near Jamui in the state of Bihar, with some firing at the train indiscriminately, Indian media reported. The attackers took guns from at least two security guards on the train, the media reports said. Indian Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said that the police were pursuing the attackers. “Operation is on,” he said in a televised briefing. After the gunmen left, the train resumed its journey to Patna, Bihar’s capital. Last month, hundreds of rebels attacked a convoy of political leaders from the Indian National Congress Party in the nearby state of Chhattisgarh, killing 28 and injuring 24. Maoist rebels are concentrated in remote, tribal regions in India’s east, and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has called them India’s biggest internal security threat. Their ranks are filled with tribal people, some of them women and girls. Tribal people are India’s most marginalized citizens, and their traditional lands have sometimes been appropriated for huge mining operations in the mineral-rich areas. But Maoist bands have sometimes sustained themselves by demanding bribes from the mining operations. The government has sought to end the insurgency with a mix of get-tough security polices and welfare handouts. And federal and state officials often blame one another for security lapses in the wake of attacks. Despite their violence, Maoist rebels still command considerable sympathy among India’s left-of-center intellectual class. A recent editorial in the Economic & Political Weekly, one of India’s most important academic publications, wrote of last month’s bloody attack, “Didn’t it serve the cause of justice? Wasn’t it morally justified? Hadn’t the oppressed been left with no other way but to challenge the violence that reproduces and maintains their oppression?” –AGENCIES
Hardliners still split as Iran election campaigning ends
DU BAI: Campaigning in Iran's presidential electionended on Thursday, a day before the vote in which the sole moderate candidate has an unlikely chance to steal victory from his hardline rivals. Hardliners have failed to agree on a unity candidate, potentially splitting their vote and improving the chances of moderate cleric Hassan Rohani to progress to a run-off poll. The next president is not expected to produce any major policy shift on Iran's disputed nuclear program or its support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad since Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei calls all the shots on the big issues. Yet all but one of the candidates chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili - has advocated a less intransigent approach to nuclear talks with world powers. The president can influence the tone of Iran's foreign
policy with his choice of trips abroad. Khamenei, 73, never travels outside Iran. The president will also have the task of trying to fix an economy battered by intensifying international sanctions and soaring inflation fed by state subsidies and corruption. Friday's presidential election is the first in Iran since 2009 when reformists said the vote had been rigged to ensure the re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, touching off the biggest protests since the 1979 Islamic revolution. Khamenei is determined to see a less troublesome, more compliant president, analysts say, but above all no repeat of the 2009 unrest that dented the Islamic Republic's legitimacy. Consequently campaigning, which ended at 8 a.m. local time on Thursday, has been tightly restricted and subdued.
But Rohani appeared to be showing a last-minute surge with large crowds on the streets of the eastern holy city of Mashhad for his final election gathering on Wednesday. "Rohani was amazing in yesterday's rally. It was a huge welcome and unprecedented in Mashhad," wrote one supporter on Twitter. Pictures on social media showed what appeared to be sizeable public rallies, discouraged by authorities, in favor of Rohani in Tehran late into the night. Large rallies were also staged in the Iranian capital by supporters of hardline candidates. Rohani, best known for his conciliatory stance in nuclear talks with Western powers between 2003 and 2005, could benefit from his rivals' failure to unite behind a single hardline candidate even after months of trying. Despite his endorsement by
reformists sidelined after 2009, Rohani is still very much an establishment figure, though one less dogmatic and more open to conciliation with the West. In an interview with the Arabic newspaper Sharq Al Awsat published on Thursday, Rohani said Israel was behind a campaign of disinformation to label Tehran's peaceful nuclear activities a weapons program. "If I were to be elected president of the country, I will reflect these beliefs through regaining international trust and exposing these hidden motives," he said. "The United States and its allies have to stop this deceit," Rohani told the Saudi-owned newspaper. He would judge U.S. President Barack Obama "by his actions, not his words" and called for sanctions to be lifted in order for ties to improve. A high voter turnout might benefit
Rohani, but more liberal Iranians likely to back the mid-ranking cleric are debating whether to vote at all, given their widespread belief that the result will be fixed as they say it was in 2009. Some middle-class Iranians though, while not enthused about any of the candidates, may vote to try to stop a hardliner such as Jalili getting in. "Up to today I had no intention of voting. I couldn't bring myself to, but now to anyone who asks, I say if I vote, I will vote for Rohani," wrote another Iranian on Twitter. With no independent, reliable opinion polls in Iran, it is hard to gauge the public mood, let alone the extent to which Khamenei and the powerful Revolutionary Guards will exert their influence over the ballot. The election of little-known Tehran mayor Ahmadinejad as president in 2005 took many by surprise and there is no telling whether there will be a similar
shock result this time round. Jalili has run a strong campaign, but has been heavily criticized, even by fellow hardliners, for his intransigence in nuclear talks and for failing to stop the imposition of tough new sanctions. He is alone among the candidates in defending Iran's current robust, ideologically driven foreign policy. The other main conservative candidates, while not necessarily disagreeing with the substance of Iran's present policies, have emphasized what they say will be their more inclusive domestic policies and more pragmatic style abroad. Ali Akbar Velayati, a former foreign minister and adviser to Khamenei, has pledged to consult widely before taking decisions, while current Tehran mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf has campaigned on his record of improving infrastructure in the capital.
FRIDAY, JUNE 14, 2013
Giants to develop solutions for constuction industry Nawaz likely to visit Peshawar at month end
PESHAWAR: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is likely to visit the provincial capital at the end of the month or early next month and has sought security clearance in this regard. During his one day visit to the city, the prime minister would meet Chief Minister Pervez Khattak, members of the provincial cabinet and PML-N leaders. Sources said that after security clearance from law enforcing agencies, Nawaz Sharif would visit Peshawar. ONLINE
ISLAM ABAD: Lafarge Pakistan aims to enable sustainable and affordable housing for two million people. This was stated at the launch ceremony of “Building Better Cities”; Lafarge’s new corporate positioning along with a new modernised logo, in Islamabad on Wednesday. It is an updated commitment to the company’s communities and customers and will be reflected in all of its internal and external communications according to representatives of Lafarge Pakistan. Lafarge Pakistan’s Marketing Director Rizwan Jameel said that the company’s
ambition is to contribute to building better cities by developing value-added products, constructions systems, and solutions and services to meet some of the greatest challenges of urbanization. He also added that as a company they are highly mindful of their employee’s safety as well as the safety of the community at large which they are serving. Amr Reda, Country CEO of Lafarge Pakistan, stated that “Building Better Cities” expresses their sense of purpose in Pakistan, which is contributing to better towns and cities in urban and disaster affected areas. “We want to offer not only affordable housing but sustainable construction solutions that are accessible to
everyone and we want to develop infrastructure that withstands the passage of time while protecting the environment at the same time is also a priority,” he added. Philippe Thiebaud, Ambassador of France to Pakistan, expressing his views at the event said that sustained economic growth cannot occur without social progress, environmental protection and respect for communities. “Lafarge’s renewed commitment and vision speaks of their sustainable development priorities. Lafarge has been at the forefront when it comes to their stakeholders and their recent initiative of Health and Safety trainings with APCMA and IESCO, and sustainable
community activities around their plant are exemplary,” he said. Parvez L. Qureshi, Chief Executive, Unicon, said that the combination of strengths at Unicon and Lafarge will be instrumental in developing long lasting lowincome housing structures in various areas across Pakistan, particularly those affected by natural calamities. “By developing sustainable solutions that give back to society and the environment, we aim to achieve a comprehensive solution for the infrastructure development sector.” Lafarge’s ambition to contribute to building better cities, includes solutions contributing to more housing in cities, to address the issue of housing for all.
‘Kanji Ram declared returned candidate’
US sponsors study tour for energy sector officials
ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission has announced the result over seat reserved for non-Muslims in the Punjab Assembly and declared Kanji Ram as returned candidate. The commission declared Kanji Ram, resident of Tibi Waghawar, Chak No 168/P, tehsil Sadiqabad, district Rahim Yar Khan, belonging to the Pakistan Muslim League-N as returned candidate on the seat reserved for the non-Muslims in the provincial assembly. ONLINE
Zaka likely to step down KARACHI: Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Zaka Ashraf might step down or could be told by President Asif Zardari to resign in the next few days following the dismal show of the team in the ongoing ICC Champions Trophy. Although Zaka got elected as Chairman for a four-year term in May under the new provisions of the PCB constitution which have been challenged in the court in some petitions, a reliable source aware of the developments said he could resign soon.
Power protesters torch WAPDA oﬃce in Pindi RAWALPINDI: Citizens plagued by the prolonged spans of load shedding, set ablaze the office of WAPDA in the city and the employees had to run outside to safety. Immensely distraught by the protracted and unannounced spells of power outages, angry people ran amok and torched the WAPDA office located in the city area of Dhamial Camp, causing all the office record to burn to ashes. The infuriated people rampaged around the office. Meantime, the office crew had to run outside to rescue themselves. ONLINE
No CNG in Sindh on every alternate day KARACHI: The SSGCL has said that CNG stations across Sindh will remain closed on every alternate day for 24 hours. It said new schedule will be effective from next week. Meanwhile, CNG Association President Abdul Sami Khan strongly criticised the SSGC decision, saying the association would protest against this injustice. ONLINE
MULTAN: Construction work underway at International Airport. APP
Raising salaries not job of Centre, says minister
90pc of employees work in provinces so it is their responsibility to raise salaries, says Pervez Rashid
OUR STAFF REPORTER
ISLAMABAD: Minister for and Information Broadcasting Pervez Rashid said on Thursday that one of top priorities of the new government is to resolve energy crisis and improve law and order situation in the country. Talking to media after inaugurating "News Education Expo" here, he said the government will ensure financial discipline to achieve selfreliance. The minister described the financial budget for next fiscal year as pro-poor and
people-friendly. When asked about resentment in government employees as the budget has not raised their salaries, the information minister pointed out that 90 percent of the employees work in provinces. “It is now the responsibility of the provinces to decide about these employees’ salaries. As far as the salaries of the federal employees are concerned, they are mere 10 percent.” Those working in the President and the Prime Minister Houses are already drawing extra benefits and salaries. Rest of them work in the corporations, which decide about their salaries from time to time. When his attention was drawn towards his party's manifesto envisaging
minimum wage of Rs. 15000 for laborers, the federal minister clarified that the manifesto speaks of gradual increase in the minimum wage. He said the government will consider increasing the minimum wage from next year. The minister said the government has inherited an empty exchequer and credit goes to the Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, who has ensured that the employees continue to get timely salaries. To a question, Pervez Rashid said the government has cut its expenditures and these resources will be utilized to address the energy crisis, adding “Incentives have been announced for the youth, shelterless people, women, unemployed and investors”, he maintained.
ISLAMABAD: The US government organised a study tour for professionals from governmentowned power distribution companies to Manila, and Cebu City of Philippines. Exposure to modern commercial procedures and consumer outreach method were intended to teach energy professionals how to strengthen commercial operations and customer service, as well as professional development at DISCOs which are responsible for managing the distribution of energy throughout the country. “We work with public sector power distribution companies to improve their operations, reduce losses and ultimately to make sure that Pakistani citizens have a more reliable supply of power,” said Craig VanDevelde, chief of party of USAID Power Distribution Programme. During their exchange visits to Manila and Cebu City, DISCO managers will have the opportunity to observe operations at several of the finest energy facilities. The programme includes presentations, site visits and roundtable discussions to address specific topics related to communications, customer service, and commercial management at the distribution companies. USAID, under its power distribution programme, has conducted 11 exchange programmes to Turkey, South Africa, Australia, UAE, Thailand, Philippines and the US. Approximately 12 to 14 DISCO managers were selected for each programme and all nine DISCOS including LESCO-Lahore, MEPCOMultan, GEPCO-Gujranwala, FESCO–Faisalabad, IESCOIslamabad, PESCO-Peshawar, QESCO-Quetta, SEPCO-Sukkur and HESCO-Hyderabad. The five-year USAID programme was announced by US State Secretary Hillary Clinton in 2009 as one of the US efforts to support the government in Pakistan to reform the power sector to mitigate the current energy crisis. ONLINE
Reception in honour of star mountaineer Samina OUR STAFF REPORTER
RAWALPINDI: Rawalpindi Arts Council in collaboration with Gojal Educational and Cultural Association on Wednesday organised a reception in honour of Samina Baig, the first Pakistan Woman who hoisted Pakistani flag on the Mount Everest. Mirza Ali, Samina’s brother and comountaineer, was also present, when rich tributes were paid to them. Addressing the occasion, Samina Baig said
that her aim was not just to reach the Mount Everest, but to represent Pakistan. She said that it was not only great honor for Pakistan but for Pakistani women also. Samina said that she would continue her mission for positive cause. Mirza Ali also shared his adventure on way to the Mount Everest and said that he never felt that Samina was feeling laziness, hunger or fatigue during journey but her courage caused valor for him. GECA Chairman Baig Ali and others also addresses to the ceremony.
HEC chairperson lauds budget enhancement ISLAMABAD: The Chairperson of Higher Education Commission Dr. Javaid R. Laghari, in his letter to the vice chancellors of public sector universities, has appreciated the proposed enhancement of budget for higher education sector and new initiatives for university students in Budget 2013- 14. He was of the view that sizeable increase of HEC budget from 48 to 59 billion rupees would be greatly helpful to overcome the problems being faced by Pakistani
universities within last few years. The increase of number of foreign scholarships from 4249 to 6249 is another good step which would lead towards overcoming the shortage of trained human resource. He said, “HEC is pleased with the support provided by the new democratic government to higher education as per its commitment in the PMLN Manifesto 2013. It is like a “breath of fresh air” after the turmoil HEC and the higher education institutions have undergone. ONLINE
LAHORE: Railway workers hold a demonstration against federal budget at Railway Engine Shed. ONLINE
CMYK FRIDAY, JUNE 14, 2013
British singer George Michael writing new album
deepika breaks free of Brad Pitt syndrome
LONDON: British singer George Michael is writing a new album while he recovers from head injuries sustained during a car accident last month, his spokeswoman said on Thursday. The 49-year-old former Wham! frontman has been recuperating at home after nearly two weeks in hospital. British media reported that Michael fell out of a car at speed on a busy motorway outside London during rush hour on May 16. "He's doing extremely well," Michael's spokeswoman said. "He is writing a new album." There was no release date for the new material. The "Careless Whisper" singer has sold an estimated 100 million records over his career, but has hit the headlines for his personal life more often than for his music recently. The car accident was the latest incident in a string of health scares and other mishaps. Last year, Michael canceled a tour of Australia due to "major anxiety" brought on by a 2011 battle with severe pneumonia in Vienna, where he was treated in intensive care for a month. -SHOWBIZ DESK
MUMBAI: Nearly six years after her model-to-actress career move, Deepika Padukone says she is finally being praised for her acting in films and not just for her good looks. Ayan Mukerji's Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, which stars Deepika in the lead with ex-beau Ranbir Kapoor, got her box-office success and critical appreciation this month. Some reviews said she overshadowed her co-star. It's a far cry from her Bollywood debut with Om Shanti Om in 2007 and subsequent films when critics described her acting as wooden and mocked her accent. "We call it the Brad Pitt syndrome where for some reason if you are good-looking then people think you cannot act," Padukone told Reuters in an interview. "I have been slotted in that way where people thought she is good enough to just add glamour to a film," the 27-year-old actress said. Deepika Padukone, the daughter of famous badminton player Prakash Padukone, was worried about the undue focus on her physical attributes. -SHOWBIZ DESK
dispatch audio reveals details of Paris Jackson suicide attempt
New tax in Pakistan could make screening of Indian films expensive SHOWBIZ DESK
LOS ANGELES: Paris Jackson, the 15year-old daughter of late pop star Michael Jackson, swallowed 20 pain pills and cut her arm last week in an apparent suicide attempt, according to emergency dispatch audio released on Tuesday. The audio released by the Los Angeles County Fire Department casts new light on the June 5 incident at the Jackson's family residence in Calabasas, California, which prompted a judge who oversees her guardianship case to order an investigation into her "health, education and welfare." The call between emergency dispatchers indicated that Paris took 20 Motrin tablets, an overthe-counter pain medication, and cut her arm with a kitchen knife. The minutelong audio clip also described the teenager as awake and breathing before being rushed to a local hospital. Court ordered an investigator to "address the status of the minor child, Paris Michael Katherine Jackson, and recent media reports concerning her welfare," according to court documents filed after the she entered a hospital last week. Katherine Jackson's attorney, Perry Sanders, said last week that Paris was "physically fine." Jackson has recently rekindled her relationship with her biological mother, Debbie Rowe, who was married to Michael Jackson from 1996 to 1999 and turned over custody of her two children with him as part of their divorce. -SHOWBIZ DESK
Robert Pattinson named new face of dior fragrance
LOS ANGELES: Twilight star Robert Pattinson has been named the new face of Dior Homme fragrance. The 27-yearold actor will be featured in a campaign photographed by Nan Goldin and filmed by Romain Gavras, reported Ace Showbiz. "Dior Robert," the company said in a Twitter post, accompanied with a black-and-white picture of the actor. A statement from the fashion house read, "The House of Dior is delighted to announce that actor Robert Pattinson is to be the new face of Dior Homme fragrance." "He has since proven the scope of his acting talents by choosing films as varied as Remember Me by Allen Coulter, Water for Elephants by Francis Lawrence in which he starred alongside Reese Witherspoon, or with his role as 'Bel Ami' the famous Maupassant character. -SHOWBIZ DESK
ISLAMABAD: A new tax proposed by the Pakistan government could hit the import of films and television serials produced in India and increase the prices of tickets at cinema halls across the country. While unveiling the budget for 2013-14 in parliament, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar proposed an "adjustable withholding tax" to be levied on all foreign films and television serials. The tax on a foreign-produced film will be Rs 1 million while the tax for a foreign-produced television drama serial will be Rs 100,000 per episode. In the case of foreign-produced television plays too, the tax will be Rs 100,000, Dar said. "The new adjustable withholding tax is being proposed for foreign-based films and dramas to make them competitive with the local film industry," he announced during his budget speech. Pakistan imports dozens of Bollywood and Hollywood films every year. A ban imposed on the import of Indian films after the 1965 war was partially eased during former military ruler Pervez Musharraf's regime. The restrictions were further eased under the previous Pakistan Peoples Party-led government. Film distributors have credited the import of Bollywood films, which are popular with people across Pakistan, for the
Ghazal King Mehdi hassan remembered revival of cinema-going culture in the country. Several multiplexes in cities like Karachi and Rawalpindi screen only Bollywood productions. The new tax is adjustable, meaning importers or cinema hall owners can claim refunds while filing annual returns. Officials said the tax was proposed to keep track of imported films and serials and
Jiah Khan Suicide caSe
Laila arrested for dishonoured cheque
Life must be valued than love: SRK SHOWBIZ DESK
MUMBAI: Reacting to the recent suicide of actress Jiah Khan, Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan says life should not be less important than love. Jiah, 25, was found hanging at her flat in Sagar Sangeet Building in the posh Juhu area on June 3 around midnight. She apparently left a note, which points fingers towards Aditya Pancholi's son Sooraj, who has been arrested in connection with her suicide. Jiah and Sooraj were in a relationship for quite some time and reportedly there were problems between the couple, which seem to have forced her to take the extreme step. "Everyone has different definition of love. Love is a universal thing. I play the role of a lover which is written by a set of people, it is their interpretation of love. But I feel we should respect life more than love," Shah Rukh told reporters at the first look launch of Chennai Express. "There are going to be difficult times in everyone's life but one must not give up, and respect life. Every
discourage the reckless import of movies. However, the new tax could lead to an increase in prices of tickets at cinema halls and multiplexes. Analysts said the new tax could also hit the import of foreign serials aired on Pakistani channels and cable networks. Besides Indian serials and soaps, Turkish serials dubbed in Urdu are very popular with Pakistanis.
problem will be sorted out, don't lose hope," he said. Jiah made her debut with Ram Gopal Varma's Nishabd alongside megastar Amitabh Bachchan.She later appeared in Aamir Khan starrer Ghajini and then in a supporting role in Akshay Kumar's Housefull, which was her last film.
ISLAMABAD: Pakistani actress Laila was arrested today in connection with a film producer’s complaint against her over a dishonoured cheque. She was arrested from a hotel in Punjab province’s Multan city. Producer Sheikh Naeem lodged a complaint with the police, saying that Laila gave him a Rs.220,000 cheque (about $2,230), which was dishonoured, Geo News reported. It stated that the actress had borrowed the money from Sheikh. Police conducted a raid at a local hotel and arrested Laila and said she would be presented before a local court. Talking to media, Laila said she would avenge the humiliation caused by the arrest. The actress said she had settled the issue with the producer but he got her arrested when she came to perform in Multan. -SHOWBIZ DESK
Boyfriend Suraj sent to jail till June 27 Sooraj Pancholi, held for abetting the suicide of his girlfriend and actress Jiah Khan, was today remanded in judicial custody till June 27 by a local court. Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Seema Jadhav rejected the remand application for extending police custody of 21-year-old Suraj, son of actor couple Aditya Pancholi and Zarina Wahab. Seeking extension of police custody for Sooraj, prosecutor A K Pancharane said police had come across the word "rape" in the six-page letter purportedly written by Jiah to her boyfriend and they wanted to probe in this direction. He further said that Sooraj had deleted messages sent to him by Jiah on cell phone and they wanted to retrieve them to investigate the angle that he abetted suicide of the 25-year-old actress.
i can never cry with the help of glycerine: Sonam
ISLAMABAD: The first death anniversary of Lollywood ghazal singer (late) Mehdi Hassan Khan is being observed yeaterday. Mehdi Hassan was born on July 18, 1927 in a village called Luna, in the Indian state of Rajasthan into a family of traditional musicians. He was awarded KL Saigal Sangeet Shehenshah Award by the government of India. He was honoured with Tamgha-e-Imtiaz, Pride of Performance and Hilal-e-Imtiaz by the government of Pakistan. In 1983, he was awarded Gorkha Dakshina Bahu in the court of King Birendra by the Government of Nepal. He remained a leading singer of the Pakistani film industry along with Ahmed Rushdi. The highest civilian award of Pakistan, 'Nishan-e-Imtiaz', was also conferred on him. In 1957, Mehdi Hassan was given the opportunity to sing on Radio Pakistan, which earned him recognition within the musical fraternity. He had a passion for Urdu poetry, and therefore, he began to experiment by singing ghazals on a part-time basis. His first song was 'Jis ne mere dil ko dard diya' from film 'Susral' in 1962 and popular ghazal 'Insha ji utho ab kooch karo is shaharr me dil ko lagana kia' made him immortal. Legendary Indian singer Lata Mangeshkar complimented him, saying that "Bhagwan talks in his throat." In October 2010, HMV released "Sarhadain" in which probably the first and last duet song "Tera Milana" featuring Mehdi Hassan and Lata Mangeshkar was released. Mehdi Hassan died on June 13, 2012 after a protracted illness, in a private hospital in Karachi. -SHOWBIZ DESK
Oprah donates 12m dollars to museum
LOS ANGELES: Celebrity chat show host Oprah Winfrey has donated USD 12 million to help build Smithsonian`s National Museum of African American History and Culture. The 59-year-old will have the Washington DC facility`s 350-seat theatre named after her as a special thanks, the Hollywood Reporter said. "I am so proud of African American history and its contributions to our nation as a whole. I am deeply appreciative of those who paved the path for me and all who follow in their footsteps," Winfrey said. "By investing in this museum, I want to help ensure that we both honour and preserve our culture and history, so that the stories of who we are will live on for generations to come," she said. Winfrey, who has been a member of the museum`s advisory council since 2004, previously gave USD 1 million to the museum in 2007, which takes her total up to USD 13 million, a sum only matched by the CEO`s own donation. The National Museum of African American History and Culture is currently under construction and is set to open in late 2015. . -SHOWBIZ DESK
Man of Steel — Will the audience accept the new Superman? SHOWBIZ DESK MUMBAI: Actress Sonam Kapoor likes to keep it as natural as possible when she is in front of the camera, and says she can't use glycerine to cry for a movie scene. "I go so deep into the character that I make myself unwell. It becomes disturbing at times. I have taken training for acting for a year. I can never cry with the help of glycerine. Whenever I cry on screen I cry naturally, if I am happy, I am genuinely happy on screen," Sonam told IANS. Sonam, who is awaiting the release of her forthcoming film 'Raanjhanaa', says she doesn't mind giving umpteen retakes until her director is satisfied. "I am a director's actor. If my acting is appreciated, it's because of the director, and if it's not appreciated, it's all again because of the director. I will keep giving them takes till they are convinced," she added. Directed by Anand L.Rai, 'Raanjhaana' features southern star Dhanush opposite Sonam. It releases June 21. -SHOWBIZ DESK
t has been a black eye to Hollywood that throughout this, the unending and increasingly repetitive age of the superhero blockbuster, the comics' most iconic son has eluded its grasp like a bird or, if you will, a plane. New hopes of box-office riches and franchise serials rests on Zac Snyder's 3-D Man of Steel, the latest attempt to put Superman back into flight. But Snyder's joyless film, laden as if composed of the stuff of its hero's metallic nickname, has nothing soaring about it. Flying men in capes is grave business in Snyder's solemn Superman. Man of Steel, an origin tale of the DC Comics hero, goes more than two hours before the slightest joke or smirk. This is not your Superman of red tights, phone booth changes, or fortresses of
solitude, but one of Christ imagery, Krypton politics and spaceships. Who would want to have fun at the movies anyway, when you could instead be taught a lesson about identity from a guy who can shoot laser beams out of his eyes? Man of Steel opens with the pains
of childbirth, as Lara Lor-Van (Ayelet Zurer) and husband Jor-El (Russell Crowe) see the birth of KalEl, the first naturally born child in years on Krypton. The planet, a giant bronze ball of pewter, as far as I can tell is in apocalyptic tumult (the disaster film has gone
intergalactic), and General Zod (Michael Shannon) attempts to take over power, fighting in bulky costumes with Jor-El. His coup is thwarted (though not before killing Jor-El, who continues on in the film in an Obi-Wan-like presence), and he and his followers are locked away, frozen until Krypton's implosion frees them. Baby Kal-El has been rocketed away with Krypton's precious Codex, an energy-radiating skull. Kal-El rockets to Earth, setting up not a Midwest reprieve to the lengthy Krypton fallout, but a flash-forward to more explosions. Our next glimpse of Kal-El is as a young adult Clark Kent (the beefy Brit Henry Cavill) aboard a fishing vessel on stormy seas, where he shirtless and aflame saves the crew of a burning oil rig."The film is going to be a visually exciting experience in all formats - 2D, 3D and IMAX. We
have designed and photographed the movie in a way that it would allow the film to captivate those moviegoers, while respecting fans, who prefer a more traditional cinematic experience," Snyder said in a statement. "We've taken great measures to ensure the film and the story come first, and 3D is meant as an enhancement," he added. The awkward acrobatics to modernise Man of Steel are most evident with its explanation of Superman's shield. The "S'' doesn't stand for Superman, but is a Krypton glyph (an element first introduced in the original 1978 film) now defined as representing "hope." But if "S'' doesn't stand for "Superman," Man of Steel is the one with the identity issues. Man of Steel, a Warner Bros. release, is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence, action and destruction, and for some language.
THE SPOKESMAN - RAWALPINDI/ISLAMABAD
‘Every citizen should have access to information’ ISLAMABAD: Senator Farhat Ullah Babar, Chairman Senate Sub Committee of Standing Committee on Information has said every citizen should have access to information. He said this while presiding over committee meeting here Thursday in Parliament House. The Committee reviewed Access to Information Bill 2013 and directed the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and Ministry of Defence to consult law ministry and inform it about the consultation process so that the bill could be given final shape. Babar said members of parliament have no access to information in certain matters while on the other hand every citizen has been provided access to information in the countries like Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Every citizen should have access to information, he added. –ONLINE
JUNE 14, 2013
Opp plans motions for cutting ministries’ expenses ISLAMABAD: The first meeting of opposition parties convened on Thursday by PPP’s Khurshid Shah, decided to table motions regarding cutting down expenses of eight ministries, including those of trade and interior. The meeting also attended by PTI, MQM, did not witness the participation of PML-Z, PML-Q and AML (Awami Muslim League), and was held in the chamber of opposition leader Khurshid Shah, who told Online that PPP, PTI and MQM would be
carrying on a united front. Khurshid Shah also informed the agency that a joint strategy had been formulated by opposition parties, who had united for better and higher interests and defence of federation. Speaking on the occasion, PTI leader Shah Mahmood Qurieshi dispelled the notion that opposition was divided on key issues of national interest and said it would rather remain united and refrain from pulling each other’s legs. Qurieshi expressed strong resolve
of opposition parties to give a tough time to government and promised never to compromise on principles. PEW terms budget a disappointment: The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Thursday criticised new taxation measures introduced in the budget as it will open floodgates of inflation and corruption. Revised sales tax (ST) rate from 16 per cent to 17 per cent will add to the miseries of dejected masses therefore this decision merits revision, said Dr Murtaza Mughal,
ISLAMABAD: Chief of the Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani called on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif here on Thursday. According to official sources, overall security situation in the country and matters relating to national security came under discussion during the meeting. –ONLINE
Ayub Bridge on River Swat washed away
Love-marriage couple killed in Sukkur SUKKUR: A newlywed couple, who eloped and got married almost a year back, was killed by unidentified persons near Sukkur city of Sindh on Thursday. Police said Ahsan Ali and his wife Gul Taj were gunned down when armed men barged into their home located in Sukkur’s Saleh Patt tehsil. The couple had been attacked several times, police said, adding that their relatives might have killed them for karo-kari. –ONLINE
PTI announces anti-budget protests from tomorrow LAHORE: Paksitan Tehreek Insaf has rejected federal budget 2013-14, calling it anti-masses, and announced to launch a series of protests across Punjab from tomorrow (Friday). PTI Punjab President Ejaz Chaudhry alleged that the current budget was formulated to provide relief to industrialists and business community, and has rather created difficulties for the poor class of people. He said PTI workers would stage demonstrations in all district headquarters across Punjab from tomorrow. –ONLINE
Rs 10,000 monthly stipend for educated youth: minister I SL AM ABAD: Minister of State for Education and Training Baleeghur Rehman has said that under Prime Minister's Youth Training Programme‚ Masters' degree holders would be provided internship and a monthly stipend of 10‚000 rupees. In an interview with state-run radio here on Thursday, the minister said the government had made three-fold increase in allocations for education which would enable launching of several new initiatives in the sector. –ONLINE
RAWALPINDI: Chairman Pakistan Tahreek-e-Insaf Imran Khan off ffeering Fateha for PTI worker Usman Mirza, during his fifirrst visit to Rawalpindi after the elections. –ONLINE (STORY ON PAGE 3)
Seven more target killings in Karachi
Hand grenade blast kills alleged terrorist
KARACHI: Seven more people fell victim to targeted killings across the city on Thursday. Latest incident took place at Super Highway when armed assailants shot dead a policeman. Earlier in the day, two persons were gunned down in Korangi Chakra Goth, while two dead bodies were found dumped at Northern Bypass near Sohrab Goth. One of the victims was identified as Asif, missing Muttahida Qaumi Movement activist whose name was also listed in missing persons. At North Nazimabad Paharr Ganj area, one person affiliated with a religious organization was shot and killed, who was identified as Shafiq Baba.
Meanwhile, three hand grenades exploded near Ittehad Chowk area of Baldia town here, killing an alleged terrorist on the spot. According to the police, a hand grenade went off in the hand of an alleged terrorist when he was making a terror plan in his house located in Ittehad Town, resultantly he died on the spot. Fingerprints of the alleged terrorist and his blood samples have been taken for several tests. Police said that prior to the incident two hand grenades explosion also took place in the area while the third grenade exploded in his hand. A 9mm pistol and magazine with 15 bullets were also recovered from the possession of the body, police added. –ONLINE
Dubai inaugurates world’s tallest ‘twisted’ tower DU BAI : Dubai has inaugurated the world’s tallest twisted tower built at a cost of $272 million, setting a yet another record for skyscrapers and other engineering marvels. The 310-metre (1,017-foot), 75-storey residential Cayan Tower is twisted at 90 degrees from top to bottom and was inaugurated earlier this week in Dubai Marina -- a man-made canal overlooking the Gulf. Developer Cayan Real Estate Investment and Development Company said 80 percent of its residential units have already been sold. Construction began in 2006, but was delayed due to major technical problems and the 2009 economic downturn in Dubai triggered by the global financial crisis. The tower was designed by Chicago-based Skidmore Owings and Merrill, the masterminds behind Burj Khalifa, which is the world's tallest tower and also in Dubai. The 828-metre (2,717-foot), 160-storey Burj Khalifa broke engineering and architectural records when it opened in January 2010. In May 2012, Dubai opened the 413.4-metre (1,356-foot) Princess Tower, the world's tallest residential building, according to the Guinness World Records website. And later in 2012, the emirate inaugurated the world's tallest hotel -- the 355-metre (1,165-foot) twin tower JW Marriott Marquis Dubai. –ONLINE
EDB claims developing cost-effective coal technology ISLAMABAD: The Engineering Development Board (EDB) on Wednesday claimed that it had developed a cost-effective clean coal technology (CCT) based on indigenous coal to run the country’s existing power plants and industry. The EDB said that the approximate capital cost of a new power plant on the Coal Water Slurry Fuel Technology (CWS) Technology is $1.25 million while the present thermal power plants only require certain retrofitting of existing power plants, especially the boilers to make them run on CWS in a short span of less than one year. “The energy cost of CWS is Rs 6 to 9 per KWH with a burning efficiency level of 99 per cent and boiler efficiency of 90per cent. While detailed feasibilities for three power stations of 20 MW, 195 MW (Multan) and 132 MW (Faisalabad) is already prepared, EDB’s prime focus initially is on power and industrial sector, especially the cement and textile industry in the first phase, a statement said. The EDB also said that the Coal Water Slurry Fuel Technology or CWS is cheaper, cleaner and environmentfriendly replacement of furnace oil, diesel and natural gas for power generation. It converts coal to liquid by adding certain amount of water and admixtures to it and is fired just like furnace oil at highly efficient combustion rate at lower temperature.
PESHAWAR: Pakistan Tehreek-eInsaf-led 12-member Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) cabinet took oath of office here on Thursday. No female minister was sworn in. KP Governor Engineer Shaukat Yusufzai administered oath in a simple but graceful ceremony held at his official residence here. KP Chief Minister Pervez Khatak, senior officials, politicians and diplomats attended the ceremony. The seven PTI ministers who took oath include Shaukat Yousafzai and Shah Farman, both elected from Peshawar, Mian Jamsheduddin Kakakhel who won election from the Chief Minister’s native district, Nowshera, Atif Khan from Mardan, Mahmood Khan from Swat, Yousaf Ayub Khan from Haripur and Israrullah Gandapur from Dera Ismail Khan. The last-named was elected as an independent and later joined the PTI. He would be the minister for law and parliamentary affairs. Two ministers from Aftab Sherpao’s Qaumi Watan Party (QWP) and two from Jamaat-iIslami (JI) also took oath today. They include QWP’s Bakht Baidar, who was elected from Lower Dir and would be minister for labour, mines and industries, and Malik Ibrar Hussain, who won election from Mansehra and would be forests and environment minister. The two JI ministers are
Inayatullah, elected from Upper Dir who would get the local government portfolio and Habibur Rahman, an MPA from Buner who would run the ministry of Zakat and Ushar. Senior ministers Sikandar Sherpao of QWP and Sirajul Haq of JI have already taken oath. Sikandar Sherpao would be minister of irrigation and energy and power while Sirajul Haq would be minister of finance. Chief Minister Pervez Khattak in the near future would also appoint five advisors and an unspecified number of special assistants. Some of the likely advisors are PTI’s Yasin Khalil from Peshawar, Dr Amjad Ali from Swat and Ali Amin Gandapur from Dera Ismail Khan. Among the probable special assistants would be Dr Mehrtaj Roghani, elected on the reserved seats from women. Naseem Hayat, another PTI female lawmaker belonging to Swabi, could also be named special assistant. The special assistants and the advisors would also be assigned portfolios. The name of independent MPA Malik Qasim Khan, elected from Karak who later joined the PTI, was also under consideration for appointment as an advisor or special assistant. The chief minister would keep the portfolios of planning and development, C&W and S& GAD. –ONLINE
Kerry coming to Pakistan this month ISLAMABAD: Foreign Office Aizaz Ahmad Spokesperson Chaudhry has said Pakistan has emphatically conveyed to the United States its concern on drone strikes. In his weekly news briefing in Islamabad on Thursday‚ he said Pakistan has raised the issue of drone attacks at different world forums including the United Nations Human Rights Council. He said “we will continue to raise this issue with the US officials at the appropriate forums.” When asked about the recent drone strikes in Pakistan‚ the spokesperson said that the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Tariq Fatemi on the directive of the prime minister summoned the US Charge D'Affairs to the foreign office and lodged a strong protest. He said the drone strikes are in violation of Pakistan's sovereignty and the international laws. He said that US Secretary of State John Kerry would visit Pakistan in the last week of this month.
Spokesman said that secret funds of the foreign ministry have been abolished on the directives of the federal government. Replying to a query about violation of Pakistan’s airspace by Indian warplanes, he said that the two aircraft entered Pakistan’s airspace due to a technical mistake as both the pilots of Indian warplanes were under training. To a question, he said that Pakistan’s embassy in Syria, was still open. –ONLINE
India ignored my asylum plea, claims Julian Assange
Pm bans foreign trips of federal ministers ISL AM ABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has imposed a complete ban on foreign trips of federal ministers. As part of austerity drive, the government is reportedly taking several measures aimed at saving national revenue. In its latest attempt, PM Nawaz Sharif has banned federal ministers from undertaking foreign trips, asking them to get prior permission before departing abroad. Besides these, the government is actively considering to impose ban on foreign trips of MNAs as well. –ONLINE
capita consumption is 18 kg and a hike in price by Rs 7 per kg will translate into additional burden of Rs 31 billion on masses. This will discourage consumption of sugar which will be very dangerous for insecure and malnourished poor. Government can consider slapping different slabs on domestic and commercial sugar consumers, he said. Dr Murtaza Mughal said that government has not imposed any ST on rice or wheat flour but it would impose it on sugar which is an important kitchen item. –ONLINE
No female minister in KP cabinet
Pm, cOAS discuss security situation
SWAT: The tempestuous water of River Swat washed away a part of Ayub Bridge in Kanju, leaving 700,000 people trapped as their ground link stands cut off. According to media reports, this is the only bridge that links Mingora and Kanju was washed away overnight. It should be mentioned here that Pakistan Army, in the wake of massive 2010 flash floods, built temporary pathways over the bridge; but, the district administration did not pay attention to strengthen them. –ONLINE
President of the PEW. Contrary to the claims of the new government, budget offered no relief for general pubic who will see hike in prices of all commodities within days, he added. Dr Murtaza Mughal said that upward revision in the ST rate indicates that government is in no mood to uproot corruption or widen tax base to augment income but to burden masses. Giving an example, he said that Pakistan produces five million tonnes of sugar while domestic consumption stands at 4.5 MT. Per
NEW DELHI: India should give political asylum to American whistleblower Edward Snowden for
exposing the US cyber snooping programme that targeted India in a big way, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange told Indian media in an interview published on Thursday. Assange, who is holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since June 19 last year, said in an exclusive interview with ‘Times of India’ that India was among the first countries he had approached for asylum. But he never heard back. "I was disappointed and saddened that India, known for upholding human rights, never got back despite several requests by me for asylum. Indians are also great supporters of WikiLeaks. I therefore contacted the
foreign office through the Indian high commissioner. I wrote to them but they never responded," Assange said over telephone. When contacted, MEA officials in New Delhi said they had no record of Assange seeking asylum in India. The WikiLeaks founder said that if a small nation like Ecuador could have the guts to provide him asylum, India which has considerable global standing with a billion-plus population should not be afraid of "standing up for human rights" and giving Snowden asylum. "Ecuadorians showed immense courage and granted me asylum," he added. Assange called Snowden a
hero for exposing "the most serious events of the decade" — how America was snooping into people's emails, phone calls, messages en masse and across the globe. "It was because of Snowden that India came to know how US was snooping on them. It is an obligation for India to protect Snowden. India is a super power and does not have to fear other nations. Now is the time for India to show it stands up for human rights," he said. Snowden, a 29-year-old former technical assistant for CIA who later worked for the US National Security Agency through contractors, is believed to be still in Hong Kong, from where he leaked details of a top-
Published by Ahmad Waleed from Yasmeen Majeed Printing Press 69 Cricket Stadium Rawalpindi.
secret US surveillance programme, Prism. Assange warned Snowden against serious witch-hunting by the US government and said he should look at getting political asylum in Latin American countries which have in the last decade been "champions of human rights". The Australian information activist, who is trying to avoid extradition to face "trumped up" charges of sexual offences in Sweden, said he is still willing to take asylum in India if such an offer comes. "I have never been to India. But I have lots of friends there. WikiLeaks has a big support base in India. But the government should show more courage," Assange said. –ONLINE